It cleared off most beautifully last night. At three the moon and stars were shining brightly. Doing guard duty today. Being a supernumerary had nothing to do but remain at the guard house. Wrote two letters. One to Ellen with a lead pencil. Called to see the Dr. tonight. Got some doughnuts.
Passed the night well last night, doing duty. Nothing to do, except for myself. Have been writing today. At two o’clock ordered out for inspection. Thought we had got to march. Many reports are afloat but we know not what to believe. Letter tonight from Ellen & Prescott. Papers from Butler. Fine day. Our days are delightful for Sept. but our nights are cold, and heavy dews fall. A walk with the Dr. after supper. He has promised to look out for me if sick or wounded. It is a consolation to know there is someone to look out for me. Felt a little blue this afternoon when I saw men shooting cattle, and thought that we had got to be led out to face muskets. Letters, papers and the Dr. cheered me.
Camp near Culpepper Va
Dear Miss Lizzie,
I suppose you consider that I owe you a letter, as yours of July 4th was the last regular letter to pass between us. That letter, by the way, came to me in a very round-about way. It went first to the army, then to Gettysburg, then to [illegible], where I found it after returning from your house. I have it before me now [...]
Conscripts allotted to the several companies. I had my choice and took Co. F, Capt. Perry. Morrell of the 20th came over to see me. Had a nice time for half an hour or so. Pitched tent with Auguste and Leavitt, both conscripts from Aroostook. Received eight days’ rations. It made me feel blue to receive them, especially the pork.
Two letters from Louise and a talk with Dick made me feel better. Dr. Manson, and Lieut. Stevens of the 5th were over here today. All have been surprised to see me here, but glad. Commenced to perform duty today. And now I am fairly in the Army, I pray God to watch over and protect me. I hope to be kept from temptation. Many say I must learn to smoke, steal, swear and drink, but I would never have entered this army if I had thought I had got to do any such thing. May God aid me in my endeavor to do right. We have warm days here, but cold nights. There is considerable dew. No rain yet. We have slept pretty comfortably, but some time have been a little cold.
Camp near Culpepper Va
I suppose you will be expecting a letter from me before this reaches you. I would have written you last night, but was rather tired and went to bet instead. I arrived here Sunday evening. I should have preferred to come another day, but could not very well keep it as I will explain. I had the unluckiest time in Washington I ever had. [...] Continue reading
On board the Forest City. Set sail about five this morning. About nine was sea-sick, and for the first time ‘threw up’ on board the boat. Took my bunk—not a berth—and there lay till three. My first day out [of] sight of land. Saw Cape Cod as we passed. All sand. At night anchored off Martha’s Vineyard. Quite a safe harbor. Several ships were there. The fog was so dense that the Capt. thought it best not to go on. Another row today. One Sullivan of the N.H. detachment tied up for striking officers. After remaining at anchor a short time, started again.
Temple and I have been surveying the Island this morning, and getting statistics. There are about 1450 men encamped here under command of Gen. Devens. About 770 are conscripts and substitutes. From Maine 193. N.H. 174. Vt. 200, and Mass. 150. Negroes 54, mostly from Mass. The rest about 680 are guard. Of these Co. A, 81 men and Co. C, 70, are conscripts, Co. B, 150 men, are officers detailed from regiments to take charge of conscripts and Co. 7, 8 & 9, 132, 130, 116 men respectively are Heavy Artillery, half vols. Half old soldiers. The health of all is good generally. The negroes are encamped near the water at a distance from the rest of us. The Sergeant in charge told us they are intelligent, apt and orderly. All write their own letters. I noticed several of them were pitching coppers, and others playing cards.
Those who attempted to escape Sunday night were from Vermont. Two of them were drowned, and the other two have been taken.
Election news is glorious. The Pine Tree State still maintains her position, is true to the Union, and worthy of her motto ‘Dirigo.’ Copperheads at home are beaten and we can only hope that traitors elsewhere may be whipped as completely and gloriously.
Letter from George gladly received. He failed to get a pass to the Island. So failed I in my attempt to get him a pass from Gen. Devens. No go for substitutes. The Captain has disciplined several today. Punishment has been inflicted by having offenders stand on a barrel in front of the Captain’s head-quarters.
Mackie’s Island. Slept very well for the first time on the ground. Found mother’s comforter an excellent article for use. Reveille 5. Breakfast 6. Pork, Potatoes, Coffee. Bread. A day of loafing. Found opportunity for reading my testament and prayer. My chums having no objection I had prayer last night just before retiring. Am learning the demoralisation of camp life. Gambling, stealing, card playing, swearing and obscenity are prevalent. Lost my dipper this noon, and was advised to steal one to pay for it. Perhaps I shall have to steal, but it shall be my last resort. Wrote two letters, one home, and one to B–. Marched to Paymaster’s and received one hundred dollars, my state bounty. Then ordered on board the Hester which took us to Portland. Here we took the Lewiston for Long Island, Boston Harbor. There were ninety of us, perhaps ninety-two, as two escaped or were concealed on board the boat before we arrived at our … destination. Our quarters were between decks in which we were placed more like animals than men. We fared no better, if so well, than our neighbors, some sheep. The officers in command of us were Capt. Illsley of the 15th and Lieut. Green of the 17th. I left Mackie’s Island with pleasure because I wished to be where I could have something to do. My day at the Island and my chums will not soon be forgotten.
Came to Portland, was clothed with soldier’s garb and furnished with knapsack etc.and put under guard in City Buildings. Have had a hard day doing nothing. Companions, gamblers and rogue Sergeants would go out with me if I would give them anything from one dollar to five. Did not go out till we were marched down to the wharf between five or six corpoals and segeants.
Sworn into the service of the United States, and let go at liberty. Went to Brunswick.