such heavy loads that they wore many a poor chap out; and by nightfall he was many miles in the rear, hurrying to catch up as best he could, generally with poor success. The weather was very warm, and the dirt roads, cut deep with the artillery, ammunition, supply and baggage trains, were shoe deep with powdered clay, and dust of a dark red color, and it would completely envelop a column of troops marching on each side of the roads, which were occupied by the cavalry and artillery portion of the army, because the infantry could go anywhere. So, loaded too heavily, and unused to the work, the men would pluckily keep up until overcome by heat, or choked with thirst, smothered by dust, discouraged and exhausted, they would throw themselves down, and many a fine fellow perished in this way. In those days our ranks were full, our uniforms bright, our faces clean and untanned. We had, and wore, the sweetness of home. War, its suffering, misery, wounds, sickness and horrors were uncared for, because untouched.These were the days when the endurance of our men was tested to the limit. We had no tents and had to secure shelter nights such as the country afforded, a night camp in the woods being the best; a rail shed with brush or straw roof when procurable, next; then again rolled up in our overcoats and rubber blankets, with our knapsacks for a pillow, we could get a good night's rest. Two days out from Camp Lincoln, the regiment overtook the corps and took its place in the Second Brigade. According to Col. Beckwith the reception it received was not altogether pleasant. He says, “Another source of annoyance and hardship was the constant shouting and ridicule we received from the old regiments. We were called ‘Paid Hirelings,’ ‘Two Hundred Dollar Men,’ “Sons of ””
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.