and flooring, they were provided with that magic and invisible facility which marks the second year of a regiment's life.
That officer is happy who, besides a constitutional love of adventure, has also a love for the details of camp life, and likes to bring them to perfection.
Nothing but a hen with her chickens about her can symbolize the content I felt on getting my scattered companies together, after some temporary separation on picket or fatigue duty.
Then we went to work upon the nest.
The only way to keep a camp in order is to set about everything as if you expected to stay there forever; if you stay, you get the comfort of it; if ordered away in twenty-four hours, you forget all wasted labor in the excitement of departure.
Thus viewed, a camp is a sort of model farm or bit of landscape gardening; there is always some small improvement to be made, a trench, a well, more shade against the sun, an increased vigilance in sweeping.
Then it is pleasant to take care of the men, to sea them happy, to hear them purr.
Then the duties of inspection and drill, suspended during active service, resume their importance with a month or two of quiet.
It really costs unceasing labor to keep a regiment in perfect condition and ready for service.
The work is made up of minute and endless details, like a bird's pruning her feathers or a cat's licking her kittens into their proper toilet.
Here are eight hundred men, every one of whom, every Sunday morning at farthest, must be perfectly soigne in all personal proprieties; he must exhibit himself provided with every article of clothing, buttons, shoe-strings, hooks and eyes, company letter, regimental number, rifle, bayonet, bayonet-scabbard, cap-pouch, cartridge-box, cartridgebox