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Journal 7: Camp Near White Oak Church, Va. 16th Regiment, N.Y.S.Volunteers.

by this day's mail which goes in the afternoon. March 3d 1863

          Own dear one, it seems to have been a hoax about the prisoners. I also heard the other day that the boys on picket traded with the rebel pickets three negroes for three sheep, but this has proved a joke too. Well Saturday morning Feb. 28th was muster day as the regiments were down on picket we went down there to muster. Col. Seaver, Adjutant Pliny Moore (acting as such while Nevins is in Washington) & myself. We rode across the country passing out past the 5th Maine hospitals & over the immense plain used by the Jersey Brigade as a parade ground. They were already engaged in muster. We soon came in view of Old Hay's house & then hove off to the left to flank companies. The Col. mustered them by companies. While we were mustering Capt. Best's Company, the Capt. stuck his sword in the ground in the officer's day and as I was standing by it I carefully moved it & by accident pushed it down further. That suggested the idea of pushing it all the way down. Where upon Pliny Moore came up & finished its burial & kicked leaves over the hilt - but unfortunately Capt. Best discovered us before the complete concealment had been completed. He is a real pleasant fellow & is constantly affording us some fun. We went on through the company, the names of the men being called, those not there being accounted for by the officers & those there answering here & at the same time bringing their gun from a support arms to a shoulder & from a shoulder to an order-arms, so there was no answering for one another. At last we came to Com. H at old Hays house. After the mustering of that Company we went into the house & the Col. & Pliny made a descent upon Major Gilmore's haversack. It was a most amusing scene to see them helping themselves. They opened one dish & there was hash & liver. "If there is any one failing I have" says Plin "it is for liver," & then they went at it. Then Plin unscrewed brother Hays hand irons & c. & c. & finally the Col. drilled him in the manual with the pitch fork handle with the bayonette on the end of it, of which I have previously spoken. Finally the Col. brought him to a charge bayonette in a line with my physical economy, which was firmly impaled with the chair I was sitting on the bottom thereof receiving the point of the bayonette & shortly after we continued on accompanying with the Major to muster the companies farther in on the picket line. We went through them one by one, I giving what mail there was for each as we went. Soon we came to the company on the extreme right & oh what a beautiful view we could see out away across the country & the hills far beyond the Rappahannock & the old familiar hedge road in the ditch at whose side the Major & I slept the night before the bombardment of Fredericksburgh. On the hills beyond to the south we could see the rebel encampment & the boys say they have often seen the flashing of their arms in the sunlight. Well, at last we returned & came across the country in a pretty direct line, the Col. challenging me to a race. Off he went & I after, but wholely unexpected to himself, he came suddenly upon a ditch & a pretty good one, too. There was no stopping. Over the horse went, carrying the Col. with him & galloping on like mad. Zollicoffer gathered himself & made a splendid cross, but we had quite a laugh over the surprise. We came into camp just were we went out over hill & dale & plain. After a late dinner, I took Col. Seaver's brother, who did not accompany us, but who had been on a visit to the Vermont regiments. I took him down to the drum corps & had the boys to drum for him & fife. He wanted to drum as he had a taste for it. We afterwards went into Chandler's tent & he played for him on the violin, but poor Chandler was pretty drunk & could not make it go quite as good as usual. His hands were cold & then the bow was not rosined & c. & c. We next went into Capt. Wood's tent & Chandler followed us in. The Capt. called in a little contraband who had this afternoon made his appearance in camp & we questioned him as to his whereabouts or rather from his whence abouts, during which examination he afforded us much amusement. The Capt. sent him round to his cook tent to get something to eat. Dress Parade is just now going on & the drum corps is just obeying the order "Troupe beat off" & is marching down in first of the regiment. There is old Cyclops with his gun black beard among the pioneers standing right near to Sargent Brown, an old Crimean soldier). Well in the evening we talked in the tent & Mr. Seaver, on my asking him not to go till Monday, consented to stay & not start on Sabbath.
          Sabbath was a busy day for me. The regiment was down on picket & some up here, so I prepared for several services. First I had services in camp. Then prayers in the hospital. Then I went down on picket & had six services. The companies were so dispersed that I could only sometimes take two at a time. Two I had to take above, so it made six services. The men turning out finely & when I came to camp & at old Hays, old Hays himself appeared but would not come in to the out house where we held the service. Be turned away. Capt. Best came over with me & attended the service of Com. H. also. Then I went on the line & finally reached the top of the hill, overlooking the Rappahannock. It was then growing so dusky that although able to read the hymns I could not see to read the Bible, so I repeated the substance of the passage selected. We did not sing (only reading the hymns) singing on picket is not appropriate, you know. The Col. asked me not to have singing, not because it was dangerous for there are none of the enemy on this side of the river, but because it would be out of order for pickets. Lieut. Jones went on with me from his company to the last company & then returned with me. The moon had risen & oh what a beautiful night. I led them by and by & then gave old Zollicoffer the reins to go pretty much his own course across the country back to camp. He took me through a little grove; the patches of bright moon light spreading all over around the underbrush & logs & leaves, & then out again upon the plain & over ditches & here & there & soon through a camp of some regiment, I expect it was a Jersey regiment & at last he went along the bow of a hill & I thought old Zolly was wrong, but he brought me out right by the 5th Maine hospital just were I went out. Once or twice, I guided him, supposing he was wrong, but he came out pretty truly. On reaching our tent, it was seven o'clock. So, I called Edo to take the horse & went to the hospital tent & found a few waiting for our own meeting, so we had a pleasant one. Then I had prayers in the hospital tent & took my dinner. Was not that a busy day? Eight services, short to be sure. Next morning, Monday. Soon after hospital we started out for Falmouth; that is, yesterday. Col. Seaver, Mr. John Seaver & myself. We struck across the country to White Oak Church & then we turned off about a mile beyond into the fields & went around towards the brows of the hills & finally came to Gen. Newton's head quarters. A Capt. Tilly, a brother of the Tilly (new as Commissary at Belle Plain & formerly of the bookstore at Plattsburgh with Monroe) a brother of that Tilly is Quartermaster in Gen. Newton's staff & he has arranged the head quarters very neatly, having made a hewn log house with windows of glass & shutters & doors from the Phillips house that burned up the other day & then enclosed the whole with a hedge of evergreens & inside has made a garden & transplanted bushes with red berries on them; all looks very pretty. From there we rode over towards the pontoon train & Mr. Seaver rode over to Hooker's head quarters to leave his satchel. Thence we rode over to a hilltop & looked with the Col. glass at the rebel entrenchments. Soon Mr. Seaver joined us again. Then we crossed the rail road & came out on the hill top that looks down on the abutments & piers of the railroad bridge that once bore the cars over to Fredericksburgh. The bridge is now destroyed. The banks on the opposite side of the river in the city were well provided with rebel pickets & spectators & on our side, what did we see but some officers of our army & ladies with them, standing looking over. Mrs. Hull, one of the ladies, a wife of a surgeon, professed herself to be a sympathizer with the enemy. She was a Virginian, born in Washington. She kissed her hand to the rebels & they took off their hats to her & soon a boat about two feet long, with sails set, came gliding over. It had tied upon it, they say, some tobacco & two Richmond papers. One of them was handed to me to look at; it was the Richmond dispatch of Feb. 28th, containing Jeff Davis' proclamation appointing a day of fasting & prayer the 28th of March, I believe. We soon rode off after having examined with a glass the houses perforated with balls. We went along the road till we came to a mill & passing it, came to a small bridge where the picket told us he had orders not to let any body past, so we went over the hill. I forgot to say that on one of the hill tops we examined an entrenchment & the remains of a battery used against the city a while ago. Soon we came out on the bank of the river by the Lacy house (Lacy House), from which we could examine the city very finely. From this house, it was Burnside witnessed the battle.
