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Full text of "Three years in the army. The story of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers from July 16, 1861, to August 1, 1864"

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(i|atneU UniuetBitg iCibtary 

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CLASS OF 1869 


Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 

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Thirteenth Massachusetts 


JULY i6, 1861, TO AUGUST i, 1864 






A. 3?4-2.?2. 

Copyright, 1S93 


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Organization of the Regiment xi 

Boston to Williamsport : 

July 29, 1861, to February 28, 1862 .... i 

Williamsport to Winchester: 

March i to March 17, 1862 20 

Winchester to Warrenton Junction: 

March 18 to May 11, 1862 40 

Warrenton Junction to Falmouth : 

May 12 to May 27, 1862 ....... 60 

Falmouth to Cedar Mountain: 

May 28 to August 9, 1862 74 

Cedar Mountain to Hall's Hill: 

Battle of Manassas. August 10 to September 6, 1862 . 100 

Hall's Hill to Sharpsburg: 

Battles of South Mountain and Antietam. September 7 to 
October 25, 1862 131 


Sharpsburg to Fletcher's Chapel: 

October 26 to December 31, 1862 149 




Fletcher's Chapel : 

Mud March. January i to April 27, 1863 . . . 176 


Fletcher's Chapel ^ 

Battle of Chancellors ville. April 28 to May 7, 1863 . 200 

Fletcher's Chapel to Emmitsburg : 

May 8 to June 30, 1863 211 


Emmitsburg to Gettysburg : 

Battle of Gettysburg. July i to July 5, 1863 . . • 225 

Gettysburg to Kettle Run: 

Across the Potomac River. July 6 to November 4, 1863 . 250 

Kettle Run to Mitchell's Station: 

Battle of Mine Run. November 5 to December 31, 1863 . 274 

Mitchell's Station: 

January i to May 3, 1864 299 

Mitchell's Station to Bethesda Church: 

Battles of Wilderness and Spottsylvania. May 4 to May 
31. 1864 326 

Bethesda Church to Petersburg: 

June I to July 13, 1864 356 

Homeward Bound 080 


AT a meeting of the regimental association of the Thir- 
teenth Massachusetts Volunteers, Dec. 13, 1892, the 
writer was, by a unanimous vote, appointed historian of the 
regiment. However unequal to the performance of such a 
task one might feel nearly thirty years after the war, he 
could not disregard an honor so flatteringly expressed. 

In the preparation of this work I have attempted to give 
an accurate statement of the regiment's whereabouts on each 
day of its three years' service, with such details of its daily 
experience as would convey a truthful picture of army life as 
it appeared to the rank and file. 

The opinions and judgments expressed are believed to 
be those shared by a majority of the regiment during its ser- 
vice. As we were no wiser than the rest of mankind at 
eighteen to twenty years of age, some of the statements may 
seem very crude in the light of present information. What 
we thought at the time, about events in which we took part, 
is of more value to the future historian than what we may 
now think about the same events or persons. 

Elaborate accounts of campaigns have been omitted as not 
coming within the sphere of a regimental history. In those 
instances where an explanation seemed necessary for a proper 
understanding of our movements, I have quoted from books 


viii PREFACE. 

which are generally accepted as authority, in preference to 
statements of my own. 

The material placed at my disposal is as follows: The 
diaries of Lieut. William R. Warner, Samuel D. Webster, 
Lieut. Edward F. Rollins, Lieut. Robert B. Henderson, and 
Sergeant William M. Coombs. None of the diaries covered 
all the time, but those of Messrs. Warner, Webster, and Rol- 
lins were the most complete ; those of Messrs. Henderson and 
Coombs included the Mine Run and Wilderness campaigns. 
Col. Charles H. Hovey made copies of such parts of all his 
letters as related to our movements during his presence with 
the regiment. The regimental books, papers, and maps were 
turned over to me by Col. Samuel H. Leonard. The "War 
Records " which are in progress of publication by the gov- 
ernment have been of great service in settling disputed points. 
I have derived information from other comrades, whom I 
have met from time to time, chief among whom is Sergeant 
Jeremiah P. Blake. In addition to the material furnished me 
by Lieutenant Rollins, I cheerfully acknowledge the valuable 
assistance I have received from him in other ways. 

At the adjutant-general's office I have received every 
courtesy and privilege I could wish. I have personally com- 
pared the name of every man in the regiment with the record 
in possession of the State. Where the difference was trivial I 
have adhered to the regimental book ; in cases where there has 
been a considerable difference I have made careful inquiries 
before accepting either statement. As an additional safe- 
guard against error I have submitted the record of each com- 
pany to one or more members thereof for examination before 


sending the list to the printer. In spite of all these precau- 
tions, inaccuracies, no doubt, will appear. About three 
hundred and seventy-five comrades have furnished me with a 
statement of their service, and that I have accepted in all 
cases as being correct. 

It was thought that a series of maps showing the route of 
march of the regiment, — the direction being indicated by- 
arrows, — and the relative position of towns mentioned in the 
text, might aid the reader. They were plotted by the writer 
and submitted to Sergeant Coombs, who put them into their 
present shape. While they reflect credit on his skill as a 
draughtsman, he is not responsible for any errors they may 
contain. It should be borne in mind that the maps are not 
drawn to scale, as such a labor was deemed unnecessary for 
our purpose. 

In sincerely thanking all those comrades who have aided 
me in my labor, I ought not to forget the kindly services of 
Dr. Samuel A. Green, surgeon of the Twenty-fourth Massa- 
chusetts Volunteers, who has taken a great interest in the 
progress of the work, and whose advice and assistance have 
been of great value. 


Boston, November i, 1893. 

Note. The design on the front cover is a facsimile of our monument at 



'X'HE present generation has no conception of the consternation 
* that prevailed among the people of the North when the start- 
ling news was received that Fort Sumter had been fired upon. It 
aroused the patriotic indignation of the community to the highest 
pitch of excitement. 

Up to this time most people were sceptical about the possibili- 
ties of a war. Threats of secession had often been made before, 
by politicians of the South, without being carried into effect. The 
feeling of hatred that existed toward the North was not fully 
appreciated except by a comparatively small number of persons. 
Although the air was filled with rumors of war, they were generally 
believed to be nothing more than the irrepressible mutterings of dis- 
gruntled politicians. Therefore, when the announcement was made 
that Fort Sumter had been fired upon, it awoke the public mind to 
a realization that rebellion and secession were at hand. Public 
meetings were held in every town and city. Resolves were passed 
condemning the outrage, coupled with an expression of determina- 
tion to avenge the insult to the national flag. 

Such a display of bunting in Boston was never seen before. 
Across every street, at the mastheads of vessels lying in the harbor, 
in the horse-cars and on express-wagons, and upon private houses 
could be seen the American flag floating in the breeze; and, in- 
deed, every opportunity was taken to give expression to the prevail- 
ing sentiment by displaying the national emblem. 

On the 14th of April Fort Sumter surrendered. On the isth a 
telegram was received by Governor Andrew to forward two regi- 
ments, and on the same day the following communication was sent 
to the Secretary of War : 



Boston, April 15, 1861. 
To Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War : 

Sir : I have received telegrams from yourself and Brigadier-General Thomas, 
admonishing me of a coming requisition for twenty companies of sixty-four pri- 
vates each; and I have caused orders to be distributed to bring the men into 
Boston before to-morrow night, and to await orders. Allow me to urge the issue 
of an order to the Springfield (Mass.) Armory, to liouiie the production of arms 
at once, and to push the work to the utmost. If any aid by way of money or 
credit is needed from Massachusetts, I hope to be at once apprised. An extra 
session of our General Court can be called immediately, if need be; and, if called, 
it will respond to any demand of patriotism. 

And I beg you would permit, in addition to suggesting the utmost activity at 
the Springfield Armory, to urge that the armory at Harper's Ferry be discon- 
tinued, and its tools, machinery, and works be transferred elsewhere, or else that 
it be rigidly guarded against seizure, of the danger of which I have some premo- 
nitions. If any more troops will certainly be needed from Massachusetts, please 
signify it at once, since I should prefer receiving special volunteers for active militia 
to detailing any more of our present active militia, especially as many most ef- 
ficient gentlemen would like to raise companies or regiments, as the case may be, 
and can receive enlistments of men who are very ready to serve. 

Allow me also to suggest that our forts in Boston Harbor are entirely un- 
manned. If authorized, I would put a regiment into the forts at any time. 

Two of my staff spent last Saturday in making experiments of the most satisfac- 
tory character with Shenkle's new invention in projectiles; and so extraordinary 
was the firing that I have directed eighteen guns to be rifled, and projectiles to be 
made. May I commend this invention to the examination of the United States 
Government ? 

I am happy to add that I find the amplest proof of a warm devotion to the 
country's cause on every hand to-day. Our people are alive. 



On the morning of the i6th, companies of the departing regi- 
ments began to arrive in Boston. The fife and the drum which were 
heard in our streets continued daily, for four years, to sound the 
stirring notes of martial music. 

The 19th of April, which is one of the days sacred to American 
history, on account of the battle of Lexington, this year received an 
additional interest from the events that were transpiring. It was 
celebrated by the ringing of bells, flag-raisings and speeches, a drill 
on Boston Common by one of the artillery companies, and at noon 
by the firing of one hundred guns in honor of the day. 


While the people were thus actively engaged in celebrating the 
day, news was received that the Sixth Regiment had been attacked 
in the streets of Baltimore. The most intense excitement followed. 
Men gathered in groups about the streets, while crowds surrounded 
the bulletin boards of the newspapers to learn the particulars. 

If anything, was needed to arouse the patriotism of the North, it 
had now occurred. Public meetings were held in various parts of 
the city. Merchants, lawyers, physicians, and members of other 
professions met, and offers of service and money were proffered 
for the use of the State. Large loans were generously offered by the 
Boston banks and by the banks of other cities, for the State's imme- 
diate use, trusting to the honor of the Legislature to reimburse them, 
when it met. Numerous offers of money were made to the Gov- 
ernor by private individuals, as aid to soldiers' families. Nor were 
women lagging behind the men in enthusiasm. Rich and poor, 
high and low, all offered their services for the preparation of band- 
ages and lint, the making of garments, attendance in hospitals, or 
any other service compatible with their sex. 

Business seemed, for the time, to be forgotten in the excitement. 
The minds of men were too much disturbed to give proper attention 
to other matters. Only one subject possessed the public mind, — 
to protect the government from the clutches of traitorous hands. 

It was under the influence of these patriotic demonstrations, as 
exhibited in all the cities and towns of Massachusetts during the first 
months of the war, that our regiment was enrolled. Many of the 
young men who left lucrative positions were guaranteed them on 
their return, by their employers. The generous impulses of all were 
awakened by the danger that threatened the country. 

The first four companies. A, B, C, and D, were known as the 
Fourth Battalion of Rifles, and were raised in Boston. 

On the 2 1 St of September, 182 1, Governor John Brooks, on the 
petition of John S. Tyler and others, authorized the formation of a 
military company ^n the then town of Boston, and this company 
was called the Boston City Greys, subsequently changed to the 
Boston City Guards, by which name it was known at the breaking 
out of the war. It passed through the various vicissitudes of 


military companies until the year i860. In the month of July of 
that year, a committee consisting of James A. Fox, W. F. Davis, D, 
H. Bradlee, N. S. Dearborn, and A. N. Sampson were appointed to 
nominate a captain and third and fourth lieutenants to fill vacancies 
caused by resignations. 

At this time the company had been reduced in numbers so that it 
was felt to be highly important that a man should be selected as captain 
whose reputation as an officer would invite young men to enlist under 
his command. The "Boston Light Infantry (Tigers)," the "New 
England Guards," and the " Boston City Guards" formed a part of 
the Second Massachusetts Militia Regiment. Boston was an exception 
to the large cities of the country in not having a regiment of its own. 
The Second Regiment, Massachusetts militia, was commanded by 
Col. Robert Cowdin, and consisted of only seven companies. 

Samuel H. Leonard having transferred his residence from Worces- 
ter to Boston, was obliged to resign his commission as brigadier- 
general, as an officer could not hold a commission outside the limits 
of the district where he resided. 

He was an officer of wide reputation as one of the most skilful and 
thorough drill-masters in the State. It had long been a scheme of 
his to form a rifle battalion of which he should have the command. 
At musters and parades a rifle battalion had the right of the line, 
except when the Boston or Salem Cadets were present ; hence the 
particular interest in a rifle battalion. 

The committee appointed by the Boston City Guards waited on 
General Leonard and offered him the captaincy of their company. 
He accepted the compliment thus offered, upon the condition that 
they would agree to enlist a second company, to be joined with the 
City Guards, thus forming a battalion, and changing the arms from 
muskets to rifles. This was agreed to, and General Leonard peti- 
tioned the Governor and Council to set off the City Guards from 
the Second Regiment for this purpose, and authority was given him 
to form a rifle battalion, using that company as a nucleus thereof. 
The City Guards was called Company A in the new battalion, and 
on the 15th of December, i860, proceeded to an election of officers, 
with the following result : 



Captain . . . 
First Lieutenant . 
Second Lieutenant 
Third Lieutenant 
Fourth Lieutenant 

Samuel H. Leonard, 
James A. Fox. 
William F. Davis. 
Charles S. Chandler. 
George H. Bush. 

Immediately following this election, privates Thomas J. Little 
and Augustus N. Sampson, with fifty-one others, petitioned the 
Governor and Council for leave to form a new company, which was 
subsequently known as Company B. As soon as a sufficient number 
of men had been enlisted, an election of officers was had, resulting 
as follows, the election taking place on the 29th of March, 1861 ; 

Captain . . . 
First Lieutenant . 
Second Lieutenant 
Third Lieutenant 
Fourth Lieutenant 

N. Walter Batchelder. 
Joseph S. Cary. 
David H. Bradlee. 
John G. Hovey. 

Augustus N. Sampson. 

On the 23d of April, Lieutenant Bradlee having been elected 
adjutant of the battalion, Horace T. Rockwell was elected Fourth 
Lieutenant and Messrs. Hovey and Sampson were each promoted. 

While this work was going on John Kurtz and others were en- 
gaged in recruiting a third company, which was subsequently known 
as Company C, with an election of officers which occurred on the 
29th of April, 1 86 1, as follows : 

Captain . . . 
First Lieutenant . 
Second Lieutenant 
Third Lieutenant 
Fourth Lieutenant 

John Kurtz. 
William H. Jackson. 
William M. Chase. 
Joseph S. Cook. 
Walter H. Judson. 

Company D was organized as follows : 

After the Mexican War a military company was formed composed 
of veterans who had served in Massachusetts regiments during that 


period. The company took the name " Massachusetts Volunteers," 
and was attached to the First Regiment of Infantry M.V.M., as 
Company L, Captain Ben: Perley Poore. After two years had 
passed, it was found necessary, if the company was to continue, to 
change its by-laws so as to admit to membership others than those 
who had served in that war. It was then voted to take men who had 
served not less than one year in the volunteer militia of the State ; 
at the same time changing the name of the company to " National 
Guard.' In the spring of 1854, Augustine Harlow was elected 
captain, and served as such until July, i860, when he resigned. 

April 15, 186 1, he was requested to form a new company, and 
he proceeded at once to do so. The free use of a room in the 
Adams House was granted him by the proprietors, and in a few days 
the required number of names was obtained for organization, which 
was completed by the election of the following officers : 

Captain . . . 
First Lieutenant . 
Second Lieutenant 
Third Lieutenant 
Fourth Lieutenant 

Augustine Harlow. 
Samuel N. Chamberlain. 
William H. Cary. 
Charles H. Hovey. 
James H. Mayo. 

It should be borne in mind that in raising these companies 
the impetus given to enlistments by the startling events already de- 
scribed made it quite easy to obtain all the men needed to complete 
the organizations to the maximum number required. As a matter 
of fact, so many men offered to enlist that it was decided to accept 
only those who were voted in and who were willing to pay ^12.50. 
This sum, added to moneys received by subscription, was expended 
in the purchase of uniforms, each man being measured to ensure 
their fitting. The jacket was tight-fitting, with a short skirt. The 
shoulder-knots and trimmings were red, and the uniform gray. The 
cap was gray trimmed with scarlet and surmounted with a pompon. 
It made a handsome, serviceable uniform, and gave a very effective 
appearance to the battalion. 

As some time elapsed before the uniforms were finished, we were 


daily drilled in citizen's clothes at the armory, then at 344 Washing- 
ton Street, but now (1893) 576. We were taken out on the streets 
every day and taught to march in step, to the no small amusement 
of boys who gathered about to watch our transformation from raw 
recruits to soldiers. The people, however, were in earnest, and 
every encouragement was offered to young men to enlist. At this 
time every man was looked upon as a hero who enlisted. 

The armory at 344 Washington Street being too small to accom- 
modate so large a number of men, Nassau Hall, corner of Washing- 
ton and Common Streets, was procured, and our effects transferred 
to that building. Here we found a commodious hall well fitted for 
drilling, and hours were spent each day by squads of raw recruits in 
attempting to order arms in unison. It seemed so easy a thing to 
do when the order was given, that we were at a loss to understand 
why each gun should fall at a separate moment, making a clatter 
like the rattle of a drum, sorely trying the patience of our drill- 
masters. " Now, the next time I give an order I want you to follow 
my count. • Shoulder arms ! one, two, three ! ' That's better." 
"Present arms I one, two." Then it was, "Forward, march! one, 
two ; one, two, halt! " " About /ace ! Forward, march ! one, two ; 
one, two." " Mark time, march ! one, two ; one, two, halt! " 

It seemed extraordinary that it took so much time in learning to • 
do these simple things together, yet it took days and days before we 
could make a creditable appearance in public. It seemed very odd 
to us, that, having acquired a reasonable degree of proficiency under 
one officer, we could do nothing but bungle under the commands of 
another, until we realized how rare was a drill-master who could 
infuse into men the precision necessary for good soldiers. 

As soon as we acquired skill enough to " order arms " together, we 
longed for the time when we could march through the streets in our 
uniforms. With a month's continuous daily work, we naturally felt 
that we would make a fine appearance as we paraded through the 
streets. Just prior to the war the people of Boston had an opportu- 
nity of witnessing the wonderful skill exhibited by Ellsworth's 
zouaves. The remarkable exactness and concert of their every 
movement was never excelled by any body of men, and excited a 


spirit of emulation among officers and soldiers in the vicinity of 
Boston. Some of us whose heads were easily turned by our small 
success began to think we had acquired a pretty good degree of 
excellence in the manual of arms. 

At last an order was received for us to take charge of Fort Inde- 
pendence. We had been armed with the " Winsor " rifle, a heavy, 
bungling arm to which was attached a sabre bayonet, so extraordinary 
in appearance as to give to another company, commanded by Cap- 
tain Dodd, and armed with the same rifle, the name of " Dodd's 
carvers." When the bayonet was affixed it certainly did suggest the 
sanguinary operation of carving. 

Company E. 

Company E, known as the Roxbury Rifles, was organized about 
the 2Sth of April, 1861, by the election of Dennis S. Bartlett as cap- 
tain, Charles R. M. Pratt as first lieutenant, and Joseph Colburn as 
second lieutenant. After its organization, the company was quar- 
tered in Bacon's Hall, Roxbury, the boys obtaining their meals at a 
restaurant near by. From this time on until Sunday, the 1 2th of 
May, the company was daily drilled in citizen's clothes. On that 
day tl\e company appeared for the first time in new uniforms fur- 
nished by the State, and attended divine service at the Dudley- 
street Baptist church, at completion of which service each man was 
presented with a Tes]tament. 

Drilling was continued daily without interruption until the company 
joined the Fourth Battalion of Rifles, and with it went to Fort Inde- 

On the 2Sth of May the five companies, with knapsacks, blankets, 
etc., marched down State Street to the wharf, where they took the 
steamer " Nelly Baker " for the fort, and where they arrived in due 

It was a joyous day, though cloudy. We were puffed up with pride 
and importance at our new responsibility and the knowledge that we 
were to relieve the New England Guards, who had been garrisoning 
the fort for a fortnight. The New England Guards was one of the 
crack organizations of Massachusetts, of which the citizens of Bos- 


ton were justly proud. It subsequently became the nucleus of the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment, that left Massachusetts for the seat of war 
December 9, 1861, and afterward made a glorious record. 

As we marched into the fort, that battalion was drawn up in line 
to receive us. As we watched with admiration the precision and 
skill with which they performed their movements, we shed a big lot 
of conceit. 

The duties of a soldier began immediately on their departure. 
We were in possession of a fortification of the United States, and the 
responsibilities seemed immense. We were to guard it, and see that 
it was not stolen or captured by the enemy. 

A detail was made from each company for guard duty, and the 
writer began at once the tremendous duties of a soldier. Being 
placed on the extreme southern point of the island, nearest the 
enemy, he was cautioned to watch carefully, that the enemy might 
not come up the harbor without warning being given of his ap- 
proach. There seemed nothing ridiculous in all this ; the caution 
was given and received in all earnestness. These instructions were 
the first and, so far as can be recalled, the only ones he ever re- 
ceived, and they made a deep impression on his mind. We often 
laughed afterwards as we reflected on the difference between this 
and the reality, though it was real enough to us then. Not a wink 
did some of us sleep that night. The responsibility was too great 
for sleep. 

Morning came at last, beautiful and bright, with the fort still safe. 
As the men turned out of their quarters, in the morning air, to fold 
their bright red blankets, it was indeed a picturesque sight. The 
battalion companies were quartered in the fort, while the Roxbury 
Rifles were quartered in barracks outside. 

During our stay at the fort, Sundays were visiting days, and the 
duties light, so we had ample time to devote to the friends who came 
to see us Visitors were also admitted on other days of the week ; 
but they were nof allowed to interfere with our duties. We drilled 
seven hours each day during the week, besides guard-mounting and 
dress parade. 

Major Leonard, who was in command of the battalion, was known 


long before he became a brigadier-general in the State militia by 
his superior qualifications as a drill-master, and he was possessed 
with the determination to show what he could do with raw recruits. 

After dress parade our work was done for the day, except the 
roll-call at tattoo, when we were obliged to fall in line and answer 
to our names. We then had a half-hour to complete our arrange- 
ments for the night, when " taps " were sounded for the lights to be 
put out, which was a signal for us to go to sleep. Sleep rarely came 
before midnight, however, owing to the noise which began the 
moment the lights were extinguished. It frequently happened that 
the " Officer of the day " would interrupt the noise by telling us to 
"Go to sleep ! " which had the very opposite effect. We had great 
larks in those days, and played all the pranks in the calendar. Some 
of the boys whose quarters adjoined the sally-port would listen at 
the nearest casemate to hear the countersign repeated as some one, 
passing in or out of the fort, would give it to the sentinel, when a 
mock " grand rounds " would be organized and each post visited, 
the guard being scolded for some imaginary neglect, and ordered to 
report to his captain in the morning. The hours of the night were 
called by the sentinel on each post as he heard the bells striking in 
the city, adding "All's well ! " The guard on the ramparts of the 
fort frequently, sticking his head in one of the chimneys, would yell, 
" And the wind north-east, and it blows like h — 1 ! " which, of course, 
would wake up every man in the room, bringing the officer of the 
guard to the quarters to quell the disturbance. The guard, by means 
of the chimney, would warn the occupants of the officer's approach, 
whereupon he was sure to be greeted with a loud and continuous 
snore ; the guard in the meantime stealing along to the other side 
of the ramparts, a safe distance from the confusion. 

Until the 29th of June we lived well, having our own cook, plenty 
to eat, and a ration of beer served us each day. It was the custom 
to detail a man from each mess to draw the allowance of food, and 
whoever possessed ability to get the greatest quantity of food for the 
smallest number of men was sure to receive a large amount of praise 
and popularity. It was a talent more highly appreciated than any 
other accomplishment. 


Each morning we were awakened by the veteran drummer, " Dan 
Simpson," and " Si Smith," the fifer. " Old Si," as we called him, 
looked as though he was left over from the crusades, so thin and 
worn with age he appeared. Both of these veterans could date their 
service back to the War of 1812. At five o'clock in the morning 
they would come out to the sally-port, and after wrangling a bit (for 
it should be known that the lapse of time had not improved their 
tempers) they would sound the reveille which turned us out to 
answer to roll-call. Smith weighed about seventy-five pounds, though 
he didn't look it. His coat-sleeve, which seemed no larger round 
than a baby's arm, was covered with service stripes from wrist to 
shoulder. In spite of his attenuated figure, he managed to get wind 
enough to make his old fife sound as clear as a bell. " Good morn- 
ing. Si ! " would be heard as the boys turned out. " How's your 
old friend. Miles Standish? " 

In addition to these venerable relics from " Ye olden time " we 
had four musicians from the " Germania Band," who provided us 
with music at guard mounting and at dress parade. 

One of the features of the day's work was " dress parade," at 
sunset ; at which time we turned out in full uniform to take our posi- 
tion in line. It was the custom, during this ceremony, to lower the 
flag on the fort, the band playing while it was being done. One of 
the airs which the band played was from the " opera of Grenada." 
To this air the boys fitted the following words : " Corporal of the 
guard, corporal of the guard, corporal of the guard, post eight." 
This never lost its popularity with us. It was carried into service by 
our regimental band, and was frequently played by it, always awak- 
ening pleasant recollections of our service at the fort. After the 
band was discharged, which occurred early in September, 1862, we 
heard it no more until our arrival home. 

Thus passed the days until the 29 th of June, when the State sent 
to the fort five more companies : two from Marlboro', one from 
Natick, one from Westboro', and one from Stoneham. 

The addition of these companies made no difference in our drill- 
ing, which was pursued relentlessly. 

We drifted along until the " Fourth of July" without excitement. 


except that which was provided us by our friends on visiting days. 
P"ormerly it was the custom of the city authorities of Boston to cel- 
ebrate the " Fourth " by an annual parade of the city government. 
Our services were oifered and accepted as escort, in company with 
the " Tigers " and the " New England Guards," and we looked for- 
ward with anticipations of pleasure and pride at the opportunity, 
thus afforded, of showing the result of our work. 

We were up early the morning of the " Fourth " brushing clothes, 
blacking boots, and making other preparations for the day's jubilee. 
We were well tanned by constant exposure to the sun, giving 
appearance of health and vigor, our uniforms fitting perfectly, with 
the addition of white collars, and our guns and bayonets in excellent 
order, so that we made a very satisfactory appearance. As we stood 
in line inside the fort, we all felt how much was at stake in compet- 
ing with the two battalions with whom we were to parade. We 
were told to eat a hearty breakfast, for we had a hard day's work 
before us ; but what a breakfast that was, and what murmurs of in- 
dignation were expressed as we flung the mouldy toast and the mild 
dilution of coffee at the cook-room ! It was too unsavory for us, so 
we went without it, though the time came, months after, whmi we 
wished that we might have some of that same toast. 

We were escorted to the boat by the other companies of the regi- 
ment, who expressed their generous wishes for our success. They 
were quite as anxious for our credit as we were, and the hearty 
cheers that were given as the boat left the wharf testified the good 
feeling that existed, and which continued during the whole three 
years of our service, and indeed has never ceased to exist. 

Upon our arrival in Boston it became known that we had come 
to town without a breakfast, and while halting in front of the Parker 
House kind friends supplied the deficiency. All along the route of 
seven miles we were greeted with demonstrations of great kindness 
and hospitality. It was a day never to be forgotten. The enthusi- 
asm of the people excited us to do our best, and we never did better. 
Our two months of constant daily drilling enabled us to make a very 
creditable appearance. The enthusiasm with which we were every- 
where greeted was due to the fact that we were part of a regiment 


soon to leave for the seat of war ; for at that time the patriotic feel- 
ing was at its whitest heat. It was a hot day, the thermometer at 
104 ; but our daily work out of doors enabled us to make the march 
with the loss of only one or two men, while the other battalions 
suffered much more than we did from the intense heat. 

After the parad.e we were furloughed until the following morning, 
when the battalion returned to the fort to meet the kindly greeting 
of the companies who were already aware of the success achieved 
by the five companies, through the newspapers, which were extrava- 
gant in their words of praise. 

While the battalion companies, so called, were doing escort duty 
for the city of Boston, Company E, which went to the city in the 
same boat, was entertaining the people of Roxbury with an exhibi- 
tion of its proficiency. The members were received with the same 
demonstrations of enthusiasm as greeted the battalion, and were 
given a dinner at the Norfolk House. 

We were young boys then, and these events seemed great in our 
lives, though what followed was far greater in importance and mag- 

The remaining companies of the regiment were organized as 
follows : 

Company F. 

Company F had the honor of being the oldest chartered company 
in the regiment. It was organized in 18 19 as the Marlboro' Rifles, 
and continued its organization without interruption until it became 
a part of the Thirteenth Regiment. During all this time its armory 
was located in the town of Marlboro'. 

For several years prior to 186 1 it was known as Company A, 
First Battalion of Rifles, the other companies being Company B 
from Sudbury and Company C from Natick ; the latter being as- 
signed to the Thirteenth and known as Company H. The battalion 
was commanded by Major Ephraim Moore, of Sudbury. Major 
Moore died in March, 1861, and was succeeded by Captain Henry 
Whitcomb, of the Marlboro' Rifles, who was elected major of the 


On the 2Sth of June the First Battalion of Rifles was ordered to 
Fort Independence. 

The Sudbury Company was disbanded. 

The officers of the Marlboro' Company, which became Company 
F, were : 

Captain Abel H. Pope. 

First Lieutenant John T. Whittier. 

Second Lieutenant Charles F. Mokse. 

Fourth Lieutenant Donald Ross. 

Company G. 

In the early days of April the citizens of Stoneham took measures 
for raising a company, and by the seventeenth of that month it was 
recruited to its full number. J. Parker Gould was chosen to the 
captaincy, which he retained until the departure of the regiment to 
the seat of war, when he was appointed major in the regiment. Eben 
W. Fiske was commissioned captain in his place. Although the 
company was ready thus early, such was the eagerness of the people 
to spring to their country's defence, that the different companies 
could not be accepted as fast as they were offered, and it was not 
until the zsth of June that it was ordered into service at Fort Inde- 

During the time it was waiting to join some regiment the town of 
Stoneham liberally contributed to its support, appropriating nearly 
four thousand five hundred dollars for that purpose. A uniform was 
also presented to each man at a cost of twelve dollars, and a full set 
of equipments to each of the officers, by the citizens. 

On its departure for Fort Independence hundreds of citizens 
volunteered as escort. 

Company H. 

In the early part of 1859 the young men of Natick formed an 
independent company, with Henry Wilson, who had been a brigadier- 
general in the militia, as captain and instructor. Captain Wilson's 
senatorial duties calling him to Washington in December of that 


year, he was succeeded by Lieut. Charles Bigelow, who was subse- 
quently chosen as captain. The company was regularly drilled until 
the summer of i860, when a charter was granted by the State, where- 
upon it was assigned to the First Battalion of Rifles as Company C. 
It attended the annual muster at Chelmsford in September of that 
year, and took part in the parade of the militia, on Boston Com- 
mon, in October following, in honor of the Prince of Wales. 
When the call of Governor Andrew was made in the spring of '61, 
it oflFered its services for three years, and on the 2Sth of June went 
to Fort Independence with the First Battalion of Rifles. It was 
commanded by Perry D. Chamberlain, with Frank Z. Jenks as first 
lieutenant, and William H. Brown as second lieutenant. It became 
Company H of the Thirteenth, with William L. Clark as captain. 

Company I. 

In response to the call of Governor Andrew, Messrs. Moses P. 
Palmer, William Barnes, David L. Brown, Samuel D. Witt, Alfred G. 
Howe, Frank Stetson, and others, proceeded to form a second com- 
pany in Marlboro', and enlistment papers were procured from the 
State for that purpose. In a few days the signatures of ninety-eight 
of the best young men in Marlboro' and vicinity were obtained, 
and on the 6th of May the company was organized by the choice 
of the following officers : 

Captain Moses P. Palmer. 

First Lieutenant David L. Brown. 

Second Lieutenant Alfred G. Howe. 

Third Lieutenant Samuel D. Witt. 

Fourth Lieutenant Samuel W. Fay. 

On the loth of May the committee appointed for the purpose 
reported a constitution and by-laws, which were unanimously 
adopted. The preamble was as follows : 

We who have enrolled our names upon the volunteer militia enlistment roll of 
Massachusetts, and have organized ourselves into a company of riflemen agreeably 
to the laws of the State, say, one and all, that whereas a certain portion of our 


countrymen have rebelled and have taken up arms against our constitutional 
government and have refused to obey its just laws, under which they, as well as 
we, have enjoyed so many blessings, that we have so acted because we fully be- 
lieve it to be our duty, which we owe to our country, to humanity, and to God; 
and we further say that we pledge our fortunes and our sacred honor to help 
maintain and defend the flag of our glorious Union from traitors at home or foes 
from abroad; and we do agree to do and submit to such orders, rules, and regula- 
tions as the law requires, and such as shall be adopted by the company from time 
to time. 

On the 20th of May the company voted unanimously to offer their 
sftrvices to the United States for three years or during the war. 

The town of Marlboro' furnished all the members of the company 
with a good gray uniform, and HoUis Loring, Esq., gave the com- 
pany the use of a hall in the Exchange Building, free of all charge. 

The months of May and June were spent in drilling and preparing 
for service. 

The company was assigned to the Second Battalion of Riflemen, 
but shortly after was ordered to report for duty at Fort Indepen- 
dence, which it did on the 25 th of June, and became Company I, of 
the Thirteenth. 

Company K. 

Company K was raised in Westboro', and was known as the 
Westboro' Rifle Company. 

On the 17 th of April, 1861, a warrant was issued by G. B. San- 
born, B. B. Nourse, and S. B. Howe, selectmen of the town, calling 
for a town meeting to be held on the 2Sth of the same month, for 
the appropriation of money to be expended for the raising of a mil- 
itary company in the town. In accordance with this call the meet- 
ing was held, and T. A.. Smith, C. P. Winslow, J. F. B. Marshall, 
Benjamin Boynton, and John Bowes were chosen a committee to 
consider the matter of raising a company and to report the amount 
necessary to defray the expenses thereof; whereupon they presented 
the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That the town appropriate five thousand dollars, to be expended in 
the purchase" of uniforms, pay of men while drilling, and for pay in addition to 
the amount paid by the Government, when called into active service. 


Resolved, That a committee of five be chosen, whose duty it shall be to attend 
to the expenditure and disbursement of all moneys hereby appropriated; and no 
bills shall be contracted for or paid without the approbation and approval of said 

These resolutions were unanimously adopted, and an appropria- 
tion of five thousand dollars made in accordance therewith. 

A committee, consisting of G. B. Sanborn, B. B. Nourse, and S. 
B. Howe, selectmen, and J. F. B. Marshall and Patrick Casey, was 
then appointed and empowered to raise a company. This commit- 
tee organized by the choice of B. B. Nourse as chairman and J. F. 
B. Marshall as secretary. 

The work of recruiting was begun at once, and by the 29th of 
April a list of seventy-nine names was obtained, when a petition was 
presented to the Governor and Council asking for a charter for a 
company, to be called the Westboro' Rifle Company, and the same 
was granted. Before going into camp, information was received 
that the Government would not accept any more volunteers for 
three months' service. The company was then reorganized with a 
view to enlisting for three years. By this change the company lost 
about half its number, but from day to day recruits were added, so 
that when the time arrived for its departure it had one hundred and 
one men, classified as follows: Westboro' furnished fifty-six men; 
Southboro', eighteen ; Upton, nine ; Shrewsbury, nine ; Hopkinton, 
eight ; and Northboro', one. 

The work of drilling was carried on daily, and marches made to 
surrounding towns, where the company was entertained by sump- 
tuous dinners and patriotic speeches. 

In the meantime the work of preparing uniforms was undertaken 
by the women. 

On the 26th of April, the day following the town meeting, another 
meeting was held in the Town Hall to organize a " Soldiers' Sew- 
ing Society." After prayer by the Rev. Mr. Cummings of the 
Unitarian Church, Mr. Marshall explained the objects of the meet- 
ing, whereupon it was voted to organize the society by the choice 
of Mrs. E. M. Phillips as president and Miss J. M. Marshall as 
secretary. Mrs. J. F. B. Marshall, Mrs. S. B. Lakin, Mrs. A. N. 


Arnold, Mrs. J. A. Fayerweather, and Mrs. Salmon. Comstock were 
chosen directors. 

In accordance with a notice read in all the churches on the pre- 
vious Sunday, two hundred ladies with needles, thimbles, etc., 
met in the Town Hall Tuesday morning, April 30, and began the 
work of making garments, and in a few hours they had made four 
dozen flannel shirts and four dozen pairs of drawers, which were 
immediately distributed. 

As it was important that the company be provided with uniforms, 
*e ladies of this society devoted their energies to the accomplish- 
ment of this task, and by the 20th of June the work was completed. 
In addition to the uniform, each man was provided with a fatigue- 
suit, havelock, thread -bag, towels, handkerchief, soap, and comb. 

Calvin Chamberlain, a resident of California, a native of West- 
boro', showed his interest in the company's welfare by presenting 
each member with a dagger, while the Hon. William Knowlton pro- 
vided each man with a drinking-tube. It reported at Fort Inde- 
pendence, under the command of the following officers : 

Captain . . . 
First Lieutenant . 
Second Lieutenant 
Third Lieutenant 
Fourth Lieutenant 


Charles P. Winslow. 
Ethan Bullard. 
John W. Sanderson. 
Abner R. Greenwood. 

On the 1 6th of July the regiment was mustered into the United 
States service for three years, and on the 29th of the same month it 
left Fort Independence for the seat of war. 


A N interesting fact connected with the flags carried by the regi- 
'*■ ment ought not to be omitted. At the breaking out of the war 
the firm of Hogg, Brown, & Taylor were doing business in Boston. 
Like other firms it took a deep interest in the welfare of soldiers, 
and contributed liberally to their comfort whenever opportunity 
offered. On our departure, this firm, in addition to the colors pro- 
vided by the State, presented us with a duplicate set of colors, and 
from time to time, as they became worn out, they furnished others 
to take their place. 

[From the " Boston Daily Journal," July 30, 1861.] 


The Thirteenth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Leonard, be- 
ing the eighth regiment of three years' troops which Massachusetts has sent to 
the war, tooli its final departure for Washington this afternoon. 

The admiration and affection of a whole community has been centred upon the 
young men of this regiment, the nucleus of which, the Fourth Battalion of Rifles, 
was recruited in our midst from the families of our most respected citizens. It is 
no disparagement to the members and officers of the battalion to say that the 
companies from the country, which have been added to the regiment, are equally 
meritorious and deserving of popular regard. 

No pains have been spared to make the Thirteenth equal, if not superior, to any 
regiment which has left the State. They have a full, neat, and serviceable uni- 
form, equipments which any soldier might be proud to wear, and an arm — the 
Enfield rifle musket — which has been pronounced by the officers of the regi- 
ment to be the most delicate, highly finished, and defensible weapon in the in- 
fantry service. 


The regiment, which has been quartered at Fort Independence, came up to the 
city on the steamer " Nelly Baker," the boat making two special trips for the 
purpose. She arrived at the foot of Long Wharf at a quarter before one o'clock, 



bringing Companies B, C, F. I, and K, under command of Major Gould, and then 
returned for the remainder of the regiment, which was finaUy landed m the city 
at a quarter past two. 

As each detachment of troops left the fort, bidding adieu to quarters which have 
been the scene of so much happiness, they were honored with a parting salute by 
Sergeant Parr, the United States ordnance officer in charge of the post The 
troops acknowledged the compliment with hearty cheers. 


The courtesy of escorting the regiment through the city was accepted by 
Colonel Leonard from the Second BattaUon of Infantry, Major Ralph W. Newton, 
and the Old City Guard, and past members of the Fourth Battalion of Rifles under 
Col. Jonas H. French. The two corps paraded as a. battalion, being accom- 
panied by Gilmore's Band, and the Old Guard by the Boston Brigade Band. The 
first troops which arrived remained under cover of the sheds, where they were 
protected from the rain until their comrades reached the wharf, when the line 
was formed and the regiment escorted up and down State Street, making the 
detour of the Old State House, through Merchants Row to Faneuil HalL 


The hospitalities of the city we-e extended to the regiment by His Honor the 
Mayor, in the form of a collation to have been served to the men on the Com- 
mon; but the storm which prevailed interrupted the programme of the march and 
collation, and the latter was laid on the table in the " Old Cradle of Liberty," 
which the regiment reached about three o'clock. Hastily partaking of » most 
acceptable repast, the line was re-formed, and the regiment took up the line of 


Nothing but the storm which prevailed all day prevented this regiment firom 
receiving an ovation surpassing any which has been g^ven to the troops going 
before it. 

The social position of the members, the reputation which they have achieved 
in drill and discipline, and the fact that a majority of the officers of the regiment 
were representative members of some of our most popular organizations, grown 
up and educated amongst us, — all these circumstances conspired to ensure the 
regiment a most generous and enthusiastic demonstration. 

The march through the city was accomplished under trying circumstances, the 
condition of the streets harassing the troops, encumbered as they were with over- 
coats and knapsacks. The route was through Merchants Row, up State and Wash- 
ington Streets to the long freight depot of the Boston & Worcester Railroad, which 
they entered out of Harvard Street. Instead of a " sea of heads," an ocean of 
umbrellas filled the streets, surging with the increase from streams of anxious 
spectators which poured in from every alley and by-way; and above the beating 


of drums and blast of horns arose the shouts of the people, cheering the brave 
boys who have pledged their lives in the defence of the Union. What was lack- 
ing in numbers was made up in enthusiasm by the people who lined the way. 
Bouquets were showered in profusion upon the troops by loving hands whose 
hearts went with floral tributes which they gave. 

At the depot scenes occurred never to be forgotten. The fair friends of the 
troops were in full possession of the place, and when the regiment filed into the 
CEirs, the flying moments, which to the actors were as hours, were fraught with in- 
cidents of self-sacrifice, of womanly devotion, and manly heroism which caused 
the stoutest heart to quail and the sternest lip to quiver. There was no calling 
back of husbands, sons, and brothers, no repining, but brave words of encourage- 
ment, pious counsels, and motherly advice to the young and inexperienced volun- 
teer as the final good-by and " God bless you" was spoken, 


The train left the depot at precisely five o'clock, amid the cheers of thousands 
of people who filled the side tracks and covered the bridges under which the train 
passed. The baggage-wagons and horses of the regiment were sent forward in 
advance of the troops. In this latter respect the regiment fared as well as those 
who have preceded it. The regiment carried with it two stands of color, consist- 
ing of a State and a National flag, which were presented to them by the State 
without ceremony, just as they were leaving the city. 


The following is a list of the officers of the regiment : 

Colonel Samuel H. Leonard, of Boston. 

Lieutenant-Colonel . . . N. Walter Batchelder, of Boston. 

Major Jacob Parker Gould, of Stoneham. 

Adjutant David H. Bradlee, of Boston. 

Quartermaster George E. Craig, of Boston. 

Surgeon Allston W. Whitney, of Boston. 

Assistant Surgeon .... J. Theodore Heard, of Boston, 

Chaplain NOAH M. Gaylord, of Boston. 

Company A. — Captain, James A. Fox; First Lieutenant, Samuel N. Neat; 
Second Lieutenant, George Bush. 

Company B. — Captain, Joseph S. Cary; First Lieutenant, John G. Hovey; 
Second Lieutenant, Augustus N. Sampson. 

Company C. — Captain, John Kurtz; First Lieutenant, William H.Jackson; 
Second Lieutenant, Walter H. Judson. 

Company D. — Captain, Augustine Harlow; First Lieutenant, Charles H. 
Hovey; Second Lieutenant, William H. Cary. 


Company E. — Captain, Charles R. M. Pratt; First Lieutenant, Joseph Col- 
burn; Second Lieutenant, Edwin R. Frost. 

Company F. — Captain, Henry Whitcomb; First Lieutenant, Abel H.Pope; 
Second Lieutenant, Charles F. Morse. 

Company G. — Captain, Eben W. Fiske; First Lieutenant, Loring S. Richard- 
son; Second Lieutenant, John Foley. 

Company .ff; — Captain, William H. Qark; First Lieutenant, Perry D. Cham- 
berlain; Second Lieutenant, Francis Jenks. 

Company I. — Captain, Charles H. R. Schreiber; First Lieutenant, Moses P. 
Palmer; Second Lieutenant, David Brown. 

Company jT. — Captain, William P. Blackmer; First Lieutenant, William B. 
Bacon; Second Lieutenant, Charles B. Fox. 


After leaving the station of the Boston & Worcester Railroad the regiment was 
greeted with cheers and fluttering handkerchiefs all along the route to Worcester. 
The citizens of the towns on the road seemed to have been on the watch for the 
train, and as the regiment went quickly past they improved the short time by the 
most energetic demonstration of good-will. It was a considerable distance be- 
yond the city that the members of the regiment took a last look of Boston friends. 
Far out on the Back Bay lands were a considerable number of ladies and gentle- 
men who seemed to vie with each other in their exertions to cheer the departing 
soldiers. " Good-by, boys, — keep up the reputation of the Thirteenth," were 
words earnestly impressed upon the minds of the men; and they promised to do 
all in their power to answer the expectations of the friends of the regiment. 

Every house near the railroad was 611ed with ladies, as the train passed through 
Brighton, who flung their handkerchiefs back and forth, and seemed anxious to 
be counted among the well-wishers of those who go to fight for our country. 
Thus it was at Newton and Natick, and at the latter place large numbers were 
collected at the railway station, as if desirous to have the train stop; but it whirled 
past, and many relations of the Natick company were probably deprived of an op- 
portunity to say a parting word to them. The first stop of the train was at 


As the train drew near, it was greeted with the booming of cannon and ringing 
of bells. There were several thousand ladies and gentlemen gathered at the 
station from Marlboro', Natick, and other adjoining towns, from which several 
companies of the regiment came. A tarry of ten minutes was well improved by 
the soldiers, many of whom were engaged in farewells to relatives; while others 
improved the opportunity to replenish their canteens with what had been pro- 
vided for them. Had there been - probability of longer stay, still further pro- 
vision would have been made by the Framingham people for the comfort of the 
soldiers. As it was, the reception was warm and enthusiastic, and the men left 


irith a renewed feeling of sadness for those left behind. The train arrived at 
framingham at six o'clock, and at ten minutes past six it was again whirling 
iway towards Worcester. 

At Westboro', in which town Company K was organized, the speed of the train 
ras slackened, and went through the village so slowly as to allow the citizens and 
he soldiers to take leave of each other. The train then hurried on. 


The regiment arrived in Worcester at half-past seven o'clock, while prepara- 
ions had been made to give the soldiers a collation. This was prompted in part 
}y the fact that Colonel Leonard was formerly a resident of that city, and has a 
arge number of personal and warm friends there. The cars passed from Worces- 
:er to Norwich Railroad, and stopped just beyond the Common. The regiment 
;hen filed out and marched round to Main Street, where an escort was waiting to 
receive them. 

The escort consisted of several companies from the Fifteenth and Twenty-first 
Regiments, as follows : Fifteenth Regiment, Company B, Capt. J. W. Kimball ; 
Company E, Capt. Charles H. Watson; Company D, Capt. Charles H. Foster; 
Company G, Capt. Walter Forsband. Of the Twenty-first: Company G, Capt. 
A.ddison A. Walker; Company D, Lieut. C. S. Foster in command. The whole 
ivas under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, of the Fifteenth Regiment, 
rhe regimental band of the latter regiment headed the escort. 

The column marched up Main Street and returned to City Hall, where a 
collation was in waiting. Main Street was crowded with people, but it was grow- 
ing dark, and they did not have a good opportunity to see the regiment They 
ivere, however, disposed to praise Colonel Leonard's command very highly. 


On account of the unfavorable weather the arrangements to prepare a collation 
on the Common were changed, and the City Hall was taken for that purpose. 

There was not as much room in this bujlding as was necessary for the whole 
regiment, and in consequence but five companies were entertained at a time. The 
collation was prepared liberally, under the supervision of a committee of the 
citizens, who had received aid from the city government. In the hall were Major- 
General Morse and staff and other prominent individuals, including the mayor of 
the city. Colonel Leonard and staff were made to realize that they have a host of 
friends in Worcester. 

On the entrance of the colonel to the hall he was presented with a beautiful 
bouquet by the ladies present. About an hour was consumed in the hall, when 
the soldiers left and marched back to the cars under escort. At shortly before 
half-past nine o'clock the train was again in motion, and it moved away amid the 
drowning cheers of the multitude. 


[From the " Boston Herald," July JO, 1861.] 

The column marched up State Street at twenty minutes before three o'clock 
around the Old State House, down State Street, and through Merchants Row t< 
Faneuil Hall, where a collation was provided. State Street was filled with people 
notwithstanding the storm, and on no other occasion has there been more enthu 
siasm manifested. Cheers were repeatedly given for the Thirteenth, while around 
Faneuil Hall there was also an immense crowd. Everybody desired to see some 
body, and there was a perfect rush about the doors of the hall for admittance 
The police were required, however, to keep all persons, except soldiers, from thf 
hall, as a different course would only tend to unnecessarily delay the departure ol 
the regiment. As the troops marched in, all sorts of patriotic airs were playec 
by the band, and excited proper enthusiasm. When "Glory hallelujah" wai 
reached the soldiers and crowd joined in the chorus, and no one within a half •< 
mile of Dock Square, except a deaf person, could have any possible excuse foi 
ignorance of the whereabouts of John Brown's bones or his ashes. 

Very few besides the members of the regiment and the waiters were allowec 
inside. Our reporter was one of the few civilians admitted, and he had to tak< 
the oath of fealty, agree to behave, and promise to eat nothing. This was, o 
course, a mere formality, with no reference to his habits. The soldiers were wear] 
and hungry. They ate voraciously, and sat on the sanded floor, when no bettei 
resting-place could be found. There was no profanity, no drunkenness — all 
praise to officers and men for this. Notwithstanding their fatigue there was nc 
hustling, no ill-natured remarks, and no criticism on the arrangements. The hal 
was scarcely large enough for the accommodation of so large a body, but then 
was no grumbling. 

When the troops again sallied forth and were taken in charge by the escort th« 
crowds were found to be greatly augmented. Every street on the route was 
blocked up. The people readily fell back when possible, but some delay wai 
occasionally caused. One continuous round of cheers was kept up from the timi 
they left Dock Square till they halted in Oak Street. 

The fine bearing of these troops excited comment at every point wl\ere the 
were seen. Their uniform is the regulation style, and appears to be of excellen 
quality. They all wore their blue overcoats as they marched up State Street, am 
this gave a uniformity in appearance which was very pleasing. They marchec 
with great precision, and executed all movements with more regularity and exact 
ness than is generally noticed. 


[From the " New York Herald," July 31, 1861.] 


The Thirteenth Regiment of Massachusetts volunteers, under command of 
Colonel Leonard, arrived in this city yesterday en route to the seat of war. The 
regiment, which was organized in a great measure in the city of Boston, was en- 
camped for some time at Fort Independence, in Boston Harbor, where they were 
so well perfected in discipline that few regiments can compete with them in drill- 
ing and manoeuvring. They struck their tents on Monday morning, and after a 
short parade in Boston proceeded to this city by the Norwich & Worcester route, 
and arrived about eleven o'clock yesterday. They were met at the steamboat 
wharf by a deputation of citizens, natives of Massachusetts, wearing on their 
breasts badges with the inscription " Sons of Massachusetts." These badges, as 
also the banner carried by the " sons," were ornamented with the coat-of-arms of 
the Bay State. The regiment then took up their line of march through Canal 
Street and Broadway to the City Hall Park, where the men were dismissed for 
dinner in the barracks and " a ramble about the city." 

Shortly after four o'clock the regimental line was again formed, and the pro- 
cession, preceded by the escort of citizens, marched down Broadway and around 
Battery Place to pier No. i , where they embarked on board the steamboat " John 
Potter," for Amboy. Their reception was a most magnificent one, and the ap- 
plause of the populace was expressed at every step of the route in a continued 
clapping of hands. 

The Thirteenth Regiment is one of which Massachusetts may well be proud. 
It is composed of a superior class of men. In physical appearance, soldier-like 
bearing, and martial discipline, the regiment is perhaps unsurpassed. The mem- 
bers generally belong to a higher social position than those composing most of 
our regiments, and their enlistment has been a matter of pure patriotism, many 
having left remunerative salaries and situations to go to the war. The uniform of 
the regiment consists of a dark-blue loose jacket of flannel, light-blue cloth pants, 
and regulation cap. They are all armed with the Enfield rifle. 



"yHE Thirteenth Regiment left New York, Tuesday, July 30, 1861, 
^ for Philadelphia in two trains, the first, containing the right 
wing, arriving shortly after midnight, and the second, containing the 
left wing, arriving shortly before daylight. 

We were marched directly to the "Cooper shop," where ample 
facilities were afforded for cleanliness, followed by a bountiful supply 
of food. 

Although it was July, 1861, William M. Cooper had already inau- 
gurated that magnificent system of providing for soldiers on their 
way to and from the front which became so widely known as the 
"Cooper shop." For four years every soldier in the land knew 
that if he could reach Philadelphia he would find a temporary home 
that would bridge over his troubles until he could gain strength to 
proceed on his journey. Troops on their way to the front, regard- 
less of numbers, were entertained at this hospitable building. It 
would be difficult to exaggerate the happiness and comfort conferred 
by this patriotic undertaking. 

At daylight we were formed in line and marched across the city 
to West Philadelphia, where we halted until cars could be obtained 
for our transportation to Harrisburg. On our way we met the Sixth 
Massachusetts regiment and the Third Battalion of rifles returning 
home, being transported in freight-cars. This seemed hard lines to 
many of us who had been incited to enlist by the experience of the 
Sixth in Baltimore. The boys themselves, however, seemed con- 
tented and happy, as many a time afterward we would have been 
had we even freight-cars to transport us. 

It was a hot morning, and our knapsacks were loaded beyond 
human endurance with things our kind but inexperienced friends at 
home thought necessary for our comfort. Pounds soon became tons, 
and when the regiment was granted a halt, knapsacks were opened 


to see what could be thrown away without infringing on sentiments 
of gratitude or lessening our comfort. 

Before leaving Fort Independence we had as many as three Bibles 
given us. As the last ones were received just before we started, no 
opportunity was afforded of leaving them in the hands of friends 
to keep until our return. Now the time had arrived when some- 
thing had to go, so it was decided that extra stockings and shirts 
were more useful than Bibles, and as we were provided with a chap- 
lain, the Bible was discarded. This was the pretty universal opin- 
ion of the boys, judging by the large number that remained on the 
sidewalk as we resumed our march. A short time after, one of 
the boys received a letter from a gentleman in Philadelphia in 
which he expressed his admiration for the soldier who sought to 
lessen his fatigue by reading the Holy Scriptures. "A letter from 
Philadelphia" became a by-word for many months. 

About 1 1 o'clock we left for Harrisburg, which point we reached a 
little before sundown the same day. For some unexplained reason 
we were unprovided with food, so that upon our arrival at the capital 
of Pennsylvania, a grand rush was made for the nearest restaurants. 
A few succeeded in procuring food, but the stay was too short to 
enable many to get even a mouthful. Those who got anything were 
lucky, and those who were paid for what was eaten were also lucky, 
as the ringing of the engine bell and the commands of officers, like 
those of Providence, must be obeyed ; and therefore we continued our 
journey to Hagerstown, which place we reached about daylight, hav- 
ing spent a rainy night in cars that for many years had enjoyed the 
privacy and seclusion of a warm storehouse, where they had been 
allowed to lie and shrink until it could be decided whether they 
should be destroyed or sent to a country where the average mortality 
was too great for the people to bother themselves about a railroad 

The rain penetrating the cars made it impossible to sleep, while 
they were so badly lighted as to leave us the only one thing to do 
— growl. Hunger and loss of sleep, say nothing about weariness 
from the excitement through which we had passed, brought out 
all the irritable quaUties we possessed. The irritation disappeared. 


however, when it became known that we had arrived at Hagers- 
town. On jumping from the cars we found the surface of the 
ground to consist of red clay, made soft and sticky as glue by the 
night's rain. Very soon the soles of our sTioes were increased to 
twice their size, with an added weight that made it difficult to lift 
our feet. As one of the boys very aptly said, "Three knapsacks, — 
one for your back, and one for each foot." It was vexatious enough to 
find ourselves in such a mess, but as all were served alike, the scene 
became so ridiculous as to change our dejection to mirth. We were 
soon marched into the main street of the town, where we were halted, 
and where we soon rid ourselves of the incumbrance. 

There had been some curiosity expressed, during our journey, as 
to how we would be received by persons living so near the border line. 
All doubts were soon removed by the kindly hospitality of the peo- 
ple, who turned out of their houses in large numbers to greet us. 
Upon learning of our hunger they proceeded at once to relieve it by 
an abundance of food and coffee which they brought from their 
homes. Most of us had had nothing to eat for twenty- four hours, and 
this graceful act by the loyal people of Hagerstown was highly ap- 
preciated. Some months afterward it was our good fortune to be 
stationed so near as to become better acquainted with the people 
of this open-hearted town. 

During the entire trip from Boston only one man was seriously 
injured. Edwin F. Morris, of Co. D, while engaged in securing a 
curtain attached to one of the ambulances, was struck on the head 
by a bridge. He subsequently returned to duty. 

After a good rest we were marched into camp about a mile from 
the town. 

The companies were provided with " Sibley " tents, five to each 
company. Each tent is capable of holding sixteen men without 
crowding — seventeen crowds it, and eighteen men excites pro- 
fanity; therefore the line was drawn at seventeen. The commis- 
sioned officers were supplied with "wall" tents, square in shape, 
while the " Sibley " was a round tent with a single pole resting on 
a. tripod in the centre. The tents of the men were pitched so as to 
be in a straight line, each company being parallel to the others, with 


a liberal space between, called the company street. Each tent has 
one opening, facing the street. The company officers' tents were 
pitched in a straight line, at right angles with the company tents, 
and so arranged, as to distance, that the oflScers were in line with 
their respective companies. 

After tents were pitched, some of the men turned in 
1861. and went to sleep, though the novelty of the thing was 

Thursday, ^^^ gjgat for most of us, who straggled back into town. 
^'^^' *' During the day one of the boys brought in a Virginia 

toim.'^' paper in which it was stated that one "Southerner 
could lick five Northern mudsills." It was not so very 
comforting to feel that we were to be killed off in blocks of five. 
Nothing was said to us on the i6th of July, the date of our muster- 
in, about this wholesale slaughter. There was a kind of airy 
confidence as well as contemptuousness about the statement that 
made our enlistment look little less like a picnic than when we 
marched down Broadway. It was hard to realize that we had come 
so far from home merely to solve a problem in mathematics, yet so 
it seemed to the writer of that philippic. 

Some time during the night an alarm was sounded by the beating 
of the " long roll," and we were ordered into line to drive the ter- 
rible foe, who was thought, even then, to be in our midst. Immedi- 
ately everything was excitement and confusion. We can afford to 
laugh now, but then it was terribly serious, and no doubt we did 
some silly things ; but it should be borne in mind that this was very 
early in the war. When it was discovered, as it shortly was, that all 
this excitement was caused by a pig who strolled into camp and was 
mistaken by the officer of the guard for the rebel army, many of us 
were Imbued with a courage we hardly felt before. There was little 
sleep during the balance of the night, as the matter had to be discussed 
and talked about, as most things were in the rank and file of the 
Thirteenth, particularly when it related to the foolishness of an officer. 

Although orders awaited us, on our arrival in Hagerstown, to 
march to Harper's Ferry, we were delayed on account of the bad 
condition of the roads from recent rains. This kind of consideration 
went out of fashion very soon after, we are sorry to say. 


1861. About sunset we struck tents and marched to Boones- 

boro', fourteen miles, arriving there at the witching hour 
of night when it is said churchyards yawn. We were led into an 
empty corral, lately occupied by mules, to bivouac for the night. 

Ordinarily a mule-yard would not be considered a desirable place 
in which to spend the night, but it was midnight, and we were weary 
with marching, and worn out with excitement and loss of sleep. 
This was our fifth night from home. The first night was spent on 
a Sound steamer, the second on our way to Philadelphia, the third 
en route to Hagerstown, and the fourth in driving pigs out of camp, 
so that this old mule-yard, as far as we could see it, appeared 
the most delightful place in the world. At eighteen to twenty 
years of age little time is wasted in seeking sl^ep. It comes 
quickly and takes entire possession of your soul and body, and 
all we did was to drop in our tracks, making no inquiries 
about camp or picket guard, but let Morpheus lead us to the 
land of pleasant dreams. This being our first bivouac, occur- 
rences made a deeper impression than at any time afterward. 
When reveille was sounded, and our eyes opened to the bright 
sunlight, we looked about to see where we were and who were 
near us. The bright red blankets of the regiment made the place 
look attractive. Many of the boys were still stretching themselves 
into activity, while others were examining their beds to account 
for sundry pains of the body from neglect to brush the stones aside 
when they laid down. How we all laughed when we saw where we 
were ! Many and many a time while sitting round a camp fire have 
we recalled this night in the mule-yard. 

A good deal of complaint was heard to-day because of the short 
allowance of food provided us on leaving Hagerstown. As we re- 
ceived nothing more from the government until our arrival at 
Pleasant Valley, thirty-six hours afterwards, we were forced to draw 
on our own resources — " The almighty dollar." According to 
letters, written at this time, we continued in much trouble about the 
matter of rations until after our arrival at Darnestown. It is very 
probable that our discontent was largely, if not wholly, due to the 
sudden change to army rations. 


t86i. The following articles of clothing were issued to each 

man before leaving Fort Independence, and charged for 
by the government, to be deducted the first pay-day : 

I great coat. i blanket. 

I uniform coat I bed-tick. 

I fatigue coat. i knapsack. 

I pair trousers. • dipper. 

1 fatigue cap. > knife and fork. 

2 pairs flannel drawers. i spoon and plate. 
2 flannel shirts. I rubber blanket. 
2 pairs socks. I haversack. 

I pair shoes. i canteen. 

Bed-tick ! When we sailed away from Fort Independence we felt 
there was something we had left behind, and for thirty-one years we 
have been trying to recall what it was, but when this list was read it all 
came back to us — it was our bed-tick ! If the government charged 
us with them it was a swindle, inasmuch as we never received them. 
Added to this list were sundry articles contributed by friends. 
One friend suggested to the writer " two long flannel night-gowns " 
as indispensable. 

As you had to pay for the articles issued, there was no objection 
on the part of the government to your throwing them all away, if it 
pleased you to do so. In addition, each company was supplied Math — 
6 saws. 2 hatchets. 

12 camp-kettles. 2 rakes. 

12 mess-pans. 2 shovels. 

2 axes. 2 picks. 

These were carried in the company wagons, — that is, while we 
had them. When the wagons were taken away, Mr. "High Private " 
took his turn at carrying the axes, shovels, and picks. 

A very hot day. Shortly after breakfast we left for 
Saturday, Pleasant Valley, sixteen miles, where we arrived in the 
Aug. 3. afternoon, and where we bivouacked for the night. A 
good many of the men were overcome by the heat, and 
didn't reach camp until after dark. The size of the knapsack was too 
large for men unused to carrying such a weight. It must be reduced, 
and there were no more Bibles. Just what to throw away it was diffi- 


1861. cult to decide, as many of the articles we carried were con- 

nected by association with those we held most dear. Some 
of the boys had dressing-cases among their luxuries. They hated to 
dispense with them, but it had to be done. Among the articles pro- 
vided us by the State were " havelocks," commonly used in hot coun- 
tries by the English army. The havelock was named after Sir Henry 
Havelock, a distinguished English general. It is made of white linen, 
to be worn on the head as a protection from the rays of the sun. As 
it was made sufficiently large to cover the neck and shoulders, the 
eflfect, when properly adjusted, was to deprive the wearer of any air 
he might otherwise enjoy. An Englishman would melt in his boots 
before he would give up a custom enjoyed by his grandfather. Not 
so a Yankee. The motive which prompted the State to supply them 
was a good one, as was also the suggestion that prompted their im- 
mediate transfer to the plebeian uses of a dish-cloth or a coffee- 
strainer, which suggestion was universally adopted, — a dish-cloth or 
coffee-strainer being the only things in the world, apparently, we 
were unprovided with. 

Another hot day. A lovelier spot than Pleasant Valley 
un ay, ^^ camp in would be hard to find, and we were glad 
enough at the delay in marching. During the afternoon 
we received orders to join General Banks at Harper's Ferry, but 
before we were in readiness to march, other orders were received 
to go to Sharpsburg, whereupon the hour of leaving was postponed 
until to-morrow morning. 

We got away early, and after a march of nineteen 
Monday, miles went into camp about one mile from Sharpsburg. 
Aug. 5. A hot day, and a long, weary march. We were soon 
made happy by the arrival of the regimental wagons, 
which we had not seen for four days. As they contained the tents, 
camp kettles, etc., we soon made ourselves as comfortable as could 
be. The camp was situated in a delightfiil grove near a good sup- 
ply of water for bathing, as well as for cuhnary purposes. 

Six companies were detached from the regiment and 
Tuesday, sent as follows to guard fords on the Potomac river: 
Aug. 6. A and B were sent to Antietam creek at its junction 



1861. with the Potomac ; C, to Shepard's island ; E and H, to 

Wednesday, Blackburn's ford ; and Co. I, to Dam No. 4. 
Aug. 7, The duties of the camp were established by an 

Sharpsburg. ^^^^^ ^j^j^j^ designated the following routine : 

c 00 A.M. 

.... Reveille. 

S-30 " . 
6.00 « 

.... Fatigue. 
.... Re-call. 

6.15 « 
7.00 " 

Company drill. 
. . . Breakfast. 

7-4S " • 
8.00 " 
9.00 " 
11.00 " 

Assembly of guard. 
. Guard-mounting. 
.... DrUl. 
. . . Re-call. 

11.30 A.M Fatigue- 

12.00 M Roast beef. 

3.00 P.M. . . Orderly Sergeant call. 

4.00 " Drill. 

6.00 " Re-call. 

7.00 " Dress parade, in full uni- 

9.00 " Tattoo. 

9.30 " Taps. 

This looks very much like the programme laid out for the troops 
a,t a State muster. 

Our relations with the people of Sharpsburg were very pleasant, 
and they did their best to prevent our departure. 

Inspection. The first religious exercises since leav- 
Sunday, ing Fort Independence were this day held by the 
Aug. II, Chaplain. Nothing was said about our leaving Bibles 
^''"P^''"^^- in Philadelphia. 

Word having been received that Mr. James Ritchie 
Saturday, jj^^j arrived at Harper's Ferry, with money from the 
State for services at Fort Independence, a detail of 
twenty men from D and ten from K was sent to that 
place to meet him, starting at 2 A.M. with an ambulance and 
wagon. The distance was fourteen miles, to Maryland heights, 
where Mr. Ritchie was found. They reached camp, on their return, 
before dark, and all was joy. 

Paid off. A good day and a good deed. We were 
Sunday, gjg^^ jjjg gtate recognized our great services at the fort, 
"^' ■ though $11 per month, to be sure, was not a high price 
for a laborer who is worthy of his hire. 

Tuesday Orders were issued for the detached companies to 

Aug. ao. return at once to the regiment. 

Aug. 17, 


1861. Marched at 6 P.M. to Boonesboro', seven miles, and 

Wednesday, ijiyouacked. 

Marched to Middletown, eight miles, when we re- 
Thursday, ceived orders for Sandy Hook: marched five more 
miles, and bivouacked at Broad Run for the night. 

Marched from Broad Run to Sandy Hook, fifteen 

. miles, and camped about two miles back from the Poto- 

Aug. 23. ' , ' 

mac nver. Co. I was detached and sent to the river, 
opposite Harper's Ferry, to guard the ford at that point. 

While at Sandy Hook we received the hats and uniform coats 
issued to us by the State, and which were forwarded by express. 
The coat was much too heavy, with the thermometer in the eigh- 
ties. It was made with long skirts, and when fitting the wearer was 
not a bad-appearing garment ; but as very few of them did fit, our 
personal appearance was not improved. They were made large in 
front, to meet an abnormal expansion of chest. Until we grew 
to them, it was a handy place to stow some of the contents of 
our knapsack. The hats were neither useful nor ornamental. They 
were made of black felt, high-crowned, with a wide rim turned up 
on one side, and fastened to the crown by a brass shield repre- 
senting an eagle with extended wings, apparently screaming with 
holy horror at so base an employment. On the front of the crown 
was a brass bugle containing the figure 13. Now it so happened 
that the person who selected the sizes was under the impression that 
every man from Massachusetts had a head like Daniel Webster — 
a mistake that caused most of us much trouble, inasmuch as news- 
papers were in great demand to lessen the diameter of the crown. 
Those of us who failed to procure newspapers made use of our ears 
to prevent its falling on our shoulders. As will be seen later on, 
they mysteriously disappeared. 

Remained in camp at this place until September 2d, with the usual 
routine of camp duties. The farmers soon discovered we were flush 
with money, and raised the price of watermelons from two cents 
apiece to twenty-five cents. Butter, eggs, and other luxuries were 
displayed before the patriotic sons of Massachusetts, and many 
there were who were beguiled of their money, and some there were. 


,86i. I am afraid, who evened up by forgetting to pay ; but, 

as Mr. Kipling says, that is another story. 

One night before we left this camp, the "long roll " was sounded 
and the regiment marched to the river, opposite Harper's Ferry, it 
having been given out that the enemy were attempting to cross at 
that ford. When near the river we were required to lie on our 
stomachs and crawl along so as to reach the bank without noise. 
We had scarcely reached the water before it was discovered that 
again the cause of alarm was a pig who made sufficient noise in his 
wanderings to alarm the officer in command of the detachment, who 
thought it was the enemy. This time it was a Prussian idiot, who, 
playing the role of Don Quixote, deprived us of a night's sleep. 
On the way back to camp, at daylight, he was the subject of com- 
ment, and some there were who boldly expressed a wish that he 
might be sent where the wicked cease from troubling. 

