Diary of Edward Snow Foster, v. 1: Aug. 10, 1862 (Verona, N.Y.) - Dec. 28, 1862 (Fort Baker, D.C)

Diary of Edward Snow Foster, v. 1: Aug. 10, 1862 (Verona, N.Y.) - Dec. 28, 1862 (Fort Baker, D.C)


Verona N.Y. (New York) [Verona, New York]

Sunday, Aug. 10 1862

Over the last two or three weeks I have thought of nothing but the war and going to the war.

Not that I had any doubts of going during that time, but as to where I should go; in what company and with what troops. I finally decided to go with Charley Pollard [Pollard, Charley] and with Lieutenant Brigham [Brigham (Lieutenant)] and Capt. Alain White [White, Alain (Captain)].

I made up my mind very coolly, I think, and under no excitement what ever. I looked it all

through, the danger to health, morals and life itself. I know I should have to stand on guard in the rain and then have no change of clothes; that I should have to sleep on the ground many nights, wet and cold without any covering; that I should be exposed to deadly fevers and other camp diseases; that I should constantly have the company of a great many rowdy and loafers, which is not very pleasant to say nothing of its influences; and
that I should be constantly exposed to death when in the enemy. After thinking of these things for more than a year before I enlisted I decided to go. Consequently I don't think I go from excitement or pleasure much less for the bounty. I go simply and solely because I ought to go; somebody has got to go; I can go better than a great many others.

On last Tuesday I went out to Vernon (Vernon, New York) [Vernon, New York] and enlisted and was sworn into the

United States [United States] service. Charley Pollard [Pollard, Charley] enlisted the next day. On Wednesday I received word that the company would go to Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] on Thursday and be mustered in. They were going in wagons and I was to be at Mr. Pollard [Pollard (Mr.)]'s and Charley [Charley] and I were to join them when they came along. They were to be there at ten o'clock. I started for Mr. Pollard [Pollard (Mr.)]'s a little before nine and got there a little before ten. We took some lunch and waited for their appearance. We did wait too, for they didn't arrive
till nearly twelve o'clock.

I thought if that was the way our army moved in general there was a good reason why McClellan [McClellan] didn't reach Richmond (Richmond, Virginia) [Richmond, Virginia] . We could hear them hurrah before they were any where near us; evidently in the very best of spirits.

As we jumped into one of the wagons three rousing cheers were given us and on we went to Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] with flags flying and hands playing. On the way the little boys hurrahed and drummed on tin pans, the men hurrahed from the hayfields pretty girls and old women

waved their handkerchiefs. We hurrahed back, three cheers for every man, woman and child that we saw; and a noisy time we had all the way there.

We arrived at Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] about two or three o'clock, and went directly to the campgrounds. We then marched in two ranks to meet that part of our company already there. After getting in order Mr. Jenkins [Jenkins (Mr.)] introduced Capt. White [White (Captain)] to us who said he never made speeches and so I concluded he was a man of action. I hope he is any way. He is

an oldish man, as much as fifty certain, with gray hair and whiskers, large blue eyes, very long slightly roman nose and thin grim lips. Of medium stature and somewhat thick set.

From what little I saw of him that day I think I shall like him. We sat down on the ground and waited for the surgeons to come and examine us.

While waiting for him our rations were prepared and we marched down to the eating house (a rough board building) to eat them.

We were then examined

by the surgeon and all were pronounced sound.

Then, as we all stood with right arms raised we swore to support President Lincoln [Lincoln (President)] and to support him against all oppressors whomsoever; and I for one will do it, come what may. The Capt. then ordered us down to the Seymour House [Seymour House] where our papers were made out and signed. Shortly after he gave me a furlough until Wednesday Aug. 12 when I am to report for duty.

I rode home in the same wagon that I went

in, but as most of them stayed, it was a more silent ride than when we went.

Today is my last Sunday at home, and a beautiful day it is. The sky seems clearer and truer than it has for many days.

The light fleecy clouds are all moving into the south unllemate of our armies. It doesn't seem as though I was going to war; in fact, the nearer the time comes the cooler I am.

Camp Huntington, Rome [Camp Huntington, Rome, New York]

Friday, Aug. 15,1862

After unloading a load of hay Wednesday morning, I took the nine o'clock train for Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] .

Spent the forenoon in the village in getting a few little necessaries. Reported myself at camp and lay around all afternoon, when our company moved from the tents to the barracks. The barracks consist of long rough board buildings with these tiers of bunks on each side. Each bunk holds two sometimes three. We sleep on straw, each man

rolling himself in his blanket. On Thursday we drilled an hour in the morning, an hour just before dinner and dress parade at night. We received our uniforms during the afternoon but we had to wait, wait, wait, before we could them. They consist of dark blue pants dark blue dress coat and dark blue caps. Gray shirts and "Gumboat shoes". Our dining is very good. Boiled beef, potatoes coffee and some bread in morning. Same afternoon with beets, occasionally.

Bread and butter and tea

at night. Altogether I have easier times and better living than I expected. At present, everything is so well organized that things about go as smooth as I should like to see them but while they go very well.

Camp Huntington, Rome [Camp Huntington, Rome, New York]

Aug. 18, 1862

Last Friday I had an invitation to attend a festival in Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] village for the benefit of the soldiers. With some hesitation I concluded to go, for I didn't feel very well and so I applied to Capt. White [White (Captain)] for a furlough till the next day noon. He didn't like to grant one because our company was already pretty well thinned out by the number he had lately granted, but he finally did, and Charley [Charley] and I started for Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] on the seven o'clock train.

I didn't feel well any of

the way there and by the time I had got there I was just as good as sick. I stood it long enough to get a little sight of acquaintances and then I ordered a bed and went and laid down for the night. I had cold chills the fair part of the night though I slept very well most of the time. The next morning I felt worse; drank a cup of tea and took the nine o'clock train for Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] . I went to Doctor Papes [Papes (Dr.)] to get some brandy, for I had the diarrhea. But he fixed me up
some Chloride of Opium. It didn't help me much. After I got to the campground Lieutenant Brigham [Brigham (Lieutenant)] gave me some Bourbon Whiskey and pepper.

The next morning the surgeon gave me some pills and among them all I got some better. I felt mean all the time besides being so that I couldn't drill. Some curse the food as the cause of it and I presume very likely it is, but more the change from what we have had than the unwholesomeness of the food itself. Yet I think myself that

some of the food is not as good as it ought to be. Most of the boys we probably have to have it before they get used to camp life. In fact there's a good many of them got it now.

The camp is pretty well thinned out for after tomorrow (Monday) no more furloughs will be granted, and so everybody that could, has improved the opportunity.

Camp Huntington, Rome [Camp Huntington, Rome, New York]

Thursday Aug. 21, 1862

On Monday morning the camp was all excitement with the discovery that a man had hung himself in one of the trees that stands in the campground. It appears that a man by the name of Richard [Richard], from Deerfield [Deerfield], had enlisted in Capt. White [White (Captain)]'s company while drunk, and after getting sober he got sick of it and tried to run the guard. Not succeeding, he hung himself in a tree that stood at the head of our company barracks. Tuesday we received our advance pay and bounty

from the United States. In the afternoon we went out on dress parade to see the sword presentation to Capt. Brown [Brown (Captain)] and his inferior officer.

The next day we had another dress parade at which Col. Rease [Rease (Colonel)] made a speech to his captains.

It is the first chance I have had to see Col. Rease [Rease (Colonel)] so as to examine him any. He is rather a youngish man scarcely thirty-five, very keen black eyes; eyes that can look a man right thru

at a glance. His features are quite regular and smooth, with a small mouth, which is commonly drawn up a little. He is quite small in stature, scarcely over five feet, and is altogether a firstly good specimen of a man and a first rate specimen of a Col. He appears to be man that calculates to be minded the first time he orders a thing.

By what few orders he has issued I guess he will be pretty strict, which is just what he ought to be. I think I shall like him

very much, and I hope they won't promote him as they did Capt. White [White (Captain)].

This afternoon we did a dress parade at which orders were read commanding us to leave Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] for the seat of the war on Friday Aug. 22, every to have his canteen filled with water, which are to be examined just before we start and if any are found filled with whiskey or other spirits, it is to be emptied on the ground. So much for Col. Rease [Rease (Colonel)]'s temperance principals. Altogether I have had as

good a time at Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] as I expected.

Our rations were unsuitable at times, but as a general things we could not complain.

In Camp at Lemallvtown [Lemallvtown]. five miles from Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia]

Wednesday Aug. 27, 1862

Our orders for marching were that we should leave the camp at precisely eleven o'clock and march down to the depot where we were to take a special train at twelve o'clock.

After marching around, and arranging and rearranging the companies, we finally got into marching order and started for the depot at half past twelve o'clock.

The night before we started it was ordered that no one should be permitted to enter the grounds the next day.

As a consequence that outside of the camp ground was one dense mass of people, to see the regiment start.

We shouldered our knapsacks and marched down in four ranks to the railroad. Both sidewalks were completely covered with people who were eager to get a last look and to say the last word to acquaintances and friends; while everyone waved handkerchiefs and cheered as we passed by.

It was quite a warm day, with a good deal of dust, and as we had never had our knapsacks on before we were

rather sweaty and tired by the time we reached the cars. We had only just got seated when it commenced to rain and such a rain I seldom, if every saw.

The immense crowd that surrounded the cars scattered in about two seconds or less, but as they were not prepared there was a good many wet folks that afternoon.

After waiting about half an hour for the baggage to be loaded aboard and the guards to be stationed we our to be started, at half past one. So much for the precision and perfect accordance

with orders that the officers said we were going to have.

