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Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/163

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FORAGING

On October 11 our Regiment went out for the first time on a foraging expedition. There were 2,500 men in the detachment, and a train of about 500 wagons. About fifteen miles south of Atlanta we found plenty of corn for the animals; and for the men, abundance of sweet potatoes and other dainties not laid down in the army menu. In two days we had our wagons laden with all that could be hauled away. About a fortnight later we went out again and brought in over 800 wagons of corn.

The forage which we thus gathered was the salvation of our animals and beef cattle. The mules had been on half rations of grain all summer, quite without hay, and the whole country in the vicinity of Atlanta had been grazed over until it was as bare as a city street. The beeves that had been driven down from Louisville, had for weeks nothing to eat save the leaves and sprouts on the bushes. It was a standing joke among the men that the commissary always killed for beef those animals that could not survive until the next day.

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