Showing posts with label Tents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tents. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: May 9, 1862


After nearly two months of scrubbing and cleaning, with new caps and pants, the 25th regiment stands in column of platoons on Pollock street, as tony a looking regiment as there is in the service. The colonel and staff with the band take the head of the column, and amid the cheers of hundreds of darkies, the march commences. Leaving the city we soon enter the woods, and after marching about three miles, come out to a cotton plantation. Here we make a short halt and look over the place. It looks rather run down, the house is old and out of repair, the negro quarters are built of logs, and look as though they were hardly habitable. But I presume everything on a plantation has to correspond. The gentlemanly proprietor, whoever he was, has left, taking with him the best of his servants, leaving here a few old ones to shift for themselves. 

A few miles further on, we came to another cotton plantation. This presented a better appearance, a neat cottage house, painted white with green blinds, good barns and surroundings. The negro quarters were comfortable looking houses, built of boards, with glass windows, and whitewashed. This gentleman with his servants had also gone up the country. About two miles further on, at a fork of the road, we found the 17th Massachusetts, Col. Amory, doing picket duty. Here a road branched to the right leading into the woods, which we took, following it about four miles, coming out at a small clearing, where was a little red house and log barn, with a few negro cabins. This is known as the Red house, and we relieve the 23d Massachusetts, which is doing picket duty. And this then is to be our home for a while. It certainly is retired and rural, not another house within four miles of us. The clearing is not over twelve or fifteen acres in extent, with a small creek running through it. Woods to the right of us, wools to the left of us, woods to the front of us, woods all around us. This surely must be the place for which Cowper sighed, when he wrote, 

“O! for a lodge in some vast wilderness.” 

After getting a little rested from the long march, we pitched our tents in a field a short distance from the house. The colonel and his family, with the band, pitched their camp in the large shady yard next to the house. The tents up, the picket guard is detailed an posted ; a part of them along the road we came up, and connecting with the 17th Massachusetts, a part along the road to the right, and connecting with the 27th Massachusetts stationed at Bachellor's creek, and the balance along the roads and horse paths leading into Dixie. The tents up, the pickets out, dress parade and supper over, I reckon the country must be safe for one night at least, and I will improve it by trying to get some sleep and rest, for it will be just my luck to be on the detail tomorrow. 

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 55-6

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his Daughter, Monday Evening, January 12, 1863

Monday evening, January 12, 1863.

Tonight I am seated in my own tent, and my orderly is patiently practising on a copy of his name on the other side of my little hard pine table. I have a double tent, two joined with a rough floor elevated about a foot from the sand and open at the sides so that the wind can whistle under, as well as over, my two rooms. These rooms are each nine feet square and parted by the folds of the two tents. I have room enough for a large family and it seems wroug that I should have so much, while those little 7 X 8 tents of the soldiers, literally steam with four bodies in them. But with the clothing allowed by Government, they could never be comfortable alone at night. On the whole, I like these little tents for soldiers better (than those which receive a larger number. I see no way of isolating soldiers into decency. The unnatural life must, of course, have few material comforts. On the other hand the out-of-door life compensates for many violations of wholesome laws. I find our officers universally gaining flesh. . . . Instead of fire-places, I have found a little stove with so much draft that I can have all the front open and thus get the light which makes a tent so pleasant and social. . . .

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June,1910: February 1910. p. 343

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: June 2, 1863

Receiving supplies at Chickasaw Bayou for the army around Vicksburg.

We stayed in camp again all day, and I improved the time strolling through the camps, forts and rifle pits, which had been deserted by the Confederates. They seem to have left their quarters rather unceremoniously, for they abandoned siege guns, with tents, wagons, clothing and ammunition scattered about in confusion. I thought, while camped here, they seemed to feel quite secure. They frequently looked towards the Yazoo, and defied our boats to come up. However, when the boats did come, with Sherman in the rear, they beat a hasty retreat to the inside of Vicksburg.

