Today Captain Bowen, Surgeon Smith and myself attended the Episcopal Church, it being the only one in use, the others having been taken for hospitals. This church has a fine organ and choir. The music was good, and we enjoyed it, but the sermon was a little rebellious….
Chaplain Beugless has gone to Washington to meet his wife. Surgeon Carr is to take a lot of sick soldiers to Washington tomorrow and will be gone ten days. Yesterday the 18th, the 6th Corps was reviewed by Lieut. Gen. U.S. Grant, and the display was fine and the weather delightful. The lines were formed near our camp, each Regiment in “Column of Division.” All the Batteries and wagon trains were in line. General Grant is a short thick set man and rode his horse like a bag of meal. I was a little disappointed in the appearance, but I like the look of his eye. He was more plainly dressed then any other General on the field. After the review Generals Grant, Meade, Sedgwick, Hancock, Warren, Wheaton, Eustis and several others with their staffs rode through our camp. I had the pleasure of saluting for the first time the Lieut. General and received his acknowledgement. We are making our preparations for the spring campaign which cannot be delayed much longer. I have had a fine ride today in search of flowers.
…Tonight we dedicated our new chapel and in remembrance of R.I. [Rhode Island] and in recognition of God’s goodness to use we have named it “Hope” Chapel. The building is made of logs hewn smooth on one side and built up cob fashion. Most of the hewing was done by Chaplain Beugless and Lieut. John M. Turner. The roof is covered by a large canvas, presented by the Christian Commission. Inside we have a fireplace and tin reflectors for candles on the walls. A chandelier made from old tin cans, or the tin taken from cans is in the centre. The pulpit or desk is covered with red flannel, and the ground or floor is carpeted with pine boughs. We sent a detail of men in command of Capt. John G. Beveridge to a deserted church near by and took out the seats and placed them in our Chapel. Our boys had a fight with the guerrillas but brought back the seats…
About two o’clock this morning we left “Bush Camp,” and marching down the hill, through Centreville, found the woods obstructed by wagons and troops that had failed to start on time. Soon the Second [Rhode Island Regiment] left the main road and struck off the right, through a wood path that had been much obstructed. As we led the Brigade the task of clearing the road fell to us, and hard work we found it.
About nine o’clock in the forenoon we reached Sudley church, and a distant gun startled us, but we did not realize that our first battle was so near at hand. We now took a side road that skirted a piece of woods and marched for some distance, the men amusing themselves with laughter and jokes, with occasional stops for berries. Continue reading →