Friday, July 31, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: February 9, 1862


 A hard looking lot this morning, and no doubt feeling as hard as we looked. Tired, hungry, ragged, covered with mud, and sore from our flesh being torn and scratched with the tangle-brush and briars through which we forced ourselves yesterday. After a good ration of whiskey and a breakfast of fried bacon, with shot coffee, we began to limber up and feel a little more natural. We can now look over the field and see the results of yesterday's work. Our regiment lost six killed and 47 wounded, some of them probably fatally. Our whole loss was 42 killed and 209 wounded. The enemy's loss is not known, but is probably less than ours. Today the gunboats are after the Confederate flotilla and no doubt will give them a taste of what happened yesterday. It will probably be reported at headquarters in Richmond that their navy in these waters has become a thing of the past. Our march up from the battle-ground, yesterday afternoon, was rather an interesting one, if men nearly dying from exhaustion can be said to get interested. The trees for a mile in front of our line are marked and scarred by our shot, showing the terrible effectiveness of our rifles. The road was strewn with guns, knapsacks, equipments, blankets and everything that impeded their retreat or which they thought they had no further use for. Passing a little brown house by the wayside I noticed quite a crowd of surgeons and officers standing around. Crowding my way up to the little open window, I saw the pale, quivering form of a young man lying on a cot, with a slight covering over him, apparently in a dying condition. I inquired if any one knew who he was, and was told it was Capt. O. Jennings Wise, son of ex-Governor Wise. He had received a mortal wound and could not possibly survive many minutes. He was editor of one of the Richmond papers and captain of the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, the crack company of that city. He was a brave young fellow, and his was the last company to leave the redoubt, and then only when he fell mortally wounded.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 37

No comments: