Main Menu - Misc. - Clothing/Textiles - Medieval Wales - Names - Other Medieval - Publications - Harpy Publications
[PUNCTUATION AND SPELLING ARE COPIED FROM THE ORIGINALS. EDITORIAL COMMENTS ARE IN BOLD TYPE.]
The first day in command of my new company all well so far. day very pleasant. I have been very buisy setteling my accounts with Co. I. Days are comfortable but nights decidedly cold. a very heavy dew falls so that every thing is as wet as if it had rained in the morning. Last month was generaly dry and warm but we feel autumn now the men will soon be drawing Woolen blankets to sleep on or under for they need them. THe men are having a gay time this evening throwing pieces of corn cob at each other. they divide up into armies, have their officers, throw out skirmishers and make regular charges.
My Sweet Sister and Dear Friends,
Amid the turmoil of war and excitement of the battle field, I still find time to keep open "my communication" with dear ones far away toward the star which I often find nodding and winking at me and saying "you belong farther this way" when I wake from dreams of home some of these cold nights. I am still in the land of the living in seeming spite of those ugly fellows whose camp fires I see over yonder, and who seem so very anxious to furnish me with a free passage from this sublinary sphere to the one which many have traveled but I dont remember of any bodys returning to tell what they saw there which makes me anxious not to go until I know more about it. The Rebs are trying to play us some yankey trick, they fell back from the Ferry where they had been in our front for nearly a week thinking when we found them gone we would rush for Strausburg as we did before, Well they turned off and concealed their army near Bunker Hill (Not Mass) intending as soon as we had passed to fall on our rear and take us by surprise, in this they were foiled by the presistant inquisitiveness of our cavalry which foiled their intentions in good earnest while they stay there we must stay here, when they move we move and so we go it first forward then backward both parties refusing to take the offensive until they have some very decided advantage good generalship is displayed on both sides. Earley hates to leave the Vally until he gains some important advantage, such as striking us such a blow that we dare not follow them out of the vally, this is what they dread, so fearful of another Lynchburg raid, Our general has information that Longstreet has gone back to Richmond if this is so our forces are nearly as strong as those of the enemy left here. We cannot learn the truth of the report yet. and I have some doubts of our force being large enough to attack Earley if Genl. Longstreets troops have left.
Now sister how about that Round-about, it is just what I want in the field if it is not too dirty, I dont remember but if it has no holes in it, I wish you would clean it up a lettle and take about half an inch of the end of the sleeve down next the hands cuting it so that it is the same shape it is now. I think there is an inside pocket on each side if there is not will you put them in, or if those in there now have holes in them put others in, then do it up in as small a parcel as possible and Direct it to Sergt La Forge Co. "F" 106" N.Y. Vols. 1" Brig. 3" Div. 6" Corps. The reason I want you to direct to Sergt La Forge is because the post office laws will not allow you send clothing to a commissioned officer. if you have made any other disposition of the garment dont bother yourself about sending it. The Post Master will tell you how many stamps to put on it. the best way is to do it up as small as you can then tie it well with a string, then put a paper arround it, leaving the ends open upon which you put the address and stamps. How is young Potter? bright as ever I suppose, he will be cutting teeth soon then you you will have a gay time. I remember how cross you were when you cut yours about my own I havent as good a memory. I have nearly $500.°° due me now. I dont know when I shall get any of it. My love to all Mamy & the boy in perticular this time. Yours,
Lt. Co. "F" 106" N.Y.V.
My going to Co "F" makes my boys of "I" feel bad, but the Commanding officer of the Regt says it is necessary as the business of Co. "F" has got to be straightened up and he wants me to do it. Quite a compliment.
DIARY Friday Sept. 2" 64.
Laid in camp near Smithville until near sundown when we moved back to the North of Charleston & came into a nice grove where the Rebs were camped last week and put up our camp for the night.
