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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tuesday, November 25, 1862. The 13th 14th & 15th leave Camp Vermont on a night march.

"Tuesday 25th ... Our Regt has gone on picket again to day. Only one Com. Officer from our Co. so Williams has gone. The Capt. went down to Washington yesterday & will be back tonight." ~ Joseph Spafford, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, November 24, 1862, UVM

"The order came at 8 o'clock in the evening, and the 'bully Thirteenth,' as its boys delight to call themselves, was on the march through our camp at nine, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth following with little delay. The Twelfth had orders to pack knapsacks and be in readiness to move at a moment's notice, and our own camp was all astir with the bustle of preparation. The night was dark and rainy, and as the other regiments passed on the double quick through our camp, their dark columns visible only by the light of the camp fires, our boys cheering them and they cheering lustily in response, the scene was not devoid of excitement. Every man in the ranks believed that such a sudden night march to the front meant immediate action, and the haste and hearty shouting showed that the prospect was a welcome one. The Twelfth would have gone with equal cheerfulness; but the expected order for us to fall in did not come. ~ G.G. Benedict, pvt., Company C, 12th Regiment, Letter to the Free Press of December 6, 1862 in Army Life in Virginia.

"It is eight o'clock at night - dark, pitchy dark, and raining fast. The guards, as usual, to and fro, are pacing the trodden beats. In each tent is a candle burning, and around it a little squad of soldiers, all busy; some telling their accustomed stories; some smoking; some at a game of cards; now a lively son entices laughter; one is reading, another writing to his friend, with portfolio on his knees; perchance some weary boy has fallen asleep,-none dreaming of marches. Just now the colonel calls the sergeant major: "Tell the captains that their men must be ready to start at a moment's notice, with gun, equipments, forty rounds of ammunition, blankets and rations for a day." Ah! now the quiet scene is shifted" ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864)

"Six o'clock in the evening. We have received marching orders, and the result of our labors will be left for the benefit of others.

"Eight o'clock in the evening. Orders are received to be ready to march at a moment's notice.  

Ten o'clock in the evening. At nine o'clock the regiment was ordered to fall in, and but a few moments elapsed before we were in line, each man in light marching order, and supplied with one Day's rations. It is very dark and rains slightly, and hope we are not to march very far to-night. Col. Nichols, after thanking us for our promptness, ordered us forward. We halted awhile at Col. Blunt's quarters, and then forming into line with the 13th and 15th, take up our march to some place unknown to any one in the ranks." ~ J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp 36-37f (1864)

"After supper while in our tent, the order suddenly came to pack knapsacks immediately & be ready to march at a moment's notice. We packed in the greatest hurry & were all ready in about 10 minutes but as Col. Blunt was absent, in W. Col. Randall of the 13th had command & he went off towards "Bull Run" with the 13th 14th & 15th in light marching order in the rain. So about 10 P.M. we went to bed & slept till morning."  ~ Diary of Horace Barlow, Co. C, 12th Regiment

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