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

Loudon, October 23d, 1863, 7 p. m.

This has been a dismal day. It reminds me of the day we crossed the Potomac last fall. It began to rain at 5 o’clock this morning, and has rained all day, and there is every prospect of a wet night.

I never think of that fearful night without a thrill of horror. I marched all that day in the pelting rain, soaked to the skin, and when night came, weary as I was, I faced the fierce northern blasts until morning. I date all my suffering from that dreadful night. Although this storm reminds me of that day, and, under similar circumstances would have been quite as unpleasant, yet I have passed it quite comfortably. My comrade and I have a good tent, each of us a blanket and rubber ponchos, which enables us to keep dry and warm. These rubbers are very useful. If overtaken by a storm while on the march, not only is the person kept dry, but his blankets and haversack. At night we spread it on the ground, and no moisture can reach the person.

But this storm; what will be its effect on military operations here? I confess to a feeling of anxiety; I fear we are to be again “stuck in the mud,” as at Fredericksburg. If this is really the beginning of the rainy season, we can do but little more. And so much remains to be done. We must occupy and hold this railroad, or evacuate East Tennessee, and that right speedily. We can get supplies in no other way. There are not mules enough in the United States to haul our supplies over the mountains in the winter. In fact, now, when the roads, are comparatively good, it cannot be done. We have been on half rations ever since we crossed the mountains.

But away with such gloomy thoughts, and let faith and hope prevail. Tomorrow may bring forth light from this pall of darkness.

Previous post:

Next post: