The Recruit

The recruit — our latest acquisition — was so interesting. His nice, clean clothes, new hat, new shoes, trimming on his shirt front, letters and cross guns on his hat, new knife for all the fellows to borrow, nice comb for general use, nice little glass to shave by, good smoking tobacco, money in his pocket to lend out; oh! what a great convenience he was. How many things he had that a fellow could borrow, and how willing he was to go on guard, and get wet, and give away his rations, and bring water, and cut wood, and ride horses to water; and he was so clean and sweet, and his cheeks so rosy, all the fellows wanted to bunk with him under his nice new blanket, and impart to him some of their numerous and energetic ‘tormentors.’

And then it was so interesting to hear him talk. He knew so much about war, arms, tents, knapsacks, ammunition, marching, fighting, camping, cooking, shooting, and everything a soldier is and does. It is remarkable how much a recruit and how little an old soldier knows about such things. After a while the recruit forgets all, and is as ignorant as any veteran. How good the fellows were to a really gentlemanly boy; how they loved him!

Harper’s Weekly, September 7, 1861

Southern Historical Society Papers.
Vol. I. Richmond, Virginia., February, 1876. No. 2
Camp Fires Of The Boys In Gray.

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