This is an unfinished account of the author’s experiences with the U.S. Army at Fort Monroe, Virginia in 1861 at the start of the American Civil War. This work was published posthumously in 1863 as part of the anthology Life in the Open Air and other papers. The previous part of Life in the Open Air and Other papers, titled “Washington as a Camp”, is prologue to this narrative.
Winthrop died at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, a few days after writing the last section of this narrative.
The story has no chapters, but has been divided by major headings for presentation in this medium.