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Frederick H. Dyer, Compendium of the War of the Rebellion: Regimental Histories 1,756 1,640 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events, Diary from December 17, 1860 - April 30, 1864 (ed. Frank Moore) 979 67 Browse Search
Elias Nason, McClellan's Own Story: the war for the union, the soldiers who fought it, the civilians who directed it, and his relations to them. 963 5 Browse Search
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1. 742 0 Browse Search
Benjamnin F. Butler, Butler's Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benjamin Butler 694 24 Browse Search
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 457 395 Browse Search
Horace Greeley, The American Conflict: A History of the Great Rebellion in the United States of America, 1860-65: its Causes, Incidents, and Results: Intended to exhibit especially its moral and political phases with the drift and progress of American opinion respecting human slavery from 1776 to the close of the War for the Union. Volume I. 449 3 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 2. (ed. Frank Moore) 427 7 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Massachusetts in the Army and Navy during the war of 1861-1865, vol. 1, Mass. officers and men who died. 420 416 Browse Search
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2. 410 4 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life. You can also browse the collection for Washington (United States) or search for Washington (United States) in all documents.

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John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, I. The tocsin of war. (search)
s of the seceding States, and still the President did nothing, or worse than nothing, claiming that the South was wrong in its acts, but that he had no right to prevent treason and secession, or, in the phraseology of that day, no right to coerce a sovereign State. And so at last he left the office a disgraced old man, for whom few had or have a kind word to offer. Such, briefly, was the condition of affairs when Abraham Lincoln, fearful of his life, which had been threatened, entered Washington under cover of darkness, and quietly assumed the duties of his office. Never before were the people of this country in such a state of excitement. At the North there were a large number who boldly denounced the Long-heeled Abolitionists and Black Republicans for having stirred up this trouble. I was not a voter at the time of Lincoln's election, but I had taken an active part in the torchlight parades of the Wide-awakes and Railsplitters, as the political clubs of the Republicans were c
John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, V. Life in log huts. (search)
ly regardless of all rules of health, and of whom such a statement would seem, to those that knew the parties, only slightly A wood-tick. exaggerated. How was this washing done? Well, if the troops were camping near a brook, that simplified the matter somewhat; but even then the clothes must be boiled, and for this purpose there was but one resource--the mess kettles. There is a familiar anecdote related of Daniel Webster: that while he was Secretary of State, the French Minister at Washington asked him whether the United States would recognize the new government of France — I think Louis Napoleon's. Assuming a very solemn tone and posture, Webster replied: Why not? The United States has recognized the Bourbons, the French Republic, the Directory, the Council of Five Hundred, the First Consul, the Emperor, Louis XVIII., Charles X., Louis Philippe, the --Enough! Enough! cried the minister, fully satisfied with the extended array of precedents cited. So in regard to using our
iency as circumstances would permit. For a time, in 1861, the vaults under the broad terrace on the western front of the Capitol were converted into bakeries, where sixteen thousand loaves of bread were baked daily. The chimneys from the ovens pierced the terrace where now the freestone pavement joins the grassy slope, and for months smoke poured out of these in dense black volumes. The greater part of the loaves supplied to the Army of the Potomac up to the summer of 1864 were baked in Washington, Alexandria, and at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The ovens at the latter place had a capacity of thirty thousand loaves a day. But even with all these sources worked to their uttermost, brigade commissaries were obliged to set up ovens near their respective depots, to eke out enough bread to fill orders. These were erected on the sheltered side of a hill or woods, then enclosed in a stockade, and the whole covered with old canvas. When the army reached the vicinity of Petersburg, the suppl
ly captured. The greater part of these bounty-jumpers came from Canada. A large number of reliable troops were necessary to take these men from the recruiting rendezvous to the various regiments which they were to join. The mass of recaptured deserters were put to hard labor on government works. Others were confined in some penitentiary, to work out their unexpired term of service. I believe the penitentiary at Albany was used for this purpose, as was also the Old Capitol Prison in Washington. Many more were sent to the Rip Raps, near Fort Monroe. On the 11th of March, 1865, President Lincoln issued a proclamation offering full pardon to all deserters who should return to their respective commands within sixty days, that is, before May 10, 1865, with the understanding that they should serve out the full time of their respective organizations, and make up all time lost as well. A large number whose consciences had given them no peace since their lapse, availed themselves of t
