Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Army life in Virginia by George Grenville Benedict.

Army life in Virginia by George Grenville Benedict.

September 30, 2012

Army life in Virginia by George Grenville Benedict, 12th Regiment Vermont Volunteers.

Equipment and Inspection.
Camp Lincoln, Brattleboro,
Sept. 30, 1862.

Dear Free Press:

Maj. Austine is expected here on Friday morning next, to muster in the Twelfth, which he will do on that day, provided the overcoats and other equipments shall have arrived. It is the intention of Adjutant-General Washburn not to let the regiment pass out of his hands until it is fully equipped throughout. The quality of the articles thus far furnished us by Quartermaster General Davis, is a guaranty that our fit-out will be of the best. With our arms we are especially pleased. They are the Springfield rifle of 1862—the best arm in the world, light, strong, well-balanced. The overcoats, belts, cartridge boxes and knapsacks remain to be furnished. I understand that they are on the way from New York.

It has been found impossible to procure “A” tents, and the regiment will be supplied on its arrival at Washington with the little “shelter tents,” so-called, which are packed and carried on the shoulders of the men on the march.

The physical inspection of our company took place yesterday, conducted by Brigade Surgeon Phelps. The men, as you probably know, undergo the examination in puris naturalibus, in squads of about twenty at a time, and are required to march, kick, throw about their arms, etc., in a way which, under the sharp eye of Dr. Phelps, soon discloses any stiffness or disability. In conjunction with the very close individual inspection instituted at the time of enlistment it makes a pretty thorough piece of work. There was found to be but one of our company with regard to whom there was any doubt as to his physical fitness for a soldier’s duties—and he will probably pass. About a baker’s dozen of the whole regiment have been inspected out—showing a remarkably high average of health and condition. In fact Dr. Phelps remarked in my hearing that he had never inspected a regiment in which he found so few who must be thrown out.



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