Thursday, June 30, 2016

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: April 12, 1862

Twenty-six days from New Haven, Conn.

On the two following days we were employed in laying out streets, leveling ground and putting up tents. On the 13th I was detailed to get guns off the ship. A squad of 25 or 30 men were detailed to do the work. The guns were the Enfield rifles, made in England, and were said to be captured from blockade runners, and were in the original packafies [sic], 12 in a box. They were in the hold of the ship some 35 or 40 feet below the upper deck and of course had to be lifted Out with blocks and pulleys, as gasolene engines were unknown in those days. We found James Underwood dead on board the ship. He was Fife Major of the 13th Conn. Vols, from Thompson. In the old training days, in my boyhood, he with his fife would always march at the head of the column. I believe the poor man died purely of homesickness, as 1 had conversed with him many times during the voyage and he was very sad, his conversation being always of his home and old friends. Stayed on board all night, and by noon of the 16th had all the guns on board a schooner and came ashore. I was satisfied with sea life for the present and had no regrets.

SOURCE: George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 8-9

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