The final letter to the The Daily Green Mountain Freeman from New Kent during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862
(Our War Correspondence.)
(Our War Correspondence.)
From the Fifth Vermont Regiment.Camp at the White House, Va.,
May 17. 1862
Mr. Willard: Well I yes, well! And that ejaculation don't begin to express what I wish it to convey. About two hours ago I closed a letter for your columns, informing you that we were to march at meridian. Everything was made ready for the "fall in" command. Tents were struck, rations dealt out for sixty hours, knapsacks packed and slung, the usual amount of grumbling, questioning and swearing done and performed, baggage cut down below the army standard, mess chests thrown out, sick call made, and last, but not least, the grounds swarmed with mounted specials, all accounted for another harvest of bloody news. The day being bright and balmy the boys felt well, expecting before nightfall to reduce the distance, if not some military obstructions, between them and Richmond. But back comes the rattling, surging caissons and artillery, and the long, glistening lines of infantry "stack arms," "break ranks," and commence again another siege of resting, loafing and growling. How pic-tur-es-que! Did you ever sit down to a dainty meal, hungry and over-impatient for the eating ceremonies to begin, and just as your dish was tilled and ready tor the thirsting, longing palate, have some saucy blackguard or roguish friend tell a story that blockaded every avenue of nourishment and appetite as effectually as if a doctor bad administered some drug emetic? If you have, you can form some idea of the sensations of a soldier when orders are countermanded, after he has packed, and swore, and growled enough to scare at least a full regiment of rebels. But this is only one, and by no means the most trying perplexity of soldiers on the march. Well, we shall probably go sometime. The distance, some twenty-five miles, is nothing, but heavy bodies move slow, especially if they happen to collide with other bodies of equal gravity and momentum. But sooner or later, perhaps not as speedily as you or we may desire, this army will be in Richmond.
That Power that holds destiny in one hand, and grace, love and pit dun in the other, has he decreed it, and as well might the enemy attempt to choke the roar, or catch the rain-bowed spray of Niagara's falling waters, or one by one to pick the orbs of night from the blue behind the breaking, drifting clouds, as to stay the slow, heavy, steady tread of McClellan's squadrons and battalions. Richmond is ours, not to day, but one June day sim will ever warm the viper of treason that now so safely slumbers in its streets.
But I have written you once to-day, and as I only a few minutes ago received a letter from Montpelier with something very much like, but still it was not quire a rebuke, for "writing three letters in one day," I think I will be more prudent hereafter, and give a finale to this before it assumes the proportions of a correspondence."Yours, &c., See See Ess.
-The Daily Green Mountain Freeman, May 29, 1862
Next time, who was "See See Ess?"