Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Story of John H. Westervelt, Engineer, 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps

By John H. Westervelt; Anita Palladino | Go to book overview

An expedition to Folly Island

No. 9

Nothing the last two days out of the usual routine. The … appeared among the men last night and [was] arrested as a spy. A great fault of our government is its treatment of spies. It is well known that the punishment of a spy is death (although the British government offered to ransom with any amount of money) … the sentence of Major … to shooting. Now in this war perhaps hundreds of spies have been caught, and but verry few instances have occurred where they have been punished as the law required.

Quite a scene was presented this morning on the marsh inside … and drew quite a crowd of admirers. I think that the swan is the [greatest] beauty when seen. This afternoon we were mustered in for another two months … Today there was the heaviest thundershower that I ever witnessed. Strange as it may seem it displayed those about us in an incessant glare and the sharp thunder sounded crashing yet not a single place can yet be seen where it has struck. I believe mentioned the extraordinary thunder in hot climates. It is no uncommon occurance to hear the sharp thunder over your head yet only a diminutive black cloud can be seen. You would think sometimes the world were about to be destroyed and the day of judgement had come, yet there seems less damage done than in colder climates. We do not get a great deal of rain only the edges of storm while the main body seems to keep along the main land, But we get the full benefit of the thunder and lightning.

-24-

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