The members of the Mackerel Brigade, says the inimitable Orpheus C. Kerr, now stationed on Arlington Heights, to watch the movements of the Potomac, which is expected to rise shortly, desire me to thank the ladies of America for supplies of havelocks and other delicacies of the season just received. The havelocks, my boy, are rather roomy, and we took them for shirts at first; and the shirts are so narrow-minded that we took them for havelocks. If the women of America could manage to get a little less linen into the collars of the latter, and a little more into the other department of the graceful “garmint,” there would be fewer colds in this division of the Grand Army. The havelocks, as I have said before, are roomy–very roomy, my boy. Villiam Brown, of company G, put one on last night when he went on sentry duty, and looked like a broomstick in a pillow-case, for all the world. When the officer came round, and caught sight of Villiam in his havelock, he was struck dumb with admiration for a moment. Then he ejaculated:
“What a splendid moonbeam!”
Villiam made a movement, and the Sergeant came up.
“What’s that white object?” says the officer to the Sergeant. “Thunder!” roared the officer; “tell him to go to his tent, and take off that nightgown.”
“You’re mistaken,” says the Sergeant; “the sentry is Villiam Brown, in his havelock, which was made by the women of America.”
The officer was so justly exasperated at his mistake, that he went immediately to his headquarters and took the oath three times running, with a little sugar.
The oath is very popular, my boy, and comes in bottles. I take it medicinally myself.
The shirts made by the ladies of America are noble articles, as far down as the collar, but would not do to use as an only garment. Captain Mortimer de Montague, of the skirmish squad, put one on when he went to the President’s reception, and the collar stood up so high that he couldn’t put his cap on, while the other department didn’t reach quite to his waist. His appearance at the White House was picturesque and interesting, and as he entered the drawing-room, General Scott remarked very feelingly:
“Ah! here comes one of the wounded heroes.”
“He’s not wounded, General,” remarked an officer standing by.
“Then why is his head bandaged up so?” asked the venerable veteran.
“O,” says the officer, “that’s only one of the shirts made by the patriotic women of America.”
In about five minutes after his conversation I saw the venerable veteran and the wounded hero at the office taking the oath together.