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August 11, 1864: North Fork Kings Headwaters

August 11, 2014

Camp 191

Notwithstanding the hard conditions, we were more refreshed than you would believe. After months of this rough life, sleeping only on the ground, in the open air, the rocky bed is not so hard in reality as it sounds when told. We actually lay “in bed” until after sunrise, waiting for Dick. They did not come; so, after our meager breakfast we started and reached camp in about nine hours. This was the hardest part. Still tired from yesterday’s exertions, weak for want of food, in this light air, it was a hard walk.

At three in the afternoon we reached camp, tired, footsore, weak, hungry. Dick had been back already over an hour, but Spratt had given out. Gardner and two soldiers, supposing that Hoffmann and I also had given out, had started with some bread to look for us. We shot off guns, and near night they came in, and at the same time Spratt straggled into camp, looking as if he had had a hard time. Dick and he did not reach the top, but got within three hundred feet of it. They traveled all night and had no food—they had eaten their lunch all up at once. Dick is very tough. He had walked thirty-two hours and had been twenty-six entirely without food; yet, on the return, he had walked in four hours what had taken Hoffmann and me eight to do.

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