Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saturday, October 31, 1863

Cloudy.  Mrs. W. D. Bailey called.  William, Lizzie & Kate came home from Cincinnati.  Lucy also from town & George Cutter to spend the sabbath.
Quite a variety of purchases from the city.  Cloak, 2 dresses &c for Lucy, shawl for Mrs. Dawes, Broche shawl (40 dollars) for me--also silver sugar basket.  Lizzie bonnet, Kate [unreadable]

Peggy’s notes:
Rufus Dawesm, Julia's nephew, was in Virginia near Thoroughfare Gap and writes to his fiancé, Mary Gates:

You can hardly know how comfortable and homelike it seems to-night to get up my wall tent.  Since the eighth of this month, I have had nothing over me except the slab cover of the pig-pen at Centreville.  To-night the regiment is in camp.  It is said that a council of war was held at Gainesville yesterday, and as a result we came here.  Just at supper time last night we got our marching orders, and it was midnight before we had accomplished our journey of five miles.  It was a night of Egyptian darkness.  The column of troops would hitch up two rods and stop fifteen minutes, and then hitch up a rod and a half and stop half an hour.  It is always so, marching after artillery over a stony road and rough hills.  I often fall asleep on my horse, but whenever the troops ahead start, she starts, and she is in no more danger of losing our regiment than a hound is of losing a fox. We have a magnificent place here.  We are encamped among the Bull Run Mountains, west of Thoroughfare Gap.  I climbed this morning to the top of the highest peak and enjoyed the scenery.  You will be astonished at our dinner to-day.  Roast turkey!  Honey!  Graham biscuit!  It is an epoch, such a dinner in this day of hard tack plain, hard tack fried, hard tack soaked, hard tack crumbled and stewed, or hard tack otherwise compounded with salt pork as the sole staff of life. . . . 

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