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

Post image for “Anxiously awaited orders to march…,”–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

“Anxiously awaited orders to march…,”–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

July 31, 2012

Diary of a Young Officer–Josiah Marshall Favill (57th New York Infantry)

July 31st, At midnight we all jumped out of bed in a hurry, startled by a heavy artillery fire, which at first could not be located. The men assembled on the color line without orders and remained there until the firing ceased, about an hour in all. It turned out to be a rebel field battery, sent under cover of darkness down the right bank of the James, to shell the numerous transports anchored near the landing. Our gunboats, ton jours pres, opened immediately with their big and little guns, but did not silence them for over an hour; curiously little or no damage was done while the possibilities were immense. Two of their shells burst quite close to our regiment, which indicates they did not get the range. When the firing ceased, we turned in again and were soon asleep.

Brigade inspection at half-past seven A. M., rations and ammunition inspected, as well as arms and accoutrements; our regiment was in fine order. Lieutenant-Colonel Parisen takes infinite trouble in seeing everything for himself. Shortly after nine o’clock it commenced raining and continued throughout the day, deliciously cooling the atmosphere and the parched earth. Anxiously awaited orders to march, which did not come, however.

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