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John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, X. Raw recruits. (search)
al history to illustrate what thousands of young men were doing at that time, and had been doing for months, as it leads up directly to the theme about to be considered. After I had obtained the reluctant consent of my father to enlist,--my mother never gave hers,--the next step hecessary was to make selection of the organization with which to identify my fortunes. I well remember the to me eventful August evening when that decision to enlist was arrived at. The Union army, then under McClellan, had been driven from before Richmond in the disastrous Peninsular campaign, and now the Rebel army, under General Lee, was marching on Washington. President Lincoln had issued a call for three hundred thousand three-years' volunteers. One evening, shortly after this call was made, I met three of my former school-mates and neighbors in the chief village of the town I then called home, and, after a brief discussion of the outlook, one of the quartette challenged, or stumped, the others t
emed now to turn, by common agreement, to General George B. McClellan, to lead to victory, who was young, who hn to give a clearer idea of what a tremendous task McClellan had before him. In organizing the Army of the Potoplined and tolerably skilled in brigade movements, McClellan began the organization of Divisions, each comprisias the formation of Army Corps; but in this matter McClellan moved slowly, not deeming it best to form them unttence, issued a War Order March 8, 1862, requiring McClellan to organize his command into five Army Corps. So f But my story is not of the commanders, nor of McClellan, but of the corps, and what I have said will show igades were small in numbers. I have said that McClellan made up his brigades of four regiments. I think ten it referred to. On the 24th of March, 1862, General McClellan issued a general order prescribing the kinds oe cap. The original Fourth Corps, organized by McClellan, did not adopt a badge, but its successor of the s
ter was to be had. The Turkish fez, with pendent tassel, was seen on the heads of some soldiers. Zouave regiments wore them. They did very well to lie around camp in, and in a degree marked their owner as a somewhat conspicuous man among his fellows, but they were not tolerated on line; few of them ever survived the first three months campaigning. And this recalls the large number of the soldiers of ‘62 who did not wear the forage cap furnished by the government. They bought the McClellan cap, so called, at the hatters' instead, which in most cases faded out in a month. This the government caps did not do, with all their awkward appearance. They A Zouave. may have been coarse and unfashionable to the eye, but the colors would stand. Nearly every man embellished his cap with the number or letter of his company and regiment and the appropriate emblem. For infantry this emblem is a bugle, for artillery two crossed cannons, and for cavalry two crossed sabres. One othe
. But this condition of affairs soon after changed. Preparations for war were made on a grander scale. The Army of the Potomac, under the moulding hands of McClellan, was assuming form, and the appointment by him, Aug. 12, 1861, of Surgeon Charles S. Tripler as medical director of that army indicated a purpose of having a med. But the perversion of ambulances from their proper use, I will add in passing, continued, to a greater or less extent, till the end of the war. This very year McClellan issued an order for them not to be used except for the transportation of the sick and wounded, unless by authority of the brigade commander, the medical directored, and effect an organization which remained practically unchanged till the close of the war. Here is the substance of the plan which he drew up, and which General McClellan approved, and published to the army in orders, Aug. 2, 1862, and which General Meade reissued, with some additions and slight changes, a little more than a y
one without detriment to the service. It was only when they attempted to carry everything along in active campaigning that trouble ensued. In October, 1861, McClellan issued an order which contained the following provisions:-- 1. No soldiers shall ride in loaded baggage-wagons under any circumstances, nor in empty wagons ufactory system of operation. The greater number of the three-years regiments that arrived in Washington in 1861 brought no transportation of any kind. After McClellan assumed command, a depot of transportation was established at Perryville on the Susquehanna; by this is meant a station where wagons and ambulances were kept, anull Run was to be utterly overshadowed by the baptism of woe which was to follow in the Peninsular Campaign; and on arriving at Harrison's Landing, on the James, McClellan issued the following order, which paved the way for better things:-- Allowance of transportation, tents, and baggage. Headquarters, Army of the Potomac. Camp
John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, XX.
Army road
and bridge Builders. (search)
urpose of doing this kind of work. Such a body was the Engineer Corps, often called the Sappers and Miners of the army; but so little sapping and mining was done, and that little mainly by the fighting forces, I shall speak of this body of men as Engineers-the name which, I believe, they prefer. In the Army of the Potomac this corps was composed of the Fifteenth and Fiftieth New York regiments of volunteers and a battalion of regulars comprising three companies. They started out with McClellan in the Peninsular Campaign, and from that time till the close of the war were identified with the movements of this army. These engineers went armed as infantry for purposes of self-defence only, for fighting was not their legitimate business, nor was it expected of them. There were emergencies in the history of the army when they were drawn up in line of battle. Such was the case with a part of them at least at Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, but, so far as I can learn, they
hilip, 254-57 Kelly's Ford, Va., 315 Kenesaw Mountain, 400,404 Kingston, Ga., 400 Lee, Robert E., 198, 291-92,331, 362,367 Letterman, Jonathan, 303,305 Lewis' milk, 125 Lice, 80-82 Lincoln, Abraham, 15-16,18-20, 22, 34, 42, 44-45, 60, 71, 157, 162, 198,250,253,315 Longstreet, James, 296,403 Logan, John, 262-63 Long Island, Mass., 44-45 Lowell, Mass., 44 Ludington, Marshall I., 371-76 Lyon, Nathaniel, 118-19 Lynchburg, Va., 350 Lynnfield, Mass., 44 McClellan, George B., 51, 71, 157, 176, 198,251-54, 257,259,277, 298,303-4, 355-56,378 McDowell, Irvin, 71,250-52 Magoffin, Beriah, 280 Marietta, Ga., 404 Meade, George G., 72, 262, 304, 313, 340,344,349,359,367,371-75 Meade Station, Va., 351 Medical examination, 41-42 Merrimac, 271 Mine Run campaign, 134, 308, 347 Monitor, 270 Morgan, C. H., 267 Mosby, John S., 370 Mules, 279-97 Myer, Albert J., 395-96 Nelson, William, 405 Newburg, N. Y., 395 New York Herald, 403;