Monthly Archives: July 2011

21 July 1861: “Retreat began between 4 & 5 P.M., I think, leaving a field strewn with dead and wounded as the troops streamed down the road past the church. I went out to find my horse.”

Item description: Entry, dated 21 July 1861, from the diary of Charles Carroll Gray, an assistant surgeon in the 2nd Regiment of the United States Cavalry (Regular Army) 11th New York Infantry Regiment. This entry gives a lengthy description of … Continue reading

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20 July 1861: “our division retreated to Union Mills on the east side of Bull Run as we retreated a good many ladies left their homes and marched in advance of us.”

Item description: Letter, 20 July 1861, from Robert W. Parker to his wife describing his involvement in skirmishes near Manassas (Junction), Va., just days prior to the Battle of First Bull Run. [Item transcription available below images.] Item citation: From … Continue reading

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19 July 1861: “then we all fell down and loaded and fired as fast as we could. The enemys balls whistled and rattled by our ears pretty sharp…”

Item description: Letter, 19 July 1861, from William Ray Wells, private in the 12th New York Infantry Regiment, to his family. He describes the “slight brush” his regiment had with the enemy the previous day in which over 60 Union … Continue reading

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18 July 1861: “…it will be gloomy enough for me to see them come and know that you are left behind if you are…”

Item description: Letter from Lucinda M. [Hayne?] to her husband Albert B. Penno, a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of Rhode Island Volunteers. The following words are written on the front of the envelope included with this … Continue reading

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17 July 1861: “I heard from Rob yesterday. He was wounded in the last fight on the 2nd and left on the field supposed to be killed…”

Item description: Letter, 17 July 1861, from May to her husband in which she sends news of Rob [relations unknown]. The enclosed letter, of 12 July 1861, relates Rob’s battle wound and subsequent detainment in a wagon for “five days … Continue reading

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16 July 1861: “If that be true, I should be glad to hear some reasons assigned by gentlemen showing the power of the Congress of the United States, by joint resolution, to cure a breach of the Constitution or to indemnify the President against violations of the Constitution and the laws.”

Item description: Speech made by John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, in the United States Senate on 16 July 1861, later published in this volume. Breckinridge served as Vice President under James Buchanan and, later, as United States senator from Kentucky, … Continue reading

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15 July 1861: “…all are agreed, however, that a great battle will take place very soon…”

Item description: In this diary entry, Jesse Bernard expresses the pervasive talk of war surrounding the early months of the Civil War. He insists on God’s support of the southern cause given the Confederate’s smaller troop numbers and economic resources. He also demonizes Union forces for their … Continue reading

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14 July 1861: “The Communion was administered to the white members and then to the negroes; I thought the Communion of the negroes was very affecting…”

Item description: Sarah Lois Wadley was the daughter of William Morrill Wadley (1812?-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham Wadley (fl. 1840-1884) and lived with her family in homes near Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, Monroe and Oakland in Ouachita Parish, La., and … Continue reading

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13 July 1861: “We are going to get our pay to day up to the first of June. We could not wait much longer as we are out of paper, ink, &c.”

Item description: Letter, 13 July 1861, from William Ray Wells, private in the 12th New York Infantry Regiment (“Onondaga Regiment”), to his family. Wells writes about receiving his pay, mentions a Union victory in West Virginia, and comments on family … Continue reading

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12 July 1861: “Baggage must be reduced whenever a regiment receives marching orders and but one trip of the baggage waggons will be allowed from camp to the railroad.”

Item description: General order (#32) from an order book of the 21st North Carolina Infantry Regiment (C.S.A.) giving instructions for the transport of Confederate troops. Item citation: From volume 1 in the Confederate States of America. Army. North Carolina Regiment, … Continue reading

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