from The Webster Times, August 17, 1861, (Volume III # 23), 

Washington D. C.
Aug. 11, 1861      

It seems hardly possible for me to give a connected account of our journey or anything else there is so much confusion here; army wagons coming from and going to the cars, drums beating, bands playing, etc.  Our company are all wet now.  I have been so all the time that I left which is more than some of them can say.  Should like a good cup of tea or coffee this morning, have had but one since I left.

Our Regiment left Norwich on (the) steamer <i> Connecticut </i>.  Embarked on the steamer John  Porter  for Amboy, from which place went by R. R. to Philadelphia .  Arrived there at 5 a.m. the 9th, had a pleasant time as we were permitted to go about the city.  We had the best reception here of any place on the route.  Left Philadelphia  for Baltimore by R. R. at 11 a. m. arrived there at 7 p. m.  Had a fine time there.   As soon as we left the cars were drawn up in a line and ordered to load with ball and cartridge, and then the band played, the tune of ď Dixie Ē as  we marched through the principal streets.  It was very warm, and the thermometer stood at 96 degrees.  Left Baltimore for Washington at 11 P. M. on the 10th, arrived at 6 a. m. , the 11th, on Sunday morning, I suppose you would call it , but it donít seem like our good old New England Sabbath morning.  

We are now quartered in a large granite building on Pennsylvania avenue, in sight of the Capital, the White House, Patent Office. Canít tell where we are going, some say under Banks, others McClellan.  We are to leave at 4 in the morning for Meriden Hill about two miles from the Capitol.  There are all kinds of rumors afloat in regard to the rebels.  Monday morning 7 a. m.  Have arrived at our place of destination  and got the tents pitched.  There are 13 regiments on the field, and more coming on every train.  There are between 90 or 100 regiments within 5 miles of us, and a good chance for a battle in a few days.  Our pickets are sent within two miles of their camps.  The hospital is within 80 rods of our tents. Sickelís Brigade is on the other side of the river about 3 miles from us, on a high hill.  Have just been round the camp to see what there is to be seen, and my vision was greeted by the most splendid sight I ever beheld.  The first thing that claimed my attention were the pickets, who were out practicing.  They go on horseback when they go over into Virginia and keep on their horses, riding back and forth from one post to another.  The next were the skirmishers, they number 5000.  The weather is hotter than____ well, than for convenience!  Going through Baltimore I sweat(ed) so that my Testament was wet through.  There was a sheet of adhesive plaster in it and it stuck it all together, and it looks as though it had lain out in a rain storm: I used to think it was pretty hot work to drill in Webster, but it isnít a comparison.

It is uncertain how long we will remain here, for everything looks like a battle.  Reports is that there are 120,000 rebels within 7 miles of the city.  We have to hold ourselves in  readiness to march at an hours notice, and sleep with loaded guns by our side, which are not very comfortable bed fellows.

The wells were poisoned  here last week and five of the men died, but sentinels are kept  posted by the wells now.  I will write again soon, in the mean time send me a Times, for it would almost seem like seeing Webster people to read our Webster paper.

G.W.L.

 

15th Massachusetts VI