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[43] campaign, the pickled onions, chow-chow, and other anti-scorbutics sent out by the Commission, were very valuable.

But this particular camp of our company at Gaines' Farm was healthy, despite the intensely hot weather of the day and the damp air at night. It was high and dry, and there was an abundance of pure water at hand. Later experience in the swamps of the south side taught us to set a reasonable value upon this site, as well as upon that at Mechanicsville, to which place we were ordered during the first week in June. This place is five or six miles farther up the Chickahominy. You have been generally ascending as you have come hither from Cold Harbor, crossing runs which make their way through winding ravines; each crossing brings you to a ridge relatively higher than the preceding. At length, crossing the road which intersects the Cold Harbor road and which, proceeding to the bottom lands, leads over Mechanicsville Bridge, you have before you and at your left, a hill which rises up boldly from the south, breaking off gently toward the Cold Harbor road and then slightly elevating toward the south side of that road. The section between the brow of the hill and the road is completely masked by the fore ridge and a piece of wood on the left. In front of the ridge, there is an unobstructed view for three miles or more, through an open country; across the Chickahominy one sees a similar ridge confronting the hill on which he stands. The blue pickets and the gray are ranged along the banks of this sluggish stream on their respective sides.

On this elevation our guns were brought into position. A redoubt constructed of earth and rails was built before each piece. The work of placing the posts and rails, and of throwing up the banks, being suitably distributed and completed, our camp was made in the edge of the woods to the left and rear. We rode out northwest on the Hanover road, down to one of those runs such as we had crossed in coming hither, to water our horses; we met two negroes of the neighborhood bearing on their shoulders bags of hoe-cake and bacon, which we purchased of them, the rogues asking with a grin, before seeing the money, if it was ‘silber.’ The hoe-cake forcibly suggested cold, unseasoned hasty pudding. Returning to camp, there was a little leisure to examine a long and very tall tobacco shed, which we, on our arrival, had observed near the road. The lower story seemed to

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