‘They were ragged and dirty, having had a hard time.’
The month of December was devoted largely to drilling.
Recruits kept coming in and these had to be made into soldiers.
instituted a new set of bugle calls, making in all twenty-eight calls a day. January 1, 1864, was the coldest day the men had experienced since leaving home.
Snow and rain made camp life uninviting and difficult.
Nevertheless reenlistments were in order, and at this time several of the boys entered upon another three years service.
Early in the year the force was moved out to Franklin
, half way to Brashear City
, and there made winter quarters.
The roads thither were in terrible condition—deep with mud and water with a frozen crust on top, and three days were required to travel a distance of 23 miles. The horses were in poor condition from lack of hay and grain and only a limited supply of corn, and five died from exhaustion on this short trip.
Here three months were spent in camp, the men taking possession of the cabins formerly occupied by the negroes, who had long since gone to the contraband camp in New Orleans.
Much time was given to the drilling of recruits, while about 25 of the men who had reenlisted were given furloughs of 30 days.
A copy of the program of an evening's entertainment at the Cooper Institute (an old cooper's shop fitted up) will doubtless recall pleasant memories of camp life the winter of 1863-1864.