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[119] were ordered to proceed with the least possible delay to Savannah, there to take cars for Charleston.

A private note at the same time brought the intelligence that that city, so long threatened, and indeed, once already assailed by sea, was now to undergo a vigorous and combined attack from both land and naval forces. The day was an eventful one to us without this additional stimulant. In the morning we had received the sad news of the fall of Vicksburg, and the consequent opening of the Mississippi river to the Federal fleet, from the mountains to the sea, a disaster that secured to the enemy the grand object of his most strenuous exertions, while it severed the young Confederacy in twain and deprived our armies east of the river of all the aid and comfort in the way of material supplies and gallant recruits, that had been so long and so freely drawn from the west bank. We had just learned, too, of the check received by General Lee at the battle of Gettysburg, and now came the summons to tell that our turn had come for a little squeeze in the folds of the traditional ‘Anaconda,’ that the New York Herald had so graphically depicted as encircling the South.

The men received the orders with enthusiasm—indeed, when was it otherwise with the Southern soldier. Thoroughly conversant, as they all were, with the details of the war, they could not but be depressed by the news of such grave reverses to our arms as the morning's mail had brought them, and they gladly welcomed the relief that active service promised from the tedium of camp life, and the necessity of thinking upon melancholy subjects.

Our march began in the midst of a terrific thunder-storm, that had the effect, not only of cooling down any overplus of excitement, but also of rendering the road to the city almost a quagmire throughout its entire length.

There are pleasanter ways of spending a summer's evening than in trudging for eight miles, through mud and rain, in heavy marching order; but upon this, as on similar occasions during the war, I was deeply impressed by the uncomplaining patience and cheerfulness with which the men endured hardships that few would care to face now, but which, then, were regarded as mere matters of course— distasteful, certainly—but not worth talking about.

The storm delayed our march considerably, and upon reaching the depot we found that the Thirty-second regiment, which had been stationed at a point nearer the city, had already taken train for Charleston.

We, too, were soon en route, and early in the forenoon of the following

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