The appointment of this officer to our regiment was one of the 
instances of attempting to graft foreign fruit on to a native tree. As 
it proved a lamentable failure, no apology is necessary for showing 
him up as a warning to future governors in making such attempts. 
The fact that he had expressed a contemptuous opinion of Yankees 
doesn't count for much, of course, but that was no reason why he 
should make himself or the regiment conspicuous by peculiarities in 
dress or manners. Eccentricities of this kind were unbecoming in a 
man of such mediocrity as he. Evidently the air we breathed was 
unsuitable for a man of his expansive nature, and we were glad when 
he shook the dust of the Thirteenth from his feet. Remembering 
that " Pride goeth before destruction," we watched his career with 
interest as he sailed alofl, unconscious of his elephantine conceit, 
soaring higher and higher until he reached the rarefied air 
of a lieutenant-colonel in a Maryland brigade, where swindling and 
conduct unbecoming an officer were frowned upon. Having reached | 
this giddy height he exploded like the sky-rocket, whose flight he 
so much resembled, and like it plunged to earth again, followed by 
the fiery tears of his mysterious friends. Notwithstanding he was 
dismissed the service, he is, probably, now in " Fair Bingen on 
the Rhine," relating the heroic deeds he performed in Yankee land 


1861, to save the Union. He was the author of "Company 

J, run I.'.'" 
Among the orders issued from headquarters we noticed the fol- 
lowing, which expkins very clearly the cause of irritation that ap- 
peared in the colonel's face at battalion drill those hot afternoons. 
It was supposed, at the time, that he was worried at the high price 
we paid for watermelons : 

Special Orjoer") Headquarters Thirteenth Mass. Vols., 

No. 71. i Camp Read, Aug. 29, i86i. 

Commanding officers of Companies A and B will cause to be returned to 
headquarters one chair each belonging to the Field and Staff. 

Struck tents soon after daylight and marched with 
Tuesday, empty stomachs to the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, 
Sept. 3. where we took boats which were towed to Conrad's 
Ferry, twenty-five miles, and where we bivouacked for 
the night, whilst the rain fell in torrents. The boats were towed by 
the horses of the regiment. 

Between 4 and 5 P.M. marched to Poolesville, six 
Wednesday, ^fieg^ and bivouacked near the Fifteenth Massachu- 

^ ■ ■ setts regiment. A cold, rainy, and disagreeable night. 

_. . Cold, wet, ^nd hungry, we marched at 6 A.M. in a 

Sept. s. drizzling rain to Darnestown, seven miles, where we 

Darnestown. arrived at noOn. The wagons reached us at night, when 
we proceeded to make ourselves comfortable by pitch- 
ing tents and cooking coffee. As three companies were detached 
from the regiment on September ist. Company C being sent to 
Monocacy Junction, and Companies I and K to Harper's Ferry, it 
follows that only seven companies were at Darnestown. We were 
now in close proximity to the rest of the division. 

The brigade to which we were attached was commanded by Brig.- 
Gen. C. S. Hamilton, and was composed of the Third Wisconsin 
Infantry, the Eighty-third New York Infantry (Ninth New York), 
the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, and Capt. Best's Regular 
battery of twelve-pound brass guns. For a few days after our 
arrival the wagons were kept loaded and rations were cooked. 


1861. in readiness to march at a moment's notice. The 

expectations to move soon disappeared, and the men 
proceeded at once to adorn and beautify the camp. Before each 
tent were placed two evergreen trees, while the entrance to eadi 
tompany street was adorned with a large arch of evergreen boughs. 
When the work was completed the effect was very beautiful, and ex- 
cited a large amount of praise from many who came to see it. A 
picture of it was published in one of the illustrated weekly papers. 

At this time of our service men were detailed in turn, in each com- 
pany, to do its cooking, a place being set apart for that purpose, pro- 
tected by rails and shaded by a roof of boughs. It was soon dis- 
covered, however, that too many cooks did, indeed, spoil the broth. 
Rather than waste all the food that was issued the companies soon set- 
tled down to one man, with an assistant, and they were relieved from 
all other duties. This system was pursued until the time when each 
man did his own cooking, as will be seen farther on. It required 
the patience of Job to cook for ninety-eight men, as we know from 
experience. One week at it was convincing proof that a good cook 
was a " heap " bigger man than McClellan. 

While at this camp the tents were struck twice each week on sunny 
days, that the ground might be uncovered all day to the sun. A wise 
precaution, and no doubt had its effect on the health of the regi- 
ment, which is mentioned in a report of the medical director of the 
army, to Gen. McClellan, as being remarkable. 

Joy in camp. A report was received that Jeff Davis 
September ^a.s dead. Now that we are with the brigade our supply 
of food has improved. It was about this time we dis- 
covered, by reference to " Army Regulations," how the government 
rated the various appetites. A colonel was allowed ^56 worth 
of food each month j a lieutenant-colonel, S45 ; a major, I36 ; 
a captain or lieutenant, ^36 ; while a soldier's daily ration con- 
sisted of twelve ounces of pork or bacon, or one pound four 
ounces of salt or fresh beef, one pound six ounces of sofl bread or 
flour, or one pound of hard bread, or one pound four ounces of 
corn meal. According to our experience, this was a very interesting 
legend, and many a time we wished it were true, for there was no 


1861. time when a soldier hadn't a 156 appetite, while it often 

happened that less than five cents would buy his day's 
rations. The liberality on the part of the government towards the 
rank and file, respecting the amount of luggage he could carry, was 
in marked contrast to what it rated his appetite. In an order issued 
by Gen. Banks, at this time, it was expressly stated that a general 
officer would not be allowed to carry more than one hundred and 
twenty-five pounds, a field officer, one hundred pounds, a captain> 
eighty pounds, and a subaltern, eighty pounds, while no restrictions 
were placed on a private soldier. 

An order was received to-day from headquarters stating that 
" a sentinel's duty was a sacred trust." Nothing like having things 
clearly defined. 

A man in one of the Connecticut regiments was shot 
September tg-day for sleeping on guard. It was not pleasant to 
feel that a quiet nap, on picket, might be followed by 
death, so we swore off sleeping while on guard. 

It was at Darnestown that we were first made acquainted with 
an article of food called "desiccated" vegetables. For the 
convenience of handling, it was made into large, round cakes 
about two inches thick. When cooked, it tasted like herb tea. 
From the flow of language which followed, we suspected it contained 
powerful stimulating properties. It became universally known in the 
army as "desecrated" vegetables, and the aptness of this term 
would be appreciated by the dullest comprehension after one mouth- 
ful of the abonainable compound. It is possible that the chaplain, 
who overheard some of the remarks, may have urged its discontinu- 
ance as a ration, inasmuch as we rarely, if ever, had it again. 

An order was received from General McClellan that 
Sunday, «jjo work that can be avoided, no drills nor marching, 
Sept. 15. ^j^^jj |.^j^g place on Sundays." 

To those of us who served in the ranks, this seemed a wise and 
considerate order, quite in harmony with the teachings of our 
Puritan ancestors, and it consequently elevated General McClellan 
in our estimation very much. Had his successors observed this 
rule, the war might easily have been prolonged. 


1861. The regimental sutler arrived, bringing boxes and re- 

Monday, membrances from home. A box from home was an 
'P ■ ■ event in the life of a soldier that brought tender recol- 
lections of the loving ones whose hands had prepared its contents. 

One great pleasure we had with us was the band. It not only 
discoursed good music, but did it so skilfully as to receive the com- 
mendations of other regiments and officers, who availed themselves 
of every opportunity to listen to its playing. Many a weary mile 
they helped out by their willingness to play, even when they must 

have been thoroughly fagged out themselves. 
Thursday, National Fast Day. Parade to Darnestown and re- 
Sept. 26. jyyjj jjj ^jjg afternoon. The colonel was very compli- 
mentary in his remarks. Not so we. His remarks had 
no reference to our hats, though ours did. 

We were reviewed to-day by General Banks, and were 
Wednes- jjjg observed of all observers because of our hats, the 
Q '' brasses of which had been carefully polished for the oc- 

casion, and reflected a yellow light over the entire divi- 
sion. We were not happy at the comments, and from this day 
they began their mysterious and gradual disappearance, until the 

last one was gone. 
Monday, Brigade drill. Caught in a thunder-storm. Thor- 

'^"- 7" oughly soaked, including the hats. 

Wednes- Orders received to march to-morrow. Much joy 

day^ thereat. Notwithstanding our beautiful camp, we were 

Oct. g. glad to break the monotony of camp life. The hats are 

disappearing. The comical shapes into which some of 
them are turned excites a good deal of merriment. 

Marched to Hyattstown, fifteen miles, and biv- 

Thursday, Quacked. Another batch of hats gone. We now march 
Oct. 10. ... . . . , 

like veterans, it is said. 

Friday, Marched to Frederick City, thirteen miles, and biv- 

Oct. II. ouacked in a jail-yard. It rained hard. The few hats 
that remained seemed to be ashamed of themselves. 
During a temporary cessation of the rain we had dress parade be- 
fore a large crowd of people who had gathered about us. 


1861. At I P.M. resumed the inarch in company with the 

Saturday, Sixteenth Indiana regiment and Captain Matthew's bat- 
tery, which accompanied us from Darnestown. Bivou- 
acked at Boonesboro' after a march of seventeen miles. During the 
last two days a pleasant rivalry had been excited as to the marching 
abilities of the two regiments. Although we were much heavier 
loaded than the Twelfth, we were in too good shape to be beaten. 
Both regiments enjoyed the excitement. 

Marched at 9 A.M. for Williamsport, sixteen miles, 
Sunday, where we arrived about 4 P.M. Pitched our tents for 
Oct. 13. the first time since leaving Darnestown. Wondered 
what had become of General McClellan's order, of 
September isth, about marching on Sundays. Later on, when his 
downfall was announced, it was no surprise to the men who marched 

this day. 
Monday, Put things to rights in camp. Paymaster arrived ; he 

Oct. 14. to whom we all bow with obsequious respect. A pay- 
master's arrival will produce more joy in camp than 
is said to have been produced in heaven over the one sinner 
that repenteth. 

Received the first instalment of mint-drops from the 

Tuesday, government, and found them a balm for every woe. 

They threw a lustre on the camp such as we had not 

seen since the last brass-mounted hat had departed. Company B 

detailed for provost duty in the town. 

Changed camp about half a mile farther from town, and 

Monday, j.q g^ much better spot, where we remained until March 
Oct 23. 

I, 1862. A very comfortable camp it was. When the 

tents of the men were pitched, an excavation was made, in area, the 
size of the tent, and about two feet deep. About a foot of this space 
was filled with clean straw, so that when a fire was built, it was as 
comfortable as any house. The stove, which sat a foot or two above 
the ground, was shaped like a tunnel, the large end resting on the 
floor, while the smaller and longer end, containing a damper, ex- 
tended through the roof. This was made of sheet iron, having a 
door a foot or more above the ground, to receive the wood. It 


could be made red-hot in two minutes, and many were the boots that 
suffered thereby. Huts were built for the officers. 

The regiment was aroused at 1.30 o'clock this raom- 
1861. ijig by the beating of the "long roll," and hastily 

''' marched to the river, where it was ferried across for an 
Oct. 25. 

expedition into " Ole Virginny." One platoon contin- 
ued on until it came in sight of Martinsburg, when it returned and 
rejoined the regiment, and with it returned to the camp at Williamsport. 
Companies K, C, and I rejoined the regiment. The 
Thursday, ^^^y -^hich we performed this winter was a very im- 
"^ ■ ^'' portant and a very difficult one, as General Stonewall 
Jackson, at his own request (according to the official reports of the 
Confederacy), received orders to do all the damage he could to the 
dams of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, and to harass the enemy 
in any way his genius could suggest. General Jackson was no slug- 
gard, as the world knows, and he made it lively for us to prevent him 
from carrying out his purposes. While we were at Williamsport, 
Colonel Leonard was in charge of all the troops on the Potomac, 
from Harper's Ferry to Oldtown, a distance of more than one 
hundred miles, by the river, while the duties of the regiment 
included guarding the Potomac river from Harper's Ferry to 
Sir John's Run, a distance of more than fifty miles. The work 
was so well done as to prompt a commendation from General 
Banks. Prior to our arrival, this part of the river was protected 
by troops suppUed with the old smooth-bore musket of a very 
antiquated pattern, with too Uttle power to carry a bullet across 
the river, so that they were a constant source of ridicule by 
the enemy, who were much better armed, and who amused them- 
selves by coming down to the river daily, and placing the thumb 
of the right hand to the nose, and the thumb of the left hand 
to the little finger of the right hand, would make rapid motions 
with the fingers, to the great exasperation of the Union men, who 
were powerless to prevent it. After we were placed there with our 
Enfield rifles, there was less time spent in arranging their fingers, 
and more in the use of their feet. As they tried one point after 
another from Falling Waters to the end of our line of fifty miles. 


1861. they were prompted to inquire what regiments were guard- 

ing the river, and when the oft-repeated answer was " the 
Thirteenth Mass.," they were astonished at our number, and were in- 
terested to know what arms we carried. A Virginia paper, published 
in Martinsburg, brought across the river by a Union man, contained 
an editorial warning the people about " trusting themselves too near 
the river, as there was a regiment from Massachusetts, several thou- 
sand strong, with a gun that could carry like a piece of artillery." 

In order to carry out so extensive a system -of pickets it was nec- 
essary to make large and frequent details of men from each com- 
pany, the particular dates of which are omitted, and only the larger 
ones mentioned. 

Co. D sent to Hagerstown. Returned on the 7 th. 
Nov. 5. All of Company B, except twelve men, returned from 

provost duty in town, to camp. 
Nov. 26. Companies A, B, E, and H sent to Hancock. 

Deo. 7. Company C sent to Dam No. 5. 

Dec. 8. Co. G sent to Dam No. 5 to relieve Co. C. 

Company K sent to Dam No. 4, but was overtaken 
Dec. ir. ^jy an order to return. Co. C sent to Dam No. 5, but 
returned before night. 

Companies D and K sent to Dam No. 5, but re- 
turned same night. 

Company I sent on picket. 

Regiment sent to Falling Waters. 

Returned to camp at Williamsport. 

Companies D, C, and G returned to Williamsport. 

Dec. 14. 






















Companies E, A, B, and H arrived from Hancock. 
Companies C, D, I, and K sent to Hancock. 
Companies C, D, I, and K returned from Hancock. 
Company D sent to Hagerstown. 
Company D returned from Hagerstown. 
Company D sent on a reconnoissance across the river. 
Returned the same day. 
It was d — n the hats in summer, and Dam No. 5 in winter. 


1862. Among the duties that required our daily attention was 

the ferry which was run across the river, daily at one o'clock, 
unless circumstances prevented, or there was no one on the other side 
to avail themselves of this convenience. Of course this was attended 
with considerable risk, as it was very well known on the Virginia side 
that it was being done. It almost always happened that some one 
was on the bank waiting for an opportunity to come across. Some 
of the farmers' wives and daughters were allowed to cross with eggs 
or poultry to sell. Of course they were closely questioned. No toll- 
rates had been fixed, so the guard used his discretion, and as the 
toll was graduated according to what they brought, it frequendy 
happened that the table of a private soldier was ornamented with 
something besides silverware and flowers. 

Hagerstown, the place where we first landed on our journey from 
home, was only six miles away, and was the shire town of Washing- 
ton County. Many were the visits we paid that place, and many the 
acquaintances we made among the people. The provost marshal of 
the town was an officer detailed from the Thirteenth, and his ad- 
ministration of martial law was liberal as it was sensible, though when 
occasion required he could be as inexorable as circumstances needed. 
Company D was also stationed there part of the time;, therefore no 
lack of inducement existed to make it a pleasant place to visit. 

Our service in Williamsport formed an epoch in the history of the 
regiment. Advantage was taken of the liberty allowed us, to become 
acquainted with the people, and many pleasant acquaintances ripened 
into strong friendships. Calls were frequently made for the services 
of our glee-club, while the band was often heard in its streets. 
The homes of the people were opened in friendly hospitality, 
and the prejudice against " Massachusetts abolitionists," as we 
were called, gradually disappeared, so that when the time arrived 
for us to cross the river, the crowd to see us off was great enough 
to remind us of home. Indeed, as the last company was ferried 
across, it was a sight to see the waving of handkerchiefs, and to 
hear the shouts of "farewell" and "good-luck" that greeted our 
departure. Thus we crossed the Potomac river on Saturday, the 
first day of March, 1862. 


1862. It seems proper at this point to say a word or two 

about our experience in Maryland. We found the peo- 
ple cordial in their greeting and very hospitable, except in cases 
where the sentiment was against the Union. It meant a good 
deal to express Union sentiments or do acts of kindness to soldiers 
as they marched through the country, when some watchful person 
stood ready to turn informer as soon as the enemy approached. 
Many were the acts of kindness done to soldiers worn out with 
fetigue or overcome with the heat of the sun. Though thirty years 
have passed, we have not forgotten how much the Union people of 
Maryland did to lessen the hardships of soldiers. When we crossed 
the river we entered the land of our foes, where the cheers and 
kind wishes of the people were reserved for those who had their 
love and sympathy. 



1862. Having said the last " good-by " to our friends across 

Saturday, ^j^g jjygr ^g took up the line of march, about dusk, for 
March i. Martinsburg, twelve miles, which point we reached a 
little before midnight. 

During our stay in Williamsport we had accumulated more things 
than were necessary for our comfort, as we became painfully aware 
of before our journey's end. We were now on the "sacred soil" 
of Virginia. Whether it is better than any other soil could not be 
determined in the darkness ; up to this time our knowledge of it 
was limited to the experience at Harper's Ferry, the skirmish at 
Bolivar Heights, and the reconnoissances from Hancock and Sir 
John's Run, so we were not experts on the subject. 

The Sixteenth Indiana, a company of cavalry and two pieces of 
artillery, crossed the river and followed us to Martinsburg. 

While marching in Maryland we felt secure from rebel interference 
when falling out, overcome with fatigue or the heat of the sun, 
but now we were likely at any moment to hear the unwelcome sound 
of the enemy's musketry. A man must hesitate, therefore, before 
he separated himself from his regiment. As it was dark we had 
plenty of opportunity to reflect on what might be our receptiop by 
the " F.F.V's " of Martinsburg. They might find some objection 
to our entering town without paying toll — the toll that some of us 
must pay before our three years were up. 

Company A was well ahead as advance guard, and as long as 
we heard nothing from them our minds remained at ease except 
when we thought of our knapsacks, which had increased in size, like 
the national debt. 

It appears that when Company A arrived within half a mile of 
the town it left the road, making a detour and entering it from the 

.-- ' . o.^''" 



1862. south on the Winchester road, while the regiment entered 

it from the north. The quartermaster, or some other 
officer, rode forward from the regiment to overtake Company A. As 
he entered from the north the company was entering from the south. 
Each mistook the other. Company A supposed him to be a rebel 
picket endeavoring to escape out of town and fired, whereupon, sup- 
posing it to be the fire of the enemy, he turned about in great haste 
and rode back to the regiment. For a few moments there was con- 
siderable confusion, but the officer in command stopped the firing 
until he could ascertain the facts, which were soon learned, and quiet 
restored. As no one was hurt it ended in a good laugh, though it 
has never been settled as to " who took Martinsburg." 

After the regiment entered the town the band played " Yankee 
Doodle," " Glory Hallelujah," " Red, White, and Blue," and other 
patriotic airs for the benefit of those benighted citizens who pre- 
ferred the secesh song, " Maryland, My Maryland," which we heard 
so frequently sung during the winter. 

There is an interesting story about this song that deserves to be 
preserved. It was composed by James R. Randall, and was pro- 
nounced by James Russell Lowell to be the finest poem inspired by 
the war. In April, 186 1, Mr. Randall, a native of Maryland, then 
residing in Louisiana, published " An Exiled Son's Appeal " to his 
mother State to cast her fortunes with the seceding States of the 
South, The political feeling was intense in Maryland, and the stirring 
words of this poem fired the hearts of thousands of her people. 
The idea of wedding it to music was suggested, but its peculiar 
metre refused to adapt itself to any familiar air that was thought of, 
until one evening in June 1861, in Baltimore, at a social meeting of 
well-known persons in sympathy with the South, Miss Hettie Cary, 
desirous of making the meeting a notable success, suggested that the 
words " Maryland, My Maryland," which at that time constituted 
the chief mental pabulum of the Southerners, be adapted to music. 
In order to render the suggestion more impressive she declaimed 
the verses, when her sister Jennie exclaimed, " Lauriger Horatius," 
the well-known college song, and Miss Hettie Cary at once sang the 
words to that music, whereupon everybody present joined, making 


1862. the building ring with the great hymn. The two Misses 

Gary and a brother shortly afterward went South and did 
not return until after the war. On their way through Virginia they 
stopped for the night at Manassas and were serenaded by the band of 
the celebrated Washington Artillery of New Orleans, whose huts, by 
the way, we occupied later on at Centreville. When the band ceased 
playing a voice exclaimed, " Let's hear a woman's voice ! " And Miss 
Jennie Gary, standing in the tent door, sang " My Maryland." The 
refrain was at once taken up and sung by hundreds of rebel throats. 
After this scene nothing could have kept the song from living and grow- 
ing into the power it speedily attained. Miss Hettie Gary became the 
wife of General Pegram, and subsequently of Prof. H. Newell Martin. 

A good many of the houses in the town were found to be empty, 
the occupants having fled to parts unknown, whereupon we took 
possession of them for quarters and proceeded to make ourselves 

Company B, with a company from the Twelfth Indiana, was detailed 
for provost duty. 

It snowed hard in the afternoon, turning to rain before night. A 
good New England day. We found the population of Martinsburg 
to be five or six thousand inhabitants, and an important station on 
the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. On receiving information of 
our approach the enemy destroyed forty-eight locomotive engines, 
and the debris thereof was indeed a sight to see. 

Martinsburg was the residence of Mr. Faulkner, a man who had 
previously been distinguished by an appointment as Minister to 
France. His family having little faith in Yankee soldiers, requested 
a guard for the protection of themselves and their property, and cer- 
tain men of our regiment were detailed for the purpose. When the 
time came for cooking coffee, request was made for privilege to use 
the kitchen stove, but it was refused. The Union must be preserved 
and soldiers must have their coffee. The words " poltroons " and 
" cowards " and " vulgar Yankees " are not pleasant words to hear, 
even when uttered by a pretty woman. In this case they were spoken 
in French, whereupon one of the boys informed madam that he also 
spoke that language, which information so astonished her that she 
was glad to retire to the privacy of the upper rooms, leaving the 


"vulgar Yankees" in possession of the lower floor. The boys pro- 
ceeded without further delay to cook their coifee and to use the old 
man's library for their mental sustenance. Good books, good cof- 
fee, and a well-filled pipe will broaden the mind of a soldier so as to 
make him capable of swallowing a good deal of abuse. 

The feeling against the Union was very bitter in this town, as was 
expected it would be. The sentiment was not unanimous, however. 
We were made pretty well acquainted with the sentiments of the 
people through two boys from this town who had enlisted as drummers 
in the Thirteenth, and who proved themselves to be good soldiers. 
Their escape from Martinsburg and joining us at Williamsport, to- 
gether with the sufferings of their family for maintaining Union 
sentiments, would make a thrilling story if published. 

Washing-day. A soldier's washing-day is any day ; 
' some day when he couldn't stand it any longer, or when 

„ . ' he became convinced that " dirt is something in the wrong 
place." The colonel had us out this afternoon on battal- 
ion drill, in the mud, to show the "F.F.V's" what a Massachusetts 
regiment could do ; and a goodly sight it is to see, when the regiment 
is well drilled. The colonel enjoyed it more than we did. 

General Williams assumed command of the brigade to-day. 
Troops are arriving daily and molasses is ^1.75 per gallon. 

We were anxious at this time to see a regular thoroughbred 
"F.F.V.," about whom we had heard so much. Therefore some 
watched while others preyed, and those who preyed submitted sam- 
ples of their success for judgment. They were complimented for 
their earnestness, but informed that the " First Families of Vir- 
ginia" did not have feathers. They bore their disappointment with 
the tranquillity which possesses a man who has breakfasted on 
broiled chicken. In these searches for " Full Feathered Vir- 
ginians " the boys declared that they always met an officer's servant 
at the same coop. 

With the rest of the brigade we marched to Bunker 
Wednesday, Hill, ten miles, where we arrived late in the afternoon. 
March 5. The march was slow, owing to the mud. The soil was 
not too " sacred " for mud. Bunker Hill is a small vil- 
lage with scattering houses, one church, and a deserted mill. Two 


1862. companies, B and C, occupied the church, and company 

K, the mill. 

In a report made by General Jackson to Gen. Jos. E. Johnston, 
March 6, 1862, he says that "Yesterday the enemy advanced from 
Martinsburg to Bunker Hill. So Leonard, the commander, has 
effected a junction with Charlestown forces via the Charlestown and 
Smithfield road. Leonard, before leaving Martinsburg, sent his 
baggage in the direction of Williamsport. His column was about 
two miles long, composed of seven regiments of infantry, four com- 
panies of cavalry, and probably six pieces of artillery." Well- 
informed as he was about our movements, he omitted to mention 
the articles left behind by the rank and file before we left Martins- 
burg, though we still had three days' rations, forty rounds of ammuni- 
tion, and a gun called the Enfield rifle. On our arrival at Bunker Hill, 
we found eight rebels in a church, and retained them as prisoners. 
This shows how unadvisable it is to go to church on Tuesdays. 

We found at Bunker Hill no monument to mark the place where 
Warren fell, — probably because he preferred to fall in Massachu- 

Charlestown and Bunker Hill ! The Virginians were so bound up 
in the sacredness of their soil they were unable to appreciate the 
sacredness attached to these two names. 

A detail of Company D was left behind at Martinsburg to ac- 
company the wagon train. 

While at this place an incident occurred to sweeten the toil of 
drilling and guard duty of four of the boys. During the early part 
of our service, details were frequently made from the regiment to 
guard property, or the residences of citizens who feared depreda- 
tions by soldiers. Occasionally a detail of this kind would turn out 
to be a " soft snap." 

The following unique experience deserves to be recorded as evi- I 
dence of our appreciation of the unusual kindness shown. The 
afternoon of the day following our arrival, a Mr. W. HoUiday made 
application for a guard of protection for himself and wife, two people 
advanced in years, living about a mile from camp ; and four men 
were thereupon detailed for that duty, and returned with Mr. Holli- 


i852. day to his farm. He was also the owner of a mill near by, 

and appeared to be a man in prosperous circumstances. 
His son, a clergyman, was at that time preaching in Baltimore. Upon 
their arrival the boys proceeded to arrange their duties, expecting, of 
course, to stand guard the same as though they were in camp. To 
this plan the old gentleman strongly objected, saying that they must 
remain about the house while he would walk around the farm, and if 
any soldiers were in sight, would let them (the guard) know, when 
they were to order the trespassers away. There seemed to be no way 
of settling the matter except by agreeing to this plan, which practi- 
cally relieved them of all duty. Having been introduced to Mrs. Hol- 
liday, a kind, motherly old lady, and having observed the evidences 
of culture and refinement which existed about the house, the boys 
proceeded to enjoy themselves by sitting on the piazza or strolling 
about the place as best pleased them until supper was announced, 
when they were ushered into the dining-room. They had drawn 
three days' rations before starting, expecting to feed themselves, 
but the old people wouldn't listen to it for a minute. How pleasant it 
was once more to sit down to a table covered with a white cloth, and 
plenty to eat and drink. What a contrast the clean white plates made 
to the tin plates of the boys, already battered with hard usuage. In 
spite of craving appetites, they were unable to exhaust the supply 
of food, while it seemed to please the old couple to witness the en- 
joyment expressed in every mouthful the boys ate. After supper 
they all adjourned to the sitting-room, and before a blazing wood fire 
sat and talked the evening away. When bedtime arrived they 
were ushered upstairs by Mr. Holliday, who feared very much that 
they might not like the accommodations, as some accident had hap- 
pened to one of his bedsteads, by which he was compelled to give 
two of the party a double bed, and the others a pile of mattresses 
about three feet high. They very soon eased the old gentleman's mind 
on that score, as they saw the pains and trouble he had been to in 
looking after their comfort. What a luxury it was to get their clothes 
off and crawl in between sheets once more. " Good-night, boys ! and 
don't get up until I call you," were his last words. In the morning, 
at half-past eight, they heard his rap on the door. How pleased he 


1862. was to learn that they had had a glorious sleep ! What a 

kindly greeting they received from Mrs. HoUiday on en- 
tering the dining-room, and how interested were her inquiries about 
their comfort ! Even the logs in the fire-place sputtered a welcome ; 
and such a breakfast was laid before them ! There was hominy and 
bacon, hot biscuits and coffee, smoking hot potatoes, and broiled 
chicken ; and such an abundance ! Certainly this must all be a 
dream, from which they would soon awake to reaUty. To tackle such 
a lay-out as this, after living on hardtack and pork, required no 
urging. After breakfast, they retired to the sitting-room to sit by the 
fire while the old gentleman went on guard. This was the only 
thing that troubled the boys ; but there was no help for it, as he 
insisted in doing so in spite of their earnest protestations to the 
contrary. With books and games, they whiled the time away until 
dinner. On finishing breakfast they thought it hardly possible to 
ever want to eat again, but they sat down and packed themselves 
solid with food. This twenty-four hours was a sample of the three 
days they spent at this hospitable mansion. On the afternoon of 
the last day Mr. Holliday came in and informed them that a soldier 
was approaching the house. They saw it was no use to drive 
Jiim away, for he was evidently clothed with authority to drive them 
out of this paradise. He produced his " marching orders," which 
required them to report to camp. On the following morning they 
were up early to eat their last breakfast ; after which the old gentle- 
man accompanied them to camp to testify to their usefulness and the 
comfort they had been by their presence. While the boys were 
snoring in bed, Mrs. HoUiday had spent a good part of the night in 
baking biscuits and cake for them to take back to camp for distribu- 
tion among their comrades. If the dear old lady could have heard 
the cheers that went up as the contents of that bag were exposed, 
her heart would have throbbed with joy. 

General Banks paid the brigade a visit. What his 

"' g''' presence betokened we were unable to say, though the 
camp gossips amused themselves by constructing stories 
that would have honored Munchausen. 

A rebel deserter came into camp to-day, loaded to the muzzle 


1862. with lies for our digestion. We accepted a good deal 

of nonsense from these deserters, in our simplicity at this 
time, that didn't pass later on. He told great stories about men 
looking for opportunities to desert ; but we didn't see much of a 
procession of these fellows, so the war was continued. 

While the regiment was out on battalion drill in the 
Friday, afternoon, word was received that four hundred rebel 
March 7. cavalry were within four miles, whereupon we were 
double-quicked through the mud, across a brook, 
and down the road, expecting to have a brush with the 
"Johnnies." Just as we were halted and our guns loaded, we 
were met by regiments returning ; so back through the mud we 
marched to camp, our feet soaked and our legs covered with the 
" sacred soil." 

Three men shot on picket through their own carelessness, it is 
said. Men should never go on picket : it is dangerous. 

An order was issued to-day for the detail left at Williamsport to 
report to the regiment. An order was also issued that when men 
are obliged to fall out on a march they must be provided with 

The nights are so cold, we wondered where the man was who said 

Virginia was in the tropics. 

The President to-day issued the following order for 

Satur ay, ^j^^ organization of the active portion of the Army of 
March 8. " . ^ , ...... 

the Potomac mto four army corps, from. the divisions of 
Banks and Shields : 

Pre5idbnt*s General War 
Obder No. X. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, March 8, 1862. 
Ordered, I. That the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac 
proceed forthwith to organize that part of the said army destined to enter upon 
active operations (including the reserve, but excluding the troops to be left in the 
fortifications about Washington), into four army corps, to be commanded accord- 
ing to seniority of rank as follows : 

First Corps to consist of four divisions, and to be commanded by Major-Gen. 
I. McDowell. 


1862. Second Corps to consist of three divisions, and to be commanded 

by Brigadier-Gen. E. V. Sumner. 

Third Corps to consist of three divisions, and to be commanded by Brigadier- 
Gen. S. P. Heintzelman. 

Fourth Corps to consist of three divisions, and to be commanded by Brigadier- 
Gen. E. D. Keyes. 

2. That the divisions now commanded by the officers above assigned to the com- 
mand of army corps shall be embraced in and form part of their respective corps- 

3. The forces left for the defence of Washington will be placed in command 
of Brigadier-Gen. James S. Wadsworth, who shall also be military governor of 
the District of Columbia. 

1 4. That this order be executed with such promptness and despatch as not to 
delay the commencement of operations already directed to be undertaken by the 
Army of the Potomac. 

5. A Fifth Army Corps, to be commanded by Major-Gen. N. P. Banks, will 
be formed from his own and General Shields' (late General Lander's) divisions. 


It will be seen by this order that we were to be a part of the Fifth 
Corps of the Army of the Potomac. 

Strict orders were issued by direction of General 
Sunday, Williams that no commissioned officers nor privates are 
March g. to pass the picket-guard without a written pass. Wagons 
not to be sent out without sufficient guard. Guards or 
detachments with loaded muskets to discharge them between 9 and 
10 A.M., at a designated spot. That the safety of the command de- 
pends on the observance of this last order. 

Hard bread getting scarce. Flour issued in its place. Some of 
the boys clubbed together on drawing their flour, and had it baked 
into bread by one of the farmers' wives, paying therefor in coffee, 
which was rated at $1.50 per pound at the store. What a glorious 
opportunity for speculation ! 

Orders issued to cook three days' rations. Each offi- 
Monday, cer and soldier to see that everything is in perfect order, 
March 10. with forty rounds of ammunition in the cartridge-boxes. 
If there were any Quakers in the regiment, it was a good 
time for them to start for Philadelphia. We expected to march at 
10 A.M., but as it rained hard the order was countermanded. The 
war was therefore prolonged one day. 


i86a. Marched to Stephenson's Depot, six miles, and 

Tuesday, bivouacked in the woods about four miles from Winches- 
March ii. ter. As we marched out of Bunker Hill the usual crowd 
gathered to see the troops pass along. Among the num- 
ber was a young man who gave utterance to his rebellious thoughts 
by irritating remarks as to what we were likely to do on meeting 
Ashby's cavalry. When the price of salt is I30.00 per bag, it is not 
strange that the language of the people should smack of an unusual 

Our march was frequently obstructed by rebel cavalry under 
Ashby j but no one was hurt, though it looked rather shaky at times. 

The great caution that was observed in our march to-day made 
it late in the afternoon before we went into camp. Details were 
made for camp and picket-guard, camp-fires were lit, coffee cooked, 
and the proper degree of thankfulness expressed by those who 
escaped guard duty. 

After supper the men gathered round the fires for a smoke and to 
listen to the gossip of the regiment. It frequently happens that some 
one will invent a story, requesting the strictest secrecy, in order that 
it may travel the faster. In the course of twenty-four hours or so 
it will return, not exactly as it went forth, but so enlarged and ex- 
aggerated that you could scarcely recognize the original. Frequent 
repetition of this amusement very soon created such disbelief in all 
camp stories, that it was difficult to get one well started except by 
the exercise of considerable ingenuity. 

The rattle of drums and the sweet singing of birds 
announced that morn was here. The army was to move 
_, I on Winchester at once, so we hastily cooked our coffee, 

and as quickly as possible ate our breakfast. There 
was no time to spare, as orders to " fall in " were heard in every 
direction. Orders were received for the Thirteenth to take the 
advance of the column as skirmishers. Winchester was four miles 
away, occupied by 25,000 troops under Stonewall Jackson, and well- 
fortified by earthworks. As soon as we were out of the woods the 
regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and marched in that order in 
quick time across fields, over fences and stone walls, fording brooks 


1862. or creeks, preserving distances and line as well as we could 

under such disadvantages. The sensations we experi- 
enced on this bright, beautiful morning are not likely to be forgotten. 
It was very warm, and the march a hard one, because the line was ir- 
regularly obstructed. That is to say, while one part would be marching 
on the smooth surface of the ground, another part might be climbing 
a fence or wading a brook. To keep the line tolerably straight imder 
such exasperating circumstances was very trying and perspiring work. 
In addition to this we were, for the first time, in line of battle, and in 
plain sight of the rest of the division, who were watching our move- 
ments as they followed in close column. Situated as we were, there 
was no opportunity of obeying, without disgrace, those instincts of 
discretion which are said to be the better part of valor, and which 
prompt human nature to seek safety in flight. Those of us who 
omitted to sneak away before the line was formed, but who afterward 
showed such ingenuity and skill in escaping the dangers of battle, 
found no chance open for skulking on this occasion. Yes ! Uke 
other regiments, we had our percentage of men who dared to run 
away, that they might live to fight some other, far distant day. We 
saw those dreaded earthworks a long time before we reached them, 
and wondered at the enemy's silence, but concluded they were 
reserving their fire until we should be close enough for the greatest 
execution. Whatever the boys felt, there was no faltering or waver- 
ing. Within a short distance of the earthworks we formed in close 
order, and with a yell and a rush we bounded over them to find, 
after all our fears and anticipations, they were empty. We were 
soon formed in line, and marched, in column of companies, into 
town, being the first Union regiment that entered Winchester. We 
felt proud enough at our bloodless victory. 

We had hardly entered the main street of the town when General 
Jackson and Colonel Ashby were discovered on horseback, in front of 
the Taylor House, waving an adieu with their hats. An order was 
immediately given to fire, but we were not quick enough to do them I 
harm or retard their flight. This was a daring thing to do, though 
common enough with such men as Jackson and Ashby. 

We marched down the main street, the band playing patriotic airs, 


i86z. while the people scanned our appearance to see what a 

Yankee looked like. Some who were prepared to scoff 
could get no farther than " How fat they are ! " 

After the companies were assigned to quarters the officers met at 
the Taylor House, and dined on the meal provided for Jackson and 
his staff. 

The regiment was detailed as provost guard of the town, and pro- 
ceeded at once to secure quarters in the unoccupied buildings. 

Winchester is a town of four or five thousand inhabitants, blessed 
with a water-supply, is the county seat, has a medical college and 
a hotel. In addition to all these advantages, it was one of the hot- 
beds of secession. 

Our duties as provost guard made the stay in Winchester very 
attractive. The regiment was always allowed great liberty by the 
colonel, who found by experience that the men could be trusted 
with it ; so we roamed about town, when not on duty, as pleased us 
best. The men who were on duty, not wishing to be outdone by 
the colonel, also granted liberties to those of their comrades whom 
they knew fAey could trust. One of the places we were called upon 
to guard was the dining-room of the Taylor House, where many of 
the officers were quartered, to prevent any one not a commissioned 
officer entering without a pass. It so happened that a few of us 
dined there each day at the landlord's expense, the guard finding it 
difficult to detect the difference between a man who was a commis- 
sioned officer, and one who wanted to be. 

Two of the companies were quartered in the hall in the court- 
house. As the hall was provided with a platform, an opportunity 
was afforded of having some singing and dancing by Southern darkies 
whom we corralled each day, for the purpose, and to which the 
whole regiment was invited. The dancing was vigorous, and the 
singing, — \?ell, it was not what we hoped it would be. It began 
with a grand anthem of one hundred and thirty-nine stanzas, all just 
alike, which was ground out by the yard. A hat was placed on the 
front of the platform, to receive donations from time to time, as 
encouragement. When we got as many yards of the anthem as we 
could stand, we shut them off and made them dance — as a rest. 


1862. When we thought they had sufficient rest we started them 

on again with the anthem until we got enough of both, 
when we divided the contents of the hat and fired them out. The 
anthem was as follows : 

" And it's Old John Brown don't you see 
It'll never do for you to try to set the darkies free 
For if you do the people will come from all around 
And take you down and hang you up in old Charlestown." 

There was no punctuation about it, and the only way we distin- 
guished the verses was the emphasis placed on the word " and," on 
beginning each stanza. There was a dispute as to whether the 
number of stanzas was one hundred and thirty-nine or one hundred 
and forty ; but one of the boys says he counted one hundred and 
thirty-nine, and that ought to settle it. 

It was while we were at Winchester that the government issued 
the new currency called " greenbacks," fac-similes of which were 
pubUshed in the illustrated papers. The currency of the Confed- 
eracy was printed on various kinds of material, such as match-paper, 
cloth, etc. The people of Winchester who believed that our gov- 
ernment was as badly off as their own thought these fac-similes were 
good money, and received them as such until one was offered at a 
sutler's store and refused, when a great ado was made at the " Yankee 
trick." As soon as it was known that these fac-similes would be 
taken by the people, the price of " Harper's Weekly " or " Frank 
Leslie's " paper rose very high. An appeal was made to the colonel 
for restitution, notwithstanding that " all is fair in love or war." The 
perpetrators of this fraud were never found. Curious, isn't it? 

During our brief stay in Winchester the boys enjoyed a little 
fiin at the expense of the fair sex of that distinguished town. A 
sutler of one of the regiments having secured a store on the main 
street for the sale of his goods, hung out over the sidewalk a Union flag. 
The sight of the " Stars and Stripes " produced about the same effect 
on the people as the sight of a red rag would upon an enraged bull. 
Rather than dishonor themselves by walking beneath it, they turned 
into the middle of the street to escape the humiliation. On the fol- 


1862. lowing day some members of the "Ninth New York" 

hung a large flag across the middle of the street, while- 
Company K of the Thirteenth stretched another one across the op- 
posite sidewalk, thus completely blocking the street. A rebel flag 
was then laid flat on the sidewalk. Supposing this to be like those 
above, they trampled upon it and tore it with their feet, to the great 
merriment of the boys, who loudly applauded the act. The mortifi- 
cation they felt on discovering their error was too exasperating for 
concealment, and so found vent in expressions of disgust which added 
still more to the fun. 

The repugnance which the women of the South felt for a Yankee 
frequently found expression in contemptuous remarks. At dress- 
parade, one night, as we were falling into line, on the double-quick, 
a woman shouted, "Ashby'll make you run faster than that!" 
Who knows but this unhappy creature may have inherited a copy 
of the "Vinegar Bible," and that constant reading of it may have 
fermented the natural sweetness of her disposition ? One would think 
that nothing but an extermination of the whole race of Yankees 
would satisfy her anger, so bitter was her feeling. 

It was at Winchester that some of the boys were called upon 
from Company D to show their mechanical ingenuity in recon- 
structing a dilapidated engine, one of three left by the enemy, 
and they succeeded so well that it was sent to Halltown, near 
Harper's Ferry, for flour. It was no light job the boys had, and 
they deserved all the fun they got out of it. When the work was 
completed a train was attached, and about eighty men were taken 
aboard, armed with implements, including iron and spikes, to make 
such repairs as were needed in the progress of their journey. The 
track was composed of heavy strap iron, spiked on to wooden 
stringers. Reaching Charlestown, the cars were dropped, while the 
locomotive proceeded to Halltown, accompanied by a small detail. 
Later in the afternoon the party returned, having first secured a 
train of cars which were loaded with flour for the troops in Win- 
chester. The vacant space was taken up by men on leaves of 
absence returning to camp, who availed themselves of the opportu- 
nity thus afforded to escape a long tramp to Winchester. This 


1862. addition to the number made the journey back anything 

but pleasant, besides greatly lessening the speed. Pretty 
soon a curious sound from the internal organs of the engine caught the 
ear. There was something the matter with the iron horse. He blew 
and snorted as though he had the belly-ache, when climbing an up- 
grade. Very soon the monotony of his funereal pace became unbear- 
able, and to his hissing and sputtering was added the grumbling of 
the tired passengers, who longed for a sight of Winchester. Added to 
other troubles was the discovery that a bridge was on fire, the work 
of some Southerner who believed in a vigorous prosecution of the 
war, by his side, in order to shorten it. Fortunately for the party, 
the wood was sufficiently damp to prevent the bridge from being 
destroyed. It had the eftect, however, of enlivening the drowsy 
faculties of the party, who kept a sharp lookout for further danger. 
Near midnight, with Winchester two miles away, the iron horse 
started on an up-grade, puffing and blowing with all his might, until, 
completely out of breath, he gave up the trial and rolled back to 
the level below. The boys rested him a moment, then opened 
wide his old throttle, and up the grade \ie went once more ; but 
when almost up, he " busted " one of his intestines, enveloping 
the whole train with steam. Matters were very lively for a few 
moments. The party scattered like rats from a sinking ship. The 
" iron horse " was abandoned to his fate, and the party walked into 
Winchester. The freight was subsequently brought into town by army 

Winchester was the home of Mason, of the firm of Mason and 
Slidell, that famous pair of rebels who came so near embroiling us in 
a war with England. They were appointed by the Confederate gov- 
ernment as envoys to European courts, and were taken by the rebel 
gunboat " Theodora " to Havana, escaping the watchfulness of our 
cruisers. Upon their arrival at that port they became inflated with a 
lofty admiration of their consequence, forgetting how illusive is the 
vainglory of the world. Assuming an importance out of keeping 
in men representing a rebellious government, they attracted the at- 
tention of the world to their missson and its purport, thereby laying 
the foundation of their subsequent failure as diplomats. From 


1862. Havana they embarked on board the English steamship 

" Trent," bound for " Merrie England." 

It so happened that the noise of their doings reached the ears of 
Commodore Wilkes, who was on his way home from Africa in the 
" San Jacinto." Impressed with the idea that they were fair game to 
capture, wherever they might be found, he overhauled the "Trent" 
•and demanded their surrender. After removing them to the " San 
Jacinto," which, by the way, was not accomplished without some 
friction, Commodore Wilkes set sail for Fort Warren, Boston Har- 
bor, where he deposited his thoroughly disgusted prisoners, to enjoy 
the care and entertainment of the government, while he enjoyed the 
hospitality proffered him by the people of Boston, where his action 
made him a great hero. 

All this, which happened in November, 1861, made a deuce of a 
row. Our government soon learned that yanking the British lion's 
tail, without lawful right, meant something, and it was forced to eat 
its dish of " crow " by apologizing for its hasty action, and transfer- 
ring the prisoners to an English ship, anchored at Provincetown, 
and thus fortunately ending the matter. 

In -consequence of these exciting incidents Mr. Mason's resi- 
dence became an object of much curiosity, and as a guard was 
detailed from the Thirteenth to protect the premises, we had 
an opportunity of becoming distantly acquainted with his family. 
Their sentiments were of the rabid kind. They believed a dead 
Yankee was the best kind of a Yankee. We did our best, by good 
nature and politeness, to remove their impressions ; but it was no go, 
as the gangrene of contempt had too deeply affected their minds to 
allow a change of heart. When the guard arrived at the house, Mrs. 
Mason, mistaking their purpose, remonstrated against any " Northern 
mudsills " entering her premises, which statement was promptly 
communicated to the colonel, who soon made his appearance and 
explained to her that it was the guard sent to protect her and her 
property from the presence of persons whom she had no wish to see. 
And this is the way we were treated in return for all our kindness and 
attention to her husband during his stay at Fort Warren. 

An order was this day issued by General McClellan, in accord- 


1862. ance with the President's order of the 8th inst., desig- 

March 13. nating General Banks' corps, composed of the divisions 
of Generals Williams and Shields, as the Fifth Corps. 
An order was also issued this day by General Banks to his troops, 
containing the following : 

The commanding general learns with sincere regret that officers in some cases, 
from mistaken views, either tolerate or encourage depredations upon property. 
This is deeply regretted. He calls upon them to reflect upon the destructive 
influences which attend such practices, and to remember the declaration of the 
great master of the art of war, that pillage is the most certain method of dis- 
organizing and destroying an army. 

When we reflect how much property we protected, and thereby 
made useful for Jackson in his subsequent raids up the valley, we 
naturally ask which army he means will be destroyed. 

So far as our experience goes, the people of Winchester ex- 
pressed astonishment that no plundering had occurred, as they had 
been informed that terrible things would happen upon our entry 
into town. Whether they lied or not we are unable to say, but they 
said the town was never so quiet as during our stay there. It may 
be they spoke the truth, as most of the stores were closed upon our 
entrance, but shortly afterward opened, doing a thriving business. 

Early in the morning the right wing of the regiment, 
Saturday, with two companies of cavalry and four pieces of artillery, 
March 13. made a reconnoissance to Newtown, eight miles away. 
Upon our arrival at that place, we found the enemy 
drawn up in line of battle in readiness to make it warm for us should 
we feel disposed to advance. The artillery was immediately placed 
in position and began firing. Whether we did any damage or not 
we had no means of knowing. On our side no one was hurt, though 
several were badly scared. During this desultory firing, arrangements 
were being quietly made by the enemy to gobble the whole outfit, 
which action was discovered in season to prevent its completion. 
As there, was no time to countermarch the regiment, it marched 
back to Winchester " left in front," the small men thereby taking the 
lead. It soon began to rain, and before our arrival in Winchester 

thirteenth: mass. vols. 37 

i86a. we were drenched to the skin. This return march of 

eight miles was made in one hour and fifty minutes — 
extraordinsrrily good time for a regiment marching in column, and 
will be recollected by the participants for that, if for nothing else. 
It was a great day for the " ponies," as it was they who set the pace. 

The average speed of a regiment on the march is from two to 
two and a half miles per hour. This speed includes such delays as 
occur from obstructions in the road, caused generally by streams 
that are not bridged. It sometimes happens that a speed of three 
miles per hour, and occasionally three and a half miles, is attained 
under special circumstances. In the march from Newtown, just 
recorded, the rate of speed exceeded four miles per hour ; a very 
exceptional case. 

The manner of marching was in fours, and by what is known as 
" route step ; " that is, " go as you please." The men were generally 
in step, because it was easier, as everybody knows. You were at 
liberty to carry your gun, knapsack, blankets, ammunition, etc., as 
best pleased yourself. Three to five days' rations were often carried 
in the haversack. In the last part of the war, to have had issued 
to you for three days such a quantity and variety of rations as was 
given you for one day at this time would have made a man think 
he was preparing for Thanksgiving day. 

The machinery necessary for providing an army as large as the 
Union army with daily rations seemed to us the most wonderful of 
the various responsibilities that occupied the attention of the gov- 
ernment. The occasions were rare when the soldier worried himself 
about the matter. Of course it did happen occasionally that he was 
forced to put up with short commons, as in cases where forced 
marches were suddenly made, or where supplies were cut off by raids 
of the enemy. In instances where the full ration was not issued, it 
was the custom of the government to commute the difference, pay- 
ing the sum so realized to each company, which fund was known as 
the " company fund," and which was held by the captain, who was 
allowed to draw therefrom for such purposes as, in his judgment, 
were necessary for the comfort of his men. The rations issued the 
first year of the war were good, and little cause for complaint ex- 


1862. isted, as a rule. Later, when the exigencies of the service 

prevented their prompt delivery, hardtack, from exposure 
to the weather, was frequently ornamented with a bordar of green, 
and occasionally with maggots or weevils. Coffee and pork came in 
for their share of these diminutive specimens of animal life. As we 
advanced in our education and experience as soldiers, a small matter 
of this kind ceased to have a disturbing influence in our daily life. 
Hardtack was a nutritious article of diet, and though soft bread was 
occasionally issued, old soldiers preferred the former, not only for 
its compactness, but for its sustaining and satisfying qualities. When 
it left the oven it was uniformly good, as it was uniformly hard. 

The chaplain preached a rattling sermon on the evils 
Sunday, of secession, in front of the court-house. Notice having 
March 16. been given out to the towns-people that he was to 

preach, advantage was taken by some of them to be 
present and listen to a " Yankee " preacher. An opportunity was 
thus afforded the chaplain of airing his eloquence, with which he 
was highly gifted, on these degenerate sons of Virginia. 

St. Patrick's day without a procession in honor of the man who 

drove snakes out of Ireland is a deprivation we were 
Monday, unused to. What a terrible thing is war ! We were now 
March 17. in a part of the country where an " F.F.V." was a bigger 

man than St. Patrick. 
For real thoroughbred aristocracy, the " First Families of Vir- 
ginia " can lay over, or think they can, all the " blue-bloods " of the 
North or South. They have a well-grounded opinion of their superi- 
ority to other mortals in this world, with anticipations of a similar 
rank in the next. Perhaps they expect, on announcing their 
names at the gates of Paradise, that St. Peter will doff his cowl with 
becoming humility, and lead them to the seats already reserved 
about the throne for people whose blood is of the ultra- marine hue. 
In their opinion, to bear the label " F.F.V." confers a distinction 
that no honor can excel. It is a brand of aristocracy too choice 
to be the reward of mere wealth. As a rule they were persons of 
culture and refinement, and took great pride and pleasure in dis- 
pensing a generous though ruinous hospitaUty. They looked upon 


x86a. themselves as the nobility of the land, and prior to the 

war, with abundance of means, and numerous slaves to do 
their bidding, many of them led ideal lives. It is not to be wondered 
at, therefore, that the breaking up of such an existence should develop 
an unnatural animosity toward the government. It was impossible to 
live as they did, in the dazzling rays of external splendor, without ex- 
citing the unreasoning enmity of their less fortunate neighbors, who 
took advantage of our presence to retaliate. It happened after we 
crossed the river into Virginia, that, knowing little about them, 
we sought every opportunity of exciting mirth or provoking ridicule 
at their weaknesses. As we became acquainted with them, we were 
ready to believe them to be generous, brave, and attractive in 
manners, except when their tempers were excited, as against the 
North, and then they were rabid and unreasonable. We soon learned 
that every ill-clad ignorant specimen on the roadside was not an 
" F.F.V." We also learned that their less fortunate neighbors took 
every opportunity of maligning them, and the stories told us of the 
terrible things they were doing had to be taken with a good deal 
of allowance, otherwise we might have done them injustice. 



1862. Companies B and K, retained in town for duty while 

Tuesday, ^j^g ^ggj gf ^]^g regiment prepared to go into camp, an 
March 18. ^j^j^j. jj^ying been received transferring the Thirteenth to 

General Abercrombie's brigade. During the day we called 
on our old associates of Hamilton's brigade and bade them good-by. 
General Shields with his division of 10,000 men passed through 
Winchester to-day and made a good show. 

Marched out of town about two miles ; pitched tents 
Wednesday, in sight of the camps of the Second and Twelfth Massa- 
Marcb 19. chusetts regiments. We then marched to the camp$ of 

the regiments in Abercrombie's brigade, that we might 
see them, and let them see us. The new brigade was composed of 
the Twelfth Massachusetts, Ninth New York (Eighty-third Vok.), 
the Twelfth and Sixteenth Indiana regiments. Whatever may have 
been their opinion of us, we were favorably impressed with our new 
associates. We thus began an association with the Twelfth Massa- 
chusetts and Ninth New York regiments that lasted during the rest of 
our service, and with whota we shared a good many hardships and 
dangers as time rolled on. 

It snowed and hailed last night, and to-day it rained, 
Thursday, jq .^g were relieved of drills and dress parade. We were 

surprised to find such weather as this in Virginia. It 
looked like an infringement on New England's weather patent. 

Marched with the brigade in an easterly direction, ten 
Friday, miles, toward Berryville, and went into camp in the 
March 21. ^QQ(jg about two miles short of that town. It rained 

hard nearly all day, and it was dark before we halted. 
Building fires with wet, green wood required a deal more of Christian 
patience than most of us possessed, to refrain from swearing. Some 


of the boys, whose abilities to overcome obstacles seemed super- 
human, succeeded in boiling coffee. 

At daylight we built fires and tried to dry our blankets 

'862. before marching, as a wet blanket is no light load to tote 


March 22. °^^' ^ mountain. About 9 o'clock we took up the 

line of march to Snicker's Gap in the Bull Run Moun- 
tains, passing through Berryville, where we stopped for half an hour 
or more, and where we saw some pretty girls, which prompted one of 
the boys to sing that song which includes : 

" And the captain with his whiskers 
Took a sly glance at me." 

Though nothing but a village, it had a few stores and a hotel, 
so we were able to provide ourselves with some of the delicacies ex- 
posed for sale. We then proceeded across the Shenandoah River, by 
means of a pontoon bridge, and up the mountain to a level plain in 
Snicker's Gap, where we pitched tents for the night in a beautifiil 
pine grove, and where we found plenty of good water. 

Continued the march about 7 o'clock, passing down 
Sunday, '^^ ^^^*- ^^^^ °^ *^^ mountain through the village of 
March 23. Snickersville and on to Aldie, eighteen miles. A good 

day's work for Sunday. The colonel was good enough 
to compliment us on our marching. Well, taffy is an article that 
pleases soldiers just the same as it does others of God's children. 
Orders were issued by General Abercrombie not to meddle with fence 
rails. There was never anything invented in the shape of wood that 
would make a better or quicker fire than a fence rail. As the colo- 
nel had already given orders not to take any but the top rail, we 
adhered strictly to that humorous injunction. 

Remained in camp until 5 P.M., when we received 
Monday orders to return to Berryville with the greatest possible 
March 24. haste. Banks had been, or was about to be, attacked by 

Jackson, hence the necessity of our being near when 
needed. We should have liked it much. better if Jackson had made 
his attack before we left Winchester, and not waited until we were 
forty miles away. 


1862. Wading through streams had been disastrous to the 

home-made boots of a good many of the boys, who 
found it impossible to get them on to their feet, and were therefore 
oWiged to walk in stockings or go barefoot. As stockings were a 
poor protection, there were some pretty sore feet by the time the 
eighteen miles were accomplished. Mile after mile of this weary 
march we counted off, until at last the little stone church in 
Snickersville, at the foot of the mountain, appeared in sight, lighted 
as if for a social gathering. The temptation to stop was very 
great, and many there were in the brigade who availed themselves 
of the opportunity. 

\Vhat a scene was presented to view on entering the door ! 
Men were lying on the seats, under the seats, in the aisles, in the 
pulpit ; every available spot, large enough to stow a body, was found 
to be occupied, until they were packed as closely as sardines in a 
box. Though every lamp in the church was lighted, there was no 
one awake to enjoy it; all were snoring away like so many pigs, 
reminding one of a pond of bull-frogs on a summer's night. " Be- 
hold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together 
in unity." 

One of our boys finding no place whereon to lay his head, 
trudged up the mountain and rejoined the regiment, which had al- 
ready pitched tents on the same ground occupied by it two nights 
before. " Where have you been? " was the inquiry that greeted him 
as he entered the tent. " To church," he answered. " Yes," said 
another, " he probably stopped to p-r-e-y." 

When reveille was sounded, it seemed as though we 
Tuesday, had been asleep but a few minutes. We stretched our- 
March 25. selves into shape, however, answered to roll-call, cooked 

our " regular coffee," and prepared to march at 9 o'clock, k 
About a mile from camp, as we reached the brow of the mountain, 
we were informed that the pontoon bridge over the Shenandoah was 
carried away, and that we should be obliged to wait until it was 
rebuilt before continuing our journey. These were tidings of great 
joy, affording us an opportunity of sleeping or gazing on the beautiful 
valley of this attractive river, and a lovelier sight never greeted the 


1862. eye of man. An opportunity was also afforded those 

who needed them to draw shoes from the quartermaster. 

Some of us, afflicted with more pride than sense, had been having 
our boots made to order and sent out from home, and now became 
acquainted, for the first time, with the virtues of an " army shoe," 
and in a few days were ready to testify that we never saw a shoe so 
well adapted for its purpose. 

About 3 o'clock we resumed our march down the mountain, 
crossed the river and were well on our way toward Berr)rville, when 
a courier from General Banks met us with an order to return j so back 
up the mountain we marched to our camp-ground in the woods, 
where for the third time we pitched our tents, " Dei gratia," as 
General Rosecrans says in one of his orders. 

At 8 o'clock A.M. we started down the mountain 
Wednesday, on the road to Aldie, again passing through the village 
March z5. of SnickersviUe, where, as before, our appearance ruffled 
the tempers of tJie villagers, who expressed their con- 
tempt by making faces and calling us " Miserable Yankees." We 
were not disturbed at these exhibitions, though some of the boys ex- 
ercised their wit in rather irritating words. As we passed by the 
httle stone church we noticed it was closed. Where were all the 
pious pilgrims who occupied it two nights ago ? We halted at Goose 
Creek for the night, in a beautiful piece of woods. We had hardly 
dropped our knapsacks when the order was given to "fall in," in- 
formation having been received that the enemy was advancing toward 
us from Aldie. We soon learned that the alarm was false, and, to our 
delight, the order was countermanded. 

The spot selected for our camp was in a beautiful piece of woods, 
in close proximity to a clear, sparkling brook, but its situation with 
respect to a rail' fence, upon which we relied for our fuel, was a bad 
one, inasmuch as it necessitated our walking by the general's tent, if 
we succeeded in getting any of that forbidden fruit called rails. As 
soon as tents were pitched, men from each company, in merry mood, 
started for rails, without the least suspicion that General Abercrombie 
had placed his tent on the side of the road at the very point where 
they expected to get them. Their chagrin, as they saw the general. 


i86a. like a watch-dog, sitting in front of his tent facing the 

very fence they proposed to seize, is not easily described. 
The ill-luck which is said to accompany the number thirteen 
seemed to acquire justification while we were with Abercrombie. 
His prejudice against us was unaccountable, considering we had 
been under his command but a week. If any man in the brigade 
was caught violating an order, the general's first instinct was to 
suspect the offender as being a Thirteenth man. In this particular 
instance, men belonging to other regiments and companies could be 
plainly seen beyond, helping themselves to rails without hindrance, so 
it was easy to reason that a change had taken place in his feelings 
about not touching them, though the boys hardly dared to take them 
from under his very nose, as it was too much like bearding the lion 
in his den. Suddenly he disappeared in his tent. Such an apparent 
dispensation of Providence was made the most of. As rapidly as 
possible they loaded themselves with all the rails they could carry, 
and hurried back to camp, careful to niake no noise as they passed 
his tent. Just as they were congratulating themselves on escaping 
observation, the general suddenly made his appearance. 

" His brow was sad; his eye beneath 
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath." 

Above the braying of hungry mules could be heard his shrill voice 
shouting, "Fut down those rails J" Appreciating that prompt and 
cheerful obedience is one of the attributes of a good soldier, they 
hurried along with might and main to obey his order, but the spot 
selected was not where he wanted them "put down." The greatest 
soldiers will oflen differ about the interpretation of an order. As 
nothing was said about the particular spot where the rails were to be 
put down, the boys could only guess what might be his wishes. As 

oflen happens, they guessed wrong. Once again he yelled, "D ^M 

YOU, PUT DOWN THOSE RAILS ! " As they turned into the woods to the 
camp, the rails on their shoulders took every sort of angle. While 
one might be poking into the ground, another would be pointed to 
the sky, while others would steer off to the right or lefl, — all wanting 
to go in different directions, making it an embarrassing piece of work 


1862. to pilot them among the trees. At last the boys reached 

camp, completely blown and considerably scared with the 
fear that an aid might soon come with an order for them to appear 
before General Abercrombie. This anticipation, however, did not 
interfere with building fires, as that work proceeded at once, and 
very soon the odor of boiling coffee could be distinguished. 

As time wore on, and no officer appeared with a summons, courage 
returned, and more rails were procured — this time without attracting 
notice. Very soon the men gathered round huge fires to listen to 
songs, or to hear the latest gossip. A common topic of discussion 
during this early part of our service was the probability of our return 
home in a few days, without seeing any fighting. 

About 3.30 A.M. the long roll was sounded, and in 

u s ay, pQjjjpa^jjy ^(.j^ ^jjg Sixteenth Indiana Infantry, a section 
of artillery and a squadron of cavalry, we made a 
reconnoissance to Middleburg, about six miles away, with 
the hope of surprising a rebel camp in that town. The morning was 
bright and clear and the air delightfully invigorating. Though we 
marched as fast as we could, we found the enemy had been warned 
of our approach in season to leave without the risk of a battle, 
whereupon we were halted in the main street of this pretty town for 
an hour's rest before returning to camp. During our temporary 
stay the boys made good use of their time by skirmishing for some- 
thing to eat. 

Our trip was not wholly devoid of fun, as will be seen by the 
following incident which occasioned the ■ remark, " Who stole the 
honey ? " that has been so often repeated at our regimental gatherings 
since the war. One of the boys having discovered a beehive, 
seized it and returned to the regiment with it in his arms ; while a 
short distance away, the loser, like Aristaeus of old, was exclaiming, 
" Mother ! they've stolen my bees ! " As the forager approached the 
regiment he was greeted with shouts of laughter, and " Put down that 
honey !" Though bedaubed with the contents of the hive, and 
presenting the most ridiculous appearance, he was in no way discon- 
certed at the uproar he created, and so had both honey and friends 
with whom to share it. 


1862. Started at 8 A.M. and marched eighteen miles to 

Friday, Pleasant Valley, on the road to Centreville. A hot day 

and a dusty road. 

Marched to Blackburn's Ford, seven miles, passing 

Saturday, through Centreville. A part of the way we marched 
March 29. 

across the fields. We halted about an hour at Centreville 

in some rebel huts, which protected us from a driving snow- 
storm. Resumed our march, in snow and rain, to our destination, 
near the Bull Run battlefield, where we found another lot of huts, 
the recent quarters of the Washington Artillery from New Orleans. 
Some of the men preferred tents. There were a good many evidences 
about these huts that showed a festivity not common in the Union 
army — such as champagne and whiskey bottles. Some of their 
mess-houses were embellished with signs such as "Yahoos," "Rest 
for the Pilgrims," " Pot-pourri," etc., etc. 

A good deal of interest was shown among the boys to investigate 
our surroundings on this unfortunate field, which looked more like a 
graveyard than anything else. One of the boys counted seventy 
dead horses in the last two miles of our march. It is said these 
horses were starved to death for want of forage. The odor that 
penetrated the camp was very disagreeable. 

The seventh day of the week. The day on which the 
March^'^o ^^^ rested. As it rained hard all day, we also rested, 
though no chime of bells saluted the ear. 

Some of the boys complained that the water we were drinking had 
a bad taste. An investigation showed there was reason why it should 
as it flowed through the putrid remains of a dead horse a short dis- 
tance above where we took it. To complain about a little thing like 
that showed what mere tadpoles of soldiers we were in comparison 
with our experience later on — after our taste had been cultivated by 
rancid pork, mouldy hardtack, and buggy coffee. Yes, we still re- 
tained some of the fastidious and dainty habits of the sybarite. 

About 4.30 P.M. we marched to Manassas, five miles, 
Monday, ^^^^ ^ corduroy road, and went into camp. A more 
Marcn 31. /^ j c ^ ■> i-..- 

(jOQ-torsaken place than Manassas Junction was never 

About everything, even to houses, were found to be in 



i86z. On our way here, a batch of forty-five recruits met us, 

and a fine set of boys they were. They struck us just 
as the hard times were beginning, and at a time when the selfish 
propensities of some of the boys had been excited into activity, as 
negotiations were imimediately begun for the exchange of old worn- 
out dippers, for the bright new ones just brought out from Boston. 
Upon the untruthful representation that the old dippers were captured 
or found on the battlefield, the new recruits showed great eagerness 
to possess them. The exchange was completed so quickly that warn- 
ing came too late to be of service to some of the recruits. The trans- 
action was so emphatically condemned by the regiment that most of 
the dippers were returned. 

"All- Fools' day " was sunny and warm. Recruits were 
Tuesday, assigned to various companies, choice being allowed those 
April I. who had friends with whom they wished to serve. 

We spent the day, while waiting for the supply train 
to bring us shoes and rations, in looking over the earthworks thrown 
up by the enemy, and examining the ruined shops, houses, etc. 

Marched fourteen miles by the Orange & Alexandria 
Wednesday, Railroad track to Warrenton Junction. The highway 
April 2. vvas terribly muddy, and the distance by it twice as long. 
As the company wagons failed to reach us, we turned in 
supperless. In theory, marching on a railroad is much more fatigu- 
ing than on the highway. It didn't seem to be so in this case, as the 
men arrived in excellent order and condition. Bivouacked in the 
woods. From the manner in which the rails were torn up and 
twisted, it was evident our progress was to be delayed as much as 
possible. The shapes into which they were turned gave rise to 
the name "Jeff. Davis' cravats." 

No breakfast. Surely this must be " Fast day." 
Thursday, "Where, oh, where are the teams?" We listened in 
Aprils. vain for 

" That all-softening, overpowering knell. 
The tocsin of the soul — the dinner-bell." 

In the afternoon the teams arrived, bringing tents and food, and all 
were happy. 


1862. Put the camp in order, that is, as good order as could 

Friday, ^^ ggj. q^j ^f ^ swamp-hole. We wondered who selected 
^" *■ this spot for a camp. Fresh meat was issued. After we 
had removed every particle of meat from the bones, 
General Blenker's corps, who were in camp near us, took the leavings, 
such as bones, entrails, etc., and had a regular Thanksgiving dinner 
on what our luxurious natures discarded as useless. In the afternoon 
the Ninth New York band entertained us with music, and not to be 
outdone in courtesy, we sent our band to their camp. We enjoyed 
their music and likewise the courtesy which prompted it. 

Sutler arrived. The following order was received : 

April s. 

Washington, D.C, April 4, 1862. 

Maj.-Gen. George B. TAcClX-iAJM, Fort Munroe ; 

Two new departments have this day been created, one called the Department of 
the Shenandoah, under the command of Major-General Banks, comprising that 
portion of Virginia and Maryland lying between the Mountain Department and 
the Blue Ridge; the other to be called the Department of the Rappahannock, 
under the command of Major-General McDowell, comprising that portion of 
Virginia east of the Blue Ridge and west of the Potomac and Fredericksburg and 
Richmond Railroad, including the District of Columbia and the country between 
the Potomac and Patuxent. 

(Signed) L. THOMAS, 

Adjutant- General. 

It will be seen by this that we were now a part of the Department 
of the Rappahannock. 

Company D, with one company from each regiment in 
Sunday ^^ brigade and a section of artillery, went out on a re con- 
April 6. noissance to the Rappahannock River, and a rough time 
they had of it in the rain, hail, and snow, one or the other 
of which prevailed all the time, while the mud was indescribable. 
They left camp at 1 1 P.M. 

Inspection. How we loved this duty ! Services by the chaplain, 
who preached to us about following the flag, it being an allegorical 
piece of word-painting, inspired by a few words he overheard a man 
in the New York Ninth say on the way up Snicker's Mountain, as 
that regiment was ordered to " fall in." 


i86a. The following communication was this day sent to 

General McClellan by Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War : 

Your instructions to McBowell did not appear to contemplate the removal of 
his force until some time this week. The enemy were reported to be still in 
force at Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, and threatening Winchester and the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The force under Banks and Wadsworth was 
deemed by experienced military men inadequate to protect Winchester and the 
railroad, and was much less than had been fixed by your corps commanders as 
necessary to secure Washington. It was thought best, therefore, to detach either 
McDowell or Sumner, and as part of Sumner's corps was already with you, it was 
concluded to retain McDowell. 

This order was commented on by General McClellan in a private 
letter, as follows : 

Near Yorktown, April 6, 1862. 

While listening this P.M. to the sound of the guns, I received an order 
detaching McDowell's corps from my command. It is the most infamous thing 
that history has recorded. I have made such representations as will probably 
induce a revocation of the order, or at least save Franklin to me. 

It is interesting to know that he succeeded in saving Franklin's 
corps. At the time when this was written one might excuse such a 
statement in a man whose anger had run away with his judgment, but 
after the lapse of twenty years to repeat it, as he has done in " His 
Own Story," seems incredible. " The most infamous thing recorded 
in history! " To a man of McClellan's conceit it may be natural 
that he should consider the events of history as insignificant in com- 
parison with his personal annoyances. 

