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1862 January, Seventh Wisconsin
Jan 1, 1862
Slightly Cool- At a review of
the Wisconsin regiments a few days since a soldier of the Second very excitedly
forgot to draw his rammer and firing it off it unfortunately struck a solder of
the Seventh passing through the fleshy part of the leg.
Shortly after the careless soldier made his appearance at the wounded man's tent, and begged the loan of his rammer saying "There'll be a fuss if I don't have one on inspection and you won't want yours as you'll have to go into the hospital."
" We have heard of a jewel called impudence but must call this a perfect bijou; of that species. - Washington Chronicle
HOW THE MEN WORK IN TRENCHES
It may be a puzzle to conceive how our men can throw up fortifications in the face and in plain sight of the enemy without being seriously disturbed by them. A brief description may be interesting as the work is done right under the noses of the rebels:
A working party is detailed for night duty; with muskets slung on their backs and shovels and picks on their shoulders they proceed to the selected ground. the white tape marks the line of excavation. the dark lanterns are "faced to the rear", the muskets are carefully laid aside; the shovels are in hand and each man silently commences to dig. Not a word in spoken; not one spade clicks against another; each man first digs a hole sufficient to cover himself; he then turns and digs to his right-hand neighbor; then the ditch deepens and widens and the parapet rises. Yet all is silent; the relief comes and the weary one's retire; the words and jests of the enemy are often plainly heard while no noise from our men disturbs the stillness save the dull rattle of the earth as each spadeful is thrown to the top .
At daylight a long line of earthwork affording complete protection to our men greets the astonished eyes of the enemy while the sharpshooters bullets greet their ears. frequently this work is done in open daylight the pickets and sharpshooters keeping the enemy from annoying our men.
LETTER FROM COL. VANDOR.
Washington, Jan 3, 1862
Gents: I am informed through the public press of Milwaukee, that several of the colonels of our Wisconsin regiments among whom my name is mentioned are accused of having been bribed by the different Railroad companies to pass with their regiments over the roads.
Up to that time I had not the slightest intimation of any such accusation. There way no such Report delivered in Congress or at the War Department nor anywhere else, by the Investigating committee to the best of my knowledge.
Said report as to my person is either a gross mistake or a willful slander to injure my good name and I request my friends and the public generally to abstain from forming an opinion on the subject until I shall be able to disprove the statements made in the Wisconsin press.
I furthermore desire to state that I shall take the necessary steps, if possible, by way of a court of inquiry. I will say in conclusion that everybody who was connected last summer in Madison with the military business of the Seventh Regiment knows that said regiment under my command received peremptory written orders from the highest military authority in the State to proceed to Washington over the shortest route which is- as said orders contained and it also was proved to be the Chicago, Fort Wayne and Pittsburg railroad. The regiment marched soon thereafter over said road according the tenor of said written command and according no other inducements whatsoever to its place of destination.
There was no discretion to be used on my part as to "over what road to travel with the regiment." the command was peremptory; there was nothing left but to obey orders or be cashiered; all of which the agent knew well at that time.
There was consequently no necessity for paying any pecuniary encouragement on the part of said Chicago, Fort Wayne & Pittsburgh Rail Road Company in order to obtain the contract from the commandant of said 7th Regiment of Wisconsin volunteers. Matters of a more interesting nature in this case will be forwarded to you in due time.
Please publish the forgoing line in you paper and oblige
Col, 7th Reg. Wis Vol.
From the 7th Regiment
Camp Arlington, 7th W.V., Jan 4, 1862
DEAR PATRIOT:- A new year has dawned
upon us, what a difference between this and last. Then all was quiet or at least
nearly so. Now we are in the midst of an unjust and unholy war, waged on the one
side by fanatics, as it were, and on the other the supporters of the constitution
of this just and once glorious nation.
One year ago only the distant murmurs of a rebellion were to be heard, little did we think, dwelling in our peaceful homes amid the enjoyments bounteously bestowed on us by the Giver of all good, how very little did we think then that to-day so many thousands would be so far away from our firesides and homes, turn from those near and dear to us to quit the peaceful pursuits of life and be plunged into such gigantic strife. Yes, how little we realized then what today is so sad a reality, but why dwell upon the past. The future is before us and their is much to do. There are great struggles to encounter, they must be met bravely and with determination. The Union must and will be preserved, Along the line of the Potomac army every heart is beating for an advance and when the order comes to advance with what joy it will received. In such an event how many will never return to tell the tales of their joys, their sorrows, their anticipations and the sad realization how many parents will mourn for the lost those that will never return to gladden their hearts or smooth down the pillows of their old age and death. But such are the fortunes of war , we must abide by them.
