Thank you to the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, which has
the original manuscript.
And a thanks to Ellen P. for transcribing this manuscript.
Back to my New England families page
Giving a full and detailed account of the
Various duties, changes of stations,
Situations, hardships, and
Exposures of the Sa-
lem Zouaves (S.L.Z.)
Capt. Arthur F. Devereux
Attached to the Eighth Regiment Mass-
achusetts Volunteer Militia during
the three months campaign at the commencement of the Rebellion.
A narrative of inter-
esting events, descriptions
of places, anecdotes, incidents &c.
giving an idea of the duties of
the Soldier, and a glance at Camp life
Carefully prepared from notes kept
at the time by the writer,
Corpl. John P. Reynolds
Thursday June 6th
It still continued wet and stormy and the excessive rain had found its way through the tents, and everything was damp and wet. The camp was a perfect bed of mud, and it was difficult to get about. We turned out at reveille and answered to roll call, but took breakfast in the tents, at seven o’clock. At nine o’clock guard mounting took place, and soon after (not withstanding the rain and mud), the assembly sounded, and the line was formed on the upper parade ground for company drills, but the colonel suddenly returned to his senses, and dismissed us without the usual drill. Towards noon the clouds began to disperse, and appearances indicated pleasant weather, but it soon grew thick and lowery again, and rain fell the greater part of the afternoon and night. At half past twelve roast beef sounded, and we fell in for dinner. At four o-
clock the line was again formed and dress parade was gone through with by the Regiment, after which all the companies except our own were dismissed, but we remained “masters of the ground,” and were drilled for an hour in company movements and skirmishing.
We were (the Company) an ill fated set of boys, at least so we thought, for while other companies lounged about their quarters, we were invariably drilled at all hours and in all weathers, whenever there was an opportunity. But then “success is the reward of labor,” and we enjoyed the reputation of being not only the best and most thoroughly drilled organization in the Regiment, but in the volunteer service, and though we were often led to think we were ill used, we were also forced to admit that our excellent commander, Capt. Devereux, was good in his
intentions, that he was without a rival, and that we were lucky in being placed under one so willing to work with us, and devote his whole time to the best interests of his men, in spite of the occasional “hard knocks” as the recruits expressed it.
[A Novel feature in drill]
During the drill a new feature was introduced, both novel and interesting, though in my opinion not altogether serviceable, consisting of formation of pyramids in the following manner. Half a dozen of the tallest men on the right were selected, and formed into line, locking arms and bracing themselves firmly together. Half a dozen more shorter in size were then placed behind these, with their heads bowed and firmly braced against the backs of the first row, and their backs curved in such a manner as to present a good foothold. A third row of half a dozen were then placed behind these, in a kneeling position, with their heads
braced against the hams of the second row. Still another row crouched on the hands and feet, and braced against the men of the third row; and the pyramid was completed, and thus formed was intended to be used as a bridge or inclined plane, over which the smallest men, selected as being lighter, and fleeter on foot, were intended to climb, and thus scale the parapet of earthworks and fortifications generally. This formation would doubtless be of little use, as too much time would be required to render it of any advantage, and as it must necessarily be exposed to a raking fire, a single shot would destroy its utility, and completely frustrate a second attempt to form it.
[Arrival of a friend with letters &c. D.H. Johnson]
During the afternoon we were visited by an old friend from Salem, Daniel H. Johnson Jr. who brought with him a large trunk for Private Hill, which among other
things contained several packages and letters for the boys, and I was fortunate enough to receive four letters from friends at home. Two large boxes also arrived, one for Sergt. Batchelder and the other for Corp’l Williams, and we were treated by them to pastry, fruit and so forth, particularly
[He goes on to live with us]
in the N.C.O. tent. At dress parade Daniel went on line with us and answered to his name – perfectly at home for he was a member of the Salem Cadets.
[and sings in the N.C.O.]
In the evening a large camp fire was built, by which we dried our clothing and blankets, and after enjoying its comforts for half an hour or so, we adjourned to the tent of the Non Commissioned Officers, and spent an hour singing, where Dan added his voice to the choir. At tattoo we fell into line, answered to roll call, then called on the Captain and passed another hour in a pleasant chat, songs, &c. At eleven
o’clock we returned to our quarters and turned in.
Friday June 7th
[Still wet and muddy]
In the morning it was wet and rainy again, and the air was dreadful close and uncomfortable. At reveille we turned out and answered to roll call, after which we spent the time in a leisure manner until seven o’clock, when we fell in for breakfast. The mud was still plentiful, and soon after guard mounting, which took place at the usual hour the line was formed on the upper parade ground. The rain of the past few days had interrupted the daily drills of the Regiment, and most of the time was spent by the companies in their quarters, but today we proceeded to the lower parade ground, in order to avoid the mud, where a couple of hours was occupied in battalion maneuvres [sic]. The wet grass however was about as bad as the mud would
have been, and was particularly uncomfortable to Hill and myself, who were obliged frequently to double-quick through it, in the rapid changing of positions. During the forenoon the clouds began to break away, and several times at short intervals the sun made its appearance. At half past twelve we returned to our quarters, broke ranks and fell in for dinner.
The afternoon passed very quietly and I spent most of the time writing. Retreat was beaten at the usual hour, but dress parade was dispensed with. At about seven o’clock the Company was detailed for picket, with Company “C” Capt. Martin, and half an hour after we left camp together, proceeding in a westerly direction, to a handsome cottage, uninhabited, and about two miles and a half from camp, establishing picket posts of three men, about three hundred yards apart the whole distance. The cottage was constituted the
rendezvous or headquarters of the reserve, and here those not on post spread their blankets on the piazza and turned in. At about twelve o’clock a wagon came along the road which on
[A market-man pays toll to the pickets]
being halted, proved to contain a load of peas only, on the way to the Baltimore market. Some of the boys filled their haversacks with the peas, after which the driver was allowed to pass, having paid his toll, and got a good deal frightened, at being stopped by the pickets. This was the only disturbance during the night, and we slept quietly the rest of the time until morning.
Saturday June 8th
[The return to camp]
At four o’clock we turned out formed companies and returned to camp, taking in the pickets as we came along, and arriving at five o’clock. At early dawn clouds were visible in the east, but soon disappeared and the sun arose clear
and bright. Breakfast was for some reason unusually late in the company, and was not served up until eight o’clock, which with the return tramp sharpened our appetites a good deal, and we eat [sic] with good relish. At nine guard mounting took place, after which the two companies were excused until afternoon.
During the afternoon a quantity of boards from the Quarter Masters department were distributed to the different companies, and preparations were at once made for flooring the tents. This was an improvement and of course hailed by us all, for we had heretofore slept upon the ground covered only with straw or cedar twigs to protect us from the dampness. On examining the lumber distributed to the Company, we found it to consist in part of half inch stuff, entirely too thin for flooring purposes, and which part fell to the
tent of the Non Commissioned Officers. We were about to use it to the best advantage, when the Chaplain happened along and very kindly informed us where we could obtain some better stock by foraging, and tendered us his services as an escort, on condition that he should receive a portion of the spoil, sufficient to floor his own tent.
[The Chaplain conducts a foraging party and gets his tent floored]
This was a new idea. The Chaplain to conduct a foraging expedition. But as the boards were better than the ones issued to us, and we were bent on having our tent floored, we did not stand upon ceremony, particularly as the Chaplain was in the scrape, so we readily accepted the condition and followed him. We proceeded about a mile from Dr. Hall’s residence into the woods, and found a large pile of well seasoned inch hemlock. This was exactly what we wanted, and while getting not a sufficient quantity to
[“Du-dah” helps the chaplain and us]
answer our purpose, “Du-dah” whom we had brought along with us, started off to a neighboring farm house for a team. By the time we had collected them together again, he returned with a conveyance, and we hauled the boards to camp and set to work. We altered the position of the tent a little to bring it on a line with the rest, then floored it nicely, but had no sooner finished than we had an opportunity to test its great improvement over the ground,
[Rain again for a change]
for at about two o’clock thick black clouds made their appearance, and rain soon fell quite fast accompanied with thunder and lightening and a high wind. Not a drop of water entered the tent, but a continual stream run [sic] under the floor and down the hill. The shower continued for about half an hour, when the sun again came out, as bright as ever.
At seven o’clock the assembly
sounded and the line was formed for dress parade, after which the companies were dismissed to their several commanders for company drill and we were drilled for an hour by the Captain in company maneuvres quick and double quick, manual and skirmishing. At eight o’clock we were dismissed and fell in for supper. The evening passed in a quiet manner; at tattoo we fell in for roll call after which I turned in. I had no sooner fell [sic] asleep than I was awakened by sweet notes of song from a squad of serenaders outside, and listened attentively for some time, but was soon charmed to sleep again.
At midnight we were visited by another thunder shower, much heavier than the one at noon though with less wind.
Sunday June 9th
It was a beautiful Sabbath. The day was ushered in with a beautiful sun, and the morning
air was cool and delightful. Not a cloud was visible, nor a breath of air stirring. Reveille sounded at five o’clock and we fell into line for roll call, after which preparations were commenced for the usual Sunday morning inspection, which occupied us until breakfast.
[A new idea in inspections]
An unusual mania seemed to prevail among us on this occasion to have the tents look as elaborate as possible, and the different squads exerted themselves each and all to outdo the rest. To commence with the inmates of each tent selected a name among the various hotels and places with which we had been connected since our entry into service, and painted it on a piece of board, then nailed it up conspicuously on the tent-pole in front, with the exception of the non-commissioned officers, who confined themselves to the plain N.C.O. Each tent was then profusely decorated with white-
laurel, which grew in abundance in the woods within a stone’s throw of the encampment.
[Decorating the tents]
Commencing with N.C.O. on the right, the pole in front was wound round with laurel, completely covering it from top to bottom. The front was then drawn away and festooned to the corner guy-line on either side, with a band of oak leaves, and the inner edges trimmed with the same somewhat resembling drapery. Under the peak and over the entrance was fastened a handsome wreath of full blown monthly roses. On the summit of the pole in front were perched a couple of non-commissioned officer’s swords, with a bayonet upright between them, from the blade of which waved the marker’s flag of the writer, and in the shank of which was affixed a handsome boquet [sic] of roses.
Tent No. 2 was decorated in a similar way omitting the ornaments on top, and with the exception of two rows of oak leaves instead of one along the edges of the front, and the addition of a turf embankment with a fan of fleur de leuce leaves at each extremity, in place of the heretofore wooden step. This tent was styled the “Continental,” after the famous Continental Hotel in Philadelphia, where we took supper when passing through that city on our way to Washington.
The other tents which were styled “Fifth Avenue,” “Astor House,” “Zouave Home,” “Essex House” and “Hinks Hotel” respectively, were decorated after the manner of the “Continental,” with some little variation, with the exception of the “Astor House,” which far exceeded in beauty and taste anything on the Company street. The summit of the front pole was crowned with a fan of fleur de luce leaves, under which
was a beautiful wreath of the handsomest flowers. Directly over the entrance appeared the well remembered “Astor House” bordered with oak leaves and having a neat little American flag flying at either end. The front was festooned at each side similar to the rest, but completely covered with laurel and roses, and presenting a magnificent appearance. It was fitting that the Astor should eclipse any and every tent on the street, for we had spent a delightful week at this popular establishment, while waiting orders in New York after having conducted the Constitution to the Navy Yard at Brooklyn, and there was not a member of the Company but that was partial to the name.
Every effort having been made to adorn the outside, the inside of each tent was arranged with the greatest care and precision, and the Company street cleanly
and thoroughly policed. Thus the time was spent until ten o’clock when the assembly sounded, and the Regiment formed line on the upper parade ground for inspection. An hour was spent by the Colonel and staff in inspecting the arms, equipments and general appearance of the men, after which the arms of each company were stacked in the various streets, in a neat and uniform manner, and the entire Regiment proceeded to the lawn in rear
[The inspection takes place]
of Head Quarters, where we listened to an interesting and appropriate discourse, delivered by the Rev. Mr. Hepworth of Boston. At twelve o’clock we returned to the parade and were dismissed.
The quarters of the men were then inspected by the Field and staff with several invited guests among whom were Colonel Jones, commander of the Post and wife, Mrs. Hinks, and a number of other
ladies. As they entered the Company street each member of the company stood at “attention,” and I for one could not keep the affair of the 30th out of my head as the
[The Post Commander scrutinies us]
Post Commander scrutinized the men, and their quarters, for ‘tis said and with truth that “a guilty conscience needs no accuser,” and it was but ten days since we burnt the dignified commander before us in effigy. The ladies were particularly delighted with the floral arrangements about the tents, and smiled charmingly upon us. Arriving at the last on the line, Colonel Hinks seemed to be highly pleased at the sight of his own name on the front, and said he felt highly honored with this expression of the good feeling that prevailed. As the inspectors turned the corner of the street on their return, we were dismissed and at half past one fell in for dinner.
[Arrival of Commissioners from Mass.]
During the afternoon Commissioners arrived in camp from Massachusetts, for the purpose of examining into the condition of affairs. They too were highly pleased with the appearance of the Company street. At four o’clock we formed company and proceeded to a neighboring field on the village road, where we drilled for half an hour in the bayonet exercise and skirmishing. While here the assembly sounded and we returned and joined the Regiment for battalion drill, for the benefit of the Commissioners, who expressed great surprise at the rapid improvement of the Regiment since leaving the state. At half past five the companies were dismissed and at six we fell in for supper. Retreat sounded at sun down, and the evening was spent in the usual manner, some writing and others singing until tattoo when roll
was called and at taps most of us turned in.
Monday June 10th
[A hot day]
Reveille sounded at five o’clock and we were soon on the line for roll call. The morning was warm and sultry, and there was not so much as the faintest breeze to relieve the oppressiveness of the atmosphere. At seven o’clock “peas on a trencher” sounded, and we fell in for breakfast, but returned to our tents immediately afterward on account of the extreme heat of the sun. As the day progressed the temperature increased until it was by far the hottest day of the season thus far.
At nine o’clock guard mounting took place and immediately after the assembly sounded and the line was formed, but after going through morning parade we were dismissed and returned to quarters. No further duty was required until late in the afternoon, and we
endeavored to keep comfortable by laying about the tents in the easiest possible positions, but in vain for the sun poured down its heat upon the canvas, and the inside was like an oven.
[The Capts.wife arrives in camp… Also Capt. Staten of the “Mechanics”]
During the forenoon Mrs. Devereux, wife of the Captain, arrived in camp from Salem, intending to remain sometime with her husband, and we were all delighted to see her. We were also visited by Capt. E.H. Staten of the Mechanic Light Infantry, Fifth Regiment – Mass., which Regiment was quartered at Alexandria, who also brought a friend with him and remained in camp a few hours with us.
At half past five we formed company and were drilled for half an hour in skirmishing and load and fire lying, at the expiration of which we were dismissed and fell in for supper. At six o’clock the assembly sounded, and the line was formed but the afternoon drill of the Regiment
was omitted, and after going through with dress parade we were dismissed and returned to quarters. Retreat sunded [sic] at sundown.
[Arrest of “Baltimore Joe”]
During the evening considerable excitement was occasioned by the arrest of “Baltimore Joe” by Lieut. Brewster, Officer of the Guard. Baltimore Joe was the familiar title bestowed by the boys upon a jolly good natured chap from Baltimore, who had for some time kept a beer saloon within the line of sentries by permission of the Colonel. This saloon was liberally patronized by every company in the Regiment, but on the occasion referred to, Joe had not only overstepped the bounds of propriety but violated orders, in furnishing some of the men with whiskey. This offense was reported to the Lieutenant of the Guard, who with three men made a descent upon the bar of Joe, confiscating every drop of liquor on hand, and carrying
Joe a prisoner to Head Quarters. After some investigation he was released and the beer returned, but the whiskey was retained, and Joe no doubt learned a lesson.
At ten o’clock tattoo sounded and roll was called and at taps I turned in but not to sleep for it was a hot and uncomfortable night, and after turning and twisting for an hour, I got up and proceeded to the brook, took a bath, and returned to bed again, and was so much refreshed that I fell asleep without any difficulty and slept soundly.
Tuesday June 11th
This was a morning which will be remembered by every member of the Company. The air at an early hour was much cooler than usual, and the Captian seized upon the opportunity to give us an extra drill before breakfast. Fortunately there had been a great change in the atmosphere during the night,
otherwise we should have suffered intensely with the heat, during the double quick movements. Immediately after roll call at reveille, we took our muskets formed company and were marched to the lawn in rear of Head Quarters, where we were drilled principally in the wheelings for half an hour, after which we marched to the lower parade ground, near the railroad, and were put through the severest exercise for an hour and a half, such as wheeling, breaking into platoons and reforming company, and various other company movements all in double quick time.
[That infernal drill before breakfast]
During the whole two hours drill at both places we had but about ten minutes rest. It was surely the toughest drilling we had experienced since entering the service, and I for one was at a loss to know what had come over the spirit of the Captain’s dreams. Some of the boys thought it unfavorable to us
for the Captain’s wife to be in camp, for he had certainly resorted to unusually severe measures with us, since her arrival, but we finally came to the conclusion that there was nothing to be lost in a good long drill, and even if there was it was probably all the same, and if we didn’t like it, all we could say or do would amount to nothing and we might as well make the best of it first as last. At about half past seven we were rejoiced to hear the order “break ranks”, which was obeyed with a yell of satisfaction which might have been heard a mile, and we fell in for breakfast like so many hungry wolves.
After breakfast the detail for guard was made from the Company, and no further duty was required of us until after supper. The sun was now scorching hot and it was with the greatest difficulty we could keep comfortable, though we did nothing
but lay about the tents in our shirt sleeves.
[D.H.J. returns… Mr. Mark Lowd and Charles Odell arrive in camp]
At about eleven o’clock our friend Daniel H. Johnson, Jr. returned from a short visit to Alexandria where a number of Massachusetts troops were on duty, and at four he took final leave of us, taking with him a number of letters for friends at home. He had been gone but a short time when Mr. Mark Lowd and Mr. Charles Odell of Salem, arrived from Alexandria, having been there on a visit to a son of Mr. Lowd in the “Mechanics”.
At six o’clock we fell in for supper and soon after the assembly sounded, and the line was formed for dress parade after which the Regiment proceeded to the lower parade ground, and were drilled by the Colonel for an hour and a half in battalion movements quick and double quick, chiefly the latter. The Company was detached as usual from the Regiment – for the
Captain never would drill with the Regiment if he could possibly avoid it, -- and drilled near by in skirmishing. Of course Hill and myself were obliged to remain with the Regiment as markers, which was never satisfactory to me, for so far as the drilling was concerned, I had much rather remained with the Company, notwithstanding the severity of our Company drill sometimes. At about dusk we were marched to quarters and were dismissed.
[A squad of us call on the Lieut. Col.]
During the evening in accordance with a previous agreement, Lieut. Brewster, Sergt. Batchelder, Privates Hale and Dearborn, and myself met at the quarters of Lieut. Coe in the Quarter Masters Department, then called on Lieut. Col. Ellwell at Head Quarters, by whom we were pleasantly entertained, with a number of other officers, and we sang for an hour or so until tattoo when we returned to our quarters to answer to roll call.
As soon as the camp had become a little quiet we returned again to Head Quarters and spent another half hour very pleasantly.
