Showing posts with label Drill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drill. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: Sunday, February 7, 1864

 The tocsin is sounding at 9 A.M. It appears that Gen. Butler is marching up the Peninsula (I have not heard the estimated number of his army) toward Richmond. But, being in the Secretary's room for a moment, I heard him say to Gen. Elzey that the “local defense men” must be relied on to defend Richmond. These men are mainly clerks and employees of the departments, who have just been insulted by the government, being informed that no increased compensation will be allowed them because they are able to bear arms. In other words, they must famish for subsistence, and their families with them, because they happen to be of fighting age, and have been patriotic enough to volunteer for the defense of the government, and have drilled, and paraded, and marched, until they are pronounced good soldiers. Under these circumstances, the Secretary of War says they must be relied upon to defend the government. In my opinion, many of them are not reliable. Why were they appointed contrary to law? Who is to blame but the Secretaries themselves? Ah! but the Secretaries had pets and relatives of fighting age they must provide for; and these, although not dependent on their salaries, will get the increased compensation, and will also be exempted from aiding in the defense of the city—at least such has been the practice heretofore. These things being known to the proscribed local troops (clerks, etc.), I repeat my doubts of their reliability at any critical moment.

We have good news from the Rappahannock. It is said Gen. Rosser yesterday captured several hundred prisoners, 1200 beeves, 350 mules, wagons of stores, etc. etc.

Nevertheless, there is some uneasiness felt in the city, there being nearly 12,000 prisoners here, and all the veteran troops of Gen. Elzey's division are being sent to North Carolina.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 144-5

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Diary of Caroline Cowles Richards: June 1861

At the anniversary exercises, Rev. Samuel M. Hopkins of Auburn gave the address. I have graduated from Ontario Female Seminary after a five years course and had the honor of receiving a diploma from the courtly hands of General John A. Granger. I am going to have it framed and handed down to my grandchildren as a memento, not exactly of sleepless nights and midnight vigils, but of rising betimes, at what Anna calls the crack of dawn. She likes that expression better than daybreak. I heard her reciting in the back chamber one morning about 4 o'clock and listened at the door. She was saying in the most nonchalant manner: “Science and literature in England were fast losing all traces of originality, invention was discouraged, research unvalued and the examination of nature proscribed. It seemed to be generally supposed that the treasure accumulated in the preceding ages was quite sufficient for all national purposes and that the only duty which authors had to perform was to reproduce what had thus been accumulated, adorned with all the graces of polished style. Tameness and monotony naturally result from a slavish adherence to all arbitrary rules and every branch of literature felt this blighting influence. History, perhaps, was in some degree an exception, for Hume, Robertson and more especially Gibbon, exhibited a spirit of original investigation which found no parallel among their contemporaries.” I looked in and asked her where her book was, and she said she left it down stairs. She has “got it ” all right, I am sure. We helped decorate the seminary chapel for two days. Our motto was, “Still achieving, still pursuing.” Miss Guernsey made most of the letters and Mr. Chubbuck put them up and he hung all the paintings. It was a very warm week. General Granger had to use his palm leaf fan all the time, as well as the rest of us. There were six in our class, Mary Field, Lucy Petherick, Kate Lilly, Sarah Clay, Abby Scott and myself. Abbie Clark would have been in the class, but she went to Pittsfield, Mass., instead. General Granger said to each one of us, “It gives me great pleasure to present you with this diploma,” and when he gave Miss Scott hers, as she is from Alabama, he said he wished it might be as a flag of truce between the North and the South, and this sentiment was loudly cheered. General Granger looked so handsome with his black dress suit and ruffled shirt front and all the natural grace which belongs to him. The sheepskin has a picture of the Seminary on it and this inscription: “ The Trustees and Faculty of the Ontario Female Seminary hereby certify that —— has completed the course of study prescribed in this Institution, maintained the requisite scholarship and commendable deportment and is therefore admitted to the graduating honors of this Institution. President of Board, John A. Granger; Benjamin F. Richards, Edward G. Tyler, Principals.” Mr. Morse wrote something for the paper:

To the Editor of the Repository:

DEAR SIR—June roses, etc., make our loveliest of villages a paradise this week. The constellations are all glorious and the stars of earth far outshine those of the heavens. The lake shore, “Lovers’ Lane,” “Glen Kitty” and the “Points” are full of romance and romancers. The yellow moon and the blue waters and the dark green shores and the petrified Indians, whispering stony words at the foot of Genundewah, and Squaw Island sitting on the waves, like an enchanted grove, and “Whalesback” all humped up in the East and “Devil's Lookout” rising over all, made the “Sleeping Beauty” a silver sea of witchery and love; and in the cottages and palaces we ate the ambrosia and drank the nectar of the sweet goddesses of this new and golden age.

