Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 12, 1862. Wednesday. Did not come in sight of land yesterday, but about 7 o'clock to-day made Chandler's Light, and soon after saw shipping in the distance, which proved to be at Ship Island. When we were within half a mile distance, our regimental flags were displayed and the starboard and port guns were fired. Large numbers were on the beach, anxious to have an interview. The island is not as barren a place as I expected, although it is sandy where the encampment is. We weighed anchor and the boats put off for the shore. Colonel Butler came aboard. As soon as orders came, I had to spring and work the rest of the day, getting the tents ashore. Father came aboard towards night; he looks fleshy and sports a moustache. The troops were all landed during the afternoon and the tents were pitched. I went ashore in the evening. Father has a little wooden shanty which he occupies for sleeping and storing goods. His clerk stays with him. I remained with father all night and went aboard in the morning and worked all day, discharging cargo.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 12-Wednesday
     8 A.M. Land ho Chan de Seur Islands in right this is a chain of Islands that run out from the Main land some 20 or 25 miles in length.
     8 ½ Ship Island in full view a it appears from this distance like a huge snow drift fully inhabited there is a large amount of Shipping around it and to my eyes from this distance it looks quit pleasing to my eyes.
     Came into the harbor about 11 O.C. A.M. Col. Jones came on board & was as pleased to see us as if we had risen from the dead. it seems us through they had completely given us up.
     3 O Clock P.M. disembarked had my first ride on a Missippi flier boat a prize taken from the rebels a huge clumsy looking affair side wheels and an independence boiler for each wheel.
     Lieut Lamson of the 26 Reg’t came down and invited us that is Capt Shipely and me, Lieut. up to supper with him we had a fine supper of hard tack and salt jawh mixed with Sardines a rarity indeed.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday, February 12, 1862
     Another fine morn men all
     In good spirits and anxious to get
     At the end of our voyage saw a
     Large number of birds such as
     Gannetts Gulls Pelicans & others
     About 8 Ock made land on our
     Starboard bow.  appeared to be an
     Island with a lighthouse on it
     Next about 9 Ock made land on
     our starboard bow which proved
     To be Ship Island.  Dropt anchor
     Opposite the island.  we had 3 Rows-
     ing cheers from those onshore.
     There is a large number of
     Vessels of all kinds here in the
     Harbor.  We left the good Ship
     About noon and landed at
     The wharfe where i met some
     Old friends as soon as i landed
     I went on a tramp up to the
     26th Mass and the 9th Conn when
     I got back Uncle Ben was
     After me and very glad to see me
     He began to think we was
     Not coming.  I went and took
     Dinner of Soft Bread & Soup.
     The boys were very glad to
     See me and like to have shook
     My arms off.  this is altogether
     A different place from what
     I expected to find.  it is all
     Sand with no grass trees or
     Anything green but soldiers
     This afternoon we pitched our
     Tents and went to housekeeping
     They have a kind of fort here
     Called fort Massachusetts the
     4th Battery quarter here.

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