Showing posts with label Camp Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Camp Life. Show all posts

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Diary of Private Louis Leon: August 1, 1862

From date to the 4th–nothing. We have a good camp.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 9

Diary of Private Louis Leon: Up to August 19, 1862

Nothing new. We have a very good time here by ourselves—get plenty to eat from the ladies and visit them whenever we can get out of camp.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 9

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: April 25, 1862


We have now been several weeks in the city and the boys are beginning to tire of it. This every-day, humdrum life is getting irksome, and the boys are anxious for a change. Frequent changes and excitement are what keeps up the soldier's spirits. In the dull routine and idleness of camp, they grow uneasy, homesick and despondent. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 55

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 26, 1864 – 12 p.m.

Eight miles east of Oconee River, three miles south of M. & S. R. R.
November 26, 1864, 12 p.m. 

Howard wrote Osterhaus a letter congratulating him on the success in the Griswoldville fight, and had it published to us to-day.


GoRDON, GA., November 23d, 1864.


Mayor General Osterhaus, Com'dg 15th Corps:


I take sincere pleasure in congratulating the Brigade of General Walcutt, of General Wood's Division of the 15th Corps, on its complete sucess in the action of yesterday.


Officers from other commands who were looking on say that there never was a better brigade of soldiers.


I am exceedingly sorry that any of our brave men should fall, and for the suffering of the wounded, the thanks of the army are doubly due to them.


I tender my sympathy through you to the brave and excellent commander of the brigade, Brigadier General Walcutt.


It is hoped that his wound will not disable him.


Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Major General.


P. S. The loss of the enemy is estimated from 1,500 to 2,000 killed, wounded, and prisoners. O. O. H., M. G.

We lay in camp until 4 p.m., when we started, and after three miles of miserable pine swamp we crossed the Oconee on pontoons. It was dark, but I noticed that the current was rapid and the water looked deep. 

I counted 80 steps on the bridge and ten boats under it. I am sure that I to-day saw palm-leaf fan material growing. It is a most singular looking plant. The country this side of the river to our camp is quite level and four-fifths cultivated. All the woods pine, and soil all sand. 

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 326-7

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: Saturday, April 5, 1862

Nothing of note has occurred to relieve the monotony of camp life. There is now a large army concentrated here. Far away on the hills and in the ravines the tents and the soldiers are seen. Up to this time we have had consid[er]able rain. The roads and by-ways into the camps are cut up terribly. It is with difficulty that the Seventh keeps above mud and water. Vague rumors are afloat this evening to the effect that Albert Sidney Johnson is moving towards the Tennessee with his entire command; however, not much credit is attached to it. But we may anticipate days of desperate strife—days of fire and carnage in Tennessee, for no doubt there has been or is being a concentration of the rebel armies under Johnson and Beauregard, with headquarters at Corinth, Mississippi, twenty-five miles from Pittsburg Landing. Their hopes are no doubt beating high for revenge upon Grant's army, in consideration of the blow wielded against them, in those stormy days of battle around Fort Donelson.

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 47-8

Monday, August 10, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his Daughter, December 27, 1862

December 27, 1862.

. . . There is a little more of solid reality in this work of camp-life than I have found in any previous experience. You remember my delight in the life of ship surgeon, when I had three hundred and fifty of the lowest Irish to care for. Multiply that delight by ten and you will approximate to what I get among these children of the tropics. A more childlike, jovial, devotional, musical, shrewd, amusing set of beings never lived. Be true to them and they will be devoted to you. I leave all my things in tent unguarded and at loose ends, as I could never think of doing in a white regiment, and if I ever lose anything you shall be informed. Their religious devotion is more natural than any I ever witnessed. At this moment the air is full of melody from the tents, of prayer and hymns, mingled with the hearty yah, yah, of the playful outsiders.

Last night I had too many business letters to get off in today's mail to allow me time for writing half of what I wished, and since then I have lived so long that much has been lost in the ages. I want, once for all, to say that Col. H. is splendid — pardon the McClellan word, — beyond even my anticipation, which, you know, has for years been quite exalted. I stood by General [Rufus] Saxton, who is a West Pointer, the other night, witnessing the dress parade, and was delighted to hear him say that he knew of no other man who could have magically brought these blacks under the military discipline that makes our camp one of the most enviable. Should we by possibility ever increase to a brigade I can already foresee that our good Colonel is destined to be the Brigadier General.

