Woburn Weekly Budget - February 27 1862

 

Camp Wilson
22d Reg. Mass. Volunteers
Hall's Hill, Va.
February 27, 1862


Last Monday we experienced the heaviest gale of wind that that ever came under my observation. The morning began with a light mist which soon cleared away, and for an hour or two the weather was as mild as summer. About ten o'clock a heavy black cloud capped by a long narrow white one, appeared in the northwest, and it was not long before the wind blew a hurricane. It came upon us so unexpectedly, that many of the messes did not have their tents closed up and a majority of them were blown down. Some of them were kept upright, but it was by great exertions. After fighting the wind for some time our mess thought to anticipate a complete overthrow by lowering the canvas, and by that means we saved the tent though it was pretty badly torn. The force of the gale may be judged by the fact that many large tress in the woods near us were uprooted by the wind, and detached limbs were blown out of the forest and up and over the hill across our parade ground. By great effort the hospital tents were kept upright, though they were pretty well shaken up. Precautions were early taken to prevent the unroofing of the cookhouses, and they were about the only comfortable places in the camp. The soldiers always looking out for the commisariat, and this instinct led them to secure the kitchen against the assaults of King Boreas. The wind continued to blow until near daylight on Tuesday morning, when it subsided, and not a few of our boys had a cold night of it. We put up our tents about dark, and it afforded us some shelter, though several times through the night as we were awakened by the flapping canvas and creaking tent poles, we could look up to the stars without getting out of bed. About one o'clock several of us happened to be awake, the song "Twinkling stars are laughing, love" burst forth as it were spontaneuosly, and it was never sung with more feeling, nor under more fitting circumstances. The merry twinklers as they peeped through the huge rents in our ragged canvas seemed laughing at us, and we returned the compliment with right good will, and laughed to think of a situation which, must have been to outsiders very ludicrous. In the regiments about us they suffered heavily; the big tent in the 9th was badly damaged, and Alexander's picture saloon was overthrown. The tents were repaired next day and will have to last us for some time yet. We are having a second edition of the gale today though nothing like its severity. There is good in everything, and the best part of the gale was, it dried up the mud very much, so that traveling was greatly improved. Tuesday was a fine spring day, and Wednesday was like it until sundown, when it began to rain. Then again we had the mud, for the rain continuing all night countereacted almost entirely the good effect of Monday's wind. The sun rose fair this morning, and with it the wind, so that we are likely to have good traveling for the commencement of our march.

Hall's Hill Va Area Map 1862

 


On Wednesday, Messrs. Dea. Thomas Richardson, Willis Buckman, Simon Holden, Jotham Hill, and J.G. Cole, reached our camp. The rain coming on, they concluded to accept the hospitalities of the camp and so spent the night in Hall's Hill, in canvas houses. It was a novel lodging place for them no doubt, but they all seemed to enjoy, and I think they will not soon forget their trip to Camp Wilson. They left for home this morning, with the expectation of reaching it on Saturday. Their visit gave us much pleasure, and we wish them a pleasant and safe journey home.

William Gillepsie and Stephen R. Moreland were discharged for physical inability this morning. They have been trying to get it for some time, and it came to them though delayed, in a good time. Mr. Moreland imediately started for home, and he will son be in Woburn. He has been sick ever since the regiment came here, and has been able to do little or no duty. Mr. Gillepsie is sick in the hospital, and is quite low with consumption. He will be more likely to recover at home than out here, however.

On Wednesday, August Durr, of Co. B, a German by birth, and a resident of Boston, died in the hospital of typhoid fever. He was 25 years of age.

The best news we have heard since I have been here, came to us last night, when orders were given to cook two days rations. The camp was lively all night, men bringing water and the cooks cutting up and boiling the meat which is to serve us in our march somewhere. The rain of last night prevented our moving this morning and we are momentarily expecting to be ordered into line. Our knapsacks are all packed, the rations drawn and we have broken up housekeeping generally. It is not the intention to take our tents with us, and it is yet uncertain whether we are to return here or not. We have are things here all packed,and we are ready to go or stay according to orders. I write this earlier than usual on account of the uncertainty, and we can't say where we will be next Sunday. Our orderly reported eighty men as ready to go off at a moment's notice, and we shall probably turn out that number today. I haven't leanred yet how many regiments are to move now, but expect the whole division to go, as the first and second brigade are under arms. Where my next letter will be dated from I can't tell, but if possible shall come to time.

Friday, 28th

I delayed mailing the above, with the hope that I might learn something more definite. Today we are informed that we are to remain here at present, and ten days rations have been served out. The men were much disappointed, but there is no remedy. We hear that it was expected that we would move to reinforce Banks, and help him over the river, but the news reaching us that he had crossed and occupied Leesburg and Winchester, we were not needed. Col. Lansing of the 17th New York regiment mustered us out for pay today, and we shall soon see Uncle Sam's cash man. Since we packed up to travel, our conveniences ae somewhat abridged, but we shall soon get things fixed up again so as to be comfortable. The wind is blowing furiously, almost as much so as on Monday, but we know better now how to manage it.

John Lord Parker