Diary of Orrin Brown—May 1, 1865

Funeral Car at Columbus, OhioDiary of Orrin Brown, off Hampton Roads, Virginia

Monday–May 1st

When I got up this morning I found myself in sight of Ft. Clark on Hattarass Inlett. The boat just haulted long enough for the Pilot to land and then we pulled out onto the broad Atlantic,there was quite a thunderstorm came up about 8 AM but it did not last but a short time and then faired off again. We passed Cape Hatterass about 8 AM and kept within from one to two miles of the coast all day. The sea was quite boistrous just after the storm for an hour or two and toward night the wind raised again which made it a little rough till we stoped in the Hamton roades on the west of Ft. Monroe about 11 PM they cast anchor for the night. I read 4 Chapts. today.

Hampton Roads is one of the world’s largest natural harbors, at the mouth of the James River on the Tidewater of Chesapeake Bay.  “Hampton” refers to the Earl of Southampton. “Roads” refers not to a highway or crossroads, but to the term “roadstead” indicating the safety of  port.  Who knew?

Meanwhile, Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train continued its long journey home.  On 29 April, 50,000 people viewed the president at Columbus, Ohio, followed by 100,000 mourners at Indianapolis the next day.  On the first of May, 1865, the train reached Chicago.

Thank you for following along with Pvt. Orrin O. Brown as he marched through Georgia and the Carolinas with Gen. William T. Sherman.  His war is over and recovery begun, now parted ways with the good general and the rest of the 14th Michigan volunteers, who were on the march again, this time to Richmond, Washington, DC, and then home.  We shall, however, follow my ancestor’s journey a few days more.



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