The effect of this order, so far as we were concerned, was 
important, inasmuch as it completely changed the current of our 

Monday, General Abercrombie made the following report of the 

April 7. reconnoissance in which Company D took part : 

A reconnoissance was made last night to the river where a picket guard and a 
few infantry were discovered, occupying what appears to be rifle-pits and two 
small redoubts of recent construction covering the fords. Some of the slaves 
who have come in say the rebels appear to be retiring. 

We wished as much might be said of the mud. 


1862. We were obliged to resort to various devices to keep 

Tuesday, f^Q^ jyi^g in the water, as our camp was only suitable for 
^P"' *■ amphibious animals. It was a great place for malarial 
diseases, and was known as « Camp Misery." News was 
received of the taking of " Island No. 10," whereupon "the bands 
began to play." 

On this day General McClellan wrote as follows, according to " His 

Own Story " : 

I have raised an awful row about McDowell's corps. The President very coolly 
telegraphed me yesterday that he thought I had better break the enemy's lines at 
once ! I was much tempted to reply that he had better come at once and do it 

The weather had been so abominable that the wagons 

Wednesday, were delayed, and hence our rations were short. Snowed 

April 9. hard in the afternoon, in spite of the fact that we were 

in " Ole Virginny." 

The following is taken from a letter of the President to General 

■McClellan, dated April 9, 1862 : 

My Dear Sir: Your despatches, complaining that you are not properly sus- 
tained, while they do not offend me, do pain me very much. 

After you left, I ascertained that less than twenty thousand unorganized men, 
without a single field battery, were all you designed to be left for the defence of 
Washington and Manassas Junction; and part of this even was to go to General 
Hooker's old position. General Banks' corps, once designed for Manassas Junc- 
tion, was diverted and tied up on the line of Winchester and Strasburg, and could 
not leave it without again exposing the upper Potomac and the Baltimore & Ohio 
Railroad. This presented, or would present, when McDowell and Sumner should 
be gone, a great temptation to the enemy to turn back from the Rappahannock 
and sack Washington. My implicit order that Washington should, by the judg- 
ment of all the commanders of army corps, be left entirely secure, had been ne- 
glected. It was precisely this that drove me to detain McDowell. 

I do not forget that I was satisfied with your arrangement to leave Banks at 
Manassas Junction; but when that arrangement was broken up, and nothing was 
substituted for it, of course I was constrained to substitute something for myself. 
And allow me to ask, do you really think I should permit the line from Richmond 
via Manassas Junction, to this city, to be entirely open, except what resistance 
could be presented by less than twenty thousand unorganized troops? This is a 
question which thfc country will not allow me to evade. There is a curious mystery 


1862, about the number of troops now with you. When I telegraphed you 

on the 6th, saying you had over a hundred thousand with you, I 
had just obtained from the Secretary of War a statement taken, as he said, from 
your own returns, mailing one hundred and eight thousand then with you and 
fn route to you. You now say you will have but eighty-five thousand when all 
en route to you shall have reached you. How can the discrepancy of twenty- 
three thousand be accounted for? 

As to General Wool's command, it is doing for you precisely what a like num- 
ber of your own would have to do if that command was away. I suppose the 
whole force which has gone forward for you is with you by this time. And, if so, 
I think it is the precise time' for you to strike a blow. By delay, the enemy will 
relatively gain upon you ; that is, he will gain faster by fortifications and reen- 
forcements than you can by reenforcements alone. And once more let me tell 
you, it is indispensable to you that you strike a blow. I am powerless to help this. 
You will do me the justice to remember I always insisted that going down the 
bay in search of a field, instead of fighting at or near Manassas Junction, was only 
shifting, and not surmounting a difficulty; that we would find the same enemy, 
and the same or equal intrenchments, at either place. The country will not fail 
to note — is now noting — that the present hesitation to move upon an intrenched 
enemy is but the story of Manassas repeated. I beg to assure you that I have 
never written to you or spoken to you in greater kindness of feeling than now, nor 
with a fuller purpose to sustain you, so far as, in my most anxious judgment, I 
consistently can. But you must act. 

Yours very truly, 
(Signed) A. LINCOLN. 

Mud knee-deep. Drinking-water, which was obtained 

Thursday, , sinking a barrel in the ground, was very bad. This 
April 10. ,., , ,. . , . 

didn t seem so extraordinary to us inasmuch as it was 

never good. A mild and pleasant day. As the sun 
warmed the air, the camp looked like a Turkish bath. The name 
of the camp was changed to-day from " Misery " to " Starvation." 

A number of the boys left behind at Hagerstown, sick, 
Friday, returned to camp to-day. A nice place for a sick man. 
April II. 'Y\i& .following order was sent to General McDowell by 

the Secretary of War, dated April 1 1 : 

Sir : For the present, and until further orders from this Department, you will 
consider the national capital as especially under your protection, and make no 
movement throwing your force out of position for the discharge of this primary 


1862. A thorough inspection of everything we owned was 

Sunday, made to-day, though we were brought up to believe Sun- 
*P"^ '3' day was a day of rest. This inspection business came 

painfully often, we thought. We seemed to have had a 
good deal of labor for the amount of fighting expected of us. The 
boys were getting listless. It must be that malaria was getting in its 
work. The idea prevailed that if we didn't move camp pretty soon, 
the trump would sound for the last " grand inspection." 

Had a brigade review before General Abercrombie, 
Monday, ^^^^^ j-^^j. j^jj^g g.^^ camp. Our respect for him had de- 
^^"^ ^* scended to the point of calling him « Old Crummy." 

An order was issued to-day that Sections 573 to 593 
Wednesday ,and 399 to 432 be read each day to the guard ; then it 
April 16. ^gjjj on to say : " Further, every sentinel will be 

required to keep his uniform and equipments in good 
order. Neatness and uniformity of appearance are among the first 
requisites of every true soldier." 

The malaria must have struck in at headquarters when that order 
was prompted, or else they were having mighty little to do. Drilling 
two hours in the mud, each afternoon, to be told afterwards that 
" neatness is the first requisite of every true soldier," caused an 
immediate flow of adjectives. 

Paymaster's shekels put a halo on the camp, notwith- 
Friday, standing we were ordered by the doctor to put vinegar 

April 18. jntQ the water before drinking it. What was the matter 

with whiskey? Sofl bread was issued to us to-day; for 
the first time, it is said. 

Instructions received about drawing and issuing whiskey 
Sunday, in cases of excessive fatigue and exposure. Very few of 
April 21. ug that didn't think we had both these complaints. 

It took a good deal of exposure and a large amount of 
fatigue before the rank and file warmed the cockles of their hearts 
by virtue of that order. 

The rain which we were having almost every day added 
Wednesday, no improvement to our camp in the " Dismal Swamp," 
April 23. as some of the boys called it. 


1862. An inspection was made to-day of the men who were 

thought to be unfit for the hard duty we were expecting 
shortly to undertake, with a view of their discharge. 

Orders were issued to commanders of regiments and by them to 
captains of companies to forward a list of men who were deemed 
physically disqualified to encounter the hardships and deprivations 
soon to follow, that they might be discharged. There were men in 
the regiment whose patriotism was so sincere and so earnest that 
when selected to be sent home, they considered it a great hard- 
ship, and were very severe in their strictures on their officers. Their 
willingness to do duty was unquestioned, and in a few instances it 
became a delicate and an almost painful duty to make the selection, 
but the order was imperative. The army was not to be encumbered 
with sick men if it was possible to prevent it, and the time had ar- 
rived when the physical abilities of each man were known. We 
mention this in justice to the officers, some of whom were very 
severely criticised for their action in this matter. The hardships and 
privations which followed their departure, though light in comparison 
to those of 1863-4, were very severe, because they were new to us. 
It would have taken but a few weeks to convince the men selected 
for discharge of the soundness of the order. 

Chaplain returned yesterday from Boston, bringing 

. ., ' letters. 

April 28. 

Orders were issued to the picket-guard that white per- 
sons in the employ of rebel officers, or others opposed to the U. S. 
Government, would not be permitted to pass within the line of pickets 

Nineteen guns were fired in honor of the capture of New Orleans. 

The boys grumbled because the brigade was not sent back to 
General Banks. The report was that such a promise was made some 
weeks previous. 
Tuesday '^^^ following order was this day sent to Gen. Banks : 

5' '■ War Department, May :, 1862. 

Major-General Bakks, JVem Market : 

General Abercrombie has been relieved, and General HartsuiT assigned to his 
command, with orders to report to General McDowell temporarily, and it is 
necessary for that force to operate in McDowell's department. 


Secretary of War. 


1862. We were glad when the news reached us that " Old 

Crummy " was going. If the new brigadier would only 
change our camp to a more salubrious spot, he would receive our last- 
ing gratitude, was the thought that dwelt uppermost in our minds. 

Hangman's day. The following communication was 
Friday, sent to the Secretary of War : 

May 2. 

Warrenton Junction, May 2, 1862. 

Reconnoissances to Warrenton, nine miles, show no enemy in front, and none 
reported nearer than Culpepper Court House. Prevailing rumor that Jackson 
went to Gordonsville, thence to Yorktown. I do not believe it. Will keep 
myself well posted and report. Present effective strength of brigade, five regi- 
ments, two of cavalry, and three batteries — 5,458 men. Comfortable in respect to 
supplies, but a great deal of sickness. Four hundred and eighty-six present 
sick. Two hundred and eighteen absent, sick, in various places. Two Indiana 
regiments to be mustered out on the ninth. Rfteen hundred and thirty-two 
effective men. One hundred and seventy-five sick. Two of the batteries require 
recruits — one thirty-seven, the other twenty-nine. Much crippled. Could be 
filled from Indiana regiments about leaving service. Asked permission of General 
Thomas yesterday, and stated how it could be done. No reply. Please spur him 
up. Situation of camp unhealthy. Request permission ta change it to Warrenton 
or some better place in front. Will send to General McDowell concerning it 
Country in immediate vicinity stripped and desolate. Task of correcting 
impressions left by Blenker's command very hard, but is being performed. 



Srigatiier- General. 

There was a vigor as well as thoughtfulness about this communica- 
tion that suggested the possibility of our being moved out of the 
" Slough of Despond " in which we were living. 

We had a visit from General Hartsuff to-day. We were glad to 
learn he was making efforts to change our camp, though he should 
have been careful about thrusting too much happiness on us at once. 
It was a sad sight to see some of the boys, emaciated with sickness, 
and more fit to be abed, walking about camp braced up with a sickly 
smile of thanks at the idea of moving from this hot-bed for pen- 

In appearance, General Hartsuff was a tall, well-proportioned 
man of commanding presence, his face giving evidence that he would 


1862. require prompt and respectful obedience, a virtue we had 

allowed to become choked with the weeds of disrespect. 
He was the very opposite of General Abercrombie in age, physical 
appearance, and temper. General Abercrombie graduated from West 
Point in 182 1, and had, therefore, at the date of his connection with 
us, seen forty-one years of service. Upon leaving us he was assigned 
to duty under General McClellan, where it is said he did excellent 
service before his retirement, which soon followed. Those who were 
closely associated with him, as staff-ofScers, say that notwithstanding 
his hasty temper, he was just and kind to his subordinates, whom he 
held to a strict performance of their duties, allowing no interference in 
them from others. For obvious reasons these good qualities escaped 
the attention of men who served in the ranks. As we saw him he 
seemed possessed of an irritable temper, for when excited, he was in 
the habit of using harsh and, to our notions, unreasonable language. 
We must admit his temper was sorely tried, as we were often caught 
violating his orders about fence rails, and frequently forgetting to pay 
the respect due his age or his rank. We were too fond of exciting 
his temper by acts unbecoming in us. We were young and thought- 
less, while he was old and impatient from a long and faithful ser- 
vice. For one reason or another he failed to command our respect, 
and so didn't get it. We misunderstood him as, perhaps, he did us ; 
we made no allowance for a man who had been more than twenty 
years in the service of his country before most of us were bom, be- 
cause we were unacquainted with the fact ; but as we look back to 
that youthful period of our lives, the thought will suggest itself, that 
possibly a good deal of the misunderstanding was due to ourselves. 
The testimony of those who knew him best is that he was a fine old 
fellow. It is certain, however, that we needed discipline when Gen- 
eral Hartsuff made his appearance. 

Moved camp to a hill about two miles back, and nearer 
Monday, Washington. The camp was beautifully situated and 
May 5- excited a feeling of joy among the boys. It was pleasant 

to once again see cheerful faces. 
We bade good-by to the Twelfth and Sixteenth Indiana regiments 
which started for home, their terms of enlistment (one year) having 


'They were looked upon with envy by some of us. 

The passion for decorating camp broke out again; 

'^^^' streets were ornamented with boughs and trees, making 

Tuesday, . 

jjayg. an effective picture. 

In the afternoons, after battalion drill, the game of 
base-ball daily occupied the attention of the boys. On one of these 
occasions, General Hartsuff riding by, got off his horse and requested 
permission to catch behind the bat, informing us there was nothing 
he enjoyed so much. He gave it up after a few mmutes and rode 
away, having made a very pleasant impression, without in the least 
sacrificing his dignity or suggesting the lessening of his discipline, the 
cords of which we already noticed were tightening. It was pretty 
certain he was testing us one way or another. We were subsequently 
informed that when General Hartsuff took command of the brigade 
he made inquiries about the qualifications of the regiments compos- 
ing it, all of whom were spoken of in words of praise except the 
Thirteenth, the members of which being characterized as " a d — d 
insubordinate lot." As General Hartsuff had some practical notions 
about estimating soldiers, he reserved his judgment until such time 
as he could satisfy himself by his own observation. 

The morning after our camp-ground was changed, at an early hour, 
before officers or men were supposed to be up, except, of course, the 
guard, he walked into our camp to see what its condition might be. 
General Hartsuff was an exacting officer in this respect, as all West 
Point officers were. The cleanliness of our camp was the one thing 
of all others in which the regiment took a special pride, and this oc- 
casion was no exception, and its appearance wiped out all the severe, 
though not untruthful words of General Abercrombie. 

Among the rations issued to the army were beans. For a long 
time it was the custom of company cooks to stew them in large 
kettles. This method of cooking them was not very satisfactory, but 
was pursued until some one hit on the plan of baking them in the 
ground, which was done by digging a hole large enough to receive 
the biggest camp-kettle. When this was done, a fire was built in the 
hole and kept going all day. The beans, having been parboiled and 
properly seasoned, were placed in the kettle with a liberal allowance 


i86z. of pork, and sunk into the hole, resting on the embers, 

where it remained until morning. On the top of the 
kettle, after it had first been covered by a mess-pan, flat stones were 
placed and a fire built on them. In the morning the stones were 
removed and the kettle lifted out for the distribution of its contents. 
With proper attention to details, the result was sure to be an un- 
quaUfied success. 

While walking about the camp General Hartsuff came suddenly 
upon the cook of one of the companies, who was at that moment too 
busily engaged in removing the stones and snuffing the aroma from 
a kettle of beans to notice or care who the intruder was, supposing, 
of course, it must be some comrade from a neighboring tent. 

" Good morning," said' the general. 

" Good morning," growled the cook. 

" What have you there? " said the general. 

" Beans, you d — n fool, what do you s'pose? " 

" I'm fond of beans," remarked the general, " and wouldn't mind 
if I had some, they look so nice," he continued. 

Without looking round, the cook replied, " Go to h — 1 ! S'pose we 
feed every d — n bummer round camp? " 

This was too much for the general, who returned to his tent with- 
out being identified, and lying down on his bed, indulged in unre- 
strained laughter, until his quartermaster (who was our quartermas- 
ter detailed for duty on his staff) inquired the cause of his mirth. 
After hearing the story, the quartermaster rode over to camp to learn 
who was the hero of this adventure, and, if possible, have a little fun 
at the man's expense. He soon discovered that it was the cook of 
Company I, whom he accosted and explained the circumstance of 
the morning. The cook was terribly agitated when it was related to 
him that General HartsufF was the man with whom he was talking in 
the morning, and that he was grievously offended, and meant to 
make an example of this piece of insubordination. After playing on 
his feelings for some time, the quartermaster suggested that perhaps 
the temper of the general might be soothed if a dish of these same 
beans was sent to him. It is hardly necessary to add that the gen- 
eral was not only liberally provided that morning, but each subse- 
quent morning when beans were cooked for the company. 


1862. An order was sent to General McDowell by the Sec- 

Wednesday, i-etary of War " to get his force well in hand for move- 
^^^ ''' ment, and push on his bridges to as rapid completion as 

possible. It is not yet perfectly clear what the move- 
ment of the force lately in Yorktown will be." 

We saw General Hartsuff riding into camp every day, 
Thursday, watching our drills and observing us generally. Every 
May 8. man was made to come to his feet and salute as he passed, 

and woe betide the man who forgot that duty. Already 
the officers, it was said, had been told that " obedience is the first 
duty of a soldier." Some of the boys still growled at the tautness of 
the discipline, but as a rule they cordially acquiesced. It was begin- 
ning to dawn upon us that he was a man of sense as well as strict- 
ness. We were beginning to like him, though no great love had 
yet been expressed. 

The colonel exercised his skill in drilling us every 

n "Xi afternoon, and we found it tough work. 
May 9. 

The band of the Twelfth Massachusetts left for home 

to-day. We hoped the day was far distant when we 

should lose ours. These evidences of curtailment suggested that 

some work was being cut out for us. 

The following order from General Hartsuff was read at dress 

parade : 

Headquarters, Second Brigade, 

Camp Stanton, May 9, 1862. 

In passing through the camps of his command, the general commanding the 
brigade observes very much to commend and be proud of in the general appear- 
ance and drill and intelligence of the men. There is, however, in some 
regiments, a grave defect which officers and men must set themselves immediately 
at work to correct. It is a lack of the proper respect and attention in the manner 
of the soldier to his officer. Nothing produces a more favorable impression of 
the character and discipline of troops than stri&t attention to these forms. 
Soldiers, instead of saluting in a lounging, careless manner, or even lying stretched 
at full length, or sitting on the ground, as has been observed when officers pass, 
should instantly assume an erect position, and soldierlike, manly bearing, and 
salute his officer in the proper manner. The same position and appearance 
should also be kept in addressing an officer, instead of putting the hands on the 
hips, or leaning against something for support. 

Strict attention to this will hereafter be required on the part of all officers and 


l852. "ATTENTIO^f, COMPANY ! " 

Saturday, -j-jjg following was sent to the Secretary of War by 
General McDowell : 

Headquarters Department of the Rappahannock, 

Opposite Fredericksburg, May lo, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War: 

I have thrown three new regiments across the river. Have ordered Duryea's 
brigade to relieve HartsufF and the latter to join me here, leaving a battery and a 
regiment of cavalry vfith Duryea at Catlett's." 

This seemed to destroy our hopes of getting back under Banks, 
which we had been looking forth to. 

The following inquiry was made of General McDowell 
"° ^^' by the Secretary of War : 

Could not Gordonsville and Charlottesville be easily reached by a sudden dash 
of HartsufFs forces in concert with yours, and the railroad bridges either held or 
broken, so that they could not be used by the enemy, either retreating or advanc- 

The brigade was reviewed by General Hartsuff, after which we 
escorted the Twelfth Massachusetts back to its camp. 

An order was issued to-day by General Hartsuff to march to-mor- 
row. Among other matters appeared the following paragraphs : 

Tents will be struck, the baggage-wagons loaded, trains straightened out, and 
the regiments formed under arms in marching order, on their respective parade 
grounds. Companies will then be quickly inspected by the captains, under super- 
vision of the colonels. Cartridge-boxes and canteens will be full, and at the 
signal, the line of march will be taken up. 

During the march no straggling will be permitted. The march at starting, 
and after each halt, will be in close order, at " shouldered arms," until the column 
is in motion, when the command " route step," given from the head of the column, 
will be rapidly repeated to the rear. Captains will fall to the rear of their com- 
panies, leaving a lieutenant in front, and will see that none of their men leave 
the ranks without written permission, for which purpose each will prepare before- 
hand a number of slips of paper, or a little book. If a soldier leaves the ranks 
temporarily for a necessary purpose, his arms and equipments will be distributed 
amongst and carried by his set of fours until his return. The rear-guard will take 
into custody all stragglers without permission, and will turn them over to the 
provost marshal after arriving in camp. 

" Oh, Tom ! Cold tea ! " 



1862. Hot day. Uniform coats were packed and sent to 

Monday, Boston, except in those instances where they were thrown 

"^ '*■ away. Once again our knapsacks had grown fat with 

camp life, and had to be trained down. The gossip of 

the camp said the orders were " On to Richmond." In spite of the 

expUcit directions of yesterday, there was a good deal of confusion 

in camp, due to packing and sending superfluous baggage home. 

We got away at last and marched to Elk Run, six miles, where we 
bivouacked. During the night General McDowell came through the 
picket line from Fredericksburg. He should have been cautioned, 
when approaching a picket line in the middle of the night, to respond 
to the guard's challenge with more promptness, and not wait until he 
heard the clicking of the sentinel's gun before he answered, particu- 
larly when he came from the outside, as he did on this particular 
night. On being ordered to halt by a picket-guard, one should obey 
mighty quick and answer the challenge without delay, otherwise he 
might be gathered to his fathers. The salvation of the camp often 
depends upon the wakefulness and quickness of the picket- guard. 
On this moonlight night, General McDowell, with a large retinue, 
halted quick enough, but his delay in giving the countersign might 
have cost the life of himself or one of his attendants. A general 
ought to know better. 

About six o'clock we took up the line of march tow- 
Thursday, ard Falmouth, halting late in the afternoon, after 
May 13. tramping eighteen miles. The heat, which was above 
one hundred degrees, with a bright sun and not a breath 
of wind, was so intense that both men and horses dropped to the 
ground overcome by it. On no march, before or after, were the 
men so terribly affected as on this occasion. For more than a dozen 



1862. miles, the road on either side was ornamented by the 

prostrate bodies of men who were unable to keep along. 
More than fifty cases of sunstroke in the brigade were reported, 
while only seventy-five of our regiment reached camp at the end of 
the march. After dark the balance of the regiment straggled into 
caqtip, so that by roll-call in the morning nearly all were present. 
One of the reasons given for making the march so long was the 
difficulty of finding water suitable and in sufficient quantities to sup- 
ply the brigade. We were in no condition for marching, after more 
than a month of comparative idleness in a swamp where the physical 
condition of the men had become more or less affected by our 
malarial surroundings. 

At 7 A.M., in rain and mud, we resumed our march 
Wednesday, through Falmouth, halting near General McDowell's 
May 14. headquarters, about eight miles from our starting point. 
Here we waited two hours in the rain before the regi- 
mental wagons arrived. In the meantime we settled the responsi- 
bility of yesterday's work by placing the blame on McDowell, not- 
withstanding the question of water was said to be the real cause of 
our lengthened march. 

We had an evidence, to-day, of the Government's thoughtfulness, 
that came quite unexpectedly. As there was "balm in Gilead," so 
there appeared to be in Falmouth. Rations of whiskey had 
occasionally been issued to the guard on outpost duty in the morning 
after a hard night of exposure. The ni^ht the regiment bivouacked 
at Bejryville, it will be remembered, was a very stormy night. When 
the outpost guard returned to camp in the morning, the boys were 
wet through to the skin and in a very unhappy condition. It was 
thought a ration of whiskey might restore them to their usual happy 
frame of mind, so the sergeant was urged by the guard to make ap- 
plication to General Abercrombie, and he thereupon repaired to the 
general's tent. After hearing the request, the general walked to 
the door of his tent, looked at the sky, which had become clear, 
and with emphatic gruffness replied, " IVe never issue whiskey in 
pleasant weather ! " whereupon the sergeant hastily retreated. 

The occasions when a ration of whiskey was issued to a brigade 


1862. were very rare. General Ord was convinced, however, 

that on this particular day the condition of his men would 
be improved by it, and we were thereupon ordered to fall in line for 
that purpose. A large majority of the boys believed that nothing 
ought to interfere with putting down rum, but insisted that it should 
go, like all communications to or from the Government, " through 
the proper channel." There were some among us, however, who, 
while apparently possessing the same belief, " down with rum," dif- 
fered very radically as to the manner of putting it down, as one of 
their number on receiving his ration, immediately turned it on to the 
ground ; a proceeding that excited a howl of indignation, not at the 
waste of the material, but at so gross an act of insubordination in 
disobeying the order of his superior officers, who expected him to 
drink it. 

We found the whiskey was highly impregnated with quinine, but as 
some of the boys remarked, " the whiskey was there." It is won- 
derful how this terrible enemy of mankind is able to warm so 
effectually the cockles of the heart, and make the dreariest weather 
seem as soft and mellow as a summer's day. We commended 
General Otd very highly for this evidence of his intelligfflice. 

Rained hard all day. The rain was unnecessary, 
urs ay, gj^pgpj. ^^ (jgepgn the mud, which it admirably succeeded 
in doing. 

Occasionally the safety-valve of some soldier, wading 
through it, would give way and the name of that ancient goddess, 
" Helen Damnation," would be heard, expressed in the * same 
emphatic tones that has accompanied her name for hundreds 
of years. 

The following order was received : 
May 16. Headquarters Department of the Rappahannock, 

Opposite Fredericksburg, Va., May i6, 1862. 
General Order, No. 13. 

A division to be composed of Brigadier-Generals Ricketts' and HartsufPs brig- 
ades of infantry and Brigadier-General Bayard's cavalry brigade is hereby formed 
to be commanded by Major-General Ord, who will immediately proceed to organ- 
ize the same. . . . 

By command of Major-General McDowell. 


»862. We took a great fancy to General Ord, though we still 

looked forward to our return to General Banks. 

An order was received to make requisition for " shelter " tents. 

The Eleventh Pennsylvania joined our brigade to-day. 

HartsufTs brigade, as now formed, consisted of the Ninth New 
York (scheduled as the Eighty-third Volunteers), the Eleventh Penn- 
sylvania, and the Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts, and these 
regiments continued together in the same division during the re- 
mainder of our service, and for many months we were together in 
the same brigade, an unusual circumstance, we believe. 

It is with great pleasure that we are able to speak in terms of ad- 
miration of the uniform kindliness that existed among those old regi- 
ments. There grew up, among the officers and men, a warm feeling 
of attachment. Probably the fame it acquired was, in a great meas- 
ure, due to the harmony that continued so long undisturbed. There 
were no bickerings or quarrels, and whichever regiment had the ad- 
vance, a feeling of reliance was felt that near by were men who were 
watching for an opportunity to aid with their assistance a doubtful 
moment. It always happens that when soldiers have been long to- 
gether, they acquire a confidence and faith in each other that makes 
their service of great value in important exigencies. The Eighty- 
third New York Volunteers was the " Ninth New York National 
Guard," composed of a superior class of men, whose homes were in 
New York City. It was one of the old militia organizations of the 
State, and was among the first regiments to volunteer for three years. 
The esprif de corps which it showed in retaining its old number, 
"The Ninth New York," in spite of the number assigned by the 
Government, indicates the pride felt in the record it had made prior 
to the war. It was commanded by Colonel Stiles. 

The Eleventh Pennsylvania was another good regiment, raised 
among the mountains of western Pennsylvania, and was commanded 
by Colonel Richard Coulter, than whom a better fighting man 
never lived. He was beloved by his old regiment, as he was by every 
officer and man in the brigade. 

The Twelfth Massachusetts, commanded by Colonel Fletcher Web- 
ster, was in no way inferior to the others. It was nearer related to 


1862. us than either of the others, being raised in the same 

community. By reason of this fact, our association was 
more intimate, and as it has been our fortune to meet its members 
more frequently since the war, the attachment has flourished. To 
read the history of either of these regiments, is reading our own story. 
Each had some qualification that attracted the admiration of the 
other. If the Eleventh Pennsylvania called us the " Bandbox Guard," 
we laughed, for we knew it contained no reflection on our courage, 
but had reference to our taste for prinking, which we indulged to 
some extent during the early part of our service. Our battles, 
marches and picket duty we shared together for many months. 

Moved camp in the afternoon, about three miles on the 
Saturday, road to White Oak Chapel ; a pleasant spot. 
May 17. General Ord assumed command of the division. 

The programme laid out for McDowell's command, of 
which we still were a part, was comprehended in the following com- 
munication to General McClellan, and in considering what really 
followed, is interesting reading : 

Washington, May 17, 1862. 
Maj.-Gen. George B. Hcd-TLLAn, Commanding- Army 0/ tie Potomac, before 
Richmond : 

General : Your despatch asking reenforcements has been received and care- 
fully considered. 

The President is not willing to uncover the capital entirely, and it is believed 
that, even if this were prudent, it would require more time to effect a junction 
between your army and that of the Rappahannock, by the way of the Potomac 
and York livers, than by a land march. In order, therefore, to increase the 
strength of the attack upon Richmond at the earliest moment. General McDowell 
has been ordered to march upon that city by the shortest route. He is ordered — 
keeping himself always in position to save the capital from all possible attack — so 
to operate as to put his left wing in communication with your right wing, and you 
are instructed to cooperate so as to establish this communication as soon as 
possible, by extending your right wing to the north of Richmond. It is believed 
that this communication can be safely established either north or south of the 
Pamunky river. In any event you will be able to prevent the main body of the 
enemy's forces from leaving Richmond and falling in overwhelming force upon 
General McDowell. He will move with between 35,000 and 40,000 men. 

A copy of the instructions to General McDowell are with this. The specific 
task assigned to his command has been to provide against any danger to the 
capital of the nation. 


1862. At your earnest call for reenforcements he is sent forward to 

cooperate in the reduction of Richmond, but charged, in attempting 
this, not to uncover the city of Washington, and you will give no order, either 
before or after your junction, which can put him out of position to cover this 
city.' You and he will communicate with each other, by telegraph or otherwise, 
as frequently as may be necessary for sufficient cooperation. When General Mc- 
Dowell is in position on your right, his supplies must be drawn from West Point, 
and you will instruct your staff officers to be prepared to supply him by that route. 
The President desires General McDowell to retain the command of the Depart- 
ment of the Rappahannock and of the forces with which he moves forward. 
By order of the President, 


Secretary of War. 

Memorandum in handwriting of President Lincoln of his proposed 

additions to instructions of above date (may 1 7) to general 

McDowell, and General Meigs' indorsement thereon. 

You will retain the separate command of the forces taken with you; but 

while cooperating with General McClellan you will obey his orders, except that 

you are to judge, and are not to allow your force to be disposed otherwise than so 

as to give the greatest protection to this capital which may be possible from that 


To the Secretary of War : 

The President having shown this to me, I suggested that it is dangerous to di- 
rect a subordinate not to obey the orders of his superior in any case, and that to 
give instructions to General McClellan to this same end, and furnish General Mc- 
Dowell with a.copy thereof, would effect the object desired by the President. He 
desires me to say that the sketch of instructions to General McClellan herewith he 
■ thought made this addition unnecessary. 


M. C. M. 
General Meigs was right. 

Indignation meetings were held, because we were to change our 
" Sibley tents " for " shelters." We still retained a wonderful regard 
for our personal comfort. Hard work made us cross and unreason- 
able. As we recall the mutterings of discontent that found utterance 
at this deprivation, we are reminded of what a distinguished English 
officer says about enlisted men : " That to four out of five, the ma- 
terials of army service are things of no consequence whatsoever." 
Perhaps not to the man who has felt the magic power of the 


1862. "Queen's shilling," but to those of us who paid J12.50 

for the privilege of enlisting in the Thirteenth Regiment, 
with the expectation of sharing the colonel's tent, this seems the 
veriest nonsense. 

Religious services. The entire brigade being in at- 
Sunday, tendance, it made a fine appearance, sitting on the 
May, 1 8. grass. 

Company D ordered to report to General Ord as 

The following order was received to-day from brigade headquar- 
ters : 

I. Commanders of regiments and detachments of this brigade wiU send in 
requisitions immediately foe sufficient ammunition to make in all 200 rounds — 
small-arms and artillery. 

II. It is directed from headquarters of the department that the camp equipage 
of this division be reduced to the limits observed by the other divisions of the corps. 
Tents will be vacated when the division marches, and turned over standing. 
Shelter tents will be supplied to replace them. Baggage of officers will be re- 
duced to the lowest limits. The transportation allowed is five wagons to each 
regiment; one wagon to each regimental hospital; two wagons to brigade head- 
quarters; twenty wagons as supply and ammunition train to each brigade quar- 
termaster. Regimental and brigade quartermasters will act as ordnance officers. 

It will be seen by this that the Government continued its confi- 
dence in believing the private soldier would not carry more than he 
thought he needed, and to his credit, be it said, that this confidence 
was never abused. 

An order was issued to-day by General Ord that 

Attendance at divine service is not compulsory on the officers or men of his 
command. The general desires and hopes to see large attendance, but leaves it 
discretionary with the troops. Captains or commanders of companies will per- 
mit all who apply to be excused. 

Having no recollection that any such privilege was accorded the 
rank and file, we conclude that, like the clouds that lowered round 
the house of York, it was " in the deep bosom of the ocean buried." 

In the eariy history of the country, when attending divine service, 
guns were used as an antidote for premature baldness, but with the 


i86a. lapse of two hundred years, the red man and his toma- 

hawk had disappeared, and with him the prejudices of 
our ancestors, so that, to our modern ways of thinking, the carrying 
of guns to church seemed in opposition to the peaceful influences of 
religion. The only reason for such action, that we could think of, 
was their use as a charm to ward off the machinations of the devil, 
while the chaplain got in his work for the Lord. A word should be 
said in behalf of our chaplain, lest any one should suppose him un- 
popular. He was liberal in thought, and an earnest and attractive 
speaker, who rarely ever preached to us that he didn't say some- 
thing worth hearing, to a thoughtful mind. His sermon on the text, 
" Let us be jolly," the favorite saying of Mark Tapley, preached at a 
time when officers and men were thoroughly disheartened, acquired 
much notoriety by extensive notice in the newspapers. His tempera- 
ment was so sanguine and so cheerful that his approach was always 
hailed with delight. He admirably filled the duties of his position, 
and had he lived, would have been the man above all others most 
fitted, by education and natural gifts, to have written our history. 
To us, therefore, his death was a great loss. 

A review of the corps by General McDowell, and an 
„ ^^' imposing spectacle it was, with nearly 40,000 men in line. 
The regiments were formed en masse, and as the field 
was not large enough, the extreme left was at right angle with the 
main line. As our brigade was on the left we had an excellent view 
of this grand and imposing spectacle. General McDowell must have 
felt proud at the appearance of his command. As he rode down the 
line, each regiment and detachment cheered him, until he reached 
the Thirteenth, when he was met with silence. As already has been 
said, we did not like him. 

" We do not like you, Doctor Fell, 
The reason why we cannot tell; 
But this we know, and that full well, 
We do not like you, Doctor Fell." 

According to our idea, he appeared to be very much wrought up at 
this evidence of our dislike. Whether this was true or not, every 
disagreeable order that followed from his headquarters was inter- 


1862. preted, in our conceit, as the result of this lack of demon- 

stration on our part. Once possessed with this idea we 
took every occasion to give annoying expression to our feelings. 

We had the honor of being selected as one of three regiments 
to show our efficiency in drilling. So far as drilhng was concerned 
it was generally conceded that the Thirteenth could hold its own 
with the best regiments, as the colonel had drilled and drilled us in 
the most complicated movements, and he was a genius in that line. 
Only a master in the art of military drill would have dared to under- 
take, on an occasion of this kind, what he did with perfect confidence 
on that day. We were the last of the three regiments to march out. 
Having wheeled into line and presented arms, the colonel, in that 
clear voice which could always be heard the length of the line, with- 
out hesitation, called out order after order for thirty minutes without 
stopping to recover distances, if such were lost, until the last move- 
ment was made and we were inarched off the field. We almost 
forgot our dislike for McDowell in the generous applause he gave us. 
In obedience to orders from General McDowell we were 
J. drilled three hours a day in heavy marching order, par- 

ticular attention being given to marching. As we marched 
down the road, men from other regiments remarked that they pre- 
ferred cheering to drilling with knapsacks, conveying the erroneous 
impression that this, unusual duty was in consequence of our silence 
at the review. As a matter of fact, orders for this duty had been 
issued to the whole corps, though it was some time before we were 
aware of it ; in the meantime we supposed we were an exception, 
and unjustly scored one against McDowell. 

It was hard work, but admirably fitted us for the arduous duties 
we were very soon called upon to perform. Each time we turned 
out for this duty our knapsacks were inspected to see that they con- 
tained all our worldly goods, so there was no shirking. 

The following despatch was sent to General McClellan under this 
date : 

Your long despatch of yesterday just received. You will have just such control 
of General McDowell and his force as you therein indicate. McDowell can reach 
you by land sooner than he could get aboard of boats, if the boats were ready at 


i86a. Fredericksburg, unless his march shall be resisted, in which case 

the force resisting him will certainly not be confronting you at 
Richmond. By land we can reach you in five days after starting ; whereas by 
water he would not reach you in two weeks, judging by past experience. Frank- 
lin's single division did not reach you in ten days after I ordered it. 



President of the United States. 

Thermometer 90° in the shade. We were reviewed 
Friday, this afternoon by President Lincoln, Secretary Stanton, 
May 23. gjj^ Secretary Seward, accompanied by General Mc- 
Overcoats were packed and sent away. Clothing, shoes, ammuni- 
tion, etc. issued to those of us in need of such articles. 

The officers were growling about the reduction of their luggage, 
proving the truth of what the Lord said unto Saul, " It is hard for 
thee to kick against the pricks." 

In heavy marching order we marched out on the road 
Saturday, to Belle Plain Landing, seven miles, in the mud, and 
May 24. halted in the rain for an hour, and then returned to camp 
in a cold, drenching rain, to find our " Sibley " tents had 
been removed and piles of " shelter " tents distributed about, to take 
their places. 

We were wet through already, and muddy to the knees, so that 
when this transformation greeted us, the air in spite of the rain 
assumed a cerulean hue. He who couldn't swear 

" Gave to mis'ry (all he had) a tear." 

A worse day for such a sudden change could not have been 
selected. To appreciate it one should bear in mind the description 
of a " Sibley " already given. In place thereof we received a piece 
of thin sheeting about four feet by six feet, in the binding of which 
were buttons and buttonholes. Each man was given one piece, 
with instructions to find two other men supplied with a similar piece, 
and combine the three into a tent. In order to pitch your tent you 
must first go into <he woods and cut crotches with a stick to rest 
across the top, forming a ridge-pole, on which two of the pieces, 


1862. buttoned together, were to rest, then to be stretched out 

in the shape of the letter A and fastened to the ground. 
The third piece was to cover one end. By making a combination 
of six pieces both ends could be closed. When properly pitched 
the ridge-pole was about four feet high. To enter one of these 
" dog-kennels," as they were called, you had to get down on your 
knees, with your head near the earth, as though you were approach- 
ing the throne of an Arabian monarch, and crawl in. Each man 
was expected to carry his piece of tent in his knapsack. After we 
had become accustomed to the change, which we did by the exercise 
of a little patience and ingenuity, we found them not so very un- 
comfortable, but in the meantime we scored another mark against 
McDowell. The officers, whose tents had been taken away, were 
compelled to seek shelter among the rank and file. The officers' 
tents were subsequently returned. 

It was at this place we were dispossessed of our camp kettles, a loss 
which carried with it another privation — rice. Rice was occasionally 
substituted for some other article of food, and was cooked in iron 
kettles previously used for making coffee. Good housekeepers have 
expended a deal of care and trouble in the preparation of this 
nutritious article of diet for the table, but in the army it was allowed 
to be burnt black for about three inches from the bottom of the 
kettle, thereby imparting to it a peculiar flavor. Since the war we 
have had no fondness for boiled rice ; we miss that burnt taste and 
the delicate flavor of coffee with which it was permeated. No; 
when rice is now handed round the table we say, as Mark Twain did, 
« We pass." 

It is not our purpose to encumber this narrative with details, or 
descriptions of battles, except so far as they may add an interest or 
explain the reasons for our movements; 

At this time a plan had been adopted by which McDowell was to 
cooperate with McClellan. It was understood that McDowell was 
to move his corps along the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad 
on the 24th of May, connecting, if possible, with the right wing of 
McClellan's army at or near Hanover Court- House, and by turning 
the left flank of the enemy, prevent his receiving reenforcements 


1862. from the direction of Gordonsville. This plan had been 

carefully considered and matured by McDowell, who had 
great faith in its success, as appears in his correspondence with the 
President at this time. 

At this date General McDowell's army was composed of about 
40,000 men, in as perfect a condition, respecting discipline and 
equipment, as any army acquired during the entire war. A finer 
body of troops, in health, vigor and appearance was never seen, and 
General McDowell was justly proud of his command. 

Just at the moment when his army was concentrated, and about 
to take up its line of march to Richmond, as he notified McClellan 
he would do on the 24th, news was received at Washington 'of an 
attack on Banks by Stonewall Jackson, subsequently reenforced by 
Ewell, detached from Lee's army. The suddenness of this intelli- 
gence created the wildest alarm among the authorities for the safety 
of that city, and the following order was telegraphed by the Presi- 
dent to General McDowell, dated May 24, 5 P.M. : 

General Fremont has been ordered by telegraph to move from Franklin on 
Harrisonburg to relieve General Banks, and capture or destroy Jackson's and 
Ewell's forces. 

You are instructed, laying aside for the present the movement on Richmond, to 
put 20,000 men in motion at once for the Shenandoah, moving on the line, or in 
advance of the line, of the Manassas Gap Railroad. Your object will be to capture 
the forces of Jackson and Ewell, either in cooperation with General Fremont, or 
in case want of supplies or of transportation interferes with his movements. It is 
believed that the force with which you move will be sufficient to accomplish this 
object alone. The information thus far received here makes it probable that if 
the enemy operate actively against General Banks, you will not be able to count 
upon much assistance from him, but may even have to release him. 

Reports received this moment are that Banks is fighting with Ewell, eight miles 
from Winchester. 

(Signed) A. LINCOLN. 

Though he obeyed the order with commendable alacrity, his dis- 
appointment at the sudden upsetting of a plan upon which his mind 
was fixed, was very great, as will be seen by the following communi- 
cation to the President : 


i862i Headquarters Department of the Rappahannock, 

Opposite Fredericksburg, May 24, 1862. 
(Received 9.30 P.M.) 
His ExelUncy the President : 

I obeyed your order immediately, for it was positive and urgent, and perhaps 
as a subordinate, there I ought to stop; but I trust I may be allowed to say some- 
thing in relation to the subject, especially in view of your remark, that everything 
now depends upon the celerity and vigor of my movements. I beg to say that 
cooperation between General Fremont and myself to cut Jackson and Ewell there 
is not to be counted upon, even if it is not a practical impossibility. Next, I am 
entirely beyond helping distance of General Banks; no celerity or -rigor will avail 
so far as he is concerned. Next, that by a glance at the map, it will be seen that 
the line of retreat of the enemy's forces up the valley is shorter than mine to go 
against him. It will take a week or ten days for the force to get to the valley by 
the route which will give it food and forage, and by that time the enemy «dll have 
retired. I shall gain nothing for you there, and shall lose much for you here. It 
is, therefore, not only on personal grounds that I have a heavy heart in the matter, 
but that I feel it throws us all back, and from Richmond north we shall have all 
our large masses paralyzed, and shall have to repeat what we have just accom- 
pUshed. I have ordered General Shields to commence the movement by to-mor- 
row morning. A second division will follow in the afternoon. Did I understand 
you aright, that you vrished that I personally should accompany this expedition? 
I hope to see Governor Chase to-night and express myself more fully to him. 

Very respectfully, 

iRviN Mcdowell. 

About 4 P.M. we marched to Aquia Creek, fifteen 
Sunday, miles, arriving about i A.M. The road, part of the way, 
May 25. was across a swamp, so that candles were lighted to pre- 
vent our tumbling into ditches. On the 26th we con- 
tinued our march four miles, to the landing where the Thirteenth 
took the steamer " John Brooks " for Alexandria, and where we ar- 
rived in due time, after a sail of sixty-five miles up the Potomac 
River. Other similar means of transportation were provided for the 
remainder of the division. The severe drilling we had been undergo- 
ing, the change of tents and reduction of baggage, all indicated that 
some important movement was on the tapis, which camp gossips had 
determined was " On to Richmond." We were very much surprised, 
as we sailed up the Potomac, to learn that it was " On to Washing- 
ton," for, as yet, we had not received information about Banks' re- 


1862. treat. Whatever fate had in store for us, it didn't inter- 

fere with our enjoyment of the sail, though our curiosity 
was greatly excited to know what thi? movement meant. 

In a letter to McClellan dated May 25, the President 
Tuesday, gives a full statement of the situation, closing with the 
May a?. following paragraphs, which he puts in italics : 

/f McDowell's force was now beyond our reach, we should be entirely help- 
less. Apprehension of something like this, and not unwillingness to sustain you, 
has always been my reason for withholding McDowell's forces from you. 

Please understand this, and do the best you can with the forces you have. 

We were routed out at 3 A.M., and marched to the station in 
Alexandria, where, after waiting patiently for two hours, we boarded 
freight cars for Manassas Junction. Some of the boys succeeded in 
procuring local newspapers, by which we became partially informed 
of the excitement. The necessity of feeling our way, as we rode 
along, delayed our arrival until the afternoon. We were soon in 
possession of Northern papers that gave us full particulars of Banks' 
movements, and lively discussions round camp-fires ensued, ending 
in a generally expressed hope that we might take a hand in bagging 

This was the beginning of that series of movements which culmi- 
nated in the battle of Manassas, or, as it has sometimes been called, 
« Second Bull Run." 



i86z. Orders received that shovels, pickaxes, etc., were to be 

Wednesday,pg^„jg(j ^,y t^e men instead of the wagons, as heretofore. 
May 28. ^j^j^ caused a good deal of grumbling. In addition we 
were to carry sixty rounds of cartridges, fifty in the boxes 
and ten in our haversacks. Our prejudices having been excited 
against McDowell, we promptly placed this disagreeable order with 
the others, to his credit. 

The following communication will indicate the interest felt in our 
movement by the enemy : 

Headquarters Harrison's, Va., 

May 28, 1862, 9 A.M. 
General Lee: 

General, — If McDowell is approaching, of which there can be no doubt, we 
must fight very soon. Every man we have should be here. Major-General 
Holmes' troops should therefore be ordered to Richmond forthwith; they may be 
wanted to-morrow. I have more than once suggested a concentration here of all 
available forces. 

Most respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 
(Signed) J. E. JOHNSTON. 

Nine hours later the following despatch was received by General 
McDowell : 

Washington, May 28, 1862, 5.40 P.M. 
' General McDowell, Manassas yunction : 

I think the evidence now preponderates that Ewell and Jackson are still about 
Winchester. Assuming this, it is for you a question of legs. Put in all the speed 
you can. I have told Fremont as much, and directed him to drive at them as fast 
as possible. By the way, I suppose you know Fremont has got up to Moorefield, 
instead of going to Harrisonburg? 

(Signed) A. LINCOLN. 



// 0- 

MAP N? 5 


i86a. At 6 A.M. marched to Hay Market, twelve miles, 

Thursday, arriving about lo A.M., when we took, cars and rode to 
Thoroughfare Gap, where we left the cars and marched 
through a rough crooked defile to the west side of the 
mountains and camped in an orchard. While marching to-day, 
General Ord borrowed a pipe from one of the boys whom he saw 
smoking ; being suddenly called away by an aid, he took it with him. 
There was not a man in the Thirteenth who wouldn't have been glad 
to contribute a pipe, or anything else he had, to the comfort or 
pleasure of General Ord. 

Started at 5 A.M. and marched through White Plains 
Friday, and Salem, halting three miles from the latter place. 
May 30. making a distance of fifteen miles for the day's march. 
We were overtaken in the afternoon by a severe thunder- 
shower which lasted all night, in consequence of which we were 
completely drenched. Some of the tents were washed away by the 

The following despatch was sent by General McDowell to the Pres- 
ident : 

I am pushing forward everything to the utmost, as I telegraphed the Secretary 
of War last night. Major-General Shields did not think we could make Front 
Royal before to-night. I sent him your telegram and asked him what could be 
done by extraordinary exertions to accomplish your wishes that the advance qf my 
force should be at Front Royal by 12 o'clock noon to- day. I informed him 
of the position of affairs, and how necessary it was to get forward. He fully ap- 
preciated the case, and said he would go without supplies, except what the men 
could carry themselves, and would place two brigades at Front Royal by noon and 
two other brigades within five miles of Front Royal by the same time. It will re- 
quire driving to accomplish this, and the day is hot. 

I am urging General Ord forward with all the pliysical force of the railroad and 
moral power of a strong representation of the urgency of the case. He will be 
beyond Rectortown to-night. 

At s P.M. General McDowell sent a telegram from Piedmont to 
the Secretary of War of which the following is an extract : 

I was disappointed on arriving at this place at iz M. to find General Ord's 
division here, only five miles from its camp of last night (although I had ordered 
them to leave their knapsacks), and in much confusion. I reproached General 


1862. Ord for the condition of his command and for its not being farther 

ahead. He pleaded sickness, and that he had not been well for 
several days, and was now unable to hold command, which he turned over to 
Brigadier-General Ricketts. I have told General Ricketts to have his division at 
Front Royal by to-night. 

Started at 5 A.M. and marched to Piedmont, five 
Friday, miles, where we drew rations of hardtack and coffee. 
Maysi. Y^^g jjjgj^ jgf(. Q^J knapsacks, taking only our blankets and 
equipments, reforded the river and took up the line 
of march to Front Royal. It rained hard nearly all day, so the 
wetting we got in fording the rivers and brooks didn't count for much. 
As we marched through Manassas Gap the water was knee-deep in 
the highway in some places, and the storm so rough that we took to 
the railroad. Finding the track encumbered with cars, we enjoyed 
the boyish sport of dumping them over the precipice, a distance of 
eighty or a hundred feet, to the valley below, where they were com- 
pletely destroyed. We arrived within a mile or so of Front Royal at 
I A.M., after a match of twenty-five miles, in good order, though 
uncomfortably wet and tired. It rained very hard, it was very dark, 
and the boys were not very affable when we finally halted for the 
night. Rail fences soon supplied us with fuel, and very soon we were 
standing round cheerful fires, drinking hot coffee, and thinking how 
blessed is he who expects nothing, for he will not be disappointed. 

About noon we marched two miles on the road to 
Sunday, Strasburg, where we were turned into a field for a halt, 
June I. ^jj^ where, with the rest of the corps, we were drawn up 
in line of battle. While we were here Generals Shields 
and Ord rode by. Being under the impression that it was to General 
Shields we were indebted for the rations we drew at Piedmont 
(though the fact is that it was McDowell's thoughtfulness, who, an- 
ticipating our arrival at that point, had made the provision), tlie bri- 
gade cheered him as he rode along. General Ord received a share 
of the enthusiasm, but when General McDowell rode by there was 
none to do him reverence. He must have felt this very keenly. 
There was a good deal of gossip about a quarrel between McDowell 
and Ord. General Shields, at the head of his division, with his 
wounded arm in a sling, made quite a picturesque object, and the 


1862. fact that he was on the way to cut off Jackson, a part of 

whose force we could see in the distance trailing along 
the mountain-side, made him considerable of a hero, and no doubt 
added a fervor to our emotions. 

We were very much disappointed that we were not to join Shields 
in the pursuit of Jackson. 

The following was telegraphed by General McDowell at 3 P.M. 
to the Secretary of War : 

Heard firing this A.M. in the direction of Strasburg. Ord's division could not 
be got up last night, but came up this A.M., and is considerably aroused by the 
excitement of an approaching battle, and is now moving forward, replacing 
Shields' division, who is on the march to Strasburg with that part of his division 
nearest this place. I am directing General Ord's division (now with Ricketts) to 
move on the Winchester road, supporting Bayard's cavalry brigade, and sending 
strong detachments on the Luray road. There has been no firing for some 

It soon began to rain, which continued during the night. We 
found it much easier these days to put our trust in God than to 
keep our powder dry. 

At noon we marched about five miles on the road to 

Monday, Strasburg, and bivouacked in a pine grove. We had 

June 2. scarcely reached the woods when it began to rain as 

though it hadn't rained for many months, and was now 

making up for lost time. 

Some of the boys were sent out on picket duty; to think of any- 
body, even an enemy, being out such a night, seemed ridiculous. The 
boys were posted in a wheat-field, without umbrellas, the wheat the 
height of a man's head, while the darkness was as densely black as 
Egypt is said to be, except when the lightning revealed how impos- 
sible "it was to distinguish the points of the compass, after five min- 
utes in such a place. Indeed, several of the boys, when daylight did 
come, found themselves facing the St. Lawrence River, instead of the 
Gulf of Mexico, so bewildering was the darkness and the wheat. 
When daylight came and the sun chased away the black clouds, it 
brought with it a feeling of gladness, in spite of the unpleasantness 
of their position. 


1862. A half-mile beyond the picket line was a large white 

house surrounded with out-buildings of a similar color, 
giving notice that the owner was a prosperous person. 

" Who can cloy the hungry edge of appetite by bare imagination of a feast? " 

A half-Starved soldier couldn't gaze on such a scene without longing 
to investigate the possibilities of a breakfast. To go out beyond the 
picket line was a dangerous experiment in those parts, but quite a 
number of the boys set aside apprehensions of danger. One of the 
party was made spokesman to negotiate for a breakfast at a price not 
exceeding twenty-five cents each. There was much surprise evinced 
at our appearance, and some hesitation about gratifying our wishes, 
by the lady of the house. It was evident our presence was not 
wanted, but we put on our best manners, assuring her we had no 
intention of disturbing her peace except so far as putting some one to 
the trouble of preparing a breakfast. After some further hesitation 
she consented, and very soon the boys had the pleasure of eating a 
breakfast of fried ham, boiled potatoes, good bread and butter and 
coffee. As they raised the coffee to their lips their hostess expressed 
a wish that it might poison every one of them. There was some 
hesitation about drinking it, but as the boys looked at her and saw a 
faint smile on her face, they concluded she was not of the poisoning 
type, and so took their chances. She refused their offered recom- 
pense, like the true Southerner she was, and so they distributed the 
money among the servants, and marched back to camp with re- 
newed strength. 

Rations getting short. The whole corps was suffering for want of 
food, which was being delayed because of the inefficiency of the 
railroads and the bad condition of the highways. The condition of 
affairs is so well depicted in the following communication of General 
Shields of this date to the Secretary of War that we are tempted to 
make a hberal extract from it : 

Jackson passed through Strasburg Saturday and Sunday. Fremont has not 
been heard from yet. There was firing at Strasburg yesterday — supposed to be 
Banks in the rear. My poor command were without provisions twenty-four 
hours. We would have occupied Strasburg, but dare not interfere virith what was 


1862. designed for Fremont. His failure has saved Jackson. I will force 

my way down to Stannardsville to cut him off, but the railroad is 
miserable, and miserably managed. Cars are running off the track and coming 
in collision. I never saw anything like the want of efficiency and skill in organiza- 
tion. Our telegraph line ought to be in operation, but it has no working party. I 
let them have my pioneers, whom I need now. General McDowell has done 
everything to mend matters, but not much can be done with such means. We 
have too many men here, and no supplies. How I will get along I do not know, 
but! will trust to luck — -seize cattle, live on beef — to catch Jackson. I could 
stampede them to Richmond had I even supplies of hard bread and a little forage. 
I have no fears of their numbers, which have been ridiculously exaggerated by fear. 

Early in the forenoon we advanced across the north 
Tuesday, fork of the Shenandoah River, about tvi^o miles, where we 
June 3. halted, drew fresh beef and flour, after which we moved 

into a piece of woods near by and bivouacked for the 
night. It began, to rain hard in the night and before morning the 
camp was inundated with water, and a sorry mess we were in as the 
water poured around us. The only thing we could do was to grab 
our things and run for the railroad track, which afforded us a tem- 
porary resting-place from the water. 

As soon as possible we were formed in line and 
Wednesday, marched rapidly back across the river. We had a nar- 
June 4. row escape from being left on an island formed by this 

freshet, which would have cut us off completely from the 
rest of the corps, without food, or the hope of getting food until the 
waters subsided, as we had barely crossed the river when the bridge 
was carried away, leaving a dozen of the Thirteenth on the other 
side. We marched back toward Front Royal and bivouacked in a 
piece of woods on a, hill, a mile back and overlooking the town. 

Our knapsacks, which we left at Piedmont, on the 
Thursday, 31st of May, reached us to-day, soaked with rain and 
June s- mud. We were glad to get our "shelters" again. 

After our experience of the last five days we no longer 
despised them. The boys were getting ragged and seedy from over- 
work and exposure. We had reached that period of our service 
when pork was eaten raw with pleasure. This was quite an advance 
in our education as soldiers. Slowly we were being hammered into 


i86a. veterans. This was the kind of service that prepared 

us for the campaigns of 1863—4. It told on the men 
pretty severely, as our number was now reduced from 1,038 to 600 
men for duty, and 94 men in the hospital. 

A beautiful day. So disciplined had we become by 
Friday, marching, bad weather and fasting, that we were happy 
June 6. jf jj didn't rain, but when the sun appeared, our feelings 
became ecstatic. 

The sutler arrived with stores, and no longer we hankered for the 
" flesh pots of Egypt." 

The country was full of guerillas, making outpost duty dangerous 
and undesirable. 

The escape of Jackson was a topic of conversation and, as usual, 
we wrongly credited McDowell with the responsibility. 

Many of the women in the town increased their incomes by the sale 
of pies to the soldiers. They could not endure the sight of a Yankee 
except when he was buying some of their badly-cooked food. Some 
of the young women who had nothing to sell were very " sassy," and 
turned up their pretty noses. The older ones, being in the commercial 
line, and married, had more sense, bent on " making hay while the 
sun shines." 

One of the boys who was left on the opposite side of the river 
when the regiment crossed on the 4th inst., was drowned to-day 
while attempting to cross in a skiff in company with a rebel. ^Vhen 
about midway of the stream the boat capsized and both men were 
dumped into the angry flood. The current was so strong that our 
man, who was probably unable to swim, was carried out of sight in 
no time. He was a man over six feet in height, well-proportioned, 
and an excellent soldier. He was born in Maine, but had come to 
Boston, where he was employed when the war broke out. He was 
the man whose letters from home had written across the entire top of 
the envelope in a bold, round hand, "With God's blessing." It 
was the custom of the chaplain, who acted as postmaster during his 
stay with the regiment, to stand on a box, or stool, in front of his tent, 
and call off the names on the letters. Whenever he came across one 
directed to our friend he would hold it up above his head, and in a 


1862. voice of deep feeling, would say, " With God's blessing ! " 

and the owner would at once step up and take it, so that 
very soon he became known in the regiment as " God's blessing." 

Order received to march to Warrenton. 
Saturday, In an order sent to General Shields, General Mc- 
june 7. Dowell complains of the size of wagon trains, directing 
that nothing be taken in them but ammunition, subsist- 
ence, forage and cooking utensils, and states that " Jackson marches 
thirty miles a day, and that we can never catch an enemy with a train 
filled with trumpery." 

The order which we received yesterday to march on 
Sunday, Warrenton was to-day countermanded, and we were 
June 8. jjjyg prevented from breaking the Sabbath. 

General Ord was relieved, and the division placed 
under the command of General Ricketts. 

An order from the adjutant-general was received by General 
McDowell to-day, from which the following is an extract : 

The Secretary of War directs, that having first provided adequately for the 
defence of Washington and for holding the position at Fredericksburg, you 
operate with the residue of your force, as speedily as possible, in the direction of 
Richmond, to cooperate with Major-General McClellan, in accordance with the 
instructions heretofore given you. 

The following communication to General McClellan was sent by 
General McDowell on this date, and has a peculiar interest to us : 

For the third time I am ordered to join you, and this time I hope to get 

In view of the remarks made with reference to my leaving you and my not 
joining you before, by your friends, and of something I have heard as coming 
from you on that subject, I wish to say that I go with the greatest satisfaction, and 
hope to arrive with my main body in time to be of service. 

Monday, An order was received delaying our movement from 

June 9. Front Royal, which in no way displeased us. 

Paid off. Though it rained hard all day and the camp 

Tuesday, was very muddy, the world seemed bright and pleasant 

June 10. ^g yg^ g^g j^ appare^ly did to the thrifty wives of Front 

Royal, who, regardless of the rain, brought their pies to 

camp to exchange for the filthy lucre of the "miserable Yankees." 


1862. Company I was yesterday sent to town as provost- 

Thursday, guard. 

June 12. r^^^ following letter was sent to-day by General 

McClellan to the Secretary of War : 

In your telegrams respecting reinforcements you inform me that General 
McDowell, with the residue of his command, will proceed overland to join me 
before Richmond. I beg leave to suggest that the destruction of the railroad 
bridges by flood and fire cannot probably be remedied under four weeks; that an 
attempt to employ wagon transportation must involve great delay, and may be 
found very difficult of accomplishment. An extension of my right wing to meet 
him may involve serious hazard to my flank and my line of communications, and 
may not suffice to rescue from any peril in which a strong movement of the 
enemy may involve him. I would advise that his forces be sent by water. 
Even a portion thus sent would, by reason of greater expedition and security and 
less complications of my movements, probably be more serviceable in the opera- 
tions before Richmond. The roads throughout the region between Ihe Rappa- 
hannock and the James cannot be relied upon and may become execrable even 
should they be in their best condition. The junction of his force with the exten- 
sion of my right flank cannot be made without derangement of my plans, and if 
my recent experience in moving troops be indicative of the difficulties incident to 
McDowell's march, the exigencies of my present position will not admit of the 

Six hundred men on duty. Forced marches, exposure, 
Friday, short rations, and malaria were the influences that re- 
june 13. (Juced our number. 

Thermometer 95°. We were told by the colonel to-day 

that our transfer to General Banks' corps would soon take 

Saturday, place. This information had a very pleasing effect on 

June 14. tijg tjjjyg ;yg ^gjg j^jgg jQj^j ^^^ Maj.-Gen. Oid, 

commander of our division, was to be transferred to 
Corinth, Miss. We had become very fond of General Ord, and 
were sorry he wag to leave us. 

During the early part of our service, quite a number of the boys 
carried a volume of " Hardie's Tactics," which they studied in spare 
hours. There was no subject so thoroughly discussed as our evolu- 
tions at drill. This was, in a great measure, due to the colonel, who 
daily surprised us by some new movement; hence a volume of 
the Tactics was indispensable in settling disputes. Another book 


1862. frequently borrowed from one of the officers was the 

"Army Regulations." It was often read aloud, and 
humorous interpretations applied to some of its sections. For in- 
stance : Section 694 reads, " Soldiers are not to stop for water ; 
the canteen should be filled before starting." Many of the boys in- 
sisted that if these sections were interpreted literally, the inference 
would be that you might stop for anything but water. Others said 
it was plain enough that you might stop for whiskey, though experi- 
ence showed that the man who depended on alcohol for his energy, 
was generally left by the roadside, completely knocked to pieces. 

No one can forget his struggles in attempting to procure water 
from a well surrounded by a hundred thirsty soldiers. Tramping 
along a hot, dusty road, the water in our canteens would soon become 
lukewarm, supplying no refreshment, nor even quenching the thirst. 
At last, you spy a well, but, alas ! others have spied it, as you see 
by the number congregated about it. You are not easily discouraged 
by numbers, and so you add one to the struggling crowd, pushing 
and edging your way in until you get a sight of the well, and the 
bucket of clear, cool water. With dipper in hand you make a 
thrust, only to be shoved aside by others with more strength or 
agility. As each succeeds and retires, his place is immediately filled 
by another, equally thirsty. If you have patience you may succeed, 
but it often happens that you are obliged to give up the contest, 
and hurrying on to catch the regiment, which has already passed out 
of sight, you cannot help thinking what an ill-mannered cub a soldier 
is, when tired and thirsty, striving for water. The weaker men soon 
learned the uselessness of struggling against odds so great. A soldier 
soon learns that to observe the golden rule is to find himself both 
hungry and thirsty. There were men in the army, however, whose 
lives moved without friction. They let others do the crowding and 
pushing, and when calmness was restored, begged what had been 
fought for. The same practice held good with respect to every 
other article, whether of rations or comfort. With honeyed words 
they beguiled from others the things they were too lazy to carry 
themselves. In the case of water, it was particularly aggravating, be- 
cause the carrying of it meant an additional weight, as well as the 
bother of procuring it. 


J 862, General McDowell sent the following to President 

Sunday, Lincoln : 
June 15. 

So much has been said about my not going to aid McQellan and of his need 
ot reenforcements that I beg the President will now allow me to take every man 
that can be spared. I make this request in view of what I have just learned from 
Front Royal of an intention to have my second division broken up and HartsuiTs 
brigade transferred to General Banks' department. 

Fremont's and General Banks' commands are now superabundantly strong 
for all purposes, in the valley. 

In a communication to the Secretary of War, he further says that 
he learns 

There is a plan on foot for having HartsufTs brigade transferred to Banks', 
who is on his way to Washington. I regret to have to trouble you in this matteri 
and beg that I may not be deprived of Hartsuff. 

He also wrote to the same purpose to Secretary Stanton. 
The reply which he received from the Secretary of War was as 
follows : 

You need be under no apprehension about your force being broken up. 
Banks wants HartsufTs brigade, but the President refuses to let it be taken from 
your command. Banks comes here by my invitation, in order that the President 
may see him and urge prompt comphance with his arrangement. 

We might have been saved a good deal of headache about our 

transfer to Banks if General McDowell had invited us into his tent, 

and while extending the hospitolities of his sideboard, quietly 

informed us that his love was too overpowering to admit of the 

change ; but this kind of forgetfulness was common among corps 


General Shields' division returned to-day from Cross 

' Keys as ragged and dirty as ourselves, but the fighting 
June 16. ., , , , , , . as 

tney had seen made them heroes m our eyes. 

At 1 1.30 A.M. we took cars for Manassas, fifty miles. 

Tuesday, Left the cars about 6 P.M. and marched two miles and 

June 17. went into camp about half-way between the junction and 

the Bull Run battlefield of July, '61, and on the road to 

Blackburn's ford. 


1862. The following information was sent from Manassas by 

General McDowell to General Banks on this date : 

I beg to acquaint you that General HartsufTs brigade has moved here to-day; 
that General Rlcketts will follow to-morrow, and that General Shields' division 
is now in Front Royal, where I will thank you to support him, in case it should 
be necessary, until he can be withdrawn. 

In camp at Manassas Junction, where we remained 
Wednesday, until July 4. In our childhood we were taught that 
June 18. « God is everywhere," but after seeing this place we 
concluded that there were exceptions to this statement. 
Some of us made ourselves quite comfortable by building up sides 
with boards and pitching tents on top, so as to make it high enough 
to walk in without stooping. By putting two tents together, it 
looked like a hut with a canvas roof. We built narrow seats against 
the sides, about eighteen inches from the ground, extending the 
whole length of both tents, serving the double purpose of a seat 
by -day and bed by night. As boards were scarce, this idea was not 
extensively carried out. Those who omitted to build these huts, 
suffered from the first rain-storm. Manassas being situated as though 
at the bottom of a bowl, every time it rained all the water collected 
from the surrounding hills, and as it did not soak away very readily, 
the result was an inundated camp. 

Four to five hours daily were spent in drilling. Rations were in 
abundance and sutlers numerous, so on the score of food we had 
little reason for complaining. 

On this date the following order was issued by the 
^ ■ President : 

Ordered (i). The forces under Major-Generals Fremont, Banks, and Mc- 
Dowell, including the troops now under Brigadier-General Sturgis at Washington, 
shall be consolidated and form an army, to be called the Army of Virginia. 

2. The command of the Army of Virginia is specially assigned to Major- 
General John Pope, as commanding-general. The troops of the Mountain 
Department, heretofore under command of General Fremont, shall constitute the 
First Army Corps, under the command of General Fremont; the troops of the 
Shenandoah Department, now "under General Banks, shall constitute the Second 
Army Corps, and be commanded by him; the troops under the command of 


i86z. General McDowell, except those within the fortifications and city 

of Washington, shall form the Third Army Corps, and be under 
his command. 

3. The Army of Virginia shall operate in such manner as, while protecting 
Western Virginia and the national capital from danger or insult, it shall in the 
speediest manner attack and overcome the rebel forces under Jackson and Ewell^ 
threaten the enemy in the direction of Charlottesville, and render the most 
effective aid to relieve General McClellan and capture Richmond. 

4. When the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia shall be in 
position to communicate and directly cooperate at or before Richmond, the chief 
command, while so operating together, shall be governed, as in like cases, by the 
" Rules and Articles of War." 

A good bit of work was cut out for us by this order, and how well 
we performed the task will be seen farther on. 

As Fourth of July approached, thoughts of having a celebration 
found utterance. Some of the boys, appreciating that our near- 
ness to Washington, with daily communication by rail, made it 
possible for friends at home to come out, wrote to them, and several 
took advantage thereof by suddenly making appearance in camp. 
It afforded us a great deal of pleasure to entertain them, and we did 
our best to make them comfortable while they stayed ; but before their 
departure, they were the most miserable creatures in existence. To 
them the fare was poor and the beds hard. There were also visitors 
from the State authorities, who came out to look after the condition 
of Massachusetts troops, but they were better taken care of. The 
officers were very courteous in their offers of hospitality to all the 
visitors, but those of the rank and file said they preferred roughing 
it with the boys — and they found it was rough. Boxes were re- 
ceived from home, in many instances containing the ingredients for a 
Fourth-of-July punch, and we all looked forward to a glorious time. 

We were early at work opening boxes — those which 
Friday, ^^^ "o* abeady been opened — and preparing for a 
July 4. grand celebration, when an order was received to march 

at 8 o'clock. A howl went up at this news, and groans 
for McDowell were heard everywhere. To our minds it looked like 
a piece of spite. There was no way out of it, so we took all the 
boxes on the parade ground, piled them up in a pyramid, with the 
empty bottles on top, and then pelted them with rocks until the last 


1862. one was smashed. Soon after we bade " good-by " to 

our visitors and proceeded on our way in a most un- 
pleasant mood. As we marched along the road we noticed three 
figures hanging in the air, effigies of Stanton, McDowell, and Jeff 
Davis, labelled respectively, so no mistake should be made as to 
whom they were intended to represent. We expressed our appro- 
bation as we passed by. 

After marching eleven miles, we camped for the night about a 
mile beyond Gainesville, on the road to Warrenton. We found cher- 
ries in great abundance, and were privileged by General Hartsuff to 
gather all we wanted. The day was hot and sultry and reminded us 
of our march of a year ago when the battalion companies escorted 
the city government of Boston on its annual parade. We found no 
such hospitality as greeted us on that occasion. 

Our march to-day was in consequence of the following order from 
General Pope to General McDowell, July 3, '62 : 

General : I think you had best push Ricketts' division as far as Warrenton, 
and direct it to take post there. . . . Will you please have these arrange- 
ments made without delay? I desire also to hear from the division at Warren- 
ton at least once a day. 

