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

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 1863. Good Riddance to Gen. Stoughton

Brig. Gen. Edwin Stoughton
of Chester
"Fairfax Station, Virginia, March 11, 1863
"Dear Parents,

"As I have a few leisure moments, and as there is something to write about, here goes. Brig. Gen. Stoughton has left for the front where he has so long been trying to get us, and the brigade seems to rejoice in his departure, though it seems rather "riled" at the idea of the Rebs being able to dash in to Fairfax Courthouse and get out again unthrashed.... It was curious to hear the comment in camp on receipt of the news! All were somewhat indignant that the Rebs should be so successful in their dash, but their care was not for Stoughton. 

"He had five men detailed from the various regiments for guards, and you could hear the boys inquiring anxiously after they, and making such remarks as, 'Well, I wonder if Old Stoughton feels like cutting anybody's D--d head off now? How much will it reduce the price of whiskey?" "Old Stought has started for the front now. There'll be whiskey enough now so that the men can have some every day," etc. etc., While it is said the 14th almost burst into a cheer when they heard he was gone. 

"I don't think anybody sympathizes with him much, because he had no particular business to be off there three or four miles from his own headquarters, which are at the Station, and from all his command, and remain there week after week. Let him R.I.P."Col. Asa E. Blunt is now in command of the brigade. He is much liked by his own boys, and I guess by the rest of the brigade.

"...Our family are all doing well: Alfred writing, Moses standing by the door smoking a cigarette he made by rolling a little tobacco in a corn husk, and all as contented as clowns, while the other family that lives here, viz Surry M. Ross, is eating a hard cracker, and the boys in the opposite shanty singing songs. The hatchet we use to split hardtacks is badly nicked out on the edge. You can form your own conclusions as to whether the tacks did it or not. H.G. Day" ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of March 11, 1863 

"Camp Near Wolf run Va. March 11th 1863

"Dear Father Mother Brothers and Sister one and all. .... You have with out doubt got the particulars of his capture before this time so the most that I have to say is that it a little coolest thing that has ever happened in what war the capturing of a Brigadier General & 18 armed men without a gun being fired upon either side is something that does not happen every day.

"In my last letter I stated that the report was that they captured the members of the Brass band, but the report was untrue. They were withing forty rods of the Gens. quarters yet they were not molested. Neither did they molest the hospital.

"The Regiment is very unhealthy with the camp & typhoyed fever there is one case in our company that is rather doubtful his name R R Williams* typhoyed fever. George Parker is about the same as he has been he has got a slow fever but is not terrible Sick.

"... I do not believe that you can read this for I have been a washing this afternoon & my hand trembles very bad. either caused by that or poor rum. Tell Elwyn that I will write to him just as quick as I can get time & my nerves get steady enough. please to write soon.

"Sergt. J.H.H. to the folks at home" 
 Jabez H. Hammond, West Windsor, age 20, Sgt. Co. A, 12th Regt Letter No. 31

*, Roderic R.Williams, age 24,  Windsor, VT,  Pvt, Co. A, 12th Vt Regt. died 3/14/63

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