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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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				201
	A German Regiment.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
	THE COMMANDER.
  Captain Max is, like most of his corps, a German,
the regiment being composed exclusively of them
or of volunteers of German descent, recruited with-
in or from the vicinity of New York city.  Their
leader has seen service as a Prussian officer in the
Schleswig-Holstein war of 1848, and the Baden
revolution fo the succeeding year, and most of his
officers have similar military experiences.  Among
the non-commissioned officers is a Sergeant-Major
Walter, who was one of Major Anderson s garrison
in Fort Sumter.  The regiment is fully completed,
numbering ten companies, amounting in all to 780
men, of which a large proportion are Turners or 
gymnasts.
	        THE MEN.
  Considering this qualification, and remembering
that their nationl appellation of German is, accord-
ing to Thomas Carlyle, derived from Guerre, or
war-men, we acknowledged its admirable fitness
on making the rounds of the encampment.  Stouter,
more active, heartier-looking young fel-
lows, or ones exhibiting a better average of intel-
ligent physique, we never looked on.  Recruited
principally from the ranks of city mechanics, their
appearance reflects a credit on their nationality.
	    THE UNIFORM.
  Their uniform consists of a close-fitting jacket,
and loose military trowsers of dark blue cloth, and
the popular French cap or kepi.  It had been origin-
ally intended to supply gray suits, similar to those
worn by the United States army, but such as were
furnished by a city firm proved of such varied
shades and execrable quality, that only the officers
retain a few as a fatigue or undress uniform.  For
weapons the men have at present, like most other
regiments, the bright-barrelled, smooth-bore United
States army muskets, and these they only obtained
on Tuesday night last.  As they enlisted specially
as a rifle regiment, and as most of them are well
practiced in the use of that weapon, they look for-
ward with much anxiety to obtaining it from the
Albany authorities.  It is stated that five thousand
of the desired rifles only need the sabre-bayonet to
render them fit for service.
	      LIFE IN CAMP.
  The men have as yet been sworn in but for three
months; they are, however, unanimously desirous
of enlisting for two years or for the war.
  They have been encamped since the twelfth of
last month, drilling for six hours a day, and, not-
withstanding the recent arrival of their muskets,
their performance is excellent.
  The entire premises of Franz Ruppert, his brau-
erei, house, out-houses and appurtenances are pret-

[newspaper clipping: second column]
ty densely populated by them.  A stroll through-
out the encampment at almost any hour of the day
reveals a spectacle at once picturesque and pecu-
liar.
  The large dancing hall over the bar-room, with
its tall, red-curtained windows, its chandeliers and
musicians  gallery, the big rooms, little rooms,
long rooms, short rooms, and rooms of all sorts
and sizes, above, below, and around, are thronged
with soldiers, resonant with the language of Schil-
ler and Goethe.  Over one portal, a  Gut heil! 
greets you; elsewhere a  Bahn frei!  exhorts
you to  clear the way.   You find muskets, knap-
sacks, mattresses, blankets and all the paraphernal-
ia incidental to a military life everywhere.
  The meal hours are seven, twelve and six.  Let
the reader look in at dinner-time, he may enjoy a
capital opportunity of contemplating Col. Weber s
regiment in their most genial and not their least
characteristic aspect.
         A PICTURE OF THE QUARTERS.
  Fancy a couple of large square rooms, communi-
cating the one with the other by three circular-
headed doors, each of them lit by tall windows com-
manding a fragmentary view of villa, rock, bank,
timber-yard, sun-light and bright blue sky.  Sup-
pose a bar-counter running along one side of the
principal room, an arch in the centre, fir-trees, cigar-
boxes and a glass case with a great display of
bottles on either side.  Imagine prints and pic-
tures of Washington, of Tell, of German student
life, of pretty French-lithographed females (drawn
after the Mohammedan conviction that women do
not possess souls), wreaths, horns, bugles and mili-
tary accoutrements ornamenting the walls, the area
of both rooms full of tables, the tables set out for
dinner, at least half a thousand men paying their
respects thereto, to the accompaniment of a really
splendid military band in full blast, and you may
conceive how the Twentieth Regiment of New York
Volunteers or a good portion of them look dur-
ing their mid-day meal.  The band, by the by, is
paid for by the regiment, the officers contributing
upwards of $270 a month, the privates $130.  To
Germans good music is a necessity; Col. Webar s
volunteers could never be content with only
the drum and fife allowed by the state government.
One company, too, is composed exclusively of vo-
calists, and they sing of Fatherland, of the Rhine,
of Wine and Beer and Maidens, with that unanim-
ity of enthusiasm and affection for that quintette of
agreeable institutions for which Germans are re-
markable.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Sixteen: page two hundred and twenty-one
Description:Includes a newspaper article describing Gunn's visit to Colonel Max Weber's German regiment camp.
Date:1861-06-05
Subject:Civil War; Clothing and dress; Germans; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Military; New York Infantry Regiment, 20th; Ruppert, Franz; Walter, Sergeant-Major; Weber, Max
Coverage (City/State):New York, [New York]
Scan Date:2010-06-08

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Sixteen
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of the scene in New York at the commencement of the Civil War, boarding house living, visits to the Edwards family, Mort Thomson's engagement to Fanny Fern's daughter Grace Eldredge, Frank Cahill's return to New York from London, Frank Bellew's dissatisfaction with living in England, Thomas Nast's engagement to Sally Edwards, the scene in New York during the departure of the 7th New York Regiment for Washington, attending the wedding of Olive Waite and Hamilton Bragg, a visit with Frank Cahill to the camp of the 1st Regiment of New York Volunteers and the 2nd Regiment of New York State Militia on Staten Island, the death of Charles Welden, and his reporting work.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marriage; Military; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.