"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 19, 2013

January 19, 1863. "In the afternoon there is a funeral." At evening, Orders for the whole Brigade to move.

Fairfax Courthouse
William Henry Jackson
"Fairfax Court House,

"Jan. 19th, 1863
"Dear Parents,

"Better, much better, in my opinion, is Uncle Joseph and I thought I would pen just a brief note to inform you of it, thinking that it might somewhat allay the anxiety which you and Maria would he likely to feel for him.

"We move in the morning though we don't know certain where. We expect either to go down to the Station or to a place called Woolf Shoals some ten or twelve miles from here. We go at seven. All well as usual except a sore thumb which plagues me some about writing. Slocum's Division which has all along been around the Station have just left, which we suppose to be the occasion for our moving. Nothing more now. H.G.Day"  
~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of January 19, 1863


"Monday 19th. We, four, were excused & built a splendid stockade for our tent. Were completing it, by the Captains tent & were intending to put our tent upon it to-morrow, when orders came for "Captains to hold their Co's in readiness to march to-morrow Morning at 7 o'clock." We have always said that when we built, we should move in a day or two, & it seems that our prohecy is correct." Diary of Horace Barlow, 70, Co. C, 12th Regiment

"Jan. 19. We start off and work about two hours on the new quarters, (the cold compels us to move briskly,) when orders come from some higher source, and we soon shoulder our spades, return, and exchange them for the rifles, and go to drilling. 

"The old brick tavern in the village is used for the brigade hospital, where are brought, from the regimental hospitals, those who are the most dangerously sick. The bodies of nearly all who have died in our brigade have been embalmed and sent home, at the expense of the companies to which they belonged

"In the afternoon there is a funeral. The soldier died last night at the village, and wished to be buried there, saying that his wife could not endure the sight of his dead body.

"The chaplain, musicians, his company, and such as choose to from the regiment, follow him to the grave. His is placed, before leaving the hospital, in a government coffin, made of boards painted black,-with the clothes on that he wore when alive. He is now laid in the ground four feet deep; twelve of his comrades fire their farewell shots; the chaplain speaks consoling words, offers a prayer to God and pronounces a benediction; and we turn away, not as when we came, with a slow and measured tread, - the drummers beating the dead-march, - but with quicker steps, a livelier air, - Yankee Doodle.

"As we reach camp it is noised about that we are going on a march to-morrow."  
~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment,  The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864) 



"January 19. I have just received a box of delicacies from home, and fear that I shall be very much indisposed to do duty if I indulge in eating much of it, for such a sudden transition from "hard tack” and coffee to the luxuries of home will not be beneficial.

"Marching orders have been received by the brigade to-day, to be ready to march in the morning to Fairfax Station, to take the place of Slocum’s division, which has been ordered on to Fredericksburg to join Burnside. And thus another week of hard industrious labor has been in vain, for we are not to enjoy its benefits." J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp, 71 (1864)

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