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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

April 25, 1863

Army of the Potomac on the Move

The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that the Army of the Potomac was finally on the move.

A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife told her of seeing some of those movements.

On picket post on the bank of the river. The river is about two hundred yards wide here. Opposite me is a gorge or gully which comes down to the river through the bluff where runs a small stream. In and about this gorge the enemy keep their reserve picket. They are lying about on the gravely bank looking like blue streaks or spots of indigo. Now an officer passes down the road. I could hail him but have no cause to do so. The sentinel over there comes to a shoulder arms and the officer salutes him. It is military etiquette. Now a sentinel goes with glistening gun to relieve another who is on post. On my left high above me is a powerful battery. Just in that direction now comes a long line of cavalry. They are at the bluff right between me and the sky. I hear their hello but do not reply. They make a sweep around the bluff in slow gait looking quite imposing. Their horses look no better than ours. Now faster than I can write, a company of infantry have come out of the gorge and formed distinctly opposite me. I do not know what they intend doing. I suppose it is a relief picket. On the battery a few minutes ago I saw thirty or forty men standing as if watching us. Now two field officers on their horses gallop up the opposite bank. They have got their glasses and stare looking at us. There are five of them. They have scattered about and are pointing this way. I see their shining bridle bits and sword hilts. Now the bugle sounds its signal tones. I suppose it is a water call for the cavalry. We are instructed to watch and see if they mount any guns on their batteries. It is reported that they are crossing at Port Royal about 25 miles below here and it is thought they may attempt it here. I think we shall be the last of the division that will leave here, as a picket is obliged to be kept up here. Source: Milo Grow’s Letters from the Civil War