On New Year’s Eve, a Thursday, it was sleeting while Spartan Band diarist William H. Hill wrote the last entry in what is apparently his last extant diary.
“It turned very cold suddenly and sleeted for several hours. Our men [those not on picket duty] had scarcely finished making their quarters and they made themselves very comfortable as to shelter but they are needing shoes and clothing very much.
“Out of 300 men in the 13th Regiment, only 32 are reported today as having shoes. The balance have been going barefoot over the frozen ground and a great many were without shoes during the campaign of the last two months. I have seen them marching on the frozen ground with their feet bleeding at every step.
“Orders were issued for the men who are barefooted to make moccasins out of rawhide. The men have tried this and found that they don’t answer the purpose. When they get wet and dry again they are so hard that it is painful to wear them.
“A large number of the men have been without blankets for several months and [a] very few have…one blanket. No one who has not experienced it, can imagine the suffering that this Regiment and the balance of the Army have endured during the last two months for want of shoes, clothing and blankets.”
And then Hill wrote at the bottom of the page in block capital letters: END OF VOLUME TWO.
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