John Caldwell Transcript
Headquarters, 11th Regt ME Vols
Camp Knox, Meridian Hill, Dec 3, 1861
My dear General:
In obedience to your request, I report the proceedings of my Regiment since leaving Augusta.
Of our detention by the bursting of the flue of the locomotive you have been already informed. Except in the delay thus occasioned our passage was most prosperous & entirely without accident. We arrived in Portland about twelve, & in Boston at six P.M. We were escorted to Faneuil Hall, & partook of a collation good in quality but entirely deficient in quantity. The statement made by the Boston Journal that the first companies filled their canteens with coffee, & their haversacks with food is untrue. That some men did so, is probable, but that this was done to any extent is utterly false. – Four companies A. B. C, & D, under the command of Major Shaw left Boston about 7. P.M. & proceeded by the “Metropolis” to New York where they arrived at half past nine o’clock Thursday morning. – The remaining companies left Boston about 10, & taking passage on the “State of Maine” reached Jersey City at dark on Thursday. We reached Philadelphia at 3 o’clock Friday morning, & after partaking of a bountiful collation, started for Baltimore where we arrived at 3 o clock on the afternoon of Friday. After having rations of break & meat, & hot coffee served to us at Baltimore, we left for Washington & arrived in that city at 1 A. M. of Saturday morning. We marched to Meridian Hill where we are now encamped on Saturday & pitched our tents. We received our arms – altered muskets except the two flanking companies who received Springfield Rifles – on Tuesday.
We made the journey without losing a man by desertion, or having one of my own Regiment drunk. Two men were left in the Hospital at Philadelphia, one of whom has since come on. The weather has been very severe since we have been here, & the men have suffered considerably from bad colds.
There have been about sixty cases of measles of a mild type. I am now having the entire Regiment vaccinated, as there are some cases of small pox in some of the regiments near.
We are permanently brigaded in the First Brigade of Gen. Casey’s Division. There is an unpleasant prospect of wintering here.
We commence building barracks this week. We drill every forenoon in company drill, & every afternoon in battalion drill.
The men are improving rapidly, & seem happy & contented.
Very truly Yours
John C. Caldwell