Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blog in Real Time, June 7th, 1862, Front Royal, VA

Front Royal, Virginia
June 7th 1862

            I received yours of the 28th yesterday morning.  Also one from Mother. Should have written you sooner but for the past two weeks we have been on the move nearly all the time, and guess that we shall have all the marching we can do.

            We left Falmouth on the 25th, marched to Aquia Creek and took steamers for Alexandria and cars from there to Manassas Junction.  Had a very pleasant trip.  Arrived at the junction Monday night and left Thursday morning at 4 o’clock for this place; marched all the way.  Should thought we might have come by rail as the road was in running order up to this side of Manassas Gap.

            We were to be used as a reserve force for General Shields who was in the advance and after General Jackson.  We arrived here Saturday night after marching 25 miles that day.  When we camped at night the rain came down in torrents and we had nothing except our rubber blankets to shelter us from the storm, our knapsack, blankets, and tents having been left at a station on the railroad to be brought along on the cars.  And you ought to have seen them when we got them day before yesterday.

            They were thrown off of the cars into the mud and laid there overnight in the rain storm. Everything was completely soaked. My blanket was all mud, tent wet and mildewed, writing case all wet, paper and envelopes wet, stamps all stuck together.  The pills which I carried in it were dissolved. All that I lost out of the lot was a bunch of envelope besides the pills.

            Sunday was quite pleasant.  Our division marched out two miles on the Strasburg Pike to support Shields who had gone on towards Strasburg to prevent Jackson from coming down this way. We camped there that night and Monday went 3 miles further and Tuesday went to within 2 ½ miles of Strasburg and Wednesday came back to the place where we are now camped.

            Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights it rained very hard all night long, and all we had to keep us dry was our rubber blankets and firs which we built.  It rained a little during the daytime but not much, and during that time we had nothing to eat but hard bread and coffee, not very substantial food.  But since we have been at this camp we have fared a little better.

            Front Royal from camp is distant about a mile and the view of it from camp is splendid, situated at the foot of some mountains belonging to the Blue Ridge. It is not a very large place and not laid out with any regularity.  It is a regular secesh hole.  Today is the first real pleasant day we have had since we have been here.

            Sergeant Fuller of Co B and Cushing of Co C were drowned yesterday while attempting to cross the Shenandoah in a boat, the bridge having been washed away by the rise of the river occasioned by the late rain. The current was swift and strong and they were unable to save themselves.

            That letter of Elishas’ was very good.  Wish I could write a good.  I mailed it to Henry today.  When we left Manassas, Gassett and Moreton stopped behind as they were not able to march and there were not any ambulances for them to ride; they having been taken away from the regiment while at Falmouth. Have since heard that they were in the hospital at Alexandria.

Don’t know what is the matter with them. The rest of us are all very well.  I was not intending to mail this today but as there are reports in camp that we are to march tonight, I shall finish it and put it in the mail.

Edwin Rice

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