2nd Vermont Infantry
Second Vermont Infantry
Burlington Free Press
September 27, 1861
[Our Army Correspondence]
From the 2d VT Regiment.
Camp Advance, VA, Sept 12th.
Messrs. Editors of the Free Press:
For various reasons I have not attempted to keep you posted as to our whereabouts, and I will commence from the time of our departure from Camp Lyon. We had spent much work upon our camp ground, and had succeeded in rendering this the best regulated camp at which we have yet been quartered.
On the eve of Sept. 3d we received light-marching orders, and were told to be ready to march with two days' rations, at 10 o'clock P.M. All was commotion in camp, as there had been rumors for several days of an attack upon the rebels at Falls Church; and at the appointed time we turned out in fuller numbers than at any time since the Bull Run battle.
We marched over to our present position and rested until morning, when we found that, instead of making an attack, we are here for the purpose of clearing away the woods and building forts. Our own regiment was employed mostly for a week on guard duty, and in chopping; but we have been ordered into the trenches this week, and have had our first experience with the shovel and pick. We find that we are not as able as we were once to do fatigue duty; but we have the greatest confidence in our leaders, and feel that this time at least, we are going safe.
While we were hard at work on Tuesday, a rousing cheer was heard at the entrance, and word was quickly passed through the lines of workmen, "The President is coming." A rush was made for the line of carriages, and three rousing cheers were given for "Old Abe." The President then introduced Secretary Cameron, and Mr. and Mrs. Gov. Curtin, of Pennsylvania, who were in the carriage with him. They were well cheered, and when Gen. McLellan was introduced. Our regiment had never been favored with a sight of our noble leader, and he was greeted with such a tempest of cheers as is seldom heard. The carriage of the President was surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd who were eager to shake hands with the man of whom we have heard so much; but the most enthusiastic crowd gathered around Gen. McLellan. His hands and arms were covered with the soiled hands of his soldiers. I never saw such enthusiasm, and you need not to be assured that our boys are ready and willing to follow our leader on to certain victory. Should we have an engagement soon, this visit would have a most beneficial effect upon the troops.
The health of the Regiment is good, with the exception of hard colds, caused by sleeping in the open air, as we have not our tents with us. Private Edgell of Company G is in the Hospital at Georgetown, down with a fever.
The articles brought by Lieut. Sharply from Burlington, proved quite acceptable.
All letters to the Regiment should be directed to Washington, as heretofore.
Contributed by Denis & Karen Jaquish.