Woburn Weekly Budget - September 11, 1861

 

Camp Schouler
Lynnfield, Sept 11, 1861


When I last wrote you, there were but two companies here besides our own; the Washington Light Infantry, Capt. Sampson, 80 men, and the Salem Zouaves, Capt. Brewster, now numbering 113 men. With the exceptions of the Sharpshooters, the Union Guard was the only company left on the field after the departure of the 19th regiment, till these arrived. During the intervening time this was almost a deserted place. Not a sentinel paced his beat, not a peddler vended his wares, but few visitors made their appearance, and scarcely a carriage stood by the roadside.

But dull monotony has now given place to activity, besides the above named companies, the following have arrived during the past week: Flying Artillery, Capt. Follett, 137 men; Everett Guard, Capt. Dunning, 84; Essex County Zouaves, Capt. Deveraux, 47; McClellan Guard, Capt. Williams,60; Havelock Guard, Capt. Cook, 58; Gordon Guard, Capt. Burt, 75; Capt. Wardell's rifle company, 61; and the Haverhill company, Capt. J. J. Thompson, 58 men. So there are now tem companies besides the Union Guard, and Camp Schouler has again become a tented field. Col. Lyman Dike, of Stoneham, is acting Colonel, and is an efficient disciplarian. Did all the rank and file as well understand their drill, it is probable they would keep a better line when marched at double quick over the stone wall, as your correspondent saw them a day or two since. On Monday evening last one piece of light artillery arrived here, and as it was drawn into camp it was greeted by Capt. Follett's company with cries of "Good", "That's the boy for us", etc. Yesterday they were driling with it, and considering they were raw recruits,they did it creditably.

In my last communication I told you that we of the Union Guard were pleasantly quartered in barracks, but since then we have again exchanged our quarters and are now "dwellers in tents". Last Monday part of the Guard took the oath; the rest, some of whom were absent and some on guard are not yet securely bound, but probably soon will be.

An incident occurred here a few evenings since, which shows the propensities of soldiers for "sport". A confectioner had erected a sort of shanty on the rear of the brow of the hill which descends abruptly to a pond. A sentinel had been posted thereon to see that all was well. Late in the evening, as your humble servant was quietly seated, ominous sounds were heard; the pelting of stones, the rattling of boards, and the shouts of the frightened sentinel foretold that the owner on the ensuing day would find his house empty. Presently the voice of an officer greeted the ears of the assailants, when they retreated double quick to their quarters. But no sooner had the command died away then the assault was again renewed. One individual approached, shouting, "Every man to his quarters", and immediately seized and drank off a glass of lemonade.

In the morning scattered fragments of beer bottles, peanut shells strewn over the ground, and a large beer barrel (empty), were the only contents of the shanty to be found. When the owner appeared, the astonishing fact was revealed that not a soul in camp had the least conception of who did it; but the expressions of sympathy were many and deep. If the members of the different companies show the same zeal in clearing Secessia of traitors that they did in clearing the shanty of eatables you will hear a good reporrt of the regiment. So may it be.