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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30, 1862. Excitement and something to do.

"Camp Near Fairfax C.H. Va
"Tuesday Eve Dec 30th 1862

"It was a beautiful moonlight night & the whole Brigade was out, the 15th on picket at Bull Run the 12th & 13th at Fairfax C.H. or near there & the 14th near there in another direction & we (the 16th) down to Fairfax Station. Each Regt lay on thier arms. We were drawn up in line along side of the Catholic Church which had had all the pews taken out & been used as a hospital, it was empty when we were there so our & some Officers from other Co’s went into it & slept. 

"The station is between 2 & 3 miles from the C.H. I slept so soundly that I did not even hear the firing at the C.H. which was done by the 12th 13th & the Battery that was with them. Sometime in the night, I dont know what time, some Co’s of the 12th & 13th which were stationed by some old breast works discovered the Rebel cavalry passing & fired into them with no further results that we know of, than killing one of their horses, & taking one of the men prisoner. The Gen. ordered some shells flung after them from the 6 pound guns which were there, which was done, but to no effect it seems. 

"Our Regt stayed down to the station until about 3 P.M. The next day when we came back to camp & have been here undisturbed ever since. It makes me so mad I dont know what to do to think how they can slip round among our troops & not get taken. It seems almost impossible that they could pass right through among so many of us here and recieve no further damage. The prisoner captured states that thier object in doing so is meerly to capture what sutlers stores they can so they are getting hungry. ...

"Tomorrow is the 31st day of December & consiquently “muster day” with us. Day after tomorrow is our time to go on picket again for four days. I like it & had rather do it than to stay in camp. This is good fun to what it is staying back to Alexandria or somewhere else where there is no excitement & nothing to do." 
Joseph Spafford, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, December 30 1862, UVM

"Dec. 30. All quiet until about dark, when it was reported that Jackson was crossing the Rappahannock in force. Then I had to run with orders to the different regiments to hold themselves in readiness to march at one minutes notice with three days rations in their haversacks. Did not get much time to sleep that night."   Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment.

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