July 28th, 1864.
I expect to visit the regiment some day this week. My friend, Mr. May, has promised to accompany me, and I anticipate much pleasure. I am told General Wilcox has been made a Major General, and is to take command of the Department of Ohio, headquarters at Cincinnati.
We expect a detachment of “invalids” from Washington to do hospital duty. Soldiers call them “condemned Yankees.” All detailed men are ordered to the front; they are packing up, getting ready to move tomorrow morning. Invalids and musicians are to man the hospitals, by order of Lieutenant General Grant. I pity the poor, unfortunate patients; boys make but poor nurses, and musicians are mostly boys.
July 28 — From the 21st to the 27th of July I was on the sick list, with a painful abscess on my jaw. Just before the abscess burst it pained so acutely that I cried like an old woman, a beautiful performance indeed for a soldier in the field to go through with.
July 28th. Layed in the woods all day. Saw some of the 26th regt. At 9 o’clk P.M. we started for the front of Petersburg; marched till morning, about 20 miles.
July 28—We were treated very good on the road, and especially at Goshen, N. Y. The ladies gave us eatables and the men gave us tobacco.
Etowah Bridge, Thursday, July 28. Dull, drowsy and dreamy. Nothing in camp but speculations on the affairs in front and the future in general. A few have hopes of peace from the Peace Commissioners in Canada, but fear it is delusive.
July 28th. Pleasant Valley. All one can see from this point is mountains, trees, grass, the Potomac River, great flocks of turkey buzzards sailing through the air. About noontime orders came to fall in for a march. Our march led back over the river road, through Sandy Hook, on over the railroad bridge, through Harper’s Ferry, up over Bolivar Heights by Camp Hill, out on the Charlestown Pike, going into camp near Halltown. A march of ten miles. Here we find a wagon train loaded with supplies. Orders to draw five days’ rations. This will pass for another hot, dry, and dusty day, and I marching barefooted over the rough, stony roads, up and down hill. Orders to put up our shelter tents. A large mail received. The 6th Corps showing up again. Trouble must be brewing. They are camping near our Corps, the 8th. Drew a pair of shoes and two pairs of woolen stockings. My feet are in bad condition to break in new shoes, or army brogans. Hope to get along all right now. Wrote a few letters. Our camp is on high ground, and all is quiet while we try to sleep and rest.
by John Beauchamp Jones
JULY 28TH.—Cloudy, but no rain.
Nothing new from Georgia or Petersburg. But a dispatch from Gen. Ewell, received to-day at half past two P.M., orders the local troops (they did not march yesterday) or other disposable forces to occupy the Darby Town, New Bridge, and Williamsburg roads, for the enemy’s cavalry were working round to our left. This was dated “27″ when, no doubt, it should be 28th. The Secretary was over at the President’s office, whither I sent the dispatch. I suppose the troops were ordered out, provided there was a mistake in the date. All dispatches should have the day written out in full as well as the day of the mouth, for the salvation of a city might depend on it.
Thursday, 28th—No news. All is quiet. I am still gaining strength slowly. We get very poor board here for a sick man to gain strength on, but we must make the best of it at present. The room we occupy, called a ward, is about one hundred feet long north and south, and fifty feet wide. There is a row of cots on each side. My cot is on the west side, and in the afternoons it is so hot that we can hardly stand it. There are windows in front and along the west side.
July 28, 1864.
I rose early and had the boys plow the turnip-patch. We were just rising from breakfast when Ben Glass rode up with the cry: “The Yankees are coming. Mrs. Burge, hide your mules!” How we were startled and how we hurried the Major to his room! [The Yankees did not come that day, but it was thought best to send Major Ansley away. He left at 2 A. M.]
Wednesday, July 27. — Went down to City Point. Saw General Benham, Doctor Dalton, and others. Day warm, with some slight showers in the afternoon. Heard a rumor that the corps was to move. Mine ready.