Corporal Nathan Pugh of the Walker Light Infantry, makes the following entry in his diary:
Started on our dreary march through the mountainous wilderness of laurel at daylight this morning. All weak and tottering from hunger. We have marched through this wilderness for thirty-six hours, without discovering any mark or sign to indicate that man had ever trod the soil before; and I have not idea that this region was ever before penetrated by any man living. For nearly two days we have marched without so much as hearing a bird. No game! Nothing in this region for game to live on. The growth consists of laurel, laurel, laurel, with occasional spruce-pine and birch. The boys are eating birch-bark—some are eating spruce-pine bark. As for myself, I cannot bear to look at them as they eat it. I ate it freely yesterday, but to-day I am sick—sick, I suppose, from eating it yesterday. We are marching in profound silence, no man having strength or energy to converse with his companion. Many of the boys are throwing away their guns, &c., not being able to carry them.