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1862 February, Seventh Wisconsin
FROM THE 7TH REGIMENT
CAMP ARLINGTON, 7TH W.V. FEB, 11, 1862
EDITORS PATRIOT:-It has been some time
since I wrote you but as there has nothing of any moment transpired, I thought
it useless to fill a letter where in there was naught to interest the reader.
The time is coming and that before the elapse of many weeks when we will leave this old camp ground. O how heartily the news will be received by all the men although our present camp seems almost like home. We have collected around us such things as our circumstances would admit and when we do leave we will leave many a little notion behind yet we would be glad to got away from here. In the days past there has been very fine freezing at night and thawing during the day so that the mud in our streets is getting dried up some.
Our regiment is drilling in bayonet exercise, also the skirmish drill. Capt. Finnicum is drill master. Now that the weather is improving we will be put right through in all drills till we attain the highest degree of proficiency. We are to have the Austrian musket - expected them before this time, but they have not come. It is also expected that our field music will soon get the U.S. drum, the state drums are pretty well used up, at least some of them are. Our ordnance sergeant says the music and sergeants would get their swords that they are in Washington boxed up for this regiment. If such is the case the 7th will be the only Wisconsin regiment around here who has got them.
Our colonel has resigned. Of course you knew that before we did but I don't believe you were half so glad as the most of us here. Of the colonel's ability I will not speak. We are Yankees and free, through for a time we are under surveillance, we never forget what was and what may be again.
Our Lieut. Col. we are proud of and well may we be proud of him. He has not accomplished any great feat of daring or bravery, but if he had the chance so great is the confidence in him that none would fear to trust their lives in his keeping. Always cool, kind and considerate, he only needs the opportunity to distinguish himself. With him as our colonel we are satisfied. Of our Major, I for one, know little and lastly I will speak of the to be Major. A better selection I think it here to make. Capt Hill is a qualified officer. He served through the Mexican War therefore has had some experience. He is very much devoted to the men of this company and will stick by them if they desired him to but as he deserves the promotion no doubt he will take it.
The main topic for conversation which has been war! War! has turned into another channel. The topic is an all engrossing subject and of vital importance to the volunteer. It is of the taxation of the private. If such a bill did pass it would raise old Nick himself - perhaps there might be mutiny - it would raise a spirit of mutiny in the breast of nearly every man. To be thus ill used is not what we expected of our government. To decoy us away from our homes with the proviso of $13 per month and then after they have us, to reduce or tax us a certain per cent which is not more or less than reducing our wages, is not the usage we anticipated. Some contend that if the Government reduces our wages that the contract is annulled and that we cannot be held longer. This, I think, is a mistake. We are here, Uncle Sam's property, he can do with us as he pleases. The volunteer pays his proportion of taxes at home, sells his liberty for $13 per mouth and risks his life; then to be taxed into the bargain is a little too much.
Instead of taxing the private, reduce the pay of the commissioned officers. They are getting double, triple and quadruple the wages of the private. Look at the disproportion. Yes, I say tax the officers. Very few of our commissioned officers earned as much at home as they are receiving now. Tax them, then if they don't like it they can show their patriotism by resigning and going home. There are thousands that are at present in the ranks who are just as capable and just as qualified to command companies at the present time and who Lieutenancy, on half the wages yearly that are being paid to them (the commissioned officers) at present, by doing so we would find out a great many of and who were the true patriots.
Many of the privates who are receiving but $13 per month depend upon their labor for the support of their families and themselves and $20 to $40 and $50 per month. But because they are soldiers freely offering up their lives for their country, they must have the little they receive taxed, thereby causing there family to suffer. It strikes deep to the heart of the soldier to hear that his family is suffering during the cold winter that has closed around his once cheerful fireside.
I do not speak this in a tone of complaint but I wish to show how the news of taxation is received - how we feel, and what we think. We will hope for the best - hope on, hope ever.
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC
Camp Arlington, Va. Feb.. 15, 1862
MESSRS. EDITORS.-I have not written you for a long while for the very
reason there has been so little with us transpiring that would be of interest to
your readers.- Still I am aware that your "Army Correspondence" is
gladly received and eagerly read by our friends at home though much of it
is of comparatively little importance.
