"[A]t 12, I went to the Capital, saw our members of Congress and Senators besides sundry other notables, saw congress opened, heard the President’s message, pas[sed] through and left.
"Among other things and the main occasion of my visit, I went to Brady’s and sat for my photograph of which I am to have a dozen cards-de-visite. I sat and only had the upper half of my body appears without sword belt or sash. To have in full lengths would make the features so small, and the day was raining requiring a long sitting or standing to get an impression that I feared the picture would be worthless full length. I did not stop to see the plate nor get the cards as they could not be printed except in fair weather and work was so driving that several days would lapse before they were done. I shall probably have then by Saturday. This job is for your especial delegation. I shall send 10 of them home and you may dispose of them as you think proper. I propose also by and by to purchase a dozen or so of some of our generals say McClellan, Burnside, Smith, Brooks, Banks, Old Abe and wife, etc, send you I saw some very excellent ones in the city." ~ Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter No. 7(8), December 4, 1862. VHS.
"Camp Vermont, Va. Dec. 1st, 1862
"Again as opportunity presents, l will try to write a few lines to you. We have Just returned from picket for the second time. Tonight we expect that the l4th will be back again tomorrow, though we can't tell anything at all about it.
"The next morning in a Negro house I saw still another sign of civilization in the shape of a parcel of school books from which Young Africa was getting his education. This nig seemed to be quite a Yankee, and owned quite a farm which seemed to be fully as well cultivated and taken care of as those of his white semi-sesesh neighbors.
"The boys formed their likes and dislikes quickly when in contact with the Natives, and if they happened to conclude that a man is sesesh some of them will draw on him just as liberally as possible. Indeed I saw some folks that lived near where we stayed on our picket trip out in the morning counting over their hens. Guess they found them all that morning, though I could not say whether or not they did the next, as I am pretty certain that some of the boys had a meal of chicken during the night.
"As for myself, I got a little short and went to another house and got a few corn cakes with butter and cheese and a good cup of coffee with trimmings all at an expense of only 10 cents. I will say of them that although not quite equal to a good Yankee Johnny cake they tasted very good. Picketing is hungry business. I thought I used to eat some at home, but good gracious, put me out on picket 48 hours and I can eat hard crackers enough to shingle a meeting house and salt pork, raw or roasted, enough to astonish all the hogs in Vermont.
"Baldwin and Alfred have just returned from Washington where they have been during the day, and they say that during the last 24 hours 50,000 men have left the vicinity of Washington for the region of active operations. Yesterday where we were on picket we saw one train of 130 army wagons loaded with supplies for the advancing army. Indeed the whole Army of the Potomac is on the move, not lazily and slowly, but it must be pushing on with a will as though it meant something. But with all this moving we expect to remain where we are to prevent Gen. Casey from getting too much frightened.
"We have got our log houses pretty well along in our regiment and they are certainly more roomy and comfortable than our tents are without being raised from the ground at all. It is almost time for roll call so I will have to adjourn for tonight but will write more tomorrow if I can." ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letterof December 1, 1862.