June 14

June 14, 1864

Tuesday. On detail at the fort. General Sickles reviewed the troops in this department to-day, from which we judge another move will soon be made. General Sickles lost a leg at Gettysburg but he rides just as well as if he had both. An orderly carried his crutches for him, and a pocket built on the saddle, in which to rest the stump, answered the purpose of a stirrup.

June Fourteenth

A flash from the edge of a hostile trench,
A puff of smoke, a roar
Whose echo shall roll from the Kenesaw Hills
To the farthermost Christian shore,
Proclaims to the world that the warrior priest
Will battle for right no more.
Henry Lynden Flash

 

Gen. Leonidas Polk, the Warrior Bishop, killed at Kenesaw Mountain, 1864

 

 

Very cool and comfortable for this season; marched about six miles this morning and went into camp; have remained here all day and possibly shall tonight; hope to at any rate for I am very tired and need rest; was ordered back to take command of Company D this morning; am not much sorry for the change for it's my Company. We are only a short distance from the James river; can hear the steamboats whistle plainly. It does seem so  good not to hear musketry and picket firing, but from force of habit I hear both in my sleep nights. Our army excepting the First and Third Divisions of our Corps crossed the river here to-day on a pontoon bridge. It took one hundred pontoons to construct the bridge which is held in place by large vessels at anchor above and below the bridge, especially during the ebb and flow of the tide which is about four feet. For the last ten miles before reaching here we passed through a fine country and community with fine old plantations and houses surrounded with lovely flowers and beautifully embowered.

June 14, 1863

Sunday. The noisiest kind of a sermon is being preached here to-day. It has been a busy day. We served rations at 3 o'clock this morning and have orders to be ready for a change in position at any minute. That has kept us picked up and waiting, but up to this time, 9 a. m., have had no other orders. The 128th and the Twenty-sixth Connecticut went off in the direction of Springfield Landing. The firing seems to be all along the line. The Rebs must have more guns than we thought, for they are talking back at a great rate.

11 a. m. Walter Orr has just come in with a thumb shot off. He says they went but a little way towards the landing before they came to a road leading to the left, and they went into action as skirmishers about a mile from here, through bushes and over rough ground. The rebel skirmish line lay hid in the bushes until our line was almost on them, and then rose up and fired right in their faces. Walt is the only one hurt on our side, so far as he knows.

June 14

June 14, 1858.--Sadness and anxiety seem to be increasing upon me. Like cattle in a burning stable, I cling to what consumes me, to the solitary life which does me so much harm. I let myself be devoured by inward suffering....

Yesterday, however, I struggled against this fatal tendency. I went out into the country, and the children's caresses restored to me something of serenity and calm. After we had dined out of doors all three sang some songs and school hymns, which were delightful to listen to. The spring fairy had been scattering flowers over the fields with lavish hands; it was a little glimpse of paradise. It is true, indeed, that the serpent too was not far off. Yesterday there was a robbery close by the house, and death had visited another neighbor. Sin and death lurk around every Eden, and sometimes within it. Hence the tragic beauty, the melancholy poetry of human destiny. Flowers, shade, a fine view, a sunset sky, joy, grace, feeling, abundance and serenity, tenderness and song--here you have the element of beauty: the dangers of the present and the treacheries of the future, here is the element of pathos. The fashion of this world passeth away. Unless we have laid hold upon eternity, unless we take the religious view of life, these bright, fleeting days can only be a subject for terror. Happiness should be a prayer--and grief also. Faith in the moral order, in the protecting fatherhood of God, appeared to me in all its serious sweetness.

"Pense, aime, agis et souffre en Dieu C'est la grande science."