Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe,
     March 23, 1862. Company E, Captain Brown, was detached from the regiment to act as pioneers.
From a Letter:
     Ship Island, March 23, 1862.
     Although I haven't received a letter from you since I arrived, I will write. The steamer Mississippi arrived on Wednesday morning, bringing the General and his Staff, also the Western Bay State Regiment. It has been blowing hard since then, consequently they haven't landed. They were obliged to stop ten days at Port Royal on account of a disaster; the steamer ran aground and stove a hole in her bottom. Aide-de-Camp Weigel was ashore yesterday, and says the Captain is in irons, and they think he is secesh.
     A number of changes will take place in our regiment as Governor Andrew has gained the day. The Colonel takes command to-day, and the Major soon after. I understand that the new Quartermaster is to be Post Commissary. Probably Colonel Butler will go home. Our officers feel like going home, two, for none like the new arrangement. Colonel French will be on the General's Staff, if he chooses, as Inspector General. Possibly the non-commissioned staff will be superseded and then what will become of me? It is astonishing to see the wirepulling for commissions; nearly all who succeed do so through influence only, no matter whether they are dummies or not. It is vexatious to see aspirants gain their points, who, literally, know nothing in military affairs. Governor Andrew has sent five officers, who don't know enough to tie up the door of a tent. This is a fact, for I pitched a tent for them and one asked me how to tie the door up. The boys say he is to finish his study in Greek at Ship Island, as he left college to come here. ,AM are sorry to lose Colonel French. I rode up the island, on horseback, the other day. Plimpton is in Read's store. We have the following regiments here: the 26th Massachusetts, the 9th Connecticut, Eastern Bay State (30th Massachusetts), [Western Bay State (31st Massachusetts), the 12th Connecticut, the 8th New Hampshire, the l2th, 13th and 14th Maine, the 21st Indiana, one from Michigan, one from Wisconsin, Major Read's three companies of cavalry and four batteries, and more are coming. The navy consists of one frigate, two sloops of war and six or eight gunboats.;
     I weigh one hundred and fifty-nine pounds and am very well. I have obtained the autographs of our regimental officers, which I will send home. I heard that Captain George has been arrested for cheating in the contracts for the government. Is that so?

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     March 23-Sunday
     Pleasant and quite warm though still windy.
     Col Dudley went through in-Spection. this morning he appears like a smart man and I guess he is so.
     Still more trouble Col Shipley has been appointed Brig’r Gen 12th 13th 14th Maine and our noted Regiment in his brigade. this is like the last straw that breaks the Camels back and it seems as though I could stand no more.
     Freeman Butler was in this morning and says there Is a package on board the Mississippi for me. I should like to see it.
     Captain Brown’s Company E. has been detailed on detached service as Pioneers or Sappers & Miners. they are under orders of Lieut.— of the Engineer Corps. Sergeant F. W. Clark of Comp E recieved his commission as 2nd Lieut in this Regiment to day but has not as yet been as-signed to any particular Comp. probably will go into Comp. E as Lieut Gardner has the offer of 2nd. Lieut in 2nd. Vermont Battery.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday, March 23, 1862.
     A fine but cold day another gun
     Boat arrived this morning Our New
     Colonel inspected us this morning
     His name is N A M Dudley and he
     Is a good looking man.  Butler
     Landed this morn with his wife
     And servant girl.  there was a
     Member of Co. E. buried to day.  there
     Is about 13 or 14,000 troops here on
     The island now quite an army.

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