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1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
4 The Imperial Perspective
5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
8 The Federalist Era
9 The Early Republic
10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
11 The Jacksonian Impulse
12 The Dynamics Of Growth
13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
14 Manifest Destiny
15 The Old South
16 The Crisis Of Union
17 The War Of The Union
18 Reconstruction: North And South
19 New Frontiers: South And West
20 Big Business And Organized Labor
21 The Emergence Of Urban America
22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Sources of Freedom. Diary of Michael Reid Hanger (1861)

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In this excerpt from his diary, Confederate soldier Michael Reid Hanger detailed his daily life in the army. Hanger's diary ends abruptly on October 30, 1861. The next pages of his small notebook, which may have continued the diary, have been torn out. We know from other sources that Hanger was wounded several times and was transferred to Company C, 5th Virginia Infantry in an Augusta County unit known as the "Mountain Rifles." He took a leave to marry Naomi Francis McCormick in Lexington on March 12, 1864. When he returned to duty, he and his regiment were soon captured at Spotsylvania Court House in May, 1864. Despite being exchanged in November, Hanger deserted back to the Union forces at Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he took the oath of allegiance and was released. He died in Washington State on May 16, 1918. As you read this account, consider what Hanger emphasized about military life. Do any of the details in this excerpt help you to understand why Confederate soldiers fought in the war even though many of them did not own slaves?

Oct. 1st Tuesday

Fine morning. thought it was very cool last night. The balloon made its appearance again this morning, in the same place. We are still here near Anadale and about 4 miles from Fairfax C.H. It is time we were releived. We can see the blackest kind of smoke rising towards Mason's ... [ unclear : ] tunson's Hills. We are all looking at it now. The Yankees are burning houses, and every thing as they come. They are now about 1 mile from Anandale. It has been very warm all morning. It is clouding up now 12 o'clock) We have nothing to eat here but corn and Potatoes. 5 o'clock. We moved down under the hill, to conceal ourselves. The grass is very high here. We have hard time cooking here

Oct. 2nd Wednesday

Very very foggy this morning. We are all getting breakfast now, Press. Davis [President Jefferson Davis] is at the CH. , and has been for some time. I hope we will be releived today, so we can go back to our camp near C.H. 8 o'clock. it has been raining almost the whole morning Major Grigsby, gave us orders this morning to get dinner, and be ready to move. I think our Releif has come and we are going to camp at last 12 o'clock. not raining but still cloudy There is some talk of us going to Western Virginia . but I suppose it's all a hoax. We have great times here roasting corn. Thought it is getting most too hard. We will start shortly for our Camp.

Oct. 3rd Thursday

Foggy again this morning. We started yesterday about 5 o'clock (eve) and got here about 6 o'clock. We came in a hurry. It has [been] very warm all day. we have fixed up again in our camp.

Oct. 4th Friday

Fine morning. pleasant. John Donald and Jerry Rilley got their discharges to go home. they started this evening Capt Letcher is promoted to Lieut Col in some Regt. Our Co. wants to go with him. we have up a paper to the affect, and all have signed it. The Capt is going to Richmond shortly. We will have to elect a Capt now.

Oct. 5th Saturday

Pleasant day. we have no flour this morning, have to draw corn meal Laird was sent to Greenbrier County to see about some deserters. 8 o'clock we received orders to pack up every thing except what we realy need put them together by the time the wagon comes around. They are going to send them to the Junction. The wagon was packed and sent off to the Station. Wright & Northern were the guard. 5 o'clock The Sergt called to us to fall in, that Capt Letcher was going to tell us goodbye. Which we did, the Capt commenced at the head of the Ranks, and shook hands with all of us. He cried like a child. He is going to Richmond first I believe

Oct. 6th Sunday

We understand that about 30,000 of the enemy crossed the river at the mouth of Aquitink [Accotink] Creek. night before last, They are having a bread oven built at the Station, Mr Waltz is going to bake for our brigade, We had inspection at 9 this morning. Sheltmans gun took the premium. thought it was hard to decide between his and McCouns [McCown's]. It is a little windy to day. The 4th Regt started again on Picquet today There was peaching [preaching] at Headquarter's in a barn this evening.

Oct. 12th Saturday

It commenced to rain last night about 10 o'clock. and rained all night very hard, We all got pretty wet. It was also very windy. The sun came out this morning. though it was very cold It is reported. that tomorrow is the appointed for a great battle here They got a barrel of whiskey today for us soldiers. I suppose they will commence giving it out in the morning.

Oct. 15th Tuesday

we cooked our bread last night, we got up this morning about 3, o'clock. and packed up and got breakfast. We have just packed the wagon. We will start directly. this is a beautiful morning. We came on to the Toll gate. where we camped before and turned off to the right by the spring, we came on the road about 1 mile, from the main road, we releived the 5th Regt" 3 or 4 of the front Companies. went on Picquet, immediatly after we got there, As we wer3 6th Co. we didn't have to go first. We have Capital water here, and a creek running along by our camp. we have made brush huts, Our Mess has finished our hut. ("Cabin home"). We heard considerable firing down about Anandale this morning. McCampbell Hartigan. S.A. Gordan and myself concluded we would go over to the Turnip patch. We got some Turnips &c as as we came back. we stoped at a beautiful spring. there a while, and talked about things generally, Sandy and myself went up to the house near there and tryed to get some brandy. but it wouldn't go. We had a very pleasant time there at the Spring

Oct. 18th Friday

Still cloudy. We have got marching orders again. We marched to the left of the hill about 2 mile. here we were halted. We sat here till about 4 o'clock this evening. We then came to about face. Came back about 1 mile, halted in the woods. Col rode in a field near. and ordered the Capts of each Company to come too. When they came back. they ordered us all to stack arms, take of[f] accoutrements &c we then marched out in the field on the hill, and went to making a breastwork out of rails &c. when we came back we were ordered to go to cooking every thing we had, and then to pack up every thing, and be ready for action at any moment. to sleep in rear of our guns. 6 o'clock P.M. It has cleared off now.

Oct. l9th Saturday

Very foggy this morning. we were not disturbed last night. we have had nothing to do to day. we had a little rain about 2 this evening.

Oct. 20th Sunday

Windy to day. Our Company has orders to go on Picquet today, 10. o'clock. we are now on Picquet, in the Alexandria and Winchester Road Leesburg road &c. We hear heavy firing out to the right of us, The Countersign is = Inkerman, We have the same old signal. Halt any one, throw up the left arm, he whom you halt must then take off his hat or cap. and pass it down below his face. If he fails to do this "Fire". this is the day signal. The night signal is the sentinel strikes his leg 2 or three times with his hand. the person whom he halts. has to cough 2 or 3 times or clear his throat, if he fails to do this. "Fire" at him. We were releived about 11. o'clock today. We came on to Centreville, we got here about 3 o'clock P.M. Joe Neff. Kahle. and H. Smith were here Bill Kahle gave us a treat this evening. Our forces are fortifying here in a hurry.

Oct. 25th Friday

This was a beautiful morning early. but now. 10 o'clock, it looks like snow. Chas. Cizer came back yesterday from Hospital Dr Graham (old man) was at our camp to day

Oct. 26th Saturday

The sun came out beautifully this morning but now (9 o'clock) it is very cloudy. looks very much like rain. Rev. Dr. White. came to this camp to day. The Co. is out on battallion drill now. We have just got orders to strike tents to dry our baggade &c There are several Good Bands near us here, they play beautifully. Nothing new

Oct. 29th Tuesday

We got orders to strike tents today to air the ground, dry cloths &c. Drills as usual nothing new.


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