Our rations were served to us uncooked, and company cooks ordered to the ranks.
A company cook is a peculiar being; he generally knows less about cooking than any man in the company.
Not being able to learn the drill, and too dirty to appear on inspection, he is sent to the cook house to get him out of the ranks.
We were not sorry when the cook house was abolished.
The first day after our arrival the 19th and 20th Massachusetts regiments, under command of General Dana
, were ordered to reconnoitre the enemy's works.
We discovered a fortification near Winn's Mill, and the 19th was ordered to march through a piece of woods, then along the front, and discern its extent.
We did this under a sharp fire of musketry.
It was not our intention to attack, but as Company E, commanded by the brave but impulsive Captain Mahoney
, was fired upon, he ordered the men to charge the works, and would have done so had not Colonel Hincks
recalled him. Like a true Irishman that he was, he did not propose to be fired upon and not fight.
The regiment behaved splendidly under fire; when the musketry was the hottest the clear voice of Colonel Hincks
“Change front, forward on first company!”
was the order, and it was executed as correctly as on drill.
We lost the first man killed in this skirmish.
Andrew Fountain of Company D, Captain Wass
, and several of Company K were wounded.
We went into camp and began to erect fortifications; for nearly a month we were engaged in-that work, besides building corduroy roads and doing picket duty.
While on picket Wm. Morgan
was badly wounded by a piece of shell.
He was the first man wounded in Company A.