The headquarters of the quartermaster and subsistance departments were located at a beautiful plantation called Westover
, but three miles down the river.
Here the wagon trains reported for rations and forage which once more were issued with regularity.
The supply boats of the government and the Christian Commission furnished a limited supply of potatoes and onions.
On July 3, the day after the arrival at Harrison's Landing
, General McClellan
came through the camps, making a short speech to each brigade.
, commanding the third brigade, called for three cheers for the new campaign and they were given, not so much for the campaign as for ‘little Mac
The boys were always ready to shout for him. In the afternoon the Nineteenth regiment marched back two miles and went into camp.
The next day was the glorious ‘Fourth’ and it was celebrated with a national salute by the artillery.
The peculiar contrast of the sound of blank cartridges to the shotted cannon familiar in battle was noticed.
The report was ‘bit’ off short and everyone missed the ‘whizz’ to which his ears had become accustomed.
On July 4, also, when the roll of the regiment was called, it was found that more than one half of the men who had left Massachusetts
less than a year before had either been killed in battle, died of disease or were sick and wounded in the General Hospital
It was nearly two weeks before clothing or shelter tents were issued and the only protection from the hot sun in the day and the chilly dews at night was the clothing which the men had on. This, in nearly all cases, consisted merely of the cap, blouse, shirt, trousers and shoes,—all very much the worse for wear.
For a bed there was the sandy soil.
When the tents were issued, they were pitched on stakes about two feet from the ground, to admit of a free circulation of air. The death rate was very high.
Men who had stood the hardships of the retreat now sickened and died, and the ‘Dead March’ could be heard at almost every hour of the day.
The medical department was busy by day and by night caring for the sick and wounded and shipping them away.
An operating hospital was established near the river bank, some