A Beautiful Glittering Lie
One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

What does 'bivouac' mean?

Find out what bivouac means. Bivouac is explained by J D R Hawkins - author of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

bivouac

(pronounced BIH-voo-ack) A temporary encampment for soldiers that provided very little shelter other than what could be assembled quickly with branches and canvas.

The word "bivouac" is referenced in my book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, as follows:

(Page 73)
The men marched about two miles north of the junction before being allowed to bivouac near what they learned was referred to as Ball’s Ford. They rested in their temporary camp for a few hours prior to assuming their position, defending the stone bridge that spanned a creek known as the Bull Run River. It was along this road that the enemy was expected to come. Shortly after sunrise on July 21, a Sunday, the distant boom of cannons announced their foe’s arrival.

(Page 81)
Later in the day, President Davis rode at a gallop past the regiment on his way to the front. At sundown, the men found their way back, and rested in their bivouac, reflecting on the day’s events. They felt miserable about their performance, because they had turned their backs to the Yankees and retreated. The camp died down, with only the sounds of chirping crickets in the distance.

(Page 170)
McClellan’s army occupied Yorktown. Hiram’s regiment was bivouacked among George Washington’s old breastworks, which were still plainly visible. Many expressed pride in fighting for their liberty, just as the patriots of the Revolution had done. Because they were without utensils, the men resorted to cooking “Indian style” by placing dough on peeled hickory bark and setting it over their campfires to bake bread, or skewing their food on sticks and holding it over the open flames. They managed to acquire a good amount of oysters, which they relished with delight. The regimental pets had dwindled down to only a few dogs. Mysteriously, the chickens had disappeared, although Hiram and Bud knew they had all been eaten. The goat, it was discovered, had developed an appetite for kepis. He too vanished soon after, most likely into a stew.

(Pages 173-174)
On the evening of May 30, Hiram’s regiment was ordered to march a few miles east of Richmond, where they bivouacked in a grove of oak trees. The men of Company G, the Marion Light Infantry, stacked their guns against one of the oaks, and went to sleep beneath it. During the night, a terrible electrical storm blew in. A bolt of lightning hit the tree, destroyed the guns, killed one soldier, and injured forty-six others. The 4th Alabama expressed remorse for losing their comrades before being ordered to march. Hiram wondered if such a great loss was an ominous indication of what was to come, but kept his daunting thoughts to himself.

Page 193)
On June 17, General Lee sent the 4th Alabama and Hood’s Texans to the Shenandoah Valley to support Stonewall Jackson, while Union General McDowell was ordered to defend Washington against Jackson’s advance. Hiram’s regiment marched one hundred and fifty miles, being allowed to rest for only a day during the journey. On June 25, the men bivouacked near Ashland, twelve miles from Richmond. Circling around McClellan’s army, they were now behind it. The following morning, Gener-al Lee pursued the fleeing Federals.

(Page 210)
Late that evening, the corps’ two brigades were positioned to advance through the narrow gap, which was only wide enough to allow for railroad tracks and a road. The steep, craggy sides prevented the Confederates from seeing in any direction but straight ahead. They chased the retreating Yankees, firing their rifles and muskets continuously while they pursued, the clatter of their guns echoing through the gap. The 4th was directed to climb the slope in an attempt to flank their retreating enemy, and after much difficulty, they succeeded at nightfall. The men bivouacked, where they sustained on hard tack and tobacco.

(Page 214)
The men made their way back to their bivouac on Bull Run, knowing that they had secured yet another glorious victory. General Lee rode up. His soldiers crowded around to shake his bandaged hands, offer congratulations, and stroke his horse, Traveller.

(Page 219)
The 4th bivouacked between Centreville and Chantilly, cold, exhausted, and soaked to the bone. In the morning, they resumed their march, but once they made Chantilly, General Lee decided to give up the chase, so he turned his troops toward Leesburg. On Saturday, September 6, the Alabamians crossed the Potomac into Maryland, leaving behind surplus wagons, their baggage, broken batteries, worn out horses, and unnecessary gear. They continued north to Fredericktown, and by the 10th, approached Hagerstown after crossing the mountain at Boonsborough Gap.

(Page 229)
Returning to the church, the Alabamians settled in, and sustained on what meager rations they had left: half an ounce each of beef and green corn. Noticing Bo wander into their bivouac, Bud took the little dog into his arms. One of the men said that after the 4th had started across the field, he saw Bo climb out of a hole from under the church.

Search result for 'bivouac' in A Beautiful Glittering Lie

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...The men marched about two miles north of the junction before being allowed to bivouac near what they learned was referred to as Ball’s Ford. They rested in their temporary camp for a few hours prior to assuming their position, defending a stone bridge that spanned a creek known as the Bull Run River. It was along this road that the enemy was expected ..."
"...Later in the day, President Davis rode at a gallop past the regiment on his way to the front. At sundown, the men found their way back, and rested in their bivouac, reflecting on the day’s events. They felt miserable about their performance, because they had turned their backs to the Yankees and retreated. The camp died down, with only the sounds of chirping crickets in the distance. ..."

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Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...McClellan’s army occupied Yorktown. Hiram’s regiment was bivouacked among George Washington’s old breastworks, which were still plainly visible. Many expressed pride in fighting for their liberty, just as the patriots of the Revolution had done. Because they were without utensils, the men resorted to cooking “Indian style” by placing dough on peeled hickory bark and setting it ..."
"...On the evening of May 30, Hiram’s regiment was ordered to march a few miles east of Richmond, where they bivouacked in a grove of oak trees. The men of Company G, the Marion Light Infantry, stacked their guns against one of the oaks, and went to sleep beneath it. During the night, a terrible electrical storm blew in. A bolt of lightning hit the tree, destroyed the guns, killed ..."

-------------------------------------------
Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"...sent the 4th Alabama and Hood’s Texans to the Shenandoah Valley to support Stonewall Jackson, while Union General McDowell was ordered to defend Washington against Jackson’s advance. Hiram’s regiment marched 150 miles, and was allowed to rest for only one day during the journey. Eight days later, the men bivouacked near Ashland, twelve miles from Richmond. Circling around McClellan’s army, they were now behind it. The following morning, General Lee pursued the fleeing Federals. ..."
"...They chased the retreating Yankees, firing their rifles and muskets continuously while they pursued, the clatter of their guns echoing through the gap. The 4th was directed to climb the slope in an attempt to flank their retreating enemy, and after much difficulty, they succeeded at nightfall. The men bivouacked, where they sustained themselves on hardtack and tobacco. ..."
108.
"... hindered them. The men made their way back to their bivouac on Bull Run, knowing that they had secured yet another glorious victory. General Lee rode up. His soldiers crowded around to shake his bandaged hands, offer congratulations, and stroke his horse, Traveller. “Bless Marse ..."

-------------------------------------------
Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"...The 4th bivouacked between Centreville and Chantilly, cold, exhausted, and soaked to the bone. In the morning, they resumed their march, but once they made Chantilly, General Lee decided to give up the chase, so he turned his troops toward Leesburg. On Saturday, September 6, the Alabamians crossed the Potomac into Maryland, ..."
"...Returning to the church, the Alabamians settled in, and sustained on what meager rations they had left: half an ounce each of beef and green corn. Noticing Bo wander into their bivouac, Bud took the little dog into his arms. One of the men said that after the 4th had started across the field that morning, he saw Bo climb out of a hole from under the church. ..."

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