[A squad of us go a serenading at La Trobe’s]
At half past ten we took our leave, having first procured the countersign, and adding half a dozen other good singers to our number, started out of camp on a serenade excursion, Lieut. Coe accompanying us with his flute. We proceeded under the escort of Lieut. Putnam to the residence of Mr. LaTrobe, delightfully situated in a beautiful grove of pines about a mile from camp, and serenaded a lady friend of the Lieutenant by the name of Virginia. The evening was quite cool and comfortable, and the sweet notes of Lieut. Coe’s flute, floated on the still night air to a great distance, reverberating through the grove, and echoing back the sound with wonderful distinctness. We remained here about fifteen minutes only, then proceeded to the
[We also call at Donaldson’s]
residence of Mr. Donaldson near by, and a distant-relative of the Captain. Here we likewise made a short stay and then wended our way slowly back to camp, enjoying a song at intervals as we went along, and arriving at about half past eleven.
Wednesday June 12th
At reveille we turned out and answered to roll call after which we marched to the lower parade ground, where we were drilled for an hour by the Captain in company movements. We were rather more fortunate than on the previous morning, for instead of the eternal double quick which caused us to steam with perspiration, the movements were executed in quick time only, making the drill much more interesting and comfortable. The morning air was not uncomfortably warm, but as the day advanced the sun made it very hot and sultry. At seven o’clock we broke ranks and fell in for breakfast with a
good appetite. At nine guard mounting took place and soon after, the assembly sounded and we fell in for morning parade. The line was formed under the trees near the lawn in rear of Head Quarters, in order to shield us from the burning hot sun as much as possible, and after the parade we were dismissed without the usual drill and returned again to quarters.
[Odell and myself go in swimming]
The forenoon passed in a quiet manner with nothing worthy of note, and at one o’clock “roast beef” sounded and we fell in for dinner. The weather was now almost insufferable, and at about two o’clock at the suggestion of Odell, he, Mr. Lowd, and myself went down to the brook and took a bath, remaining in the water upwards of an hour, and enjoying it very much. Some of the boys had by damming up the stream at a certain point, converted it into a good sized pond in which the water was deep enough to swim, making
it a desirable and frequent resort for the whole Regiment.
[The boys interfere in a family affair]
During the afternoon considerable excitement was created among the boys by the circulation of a report that the proprietor of a small dwelling at the foot of the hill near the stream, had for some reason knocked down his wife, and severely bruised her by beating and kicking her. The report was soon found to be true, for the cries of the woman could be heard in camp. Although this was a matter entirely outside of military affairs, yet it aroused the indignation of all who heard it, and a number of us from the Company whose quarters were nearest, repaired to the scene and on entering the house found the woman lying on the floor, evidently suffering a good deal of pain, while her brute of a husband walked leisurely about the yard, as unconcerned as if nothing had happened.
Lieutenant Brewster was sent
for, who being also a surgeon examined the woman and pronounced her severely injured, and without enquiring into the particulars, turned upon the rascal who had so maltreated her, and ordered him to be stripped intending to flog him. This was sport for the boys, who were not slow in obeying the Lieutenant’s order and laid hold of him with violent hands. The culprit was of course now frightened half out of his wits, and the Lieutenant after giving him a good sound talking to procured a clothes line, tied one end around his neck and the other to a tree, and was about to string him up, (apparently) when a little daughter ran towards him from the house and begged for her pa-pa to be let alone, and after some deliberation the Lieutenant complied with her request and suffered him to be released. The affair was one in which we had no right to interfere, but
some of the boys would have hung him with a will.
[Lieut. “Straw” comes to the scene with a small army]
On returning to our quarters, strange to say we met Lieut. Lowe of the Gloucester Company (who was known among the boys as Lieut. “Straw”) with a dozen men coming towards us. He entered the house fearlessly and arresting the man, carried him a prisoner into camp. The boys looked on in silence until they discovered his intentions, when they set up a hooting and hissing which the bold and fearless (?) [Reynolds’ parenthesis] Lieut. will long remember. No doubt he inwardly congratulated himself upon his bravery, in thus arresting with a dozen men a single unarmed civilian, for an offense with which he had no right to meddle. He may have been acting under orders, but if he was the boys did not hesitate to give an open expression of their opinion of his action.
At about four o’clock clouds began to appear and soon stretched over
the entire heavens, and soon heavy peals of thunder were followed by a fall of rain which continued in torrents without cessation for half an hour at the end of which the sun appeared, and the clouds gradually dispersed again. The shower was productive of much benefit, for the air was decidedly cooler after it.
At six o’clock we fell in for supper immediately after which the assembly sounded and the line was formed for dress parade with the exception of Capt. Martin’s company and our own, which had been previously detailed for picket. Hill and myself were obliged to remain on duty with the Regiment, but if I could have had my choice, I should much preferred to have gone on picket with the Company. After going through with dress parade we wheeled into column by platoons, and took a short march up the railroad, and over the turnpike to the
[The Regiment takes a march]
distance of a mile, returning by the Relay House to camp. It was a very uncomfortable march, for the rain of the afternoon had made the roads quite muddy and the travelling was difficult. On arriving at the upper parade ground we formed square in four ranks, and a telegraphic despatch [sic] was read to us by the Colonel, to the effect that Butler had achieved great success at Big Bethel, Virginia.
[News of the battle of Big Bethel]
The despatch stated that we had captured a Rebel battery and one thousand prisoners. At this news the boys were exceedingly jubilant and tossing their hats into the air gave three rousing cheers for Butler. We had hardly finished when Maj. Poore arrived in camp
[Maj. Poore says it is untrue]
with news that the report was untrue, but Butler had received our cheers and we couldn’t very well recall them. We now deployed column, were dismissed and returned to quarters. The company had already left
camp for picket duty, and I spent the evening very pleasantly with O’Dell until tattoo when I tendered him the possibility of the N.C.O. tent and we turned in.
Thursday June 13th
It was another pleasant morning and when we turned out for reveille roll call, the air was quite comfortable and none too warm for drill. After the roll was called we marched to the lower parade ground, where an hour was spent advantageously in company movements under our faithful drill master – the Captain. As the hours passed by it grew warmer, and soon it was hot and sultry, continuing so most of the day. At about half past six we received orders to rest, and sprawling ourselves on the green grass, remained in this position until “peas on a trencher”sounded, when we returned and fell in for breakfast. At nine o’clock guard mounting took place and
at half past nine the assembly sounded and the line was formed with the exception of the two companies which had but a short time previous returned from picket. But Hill and myself whose posts of duty were with the Regiment, went on to line with the rest.
[A company of Sappers and Miners formed]
As soon as the line was formed, details were made by the Colonel from each company for a temporary company of Sappers and Miners, after which we were dismissed.
At about ten o’clock Messrs Lowd and Odell took leave of us and returned home, taking with them several letters for many of the boys. They had made quite a pleasant stay with us for a couple of days, and had become quite initiated into the habits and customs of camp life.
During the forenoon one of those amusing scenes so frequently witnessed in southern precincts, took place in camp. A couple of darkies who had been cutting wood in the
[“Sambo” creates a good of fun [sic]]
vicinity of our quarters were brought in by some of the boys bent on a good time, and placed upon a large box around which a crowd soon gathered to see the fun. The darkies each in turn took their stand in the centre of the box, and give [sic] repeated exhibitions of their skill in jig dancing, and sundry comical feats “on de heel and toe,” while the other patted time on his knee. A good deal of sport was created, and the crowd kept up a continual roar at their fantastic maneuvres. The darkies enjoyed it as well as the rest and showed their ivory continually. The excitement was kept alive for considerable time by the occasioned tossing into the ring of a few pennies which the darkies eagerly picked up and stowed away in their pockets.
[Election in Baltimore]
It being the day on which the election in Baltimore was to take place, and trouble being anticipated at the polls, Col Jones with
[The “6th” and the Battery go to keep the peace]
the Battery and the Sixth Regiment marched into the city, and took a position to enforce order and quiet, leaving the Eighth to garrison the Post alone. The boys (who were always on the qui vive for any excitement or important duty) expressed a desire to accompany them, and many were quite indignant at the selection of the Sixth, but they soon got over this. The time passed in a quiet manner, and all day long the arrival of the trains was anxiously looked for, for news from the Sixth, and some conflict momentarily expected with the citizens, but the troops in the city had the desired effect, and the election passed off very quietly.
[More boxes from home]
During the day several boxes from their homes arrived for different members of the Company, the contents of which, chiefly luxuries, were distributed with a generous hand in accordance with the usual custom, and I doubt if a more
generous, open hearted or liberal crowd could have been found.
At six o’clock we fell in for supper, after which the line was formed and the Regiment proceeded to the lower parade ground, where we were drilled by the Colonel in the battalion movements for an hour, the Company drilling close by in company movements. At dusk we returned to quarters and were dismissed, dress parade being omitted.
Nothing of interest transpired during the evening, and at tattoo we fell in for roll call, immediately after which I turned in.
Friday June 14th
At five o’clock reveille sounded and the companies turned out with the usual promptness for roll call. The morning was delightful, the sun shone with its usual brilliancy and the atmosphere was cool and comfortable. It was an elegant
morning for work and at six o’clock we formed company and enjoyed an hour’s drill in company movements on the upper parade ground.
[A good drill]
The cool air stimulated me to more than the usual energy and the boys seemed to take hold with determination and zeal, the result of which was an interesting and profitable drill. At seven o’clock we returned to quarters and at “peas on a trencher” fell in for breakfast. Immediately after, the detail for guard was made by the Orderly, and the time passed quietly until nine o’clock, when guard mounting took place.
At about half past nine the assembly sounded and the Regimental line was formed in rear of Head Quarters. We immediately formed hollow square and prayer was offered by the Chaplain, after which an hour was spent in battalion movements, at the end of which we were dismissed.
[A drill without an instructor]
Many of the boys of the Company remained on the ground, and practised the bayonet exercise, load and fire lying etc. in squads by themselves, and I joined the “pony squad” for this purpose. We had been engaged thus about half an hour, when an ambrotype artist, who had for some time been putting up a saloon within the line of sentries in hopes of securing a liberal patronage from the soldiers, came up to us and invited us to “sit” by way of experiment.
[We have our picture “took”]
We (the pony squad) of course made no objection , and adjourned to his establishment where after one or two trials he succeeded in getting a fine picture of us in the position of ready, in load and fire kneeling, which was so lifelike that we agreed to take a copy each. At about half past eleven we returned to quarters and spent the time in a leisure manner until ‘roast beef” when we fell in
[The boys try to be photographed]
Nothing of interest transpired in the camp until about four o’clock when preparations were made by the Company, for having photographs taken of the different tents. Our artist who had been sent for soon arrived with his apparatus and the different squads arranged themselves in groups in front of their respective tents, but the sun reflected with such dazzling brightness on the new white canvass, that it proved difficult to get anything like a good negative, and after one or two unsuccessful attempts it was postponed until some future day.
At six o’clock we fell in for supper and soon after the assembly again sounded and the line was formed on the upper parade ground. We at once wheeled into column by companies, and proceeded via the rail road to the residence
[The Regt proceeds to the Colonel’s house in the village and has dress parade]
of the Colonel about half a mile from camp, who since the arrival of his wife had been boarding with her in the village, and who was then at home on account of some indisposition. Here we went through with dress parade, immediately after which we again wheeled into column and returned to camp, where an hour was spent in battalion movements, under the supervision of Lieut. Col. Ellwell, with the exception of the Company, who occupied a space by themselves as usual, and were drilled by the Captain in the bayonet-exercise and skirmishing. At about eight o’clock we were dismissed and retreat was beaten by the musicians.
During the evening a lively time occurred in front of the Company quarters. A couple of men who had been enjoying themselves
[Dance in the Company street]
on the front of the parade, one with a violin and the other with a base viol, were prevailed upon to adjourn to the Company street which they immediately did. Here setts were formed and cotillions and contras were danced for an hour, after which a procession was formed and we visited every company street in the encampment, stopping at intervals to indulge in a serenade. We also visited the Sixth who had returned during the forenoon from Baltimore. The moon shone beautifully and considerable sport was kept up.
[Tent No. “3” treats the fiddlers]
At about half past nine we returned to the quarters of the Company, where a collation consisting of lemonade pastry etc. etc., (a good supply of the latter having recently arrived in the boxes from home) was served up by Tent No. 3 under the supervision of Private Dearborn. We “pitched in” generally until interrupted by tattoo when all hands dispersed
to quarters and fell in for roll call, after giving three rousing cheers for the music. At taps all was quiet and I turned in.
Saturday June 15th
[Drill of recruits]
At reveille we turned out and answered to roll call. It was another beautiful clear morning and immediately after the calling of the roll the recruits (or as the Orderly called them, “re-cruits”) were divided into squads and placed under the charge of drill masters detailed for the purpose, by whom they were drilled in the bayonet exercise until breakfast. These movements being altogether new to them (the recruits were always dismissed when the Company drilled in the bayonet exercises) were of course very awkward at first, but many expressed a desire to attain a degree of efficiency equal to that of the more experienced members of the Company
and took hold well. At seven o’clock they were dismissed and the Company fell in for breakfast, after which we had a couple of hours to ourselves.
[The Colonel’s little boy is made Corporal of the Regt.]
At nine o’clock guard mounting took place and soon after the line was formed on the lawn and morning parade was gone through with, after which we formed hollow square, and Major Poore stepped into the centre, leading by the hand the infant son of the Colonel, a bright little fellow of four years, and dressed in a neat little full-dress-uniform of blue with brass buttons, and sword sash and belt complete. Upon motion of the Major he was unanimously chosen a member of the Regiment and styled Corporal of the Regiment and received with hearty cheers. An hour’s drill in battalion movements then followed, at the end of which we were dismissed
but the musicians remained upon the ground to practice, and Private Hill and myself remained with them occasionally trying our skill with the drumstick.
I had often listened with considerable interest to the famous French Beat (said to be) composed by that world renowned drummer Dan Simpson of Boston, and performed by him at the annual muster of the militia in Massachusetts, with a wonderful degree of accuracy and skill, and by a little practice at various times had become so familiar with it, as to be able to execute it on the drum after a style of my own. I accordingly ventured to try my hand at it at this time, and quite elicited the attention of the musicians who desired to learn it, and asked my assistance to enable them to do so. This was asking
[I teach the drummers a new beat]
a good deal of me for I was no drummer and probably had but a poor idea of the art. But as they seemed to be favorably impressed with the beat and were determined not to let me off, I gave them all the aid in my power, and with their knowledge and practice, they put together from my efforts a very desirable beat which afterward became quite popular with the Regiment, and was performed by them at dress parade daily for some time.
[Music hath charms]
A couple of men, one with a violin and the other with a base viol now came up on the lawn to practice (for music was getting to be quite the rage in the Regiment when the men were off duty) and we spent some time listening to them, then returned to quarters.
The sun was by this time almost insufferable and we sought the most comfortable way of passing
the time until half past twelve when “roast beef” sounded and we fell in for dinner.
[Very hot but We (the Zouaves) are “exhibited”]
We had no duty to perform during the afternoon, with the exception of about a half an hour’s sweltering drill which the Company had to encounter for the accommodation of some friends of the Captain who came into the camp to see him and expressed a “desire to see the Zouaves drill.” Of course in compliance with such desire we had to be “exhibited.”
At six o’clock the line was formed and we drilled for an hour in battalion movements on the lower parade ground. At seven we were dismissed, returned to quarters and fell in for supper. The evening which was one of the most beautiful on record was passed in a lively manner under the “sweet silver light of the moon.” At about eight o’clock a procession of men from the Sixth visited our
[A posse of the Sixth serenade the Col. and he and others make speeches.]
encampment, escorted by a band of musicians with sundry numerous stringed instruments, and after passing through every company street proceeded to Head Quarters, and the musicians serenaded the Colonel who came forth and responded in a few appropriate remarks. He was followed by Lieut. Col. Elwell and Surgeon Breed, the latter delivering quite an able speech. Major Poore was then called upon and some sensation was visible through the crowd, for the Major was always full of wit and fun was expected. But in this we were disappointed for he had evidently “smelt a rat” and was nowhere to be found.
[Cheers for Everbody [sic]]
Cheers were then given for the Colonel, Lieut. Col. Elwell, Surgeon Breed, The Union, the Flag, The Bay-Sate, The Eighth etc. It was now about ten o’clock, and clouds rapidly appeared completely
obscuring the moon and a few drops of rain fell. Tattoo soon sounded and we dispersed to our quarters and fell in for roll call and at taps all was quiet.
Sunday June 16th
[Another swim in the Patapsco]
At five o’clock we turned out and after answering to roll call a half a dozen of the Company myself among the number, procured passes from the Captain and proceeded to a favorite resort on the banks of the Patapsco a mile or so from camp, for the purpose of taking a swim. It was a beautiful June morning. The blue canopy of heaven was unspotted by even the smallest cloud, and the atmosphere enlightened by a slight breeze from the south-west, was comfortable and bracing. Arriving at our destination on the river, we were not slow in divesting ourselves of our clothing and plunging headlong into the stream.
The temperature of the water was delightful, but the current was unusually strong and we at times discovered ourselves some distance down stream. Swimming against it was impossible, and we invariably had to strike out for the shore and walk back. We enjoyed some excellent aquatic sports for half an hour at the end of which we “donned our regimentals” and returned to camp with appetites greatly sharpened by this delightful exercise.
By this time the breeze had died away and the almost scorching sun’s rays poured down upon the camp as usual. At seven o’clock “peas on a trencher” sounded and we fell in for breakfast, after which active preparations were made for the Sunday morning inspection. At nine o’clock guard mounting took place and soon after the line was formed on the lawn, immediately
after which we formed hollow square and prayer was offered by the chaplain.
We then reduced square, deployed column, wheeled into column by companies, and each company was minutely inspected by its commanding officer, under the supervision of the Colonel and the other Regimental officers.
[We escort the colors]
Each company as it was inspected was dismissed with the exception of the Zouaves, who had been previously detailed to escort the colors to Head Quarters. As soon as the last company had left the ground we formed with the music for this purpose, but before we reached Head Quarters rain commenced falling in large scattering drops.
We had no sooner safely deposited the colors, than it came down in torrents and we returned double quick to quarters, or flew rather, and sought shelter in
the tents. The shower continued with violence, the rain falling in perfect sheets. At the expiration of half an hour it gradually began to hold up and soon the sun made its appearance.
[Divine service and a queer preacher]
The time now passed with nothing worthy of note until half past twelve when “roast beef” sounded and we fell in for dinner. At half past four the assembly sounded and the line was formed without arms. We at once proceeded to the lawn to attend divine service and the Sixth soon joined us. The exercises were conducted by a tall, thin, meager looking individual whose name I did not learn, but who ran on in a style evidently original with himself, without any perceptible purport and devoid of the slightest meaning. Of course his manner denoted him an imposter, though he may have been a member
of the clerical persuasion. At any rate his remarks utterly failed to attract attention. At half past five he concluded his attempts and we returned to quarters, where after receiving orders to fall in in full uniform at reveille in the morning, we broke ranks and fell in for supper.
Retreat was beaten at sundown.
The evening was pleasant and delightful, the moon shone in all her elegance, and the time was passed in a becoming manner. Tattoo sounded at the customary hour of ten, roll was called at the same time and at taps most of us turned in.
Monday June 17th
This being a memorable day in the history of the country, the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill, it was duly observed with appropriate ceremonies. In obedience to the Captain’s order of the previous
night, we turned out in full uniform at reveille, as likewise did the rest of the companies, and after calling of the roll blank cartridges were distributed, thirteen rounds to a man, for the purpose of firing salute. It was a very comfortable morning the air being rather cool, and the sun hid by a veil of clouds.