Our regiment has just returned from the lines having been but again on a forty-eight hour tour Picketing. We left our camp ground Wednesday morning last at 8.5 o'clock and proceeded viz Ball's Cross Roads, Upton Hill and the village of Fall Church to the immediate vicinity of the Doulon farm - at which place you will recollect, on the 18th of Nov last, a detachment of the 14th (Brooklin) N.Y. Reg't. sent out on a foraying expedition were surrounded and captured by a company of rebel cavalry. Companies "G" and "B" were assigned to the most advanced posts of the left wing. One co. as a reserve and relief to the other after standing on post twenty four hours. Our newly appointed Major, Geo. Bill, (formerly Capt., Co. A.) accompanied us of the left wing.
This Picket tour was Major Bills first effort in his new official capacity. We like his style and believe he will prove himself to be what our regiment demands, a kind officer and a strict disciplinarian.- by the way I will here mention that Lt. Col. Robinson has been promoted to the colonelship of the regiment. vice Vander resigned and appointed counsel to Tahiti; also Major Hamilton to Lt. Colonel; both received their commissions the day we went out on picketing. Yesterday the scout from our regiment, Britton of Co. "C", came in to the line bringing with him a secesh soldier captured by himself out near Fairfax. This morning before we were relieved by the 2d about 1200 cavalry came out and crossed the lines, the boys cheering them as they passed, soon after they had got out of sight of the pickets they were heard to make a charge upon somebody shouting and firing their carbines. We have heard nothing from then as yet - Two large batteries of artillery are reported to have crossed the lines south of us yesterday, by whom commanded or when they design to attack, we have no means of knowing at present. I do not profess to be a prophet or the son of a prophet but if I may judge from the appearance of every thing around us, the "Waiting" which I noticed in the Journal which I received this evening is to use a military term stayed-out and the Great Army of the Potomac is soon to move.
But I must dry up for it is getting late and I have just been notified that I am detained as officer of the Brigade guard at Gen. McDowell's Headquarters tomorrow morning. You may guess, too, that we are somewhat weary after our journey of 10 miles home through the mud.
Before closing however I will notice a very pleasant affair which transpired in Co B last week and which I doubt not will be interesting to the numerous friends of Cap Huntington, who know how he labored to raise the Co. last Spring and which will show how he is esteemed by the men.-Since the last pay day they have raised amongst themselves a purse of 435 or 440 and dispatched one of their number to the city who purchased with it a beautiful sword, sash and belt which they presented to their Captain as a token of their esteem for him as commander and friend of the boys. It is decidedly the nicest rig we have seen in the lines.
The Washington Star this evening brings the official account of the victory and capture of Roanoke Island, good news! May we continue the march on every side until the rebels are completely cleaned out and our glorious old flag planted again in every state and this unholy rebellion is crushed out, never again to attempt an overthrow of our best of all governments.
LETTER FROM THE 7TH REGIMENT, NO.12
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, VA FEB 17TH '62
"By the powers of mud" is a natural exclamation in the mouth of every soldier of the Army of Occupation. I intended to dwell on mud (I dwell in it - a jaw axe) but your Fifth Regiment correspondent has raised such a muss about it, damming it with such vigorous fervency, that it would look like "painting the lily" or mixing mortar for you humble "Seventh" to take a hand in it. He has made quite a "stew" out of it- (a jaw axe No 2).
We have been kept in our tents for a long time until a week ago when the sun showed a smiling disc once more. This time is deeply indentured in our memory. The long weary hours, blues and scarce a word from home owing to the clogging of the mails towards Baltimore and the constant drippings of desponding news from the north. The news of the Hatter as tempest and the destruction of Burnside's noble enterprise, as we once believed, weighed heavy on us. With wet feet we would sit down, talk over better times, some reading whatever they could lay their hands on even to old letters and new testaments and others doing guard, police and chopping duties, carrying wood and quarreling with the cooks, who to their credit, be it said, took all abuse and ignominy with as much grace, complacency and with that matter, of course, aie which would have been worth the imitation of even eminent statesmen, verily, they should have their reward. Those days are over. We can quote from Acts XXVII, 20, to find a parallel: "And when neither sun nor moon nor stars in many days appeared and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved (as a nation) was then taken away" the italics are hardly necessary to give a conception of our situation.