All the way from Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] to Albany (Albany, New York) [Albany, New York] at each station, large or small, the folk waved flags and handkerchiefs; while we answered them by waving our handkerchiefs from the car windows; and it must have been a nice night, for just what I could see of it while we were turning a corner, was a pretty good night.

The country along the way was altogether different than what I expected it would be. For a little ways above Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] there was low mucky flats, back of which lay a

low ridge which gradually approached the railroad as we went on. The houses for the most part of the way lay on the right and as I sat on the left of the cars I didn't have much of a chance to see them. What little I did see of them didn't impress me much in favor of the inhabitants. The fields on the left appeared to be well fenced and generally well taken care of. After we passed Utica (Utica, New York) [Utica, New York] , the hills had approached so near the railroad that there was but very little view in the distance.

At Little Falls [Little Falls] they had

changed into solid rocks with nearly perpendicular faces.

All the way to Albany (Albany, New York) [Albany, New York] , on the left especially, we could see nothing but hills, with occasionally a little house at the foot of them. On the right was the Mohawk, which along its upper part was nothing but a muddy ditch while its lower was a decent creek.

We arrived at Schenectady (Schenectady, New York) [Schenectady, New York] just at dark and consequently did not see any more of the country the rest of the way to Albany (Albany, New York) [Albany, New York] .

We arrived at Albany (Albany, New York) [Albany, New York] some time between ten and eleven o'clock and marched by the

Delevan House [Delevan House] and down to the boats, where we were told they would have a supper ready for us. After some waiting we got on board the steamer Syracuse (Syracuse, New York) [Syracuse, New York] and its two barges; but the supper was not forthcoming and as we contented ourselves with some bread and ham that we had brought with us.

We then lay down on the decks and tried to sleep; but we were so thickly cramped together that it was not of much use.

Just as soon as anything could be seen I went out on the prow of the vessel

and sat down on my knapsack to see the scenery of the far found Hudson. We were all day on the river and I saw most of the renowned sights; but it is of no use to try to describe them for they far surpass my power of delineation.

We arrived at Jersey City (Jersey City, New Jersey) [Jersey City, New Jersey] a little before sunset, so that I had a chance to see what little of New York (New York, New York) [New York, New York] , that could be seen from the river. That little gave me a considerable of an impression as to its size and magnificence.

Leaving Jersey City (Jersey City, New Jersey) [Jersey City, New Jersey] on a special train we traveled till nearly three o'clock in

the morning when we crossed the ferry into Phil. (Philadelphia) [Philadelphia] and after waiting in the street till about five for some of the regiment that was left behind we marched to the Union Volunteers Saloon [Union Volunteers Saloon] and partook of a breakfast prepared for us by the ladies of Phil. (Philadelphia) [Philadelphia]

It was a breakfast such as we were not in the habit of having. The prepared articles of food were good bread and butter, thick beef and ham, beets, tomatoes, green corn and coffee with plenty of white sugar. It seemed more like what we got at home than was


Waiting, as usual, for things to be got ready for us we finally started on the Phil. (Philadelphia) [Philadelphia] and Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland) [Baltimore, Maryland] railroad for the latter place. That railroad is a shame to any civilized community. Every little ways we had to swerve off to let a train pass, or for some other unknown reason. At every stop, the boys jumped off to get the blackberrys and peaches that grew by the side of the road.

At Hearse de Grace [Hearse de Grace] the cars were seen onto the ferryboat and then taken across without us leaving the train; which

to me was quite a novel sight.

The country along the route is of the meanest kind, especially that nearest Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland) [Baltimore, Maryland] .

It seems as though the people didn't care whether they had good farms or not.

The houses were, for the most part, little, one-storied whitewashed buildings of the meanest kind. The dooryards were of the lowliest kind and the fences were half rotted down. Pigs and cows were in the road or the lot as they saw fit.

In fact I never saw such a miserable country anywhere I have been.

Verona (Verona, New York) [Verona, New York] is a perfect paradise to it, the meanest houses there being palaces side of those near Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland) [Baltimore, Maryland] .

We arrived at Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland) [Baltimore, Maryland] just before sunset and waited, as usual, for something to be done or found out.

We finally started on a march through the city and passed through some of the finest streets of the place.

It was the first city of any size that I ever passed through and it was something of a sight. After partaking of a first rate supper prepared by the Baltimoreans, we went on board some freight cars

and started for Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] , just night. I hadn't had much sleep since I left Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] and not being used to traveling I was somewhat tired; so I sat down on my knapsack and laid my head on a rough board to sleep.

When I woke up we were in Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] and as it was only about three o'clock we marched to the "Soldiers Best" and slept the rest of the night.

I got up pretty early in the morning so as to see a little of the Capital [Capital] before we were ordered to move on.

We were ordered to be ready for a march at a moments notice and so I didn't have much peace in looking around, but we made out to go over the Capital Building [Capital Building] pretty thoroughly.

A more miserably building on the outside or a more nice looking building on the inside, I have never seen; yet both assertions need qualifying. I presume the principal reason it looks so bad on the outside is, that it isn't finished.

All the old rubbish has lain there, I should think, ever since they commenced

to fix it over, and every day adds to it. But still there is a good deal that is unnecessary, such as old pigpens and other old buildings.

In fact there is a great deal that is a shame of Congress.

As to the inside, there is a great deal that is very nice while at the same time there is a great deal that is out of trash.

The oil paintings of the dome, of which there are eight, are done by first class painters and are splendid things. The principal ones that I mentioned were, the Launching

of the Pilgrims, The Discovery of the Mississippi, The Surrender of Yorktown, The Portrait of Washington and several other pictures of noted American events. I was perfectly satisfied with the dome and its decorations with the exception of the center column that supports the roof.

They were nothing but rough hewn logs painted white. It seams as though they were rather more rough looking than was necessary.

The marble staircases that led to the senate and representatives hall were about the nicest thing that I saw; but to sit

off against those, were the decorations of the hall that led to the committee rooms, which to my notion were greatly out of taste.

We had just finished a hurried look when we were ordered to shoulder knapsacks and start on our march.

A part of our company, of which I was one, were detailed as rear guard, and as we were to pick up all stragglers and carry backpacks all that gave out by the way, we were allowed to put our backpacks in the baggage wagons. We first marched to Long Bridge [Long Bridge] and after

arriving there lay down on the ground for about two hours. While we were there on of the boys in Capt. Brown [Brown (Captain)]s company in fooling with his shooter accidentally shot it off; the ball passing through the neck of one of the other boys.

For some unknown reason we did not cross the bridge but turned around and marched back through Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] to Lennallytown [Lennallytown], a distance of some six miles.

The day was so hot and the roads so dusty that

it was somewhat of a march for some of the boys, especially those that had been sick.

For the first few miles I had it quite easy but they soon commenced dropping out so fast that I soon had as much to carry, if not more, than I had had my knapsack, but I went through and though somewhat tired I was in as good spirits when I got there as when I started. It was Monday Aug. 25 when we arrived there two days after leaving Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] .

Fort Pennsylvania, D.C. (Washington D.C.) [Fort Pennsylvania, Washington, District of Columbia]

Tuesday Sept. 2, 1862

For the last week there has been so much excitement and marching back and forth, that I can hardly keep track of the scores of camps as they succeed one another.

The first two nights that we were at Lennallytown [Lennallytown], we rolled ourselves in our blankets and slept on the ground; for our tents, as usual, were behind hand. I never slept better nor felt better in the morning than I did those two nights; in fact, camping out in such weather as we then had is nothing but fun.

We have plenty of music to

put us to sleep, for we were then encamped in an oak wood, and every night millions of beasts and katydids made the camp vocal with their music.

After staying the two days the tents finally came, but as the regiment that was there before us used sibley tents and ours were wedge ones, we had to dig the ground all over again: and moreover as there had been several regiments there before us the ground was somewhat hard which made some tough work.

On Wednesday night, Aug. 25, we slept in our tents

for the first time, but as we had not got our full allowance we had to sleep six in a tent, and I didn't pass a very comfortable night; sleeping out of doors was paradise to it. The next day we smoothed off our streets and arranged everything for a good long stay.

The officers too had their tents pitched and baggage unpacked, so that we had every reason to believe that we should stay there sometime and drill.

About two o'clock the next night we were started out by the Lieutenant who

ordered us to be ready for a march, bag and baggage in less than a minute, for the "devil was to pay" as he said. We were ready in a very short time but it was somewhat more than a minute.

Five rounds of cartridges were distributed and we started on a march, no one knew where, at least, none of the privates. But one thing was certain, that we should probably see fighting, for the Major said that we might expect warm work.

We marched till day light through some of the queerest country that I ever saw.

They don't to calculate to have bridges over common creeks such creeks as we have at home, at least, for every one we passed that might be forded, but as there was generally plenty of stepping-stones we passed ourselves dry-shod.

The roads passed through ravines in which it was impossible for teams to pass each other; and through woods dense and dark that one involuntarily thought of guerillas though there was no possibility of any being there. The roads were so rough and stony that it was a common

thing to see some one fall.

We finally reached Chain Bridge [Chain Bridge], where we found out that it was expected that the body of rebel cavalry that made the raid on Manassas (Manassas, Virginia) [Manassas, Virginia] a few days ago, would attempt to cross the bridge and make a descent upon Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] ; hence our sudden march.

After getting in position ten more rounds of cartridges were distributed and we were told that when the order came to fire that after the first round each man was to load and fire at will just as fast as

he could.