company demanded. After the dismission of the line, guard-mounting took place but this in the artillery was a very simple matter. The guard at once formed on the parade line were assigned to their reliefs, and dismissed till wanted. Sometimes the guard-mounting took place in the morning, as did that of the infantry. The neatest and most soldierly appearing guardsman was selected as captain's orderly. But guardmounting in light artillery was not always thus simple. Camp Barry, near Washington, was used as a school of instruction for light batteries, for a period of at least three years. During the greater part of this time there were ten or a dozen batteries there on an average. Under one of its commandants, at least, a brigade guard-mounting was held at eight o'clock A. M., and here members of my company responded to the bugle-call known as the Assembly of guard, for the first and last time. Assembly of guard. The infantry bugle-call for the same purpose was more fami
John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, X. Raw recruits. (search)
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 to enlist.. The challenge was promptly accepted all around, and hands were shaken to bind the agreement. I will add in passing, that three of the f
precision the address that must be put on the cover, in order to have it reach its destination safely. Here is a specimen address:-- Sergeant John J. Smith, Company A., 19th Mass. Regiment, Second brigade, Second Division, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, Stevensburg, Va. Care Capt. James Brown. As a matter of fact much of this address was unnecessary, and the box would have arrived just as soon and safely if the address had only included the name, company, and regiment, with Washington, D. C., added, for everything was forwarded from that city to army headquarters, and thence distributed through the army. But the average soldier wanted to make a sure thing of it, and so told the whole story. The boxes sent were usually of good size, often either a shoe-case or a common soap-box, and were rarely if ever less than a peck in capacity. As to the contents, I find on the back of an old envelope a partial list of such articles ordered at some period in the service. I giv
t, but the point I wish to make is that they indulged in foraging to a greater extent probably than troops which had been longer in service. Before my own company had seen any hard service it was located at Poolesville, thirty-eight miles from Washington, where it formed part of an independent brigade, which was included in the defences of Washington, and under the command of General Heintzelman. While we lay there drilling, growling, and feeding on government rations, a sergeant of the guard Washington, and under the command of General Heintzelman. While we lay there drilling, growling, and feeding on government rations, a sergeant of the guard imperilled his chevrons by leading off a midnight foraging party, after having first communicated the general countersign to the entire party. On this particular occasion a flock of sheep was the object of the expedition. These sheep had been looked upon with longing eyes manly times by the men as they rode their horses to water by their pasture, which was, perhaps, half a mile or more from camp. As soon as the foragers came upon them in the darkness, the sheep cantered away, and their adv
tive campaign, and so the command of the troops, that were rapidly concentrating in and around Washington, was devolved upon the late General Irvin McDowell, a good soldier withal, but, like every oth finished a successful campaign in West Virginia. He took command of the forces in and around Washington July 27, 1861, a command which then numbered about fifty thousand infantry, one thousand cavalf discipline. Officers and men were absent from their commands without leave. The streets of Washington were swarming with them. But I must not wander too far from the point I have in mind to consihe color-plates are much reduced in size. Diligent inquiry and research in the departments at Washington fail to discover any of the patterns referred to, or their dimensions; but there are veterans e parts, and having a circle in the centre. This was the corps which served in the defence of Washington. Its membership was constantly changing. The badge adopted by the Twenty-Third Corps (wit
rchase mules there in 1861, they were refused; but in the course of a few weeks the neutrality nonsense was pretty thoroughly knocked out of the authorities, Kentucky took its stand on the side of the A six-mule team. Union, and the United States government began and continued its purchase of mules there in increasing numbers till the close of the war. What were these mules used for? Well, I have related elsewhere that, when the war broke out, thousands of soldiers came pouring into Washington for its defence, and afterwards went by thousands into other sections of Rebeldom. To supply these soldiers with the necessary rations, forage, and camp equipage, and keep them supplied, thousands of wagons were necessary. Some of the regiments took these wagons with them from their native State, but most did not. Some of the wagons were drawn by mules already owned by the government, and more mules were purchased from time to time. The great advantage possessed by these animals over ho
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