On Picket Duty with the 96th Pennsylvania

Dublin Core

Title

On Picket Duty with the 96th Pennsylvania

Subject

96th Pennsylvania Regiment

Description

The writer submitted his story to Schuylkill’s most prominent newspapers, the
Miners’ Journal.
Here’s what he witnessed on hisvisit:
Camp Northumberland, Va.,
5 February 1862
Dear Journal –
The 96
Regt. Penna. Vols., is at present encamped about fi ve miles from Alexandria, and is in one of the advanced divisions – Slocum’sBrigade. The general is the same who so gallantly distinguished himself at Bull Run.
When your correspondent reached here he found it almost deserted – eight companies of the regiment being on picket, and after a march ofabout three hours reached Benton’s Tavern – picket headquarters. The detachment was under command of Lieut. Col. Frick. The followingnights we experienced several alarms, and your correspondent, ever on the alert, rushed out with the gallant men who are fi ghting for theUnion; and fortunately, always returned with them.
Benton’s Tavern is situated about ten miles from Camp Northumberland. The walls of the room we occupied are profusely ornamented withvery fi ne pictures, sketches, etc. A beautiful picture, from one of the old masters, just at the top of the stairs, is magnifi cent, and no doubt,[unintelligible] is pleasing recollections to many gallant soldiers. Another very handsome picture of more recent date, is very creditable to theartist. I can give but a faint idea of the effect of these pictures – they must be seen to be fully appreciated.
There are besides, a number of pretty sketches, altogether giving a pleasing appearance to the now tenantless (except by our pickets) inn. Anumber of lines of expressive poetry, by some pious soldier, dedicated to Beauregard, I am sorry my space will not permit me to lay before yourreaders.
On Sunday morning our pickets were relieved and after a weary march of ten miles, through mud up to your knees, and if you were sounfortunate as to step into an old post hole, up to your neck, we reached camp. I shall always retain a lively recollection of my picket excursionwith Company C of the 96
.
This regiment is a splendid body of men, and through the unceasing exertions of Col. Cake and able staff, will be one of the most effi cientregiments in the service. I “boarded” with Capt. Lessig, and Lieuts. Severn and Russel of Company C and none whose hospitably entertainedyour correspondent can be other than courteous gentlemen and gallant soldiers.
The mud is very deep, and the roads are impassable. The soldiers say this country has no bottom. It holds water remarkably well, whether ithas or not. Water won’t even run downhill, and stays on the surface of the ground until dried up by the sun and wind. The health of theregiment continues remarkably good.
Yours, etc.
Booey.
Benton’s Tavern was an occasional picket post at the intersection of the Little River Turnpike and the Columbia Pike just west of Alexandria, Virginia.

Creator

Miners' Journal

Source

https://wynninghistory.com/2017/02/03/on-picket-duty-1862/

Date

February 5, 1862

Rights

No known restrictions

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

The writer submitted his story to Schuylkill’s most prominent newspapers, the
Miners’ Journal.
Here’s what he witnessed on hisvisit:
Camp Northumberland, Va.,
5 February 1862
Dear Journal –
The 96
Regt. Penna. Vols., is at present encamped about fi ve miles from Alexandria, and is in one of the advanced divisions – Slocum’sBrigade. The general is the same who so gallantly distinguished himself at Bull Run.
When your correspondent reached here he found it almost deserted – eight companies of the regiment being on picket, and after a march ofabout three hours reached Benton’s Tavern – picket headquarters. The detachment was under command of Lieut. Col. Frick. The followingnights we experienced several alarms, and your correspondent, ever on the alert, rushed out with the gallant men who are fi ghting for theUnion; and fortunately, always returned with them.
Benton’s Tavern is situated about ten miles from Camp Northumberland. The walls of the room we occupied are profusely ornamented withvery fi ne pictures, sketches, etc. A beautiful picture, from one of the old masters, just at the top of the stairs, is magnifi cent, and no doubt,[unintelligible] is pleasing recollections to many gallant soldiers. Another very handsome picture of more recent date, is very creditable to theartist. I can give but a faint idea of the effect of these pictures – they must be seen to be fully appreciated.
There are besides, a number of pretty sketches, altogether giving a pleasing appearance to the now tenantless (except by our pickets) inn. Anumber of lines of expressive poetry, by some pious soldier, dedicated to Beauregard, I am sorry my space will not permit me to lay before yourreaders.
On Sunday morning our pickets were relieved and after a weary march of ten miles, through mud up to your knees, and if you were sounfortunate as to step into an old post hole, up to your neck, we reached camp. I shall always retain a lively recollection of my picket excursionwith Company C of the 96
.
This regiment is a splendid body of men, and through the unceasing exertions of Col. Cake and able staff, will be one of the most effi cientregiments in the service. I “boarded” with Capt. Lessig, and Lieuts. Severn and Russel of Company C and none whose hospitably entertainedyour correspondent can be other than courteous gentlemen and gallant soldiers.
The mud is very deep, and the roads are impassable. The soldiers say this country has no bottom. It holds water remarkably well, whether ithas or not. Water won’t even run downhill, and stays on the surface of the ground until dried up by the sun and wind. The health of theregiment continues remarkably good.
Yours, etc.
Booey.
Benton’s Tavern was an occasional picket post at the intersection of the Little River Turnpike and the Columbia Pike just west of Alexandria, Virginia.

Geolocation

Date Added
December 23, 2021
Collection
Newspaper Articles
Item Type
Text
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Citation
Miners' Journal, “On Picket Duty with the 96th Pennsylvania,” Mapping the Civil War in Arlington, accessed August 15, 2022, https://mtcwia.com/items/show/247.