September 18

September 18, 1862

Mr. Parker came last night, and is to be our chaplain. He is the one who preached for us at Hudson Camp Ground, and the one we asked to have for chaplain of the 128th. He can sing like a lark, and we are glad he is here. There are many good singers in the regiment. There is talk of organizing a choir or club, and no doubt the Dominie will join it. We have more good news from the front. McClellan seems to fit the place he is in. It is reported that George Flint and Elihu Bryan have been taken prisoners. I know them well, but don't remember the regiment they went out in.

September Eighteenth

He's in the saddle now. Fall in,
Steady the whole brigade!
Hill's at the ford, cut off; we'll win
His way out, ball and blade.
What matter if our shoes are worn?
What matter if our feet are torn?
Quick step! We're with him before morn—
That's Stonewall Jackson's way.
John Williamson Palmer

[From lines written within the sound of Jackson's guns at Antietam, 1862. Although then a correspondent of the New York Tribune, Dr. Palmer was a Southerner by birth and residence.—Editor]

 

Lee awaits McClellan's attack at Sharpsburg, 1862

 

 

It's cloudy with a gentle south breeze. We had company inspection at 9 o'clock this forenoon and monthly at 4 o'clock this afternoon. The supply train came at 8 o'clock a. m. with four days' rations. We got orders at 3 o'clock p. m. to strike tents which we did, and march at once, but the order was countermanded. We shall probably move early in the morning. There's a high south wind this evening, but it doesn't look like rain. Sheridan's army now consists of three infantry corps, three divisions of cavalry and the usual complement of artillery, in all about 30,000 men, as follows; The Sixth Corps, Major General H. G. Wright, U. S. V. commanding; the Eighth Corps, Major-General George Crook, U. S. V. commanding; the Nineteenth Corps, Brevet Major-General W. H. Emery commanding; Brevet Major-General A. T. A. Torbert, U. S. V., Chief of Cavalry; the First Division of Cavalry, Brigadier-General Wesley Merritt, U. S. V. commanding; the Second Division of Cavalry, Brigadier-General W. W. Averell, U. S. A. commanding; and of the Third Division of Cavalry, Brigadier-General James H. Wilson, U. S. V. commanding. Lieutenant-General Jubal A. Early commands the Confederate army with about the same force.

Friday, September 18th.—Même chose. We go up to the Hospital and ask for orders, and to-night we were both told to get into ward uniform in the morning, and wait there in case a job turns up. I've just come to-night from No.— Station where F—— is, to take her some things she asked me to get for her officers.

They have been busy at the station to-day doing dressings on the trains. A lot have come down from this fighting on the Marne.

Yesterday I think one touched the bottom of this waiting business. The food at the dingy inn has dérangé my inside, and I lay down all day yesterday. The Sergeant at the Dispensary prescribed lead and opium pills for me when I asked for chlorodyne, as he said he'd just cured a General with the same complaint—from the sour bread, he said. Fanny, the fat cook here, and Isabel the maid, were overcome with anxiety over my troubles, and fell over each other with hot bottles, and drinks, and advice. They are perfect angels. Madame Bontevin pays me a state call once a day; she has to have all the windows shut, and we sit close and converse with animation. Flowery French compliments simply fly between us. We often have to help the Tommies out with their shopping; their attempts to buy Beecham's Pills are the funniest.

This afternoon I found 'The Times' of September 15th (Tuesday of this week) in a shop and had a happy time with it. It referred, in a Frenchman's letter, to a sunset at Havre on an evening that he would never forget—nor shall I—with an American cruiser and a troopship going out. (See page 24 of this effusion.)

20. John Adams

Philadelphia, 18 September, 1774.

In your last you inquire tenderly after my health, and how we found the people upon our journey, and how we were treated.

I have enjoyed as good health as usual, and much more than I know how to account for, when I consider the extreme heat of the weather and the incessant feasting I have endured ever since I left Boston.

The people in Connecticut, New York, the Jerseys, and Pennsylvania we have found extremely well principled and very well inclined, although some persons in New York and Philadelphia wanted a little animation. Their zeal however, has increased wonderfully since we began our journey.

When the horrid news was brought here of the bombardment of Boston, which made us completely miserable for two days, we saw proofs both of the sympathy and the resolution of the continent.

War! war! war! was the cry, and it was pronounced in a tone which would have done honor to the oratory of a Briton or a Roman.

If it had proved true, you would have heard the thunder of an American Congress.

I have not time nor language to express the hospitality and civility, the studied and expensive respect, with which we have been treated in every step of our progress. If Camden, Chatham, Richmond, and St. Asaph had travelled through the country, they could not have been entertained with greater demonstrations of respect than Cushing, Paine, and the brace of Adamses have been.

The particulars will amuse you when we return.

I confess, the kindness, the affection, the applause, which have been given to me, and especially to our province, have many a time filled my bosom and streamed from my eyes.

My best respects to Colonel Warren and his lady when you write to them. I wish to write to them. Adieu.

21. John Adams

18 September, 1774.

I received your very agreeable letter by Mr. Marston, and have received two others, which gave me much pleasure. I have wrote several letters, but whether they have reached you I know not. There is so much rascality in the management of letters now come in fashion, that I am determined to write nothing of consequence, not even to the friend of my bosom, but by conveyances which I can be sure of. The proceedings of the Congress are all a profound secret as yet, except two votes which were passed yesterday, and ordered to be printed. You will see them from every quarter. These votes were passed in full Congress with perfect unanimity. The esteem, the affection, the admiration for the people of Boston and the Massachusetts which were expressed yesterday, and the fixed determination that they should be supported, were enough to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old grave pacific Quakers of Pennsylvania. You cannot conceive, my dear, the hurry of business, visits, ceremonies, which we are obliged to go through.

We have a delicate course to steer between too much activity and too much insensibility in our critical, interested situation. I flatter myself, however, that we shall conduct ourselves in such a manner as to merit the approbation of our country. It has taken us much time to get acquainted with the tempers, views, characters, and designs of persons, and to let them into the circumstances of our province. My dear, do entreat every friend I have to write me. Every line which comes from our friends is greedily inquired after, and our letters have done us vast service. Middlesex and Suffolk have acquired unbounded honor here.

There is no idea of submission here in anybody's head.

Thank my dear Nabby [56] for her letter. Tell her it has given me great spirit. Kiss all my sweet ones for me.

Adieu.

Footnotes:

[56]His only daughter.