DIARY Sat. 3"
Marched shortly after sunrise, our regt detailed to act as flankers to the wagon train i.e. to march in Indian file deployed about five paces apart and two or three hundred yards from the road on the side towards the enemy. Came as far as Clifton (three miles from Berryville) when we ran on the Rebs strongly entrenched We had to skirmish a considerable before we could establish our picket line. Cool pleasant marching to-day. Rained some at noon. We may soon expect the fall rain to set in. Bivouacked for the night we are the extreme right.
DIARY Sunday 4"
Laid in camp all day. An hour before sundown orders came to build breastworks. We had very few tools, but went to work felling trees and digging. Building works here and doing the same at Petersburg is very different. There a pick was not necessary, here all the digging has to be done with them. We did not get our work done until ten o'clock P.M.
DIARY Monday 5.
A cold heavy disagreeable rain commenced last night most decidedly Autumn like. We got a little damp before morning. A lot of troops that were moved to the right of us yesterday went back again to-day. I find they threw up about 3/4 of a mile of breastworks connecting with ours on the right. They can be occupied at any moment. The cavalry are now out in that direction looking out for the flank. There has been but little skirmishing lately. Moseby is active. Continual rain.
DIARY Tuesday 6"
Rain still continues. The cold wind soughs through the trees laden with its unwelcome drizzle. THe army is but poorly prepared for this change in the weather. A division of the 19" Corps was passing us this P.M. They are going out to support a Cavalry reconnaisance toward Bunker Hill the object of which is to find where Averill is with his cavalry. The last we heard of him he was coming up from Martinsburg to join us. By some cannonading we heard in that direction he had engaged.
DIARY Wednesday 7"
Sun rose clear. How good it made us feel to see his unclouded face again. How different from last month, then we would have given almost anything for a rain like this the ground is now so soaked that we shall have to be very carefull about moving artillery and wagons acrost the fields. I wrote to O. L. Barney giving him all the information in my power. Our Cavalry have been very active, the enemy appear to have left our immediate front.
[Note on first page of Psalms in his Bible says:] while bivoucked three miles west of Harpers Ferry and waiting for orders. expecting to march on the enemy
DIARY Thursday 8"
Policed and laid out our camp to day so it looks very nice. Averill is all right, he has whiped the Reb. Cav. again. Moseby is particularly active on our rear. he captured an Ambulance train between us and the Ferry. they were all but one recaptured however by our men sent in pursuit. I wrote S. Annie W___. and father. some cannonading off to the Right. quiet here.
DIARY Friday 9"
Everything is as quiet as if there was not an enemy in 40 miles of here, indeed more so for if there was an enemy at that distance orders would not be so stringent in regard to casual firing as they are now. A man is punished severely who is caught firing his gun, for it lets the enemy know where we are. Rained again. We may expect this fluctuating weather now, a warm day now and then to let us know summer has not entirely abandoned us yet and and a rainy day twice in a while to bid us prepare for the still colder days of Autumn. Our new chaplain Rev. Dilly came this P.M.
DIARY Saturday 10"
Warm and pleasant Wrote to Sherman Crandall to-day. turned over my Ordnance of Co. "I" to Lt. Brunson who succeeds me in the command of that company. I have also assumed command and responsibility in "F" Co. I am getting along with my new command first rate there are some things in the discipline of the company which needs correction, but I think I shall have no difficulty in getting along with that. Lt. Hepburn came to the regt to day he has been on duty at Rendezvous of Distribution for some months he says Col McKelvy has returned from his leave of Absence and is Quite well.
DIARY Sunday 11"
Was expecting to write to Sister to-day but was detailed about noon and so could not do it. The Adjutant came arround and said I was to take charge of a picket of one hundred men from the regt. to go on duty for three day. what they want us to go on so long for is more than I know unless we are going to stay where we are for a long time and they addopt the old method of doing picket duty. Our line was advanced a little after we got on it so as to straighten it. we have a cavalry videt in front of this line. if the Rebs came out they would first have to drive back the Videt which would give us abundant time to get ready for them, then they would attack our line which we could hold until our camps that we came from were struck and we got orders to fall back on them or they advanced to our support. This afternoon I wrote a letter to Susan in the house of an old Secesh who ran about fifteen minutes before we got here and left his family and goods to our kind care. he is what we call a bushwhacker. We have a man in our charge whose house is not half a mile from here still we cannot allow him to cross our lines and go to it.