It will be seen by this that McDowell was not responsible for our 
marching to-day, though we gave him credit for it, as we did every- 
thing else that was disagreeable. 

During the afternoon the question arose as to where we were to 
halt for the night, it depending on a supply of water. In discuss- 
ing the subject with the regimental commanders, General Hartsuff 
suggested that Colonel Leonard turn the Thirteenth into the nearest 
field, and he felt sure the men would find water if there was any 
about. There was reason for this suggestion, inasmuch as it was the 
habit of a good many of the boys, when the final halt for the day 
was made, to start with towels in hand for the nearest brook for a 
bath, without suggestion as to where water could be found. 

There were boys in each company who had an unerring instinct as 
to the location of water. We had one man in particular, whom we 
called " Simplot," to whom Nature had unfolded many of her secrets. 
He knew the name of every bird, of every tree and flower, and 


i86a. seemed to know equally well where to find water, for 

whenever there was any doubt, he would give the direction 
in which to seek it, as if he knew every foot of the country ; but his 
information about whiskey was not as correct. Once acquire the 
habit of cleanliness, and you are ever after the slave of soap and 
water. It is as difficult to overcome as drinking or the use of opium. 
In Colonel Fox's " Statistical Book of the War " occurs the fol- 
lowing paragraph : 

The Thirteenth Massachusetts has a meritorious record in its small number of 
deaths from disease, its percentage of deaths from that cause being the smallest 
of any three-years regiment in the entire army. There were regiments with a 
smaller number of deaths from disease, but they were two-years regiments, or 
carried a less number of names on their rolls. The extraordinary exemption from 
disease in the Thirteenth Infantry would indicate that the regiment was composed 
of superior material. 

Whatever may have been the cause by which we excelled all others 
in healthfulness, we hesitate to admit that it was due to habits of 
cleanliness, inasmuch as later on, when the exigencies of the service 
prevented a liberal use of water, most of us continued to remain 
free from sickness of any kind. In spite of this encomium we did 
have, here and there, a man so insensible to personal cleanU- 
ness, so fond of the tickling sensations of that little parasite 
called the " grayback," as to neglect the ordinary proprieties 
of life which are dependent on the use of water. In the first 
year of our service there was no excuse for any man not keep- 
ing reasonably clean, and any dereliction in this respect was 
sure to excite complaint from one's associates. Uncleanliness was 
one of the things the regiment would not patiently endure. There 
were instances, though very few, where the offender was taken to a 
brook, stripped of his clothing, and his body holystoned until he 
looked like a boiled lobster. One such case we have in mind, of a 
man whose uselessness as a soldier suggested a likeness to that 
worthless old arm known as the " smooth-bore musket," which was 
carried by a few regiments in the first months of the war, and so 
they called him " Smooth-bore." Water and lead were two things 
his melancholy nature could not stand, and so he relieved the regi- 


1 863. ment of his presence by deserting. It was a happy- 

thought on his part, and put us under obligations we can 
never repay. To our mind, nothing he did, while in service, so 
became him like the leaving it. Exit " Smooth-bore." 

Started at 7.30 A.M. for Warrenton, eight miles. 
Saturday, As the weather was very hot we were allowed to take it 
July 5. pretty easy. The cherries were in great abundance 

along the road, and as they were not included in the list 
of articles to be protected for the use of Stonewall Jackson, we were 
allowed to help ourselves. Just before our arrival in camp, news 
was received that McClellan had taken Richmond, whereupon we 
all cheered ourselves hoarse. Camp gossip set the day for our 
departure for home during the following week. A good many of the 
boys expressed sorrow that they were to go home without seeing any 
fighting that amounted to anything. 

We went into camp in a delightful spot, a mile or so from the 
town of Warrenton. The whole country about was beautiful, and 
the land possessed of great fertility. Near our camp was a clear 
sparkling brook of pure water, besides a spring highly impregnated 
with sulphur. A short distance away were blackberry fields, one of 
which was many acres in extent, filled with berries of the most lus- 
cious kind, reminding us of the words in Izaak Walton as applied to 
the strawberry : " Doubtless God might have made a better berry, but 
doubtless He never did." If, perchance, this record of ours is read 
by other persons than ourselves, who have not seen the like, they may 
think we exaggerate j that the contrast with our frugal fare added a 
fictitious sweetness to the berries we found about Warrenton. And 
such quantities ! For nearly two weeks the whole division luxuriated 
in those fields. This is the only camp of the regiment where the 
doctor was able to report : " No sick in the hospital." 

During our stay at this place we received a visit from General 
Banks, and in a speech he made encouraged us to think we were to 
be transferred to his command, though the question of our return to 
him had been settled so^e days before. It seemed to stir up our 
enthusiasm, however, and we cheered him lustily. As this was on 
the 1 6 th of July, the anniversary of our muster- in, we felt like cele- 


1862. brating, though little opportunity was afforded the rank 

and file to be fooling with anniversaries. 
We remained in this camp, in this land flowing with milk and 
honey, until the Z2d of the month. While we were at Warrenton 
the following order was issued to the Army of Virginia : 

Washington, D.C, July 14, 1862. 

To the Officers and Soldiers of the Army of Virginia : 

By special assignment of the President of the United States, I have assumed 
command of this army. I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, 
your condition, and your wants, in preparing you for active operations, and in 
placing you in positions where you can act promptly and to the purpose. These 
labors are nearly completed, and I am about to join you in the field. 

Let us understand each other. 1 have come to you from the West, where we 
have always seen the backs of our enemies; from an army whose business it has 
been to seek the adversary, and to beat him when he was found; whose policy 
has been attack, and not defence. In but one instance has the enemy been able 
to place our Western armies in defensive attitudes. I presume I have been called 
here to pursue the same system, and to lead you against the enemy. It is my pur- 
pose to do so, and that speedily. I am sure you long for an opportunity to win 
the distinction you are capable of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor 
to give you. Meantime I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases 
which I am sorry to find so much in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of 
" taking strong positions and holding them," of "lines of retreat," and of "bases 
of supplies." Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should 
desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the 
enemy. Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave 
our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us, and not behind. Suc- 
cess and glory are in advance, disaster and shame lurk in the rear. Let us act on 
this understanding, and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed 
with many a glorious deed, and that your names will be dear to your countrymen 

(Signed) JNO. POPE, 

Major-General Commanding. 

Some of the boys facetiously called it the " Pope's Bull." 
" Seest there a man wise in his own conceit ? There is more hope 
of a fool than of him," says the Holy Bible. Up to this date the 
army was well disposed toward General Pope, but this bombastic 
and offensive circular unfortunately lessened its respect for him. 

It will be noticed, on reading the circular, that " my headquarters 
are in the satidle," does not appear. It is diflScult, now, to recall 


i862. just how we became possessed with the idea that General 

Pope wrote it. Probably some newspaper desiring to 
ridicule his famous proclamation, added the offensive paragraph on 
publishing it, and the army not being very friendly toward him, re- 
peated it so often as a joke on Pope, very soon believed it to be 
true. It became a by-word throughout the army, and a good deal 
of fun we had out of it. In justice to General Pope, we are glad to 
give his statement, which he made in his account of the second 
battle of Bull Run, as published in the " Century " magazine of Jan- 
uary, 1886 : 

There are other matters which, although not important, seem not out of place 
in this paper. A good deal of cheap wit has been expended upon a fanciful story 
that I publis^led an order, or wrote a letter, or made a remark, that my" head- 
quarters would be in the saddle." It is an expression harmless and innocent 
enough, but it is even stated that it furnished General Lee with a basis for the only 
joke of his life. It is painful, therefore, to a well-constituted mind, to be obliged 
to take away the foundation of that solitary joke; but I think it due to array 
tradition, and to the comfort of those who have so often repeated this ancient 
joke in the days long before the Civil War, that these later wits should not be al- 
lowed with impunity to poach on this well-tilled manor. This venerable joke I 
first heard when a cadet at West Point, and it was then told of that gallant 
soldier and gentleman. Gen. W. J. Worth. I presume it could be easily traced to 
the Crusades, and beyond; and while it may not be as old as the everlasting hills, 
it is certainly old enough to have been excused from active duty long years ago. 
Certainly I never used this expression, or "wrote, or dictated it, nor does any such 
expression occur in any order of mine; and as it has, perhaps, served its time and 
effeete^lts purpose, it ought to be retired. Let us hope that it may be permitted 
to sleep in peace, and no longer rack the brain o£ those whose intellectual ma- 
chinery can ill bear the strain, or be perpetuated among their natural successors. 

Military critics and ofiicers high in command have asserted that 
General Pope was an officer of exceptional abilities. If this is true, 
and we are not inclined to dispute it, he did himself a grievous wrong 
when he published this order. 

Marched to Waterloo, ten miles. Though the dis- 
Tuesday, tance was not great it was a hard march, and as it began 
July 22. (.Q ja,in before we reached our camping-ground, the tem- 
per of the regiment was not improved. We had been 
feasting on the fat of the land and drinking spring-water, and other- 


1862. wise enjoying ourselves, so that we were in no humor to 

get pleasure out <}i a hot, dusty road. 

In passing through towns and villages, and even on the high-roads, 
we naturally attracted a good deal of attention. We frequently 
noticed among the crowds so gathered, the scowling faces of women, 
who, upon learning we were from Massachusetts, saluted us as " Nig- 
ger-lovers," and other opprobrious epithets, while it occasionally hap- 
pened that by grimaces only could they express the intensity of 
their feelings. We were in no way disturbed by these manifestations 
of unfriendliness on the part of' the fair sex, but the men in reddish- 
brown suits, watching our movements with eager eyes, passing them- 
selves off as innocent farmers, who were they? They excited our 
suspicion by their restless, sneaking manners, their evident desire not 
to be observed. Yes, we soon learned that these innocent men com- 
bined the peaceful avocation of farming with the nocturnal pastime 
of throat-cutting, under the leadership of that champion throat- 
cutter, John S. Mosby. It often happened, later on, that soldiers 
returning to camp after dark, were waylaid and murdered, and their 
bodies horribly mutilated. Of course it made little difference to the 
man after he was dead what disposition was made of his body, but 
it was none the less disagreeable to the living to contemplate what 
might be the fate of a man who fell into the hands of such a band, 
particularly when he reflected toat life might not be wholly extinct 
when the mutilation took place. It was the presence of these men 
in our midst that enabled Mosby to carry on his nefarious work. We 
can respect the foe who stood up in a manly way and fought for what 
he honestly believed was right, but we do not believe in gilding with 
heroism the deeds of Mosby and his guerillas, which kind of warfare 
is abhorred by all civilized nations. 

The remarks we heard from the bystanders as we marched along 
often became by-words in the regiment. We were no exception to 
the generality of mankind, of liking to see a pretty face, even if it did 
belong to a woman of " secesh " sentiments. When the boys at the 
head of the column discovered a pretty girl, if she was on the right 
side of the road, "guide right" would be passed along the line ; and 
"guide left," if on the left side of the road. By this ingenious device 


1862. we were enabled to direct our eyes where we would 

receive the largest return for our admiration. 

The ignorance displayed in answering our inquiries respecting dis- 
tances was unfathomable. An answer might be " five miles," and 
after an hour's marching, the same inquiry would be repeated, when 
the answer would be "ten miles." We often would be told 
that " 'Taint a great ways when you get 'most there." This might, 
at first, seem intended for a joke, but its frequency and the stolidity 
with which it was given removed any such doubt. After awhile the 
boys would reverse the question by asking " How far is it to such a 
place when you get 'most there?" and it was amusing to see how 
completely puzzled they were. After considerable experience of this 
kind we concluded that while Virginia was called " The mother of 
Presidents," she was not the mother of a man who could accurately 
tell you the distance from one town to another. 

Various were the devices adopted by the boys to relieve the 
monotony of weary marches. On these occasions, as conversation 
was allowed, stories were told, gossip repeated,, discussions carried 
on, and criticisms made on the acts of public men, as well as on the 
merits of our commanders. An occasional silence would be broken 
by the starting of a familiar song, and very soon the whole regiment 
would join in the singing. Sometimes it would be a whistling chorus, 
when all would be whistling. Toward the end of a day, however, so 
tired were we all, that it was difficult to muster courage for these 
diversions, then our only reliance for music would be the band. 
When a temporary halt was granted, it was curious to see how 
quickly the boys would dump themselves over on their backs at the 
side of the road as soon as the word was given, looking like so 
many dead men. There was one thing we were thankful to the 
colonel for, and that was his freedom from nonsense on such occa- 
sions. No " right- facing," no " right-dressing," no " stacking arms," 
to waste valuable minutes, but "get all the rest you can, boys," and 
when the order was given to " forward," each man took his place in 
line without confusion or delay. 

Every opportunity for a joke or a "grind" on a comrade was 
seized to enliven our toil. At this particular time it happened that 


1862. one of the boys, a private in one of the companies, — and 

we beg his pardon for mentioning the circumstance, — 
was appointed to a lieutenancy in the Regular army. " The mills of 
the gods grind slowly," it is said, but he must have thought them a 
lightning express in comparison to the wheels of our War Depart- 
ment, as between the time when he read in the paper his confirma- 
tion by the Senate and the time when he received an order to report 
at Washington, nearly three months elapsed. In the meantime, 
being a good soldier, he did duty with the rest of us as good- 
naturedly as a man can who is in hourly expectation of saying " good- 
by." When the inquiry was made, " What regiment is that?" the 
answer would be returned, " Thirteenth, Mass. ; none but regular 
army officers in the ranks ! " The opportunity of saying this afforded 
us more enjoyment than it did the bystanders, who had no appre- 
ciation of what it meant. 

It would often occur, when we were tired and dusty from a long 
day's march, " Old Festive " would ride by, when suddenly you would 
hear sung : 

" Saw my leg off. 
Saw my leg off. 
Saw my leg off — 


There was another man in the regiment who contributed a large 
share of fun for the amusement of others, and that was the " Medi- 
cine man " — the man who honored the doctor's sight-drafts for 
salts, castor-oil, etc., delicacies intended for the sick, but greatly in 
demand by those who wished to rid themselves of unpleasant duties. 
He was the iasso pro/undo of the glee club, and could gaze with- 
out a tremor at the misery of a man struggling with castor-oil, while 
at the same time encouraging him to show his gratitude at the gener- 
osity of the Government by drinking the last drop. " Down with it, 
my boy, the more you take the less I carry." 

Moved camp to a better spot, on Carter's Run. 

Friday, An incident happened while we were at this camp that 

July 25. shows how much patience was required to prevent one's 

language from acquiring a gilding of profanity. In the 

reduction of baggage, company kettles and pots had to go, so that 


1862. each man was forced to do his own cooking on his own 

fire, and with his tin dipper. Now, this meant a good 
deal where wood was scarce, or where we had to go a distance for it. 
Men were therefore jealous of its use by those who were known as 
being too lazy to procure wood. It frequently happened that when 
your fire was well going, some fellow would put his dipper down 
beside yours and with flattering words of greeting ward oif your 
anger, gradually pushing the dipper farther into or on the fire, until 
he had gained entire possession of it. This was aggravating, but not 
so much so as an instance where a single fire had been extended by 
the use of rails until it contained not less than thirty cups filled with 
water, the owners crowding and pushing, each with a handful of coffee 
watching for the water to boil, when he was to put in his coffee. In 
walking round looking for a vacant spot where he might slide in his 
dipper, one of the boys hit his toe against one of the rails, and over 
went all the dippers into the fire. Did the owners sit down and 
laugh at the accident? No ; they did not. Even those whose coffee 
had been placed in the dippers showed no joy. Once more the god- 
dess whose name suggests eternal punishment was invoked upon the 
offender. " For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion : How are 
we spoiled?" 

Orders were read notifying us of the death of 
Thursday, ex-President Van Buren. Some of us were shocked 
July 31. because one of the boys, an Englishman by birth, asked, 
« Who in h— 1 is Van Buren ? " 

The brigade was ordered out in full marching order to be inspected 
by General Pope. 

An order was received that men quit straggling off the picket line. 
Who had been giving away the secrets of the picket line ? 

Yesterday an order was received that " at company drills the men 
will be instructed in calculating distances within five hundred yards." 
This looked hke business. 

At 5.30 A.M. we left our pleasant and healthy camp at 

Monday, Waterloo and marched towards Culpeper, eleven miles. 

August 4. 'Yhe roads were dusty and the temperature of the air, as 

well as our language, was very high. We had been very 


i862. comfortably situated, with an abundance of cherries, good 

water, and enough to eat. Nothing better could be got 
by moving, so we preferred to stay. The Government showed an 
uneasiness about us that was very exasperating. Whenever we were 
particularly pleased with our situation, it took that moment to move 
us to some less agreeable spot. -We came out to fight, — not to march. 
Therefore it was the duty of the Government, if it had any enemies, 
to bring them along, that we might do the fighting, and go home. 

Marched at 5 A.M. Having paced off twelve miles 
Tuesday, we went into camp within sight of Culpeper Court 
Augusts. House, and in close proximity to a large number of 


In the afternoon sudden orders were received to move, 

Friday, and after marching about four miles beyond Culpeper, 

ugust . ^g halted for the night near Pony Mountain. An 

order was received that no horses be allowed, except to 
those men mounted by law. Perhaps the Government thought we 
were keeping private saddle-horses. 

At daylight the army marched a few miles and halted, 
Saturday, while General Banks' corps continued on and became 
August 9. engaged in the battle known as Cedar Mountain. During 

the day we several times changed our position, short dis- 
tances, in hourly expectation of taking part in the battle which we 
knew, by the sound, was going on. Late in the afternoon we were 
ordered forward to take our place in line of battle, first leaving our 

In all ages and in all climes every army has had its percentage of 
men who ran away, hoping they might escape fighting, and our army 
was no exception in this respect. On our way to the front we saw 
men who, though wounded and capable of taking care of them- 
selves, were being assisted to the rear by two, three, and occasion- 
ally as many as four men, who shouted as we passed along, " Go in 
boys !• Give 'em h— 1 ! " In their haste to believe " that discre- 
tion is the better part of valor," they forgot that if this remark 
has any force at all, it could be only in those cases where valor ex- 
isted. It was a common saying in the army that such men wrote 


xaea. their letters home in red ink to impress their friends 

with the belief that they were " bloody heroes." 

By the time we reached the front it was nearly dark and the 
fighting had ceased. While we were halted, waiting for orders for 
the night, General Carroll's brigade came marching along headed by 
a fife and drum corps playing " Dixie " loud enough to wake the 
dead. They had scarcely reached our line when the enemy's 
artillery, from an elevated position, filled the air with exploding 
shells, whereupon they turned and fled to the rear, helter-skelter, 
with an alacrity that was laughable considering the boldness of their 
advance, while the enemy, anticipating what would happen upon a 
sudden attack like this, attempted to follow up the advantage. It 
was a critical moment j a panic might ensue unless prompt and 
vigorous measures were taken to prevent it. . General Hartsuff 
disposed his brigade at once. His prompt action and his experience 
as an artillerist, in moving his brigade from point to point out of 
range of the enemy's guns, saved it from the loss which might easily 
have occurred under an officer with less practical appreciation of the 
situation. Shortly afterward we were led along the base of the hill 
to the right, hugging the ground while the enemy's artillery fired 
over our heads into the woods at our rear until after midnight, dur- 
ing which time our artillery returned the fire with equal vigor. It 
was a grand sight to watch the burning fuses of the shells as they 
hissed through the air, while we laid flat on the ground, safely 
ensconced, until morning. At daylight a flag of truce was received 
from Jackson asking for a cessation of hostilities' to enable him to 
bury his dead, which was granted. Instead of attending to this 
sacred duty, as set forth in his request, he obeyed the injunction 
contained in the Holy Scriptures, which says, " Let the dead bury 
their dead." In other words, he took advantage of the armistice, 
and with his army slipped quietly away. 

When daylight appeared, we found ourselves near a cornfield, and 
taking advantage of the occasion, we gathered the ripening ears and 
proceeded, without let or hinderance, to roast them, and considering 
the shortness of rations this was a big streak of luck. 

We were very fortunate on this occasion, as the Thirteenth was 


i86z. the only regiment in the brigade that suffered no loss. 

Persons unfamiliar with such matters commonly estimate 
the value of a regiment's service by its number of killed and wounded. 
This is not a safe guide, as it frequently happens that the com- 
manding officer of a regiment can save his men by coolness 
and good judgment. The regiment that can do the most execution 
with the smallest loss, is certainly the one that serves the country 
best. An instance happened with us at this time which, though 
seemingly insignificant, illustrates this idea very well. When we re- 
ceived orders to change position to the right, the brigade had its 
bayonets " fixed." The moon happened to be in a cloud when the 
movement was begun, and, as it was important that it be made with 
all possible secrecy to the enemy, our colonel gave the order to 
" trail arms ! " which order had the effect of concealing the bayonets 
from view as the moon became unobscured. The position of 
the other regiments was discovered when the rays of the moon 
flashed on their bayonets, thereby drawing the enemy's fire. 
Whether or not this accounts for our good fortune, the thoughtfiil- 
ness exhibited by the colonel on this occasion has often been spoken 
of in terms of praise. There are plenty of instances during the war 
when the rashness of officers has cost the lives of many men. 

General Hartsuff 's report of his part in the battle of Cedar Moun- 
tain is as follows : 

I first took position in close column by division about two hundred and iifly 
yards in the rear of the centre of General Tower's line, and when the fire of the 
enemy's battery was directed toward my position, I moved my brigade a few 
yards beyond the crest of a hill, which sheltered them from the fire, and changed 
my direction so as to face the fire. In this position I remained until 3.30 A.M., 
when, by General McDowell's directions, I moved about half a mile to the rear. 
Officers and men behaved under the unexpected and close fire with very com- 
mendable coolness; ranks were unbroken, and there was no confusion. 

The last place to look for a stock company would be among a 
regiment of soldiers. After being deprived of camp kettles, mess 
pans, etc., each man was obliged to do his own cooking, as already 
stated, in his tin dipper, which held about a pint. Whether it was 
coffee, beans, pork, or anything depending on the services of a fire to 


1862. make it palatable, it was accomplished by aid of the 

dipper only. Therefore any utensil like a frying-pan was 
of incalculable service in preparing a meal. There were so few of 
these in the regiment, that only men of large means, men who could 
raise a dollar thirty days after a paymaster's visit, could afford such 
a luxury. In one instance the difficulty was overcome by the for- 
mation of a joint-stock company, composed of five stockholders, 
each paying the sum of twenty cents toward the purchase of a 
fiying-pan, which cost the sum of one dollar. The par value of each 
share was therefore twenty cents. It was understood that each 
stockholder should take his turn at carrying the frying-pan when 
on a march, which responsibility entitled him to its first use in 
halting for the night. While in camp, it passed from one to the 
other each day in order of turn. It was frequently loaned for a 
consideration, thereby affording means for an occasional dividend 
among the stockholders. The stock advanced in value until it 
reached as high as forty cents per share, so that a stockholder in the 
"Joint Stock Frying Pan Company" was looked upon as a man of 
consequence. Being treated with kindness and civiUty by his com- 
rades, life assumed a roseate hue to the shareholders in this great 
company, in spite of their deprivations. It was flattering to hear 
one's self mentioned in terms of praise by some impecunious com- 
rade who wished to occupy one side of it while you were cooking. 
On this particular morning, when we started out, expecting shortly 
to be in a fight, the stock went rapidly down, until it could be bought 
for almost nothing. As the day progressed, however, there was a 
slight rise, though the market was not strong. When the order was 
given to leave knapsacks, it necessarily included this utensil, and so 
the "Joint Stock Frying Pan Company " was wiped out. 



1862. Marched back to the place where we left our knapsacks 

Sunday, yesterday afternoon, while on the way to the front, 
ugus 10. Having recovered our worldly goods and restored our 
tempers to as near a normal condition as the exasperat- 
ing circumstances would allow, we were formed in a square to listen 
to a sermon by the chaplain, whose text was, " What came ye out for 
to see ? " That was a conundrum that each must answer for himself, 
and some of us very soon. 

Marched to the Rapidan River, seven miles, and 
Aueu^t ij *^*™P^*^- '^^ spot selected was in an elevated posi- 
tion in sight of the river and the fields beyond, where 
could be seen the enemy's pickets. 

In the afternoon we received sudden orders to march 
August' 17 ^°^^ ^® "^^"^ about four miles, the enemy being in force 
on the opposite side. Our camp was not far from 
Mitchell's station, and the water scarce. 

In the afternoon a batch of recruits arrived from Bos- 
Monday, ton, and finother fine lot of boys they were. Their knap- 
August 18. sacks were loaded, as we knew from experience, with 
many things they could do without, and beside ours they 
looked like " Saratogas." They were at once drawn up in line and 
assigned to companies, after which the chaplain gave them some 
friendly advice as to what we " old fellows" were; cautioning them 
to beware of our seductive advice about discarding this or that, and 
particularly cautioning them about swapping their bright, new dippers 
for our old, battered ones. His advice was, no doubt, well-inten- 
tioned, but his accusations were so general that the recruits hardly 
knew whom to trust, and it was, therefore, a rather delicate matter 
for us to give advice, though they sadly needed it. However, we 

O fkbdek/ck 

MAP N9 6 


1862. did our best to make them comfortable, though the best 

must have seemed very little to them, and let experience 

teach them the rest. As there were very few surplus guns, most of 

these recruits had to do without them until after the 30th of August. 
At II P.M. the long roll was sounded and, nearly dead with 

sleep, we turned out to answer to our names, and then to march. 

We marched about an hour toward Culpeper, when we were 

halted to allow the wagon train to pass. 

From midnight until 9 o'clock in the morning we 

Tuesday, Stood in the road, with our noses pointed toward Cul- 

August ig. peper, patiently waiting for an order to march, in a 
frame of mind that is well described by Mr. Kipling in 

the following lines : 

"Wot makes the soldier's 'eart to penk, wot makes 'im to perspire? 
It isn't standin' up to charge or lying down to fire; 
But it's everlastin' waitin' on a everlastin' road 
For the commissariat camel an' 'is commissariat load." 

It was a long weary march of twenty miles and a very hot day. 
When twelve miles had been counted off we were led into a field, as 
we supposed, to camp for the night. Having faced into line, General 
Hartsuff addressed us in complimentary terms on the manner in 
which this distance had been made, trusting the remaining eight 
miles to the Rappahannock River, which we must reach before mak- 
ing a halt for the night, would be done in the same good order. 
Our hopes were therefore completely dashed. The fact that the 
enemy were closely following us, as we were informed, lent a vigor 
to our step in the remaining eight miles, though it was not until after 
dark (8.30 P.M.) that we crossed the river at Rappahannock station 
and bivouacked. If a man has the luck to escape picket duty after 
such a day's work he has reason to thank his stars. Our retreat 
afforded the women of Culpeper a good deal of pleasure. It is well 
to know that some one got pleasure out of it, even if we did not. 

Early in the morning the " rebs " were seen on the 

Wednesday, opposite side of the river, and we were hastily thrown 

August 20. across, companies D and K acting as skirmishers. Very 

soon the Eleventh Pennsylvania followed and relieved us, 


1862. when we took position on a little knoll near the bridge, 

and proceeded at once to throw up earthworks for our 
protection. In order to do this with haste we were obliged to resort 
to our tin plates, dippers, or anything else we could find that 
would do the work. Matthews' battery (Co. F, First Pennsylvania 
Artillery) was with us. During our stay at Williamsport last winter, 
this battery was encamped within our lines, by reason of which we 
became well acquainted with the men and officers. They had con- 
tinued with us in the same brigade right along since. They were a 
first-rate set of fellows, and we appreciated very highly the acquaint- 
ance thus formed, and which continued in perfect harmony. 

We continued our work in the trenches, the artillery 
Thursday, firing over our heads, while the infantry, like "Brer 
August 21. Fox," laid low. General McDowell visited us daily. A 
conspicuous article of his apparel was the pith hat which 
he wore to protect his head from the rays of the sun. This hat^ 
which looked like an inverted wash-bowl, was a matter that excited 
much unreasonable comment among the men of his corps. 

The heavy rain of yesterday had such an effect on the 
Saturday, river that at half-past four this morning. General Mc- 
August 23. Dowell, fearing the bridge would be carried away, or- 
dered us across the river, which order we carried out 
with rather unseemly haste. Owing to the excited manner of the 
staff-officer (Miller), who was to see the order carried out, and who 
damned us for the time wasted in collecting our duds, which he 
seemed to think we ought to leave behind, a good deal of unneces- 
sary confusion arose, during which he was told to go where overcoats 
were not needed. As soon as we reached the opposite bank there be- 
gan a heavy firing by artillery — more artillery- firing than we had seen 
before. Inasmuch as we lay ensconced behind the guns this duel was 
very impressive, particularly as we were in imminent danger of being 
hit. Once the enemy charged across the plain, but were repulsed. 

In the afternoon we marched toward Warrenton. 

In his report of this campaign General McDowell says : 

Fearing for the safety of HartsufPs brigade, who were on the opposite bank, I 
ordered theni to be withdrawn. It was now impracticable to cross the river and 


1862. make the attack you had planned. Your orders then were to move 

the army against the enemy, who had crossed at Sulphur Springs 
and gone to Warrenton, whence he had made the attack with his cavalry at 
Catlett's, and who, it was thought, would be unable, on account of the state of 
the river, either to recross or be reenforced. 

The withdrawal of Hartsuff's brigade from the south side encouraged the 
enemy to move forward to seize the hills he had abandoned before we could 
complete the entire destruction of the railroad bridge, which we did not wish to 
leave for the enemy to repair and use to annoy us on our march to Warrenton. 
They opened a furious fire upon us, and moving their infantry down in masses, 
rushed upon the hill Hartsuff had just left. 

Back and forth we marched all day between two 
. •;' roads that led to Warrenton, until night, when we moved 

August 24. J a > 

to a spot about three miles beyond that town, where we 
halted and drew rations. The officers 'were without tents, the wagon 
train having disappeared. They had our charitable commiseration. 

Rested until about 5 P.M., when we marched to the 
Monday Waterloo road and went into camp. General Hartsuff 
August 25. was ordered to the hospital on account of old wounds, 
and the Colonel of the Ninth New York assumed com- 
mand of the brigade. We found plenty of green com and apples to 
help out our rations. 

In a communication to General Halleck, under this date, Gen- 
eral Pope says that " McDowell's is the only corps that is at all 
reliable that I have." If we had only known of this compUment 
at the time, we should have felt like " Big Injun ! " 

At 7 A.M. we marched back to the spot we left last 
Tuesday, night and laid there about an hour, and then marched 
August 26. back to the Waterloo road and went into camp. 

At night the rebel general, Stuart, made a raid on 
Pope's headquarters. The repugnance which the army felt toward 
General Pope gave rise to expressions of glee at his probable dis- 
comfiture when it heard of this raid. 

In the afternoon we started on what turned out to be 
Wednesday, a slow, tiresome march of only eight miles, through War- 
August 27. renton, out on the Gainesville road, going into camp at 
2.30 A.M. This dallying along, instead of marching 


1862. straight on, was one of the most exasperating things with 

which we had to contend. Having no knowledge of 
what was going on about us, it was as uninteresting as the work of 
a galley-slave. 

Resumed our march toward Manassas, but on reaching 
Thursday, Hay Market we were ordered to leave our knapsacks and 
August 28. push on to Thoroughfare Gap to prevent Longstreet's 
corps from reenforcing Jackson. As we recall the work 
of that day we are not able to rid ourselves of the impression that we 
might easily have gained possession of that Gap had we started 
earlier, or if we had not dallied so long on the road after we did 
start. It seems that Longstreet left White Plains, eight miles west of 
the Gap, about 10 A.M., and succeeded in reaching it just before 
our arrival, so that when we got there the woods on the sides of the 
mountain were filled with " Johnnies." Thoroughfare Gap is natu- 
rally fortified, and whoever occupied it might easily keep possession 
against a much superior force. 

The testimony of General Ricketts, on this movement, given at the 
McDowell Court of Inquiry is interesting : 

I received an order on that day (the 28th) to send a brigade and a batteiy 
of artillery to support Colonel Wyndham at Thoroughfare Gap, and to push on to 
the same place with the rest of my division. I do not know what hour of the day 
the order was received, but should judge some time in the forenoon. I was 
at the time with my division on the road from Buckland Mills to Gainesville, and 
marched directly across the country by Hay Market. This order was brought 
to me by Captain Wadsworth, of General McDowell's staff, and was in writing. 
Somewhere between Hay Market and Thoroughfare Gap I saw Capt^n Leski, 
of General McDowell's staff, who gave pretty much the same order, — to go there 
and support Colonel Wyndham at the Gap. That is all I recollect. 

On reaching the entrance of the Gap we filed to the left along the 
base of the mountain, which was covered by dense woods already oc- 
cupied by the skirmishers of Longstreet's corps. Though we could 
not see the enemy, we were made aware of his presence by the 
bullets which flew about our heads in too great a profusion for com- 
fort. Protecting ourselves as well as we could behind a stone wall, 
we prepared to return the fire of our invisible enemy. After a few 
moments we were again formed in line, retiring to the open field. 


i862. where we were deployed as skirmishers, facing the woods 

on the mountain, as before. Here we remained for a 
short time loading and firing at will, until an order was given to fall 
back to another piece of woods in our rear which afforded some 
protection from the enemy's fire. About dark the brigade was with- 
drawn and marched with the division toward Manassas bivouacking 
shortly after midnight. 

In connection with our day's work the experiences of companies 
D, H, and'K ought not to be omitted. 

Upon our arrival at the Gap Company D was deployed as skir- 
mishers and advanced up the mountain. On the way, the boys sud- 
denly came across a lot of blueberries. Such an abundance they 
had not seen since leaving home. Hungry and thirsty, they forgot 
their dangerous position and proceeded at once to gather what they 
could. While thus engaged, the Eleventh Pennsylvania, which was 
in their rear, unaware that Company D was in their front, began to 
fire. Between two fires was a perilous position to be in. The 
Eleventh Pennsylvania was immediately notified, and their firing 
ceased. Company K was at the same time ordered into the Gap to 
take possession of a stone mill, followed by Company H as support. 
Longstreet had already entered the Gap with the head of his corps 
of 30,000 men, making it a specially dangerous service for these 
three companies. While Company D pursued its way, K, the next 
company on the right, was detailed to go up the railroad to the stone 
mill. H was sent to support K, a few minutes later ; it followed a 
small stream to the rear of the mill, entering it at what might be 
called the cellar or basement. These companies, in column of fours, 
then in twos, and finally in single rank, marched as rapidly as pos- 
sible, without running, under a hot fire from the enemy, without 
losing a man. Upon their arrival they returned the fire of the 
enemy, who, being concealed by the woods, probably escaped any 
loss. Just as the boys were getting in their work, a full, fresh-look- 
ing regiment of rebels came in sight, marching across from the rail- 
road toward the skirmish line of D. As our boys were about to fire 
into this regiment an aid appeared for the second time to inform 
them that they were firing into their own men, a mistake he made in 


1862. misapprehension of the situation. This time he gave no 

order or hint what the boys were to do, but his previous 
instructions having been opposed to defending the mill, our men 
were forced to abandon it before being taken prisoners, and returned 
to the regiment, as did also Company D. 

Our losses at Thoroughfare Gap were two men killed and two 

General Orders, Headquarters Third Corps, 

No. 10. Reynolds' Camp, Aug. 28, 1862. 

I. Major-General Sigel will immediately march with his whole corps on Man- 
assas Junction, his right resting on the Manassas Railroad. 

II. Brigadier-General Reynolds will march on the turnpike immediately in 
the rear of General Sigel, and form his division on the left of General Sigel, and 
march upon Manassas Junction. 

III. Brigadier-General King will follow immediately after General Reynolds, 
and form his division on General Reynolds' left, and direct his march upon Man- 
assas Junction. 

IV. Brigadier-General Ricketts will follow Brigadier-General King and march 
to Gainesville; and if, on arriving there, no indication shall appear of the approach 
of the enemy from Thoroughfare Gap, he will continue his march along the turn- 
pike, form on the left of General King, and march on Manassas Junction. He 
will be constantly on the lookout for an attack from the direction of Thoroughfare 
Gap, and iii case one is threatened, he will form his division to the left and march 
to resist it. 

The headquarters of the corps will be at King's division. 
By command of Major-General McDowell, 

(Signed) ED. SCHRIVER, 

Colonel, Chief of Staff- 

Headquarters Army of Virginia, 

Bristoe Station, Aug. 27, 1862, 9 P.M. 
Major-General McDowell : 

At daylight to-morrow morning march rapidly on Manassas Junction with your 
whole force, resting your right on the Manassas Gap Railroad, throwing your left 
well to the east. Jackson, Ewell, and A. P. Hill are between Gainesville and 
Manassas Junction. We had a severe fight with them to-day, driving them back 
several miles along the railroad. If you will march promptly and rapidly at the 
earliest dawn of day upon Manassas Junction, we shall bag the whole crowd. I 
have directed Reno to march from Greenwich at the same hour upon Manassas 
Junction, and Kearney, who is in his rear, to march on Bristoe at daybreak. Be 
expeditious and the day is our own. 

Major-General Commanding. 


1862. At the McDowell Court of Inquiry, the foregoing was 

read, when the following question was asked of Gen- 
eral Pope : 

Question by the Court. After the order just read to you, had General Mc- 
Dowell any discretionary power to send Ricketts' division to Thoroughfare Gap, 
to check the approach of Longstreet? 

To which General Pope answered as follows : 

Answer, At the time that the order in question was written, I was satisfied 
that we had completely interposed between the forces under Jackson and the taain 
body of the enemy, yet to the westward of the Bull Run Range. The order 
directing General McDowell's march would have carried him eastward, and 
in the same direction in which the main body of the enemy was marching to 
join Jackson. I believed then, and believe now, that we were sufficiently in 
advance of Longstreet, who was supposed to lead the main body of the enemy, 
that by using our whole force vigorously, we should be able to crush Jackson 
completely before Longstreet, by any possibility, could have reached the scene of 
action. I sent nothing to General McDowell concerning Thoroughfare Gap, 
and regretted afterward that any portion of his forces had been detatched in that 
direction. General McDowell had the discretion, however, necessarily incident to 
his position, and to his distance from me, to make such a disposition to cover his 
rear, as he might consider necessary. From the order of General McDowell, 
which he showed me afterward (the order No. 10), I understood that the move- 
ment of Ricketts' division was ihade conditionally, and in view of the possibility 
of an attack upon his rear, from the direction of Thoroughfare Gap. 

Question by the Court. Were you aware that King's division had a fight with 
the enemy near the evening of that day, and after the fight fell back to Manassas ? 

Answer. It was reported to me about 8 or 9 o'clock at night, on the 28th, that 
King's division of McDowell's corps had met the enemy retreating from Centre- 
ville, and after a severe fight bad remained masters of the field, still interposing 
between Jackson's forces and the main body of the enemy. This report was 
brought to me by a staff-officer, I think, of General King's. Upon receiving this 
information I stated to several of ray staff-officers who were present that the game 
was in our hands, and that I did not see how it was possible for Jackson to escape 
without very heavy loss, if at all. Immediately upon receipt of this intelligence 
I also directed General Kearney, whose division occupied Centreville, to push for- 
ward cautiously at i o'clock that night in the direction of Gainesville, to drive in 
the pickets of the enemy, and to keep himself in close contact during the night; 
to rest his left on the Warrenton turnpike, and to throw his right to the north, 
toward the Little River, and well to the front. I directed him at the first blush of 
daylight to attack the enemy with his right advanced, and informed him that 
Hooker and Reno would be with him immediately after daylight. To my surprise 


1862. and dissatisfaction I learned toward daylight on the morning of the 

29th that King's division had withdrawn in the direction of Man- 
assas Junction, leaving open the road to Thoroughfare Gap. This withdrawal of 
that division made necessary a great change in the movement and the position 
of the troops, and was a most serious and unlooked-for mistake. I was so im- 
pressed with the necessity that that division should hold its ground during the 
night of the 28th, that I sent several orders to General King (one by his own 
staff-officer) during that night to hold his ground at all hazards and to prevent 
the retreat of the enemy, and informed him that our whole force from the direction 
of Centreville and Manassas Junction would fall upon the enemy at daylight. 

Another hot day. At 5 A.M. we marched to Bristoe 
Friday, Station, about five miles, rested until 3 P.M., and then 
August 29. marched to the Bull Run battlefield of 1861, passing 
through' Manassas. 

An order had been issued for the muster-out of the band, but owing 
to the excitement of those busy days, no attention was paid to ' it. 
In the meantime they kept along with us, not knowing where else 
to go. 

This skurrying back and forth over almost the same ground day 
and night, with short rations and hard work, was harassing. The 
rank and file knew little about what was going on, though it did 
know that Jackson and Longstreet had crossed the Bull Run 
Mountains in spite of our efforts to stop or delay their movements. 
We also knew that Stuart had made a daring and successful raid on 
Pope's headquarters. Therefore, right or wrong, it betokened to us 
an uncertainty and confusion at headquarters, and we felt the hour 
could not be far distant when we were to encounter some hard 
fighting. These reflections had no effect on our sleep, however, 
which was sound as usual. 

We spent the first half of the day in marching back 
Saturday, and forth in an aimless sort of way, occasionally halting 
August 30. as if waiting for some one to put us on the right road. 
In one of these halts we were ordered to leave our 
knapsacks, whereupon we piled them up on the side of the road in 
the woods, and for aught we know they are there yet. [A.D. 1893.] 
Toward the middle of the afternoon, under the protection of a knoll, 
we hastily drew rations, — eighteen hard-tack, nine spoonfuls of 


1862. sugar and nine of coffee, which allowance was to last us 

for three days. In fact this had been our allowance for 
some time. During all this marching and counter-marching, a 
desultory firing was kept up by the enemy. 

Having drawn this meagre supply of rations, we were marched to 
the top of a knoll near by and halted. Quite a number of the boys 
loaded with canteens started off for water. They had hardly gone 
when the enemy opened the battle in deadly earnest by a tremen- 
dous artillery fire. The air seemed filled with shot and bursting 
shell, the noise of which was deafening. While we stood wondering 
what we should be called upon to do, General McDowell rode up, 
and inquiring what regiment we were, ordered us into line at once 
on the double-quick. As we filed down the knoll, we noticed the 
hospital men bringing off the zouaves of General King's division on 
stretchers, and a bloody sight it was. Suddenly we received the 
order, " On right by file into line ! " and we at once found ourselves 
facing the enemy. We were led by General McDowell, whose cour- 
age we bad so often doubted. We soon found it was lively wofk, 
and the boys were falling fast ; but General Tower was close to us 
with all the words of encouragement at his command. Standing in 
his stirrups he gave the order to fix bayonets and then to " Charge ! " 
In battle the order to charge is not given in the placid tones of a 
Sunday-school teacher, but with vigorous English, well seasoned with 
oaths, and a request, frequently repeated, to give them that particular 
province of his Satanic Majesty most dreaded by persons fond of a 
cold climate. At the same time you are ordered to yell with all the 
power of your lungs. It is possible that this idea may be of great 
advantage in forcing some of the heroic blood of the body into the 
lower extremities. Whatever may be the reason, it was certainly a 
very effective means of drowning the disagreeable yell of the enemy. 
We charged three times, and on each occasion were successfully 
driven back by the solid mass of men in front of us. As we fell 
back from the last charge, General Tower, on horseback (in the midst 
of Company B), a conspicuous mark for the enemy who were within 
twenty-five yards of us, was shouting " For God's sake re-form the 
line ! " when he was sent flying through the air, both horse and rider 
fearfully wounded. 


1862. It was hot work, and the thinness of our line, compared 

with the solid ranks of the enemy, made it painfully evi- 
dent that we could stand the terrible fire but a short time longer. 
Where was our supporting column? Part of the time they had been 
firing into our backs, under the impression that we were the enemy. 
Fortunately that error was discovered before much harm was done. 
Already the enemy had planted some batteries on a neighboring knoll 
on our left flank, and were giving us the benefit of a raking fire. The 
order was then given to retire ; but as only part of the regiment heard 
it, our retreat was irregular and occasioned some confusion and 
separation of companies. 

The brigade retired in fair order, acquitting itself creditably, 
carrying off all guns except those lost in actual combat, and having 
checked the enemy's pursuit. That night we bivouacked at Centre- 

General Hartsuff having been sent to the hospital previous to the 
battle, his brigade was merged with that of General Tower, under 
whose immediate command we fought. 

Among the many curious and affecting incidents of an army life 
the following possesses more than a common interest : 

In one of the companies a boy sixteen years of age, after 
gaining his father's consent, enlisted as drummer, being too young 
for service in the ranks. The popular idea is that weight and height 
are necessary qualifications in a soldier. To be sure, as far as ap- 
pearance goes, the large men have the advantage, but when it comes 
to fighting qualities, it was shown during the war that the small men 
could do quite as much execution, and were quite as good soldiers. 
So far as endurance and bravery go, the " ponies," as they were 
called, had no superiors. 

We were all young — mere boys — but this boy seemed so very 
much younger than the rest of us, that few suspected his slight and 
youthful frame contained so stout and brave a heart. He joined the 
regiment at Fort Independence, and by a sort of natural selection 
became the chum of another boy, who, though older in years, was 
also slight in physical make-up. Perhaps of the hundred men in 
the company, these two boys would have been the last selected as 


1862. possessing special merit as soldiers. They both did their 

duty faithfully and without a grumble. It was always the 
ambition of the younger one to serve in the ranks with his chum and 
carry a gun. He proved an inferior drummer by very reason of his 
ambition, but no opportunity was afforded him of making the change 
until our arrival at Williamsport, Md., when two other boys, possessed 
with strong Union sentiments, having escaped from their home in 
Martmsburg, Va., where their family had been terribly persecuted be- 
cause of the sentiments they expressed, crossed the river and offered 
their services as drummers in the Thirteenth, the only capacity in 
which they could be received. They were two bright, intelligent boys, 
fourteen and sixteen years of age, and were accepted. The oppor- 
tunity was thus afforded of promoting our young drummer to service 
in the ranks. A happier boy never lived than he on the day when, 
with a gun on his shoulder, he paraded with his company. The two 
boys were now closer than ever. Being of the same height, they 
were enabled to march side by side and render each other assistance 
on the long, weary marches of the regiment. They were practically 
inseparable. When the regiment went into the fight of Second Bull 
Run, the younger was first killed, whereupon the other took him in 
his arms to move his body one side, and was immediately killed by a 
bullet which struck him in the temple. As the army retreated it was 
an affecting sight to see these two boys, so close to each other in life, 
now locked in each others arms, in death. 

It is not our purpose to give a detailed account of Pope's campaign 
or to draw any conclusions from it, nor would we if we had the space, 
as it has been written, discussed, investigated, and rewritten by 
persons more competent than ourselves to perform such a service. 
We have made a few extracts from his report, because they appear to 
add an interest to our narrative. Those who wish to read the full 
report — and it is of great interest to members of the Thirteenth — 
are referred to " Series i. Vol. XII., Part II., of the Official Records 
of the War of the Rebellion." 

In his report of the campaign. General Pope says : 

On the 26th day of June, 1862, by special order of the President of the United 
States, I was assigned to the command of the Army of Virginia. That army was 


1862. constituted as follows : First Corps, under Major-General Fremont, 

11,500 strong; Second Corps, under Major-General Banks, reported 
14,500, but in reality only about 8,000; Third Corps, under Major-General Mc- 
Dowell, 18,500; making total of 38,000 men. ... 

It was the wish of the Government that I should cover the city of Washington 
from an attack from the direction of Richmond, make such dispositions as were 
necessary to assure the safety of the valley of the Shenandoah, and at the same 
time so operate upon the enemy's lines of communication in the direction of Gor- 
donsville and Charlottesville as to draw off, if possible, a considerable force of the 
enemy from Richmond, and thus relieve the operations against that city of the 
Army of the Potomac. . . . 

After General McClellan had taken up his position at Harrison's Landing, I 
addressed him a letter, stating to him my position and the distribution of the troops 
under my command, and requesting him in all earnestness and good faith to 
write me fully and freely his views, and to suggest to me any measures which he 
thought desirable to enable me to cooperate with him, or to render any assistance 
in my power in the operations of the army under his command. 

In reply to this communication, I received a letter from General McClellan, 
very general in its terms, and proposing nothing toward the accomplishment of 
the purpose I had suggested to him. It became apparent that, considering the 
situation in which the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia were placed 
in relation to each other, and the absolute necessity of harmonious and prompt 
coSperation between them, some military superior both of General McClellan and 
myself should be called to Washington and placed in command of all operations 
in Virginia. In accordance with these views, Major-General Halleck was 
called to Washington and placed in general command. Many circumstances, 
which it is not necessary here to set forth, induced me to express to the President, 
to the Secretary of War, and to General Halleck, my desire to be relieved from 
the command of the Army of Virginia and to be returned to the Western country. 

From the i8th of August until the morning of the 27th, the troops under my 
command had been continuously marching and fighting, night and day, and 
during the whole of that time there was scarcely an interval of an hour without 
the roar of artillery. The men had had little sleep, were greatly worn down with 
fatigue, had had little time to get proper food, or to eat it, had been engaged in 
constant battles and skirmishes, and had performed services laborious, dangerous, 
and excessive, beyond any previous experience in this country. 

Every indication during the night of the 29th and up to 10 o'clock on the 
morning of the 30th pointed to the retreat of the enemy from our front. . . . 
Gens. McDowell and Heintzelman, who reconnoitred the position held by the 
enemy's left on the evening of the 29th, confirmed this statement. They reported 


1862. to me that the positions occupied by the enemy's left had been 

evacuated, and that there was every indication that he wag retreating 
in the direction of Gainesville. 

On the morning of the 30th, as may be supposed, our troops, who had been so 
continually marching and fighting for so many days, were in a state of great ex- 
haustion. They had had little to eat for two days previous, and the artillery and 
cavalry horses had been in harness .and saddled continually for ten days, and had 
had no forage for two days previous. It may easily be imagined how little these 
troops, after such severe labor, and undergoing such hardship and privation, were 
in condition for active and efficient service. I had telegraphed to the General-in- 
Chief, on the 28th, our condition, and begged of him to have rations and forage 
sent forward' to us from Alexandria with all despatch. I also called his attention 
to the imminent need of cavalry horses to enable the cavalry belonging to the 
army to perform any service whatever. 

About daylight of the 30th I received a note ftom General Franklin, herewith 
appended, written by durection of General McCIellan, and dated at 8 o'clock the 
evening before, informing me that rations and forage would be loaded into avail- 
able wagons and cars at Alexandria as soon as I would send back a cavalry escort 
to bring out the trains. Such a. letter, when we were fighting the enemy, and 
Alexandria was swarming with troops, needs no comment. Bad as was the con- 
dition of our cavalry, I was in no situation to spare troops from the front, nor 
could they have gone to Alexandria and returned within the time by which we 
must have had provisions or have fallen back in the direction of Washington, nor 
do I yet see what service cavalry could have rendered in guarding railroad trains. 

It was not until I received this letter that I began to feel discouraged and 
nearly hopeless of any successful issue to the operations with which I was charged, 
but I feel it to be my duty, notwithstanding the desperate condition of ray com- 
mand, from great fatigue, from want of provisions and forage, and from the small 
hope that I had of any effective assistance from Alexandria, to hold my position 
at all hazards and under all privations, unless overwhelmed by the superior forces 
of the enemy. I had received no sort of information of any troops coming for- 
ward to my assistance since the 24th, and did not expect on the morning of the 
30th that any assistance would reach me from the direction of Washington, but I 
determined again to give battle to the enemy on the 30th, and at least to lay on 
such blows as would cripple him as much as possible and delay as long as practi- 
cable any farther advance toward the capital.' 

Tower's brigade, of Ricketts' division, was pushed forward into action in sup- 
port of Reynolds' division, and was led forward in person by General Tower, with 
conspicuous skill and gallantry. The conduct of that brigade, in plain view of all 
the forces on our left, was especially distinguished, and drew forth hearty and en- 
thusiastic cheers. The example of this brigade was of great servioe, and infused 
new spirit into all the troops who witnessed their intrepid conduct. 


1862. I well understood, as does every military man, how difficult and 

how thankless was the duty devolved upon me, and I am not ashamed 
to say that I would gladly have avoided it if I could have done so consistently with 
my sense of duty to the Government. To confront with a small army vastly 
superior forces, to fight battles without hope of victory, but only to gain time and 
to embarrass and delay the forward movements of the enemy, is of all duties the 
most hazardous and the most difficult which can be imposed upon any general of 
an army. While such operations require the highest courage and endurance on 
the part of the troops, they are, perhaps, unlikely to be understood or appreciated, 
and the results, however successful, have little in them to attract popular attention 
and applause. 

From General McDowell's report we take the following statement : 

Here the campaign ended. If it had been short it had been severe. Beginning 
vvith the retreat from Cedar Mountains, seldom has an army been asked to 
undergo more than nur men performed. With scarcely a half-day's intermission 
the Third Corps was either making forced marches, many times through the night 
and many times without food, etc., or was engaged in battle. Their fatigues 
were most severe toward the last, when, on account of the movements of the 
enemy, we had to separate from our supplies, and many generals, as well as 
privates, had no food, or only such as could be picked up in the orchards or corn- 
fields along the road. In all this the patience and endurance and general good 
-conduct of the men were admirable. To fight and retreat, and retreat and fight, in 
the face of a superior force is a severe test of soldiership. This they did for 
fifteen days, and though many broke down under the fatigues and exposures and 
many straggled from the ranks, the troops as a general thing behaved most credit- 
ably; and even to their return to the lines in front of this place [Washington], 
though they were sad at seeing their numbers so much diminished by hardships 
and battles which had availed them nothing, and were tited and reduced from 
marching and fasting, they preserved their discipline, and it is an abuse of 
■words to say they were either demoralized or disorganized. 

The services of Tower's brigade were especially arduous, forming the rear 
guard on almost every occasion. On the retreat from Cedar Mountain, from the 
Rappahannock station, from the Waterloo road, and from Thoroughfare Gap, it 
had an undue share of the severities of this campaign. The general was de- 
tached from the division with his own and HartsufTs brigade, and posted on 
Bald Hill Ridge, where he remained until a severe wound forced him to retire. 

Brigadier- General Hartsuff was so ill and weak from overwork as to have to 
move from place to place in an ambulance. He had rendered valuable service 
both at Cedar Mountain and at Rappahannock station, where he occupied the 
advanced position beyond the river. He would not leave his brigade, though 
unable to get on his horse, and to save his life I was obliged to interfere and have 
him quit us at Warrenton, and thus lost him in the battles which followed. 


1862. There are few spectacles in this life of ours more 

hideous than a battlefield immediately after a battle. 
The following is by an eye-witness of the scenes depicted : 

" The battle of Manassas; or Second Bull Run, as it has also been 
called, was one of the great disasters of the war, and resulted in 
losses to the Union Army of eight hundred killed, four thousand 
wounded, and three thousand missing ; the Confederate loss being 
seven hundred killed, three thousand wounded, and the missing 
unknown. The battlefield remained in possession of the enemy, so 
that access to it could not be gained except by the protecting influence 
of a flag of truce. The attempts that were made by the Govern- 
ment did not reach that part of the field where the Thirteenth fought 
until seven days had elapsed. Ordinarily the wounded would have 
been taken to rebel prisons, but in this instance the enemy needed 
all its means of transportation for food, ammunition, etc., so they 
escaped that misery, if no other. The battle occurred on Saturday, 
and that night and all day Sunday it rained hard. The retreating 
army was closely followed by the enemy, who filled the air with shouts 
of victory. The roar of artillery, the firing of musketry, and the 
noise and uproar of an advancing army was followed by a depressing 
stillness, interrupted only by the groans of the wounded, many of 
whom barely escaped being trampled to death. It was not long, 
however, before the rumbling sound of thunder could be heard in the 
distance, and by dark the rain poured down like a deluge. The 
thunder was terrific. Crash followed crash with such frequency that 
it seemed as if a real battle was going on in the sky. On Monday 
morning it cleared away, and until the following Saturday the weather 
was bright and clear. During the day, under the influence of the 
warm rays of the sun, sleep would come ; but when the sun had 
disappeared and darkness followed, the air became cool, as it 
generally does the first week in September, and one's teeth would 
chatter chatter the whole night long, making sleep impossible. 
Shaking with the cold, enduring the agony of pain from undressed 
wounds and the pangs of hunger, it seemed as though the nights 
would never end. A good many men pegged out under this combi- 
nation who might have lived, possibly, had they been removed to 


1862. hospitals early in the week. By the fourth day the stench 

on the field, from decaying bodies, was almost unbearable. 
In such a situation it is not to be wondered at that men became irri- 
table and resented any attempt on the part of their comrades to cheer 
them with words of hope or encouragement. 

" Men gathered together in groups and shared their scanty rations 
with those who had none, and by the strictest economy were able to 
make them last until Monday morning, from which time until Friday 
night they had nothing to eat. 

« There is one instance that deserves to be recorded, not only for 
the exhibition of devotion to the Union cause, but for the tender 
feeling that prompted so kind an act. On Thursday afternoon an 
old man, not far from sixty years of age, with a bag on his shoulders, 
was seen prowling about the field apparently for the purposes of gam, 
as he was seen frequently to bend his body as if engaged in searching 
the dead. Presently it was discovered that no such motive prompted 
his action, inasmuch as his bag was filled with apples and biscuits 
which he was distributing to men on the field, giving one to each, 
according to choice, that as many as possible might have even a 
mouthful. To each and every one visited he proffered a kind and 
encouraging word, and it is possible that many a fellow's courage was 
kept alive by his patriotic undertaking. He had twice been made a 
prisoner for similar acts and for expressing Union sentiments. 

" Each day, beginning with Monday, the wounded and dead were 
searched by rebel stragglers on the way to rejoin their regiments. 
Though there was nothing to gain after the first search, it was car- 
ried on just the same, followed by curses at their ill-luck. These 
searches were generally conducted by two men, one standing ready 
to give a thrust with his bayonet, if objection was made, while the 
other would hunt for what his imagination led him to think he could 
find. There were other men, however, who came on to the field 
who were intelligent and cultured, possessed of gentlemanly instincts, 
and who expressed regrets that they were unable to gratify the urgent 
demands for food. All seemed convinced that the stories told them 
about grass growing in the streets of New York were true, and 
ridiculed the denials of such silly statements. 


1862. " There was still another class who paid them a visit, 

and who remarked that 'You 'uns came down to fight 
we 'uns, but we 'uns licked h — 1 out of you 'uns,' which remark 
was painfully true. 

. " There were other visitors besides soldiers. The turkey buzzard 
made it his home as soon as the bodies became sufficiently putrid to 
satisfy his epicurean tastes. They are repulsive-looking birds, with 
eyes as bleared as an old soaker's, and a neck as bare of feathers 
as if they indulged in a daily shave. When they were completely 
gorged with food they would settle their heads down close to their 
bodies, concealing their naked necks, and remain torpid until nature 
had completed the work of digestion, when they would wake up and 
go at it again. 

" Friday afternoon a Confederate officer, with assistants, came on to 
the field, recorded each man's name and regiment, requiring him to 
swear that he would not take arms against the Confederacy until 
legally notified of his exchange, — a useless formality in this case, as 
it is hardly likely that any man who laid on that field ever returned to 
the army. After he had performed this duty, he was followed by a 
band of Union surgeons, who were allowed to come on to the field 
under a flag of truce to prepare the men for removal on the following 
day. After their wounds were dressed, each man was given a drink 
of whiskey, a sUce of raw pork, and some hard bread. Under the 
circumstances, perhaps this was sufficient, after so long a fast, but 
men are sometimes very unreasonable, as the wounded may have ap- 
peared to be in this instance. After the men were thus attended to, 
the surgeons sat down to a meal composed of canned food of various 
kinds, bread, and hot coffee, making a very unpleasant contrast to the 
raw pork. The hot coffee was probably " the straw that broke the 
camel's back," inasmuch as a draught of that wholesome and agreeable 
beverage would have given more satisfaction than the food dispensed. 
When the men saw this lay-out, they indulged in remarks of a highly 
seasoned character, which were deemed unnecessary and out of 
place to those by whom they were overheard, calling forth from the 
listeners some emphatic expressions about the ingratitude of man. 
"On the following morning, Saturday, about 11 o'clock, a train of 


1862. two hundred and seventy-five vehicles was in readiness, 

and it started on a journey of thirty-eight miles, threading 
its way among the dead horses, and men swollen beyond recognition, 
the shattered guns and equipments, broken wheels and other debris 
of a battlefield, until it reached Washington about 3 o'clock Sunday 
morning, when the train was divided and the men distributed among 
the hospitals of that city. Whoever has seen a battlefield will allow 
that no words of description can give an adequate idea of its sicken- 
ing horror." 

According to the official report, the regiment lost twenty-one 
killed and one hundred and eight wounded. Of the wounded, four 
were officers. 

An idea of the excitement that prevailed in Boston and elsewhere 
may be obtained from the papers of that date. A report of the 
disaster was received as the people were on the way to church. The 
feeling occasioned by the startling news of the battle was so intense 
that thoughts of worship were forgotten in the excitement. The fol- 
lowing graphic account of what was done is taken from one of the 
daily papers : 

The grace of God seemed to be in the hearts of all the people yesterday. With 
the news of the bloody battles around Centreville, came the request for hospital 
stores. Every household, it appeared, immediately engaged in preparing lint, 
towels, sheets, bandages, or in packing brandy, wines, jellies, and other articles 
required by the wounded and sick. Intimation Was given at the church doors of 
what was needed, and pews were deserted for vestries, where good was being 
done on thd Sabbath day. By 3 o'clock in the afternoon all the express 
wagons in the city were loaded with barrels, boxes, baskets, filled with articles, 
and it seemed as though enough left the city to answer the emergency of one 
hundred thousand dollars. . . . 

The money offered at the sanitary headquarters in Tremont street amounted to 
a large sum in the aggregate, — every one was anxious to do something to mitigate 
the sufferings of the disabled, and if ever a whole community was deeply, intensely 
moved by heartfelt sympathy, it was the people of Boston, yesterday. not 
the heavenly sentiment slumber, but be quickened by constant deeds of love, duty, 
patriotism, until the Angel of Peace shall spread his wings over our whole land. 

To properly picture Tremont Temple as it appeared yesterday afternoon would 
require the pen of the poet, the eye of the artist, and the spirit of the philosopher. 
Not less than 1,000 women were busily, earnestly at work in the manufacture of 
bandages and lint. Innumerable sheets, garments, towels, and other articles 


1862. and fabrics were torn into strips, sewed together, and then rolled up 

in the best manner. Upstairs and down, in the gallery, upon the 
platform, in the doorways, in the aisles, on the stairways, from top to bottom, 
were these ministering angels laboring with an industry and zeal worthy of the 
ennobling cause. It was a glorious, a. beautiful, and a rare spectacle. From 
morn until dark was this most interesting spectacle prosecuted. Men were 
cutting and tearing fabrics, women sewing and rolling them, boys and girls were 
supplying needles and thread — bandages by the thousands, lint by the cart-load, 
were in this manner made ready. What more appropriate labor for the Sabbath; 
and in what place more fit than the sanctuary ? 

We remained in Centreville all day in line-of-battle. 
Sunday, During the day, the men who were unable to keep up 
August 31. with the regiment, when we marched to the rear, re- 
joined us. 

Band mustered out. Something has already been 
Monday, said in these pages to show how much we enjoyed the 
Sept. t. presence of our band. It was one of the best in the 
service, and afforded us daily entertainment that was 
highly appreciated. Its departure left a vacancy that nothing could 

About 3 P.M. we marched to Chantilly, where the enemy had 
made an attack. We laid in line-of-battle as reserve, but did no 
fighting. While in this position, General Ricketts rode up and an- 
nounced the fact that General McDowell had been relieved from his 
command, and that he had been succeeded by General Hooker. The 
cheers that went up at this news were such as had not been heard 
from the boys for many a day. It produced a cheerfulness that even 
the thunder-storm, which wet us through to the skin, failed to affect. 
Thus ended our service under General McDowell, about whom 
General McClellan makes the following statement in his book : 

[July 30, i86i.] 

At this period I committed one of my gravest errors : that was in retaining 
General McDowell on duty with the troops under my command. I knew that he 
had been a close student of military affairs, and thought he possessed sufficient 
ability to be useful in a subordinate capacity. Moreover', I pitied him extremely, 
and thought that circumstances had as much to do with his failure at Bull Run as 
any want of ability and energy on his part. I knew that if I sent him away he 
would be ruined for life, and desired to give him an opportunity to retrieve his 


i86a. military reputation. I therefore left him in the nominal command 

on the Virginia side of the river, until the order forming the army of 
the Potomac was issued, he doing some little bureau work and retaining a large 
staff, while I performed the real military labor demanded by the occasion. I was 
sadly deceived. He never appreciated my motives, and felt no gratitude for my 
forbearance and kindness. Subsequent events proved that, although in some 
respects a very good bureau officer and a fair disciplinarian and drill officer for a 
school of instruction, he lacked the qualities necessary for a commander in the 

Good judges, long ago, decided that McDowell was a faithful, 
competent, and loyal general officer, McClellan's opinion to the 
contrary notwithstanding. 

Marched to Hall's Hill, about five miles from Wash- 
g ington, and went into camp on elevated ground, from 

which could be seen the Capitol. 

On this day General McClellan was put in command of the forti- 
fications of Washington and all the troops for the defence of the 

In " McClellan's Own Story " appears the following account of 
what occurred on his arrival at Upton's Hill : 

A regiment of cavalry, marching by twos, and sandwiched in the midst of which 
were Pope and McDowell with their staff officers. I never saw a more helpless- 
looking headquarters. When these generals rode up to me and the ordinary 
salutations had passed, I inquired what that artillery firing was. Pope replied that 
it was no doubt that of the enemy against Sumner, who formed the rear guard, and 
was to march by the Vienna and Langley road. He also intimated that Sumner was 
probably in a dilemma. He could give no information of any importance in re- 
lation to the whereabouts of the different corps, except in a most indefinite way; 
had evidently not troubled his head in the slightest about the movements of his 
army in retreat, and had coolly preceded the troops, leaving them to get out of 
the scrape as best they could. 

He and McDowell both asked my permission to go to Washington, to which I 
assented, remarking at the same time that /was going to that ardUery firing. 

He further says that 

Nothing but a desire to do my duty could have induced me to accept the com- 
mand under such circumstances. Not feeling sure that I could do anything, I felt 
that under the circumstance, no one else couU save the country, and I have not 
shrunk from the terrible task. McDowell's own men would have killed him had 
he made his appearance among them; even his own staff did not dare to go 


1862. among his men. I can afford to forgive and forget him. I have 

not seen them since; I hope never to lay eyes on them again. 
Between them they are responsible for the lives of many of my best and bravest 
men. They have done all they could (unintentionally, I hope) to ruin and de- 
stroy the country. 

A good deal was said during the war about soldiers shooting their 
officers. Such kind of talk was unknown in our regiment. So far 
as our brigade is concerned General McDowell would have been as 
safe within its lines as in his own home. During the entire war there 
was not another instance of an oiScer being more thoroughly disliked 
by his men than was McDowell by his corps. The mere mention of 
his name generally excited the strongest execrations, and yet it has 
been proven that he was one of the best officers in the army. It is 
doubtful if any officer who served during those four years could have 
shown a. finer record of exemplary conduct or subordination as an 
officer. It is difficult after thirty years to recall an excuse for our 
feelings toward him. We were as thoughtless in our dislike of him 
as we were in our admiration of McClellan. The last part of our 
service under McDowell was very hard, and the rapidity and fre- 
quency of our movements made it difficult for wagons to reach us 
with rations, so that we often were very short. Every time a dis- 
agreeable order was received it was placed to his credit. If rations 
were scanty, or marches long, McDowell was the cause, and so, little 
by little, we came to hate the sight of him. To transfer our loyalty 
and affection from Banks, with whom we had been since our entry 
into service, to McDowell, was not an easy thing to do, particularly 
as our admiration for General Banks was very strong. McDowell 
had a fiery temper that occasionally found utterance. His exhi- 
bitions of irritability were related by the observers, and in passing 
from mouth to mouth received the customary exaggeration and polish 
that such stories generally get, and no doubt furnished a ground- 
work for the superstructure of ill-will that we reared to his credit. 
Since his death the Government has published the War Records, and 
the story of this campaign with the orders and dispatches sent at 
the time are open to us for our inspection and information. It is 
impossible to read these records, even with our prejudices excited as 


1862. they were in 1862, without feeling a pang of regret that 

we should have been so unreasonable. 

On the 30th of August we were witnesses to an exhibition of his 
bravery that removed, from our minds at least, the charge that had 
been made by the newspapers, as well as his men, that he was a 
coward and a traitor. After he was relieved of his command he 
demanded to be heard before a Court of Inquiry, which was duly 
appointed and convened for the purpose. 

The court held its sessions for more than sixty days in readiness 
to receive from his most vindictive enemy charges or information 
that could be proved. One of the charges made against him was 
drunkenness, and it was shown by his own statement under oath, 
and by ample corroborating evidence, that he had never drank a 
drop of liquor in his life. As we read page after page of this 
record our admiration is excited at his patient, manly bearing, and 
the ease with which he disproved the assertions of his enemies. The 
testimony of General Hartsuff is particularly interesting, as showing 
very vividly and very truthfully the state of our feelings in the Front 
Royal and Bull Run campaigns : 

Question by General McDowell. What command have you held under Gen- 
eral McDowell? When did you come under his command? In what condition 
was the brigade when you first joined it? 

Answer. I commanded a brigade under General McDowell. I came under 
his command on the first of last May. The general condition of the brigade was 

Question by General McDowell. How was it as to means of transportation 
and camp equipage when you joined it? 

Answer, The means of transportation and the amount of camp equipage 
were very abundant; unusually so. 

Question by General McDowell. What reduction was made in the means of 
transportation and in the camp equipage on your coming under General McDow- 
ell's immediate command at Fredericksburg? 

Answer. The number of wagons to each regiment was reduced to seven or 
eight, I think. The Sibley tents, with which the command was furnished, were 
changed to shelter- tents; officers' baggage was necessarily considerably reduced, 
and the baggage of company messes, and baggage generally of officers and men. 

Question by General McDowell. Do you know if the reduction of means o( 
transportation and camp equipage was the cause of any feeling or the cause ol 
any remark in the brigade ? 


1862. Answer. It was the cause of considerable feeling and many re- 

marks of ill-will toward General McDowell by officers and men. I 
did not hear the remarks of the men, but am satisfied remarks of the kind were 

Question by General McDowell. State, if you know, of another cause of ill- 
feeling toward General McDowell or dissatisfaction with him in that brigade, con- 
nected with their having been under another department commander, where these 
restrictions had not been made. 

