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

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tuesday, December 2, 1862. Building winter quarters; Signs of the Advancing Army

"Tuesday and Wednesday, I went into the woods and cut the timber for my winter quarters and drew it to camp for which purpose I detailed a dozen men. Next week I shall put the building up. It is to be 26 feet long inside by 10 wide, and 6 feet 4 inches high, divided into two apartments, one for my private quarters 10 feet by 10, the other about 10 by 16. A chimney between with a fire place to each. My bedroom will be floored, have a window, and if needs be I shall attach a private privy on the rear side. I can build a bed of boards, of the ordinary width, box style and fill it with straw which will be quite comfortable. I have two large blankets that I borrowed from the Quartermaster’s supplies. A pair of nice ones that I bought some time since costing $10, the two white ones from home that do duty as sheets, my shawl, rubber blanket and great coat and caps. So you see that I sleep quite comfortable." Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter No. 7(8),  December 4, 1862. VHS. 

"Tuesday eve, Dec. 2, 1862: We have just been at work all day building a doghouse for ourselves and have got the walls up and the roof covered so we can stay in it for the night. We are to have it chinked and plastered with Virginia mud but we haven't had time to do that today, so we have hung up our shelter tents against the wall to keep out the wind. We have got the whole construction of the affair planned except the pantry, and as we are going on picket again tomorrow morning we will take that along temporarily, and adjourn the discussion about its final construction until we get back again.

"Perhaps you would like to know how I get along with my washing. Well! Sometimes I do it myself but there is a family of nigs that live not more than 20 rods from our tent and the last time I got them to do it for me, price 18 cents for 3 articles: shirt, undershirt, and drawers, and I don't see but that I shall have to get them to do it again, as I shall be quite busy for several days in picketing and fixing our house." ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of December 1, 1862.   

Meanwhile out on Bull Run the 13th, 14th & 15th continue their picket:

"December 2. It is conjectured that the object for which we come here, is to guard this section of the country, during the passing of an ammunition train, which is being sent to Fredericksburg. A baggage train of three miles in length has passed here today. A number of prisoners have been captured by our pickets and brought into camp, supposed to be spies, and have been sent to headquarters. We have plenty of picket duty to perform here. Our pickets extend up Bull Run Creek and meet those of the 13th and 15th regiments, which are encamped at Union Mills, six miles distant." ~ J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp 42 (1864)

"Dec. 2. Once more on picket for twenty four hours. Our company is on once in three days. The sun shines, but the wind blows cold and chilly." ~Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment

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