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[62] out ‘Down’ and every man would, without inquiring why, jump behind the breastworks. Almost instantly a shell would bury itself in the bank or go screeching over their heads far to the rear through the forest, cutting a limb off here, a tree top there, but never doing harm to the Nineteenth's men, although wounding or killing a man, occasionally, far in the rear.

At night the men were sent to the front on picket, going out after it got dark enough to hide their movements from the enemy and being withdrawn just at daybreak. There was a swamp on the left, covered with a thick growth of bushes, with here and there a tall pine. Through this swamp the men were stationed in couples and relieved each other at regular intervals. Generally one would be on duty and one would sleep until midnight, when they would change places.

Capt. Harry Hale, during the siege of Yorktown, had a colored servant who bore the familiar name of George Washington. For the captain's dinner, one day, this darkey brought out a can of salmon and, thinking to warm it, put it over the fire. The fire did not burn up as quickly as he wished, so he got down on his knees and started to blow it. There was an explosion, and in an instant the darkey appeared before his astonished captain, his face and head covered with a pinkish substance which had gone into his ears, eyes and mouth and was stringing off from his kinky wool. Captain Hale thought at first that the poor darkey's head had been hurt by a shell and that it was brains that he saw all over it, but he soon learned that the can of salmon had exploded and scattered its contents over the frightened servant.

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