ARMY: Night in Virginia

Outside historic Petersburg some 800 hog-dirty, dog-tired soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 8th Quartermaster Training Regiment were sleeping soundly. A soft north-northeast breeze fanned the damp air; the lonely flashlight of a patrolling officer threaded the dark Virginia night; somewhere a mongrel pup howled plaintively. Suddenly came the long, heart-chilling shriek of dive-bombers, the rattle of machine guns, the dull, stomach-curdling thud of high explosives. Over the camp rolled clouds of black, evil-smelling smoke. Up went a cry: "Gas! Gas! Gaaaasss!" Out of their tiny olive-green tents tumbled soldiers, stuffing heads into gas masks, grabbing at pants.

In a few...

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