I'm thinking this impression could be exceedingly popular as you would be able to wear the gaudiest of uniforms, instantly be an ossifer, and never ave to leave Richmond.
Piney Flats, TN
Wednesday morning, Jan. 15, 1862
[for the Dispatch.]
By authority of the State--of affairs — without the aid of the Governor or any of the Governor's aids, I propose to raise a crack corps for the defence of the city of Richmond, and garrison of the mud-works in and around the city aforesaid.
The respectable character and generally supposed safety of this service, will at once draw thousands to my standard, and over flow my recruiting depots with applicants. In view of this, fact, it may be well to state fairly the standard of excellence required, and the many privations to which this gallant hand must expect to be exposed in their campaign against the general enemy.
In the first place. gentlemen wearing fine uniforms and having no other occupation, will be invariably preferred, as we can make officers of them at once, it not making the slightest difference in the world, whether they know anything or not, or are even fit for soldiers. If such persons happen to have taken "French leave" of their regiments in the field, or are "lying around loose" on extended sick furloughs, so much the better; our service will be so arduous that a little repose before action is absolutely necessary. More over, a recruit who comes into service, fully posted upon the best and most approved manner of "shaking duty," is a valuable acquisition at all times. As a convenient point of rest, as well as comfortable post of observation, if any of these gentlemen should, by chance, be passing the "Spotswood House," or even standing upon the corner, in front thereof, between the hours of eleven and three, (A. M. and P. M.) they will find a commodious four-mule avalanche, ready to carry them to the nearest rendezvous of this corps, the "Orleans House."
It there are any disgusted Quartermasters who have been nearly worked to death by the Government, and forced to ride those horrid (C. S.) horses all over town, only let them put up with it for a time. We shall certainly want a nice little Quartermaster or two couldn't get on without them at all, you know.
Then there's a lot of Government Clerks, in all the Departments, who must be tired of being; "pulled and hauled" about by their chiefs, and made to write (just think of it) two or three hours at a time. These ill-used officials may find (if they are not ashamed to go to such places) two of my recruiting stations "quite handy" to their places of business. For the convenience of the Army and Navy Department, at "Rueger's;" for the Treasury and Post-Office, at the "Manassas!"
As temperance is one of the first essentials to the preservation of discipline, and the most "strained" quality of valor, the members of this military organization, no matter how blood-thirsty they may be, shall be invariably sworn in, not to drink of the "blood of the vine" in any shape, nor of any other running liquor except those strong waters known as "Nectar," and retailed solely to the army and citizens at the trifling consideration of $3.50 per gallon; or of another most pleasing beverage, by'clept ye "Malted Rye," which is almost given away at the same price. Both of these harmless fluids are highly esteemed as a bulwark of national defence in time of imminent merit. I have no idea that their conjoint strength will make my men fight, and only cherish the hope that it may not make them all steal.
Of course, then, Sons of Temperance, in "good standing," will have the first preference in enlistment; but, in point of fact, any other son of a --benevolent society--(except "Sons of Malta," no matter what their condition,) and such sons, it they are provided with an "honorable discharge," on account of habitual drunkenness, will be received, embraced, and to them shall be given "the right hand of fellowship," (the left hand of fellowship shall be reserved for another class of fellows hereinafter to be mentioned and the non-commissioned officers in this corps shall be divided equally between every two of them, so that each of "nies enfans pordus" shall be, at least, half a corporal; and stand up for himself, unless indeed he should prove to be an "enfant trouve," in which case he shall immediately be baptized in the late apology for "lager bier," and have sponsors appointed to stand up for him and defend his head.
Let it at once and forever be understood that this corps, unlike the involuntary service of hired troops and common "substitutes" for "miserable gold, " is not intended as an asylum for "intermittent sprees," but is an institution peculiarly adapted to a class distinguished as "regular soakers. " If it should hereafter be determined to admit "suckers," straws will not be furnished for nothing. Accommodations for the comfort of the troops are now being prepared on the most extensive scale. "Each private will be entitled to a separate apartment, with a bed whereon to stretch himself in hours of ease, a smoking cap wherein to indulge the "pleasures of memory" and forgetfulness of the hardships of his former life, and his entire safety secured by an outside parapet and ditch, with an inside chevaux de frise of"tangle-foot" whiskey.
A few trifling articles of expense will be required to be provided by each Brigadier on enlisting. A pewter spoon and fork, with chains attached, to be securely fastened to the head of his bed, so that he may take his terrapin stew and oysters without undergoing the vulgar necessity of rising; a napkin-ring of the same material, two towels, and a suitable comb.
If, however, it is supposed by any, that after the fashion of "Fashionable boarding schools;" these articles are not to be returned on graduation, (or discharge. I should say,) let that unhappy individual dismiss the cruel and unjust suspicion from his soul.
Suitable and proper recreations will not be found wonting when time can be spared from the necessarily fatiguing watch on the fortifications for the appearance of the enemy and the rapid "spread of alarm" to the women and children, whom we are called upon to notify so soon as there shall be either a shadow of approaching danger or a show of a Yankee. Among other things, these innocent diversions will consist of very funny little games played with queer little cubes of bone on cloths marked with corresponding numbers and devices, which is an entirely fair little pastime, I assure you. And again, a most amusing entertainment is afforded by throwing around sundry bits of painted papers, (on the head of a barrel for instance,) taking them up and throwing them down again. This is a new sport, I'm told, but was much enjoyed in the Crimea; and they do say it was played once at Centreville, in our own native land.
But these, "debasements" are for rainy days. In sunshine we shall have dress parades, and doubtless many pretty little painted ladies, in much "purple and fine linen;" will come in hired coaches of glass to gladden us with their approving smiles, and shoot divers glandes at our "fortifications."
Naught now remains but to advise you, my expected recruits, of the prescribed uniform.
A pattern has been adopted by a board appointed for the purpose, and a specimen may be seen at No.--Main street, painted on another board, which hangs over the sidewalk. It is one garment, of simple, cheap material, of color, the warlike red; to be worn, without attachment, when the enemy are expected when they come, there will be immediately attached to the extremely of the skirt thereof a long white steamer, with wh every man should be supplied, to indicate to the enemy, as it flutters in the breeze, our perfect fearlessness of his approach, and confidence in the bosom of our Mars and the heels of our Achilles.
Let your skirts be cut wide and the stuff of such consistency, that when fully distended in the heal of action, small boys might readily play at that profane game of "marvels, " even on its outer border.
Come and enlist with
Cold Water H.