Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 24, 1865

Gen. Robert E. Lee, February 1865Diary of Orrin Brown, Rocky Mount, on the Catawba/Wateree River, near present-day Great Falls, South Carolina

Friday–Feb. 24th

We broke up camp at 10.30 AM marchd about 1/2 mile and crossed the Watterree River, it is about 30 rods wide and shallow and a very swift current after crossing the river we had to climb some very steep hill and the road was dreadfull muddy we marched about 3 miles and went into camp about 2 PM. It rained all night and has been showery all day and the road is so muddy that it is almost imposible to move the supply train. We drew 1/2 days rations of Hardtack and Coffee this morning. I read 2 Chapters in the Testament.

Gen. Robert E. Lee sent a letter on this date in 1865 to Governor Zebulon Vance of North Carolina.  By this time, it was obvious that Sherman was turning north towards Lee in Virginia, and the fields and farms of North Carolina lay in his path.  Apparently, this was leading to “despondency” and desertions as Carolina troops sped home to try to protect home and hearth.  Asking the governor to induce “prominent citizens” to “explain to the people that the cause is not hopeless”, Lee writes in part:

I think our sorely-tried people would be induced to make one more effort to bear their sufferings a little longer, and regain some of the spirit that marked the first two years of the war.

Charles Frazier used this context in his novel Cold Mountain, which was adapted as an Oscar-winning film in 2003.  Apparently, it will also be adapted by the Santa Fe Opera for their 2015 season.

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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 24, 1865

  1. Pingback: Diary of Orrin Brown—March 15, 1865 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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