Answer. Three of the four regiments composing ray brigade had been under 
the command of General Banks. The brigade was, as they believed, temporarily 
attached to General McDowell's command. They were very desirous of getting 
back under General Banks' command, believing the amount of transportation 
they brought to General McDowell's command would be restored to them, and 
with it their baggage and comforts. 

Question by General McDowell. Was anything done at Front Royal or at 
Warrenton to lead these regiments to continue in this belief that they would con- 
tinue under General McDowell ? 

Answer. At Front Royal some officers of Massachusetts regiments visited 
General Banks, who was then at Middletown, and brought from him the assur- 
ance that the brigade would soon again be under his command. At Warrenton, 
in July last, General Banks visited the command one evening and spoke to the 
regiments separately, I believe, telling them, as I heard, that they would soon be 
again under his command; that he was making efforts to get them back. I did 
not hear him myself. 

Question by General McDowell. What was the nature of the forced march, 
as to severity, of the brigade from, Alexandria to Front Royal? 

Answer. The weather at that time was very hot, and the march, considering 
the weather, was made as quickly as troops could perform it and be at all efficient 
at the end of the march. 

Question by General McDowell. Was that march the cause of complaint, so 
far as you know, in the brigade ? 

Answer. It was the cause of complaint, and I saw afterward letters written 
by the officers of the brigade and published in the Boston newspapers, containing 
severe strictures on General McDowell as the author of suffisring on the marches. 
The letter was filled with falsehoods. 

Question by General McDowell. Was there any complaint that the men were 
forced over the Blue Ridge in the rain and without tents or shelter? 

Answer. There was such complaint. 

Question by General McDowell. Where did the brigade stop and how were 
they occupied the night before they reached Front Royal ? 

Answer. They stopped between two and three miles of the town of Front 
Royal, bivouacked in some pine bushes by the roa4side. 

Question by General McDowell. What kind of weather was it that night? 


1862. Answer. There was a severe rain-storm during the whole of 

the night. 

Question by the Court. Do you know any matter or thing tending to show 
that General McDowell was treacherous, incompetent, unfaithful, or otherwise 
disqiialiBed for the command of a division, corps, or department ; and if you do, 
state what you know as fully as though you were specifically interrogated in 
respect thereto ? 

Answer. I do not know any such cause. 

As the Thirteenth was in Ricketts' diWsion it will be interesting to 
read the following extract of the testimony of Brig.-Gen. James 
B. Ricketts: 

Question by the Court. At what time did you reach Thoroughfare Gap, on the 
morning of that day, with your division? 

Answer. I don't know the time of day. I do not know that it was in the 
morning; I think it was in the afternoon. 

Question by the Court. Had you any orders from General McDowell in respect 
to your movements that day? If so, how were they communicated, and when, 
and what were they? State fully and particularly. 

Answer. I received an order on that day to send a brigade and a battery of 
artillery to support Colonel- Wyndam at Thoroughfare Gap, and to push on to the 
same place with the rest of my division. I do not know what hour of the day the 
order was received, but should judge some time in the forenoon. I was at the 
time with my division on the road from Buckland Mills to Gainesville, and marched 
directly across the country by Hay Market. This order was brought to me by 
Captain Wadsworth, of General McDowell's staff, and was in writing. Some- 
where between Hay Market and Thoroughfare Gap I saw Captain L>eski, of 
General McDowell's staff, who gave directions to go to Thoroughfare Gap; he 
gave pretty much the same order, to go there and support Colonel Wyndam at 
the Gap. That is all I recollect. 

Question by the Court. Did you have any engagement with the enemy at the 
Gap; and if so, at what time? 

Answer. I had an engagement in the afternoon of the 28th, which continued 
until dark. 

Question by the Court. At what time did you retire from the Gap, and where 
did you go ? 

Answer. I retired from the Gap just after dark on the evening of the 28th, 
and rested my division that night between Hay Market and Gainesville. I was 
myself at Gainesville. 

Question by the Court. Where did you move when you left Hay Market and 
Gainesville, and at what time did you start? 

Answer. I moved toward Manassas, and started very early in the morning of 
the 29th, after break of day. 


1862. Question by the Court. How far past Manassas did you go, and 


Answer. I was conducted by a guide on the Sudley Springs road, and remained 
near the road, not far from the Henry house, where the headquarters of my division 
remained for the night. 

Question by the Court. What orders or occasion had you to go from Thorough- 
fare Gap to the place referred to by you, between Gainesville and Manassas? 

Answer. I left Thoroughfare Gap because the enemy was turning the right and 
left flank. I left Gainesville because General King sent me word that he would 
retire toward Manassas ; that was all. 

Question by the Court. Did any communication other than the one referred to 
in yoiur last answer pass between you and General King during the 28th August 
and up to the time that you moved from Gainesville on the morning of the 29th? 
And, if so, state what they were. 

Answer. I had two communications from General King; the first stating that 
he had an engagement with the enemy and had held his ground; the other 
representing a large force of the enemy in front of him, and that he would retire 
toward Manassas. In answer to the last I told him that I would retire from my 
position. I do not recollect of any others. 

Question by the Court. Why did not you await orders from General McDowell 
to move from Gainesville on the morning of the 29th August ? 

Answer. When General King sent me word that he would retire, I then knew 
I would be unsupported. 

On the 1 6th of January the examination of General Ricketts was 
continued as follows by General McDowell : 

Question by General McDowell. What o'clock on the 28th of August were 
you ordered to march from your bivouac beyond Buckland Mills? 

Answer. I was ordered to march at 2 o'clock in the morning. 

Question by General McDowell. How far did you march on the Warrenton 
turnpike before you turned off the road to go by Hay Market under the order 
given you by Capt. Wadsworth ? 

Answer. I had crossed the bridge at Broad Run, and was but a very short dis- 
tance from it. 

Question by General McDowell. Do you know any cause of delay in getting 
forward from your bivouac to the place where you turned off; were there any 
obstructions in the road ? 

Answer. The road was very much encumbered by wagons. I saw a very 
large number in the vicinity of this stream -^ Broad Run. 

The following is taken from General Longstreet's report of his 
arrival at Thoroughfare Gap : 


1862. The head of my column reached Thoroughfare Gap about three 

P.M., on the 28th. A small party of infantry was sent into the 
mountain to reconnoitre. Passing through the Gap, Colonel Beck, of the Ninth 
Georgia Regiment, met the enemy, but was obliged to retire before a greatly 
superior force. The enemy held a strong position on the opposite gorge and suc- 
ceeded in getting his sharpshooters in position on the mountain. Brig.-Gen. O. R. 
Jones advanced two of his brigades rapidly, and soon drove the enemy from his 
position on the mountain. Brig.-Gen. Hood, with his own and General Whiting's 
brigade, was ordered by a foot-path over the mountain to turn the enemy's right, 
and Brig.-Gen. Wilcox, with his own and Brig.-Gens. Featherstone's and Pryor's 
brigades, was ordered through Hopewell Gap, three miles to our left, to turn the 
right and attack the enemy in the rear. The enemy made his attack upon Jones> 
however, before these troops could get into their positions, and after being repulsed 
with severe loss, commenced his retreat just before night. 

On reading the foregoing statements, a discrepancy as to the 
hour of our retiring will be noticed in the statements of Generals 
Ricketts and Longstreet. Though of no great consequence to our 
narrative, the fact prompts us to say that we believe Longstreet's 
statement to be the correct one, so far as our brigade was concerned. 

In the long report made by the court, in rendering its decision 
exonerating General McDowell, occurs the following tribute to his 
character, and we gladly give it publication : 

When General Pope assumed command of the Army of Virginia, on the 26th of 
June, 1862, althoiigh in order of rank he was below General McDowell, he re- 
ceived from that ofiicer the most valuable and cordial cooperation and assistance. 

The court dwell with satisfaction on these fine qualities of military subordination 
frequently exemplified by General McDowell under circumstances tr}ring to the 
pride and emulation of a general officer. 

The following is taken from a copy of the "Boston Evening 
Transcript," published in May, 1870 : 

General Irvin McDowell was, at the beginning of the War of the Rebellion, 
in consequence of the disaster of the first Bull Run, one of the best abused men 
in the country. His taken-for-granted military blunders and personal character 
were condemned in unqualified terms; and except with a few, his name was 
synonymous with imbecility and unworthiness. Perhaps there never was an in- 
stance of grosser injustice done to a faithful soldier, devoted patriot, and courteous 
high-toned gentleman, than was done to one whose misfortune it was to be com- 
pelled to command undisciplined and inexperienced troops under the direction of 
a blind, excited, and exacting public sentiment. But his subsequent record and 


l86a. his patient waiting for time to bring the rightful judgment and 

justification are having their reward. The " Chicago Tribune," as 
copied by the " Army and Navy Journal," may exaggerate the probable conse- 
quences of this reaction in favor of the maligned, misrepresented, and misunderstood 
•officer; but to a very large extent its statements and decision will now be cor- 
dially indorsed as the truth. Many will read the following paragraph from the 
"Tribune's" vindication with pleasure: 

" Last winter when the Army of the Potomac met at Philadelphia, and McDowell 
sat quietly among them, thinking himself an unsuccessful man, and one set down 
among the failures of the war, a quiet young officer arose with his glass in his 
hand, and proposed the health of General McDowell. As he did so he made a 
stammering effort to say that since the war had passed by, and we had come to 
know man for man and man to man, we were equal to the appreciation of the 
commander of the first Army of the Potomac. At once the whole table rattled 
with bravos and hearty cheers, and amidst more applause than had greeted the 
name of any man that night, McDowell rose, profoundly moved, the most patient 
and heroic martyr of the war, and he said, as he had always said, that he knew 
the justice of his countrymen would come at last; that he had expected it long 
before, but that he had not complained, because he knew that it would come; and 
then his cold, regular army nature melting down to the occasion, he gave a little 
burst of egotism, which was truer than tears, because it was both the occasion 
and himself. His great element of character was resignation, never mutinying, 
never abusing any man behind his back, holding to the cause at the expense of 
frightful calumnies heaped upon himself; and it is probable that his fame will 
grow henceforward as roundly as, during the war, it was suddenly obscured;" 

What we have quoted is sufficient to show how unjust we were to 
a gallant officer, and we freely confess ourselves in the wrong. It 
would have been much better on our part to have made this avowal 
during his lifetime ; but the opportunity never seemed at hand when 
we could do it gracefully, and now the time is past when it can afford 
him any gratification j but, nevertheless, we owe it to his memory, as 
well as to ourselves, to make this acknowledgment. We were young, 
at an age when one's judgment is more often influenced by what 
a£fects one's personal welfare or comfort, than a sober consideration 
of facts. Our service under him began at a time when the Government 
found it necessary to curtail the equipment of the army, and restrict 
it in many ways, still retaining what in the years 1863-4 would have 
been considered luxuries. Our transfer from the command of 
General Banks, mider whom our service had been particularly 


1862. pleasant, was not in accordance with our wishes, and we 

were in daily expectation of returning to his corps. " Hope 
deferred maketh the heart sick," was true in our case. It seemed 
like disloyalty, after nine months' service under Banks, to suddenly 
transfer our soldierly regard to a stranger under whom we expected to 
serve but a short time. Therefore, every disagreeable order or cur- 
tailment was looked upon as something peculiar to McDowell, which 
we would escape on returning to Banks. McDowell had none of those 
traits of personal magnetism which have often made inferior generals 
very popular with the rank and file. His temper, which had been 
exhibited on several trying occasions, was exaggerated by the state- 
ments of those who were witnesses to it, while omitting the qualifying 
circumstances of the occasion. The newspapers that we received 
held him up to public contempt, and were filled with tales of his 
habits and the belief that he was a traitor, etc., all of which affected 
our susceptible minds, and aggravated the annoyance we felt at re- 
maining under his command. It seems as though these impressions 
might have been corrected by just a little effort on his part, though 
it doesn't appear that he took the first step toward counteracting the 
ill-will that was bestowed upon him. 

We were still at Hall's Hill. As this was the first field 
_ on which we had slept two nights in succession for two 

weeks, an opportunity was afforded us to make up some 
of our lost sleep, which we took advantage of by day as well as night. 
Still another day of quietude, except to those unhappy 
Thursday, creatures who had to go on guard. The wagons which 
Sept. 4. we had not seen since the i8th of August, returned to- 
day. While this brought little comfort to the rank and 
file, it meant a good deal to the officers, who had been deprived of 
any shelter but blankets during the interim. It is no wonder, there- 
fore, that they were happy at the sight of their tents and the oppor- 
tunity of changing their clothing. 

The sutler arrived with quantities of canned food, 

Friday, fruits, and other luxuries. As our credit was still good 

Sept. 5. with the sutler, we made the most of it, and many a 

" belly was with fat capon lined." The sutler and the 


1862. quartermaster succeeded in raising our spirits to a high 

state of buoyancy. 

About 8 P.M. we started on a long, all-night march, 

Sept. 6. ' goit^g through Georgetown and Washington, without 

halting, not even paying our respects to the President, 

who had done the honor of calling on us at Falmouth. 

In a letter written by General McClellan, under date of Septem- 
ber 5, he makes the following statement : 

It makes my heart bleed to see the poor, shattered remnants of my noble 
Army of the Potomac. Poor fellows ! and to see how they love me even now. 
I hear them calling out to me, as I ride among them, " George, don't leave us 
again ! " "They shan't take you away from us again," etc. 

How sweet ! and to think this man marched us on Sundays. 
On the 6th of September the Secretary of War issued an order, 
as follows : 

Major-General McDowell, at his own request, is hereby relieved from the 
command of the Third Army Corps, and Major-General Reno is, by direction of 
the President, assigned to the command. 

On the same day General McClellan issued the following order : 

Maj.-Gen. Joseph Hooker is assigned to the command of the Third Corps, 
Army of Virginia, lately commanded by Major-General McDowell. He will 
assume command immediately . 

The following orders of the same date explain themselves : 

Washington, Sept. 6, 1862, 4.05 P.M. 
Major-General McDowell, 

Or Senior- Officer Commanding First Army Corps, Upton's Hill : 

General McClellan directs that you move your corps at once to this side of the 
river, by the Long and Aqueduct bridges, taking the Seventh-street road to 
Leesborough, or vicinity. It is important that this movement be made promptly. 
(Signed) A. V. COLBURN, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

The designation First Corps in the above address must have been 
an error. 


i86a. Headquarters Third Corps, 

Near Arlington House, Sept 6, 1862, 5.30 P.M. 
Colonel CoiSVKfi, Assistant Adjutanl-General, Washittgton : 

I have received your telegram, directed to Upton's Hill, ordering the movement 
of the Third Corps to Leesborough. As I am informed at the War Department 
that I am relieved from the command of this corps, I have turned over the order 
to the second in command. General Ricketts. 


Major- General. 

Sett. 6, 1862, 7.50 P.M. 
Brig.-Gen. %.'^\lAAtM%, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington: 

Shall the divisions of the Third Corps, ordered to move to Leesborongh, quit the 
forts at Upton's Hill before they are dismantled and the ammunition removed? 
Will you please give the order direct, as I move my headquarters to Washington. 

Major- General. 
Headquarters Army, Sept. 6, 1862. 
Major-General McDowell, Arlington : 

General Porter has been instructed to relieve the pickets of the Third Corps 
immediately, and to remove the heavy guns from Upton's Hill during the night, 
leaving an advance guard in the works there to hold it against an attack of pickets 
of inferior force. 

(Signed) S. WILLIAMS, 

Assistant Adjutant- General, 

Special Orders, \ 

No. 224. J War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, Sept. 6, 1862. 
XIII. Major-General McDowell, at his own request, is hereby relieved from 
the command of the Third Army Corps, and Major-General Reno is, by direction 
of the President, assigned to the command. 

By order of the Secretary of War, 


Assistant Adjutant- General. 
Special Orders, \ 

No. 3. / Headquarters, Washington, Sept. 6, 1862. 

XVII. M^or-General Hooker is assigned to the command of the Third Corps, 
Army of Virginia, lately commanded by Major-General McDowell. He will 
assume command immediately. 

By command of Major-General McClellan. 

Assistant Adjutant- Gtntrml. 



1862. At daylight we halted, having marched all night. 

Sunday, ^Vg ^gj.g about ten miles from Washington on the Balti- 
*^ ■ more road. About 9 A.M. we resumed our march, and 

after tramping five miles went into camp. 

We were back in Maryland, which we left six months before. 
^Vhile the progress we had made toward crushing the rebellion was 
not very flattering, it afforded us pleasure to be again marching 
among loyal people who had an interest in our welfare. 

We were now about half-way between Washington and 

Monday, Darnestown, the place where we were encamped a year 

Sept. 8. ago. Then we were a thousand strong ; but now we 

had dwindled to half that number. Some were killed, 

and a good many in hospitals, wounded or sick, never to return. 

Yesterday at 4.15 P.M. we marched to Mechanicsville, 
Wednesday, about eight miles, where we now were. 
Sept. 10. ^g received another lot of recruits to-day, and a fine- 

looking set of men they were. It is a notable fact that 
this batch of recruits was the last in which we had any feeling of 
pride. Up to and including this time we had been fortunate in our 
recruits. They were a credit to the State and reflected honor upon 
the regiment ; they were in such marked contrast to those who fol- 
lowed that the fact is worth mentioning. 

Disappointment and mortification was the lot of one of this num- 
ber, who came to us full of confidence and hope. Having completed 
his school education he was seized with the patriotic desire to enlist, 
and leaving the tender care of mother and father he joined the 
Thirteenth. His first shock was at our appearance. Instead of 
bright uniforms, with gilt buttons and shoulder knots, he found us 
with ragged trousers, ill-fitting blouses, and torn and faded caps — 


i86a. the result of long marches over dusty roads and bivouack- 

ing in ploughed fields, that made us look more like a 
regiment of tramps than soldiers. 

On the morning following his arrival, our new recruit made inquiry 
of his comrades as to where he was to get milk for his coffee, and 
was told that the captain kept the milk in his tent. Having perfect 
confidence in his comrades, he made application at once. The cap- 
tain was surprised at the request, and explained to him that milk was 
not in the list of articles of diet provided by the Government. Of 
course the recruit felt mortified at his mistake, but made the best of it, 
though it destroyed his confidence for a while in his associates' state- 
ments. He learned that " Ask and ye shall receive " had no coin- 
age in the army. Notwithstanding his verdancy he became an 
excellent soldier. 

Most of us cared little about the deprivation of milk, though the 
temptation was strong among some of the boys, when sighting a cow, 
to ascertain if they had lost the trick of milking. Although a cow, 
under ordinary circumstances, is a peaceable animal, she draws the 
line when her lactary reservoir is being too energetically pumped. 
To hold a dipper with one hand and milk with the other, particularly 
when three other hands were endeavoring to do the same thing on 
the same cow, and she unwilling to stand still, required a degree of 
skill that few of us possessed. In spite of being well-aimed, the 
stream of milk would generally go in any direction but that of the 
dipper ; hence the necessity of struggling with this problem when no 
other soldiers were about, unless you were fond of unrewarded labor. 
Therefore most of us preferred buying it at farm-houses, though the 
demand was so much greater than the supply, we were often disap- 
pointed in our efforts to obtain it. When the sutler was with us we 
could buy " condensed milk," which we found an excellent substitute. 
At 9 A.M. we started on the march and kept it up all 

urs ay, ^^^^ ^^ ^ ^j^^^ tedious manner, until we paced off twelve 
miles on the road to Frederick. 
Friday, After inspection in the morning we marched to Ridge- 

Sept. 12. yjjjg^ seven miles, and camped. 


General Orders 1 

No. 129. J War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, 

Washington, Sept. 12, 1862. 

I. The President directs that the First, Second, and Third Corps of the Army 
of Virginia, announced in General Orders No. 103, be hereafter designated the 
First, Eleventh, and Twelfth. The several army corps will now stand as follows : 

The First, Second, Third, and Fourth, as arranged in General Orders No. 151, 
of March 13, 1862, from the Headquarters Army of the Potomac. 

The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth, as announced in General Orders 
No. 84, of July" 22, 1862, from this office. 

The Tenth, as announced in General Orders No. 123, of Sept. 3, 1862, from 
this ofEce. 

The Eleventh and Twelfth the same as the First and Second Corps, Army of 

By order of the Secretary of War, 

, Adjutant- General. 


Saturday, We Started at i P.M. and marched twelve more miles 

Sept. 13. toward Frederick. 

At 5 A.M. we broke camp and marched all day with fre- 
Sunday, quent and uncertain halts, passing through Frederick 
Septj>i4. and Middletown, until about six o'clock, when our di- 
vision (Hooker's) was placed in second line of battle 
on South Mountain. As we climbed up the steep sides.of the moun- 
tain we were iired at by the enemy, who made the very common 
mistake of soldiers when firing from an elevated position, — that of 
firing too high, — by which means we escaped any casualties. We 
laid on our arms until morning. 

The unexpected often happens in the army. When we retreated 
from Manassas, the afternoon of August 30, we gave up all hope of 
seeing our knapsacks again, as the grove where they were deposited 
had been taken possession of by the enemy. During our advance 
up the mountain to-day, the dead body of a rebel belonging to a 
Georgia regiment was seen lying on the ground near the road, where 
he was killed. One of our boys, regretting the loss of his knapsack, 
and noticing the Reb had one, concluded to make good his loss by 
transferring it to his own back. Now the most astonishing thing 
about this was the discovery, upon removing the knapsack, that it 


1862. was his own property, which had been toted from Man- 

assas to South Mountain by a rebel soldier. He was still 
more amazed on opening it to find the contents had been undisturbed. 
The following is taken from the report of General Ricketts, our 
division commander, dated Sept. 21, 1862 : 

On the morning of the 14th instant the division was under arms to march at 
daylight from its encampment near the Monocacy, and arrived at the east side of 
South Mountain, about a. mile north of the turnpike, at 5 P.M., forming line 
of battle. First Brigade, Brigadier-General Duryea, on the extreme right; Third 
Brigade, Brigadier-General Hartsuff, in the centre, and Second Brigade, Colonel 
Christian, on the left. The route of the First and Third Brigades extended over 
a very rough ground to the crest of the mountain, which was gallantly won. On 
the left the Second Brigade was sent to the relief of General Doubleday's, which 
was hard pressed and nearly out of ammunition. It engaged the enemy with 
terrible effect, and drove him down the west side of the mountain. 

It being now too dark to advance, and the men much exhausted, operations 
ceased for the night The next morning, the enemy having fled during the night, 
the division moved forward and encamped near Keedysville. The artillery was 
not engaged. 

In his report on the battle of South Mountain, General Hooker 
makes the following statement : 

It being very dark, our troops were directed to remain in position, and Hart- 
suff 's brigade was brought up and formed a line across the valley, connecting 
with Meade's left and Hatch's right, and all were directed to sleep on their arms. 
At dawn, Hartsuff 's skirmishers were thrown forward, supported by his brigade, 
to the Mountain House, a mounted picket of the enemy retreating as they ad- 
vanced. The enemy had been reenforced by twenty regiments of Longstreet's 
corps during the early part of the night, but between 13 and I o'clock commenced 
a hurried and confused retreat, leaving his dead on our hands and his wounded 
uncared for. 

Marched at daylight, two companies being thrown out 
Monday, in front as skirmishers, until the top of the mountain was 
Sept. 15. reached, when we saw the enemy retreating toward 
Boonsboro', whereupon we started in chase, passing 
through that town to Keedysville, about ten miles, without overtaking 
them. It is not without some truth they were called the " Fleet- 
footed Virginians." 


i86a. The towns of Boonsboro' and Keedysville were dec- 

orated with Union flags, and it was inspiring to inarch 
through towns with Uncle Sam's bunting displayed, and listen to 
encouraging words from friends. This was our stamping ground of 
'6 1, and it seemed like home to us. 

At 3.30 P.M. we moved across a bridge toward the 
Tuesday, village of Bakersville, on the Hagerstown and Sharps- 
Sept. 16. burg turnpike, turning to the left after crossing a country 
road, also leading to Sharpsburg, moving parallel to it 
nearly half a mile under a heavy artillery fire from the enemy. In 
order that their guns might have as little effect as possible we were 
formed " double column half distance " and march to the front, then 
to the right, then front, then to the left, then front, then right again, 
then front, always preserving our formation, and gaining to the front 
all the time. This movement made under a heavy fire was performed 
with as much precision and coolness as though the regiment was on a 
battalion drUl. It is worth mentioning to show what good use may 
be made of the skill and confidence acquired by constant drilling. 

It was a gray, misty morning, and like the girl who 
Wednesday, was to be Queen of the May, we were called early. 
Sept. 17. AH night long the firing of guns on the picket line in 
front of us disturbed our sleep, sounding very much like 
a " night before the Fourth " at home. While we were endeavor- 
ing to see whether the men moving in front of us were our own men 
or the rebels, an aid from General Hooker's staff dashed up to where 
we stood, and, after satisfying himself, ordered us to move. We 
went obliquely to the right, across a fence, then across a lane and 
on to the corner of the woods, from which we moved to the corn- 
field in front of the Dunker Church. As we entered the corn-field 
we were received by a sudden volley from the enemy, who, until that 
moment, were lying concealed from view. Here we stayed until our 
ammunition was exhausted, when we were relieved and marched to 
the rear, where our cartridge-boxes were replenished, and where we 
remained the rest of the day. We took into this fight three hundred 
and one men and brought out one hundred and sixty-five, a loss of 
forty-five per cent. 


i86a. A hospital for the Thirteenth was established in a bam 

in Keedysville. 
The following is from the report of General Ricketts on his 
division's work at Antietam : 

From Keedysville on the afternoon of the 1 6th, the division crossed the Antie- 
tam river and moved toward Sharpsburg, in direction of the enemy's left flank. 
Third Brigade [Hartsuff] was formed in line while under fire from the enemy's 
artillery; Second Brigade toward the left of the Third, and First Brigade in 
reserve. The artillery, though within range, was placed as much under shelter as 
possible for the night. 

The morning of the 17th your order to advance and occupy the woods in front 
was being carried out when General Hartsuff, who was examining the ground, 
was severely wounded, and the services of this valuable officer were lost. The 
brigade moved forward [under command of Colonel Coulter], supported by Sec- 
ond Brigade on the left and First Brigade on the right, all advancing with the 
artillery. Battery F, First Pennsylvania, under Captain Matthews, Captain Thomp- 
son's Independent Pennsylvania Battery, each consisting of four 3-inch rifled 
guns. Taking advantage of the ground both batteries opened with destructive 
effect, officers and men displaying great coolness while exposed to a severe fire of 
artillery and infantry. The divbion gained the outer edge of the wood and kept 
up a fearful fire for four hours, until the ammunition being exhausted and the 
supports not coming up, it was compelled to retire to refill boxes, after which the 
division joined the rest of the corps on the right, near the turnpike, and with the 
exception of a brisk fire from the enemy's artillery, under which they stood, was 
not employed again during the day only to hold that position. 

In General Hooker's report may be seen the following : 

The whole morning had been one of unusual animation to me and firaught with 
the grandest events. The conduct of my troops was sublime, and the occasion 
almost lifted me to the skies, and its memories wiH ever remain to me. My com- 
mand followed the fugitives closely until we had passed the cornfield, a quarter 
of a mile or more, when I was removed from my saddle in the act of falling out 
of it from the loss of blood. 

The following account is from the pen of G. W. Smalley, corre- 
spondent of the " New York Tribune " and other papers. He 
was near General Hooker during the fight, with excellent opportu- 
nities for seeing and knowing all that occurred. The extract we 
quote shows how it appeared to him : 

The battle began with the dawn. Morning found both armies just as they had 
slept, almost close enough to look into each other's eyes. The left of Meade's 


xSea. reserves and the right of Ricketts' line became engaged at nearly 

the same moment, one with artillery, the other with infantry. A 
battery was almost immediately pushed forward beyond the central woods, over a 
ploughed field, near the top of the slope where the cornfield began. On this 
open field, in the corn beyond, and in the woods which stretched forward into 
the broad fields, like a promontory into the ocean, were the hardest and deadliest 
struggles of the day. 

For half an hour after the battle had grown to its full strength, the line of fire 
extended neither way. Hooker's men were fully up to their work. They saw 
their general everywhere in front, never away from the fire; and all the troops 
believed in their commander, and fought with a will. Two-thirds of them were 
the same men who, under McDowell, had broken at Manassas. 

The half-hour passed; the rebels began to give way a little, — only a little; 
but at the first indication of a receding fire, " Forward ! " was the word, and on 
went the line vrith a rush. Back across the cornfield, leaving dead and wounded 
behind them, over the fence, and across the wood, and then back again into the 
dark woods, which closed around them, went the retreating rebels. 

But out of those gloomy woods came suddenly and heavily terrible volleys — 
volleys which smote, and bent, and broke, in a moment, that eager front, and 
hurled them swiftly back for half the distance they had won. Not swiftly nor in 
panic, any further. Closing up their shattered lines, they came slowly away ; a 
regiment where a brigade had been; hardly a brigade where a whole division had 
been victorious. They had met at the woods the first volleys of musketry from 
fresh troops — had met them and returned them till their line had yielded and 
gone down before this weight of fire, and till their ammunition was exhausted. 

In ten minutes the fortunes of the day seemed to have changed ; it was the 
rebels who were now advancing, pouring out of the woods in endless lines, sweep- 
ing through the cornfield from which their comrades had just fled. Hooker sent 
in his nearest brigade to meet them, but it could not do the work. He called for 
another. There was nothing close enough, unless he took it from his right. His 
right might be in danger if it was weakened; but his centre was already threatened 
with annihilation. Not hesitating one moment, he sent to Doubleday, " Give me 
your best brigade instantly." 

The best brigade came down the hill to the right on the run, went through the 
timber in front, through a storm of shot and bursting shell, and crashing limbs, 
over the open field beyond, and straight into the cornfield, passing, as they went, 
the fragment of those brigades shattered by the rebel fire, and streaming to the rear. 
They passed by Hooker, whose eyes lighted as he saw these veteran troops led by 
a soldier whom he knew he could trust. " I think they will hold it," he said. 

General Hartsuff took his troops very steadily, but, now that they were under 
fire, not hurriedly, up the hill from which the cornfield begins to descend, and 
formed them on the crest. Not a ipan who was not in full view — not one who 
bent before the storm. Firing at first in volleys, they fired then at vrill with won- 


1862. derful rapidity and effect. The whole line crowned the hill, and 

stood out darkly against the sky, but lighted and shrouded ever in 
flame and smoke. 

They were the Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts, the Ninth New York, and 
the Eleventh Pennsylvania — old troops, all of them. 

Then for half an hour they held the ridge, unyielding in purpose, exhaustless in 
courage. There were gaps in the line, but it nowhere bent. Their general was 
severely wounded early in the fight, but they fought on. Their supports did not 
come — they determined without them. They began to go down the hill and into 
the com; they did not stop to think that their ammunition was nearly gone; they 
were there to win that field, and they won it. The rebel line for the second time 
fled through the corn and into the woods. I cannot tell how few of HartsufPs 
brigade were left when the work was done. There was no more gallant, deter- 
mined, heroic fighting in all this desperate day. General Hartsuff is severely 
wounded; but I do not believe he counts his success dearly purchased. 

There has been some doubt thrown upon this story because 
Hartsuff 's brigade was not in Doubleday's division. 

A soldier, when actively engaged in battle, has so little appreciation 
of how his actions may appear to a looker-on, that when we read the 
" best brigade " story, we felt that, notwithstanding the facts were all 
there, they had received a rhetorical coloring which made them seem 
different from what they really were. 

Alfred C. Munroe, of the Twelfth Massachusetts, who was at 
that time attached to General Hooker's headquarters, says he 
heard the order given as Smalley relates it. That part of the story, 
however, is of little consequence beside the important one of remov- 
ing any doubt as to whether Hartsuff's brigade really did such a 
service on that memorable day. The following letter by General 
Doubleday, published in the " National Tribune " of March 24, 189a, 
seems to settle the question so completely that we give it publication : 

Editor National Tribune, — A very interesting article appeared in your paper 
a few weeks ago in reference to the battle of Antietam. It is in the main 
accurate, but contains one error which I desire to correct, and which would seem 
to have originated in the correspondent of the New York " Times." After three 
liours' fighting, at a crisis in the battle when it became doubtful if we could hold 
the bloody cornfield between the lines, Hooker, it is alleged, sent word to 
Doubleday, " Send me your best brigade." It stated that this " best brigade " 
went forward and held the field, which, however, was lost later in the day. 


1862. Now, as my division began the battle in the morning, and was the 

first to charge the enemy, I had no brigade to spare, for three of 
mine, under Gibbon, Patrick, and Phelps, were already closely engaged at the 
front. They had lost heavily, had captured six battle-flags, were out of ammu- 
nition, and in obedience of an order from General Hooker were holding the 
positioii with the bayonet. 1 had another brigade, it is true, under the gallant 
Hoffman, but it was kept in rear by a special order from General Hooker, in con- 
sequence of a slight demonstration made by Stuart's cavalry on that flank. It 
was Hartsuff's brigade, of Ricketts' division, that held the cornfield so hand- 
somely, and not one of mine. Ricketts was entitled, I thought, to a good deal 
of credit for the way in which he handled his men ; but through some misrepre- 
sentations or misunderstanding he was relieved from command at the close of the 
day by General McClellan, and his division was turned over to General Gibbon. 

Mend HAM, N. J. Brevet Major- Genera/, U.S.A. 

The following official. announcement of the battle of Antietam was 
sent to Washington on the 19th of September, it being reasonably 
certain, by that time, that the rebel army had recrossed the river into 
Virginia : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Sharpsburg, September 19, 1862. 

Maj.-Gen. H. W. Halleck, Commanding U.S. Army ; 

I have the honor to report that Maryland is entirely freed from the presence of 

the enemy, who have been driven across the Potomac. No fears need now be 

entertained for the safety of Pennsylvania. I shall at once occupy Harper's 



Major- General Commanding. 

The rebel army having voluntarily returned to the " sacred soil " 
of Virginia, without let or hindrance from our forces, it would seem 
that the word "driven" which appears in the dispatch was not an 
exact statement of fact, while General McClellan omitted to say 
that the opportunity for destroying Lee's army was lost. 

The following statement by General McClellan, concerning the 
battle of Antietam, we quote from his book : 

The spectacle yesterday was the grandest I could conceive of; nothing could be 
more sublime. Those in whose judgment I rely, tell me that I fought the battle 
splendidly, and that it was a masterpiece of art. 


1862. " ' But what good came of it at last? ' 

Quoth little Peterkin. 
' Why, that I cannot tell,' said he; 
' But 'twas a famous victory.' " 

With respect to the condition of the rebel army, it is interesting to 
read what General Lee says about it in a report he made to Presi- 
dent Davis, dated Sept. 21, 1862 : 

The army is resting to-day on the Opequan, below Martinsburg. Its present 
efficiency is greatly paralyzed by the loss to its ranks of the numerous stragglers. 
I have taken every means in my power from the beginning to correct this evil, 
which has increased instead of diminished. A great many men belonging to the 
army never entered Maryland at all; many returned after getting there, while 
others who crossed the river kept aloof. 

There is much more in this letter that goes to show how badly off 
the enemy felt themselves to be ; but this extract is sufficient to show 
that they were glad enough to have the fighting postponed until they 
could recuperate. 

It is also interesting to read what an Englishman thinks about the 
battle of Antietam. In Mr. Archibald Forbes' article on Abraham 
Lincoln as a strategist, published in the " North American Review," 
July and August, 1892, is the following: 

Though he [McClellan] slill held to him the Army of the Potomac, he had lost 
with the nation the mesmerism of his prestige. But fortune favored him. Pope's 
regiments turned out so much less demoralized than had been supposed, that 
McClellan's work of organization was easier and shorter than could have been 
anticipated. He was as assiduous in that work as ever ; as ever, he was slow when 
the march with an enemy at the end of it came to be undertaken. Rarely, indeed, 
has it been the good fortune of a general, at the beginning of a campaign, to find 
himself placed in full knowledge of his adversaries' disposition ; yet the possession 
of that enormous advantage could not stir McClellan into prompt alacrity. His 
sluggishness cost the loss of the garrison of Harper's Ferry. He threw away in- 
valuable time before taking the offensive at South Mountain; and he could have 
done Lee no better service than in wasting a whole autumn day in deliberately 
putting his army into position for the unscientific, unpurposeful, and butcherly 
fighting of the morrow. Not until the 26th of October did McQellan begin to 
cross the Potomac. During the interval of more than five weeks he had practi- 
cally been immobile, while Lee quietly watched him from Winchester. During 


l86a. that interval he continuously clamored for regnforcements, for re- 

equipment of all kinds, for supplies on supplies. 

With respect to renewing the attack on the i8th, General McClel- 
lan makes the following statement : 

After a night of anxious deliberation and a full and careful survey of our army, 
the strength and position of the enemy, I conclude that the success of an attack 
on the i8th was not certain. I am aware of the fact that, under ordinary circum- 
stances, a general is expected to risk a battle if he has a reasonable prospect of 
success; but at this critical juncture I should have had a narrow view of the con- 
dition of the country had I been willing to hazard another battle with less than 
an absolute assurance of success. 

In testimony of his own abilities, he further says : 

Since the war I have met many of my late antagonists, and have found none 
who entertained any personal enmity against me. While acknowledging with 
Lee and other of their generals that they feared me more than any of the North- 
ern generals and that I had struck them harder blows when in the full prime of 
their strength, they have all said that I fought them like a gentleman and in an 
honorable way, and that they felt nothing but respect for me. 

I remember very well, when riding over the field of South Mountain, that 
passing by a severely wounded Confederate officer, I dismounted and spoke with 
him, asking whether I could do anything to relieve him. He was a lieutenant- 
colonel of a North Carolina regiment, and asked me if I was General McClellan ; 
and when I said that I was General McClellan, he grasped my hand and told me 
that he was perfectly willing to be wounded and a prisoner for the sake of taking 
by the hand one whom all the Confederates so honored and admired. Such things 
happened to me not infrequently, and I confess that it gave me no little pleasure 
to find that my antagonists shared the feelings of my own men for me. 

In the Gospel according to Saint Luke occurs the following para- 
graph : " Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you ! for 
so did their fathers to the false prophets." 

As a contrast to General McClellan's methods of conducting a 
battle, it is interesting to read what Stonewall Jackson would have 
done had he been in McClellan's position. General Imboden writes 
that Jackson often said to him : " 

There were two things never to be lost sight of by a military commander: 
Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible; and when you strike 


1862. and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit so long as your men 

have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, be- 
comes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number. The 
other rule is, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible manoeuvring you 
can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy 
and crush it. Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy 
a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible. 

As an additional reason for not following up the advantage gained 
on the 17 th, General McClellan says that 

The troops were greatly overcome by the fatigue and exhaustion attendant 
upon the long-continued and severely contested battle of the 17th, together with 
the long day-and-night marches to which they had been subjected during the 
previous three days. 

To US of the Thirteenth it seemed just possible that the enemy 
might be equally tired and a good deal more discomfited, and that 
the time had come when we might efface the disagreeable recollec- 
tion of Manassas ; and the wonder was why we were not allowed to 
follow up our advantage. When men are stimulated by success in 
battle they forget everything but pushing their good fortune to a 
complete triumph. As it was, we remained in idleness until the 
2Sth of October, allowing the enemy to find their way back across 
the river at their leisure. There was one man, however, who 
appreciated that instinct in human nature which prompts us jjl to 
" sail in " when the other fellow weakens, and that was " Old Abe." 
Day after day telegrams from Washington were sent to McClellan 
asking him to explain his delay, and urging the importance of his 
present advantage, until he (General McClellan) was prompted to 
return to General Halleck an answer, in which is the following 
paragraph : 

I regret that you find it necessary to couch every despatch I have the honor to 
receive from you in a spirit of fault-finding, and that you have not yet found 
leisure to say one word in commendation of recent achievements of the army, or 
even to allude to them. 

The following interesting order explains itself: 


1862. Headquarters, Defences of Washington, 

Washington, Sept. 23, 1862, 10.30 A.M. 
Brig.-Gen. S. Williams, 

Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army of the Potomac : 
Tdegram of last night received this morning. It occurs to me that at least a. 
part of the confusion caused by the new numbers of the corps arises from the fact 
that you have got them wrong. Siegel's corps is the Eleventh, Banks' is the 
Twelfth, and Hooker's (late McDowell's) is the First Corps. This is warranted 
correct, the newspapers to the contrary notwithstanding. Consequently, after 
some puzzling, I infer from your telegram that Meade commands the First Corps, 
vice Hooker, wounded, and A. S. WiUiams commands the Twelfth Corps, vice 
Mansfield, killed. Is this right? To whom was Webber's brigade assigned? Is 
Couch's division independent? Does Sturgis eommand Reno's division, and 
Wilcox, Stevens' ? Piatt's brigade is here, in Whipple's division. 

Captain, Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Whatever confusion may have existed in the minds of others, it 
is certain that we were in the second division of the First Corps. 
General Ricketts commanded the division and General Meade the 

By an order dated Sept. 29, 1862, General Reynolds assumed 
temporary command of the First Corps, and in the same communi- 
cation General Meade was ordered to reassume the command of the 
third division of the same corps. General Reynolds remained in 
command of the First Corps, however, until he lost his life at 

On the 6th of October General Halleck was instructed by the 
President to telegraph General McClellan as follows : "The President 
directs'that you cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or 
drive him south." This, however, did not move McClellan. 

On the loth of October the rebel general, Stuart, crossed the 
Potomac at McCoy's ford, between Williamsport and Hancock, 
penetrated as far as Chambersburg, which he occupied for a time, 
destroyed public property, made the entire circuit of the Federal 
army, and recrossed the Potomac near the mouth of the Monocacy, 
without any loss worth mentioning, and to the mortification of the 
Union army, which was doing nothing. Both of these fords were 


1862. within the sphere of our duty during the year 1861 and 

the first two months of 1862. The following extracts 
are taken from his report of the affair t6 General Lee : 

Unoffending persons were treated with civility, and the inhabitants were 
generous in proffers of provisions on the march. We seized and brought over a 
large number of horses, the property of citizens of the United States. The valu- 
able information obtained in this reconnoissance, as to the distribution of the 
enemy's force, was communicated oraUy to the commanding general, and need 
not be here repeated, A number of the public functionaries and prominent 
citizens were taken captives, and brought over as hostages for our own unoffend- 
ing citizens, whom the enemy has torn from their homes and confined in 
dungeons in the North. One or two of my men lost their way, and are probably 
in the hands of the enemy. 

Believing that the hand of God was clearly manifested in the signal deliverance 
of my command from danger, and the crowning success attending it, I ascribe to 
Him the praise, the honor, and the glory. 

If it was true, as General Stuart asserted, that he was under Divine 
protection and guidance, perhaps it was just as well for us that we 
didn't interfere with his progress. 

We notice in the War Records that the hand of God was not recog- 
nized when armies met with defeat. 

On the 13th of October the President sent the following letter to 
General McClellan, which shows how clearly Mr. Lincoln compre- 
hended the possibilities of the situation : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D.C, Oct. 13, 1862. 
Major-General McClellan : 

My Dear Sir: You remember my speaking to you of what I called your 
overcautiousness. Are you not overcautious when you assume that you cannot do 
what the enemy is constantly doing ? Should you not claim to be at least his equal 
in prowess, and act upon the claim ? As I understand, you telegraphed General 
Halleck that you cannot subsist your army at Winchester, unless the railroad from 
Harper's Ferry to that point be put in working order. But the enemy does now 
subsist his army at Winchester, at fi distance nearly twice as great from rail- 
road transportation as you would have to do, without the railroad last named. 
He now wagons from Culpeper Court-House, which is just about twice as far as 
you would have to do from Harper's Ferry. He is certainly not more than half 
as well provided with wagons as you are. I certainly should be pleased for you 


1862. to have the advantage of the railroad from Harper's Ferry to 'Win- 

chester, but it wastes all the remainder of autumn to give it to you, 
and, in fact, ignores the question of time, which cannot and must not be ignored. 
Again, one of the standard maxims of war, as you know, is to " operate upon the 
enemy's communications as much as possible without exposing your own." You 
seem to act as if this applies against you, but cannot apply in your favor. Change 
positions with the enemy, and think you not he would break your communication 
with Richmond within the next twenty-four hours ? You dread his going into 
Pennsylvania; but if he does so in full force, he gives up his communications to you 
absolutely; and you have nothing to do but to follow and ruin him. If he does so 
with less than full force, fall upon and beat what is left behind all the easier. 
Exclusive of the water-line, you are now nearer Richmond than the enemy is by the 
route that you can and he must take. Why can you not reach there before him, 
unless you admit that he is more than your equal on the march ? His route is the 
arc of a circle, while yours is the chord. The roads ate as good on yours as on 
his. You know I desired, but did not order, you to cross the Potomac below, 
instead of above, the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge. My idea was that this would 
at once menace the enemy's communications, which I would seize if he would 

If he should move forward I would follow him closely, holding his communi- 
cations. If he should prevent our seizing his communications and move toward 
Richmond, I would press closely to him, fight him if a favorable opportunity 
should present, and at least try to beat him to Richmond on the inside track. I 
say "try; " if we never try we shall never succeed. If he makes a. stand at 
Winchester, moving neither north nor south, I would fight him there, on the idea 
that if we cannot beat him when he bears the wastage of coming to us, we never 
can when we bear the wastage of going to him. This proposition is a simple 
truth, and is too important to be lost sight of for a moment. In coming to us he 
tenders us an advantage which we should not waive. We should not so operate 
as to merely drive him away. As we must beat him somewliere or fail finally, we 
can do it, if at all, easier near to us than far away. If we cannot beat the enemy 
where he now is, we never can, he again being within the intrenchments of 

Recurring to the idea of going to Richmond on the inside track, the facility of 
supplying from the side away from the enemy is remarkable, as it were, by the 
different spokes of a wheel extending from the hub toward the rim, and this, 
whether you move directly by the chord or on the inside arc, hugging the Blue 
Ridge more closely. The chord-line, as you see, carries you by Aldie, Hay Mar- 
ket, and Fredericksburg; and you see how turnpikes, railroads, and finally the 
Potomac, by Aquia Creek, meet you at aH points from Washington ; the same, 
only the lines lengthened a little, if you press closer to the Blue Ridge part of 
the way. 

The gaps through the Blue Ridge I understand to be about the following dis- 


i86a. tances from Harper's Fsrry, to wit: Vestal's, 5 miles; Gregory's, 

13; Snicker's, 18; Ashby's, 28; Manassas, 38; Chester, 45 ; and 
Thornton's, 53. I should think it preferable to take the route nearest the enemy, 
disabling him to make an important move without your knowledge, and compell- 
ing him to keep his forces together for dread of you. The gaps would enable 
you to attack if you should wish. For a great part of the way you would be 
practicably between the enemy and both Washington and Richmond, enabling us 
to spare you the greatest number of troops from here. When at length running 
for Richmond ahead of him enables him to move this way, if he does so, turn 
and attack him in the rear. But I think he should be engaged long before such 
point is reached. It is all easy if our troops march as well as the enemy, and it 
is unmanly to say we cannot do it. This letter is in no sense an order. 

Yours truly, 


A prominent public man who knew McClellan as an engineer, 
before the war, once remarked that if he had a million of men it 
would take a million of years for him voluntarily to move, which 
number is probably an exaggeration by several years. 

The following communications of General Lee, giving his inter- 
pretation of the batrie of Antietam, are interesting reading : 

Headquarters, Sharpsburg, Md., 

Sept. 18, 1862, 6.30 A.M. 
Mr. President: On the afternoon of the i6th instant the enemy, who you 
were informed that day was in our front, opened a light fire of artillery upon our 
line. Early the next morning it was renewed in earnest, and large masses of the 
Federal troops that had crossed the Antietam above our position assembled on 
our left and threatened to overwhelm us. . . . 

In the afternoon the enemy advanced on our right, where General Jones' divi- 
sion was posted, who handsomely maintained his position. General Toombs' 
brigade, guarding the bridge over Antietam Creek, gallantly resisted the approach 
of the enemy; but his superior numbers enabling him to extend his left, he 
crossed below the bridge, and assumed a threatening attitude on our right, which 
fell back in confusion. By this time, between 3 and 4 P.M., General Hill, with 
five of his brigades, reached the scene of action, drove the enemy immediately 
from the position they had taken, and continued the contest until dark, restoring 
our right and maintaining our ground. . , . 

R. E. LEE, 
General Commanding, 
His Excellency President Davis, Richmond, Va. 


1862. Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 

Sept. 20, 1862. 

Sir: Since my last letter to you of the 18th, finding the enemy indisposed to 
make an attack on that day, and our position being a bad one to hold with the 
river in the rear, I determined to cross the army to the Virginia side. This was 
done at night successfully, nothing being left behind, unless it may have been 
some disabled guns or broken-down wagons, and the morning of the 19th found 
us satisfactorily over on the south bank of the Potomac, near Shepherdstown, when 
the army was immediately put in motion toward Williamsport. Before crossing 
the river, in order to threaten the enemy on his right and rear and make him 
apprehensive for his communications, I sent the cavalry forward to Williamsport, 
which they successfully occupied. At night the infantry sharpshooters left in 
conjunction with General Pendleton's artillery, to hold the ford below Shepherds- 
town, gave back, and the enemy's cavalry took possession of that town, and, from 
General Pendleton's report after midnight, I fear much of his reserve artillery has 
been captured. I am now obliged to return to Shepherdstown with the intention 
of driving the enemy back, if not in position with his whole army; but if in full 
force, I think an attack would be inadvisable, and I shall make other dispositions. 

I am, with high respect, your obedient servant, 

R. E. LEE, 


His Excellency Jefferson Davis, Richmond, Va. 

On the 8th of October Brig.-Gen. Nelson Taylor took command 
of HartsuflF's brigade, and he produced a favorable impression. His 
assignment was dated September i8th. 

General Hartsuflf was dangerously wounded at the battle of An- 
tietam, and before his recovery was promoted to major-general of 
volunteers for gallant and meritorious conduct. 

We were sorry to part with General Hartsuff, to whom we had be- 
come warmly attached. He was a graduate from West Point in the 
Class of 1852. When he took command of our brigade he was in 
the thirty-second year of his age, tall and commanding in appear- 
ance, with a fine soldierly presence. He soon learned that we 
needed training, and the cords were at once tightened, and no excuse 
for breach of discipline was accepted. Little by little the men real- 
ized that while he required prompt obedience, he was watchful of 
the comfort and health of his men, and before a month had elapsed 
we began to feel a pride in the new order of things. As week fol- 
lowed week our attachment strengthened, until he became the idol of 


1862. his brigade. He succeeded in establishing so high a 

degree of discipline that the brigade received the en- 
thusiastic praise of General Hooker. On the night of the battle of 
Cedar Mountain, on a knoll exposed to the enemy's fire, he was a 
conspicuous figure in the moonlight, in plain sight of his brigade, an 
example to every man of the bravery that becomes a soldier. By 
his coolness on that night he inspired in his men a self-reliance that 
was of great service to them in the scenes that followed. There 
was no general officer under whom we served that excited in us so 
deep an affection as that which we felt for Gen. Geo. L. Hartsuff. 

« "'*■. 



i86a. We were in camp near Sharpsburg, where opportunity 

Until ^jjg afforded us of renewing an acquaintance with the 

October 26. , ^ , , . . 

people of that town, whom we met m August, 1861. 

Visits were made to the battlefield and to the Dunkards' 
church, in the vicinity of which had occurred such terrible fighting. 
The ludicrous instincts of the army were excited by the suggestive- 
ness of the name, and it was christened by some wag " Drunkards' 
church ; " and it became so fastened upon the Society, which was very 
little known to the world, that it was deemed necessary to correct the 
error by an article published in one of the magazines some years 
after the war, protesting against a continuance of the outrage. 

The denomination of Dunkers, or Dunkards as it was originally 
called, is of German origin. They came to this country in 1719, 
and settled in Pennsylvania. In the beginning they were a simple 
peasant people, exclusive in thought and habits of life, interpreting 
the Bible literally, endeavoring to find in it directions for every act. 
Though the rule of their church was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a 
tooth, and a horse for a horse, the Society of the Dunkards was noted 
for the honesty and integrity of its members. All the fashions and 
follies of the world were deliberately shut out from their lives, while 
they erected every possible barrier against its influences and the 
advancing spirit of the age. In spite of all their efforts to the con- 
trary, they began almost insensibly to relax their discipline by the 
modification of some of their practices. They found that innovations 
had come among them in the form of day-schools, Sunday-schools, 
the use of musical instruments, and a gradual departure from the 
severe plainness of dress which they formerly considered essential, 
and in the mode of wearing the hair and beard. This tendency 
naturally met with opposition by the older members, resulting some 
years ago in a division of the Society. 


1862. Dr. Letterman, Medical Director of the Army of the 

Potomac, in his report to General McClellan, makes the 
following interesting statement : 

The surgery of these battlefields has been pronounced butchery. Gross mis- 
representations of the conduct of medical officers have been made and scattered 
broadcast over the country, causing deep and heart-rending anxiety to those who 
had friends or relatives in the army, who might at any moment require the service 
of a surgeon. It is not to be supposed that there were no incompetent surgeons 
in the army. It is certainly true that there were; but these sweeping denun- 
ciations against a class of men who will favorably compare with the military 
surgeons of any country, because of the incompetency of and shortcomings of a 
few, are wrong, and do injustice to a body of men who have labored faithfully and 
well. It is easy to magnify an existing evil until it is beyond the bounds of truth. 
It is equally easy to pass by the good that has been done on the other side. 
Some medical officers lost their lives in their devotion to duty in the battle of 
Antietam, and others sickened from excessive labor which they conscientiously 
and skilfully performed. If any objection could be urged against the surgery of 
those fields, it would be the efforts on the part of surgeons to practise conservative 
surgery to too great extent. 

I had better opportunities, perhaps, than any one else to form an opinion, and 
from my observations I am convinced that if any fault was committed it was that 
the knife was not used enough. So much has been said on this matter, that, 
familiar as I am with the conduct of the medical ofKcers on those battlefields, I 
cannot, as the medical director of this army, see them misrepresented and be silent. 

We are glad to give this publication, because we believe it is true, 
and the more willingly, for the opportunity offered of expressing our 
high appreciation of our own surgeons, whose services in our behalf 
deserve recognition. They were not only men of skill in their pro- 
fession, but were courageous in battle, and kind and attentive to men 
needing their services. In this respect we were fortunate. 

We cannot forbear mentioning the generosity shown by the people 
of the surrounding towns, who came on to the field the day following 
the battle, with food and supplies from their homes, not only for the 
wounded, but for the men who had escaped that misfortune. The 
people from Middletown, Sharpsburg, Hagerstown, and even Han- 
cock, forty miles away, were inquiring for the Thirteenth Massachu- 
setts Regiment. Hancock sent a four-horse team loaded with food 
and delicacies for the wounded. The greatest pleasure of all was to 


i862. see the faces of our friends of the previous winter, and 

to feel that our service among them had left no un- 
pleasant impression. 

Guard-mounting, inspection, drilling, and reviews- took up most 
•of our time. When not so occupied, we were sleeping, cooking, or 
swapping stories round the camp-fire. As every man did his own 
cooking, he could devote as much of his spare hours as he wished in 
the preparation of choice dishes for the gratification of his palate. 
Some of the boys showed great skill, and in concocting a dish of 
" braxy-hash " could make Delmonico turn green with envy. 

The morning report of the Army of the Potomac on September 30 
showed present and absent, including Banks' command in Wash- 
ington, 303,959. Of this number, 100,000 were reported ab- 
sent, 28,000 on special duty, and 73,000 present for duty under 
Banks; leaving about 100,000 present for duty in McClellan's 
immediate command. 

The discrepancy that occurred between the number of 
Saturday, troops sent to reeuforce the Army of the Potomac, and 
October 25. the number reported to have arrived, so annoyed the 
President, that he one day remarked, according to his 
biographers, that " sending men to that army was like shovelling fleas 
across a barnyard : not more than half of them got there." 

At last the patience of Mr. Lincoln was exhausted at the intermi- 
nable excuses given in explanation of McClellan's delay, and he sent 
the following despatch, dated at Washington, October 25, 4.50 P.M. : 

To Major-General McClellan: 

I have just received your despatch about sore-tongued and fatigued horses. Will 
you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle 
of Antietam that fatigues anything? 


After which the army moved. 

All day yesterday and to-day it rained as though the 
Sunday, spigot had been pulled out of the clouds ; a shelter tent 
October a6. was about as much protection as a sieve. Notwithstand- 
ing the rain, at 4 P.M. we broke camp and marched 
through Sharpsburg across the bridge toward Keedysville, and then 


i862. to the right up the mountain, where we camped for the 

night, near the crest. 
We were glad to move, even on Sunday, if it would only shorten 
the war. 

Monday ^* ^ ^■^' ^^ continued our march through Cramptdn's 

October a?. Pass to Burkettsville, where we camped. 

Got away by 9 o'clock in the morning and marched to 
Tuesday, Berlin, about six miles, and camped. This place is very 
October 28. little like its namesake, the capital of Germany. The 

view as we marched down the mountain was superb. 
Remained at Berlin all day yesterday and until the 
Thursday, afternoon of to-day, when we marched about seven miles, 
October 30. and camped near Waterford, crossing the Potomac on a 

pontoon bridge. We remained at this place until the 
31st, allowing the officers an opportunity to attend to that most 
agreeable of all duties, — making out the pay-rolls. The rank and 
file were always pleased when the officers were too busy for drilling. 
Started at 9 A.M. and marched seven miles to Purcell- 
Saturday, yille. We liked these short marches, particularly as the 
Nov. I. weather was pleasant and the temperature low. 

A little after midnight three of the boys, regardless of the eighth 
commandment, started out on a foraging expedition, having pre- 
viously made arrangements with the picket-guard to let them through 
the line. Stumbling across fields, floundering through ditches, 
scrambling over stone walls, they finally reached a farm-house. All 
was quiet. The occupants, preoccupied in dreamy slumber, little 
suspected that beneath their windows a gang of Yankee soldiers were 
inspecting their premises for rebel chickens. As it was very dark, 
each of the out-buildings was examined before the right one was 
found. Having selected what could be easily carried, they prepared 
to return, when a loud screech from a half-choked hen broke the still- 
ness of the midnight air, rousing the people in the house firom pleas- 
ant dreams to an agonizing reality that the hens they had nursed 
from tender chickenhood to old age were being conveyed to that 
pot from whose bourne no hen returns. A voice from one of the 
windows was heard in unmistakable accents of alarm, calling upon 


1862. them to stop. Any other time but this the boys would 

have been glad to do so ; but when duty calls, they must 
obey. They succeeded in reaching camp without their absence 
being discovered. In the morning one of the party, having some 
duty to perform, intrusted his plunder to a comrade whose knowl- 
edge of the art of cooking was superior to his own, and in whose 
fidelity he placed great confidence, to be cooked for dinner. Re- 
turning an hour or two later he found himself the victim of misplaced 
confidence, as the cook had devoured all but the legs. Having been 
remonstrated with for this exhibition of selfish eagerness, the cook 
replied, " Those who dine with me must be on time." 

During the day some of Bumside's troops passed us, 

un ay, among whom were Hawkins' Zouaves. Did they know 

it was Sunday? The weather was pleasant, but too cool 

for shelter tents. About midnight we were turned out 

and formed in line, wagons loaded, and other preparations made to 

march, though we didn't move. We should have been quite as well 

satisfied if we had been allowed to sleep. Firing heard all day in 

the distance. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Camp near Berlin, Md., Nov. 2, 1862. 
III. Brig.-Gen. J. B. Ricketts is relieved from the command of the Second 
Division of the First Army Corps. He will proceed to Harper's Ferry, and there 

await further orders. 

Assistant Adjutant-General, 

About I P.M. we started on a march to Bloomfield, 

on ay, which we reached after a round-about tramp of ten 
Nov. 3. 

miles. On the way we crossed the Aldie Pike, on which 

we paced off so many weary miles in March last. We 
followed the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge mountains. 

Yesterday we marched about five miles from Bloom- 
Wednesday.g^j^ and to-day five miles on the road to Rectortown, 
Nov. 5. 

camping near Middleburg. The road was greatly ob- 
structed by wagons. 
Friday, Yesterday we marched fourteen miles towards War- 

°^' '■ renton. To-day we continued the march eleven miles. 


1862. camping near Warrenton, it being the third time we had 

camped near this town. The nights were cold, and the 

men on guard suffered very much in consequence. We had a heavy 

snow-storm to-day. 

At 4.30 P.M. we started for Rappahannock Statipn, 

Saturday, ^^^ ^ ^.j^^ j^^^^^ ^^ ^j^^ Column took the wrong road we 

Nov. 8. . . , , . , . , 

had to retrace our steps, by which action we were on the 

road until after midnight, having marched sixteen miles, 
while ten miles was all that was necessary. Though the chaplain re- 
turned to the regiment two days ago, the fluency of our remarks was 
in no way obstructed by his presence. " The sheep will stray when 
the shepherd is gone " is an old but trite saying, hence the habit of 
profanity which possessed some of the boys. 

Snowed hard to-day. At 6 A.M. we were ordered to 
un ay, „ ^^^ .^^„ ^jjgjgypgjj y,^ stood in line, sleepy, tired, and 

disgusted, in readiness to support the cavalry which 
made a dash across the Rappahannock River. At 8 A.M. 
we marched to the river to cover a bridge and ford, after which we 
were sent out on picket duty for twenty-four hours. Company K being 
left to guard the ford. As the river at this point was only twenty feet 
wide, conversation by the enemy was plainly heard during the night. 
Our brigade was temporarily detached from the corps (First), 
which was encamped near Warrenton. This was the same spot 
where we camped on our retreat from Culpeper. 

The order removing General McClellan was officially 
Tuesday, announced to-day, but it made no ripple in our affairs. 
Nov. n. We were not affected by so overpowering a love for him 
as to shed tears, though it is possible that " thousands," 
as he says, may have found it necessary to relieve their overcharged 
feelings by flushing out the sluiceways of their optics. 

On page 652 of "McClellan's Own Story" may be found these 
words : 

The order depriving me of the command created an immense deal of deep 
feeling in the army — so much so that many were in favor of my refusing to obey 
the order, and of marching upon Washington to take possession of the govern- 
ment. My chief purpose in remaining with the army as long as I did after being 
relieved was to calm this feeling, in which I succeeded. 


1862. That he believed such nonsense seems incredible, yet 

it is his own statement, twenty years after the event. In 
speaking of the scenes attending his farewell to the army he says : 

They are beyond my power of description. What words, in truth, could con- 
vey to the mind such a scene — thousands of brave men, who, under my very eye, 
had changed from raw recruits to veterans of many fields, shedding tears like 
children in their ranks, as they bade good-by to the general who had just led them 
to victory after the defeats they had seen under another leader. 

Whatever may be said' as to the loyalty, intelligence, or bravery of 
the Array of the Potomac, applies with equal force to every other 
army in the field ; but its service was a peculiar and a trying one. Its 
position with respect to the two capitols excited at Washington an 
interest in its movements that subjected it to trials and disappoint- 
ments such as no other army was called upon to endure. It was the 
shuttlecock of political advisers who were ever in fear of the safety 
of that city. Success was generally followed by an order to retreat, 
or " retrograding " as it was commonly called in the army. It fre- 
quently suffered from incompetent generals, and its movements being 
special objects of attention, the plans of its commanders were 
consequently more often interfered with than those of other armies, 
while " On to Richmond," and " All quiet on the Potomac," became 
by- words of reproach ; but General McClellan was the only man who 
ever accused it of possessing sentiments of disloyalty. 

If it is true that such a proposition was made to him, it was 
because the soil was thought to be ready for the seed. The impres- 
sion of his friends must have been correct, inasmuch as he felt none 
of the indignation that a loyal man would have felt at such an insult- 
ing proposal. 

McClellan says in his Memoirs : 

They brought with them the order relieving me of the command of the Army of 
the Potomac, and assigning Burnside to the command. No cause is given. I am 
ordered to turn over the command immediately and repair to Trenton, N.J., and 
on my arrival there to report by telegraph for further orders. ... Of course 
I was much surprised; but as I read the order in the presence of General 
Buckingham, I am sure that not the slightest expression of feeling was visible on 
my face, which he watched closely. . . . They have made a great mistake. 
Alas for my poor country ! 


1862. A good many people have been puzzled to account for 

McClellan's popularity with the army. It is just as diffi- 
cult to understand why sheep follow sheep to destruction, or ducks 
are decoyed on to a pond by a wooden likeness of themselves, — lack 
of reasoning power. Astute politicians know how easy it is by the 
use of a little method to excite in the public mind an admiration 
for any individual they may seek to elevate. The history of every 
country is foil of such examples. 

It was a shrewd remark that an old German writer once made 
when he said that if he could be allowed to write the songs of the 
people, he cared not who made the laws. Any one who has observed 
the e£fect of music on the average mind must have noticed how 
easily enthusiasm is awakened by its influence. For months we had 
been singing the chorus — 

"For McQellan's our leader, he is gallant and strong. 
For God and our country we are marching along," 

until our imaginations took such flight that we thought him the 
greatest of all generals and the only man who could lead us to 
victory. The music of this song was easily caught by the ear, and 
timed very well with our marching. Day after day it would be sung 
with a fervor that reminded one of the religious enthusiasm of Crom- 
well's heroes, who sandwiched their fighting with songs of praise to 
God. Under this influence and the paneg)rrics showered upon him 
by friendly newspapers it is not to be wondered at that the army 
greeted him with loud demonstrations of enthusiasm. Round the 
camp-fires at night the greatest admiration would be expressed in his 
behalf, though frequently an enthusiast would be interrupted by the 
"why" and the "wherefore" of some unimpressionable fellow- 
soldier who chaffed the rest of us for losing our heads. These argu- 
ments were sometimes pretty warm, and it would often happen at 
such times that the old refrain, 

"For McClellan's our leader, he is gallant and strong," 

would be started; against which it was impossible for reason to 
make any headway. There was one custom of McClellan's, however. 


i86a. that did more in the Thirteenth to turn the current of our 

enthusiasm than all the arguments that were offered in 
camp or on the march. Instead of taking position at the head of his 
army when it moved in the morning, as was ordinarily the custom with 
other generals, he waited until it was all in line on the road, and then 
would ride along, preceded by an officer (presumably one of his 
staff) shouting, " McClellan 's coming boys ! McClellan 's coming ! 
three cheers for McClellan ! " whereupon we would join in the con- 
tinuous chorus of applause that greeted him as he passed to the head 
of the column. This was all very well for once or twice, or even more ; 
but when it was found to be a regular thing, it was too much like clap- 
trap and humbug to suit our fancy. Our enlistment in the army was 
attended by the sacrifice of almost everything but our independence 
of thought, and to this we still clung with a good deal of tenacity. 
We felt that our enthusiasm, like the hand of Douglas, was still 
our own. This method of manufacturing enthusiasm was pretty 
thoroughly discussed among ourselves, and was often a subject of 
conversation with the men of other regiments, until we were pretty 
generally of the opinion that the enthusiasm for McClellan was more 
for what he was expected to do than for anything he had done. 

The Twelfth Massachusetts was transferred to the 

Saturday, second (Tower's) brigade, but continued in the same 

Nov. 15. division with us. A division, at this time, contained a 

less number of men than did a brigade, three months 

back. We were glad the change didn't mean a separation. 

There were added to our brigade the Sixteenth Maine, the Eighty- 
eighth Pennsylvania, and the Ninety-seventh New York regiments. 

We had now been at Rappahannock Station since the 
Tuesday, loth. About s o'clock in the afternoon, having packed 
Nov. 18. our trunks and valises, strapped our umbrellas and canes, 
— those who had them, — shouldered our tents and our 
guns, we marched seven miles over a very muddy road that the 
pitchy darkness of the night failed to improve, and then camped in 
a briar patch, like " Brer Rabbit." 

Last night while the regiment was on picket, a seedy-looking 
specimen of the " Southern chivalry " approached the bridge, waving 


1862. a handkerchief to attract attention. On receiving a 

promise from the guard that he would not be held as a 
prisoner he came into our lines. He introduced himself as a first 
sergeant in the Third North Carolina cavalry, stating that he was a 
native of New Hampshire, had lived in Lowell, and was a graduate of 
Harvard College, also, that he had many relatives in the North, 
though his immediate family resided in Raleigh, N.C., where he was 
pressed into service. Having learned that he believed in the good 
old doctrine of " Down with rum," he was given two drinks of whiskey 
and a cup of coffee, all of which he put down as became a man whose 
principles were of the steadfast brand. Having carried on a pleasant 
conversation with him for some time, he was given a quantity of coffee 
and allowed to return and serve out his term of impressment, what- 
ever that might be, as he showed no inclination to change masters. 
He said his name was "Tuck," and that he had studied law with 
Colonel Marston, of the Second New Hampshire regiment. When 
the war broke out he was publishing a newspaper in North Carolina, 
and was allowed the choice of going to jail or enlisting in the rebel 
service, and he cHose the latter. Whether his statements were true 
or not, he appeared to be a well-informed and intelligent man. 

Resumed our march towards Fredericksburg in the 
Wednesday, rain and mud, until we had paced off eleven miles. On 
Nov. 19. jjjg ^jy ^g overtook our regimental wagons, which 
started ahead of us night before last. 

The amount of muscular energy required to lift your feet with ten 
pounds or more of mud clinging to each foot, can hardly be appre- 
ciated except by persons who have a knowledge of the "sacred 
soil " of Virginia. 

We had a friendly dispute with the Ninth New York about pre- 
cedence on the march to-day. We were fortunate in having it 
decided in our favor. It often makes considerable difference in the 
comfort of a regiment whether it is ahead or not. 

„^ „ We left our camp, near Morrisville, at 7 A.M., in the 

Thursday, • r,-. j t, , - . 

Nov. ao. ' '"• ihe roads were so impassable, by reason of the 

mud, that we were obliged to take to the woods in order 

to make any headway. We went into camp at Stafford Court House 


i86z. about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Although the distance 

was only ten miles, if made direct, it was a good deal 
more by the roundabout way we were obliged to march. We were 
completely tired out, and disgusted with the rain and mud. 

Laid, in camp all day. The rain held up long enough 
Friday, for the boys to partially dry their blankets, when it began 
Nov. ai. again. Nature is sometimes too bountiful in its supply 

of water. The days and nights were so cold that it was 
impossible to stay in a " shelter " more than an hour or two without 
getting up and stealing a little of the warmth from the fires which 
were kept burning all night. 

The condition of the roads was such that the supply trains 
reached us with great difificulty, and in consequence there was a 
scarcity of rations. 

