Diary of Orrin Brown—April 29, 1865

William T. Sherman 1860Diary of Orrin Brown, New Bern, North Carolina

Saturday–Apr. 29th

I am very unwell today hardly able to sit up at all. The Dr. came to camp this PM and examined the men to send the worst ones north, he took my name and I suppose we will on a Hospital boat. It was very warm and sultry AM but the wind raised and it clouded up and turned quite cool PM.

Gen. Sherman’s armies began their journey north on this date in 1865, in line with his orders of the 27th.  The men were of course glad to be on their way home, and mostly adapted to marching without the disorder of foraging along the way.  Some in the officer corps, however, got carried away betting among themselves who could reach Richmond first, pushing their men to march faster and farther than than suitable for a warm, humid Southern spring.

As Pvt. Brown’s fellows in the Union Army departed Raleigh, I would pause and acknowledge the work of Wilson Angley (UNC-Chapel Hill), Jerry L. Cross (SUNY-Binghamton), and Michael Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), historians, in their work Sherman’s March through North Carolina: A Chronology (2015), tracking both armies across the state in both time (day-by-day) and by place.



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