          Soon Mrs Hull & the others came down too. We saw them on the upper piazza. When we were here, another little boat was sent over & the soldiers brought it up on the bank into the garden & the rebels were quite provoked; the man who sent it over swore at them & told them to send that boat back, but our men were forbidden to have any intercourse with them. While we were here Mr. Seaver went back for his satchel & we watched a little while with the glass. We could see quite distinctly the monument of Washington's mother in the cemetery above the city. We saw a rebel regiment marching through the town; how they looked - butternut uniforms & a rag for their colors. Officers seemed to be riding here & there & waggons going about. Soon we rode off towards Falmouth R.R. Station, expecting to meet Mr. Seaver there. A horse of one of Gen. Couch's aids, tied at the Lacy house, just then escaped & the Col. took means to have him sent back, stopping a man who was gobbling him up & taking him off & telling him to wait for the orderly who was coming after the horse. The word "gobbling up" is used very generally here. If a thing has been carried off, it has been gobbled up, they say. Well, we reached the depot & we had been there but a short time before up came the ever present Mrs. Hull again, trudging with her husband through the mud. I stood looking with the Col. glass a long time for Mr. Seaver to see him come over the hill top. It was such a crowd of horses & waggons & men that I kept on the look out for him & at last I saw him just coming over the hill, recognizing him with the aid of the glass. Then I mounted old Zollicoffer & went to meet him. At last we bid him good bye & we returned to Hooker's head quarters with the horse Mr. Seaver rode down on, but before we started old Zollicoffer bit a hole in a bag of oats in a waggon & was proceeding to help himself, but there were objections made. At Hooker's head quarters we saw Bently, one of our men detailed there. Then we rode over across the country to Stoneman's Station to the 12 Regt. to see Dr. Murphy & oh, how hungry we were when we reached there. The Dr. prepared us a good dinner & told us he was coming over to see us in the morning. We prevailed upon him at last to return with us which he did. We enjoyed our dinner very much. Dr. Eddy, the assist, surgeon, gave us some mince pie from home & some cake as desert. Soon we were on the way, having a very pleasant ride, stopping at Hooker's head quarters again as the Col. wished to see if they had gone down & brought up a box in which he was interested, which he discovered at the depot. However they had not yet obtained it, so we started homeward. The Dr. wanted to stop at Brooks' headquarters near White Oak Church, to see Dr. Taylor. That did not detain us long & so soon we were in camp again. Marshall was just bringing in dinner, so we took another dinner at about five o'clock, having had about a twenty mile ride. The Dr. slept in Col. Palmer's bed. I forgot to say, own dear wify (March 4th 1863) that one of the officers we met with the ladies on the bank looking at & kissing hands (that is, one of the ladies) to the rebel pickets was Capt. Haddock who made the excursion in the balloon way up 300 miles into the Canada woods with LaMontaine & the people thought they were lost, (Mrs. Hull kissed her hand, not Capt. Haddock). Well the Dr. stayed with us till yesterday noon. I went round & distributed my Independents yesterday & had my meetings in the evening with Co. A., B., C., & D. We had no meetings of Co. A. & B. Monday night. Today the regiment is drilling, it is a fine day but windy. The express packages have just come & some of Capt. Wood's. Perhaps my box from own dear wify will come. Own dear one, love own dear hubby & pray for him. The Quartermaster has been up to Washington, returning today (no, yesterday) & he has hurried up the packages. Perhaps my dear box has come from wify, I do not know yet. Col. Palmer's has come to Washington. We expect him (the Col. P.) back today & Col. Seaver is thinking of taking a leave for ten days in a day or two.

          (Saturday 7th March 1863) Own one. Wednesday evening, the Col. sent for Mr. Burns to fix his shoulder straps & made preparations to go the next morning, but Pete came back from Falmouth with old Zollicoffer & the old Grey (the Col. Palmer's horse), but without the Col. himself. Col. Seaver then, in his comical way, sit down on his bed & said "T'was ever thus from childhood's hour & c." I had my evening meeting in the hospital stewards tent somewhat earlier as they commenced a Military School. They will have it in the hospital stewards tent every evening except Wednesday & Sunday, but that evening it was given out so I had my meeting earlier to accommodate them. All the officers meet & recite in tactics & the manual & c. Thursday morning I arranged some of mM lists of companies & c. & after a while I came up & Wilson & some of the others, Pliny Moore & the Col., were going to drill in the hospital tent. Wilson wanted me to go along with them, so I drilled for a while & had a very pleasant time. In the afternoon, the Col.'s orderly came rushing in saying Pete's coming & there is something on the other horse & I guess the Colors coming & so it turned out. Shortly, in came Col. Palmer looking finely, he had treated himself to a military jacket & a new pair of pants & did look very comical at first. We were all glad to see him. just before he came, Capt. Wood's boxes came. The Quartermaster had gone after them to Washington & hurried them up. I brought Col. Palmer's box in & soon in came mine & the Col. & I opened it & we had a jolly time. Over all, things were nicely preserved, except a bit or so of sausage. In the evening, I had my company prayer meetings with E & F. Col. bought a new sword for himself & one fine one as a present to Col. Seaver. In the evening, after prayer meeting, I went into the lesson on tactics; that is, I went in to hear them recite, by invitation & Plin Moore immediately offered me a gun. It was very pleasant & some fun. During the evening Plin Moore (as the candle opposite was burning out) threw a candle to Lieut. Dodge just as he (Dodge) was going to rise & recite in some part of the manual, taking the gun & standing in the middle of the tent. But just as he was about to commence, Plin Moore said "I beg leave to say that I just threw a candle to Lieut. Dodge to put into that candle stick yonder & he has put it into his pocket." Where upon there was a general laugh. After the school, I found the Col. packing up to prepare to go & saw Adjutant Wilson came in & Col Scarer made him repeat for me part of the burlesque on Hollins' speech; Hollins who did not crush the fleet at New Orleans. "I wager my sheckles up on the steed with the shortened tail. Who will stake his gold upon the bay" & Adjt. Wilson repeats splendidly. We had a cup of black tea as we did the night before, wify's tea & oh, it was so good. The night before hubby had a piece of toast made; Edo made me two pieces & a cup of tea & I took it all alone & it was so good. Soon, who should come in but Chaplain Adams & we had a cozy time & I gave him a cup of tea that I had keeping warm for the Col. Well, early Friday morning, the Col. was waked up & took breakfast with adjutant Wilson. They were going off together & soon we bid them good by & they started. Col. Palmer & I took a good snooze & then rose for breakfast. I made plains calls among the men yesterday after light & during the day I went into the Dr. tent & found him cowering over a fire a chips. "See here" says he. "Chaplain, your tent gets all the wood. Your three boys, Pete, Edo & Coats, when the wood comes, each pitch in & take the bigger sticks & we whistle for it." I had to laugh. We certainly have a Pickwickian establive of boys & c. Back of is in the cook tent. You would be amused. The other day, I asked to give one a stick of wood for the fire "oh yes, Chaplain" says he, very willing to accommodate you, very willing though not to see it burned all the less cutting or something to that effect." He has an old reck line of a horse and now & then as I pass the horse, he will say, "ah, Chaplain, talking of horses, that is the animal that never breaks water."