As our duties have been light to-day, the time has been occupied socially, by the boys reciting many little scenes of the past month. We conversed feelingly of those left behind on acount of sickness, or wounds, or death in battle. Only half our company is left now, and after two years more, what will have become of the rest? We shall fight on, perhaps, till the other half is gone. The friendship that now exists among our remnant is very firmly knit. Through our past two years of soldier life such ties of brotherhood have grown up as only companions in arms can know. And I trust before the end of another two years · the old flag will again float secure in every State in the Nation.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 40-1

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Thursday, May 12, 1864

A most disagreeable rainy day. Mud and roads horrible. Marched from Blacksburg to Salt Pond Mountain. My brigade had charge of the train. I acted as wagon-master; a long train to keep up. Rode all day in mud and rain back and forth. Met "Mudwall" Jackson and fifteen hundred [men]—a poor force that lit out rapidly from near Newport. Got to camp — no tents—[at] midnight. Mud; slept on wet ground without blankets. A horrible day, one of the worst of all my experience. Fifteen miles.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 457-8

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: January 5, 1862


Orders have been issued to break camp and go aboard the transports tomorrow morning. The boys are now breaking the frozen ground around the tent pins, packing their knapsacks and getting ready for a start. We have been here so long it seems almost like leaving home to break up and go out on untried scenes.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 16-17

Monday, April 29, 2019

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

Being the first company on the ground, and not having tents, we bivouacked last night in Agricultural Hall. Sleeping on a hard pine board was new business to most of us, and Morpheus was courted in vain. The boys, however, made a frolic of the night, and more unearthly noises and sounds never greeted my ears. I think the rebels would never need hear the sound of our guns to frighten them, if they could hear sounds like those. Several other companies arrived on the ground this morning, and this afternoon all hands are busy pitching tents.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 5-6

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Diary of Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: October 31, 1863

On the 28th General Kelley reviewed the Third Brigade, [and] General Duffie's cavalry. A beautiful day; a fine spectacle. I had only nine companies of the Twenty-third here — a small affair. General Kelley is a gentlemanly man of fifty to sixty; not an educated man — nothing particularly noticeable about him. [The] 29th, the three generals with their young ladies, Miss Jones, Miss Scammon, and Miss Smith and staffs went to Fayette. I [am] left in command here at Charleston. [The] 29th, got into new quarters — wall-tents on boards.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 443

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, October 30, 1863

Charleston, October 30, 1863.

Dearest: — General Kelley was here and reviewed the troops on Wednesday. General Duffie's review was a beautiful and interesting sight. Generals Kelley, Scammon, and Duffie with their staffs have gone to Fayette — Miss Scammon, Miss Jones and Miss Smith with them. I am now in command of their troops here pro tem., and Avery and I run the machine on the town side.

We have got the regiment and brigade tents on stockade for winter weather. They look well and will be comfortable. Mrs. Comly is in the house, and Mrs. Graves will vacate the rest in a day or two. It now looks favorably for our family arrangements to be carried out as we planned them. Can tell certainly after General Kelley leaves.

Uncle is so urgent for Birtie's staying longer with him that I wish to consent unless you are very anxious to the contrary. Birch says he would like to see us all but prefers to stay longer at Fremont. — Love to all.

R. B. Hayes.
Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 443

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Brevet Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott to Brigadier-General Benjamin F. Butler, May 9, 1861

Headquarters of the Army, WASHINGTON, April 25th, 1861

Brig’r. General B. F. BUTLER, Mass. Vols.

SIR: If this letter should find you not too far this side of Annapolis, I will ask you to consider yourself, for a time, as the Commander of that City, and retain a competent force to hold it. Next, I wish you to select a regiment (one of your brigade, or any other) and string it, at convenient distances, all along the Railroad by the Junction and towards this City – as far as its numbers may suffice, to protect the road, its rails, bridges, and cars, so as to keep the communication open for troops and travellers between Annapolis and Washington by rail.

