Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another New Camp

Captain Cox describes the Seventeenth's activities on this, their first day in camp near Athens, Alabama. 

This is Monday and the last day of June, 1862, and our day for muster.  We, therefore, had general inspection of guns, etc.  After inspection we were engaged rearranging our camp, pitching tents, etc.  Camped in a beach bottom and near several fine springs and a creek to bathe in; consequently, we are well contented and fixed.*

This entry provides a reminder of how these men had suffered under Halleck's command from a shortage of drinking water and absence of bathing water.  These infantrymen had just finished a six day march of more than 70 miles which included ferrying across the Tennessee and streaking across the Elk in the heat of a southern summer that few had experienced.  A few springs and a creek in this virgin forrest was like heaven, and quite worthy of following their recent encampments near Iuka and Bear Creek.

*Cox, Samuel K., Civil War Diary 1862-1865 of Captain Samuel Kennedy Cox, Courtesy of Daviess County Public Library, Kentucky Room, archived manuscript, p.18

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