The next move was to an advance, who used it to the other side of the bridge and tore up the planks while at the same time there was a mine placed under the other part, so that it could be blown up if there was any probability of their passing. In a short time there was several shooters placed on the bluffs above us commanding the entire bridge and also the bluffs on the opposite side of the river. Several other regiments soon arrived and crossed to the opposite side, a few planks being laid down for

the purpose.

We waited for the appearance of the enemy till nearly noon; when the cannon being properly placed we were ordered back to camp at Lennallytown [Lennallytown], which we reached about two o'clock.

The distance from Lennallytown [Lennallytown] to Chain Bridge [Chain Bridge] is about four miles, nothing of a march, though a good many complained because they thought it was all foolishness in going; but I have enough faith in our general to be perfectly satisfied.

I was greatly surprised at what I saw of the Potomac.

It didn't seem as though it had a right to be called a river, for it wasn't wide enough, I don't believe, for the smallest canal boat to sail in. It was of a deep green color, indicating some depth, I heard some one say that it was fifty feet at that place. Altogether I was greatly disappointed, though I was told by a resident, while on the way, that it was the narrowest place on the whole river.

We had scarcely got our accurterments off and taken a little lunch when we were again ordered to get ready for another

march. Some of the company went off for duty somewhere and we haven't seen them since. Three of the companies, of which ours was one, were marched a little below camp into the edge of the woods where we formed a barricade of fallen trees, so as to protect us from the charge of cavalry.

After detailing ten men from each company for picket duty to give us notice of their approach we lay down on our arms close behind the barricade and waited for them to come on. Col. White [White (Colonel)]

was in command and he told us to pick out our man and then be sure to hit him. We lay there the rest of that day and the night following but no enemy made their appearance.

In the morning the pickets were relieved by others, of which I was one. We went out about three and a half miles toward the Potomac and staid all day, that is, from six in the morning till nine at night.

While we were there we confiscated apples and peaches though the latter wasn't good for anything. But as we

had the fun of confiscating them that was enough. We went back to the ambush and lay on our arms that night and as there was a rather heavy dew we were somewhat damp in the morning. It soon loaded up and commenced raining. We staid there in the rain about three hours when we were ordered to shoulder knapsacks and march to Fort Pennsylvania [Fort Pennsylvania] about a mile distant.

When we got there we found our tents had been pitched for us, but not until after it had commenced raining

so that they were wet and muddy on the bottoms.

We made out to keep decently comfortable in them till the rain was over when we swept out the mud and dug trenches around them so that they we considerably better. then went about a mile, as did one from each of the other tents, and bought a good bundle of straw for ten cents, which we spread over the bottom of the tent.

We got everything all arranged and were expecting a good nights rest when we were ordered into line, where we found our company

had been detailed as pickets.

We started off immediately and arrived at our posts about nine o'clock at night, some four miles from the fort.

It was Sunday Aug. 21, but it wasn't much like the Sundays that I spent at home. We were on duty that night and the following day; our rations being brought to us, but not very regularly.

However, as there was a small grocery opposite my post, and a corn field and blackberry lot near at hand, besides the market

wagons constantly going by, loaded with apples and peaches, I managed to have a very pleasant time; especial as we were allowed to search all wagons for concealed arms.

A very pleasant time, I say well we did till just before night, when it commenced to rain and it rained hard.

We had a few boards laid on the fence which we staid under, that kept off most of the rain, but we were relieved in about two hours and then we marched back the four miles to the fort in as hard a thundershower as I ever saw in York state [New York].

I had a good thick overcoat that kept my shoulders dry, but my head, feet and legs were sopping wet.

We got back to camp just after dark and I crept into my tent, pulled off my shoes and stockings and went to sleep in a rather wet condition.

During the night a heavy wind rose and blew over some of the tents, leaving the poor fellows in them in a rather bad condition, but I believe most of them found a place in some other tent.

I had a rather shivery night but a warm breakfast with a hot cup of coffee set me to feeling all right.

This morning we are ordered to have everything packed so as to be ready to march at noon. So much for our long stay at Fort Pennsylvania [Fort Pennsylvania].

During Saturday while we were on picket I heard heavy and continuous firing in the direction of Manassas (Manassas, Virginia) [Manassas, Virginia] ; a great heavier the residents said, than that of Bull Run (Bull Run, Virginia) [Bull Run, Virginia] .

It was a low heavy sound like the roll of distant thunder. There was evidently a great battle going on somewhere.

It afterward turned out to be the great battle, near Manassas [Manassas, Virginia], between nearly the whole of both sides.

I haven't yet heard the name of it.

During our marches and picket duty, I have had some opportunity to see the country about Lennallytown [Lennallytown], for some four or five miles in different directions: and I must say that I should think no man could conceive of a meaner country.

The first thing that one notices is its meanness. You are either going up

a hill or down a hill all the time; and most always there is a creek at the foot of the hill which has to be forded for they seldom if ever have a bridge.

In fact, I haven't seen a bridge, except over some river, since I have been here, and I have seen a good many brooks, some quite large ones, too.

The roads are the roughest I ever saw; there being enough stones in them to build a stonewall on both sides. Yet there is a good many that there isn't a stone in it being all sand.

Another thing that you soon notice is the great quantity of wood. It seems as though two thirds of the land was covered with woods. Half of the roads exctom pass through heavy woods or else open and shrubby land. The principal kinds are oak, chestnut, walnut, tulip, cedar, and what I call serul pine. The later is quite plenty and heals a poor soil, I believe.

At any rate the soil is what I call very poor though the corn is nearly twice as tall as ours. I don't think it is because the soil is

any better, but rather the climate and kind of seed. Wild peaches are quite common though they are generally good for nothing to eat.

Cultivated ones are also common and are very much subjected to confiscation.

The houses as a general thing are of the meanest kind; being for the most part as they were long the Phil. (Philadelphia) [Philadelphia] and Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland) [Baltimore, Maryland] railroad, little one-storied, whitewashed things of the shabbiest structure.

Everything about them indicates the total want of neatness in their owners.

The hogs have the range

of everything from the farm yard to the cornfield. I have some doubts about calling them hogs, but if they are they are of the pure "racri" breed. The fences are almost invariably of post and rail with some board ones.

I don't mean to say that all are of the above type, for I have seen some very good houses that appear to be well taken care of, say as good as the average in Verona. Yet the generality of them are poor miserable things. Some appear

inclined to lay it to the war and its effects: but I don't think it is all that, by any means.

They appear to one to be a naturally rather lazy and indecent people.

Fort Franklin MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Friday Sept. 3

We were ready for marching at noon of last Tuesday but as usual we had to wait three or four hours before we got started. It was no fault of the privates however for they had every thing packed by 12 o'clock.

After getting in line we loaded our guns and made ready for a fight. The Col. Telling us to load and fire at will and "lam unto them as fast as we could".

It was nearly four o'clock when we started so we

had a good deal cooler march than if we had started at noon.

After marching some two or three miles through the woods and over roads rough enough to break any thing but an army wagon we reached Fort Alexandria [Fort Alexandria]. Here we lay down on the ground with our knapsacks on and waited for further orders. We had lain there but a few minutes when we were ordered to Fort Franklin (Fort Franklin, Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland] but a few miles distant. We had just time enough to

reach there and pitch our tents helter skelter before dark. Our supper was not forth coming but one of my tent chums managed to confiscate a loaf of bread so we got along very well.

For the last week our rations have been rather fickle in their appearance at stated times. But I hear that we shall stay here some time so we shall probably have them a little more regular. I hope so at any rate for it isn't very pleasant to depend on

chance for such an important thing as rations.

The next morning I was detailed as one of the pickets. We went about two miles into the woods and as we were in the vicinity of the Secessionists we were ordered to shoot every rebel we saw, if we knew them to be such. Two being placed on a post they relieved each other and so had quite a pleasant time.

During the day two of the boys went on a foraging expedition.

They went about two miles and found a good place I guess for they came back with their haversacks filled with the nicest kind of peaches and apples, green corn was also very plenty I should think by the way it was brought in. I contented myself with milking the cows that run in the woods.

There was some three or four of them and as they were milked by all the pickets some four or five times a pier I guess the owner did not get much milk half might.

Picketing during the daytime and picketing at night is two different things. In the night we are not allowed to build fires or light matches we had to keep on the alert that night and as it was moonlight and the woods were rather open. There was a good many that thought they saw or heard (for there were cows in the woods) someone. However I believe they all got back safe in the morning. When we arrived at the Fort we found that

our tents had been struck and pitched anew in reqular order, and I heard that the Col. said that we might as well make ourselves as comfortable as possible, for we should probably stay here all winter. Before night we were ordered out and told that we must not leave our company streets; and that we must sleep with our shoes on and our guns within arms reach, as we were likely to be called on any minute. We were not called on, however, and as there were orders read last night to regulate our drills
and other and other duties, there is good reason to suppose that we shall stay here.

Thus far we have not drilled at all, to speak of, but we are now to drill three times a day, an hour and a half at each time.

Today I am on guard at the Fort and I begin to think I am of some consequence; as every officer from a First Lenient ant to Col. touches his hat to me as he passes in.

The guards serve two hours on and four off, for twenty-four hours; so that as far as sleep is concerned they have

a great deal better time than the pickets.

Sleeping at the post is quite a common thing. There is five in the guard-house, already, on that charge; and I hear that there is three more to be brought in this morning.

Fort Franklin MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Wednesday Sept. 10, 1862

Since the late unaccountable retreat of our armies to Washington [Washington, District of Columbia] and the banks of the Potomac, our regiment has been almost constantly employed either as pickets or woodchoppers.

