Pvt. Albert E. Sholes, Co. B, 1st Rhode Island Infantry, On the Campaign

27 03 2023

Personal Reminiscences of Bull Run.

Read at the Thirty-eight Annual Reunion of the First R. I. Regiment and First Battery Association at Lakewood, R. I, Thursday, July 21, 1910, by Albert E. Sholes, of Flushing, N. Y.

“And what so tedious as a twice-told tale,” says Pope, and yet your secretary, my comrades, wrote me a few weeks since, asking that I present on this forty-ninth anniversary of the day we celebrate, a paper of reminiscences.

To so give color and change to the story of that which is in the main familiar to you all, as to interest, is not an easy task. As on strives to look back through the mist of the years, he finds that details of incidents, faces and even names of those once closely allied with, and dear to him have been obliterated, wipes out as the child erases the picture from his slate, so that only the dimmest trace of it remains.

Yet the real story of the past can only be gathered and collated from individual remembrace, and i can respond to Comrade Slocomb’s request, tell of the time,

When we beheld a Nation betrayed,
When Lincoln called and we obeyed.

in no better way than by giving you personal memories.

[Skip to p. 5]

On July 16th. orders came for the regiment to move across the Potomac, but Commisary Cole was instructed to keep all the attaches of his department in camp. This did not meet my approval, and I arranged with one of the boys in my mess to bring my haversack with the rest for rations and leave it in my bunk. I served all the rations, saw the Regiment formed and march in, and watching my opportunity, slipped off to quarters, put on my equipments, caught my gun and ran as if for life.

Half a mile down New York avenue, I dropped into line, Captain Van Slyck[1] failing to note my presence till we had crossed the Long Bridge, when he commented with a smile, that I “would probably wish later that I had obeyed orders and staid in camp.”

Memory skips today many of the details of that march, though I recall that it was a hot and dusty experience. The night of the 17th if I remember rightly, we camped in the yard of Fairfax Court House, and I have a letter somewhere which I found in the scattered mail at the Post office, which written to a member of a South Carolina Regiment, from his home, informed him that a three gallon jug of old corn whiskey had been shipped, and requested in return that the soldier bring him “one of old Abe’s front teeth.”

I recall also a visit to the home of Major Ball, who, married into the Washington family, was in command of a Confederate battery, and how some of the troops – I think not of our regiment – had sought to get even with him by practicing on his piano with their boot heels.

Then came our advance on the 18th, when we heard the first shot of the enemy across Blackburn’s Ford, and our movement to Centerville, the morning of the 19th. That day and the next in camp there, and then, on the evening of the twentieth, came orders to prepare to move in the early morning.

Little of sleep was, I think, obtained by any of us that night. The excitement of realization that tomorrow would witness a battle between two great armies, both composed of American citizens, and that we were to participate, did not tend to slumber. Then, for myself, I was one of the details to go half a mile or more to a spring for water. On our return, rations which would shortly arrive must be waited for, and after arrival, which was near midnight, the meat must be cooked.

Finally tired and sleepy, I laid down only to be awakened before I had gotten even the traditional “forty winks,” with the cry of “Fall in.”

Out into the road, down to and over the bridge which was to achieve fame ere the close of the day, up a slight elevation, and forward over an unknown road, moving in quietness, every man simply following his file leader, dawn found us in the midst of a forest, such as few of any of us had ever before seen. Giant trees were on every hand, while all about us other giants had grown to maturity, lived their day, decayed and fallen to earth. We could almost imagine the genii of the forest peering out upon us and saying, “Who be these who this disturb us? Surely their like ne’er passed this way before.”

Clambering over the fallen trunks of trees, pushing through heavy growths of underbrush, we presently emerged into the open ground, crossed a little brook, and climbed a small hill toward what we later learned to be Sudley Church.

As the let of the regiment cleared the top of the hill, the order was given “By battalion left into line,” and we advanced in line of battle.

An hundred or more yards we moved when there came a shot which I am confident was the widest shot fired during the entire war. It struck the ground a short distance in our front, and ricochetting, passed directly over my head. I am prepared to swear to this even now, and I have no question that every man here today will testify that it passed directly over his head, never mind whether he was on the right or left of the line. The command came “Forward. Double quick!” and then, “Left oblique,” and in less time than I can tell it, pushing over the left of the 71st N. Y. as it lay on the hillside, we were on the brow of the hill with the Seventy-first New York on the right, the Second Rhode Island on our left, and the gray clad enemy in front.

Who can tell of the incidents of a battle, particularly one like Bull Run, where every man and officer was a novice in the art of war? The rattle of musketry, the roar of cannon, the cries of the wounded, the shouts of officers, the loading and firing at will, all come back as a blurred memory. I recall seeing the loved Prescott[2] dead, the falling with wounds of Irving and Haskins of my Company, the riding of Governor Sprague to the front of our line, the killing of his horse, and his appearance as he rose with his hat off, hair flying and sword waving and called on the First to follow him. Then as he was led rearward, some Regiment advanced to fill our places, and we were marched to right and rear to the shade of the woods, to have our supply of ammunition replenished.

Here, to us came the news of the wounding of Colonel Slocum, Major Ballou and Captain Tower, and that they had been borne to the little house at the rear of our line of battle.

Securing permission from Captain Van Slyck, I at once went to the cabin especially to know if i could render service to the man whom I had always loved and honored, Colonel Slocum.

As I recall, no physician or attendant was with them when I entered. Colonel Slocum, Major Ballou, and I think a third man lay on the floor at the side of the room, while I passed Captain Tower lying in the yard near the door of the cabin with the pallor of death on his face. I gave utterance to some expression of sorrow when the Colonel said, “I am glad you came, Albert; can’t you get us some water?” I removed the canteens, cutting the rapes and went to the old sweep well nearly up on the line of battle. As I drew up the bucket, a man waiting by the well at my side, fell dead, as he was struck by a fragment of shell. The canteens were filled, and returning, I gently raised the head, first of Captain Tower in the yard, then of Major Ballou, and finally of the Colonel, gave them a drink and moistened their faces with my handkerchief. when I had helped Colonel Slocum, I eased his position as best I could, and then sat or half lay beside him with his head upon one arm, while I wiped the blood away as it slowly oozed to his lips, till he suggested I return to my company. He bade me goodbye, and as the tears ran down my face, he said, “Never mind, Albert, it’s all right.” Captain Tower’s mind was wandering, and he was near death as I left, but the voices of both Colonel Slocum and Major Ballou were comparatively clear and their eyes not unsteady, so that I hoped to see them again. A few days later we learned that both had died in Sudley Church, to which place they had been removed by the rebels.

Returning to the Company I learned that the ammunition brought would not fit our rifles, and the wagons had been sent back. The troops passed us, moving hurriedly to the rear, and a report came that the enemy was reinforced and our men retreating. As Colonel Burnside rode up, several ran to him and asked if it were true. The cry arose for him to lead us back to the fight, with the responding cry. “What can we do without ammunition?” Shortly, we fell into line and covered the retreat, two hundred regular cavalry who were supposed to protect our rear, crowding their way through our ranks, ere we had gone a mile.

Needless to tell of the march back through the woods, of the opening of artillery on us as we came into the open above the bridge, of the blockade of the bridge by which we lost our guns, of the curses of McDowell, which rose loud and deep on every hand. Shortly after nightfall we were back in camp at Centerville, tired, weary, heartsick, with every Company counting their lost from those who had marched away in the morning.

A few hours of rest, and then, at midnight the sound of volleys, with stray shots dropping in camp, followed by the cry of “Fall in,” and we were off in irregular, disorganized mass for Washington.

What a night? Who, that was there can forget it? Men fell asleep leaning on a comrade, as they walked, and then, one after another dropped by the roadside indifferent to everything but sleep. I confess to being on of these, and at early dawn I was awakened to discover a six mule team stalled almost beside me, the animals twisted up as only army mules can twist themselves, and the driver using frantic exertions with whip and voice to straighten them out. Rising, I aided him to ultimate success, with the result that I was invited to crawl in on top of the barrels of beef, which I at once did. Placing my blanket roll on a barrel which lay on top of the upright ones, I dropped again into dreamless slumber. The jolting of the springless wagon tossed my head from the blanket to the barrel chimes and back again, until when I finally awoke as we entered Alexandria, I had that vulnerable left eye more badly swollen and discolored than ever before.

A boy of the Seventy-first had somewhere gotten into the wagon and when we dropped off we sought a place for breakfast, though it was well toward noon. As it chanced, we entered the Marshall House, where Ellsworth was shot a few weeks before. It was apparently uninhabited, and as we turned to go out a soldier came from the basement. “There is nobody about,” he said, “but I have found a barrel of mighty good wine down cellar.” Returning, he showed us the barrel and a sample of the contents testifying to his truthfulness, we filled our canteens and then proceeded to consider how to get to Washington. Stragglers from all regiments filled the streets, the Seventy-first being especially represented, and presently it was reported that a boat was to be sent from the Navy Yard for them.

My “Seventy-first” friend, Will Berrian[3], told me to stick by him and he would see me through, and I obeyed.

The boat came, and Lieut. Colonel Kimball standing at the gangway declared that he’d run through any not of the Seventy-first, who tried to embark; nevertheless, by the aid of a dozen of the Seventy-first I got on, but not by the gangway.

We landed at the Navy Yard about seven o’clock Monday evening, and I expended my last two dollars for a coach to Camp Sprague, where I arrived at about nine p. m., to receive a hearty welcome from the boys, who thought me captured.

On other incident, a pleasing memory, and my story ends. I slept until nearly noon the next day, then in the early afternoon started down town to assure my few Washington friends of my safety. Having made one call, I was about to cross New York avenue, at Four and One Half street, when I heard a familiar voice crying, “Here, my boy!” and looking up, Colonel Burnside had stopped his carriage in front of me. I saluted as he signalled me to approach, and as he asked where I was going, I answered, “Down on Pennsylvania avenue to visit friends,” when he said, “I wish you wouldn’t. Return to camp today, and I will give you a pass for all day tomorrow.” “Thank you, Colonel,” I replied, as I turned campwards; “I have a standing pass.” “Oh! yes,” said he. “You are with Captain Cole, aren’t you? Please then go back and oblige me. Some of the men on the avenue are not acting well today, and you know what Dog Tray[4] got for being in bad company.”

As I touched my cap in salute, and again turned, he threw open the door of his carriage and said, “Here, ride up with me,” and in a moment I was beside Colonel Burnside.

Long before we reached camp he had all my pedigree, knew several of my kindred and had permanently established himself a very warm place in my heart.

There could be no prouder boy or man in the camp than I, as we drove through it, and to his headquarters where I alighted, and he again thanked me, implying by his manner that in obeying his request I had conferred on him a special favor.

Two days later, on Thursday evening, July 25th, we bade farewell to Camp Sprague, and embarked near midnight for Providence, where after much delay we arrived on Sunday morning, July 28th.

We were boys, you and I in that long gone July
When our country called us to dare or to die!
But as the call came, in an hour then
The bous had assumed the full stature of men.

We’re proud to be counted as boys of “61,”
To have fought with Burnside at Bull Run.
We’re proud of the record the old Fist bore;
Each man did his duty; none could do more.

So here’s to the brave, the gallant Burnside,
We cherish his name in love and in pride;
And here’s to Sprague our War Governor, who,
In time of peril, was staunch and true!
Here’s to our comarades! God bless each one.
May He say, as He welcomes them, “Boys, well done!”

Transcript image

Contributed by Rob Grandchamp

[1] Capt. N. Van Slyk, Co. B

[2] Lt. Henry A. Prescott, Co. D

[3] Pvt. William L. Berrian, Co. H, 71st NYSM

[4] Old Dog Tray was a minstrel song written by Stepehen Foster in 1853, however the meaning of its use by Burnside is not clear.

Albert E. Sholes at Ancestry

Albert E. Sholes at Fold3

Albert E. Sholes at FindAGrave

“Blockhead,” Co. D*, 27th New York Infantry, On the March to Bull Run

20 02 2023

Correspondence of the Union News.



Camp of McDowell’s Brigade,
Three miles from Centerville,
Fairfax Co., Va., July 19, 1861.

Friend Benedict, – I have tramped about the city considerable and visited most of the public buildings, but then your readers have had a better description of them, no doubt, than I could give, therefore I will pass them by for the present. If there’s any one thing more deserving of note than another, I think Mills Statute of Jefferson deserves that notice.