I am on duty in charge of one hundred men from our Regt. as picket near Peckham Creek. the Rebs are on the other side. I am now writing in the house of an old Secesh Gentleman who skedaddled about fifteen minutes before our troops came to this place. of course leaving his family to our tender mercies which he did not seem to fear. Two ladies and three children comprise the family. the first are feminines of that type of beauty so peculiarly Southren, that is with a nose that possesses the property of being able to turn up to a great elivation at the will of the owner. they both smoke chew snuff and are decidedly bitter aganst the Union and Uncle Abe. perhaps made so by their losses in property and husbands although the loss of the latter I dont give them much credit for feeling. We must give them the credit to say they could not be expected to feel very good towards those who are continually robbing them.
The Rebs have been very quiet lately and they seem to feel as contented about laying still until after the Presidential Election takes place as we do. Genl'. Sherridan has not force enough to risk an engagement with them behind fortifications and they dare not attack us while we have the protection of our breastworks, so we are idle by mutual consent and are enjoying ourselves as best we can in our present position.
Very unexpectedly last Saturday night a most decidedly Autumn storm burst upon us. we were but poorly prepaired for such an evidence of the fact that summer had departed. fires were at a premium and every one built was soon closely invested by an anxious comfort seeking croud. I do not apprehend that we are not going warm weather enough yet, for this is but the commencement of fall. I shall soon need that jacket so if it is on the way all right.
You told me of the marriage of Miss Livermore. so also did Sherman, and Orville, so I am prety well informed of the fact. I felt very sorry to hear of the death of Albert Heseltine I should so much liked to have seen hinm and again thanked him for his kind treatment of myself when I was burning with the fever and no kind sister or sister-in-law to nurse me. poor fellow he deserved the death of a soldier and not the lingering, living death of consumption. A fine looking young lieut. is setting by my side and says "give her my respects", so I suppose I shall have to. Please accept the Respects of Lieut. Cox.
I rather believe I and him could enjoy ourselves much more to our satisfaction if we were only sitting by your hospitable hearth this cold day instead of writing on this Southron White Pine table. What do you and Janey think about it? I guess there must be something in that cubbord we could enjoy. We are imagining how we could live if we were only home. when if we were there in reality we should have no appetite at all for joy.
Tell mother I shall be old enough to keep her company, when I get home again. I grow old so fast now. one of my teeth also is beginning to bother me. What an accumulation of misery!
Tell Janey she must learn some dances so that she may teach me when I get home. Love to Mrs. & Mr Perry Potter an children especially Matie. Dont forget our little Josey. Does he cry any yet? Your Loving Brother
Address Lt. A.T. LaForge
Comdg. "F" Co. 106" N.Y.V.
DIARY Monday 12" [September]
Have not sent my letter yet shall send it in to night when my servant comes out with my supper. It is still very cold and we (two second Lieut's who are on duty with me and myself) slept on the floor of the parlor of the house of which I spoke yesterday, and which is about the centre of my line. it is now past noon and every evidence of a rain again this eve.
(beginning of new page; probably the previous page was sent home with the letter)
Monday 12" Sept 64 This afternoon I sent the lady of the house on which one of my picket posts is stationed over with a guard to Genl. Rickets. They were out of provisions and desired to get permission of him to buy of our commissary I could not see them hungry even if her husband is a rebel (12 Va Cav.) We do not war on women and children. The Genl gave her 30 pounds of flour, ten lbs of sugar and a bottle of wine. She was bitter against the Union Soldiers before she went. She returned crying. the Genl's kindness had touched her. It is pretty cold to-night and good woolen under clothes would be a luxury.
DIARY Tuesday 13. [September]
Our Cavalry and the 2" Div. 6th Corps made an advance this morning to surprise the Reb. pickets which they did, capturing quite a number. They fought quite a while and did not return until dark to-night. Some of the prisoners were brought in by here. They looked rather glum. I have just been around with strict orders concerning us to-night. We expect the enemy will be trying to make themselves eaven by making a dash on our lines and capturing some of our pickets. It is a fine moon light night however and they would find it hard surprising us. it still continues cold. I forgot to mention that we had a severe hail storm Sunday afternoon. I told the Sergt. who has charge this post to wake me at the first shot he heard.
