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

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sunday, April 19, 1863

Lt. Col. Charles Cummings,
 Sixteenth Regiment,

"April 19. Seven days' rations are still on hand, ready for a move. ..." ~ J. C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp, 110 (1864).

"19th. Very warm and breezy. Gen. Stannard is to take command of this brigade Monday. It is reported that he is a very fine man." Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment

"Camp at Union Mills Virginia 
"Sunday, April 19, 1863 

"Dear Sister. I recd a letter from you to day so will answer this evening tho' I have nothing in particular to write only that we are still at our old Camp and likely to remain here for the present. It seems from what we can learn that at the time we expected to move, they intended to send us to Suffolk Va. but finally concluded to take Regts from nearer Washington. We have got our tents back and are living again. ..." Joseph Spafford, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, April 19, 1863, in A War of the People: Vermont Civil War Letters , Jeffrey D. Marshall, ed., pp. 149-159.

"Camp (Peter T.) Washburn, Va. Apr. 19th, 1863

"My health would be tiptop were it not for a little cold that I took out on picket last Wednsday, which was as Stormy a day as you ever saw. Bull run, which is about the same size of black river near Downers, rose from twelve to fifteen feet in twenty four hours. So you can imagine whether it stormed or not. ..." 
Jabez H. Hammond, West Windsor, age 20, Sgt. Co. A, 12th Regt Letter No. 36

“Camp Near Union Mills, VA
“April 19th, 1863
“My Dear Wife,

“I have not received a letter from you since yours of the 9th inst. came to hand. But the day is so magnificently delightful and as it is Sunday, I have nothing of importance on hand to demand immediate attention. I will spend my time in the agreeable duty of writing to you.  

“You will readily discover that our forward movement has not been made yet. Why, I do not know. Reasons are not vouched in military orders. …

“During the past week, just as our boys had got under their shelter tents a severe and protracted rainstorm came on which so raised the streams and Bull Run in particular, as to carry off the bridge over that stream at this place - only the iron rails and a few pieces being left - and the river was totally unfordable. 

The Photographic History of the Civil War: Forts and artillery
 By Robert Sampson Lanier
'If we move now we cannot make any progress until the bridge is rebuilt, for there will be no mode of getting along supplies until the railroad is in repair.

“But an early movement from here does not seem probable, and yet we may receive marching orders without a moment’s notice. We keep ourselves constantly supplied with seven days rations and over 100 rounds of ammunition.  

“We are no longer in Casey’s Division. Last week our division of 3 brigades were placed under Brig. Gen. J. J. Abercombie an old West Pointer over sixty years of age, who is coming out to Centerville this week to establish his headquarters. Gen. Casey still remains in Washington. He is the author of our present tactics and is at work on tactics for the Negro regiments.

“Gen. George J. Stannard has at last been assigned to the 2nd Brigade and will arrive and assume command tomorrow. This is good news. We have been sadly in want of a General since Col. Blunt has been in command. The Colonel is not up to Veazey nor Proctor by a long chalk.

“The truth is that the 16th has the best Colonel in the Brigade, and the 16th Regiment can beat any other regiment in the brigade or in this section out of sight at any evolution and in any movement. This is conceded by Col. Blunt and Gen. Hayes of the 3rd Brigade.”  

"All the past week I have been at Centerville on the court martial, and it will take up nearly another week to finish the trial of all the prisoners now on the docket - and then may be other cases sent in. No one in this or the 15th Regiments has been brought before court martial nor is then a case before the Court at Centerville from this brigade. Our boys got disciplined in camp - all that is necessary.  

"My health is just as good as it can be. I have not felt so tough and hardy for many years. You would be surprised to see me eat and then I can lay down anywhere and sleep soundly on the floor, ground, or in any place.”  

Our term of enlistment is fast drawing to a close. By the time you receive this letter it will have two thirds expired and the pleasantest season and pact of the campaign is yet to come.

"Yours of the 15th was received a few moments since. I am glad to know that you are all well. And getting along well. I do not know what to do about the garden. It will not do to let it run up towards nor will it pay to put so much labor into it as I have done heretofore. Perhaps some way can be devised to get us out of the difficulty.

"The season is quite late out here. Peach trees are now in bloom and the crocus and daffodil and such like are in their prime. … I am sitting in my tent with the front down to keep out the sun with a neck scarf my shirtsleeves and sweating at that. But it does feel like some warm morning at home in May when I have been at work in the garden. The Blue Ridge in the distance which I can see for many miles is covered with snow yet.”

 …Your Loving husband - Charles.” ~ Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Sixteenth Regiment, Letters  April 19, 1863. VHS.

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