Nothing however transpired in camp worthy of note except our daily rations of paving stones and salt pork, until the 16th, when, we being on drill parade, &c., at 1 o’clock. P. M., we received orders from head quarters to march at one hour’s notice, with nothing but bread and bullets. All was excitement in camp. Our able bodied men were all on hand except Dixie, of the Republican, and some friends who were with him. They had stayed already three hours longer than their pass allowed. I don’t know whether they heard of the order to march or not. I always considered them men of blood, and don’t wish to charge them with staying down town to get rid of going out. Well, we were on hand at the hour, and marched through the city, crossed the long bridge (two miles) over the Potomac, and at 4 o’clock we were on Virginia soil, secession ground. However, our troops have possession there at present and have extensive fortifications erected, with cannon mounted, commanding the river and all the surrounding country within four miles. The works are swarming with soldiers. We marched two miles, perhaps, when we had to halt to let a Regiment of artillery come in ahead from the North side of the river. There were thirty-five Regiments on the move to-day – The road was four files deep with soldiers for about eight miles in length.

Until to-day, the rebels had possession of the road to within seven miles of the Capitol. However, the pickets retired as we advanced, and we did not get a sight of a rebel. For the first day we marched seventeen miles, and arrived at our camping ground at eleven o’clock. We had not even an overcoat to cover us. You may thing we did not need one, but the nights are colder here than in that latitude, and there has been but three oppressively hot days here since we came from Elmira. The rest of the time a man was comfortable with a coat on.

Well, we stacked our guns – threw ourselves upon the ground, and slept sound as bricks. In the morning we ate our rations of dry sour bread and raw fat bacon, and started again, rather sore from our march the previous evening. As we came near Fairfax we were divided into platoons to flank the enemy, but before we could be brought up, the rebels fell back about four miles and made a stand. We were wearied with marching and went not farther yesterday, the 18th, but took possession of the town and rigged up our camp. The rebel troops went out in such a hurry, they left behind them about fifty stand of arms and a quantity of military stores.

There was a shameful waste of private property by the second Rhode Island regiment ant the Zouaves. A number of houses of Secessionists were sacked – one in particular – Ex Senator Thomas’ house was completely gutted, through revenge, I suppose, as Mrs. Thomas was a sister to Jackson, the man that shot Ellsworth at Alexandria. Maj. Gen. McDowell has ordered the arrest of the ringleaders. He has also issued an order, threatening punishment, of the severest kind, to any one medling with private property in any instance.

Our Regiment was nearly starved out when it reached Fairfax, so the boys drove in a three-year-old bull, fourteen pigs, 100 lbs. each, and about fifty fowls, and we lived one day I conclude. But there was a stop put to our appropriating to our use every thing we could lay our hands on. We left Fairfax yesterday afternoon, expecting an engagement at this place, but here we achieved another bloodless victory. They might have made a successful stand against us at Fairfax, I think, as they were 10,000 strong, if they had artillery, and I don’t know whether they had or not. The town was defended on every side by raised embankments that covered every entrance. However, they have concentrated all their forces at Manassas Junction, and as near as I can find out, they are 60,000 strong, and better fed and equipped than the Government troops. It is estimated that the different divisions of the Federal Army, which have the rebel troops now surrounded, can muster 125,000 troops, yet the rebels have the advantage of position, and the fight to come off to-morrow, the 20th, will be the biggest and fiercest that was ever known on the Continent.

We are all eager for the contest, yet none can tell how many of us will live to see another day. There has just been a squad of rebels brought in a sergeant, and eleven privates. The sergeant was taken once before and released on taking the oath of allegiance. He will probably be shot tomorrow morning. The has two more batteries arrived at this moment, making twelve in this, McDowell’s division. I have just read in a Southern paper, the fact of the total annihilation of the Union New York Regiment, but the fact is the main body of the Regiment has not been in action yet.

I cannot help but notice the difference in the powers of endurance, between our Regiment and the United States Marines, with their West Point Officers. In marching here yesterday in their company of 340 men, 28 of them fell out of the ranks from the effects of the heat, while in our Company of near 1000, no one gave out, although half of them are troubled with the black diarrhoea. Ours is a bully Regiment however, and we make as good an appearance as any in the brigade. What has become of the boasted Southern Tier Regiment of Elmira, that started before us? They are camped about four miles North of the Capitol, while we are on the scratch every time. We have come in before over thirty Regiments that have been laying around Washington, Arlington Heighths, and other places for months.

Our friend, W. H. Gates, came to Elmira and swore into the service of the United States for two years, but when we left for Washington he slipped the train, and has not been heard of since. Bully for him.

I have a chance to send this to Washington. Remember to send a paper to Maine, to my address. If I live through to-morrow, I will write again soon. – Whittlesey is well and spoiling for a fight.

Dixie has just arrived in camp with his friends. He was badly worked up at being left behind. His blood is up, however, and his is with us every time.


Our correspondent Blockhead, at the time the above was written, Friday, July 19, supposed the battle at Bull’s Run and Manassas Junction would take place on Saturday, July 20, but, as our readers already know, it did not take place until Sunday, the 21st. – Ed.

Union (NY) News, 8/1/1861

Clipping image

Contributed by John Hennessy

*”Blockhead” is mentioned in this letter of L. H. Whittlesay, Co. D, 27th New York Infantry

Pvt. George Tannehill Jones Anderson*, Co. I, 4th Alabama Infantry, From Huntsville to Manassas

31 01 2023



April 29. – Left home with a company of volunteers, bid farewell to home, parents and friends, and departed on a twelve months tour, for the defence of my country; hated to leave most awfully, but our country being in danger and on one to defend her did not suit us.

April 30. – Arrived at Chattanooga before daylight, and had to lay over eight hours; never was so bored by a place in my life; was very glad to leave it at two o’clock for Dalton, Georgia; we were boxed up in freight cars to travel over a long railway, through a poor pine country; arrived in Dalton before night, and found other companies there; laid over two days and a half, during which time we organized a regiment, and elected E. J. Jones, of Huntsville, Colonel, and E. M. Law, Lieutenant Colonel; we received our arms at Dalton, smooth bored muskets, at which the boys grunted.

May 3. – Left Dalton for Lynchburg, Virginia, in old box cars, forty-one in a car; travelled over some rich, some poor and some beautiful county; crossed two large rivers; the Tennessee is the most beautiful river at this point that I ever say, and afforded the most beautiful views from the bridge that our country furnishes, About sunset we stopped and packed a quantity of hay from a rick near by to sleep on. Slept all night in the cars, such sleeping as it was.

