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

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“As usual, after a battle it rained hard all night, making the marching laborious and tedious.” –Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

August 31, 2012

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

[31st]

The old Bull Run of 1861 was vividly before my eyes; the ground we stood upon was the identical ground occupied by the line of New Jersey troops, who gave the scattered legions of McDowell such a terrific shock. Ah, how distinctly I remember! Around, in all directions, heavy bodies of troops were massed similar to ourselves, apparently awaiting orders. In the course of a couple of hours our division deployed in line of battle, marched forward over the open ground to the edge of a piece of woods, where we expected to find the enemy; remained in this position throughout the day, without, however, getting a sight of a single rebel, and towards evening were ordered back to Washington, the enemy having passed to our right, moving towards the upper Potomac. As we were marching off the field, another order was received, directing the first division to form the rear guard and cover the retreat of the whole army. The vicissitudes of war have, as everybody knows, made our division familiar with this particular kind of duty, and on this account I suppose we are selected. The column was halted, formed on either side of the road, stacked arms, and waited for all to pass by. At 11 P. M. the roads were free, not a single man or vehicle of any description being left behind, so we fell in with a battery of guns and brought up the rear in fine order, keeping everything in front of us and a lively lookout in the rear. As usual, after a battle it rained hard all night, making the marching laborious and tedious.

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