Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jan. 3, 1862

Jan. 3, 1862: Gen. Stonewall Jackson takes 9,000 men of his division of 11,000 troops and leaves Winchester, Virginia on a long march intended to destroy the Baltimore and Ohio railroad near Romney, Virginia, forty miles away.

--Sgt. Alexander G. Downing of the Union Army, writes in his diary; "Friday, 3d—Mrs. Hemmenway gave some of the boys permission to have a dance at her home last night. Quite a number of the boys went and they declare that they had a good time. The girls of the locality were there and most of them either smoked or chewed tobacco. They would dance a while, then rest and smoke, but those that chewed did not care to stop."

--Charles Francis Adams, Jr., in the Federal Army, writes to his younger brother Henry in London: "The weather is beastly cold and very windy, and the horses suffer though the men are comfortable. As for me I never was better in my life. The exposure has been pretty severe and the change of life great; but I am always well in the open air and jolly among a crowd of fellows, so no sympathy need be wasted on me. I like it and like it better than I expected. I fall into the life very easily and find my spring experience at the fort of inestimable service. Already I feel as much at home in charge of the guard or the company stables as I ever did in my office."

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