The question now is why do we delay? Why not make an advance? This question is on every lip. McClellan has said he was ready. If he is ready can there be any more? So is it want of energy or courage? These are things we ask each other but no one can tell why the delay. If this rebellion must be overthrown, if the government intends to crush it, will it be harder now than six months hence? When they have fortified their coast and strengthened themselves in every quarter are we to wait till England finds another Treat affair to pitch into us? If England is determined to kick up a fuss with the North if she cannot do it one way she will another.
The desire of the masses here is to strike rebellion to the very heart, uproot it and scattered to the four winds then if John Bull wants anything, we can try him a half string for fun and if he likes it a whole string in earnest. I wish some one would answer my question. It would not only be answering me but thousands of others to whom this unnecessary delay appears inexplicable
New Year's morning was ushered in amidst the roar of infantry and artillery just as the lest leaf of the old year was closed and the new one opened, a salute of three guns was fired as near as I could judge in Fort Tillinghast. They were heavy guns and woke me from my slumbers from that till day light. The firing was constant. Blinker's brigade did the most of it; they are Dutch and know how to drink the lager so I suppose they felt pretty good. Many of our boys went "over to fight with Blinker" but I don't know the result.
It was a sad New Year to some here and it tended to sadden me. In the forenoon there was a funeral. A lady was buried with military honors except firing the salute. She was tending or working for the sick in the Brigade Hospital. It was a sad affair for New Years Day.
What little enjoyment we had was in the evening. Our drum choir went over to the 2d and played there. This time we got treated. Come back and serenaded our colonel - rather a noisy serenade you might guess. He treated next. All the co.'s were disturbed by the noisy drums passing through each street then each Capt. was served the band getting treats or orders on the Sutler of nearly every Captain and finely finished up with a serenade of the Surgeon who treated. The Drum Major felt very much elated to think he was treated so well. Our Sutler treated to the cigars and cakes also.
The 7th went out beyond Fall's Church on picket Thursday. They were to have been back yesterday but for some cause or other they had to stay longer. The cooks here got orders to cook up a day's rations for them. The 6th will not go. This regiment have to do picket duty seven days. The last time the 6th and 7th stood 48 hours each, the other regiments only 30 hours each this time. The left wing had to stand the 48 hours each and the right wing was to take the 30 hours each but somehow, how I cannot tell, our regiment does the whole duty of the right wing. The 6th went out on division drill to Baily's Cross Roads yesterday.
The weather has been splendid, very much like our Indian Summer in Wisconsin. It is cold now though, and snowing. The ground is white with snow which makes it appear more like winter than any time since we have been in "Dixie". The past month was more favorable for an advance. The weather had been so mild that we have went in our shirt sleeves many a day and were comfortable enough.
I understand that McDowell had said that he would be (I don't remember how much ) we would leave here before the 10th of this month. I can hardly credit the statement thought it would be too good by far. Oh who wouldn't be a bowld sojer boy.
From Col. Vandor.
Washington, Jan 11, 1862
Editors State Journal:-In the matter of the charges against the Wisconsin Colonels, I wish to state that I requested Judge Howe one of our Wisconsin Senators to proceed for me and in my name to the so-called Van Wyck Investigating Committee and to investigate the matter so far as it concerns my person and to have if necessary a Court of Inquire appointed.
Two days thereafter Senator Howe kindly informed me that he had looked into the matter and was also informed by the Hon. E. B. Washburn of Illinois who being a member of said Van Wyck Investigating Committee that the can be found no testimony implicating me with taking money in an improper way such as the Wisconsin press has charged me and others, nor can he remember that any testimony was taken for or against me at all. I also proved to both of our Senators Messrs. Howe and Doolittle the written orders received by the Gov. Randall form the Sec'y of War, Simon Cameron, commanding me to proceed with the regiment over the shortest route the Chicago, Ft. Wayne & Pittsburgh Railroad, that the regiment traveled over said road, that I had no choice over what road to go and that there was no bribery nether by way of pay, gift or grant either direct or indirect.
