March 26

Friday, March 26th.—At Sotteville all day.

It's a fine day; no wind; dull in camp; only ball playing for amusement which isn't half as exciting as being shot at by a Johnny. Our visitors from Vermont returned to St. Albans, Vt. this morning; services were held in the chapel this evening by Rev. Mr. Roberts of Williamstown, Vt.; weather fine.

March Twenty-Sixth

Dear God! what segment of the earth
Can match the region of our birth!
Though ice-beleaguered, rill on rill,
Though scorched to deserts, hill on hill—
It is our native country still.
Our native country, what a sound
To make heart, brain, and blood rebound!
James Ryder Randall



March 26, 1863

Thursday. The finest morning yet. The air is just right. The birds are singing, the sun shining bright and everything seems just right for getting well. A man named Barker died last night about midnight. He has seemed to be dying for a week and we have watched to see him breathe his last any minute. Orderly Holmes is better and may get well after all. Some of the boys killed an alligator to-day and cooked and ate his tail. They say it is just as good as fish and looked like fish.

March 26, 1864

Saturday. The boats cover the water as far as can be seen both up and down the river. There are rapids a little way above town and the gunboats have trouble in getting over, there only being places where the water is deep enough for them to clear the rocks. The 128th, which went into camp a mile or so out, moved back in town for provost guard duty. Colonel Bostwick and the other missing ones came up and our family is all together again. Captain Laird, who has not before been with us, came with them. He was assigned to Company D, and if ever we get a regiment, I suppose he will be my captain. For that reason, I have looked him over pretty closely, and without being able to tell why, yet there is something about the man I don't like. I hope I may be mistaken in him, as I sometimes have been in others. At any rate we won't have much to do with each other for a while, so I am not going to worry over it.

It was expected that the 19th Corps would take the lead from this point, but General Smith has gone on with his army. The Laurel Hill got sailing orders and we had to leave our pleasant quarters. We took a large brick house, where we have all the room we want. The dining-room was so large we all ate at one table. Dr. Andrus came and staid with us again, and we had another tie game of checkers. The last tenants took all the furniture with them, so we had to sleep on the floor, but we don't mind a little thing like that.