Voice from the Past: "The Cheer of the Glad New Year"

Posted: 1/5/2012
Author: Laura June Davis
Confederate Troops Trying to Destroy Dam No. 5 - George Michael Neese was stationed there when he wrote this entry

Good Morning! Today's Voice from the Past comes from George Michael Neese. 

New Year's Day, and orders to go to Dam No. 5, with Ashby's cavalry. This was a bright sunny day, but a cold west wind made it disagreeable marching. This evening we are camped in a field near Dam No. 5, with cold beef, bread, and plenty of good water, and an old barn full of soft downy hay to sleep in to-night, all of which brightens the cheer of the glad New Year.

This is a beautiful bright night. The moon hangs in a clear sky, and it is nearly as light as day. A few tiny fragments of dissolving clouds, that look like little bunches of snowy lace, are scudding across the azure dome chasing each other toward the gates of morning. Now as I am ready for my soldier bed, the wintry wind is howling fiercely around the old barn, the pickets are firing along the river not far away, a memorable hymn for the natal day of 1862.

Source: George Michael Neese, "Diary of George, Michael Neese, January, 1862," in Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery (New York: Neale Publishing Company, 1911).

Image Credit: Library of Congress.


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