34th Mass., winter camp at Foot. Lyon, south of Alexandria, Virginia: November 1862 (Thanksgiving Day had lengthy been celebrated in Mass each November.):
“Yesterday was Thanksgiving Trip to home, and it was inside a manner observed by us. All duty, save dress parade, that was had at 10 A. M., was suspended. By contribution from the officials, an ample way to obtain oysters was furnished the boys for supper. All of the officials, save the Colonel, who’d recognized an invite to dine with General Heintzleman, in Washington, enjoyed an evening meal nicely cooked by our close friend, Mrs. Roberts, close by. All of our teams were sent as much as Washington, early each morning, to create lower any boxes that might have arrived at that city by express, for the regiment.
“Look within the camp beside me and see the way the men spend their evening hrs. Here is visible a vibrant eyed, flaxen haired youthful man, whose education in your own home this call to arms has interrupted, going after through the dim light from the regulation candle study regarding his favorite Latin author — while, some couple of camping tents removed, through the glimmer of the like dip, several more thoughtless friends are deep within the mysteries of old sledge or euchre. Withdrawn to some remote corner from the camp, a celebration of serious and devoted ones participate in devout supplication for elegance and support within the trying scenes which might lie before them, while some, more self-reliant, enjoy comments upon the most recent movements from the army, or growl concerning the order just issued from Regimental Headquarters. The smothered voice of some home-sick volunteer, asking in damaged notes ‘Do they miss me in your own home,’ is rather drowned through the thundering chorus of the party of rollicking ones who leave ‘John Brown’s body mouldering within the grave, because they go marching on.’”