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[160] and respect of the regiment, which had now become reduced to the size of an ordinary infantry regiment, by losses in battle and by the hard campaigning to which they were now accustomed. After the first few days, during our stay at Cold Harbor, we received fresh beef, soft bread and vegetables, of which we were in great need. This was possible because our base of supply had been changed to White House Landing.

On the night of the 12th of June orders were given to draw out of the lines. The utmost caution was enjoined. The picket lines kept up a continuous fire to drown the noise of the withdrawal. The artillery wheels were muffled to prevent the rumble of their wheels being heard. Thus silently we moved away from the lines which had cost so many lives of brave men on both sides, to assail and hold. Our losses had been much greater than those of the enemy, as they had the advantage of entrenchments. At daylight we were some distance from the works, the brigade all together, except those left on the picket line and the 5th Maine on its way home, and at dark we were across the Chickahominy, crossing on a pontoon bridge at Jones' Bridge. We had not been followed by any force of the enemy, and no firing of any account was heard until afternoon, when the faint sound of cannon and musketry told that the Johnnies were after our rear guard, which consisted of Wilson's cavalry and the Fifth Corps. We were all glad to get away from Cold Harbor.

Several personal incidents may be of interest to the reader. The writer's brother was a member of the 106th New York Volunteers, and was on the skirmish line at the opening of the first assault. He was severely wounded, a bullet having shattered the bone of his right thigh. Word was brought me that he was in the Corps hospital and I went to see him, taking a roll of blankets for

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Robert P. Wilson (1)
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