I am your very truly
Col. 7th Reg't, W.V.
From the 7th Regiment
Camp Arlington, 7th W. V. Jan 13, 1862
DEAR PATRIOT:- We are still in our old
camp. Time jogs along just about as usual. No material change in anything except
the weather. First we had about an inch of snow, or in other words, the snow fell
to the depth of an inch. The third day the wind changed to southeast and blew up
a rain storm which lasted two days and nights more or less. Now rain and mud is disagreeable
in the best of climates and under the most favorable circumstances but here in
camp it doubly disagreeable from these facts. First, the soil is of a very
glutinous adherent nature and easily stirred to the consistency of mush - 2nd, the
streets are ditched and the dirt thrown in the centre - and, lastly, the Government furnishes
the soldier with the most miserable shoes that can be manufactured not but that
they are will made or good leather but there is but one sole and that soaks
through in half an hour so that ones feet will be perfectly saturated, which
occasions many severe colds and some will carry the effects of their coughs to
their graves. A more distressing sound cannot be heard than directly after the Regiment has marched a short distance
then halt. The weather is cold again. Yesterday was a regular warm March day -
warm that flies, ants and spiders were astir. This last rain will make the roads
so muddy that for a time it will be hard to get around with wagons and
We get the news here every day. This morning we hear of the total rout of the rebels in Kentucky. Such news does us good. The the Pensacola in the blockade; she had 22 guns fired at her, we could hear what we supposed to be the cannonading here in camp also very heavy cannonading could be distinctly heard in the same direction on the afternoon and evening previous. We also get the news that the troops half way between Cairo and Columbus and that Columbus will probably be the nest place to fall a victim to shot and shell all such good tiding falls on the ear of the soldier and tells him of better of happier times to come and that shortly too.
The exchanged prisoners have arrived in camp (of course I mean those of the 2nd) they have been holding a regular jubilee over their most of the returnees will return home on a furlough. I hear they have the offer of a discharge, if they desire it, that they say that they began the good fight with their comrades and that they had no desire to return till all went long. May they live to enjoy the fruit of their labor. The world moves yet the mighty army of the Potomac stands still.
FROM THE SEVENTH REGIMENT
(Correspondence of the Journal and Courier.)
Camp Arlington, V., 7th R.
January 17, 1862
We feel under great obligations to the editors of the Beloit Journal, for sending the welcome home news to our camp and will therefore esteem it a privilege to address a few lines to you.
Time passes with such rapidity and in so varied a style it makes one at a loss to describe and almost forgetful that there are friends who cannot participate except by pen and who would gladly enter into the excitement of camp life.
Today is payday, that grand gain day of the soldier - and from my door I can see squads of men with their hands in their unmentionable pockets, - in the place where the gold ought to be. No doubt their minds are wandering beyond the scenes of there mortal vision, and musing upon the good time coming. Oh! but won't the gingerbread and something stronger be generously distributed to night! Oh! ye Western lands who know nothing of the soldiers ecstatic delight when he gazes upon his purse, which reminds one of a Thanksgiving turkey, ye cannot appreciate our position.
We have some very noted personages connected with our State troops. First and foremost is our gallant friend, Col. Mansfield,
"No. 11 Withurd's" whose first and especial duty is to care for the ladies of the regiment then to attend to the matter of fact task of gasszing the Congressmen. However it is seldom that we have the privilege(!) of associating with so great a man, one so intimate with Abraham, George B, Rufus and ex.-Gov. Alexander! I am sure we appreciate our position.
Another of our especial pets is Major Browne, one of McDowell's staff usually designated as the Bob tailed Major. By the way a very amusing concomitance occurred the other day which I will relate. On the road to Arlington House and a few paces from our camp we have an ammunition house. The Major rode furiously by as though followed by some unseen spirit. After he had passed, one of Gen. King's aids rode up and wished to inspect the ammunition. While in the tent, back came the Major pell-mell and with an oath demanded "Don't you turn out our guard for officers?" "Certainly," replied the sentinel. "Why don't you do it, then? I will report you at headquarters!" said the Major purple with rage. "I want you to understand," said the provoking calm sentinel, "That we understand our regular business and turn out the guard at suitable times, but not for any --Major." Major B. was about to reply when the General's aide stepped out and informed the confused Gentleman that if he did not mind his business it would be he who would be reported. The Major rode off completely chagrined and no doubt he will refrain hereafter from ordering out the guard.
