Friday, December 3, 2010

...out of the wilderness

Today at Brandy Station: December 3, 1863

The Union army recrosses the Rapidan River today and returns to it's former camps in and around Brandy Station. As they finally settle in for the winter, the First Corps will camp south of the town of Culpeper; the Second Corps will camp in the vicinity of Stevensburg; the Third Corps in and around Brandy Station; The Fifth Corps along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad between Rappahannock Station and the Bull Run and the Sixth Corps along the Hazel River, centered near Farley. The Cavalry will be dispersed, with divisions at Stevensburg and Warrenton.

But the commentary from the soldiers about there return is what today's blog is about:

86th New York: Stayed in camp all day, tired & worn out & rations short. Stragglers coming in all day. Called up in the night to march, did not go.

4th Michigan: Rose early and Packed up and went to the Rappahanock River crossed at Rapp Station and our Brig went on to Bealeton Station where we Camped for the night.

2nd Rhode Island: We moved three miles to this camp. I do not understand the late movements, but I presume General Meade does, and that is sufficient for me.

20th Indiana: Got back to our old camp about daylight. ...left the rapidan about noon, marching a short distance ...stopping for the train to pass, ...we stopped in the woods and were told that we would lay there three hours. About eleven we started again. I never saw worse roads in my life...

111th New York: We have just got Orders, to pack up everything, & be ready to move at a moments notice. Now for a general Sekdaddle, to Washington. It is also reported that Joe Hooker, had Command of the Army again. If this is so, we may be kept pretty busy this winter. You may be sure we are living anything, but Comfortable...

17th Maine: ...we recrossed the Rapidan, thankful to be alive. As soon as we got over, a band near the end of the bridge piped up, “O Ain’t We Glad We’re Out of the Wilderness.” We rather thought we were, and a hearty “Amen!” rose from every throat.

Jed Hotchkiss, mapmaker for General Richard Ewell wrote to his wife today: "...Well, we got back to our old quarters again today, Mr. Meade would not stay & fight, he ran away night before last & recrossed the river, we followed as soon as we saw that he was gone, but he had too much the start & we only succeeded in catching some 300 of the stragglers & rear guard..."

And the Army of the Potomac's Winter Encampment will finally begin.

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