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

Post image for Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft.

Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft.

January 3, 2013

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.

Washington Saturday Jan’y 3, 1863

We could not have finer weather, the air is soft and balmy as May. It is much like a northern Indian summer. The same blue haze rests upon the horizon. The roads and fields are dry and everything (out doors) invites one to make an excursion. But the beautiful groves on the hilltops have an ominous look even on this side of the River. Everything bears the Mark of the Camp. On the Virginia side of the River, the beautiful groves themselves have nearly all been destroyed to give a good and unobstructed sweep to the cannon in the Forts which crown the Hill Tops. War, like a destroying angel, has passed over the fair fields, and the hills and valleys of the “old dominion.” Rebellion has brot a bitter cup to her lips. War, like the dread Sirocco, has swept over her fields, leaving them desolate. A terrible battle has been raging near Nashville Tenn. for the past two or three days. We get no definite news from there tonight and do not yet know the result. But from all accounts it is the bloodiest battle of the War yet fought. Frank must be yet in the Hospital from his wounds rcd on the 8th Dec at Franklin. We may expect active operations now in the South West. Vicksburgh I think is now in our hands, if not it will soon. I wrote home today, sending a Draft for $50. I went up to the Navy Yard after office hours and took dinner at Mr Angels. Spent an hour or two very pleasantly. His Brother from NY City was there, a very shrewd inteligent man. I walked back to my lodgings, some 21/2 miles. Mr Angel moves to Dutchess Co NY this month, He having purchased a farm there.

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