May 4. – Woke up in Jonesborough, Tennessee, about sunrise; saw lots of beautiful women; received a bouquet from a very nice girl, with a soul stirring inscription fastened to it. Left there for Bristol, in the land of Virginia; arrived about ten o’clock, and was delayed until four; left with and advance guard of our company and several other companies for Lynchburg; slept all night in the rail car.

Sunday, May 5. – Woke up in the early morning eight miles from Lynchburg; took breakfast at Liberty, where, as usual, the ladies turned out to do us honor; reached Lynchburg about ten, and were marched out to our camp, two miles from the depot and on a hill, with two springs at the foot of it. It rained all night, and I and to stand guard from eleven to one.

May 6. – It rained all day; had to stand guard again at night, but missed standing on picket guard for some time by it.

May 7. – Wrote home for the seventh or eighth time, and was mustered into the service of the Confederate states; felt homesick, because I could not hear from home;

May 8. – Drilled half the day.

May 9. – Was excused from drill on account of a felon[1] on my thumb; sent two letters home by Mr. Murphy, of Huntsville.

May 10. – Excused from drill; was glad to see Uncle Washington[2], who is now our Quartermaster; got leave to go to town to-morrow with a pass; intend to look around and see the place; wrote part of a letter to a young friend at home; have never heard from home yet; getting very anxious to hear from home; answered a tattoo; went to bed after; and slept soundly until midnight, when we were aroused by an order to march for Harper’s Ferry at five o’clock, and have to cook rations for two days; we have to foot it eighteen miles, in order to shun Washington; don’t like it a bit; we are all willing to go; expect a fight with the Northerners there; but few of us ever expect to get back; did not get off at five; we were delayed until ten, and probably longer; got mad as thunderation at First Lieutenant for refusing to let us have flour; we have to make our for two days on bread and meat that a dog would refuse; it seems that the whole North has turned against us; but we can whip them; if we get to Harper’s Ferry safely without an encounter with the Yankees we can whip as many of them as they can send against us; Old Abe is the greatest fool that I ever heard of; if he had good sense he would see that the South can not be coerced; we are united as one man, and can whip any lot of Yankees [on equal terms; it is useless for them to wage war on us, for we can defy the world if they invade us; I am very sleepy from being awaked at midnight, and then to be disappointed; I am getting very tired of this camp and suspense; I had rather go on and pelt it right through; we are waiting here very impatiently for orders to leave, and cannot get them; one of the companies will not go without ammunition, and I do not blame them; all of the regiments ought to do the same; we cannot get rifles, and I, for one, am not willing to fight with those old muskets; I had rather have a pair of good pistols; why on earth can’t a fellow hear from home? They seem to have forgotten that we are in the world; I have notion not to write any more until I receive a letter from home; formed a line and marched to the depot; the clouds had been lowering for some time; they now turned loose on us with a vengeance; we however got on board of the cars, or tumbled pell-mell into a lot of stock cars, crowded together like so many hogs, and travelled all night for the third night in the cars, slept on the floor and got cold as thunder; waked up half froze to death, trravelled half the day, and was delayed waiting on another train at a place called Manassas station; one regiment of Virginia troops are stationed here, one company of artillery and one of cavalry; they are got in this place to keep Lincoln’s troops from passing through the direct route to Washington; some dread that he will attempt to take this place; all the Harper’s Ferry machinery is here. I fear that we will do badly so far as eating is concerned; I dispose of the fat meat that they give us, and do not intend to eat it if I can keep from it; we fare rather badly I think, and have an old tyrant for a colonel; he is an aristocrat – dog him.

Sunday, May 12. – Pitched off for Strasburg about four; passed another miserable night in the cars; arrived Strasburg at daybreak.

May 13. – Ate a hasty breakfast, and took up the line of march for Winchester, eighteen miles distant, over a hard turnpike and beneath a pelting sun; people gave us refreshments all along the route; gave us our dinner, and a first rate one; arrived at Winchester about six, in a hard rain; marched through the town in the rain and got wringing wet; just as we got through the depot the rain stopped and we ate supper, crowded aboard the cars, our feet sore, tired, weary and sick at heart; arrived at Harper’s Ferry about two o’clock, completely exhausted, and took up our quarters in a vacated store, very dirty and a foul atmosphere; changed clothing and slept in each others arms until seven o’clock on the 14th; roused up and went out on the Potomac, took a wash and a view of the far famed river; went back to a hotel, ate a tolerable breakfast, and sallied out to see the sights; took a close look at the work done by old “Brown,” and wondered at the old fool as well as at the citizens; he, through cowardice, took a secure but out of the way position, and they, through fear, let him imprison them and hold the town in subjection; saw the bullet holes made un a house by him and his men, and one that went through the corner of a house and killed a man named Beckhammer; passed this day in writing, reading the Testament, and viewing the gun works; they are making guns in a hurry – sixty a day; took up a Yankee spy, as we supposed, but we were mistaken, for he was a good Southern man; a few of our boys went out a fishing, but came back directly, run out of breath, and reported they heard the cannon of the enemy; but they were fooled, for it was the sound of some men who were trying arms.

May 15. – Rested all day; nothing new happened except a change of quarters from a stinking hole to a very nice house; also climbed on Jefferson’s rock, and took a view of the grandest and most sublime scenery in the State; where the great statesman stood and admired it as a large shelving rock supported by pillars, and has a great many names cut in it; left the initials of my brother’s and my name with the others; slept very well all night; woke up feeling a little sick; drilled six hours, which we are to do every day; I am very anxious to hear from home; in fact we both are.

May 17. – Drilled all day, nothing new happened, no letter from home yet; I can’t see why on earth we don’t hear from home; I am sure that the letters are miscarried; very cold mornings, and days not warm by any means; hope I will get a letter to-morrow.

May 18. – The long looked for letter comes at last, and oh! how much joy it gives me; all well at home, and we feared otherwise, and all miss us at home and want to see us, but not worse than we want to see them; we are satisfied now; we moved to our encampment; this eve, on a hill overlooking the Potomac, cut pine tops for our bed, cooked our supper, cooked the beef splendidly for the first; I hope that we will remain here for some time, on account of home; we both cried over the letter, and I know that we will both cry over Pauline’s when we get it, which I hope will be soon; we are better satisfied than we have ever been since we left home.

Sunday, May 19. – What a cold day for the 19th of May; everybody is acting as if it were Monday, all firing guns, cooking, playing cards, &c.; had a dress parade; Colonel Jackson inspected us; he is a large, fat old fellow, looks very much like an old Virginia farmer; returned to camp, prepared and ate a canty dinner; had Episcopal service, and then a good old fashioned service from our paster Chadick[3]; Oh how I loved to listen to him; wrote a letter home; had another dress parade in the evening; rained all night.

