Poughkeepsie Eagle Nov. 2, 1861
Camp Federal Hill,
Sunday, Oct. 27th, 1861
On this fine Sabbath morning I will try and write another letter for the edification of your numerous readers. We are now inside the fortifications, having finished them last week. As we have no room inside the works for drill, we use an elevated plain about half a mile from here. This place is in the neighborhood of a battery that was erected in 1812 by the Americans for the purpose of resisting the British fleet, which attempted to capture the city of Baltimore. It effected its object, for the British were not aware of its existence. The Admiral of the fleet (whose name I forget,) having passed the Fort, sent up signals to notify his Commander that the city would soon be his, when the guns of the battery opened on him, sinking several vessels of the fleet.
What a change has taken place since that time. Then fortifications were erected to repel invasion from foreign enemies; - now for the purpose of awing traitors at home. I visited the place once some time ago out of motives of curiosity, but as I approached, a feeling of awe took possession of me and I reverently uncovered my head. It was indeed consecrated ground, and I thought if those who had shed their blood in defense of their countrys flag were looking down upon us, they would bless up. But this will be considered digression. You will pardon me, however I know.
We drill in the afternoon with knapsacks as per Gen. McClellans order. Although it was at first irksome, yet now that we are used to it we do not mind it in the least. In this drill which consists of the battalion, we execute several manoeuvres that are new to most regiments, and will not interest any of your readers except those who understand military tactics. Suffice it to say that "double quick" is one of them.
A new flag staff has been erected on a prominent part of the hill, and from the top of it floats a handsome flag, presented by the citizens of Baltimore. Perhaps I should have said the ladies of the "Monumental City," for they are the donors. In fact the ladies of the city are the most enthusiastic in the cause for which we are fighting. We have hundreds of them to witness our evening parade. We are obliged to have it in Warren street, owing to the scarcity of space on the hill. We have made on Federal Hill a fort that in two or three years will compare favorably with those in the neighborhood of the "Empire City". I mean in beauty and style. It is considered one of the lions of Baltimore. Are you going up to Fedral Hill to see the "Zouaves" is a very common question among the inhabitants.
Col. Warren who has been very sick has almost entirely recovered, and will soon resume command. I dont know how my old acquaintances would like to sleep with no other shelter than is afforded by a tent, while the post was lying on the ground, but when I say I have gained nine pounds , they can see how I stand it. In fact the members of the regiment are healthier than when at home. So you can see that although we miss the pleasures of home, yet we gain in health.
I have just returned from the depot, where the 20th Regiment has just stopped. I saw our old friends, Capt. Smith and others, all of whom wish to be remembered to their friends in Poughkeepsie. They were in good health and spirits, but slightly fatigued with their journey. I hope and trust that they will do good service, and that Dr. Tuthill will not have too many limbs to amputate. Before this reaches you they will have reached their destination. God speed them and grant them a safe return from the war. But I have written all the news, so I had better stop. Good bye.
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