I may as well say to you, Mr. Editor, that the Ontario Female Seminary closed yesterday and “Yours truly” was present at the commencement. Being a bachelor I shall plead guilty and appeal to the mercy of the Court, if indicted for undue prejudice in favor of the charming young orators. After the report of the Examining Committee, in which the scholarship of the young ladies was not too highly praised, came the Latin Salutatory by Miss Clay, a most beautiful and elegant production (that sentence, sir, applies to both salutatory and salutatorian). The ‘Shadows We Cast,' by Miss Field, carried us far into the beautiful fields of nature and art and we saw the dark, or the brilliant shades, which our lives will cast, upon society and history. Then “Tongues in Trees” began to whisper most bewitchingly, and “Books in the Running Brooks” were opened, and “Sermons in Stones” were preached by Miss Richards, and this old bachelor thought if all trees would talk so well, and every brook would babble so musically, and each precious stone would exhort so brilliantly, as they were made to do by the “enchantress,” angels and dreams would henceforth be of little consequence; and whether the orator should be called “Tree of Beauty,” “Minnehaha” or the “Kohinoor” is a “vexata questio.”

In the evening Mr. Hardick, “our own,” whose hand never touches the piano without making delicious music, and Misses Daggett and Wilson, also “our own,” and the musical pupils of the Institution, gave a concert. “The Young Volunteer” was imperatively demanded, and this for the third time during the anniversary exercises, and was sung amid thunders of applause, “Star of the South,” Miss Stella Scott, shining meanwhile in all her radiant beauty. May her glorious light soon rest on a Union that shall never more be broken.

Soberly yours,

There was a patriotic rally this afternoon on the campus of Canandaigua Academy and we Seminary girls went. They raised a flag on the Academy building. General Granger presided, Dr. Coleman led the choir and they sang “ The Star Spangled Banner.” Mr. Noah T. Clarke made a stirring speech and Mr. Gideon Granger, James C. Smith and E. M. Morse followed. Canandaigua has already raised over $7,000 for the war. Capt. Barry drills the Academy boys in military tactics on the campus every day. Men are constantly enlisting. Lester P. Thompson, son of “Father Thompson,” among the others.

A young man asked Anna to take a drive to-day, but Grandmother was not willing at first to let her go. She finally gave her consent, after Anna's plea that he was so young and his horse was so gentle. Just as they were ready to start, I heard Anna run upstairs and I heard him say, “What an Anna!” I asked her afterwards what she went for and she said she remembered that she had left the soap in the water.

Dr. Daggett's war sermon from the 146th Psalm was wonderful.

SOURCE: Caroline Cowles Richards, Village Life in America, 1852-1872, p. 132-7

Monday, September 28, 2020

Diary of Private Louis Leon: June 24, 1862

We had a drill to-day, and went to town to see some friends.

SOURCE: Louis Leon, Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, p. 7

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: Saturday, March 22, 1862

The fires are burning brightly in our camp this morning. All seem to have more genial looking faces than when on the steamboat. This evening we have dress parade, and as usual a large number of officers and soldiers from the surrounding camps assemble on our parade ground. What is the attraction? Why so many congregated here? inquires a general officer riding by. Those of the army of the Tennessee assembled tell him it is because the Seventh can drill.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Monday, May 30, 1864

No move today; hot and sultry. Saw [the] Fifth drill; [the] Thirteenth, ditto. News that Grant's prospects are fair.

 SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 469

Friday, March 6, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: October 15, 1861

To-day the line officers are formed into a company and drilled by Colonel Babcock in the company movements. They make a fine company, and the Colonel seems to enjoy the drill.

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

Monday, February 10, 2020

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

Articles of war read to-day; the law laid down, &c.

Battalion and company drill is now the order of the day. Colonel Babcock seems ambitious to make the Seventh a star in the battalion and company evolutions.

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 15

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: Between July 4 & August 31, 1861

After remaining in Camp at Mound City, Illinois, a few days, we proceeded down the Ohio as far as Cairo, where again the regiment goes into Camp Defiance. And whilst here, from morning until night, the officers’ voices are heard in command on the drill ground, bringing the regiment up to a high standard, preparing them that they may play well their part in the coming drama.

