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The regiment did not make the ‘Mud March’ with Burnside, but remained quiet until Spring. The famous chalk sign—‘Burnside stuck in the mud’ was plainly visible across the river, where it had been placed by some humorous rebel. Gen. Hooker, who had been placed in command of the Army made himself very popular with the men. His first order to the troops had concluded. ‘We are here to fight and whip the enemy. We will fight him wherever and whenever we find him. Our watchword will be Fight! Fight! Fight!’ He granted furloughs and saw to it that the men had plenty of potatoes and other vegetables, the want of which had been severely felt.

On the warm spring days the more athletic among the men secured base balls and foot balls and had match games with those of the Seventh Michigan. One ball game was played for $60. a side. The privates who played on the winning side received $10. each and the balance was spent for a supper, at which both clubs were present.

Gen. Hooker ordered a thorough inspection of every regiment and battery in the Army, being determined to ascertain its exact condition in all respects. Lieut. Col. Devereux was selected as Inspector of the second Division, second Corps. At this time (March 16, 1863) the regiment had but 407 enlisted men, present and absent. Only 217 were present for duty and even this small number included a goodly percentage of men on ‘Extra and Daily Duty.’

Capt. Mahoney, then in command of the regiment, wrote to Gov. Andrew as follows:

Of the 170 absent enlisted men, most of whom are sick or wounded, many have already been discharged, not more than thirty of them will return to duty. Experience has shown us that recruits, if placed in an old regiment and mingled in the ranks with veterans, behave as well in the field as old soldiers and we believe that if our regiment could be filled to the maximum, in a short time it could take the field in a better condition for active service than ever before.

If we go through another severe campaign with our present small number, our regimental organization will be almost extinct and if then recruited, it will be almost entirely a new regiment. We are receiving no recruits at present but it is

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Joseph Hooker (2)
Ambrose E. Burnside (2)
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March 16th, 1863 AD (1)
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