The Novelty (or not) of Camp Life

NH Civil War Gal

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#1
Charles H. Thiot of the 1st Georgia quoted approvingly a comrade's observation that "if he lived to see the close of this war he meant to get two pups and name one of them 'fall in' and the other 'close up' and as soon as they were old enough to know their names right well he intended to shoot them both, and thus put and end to 'fall in' and 'close up'."

A Louisiana Reb wrote from an Alabama camp December 25, 1862:

"A soldier is not his own man. he has given up all claim on himself. He has placed his life in the hands of his superiors. he is as a checker player uses his men, if they see a chance to swap one for two they do it. I will give you a little information conserning evry day business. consider youreself a private soldier and in camp. you are not allowed to go outside the lines without a pass from your Comp commander approved by the cornel of the Reg. Well, you get youre pass more than once you go in some shop. in comes a guard with his muskett and says have you got a pass. you pull hert, she is all right. you go sauntering around and the first thing you know you are in somewhere where you have no business. you are very abrubly asked by a man with a muskett if you belong there. you very politely tell him you do not. he tells you to leave. you immediately obey or be sent to the guard house. you go back to camp. the drum beats for drill. you fall in and start. you here feel youre inferirority. even the Sargeants is hollering at you close up, Ketch step, dress to the right, ans sutch like."

D.P. Chapman of the 93rd Illinois who wrote from Camp Douglas in 1862: "They keep us very strict here, it is the most like a prison of any place I ever saw. There is a high board fence around the grounds and a guard also with muskets loaded...It comes rather hard at first to be deprived of liberty."
 

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#2
Those punishments handed out sure look dreadful too. Someone who knows more of the full extent would have to list all of them- once questioned what on earth was the purpose of a large, wooden cartoony looking horse. It was a punishment. Men had to sit on that thing for hours and hours. So bored and painfully bored, too. And buck and gagged looks as uncomfortable as it gets.
 



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