Letters from Peninsular Campaign To Chancellorsville


LETTERS TO THE VINCENNES WESTERN SUN
PROCK'S LETTERS FROM THE EASTERN FRONT
(July, 1862, to May, 1863)

Camp of The 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Four Miles North of Harrison's Landing,

James River, Advance of McClellan's Army,

Wednesday [Tuesday] July 8th, 1862.

Friend Greene :

After a delightful sail down the Potomac, we entered Chesapeake Bay about 9 P. M., the "long roll" of which was quite different from any thing in the shape of rolls the Fourteenth has been treated to. A supply of soda water, secured by your correspondent, prevented any ill effects arising from this great swell of the mighty waters. 'Twas near daylight when we came to anchor off Fortress Monroe, amongst a fleet of vessels and forest of masts, front which the flags of several nations were flying. The low, dark painted gun-boats and steam sloops-of-war were numerous. The huge, barbette guns of the mighty Fortress looked threateningly down on one side, while from the Rip Raps opposite an equal number of bull-dogs were visible.

In less than an hour after sun rise one half of the Fourteenth were splashing about in the salt water, swimming from transport to transport, apparently determined to make the most of it, and enjoy their voyage as much as possible.

There was an abundance of provisions on board, but the only accommodations for cooking (that is for building fires) were an old skillet and an army forge, over which The hungry ones were constantly frying pork or boiling coffee.

"Weighed anchor' 'at noon, steamed down the bay and up the James river 90 miles to Harrison's Bar, where McClellan's supply fleet is at present anchored. Remained all night on board the Columbia, and until Wednesday evening at 4 o'clock, when we landed with haversacks full of rations, oil-cloth blankets, and each man fifty rounds of cartridges, and were forthwith double-quicked out about four miles through mud and rain to the advance for picket duty-The right wing of The 14Th taking one road and the kit wing under command of Lient. Col. Owens another.

At daylight the rebels opened on us with shell, and advancing in force compelled us to fall back a mile until reinforced by the balance of our (first) brigade, when we drove the rebels back with slight loss, and now occupy their position in the timber-have thrown up a breaste work. Our pickets are only 300 yards in advance, and the secesh not over that distance in front of them-in fair view. In fact, the boys talk to each other from their posts, and have agreed not to fire, which for the first day or two they were constantly doing.

We are called "fresh troops," which accounts for our being in the advance. Have held our position just one week today-have plenty of wholesome food and a ration of liquor, but our baggage is all behind, and we are all as dirty as pigs, and cannot find more than water enough for cooking purposes and quenching thirst-weather devilish hot.

This is rather an unhealthy place for sound men, but those unfit for duty suffer extremely.

Prof. Lowe's balloon is up almost constantly, and occasionally the gun-boats throw a few shells over us into the rebel camp.

No telling at what moment we may be called on to resist the foe-every man sits or lays with his gun close to hand, to be ready in an instant.

Yours, with eyes "skinned," ears pinned back, and "har" short.

PROCK.

P. S.-Letters should be addressed "Harrison's Landing, James River, Smith's division, Franklin's corps, Army of the Potomac, via Fortress Monroe." Thousands of letters are lost for want of proper direction. The brigade, name and number of regiment, and letter of company should always (if possible) be put on The envelope. P.

Camp of the l4th Indiana Volunteers,

Harrison's Landing, James River,

Va., Wednesday, July 9, 1862.

Friend Greene: Yesterday afternoon we moved out of the woods into an open field and to-day the boys "threw" [felled] the timber in our front, right, and left so the artillery could have a sight at any advancing rebels. A hot, July sun is pouring down its scorching rays, and the 14th is literally roasting beneath their "leetle" flies-called tents.

Old Abe was around, so I was told, and from the amount of powder burned by some of the big guns, I presume 'tis no "grape vine."

Drew a ration of "injuns." Soldiers are exceedingly fond of this fruit [onions]-taste and smell both- too "oud" for Prock.

