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. XLII

July 19th 1864

This morning wind east and warm. At sun rise commenced to rain and continued pretty steady all day. Several Regts of troops landed here to day among the rest the 2nd Fire Zouaves1 from Louisiana. They pitched their tents just back of our camp and thinking I might find some one I knew I took a stroll among them. They look tough, rough and weather beaten. There is no other regt in or out of the field that has done harder or better service. It is a fact admitted by all. Out of thousands that at different times have enlisted for this regt only 250 are left. I had went the whole length of their camp and gave up seeing a familiar face when who should grasp me by the hand but Charley Uhl.2 Halloa Jack West were the first words he uttered. I need not say how glad I was to see him. As he was just going on guard we had but little time to talk so I have invited him to my tent when he comes off to have a good palaver about old times. He has reenlisted. He looks healthy and almost black. He seems to think I got the best of him on the Engs and wishes he had joined us. 20th I find I was slightly mistaken for instead of the 2nd Fire Zouaves Co Uhl belongs to the 2nd Duryeas Zouaves.3 He tells me he would like to get out of them. More troops continue to arrive. I believe the 19th Army Corps numbering some 15 thousand

1. The “Fire” Zouaves were generally known as such tor their having been drawn from volunteer fire companies

2. Charles Uhl listed his trade as “mason” in the membership rolls of the New York City Volunteer Fire Department, Hose Company XI. His address is given as 11 Greenwich Avenue, the same ward and street as John Westervelt and other company members in the 1850s. New York City Fire Department Records, at New-York Historical Society

3. New York’s “Duryee’s Zouaves,” named after Abram Duryee, wealthy organizer and commander of’ the 1st N.Y. Zouaves. This company was known for both their colorful uniforms and their relentless fighting spirit. Miller. Photographic History.

-153-

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