INCIDENTS OF EVERY-DAY LIFE.
The companies each gave a ball in turn during the winter, and the preparations were begun long in advance. There was no place to buy anything, save the sutler’s store and the shops in the little town of Bismarck, but they were well ransacked for materials for the supper. The bunks where the soldiers slept were removed from the barracks, and flags festooned around the room. Arms were stacked and guidons arranged in groups. A few pictures of distinguished men were wreathed in imitation laurel leaves cut out of green paper. Chandeliers and side brackets carved out of cracker-box boards into fantastic shapes were filled with candles, while at either end of the long room great logs in the wide fire-places threw out a cheerful light.
The ball opened, headed by the first-sergeant. After this the officers and their wives were invited to form a set at one end of the room, and we danced several times. One of the men whose voice was clear and loud sang the calls. He was a comical genius, and improvised new ways of calling off. When the place came in the quadrille to “Turn your partners,” his voice rose above the music, in the notes of the old song, “Oh swing those girls, those pretty little girls, those girls you left behind you!” This was such an inspiration to the fun-