Monday, July 10, 2017

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: May 28, 1862

Near Farmington, Miss., May 28, 1862

We moved up here this morning under the hottest sun and over the dustiest roads, and I then helped the major lay off the camp, and pitched our tents ourselves. Gracious, how hot it was! I worked and sweated and blessed General Pope for ordering us forward on such a day. I'll wager we are the only field and staff that pitch and strike our head quarter's tents without the aid of the men. But I can't bear the idea of making men who are our equals at home do our work here. Soldiering in the ranks spoils a man for acting officer “a-la-regular.” We're ordered to have our horses saddled by 3 a. m. to-morrow. There has been the liveliest kind of cannonading along the whole lines to-day. Our whole army advanced about a mile. I think that at almost any point on the line we can throw shot into their works. Distances vary from one and one-half miles to two and a quarter or two and one-half. Many of the generals think that to-morrow there will be a general fight. They talk a great deal more since the news correspondents have been sent off; and of course anything of that kind, that a brigadier says, goes the rounds of the whole camp in real telegraph style. Have heard of a number of killings to-day, and haven't heard a tithe of the whole. The enemy are beginning to dispute our further advance right strongly. Many think that Halleck has commenced a regular siege. He has left a line of splendid defences to-day, and if he forms new works on the position taken up to-day, we will know that we are in for a long fight, a-la-Yorktown. Two regiments of cavalry went out this morning to destroy the Ohio & Mobile R. R., 30 miles south of Corinth. I wish them luck. Many of the Rebel shot and shell struck within a half mile of the front of our camp to-day. It looks somewhat like the times at Madrid and Point Pleasant, but will probably be a little more interesting before we finally finish it.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 94-5

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