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

Post image for War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

June 16, 2013

War diary and letters of Stephen Minot Weld

Headquarters 1st Army Corps,
Camp at Centreville, June 16, 1863.

Dear Father, Last week we received orders to move up the river and support the Fifth and Third Corps which were guarding the fords. Accordingly we started at daylight last Friday on our way, and marched until four in the afternoon, camping at Deep Run, in exactly the same spot that General Porter encamped last August when on his way to join Pope. While on the march, and just before reaching Berea Church, I met an orderly coming from the headquarters of the Fifth Corps, with my commission as a captain. I was quite glad to get it, I assure you. At Berea Church we halted for an hour, and just before starting, a deserter from an Indiana regiment of General Wadsworth’s division, was shot to death by musketry, he having been found guilty by a court-martial. I did not see the affair, as I had no desire to do so. The distance marched the first day was about 23 miles. The second day we pushed on to Bealeton Station, about 20 miles. On the way we passed another camp where General Porter stayed. About nine o’clock in the evening of our arrival at Bealeton, I was sent hack to General Barnes, some 12 or 15 miles from us. As guerillas were round about, it was rather unpleasant, but I saw nothing of them. Here at Bealeton we received orders to march to Centreville and take up our position there. General Reynolds then had command of five corps, General Hooker, with the three remaining corps, taking the route by Dumfries. From Bealeton our corps moved to Manassas Junction, over twenty miles. Our headquarters were at Catlett’s Station. Yesterday we arrived here at Centreville, soon to be on the march again, I imagine, for Pennsylvania, or the Valley of the Shenandoah. I hear that the enemy have whipped Milroy, and I suppose that I refused. After I had got my orders, General Butterfield asked me if I had had any dinner. I told him I had not, and he sent me to Major Lawrence, who provided me with a very nice dinner. I started back at 6 P.M., and reached camp at Herndon’s Station at 11.30, having a guide and a pass provided me by Colonel Gray, of the 4th Michigan, who were on picket near Fairfax Court House. The guide had strange stories to tell about the guerilla Mosby. In all I travelled about 6o miles to-day, and was pretty well used up, as the day was extremely warm and sultry. Found camp at Herndon Station.

[In connection with Mosby, an interesting story was told of Major Fraser. He was out scouting after Mosby, and as they were passing a house close by the road, a sergeant, with the troops with him, saw a man in a gray uniform standing at the window of the house. The sergeant drew his pistol and fired. He instantly went into the house, and there was a Confederate on the floor with his cloak drawn over his face. He said, “I am mortally wounded, please leave me alone.” They pulled up his waistcoat and saw a hole right through his abdomen, where he had been shot, and they left him, supposing he was dying. Five minutes after, they found it was Mosby. They turned around and went back, but he had been taken away by his friends. It turned out that the bullet had only penetrated the outer skin, followed around, and come out at the back, so that Mr. Mosby got well and tormented us as usual. Had Fraser captured him, he would have got a brigadier general’s commission.]

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