[We celebrate the 17th of June by a salute of 13 volleys]
Ammunition having been furnished to all the companies, the line was formed at about half past five, and the Regiment descended to the lower parade ground, where we remained about half an hour waiting for the Colonel, during which time we were drilled in the battalion movements by Lieut. Col. Ellwell. The Colonel soon arrived from his quarters in the village, and we returned to the upper parade ground and formed line on the brow of the hill, with orders to load at will. A salute of thirteen was then fired
by the whole line simultaneously. The first three rounds I am sorry to say, were poorly executed on account of inattention on the part of some of the members of our own company, but the rest were delivered with with [sic] good precision and promptness. After the salute was fired we returned to quartes [sic] and fell in for breakfast. The clouds now disappeared and the sun made its appearance but was not so warm as usual, and the balance of the day was cool and comfortable.
[Review by General Morse]
At half past eight the companies were ordered to fall in for inspection, preparatory to a ground review of all the troops of the garrison, and which until now we had not received the slightest intimation of. The spot chosen for this review was the large field on the Washington pike, where we were accustomed to drill.
At exactly nine o’clock the line was formed and after some little delay, we proceeded with the Sixth and the Battery to the field referred to, where three hours were occupied in the review by Maj. Gen. Morse which was tedious work and we were heartily glad when it was over. At about half past one we returned to camp to find dinner awaiting us, and we fell in for this meal with good appetites.
[The Reg’t goes down to the Relay House to greet the 1st Mass.]
The afternoon passed very quietly until about four o’clock when it was reported that the First Massachusetts Col. Cowdin were [sic] on the cars at the Relay House, and the report was soon ascertained to be correct. The line was therefore hastily formed and we proceeded to the junction to meet them. They were a fine looking regiment and numbered over a thousand men, among whom we recognized a number of familiar
faces. But we had a few moments only to converse with them for they were on their way to Washington and the train started soon after our arrival. We exchanged hasty congratulations, following along some distance with the train, until it became too dangerous to approach near the cars, when we sent three throusing [sic] cheers and a “seven” after them and returned to camp.
[On picket again]
During our absence the Company had been detailed by the Adjutant for picket, and at about half past seven they left camp for this duty, Hill and myself remaining behind in camp. They had been gone about half an hour when loud strains of music broke upon our ears, coming from the direction of Head Quarters, and we repaired thither to find that a band of musicians had arrived from the village near the
nail-factory. They were not musicians of the first class, though they exerted themselves a good deal for the occasion, for a great time appeared to be on foot at Head Quarters.
[Jolly time at Hd. Qtr.]
The officers of the Sixth came up and soon a collation was served up in the mess tent of the Field and Staff, where speeches were made and toasts were drank [sic] until a late hour, with music and songs interspersed. Major Poore was as usual on such occasions “in his glory,” and all present seemed to enjoy themselves in the highest possible manner.
[The Rank and file also celebrate]
Among the rank and file of the Regiment the occasion was equally as lively. Bonfires burned in many places, mottoes were burned on the ground in powder trains, and songs floated upon the air from every quarter. A procession was also formed which marched to and fro through every company
street while loud cheers rent the air at every turn. Tattoo was omitted and the scene was prolonged until midnight when one by one the boys dropped into their quarters and the camp was soon quiet.
Tuesday June 18th
This prolonged excitement had the effect to make me more drowsy than usual in the morning, and I was in no hurry to turn out, roll call being omitted on account of the Company having just returned from picket. Reveille however sounded at the usual hour and the rest of the companies turned out promptly. The morning was quite pleasant and clear, and the atmosphere was cool and comfortable. We fell in for breakfast at eight o’clock and at nine guard mounting took place.
At half past nine the assembly sounded, and the line was formed on the lawn, where after morning prayer by the chaplain, the entire
Regiment were drilled in load and fire and Battalion movements for an hour, at the expiation of which we were dismissed and the time was spent in an unimportant manner until half past twelve, when we fell in for dinner.
No duty was required until late in the afternoon and most of the boys remained under cover, shielding themselves from the sun which had now heated the atmosphere to the usual high and uncomfortable temperature.
[A visit to the nail factory]
At half past one I procured a pass from the Captain, and in company with a friend from the Gloucester Company, took a stroll along the banks of the Patapsco to the nail-factory which curiosity prompted us to enter. We were cordially welcomed by one of the workmen who took pains to show us over the manufactory, and who described to us the different parts of the
machinery and explained to us their uses. We spent an hour very agreeably, watching with no little interest the various processes through which the iron passed before it was converted into the nail.
[How the nails were made]
In the first place large masses of the raw material were separated into convenient parts for working, and were thrown into smelting furnaces where they were subjected to almost white heat and each piece as it became sufficiently heated was taken out and passed between heavy rollers to render it solid and compact. From these it was passed beween other rollers by which it was transformed into flat strips about a foot wide ten feet in length and of a thickness corresponding to the size of the nails into which it was to be cut. A third sett [sic] of rollers with knives between them, separated it into narrow strips the width of which corresponded with
the length of the nail, and a fourth turned up or thickened one edge of each strip in such a manner as when cut to form the head of the nail. All this was but the work of a few moments, yet the different changes had sufficiently cooled the iron, and rendered it hard and brittle enough to cut. The last operation was now at hand. The strips were placed under cutters, and one by one the nails were cut from the ends, dropped into kegs placed to receive them and were now ready for the market. Thus all day long huge masses of red hot material were passed and repassed with all the ease imaginable between the great heavy rollers, with great rapidity and in quick succession, attended with no fire or accident to the workmen thus far.
[We make a call with our friend at his residence]
After rendering us every attention in the factory, our friend invited us to his residence a short distance
farther up the river, where we spent another half hour very pleasantly.
It was now about four o’clock and we took leave of the family returning over the rail road to camp where we arrived just in season to go on duty with the Regiment. The line was formed on the upper parade ground and we descended the hill towards the railroad where we were drilled an hour in battalion movements. At half past five we returned to quarters and at six fell in for supper. At eight o’clock dress parade took place after which we were dismissed.
It was another beautiful moonlight evening, and various sports were participated in, in different parts of the camp until tattoo, when roll was called and at taps I turned in.
Wednesday June 19th
At reveille we turned out and after the roll was called each
[The “Non-Coms” drill the Recruits]
non commissioned officer was assigned to the command of a squad of the recruits, to drill them in the manual and bayonet exercise, while the balance of the Company were drilled by Lieut. Putnam in the manual. The atmosphere was warmer than usual in the morning, and in a short time grew to be quite hot and sultry continuing so all day. At about half past six we formed company and returned to quarters to breakfast.
Since our departure from Massachusetts many of the companies had received recruits at different times which together swelled the aggregate of the Regiment considerably.
[New men mustered into the Regt. for the unexpired term]
These men however had never been mustered into the service, and accordingly at eight o’clock all men of this class were ordered to report to Head Quarters for this purpose. The oath of allegiance was duly
administered, and they were mustered in for the unexpired term of the Regiment.
At nine o’clock guard mounting took place, which was all the duty performed till after dinner. At about ten o’clock we were visited by an old friend who had just arrived from Salem, and one who was greatly interested in the welfare of the Company wherever we might be.
[General Devereux arrives in camp]
This friend was no other than ex-General Devereux and father of our worthy Captain. He brought with him letters and packages for many of the boys, also a number of uniforms which were unfinished when the balance of our grey suit was forwarded, some time since. Of course he was cordially welcomed by every member of the Company, and a general desire to converse with him was manifested.
During the forenoon four new
[Drum corps organized]
drums were issued in addition to those already in use, and the musicians were increased to eight in number, the other four being detailed from the companies other than our own. We now had a drum corps of eight performers, and a little practice only was necessary to make them efficient in their duties.
[A new storm flag]
A large and splendid storm flag was also received at Head Quarters, and preparations were at once made for raising it, in place of the little one which had heretofore floated from the top of a slender pole, fastened to the top of a great tree in front of Head Quarters, and which had become rather the worse for wear, the stripes having so faded as to become almost invisible. The first thing to be done was to procure a larger pole, the one in use being by far too slender and weak for the great flag which
[and a new flag pole]
had just arrived. Accordingly a detail of men was made who at once started into the woods, and after a search of half an hour pitched upon a fine young oak, cut it down and brought it into camp, where it was soon trimmed and manufactured with little difficulty into quite a respectable flag pole, forty-eight feet in length, and ten inches in diameter at the base. In a few moments, everything was ready for raising it into its place, which with a stout rope and two or three men was speedily accomplished, and we now had in place of the slender pole, a staff measuring seventy five feet in height from the ground to the truck.
It was now about one o’clock and the boys dispersed from their work and fell in for dinner.
The afternoon was spent in a quiet manner until four o’clock when the assembly sounded and we formed Regimental line on the lawn. Without delay we wheeled into column by companies, proceeded to Head Quarters and formed into close column by division, after which the new flag was thrown to the breeze with appropriate ceremonies as follows.
[The new flag raised with ceremony]
The Colonel addressed us in a few remarks adapted to the occasion, after which the singers of the Regiment were requested to take the right of the line. He then siezed the halliards and raised the flag still folded in a loop of the rope, to the top, and with one hand still grasping the halliard, and lifting his hat with the other, gave a slight jerk and the new color was unfurled to the breeze. The singers received it with “The Star spangled Banner” and the musicians struck up “to the color” on the
drums. Three rousing cheers were then given and we proceeded to the lower parade ground, where an hour was devoted to battalion movements, at the expiration of which we were dismissed, returned to quarters and fell in for supper.
[Sambo again arrives the boys with the “essence of the Virginny”]
During the evening another of those comical and exciting scenes came off in our Company street. A couple of darkies who had strolled into camp were siezed upon by some of the boys and an old barn door procured from some of the neighboring premises. A violinist was soon found who was very willing to contribute his services. A ring was then formed around the door, on which the darkies took their stand, each in turn keeping the crowd in a roar by their “essence of ole Virginny.” We had among the recruits of the Company two or three good jig dancers, who after the darkies had exhausted
[Si Shaw dances a jig too]
their efforts also added to the mirth of the occasion, by giving specimens of their skill, in which Private Shaw seemed to take the palm. All the while the moon shone beautifully and the sport was kept up until we were interrupted by tattoo which obliged us to discontinue and we fell in for roll call. The darkies now took their leave and at taps I turned in.
Thursday June 20th
This was an eventful day with us, and one which there is no doubt will long be remembered by every member of the Regiment, wrought as it was with pleasant and festive occasions, such as are seldom witnessed in camp life. To commence with it was a beautiful morning, with an atmosphere of moderate temperature, cool and comfortable. A couple of hours later however it was as warm as ever and we found
it difficult to keep comfortable excepting in our quarters. Reveille sounded promptly at the appointed hour, and after roll call the time was spent leisurely until “peas on a trencher” when we fell in for breakfast, and at nine o’clock guard mounting took place.
[Flag presented to the Reg’t. by lady friends of the N.Y. 7th]
Soon after nine the assembly sounded and the line was formed on the lawn, where after the customary morning prayer by the chaplain, an interesting ceremony took place in the presentation of a magnificent silk flag to the Regiment, in behalf of the lady friends of the New York Seventh. It will be remembered that during the time we were on detached service conducting the Constitution to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the balance of the regiment were engaged in rebuilding the rail road between Annapolis and Washington which had been desstroyed by the Rebels. The Seventh New York
were also with them, and between the two a strong feeling of attachment was formed, a natural consequence of being engaged in mutual occupations, and thrown together in similar situations. When the Eighth Mass. went ashore at Annapolis from the Maryland, they were without rations and had suffered not a little for want of them, but the Seventh were bountifully supplied and on learning the condition of our men, they generously emptied the contents of their haversacks and canteens for the benefit of the Eighth, which were thankfully received, an act truly commendable on their part, and productive of good feeling ever afterward.
[Description of the flag]
But to return to my subject, the color was the handsomest I had ever seen, being made of the heaviest silk of the rarest shades. In the centre of the union, a magnificent spread eagle was
embroidered with silk in the most natural colors, and surrounded with white silk embroidered stars. The summit of the staff was surmounted with a heavy spreaad eagle of white metal, perched upon a round ball of burnished silver, from which hung two large exquisite silver tassles suspended by silver cords.
[Letter of presentation, from the Ladies]
This splendid emblem of national glory was placed in the hands of the Color Sergeant by the Colonel, who made some excellent remarks appropriate to the occasion. It was accompanied with an expressive letter of presentation from the ladies, alluding to the many pleasant associations of the two Regiments, and of the mutual good feeling existing between them, which letter was read to us by the Adjutant. At the conclusion of the reading of this letter, we were formed into hollow square when nine deafening cheers
were given for the ladies and the Seventh.
[Another from Genl. Butler]
A letter from General Butler, to whose charge the flag had been consigned at Fortress Monroe and by whom it was forwarded to the Regiment, was then read, in which he congratulated the Regiment on their good fortune, and alluded in high terms of praise to their valuable services at Annapolis, with the Seventh New York, while under his command. He closed with good wishes, and the hope of a speedy return home. This was followed by three rousing cheers for General Butler.
[Another from Gov. Andrew]
Another letter from Governor Andrew was also read, who also alluded to the conduct and duties of the Regiment since its entry into service. The letter also contained sentiments of pride and honor from the Bay State and was listened to with much interest. At its close three
rousing cheers were proposed by the Colonel for Governor Andrew, which were given with a will.
[A good time for the Company – celebrating a wedding]
We now deployed column and were drilled in battalion movements for an hour. At eleven o’clock we were dismissed and returned to quarters. After depositing our arms in the tents, the Company were ordered to fall in again immediately, and we descended to the cottage-yard on the hill next to our quarters, and here another pleasant time awaited us. The inclosure presented a gay and attractive appearance. In the centre stood a good sized table spread with a clean white cloth, and in the centre of which sat a large heavily ornamented loaf of wedding cake, surrounded with numerous boquets of natural flowers. A number of ladies were also present, including Mrs. Hinks and Mrs. Devereux with a number of other invited guests and officers of the Regiment, among
the latter of whom were Colonel Hinks, Pay Master Usher, Surgeon Breed, and Quarter Master Ingalls. Ex-General Devereux also graced the company with his presence. The Company filed around the table, occupying the space in rear of the guests who were already seated. The Captain then stepped forward and explained to us the nature of the occasion.
It appeared that Miss Mary Silsbee of Salem had recently taken the eventful step in life, and among her other numerous relatives and friends had extended the hospitalities of the occasion to the Salem Light Infantry, (with which some of the male members of the family had formerly been connected,) in the shape of a huge large loaf of cake, which was brought to its destination by the father of the Captain (who if I am not mistaken was a relative) and now sat before us on the table. With this
[The Colonel “carves” the cake and Genl. D. makes a speech]
introductory he turned to the Colonel and extended to him the honor of “carving” which the latter readily accepted, and while he was thus engaged the General arose and took the liberty as he said to make a few remarks relative to the present occasion. In the course of his remarks he alluded to the position of the old Infantry on southern soil, and said that he was proud of the honor of having once shouldered a musket in its ranks. (The General was an ex-member of our corps and at one time commander.) He also spoke of our sudden departure from home and friends, and of the promptness with which the Company sprang to arise, on receipt of the news of the fall of Fort Sumter, and dwelt at considerable length on the glorious cause in which we were engaged, closing with words of encouragement and cheer.
The cake was now ready for
[The “Orderly” officiates as waiter]
distribution and the Orderly officiated with good grace as waiter. (I hope he will not be offended should he ever read this.) Lemonade in good quality and quantity was also furnished, and after partaking largely of these luxuries, a number of the boys joined in “Vive la America,” which was followed by a number of other patriotic songs.
[“Seven for the bride” and others]
A rousing “Seven” was then given for the bride, the General, the Colonel, and the ladies and we took our leave and returned to quarters, while the ladies and other guests adjourned to the cottage and took dinner. Thus an hour and a half was spent in the pleasantest possible manner.
[“Roast beef” at a discount]
It was now about one o’clock and “roast beef” sounded for dinner. This followed rather close to the “banquet scene” we had just left, and our camp dinner though plentiful and good was hardly touched.
The afternoon passed very quietly,
no duty save guard being required on account of the excessive heat. About half an hour was spent by Sergeant Batchelder and myself in the woods adjoining cutting poles for the purpose of adjusting our tent. At six o’clock we fell in for supper and at seven the line was formed for dress parade, after which the companies were drilled for half an hour in company movements. The evening which was delightfully pleasant, passed quietly, and at tattoo we fell in for roll call, immediately after which I turned in.
Friday June 21st
At five o’clock reveille sounded and we were soon on the line for roll call. The morning was a pleasant one, neither warm nor cool but of a good temperature for exercise without suffering with the heat. In a short time however it seemed to grow more uncomfortable and the atmosphere was soon close and muggy,
[I bathe in the brook]
growing more and more sultry with the progress of the day. After roll call we had an opportunity for bathing, and some half a dozen of us proceeded to the brook where we spent half an hour in the water, feeling greatly refreshed on coming out. At about six o’clock the Company were ordered to fall in, and the old members proceeded to the lawn and were drilled by the Captain in load and fire lying. The recruits were detached for the time being, and were drilled in the bayonet exercise by the Orderly. At seven o’clock we reformed company, returned to quarters and were dismissed, and at “peas on a trencher” we fell in for breakfast.
It now became my misfortune to be detailed for a duty, anything but pleasant in its nature, and from which I would have gladly escaped if I could. From a careful review of things
thus far it will readily be seen that the Captain was an unusually good disciplinarian, and one remarkable characteristic with him was, he never allowed an offense of any kind to go unpunished, however trivial in its nature. To look at this in the proper light, this was as it should be, and had all the Captains followed his example, there is no questioning that their companies would have been in all respects quite as efficient as our own, which it must be admitted was far from being the case at this time. I do not intend by this to convey praise to my own company nor censure to the others, but I think I may say correctly that for any and every kind of duty, the right flank Company could always be relied upon.
But to resume. Slight offenses such as inattention in the ranks or absence at roll call
were often attended with the penalty of an hour’s extra drill, and in case of a more aggravated nature the offenders were obliged to drill with the knapsack on. Such was the case this morning.
[I am ordered to drill recruits as a punishment to them]
Some half a dozen of the recruits had an extra drill to encounter on account of some slight offense of the previous day, and I was detailed as drill master for the occasion, and I must say the punishment was about as severe on the drill master, as on those for whom alone it was intended, for the sun was scorching hot and the perspiration rolled from us in great drops. We however weathered through it, and soon after eight I dismissed my fellow sufferers and returned to quarters, where I endeavored in vain to seek a half an hour’s comfort in my tent before the hour for the line to be formed should arrive.
At nine o’clock guard mounting took place and at half past nine the assembly sounded and the line was formed on the lawn, where we formed square in four ranks and listened to a prayer from the Chaplain, after which an hour was spent in battalion movements and we were dismissed.
No further duty was required of us until the afternoon. The sun was scorching hot and we found it difficult to keep comfortable even in the tents. We threw up the sod cloths to get a little fresh air, but in vain for not a breath was stirring, and it was impossible to enjoy with any sort of comfort, reading, writing or sleeping.
[Captain Silver of Salem calls on us in camp. More letters.]
At about four o’clock another visitor arrived in camp from Salem – Capt. Silver – and again many of the boys were made the recipients of letters, papers etc. from home, and
we found an interesting way of passing the time until half past five when we fell in for supper. At about six o’clock the assembly again sounded and the line was formed on the upper parade ground where an hour was spent in battalion movements, terminating in dress parade, at the conclusion of which we were dismissed.
