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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 227 [06-07-1861]

	     On Staten Island.
[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
  They are accommodated in snow-white tents,
pitched in rows, one row of fourteen tents con-
stituting a company, and each tent containing eight
men.  The officers have circular tents, two to each
company.  Each man is provided with a blanket and
mattress, and will be further supplied with an india-
rubber blanket when the necessary funds shall be
  This is asserted to comprise three thousand men
and to be daily augmenting.  It consists at present
of the Excelsior, Jackson and Taylor regiments,
and and inchoate fourth.  The rank and file includes
Americans, English, French, Germans and Irish,
almost exclusively young, able-bodied men, who
confidently and zealously anticipate the time when
they shall be mustered into the service of the Uni-
ted States.  They are sworn in for three years or
�during the war� at the time of enlistment, and
thenceforth provided with rations and commonly
shoes, though complete uniforms, similar to those
worn by the United States army, have as yet been
but scantily supplied, and musket are only dealt
out to those on guard.  They will receive pay from
the state until formally organized; and the sum of
$2,000,000 has been voted towards the sustenance
of their wives and families, who obtain it in weekly
instalments of from $2 to $6.
  Fronting the canvas city is what appears to have
been an old farm house of no uncommon fashion on
the island�its lower portion built of stone, its up-
per of timber, with slightly overhanging eaves and
dormer windows.  This is Mr. Sickles�s headquar-
ters.  Adjacent to it we observe sundry extempo-
rized wooden buildings, like huge unpainted
packing cases, in course of rapid completion, as
barracks and temporary offices.  Some of these are
already occupied for ordinary purposes, in which 
roasting, baking and boiling is hourly in progress,
on a scale proportioned to the entertainment of
three thousand men, with appetites developed by
three weeks in the open air and almost incessant
drilling.  Around this department, too, at morning
and evening, hovers a grateful and stimulating
smell of coffee of excellent quality.

[newspaper clipping: second column]
  Most of the men have improved in physique and
condition since their enlistment, and their drill is
better than might have been expected.  Seen on a
bright June morning or beautiful afternoon, when
the trees and tents and the rows of embryo soldiers
are making long shadows on the rich green sward,
the white tents in the rear, and the glittering
ocean-line in the distance, the scene is at once
picturesque, striking and beautiful.  For music
they have as yet only drum and fifte.  A full bri-
gade is entitled to ten drums, ten fifes, one base
drum and one bugle.
  Whatever may be Mr. Sickles�s footing with the
Secretary of War he certainly does his utmost to
deserve the goodwill and esteem of his men.  Up at
sunrise, accessible to all, diligently scrupulous as
to the quality of the food provided by his commis-
sariat, and the appointments generally�if he has
no military experience qualified judges pronounce
him zealously and honestly ambitious of acquiring
it.  Most of his officers have been selected with care
and discrimination�as able and military men who
have seen service.  Among these may be specially 
mentioned Colonel G. B. Hall, of the Jackson regi-
ment, in which he enjoys unbounded popularity.
He served throughout the Mexican war, and was
with Walker in Nicaragua.
  One company of the Jackson regiment, recently
commanded by Captain Hogan, is said to have en-
listed upon the promise that the men should be put
to artillery service, for which many of them are
particularly qualified.  At present they have the
alternative of serving as infantry or disbanding�
the majority inclining to the latter.  Under the 
United States organization the regiment would be
entitled to a flank company of artillery.
  This regiment (the Thirty-second) is quartered in
barracks at Camp Yates, about a mile and a half
distant from Camp Scott, the officers occupying the
New Dorp Hotel, originated under the special pa-
tronage of Senator Baker.  Within the short space
of two weeks it has attained the nuber of 737
men, who are officered by gentlemen of tried merit
and distinction.

[Gunn�s diary continued]
the former to Washington square, there wit-
nessing the drill and parade of the Federal
Chasseurs, a corps of about 70 young fellows               
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