Lieut Shirzell has his big dog here and he is a general pet among the boys. A few days ago "Watch" concluded he would no longer wait for our promised fight for which we are all "spoiling," and consequently pitched into a dog belonging to a neighboring Hibernian. His enemy was much smaller but like all secessionists, dreadfully mad. Watch took it very coolly and would have escaped unharmed had it not been for the savage hatchet of the enraged Irishman who hit him a blow on the head. Watch is all right now.
Our "Daughter," is still with the regiment quite a general favorite, I judge. She has been quite sick which elicited much sympathy and some wonderment.
Rumor says Col. Vandor has at last vamoosed the ranch and Col. Robinson has taken his place. Col. R. is a splendid military scholar and a true gentleman. He is greatly admired and loved by the Regiment and I think will soon make the 7th as proficient as the immaculate 6th, or King's pet babies, the 2d.
Col. V. fizzled out and slunk away into a twelve hundred dollar consulship. "Lost to sight, to memory dear" (?)
I must not forget to mention our State Agent, Mr. Powell. Though not so knowing a man as Col. Mansfield, he is a gentleman and is much liked. Frank Wheeler is a "tramp," a genuine specimen of a kind and generous Sutler. He gave the whole regiment a nice oyster dinner New Year's day. Who in this age can beat that? Of course Frank is popular
We are all well, and send much love to home, friends, but don't wish to return till we have an opportunity to try our muskets and swords. May the time soon come when we can make the Secessionists exclaimed in the language of that pathetic and noted poetess, "Widow Bedott".
"Full forty dollars would I give,
If we'd continue apart."
We are well and happy like our officers and are glad we came"
LETTER FROM THE SEVENTH REGIMENT
Camp Arlington, Jan. 23
Mr. Editor:- We have just received
another package of the Herald for which we return our sincere thanks to you and
the rest of the kind friends in Old Grant who have so generously furnished us
the means of passing many an idle moment pleasantly that would otherwise hang
heavily on our hands. The Herald is eagerly sought after by the men and received
with many expressions of gratitude especially to the ladies who seem to be doing
everything in their power for the comfort and cheer of the soldiers by sending
them mittens--not the mitten which they so much dread but regular mittens with
two thumbs and various other articles of comfort and convenience and could they
see the caps flying and bear the cheers that are sent up for the ladies of Old
Grant upon the receipt of any of these articles thy would feel amply repaid for
The general health of the regiment is good considering the exertions the doctors are making to dispose of their calomel and quinine, The men are in fine spirits full of fight and eager to get sight of the enemy. We still occupy the tents which we received at Madison. Thanks to the ingenuity and industrious habits of our western boys we are quite comfortable, not withstanding the cold, wet weather which we are now having. But I must say that the liberal provisions which Uncle Sam has made for us in the clothing line has considerable to do with our comfort. There has nothing of particular interest occurred in this part of the country since the battle Danielsville; but is is the general belief here that within the next four weeks this column will be broken by one of the fiercest and most extensive storms of leaden hail that ever visited Rebeldom and the places in which secession is resting so quietly now will echo with the victorious shouts of our brave volunteers. But should these surmises prove to be false we have the confidence to believe that it is all for the best. Many, however, have given but little thought to the subject of war, a subject that has justly been said to be one of the most complicated that man can study and, consequently, we hear the cry of "on to Manassas." They are ready to charge the government with lack of energy with our knowing anything of the circumstances that have cause the delay. - They count the months since the Battle of Manassas and sum up the number of men that by this time must be concentrated about Washington. They draw the conclusion that there are men enough and that by this time they are sufficiently instructed in the tactics and the use of arms to be able to take Manassas by storm. - Let us look at the other side of the question. There are also many men on he rebel side that have been crying "On to Washington" and now grumble terribly because the vast army at Manassas is not to take the coveted prize which seems to them an easy prey. Those who cry "On to Manassas!" have no idea that the rebels can take Washington. Why not? Because it is two strongly fortified. They know that it would be no holiday sport for even the combined rebel forces to climb over the chain of fortifications with which Gen. McClellan has surrounded it; at least they believe it to be safe against any force the rebels can bring. And are we to hold the fortifications of Manassas and Centerville in contempt? Manassas, we know, has been longer in preparation.- They have the advantage of a stronger natural position and from the reconnaissance made by La Mountain, they have stronger and more concentrated works than we have at Washington.
