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

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21, 1863. Reveille 5 a.m. Botanizing and swimming every day.

"Camp Near Union Mills, VA May 21st, 1863 

"My Dear Wife ... It is about as hot during mid-day as it is at home in July. In consequence of this warm weather our program was last night altered so that today and henceforth it is - Reveille 5 a.m., Breakfast 5:30, Drill 6 to 8; Guard Mounting 8; Dinner 12 m, Drill 5 to 6:30 p.m., dress parade 7, Supper 7:15. Tattoo 8:30 Taps 9:30. I am up at Reveille and often before want my breakfast before 6 o’clock and shall leave the mess unless the colonel and major “come to time” eat hearty, three times a day; go to bed at tattoo and sleep soundly. 

"But a new division order is now in force compelling the Field Officer of the Day to camp out in some central portion of the line to visit the line both night and day. As the line is of miles long over the most intolerable ravines to do all this in the rain and dark is a job that will pretty much use up the twenty four hours, and on two days in succession will add to the task. I had rather be in front along with Hooker, but as you seem to be so much better satisfied I will not complain.

"Lilacs, snowballs, etc, etc, and so on are in full blossom. I found a handful of Ladies slipper a week some and one Jack in the pulpit - Asarum Canadense. The flora of this country is peculiarly rich, richer, than any I know of in New England. ...

"I did not think much of the picture I sent you. It was taken at noon day and was poor. The picture of the horse is good. The same day Houghton took a negative of my tent with me sitting there, from which he proposes to print some pictures.

"There has been daily discussion as to when the time of the nine months men expired, but a general order was read on parade a few days since settling the question that the period was not out until the 23d of July. A conundrum has been circulating in camp “Why is the 2nd brigade like an unborn baby?, which is answered “Because it is in for nine month unless sooner discharged!” 

"There seems to be no earthly danger of our moving away from this spot for the present, nor is there the slightest danger of any considerable number of us seeing a rebel. Our record will be a most unsatisfactory record in every respects." ~ Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letters May 18, 1863. VHS.

Bristoe Station,
Broad & Kettle Run

"Thursday 21st. Taking it very easy indeed. Go in swimming every day in a Run (Broad or Kettle, by name) & tho' not deep we have considerable sport. On night picket to-night. Had an easy time. Diary of Horace Barlow(UVM), 121, Horace Barlow, Pvt., Co. C, 12th Regiment 

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