Pennsylvania's Emergency Men

Pennsylvania's Emergency Men

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16, 1862: 2nd PA Emergency Militia (J. Witmer)

Read the previous day here.

We started about sunrise and marched down the road toward Greencastle in search of our regiment, not knowing where it was situated, and being told that it was still further on, we continued marching down the road until we were stopped by our pickets on the side of Greencastle. They told us that our Regiment was encamped back a mile of two towards Chambersburg.  So back we started, tired & hungry and found the regiment encamped in a wood about five miles south west of Chambersburg, it was now nearly three oclock P.M. and the most of us had not eaten any thing since we left Harrisburg, so you may believe we had a good appetite for the dandelion coffee, and bean soup, which we got about four o’clock. We then set about erecting shanties in the woods, which was done by putting up a ridge pole, leaving nails against it (the fences were torn down for this purpose) and thatching with straw and corn fodder. The straw we carried from a barn about a half a mile off and the fodder we brought from the fields. We cut and husked the corn and carried off the fodder. Then we thought we had very comfortable quarters, but as the shed was built up the side of a hill, and Uncle George and I slept at the lower end, the men slid down in the night and we were rolled out into the woods which was not very pleasant especially as it was raining.  Our ration this day were bread, hard crackers, and bean soup.  The crackers were prefferable to the bread as it was generally sour. Some of the men bought chickens, and I saw some from the Pottsville company carrying in a large pig. I felt quite ready to retire after roll call which was at nine oclock, and with the exception of rolling out of  bed slept very soundly until morning “And the Evening and the morning were the first day”.

- John Witmer

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