We received from six to eight hardtack, a junk of fresh meat or 
salt pork, which we cooked in our dippers, and an allowance of 
coffee and sugar. Usually three days' supply was given out at a 
time. This was taken, by the provident ones, and parcelled into 
three portions, one for each day. Those who omitted to do so were 
often obliged to beg or go hungry on the third day. One of the 
boys was offered a check on the sutler for one dollar, for ten hard- 
tack, but as he had only six the negotiation fell through. Officers 
were on the same footing yvith the men in the matter of food. A 
man had to be mighty careflil where he left his haversack, as an 
empty stomach has no conscience. 

At 8 A.M. we left Stafford Court House and started for 
Sunday, Aquia Creek, but, as had happened before, the brigade 
Nov. 23. took the wrong road, which error was not discovered 

until we had marched two miles out of the way, where- 
upon we were obliged to return, having increased our distance by 
this piece of stupidity four miles. We reached a camping-ground 
near Brooks' Station about 4 o'clock. 

Thanksgiving day! "For what?" was asked. We 
Thursday, were reviewed by General Gibbon. Some of the boys 
Nov. 27. ^ygj.g already at work making themselves comfortable by 

building huts. 


1862. The newspapers which we received from home were 

demanding that there be " no more dilly-dallying with 
the rebels." The time to have published this was just after 
Antietam, not when the army needed snow-shoes to walk through 
the mud. 

The sutler arrived. This was the first time we had 
Saturday, seen him since October. " Glory to God in the highest 
Nov. 29. a.nd on earth peace, good will toward men," was a remark 
we heard when news of his arrival was received. 

Changed our camp half a mile in the direction of Fal- 
Wednesday, mouth, to an opening in a pine grove. Yesterday we 
Dec. 3. came over and cleared the place of the stumps and 

debris. A more uninviting place than this appeared to 
be could hardly have been found when our eyes first saw the spot, 
but the whole regiment of three hundred men were set to work lay- 
ing out streets, so that before we left it presented an attractive ap- 
pearance, and was well sheltered from the wind. 

A large supply of clothing and shoes arrived in camp, 
Thursday, bringing with them comfort and joy. The boys were 
Dec. 4. busy building huts and making themselves as comfort- 
able as possible, in anticipation of winter quarters. 
Boxes arrived from home. These remembrances from 
Saturday, kind friends were shipped, by mistake, to Newburne, 
Dec. 6. N.C., and from there to our present location. In conse- 

quence of this long voyage, the contents in many of the 
boxes were completely spoiled. After weeks of joyful anticipation 
you lug your box down to the hut to be opened and shared with your 
messmates. " Run to the sutler's, Jim, and get a hammer ! " — " Oh, 
take a bayonet!" — "Look out, man, you'll spoil that bayonet!" 

" D n the thing, we can get another ! " were some of the remarks 

that were overheard. At last the cover was off and the contents ex- 
posed to view — ruined by the voyage. Think of the disappoint- 
ment, and say the angels have no cause to weep. Certainly the 
angels at home would have wept had they known the result, after all 
their thoughtfulness. 

On top of this disappointment came the information that we must 


i86a. prepare to march. As it snowed and rained yesterday, 

the roads were in no condition to move an army — ioo 
slippery, we thought. 

About one thousand dollars' worth of goods collected by the chap- 
lain while in Massachusetts were distributed among us. Among the 
things were drawers, gloves, stockings, and handkerchiefs. Hand- 
kerchiefs ! It takes a woman to put the finishing touch to a gift. 
A man would never have thought of that convenience. 

For the last three days the wind blew a gale, and was 
Monday so cold that it was difficult to be comfortable, even near 
Dec. 8. j.jjg fjresj which were kept going in the company streets 

night and day, and where the smoke blew in every direc- 
tion. One of the boys, who, in spite of hardships, still retained that 
irresistible desire for punning which occasionally haunts the human 
breast, remarked that he never knew before what was meant by a 
" shiver de freeze," and yet he lived until he was killed at Gettysburg. 
Marched at 8 A.M. across Potomac Creek, about three 
Tuesday, miles. As the ground was frozen hard, the travelling 
Dec. g. was good. This was so much preferable to mud, that 

no complaints were heard, though our "winter quarters" 
scheme was completely "busted." 

At 7 A.M. we broke camp and marched three or four 
Wednesday, miles to a point near the Fitzhugh place, not far from 
Dec. 10. where we were on the 1 7th of May last. Sixty rounds 

of cartridges were given to each man for distribution 
among the "rebs." It was hoped that none would be wasted. 

We were 'roused at 3 A.M., before "Aurora showed 
Thursday, her brightening face," as the poet says, and proceeded at 
Dec. II. once with preparations for breakfast. At 4 o'clock we 

started over the crackling snow for the Rappahannock 
River, which we expected to cross upon our arrival ; but the comple- 
tion of the pontoon bridge was delayed by rebel sharpshooters until 
night, so we bivouacked in the woods near by. Heavy cannonading 
was heard up the river at the town of Fredericksburg all day, excit- 
ing the curiosity of some of the boys who went up there to see the 
fun, and perhaps give a little advice to General Burnside. 


1862. The mist still clung to the river and the lowlands as 

Friday, jjjg ^rmy began to cross the stream. Our brigade was 
Dec. 12. among the first to go over, and upon reaching the opposite 
bank halted for further orders. As the mist rolled away 
and the sun made its appearance, it was a magnificent sight to watch 
the troops, many of them in new uniforms, marching from all direc- 
tions toward and across the bridge and then double-quick up the 
opposite bank. 

In crossing a pontoon bridge men are cautioned not to keep step. 
A pontoon bridge is not a very substantial structure, therefore any 
regularity of step would tend to sway it from its moorings. 

We then marched along the bank of the river in an easterly 
direction about half a mile, and halted ; whereupon the colonel was 
asked by General Gibbon if he could deploy his whole regiment as 
skirmishers at once, and being promptly answered that he could, he 
was directed to do so. The ground in front of us was a flat un- 
obstructed plain of considerable extent, where every man of the 
regiment could be seen as he deployed. On our right was a 
Vermont regiment and on our left a Pennsylvania regiment, also de- 
ployed as skirmishers. These three regiments constituted the 
skirmish line of the Left Grand Division, and it advanced firing at 
will and slowly driving back the rebel skirmishers toward their main 
body. After dark we arrived at the Bowling Green road, which, 
being a sunken road, afforded us protection from the enemy's fire. 
Here we remained all night as a picket guard for the First Corps. 
The regiment was divided into three reliefs, each of which was sent 
out in turn some distance beyond the road and within talking dis- 
tance of the rebel pickets. 

During the night the enemy set fire to some buildings near by, 
illuminating a considerable extent of country, while hundreds of men 
of both armies swarmed to the fences to watch and enjoy the sight. 

All night long we could plainly hear the sound of axes in the 
enemy's camp, which we subsequently learned were being used in the 
preparation of obstructions against our advance in the morning. 

While we were deployed as skirmishers a captain of one of the 
companies observed a man who, up to this time, had always failed 


1862. to be present on any important occasion, endeavoring to 

escape to the rear, when he called out in a loud voice, 

" C , get into your place, and if you see a ' reb,' shoot him 1 " 

— "Shall I shoot rig/if at him?" whined C . A few minutes 

later he disappeared and was not seen again until the " surgeon's call " 
was established in camp, some days later. An incident happened 
shortly after our skirmish line returned to the Bowling Green road that 
afforded us a good deal of amusement. The boys had just started 
fires for coffee when a young officer, whose new uniform suggested 
recent appointment, approached and with arbitrary voice ordered the 
fires to be put out, at which the colonel exhibited an asperity of 
temper that surprised us, who had never seen him except with a per- 
fectly calm demeanor. Our experience on the picket line had taught 
us how to build fires without attracting the attention of the enemy, 
and we liked it not that a young fledgling should interfere with our 
plans for hot coffee. . The colonel's remarks were quite sufficient for 
our guidance, so we had our fires and our coffee too, while the officer 
went off about his business. 

Another incident occurred to add interest to the occasion. Our 
pickets, as already stated, were so near to those of the enemy that 
conversation was easily carried on. One of the rebel pickets was 
invited to come over and make a call, though the invitation may 
have appeared to him very much like the spider to the fly. After 
some hesitation and the promise that he would be allowed to return 
he dropped his gun and came into our line and was escorted to one 
of the fires, where he was cordially entertained with coffee and 
hardtack, probably to his great delight, inasmuch as coffee and hard- 
tack were not so abundant in the South as to allow a distribution of it 
as an army ration. " If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; overcome him 
with good." Fill him with lead, good lead, was what we tried to 
do most of the time. After he had enjoyed our hospitality as long as 
he dared, he returned. On the following day, while we were halted 
at the Bernard house, who should be brought in a prisoner but this 
same man, who was greeted with shouts of welcome and friendly 
shakings of the hand. Some years after, one of the regiment, while 
travelling in Ohio, became acquainted with a man tarrying at the 


1862. same hotel. After supper the two sat down to talk, and 

very soon the conversation drifted to the war, when it was 
discovered that each had served in the army, though on opposite 
sides. The Southerner, learning that his new-found acquaintance was 
a member of the Thirteenth, remarked that it was a rather singular 
coincidence, for " I was entertained by that regiment once at Fred- 
ericksburg, and a right smart lot of fellows they were ; " and then he 
told what has been, in substance, related here. As our comrade 
was present at that battle, and a member of the company that did 
the entertaining, he was perfectly familiar with the facts, whereupon 
mutual expressions of pleasure followed and an adjournment for 
"cold tea." 

About 9 o'clock in the forenoon we were again de- 
Saturday, ployed as skirmishers, and ordered to advance over the 
Dec. 13. fence into the damp clayey soil of the ploughed ground 
beyond, the enemy firing and slowly retreating. 

" If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white, 
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight; 
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight. 
An' wait for supports like a soldier. 
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier." 

Our batteries were speedily brought into position, and began shell- 
ing the woods, while the enemy's guns, in turn, opened upon us. 
We were between two fires, and the greatest caution was necessary to 
prevent a needless loss of life. Very soon we were ordered to lie 
down as close as possible to the earth in the soft clay, rolling over on 
our backs to load our guns. We were now engaged in the very 
important service of preventing the enemy from picking off the men 
of Hall's Second Maine Battery, then engaged in shelling the enemy, 
from a position slightly elevated in our rear. In order that this 
battery might do as effective work as possible, it was ordered to point 
its guns so as to clear us by one foot. This was a terrible position to 
be in. An earnest protest was sent back to Captain Hall, asking him 
to elevate his pieces, or every man of us would be killed. Suddenly 
a shell or solid shot from this battery struck the cartridge-box of one 
of the boys while he laid on his stomach. Some of our number 


i86a. crawled out to where he lay and dragged him in. He 

lived about six days, having been injured in the hip. 
It was bad enough to be killed or wounded by the enemy, but to 
be killed by our own guns excited a great deal of righteous in- 

About one o'clock a general advance was ordered. Those on the 
left moved first, then came our brigade. As skirmishers, we ad- 
vanced in front of our division until the firing became so rapid that 
we were not only of no advantage, but interfered with the firing of 
our troops, so we were ordered to lie close to the ground while our 
troops passed over us. Toward night we were withdrawn to the 
Bernard house, which had been turned into a hospital, and re- 
plenished our empty boxes with ammunition. 

Our losses were three men killed, one officer and twelve men 
wounded, making a total of sixteen. 

As we were withdrawn from the skirmish line to the rear our ap- 
pearance excited a good deal of mirth among the old soldiers, who 
knew too well what rolling round in the mud meant, for we were 
literally covered with the clayey soil that stuck to our clothing like 
glue. We had had a pretty hard time of it, as after each time we 
fired, we turned over on our backs to reload our guns. Hours of 
this work had told on our appearance as well as our tempers, so that 
when some of the men of a new regiment asked us why we didn't 
stand up like men and fight, instead of lying down, we felt very 
much like continuing the fight in our own lines, to relieve the irri- 
tation we were suffering. 

To be thrown out as skirmishers in front of a line of battle, the 
observed of all observers, seems more dangerous than when touching 
elbows with your comrades in close order, but as a matter of fact 
it is not generally attended with so great loss. It is a duty requiring, 
when well done, nerve and coolness on the part of both officers and 
men. You are at liberty to protect yourself by any means that may 
be afforded, such as inequalities of the ground, a bush, a tree, a 
stump, or anything else that you may run across as you advance. 
The fire which you receive is usually from the enemy's skirmishers, 
and is less effective than when directed toward an unbroken line. 


1862. You are supposed to load, fire, and advance with as near 

perfect coolness and order as you can command, because 
on that depends the amount of execution you are able to perform. 
It is no place for skulkers, as every man is in plain sight, where his 
every movement is watched with the closest scrutiny. As soon as 
the skirmish line of the enemy is driven back, the main line advances, 
and very soon the battle begins in earnest; whereupon the skir- 
mishers form in close order and advance with the rest of the line, 
except in cases, like the one just related, when it was necessary to 
replenish the boxes with ammunition. 

We had acquired a good deal of proficiency by constant drilling 
for many months in this particular branch of the tactics, long before 
we were called upon to put our knowledge into practice. We 
growled a good deal at the colonel in the early days of our service 
for his persistence, but we had already realized how valuable a lesson 
he had taught us. There were occasions, as will be seen later on, 
when this kind of service was very dangerous ; but, as a whole, our 
losses on the skirmish line were lighter than some other regiments, 
and we think it is not unfair to attribute the fact to the thorough 
instruction we had received. It was the old story, — the oftener a 
man does a thing, the better he can do it. 

So far this month we had suffered from the cold and from frequent 
snow-storms, but this night (the 13th) was bitter cold, and the suffer- 
ings of the wounded must have been very great. 

About 2 o'clock this morning we were turned out, 
Sunday, drew rations, and marched to the left to support 
Dec. 14. Doubleday's division — no more sleep! Our position 
was behind a little rise of ground, partially concealing us 
from the enemy's sight. One of the boys, spying a rebel sharp- 
shooter in a tree picking off our men, crawled out to the ditch 
beside the road, and with careful aim sent him to join his friends in 

The ground about where we lay was strewn with railroad iron and 
shells whose imperfect fuses had prevented their explosion. During 
the day while the boys were lying asleep, making up for lost 
time, cries of " Fire, ! " were heard. Upon waking we saw the 


1862. blazing grass creeping rapidly toward us. There was in- 

deed cause for alarm, for if the fire reached the unex- 
ploded shells that laid about the ground in our very midst, a good 
many of us might meet with the death we hoped to escape. It took 
but a moment to take in the situation. It was a question of sleeping 
with our comrades or "sleeping with our fathers." Much as we 
respected our ancestors, we preferred the companionship of those 
about us, therefore some bent their energies to removing the shells 
out of reach, while others devoted their efforts to putting out the 
fire, which work was finally accomplished without any one being 

The following account" of our doings in this battle is taken from 
the report which Colonel Leonard, commanding the brigade, made to 
the division commander : 

In obedience to orders, we crossed the river at the head of the brigade, beyond 
the Bernard mansion, when the regiment was deployed as skirmishers, crossing 
the entire left flank to the river. After advancing about half a mile, crossing a 
ravine, the direction was changed to the right, and the left wing brought up 
toward the Bowling Green road. When approaching near it, the enemy's pickets 
were discovered posted in the road. They slowly fell back as we advanced, and 
possession of the road was gained without firing a shot, covering the front of the 
brigade, and extending nearly a quarter of a mile to the left, when we joined the 
pickets established by General Meade's division. The regiment remained in that 
position all night. 

About 9 A.M., Saturday, the I3tb, General Meade's division changed position 
to the right, and were placed with the front resting on the road, when I asked to 
have my left wing rallied to the right, which was granted. Before the movement 
was completed, an advance was ordered, and the right wing was moved to the 
front about five hundred yards, into an open field, where the enemy's pickets were. 
They fell back as we advanced, exchanging shots, to the woods in our front. This 
ground was held until i P.M., when the ammunition was exhausted. At that 
time the brigade was advanced over the line of skirmishers toward the woods, 
and we were ordered to the rear to get ammunition, when the engagement 
became general. The skirmishers were assembled on the right and left, and 
retired in good order. I remained on the left of the line of skirmishers, covering 
Hall's Battery, with four companies, until there appeared to be a general retreat, 
when I marched them to the rear, near the Bernard mansion, and re-formed the 
regiment and obtained a supply of ammunition. 

ITie following extract is from a report made by the adjutant to the 
State authorities of Massachusetts : 


i86z. Enclosed please find list of casualties for Dr. Dale, which I am 

happy to state is the smallest of any regiment I have heard of in 
the division. The regiment crossed, without any loss, in the night — or rather 
recrossed — on the isth, leaving the left wing in front of the rebel lines without a 
man knowing we were moving. All the pickets came safely across before sunrise 
on the 1 6th, and rejoined us on the march at an early hour. When we first crossed 
on Friday, the I2th, at an early hour, the brigade was at once advanced in front 
of the division, and the Thirteenth deployed and advanced as skirmishers. We 
finally met them, and they at once began to retire over a large plain, with here or 
there a clump of trees, until they arrived at the skirt of the woods, extending a 
distance nearly covering the front of the brigade. We got a fine position on a 
road fronting them with a ditch parallel, and there we picketed all night, having 
a third of the regiment on, and relieved every two hours. 

No shots were exchanged that night in our front. Very hasty cups of coffee 
were drank that morning by the boys, and every officer and man in the regiment 
was tired enough to sleep, had time been granted ; but before noon the brigades 
were formed in line of battle, and skirmishers pushed forward to the brow of a 
slight declivity, the rebels retiring into the woods, and the crack of the skirmish- 
ers began. All the brigades advanced, over the fence and ditch and remained 
lying down. Our right connected with Meade's division, and the left with 
Doubleday's Pennsylvania Reserves. The right of the brigade was the Eighty- 
eighth Pennsylvania, who broke, and came near breaking up the next, of Jones'; 
but General Taylor got them in, and then we remained for a few hours under the 
cross-fire of several batteries. Our men laid very close and kept up a brisk fire 
on the rebels, who gave them no show, except by the flash or smoke of their 
rifles. We suffered very little, as the shot went over and struck in the rear regi- 
ments. That was a time to show the metal of the men. The continuous thug of 
the bullets, as they struck around every man as he rose up to fire, and the fact 
that there were less than three hundred men in front of three brigades, every 
man's actions to be seen by those in the rear, and not knowing anything but what 
was going on in front, proved the grit of what remains of our regiment. At the 
general advance, shortly after noon, our regiment began to fire as rapidly as they 
could from kneeling position, until the brigades advanced over them and com- 
menced the battle in earnest, as the press has it. The Thirteenth was ordered to 
rally upon their reserve of two companies, and sent nearly half a mile to the rear 
for ammunition, which they got, after a long time, and the brigade had mostly 
fallen back, and formed on us. By what miracle our men escaped no one can 
tell, but certain it was that on our recapitulation to-day (17th) the regiment can 
account for every man but two, who were, doubtless, deserters, as they were not in 
the fight. The Twelfth Massachusetts, I think, passed us, went into the woods, 
crossed the railroad, and met with a murderous fire, both from their masked bat- 
tery and the rebels, who were piled tier on tier behind felled trees and felled 
woods. We are the largest regiment in the brigade (314 for duty) by some fifty 


i86a. The following extracts are taken from the report of 

Brig.-Gen. Nelson Taylor, in whose brigade we served : 

On the morning of the 13th, by direction of Brigadier-General Gibbon, com- 
manding division, I formed line of battle south of and parallel to the Bowling 
Green road, about two miles south-east of Fredericksburg, Va. This was executed 
under cover of the Thirteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, then deployed 
as skirmishers. My command was arranged as follows (Thirteenth Regiment, 
Massachusetts Volunteers, deployed as skirmishers), commencing from the right 
of the line: First, Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers; second. Ninety- 
seventh New York Volunteers; third. Eighty-third New York Volunteers; fourth. 
Eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. Having the line formed, I was then (about 
9 A.M.) ordered to advance it to within about 300 yards of the skirt of a wood 
covering a range of hills immediately in our front and the grading of the 
Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad. 

In the execution of this order I drew the fire of the enemy, whom I found 
strongly posted in force in the wood and behind the railroad track. The 
skirmishers being within good range, a lively fire was kept up by them with effect 
on both sides. The line not being in range, I caused the men to lie down, to 
avoid as much as possible the efifect of the enemy's artillery, which had opened 
upon my line from right to left. 

At I P.M. I was ordered to advance my line, which I did, to within a short 
distance of the wood, when the whole line became briskly engaged. The enemy 
seemed to concentrate the most of his fire on the two regiments on the left of 
my line (the Eleventh Pennsylvania and Eighty-third New York), which, from 
casualties and other causes, soon melted away, when the Second Brigade, com- 
manded by Colonel Lyle, was advanced and took their places on the left of the 
regiments on the right (the Ninety-seventh New York and Eighty-eighth Penn- 
sylvania), which regiments were marched a short distance to the right to make 
room for and unmask the advancing line. 

The troops, generally, composing this brigade displayed a great deal of bravery 
and courage. 

Maj.-Gen. John F. Reynolds, who commanded the First Corps 
on this occasion, complimented our brigade for having performed its 
movements without confusion. 

We are pleased to mention that Brigadier- General Gibbon, in his 
report, pays a handsome compliment to the Twelfth Massachusetts 
for its gallant conduct at this battle, and they certainly deserved it. 


1862. Lieut.-Col. William F. Fox, in his book of statistical 

tables of losses during the war, selects three hundred 
regiments as being what he esteems " fighting regiments." He says 
that this number 

Includes every regiment in the Union armies which lost over one hundred and 
thirty in killed and died of wounds during the war, together with a few whose 
losses were somewhat smaller, but whose percentage of killed entitles them to a 
place in the list. 

His argument for this arbitrary designation is 

That in the long run, active ser\ace brings its many scars. Where the musketry 
was the hottest, the dead lay thickest; and there is no better way to find the 
fighting regiments than to follow up the bloody trail which marked the brave 

Notwithstanding the rhetorical varnish with which he has polished 
his statement, it still remains a piece of sophistical argument. It is 
a military axiom, or ought to be, that war should be carried on to 
do the greatest possible injury to the enemy with the least possible 
danger to one's self. A man must have little appreciation of the 
qualifications necessary to constitute a " fighting regiment " to select 
three hundred out of the long- list of regiments that did honorable 
service, because they had the misfortune to lose more than one hun- 
dred and twenty-nine men killed and died of wounds. Two regi- 
ments standing side by side may show equal valor, yet meet with 
very unequal losses. Indeed, there were instances during the war 
where regiments showing little valor, on particular occasions, suffered 
most in their losses. 

We refer to this matter, which is not very important, perhaps, for 
the reason that among his three hundred fighting regiments he selects 
three out of the four that composed HartsufPs brigade, omitting the 
fourth one because it did not come up to his standard. It is fair 
to say that three better fighting regiments did not exist than the 
Ninth New York, the Eleventh Pennsylvania, and the Twelfth Massa- 
chusetts. It is also fair to say that the Thirteenth, which is the one 
omitted from HartsufTs brigade, shared with the others their battles, 
their privations, and their hardships ; but a person reading Colonel 


1862. Fox's list might reasonably infer, if he gave the statement 

any consideration at all, that some disquaUfication existed 
to prevent the Thirteenth from being classed with its associates. Our 
number killed was one hundred and twenty- two, eight short of the 
number required to be in the list of " fighting regiments." 

1 Remained quiet until night, when the brigade received 

Monday, an Order to detail two hundred and fifty men, in two 
Dec. 15. parties, for picket duty. The detail was made from the 
Eleventh Pennsylvania and the Thirteenth Massachusetts, 
and was ordered to relieve the sharpshooters, that were formed a 
mile to the left. As the firing between the pickets ceased, the men 
one by one dropped off to sleep. 

About 2 o'clock this morning we were awakened by a 
Tuesday, cavalryman who notified us that the rest of the army 
Dec. 16. jjg^jj crossed the river, and that we must hasten to 
the bridge as quickly as possible. The work of with- 
drawing the troops had been conducted so quietly that this was 
the first intimation we received of what had been going on. The 
knowledge that we were in a very dangerous position lent an activity 
to our muscles they rarely felt on approaching an enemy. For- 
tunately for the success of our movements a strong wind was blowing 
toward the north. 

Though close to the river we were two miles from the bridge, and 
in order to reach it we had to make a detour that took us within a 
hundred rods of the rebel pickets. A good deal of caution, was 
therefore required to prevent the movement from being discovered. 

At the bridge we found General Franklin waiting to see the last 
of the pickets safely across. 

The pontoon bridge was immediately removed, and within half an 
hour the rebel cavalry were at the banks of the river where the 
bridge had been fastened. 

We marched two or three miles and then went into camp with the 
brigade. Having pitched tents and made ourselves as comfortable 
as possible, the men gathered round the fires to cook their coffee 
and resume discussion of the battle and their commanders ; which, 
by the way, was somewhat severe. Whatever criticisms may have 


1862. been made on Bumside on account of the foolishness of 

this battle, we wer? ready to acknowledge that he and 
his officers deserved credit for the skill shown in getting his troops 
back across the river without further loss. 

The following extract from Palfrey's story of Fredericksburg states 
so accurately our own experience that we venture to quote it : 

Those who have been in battle know how much and how little thejr saw and 
heard. They remember how the smoke and the woods and the inequalities of 
ground limited their vision when they had leisure to look about them, and how 
every faculty was absorbed in their work when they were actively engaged; how 
the deafening noise made it almost impossible to hear orders ; what ghastly sights 
they saw as men and horses near them were torn with shell; how peacefully the 
men sank to rest whom the more merciful rifle-bullet reached in a vital spot; how 
some wounded men shrieked and others lay quiet ; how awful was the sound of 
the projectiles when they were near hostile batteries; how incessant was the sing- 
ing and whistling of the balls from rifles and muskets ; how little they commonly 
knew of what was going on a. hundred yards to their right or left. Orderly 
advances of bodies of men may be easily described and easily imagined, but 
pictures of real fighting are and must be imperfect Participants in real fighting 
know how limited and fragmentary and confused are their recollections of work 
after it became hot. The larger the force engaged, the more impossible it is to 
give an accurate presentation of its experiences. We can follow the charge of 
the six hundred at Balaklava, from which less than one in three came back 
unharmed, better than we can follow the advance of Hancock's five thousand at 
Fredericksburg, from which not quite three in five came back unharmed. And 
Hancock's advance was only one of many. " Six times," says Lee, " did the enemy> 
notwithstanding the havoc caused by our batteries, press on with great determi- 
nation to within one hundred yards of the foot of the hill, but here encountering 
the deadly fire of our infantry, his columns were broken, itnd fled in confusion to 
the town." 

There was a strong impression among the men of the Thirteenth 
that General Franklin had not given that cordial support to General 
Bumside that became a general who was determined to win. As we 
retreated to the north bank of the river, crestfallen and disgusted, 
very emphatic expressions of condemnation were made on his ap- 
parent lack of sympathy with Bumside's movement. The following 
is the order sent to General Franklin about which there has been so 
much criticism : 


i86a. Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Dec. 13, 1862, 5.55 P.M. 
Major-General Franklin, Commanding Left Grand Division, Army of the 
Potomac : 

General Hardie will carry this despatch to you, and remain with you during the 
day. The general commanding directs that you keep your whole command in 
position for a rapid movement down the old Richmond road, and you will send 
out at once a division, at least, to pass below Smithfield, to seize, if possible, the 
heights near Captain Hamilton's on this side of the Massaponax, taking care to 
keep it well supported and its line of retreat open. He has ordered another 
column of a division or more to be moved from General Sumner's command up 
the plank-road, to its intersection with the telegraph road, where they will divide, 
with a view to seizing the heights on both of those roads. Holding those two 
heights, with the heights near Captain Hamilton's, will, he hopes, compel the 
enemy to evacuate the whole ridge between these points. I make these 
moves by columns distant from each other, with a view of avoiding the possibility 
of a collision of our own forces, which might occur in a general movement during 
the fog. Two of General Hooker's divisions are in your rear, at the bridges, and 
will remain there as supports. 

Copies of instructions given to Generals Sumner and Hooker will be forwarded 
to you by an orderly very soon. 

You will keep your whole command in readiness to move at once, as soon as 
the fog lifts. The watchword, which, if possible, should be given to every com- 
pany, will be " Scots." 

I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Chief of Staff. 

General Franklin says that in the state of facts existing when it 
was received, "General Bumside's order, though incongruous and 
contradictory on its face, admitted of but one interpretation ; viz., 
that he intended to make an armed observation from the left to 
ascertain the strength of the enemy, an interpretation also given to 
it by both of my corps commanders." 

About 9 A.M. we marched twelve miles to Fletcher's 
Friday, Chapel, situated on the road to the Potomac River, and 
Dec. 19. went into camp on land of Mr. Bowie, where we stayed 
until January 20. 

The camp was laid out with the usual regard to company streets, 
but instead of relying upon tents for protection, houses were built in 
accordance with the ingenuity and fancy of the occupants. Some 


1862. were one story and others two stories in height, while 

others were mere "dug-outs." The shelter tent sup- 
plied the roof. 

In building huts, the following method was generally pursued : 
The work was begun by excavating about two feet of earth and 
laying a floor of trimmed cedar poles, lining the underground walls 
with matched green logs of cedar and pine, continuing the walls 
about two feet above the ground. On this frame was pitched the 
tent, the size of the hut depending on the number of occupants ; as 
each man contributed one piece of tent, it was easy to distinguish the 
number of tenants by looking at the roof. The earth that was re- 
moved was used to bank up the outside of the walls. In each hut 
was built a fireplace, around which we could sit or cook. The 
chimney was made of green sticks, cob-house style, plastered inside 
■with mud-mortar. In some instances barrels or cracker-boxes, lined 
with red clay, were used as chimneys. It will be seen by this that a 
fair degree of comfort was attained, though here and there a chim- 
ney smoked with exasperating annoyance to the occupants. 

This camp presented a striking contrast to our other camps this 
winter, where huge log-fires were built in every company street, 
around which we gathered for warmth. Now the streets were almost 
deserted, though it frequently happened as you turned out for roll- 
call in the morning, that your sluggish nature would be awakened 
into activity by a snowball, just to remind you of school days. 

Details were made for guard, for chopping wood, and to assist in 
building corduroy roads, while picket duty and drilling came in for 
their share of consideration. 

Belle Plain Landing was three miles away, and details were often 
made to go to that place for suppUes. Apples could be bought 
there, three for twenty-five cents. How many apples could you buy 
at this price on the munificent salary of thirteen dollars per month? 
was the question that excited the mathematicians of the regiment. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, December 22, 1862. 
To THE Army of the Potomac: 

I have just read your Commanding General's preliminary report of the battle 
■of Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful, the attempt was not an 


1862. error, not the failure other than an accident. The courage with 

which you, in an open field, maintained the contest against an en- 
trenched foe, and the consummate skill and success with which you crossed and 
recrossed the river, in face of the enemy, show that you possess all the qualities 
of a great army, which will yet give victory to the cause of the country and of 
popular government. Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympa- 
thizing with the severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is 
comparatively so small. 

I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation. 


Christmas came but no stockings were hung up — except to dry. 
On the 30th we were reviewed by General Taylor, and on the same 
day Maj.-Gen. John C. Robinson took command of the division, to 
the disgust of General Taylor, who shortly after resigned. 



1863. New Year's day brought forcibly to mind that our ser- 

Thursday, ^^^ ^f tjjjge years was about half completed, though the 
Jan. I. remaining eighteen months seemed a long look ahead. 

The regiment had been reduced from 1,038 to less than 
350 men, the number now mustered at roll-call. Nearly all of this 
reduction had occurred during the last five months. Counted in 
with this reduction were the men who were detailed at brigade, divi- 
sion, or cqrps headquarters, performing services for which they had 
some special qualification, while a considerable number of the rank 
and file had received commissions as officers in other regiments. 
Officers' luggage had been so reduced that the distinction in rank 
was much less marked than during the early part of our service. 
Instead of one hundred men, some of the companies had only twenty 
to twenty-five. The officers of a company were little better off than 
the men, and as time wore on the difference became still less, while 
the hardships and privations increased, as will be seen farther along. 

Having made our huts as comfortable as possible, we settled down 
for the winter, glad enough at the prospect of a respite, as we fondly 
imagined, from marching and fighting. Some of the boys had taken 
great pains in the construction of their huts, particularly in building 
fireplaces and other conveniences for their comfort and pleasure. 

As long as the sutler remained with us, and our credit continued, 
we managed to live luxuriously, as compared with our experience of 
the last four months. We could always procure sugar and lemons 
from the sutler, to which we added water; and when our efforts 
were successful, a little stimulant, for the " stomach's sake." 

We had work enough during t;he day, chopping wood, policing 
camp, guard duty, etc., to keep us from despising our leisure. 
Our evenings were spent in reading or playing cards, or, as it often 


1863. happened, in dropping into each others' huts for a chat 

or to hear the latest news. Newspapers were exchanged 
and their contents discussed. The published letters from corre- 
spondents were always read with interest, particularly those which 
related to our own corps. 

The qualifications of general officers, and plans of battles, were also 
freely discussed. Songs were sung and gossip repeated. At some 
of these camp-fires curiosity would often be expressed to know what 
had become of those shirks and bummers who believed with the 
Holy Writ that " a living dog is better than a dead lion." We had, 
like other regiments, some curious specimens of this genus, and our 
narrative would be incomplete without relating something about these 

There was one in particular whose blundering ways, when recalled, 
afforded a good deal of amusement. He was about as much of a 
soldier as a hen, and his careless, bungling habits caused a good deal 
of friction in the daily life of some of us. No soldier likes to have 
his calves used as a door-mat for the feet of the man behind him. 
The champion of all offenders in this respect was a man who was 
called by the sweet name of " Molasses." He was thrust upon us 
the day before we left Fort Independence. No one knew him before 
he joined the regiment, and only one man sought his acquaintance 
afterward. He was homely in appearance, unshapely in form, 
awkward in. gait, and as ignorant and dirty a slouch as could be 
found. His gait was like that of a man who, having spent his life in 
a ploughed field, could not divest his mind of the idea that he was 
still stepping over furrows. He was about fifteen years older than 
the rest of us, and his manly breast was undisturbed by a single thrill 
of patriotism ; each corpuscle of blood, as it flowed from his heart, 
carried to the remotest extremity of his body one desire, — "Put 
money in thy purse." His mercenary and penurious spirit prompted 
him to increase his income by the sale of small wares to his comrades, 
who despised him for his unsoldier-like thrift. He was generally 
absent when his services were needed, so that the man whose name 
was next on the list had to take his place, which always happened 
when the duty was unusually hard or dangerous, as occasionally 


1863. happened at the end of a long march. With all these 

failings he had, to a remarkable degree, the God-given 
instinct which is said to be one of the qualities of the war-horse, — he 
could snuff the battle from afar, and took advantage of this gift by 
absenting himself at a time when it was difficult, afterward, to say 
absolutely whether it was cowardice or his wandering spirit that 
prompted him to " light out," as could have been determined if he 
had waited until the last moment. Just before we went into the 
battle of Manassas, having been too closely watched to enable him 
to disappear, he stopped to tie his shoe, and never returned to the 
regiment again. When we were small boys and saw the troops in fine 
uniforms marching through the streets, it seemed a glorious thing to 
be a soldier. In our youthful imagination every man who carried a 
gun was a hero, but after having one's heels trod on and the calves 
of one's legs kicked by the muddy feet of a man who had no rhythm 
in his soul, there didn't seem to be quite so much of a heroic halo 
surrounding the soldier as we had pictured. Therefore we were 
glad he never came back. 

Another specimen we had was " Smoothbore." If there was 
a man in the regiment who had fewer instincts of cleanliness 
than this man he will lose the opportunity of being recorded in 
these pages. Smoothbore acquired his sobriquet from that antiquated 
and useless arm called the smooth-bore musket. The likeness of the 
two, so far as usefulness went, was such that the name stuck to our 
hero. He was bitterly opposed to the use of water in any way but 
internally. The men of his company, with the authority of the cap- 
tain, once undertook to wash him, and it required a considerable 
force to carry out this laudable purpose. When his clothes were re- 
moved he was found to be as dirty and lousy as a saint under pen- 
ance. Having succeeded in getting him into the brook, they 
procured some flat stones and scrubbed him until he looked like a 
boiled lobster. In consequence of his struggling, — so the boys ex- 
plained to the captain in answer to Smoothbore's complaint of hard 
usage, — some of his hide, that was too thin to stand the chafing, 
came off with the dirt. It was a useless piece of work they did, for 
the experience intensified his prejudice against the use of water, which 


1863. he never after used externally. Just before the battle of 

Manassas he deserted, carrying with him an inexhaustible 
supply of the pediculus vestimenti. He was so melancholy and self- 
ish that we were glad he also had departed. 

We had great pleasure in recalling these old heroes, who had 
escaped death so many times by keeping out of danger. 

The " shirk " whose history we are about to relate did not desert. 
He neither " struck for the flag " nor " struck for home." He stayed 
with us for three years, because it required more energy than he 
possessed to desert, and because he led a peaceful and contented life 
in spite of his being in the army. He was one of those taken into 
the regiment to fill up the quota of a company as we were about 
leaving home. Though an enlisted man he never did any duty as 
such, preferring the primrose paths of a pampered menial where 
there was plenty to eat and little to do. He must have had a good 
deal of shrewdness to have succeeded for three years in escaping the 
duties for which he enlisted. He could whine to perfection, and 
very early in his service he acquired a reputation for being absolutely 
worthless for any duty requiring courage or exertion — the position 
of hostler filling his ambition. At one time, being out of a job as 
hostler, he sought admission to the hospital ; but the doctors would 
not have him occupying a bed, nor would they employ him in any 
capacity, sending him back to his company. He was useless in his 
company, as he was elsewhere, so he was turned out and told to " Go to 
the devil ; go anywhere ; but )'ou can't stay with us." He became 
attached to the wagon-train, where he spent the rest of his service, 
doing as little as possible. 

Soon after the regiment was discharged, concluding that he was 
unfitted for the active duties of a man who had to earn his living by 
the sweat of his brow, he entered that haven of rest called the alms- 
house. This step was not taken, however, until he had thoroughly 
tested the capacity of his friends in supporting him. 

He had superior qualifications for a pauper's life, — contentment, 
perfect health, a good appetite, and excellent digestive organs. Un- 
fortunately for him his appetite was a little too good, as it excited 
the animosity of the cook, and through her the selectmen of the town. 


1863. It often happens in country towns, when the question 

of reducing the taxes is agitated, that the selectmen call 
round to the almshouse to see if the butcher's bills cannot be trimmed 
down a little, for, as Ben. Franklin said, " A penny saved is a penny 
earned." Now, when they learned what an appetite our old hero 
had, and listened to the grumbling of the cook, they determined to 
bounce him out of his comfortable nest ; but to turn an old soldier 
out into the cold world meant something in a community where 
every soldier was a hero. The selectmen knew the women would 
have made it hot for them if they tried it. So they reflected ; and 
in a quiet way they began to question him about his past life, and in 
what towns he had paid taxes, until they discovered a flaw in his 
settlement in the fact that his enlistment was credited to another 
town. They could hardly repress their fiendish glee at this dis- 
covery, and promptly notified the other town of the fact, with the 
request that they must provide for him. Then followed a long dis- 
pute, which ended, at last, by his removal. The authorities of the 
town to which he was removed were dismayed at the prospect of 
supporting him in idleness for long years to come, and would have 
rebelled but for the sentiment which the women of this town kept 
alive for the old soldier, as they do in other towns in the State, with- 
out regard to his worth as such. 

.After the matter was finally settled the question arose as to 
whether or not some income might be obtained toward his support ; 
whereupon the authorities paid his expenses to Boston to hunt up 
some of his old comrades to see if they couldn't aid him in procur- 
ing a pension, and this is how our interest in him was renewed. We 
were much interested when he informed us of the purpose of his 
visit; but a disability mustbe found before papers could be made 
out. This was a difficult thing to do, as his three years of service 
had been passed in continuous tranquillity, remote from danger. He 
was asked to mention some accident or sickness that by a possible 
stretch of the imagination might be construed as having affected 
him. When asked if he ever had any pains he said, " A year or two 
ago I had a pain in my back." — " What do you think was the cause 
of that ? " we inquired. This was a poser. Though he couldn't look 


1863. into the future, he still held his grip on the past ; so he 

slowly carried- his mind back twenty- four years to a day 
when riding on the ammunition wagon, he recalled that it suddenly 
stopped, throwing him forward with his hands resting on the haunches 
of the mule in front of him, from which position he allowed that 
he pushed himself back into his seat without difficulty. He felt 
nothing at the time, nor, indeed, until twenty-two years had passed. 
What an ideal life this man must have led, that it was necessary to 
go back twenty-two years to find cause for a passing pain in the back ! 
We looked at this hero, as his mind went back to the stirring scenes 
of the war, and noticed how gently time had dealt with him. His 
fat round body and rosy cheeks showed the value of regular habits, 
with plenty of food and sleep, and nothing to do. It was hard lines 
for us to do it, but we broke it to him as gently as possible by telling 
him that, instead of the government owing him anything, he owed the 
government a pension. He then left us and returned to the alms- 
house. The case didn't end here, for a committee of the selectmen 
came to Boston at the town's expense, to interview members of his 
regiment and to urge his claim, saying it was the duty of his old 
comrades to assist in obtaining a pension, which would help the town 
in its support of him. These worthy men, after listening to our re- 
fusal, and our statement that he w;as a disgrace to the regiment, had 
the effrontery to say it was our duty to support him, and lectured us 
on our lack of feeling for an old comrade-in-arms, adding that they 
should always remember what a contemptible set of men composed 
the Thirteenth Regiment. 

As long as there are women in that town, we needn't worry about 
his support, for they will look after this old hero, and shower upon 
him all the blessings their tender sympathies can suggest. 

After we have all joined " the innumerable caravan " that Mr. Bryant 
wrote about, he will still be living — probably the last surviving mem- 
ber of his regiment. By that time the women of his town will cry, 
" For shame ! to keep an old scarred veteran in the almshouse ! " 
They will possibly hold an annual " fair " to provide money for his 
maintenance in some respectable family where he can have comfort 
and liberty. On festive occasions he will be trotted out as the brave 


1863. soldier who made great sacrifices that the country might 

be saved. On Memorial day he will be carted round in 
a carriage, and the orator will point to him with feelings of pride as 
" a glorious old relic, whose deeds of valor in the War of the Re- 
bellion shed a lustre on the town," and the crowd will respond with 
long-continued applause. When he is ninety years of age, perhaps 
some giddy young woman, burning with desire to be a soldier's bride, 
will marry him, and in the year two thousand and something she 
may be drawing a widow's pension for services her husband was sup- 
posed to have rendered in the nineteenth century. Stranger things 
than these have happened. 

When old soldiers see the tender solicitude that women sometimes 
display for the shirks and bummers, those lilies of the army who 
toiled not, neither did they fight, it provokes some rather unchari- 
table remarks, not at the motive which prompts the kindness, but the 
useless waste of sympathy showered on such specimens. If this 
statement meets the eyes of one of these tender-hearted women, she 
will be shocked, of course. When we see these fellows sailing along 
under false colors, the recipients of charity intended for worthy but 
unfortunate soldiers, we cannot help thinking of those old days when 
every man was expected to do his duty, particularly when that duty 
was fighting, as Farragut said, and recalling how ingenious were some 
of the devices practised by these fellows to rid themselves of disa- 
greeable or dangerous service. The surgeons of the army could tell 
some funny stories of their experience, and the officers and men of 
every company could relate some also. It is not a pleasant thing to 
criticise exhibitions of well-meant, though indiscriminate generosity ; 
but it is a fact that every man had a record of some kind, with which 
the members of his regiment are familiar, and it ought not to be a 
very difficult thing to obtain the facts. These men should be weeded 
out from association with deserving ones. 

In a regiment of men you will meet all shades of character. 
The generous and the frugal, the obliging and the surly, the con- 
scientious and the unscrupulous, the brutal and the gentle, the 
cheerful and the dejected, are all bunched together in closest 
intimacy. Some may be found full of merriment, overcoming trials 


1863. and privations with abundance of good-nature, while 

others are so despondent that nothing ever seems right. 
Men are to be found who are always ready to do a kind action, and 
others who will impose on the good-natured to the utmost limit. The 
varnish of poUteness and affability which one acquires by mingling 
with society soon disappears from a man who takes his place in the 
rank and file of an army. So long as he does his duty he may be as 
disagreeable as he pleases, without violating an army regulation. 
Education and bringing up may assist in concealing one's natural in- 
stincts for a while, but in the end a soldier stands with his comrades 
for just what he is. If a man's inclination is to bully, it will show 
itself in a thousand ways ; if he is selfish, it will be discovered at the 
first drawing of rations ; if lazy, at the first call of duty ; if he lacks 
courage, he will endeavor to shirk the first danger that threatens. 
You see human nature just as it exists where men are unrestrained by 
any civilizing influence. Among the human parasites that infest the 
army was the soldier who was forever sponging on his fellows. Suc- 
cess as a bummer varied according to the abilities and ingenuity of 
the individual, but, as a rule, he failed when his reputation as such 
became established. We had a man in marked contrast to the 
characters we have just described, whose merits were so superior to 
any man of his class we ever saw, that it is not extravagant to say 
that he was equalled by few and surpassed by none. He was the 
most agreeably lazy man we ever saw, hating work as intensely as a 
tramp. There was only one duty he would do without urging, and 
that was fighting. He had no lack of courage, was handsome 
and intelligent, well educated, a fine singer, of a genial disposition, 
and to crown all, was gifted with as persuasive a tongue as any mor- 
tal ever had. Until the beginning of the war his father had been a 
man of wealth, and consequently our hero was never required to do 
anything for which he had a disinclination. Beginning at Fort 
Independence, he continued through his service to borrow from 
everybody that had a dollar which could be inveigled, and never 
thought of returning it, though his temperament was so sanguine 
that he easily convinced his creditors, as he did himself, that he 
could shortly pay the loan. Additional loans were often received 


1863. from creditors who protested in advance that he had bor- 

rowed their last dollar. You might be provoked with him 
for not returning the borrowed shekels, and scold him well for the neg- 
lect, but he would appear so genuinely sorry at the delay that you felt 
like offering an apology for reminding him of his obligation. He was 
a pleasant addition to any group, and a place was always cheerfully 
made for him round a fire. He had an extensive acquaintance with 
books, and could argue without offence, acknowledging the superiority 
of his opponent's argument with an amicability that was charming. 
He never, like most of us, received a box from home, yet always ob- 
tained a liberal share of others'. He never carried a pipe, tobacco, or 
match, yet he always had his smoke, even whentobacco was very scarce ; 
and to top all, he generally found some one to do any disagreeable duty 
he wished to be rid of. When the service of the regiment was com- 
pleted he was supported by his fnends. His old comrades contributed 
liberally to his wants, occasionally provided him with clothes, took 
him to the theatre or to dinner, or to both, were always glad of his 
company, and would be delighted to shake him by the hand again, 
though it would be an expensive pleasure. Nature never intended 
him for work, and he never attempted to violate the scheme laid out 
for him by the planets that controlled his destiny. Oddly enough 
this man with so many attractive qualities acquired the inharmonious 
nickname of " Chuck" from his habit of always saying " chuck it," 
when you had anything to give him, rather than exert himself to 
move out of his position to reach for it. His acquaintance was one 
of the luxuries of our army life, and we think "Chuck" was worth 
all he cost. 

Some of our young readers — supposirig, of course, that we have 
young readers — may wonder why we do not say something about the 
heroes of the regiment. The fact is that brave men, men who only 
needed an opportunity to distinguish themselves, were as plenty as 
huckleberries. It is not the men whose names appear the oftenest 
in the newspapers that are the greatest heroes or the most cour- 
ageous men. In truth, every soldier knows that some pretty poor 
specimens have acquired renown by pushing themselves forward in the 
daily press. When a boy, sitting beside us at a regimenUl dinner. 


1863. asks who such a man is that is making so much fun, whom 

we recognize as among the best of soldiers, we like to sit 
down with that boy and tell him what we have seen that man do at a 
critical moment, and what we know about the brave deeds of other men 
that he sees about him. We have purposely refrained from mentioning 
in our story the names of anybody, through fear of omitting some name 
entitled to honorable mention that we cannot recall while writing. It 
was one of the curious things about men of exceptional daring and 
courage that they generally looked upon every other fellow as being 
equally so. We know men in the Thirteenth — and it is the same with 
other regiments — with a record that every man who respects courage 
and fortitude under trying circumstances would be glad to take off 
his hat to when meeting them on the street, but only their comrades 
know what soldiers they were. You never hear them mention the fact, 
for they see nothing heroic in anything they did themselves, while 
they imagine that every other man did something better. 

Just as soon as we became comfortably settled in winter quarters 
we found it necessary to devote our surplus energy to hunting that 
sample of the Divine workmanship scientifically known as the 
" Pediculus humanus." He is a wonderful little chap, satisfied to 
live in Stygian darkness, hiding himself and all his family from the 
closest scrutiny. After an hour or two of the most careful examina- 
tion you replace your shirt satisfied that you have removed the last 
one, and inwardly gratified at your success, when, as if reading your 
very thoughts, he gives notice of your failure, and off goes your shirt 
again for another hunt. Away go all your New Year's resolutions. 
At last you come to realize that all your persistent efforts of cleanli- 
ness and watching will not ensure your continuous freedom from this 
disgusting little parasite. 

There was another bloodthirsty little wretch that bothered us a 
good deal in summer, and that was the " tick." Of course we had 
fleas, as might be expected when living in a tent no bigger than a 
dog-kennel, but the tick was a real enemy that did business on busi- 
ness principles. If you caught him in the act and brushed him 
away, as you supposed, he simply dropped his body, as one would a 
knapsack, and with his head firmly imbedded under your hide, would 


1863. continue to increase and multiply, as the Bible requests 

mankind to do, until very soon you would become tortured 
with a most disagreeable irritation, often likely to become very serious 
and occasionally resulting in lameness for weeks. What with lice, 
ticks, centipedes, earwigs, etc., there was food for reflecting how 

" God moves in a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform.'" 

In spite of all these drawbacks we did get some pleasure out of life. 

By aid of the newspapers we kept as well-informed as the rest of 
the world, while letters and papers from home supplied fresh material 
to be repeated at some other fireside than our own. 

We all had our ideas of running a campaign, and freely criticised 
the plans of our commanders, wondering why a private soldier had 
so much more sense than a general. 

Of course we were busy every day with drills, guard duty, fetching 
our supply of wood, which had to be hauled two or three miles, and 
the building of corduroy roads, so that when evening came we were 
glad to fill our pipes and stroll into other quarters until tattoo, 
when we answered to our names and then turned in for the night, 
hoping no " long roll " would turn us out before morning. 

In building huts for winter quarters, opportunity was afforded 
for the exercise of such ingenuity or fancy as the boys possessed. 
Some were satisfied with the simplest arrangement that could be 
made, while others spent time and labor to perfect a habitation that 
in comparison to some others suggested the luxurious. As in each 
case the roof was the shelter tent, there was some uniformity in 
appearance, the size of the roof indicating the number of occupants. 
Some dug into the ground for space, and others into the air. Some 
were two stories in height, and a few were dug into the hill-side. All 
pretty nearly represented the degree of comfort the occupants de- 
sired. Each was provided with a chimney made of barrels or boxes, 
according to circumstances. 

Orders were received to march. We were told that 

January ao. we were to cross the river once more and engage in an 

effort to turn the right wing of the enemy. Possibly 


1863. Bumside was ii^ possession of information that led him 

to believe this could be done, though we did not believe 
it. As will be seen, this turned out to be a " holler mockery." 

We had become fairly well settled in what we supposed would be 
permanent winter quarters, so we were not moved to mirth or joy on 
receiving the order to march. In answer to our inquiries of what 
was up, we were informed that we were to cross the river and attack 
the right wing of the enemy posted on the opposite bank. It was 
said that Burnside had received information that the enemy had 
become so weakened by the withdrawal of troops, that a victory 
might be gained with the possibility of our marching on to Richmond. 
The breaking up of our camp was attended by the usual destruction 
of things that had contributed to our comfort and pleasure. Some 
of the huts were burned, and a general scene of disorder prevailed as 
we left the spot. About noon we started and marched in a westerly 
direction ten miles, to Stoneman's Switch, where we halted for the 
night. This was the beginning of what has since been known in war 
literature as " Bumside's mud march." We had sampled from time 
to time the "sacred soil" of Virginia, but in the wildest dreams of 
our imagination we had seen no mud like this. As usual, after a 
few weeks of continuous camp life, our knapsacks had assumed a 
plethoric appearance out of keeping with the hard work before us. 
When a soldier leaves a camp such as ours had become, he has to 
consider what he will throw away. Idleness is what fattens a knap- 
sack. A soldier generally starts with a good deal more than he can 
carry, but his back, which is master of the situation, soon brings him 
to terms, and after a day or two the luxuries disappear. 

Somehow or other we got separated from the other regiments in 
the brigade, and didn't succeed in finding them until night, and then 
it was raining hard. As there was no wood to be had we could build 
no fires ; and therefore no coffee ; nor could we find sticks on which to 
pitch our tents, so our guns were forced to do duty in their place. 

If some ministering angel had happened round about this time 
with a barrel of hot whiskey, well flavored with lemon-peel and sugar, 
it is doubtful if any soldier would have said, " Get thee behind me, 
Satan ! " There may have been one or two, or even three or three 


1863. and a half men, whose powers of articulation would have 

become so paralyzed at the thought as not to be able to 

exclaim with the rest of us, " Down with rum ! " though we doubt it. 

It rained hard at daylight, and so reveille was skipped. 

Wednesday, Every drop of rain deepened and liquefied the mud. 

January 21. Surely such a sight was never before seen as an army 

struggling to make headway in such a mess. Batteries 

and wagons could be moved only by doubling the number of horses, 

and even then it frequently happened they became fast imbedded in 

the mud. As they moved along in their jerky and twisting way, the 

axle-trees would scrape the top of the soil. 

Toward noon we started again, and after six hours of dreary labor 
we made only four and a half miles. As we marched along the road 
we saw displayed by the enemy on the opposite bank of the river 
placards bearing the words, " Burnside's army stuck in the mud." Not 
only that — we were jeered at by the " rebs," who were highly pleased 
at our efforts in puddling. Add to it the mortification of finding 
our powder wet, one can form some idea of our hopeless condition. 

At the end of our four and a half miles the order was given to 
halt for the night, and it came none too soon. No wonder the 
" Mud march " has become one of the historical episodes of the war. 
We remained quiet all day. The pitiable condition of 
Thursday, the army must have shown the uselessness of attempting 
January 22. a movement against the enemy at such a time. We re- 
ceived half-rations last night, and being encamped near a 
forest, were able to get wood for fires, and so managed to make life 
endurable. Fence rails had become very scarce. As the warmth of 
the fires stole over the boys, they began, as usual, to turn their misery 
into fun, though there was nothing very hilarious about it. 

We got away at 8 A.M. and waded back through the 
Friday, mud to our camp at Fletcher's Chapel, a distance of 
January 23. fourteen miles. It was a hard day's work, but the boys 
were encouraged by the fact that each step shortened 
the distance to our supplies. We soon forsook the road for the fields 
and woods, wading brooks and jumping ditches, glad at any progress 
toward the camp we left on the 20th. 


1863. We found the camp in a sorry condition, from the rain 

and the disorder in which we left it. Those of us who 
destroyed our huts when we left this spot on the 20th felt badly 
enough as we gazed on the ruins. 

The camp was soon restored to a moderate degree of comfort ; 
fires were lighted and coffee made, whereupon there ensued a lively 
discussion on the monumental stupidity of our recent movement. If 
a general officer could have been present, unseen, at a gathering of 
private soldiers round a camp-fire after a battle, or after a movement 
such as the one we have just described, he would have heard some 
plain, instructive talk. We were pretty unanimously of the opinion 
that " Old Abe " had better appoint a private soldier to run the next 
campaign. As our huts assumed a condition of comfort, like Jove, 
we smoothed our wrinkled fronts, and settled down to another period 
of camp life. 

The following graphic account of the " Mud march " campaign is 
taken from Swinton's " Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac :" 

The point at which General Burnside resolved this time to essay the passage of 
the Rappahannock was Banks' Ford (not then fordable), about six miles above 
Fredericksburg. As, however, the enemy had a force in observation at all the 
practicable crossings of the Rappahannock, and as there was no possibility of 
making preparations for the passage at any one point with such secrecy that he 
should not become aware of it, it was resolved to make feints of crossing at sev- 
eral distinct points, both above and below Fredericksburg, and these mark the 
real intent. Accordingly, new roads were cut through the woods to afford the 
readier access to the fords, batteries were planted, rifle-trenches were formed, and 
cavalry demonstrations along the line ; and these manifestations were made im- 
partially at a variety of points. 

The weather and roads had been in excellent condition since the battle, and on 
the 19th of January, 1863, the columns were put in motion with such secrecy as 
could be observed. The Grand Divisions of Franklin and Hooker ascended the 
river by parallel roads, and at night encamped in the woods at convenient distance 
from the fords. 

But during the night a terrible storm came on, and then each man thought that 
the move was ended. It was a wild Walpurgis night, such as Goethe paints in 
" Faust." Yet there was brave work done during its hours, for the guns were 
hauled painfully up the heights and placed in their positions, and the pontoons 
were drawn down nearer to the river. But it was already seen to be a hopeless 
task ; for the clayey roads and fields, under the influence of the rain, had become 


1863. bad beyond all former experience, and by daylight, when the boats 

should have been on the banks ready to slide down into the water, 
but fifteen had been gotten up — not enough for one bridge, and five were 
wanted. Moreover, the night operations had not escaped the notice of the wary 
enemy, and by morning Lee had massed his army to meet the menaced crossing. 

In this state of facts, when all the conditions on which it was expected to make 
a successful passage had been baulked, it would have been judicious in General 
Burnside to have promptly abandoned an operation that was now hopeless. 
But it was a, characteristic of that general's mind (a characteristic that might be 
good or bad according to the direction it took) never to turn back when he had 
once put his hand to the plough ; and it had already more than once been seen 
that the more hopeless the enterprise the greater his pertinacity. The night's 
rain had made deplorable havoc with the roads; but herculean efforts were made 
to bring pontoons enough into position to build a bridge or two, withal. Double 
and triple teams of horses and mules were harnessed to each boat; but it was in 
vain. Long stout ropes were then attached to the teams and a, hundred and 
fifty men put to the task on each. The effort was but little more successful. 
Floundering through the river for a few feet, the gang of Liliputians, with their 
huge-ribbed Gulliver, were forced to give over, breathless. Night arrived, but 
the pontoons could not be got up; and the enemy's pickets, discovering what was 
going on, jocularly shouted out their intention to "come over to-morrow and help 
build the bridges." 

Morning dawned upon another day of rain and storm. The ground had gone 
from bad to worse, and now showed such a spectacle as might be presented by the 
elemental wrecks of another deluge. An indescribable chaos of pontoons, 
vehicles, and artillery encumbered all the roads, — supply-wagons upset by the 
roadside, guns stalled in the mud, ammunition-trains ruined by the way, and 
hundreds of horses and mules buried in the liquid mud. The army, in fact, was 
embargoed ; it was no longer a question of how to go forward — it was a question 
of how to get back. The three days' rations brought on the persons of the men 
were exhausted, and the supply-trains could not be moved up. To aid the return, 
all the available force was put to work to corduroy the rotten roads. Next 
morning the army floundered and staggered back to the old camps; and so ended 
a movement that will always live in the recollection of the army as the " Mud 
march," and which remains a striking exemplification of the enormous difficulties 
incident to winter campaigning in Virginia. 

In a note the statement is made that '' the nature of the upper 
geologic deposits of this region affords unequalled elements for bad 
roads, for it is a soil out of which, when it rains, the bottom drops, 
and yet which is so tenacious that extrication from its clutch is next to 


1863. It is not an exaggeration to say, that before or after, 

there was seen no such state of demoralization as pos- 
sessed a large part of the Army of the Potomac at the end of this 
foolish undertaking. On our return march, men were seen straggling 
back to their camps, cursing everything and everybody. Strewed 
along the road lying in the mud could be seen knapsacks, guns, and 
equipments, thrown away by men thoroughly disheartened by fatigue 
and hunger ; the very men who had fought uncomplainingly a few 
weeks before, as indeed they would do again when their confidence 
and spirits were restored, had become more incapacitated by the 
terrible condition of the roads than by a battle. 

When the papers of January 20 reached us, the first item about 
the Army of the Potomac that caught our eyes was headed, " A 


NEWS MAY BE EXPECTED SHORTLY." The " Mud march " was finished, 
and we could gaze on this announcement with unruffled tempers, 
being in a thankful mood. Our experience suggested that this might 
be a witticism, for the struggle through the mud was both stirring 
and desperate. In the papers of the 19th the statement was made : 
" On to Richmond again ! — It is now deemed certain that General 
Burnside is by this time across the river, and the rebels are skedad- 
dling inland." " Brag " is a good dog, but " Hold Fast " is a better. 
Some of the boys suggested that these papers be sent to General 
Lee as an item of news, but when we thought of the disgraceful 
predicament we had been in, squirming about in the mud like so 
many eels, we concluded not to do so. 

It was when Burnside took command of the Army of the Potomac 
that we first saw the " Butterfly cavalry," a regiment from New 
Jersey, clothed with a uniform of such gorgeousness that " Solomon 
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." The jacket was 
elaborately and fantastically adorned with yellow cord, and buttons 
in numerous rows down the front, up the back, around the collar, and 
along the sleeves, so that the wearer appeared as though he had 
robbed a United States mint. The trousers were slashed to the knee, 
like those often worn by Mexicans, and were also trimmed with a pro- 
fusion of cord and buttons. The hat was built like the shako, only 


1863. it lacked the visor to complete the likeness, and was lib- 

erally decked with tassels and cord. " Button, button ! 
Who has the button ? " was the cry that saluted their ears when they 
made their appearance. As each man carried a lance with a red 
pennant attached, they would have made a conspicuous mark for the 
enemy had they been called upon to do any fighting. Bedizened as 
they were with metallic buttons that tinkled when they moved, these 
men were of no use as vedettes, where absolute stillness is often re- 
quired ; so some of them were assigned for duty as a body-guard to 
General Burnside, and the remainder as a provost-guard, to drive 
along the men who straggled on the march. During this " Mud 
march " campaign they had plenty of work to do in keeping the men 
together, and they attempted it so energetically and so offensively 
that instead of " Butterfly cavalry " they were henceforth hailed as 
"Turkey-drivers," and whenever they appeared shouts of " Gobble, 
gobble, gobble ! " would be heard from one regiment after another 
as they passed along. There was no end to the ridicule and sarcasm 
that was showered upon them by the whole army, until they changed 
their brilliant uniform for the more appropriate one worn by the 
cavalry corps. Shortly after this campaign they became part of the 
cavalry corps under Custer and others, and probably did good service. 
General Burnside having requested to be relieved from 
Monday, the command of the Army of the Potomac, the following 
January 26. ^^der was issued : 

General ORnERSi Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

No. 9. / Camp near Falmouth, Va. 

Jan. 26, 1863. 

By direction of the President of the United States, the Commanding General 
this day transfers the command of this army to Maj.-Gen. Joseph Hooker. 

The short time that he has directed your movements has not been fruitful of 
victory or any considerable advancement of our lines, but it has again demon- 
strated an amount of courage, patience, and endurance that under more favorable 
circumstances would have accomplished great results. Continue to exercise these 
virtues, be true in your devotion to your country and the principles you have 
sworn to maintain, give to the brave and skilful general who has so long been 
identified with your organization and who is now to command you, your full and 
cordial support and cooperation, and you will deserve success. 

In taking an affectionate leave of the entire army, from which he separates with 


1863. so much regret, he may be pardoned if he bids an especial farewell 

to his long tried associates of the Ninth Corps. 
His prayers are that God may be with you, and grant you continual success 
until the rebellion is crushed. 

By command of Major-General Burnside, 


Assistant Adjutant- General, 

The following remarkable letter from President Lincoln needs no 
explanation, though it seems strange that General Hooker should 
have taken pride in it, as it is said he did : 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, D.C, Jan. 26, 1863. 
Major-General Hooker: 

General : I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. Of 
course I have done this upon what appears to me to be sufficient reasons, and yet I 
think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which I am not 
quite satisfied with you. I believe you to be a brave and skilful soldier, which, of 
course, X like. I also believe you do not mix politics with your profession, in which 
you are right. You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable, if not an in- 
dispensable quality. You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does 
good rather than harm ; but I think that, during General Burnside's command of 
the army, you have taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as 
you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country and to a meritorious 
and honorable brother officer. I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your 
recently saying that both the army and the government needed a dictator. Of course 
it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only 
those generals who gain successes can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is 
military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The government will support you 
to the utmost of its ability, which is neither more nor less than it has done and 
will do for all commanders. I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to 
infuse into the army, of criticising their commander and withholding confidence 
from him, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put it 
down. Neither you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out 
of an army while such a spirit prevails in it. And now beware of rashness. Be- 
ware of rashness, but with energy and a sleepless vigilance go forward and give us 


Yours very truly, 


A good deal of confidence was restored by the appointment of 
General Hooker — or " Fighting Joe," as the boys called him. 


1863. Once more we were in receipt of papers, and as they 

covered the time we were absent from camp we learned 
that the right and left wings of our army were in motion. The papers 
announced on the 2 2d the following : " Highly important if true ! — 
Rumors of a terrible battle on the Rappahannock ! — Rebels out- 
flanked by Sumner ! — General Hooker mortally wounded ! — Gen- 
eral Burnside again crossed the Rappahannock and a terrible battle is 
being fought." Yes, a terrible battle with " mud " had been fought, 
but as to the rest. Dame Rumor lied, as she frequently does. However, 
newspapers always brought us something to talk about. Very little 
the rank and file knew about movements of the army except what 
was learned through the newspapers. There were occasions, to be 
sure, when men of average intelligence could guess very near the 
truth when opportunities were offered for observation, but generally 
we knew little about what another corps in our army might be doing 
until we saw it recorded in the papers. Once in a while a cor- 
respondent would visit us, when we were sure to be written up, and 
as the accounts were generally favorable we were pleased when they 
appeared. As the larder of a private soldier was not extensive, we 
left their entertainment to the officers. Our impression is, the officers 
did their hospitable work well. 

During the winter we had the same variety of weather as prevails 
in New England, — snowing and freezing followed by rain and 
thawing. When the ground was not frozen it was mud more than 
ankle-deep, making the roads almost impassable. On the 2 2d of 
February we had a severe snow-storm, the snow being three feet 
deep in some places. The horses suffered more than the men. 

It was while encamped at Fletcher's Chapel that we received the 
first order respecting corps badges, a description of which will be 
seen by the following circular : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

March 21, 1863. 

For the purpose of ready recognition of cofps and divisions of the army, and 

to prevent injustice by reports of straggling and misconduct through mistake as 

to their organizations, the chief quartermaster will furnish, without delay, the 

following badges to be worn by the officers and enlisted men of all regiments of 


1863. the various corps mentioned. They will be securely fastened upon 

the centre of the top of the cap. The inspecting officers will at all 
inspections see that these badges are worn as designated. 

First Corps — a sphere : red for the First Division ; white for the Second ; blue 
for the Third. 

Second Corps — a trefoil: red for the First Division; white for the Second; 
blue for the Third. 

Third Corps — a lozenge : red for the First Division; white for the Second; blue 
for the Third. 

Fifth Corps — a Maltese cross: red for the First Division; white for the Second ; 
blue for the Third. 

Sixth Corps — across: red for the First Division; white for the Second; blue 
for the Third. (Light Division, green.) 

Eleventh Corps — a crescent ; red for the First Division; white for the Second ; 
blue for the Third. 

Twelfth Corps — a star : red for the First Division; white for the Second; blue 
for the Third. 

The sizes and colors will be according to pattern. 

By command of Major-General Hooker, 


Acting Adjutant- General. 

The division was reviewed by General Hooker to-day. 
Thursday, He was good enough to pay the Thirteenth a compli- 
April 2. ment, requesting the colonel to repeat it to us. It 
served to strengthen the good-will we already held for 
him, and made us long for an opportunity to show him that we 
could act as well as we appeared. 

From this time to the last of April we continued in camp at 
Fletcher's Chapel, attending to the usual routine of duties incident 
to camp life, such as guard- mounting, drilling, inspection, outpost 
duty, cutting and drawing wood, and fetching water. As a good deal 
of the wood had been cut away near us, we were obliged, before 
winter was over, to go nearly half a mile down the stream for a 
supply, lugging it on our shoulders to camp. The camp was situated 
on a point of land east of the residence of a Mr. Bowie, between 
two small streams running north and uniting a few hundred yards 
beyond. We had reviews by General Robinson and occasionally by 
other ofBcers. On such occasions we shined and brushed up, that 
we might make as good an impression as possible. For amusement, 


1863. advertisements were inserted in some of the Northern 

papers, asking for correspondence with some young lady 
of matrimonial inclinations ; to which the first mail brought about a 
peck of answers that were distributed among the boys. The same 
thing was done the previous winter while we were encamped at Wil- 
liamsport. At that time answers came by the bushel. It was as- 
tonishing how many young women were so inclined. We got a good 
deal of fun out of this, which offset the disappointment that was 
experienced in "poker." 

Ovens were built for baking bread, so that we lived on "soft- 
bread ; " the size of each loaf being such that one was a day's ration 
of bread to each man. A single oven furnished the bread for a brigade, 
and was built as follows : Having first levelled and smoothed a place 
about eight or ten feet square, two half cylinders of sheet iron, four 
feet in diameter at the base line, were placed on the spot prepared, 
one end of the cylinder having a chimney attached. These semi- 
cylinders were short, so that you could lengthen or shorten your oven 
by attaching or detaching extra cylinders, the size of the oven 
depending on the number of men to be provided for. Having got 
the ovens in place, they were then covered with a foot or two of 
earth. By this means the men were provided with fresh bread each 
day. The bread was good while it was new, and made an agreeable 
change. A great improvement was noticed at this time in all our 
rations. In addition to this, we had condensed milk and other 
luxuries from the sutler, and occasionally boxes from home. Fresh 
meat was provided, and if you could make a deal with the butcher, 
you might secure a beefs liver or a heart ; but as these were his 
perquisites, only the wealthy — men successful at poker — lived on 
liver, as the demand far exceeded the supply. The last week in 
February the chaplain arrived from Boston, bringing news and letters. 
As he came into camp the boys crowded round him shouting, " What 
came ye out for to see?" It amused the chaplain that we should 
recollect his old text. His joyous nature always brought a lot of sun- 
light into camp when he returned from one of his trips away. 

