It’s the third and final day of MudMarchness! By now, your party guests should be casting furtive glances at the locked front door and whispering, “is this a hostage situation?” Congrats! Mutiny is a key ingredient of any MudMarchness bash, just as it was back in 1863 ... For on this day in 1863, it continued dumping buckets. To make matters worse, the Rebels, rather than being surprised by the Union, lined up on the opposite bank and engaged in Monty Python French Guy-level taunting: “We’ll build you bridges, and escort you over!” Things got UGLY. Officers were “mad enough to curse and kill all mankind,” one veteran reported. The food wagons were stuck in the rear; one Maine officer reported that he & 2 buddies lived on 6 crackers in 48 hours. “Everybody was in the dumps,” said the head provost.
Quite frankly, it was time to get sloshed on empty stomachs. One soldier said “two-thirds of the prominent officers were drunk.” Was Joe Hooker one of them? ABSOLUTELY. He volunteered to take over for Burnside -- at which point I would have said, “Joe, we’re taking a Lyft.”
Troops complained about “the war, the Generals, the Government, and everything,” said a Pennsylvanian. But in the darkness, there was light: Burnside called off the campaign. There would not be another battle -- one the Union army had no hope of winning in its state …
The next day, the rain let up. I’m told Virginia is like that: dry winter weather for 3 weeks before the Mud March, then rain like Hell for 3 days, and suddenly it stopped. If only Burnside had the Weather Channel — but would he have remembered to pay his cable bill? #MudMarchness #CivilWar #USHistory #MontyPython #whisky #WeatherChannel #rain #mud #march