1863: “The Boys Were Lying In Line Of Battle”

Sept. 20th [1863]

Before daylight, the division moved to take position in line of battle. After we had stopped for the night, the field band had been sent to the rear with the horses of the field and staff, and were not back in time, so the Col., etc., had to “foot it.” The Col. left me at the fire to tell the musicians where to bring the horses. Daylight came and a heavy frost was on the ground. I waited until long after sunup, yet the drummers did not come, so I shouldered a long bundle of blankets intended to be put on the horses, and started for the regiment.

I had to pass over the ground where Cleburn had fought the evening before. The dead of both sides were lying thick over the ground. I saw where six Federal soldiers had been killed from behind one small tress, and where eight horses were lying dead, harnessed to a Napoleon gun. Men and horses were lying so thick over the field, one could hardly walk for them. I even saw a large black dog lying mangled by a grape [shot]. In the rear of our brigade, I found our ambulance, and put the blankets in it, then went on to the regiment. Continue reading

1863: “Fine Fellows Going To Kill Or Be Killed”

September 1863

At Kingsville I caught a glimpse of our army. Longstreet’s corps going west. 

God bless the gallant fellows. Not one man intoxicated – not one rude word did I hear. It was a strange sight – miles, apparently, of platform cars – soldiers rolled in their blankets, lying in rows,heads and all covered, fast asleep. In their gray blankets, packed in regular order, they looked like swathed mummies. Continue reading