Monday, October 1, 2012

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Monday, December 9, 1861

We left the cars and marched up through town, where we were met by the Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry, who turned out to receive us, presenting arms. They took us into camp about a mile southwest of town. Here we pitched our tents and for the first time went into camp.1  I went on guard.

1We had left our train standing on a siding east of the city alongside a fine piece of timber, the ground covered with a heavy sward of blue grass. Some of the boys thought the grass would be just the place upon which to lay the ponchos and sleep on them for the night, and they did so. But it was a mistake, for the ground was cold and damp and a number of the boys caught hard colds from which several of them never recovered. My bunkmate, James Fossett, was one of those, and with the cold taken that night and later, he was sent to the hospital suffering from inflammatory rheumatism. He never again returned to the company, being finally discharged for disability, on October 17, 1862.  — A. G. D.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 22

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