Began to Feel the Duties of a Soldier
[Special Correspondence of the Sunday Mercury.]
Camp Holt, Washington.}
October 8th, 1861.
To the Editors of the Sunday Mercury.
Having a little time to
spare, I thought that I would give your readers some idea of our camp life.
This regiment, at the
present time, numbers nearly the full standard, and its officers, no doubt,
rank second to none, although I must say, that there was some little difficulty
and delay in the War Department in recognizing us, but we have at last arrived
at the seat of war as efficient a body of men as there is in the three year
With such men as Colonel
Riker and Lieut. Colonel Tisdale,* and Major Dayton, at our head there is no
doubt but we will prove ourselves very troublesome to the enemy. As for the
Adjutant Scullen, too much cannot be said, for he is a gentleman and a soldier
in every respect.
It is true that we have met
with a great many accidents in our organization, but our friends and the public
have every confidence that we will do our duty. We are at the present in Peck’s
Brigade, which, in part, is composed of the Anderson Zouaves, Fifty-fifth New
York State Volunteers, Sixth New Jersey Volunteers, and the Thirteenth
Pennsylvania State Volunteers, all healthy and hardy young men, ready at the
Last week we were reviewed
by the president, and he has every confidence in us.
Yesterday we were reviewed
by Prince De Joinville and Gen. Peck and Staff.
We were encamped on Riker’s Island for some six or
seven weeks, which place we started from on the 21st of August, at 9 o’clock p.
m., on the steamer Kill Von Kull, thence to Elizabethport, where we took the
cars for Baltimore, where we arrived on the 22d at 9 a. m. We marched through
the principal streets to the upper depot, cheered along the way by the old and
the young. We took the cars for Washington at 1 o’clock the same day, and
arrived there on the 23d, at 11 p. m., where we took our suppers and retired
(on the top of a hill ) for the night. When we arose in the morning I
began to feel the duties of a soldier. We had our breakfast and the
boys took to rambling through the city and the Capitol – the latter place
they seemed to admire very much – and about 1 o’clock the line formed on B
street, and we took up our line of march for Meridian Hill, better known as
Camp Cameron, where we arrived about 5 o’clock p. m., when we were reviewed by
Secretary Seward. At 6 o’clock we pitched our tents and retired for the night.
We were encamped there for five weeks, which the boys enjoyed until they got
paid ; some of them, tired of camp life, rambled toward the city for a few
hours leisure, where, I must say, they behaved themselves very well, the provost
guard were very vigilant in arresting every one in uniform that did not have a
On the 10th of September we
got our orders to strike tents and march for our present encampment which is on
the outskirts of Washington, in a small village called Kalorama. It is very
healthy and pleasant, although the nights are cool.
As regards our rations, we can’t complain,
considering the present state of affairs. The reveille beats at 5 o’clock a.
m., battalion drill at 10 o’clock a. m. and 3 o’clock p. m., dress parade at
sunset, tattoo at 9½, and taps at 10 o’clock.
We are at present ready to
march at a moment’s notice and the boys are anxious to try themselves.
Fifth Ward, M. C.
* This officer has since resigned
Letter to the Sunday
Mercury, October 13, 1861. 62nd NYSV Co I Homepage