's company of sharpshooters and Captain Vaughn
's Rhode Island battery.
Our brigade was commanded by Gen. F. W. Lander
; the headquarters of the division were at Poolsville, called “corps of observation,” commanded by Gen. Chas. P. Stone
At Camp Benton the discipline was brought to the regular army standard; drills were almost constant; each afternoon we were drilled in battalion movements, in heavy marching order, and in every possible way fitted for active service.
Dress coats with brass shoulder scales and leather neck stocks were issued, and when not in line or on guard our spare moments were spent in cleaning brasses.
If any men ever earned thirteen dollars a month we did. Besides the camp guard we mounted what was called grand guard, consisting of a detail from each regiment in the brigade posted on the outskirts of the camp, the tour of duty being twenty-four hours. Often the long roll would beat after we had retired for the night; we would turn out and double quick to Edward's Ferry, march up the tow path of the canal, lay on our arms the rest of the night, and the next morning march back to camp.
At first we expected the rebels were crossing the river, but as we saw no movement in that direction we looked upon these excursions as a part of the drill, the days not being long enough to give us the desired instructions.
The enlisted men were not the only ones who had to work, as the line officers came in for their share.
Well do I remember day after day marching to execute the movement “To the rear by the right flank pass the defile.”
At last Colonel Hincks
became discouraged, and throwing down his sword said, “Let every officer go to his tent, take his tactics and study them, and to-morrow if any one fails to understand this movement there will be a ”