Diary of Orrin Brown—Oct 16, 1864

Officers of the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment play cards during the lengthy Siege of Petersburg in 1864-65.

Diary of Orrin Brown, Indianapolis, Indiana

Sunday–Oct. 16th

We got up this morning and found it quite cool, I wrote a letter home this fournoon, we had an Oyster dinner today and it went like hot Cakes, I read 10 Chapters in the Testament while some were writing some playing cards some carousing and swearing some drinking liquor, we have had a pretty fair day and now to supper but we have just got the word that we are not going to have any supper so goes the world in dixie.

Long Periods of Boredom Punctuated by Moments of Sheer Terror

It is said that the soldier’s primary duty is to wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.  Hurry up and wait.  Wait patiently, wait impatiently, but first and foremost wait.  As editor Kelly Knauer told PBS Newshour on the Civil War between the battles, “There was an awful lot of downtime and the war really became this long stalemate, and probably 90 to 95 percent of the time you had guys sitting around drinking and playing cards, simply trying to kill time.”  Which seems better than trying to kill and avoid being killed, but it doesn’t make time go by quickly.


This entry was posted in Pursuit of Happiness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.