Thursday, September 01, 2016

A Soldier's Life

In his book, The History of Fort Ocracoke in Pamlico Sound, Robert K. Smith quotes William Augustus Parvin, a private in the Washington Grays, a Confederate Heavy Artillery Company, who was sent to Portsmouth Island in the spring of 1861. Parvin writes:

"We went aboard the steamer and arrived at Portsmouth all right and landed and marched up to the United States Marine hospital and took charge of it...and there it was where I commenced to see what a soldiers [sic] life was. [Here Smith interjects, "A soldier's life indeed -- with adversaries like boredom, mosquitoes, disease, weather and the lack of the 'glories' of war, it seems that one had quite a battle without the Yankees. Still, they seemed to get along well:] We drilled twice a day, target practice once a day, also guard duty to do. But we had a fine time. Plenty of good fishing and plenty of fish and plenty of game birds such as cerlew [sic] and willet [sic], sea plover and yellow shanks and fine salt water bathing and surf bathing. We could catch all the oysters and clams that we wanted and we got so much rations and the people of Washington [NC] sent us so much provisions that we traded off some for watermelon and peaches and figs."

Our Ocracoke Newsletter for this month is an article by Philip Howard, My Ocracoke, Living amidst 250 years of Howard family history. You can read it here:

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