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[180] of war, and so used did the men become to such upsettings of their calculations that twenty-four hours sufficed, as a rule, to wipe out all yearnings for what so recently had been.

I will add a few words in this connection in regard to the mortality of horses. Those who have not looked into the matter have the idea that actual combat was the chief source of the destruction of horseflesh. But, as a matter of fact, that source is probably not to be credited with onetenth of the full losses of the army in this respect. It is to be remembered that the exigencies of the service required much of the brutes in the line of hard pulling, exposure, and hunger, which conspired to use them up very rapidly; but the various diseases to which horses are subject largely swelled the death list. Every few weeks a veterinary surgeon would look over the sick-list of animals, and prescribe for such as seemed worth saving or within the reach of treatment, while others would be condemned, led off, and shot. To bury these, and those dying without the aid of the bullet, I have shown, was a part of the fatigue duty of artillerymen and cavalrymen.

The procuring of wood was often a task involving no little labor for all arms of the military service. At Brandy Station, Virginia, before the army left there on the 3d of May, 1864, some commands were obliged to go four or five miles for it. The inexperienced can leave little idea of how rapidly a forest containing many acres of heavy growth would disappear before an army of seventy-five or a hundred thousand men camped in and about it. The scarcity of wood was generally made apparent by this fact, that when an army first went into camp trees were cut with the scarf two or three feet above the ground, but as the scarcity increased these stumps would get chipped down often below a level with the ground.

After fatigue call the next business, as indicated by the drum or army bugle, was to respond to

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May 3rd, 1864 AD (1)
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