Wheelock G. Veazey to Albin Beard
I have just got through with our Sunday inspection, 12 o’clock. It fell on me as
the Col. is a little under the weather. When it comes on me I make a thorough
thing of it & look at or in every tent kitchen & even pan & kettle.
Our tents are pretty much used up & our boys dont take much pride in “fixing
up,” but our grounds we keep policed in the best manner they will admit
off. I have never found a reg’t that taks quite so much care of the camp grounds as we do. Other reg'ts call our main St. Penns. Avenue. We keep camp fires now as a sanitary arrangement. They protect us somewhat from the fogs. Since writing the above I have eaten dinner & been to Falls Church - passing the place of our late disaster the Big Bethel No 2, as you would call it. Altho its result was as fatal as the Big Bethel affair, there were many points of difference. Genl. Smith is I presume greatly blamed, perhaps justly. I do not presume
to judge altho present & saw all any one there could see. Late in the afternoon before, Genl. Smith had taken a large portion of his com’d towards Lewinsville for some purpose I know not what, & there rec’d an order to march out to F. Ch. when he read the order, (it was fr McClellan) he remarked that he did not like to do it for fear of an accident such as happened, the only question is did he adopt all possible or reasonable means to avoid the accident. I suppose no one can tell. It must be remembered that Smith moved in the night imme-
diately on reception of the order, without any prepared plan & his force was large probably fr 10 to 15000 men & the night was quite dark & we went into a portion of Country guarded by picquets of another division of the army. Altho Genl. Smith is regarded in military circles one of the best soldiers in the army yet I do not think he is very popular with his command. Yet I do not wish this to be made public, for talking never helps such a matter. Popularity dont am’t to much any way, & I don’t believe in questioning the acts of officers too soon. I like my new position very much. It is much easier than my former one. In fact I am getting decidedly lazy. The hardest work I have is my duties as Field officer of the day which comes around about once in 4 or 5 days. Then I have to be up the most of 2 nights.
My horse has come at last & its a very fine one. One of the best in the army. Mr Horace Fairbanks obtained it after considerable search at a cost of &175, & I would scarcely part with it for twice that sum. Its a dark bay morgan mare, very tough handsome & intelligent. In consideration of her many good qualities I call her [Loot], dont know as Lucy will deem it an honor. We have a Vt Brigade here now of 4 reg’ts & expect the 6th this week. this reg’t was raised & equipped in just 20 days. The cavalry reg’t is also about full. I will defer any any answer to yr question, how I am liked in my new position; when we have been
in an action where every tenth man falls I hope you may hear some fr some other source. It is impossible to say what will be done on the Potomac this season. I for one would like very much to winter in Richmond but I want to go by day. Vols are unfit for night expeditions. We get the daily papers in camp reguarly I read with much interest what they say about us. And I will say that about all they contain is intirely worthless. All you can get for their telegraphic dispatches is the fact that something has been done. When we make a move the telegraphic correspondent inquires of the first one he meets about
it & finds out only the little that one may have seen or heard, & soldiers are the worst kind of men for reports. We are having the warmest weather we have experienced for a month. My health is good excepting a slight sore throat now. I have moved with the reg’t always & performed every duty that has fallen to me but sometimes it required an effort. The good things in the box afford many a pleasant lunch still. Every thing there, as in fact about every thing eatable, is a favorite dish with me. Please remember me to Mr Ainsworth & others.
Tuus filius in legeW. G. Veazey