Troop Discontent:

In an account that was actually authored by a member of the rank and file during this period, it would appear that the troops were anything but content. The journals of private Joseph Plumb Martin (stationed with the 8th Connecticut in Parson's middle camp) reveal a different perspective on the Redding encampment., one that speaks more of privation than of weather reports. Brief comments speak eloquently of the trials endured:

We arrived at Reading about Christmas or a little before, and prepared to build our huts for our winter quarters. And now came on the time again between grass and hay, that is, the winter campaign of starving (Martin 1962:149).

... I assisted in the building our winter huts. We got them in such a state of readiness that we moved into them about New Year's Day. The reader may take my word, if he pleases, when I tell him we had nothing extraordinary, either of eatables or drinkables, to keep a new year or housewarming (Martin 1962:150).

We settled in our winter quarters at the commencement of the new year and went on in our old Continental Line of starving and freezing. We now and then got a little bad bread and salt beef (I believe chiefly horse-beef for it was generally thought to be such at the time). The month of January was very stormy, a good deal of snow fell, and in such weather it was mere chance if we got anything at all to eat (Martin 1962:150).

Office of Public Archaeology, Boston University - 1991