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

November 22d.—Rained in torrents last night; cold this morning and cloudy.

All quiet below. But there was an alarm, night before last, growing out of a stampede of some 50 of the enemy’s beeves. They charged upon our line, regardless of the fire of cannon and musketry, and were all captured after penetrating our works. Brave cattle!

Gov. Vance writes that if Wilmington be attacked by a large force in the rear of Fort Fisher, its fall is inevitable, unless two brigades of veteran troops be sent from Gen. Lee’s army. He says the defense of Wilmington is as important as that of Richmond. The President directs the Secretary of War to communicate with Gen. Lee on the subject.

We learn that Gen. Grant is on a visit to his family at Burlington, N. J.; and yet the departmental troops (clerks) are still kept in the trenches. It is said the President’s family keep them there by the most imploring appeals to Gen. Lee, and that the President himself does not feel altogether safe while the Federal army is so near him. His house is on the side of the city most exposed, if a sadden attack were made, of which, however, there seems to be no danger at present. Several brigades of Gen. Early’s troops have arrived from the Yalley.

Gold sells to-day at $42 for $1. And it rises in the United States. This produces trepidation in the cabinet.

Snowed a few few minutes to-day, 4 P.M. The clouds are breaking—cold.

What appetites we have! Shin-soup and bean-soup alternately are relished with shark-like appetites.


November 22d. Everything has been quiet with us up to this date. The daily routine comes and goes on from day to day. Weather good for this time of the year. Late today, marching orders received. Must leave here for Halltown, four miles south of Harper’s Ferry.


Nashville, Tuesday, Nov. 22. Last night was a very severe night. Many suffered severely from cold. We slept tolerably warm with the exception of feet. Ground is all hard. Water frozen four inches thick. The day passed, such a day as that which makes people draw close around the family stove, in the warm rooms of our houses. ‘Tis not strange then that every means of warmth was resorted to. Many a fellow lay wrapped up in his blankets all day, while we were huddled around our skillet of coals, replenished as often as practicable from the few heaps of fire out doors (the wood being very scarce). Dan on guard. Clothing arrived. I drew a pair of boots. Boys went strong on overcoats. I would draw one if there was one to be had. Many of them bought sheet iron stoves in town, paying from six to ten dollars. We must get one to-morrow if possible. Strict orders issued to us from Major * * * headed Camp Barry. None allowed to go to town without his pass. Four roll calls a day.


22nd. Went on to Mt. Jackson and found the whole of Early’s army posted two miles beyond. Quite lively skirmishing. 2nd Ohio in rear at the creek. Had charge of 3rd Battalion, broken as soon as rebs charged through town. Colors in front. Charged back several times. Infantry kept close on heels of the cavalry. Lyons, poor boy, is missing. Camped on old ground at Woodstock. A very cold night.


November 22, 1864.

After breakfast this morning I went over to my grave-yard to see what had befallen that. To my joy, I found it had not been disturbed. As I stood by my dead, I felt rejoiced that they were at rest. Never have I felt so perfectly reconciled to the death of my husband as I do to-day, while looking upon the ruin of his lifelong labor. How it would have grieved him to see such destruction! Yes, theirs is the lot to be envied. At rest, rest from care, rest from heartaches, from trouble.). . .

Found one of my large hogs killed just outside the grave-yard.

Walked down to the swamp, looking for the wagon and gear that Henry hid before he was taken off. Found some of my sheep; came home very much wearied, having walked over four miles.

Mr. and Mrs. Rockmore called. Major Lee came down again after some cattle, and while he was here the alarm was given that more Yankees were coming. I was terribly alarmed and packed my trunks with clothing, feeling assured that we should be burned out now. Major Lee swore that he would shoot, which frightened me, for he was intoxicated enough to make him ambitious. He rode off in the direction whence it was said they were coming. Soon after, however, he returned, saying it was a false alarm, that it was some of our own men. Oh, dear! Are we to be always living in fear and dread! Oh, the horrors, the horrors of war!


Monday, November 21. Major Filler escaped this afternoon. He told us that he was going to try and leave. When we were let out in the afternoon, he went into the men’s barracks and hid underneath the floor. We dressed up a dummy in bed, so that when Captain Senn counted us over he thought we were all there. Filler escaped through a tunnel during the night, with some men. Day rainy. Sherman reported near Macon. Received a letter from Dr. Marks, giving me Colonel Greene’s address. Lieutenant Gill officer of the day.


Near Macon, Ga., November 21, 1864.

This makes seven days from Atlanta, 114 miles by the roads we have marched. I think that time for an army like ours, over bad roads, too, for at least four days, is unprecedented.

Our cavalry had a little skirmish at Macon last evening and were driven back. I heard some cannonading, but don’t think it amounted to much. There was a little skirmish about the rear of our division at 4 this p.m., but beside racing and maybe capturing some half-dozen of our foragers, it amounted to nothing. Our left occupied Milledgeville. Governor Brown is here at Macon, also Beauregard, and they have scraped together some ten or a dozen things to defend the town with. I don’t think from looks at present, that “Pap” is going to try the town, but can’t tell. We have thrown up a little rail barricade this evening, which looks as if we were intending to destroy the Macon and Savannah railroad, on which rests the right of our brigade. We are afraid at this writing that Sheaff Herr was captured to-day. He was foraging where that little skirmish took place this p.m., and Rebels were seen after, and within 75 yards of him. It has rained steadily all day and for the last 60 hours, but has turned cold and is now clear.


Monday, 21st—We started on our march this morning in a rain which continued all day. We marched fifteen miles and went into camp. The artillery have the preference of the road and because of the muddy roads our division wagon train could not keep up. Our regiment was on train guard. We corralled the wagons four miles in the rear, where the First Division of the Seventeenth Corps went into bivouac, to safeguard the train, since the rebels’ cavalry have appeared both in front and in the rear.


Camp Russell, Monday, November 21, 1864. — Cavalry camp on our left broken up. Said to be gone to Stephenson’s Depot, five miles north of Winchester. Rode out to works on Front Royal Road. Review of Sixth Corps in a cold rain-storm; eight brigades — ten thousand [men].


Colonel Lyon’s Letters.

Nov. 21, 1864.—We are about moving into another house, where we can have more room and much better kitchen accommodations, besides having the whole house for headquarters. We have contemplated this for some time, but have only just definitely decided to make the change. Mrs. Rice, my landlady, is very sick. Last evening she sent for me. I found her scarcely able to talk. She said she thought she might not recover and she wanted to thank me for all our kindness to her since we have been here. I was with her for half an hour. I hear she is a little better today. We have endeavored to annoy her as little as possible and have improved every opportunity to do her a kindness, in view of her lonely and forlorn condition. For this she seems to be very grateful.