"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thursday, November 13, 1862. Picket duty.

"Thursday 13th Started from Camp at 7 A.M. for the picket line. The weather, contra to my expectations is clear & pleasant. My quarters are in a bush hut on the main road from Washington to Richmond. Have 4 men stationed with me. My duty is to examine passes, & pass such as are all right. Gen. Casey & staff passed by here this P.M. He asked me several questions in regard to who lives in the houses near here, but as I had never been here before I could not tell him."  ~ Joseph Spafford,  1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, November 24, 1862, UVM

"They manage the picket business somewhat after this fashion: The men take two days' rations, roll up their blankets, tie the ends together in such a manner as to make an endless chain and sling it over their heads. They also take with them their shelter tents. When on the picket line they are stationed on their respective posts, usually three ... and one of these has to keep awake all the time. The other two can do what they please: sleep, fish, or visit. I haven't seen Uncle Joe since he came in from picket, so I don't know how he liked it, but our company had 7 out, and they said they hadn't had so much fun for a long time." ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of November 16, 1862

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