Stragglers left behind at Alexandria are all up.

The rebels threw a few round shot into some of our transports as they passed the mouth of the Chickahominy, but presume our gun boats have demolished the battery by this time-heard very heavy firing in that direction.

The water we are compelled to use is of the most miserable quality. I have drank [sic] so many wiggle-tails and polly-wogs that I can hear young frogs croaking all the time.

Our knapsacks remained at the landing till yesterday, and when finally brought to camp one-fourth of them were discovered to be missing-Prock's with the rest. My entire kit now consists of one suit of clothes, very much worn, covered with grease and dirt (and no water to wash 'em in); my band box suit, with many small articles too numerous to mention, diary (the greatest loss of all) included, "gone up for ninety days." Hope the fellow that "won" 'em is "marking time" in hell with a red-hot musket at a "right shoulder shift."

John Harvey, Co. G, left in the hospital at Strausburg last May, captured by Jackson's forces and released on parole, has been discharged.

I am glad to hear that the General and the Dr. have monopolized all the ferry privileges about Vincennes, and are now negotiating for the ferry across the river Styx. Expect to be a "dead head," if they succeed in the latter. I also hear that the General is negotiating for the plank-road. Bully for him!

Hot as a mince-pie right out of the oven, I am, as ever, yours truly,

PROCK,

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Harrison's Landing, James River,

Va., Friday, July 18, 1862.

Friend Greene :-My friend Sergeant Lyons, of Company "E" Fourteenth regiment, just informed me that he will he on his way to Hoosierdom at early dawn tomorrow-that any messages, packets, letters, &C., from Prock he would be happy to deliver at "Old Post." We first formed an acquaintance at Indianapolis, over one year ago, whilst on guard together at Camp Kimball, and have been comrades and warm friends ever since, Sorry am I to part with the jovial, good natured, light hearted, whole souled Gibby. He leaves the service on account of ill-health. May he speedily recruit the same, and success always to my comrade of the Fourteenth!

We have been relieved of picket duty, and the regiment is now resting from the incessant labor of guard and "fatigue." The weather to-day is disagreeably cool. A heavy thunder storm not only most completely drowned us out, but almost entirely swamped the Fourteenth.

Captain Guido Ilges, of the 14th Regular Infantry U.S.A., called on his acquaintances in this regiment the other day. With the exception of being somewhat thinner, he appeared to me the same inmortal "G. I."

The explosion of a sixty-four-pounder at 9 P. M. is the signal for us to "douse the glim" (put out lights), and the same huge iron throat belches forth at 4 A. M. for the "Army of the Potomac" to "fall in for roll call." Do things up on a large scale here. Picket by divisions of infantry and regiments of cavalry.

Speaking of horsemen, The Pennsylvania Lancers present a very fine appearance as, some twelve or fifteen hundred strong, they file past in close order, the red pennants of their long lances fluttering in the breeze.

We have nothing to complain of just now but our grub, which is of the most miserable quality. Should like to see a whole brigade of commissaries hung-about a regiment of quarter-masters ditto. 'Twould improve our condition vastly, besides reducing the expenses of the War Department.

The balloon goes up every day-suppose 'tis just to keep the Professor's "hand in."

I enclose a little memento, which please give to the General, if he will accept-if not, "burn it." It will doubtless recall to his mind "the days that we went gipsying."

Yours, in haste, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Harrison's Landing, James River,

Va., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1862.

Friend Greene: 'Neath cover of the night the rebels brought up a couple of field batteries opposite our encampments on the river and treated the occupants thereof to a storm of shot and shell, lasting about two hours when the seige guns on our side the "drink" [river] having been brought into position, the secesh bull dogs were silenced. Our loss was four killed (also several horses and mules) and several wounded. The entire African force, mentioned in my last, fled to the woods, which have been filled with these pets ever since. None of the shells fell near us, but we had a fine view of the scene.

