Saturday, January 26, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Saturday, April 5, 1862

We had company drill this morning as usual. Lieutenant Compton took the company out on the drill ground this afternoon for company drill, and he said: “Now, boys, we drill in earnest for an hour, then return to our quarters, put away our rifles, and then to the branch for bathing.”  It was warm, but the men all went into it and after a hard drill we had a good wash-off in the branch.1

1 This was the last time that Lieutenant Compton ever drilled our company, for the poor fellow was killed in the battle on the next day, Sunday, a little after noon. He was a fine drillmaster, and kind to his men, especially to those who tried to do their duty. — A. G. D.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 40

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