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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mount Jackson, April 2, 1862.

I stopped here on yesterday with the news that the enemy were advancing, and very soon got an order to move. We are now settled four miles north of New Market. Verily, it is a moving life we lead.

April 2 — This morning we went on picket one mile from the Yankee line, which is established along the north bank of Stony Creek. However, some of their cavalry were on this side of the creek early this morning, but they did not tarry long. We had a lively and interesting little game of shelling with the Yanks this morning. We came back to camp at Red Banks this evening.

Wednesday April 2nd

There is a great dearth of news here now, but a great looking for of great events about this time, but few soldiers are here now compared with what there has been. The forts over the River are all maned and probably 50,000 men besides. There must now be about 200,000 tending towards Richmond now in Virginia. Fortress Monroe seems to be the great rendezvous. I expect it will be Norfolk first, and then Richmond. “Bud” has had a fever all day and we fear he is going to have chill fever. All the rest of us are quite well. Wife rcd letters today from Mrs Brownson (Lyons) and from Bd Hamton. Geo S Griswold of Lyons called upon me at the office. He is Lieut in the 2nd Regt NY Artillery stationed at Fort Ward over the R.


The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of Congress.

APRIL 2D.—Gen. Wise is here with his report on the Roanoke disaster.

Wednesday, 2d—It rained all day and we had no drill. The men remained in the tents, reading the Bible, magazines and papers, or writing letters home.

2nd. Messenger came in and reported Indians coming north. A scouting party was sent out.

2nd. Camp No. 4, in the field.—Our Brigade was reviewed to-day by Gen. Keyes, to ascertain if it was in order to fight. Verily, it seemeth to me that our Generals have reviewed us enough to know whether we are in fighting condition. All are anxious to be reviewed on the battle field, and to lay aside this silk glove war.

Camp Hayes, Raleigh, Virginia, April 2, 1862.

Dear Mother: — I received your letter yesterday, just one day after it was written. Very glad you are so well and happy. You do not seem to me so near seventy years old. I think of you as no older than you always were. I hope you may see other happy birthdays.

Our men stationed here, nine companies, were paid for the third time yesterday. They send home about thirty thousand dollars. Many families will be made glad by it. A small proportion of our men have families of their own. The money goes chiefly to parents and other relatives. . . .

I send you two letters showing the business [we] are in. General Beckley is the nabob of this county; commanded a regiment of Rebels until we came and scattered [it]. He is now on his parole at home. The other is from an old lady, the wife of the Baptist preacher here. Her husband preached Secession and on our coming fled South.

We are all in the best of health. Love to Sophia and Mrs. Wasson. Your affectionate son,


P. S. — The total amount sent home from our regiment figures up thirty-five thousand dollars.

Mrs. Sophia Hayes.

April 2. Wednesday. — A windy day; roads drying rapidly. Rode out with Avery. Saw the companies drill skirmish drill. The militia called out to be enrolled in this county on the Union side. About a hundred queer-looking, hollow-chested, gaunt, awkward fellows in their tattered butternut garments turned out. A queer customer calls our scouts “drives,” another calls it “drags.” A fellow a little sick here calls it “trifling.” He says, “Yes, I feel ‘trifling,'” meaning unwell.

Sent Captain Zimmerman with Company E and Lieutenant Bottsford, Company C, the scout Abbott, and two or three citizens out towards Wyoming. Will be gone two or three days.

Fort Barnard, Va., April 2, 1862.

Dear Mother, Sister and Brothers:

You will see by this heading that we are still in Old Virginia.

The four companies which garrisoned this fort left this morning, and the Regt. Heavy Arty, like this one, started for Alexandria, to go down the river.

They left an immense pile of rubbish, bed-ticks, beds, stools, boards, stoves. I should judge they left at this place $150 worth of property. I am sitting before one of the stoves; it sends the heat out gay. I am writing on a book in my lap.

Another company of our Regt. came up to-day to help garrison the place.

I will give you a little idea where we are. We are three miles from Fort Albany; it mounts 10 Heavy guns. The Alexandria Rail Road runs about 150 rds. from us in the hollow; it is considered a place of much importance. The boy has not got here yet. Give my respects to the Boys and Gals on Pleasant Valley; mark you, I say gals. Well, to tell the truth, I have not seen one but Aunt Betsy. She shed a tear when she left, for Co. B.

Yours truly,

Leverett Bradley, Jr.