left and front on this side of the Potomac
, and on the line of these foraging expeditions, were the three brigades of Heintzelman
's division, commanded respectively by Generals Sedgwick
, and Richardson.
Thanksgiving was observed here in genuine New England
style; an oven had previously been constructed by one of our masonic comrades,—for we had representatives of every useful and honorable craft,—and the cooks drew out of it at dinner time a turkey nicely browned, dumplings, pudding, and sundries indispensable to a correct Thanksgiving menu.
Nor were the necessary pre-prandial exercises omitted.
, the reader par excellence
of our official corps, recited to the officers and men, Gov. Andrew
's Thanksgiving proclamation for the year A. D. 1861; and we venture to affirm that each comrade bestowed a benediction upon the old Bay State
, ere he swallowed a mouthful of the cheer provided.
Civilian visitors, official and non-official, were occasionally seen on this ground; among the former we remember the chairman of the House Committee on the Conduct of the War
, of the Thirty-seventh Congress, a Massachusetts man.
At morning roll-call one day in November we were informed that the division would be marshalled upon the long field north of Seminary Hill
, at the right of the Leesburg turnpike
, to witness a military execution; the position of each regiment of infantry, the cavalry, and each of the four batteries, was defined, the route of the general and staff, the ambulance and coffin, the wagon in which sat the condemned with the priest, and the firing party.
At two o'clock, as at a parade, we were drawn up in line upon the field, the artillery men forming the shortest of the three sides of a rectangle, or its eastern end, infantry forming the northern of the two long parallel sides, infantry and cavalry, the southern; presently Gen. Franklin
and staff passed our front, within the rectangle moving around the front of the southern side; then came the mounted guard of the prisoner's own regiment, the Lincoln
cavalry, followed by the firing party, also of his own regiment, and, on foot, twelve men with carbines, one of which was loaded with blank cartridges; then the ambulance bearing the coffin; and lastly, a wagon conveying the priest and the condemned man, whose face was the incarnation of misery and