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2nd Vermont Infantry


Francis Finnegan


Francis Finnegan, of Co. H., 2d Reg., formerly in the employ of R.S. Page, Esq., of this place, has written some interesting letters to his friends, which we should be glad to give in full; but a few extracts must suffice. Under date of Aug. 14, in relation to the scene on the meeting of the 2d and 3d regiments, he says:

You can imagine what a greeting there was among the boys Hiram A. Earle, Gov (Canness), Lilly, and Wm. H. Crowell, were near by the first I saw. C.A. Reed was out on picket at the time, but he came back immediately after dinner. He was very glad to see me, and handed me a letter he had received from Carroll, which I read with great satisfaction. William H. Crowell had a letter which he had just received from L.S. Small. All the boys that I know are well, but Chester Hill from Eden. He is sick in hospital, and it is thought that this climate will not agree with him. The boys are all very patriotic, and are fast to get a chance to shoot rebels. I sat and chatted with the Hyde Park boys. We talked of the past and the present, and speculated on the future; our talk was chiefly of war WAR, but now and then it would change to the good old days we spent in Hyde Park along with Mr. Page. I also saw Isaac Cowen, brother to Andrew. He is well, and likes the soldiers life. I saw Reuben B. Cleveland just a minute. He says his health is good, and he looks well. I have not seen Lieut. Col. Hyde, or Leo yet.

Capt. Burnham, of the Fletcher Co. has gone to Vt., I understand to get recruits to fill up his company. Where we pitched our tents here yesterday the water was running fast over the ground, and it was rather a disagreeable looking place to lodge on; but I took up a huge knife and went up on the hill, and cut cedar brush, enough to put under John and Terrance Roddey and myself. Some of the boys dug a trench around the tent, and we made up a fire, spread our empty ticks and blanket, and rested pretty well. I am sorry to see that some members of of the regiment write some most glaring falsehoods, and what makes it worse, their reports get into the papers, and decieve many, and contradict the statesments of those who write the truth. Now the letter in the Newsdealer of August 2d, by Geo. W. Doty, contains some statements that are entirely false. The idea that we drove the rebels half a mile into the woods and ran onto their batteries, is simply preposterous. The story about 'Shack Dodge, was all gammon. Some of the papers abuse Col. Whiting. Perhaps the Colonel is not entirely blameless, but one thing is certain - he keeps better order, and has a quieter camp than any other about here. Perhaps this is owing to the superior intelligence and qualifications of the men; but it strikes me that the discipline he has kept had much to do with it. Some say he showed cowardice on the field at Manassas. Perhaps he did; but on the retreat I was close to him for nearly a mile, and he was cool and collected as any one I saw. He carried two guns a part of the time, till he found men who had none, when he gave the guns to them. But some of the men and some of the officers made up their minds to dislike the Col. When they first saw him; and before he was in the regiment three days. I heard them call him an "--- Michigander" with three or four adjectives attached, but if asked why they hate him, they they will call him a mean old scoundrel, but can bring no tangible complaint against him.


John and Terrance Roddey are both gaining. John is a good devoted boy, but Terrence, though there is nothing bad about him, still retains some of his careless words and ways.. I sometimes flatter myself that the boys are improving; when I see a large portion of them reading good books, and singing (but if something occurs to draw out their Remarks2,I become almost discouraged, to hear with the coolness and deliberation they will use the name of their God, showing that what they read makes but little impression on their mind); yet I find that merit is respected and appreciated wherever it is found.

Our brigade was reviewed yesterday by Gen. McClellan. It is said by spectators, that the 2d Vt is drilled the, and made the besr appearance of any in the brigade. Gen. McClellan looks much younger and handsomer than I expected. He is said to be 35, but looks as if he might be ten years younger.His long black hair hangs in nice curls down over his neck, and when his back is turned, gives him rather a boyish appearance, but in his countenance appears thoughtfulness and intelligence.. His dicipline and uniform rules inspire us with confidence . His face and the shape of his head resembles the pictures I have see of Napoleon I. Except the few days that my throat was sore, I have never had better health then since I enlisted. 1 o'clock P.M. we have just been to dinner, and have had our first potatoes, with fried onions. I heard some of the boys who generally grumble most, say that would be willing to stay as long as long as they could get such food as this.

I have been over to the 2d today, and had quite a long talk with some of the boys there: Carlos A. Reed, Hiram A. Earle, Vaness Lilley, Willie Woodbury and Wm. H. Crowell all are feeling first rate. C.A. Reed looks rather thin, but is so ambitious that he scorns to complain. B.J. Austin and Capt. Blanchard are also well. Capt. Blanchard looks like a huge lion, the beard on his face is 4 inches long; he is tanned and looks tough as an Indian. I had quite a long chat with Leo Hyde, and never saw him looking so well before. Col. B.N. Hyde was gone to Washington on business; Col. Smith has rec'd the appointment of Brigadier General, so that he, instead of Phelps, will lead us into battle, in case we are wanted to take the field.

Submitted by Deanna French.

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