November 21

Not very cold; about two inches of snow on the ground this morning; went with Cousin Pert to Cousin David Smith's this forenoon, and then to Barre, arriving at Mr. David Mower's at 4 o'clock p. m.; raining hard to-night; have been to a Masonic meeting; saw Mr. Jones initiated.

November Twenty-First

Low in the moory dale,
Green mossy waters flow,
Under the drowsy gale,
Moaning and slow;
There in her snowy veil,
Bleeding and bound,
Lay the sweet damsel pale,
On the cold ground,
On the cold ground.
Joseph Salyards



November 21, 1862

A death on board last night. The guns are being taken off the Cumberland and Congress by divers. Lieutenant Colonel Smith let himself out to-day, and says if there isn't land enough in the South for his men, he thinks they should be disbanded and sent home. Hurrah for Colonel Smith! He is a soldier all over and knows what is fair treatment better than the new officers, and acts as if he meant to have it. We have been on board all day and have put in the time trading watches and anything else. Everything goes here. Richmond is taken, so we hear, and hope it may be so.

Boulogne, Saturday, November 21st.—In the siding all yesterday and to-day. Train to be cut down from 650 tons to 450, so we are reconstructing and putting off waggons. It will reduce our number of patients, but we shall be able to do more for a smaller number, and the train will travel better and not waste time blocking up the stations and being left in sidings in consequence. The cold this week has been absolutely awful. The last train brought almost entirely cases of rheumatism. Their only hope at the Front must be hot meals, and I expect the A.S.C. sees that they get them somehow.

A troop train of a very rough type of Glasgow men, reinforcing the Highlanders, was alongside of us early yesterday morning; each truck had a roaring fire of coke in a pail. They were in roaring spirits; it was icy cold.

My winter things arrived from Havre yesterday, so I am better equipped against the cold. Also, this morning an engine gave us an hour or two's chauffage just at getting-up time, which was a help.

November 21, 1863

COTTON  Press. Saturday. I slept until called this morning, and was not through with my nap then. I had breakfast with the quartermaster and then set out to get acquainted with the place we are now in. The Steam Cotton Press is, or has been, quite an affair. It fronts on old Levee Street and is about 300 feet long, running back about the same distance, with buildings all around it. Except at the front these buildings all front inside, with a board shed or piazza roof along them, under which the cotton as it was brought in was stored until pressed. From Reynolds, who has inquired into its history, I learned that the four-story front, except the space occupied by the press itself, was used for offices, and the buildings on the other three sides was for the help needed to do the immense amount of work connected with re-pressing the cotton for shipment to different parts of the world. Cotton was first pressed into bales about like hay bales, at the place where raised. Then it was brought here and sold to the cotton merchants, who re-pressed these bales to about one quarter their former size, thus enabling a vessel to take on a much larger load. The press itself it a simple affair, but powerful. The bed is of railroad iron cut to the proper length, and the follower is of the same. Long levers, with a short elbow at the lower end, stand at each side. Over these, chains run to a drum which pulls the long arms down, and the short arm upwards, thus forcing the bed and follower together. The great square yard in the center is graded smooth with sea shells, like the "Shell Road," and will make a capital drill ground. It is large enough for a whole regiment at a time. It is the best quarters we have ever had. Everything is dry and it should be healthy here if anywhere in this flat country. My first job will be to help get the books and reports in shape. But to-day I am allowed to look around and I am doing it. The colonel sent me to the ferry landing on an errand just at night, after which I got some thing to eat, wrote this and am going to bed.