On Fatigue Duty
near Centerville Va
3d Brigade, Abercrombies
Division, 22 Army Corps
Defense of Washington
111th Regt. NYSV
May 14th 1863 4 PM
Having a little liesure time, I thought I would write the long promised letter, Subject Soldiers Duty. This is an old Subject, but it will bear writing about. Now I suppose you want the whole, so I will commence, at Revilee, First we are awakened by the Drummers Call at 4,45, which is for them to turn out & beat the Revilee, then the Revillee is beat, when every man that is able, is expected to answer to his name. There is no evading this for if a man is absent, it is known, & a satisfactory reason given, or he has to Police the Streets, or do some extra Duty, if it is reported then he is Reported to the Col,
Immediately after Revliee, we have to shake our Blankets, & (if the weather be not storm) hang them out to air. At 5,30 Police Call, to sweep the Streets, & in front of our Tents, then woe be to all offenders, for that is their duty. 5,45 Sick Call, When the Sick & those desirous of being excused wend their way to the Doctors Tent, where their Portion of Quinine, is dealt out to them. It is here you see the long faces, Were a Stranger to step in at this time & judge the Whole Regt, by these, he would think there was hardly a disease, but what was represented.
At 6 AM Breakfast When we Draw our Rations of Coffee & Hard Tack. And once in awhile Pototatoes & meat, just to let us know, that such things, are in use. From 6 to 7, those that go on Guard, Black their Boots, clean their Brass & Buttons, & rub up their Howitzer Guns a little. Those on Picket, get their Rations of Pork, Coffee & Sugar, & Roll up their Blanket. 7 AM Guard mounting, when the Guards Amunition [sic] & Arms are Inspected, & the Guard are Reviewed by the Officer of the Day.
8 AM Co Drill, by [ ] of the Commissioned Officers, now Principally in Skirmishing. 10 AM Recall from Drill. Then the boys amuse themselves as they choose till 3,45 When the Drum Beats for Battallion Drill, we then march out to the Parade Ground, form in line of Battle, Present Arms to the Col, then Drill, for an hour & a half. 5,30 PM Recall from Drill, which strange to say we are never sorry to hear. 6 PM Dress Parade, we Form in Line of Battle, Present Arms to Col & go through a few movements in the Manual of Arms, we then are brought to an Order Arms, & stand at the Position of Attention, while the Orderly Sergt, report the Co, whether, all are present, or have many absent. The Officers are then called to the Front & Center & the Parade is Dismissed, we then are marched to Quarters.
6,30 PM Supper Hard Tack & Coffee. 8,30 Tattoo, or fall out, with Haversacks, with 3 days Rations, & Canteens filled with Water, ready for any thing during the night. 9 PM, Taps when noise cease in Quarters. Now I have given you a little history of one day, which will apply equally well to all,
Now for Amusements. First, & I am sorry to say it is Card Playing, which is carried to a fearful extent, The excuse is, just to pass away time, then Reading, everything in the Reading Line, is eagerly sought for, Then Playing Ball, Rough & Tumbling, Foot Races, Walking around the country, & calling on the Boys, for a few moments chat, on the War & [Diverse] other subjects.
On Picket it is Draw all you can & live well, make things pay as they go. Talking about Drawing, that seems to be the motive everywhere, the Boys seem to think, a man can not be a Soldier, unless he can Draw, that is the Army word for Stealing. But we have a little variation
(editor’s note: this may be the end, or the rest of this letter is missing)