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15th Vermont Infantry
Biography

DIARY OF OLIVER A. BROWNE
Co. K, 15th Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Militia
Decenber 8th, 1862

Monday, Nov. (Dec) 8, 1862. Thanksgiving day with us. I have not enjoyed myself more since I have been out here than to-day. I have had nothing to do but sit still and cut up didos with the boys, and there was no small amount of that kind going on, now I tole yez. Our supper consisted of oysters and apples, which went tip-top. After supper we had a game of pull-away, and topped off with a game of hy spie, led by the Captain, who went in with a will and came out top of the heap after a severe race with the boys. The snow melted a very little to-day, but is cold Vermont weather yet.

Tuesday, Nov. (Dec). 9. It is a clear, sun-shiny day, but the snow melts very slow. We have to locate a new line of picket, which has improved the locality very much, or at least, I think so. We are allowed fires and shanty, which makes quite a pleasant thing of it. I am going on guard two hours, and have ten to play in, and draw rail fence for fuel which is much better than green wood and saves a good many hard blows with dull axes. The niggers drawed us a load of wood, rather than have us use up the fence. I can see the Potomac from where I now sit. The channel is full of steamers and other craft, which look like small fish boats from here. It is about supper time, and I must get my coffee to steaming and pork a-frying. Had just got in from pick when I was ordered to report to General Stoughton, as orderly, until the one he had got better, who was sick at that time.

December 10. Have had all I wanted to do in carrying orders to all parts of the camp. The General has gone to on a visit with some of his friends. Col. Stoughton is his brother, from the Vermont Fourth Regiment. There are having a high time. The day has been very pleasant, but bitter cold nights. The 15th (15th RegVI) are at work on their new camp grounds. They have got to move to preserve the health of the regiment.

December 11th. Another cold morning and plenty of running. I suppose it is to keep one warm. We have a very good wall tent boarded up in good shape, and a stove, plenty of wood and water. Things went very quiet until about four in the afternoon, when we received orders to march that night for Fairfax Court House. The General sent word back that he would not march until morning, and did not.

He issued orders to have the Brigade march at five in the morning. I did not sleep much that night. Layed down about eleven and woke up about two. Had to go and get more breakfast and pack up ready to start by the appointed hour. The Regiment felt pretty bad about their winter quarters. Had just got them done and were having a nice time, when lo, and behold, they had to start. Marched through to the Court House about three in the afternoon, pitched tents and had a good nights rest.

December 13th. A very mild and pleasant day. Have been over to all the regiments with orders. The 16th (16th RegVI) has gone to Centreville. All the others remain at present. Gen. Slocum has just arrived in town. Called on General Stoughton, took lunch, and cracked a little wine. He is a very impressive man. Wears an old blouse and felt hat and does not look so well as some of the priests. He is going to take quarters in some of the vacant houses, of which there are a great number for so small a place. There is but one family living in the place that has any property. Quite a number of poor whites, but they are not thought so much of as a nigger or an old mule, for they can sell the or the mule, and they can't the white, just as you're a mind to have it. I am just this moment seated in the porch of one of the finest brick buildings of the place with an old trunk for a table. I should think there was some one sick in the place. Gen. Slocum's division passed through this place this afternoon on their way to Frederick. Their artillery and baggage train was five miles long. The First Virginia Cavalry, the First Maryland, and different companies of several other regiments are on their way to Fredericksburg to join Burnside's Army.

Dec. 14, 1862. And Moses said unto Aaron, let's move, and it was so, and to-day is another day of splendor and magnificence and Southern splendor and splendid, splendid, splendid mud and water! Not less than eight inches deep. It has the tendency to pull off your boots and do a great many other things of note. Gen. Slocum's corps continues to move on. The rear guard is now passing through this place. The boys look tired and hungry. Some are in good spirits and some are clear down. The road is strewn with stragglers of all grades; Italians, Germans, French and the devil himself, Yours, etc. There was hard fighting all day yesterday at Fredericksburg. The result I have not yet heard. Our regiment is having provo. Guard, the 12th (12th RegVI), post guard, and the 13th (13th RegVI) nothing but their own business, 16th (16th RegVI ) at Centreville doing picket duty, the 14th (14th RegVI )I do not know where it is or what it is doing, in all probability it is putting down the Rebels.


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