The evening was made delightfully pleasant by the beautiful moon, and at intervals songs floated upon the air from various squads of men gathered in different parts of the encampment. For my part I spread my blanket on the ground in front of my tent, and throwing myself upon it, found considerable enjoyment in watching the silvery clouds as they hurried past, at times obscuring the moon, and revolving in my mind the various scenes through
which we had passed since our departure from home on the Seventeenth of April, amid the cheers and good wishes of patriotic citizens, and the God speeds of relatives and friends. I thought of the boisterous enthusiasm which everywhere greeted us on the route to Washington, particularly in Philadelphia; of the seizure of the Maryland at Havre de Grace, and the trip down the Chesapeake with the circumstances connected with our arrival at the Constitution in Annapolis harbor; of the withdrawal of the frigate from her dangerous situation, and here [sic] safe removal to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in charge of the Company and the Sappers and Miners of the Regiment; of our pleasant sojourn in New York afterward while quartered at the Astor, awaiting orders; of our return to join the Regiment at Washington by water, and the
various scenes which occurred on board the Roanoke during the voyage; of our arrival at the Washington Navy Yard and the march to the Capitol; of the many attractions which had met our eye while quartered there, and of the responsible duties which had fell to a portion of us as drill masters; of the removal of the Regiment to our present camp, and the various duties and innumerable pastimes we had experienced since our settlement for the first time in camp, all of which combined together presented more the aspect of a pleasure excursion or mammoth pic-nic, than a military campaign during the period of actual warfare. True, we had encountered many hardships, and had been the victims of many unpleasant predicaments, particularly in the matter of rations, yet taking all things into consideration,
the two months of service thus far was productive of little to cause complaint or dissatisfaction.
[Capt. Martin call on the N.C.O.]
All this and many other things suggested themselves to my muse, until my reverie was brought to a close by the loud beating of the tattoo when I sprang to my feet, tossed my blanket into my tent and fell in with the Company for roll call. Soon after taps we were favored in the tent of the N.C.O. with a call from Capt. Martin of the adjoining company, and a lively conversation was kept up until a late hour.
Saturday, June 22d
I did not wake until reveille had sounded, for I had turned in unusually late, and even then I was somewhat loth [sic] to turn out in obedience to the Orderly’s familiar “fall in – form company.” But well knowing the penalty which
befel absentees, I rather reluctantly obeyed. It was a dull cloudy morning made more disagreeable by a close muggy atmosphere. The company street presented anything but an inviting appearance, being very muddy, the effects of rain during the night.
[Rain again and mud]
I made up my mind from all appearances, that it had set in for a rainy day, but in the course of half an hour was happily disappointed, in seeing the clouds begin to break asunder, and shortly after the sun made its appearance as bright as ever. At six o’clock the Company were again ordered to fall in, and after a second roll call were drilled for nearly an hour by the Captain in the manual. At seven o’clock we broke ranks and at “peas on a trencher” fell in for breakfast, after which I occupied considerable time writing, being interrupted by the assembly which sounded soon after nine o’clock,
when I repaired to the adjutant’s tent for duty as master.
The line was formed on the lawn, and after forming hollow square and listening to the morning prayer by the Chaplain, an hour was occupied in battalion movements. At about ten o’clock we were dismissed and returned to quarters. The balance of the forenoon passed quietly and at one o’clock we fell in for lunch.
[We lunch at noon and dine later, in the cool of the day]
I say lunch, for it was decided by the Company to postpone the dinner hour until five o’clock during the hot weather, partaking of a lunch only at noon. Now I do not wish to convey the idea that the boys were insubordinate, or that they ever intended wilfully to disobey orders, though it might appear so from a review of the effigy affair of May 30th, yet I must say that we had a remarkable way of doing things often times to suit our own convenience,
the Army Regulations and General Orders to the contrary notwithstanding. In fact a more independent organization of citizen soldiery was never mustered into the United States service.
[We are “some pumpkins” the writer thinks.]
We also professed to know our duties as well, and I think I may assert with propriety that we were entitled to the credit of performing them generally with promptitude and zeal, if we did overstep the bounds of propriety in outside matters occasionally. The changing of the dinner hour was in direct violation of the camp regulations recently published, but the proposed change met the approbation of the majority and was therefore readily adopted.
The afternoon was melting hot, but we “braved it well” and for a time some of the boys were engaged in reading, others in wrting while many could be found employed in sundry domestic affairs. Soon after two I called at the Captain’s
tent, and while here indulged in a nap on Lieut. Brewster’s bed.
[Fun in tent No. “3”]
How long I remained under the influence of Morpheus I know not, but I was awakened by loud cries in the Company street, and pulled aside the front of the marquee just in season to see Sergeant Gray landed sprawling from tent No. 3 into the company street, much to the amusement of the inmates who immediately set up a roar of laughter.
I have before mentioned that each tent squad was placed under the charge of a non commissioned officer, who was held responsible for its cleanliness, and the discipline of its occupants. The inmates of tent No. 3 who were under the charge of Sergeant Gray had styled themselves the “plug Uglies,” after the famous organization of that name in Baltimore, and caused considerable
sport at times by the burlesque exhibitions of their authority and fighting propensities, about the camp.
In like manner tent No. 5 had adopted the title of “Blood Tubs,” and the two cliques, between whom a rivalry soon existed, often came in collision with each other, when a struggle would invariably ensue for the championship.
On the occasion referred to, the Sergeant had occasion to enter the tent under his charge, for what reason I know not, but a tustle ensued and he was quickly ejected as before described. Like a brave fellow he did not relinquish the idea of accomplishing his purpose, so summoning the Orderly and Sergeant Batchelder to his aid, the three entered the tent with the evident intention of “cleaning it out.” The entire posse of Plugs was at once centered upon the three non com’s and a severe scuffle ensued. The
Blood Tubs seeing the fun came en masse to the scene of the fracas and were soon “in.”
[Row between the Plug Uglies and Blond Tubs]
No sooner had they become engaged in the fuss, than the attention of the Plugs was diverted from the Sergeant’s who took advantage of the opportunity to “slide out,” leaving the action to continue between the Plugs and Blood Tubs. By this time a crowd had collected from the other companies and a general desire was manifested to see who would come out ahead.
[“Down goes your house”]
But it was undecided for one chap was suddenly hurled against the tent pole, knocking it out of place and letting down the tent, which buried the whole crowd and put an end to the scene amid a tremendous roar of laughter. The crowd gradually dispersed and my attention was attracted by strains of music coming from the direction of the lawn
and I resorted thither to find a complete quadrille band consisting of two violins, a base viol, guitar, banjo, triangle and bones.
[Music and dancing on the lawn]
The members were all amateur performers, and members of the Regiment. They had come here to practice and performed finely. Quite a crowd was collected about them, in the midst of whom a number of chaps were giving exhibitions of their skill in jig dancing, and who executed quite a number of flourishes and pigeon wings with all the grace of professionals. I spent an hour here enjoying the sport with the rest, and returned to quarters just in season to fall in for dinner with the company at five o’clock.
[The Company on picket again]
At six o’clock the assembly sounded and the line was formed on the upper parade ground. The Company were excused having been detailed for picket, and left camp for this duty at about eight
o’clock. Immediately after the line was formed we were marched to the level ground at the foot of the hill where we were drilled about an hour in battalion movements, after which we returned to the upper parade ground and reformed for dress parade.
[Captains of companies to drill the Regiment by turns]
Among the orders which were read by the Adjutant, was one to the effect that the line officers of the Regiment would hereafter be required to take command during the drills commencing on Monday, first acting as Colonel then Lieut. Colonel, the Field officers substituting themselves for the time being, for the officers so detailed.
Here was indeed a fine chance for the company commanders to accustom themselves to the duties of field officer, a matter absolutely necessary, (though seldom thought of by Regimental commanders) since we could not tell what might at any time
befal the field officers of the Regiment, and one which showed the desire of the Colonel to have the officers efficient in their duties as well as the rank and file. Considerable sensation was created among the men at this order, for it was well known that there were some among the officers referred to, who would make a fine show in command of the Regiment. At the conclusion of the publishing of orders we were dismissed and returned to quarters.
The evening passed quietly. The moon at times shown sweetly, and at times was hid by floating clouds. The air was close and uncomfortable. At about nine o’clock I proceeded to the stream with Private Hall and had a delightful swim by which I felt very much refreshed. At ten o’clock tattoo sounded, and at taps I turned in.
Sunday June 23d
[A beautiful Sabbath morning]
At five o’clock reveille sounded and the companies turned out promptly for roll call, but as the Company did not return from picket until half past five I availed myself of the opportunity to indulge in an extra nap, and did not turn out till half past six but when I did I was impressed with the almost enchanting scene about me. The morning was extremely pleasant. The atmosphere was delightfully cool and undisturbed by even the faintest breeze. The adjoining woods echoed and re-echoed with the songs of innumerable birds singing their maker’s praise. Not a leaf moved and all nature was motionless and calm. The king of Day was far up in his daily path, and shed his rays upon the camp with a dazzling brightness seldom witnessed. It was indeed fitting weather for the Sabbath, and such as would
at home be truly and deeply appreciated, but unfortunately with us it made but little difference, for the observance of the Sabbath in the service, is necessarily slight at best.
[The sights previous to an inspection]
The camp presented a lively appearance and everywhere might be seen groups of men, some with their muskets taken apart for cleaning, others sweating under the operation of blacking equipments, and shoes, scrubbing buttons and brasses, brushing clothes etc. while others still were busily engaged folding blankets, packing knapsacks, policing the grounds and attending to various other matters too numerous to mention, all of which usually precede an inspection.
At seven o’clock everything was dropped for “peas on a trencher” sounded and we fell in for breakfast. The two hours immediately following passed quietly, some of the boys resumed their scrubbing while others
engaged in reading writing etc.
At nine o’clock guard mounting took place and soon after those of us who were not before summoned to go on guard, were now interrupted by the assembly, and fell in with our respective companies. The line was formed on the lawn, and without delay we wheeled into column by companies, opened ranks and each company, commencing on the right, was carefully inspected by its commanding officer under the supervision of the Colonel and staff officers, and immediately after was dismissed and returned to its quarters, with the exception of one, detailed to escort the colors to Head Quarters, which on this occasion was Company “C” Captain Martin.
[Co. “C” of Marblehead escorts the colors]
The arms were then stacked in the Company streets in a neat and uniform manner, there to remain until after the inspection
of quarters, and we then broke ranks.
[A squad of us attend church in the village and are courteously received]
At about half past ten a number of us procured passes for the purpose of attending worship at the Episcopal church, about half a mile distant in the village. It was a small church well attended, and the services were of a highly interesting character. Our uniforms attracted some attention as we entered, and everybody seemed not only willing but desirous of extending to us the favor of a seat. This was a more favorable reception than we were accustomed to receive from the inhabitants of this section of the country, for the greater portion of the community if not Rebels, were in tender sympathy with the enemies of the Union, and were inclined to treat the national uniform in a different manner. But we were glad to meet a single exception to the general rule.
At half past twelve we returned to camp, just in season to fall in with the Company for lunch.
No duty was required of us during the afternoon and most of the boys spent the time in the tents, shielded from the intense heat of the sun. For my own part I spent considerable time writing but was nearly roasted all the time. At five o’clock the assembly sounded and the line was formed without arms on the upper parade ground, from which place we proceeded to the lawn to attend divine service. The Sixth were in advance of us and were waiting when we arrived. A number of ladies were also seated on the Dr’s (Hall’s) piazza, from which the Chaplain held forth, and their presence added much to the interest of the occasion. The services commenced immediately on our arrival, with the
[An interesting service]
singing of a hymn by a choir selected from the two Regiments, which was followed by prayer. An interesting discourse was then delivered by the Chaplain of about an hour’s duration. This was followed by another hymn, prayer and benediction, after which all the companies returned to quarters with the exception of our ill-fated heroes;
[but the boys have to be exhibited again]
who were detained for the purpose of entertaining our lady visitors with a half hour’s drill in load and fire, and skirmishing.
At a few minutes before seven we were dismissed, returned to quarters and fell in for dinner. At eight o’clock dress parade wound up the duties of the day, and the evening passed quietly. I spent a half an hour very pleasantly in conversation with ex-General Devereux, on the steps of the cottage on the hill, and
at tattoo fell in with the Commpany for roll call, and soon after turned in.
Monday June 24th
[Work before breakfast becomes tiresome]
At five o’clock reveille sounded and we turned out at once for roll call. It was another pleasant morning, the air being cool with a gentle breeze from the south west. It was another favorable morning for drill, and we fell in for this purpose at six o’clock. We were getting tired of this eternal drilling before breakfast but the monotony which characterized the drill was varied on this occasion by dividing the Company into squads each of which was placed under the charge of a commissioned or non commissioned officer, the recruits constituting one squad by themselves. We made the best use of the time until seven o’clock, when we broke ranks and fell in for breakfast, after which the time passed quietly until nine o’clock when guard mounting took
At half past nine the assembly sounded and the line was formed on the lawn for battalion drill. The first thing in order was prayer and for this purpose we formed hollow-square the better to accommodate the chaplain. An hour was then devoted to battalion movements, at the expiration of which we returned to quarters and were dismissed.
By this time it had reached the usual scorching temperature, the refreshing breeze of the morning had completely died away, and the atmosphere was very close, and sultry. Nothing like a comfortable place could be found anywhere in our portion of the encampment. The sod cloths were thrown up, and boys might be seen lawling about in every conceivable attitude, with their hats and jackets thrown off, barefooted, and engaged in reading, writing, etc. I endeavored to write myself, but finding
[Writing up my journal]
it impossible to do so with any comfort in my tent, I proceeded to the quarters of Lieut. Coe where I found it much more comfortable. Lieut. Coe was a clerk in the Quarter Masters Department, and as a matter of course was amply supplied with writing materials, and I spent an hour with him to good advantage, writing in my journal. At half past twelve I returned and fell in with the Company for lunch, after which I resumed my writing, and succeeded in accomplishing a great deal.
[Our friend Rev. Mr. Wildes arrives in camp and is cordially received]
At about four o’clock we were very agreeably surprised by the arrival of the Rev. Mr. Wildes of Salem, who was cordially welcomed by every member of the Company. His presence called to mind the many kind attentions bestowed on us by him, and the fervent prayer he offered in our behalf in the armory, before our departure from home. He it was who first instructed us in the
manner of packing and slinging the knapsack, in the Doric Hall, State House, Boston when they were first issued to us, and who also put into our heads many valuable ideas concerning the habits and duties of the soldier, gathered from his travels among the armies of the East, during the Crimean war, all of which we had had more than one opportunity of putting into practice since our entry into service.
Upon his approach to the quarters of the Company, he was surrounded by squads of men in turn all of whom were only too glad to take him once more by the hand. Congratulations were rapidly exchanged and a hundred questions were asked and answered, and thus the time passed until five o’clock when the Company fell in for dinner.
In half an hour after, the line was formed on the upper parade ground, and wheeling into column
[The Regt. marches to the drill ground a mile distant]
by companies we left camp, taking up our line of march over the railroad and turnpike to the large field a mile distant.
[Lieut. Col. Elwell commands the Reg’t., Capt. Martin acts as Lt. Col. and Col. Hinks commands Co.C.]
Here the order which created so much mirth when read at dress parade on Saturday, was first carried into effect by the detailing of Lieut. Col. Elwell as Colonel of the Regiment pro. tem., Capt. Martin as Lieut. Colonel, while Col. Hinks substituted himself as commandant of “C” Company in place of Capt. Martin. Lieut. Col. Elwell handled the Regiment very well, and Capt. Martin did himself credit in his new capacity. We remained on the field an hour during which time we went through various movements, the most prominent among which was “form square in four ranks” which every member of the old Eighth will remember, was a kind of a stereotype movement with the Lieutenant Colonel.
At seven o’clock we returned to camp and after going through with dress parade, were dismissed and we dispersed to quarters.
[A pleasant chat with Mr. Wildes and Ex-General Devereux]
During the evening we had an exceedingly pleasant time in company with ex-General Devereux and Mr. Wildes, the latter interesting us with accounts of his travels and experience in Europe during the Crimean war. He also spoke to us of the duties before us in the defence of the country, and gave us much encouragement and good instruction. He expressed himself highly pleased with the moral and physical condition of the boys, and of their efficiency in discipline and drill, and said he was proud to take back with him to old Salem, such good reports in every respect. At ten o’clock we were interrupted by tattoo and at once fell in for roll call, and at taps half an hour after most of us turned in.
Tuesday June 25th
At reveille we turned out promptly and fell in for roll call after which we passed an hour very quietly. At six the recruits of the Company were divided into squads, each of which was placed under the charge of one of the drilled members, by whom they were exercised in various movements in the “School of the Soldier” until breakfast. It was another delightful morning for drill, with a pleasant sun, and a cool and comfortable atmosphere which continued through the day. This was indeed a treat, for although the mornings were frequently cool, by ten o’clock in the forenoon it would almost invariably be so hot and sultry, that we could hardly move without starting the perspiration from every pore and we were forced to the brook to bathe, or to divest ourselves almost entirely of clothing, to enjoy the least possible comfort. At seven o’clock
we fell in for breakfast and as we marched down the hill to the cookhouse, the cry of "Hacker" was heard simultaneously from various quarters of the encampment, and was immediately taken up by nearly every member of the Company.
The history of "Hacker" forms a memorable part in the campaign of the old Eighth, and is certainly worthy of mention. Hacker was the name of a cook in the Marblehead or in one of the Lynn companies, who though a very clever fellow, was the victim of an exceedingly irritable disposition which often got the better of his discretion. He also possessed a remarkably strong voice, which could be heard far above that of any member of the Regiment. To prove this it was only necessary for a body to enter the prescribed limits of the culinary department under his charge, particularly at or near meal time, no
matter how good his reason for so doing, and he was sure to be received with a shower of epithets and expostulations, which he was only too glad to escape by retracing his steps immediately. Hacker was always in trouble, nothing went right with him, and he was eternally in stew, as the saying is, from morning till night. This failing was siezed upon by some of his company as a pretext for sport, and no sooner would he raise his voice, than half a dozen who always stood ready to harass him, would prey upon his sensitive nature by yelling "Hacker" to the top of their voice, whereupon Hacker would immediately "let himself out." This soon attracted the notice of the whole Regiment, and "Hacker" became a familiar bye-word used on any and all occasions, appropriate or inappropriate.
After breakfast the time passed quietly until nine o'clock when guard mounting took place, and at half past nine the assembly sounded and the line was formed on the lawn, where after morning prayer by the Chaplain, an hour was occupied in battalion movements. At about eleven o'clock we returned to quarters and were dismissed. Nothing of importance transpired during the balance of the forenoon, and at half past twelve we fell in for lunch.
[Anvil chorus with tin dipper accompaniment]
While thus engaged our attention was directed towards a most deafening clatter of tin ware near by us, among the Lynn Companies. The tables of these companies were built on the crest of the hill, and on this occasion they had either taken their seats at the table a little prematurely, or their dinner was a little behind hand, and as they sat waiting for it one of their
men struck up the "Anvil chorus" in a loud voice, substituting his tin plate and dipper for the anvil and hammer. "Satan finds mischief for idle hands to do" and it was but a few moments before the efforts of the whole company were devoted to the tin dipper accompaniment, which was rendered in a style which completely eclipsed the brightest star in the burlesque firmament, and loud enough to be heard a mile. This performance was encored by the boys, and they kept it up until their dinner arrived which put an end to the racket.
No duty was required of us during the afternoon and I spent most of the time writing in my journal. The majority of the Regiment occupied themselves in reading, writing and other quiet vocations about the camp until six o'clock when the assembly sounded and
we fell in again for the afternoon drill.
[The Captain commands the Regt. and the Colonel becomes a "ZouZou"]
The line was formed on the upper parade ground, and we descended to the lower ground near the rail road, and Capt. Devereux took command of the Regiment, Col. Hinks filling his place in command of the Company. Lieut. Austin was absent from the drill and the Colonel donned his uniform, and appeared in the grey coat and pants of the Lieutenant, which caused considerable mirth among the men. He handled the Company very well and acted the Zouave to a "T." The drill was both interesting and amusing, for the Captain appeared to be rather better versed in the Tactics than most of the officers of the Regiment, and caught most of them in their weak points, and not only cornered all of the line officers, but actually exposed the Colonel, who at the command "column against cavalry,"
[The Captain catches the Colonel in "Column against Cavalry"]
from the Captain, stood eying him like the rest for an explanation. Poor Colonel was completely non-plused, and the Captain after indulging in a laugh at his expense and giving him a significant look, went on to explain the movement which was executed solely under his supervision.
[James A. Gillis of Salem arrives in camp]
While we were maneuvering, another visitor arrived in camp -- Mr. James A. Gillis of Salem, and after the drill we had an opportunity of exchanging congratulations with him, learning the news from home etc. At seven o'clock the Company fell in for dinner. The evening passed quietly, nothing of interest transpired and at tattoo I ansered to my name at roll call and turned in.
Wednesday June 26th
Reveille was beaten at five o'clock and the Orderly was soon on hand with orders for us to fall in, which
order was promptly obeyed by the Company and after roll call we were dismissed. The weather of the morning was extremely uncomfortable again, contrasting greatly with that of the last two or three mornings, it being hot and sultry with not a breath of air stirring. Fortunately for us the usual morning drill was omitted and we had nothing to do but to seek comfort, and protection from the heat.
Various rumors were circulated through the camp at an early hour, the purport of which was that we were about to move but no one seemed to know where or for what purpose, and little confidence was therefore placed in it.
At seven o'clock "peas on a trencher" sounded and we fell in for breakfast. Nothing of interest transpired during the forenoon; guard mounting took place at the usual hour, and at nine o'clock the
line was formed on the lawn, where we drilled for an hour in battalion movements. The balance of the forenoon passed quietly, some of the boys started on a bathing excursion to the brook, while others the better to enjoy this exercise procured passes and resorted to the favorite banks of the Patapsco. At half past twelve we fell in for lunch and while thus engaged an amusing scene transpired.
[Battle of potatoes and "salt hoss" with the Lynnn Co.]
We had no sooner reached the cook house than we were unceremoniously visited by sundry fragments, which were hurled among us with considerable force from the tables of the Lynn company, among which soft-boiled potatoes formed a prominent part, and which flew about our heads in quick succession. This challenged was immediately accepted by some of our boys, who replied with hunks of "salt hoss", hard tack etc. until the commissioned
officers, who were interrupted by some of the missils dancing about their heads and over the table in front of them, interfered and put an end to the disturbance.
[Ordered to be ready to move at an moment's notice]
Lunch over I sat down in my tent to write in my journal, but had been engaged in this way but a few moments, when the order came to pack up and be ready to move at a moment's notice. Notwithstanding the report of the morning this order burst upon us rather suddenly as such orders always do, and in a moment all was hub-bub and confusion. Men passed rapidly in and out of the tents, like so many bees about the hive, gathering their effects and taking them outside in order to get more room to work. Clouds of dust filled the air as blankets were shook and haversacks and knapsacks were emptied, and in an incredibly short time the camp, which had heretofore been
[The tents disgorge and the camp presents a sight]
kept as clean as brush brooms three times a day could make it, looked more like a pig-sty than the "thoroughly policed" grounds required by the Regulations. Cigar boxes, packs of cards, old song books, ink bottles, magazines and scraps of paper, lay strewn in every direction. And when we take into consideration the fact that the Comapny at least, possessed two distinct uniforms and havelocks innumerable, and that nearly every member had been the recipient of bundles, boxes and in some cases even barrels of sudries [sic] from home since our arrival in camp, it will readily be seen that our reduction of baggage, was anything but small.
At the expiration of half an hour, the Company were ordered to fall in with haversacks and canteens, and we proceeded to the cook house where we were furnished
with such rations as could be procured, filled the canteens with fresh water and in a few instances with coffee. As we returned to quarters we noticed thick black clouds, which rapidly extended over the whole firmament, and which indicated that wherever we might be going, there was a prospect of a wet time for us.
[The Right wing only, under marching orders]
At two o'clock the assembly sounded and we formed line on the ground in front of the encampment, and I now learned that the right-wing of the Regiment only had received marching orders. This gave us reason to believe that our absence would be but temporary and that we should again return to camp, which was indeed encouraging, to me at any rate.
[The line formed in full marching order]
We had hardly taken our places on the line, when our attention was directed towards a group of familiar faces, hastily making
[Messrs Curwen, Lee, Phippen, Bates, all from Salem arrive in camp]
their way up from the rail road. These were Mr. Curwen, Mr. Frank Lee, Mr. George B. Phippen and Mr. Charles H. Bates all of Salem. The latter two were members of the Company who were prevented by business from entering the service with us, and Bates was a member of the pony squad. We were rejoiced to see them particularly the latter and would gladly have rushed forward to meet them, but unfortunately we were in a position which we could not leave without orders and might not have an opportunity of speaking to them.
[Rain again -- "Break Ranks!"]
By this time it had grown quite dark and suddenly rain commenced falling. Much to our surprise and joy, the order "break ranks" was immediately given, which was followed by a simultaneous yell from the whole line, and we returned double quick to quarters, and I spent a delightful
[Form line again]
time in company with our friends. It rained torrents for an hour and we were in hopes the expedition might be given up for the day at least, but at about four o'clock the line was reformed and we went on board a train of cars which had been waiting on us a couple of hours at the foot of the hill, and in a few minutes were on the road to Baltimore.
[On the road to Baltimore]
As yet we knew nothing of the cause which had called us from the camp though various rumors were circulated through the train, but in about three quarters of an hour we reached Baltimore, and leaving the cars proceeded to a level spot on the outskirts of the city known as Mt. Clare.
[Arrival at Mount Clare and rest]
Here we stacked arms, divested ourselves of our luggage and rested quietly awaiting orders.
Some of us procured passes to go outside of the line of sentries, and visited a lager beer
[Skirmishing in a new field, and bivouac]
saloon near by where we procured refreshmments. Others took a stroll into the city. At the usual hour tattoo was beaten and we returned to make preparations for bivouacing. The ground was very wet and we had a decidedly uncomfortable bed, which was made doubly disagreeable by a heavy fall of rain during the night and in consequence of which we got wet to the skin. Altogether it was a pretty tough time for us, and we were fatigued somewhat by the trip, having worn our knapsacks for the first time since our arrival in camp, and therefore slept soundly until morning.
Thursday June 27th
We turned out at reveille which sounded at five o'clock, and answered to roll call. The scene about us was quite different from the comfortable camp we had just left, everything was soaked through, knapsacks, blankets
and even the clothing on our backs, but we were favored with a beautiful sun, the clouds having entirely disappeared leaving a clear and spotless sky, with every prospect of a pleasant day. The first thing we did was to spread our blankets, and expose the contents of our knapsacks to dry. We then seated ourselves to breakfast on the contents of our haversacks which had also suffered more or less from the rain, and which was somewhat adverse to the tastes of many of the boys,
[Breakfast in demand]
who resorted to a saloon near by to obtain something more substantial.
The sun was now getting insufferably hot, and we were without the slightest shelter whatever. There was not a tree or building of any sort on the ground and we turned our attention to the building of huts with the facilities at hand, and which we soon accomplished
["Necessity the mother of invention]
by first driving a couple of muskets into the ground up to the shanks of their bayonets, and fastening between the hammer and nipple of each, the corners of two woolen blankets. We next drove the rammers into the ground opposite the muskets and fastened the other corners of the blankets to them, so that they sloped in either direction like a common roof. Thus in a very few minutes the ground was covered with a number of good sized huts, serving the double purpose of shielding us from the hot sun, and drying the blankets.
At about half past seven some little excitement was occasioned in the Company by the announcement that Private Cobb had been suddenly taken quite ill, and the Surgeon was sent for, who upon his arrival resorted to bleeding the patient from the radial artery. The blood which spirted from the opening
[The Surgeon bleeds Private Cobb]
was of a thick black ink-like consistency, which so much relieved Cobb that he was enabled to accompany us when we moved.
[We remove to Stuarts grove,]
At eight o'clock we received orders to pack up, and soon after removed to a shady grove of large oaks belonging to a fine residence on West Baltimore St. said to be the property of General Stuart, of the celebrated Stuarts Cavalry (Rebel). It was a delightful place, the grass was nearly two feet high and as yet clean and untrampled. Here we stacked arms divested ourselves of our equipments and lay down in the shade to rest.
[and call on the Brooklyn 13th]
Orders were issued for no man to leave the grounds, but a squad of us procured permission to visit the Brooklyn Thirteenth, Colonel Smith, who were encamped opposite in Rullman's Bellevue Gardens, which previous to the war, was a famous
[Rullman's Bellevue Gardens]
German resort. Although the tents of the Thirteenth filled up the greater portion of the grounds there yet remained traces of a once fashionable spot. The main building was of brick, three stories high and contained many of the modern improvements and conveniences of a fine hotel. Directly in front of this building, was a large hexagonal stand for musicians, about five feet from the ground, roofed over and provided with settees and stands for the music. The grounds were laid out with a view to the ease and comfort of the visitors, and here and there were neat lattice work shelters each of which was furnished with a rustic table and seats, around which had sat many times no doubt the happy German and his frau to enjoy their lager and pretzel. Many other features too numerous to mention, presented themselves
to our notice, all of which bore indications of scenes of pleasure and festivity. At about noon we returned to our quarters and partook of a scanty dinner.
[The Sixth Regiment join us]
During the afternoon the Sixth came in from camp, and occupied the ground with us. The balance of the day passed quietly with nothing worthy of mention, and at tattoo which was beaten at the customary hour, we spread our blankets and turned in.
Friday June 28th
[Strolling in the City of Baltimore]
Another fine morning. At reveille we turned out and answered to roll call, and at eight o'clock partook of a scanty breakfast on the contents of our haversacks. There being no prospoect of moving at present, some half a dozen of us procured passes and took a stroll into the city. Among other places we paid a lengthy visit to the
[The Washington Monument]
"This noble structure, erected by the State of Maryland in honor of Washington, is the object of first and greatest attraction to visitors to the city. It stands in the centre of a small square at the intersection of Monument and Charles streets, in the fashionable quarter of the city, one hundred and fifty feet above tidewater. It is composed of a base of white marble, fifty feet square and twenty feet in height, with a Doric column twenty feet in diameter at the base, and one hundred and sixty feet in height, gradually tapering upward to a handsomely formed capital. Upon the top is a statue of Washington by Causici, sixteen feet in height, representing the chief in the act of resigning his commission as Commmander-in-chief of the American forces. It cost sixteen thousand dollars, and is reached
by a winding staircase on the interior. The ground on which the monument stands, was given for the purpose by John Eagre Howard the "hero of the cowpens." The corner stone of the monument was laid on the fourth of July 1815, with imposing ceremonies." The inscriptions on the base are as follows:
On the east front,
To George Washington
by the State of Maryland..
Born 22d. February 1732,
Died 14th. December 1799.
To George Washington
Trenton, 25th. December 1776,
Yorktown, 19th. October 1781.
To George Washington
Commander in chief of the American Armies,
15th. June 1775,
Commission resigned at Annapolis,
23d. December 1783.
To George Washington
President of the United States
4th March 1789,
Returned to Mount Vernon
4th March 1797
[Ascent of the monument]
After a careful examination of the exterior of this beautiful obelisk, we ascended the winding stair case and from the top obtained a beautiful panoramic view of the city and its environs. At the expiation of a half hour we descended and as we did so we met three gentlemen who proved to be from the Keystone State on a pleasure trip. They questioned us closely concerning our military experience and appeared to take a great interest in us. They were on their way to Fort McHenry and invited us to accompany them, which invitation was accepted by all excepting myself, and I took leave of the boys and returned to camp.
Upon my arrival I found the companies drilling by themselves, but
as my pass had not expired I did not fall in. Nothing of importance transpired during the balance of the day, save a drill in skirmishing by the Company at about seven o'clock.
During the evening clouds made their appearance and we set ourselves to work to erect the best quarters we could with sticks and blankets. At tattoo we answered to roll call and immediately after I turned in. Rain fell during the night but I did not get wet.
Saturday June 29th
At the usual hour reveille sounded and we turned out for roll call. The morning was a pleasant one but the camp was quite wet from the rain which had fallen during the night. Though we escaped a ducking ourselves, our blankets which had so well protected us, contained considerable water, and we spread them to dry while awaiting breakfast which we took at seven o'clock. At nine
[Pack up again! Whither?]
o'clock we again received orders to pack up and be ready to move and in a short time the assembly was beaten and we formed line, where we remained about an hour awaiting orders. As usual at such times all sorts of speculations were indulged in, concerning the cause of our being again placed under marching orders, and some conjectured one thing and some another. The prevailing idea was that we were to return to camp and no one would have regretted it, had such been the case.
[March into the city]
Our hopes however were soon dashed to the ground, for at ten o'clock we left our bivouac and took a short march into the city, while the Sixth started somewhere, I know not where, in the opposite direction.
This was our first appearance among the citizens en masse, though the Sixth had often times visited the city, and passed unmolested
through many of the principal thoroughfares, since the memorable 19th. of April. But as we proceeded through the aristocratic locality, it was easy to discern the feeling of hostility towards Union troops, depicted in the countenances of these people, and some unpleasant remarks reached our ears.
["Sass" for the boys]
This was almost too much for some of the boys, who would have left the ranks and retalliated with blows, had not the Captain restrained them and forced obedience to duty. Although the Federal authority had become fully established in this humiliated city, we rarely met with the emblem of national honor and glory -- the Star spangled Banner, and when we did it seemed to be exhibited with great reluctance, and it was well that it was unconscious of the disgrace and shame it had been subjected to, at the
hands of the traitors whoses houses it ornamented. The insignia of Rebellion would without doubt have been produced from many a concealed corner, had the once bold and defiant Rebels so dared. In fact one of the boys did claim that he saw one on West Fayette St. but I am inclined to think it existed only in his imagination, for had one of their secesh rags been visible, it certainly could not have escaped either our eyes or our clutches.
Few of the Company to say nothing of the rest of the Regiment, would have allowed such an ignominious thing to remain in existence after they had passed.
At about half past eleven we returned to camp, somewhat exhausted from the heat, and tramping over the cobble stone pavements with our heavily laden knapsacks, and were not slow in throwing off our loads, and sprawling ourselves
on the ground to enjoy a short rest. We lay here until twelve o'clock when we fell in for dinner. During the afternoon no duty was required of us, and we sought relief from the fatigues of the morning in sleep.
All over the ground which we occupied, lay the victims of Morpheus stretched in every conceivable attitude upon their blankets, and lost for a time to all the soldier's troubles and vexations. Nothing of interest transpired during the evening; and at tattoo we answered to our names at roll call and turned in.
Sunday June 30th
Reveille sounded at five o'clock and we at once turned out for roll call. The morning was cloudy and damp, and the atmosphere close and uncomfortable. Rain had fallen during the night and at about half past five it commenced
again in good earnest, and we began to think our exposed condition not the best for such weather. It was very evident that if we didn't do something and that immediately, we might get a good soaking. Accordingly we commenced a series of raids on the various fences in the vicinity, and particularly the one which enclosed our bivouac, which being composed of substantial boards, presented a tempting appearance. In less than half an hour this fence was reduced to a complete skeleton, and the boards used in the manufacture of numerous huts, irregularly scattered over the ground like so many wigwams.
["Rally on the fence" Huts]
In these huts we found comfortable shelter, and spent the forenoon in a quiet manner.
At about one o'clock the companies of the Eighth received
[We remove to an unoccupied building nearby]
orders to pack up, and we removed to an unoccupied building one square to the westward on _______ street, leaving the Sixth undisputed occupants of the bivouac. In this building we were assigned quarters, and having divested ourselves of our knapsacks and equipments, we proceeded in squads to explore the interior and reconnoitre the surrounding premises.
[Traces of soldiers]
The rooms were large and convenient and in good condition, but had been visited by soldiers before us, and all over the otherwise clean white walls, many a volunteer had inscribed in lead pencil "his rude memorial and his name." Portraits and carricatures met our eyes at every turn, giving additional evidence of the peculiar desire of the soldier, thus to perpetuate his memory. The parlor on the first floor was appropriated
[The Colonel establishes his Headquarters]
to the Colonel as his Head Quarters, adjoining which was a piazza with steps leading down to the street. From the upper rooms we had a fine view of the city. From the conveniences and hotel appurtenaces which yet remained undisturbed, the building was without doubt a hotel or tavern. The grounds belonging to it were laid out in good taste, and fruit trees were plenty. Settees, swings and flowered walks had existed here, but were now mostly destroyed by the troops who had been there before us.
The comfort of the guests had evidently been studied by the proprietors, and many attractions outside had been added to the natural facilities for enjoyment. Among these was a shooting gallery, consisting of a small open building or shelter
[A defunct shooting gallery]
in which still remained the rest for a rifle or pistol, and fifty paces distant the place for a target against the end of a brick stable. To prevent the balls from entering, or glancing from the bricks, a double wall formed of sawed oak blocks, reaching to the height of ten or twelve feet and as many wide, was placed against the building, and was literally full of bullets that had missed their mark. Some of the boys pulled down these blocks and amused themselves digging out the bullets for curiosities.
We spent the afternoon in this way until about six o'clock when the "first part of the troop"* sounded, for the men who had been previously detailed for guard
*"First part of the troop," is the name of the signal given by the drummer, for the guard details to fall in preparatory to Mounting the Guard.
to fall in, and guard mounting took place under the trees in rear of the building. It fell to my lot to be detailed as one of the corporals, and I was placed in charge of the second relief. During the evening some of the boys got up considerable excitement wrestling etc. and made good sport. At tattoo roll was called and at taps most of us turned in.
At one o'clock a.m. I went on duty with my relief, and had just got through with posting the sentinels, when we were startled by a volley of musketry coming from the direction of the city, which sounded on the still night air very near to us, giving us a very vivid idea of the "deafening roar of battle." Of course such an occurrence did not fail to alarm the Companies and the line was formed in silence. Col. Hinks
and the Captain rode into the city on horseback, and we afterward learned the firing to be the Twenty third New York Regiment discharging their muskets into the air. It was reported that one of their men was shot through the head by some carelessness, killing him instantly.
[The 6th march into the city.]
The Companies of the Eighth did not leave their quarters, but the Sixth went into the city, and it was reported that they made some arrests, taking their prisoners to Fort McHenry.
Monday July 1st
At five o'clock reveille sounded and we turned out for roll call. The alarm during the night together with my tour of guard duty, caused me to be more tired than usual in the morning, and it was with some reluctance that I obeyed the order to fall in for roll call. It was a disagreeable morning,
[A dull morning]
the atmosphere was quite cool, and a slight drizzly rain fell which continued most of the day. As a natural consequence the day passed quietly with us, and most of the men confined themselves to the building. I continued on duty as Corporal of the Guard, posting my relief at the proper hours, and when off duty remained in the building with the rest.
It was not the fifth day of our absence from camp, and as yet we were entirely ignorant of the cause which had called us into the city. Neither could we ascertain how long we were to remain in our present situation, or what was the destiny before us. The fact that the Sixth had joined us led us to believe that preparations were being made for an expedition of some importance, but what it was, none of us could find out. Had we credited all the
[Speculation as to our movements]
rumors which had been circulated since we had started, we might have been all over the country in the imagination and returned again. It was singular to me that one wing only of our own Regiment should have been selected for the duty before us, and the balance of the force required made up by the addition of the entire Sixth, if that was what they were here for. Whether it was or not I did not know but the Officers in command doubtless knew what they were about, and it was only necessary for us to await future developments, for the gratification of our curiosity.