One night however the pure snow descended, the frost partially cemented the mud and the next morning we held a dress parade. Orders were issued, dirty clothes must be cleaned and we must be soldiers once more. No more passes were to be granted. This was succeeded by a skirmish drill with out arms, and snow balls used as missiles. This rare fun ended, we went to dinner and in the afternoon exercised in the bayonet drill according to the instructions of the late lamented Col. Ellsworth. Capt Finnucum of Company H, who has served in Mexico, being our principal instructor. He has been drilling squads of sergeants in this exercise for some time and now the whole regiment are beginning to become familiar with parries and thrusts: The following report of this very efficient war science was furnished me by a friend who desires to remain incognito; and there fore assumes a convenient nom de plume:
Two o'clock in the afternoon, one Wednesday, not a thousand years ago, as I was hastily consuming my usual beans and horse beef (vide our cook's report) (I had been on guard the day before and hoped no drill would take place) the drum corps of the Seventh Wis beat a sudden and unwelcome repetition of thumps evidently a compound of sound comprising the Anvil Chorus, Old Dog Tray, Bonny Eloise and a Spanish Waltz but which was intended to be a call for the regiment to fall in for drill in the use of the bayonet. Startled and exasperated, I jumped up upsetting the beans on a comrade's oil cloth and a bottle of ink over a new military valentine, blackening the engraving of a blood red heart; which was originally as thickly planted with cupid's arrows as Munson's Hill is with briars and which the ink improved so as to convey the idea that said heart had busted. Meekly submitting to succeeding curses I grabbed my new Austrian rifle fell into rank and marched with the rest of the company to the parade ground. After forming in open order and taking intervals of five paces we took our position; which is thus from a light infantry shoulder raise the piece with the right hand, turn the left toe square to the front, carry the right foot about eighteen inches backward, the right heel on the prolongation of the left, knees bent and take the position of a charge bayonet. The sergeant then commenced:
Reserve guard - I raised the piece quickly with the right hand, winking at my adversary, seized it ferociously with the left at the height of the right breast, grasped the small of the stock with the right hand, coming to time with my adversary at double quick, first blood for me.
Passade Forward (two motions.) - Throwed the right foot eighteen inches in front of the left, the inside of it to the front. Carried right foot eighteen inches in front of the left, preserving the guard but while resuming guard I jumped up twenty feet, hit the nose of my adversary, drawing claret but he, while parrying to the left on the upper line, cut off several inches of my right ear.
Volt to the Right. March. (two motions) - this I accomplished on the double quick, executing several extra motions. After turning to the right on the toe of the left, my adversary cut off my left ear. (This did not worry me as it improved my personal appearance) but I punished him by making a double thrust on his potato-trap, knocking his teeth out with the butt stroke, spit in his face thereby causing some ladies who came out to witness this exercise to laugh at his expense (found out since they were laughing at me) resumed guard.
Coup de meele - Arms - (Seven motions) Pitched the piece with both hands to the height of the chin; gave the piece a rotary motion in the right hand with my left, flinging it violently against my adversary's nose resulting in a second issue of claret and causing a slight indentation over his left eye; then I came to an about face, succeeded by a double quick. My adversary followed me in the same manner catching me struggling to get through the chevaux de frise bordering the ditch around Fort Tillinghast, landed in the ditch. My adversary embraced me lovingly with the left arm around the neck, made several effectual thrusts over my eyes with his right which he had doubled with his fingers closed in fist:, extracted myself, made a push on my adversary and he parried the bottom of the ditch. I meanwhile climbed up the casemate of a 30-pounder and double quicked it for the parade ground, picked up my Austrian rifle and run into my tent. found my bottle of armor oil broke and the oil spilled. Suspect it was done out of fun by him whose valentine had been spoiled. Went to the Sutler bought another and a $2 valentine; gave the latter to my comrade and resumed guard. Sergeant came and took me to the guard house where I also found my adversary, both have since been court-martialed; found guilty of insubordination and "conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline."
Charges and specifications have been proved and we have both been sentenced to six months hard labor with ball and chain attached to our left leg, the ball weighing ten pounds, chain six feet long; wearing a knapsack on our backs filled with sand eight hours each day.
All our dues from Uncle Sam to be withdrawn except the honest dues of the Sutler and laundress. Uncle Sam has not made much by the latter punishment as our laundress and Sutlers dues exceed what is due us from him.
