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[41] here is miserably lazy; hardly an order to carry, and the horses all eating their heads off. The weather is fine, to be sure, and everybody, nearly, is well; but that is all the more reason for wishing something done. I do not even have the drudgery of drill and parade and inspection, that the infantrymen have. If one could only be at home, till one was wanted, and then be on the spot; but this is everywhere the way of war; lie still and lie still; then up and manoeuvre and march hard; then a big battle; and then a lot more lie still.


Headquarters Army of Potomac November 3, 1863
Did I mention that, since Centreville, some two weeks, I have had a tent-mate, a Swede, one of those regular Europeans, who have been forever in the army, and who know no more about campaigning than a young child. After staying five months in this country, he got, at last, a commission as 2d Lieutenant of cavalry; and came down to study our system of artillery. He appeared with a large stock of cigars and hair-brushes, but without bedding, of any sort whatsoever. I gave him, pro tem, a buffalo, rubber blanket, etc., and, with these, and a borrowed cot, he has gone on since, apparently thinking that a kind Providence will ever care for his wants. He hasn't got mustered in yet, and seems to suppose that the officers will come to Headquarters and remove all the trouble in his commission. Now he is going to Washington about it; or rather has said he was going, for the last three days. Au reste, he is a quiet, polite man, who, I think, will not do much to improve the Swedish artillery. He has obtained a nigger boy, whose name is Burgess, but whom he calls “Booyus,” remarking to me that it was a singular name, in which I fully agreed! . . .


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