What fortifications are there and what preparation necessary to attack them successfully? The attack of the allies on Sebastopol has taught those who followed the progress of that memorable siege step by step.
They had but a faint idea of the work before them when they landed before those works which were scarcely more than field fortifications and which they expect to reduce in a few days at most. But how sadly were they mistaken. After twenty days bombardment with one hundred and twenty-six guns, they found they had gained nothing. It was not until the eight day of September, 1855, after ten months and twenty-one days hard fighting that they made themselves masters of the place; and at the close of what was to have been a few day's work they found they had been compelled to bring into the field upwards of two thousand five hundred guns of all calibers, two million three hundred thousand shot and shell, eleven millions three hundred and eighty-four thousand pounds of powder and millions of musket and rifle cartridges!
My object in presenting this view of the case is to suggest to those who are so eager for an advance on the strong holds of the rebels some of the problems to which they may not have given proper consideration.
But we may be certain that Gen. McClellan has not overlooked them. His experience in Mexico and study of the Crimean war have not been without their practical effect on the present campaign.
From the 7th Regiment
Camp Arlington, 7th W. V., Jan 24, 1862
EDITORS PATRIOT:-since last I wrote
you, a very grand move has been executed namely, running around in the mud.
Aside from this, nothing happened except the right wing of
our Regiment went out on picket, the weather being so inclement that a reserve
was pronounced necessary, so the right wing did the picketing of both. They went
out last Wednesday, returned today. It has commenced to freeze up again. Been
awful muddy, scared soil is very affectionate after two or three days rain. Oh
yes! yet we manage to splash it through, our streets are not much over shoe top
You see we have not left our old camp yet, nor is there any prospect of our doing so either. Reports are flying all the time, and very often the time is set for us to leave but that is the end of it, we have been here 3 months and 19 days. The place is getting old to us, we want to leave, camp life is very irksome, we have but very little to do, no more than is absolutely necessary, so we sit around and the consequence is the seats of our trousers suffer amazingly.
We are pretty comfortable situated at present, the tents are all raised up as high as the head when in a setting position with logs, thereby rendering our factory houses quite comfortable. Some have built regular logs huts, split shingles and covered them. They are comfortable. Others have joined tents, fastened them together, raised a log house and covered it with the tents. One of these is called Fort Button so called because of a button attached to the loop string that it used to raise the latch
Headquarters, Seventh Regiment
Camp Arlington, Va, Jan 25, '62
EDITOR RECORD - Not being much of a
writer and never supposing that I should undertake a correspondence to a
newspaper, I feel some delicacy in performing that duty; although I know of no
better way of informing all our friends of the occurrences that take place here
than through the columns of a newspaper. It is my intention therefore with your
permission to write to you from time to time relating such events as are worthy
of recording and are interesting to those at home.
The health of the brigade (King's) considering the extremely bad weather, has been generally good. We have only had some two inches of snow but it has for the past ten days rained nearly every day. The roads are nearly impassable and the mud in our camp is three or four inches deep; so that I assure you it is anything but agreeable, although the soldiers keep up their spirits all are anxious for an advance.
As I desired to pay the Fifth Wisconsin, quartered near Lewisville, a visit, I obtained leave of absence on the 9th inst. for two days to call on them. I found the Wausau boys all well and they seemed to enjoy themselves although their duties were somewhat arduous being in the advance and having a good deal of picket duty to do besides their camp duties. I found J. E. S. Cooper filling the place of B. Millard in the commissary department the latter being upon furlough at the time. I spent the evenings very pleasantly with the boys and it seemed something like spending court evening at Wausau.
The country surrounding our camp is interspersed with hills and mountains and many places, if well fortified, would be impregnable to an advancing force. The hills present natural barriers and only need the hand of science to make them admirable posts of defense.
We have received strict orders when on picket to shoot all persons that are outside our picket lines but the order is not always obeyed. I understand it only extends throughout Smith's Division.
The right wing of this regiment started for picket duty on the 22d and returned yesterday. Nothing of interest transpired. Our picket lines are advanced about a mile since our last picket duty.
This morning we were ordered out for general inspection in heavy marching order and some of the boys said if it was only for an advance they would gladly travel all day long in the mud.
