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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 12, 1862. The whole Brigade is moving.

"Long before daylight the stars are shining brightly, and the camps are all alive. Things are being packed up; breakfast ate; ... the tents are struck and loaded on the wagons, and we are off. The whole brigade is moving, commanded by Gen. Stoughton. ...We have marched about a mile, when the sun rises above the low, wooded hills of Maryland, its rays flashing on the burnished rifles, and the long line of men rolling steadily over little swells of land, now seen, and now the living chain is broken from your view by the uneven land,...narrowing, till lost far away; so looked this line of brave men, each gathering courage as he sees the host stepping by martial music, and pride, that he, with such, are the defenders of his country. ..." ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864)

"About 4OO of the 16th worked on the fort which I hare spoken of before and on our return to camp at night were told by our comrades that orders had come for us to be ready to strike tents and march the next morning. At first we hardly credited it, believing this to be one of the many camp stories that we hear told, but the next morning we were routed out at 3 o'clock, had breakfast at 4, and started between 5 and 6. I would hardly have believed we could start from camp with knapsacks, 50 rounds of cartridges, 2 days rations, etc. and march 18 miles the first day. But such nevertheless was the distance we made by the middle of the first afternoon, landing a little beyond Fairfax Courthouse."  Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of December 18, 1862.  

"We started at 3 in the morning with very heavy loads on our backs and marched until most night when we turned into the woods for the night and slept on the ground all hands of us.  I endured the march first rate. after our arrival I went to piling up logs and made a big fire as we do when out fishing.  The Capt. could hardly go he was so tired.  He wanted to know what in fury I was made of." E. D. Keyes, 1st Lieutenant, Company H, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of December 23, 1862

"Friday 12th Awakened at 3 A.M. to get ready. All ready & tent struck by 4½. Formed line about 5½ & moved, together with whole brigade at 5.55. We find we are to go to Fairfax C.H. The march, 17 miles long, was pretty hard. The ground in early morning was frozen stiffly & very rough & so very hard for feet. Towards noon some what muddy & so much better. We rested quite often, but got very tired. My feet stood the journey very well & also my shoulders, but they ached when the knapsack was on, considerably. Stopped a mile beyond Fairfax C.H. & encamped in a pine wood on the right of the road. Arrived at 3.30 P.M."   Diary of Horace Barlow, 49=50,  Co. C, 12th Regiment

"At three o'clock the ... (the 12th) the bugles sounded, calling us up to prepare for the march, each man to be supplied with two Days' rations. Our camp was again a busy scene. At half past five the 14th was formed in line, this time the men being in heavy marching order; Lieut. Col. Rose taking the command, we were ordered forward, the 12th, 15th and 16th preceding us, and the 13th bringing up the rear. We marched in this order about four miles, when the regiments ahead halted, the 14th filing past them and taking the lead. The day was pleasant and was a very favorable time for a march. We arrived at Fairfax Court House about four o'clock in the afternoon, and camped half a mile north, where we remained that night... ".J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp, 48-49 1864)

"[W]oke up about two. Had to go and get more breakfast and pack up ready to start by the appointed hour. The Regiment felt pretty bad about their winter quarters. Had just got them done and were having a nice time, when lo, and behold, they had to start. Marched through to the Court House about three in the afternoon, pitched tents and had a good nights rest."  ~ Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment.

"[Not knowing where we were going; but bade farewell to our fireplaces, bunks, and stockades, that we had worked so hard to make comfortable, and which we had just succeeded in finishing, hoping to enjoy them for a while, at least. Daylight found us on the road between Alexandria and Fairfax Court House; and just before night, we pitched our fly tents a little beyond the latter place, having traveled about fifteen miles, loaded down with fifty rounds of cartridges, two days rations, guns, knapsacks, blankets, and fly tents,... ." ~ Daniel B Stedman Brattleboro, VT, age 22, Pvt., 16th Regt,  Co. B, Letter of December 15 1862     Brattleborohistory.com

No comments:

Post a Comment