The third year of the war opened with rather bright prospects for our people. Certainly the general feeling was hopeful and comparatively cheerful. It was however very difficult to procure necessary articles of subsistence in this community, and families who had previously lived well, were reduced to bread and water.
The casualties in the Fifty-second Virginia regiment were reported April 28, 1863, as follows: Killed in battle or died from wounds, 54; died of disease, 68; died from causes not known, 15. This statement does not include the men permanently disabled by wounds and sickness.
The first rumor of the battles of Chancellorsville came by telegraph on May 1st. On the 4th, it was reported that our army was occupying the camp of the enemy, that we had taken ten thousand prisoners, and that General Jackson was wounded. Charles Calhoon was mortally wounded, and Joseph N. Ryan lost a leg. Ninety-five Federal prisoners taken in Hardy were brought in on the 2d, and forty-seven more from the northwest on the 8th.
But we continue the extracts from the diary:
Monday, May 4.—A telegraphic rumor this morning that Jackson had defeated the enemy at Port Royal, capturing 5,000 of them. * * After night the railroad train brought the report that the Yankee army had been driven seven miles beyond the Rappahannock, that our army was occupying the camp of the enemy, that we had taken 10,000 prisoners, and that General Jackson was wounded, one person said severely, others said slightly.
Tuesday, May 5.—While we were enjoying the good news received last night, a dispatch came this morning stating that 12,000 Yankees, cavalry and artillery, under General Stoneham [Stoneman], were in Louisa county on their way to the James river canal. It is said that this division, as they came on last week, took our cavalry entirely by surprise, capturing 2,000 of them, and scattering the remainder; that Fitzhugh Lee with 500 men followed them, and fought them while they were breaking up the railroad, but having such superiority of numbers they were able to brush Lee off and go on with their work. * * General R. E. Lee states in his official dispatch that he gained
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2017 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..