Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The 4th and 5th Weeks - May 13th - 26th - Washington City.

Things were pretty quiet for the 1st Connecticut Regiment during this time, with the exception of the false alarm on May 25th, and most of the information I have is from the letters of Pvt. Horace Purdy and Capt. Wolcott Marsh. Purdy also wrote close to 40 pages of letters home during this time.

The regiment was camped north of the city near Glenwood Cemetery and close to the 2nd Connecticut and 7th New York Regiments. Aletter dated the 19th calls this "Camp Buckingham". Note the condition of the men when any type of march is made, they are clearly still very green. In his letters Purdy notes suprise that "the stoutest and most rugged men we had were the first to give out". Still Purdy wrote that the "president considers us one of the best regiments in Washington and Gen. Scott says he thanks God that one of the regiments has come ready for service."

Entries from the journal of Pvt. Horace Purdy:

Monday May 13th, 1861

We had our breakfast on board of the boat [the steamer Bienville, see previous post] this morning. A detachment was sent ahead early to clear up the ground and pitch our tents near Glenwood Cemetery north of the city. Afternoon the regiment was marched to our encampment. The day was very warm and a number of our men gave out before we arrived there. [Purdy's letters home note that on this march the regiment marched past the Capitol Building, the Treasury, and the Patent Office].

Sunday May 19th, 1861

I got a pass this morning and went to the city and attended Dr. Ryan’s church (Methodist). He preached an excellent sermon in which he eluded [sic] to the present condition of our country in a very feeling manner. Text Dan 6-10. One of the members, a good Bro., took me home with him to dinner after which I went to camp where there was preaching at 4 pm. Text Proverbs 30=5. I went to the city again in the eve and attend church. Wellington Gibbs and Edgar Wildman was with me. It began to rain after we started and rained hard all the eve. Dr. Ryan preached from Eph. 5=16.

Monday May 20th, 1861

Wrote a letter home. Received one from Harriet from N. York. Commenced writing one to her. The day has been stormy.

Tuesday May 21st, 1861.

Pleasant. I went over to the Brooklyn 14th Regiment in the eve to see their chaplain Bro. Inskip but did not as there was only a detachment sent there to pitch their tents, the remainder of the regt and Bro. Inskip are to come into their camp tomorrow.

Friday May 24th, 1861

Ellsworth assassinated in Alexandria on Wednesday 22nd. [Note- this is a mistake. Col. Ellsworth was killed in on the 24th of May].

Sick with a diarrhea. I got some medicine from our surgeon Dr. Stearns. I have done no duty except dress parade at 6 pm. The 3rd regiment [Connecticut] came and encamped near us today.

From a letter dated May 24th: I have heard this morning that a secession flag was taken down last night at Alexandria and the Stars and Stripes hoisted in its place by the N. York 7th Regiment and a party of Texas Rangers (a portion of Gen. Twiggs force which was in Texas).

Saturday May 25th, 1861

I was up a good deal last night, had a touch of Cholera morbus. A shower after breakfast. At 1 ¼ o’clock we were ordered away as we supposed at the time to battle. We marched as far as the Long Bridge but did not cross over into Virginia. The alarm was a false one or at least a small affair caused it. We were forthwith marched back to camp. Not feeling well, it was too much for me. I was obliged to give up my knapsack both ways going and returning.

Sunday May 26th, 1861

I was detailed for guard duty this morning but I was relieved just in time to attend the preaching in the P.M. under a large oak tree on our parade ground. Text 1st John 1=8.9. We have no regular chaplain for our regt. This man has come hear from the city once before and kindly volunteered to preach for us. I do not remember his name.

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