DIARY Wednesday 14" [September]
Abut ten oclock the Sergt woke me up saying some firing was heard on the right. I went out, heard one shot then five or six others just like the beginning of an attack, then all was silent. I went round and found the videts were on the allert, then came back, as there was no more firing I went to bed leaving directions to be awakened at an hour before day light another favorable time for attack. I got up at that time and went out on the line everything was quiet, a littile before sunrise went and laid down sleeping until my servant came from camp with my breakfast. Commenced raining at 8 O.C. A.M. we were relived by a detail from the Brigade at M. When I got to camp I found that our (Lt's Brunsson, Cox and my own) servants had built us prety good quarter, the roof was made of four tent cloths these were raised the hight of a barrel from the ground and the sides are formed of barrel staves a bunk is built in one end for the three of us to slep so we are prety comfortable.
DIARY Thursday 15" [September]
Battalion drill drom 9 to 11 A.M. the first time I ever commanded a company on drill. This P.M. there was company drill for one hour. I was unwell from a cold I caught on the picket line and did not go out. Weather pleasant but rained a little just at the right time to prevent Dress Parade. A large mail came to-night and I did not get a letter and as over a dozen is due me It is somewhat strange. It makes a fellow feel particularly pleased after so long waiting to get one however so I will not complain. Capt. Parker was our drill officer, he would do well enough if he only had confidence in himself. he is afraid. While we were on picket I had the pleasure of hearing a Rebel girl sing the Southron patriotic songs of "The Bonny Blue Flag", "The Homespun Dress" and several others. she was a sweet singer but bitter Rebel. I begin to look for an advance soon now we have lain long enough now to be in good trim for active service. Look out Johnnies.
DIARY Friday 16" [September]
Battalion drill. Wrote to Miss Annie S. Porter. Rained a little. The men seem to be in excellent spirits I believe they would make a pretty good fight. I think the Johnnies would have to bring more than man for man.
DIARY Sat 17" [September]
The Regt had just gone out for drill when an order came to move camp. We went back and packed up, we only moved about half a mile. We are in rather better place than we were before. Nice sunshiny side hill. The men are fixed up pretty nice but I am of the impression they will not enjoy their quarter long for Lieut. Genl. Grant was up here this afternoon. There are all sorts of rumors concerning the meaning of his visit here. I think that our inactivity does not please him so he wants to see for himself if it is necessary. I should think that now as Sherman is free to use his army somewhere else there should be a combined movement on Lynchburg by him and our army. He could make his base somewhere near Knoxville, Tennessee, and we advance by the way of Staunton Va. some such determined measure should be addopted to threaten Richmond from the West. The men are having sport to-night fighting mimic battles with firebrands, the 87 Pa. and our Regt are opponents, they arm themselves from the fires and make regular charges and flank movements and all sorts of manoeuvres, the best of good feeling prevails, the sight is realy beautiful to see the brands moving about & flying through the air (it is to dark to see the men). they dont often hit what they are aimed at, but when they do there is no ill feeling. There is a man on our breastworks and one away off in the distance; each with a large firebrand making signals to each other just like the Signal Corps. They are just going to their respective quarters now bidding each other good night, one side says "good night yanks" and the other "good night Johnnies". They are gone.
DIARY Sunday 18" [September]
We had Brigade inspection today. did not intend to have it till monday but Genl Grant (he went back to Washington today) has got up some kind of a move & it must be done sooner. Just after M. an order came to pack up which we did had everything ready to move and stacked arms on the "Color-line". just then an aid came arround countermanding the order. my! what a shout the men sent up. one would have thought we had won a great victory. our tents were soon up again and we are now in as good quarters as ever. Our new chaplain preached to us this P.M. Threatened rain but did not. should have written to sister but the move spoiled it so I could not. got a letter from her.
