Back in June, I shared an account from a Confederate soldier in the Vicksburg trenches who complained about being bored. Recently, while doing some reading about the Mine Run Campaign, I came across an account from Theodore Lyman, a member of George Gordon Meade’s staff, that touched on that same idea, although in a much different context.
The following excerpt comes from a letter he wrote to his wife on Nov. 1:
The life here is miserably lazy; hardly an order to carry, and the horses all eating their heads off. The weather is fine, to be sure, and everybody, nearly, is well; but that is all the more reason for wishing something done. I do not even have the drudgery of drill and parade and inspection, that the infantrymen have. If one could only be at home, till one was wanted, and then be on the spot; but this is everywhere the way of war; lie still and lie still; then up and manoeuvre and march hard; then a big battle; and then a lot more lie still.
Theodore Lyman, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: The Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, George Agassiz, ed. (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922), 41.