Yesterday for the third time since our encampment here we were called on to pay our last respects to the remains of one of our company. Perhaps I could in no way interest your readers so much as by a description of a military funeral. The escort consists of eight rank and file commanded by a corporal, formed in two ranks opposite the tent of the deceased with shouldered arms and bayonets unfixed. On the appearance of the corpse, the men present arms and at the same moment the drum covered with black commences to beat, and the the music plays an appropriate air. The rank and file then reverse arms and the procession moves forward - the band first, the rank and file next, followed by the corpse, the bearers and the company; the Captain and Lieutenant, with swords reversed bringing up the rear.
When the procession reaches the grave, the body is taken form the ambulance and the rank and file, four on each side of the grave, present arms; after the funeral services are read and the coffin lowered, three rounds of blank cartridge are fired and the escort marches back to quarters.
Letter from the 7th Regiment, No.11.
Arlington Heights, Va, Jan 30th' 62
For the last two weeks, we have had
snow, frost, hail, &c., not down in the requisitions made on the commissary.
Yesterday, rain and hail mixed was dealt out and Camp Arlington is ten times
worse than ever the roads on the Indian Land were in their muddiest condition. A
thick, damp, cold fog prevails and the doleful editorials of the New York
papers discussing the financial condition of the country coupled with sickness
and the universal depression so prevalent make the camps on the Potomac anything
but agreeable. Many are too sick for duty and none are exempt from colds which is
true of the whole army. Cold weather can be borne and general cheerfulness
maintained. But such weather as now prevails, and we are likely to have it till
spring with its train of fevers and bronchial afflictions, will play and sad havoc
with the health of the Army.
The list of soldiers deaths published in the Washington papers, lengthen daily and the Government is at its wits ends to provide hospital accommodations. There are now in each company of the Seventh about half a dozen who should be discharged and we are as healthy a regiment as any. But the reports have to be made in such a manner that it would prejudice the professional reputation of the surgeons to use discretionary common sense to discharge those unfit for service. They can linger till the shadows of our forts become one vast cemetery. It would be much better to fill the "Hospitable graves" so eagerly proffered to us by the enemy. - Each one prays that God may spare them the agony of dying in a hospital. But what care our nigger catching treason infected Generals. They have been to West Point. Let a volunteer General do a popular act and West Point strangles him. West Point tolerates no brilliant innovations. Mr. Editor implore the people to remove this mill stone clinging to the neck of the Army doubling the weight of every knap sack. There are undoubtedly good men who have received their military tuition from West Point . The intentions of its founder were patriotic. But it has proved a failure. Next comes the Army and Navy contractors, followed by the politicians who carry the eternal Negro like Banquo's ghost and who believe that the tableaux instead of being the sublimnest contest of history is the funeral of free government. Carry the war into Africa. Emancipate by confiscation and compensation. Any thing to save the country from bankruptcy, the army from being demoralized and our existence as a Nation. Let the people choose between slavery and Union. But I did not intend to write such a homily; so excuse this.
New Years passed pleasantly with the Tigers. A long table was laid in the company street which was loaded with such good things as could be procured by Captain Walther and Lieutenant Bird.
The head of the table was graced by the presence of several ladies including Miss Eubank of Strong Bridge near Montello, Daughter of the Regiment, and Miss Mary Stevens of Waushara County. The names of the other ladies I did not learn. It was quite a novelty to all and hugely enjoyed; the ladies joining in the repartees of wit which passed from one end of the table to the other. The affair concluded with toasts and cheers, and happy remarks. The Captain and Lieutenants were cheered and responded in a felicitous style. Lieut Rogers was absent. Mr. Joseph Dewey took occasion to bid the boys farewell, sickness having rendered him unfit for service. The Tigers endorse him to the good offices and sympathy of the citizens of old Waushara. The men and women of Plainfield and Pine River will need no further evidence of his patriotism. But I must mention one of the toasts which was pertinent and to the point. Here it is "Here is to the man who would never desert the company but would share his last cracker with the Tigers. Where he he? echo answers where?" The letters of Company I to their friends will fully explain its purport for those interested and I forbear to weary your readers with the general opinion of the company in regard to the conduct and character of the individual referred to. The toast was not responded to owing to the absence of one of our Ex-Lieutenants Requies est in pace.
