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[165] attempt it. The soil, even upon the tops of the mountains, from its appearance and products, seems to be of the richest character, more like the low lands in Georgia than mountain soil. Vegetation that we are accustomed to see only upon ‘bottoms’ grows here in rich luxuriance upon the highest points.

The agricultural products are mainly small grain, though corn is grown in the valleys, and they are most abundant.

The population is confined chiefly to the valleys, the winter cold being too severe upon the mountains. Even now, in the latter part of July, we have to sit much by the fire and with overcoats on.

Our regiment has suffered some from the diseases usual in camp, though not more perhaps than was to be expected.

We are cheerful .and in good spirits and prepared for any service that may be required of us. Of the progress of the war we know but little, our mail facilities being very limited. We are just now getting the details of the great battle of Manassas, fought a week ago within one hundred and fifty miles of us. What its results may be upon our enemies or the future history of the war we cannot tell, but are sure it will convince them that the subjugation of the South will not be the work of a holiday. History hardly furnishes a parallel to that battle, but if the North desire it we will seek to furnish more of the same sort.

R. T. D.

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