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October 30, 1861: Suscol

October 30, 2011

Camp 63

[Today] there was no rain, but a dense fog hung over everything. Averill went to Napa for letters. I lounged down to the tavern to read the news. While there, a rough but intelligent-looking man entered into conversation and invited me to his house a few rods distant for a “glass of good cider.” I went, got the cider, the best I have tasted in the state, and went into his house. I found him an intelligent man, quite a botanist, and even found that he had some rare and expensive illustrated botanical works, such as Silva Americana1, worth sixty to eighty dollars—the last place in the world I would have looked for such works. He does not own the ranch, is merely a hired man, having charge! There is an orchard of ten or twelve thousand trees and a vineyard—he makes wine and cider and sells fruit.

1D. J. Browne, 1832; contemporary review here.

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