May 20. – Still raining a very cold rain; have just finished cleaning up through and around our tent, and we are now waiting very impatiently for our rations, for we are undoubtedly very hungry; I will now finish the last chapter of the Acts, and begin at the Romans, and finish to-day when the day closes; did nothing to-day but look out and read the Testament; received a letter from a friend at Fort Pickens; got some straw to sleep on; slept soundly until daylight.

May 21. – Got up, made the fire and cooked some bread and ate a scanty breakfast of burnt bread and butter; afterwards read several chapters in the Testament; hope to hear from home again to-day; we are both a little homesick; received two letters from sister Pauline, and I was glad, indeed, to get them; drilled six hours under Colonel O. E. Humphreys, who won’t let us rest at all; one of our company died last night at Strasburg, which created no little sorrow in the company.

May 22. – Started to reply to the letters from sister Pauline[*]; had started on the fifth page when I was ordered to the mountain to get wood for the regiment; it is rather hard work, but we rest often enough; I will finish my letters as soon as possible; three trains of troops have just arrived (ten o’clock), but as they are on the opposite side of the river, I can’t find out where they are from; from all indications, I look for hot work soon; troops are coming in every day, and they surely are not coming here just to be coming; everything here has a martial appearance; I guess that we may look for a fight within three weeks, and if I fall, I hope that God will pardon my sins; I want to pray and be saved, but I am too much of a sinner – I fear that I never will; it is horrible to think of dying, leaving a world of sorrow and going straight to a worse – yes, a thousandfold worse. From such a fate, O God, in mercy save me; do, O Lord, deliver me from sin and temptation; I know that I am unworthy, but thou, O God, art merciful. This is real hard work; we have to pitch the wood as far as we can down the mountain, and then climb down to it and pitch it again, and continue thus to the foot of the mountain, where it is loaded into a wagon and hauled to the camp; the streets here stink worse than carrion; I can smell it across the river when the breeze comes from the direction of the town; I have just finished a hearty dinner of cold beef and light bread (the latter several days old0, and I will now take to my Testament until we have to go to work again; finished the day’s work and returned to camp; wrote away on a letter until night; slept soundly all night; woke up at daybreak.

May 23. – Feeling bad and unwell. Stephen[*] is out on picket guard for twenty-four hours; very warm day in the sun, but cool in the shade, and very cool nights; Virginia votes on the ordinance of secession to-day; I expect to hear of great excitement and a good many mobs in the State to-day; received a letter from home to-day, and felt a good deal better on account of it; I wrote at every interval until one o’clock, 24th; slept very well at night, considering I was alone and had a bad cold.

May 24. – Warm but pleasant; drilled four hours until two o’clock; Stephen got in about nine, and he is now engaged in writing home; I wrote three sheets myself; will send it in a short time; drilled all day; heard bad news from the war outside of us; if the reports are true, we are completely surrounded; awoke up at daylight feeling anything but comfortable on account of eating too much supper last night, and partly on account of the bad news; looks very much like rain this morning.

May 25. – Rained very hard for an hour or so; had a general holiday, and took a bath in the Potomac. We are now quartered in the same tent with the Quartermaster of this regiment; very well fixed, but nearly out of money.

Sunday, May 26. – A weary day; drilled two hours and a half; heard a splendid sermon from the text: – “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” &c., from W. D. Chadwick, who is now the chaplain of our regiment. Don’t like to drill on Sunday one bit; Stephen is sick; I fear that he will have the measles; we are expecting a fight in a short time; the North has invaded us and we will drive back the ruthless vagabonds.

May 27. – The most pleasant and beautiful morning that the sun ever rose on, or about as pleasant. It commenced raining about eight o’clock; the wind commenced blowing, and scattered the tents far and wide, causing great merriment in the company; turned cold towards twelve, and disappointed me as to a contemplated bath; rather a cold night; Stephen still complaining; slept on uncle’s cot, and slept finely until morning.

May 28. – Woke up and found the weather had moderated; gave our bed up to a lady from Huntsville; I drilled all day’ Stephen still sick and growing worse; I suppose that he has got the measles at last; I have just wrapped him up with blankets warm, for a good night’s sleep, while I wait for roll call; I am now going to prepare for old “Venable” to sleep in here; slept well all night.

May 29. – I woke up and found it raining; Stephen has fever; cold day; drilled on hour, and am now waiting for my breakfast; Stephen took the measles to-day; I moved him to a private house and stayed with him at night; ate my supper with Mrs. Jordan; I intend to eat there all the time that she stays, if possible. Two companies of Virginians ordered off this evening for a fight somewhere.

May 30. – Stephen broke out with the measles, thick as hops; wants to see home; still eating with Mrs. Jordan, and, I suppose, permanently, though D. C. Humphreys objects, on account of the measles; received two letters from home, with good enough news in them; very warm day; Uncle Wash is very kind, and everyone else is kind to us.

May 31. – Sent four letters home, per J. J. Venable; Stephen is recovering, but I fear, through imprudence, will get worse as he recovers; I drilled until twelve o’clock, and was seized with a severe pain in my right chest – strong symptoms of pneumonia. If I take that, I have no other idea but it will end my life; I was cupped for it, and rubbed my side with turpentine; I hope to be well and hearty by Monday next; this is the last day of May, 1861, and a beautiful day; we are one thousand miles from home; one of us (Stephen) laid up with measles, and as fretful as a sore-headed kitten; I am afraid of pneumonia; truly we are in an unenviable situation; we often think of home, and our hearts yearn to be with them, but our country and duty says not – the latter we will cheerfully obey. I would like to see the home folks about now; I am confident that peace will be made in a few short weeks, maybe months, and we will then return to repose our weary and careworn bodies at a loved home; I hope so, and pray God that it may be so.

June 1. – A beautiful day; the scouts brought intelligence that the enemy was near at hand, only fifteen miles off; Stephen is more pettish than a sore-headed kitten; grumbles more that a sore-headed bull; does nothing but grumble and quarrel, and curse the measles; I am a good deal better, and ready for a fight; sent Stephen off to Winchester, in anticipation of a fight; I fear that it will make him worse; it rained soon after he started, but I suppose that he was on the cars; took tea with Mr. Geo. Crowles, and had a splendid supper; slept very well, but took cold; I guess I will have to stand picket to-day.

