Diary of Orrin Brown—April 9, 1865

Appomattox Centennial 1965 issue-5cDiary of Orrin Brown, New Bern, North Carolina

Sunday–Apr. 9th

We reced. orders last night to be ready to march at an early hour monday morning. There was a quite a display of fireworks last night in the line of skyrockets, fire balls, and firing of musketry with an occasional shot from the Artilery, as a salute for the fall of the rebbel capital and other good nuse that is coming in every day. And then to cap the whole the 1st and 2nd Brigades fought a sham battle without arms. Chargeing each other backward and forward for over three hours, when our Brig. the 1st drove the 2nd and captured their colors and claimed a victory and all went to their quarters.

The Dr. came in to see me this morning and told me he would have to send me to the Hospital. It is reported that Gen. Sherman ordered all men to be sent back that could not stand a march of 900 miles, and about 8 AM the Ambulance called for me and our 2nd Sargent and a man by the name of Palmeter, took us to the Hospital where we were examined and about noon we were put aboard the cars to go the Newberne, N. C. We had to ride in open cars and some men so sick that they could not sit up. We arrived at Kingston about 2 PM lay there about an hour waiting for another train, them moved on arriving at Newberne about 6 PM a distance of 56 miles but we were not taken to the Hospital till about 8 PM and they were crowded so with sick and wounded they could not give us beds; so we spread our blankets on the floor and went to bed then they came around and gave each one a slice of Softbread which was all the supper we had. It was quite cool in the morning and evening but warm through the middle of the day. Kingston and Newberne are like all other southern Cities about 50 years behind the times in stile of Architecture.

Appomattox Court House

As dawn rose on 9 April 1865, all that lay between Gen. Robert E. Lee and his supply depot at Lynchburg, Virginia, were a few Union cavalry encamped at Appomattox Station.  The Confederate council of war had decided to fight their way through.  At first light, Southern Maj. Gen. John Gordon attacked, quickly breaking thru the first Federal lines… only to discover the entire Union XXIV Corps, who had marched through the night with the V Corps close behind.  At the same time, the Union II Corps were moving to the northeast against Gen. Longstreet.

By 8:00 am, Lee resolved to meet Gen. Grant.  After some correspondence, they agreed to parlay at the home of Wilmer McLean in the settlement of Appomattox Court House.  As instructed by President Lincoln, Grant’s terms were generous, and the surrender was completed about 4:00 pm.

It was a coincidence that Pvt. Orrin Brown’s departure from Sherman’s Army of Georgia was the same day as Gen. Robert E. Lee’s departure from his Army of Northern Virginia.  The occasion was precipitated by Gen. Sherman’s preparations to move north to join Grant, now changed to move directly west in pursuit of the remaining Confederate forces under Gen. Johnston in North Carolina.



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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—April 9, 1865

  1. Pingback: Diary of Orrin Brown—April 11, 1865 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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