During the afternoon the clouds several times exhibited signs of breaking away, and the sun was partially visible, but the expected fair weather did not visit us. At about six o'clock guard mounting
[The "Plugs" get restless]
took place and I was relieved. During the evening the "Plugs" kicked up a considerable rumpus in the room in which I was quartered, having become tired of card playing and other monotonous pursuits occasioned by being pent up in the house, and were boisterous and noisy.
At eight o'clock rain fell in torrents accompanied with high winds which continued without cessation for an hour. At the early hour of half past nine tattoo sounded, and we answered to our names and turned in.
Tuesday July 2d
[Fair weather again]
We were again favored with pleasant weather, and the morning was by far the most delightful we had enjoyed for some time. The sun arose in all its splendor, and with the exception of a few small white clouds the blue sky was entirely clear, a cool south westerly breeze also added much
[The luxury of a wash at a street pump]
to the charms of the morning. I turned out at about six o'clock, and in company with a squad of some twenty of the boys, proceeded to a street pump half a mile distant in the direction of the depot, for the purpose of a wash there being no facilities for this purpose about the premises, and after as thorough an ablution as the circumstances would permit, we returned again to our quarters just in season to fall in with the Company for breakfast.
[Back to camp on pass]
At about eight o'clock I procured a pass from the Colonel, and in company with another of the boys started for the camp at the Relay House, just as the assembly was sounding for the Companies to fall in for drill.
The Campden station from which we were to take the cars was over a mile distant, and though we walked with hurried steps
[A Regt. of big men from the Keystone State]
we did not arrive in season to catch the train, and were obliged to wait three quarters of an hour for the next. During this time we witnessed the morning parade of a Pennsylvania regiment who were quartered in the vicinity. Judging from the length of the regimental line they must have numbered not less than twelve hundred men, and were as fine a body of men for soldiers, as we had ever seen. They were generally speaking men of unusual size large, stout and robust looking, and physically speaking would have presented as strong a regimental front to the enemy, as could be found.
As we stood watching the maneuvres of the Key-Stone boys, our attention was attracted in another direction, by the loud distinct blasts of the familiar horn which heralded the approach of the cars from the upper depot, and which now rounded the corner of an adjacent
[A novelty to me in railroading]
street. Although the rail road track runs through some of the principal streets of the city, connecting the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore with the Baltimore and Ohio road, it is forbidden to run the locomotive through the streets. Upon the arrival of the cars, therefore, at the P.W. & B. depot, situated at the upper end of the city, the train is unshackled and such cars as contain passengers going farther south, are drawn through to the lower or Campden station by horses six to each car. Each driver is furnished with a horn which he blows continually to "clear the way." At the Campden station the train is again made up, another locomotive is hitched on, and a new conductor takes the train through to Washington.
At a quarter past nine we took our seats in the cars, and in a few minutes were on the road to
[Arrival at Camp]
the Relay which we reached in safety after a pleasant trip of about three quarters of an hour. Disembarking from the train we strolled leisurely along over the viaduct to camp where we arrived soon after ten o'clock. We found the few boys of the Company which had been left behind, quietly engaged in cleaning their muskets or attending to some little domestic affair. They were glad to see us and asked many questions concerning our whereabouts, condition and future destiny, all of which we answered to the best of our ability. After a short rest I proceeded to the brook and indulged in a swim and change of clothing, which was indeed a luxury, At about twelve o'clock I took dinner with the boys after which I sat down in my tent and spent an hour writing in my journal.
At about three o'clock we started
[Return to the Regiment]
on our return in company with two or three members of some of the other companies who had been left behind, and taking with us several articles which had been sent for by some of the boys, and some few things from the Commissary department. We took the four o'clock train from the Relay House and arrived in Baltimore at about quarter before five. As we rounded a curve in the road on the outskirts of the city, the train slackened its speed so much as to allow us to alight with our luggage which we did with safety, thereby saving a long journey on foot, which we should have had to encounter by continuing on to the depot. This was a lucky thought, for as we passed Mount Clare where we bivouaced the first night of our arrival in the city, we noticed the Sixth drawn up in marching order. Suspecting something new had transpired
[The Reg't. under arms]
during our absence we quickened our pace to our quarters, where we found the companies of our own Regiment also in line with knapsacks, haversacks and canteens ready to move immediately having been under orders since two o'clock. We were just in season to join them, and dropping our luggage, we hastily slung our knapsacks and fell in. Among other things which we had brought from camp, was a quantity of blackberry pies which we had purchased of a huckster on the road, a good sized ham and a quantity of molasses for mush. Such as could be was readily distributed among the men by the Captain and placed in haversacks.
[Off on our expedition]
At about five o'clock we received orders to march, and leaving our quarters proceeded up West Fayette and West Baltimore streets to South, down South to a pier on
["Fix bayonets" on the march]
Light street near Federal hill and without delay went aboard the steamer Hugh Jenkins. As we crossed West Pratt street on emerging from South, the scene of the attack on the Sixth by the mob on the 19th of April arose in our minds and without slacking our pace at all the "fix bayonets" was given in loud tones by the Captain. It is possible we might have been assailed with a stray brick bat or two, but if any ideas of this kind were entertained by evil disposed persons, they were promptly dispelled by this precaution, for we saw no evidence of the slightest desire to molest us.
[On board steamer again]
Having got on board the steamer we divested ourselves of our equipments and baggage, and sat down to view the scene about us and contemplate the nature of our expedition. The wharves were
[A gloomy sight at the piers of Balt.]
almost entirely destitute of shipping, and formed a striking contrast to the numerous steam and sailing vessels, which until within a few weeks only, the thrifty commerce of Baltimore had called into requisition. Business and store houses were closed, and the piers formerly continually laden with freight were vacant and deserted. In place of life, tumult and commotion, stagnation, quiet and desolation bowed obeisance to the throne of "grim visaged war."
As yet we were unable to conjecture anything concerning the true state of affairs. Various speculations were entered into as to the duties before us, and some were foolish enough to believe we had really embarked for New York again on the home trip. However much we might have indulged in this hope, it was soon dashed to the ground by the Captain, who in
answer to a question put to him by one of the boys, cooly remarked that we might expect some sport before morning. The sport alluded to, conveyed its meaning without further explanation, and we asked no further questions.
[On the Chesapeake again]
Night was now rapidly approaching, and the Company were fortunate enough to have the saloon assigned to them as quarters. At half past eight o'clock we left the pier and steaming leisurely down the harbor were in a short time once more upon the broad Chesapeake, after two months of monotonous camp life. As we left the city a thousand lights shone behind, increasing in brilliancy as the darkness thickened around us, but gradually disappearing again until they were entirely lost in the distance. We now steamed along
at the rate of about ten miles per hour, the waves dashing against either side of the sharp bows, as the boat cut through them. Some of the boys turned in at an early hour, others gathering in a group on the deck outside of the saloon, indulged in many a song until a late hour. At midnight all was quiet on the boat save the jarring and rattling of her marchinery [sic], and the short splash of the paddle wheels as they came in contact with the water.
Wednesday July 3d
[Down Wye River to Tilghman's]
We were aroused at the early hour of two o'clock in the morning and fell quickly and quietly into our places, and as soon as the company was formed we were ordered to load at will. We lay at anchor off Wye Point in Wye river, three or four hundred yards from the beach, it being impossible to approach nearer on account of the shallowness
[Disembark in a boat for the beach]
of the water, and preparations were at once made for going ashore, which was attended with some difficulty and much delay. A boat capable of holding some twenty or thirty, which we had picked up at the village of St. Michael during the night, was hauled alongside, and the disembarkation commenced with our own Company.
[Aground and a smaller boat needed to land us]
As soon as the boat was filled we pushed off, but grounded a hundred yards from the shore, and were obliged to use still another boat, not more than half as large as the one we were at present in, before reaching the shore. In this way three quarters of an hour was consumed before the first company was landed, but when finally accomplished we pushed forward without waiting, leaving the rest of the companies to follow with all possible speed.
I now learned for the first time
that we were to proceed to the residence of one Tilghman who was suspected of being engaged in furnishing recruits to the Rebel army and supplying them with arms and ammunition. Our object so far as I could ascertain was to arrest Tilghman, search the premises for muskets and equipments supposed to be concealed somewhere in the vicinity, and gather all the information in our power concerning prominent Rebels in that locality. Two detectives accompanied us also two other persons as guides.
[Through the rye to the house]
We travelled I should think something over a mile by a round-a-about road to escape observation, and over exceedingly rough and uneven ground, approaching the residence of Tilghman through a field of rye as high as our shoulders. As we neared the house, a number of hounds attracted by the rustling in the rye field, set
[Hounds beset us and we double quick]
up an unearthly howling and sprang twoards us, which only caused us to increase our speed to the double quick, lest the inmates whom we sought should become aroused, and suspecting the nature of our nocturnal visit, make good their escape, The first platoon took a direction in single file towards one side of the house, and the second in like manner towards the opposite, and thus deployed as skirmmishers, as soon as the right had passed the house, we closed the flanks together forming a complete circle around it with orders to allow no one to approach or leave it.
[We surround Tilghman's]
This done Col. Hinks, Capt. Devereux and the Acting Adjutant (Lieut Chandler of the Lynn Light Infantry,) leisurely ascended the steps of the front entrance and gave a loud knock. After waiting some time in vain for an answer to this summons
they descended again and proceeded round to the rear entrance.
[A female points a pistol at us]
In a few moments a light in the second story, gave notice that the sleepers were aroused and the summons of the Colonel was answered, who with the two officers before mentioned were admitted into the house. While we were waiting with some interest the result of their admission, a female raised a window on the side were [sic] I was stationed, and deliberately pointed a revolver at us, at the same time uttering some expression which I did not catch. In an instant half a dozen muskets were levelled at her, though we had no idea of firing, and she dodged back without firing. What went on inside I cannot tell, but in a few moments the Captain came out, and selecting about a dozen of the Company returned with
[A search of the house and premises]
them to make a careful search of the interior. Squads were also detailed to search the other buildings on the premises, but nothing in the shape of arms nor of ammunition could be found. While the search was going on, skirmishers made up from the other companies, as they arrived, were thrown out in various directions to the distance of half a mile or more, to give notice of the approach of anyone, and thus prevent surprise.
After a careful search of all the buildings, about a dozen of us were called together by the Captain, who signified his intention to cross the river and search the neighboring premises. For this purpose a sail boat which lay at anchor several feet from the shore, was with some difficulty procured (the water being knee deep and obliging us to wade out
[Over the river]
to her) and we got aboard and sailed across to the opposite shore. On ascending the bank we hailed a laborer who was engaged in a barley field, and took him with us as a guide to the residence of one Bryan a mile distant.
[The house of one Bryan surrounded]
We also observed two other suspicious looking persons as we landed, and a couple of the boys were detailed to remain behind and watch them. Arriving at the residence of Bryan we proceeded as with Tilghman, by first surrounding the house then making a thorough and careful search of all the buildings on the premises, but the search here was as fruitless as in the first instance, and having by this time become a little tired, and very hungry, we sat down to a lunch
[Breakfast at a Negro's]
consisting of biscuits corn cake and bacon, which was furnished us by some of the negroes on the plantation, and which was
duly relished. At about half past seven we returned to our boat and recrossed the river, taking Bryan with us.
During our absence the Colonel and Tilghman had a lengthy interview, during which the latter is reported to have provokingly remarked to the Colonel, that the men under his command were the poorest material for soldiers he ever saw; that he "had a company of men of whom Bryan was one, numbering only sixty who could clean out a hundred and twenty five of 'em." This was indeed a flattering compliment to the sons of the old Bay State and the Colonel of course resented it, but it is said he coolly replied by saying to Tilghman that if he felt disposed to summon his sixty chivalric heroes, he would place thirty "of those boys" (meaning
the Zouaves) against them.
[Return to the beach with Prisoners.]
At about half past eight the companies were called together and we returned to the beach where we first landed, taking Tilghman and Bryan with us prisoners.
[Also two old flint locks and a dog.]
With the exception of these, the only fruits of this expedition were a couple of old flint lock muskets bearing the date of 1817, one of which was secured by the Acting Adjutant as a trophy, and the other by one of the men of the Lynn company, unless I include a fine hound which Lieut. Brewster brought with him as a gift from some one. Arriving at the beach we were furnished with a scanty breakfast consisting of dry bread and coffee, prepared by the cooks who had previously been sent back for this purpose. While thus engaged our attention was drawn towards a team
rapidly driving towards us, and which contained a couple of individuals, one of whom a corpulent red faced fellow, desired an interview with the prisoner Tilghman which was granted, after which they returned in the same direction which the [sic] came.
[Back on the steamer]
Breakfast over we gathered up our utensils and prepared to return to the steamer and at about eleven o'clock we steamed down the river to the Chesapeake. At twelve o'clock we stopped at the village of St. Michael and returned the boat which we had taken during the night. We remained here about an hour during which time preparations were made for dinner, which however was not served out to us until sometime after we had started again. We now steamed rapidly up the Chesapeake enjoying the return trip
[A delightful sail]
very much, for the air was clear and cool and hardly a cloud was visible above us. At half past two we passed Annapolis in the distance, which with the scenery around us called to mind the old Constitution, and our trip to New York on board of her.
[The Prisoners delivered over to the Commander at Fort McHenry]
At about four o'clock we passed Fort Carroll in process of erection near Baltimore, and soon after the spires and towers of the city one by one became gradually visible as we steamed up the harbor. At five o'clock we put in to the pier at Fort McHenry and turned over our prisoners to the Commander. While we lay here the Steamer Adelaide also came alongside and took aboard a couple of small guns from the Fort. She was from Baltimore en route to Fortress Munroe, and had on board a guard of twenty five men from
the Lynn City Guards, under the command of Capt. Hudson.
[Return to our bivouac on W. Baltimore St.]
In about half an hour we left the pier and steamed up to the city arriving at the landing at six o'clock precisely. As soon as possible we left the boat, and proceeded to our bivouac on West Baltimore St. opposite the Brooklyn camp where we found the left wing of the Regiment, and all of our tents and camp equipage. By this we understood at once that the camp at the Relay House was broken up and in future we were to be located here, and we afterwards learned that we were to remain here during the residue of our term of service. Upon our arrival we were received with hearty cheers by the Left, which we responded to with a will, after which we were dismissed. Some of the boys commenced to pitch their
tents, but the majority of us were too tired for this and turned in at an early hour. We had been engaged in fatiguing duties during the twenty four hours which had elapsed since we left in the steamer, and many of us were sound asleep long before tattoo.
Thursday July 4th
[The day we celebrate]
Of all the days in our Country's history which may be considered of any significance, the one before us should receive the earnest thought and attention of everyone. The eighty-fifth anniversary of the framing of that noble instrument, the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming liberty and equality to all mankind, was upon us. After eighty-five years of success and prosperity unequaled in the history of nations, the 4th of July 1861 arrived to find the great principle upon which our government was founded, put to the severest test, and the
ages of the world were upon us for a final demonstration of this the great problem of self government. Thousands of traitors had at a given signal struck deep at the Nation's heart, with a fixed determination to overthrow the glorious free institutions left us by our fathers. No country was ever less prepared to decide by war, the grave questions at issue, but the people were aroused by a conviction of right and duty, and volunteers from every occupation and pursuit, thronged to the contry's [sic] support, and here we were, a squad of mere boys mustered into service to perform our part in the great drama yet to be enacted. Two months of this service had already expired and though we had not as yet smelt the enemy's gunpowder, we had performed good service, and were fully able to appreciate
and respect, the present anniversary. Though I cannot record any formal celebration, yet a number of scenes transpired among and around us, which served to impress upon our minds the fact that the day was not forgotten.
[A beautiful morning]
We were now established in a new camp. At five o'clock reveille sounded and we turned out for roll call. A heavy dew had fallen during the night and the tents were wet and heavy, but it was a beautiful morning, not a breath of air could be felt and unusual quiet seemed to prevail. The music of a hundred birds, echoing and re-echoing their makers [sic] praise through the trees with which the camp was interspersed, was indeed a fit anthem to accompany the approach of the golden sun, which now gradually appeared above the horizon, and stole through the trees into our
new camp. We spent the couple of hours preceding breakfast in a quiet manner, for I may say we had as yet not fully recovered from the fatigue occasioned by the duties of the last two days. At seven o'clock "peas on a trencher" sounded and we fell in for breakfast, after which the only formal observance of the day was the omission of the daily drill until late in the afternoon.
[Arrival of the Manchester N.H. Cornet Band]
At about eleven o'clock the Manchester N.H. Brass Band, with which we had previously entered into an agreement to furnish music for us during the balance of our term of service, arrived in camp from Washington, having accompanied a New Hampshire regiment to the Capital. Of course it was a unanimous desire that they should be placed on duty immediately, and for a half an hour they entertained us
with some of their selections, in a style equal to the celebrated Gilmore's Band of Boston. In fact they performed as well as any band I ever heard, and nearly every member of the Regiment considered them excellent musicians. With this exception the forenoon passed quietly with us.
[Boys of the House of Refuge]
The day in the city was observed in various ways, business houses were closed, and several organizations paraded with music and banners. During the forenoon the boys of the House of Refuge passed the camp in uniform, escorted by a band of twenty pieces. They were juveniles, musicians and all, varying in age from ten to fifteen years, and occasioned much curiosity and excitement. The boys of the Brooklyn Thirteenth on one side of the street, and those of our own Regiment on the other, crowded the fences within the respective
lines of sentries, and finally prevailed upon the little fellows to stop. Their band then favored us with "Red White & Blue" and several other patriotic airs, which elicited much applause from both regiments, and they moved on again.
The sun was now very hot, and we looped up the sod cloths of the tents to obtain if possible a good circulation of air, but it proved impossible to accomplish this, and we were obliged to make the best of it. At one o'clock we fell in for dinner after which I spent considerable time writing.
[An appropriate incident]
During the afternoon an appropriate incident took place in camp. The flag pole which had been used at Camp Essex (Relay House) and which was transferred here with the regimental baggage, was raised to the top of a large tree in front of the Colonel's
marquee, and the Star spangled Banner soon waved over our new encampment, from its usual position at the top, being raised by the hand of the Colonel.
[A fashionable crowd and a tough drill]
At six o'clock the line was formed for battalion drill, but the Company was drilled by the Captain in the bayonet exercise and skirmishing. From the beating of the assembly visitors continued to arrive in camp, until it was literally crowded with the elite and fashion of the city, leaving us scarcely room enough to maneuvre. The majority of the crowd seemed to centre around the Company, the light infantry movements attracting more attention than the more monotonous movements of the rest of the Regiment. As a matter of course the Captain "spread himself," and the great drops of perspiration rolled from under our fiery red caps in quick succession. We drilled for an hour and
a half, during which time we were allowed a rest of about fifteen minutes, which interval was filled by the Band with some fine pieces, for the gratification of our visitors. At about eight o'clock the line was formed for dress parade, during which we more than ever appreciated the good qualities of our Band. Dress parade over we were dismissed, and the visitors gradually dispersed.
[Bonfires and punch]
During the evening a number of bonfires were kindled about the camp, and some of the boys "celebrated" with punch, which was freely distributed without however any bad effects. At about nine o'clock I took a stroll into the city, a short distance from camp, and spent a half an hour watching the different colored fireworks as the [sic] shot into the air from several parts of the city. At ten o'clock tattoo was beaten, but it was
a long time before the camp was quiet.
