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[I.] Glimpses of Army life in 1864. extracts from letters written by Brigadier-General J. H. Lane.

Liberty Mills, Va., February 5, 1864.
1 * * * The telegraphic columns in the Richmond papers have anticipated the action of my brigade about reenlisting. I intend calling on them for an expression of opinion next week, and I hope [407] it will be such as has been represented. The Seventh and Thirty-third are original war-regiments, so that it is only necessary to look after the Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth and Thirty-seventh. I do not know the state of feeling in the Thirty-seventh, but from the demonstrations of the Twenty-eighth to-day at drill, when the subject was mentioned by its commander, I have good reasons to believe that it, as well as the Eighteenth, will be ‘all right.’ I have no idea that the Government would let them go home, and only values an expression of opinion on this point from the army for its moral effect.

When one of the companies of the Twenty-eighth to-day stood unanimously by the colors, the captain was wild with enthusiasm, and, jumping in front of it, he yelled out ‘Good for old Company A! Men, I love the very ground you stand on.’ As the colonel omitted, through an oversight, to say anthing to ‘Company K,’ its captain called out, ‘Colonel, you forgot the Stanly Guards, but we are all here to a man.’ Old Captain Holland, who addresses his men so very politely, and about whom we have had several good laughs, raised a big laugh again to-day by constantly singing out in his peculiar way, ‘Be firm, Company H’; and when the call was made, and they all stood firm, he sang out ‘Colonel, old Cleveland is all right, let us give three cheers to the soldiers,’ and the biggest sort of an old Rebel yell was raised at once. I wish Colonel Barbour was here to talk to his regiment. After returning from furlough he was immediately and very unexpectedly recalled home again by the illness of his wife. She was not expected to live, and she had expressed a desire to see him.

My shoe-shop is now in operation, but as the Government will not allow us to exchange hides for leather, and is unable to furnish the leather itself in any quantity, we have to confine ourselves to cobblers' work altogether. I do not expect there was ever seen another such lot of old shoes as that sent up this morning to be half-soled and patched. To see them all arranged in the shops by regiments and labeled with the owners' names elicited many hearty laughs.


1 In connection with this period the reader is referred to History of Lane's North Carolina brigade.Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume IX, pages 353-361.

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