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[40] drowned, but which I much preferred to the former. These thoughts were not of a very consoling nature. One thing I knew was that when the heat died out of the balloon I must make a graceful descent; but as to where I should land I could not even guess. To say that I was frightened but faintly expresses it, for the almost instantaneous ascent I had made had not only taken all the breath out of my body, but seemed also to have deprived me of all my nerve and courage for the time being. However, after a while I recovered my breath and found, upon careful examination, that my heart was beating much as usual. The balloon had now reached its equilibrium, and was apparently standing quietly (for there was little air stirring) over the Confederate army, and I was looking down to where, far below me, lay the York river and the surrounding country which I knew so well.

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