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

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Monday, May 4, 1863. Waiting for news from General Hooker's army.

"Monday 4th. All quiet. 2 months more, only, to serve." ~ Diary of Horace Barlow, 111, Pvt., Co. C, 12th Regiment

"May 4. The roaring of artillery at Fredericksburg is distinctly heard in camp this morning. All are anxious to hear the result."  ~ John  C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp 117 (1864)

"Monday Morning, May 4. We heard cannonading until late in the evening. We are to be relieved from this post soon; have heard from camp, and the whole brigade is under marching orders, and expect to start in a few hours. You shall hear again as soon as affairs are more settled; but I must close now, as the postmaster will soon be on his way to Union Mills with the mail.

"Noon. 'The A tents, and every thing that we cannot easily carry on our backs, are to be loaded on to the wagons and sent at once to Alexandria,' is the first thing we heard as we came in from the picket line. All in great haste are packing their overcoats, drawers, shirts (for hereafter each will have but two), and such as have two blankets, one of these, into boxes, to be carried to the rear. 'This looks a little as though we were stripping for a fight," said a soldier, as he came into my tent and found me in doubt whether to send one, or both, or neither of my blankets, "we shall be off before night.'" ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment, The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864) 

"Camp in the field Near Warrenton Junction Va. 
"Dear Parents

"It is nice country around here is very level. Yet there is a good deal of woodland each & cherry & some apple trees are in full Bloom. The forest trees are nearly leaved out. and take it all together if it were not for this rebbelion it would be a pleasant country where we are now.

"John Gay of Windsor or at least he enlisted from Windsor died at wolf run Shoals yesterday morning.   James W. Taylor was but just alive & Surgeon Ketchum said that there was no help for him so I think it doubtful if hi is alive now. Norman Perkins came back to the Co. yesterday. He looks pretty tough.

"Stephen is on picket to day & all of the rest of the boys (excepting those on picket) are digging rifle pits and building block houses.

"The contrabands are coming in from culpepper courthouse & that vicinity in squads of from one to six at a time & I believe that take them on average that there are brighter than the whites are. 

"It is now just a quarter past three & if the cars come up I shall send this letter out to day & if they do not then I cannot send it until to morrow Jabez H. Hammond, West Windsor, age 20, Sgt. Co. A, 12th Regt Letter No. 39

"The season here is little or no earlier than in Vermont. The fields are just beginning to look green and the leaves of the forest trees are not yet started.

"We are waiting with intense anxiety for news from General Hooker's army. The brigade has orders to be ready to march at an hour's notice. We look for lively work here if disaster overtakes Hooker." ~ Lieut. G.G. Benedict, Company C, 12th Regiment, Letter to the Free Press of May 4, 1863 in Army Life in Virginia

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