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[404] than the other, for we punished them on the same day. The Rebels did their best to drive us across the river, and laid a deep plot, but we defeated them. They had meant to make it a three days affair rather than fail; but their disaster Sunday taught them the impossibility of success, and Monday was quiet.

The battle was followed by twelve days of extremely fatiguing duty, which very few of the regiment bore as well as Lowell. He writes thus to his classmate Hartwell:—

Our fight of the 31st and 1st was followed by the hardest work yet put before us,—ten days of unceasing vigilance in the face of the enemy. Rain or shine, night or day, we were under arms at the slightest alarm, and remained in line for an hour or two; we did not mean to be surprised, like Casey's division. For twelve days we kept on our clothes and equipments. As knapsacks and baggage were not brought near us for nearly that length of time, we could not have changed our clothes even if we had been able to call fifteen or five minutes our own. We were washed by the rain, and then dried ourselves in the sun, or before fires, which were permitted in the daytime. For five days we have been in the rear, near enough the front line to be turned out in case of firing, but far enough back to sleep half of the nights without equipments on, and to indulge in frequent baths; also to pitch our shelter-tents and think a little of our meals. But even in this place of comparative rest, three A. M., always finds us in line of battle, and for an hour and a half we are ready for the attack of the enemy. Six o'clock used to seem an early hour to arouse us for prayers, but our day seems nearly half gone at that time.

Lowell remained near Fair Oaks until the 28th of June. He had entire confidence in the skill of McClellan, and felt sure of his success. He knew nothing of what was preparing for the Army of the Potomac, and very little of what was going on. Like a true soldier, he was intent on doing what his hand found to do, even though he was working in the dark. He writes to Hartwell on the 26th:—

Sunday [22d] was a quiet day with us, but we have since had skirmishes at our front, in which we were generally rumored to be advancing, and yet found our forces in their old position at night, the movements being merely reconnoissances on one side or the other. But to-day there has been quite heavy firing on our left,

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