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

Post image for Camp activities.–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

Camp activities.–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

March 10, 2014

Diary of a Young Officer–Josiah Marshall Favill (57th New York Infantry)

The following appeared in our “Camp Journal” some time after the great ball:

“The appearance of this charming and accomplished author and lecturer (Grace Greenwood) before our lecture association last week and her entire visit to the corps is a source of pride and pleasure alike to all of us. The entire winter has been very gay and spirited in its numerous festivities in the gallant old corps; and it was certainly an appropriate finale to them that this cultivated and accomplished lady should come from the refinement of her quiet home to the very outskirts of the rebel army and lay the rich treasures of her loyal, womanly heart and fertile mind at the feet of the men, who have come from their far Northern homes, to plant the dear old flag once more upon the mountain tops and domes, where it was ruthlessly torn by traitors’ hands. We shall not soon forget her earnest, burning words in behalf of justice, liberty, and law, nor cease to feel their inspiration, as night after night they gave some new charm to the holiness and majesty of our great cause. Our only regret is that we have not the room at this late hour to give a synopsis of her eloquent lecture before the officers of the corps, and that the exigencies of the service were such that she could not have spoken to every corps in the army.

“During her stay, Mrs. Lippencott has been the guest of General Caldwell and staff and has received many attentions at the hands of our most distinguished officers.”

The enemy has had the good taste not to disturb the festivities by any ill timed demonstrations on the approach of a party of ladies and their attendants; they have frequently saluted them and have always refrained from firing or other disagreeable attentions. The picket lines, in fact, fraternize very agreeably, and unless closely watched get to be unduly familiar, that is, for the safety and good of the army.

Horse races, in many of which I ride, hurdle races, division and brigade drills occupy our daily life, which runs as smoothly as could be desired. The army is, of course, bountifully supplied and clothed and is fast filling up again to its normal standard.

By dint of steady and indefatigable work we have managed to empty the guard house, straighten out the muster rolls, relieve the oppressed and punish the guilty.

The Irish brigade was for a time in a most chaotic state; nearly every other officer and man had charges preferred against him, thereby stopping their pay and taking them off the roster for duty; by assiduous labor we have gone through the entire command, dismissing the charges in most cases as frivolous and unworthy of attention.

The ladies remained at our headquarters their allotted time, and then took leave with great reluctance. They were escorted to the train by the entire body of officers, who wished to show their appreciation of their great kindness. Several officers’ wives and daughters remained, and Miss Hamlin is still a visitor at our quarters and promises to remain in the army for some time to come.

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