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

Post image for “…the whole command was ordered to fall back on Bealton Station.”–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

“…the whole command was ordered to fall back on Bealton Station.”–Diary of Josiah Marshall Favill.

October 9, 2013

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

October 9th. At 6 A. M., October 6th, we broke camp and fell back by the way of Culpeper. At 12 M. halted about a mile and a half on the north side of the town, with headquarters on a high bluff on the edge of a piece of woods, the view from which is magnificent; weather, roads, and temperature all to our liking. The troops are carrying eight days’ rations, wagons are packed, and everything indicates an early move. The enemy is in motion, closely watched by our signal officers, and there is no doubt we shall hear from them soon. While the court was in session this morning, waiting for a belated member, orders were received to march at once, and so we adjourned the court sine die.

Very curiously there are no general officers in the division now, except its commander. The first brigade, formerly Howard’s and Caldwell’s, is now commanded by Colonel Miles. The Second brigade, formerly Meagher’s Irish brigade, has long been commanded by the senior colonel present for duty. The Third, too, since Zook’s death, falls to the lot of the senior regimental commander, for the time being, and the Fourth is still commanded by Brooke, for whom it was created. It seems strange some of these officers are not promoted, so that they may enjoy the rank and pay to which their actual commands entitle them. So, too, it is with almost all of the staff; they are simply acting staff officers, performing the duties but not receiving the pay, and by retaining their regimental rank deprive other officers of promotion, who must do their duty. I suppose the Government finds the war expensive and intends carrying it on as economically as possible.

About noon tents were struck and the command marched some four miles to the rear, leaving Culpeper to the left, the enemy following and making considerable demonstration. We found the bulk of the army massed here, and were just about putting up our tents, when the whole command was ordered to fall back on Bealton Station, where we arrived at 5 P. M. and bivouacked for the night. From present indications it looks as though we were going to fall back over the old historic Bull Run ground and avoid a general engagement; possibly it is strategy, and we may come out ahead. Weather cool and roads in fine order; marched in all about fifteen miles to-day.

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