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Reminiscences of the Thirty-Fourth Regiment, Mass. Vol. Infantry   By:

Reminiscences of the Thirty-Fourth Regiment, Mass. Vol. Infantry by William H. Clark

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REMINISCENCES OF THE Thirty Fourth Regiment, MASS. VOL. INFANTRY.

By WILLIAM H. CLARK , [PRIVATE, CO. E.]

PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR.

HOLLISTON: J. C. Clark & Co. 1871.

TO GEN. WM. S. LINCOLN, OF WORCESTER, SO LONG AND HONORABLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE REGIMENT, THESE SKETCHES ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.

NOTE.

The Reader will please bear in mind that this little work does not claim in any sense to be a history of the Regiment; but simply the recollections of the writer up to May 15th, 1864, when he received the wound which disabled him from further military service.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. THE FAREWELL, 9

CHAPTER II. FUN IN CAMP, 11

CHAPTER III. HARPER'S FERRY, 14

CHAPTER IV. THE SKIRMISH, 18

CHAPTER V. NEWMARKET, 22

CHAPTER VI. INCIDENTS, 26

CHAPTER VII. IN MEMORIAM, 29

CHAPTER I.

THE FAREWELL.

It is the afternoon of a summer day, with but little breeze more than enough to gently sway the folds of a new and handsome National Flag, which is in full view of the multitude who encompass it. We have taken the reader, in thought, to the spacious and beautiful Common in Worcester, on the 15th of August, 1862.

A few words concerning this great gathering; the close attention of all being drawn to the speaker's stand in its centre. Citizens of all classes are here, gazing and listening, representing the population of the city and suburbs. Its inner circles are clothed in the uniform of their country's service, and stand in military order. To them, as a Regiment, through their commander, who is conspicuous on the stand by his uncovered head and noble bearing, the Flag is being presented: a touching farewell act of the ladies of Worcester.

It is delivered with fitting words, and now not only the soldier, but the orator speaks. Never, while memory lasts, will the picture be erased from the mind of one, at least; the central figure, the devoted Wells: so soon, comparatively, to be the lamented.

The throng breaks, and the Regiment gradually prepares to leave the city for fields of duty, not to shrink from fields of danger. Hark! as they slowly recede from sight, and the clangor of martial music is hushed, can you not almost distinguish, stealing through yonder casement where a lonely heart is thinking of the absent ones, the plaintive words:

"Thinking no less of them, But loving our country the more; We've sent them forth to fight for the flag, That our fathers before them bore.

Brave boys are they, Gone at their country's call; And yet, and yet, we cannot forget That many brave boys must fall."

CHAPTER II.

FUN IN CAMP.

Weary and monotonous indeed, would be many of the days spent in camp by the soldier, did not something crop out of an amusing nature, either in the proper members of the camp or in some of its motley group of followers.

One such safety valve was found in a stout, unctuous darkey, who seemed to be the "right hand man" of our regimental sutler. Worthy Oscar! I know not whether thou dost still walk on this earth of ours, or hast entered the spirit land which so many of thy brave fellow Africans reached, who with a more warlike spirit than thine, died on fields of duty and glory. Peace to thee, in any event, for none more faithfully performed his duty.

On one occasion, however, the "even tenor of his way" was rudely broken in upon, to the great amusement of the large number who happened to be in view of that part of the camp at the time. It seems that a private soldier of mischievous propensities had been for some time teasing our colored friend by thrusting a burning twig from the camp fire into his face; yet during the ordeal he had kept his patience, and only tried to get rid of his tormentor by entreaties. Suddenly he turns upon him, forbearance having ceased to be a virtue in the case, and the two fall heavily to the ground; Oscar having decidedly the advantage of his enemy, which he as decidedly keeps... Continue reading book >>




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