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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tuesday, June 16, 1863. The Second Brigade are now the the rear Guard of Hooker's Army

"June 16th, Morning: It bids fair to be another scorching hot day just such as we are in the habit of having at the present time. We have to start at 5:30, and that does not leave much time for writing or anything else. We have just packed up our overcoats in a box to send to Alexandria to stay until we come home. We do not need then now! And we do not want to lug them in case we have to march anywhere." ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter from Union Mills, June 15, 1863

Joseph Spafford
"Camp at Union Mills Va.
"June 16th 1863
"Dear Sister,

"Yesterday was extremely hot, and as we have had no rain for several weeks you can have something of an idea what a dust a train of baggage wagons, Artillery, Cav. &c. would kick up in our camp, if they were moving through it all the time. Since yesterday noon there has been an almost continual train passing directly through our camp, so we have had dust for breadfast, dust for dinner, & dust for supper. Trains were passing nearly all night and are still going to day. They are most of them going in the direction of Centerville.

"Many soldiers were sun struck yesterday while on the march; old soldiers passing through here say it was about as bad a day as they ever saw, for a march. To day is quite cool & comfortable. I think they must have had thunder storms somewhere about us during the night. I wish we might get enough to lay the dust, here.

"I understand that the 15th Regt. are all together at Manassas Junction & are coming back here to day. Geo. is with them yet, did not come back yesterday.

"Our Co. is all on picket to day. Every man of them, it was not Capts. or my turn to go so we are stoping in camp, the Co. will not be back until day after tomorrow. Our boys are all well and feeling well; the same with myself. I never felt better during the hot weather." Joseph Spafford, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter, June 15, 1863 (uvm)

At Occuquan:

"June 16. We move our camp about a hundred rods, thinking it to be healthier. All carry their bunks to the new place. We have seen several officers from the army of the Potomac.

"Evening. Here, squads of ten or fifteen are gathered around some old soldier telling his tales of blood, or where he thinks the enemy are; there are many sitting on the ground, talking, laughing, singing, and some are smoking." ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment, The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864)

At Catlett's:

"16th. The 6th A. C. is at the station. Brigade is doing well. The 15th are the rear Guard of Hooker's Army." ~ Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment

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