          Little Pete is very small & sometimes he gets mad & will cry out, "Now, Coats, you better look out or presently you will hear something dross" Edo is very well. He is getting quite fat & hearty. I often think of the night when I found him cowering over the camp fire talking of soon lying down by the roadside like the rest of them. Well at dinner, we had a very nice meal: stewed oysters, sausages, jelly pie, cake, wedding cake & c. & c. & c. Soon the Quartermaster came in & said "well now oysters & you did not tell me of it." So we sent for a plate & he sat down & dined with us. In the afternoon, I write a letter to you, wify. I sent a few days ago, the checks for grandma & two checks to you of $20 each. Well in the evening I had my meeting with Co. G & H & afterwards we had tea & opened the letter of Nevins & enjoying them much. At about Nine (9 o'clock) your letter of Monday came. Don't feel unhappy at all, own one. God has something more blessed in store for us. Early this morning, Saturday, I was waked by some one at the Dr's. tent saying Sargent Lewis has fainted away. I had on my pants & coat in a jiffy & was down there almost right away. The poor Sargent had a hard time of it but is better now. I came back & went to bed again & soon rose & we had breakfast & then I went to visit the men, went to the hospitals, had prayers & soon after returned there & read them "The last sunrise of the Monitor." They like reading aloud. I made a number of pleasant calls, speaking to each of salvation. One old man with Jake Roberts of Co. E said he could not read a testament if he had one for he had broken his glasses, so I brought them up here & fixed them & then returned them with a testament & he was very much pleased over it. They had a fine game of ball today. Then came a little rain & after that Parade. Remember me kindly to Dr. Dewy & tell him I received a plant mint the other day from his friend, Van Aram. He is now detailed at Corps headquarters. I sent his letter to him & also wrote a letter to him before & yesterday he came in the tent here & had a very pleasant talk. I also saw his brother today & he is otherwise well. I must write to the Dr., if I ever get time. I called on Chaplain Adams today & he was so glad to see me. Col. Bodine of the 27th N.Y. stopped in this afternoon to see us & I have been to afternoon prayers & now it is 1/2 past six & I must prepare for prayer meeting in Co. J. & K. & then prepare for tomorrow's Sabbath service. Col. Palmer is busily engaged reading tactics. The fire is burning pleasantly. An old brown earthen pitcher, a relic of Fredericksburgh, is standing on the table & the Cols. new high steel sword is hanging up over the mantle piece. I just accidentally kicked the Col. "oh," says I, "I beg pardon." Where upon he says "kick it again & beg pardon again." & then he made a feint of a kick at my own veritable shins. I am just six inches from the hack in the post of my five foot bedstead that the Col. cut in when he was going to cut me down the morning of the late move to cross over the Rappahannock.

          Tuesday (March 10th 1863). My own dear wify. Saturday evening after the Col. went to bed I tried to arrange my Sabbath services for the coming day and at about 1/2 past eleven also went to bed. I lay awake for some time after blowing out the candle with my hat (according to custom) & it did seem so exceedingly unique, my position. There I was, lying comfortable upon 7 little pine poles (with the bark yet on) supported on frame poles stuck up in the midst of a field in Virginia with a bit of canvass stretched over me. The inner surface of which was lit up by some burning embers glowing in a mud arch, equipment for the field where hanging over it & right before it the old, tattered colors of the regiment that had fluttered in the battle smoke of all the peninsula war & then at Antitam & finally found itself again in the front at Fredericksburgh. The sounds of the camp around where nicely stilled for the night. But soon there came the rushing sound of some stampeding horse & then some distance off the wild sound of some hungry mule in an ambulance park. It did seem strange but soon own hubby fell asleep & slept as sound under his course blankets & on his saddle bag pillow as if the bed had been one of a more (?) character. Sunday morning I prepared for service & we had an enormous turnout of the regiment in consequence of inspection. The Col. whirled then into solid columns immediately after & we had service. It was not a pleasant way for me to speak to them as I could only see the front ones. We usually have them on three sides of a square: The Col. thought it would extend to for to have them arranged in that way. At about 2 o'clock he went over with me to Chaplain Adams service with the 5th Maine. In the evening I had my services in the hospital steward's tent as usual. In the evening we read together three chapters in short. He read them to me & asked me questions upon it. The simplest questions upon the text to see what could be remembered. He evidently was much interested in the chapters & to that end hubby would be willing, you know, to be questioned all night.

          Monday morning, I made calls among the men. They were having a good game of ball in the parade ground. We had dinner about 1/2 past one, so that they would be ready for the two hours drill that had been ordered. At two the drill commenced & it was very interesting, forming squares against cavalry & c. In the midst of it ex-senator Preston King arrived. Quartermaster Davis brought him up from Falmouth in an ambulance & took him in his tent to dinner. After drill there was an interval & I met Chaplain Webster of the 27th & had quite a talk with him & then our dress parade came on. We stood talking through that & also through the parade of the 27th which immediately followed. Then I went to dinner & after dinner, distributed my papers, the Independents & c. Then Plin Moore & I tightened up the ropes of our tent in the midst of which we heard the report of a funeral volley over in the Jersey Brigade. "There, says Plin in his quiet way, "is another Jersey gone up." They have funerals there daily, sometimes seven a day. Our Regt. has been peculiarly blessed. We have but nine men in the hospital now & they are getting well & we have only lost four since I came. I have only attended two funerals; two died during the battle of Fredericksburgh times & were buried without ceremony by the sick men, left taking in an old camp near Belle Plain. In the evening I had my meeting with Companies A. & B., prayer meeting in their quarters. Plin Moore has given me his photograph. Also Capt. Wood & Major Gilmore. On returning to our tent at about nine I find Preston King, the ex-senator, here. Oh, what a large man. He was sitting in the Col. (Seaver's) bed & I asked him not to rise, as he rose to shake hands with me, but he did, then on sitting down again shortly after the bed began to creak under him & was actually giving way, so we transferred him to the opposite side of the tent. He was very agreeable, remained some time & finally bid us good bye, saying he was to leave early in the morning. We were hoping to have him to dine with us today. In fun, I proposed at dinner yesterday to Col. Palmer to give Mr. King my bed. "Oh, no!" says he, "I object in total." (He is nearly as big as Uncle Lemuel Bloodgood used to be). The Col. thought it not safe to sleep under him. Your letter of the 2d & 3d have come safely & the letter telling me of the receipt of the checks, also a letter from Mother way off in Peru. Poor Jennie, may God spare her life. Let us put our whole trust in God, dear wify. He will arrange all things blessedly for us all. Today, Tuesday, it is snowing again. I have been to the hospital to prayers & also to read aloud to them for a little while, then I paid a visit to Dr. Crandall, who has returned & Dr. Purdy read long (a few letters of Artemas Ward) & now I am in our tent again.
          The Col. is reading the Herald, just arrived. He is sitting on a very comfortable seat made out of my new camp bedstead which Hastings has sent to me from Belle Plain. It makes a very comfortable chair & then unfolds into a very comfortable bed; it is very convenient. We are expecting to enjoy it much ever as a chair. My own dear wify what a comfort your dear deguerrotype is to me. My dear little Princeton picture that I have had all along. But I would like to see my own dear wify own dear self. You do love me dearly don't you own one?
          Wify, I had laid aside my paper for a time but Marshall, our mess Cook, has appeared at the tent door with his board of things for dinner & in the interval before they actually attack upon the edibles. I will try & give you a description of our dinner arrangements. What he has done today is as we usually have it. He has brought in a board about 2 1/2 feet long & 18 inches wide, like an ironing board, only it is pretty well blackened by use & grease. On it is a pie & a plate of bread & a plate of doughnuts & cake & a saucer of cheese. This is placed on Col. Seaver's bed & on the table is spread the cloth. There are three cups & saucers & spoons. There are three pairs of knives & forks, two tablespoons, a milk pitcher without a handle, a plate of butter & a knife, a japanned tin cup full of sugar, a glass salt cellar & a japanned tin pepper box. He brought in afterwards a wire arrangement like a double grid iron opening with a hinge which holds a beef steak between it, so:

and this he generally places over our coals in the fire place & cooks the beef steak in this way, but today the fire is not right for it, so he has taken it elsewhere. Soon we will have it brought in with potatoes & coffee. Your dear jar of Quince jelly is also on the table & Mrs. Coit's jar of pickles. We finished the jar of cherries or about finished it this morning. They were so gem on pan cakes. Now dear wify, you see about how we live (Marshall is the son of old Paul Marshall of Plattsburgh). Edo & Pete & Coats also inhabit the cook tent, right behind ours & make themselves generally useful & generally comically except when they get generally mad at one another, when the Col. or somebody yells at them to stop that noise out there. Here comes dinner. Oh, we have a smoking dish of pork & beans in addition. He has brought in our three plates, also & here comes Major Gilmore with his chair captured at Fredericksburgh, which he brings in when he comes to meals.

          (Friday, March 18th 1863). Own Dear One. Wednesday was pleasant & they had a game of ball, but I thought I would try & write a sermon, which I commenced the night before. I write some on it. (?) came in the tent to call. I had my prayers in the hospital & in the evening was for a little while in the Adjutant's tent with the Adjutant & Pliny Moore, that is after my Wednesday evening lecture. We had a pleasant meeting & there was one old man from the N.Y. 31st. After meeting I went into the hospitals & on coming past the hospital Stewards tent again, I some how felt I ought to go in & say something to the old man from the 31st for perhaps I might never see him again. I thought to myself, well it is no matter after all he has been to the meeting & that may be enough. But yet, at last I felt I must go in & take some opportunity to speak to him. I had that opportunity & I hope God may bless it to him. Thursday I wrote somewhat during the day. Paid a visit to Dr. Crandall & Dr. Pardy. The latter amused me much with a letter or two of Artemas Ward. He read them very well at dinner. We had a friend of Gilmore's, an officer of the 61st N.Y. He stayed all night & Gilmore took my bed for him. Hastings has sent me a fine camp bedstead which shuts up like a chair & we are enjoying it. I paid a visit to Gilmore in the evening & the Quartermaster. They tent together. We had a pleasant talk. Afterwards, Pliny Moore came in & spent some time with us here yesterday. We had a remarkable marriage take place up at headquarters of which you have probably seen some notice in the paper. Gen. Hooker was to give away the bride. Today, I have tried to write some on my sermon. The text is Cain's question: "Am I my brother's keeper?" I paid a visit to Crandall & he read Rand to me a little. Also I was in the Adjutant's tent to see him; he does not like to take medicine. Our hospital patients are getting on finely, but there is one now, one who has the fever who is quite flighty, poor fellow, but we hope he will soon be better. Until a day or two ago, the beds of all the patients were on the ground as boughs, but now they have raised them up on poles some two feet. Tonight we had a fire in camp which gave quite a little excitement. A bough house near our hospital caught fire. It belonged to the 27th Regt., but they extinguished it after awhile. Today we had a drill of the regiment in the way of passing defiles of the mountaineers. But as it was so could they did not continue it long. Crandall tells us tonight that Capt. Rand he thinks will not be able to stand it; he is sick again, poor fellow & yet he wants to go on so bad. Wify, your dear letters have come safely, the long one about the interview with Mr. M.J. with own one & we will but leave it all to God, he will direct us. Your letter of last Saturday came to night; it has been delayed somewhere. Also a letter came from Mr. McNay to me. I sent to him to have him send me another india rubber drinking cup to replace the one I have lost somewhere. I found it very useful & tonight Mr. McNay's letter has come enclosing one to me. So you see hubby has his loss replaced, at an expense of 31 cents. Wify, I find my conceedance of great use to me. I have hastily run over these four days, they have not been very eventful although I have been busy. The fact is I can't get time enough for all the things. Col. Adams of the 27th has returned. To night I met at the fire there Chaplain Mr. Webster & this evening the Col. & myself indulged in some doughnuts & a cup of Wify's black tea. We took it cozily together by our fire place. Oh, how comfortable we have been this winter here & I am so well, dear Fanny; my appetite so good. Get so hungry & we live pretty heartily too. We had today beef steak, potatoes, pork & beans, pickles, doughnuts & current pie (dried currants). Now that is not bad for down here, is it? Cheese also & fresh bread & coffee every meal. Of course for breakfast they make us very light & nice pan cakes of flour, so we get along finely. Pliny Moore has given me his photograph & Capt. Wood & Gilmore & Capt. Merry. I want to try & get all of them if possible. We went over Wednesday, I think it was, to the photographer's tent. Plin, Crandall, Nevins the Adjutant & myself, but it was so crowded we soon came away. The Photographer is one who used to take likenesses in the regiment before. He came some time ago to see Col. Seaver, to ask permission to take likenesses. He came smiling into the tent, smiling rather extensively. Whereupon Col. Seaver after a few moments pause, the photographer standing smiling, & not saying a word, the Col. Says "Well, you are a very amiable looking man, but I don't know you." They finally came to an understanding & there upon the. interview closed. Well, own decry wily, I will go to bed now, bidding you good night for a time. So good by for a little while, own one.

