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From The Fifth Cavalry

From The Fifth Cavalry image
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Ordnance Office, i 3d DtoisiON Cavauiv Coitrs, Stevensburg, Va., Feb. MU), 1864. Fribnd Pond :, - HaviDg a littlc, leisure, the thojgkt struck me I could not spend it any better than in writing you a few linos, hopiag that you wiil take tho lack of military movcmcnta as an excuse for so poor a letter. The wliolo cavalry are uow doing pioket duty. Our brigade, 2d, oomprising the ]st, 5th, 6th and 7th Michigan, and lat Verraont, takes turna, picketing the Ilapidan river for about five mileg. The " Johnies" are in front of us the other side, they are in large nurnbers along the banks and have a doublé lino, ove to keep tho othcr from deserting I a precaution quite neocssary, but, liko oíd Abe's blockade, not quite effectual, for five were brought to our Provost this morning. They belongod to tbc lth Ijousiana, making 36 that have oome into our división lines from tliat regiment alone. In conversation with them I found out there waa great dissatisfaction prevailing among the " rebs," that the balance of their regiment would try and come across the river to-night, tbat a great number would desert if it wero not for tho vlgilaoco of the oiBeers and videtts,. They did not soem to. k.novv anything of their figbting among themselves, as was rumored in our papers, they corn,plained that thoy wero badly fed, did not get any coffee or sugar, their living being chiefly corn meal. One of our boys romnrkcd that they must be good at Htealing or their looka belied them. They wore a hearty, rugtrcd lookÍDgset,prettyconifortably dresscd, Ulhaving overeoats of " ISuttcrnut," you couid not cali it uniform for tlieir pants and hats were all eolors, and their shoes were poor. The wcather is and bas been for the past week very fine, the days are warm and nights pleasant, to day the wind is very high and dust blowing, the meadowlarks and blue birds sending forth their pleasant notes, make it perfect spring, and we are enjoying it, for as I sit by the window, T sze 3 vast crowd of people, there aro a number of ladics dressed in tlie beight of fashion, you could not fiud any haudsomer or riding more graceful, arnong the fetnalo equestrians of you r own little city (I heg pardoii ladies) or the Detroit riding park ; but what is it ? Oh ! it is a race for $500, and the ladies are the wives of the officers. TIio borses to be run are the 2d ïnfantry corps borse aad " Jack Ilucker," owned by private Ed, Herrick of tho lst Michigan Cavalry, but hnld on Charley, they are going to start ! there Ihey go the lst Michigan ahead,, the 2d corps closes on him, passes and gains the scratch two leugths ahead, tho Infantry winners claim to have taken 3,000 out of the Cavalry, the race is over, and it being so pleagant I thought I would tako a ride over to tue 2öt'i Mieb. I did so, and ou niounting the top of a bilí I was surprised at the sightthat met my eye. The whole country for miles around was wns dotted thickly with camps; the whole of Kil patrick's and Buford's Cavalry ihe l3t, 2d, and third Corps of Infantry are all in a circuit of a few miles of this place. I rodo to ono camp after another and was struck vtith their beauty and comfort, some of tbern being very tastily ornamented with cvergreenfi, the streets are laid out with precisión, sjde walks of (' corduroj," tho roads rijoely rouuded, good ditchos each side, making the quarters very dry. All have good log huts, about 6x12 foet inside, covered with tent clotb, the chirnneys built outside, with the fireplace facing ioside, some of them very nicely built, showing that the occupants are mcch:inics, there are generally four to a cabiu; open the door and look in, talk ahout comfort ! you don't know anything about it at home ! thero are, two buuks one above the other, there a tab,le, there a stool tq seat a friend, pomo shelves where ave srrauged the tin dishes and culinary uteuails, on another some good books and an everlasting stock of " Christian Association," vvhile piuned up in the most prominent places are pictures of l loved ones at home," and often a heavy sigh is heaved as the eye resta on hem, for longings for home 'will tpring unbidden. But they have not long to soliloquize, for some of the boys will strike up some pirited tune or do somethiug that can't 'ail to cheer up the drooping spirits. - )i all places to study human jjature, 1 ,hük a camp the best. But I was going to the 26th, and I must hurry up. After many inquiries 'or división and brigade, I found Üie egiment beautifully located on a iml and vieing with the deseription I have given. I was just in time for dress paade. I visited Capt. Johnsou of Co. L, he is vcry comfortably housed, he .reated me very kindly, we talked an ïour away very pleasantly. I also saw oung Wjnes, Charley Pall and Honry ]ole of Ann Arbor, all well and hearty. ?be darkeniüg clouds of eveuing told me t was time for uie to get back, promisng to meütiou tbem when I wroto I bid rhem good bye aad made my way tQ my quarters. Henry CqIo gave me sonje copies of their Camp Journal, Atnong the aicuscments Gen. Kilpatrick has just sta,rte.(i a Theatrc, aud the ofBcers of the 3rd Di?. have formod theinselves into Society called "the Dialectie Society" of the 3rd Div. Cav. Corps. ïho building ! aj,propriated is a very old Tavern in Steveosburg, wbere Thomas Jefferson and Andrpw Jackson have bften slept ; tbc Gen. has had the insido covercd witU red, white, and blue cambric ; the stage is about 15x18 feet. Capt. Powers of the 6th Mich. Gavalry aud I have been. painting the sceuery for the past week ; the sides of the stage are dscorated with a full leDgth portrait of Gon. Kilpntrick and the Goddess of Liberty, I think pretty well exeoutcd for the materials we have to use. Hon. Jacob M. Howard, of Michigan, was to spcak before the Society tbis evening, but the Gen. had a telegram saying that he could not como for the present. Snnday Eoeninj. - Qur Thcatro waa opened to-day, and the membcrs listcnod to a good discourse by tbo Rov. MrGreely, Chaplain of the 6th Mich. Cavalry; the building ?aa flllcd to its utmost capacity. On Thursdny evening we are to have a Negro Minstrel performance by amateur talent af the división. It s iutended to bru,g the legitímate drama on the boards. The female talent comea from Washington, tho malo, volunteers of the Cavalry Corps, the whole is under the dircetton of Capt. W. H. Perkins of Detroit, Cliief Ordnance officer and Capt. on Küpatrick'c! staff, who has entered into the enterprise with spirit, seeming determined to hiivc the lï t tío time a!lowed for relaxa.tion pasg as pleasantly as possibje, The Geo. was teiegraphed; (o Washington by "Únele Abe" on Friday, the object nobady kuow, though thero is mu,eh speculating; some think it is to get bis other star (Major General) others that t is to consult hhn about anolher raid ; if the latter, it is to be hoped it will turn out bctter than tho last, where the 3d Corps lost between 200 and 300 men, and I can't learn tho good that was done. I snw tlioni start offaiid a fiue set of men never rrnrohed to rocct th enemy; the 3d s'.arted fjuturday raorning witb the Cavalry and Battcrius, the 2c Cores in the afternoon, the fíriug of ar tillcry flnd suusketry vra.s plainly Lean here all day, telling us thc '-'i'.elia'1 were disputing our right of passage acioss te river. I was surprised to feee tliem al come back onathe cveuingof Sunday, anc to hear tho sad news of ílie loss in the 3d Corps, but I suppose the " big guns" are satisfied far Rilpatriek saj s the object they had in yiev was accoinplished. - AH is (juiet alüng the picket Unes, oecasioually a man gets pieked oif by " bushvhackers." Oüo of thü 2J N. Y. Cavalry was shot through the back last woek while ou pieket ; he was found doad by the side of bis hnrse. Tlie boys of tiio 5th froin or around Ann Arbor aro wel!, with the exception of Eggleston, Grcgury and Sinclair; Sam Gregory haa to go on erulchcs yet, the effect of lüs wouud. Jolü Ssinulair is looking viry had, he is not fjt for the service and I think. vïll shortly get his discharge, t hope so that he may come havo a chance ta ïucruit his health; Torn Kearns, Slauderer, and Chris. Bïeisoh are all we!l and good soldiers. I am detailed in the Ordnauce Department, and have been lettering aud painting wagons. Our Chief Clerk in this Dopartment ia Oai-rol S. Rood, step-son of T. C. Cutler t'f Ann Arbor; he teüs me that whcn he entered the service ho had to have a block under his fcet to raise him to the standard rcquired, now he is thrse mchcs taller than m'self ; he has a good birth and filis it with credit. Dcar sir, I will now close this poor letter, proiuitáng a better ouo wheu I have something to write. I wish to take the liberty through your columns to return thanjís to the mnnj friends iu Ann Arbor fqr íhe kind iuterest they ljavo taken in rao and their endeavorsin en y behalf, and promise, no matter in whut pqsition to perfonn my duty as beconies a soldier. Hoping you will find sp. ce tu your columns for this, I beg to remaiii yours, C. 15R00KE, Com. Serg't. Co. K, 5th Mich. Cavalry. P. S. The Argus is reoeivcd regulnrly, and eagerly porusod by the boys from Washte'iaw. Why doo't the citiens of Ann Arbor club and send us out a few. Miuo so úbliterated before it Lets half way around that it is Dot rcsdable, L3T Trcudwcll, the Hudson Bank swindler, now rusticating in tho Adrián jail, has made a firmal proposition to his oreditors to compromiso at about 85 ets. OU the dollar, if they will release hira from all proseeutions. This has boen refused and the wholo aud costs demaudud, at whiuk domauti he snaps his fingers and thjowg himself bauk on })ia reserved rights.


Old News
Michigan Argus