December 27, 1863

Picket  Reserve.  This morning made preparation for inspection, but just before I got fully ready it commenced to rain, and then I was among the detailed to perform picket duty.  So inspection or my visiting Lieut. W. W. Morrell at Rappahannock Station was up.  There were 150 of our reg’t sent out this morning.  We had a wet, muddy time walking in the rain.  We halted in a piece of woods near a brick house on our right.  After resting several minutes we put[!] along.  Passed Mr. Rixie’s or Rixey’s house on the left, and in the woods beyond a brick church where we saw our Cavalry on our retreat from Culpepper Oct. 11.  Here one of the Zouaves was waiting to escort us to the picket-line, as our right was to relieve the Sharp Shooters on the left of the Zouaves.  Passed the house, in front of which we halted just before drawing up in line of battle ‘in the open field.’  About half past one reached our first post, having been three hours on the road and travelled 6 good long hard rough miles.  Serg. Hobbs, acting Lieut. and my self fortunate enough to get on the reserve, immediately in the rear of the second post on the right.  Lieuts. Green & Graffam had to go farther along.  Our line extends in a crooked zigzag direction between the “pike” called “Mud pike,” leading to El Dorado, and the Sperryville pike leading from Culpepper past our old camp at Culpepper, full three miles, according to all accounts.  On this line we have 18 posts, so that our boys on the left have a long distance beyond the reserve to go.  Found good fires and plenty of wood.  They were needed to dry our wet clothes.  We shortly made quarters to keep us from the rain somewhat.  There were 23 of us in all in the reserve.  It rained all day.  A wet time for out-door work.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir] 

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