Thursday, July 30, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: February 23, 1862


The boys are amusing themselves making pipes from briar roots and fixing long stems of came to them. Some of them are carved very handsomely and show much artistic skill. Washington's birthday was celebrated by salutes from the forts and a holiday in the camp. There is some very interesting history connected with this island, but not having books to refer to, I can give but a very indifferent account of it. Sometime in the latter part of the 16th century, Sir Walter Raleigh, an English nobleman, sent out an American exploring expedition. They visited the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, discovering this island. After trading with the Indians, and learning what they could of the country, they returned to England. They gave such glowing accounts of the country and what they had seen that Raleigh, the next year, sent out a colony under one Lane. They occupied this island, but after about a year, during which time they suffered many hardships, returned to England. A year or two later, another expedition was sent out. They also settled here, but after a while the leader of it returned to England for supplies. After an absence of a year or two, he again returned here, but on landing, not a trace of it could be found, and it was never after heard from. A later historian, however, says the Indians who lived on the island claimed that some of their ancestors were white people and could talk out of a book.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 39-40

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