Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/13

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Diary of Captain Robert Emory Park.

and marched to music to the outer fortifications on York River Railroad, about four miles from the city.

Feb. 8. Went to Richmond and called on some young lady friends, also visited the hall of the House of Representatives, and heard eulogies pronounced over the dead body of Col. J. J. Wilcox, of Texas. At night I saw "Virginia Cavalier" played at Richmond Theatre, R. D'Orsay Ogden, manager. Returned at 1 o'clock A. M. to camp. Theatres are a great means of diversion to soldiers. J. W. Thorpe, our former drum-major, D'Orsay Ogden, J. Wilkes Booth, Harry McCarthy, W. H. Crisp, Theo. Hamilton, John Templeton, and Alice Vane, are the favorite actors. Soldiers are not critics, but are ever ready to be amused.

(Torn out to Feb. 12.) I remained in the city all day, meeting with many officers and men at the hospitals, the Exchange Hotel and Ballard House, and Spotswood Hotel. At night I saw "Lady of the Lake" acted. At its conclusion, while en route to camp, stopped with Capt. Hewlett and Lieut. Tate, of 3rd Ala., at a "shindig," and had an enjoyable time. Kissing games were popular, and some of the dancers were high kickers and not over graceful. Late in the afternoon the brigade moved three miles further to the front to meet an expected expedition of "Beast" Butler, who was located somewhere near Dairy's Bluff on the James. The "Beast" has been outlawed by President Davis, and is generally detested. He should keep, as heretofore, to the rear, and avoid capture.

Feb. 13. Remained all day on outpost, but the enemy did not approach us. Col. W. G. Swanson's 61st Ala. regiment joined our brigade, and the 26th Ala., Col. E. A. O'Neal, was transferred to Mobile. Promoted Brigadier-General and placed in command of Rodes' Brigade. As there were only nine companies in the 61st, the Secretary of War declined to issue a commission as Colonel to Col. Swanson, and he returned to Alabama. I received a neat little note inviting me to call at Col. Thos. Bell Bigger's on Broad street, between 9th and 10th streets, and signed Mollie T——y. Her note was four days reaching me, and when I called she had left for Petersburg.

Feb. 14. St. Valentine's Day. I walked to the city, and had a glorious bath at the Ballard House, and met many friends.

Feb. 15. A light snow covered mother earth's bosom to-day, and kept us from the city. Our trips to the city are greatly enjoyed, and all are allowed to go when they please, and stay as long as they please. Jim Lester exchanged a jug of water for one of whiskey as adroitly as Simon Suggs could have done.