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A Raw Recruit's War Experiences by Nickerson

[Illustration: THE "RAW RECRUIT."]

A RAW RECRUIT'S WAR EXPERIENCES.

BY ANSEL D. NICKERSON, Late Private Co. B, Eleventh Rhode Island Volunteers.

PROVIDENCE: PRINTED BY THE PRESS COMPANY. 1888.

FOR PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION ONLY.

AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED To My Wife, WHOSE PATRIOTIC SPIRIT PROMPTED ME TO OFFER MY SERVICES TO MY COUNTRY.

"The neighing troop, the flashing blade, The bugle's stirring blast, The charge, the dreadful cannonade, The din and shout are past."

APOLOGY.

This "war paper" was first read before the Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors Society, in Providence, October 19, 1886. Subsequently it was read at the annual winter reunion of the Eleventh Rhode Island Regiment (January 27, 1887), two companies of which regiment (B and F) were recruited in Pawtucket, the former commanded by Captain Charles W. Thrasher and Lieutenant Thomas Moies, and the latter by Captain Edward Taft. It has since been read several times before other associations and societies. The paper was not intended for publication, nor was it originally broken into chapters, and in allowing it to be published, the author permits the urgent requests of numerous friends to outweigh his own judgment. It does not assume to be a connected or detailed history of the regiment; nor is it the history of any one company of the regiment; nor is it the diary of an officer of the regiment, but simply what its title indicates, "A RAW RECRUIT'S WAR EXPERIENCES." More is said about Company B than of any other company in the Eleventh Regiment for the reason that the aforesaid "raw recruit's war experiences" were especially identified with that company. Being personal recollections, and to a large extent the recital of personal incidents connected with the nine months' campaign of the regiment in Virginia, must be my apology for the frequent use of the personal pronoun I.

As the events of which I speak occurred at a period in our country's history when a spade was called a spade, and among a class of men who could not be justly accused of ambiguity of expression, my paper will be found to contain more than one "strong, old-fashioned English word, familiar to all who read their Bibles."

To those comrades whose war experiences were of a very different character from my own, and into whose hands this unpretentious little volume may fall, I trust that the recital of some of the ludicrous scenes in camp and on the march, rather than the harrowing descriptions of sanguinary battles, may not prove wholly unwelcome.

A. D. N.

PAWTUCKET, R. I.,

_April, 1888._

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE "RAW RECRUIT" ENLISTS AND GOES INTO CAMP 1

CHAPTER II.

OFF FOR THE SEAT OF WAR--THE KNAPSACKS 11

CHAPTER III.

AT MINER'S HILL--FIRST DEATH--THE "LONG ROLL" 18

CHAPTER IV.

THE CONVALESCENT CAMP--SCENES GRAVE AND GAY 27


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