Our situation is such as to make it an absolute necessity. The three forts, which we occupy, form a sort of right angle triangle, the base of which lies on the Potomac. Fort Alexandria [Fort Alexandria], the headquarters of the regiment, is situated on a high b!uff, a !itt!e bak from the river, and has command of the opposite bank as well as

the aqueduct road, which runs beside the river from Georgetown [Georgetown] towards Harpers Ferry [Harpers Ferry].

Fort Franklin [Fort Franklin, Maryland], also situated on a bluff of the Potomac, though not as large nor as commanding a fort as Alexandria [Alexandria], has command of the Lennallytown [Lennallytown] road and of a by road that runs to what is known as the river road, running from Lennallytown [Lennallytown] to the Potomac.

Fort Ripley [Fort Ripley] is situated on a small hill a few rods to the rear of Fort Alexandria [Fort Alexandria], and forms the upper angle of the triangle. It appears to be a kind of accessory fort, having

command of the road that leads from the aqueduct road to the forts.

The following rough sketch gives a faint idea of how things are situated. (Figure 1)

By placing sharpshooters in the woods on the north and east of us, the rebels could easily keep our men from the guns, as well as pick off our men in general without much danger to themselves.

It thus became an imperative necessity that the woods should be cut down; and so all the companies that were stationed here, except three were detailed as choppers. Those three, of which ours was one, were detailed to do all the picket and guard duty.

We have had a pretty steady business of it, having been

on duty every other twenty-four hours for the last ten days.

As a natural consequence of having to sit up every other night, without sleeping at all, it begins to be rather hard work to keep awake. There was eight released this morning having been put in the guardhouse on the charge of sleeping at their posts. The Col. told them that he laid himself liabie to a court-martial for pardoning them, and that if they were caught again they would have to suffer the consequences.

The last night I was

on duty I came as near entering the guardhouse as I ever wish to. I made out to keep awake without much trouble till towards morning, when it got to be rather hard work. I had been on my feet most of the time and I was rather tired, so I thought I would sit down a minute and rest. I sat down with my face in the direction from which the enemy would if they came at all.

I hadn't sat there more than five or ten minutes when I saw a man opposite me in the road. I was rather

lazy and it somewhat startled me, so I jumped to my feet and ordered him to halt. He halted and it proved to be the Officer of the Picket on his round to see if all was right and none of the guard asleep.

The first thing he said was, is this the way you keep guard? Both of you asleep! You had aught to have halted me way back there! Further back some two or three rods.

I told him just how the case was, at the same time placing things in their most

favorable light. Boys, said he, this never will do, you must be more careful; and he passed on without saying anything more.

I won't attempt to deny that was somewhat startled and that I passed a somewhat anxious morning, for of all things that I dreaded the guardhouse was the pinnacle.

The day passed and we were relieved at the regular time, without hearing anything more about it.

I didn't feel entirely easy, however, till I had been off duty over night, and then I felt about as well as

anyone could who had just escaped the guardhouse.

Our Chaplain, the Reothe Crippen [Crippen, Reothe] arrived in camp last night.

I was on guard at the time and I first saw him when he came to supper.

I could not help noticing as he walked up the hill towards the fort, what as easy way he had; perfectly free in all his motions.

He is tall and firmly built with black whiskers slightly inclined to gray, which are closely trimmed upon the sides of his face but long thacy to eacnly cut, under his

chin. His blue, pleasant eyes are surrounded by a pair of rather heavy eyebrows, which are prominently placed upon a high forehead.

His hair is long, straight and black and at the time that I saw him, was combed back of his ears.

His nose is large, though not so much so as to be noted without special attention.

He was dressed in a suit of black broadcloth, cut in the military style and wore a black kassuth hat with a long crown.

Taking everything into consideration he was, physically

a model man, and being quite prepossessing in appearance I think he will "take" generally with the regiment.

The first thing I saw him do was to take a chair off to the sides, and about the first remark he made, inclined more to lower than to raise him in any estimation.

He may be interesting but he'll not be very deep, I don't think he is my kind of minister at all.

By general orders read last night there is to be a sermon everyday at two and a half o'clock, and prayer meetings at seven o'clock every Sunday and Thursday nights.

Fort Franklin MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Saturday Sept. 21, 1862

Old "Stonewall" [Old "Stonewall"] has been stepping around so lively for the last two or three weeks that the excitement as well as the danger has reached our camp and we have seen rather active service.

When I was at home I thought I knew what it was to hear people talk of "wars and rumors of wars" but it is nothing by the ride of what we have in camp. Not a day passes but what some report or other goes the round of the camp and it is generally supported by orders to sleep with all

our clothes on and to be ready for action at a moments notice.

The rumors are of all kinds some saying that it is expected we will be attacked by rebel cavalry coming down the aqueduct road; others that it is expected that they will attempt to cross the river in front of us; while others say that the rebels have been defeated by McClellan [McClellan] and are on the retreat and that we are expected to attack them as they pass by us.

In fact, everyday and sometimes two or three times a day, there is some rumor of being attacked

or of attacking. At first, they rather startled us, but we have got so used to them that there isn't much attention paid to them with out it is something more definite then usual.

That there is danger, I think there can be no doubt, for if there was none, they would probably not be in such a great hurry to get the woods cut down as they are at present.

I thought that they had a good portion of the regt. a chopping before, when there was only three companies left for picket and guard

duty; but last Thursday, Sept. 11, they called in most of the picket and detailed only eight or nine daily, sending the rest into the woods.

I was not sorry for the change for I began to think that if I had to go on picket every other night a great while longer I might wake up some morning and find myself in the guard house, a place I had no desire of being.

I chopped Thursday and Friday and as I had never done any such thing it made me rather lame, so I went

on guard at the Fort Saturday to get a little rest guard being much easier than picket.

On Sunday there was a dress parade and inspection of arms at half past eight o'clock.

The Col. examined each mans gun and if it didn't shine like new tin and ring like silver he was pretty sure to get severely censored. The guards were not relieved until after the inspection so I escaped. I say escaped for it was a very hot day and they

had to stand with their knapsacks and other accouterments on till nearly noon.

It was the first inspection that our Reg. had ever had and not exactly knowing what was required there was a good many that had to take what the Col. had to say.

There was so many that their guns was so far from perfect that the Col. ordered a company inspection at 6 o'clock and every man whose gun was not perfectly clean would go to the guard house.

As a consequence Sunday was pretty much enjoyed in cleaning guns.

I found time enough however to attend meeting at two and a half o'clock and hear the first sermon from our Chaplin. I don't think I have any cause to change my opinion of him. There was quite a large congregation present, but I guess there was as many there for the novelty of the thing as any other cause the most interesting part to me was the singing. There was a conference immediately after meeting

and a prayer meeting at seven o'clock both of which were largely attended.

The inspection at five o'clock was more satisfactory than the other and I believe no one was sent to the guardhouse.

On Monday we all went to chopping again the method of chopping is to place the men in a line along the edge of the woods some four or five deep and then fall all the trees one way, we sweep every thing as we go there is a good deal of danger but so far

no one has been killed I believe although there has been some narrow escapes. I have had two myself which were only just escapes but a "miss is as good as a mile?"

I presume that two thirds of the regiment never used an ax before but they all manage to get their trees off some way or other which is all that is required. Of course one sees all sorts of chopping but the naturally smart ones soon get the hang of it and they cut down a considerable many trees in a day. I never

chopped any before but I think I can cut as much as two thirds of the company. We are cutting some of the nicest kind of timber I ever saw. It being mostly walnut, oak, tulip, pine with some box and sycamore.

It seems as though we were spoiling a good deal of timber yet there will be plenty left when we get done for three fourths of the land around here is covered with woods. Tuesday I went on picket and had a good time generally. There was an orchard in front of where ! was stationed a tomato patch back of me and

as they were both owned by a "vile secessionist" I took perfect liberty with them. Between the two I managed to live very well. During the night there was a heavy rain, which I considered as a "set off' against the good times I had during the day. I was relieved about 10 o'clock Wednesday and so I laid round the rest of the day to make up for the night before. Thursday and Friday I chopped and they were two awful hot days, hotter than any I have seen since we have been here.

Last Sunday there was

heavy cannonading in the direction of Harpers Ferry [Harpers Ferry] but not as heavy and continuous as we heard during the battle at Bull Run [Bull Run] but heavy enough to show that a great battle was going on somewhere.

Of course every one was speculating as to where it was and who it was that was fighting. The next day Prapes [Prapes] brought the news of a battle at South Mountain. If I go home without seeing a battle I can at least have the satisfaction that I heard the battles of Bull Run [Bull Run] and South Mountain. To day I am on picket duty about a mile north

of the Fort and I have got a very good place. I have just finished my dinner procuring the material for it in the most approved picket style we carried out one of the company cook pans besides some coffee and bread after putting the coffee a boiling over a fire made from wood taken from a parish wood pile I managed to find a bin of sweet potatoes where I privately confiscated enough to roast. They were excellent potatoes very excellent our station is in a shed opening towards the
road and nearly opposite to a house of a rebel so every opportunity is offered for confiscation.

Sunday Morning,

For supper !ast night we bought some milk which we paid five cts a pint for which we thought was rather dear living so we concluded that if we wanted milk for breakfast we would have "with money and without price" so just before the stand disappeared I found the cows of which I obtained a quart on rather easier terms than from

the day before. The relief has come and I must start for camp.

Fort Franklin MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Saturday Sept. 27, 1862

After reaching camp from picket duty last Sunday I took a short nap and then went down to the spring and had a good wash all over.

It's done me as much good as fifty dollars in cash. I washed out my stockings and towel but as I didn't have

very good luck in washing my shirt before, I hired it done that time for the sum of five cts.

It worked so well that I have concluded to have both shirts and stockings washed hereafter, paying twenty cts a month for it. Perhaps it isn't exactly the solderish way of doing the business, but I hate the bother.

Instead of going to hear the chaplain preach Sunday afternoon, I cleaned my gun; which may not have been exactly right, but I couldn't bring my mind

to see that it would pay me.

There was a dress parade at five o'clock, which was the first regular one we have had since we have been here. For little Col. looked as neat as could be, when he walked up in front of us to see how we looked in line.

Every button shone like gold thrice refined and his sword flashed !ike pure silver. He wore white kid gloves and they looked as neat as any lady's. The fact is, he is just a model Col. by managing

as much as they have a mind to about his being cross.

The only thing unmilitary about him is his weak voice, which is quite noticeable when he his giving commands.

The parade lasted an hour, perhaps, during which he made a little speech to the officers, and drilled us a little.

We had been laying in hopes all day Monday, that we had done chopping, for two or three of the officers had told us that last week was

the end of the business; but our Acting Brig Gen Morris [Morris (Acting Brigadier General)] was here last Saturday and I suppose he changed the programme, for Monday morning we were ordered in to the woods again.

We didn't any of hurt ourselves that day, for Corporal Comstock [Comstock (Corporal)] was the only officer with us and he didn't have any to much command over us. Tuesday and Wednesday we chopped, but it was the same as Monday, we didn't any of us hurt ourselves.

What we chopped there three days was scattered around

in different places, and it looked as if we were most done. As we haven't cut any since it confirms that opinion though there is no knowing how long before we shall be ordered out again.

On Thursday we drilled a very little in the forenoon; in the afternoon Charlie [Charlie] and I gat a pass to go beyond the lines, and taking our haversacks we started on a foraging expedition. We first went up to Mimin Arch [Mimin Arch] to see how that looked. We saw a big stone arch for the aqueduct

to run over.

We went on a mile or so farther and meandered around in easy direction to find an orchard. We made out to find two trees with apples on, only one of which had apples that were fit to eat now.

We took enough home to make some applesauce which was just wonderful.

On our way back we found enough grapes to fill our haversacks, that were quite respectable eating. So much for a march of six or seven miles.

Friday we drilled three or four hours, Col. White [White (Colonel)] being

our drill master, I don't know what we should do with out him, Capt. Brigham [Brigham (Captain)] is so inexpressibly green about military matters.

It was well we presented Col. White [White (Colonel)] with that one hundred dollar sword; and well that he construed the gift to mean, that we wanted him to take an interest in us. If it wasn't for him and the Orderly we should be the tail company as far as drill is concerned.

To day I am on picket on the aqueduct road, and am having a good time generally, as I always do when I am on picket.

Fort Franklin MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Monday Sept. 29, 1862

While I was on picket last Saturday the tents, by Col.'s order, were all struck and the ground on which they stood was all swept off clean, and well trenched. The use of straw to lie on was prohibited; pine and cedar are to be used in its stead. It is an excellent order, for fleas have got to be so thick, that it is somewhat uncomfortable.

On Sunday I attended inspection for the first time, having been on picket or guard each time before.

Of course I didn't know

exactly how all my accouterments were to be worn and so I got scolded for two things.

The first was for having my canteen on my right side whereas, both canteen and haversack aught to be carried under the left arm, so that there would be nothing but the cap and cartridge boxes on the right. The second was as the Major expressed it, "you aught to be ashamed to come out here with your belt as high up as that."

But luckily, my gun was in good order, which some what took the ease off, for a good many were spoken

to for having dirty guns, I was not the only one, either that had their things on wrong. I rather think that when I am found fault with again, it will be when I know less then I do now.

After inspection I went to the canal and had a good wash, I can't say swim, and I got back just in time for dinner. In the afternoon I read the bible and the news papers and slept a little.

I haven't been to hear the chaplain since the first Sunday I was here, and I don't know when I shall go again.

I don't think it will pay me: it may be a rather bestial remark but I can't help it. At five o'clock there was a dress parade as usual.

In the evening there was a prayer meeting, and some of the boys from our tent attended as well as quite a number from the other tents; but with most of them what did it amount to?

This forenoon we went out to our company drill ground for the first, the little drilling we have done before, being done in our street. The ground is somewhat over half a mile from camp;

for cleared land is rather scarce in our immediate vicinity.

I think that I can say now, with certainty, that wood chopping is done, and that military life has commenced in earnest. Company and battalion drill, parades, inspections etc. occupy most of our time.

This afternoon we had our first battalion drill, and if the Col. is to be trusted we done it up pretty well, for I heard him privately tell one of the Capt. That he had seen regiments that had been in the service

over a year, that didn't exact some of the maneuvers as well as we did. But then, it could be he expected that they would, for we are the 11 ih N.Y.S.B.

We primarily drilled in battalion firing and marching in columns, with the wheelings.

When we got back our company gave three cheers for their own excellence, not because there was no one else to do it, but they wanted to cheer and I suppose they couldn't find a better subject to cheer for.

To night, I am alone for the first time, the rest of the boys having gone out making calls.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Thursday Oct. 2, 1862

Last Tuesday at ten o'clock we had a monthly inspection and I concluded I would look well enough to make up for the scolding that I got at the last one.

And sure enough I did, for the Major in passing along the ranks, speaking to this one for having dirty clothes to that one for having his belt to high or to low said to them; "there is a man that looks well," at the same time pointing to me. It entirely made up for what he said to me the other day.

In the afternoon we had a company drill; principally on the wheelings and the marching by the flank. As usual the Orderly drilled us; the Capt. having nothing to say about the matter.

At the dress parade at five o'clock orders were read commanding that one hundred and fifty men be detailed daily to dig rifle pits in the vicinity of Fort Alexandria [Fort Alexandria], Fort Franklin (Fort Franklin, Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland] and Ripley [Ripley].

During the reading of orders, there was a perpetual smile on the face of the Col.

I believe that it is the second time I have seen him smile

since I first saw him at Rome (Rome, New York) [Rome, New York] .

On Wednesday we had company drill. Our detail for the rifle pits was seven men. Dress parade at five o'clock as usual.

To day I have been in the rifle pits; the much talked about rifle pits, the much dreaded rifle pits.

I don't think that I have hurt myself; but I must say that I believe I done more during the day than two thirds, yes, three fourths of the men; notwithstanding the Lieutenant told me that I mustn't take so

large shovelfulls nor work so hard.

Three of the boys of our tent are out on duty tonight so that there is prospect of a good nights rest.

When we are all here it is rather tight business. for we have five in a tent hardly six feet wide.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Tuesday Oct. 10, 1862

Last Friday I was on guard at the fort. Nothing more than the general routine occurred. Saturday morning I was relieved and I went down below the fort and fired off my gun at a mark. I fired without a rest and the muzzle of my gun shook as though it had the St Tettuses dance.

As a consequence, the bullet struck the ground some two or three rods this side of the mark, at least that is what the boys said.

During the forenoon I cleaned (forenoon I cleaned)

up my gun for Sunday morning inspection.

The Capt. told us that there would be a battalion drill in the afternoon but it was afterward countermanding us as Gen. Banks [Banks (General)] was to pay us a visit.

We all supposed that he would stay an hour or so and attend dress parade, and so we should all have a chance to see him.

He came a little before sundown in a two horse carriage that was not of the nicest finish, and attended by three horseman.

The Col. came out to meet

him and they went immediately into Fort Alexandria to try the new rifled Penat gun and the two new mortars. I went out breastworks of the rifle pits to see the shell stick.

The first struck in the middle of the river and made quite a splash.

The second was a great deal larger one and went a great deal farther.

It burst before it struck but not with as much noise as I expected.

The whizzing of the ball through the air came nearer the descriptions I had read

than any other part.

I had just got off the breastwork when ! saw the Gen. enter his carriage and drive off. And S. Edward [Edward, S.]S. Foster [Foster, S.] knew as little how Major Gen. Banks [Banks (Major General)] of the United States Army looked as though he had never condescended to visit us.

I received a letter from mother last night, being the third letter I have received from home since I have been here. Some of the boys have received eighteen or nineteen and some even thirty letters.

The boys in our tent get a

paper or letter or both every night. I don't believe I am as homesick as I should be if I had letters everyday; at any rate I have not been homesick, yet in the least.

Our inspection Sunday morning was a company inspection and was held in the company streets.

It was thought by all to be a manifest improvement on the regiment inspections.

It is said that our regimental inspections are to be only monthly hereafter.

Whether so or not I shall believe it till I hear to

(to) the contrary. In the forenoon I wrote a letter home, read the atlantic; read the Bible and slept a little. In the afternoon I went to hear the Rev. Mr. Pearse [Pearse (Reverend)], some relation of the Col. I believe.

He is far superior to our chaplain; at least, so much superior, that I think I could stand it to hear him preach usual sermons in the succession which I can't of the chaplain.

At five o'clock we had a dress parade, as usual.

Monday forenoon we had a Company drill of three hours duration. It was the best day to drill we have

had since we have been here and we made improvement accordingly.

In the afternoon we had a battalion drill, going through quite a number of new movements. On one movement the Col. complimented us. It is the second time he has done the thing.

At dress parade the Chaplain, in behalf of the regiment presented the Col. with a complete set of horse equipages and a pair of navy pistols.

They cost nearly two hundred dollars, and it is but simple justice to say

that Col. A. [A. (Colonel)] contributed about seventy five of it.

The Col. made a very neat acceptance speech, complimenting our discipline highly; and saying that it had been a great source of pleasure to him.