          (Wednesday, March 18th 1863) Own Dear One. Today is raw & chilly. They have been policing the camp, cleaning of & c. I have been to the hospitals, saw a number of the officers here in the quartermaster's tent & saw Gilmore & c. Saturday, I finished my sermon in the evening, had eight company prayer meetings A & B I had Monday night & then the weather being unpleasant, I had omitted the other meetings except Wednesday evening meeting in the Hospital Steward's tent. I held them all, that is the remaining eight on Saturday evening. Sunday was cold & we had service though very large attendance on account of turning them in Vigils (?) from inspection & did not read my sermon but repeated it from memory, or rather the substance of it & did not do near so well in entirely extemporaneity. At least I did not seem to interest the men. It was, however, very cold &they kept stomping their feet to keep warm. However, we will pray to do better. Sunday evening we had a very pleasant meeting in the Hospital Steward's tent and young Dodge, Lieut. of whom I spoke in yesterday's letter, expressed his wish to be a Christian. Monday I did about as usual, but took a ride with Gilmore to Corps. headquarters. In the evening, had my prayer meetings in over Co. A & B's quarters & some noisy fellows commenced on the Monday night previous to sing "We are marching along, McClelland's our leader & c." Some one had repeated in camp a private conversation of mine which I had most heartily reported my disgust for McClelland & the boys wished to show how they thought the contrary, that is, some few of them I called them out, the whole company & out they came & then I told them quite plainly that I wanted to know what was the matter. The confessor, one of them, stepped out & said they had nothing in the world against me, everybody liked me but they had heard said that I had said McClelland was a traitor & that the whole army of the Potomac were rebels or something to that effect. Where upon I gave them distinctly to understand that I came down among them to be their spiritual guide & not to be a politician, not that I wanted them also to know that I had my own views. It was not my purpose nor duty to express them there, but that further more, there were not soldiers enough in the army of the Potomac to make me change my opinion as to what I thought was right but now I wished to propose a question. They had been angered because one who they looked upon as their leader had been spoken about harshly. Now they must remember that I had a leader or commander, the Lord Jesus Christ. How must I feel when daily & hourly through the camp I heard him spoken of profanely & his name and as an oath and that there untempity of their singing in there tents was in one sense an insult to him. Then one course fellow spoke up & thought not. I told them I would not use any authority to have it stopped but only I wished to know what I was to expect, & then we would understand one another. I then took my lantern & removed from the group allowing them to go to their tents that instant. A number went & a number stayed & we had a pleasant, quiet meeting. In company B I called them out also. They had assembled in one tent & were playing on the banjo & violin. I waited patiently at the tent door till they had finished & then entered the tent. Saying, let me see how many friends I have here, I extended my hand at once to the banjo player & asked if I would be requesting too much to have a few minutes quiet so that I could have our little meeting in the quarters. They were willing at once & all, I believe, turned out & then I spoke to them in a very few words, kindly, saying that if I had offended them in any way or rather was not agreeable to them as a pastor, it was certainly not my wish to remain with them, but as to having my own views, no one could make me change them. My mission with them, however, was a mission of a pastor & had endeavored to show it in any way, going with them where ever they had been. One spoke up & said, "Yes, Chaplain, we saw that at Fredericksburgh." I then regretted, I said, "that there should have been any cause for speaking to them on such a subject & hoped there should be no more." They said there should not. I then ... I then prayed with them & sung the rock of ages, one verse & also the Benediction & then we separated. It made me feel bad, for all has gone so well.II have been thinking with myself about the subject. I had made up my mind when coming here that never would I say any thing but what pertained to my duties. But in two conversations where that mutinous McClelland had been extolled to the skins, I was driven by the very feeling of shocked mankind to make a remark which I really feel, that "McClelland is a traitor & that the Army of the Potomac was rotten at the corps core." That remark was repeated it and I had almost made up my mind at Parade when the whole regiment was out today before them that I had so said, believed it, & that if every bayonette was pointed at my heart while I was a living man, there would be no possibility of making me say or believe otherwise. One think alone restrained it; it was Christ's cause. The idea came up first that it was Christ's cause & then I would have done it before the Army of the Potomac, but after long thought I concluded that it would be an injury & so I restrained the desire. I reasoned in this way. There was a Persian discussion once among the Magi about an edict against eating griffins. Oh how excited they were until at last the whole excitement was found to have been unnecessary on account of there being no such things as griffins. Now McClelland is a dead dog, he never will be returned to the Army & can do no more harm in that way, so is it not somewhat like the griffin subject. It occurred to me that it would not be unmanly to leave the subject of McClellandism to take care of itself. It has been a question to me and a lesson which I have not yet fathomed to be of future service; no doubt there are many things of the nature of some which we impartially must tend upon & will make us unpopular. I feel as if I would fight against the world in developing any such a subject right in the truth of men. Even if the guillotine was behind me & was to cut off the sermon with my head. But the Devil is always trying to make us feel that certain other subjects not included in this number are thus in. Indeed, in order to make us like Don Quixote to be fighting against the wind mills. Pray that hubby may know what to do. I was a little depressed when I came to my tent & I told the Col. & the Adjutant & we had a long talk & I was so much pleased with the interest of both, especially the Adjutant's. He is a young man, a splendid officer. Has been a wild adventurer in various services in the western wilds. The Utah expedition in the regular service & c. & c. and among the Indians. But a man of the world, profligate & profane, but he seems to like me much. He has conversed very candidly with me about religion; says he don't care anything about it. It is well enough but quite hardier. We talked together in the dark at night in the battle field of Fredericksburgh. The night after the awful fight we were coming in from the outer pickets. Well, we have been pleasantly related in other respects, and on the night I refer to a few nights ago, Monday night, I happened to say it discouraged me some. When he said very earnestly "well now, I don't think it should at all." He moved his pipe to one corner of his mouth & looking into the fire said, "You know, there is a great burden on you anyway. Men here don't care about religion. This only added a little to the burden & encouraged you to work the harder." It seemed so strange, coming from him. Then he said he was going to write about it to his old father who was a blue Dusty (?) declare things be. I will write to him & tell him about it. Well now of course, Thursday morning you may suppose I felt depressed and it seems God does never forget to help for I was much encouraged again by a simple little matter apart from the circumstance of Lieut. Dodge. A young man of Com. C asked me says he, "Chaplain, you are going to have our prayer meeting tonight in Com. C., are you not?" It seemed so encouraging to me to think he should remember the enemy. He not a religious man. He said he was to last Wednesday meeting in the hospital Steward's tent. Well, when the evening came, there he was & not only attend that one, but next one & attended the com. D. one also. We had very pleasant meetings. After the meeting, I saw Lieut. Dodge & had a pleasant talk with him. During the day, I called upon Chaplain Adams & Chaplain Webster of the 27th N.Y.V. He was exceedingly depressed. One of his little children at home, a daughter, had been scalded very badly. He had, however, received other letters telling him that she was recovering. I told him he ought to go about more; he seemed sick, he angry & sick. So this morning, I saw him out on horseback. Wify, I tell the McClelland experience for you & I to know that we may both pray about it; don't lets let it excite us more against the poor, pitiable, despicable man. God will bring the Porters & McClellens & Davis & c. each one by one to a slow but sure retribution. In the mean time we will fight against the greatest of all rebellions. But on against God at the same time not neglecting any thing about the lesser rebellion that God tells us to fight against. I want you to tell us just what you think about the above communications. Own dear wify, now I want to say without egation that I sometimes think if hubby had more brains he would have done better for the John Knox times than now. I am constantly having to contend against what seems to me as sudden flashes within me; at first showing themselves to me as pondered by righteously outraged Christian mankind. But when I have unfortunately given way to them, I have sometimes felt somewhat like old Peter must have felt when he drew his wind so heroically and clipped off only a very small sliver of old Malachus' ear. That's the great think for hubby to fight against, now are not the John Knox times. The servant of God must not "strive." God has helped me much, greatly, severally, but there is a constant struggle to keep from pondering a man's head, where it has been only my duty to try & prick his heart. Pray for me, own wify.
