Chapter 2: camp diary.
Camp Saxton, near Beaufort, S. C.
November 24, 1862.
Yesterday afternoon we were steaming over a summer sea, the deck level as a parlor-floor, no land in sight, no sail, until at last appeared one light-house, said to be Cape Romaine, and then a line of trees and two distant vessels and nothing more.
The sun set, a great illuminated bubble, submerged in one vast bank of rosy suffusion; it grew dark; after tea all were on deck, the people sang hymns; then the moon set, a moon two days old, a curved pencil of light, reclining backwards on a radiant couch which seemed to rise from the waves to receive it; it sank slowly, and the last tip wavered and went down like the mast of a vessel of the skies.
Towards morning the boat stopped, and when I came on deck, before six,--
The watch-lights glittered on the land,
The ship-lights on the sea.
lay on one side, the gunboats on the other; all that was raw and bare in the low buildings of the new settlement was softened into picturesqueness by the early light.
Stars were still overhead, gulls wheeled and shrieked, and the broad river rippled duskily towards Beaufort
The shores were low and wooded, like any New England
shore; there were a few gunboats, twenty schooners, and some steamers, among them the famous “Planter,”