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

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22, 1863. "We have seen something of the destruction caused by war..."

 "Now that Stoneman was still unable to cross
  Hooker’s plan  had to be changed."
(Civil War Daily Gazette) 
"22nd. Cold and windy. More rain and mud."  Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment

"[The morning of April 22nd] we were all taken on board a train that was sent up on purpose for us, and went down some twenty miles beyond Manassas Junction, within three miles of the Rappahannock, found the road in good condition, and came back home again, having successfully accomplished what we suppose to be the object of our expedition, viz. to guard the trains and workmen while they were repairing the road so that Uncle Sam could transport supplies down this road to Stoneman's Cavalry. 

"They are now operating rather secretly in the vicinity of Warrenton, with a small force of some thirty or forty thousand men, and all the available light artillery of Hooker's army. I never saw a quarter so much cavalry before, and yet we saw only a small part of the whole force. I do not know what the idea is in having all Hooker's cavalry and light artillery up there, unless they intend to dash across the river and take the enemy in the rear while he takes them in front. 

"To see the train of pack mules that carried the baggage of the cavalry was quite a novel sight. There would be one mule with a lot of camp kettles, frying pans, and other camp equipage packed upon him, and another with a couple of boxes of hard tack slung across his back, etc.

"...At Manassas, which must have been a beautiful place before the war broke out, there is not a single house left standing. But the plain is there, still lovely still beautiful, even in ruin. Here Pope's supply trains were burned last summer, and the ruins of miles of cars still ornament the track. Here was destroyed clothing, hospital, officers, sutlers' and all other kinds of stores that you might mention, to the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars- if not millions. The old Rebel fortifications are still there, though somewhat decayed. 

"At Bristow Station, the next one beyond the Junction, there was a mile or two more of cars burned up and destroyed. The country down the railroad from Catlett's, down about Warrenton Junction and down to Bealton Station which was the extent of our journey, is superb, - almost level, and as green as can be. The peach trees are all in blossom here, and if I had a sprig handy, I would send it along." ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of April 23, 1863

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