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:
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.