I am about selecting my orderly from among the privates, and just now a Lieutenant brought little “ Charlie" before me: a boy of fourteen or fifteen, who saw his master shot at Hilton Head without weeping over it; who had some of his own teeth knocked out at the same time. He has always taken care of his master and knows so many things that I shall probably avail myself of his bright eyes and willing bands. We have had an old uncle “Tiff,” whom I should take if I had the time and strength to wait upon him when he should get too tired to wait upon me. He is a dear old man who prays day and night.

I have forgotten whether I have written that the mocking-bird sings by day and the cricket by night. To me it is South America over again. The live oak grows to enormous size. Today I made thirty of my longest paces across the diameter of the branches of one of these handsome trees. The beautiful gray moss pendent everywhere from its branches gave the most decided impression of fatherliness and age.

Col. H. kindly invited James and me to mess with him and the adjutant. Thus we have a pleasant little table under the supervision of “William and Hattie,” in an old home just outside the camp. I am yet sharing the young captain's tent, but in a day or two shall have my own pitched. . . . We are not more than fifty rods from the shore. Our landing is remarkable for its old fort, built of shells and cement in 16— by Jean Paul de la Ribaudière. Its preservation is almost equal to monuments perpetuated by Roman cement.

The chance for wild game here is excellent, and in anticipation I enjoy it much, while in reality I doubt whether I shall ever find time for such recreation, and actual profit to our stomachs. It is not very easy for us to get fresh meat here, but we shall not suffer, because oysters are plentiful and fresh.

Our Chaplain is a great worker, and has a good influence over the soldiers — I presume Mr. Wasson knows him, — Mr. [James H.] Fowler, who was not long ago at Cambridge.

My first assistant surgeon is Dr. [J. M.] Hawks of Manchester, N. H. He is a radical anti-slavery man, somewhat older than I, and has had a large medical experience and in addition has been hospital surgeon at Beaufort during several months. He has been rigidly examined by three regimental surgeons from New England, and they have given him a very flattering certificate of qualification. I consider myself fortunate in having a man so well fitted for the place. The men and officers like him, and I fancy will take to him quite as much as to me. The second assistant is not yet decided upon, but will probably be a young man who has already been several months in the army. The hospital steward has also had experience . . .

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June,1910: February 1910. p. 338-9

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: September 8, 1864

Near Eastpoint, September 8, 1864.

We are again in camp for a rest; don't know for how long. What do you think now of the confidence I have so often expressed to you in Sherman and his army? I have every hour of the campaign felt that a failure in it was impossible. The following complimentary orders were issued, as dated immediately after our going into camp at Eastpoint:

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 299-304

Friday, March 6, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: October 23, 1861

To-day the regiment receives orders to clear off a new camping ground and build houses.

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 17

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: December 28, 1861


The camp is full of rumors about our leaving, but I hardly think any one knows much about it as yet, although it is quite probable we shall leave before long. The expedition is all here and has been perfected in drill. Nothing that I can see prevents us from leaving at any time. When we break this camp we can count our happy time over, that we have seen our best days of soldiering. Campaign life in the held, as I understand it, is at the best a life of hardship, privation and danger, and the man who expects much else, will be grievously disappointed.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 16

Friday, December 20, 2019

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 8, 1863

We were ready to continue our march, but were not ordered out. Some white citizens came into camp to see the "Yankees," as they call us. Of course they do not know the meaning of the term, but apply it to all Union soldiers. They will think there are plenty of Yankees on this road if they watch it. The country here looks desolate. The owners of the plantations are "dun gone," and the fortunes of war have cleared away the fences. One of the boys foraged to-day and brought into camp, in his blanket, a variety of vegetables—and nothing is so palatable to us now as a vegetable meal, for we have been living a little too long on nothing but bacon. Pickles taste first-rate. I always write home for pickles, and I've a lady friend who makes and sends me, when she can, the best kind of "ketchup." There is nothing else I eat that makes me catch up so quick. There is another article we learn to appreciate in camp, and that is newspapers—something fresh to read. The boys frequently bring in reading matter with their forage. Almost anything in print is better than nothing. A novel was brought in to-day, and as soon as it was caught sight of a score or more had engaged in turn the reading of it. It will soon be read to pieces, though handled as carefully as possible, under the circumstances. We can not get reading supplies from home down here. I know papers have been sent to me, but I never got them. The health of our boys is good, and they are brimful of spirits (not "commissary"). We are generally better on the march than in camp, where we are too apt to get lazy, and grumble; but when moving we digest almost anything. When soldiers get bilious, they can not be satisfied until they are set in motion.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 10-11

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: November 11, 1861

We are now fairly settled in camp life. Several other regiments from Massachusetts and other states are now with us, and drills, inspections and reviews are the order of the day. One can scarcely get time to wash his face, and take, as Gen. Scott said, a hasty plate of soup, before the drum calls to some kind of duty.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 11

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: October 12, 1861

The boys are settling down to the routine of military duty, and getting accustomed to camp life. They take kindly to discipline, and seem anxious to learn the drill.