Sunday, June 2. – Missed the parade; took a bath; heard a sermon from the xiv. Psalm, 1st and 2d verses. Very warm day; cloudy and threatening; towards night commenced raining; about dark procured a room and bed for three of us.

June 3. – All right excepting a night sweat and a wet shirt; a very pleasant morning; stood picket guard twenty-four hours, from eight o’clock Monday; rained part of the time; slept on the ground during the day and part of the night; slept about one hour in the old “Brown” house.

June 4. – Commenced raining early, and rained all day; received a letter from Jno. Edwards, and wrote one to him and one to sis; slept in a bed last night finely; waked up in the 5th with a rheumatism in my shoulders, and found it cold and raining; answered to reveille, read the last twelve chapters of Luke, and am now waiting for my breakfast; it was a very disagreeable day indeed, cold rain all day. Received a letter from Pauline, a good one, too; slept in a house near the camp.

June 6. – We waked up and found it still cold, wet and misty; drilled half of the day; turned warm; had a big dance in camp.

June 7. – Warm and cloudy; drilled up to twelve o’clock, and am at present engaged in getting dinner; was severely reprimanded by the Captain[4] for an act that I was innocent of; I was mad enough to have killed him for it; drilled regularly until night.

June 8. – Woke up with a sick headache, and was excused from drill; went in a washing; put on clean clothes and felt all right; Stephen returned to day well and hearty; was glad to see him; received orders to strike tents and be ready to march in a short time, as a fight was on hand, which was obeyed with alacrity, as every man seemed anxious for a fight and reported ready; in fifteen minutes a heavy rain came upon us, and the order was countermanded, to the great indignation of all.

Sunday June 9. – Moved one and a half miles into an old wheatfield, in a very rough, rocky place, and pitched tent; missed preaching to-day.

June 10. – Laid up with the diarrhea; very hot; I would as lief fight as not. This morning would like to hear from home; wrote a letter home.

June 11. – Very warm; drilled two and a half hours before noon; sent off extra baggage to Winchester preparatory to a march, fight or something else; drilled and sweated like thunder.

June 12. – Very pleasant morning; pleasant breeze stirring. I have to stand guard to-day and night; very well pleased; expecting a battle daily, whether here or elsewhere I know not, but we will have a fight certainly, and that shortly.

June 13. – Started to write home; was stopped by an order to strike tents; did so, and sent this off with the expectation of marching right away; had to stay in our old encampment, beneath the deep blue vault of heaven; rather cold.

June 14. – We are going to evacuate this place, and leave for Winchester, on foot; blowed up the bridges; and burned up the public property; going to leave for a place where we can get a fight.

June 15. – Finished the work of destruction, and left about ten o’clock; marched thirteen miles over a very hard and dusty road, and through a very fertile country; the best and most wheat that I ever say, and clover in abundance; camped in a wood three and a half miles from Charlestown; cooked and ate; slept on the ground, with no protection from the weather; the ladies of Charlestown treated us very well, and hurrahed for old Jeff.

Sunday, June 16. – Expected a rest to-day, but disappointed, as usual; had to march thirteen miles in quest of the enemy, through a beautiful and fertile valley; camped on each side of a small creek; not near so warm as the night before.

June 17. – We roused up before day, and got ready to march; heard of the Yankees moving South; took a counter march to intercept them in their march on Winchester; they burned Martinsburg to-day, if rumor is true; marched eight and a half miles over a hard turnpike, and camped three and a half miles from Winchester in a wood, which reminds me of a woodman’s home – very much like it; expect to fight in a few days; in fact we expected it this morning; was sure of a fight; extra cartridges were served out, all the wagons started back, and our captain made a speech to encourage us; very cool weather; came near freezing last night; cool but pleasant this morning.

June 18. – Waiting orders; may stay here two or three days; received three letters from home; responded to them; the boys caught five or six squirrels and two hares; sleep on the ground finely.

June 19. – Received a box of cake and a pistol from home, with more letters; glad to get them at any time; beautiful morning; warm day, cool night; it looks like rain this morning; we expect to move to-day nearer Winchester; glad of it; I would like to see some of the ladies of Winchester the best kind.

June 20. – Moved our camp within a mile of Winchester, and got our tents; have got them pitched and prepared for comfortable soldier living. Received another letter from home; all well. Not much idea of a fight for a while.

June 21. – Very pleasant day; feel sick; excused from drill, and taking a general rest. Wrote home and to several acquaintances. A funeral sermon is being preached in sight of the camp; one of the soldiers died yesterday – a member of the light infantry. The ladies will be out here this evening to see us. I intend to try and fix up a little. Expect to remain here until July, when we know what we have to do.

June 22. – Drilled half of the day; went to town and bought some clothing; Dined at the Taylor Hotel; very common fare. Rested in the evening. Received orders about ten o’clock to cook provisions and prepare for marching.

Sunday June 23. – Beautiful morning; rather cool. Waiting orders to march on the Yankees; did not march. Heard two sermons from the Rev. W. D. Chadick; very good ones. H. C. Worthun starts for home tomorrow; he has the consumption. I have a few letters to send by him. Don’t I wish that I could go for a few days, to eat watermellons, apples, peaches, &c.? It would be glorious! Rained in the night; turned cool.

June 24. – Cool and clear. A beautiful morning; no prospect of leaving here yet. I think we will stay one or two weeks longer. It is only ten days until Congress meets, and that decides what we will have to do. Stood guard from eight to eight.

June 25. – Went to town and took a bath; came back at twelve, and slept until late, then proceeded to write a letter to Matt, and one to Pauline. Stephen is on Guard to-day, and comes off at one o’clock to-morrow.

June 26. – Pleasant, but cloudy morning. Evening, moved our camp to one of the hottest places in the country. Took a very severe cold and violent headache; sick as a horse. It rained, as usual, about the time some of us got our tents struck.

June 27. – Wake up feeling very badly; warm and sultry. Went up to the —- camp, and found several old acquaintances; head aches awfully; still a very bad cold. Strange we don’t get any letters; there is certainly a flaw in the postal arrangements. Received a letter from Pauline. Felt sick all day; slept soundly all night.

June 28. – Wake up in the morning feeling considerably better. Went out on drill, and returned feeling worse. Felt very sick; would as soon go home with C. W. as not. Very hot day; a little breeze stirring. Moved our camp to a beautiful grove, and had a very nice encampment; hope we will stay here as long as possible, at least until we can take an active part in the war movements.

