1861: General Orders for Camp Sullivan, 2nd New Hampshire Infantry

One can image the following General Orders being read to the troops of the 2nd New Hampshire Infantry following dress parade and subsequently posted near regimental headquarters. It prescribed the camp regulations and order of the day for Camp Sullivan by its commander, Colonel Gilman Marston. At the time these General Orders were issued, the regiment had not long been in its camp which was located in the vicinity of Glenwood Cemetery, west of North Capitol Street in the District of Columbia. They were bivouacked there from 23 June to 16 July 1861 before participating in the Battle of 1st Bull Run.

Over the years I have transcribed the following letters by members of the 2nd New Hampshire Infantry:
Abiel Walker Colby, Co. B, 2nd New Hampshire (1 Letter)
James Webster Carr, Co. C, 2nd New Hampshire (6 Letters)
Isaiah Foy Haines, Co. E, 2nd New Hampshire (1 Letter)
Francis D. Bacon, Co. F, 2nd New Hampshire (1 Letter)
Charles Edwin Jewett, Co. F, 2nd New Hampshire (22 Letters)

[Jewett’s Letter 3 has a good description of Camp Sullivan]
Hugh R. Richardson, Co. F, 2nd New Hampshire (1 Letter)
Simeon Clark Buck, Co. G. 2nd New Hampshire (1 Letter)
Alexander Lyle, Co. G, 2nd New Hampshire (10 Letters)

These unidentified privates wear the gray dress uniform provided for both the 1st or 2nd New Hampshire infantries by the state quartermaster in May 1861. The man at left is clearly seated to show his “spike-tail” coat to best advantage. Their chasseur-pattern caps had red bands, and high standing collars and closed cuffs were trimmed with narrow red cord. Trousers were plain gray. Sixth-plate ruby ambrotype by an anonymous photographer.
[Ron Field Collection, Military Images]


WASHINGTON, D. C., June 28, 1861.


No. 15

REVEILLE at 4.30 o’clock A. M., when the men will immediately rise, put themselves, their equipments and quarters in order for the day.

ASSEMBLY at 5 o’clock A. M., and is the signal to form  by companies.

PEAS UPON A TRENCHER at 6 o’clock A. M., and is the signal for breakfast.

Surgeons’ Call immediately after breakfast.

THE TROOP will be beat at 7.30 o’clock A. M. for guard mounting. A Police Officer and police party under his direction will be detached immediately after. The Police  Officer, accompanied by the Surgeon, will inspect daily the sinks, the kitchens, and the mode of preparing food.

Reports must be presented at Regimental Headquarters before 8 o’clock A. M.

The Officer of the Day will, immediately after guard mounting, read to the guard the army regulations relating to the duties of Sentinels.

At 9 o’clock, companies will march to the parade for drill.  ROAST BEEF—the signal for dinner—will be beat at 12  o’clock noon.

Retreat at 5 o’clock P. M.

Supper at 7 o’clock P. M.

The Tattoo at 9.30 o’clock P. M., after which both officers and soldiers will remain in camp until Reveille, unless out under orders or with special written permit from the commanding officers.

There will be three stated Roll-Calls, viz: At Reveille, Retreat and Tattoo.

All firing of guns and pistols within the camp is strictly prohibited unless by written permit from the commanding  officer; and the officer of the guard is directed to arrest all persons violating this order, and report the same to the commanding officer. All Target Practice must take place be tween the hours of 7 A. M. and 12 noon.

By the Order of the Colonel Commanding: 1

S[amuel] G. LANGLEY,  Adjutant.

H. Polkinhorn, Printer, Washington.

Gilman Marston

1 “The 2nd New Hampshire was originally organized as a three-month regiment. The Abbot Guards of Manchester, one of the first companies to be raised in New Hampshire, had gone to Concord as part of the 1st New Hampshire. On May 1, 1861, the company marched forty-five miles to Portsmouth to join the 2nd New Hampshire under the command of Colonel Thomas Prescott Pierce. Pierce, then serving as the U.S. Postmaster of Manchester, New Hampshire, had served with the 9th U.S. Infantry during the Mexican War and had seen action at Contreras and Churubusco. By May 10, 979 men, all enlisted for three months, had arrived at camp and were being “drilled, disciplined and made acquainted with the duties pertaining to a soldier’s life.” When the U.S. War Department ordered the governor not to send any more three-month men, the regiment was re- organized, between May 31 and June 8, as a three-year unit. With this change in the unit’s status, Colonel Pierce resigned on June 4, 1861. The unit’s new colonel, Gilman Marston, was a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard. He had served as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1845-1849) and as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1850. He had been elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth U.S. Congress (and would be re-elected to the Thirty-seventh Congress and serve until March 3, 1863). Marston and the 1,046 officers and men of the 2nd New Hampshire were mustered into federal service on June 10 at Portsmouth.” Col. Marston was in command of the 2nd New Hampshire Infantry at the Battle of 1st Bull Run where his arm was shattered but he refused amputation and survived. [“We drop a comrade’s tear” by Karlton D. Smith]

Posted Regulations for Camp Sullivan, 2nd New Hampshire Infantry, 28 June 1861

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