Friday, August 5, 2016

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: August 30, 1862

Generals Butler and Dudley reviewed the brigade. After the review General Butler had the First Louisiana drawn up in close column by divisions. After complimenting them for their soldierly appearance he gave them a lecture on military discipline, closing his remarks with this sentence, “The lightnings of heaven do not fall more swiftly than will justice overtake the evil doer.” We found Camp Williams not the healthiest place in the world. Lake Ponchartrain opening out to sea, was of course affected by the tides. When the tides were in the marshes would be full of water, but when they were out the contrary would be the result, and the portions exposed covered with ooze and silt would fester and ferment in the burning sun: while on the other side was the swamp, furnishing prolific breeding grounds for the festive mosquito: It is not strange that the result should prove to be what it was. In less than a week fully one half the regiment was at the surgeons tent on sick call in the morning; there were from two to four funerals in a day. Most all the time officers were sick so that the non commissioner officers were in command of companies. The writer of this was put in command of Company A. When it left the recruiting camp, a little over four weeks before it numbered 112 enlisted men. One night, a few days before we left, but four men turned out for dress parade and other companies were in a similar condition. The First Louisiana 12th and 13th C. V., the 75 N. Y., a company of Louisiana cavalry and two batteries were brigaded, General Weitzel commanding.

SOURCE: George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 27-9

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