Journal of Riley M. Adams
Sept. 27th. Nothing happened this day worthy of mentioning. I felt very well in mind and enjoyed myself well as usual the 28th and 29th.
Sept. 30th. I now shall begin my Journal of an excursion made by a corps of Cadets and think it will be very interesting to any who may read it. The Capt., previous to the excursion mentioned that he thought probable he should make an excursion to the White Mountains, but could not tell certain whether he should go or not. I thought that I should like to have a chance to go, but did not say anything to the Capt. about it supposing that he would not let any of the new cadets go.
The Capt. about three or four days before the excursion told the Cadets that were selacted to be ready at the time appointed for he had made up his mind to go. I began to have an anxiety to go. I went immediately to the Capt. and asked him if it would be agreeable to his feelings to put my name on the roll to go. The Capt. rather resented at first, but seeing I was very anxious and wishing I suppose not to make me angry consented, but told me that I should get sick of it. I told him I should not.
After about an hour's warning in the morning, all preparations being made, we started for the White Mountains. The number to go was about fifty. We left our quarters half-past eight in all prospects of fair weather, the sun shone bright and it was clear in the heaven. Every Cadet was furnished with a knapsack having within a blanket or cloak and a few other clothes. All of the Cadets seemed to be delighted in the anticipation of joy, there seemed to be a great deal of laughter caused by the Captain's dress, which was not in uniform with the rest, he was dressed in a light coat and pantaloons, his coat, three or four pockets, two on outside coming down, to his knees.
His pantaloons sat very tight to his legs, this was a dress made to go on excursions of this kind. He walked very fast after the rate of four miles an hour. We crossed Connecticut River & came into Hanover about one mile & a half from Norwich. This was a very handsome place elevated on the banks of the Connecticut, the streets were handsomely laid out, intersecting each other at right angles. As we passed the Common, we viewed the celebrated college by the name of Dartmouth, this is a very handsome building four story high and is built of wood, there is another however built of brick nearly as large.
We made no stop here but proceeded on northly in a straight line up the river passing a corner of Lyme, the Capt. made a stop to take a few observations. By this time some of the Cadets had fallen in the rear about half a mile. He waited until they had caught up and resumed his march on toward Oxford following the river upward we passed some very good land along the Connecticut. We had some hills to pass over which were very hard for our legs, being some weary. We arrived at Oxford about two o'clock, when we dined, we found two hotels here which was just convenient for our two divisions. It is 19 miles from Norwich. This is a pleasant place lying very low on the river. After dinner we persued our way on toward Haverhill where the Capt. intended to stay all night. We travelled on through many level plains and arrived at the next town Piermont, this was a small place but contained some good land. We persued on without stopping and arrived at Haverhill where we stayed all night, this made 29 miles we had travelled. Some of the cadets however found it necessary to ride on account of their legs. We found two good Hotels here for our divisions, which contained good lodgings.
Every Cadet seemed to be joyful when he arrived at this place that he was permitted to refresh and put up for the night. All (except the Capt.) were very much fatigued. After they had refreshed us with some provisions and prepared our lodgings we retired to bed to repose ourselves in the calm sleep of the dark shades of the night, now all was silent while the weary travellers were at rest enjoying those hours which are allotted for sleep.
Oct. 1st. We arose in the morning some stiff and it seemed to be hard for any of the Cadets to stand. I, for to get my joints limbered took a short walk through some of the streets for observations.
Haverhill is a very handsome and level place and is situated on a high spot of ground lying on the Newhampshire side, the streets are laid out very handsome, the main street extends about a mile in length up and down the river, the buildings are handsomely built, principally of brick, there is here an excellent court house built with brick, it has a good bell and is also used for an Academy. After viewing about sometime I went back very much pleased with the town. After breakfast we all started for Bath, (except a few that went on the night before) there was much stifness in our limbs at first, but we soon began to feel more limber and began slowly to quicken our steps traveling at the rate of four miles an hour. We traveled a very pleasant road, following the river we came to a place called Horse Meadow lying near a great bend in the river which is called the Ox bow, here is a large plot lying in bow about a mile square, being laid out into square lots. I took much delight in viewing the plain from the opposite of the river, it being situated on the Vermont side and receives its name from it being compared with an ox bow.
