Suffolk Christian Sun
February 14, 1862
CAMP 5TH REGT.
Corps Army Potomac)
MR. EDITOR:-- In order to pass away the monotony of day, I have
concluded to converse through the medium of your paper, provided you have no
objection, with the people of Gates.
Many perhaps, who haven’t an opportunity of hearing from the G. M. M.
and G. G’s. would be pleased
to see an article from one of those companies.
I, though unable to prepare an article for a
paper, am willing to give a sketch of the surrounding incidents of the
times. It would be quite a task to go
into a full detail of all the facts pertaining to a soldier’s life, yet I deem
it expedient to say something of his hardships.
I can’t say, for indeed I do not believe the C. S. A. has a worse line
to guard than this that we have a harder time than any other corps of soldiers,
yet I am satisfied that we have all that we can brave. To make this fact intelligible I must give
you a short detail of our experience, for I know, no one can picture to himself
the reality of a soldier’s life, who has not
experienced some of the hardships pertaining thereto. Imagine, if you please, a Regiment under
orders to march, with three days rations cooked—it commences to snow, rain, and
to sleet, in the midst of which, we have to take up a line of march from five
to fifteen miles, with but a scant proportion of clothing, to relieve the
outpost pickets. We arrive, take command
of our post, and there have to remain until relieved, without a fire sufficient
to warm our almost frozen fingers, or a shelter to cover our trembling frames,
from the cold breath of “Old Borease” who rages with
fury regardless of our sufferings. When
again in camp, we are detailed to do camp or patrol duty, or labor hard, at the
building of some lofty Fort, for the protection of our Artillerist, while in an
engagement with Old Abe’s hirelings.
Thus you see, there is no rest for the soldier, let the weather be as it
may. We labor under great disadvantage
on account of the unevenness of the soil, and a want of comfortable
quarters. The country is very romantic
in its appearance; nevertheless, very unpleasant, for the reason that it is
destitute of grit, being a compound of loam and lime stone. When we have a small fall of water, the earth
becomes perfectly soft, and extremely unpleasant, to those who have to march
upon it. Our winter quarters are not yet
completed for the reason that we have so much outpost duty to perform, consequently we are yet in our cotton tents. But we will not grumble, for we intend to
have victory or death, let that come as it may. You will be surprised to hear
that our much beloved Gen. Beauregard has been ordered to Columbus, Ky.,
to dispatch some business of importance to the war department. We shall be much disappointed if he does not
return. It is to be hoped though, that
he will come back in the spring. Gen.
Smith commands in his absence 1st Corps Army of the Potomac. Gen.
Smith is a gallant officer, and will show himself nobly, when an opportunity
presents itself. James M. Taylor has
been appointed Sergeant Major of this Regiment, G. T. Parker having been
promoted to 2nd Lieut. Mr.
James R. Doughtie, formerly 1st Lieut. In
G. M. M. has resigned, and gone home.
The health of those in camp, with a very few exceptions is very good.
I will be at home
in a few days, on recruiting service, as orders have been issued to this
effect. It is the purpose
of our Col. To swell the companies to the maximum if possible. Those wishing to volunteer their services in
the defence of their country,
will do well to call on him immediately, as the opportunity is a good one. A name has already been made for you, come on
now and let us lead you to victory or death.
Before I close, the ladies will please allow me to express the heartfelt
thanks of the G. M. M. through this medium, for sundry articles of clothing
offered them in the way of shirts, drawers, socks, etc. which are much needed
at this time. Ladies, we soldiers will
not forget you, no not so long as we are permitted to breathe in your defence. If an
occasional article will be acceptable I may write again.
by Sharon Strout]