Sworn to by:
SIMEON BREAKNAUK PARRY
The above is a truthful record of our bayonet experience.
JONATHAN LUNGE, Adversary.
Col. Vander has resigned, after receiving an appointment to represent the
United States in the Island of Tahiti. On account of the officers of the line
remaining, I omit the cause of his withdrawal from the command of the Seventh.
He liked "his boys," and the boys liked him. The officers feelings
were hurt by his strictures on their military knowledge. They, as well as the men,
were raw then and some of them have since regretted their opposition to him. No
one seeing him ride on his well trained steed could doubt his courage and
training. That voice, though not of the finest English, would urge a charge, and
the steed and rider would be expected where bullets fell thickest. There was a
magnetism in his voice and eye which would inspire each man to the utmost daring
and the timid would forget self in the greater necessity of the cause they
fought for. The last time he was with us on battalion drill months ago now, he
delivered a running lecture of instruction to the men.
As we fired by battalion he said: "You must not fire in the r-r-r because then the volley will not be regular. You listen to the command. I say Ready aim-you wait; when you hear the fi--- you pull the trigger; then you have it"
Good bye, Vander. We respect you for qualities of heart possessed by few. Had you adopted a less candid policy in your intercourse with men you would have been with us yet. It is but justice to say however that the military examining Boards could find no flaw in your ability and that you voluntarily resigned.
The successor of Vander is Col. W.W. Robinson. He was born Dec 14, 1819 in Vermont. His father held a Lieutenant's commission in the regular army during the war of 1812 and 1814- Col. Robinson received his military tuition and graduated at the Military Academy of Norwich, Conn. He held a Captain's commission under Gen. Taylor in the Mexican war. Previous to this war he resided in Spara, Wisconsin, where he has a farm. He received a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the Seventh, August 15, 1861. He is noted as Lieut. Col. commanding the Seventh since Col. Vandor ceased to command last fall. He is a patient, pains taking cool officer, thoroughly educated in his vocation and should opportunity ever present itself will become noted. At least I believe so. Since Col. Vander's resignation he has been promoted to the Colonelcy of this regiment. His colonel's commission being dated January 31st, 1862.
Lieut. Col. Hamilton, of Milwaukee, to use his own words, was born July 25, in what State or county he did not inform me, but I presume it was New York. To use his own words still further, his father discerning early signs of military proclivities, procured him a tin pop gun with which he practiced with potato wads and after becoming proficient in the art and science of that mode of warfare he to use the language of the jealous Moor of Venice, bade
"Farewell to the plumed troop and the big wars
That make ambition virtue! O farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill tramp,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner; and all quality.
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war
And O, you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread clamors counterfeit.
farewell ! Young Charley's occupation's gone-"
He changed it first , for that of the "Whining school-boy with his satchel,
and shining morning face, creeping like a snail.
Unwillingly to school-"
And subsequently for Kent's Commentaries, Chitty on Contracts, Coke, Blackstone, Littleton, and other luminaries, that light the dusty records of the law. He received a commission as Major of the Seventh, August 15, 1861 and has since shared the danger and fatigues of this Regiment. The fatigues are nearly past; the dangers are remote as yet.
He is well liked by all and time may prove him to merit more than the following to wit; the gratitude of his country. He is again.
"A soldier full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even at the cannon's mouth."
His Lieut. Colonel's commission, just received , is dated January 31st, 1862.
Captain Bill, of Company A, is recommended to the vacant position of Major by the officers of the line. He is in daily expectation of receiving his commission from Governor Harvey.
Last week we served on picket. I saw a rebel scout caught by Britton, of Company C, a very valuable scouts belonging to Gen. Wadsworth's brigade. His eyes were bandaged and he was sent to Gen. Wadsworth's headquarters at Upton's Hill in one of the army wagons.
The morning the Seventh was relieved a great stir was made by our cavalry and
it was said they intend to repair the railroad running beyond our lines. Of
course it would not do to repair without protecting it by occupation. Whether
this shadows an advance or a mere extention of the ones I know not.
Flint Hill, to the north west of Vienna, is occupied by rebel cavalry. We can see Vienna from the line now. On our return to camp we found Austrian rifles awaiting us. They are said to be an admirable weapon. The work on them is rude and rough but the lock and barrel is splendid though rough too, exteriorly. Judging from the manner in which the Seventh discharged the ball and buck shot of "Old Harper Ferry" into the roots of a fallen tree spattering the dust, I think this improved weapon will prove formidable in their hands if brought to bear on rebels and traitors.