We were not permitted to see this plan of nature only while we were passing along the opposite side of it, while we were gazing at this phenomenon we by chance turned our eyes to the right and upon beholding a high pinnacle of rocks our attention was attracted to behold this which seemed to be a great curiosity and to present itself fair to our view then the ox bow being nearly out of sight, this wonderful structure was curiously formed, it projects over at the top forming a owl's head. We very soon came into a pleasant street and some of us stopped to a house of entertainment, here we found that the peak, which we so much admired, went by the name of Owls head.
After we had refreshed ourselves with a little water we proceeded on, passing through a long handsome street with popular trees standing on each side, it was about a mile from one end to the other. The banks of the Connecticut here afford an excellent soil yielding the lumberman rich bounties in return for his labor. We continued our route on without stopping until we arrived at Bath, a distance of 14 miles. Some of our corps were very much fatigued, I, however did not feel so weary as others (except having soar feet.)
Just before we arrived we left the river on the left hand following another smaller river by the name of Ammomoosuc.
We dined here at Mr. Huchins & Mr. Goodals, being fathers of two of the Cadets. We had two excellent dinners provided for us which we were welcomed to without money & without price.
The provisions ate here afforded us great consolation, we enjoyed ourselves with real satisfaction for which we acknowledged ourselves greatly obliged to Mr. Huchins & Mr. Goodals for their hospitality and friendship.
Bath is a fine place located on both sides of the Ammonoosuck it is divided into two separate villages, to wit, upper and lower Bath, the latter was that which we dined at. The situation of Bath is rather inferior to Haverhill, the soil is rich however & fertile producing in abundance. We were highly gratified with this place and particularly with its inhabitants who seemed to express feelings of kindness to all the cadets & we received many flattering expressions from them, relating to the merit of our institution for which we should have thanked them for their hospitable manifestations.
After dinner we again resumed our journey, having got considerbly rested, we bid our benefactors good by they wishing us good journey & a pleasant time, &c. Our route was to continue on to Littleton a distance of 15y 2 miles or rather it was our design if we could reach there, we traveled faster than a medium pace. It was nearly half past 2 when we started and we could have but 4 hours to travel by daylight. We had a pleasant road which delighted us much we followed the river upward bearing a little to the East. The next town we touched was Lisbon which was formerly called Concord. This is quite a handsome valley, though it is a small place, a distance of 5 or 6 miles from Bath. The banks of the Ammonoosuck are very productive bearing good corn, &c. This river led us through many other handsome vallies before we arrived at Littleton. The country is not very level, neither is it very much settled, it is very sandy land and clear almost from rocks and stones, which makes it appear pleasant to the traveller. The hills were of gradual descent and free from roughness.
When we arrived within about 4 or 5 miles of the place of our entertainment, as the sun had disappeared, darkness seized our way, although the moon had risen above the horizon yet its shining light was obscured from our eyes by reason of the cloud which impended. This did not yield so many pleasures as we could have expected had we been lighted by the moon, however our tour was short and therefore we could rely on that and take courage and Jsatisf action in the anticipation of our entertainment. We arrived at Littleton about 7 o'clock, 15 or 20 minutes after the Capt. had arrived and who had spoke for our entertainment. Now joy seemed to sieze every one of the Cadets at our arrival and we could rely on comfort and consolation during the eve. When we arrived here, the countrymen flocked into the this little village like sheep in a barnyard. They seemed to express feelings of friendship to the whole of Capt. P's corps. We found only one Hotel for our convenience, and therefore were obliged to go for the assistance of private people who conducted us to their abodes without hesitation: and seemed to take delight in preparing our lodgings. This was however after we had all refreshed ourselves with a good supper at the Tavern. We all retired to bed about 8 o'clock to enjoy sweet repose during the night.