The Advocate February 20, 1862

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The Advocate February 20, 1862


21st New York Regiment


Several stories regarding the 21st New York regiment that is camped at Upton's Hill and on picket duty in Falls Church. Includes a story about Chaplain Robbie and a church service.


The Advocate


February 20, 1862

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Letter from the Twenty-First.
On Picket near Fall's Church, 2 o'clock A. M.. Feb. 9, 1862.

Dear Advocate : I have no doubt you will be much surprised at the above heading. Our Regiment came on picket duty yesterday morning. Our Company, together with three others, was sent out to the Anondale road, while the other six were sent on the Fairfax road. Our line of Pickets is about two miles from Fall's Church.

Our Company (F.) is stationed independent of the others, and about half of the men are deployed, while the rest are held as a reserve. I being on the reserve, and there being nothing in the Regulations which says "sleep" while on Picket, have concluded to write you at this early hour of the morning. It will at least serve to make time pass a little faster. Please to remember, Mr. Editor, that this is written by the light of a green-wood fire, which, to say the least, is very dull.

Perhaps you will be surprised to hear that we have a fire at all. During such cold weather it is impossible for men to stand 48 hours of Picket duty without some means of keeping partly warm; so we have adopted the method of building our bough houses large and circular, and putting a fire in the center, this does not show outside, and dispenses a small amount of heat and a large amount of smoke to the men inside. Our reserve is posted in a thick pine woods, and in a position admirably adapted for a skirmish. On our advance, and in the direction which the enemy would have to come, should they attempt an attack, is a large cleared space carefully guarded by one of our sentinels. While we would be completely hid by the dense thicket of pines, we could do much injury to the foe, who would have no cover at all. But my sheet is full, and for this time I will stop. Yours as ever, D.



“The Advocate February 20, 1862,” Mapping the Civil War in Arlington, accessed September 24, 2023,

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