User Tools

Site Tools


1st_michigan_infantry_sources

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
1st_michigan_infantry_sources [2019/08/06 06:11]
admin
1st_michigan_infantry_sources [2019/08/06 06:14] (current)
admin
Line 329: Line 329:
  
 {{:​1st_mi_inf:​detroit_free_press_fri_feb_7_1862.jpg?​linkonly|}} {{:​1st_mi_inf:​detroit_free_press_fri_feb_7_1862.jpg?​linkonly|}}
 +
 +----
 +
 +Letter of Abner Van Dyke
 +
 +Camp Michigan,​\\ ​
 +Annapolis Junction, Maryland,​\\ ​
 +Feb. 10th.
 +
 +Mr. Editor:
 +
 +I have just returned from Baltimore, where I spent three days very pleasantly. I had formed a very had opinion of the place, from what I had read and heard about it; its rowdies, riots, rank secessionists,​ &c, hut in spite of all these, I am forced to own that the monumental city is well worthy its name; also that it contains men and women of as clear heads and noble hearts, as are found in any part of the country. The men of the Mich. 6th speak in terms of the highest praise of the Baltimorians. When any of them are sick, some kind hearted citizen offers to take them to his house and take care of them until they are well. This has been done in many instances, and goes to show, (more than any words of mine) the true spirit which pervades the Union men of Baltimore. ​
 +
 +The Washington monument is a splendid structure, reared, of course, in honor of "The Father of his country."​ It stands on an elevation overlooking the city, and from its top one gets a fine view of her, wealth and splendor. I ascended the monument, lantern in hand, pausing many times to rest. The sides of the wall were covered with moisture; the air was damp and cold the lamp emitted but a feeble, flickering gleam, and every footfall was echoed from the top to the bottom of the winding stairs. As I slowly groped my way up, I was reminded of the. descent of Constance de Beverly into the gloomy dun- geons of the Convent. Those of your readers who have seen the' graphic description hy Sir Walter Scott, will easily catch my meaning and can in imagination ascend with me to the top of Washington Monument. At length a ray of light appeared, and I soon stood in the open heavens, far above the noise and confusion of earth. What a scene met my gaze! Never, no, never will the impression he erased from my memory; even while I write, the thousand objects which I saw, pass in one grand review before my mind's eye, like the moving glories of a panorama. ​ Fort McHenry, with the good old flag waving, is seen in the distance, commanding both the city and the bay; it looks like a "Giant slumbering in conscious strength."​ But I hope that that strength will never need to he exerted in destroying so fine a city. 
 +
 +The shot tower is quite a place of resort for soldiers. It is about two hundred feet high. I was pretty tired when I got to the top, but felt well paid by the fine view which it afforded me. I did not have an opportunity of seeing the process of shot making as it was not going on that day, but all the implements used, were there.—I remember reading, in my school days, in Comstock'​s Philosophy, something about the operation, and inwardly thanking a somewhat retentive memory for said particulars,​ I descended once more to earth, agreeing with the poet that it is a "​painful preeminence,​ ourselves to view, above life's weaknesses and its comforts, too." ​
 +
 +Green Mount Cemetery is emphatically "a city of the dead." The lot contains sixty two acres and the monuments are beautiful. All that the sculptor, the poet and bereaved mourner could do, has been done to embellish and adorn this "​silent city;" and although such labors are vain, so far as the dead are concerned, they are tender tributes of respect, and "to the living, useful."​ Slowly, musingly, I wandered on stopping occasionally to gaze on some of the most attractive scenery. It seems as though the friends of those who sleep there, have been striving to see who could procure the most touching memorial. It is a noble strife, for nothing marks the state of civilization in a country, more than the degree of respect shown the dead. "The Mount" is covered with cedars of native growth, I should judge, their green and cone like tops make them look very beautiful; these stand silent, hut eloquent mourners over the dear departed. This must be a delightful place in summer—when the earth is clean, and the numerous vines and flowers scent the air with their fragrance. In the centre of the lot is a Mausoleum, in which the dead are placed, previous to interment. They are often kept here for months on account of the weather, or waiting for the arrival of friends. After passing an hour or more among the "​tombs,"​ I departed feeling that I had seen a convincing proof of man's mortality. Baltimore is not wanting in her attentions to the education of young. There are several very fine institutions of learning here, erected and endowed by the city. 
 +
 +I visited the Eastern Female High School, which, at present, is under the supervision of Mr. Thayer an able instructor, and a fine man. The building is a good one, and every thing is quiet and orderly about the school. There are about two hundred pupils now in attendence, with six assistant teachers, all ladies. They were all in the assembly room singing, when I entered, and be assured, Mr. EDITOR, I was charmed and delighted to hear once more, those school songs to which I have so often listened with pleasure in early life. They sung some Union songs, the "Star Spangled Banner,"​ &c, which roused my patriotism not a little. Blest be the cause of education everywhere, and all means provided for the instruction of sons and daughters. "An enlightened and virtuous people can never be enslaved." ​
 +
 +The Michigan First still lives and (not wishing to offend our friends of the Gallant Sixth, who treated me so kindly) I do think we can outshine any regiment now in the field. ​
 +
 +The Baltimoreans give a good report concerning the boys of the Sixth, which I think they well deserve, for they are a fine lot of boys, and conduct themselves like true soldiers. ​
 +
 +I wish something new would transpire so that I could have more news to communicate.
 +For the present, I pause.
 +
 +Yours truly,
 +
 +Abner Van Dyke
 +
 +Co. E, 1st Michigan Infantry.
 +
 +
 +And the generations yet unborn, will bless the heroes name: letters and poetry of Abner Van Dyke, 1st Michigan Infantry, 25th Michigan Infantry, U.S. Colored Troops\\ ​
 +https://​governingmichigan.org/​collections/​view-item/?​DMaliaslist=p16110coll4&​DMItem=35
  
 ---- ----
1st_michigan_infantry_sources.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/06 06:14 by admin