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[53] man, for whose fastidious nature the daily intercourse of Court Street had been far too rough and harassing, entered with a sort of enthusiastic delight upon the duties of a regimental adjutant,—perhaps the most wearing and vexatious functions which the army has to offer, and such as seem to demand all the energy of youth and all the equanimity of health.

His first letters from camp were very ardent. The details of camp life, the noise and routine of military affairs, which before had appeared either absurd or tedious, now excited and interested him very much. The desire, as he expressed it, ‘to strike a blow for the old flag we were all born under,’ seemed to make him forget all annoyances; and he worked there, and through his whole military life, as he perhaps had never worked before. And though it ended in disappointment, both for the regiment and for himself, yet his duty was done with his accustomed thoroughness, as his letters show.

Fort Albany, Va., August 19, 1861.

Here we are at last, within four miles of the Rebels. We received sudden orders yesterday morning, at our camp at Meridian Hill, to strike our camp, and march with our whole baggage and equipage across the famous Long Bridge to this height by three o'clock, which was morally impossible; but we got here by five o'clock, with a mile of regimental wagons and ambulances bringing up the rear of our long line of men.

The regiment really made a fine appearance going through Washington, and did honor to old Essex.

We have been half drowned with rain ever since leaving home; and this last experience of last night makes the climax of everything disgusting you can conceive of, to those brought up as white men and Christians. The mud is so loathsome and universal, that the men are “down” at last, and look sober to-day. These Essex men are splendid fellows for soldiers,— tough, cheerful, and persevering. They have seen nothing but the roughest side of soldiers' life ever since coming South, and yet the regiment is in a state of perfect subordination and good feeling. In striking our camp yesterday, all our tents but one fell at the tap of the drum,— pretty well for raw troops. I have to detail a strong guard every day to protect the mansion (in our immediate neighborhood) of a malignant Secessionist, which would be burnt in five minutes after removal of the


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