Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

October 31st.—Bright . Tom’s rations came in—worth $200— for a month.

Gen. Lee writes that it is necessary for the gun-boats to guard the river as far below Chaffin’s Bluffs as possible, to prevent the enemy from throwing a force to the south bank in the rear of Gen. Pickett’s lines; for then Gen. P. must withdraw his forces, and the abandonment of Petersburg will follow, “with its railroad connections, throwing the whole army back to the defense of Richmond. I should regard this as a great disaster, and as seriously endangering the safety of the city. We should not only lose a large section of country from which our position enables us to draw supplies, but the enemy would be brought nearer to the only remaining railway communication between Richmond and the South. It would make the tenure of the city depend upon our ability to hold this long line of communication against the largely superior force of the enemy, and I think would greatly diminish the prospects of successful defense.” He suggests that more men and small boats be put in the river to prevent the enemy from placing torpedoes in the rear of the iron-clads, when on duty down the river at night.

J. H. Reagan, Postmaster-General, has written a furious letter to the Secretary, complaining of incivility on the part of Mr. Wilson, Commissary Agent to issue beef in Richmond. Judge R. went there to draw the beef ration for Col. Lubbock, one of the President’s aid-de-camps (late Governor of Texas). He says he is able-bodied and ought to be in the army. Mr. Wilson sends in certificates of two men who were present, contradicting the judge’s statement of the language used by Mr. W. The Secretary has not yet acted in the case.

Beverly Tucker is in Canada, and has made a contract for the Confederate States Government with —— & Co., of New York, to deliver bacon for cotton, pound for pound. It was made by authority of the Secretary of War, certified to by Hon. C. C. Clay and J. Thompson, both in Canada. The Secretary of the Treasury don’t like it.

It is reported that after the success reported by Gen. Lee, Early was again defeated.

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October 30th. Not much sleep last night. Early in line this morning. Relieved by an Iowa Regiment. Cheers were given for each regiment, then all together for Honest Old Abe. The Iowa boys shouted, “A good time and good luck.” Soon reached the train where a crowd gave cheers for Old Abe, and wishing us a happy time. Singing and cheering as the train moved on towards Baltimore, where we arrived about noon. Nothing important happened as we journeyed along. Pushed across the city to the Philadelphia R. R. station. Then on to Philadelphia, where we arrived late this afternoon. Dinner at the Cooper Shop. Received kind treatment from the people of Philadelphia. A pleasant journey so far. Discussing over the election as we journey along, on towards good old Connecticut.

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Etowah Bridge, Sunday, Oct. 30. A very beautiful Sabbath spent in the usual commonplace way. Grazed in the forenoon. The afternoon occupied in writing to Brother John. Walked to town in the evening. No mail or news, although trains are passing in great numbers.

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Sunday, 30th.—Marched twelve miles and halted one mile from South Florence. Johnston’s Division crossed river five or six miles above Florence, in pontoon boats. A few Yankee cavalry over in Florence, thinking we were some of Roddy’s Cavalry, called us “Buttermilk Rangers,” and said to come over, and were very much surprised when a battery of four or five pieces of artillery replied.

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Sunday, October 30. — Three months to-day since I was captured. Day very dull. Nothing additional from Petersburg.

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Sunday, 30th—We started early this morning and marched fifteen miles. We bivouacked for the night near Cave Springs. Large foraging parties were sent out which brought in great quantities of provisions and feed, this section not having been overrun by our armies. Cave Spring is a little village sixteen miles southwest of Rome, Georgia. The citizens all left their homes on the approach of our army. I was detailed on picket duty. All is quiet.

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Sunday, October 30. — Another beautiful October day. We are having delicious weather. The only shadow on my spirits now is the critical condition of Captain Hastings. So brave, so pure, so good! God grant him life!

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30th. Sunday. Received order relieving me from Q. M. duty and assigned to Co. C. McBride a Q. M. Desire to do God’s will.

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Oct. 30th. Moved back to our old position [Fort Alexander Hayes] in the works.

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Sunday, October 30th.—Bright and beautiful.

Some firing was heard early this morning on the Darbytown road, or in that direction; but it soon ceased, and no fighting of moment is anticipated to-day, for Gen. Longstreet is in the city.

My son Thomas drew a month’s rations yesterday, being detailed for clerical service with Gen. Kemper. He got 35 pounds of flour (market value $70), 31 pounds of beef ($100.75), 3 pounds of rice ($6), one sixth of a cord of wood ($13.33), salt ($2), tobacco ($5), vinegar ($3)—making $200 per month; clothing furnished by government, $500 per annum; cash, $18 per month; $4 per day extra, and $40 per month for quarters; or $5000 per annum. Custis and I get $4000 each—making in all $13,000! Yet we cannot subsist and clothe the family; for, alas, the paper money is $30 for one in specie!

The steamers have brought into Wilmington immense amounts of quartermaster stores, and perhaps our armies are the best clad in the world. If the spirit of speculation be laid, and all the men and resources of the country be devoted to defense (as seems now to be the intention), the United States could never find men and material sufficient for our subjugation. We could maintain the war for an indefinite period, unless, indeed, fatal dissensions should spring up among ourselves.

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