A Guide to Civil War Materials
in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Duke University


George N. Wise Papers
Section A



[ Larger version of this item ]


[ Larger version of this item ]

Wise, a native of Alexandria, Va. enlisted in Company H (“Old Dominion Rifles”) 17th Virginia Infantry on April 17, 1861. He served as a corporal and later as a sergeant. Following is how he describes the Battle of Fredericksburg in his diary.

Saturday 13th Dec. Very foggy until noon and few shots up to this time, but since the fog has cleaned away the guns have opened on right and left and a heavy battle is in progress…[I] see the enemy in lines from four or five deep advancing upon us men in a strip of woods they draw near and fire a volley the smoke clears up then a blue curl of smoke rises from the woods…like chaff before the wind they flee. The artillery opens and the air is filled with smoke, shell, and shot horses without riders come galloping out of the cloud men limping and running hatless and most of them gunless fall back a new line comes in and like the first it melts before the galling fire of Hood’s Texans.


Guide to Civil War Materials
http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/pathfinders/civil-war/
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library - Duke University
Compiled November 2001 by Janie Morris
See our contact information page if you have any questions.