Diary entry by Matthew Marvin, Corporal in the 1st Minnesota Regiment, written from the battlefield at Fredericksburg, Virginia. A day earlier, Marvin had “Leayed in the streets of the town all day” during the first urban combat of the Civil War. On Saturday the 13th, as General Burnside’s Union forces are repeatedly repulsed by the Confederates, led by General Lee, Marvin writes:
Field of Battle 4 Pm
At dark went on picket[;] was releaved at 8 o clock[.] fite comenced at about 10 o clock and at 3 two Bateries silencd[.] Fite lik demons[.] Weather pleasant[.]
As the week progresses Marvin sees a lull in the fighting, then writes that he “was on picket all day[.] The roughest Picket I ever had[.] Scared as hell all day”. By the 17th he returns to camp at Stafford Hills near Falmouth, Virginia, and picks up the task of building winter quarters, just as he had done the previous week.
Citation: December 6-11, 1862 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary notes and memos. Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 1]