Saturday, September 17, 2016

Major Wilder Dwight, May 6, 1862

in Bivouac Massanatan Pass, Opposite New Market,
May 6, 1862.

A word with you in the rough confusion of our mountain bivouac.

Sunday last I should have written, but being a little out of sorts, put it off. In the afternoon we had an alarm, the long roll beaten, and marched toward the front. The regiment spent the night by the roadside. At three, A. M., started for New Market, in retreat. Marched all day in oppressive heat and dust, delayed by baggage-trains and batteries. Got into camp at eight, P. M. 1 was busy posting grand guards and outposts till eleven. At twelve, another alarm, and we marched again, foot-sore, hungry, weary, in the dark, over the mountain pass. You should have seen the sunrise from the head of the pass. To-day we rest. We found the alarm a false one, owing to the stupidity of General of Shields's division. Our work has been awful and useless utterly. My soul is aweary — so, indeed, is my body.

I could prose you a long story of our experiences; but to what good?

I am well now. We bivouac again to-night. The scenery is glorious, the weather fine. I have two letters from you since I wrote.

As to ——'s secession friend, let him alone. Colonels Corcoran and Wilcox are still in captivity; so is Botts and the Governor of North Carolina. Smooth no pillows for traitors.

Love to all. I am glad to hear such good news of Charley. I hope William is now lucky. Memphis will fall before you get this. Hurrah!

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 243-4

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