A Confederate A Federal

William Wallace van Amber
Civil War Diaries & Letters


Diary Entries November 17, 1863

Diary entry Dated 11/17/63

Tues. Nov. 17, 1863

Went down to the creek and washed 2 shirts socks & drawers. Washed all over. The paymaster is here, received pay today.

Wed. Nov. 18, 1863

Here yet in camp. Bought 80 cts worth of tobacco. Sent a letter to Ett with 10 dollars in it.

Thu. Nov. 19,1863

On picket today about one mile from camp. It is a very pleasant night. The weather is dry and fine. I got a letter from Ett with some thread needles & pins and one from Vina.

Fri. Nov. 20, 1863

A fine morning out here on the picket line. Feel well this morning. Was relieved about 11 o.c.

Sat. Nov. 21, 1863

It rains this morning like fun. About 12 o.c. this day we was ordered to fall in with our guns double quick. Was got in line but no further.

Sun. Nov. 22, 1863

On picket again today. A fine day for picket.

Mon. Nov. 23, 1863

We the picket was recalled to come in at 6 o.c. Got into camp about daylight and started on the march about 8. Marched down near the Rappahannock and camped near the railroad.

Tues. Nov. 24, 1863

Reveille was sounded at 5 o.c. and we was ordered to get our breakfast and pack up everything, ready to march. A little after daylight we was ordered to fall in. We got into line and was ordered back, told to pitch tents, lay still for the day.

Wed. Nov. 25,1863

Lay here in camp today. No drill, nothing but dress parade,

Thu. Nov. 26, 1863

This is Thanksgiving. We was called up this morning at 4 o.c. Ordered to get our breakfast and pack up for a march. Snowed before sunrise and crossed the Rappahannock and marched down between the 2 and crossed the Rapidan at Ellis Ford,

Fri. Nov. 27, 1863

Started this morning before daylight. Passed Chancellorsville, halted at sundown for an hour, then marched till 10 o. c. Laid down till 5 in the morning.

Sat. Nov. 28, 1863

Got up and marched about 2 miles and formed line of battle. Here we lay at 3 o.c. on the field within 1/2 mile of the enemy, right in sight of their line of battle. We sent a few shells at them, they sent a few back. It rains.

Sun. Nov. 29, 1863

It is cloudy this morning. I was on guard at the Col tent last night. Laid still all day. Threw a few shells but not much reply, the rebs are quiet. We are changing positions and trying to get in position.

Mon. Nov. 30, 1863

A fine day. Not much fighting today. Changing positions and preparing. Threw a few shells but got little reply. The 2 corps fought them a little.

Tues. Dec. 1, 1863

This is a very pleasant morning. We are moved back on the same ground that we did Sunday. Laid there till most night. Started out and marched back to the Rappahannock, Got there about 12 o.c. Then went on picket.

Wed. Dec. 2,1863

We was in front of the enemy about 2 miles from the ash grove on the Frederick Pike. A fine morning , called in from picket at 8 o.c. Crossed the river and rested. Drawn up in a line again on the banks of the river, laid there a little while and started again. Marched to the Rappahannock and forded it at Kelleys Ford.

Thu. Dec. 3, 1863

Pitched tents last night for the first time in over a week. This morning packed up again. Forded the river again, went into a piece of woods and pitched tents again. We have had only 20 hard tacks and a little beef for 5 days last night.

Fri. Dec. 4, 1863

It was today that we forded the river and moved into the woods. I have not had time to write any before for 4 days till now and we are packed up and ready to fall in now.

Sat. Dec. 5, 1863

I got a letter from Ett last night with their likenesses. We was taken across the river yesterday and taken into a piece of woods this morning. We was made to clean the streets and at noon told to clean out our tents and pack up and in 10 minutes after left

Sun. Dec. 6, 1863

This is a fine day. We are here in the woods near College Ford. Some of our folks are putting up winter quarters. I fixed up our tent some last night. It is very cold here. It was so cold that three or 4 of our men froze to death when we were in the front.