February 29

Am feeling better this morning; weather gloomy; chilly south wind; considerable cannonading to-day towards Madison Court House; reported General Kilpatrick has captured a portion of Lee's picket line and penetrated to Orange Court House; pickets ordered to be vigilant, etc.

February 29, 1864

Monday. The last day of winter. The wind kept dead ahead and blew strong. The waves were higher than any I ever before saw. I got acquainted with a Captain Reynolds, and was surprised to find him a brother to Captain Reuben Reynolds of our regiment. He was much surprised to find I knew his brother and to hear so direct about him. He is so much like his brother I seem to have known him a long time. The performance below has begun again. The officers have but little influence over them. One of them, a captain at that, went down to quiet them and was hit with something and his eyebrow cut open. There is so little light below, it is dangerous going about among the devils down there. Some have money and the others steal it like highwaymen. A man who looked and acted like a crazy man came in the cabin and declared he was afraid for his life. As the day wore on the deviltry grew worse. Captain Gray told the officers in command that unless they could control them he would stop at the nearest port and land them. He is afraid of fire, as they smoke and have open lights all the time. Several of them are known to have revolvers, and to have fired them. The officers I think are afraid of them and I don't know that I wonder. There are six or eight ringleaders, and the peaceably inclined have to submit to anything they say. At least a dozen complaints were made to-day and all were against a few, of whom they are in terror.

February Twenty-Ninth

THE LAND WHERE WE WERE DREAMING

Fair were our nation's visions, and as grand
As ever floated out of fancy-land;
Children were we in simple faith,
But god-like children, whom nor death,
Nor threat of danger drove from honor's path—
In the land where we were dreaming!
········
A figure came among us as we slept—
At first he knelt, then slowly rose and wept;
Then gathering up a thousand spears,
He swept across the fields of Mars,
Then bowed farewell, and walked behind the stars,
From the land where we were dreaming!
········
As wakes the soldier when the alarum calls—
As wakes the mother when her infant falls—
As starts the traveler when around
His sleepy couch the fire-bells sound—
So woke our nation with a single bound—
In the land where we were dreaming!
Daniel Bedinger Lucas