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

Diary of an Engineer During the
Rebellion

No. 30

February 14th, 1864

Continued. The sun had not been up more than an hour, before the atmosphere became so hazy the sun could but just struggle through it. Then came one of those dreamy days that are so delicious at this time of the year, but later in the season would be attended with millions upon millions of gnats. Near our camp is a small burying ground of half a dozen graves of soldiers who have died on this island. After dinner a funeral took place here. In the absence of a chaplain (our own being at the Head) Capt Cruso read the funeral service and the remains were consigned to their last resting place. The corpse was said to be that of a secesh female of disreputable character. At 5 P.M. we had dress parade. These affairs always take place on Sunday afternoon. In infantry regiments when not in front of the enemy, Sunday never passes without dress parade. This is the first time I ever was in one, and it being the first in the regt for a long time there was a terrible scrubbing, brushing, and scouring, of guns, clothes, buttons &c. In order that you will understand it I will explain a little. Every man who can carry his piece is expected to turn out on dress parade in his best style and it is generally a fine sight with a full regt. The commanding officer of the regt takes his position in the field outside the camp. Each Co under their capt marches out of its respective street and form one line in front of the officer. The 1st post of honor is the extreme right of the line, which belongs to Co H by seniority of Captaincy, 2nd post of honor is extreme left. 3rd post center, 4th post 1st co right of center, 5th, 1st left of center, and so on the whole ten Cos (in our regt 11 Cos). The adjunct takes command and brings the regt to a present arms, Then the commanding officer goes through the whole manual of arms. Next the adjutant reads off to the regt all recent orders from general and regimental

-102-

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