Work upon this hospital was hurried, in order that it might be in readiness for a ball on Thanksgiving night.
It was the first Thanksgiving the regiment had spent in camp and a jollification was planned.
As Col. Hinks
was very popular with the people of Baltimore
, where he had been stationed with the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment during the three months service, invitations were sent to the Baltimorians to attend, and between thirty and forty ladies traveled the seventy-five miles necessary to be present.
The space between the uprights of the frame of the building had been arranged so that it corresponded with the flies of the officers tents.
The building was unfinished when Thanksgiving arrived, so the skeleton frame was temporarily covered with the tent flies and the space floored over, making a large and commodious ball room.
During Thanksgiving Day there were many sports inaugurated.
There was a sack race, shinning the greased pole, on which was place a bottle of ‘Commissary’ and a ten dollar bill; a greased pig race and many other sports, in all of which Sergt.
was the central figure.
After about ten feet of the greased pole had been wiped on the trousers of some half dozen of the men, the articles on the tops were awarded to Sergt. McGinnis
, who had climbed the highest.
The ‘ball room’ was not ready for occupancy until very late in the afternoon, and, as a consequence, the dinner, which was to be served in it, was quite cold when the time came to eat it and most of the men were shivering and disgruntled.
In the evening, the regimental band furnished the music for dancing, and the fete was continued until a late hour, ‘taps’ being suspended by special order.
There were not enough ladies to go round, however, and some of the officers had to be content with other officers for partners, some from the Twentieth Massachusetts having been invited.
During the evening, Sergt. McGinnis
was called in and danced a jig, receiving great applause.
A few days after Thanksgiving had passed, the boys had a very jolly auction sale of the things which had been left over.
The ground occupied by the brigade was undulating.
The Nineteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts Regiments were