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 25, 2012

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

Company Drills.

July 25. The colonel, thinking that guard duty and dress parades are not quite exercise enough for us, has ordered company drills in the forenoon. The company officers do not take very kindly to this, and thinking it a good opportunity to give the sergeants a little practice in drilling the companies, they shirk out of it every time they can invent an excuse to do so. The companies are seen out under command of the orderlies or some other of the sergeants frequently. B company moves out of the company street on to the parade ground, and after executing a few brilliant maneuvers, starts off across the fields to the Trent road, a little out of sight of the camp, and here in the shade of the trees we sit down and await the recall, when we march back into camp with all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war. The duty has been performed and everybody seems well enough satisfied, except perhaps the performers.

Patriotism Suppressed.

And now, right here under the broad banner of freedom, personal liberty and rising patriotism has been suppressed. A party of small darky boys organized themselves into a drum corps and furnished themselves with old tin pans and kettles for an outfit. Being natural musicians, they soon acquired the art of drumming, and when they thought, they could make a creditable appearance before the public appeared one evening, standing just outside the guard in front of our dress parade. When the band led off down the line the little fellows commenced putting in their work, and they certainly did a good job, as they beat the time very well. But the thing was so ludicrous it was with difficulty the band could perform their part, and many of the boys in the line could not restrain their laughter. The little fellows seemed to enjoy it immensely, and would put in an appearance every evening, until the colonel finding it impossible to have a decent dress parade ordered the guard officers to suppress the amateur band, very much I presume against his inclination and feelings.

Miss Foster.

Gen. Foster has his wife and daughter with him here, which must make it very agreeable for him. Mrs. Foster is engaged in works of love and mercy around the hospitals, while Miss Foster, a young lady of some 16 or 17 years, is pretty much engaged in horseback ridding and having a good time generally. She is quite a military character, as we notice that when she and the general ride past here, she always returns the salutes from the sentinels as gracefully as the general. She frequently rides past here alone, and the sentinels along the street take great pride in honoring her with a present arms, a compliment which she never fails to acknowledge, by a graceful wave of her hand and her face wreathed with smiles.

Previous post:

Next post: