Open main menu

Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/27

This page has been validated.


bore Springfields, that had been rifled for a minie-ball; they were so light, that their barrels would spring after the rapid firing of a dozen shots.

Service in Maryland

On the morning of July 17 we broke camp and started for Harpers Ferry, thirty miles distant. Now for the first time I began to realize what it was to be a soldier. I carried a knapsack laden with the various things that kind friends at home had thought necessary for a soldier's comfort, a haversack containing two days rations, a musket with accoutrements, and forty rounds of ammunition, altogether weighing not less than fifty pounds. The weather was extremely hot and the roads very muddy, so that by the time we had gone fifteen miles I was entirely ready to go into camp.

Our camp was pitched on the side of a hill. Our mess, in order to find as level a sleeping place as possible, pitched the tent in a low place, and in our ignorance of camp life we neglected to dig a ditch around it. A sudden shower came up soon after we had gone to sleep, and in a short time we found ourselves lying in a pool of water. And as