Thursday, May 31, 2012

1862 June 1 Staunton, Va.

[from the diary of Joseph Addison Waddell, former owner of the Staunton Spectator and a civilian employee of the Quartermaster Dept.]

Sunday night, June 1, 1862.
This morning, at Sunday School, Legh told of a re-
ported that Jackson had been routed by a large force of 
the enemy — no one, he said, believed it. He also stated 
that there was a considerable battle near Richmond, yes-
terday, in which the enemy were repulsed. Just before 
preaching, he told me there was further intelligence 
from the lower Valley, brought by Sherrer, the Ger-
man baker. The substance of it was, that the enemy had 
re-taken Front Royal, a number of our wagons with 
stores +c, and had probably captured the 12th Georgia Reg=
iment. As I was going to Mrs. Gilkeson's funeral, at 5 
o'clock, I overtook Sherrer — He was not at Front Royal, but 
on the Valley Turnpike, perhaps at Strasburg. His story was 
that we had one Regiment (12th Ga) and a company of Cav-
alry at Front Royal — that on the approach of the enemy the 
Georgians started towards Winchester and the cavalry to Strasburg, 
and that our teamsters brought off their horses, leaving 12 
or more loaded wagons. W. B. Kayser afterwards gave me 
another version of the story — A party of our cavalry 
came dashing into Front Royal, stating that the enemy 
were approaching, whereupon our troops + teamsters left, 
but that the wagon master (Joe Whitmer) had gone back 
for his wagons. At church to-night I encountered Pay-
son Hoge, who left here for Winchester on Friday last. 
He went as far as New Market, where he heard that 
Shields, with a large Federal force, occupied Front Royal 
(our men, before they left, having destroyed coffee +c cap-
tured by them from the enemy), and that Millroy was 
entering the Valley from the West that Johnson was calling in his troops at Winchester. While we were talking Lyt. came up and said that stage passengers 
who arrived late in the afternoon [Hoge came this 
morning] reported contradicted the reports almost entire-
ly — that a small body of Federal cavalry came to 
or near Front Royal, and were driven back.
The news by the cars this evening confirms the reports 
we heard from Richmond this morning. Some 25,
000 were engaged on each side. The battle not decisive, 
but the result in our favor. Mrs. Gilkeson, 
 mother-in-law of J. K. Woods, was buried this evening. 
 Returning from the cemetery, I came over the hill, 
to enjoy again, on a peaceful Sunday evening, the grand 
prospect from the summit. But a gathering storm 
caused me to hurry home. Ground north of the cem-
etery, just outside of the enclosure, is now used for 
burying soldiers in. At first they were interred in 
the Cemetery, but more space became necessary. — 
I counted 89 graves outside, and there are many others 
dug + ready to receive the remains of the poor fellows who 
are dying in our hospitals. Communion in our 
church to-day — three new members — A young man 
named Vass, of Fredericksburg, originally, preaching     

[transcript by the Valley of the Shadow project]

MSS 38-258          

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