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

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sunday, March 8, 1863. Strength of Purpose

"March 8. A very pleasant day. It is one of the most quiet days that I have seen for Sunday." Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment.

"Sunday 8th On picket at Bull Run. Day lowery, but not rainy; night showery & finished up rain by thunder storm. By proper disposition of shelter tents & rubber blankets, we kept dry & comfortable. Stood 6 hours in the 24. On post with Sergt. Tennant & Lieut Waite, Co A. Pleasant time, on the whole." Diary of Horace Barlow, 89, Co. C, 12th Regiment

"Camp Near Wolf Run Shoals, Va. March 8, 1863.
"Dear Free Press:

"The Twelfth is now in the seventh week of its occupancy of its present camp,--a longer stay in one spot than it has yet made. We have formed no such intense attachment to our camp at the Shoals that we shall not be pretty well content to leave it, wherever we may be ordered. The region about us is a dreary one; the camp is less pleasant than our former ones; the time we have thus far spent in it has been during the most trying season of the year; snow, rain, frost and mud have told on the health of the regiment, and we have more sickness than ever before, among both officers and men; out picket duty--in pleasant weather the pleasantest duty of the soldier--has been severe; and though out situation here might be worse in a thousand particulars, we should all be satisfied to run the risk of not bettering our condition by a move.

"You are not to understand that we are disheartened--not at all. "The Red, White and Blue," sung by an extemporized quartette, with a stiff chorus of manly voices, coming to my ear as I write, tells a different story from that. We carry a stiff upper lip under all circumstances. About a tenth of the regiment are off duty from measles, fevers, and ailments of one sort or another. The balance are, I think, more resolute in the great purpose of the war than ever.

""There is more fight in me," said one of our men yesterday, "than ever before. I supposed when I enlisted that nine months in the service would give me enough of war, and I remained of that opinion till quite lately. Now I am in for the war, be it long or short." The man who said this had no lack of fight in him at the start, mind you, and I believe he represents a majority of the regiment.

"Fuller acquaintance with the temper and purposes of the rebels, discussion of the issues involved, and especially the news we get from home of the sayings and doings of the miserable "copperhead" journals and their followers at the North, have stirred to the bottom the fountains of honest indignation, and given strength to the purpose and patriotism of us all. The army is unanimous in this feeling, so far as I can judge. Having enlisted to fight traitors, the soldiers as a mass propose to fight them through, and would like to give those at home the same treatment they do those at the south."
~ Lieut.  G.G. Benedict, Company C, 12th Regiment, Letter to the Free Press of March 8, 1863 in Army Life in Virginia.

No comments:

Post a Comment