"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 29, 2013

Wednesday, April 29, 1863. "The owners are now prisoners and the owned are free."

"April 29. Five hours drill per day, so that we cannot complain of a lack of exercise. Gen. Stannard is now our Brigadier, with headquarters at Union Mills"  ~ John  C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp 115 (1864)

"April 29. We receive four months' pay." ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment, The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864) 

"Union Mills, VA 
"April 29th, 1863

"My Dear Wife,

"While in Washington, Monday morning. I wrote you a hasty line, enclosing a check on NY for $300, which you have doubtless received before this. I returned to my regiment at 10 o’clock the same morning, and am now on duty in the same. ...

"I know nothing of our movements or intentions. Troops are moving around us daily.  Hooker’s army is moving. I judge to Rappahannock station. 

"Our regiment went out there last week to protect the workmen repairing the railroad so that the cars now run 25 miles beyond our picket lines to the above place. The day our men were out there Gen. Stoneman with his cavalry Division of 18,000 men arrived - so they are in front of us with nothing but guerrillas between. 

"We now send men down ten or twelve miles on the railroad daily.

"This morning ten rebel prisoners and 50 contrabands were sent in from that direction,  
some of the former owning some of the latter. But the Emancipation has so fixed things that the owners are now prisoners and the owned are free. These blacks do not seem to very much regret this changed state of relations. 

"The men of the 15th and 16th Regiments have sent home to Vermont from $50,000 to  
$60,000 of their 4 months pay - the 16th full $30,000 How many mothers hearts will be made  glad and children’s mouths fed. Men who received $52 send home from $40 to $50 but there they do not have to buy their rations. This fact speaks well for the regiment. 

... "Give my love to mother and kiss our little darlings for their absent papa.

"Your loving husband - Charles" 
~ Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letters April 29, 1863. VHS.

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