Friday, May 24, 2013

Civil War Soldiers Dancing

Union soldiers in camp.

In May 1863, the 12th R.I. was camped about midway between Richmond, Kentucky and Lexington, Kentucky. The two towns are 27 miles apart, so I don't know how far the young ladies of Richmond had to travel, but it was probably significant.

This is a time when the officers have the edge, since there were far fewer of them than enlisted men, so the ladies were not put in the uncomfortable position of having scores of potential partners.

From the time of our arrival here, up to Saturday the 9th, the weather was very disagreeable. Considerable rain fell, and for six days we were enveloped in clouds and fog. But in spite of all this, our general and his staff had frequent visits from the fair ones of Richmond, whose acquaintance they formed during our short sojourn there. They came in groups of half a dozen at a time. The band was called on to serenade the fair visitors, who forming with our officers upon the green in front of the church, joined in the mazy dance, and "tripped the light fantastic toe."(Joseph W. Grant, The flying regiment: Journal of the campaign of the 12th Regt. Rhode Island:. S. Rider & Bro., 1865
 p. 128-129.)

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