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

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An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones

January 7, 2014

An Artilleryman's Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.

Near Paint Rock River, Ala., Thursday, Jan. 7. Reveille woke us to prepare for the march at 4 A. M. Breakfast cooked and eaten. Tents struck and loaded in due time. I was detailed to stay with the wagons, and did not start for half an hour after Battery left. The roads are frozen and very rough, the weather extremely cold, the air damp and filled with frozen mists, covering our clothes with ice and sleet. The troops marched fast and kept warm, but the train moved slow and tedious, wagons sticking in ruts, mules giving up, lying down in the road, to receive beastly cruelty from merciless drivers, and horrid oaths from impatient wagon masters. Often obliged to put our shoulders to the wheel to get along. Suffered severely from the cold with bare hands.

2 P. M. came upon the officers’ wagon on side of the road, axle-tree broken, where we had to stop and take on the load, and it followed in the rear, with a pole for wheel. A little farther on passed the battery wagon and forge, both wheel teams having given out, and abandoned and waiting for men to be sent back. Passed through Woodville at 4 P. M. Crossed Paint Rock River at dark, having yet three miles to camp through a low wet bottom, timbered thickly with large tall beach, and it grew very dark. Sergeant Runyan drew his wagons one side to wait till morning, but Lieutenant Clark ordered them on.

I reached camp with our wagon at 9 P. M. after much trouble. I never was out in a darker night. Boys were scattered along the road for miles doing the best they could to keep warm and escape the storm, as it began to snow very heavy. Found a bedfellow and joined a squad in an old field where we made shelter between two old corn cribs from the shakes. Built a roaring fire. Received mail, and I was happy to read by the light of the rails of home. Made our beds on the rough frozen ground and slept well till morning.

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