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War Pictures--life In The Camp

War Pictures--life In The Camp image
Parent Issue
Day
11
Month
December
Year
1863
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Benjamin F. Taylor, of the Chicago Journal, is writing froui the Army of the Cuinlinlaud t-ketches of life u the camp and fiuld, which surpass, in vivid coloriiifr, anythiug we have geen. Here are soiue of his pictures : SKLF KELIANCE OF WESTERN SOLDIERS. If there are men in the world gifted with the most thorough self-reliancc, Western soldiers are the men. ïo fight in the graud anger of battlo, seems to me to require less maiily foi-titude, after all, tlian to bear without miirmuring the svvann of' little troubles tkat vex the camp and inareh. No matter where or wIkii you hult, thero they are at once üt hume. They know precisely what to do liis', and they do ït. I have seen ttietn match iuto a strange región at dark, and ;i]ii-.(iSit. is soon ns iires woutd show uil, they were twiukliug all over the field, the fMbley coues rising like the v.Hik ut' eiicliaiitmeut evei'ywhei'c, and the little dog-touts lying snug to the ground, as il' Hke the mushrooms, they had grown there, and tLe aroma of coffee and torturt'd baron, fuggesting creature comf' rts, and the wliole economy of a life in canvas eiius moving as steadily on as if it had not intermitted. The movenientg of regimeots, you know are as biind as fat o Nobody can teil to-night wheie be w.ill be to-morrow. and yet with the first glimmer of moriiing tlie Cüiiip is a.-tir, and the preparations begin fur stayiiig there forever ; cozy little cabins of red cedar neatly fitted, are going uu : here a boy is making a fireplace and quite artihtically plastering it with the inevitable red carth ; he has found n crane somerthere, and swung up thereon a to li ggcd diünerpot; there a fellow is finifhtng out a chimney with brick tnmi uu olu kuti or secession prochvities; yuuder a bower house closely woven of evergreens is almost ready for the occupiints ; tal)les, stools, bedsteads, are turnLied tcg thcr by the roughest of carpenteis; the avenues betwecn the Unes of tcrt.s are dcared and smoothod - ''policed," in camp plirase - little seats with cedar awnings iu front of the tents give a cottage look ; while the interior, in a i rutio w;iy, has a genuino home-like air. The bit of u Iooking-glass hangs against the cotteu wall ; a handkerebief of a carpet just bef'ore the 'bunk' marks the steppig off to the land of dreams; a violin c;tse is s'runtr up to a convenient hook, fiiiuked by a gorgeous picture of some hero of somewhere, mounted upon ahorse rampatit and saltant, "and what a leagth of t;. il bt-hind !" The busiuess of living has fairly begun agaiu. Uut at 5 o'clcck soine dingy morning, obedient to sudden orders, the rpgimeuts march away iu good cheer; the army wagoners go streaming and swearing after them ; the beat of the drum grows fainter ; the last straggler ie out of sight ; the canvas oity has vanished like a visión. - On such a morning and amid such a scène, I bave loitered till it seemed as if a busy city had passed out of sight, leaving DOthing behind for all that life and light but empty dcsolation. "VVill you wouder much if I teil you that I have watched such a vanishing witli a pang of regret ; that the tramplcd field looked dim to me, worn smooth and beautiful by the touch of those brave feet whose owners have trod upon thorns with song - feet, alas, how many, that shall never again iu all this coming and going world, make music upon the old thresholds ! - And how many such sites of perished cities this war has made, how many bonds of good-fellowship have been rent to be uuited no more ! KECON'NOISANCE ON " PRIVATE ACCOUNT." Every woed, ravine, hill, field, is exploredj the productions, animal and vegetable, are inveutoried, and ono day renders these soldiers as thoroughly conversant with the región round about as if they had boen dweiling there a life-time. They have tasted water from every spring and well, cstimated the corn to the acre, tried the watermelons, gaged the peachus, knocked down the persimmons, niilked the cows, roasted the pig?, picked the chickens ; they know who live hore and there and youder, the whereabuuts of the Dative boys, the names of the nalive giris. If there is a curious cave, a queer tree, a strange rouk anywhere about, they know it. You can sce thein with the chisel, hauuier and haversack, tugging up the mountain or scrambling down the ruvine in a geological 'passion that would have won the right hand of fellowship from ïïugh lor, and homo tliey como laden with specimens that would enrich a cabioet. I have in my possession the most exquisite of soil buds just ready to open, beautiful shells, rare minerals, colleeted by these rough and dashing naturalista. If you think the rank and file have no taste for tbc bcaatiful, it is time you remembered of what material our aruiics are made. - Nothing will eatcli a soldier's eyo quicker than a patch of velvet moss, or a fresh little flower, and niauy a letter leaves the camp enriched with fadéd souvenirs of these expeditions. I said that nothing wiü catch an old campaigner's eye quicker than a flower, but I was wrong, - a dirty, ragged baby will. I have seen a thirteen dollar man expend a dollar for trinkets to hang about the dingy neck of an urchin that at home and three years ago ho would not have touched with the tongs. Do yoa say, it is for the mother's sake ? You huve only to see the bedraggled, ooarse, lank, tobaccochewing dam - is it wicked for me to use that word in such a fashiou? - to abandon tbat idea, like a foundliüg, to the tender merries of the first door-step. COFFJ3E IN THE ARMY. Some wise man proposed in Congress, you reniember, the substitution of tea for cofl'ee in the army, and told the peopie that the soldiors would welcome the change. A tolerable fair specimen of thcoretical stay-at homo wisdom, but not worth a Sabb.ithdav's iourney of the Queea of Sheba to look at. Wby, coffec is tbeir truc aqua vila - their solace and mainstay. Wuen a boy canuot drink his coffee you may be sure he bas doue drinking altogether. Oq a marcb, no soouor is a halt ordered tliaa little fires begin to twiukle along the line ; thev make coffee in five minutes, drink it In three, take a drill at bard cracker and are refreshed. Our comrades from "der llhine" will squat pbleginatieally anywhere, even in line of battle. No sooner bas the storm swept to some other part of the field thau the kettles begin to boil and amid stray bullets and shattered sbcll tbey take great swallows of hoart and coffee together. It is Riiino wine, the soul of Gambrinus, "Switzer," and "Limberg," in one. IIOW TIlB SOLDIERS SLEEP. y ou would, I think, wonder to seo men He right down in the dusty road, under the full noou sun of Tennessee and Alabama, and fall asleep in a minute. I have passed hundreds of suoh sleepers. A dry spot is a good matress ; the flaps of a blanket quite a downy pillow. You would wonder, I think, to see a wholo armv corps, as I have, without the shred of a tent to bless themselves with, lying anywhcre and everywbere in an all-night rain and not a growl nor a grumble. I was curious to sce whether the pluek and good nature was washed out of thern, and so I made ïny way out of the suug drv cjuarters I am ashamed to say I occupicd, at live in the morning, to see what water had done with them. Nothintr ! Each soaked blauket hatohed out as iollv a follow as you wish to sec - dy, dripping. half floundered, forth tbey came, wringing themselves out as tbey went, witli the look ol a troop of " wet down " roosters in a full raiu storm, plumage at half mast, but hearts trumps every time. If they swore - and some did - it was with a laugh ; tlio sleepy fires were stirred up; Uien came the - coffee, and they were as good as new. " lilood is thicker than water."

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus