November 30

Took the 9 o'clock a. m. train for the west; lots of passengers going to the front; found a freight train off the track at Ellicott Mills, Md.; was about two hours late at Harper's Ferry where I stop over night; shall take the first train to the front in the morning; no news; very dull here.

November 30, 1862

Sunday. Camp Hamilton, right in sight of Fortress Monroe. The last day of fall and as perfect a day as ever was. We are on the ground again and it feels cold after the heated quarters on the boat. God help us if it rains, for this bare ground would soon be like a mortar bed. But we are not to cross any bridges until we come to them. Still I think we had better pray for a dry spell.

November Thirtieth

Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished age hath flown,
The story how ye fell;
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor Time's remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your deathless tomb.
Theodore O'Hara
(From “The Bivouac of the Dead”)

 

General Patrick R. Cleburne killed at Franklin, Tenn., 1864

Monday, November 30th, Boulogne.—Yesterday a wounded Tommy on the train told me "the Jack Johnsons have all gone." To-day's French communiqué says, "The enemy's heavy artillery is little in evidence." There is a less strained feeling about everywhere—a most blessed lull.

We were late getting our load off the train last night, and some were very bad. One of my Sikhs with pneumonia did not live to reach Boulogne. Another pneumonia was very miserable, and kept saying, "Hindustan gurrum England tanda." They all think they are in England. The Gurkhas are supposed by the orderlies to be Japanese. They are exactly like Japs, only brown instead of yellow. The orderlies make great friends with them all. One Hindu was singing "Bonnie Dundee" to them in a little gentle voice, very much out of tune. Their great disadvantage is that they are alive with "Jack Johnsons" (not the guns). They take off all  their underclothes and throw them out of the window, and we have to keep supplying them with pyjamas and shirts. They sit and stand about naked, scratching for dear life. It is fatal for the train, because all the cushioned seats are now infected, and so are we. I love them dearly, but it is a big price to pay.