Presentations are the order of the day. The adjutant has had a horse presented him by his firemen friends. A great, stout, clumsy, good-natured horse. I should think he was better adapted for hauling a fire engine than for a parade horse, but perhaps will answer the purpose well enough.

The major's friends have also presented him with a horse. A good kind of horse enough. Nothing very stylish or dashy about him for a war charger, but perhaps he can smell the battle as far as any horse. The major, in a clever little speech, assured his friends that they would never hear of the nag's striking his best gait to the rear. The major being a man of immense rotundity, I imagine that the horse after carrying him a couple of hours, would feel willing to give boot to go into the ranks rather than remain on the staff.

The Worcester ladies, with commendable patriotism, have presented us with a splendid silk banner (the national colors), and have enjoined us to carry it with us in our wanderings, and return it again to them without dishonor. And we have sworn by a thousand stout hearts and bright bayonets, that that banner shall float above the battlements of secession and be again returned to them, crowned with the laurel wreaths of victory. And when amid the flame and thunder of the battle, we look on its bright folds, remembering its fair donors, rush to victory and glory.


Our time is being occupied with drills and receiving company, with which we are highly favored and are always glad to see. The boys are having leave of absence, and are visiting their homes preparatory for their departure south. Many are the speculations among the boys as to our destination, but no one seems to know anything about it. I tell them I think we shall go to Dixie.


After hearing several candidates for the office of chaplain, they have finally settled on Rev. Horace James, pastor of the old South church, Worcester. I think they have shown good judgment in selecting a chaplain of the orthodox faith, as no one visiting our camp for an hour could doubt their belief in the existence of the burning lake by the way they consign each other to that locality.


The pretty girls, God bless their souls, are always first and foremost in every good work, and they are now in session at Agricultural Hall, busily at work for the soldiers. They are making repairs and alterations in our uniforms, sewing on chevrons and doing whatever small jobs of needlework we may desire. They have also furnished us with needles, thread, wax, buttons, pincushions, pins and other small articles which we may need. For all of which they will please accept the warmest emotions of grateful hearts.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 7-8

Friday, May 3, 2019

Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Amasa Walker to Lucy Stoughton, April 18, 1864

I hope you are very well at the Falls and I wish I were there myself. The fact is I feel that it is just about time for me to be going home again, and the only trouble is that my immediate commanders don't see it in that light. It would be very nice indeed to be in some civilized place again after three months of the utter barbarism of camp life in Virginia.

I suppose we shall begin our campaign in a week or two, and then you will find the newspapers interesting. Something will break before we give up in this trial for Richmond.

A great Review of the 6th Corps to-day — but the great Review is yet to come, of course I mean the review of the 2nd. I wish dear Lucy you could be here to see it, over twenty thousand veterans all on one field with music and banners and cannon and two thousand horsemen. My! it is quite grand even for an old soldier to see.

SOURCE: James Phinney Munroe, A Life of Francis Amasa Walker, p. 69

Friday, January 25, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, March 11, 1865

Lay in camp all day. Cleaned up. Two inspections. Bathed and changed my clothes. Details went out for forage. Seemed good to get a day's rest. Improved it as well as possible with the work to do.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 147

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 26, 1865

Every preparation made to move. Ordnance and Q. M. stores condemned and turned in. Several orders and circulars came around. All bustle and commotion. Wrote home.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 145

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 16, 1865

Cleared up the snow from the ground in the morning. Boys came in from picket. How bright the war prospect looks. Hope to see home by July 4th, '65.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Sunday, February 19, 1865

Battalion inspection in the morning. Had a good bath. Cleaned up grounds. In the evening Capt. Newton came in. Had a good visit. Talked Tenn. experiences. Traver and Barnitz in awhile.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 9, 1865

Cleared up the grounds during the day. Received a letter from Sarah Felton and Will Hudson in evening, with Sarah's picture. School in evening. Detailed for picket.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 143

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Tuesday, January 24, 1865

In camp. Played chess with A. B. Read "Two Gentlemen."

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 142