I couldn't let today get started without looking in Philip's diary about what took place on May 26, 1864. One hundred fifty years ago, the 26th fell on a Thursday. He was near Chesterfield, VA that day. His diary entry read:
"Did not get up very early [.] Had our chicken for Breakfast was good [.] Rained very hard this morning. Our Division started this morning for the Peninsula [-] marched about 7 miles to Chesterfield & stayed till night [.] Sheridans whole Cavalry Corps passed us [-] at 8 o'clock we started - the road was clear & we kept steady going all night only rested 3 times [.] The road was good & we traveled fast a South East course a very level country - made 22 1/2 miles [.]"
He also wrote a long letter to Roby that day which I'll type in it's entirety later but a paragraph for this morning--
"We have been on this Campaign now 22 days - it seems 2 months - we have seen the hardest fighting the world ever knew. The men have fought on both sides harder than ever - stand up to it for hours untill the Dead & Dying were piled up that we could not avoid stepping on them - near Laurel Hill where we fought 4 hours the Rebs were at least 5 ft thick. I never saw such sights as in this Campaign - Gen Lee's Army I think now is on the South Anna River - the only place they can stand this side of Richmond. We are now only 28 miles from there. I hope we shall soon see the Inside - we are getting pretty tired and need rest. I dont know when you will get this. I will send it as soon as possible so good bye again. May God bless you my dear wife. A kiss for Baby & you. Love me still.
Yours as Ever
Sergt P R Woodcock"
Bodies, 5 feet thick. Yes, we need to remember Memorial Day, every day we breathe freedom.