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

Post image for Diary of David L. Day.

Diary of David L. Day.

July 4, 2013

David L Day–My diary of rambles with the 25th Mass

Hill’s Point.

July 3. Received orders for the right wing, consisting of companies K, I, F, C and B to break camp and be ready to march at an hour’s notice. At noon the baggage was all on the wagons and we awaited orders. At 1 p. m., we were ordered into town, and companies F, C and B went aboard the little steamer Mystic, and companies K and I went aboard the Washington Irving, bound for Washington on the Pamlico river.

Left Newbern at 4 p. m., and had a fine sail down the river and through the sound, turning into the Pamlico about dark, and running up to within a few miles of Washington, where we anchored for the night. Early the next morning, we reached our destination. Soon after we were ordered back down the river, and companies K and I landed at Rodman’s point, four miles below town, while the Mystic kept on and landed F, C and B at Hill’s Point, three miles lower down, relieving a New York battery company which was on duty there.

Our first business was to tote our baggage and camp equipage up the bluff, and under a broiling sun we worked hard, at least I thought it was hard. I carried my knapsack up and was so exhausted I thought I had better celebrate the rest of the day. I started out to explore the surroundings, and soon my eye rested on a board shanty at the foot of the bluff. I entered and found a noble scion of African descent; he was running a restaurant, his whole stock consisting of corn meal, with which he made hoe cakes for the boys on the bluff. I inquired if he intended remaining here or going with the company we had just relieved. He said he should stay if he met with sufficient encouragement from the boys. I gave him a great deal of encouragement, telling him I thought he would have right smart of business and would do well, that I would give him my patronage and that he might commence now by making me one of his best hoecakes for dinner, He said it would be ready in half an hour. I went out and worked hard during that time, watching the boys get the freight up the bluff. I went for the cake and was shown one about fifteen inches across and of good thickness. I began mentally to size my pile, thinking I had been a little indiscreet. I inquired the price of that monstrosity, and was told it was ten cents. I felt relieved and handing out the dime, took the cake and went up the bluff. Here I met Spencer and asked him if he had any meat. He replied, “just a little.” I showed him the hoe cake and said 1 thought we had better dine together; he thought so, too. Getting a cup of water, we sat down on a log and ate our Fourth of July dinner. The afternoon was used up in pitching tents and mounting picket guard. Thus was spent the Fourth of July, 1863.

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