Last night orders were received to be in readiness to march at a moment's notice, with sixty rounds to each man, and two day's rations.

Early this morning a heavy cannonading has been going on up the river, but whether from our land forces under Hooker, or from the gun-boats, can't say.

Heard an officer, who came from Malvern Hills, where Hooker's division is now encamped, say that the stench arising from decaying bodies of men and horses, killed in The last fight near that place, was intolerable. Instead of being interred, the timber merely was chopped down over the poor fellows as they lay. He further stated that in the swamps men could be seen in upright positions, leaning against trees up to their knees in mire; others waist deep in the same, all deal, having been overtaken by the leaden messengers whilst endeavoring to extricate themselves from The swamp.

Squads of the soldiers of both armies have been discovered around pools of water, to which the poor wounded fellows had crawled, and overcome by weakness and loss of blood, lain down and died-some no doubt from want of attention-demonstrating the fact that neither side in the late "battles before Richmond" paid that attention to those who fought and fell which justice to humanity deserves, and even the "regulations" require.

Col. Harrow's resignation having been accepted, the Fourteenth is minus two more of the commissioned officers that left Camp Vigo to "follow the fortunes of the regiment through the war." The 14th will miss the Colonel very much. They were just beginning to appreciate him and learn that he left nothing undone that would add to their comfort. In him your correspondent always found a friend, and none regret the loss our regiment has sustained more than Prock. Success always to our gallant Colonel!

Weather intensely hot.

Yours, perspiringly, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Two miles west of Rockville, Md.,

Monday, September 8th, 1862.

Friend Greene: We shipped from Newport News on the 20th of August on board the ocean steamer Illinois. Arrived at Alexandria and went ashore about noon, August 28th-marched three miles out of town, and encamped on top of a high hill in the dog-fennel and briars. Left this delightful spot at 6 o'clock August 29th-marched till 2 A. M. -encamped immediately opposite the Washington monument, breakfasted, moved up into a huge patch of thorns, thistles, briars, under brush, and fallen timber and began the labor of clearing off a camping ground.

At 2 P. M. marched off, and pushing ahead all that hot afternoon and during the entire night, reached Centreville in time to cover the retreat of Pope's army. Here we remained on picket two nights-then leaving Centreville, acted as rear guard back to the "Chain Bridge," above Georgetown, D. C.; again marching all day and all night, with the rebels pitching shells at us.

Crossing the Potomac Wednesday, Sept. 3d, encamped at Tindleytown, on the Harper's Ferry pike.

Friday, September 5th, received the first mail for a long time- two letters for Prock; one from General and 'tother from Kizer. Thank you, boys! Words cannot express my gratitude. The Lord only knows when time and opportunity will be afforded me to answer 'em.

We marched from Tindleytown at 4 P.M., Saturday, September 6th; passed through Rockville, and here we are,' drawn up in line-of-battle, on half rations, and the poorest kind at that, without blankets-scores without shoes-the same clothes on in which we left Harrison's Landing weeks ago. Many without shirts, socks, shoes or caps even, and this, too, on American soil, inside of the United States, along side of regiments that are rot only fresh, but with everything complete, and furnished with full rations of the best quality.

Our knapsacks and cooking utensils are somewhere. The former parted company with the owners at Harrison's Landing-the latter at Newport News.

We have no transportation, and depend upon other brigade cornmissaries for grub. They of course issue out what suits them.

It is enough to make even a soldier swear. Having tried it, find that a real hearty cursing does a man good all over, though he may boast of but one shirt to his back-that a dirty one, and no time to wash it.

I only wish we could march through Old Post just as we are.

This is written in great haste, friend G; merely a scrap to inform you where we were. The items when I have more time.

Truly yours, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers, On the Battle Field, Friday, Sept 19, '62.

Friend Greene:-Kimball's brigade covered itself with glory day before yesterday.

Our loss (the 14th) is heavy-189 killed, wounded and missing, out of 370 that went into the fight.

