life in tents.
“Sir, he made a chimney in my father's house, and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it.”
King Henry VI.
In the last chapter I described quite fully the principal varieties of shelter that our troops used in the war. In this I wish to detail their daily life in those tents when they settled down in camp.
Enter with me into a Sibley tent which is not stockaded.
If it is cold weather, we shall find the cone-shaped stove, which I have already mentioned, setting in the centre.
These stoves were useless for cooking purposes, and the men were likely to burn their blankets on them in the night, so that many of the troops utilized them by building a small brick or stone oven below, in which they did their cooking, setting the stove on top as a part of the flue.
The length of pipe furnished by the government was not sufficient to reach the opening at the top, and the result was that unless the inmates bought more to piece it out, the upper part of such tents was as black and sooty as a chimney flue.
The dozen men occupying a Sibley tent slept with their feet towards the centre.
The choice place to occupy was that portion opposite the door, as one was not then in the way of passers in and out, although he was himself more or less of a nuisance to others when he came in. The tent was most crowded at meal times, for, owing to its shape, there can be no standing or sitting erect except about the centre.