Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 22, 1864

March 22, 1864

---After long-distance wrangling, some prodding from Gen. Grant and Gen. Sherman, Gen. Steele in Arkansas is finally ready to move---two weeks after he should have.  He plans to step off tomorrow, March 23.

---Confederate artilleryman George Michael Neese, of Chew’s Battery, is in bivouac in the Shenandoah Valley.  He writes in his journal of the snowfall:

March 22 — Commenced snowing this forenoon, with a cold north wind sweeping over the bleak fields, which sends chilly feelings to the bones of soldiers without houses or shelter. It is still snowing very fast this evening.

---Robert M. Magill, of Georgia, enjoying the sporting possibilities from the same fall of snow, writes in his journal of a grand snow-ball fight between two regiments:

Wednesday, 22.—Big snow. 36th and 56th fought snow battle. 36th had to retreat, being out numbered. 12 A. M., long roll beat in 39th; in short time long roll in 56th; both regiments formed at once, confronting each other, with colors flying; 39th advanced, 56th charged and drove 39th back about ten steps, when they rallied and drove 56th back some distance. The battle now raged with tremendous fury; snowballs flying and falling fast as hail. Got hold of 56th’s colors, but they rallied so strong, could not take them away. Both sides agreed to quit, the 39th having driven the 56th back about one hundred yards.

---Kate Cumming, a nurse for the Confederate Army, writes in her journal of the same snowfall in Georgia:

We have had a very heavy fall of snow. All enjoyed it. Old and young were out snow-balling each other. Drs. H. and B. got up a very fine equipage in the way of a sleigh. The runners were made by one of the men, and the carriage part was a packing-box. Instead of furs, blankets were used. The whole affair would have been a most attractive turnout in Broadway.

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