Site Logo
Home | Battles | Descendants | Find A Soldier | Monuments | Museum | Towns | Units | Site Map

13th Vermont Infantry

13th Regiment in Camp, Brattleboro


Correspondence of Walton’s Daily Journal


DEAR JOURNAL:----Do you want a letter written on Sunday evening? If so, your “special” will write a few words,improving the first opportunity that he has had since he came into camp. You are informed of our journey here,&c, so I will only tell you of our present condition, physical, mental and moral, and hope to be able to suit your wish with brevity, if nothing else.

In the first place, then, we were situated in barracks, of which, though there has been considerable said in one way or another, I find people know very little generally after all. They are built in slit work and rough boards, one story in height besides the roof, which slants both way, from the center, 75 feet long, by 22 in width, and provided with a glass window in each gable end. They have a good floor and there is a door in each end and a good wide hall leading through the whole length of the building, and one side door, which marks the side of the building where the Company form. On the inside of this building are 25 frames of two berths each--and each berth is of ample width to accommodate two men, and of sufficient depth to hold straw enough to make a good bed. So each building is large enough for a company, and all the buildings stand in a row across one side of the parade ground, about 20 feet apart, and in the rear of each is agood snug little building for the commissioned officers, on one side of which is the cook stand.. Still, in the rear of these and at regular intervals, are buildings occupied by staff officers. The hospital on the left, then the Quartermasters building, the Colonel’s headquarters, then the Commissary’s and music barracks, and lastly the guard house. All things connected with these are very convenient, and the parade ground is large and dry.

Our regiment is all here and becoming accustomed  to its organization and drill, so that even now it appears splendly. Capt. Lonergans’s company from Burlington, occupies the right, and Capt. Wilder’s, from Waitsfield, the left---the East Montpelier Company under the capable Capt. Coburn, Co C.,the color company--- just at the right at which stands the splendid Montpelier Company, so ably commanded by our accomplished little Capt. Thatcher. We are awoke about as soon as light light in the morning by the reveille, at which we all fall in on the company street for roll call--then do poloce duty---that is, pick-up and carry away all rubbish from the ground--and then comes breakfast call, the call being beat by the drums, at which each company falls into line, marches to the cook stand, receives from the hand of the cook the allowance on tin plates, and then breaks and eats at pleasure.Then comes squad drill a little while--then company drill--then dinner---then battalion drill- then dress parade- then supper--then nothing till half past 8, when the tatto sounds, roll is called and lights extinguished, and the Company and Regiment and camp are quiet. So much for the daily round. Today, being Sunday, we have had less drill--or rather--none at all--but still a round of duty.This forenoon, though it was quite cool, your “special” took charge of 52 men, who went to the river and washed--each his own clothes--bathed, and returned to a thousand little personal cares; and this afternoon the Regiment formed in a hollow square, and we had religious services. Our Colonel allowed us to sit on the ground, and our chaplain stood in the center of the square,to which also was admitted, by our gallant Colonel, a number of ladies---and read to us from the Bible, and made an excellent prayer.--delivered to us some brief and appropriate remarks, and after singing by a large choir of excellent singers, detailed from the several companies, pronounced the beendiction and we marched to our quarters.

We had dress parade at the usual time, and thus made the routine for to-day. Many of us signed for the good old Church at home, and may for those in the village in the valley below---but no use---this is military life just as much as though we were in enemy’s country, and so must do things up in soldier style. Our men find this kind of life harder than they have been accustomed to, but they are very patient, for they are patriots, and it is noticeable here, as elsewhere, but those who have had the best homes find the least fault.

Our guns are the splendid Springfield rifle, and no regiment was ever better armed and equipped than this. When we go into action you may expect to hear a favorable report on us. Our officers are all popular. All the boys are in love with the Colonel, and the efficiency, and patience, and executive ability, which he manifests  justify them in feeling so,As for the Lieut. Colonel, I can’t tell the the “Journal” anything about him. The boys say, “” What a splendid looking officer ?”The major is an old officer, and not a whit behind anybody.Our Quartermaster is a great noble fat man, and such men always feed well. Our Surgeon is comptent, sympathetic, kind and “alive”, and his new assistant, Dr.Crandall, has just been appointed with which the boys are all pleased. He deserves the office, and he honors it.

The sick in the hospital to-night are as follows:
Leroy Prescott, Waterbury, feverish;  A.B. Stockwell, Moretown,dumb-ague; Wm. Mayberry, Cabot, diarroah, V.E. Babcock, Stowe, relapse following typhoid fever); all doing well---they ought to. In addition to the surgeons they have Mr. Bixby as ward-master-- the right man in the right place to care for them.

The cooking  of Company I, under the enarge of C. Henry Washburne, is just as good as at home.. Col. Stoughton, our acting Brigadier, complimented him to-night. Thus much this time. Too much “detail”-- but not so much hereafter,

Yours truly,

Submitted by Deanna French.