Whether or not it was due to General Hooker, we are unable to 
say, though he was credited with it, an improvement in the quantity 


1863. and quality of our rations was noticeable upon his taking 

command. The harsh criticisms that were excited under 
Bumside by the tormenting pangs of an empty stomach were now 
undergoing the mellowing influence of abundance, which added very 
much to Hooker's popularity, always strong in the Army of the Poto- 
mac, with whom he was very much of a hero. The Army of the 
Potomac, while under Bumside, had become so demoralized by short 
rations and the severity of the " Mud march " campaign, that deser- 
tions were of daily occurrence, as we noticed by the list of names 
that were read at dress parade. To offset this complaint a liberal 
number of furloughs were granted and with better rations confidence 
was soon restored. 

Up to this time the ofificers had been allowed to retain wall tents, 
but the following order deprived them of that luxury and forced them 
into shelter tents. Opportunity had been afforded them from time 
to time, by non-arrival of the regimental wagons, to test their grace- 
fulness in diving into a shelter. 

Headquarters Thirteenth Mass. Vols., 
April 1, 1863. 

Company commanders, in accordance with previous orders, will turn into the 
A. B. Q. M., on or before 11 A.M., April 2d, all wall tents, flies and poles, and 
all other surplus camp and garrison equipage. 

One shelter tent will be furnished to each commissioned officer. 

Transportation (for line officers) will be furnished for five-mess kits only. 
Rations, cooking utensils, and all other appurtenances of each mess must be 
properly packed in one case not larger than a hard-bread box. 

Trunks will not be carried, neither blankets nor shelter tents, on wagons. 

Company books and blanks will be well packed in strong boxes and distinctly 
marked — the boxes to be of the size of company clothing books, and not over five 
inches deep in the clear. 

The pack mules will carry one shelter tent, two wool and one rubber blanket 
for each officer, also (if possible) the officer's rations needed on the march. 

Transportation to Washington will be furnished for all surplus private baggage, 
under charge of an officer detailed from the brigade. 

The government still retained confidence in the private soldier's 
determination not to carry more than he wanted. 


1863. The First Army Corps was to-day reviewed by Presi- 

Thursday, (jgjjt Lincoln, Secretary Stanton, and others. At an 
^" ^' early hour the regiment moved down below Belle Plain 
Landing, toward the Potomac, and formed in line on a 
large meadow skirting the river. Very soon other divisions and 
brigades arrived. While waiting for the reviewing party we had a 
game of ball, to the no small amusement of the lookers-on. Others 
strolled down to the river, until at last the beating of drums hurried 
us all back, and very soon we were all in line at " present arms." 
Though motionless as a board fence, our eyes were following the 
motions of " Old Abe." The President was not a handsome man as 
the world judges " good looks," but he was a man of such abundant 
honesty, such kindness of heart and simpUcity of manners, that one 
forgot his appearance in the great qualities of the man himself. His 
presence inspired more confidence among the soldiers than all the 
generals put together, and every man felt better for having seen him. 

The Thirteenth had the right of the line, and was therefore the 
first to march by the President. We appreciated a place so con- 
spicuous, and every man, as he marched along, did his best to merit 
the approbation the regiment received. 

As we marched past the reviewing-stand, we noticed the affection- 
ate and pleasing manner of Mr. Lincoln, as he was instructing his 
young son, "Tad," who was mounted on a pony beside him, how to 
return the salute of the officers who were marching in line. 

Having passed the reviewing-stand we were ordered to " double- 
quick," and then wheeled to the left and halted. An opportunity 
was thus afforded to watch the measured tread of the long line 
that followed us. It was a grand and inspiring sight, and one long 
to be remembered. 

After the review was ended the regiment was sent out on picket. 

When the newspapers containing an account of the review reached 
camp a few days after, it was a pretty poor soldier of our regiment 
that didn't feel a thrill of pleasure on reading the following : 

In the grand review of the First Army Corps, yesterday, the Twelfth and 
Thirteenth Massachusetts regiments elicited high commendations by the precision 
of their movements. 


1863. This was a hard day's work for us, as we had a long 

march to the reviewing-point, then back to camp, where 
we arrived late in the afternoon, and afterward a good distance 
farther to the picket line, where we went on picket duty for twenty- 
four hours. 

The division was reviewed to-day by its commander, 
Friday, Gen. John C. Robinson, and other distinguished officers. 
April 13. Wg Tpere notified in advance that this was to be an unus- 
ual occasion, so the boys shined their buttons, brushed 
their coats, blacked their boots, and last but not least, adorned them- 
selves with paper collars purchased from the sutler. This prinking 
which the boys indulged in occasionally, just to remind them of days 
gone by, and which gave the regiment the sobriquet of " Band-box 
guard," reached the ears of Colonel Coulter, of the Eleventh Pennsyl- 
vania, who was bound to have a little fun at the regiment's expense. 
Now it happened that " Dick " Coulter was the owner of a brindle 
bulldog called " Sally," who was famous throughout the brigade for 
her intelligence, and had a habit of sticking close to the colonel's 
heels when not restrained. On this occasion she was decked with a 
white paper collar round her neck labelled " 13," and a white glove 
fastened on each paw. During the whole of the ceremony " Sally" 
trotted about in plain sight, a most ludicrous object, affording a deal 
of amusement to all who witnessed it. In spite of this ridicule the 
regiment made a fine appearance, and received the praise of Gen- 
eral Reynolds, who liked neatness and orderly appearance in the 



1863. Broke camp and marched in a drizzling rain seven 

Tuesday, miles toward the Rappahannock, halting within a mile or 
April 28. ^^ ^j j.|^g j.j^gj. ^,gjjjn^ a piece of woods. We were full of 

surmises as to where we were going, though it turned out 
to be the Chancellorsville campaign. For a while the papers dropped 
"All quiet on the Potomac," and substituted " On to Richmond." 

Orders were received from General Hooker for the men to take 
eight days' rations. We had frequently carried five days' rations, 
but this was the first time we were called upon to lug a quantity like 
that. The consequence was that the overflow from our haversacks 
was stowed away in the knapsacks. 

At 2 o'clock this morning we were turned out, and by 
Wednesday, four were moved out of the woods about half a mUe and 
April 29. halted in an open field. Heavy firing was heard up the 

river, in front and below. While we remained here a 
band of ninety-one rebel prisoners were marched by us, in appear- 
ance more like tramps than soldiers. They were captured by the 
first division of our corps. At 1 2 o'clock we were marched out in 
full view of the river. From our elevated position could be seen the 
whole plain where we fought on the 13th of December. The position 
occupied by us then was now held by the Sixth Corps, and a mile 
below could be seen the first division of the First Corps, their arms 
gleaming in the sunlight, while the open field in front was dotted 
with skirmishers lying low, to present as small a mark as possible to 
the enemy. On a house opposite could be seen the Union sharp- 
shooters, their heads peeping over the ridge-pole. It was a beauti- 
ful day, the air balmy with the warm rays of the sun, which was shin- 
ing brightly on this warlike scene. We watched with interest the 
second and third brigades as they filed down to the pontoon bridge, 
where they halted and stacked arms. 


1863. National Fast day. Until 9 o'clock the heavy fog clung 

Thursday, ^.^ jj^g j-iygr, obscuring everything from sight. Firing was 
^" ^°' heard to the right in the vicinity of United States Ford, 
where the main portion of the army crossed. About 
noon we were summoned to "attention," and then, by brigades, 
closed en masse on the first brigade ; after which General Hooker's 
famous bulletin was read, saying that " the operations on the right 
had been a series of splendid successes, and that the enemy must 
leave his intrenchments and fight or ingloriously retreat," etc. Some 
cheering was given among the new troops, but the older ones were 
cautious about being too jubilant. Ranks were then broken, and the 
men collected in groups to discuss the bulletin or to drop asleep. 
An hour or so passed when a heavy report was heard in front, and 
suddenly a shell came whizzing through the air' to our right. All 
was bustle in a moment ; each man making for his place in the ranks, 
putting on his equipments as he ran. Then another shell came 
striking on the river, throwing up the spray which glistened in the 
sunlight, reflecting the colors of the rainbow, and then bounding 
along the plain into the ranks of the bucktails of the third 
division. Another struck near General Robinson's headquarters, 
while his men were striking tents. Another struck in the 
ranks of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania, tossing arms, equipments, 
and fragments of clothing, and possibly human bodies, in the 
air, in wild disorder. General Robinson's staff were mount- 
ing in hot haste, while batteries, now unlimbered, were re- 
plying. The Thirteenth was lying on the ground, some asleep, some 
playing cards, while others were intently watching the effect of the 
shells as they burst in the midst of other troops, quite well satisfied 
to be out of immediate danger, when a shell suddenly burst among 
us, and caps, haversacks, clothing, in a confused mass, were seen 
to fly out from the centre of the explosion. When the smoke 
cleared away, we found three mangled and bleeding bodies, — two 
commissioned officers and a sergeant. The officers were both 
dead, and the sergeant, whose body was hastily taken to the rear, 
was so badly injured as to necessitate the amputation of an arm 
and a leg. The regiment was ordered to the bluffs in the rear, 


1863. where there was a road with an embankment, by which 

some protection was afforded, though the shells were 
flying through the air thick and fast. In the two divisions exposed 
to the fire, eight or ten were killed and between forty and fifty were 
wounded, without a shot being returned by any of our troops except 
the artillery. 

Yesterday we laid quiet all day undisturbed, except 
Saturday, when batteries of artillery would gallop by us on the road 
May 2. to some threatened point of the line. 

At 4 o'clock this morning we were turned out by a 
general alarm, and preparations made to march. When the roll was 
called it was learned that we had in line 346 men, including officers. 
Orders were received for the First Corps, under General Reynolds, 
to take up its bridges and join General Hooker by way of United 
States Ford, and before 9 o'clock we were on our way. It was a 
beautiful day, but very hot, and the boys were full of hope and an- 
ticipations of soon meeting the enemy and wiping out the disaster of 
Fredericksburg. As we approached the river, the masses of fog that 
enclosed its banks were moving toward the sea, while here and there 
a house was peeping through the vapor as if struggling to be seen. 
Very soon the plain and forest could be distinguished, and shortly all 
was clear. As we came in sight of rebel batteries, they opened upon 
us without doing any damage. We passed the Sixth Corps on their 
way to the left — a movement made to deceive the enemy. From 
time to time, as we marched along, we met squads of rebel prisoners 
under the escort of Union cavalry, on their way to the rear. Tramp, 
tramp all day until nearly 8 o'clock at night, when we filed down be- 
tween the hills to the ford, which we crossed on pontoons, and then 
half a mile farther, when, tired and weary, we gladly received the 
order to halt for the night. Our bivouac fires were scarcely lighted 
and preparations made for sleep when the drums were sounded, 
followed by orders to "/a// in ! " and then "f-o-r-w-a-r-d, march >" 
and at a good round pace we started for Chancellorsville, wondering 
what had happened to necessitate this sudden change in our pro- 
gramme. Something serious, for mounted officers were hurrying 
about with orders urging forward the troops. We had not long to 


1863. wait, however, before we got some idea of the disaster 

which had overtaken the army. Very soon we saw men 
of the Eleventh Corps hurrying to .the rear, many of them panic- 
stricken with fear. Orders were received to drive back to the front 
all men who were not wounded. We knew so little beyond the 
sphere of our duty, that it was impossible to understand what the re- 
treat of the Eleventh Corps betokened, or what influence it might 
have on the fortunes of the Army of the Potomac. We had 
crossed the river with great hopes, a well- organized army, with such 
perfect confidence in our leaders, that what we now saw seemed 
surprising, and we were eager to know the meaning. The wildest 
confusion prevailed. Staff-officers and messengers were excitedly 
shouting to clear the road, that they might not be obstructed in their 
duties, or their haste impeded. " JIaU, there ! " " Where in h — 1 
are you going?" was frequently heard, followed by "Turn back, 
you cowards ! " While all this excitement was going on in the road, 
at each side was seen the equipment and supplies of a great army 
huddled together in bewildering disorder as if suddenly dumped from 
the sky. Ammunition wagons, hospital supplies, wagons loaded with 
food, horses and mules inextricably mixed, gun-carriages, black- 
smith's forges, pontoons, all packed together, while the men in charge, 
tired and weary, were lying unblanketed, their feet to smouldering 
fires, dead with sleep, insensible to the heavy roll of artillery or the 
tramp of infantry. It was a strange sight and a new experience to 
the Thirteenth, which had never before been in the wake of an army 
engaged in battle. Long years have not obliterated the impressions 
of that night. Along the road it was pandemonium ; on the side of 
the road it v/as chaos. 

Presently the sound of musketry was heard, and in a little while 
three Yankee cheers were heard, denoting successful resistance to a 
charge of the enemy, whereupon the boys started " GJory, Hallelu- 
jah ! " which passed along from brigade to brigade until the whole 
corps, apparently, were singing this stirring old war-song. Way was 
made for the ambulances, hurrying forward to bring off the wounded. 
It was evident we were nearing the line of battle, when an order was 
received to change our direction, which we did by turning sharp to 


1863. the right toward the EUey's Ford road, which we reached 

about 2 A.M. and halted, twenty-two hours after we were 
turned out in the morning, having marched about thirty miles. In 
spite of the efforts of officers to clear the road, our advance had been 
slow and tiresome. Notwithstanding fatigue and weariness, we began 
at once to build earthworks, as every man felt that his own safety as 
well as that of the army might soon be at stake. Knives, bayonets, 
plates, and dippers were enlisted, and by continuous activity sub- 
stantial breastworks were completed when daylight appeared. 

After the publicity we have given to the flight of the Eleventh 
Corps, and the remarks that were made to some of them on the 
way to the rear, it is no more than justice to quote the following 
statement from General Doubleday's narrative of the battle of Chan- 
cellorsville, with which statement we are in hearty accord : 

It is always convenient to have a scape-goat in case of disaster, and the Ger- 
man element in the Eleventh Corps have been fiercely censured and their name 
a byword for giving way on this occasion. It is full time justice should be done by 
calling attention to the position of that corps. I assert that when a force is not 
deployed, but is struck suddenly and violently on its flank, resistance is irn- 
practicahle. Not Napoleon's Old Guard, not the best and bravest troops that 
ever existed, could hold together in such a case, for the first men assailed are — 
to use a homely but expressive word — driven into a hitddle ; and a huddle can- 
not fight, for it has no front and no organization. Under such circumstances, the 
men have but a choice of two evils, — either to stay where they are and be 
slaughtered, without power of defending themselves, or to run; and the only 
sensible thing for them to do is to run, and rally on some other organization. 

The following graphic statement of our doings and position at this 
time is also taken from General Doubleday's narrative of ChanceU 
lorsville : 

At sunset the First Corps went into bivouac on the south side of United States 
Ford, about four miles and a half from Chancellorsville. The men were glad 
enough to rest after their tedious march on a hot day, loaded with eight days' 
rations. General Reynolds left me temporarily in charge of the corps, while 
he rode on to confer with Hooker. We heard afar off the sound of battle 
caused by Jackson's attack, and saw the evening sky reddened with the fires of 
combat; but knowing Hooker had a large force, we felt no anxiety as to the result, 
and took it for granted that we should not be wanted until the next day. I was 
preparing ^ piece of india-rubber cloth as a couch when I saw one of Reynolds' 


1863. aids, Captain Wadsworth, coming down the road at full speed. He 

brought the startling news that the Eleventh Corps had fled, and if 
y/e did not go at once, the array would be hopelessly defeated. We were soon on 
the road, somewhat oppressed by the news, but not dismayed. We marched 
through the thickening twilight of the woods, amid a silence at first only broken 
by the plaintive song of the whippoorwill, until the full moon rose in all its splendor. 
As we proceeded we came upon crowds of the Eleventh Corps fugitives still 
hastening to the rear. They seemed wholly disheartened. We halted for a time, 
in order that our position in line of battle might be selected, and then moved on. 
As we approached the field a midnight battle commenced, and the shells seemed 
to burst in sparkles in the trees above our heads, but not near enough to reach ns. 
It was Sickles fighting his way home again. When we came nearer and filed 
to the right to take our position on the EUey's Ford road, the men struck up the 
John Brown's song, and gave the chorus with a will. The cheerful demeanor and 
proud bearing renewed the confidence of the army, who felt that the arrival of 
Reynolds' corps, with its historic record, was no ordinary reenforcement. 

All day long we remained quiet in the earthworks 
Sunday, constructed by us in such haste, wondering at our 
May 3. inactivity. The enthusiasm of the First Corps had 

become so excited by what it had seen and by the fears 
of an impending disaster to the army, that it was eager to take an 
active part in the battle, the sound of which could be plainly heard. 
Nor was there a general in the Army of the Potomac better able to 
lead it to victory than its commander, Gen. John F. Reynolds, who 
was regarded by his corps with enthusiastic admiration; but the 
laurels reserved for the First Corps, under his command, were to be 
won elsewhere. 

During the day General Hooker rode along the line and was 
everywhere received with shouts of enthusiasm. 

As there were no indications of an attack to be made 
Monday, on our line, a reconnoissance was made by the Twelfth 
May 4. and Thirteenth Massachusetts regiments, and the Second 

Maine Battery, under the command of General Robinson, 
with orders not to bring on an engagement. After marching half a 
mile to the front, a halt was ordered, and four companies of infantry 
were deployed as skirmishers, when the column slowly advanced. 
The rebels being sheltered in the woods and thick underbrush, could 
not be seen. In this attempt seven men of the Thirteenth were 


1863. wounded, one of whom died a few days after.. It having 

been demonstrated by this movement that the enemy were 
still in force at this point, we returned to the earthworks. 

During the night the regiment was several times called to arms, 
while attacks were being made and repulsed on our right. 

Another day spent in the trenches. The weather was 
Tuesday, excessively hot until about 3 P.M., when a thunder- 
May 5. shower came up and drenched us to the skin. As the 
water poured into the trenches we were forced to evac- 
uate them until we could make them habitable by draining. As 
darkness came on, the showers were succeeded by a cold north-east 
storm, and through the long dreary night we sat on the edge of the 
trenches, ready to jump into them at the first alarm. Orders were 
received about 8 P.M. to retreat, and we marched about three miles 
when information was received that the river had risen to such a 
height as to make it impracticable for the army to cross ; so we 
marched back to the trenches, where we remained until 3 o'clock in 
the morning. 

Whatever the hereafter may have in store for us as punishment for 
our misdemeanors, we sincerely trust that credit may be given for 
this night of misery. In the three years' service of the regiment 
it would be difficult to recall a night that seemed longer or where 
there was more physical discomfort. Wearied and dejected, drenched 
with the cold rain, in expectation to move at any moment, we still 
stayed and stayed and stayed. 

While we were in the trenches, information was received that 
Stonewall Jackson was killed. It used to be a common saying in the 
Army of the Potomac that in order to reach Richmond we should have 
to go " over a Stonewall, two Hills, and a Longstreet." Something 
had therefore been accomplished for the Union cause by the battle 
of Chancellorsville, — we had got over the " Stonewall." The celerity 
with which General Jackson could move an army from one point to 
another was remarkable, and up to the time of his death his equal as 
an executive officer had not been seen. As an instance of his activ- 
ity we recall, when we were at Front Royal, watching his army march- 
ing along the mountain- side between the armies of McDowell and 


1863. Fremont, unmolested, — except for the feeble attack 

made by Shields, — and on the following morning at day- 
light attacking McClellan at Hanover Court House, an air-line dis- 
tance of more than ninety miles, as we learned by the newspapers 
two days after the event. It seemed incredible to us at the time, 
yet it was a fact. 

Orders came at last to move. At 3 A.M. we took up 
Monday, the line of march on muddy roads that were both 
May 6. sticky and sUppery, to the United States Ford, five miles, 

where we were to cross the river. Moving was better 
than sitting still and shaking to pieces with the cold ; but to walk on 
a road ankle-deep in mud, with the rain still falling, failed to lessen 
our misery very much. We finally reached the river without halting 
once, crossed on a pontoon bridge covered with pine boughs to 
deaden the sound, and then continued five miles farther, and halted. 
It was impossible to light fires, so the men munched their hardtack 
and raw pork, and lighted their pipes for a smoke. Some of the boys 
attempted sleep by sitting on knapsacks with their backs to a tree, 
only to tumble over in the mud when sleep overtook them. After 
falling into the mud a few times, a man's appearance was so ludicrous 
that even the most miserable could not restrain their laughter. It is 
under such circumstances as these that the elasticity of youth is so 
valuable. A man of fifty would have given up in despair. Little by 
little the spirit of fun was revived. Jokes on each other's appear- 
ance were bandied about, and songs at variance with our condition 
were sung with impromptu words. The irresistible desire for fun 
which possessed so many of the boys, often had a very bracing effect 
and restored some of the good-humor we had lost in the trenches, 
by which we escaped the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's 

The march was continued to Falmouth, nine miles farther, where 
we halted, and where we pitched our shelters for the night. A 
ration of whiskey was given each man, and then we wrapped our- 
selves in our wet clothes and blankets, and laid down to sleep. Dur- 
ing the night the rain came in such torrents that we were completely 
flooded out. Every article we owned was soaked with water, and of 


1863. course further sleep was out of the question. This was 

the time for Mark Tapley with his " Let us be jolly ! " 
The following congratulatory orders by Generals Hooker and Lee, 
respecting the battle of Chancellorsville, will be read with interest by 
all who took part in that campaign : 

General Orders, 1 

No. 49. J Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Camp near Falmouth, Va., May 6, 1863. 

The Major-General commanding tenders to this army his congratulations on its 
achievements of the last seven days. If it has not accomplished all that was ex- 
pected, the reasons are well known to the army. It is sufficient to say they were 
of a character not to be foreseen or prevented by human sagacity or resource. 

In withdrawing from the south bank of the Rappahannock before delivering a 
general battle to our adversaries, the army has given renewed evidence of its con- 
fidence in itself and its fidelity to the principles it represents. In fighting at a 
disadvantage, we would have been recreant to our trust, to ourselves, our cause, 
and our country. 

Profoundly loyal, and conscious of its strength, the Army of the Potomac will 
give or decline battle whenever its interest or honor may demand. It will also 
be the guardian of its own history and its own fame. 

By celerity and secrecy of movement, our advance and passage of the rivers 
were undisputed, and on our withdrawal not a rebel ventured to follow. 

The events of the last week may swell with pride the heart of every officer and 
soldier of this army. We have added new lustre to its renown. We have made 
long marches, crossed rivers, surprised the enemy in hisintrenchments, and when- 
ever we have fought have inflicted heavier blows than we have received. 

We have taken from the enemy five thousand prisoners ; captured and brought 
off seven pieces of artillery, fifteen colors; placed hors de combat eighteen thou- 
sand of his chosen troops ; destroyed his depots filled with vast amounts of stores; 
deranged his communications; captured prisoners within the fortifications of his 
capital, and filled his country with fear and consternation. 

We have no other regret than that caused by the loss of our brave companions, 
and in this we are tonsoled by the conviction that they have fallen in the holiest 
cause ever submitted to the arbitrament of battle. 

By command of Major-General Hooker, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 
General Orders, 1 

No. 59. J Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

May 7, 1863. 

With heartfelt gratification the General commanding expresses to the army his 
sense of the heroic conduct displayed by officers and men during the arduous 


1863. operations in which they have just been engaged. Under trying 

vicissitudes of heat and storm you attacked the enemy, strongly in- 
trenched in the depths of a tangled wrilderness, and again on the hills of Freder- 
icksburg, fifteen miles distant, and, by valor that has triumphed on so many fields, 
forced him once more to seek safety beyond the Rappahannock. While this 
glorious victory entitles you to the praise and gratitude of the nation, vce are 
especially called upon to return our grateful thanks to the only Giver of victory 
for the signal deliverance He has wrought. It is, therefore, earnestly recom- 
mended that the troops unite on Sunday next in ascribing to the Lord of Hosts 
the glory due unto His name. 

Let us not forget in our rejoicing the brave soldiers who have fallen in defence 
of their country; and, while we mourn their loss, let us resolve to emulate their 
noble example. 

The army and the country alike lament the absence for a time of one to whose 
bravery, energy, and skill they are so much indebted for success. 

The following letter from the President of the Confederate States is communi- 
cated to the army, as an expression of his appreciation of its success : 

" [General Lee : I have your despatch, and reverently unite in giving praise 
to God for the success vidth which He has crowned our arms. 

" In the name of the people I offer my cordial thanks to yourself and the 
troops under your command for this addition to the unprecedented series of great 
victories which your armies have achieved. 

" The universal rejoicing produced by this happy result will be mingled with a 

general regret for the good and the brave who are remembered among the killed 

and the wounded.] " 

R. E. LEE, 


When daylight appeared we were sore in body and 
Thursday, sick at heart as we thought with mortification how little 
May 7. had been accomplished since leaving our camp at 

Fletcher's Chapel. When we recalled the golden promises 
of Hooker's manifesto, in which was stated the splendid successes 
that awaited us, " that the enemy must leave his intrenchments and 
fight or ingloriously retreat," etc., some of the boys said, " Yes, that's 
Joe Hooker. Let's have a new deal for a commander." 

We had a ray of comfort in the weather, which again became 
warm and pleasant. This was really something to be thankful for. 

About 10 o'clock we marched to White Oak Church, seven miles, 
and camped about a mile from our winter quarters, at Fletcher's 



Washington, June 5, 1863, 4 P.M. 

Major-General Hooker: 

Youis of to-day was received an hour ago. So much of professional military 
skill is requisite to answer it, that 1 have turned the task over to General Halleck. 
He promises to perform it with his utmost care, I have but one idea which I 
think worth suggesting to you, and that is, in case you find Lee coming to the 
north of the Rappahannock, I would by no means cross to the south of it. If he 
should leave a rear force at Fredericksburg, tempting you to fall upon it, it would 
fight in intrenchments, and have you at a disadvantage, and Sb, man for man, 
worst you at that point, while his main force wouUl in some way be getting an 
advantage of you northward. In one word, I would not take any risk of being 
entangled upon the river, like an ox jumped half over a fence and liable to be 
torn by dogs in front and rear, without a fair chance to gore one way or kick the 
other. If Lee would come to my side of the river I would keep on the same side, 
and fight him or act on the defence, according as might be my estimate of his 
strength relatively to my own. But these are mere suggestions, which I desire to 
be controlled by the judgment of yourself and General Halleck. 


S-Y,k.'Y A N ) A 
1 ^'' 

,_MASO_M J. 'Ml P.- >• PH^ONS _HNE 

nit- ^>i fn =*■ ^ ^ TheMM/TSBUKG^ 


R.E.BEU » w W 




1863. We remained in camp in this vicinity until June 12. 

During this time the regiment was engaged in the usual 
camp routine of drills, reviews, inspection, and parades, besides 
doing our share of the picket duty along the north bank of the 
Rappahannock River, the enemy's pickets being on the south bank, 
within easy hearing distance. 

On the 2d of May the regiment was transferred from the third to 
the second brigade in the same division under command of General 
Robinson ; General Reynolds continuing in command of the First 
Army Corps. Our associates in the second brigade were the One 
Hundred and Fourth New York, the Sixteenth Maine, and the One 
Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania regiments. The Eleventh Penn- 
sylvania was subsequently transferred to the same brigade, to our 
very great pleasure. All this time active preparations were being 
made for another campaign, while we freely discussed the compe- 
tency of generals, planned campaigns, and patiently waited for an 
order from Washington to take connmand of the army. As time 
rolled on, and the price of recruits advanced, we learned that the 
Government felt that we were doing too good a service in the ranks 
to be transferred to the head of an army. The wishes of the 
Government were not to be lightly set aside, so we continued to tote 
a knapsack and gun, though we yearned occasionally for the comfort- 
able quarters of a major-general. 

So much complaint was made about carrying out the order of 
March 21st, respecting the wearing of badges, that on the 12 th of 
May General Hooker issued an prder containing the following 
paragraphs : 

The badges worn by the troops, when lost or torn off, must be immediately 


1863. Provost marshals will arrest as stragglers all other troops (but 

those designated as being without badges) found without badges, 
and return them to their commander under guard. 

From this time on the corps badge was universally worn, and 
proved a great convenience, besides exciting a feeUng of pride 
among the men. 

From time to time fears were entertained at headquarters that the 
enemy were intending to cross the river, and orders were received 
to move, but were countermanded in season to prevent us from 

We received about this time a lot of books and pamphlets from 
home, collected by some kind friends who were not forgetful of our 
wants. They afforded us a good deal of pleasure, and helped to wear 
away the depression that we shared in common with the rest of the 
army at our recent defeats. 

General Orders,! 

No. 50. J Headquarters Second Division, 

First Army Corps, June 10, 1863. 
I. Existing orders require a crilical inspection of companies half an hour be- 
fore dress parade, the object of which is to see that men are in a proper condition 
to go on parade, that the clothing and accoutrements are clean and in good order. 
At dress parade of ceremony, officers and men will be required to appear in 
uniform. Regimental commanders are reminded that white hats and butternut- 
colored sacks form no part of the prescribed dress of a soldier, and must not be 
worn on parade. Soldiers will be allowed to wear them on fatigue. The practice 
of wearing boots or stockings outside of pantaloons must be suppressed on parade. 

By command of 


At 4 A.M. we broke camp and marched in a westerly 
Friday, direction via Stoneman's Switch on the road toward 
June la. Bealton Station, following the Rappahannock River, and 
bivouacking at Deep Run, a distance of twenty-five 
miles. It was a scorching hot day, and the road was very dusty. 
It occasionally happened, through somebody's stupidity, that troops, 
by taking the wrong road, had their march considerably lengthened. 
This was one of those occasions ; several miles of hard work were 
squandered in consequence of being misdirected. This kind of 


1863. foolishness does not sweeten the temper of a man who is 

working for $13 per month. "Let not the sun go down 
on your wrath," said Paul the Apostle. As the sun was already down 
when our wrath was excited, we had nearly twenty-four hours to spare 
before obeying this command. 

A learned writer on the Holy Scriptures says : " It is acknowledged 
that neither the Apostles nor Fathers have absolutely condemned 
swearing, or the use of oaths, upon every occasion, and upon all sub- 
jects. There are circumstances wherein we cannot morally be 
excused from it ; but we never ought to swear but upon urgent 
necessity, and to do some considerable good by it." According to 
our ideas, instances like the one just described justified a liberal use 
of " cuss words." 

While we halted at noon to-day an ambulance was driven by us 
containing a man who was to be shot for desertion. The man 
belonged to one of the Union regiments, and during the winter 
deserted to the enemy. It appears that a detachment of Union 
troops while on picket saw a soldier in Union uniform acting rather 
suspiciously, as if he wished to get away unnoticed ; whereupon he 
was headed oif and captured by men of his own regiment, the 
Nineteenth Indiana. Under his blue uniform he was found to have 
a Confederate suit of gray. About him were found papers contain- 
ing the numbers and locations of Union troops. He was tried by 
court-martial and sentenced to be shot, and was now on his way to 
take part in that rather unpleasant ceremony. 

His corps was halted for an hour at Hartwood Church, where he 
was taken into a field, blindfolded and tied, seated on a box that 
was to be his coffin, and shot by a detail of twelve men. A certain 
number of the guns were loaded without ball in order to deceive the 
men into thinking that some other fellow's gun did the work. It is 
an unpleasant duty at best, but the circumstances, in this case, were 
particularly aggravating. When the unfortunate victim was launched 
into eternity, as the newspapers say, the drums were sounded and the 
bands struck up the liveliest airs ; and while his soul went marching 
on, we marched on until we halted for the night, bivouacking in the 
same field where we stopped last November on our way from Rappa- 


1863. hannock Station. Some of the boys expressed a curiosity 

to know if it was as hot where the deserter had gone as 
it was here, where we were marching. 

In a cloud of dust we marched ten miles to Bealton 
Saturday, Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. The 
June 13. water was about as scarce as whiskey, and so bad that 

something ought to have been provided to kill the 
animalcula it contained. 

It was evident that an army must not be hampered by 
Sunday, religious principles. We wondered if Miles Standish ever 
June 14. marched his army on Sundays. " In war there are no 

Sundays," as Daniel Webster once remarked. 
We started promptly at 8 A.M., marching through Manassas Junc- 
tion and Catlett's Station, near where we were stationed a year ago, 
and thence to Kettle Run, which place we reached at sunset and 
where we halted for an hour to cook coffee, then resumed our march, 
crossing Broad Run near Bristow Station, at the old mill, arriving at 
Manassas Junction at 3.30 A.M., a distance of twenty-three miles. 
All day long we were subjected to wearisome delays caused by 
obstructions in the road by wagons and artillery, fording brooks 
or crossing streams imperfectly bridged, until our patience was 
well-nigh exhausted. When the order was given to halt, the men 
dumped themselves on the damp grass, and went to sleep. 

After five hours' rest we started again, marching eight 
Monday, miles to Centreville, which point we reached about noon, 
June 15. and where we remained until the 1 7th. The continued 

northerly direction we were pursuing began to excite the 
curiosity of the boys as to what was going on. As we were not in 
receipt of papers nor in the confidence of General Hooker, we could 
only make guesses. In the meantime we kept pegging on toward 
Boston, Mass., pumping all the people collected on the road-side as 
to the whereabouts of General Lee, or whether they had heard the 
war was over, or that General Washington was dead. " No, massa ; 
don't know nuffin at all." 

" You tell General Lee we'll be back in the fall, but just now we're 
going to Saratoga, where it's cooler." 


1863. " Yes, massa." 

The thirst for information was so great about this time 
that the " camp gossips " put in a good lot of work, resulting in some 
of the most ridiculous yarns ever heard in the army. 

We did have ocular proof to-day that Lee's army was marching 
north. When you see geese flying north, look out for warm weather ; 
when you see rebels marching north, look out for warm fighting. The 
country was full of guerillas, and that enterprising cutthroat, Mosby, 
did a thriving business in capturing and mutilating the bodies of 
Union soldiers. 

The First Corps had been acting thus far on our journey as rear 
guard to the army. 

We remained quietly resting. The regimental sutler 
Tuesday, arrived in camp, and those of us who had money or 
June 16. credit proceeded at once to fill the aching void caused by 
short rations and hard work. We were serenaded by the 
band of the Thirty-third Massachusetts, a bit of politeness and con- 
sideration that we highly appreciated. It had a good effect on the 
boys, as good music always does. We would have liked mighty well to 
have asked the boys to " licker," but there was " no balm in Gilead." 

During the day we received the rather startling intelligence that 
the Confederate army was in Maryland and prancing along toward a 
cooler climate, as though they liked it. Hooker informed us that 
" the enemy must leave his intrenchments and fight or ingloriously 
retreat," etc., and now he was 'way north of us. If Lee had lost his 
way, there was nothmg for us to do but hunt him up and put him on 
the right track. 

We celebrated the battle of Bunker Hill by turning out 
Wednesday, at 2 o'clock in the morning to prepare for marching. 

June 17. We got away by 3 and marched toward Chain 

Bridge, changing our direction before arrival at that 

point, and continued on to Hemdon, a distance of sixteen miles. Our 

new brigadier-general was Gabriel R. Paul, whom the boys dubbed 

the " Apostle." He was a brave and excellent officer. 

This was so hot a day that sixty men in the corps were sunstruck. 
The thermometer registered 100°. 


1863. We struck tents in the morning, expecting orders to 

Thursday, ^larch ; but no orders came, and so we laid quiet, putting 
June 18. .^ ^jj ^^ gjggp ^g could, which was considerable, in 
spite of the burning heat of the sun, while General Lee 
was amusing himself in " Maryland, my Maryland." 

Marched three miles to Guilford Station, on the Lees- 
Friday, burg Railroad. Everything we could dispense with was 
June 19. now thrown away, even at the risk of getting in the same 
condition in which St. Thomas a Becket was found when 
he died, — lousy. 

Guards were put on the fences to prevent our taking raUs. 

About half the regiment was put on picket, and were called in dur- 
ing the night, returning in a violent storm. Orders were counter- 
manded, and back on picket went we. Noticing the guard had been 
taken off the fences, we "hooked " a lot of rails, which we carried along 
with us. " It is a sin to steal a pin, much more to steal a bigger 
thing." These rails were useful, as the streams were very much 
swollen by the rain, whereupon the rails were fastened together, 
and used as bridges. 

The following was designated by the boys as " Paul's Epistle to 
his brigade : " 

General Orders, 1 Headquarters First Brigade, 

No. 41. J Second Division, First A. C. 

June 22, 1863. 

I. In order to ensure uniformity, no words of command-or forms of parade, " not 
prescribed in the General Regulations or in Casey's tactics," will be allowed in 
the regiments of this brigade. 

II. It is expected at guard mounting and on parade and reviews the officers 
and enlisted men will be neatly dressed, and their accoutrements put on in a soldier- 
like manner. On parades pioneers will be in the ranks with their respective com- 

The color guard will consist of one sergeant and five corporals, who will be 
selected for accuracy in marching and soldier-like deportment. The companies 
being numbered from right to left, the first sergeants, when they report the re- 
sults of the roll-call, will say in a quick, firm tone, " First company all present," 
or " Second company three absent," and so on as the case may be. 

III. Sentinels will not be permitted to sit, read, or talk on post, or to bring 


1863. their pieces to the order. They will habitually walk their post, 

watching vigilantly and allowing no infractions of orders. 
By command of 

G. R. PAUL, 
Brigadier- General Commanding. 

" And God wrought special miracles by the hand of Paul." 

We remained at Guilford Station until June 25, engaged in such 
light amusements as dress parades and brigade drills, sandwiched 
with a liberal allowance of guard duty. 

Information reached General Hooker that General 
Thursday, Lee had crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and Shep- 
June 25. herdstown, whereupon the First Corps was put in motion, 
and we crossed the river into Maryland at Edward's 
Ferry. Thence we marched through Poolsville, where we spent a 
rainy night on Sept. 6, 1861, and then to Barnesville, where we halted 
for the night, having marched about twenty miles. 

We were about the first troops of the Army of the Potomac to 
cross the river. Some idea of the situation of the two armies, with 
relation to Gettysburg, may be obtained by bearing in mind that 
Shepherdstown was twenty-four miles in an air line north-west from 
our camp-ground of last night, and Williamsport thirty-six miles in 
the same direction, as may be seen on referring to the map accom- 
panying this chapter. Williamsport was thirty-five miles from Gettys- 
burg, while Shepherdstown was forty-one miles. Our camp-ground at 
Guilford Station was sixty-five miles from Gettysburg, thirty miles 
farther away than Williamsport, where Lee was reported to be. 
From Fredericksburg to the Potomac River the rebel army had 
marched a greater distance than ours. They had an unobstructed 
road, with a purpose in view ; while we were constantly delayed, not 
only from our uncertainty of their movements, but the constant hin- 
drance of our wagon trains, which blocked the roads for hours. It 
was impossible to move faster than the wagon train could go, as 
it would not do to leave our supplies behind to be captured by 
Mosby or Stuart. 

They had, while in Virginia, a great advantage over us in this re- 
spect, as they could depend on the friendly hospitality of the coun- 


1863. try, while we were obliged not only to carry our supplies, 

but to protect them. When moving in the opposite 
direction, toward Richmond, we were leaving our base of supplies 
while they were returning to theirs. 

We were now back in Maryland among the people we met in the 
summer of 186 1. It seemed pleasant once more to see smiling 
faces and to be greeted with friendly words. The Union people of 
Maryland were very much disturbed as to what might happen if I^e 
was successful in his invasion of the Northern States. As we marched 
northward, the feeling took possession of us that we were now about 
to fight for our homes, and the impending battle would be one of 
intensity, though we were all in the dark as to where it might be 
fought. These people, whose friendly hospitality we had enjoyed 
two years before, were now in danger, and they looked to the Union 
army for protection, and without doubt this feeling had an influence 
in the events that followed. 

On General Lee's previous excursion into Maryland, during the 
Antietam campaign, he issued the following circular to the people 
of that State. There is no evidence in the War Records that he 
treated the people of Pennsylvania with such an appeal. Possibly 
he thought it was unnecessary. It is interesting as a curiosity, if 
nothing more. 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

Near Fredericktown, Md., Sept. 8th, 1862. 
To the People of Maryland : 

It is right that you should know the purpose that brought the array under my 
command within the limits of your State, so far as the purpose concerns your- 
selves. The people of the Confederate States have long watched with the 
deepest sympathy the wrongs and outrages that have been inflicted upon the 
citizens of a commonwealth allied to the States of the South by the strongest 
social, political, and commercial ties. They have seen with profound indignation 
their sister State deprived of every right, and reduced to the condition of a con- 
quered province. Under the pretence of supporting the Constitution, but in 
violation of its most valuable provisions, your citizens have been arrested and 
imprisoned upon no charge and contrary to all forms of law. The faithful and 
manly protest against this outrage made by the venerable and illustrious Mary- 
lander, to whom in better days no citizen appealed for right in vain, was treated 
with scorn and contempt ; the government of your chief city has been usurped 
by armed strangers; your legislature has been dissolved by the unlawful arrest of 


1863. its members; freedom of the press and of speech has been sup- 

pressed ; words have been declared offences by an arbitrary decree 
of the Federal Executive, and citizens ordered to be tried by a military commission 
for what they may dare to speak. Believing that the people of Maryland pos- 
sessed a spirit too lofty to submit to such a government, the people of the South 
have long wished to aid you in throwing off this foreign yoke, to enable you 
again to enjoy the inalienable rights of freemen, and restore independence and 
sovereignty to your State. In obedience to this wish, an army has come among 
you, and is prepared to assist you with the power of its arms in regaining the 
rights of which you have been despoiled. 

This, citizens of Maryland, is our mission so far as you are concerned. No 
constraint upon your free will is intended ; no intimidation will be allowed within 
the limits of this army, at least. Marylanders shall once more enjoy their ancient 
freedom of thought and speech. We know no enemies among you, and will pro- 
tect all, of every opinion. It is for you to decide your destiny freely and with- 
out constraint. This army will respect your choice, whatever it may be; and 
while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position 
among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will. 

R. E. LEE, 

General Commanding. 
" Throwing off this foreign yoke " is good. 

At 6 A.M. we marched over the Catoctin mountains to 
Friday, Adamstown, through Greenfield's Mill, across Monocacy 
June 26. River, and thence to Jefferson, a distance of eighteen 
miles, through the rain and mud. The route was cir- 
cuitous, owing to a change made in the direction of our march, by 
orders from headquarters. 

Marched to a mile beyond Middletown, a distance of 
Saturday, eight miles for the day. As we passed through Middle- 
June 27. town we were greeted with the same kindly hospitality we 
met with on our previous marches through this town. 
The resignation of General Hooker, which is quoted in full, was 

accepted by the President : 

Sandy Hook, June 27, i P.M. 
Maj.-Gen. H. W. Halleck, General-in-Chief: 

My original instructions require me to cover Harper's Ferry and Washington. 
I have now imposed upon me, in addition, an enemy in my front of more than my 
number. I beg to be understood, respectfully and firmly, that I am unable to 
comply with this condition with the means at my disposal, and earnestly request 
that I may at once be relieved from the position I occupy. 


Major- General. 


1863. In accordance with the terms of the following com- 

munication, General Meade was placed at the head of 
the Army of the Potomac : 

Headquarters of the Army, 

Washington^ D.C., June 27, 1863. 
Maj.-Gen. George G. Meade, Army of the Potomac : 

General : You will receive with this the order of the President placing you in 
command of the Army of the Potomac. Considering the circumstances, no one 
ever received a more important command, and I cannot doubt that you will fully 
justify the confidence which the Government has reposed in you. 

You will not be hampered by any minute instructions from these headquarters. 
Your army is free to act as you may deem proper under the circumstances as they 
arise. You will, however, keep in view the important fact that the Army of the 
Potomac is the covering army of Washington, as well as the army of operation 
against the invading forces of the rebels. You will, therefore, manoeuvre and 
fight in such a manner as to cover the capital and also Baltimore, as far as circum- 
stance will admit. Should General Lee move upon either of these places, it is 
expected that you will either anticipate him or arrive with him so as to give him 

All forces within the sphere of your operations will be held subject to your 

Harper's Ferry and its garrison are under your direct orders. 

You are authorized to remove from your command, and to send from your 
army, any officer or other person you may deem proper, and to appoint to com- 
mand as you may deem expedient. 

In fine, General, you are intrusted with all the power and authority which the 
President, Secretary of War, or the General-in-Chief can confer on you, and you 
may rely upon our full support. 

You will keep me fully informed of all your movements, and the positions of 
your own troops and those of the enemy, so far as you know. 

I shall always be ready to advise and assist you to the utmost of my ability. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


General-in- Chief. 

Marched over the mountain to Frederick City, a 

Sunday, distance of ten miles. These familiar scenes raised the 

June 28. spirits of the regiment very high, and the old war songs 

were sung with a fervor we hadn't felt for a long time. 

The colonel announced to the regiment that General Meade was 

to take command of the Army of the Potomac in place of General 


1863. Hooker, removed ; adding, jocosely, " that we needn't be 

discouraged, as we all might yet receive the same honor." 
Monday, We made a forced march of twenty-six miles to 

June 29. Emmitsburg, passing through the town and camping 
about a mile beyond, on the Fairfax road. It rained all 
day, and many of the men were obliged to march barefoot for want 
of shoes. 

The inhabitants brought to the roadside bread, milk, cheese, and 
other eatables, which they freely dispensed to us as we passed along. 
To be the recipients of such kindness from the people had a great 
effect in enlivening the spirits of the boys. 

While halting at Mechanicsville, a farmer and his wife were 
seated in a wagon loaded with bread which they tossed to the 
hungry soldiers, his wife sobbing and bemoaning the terrible fate 
that awaited us. " Oh, boys, you don't know what's before you. 
I'm afraid many of ye'U be dead or mangled soon, for Lee's whole 
army is ahead of ye and there'll be terrible fighting." One of our 
officers jumped on to the wagon to help the farmer, shouting, " Walk 
up, boys, and get your rations ! Bread and tears, tears and 
bread," while he tossed the loaves about. "Who takes another?" 
The boys, undismayed by the old lady's prophetic words, shouted 
their thanks, with " God bless you, old ,lady ! " and rousing cheers 
for the old gentleman. 

The people in the town of Emmitsburg were jubilant at sight of 
the troops, whom they greeted with great cordiality. Without regard 
to rank, everybody on horseback was greeted with " Three cheers 
for the ' general ' ! " which were given with a will. 

There was an irrepressible spirit of levity in the Thirteenth, and 
presumably in other regiments, as there is no patent on the animal 
spirits of young men. If there was any fun to be had, it was soon 
found. Toward the last of our service it was hard pickings, but 
still there was some one to excite laughter by a quaint saying, an apt 
nickname, or innocent joke, to relieve the strain and monotony of 
our daily lives. We were just as likely to get our fun out of a major- 
general as we were out of ourselves. The dignity and importance 
that hedged a general never affected us in the least. Every oppor- 


1863. tunity to ridicule or criticise the doings of an officer out- 

side the regiment was taken advantage of by the wits and 
the growlers, to excite mirth or ridicule. We were never quite satis- 
fied with ourselves if we failed in fastening a nickname on a general 
officer, particularly if he was a martinet, or if he presented some 
peculiarity of manner or dress that suggested a name. One officer 
was called " Old Crummy," another " Butter and Cheese," another 
the " Apostle," and still another " Old Bowels." Nicknames were 
so common among ourselves that few of the boys escaped without 

General Abercombie said we were " a d d impertinent lot, fit 

only for the guard-house," and from his point of view perhaps he 
was justified in saying so. His temper had such a beautiful feather 
edge that the boys, with the thoughtlessness of youth, couldn't resist 
the temptation of stirring him up just to hear him swear. If he had 
been a man of calm and equable temper he would have escaped 
our notice. 

Just as soon as a lot of boys discover that a man takes notice of 
their gibes the fun begins. You might as well stir up a hornets' 
nest as to notice the remarks of young boys, as every sensible per- 
son knows. We had no intention of being insubordinate, yet our 
conversation was often loud enough to be heard by a passing officer, 
as happened to-day on our march to Emmitsburg, while General 
Robinson and his staff were sitting on a piazza taking a rest as we 
went by. There was no impropriety in their doing so, and really 
nothing to complain of. The boys themselves were tired out with 
days of constant marching, and as we passed the house where these 
officers were so comfortably sitting, one of the boys remarked with 
a rather loud voice, " How they must suffer ! " Shortly afler, one of 
the general's staff approached our colonel and in a very excited man- 
ner said, " Colons/, your men have insulted ze genera/." 

" My men ? " 

" Yes, colons/, your men have insulted ze genera/." 

"In what way?" 

" Zay said, ' How zay must suffer ! ' " 

" Well, don't they suffer? " said the colonel. 


1863. " I will go back and zay that you have insulted ze 


General Robinson was too sensible a man to bother with the re- 
marks of tired soldiers. So long as the men made good time in 
their marching, he was quite willing they should relieve their feel- 
ings, even at his expense, and we never thought any worse of General 
Robinson, who was an estimable officer, for taking the rest he must 
have needed. 

It was part of our daily life to form and express opinions about 
matters and persons, and woe betide the officer who was silly enough 
to notice them. In dealing with children or soldiers, which is the 
same thing, it doesn't pay to have your hearing or your eyesight 
too keen. 

About 10 A.M. we marched back through Emmitsburg, 
Tuesday, meeting the Eleventh Corps on our way, which caused us 
June 30. a good deal of delay. We passed through the town out 
upon the Gettysburg road about two miles, near Marsh 
Creek, where we halted and stacked arms, it being asserted that the 
enemy was between us and Gettysburg. 

It having rained every day except Sunday since we crossed the 
river, the roads were consequently very muddy. 

The Eleventh Corps had been keeping along with us, but the 
remainder of the army we had not seen. We enjoyed the marching 
very much, in spite of our fatigue. Day after day we were met on 
the way by women in front of their homes with pails of fresh water, 
milk, bread, cake, and pies, which they freely distributed among us. 

The following order by General Meade was this day read to the 
army : 

The enemy are upon our soil. The whole country now looks anxiously to this 
army to deliver it from the presence of the foe. Our failure to do so will leave 
us no such welcome as the swelling of millions of hearts with pride and joy at 
our success would give to every soldier of this army. Homes, firesides, and 
domestic altars are involved. 

Corps commanders are authorized to order the instant death of any soldier who 
fails in his duty at this hour. 

If there was any man in the army who remained unaffected by the 


1863. words of confidence and reliance that had been showered 

upon us by the loyal people of Maryland, whose generous 
hospitality had met us at every turn of the road, perhaps the closing 
paragraph of this order might arouse his sluggish nature to duty. 
The fact is that the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac needed no 
incentive of this kind ; it had fought desperately before, when suc- 
cess would have been achieved if the skill of its commanders had 
been equal to the valor of the men. 

When we were dismissed, the merits of this circular were freely dis- 
cussed, and the boys were pretty generally of the opinion that the 
sting conveyed in the closing paragraph was undeserved and un- 
necessary to an army with a record for fighting such as the Army 
of the Potomac had won. Later on, the boys thought it would be 
rather a good idea for the rank and file to issue a manifesto to the 
commander, expressing the hope that he would show more ability 
and judgment than his predecessors had shown when conducting a 
great battle, and above, all, avoid issuing appeals or circulars reflect- 
ing the slightest doubt on the courage of the men. " Nelson expects 
every man to do his duty J " were the only words of that great com- 
mander to his men, and they did their duty and did it nobly. It is 
often within the power of a commander to inspire his men to great 
deeds by words of confidence in their courage and ability, — not by 

The First Corps was composed, like other corps, of three divisions ; 
each division taking its turn in marching at the head of the column, 
as brigades also do in their respective divisions. 

The First, Third, and Fifth Corps were under the immediate com- 
mand of General Reynolds. The First was at Marsh Creek, the 
Eleventh at Emmitsburg, and the Third at Tane3rtown, under orders 
to relieve the Eleventh Corps at Emmitsburg. 



1863. According to the official report of our adjutant, we 

Wednesday, started from the camp at Marsh Creek at 6 A.M. for 
■'" ^ ' Gettysburg, under no pressure of haste. 

One could scarcely imagine a more peaceful scene 
than this lovely valley through which the road wound its way to 
Gettysburg. The slight shower which we encountered shortly after 
starting, disappeared, having washed the dust from every blade of 
grass and from the leaves of every tree ; the sun shone brightly 
and the air was fragrant with woodland odors. On either side of the 
road were thrifty farms, whose ample crops had already begun to 
show the effects of the summer sun. 

As we approached the town of Gettysburg, we saw on our right the 
two round tops, as yet unknown to fame, though soon to be inscribed 
on the indelible page of history ; while still farther along we passed 
the " peach orchard " where the Third Corps so bravely fought on 
the following day. 

As the brigade moved leisurely along, the Thirteenth on the right, 
we at last came in sight of the church-steeples of Gettysburg to the 
north of us, when we halted near a house for a rest, the men scat- 
tering themselves on the grass or searching for water, as their com- 
fort suggested. During this time the sound of firing was plainly 
heard from beyond the town, but as yet we knew not what it meant. 
Presently a staff officer came galloping up in great haste, making 
anxious inquiries for General Robinson, and with great excitement 
gave orders to hurry forward all troops. Immediately " Attention ! " 
and " Fall in " were heard all along the road, and without delay we 
started for the front in quick time. 

f ' Within a mile of the town, not far from the Codori house, we 
turned from the road, pursuing a northwesterly course across the 


1863. fields, afterwards made famous by Pickett's charge, to the 

westerly side of the Lutheran Seminary on Seminary 
Ridge, where we arrived about 1 1 o'clock, immediately forming in 
line of battle facing to the west, while the first division of the corps 
was already engaged near the Mummasburg road to the north of us. 
As we approached the Seminary, news was received that General 
Reynolds was killed, whereupon we involuntarily quickened our step. 
By an order from General Doubleday we proceeded at once, with 
vigor and haste, to throw up earthworks, which became very useful 
to others before the day was over. 

While we were on Seminary Ridge, spent cannon-balls could occa- 
sionally be seen rolling slowly along the earth from the battle-ground 
to the north of us. Such a sight was common enough during 
battles, as every soldier knows, and once in a while a man was 
seen who was foolish enough to try stopping one. While we were 
busy with our earthworks, such an incident happened close to us. 
One of our officers saw a soldier of a Wisconsin regiment, with great 
glee, boldly put out his heel to stop a ball that was roUing toward 
him, supposing it to be the easiest thing in the world to do. Those 
who saw his purpose yelled with all their might ; but it was too late, for 
when their remonstrances reached his ear his leg was off. The poor 
fellow cried like a child to think he had lost his leg in such a man- 
ner, when, as he said, he would gladly have lost it in action. It was 
pitiable to see his grief as he exclaimed, " I shall always be ashamed 
to say how I lost it." It is so difficult for a person unacquainted 
with the fact to appreciate the latent force in a cannon-ball as it 
rolls innocently along the ground, that old soldiers took pains to cau- 
tion new recruits about the danger of attempting to stop one with the 

In about half an hour after our arrival on Seminary Ridge, orders 
were received to move to the front, whereupon we filed round the 
front of the building, then east a short distance to the bed of an un- 
finished railroad, then north and north-west to an oak grove near the 
Mummasburg road, where we were faced, at first, to the north-west in 
line of battle. As we came into position we saw the rebel line ad- 
vancing by brigades formed en masse. The work of our division now 


1863. began in earnest. Firing as rapidly as possible we drove 

the enemy back, while we slowly advanced toward the 
Mummasburg road. Each time the enemy advanced we drove him 
back,' while up and down the line officers were encouraging the men, 
while the men themselves cautioned each other not to fire too high, 
but make every shot tell. On our left the rebels were seen coming 
down the slope, while on our right flank came another fire, to meet 
which we faced more to the north, leaving the troops on the left to 
take care of the enemy on that flank. The Eleventh Corps had just 
arrived. Forming on our right, it left a dangerous interval of nearly 
half a mile between its left and our right. We now began to have our 
hands full of work. About this time a charge was ordered, but luckily 
abandoned before our weakness was shown. Pretty soon a rebel bri- 
gade advanced and charged into the road in front of us, which was a 
sunken one, and we let them have it in good shape as they ascended 
the bank nearest us. They tried to get back to the other side of the 
road, but they were in a pocket, and we had them at our mercy. 
'^ Give it to 'em for Fredericksburg ! " shouted some one, whereupon 
they threw up their hats to stop firing, and the Thirteenth bagged one 
hundred and thirty-two prisoners, including seven commissioned 
officers, all belonging to a North Carolina regiment. We had no time 
to lose, for along came another line outnumbering any of the preced- 
ing ones. An officer in our rear was shouting for us to hold on as long 
as we could, while on our right the Eleventh Corps were making 
tracks to the rear, leaving the flank of the First Corps, of which we 
were the flanking regiment, unprotected. So many men had fallen 
that our line looked ridiculously small to be contending with the large 
army corps now approaching us. The only thing we could do was 
to stand still and fire, though the rebel batteries were now getting in 
their work and making it very uncomfortable for the First Corps, 
already nearly gone to pieces. 

Still no orders came to leave, nor were we reenforced. It was now 
four o'clock and our ammunition nearly gone — in some cases all gone ; 
General Paul, our brigadier, was shot through both eyes, while the 
dead lay all about us. As we glanced to our left we saw one division 
after another breaking away and making for Cemetery Hill ; we saw 


1863. the end was near and fell back towards the hill, each man 

for himself, it being impracticable to do otherwise with- 
out losing still more men. The order was given to rally on Cemetery 
Hill. While some of the boys fell back along the railroad cut, others 
went directly through the town to the hill. Those who went through 
the town were obliged to run the gauntlet of the side streets, already 
filled with the men of Ewell's corps, who were endeavoring, with 
artillery and musketry, to prevent our escaping. We saw at once 
that we had stayed at the front a little too long for our safety. Some 
of us were to be gobbled and sent to rot in rebel prisons. Over 
fences, into yards, through gates, anywhere an opening appeared, we 
rushed with all our speed to escape capture. The streets swarmed 
with the enemy, who kept up an incessant firing, and yelling, " Come 

in here, you Yankee ! " Still we kept on, hoping to 

find a chance of escape somewhere. 

The great trouble was to know where to run, for every street 
seemed to be occupied by the "rebs," and we were in imminent 
danger of running into their arms before we knew it. There was no 
time to consider ; we must keep moving and take our chances ; so on 
we went until at last, completely blown, we reached the hill now 
occupied by the batteries of the Eleventh Corps. In spite of our 
efforts, ninety-eight of the Thirteenth were captured. We appreciate 
how easy it oftentimes is to be taken prisoner, and frequently men 
have taken advantage of opportunities thus afforded to escape fight- 
ing J but whoever ran the gauntlet of Gettysburg can be relieved of 
any stigma of this kind. 

Here we saw the division color-bearer standing alone. Some of 
the boys then took the flag, and waving it in turn, shouting and 
swinging their caps, soon succeeded in establishing the division 

While this was going on, others of the boys went actively to work 
bringing rails or digging, until we had a well-formed rifle-pit in 
readiness to again meet the enemy's attack ; but we remained un- 
disturbed during the night. It was now between 6 and 7 o'clock, 
and we had eaten nothing since early morning, so we munched away 
on our hardtack. Worn out with fatigue and excitement, many of 


1863. the boys dropped off to sleep at once, insensible to the 

firing that was going on at our right, near Gulp's Hill. 
As the Eleventh Corps had done less work than the First, it was sent 
out on the picket line. About dusk our hearts were gladdened by 
the approach of Stannard's Vermont brigade of five regiments, each 
a thousand strong. To our delighted vision it seemed like a great 
army, and brought vividly to our minds the time when we were a 
thousand strong, now, alas ! a mere handful of men. As they ap- 
proached, Colonel Dick Coulter, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania, now 
commanding the brigade, remarked : " If those fellows will fight 
as we do, we'll give the Johnnies hell to-morrow ; " and they did 
fight well. 

From now until long after midnight, brigade after brigade, corps 
after corps, came marching in to take its position on Cemetery Hill. 

In the meantime we lay down to sleep, insensible to the tramp 
and clatter of an approaching army. 

A mile away to the west, on Seminary Ridge, were the wounded of 
the First Corps, in the hands of the enemy. 

Of the two hundred and eighty-four men and officers we took into 
the fight, only ninety-nine now remained for duty, the casualties being 
seven killed and eighty wounded, a total of eighty-seven. In 
addition to this number ninety-eight men were taken prisoners on 
their way back through the town. 

The following letter of instructions was sent to General Reynolds 
on the ist of July, and was probably the last he received from Gen- 
eral Meade, and is interesting to us in settling definitely all the 
theories as to what his instructions were : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

July I, 1863. 
Major-General Reynolds, Commanding, etc., Gettysburg : 

General : The telegraphic intelligence received from General Couch, with the 
various movements reported from Buford, seem to indicate the concentration of 
the enemy either at Chambersburg or at a point situated somewhere on a line 
drawn between Chambersburg and York, through Mummasburg and to the north 
of Gettysburg. 

The commanding general cannot decide whether it is his best policy to move to 
attack until he learns something more definite of the point at which the enemy is 


1863. concentrating. This he hopes to do during the day. Meanwhile 

he would like to have your views on the subject, at least as far as 
concerns your position. If the enemy is concentrating to the right of Gettysburg, 
that point would not at first glance seem to be a proper strategic point of con- 
centration for the enemy. 

If the enemy is concentrating in front of Gettysburg or to the left of it, the 
general is not sufficiently well-informed of the nature of the country to judge of 
the character for either an offensive or defensive position. The numbers of the 
enemy are estimated at 92,000 infantry, with 270 pieces of artillery, and his" cav- 
alry from 6,000 to 8,000. Our numbers ought to equal it, and with the arrival of 
General French's command, which should get up to-morrow, exceed it, if not too 
much weakened by straggling and fatigue. 

The General having just assumed command, in obedience to orders, with the 
position of affairs leaving no time to learn the condition of the army as to morale 
and proportionate strength compared with its last return, would gladly receive 
from you any suggestions as to the points laid down in this note. He feels that 
you know more of the condition of the troops in your vicinity and the country 
than he does. General Humphreys, who is at Emmitsburg with the Third Corps, 
the General considers an excellent adviser as to the nature of the country for 
offensive or defensive operations. If near enough to call him to consultation 
with you, without interference with the responsibilities that devolve upon you 
both, please do so. You have all the information that the General has received, 
and the General would like to have your views. The movement of your corps to 
Gettysburg was ordered before the positive knowledge of the enemy's vrithdrawal 
from Harrisburg and concentration was received. 

Very respectfully, etc., 

Assistant Adjutant General. 
(Copy to Major-General Howard.) 

It is no disparagement to the men of the First Corps who gave up 
their lives to-day, when we say the bravest of all was Gen. John 
F. Reynolds, our commander. His loss to the Army of the Potomac 
was very great, and must have been keenly felt by Meade, whose con- 
fidence he had more completely than any other officer under him, 
and upon whose judgment and advice he would, very likely, have 
relied. To the men of his corps, whose admiration for him was en- 
thusiastic and devoted, his loss seems irreparable. 

During our service there were two officers who excited in us an 
affectionate devotion, — General Hartsuff and General Reynolds. 
It is difficult to describe the kind of personal magnetism which these 


1863. men, so much alike in many respects, possessed. They 

were both discipUnarians of the strictest kind, making 
no effort to gain our good-will by clap-trap or humbug, reserved and 
cold in their manners, requiring prompt and implicit obedience, yet 
each had acquired the most perfect control over his men — that kind 
of control which prompts men to wiUingly obey orders without hesi- 
tation, deeming it an honor to have been called upon. No danger 
or duty was considered too great to undertake under their leadership. 
To the First Corps, General Reynolds was the ieau ideal of a soldier. 
His great abilities and his bravery the world has acknowledged and 
expressed its admiration therefor, but the love we had for him is be- 
yond expression. 

The following tribute to General Reynolds was written by Count 
de Paris and published in his history of the battle of Gettysburg, 
and will be read with pleasure by every man who had the honor to 
serve in the First Corps : 

Reynolds was undoubtedly the most remarkable man among all the officers that 
the Army of the Potomac saw fall on the battlefield during the four years of its 
existence; and Meade could say of him that he was the noblest and bravest of 
them all. A graduate of West Point, he had early distinguished himself in that 
Mexican army which was destined to become the nursery of the staff-officers 
both North and South. His former comrades, who had become either his 
colleagues or his adversaries, held him in the greatest estimation on account of 
his military talents, for under a cold exterior he concealed an ardent soul; and it 
was not the slowness, but rather the clearness, of his judgment that enabled him 
to preserve his coolness at the most critical moments. The confidence he 
inspired, alike in his Inferiors, his equals, and his commanders, would no doubt 
soon have distinguished him for the command of one of the Union armies. It 
would have been a fortunate thing for the cause he was serving with devotion and 
earnestness without having ever sought to elicit appreciation of his merits. His 
untimely death — he was forty-three years old — was not without some benefit to 
that cause, for by making a vigorous fight in the battle, which cost him his life, he 
secured the possession of Cemetery Hill to the Army of the Potomac, against 
which the full tide of Southern invasion broke. We will cite, in conclusion, as 
the most beautiful homage paid to character, the unanimous regrets of the inhabi- 
tants of Fredericksburg, of which town he had been the military governor, who, 
although passionately devoted to the cause of the South, mourned him as if he 
had been one of their own people. 

On the first day of July, 1888, just twenty-five years after the 
events described, near the same spot where General Reynolds was 


1863. killed, a group of survivors of the First Corps, and others, 

assembled to pay tribute to his memory. General James 
A. Beaver, then Governor of Pennsylvania, who was an officer in the 
Second Corps in July, 1863, was invited to deliver an address of 
welcome. In his remarks he paid the following compliment to the 
First Corps, and tribute to General Reynolds : 

Standing on this spot, in full sight of the place where Reynolds fell, looking 
out upon the battlefield which was occupied by the First Army Corps of the Army 
of the Potomac, just twenty-five years ago to-day, the obvious thought which 
comes to every thinking man — the thought which is in the mind of many 
unspoken — is this: "If Hooker's tactics had been as grand as his strategy, 
there would have been no Gettysburg, and Reynolds would not have fallen here. 
If the battle of Chancellorsville had been fought as the army was ready to fight 
it, the Confederate forces would not have crossed the Potomac, and Pennsylvania's 
soil would not have drank the blood of martyred dead. These " ifs " which come 
tons unbidden are human; they are finite; they come of finite thought; they 
come from finite minds. There are no " ifs " in God's economy. The battle of 
Chancellorsville was not to be won. The Potomac was to be crossed by the forces 
which came to Pennsylvania on a hostile errand. The battle of Gettysburg was 
to be fought ; the First Corps was to do the greatest fighting of that battle ; 
Reynolds was to fall just where he did. The First Corps was to deploy its lines; 
its flanks were to be enveloped; it was to be opposed by four times its numbers; 
it was to lose three-fourths of the forces engaged, because that was the purpose 
and plan of the Almighty. And let me say to you, my friends, that when the 
measure of this generation has been filled, when the men that fought at Gettys- 
burg, the men who shed blood at Gettysburg, the men who made the battlefield 
of Gettysburg historic and immortal — when those men are all dead, the hero of 
this fight, the man whose career and whose reputation and whose glory all might 
covet, is the man whose monument stands yonder, and who fell on this battle- 
field. When the history of this battlefield has been studied, when the devotion 
which was given to the country on this field has been fully measured, it will be 
found that the first day's fight, particularly by the First Corps, was (and I believe 
it is conceded now by those who have studied it) the grandest fight of the war, 
and led to the most important results of the war. Coming into this field with 
little more than eight thousand men, met by at least three times that number, with 
its right flank and its left flank both enveloped by the Confederate line, longer by 
a half a mile than it was, that devoted corps stood in front of the battle exhaust- 
ing its ammunition, firing its last shot, and leaving on the field or in the hands of 
the enemy three-fourths of the entire number engaged. You look in vain through 
the history of our war, of any war, of all wars, for devotion like that — for suc- 
cess like that; and it is not too much to say that the success of that first day made 
the success of succeeding days possible. 


1863. By reason of our hard work of yesterday, we were to- 

Thursday, ^^y jjgjj ^ reserve. It often happens that this kind of 
■'" ^ ^" duty turns out to be more arduous than being stationed 

in line of battle, inasmuch as you may be called upon to 
march to any point that needs strengthening, as it happened with us 
on this particular day. 

Upon waking in the morning, we found everything astir with ex- 
citement and preparation. Thousands of troops had gathered during 
the night, presenting a formidable appearance in the gray morning 
light. As we were gazing about, a party of officers were seen ap- 
proaching, among whom was General Hancock. Some of the boys, 
regardless of danger, were exposing themselves on top and at the sides 
of the earthworks that we built last night, when, in a mild, pleasant 
voice, General Hancock said, " Keep down, boys ; that is the way 

with you Massachusetts boys — too much d d curiosity ; keep 

down ! ' 

In the afternoon, as Sickles' corps was being pushed back at the 
peach orchard, our division was sent hurriedly to his support. Be- 
fore we reached him it had grown so dark that the smoke and fire 
from the rebel artillery looked like sheets of flame. While we were 
formed in line, marching brigade front, a shell exploded in the midst 
of an adjoining regiment, knocking over a dozen men. As the rebel 
infantry were being driven back at the moment of our arrival, our 
services became unnecessary, and later in the evening we returned 
to Cemetery Hill to support Ricketts' and Wiedrick's batteries, which 
were being charged by the Louisiana Tigers. We were thrown in 
the front of these guns, with orders to hug the ground as closely as 
possible while the batteries fired over us. There is no more trying 
situation for a soldier than to be lying down in front of a battery. 
He is only a few yards in front of the guns, and the concussion from 
each discharge seems to travel up his spinal column to the top of 
his head. The noise is terrible and appalling. The testimony of 
men who have undergone such an experience is, that they endure 
more mental suffering than when standing in line of battle. You are 
being constantly pelted with the packings, as they become dislodged 
from the shells when they leave the muzzle of the gun. These pieces 


1863. are not dangerous, though they often make an uncom- 

fortable contusion, the size of a walnut, if they hit you. 
If a piece strikes you on the head you will think, as the boy did, that 
" you might as well be killed as scared to death." 

All the afternoon we listened to the sound of battle at our right on 
Gulp's Hill, dreading defeat and another retreat. It made us sick 
at heart to think of what might occur in such an event, and glad we 
were when night came and put a temporary stop to the fighting. 
Evidently we had not held our own at this point. 

So far as exposure to danger is concerned, our division may be 
said to have had very good luck. There was hard fighting, at difier- 
ent points, all day, and even into the night, without apparently any 
advantage having been gained by the Union army. During our ab- 
sence to the left of the line, where we were sent to help the Third 
Corps, there was hard fighting at Cemetery Hill, and by the time we 
got back the fighting was practically over at that point ; so we es- 
caped loss in both instances. At the council of corps commanders 
held on this day the following questions were asked : 

1 . Under existing circumstances, is it advisable for this army to remain in its 
present position or to retire to another nearer its base of supplies? 

