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[371]

As winter was now approaching, we were ordered to the south side of the Rapidan, and soon we were preparing for winter quarters, the selected spot being in the celebrated Green Springs neighborhood of Louisa county, where we remained during the winter. It .was here we went through the form of enlisting for the war. Our time was spent here very quietly—this being our second winter in the army.

In the meantime, General Grant had been made commander of the United States Army, and was to take personal command of the Army of the Potomac, General Meade taking a back seat, or rather a subordinate position. Thus everything pointed to an early spring campaign, and everything possible that was honorable was resorted to to strengthen our army, and we had a complete overhauling of our guns, repairing of harness, &c. Longstreet having been recalled from the West, where he was sent by General Lee to assist that army, our troops were soon ready to again take the field. The winter was over; the grass again covered the ground, and the air was redolent with the perfume of wild flowers with which this section of our State abounds, the buds were bursting from their long pent-up homes—everything conspired to cause one to exclaim with the prophet of old: ‘The earth is the Lord's—he makes it to blossom and bring forth the harvest.’ And yet amidst these scenes so delightful to the senses, not far from us lay our cool, calculating enemy, with whom, in a short time, we would meet in a death struggle, for at this time the roads were being filled up with troops as they hurriedly marched to Spotsylvania Courthouse, where Grant, after crossing the Rapidan, Warren in advance, would meet our troops with gallant A. P. Hill in the lead, General Lee having anticipated this movement, and there commenced a series of battles which lasted for days. General Grant had consolidated the numerous divisions into three corps—Hancock, a brilliant soldier, whom we met so often, commanding the Second Corps; Warren, who tried to run over us at Five Forks, with Sheridan's cavalry, commanding the Fifth, and Sedgwick, a popular officer, whose fame was eclipsed at Fredericksburg, just previous to the battle of Chancellorsville, commanding the Sixth, with General Phil. Sheridan to manage the cavalry, and to do all the destroying of growing crops that he and his bold troopers could in the short space of time he was to remain in the Valley. It is said that Grant's army would fill any road in the State for more than a hundred miles with his soldiers, trains of wagons

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