          Levi, our suttler, has just been in here to pay us a visit. He has just been released from the old Capital Prison, imprisoned there for having milk drink on board his boat. They will not let the soldiers have liquor and all the liquor brought down is confiscated. Levy says he had 30 cases of this milk drink, otherwise milk punch, done up in tin cases. He had it by permission of the custom house, but as he was coming down a gun boat stopped him & asked if he had milk drink & he said yes, 30 cases. So they ordered him back to Washington & all his crew were imprisoned with him. Finally the drink, $200, was confiscated & he was fined $300 & let go. He is greatly incensed & when he sells his cargo he is going to do things to them. That is the way every body is, mad for what, because they can not do as they want to. Well I for one want to see men governed for my part. I do not think that all men were created equal for the simple purpose of doing just as they want to. Yesterday we heard a great many guns in the distance. Perhaps they were celebrating St. patrick's day, 17th of March. Today they are having a fine game of ball outside. Levy says the old Capital Prison is a regular Bastile. He thinks so, poor man, why should he not. They have his milk drink. He says there were three southerners, splendid fellows of course. So clever, of course. They!!! take the oath of allegiance! Not they!!! They would rot first. I say let them rot, but I did not eat of Malachus' ear. But I am of the opinion that the Malachus (excuse the hyphen) are a going to be governed after all. Thems my sentiments. And the more I see that man shall & will be governed, the more it makes me want to leave all lesser things & work for the great theocracy, the first, the last, the only true government & that will finally prevail when men shall say not my will but thine be done. The Devil is along the road mocking us with little demons with red tails & blue tails & black tails & short horns & long horns trying to make us think that we must stop it all & cut off the tails & heads off the horns. That thats what the matter so be certainly & much more, just like the scared Christian with the Lions in the road. But we will pass right on with the standard of the gospel with the one who maketh the obids his charms & strike for the great theocracy that is the government after all. "Here it" says the boy out side just this very moment. "Here it from New York Herald & Baltimore Chronicle." There is the devil again with one his little demon with a red tail wriggling right in my face. I will not purchase the tail, but they will go home, by & by wagging their tails behind them & then if they are not burned off it will be because they are uncontrollable. Yet here comes a brother. "We will see" says the Col. "What old Greely says today" Imparted from Vicksburgh. Success of the Yager expedition.
          Capture of the Rebel gun boats, & c. & c. Vicksburgh said to be "Evacuated." Major Gilmore brought in today to dinner a young officer from somewhere up in his city St. Lawrence 61st & we learn from him that the guns yesterday were from a little battle up above the United States ford for the possession of some bridge. Today we have heard some more, two heavy ones, since dinner.

          March 31st 1863. Own dear wify. I have not written much on my journal lately, for I have been on the jump a great deal. I have, however written you pretty much the principal things, I believe. But, oh how swiftly the time seems to me. The days roll by and there seems to be so many things to do. Well, as near as I can remember on the 18th Wednesday night we had our lecture, yes I know that & then Thursday was about as usual. I wrote some on my sermon, that is writing out a Wednesday lecture after I had lectured it. That evening our prayer meetings but Friday & Saturday it was stormy & we were prevented from having them. I wrote some during the day in the tent, it rained badly. Of course attending to my hospital prayers & c. & the sick there from time to time. Sabbath morning came & we did not have service till about 2 o'clock & then we had it voluntary, letting those come out who desired to so do, & we had a real grand turn out; it gratified me much. I find the McClellen feeling did not amount to much, only few & they being much condemned by the other fellows. I was in young Best's tent Thursday or Friday or Saturday. I forgot which, & he told me that in fact says he, "Chaplain, about half the Company think somewhat like you do." He tells me the boys were quite pleased with the course I took. So now that I have found that the trouble has subsided & we go on without interruption. Sabbath afternoon (22d of March) I had a second service in the Hospital reading a sermon to the boys, a sermon prepared the week before & they seemed to like it very much & Sabbath evening in the Hospital Steward's tent, I had a 3d service. They want everyone & this plan I want to try & keep up if possible. Monday I accepted an invitation of Col. Seaver to accompany him on his trip (as Sen. officer of the day) to the line of the pickets of the whole corps, making a ride of some 15 miles, commencing on the river as high up as above the great stone bastion on the opposite side, where we had the hospital, the old Bernard house where Crandall was at the Battle of Fredericksburgh. Well we rode all the way down the picket line for some seven or eight miles & had a very pleasant day. Young Bartlett went with us, the brother of Gen. Bartlett. Col. Seaver was commanding the Brigade in the absence of Gen. Bartlett & therefore was taking his place as Sen. officer of the day; it is only a Sen. officer or a Col. acting as Sen. who is so appointed. Well, we saw lots of familiar places at the upper part of the line; we were so near the enemy pickets as almost to see their faces. Some had blue coats & red pants & caps taken from the Zouaves. We had a great deal of fun on the way; Col. Seaver is so full of humor, and perfectly easy with every body. We had quite a cavalcade. The Col., young Bartlett & I & starting with the orderlies on horseback to relieve the others along the bank. When we were waiting for the divisions a few of the days on the top of a hill, we pulled sassafras of which the fields are full there & I have a piece for my little wify. When we commenced on the road we came to a dutch Lieutenant who had allowed his men to put down their guns on the whole rest in his command. It appears the rebel picket had put down theirs & we could see them laying on the ground with no arms & we learned afterwards that the rebels had said, when they saw one of our men take up their guns, "They could take up theirs too & fire also." So it seems they had allowed the men to put their guns down. Col. directed the men to take up their arms & sent an orderly along the line & took measures to have them all perform their picket duty as usual without reference to the rebels. He then asked the young Lieutenant for his name. Now we have a story down here of a Yankee & a letter writer or (?) ... The Yankee asking the letter writer what he sells & the letter writer tells him grape seed, not supposing that he wanted anything of him, but at last the Yankee finds out he writes letters & he employs him to write a letter to his wife. He commences by telling his wife he had bought a mare & it would not go & so he says directly to the letter writer, "I liked her & I liked her & I hated her, "get that down." "yes" & "I liked her & I hated her" "get that down & I hated her" & so he went for a long while, repeating the "get that down" till the letter writer got quite out of patience & the Yankee refuses to take the letter. "What shall I do with it, says the letter writer. "Take it to make up your grape seed" says the Yankee. The story is long & Dr. Murphy tells it very well. There is much more, of course, but the part I was coming to is that the question "got that down" is quite a by word with us here, so when the Col. asked for the Dutch Lieut's name, the officer gave a regular jaw-breaker. The Col. had his book & pencil and made a sign of writing, when I quietly walked Zollicoffer up to his side & said to him "got that down?" Be almost laughed out right in the little Lieut. face, but did not. Well we past down the line seeing the Division officers of the first division in course & after a while coming down by Pollard's Mill, which is now all in ruins. It was all in order at the time of the battle of Fredericksburgh. We came past it on our way up & I past it twice on my midnight ride just before the recrossing of the river. There was the old rock that Zollicoffer fell down flat upon on the morning of the bombardment. Well at last we turned up the road toward old Hays house & saw him. He was quite gracious. Further on down the line. The Col. sent for the next Division officer of the day & took a brunch of Bologna sausage, while he was waiting & Bartlett & I had a very pleasant talk; we had a fine time all the way along. Then the division officer of the day joined us. We all went together, his cavalcade (a very large one of officers) & ours. We strung out single file through the woods & went down the line & at last came out in a part far in advance of the picket line from which point we could see a splendid view all over the country. It was on a hill where was situated an old Virginian house of some pretty wealthy man, judging by the extent of the negro quarter's little log huts. We looked off from the bluff. It was the advance part of the line off the regular front. Soon we all came galloping back & at last separated from a part of the party & the major of the group from the other party conducted us. He was a dashing fellow & we went on full jump through streams & over ditches & c. & c. He showed us quite a curiosity: a stream of a spring flowing out of the root of a living tree. It looked very singular. You know every sentinel soldier under ordinary circumstances (if a Captain & under) simply brings his Gun to a shoulder & tending it with his left hand & arm thrown horizontally over his heart. (If a Major & upward) by bringing his gun to present arms. But on pickets there are no compliments, simply the sentry brings his gun to a shoulder & faces outward or towards the enemy. On picket you know the men are stationed some 40 or fifty feet apart all the way along (way down for many miles these go until at last they flank on the Potomac rivers & a general officer of each corps rises them each day & sees all in order.Only think how much detail even to this eve. duty of the Army. As we dashed along the line, the Major would give flying directions to the sentinels that did not hold himself right when we past & so we went on; at last the thing was finished. The Col. altered the arrangement of parts of the line & c. & c. & at last, after a good day's ride, we came back to dinner at about four o'clock. They had been having general inspection in camp, & were just getting through. In the evening, I had my prayer meetings & the next morning, Tuesday, a deputation of the N.Y. Book Society came to see me & I took him to the hospital & he distributed some there & then I went with him to see Chaplain Adams. In the afternoon M. Barber came & I have told you pretty much all as far as I could get down as to my interview with him & his deputive in the morning & my return from Falmouth. I had my evening lecture & then wrote a letter to Mr. Meyers & next morning read it to Col. Seaver& he thought it was good, if I determined to give that answer. Then I wrote my letter to you & at 12 o'clock rode over with Chaplain Adams to Falmouth to meet his son, but he did not come. Chaplain thought my letter was right, he thought it would not be right to leave now anyway. He is a fine old man & I have had very pleasant time with him & he seems to be much attached to me. I hurried back before him as I wanted to get my letter in the mail to M. Meyers, on my way back & went over a little distance & stood under the balloon which was making a reconnaissance some 200 feet up in the air. It seemed strange to look up at it. Oh, what a little world it is down here.
