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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 13, 1863. Moving Camp; A false alarm.

"Jan. 13. A dry place; one free from the wind, in cold weather; and near wood and water. These at least are necessary for a good camp ground. When we first came here this location answered to these. But now the ground is soaked with water, and it does not run off freely; some are sick; and a few have died very suddenly. The surgeons pronounce the place unhealthy, and think that the camp had better be moved. So we work during the day, policing the ground to the right of us. 

"The next morning at two o'clock we are aroused by the "long roll." All are up in a few minutes. The first man I met after I was out of my tent, began: "What in hell is to pay now? Some men are scared at their own shadows. There a'int 'a reb' within a thousand miles of here." We don't leave the company streets, and in a half hour are told that we can lie down again. A bushwhacker had fired at a cavalry patrol not far from camp."~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864) 

"January 13. We are again in a new camp, two miles west of the Court House. The order to change our camp was complied with yesterday. The regiment was formed in line about nine o’clock I the forenoon, in heavy marching order. We were not long in marching to this place, the distance being only two miles. To-day our camp presents a busy scene. The sound of two hundred axes are heard, preparing timber for stockading. Logs are being backed about a quarter of a mile, which shows that there will be no rest until the regiment is well provided for the winter.

"Another false alarm was given by our pickets last night: About midnight the long roll was beaten, calling the regiment to arms, and, with its usual alacrity and promptness, was soon in line, ready to receive the enemy; but fortunately for him he did not show himself. We were kept up about two hours, when the party sent out to reconnoiter returned with the intelligence that the alarm was a false one. It was not a very favorable time for a skirmish, the night being exceedingly dark, so that friend or foe could not have been distinguished." J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp, 69 (1864)

"Jan. 13. Have been over to the 14th, about two miles. They have got a big camp ground, but have got to move to-morrow at seven o’clock in the morning.

"We are going to Wolf Run Shoals, about ten miles, somewhere between here and the Rebs. This makes the third time that our Brigade has built their Winter Quarters, and I think they ought to break in some other Brigade and let Vermont rest, but they are good for it."  Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment.

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