On August 28, 1861, approximately 500 men of the Roundhead Regiment said their final farewells. At about 8:00 a.m., they loaded into wagons to make the 15-mile journey to the nearest train station at Enon Valley. The trip took four and a half hours. Then they boarded a train (a first for most of them) and rode for another 50 miles to reach Pittsburgh. They arrived in the evening and took a supper break provided by a local welcoming committee. Each man received a slice of buttered bread, a hunk of sausage, two pickles and a cup of coffee.
Then they marched out to the local fair grounds, where they were sent to bed down in one of the barns. One soldier described them in their stalls, "kicking at fleas, bed bugs, and many other awful creeping things which existed only in imagination."
A century and a half later, I can only stand in awe of the resilience with which these new recruits to the Union army accepted the conditions under which they were destined to live for the next four years. Their lives serve to remind me of my own good fortune.