15th Vermont Infantry
Diary of Oliver A. Browne
Co. K, 15th Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Militia
November 13th, 1862
To whom it may concern.
If I should fall in battle or loose my life in any other manner or if by any means this book falls into other hands I wish it sent to my Brother, R. Baxter Browne, Insane Retreat, Hartford, Ct.
Head Quarters, Co. K., 15th Regt, V. V. M. , Nov. 13, 1862.
The 15th (15th RegVI) left Brattleboro Oct. 23rd at 2 Oclock. Springfield, Mass., at 6 Oclock. At this place we met with a most enthusiastic reception from the Ladies, who crowded around, shaking hands and kissing all within their reach. We arrived at New Haven at about 8, P. M. , took the steamer "Cantemento" for New York. Arrived at the foot of Mary street at about 6, A. M. There we were served up a hasty hearty meal of hogs swill. Took twenty five teams for Port Monmouth, at which place we arrived about noon. Stayed there until about 3, P. M. , took the cars for Philadelphia. Arrived there about 9, P. M. Had supper served by the ladies at the Soldiers Relief Rooms. Words cannot expres the manner in which they served the supper; suffice it to say we gave six rousing cheers and a tiger for the splendid supper. Arrived at Washington about 8, P. M. Sunday. Here we got something to eat. Lodgei upon the floor of the Soldiers rest.
Monday, 9 A. M. , started for Camp Seward, situated five miles distant. Arrived at that place about 3, P. M. , pitched tents and went to housekeeping, in our way. Had orders Tuesday to march to Capitol Hill, at which place we are now.
Tuesday night had orders to strike tents at 6 in the morning to march back to Camp Seward, a perfect blunder in some one of the commanding officers. If they want to kill us they just have to keep up this counter marching one week longer.
Wednesday. Started for Camp Seward at seven. Marched through Washington down round seventy hills and the Lord knows where just to get to Long Bridge. We all pronounced it waste show off as we had the whole brigade. Arrived at our Camp ground out about 4, P. M. , pitched tents and laid down tired and hungry for the first time in my life. Remained in this camp some four or five days when we received marching orders to go no one knew where, at least, we have not arrived after a march of some ten miles to a corn field, where we halted for the night , each one for himself. It was here that I wrapped myself up in the sand for the first time. It was a cold, frosty night, but I slept sound until near morning, when the order came to sling knapsacks and be off. Marched about one mile and pitched tents, at which place we are likely to Winter.
Friday, Nov. 14. It has been a very pleasant day and things going nicely. Went out with a party to cut timber for winter quarters. The wood is nearly all oak and not very good at that.
Saturday, Nov. 15. Detailed to cut timber for barracks. Went up the hospital and saw the sick. Think they are doing well under the care of the surgeons. The tattooo is beating and I must start. Bought a barrel of apples and the consequence is we have plenty of company.
Sunday, Nov. 16. To-day is the 7th, and on that day thou shalt not work, Thou or thy ass or the man servant nor any living thing; but here it is work, dig, and scrub more than any other day of the week. It is a perfect shame and a disgrace to the army. It will never prosper any of the campaigns, it never has yet, and more than all that, it is wearing out and killing the soldiers faster than the Rebel bullets, and I should think by the time they had used up two or three armys they would begin to see the folly of digging and chopping brush forts and rifle pits every rod they advance. Perhaps it is all well enough but I dont see it.
Monday, 17th. Spades Trumps. Forts to mend. Made pits. Everything but actual service.
Tuesday, 18th. On guard. Got relieved at seven oclock. It is a perfect nuisance.