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vbetts
08-15-2004, 10:24 PM
MEMPHIS DAILY APPEAL, January 4, 1862, p. 3, c. 1

Camp Amusements.óNothing is possessed of so much monotony as "camp life," especially after going into winter quarters, and the soldier resorts to a variety of methods to relieve this dullness. No amusement seems so popular with the great body of our gallant army as Shakespearian readings, and singing and dancing. On Christmas eve, the "Young Guard" of this city, circulated neatly written play bills around the camp of the 15th regiment, stationed near Yorktown, setting forth that there would be a dramatic performance at the quarters of that company on that night, when the "eminent tragedian, Mr. George Charters, would make his first appearance on any stage." We have the honor of a personal acquaintance with this "eminent tragedian," and have often seen him, after "tatoo," when naught could be heard but the "slow, measured tread of the sentinel," emerge from his tent, with a regal robe, (which consisted of an old blanket, with a "strange device" upon it, so as to distinguish it from "any other blanket") closely drawn about him, and with a drawn sword, go through with the celebrated tent scene from "Richard III," to the infinite delight of the whole camp.

We learn that the officers stationed at Manassas by way of relieving the dullness incident to camp life, are about to cause to be constructed a "Temple of Thespis," and are endeavoring to engage a dramatic company, the members of which will receive their salaries from the officers, who will enact the part of "lessees and managers." We heartily hope that these brave defenders of the "Sunny South" may succeed in their undertaking to pass their leisure moments in so rational a manner.óRichmond Enquirer.

Vicki Betts
vbetts@gower.net