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

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Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier by Louis Léon

July 13, 2013

Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier By Louis Léon [53d North Carolina Regiment, infantry]

July 13—News came to us to-day that Vicksburg had fallen on the 4th. Heavy skirmishing, fighting all day. Our brigade again acted as the rear of our corps, our regiment being its rear. We started our retreat at dark and marched to Williamsport, six miles, through mud and slush ankle-deep, and raining very hard. We marched one mile to the right of and crossed the Potomac at midnight, after wading through the canal, which we destroyed. The river was up to my chin, and very swift. We crossed in fours, for protection, as otherwise we could not have crossed. Our cartridge boxes we carried around our necks to keep the powder dry. On the south bank tar was poured so that we would not slip back in the river, as the mud was very slick. J. Engle, of our company, was stuck in until some of the boys pulled him out. We went six miles further, and I honestly believe more of us were asleep on our night’s march than awake. But, still, all kept up, for the rear was prison. We then halted, made fire to dry ourselves, just as day was breaking on the morning of the 14th.

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