Thursday, November 17, 2016

Diary of Sergeant George G. Smith: June 22, 1863

Back to our camping ground again. Major W. O. Fisk returned from New Orleans and took command of the regiment in place of Col. Holcomb, who was killed May 14th. Major Fisk was wounded in the fight at Franklin, April 12th, and had been in the hospital ever since that time.

My position as acting-lieutenant admitted me to the society of the commissioned officers of our regiment. I cannot say that I can point to a period of greater enjoyment, than the four weeks spent before Port Hudson. Several causes combined to bring this about. The principal one, perhaps, was the consciousness that my name had gone in from the battle field “recommended for promotion.” This was more satisfactory to me than if I had been recommended for meritorious conduct on “dress parade.” And then, too, the beauty of the scenery: the deep foliage of the gigantic Magnolia and birch trees, whose broad branches shut out the rays of a burning sun, and the immense blossoms of the former, loaded with their fragrance, the gentle breezes which stole through the trees. This naturally inspired a corresponding spirit of romance and poetry among the officers and men; so we made the forest vocal with patriotic songs and pleasant ballads touching our dear old homes and the loved ones in dear old New England. But the Magnolia leaves dropped and the flowers faded. So, too, we must pass away.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 78-9

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