June 29. – Just two months since we left home; hope to be there before two months more; very sick with the asthma, and have a bad cough yet.

Sunday, June 30. – Nothing new.

July 1. – Very cool; rained in the morning and at night.

July 2. – Really cold; received orders to march in a hurry, for the fight was now close at hand; marched all the evening at a quick step; met some prisoners on the route – sad looking cases, 45 in number; stopped a little after dark, and slept until half-past one o’clock; was roused up and ordered to march, which was not very cheerfully obeyed, owing to sleepiness; Colonel Howlett and Doctor Patton, of Huntsville, came in the morning before we started, bringing our letters; when the order was received, Col. H. seized a gun and marched with us; Dr. P. procured a horse and was along as surgeon.

July 3. – We marched all night until daylight, and stopped to get breakfast; we are now in the woods, seven miles from Manassas, the reported headquarters of the army; large reinforcements have come up, and we expect to give them a good fight; in fact we will be sure to whip them; I think, I hope so; would like to send some letters home, if possible. I was very glad to hear from home by one who had seen the folks, and glad that they are all well. A man, one of our regiment, was shot and will die, by the careless handling of a pistol; we left, as we thought, for Manassas Junction, about twelve o’clock, Colonel H. in the ranks as a private, and marched about three miles; filed to the left and stopped behind a stone wall and rested in the wood all day; was roused up in the night, and moved about three hundred yards, to another stone wall, and slept until day, expecting a fight all the time, but the enemy seemed inclined to stay where he is, and so do we.

July 4. – The memorable day of all days for the American people; we could hear the sound of the enemy’s guns, I suppose in celebration of the day; we did not celebrate it; slept a good part of the day; would like to know how the home folks spent it; I would like to know what we are going to do; we slept about in the woods all day, and went to sleep at night expecting to be roused for a battle before morning; was aroused about three o’clock, and expected a fight right away, but never moved out of the camp; we will probably fight to-day, July 5, as old P.[5] seems anxious to fight us; lay secreted in the woods all day; nothing new, went on guard at 7 o’clock P. M.; stood four hours during the night; rained this morning, and looks as though it would rain hard before night; would like to see Old Abe’s message[6]; do not know when we will fight; can hear very little from which to draw an opinion; news came that the enemy was advancing; we were again drawn up in battle array, and waited impatiently two hours, but nary [?], Mick Davis, Clint Davis and Mr. Erskine came in from Huntsville, and took their places in our ranks as privates, also Col. Hewlett and Capt. Beard; we had ninety men ready and willing for a fight; I am beginning to believe that we will not have any, I have been fooled so often.

Sunday, July 7. – We were ordered to fall back to our old position near Winchester; some of the men thought it was a retreat, and began to grumble; the General ordered a note to be read to his command, in explanation of his conduct; we started in an awful hot day; I fell out of the ranks, went off the road some distance, and got a splendid dinner from an old lady and two young ones – splendid milk, butter, and bread, and I did ample justice to it; she upbraided us for leaving her to the mercy of the Yankees; I straggled into camp about sunset, completely exhausted, and went off to bed without supper.

July 8. – A beautiful morning; rested all day, with the exception of dress parade; wrote part of a letter home.

July 9. – Spent the morning writing and drilling; it rained in the evening, affording ample time for writing, and a great deal of it was done.

July 10. – Received a letter from home, all well; have struck our tents, and are lying around here waiting for orders; don’t know what it means; a huge columnbiad came up a few moments since to be planted upon this hill; that looks as if we are going to fight here; the militia and prisoners are engaged in throwing up breastworks and planting cannon for the defence of this place; the Yankees are advancing and seem determined at least to make an effort to drive us out from here, but I think they will fail; they outnumber us, but can’t outfight us; received orders to strike tents this evening, which we did, but a rain coming up, we pitched them again for shelter; expected all day for the enemy to advance on us.

July 11. – Struck tents again this morning at daylight, I suppose to deceive the enemy as to our force, &c.; drilled two and a half hours on battalion drill.

July 12. – Frilled four hours; received a letter from home; rained in the evening, and very hard all night.

July 13. – Cleared off finely, and a beautiful morning; very cool weather for July; went to town in the forenoon and made the ice cream and cakes fly; several citizens of Huntsville arrived and brought us our letters; slept very cool in the night.

Sunday, July 14. – Ready twenty psalms; helped draw provisions; cleaned my pistol, loaded it and looked over a newspaper; have now just completed writing a letter for home; I wonder why “Chadick” did not preach.

July 15. – Cool and clear – had a brigade drill in the morning; went through some of the evolutions badly; our regiment was sharply reproved by the Colonel; received orders to cook up all provisions on our return from drill; have nothing to cook; report says that the Yankees are coming on us; I do not believe it; I think that we will have to march on them if we want to fight them.

July 16. – Had another brigade drill; went through it better; Colonel Stewart’s[7] cavalry went to sleep, and suffered themselves to be surrounded, and came galloping in without hats, saddles, pistols, guns, &c., raised the alarm and had us drawn up in battle array to wait the enemy; we slept on our arms all night.

July 17. – Warm but pleasant; we are lying around our guns, looking out for the Yankees over our breastworks; I feel confident that we will whip them when they come; I am beginning to believe they are not coming.


July 18. – Received orders to strike tents and cook two days’ provisions preparatory to a march; this was done, and we lay around until evening before receiving orders; received them at last and went through Winchester; stop in the town until late, and bid farewell, I suppose for the last time, to Winchester, about five o’clock; marched nearly all night; slept about two hours; found ourselves on the road at daylight, the 19th, weary indeed; rested a while and then marched to the Shenandoah; rested there about five hours, waded the steam and pitched out again to the relief of Beauregard, who they said was pressed by overwhelming odds; arrived at Piedmont station about one hour after dark, completely worn out; went to sleep, but was aroused by a rain, in a few minutes, crept under a shelter of wheat, but got wet, having left my coat in the wagon; dried myself, procured a shawl from Uncle Washington, and slept until after midnight; was roused up by orders to “fall in,” did so and crowded on board the cars from Manassas, where we arrived about ten o’clock A. M. of the 20th; rested a while, bought some butter and prepared to eat, having done without for two days; received orders to march again, and said we were going right into the fight; heard a good deal of bragging about the fight of the 17th, thought it was not much of a fight; moved about two miles and bivouacked in the woods, where some bread and meat soon reached us, and we walked right into it, like starved hounds eat, now and then all day; slept a little and slept well into the night; got up a little after sundrise on the 21st, broiled my meat and ate it with old crackers full of bugs; expecting orders to march every moment, will get them, I think, for it is Sunday; we will fight, I suppose, before another week.

