Leave camp and travel 3 or 4 miles in a very circuitous route. Cant see that we advance any way. Stop occasionally & always in the broiling hot sun when shade equally convenient. Our commanders are very [in]humane men. Especially the Col. who when he sees a poor fatigued & fainting soldier running to the well, gasping for a drop of water, orders him back in the most severe and harsh language and he makes us step into the middle of a mudhole & fill our shoes with mud when we could step over.
Will not permit us to go into a house or yard to buy something to eat when we are starving, & other regiments have the coveted privilege. Never stop to rest tho fatigued men & sick, are falling by the roadside completely exhausted. I guard is in the rear with instructions to arrest such men & compel them to keep up. Guard the branches and keep us from bathing and washing our clothes even if we had time. In short, guard everything, & do to keep the soldiers from resting & keeping comfortable. Encamp again 2 or 3 miles from Ricmond close to a little grave yard. “Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.” Preparations seem to indicate staying a day or two. A warm day. Sunday! A day of sacred rest, But not here. Having marched this morning as if ten thousand devils were at our heels I fain would rest.
5 P.M. Orders to be ready to go on picket duty. Start at dusk. Go six miles south east. Co A 4 N.C. & Co B 49 Va detailed for the night. Go 1 ½ miles further & post pickets.
Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War inNorthCarolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson,NorthCarolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). AE Fraley diary, typescript in the Fraley Collection, Rowan County Public Library.