Fun among the soldiers.--A letter from Washington
I am living luxuriously, at present, on the top of a very respectable fence, and fare sumptuously on three granite biscuits a day, and a glass of water, weakened with brandy.
A high private in the Twenty-second Regiment has promised to let me have one of his square pocket handkerchiefs
for a sheet the first rainy night; and I never go to bed on my comfortable window-brush without thinking how many poor creatures there are in this world who have to sleep on hair mattresses all their lives.
Before the great rush of Fire Zouaves and the rest of the menagerie commenced, I boarded exclusively on a front stoop on Pennsylvania avenue, and used to slumber, regardless of expense, in a well-conducted ash-box; but the military monopolize all such accommodations now, and I give way for the sake of my country.
I tell you, my boy, we're having high old times here just now, and if they get any higher, I shan't be able to afford to stay.
The city is ‘ in danger’ every other hour, and, as a veteran in the Fire Zouaves
remarked, there seems to be enough danger lying around loose at Arlington Heights
to make a very good blood-and-thunder fiction, in numerous pages.
If the vigilant and well-educated sentinels happen to see a nigger on the upper side of the Potomac
, they sing out: ‘ Here they come!’
and the whole blessed army is snapping caps in less than a minute.
Then all the reporters telegraph to their papers in New York and Philadelphia
, that ‘ Jeff. Davis
is within two minutes walk of the Capital
, with a few millions of men,’ and all the free States send six more regiments apiece to crowd us a little more.
I sha'n‘t stand much more crowding, for my fence is full now, and there were six applications yesterday to rent an improved knot-hole.
My landlord says, that if more than three chaps set up housekeeping on one post, he'll be obliged to raise the rent.
The greatest confidence in Gen. Scott
is felt by all, and it would do you good to see the gay old hero take the oath.
He takes it after every meal, and the first thing when he gets lip in the morning.
Those Fire Zouaves are fellows of awful suction, I tell you. Just for greens, I asked one of them, yesterday, what he came here for?
says he, shutting one eye, ‘we came here to strike for your altars and your fires — especially your fires
says that if he wanted to make those chaps break through the army of the foe, he'd have a firebell rung for some district on the other side of the rebels.
He says that half a million of the traitors couldn't keep the Fire Zouaves
out of that district five minutes. I believe him, my boy!
”--N. Y. Express, May 31