December 21

Rained hard most of the day from 7 o'clock a. m.; have suspended work on the huts; expect to move in a few days; very muddy in camp; clear, cold north wind and freezing at 9 o'clock p. m.; news still good from Sherman and Thomas.

December 21, 1863

Monday. Reported for duty this morning, and call myself well again. There was nothing for me to do however, but I am no longer reported on the sick list. Gorton says I was scared at the thoughts of going away and so played sick. But he says so much I pay little attention to him. Four different mail steamers are now due, and two of them have been due for a week. Have been in camp all day, keeping things shipshape against the return of Colonel B. and the rest of the regiment.

December Twenty-First

RESOLVED.... As the powers of legislation, granted in the Constitution of the United States to Congress, do not embrace a case of the admission of a foreign State or Territory, by legislation, into the Union, such an act of admission would have no binding force whatever on the people of Massachusetts.

(Resolutions of Massachusetts Legislature, 1845. Nullification?)


President Tyler urges annexation of Texas, 1844



Monday, December 21st.—Got to Boulogne early this morning after an exceptionally rackety journey, all one's goods and chattels dropping on one's head at intervals during the night. Engine-driver rather ivré, I should think. Off again at 10.30 a.m.

Mail in.

Weather appallingly cold and no chauffage.

On way up to Chocques, where we shall take up Indians again. How utterly miserable Indians must be in this eternal wet and cold. The fields and land generally are all half under water again. We missed the last two days' papers, and so have heard nothing of the war at home, except that the casualties are over 60,000. Five mufflers went this afternoon to five men on a little isolated station on the way here. When I said to the first boy, "Have you got a muffler?" he thought I wanted one for some one on the train.

"Well, it's not a real muffler; it's my sleeping-cap," he said, beginning to pull it off his neck; "but you're welcome to it if it's any use!"

What do you think of that? He got pink with pleasure over a real muffler and some cigarettes. You start with two men; when you come back in a minute with the mufflers the two have increased to five silent expectant faces.

December 21, 1862

Inspection of arms to-day and a sermon by the chaplain. We are thinking and talking of the letters we will get when we have a mail. Uncle Sam keeps track of us someway and sooner or later finds us. We have a regimental postmaster, who is expected every day from the city with a bag full. We have enough to fill him up on his return trip. The Arago is unloading all our belongings, which looks as if we were to stay here. Good-bye, Arago! I wish there was a kettle big enough to boil you and your bugs in before you take on another load. So many are sick the well ones are worked the harder for it. I still rank among the well ones and am busy at something all the time. Just now I have been put in place of fifth sergeant, who among other duties sees that the company has its fair share of rations, and anything else that is going. I also attend sick call every morning, which amounts to this. The sick call sounds and the sick of Company B fall in line and I march them to the doctor's office, where they are examined. Some get a dose of whiskey and quinine, some are ordered to the hospital and some are told to report for duty again. Dr. Andrus and I play checkers every chance we get. We neither play a scientific game, but are well matched and make some games last a long time. He is helping my throat and my cough is not so bad lately. Our quarters were turned into a smoke house to-day. An old stove without a pipe is going and some stinking stuff is burning that nothing short of a grayback can stand. It is expected to help our condition, and there is lots of chance for it.