Saturday, March 25, 2023

Diary of Private Daniel L. Ambrose: Wednesday, December 16, 1863

A cold north wind is blowing all day. This evening the regiment comes in from its expedition—cold and hungry, but we see success beaming from every face, and soon we are told that the regiment met and routed the famous guerrilla Moorland and his band. Killed ten and left them on the field, wounded about thirty, and captured forty prisoners, and strange to say without the loss of a man from the regiment. This can be accounted for from the fact of the superiority of our guns over those of the guerrillas at a long 'range. The boys are all in a glee over their scout, relating many incidents worthy of record. But we will only record one. Close by where our regiment encountered Moorland, two rebels entered a house to obtain their dinners, and in this house dwelt a young lady whose love for the old Union no one ever questioned. Though against her will, their dinners were prepared, and while eating, the young lady walks to the door and down the road she beholds the old Union's flag come flying. She immediately turns, seizes both guns and with one kills one of the rebels and with the other gun takes the other rebel prisoner, turning him over to our men when they advanced. Tell me not that woman is not performing her part in this war. Reader, will you believe me when I tell you that the world in all its knightly history, never produced brighter examples of heroism than have been produced in this southland during these years of terrible strife. The daughters of the south who love the bonny stars and stripes, deal with weapons of death ; stemming war's wild current, braving what men have ever dared to brave, lending a helping hand to those who would perpetuate this union and save liberty from its final grave. We see her walking the battle field at the midnight hour where the messengers from the cannon's mouth have done their fearful work; we see her at the hospital where the angel of death lingers at the threshold waiting for life's brittle thread to break, when it could upon its wings bear the hero-spirits home to an approving God. We see her at the warrior's tomb, see her tears sparkle and her flowers fall on their silent mission of love and peace. Flowers of many hues from many hands, and tears from many heart fountains may fall there, but no brighter treasure, no holier tribute will ever be offered, than noble woman has already offered on the fallen soldier's hallowed tomb.

SOURCE: Daniel Leib Ambrose, History of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, p. 215-6

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