of restless impatience of restraint, and flights of fancy, in which camp life often gives him leisure to indulge.
Sometimes there would arise ludicrous, petty differences between officers of different arms of the service, as to the limits of their camps, and most amusing charges of encroachment upon one another's domain.
We have observed Gen. Slocum
called in as arbitrator, walking beside the appellant, blowing a thin cloud of smoke from his cigar.
We have overheard a comrade exclaim, as he watched the pale, thin, quiet face, ‘Well, is n't he the coolest man you ever saw?’
This remark was recalled on the night of June 30, when we saw the general stirred with righteous anger which had anything but a cool effect on those upon whom it was justly visited.
Rumors of every sort were rife during this time, of movements made at other points in the Federal
line, and of those about to be made from our front.
Newspapers found their way into camp with tolerable regularity, which gave us their versions of the doings of troops on the Rappahannock
, in the valley, or on the Mississippi
Speculation, baseless indeed, was active in the minds of the privates; but nothing palpable had occurred to indicate the subsequent change of base.
Supplies continued to be sent from the Pamunkey
to Savage's Station, east of us, our immediate depot.
The hackneyed phrase ‘All quiet along the Chickahominy
,’ had become well worn.
Sometime during Thursday forenoon, June 26, the company being assembled, general orders congratulating the troops upon advantages gained in a conflict the day before, which were said to ‘augur well for our final triumph,’ were read by Lieut. Sawin
, officer of the day; the account, however, was so vague as to make hardly a transitory impression upon us. It was a kind of appeal to the faith that the Union
soldier was supposed always to possess, through all fortunes, in our ultimate success.
The battle indistinctly alluded to was that of Oak Grove
, on the day before (25th), about a mile in advance of the battlefield of Fair Oaks
This was an effort, that succeeded, to drive in Confederate pickets in the woods, before the Federal
left, in order to give the Union
forces command of cleared fields, still farther in advance; the fighting continued all day, from nine A. M. The brunt of the contest was borne by Hooker
This was the inauguration of the seven days campaign.