Ransom W. Towle to Friends

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Camp in the FieldSeven Miles from RichmondJune 8th, 1862Dear Friends

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Day before yesterday we crossed the Chicahominy River seven miles below where we were then in Camp thence up on this side first opposite & to the north of Seven Pines the Battle Ground of Saturday and Sunday We knew the place when we got within two miles by the Swarm of Buzzards hovering over the place. It has been very Rainy here of late, which has rendered Army movements slow and difficult especially crossing the River which is marshy on either Side Of the No. of the force here I dont know

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but we have a line of encampments Southward from here one mile beyond the Rail Road a distance of 3 ½ miles. Much of the Artillery and Baggage is yet beyond the Chicahominy and considerable Infantry I do not think the final Battle will take place for several Days unless brought on by the Enemy. A fort of earthworks is going up within twenty Rods of where I write on a little eminence in a field. The Country here is about half timbered, a large share of which is hard Pine. Yesterday our Reg. went out beyond the Picquet Line on a Connoissance. We went but a short distance into the woods when Co’s E & K were sent out as Skirmishers. Skirmishers Deploy in one Rank to a distance of five paces apart, then march forward in line. We came into a Wheat Field some fifty Rods wide we crossed this about half way when we heard the Rebel Picquets Skedaddle across a pole bridge over a little Ravine just beyond the Field and skirted with timber which afforded them a cover from us. As it was not the object to bring on an engagement we did not fire but came to a halt and crouching down in the wheat - which was nearly waist high - waited further developments The Rebs Rattled over a Rail fence in a hurry and fell back on their Reserve then advanced upon us upon us in force keeping up a Straggling fire as they got sight of us. We had discovered three Pieces of

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Artillery and found the Nest of the Enemy We were ordered back to Camp accordingly We retreated without returning their fire. None of us were hit as we were pretty well hid by the wheat Today our Reg. in part are at work on the Fort I am not required to do Picquet Guard or Fatigue Duty unless the whole Regt goes which is seldom This morning the Rebs opened with Shell on our Picquets. Our Batteries replied promptly and soon silenced their Guns One Sergt Deserted and came over yesterday, and another Today. They do not express much union sentiment, but say they are sick of Rebellion that their time of enlistment is up tha they were neither paid nor allowed to go home. They are in fine Spirits and seem to like the change though they are of course closely watched

Most Truly &c. Ransom