|from The |
| From The Fifteenth
Camp Kalorama, Washington, D. C August 16, 1861
Dear Spy;--- Having got fairly settled after our journey from Camp Scott, and the happy associations of home; (a spot made doubly dear by absence from its sacred relations,) I take my pen to give you a word about our trip and position. We reached New York about 11 A. M. on the 9th. Here the regular arrangements were interrupted by the fourteenth regiment occupying the only place provided for troops to transit. The committee offered to provide as soon as possible for our accommodation, but as it would have been near 3 P. M. before they would be ready, Col. Devens determined to avoid the long wearisome march through the city, and served out a ration of bread and cold ham to the men on the wharf. They had a keen appetite, and in the hour of abundance they provided for the exigencies of the future.
We left New York about 6 P. M. for Amboy, which we reached about 9 P. M., where after expending an hour in the transfer from the boat to the cars, we started for Philadelphia, a city ever to be remembered with deepest gratitude by the whole body of troops that have passed through it during the war. We arrived there about 4 A. M. on the 10th and notwithstanding the fact that the fourteenth regiment had only preceded us by some two hours, we found everything ready for a good warm substantial breakfast, and arrangements made, so that a whole company could enjoy, at one time the luxury of a good wash.
We found there men and women who had been toiling all night, not for material returns but out of pure charity. In speaking to some about their sacrifice, they replied that theirs could not compare with ours, and their whole spirit revealed a love of our common country true, deep and abiding. We marched from one depot to the other, leaving for Baltimore about 11 A. M. After the regiment debarked, the line was formed, and men loaded with ball cartridge, so as to be ready for any of the peculiar emergencies so common to that locality, we remembered that Massachusetts blood had been wantonly shed, and a firm purpose moved every soul from the heart of the old commonwealth. But a peaceful policy prevailed, and we marched through Baltimore, what hundreds of us had been aching to do since the memorable 19th.
The march through the city was wearisome in the extreme, the weather being oppressive. On arriving at the point of departure, a full supply of provisions was distributed, soft bread, ham, and cheese, with an abundant supply of iced water, so that canteens could be filled to carry away. After considerable delay and some trouble we started at about twelve, reaching Washington at about six A. M. on Sunday morning. Our destination having been changed at Baltimore.
We were quartered in three different buildings in the city during Sunday, and shortly after arriving an abundant supply of provisions were distributed. To save the men, Col. Devens had their knapsacks sent out in teams, and kept them in during the heat of the day, sending out a detachment in the afternoon to pitch the tents. But a severe rain came on, and it was deemed best for the men to remain in their present quarters, so that our departure was deferred until Monday morning, when we took up the line of march and arrived safely at Camp Kalorama.
Here you have a fair statement of the facts. That it was a tedious and wearisome journey no one can question. That the men did not have their meals at regular and stated times no one will gainsay (and who going such a journey singly and alone does?) But that anybody actually suffered as indicated in some statements, we can hardly credit. Nine regiments suffer more in that respect where one suffers less. I think the boys will live to appreciate the efforts of the quartermaster for their comfort ere our present campaign shall close. More anon.