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.

February 1, 2014

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


Feb. 1. Since being here we have had but little else to do than make up our diaries, write letters and talk over the situation. The last link is broken that bound us to our old regiment. Capt. Parkhurst, Lieuts. Johnson and Saul and Doctor Hoyt left us yesterday, and we are now thinking of applying for admission to the orphans’ home. The boys are all at sea, without chart or compass, and can form no idea of what kind of a landing they will make. The non-coms, of whom there are quite a number, are a good deal exercised over their fate, and are consulting together much of the time. I tell them there is no use trying to lift the veil, but to take things as they come and trust to luck. We can look forward to the end, which is only a few months hence, and during that time we shall probably not be very much worse off than we have been, and certainly can be no worse off than the crowd we are in.

In a talk with Corporal Whipple and a few others, I said I had no fears of our losing our rank, that is if Gen. Sherman is good military authority, which I think he is. Sometime last summer there was some talk at the war department at Washington in regard to consolidating the old regiments. In a letter from Gen. Sherman to the adjutant-general, he said it would be the worst thing for the army that could be done, for in consolidating the old regiments, they would lose a large number of well-trained and efficient soldiers whose places could not easily be filled. For instance, two regiments are consolidated in one, all the officers from colonel to corporal in one of them are lost. They would have to be mustered out and sent home, thereby losing upwards of 150 well-trained men; and he advised instead of consolidating or forming new organizations, to recruit the old ones to their full strength. Now if what he said is law, then when two organizations are consolidated, or one of them is permanently assigned to the other, then one of them loses its officers. Therefore, if we are permanently assigned to some other regiment, and are not wanted as non-commissioned officers, then they can muster us out and send us home.

We have dress parades every night and keep hearing something about the coming march. Whatever it is or wherever we are going, it is getting pretty well advertised. Every night at dress parade, orderlies are seen flying about from camp to camp, carrying their orders, and citizens are standing around with their mouths and ears open catching every word, and if they have any communications with the outside world (which they probably have), then this expedition, whatever it is, will not amount to much. If this thing is being managed by Gen. Butler, which from the pomp and circumstance attending it certainly looks a good deal like him, then in my opinion, it will be another Big Bethel affair.

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