War Messes With Your Dreams - April 3, 1861: "The 3rd [dream] was as we lay at Norfolk; I thought I was again in Harlem (after a long cruise) and I happened to go in one of Mrs Liscombs Brick houses on 3rd avenue where there was a young Widow. She proved to be an old schoolmate of mine, and as she made me an offer of marriage, I took up with it as she had a good set of furniture, etc. but I was once more interrupted by the word being passed for all hands to up anchor for the Navy Yard."
War Messes With Your Dreams, Part 2 - April 26, 1861: "I will mention one more dream as a specimen of many of the same sort. A few nights ago I thought the Ship was attacked by a large number of boats with about 50 men in each. I thought the Officer of the Deck gave the order to beat to General Quarters when I was interrupted in my dream by General Quarters in reality, a Steamer coming in with troops."
Creative Ways to Stay Awake on Watch - April 30, 1861: "At night we have General Quarters as soon as a Steamer or large vessel come in sight so we very seldom get more than 2 or 3 hours in our hammocks at one time, getting but little sleep we are in danger of falling asleep on Post. I have on several occasions been obliged to put a grain of tobacco in my eye to keep them open. If we were found asleep on post we would be Court Martial and severely punished."
Best Way to Drink From the Ship's Water Supply - May 6, 1861: "Today a tank of water was opened which we had taken on board at Vera Cruz but it was very bad [editor's note: about six months old and mixed with sea water], we have to drink or go without as we can not get more from the City. With us it is: Shut your eyes-Hold your nose, Open your mouth-And down it goes. But as it is the last tank it will soon be over."
An Unthreaded Needle is the Worst...Thing...Ever - May 8, 1861: "An article in the Providence Journal replies to the suggestion that work bags with pins, needles, thread, scissors and buttons will be useful; to the Soldiers and Sailors, says but thread the needles. Don’t send them to the poor boys unthreaded. There is not a man in the Ship who would not rather undertake to thrash a Secessionist than to thread a Needle. That’s so true."
|Charles Heywood-Bunker's commanding officer|
on Cumberland shown here as the Marine
Corps' first flag officer.
|A sketch of "The Great Comet of 1861" as drawn by European observers|
on June 30, 1861. Bunker witnessed it on July 2. More information can be
found at http://cometography.com/lcomets/1861j1.html.
A Previously Unknown Raid - October 3, 1861: "I am with 12 more of the guard volunteered to go on secret service, which we soon after found out was to destroy a rebel floating battery. We started when the moon went down, in three boats with their crews, but when we got to where the battery was, we found it had been removed... We heard the sergeant of their guard ask the sentry if he did not see that boat; they said yes, but I thought it was our sloop. At this we gave them the contents of our boat--howitzer and muskets, which made them leave their camp fire in a hurry."