Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blog in Real Time, June 26, 1862, Manassas Jctn

The following was downloaded from the now defunct website Letters of the Civil War.

Editor of the Gazette

Manassas Junction, Va., June 26, 1862.

        June 23d was pleasant and warm.  Sunday being a day of rest, we are not required to work; all we have to do this particular day is to rearrange out tents, pass through inspection, march a short distance from camp to attend church services, after which dress parade.

        The 24th was hot, dry and dusty during the forenoon; we expected a Brigade review and marched as far as Headquarters and were ordered back to camp.  Dark heavy clouds appear in the west and clouds of dust fill the air, blinding and nearly choking us.  We listen to the muttering thunder, and watch the flashing lightning–momentarily expecting the clouds to open and overwhelm us, but steadily we march on and reach camp; –form a line and are dismissed, then scamper to our tents.  Scarcely there when the torrents descend, notwithstanding the inconvenience of being wet through, there is something grand in these sudden storms.  The heavens abounded in deep dark gloom,–the roaring thunder now dull and heavy–the vivid lightning r------ing from horizon to horizon, form a scene as terrible as attractive.  Never have I seen it rain harder than it did yesterday.  In two minutes we were flooded; our furniture floating away–our everything wet through, water being several inches deep in many of the tents.  All hands bore it bravely an gave three cheers for the sun, which for a moment looked through a rift in the cloud, sagely concluding that “all is well that ends well.”

        Tuesday 25th, forenoon nothing especial–principally devoted to cleaning tents, putting rifles in order, and digging trenches to prevent another like trouble of yesterday, as appearances indicate another gathering of the watery element.  Lo the storm cloud is upon and over us; a flash of lightning, and in an instant the artillery of heaven is crossing over our heads.  Peal after peal, in quick succession startling both man and beast.

        25th.  Rather windy–took a stroll about the fields, witnessed the gunnery practice of different sections of the 5th and ---- Maine and 1st Pennsylvania Batteries, ---- in a field a mile or more distant was the target.  Some fine shots were made.  Gen. Hartsuff and staff, also Col. Stiles of the New York 9th were present.  The afternoon was devoted to Battalion drill, which lasted over four hours; I believe we came here for nothing else but to drill, drill, drill-how sickening the bare thought becomes.  It may be all right, but there are many here who think differently.

        Thursday and Friday, the same old routine–nothing of interest.  Many of the boys who were rendered unfit for duty, during the last march, are coming back to the regiment.  Last night the cars were employed–so says rumor–in conveying Gen. Shield’s division to Richmond.  I have no doubt the report is true.  How long we are to remain here is uncertain; I think we shall go up towards the Shenandoah river again instead of towards Richmond.                                                                                                          Azof.
(Roxbury City Gazette; July 10, 1862; pg. 2, col. 6.)

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