Friday July 5th
At five o'clock reveille sounded and we turned out for roll call. For my part I had much rather remained rolled up in my blanket, for I was one of many who had "kept 4th" until a late hour, and did not feel any too much like rising early. It was useless however to indulge in any such phantasies, for the failure to attend roll call in our company was a grave offense, which never failed to meet its penalty.
The morning was pleasant and comfortable, but the temperature of the atmosphere increased with the progress of the day until it was hot and sultry. At seven o'clock we fell in for breakfast after which we engaged in quiet pursuits until nine o'clock when guard mounting took place. At half past nine the assembly sounded, and the line was formed in front of the tents,
which was immediately followed by battalion drill which lasted an hour. Nothing of interest transpired during the heat of the day and at one o'clock "roast beef" sounded and we fell in for dinner, after which the different members of the Regiment occupied the time in reading, writing and sleeping, the majority preferring the latter. During the afternoon I made a visit to the camp of the Brooklyn Thirteenth and enjoyed a sociable game of euchre.
[March into the city with our band]
At four o'clock the line was formed again and we took a short march into the city, accompanied by our band who performed some excellent pieces, and attracted a good deal of attention. Capt. Devereux insisted upon holding his usual position, on the march as well as in line, that is on the extreme right, the music intervening between us and the balance of
[The Zouave step]
the Regiment. Some objection was raised to this, but the Captain would not give up to it and we therefore led the column. The Company were always noted for taking an unusually long step in marching, termed by us the Zouave step the length of which was thirty three inches. By these long strides we invariably gained distance leading the Regiment by several yards, and causing a gap between us and the music. So it was on this occasion, we found ourselves often times a long distance in the advance, and several times were obliged to halt to allow the Regiment to come up. For one I never could see the use or sense in such rapid marching, particularly when there was no need of it, and the balance of the Regiment did not appreciate it. It was particularly hard upon the musicians, and mighty inconvenient for us of the left flank also.
I say us for it was my misfortune to be one of the shortest men in the Company, and my position was next to Sergt. Batchelder who held the extreme left as left guide. This step like everything else which we did was carried to an extreme, and christened "Zouave," for oddity.
We passed through some of the principal thoroughfares of the city, meeting with no molestation, and for a wonder no unpleasant taunts were offered to us, at least I heard none. At the expiration of an hour we returned to camp, reformed for dress parade and at the close of this were dismissed. At six o'clock we fell in for supper, and at seven retreat was beaten.
[Music by the band]
During the evening the Band favored us with some of their selections, among which were a number of popular operatic
airs. After they had finished many of the boys gathered in groups, and enjoyed themselves singing until ten o'clock, when tattoo sounded and we fell into line for roll call, and at taps I turned in.
Saturday July 6th
[Change in the hours for camp calls]
It was a dull cloudy morning, and the atmosphere was close and uncomfortable, but more agreeable during the forenoon. Reveille sounded at the usual hour and the companies fell into line for roll call, after which we passed the time in an easy and quiet manner until seven o'clock when "peas on a trencher" sounded and we fell in for breakfast. Some change was adopted in the hours for the different camp calls, and guard mounting took place at the early hour of seven and three quarters o'clock. At nine o'clock the assembly sounded and the line was formed. Immediately we formed hollow square and the Chaplain stepping into the centre
offered prayer for the first time since our change of station. The square was then reduced, and we deployed column, and the companies were dismissed to the charge of their several commanders for company drill, which occupied the next hour.
[Drill of Recruits]
The drilled members of our own company were dismissed, but the Captain took the recruits by themselves, and put them through a severe test, to ascertain what progress they had made in different movements, and how many were in his judgement sufficiently well versed to be classed with the drilled members of the Company. This drill lasted for an hour, and out of the entire number some thirty men, two only, Privates Nichols and Driver were considered proficient enough to be admitted to the number of drilled members.
The balance of the forenoon passed quietly, and at one o'clock "roast
[Rain again and leaky tents]
beef" sounded and we fell in for dinner. Soon after dinner the clouds began to grow thicker and heavier, and in half an hour or more rain commenced falling continuing for an hour. Of course we confined ourselves to the tents, but they afforded us poor protection and the water poured through them as through sieves. At about four o'clock the rain ceased, and the clouds bore appearance of clearing away. On emerging from the tents, we were agreeably surprised to notice visitors whose faces were familiar to us coming into camp.
[S.B. Ives, Dr. Perkins and Daniel Perkins arrive in camp.]
These were Stephen B. Ives, Dr. Perkins and Daniel Perkins, all of Salem. When visitors arrived from old Salem we were accustomed to look for letters, papers, small packages &c. and we soon discovered that they had not arrived minus these welcome comforts. They remained with us but an hour or so, being on their way to Washington, but what time they were with us was passed in the usual pleasant
[The Orderly and Private Upton return from furlough]
At five o'clock Orderly Sergeant Devereux and Private Upton returned from furlough, and also brought sundry et ceteras for many of the boys. At half past five we fell in for supper. The sun now shone beautifully, and at seven o'clock the assembly again sounded and dress parade took place after which the Company were drilled for a short time in the manual, but the rest of the Regiment were dismissed. At half past seven retreat was beaten and the Band favored us with some excellent music for an hour, drawing around them a large crowd of both citizens and soldiers. Among other favorite pieces, they rendered the world renowned "Wood up" in a manner which drew forth loud bursts of applause.
[Music in the Chaplain's tent.]
During the evening a number of singers congregated in the Chaplain's tent, with some of the musicians,
and a choir was organized who practised sacred music with instrumental accompaniment. At ten o'clock tattoo sounded and after roll call I turned in.
Sunday July 7th
At five o'clock we responded to reveille, by turning out and answering to roll call. The morning air was cool and comfortable, and very desirable for the work before us, for it was inspection morning. We spent the time in a leisure manner until seven o'clock when we fell in for breakfast, after which fatigue details were made from each company for general police, who set to work with brush brooms to put the parade in a condition for inspection, while the rest of the members of the different companies were employed packing their knapsacks, cleaning their muskets, sweeping the tents and company streets and attending to numerous other matters pertaining
to the Sunday Morning inspection. The cool air of early morning was now converted into almost insupportable heat, and the perspiration oozed from every pore.
At eight o'clock guard mounting took place and at nine the assembly sounded and the Regimental line was formed for inspection. Without delay we were wheeled into column by companies, ranks were opened, and the inspection commenced with the Company on the right, each company as it was inspected being marched to their quarters and dismissed. As soon as we were through with, we returned to our quarters and leaving our jackets in the tents, formed company again and proceeded to a lot half a mile or so from the camp to the south-west, where we in turn discharged our muskets which had been loaded since our Tilghman adventure,
at a mark set up for the purpose and some very good shots were made, one in particular by Sergeant Gray. We then returned to camp and some of the boys proceeded to the Patapsco to bathe, while others busied themselves writing &c.
[Meeting on the subject of a new uniform]
At about eleven o'clock a meeting of the Company was called in the Captain's tent, to consider the subject of new uniform, which for a number of days had been discussed by several members of the Company. The matter seemed to meet with favor among the old members of the Company, but the recruits were almost unanimously opposed to it. After considerable discussion on both sides in which the Orderly took an active part a vote was taken, and it was decided to adopt a new Zouave uniform complete, and a committee of five were chosen to take full charge of the matter, select
the style, ascertain the expense &c. and report at a future meeting. The meeting then adjourned and at half past twelve we fell in for dinner.
[Who pulled that trigger?]
It was now scorching hot and by far the hottest day of the season. At about two o'clock some little excitement was occasioned by the accidental discharge of a musket belonging to a member of Co. "A." It appeared that the musket had been lying in the sun for sometime, until the barrel had become so heated as to cause an explosion of the charge. Fortunately no one was injured, but the sleepers in the vicinity were aroused very suddenly.
At half past five we fell in for supper and at six the assembly was beaten and the line was formed for divine service which was held in as [sic] shady portion of the encampment selected for the purpose. The
services were conducted by the Chaplain, and the band and choir furnished excellent music and singing. The instrumental music of the Band attracted a number of visitors to the camp many of whom were ladies, and after the services were over the line was reformed and companies were dismissed for company drills under the supervision of their respective commanders.
[Drill in shirtsleeves]
Our time was now come, but the Captain was a little considerate and ordered us to throw off our jackets which we did. We then "pitched in" for nearly an hour for the accommodation of our visitors, and returned to quarters wet to the skin with perspiration.
The evening passed quietly, nothing of importance transpired and at tattoo we fell in for roll call and soon after turned in. It was an unusually hot night, and I found it next to impossible to sleep.
Monday July 8th
The morning was much more comfortable than usual, the air being cool with a light breeze from the westward. We turned out at reveille and aswered [sic] to roll call, after which an hour spent in various uninteresting ways, occupied the time until breakfast which we took at seven o'clock. Guard mounting took place regularly at eight o'clock and at nine the assembly sounded and the linle was formed on the parade. We at once proceeded to the upper portion of the camp under the shade of some large trees, where we formed hollow square and prayer was offered by the chaplain. The Regiment with the exception of our own company were then drilled for considerable time in battalion movements by Lieut. Col. Elwell, Col. Hinks being absent.
The Company occupied a portion
[The boys can but won't]
of the camp by themselves, and drilled for an hour and a half in our shirt sleeves and without arms, in company movements by the Captain. This was a change from the usual drill and much easier, and it was almost a wonder that we did not have to go through with the same thing every day, for from the manner in which we maneuvred there seemed to be great need of it. At half past eleven we were dismissed and returned to quarters, and most of the boys endeavored to refresh themselves as much as it was possible to do under the hot sun, which was now as uncomfortable as ever.
At half past twelve we fell in for dinner, and immediately after I procured a pass with some half a dozen of the boys, and we proceeded a couple of miles from camp, to a most delightful place on the Patapsco called Franklin falls, for the purpose
[A delightful swim at Franklin falls]
of a swim. These falls were a succession of regular steps, formed by the crumbling away of pieces of the rock which formed the bed of the river at this point, from time to time by the action of the water. Over these steps three or four in number, the waters of the Patapsco fell gracefully, hurrying along to a collection of irregular masses of rock, which with the exception of a gorge or channel between them nearly blockaded the river. Through this gorge the river swept with great force, in a smooth stream several feet deep, and we found considerable sport in swimming out into the middle of the river some distance above, and allowing the current to sweep us through to the more tranquil waters a hundred feet beyond. We also stretched ourselves flat upon the steps of the falls, and were greatly refreshed by the cool water falling
gently over us. We found amusement in a number of other aquatic sports, and remained in the water an hour or more, after which we rambled a mile or two into the woods and returned to camp, where we arrived after an absence of about two hours and a half.
[Review of the Colonel]
The balance of the afternoon passed quietly, there being no duty to perform except guard. At about half past four a friend from the Engineer corps, attached to the Brooklyn Thirteenth came over to see me, and I spent a half an hour very pleasantly with him until five o'clock when we fell in for supper. At about six the line was formed and the Regiment proceeded under the commmand of Major Poore, to an adjoining lot northwest of the encampment, where we were reviewed by Colonel Hinks. After the review
the Company returned to camp and after divesting ourselves of our jackets, we were drilled by the Captain for nearly two hours in all the different branches of the Tactics, before an immense crowd of spectators who thronged the camp, and among whom were a number of distinguished ladies.
[Another of those drills]
This was about the toughest drill we had experienced at any time since our entry into service, and we were almost melted when we had finished. At eight o'clock we were dismissed, and I spent the evening in company with my friend of the Thirteenth. At ten o'clock tattoo sounded, roll was called and at taps most of us turned in.
Tuesday July 9th
Another quiet day with us, with little or no change from the daily monotony, unless it be that less transpired than usual. At
five o'clock reveille sounded and we obeyed its summons promptly by turning out for roll call. It was another beautiful morning with a clear serene sky, and a refreshing northwest breeze. The sun which had just passed the horizon, sent his golden streaks through the trees into the encampment with less warmth than usual, and a hundred birds welcomed him with their songs of praise. Nothing of interest transpired during the first two hours of the day, and at seven o'clock we fell in for breakfast. Guard mounting took place at eight o'clock and at nine the assembly sounded and we formed Regimental line, then hollow square and listened to prayer from the Chaplain. The two hours following was devoted to battalion drill, but the Company were dismissed altogether and a meeting of the committee on uniforms
[Meeting of the Committee on Uniforms]
was held in the marque [sic]. I spent most of the day manufacturing a gunrack of a circular form to fit the rear tent pole of our tent, and large enough to hold the muskets of the seven non commissioned officers. At half past twelve "roast beef" sounded and we fell in for dinner.
[A heavy shower]
The afternoon was more quiet than usual, not so much as the afternoon drill being required, and the time was spent in a hundred unimportant ways. At five o'clock clouds suddenly made their appearance, and rain commenced falling gradually increasing to a heavy thunder shower which lasted for a half hour, at the end of which the sun again appeared as bright as ever; but not to continue for heavier clouds followed those which were rapidly disappearing, and in a few minutes it rained harder than ever, falling
in sheets and with great force.
[The tents leak like a sieve, and we go for the Hospital tent.]
If the tents had leaked before, they were comparatively tight to their present condition, for now they afforded us no protection whatever, and the rain poured through them as freely as if great holes were cut in the canvass, and the inmates were obliged to seek shelter as best they might. We scattered in various directions and for one I took my blanket to preserve it from the wet, and made for the large hospital tent, which for a wonder proved to be water tight. Many others followed my example until the tent was pressed to its utmost capacity for accommodation, and a lively time was kept up in here, by the refugees from the wet. In some of the other tents the boys amused themselves by jumping up and down on the tent floors, and besmearing their comrades with mud and water,
who though wet to the skin were in good spirits and enjoyed the joke (?) with the rest.
[The rain demoralizes the Regulations]
The rain continued all the evening and the camp was flooded with water, in consequence of which dress parade was omitted. The drum heads had also become so soaked and stretched that it was impossible to beat retreat, tattoo or taps, a circumstance quite acceptable to the drummers. Tattoo roll call was also omitted in all the companies, and I remained in the hospital tent all night. Though I turned in at an early hour with the rest, we found it impossible to sleep until a late hour, for we were kept in a continual roar of laughter, by the string of yarns which was spun first by one and then another, until we were lulled to sleep in spite of ourselves.
Wednesday July 10th
[Fair weather and a watery camp]
At reveille we turned out for roll call to find pleasant weather once more. The sky was very clear, and the air was cool and comfortable. As the sun gradually appeared, it grew to be warmer very fast and it was but a short time before we were enveloped in the usual hardly endurable heat. As we entered our various quarters from the hospital tent, we found the tents completely soaked through and puddles of water standing on the tent floors of many of them. The first thing we did on being dismissed from roll call, was to brush out as much of the water as we could then loop up the sod clothes [sic] and allow the sun to penetrate and dry up the balance. The whole camp was also interspersed with puddles, or more correctly speaking small ponds of water, with patches of mud between them, but the hot sun commenced its work
immediately, and in a few hours only the camp was comparatively dry again.
At seven o'clock "peas on a trencher" sounded and we fell in for breakfast, and soon after the detail for guard from the Company was made by the Orderly, including myself as one of the Corporals, and to our surprise was double the usual number. There was one reason in particular why we felt somewhat interested in this matter, for it increased our chances of coming on duty to twice as often as heretofore, and as guard duty in the service was ever an unpleasant one, it was natural for us all to evade it as much as possible, consistent with our position as a soldier. We did not understand it but at eight o'clock guard mounting took place, and as I marched on to line with the company detail, I noticed that the
details from the other companies were all fully as large as our own, so that the guard when formed consisted of one hundred eighty men, an average of eighteen from each company, which when divided into three reliefs, gave us the large number of sixty men to a relief. This with the guard about to be relieved, (and who would be excused from duty during the forenoon) of course greatly reduced the number for Regimental or Company drills, and as I mentioned before, we did not understand it. But the secret was soon explained.
[and the reason for it.]
A number of men from different companies had been reported to the Colonel as having forced the guard on the previous day, and several complaints were received from citizens, who substantiated the fact that the men had committed various depredations
upon their property, and become intoxicated and insulting, and otherwise conducted themselves in an unsoldierly manner. These offenses detrimental to the interests of the citizens, and particularly so to the good reputation of the Regiment which we had heretofore been fortunate enough to enjoy, were promptly punished by the Colonel, and to prevent their future occurrence, the police guard was increased to double its usual strength, and we were now reduced to the humiliating position, of having a sentinel at every ten feet around the camp. The strictest vigilance was also enjoined upon the officer and non commissioned officers of the guard, particularly at night.
At nine o'clock the line was formed and after prayer by the Chaplain the Regiment were drilled for a short time only in battalion
movements, with the exception of the Company who were for some reason dismissed.
[The Company in luck for once]
The balance of the forenoon passed with nothing worthy of note, and at half past twelve "roast beef" sounded, and we fell in for dinner. No duty was required until late in the afternoon, and the time passed as quietly as possible. At four o'clock the assembly sounded again, and as soon as the line was formed the Regiment proceeded to an adjoining field west of the encampment, where they were drilled by the Colonel, finishing with dress parade. During this time, the Company were drilled by the Captain under the trees at the upper end of the encampmment, but before they had finished maneuvring black clouds made their appearance at the westward and soon overspread the entire firmamment, accompanied with violent gusts of
[Rain again and double quick to quarters]
wind which several times nearly levelled the tents to the ground. In a few minutes rain fell and the boys were dismissed and scattered double quick to quarters. The rain continued incessant for an hour, at the end of which the sun made its appearance but only for a few moments, for it clouded up a second time and rain again fell, continuing most of the night.
[A bevy of beauty appears and a presentation to the Brooklyn Boys is postponed on account of rain]
At about five o'clock a procession of beautiful ladies, dressed in white and decorated with flowers, passed the encampment bearing a magnificent silk banner which was intended as a present to the Brooklyn Thirteenth. The ceremonies of the presentation had actually commenced, but were interrupted and afterward postponed, by the sudden appearance and continuance of the rain. The evening which
was rather cool, was spent by most of the boys in the tents. Retreat, tattoo and taps were all omitted and a majority turned in at an early hour. I was summoned at the proper hours during the night, and went on duty with my relief.
[Asleep on post]
It was a habit among some men when on post at night, to improve every chance they could get to go to sleep, thereby not only neglecting their duties, but laying themselves liable to be court martialed, and perhaps suffer severe punishment. The non commissioned officers were therefore instructed to visit their reliefs frequently while on duty, and if any of the sentinels were found asleep, their muskets were to be taken from them and deposited with the officer of the guard, and they were then to be left to wake up at their own convenience, and afterward to be arrested
and charges preferred [sic] against them. I regret to add that a number were found guilty of this grave offence in each and every relief. Of course the first idea of a victim on waking from his slumbers was to feel for his musket and on finding it gone it did not take him long to realize his unpleasant predicament, and it was of course impossible for him to hide his shame, at being thus found by the officer of the guard, walking his beat unarmed. He might have left his post altogether and escaped meeting the officer at all, which after all would have been no worse than leaving it and journeying to the land of dreams, since in either case the man was absent, but none had courage to commit a second offense so soon, by leaving before being regularly relieved. It was indeed a poor soldier who would be caught a second
time in this situation, yet such cases did occur.
