Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blog in Real Time, Manassas Jctn, July 1, 1862

The following was downloaded from the now defunct website LETTERS OF THE CIVIL WAR.

Manassas Junction, Va., July 1, 1862.

            June 28th, was sultry–made a visit to Bull Run.  Something new and interesting meets the eye at every step; we passed three graves, the headstones were demolished either by accident or by some sacrilegious hand.  Enough remained to tell us the State they hailed from, also the regiment to which they belonged.  South Carolina’s sons had found a resting-place on the soil of Old Virginia.  One cannot but be astonished at the great number of rifle pits, which are scattered in all parts of the plain, every knoll from which the least advantage was to be gained, was brought into requisition.  No one point have I visited a second time, yet the same preparation to meet the foe is visible.  One fortification about two miles from our camp, was intended to mount twenty-four guns.  Perhaps these earth works may yet come in use.

            Bull Run Creek is easily forded at the present time.  Its waters are shaded by time honored trees, seemingly the growth of centuries.  Along its banks lie huge trunks of trees fast hastening to decay, reminding one of fallen greatness.  The heavy freshets which sweep with irresistible power through the narrow channel of the creek, pile upon either side a vast amount of refuse trash; trees, the roots of which laid here by wash of flowing stream, stand tottering o’er its bed, present to the eye a scene of rugged grandeur.

            If nothing happens to prevent, we shall have plenty of blackberries in a few days; the ground is covered with them.

            At six o’clock P.M. we had the pleasure of being introduced to a most laborious Battalion drill which lasted until dark.  To-morrow being Sunday we shall have our usual rest.

            Sunday 29th.  Cloudy, looks like rain which will be very acceptable should drill be the order of the day.  At 7 o’clock A.M., inspection, after which, strange to say, we have nothing to do until 5 o’clock P.M., at which time we assembled to listen to a few remarks from our Chaplain, and finished the light duties of the day with dress parade.  The text selected by our Chaplain was taken from a work of Dickens, “Let us be jolly;” briefly he pointed out the folly of giving way to a feeling of discouragement–urged upon all the necessity of bearing up under the various trials to which they might be subjected–thought that even if a man could not laugh and grow fat upon an empty stomach, he could at least be cheerful by looking forward to the meal that would fill it.  ’Tis all right to give good advise, but very hard at times to follow out those words of encouragement.  The influence of our Chaplain is great, and is always used for the benefit of the regiment.  His cheerful happy disposition is contagious, looking upon the bright side of things himself, his example causes all to follow in his footsteps.

            As night is fast drawing her mantle over us, we must close.  Trusting ourselves to the watchful care of the sentinel, we enter our tents perfectly satisfied with this day’s work.

(Roxbury City Gazette; July 10, 1862; pg. 2, col. 6.)

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