Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Long March

While reading Little To Eat And Thin Mud To Drink: Letters, Diaries, and Memoirs from the Red River Campaigns, 1863-1864 (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2007) edited by Gary D. Joiner, I noticed yet another example of hard marching by a unit in the trans-Mississippi.

Private Julius Knapp served in the 116th New York Volunteer Infantry of the 19th Army Corps, and he noted that on 22 April 1864, his unit started retreating from near Grand Ecore, Louisiana, at approximately midnight. Knapp wrote that the men kept marching without a break until noon when there was a “dinner” break of one hour. Afterwards, the march resumed and continued until the men arrived near the lower crossing of the Cane River at 11:00 pm. According to Private Knapp this made “’a march of forty five miles with out a hours Sleep and only time enough given us to cook our dinner the longest march in one day ever done by the 19th Army Corps’” (p. 109). The next day the regiment saw action during the battle of Monett’s Ferry.

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