The principal points in the road to be occupied are: the Junction, Bettsville, the bridges, cross roads, and a few of the other stations. Some of the intermediate stations may also require detachments, and every post ought to be instructed to throw out scouts to the right and left frequently during the night and day.

If the regiment takes, in the first instance, cooked provisions for a few days, the posts may afterwards be supplied by the trains which will be passing daily. Tents and cooking utensils will perhaps be needed at some of the posts or detachments. Send to this place all the spare troops from Annapolis as fast as you may find means of transportation; and report often.

Very Respectfully,

SOURCE: Jessie Ames Marshall, Editor, Private and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler During the Period of the Civil War, Volume 1: April 1860 – June 1862, p. 42

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: March 24, 1864

Scottsboro, Ala, March 24, 1864.

Two months and twenty-four days without changing camp; which is the longest time our tents have covered one piece of ground since we organized. We have marched, though, some 35 days during this time, and some such marching. Whew! I think I never suffered on a march as I did on the Sand Mountain in DeKalb county. I wore a thin blouse, and had no overcoat. I'd lie so close to the fire nights that the clothes on my back would scorch and my breath would freeze on my whiskers. We had nothing to keep the freezing dews off us, and it seemed to me that it went through my clothes and an inch of flesh before the dew-point would be blunted. One night about 2 o'clock I had a huge pine knot fire and was trying to warm some half frozen portions of my body, when Captain Smith came over from his bed, as blue as a conscript, to thaw out. He turned one side and then t'other to the blaze, time and again but without much progress; finally he shivered out, “By G—d, Captain, I could wish a tribe of cannibals no worse luck than to get me for breakfast. I'm frozen hard enough to break out half their teeth, and the frost would set the rest aching.” Next morning a lot of us were standing by a fire nearly all grumbling, when the major asked me how I passed the night. “Capitally, slept as sweetly as an infant, little chilly in fore part of night, but forgot it when sleep came.” They looked so pitifully, doubtfully envious, that I got me laugh enough to warm me clear through. Captain Smith, Soot and Lieutenant Ansley have been in with me playing old sledge all evening. A storm came up, blew half of my camp house down, and broke up the party. Have just got fixed up again. Those pine knot fires we had on the mountains, made us all look like blacksmiths. Day before yesterday a foot of snow fell. Last night only drifts on the north side of things were left and to-night you have to hunt for a flake. Two shots on the picket line back of our camp. Guess it's some of the 26th or 48th recruits. Out of every dozen or twenty recruits, there's sure to be one who will see men skulking around his picket post, and who will shoot a stump.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 221-2

Monday, April 9, 2018

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: November 1, 1864

Camp Lawton, Millen, Ga. — Arrived at our destination not far from midnight, and it was a tedious journey. Two died in the car I was in. Were taken from the cars to this prison in what they call ambulances, but what I call lumber wagons. Are now congregated in the south-east corner of the stockade under hastily put up tents. This morning we have drawn rations, both the sick and the well, which are good and enough. The stockade is similar to that at Andersonville, but in a more settled country, the ground high and grassy, and through the prison runs a stream of good pure water, with no swamp at all. It is apparently a pleasant and healthy location. A portion of the prison is timber land, and the timber has been cut down and lays where it fell, and the men who arrived before us have been busily at work making shanties and places to sleep in. There are about six thousand prisoners here, and I should judge there was room for twelve or fifteen thousand. Men say they are given food twice each day, which consists of meal and fresh beef in rather small quantities, but good and wholesome. The rebel officer in command is a sociable and kindly disposed man, and the guards are not strict, that is, not cruelly so. We are told that our stay here will be short  A number of our men have been detailed to cook the food for the sick, and their well being is looked to by the rebel surgeon as well as our own men. The same surgeon who for the last ten days had charge of us in Savannah has charge of us now He does not know over and above much but on the whole does very well. Barrels of molasses (nigger toe) have been rolled inside and it is being issued to the men, about one-fourth of a pint to each man, possibly a little more. Some of the men, luxuriantly, put their allowances together and make molasses candy of it. One serious drawback is the scarcity of dishes, and one man I saw draw his portion is his two hands, which held it until his comrade could find a receptacle for it.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 109-10

