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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Monday, November 24, 1862. Disease begins to take its toll.

"Monday 24th The boys are busy building winter quarters." ~ Joseph Spafford, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, November 24, 1862, UVM
"Fort Lyons"
William Henry Jackson
12th Regt. Co.K

"Death has again invaded the circle of our company and has taken one of our best. We miss William Spaulding much. ...He began to lose flesh and strength without any apparently sufficient reasons, and finally went into the regimental hospital; grew better, was placed on guard at a private house near here, where he had the shelter of a roof, caught cold, and died from congestion of the lungs.  His death has cast a shadow over the company, and we ask ourselves, "who will be the next?" One of the line officers of the regiment, Lieutenant Howard of the Northfield company, died in the hospital on Friday, from inflammation of the brain.

"The winter quarters of this regiment are to be long huts, one for a company, made of logs set endwise in the ground, on which a roof of boards will be placed. They make slow progress. The truth is this brigade has a good deal to do. Our regiments have a picket line of six miles to guard, the nearest point of which is five or six miles from camp. They furnish a thousand men daily, in good weather, to dig in the trenches of Fort Lyon. They have to cut the timber for their winter quarters and construct the same, and they have to fill up the interstices of time with drill. If Uncle Sam's $20 a month is not pretty generally earned, so far, in this brigade, some of us are much mistaken.

"We have had four days of rain and I have the facts for an essay on Virginia mud, whenever I get time to write it, and I assure you it is a deep subject.

"The picket service is becoming arduous. The pickets are out 48 hours. At many of the stations no fire is allowed, and especial vigilance is enjoined, so that little sleep can be obtained; and with all precautions there is a chance of meeting a shot from some of the rebel spies and struggling guerrillas who hover around the outer circle of our lines. Saturday night a couple of the boys in our company were thus fired on. Add to these inconveniences the special discomforts of rain and deep mud, and picket service becomes anything but romantic.

"The weather has come off fine, clear and frosty after the storm." ~ G.G. Benedict, pvt., Company C, 12th Regiment, Letter to the Free Press of November 24, 1862 in Army Life in Virginia, 

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