DIARY Mon 19" [September]
Moved from our camp at 2 A.M. and took the Winchester road the whole army moved with us. sunrise found our advance crossing the Opequan creek, the advance of the enemy were just the other side, and were driven back about two miles by our cav. The enemy had their lines formed in a strong position two miles from Winchester, we formed our lines by 9 OC but had to wait until near M. for the 19 Army Corps to come up when they did arrive they were placed on our right, our lines were then formed by the 19 Corps on the right then our 2" Div. and 3" Div. the extreme left was formed by the 1" Div. of our corp. The 8" Corps was held in reserve. During all this manoeuvring the batteries on both sides had kept up an almost constant fire with but small results in anything but noise. Everything was ready and the charge ordered about M. it was obeyed by the advance of the intire line under a most murderous artillery fire. Our Div. had to advance acrost an open rolling field where their shells would have full effect- the sloughter was dreadful, three hundred yards which were made at a double quick brought us into the first ravine, as soon as the men got there they laid down, Col Emerson com'dg the Brigade rode along behind us saying "come now men" get up and advance we jumped up and started acrost the next hill with some reluctance, for a perfect storm of shells were sweeping acrost it. I got before the men and told them to advance and they came up well, we advanced acrost the top our men falling fearfully fast. A Major a little to my right had his head blown clear from his shoulders, he was on a horse and the body maintained its seat for a moment after the blood spouting up and making a hedious specticle, on we went and soon began with the infantry, their fire was not as fearful as the artillery although more distructive, the part of the line I was on charged everything from before it without a halt and crossed the next ravine. a little to our right the enemy had breastworks and held the part of the line in their front, we just swung past them and coming on their flank drove them and captured many prisoners. We did not stop but went on, as we raised the third hill I saw a battery off to our right which was doing terrible damage. I remember drawing my revolver and calling for men to take that battery. I saw some coming after me two of whom I knew were brave men Sergt Wilder and Pvt Temple waiting for no more I started on the run. Whiz, whiz, whiz, went the bullets in rapid sucssion I looked back the men were falling fast, I looked the other way the men were falling back with the guns. I yelled and started again run 100 yards when I heard some one behind shouting "look out" I did look out and saw a line of Jhonnies acrost the Pike in front of me bring their guns up for a volly. I threw my self behind a stump just as the ground arround me was all cut up with bullets, how they made the dirt fly. as I had nothing particular to acupy my attention while laying there I looked back along the line 200 yards behind was the squad, or five of them, who had started to take the guns they were behind trees, 100 yards behind them the Our Div. line had halted. on the right of our Div, and in their rear were the Rebs, that part of their line had forced back the charge of the 19 corps. our officers saw the necessity of taking our line back a short distance to prevent our being flanked, but I did not and obeyed the order to "fall back" with some swearing they boys say. I dont swear much however. how mad it made me to see the Rebs rally and follow us over that hardly contested ground, α the distance charged had to be left, some brave fellows followed us to closely, for by a sudden turn our men captured a squad of them, they were more careful then. our new line was established and held until the 19 corp had driven the Rebs line sep by step from thir front and advanced up to our line which did not take place until about 4 P.M. meanwhile I went over some of the ground, helped some of the wounded enemy into a shed and gave them water (our wounded were carried from the field) it was an awful sight to go over the ground litterally soaked with human gore. I then took a gun from a dead man and putting a lot of cartridges in my pocket laid down in the first line and commenced firing. I was hardly down when whiz, came a bullet striking the ground two feet before me and glancing struck the man laying by my right side in the forehead, he looked arround got up and walked three or four paces to the rear turned arround and fell dead. I made several shots when I had a good mark then the Rebs laid so close I could not see them & I went to a part of our line in a ravine and sat down while there my servant brought up my dinner the first I had ate since 2 A.M. it was then 3 P.M. I also saw one of the officers with which I went to the front last June. At 4 the 19 Corps was up with us and a general charge of the whole army ordered, before which Genl Sheridan rode along the line attended by two orderlies and saying "Men our cavalry are on their flank, we have won a victory". the men took of their hats and cheered him. Shortly after we went forward, what a scene of horror the field presented where our artillery had played on them, four hundred yards brought us in full view of their cannon, then our line was subject the most murderous arrtillery fire I ever heard, oh! how we were cut up. One gun as we advanced opened on our left in exact raing of the line lengthwise, it fired thre shots before it was captured, bringing twenty men down. At one of its shots the shell went through six men of one company in the Iron Brigade. then we got out where we could see the whole line to the right coming out on the plain before us, to see them advance in such splendid order under that fire was a tribut