          Well, I past on the road a lady on horseback, a live lady, & then came into camp soon after, just in time to get my letter in. I finished my letter to you & had my prayer meeting in the evening & then went over to see the Chaplain's son, but he had returned without him. It was very pleasant at Falmouth depot. The other day, two of our boys had some imperfections in their persons too that were on their way to pay a visit to the 60th Regt. with a couple of that Regt. The Provost Marshal would not give them permission to go. I know their papers were all right, for I was in the tent when they were allowed so I spoke to the officer of the day & he very politely let them pass. His face was so familiar & at last I recalled it. It was Capt. Haddock, whom we met some time ago. The man who was driven away off 300 miles into Canada in a balloon. I have already spoken to you of him. Well, the next day, that is, Friday, was nothing special except that I thought much of you. I also wrote a letter to mother, not of course mentioning about that matter & c. & c. Also to Mr. Allen & sent the check for April money. In the evening I omitted the meetings & held four Saturday evening, finishing the meeting of all the companies, but Friday evening, I went over again to see Chaplain Adams' son, but he had not yet come. I had a very pleasant call & had prayer with him before leaving. During the day Col. Seaver sprained his foot, I think it was Friday &he has been suffering from it. But he is so full of fun. Crandall came to see it, recommended liniment, afterwards saying it was good. Then Wilson spoke of a liniment that was a remarkable kind; he wished he had some of it for the Col. The Col. in some way had just been quoting the words about Sheridan "Nature made but one such man & broke the die moulding Sheridan." So a moment after when Wilson was cracking up the liniment, I said, "Nature made but one such liniment." & the Col., looking up in his comical way, added, "and broke the jug and off it went." Well, the next day Col. Palmer sprained his foot also in the same base of the ball ground & he suffers too from it, but he is not so bad as the Col. Seaver's. Friday there was a fine hurdle race near here & many went to it. Well, Saturday, I finished my written sermon for the afternoon service in the hospital or nearly so, so as to add a little Sabbath & Saturday night had my four prayer meetings & Col. Seaver gave me a text for Sabbath. "Almost then persuaded me to be a Christian" & God helped me with it sweetly & so he did last Sabbath & clings to Sabbath. At one o'clock we had service & although it was a very cold, windy day we only had 15 less than last Sabbath; we had a good, large attendance. Then in the afternoon in the hospital I had my written sermon & in the evening the 3rd service in the Hospital Steward tent all went finely & God helped me much. There was the same old man present who was there two Sabbath evenings before. I hope he comes led by God's Spirit but I do not know. Dear Wify, we have a very sick man in the hospital. We fear he is going to die; a man by the name of Willard, of Pliny Moore's Company. He is out of his head almost all of the time, but oh wify, what a satisfaction. I have known him before & he is a christian, trusting in Christ & a most excellent man. He has a complection of disorders, don't know what it is exactly, general hacking of his system. Col. Seaver has been Gen. officer of the day again today & has gone the rounds & is now back again in his tent, eating a brunch, it is after dinner, ten minutes after four. Col. Upton of the hundred & twenty onesters as they call them is also here. I have spoken to you of him before, he is a send splendit nest put fellow, or rather, a west point fellow who is sound. I was so gratified Saturday night. Chaplain Adams came to our tent & wanted to see me. He is an old man, you know & what do you think, he had come to ask hubby's advice. His son had not come, but he had heard that he had come near having an accident & was at Washington, but as the papers are now stopped, he could not get down & the old gentleman had come to ask me whether I thought it would be wrong to go up Sabbath to Washington or not. I thought for a moment & (he had told me that his son had brought many things for him, books & c. & c.) & as we were just on the move he had thought it might be duty to go. I said to him finally, "Well, Chaplain, I can only tell you what I would do. If my feet were bare down to the ground, I would not go." "Well, well, said he. "Then I will not go." I told him I though the officers would make capital of it & c. & c. Well, in the evening of Sabbath, Col. Seaver was reading a novel & had been quietly reminding him of it & he stopped in the morning & went to sleep & after a while he waked up & was reading with one eye in his funny way. I asked him if he thought it was any better to read with one eye than with two & he laughed again & in the evening when I spoke to him of it, "Well, Chaplain," says he, "I feel encouraged about reading this novel." Now for old Chaplain Adams, has been getting his pass tonight to go to Washington tomorrow morning. I thought to myself how closely they watched the Chaplains after all. The Chaplain went this morning (Monday) to come back tomorrow. He, the Col., sat up with me last evening till twelve o'clock, talking about sermons & scriptures & c. The other morning I was dreaming & talked in my sleep & was saying "What will you do with your hard crackers when you get them pulverized? Make pan cakes with them?" & I waked up hearing the Col. laughing at me & saying "they makes excellent cakes, Chaplain, excellent." Some time ago, Col. Palmer talked a little in his sleep, muttering to himself (we had been talking about some of the ancients) & he waked us both up by crying out "Old Euripides there out in the cold there." The Col. (Seaver) cried out to me, "Wake him up Chaplain & tell him to send him out a blanket." Gen. Bartlett, the commander of our brigade was not confirmed by the President & he was going to leave today, but Col. Seaver has just told me that he has been reappointed,. Plin Moore dined with us today; he is well & hearty, feels bad though about poor Willard. Plin, Col. Palmer & I were alone at dinner.Gilmore has gone to Belle Plain & Col. Seaver was not yet back from the picket line. Oh Wify, what a fine young man Gilmore is, splendid figure & a glorious soldier. The men think all the world of him; he is so brave, but more than all, he seems to me so pure minded, such simplicity. I have had such sweet conversations with him; he is not a Christian, but he seems to have such startling principle.
