It seems that one of possible pastimes for civilians during the Civil War was to take a trip to a battlefield to watch the fight. I'm curious if such observers (politicians, ladies, kids, etc.) were present at battles throughout the whole conflict, or only at the beginnings (First Manassas)? Here's a splendid piece of poetry about this custom taken from Boston Herald (1861) The Civilians at Bull's Run. Have you heard of the story so lacking in glory, About the Civilians who went to the fight, With everything handy, from sandwich to brandy, To fill their broad stomachs and make them all tight. There were bulls from our State street, and cattle from Wall street, And members of Congress, to see the great fun; Newspaper reporters (some regular shorters) On a beautiful Sunday went out to Bull Run. Provided with passes as far as Manassas, The portly Civilians rode jolly along, Till the sound of the battle, the roar and the rattle Of cannon and musketry, drowned laughter and song. Their hearts were all willing to witness the killing, When the jolly Civilians had chosen their ground; They drank and they nibbled—reporters they scribbled, While the shot from the cannon were flying around. But nearer the rattle and storm of the battle Approached the Civilians, who came to a show; The terrible thunder filled them with a wonder And trembling, and quaking with fear of the foe. The hell's egg shells flying, the groans of the dying, Soon banished their pleasure and ruined their fun. There was terrible slaughter—blood ran like water— When Civilians were pic-nicking down at Bull Run. Their forms aldermanic were shaken with panic, When the Black Horse sweep down like a cloud on the plain; They ran helter skelter, their fat bodies swelter— They fly from the field thickly strewn with the slain. Oh, save me from their rage! oh, give me my carriage! The Civilians cry out at the sound of each gun; No longer they're frisky, with brandy and whisky, No longer they seek for a fight at Bull Run! Did they come down there balmy, to stampede the army? It would seem so, for how like a Jehu they drive! O'er the dead and the wounded their vehicles bounded, They caring for naught but to get home alive. For the sharp desolation that struck thro' the nation, We hold to account of Civilians and—Rum! When our soldiers next go to battle the foe, May our portly Civilians be kept here at home.