A Soldier's Life
At six o' clock each morning the men were typically awaken by bugle call (reveille). Next, the soldiers were called to order and a roll call was taken, for every man in the unit (company, regiment, battalion, or brigade) had to be accounted for each day. Breakfast was usually served by seven o' clock. The rest of the day included drill for most of the men, and guard duty for a selected few. Drill was followed by target practice and bayonet exercises; occasionally, these activities were replaced by fatigue duty ( digging ditches, improvements towards camp). Later in the day, the unit might have assembled for new orders or news; after which, supper was served. With the evening meal finished, the soldiers used their free time to rest, play games, police the area, to read, and to write letters to loved ones. Lights were out at nine p.m, and soldiers were issued a shelter half to sleep under (this was equivalent to a half of a tent). Sunday was the day for inspection, and every article of clothing, equipment, and weapon had to be cleaned and in order. Sundays were also designated for religious services. On Monday, the cycle would continue and remain a strict, uninterrupted regimen until an attack or battle occurred.