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

Post image for War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

March 28, 2013

War diary and letters of Stephen Minot Weld

Headquarters Engineer Brigade,
Near Falmouth, March 28, 1863.

Dear Father, — Do you know of any good engineers in Boston, who would like commissions in this brigade? I wish you would write me, and let me know, as General Benham wants to find some good engineers to commission. I told him that I would write you, and see whether you knew of any such.

I received your letter inclosing George’s recommendations, and sent them over instantly to Captain Abbott of the 20th, a friend of mine and a classmate.[1] He is a son of Judge Abbott. I could not deliver them personally, as my duties kept me closely confined in camp. I sent a very strong letter of recommendation with them, and told Abbott that I would consider it a personal favor if he would recommend George. I also told him that I would be over at his camp to-morrow and see him about it. He sent back word that he would make it all right when I came over. I also asked him to show the recommendations to Major Macy, who is in command. I shall go over tomorrow and see him personally. Even if I could not get George a place there, I feel quite sure I could get him one in this brigade. You need not say anything about it, as I do not wish to raise any false hopes. You can let George know that I am doing my best for him.

I hear that Longfellow’s son ran away, and enlisted as a private in the 1st Massachusetts Battery, and that Senator Sumner sent for the captain of the battery, and told him that he would get L. a commission in the regular army if he (the captain) thought him fit for it.

General Benham is trying to collect the brigade together, and soon we shall have most of the companies near headquarters, together with a band. At present the brigade is very much scattered, some being at Harper’s Ferry, some at Washington, and the rest scattered throughout the army.

I am still acting adjutant-general, and do not know how soon I shall be relieved.

The general is going to appoint an inspector-general on his staff. If I can find a good fellow, I shall get him on the staff. The new aide, whom I got, is a very nice fellow. His name is Perkins.

Yesterday was a delightful day, but to-day we have one of those everlasting rains. It has cleared up again to-night.

General Birney’s division had races yesterday. There were some 10,000 spectators present. As usual, there were some accidents, men being thrown and breaking their legs.

The army is in good spirits, and very good discipline. As soon as we can move, we shall do so. . . .

[1] Henry L. Abbott, of the 10th Massachusetts, who showed great military ability. He was killed later in the war.

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