Though he led men through plenty of action in the American Civil War, the battles are not what Brevet-Brigadier General Willoughby Babcock wrote home to his wife about. His letters and diaries left us one of the best overall descriptions of camp life during the struggle for the Union.
He discusses camp politics, the fleas, the problems with maintaining discipline:
“Tonight not 200 [men] are in camp. Capt. Catlin, Capt. Hulburt, Lt. Cooper and one or two other officers are under arrest. A hundred men are drunk, a hundred more are at houses of ill-fame, and the balance are everywhere.”