McHenry is wounded severely, but will recover, Thos. B. Thompson has his leg broken by a minnie ball.

Not a man that went into the fight but brought away marks, The wonder is that any of the 14Th remain unhurt-for four hours our regiment maintained their position, and only retired when ordered to do so the third time.

Time and opportunity are not afforded me to write more.

Truly, yours, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

"Bolivar Heights," Harper's Ferry,

Va., Saturday, Oct. 6, 1862.

Friend Greene -On The 1st inst., Kimball's brigade, with a battery of twe1ve-pounder howitzers, a regiment of regular cavalry, and two sections of flying artillery, started on a reconnoisance [sic] across the Shenandoah to Leesburg. The day was cloudy, but hot and sultry-the road a tortuous one. Our regiment brought up the rear, and marched with knapsacks on each man, carrying all he possessed. Supposing we were off in search of a new camp ground arid field of operations-crowding swiftly ahead all day with scarcely a halt at sundown, a few of us (one- third of the regiment perhaps- passed through Waterfords, A company of the cavalry in our advance was raised here before the war. We found the citizens Union all over, and delighted to see the stars and stripes. Buckets of water, baskets of fruit, &c., were there. Willing hands and smiling faces, too, to offer them to the weary soldiers.

Our cavalry only reached Leesburg-thirty miles proving too much for even the 1st brigade to march that day.

On The 2d, we returned by way of Hilishoro', (a secesh hole) en-camping two miles west of this place. We had disposed of supper and all caught a short nap, when the order came to fall in, and we marched straight through to this camp-a distance of twelve miles in five hours, without halting. Word having been brought that the rebels were marching rapidly by a mountain road to cut off our retreat,

Your correspondent threw himself upon the earth at 3 o'clock A.M., October 3d, about as near "gone up for good" as ever he has had the ill luck to he through over exertion on forced marches during sixteen months of hard service in the Old Dominion.

During our absence from here the President and McClellan reviewed the troops. Our brigade was no doubt sent away on purpose, for it is the hardest looking one in Sumner's corps; but the old regiments in it ("Shields' foot cavalry"), 7th Virginia, 8th Ohio, and 14th Indiana are sonic in a skirmish like Antietam; though they do present a rough appearance on parades.

Burnside is the only man that can get a yelp out of the 14th; they are always. ready for him.

One month, to-morrow, since we received any mail matter.

The Vincennes boys were rejoiced to see a familiar face from home in the person of I. S. Wilkins, and sorry were we all to part company with him so soon. Can't some friend come out and rough it with us for a month? We'll take good care of him if he will put up with soldier's fare.

The wounded of companies B and G are doing well-so I learn from Corporal Rob't Ewald, who has been attending to their wants for several days past.

What are soldiers worth in the Old Post now? At last advices they were offering at $125.

I forgot to mention that when we were in Alexandria last I saw Bob Whittlesey. He reached over a six-story house, and shook hands with me. Bob had on an army shirt, much worn, and looked slim.

I have heard that the General, having been crossed in love, had joined a fire company. Better let the hose alone, my boy!

The "Woolly Horse" is "booked" for a race on the first of January next, I see. I hope 'twill prove a d-d short one, and break the neck of both horse and rided.

"Nigger in the woodpile."

Yours hopefully, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Harper's Ferry, Va., Oct.28, 1862.

Dear Greene: Last night was the first one this regiment has spent in camp out of the last six-owing to circumstances, of which the writer hereof had no control, we have been two miles out on picket duty since Thursday last.

A late order of the War Department allowing the regulars to recruit their ranks from the volunteers is playing the devil with the 14th regiment. The regular recruiting officers all want Western men, and some fifty of our regiment have already enlisted in the artillery. Only four out of Co. G have as yet enlisted, viz: John Muth, John Burrell, and Adam Alt in battery C, and Nicholas Geise (of "Old Post") in battery A-all 4th U. S. Regulars. Others are anxious to enlist in the cavalry, and will doubtless do so as soon as a recruiting officer from that branch of the service makes his appearance in our camp. I do not think the regular infantry will succeed in procuring many, but the cavalry will "sweep" the old Fourteenth sure!

We do not muster now for duty over 20 men to the company on an average-Co.'s E and H turning out nine men each for dress parade yesterday after we came off "picket."

Col. Harrow is under arrest. The explanation of all these charges, &C., will come in due time. I am not at liberty now to state the "whys and wherefores." Suffice it to say that no regiment ever thought more highly of their Colonel than the fourteenth does of Harrow; and to a man they sustain his course, looking upon him as the best friend they have in the service.

Amongst all our other troubles and difficulties, the d-d mail won't come! "Nary" letter! "nary" paper! I have been "half froze" for news from home before now, but I am raging mad for it at present.

I saw Joe Hitchens (Allen & MeGrady's Hitchens) the other day. He talks of going into the army bakery business here this winter. I guess, from his general appearance, he has quit soaking liquor-perhaps as most of us have, from the fact that ye "fluids" cannot be readily obtained.

The rebel pickets are still in sight of our camp, although three or four heavy reconnoisances have been made to Charleston [Charlestown], for the time being driving the "grey coats" away. Occasionally one of our pickets is "knocked over," but, as a general thing, this barbarous practice has been done away with.

Capt. Cash will he "wid" us about the 10th or 15th of November. Should we have the good fortune to remain in camp, we will then get four months' pay, and ye "spons" are much needed in the regiment.

I learn the General is making prodigious strides in his matrimonial desires. Well, success to his "inclinations." May his "ways be ways of pleasantness, and all his paths (in that 'doubtful state') be peace." Any fires in town since he joined The hose company?

Yours, &c., PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Bolivar Heights, Harper's Ferry,

Va., Sunday, October 28, 1862.

Friend Greene :-To-day is The first cold, raw, wintry one we have experienced this winter, and being in the most exposed situation of any troops in the corps, we are all (those on duty excepted) housed in our "dens" and endeavoring to keep warm by wrapping up in our over-coats and blankets-fires are out of the question in these small summer shelter tents, only capable of containing two men each; and equally so out of doors, for the driving rain would speedily quench them.

Two Sibleys would hold all the men Co. "G" can muster for duty on this ridge.

General Order No.154, War Department, allowing The regulars to enlist men from the volunteer regiments has reduced our number of "fighting men" at least one half. Nearly one hundred of The "Old Fourteenth" have joined the regulars within the past three days, and others will undoubtedly follow. As a list of the names of regulars from the Vincennes companies would be perhaps interesting to those at home, I send it herewith:

List of Company ยท'G'S" Regulars:

Alt, Adam---- Campbell, Joseph A.

Power. Jacob - --- Geise, Nicholas

Burrell. John ---- Muth. John S

Munch, E. Gideon

Of the above seven1 all are in battery "C," 4th Regular Artillery, except Nicholas Giese [Geise], who enlisted in Battery "A" of same.

List of Company "B's" Regulars.

Harry Gaylord, ---- James, Ware,

Charles Baker, ---- Thomas Green,

Lewis Owns, ---- John Hutchins,

John O'Neil, ---- James Touhey,

Leonard Daum, ---- John Lodge,

Henry Shumaker, ---- Nelson Dunham.

Martin Otis, ---- John Curry.

John Young, ---- Bennett Crowder.

Tracy Pryor, ---- Bernardo Kelly.

Henry Dougherty,---- Henry Joseph

Joseph Barron

All of the above are either in The 1st U. S. Cavalry or 4th Regular Artillery.

The commanding General (Kimball) has addressed a circular to the troops composing his brigade, calling upon them to remember that they belong to a brigade that has never yet been beaten back by the foe; never known defeat; to remember their old battle flags, and above all, that their friends at home will look for them in the "Gibraltar Brigade" of the Army of the Potomac. The General is grieved beyond measure at this movement.

