Friday, January 25, 2013

1863 January 15

[from the "War Journal" of George Hazen Dana as compiled by himself from his wartime letters and diaries]

     (Letter without date, referring to the "Mud March")

We have since ascertained that five men of the
Division froze to death on that last night – falling
out when so exhausted that they were unable to
make fires.        One of our Regiment has since died
from the fatigue and exposure on that march.
Our acting Brig. Genl, - Col. Sweitzer of Philadelphia
boasts that “it’s the tallest marching on record.”

                                           Camp near Potomac Creek, Va.
                                                            Jan’y 15th 1863
.   .   .   .   Now a little about our present position
(the regiment’s), and probable movement.
I have just succeeded in making good winter quar-
ters of my tent, having split it open in all the
‘gussets’ – I think you call them – at the back, and
built a fire place four feet high, five feet broad,
and four feet deep, where I burn five ft. logs,
which fizzle and sputter all night, and give me
a good chance for ‘revelry’ as Mrs. Partington says.
Accordingly, having perfected all my arrange-
ments for comfort and ease, an order immediately
came to send all sick to the depot, and hold
ourselves in readiness to march either upon

Washington or Richmond – I fear the former –
trust not one of those horrible “reckon nuisances”, any
thing but that; 20,000 men march two days – sleeping
in the mud – quite a number killed by exposure
and exhaustion – capture two rebel pickets, and
then come back with “viktree stamt on evree
fachur –“ think of that.        There is little doubt
that we are going some where.        Porter has
been gloriously acquitted, and I trust will be in
command of us again – but if he is we shall
probably go to Washington – that is my only ob-
jection to it.

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 5130

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