Poughkeepsie Eagle Dec. 19, 1861
Our friend and correspondant, Stephen H. Bogardus, Jr., is now in town, seeing his friends. He was formerly Sergeant in Duryeas Zouaves, but has just been promoted 2d Lieutenancy in Co. H, Col. Purnells Maryland Legion. His many friends will be glad to hear of his good fortune.
In Camp, Near Eastville,
Northampton Co., Dec. 14th, 1861
We arrived here one week ago about 5 oclock P.M. We bade farewell to Wilsons Branch about 8 A. M., and started for this place, at which we are now encamped. It did not seem much like the Sabbath, but there is scarcely such a thing in war times. Yet we met many on their way to church. We passed through several small villages on our route. We marched through them to the tune of Yankee Doodle. Strange music for a Sunday.
We were told after passing through a place called Bel Haven, that the landlord of the only hotel the place could boast, had, in expectation of our stopping in the place, 200 pies sweetened with strychnine. Happily for our friends at home, we did not stop. As he had no use for his pies after our departure, he buried them in the woods. Had we known this affair in time, not one house would have remained standing to tell the passerby where the place once stood. And I think the landlord too, would have tried an experiment with one of natures productions, viz., hemp. But our commander seems to be afraid of hurting the feelings of the secessionists; so he kept the story quiet till we had arrived here.
At another place, called Francktown, we passed a cart filled with contraband goods, in charge of some of our men. About a mile before reaching Eastville the flag that we had found at Birds Nest was put upon a pole, Union down, and the fortunate finder carried it in this manner flying at our head. Long faces were the order of the day in Eastville as we passed, and one women was seen crying bitterly. On inquiry, we found out that she was the maker of the flag, and only a short time ago presented it to the fugitive Colonel Smith, who formerly resided in this place. I think she did not expect her handiwork would return in such a manner, and so soon. As we passed the hotel, it was trailed to the dirt and greeted with three groans by the Cavalry who were stationed there. A strange story is told of the rebel Colonel Smith. It is said that when he heard of our arrival at Temperanceville, he left Drummondtown on horseback instantly. He traveled with such speed that when he arrived at the wharf at Cherrystone, about five miles from here, the hound which he had started was distanced.
Eastville, like the rest of the villages which boast Secession as King, is almost deserted. Most of the principal citizens being secessionists have fled. The war has produced a great alteration in the looks of the place; for I should judge that at one time Eastville could boast a flourishing business. It is the county seat of Northampton, and the last place of importance on the peninsula. About a quarter of a mile back we passed a field of sugar cane. This being the first I ever saw I secured some seeds, which I shall send home.
We are stationed in a woods about a mile from Eastville. We have no guard of consequence around the camp, consequently the boys wander about the country to their hearts content. One of the boys and cousin B. found a young opossum - so all the boys are opossum hunting. As yet, they have found no more. Fowls, oysters and sweet potatoes are very cheap, and our principal eating. Oysters of the largest size are selling for 25 cents a bushel; turkeys 50 cents each; and chickens and ducks are 25 cents each. Sweet potatoes the boys eat from morning till night. The price is from 10 to 15 cents a bushel. However, as we were not paid off before leaving Federal Hill they cannot buy much. We have plenty of fun in cutting down trees. If Uncle Sam has to pay for all the trees that the Zoo Zoos have cut down, it will amount to a pretty round sum. In every forest in which we have encamped we have left our mark.
Another load of concealed arms has been found since we have been here. They were found in the swamp which is at the foot of the wood. The muskets are poor, and the equipments good. The boys are impatient to get back to Baltimore, where they can hear what is going on in the outer world. We are as much out of the way of news as if we were confined in a convent. Last Thursday night Col. Warren invited several of the principal secessionists in the neighborhood to a supper. After the supper came a concert. The liquor operated on our guests so much that when we sung the Star Spangled Banner, and Red, White and Blue, they joined in the chorus. I shall believe hereafter that the best thing for converting rebels is whiskey.
We had a review this morning by Gen. [?] witnessed by a large number of spectators. The negroes were highly pleased with some of them coming five miles to witness it. After the review, we showed the General some of our drilling - he said it was excellant. I have just heard that we are to start for Baltimore tomorrow; taking the back track as far as Pougateague, a village about 25 miles distant.
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