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: October 22, 1864

Lieut. Davis commands the prison in Savannah. Is the same individual who officiated at Andersonville during Wirtz's sickness last summer. He is a rough but not a bad man Probably does as well as he can. Papers state that they will commence to move the prisoners soon to Millen, to a stockade similar to the one at Andersonville. I am hobbling about the hospital with the help of two crutches. Have not heard a word from old Mike, or Battese or any one that ever heard of before, for some days. Sweet potatoes building me up with the luxuries they are traded for. Had some rice in my soup. Terrible appetite, but for all that don't eat a great deal. Have three sticks propped up at the mouth of our tent, with a little fire under it, cooking food. Men in tent swear because smoke goes inside. Make it all straight by giving them some soup. Rebel surgeons all smoke, at least do while among us. Have seen prisoners who craved tobacco more than food, and said of the two would prefer tobacco. I never have used tobacco in any form.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 105

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: May 2, 1864

Reveille at 4. Off at 7. Pike road still. Passed through Fairfax C. H. a place of only half a dozen scattered buildings. No fences along the road and very few houses, and those abandoned, hilly country and considerably woody. Camped near Bristol Station. 22nd and 24th N. Y. and 3rd N. J. near us. Commenced raining before we got our tents pitched. Cold, wet night. Slept very well.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 114

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: Monday, May 3, 1864

Moved on at 8 o'clock having waited for tents to dry off. Passed Catlett Station and reached Warrenton Junction at noon. Burnside's Hdqrs. here. One Div. here. Passed one at Manassas, at Ferrero and one at Bristol. Drew hay for our feed, also oats for three days. Also 7 wagons. Kept quite busy. Didn't get much sleep; ordered to march at 2 A. M. Cold — Tea — 8 days of commissaries and 5 of forage.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 114

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: October 10, 1864

Mike traded off the gold rings for three pecks of sweet potatoes and half a dozen onions; am in clover. Make nice soup out of beef, potatoe, bread, onion and salt; can trade a sweet potatoe for most anything. Mike does the cooking and I do the eating; he won't eat my potatoes, some others do though and without my permission. 'Tis. ever thus, wealth brings care and trouble. Battese came to-day to see me and gave him some sweet potatoes. He is going away soon the rebels having promised to send him with next batch of sailors; is a favorite with rebels. Mike baking bread to take with him in his flight. Set now at the door of the tent on a soap box; beautiful shade trees all over the place. Am in the 5th Ward, tent No. 12; covered still does me good service. Many die here but not from lack of attention or medicine. They haven't the vitality to rally after their sufferings at Andersonville. Sisters of Charity go from tent to tent looking after men of their own religion; also citizens come among us Wheat bread we have quite often and is donated by citizens. Guards walk on the outside of the wall and only half a dozen or so on the inside, two being at the gate; not necessary to guard the sick very close. Should judge the place was some fine private residence before being transformed into the Marine Hospital. Have good water. What little hair I have is coming off; probably go home bald-headed.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 102-3

Monday, January 22, 2018

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: September 17, 1864

Four in each tent. A nurse raises me up, sitting posture, and there I stay for hours, dozing and talking away. Whiskey given us in very small quantities, probably half a teaspoonful in half a glass of something, I don't know what. Actually makes me drunk. I am in no pain whatever.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 95

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Captain William Thompson Lusk to Elizabeth Adams Lusk, October 19, 1862

79th Regiment, Camp Israel,                      
Pleasant Valley,        
Oct. 19th, 1862.
My dear Mother:

It is some little time since I have had an opportunity to write you, for a few days ago we were suddenly sent to Frederick for the protection of that place, apprehensive of an attack from Stuart's troopers. While there, we had no conveniences for inditing epistles, little to eat, and plenty of exposure. When I left for Frederick, I was quite ill with camp dysentery, but it left me very soon, although I have no doubt, could you have seen me lying out of doors without shelter in the cold night air, you would have predicted certain death to me. I find men don't die easy, unless they are shot. Atmospheric exposure doesn't kill. Men grow and thrive with hardship.

