Heat, flies welcome Union troops to New Bern

On this day in 1862: Private D.L. Day, Co. B, 25th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, writing in his journal in New Bern:

“It is so hot most of the time we are scarcely able to do anything more than keep ourselves as comfortable as possible. All duty is suspended except guard duty and dress parade, and we are getting almost too lazy to eat. In fact we do miss a good many meals unless they happen to have something we like. We lie around in our tents in the shade. I thought I had seen flies at home, but I really believe there are more flies in this camp than there are in the whole state of Massachusetts. Besides, they are regular secesh [secessionist] ones.”


View from Va.: N.C.’s ‘point of perverse pride’

“…North Carolina’s claim to the highest number of Confederate dead has at times been a point of perverse pride for those whose hearts still cradle an ember or two from a bygone flame. That in itself seems slightly odd, at least from the perspective of George C. Scott’s famous observation in ‘Patton’: No one ever won a war by dying for his country — he won it by making the other poor dumb [soldier] die for his. Good theory. It doesn’t always work in practice, however.

“Southerners may not remember, because Northerners do not dwell on the fact, but Union casualties far outnumbered Confederate casualties — and New York lost more men than any other state.”

— Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial (April 15, 2011)