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[164] upon, and we envied them their good fortune. Hour after hour passed away after we had formed. We could hear the sound of axes and the falling of timber in our front, the passing of railroad trains, and all indicating the arrival of troops, and we knew that we had a tough job before us. Just before daylight orders to charge were countermanded; and we returned inside the fortifications, pleased that we were not going blindly into the crash of battle, without knowing anything of our position. Afterward we learned that the Johnnies had evacuated their works in front of Bermuda Hundred, on the Bermuda Neck. When our men discovered that fact they advanced and took possession of them, and also went out and took possession of, and for some distance, tore up the R. and P. Railroad, and the advance line occupied the Rebel works. But in the evening Longstreet's men came up and promptly attacked the feeble force holding the works and drove it out, and instantly set to work to repair the mischief inflicted upon them. We should have occupied their works immediately upon our arrival, and awaited their attack upon us in them. After they had recovered the position and retaken their works, to attack would have been to assail strong fortifications manned by veteran troops with the same result as before. The line of assault had been formed with General Terry's troops in advance, our Second division supporting him and the Second brigade on the right to act as a flanking column.

As we marched out in rear of the works a sutler had just come in from the landing with some supplies, and although we had little money we began purchasing his wares. None of the men in the camp were awake and about, and after several deals not satisfactory to him, the sutler said he

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Bermuda Hundred (Virginia, United States) (1)
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