Well, so I am another Uncle, bless my heart! As well as the little heart of the new youngster who wouldn't be a girl for any consideration! The female sex don't seem to smile upon me, but then boys are such “rare birds,” as Dr. Tyng said of Billy Willson's Zouaves. There's some consolation in that. I think I shall accept the Uncleship of Ellen's baby, so that when I get old and a busybody, I can make a match between this last nephew of mine and little Miss Dodge. Hey! Won't it be fun! Give the small boy a good kissing, tell him I am going to arrange all his love matters for him when he gets old enough, and most charming of all, will buy him a new drum as soon as he can handle the drumsticks. For the rest I do not doubt but that he is a phenomenon of a beautiful mottled cherry color, in fact beyond comparison, unequalled by any other baby of his age living. Give my congratulations to Hunt and Mary, and tell them, like a good brother I rejoice with them, and only wish I could be present with them for a few days to share their joy.

It is raining hard to-night and we think that cold weather will follow. As for promotion, I do not bother my head about that. I have enough to disgust me in a thousand ways to make me sick of soldiering. However, duty is duty, so I put my nose to the grindstone and say, “Grind away.” . . . My own tent — we are five of us together — has a pretty good set of fellows. The only trouble is, with the exception of my old first Lieutenant (appointed Capt. today), they sadly lack interest in the cause they are engaged upon. These new Regiments have destroyed the enthusiasm of the old. The newly enlisted men have already in advance, in the way of bounties, received more money than old soldiers can hope to earn in the entire war. The old officers who have been in many battles and by hard service have learned their duty, are obliged to receive instructions when on picket or other extra duty, from some Major just entering on military life, who very likely pegged shoes for them, without an inspiration for military glory, a year ago. These things are hard to gulp down, and unless the sense of duty is very strong the murmurings are loud indeed.


SOURCE: William Chittenden Lusk, Editor, War Letters of William Thompson Lusk, p. 220-2

Friday, January 12, 2018

Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes, April 1, 1863

Camp White, April 1, 1863.

Dearest: — We are again in communication with America after being cut off about four or five days by General Jenkins. He attacked two posts garrisoned by [the] Thirteenth Virginia — and one had Lieutenant Hicks, the color sergeant and six men of Twenty-third. In both cases General Jenkins was badly worsted losing seventy men killed or captured, while we lost only four killed and five wounded. A sorry raid so far.

Judge Matthews, I see, is to be superior court judge. I suppose his health is the cause. He had a difficulty before he left the Twenty-third which at times unfitted him for service in the field.

Awful weather for tent life the last week — snow, rain, and wind “all to once.” I am really glad you left when you did. A few weeks hence if Jenkins lets us alone we shall be in condition to enjoy your presence.

Love to the dear boys. Webb will, I am sure, study hard when he hears how much I want him to be a scholar. Birch and the others are right of course.

The Prince's [Prince of Wales] wedding you read, I know. No happier than ours!

Mrs. Hayes.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 401

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 13, 1863

Remained at quarters nearly all day. Rainy in the morning. Read in the Independent. About noon ordered to pack wagons ready to move. Struck tents and all ready. Troops returned to camps and tents again pitched. Begin to worry about Thede. A. B. thinks he had better be discharged. So do I.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 101

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: November 21, 1863

Raining heavily. Issued flour and beef to 2nd O. V. C. Robertson came down. Moved north of town and pitched tents and sent for forage. Two boys, "Shorty" and another, sat by the light and played "Seven Up." Became pleasant before night. Left flour for the brigade with Powers. All wonder at our movements.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 98