from The Southbridge Journal, February 11, 1862 , (Volume 1 # 52), 
More from our of the Fifteenth Regiment Correspondent

Feb. 7, 1862

Mr. Editor:……………………………….But I have found…………………..and to take a turn doing picket duty. They went down on the 27th …..also Company G, a company from Grafton.  We found that the traveling  was very bad indeed, so much so, that we had to go most of the way across the fields; suffice it to say that we arrived there after traveling about six miles.  Please to remember that we went as soldiers with all our equipment, knapsacks; with all our clothing, haversacks filled with what is called food, canteens we had but there was so much mud and water under our feet, that we did not have occasion to fill them; our cartridge boxes were well filled, each man had forty rounds; our guns were not left behind, for fear we might have another game of Balls Bluff.

We found that the formidable fort that was built under the supervision of Major Kimball, directly opposite to where we crossed, on that never to be forgotten day, ( the 21st day of October) was all ready to occupy, so Capt. Joslin ordered us to take possession of it, which we did with good will.  The enemy, who were on the opposite side, seeing us, came out in large numbers.  They soon left when they found that we were only to occupy the fort.  The structure is large enough to accommodate  two companies of  about one hundred and fifty men, so we can say we have enough room for once, which has not been the case with us in our camp. 

The rebels appear to be rather shy and keep themselves hid from our view of late.  Our pickets are stationed day and night along the river and canal, and are ever on the lookout to see their every movement.

The rebels hold Harrison’s Island , but we still hold possession of the small islands above it.  We have some exciting times when the water rises in the Potomac .  It flows very suddenly to a great height, and the boys find it very quite hard to get off, the current runs so swift; but the water also lowers about as quick, if we do not have a succession of rains to keep the stream up.  The boys seem to like picket duty better than camp life.

Our Chaplain, Mr. Scandlin, has returned from the east, and gave us an interesting and instructive discourse last Sabbath.  We are very much pleased to see him amongst us again, and we can assure you that he is liked and respected by the regiment.  We have now  six small howitzers, each drawn by one horse, and manned by twenty-five privates, one sergeant, two corporals, and (one) lieutenant of the Fifteenth.  We think that Mr. F. Corbin will make a brave commander of the battery.  They drill three times a day.  Company I has received an accession to their ranks of new recruits, which fills us up to eighty-six in number.  After all, Mr. Editor, we miss those of our boys who are in the hands of the rebels,  they were some of our best boys.  We are in hopes that the government will make an arrangement by which they may be released, and once more see them in our ranks.

The regiment have a brave commander, who you know, is the brave Colonel Devens.  The weather is milder here on the average than in your vicinity, but do not think that we have no cold weather, for we do have it, and “right smart too,” as the saying is here.   I will tell you the wind does sad havoc with our tents once in a while, and the way it sweeps across our drill ground and camp, in enough to make one think of his own safety in those cloth habitations of ours.  We have had a number of snow storms, but the snow does not stay on the ground long, and the rains that we frequently have make it very bad getting around in our camp and unhealthy in our tents.  We have the new Sibley tents in place of the ones that we had in Camp Scott , which are a great improvement on those.  We find that fifteen to eighteen  is to many in one tent. But the soldiers cannot expect the government can furnish everything for our accommodation, therefore we are willing to put up with some inconveniences, if we can only have this wicked rebellion subdued.

We are watching the papers from day to day to see what success attends the various expeditions that have gone South to take possession of the Southern ports, for it is the opinion that we shall move on the Potomac if they are successful in these movements.

We have our drills here as usual when the weather permits.  The village of Poolesville is guarded by the Fifteenth, and we have chances to receive the oaths and curses of the soldiers of other regiments that do not have their passes with them when they enter the precinct.  you can see we must be thought some of by the general and his staff by keeping us to guard them ever since we came here.

The village contains two stores and one hotel when we arrived here.  It now has within its precinct seven stores; four eating saloons; three ambrotype saloons, one hotel; two tailor stores; one tin shop; which is conclusive evidence that the Northern army has not been detrimental to the South in a business respect.  No liquor is allowed to be sold in this vicinity, without an order from Gen. Stone.

We wish the people to know that Company I has a good set of officers, and we feel proud of them.  Our Captain hails from the City of Worcester , and we can trust ourselves in his hands in any position that we may be called to take, whether in drill or on the field of action.  In regard to our 1st Lieutenant, Amos Bartlett, who is from Webster, he has the command of Company D, a Worcester Company, which is a severe test of his of his great ability as an officer.  He is a good friend of the soldier as well as a brave man.  The late battle of Balls Bluff is enough to testify to his  sterling worth, and we think that it is hardly necessary to refer to our 2d Lieutenant Mr. Frank Corbin.  He has the appointment of the command of the battery out of the list of commissioned officers of the regiment, so that you can see that we have a set of officers, that we are not ashamed of, and I can assure you that we will follow them wherever they may lead.



15th Massachusetts VI