"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friday, November 14, 1862. Picket Duty

"Picket Duty"
William Henry Jackson
12th Regt., Co.K
Friday my sword, sash, and belt arrived. The belt is a common regulation belt, the best for service, the sword and sash are both very nice. The letter from Gen. Davis forwarding them stated that he hoped to furnish me a pair of pistols from a similar source.  All favors thankfully received. Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter No. 5. November 16, 1862. VHS.

"Friday 14th     Lieut. - of Co. D. who was left back a mile or two with 50 men as a reserve, came about noon & releived the men I posted yesterday. I took the men back to the reserve where I am now stationed, & have got to remain here till we are releived by another Regt tomorrow. The weather is still fine which is very lucky for us. There are 5 other Co’s from the Regt on picket with us. The 12th will releive us tomorrow. I got a good nights sleep last night & shall again to night." ~ Joseph Spafford,  1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, November 24, 1862, UVM

"[T]here has been no mutiny in the Second Vermont brigade in consequence of General McClellan's removal, ... any change that promises more active and efficient service for the army, will have our hearty approval, as a portion of the same. ...

"The picket line our brigade is guarding has been moved out several miles, and now runs about two miles this side of Mt. Vernon. The weather is fine and the spirits of the men good. But they do not take kindly to "fatigue duty" on the trenches. They think they had rather be engaged in chasing or fighting rebels than in "strategy," however important the latter may be in all wars." ~ G.G. Benedict, pvt., Company C, 12th Regiment, Letter to the Free Press of November 14, 1862 in Army Life in Virginia, 62, 70-71 (describing camp life in detail).

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