The Journey: Moves, first pay and a swim

On Sept. 10, 1861, with sickness still plaguing them, the 13th broke up its camp at Carter’s Mill on the Oatlands Plantation and moved closer to Leesburg and a new general hospital there.

Three days later, “The Quartermaster commenced paying off the Regiment for the first time since we entered the service,” Hill wrote in his diary. A private’s pay was about $18 $11 a month.

Meanwhile, he added:

“Private Joel Walker of Company G [The Secessionists] swam to an island in the river to meet a Yankee. The Yankee gave him a copy of the Boston Courier. They parted in good terms. There was written on the margin, are you acquainted with Charles Sullivan, a lawyer of Starkville, Mississippi.”

This was probably Harrison’s Island, in the Potomac, opposite Ball’s Bluff. These peaceful exchanges between Confederate and Union troops became commonplace as the war went on, usually a trade of Yankee coffee for Reb tobacco, but this effort by a 13th infantryman may have been one of the first such instances.

On the 16th, a Monday, Hill recorded: “Clear and pleasant. The regiment moved to the head of Wired Street, Leesburg, 1/4 of a mile from the other camp.”

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About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in The Journey, The Secessionists, William H. Hill Diary. Bookmark the permalink.

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