On Pony Mountain

Starting on  July 25, 1863, the 13th Regiment spent the first of five days bivouacked on the slopes of Pony Mountain, about two miles south of Culpeper Courthouse.

It was a time of rest and preaching by the brigade’s chaplains and soldier joinings of the churches, similar to the revivals back in the spring when they were in Fredericksburg.

“Have listened to two sermons to-day,” wrote Private Robert A. Moore of the 17th Regiment. “Our brigade is highly favored with chaplains, having one for each regiment.”

The 13th’s chaplain was Thomas Sterling West who had begun the war as a private (later first sergeant) in the Wayne Rifles.

Spartan Band diarist William H. Hill, a man of increasingly few words since the army’s defeat at Gettysburg, recorded little more about the camp on Pony Mountain than that the weather was clear and warm with only a few showers.

Moore wrote in his diary on Sunday, the 26th, that he was “elected Brev.[et] 2nd Lieut. in our Co. this evening.” The company was the Confederate Guards of Marshall County, MS. H. Grady Howell Jr.’s muster for the brigade lists Moore as a third lieutenant.

By Wednesday, the 29th, Moore reported that the “whole army” was now camped near Culpeper Courthouse and was “improving very fast indeed & will soon be in fine condition again. Is being well supplied with shoes & clothing.”

Hill recorded on Wednesday, the 29th, that the Brigade’s Masons Lodge “met this evening in a private house near camp. It is the first meeting we have made since leaving Fredericksburg.”

The 13th Regiment, meanwhile, was dispatched the next day to nearby Stevensburg for picket duty. And when the enemy was reported moving on Kelly’s Ford on the Rappahannock “in large force,” Hill wrote, preparations were made to move the brigade south to the Rapidan River.

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About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in H. Grady Howell Jr., The Spartan Band, William H. Hill Diary and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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