Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     On Board Ship Constitution,
     Hampton Roads, Va., January 26, 1862.
     I have just come aboard to wash and change my clothes and find a leisure moment to write to you. It is a week to-morrow since we went into camp on the neck of land which connects the Fort with the main land. We have had a severe time. It rained constantly until within two days. The troops went ashore for exercise in the morning, and at noon the Colonel sent for the camp equipage. Every one was completely wet through and many lay outside their tents in the sand that night. All worked in the rain the next day, trying to get into a comfortable situation, and we have been doing so ever since. A great many of the Maine Regiment are sick; also some of our boys. I should think two hundred in all. I have worked very hard, providing rations for the men and sending over the camp equipage. The Colonel seems to like me. The tide came up so high last night that all the tents were struck and we went farther up in to the main land, to the woods. A part of the men camped in a graveyard.
     I have made an application for a transfer. The Colonel and Captain signed it and then sent it to headquarters. It was refused. An order came from Washington to grant no transfers from one department to another. The Captain then ordered me to my company. I saw him about it and thought of going to Washington to speak to the General, but he is expected here soon. Lieutenant Weigel is here and he says I shall come out all right. I hope so. I have received my two months' wages. The next time I write I shall know where I stand. I am well. Why haven't you written?


     After dinner. 

     Dr. Bradley is Surgeon for the contrabands at the Post. Colonel French and Miss Shipley have the measles; they caught them from the boys. I had some beans this morning which had been baked in the ground, and they were nice. W.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 26-Sunday
     Warm and pleasant this morning. this being our inspection day our program is as follows.
     First 9 A.M. formed a line on he beach for inspection by Col. French and Major Paine then marched down by the Flank a short piece and attended to the reading of the Army Regulations as with Articles of War by Col. Major and adjutants. after this some sentences by Court Mar-tial at Fort Treble at Port-land, Maine in 17th Infantry and some very severe ones to. one I remember in par-ticular the man loses his pay through his term of service except enough to pay the washer woman & shelter. besides 3 months solitary confinement, and hard labor the balance of the period left him from his enlistment.

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