April 25

April 25, 1864

Monday. The army begins to get in from up the river. The 128th had a brush at Cane River and lost one man. I put in the day writing, and at night went and visited with Sol.

April Twenty-Fifth

Her lot may be hard, her skies may darken;
To Dixie's voice we'll ever hearken;
Look away, away, away down South in Dixie.
The coward may shirk, the wretch go whining,
But we'll be true till the sun stops shining,
Look away, away, away down South in Dixie.

Chorus:
I wish I was in Dixie;
Away, away;
In Dixie's land I'll take my stand,
And live and die in Dixie.
Away, away,
Away down South in Dixie.
Marie Louise Eve

 

 

It has been a pleasant spring day; reported to General Silas Casey this morning: will be examined tomorrow; sat at Bradey's this afternoon for pictures. The streets are thronged with moving bodies of troops. General Burnside's Corps passed through the city this afternoon. President Lincoln reviewed it from the balcony over the ladies' entrance of Willard's Hotel on Fourteenth street. This is my first sight of President Lincoln and probably as good as I shall ever have. I was just across the street opposite on the curb and not crowded. He looked pale, very sad and greatly careworn. It depressed me to look at him. The remembrance will ever be vivid. Burnside's Corps has encamped near Alexandria for the night; saw Othello played at Grover's Theatre tonight (now the New National).

Sunday, April 25th.—The plum-pudding was "something to write home about!" and the Quartermaster sent us a tin of honey to-day, the first I've seen for nine months.

A General came round this morning. He said the Canadians and another regiment had given the Germans what for for this gas-fumes business north of Ypres, got the ground back and recovered the four guns. The beasts of Germans laid out a whole trench full of Zouaves with chlorine gas (which besides being poisonous is one of the most loathsome smells). Of course every one is busy finding out how we can go one better now. But this afternoon the medical staffs of both these divisions have been trying experiments in a barn with chlorine gas, with and without different kinds of masks soaked with some antidote, such as lime. All were busy coughing and choking when they found the A.D.M.S. of the —— Division getting blue and suffocated; he'd had too much chlorine, and was brought here, looking very bad, and for an hour we had to give him fumes of ammonia till he could breathe properly. He will probably have bronchitis. But they've found out what they wanted to know—that you can go to the assistance of men overpowered by the gas, if you put on this mask, with less chance of finding yourself dead too when you got there. They don't lose much time finding these things out, do they?

On Saturday I shall be going on night duty for a month.

229. John Adams

Passy, 25 April, 1778.

Monsieur Chaumont has just informed me of a vessel bound to Boston, but I am reduced to such a moment of time that I can only inform you that I am well, and inclose a few lines from Johnny to let you know that he is so. I have ordered the things you desired to be sent you, but I will not yet say by what conveyance, for fear of accidents.

If human nature could be made happy by anything that can please the eye, the ear, the taste, or any other sense, or passion, or fancy, this country would be the region for happiness. But if my country were at peace, I should be happier among the rocks and shades of Penn's hill; and would cheerfully exchange all the elegance, magnificence, and sublimity of Europe for the simplicity of Braintree and Weymouth.

To tell you the truth, I admire the ladies here. Don't be jealous. They are handsome and very well educated. Their accomplishments are exceedingly brilliant, and their knowledge of letters and arts exceeds that of the English ladies, I believe.

Tell Mrs. Warren that I shall write her a letter, as she desired, and let her know some of my reflections in this country. My venerable colleague [190] enjoys a privilege here that is much to be envied. Being seventy years of age, the ladies not only allow him to embrace them as often as he pleases, but they are perpetually embracing him. I told him yesterday I would write this to America.

Footnotes:

[190]Franklin.