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

Post image for Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman.

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L. Castleman.

August 16, 2012

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L Castleman.

16th.—Morning came, and found us still waiting orders, whilst immense trains of teams and masses of soldiery, sick and well, are pushing past us. Our division are again to bring up the rear, and receive the attack, if one is made. j This is said to be the post of honor; but we are beginning to feel that we may be ” honored over-much.”

At 5 P. M. came the expected and anxiously looked-for order, and we are on the road down James River. Not being a military man, I may be hypercritical, but it does seem to me that it should not require the forty-eight hours which we have taken for that purpose, to get out of camp with an army no larger than ours; or, that if so much time is required, the leaders should adopt some system in leaving, so as to call the divisions successively to get ready; not to call all at once, and wear out the rear guard with watching and with expectation, whilst the-advance is passing. Two days ago our division was ordered to be ready to march at an hour fixed, and to have two days’ rations to march on. The two days expired without further order to prepare rations, and the hour of starting found our rear guard, which is to stand the brunt of battle, worn out, and without rations to march on! “Shiftless.”

At 11 p. M. we reached Charles City, an extensive capital of of one of the oldest and richest counties in Virginia. This Charles City contains one dwelling house, with three or four , buildings for “negro quarters,” and a court house of about 20×35 feet, and one story high. In Virginia, they must have very little legal justice or very little need of it. From the direction of our march so far, I judge we go to Fort Monroe, and that we shall cross the Chickahominy at its main junction with the James.

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