          (Evening) Dear One, oh we have had quite a demonstration this afternoon. Gen. Bartlett received a telegraph reappointing him to the Gen. of the Brigade and so all the Brigade turned out without arms to congratulate him. First, the 16th fell in & formed on the color line & then we saw the 27th coming & then the 5th Maine further off still & further yet the 121. On they came & then over the hill in the distance still further beyond came the 96. At last they were all collected on the parade. There was our whole brigade, old veterans, coming up to welcome the return of the Gen. Col. Seaver introduced him with a short speech which I was not near enough to hear, simply explaining things - that the senate had not confirmed the appointment of the President but that the President had reappointed him & c. & then the young Gen., who is a very fine looking young man, made a speech (seated on his fine horse), a short speech right to the point & then finish. It was well done & all past off well. Then he rode through the camps; the men running to the roadside to cheer him as he rode along with his staff. After that we had tea & then I had my prayer meetings & went to the hospital for prayer & now they are giving the Gen. a Serenade; a delightful band (35 N.Y., I believe) is playing in front of the Gen.'s tent, which is on the same line as ours, the fourth tent from ours. A few minutes ago, they played "When the swallows homeward fly" which I love so much, you know.
          I find Willard, the sick man in the hospital, no better tonight. Poor man, he suffers much; I think he will die. I met Plin tonight. He is officer of the day today. Today is (Monday, March 30th 1863). I was with him on the parade ground today during the demonstrating for Gen. Bartlett & he read me a very sweet passage from his Mother's letter just received, in which she speaks of the results of the fair & of their looking forward to Mr. Hall as their future Pastor. It seemed very sweet. There was half a page devoted to it & expressing very sweet feeling towards your little hubby; does wify feel glad? God will do just what he thinks best; let us trust all to him. Latz has given me a new lantern with two lights broken out, so I have put two pieces of tin in; part of the tin Colleen sent (over the cake) & now I have a lantern with two lights instead of one as my old one has & the two pieces of tin, to serve as reflectors & make it better than if I had four lights in it, so in fact I have about as good a lantern as I can have now. I took it with me in to the meetings tonight. Chaplain Adams went off this morning to go to Washington & returns tomorrow. He borrowed Zollicoffer to go up to Falmouth, his boy to bring him back. We had a pleasant gathering at tea tonight; Gilmore returned & so we usual four were once more all together again. Col. Seaver surprised us with a sudden exclamation "Oh! Oh!" It appeared Marshall had upset the tea things in the tent & a pot cup of Col. Seaver's had lost its handle. "Its broken," said someone. "Yes," said the Col., "& the only respectable things on the table," & then says I, referring to our past quotation, "Nature made but one such cup." "Yes," says the Col., preserving a kind of melancholy gravity, "and that was smashed in picking up.

          April 1st. Own Dear Wify. Yesterday I went round & called on the officers and saw nearly all. In Pliny Moore's tent, they were playing muggins, which is a kind of game with cards, like old maid. The man that has the old maid has to subject himself to a black' mark of cord across his face or some funny punishment, only a game for sport; it is not a gambling game. When I came in they put up their cards in a few moments & we had a very pleasant sing. There were some five in there. Six. James Jones, Dodge, Moore & Lt. Wollen, Sargent Major and Morris. I had a very sweet talk with Capt. Hillicor. He thinks he is a Christian, though he has never yet made a profession. Lieut. Gleason I had a very pleasant conversation with some time ago, but he seems to be an annihilationist, the first one I have ever met, believing that they who believe in Christ will be saved & the rest annihilated. I gave him some pointed texts to the contrary & hope that God will show him his error; he is a fine man, a very fleshy, jolly man, elderly, married, has a family & I like him much. He is always so pleasant & good natured. He gave me a funny story to read in a paper, or rather I read it in one of his papers & when I came to my tent & changed the scene & c. & a letter & put it in verse & I send it to you here:

"Twas midnight: Soon the aged bell
Aloft on Avignon's Hotel de Ville
The solemn transit of the night would tell
By sturdy blows that inquire mails would deal
Together gathered in the gay saloon
Of Avignon's most fashionable cafe
Around a table with the profits strewn
A group of Frenchmen at ecarte play
The fortune of the game had gone adverse
To one poor player who had lost his all.
The fatal king of diamonds drained his purse
It chanced that card to him would always fall.
A loaded pistol from his heart he drew
And into a adjoining chamber fled
And ere his gay companions could pursue,
A sharp report had filled their souls with dread.
The threshold of the fatal room they past
And there behold to their extreme dismay
Before their faces, as they stand aghast;
With brains blown out the kind of diamonds, lay.

          It seemed to me to be so truly French for a frenchman even in his misfortune at the gambling table to have a joke & rush out & blow to pieces the card he had lost on & thus have the last laugh after all, in spite of his losses by starting his friends with the apprehensions of something worse having happened, that I thought I would dress it up a little & put it in rhyme to keep it. How does it strike you; it hit my funny bone, does it hit my own wily's? But dear me, I have forgotten to tell a very important thing. Day before yesterday was delightful & today is fine too, but yesterday morning we waked up with nearly four inches of snow on the ground, but ere the afternoon it was gone & the parade dry enough to play ball upon which they did; is not that funny? They are also playing today. Well I had my prayer meetings in the evening & very pleasant ones, too, Wily. I am getting many stories for Sabbath School. My number now in the little book is 135 & I am getting new ones from time to time. I keep dotting them down. But do you know that these stories are just the thing for the men. Tell them in a more elirated way & they listen just like children. This morning the first of April, we had some fun. I was up about 6 o'clock & when the Col. waked up, he wanted me to go & cut some potatoes to look like butter to put on the table, but we could not make a good representation so we had to abandon it. Well, when we came to the table, Gilmore & I put the usual quantity from the sugar dish into our cups & Gilmore put some more on his pan cake, but will you believe it, it was salt covered over with a little sugar. The Col. (Seaver) had arranged it & tricked us nicely. Well, they have been trying all day to get up jokes. Hut the last one is the one played on Senge Granberry, the Sutler of the 121st, who is in partnership with our sutler, Levi. Well, Nevins issued a arrest from "Headquarters near Falmouth" arresting Granberry for passing himself off as the sutler of the 121st. Sargent Cox of Com. D was sent down with a file of men to arrest him & they took him to brigade headquarters & there Capt. Hall told him he would be obliged to send him up: You see, "Headquarters near Falmouth" was rather indefents [indefensible?], but poor Granberry was so perplexed he did not discover it. He protested about going & asked his parole till he could get his certificate that he was sutler of the 121st. He was permitted to go & then returned with Upton's certificate of his sutlership. Soon, however, they enlightened him on the subject but he was completely hoaxed. I have had a very sweet conversation today with Marshall Smith of Co. H. He is going to be dismissed. He has the consumption & Crandall has sent in his discharge papers. There is also a man in Co. A who has the heart complaint & is very much troubled. He tries to be near the hospital in case he should be sick & I saw him a day or two ago, laying near the chimney of the tent & night before last & last night he crawled into the back tent that is not used. He is a new man lately come. When I was returning from the hospital last night I met him walking about in the moon light & had an interesting conversation with him. I must go & see him today. He seems to be very worried about himself. Well good by own one. For the present I will send this off with my kisses & dear dear love to own wify. Another installment of 160 pages for wify & then I will continue on and try on. Good by for the present from own hubby. I am very very well.