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[566] very curious that the combatants are entirely hidden from each other's sight.

The last shot is fired, and the lull in the battle-storm is perfect. Adventurous spirits on both sides cautiously raise their heads above the .earthworks. “How are you, Johnny?” “How are you Yank?” are the questions usually bandied. “Won't you shoot?” says one. “No,” says the other. “Well, we won't,” chime in all; and immediately the parapets are swarmed with men who have been concealed behind them. Out jump the fellows from the rifle-pits, and putting down their guns, stretch their cramped forms upon the grass. Sharpshooters covertly slide down from their perches in the trees, and loll about in utter abandon. Trade is quickly opened, and all sorts of commodities are exchanged. The men have keen pleasure in their singular armistice, bantering each other sharply, and never overstepping the half-way line which separates their respective fortifications. Suddenly the cry is raised, “Run back, Johnnys,” or “Run back, Yank,” just as it happens to be, “we're going to shoot,” and the hostilities begin again.

It is always understood, however, that the first shot shall be aimed high, and the veriest pawdler gets back to shelter safely.

While this fraternal scene is being enacton one part of the line, the battle rages hot at other portions of the extended front, which measures by miles. Was ever such strange warfare known before? It is easy enough to see, however, that these anomalous episodes may be abused. The rebels availed themselves of such a truce the other day to strengthen a battery, which had been reduced to silence, and had kept still for nearly a week. The work, consequently, has had to be done over again. I have seen a great number of prisoners lately. Their appearance utterly refutes the current stories that the rebel army is in a destitute and starving condition. It is simply idle to talk about starving the army into submission. The rebel soldiers, as a general thing, are stout, strong, and the very picture of health. It is insulting to our brave men that statements, so industriously circulated respecting the feebleness and lack of power of endurance of the Southern soldiers, should be believed. The rations of the rebel troops may not be in as great variety as those furnished our men, but they have proved to be fully as nutritious. This fact cannot be gainsaid.

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