November 17

Am in Montpelier tonight. Mr. and Mrs. David Mower and Cousin Pert are here, too; have been to the dentist's to have an impression taken for my new teeth; am to have them in the morning; went to the theatre tonight with George and Mrs. Watson; saw the good play of East Lynne; shall stay with them tonight; very cold and much snow; am getting worn-out with so much visiting.

November 17, 1863

Tuesday. The colonel left his horse here when he went through and that is the reason I am here yet to-night. I could not get a transportation order signed in time for the only train that carries horses. Matt got left over for much the same reason. His order had to be countersigned by Colonel Tarbell, and before he could get his signature the boat had left. Colonel Parker came in to-day and went on to the city, leaving his horse at Berwick, and Wilson is to ride him back to Franklin. He has gone across the bay and Matt and I are here by ourselves, just as if none of these orders had come.

November 17, 1862

Monday. On shore again. The well ones are drilling and the sick are enjoying themselves any way they can. Mail came to-day and I have a long letter from home. Every mail out takes one from me and often more. I have so many correspondents, I seldom fail to get one or more letters by each mail. On the bank or shore, up and down as far as I have seen, are negro shanties which look as if put up for a few days only. They dig oysters and find a ready sale to the thousands upon thousands of soldiers that are encamped on the plains as far as the eye can reach. This gathering means something, but just what, we none of us know. A case of black measles is reported on board ship and if true we may be in for a siege of it. I hope I may get entirely well before it hits me. Jaundice is quite common too, and many men I see are as yellow as can be and look much worse than they appear to feel.

November Seventeenth

Sad spirit, swathed in brief mortality,
Of Fate and fervid fantasies the prey,
Till the remorseless demon of dismay
O'erwhelmed thee—lo! thy doleful destiny
Is chanted in the requiem of the sea
And shadowed in the crumbling ruins gray
That beetle o'er the tarn. Here all the day
The Raven broods on solitude and thee:
Here gloats the moon at midnight, while the Bells
Tremble, but speak not lest thy Ulalume
Should startle from her slumbers, or Lenore
Hearken the love-forbidden tone that tells
The shrouded legend of thine early doom
And blast the bliss of heaven forevermore.
John B. Tabb


First American Monument erected to the memory of Edgar Allan Poe dedicated in Baltimore, 1875



Tuesday, November 17th, 3 a.m.—When we got our load down to Boulogne yesterday morning all the hospitals were full, and the weather was too rough for the ships to come in and clear them, so we were ordered on to Havre, a very long journey. A German died before we got to Abbeville, where we put off two more very bad ones; and at Amiens we put off four more, who wouldn't have reached Havre. About midnight something broke on the train, and we were hung up for hours, and haven't yet got to Rouen, so we shall have them on the train all to-morrow too, and have all the dressings to do for the third time. One of the night orderlies has been run in for being asleep on duty. He climbed into a top bunk (where a Frenchman was taken off at Amiens), and deliberately covered up and went to sleep. He was in charge of 28 patients. Another was left behind at Boulogne, absent without leave, thinking we should unload, and the train went off for Havre. He'll be run in too. Shows how you can't leave the train. Just got to St Just. That looks as if we were going to empty at Versailles instead of Havre. Lovely starlight night, but very cold. Everybody feels pleased and honoured that Lord Roberts managed to die with us on Active Service at Headquarters, and who would choose a better ending to such a life?

a.m.—After all, we must be crawling round to Rouen for Havre; passed Beauvais. Lovely sunrise over winter woods and frosted country. Our load is a heavy and anxious one—344; we shall be glad to land them safely somewhere. The amputations, fractures, and lung cases stand these long journeys very badly.