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.

September 9, 2012

Journal of Surgeon Alfred L Castleman.

9th.—At midnight last night, we had but just got to rest, when we were called up to unload our wagons, taking out only such baggage as would be absolutely necessary on a forced march. The rest was sent back by teams. This lessening of transportation of leaving of packs, looks as if our leaders expected work to-day or to-morrow. I think we shall not have it so soon; but our leaders are at least on the alert. May this energetic stir be continued to a decisive result! Many think that we shall have no fight here at all, that the rebels have crossed in considerable numbers, with the view of drawing us away, but that their chief army is at Alexandria, ready to attack it so soon as we are enticed far enough away.

Six weeks ago we held almost the whole of Eastern Virginia; now, not a spot of it securely, unless it be a little piece around Alexandria. But with a continuance of the energy manifested for the last few days, we can soon retake it.

At present, the darkest shade cast upon the country is by our currency. These five cent shin-plasters I do not like, and I like less the false pretence under which they are issued. Why call them “postal currency?” What have they to do with “postal” affairs? ‘Tis time the government had quit cheating the people by disguising facts. If five cent issues are necessary, say so frankly, and make them, but let us have no more of this miserable deceit, with the more miserable looking rags.

We marched this morning through Darnestown, and there turning from the main road to the left, proceeded towards a ford in the Potomac, expecting to meet the enemy there and dispute his passage. Finding no enemy, we bivouaced for the night on Seneca Creek, a beautiful stream, at this point about two miles from the river, Crouch’s division lay in front of us. Much diarrhaea amongst the troops. In consequence of a scorbutic tendency in the whole army, the free indulgence in the green fruits found by the way side seems rather to alleviate than to increase the diarrhæa.

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