Tobias Seamon


Private James Doane of the 307th New York broke camp in July, 1862, leaving the outer defense works of the District of Columbia for Confederate Virginia. He wrote to his father:

"We crossed the Chain Bridge this morning, and the sensation of departing for an unknown world seemed to infect the men. Our minds felt the heat more than our bodies, and the air of Virginia seemed close and terrifying. The road is strewn with discarded clothes, blankets, and haversacks. No rebels sighted anywhere."

"We are green, and jumpy. Eyes widen and jaws clench of what we think is the sound of guns down Manassas way. The officers curse us for idiots, ask if we were born yesterday and tell us it's distant thunder. One fellow, a weasely man, a shirker, and some say a thief from back in Utica, claims the officers always tell the men this, that the rebels are massed just out of sight, that Bobby Lee and Stonewall are no fools and that they are waiting for us. The men hiss the thief down, but we cannot help but believe him too. The songs have stopped, the heat weighs on our shoulders, and we hold pebbles under our tongues to fight the thirst. The only thing to do is keep up with the company, good boys most all of them. Whether we march, our mouths full of stone, into cannon or storm cloud, only God can tell. Either way, I am already approaching the eye of my enemy."

Location: Albany, New York
Publications: 42opus, M.A.G., CutBank, The Blue Moon Review, The Mississippi Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Snow Monkey, etc.
Editor of: Whalelane
Other: Contributing writer for the online broadsheet The Morning News

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