I will give you a few items as to the whereabouts of those absent from Co. "G": Fred Boyer, John P. Connelly, Corporal Thomas B. Thompson, and Paul Truckey are at "City Hotel Hospital," Frederick City, Md.,-the two former "detailed" in the hospitals as nurses. Poor Truckey! he has been compelled to submit to an amputation-was wounded in the foot. How much the boys miss the active, energetic, always wide awake, and excitable Frenchman! No better soldier in The 14Th. John T. McClure, (known among his comrades as "Break Ranks"), Patrick Moran, and Frederick Yacum are in Philadelphia-the two former at West Philadelphia Hospital, and the latter in South Street Hospital. James H. Simpson and Michael Ulrich are in the hospital at Washington City-the former in Finley Hospital, and the latter in Patent Office Hospital-both will, in all probability, he honorably discharged, as they are reported physically unable to do duty as soldiers. Charles Otto Miller is at Craney Island Hospital, and is entirely used up so far as active service is concerned, by a white swelling. Frank Rice, Martin B. Johnston, and John Shahan are-somewhere, I suppose. Of the two former we have no word since August 29th, and of the latter since September 22d.

Lient. Van Dyke is Acting Regimental Quarter Master-George Riley having taken the place of Capt. Thomas H. Collins, Brigade Cornmissary.

"Wharfo?" "He that knoweth his master's will and doeth it not shall be beaten with many stripes." The above mentioned individual "Wharfo", and the accompanying Biblical extract will remind my old comrade of the post-office (General Murphy) of an ex-tinguished and venerable brother of Bruceville-a worthy member of the ancient and honorable order of Eclampsis.

The changes that have taken place lately afford unbounded satisfaction, and an abundance of "soft tack" to the regiment.

I was down to Harper's Ferry yesterday, and called in at the Adams Express Office. It is piled up with boxes for the soldiers, and out at the depot of the B. & 0. Railroad there is at least five wagon loads of the same. 'Tis not of much use sending boxes to friends in the army stationed where there are perhaps from 30,000 to 50,00O troops. A mere accident if the soldiers receive them. Persons sending boxes should be careful and obtain one entirely new, or have all old marks and letters on them planed (not marked) off; this would add greatly to the chances of their being received.

Our contraband (ye black cook) is whistling merrily away on "Rosin The Bow," (General's favorite) and, I opine, has dinner ready. So I will "hold up" if the rain does not, and "faIl in" for grub-after which a huge pipe of the "cheering weed," and a flap, wrapped in my army blanket made of hog-hair and tow, mayhap a dream of-"What is It?" "When shall we three meet Again?" "Any other Man," or some other fancy sketch, and "more too." Adieu!

Yours truly, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Army of the Potomac, "Gibraltar

Brigade," Warrenton, Nov. 11, '62.

Friend Greene: -We reached this place from Harper's Ferry yesterday noon after a hard tramp through mud and snow.

Five months ago, one bright Sabbath morning in June, the old Fourteenth, with colors flying, drums beating, full ranks and steady tread, marched proudly through this town. I thought at that time it was the lovliest spot the fortunes of war had placed in our path; and indeed all my comrades were in ecstacies, over and over again declaring the village unsurpassed in beauty by anything they had yet seen in the Old Dominion.

Now how changed ! One can scarcely recognize the place. Silently we filed through the long streets-no martial music to herald our approach-the day (Sabbath again) cold and dreary-the side walks lined not with fair damsels, as before, to scowl and frown, but with rebel soldiers on parole, who seemed not at all pleased at the long column of blue jackets Southward bound.

We remain here a day or two to "gather strength"-i. e., amass supplies-and then off once more in The direction of Richmond.

Sergeant Colman, James H. Cook, and Rodgers, of Co. G, were left in hospital at Harper's Ferry.

Adolph Myer and E. Rush Loop have joined the company.