The Second Regiment laud them highly and they are good judges both of rifles and rifle whiskey.
The following comprises the number of deaths in this regiment since its members have been mustered into the United States service which the respective Orderlies of the different companies have courteously furnished to me:
Company A.-Corporal Eli P. Sayrs; Private Albert Stone. Average of sick. 7.
Company B.-Alphous Capon, John F. Tlilhker.
Company C. -Henry Inmann, Average sick. 1.
Company D.-Abner A Wheeler, W. H. Compton, S. B. Richmond, Jas H. Cummings.
Company E.- Alanson Marshall, O. H. Srrerson, Charles Smith. Average of sick. 3.
Company F.-Olander W. Attwood. Average of sick. 4
Company G. -Jas. E. Priest, Solomon Bean, Obadiah Jones.
Company I - John Powers, Hustisford, Dodge country, Oct. 15 poisoned by a secession peddler.
Companies H. and K have as yet furnished none to swell above the list.
In addition to these deaths two ladies who belonged to the regiment though not on company Muster rolls, might be added:
Mary Williams, wife of the first Sergeant of Co. I
Mrs. Babcock, of Packwaukie, Marquette County. she was married to Sergeant Babcock, at camp in Montello.
Making an aggregate of nineteen deaths.
It is impossible to arrive at any accurate conclusion in regard to the average sickness in the regiment Some have been discharged and many more will be if the new Division Board of Surgeons make a searching examination. Those who cannot recover should be sent away instanfer, others so they are a vexatious burden to both officers and men. It is the policy as well as the practice of Surgeons when the sick every morning present themselves to give mere parlliatives. Such as will not interfere with extraordinary turn-outs, like reviews and inspections, trusting to nature for the balance.
This if each patient is allowed rest for nature to work out her own salvation, might do very well. But when a man half-sick is suddenly called to Munson's Hill or some other place, with heavy marching orders it frequently occurs that he becomes really sick. To allay this the surgeon grants excuses "good for this Day only." Those too lazy and who hate drill go down to the hospital to get excused. And the Surgeons know it. they are therefore lavish in applying the medicine of a saucy tongue.
"Sweet are the uses of adversity but I've known sweeter honey than that oozing from their lips. There is another class called "sick in tents" and from this class deaths occur frequently. These are never reported, because it is policy to make it appear to the public that deaths hardly ever-occur. You can easily guess the motives which, lead to such deception.
Then those sent to General Hospitals from regiments are never reported by the regimental officers and in view of the fact that soldiers were made to march and fight it would be too much to ask them to attend to this and so far it is all right. but it is wrong for correspondents to write back to Madison and Milwaukee that no deaths occur in their regiments.
A worse class to company officers are those physically unable to perform duty who are neither well nor sick. The mustering officer was wrong in admitting these to the service; some however are of that class who wear false colors pinned on probably by nature. The heartiest, ruggedness and healthiest at home they are worse than useless in the army, but you never could impose any of them on a regular Army mustering officer. If any one doubts these statements I would cite as strong confirmation the notorious fact that a regiment of over a thousand men fails to turn out for ordinary drill over five hundred and those who do turn out are the same ones over and over. It tries the lungs of an Orderly severely to get them out. I do not dwell on this from any personal pique towards any surgeon. I attack them all and dare them to successfully controvert these facts. All regiments are equally as bad off. There may be a few exceptions, but they are like angels' visits few and far between." were all regimental hospitals, abolished, together with all surgeons and insolent subordinate attaches and the power of taking care of the sick and discharging those unfit for service conferred on the colonel the moral, health and discipline of the army would be improved, to say nothing of the saving of money which we'd be quite an item when the treasury is empty and "legal tender" overrides constitutional restrictions. For the information of those interested, I would say that the health of your correspondent is excellent and is not likely to suffer, or to become a prey to their tender mercies. Their threats; and even the execution of a temporary injustice will not restrain him from telling the truth. A good surgeon is necessary on the battle field but a quinine dealer never.
There is some sickness in Co. I not reported. Nelson White is quite unwell, and several others are unable to do duty.
