"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 17, 2012

November 17, 1862. Part of the Thirteenth goes out on picket.

"One day is like the other-for drills and little guarding; but all are busy, building the barracks. These are ninety-four by fifteen feet for each company. "A lodge of ample size." Each company builds its own, made of oak logs, which are plastered between with mud, and the covering is dirt, They are also backed up. There are several partitions in each, and in each room quite a large fireplace. They all run parallel with a street a rod wide. This is the plan, but slowly the work progresses, for we have but few axes; some chop down the trees; others split them, and still others draw them to the spot." 

"On the 17th two hundred and fifty are detailed as pickets, to remain two days on the line. They start of with guns, equipments, blankets and haversacks. The camp is quite lonely, and there are a thousand rumors-a few more than usual. Now we are going farther South; now a great battle is raging somewhere, sometime we, and then the foe are routed; now our army will winter around Richmond, then it will go into winter quarters on the Potomac; now England will recognize the South at once; and finally the coming Congress will compromise the whole thing. They came back on the 19th, and while the afternoon away, in telling how they made their houses of cedar boughs; how they stopped every body unless they had a pass, and sent them back muttering; how this one chased a rebel cow, and filled his canteen with milk; how this one made a visit to a rebel hen-roost, and had a chick for supper; and how Tom cried "Halt" three times in the dead of night, and "in a half second more would have fired his gun, when an old horse turned and shows the foe had four feet." ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864)

No comments:

Post a Comment