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[65] three miles along the line, and often had charge of working parties in the trenches. Besides performing the duties for which he was detailed, he made the siege of Yorktown a study. He knew the position and importance of every work and gun along our lines.

Marching up the Peninsula after the evacuation of Yorktown, the army reached the right bank of the Pamunkey. Here General Porter selected Vincent to take command of a small body of troops in a reconnoissance across the river in the lower part of King William County. The expedition took him some miles into the interior, but was bloodless. He merely learned that there were no armed Rebels there.

Reaching the Chickahominy, the regiment was encamped near Gaines's Mills, and for several weeks, with a few days' exception, did picket duty in the swamps through which the river flows. The exception, however, is a memorable one, —the battle of Hanover Court-House,—Vincent's first battle, though he had often been under fire before Yorktown. In this action the regiment suffered but little. The battle-field was not so deadly as the camp and picket duty to which they returned. Even the powerful frame of Vincent could not withstand the poisoning air of the swamps, and towards the latter part of June he was sick almost beyond hope of recovery.

He was removed to the tent of a friend living at Army Headquarters, where there were more of the necessaries and comforts of life. He had not been there a day, however, when the camp at Gaines's Mills became the scene of a terrible battle. The sound of cannon and musketry reached the sick man's ears. Precautions were taken to keep from him the issue of the day; but when at night he saw the preparations for retreat, he learned all, and an old servant told him the fate of his regiment. Over one half had been either killed or wounded, and the Colonel and the Major both lay dead on the battle-field. Vincent forced those who had charge of him to let him go. He compelled the servant

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