Rufus Wilson, who has been in the hospital, is again gaining strength. John Thompson is convalescent. In other respects the company is all right. They are all a free and easy, thorough going; independent rebel hating loyal body of citizen soldiers. Their officers are liked by the men Capt. Walther, the last time out on picket suffered some by exposure. He slept away from the fire on cedar boughs, like the rest, occasionally standing up to get warm, then retreating wherever he could find a piece of board. The captain is strict on inspections, but is always accessible to his men and is considerate and kind hearted. Lieut Bird is the idol of the company, loved and respected by all. He suffers some from sickness now, continual guard duty and exposure wearing heavy on him.-
This bad weather hurts every one's health more or less. Lieut Leffler is getting on swimmingly. The weather preventing drill has thrown obstructions in the way of his intercourse with the men. Orderly Sergeant Williams suffers from indisposition but he told me last night he was getting better. Almond S. Hoag had been detached by his own request, for the gun boat service likewise many other from different companies and from every regiment in the Army.
W. D. W.
LETTER FROM CAPT. FINNUCUM'S COMPANY
Camp Arlington, Va. Feb. 19.'62
Mr. Cover - Dear Sir: this morning finds us all well and in unusual good spirits owing to the receipt of the news of brilliant victories over the rebels at Fort Henry and Donelson and Roanoke Island. The boys are all wild with enthusiasm and hail our success as a harbinger of what is to follow. But let me add for the boys in whose behalf I take upon myself the task of writing you this note that we like soldiering - like the idea of sustaining our glorious Union; yet we like to have our rights here as well as at home. But I am sorry to say that those rights which are so sacred to Wisconsin men have been abused in a manner that calls forth our indignation. You are aware when an officer resigns his commission, the company have the privilege of choosing another in his place. Well, sometime ago Lieut. C. M. Meyer, of our company resigned, when we were called together for the purpose of electing the man of our choice - a corporal carrying the ballot by forty-six majority, thinking as a matter of course our proceeding would be approved of but it is an old saying that "There many a slip' twixt the cup and the lip." The proper time arriving for us to expect our man to receive his commission, thinking, of course, our rights would be respected as men who have the right to vote, but that was not to be and instead of the rightful one being promoted, our Orderly stepped forth with straps on his shoulders which honestly belonged to another and better man.
Now if this is treating us as soldiers or as men who are willing to sacrifice their lives, homes and all that is dear to them for their country's cause, then we will submit and bear patiently like men who know their duty; yet we wish to be heard, for we think there's something wrong, but are unable to see why there should be, as our man passed a good examination, the Major being heard to say that he knew as much about military matters as he (the Major) did. One naturally concludes that we are not served right.
We ask you, as a favor, to insert this in your paper that our officers may know our sentiments regarding their action in this matter. Please not to think that we mean to be disrespectful to those that are our superiors. No, we simply wish to let our friends know how our rights are respected - to have a voice which all true Americans are entitled to. Moreover allow me, for the boys, thank you for you kindness in sending your paper as it is a source of great pleasure to us coming as it does from home.
Yours & C.,
FROM THE 7TH REGIMENT
CAMP ARLINGTON, VA Feb. 24th, 1862
Mr. Editor:-It occurred to me than some of the readers of the Express would like to know how the soldiers in camp spent the National Holiday - Washington's Birthday.
The morning was rainy and disagreeable, but about 9 o'clock it stopped raining and brightened up a little and in obedience to an order received the night before we were ordered to "fall in" with clothes well brushed and brasses scoured, to go to headquarters to listen to the reading of Washington's Farewell Address. The building now occupied by Gen. McDowell and King as division and Brigade Headquarters was the residence of Washington's adopted son George Washington Parke Curtis; and at the commencement of the war was owned by the wife of R. E. Lee, now a General in the rebel army. It is situated on Arlington Heights, about three fourths of a mile from the river, and commands a splendid view of Washington, Georgetown and the bay.
Our officers, with their usual skill - or rather want of skill - drew us up by Division on the hill side in front of the house so that the two front Divisions were the only ones that could see or even hear the speaker.
There was a fine brass band present which discoursed some sweet music. The address was then read; after which Gen. King made some remarks. Suppose they were appropriate; but couldn't hear 'em. We were then deployed into line of battle and fired a few rounds of blank cartridge, and returned to camp, heartily glad that Washington's Birthday comes but once a year.