to their bravery not to be forgotten, a moving cloud is seen on our right and extending partly behind the Rebs. It is our cavalry under Averill and they are charging, how grandly they advance on those guns which are sending death through their ranks On they come, see the artillerists run, the cavalry charge past them cutting some down as they go, now they have stoped behind them and the guns artillerymen and the infantry supports are in our hands. Glorious that was the first Cavalry charge I ever saw. it ended the fight, the Rebs were siezed with a panic and fled in the utmost confusion, our spoils ar prisoners by thousands five guns & nine battle flags. There seems to be some doubt in the minds of our Genl' whether they have accupied the hights above the town or not there are strong earth works there, Our Div. is detailed to advance and if they are occupied carry them by storm, a half miles march acrost the plain brings us to the hills up we go and find the forts unoccupied. away beyond the town we could see them running and their cavalry thrown out to cover their retreat. looking back we beheld our victorious army marching into position on the plain below we soon joined them and it being now dark went into camp for the night. I have lost ½ my company either killed, or wounded. My friend Powell is badly wounded and ½ the officers of the regt. very tired
DIARY Tuesday 20" Sept 1864
The army started in pursuit as soon as it was light this morning moving in five columns, two of infantry on each side of the road and one of Cavalry and Artillery in the road. The Rebs had taken the Strausburg PIke in their retreat and we did the same picking up many of their stragglers on the road, as we went by the Cav Camp four of the captured battle flags were brought out for us to see. We moved by the way of Kernstown Newtown, & Middletown, reaching Strausburg before sundown, It was a weary march although but 20 miles for we were sore and tired from yesterdays charge. The Rebs army is posted in their strong position beyond the on Fishers hill which is strongly fortified. Many of our men and officers think we cannot take it. I think we can for their army is a defeated one while ours is victorious, we camped for the night ¾ of a mile from the town.
DIARY Wednesday 21" [September]
We lay quietly until past noon then broke camp and moved behind the woods to the right. our second brigade drove thir picket line from a hill they occupied and which our Genl' desired to possiss, the loss was quite severe considering the number engaged. After the hill was ours which was not until dark we moved upon it and after considerable manoeuvering established a line in the dark threw out pickets, and got rails to lay behind in case of a night attack, then rolled up in our blankets for the night.
DIARY Thursday 22 [September]
Under arms before daylight for ½ an hour. After breakfast entrenching tools came arround and we built a line of works, lay behind them until noon then were moved out to the right towards the Alleghainies and drove back the Rebel Picket line and opened communication with the 8" Corps which were just at the foot of the mountains We must wait until their line should be up with ours, then they were to charge endeavoring to turn the enemies left. as soon as they advanced we were to do the same. While we were waiting our Div. Batteries of eight guns commenced firing over us at the Rebel lines, some of the Cartridges were bad and the shells fell short, bursting over and even behind us, one of our shells burst and a piece of it struck our commanding officer (Capt Parker) in the side inflicting a probably fatal wound, he was carried from the field, Genl' Rickets sent back word to have the battery stoped two or three times but it was not, finaly he sent one of his aids to say if it was not stoped he would withdraw his Division and resign. this had the desired effect, About four O.C. P.M. the 8" corps charged shortly after our order came and away we went with a shout, the Rebs had a very strong breastwork with guns all along it, but we were not to be checked and so stormed them at once capturing their guns. I was struck on the arm but not much just, the Johnnies did not fight very well but run splendidly, we swept from the left to the right of their strong works driving them as we went, Fishers Hill was ours and "fairly won" In their retreat the disorganized mass had to cross an open field from the borders of which our men poured volly after volly into them. I wanted them to stop firing and charge for prisoners but they would not, I jumped over the fence and started on the rear of the Rebs some of the men came after me but the rest still fired, I must confess that the only fear I had felt during the charge was then, lest our men should hit us from behind. I and the squad with me soon secured 28 prisoners. After I got them I was somthing like the man with the elephant I did not know what to do with them finaly I saw Genl Rickets and staff, I asked him what I should do with them. "Thats right my fine fellow, thats right" said he "you just take them to Capt Lenard and have them ceredited to the Third Division". I hated to leave the field but started, I soon came acrost one of the Sergts of the 106" and gave them into his charge and started back for the front, It was now dark and our regts were getting together. I took command of what I could find of our Regt and after considerable marching arround found the rest of the Regt. and with them stacked arms and got supper. Our Div, of the 6" Corps and the 8" Corps did all the fighting to-day and have won the glory, I have not yet learned what our gaines were in this fight, it rainges from 15 to 20 guns and several Battle Flags, also a large number of prisoners, Never since the war began has the rebs received two such blows so close togather.