This closed the diary, and a few hours later the writer lay a corpse upon the battle field. The following names which appeared on the inside of the cover, are supposed to be those of some of his comrades: – James R. McMullen, G. A. McMullen, H. B. Roper[8].

The New York (NY) Herald 7/29/1861

Clipping image

Contributed by John Hennessy

[*] Likely George T. Anderson, of Co. I, enlisted 4/26/1861 at Huntsville, killed at First Bull Run. Stephen J. Anderson also enlisted in Co. I on 4/26/1861. He was discharged as underage on 7/31/1861. Per 4th Alabama Roster draft by Richard M. Allen. Per FindAGrave, the two were brothers and had a sister, Pauline.
[1] – an infection
[2] – George Washington Jones, Regimental Quartermaster
[3] – William D. Chadick, Regimental Chaplain
[4] – Capt. Edward D. Tracy
[5] – Union Brig. Gen. Robert Patterson
[6] – President Abraham Lincoln’s 7/4/1861 address to Congress.
[7] – Col J. E. B. Stewart
[8] – Pvt. Henry B. Roper, Co. I

This transcription with additional annotations was found after completing the above.

George Anderson at Ancestry.com

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George Anderson at FindAGrave

Lt. Melvin Dwinell, Co. A, 8th Georgia Infantry, On the Advance to Manassas and Casualties

30 11 2022

Camp Bartow, near Manassas,
August 5, 1861.

Dear Courier: It has been several days since I have written to you mainly for the reason that I have quite fully experienced the wonderful state of exhaustion and debility – amounting to almost complete prostration – consequent to the great and indescribable exertions, both physical and mental, of the glorious 21st. Every person has experienced to some extent a sense of vacuity and extraordinary excitements. By multiplying this a thousand fold, some idea may be formed of the prostrate condition of our Regiment since the memorable battle of Manassas. With resolute men, the ability to endure increases to a marvelous extent, with the accumulation of exciting causes; but after these causes are removed, the natural depression, that follows, is as much below the ordinary equilibrium as it had been carried above. Since that “day so foul and fair,” until the past few days, when the men had began to brighten up, the ordinary routine of camp duties have seemed idle formalities, altogether frivolous, and they were reluctantly performed with feelings of repugnance that amount almost to disgust.

As the little glowing description of the march og Gen. Johnston’s command from Winchester to this place, seems, from its non-publication, to have been lost, and in order that our condition upon the day of battle may be better understood. I will now give a few of the leading facts: On Thursday July 18th, five Regiments, including the 2d, had orders to march from Winchester. Our Regiment left camp at 1 o’clock P.M., without dinner, and only food enough in our haversacks for one meal. When a half mile out of town, we were told that the march was to Manassas. Arrived at Millwood at 6 o’clock, and to the Shannandoah River, thirteen miles from Winchester, at 9 o’clock. Four hours were consumed by the army, in fording the river. Passed the Blue Ridge through Paris Gap, and arrived at that town distant from the river, five miles, at 3 o’clock A.M., on Friday; here lay down on the ground, without blankets, and rested three hours, then resumed the march to Piedmont Station, on the Manassas Gap Railroad – distance five miles – where we arrived at 9 o’clock. Our wagons came up about noon and we got a very good dinner, ready at three o’clock. From 7 P.M., till 2 A.M. Saturday, we were on the cars between Piedmont and Manassas – detained by the rascality of the conductor, who was believed to have been bribed by the enemy, and who has since been shot.

My letter published in the Courier on the 30th ult., gives an account of our movements of Saturday. We marched not less than ten miles on the morning of the battle.

From breakfast Thursday morning, until after the battle on Sunday, the men of the Regiment received about sufficient food for two full meals. In this time they marched 35 miles – fording the Shannandoah, and crossing the Blue Ridge – and were for several hours, crowded in the most uncomfortable manner in the cars.

I have been this particular in reporting our movements, because it has been intimated by some few who did not know the facts, that the survivors in the 8th Georgia Regiment broke down very soon after the bloody charge.

I saw a statement a few days since in a communication in the Richmond Dispatch, that the Oglethorpe Light Infantry occupied the right of the Regiment in the charge in the pine thicket. The falsity of this statement is only equaled by the presumption of the writer.

Below is an accurate statement of the numbers entering the battle of the 21st, from the various companies of the 8th Georgia Regiment, and of the killed, wounded and prisoners:

A. Rome Light Guards565142
B. Oglethorpe L’t In’ry835253
C. Macon Guards624162
D. Echols Guards422111
E. Miller Rifles372150
F. Atlanta Greys763207
G. Pulaski Volunteers364140
H. Floyd Infantry404120
I. Stephens L’t Guards787131
K. Oglethorpe Rifles330160

Gen. Samuel Jones, who has been appointed to command our Brigade for a few months, had charge of the Institute at Marietta, Ga. We, as yet, have no Lieutenant Colonel. A. R. Harper is acting as Adjutant, and Lieutenant Reese is acting Quartermaster of the Regiment. Our Brigade – the 7th, 8th, and 9th Georgia Regiments and Ky. Battalion – is now encamped 2 miles N.E. from Manassas. Our regular drills were resumed three days since.

Lieut. G. R. Lumpkin has resigned on account of ill health. He was an excellent officer and much beloved by the company. Z. B. Hargrove and Marion Ezzel have applied for, and will doubtless receive honorable discharges, on the ground of chronic ill health; also, McOsker, on account of his wounds, Howard, Anderson, and Stephenson, will probably get furloughs for 60 days on account of their wounds, and Ross for 30 days.

Several applications for discharges and furloughs will be made by members of the Miller Rifles and Floyd Infantry, but I have not time to go around and learn their names.

Rev. John Jones preached to us yesterday an excellent sermon. He will hold prayer meetings every evening, at eight o’clock, as long as he remains in camp.

There is considerable sickness in the Floyd county companies, but none are considered dangerous.

Of the general movement of our Army, you can learn more at your various homes than we can here in camp.

M. D.

From Dear Courier: The Civil War Correspondence of Editor Melvin Dwinell, pp. 62-64

Melvin Dwinell at Ancestry.com

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Vermonter in Gray: The Story of Melvin Dwinell

More on Melvin Dwinell herehere, and here