This time we had a genuine march of twenty-two miles from Portsmouth
through a level, sandy country, the sand being about four inches deep.
We soon found out it was much easier to carry twenty pounds than sixty, and there was enough extra clothing thrown away on this march to have supplied the entire regiment in 1864—everything pertaining to a man's dressing case and wardrobe from a shaving mug to a pigeon-tail coat.
We halted at——Hill to rest and recruit.
It was here we had to eat our first hard tack and wash it down with water alone.
On this march the perspiration was wiped off with nice cambric handkerchiefs and then thrown over the neck to keep the collar clean.
I can see in my mind's eye our gallant little Lieutenant Tommy
with his pants turned up to keep them from getting soiled, showing so small a foot that it was a wonder that it could carry him so far, his erect form and elastic step, never forgetting the twenty-eight from toe to heel; smiling at those who were marching in order, encouraging those who were really broken down, and giving goss to the laggard that did not have a cause.
If there had been more officers like him the private soldiers' life would have been much more pleasant.
We reached Suffolk
late that night, and had to sleep wherever we could, with the canopy of heaven above and mother earth as our bed. Next morning you could have seen before sun up 100 men around an old pump clipping blisters and bathing their chafed limbs.
We took the train here for Petersburg
with much joy. Twenty days from this date the boys found what they had been thirteen months looking for, seven miles below Richmond
, at Seven Pines
, viz.: a live Yankee on the ground (we had seen some on water), and the supply was greater than the demand.
If all felt as I did, they had much rather found them dead than alive.
When at Norfolk
it was a common saying that one Reb
could lick five Yanks
I found out one was just as many as I cared to tackle at a time.
In consequence of my getting too close to some one with a loaded gun, I was sent to Chimborazo Hospital, near Richmond
, which was on the same spot where the beautiful park of the same name now is. If that place could only speak, what a tale of woe and sorrow it could tell.