DIARY Friday Sept 23" 1864.
We did not stop only to get supper last night, but pressed on after the retreating enemy resting two hours during the night. Morning found us near Woodstock and we stoped there and got breakfast. quite a lot of rebs were captured during the march, it rained some this A.M. we drew rations, three of the guns captured yesterday are up here now, started again about noon, just as we started the 87 P.V. whose time is up the 24" filed off to return to Harpers Ferry, poor fellows many of them were killed just as their time was up, Came up the Vally as far as Edenburg and camped for the night, We are very sore and lame with our four days hard work.
DIARY Saturday 24" [September]
Started early this morning on our journey up the Vally Found the Rebs rear guard at Mt. Jackson, our Regt was leading the army and was deployed as skirmishers to drive in their advance, we did so and the army was formed on the ground which we had gained, we were relieved at M. and marched back to the Brigade. My Servant came up with my dinner while we were waiting for some demonstration of the enemy. it was the first I had eaten to-day for by a mistake our Brigade had to start without breakfast Finaly we crossed the plain beyond the town driving them before us, they retreated & took up a new position on the next hill, from which we drove them from there also. they again retreated as before and so kept fighting all this P.M. we drove them thus step by step as far as Newmarket when as it was night so we camped. I think by the stubbornness displayed by them we must be pressing their wagon train our advance battery was well worked to-day, one section followed the rainge of hills the other the pike. while one was firing the other advanced and took position commencing to fire at once, then the other would advance the same way.
DIARY Sunday 25" [September]
No rest if it is sabbath, still forward is the word, started at sunrise marched through Mintville and stoped on the hills above Harrisonsburg about four oclock P.M. This corps took up a posish on the hills south of the town, the 19" Corps West & the 8 North of it. I had a good illustration of "The glittering hosts bestrew the PLain" this afternoon. I hapened to be in a position where I could see the whole army crossing the large flats below the town The Western sun shone full on their bright arms and accoutriments sending back its rays from ten thousand points, it was a grand sight. We found in H____ a large number of wounded Rebs. I forgot to state that the hospitals of Mt Jackson fell into our hands in them were many Rebs and some Union Soldiers, how glad the latter were to see us, some had been there over a year, one of them had lost his left leg and arm, We are living on the people of the Vally now and do prety well, our bill of fare to-day was Bread butter, honey, cheese, peach preserves, fresh mutton fried & boiled, peach pie, potatoes, mustard, coffee, sugar, pepper, salt, and milk, not bad for soldiers. last night was prety cold, a wind from the West caused it. our woolen blankets we found very comfortable.