Last Thursday, the 2nd inst., we were out on picket and occupied our old post on the line. Nothing occurred of any interest. It snowed and hailed the night Company I was on the line and the wind was very industriously occupied turning the twigs of two cherry trees where I watched and listened for any indication of secesh approaching. It was dark and stormy and if they knew where out posts were they could easily surprise us. An apple tree in front of the oak tree behind which I watched transmogrified itself several times into a full uniformed secesh and gradually advanced. Knowing it to be a freak of imagination, I would move my foot or change my musket to the other shoulder when the illusion would be dispelled. Watching all moment listening to every sound as a picket is in duty bound to is attended with such illusions. One of the men thus situated (it was his first time out) fired three times at a log which his imagination had fashioned into a secesh dragoon. Fortunately no alarm was raised as the next sentinel on the line surmising the case did not pass on the fire. A false alarm is a disgrace to a regiment unless there is justifiable cause. Saturday we returned to camp, before reaching which we fired off our guns near the road when one of the bullets striking a tree glanced back on the line of the battalion hitting Jos. Hurd, of Col. I, on the shoulder but fortunately it did not inflict a severe wound.
Harmony and good feeling exists between the officers and men of Company I, since the cause has voluntarily removed itself. Lieut Bird has been promoted to the first Lieutenancy and Chris. Leffler is promoted from Sergeant Major to full his place, to wit: Second Lieutenant.
The boys are satisfied with the general change effected. I predict from what I have already noticed that Leffler will be popular. He is well drilled and has risen from the ranks. A few more reforms will make us a crack company. The cooks, who are newly chosen, (the old ones having retired to the ranks) lack the genius necessary to comprehend the responsibilities of their position. The boys steal coffee and meat from them, and refuse to obey their orders. They appeal to the Orderly who is in danger of risking his popularity, by deciding in their favor. This morning they had to apologize to Pat. Kelly for ordering him to leave the tent. The humiliations they have to undergo are appalling but they are better fitted for their present positions than any other and can serve their country to a better advantage than they could at the cannon's mouth. Our noncommissioned officers have "closed up" in a measure to the relief of the privates. Their higher aspirations having met a salutary check. They no longer rule so completely as they have hitherto done. When the final break ranks is ordered they will find their proper level. I hope they will then learn how to read and write even if the State has to make an appropriation from the School fund to defray the expense.
Oscar Taplin is in Kalorama Hospital. Robert K. Jones, who has suffered a good deal, has not yet recovered. Corporal David Prutyrian is unable to do duty. Jos J. Ingraham is also unwell. Charles Harris and James Rozelle are gradually recovering. John O. Hill is in the Guard House.
From the Seventh Regiment
Headquarters 7th Regt. W.V.
Camp Arlington, Va., Jan 30, 1862
Messrs, Editors of the Tribune:
Seeing a copy of your paper
occasionally, and noticing something about several of the Regiments that have
left our State for the seat of war, but seeing nothing from the 7th, I thought
that I would write a few lines to let you know where we are and how we are
getting along. The name of our camp is Camp Arlington; it is situated on the
Arlington Heights between Camp Tillinghast and Camp Cass. We have not drilled
any for a good while on account of the weather. We have had more or less rain
every day for over two weeks so that the roads are almost impassable. Yesterday
it cleared off and the sun shone out bright all day and all thought that we
would have a spell of dry weather but before the next morning it was raining as hard
as ever and judging from appearances it bids fair for as much more wet weather
as we have already had. The health of our regiment is very good at present
although there has been thirteen of our brave men carried to their last resting
place since we first came to our present encampment. Their deaths were
principally caused by typhoid fever. We have hot been in a battle as yet but the
general opinion appears to be that we that is the Grand Army of the Potomac will advance
as soon as the roads are passable and I am sure that every one of the 7th
Regiment is awaiting anxiously for the words," forward march" We are all
eager for a contest with the rebels to see what the 7th Regiment can do on the
Our tents are fixed very comfortable; we have built up the sides with logs and covered them with our tents. Each tent has a little brick fire-place or a little sheet iron stove in it which keeps the tent quite comfortable in the coldest weather we have yet experienced in old Virginia. Our beds are raised up by driving forked sticks in the ground and then laying on small poles, which we comer with the boughs of the cedar tree which is commonly known by the soldier as "Virginia Feathers."