would busy themselves constructing beds up off the ground, usually by driving forked sticks, and laying rails and bits of plank across.
If in the woods, they utilized small boughs and leaves in preparing beds, and the larger limbs in building shelters from the sun and rain to cook in, etc. Indeed, whenever they went into camp they were as busy as bees arranging for health and comfort.
On the other side, the Southerners rarely troubled themselves to provide these little comforts.
In camp they were usually idle.
The scenes of busy industry, which we always saw in the Northern
camp, were never duplicated in the other.
And as to filth, the Union
camps were almost incomparably cleaner.
The difference was amazing, and one could but wonder why there should be this great contrast.
In the Southern
camp you could hardly go twenty steps without getting into filth of some sort, while in the camp of the other side all deposits of filth were carefully removed out of the way. Much of the sickness which scourged the Southern
army, particularly in the early stages of the war, is attributable, no doubt, to the filthy condition of their camps.
The little comforts and conveniences, which the Northern
soldiers arranged for themselves in their temporary habitations, was perhaps but a reflex of their home life.
One soldier knew how to make himself comfortable in his temporary quarters, and preferred this duty to idleness, while the other preferred to take it easy.
There was always a scene of bustling activity about the Federal
encampments, very noticeable when compared to the laxity and idleness of the other side.
In the wagon trains of the respective armies there was a great difference.
Right here it is proper to say that I speak exclusively of the Western
armies, knowing nothing whatever from observation of the Eastern
The wagons of the Federals
were uniform in size and make, and much stronger and heavier than the wagons of the Confederates
; beside, there were more of them.
That is, ordinarily, a brigade of Union troops on the march would have about twice as many wagons as a detachment of Confederates of equal size.
Confederate army wagons were not uniform in size and build.
They usually had the appearance of having been picked up about the country, as well as made to order after several different patterns.
The Federal wagons when on the move were covered with canvas, and this was generally kept white and clean, and upon it, in plain black lettering, was the brigade, division, and corps to which the wagon belonged.
In a camp of a hundred wagons, a man could pick out the one he wanted, without asking a question, as