"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 28, 2012

Friday, November 28, 1862. Plans for a Stockaded house.

"My health is excellent and I suffer less from diarrhea than heretofore, although a ride of 30 to 40 miles a day on picket shakes me up. Now I have to do duty once in three or four days, as there are but two regiment of this brigade in camp. 

"Last Tuesday evening the brigade was called upon for 3 regiments to go to Bull Run at Union Mills about 30 miles from here. They left about 9 o’clock in the evening at an hours’ notice and the rain coming down abundantly. It was pitch dark and unpleasant. Had not the 16th Regiment been on picket at that time we should have been one of the regiment to move. 

"Whether we shall soon go, or stay here all winter, whether those gone will come back here or not are matters that we know nothing more about than you do.

"There is not much of interest to you here. I can only tell you of myself. I am in my tent yet, but shall next week if we remain put me up a stockaded house 24 feet long by 10 wide and the walls 6 feet high. Logs are split and hewn on the inside for six inches to a foot or more in width. A trench is dug in the ground just the size the building is to be, about 18 inches deep and these palisades are stood up on an end faced in, close together and even at the top. The earth is then trod in and banked up on the outside. It will contain two rooms, a sleeping apartment with a board floor 10 by 9 and an anteroom where I shall smoke, hear recitations of officers, etc, 15 by 10. I have proceed old brick for a chimney and shall have a fire place in each room.

"Tomorrow I go out on picket again, and as we establish new lines on account of the late heavy rains I shall be out most of the 24 hours. With my great coat and the vigorous exercise of horseback riding I shall not suffer with cold.

"Speaking of riding, I ride with great confidence now. I can jump an ordinary fence or a ditch five or six feet wide without any difficulty. You would laugh were you to see me galloping over the county, as the sight would be so novel a one for you to behold."   Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter No. 7. November 28, 1862. VHS.

"Friday 28th At leisure all day. Madden & Millain on guard. In P.M. went over to the other camps & got materials & construct-ed a California stove & find it quite comfortable. Opened my 14 ¾ Can of Butter to-day & it is really splendid. It has kept perfectly sweet. No more details at the fort for the present, for we must work on the quarters." ~ Diary of Horace Barlow, 43,  Co. C, 12th Regiment

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