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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sunday, January 16, 1863. Measles are in Camp

"Camp near Fairfax Courthouse Courthouse

"January 16, 1863 

"Rain again and it rained again all last night but did not wet the roof of our house through so as to leak. I would not wonder if the rainy season had fairly commenced and that we are a permanent fixture here until after mud time. 

"The measles are in camp. There have been twenty or thirty cases of them but they say that they run light. ...I have seen Uncle Joseph again this morning. He thinks he is a little better though not much. He says he has just had such turns at home so I suppose Aunt M. will understand his case better than I can describe it. His tent mates will take good care of him as possible, I guess. He wanted me to say that he had written three letters since January 1st and understood that Aunt had not received any of them. He says he will write again as soon as he feels able. I am well enough myself, have not got the measles yet, though I may have if they take a thorough run through camp.

"In regard to discipline and punishment, I presume you do not think we are all natural fools to be here three months and not know what is allowable and what not. Besides, our officers are not of that class that they take any extra pains to have the boys get into trouble. Our 2nd Lt. Peabody has been promoted to 1st Lt., and we are to have the Sergeant Major for our new 2nd Lt. He is a smart officer and I think we shall like him very well, but what is really wonderful is the fact that Jason Freeman has been appointed 2nd Lt. of the Co. "H" (the Felchville Co.) He was the Colonel's waiter. The boys all hate him so, even though they like Peabody first rate.

"...You ask particularly about our living...so I will tell you what we have had today: in the morning, tea, which I have got so I won't drink, boiled fresh beef and our day's ration of bread, - eleven hard tacks. At noon, all the beans we could eat, which we always season with cayenne; at night, coffee and boiled bacon. Good enough for anybody, wasn't it? And enough of it surely. We have beans about twice a week and rice soup or potatoes the rest of the time. And speaking of soup: our cooks make better soups than you ever did or ever can see unless you have the hard tacks to put in for dumplings. We have some hard and some soft bread, and I had as least have the hard as the soft, although the soft is very good, better a great deal than we got at Brattleboro. And our beef is first rate also. I wish I could send home half a bushel of hard tack as curiosities. John Knights has got so that he sends home recipes for cooking to his wife, and she tries them and calls the result good, yea very good! We are not having as hard a time of it as you imagine, indeed we get along very comfortably and hope that you at home manage to do the same.

"Orlo Fullam has just been detailed to go to the ambulance corps, a good chance for him as he had some difficulty with his feet, which troubled him much about marching.

"The wind is blowing in a style that would not disgrace Vermont, though there is no snow on the ground to sing and whistle about our ears. And the ground was not frozen this afternoon, though it may be before morning. But no more for now." 
~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of January 15, 1863

[ Harland Orlando Peabody,  Andover, VT, age 23, 1SGT, Co. C, 16th VT , comn 2LT, Co. C, 10/23/62 , promoted 1LT, Co. H, 12/31/62 (1/7/63), promoted Adjutant, 4/1/63 (4/23/63).]

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