To day I am on guard at the fort again. There is nothing special going on, except that the camp is full of rumors of an armistice for thirty days, and of peace commissions at Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] .

They come so many different ways that there may be some truth in them, but there is rumors of battles at Manassas (Manassas, Virginia) [Manassas, Virginia]

and Leasburg [Leasburg] so that one cannot tell much about it. If it came be settled on principals of justice, let it be settled; if not, then fight till it can.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Wed. Oct. 18, 1862

There has been so much going on for the last week that I haven't had time to write any, whatever. We have had the usual drills and parades, that is, battalion drills and the usual amount of picketing.

But besides these our company has been clearing off a small piece of ground close to Fort Alexandria [Fort Alexandria], for a drill ground. It was a very stumpy and rough piece, but we got it cleared off in a little over two days. It gave an excellent opportunity to see who the shirks were. Afterwards we didn't any of us work

hard enough to hurt ourselves but at the same time, there was some that had ought to be ashamed of themselves for trying to get rid of work that was for the benefit of themselves as well as the rest of the company.

Lieutenant Danm [Danm (Lieutenant)] was around with his usual bluster and scolding and it amounted to as little as usual.

I am not in the habit of finding fault with the officers but I must say our First Lieutenant is not the man to command a company of men. He scolds the men entirely to much.

It gets them mad at him and in that state of mind they don't learn much at drill.

It would be a great deal better if he didn't say so much, and then when he did speak, speak cool and be obeyed.

The Capt. is some what better though there is room for great improvement. He doesn't take enough interest in his company, at least, in the improvement of their drill.

Day before yesterday at battalion drill our company marched the worst and was the most disorderly company on the field. Every thing he does seems to be done

by starts. One day he is all around seeing to everything, ordering this or that, and drilling the company.

The next day or two you hardly see him. I hope for the sake of the company that they will both improve.

Last Sunday I was on picket and I confiscated apples, tomatoes and potatoes in any quantity. The pickets always live on the top shelf never failing to live better than when in camp.

The weather was the worst I ever had on picket, being a cold, cloudy, windy day. In the night it was cold

and rainy. Luckily i had an old shed to stay under so that I got along very well.

We have had two or three days of cold rainy weather, a prelude to winter.

When I got back to camp Monday morning I found all the boys cutting and hewing logs. I couldn't think what was wrong when it popped into my head that they were going to build winter quarters; and soon enough it was so, though they had no orders higher than the Capt.'s for it.

The mode of operations were as follows; we cut logs just

the lengths and width of our tents; hewed them square and built them up just the size of our tents and three or four feet high. We than took the tents and pitched them on top of the log squares in the hope of a roof.

The cracks between the logs we plastered with mud.

Almost every kind of haste is displayed 1n building them. Some use logs and some poles; some, hewing the logs on three sides; others only just enough to make them smooth; some building them where the logs happen to be and then moving them;

others bring the logs and building them on the spot.

Those that built last, generally had the best for they had the experience of the rest to improve on.

We have been to work on ours two days and haven't got it quite done yet.

To day there has two of the boys gone to Georgetown (Georgetown, District of Columbia) [Georgetown, District of Columbia] , one is on picket and Seecte [Seecte] is practicing on the pipe; so that I am left to do as I have a mind to.

Last night on dress parade there was a messenger rode up to the Col. and delivered a message; we heard nothing of

it till just right when orders came for twenty additional pickets, and for the men to load guns and to sleep with every particle of his clothing on, except his cap.

Of course, everybody had some rumor to tell as the cause of the order, but I guess one was about as near the truth as the other. There was probably danger of an attack and it was necessary for us to be ready.

However, there was no enemy to be seen that night and the boys are as quiet as usual today.

Yesterday afternoon at battalion drill we fired with blank cartridges for the first time.

By what I heard afterward I guess that there was some miss firing.

Two fellows shot off their ramrods and one appeared to be shooting at the moon.

When we got back we had a glorious old time cleaning our guns.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Sun. Oct. 19th, 1862

The rumors of an attack appear to have been more reliable than I at first thought.

On Thursday night the Col. was in his saddle all night, the gunners slept at their guns and the mageyer was left unlocked.

Strict orders were given the pickets as to their retreat and defense and everything looked as though there might be an enemy near.

The most reliable rumor was that some two or three thousand rebels had crossed at Boland's Ferry [Boland's Ferry] about ten miles above here and that

they would probably attack us.

The first night they went out, the outpost was within five miles of the enemy.

On Friday night I went out as one of the extra pickets.

It was a very pleasant night until about eleven o'clock when it commenced raining.

It was a cold windy rain. If it hadn't been for my rubber blanket and a large walnut tree I should have had a great deal harder time than I did. Besides as I came in early in the morning it was not as

though I had to stay the regular time, twenty four hours.

During the day things go on in camp about the same as they do when no enemy is near.

On Thursday we finished our shanty, as it is popularly termed, but the rain on Friday night rather chulocaled the mud in the cracks.

It doesn't compare in warmth and workmanship with the duck pens I used to make at home. However, it will answer very well for soldiers.

Friday there was battalion and company drill with the usual amount of fooling around. Yesterday we were

not called on for any duty whatever.

In forenoon I cleaned up my gun for inspection and read Dee Seward [Seward, Dee] oration on Daniel O'lokind [O'lokind, Daniel] delivered in 1847. Old reading is better than none at all.

In the afternoon six or seven of us got a pass and went down to the Potomac and had a swim. The water was very clear and very cold, but after one had been in a while it was warm enough.

I could swim a little down stream but when I attempted to go against the current it was another thing.

On the way back one of the boys climbed a walnut tree

and shook down some walnuts; they were not quite ripe enough to eat but were very passable.

We got back about three o'clock and passed the rest of the afternoon in eating, not army rations, but things that the boys had had sent them.

And they have had almost everything; cookies, jell cake, fruitcake, honey, jelly, pickles, dried currants, dried cherries, dried apples, cheese, apples, pears, letters in an abundance.

It will be a wonder if we are not all sick in less than a week.

We eat breakfast at six,

take a lunch at nine, another at eleven, dinner at twelve, lunch at two, another lunch ay five and supper between six and seven.

Altogether we make out to live pretty well.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Friday Oct. 24, 1862

Last Sunday was a lazy day in camp. After the usual Sunday morning inspection I went into my tent and staid there the greater part of the day. With nothing to do and nothing to read the day wore slowly away, but like all earthy things it finally passed.

Monday Tuesday and Wednesday went like all the other days with their usual amount of drilling and usual amount of laziness.

At the dress parade on Wednesday night there was an order read commanding that a detail be made

every day to work on the new road from here to Lennallytown [Lennallytown].

On Thursday morning there was thirty men detailed from our company to commence work at seven o'clock. I was one of the detailed party. We first cut the stumps up and then shoveled the dirt from the higher to the lower side of the road and graded it evenly off. Under the circumstances they all worked well, for the officers told us when we were at work on the rifle pits that it was the last piece of work that

we should have to do.

I heard Major Dogget [Dogget (Major)] say, yesterday that this was the last we had got to do and so the sooner we got it done the better.

Whether there is any truth in what the officers say time will only show.

To day I am on guard at what is called the lower camp. The guard mounting was the first regular guard mounting that I ever attended. The reason is that the guard for Fort Franklin (Fort Franklin, Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland] has always been mounted at the fort with out any regularity; but now the

guard, for all three forts go to the lower camp and are then regularly mounted.

The weather is getting to be pretty cold; very much like our fall weather, cold and rainy with considerable wind.

Overcoats are all the style in the morning, hardly a man coming out to roll call but what means an overcoat.

The heavy fogs make it much colder than it would no barely would be without them. They are the curse of picketing on the aqueduct road.

Drawers are almost unusually warm and blankets

and overcoats well piled on at night.

Stoves are beginning to appear in tents and still a good many complain of the cold. As far as I am concerned I have not put on my drawers and now sleep under more than one thickness of blanket.

I do it because I think that a great deal colder weather will come and then I shall have something extra to put on and so keep more comfortable than if I had put it on at once.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Wed. Oct. 29, 1862

The first thing I done after coming off guard on last Saturday morning was to give my gun a thorough cleaning.

That is always the first thing to be attended to after coming off duty.

It has to be cleaned every Saturday whether I came off guard or not, so that it may be ready for Sunday morning inspection. I also scoured the buttons on my coat and brass plates on my belt and cartridge box. It is always for the interest of the soldier to look as well as possible on such occasions.

Besides, it is distracting of armies to have something that needs a considerable care.

Sunday morning was cold and cloudy and threatened to rain; and we had only just time enough to finish inspection before it commenced raining. We all packed into our tents and staid there the rest of the day. The first thing I done was to write a good long letter home.

The other boys done the same and in addition I guess they wrote to some of the nice young ladies of Vernon Centre (Vernon Centre, New York) [Vernon Centre, New York] .

After it had rained about two hours the tent began to show signs of leakage.

The water began to run in between the logs on almost every side.

Our cellar proved to be a cistern and the eatables had to be removed or under go a flood. The tent shrank as it grew wetter and the front finally became so contracted that it could not be tied.

The wind coming in the same direction made the air circulate rather freely. Night came but still the rain

fell and the wind blew. No roll call that night. Sunday night was cold and rainy, very much like the day.

Monday the rain stopped but the wind blew harder and colder, nothing was done in camp except by others whose tents proved rather leaky.

Our tent leaked as bad as any of theirs and so we banked it up a little ways and put boards under the edges of the canvas in such a way as to carry off the water. Tuesday morning I was detailed on picket

for the night and so I had all day before me.

