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‘ [351] cart. You can come and see for yourself. I is only got some collards and English peas and a few 'taters.’

I told the old man that he would nave to go with me to the officer in charge. As we went along, I asked him if he saw any Yanks down the road, and he wanted to know ‘what dey looks like.’ I asked him why he made so much noise. He said:‘I was whistling and keeping time wid de step of de mule and de rattling of de cart.’

The winter of 1861 and 1862 was spent in quarters at the intrenched camp, about one and a half miles from Norfolk. We only played soldiers, and tried to pass away the time, as only men can do without the presence of ladies, playing all sorts of pranks and jokes on our comrades.

On the evening of March 7, 1862, it was reported that the war vessel, Virginia, would go down to the Roads and clean up everything, and take Fort Monroe. I do believe that nine-tenths of the regiment were at Sewell's Point by 10 o'clock next morning. We did not have to wait long before we saw such a comical looking object going to do battle against five or six splendid war vessels, any one of which would make two of her.

It was our opinion that it would only take just five minutes to knock her out. We were disappointed, and so was the Federal commodore, for he soon lost two fine ships, and the third was knocked to pieces, and, if it had not been for a little thing called the monitor, that looked to us from where we were like a good-sized wash tub, the commodore would not have had a plank to stand on. It was here that most of the boys saw and heard the messengers of death for the first time. While we were busy looking at the naval engagement a shell, sent from the Rip Rips, came over and exploded in about fifty yards of us, throwing great quantities of sand, some falling on us, leaving a hole large enough to put a Princess Anne market cart, negro and mule in. Alas! Comrade George I and myself commenced getting gray from that date.

From this date on we had only two more months of this happy life, when one morning by light we were ordered to pack up, as Norfolk was going to be evacuated. I only had one sweetheart (some of the boys had five), and she told me I could not kiss her until I grew a moustache. I could not wait so long, for I did not even have a frize, so, I had to be satisfied with a gentle pressure of the hand and the sweet old word ‘good-bye.’

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