Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Joys of Recruiting Duty

As I continue to gather information on the raising of the 6th Cavalry after the war began, I came across a letter from Charles Russell Lowell to his mother in July 1861. At the time he was a newly appointed Captain sent to the “Western Reserve” in Ohio to raise his company, Trumbull County if I'm not mistaken. I’m not one to revel in the misery of others, but this really struck me as amusing. Lowell accepted his appointment in Washington only 21 days earlier, but quickly mastered the tradition of ‘hurry up and wait.’

“I write out of sheer dullness; a mounted officer without a horse, a Captain without a Lieutenant or a command, a recruiting officer without a Sergeant and with but one enlisted man, a human being condemned to a country tavern and familiar thrice a day with dried apples and “a little piece of the beef-steak” --- have I not an excuse for dullness? I am known here as “the Agent of that Cavalry Company” --- and the Agent’s office is the resort of half the idle clerks and dageurreotype artists in town --- but those fellows don’t enlist.”

No comments: