Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From 2 Letters:
     March 28, 1862. The General and Staff came ashore to-day. A salute of thirteen guns was fired. Colonel French is to be on General Butler's Staff.
     Our new Colonel, N. A. M. Dudley, and the Major have arrived, and taken command. Lieutenant Tenny, from Boston, has been appointed Quartermaster. Lieutenant Claiborne has resigned and will go home. One of the new Lieutenants will take his place. The division has been formed into brigades, under Generals Phelps, Williams and Shepley; we are under Shepley. The three cavalry companies are distributed to the three Brigadier Generals. The island is becoming slightly domesticated. A large number of hens and turkeys have been brought out and they are strutting around the camp. The steamer Connecticut arrived this forenoon with the mail. I hope I shall have a letter. Good bye, from


     Ship Island, March 28, 1862.

     I received your letter last night in a bundle of papers, dated February 18, also a package of papers which were sent to father. In spite of all you have done, I receive the news of the war before I get your letters. I think some of them miscarry. A mail has arrived to-day, which has been lying at Fort Monroe, dated February 6. I hear that an advance will be made in less than ten days. Three companies have gone to Horn Island to obtain cattle. An engagement took place between one of our gunboats and five rebel steamers, about ten miles from here, towards Mississippi; we could partially see it. A sand bar between them prevented much harm being done. A part of our expedition leaves to-day, viz., the Western, the 12th Connecticut, the 26th Massachusetts, under General Butler and General Williams. No one knows where their destination will be. The rest expect to follow soon. I have seen a paper dated March 10, which gave an account of an engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac. A flag of truce came over, which was brought by four white men and women, these were the first white women I have seen since I left Fortress Monroe. How the soldiers ran to look at them! They wore log cabin bonnets and two were quite pretty. There are eleven ships unloading here, besides some steamers. A building is being erected in the rear of Read's shop which is to be used as a machine shop. I am afraid we shall be whipped, as the enemy are all being driven south and we shall have to take them in the rear, where, if we get ashore, there will be no retreat. I don't think the General has sufficient force, but he may come out all right. All will fight manfully. I like the new Quartermaster pretty well. I shall leave all my baggage behind and take only a blanket, haversack and canteen. We may go to Fort Jackson by land and then throw up fortifications. Warm weather is coming on and alligators are hatching.

2d Lieut Elliot:
     March 28-Friday
     Weather warm and pleasant as usual.
     Relieved from gaurd at 9A.M. by Lieut Brown one of our new Officers appointed for Comp. A. fired at target and went on Battalion drill in the afternoon.
     Got two letters from my wife this morning dated Feb 5 & 7th wrote one and put into the office an shall another if I can get the chance before the mail [---] there is nothing new to write that I can think of now. except that we expect one of our Brigades will move from here soon and is still probably be Gen’l Williams Company 26th Maine, 9 Conn. & the 3 Western Regiments, 1 Battery 1 Company Mounted Rifles.
     Our Colonel I find to be a fine man and a gentleman, and one who knows his business thoroughly. I like his style of drilling and am under the impression that he will be liked & respected by Officers and men. I for one have taken altogether a different view of him from what we expected to.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Friday 28
     Another very hot day the steamer
     Hatteras arrived this morning
     The large Steamer Froyusis[?]
     Arrived this afternoon with
     Orders for the army.

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