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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 235 [06-10-1861]

	The Scott Life Guards.

[newspaper clipping: first column]
              A DESTITUTE CAMP.
  The Second Regiment of Scott Life Guards.
  The Second regiment of Scott Life Guards,
otherwise known as the Thirty-eighth of the New
York State Volunteers, is now encamped at the
village of East New York, Long Island.  Except in
the indispensable raw material of bone and sinew,
muscle and manhood, this regiment appears to be
destitute of almost everything necessary to the
transformation of the human animal into the sol-
dier, and presents a striking contrast to other bo-
dies of our troops, which had received their com-
plement of arms and equipments.
              THE CAMP GROUND.
  East New York lies half-way on the road to
Flushing, and is reached by a four and a half mile
horse, railroad journey, through pleasant open
country, passing into which you speedily leave
behind the more inevitable reminiscences of city
brick and mortar.  The village itself comprises two
or three hotels of moderate pretensions, a good
many lager beer houses, with more or less of
gardens, ten-pin alleys and shooting galleries
attached, sundry small stores partaking equally of
the corner grocery and the one store of the coun-
try village order, some few villas, and a number of
miscellaneous wooden tenements, populated by fami-
lies the business avocations of whose working
members ordinarily lie in New York, to which they
journey at early morning, to return at nightfall.
Add a sufficient garnishing of trees, several green
open grassy plazas of considerable extent, a hill or
so in the distance and a good deal of blue sky and
sunlight, and you may conceive East New York in
its present aspect.
  These are anywhere in the vicinity in which eight
hundred men can be accommodated with a roof
over their heads�in houses, shanties, lager beer
saloons, ten-pin alleys, stores, unfinished tenements,
arbors, sheds, outhouses and the like.  Here half a 
dozen spread the nocturnal mattress in the gallery
ordinarily devoted to the orchestra of a dance hall;
there fifty are encamped more appropriately in a 
rifle gallery; further on twice that number colonize
a deserted brew-house.  Some are provided with
lodging by the inhabitants at a tariff of so many
cents a head.  For the troops have no tents or pres-
ent means of obtaining any, or of building barracks.
The officers board in the hotels or the private houses
of the vicinity.

[newspaper clipping: second column]
	         THE MEN.
  The Second regiment of the Scott Life Guard
was mustered into the state service on the fourth of
March, and into that of the United States on June
the third.  The men were sworn in for two years
service, or during the war, upon enlistment.  They
are exclusively citizens of this state, the majority
from the city of New York, some companies being
raised in particular wards.  They appear sturdy,
resolute fellows, whose enrolment in the service of
their country deserves, and its acceptance should
oblige, better treatment than that they have expe-
  This paragraph might be a literal transcript of
the proverbial chapter on snakes of the Icelandic
naturalist: �There are none.�  Up to the present
time the men have received no uniforms whatever,
and the majority are so shabby and ragged as to
stand deplorably in need of them.  Shoeless, desti-
tute of hose and linen, �all tattered and torn,� like
the individual of osculatory proclivities in the nur-
sery ballad, even to the verge of indecency, many
of them are thereby prevented from appearing at
public drill, while only the minority from the coun-
try have anything like whole raiment.  The uniform
which they expect to get (when the Home Defence
Committee can bestow a little very much neded at-
tention and money upon them) will consist of a dark
blue jacket and gray satinet trousers.  Excepting
daily rations of average quality, a mattress and a
gray blanket of exceedingly poor quality, supplied
to each man, they have obtained absolutely nothing
except what has been bestowed upon them at the
private expense of their officers.  Under these cir-
cumstances, neatness of appearance, and even clean-
liness, (in the absence of soap,) is hardly to be
looked for.
	        THEIR ARMS
consist of fifty battered, broken, rusty, corroded old
flintlock muskets, some destitute of hammers, of
triggers, of all vestige of lock or other indispensable
components to the possible, not to mention effective,
explosion of gunpowder.  They are so antiquated
in appearance, so completely used up, decayed and
damaged, that
	�The old Queen�s arm that gran�ther Young
	  Fetched back from Concord busted,�
were a formidable and modern weapon in compa-
rison; they might have been coeval with the famous
army which �swore so terribly in Flanders.�
These unique pieces serve to mount guard with, and,
in conjunction with two good muskets and one shot
gun�all three borrowed�constitute the arms of
the regiment.               
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