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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 1863; Picket duty at Union Mills

"Union Mills, Virginia March 27th, 1863

"Dear Parents,

"You will see by the heading that we have again moved, and got a little nearer the Richmond, which has so long been the goal of our desires; though not a great deal, only about five miles. The 15th and 16th are here doing picket duty on the banks of that historical stream known as Bull Run, while the 14th as you will no doubt learn by the papers, has gone to Wolf Run Shoals to join the 12th and 13th. 
We came here by rails i.e. we walked on the railroad tracks. 

"They detail about 150 men for picket every day, detailing from our regiment one day, and from the 15th the next. Our boys are on today, and will come on again Sundays when I expect to go again....

Blackburn's Ford
(next ford to north of McLean Ford on Bull Run)
"When out on picket day before yesterday I was within 100 rods of MacLane's Ford where the skirmish that preceded the Battle of Bull Run occurred. The point from whence the Rebs opened fire on our troops from a mock battery is now occupied by a small earthwork and a few of our pickets stay in that. It is situated on a small island in the Run, and entirely surrounded by trees. Bull Run was so high the other day that no living thing could hope to cross alive, but during the night it 'subsided' about four feet.

The further side of Bull Run, the country appears to be smooth- inclining from the Blue Ridge down to the river's bank, and all dotted with Rebel barracks, which sheltered their main army during the first winter of the war, and to which it is to be hoped they will never be able to return, though this has been lucky ground for them. I guess my thoughts are somewhat wandering tonight,- I have been out today to see an iron cased car fitted up as a railroad battery and mounted with a small Parrott gun. 
 ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of March 27, 1863 

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