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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Saturday, December 6, 1862. A cold, stinging morning. The Brigade united.

"Saturday 6th. I forgot to say that just after it cleared up the moon shone very brightly & one could almost read by its light, but soon it began to grow dark & at first we were at a loss to conjecture the reason but soon discovered that an eclipse of the moon was in progress. It was total at 2 A.M. this morning, & remained so till 3 when it began to move off. Then I went to bed & so knew no more.

"This morning it is clear & cold. By a thermometer in camp it was 15° only, above zero. On again at 6 P.M. & found the little shelter we had had the night previous had been destroyed & though I built a fire, we would have frozen if it had not been for the next post where we went to get warm many times. There was a nice shelter there & a fire in it & so perfectly protected from the cold. I did not watch my beat for rebels, by any means."   ~  Diary of Horace Barlow, 47,  Co. C, 12th Regiment

"[Saturday the 6th] many are fed by the other regiments. Col. Veazey gave me thirty loaves of bread. With these under my arm, I start for the camp, half a mile away, where we had left our guns and knapsacks the night before, and where all are to collect. On these the company breakfast. The storm has ceased; the snow is melting under a warm sun; but the camp ground repels one from it. It looks not unlike a field of ruins,-a stack of low chimneys here; a pile of logs there; hard tack boxes, pork barrels, bunks, some covered with straw, some with browse, some partly torn down.  But by ten o'clock the tents are on the ground, and before night are all up on the old sites, cleaned as best we could. The boxes, containing our Thanksgiving supper, arrive; and, reader, I need scarce tell you that hard tack and pork does not form the supper... .

"[I]f curiosity prompts you to call into our little mansion six feet square, the roofs of which come down to the ground, you would doubtless be invited to take a seat on the wood pile. ... We six live in this tent very finely-a good one it is, never leaking unless it rains furiously; three of us old school mates; four of us republicans, one an abolitionist and one a war democrat. So we never have occasion to quarrel, only differing a little as to the slowness of swiftness of Mr. Lincoln in beating the rebels; not caring whether he does it by white men, or niggers, or by both."  ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864)

"We are back again on our old camp ground, and where I hope we shall stay through the winter. It really seems like home here. Our movements to the front did not amount to much, as far as I can see, but I do not profess to know the object of it. ... By noon to-day the boys were all in, and at the time of noting this (five o'clock in the afternoon) the tents are all pitched. ... I do not think we shall move again this winter."  J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp, 44, 46(1864)

"Saturday. A cold, stinging morning. Our regiment was reported in quarters to-day, and the regiment are feeling pretty gay about it." Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment.

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