Remaining in Camp Defiance two weeks, we take passage on board the steamer “New Uncle Sam,” and are soon passing up the Mississippi river, accompanied by other steamers, loaded with troops from Bird's Point and Cairo. It is rumored that we will land at some point and enter Missouri. The Seventh are now standing on the deck of the steamer as she moves proudly up the river, and as we look over into Missouri, where wicked men have assailed the flag and freedom, our hearts beat high, and we long to be there, that we may unfurl our flag and give it freedom to wave on that side the river as well as on this.

After a pleasant trip the regiment lands at Sulphur Springs, Missouri, and in a measure the wishes of the men are gratified, for they are now on rebel soil. From this point we proceed by rail to Ironton, and upon our arrival there, we are met by General Prentiss, who makes the regiment a speech, telling them that they have been ordered there to help him drive Jeff. Thompson from Missouri. We go into camp in the vicinity of Ironton. The scenery around here is grand. Pilot Knob looms up peerlessly, close to where we are camped. The Seventh boys are often seen on its summits (standing as it were amid the clouds) looking down in the valley. While here the regiment is uniformed—and the Seventh's boys will remember those striped uniforms which made them look like convicts late from Jefferson City.

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 12-4

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

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: January 1, 1862


The new year is ushered in with a light fall of snow and very cold weather. There is just snow enough to prevent drills or any sports the boys may have been anticipating. Altogether the day will be a dull one. The sutler, anticipating our removal, has not much to sell or steal. The sutler is regarded as the common enemy of the soldier, and when forced contributions are levied on him it is considered entirely legitimate and rather a good joke. The boys will have to content themselves with card playing and writing letters home. We have just got a new stove running in my tent, and Long Tom is detailed today to supply it with wood. I think we shall make a comfortable day of it, if Tom does his duty. Things certainly begin to look like leaving; the harbor is full of vessels, transports, gunboats and supply ships. Appearances indicate that somebody will hear it thunder somewhere along the southern coast before very long.

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

Friday, December 20, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: December 26, 1861

Christmas went off very pleasantly and apparently to the satisfaction of all. Drills were suspended and all went in for a good time. The Irishmen had their Christmas box, the Germans their song and lager, while ball playing and other athletic sports used up the day, and music and dancing were the order of the evening. Santa Claus came with a Christmas dinner for a few, but more of us he passed by; however, I think the old gentleman has got a store for us somewhere on the way.

Our camp was visited by a number of ladies and gentlemen from the city, who were guests at headquarters, Chaplain James doing the polite, and entertaining them as best he could. No farther south than this, I was surprised to hear the chaplain tell of the ignorance of these people in regard to northern people and their institutions. One lady, noticing a box of letters in the chaplain's tent, said she thought he must have a very large correspondence-to have so many letters. He told her those were soldiers' letters going home to their friends. “Why,” she asked, “are there many of your soldiers who can write?” He informed her that there were not a half dozen men in the regiment but could read and write. He told her that free schools were an institution at the north. No man was so poor but he could educate his children, and the man who neglected their education was regarded as little better than the brutes. The lady appeared quite astonished and said she thought our free schools were only for the rich.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 15-16

Friday, December 13, 2019

Private Daniel L. Ambrose: April 27, 1861

After the organization of the regiment, on the twenty-seventh, they are marched from Camp Yates to the armory, where they receive their arms—the Harper's Ferry altered musket—after which the regiment marches to the depot and embarks for Alton, Illinois, where the regiment arrives at 4 P. M., and are quartered in the old State Penitentiary. With men who were eager for war—whose hopes of martial glory ran so high—to be quartered in the old criminal home, grated harshly, and they did not enter those dark recesses with much gusto.

During our stay here, the regiment was every day marched out on the city commons by Colonel Cook, and there exercised in the manual of arms and the battallion evolutions, until they attained a proficiency surpassed by none in the service.

SOURCES: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 7

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: November 30, 1861


According to the customs of our Puritan Fathers, last Thursday was observed in Massachusetts and other states as a day of thanksgiving to God, for his manifold mercies and bounties to the erring children of men. The day was observed here throughout all the camps as a holiday. All drills were suspended, and in our camp religious services were held, after which the boys engaged in ball playing and other amusements to which their inclinations might lead. Although deprived of joining our friends at home in their festivities and meeting them around the dear old board, it seems we were not forgotten. Our thanksgiving dinners are just beginning to arrive, and our camp is literally piled up with boxes and bales containing good things from the dear ones at home.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 13

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: November 16, 1861

Here it is the middle of November, and the weather is most delightful. No frosts, but a warm, mellow atmosphere like our Indian summer in October. It is beautiful, indeed; I am charmed with it. While our farmers in New England are putting up and feeding their cattle in barns, the cattle here are luxuriating in white clover, young, sweet and tender enough to suit the most fastidious taste of any of the cattle on a thousand hills. The farmers about here are harvesting their crops of corn and sweet potatoes, some of which are very fine. Some of the boys brought in some egg plants which grow about here. I never saw any before, but am told they are very good, when properly cooked. I am not disposed to doubt it, never having eaten any of them, but I cannot believe they would make good egg nog.

We begin to see a little something of the peculiar institution, — slavery. There are a great many negroes strolling around the camps, most of them runaways, and as Maryland is supposed to be a loyal state, we have no right to take sides and afford them protection. But we have adopted a kind of English neutrality, although not giving them much protection, we give them whatever information they desire. The masters and hunters are frequently here, looking up their hoys, as they call them, and we generally manage to put them on the wrong track and then run the boys into other camps, and they run them into the woods.

Our regiment was yesterday inspected and reviewed by Brig. Gen. John G. Foster. We put in our best work, and tried to make the best appearance we could. The general seems to be a man who understands his business. At a single glance he takes a man and his equipments all in; looks at his rifle, passes it back and goes for the next one. He complimented Col. Upton on the good drill and appearance of his regiment, and flattered his vanity a little by telling him that with a little more practice his regiment would be as near regulars as it would be possible to bring a volunteer regiment.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 11-2

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, Saturday Evening, January 14, 1860

Saturday Eve. I have been busy all day in taking measures for clothing, in drill, examining applications for leave to visit home for Sunday, etc., and now as the hour approaches to send off my mail, I have no time even to look over what I wrote last night. Smith and Boyd go to-day to visit some Doctor from Virginia — to be absent till Monday — thirty-nine Cadets present.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 122

Thursday, April 4, 2019

William T. Sherman to Ellen Ewing Sherman, January 12, 1860

Seminary, Jan. 12.

. . . I have allowed more time than usual to pass without writing. Indeed I have had a good many calls upon my time not properly belonging to me. The steward was sick of sore throat that made it imprudent of him to come so I had to supervise his mess affairs. I had a parcel of lazy negroes scrubbing and cleaning, and lastly new cadets arriving and receiving their outfits. I have to do everything but teach. We have now forty cadets all at work reciting in mathematics, French, and Latin, also drilling once a day. I drill one squad, but as soon as I get a few of the best far enough advanced to help I will simply overlook. Hereafter I will have none of this to do.

Everything moves along satisfactorily, all seem pleased, and gentlemen have been here from New Orleans and other distant points who are much pleased. I have knowledge of more cadets coming, and this being the first term and being preceded by so much doubt I don't know that we have reason to be disappointed with only forty. The legislature meets next Monday, and then will begin the free discussion which will settle the fact of professors' houses and other little detailed improvements which will go far to make my position here comfortable or otherwise.

Nobody has said boo about John. Indeed I have two letters from John which I showed to General Graham who gave them to the senator from this Parish, who took them to Baton Rouge. In them John tells me he signed the Helper card without seeing it, not knowing it, but after Clark1 introduced his resolution he would make no disclaimer. He was right, and all men acquainted with the facts will say so. Even southern men. The supervisors can't spare me. I manage their affairs to their perfect satisfaction, and all here in the parish would never think of complicating me. But the legislature may – we shall soon see. . .

1 John B. Clark, a member of Congress from Missouri, introduced a resolution to the effect that no person who endorsed Helper's book was fit to be speaker of the House of Representatives. —  Ed.

SOURCE: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 117-8

Monday, December 24, 2018

William T. Sherman to George Mason Graham, January 4, 1860

Seminary, Jan. 4, 1860.

Dear General: . . . We began recitations today. Mathematics and French, tomorrow mathematics and Latin. Mathematics five days a week; French and Latin on alternate days, two hours each. To-morrow we commence drills one hour a day – and two hours on Saturday. Everything works well. . .

SOURCES: Walter L. Fleming, General W.T. Sherman as College President, p. 100

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 13, 1865

Batt. drill in P. M. Read a general order in regard to the duties of sentinels and soldiers off duty. Read “St. Ronan's Well.” Thede brought it up to me. Letter from home.

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

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Tuesday, January 31, 1865

Millard on picket. Read "Rob Roy," "Lucile," Harper's. Drilled.

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