We arrived in twenty-five days from Charleston
, which was regarded as a very satisfactory journey.
At the fort I found Captain
and Brevet-Major Joseph A. Haskin
, commanding; First Lieutenant A. P. Hill
, afterward lieutenant-general in the Confederate army; Dr. A. J. Foard
, assistant surgeon
; and my classmate Livingston
, brevet second lieutenant
; besides sixteen enlisted men —rather a close approximation to the ideal of that old colonel who once said the army would be delightful if it were not for the—soldiers.
But that was changed after a while by the arrival of recruits—enough in one batch to fill the battery full.
The battery had recently come from the gulf coast, where yellow fever had done destructive work.
I was told that there happened to be only one officer on duty with the battery—a Lieutenant somebody—when the fever broke out, and that he resigned and went home.
If that is true, I trust he went into the Civil War
and got killed in battle; for that was the only atonement he could possibly make for leaving his men in that way. But such cases have been exceedingly rare, while those of the opposite extreme have not been uncommon, where officers have remained with the sick and died there, instead of going with the main body of their men to a more healthy place.
The proper place for a line officer is with the fighting force, to care for it and preserve its strength by every means in his power, for war may come to-morrow.
The surgeons and their assistants must and do fully care for the sick and wounded.
Life at Fort Capron was not by any means monotonous.
It was varied by sailing, fishing, and shooting, and even the continuity of sport was broken twice a month, generally, by the arrival of the mail-boat.
But at length this diversion failed us. Some difference occurred between the United States
Post-office Department and the mail-contractor on the St. John's River
, and we got no