Eyewitness to War in Virginia, 1861-1865: The Civil War Diary of John William Peyton

Walbrook D. Swank

  • Eyewitness to War in Virginia, 1861-1865: The Civil War Diary of John William Peyton

John Billy Peyton’s daily diary paints a vivid picture of life on the home front in Rapidan, Virginia, during the War Between the States. As the postmaster he had a close relationship with the railroads, which provided him with access to the news and military actions of the opposing forces. The operations of the railroad and the bridge over the Rapidan River were essential to the movement of troops, arms, supplies, and equipment. Peyton bought and sold quantities of sugar, apples, and tobacco. His home was used by many guests from all walks of life. From wounded soldiers and generals to doctors, lawyers, trainmen, and travelers, he was the center of local affairs in the midst of the killing fields of battle.

Peyton, physically unable to join the army, remained in Rapidan, which was a strategic location and community on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the Rapidan River. Within the triangle of Manassas, Orange Court House, and Fredericksburg, the Raccoon and Somerville fords would be used time and again by elements of the Union and Confederate armies. Early November 1863 was the last time Robert E. Lee would move up to or across the Rapidan River. When the armies moved away from Spotsylvania on May 21, 1864, they left behind the bloodiest ground in North American history.

Book
Author Walbrook D. Swank
Pages 224
Images 15
Maps 6
Bibliography Yes
Index No

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  • $19.95

Tags: 9781572493346, Walbrook D. Swank