Several recruits have reached the regiment. They will find it rather a rough and tough undertaking to act the soldier in the field.

McClellan bade farewell to the Army of the Potomac this morning.

Enclosed find a fac simile of a gentleman of leisure. Their number in this army is legion. Observe how well Uncle Sam's uniform becomes this ape. Numerous orders have been published forbidding citizens from wearing the "true blue," but these "outside barbarians" are allowed to do as they please-go and come at their leisure and pleasure.

Drum is beating to fall in for inspection-must bring these scrawls to a close. In haste, yours, PROCK.

Camp of the 14th Indiana Volunteers,

Army of the Potomac, "Gibraltar

Brigade," Falmouth, Nov.20, '62.

Dear Greene:-The second and ninth corps "d'armee," under command of Major General Sumner, are once more encamped on the shores of the Rappahannock. Opposite to us, in Fredericksburg and its environs, the Confeds. have a large force; at least this is your correspondent's supposition, based upon the fact that we do not move forward and take possession of the city. It is three days since The "Gibraltar Brigade" arrived, and we brought up the rear.

The Fourteenth were ordered on picket before they could pitch their "flys," the afternoon of our advent (the 18th). Next day, about 3 P.M., some of The 108Th New York's wagons passed through our picket lines, without a guard, to forage. Pretty soon, back they came on double quick, with a squad of rebel cavalry at their heels. Pop! Pop! went the pistols and carbines of the pursuing horsemen. "Halt! halt! you d-d Yankees !" "Nary" halt-the teamsters without once looking back applied their whips and spurs and were soon "under the walks" of The old 14th. The out-post, composed of Co. B, gave the "grey backs" a volley that put them to the right about; not, however till they (the rebels) had captured "Baalam and his ass" (a straggler on a male, who slipped out with the forage party).

In less time that it takes to write it, the whole regiment was past the out-post deployed as skirmishers and in full chase of the daring riders. After pursuing for a mile we were ordered to about face, and returned "loaded to the guards" with chickens, ducks, turkies, honey, cabbage, potatoes, &C.

Appropos of potatoes, Capt. Patterson and I, while on out-post duty not long since, purchased twenty-five cents worth of "Murphys," (one gallon) boiled and ate then' at one meal, without salt! besides disposing of a couple of quarts of coffee, and twelve or fifteen crackers.

Some idea may be formed from this of a soldier's appetite when enioying good health and living in the open air, marching 15 or 20 miles per diem, keeping wide awake all night, and rations short.

Turkies are worth $2 here; chickens $1 a pair. This is the price paid by Brigadier Generals and others who have money, but the Fourteenth is short of funds at present, and in order to keep up with the times and add to their meagre bill of fare, "flank" the unlucky birds whenever occasion offers.

For several days past it has been drizzling, and to-day a steady rain has set in, which will, if continued, I opine, delay the march of ye Army of ye Potomac.

Thomas C. Baily, formerly Sergeant Major, has been promoted to Adjutant. Truly, a "reward of merit."

A few cannon shots are exchanged occasionally by our advance and the rebels on tether side of The "drink" (river].

An old darkey acting as cook in this company, a runaway from Culpepper Court House or near there, shakes his wooly head ominously when the big guns thunder and says. "Spec dey will coach dis child yet, dem, rubbuls mighty cunnin. Ise feard youall will be gwine backards berry fast fore long, Stonewall has a smart chance ob men eber dar-whar will dis old niggur be found den? cotch a runin if he's cotch-dats sartin. Yeah! Yeah!"

I am on a dark subject-the day is a dark one-it is nearly dark, in fact, so dark that I must close by consigning all commissaries to the devil, as in consequence of their neglect, no candles are to be had hereabouts.

I hear the General is going to challenge me-presume the weapons will be bows and arrows, as I learn from an "old reliable" man that he has been "spending" considerable time lately practising with Cupid, sober as any Justice of The Peace.

Yours truly, PROCK.

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