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[115] upon them—in most cases succeeding. The water was very bad and extremely foul of odor. The weather was warm and debilitating and the food not such as to add much to the physical strength of the men who seemed, thereby, to lose much of their stamina.

Col. Hinks, after being wounded, returned to Massachusetts for a brief period, and, while convalescing, improved his time by eloquent appeals to his fellow citizens to volunteer at the call of the Government, and spoke with great effect in several towns of the Commonwealth, inducing a large number of men to enlist.

On Aug. 8, he returned to Harrison's Landing, and, though not recovered from his wounds, was immediately assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, composed of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts, the Forty-Second and Fifty-Ninth New York, and Seventh Michigan regiments, Second division, Second Corps; which Division was assigned to cover the retreat of the army to the Chickahominy River, upon its evacuation of Harrison's Landing.

Gen. Halleck, commander-in-chief, was opposed to any further demonstrations against Richmond from the position then occupied by the Army of the Potomac. McClellan, however, insisted upon the plan, declaring that the rebels had received a sincere chastising and that the Army was ready and anxious to again push forward. McClellan's purpose was to cross the James at Harrison's Landing, attack Petersburg, and cut off the enemy's communications by that route south, making no further demonstration at that time against Richmond. (This was exactly the plan adopted by Grant two years later, by which he took Richmond and destroyed Lee.) Halleck, however, deemed the idea ‘dangerous and impracticable’ and so, after a stay of six weeks at Harrison's Landing, during which time the army had recovered from its losses and greatly improved its condition, orders came for the evacuation of the Peninsula.

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