Just as he had feared, Newt Nash had to pull down his excellent rock stove the day after he wrote to Mollie about it. That Monday, Dec. 2, the regiment broke camp and left Carter’s Mill on the Oatlands Plantation. They moved to within half a mile of Leesburg.
Their new “Camp Forrest” was at the base of the small (670-feet) Hogback Mountain, southwest of town, where they began building winter quarters. They were mostly tents, though some would soon be transformed into log huts.
From Hill’s diary Dec. 3: “Cloudy and sleeting. Our men are putting chimneys to their tents.”
Wednesday was clear and cold. But on Thursday, Hill recorded, it warmed up a little. And Brig. Gen. Shanks Evans’s replacement, Brig. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill arrived in Leesburg.
Evans was going home to South Carolina to command troops against the start of a Union invasion. According to his biographer, Jason Silverman, Evans wanted to take some of the Mississippi troops with him, but that was denied.