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[301] falling. As we returned to the creek with the engine, we struck the cars a tremendous blow that sent me reeling on my face. Fortunately none of us were seriously hurt, and the only damage done was the throwing of the hindmost car from the track. Our boys had begun to arrive with the wire, and in a few minutes they were all in, wet and hungry. We detached the box car, went up to the farm house, and will wait until daylight for further operations.

March 10th.—Bright and early this morning we were at work getting over the wire, which was rather a dangerous business, as the logs on which we crossed were slippery, and the creek very high, almost running over its banks. We, however, succeeded in getting over all the wire without an accident, and after putting the car on the track we turned our faces towards Humboldt, the whistle blew, and we were off. We stopped at the farm house and enjoyed a substantial breakfast. At 2 P. M., we left Paris, and arrived at Humboldt about five o'clock, all in fine spirits, and highly pleased with our trip, notwithstanding the fact that I returned minus my boots and hat. We secured the whole of the wire from Tennessee river to Paris.

March 15th.—Bethel, 12 M. We have had a hard time for the past twenty-four hours. On Thursday night we were ordered to get ready to march. At two o'clock our baggage was all on board the train, and we left at six o'clock yesterday morning, and reached here last night. The rain poured down in torrents all day and night, and the cars were so densely packed, that I was compelled to stand on the top of a box car, with no protection from the rain. I have not been in a horizontal position for two nights, and haversacks are empty. Wet and cold, sleepy and hungry—such are some of the hardships incident to a retreating army.

Sunday, March 16th.—Have just finished reading a few chapters in my Testament. We are cooking three days rations, and are expecting marching orders every moment. The enemy are reported advancing on Purdy, and it is supposed that we will be ordered to meet the advancing foe. General Bragg is in command of our troops, and I feel confident of our ability to drive the enemy back to their boats. Am getting anxious to hear from home. Suffered last night with severe pain in my bones. We have received intelligence confirming General Price's victory in the west; also that General McCown has repulsed the enemy at New Madrid. It is reported that General Price killed and captured 18,000 of the enemy.

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