Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blog in Real Time, June 12, 1862, Front Royal, VA

I have two letters for June 12th, 1862.  The first is from officer Charles B. Fox, who was 2nd Lt. of Co. K, and later, Co. I.

Letter of Lt. Charles B. Fox to Rev. Thomas Bayley Fox, letterbook, 12 June, 1862, Fox Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.  Used with Permission.

Front Royal June 12th/62.
Your note in pencil and enclosures of printed matter arrived to-day. I was glad to get the Official report of Gordon’s Brigade as it was rumored here, that the Second, or part of them rather, showed the white feather.  So far as we can see Jackson is getting his reward.  It seems as if judicious Management might soon end the fighting part of this rebellion, How long it will take to settle its various effects no mortal can tell.  It seems to me that a whole generation at least, must die out, before this seed?? hatred of the North which is without doubt the sentiment of a majority of the Southern people, will pass away. Don’t wonder at northern people who once pas the line going to extremes. They must for their own salvation.

The following Letter Transcript comes from the now defunct website "Letters of the Civil War."  This site will probably return one day.

Front Royal, Va., June 12, 1862.

Editor of the Gazette:

Sunday evening, June 8, dress parade at 6 o’clock; for a wonder no rain fell today.  Monday 9th, was also pleasant in the morning.  Company E on picket guard this afternoon; Tuesday morning commenced raining which continued during the day.  We received our pay for the month of March and April.

Yesterday took a trip to town of Front Royal, it being about one mile from camp.  The towns all present the same ancient appearance.  One brick side walk covered with mud looked as if some one at some time in the past, tried to be decent.  There are two Hotels two stories high–the Front Royal and the Warren–the roofs of which looked as though some heavy pressure had been applied.  There are several churches used for army purposes, one supposed to be built to represent the Gothic style, is nearly in ruins, the pews being all removed, windows broken, and but little left to remind us of the purpose for which it was built.  Near this church is a good brick town house.  There are several dwelling houses with gardens attached, containing roses in full bloom, whose fragrance is quite acceptable as we pass.  The stores are all closed–no business stirring save that which relates to the army.  At one end of the town may be seen two large two story wooden buildings, built for hospital purposes by the rebels, one which is finished.  Each building contains twelve rooms, six on the lower and six on the upper floor.  They are roomy, well ventilated, measuring say 45 feet long by 22 wide.  One would suppose the rebels intended to occupy this town as a central depot.  It is situated a short distance from the mountains, forty miles from Manassas Junction, and 12 miles from Strasburg, which places are connected by railroad.  Adams & Co. have an office here.  There is but a very little amusement in looking around on account of the mud we have to encounter.  Six weeks of drought might probably dry it up some, but at present there appears to be a surplus of rain on hand or over head.  Our camp is not as healthy as is desirable–too much decomposed matter all about us.  I think this regiment was nearly if not quite full on the 1st of April last, but at the present time we could hardly muster 650 men.  The late marches have told heavily on the men, not killing them outright, but using them up for the time being.  There is a point which being passed, nature sinks, asserting her right to rest.  Her call should be obeyed.  I don’t know of any severe cases of sickness in our company; many are worn out but they will soon be right side up again.

This morning we received a few letters from home.  When we came to this place we expected to have a little trouble with Jackson, but it is no go–guess he is somewhere about.  Got one man after him, and he will catch him if the thing is possible–that man is General Shields.  Shields is what may be called a fighting General.  Jackson made a mistake when he drove Gen. Banks into Maryland, for the whole ground over which Banks retreated is again in our hands.  Winchester should be leveled at once–rebel property should be destroyed wherever found.  This business of protecting rebels and their property is about played out.  It’s much like giving the man who has stolen your watch, your wallet, as a compensation for his rascality.  I am writing this under the trees, with a box of hard tack for a table.

            Respectfully yours,                                                                    Azof.

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