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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

April 26, 1863

Standing Picket on Cold Night

A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife from Virginia told her of standing picket on a cold, clear night, as the Union army prepared to move.

“…Stood picket last night between nine and eleven o’clock and between two and four. The wind blew cold and chilly. I wore my [coat] and blanket and then could not keep warm. During the last part the stars were revelling in their glory. The nights here are not by far so brilliant as in climes further South, though last night the stars stood forth in bright array. They seemed like golden jewelry set upon a vestment of deep purpose. Lyra rode green while Venus coyly played hide and seek over the western horizon. The Dolphin and the Eagle were there. The Bull shone conspicuously, as well as Scorpio, the tail of which is hardly visible in this latitude. The enemy drums beat long and in every direction this morning. Their beat sounds familiar to me and awakens old memories. It reminds me of the time when a boy I went to the muster and, animated by the music I walked proudly and felt myself capable of heroic deeds” Source: Milo Grow’s Letters from the Civil War