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

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 1863. Bayonet exercise and target practice.

"Fairfax Station Feb 11th
Capt. Co. H
"Dear Father:

"Having been the recipient of a nice box full of good things from home and in good part from you and Mrs. Fay & Laura I now take the opportunity to express my grateful thanks for you generosity and kindness. Every thing came through safe not a thing was broken. The wine was splendid but the new sugar and honey was best of all. The new sugar took me right off from my feet first time tasting. I think you have beat them all. I also found a nice roll of butter of Mrs. Fays making I guess by the last. 

"I gave one bottle of Raspberry wine to the Col. I liked the wine but it gave me more pleasure to give it to him than drink it myself. I sent it up to him with my compliments and he made a great parade over it. Thought it very nice. I would have like to have given him a taste of the new sugar but it is so good I must keep it myself. He is one of the nicest men in the world. I cannot think of all the presents you sent but I thank you ever so much for all of them.

"My health is very good with the exception of a griping pain occasionally in my bowels. I eat well and feel well otherwise. Perhaps you think I have been eating so many sick things from home but not so for I have only just tasted of them. It will amount to nothing.

"I have been drilling the Co. in bayonet exercise for a few days past and I am awful lame. It is excellent exercise but very hard and fatiguing at first. I wish you could see them paraded and go through the Skirmish & Bayonet Drill. My mind has been almost wholly on Military for the last 4 months and I begin to think I know considerable though I suppose I have hardly begun.

"We are having real good times here--have no picket duty to perform but do a guard duty at the Station also fatigue duty. Aside from this we drill 4 hours per day. 2 hours out of the 4 we shoot at target have a min. time get up quick and strike. One that makes the best shot each day is excused from guard duty when it comes his turn. The rest of the time we drill in Bayonet exercise. We officers have our extra drill a day also a recitation before the Col.

"Suppose you are having some big snows now days are you not? The weather for ...four days past has been beautiful just like spring in Vt. The birds sing beautifully. Weather is very changeable here.

"Herrick is here attending his sick boys he has stayed with me considerable. Albert is getting along well but Russell I fear is not going to get well right off. Love to all. Yours Elmer."  
  E. D. Keyes, Captain, Company H, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of February 11, 1863

No comments:

Post a Comment