Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/33

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23
Diary of Captain Robert Emory Park.

which he speedily sold out to clamoring, eager purchasers. He demands and gets $1.00 a pound for salt, $2.00 per dozen for common sized apples, $5.00 per pound for soda, $1.00 per quart for ground peas, or "goobers," $3.00 a pound for lard, $6.00 a quart for syrup made of Chinese sugar cane, $1.00 for three porous ginger cakes, $1.00 per dozen for small, tough sugar cakes, $1.00 for a pound bale of Confederate coffee, made of rye. Those who use tobacco pay $4.00 a pound for it. This depreciation in our currency is trying to men who get eleven dollars only per month. One dollar formerly brought more than eleven do now.

Nov. 4 and 5. Sent $50.00 home. Brigade Christian Association met. Major R. H. Powell as president, and I as secretary. Several of my company assisted me in building to the end of my tent a chimney of small, unskinned pine poles, which they covered pretty well with mud. They then floored my tent, and I am comfortable, and proud of my quarters. Very few of the men can procure plank for flooring, and their tents are surrounded by ditches to keep out rain and snow, and straw and hay are substituted for plank.

Nov. 6 and 7. Suffered from neuralgia in my face. Late in the day a terrible cannonading towards Kelly's Ford and Rappahannock Station surprised us, and our brigade, under Colonel O'Neal, of 26th Alabama, was marched rapidly to the ford. Though in great pain, I commanded my company, and we were soon in line of battle, and under a heavy shelling. This we had to endure for some time. Two North Carolina companies were captured by the Yankees in their rapid movement. At the station Hay's Louisiana, and Hoke's North Carolina brigade lost heavily in prisoners. The attack seems to have completely surprised our generals. Were in line of battle until 12 o'clock at night, then marched by the right flank across Mountain Run at Stone's Mills. Passed through Stephensburg, and went within two miles of Culpeper C. H., there halted and formed line of battle. Battle's brigade extending from top of a lofty hill towards Brandy Station, and joined by Early's division. We began to throw up breastworks as a protection against shell in case of attack, in two different places, using our tin cups, tin plates and bayonets, in place of spades and picks, of which we had none. How many earthworks have been quickly built in old Virginia by these simple implements! Orders came to stop our work and move to Raccoon Ford, which we reached at 9 o'clock at night, and crossed in great darkness. Colonel Pickens kindly gave me a seat on his horse behind him to cross Mountain Run and Rapidan river, and I was en-