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

Post image for Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

June 30, 2015

Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery — George Michael Neese.

June 30 — I did not sleep a wink last night. The sweet thought of freedom, the bright hope of seeing homeland once more, and the glorious vision of new sorts of viands played around me and chased away every vestige of slumber. The soothing god refused to be wooed and positively declared that he could not be won by me on such a night as this. This morning about eight o’clock we passed Fortress Monroe, which is situated at the mouth of James River, or rather on Hampton Roads. It is on the north side of the Roads in Elizabeth City County, and right at the entrance into Hampton Roads; it is a delightful place, for the exterior escarp of the fortress is covered with sod and appears more like the grassy terrace of a pleasure ground than the front of chamber where the engines of war are sleeping. Right opposite the fortress, about a mile distant, is the Rip Raps, a pile of rocks with cannon on it, situated in midwater, commanding the entrance to Hampton Roads. About eleven miles due south and across the waters of the Roads is the City of Norfolk. Fortress Monroe is on Old Point Comfort, and about seven miles nearly southwest of it a point of land reaches out boldly into the waters of Hampton Roads, on which the little town of Newport News is pleasantly and advantageously situated; it is in Warwick County. Old Point Comfort and Newport News are both favorably located for seaside health resorts, being in a mild, genial climate where the refreshing and salubrious sea breezes sweep in from the blue waves of the Atlantic, which makes a man feel good all over. This morning as we steamed through Hampton Roads a delightful cool breeze was blowing gently in from the sea. Hampton Roads affords first-class anchorage for large ocean steamers, and is one of the best harbors on the Atlantic coast. When we came through this morning an English man-of-war was anchored between Fortress Monroe and Newport News, and we passed close by its side. Everything about the whole ship, deck and all, looked as clean and fresh as though it has just come from the builder’s hand.

We steamed up the James River all day. The land along both sides of the river is mostly low and flat and vast levels stretch away to the dim distance unbroken by hills. We passed Old Jamestown this afternoon; I saw nothing there but old crumbling ruins. Jamestown is about four miles a little west of south from Williamsburgh and in James City County. Our boat stopped for night at Harrison’s Landing, which is on the left bank of the river, in Charles City County.

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