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 the winter of ‘64, spent in quarters near Hatcher's Run, where we received those boots—English boots—and then at such times! But stop; let us go to
Camp Lee. Here we were for the first time to do guard duty, drill, and here, too, we were to feel the iron hand of military authority. I can almost see our company—their appearance after their first night under the canvas—stretching themselves after a sleepless night—many of the boys staying awake much of the night in enjoying themselves as only young men can, who for the first time are freed, as it were, from those constraints which were a part of their natural condition. Among the occurrences that were to cast a shadow over the then timid soldier boy, was the
Hanging of Webster. This is one of the sad parts or results consequent upon being in the army. Well do I remember the expressions when it was announced that at a certain hour during the day—I don't remember the hour—that a Yankee spy by the name of Webster, would be hung in the enclosed grounds, and that the soldiers were to turn out and witness the same. At the appointed hour the prisoner, escorted by a strong guard, entered the grounds, where, after a short delay, he mounted the scaffold and paid the penalty with his life. Such were some events which occurred at Camp Lee, and which will long be remembered by the writer. Camp life to the novice, or rather, to the new soldier, has some pleasing sides, and yet, too, the young soldier-boy gets tired of the drill-ground, with the officer's command of load by detail, load, and so the boys were not sorry much when the orders came to pack knapsacks (we were at that time well supplied with linen—towels. brushes, combs, and everything to make and keep us neat and tidy) —what a contrast to that scene which occurred on the Potomac river some months afterwards, when you might have seen thousands of men stripped, washing their clothes, for we had not had a change since we started that old windy soldier, Pope, on the go at Cedar mountain, some time previous. So after packing our knapsacks and haversacks we boarded the cars at the Fair Grounds and started for the field to join the forces near Fredericksburg, where we were to meet the Purcell and Johnson
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