DIARY Monday 26" [September]
The army is resting to-day enjoying the mountain air with much satisfaction I suspect our rest is owing to the fact that our rations are out and we must wait for the Supply Train which is following us from the Ferry. Deserters are coming in all the time. They say the mountains are full of stragglers from the Rebel army, many of which would be glad to come in, but that they have been told that they will be badly used by us. Their officers strive to make them believe this as much as possible. I forgot to mention that during the lull in the fight at Winchester I met one of the officers with whom I formed a pleasant acquaintance while on the boat going to the front last June. I was walking along the prostrate line looking for our commanding officer, when he jumped off the stone on which he was sitting and shook hands hartily. When we parted we were wondering under what circunstances we should meet, if ever, It turned out to be on that blodyest field of the war. A fiew moments pleasant conversation and we parted again when to meet we could not tell; perhaps in some other bloody fight. Strange things happen in war, strange enough for the most fastidious novelist, none need rack their brains for subjects of fiction who have been in this war for they will find truth quite strange enough.
DIARY Tuesday 27" [September]
Still on the Harrisonburg hights. our rations came up to day from the Ferry and have been issued. I would not wonder if we resumed the march to-morrow. Many men who had been absent in hospital and some recruits came to the army to-day. more than enough to make up for our losses at Strauburg. Those who came say there are large reinforcements on the road to join us if such is the case I am looking for another attempt on Lynchburg, I think we shall have better success than Genl Hunter did for things open more brightly to begin with, We drew three days rations they are to last four days. there will be no difficulty in making them hold out for the men will forrage in spite of Genl Sheridans orders against it.
DIARY Wednesday 28" [September]
Last night we got orders to be ready to move at day light, we were accordingly up and had breakfast and everything ready & so remained until 8 O.C. when the order was countermanded, our tents were again put up and we proceeded to make ourselves comfortable for the day, we have apple-dumplings, apple-butter, syrup, butter, and cheese all indiginous productions, we do not pay for these things of course if we did it would take a fortune flour is $200 pr. bll, bacon $5.00 pr. lb. candles $10 pr. lb. boots $150 pr. pair, sugar $3 a pound, eggs $1 a piece (confederate scrip) we would find it somewhat dear in our money. The army are setting the mills (flour) going, grinding for us, the wheat is being collected from the farms arround and when it is ground I understand it is to be issued to the soldiers for rations.
DIARY Thursday 29. [September]
Last night we were ordered to be ready to move at 5 A.M. We had the same order yesterday morning so we got breakfast but did not have our tent taken down, so as to disappoint us I suppose the order came to march instead of being countermanded as before. We moved towards Stanton some five miles then stoped for dinner, after which we moved ¼ of a mile farther into a grove near Mt Crawford and camped again for the night, making a very easy days march, it rained a little yesterday also to day, we do not look for stable weather now, however it is warmer than it was when we were at Clifton for we need no fires & marching makes us prespire prety freely. I & my Co. were detailed as Provost guard to-day. I was Provost Martial. I went down to the creek & had a bath, pretty cold. When I came up to camp it was dark. The lurid glare of some conflagration lighted up the heavens. It made me feel bed. I understand our cavalry have orders to burn the barns, mills & shops & grain of the people, in fact everything which would benefit our foe. This is a hard order but given in strict justice, for retaliation.
DIARY Friday 30" [September]
Policed our camp this A.M. The streets run through trees making fine shade for our camp, we are very comfortable considering we are a hundred miles and more away from our base. Just as we were eating dinner (apple dumplings) the "strike tents" was sounded, which rather hastened the proceedings. I thought we were going on toward Stanton but when the long column began to streatch out it was towards the rear and not the front. The first two hours was very hot a storm was brewing which finaly burst upon us, the rain poured down in torrents for a short time then an East wind set in and old weatherwise said "look out for a cold snap" We moved to and camped on nearly the same ground about Harrisonburg that we occupied before, the men were not long in putting up their tents for the wind had changed from warm to cold, and every thing indicates a long cold storm. My messmate Lt. Cox has just been detailed for picket so I shall have our little tent alone to-night. The new troops spoken of the 27" have not arrived-
<<Previous - Table of Contents - Next>>
This site belongs to Heather Rose Jones. Contact me regarding anything beyond personal, individual use of this material.
Unless otherwise noted, all contents are copyright by Heather Rose Jones, all rights reserved.