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Suffolk Christian Sun

Suffolk Christian Sun

February 14, 1862

Page 2


(1st Corps Army Potomac)

February 5th, 1862

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.




[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]


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