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.

March 15, 2013

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.

Washington Sunday March 15th 1863.

I saw today what has of late become quite common here, a Company of thirty or forty Prisoners and refugees from Virginia march through the City under guard to the Provost Marshalls office. The most of them were refugees from Richmond, foreigners, some of them with their families. Some of the party were Virginians fleeing from the Rebel conscription and eight or ten were prisoners taken up as Spies near Fairfax Court House, residents of that neighborhood accused of being Spies or giving information to the Enemy. The refugees from Richmond said it was nearly impossible of laborers to live there, provisions were so dear. The Hotels chgd $6.00 pr day and coffee and butter were rarely seen on their tables. It was quite pleasant till about noon when it began to hail, and it hails still (10 o’clock) this afternoon. We had for an hour very sharp lightning and very heavy thunder with hail instead of rain. Tonight the ground is covered. I presume it will turn to water and mud tomorrow. I was at Charleys during the thunderstorm. “Sallie” was much frightened. Spent an hour at Maj Williams this evening. No further news from Vicksburgh or the South. Everything looks favorable now for the Union cause. I shall be disappointed much if we do not soon hear of important successes, and that is what we must have.

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