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

Ch. XXXV

Apl 25, 1864

The propeller Tappahannock arrived to day from the Head but still no mail. Another wedding took place in our regiment last night. The fortunate or unfortunate individual was Copl Head1 of Co G (saphead it should have been). The bride is about 15,16 years old. I cannot conceive what on earth a man wants with a wife in the army, but every one to their taste as the old woman said when she kissed the cow.226th Delaware arrived no mail yet. The weather is sultry, but the air is so soft and balmy you almost imagine you’re in paradise. The most delicious hours are between sunset and dark. The twilight lasts till you would think it was never going to get dark. I always set in the window during this time and listen to the birds among the groves and along the river banks and enjoy the calm scene as the gentle breeze wafts the perfume of millions of Floras subjects across the placid bosom of the St Johns. I have not experienced any trouble yet from those little torments the mosquitoes and gnats but the indications are that they will be along soon. The mocking bird does not sing after sundown but we have another who if he has not as much life, has more melody. His music is particularly in keeping with the twilight hours. He is not an exceedingly pretty bird but what he lacks in plumage he makes up with his musical little throat which has a ringing tone like that of a silver bell. His color is brown with a greyish speckled breast. I have seen numbers of them in the country at the north where I think they are called the Wood Robin or brown bird. They seldom or

1. Adelbert Head, 21, enlisted October 3,1861, and served until November 14, 1864. Discharged at Hilton Head. Report of the Adjutant-General, p. 139.

2. At some point in his education Westervelt was obviously a reader of Jonathan Swift: “Why every one as they like; as the good woman said when she kissed her cow.” Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, p. 526.

-125-

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