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

Post image for Diary of David L. Day.

Diary of David L. Day.

July 10, 2013

David L Day–My diary of rambles with the 25th Mass

Whiskey Rations.

July 10. This being an isolated post and several miles from any commissary or sutler, the officers feared it would be terribly infected with malaria; having regard for the health and welfare of the men, they prevailed on our assistant surgeon, Doctor Flagg, to order whiskey rations. Up went the order and down came the whiskey, and now the order is to drink no more river water, but take a little whiskey as a preventive. This will prove a terrible hardship to the boys, but the surgeon’s orders are imperative. The boys in camp get their whiskey at night, and the pickets in the morning when they come in. After a barrel of whiskey has stood out all day in the sun and got about milk warm, it is curious to observe the boys while drinking it. Some of them with rather tender gullets will make up all manner of contortions of face trying to swallow it, but will manage to get it down and then run about fifteen rods to catch their breath. Commanders of companies deal out the whiskey to their men, consequently I deal out to mine, and when I wish to reward any of my braves for gallant and meritorious conduct, I manage to slop a little extra into their cups. That keeps them vigilant and interested and gallant. Meritorious conduct consists in bringing in watermelons, peaches and other subsistence, of which they somehow become possessed.

Previous post:

Next post: