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.

June 16, 2012

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

Hot Weather.

June 16. It is so hot most of the time we are scarcely able to do anything more than keep ourselves as comfortable as possible. All duty is suspended except guard duty and dress parade, and we are getting almost too lazy to eat; in fact do miss a good many meals unless they happen to have something we like. We lie around in our tents or in the shade of the trees from 9 o’clock in the morning till 4 in the afternoon, brushing away the flies, and trying to keep cool. I thought I had seen some flies at home but they are no comparison to what we have here. I really believe there are more flies in this camp than there are in the whole state of Massachusetts. Besides they are regular secesh ones, and by the way they bite, one would think he was among a nest of hornets. I am often reminded of the old minstrel song:


“If you perchance in summer time

Should visit Carolina’s sultry clime,

And in the shade should chance to lie

You’d soon find out the blue tail fly.”


We were visited last evening by a thunder storm which makes it quite comfortable today. For several days past the weather has been very hot, the thermometer ranging about 100 degrees in the shade. Just before sunset last evening the clouds began to gather and we soon heard the low mutterings of thunder. We knew very well what that meant and set about fastening our tents by driving down the pins a little firmer. We got ready for it just in season, and such a storm! a regular bombardment, with rivers of water, lasting about two hours. Why our thunder storms at home are only a slight skirmish compared with this. After four or five days so hot we can but just live we get one of these storms, and then we have one cool, comfortable day. It is so cool today I expect the colonel will have us out for drill towards night. He says when it is cool we must work a little or we shall get so lazy we can’t stir, and will forget all we ever knew.


Dress Parade.

Next to a good choir of singers, the colonel takes great pride in a dress parade; and he certainly has good ones, as good, perhaps, as any regiment here. The boys like to please him and at dress parade put in their best work, especially if there happens to be a good many looking on. They have got so used to him, they can anticipate the order, and it is executed together as one man. I reckon Gen. Foster thinks pretty well of us, as he is out here two or three times a week to witness our dress parades.

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