MUSTERED IN AT CAMP DOUGLAS
We got to Rockford and went to a camp called Camp Fuller. The government had built what they called baraks. Buildings all rugh boards. They were large anough to hold 100 men with officers quarters at one end. They were fit up with bunks - three in a tier. I and Phillip Garmen were together. We took a lower bunk. Each of us took with us from home a blanket. We put one in to lay on, the other over us. Oh what a difference in beds we left at home. Nothing but hard boards to sleep on. Well do I remember the first night. How sore my hips were in the morning. I thought there and then must I sleep on hard boards for three years. It was a sad thought.
We got government rations. We got hard tack, coffee, meat, sugar and a lot of other things. We got our first meal and seemed quer to us. We did not know how to go about cooking. But we got along in good shape years after. We were some three weeks and drilled company drill. We had no guns yet. When we went on guard we took a good stout stick for a gun and walked our beat two hours at a time. What soldiering!
Some three weeks here we got orders to report in Chicago. I remember whil at Rockford father com to visit me. I had learned to smoke during this time. I remember father took my pipe and took a couple of whiffs just to see how it tasted. The first time I think he ever tasted tobaco. He all ways was oposed to the weed and I had never smoked but a few times. Had never used the weed before.
Well when we got to Chicago they put us in barraks where some ten thousand rebels had been as prisnors of war. Oh how dirty and filthy they were. Here we got what the boys called lousy for good. It was a fearful place to put us in. In a coupel of days we were joined by 8 other company and were mustered in as a regiment (93rd mustered in October 13, 1862). Our Colonel was from Freeport. Altho I had never seen him our company elected Joe Reel as our Captain with other officers to numerous to mention. Some time after we got cloathing and such a sight. We had to just take what they gave us. Then we began to trade with each other and that way we got our clothes to fit us. We also got guns. Oh what a time. We drew a gun, a caterige box and belt, a knap sack, a canteen, a haver sack. Just about a load for a man to carry.
We stayed in Camp Duglas some two or three weeks and while there 12 thousand of our soldiers were sent their (paroled Union prisoners). They were surrendered to the rebels at Harpers Ferry by General Miles who was to get a sum of money. He was shot thru the leg and died of his wound so he never got to use his ill goton riches. Some raid. His own men killed him. (This was a common rumor at the time but it is inaccurate that a General Miles surrendered in exchange for money).
Shortly after those troops landed we ware taken out and put in tents near where Duglas was buried. (Senator Stephen Douglas - best known for the Lincoln-Douglas debates). I seen his grave several times. Those prisnors became disorderly and wanted to be sent to their own states. Oh how they did burn baraks, night after night. We would be called out and sent to quell them. A good many of them went home without being sent. They were all estern troops so we stayed till December.