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1863 March 18: News from the 30th Wisconsin Infantry at Camp Randall

March 20, 2013

Following are two articles from the March 18, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal, giving news about the 30th Wisconsin Infantry, which is still at Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin.  The author is not named and so we do not know if these are excerpts from one letter or two.

Finger One of our correspondents in the 30th, thus writes of MEASLES :

Measles, though it be the Camp Randall, adult measles, is an exceedingly unromantic disease.  Brain fever now is an aristocratic ailment.  A man perisheth of the brain fever ;  ’tis well ;  his obituary reads well ;  his friends are grieved ;  they mournfully mention his demise.  “He died of brain fever ;  but measles—faugh !  What consolation has a man who dies of measles ?  None, my boy—nary stiver !  Veni, vidi, vinci.  I have met the measles, and I am theirs.  I am a victim.  My mouth, even now, but faintly distinguisheth the taste, yea, the flavor of egg-nogg from that of poor whiskey.  I resort in all kinds of strategic movements to see.  This object and that object are mixed in woeful confusion.—I’m spelling away at the last French novel Les Miserables, and I appreciate the work.  If Jean Valjean had only had the measles, or withstood ’em bravely, as he did other misfortunes and afflictions, I could worship him.  Cosette never had measles.  Marius Pontmercy never had measles ;  he took Cosette and many thousand francs.  He should have had measles.  The all should have had measles, for they are les miserables.

FingerOur correspondent in the 30th, thus writes :

There is quite a feeling of resentment felt among the soldiers towards the Dirty Ragged, Secesh, Copperhead Democrats in this vicinity—Regiments of them being harbered [sic] in and about Madison.  Vengeance has been sworn against them, and I presume it a sufficient number could pass out some eveing, they would, without hesitation, attend their secret club meetings, to the unprofitable dissatisfaction of the royal circle.

They have gone so far as to offer some of the 30th citizens clothing, in order to induce them to desert.  But they must beware.—There will be a day of retribution when we return, and their own castles shall tumble upon their own heads.

The health of the regiment is much improved, aside from the mumps, (a few cases still existing,) and those that are yet lingering along from the effects of the measles, the men are healthy.  What are well are heartier and healthier than they have ever been.  And while I write the boys are having a grand dance.  Co. A have joined in.  The tables are swung overhead, and every one seems to enjoy himself.  Those dancing the part as lady take off their caps.  I have just had a good waltz and quadrille.

1.  Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables was first published in 1862.

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