On Sunday, Aug. 17, 1862, the brigade left Camp Holly at 10 a.m. and marched south 15 miles to the James River “to ascertain what the enemy was doing,” Minutemen of Attala Private Mike Hubbert wrote in his diary.
“The Minute Men were selected as usual to go in front as skirmishers. We scoured the country but found nothing but the old Yankee camp which has been lately deserted. Night overtook us and we camped a mile in advance of the regiment.”
With some cavalrymen who were assisting the skirmishers “The boys had quite a lively time running horse races,” Hubbert wrote.
The brigade, meanwhile, had camped at Caster’s Mills. They left the next morning, caught up with the Minutemen and marched east on dusty roads to Berkeley Plantation (photo) near Harrison’s Landing.
“…found nothing,” Hubbert wrote in his diary, “but two Yankees who told us that the enemy had all gone. We camped near the James River.”
Next morning, they started early to return to Camp Holly “and after a weary and dusty march we got back…at 4 p.m.,” Quartermaster clerk William H. Hill of the Spartan Band recorded. “There was no further use for us here. We are ordered to be ready to break camp and march at sunrise in the morning with one days cooked rations.”