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 and Fredericksburg Batteries, with which in time we should become close companions. Our camp was located near the Massaponax church, and many a pleasant day did we spend there, and nights, too, as we frequently visited the charming ladies in the near neighborhood, and enjoyed their hospitality, in which none others excel. But these days were soon to be over. Already that fateful day was dawning when we should bid good-bye to the hills of Spotsylvania and commence our
‘on to Richmond!’ Already was being fought the great battle of Seven Pines, in which General Joseph E. Johnston commanded what was afterwards known as the Army of Northern Virginia, and in which he was wounded, and which subsequently, by the order of President Davis, was commanded to the end by General Lee. We started on the march with three days rations in our knapsacks and the sun shining as bright and the weather as pleasant as one could desire; but this state of things was not continued long, for soon the sun disappeared and then a gentle rain, in which the boys brought into use their oilcloths, and kept up cheerfully until we reached the slashes of Hanover, when it seemed that the road would become impassable. Rain! I never saw it pour so in all my life. Marching all night, stumbling, falling down, not being able to see your hand before you. Now was the time the boys had rather been at home, and then, too, we were afraid that we would not get there in time to take a hand. I don't think I ever experienced such discomfort in all my life. At last the distant booming cannon told us that we were approaching the enemy—closer and closer we were getting, until we arrived in front of Richmond, after marching so near that we could see the spires of the churches, and here again we had to acknowledge a higher authority and remain in ranks. We at last reached the position that had been assigned us, and found next morning—for we marched all night—that we were on the farm of Dr. Friend, where we were to have the pleasure of an artillery duel, which, by the way, is one of the meanest fights that you can participate in.
balloon Ascension. Among the numerous devices practiced by the Yankees in order to inform themselves of the status of our troops was a daily balloon
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