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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Saturday, November 22, 1862. Drilling hard. Picket Tomorrow.

"My Darling Wife,
"It is late Saturday night & I am pretty tired but I must write a few words as I shall be busy to-morrow. It has been pleasant to day after a long rain & I have been drilling hard. I dont think I shall have to go to Harpers Ferry. The Rebels are quite near our front now & may attack us here tho I have but little fear of it. But I think we are needed here about as much as any where. There is a large force about Washington, half as many as Burnside has I think. Heintzelman Slocum & Sigel are about this vicinity and Gov. Curtins Militia near Chambersburg. I would take a contract to put down the rebellion with this force. It is cold to-night. ... I have no war news to write as I hear none. I think Richmond  will be taken soon, i.e. if our folks mean to take it..."  Col. Wheelock G. Veazey, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter to Julia, November 22, 1862. UVM Center for Digital Initiatives 

"Dear Wife,
"It is now Saturday evening after 8 o’clock, and I take two hours time in talking to you, albeit it is through a medium much less satisfactory than I could employ were I seated by one cozy fire place, with a baby on each knee. It does no good, however, to wish for a different state of things just now, so I will not dilate upon a scene that my imagination after, very often vividly pictures.

"We have just had a rain that would credit to an equinoctial and wind about all the time for four days and night, and the night it rained the hardest and the wind blew the fiercest my tent stove would not draw at all, so to keep the tent free from smoke I put no fire and which meant too cold and cheerless.  Everything inside as well as out was damp and disagreeable. Since the rain it has been muddy and oh! such mud.  It sticks to everything. 

"My time is very much occupied in the affairs of my regiment, in drills, disciple, barracks, food, hospital, etc, and all the available balance save writing an occasional letter to the Phoenix, you and a few friends is devoted to the study of tactics. I have been through the “School of the Battalion,” a part of the “School of the Soldier,” and all “the school of the guides” besides understanding all with portion of the “School of the Company.” I have this evening just returned from a regular recitation of all the commissioned officers at the Colonel’s headquarters at which we closed the first book aforesaid.  I design to keep ahead of the major and line officer After finishing the School of the Company, it is proposed that we review the School of the Battalion. I to hear recitation of the right wing and the major those of the left. I have drilled the battalion two afternoons and made it go tolerably well.
"Tomorrow (Sunday morning) I go on picket again as the Field officer of the Day. It is a hard day’s work, and then to conclude with the “rounds” after 12 o’clock at night is when it is pitch dark is not the most interesting performance in the world. But I have made up my mind to do all my duties cheerfully and to the best of my ability which will not only give me expectation as an officer, but it makes what would otherwise often to irksome a pleasant task.

"There is no immediate prospect of my having command of a regiment for Col. Veazey is not likely to be promoted at present. Stoughton is to be our Brigadier General, which suits me as well as Col. Veazey. Stoughton is an excellent tactician and will drill the brigade finely.

"I received the opium in go shape, took one pill of it and was cured thereby with a little dieting of a persistent four days diarrhea and have since been well and smart. Opium is my sheet anchor in such cases. I like your gossiping letters as you call them. They are newsy and exceedingly readable and good.  All these little things from home are just what I want to hear.

"Tomorrow on picket, I shall go within 2 miles of Mt. Vernon. Most of our officer have 
been there but I have no desire to go."  Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter No. 6. November 22, 1862. VHS.

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