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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Note: the 18th continued in camp near Gaines Mills


The 18th moved their camp for the third time in three days, shifting a mile and a half to the right in order to absorb new regiments, including George A. McCall's Division that had been reassigned from the First Corps the day before and now formed the Third Division of the Fifth Corps. The new accommodations were in the middle of corn stalks rising about a foot high, but "some distance from water." Close by was a pine forest where "trees average 1 1/2 to 3 ft. in diameter with no underbrush and clear of limbs for 10 or 20 ft. from the ground." The day fairly bid to be a scorcher as the noontime sun, which hung directly overhead, "casts no shaddow."

Casting no shadows either were large swarms of common house flies. "They congregate very thick in our tents. Thicker that I ever saw them in any house." The reverberation from Union cannons and incoming Rebel shells didn't seem to have any effect on the pests. Whether they'd still be around to greet the 32nd Massachusetts, who had recently arrived in Washington, was a matter of conjecture. That regiment had sent word to the 18th "they are eager and ready for the fray. After they have smelt powder a few times they wont talk after that fashion."

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