Cambridge Chronicle - October 31, 1861

 

22d Reg't Mass. Vols.
Hall's Hill, Near Falls Church, Va
October 31, 1861

Mr. Edito
r - Our camp still remains here, and perhaps may remain, as rumor says barracks are to be built for winter quarters; but I "don't see it in that light".

We sent out a large picket force, from our brigade, day before yesterday, in the direction of Fairfax Court House, and they have not yet returned. We have heard from them several times, however. Among other incidents, we learn that our sharpshooters are on the track of Williams, the notorious rebel scout, who has shot so many of our pickets. I hope he may be caught.

Our regiment was reviewed this morning by one of McClellan's staff, prepartory to being paid off - an event which, it is said, will transpire early in the coming month, and one which, to judge from the impatience of most of the regiment, is "a consummation devoutly to be wished".

I promised in a former letter, to introduce you to our regimental and company officers; and if you will permit me, I will do so now.

Our Colonel, Capt. Gove, not being present, I shall be compelled to pass him by, merely saying he is in the regular army, which reports give him a high position, his abilities having been tested during the Mexican war and in the present troubles. He will assume command in a few days, and I have no doubt will take measures to put the regiment at once under a more perfect discipline than at present, in which labor he will be ably assisted by the Lieutenant Colonel, Charles E. Griswold, and Major William S. Tilton, of Boston, both excellent soldiers and gentlemen.

Of the commissioned staff, we are brought into contact most with the Adjutant, Thomas Sherwin, Jr., of Newton, a soldier and a gentlemen, and very popular with the whole regiment.

Among the non-commissioned staff is our Cambridge friend, Quartermaster's Sergeant, Daniel F. Brown, whose labors in the transactions of his offical duties have occupied so much of his time, since the orginazation of the regiment, that we scarcely see him. He is appreciated, however, and that will cancel much.

The remainder of the staff are all good men, and each is popular in his own department.

 

Captain John F. Dunning

Of our company, I can truly say that I do not believe there is a company in ours, or any other Mass. regiment, wherein exists between men and officers so pleasant and friendly relations. Our men look upon their officers as their friends, guides and counselors, with no fear that any expression of their needs will be scowled upon by cold and unsympathetic assumption of offical perogatives, while on the other hand, the officers, both commissioned and warrant, regard the men in the light of brothers, and treat them as such. The result of this is that each feels a pride in the company, and for order and discipline we will acknowledge ourselves second to no other in the regiment. This state of things has been brought about by the energetic action of our Captain, John F. Dunning, of Boston - a man whom all the company love and respect, and whom they will follow wherever he may lead.

By his example, as well as by his instructions to his subordinates, he has inaugurated a system of discipline, which, while it ignores the usual domineering style most commonly in vogue, still rigidly exacts and recieves prompt, and what is better, willing obedience.

No subordinate is allowed to ill treat or even swear at any private; and by a regulation - a written copy of which was posted in the sergeants' tent on our first getting into camp - any violation of these rules subjects the non-com, so offending, to loss of warrant.

Not only by these efforts in their behalf , but by constant watchfulness over their comfort, has Capt. Dunning won for himself, a place in the hearts of his command which any leader might envy.

Our Lieutenants, William H. White and J. Henry Symonds, of Boston, being men with hearts in their bosoms, very naturally fall into line, and materially aid in sustaining this pleasant state of affairs.

[UNREADBLE PHOTOCOPY - Text will be added when a clean copy can be obtained]

...until quite recently, my chum and bed-fellow; but cold weather has drawn each one as close himself and his own blankets as possible, but it has had no other effect.

After an "interregnum", comes Wallace McKendry, a good-natured individual, rather quiet withal, saying litle, but keeping up a tremendous thinking - which, by the way, in a community wherein all the individual members are blest with a plentiful gift of speech, is something of a recommendation - a good fellow and a favorite.

Last on the list of Sargeants is Geo. T. Whitney, or as he is commonly called, "No Hair", from a crop, a la Cox, received about the time of leaving home. I believe he has before been introduced to your readers, by your correspondent W.D.G., as he was out with the Sixth Regiment as the Relay House with the three months troops.

We have also in our tent, Corporals George Temple, also one of the old Sixth, and W.B. Frothingham, or Frothy, with an endless variety of other changes, each one a host. Of the remaining non-coms, Corporal B. is I think the only one known to you or any of your readers. The other Corporals - Littlefield, Kelly, Morton, Moser, and Alden - were all out with the three months troops, where they , of course, got posted in military matters.

Last on the list, but by no means least, is Brevet Corporal Clapp, Clerk of the Company, - a good-natured, accommodating young fellow, and a favorite with the company.

Our pickets are just coming in. I will give their news, if they bring any, in my next.

Yours,

Frank N. Scott