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

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 9, 1863. Sickness in the Twelfth. Chicken thieves in the night..

"Thursday 9th. A pleasant bright day. I feel better & stronger. As we can have a team this A.M. we move to the new camp. Most have already moved & it is lonesome enough here. I rode up on a pile of knapsacks & overcoats & went into Tennant's shanty, so as not to get tired or overwork myself, as I am very weak yet. Went into Sergt. Thompson's tent to spend the night. 

"Went to bed about 9 P.M. but was aroused from sleep by the cries of "Murder"! "Murder"! &c coming from the direction of old Steele's. Was up & dressed in a hurry. The boys were out & loading their guns & getting ready for any emergency. It was found out that some Cavalry-men had gone there & driven in the guard & were proceeding to steal some hens. They got some & left, before the Co. (G) which was sent down, arrived there." Diary of Horace Barlow, 101, Co. C, 12th Regiment

Corporal Williams entry for April 12th recalls the call-to-arms of the 9th: "There was another false alarm given on the night of the 9th, which I will here mention: About ten o'clock, the camp was alarmed by the sentinels discharging their pieces. The long roll was beaten, calling the regiment to arms, but no enemy was near. The cause of the disturbance originated at a farm house near by here, where some soldiers were paying a nocturnal visit to the hen roost, and the guard stationed there had fired his gun at them, thereby giving the alarm. Surely we are getting to be heroes of many battles."  ~ J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp, 107 (1864).

"Headquarters Second Vermont Brigade,
"Wolf Run Shoals, Va.,
"April 9, 1863.

"Dear Free Press:...The sick list of the Twelfth is larger now than ever before, numbering not less than 120, besides a number who suffer from severe colds but are not sick enough to require the surgeon's care. This diminution from the effective force of the regiment, while the details for picket duty are increased rather than diminished, tells sensibly upon the labors of the well and strong. But while there is some complaining, of course, all are ready to own that they had far rather do the work of the sick and feeble ones, than to take their places in the hospitals. There have been one or two more deaths since I wrote you late. 

"The Twelfth, heretofore the healthiest, seems to be now the sickliest regiment in the brigade. Why this is so, it is hard to explain. Partly, perhaps, because the other regiments had their "sick spells" and got through the process of acclimation sooner; partly because the measles had a run in the winter and left many men in poor condition to resist the exposures of the spring; partly, perhaps mainly, owing to the unhealthy location of the camp. The last reason will not hold after this. 

"This week the regiment has moved camp to a hard-wood knoll, a quarter of a mile from the old one. The location is higher and the ground much better than the old one The men erected new stockades before they left the old ones, and when the mud dries will be very comfortable in their new quarters.

"The men of the Twelfth have been gratified by the recent removal of the headquarters of the brigade to the vicinity of the Shoals, thus bringing Colonel Blunt in a measure back to them, and the colonel is as glad to be near his regiment as they are to have him here.

"This brigade is now picketing twenty odd miles of line. The Fourteenth guards the lower Occoquan from the lowest ford at Colchester to Davis's Ford, three miles below the Shoals. The Twelfth and Thirteenth picket from there to Yate's Ford, a couple of miles below Union Mills. The Fifteenth and Sixteenth take care of the rest of the line up to Blackburn's Ford, on Bull Run, where the pickets of General Hays' brigade meet our own.

"Our pickets have been repeatedly fired on at night of late by bushwhackers. The consequence is stricter measures with the inhabitants within and near our lines. Brigade Provost Marshal, Captain William Munson, has been visiting all the houses in this region, searching for and confiscating all arms and property contraband of war, and registering the names and standing as to loyalty, of the citizens. ..." ~ Lieut.  G.G. Benedict, Company C, 12th Regiment, Letter to the Free Press of April 9, 1863 in Army Life in Virginia. 

The President reviews the Army of the Potomac
April 9, 1863

No comments:

Post a Comment