Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 22, 1863

January 22, 1863:  The Mud March (cont.) – As the morning breaks, the rain continues unabated.  All wagon trains are bogged down, artillery is immovable, and the men---the ones who are able to march on---turn into bands of marauders ransacking supply wagons anchored in the mud.  Fighting (among the soldiers) breaks out everywhere.  Gen Hooker, beside himself with rage---and likely drunk, too, as are most officers who can get their hands on liquor---openly condemns the Government, and says that the nation needs a dictator and that he willing to take the job.  Finally, toward the end of the day, Gen. Burnside cancels the campaign,  but the soldiers are still stuck. 
---Horatio Nelson Taft writes in his journal about the dreadful storm lashing the army:
Washington Wednesday Jan’y 21st 1863
No snow storm but a cold, windy, rainy day. All last night it seemed to pour down, and as the wind drove the rain against my window I could not help thinking of the thousands of poor Soldiers who must be lying on the ground with only a partial shelter from the storm, and had I been as young and vigorous as I was twenty years ago I should have felt almost guilty as I drew the covering around me in my warm bed, so comfortable and secure from the hardships and dangers which I should have felt it my duty to share in the present crisis.

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