Thanksgiving Day in Camp
From the Second Regiment THANKSGIVING DAY IN CAMP Fort Tillinghast, Arlington Va. Thursday, Nov, 28, 1861
It has been one of the loveliest days possible for this season of the year, although it is raining delightfully now and earth and sky are overcast with clouds and darkness.
We have had cold, bleak days, and stinging, frosty nights already here in old Virginia since we pitched our tents between Fort Tillinghast and Arlington Grove and once the fleecy flakes of snow made the whole earth white and beautiful for the earth is always beautiful when robed in spotless white - but this day seemed as one made on purpose and set apart for Thanksgiving. There was not a breeze to shake the few remaining dry brown leaves upon the old forest trees, nor a cloud to obscure the bright face of the sun.
It was such a day as we often have in dear Wisconsin, in the months of September and October when Indian Summer makes her welcome visit to brighten the face of Nature and gladden the hearts of the people. What a lovely delightful day we have had for a holiday - the first holiday we have had for the six long months we have been in the service.
Governor Randall was here and made a short speech to King's brigade. This is probably the last visit he will make us and therefore the last time we shall see him in the capacity of governor of the State of Wisconsin.
We have had our Thanksgiving, and though far away from our State we have had our Governor with us. He will probably return to Wisconsin in a few days but he will never be forgotten by the soldiers for whom he has so diligently labored. May the man who shall be entrusted with the responsibilities of the office that he has filled with such honor to himself and glory to his State be as faithful in the discharge of his duties, as faithful to the government and the people, as he has been and his reward will be great, for he shall live long in the hearts of those whose confidence he has not betrayed.
We have had a pleasant jovial time. Those of us who were not content with the plain ration furnished us by Uncle Samuel, purchased from the Sutler such other things as we wanted and prepared a Thanksgiving dinner good enough for a King, therefore, good enough for a soldier. I hope our friends in Wisconsin enjoyed their Thanksgiving as well as we did.