March 4th, 1862
As we are expecting to leave this place soon and an opportunity being offered to send letters today, I thought I would write a few lines to keep you posted as to my whereabouts and keep you informed as to the state of my health.
Ever since we came here we have been expecting to move every few days, and the orders have been to keep three days rations cooked in advance so as to be ready to start at a moments warning. Last night we had orders to strike tents at reveille in the morning which is beat at six A.M.
You can bet that there was some early rising this morning if never before. All gathered their traps together, packing knapsacks, rolling blankets etc. But when the reveille was beat the order to strike tents was not given as had been expected, and it was shortly given out that we should not be able to go aboard this forenoon on account of the wind which was blowing a strong northeaster at the time.
At noon our rations were dealt out, and our ammunition was looked to, to see if we had a fully supply.
The companies that came on the “Sentinel”, viz. C, E, H, and K were ordered to get ready to strike tents in 35 minutes. It has been over an hour and the drum has not beat yet. I do not know what occasions the delay. I think in all probability we shall not go aboard before morning although we are prepared to hear the order any moment to “strike tents in fifteen minutes.” I have just stopped writing to take some cartridges from the orderly to make up my forty rounds. As to our destination we are entirely ignorant, some say one place – some another, but none know. I was rather disappointed yesterday by not getting more mail, it being the first mail that the Regt. has received since we left Annapolis but that I have received as much as four letters besides a number of papers. Yesterday I received no letters and only one paper.
We have had quite a number of resignations in our regiment within a short time, besides rumors of plenty more. Capt Fowler, Capt Nash and a couple of Lieut’s. have gone home. It is rumored that the Col. and the Chaplain are both going home, also several others. The reason assigned for the resignation of the Col. was that Gen. Burnside had given him particular fits about the way he had conducted the regiment.
The Q.M. had to take his share of it because the new clothes were not ready for the regiment. The regiment is quite ragged at present and looks quite shabby; some were not careful of their clothes, and some were made of poor stuff. Gen. Burnside said “he did not want a ragged regiment following him around, and if they expected to be his body guard, they must be better clothed.” The Q.M. borrowed about 250 pairs of pants of the R.I. regiment and let those whose clothes were nearly torn off have them. The Gen. looks out for this men and woe be to the officer under him that tries to “rough it” on them. When we first came here we had some salt junk that was cooked up for two or three days rations and put hot into barrels, and before we ate it up it was a little tainted around the bones. The Gen. found it out and gave the commissary to understand if it happened again he could march. His men were not going to eat stinking meat. Health excellent. Weather warm. Write often. Our letters are often kept back by of the Gen.
Love to all,