I read some an "Atlantic" Lieutenant Damn [Damn (Lieutenant)] lent me, slept a little & done up several little chores I had to do.

I was stationed at night on the first post, with Lieutenant Macenzie [Macenzie (Lieutenant)] of Co. I. never saw a better officer of the picket then he is. We only staid over night as they wished to change the picket and have them all out in the morning.

To day I am lying in camp recovering my energies

to go to work on the road tomorrow.

The company has been to work on it today and yesterday.

Rumors are current in camp that we have got marching orders, but like all rumors it is rather uncertain.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Tuesday Nov. 4, 1862

As I expected, I had to go to work on the road last Thursday. We worked as usual, laughing and talking and taking it cool and easy.

I heard that we laughed and talked, but as far as I was concerned, I laughed and talked but very little, but I could not see anything funny or sharp in anything that was said, at most, in nine tenths of it.

As far as work was concerned, I kept at it steadily, but did not work very hard.

On Friday we had a general inspection and muster for pay. We dressed in our light blues and white gloves with our boots polished till they shone like nigger Joes face.

We wore our knapsacks, haversacks and canteens with every thing prepared as for a march.

We did march to the parade ground at nine o'clock and staid there till after twelve; the time being occupied by inspecting our arms and accouterments and calling the roll for muster.

The quartermaster gave us the compliment of having the cleanest baggage in the whole regiment. I rather think that Co. A. has a good proportion of the compliments.

On Saturday we went to work on the road again. In the afternoon we laid by to get ready for the usual weekly inspection, besides cleaning my gun I washed my shirt and stockings and fixed up our shanty a little.

Sunday was just one of the pleasantest days that we have had here.

Clear warm and pleasant I enjoyed myself more that Sunday than I have any other since we have been here.

I wrote a letter home and then went out and enjoyed the day. The woods were just in their autumnal glory and their rich profusion of color gave me some of the pleasantest moments I ever experienced.

There was one spot that I viewed from our company parade ground that will always remain in my memory. I won't attempt to describe it for it is

beyond my power.

Monday we worked on the road again and the Major put us through; or rather tried to, for we worked about as hard as usual and not much harder.

Today I am on guard at Fort Alexandria [Fort Alexandria], on the parapet and I have just as fine a view of the country as could be wished.

Fort Franklin, MD (Maryland) [Fort Franklin, Maryland]

Nov. 11,1862

We are ready for march, our tents are struck, knapsacks packed, dinner ate; and we are waiting for five o'clock, the hour of starting.

We have been expecting marching orders for the last two or three days or rather we have had marching orders but did not know exactly when we should move.

We have just got our shanty in working condition; having made some banks out of flattened poles and got it water

proof. Del Carver [Carver, Del] and I went to Georgetown (Georgetown, District of Columbia) [Georgetown, District of Columbia] and bought one of the neatest little stoves that ever was made and a teakettle to match.

We were so easily fired that I kind of hate to leave it, but if we are going to Tineas [Tineas] as some say, I am entirely willing.

Our Capt. told us the other night at roll call that we had marching orders, and of all cheering our boys gave them. Every one was well satisfied to go. And ever since they have all been in the very best of spirits.

As I am writing they are sitting around on the logs that the tents were pitched on; some selling their stoves, some selling their hoard plums, others speculating as to where we are going and all laughing and talking and in good humor. Twenty men were sent out this morning from each company, to prepare our company ground which I believe is somewhere in the vicinity of Lennallytown [Lennallytown].

We will probably stay there a week or so and then leave for the field. At least, that is generally believed to be the program.

Camp Marris, MD (Maryland) [Camp Marris, Maryland]

Sunday, Nov. 1862

The boys have again been disappointed. Our march instead of being to the field of battle as was generally expected has been to the rifle pits.

But to go back to the beginning. The regiment that came to relieve us was the 18th Maine. They arrived at the forts about noon the Col. pitching his tent on our company parade ground. Physically, he looked to be more of a man than our Col. of large stature, broad shoulders and firm build, with heavy black whiskers slightly mingled with gray, he looked more the man

than Col. Pease [Pease (Colonel)].

I don't think though, that he will make as good a Col. as ours is; but I may be prejudiced.

From the time they arrived till we started there was a general search after boards and confiscating what they could and buying what they could not confiscate. Some of the boys that had taken extra pains to log up their tents, finding that they could not sell them, as the Maine boys had sibyl tents, tore them down.

We had been short of rations for several days getting nothing

but "hard tack" and soft junk; but that noon we had a cup of bean soup with which and some hard tack that I happened to have, I made quite a respectable dinner.

The orders came to "fall in" about three o'clock, and as every thing was ready we were in line in very short time and as usual had to wait for orders from headquarters to move.

We laid around an hour or so passing away the time as best we could, some doing one thing some another.

Most of us, however, sat still and laughed at the antics of Billy Daroneus [Daroneus, Billy], Popie [Popie] and Dielo

Milligan [Milligan, Dielo]. At last, the orders came to move and we went down to the lower camp and fell into line with the other companies.

Taking the same road that we came on when we came here, we marched down by the Jersy camp, where the Jersy boys gave us three hearty cheers; by the rifle pits and new road, movements of our "war for the Union;" by the woods that we had fell weeks ago, now brown and dead; and finally out of sight of the forts where we had probably passed the three happiest months of our


After following the road for a mile or so we marched across the fields another mile or mile and a half when we arrived at our camping ground just dark.

It is situated on a slope facing the northeast, which has lately been cleared from a new growth of pines.

The working party that went before us had got the streets laid and most of the tents pitched when we arrived but there was "one thing lacking" and that was a supper.

We were pretty hungry but after blowing at the cooks

quartermasters, and officers in general, we went to bed supperless.

From the upper side of the camp on the summit of the slope can be seen the forts we just left, Fort Pennsylvania [Fort Pennsylvania] at Lennallytown [Lennallytown], and Fort Mansfield (Fort Mansfield, Rhode Island) [Fort Mansfield, Rhode Island] and a few other unfinished forts a few rods distant. The view in general is good though not as good as that from the forts.

But what is lost in scenery is gained in warmth of situation and reduction of guard. The next morning our rations were again wanting but we borrowed

some coffee of one of the other companies and a little row pack with a sixth of a loaf of bread constituted our breakfast.

After breakfast we pitched our tents once again as somebody had made a mistake and pitched them wrong.

We spent the day in arranging our tents and speculating as to our next move, as it was already whispered around that we had got to go to work again.

The next day (Friday) I heard Col. White [White (Colonel)] say that we should probably go to work the next morning, but still we should not stay here a great while.

That night at dress parade

the order was read commanding that all the available men of the regiment should go to work on the fortifications under command of First Col. White [White (Colonel)]. And accordingly on Saturday morning we went to work on the rifle pits, but as there was only two shovels and a pick for eight men we had an easy enough time that forenoon.

In the afternoon we got ready for inspection, as usual.

The weather has been quite cold for the last two or three days but we probably felt it more from the change from our little shanty with a stove to our

tent on the ground without one.

The next move will probably be from wedge tents to shelter ones; as it isn't likely we shall stay here a great while. At least, such a conclusion is natural from the rumors one hears of what the officers say.

I hope we shan't stay here for I went to see a little service before I go home.

I am ready to say good bye to winter quarters if they will help us on the march.

Camp Marris MD (Maryland) [Camp Marris, Maryland]

Saturday Nov. 20 1862

The last week has been the rainiest week I have seen since I enlisted. It has not been a steady rain, but a few hours at a time, at intervals.

The company streets are so muddy that we don't form line for roll call, but stand in front of our tents and answer to our names.

It has been lowering and disagreeable all the time till today.

But notwithstanding the weather we have been called out every day but yesterday, to work on the rifle pits.

We have finished them up and are now working on a fort.

The story goes that we are going into winter quarters near Lennallytown [Lennallytown] and work on the fortifications all winter.

But yesterday morning it was rumored through the camp that three of the companies of the regiment were going to guard a supply train to the front of the army. And that those companies would be A. H. & B. on account of their health. The most probable of the two is the first though the other is possible.

Winter quarters would undoubtedly be the pleasantest as well as the healthiest, but if they called for volunteers

for the march I think I should go.

Our rations have been rather slack since we have been here and some of the boys found considerable fault; but I have always had all wanted. The least we have had has been a loaf of bread delivered in the morning, and coffee three times, for a days rations. The rage of the time is calling pipes candlesticks to be out of the soapstone dug out of the fort we are at work on.

We work by relief and those that are off duty are mostly employed in cutting

soapstone into all varieties of articles.

I had quite a talk with Sergeant Shimmer [Shimmer (Sergeant)] the other day. He is one of the best fellows in our company, if not the very best. For one of his age he has quite an extensive culture and experience of the world.

To day I am on guard over the prisoners, but as there don't happen to be any prisoners, I have a very easy time of it.

In fact, my soldier experience as a whole has been a great deal easier than I expected.

Camp Marris 2nd D.C. (Washington D.C.) [Camp Marris 2nd, Washington, District of Columbia]

Tuesday Nov. 25, 1862

Last Monday morning the whole available force of the regt. excepting Co.'s C. H. & D. went out as usual to work on the fort. Quite a number of the boys thought that they staid for pay but toward the middle of the forenoon they struck their tents and marched off to our new camping ground.

At noon Cos E & B followed example. Our company worked till nearly three o'clock when we were ordered to move also.

We went back to camp, struck tents, pack knapsacks, and started on the march in less than an hour, the

quickest that we have ever broke camp.

We reached our new camp ground between four and five o'clock having just time enough to pitch our tents before dark. The distance between the old and new camp is scarcely a mile by the road and not more than half a mile across lots.

It is but a short distance from Lennallytown [Lennallytown] and only a few rods from where we were encamped when we first came to Lennallytown [Lennallytown].

It has been just three months since we were there.

It would be an excellent

subject for some one to write of the advance, progress and retreat of the 117th Regt. N.Y.S.V. Perhaps I shall attempt it after I get home. Last night I slept the coldest that I have slept since I have been a soldier.

In addition to a cold night we had a damp cold ground to sleep on, very much different from what it will be after the tent has been on it a few days.

Our barracks have not been put up yet, though they probably will be in a few days.

Each building will contain

ten men each, which will be a great deal better than twenty five as we first supposed there would be; but I had a great deal rather fix up our tent with logs and have only five in it.

On last Sunday at dress parade our regimental colors were presented to us, by letter, from the ladies of Utica (Utica, New York) [Utica, New York] .

Both harmer and letter deserve praise; the first, for its designing the second, for its patriotism.

Camp Marris 2nd D.C. (Washington D.C.) [Camp Marris 2nd, Washington, District of Columbia]

Friday Dec. 6 1862

It rains this afternoon so that we can't work and I am going to improve it by writing some as it is the first opportunity I have had in a good while.

The barracks that we expected here so much are not forthcoming and more over are not likely to be.

I never could imagine before that rumor was so little worth believing as it is.

We hear almost everything and almost everything isn't so.

Yet sometimes it comes so direct and from such good authority that it

seems as though it must be true still ten chances to one it won't be so. I've made up my mind that I won't believe anything, hereafter, till (till) I see it and not then without it is confirmed by at least five others who saw it at the same time I did.

So far, all the time we have been here we have been to work on the rifle pits or the fort, soapstone hill the boys call it, from its being almost all soapstone.

Everything is taken perfectly easy; first dig a little while then whittle trinkets a good while, then dig a little while

again then if one has plenty of money he goes to the Jersey [Jersey] sutlers and gets round again just about half past eleven when we drop tools and go to camp.

The afternoon's routine is about the same.

I haven't been very well the two days but after taking some blue pills and castor oil I feel better.

I came to the conclusion when I was taking it that I was not at home for I drank it clear standing out of doors in front of the doctor's tent. In place of the sugar I generally eat right after

taking it when I'm at home, I drank a little cold water and then went to work on the fort. It was the greatest distinction to me between a soldier and a citizen.

I've been to work on the fort this forenoon. It is nearly finished; only the road and a very little of the ditch to finish.

Another half a day will probably see it done; then for some good pluer Friday eve.

The rain turned into a wet snow about the middle of the afternoon and it has been snowing steadily ever since; a most wet and dangerous time.

At present, Pardu [Pardu] and I with overcoat on are trying to write, the rest are covered up with blankets trying to keep warm.

One has to take advantage of every asenmetane to keep himself comfortable.

This afternoon it was found that we hadn't enough wood to cook our supper with so we magged off to the woods, through the storm, cut some wood and brought it back to camp on our shoulders.

There was a man from Co. I. buried at Lennallytown [Lennallytown] this forenoon with military honors, the first that has been so buried in the regiment.

Camp Marris 2nd D.C. (Washington D.C.) [Camp Marris 2nd, Washington, District of Columbia]

Wed. Dec. 16 1862

It is still work on soapstone hill. One would think that we had worked on it long enough to finish half a dozen forts; and we have, if we hadn't had to do over the same thing two or three times.

It is all the fault of some of the engineers. The number of times we have had to do over different parts of the fort is enough to discourage any man.

First we went to work on the magazine and dug to the depth they said when it was found that it was dug to deep and so we filled it up to the required height.

We then dug the ditch around the fort and had scarcely got it done when we had orders to fill it up part way and make a rifle pit of it.

In another place we left a place through the parapet for a gate and dug two six foot trenches to set the posts in. The gate was found to be in the wrong place and so we filled up the trenches and pounded it in.

But in grading of the hill around the fort the greatest number of mistakes were made. We had to do it over some three or four times before it was done right.

I had about come to the conclusion that our engineers were all dumbheads.

We are still at work grading off the hill around the fort.

We have had some four or five different engineers to pass us since we have been to work on the fort; and some of the time three or four at the same time.

First one engineer would order this, then another would come along and order it done another way, and so it would go all day. One day the Major got a little mad at it and told the men to do it and the first man that told them different they were to bury in the hole they were digging.

Fort Baker D.C. (Washington D.C.) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia]

Sunday Dec. 28 1862

Marching orders came at last.

There was rumors and whispers that we were going to move, for two or three days but nothing definite was known till Sunday night dec.21 when an order was read from Col. Marris [Marris (Colonel)] commanding five companies to report to Fort Baker (Fort Baker, District of Columbia) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia] for duty. The other five were to report at Fort Riply [Fort Ripley] to finish the fortifications there.

Of course every one was anxious to know what company were going to Fort Baker (Fort Baker, District of Columbia) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia] , for every one wanted to go there, even if they had to work.

At first it was whispered

around that Co. A. had got to go the other way and go to work. We didn't like it very well, but we reconciled ourselves to it the best we could.

Monday morning Co.'s B&C left for Fort Baker (Fort Baker, District of Columbia) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia] . At night the order came that Co.'s A. C & D should move to the same place the next morning (Dec. 23).

Why the change was made I can't tell, but I heard that the engineers went to headquarters and said that he didn't want anything more to do with Co. A, for he couldn't do any thing with them. If he didn't say so he might have said it with great truth. But whatever the reason was we were going to

Fort Baker (Fort Baker, District of Columbia) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia] and that was enough for Co. A.

Tuesday morning the Orderly routed us out an hour and a half before roll call so that we could get started by seven o'clock. The weather at first was rather unfavorable to marching as it was then raining and looked some as though it might rain all day. It blew off, however, before we started and we had a nice cool day, a great deal better then when we came to Lennallytown [Lennallytown] from Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] .

Strange to say we started off at precisely seven o'clock with out standing in the ranks half an hour before starting. Capt. Niyers [Niyers (Captain)]

was in command.

We marched on the same road that we came on when we came from Fort Baker (Fort Baker, District of Columbia) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia] to Lennallytown [Lennallytown]. Everything looked about as it did then though I saw things that looked new to see.

We stopped twice before we reached the Capitol Buildings [Capitol Buildings], once just the other side of Georgetown (Georgetown, District of Columbia) [Georgetown, District of Columbia] and once between Georgetown (Georgetown, District of Columbia) [Georgetown, District of Columbia] and Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] .

We stopped a third time near the Capitol [Capitol]. Washington (Washington, District of Columbia) [Washington, District of Columbia] city appeared very much different than it did when we were there before.

The streets were just full of carts, wagons and harouckes, and the sidewalks were completely crammed with people.

From the Capitol [Capitol] we marched past the Navy ford [Navy ford] and across the East Branch [East Branch] on the Navy Ford Bridge [Navy Ford Bridge]. From the bridge we marched about two miles, most of the way uphill, to our new quarters at Fort Baker (Fort Baker, District of Columbia) [Fort Baker, Washington, District of Columbia] . We arrived there a little before two o'clock after a march of ten miles.

Our camp was once formerly occupied by the 30th N.Y. Regt. They had just got their winter quarters built up when they were ordered into the field. Consequently, most of the boys had good stockades to put their tents on, but it was just our luck to get one that was good for nothing so we pitched our tent on the

ground till we could build a new one.

The first thing we done, however, was to buy a stove. We got a second hand one for a dollar, but there was such a call for them that afternoon, that before night risen to twelve shillings and two dollars. So for once we were lucky.

We rested the rest of that day so that we could give a good hard days work the next day to build up our stockade for our tent.

The next morning we started off into the woods to get some timber for the stockade, and as we couldn't find any that was down we went to chopping a chestnut.

We had got it almost down when

the owner came and wanted to know who gave us the right to cut that tree. He wasn't going to have his woods all cut down! He was going to report us to the Col. and we had better come along with him! We followed him as far as the camp and then went to our quarters and he went on to see the Col.

Meanwhile we had no logs.

Street orders had been given that nothing should be taken out of the unoccupied streets, as they were to be reserved for their respective companies should they come here.

In the street next to ours lay a pile of logs all split out and

nearly enough to build up our entire stockade. It is needless to say that we looked on them with longing eyes; but we concluded that it wouldn't do to touch them without permission. So we went to the Capt. and stated our case and he went to the Officer of the Day, who said that he hadn't any power to give them away.

It began to look rather dubious about getting any logs at all, when I saw the Col. walking around to see how things looked and I concluded that he was the man to ask. Waiting till he had got to the head of the street where the logs lay, I walked up to him gave him the

military solute and told him how the case was; that there wasn't any stacked where our tent stood, that we had been into the woods after logs and were ordered out, and further more that we should very much like to have that pile of logs to help us along. After inquiring who it was that ordered us out, he said, "yes, you can have them."

I thought a great deal of the Col. then. It was the first I had ever approached him, but seeing it turned out so well I shan't be afraid to do it again.

It had got to be well along in the day so that we only had time to get the stockade

started before night.

The next day was Christmas and we commenced early and worked hard all day. We got the tent on just dark, set up our stove and congratulated ourselves that we had got things pretty well arranged.

No sooner had we built a fire than the stove commenced smoking and filled the tent in no time.

The next day we remodeled, changing the position of the door and stove, and then things worked all right.

Del [Del] and I were on guard so that things didn't move along as fast as though we were all there. Yesterday we all went to work on it again and finished it all up: banks, plastering and every thing else.

To day we are enjoying the effects of our labor.