Friday, March 24, 2017

"The Rebel Yell & Yankee Hurrah"-- On the Veterans and Getting Out Alive

This past week, I wrote about going to the Lake County Civil War Round Table meeting in Grayslake, Illinois, and stopping earlier at the town library where I found a really good soldier's diary by Private John W. Haley of the 17th Maine Regiment.

Earlier this month I wrote about Union soldiers classified as "Veterans."  These were soldiers who reenlisted after their term of service was over.  If most of their regiment declined to reenlist, they would be sent to other regiments.

Here is Private Haley's writing for June 5, 1864, during Grant's Overland Campaign against Lee (A Real Bloodbath):

"Soon as the light was strong enough we struck out for our regiment and soon ran afoul of them near where we were laying a few days before.  Nothing unusual transpired during the day except for the transfer of the 3rd Maine veterans to our regiment.

"Those who won't re-enlist are to go home in a few days, and a happy lot of mortals they are.  It makes me positively sick to see them!

"My term of service will not expire until August 6, 1865, a trifle over a year from now.  The way things look now, it is a ten-to-one chance that I will expire before my term does."

Telling It Like It Is.  --Old Secesh

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