The pantaloons in particular were not only made to fit well, but were of the finest material obtainable, much unlike the government shoddy which covered the old veteran, and through whose meshes peas of ordinary calibre would almost rattle.
Then, their boots!
such masterpieces of elegance and extravagance!
Of the cavalry pattern, reaching above the knee, almost doing away with the necessity for pantaloons, sometimes of plain grained leather, sometimes of enamelled, elaborately stitched and stamped, but always seeming to mark their occupant as a man of note and distinction among his comrades.
They seemed a sort of fortification about their owner, protecting him from too close contact with his vulgar surroundings.
Alas! it never required more than one day's hard march in these dashing appendages to humble their possessor so much that he would evacuate in as good order as possible when camp was reached, if not compelled to before.
Their underwear was such as the common herd did not use in service.
Their shirts were “boiled,” that is, white ones, or, if woollen, were of some “loud” checkered pattern, only less conspicuous than the flag which they had sworn to defend.
In brief, their general make — up would have stamped them as military “dudes,” had such a class of creatures been then extant.
Of course, it was their privilege to wear whatever did not conflict with Army Regulations, but I am giving the impressions they made on the minds of the old soldiers.
As for government rations, they scoffed at them so long as there was a dollar of bounty left, and a sutler within reach of camp to spend it with.
But when the treasury was exhausted they were disconsolate indeed, and wished that the wicked war was over, with all their hearts.
On fatigue duty they were useless at first, and the old soldiers made their lot an unhappy one; but by dint of bulldozing and an abundance of hard service, most of them got their