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Departure for Washington.-Patriotism of the Williamsport Ladies.
-Arrival at the Capital.-Camp Granger.-Destroying a Liquor Establishment. Cleaving-out” a Clam Peddler.-Review by Governor Morgan.-First Death in the Regiment.--First Battle of Bull Run.-Chapges among the Officers.
ABOUT noon on Tuesday, the 8th, the Companies marched down to the depot, preceded by the Elmira Cornet Band, which had been attached to the Regiment. Two hours later they moved away, amidst tremendous cheering from the assembled multitude, waving of handkerchiefs, throwing of bouquets, &c.
On reaching Williamsport, Pa., the ladies of the place crowded around the cars, showering oranges, apples, cakes, and other edibles upon the men, filling their canteens with coffee, and in other ways displaying their patriotism and hospitality. They will long be held in grateful remembrance by the Regiment. Passing through Harrisburg the train reached Baltimore about noon, the men marching through the streets with fixed bayonets to the Washington Depot.
When within about fifteen miles of Baltimore, some fifty of the officers and men, who had gone in search of water on the stoppage of the train, were
left, much to their own chagrin and the amusement of the Regiment. Arriving in Washington at three o'clock P. M., the Companies formed and proceeded down Pennsylvania Avenue to the various quarters assigned them. It rained fiercely that afternoon, and they were glad enough to get under shelter, without waiting to gratify their curiosity by an inspection of the Capitol buildings.
The next day, Wednesday, they were marched out on Seventh Street, two and one-half miles from the city, to the spot designated for their encampment, which was named “ Camp Granger,” in honor of Gen. John A. Granger, of Canandaigua, who had interested himself much in behalf of the Regiment. This was the first experience of most of the men in the art of castramentation, and many were the droll incidents which occurred in connection with the pitching of the tents. After repeated trials, however, they were all satisfactorily adjusted.
The habitations completed, drilling was the next thing in order, which, together with target-shooting, scouting, and mock skirmishing, was kept up from day to day. The first lessons in “guard running.” were learned here, many of the men managing to escape to the city, under cover of night, and return without detection before the sounding of the morning reveille. As a general thing they were temperate and abstemious in their habits, manifesting their disrelish for ardent spirits, by destroying on one occasion a liquor establishment which had been opened on the grounds. There were some, however,
who, thinking it necessary to partake of their “bitters,” would smuggle liquor into camp, bringing it in in their gun barrels, or by some other ingenious means.
One afternoon a clam peddler was so imprudent as to leave his wagon for a few moments within the camp enclosure. A mischievous member of Company — observing this, cautiously removed the end board, and, mounting the driver's seat, started the horse off at a rapid pace, scattering the bivalves along the ground in front of the tents for several rods. All the boys were heartily regaled on clam soup that night, greatly to the discomfiture of the peddler, who ever afterwards steered clear of the Thirty-third. Many other incidents of a similar character served to relieve the monotony of camp life.
Governor Morgan inspected the Regiment on one occasion. Sickness, arising from change of climate and damp weather, had thinned out the ranks to some extent, but they made a fine appearance while passing in review before him, and the Governor expressed himself highly pleased with their morale and general condition. Frequent visits were received from members of the Sanitary Commission, who made contributions of various articles from time to time.
The first death in the Regiment occurred here. E. Backerstose, a member of Company H, was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun. The remains were forwarded, in charge of some of his comrades, to Geneva, where his parents resided.