One of our boys received a letter from his sweetheart, and she wondered what the soldiers could find to occupy their time -- "no balls, no parties, no corn-huskings," as she expressed it. Her soldier boy inclosed a copy of the list of calls for our every-day existence in camp, and when we are not on picket duty.
I have no doubt the dear girl was satisfied that her boy in blue would suffer little, if any, for want of something to keep his mind occupied. As near as I can remember, the list of calls for each day's programme -- except Sunday, when we had our general inspection and were kept in line an hour or two extra -- was as follows:
The roll was called at reveille, drill, retreat and tattoo. The boys had "words set to music" for nearly all the calls. The breakfast call was rather inelegantly expressed when infantry and cavalry troops were camped close together. The foot soldiers, not having horses to groom and feed, had their breakfast the first thing after reveille. Then they would stand around, and as the cavalry bugler-boys would sounds the breakfast call after stables, the heroes of the knapsack would chorus:
"Go and get your breakfast,
Breakfast without meat."But a cavalry poet tried his hand, and after that whenever the infantry fellows shouted the above at us to the tune of breakfast calls, we all joined in the refrain:
"Dirty, dirty doughboy,
dirty, dirty feet."
[A Boy Trooper with Sheridan, Stanton P. Allen., Richard Hooker Wilmer, Lothrop Pub. Co., Boston, Massachusetts, 1899. pages un-numbered.]
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