Morse, D. Milton
Age: 24, credited to Brookfield, VTVITALS
Birth: abt 1837, Brookfield, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Died in Virginia
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D. Milton Morse
Lamoille Newsdealer: January 24, 1862
CAMP GRIFFIN, FAIRFAX CO., Va., January 17, 1862
EDITOR FREEMAN: -- One of the general topics of the day discussed in the camps of the Vermont Regiments, is the merits and demerits of an order issued some time since, by Gen. Brooks, who commands the Vermont Brigade, is to the effect that every enlisted man under his command shall wear shoes on all occasions. The order was issued some time ago, but the men were disinclined to throw away their boots that they had all the way to Vermont for, or had paid four or five dollars per pair for here, to wear through the mud of the sacred soil of the Old Dominion, which is in many places for or five inches deep during the winter season. But a few days since the old General "pitched into" our Colonel and gave him a pretty hard "setting up" according to all accounts, because he had not enforced his order in the regiment under his command. Gen. Brooks' reason for such an order were, that some few men put on new boots to go out on scouts &c, and consequently they hurt their feet so badly that they had to "fall out." Some few, also, would go out to drill contrary to orders with the legs of their pantaloons tucked into their boots.
Gen. Brooks is a strict disciplinarian and knows what a soldiers life is, as he first shouldered a musket as a private, and served in the Florida war. Some of the men under his command built some log huts a while ago to winter in, but he made them tear them down, and told them that he would live in a tent so long as he followed soldiering and that the men under him must and should also. The brigade has gained great efficiency in drill under his direction. Before he took command of this brigade the picket guard that came in the forenoon, from 24-hour guard duty, did not have to fall into the ranks till retreat parade, but by his order, we have to go out on brigade drill at half-past 1 o'clock, which lasts till about sundown. Many of the 3d regiment used to go over to our surgeon --- who, by the way, is the right man in the right place --- and get excused from drill, until Gen. Brooks called upon him and told him he would not have it. But after all, we rather like the old General, notwithstanding he is rather rough and rigid.
Are you well fed and well clothed? Are questions often asked in letters from home. In reply, I would say, we have plenty of good plain wholesome food to ear, and we can now draw any necessary article of clothing from the Quartermaster's department except flannel underclothes To be sure a part of the 3d regiment drew some black pants a while ago, that were of shoddy or old rags, but I rather think our officers will not be cheated again.
There were two in our regiment that had their hands badly wounded a few nights since, while on picket guard duty, by the accidental discharge of their firearms, through their own carelessness. Our ranks are being thinned much by death, discharge from disability, and bullets, generally fired by the sufferers themselves, then they have been, or are like to be, by the enemy.. Many of the Vermont boys amuse themselves by writing about their hair-breadth escapes from death in their encounters with the enemy, and one man from our company went home on a furlough and carried an old sabre, which he showed to various persons and told them he had a deadly encounter with a rebel soldier, and then he wrested said weapon from his antagonist and come off " top of the heap". I, for one, have been on picket guard, and out with scouting parties, &c, quite often, but have never been within musket shot of the enemy, and I doubt whether, since the Battle of Bull Run, a Vermonter has had a rebel bullet fired at him.
D. M. M.
CO. F. 3d Vt. Regiment
(Webmaster's note: Three months after writing this letter, Private Morse was killed in action at Lee's Mill, 16 April 1862)
Submitted by Deanna French.