Monday, November 15, 2010

A heavy cannonading in the distance

Today at Brandy Station: November 15, 1863

As I reviewed what was on the minds of soldiers today, the sound of heavy cannonading was heard in many camps. It began around 9am and was "off to the left". The cause was unknown, but "...are anticipating a battle somewhere on the Rapidan River"

The firing was also heard in the Midland area, between Warrenton Junction and Bealeton. "This morning the day was opened with cannonading in our front; with what success is not known."

Orders were given throughout the army to be ready to move at a moments notice.

According to Theodore Lyman, of General Meade's staff: [written on November 16] "Yesterday morning we heard heavy artillery fire, apparently not over two miles away! It proved to be a reconnaissance by Custer at Raccoon Ford, 10 miles away. The damp air probably conveyed the sound; but there was some singular reflection, for at Stevensburg it was not heard at all."

It wasn't heard in Stevensburg (five miles), but it was heard in Midland (nearly 20 miles), Bealeton (15 miles), along the Hazel River (13 miles) and near Cedar Mountain (about 5 miles), and Brandy Station (10 miles). Acoustic shadow strikes again.

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