"The soldier did not waste their time and strength(pitching
shelter tents every night). If the night was clear and
pleasant, they lay down without a roof shelter of any
kind, but if it was stormy... shelters were then quite
generally pitched... two muskets with bayonets fixed were
struck erect into the ground the width of a shelter half.
A guy rope which went wit h every shelter half was stretched
between the trigger guards of the muskets, and over the
as a ridge pole the tent was pitched" (Billings,
"About midnight we were awakened by the firing
of muskets. Each man rose up and took his place in ranks
more quickly than I ever saw it done and when the order
was given to " take arms" every man had his
gun ready for action" (Worsham, 33). * An example
of sleeping near stacked arms.*
"It was easy for men to move, because by this
time (Sharpsburg) we learned to live without tents. The
only shelter was an oil or rubber cloth and cotton flies...We
were dependent on the Yankees for them(flies) as I never
heard of our quartermaster issue any" (Worsham, 33).
"So in order to make ourselves as comfortable
as possible, we set to work pulling wheat, getting together
quite a stock. It was spread on the ground making a very
respectable footing and bed, and over all we pitched our
tents and were happy enough with little exception"
"One of the boys and myself got down on a bunch
of wet leaves and covered our blankets over us, rain turned
to cold and I shook..." (Logsdon, 19).
"...Made a shebang by putting two forked sticks in
the ground about six feet apart, lying a pole in the forks,
placing brush with one end on the ground, the other inclined
on the pole, enclosing in this way one side and the ends,
and leaving the other side open. This would accommodate
3-4 men, and with care could be impervious to the rain"
"As our tents were still at Poplar Hill 14 miles
to the rear, we slept on the ground with the sky for a
quilt and slept soundly till morning" (Ballard, 83).
"The 21st Virginia (camped) in a large wood where
we gather(ed) fresh fallen leaves into piles, placing
our oilcloths on them laying down, covering with our blankets,
we enjoyed the bed as much as any we ever slept on"
" ...We found a good hickory fire burning, which
had been abandoned by the parties who built it. As the
night was cold, we lay down with out feet next to the
fire, lying on a single blanket and covering ourselves
with the other" (Fleming, 59).
"Colonel Babcock with his men could be seen pacing
up and down a hill to keep from freezing. Oh what a long
cheerless night it was" (Logsdon, 21).
"Tents were rarely seen. All the poetry about
tented fields died. Two men slept together, each had a
blanket and a oilcloth. One oilcloth went next to the
ground. The two laid on this, covered themselves with
the two blankets, protected from the rain with the second
oilcloth, and slept very comfortably through rain, snow,
and hail as it might by..." (Gragg, 27).
"To keep warm we made a circle of about 20 or
30 feet in diameter and around this we trotted most of
the night" (Logsdon, 23).
"The boys lay down singly or in couples and covered
themselves as best they could with their blankets. I crouched
beneath a leaning tree and wrapping my blanket around
me and my gun so as to keep it as dry as possible"
"The method of carrying our few assets was to
roll them in a blanket, tying each end of the roll which
was then swung over the shoulder. At night this blanket
was unrolled and rapped around its owner who found a place
on the ground with his cartridge box as a pillow"
"My bunkie and myself had each a rubber and a
woolen blanket. We selected a little mound made by a root
of a fallen tree. We spread one rubber down, then a woolen.
Bunkie laid down on his side, pulling his cartridge box
well up on his hip, taking his gun between his knees,
muzzle to foot. I spread the other woolen over him, then
the remaining rubber over all, turned them down, crept
in behind him placing my cartridge box and gun in like
position. Each used his haversack and canteen as a pillow.
We now pulled the blanket over our heads and proceeded
to fall into a dreamless sleep" (Logsdon, 21).
"I... and Justilien Gros made a stack of guns
and extended a blanket over it; we sat underneath the
little shelter it afforded. Many others however had no
protection from the inclement weather" (Logsdon,
"It soon commenced to rain. I stood under a tree
for a shelter" (Logsdon, 87).
"Feet wet, boots for a pillow, the mud oozing
up around our rubber blanket, but making a soft bed and
we sleeping the dreamless sleep of tired men" (Goss,
"There was a fence along the road that skirted
the swamp, the water along which was nearly knee deep.
I waded to the fence, picked out two rails that suited
my purpose, put the rail s close together with one end
on the ground and one end on the fence. Then I climbed
up on the rails got in between them and slept there all
night" (Holt, 266).
New Jersey (On mosquitoes)
"...An army of Virginia mosquitoes made general
attack on our post, that was on the edge of the wood.
We were completely surrounded and had to keep our arms
continually in motion trying to brush them off. Not being
able to stand it any longer we built a fire, making plenty
of smoke in the hopes of smoking them out, but it was
no go, as they would bite us even after we got into the
smoke. But we could not stand the smoke, we had to back
out to escape being smothered to death. Everything else
failing we wrapped ourselves up in our blankets leaving
nothing but our eyes and nose exposed and stood it as
best we could until daybreak, when they retreated"
"...Feeling too much fatigued...(we) lay down
on the ground to sleep, with no shelter from the rain"