Monday, August 2, 2010

A hot Sunday

Today at Brandy Station: August 2, 1863

A couple of diary entries which touch on the fighting on August 1. The first is from Jed. Hotchkiss and the second from Joseph A. Waddell, a quartermaster in Stauton. Hotchkisses comments can be found in "Made me a Map of the Valley" and Waddle's is from University of Virginia's, website: Valley of the Shadow.

We were obliged to work to-day to copy the maps lent us by Col. Smith, and were very busy all day and worked late last night. It continues to be very hot. The enemy advanced towards Culpeper C.H. and we had a little fight with them, some of the first or third corps on our side. We had 15 killed and a number wounded and killed and wounded quite a number of the enemy.

Oppressively hot to-day...We hear of a cavalry fight at Brandy Station, in Culpeper, on yesterday, the enemy being driven back several miles, with a loss on our side of 200 killed and wounded. … Gen. Lee's expedition into Pennsylvania and Morgan's into Indiana and Ohio have helped Lincoln to recruit the ranks of his army. I thought [Reverend] Mr. [John] Miller's sermon (I call it so by courtesy) rather calculated to depress. He took a discouraging view of our affairs at this time, so far as we can judge by sight; but having faith in God we have a right to feel hopeful. Almost too "spiritual" for the mass of his audience.

Both complain of heat. August would be an oppressive month with soldiers in blue, gray and the civilians complaining. There is also quite a difference between 15 and 200. The numbers are in between.

A quick look into Charles Wainwright's diary (had it here in front of me) tells too of the heat. He mentions it three times in the day's entry: "An intensely hot day with a great deal to do"..."why is it that every hot spell Sunday is always the hottest day it in..."..."The sun came down pelting all the time, and not a breath of air."

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