The Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade’s division commander, Gen. Lafayette McLaws, had been denied a furlough back in February.
But he apparently received one sometime in March. On April 2, 1863, he wrote his wife, Emily, at home in Georgia, that his visit had been entirely too brief.
“I felt so confident and happy when with you all that it somehow seems to me a dream and I ask myself, is it really so that I have been home?”
A few days later, in another letter, he was still ruminating about his furlough.
“The contrast between the weather here and at home is very remarkable. Here there is no vegetation excepting here and there a few patches of green grass in sheltered positions, while at the south, you know, the grasses are green everywhere and the trees are fast getting their summer clothing….A large portion of this country remains still unplanted…”
He had returned to find that his division headquarters transportation had been cut to just two four-horse wagons. One would have to carry all “our cooking utensils, mess shirts, clothing &ec….as the other wagon will have to be used as a forage wagon.
“I do not know that there is any particular movement is [sic] on foot, but the order is to arrange all things for a movement should circumstances require that one should be made.”