Woburn Weekly Budget - October 22, 1861
Hall's Hill, Fairfax Co. Va.
October 16th, 1861
I have just recieved a package of Budgets form home, in company with several letters, and you never saw such running for letters in your life; it looked a great deal like the crowd that used to gather around the old post office in Woburn, of a Saturday night, only we have a better chance to get out. Since writing my letters I have walked around our campgrounds, and found out who our neighbors are. The ground that is now used for our camp was only four weeks ago used by the rebels for the same purpose, and all around we see the ravages of war. Buildings are torn down, and the materials scattered about. We use the bricks taken from chimney to build fire places and the boards for cooking sheds. I have just seen two or three bullets that have been picked up, and in one end is a small plug of wood which is supposed to contain poison. Whether it is so or not I cannot say.
We are in sight of Falls Church, and are in the rear of the Mass. 9th and the N.Y. 14th. The N.Y. 17th and the Maine 2d are just in our rear, and from all that we can learn the rebels are leaving the ground as fast as we advance, for what purpose I do not know. Gen. McClellan says that with the troops he has this side of the Potomac he can form a line of battle fourteen miles in length, and the boys think that two or three ought to do some good, but whether it wil or not remains to be seen. Anyone would naturally suppose that our men would be rather excited by being in such close proximity to the enemy, but it is not so; they are as cool as if they were in old "Schouler", and show no more signs of fear then they did when there. The regiment enjoys remarkably good health, and in our company there is not one sick, and all say that it does not seem as if they had left Massachusetts. Everything is about the same, with the exception of water, which is very brackish, and does not have a tendency to give coffee a clear look; but I did not take a contract to fill the Budget, and think that this must suffice for this week.
We have recieved the following communication from the Union Guard, which will doubtless give pleasure to friends of the men who take the temperance pledge under circumstances which are not favorable to such movements. We call this a piece of good news, and hope that not one if them will break the pledge:
Hall's Hill, Va.,
October 22d, 1861
The morning opens with a heavy rain, and the boys are gathered in their respective tents discussing the topics of the day. In our mess the subject of temperance is brought up, and the following is the result, viz: --
We the undersigned, members of MEss No. 2, Co. F, 22d Reg., Mass. Vol., do hereby agree, as denoted by our signature, to abstain from the use of all intoxicating drinks during our stay in "Dixie", or until the time of our arrival in the old Bay State, unless prescribed by the Surgeon of the regiment, -- the penalty o be forfeiture of one month's pay to each individual found guilty.
Wm. B. Smith
Charles S. Dean
John E. Thayer
Geo. W. Eustis
E. B. Penney
Wm. S. Bowen
Geo. W. Corbett
P. W. Gorham
The pledge is an independent movement, confined within the limits of our own "canvas", and we hope the conduct of our mess will be exemplary to the regiment.
Without further remarks, I remain
One of Them