[Devices adopted to steal a nap]
It was amusing as well as provoking, the measures some of the sentinels would employ, to indulge in a snooze without detection. Some would stand their musket against a tree, then sit down and lean their back against it, so that it was next to impossible to take it from them without waking them. But we had a case in our own Company which eclipsed anything in the Regiment. One of the recruits whose name I will not mention, (but who will readily be recognized by members of the Company, particularly the Captain, from the fact that he was such a nervous, excitable and troublesome individual,) almost invariably went to sleep on his post, and the manner in which he worked it was this. In the first place there was a large
stump on his beat about two feet in height, and making a very convenient and comfortable seat the top being perfectly flat. On this stump he would seat himself, then twisting the corner of his blanket firmly around his musket, would wrap the blanket around his shoulders, fold his arms and hug his musket firmly, inwardly congratulating himself that no one could take his musket away. In a few minutes his head would droop, and once or twice he was detected in this position by the Corporal of his relief, but sprang to his feet before the Corporal could reach him, and commenced walking his beat as unconcerned as if nothing had happened. He however did not escape the quick eye of the Corporal, who said nothing, but passed on and reported his case to the officer
of the guard, who was determined to catch C_____ himself if possible. In about half an hour therefore he visited the relief with the Corporal, and as he came to the beat of C_____ he approached very stealthily, and as he expected found C_____ quietly seated on the stump, his musket firmly clasped in his folded arms, his head drooped upon his breast, and snoring loud enough to be heard a great distance. Dreaming perhaps that the relief wouldn't possibly be visited again. The Lieutenant advanced quickly, siezed the musket of the delinquent sentinel, and attempted by a violent jerk to wrest it from him, but it was so twisted up in the blanket which encircled the waist and shoulders of its unworthy master, that he was unsuccessful. Of course C_____ was nearly prostrated,
but quickly recovering himself he sprang nervously to his feet and exclaimed in a confused and hurried manner, "No you don't -- & [?] -- Who comes there? -- I ain't asleep."
[Poor C_____ sent to the guard house]
The Lieutenant paid no notice either to the challenge or the protestations of innocence of the guilty sentinel, but gave orders to the Corporal to march him off to the guard house, and supply his place by a more reliable man.
Thursday July 11th
It was a cloudy morning, though once or twice the sun shone for a moment or two through the openings, as the clouds occasionally separated. The rain during the night had produced a desirable change in the atmosphere, and it was quite cool. At five o'clock reveille sounded, and the companies turned out for roll call, but I remained
an hour later in my "virtuous couch," with others who had been on duty during the night. At six o'clock I was summoned by the Corporal of the relief on duty, and turned out to muster my relief to relieve them. The time was occupied in sundry unimportant ways, until "peas on a trencher" at seven o'clock, when the companies fell in for breakfast, and I swallowed mine with as much haste as possible, and returned to my post at the guard house. At eight o'clock we (the guard) were rejoiced to hear the "first part of the troop," and soon after guard mounting took place and we were relieved.
At nine o'clock the assembly sounded, and as the Company formed, I remained in my tent as usual after coming off guard, but was soon visited by the Orderly, who was sent by the Captain
with orders for all of the old guard detail, to fall in with the rest of the Company. Of course there was nothing for us to do but to obey, but we who were interested thought it hardly fair, and were forced to think still harder of it, from the fact that immediately after the morning prayer, which took place as soon as the line was formed, the balance of the Regiment were dismissed and returned to their quarters.
[The Recruits try the skirmish drill]
The drill however was a short and light one, for we proceeded to the cool shade under the trees at the upper end of the encampment, divested ourselves of both jacket and equipments, and were drilled for half an hour only in deployments and the formation of squads, for the benefit of the recruits, this being their first lesson in skirmishing with the rest of the Company. After the
[The boys go for a swim in the Patapsco with towels swinging and Col. James makes a row about it, though the latter, the writer has failed to record]
drill we indulged in a sociable rest, stretched out in groups on the grass, and the subject of bathing was proposed by Lieut. Brewster, who might well be called a perfect water dog. Most of the boys reciprocated this desire, and the Captain being also "in," marched us to quarters, after which all who felt so disposed proceeded in a squad with towels swinging, to the favorite resort on the Patapsco for this purpose.
I remained behind with a number of others, and during the absence of the boys spent the time writing in my journal. All was quiet with the rest of the Regiment until half past twelve, when "roast beef" sounded and we went to dinner. As I approached the Company tables, I was, like all the rest, surprised and pleased to find thereon
[The tables blossom with fresh vegetables]
some fresh vegetables consisting of boiled cabbage and new potatoes. Where they came from we didn't know, certainly not from the commissary. There had either been a foraging expedition, or the cooks had made good use of the slop fund. The latter was probably the case, as every company who was fortunate enough to have good cooks, could always have on hand something of a fund, with which to purchase delicacies not furnished by the commissary department, if they were careful to save the grease and slops, for which there was always a ready market. While the former was highly improbable if not impossible, for situated as we were, in the very heart of a great and loyal (?) community, foraging with any success, was attended with great difficulty and a heavy penalty if discovered.
It was no time however to enter into speculations, as to the source from which the new vegetables were obtained, they were before us, and all were anxious to dip into so great and desirable a change from the customary salt bill of fare, and every one did justice to them.
[Another luxury being a keg of lager]
While we were thus engaged, the boys returned from bathing, and were not slow in taking their customary places around the festive board(s). They brought with them a good sized keg of lager, which they had obtained from a brewery on their route, which was placed in the Captains tent and generously distributed to all hands, who "put away" one glass after another, until the Captain thought it prudent to shut off the stream. Considering the intense heat of the noon day sun, the cool lager worked
in admirably and was very refreshing. The only thing we had to regret was that the faucet didn't fly out when the Captain attempted to shut if off, for we all stood ready with our dippers.
The afternoon continued hot and sultry, and as no duty was required until four o'clock, we occupied the time in as quiet a manner as possible, confining ourselves to the shaky portions of the encampment, and abstaining from all exercise likely to cause perspiration, which by the way it was only necessary to move gently about, to induce. At four o'clock the assembly sounded and as soon as the line formed, the entire Regiment proceeded to an adjoining lot, where we passed in review, after which the Company withdrew and were drilled by the Captain for an hour, in deployments and other movements
pertaining to the skirmish drill, while the Regiment maneuvred in batallion movements. At about five o'clock the line was reformed on the Regimental parade, but rain suddenly commenced falling, clouds having come up while we were drilling, and we were dismissed and retreated into our quarters. The shower however was of short duration, and by half past five it was clear again.
[The Presentation takes place in the Brooklyn Camp}
At six o'clock the ceremonies of the flag presentation, which were postponed on account of the rain yesterday, took place in the Brooklyn camp. A majority of the Regiment were allowed to attend, and our Band furnished the music. An immense crowd of spectators were present, a majority of whom were ladies, and the affair was of a highly interesting character. At about half past six
[Private Moody secures a foot-ball, and the boys have a high time]
we fell in for supper, and immediately after a lively scene transpired, and one which does not often occur in camp. Private Moody had a foot-ball which he had obtained during the day, which was the cause of exciting sport for an hour. One or two were unfortunate in getting their shins kicked of course. Who ever heard of a foot-ball scrape without such an occurrence? We should have kept it up much longer, but darkness over took us and we were obliged to desist. There was a new moon, but it was too young to "throw any light on the subject."
During the evening I caught a glimpse of a fine sword with a silver scabbord, which I was informed was presented to the Captain by a friend -- Col. Bruce of Baltimore. The particulars concerning, or the circumstances connected with the presentation, I did not learn. At ten o'clock tattoo was
beaten under the direction of the drummer of the Band, who it seemed had during the day introduced to the drum corps a new and lively beat, which was far more stirring and inspiriting than the dry, old fashioned, stereotyped beat as it were, which we had heretofore been accustomed to hear at this hour. At half past ten lights were extinguished in obedience to taps, and everything was soon quiet, save the feint [sic] tramp of the sentinels.
Friday July 12th
[Roll call and foot fall]
At reveille which sounded at five o'clock, we turned out and answered to roll call, after which their [sic] being no duty to attend to for some time, the Company engaged in a lively game of foot ball. The morning was a most delightful one for this exercise, the air being uncommonly cool, in fact quite chilly. The sun was also obscured
by heavy clouds, and we had the most joyful time on record. Every member of the Company was on hand, officers and all, and the crowd was soon swelled by a number from the other companies. Some comical scenes occurred, in which a chap would receive a slight bruise, causing momentary pain, and a good many kicked shins, both of which were productive of mirth and laughter, the customary sympathy for the latter in particular. In this way the time passed rapidly, and before we were aware of it "peas on a trencher" cut short the sport, and we fell in for breakfast. At about half past seven, the clouds cleared away, and we were visited by a bright clear sun, which for a wonder did not make it uncomfortably warm.
At eight o'clock guard mounting took place, and at nine the assembly sounded and as soon
as the line was formed we proceeded to the adjoining field, formed hollow square and prayer was offered by the Chaplain.
[The Company in luck again]
The Regiment were then drilled in battalion movements, but we (the Company) were dismissed and returned to quarters, where I spent most of the forenoon writing. In an hour or so the Regiment were dismissed, and the time passed quietly until half past twelve, when "roast beef" sounded and we fell in for dinner.
Nothing transpired during the afternoon until four o'clock, when the assembly sounded and the line was formed. The Regiment resorted to the adjoining field for battalion drill, but the Captain took the Company to the shade at the upper portion of the camp, and after ordering us to throw off our jackets, we were drilled skirmishing with the recruits. At
[A new Zouave turns up]
the expiration of something like an hour, we sat down on the grass to enjoy a short rest, and while in this position a Zouave stranger came towards us, dressed in full uniform, and soon became very sociable. His uniform consisted of a dark blue jacket with a superabundance of gaudy yellow trimming, red pants, leggins, sash &c. After a short acquaintance he took a musket from one of the boys, and shew us a novel way of loading and firing sitting. He also went through a number of other fancy movements, in all of which he was very expert. Upon inquiry he proved to be a member of a Zouave organization, belonging to the Brooklyn Regiment opposite. This was the first I knew of another Zouave company so near us.
Of course he soon became quite a favorite. Why shouldn't he, Wasn't he a Zouave? He was a
jolly little fellow (particularly attractive to me on this account,) and invited the whole company to a beer stand close by, to take a glass of beer.
["Honors are easy"]
We were all "in" of course, officers and all, and after the beer was put away, la petite-Zouave didn't like it because we wouldn't let him pay for it. We let one little dutchman (he was a dutchman and two thirds "beard") treat a crowd of sixty? Not much. Such noble generosity was worthy a ------ bigger man. After settling the bill we honored him with a "seven," he responded with three cheers, solitary and alone, and we parted; he to return to his Regiment, while we went for our jackets and joined the Regiment for dress parade.
[Foot ball again]
At half past six we fell in for supper, and immediately after spent an hour kicking foot ball. At half past seven retreat was beaten, and the Band stationed
themselves on the parade, and favored us with some good music for half an hour, drawing a number of spectators into camp. The rest of the evening passed quietly, and at ten o'clock the new inspiriting tattoo was beaten and we fell in for roll call. At taps I turned in.
Saturday July 13th
[The Camp sleep]
It was not often that reveille was omitted in our camp, but such was the case this morning, and most of the Regiment took advantage of the opportunity to indulge in a morning snooze, and it was nearly seven o'clock before any one was astir. Even the Orderly, who was always sure to be out before light, ready to yell "fall in -- form company" as soon as the first tap of the reveille sounded, was on this occasion behind hand with the rest, to our great satisfaction. No one will deny that Charlie was a "tip top feller," but he did have a confounded
bad habit of tumbling out too early in the morning, which we were in hopes he was beginning to correct. I have said it was seven o'clock before we turned out and of course the first thing on the programme was breakfast, for which "peas on a trencher" had already sounded.
It was a damp cool morning, and rain soon commenced falling which continued through the forenoon.
As it was a dull wet day, I expected to have a fine opportunity to write, and had already seated myself for this purpose when I was interrupted by the Orderly, who handed me my detail as Corporal of the guard, and as the "first part of the troop" had already sounded, I laid aside my writing, and had just time to prepare for guard mounting, which took place at eight o'clock.
While the ceremony was taking place Pay Master Usher arrived in camp, but had not passed the line
[The Paymaster arrives, and the boys grow wild]
of sentries before his arrival was telegraphed to every member of the Regiment, who turned out to greet him, and as he proceeded to Head Quarters the air was rent with deafening cheers of welcome. Orders were at once issued for the companies to fall in to be paid off, and all men of the guard not on duty at the time were ordered to join their respective commands. It was a lively scene that followed, delinquents and absentees appeared spontaneously, and all men who had received passes instinctively returned to camp, each company vieing with the rest to be the first in readiness.
["28 dollars! 10 for the uniform!! and 1 for the band!!!"]
When our turn finally came we marched up to the pay table to the tune of "twenty-seven dollars, ten for the uniform, and one for the band," which our boys will remember, these amounts being our assessment, for the new uniform and band.
No duty was required of the Regiment during the forenoon, and considerable
[Wealthy and prodigal]
excitement occurred around the huckster stands, to which places the men resorted as soon as they received their money, and in a short time many a petty vender "sold all out" and went for a new supply. Strict orders were issued to the guard, for the temptation to slip out was rapidly on the increase. Applications for passes were more numerous than ever, every one having some "pressing business" to attend to which they had been obliged to postpone until they were paid off, and which now must be attended to, more particularly since the clouds had cleared away and the weather was quite pleasant again, for it might rain tomorrow. Many were fortunate enough to receive this indulgence and started into the city. At half past twelve "roast beef" sounded and we fell in for dinner, but the tables were not so crowded as usual, many having satisfied their appetites before hand.
[Guard mounting neglected generally]
The formal ceremony of guard mounting, which forms such an important part of the daily routine in the service, and which is so explicitly laid down in the Army Regulations, was often slighted in the Regiment, and passed over in a very unsatisfactory manner, the Officer of the Day who alone was responsible for its faithful performance, generally manifesting little or no desire that it should be otherwise. The review in particular was often shameful, yet was seldom corrected or criticised. Whether this neglect on the part of those whose duty it was to attend to it, was the result of ignornace or carlessness [sic] I cannot say, though the former was most probable. Be the reason what it may, it was not with the sanction or knowledge of the Colonel, for a more careful or thorough man in the instruction of his officers and men, never commanded a Regiment.
Today Capt. Devereux was Officer
of the Day and as the guard passed before him in review, I saw by that peculiar expression of his countenance, so well understood by every member of his company, that some things didn't suit him, and I felt sure that before the day was out, somebody would catch it. But as the Pay Master had already entered the camp, he (the Captain) was no doubt anxious to relieve the old guard as soon as possible, in order that they might rejoin their companies for payment, and therefore suffered us to pass on to the guard quarters, to be brought to account at another opportunity.
[but the Captain who is officer of the Day straightens it out]
Let the Captain alone for that. That opportunity was now come. The "first part of the troop" was sounded, the guard reassembled, and the whole ceremony of guard mounting was repeated. This was indeed commendable in the Captain, and it is perhaps needless to add that it was a great
improvement over the original guard mounting.
[Delinquents, go to the guard house]
The afternoon passed very quietly, and I spent considerable time cleaning my musket. At about five o'clock it clouded up, but very soon cleared away again. At six o'clock the assembly sounded and the line was formed for dress parade, after which the companies were dismissed and returned to their quarters. During the evening reports reached the Colonel that some of the men who had received passes, were abusing their privilege by disorderly proceedings in the city, and some were reported intoxicated. Each man as he returned was therefore required to report in person to Head Quarters, and such as could not give a satisfactory account of themselves, were lodged in the guard tent, and all who returned after tattoo, without the countersign, were treated in the same manner.
[Measured for leggins]
At about eight o'clock a pattern of the leggins belonging to the uniform which we were having manufactured were exhibited as a sample in the Captains tent, by the tailor who had the matter in charge, and most of the boys gave him their measure for them. At ten o'clock tattoo was beaten and all was soon quiet.
Sunday July 14th
It was another cool morning and the sun was hid by a thick veil of clouds. At five o'clock reveille sounded and the companies were prompt in turning out for roll call, after which the various preparations were commenced for the Sunday morning inspection, and the camp presented a lively, busy appearance. I remained at the guard quarters most of the time, for the guard tent was full of prisoners, who had straggled into camp at all hours of the night and more than the usual vigilance was necessary to keep them within the canvass walls.
[Fun at the guard tents -- among a host of prisoners]
It was really amusing to note the various expressions and remarks of these victims, as one by one they peeped out on either side of the tentpole, to see where they were. Some who were just recovering from their nocturnal hallucinations, called for the Corporal of the guard to know what they were arested for, what they had been doing &c. Others produced a pass as a justification of their being "out late," forgetting that all passes were void after retreat and should be replaced by the countersign, while others "wasn't with 'em" &c.
[rough on the Corporal]
To all of which the poor Corporal, though powerless to act was obliged to listen and pass unheeded, much to the dissatisfaction of the unruly prisoners, who instead of giving him the credit for doing his duty, accused him of being "stuckup," "putt'n on airs" &c. and swore they'd break his head as soon as they did get out.
At seven o'clock "peas on a trencher"
sounded, all work was suspended and the companies fell in for breakfast. At eight guard mounting took place and as soon as we were relieved, I commenced putting myself and accoutrements in condition for inspection -- for not even the old guard escaped this important duty -- which occupied me during the next hour.
At ten o'clock the assembly was beaten, and the line was formed on the parade, but we adjourned to the adjoining field which was more commodious, and the companies were each in turn subjected to a close and careful scrutiny of arms, equipments, knapsacks, clothing and general appearance, returning to quarters as soon as they were through with, excepting the company detailed to escort the colors, for which purpose the Band also remained on the ground.
After divesting myself of my
["Fall in to be paid off." We do, lively.]
luggage, I sat down in my tent to write, but had hardly commenced when the Orderly came out of the Captain's tent with orders to "fall in -- form company" to be paid off, which he promulgated in a loud clear voice, placing that peculiar emphasis on the words fall and form so characteristic with him, and repeating it at every step he took. It need not have been repeated at all, for at its first utterance the boys sprang out of their tents, and the Company was formed in short order.
[One months pay and mileage]
The roll was called of course, but no one was absent, and without delay we were marched to the pay table, and were paid each one month's pay, and mileage from Boston to Washington, amounting in the aggregate to something over thirty dollars to each Private, those of higher grade receiving the difference in the pay proper, more. With
the Company, the payment of the Regiment was completed, those companies who were not paid on the previous day, having been paid before us during the forenoon.
[The boys' turn to swell]
Again the huckster and cake stands became the centre of attraction, and a good quantity of the "needful," found its way into the trouser pockets of these happy venders. At half past twelve "roast beef" announced dinner, but not quite so much attention was paid to it as usual, most of the boys prefering to "dine out."
During the afternoon clouds appeared occasionally obscuring the sun and once or twice rain fell, but lasted only for a moment or two each time. We had a great many visitors in camp, but nothing whatever occurred to attract attention. The time was passed in a quiet manner, the boys laying about
the tents and enjoying such luxuries as could be obtained. Reading matter was in great demand, but the stores of the city were all closed and none could be had, for the hucksters didn't deal in the article. The Sunday service was omitted and dress parade also. At half past six we fell in for supper, and in an hour after retreat was beaten, immediately after which the Band played for nearly an hour on the parade, drawing around them the customary audience of citizens and soldiers.
[A pleasant evening for the writer]
During the evening the moon shone beautifully and I obtained permission from the Captain to be absent until tattoo, and in company with Private Smith (Fred) called at the residence of the Methodist preacher, Dennis, on Rock St. where we spent the evening very pleasantly in
the company of the two young and interesting daughters of Mr. D. with whom we had previously become acquainted. At about half past nine we took our leave, sauntered leisurely back, and arrived in camp in season to attend tattoo roll call, after which I turned in.
End of Part second.
I don't know where the first or third parts of the manuscript are located.
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