2. It being determined to remain in present position, shall the array attack or 
wait the attack of the enemy? 

3. If an attack, how long ? 

Gibbon : 

1. Correct position of the army, but would not retreat. 

2. In no condition to attack, in his opinion. 
Williams : 

1. Stay. 

2. Wait attack. 

3. One day. 
Briney: • 

Same as General Williams. 

Same as General Williams. 
Newton : 

1 . Correct position of army, but would not retreat. 

2. By all means not attack. 

3. If we attack, it will give them a chance to cut our line. 


Howard : 

1. Remain. 

2. Wait attack until 4 P.M. to-morrow. 

3. If don't attack, attack them. 
Hancock : 

1. Rectify position without moving so as to give up field. 

2. Not attack unless our communications are cut. 

3. Can't wait long; can't be idle. 
Sedgwick : 

I. Remain and wait attack at least one day. 
Slocum : 

I. Stay and fight it out. 

1863. At daylight we found ourselves in front of the batteries 

Friday, qjj Cemetery Hill facing the town; an uncomfortable 
J" ^ ^' position on account of the sharpshooters who were 

posted in houses fronting the hill, and, like the man at 
the Donnybrook Fair, wherever they saw a head, were there to hit it. 

Soon after daylight we received what, for the moment, seemed a 
very singular order. At a given signal we were to rush from our 
position in front to the rear of the batteries with as much confusion 
and zigzagging as possible, the purpose being to confuse the enemy 
and to prevent the men becoming a mark for the sharpshooters. 
The movement was made so suddenly that it was all over before the 
enemy had time to recover from their surprise. It was always grati- 
fying to the rank and file to see a ray of intelligence exhibited, 
even in a general officer. 

We were now held in reserve, in readiness to be sent at once to 
any part of the lines that might need strengthening. As a lull had 
occurred in the fighting, a good many of the boys occupied the 
time in sleep, while some visited officers, and friends in other 
regiments, swapping gossip, etc. 

About I o'clock the silence was suddenly broken by the discharge 
of signal-guns by the enemy. Immediately following this was the 
continuous discharge of one hundred and thirty-eight pieces of ar- 
tillery, answered by eighty pieces of our own, making a roar such as 
the world has rarely heard. 

The air was full of projectiles, while bursting shells were carrying 


1863. havoc among supply-trains, ambulances, and reserve bat- 

teries, the men in the meanwhile hurrying for shelter 
behind the slightest elevation of ground. It seemed to rain shells. 

During this excitement our division, under General Robinson, was 
removed from its exposed position to the north-east side of Cemetery 
Hill, where it was placed in support of some batteries at that point. 
It seemed like jumping out of the frying-pan into the fire, so far as 
danger was concerned, as we were now facing the sharpshooters and 
pickets on that side, who were swarming behind fences and stone 
walls, making it lively for the gunners in our rear. We sheltered 
ourselves as well as we could by hugging the ground or taking ad- 
vantage of any object that would stop or ward off a buUet. It was a 
hard place, inasmuch as it was impossible for us to do any firing, sit- 
uated as we were. While we were lying here our artillery aU along 
the line suddenly stopped firing, exciting in us grave apprehensions 
of failure and retreat. In fifteen minutes or more they began again, 
and shortly we were ordered to hasten to the support of the 
Second Corps, now engaged in repulsing Pickett's charge. We ran 
along the crest of the hill amid a continued shower of rebel shell, 
while the noise was increased by musketry-firing and the shouting 
and yelling of troops on both sides. Our speed was retarded by the 
broken caissons, gun-carriages, and other debris, and also the bodies 
of men and horses lying dead or wounded, many of the latter crawl- 
ing or limping to hospitals in the rear. 

During the movement, an incident happened to show the hard 
luck that followed a gallant regiment. The Sixteenth Maine, durmg 
the first day's fight, was assigned the very difficult duty of holding on 
and delaying, if possible, the advance of the enemy until the rest of 
the division could get to the rear ; and it did its work bravely and 
with great credit to itself, its colonel and most of the men being 
taken prisoners in the endeavor. The remnant of about twenty men 
that escaped were just ahead of us as we double-quicked along the 
ridge. Suddenly a Whitworth shell from one of the enemy's bat- 
teries exploded in their midst, and it seemed to us, as we hurried on 
over their mangled bodies, that every man must have been killed. 
Our entire division at this time, consisting of eleven regiments, num- 


1863. bered only about nine hundred men, and we felt sorry 

enough to see the remnant of this excellent regiment so 
completely wiped out. 

While these sights were such as are commonly observed on all 
battlefields, they seemed more hideous than any seen before, even 
to those familiar with such scenes. 

The tide of battle had turned just as we arrived, and the remnant 
of Pickett's corps could be seen hurrying back to their lines, while 
men were bringing in squads of prisoners, some willing and others 
unwilling to be captured. 

Thousands of Union men and officers, many of whom were be- 
grimed with powder or stained with blood, were shouting themselves 
hoarse at their success. Riding up and down the line coatless, 
waving his hat and shouting like the rest of us, was General Hays, 
dragging in the dust a lot of rebel banners whose staffs he held with 
the other hand. The rebel artillery- firing continued ; but no one 
thought of exploding shells at a moment like this. The army was 
boiling over with enthusiasm. It seemed as though the pent-up 
feelings of two long years had been suddenly released, so boisterous 
were its demonstrations. Everywhere in that much-abused army 
was expressed the wish to be led forth to finish up the bloody 

When the rebel army left its position on the south side of the 
Rappahannock River to march northward, its courage was tempered 
with the prestige of victory. Its feelings were buoyant with recent 
success and with anticipations of triumphant progress north of the 
Potomac. Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellors- 
ville had contributed to make the Confederate army feel invincible. 
Such a series of victories would have excited the pride and con- 
fidence of any army. Our generalship appeared so inferior to theirs, 
they imagined nothing could stop their onward progress. Every one 
knows how disheartening it is to endure continuous defeat, and what 
a weary grind it is to labor in vain. 

All the rhetorical flourishes of what we were going to do when we 
crossed the river to Chancellorsville were discussed from day to day, 
as we tramped along after Lee. Weariness, disappointment, and dis- 


1863. gust had possession of the rank and file of our army, 

while our opponents were filled with enthusiasm for their 
leaders and at the prospects of success. The first and second day 
at Gettysburg had failed to lessen their confidence. When Pickett's 
corps charged upon our line, the men must have felt that a grand 
success awaited them, as, indeed, any body of men might have felt 
under similar circumstances. The reaction that follows an unex- 
pected defeat is pretty sure to produce a panic, if taken advantage 
of by a victorious army. To our minds this seemed one of those 
moments when a Sheridan or a Stonewall Jackson might have anni- 
hilated Lee's army. Everything appeared to be in our favor. The 
Potomac swollen by the recent rains, the enemy away from their 
own territory, with a supply-train fifteen miles in length encumbered 
with ambulances, and thousands of prisoners unable to move at a 
high rate of speed, — all presented an opportunity such as the Army 
of the Potomac never had before nor after. " Press on ! " was Na- 
poleon's maxim. It was not so with us. There must be more 
slaughter, as if the gods were not already appeased. 

During the month of May, 1893, thirty years after the event just 
described, a party of military men visited the scene of this famous 
charge. Among the number were Generals Howard and Sickles, of 
the Union army, and Generals Longstreet and Alexander, of the Con- 
federate army. General Alexander was Longstreet's chief of staff. 
An account of this visit was published in the " New York Evening 
Post," from which the following interesting extract is taken : 

It is known that Longstreet was opposed to the Pickett charge, believing that 
it was a task beyond human endurance. It is known that he was opposed to 
fighting at Gettysburg at all. He told us to-day that he said to Lee, after Howard 
had taken his position on Cemetery Ridge, that these Gettysburg hills were of no 
more value to the Confederate army than any other ground in Pennsylvania or 
Maryland, and that a movement to the right would compel the Union forces to 
abandon their ground and occupy less favorable positions. Thereupon General 
Howard remarked that a movement to the right would have exposed Lee's com- 
munications, and that if Grant had been in command of the Union army, it would 
have been an act of suicide. " Yes, and if Grant had been in command, what we 
actually did would have been suicide," remarked one of the Confederate officers. 

When we arrived at the ground where Pickett's division was formed for the 
fatal charge which ended in its virtual annihilation, I asked General Longstreet 


1863. if there was anything to prevent a counter attaclc by General 

Meade after the remnant of Piclcett's men were driven back. " You 
can answer thh.t question, Alexander," replied Longstreet. General Alexander 
then took up the discourse, " We saw that the situation was desperate," he said. 
" I ordered up to that ridge (pointing to a slight elevation a few rods from us, 
and rather more than a mile distant from Cemetery Hill) every gun that had as 
much as twenty rounds of ammunition left. Our batteries, taken together, had 
an average of only fifteen rounds each. There was nothing for us to do but to 
fire the last shot from these guns. Everything was open from there to there 
(pointing to a space along the Confederate line half a mile in width). All that 
we had left was that fringe of guns with twenty rounds of ammunition," 

When General Alexander had said this. General Longstreet nodded and re- 
peated the words of his artillery chief: "There was nothing from there to there 
except that fringe of cannon — no infantiy at all." He then told an anecdote 
which an English officer (Captain Fremantle) who was with him at Gettysburg 
has narrated in a book. Fremantle says that he watched Pickett's men until 
the head of the column reached the Union line and began to clamber 
over the stone wall. Longstreet had watched it also, but with a more practised 
eye. He had seen the effect of the withering fire, and he knew that the leaping 
of the stone wall was but the last gasp of that stricken band. Fremantle ran up 
to him and exclaimed, " General, that is magnificent ! I wouldn't have missed it for 
the world." — "The hell you wouldn't," replied Longstreet. Secretary Stanton 
once directed Longstreet's attention to Fremantle's narrative and asked him 
whether it was true. He replied that probably there was nothing in his whole 
life that he could have spared more easily than the magnificence of that charge. 

We recognize that all this is a debatable question, particularly in 
the light of subsequent information, but we believe that what we 
have written is a correct statement of the prevailing feeling, as it ex- 
isted among the rank and file of the army at a supreme moment of 
this battle when the reasoning of men unacquainted with the hard 
logic of facts is, of course, likely to be defective. Until this moment 
we had had nothing but discouraging work, hardly holding the enemy 
even, but now we had reached the long-toiled-for opportunity, and 
victory seemed within our grasp — we had only to reach for it and it 
was ours ; but as usual with our poor old army, we waited until the 
enemy recovered from the unexpected shock, and then it was too late. 
Subsequently we learned what " old Abe," who saw deeper into the 
instincts of human nature than any man of his time, said to Meade ; 
and as usual when he wrote anything concerning the army he echoed 
its thoughts and feelings with great clearness : " The fruit seemed so 


1863. ripe, so ready for plucking, that it seemed a pity to lose 

it." In an hour the kaleidoscope of battle had changed, 
new combinations were made, and a great opportunity lost, we 

The following extract from Doubleday's account of the battle of 
Gettysburg is interesting, because it is so in harmony with the feeling 
which we have attempted to describe as prevailing in the army : 

When Pickett's charge was repulsed, and the whole plain covered with 
fugitives, we all expected that Wellington's command at Waterloo of " Up, Guards, 
and at them ! " would be repeated, and that a grand counter-charge would be 
made. But General Meade had made no arrangements for a return thrust. It 
seems to me that he should have posted the Sixth and part of the Twelfth Corps 
ill the rear of Gibbon's division the moment Pickett's infantry were seen emerg- 
ing from the woods, a mile and a half off. If they broke through our centre 
these corps would have been there to receive them, and if they failed to pierce 
our line and retreated, the two corps could have followed them promptly before 
they had time to rally and reorganize. An advance by Sykes would have kept 
Longstreet in position. In all probability we would have cut the enemy's army in 
two, and captured the long line of batteries opposite us, which were but slightly 
guarded. Hancock, lying wounded in an ambulance, wrote to Meade, recom- 
mending that this be done. Meade, it is true, recognized, in some sort, the good 
effects of a counter-blow; but to be effective the movement should have been 
prepared beforehand. It was too late to commence making preparation for an 
advance when some time had elapsed and when Lee had rallied his troops and 
had made all his arrangements to resist an assault. It was ascertained afterwards 
that he had twenty rounds of ammunition left per gun, but it was not evenly dis- 
tributed, and some batteries in front had fired away all their cartridges. A coun- 
ter-charge under such circumstances is considered almost imperative in war, for 
the beaten army, running and dismayed, cannot, in the nature of things, resist 
with much spirit, whereas the pursuers, highly elated by their success, and with 
the prospect of ending the contest, fight with more energy and bravery. Rodes 
says the Union forces were so long in occupying the town and in coming forward 
after the repulse of the enemy, that it was generally thought that they had re- 
treated. Meade rode leisurely over to the Fifth Corps on the left and told Sykes 
to send out and see if the enemy in his front was firm and holding on to his po- 
sition. A brigade, preceded by skirmishers, was accordingly sent forward, but as 
Longstreet's troops were well fortified, they resisted the advance, and Meade, 
finding some hours had elapsed and that Lee had closed up his lines and was 
fortifying against him, gave up all idea of a counter attack. 

About sunset a detail of fifty men from the Thirteenth were sent 
out in front to establish a skirmish line in connection with the troops 


1863. on the right and left, at a point just beyond the Emmits- 

burg pike, about midway of the plain between the armies, 
on the ground over which Pickett made his charge. 

The following graphic account of what was seen by this detail is 
related by Lieut. Edward F. Rollins, of our regiment : 

I, with other officers, was detailed to take fifty men of my regiment and estab- 
lish a skirmish line in connection with other troops on our right and left, at a rail 
fence beyond the Emmitsburg pike, and about midway of the plain, over which 
Pickett's charge had taken place. As this line made its way to its destination 
through the trampled and unmown grass, we often stumbled over dead bodies, 
and were exhorted by the wounded who had life enough to speak, " For God's 
sake don't step on us ! " or to give them a drink of water, or to turn them over, or 
other like entreaties. Though strict orders had been given to pay no attention to 
the wounded, with an explanation that the stretcher-bearers would follow the 
skirmish line, still flesh and blood could not refuse these offices, even to our late 
enemies. The thought came to me of my own comrades, wounded two days be- 
fore on Seminary Ridge, who must have asked the same favors of them. I also 
had a feeling of admiration for these brave men who had composed that charging 
party of 17,000 men marching closed en masse, and who closed up the gaps as our 
solid shot and shell ploughed through their ranks, and who still came on so 
magnificently that they almost deserved success, even in a bad cause. Arriving 
at the rail fence, we saw beyond a pile of dead and wounded, struck as they ex- 
posed themselves clambering over, while on the charge. A scattering fire had 
annoyed us as we advanced, but no determined effort was made to stop us. 

From the rebel line beyond, in the darkness, we could hear the sound of chop- 
ping and driving stakes in the ground; and this was intermingled with groans and 
shrieks of the wounded and dying, all around us. Indeed, neither time nor incli- 
nation will allow me to describe the horrors of that night. At 1 1 o'clock a detail 
of surgeons and assistants from our line came out, giving the wounded, so far as I 
could learn, not much but morphine. One wounded man would pass the word 
along to another, who begged for it to drown his sufferings. I arranged with an 
officer of the Ninety-fourth New York to call him when it was time for his relief to 
go on, and he showed me where he was going to lie down with one of his men on 
the same "relief," he wishing to get a little sleep. When the time came for me 
to call him I groped around and found him. On awakening he began to shake 
his blanket companion and told him to get up, it was time for their " relief" to go 
on duty. He could not start him, and greatly surprised were both of us when we 
discovered that he had made a mistake in the darkness, and had been sharing his 
blanket and sleeping beside the body of a dead rebel. This whole night a 
wounded and probably insane rebel, in the rear of the skirmish line, walked back 
and forth like a sentinel, singing religious hymns, in a clear, calm voice, and paid 
no attention to requests to keep quiet. We rejoined the regiment at daylight. 


1863. While the whole North was probably celebrating with 

Saturday, unrestrained joy the victories of Gettysburg and Vicks- 
burg, two of the boys had crawled out of their blankets 
and were now engaged in making coffee. The morning 
was cloudy. It was so early the troops were hardly astir. The boys 
were too busy with their labor to be wasting time in idle words, nor 
were they in the mood for much talk. The fatigue and excitement of 
the last three days had reacted, and they proceeded, in their melan- 
choly way, to brew their stimulating beverage. Presently one said 
to the other, " Bill, there was a fight yesterday, wasn't there ? " 

" I believe there was, Jim." 

" Who licked?" 

" Damned if I know ; I thought we did, by the hollering." 

"Then let's call it a victory." 

" I say, Jim, war doesn't seem such a hell of a picnic as we hoped 
it would be when we paid 1 12.50 for the privilege of enlisting, 
does it?" 

" I don't give a damn for the picnic, but what makes me sick is 
that every time we have a chance to finish up the business, we stop 
and give the ' rebs ' a chance to recover." 

" I wonder if the positions we left, on enlisting, will be open to 
us as promised, when we get back? " 

" If we carry on the war much longer as we do now, there'll be no 
' get back.' " 

" What are you going to do about it? " 

"Do? Nothing. What f a« we do ? " 

At this moment a third man approached the fire, 

"What are you fellows growling about? " 

" Jim, here, says we had a victory yesterday." 

" No, I didn't. I said, let's call it a victory." 

" You are right, Jim," said the new-comer. " We'll call it one, 
though it draws hard on the imagination." 

This conversation reflects pretty well the feeling that prevailed 
among the soldiers the morning of the fourth. 

As we reflected on the last three days' terrible work, we could not 
escape the impression that it was a repetition of Antietam, for in both 


1863. cases the enemy was granted " leave to withdraw " at a 

time when it could have had little expectation of the 
exercise of so benignant a privilege. 

By noon it began to rain in torrents, making the roads so muddy 
that it was impossible to manoeuvre artillery with any advantage, 
furnishing a good reason to Meade for thanking Providence for 
granting us a great victory. It was now plain enough to all that 
the fighting was over, and if Lee would only get back into Virginia 
we might make the claim, without fear of dispute. At present, 
however, the enemy showed a strong front, having apparently re- 
covered from the paralyzing shock of yesterday, thanks to our cus- 
tomary irresolution. 

We lay all day in a piece of woods to the south of the cemetery, 
wondering what would be the next move on the checker-board of 
fate. Desultory firing was kept up by the enemy, whose sharp- 
shooters occasionally hit a man. On one of these occasions, when 
an officer of our regiment was in the act of raising his dipper filled 
with coffee, a bullet passed completely through it. " A close shot," 
said the officer, and proceeded to drink the remainder of the coffee. 
Another one of our boys was shot in the thigh ; so the day didn't 
pass without some excitement and the customary Fourth of July 


Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

July 4, 1863, 6.35 A.M. 
(Received, 8.25 A.M.) 
Maj.-Gen. George [G.] Meade, Commanding U. S. Army of the Potomac : 

General : In order to promote the comfort and convenience of the officers and 
men captured by the opposing armies in the recent engagements, I respectfully 
propose that an exchange be made at once. 

Should this proposition be acceptable, please indicate the hour and point be- 
tween the lines of the armies where such an exchange can be made. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. LEE, 


Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

July 3 [4], 1863, 8.25 A.M. 

Gen. R. E. Lee, Commanding Army of Northern Virginia : 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, 
proposing to make an exchange at once of the captured officers and men in my 

244 tiihee years in the army. 

1863. possession, and have to say, most respectfully, that it is not in my 

power to accede to the proposed arrangement. 
Very respectfully, etc., 

Major-General Commanding, 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

July 4, 1863, 7 A.M. 
Major-General Halleck: 

This morning the enemy has withdrawn his pickets from the positions of yes- 
terday. My own pickets are moving out to ascertain the nature and extent of the 
enemy's movements. My information is not sufficient for me to decide its char- 
acter yet — whether a retreat or manoeuvre for other purposes. 


Major- General. 

General Robinson, our division commander, makes the following 
report of the doings of his division during the battle : 

Headquarters Second Division, First A. C., 

July 18, 1863. 

Sir : I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this 
division in the engagements of the 1st, 2d, and 3d instant: 

On the morning of Wednesday the ist, the division marched from Eramitsburg, 
bringing up the rear of the column, and when about three miles from Gettysburg, 
hearing firing in front, it was pushed rapidly forward, and, arriving on the field, 
was placed, by order of the major-general commanding First Corps, in reserve, 
near the Seminary. Almost immediately after taking this position, I received no- 
tice that the enemy was advancing a heavy column of infantry on the right of our 
line of battle, when I sent the Second Brigade, under Brigadier-General Baxter, to 
meet it. Orders being received at this time to hold the Seminary, the First Bri- 
gade, under Brigadier-General Paul, was set at work to intrench the ridge on which 
it was situated. I then rode to the right of the line to superintend the operations 
there. On my arrival, I found the Second Brigade so placed as to cover our 
right flank, but with too great an interval between it and the line of the first divis- 
ion. I at once directed General Baxter to change front forward on his left bat- 
talion, and to close this interval, toward which the enemy was making his way. By 
the time this change was efiected, the whole front of the brigade became hotly en- 
gaged, but succeeded in repulsing the attack. The enemy, however, soon after 
brought up fresh forces, in increased masses, when, finding the position so seriously 
threatened, I sent for and brought up the First Brigade [in which was the Thir- 
teenth], and placed part of it in the position first occupied by Baxter's brigade, and 
the remaining battalions as a support to his second position. The enemy now 


1863. made repeated attacks on the division, in all of which he was hand- 

somely repulsed, with the loss of three flags and about one 
thousand prisoners. 

In one of these attacks I was deprived of the veteran commander of the First 
Brigade, Brigadier- General Paul, who fell severely wounded, while gallantly di- 
recting and encouraging his command. 

The division held its position on the right — receiving and repelling the fierce 
attacks of a greatly superior number, not only in front, but on the flank, and when 
the enemy's ranks were broken, charging upon him and capturing his colors and 
men — from about noon until nearly 5 P.M., when I received orders to withdraw. 
These orders not being received until all other troops (except Stewart's Battery) 
had commenced moving to the rear, the division held its ground, until outflanked 
right and left, and retired fighting. 

From the nature of the enemy's attacks, frequent changes were rendered neces- 
sary, and they were made under a galling fire. No soldiers ever fought better, 
or inflicted severer blows upon the enemy. When out of ammunition, their boxes 
were replenished from those of their dead and wounded comrades. 

The instances of distinguished gallantry are too numerous to be embodied in 
this report, and I leave it to the brigade and regimental commanders to do justice 
to those under their immediate command. Where all did so well it is difficult to 

After withdrawing from this contest I took up a posttion on a ridge to the left 
of the cemetery, facing the Emmitsburg road, and remained there until afternoon 
of the next day, when I was relieved by a division of the Second Corps, and or- 
dered to the support of the Eleventh Corps. In the evening I was ordered to 
the left of our line, but was soon after directed to return. 

On Friday morning, the 3d inst., the division was massed and held ready to 
push forward to the support of the Twelfth Corps, then engaged with the enemy 
on our right. 

About noon I was informed by the major-general commanding the army that 
he anticipated an attack on the cemetery by the enemy's forces massed in the 
town, and was directed to so plan my command that if our line gave way I could 
attack the enemy on his flank. I proceeded to make this change of position 
at the moment the enemy commenced the terrific artillery fire of that day. 
Never before were troops so exposed to such a fire of shot and shell, and 
yet the movement was made in perfect order and with little loss. 

Later in the day, the enemy having made his attack on our left instead of the 
centre, I was ordered to the right of the Second Corps, which position I held 
until Sunday, when the line was withdrawn. 

This division went into battle with less than 2,500 officers and men, and sus- 
tained a loss of 1,667, of which 124 were commissioned officers. 

Bri^.- Gen. Commanding Division. 




The following communication explains itself: 

Headquarters Second Division, First A. C, 

November 15, 1863. 
Maj.-Gen. George G. Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac: 

General : I feel it is my duty to inform you of the intense mortification and 
disappointment felt by my division in reading your report of the battle of 

For nearly four hours on July ist we were hotly engaged against overwhelming 
numbers, repulsed repeated attacks of the enemy, captured their flags and a very 
large number of prisoners, and were the last to leave the field. 

The division formed the right of the line of battle of the First Corps, and dur- 
ing the whole time had to fight the enemy in front and protect our right flank 
(the division of the Eleventh Corps being at no time less than half a mile in 
rear) . We went into action with less than two thousand five hundred men, and 
lost considerably more than half our number. 

We have been proud of our efforts on that day, and hoped that they would be 
recognized. It is but natural we should feel disappointed that we are not once 
referred to in the report of the commanding general. 

Trusting that you will investigate this matter and give us due credit, I am. Gen- 
eral, very respectfully your obedient servant, 

Brig.- Gen. Commanding Division. 

General Meade's reply to this communication, if he ever made 

any, cannot be found in the War Records. 

The following table shows the losses at Gettysburg : 
First Corps . 
Second Corps 
Third Corps . 
Fifth Corps . 
Sixth Corps . 
Eleventh Corps 
Twelfth Corps 
Cavalry Corps 
Artillery Reserve 
General Headquarters 

Totel . 













1863. At daylight it was announced that the Confederate 

Sunday, army had retreated. At 9 o'clock the regiment was 
•"^ ^ moved to the left of the line to a position lately occu- 

pied by the Third Corps. Burying parties were now 
busily employed to bury the dead, from whose bodies the stench 
was almost intolerable. 

The following is an extract from a letter written for the Christian 
Commission by Mr. R. G. McCreary, a prominent citizen and lawyer 
of Gettysburg, who was an eye-witness of the scenes he describes : 

The battle of the ist of July commenced about the middle of the forenoon be- 
tween the rebels advancing on the Chambersburg turnpike and Buford's cavalry 
who, as the infantry of the First Army Corps came up and formed in line of 
battle, slowly retired to the rear. The approaching storm was watched with in- 
tense anxiety by the citizens, but it was not long until the boom of cannon, the 
bursting of shell, the rattle and crash of heavy infantry firing along the ridges 
west of the town, and the streams of litters which began to move in from the 
field of carnage, brought them to realize the fact that a fierce and bloody contest 
was in progress, 

I saw no more of the battle till the middle of the afternoon, though there was 
abundant evidence in the many mangled forms coming in, upon whom I was 
tending, and the louder and increasing crash of arms, that the conflict svas a most 
terrible one, and was rapidly approaching the town. At length, by the frequent 
explosion of shells in the immediate neighborhood, I found that our army was 
falling back, and soon the rush and roar in the streets banished everything else 
from my mind. That was a terrible night. Our army had been driven back; the 
town was full of armed enemies. We saw and heard the; progress of pillage all 
around us. 

The morning of July 2d revealed a dreadful sight — dead horses and dead men 
lay about the streets, and there were none to bury them. Our first care was for 
the multitude of wounded men now suffering for the want of food. The bak- 
eries were in the hands of the rebels, ^nd not a loaf nor a cracker remained; the 
butchers' cattle had been driven off or confiscated, and no meat could be procured; 
the groceries were broken open, and their contents carried away or destroyed by 
troops of rebels, who, like hungry wolves, roamed through the streets in search of 

The rebel officers, until Triday (July 3), seemed to be entirely confident of 
success. One of them said to me on the forenoon of Thursday that they would 
not remain with us more than a few hours, as General Lee had his plan of battle 
nearly arranged, and they would move forward, and he seemed to think with 
assured success; they extolled General Lee as the great master of the military 
art, and spoke of his admirable strategy in making a grand feint toward Phila- 


1863. delphia in order to concentrate his army here for an attack on Balti- 

more and Washington. About this time a squad of soldiers passing 
were halted, and asked to what they belonged? They replied, "To the Second 
Louisiana Brigade." They were then asked if they had taken a battery they had 
been charging upon? and they replied that they had "To come out," and could 
not take it. The officers were silent. These men said the next day that they had 
but fifty men left in their brigade after that assault. They were the "Louisiana 
Tigers," of whom those officers had boasted that " they had never been driven 
back in a charge, and never would be." 

On Friday night and Saturday morning the rebel army had withdrawn from 
the town to the crest of Seminary Ridge, and our skirmishers had driven out or 
captured their stragglers and pickets. While the dead still lay unburied and the 
helpless wounded upon the field were numbered by the thousands, the call of the 
bugle summoned the victors from the side of the dying, the faithful surgeon from 
the pierced skull, the mangled flesh, and broken limb. Saturday, Sunday, and 
Monday, the town of Gettysburg presented a woful appearance. Guns were 
scattered in the streets or piled upon the sidewalks. Pavements were stained 
with blood. Every church and public building, and in fact almost every private 
house, was filled with wounded. More than twenty thousand wounded men were 
in and around Gettysburg. 

After the departure of the enemy from Gettysburg, we had the 
pleasure of meeting the people, who gave us a pretty clear idea of 
how Mr. " Johnnie Reb " behaved while in possession of the town, 
from which we learned a new lesson in warfare. Not exactly a new 
lesson, but the application of an old one in vogue during the days 
when plundering and pillage went hand in hand with grim-visaged 

When the " Rebs " crossed the border line of Pennsylvania, they 
began a systematic plundering of such towns and people as showed 
evidence of possessing anything worth taking. As we listened to the 
stories that were told us, we couldn't refrain from contrasting the 
methods pursued by the Union army when marching in their country. 
We sometimes thought our officers were unnecessarily strict, particu- 
larly in the matter of fence-rails. A good many soldiers who couldn't 
rob a bank or a store, had no compunctions about taking rails for a 
fire or the building of a hut, though orders were continually issued to 
prevent us. The enemy probably thought it was quite as honorable 
to crack a bank as to be seen sneaking away with a fence- rail. Gen- 
eral Sherman says war should be carried on without gloves, which 


1863. the Southern army not only believed in, but practised. 

What we did, up to the time Sheridan made his appear- 
ance, was to protect property and crops ; and in the autumn Stone- 
wall Jackson would make a raid up the valley of Virginia, and gather 
in for his use what we had so carefully guarded. It looked to us a 
little like overdoing the thing. 

The " Rebs " showed mercy to no one ; anybody who had anything 
worth the taking, was compelled to surrender it. Upon their entry 
into Gettysburg, they demanded of the inhabitants 1,200 pounds of 
sugar, 6,000 pounds of coffee, 60 barrels of flour, 100 pounds of salt, 
7,000 pounds of bacon, 10 barrels of whiskey, 10 barrels of onions, 
1,000 pairs of boots, and 100 hats ; or, in lieu thereof, 85,000 in cash. 
In other places they collected large stores of materials, great num- 
bers of horses, wagons, and cattle, which they sent across the Poto- 
mac. Whenever we got anything at a store in Virginia, we were 
charged an exorbitant price, as though we were all " Rothschilds ; " and 
we paid for it. If any man forgot payment, a complaint was promptly 
made to the colonel. We have heard a good deal said about the 
sharpness of the Yankee trader, and no doubt the early settlers on 
Cape Cod were qualified to hold their end up with the shrewdest, 
but that was a long time ago. As compared with the astuteness of 
an able-bodied Virginian, the Yankee, according to our experience 
during the war, must take a back seat. Once in a while they got 
worsted, but as a rule, they could give us points. One thing is 
certain, we did not stand over them with a bayonet, as they did with 
the people of Pennsylvania, and make them disgorge their hidden 
wealth. We admit that we did appropriate rails from the fences 
whenever we could without fear of arrtst. From an aesthetic point 
of view, the improvement in the appearance of the landscape that 
followed the removal of those unsightly fences more than com]Den- 
sated for their loss. This was not accepted as a sufficient excuse, as 
it might have been had they possessed any artistic appreciation of 
the beauty of the country in which they lived. 



1863. It having been definitely settled that the enemy had 

Monday, jgf^ jjjg vicinity of Gettysburg, we started on the road 
■"^ ^ ■ toward Emmitsburg, and after a inarch of six miles went 

into camp about two miles north of that town, it being 
certain that the rebels were sufficiently interested in their own wel- 
fare not to think of doing us any harm. 

Got away early and marched about twenty miles over 
Tuesday, a rough mountain foot-path, camping about 8 P.M. near 
July 7. the top of Catoctin Mountain, and not far from a place 

called Bealsville (or Bealtsville). During the latter half 
of the day it rained in torrents. 

During our march to-day a very pretty scene occurred that touched 
a tender chord in the hearts of the boys. Our service in Virginia 
was so generally exempt from exhibitions of loyalty, that we 
highly appreciated the evidences of warm-hearted feeling which 
existed for Union soldiers, and it brought a good deal of en- 
couragement. These outward manifestations of friendly feeling 
for us were so very real, that they made a deep impression on the 
mind. We were a dirty, ragged, unattractive lot ; our equipments 
battered with the hard usage of many campaigns of marching, dig- 
ging, and fighting. In spite of our uncomely and unsoldierly 
appearance, we were enthusiastically received, and it did us a power 
of good. We had halted for a rest at some cross-roads, when a lot 
of pretty bright-eyed girls, all dressed in " Stars and Stripes," came 
from a school near by, and forming themselves into a group, with 
the smallest standing on the upper rail of a fence, waving a flag, 
they sung the " Battle-cry of Freedom." It was an affecting sight 
to see those pretty little creatures, so earnest and with voices so 
sweet, singing to a lot of old veterans, whose eyes moistened as they 

MAP N9) 


1863. listened in silence to the words of that noble hymn. It 

was a graceful thing, which the lapse of time cannot 
efface from our memory. 

Marched in a drenching rain through Bealsville and 
Wednesday, Middletown, halting about four hours in the latter place ; 
July 8. then continued our march through South Mountain Gap, 

where we halted after dark. Distance, fourteen miles. 
Upon our arrival we threw up works in anticipation that the enemy 
might dispute our advance, as some of our artillery had become 
engaged with him just outside of Boonsboro'. We finished our 
line of breastworks about midnight. 

At daylight we found ourselves lying in line of battle 
Thursday, on the Boonsboro' side of the mountain, about half-way 
July g. down in the rear of three lines already formed, — a fact 

we were ignorant of on our arrival last night. Until 
reaching Middletown yesterday, our direction had been southerly ; 
but on leaving that town we changed it to north-west, our noses 
pointing toward Hagerstown, about twelve miles away. That is to 
say that we were within twelve miles of the point where we landed 
Aug. I, 1861, on our journey from home — almost two years 
before. Verily we must make better time if the rebellion was to 
be crushed before our term of service expired. We remained all 
day in this position. 

The enemy having fallen back, we marched down the 
Friday, mountain to Boonsboro', that pleasant little town, through 
July 10. which we marched in the days when we were a thousand 

strong, now with only seventy-eight men. We found 
that the people still held us in kindly remembrance, and opportu- 
nity was afforded of renewing our acquaintances of two years back. 
We preceded to a spot near Funkstown, about four miles from 
Hagerstown, on the Baltimore Pike, where we camped for the night. 
This country was as familiar to us as the scenes of our childhood, 
and the old friends we met set our hearts beating with pleasure. 

The people were glad enough to supply us with milk and bread, 
and in fact with luxuries, such as pies and cakes. 

During the last two or three days our artillery had been doing 


1863. considerable " barking," but, like a young terrier dog, 

it was all bark and no bite. 
On the nth of July General Lee issued to his soldiers the follow- 
ing stirring appeal : 

General Orders, 1 

No. 76. J Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

July II, 1863. 

After long and trying marches, with the fortitude that has ever characterized 
the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia, you have penetrated the country of 
our enemies, and recalled to the defence of their own soil those who were engaged 
in the invasion of ours. 

You have fought a fierce and sanguinary battle, which, if not attended with the 
success that has hitherto crowned your efforts, was marked by the same heroic 
spirit that has commanded the respect of your enemies, the gratitude of your 
country, and the admiration of mankind. 

Once more y6u are called upon to meet the army from which you have won on 
so many fields a name that will never die. 

Once more the eyes of your countrymen are turned upon you, and again do 
wives and sisters, fathers and mothers, and helpless children lean for defence on 
your strong arms and brave hearts. 

Let every soldier remember that on his courage and fidelity depends all that 
makes life worth living, — the freedom of his country, the honor of his people, and 
security of his home. Let each heart grow strong in the remembrance of our glo- 
rious past, and in the thought of the inestimable blessings for which we contend, 
and, invoking the assistance of the Divine Providence, which has so signally 
blessed our former efforts, let us go forth in confidence to secure the peace and 
safety of our country. 

Soldiers ! your old enemy is before you ! Win from him honors worthy of 
your righteous cause — worthy of your comrades dead on so many illustrious 

R. E. LEE, 


The South was bound to have honor and peace, if it had to 
smash everything in the house. 

Last night we were on picket, but were withdrawn this 
Sunday, morning, when we moved across Antietam Creek and 
July 12. built earthworks, facing Hagerstown. We were called 
upon to-day by Senator Wilson. -As Company H was 
from Natick, his place of residence, it was expected that he would 
favor us with some remarks, but the rain prevented. 


1863. All day long could be heard firing by the skirmishers 

Monday, pf ^j^j-j^ armies, and there were expectations that a battle 
•" ^' would be fought. The enemy was making earnest efforts 
to get across the river at Williamsport, but the water had 
risen so high that it was a dangerous undertaking without bridges. 

In order to test the depth and current from time to time, the 
enemy would make a "nigger" attempt to ford the river daily; 
threatening him with his life if he didn't comply, according to the 
testimony of one of our boys, who was there as a prisoner. 

Fresh troops were constantly arriving to increase our numbers, 
and if the enemy would only wait long enough we would make bold 
to attack him. In the meantime we became impatient at our 

We have heard men say that they would as lief fight as to eat. 
We are not prepared to dispute the existence of such a propensity, 
though we believe it was extremely rare. We have in mind one of 
these heroes, who, previous to his desertion, had excited our admira- 
tion by his expressions of impatience because the opportunity for 
fighting had been so long delayed. We couldn't understand why, 
having enUsted as a soldier, all our fighting blood seemed to have 
vanished, and we hoped that some of the overflow from his abundant 
supply of courage might reach us ; but it didn't, because, as will be 
seen, there wasn't any to overflow. When we came within range of 
the enemy's fire at the battle of Cedar Mountain, this hero clapped 
his hand on his dipper, exclaiming, " By Gad ! I've lost my dipper !" 
and "lit out " to find it. Three days after, he returned to relate the 
wonderful deeds he had performed while fighting in another regiment. 
He was not court-martialed, though he ought to have been. It irri- 
tated him very much to hear repeated day after day the stories he 
had related of his valor, polished and exaggerated by the wit of 
others; and so he decamped, and we never saw him any more. 
His name may be found among those patriots who " struck for 
home," having escaped being a hero for the lack of a good pair 
of legs. One satisfaction we got out of this exhibition of heroism 
was that we were a little less ashamed to say we preferred eating 
to fighting. Furthermore, we began to ponder on this abnormal 


1863. appetite for human gore, which was said to exist, until 

we became convinced that few men desired to fight 
for the love of fighting. 

According to our experience the present situation was one of the 
very few occasions during three years' service when the army really 
wanted to fight, excepting of course those particular moments when 
men are wrought to a high pitch of excitement, such as the moment 
of Pickett's repulse on the third day of Gettysburg. Lee was now 
about to cross the Potomac, and the opportunity seemed at hand 
when we might finish up the job so far as his army was concerned. 
Here he was, his movement south retarded by a swollen river ; his 
men demoralized ; encumbered with a large wagon train, including 
ambulances loaded with wounded and sick, and Lee himself most 
likely disheartened. Our army did not want to go back into 
Virginia to engage in another series of unsuccessfiil campaigns. 
For these reasons the army was anxious to fight, and our com- 
manding officers were condemned in harsh and bitter terms by the 
rank and file, when it was learned that Lee had crossed the river. 

Discovering that the few troops of the enemy that 
Tuesday, ^^^ been left in our front to scare us from activity had 
July 14. disappeared, we soon learned that the rebel army had 
succeeded in crossing into Virginia, making it perfecdy 
safe for us to advance to the river without molestation. As one of 
the boys facetiously said, " We act like a lot of scared monkeys." 

In the afternoon we marched to within a mile and a half of 
Williamsport, which town we left March i, 1862. Being dis- 
appointed that Lee was allowed to cross without a battle, the regi- 
ment was hardly in a mood to visit its old friends with whom we 
spent nearly five pleasant months. Visits were paid us, however, by 
several persons, from whom we heard about the boys of the Thir- 
teenth who were captured at Gettysburg, and who passed through the 
town with the division under General Imboden. We got considerable 
information about the enemy, and learned how much they feared we 
would attempt to stop their flight, as they were in no condition to 
make much of an opposition. This news had a still fiirther de- 
pressing effect on us, and all night long we did penance by fighting 


1863. the bugs which infested the clover-field where the regi- 

ment was encamped. 
With respect to the operations of the Army of the Potomac at 
this time, it is interesting to read the testimony given before the 
Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, of which the 
following is an extract : 

General Sedgwick made the statement that a council of war was held by Gen- 
eral Meade, July 1 2th, and that General Wadsworth, then commanding the First 
Corps in the absence of General Newton, General Howard, of the Eleventh, and 
General Pleasanton, commanding the cavalry, voted for attack, and that all others 
present strongly opposed it. 

General Wadsworth's testimony before the same committee was that a council 
was held at 9 P.M. on the evening of the 12th, at Meade's headquarters. That 
Meade stated briefly the condition of our forces, giving his estimates of our army 
and the best information he had as to the strength of the enemy. 

That Generals Sedgwick, Slocum, Sykes, French, and Hays pronounced de- 
cidedly against the attack. That General Meade stated that he favored an attack. 
That he came there to fight the enemy, and he did not see any good reason why 
he should not fight them, but he could not take the responsibility of bringing on 
an engagement against the advice of his corps commanders. 

Allowing Lee to cross the Potomac River without interference had 
a very demoralizing effect on the army. To march all tke way from 
Gettysburg to Williamsport merely to see that Lee got safely across 
the river seemed an unnecessary expenditure of muscle. The army 
felt exactly as General Meade described his own feelings to be, and 
it seemed a pity that his strength of mind was not equal to his 
judgment. "Councils of war never fight," has been said. The 
army was heartily sick of this shilly-shally way of fighting. The 
growing feeling of discontent that rankled in the hearts of the men 
found daily utterance as we marched along. 

Instead of following Lee's army across the river at 
Wednesday, Williamsport, we took a south-easterly direction, march- 
July 15. ing through Bakersville, Keedysville, and Rohrersville, 
to Crampton Gap, a distance of twenty miles, where we 
camped. During the day we crossed a portion of the Antietam 
battlefield. "The enemy was driven out of Maryland," as the 
papers stated, while we were styled " The defenders of the nation's 


1863. honor." The statement didn't seem tp be quite in ac- 

cordance with the facts, nor were we at all satisfied that 
the " nation's honor " had been very well defended. 

The second anniversary of our muster- in at Fort In- 
Thursday, dependence. One year more of service. 
July 16. In the meantime we continued singing " What will you 

do when the war breaks the country up? " 
We marched down the mountain, through Burkittsville, to near 
Berlin, where we encamped — a distance of eight miles. The sutler 
arrived with a load of luxuries, and he afforded almost as much pleas- 
ure as the paymaster. 

Yesterday we saw the Fifty-first Regiment, whose term 

Saturday, of enlistment (nine months) had expired, start for home. 

July 18. This regiment was placed in the second division of our 

corps on the 13th inst., and fortunately for its members 

they escaped the honor of dying for their country. 

A pontoon bridge having been completed across the Potomac, we 
crossed to Waterford, about eight miles, passing through the village 
of Lovettsville. 

Marched eight miles to a point beyond Hamilton, and 
Sunday, ^camped in the woods near Harmony Church ; arriving, 
July 19. alas ! too late for church services. A lieutenant and 
six men were detailed and started on the 25 th for 
Boston for the conscripts, substitutes, volunteers, and bounty-jumpers 
who were assigned to the Thirteenth. 

Marched at 4 A.M., reaching Middleburg at six in the 
Monday, evening, a distance of sixteen miles. Two of General 
July 20. Newton's staff were captured by Mosby's guerillas. 

On reaching Goose Creek we found the water be- 
tween three and four feet deep and without a bridge, so we were 
obliged to ford it. A soldier acts a good deal like a cat when his 
feet first touch the water. In this case the banks were very slipper)-, 
and before they knew it, a good many made an unexpected plunge 
into the stream, to the great merriment of others who had suc- 
ceeded better. 

We found two hundred sick and wounded rebel soldiers at this 


1863. place, abandoned by the enemy, who were hastening 

on towards Richmond. We also found a large quan- 
tity of stores stolen from the people of Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania, which were appropriated to the uses of the Army of the 

We spent the day in picking blackberries, which 
Wednesday, were in great abundance, and hunting for new potatoes. 
July 22. In the evening, about 10 o'clock, we started as rear 

guard to the wagon train, and marched until 3 A.M. — 
a distance of ten miles. Before reaching White Plains, the Thir- 
teenth was halted and sent out for picket duty. 

We were witness to-day of an exhibition of loyalty that was re- 
freshing, as it was unexpected. A girl between fourteen and six- 
teen years of age, while on her way to school, gave the contents of 
her dinner- basket to some of the boys. " Bully for her ! " was the 
exclamation. A short distance farther on, as we were passing a 
house, the lady thereof gave us all the bread she had, hot from 
the oven, remarking that if she had known we were coming she 
would have baked more, adding that she was glad of an oppor- 
tunity of doing something for " ,^i?r government." In addition to 
this act of kindness, she made her boys bring water to the road for 
us to drink. 

As an offset to this kindness, one of the boys, after we reached 
camp, made application at a house for some milk, and was captured 
by Mosby's men, but was subsequently paroled, — a streak of good 
fortune which did occasionally occur, even with Mosby. 

Marched at 10 A.M., arriving at Warrenton at 4 
Thursday, P.M., a distance of twelve miles. We passed through 
July 23. the town to the west, camping on the hill. It was about 

a year since we camped in this vicinity, where we had 
such a feast of blackberries and sulphur-spring water. 

Yesterday was spent by some of us in visiting the 
Saturday, acquaintances we made on our previous visit ; reach- 
July 25. ing "across the bloody chasm," and shaking hands 

with some who could sink their prejudices against a 
Yankee long enough to pump him for information of what was 


1863. going to be done. We were otherwise engaged in 

throwing up earthworks. 

This morning we were turned out at 3 A.M., and marched at five 
o'clock to Warrenton Junction, twelve miles, which place we reached 
at noon. Here we rested for an hour or two and then marched to 
Catlett's Station, three miles, and, for some unexplained reason, 
immediately returned to the Junction. 

At night, while a heavy thunder-shower was coming up, and we 
were congratulating ourselves at being snugly encamped, the " gen- 
eral " was sounded from brigade headquarters for us to pack up, 
and just as it began to rain we marched to Bealton Station, eight 
miles, where we arrived at midnight, soaked through to the skin — 
all on account of having no umbrellas. 

The Thirty-ninth Massachusetts was added to our 
Sunday, brigade to-day. Having full ranks, it looked to us more 
July a6. like a brigade than a regiment. 

Blackberries were all about us in great quantities, and 
we made the most of our opportunity to pick them. 

We changed camp during the day to a higher ground, on the 
same spot where we camped June 13. 

Marched to the Rappahannock Station, taking position 
Monday, in the old fortifications above the bridge, where we could 
July 27. easily see the rebel pickets across the river. 

Orders were read to the regiment " not to build fires 
nor to go to the top of the hill." Three or four of the boys, whose 
curiosity could not be restrained, ventured to the summit in spite 
of this command, and on their way back met an officer who 
awarded them four hours' "knapsack drill" as punishment for 
disobeying orders. 

Our position was behind a hill. The only part of our 
Tuesday, division with us was our brigade and a small cavalry 
July 28. force, the remainder of the division being scattered 
along the railroad to Warrenton Junction. 

A small force of the enemy's cavalry were in sight across the river, 
and, as we believed, too few in number to dispute our advance. 

We were completely washed out by a thunder-storm to-day. 


1863. The second anniversary of our departure from home. 

Wednesday, -j-j^g j-ailroad having been repaired to Rappahannock 

Tulv 20 

Station, pontoons were brought along from Alexandria. 
A detail of two hundred men was made from the 
brigade to construct a bridge across the river, which was completed 
about midnight. 

While some of us were watching the building of the bridge, one 
of the boys related an incident that happened to him the night we 
reached this place on our retreat, under Pope, from the Rapidan 
during the Manassas campaign. It will be remembered that on 
that occasion we had been on the road more than nineteen hours, 
so that by the time we reached the Rappahannock River, the men 
were so completely fagged out that they threw themselves on the 
ground without waiting for orders, and were soon fast asleep. In a 
few moments orderly-sergeants could be heard vigorously calling the 
names of men for picket duty ; but all in vain, as no response was 
heard. Candles were then lighted, and the detail selected from those 
unfortunate beings who happened to have dumped themselves near 
the sergeants. The guard being formed, it was marched back across 
the river and posted. As it was reasonably certain that the enemy's 
pickets would advance to as near the river as possible, great caution 
had to be exercised to prevent a surprise. Our informant says that 
after two or three hours of watching, his eyes closed in spite of his 
responsibility and the fact that he might be shot if found asleep. 
Suddenly he was startled by the noise, as he imagined, of some one 
approaching ; terrified lest he had been caught napping, he thought 
he saw a man crouching on the ground a short distance in front of 
him. It was too dark to distinguish objects, so he dropped on his 
hands and knees and slowly approached the figure, thinking of the 
glory that awaited him if he should capture a rebel picket. When 
within a short distance of the object, he rushed forward and grabbed 
with all his might, and to his great amazement — a barrel of beans .' 
At daylight he rolled it into camp and divided the contents among 
his comrades. On being relieved from duty he proceeded to make 
a bean stew by means of his dipper, that being the only utensil he 


1863. had. After spending the entire day in patiently re- 

plenishing the fire and dipping out beans from his 
constantly overflowing cup, he found to his sorrow that they were 
about as hard as pills, so he emptied them into the river, where 
they have been soaking ever since. Patience and profanity accom- 
plished wonders in our army, as no doubt they did in the armies of 
Caesar and Hannibal ; but they failed completely when applied to 
cooking beans in a tin dipper holding only a pint. 

We were called up at 3 A.M., and taken to the top of 
Saturday, ^.jjg j^jfj^ where we could aid in protecting the men at 

^^ '■ work on the bridge. 

When the bridge was completed Buford's division of cavalry and 
a battery crossed and drove the enemy within two miles of Cul- 
peper, which town is about eleven miles south from where we were 
stationed, and where he encountered Longstreet's corps, who attacked 
and repulsed our forces. At noon we crossed the river, advancing 
in line of battle along the south bank, until we reached the hill 
where stood the " white house," so called ; and at sunset began the 
building of rifle-pits, which we completed about midnight, and then 
turned in and slept "the sleep of the just." 

The weather was very warm. Last evening numbers 
Sunday, of Buford's cavalry came straggling in with exaggerated 
August 2. stories of their losses, reminding us of what David, the 
psalmist, said, that " all men are liars." 

Strong evidences prevailed that we were to have a fight, as we 
were ordered to remain constantly in our places, while workmen 
were busy all day repairing the railroad bridge. So far the First 
Corps was the only one across the Rappahannock. 

We continued the work of fortifying, building intrenchments, and 
felling trees for abattis. 

We could plainly hear the fighting of the cavalry at Brandy 

The heat continued intolerable. The railroad bridge 
Monday, being completed, trains were allowed to pass with sup- 
August 3. plies. Notwithstanding our expectations of a fight, the 
enemy was rather shy, so we busied ourselves fighting 
mosquitoes instead, and abusing Noah for taking them into the Ark. 


1863. Part of the regiment was on picket yesterday, and 

Wednesday, remained there to-day. Buford's cavalry, stationed near 
August *i 

the picket line, were fighting the enemy most of the day, 

and at times it looked as though there might be a gen- 
eral engagement ; but the " Johnnies " retired at last. 

Notwithstanding this day had been set apart by order 
Thursday, of the President as a " National Thanksgiving day," the 
August 6. boys were dispirited and unhappy. We seemed to be 

accomplishing nothing, while the newspapers were full of 
the difficulties that stood in the way of getting more men by means 
of the draft. We talked overthese matters in camp and on picket 
until we were thoroughly disgusted. We were no further advanced 
toward Richmond than we were a year ago. The weather was un- 
comfortably warm, as was also our tempers. It was while we were 
in this disconsolate mood that our thoughts were unexpectedly 

There was a regiment recently assigned to our brigade whose 
colonel saw fit to criticise what he was pleased to call our unsoldierly 
appearance, whereupon he was promptly told to go somewhere. 
This freedom of speech didn't seem to harmonize with his ideas of 
subordination, though it was none of his business how we looked. 
He was one of a class of men who labor under the astronomical 
error of thinking the earth cannot move in its orbit nor revolve on 
its axis without their consent, and who, having a feeling of respon- 
sibility for all matters that take place on the land or in the sea, be- 
come very wroth when anything happens to mar their beautiful 
conceit. Instead of being pleased with our invitation to go some- 
where, he became enraged, and called us an " armed mob ! " There 
must have been a lot of bitterness in the sap of his ancestral tree 
to have produced a fruit so acrid and uncomfortable as he appeared 
to be to the rank and file of the Thirteenth. Since " Old Crummy " 
had left us we had found no one with sufficient testiness in his 
composition to notice our lack of homage to officers in other regi- 
ments. He seemed to think because he held a commission in 
another organization he could lecture us on our duties. When an 
officer has the arrogance to fancy himself clothed with so grave a 


1863. responsibility as reforming the world, he is likely to 

have a very unhappy time of it if he attempts his mis- 
sionary work on the rank and file of another regiment than his own. 
Stirring up a hornets' nest is the supremest enjoyment in comparison 
to the annoyance experienced when a lot of private soldiers begin a 
system of retaliation. 

We were told that prior to the war this officer was an inspector of 
the State militia, where he was in the habit of seeing troops arrayed 
in fine, well-fitting uniforms and equipments, all in perfect order. 
Then, if a soldier was seen with cap awry, a button lacking on his 
coat, or a belt improperly adjusted, he was a subject for reprimand. 
His service at the front had been too brief for him to appreciate the 
condition to which a soldier could be reduced by long marches, 
hard fighting, and months of picket duty. It shocked his finical 
notions to see a lot of ragged, dirty soldiers, with battered canteens, 
caps with visors torn or removed, and trousers shrunk nearly to 
the knees. An enlisted man, though an insignificant cog in the 
wheel of that great machine called the army, has it in his power, 
without overstepping the bounds where punishment begins, to make 
himself a very disagreeable and irritating thorn when he sets out to 
be. As soon as we discovered that this officer had an excitable 
temper, there was fun galore, and his fondness for lecturing afforded 
us frequent opportunity for the exercise of biting wit. Among the 
things we did was to give him a name befitting his rank and physi- 
cal appearance, such as " Colonel Martinet," " FalstafT," and 
" Hudibras," but the name which stuck was " Old Bowels." In the 
scheme of aggravation which we practised, his wrath was often 
stirred to his very boots, yet it was carried on with such prudence that 
when he made complaint to our colonel, he found it difficult to ex- 
plain just what the offence was, except in terms too general for notice, 
and therefore no attention was or could be paid to his charges. 
No officer with a particle of sense ever scolded the men of another 
regiment, except when they were temporarily assigned to his com- 
mand, because there could be but one result. As a general rule, the 
rank and file of an army never showed disrespect to officers in other 
regiments if they attended to their own affairs, and we might have 


1863. respected him if he had minded his own business, as he 

ought to have done. Shakespeare must have had a man 
like him in mind when he penned the following lines : 

" But man, proud man, 
Drest in a little brief authority, 
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd, 
His glassy essence, like an angry ape, 
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven. 
As make the angels weep." 

There is one thing in his favor, we are bound to say, and that is, 
that we never knew him to lose his temper. He always had his 
temper with him ; and, so far as we could judge from appearances, 
it never registered, even in the shade, less than 100° Fahrenheit, 
and was gilt-edged. 

We recrossed the Rappahannock, camping on a hill in 
Saturday, the bend of the river just above the spring. 
August 8. The fog of melancholy which had been hovering over 

the camp was dispelled when we heard of the pay- 
master's arrival. 

We still continued bathing in the river, making it mighty uncom- 
fortable for ^t pcdiculus vestimenti, who couldn't swim. 

Travelling in the wake of the paymaster came the 
Sunday, sutler, whose arrival to-day was greeted with unfeigned 
August 9. joy. Though the sutler collected the mortgage he held 
on the instalment of pay we received, yet there was 
enough left to sweeten our toil with some of the good things he 
brought with him, and before night his stock was cleaned out as 
completely as were the funds of those who undertook to capture 
that notorious guerilla chief called "Jack Pot," whose presence in 
the army often caused a good deal of sorrow. 

We were still at Rappahannock Station, with eleven 
Friday, months of service ahead of us. 

August 14. One hundred and eighty-six recruits arrived in camp 
to-day. Heretofore the men who came to us reflected 
credit on themselves, the regiment, and the State. This lot con- 
sisted of substitutes, bounty-jumpers, and one unfortunate con- 


1863. script. Most of this number were thieves and roughs 

who were engaged in the draft riots, and were obliged 
to leave New York and Boston in self-defence. They were assigned 
as follows : 

A . 

• 23 

F . 

• 19 

B . 

. 20 

G . 

• 14 

C . 

. 18 

H . 

. 18 

D . 

• 17 

I . 

• 17 

E . 

. 22 

K . 

. 18 

Strong men, particularly soldiers, are not easily moved to tears, 
yet the cheeks of a good many men were wet as they gazed on these 
ruffians drawn up in line for assignment to companies. The pride 
which we felt in the membership of the Thirteenth turned to bitter- 
ness at sight of these fellows. 

As the roll was called we speculated as to which company 
they might be assigned, though there was little choice. More 
than half of them were under assumed names, and it frequently 
happened at subsequent roll-calls that some of them were unable 
to remember the names under which they enlisted. Among the 
nationalities represented there were Frenchmen, Italians, Germans, 
Spaniards, Portuguese, Costa Ricans, Greeks, Maltese, and Canadi- 
ans ; a deserter from the " Louisiana Tigers," one from a Georgia 
regiment, and one from an Alabama regiment. The Louisiana Tiger 
had previously enlisted in Boston, was discharged, reenlisted in the 
Rhode Island Cavalry, next in the Fifty-first Massachusetts, and 
was now in the Thirteenth as a substitute. His subsequent en- 
listments we are not informed about. Two of the number had 
previously served in the Thirteenth, from which they had been dis- 
charged, and having reenlisted as substitutes were unexpectedly 
assigned to their old regiment. 

In the last batch that were told off there were six whom it was 
deemed unsafe to keep together, and they were separated by placing 
them in different companies. Three of the number assigned to 
Company K disappeared at once. During the first night after their 
arrival forty deserted. 


1863. Of the one hundred and eighty-six, one hundred and 

fifteen deserted. 

Of those remaining, six were discharged for disability, twenty-six 
were transferred to the navy, and one was killed in battle. 

A number of the men taken prisoners at Gettysburg, 
Saturday, and subsequently paroled, returned to the regiment to- 
August 15. day, their parole having been declared null and void by 
government agents, and they consequently resumed their 
duties in the regiment. 

We remained in camp at Rappahannock Station until September 
16, attending to the usual camp duties, such as drilling, inspections, 
picket, etc. 

During our stay here the temperature changed so markedly as to 
require overcoats at night, while many complained of sleeping un- 
comfortably under their blanket. Orders were received to raise the 
beds one foot from the ground, while the " Surgeon's call " presented 
a daily symposium of sick men. The spot where we were encamped 
was very unhealthy. 

That enterprising assassin, Mosby, came in for a share of Gen- 
eral Lee's attention, as will be seen by the following : 

Headquarters, Orange, August 18, 1863. 
General Stuart, Commanding, etc. : 

General: The report of Major Mosby, of fourth instant, relative to his 
expeditions towards Fairfax Court-House and below, has been forwarded to the 
War Department. I greatly commend his boldness and good management, which 
is the cause of his success. I have heard that he has now with him a large num- 
ber of men, yet his expeditions are undertaken with very few, and his attention 
seems more directed to the capture of sutler's wagons, etc., than to the injury of 
the enemy's communications and outposts. The capture and destruction of 
wagon-trains is advantageous; but the supply of the Federal army is carried on 
by the railroad. If that should be injured, it would cause him to detach largely 
for its security, and thus weaken his main army. This threat of punishing citi- 
zens on the line for such attacks must be met by meeting similar treatment to 
his soldiers when captured. 

I do not know the cause for undertaking his expeditions with so few men, — 
whether it is from policy or the difficulty of collecting them. I have heard of 
his men — among them officers — being in the rear of this army, selling cap- 
tured goods, sutler's stores, etc. This had better be attended to by others. It 


1863. has also been reported to me that many deserters from this army 

have joined him. Among them have been seen members of the 
Eighth Virginia Regiment. If this is true, I am sure it must be without the 
knowledge of Major Mosby; but I desire you to call his attention to this matter, 
to prevent his being imposed on. 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. LEE, 


Our old friend Boteler, whom we captured in the summer of 1861, 
and who we thought was not particularly interested in a prosecution 
of the war, seems to have acquired considerable sanguinary ani- 
mosity after his release by General Banks, at Sharpsburg, August, 
1 86 1, according to the following letter: 

Headquarters Cavalry Division, 

August 19, 1863. 
Hon. James A. Sedden, Secretary of War : 

Sir : In a conversation with Major Mosby, the partisan leader, I suggested to 
him the use of Rains' percussion torpedoes on the Orange and Alexandria Rail- 
road. He cordially approved of the suggestion, and requested me to write to 
you for a supply of the explosives in question. If, therefore, you concur with 
us in thinking that much damage may be done to the enemy by means of these 
bombs placed beneath the rails of that particular road, which is used exclusively 
for the transportation of troops and army supplies, you will confer a favor upon 
Major Mosby by ordering him to be supplied with them immediately. 

P.S. — General Stuart suggests that some one acquainted with the use of the tor- 
pedoes be sent up with them, as they are dangerous things in unskilful hands. 

This method of exit might be called going to heaven — cross-roads. 

In accordance with the following communication five deserters 
were shot : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 
August 27, 1863. 
His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States : 

Walter, Rionese, Folancy, Lai, and Kuhn were to have been executed yester- 
day. Their execution was postponed by my order till Saturday, the 29th, that 
time might be given to procure the services of a Roman Catholic priest to assist 
them in preparing for death. They are substitute conscripts who enlisted for the 
purpose of deserting after receiving the bounty; and being the first of this class 
whose cases came before me, I believed that humanity, the safety of this army. 


1863. and the most vital interests of the country required their prompt 

execution as an example, the publicity given to which might, and, I 
trust in God will, deter others from imitating their bad conduct. In view of these 
circumstances, I shall, therefore, inform them their appeal to you is denied. 

Major- General Commanding. 

If they enlisted for the purpose of deserting, then it was their 
vocation. As Falstaff said, " 'Tis no sin for a man to labor in his 
vocation." The execution of these men didn't deter our festive 
cutthroats from leaving as soon as opportunity offered. 

In an order received from brigade headquarters to-day occurs the 
following paragraph : 

II. A looseness and carelessness has been observed by guards and senti- 
nels. Officers on duty are particularly required to correct every departure from 
the Regulations. Sentinels will not be allowed to sit, read, or talk on their posts, 
or bring their pieces to an order; but will habitually walk their posts, always 
vigilant, strictly observing and enforcing orders. At " retreat " the Officer of the 
Guard will parade and inspect his guard. 

We did observe a " looseness and carelessness," as the brigade 
commander says, though it was in brigade orders, of which the 
paragraph just quoted is a sample. 

An order dated Sept. 11, 1863, was received from Washington, 

After the expiration of ninety days (June 25), volunteers serving in three years' 
organizations, who may reenlist for three years, or the war, m companies or 
regiments to whi<;h they now belong, and who may have, at the date of reenlist- 
ment, less than one year to serve, shall be entitled to the aforesaid bounty and 
premium of $402, to be paid in the manner herein provided for other troops 
reentering the service.'' 

On the 13th of September we received the following order: 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

September 12, 1863. 
Commanding Officer First Corps : 

I am instructed to inform you that a movement — reconnaissance — will be 
made to-morrow in the direction of Culpeper Court House, and the commanding 
general orders that you hold your command in readiness to move at short notice, 
in case the development of the movement should be required. 
Very respectfully, etc., 

Assistant Adjutant- General, 


1863. Subsequently the Second Corps was substituted for 

the First, which caused General Newton to feel that a 

reflection was cast on his corps, and it prompted him to address a 

letter to that effect to General Meade, and the following reply was 

received : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

September 14, 1863. 
Maj.-Gen. John Newton, Commanding First Corps : 

General: Your communication of the 13th instant, in reference to the detail 
of the Second Corps to support the cavalry reconnoissance sent in front of the 
army yesterday, has been laid before the commanding general, who regrets to 
learn that the detail has occasioned a feeling of disappointment among the officers 
and men of your corps. 

The considerations which led the commanding general to select the Second 
Corps for this service were chiefly that the First Corps formed part of a line the 
continuity of which the general did not wish to break, as he could not foresee the 
consequences which might flow from an advance, and he was by no means certain 
that the reconnoitring party, together with its support, might not be driven back 
upon that Hne, and, moreover, he had in view the fact that the requiring on its part 
unusual watchfulness, and far more exhausting duties than had been performed by 
the corps in rear. The commanding general trusts that this explanation will 
satisfy you that in assigning the Second Corps to the duty above indicated no 
distrust was entertained of the qualification of the First Corps to perform the ser- 
vice equally well. 

I am directed to add that, while the commanding general has given in this 
instance his reasons for issuing a particular order, he does not admit the right of 
any subordinate commander to call in question his acts, and he regrets that you 
should have thought it proper to do so. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

The soundness of the last paragraph just saved the apology from 
being a success. 

The following letter from Jeff. Davis to General Lee is in- 
teresting : 

Richmond, Va., Aug. 11, 1863. 
Gen. R. E. Lee, Commanding Army of Northern Virginia : 

Yours of the 8th instant has been received. I am glad you concur so entirely 
with me as to the want of our country in this trying hour, and am happy to add 
that after the first depression consequent upon our disaster in the West, indications 
have appeared that our people will exhibit that fortitude which we agree in be- 
lieving is alone needful to secure ultimate success. 


1863, It well became Sidney Johnston, when overwhelmed by a sense- 

less clamor, to admit the rule that success is the test of merit; and 
yet there has been nothing which I have found to require a greater effort of 
patience than to bear the criticisms of the ignorant, who pronounce everything a 
failure which does not equal their expectations or desires, and can see no good 
result which is not in the line of their own imaginings. I admit the propriety of 
your conclusions, that one officer who loses the confidence of his troops should 
have his position changed, whatever may be his ability, but when I read the 
sentence I was not at all prepared for the application you were about to make. 
Expressions of discontent in the public journals furnish but little evidence of the 
sentiment of an army. I wish it were otherwise, even though all the abuse of my- 
self should be accepted as the results of honest observation. I say I wish I could 
feel that the public journals were not generally partisan nor venal. 

Were you capable of stooping to it, you could easily surround yourself with 
•those who would fill the press with your laudations, and seek to exalt you for 
what you had not done, rather than detract from the achievements which will 
make you and your army the subject of history and object of the world's admi- 
ration for generations to come. 

I am truly sorry to know that you still feel the effects of the illness you suf- 
fered last spring, and can readily understand the embarrassments you experience 
in using the eyes of others, having been so much accustomed to make your own 
reconnoissance. Practice will, however, do much to relieve that embarrassment, 
and the minute knowledge of the country which you have acquired will render 
you less dependent for topographical information. 

But suppose, my dear friend, that I were to admit, with all their implications, 
the points which you present, where am I to find that new commander who is to 
possess the greater ability which you believe to be required? I do not doubt the 
readiness with which you would give way to one who could accomplish all that 
you have wished, and you will do me the justice to believe that if Providence 
should kindly offer such a person for our use, I would not hesitate to avail of his 

My sight is not sufficiently penetrating to discover such hidden merit, if it exists, 
and I have but used to you the language of sober earnestness when I have im- 
pressed upon you the propriety of avoiding all unnecessary exposure to danger, 
because I felt our country could not bear to lose you. To ask me to substitute 
you by some one in my judgment more fit to command, or who would possess more 
of the confidence of the army, or of the reflecting men of the country, is to de- 
mand an impossibility. 

It only remains for me to hope that you will take all possible care of yourself, 
that your health and strength may be entirely restored, and that the Lord will pre- 
serve you for the important duties devolved upon you in the struggle of our suf- 
fering country for the independence which we have engaged in war to maintain. 
As ever, very respectfully and truly yours, 



1863. General Lee's letter is not to be found ; but it is evi- 

dent on reading the foregoing that his mind was very 
much disturbed at unfriendly criticisms on the result of his Gettys- 
burg campaign ; so much so as to prompt his resignation. 

A general alarm was sounded at 3 A.M., whereupon 

Wednesday, we crossed the Rappahannock River, and marched by 

Sept. 16. way of Brandy Station and Stevensburg to Mountain 

Creek, at the foot of Pony Mountain, near Culpeper, a 

distance of twelve miles. 

An order was received to-day that " until further orders, five days' 
bread and small rations, including salt, will be carried by troops in 
their knapsacks, in addition to the subsistence stores they are re- 
quired under existing instructions to take in their haversacks." 
How the mules must have grinned at that order ! 

At I P.M. we started with eight days' rations, and 
Thursday, marched round Pony Mountain to Racoon Ford, a dis- 
Sept. 24. tance of five miles, and camped on ground vacated by 
the Twelfth Corps. 
The Eleventh and Twelfth Corps were sent to Tennessee. 

An order was received to-day that " until further 
Friday, orders conscripts, substitutes, or other new troops will 

Sept. 25. not be detailed for picket duty, and will not be con- 
sidered on the roster for such. 
" While in camp they must be drilled at least four hours daily, 
and otherwise instructed in their duties." 

To our mind this was a wise order. As one of the boys pithily 
remarked when these recruits arrived from Boston, " If those fellows 
are trusted on picket the army will soon be in h — 1." 

On the 27 th we moved our camp about three miles 
Tuesday, up the river, and to-day we moved another mile in the 
Sept. 29. direction of Mitchell's Station. 

The river at this point was only fifteen yards wide, and 
the rebel pickets on the other side were so near that we could easily 
discern each other's features. The position of their camp is supe- 
rior to ours, inasmuch as it is on high ground, while ours is situated 
on a level plain. Their camp is near enough to ours to hear the 


1863. sound of a band which frequently played, as though 

serenading some officer. They still had money enough 
for bands. A hand-organ would have satisfied us — that is, if it 
was a good one. 

The division was turned out to-day to see a soldier 
Friday, shot for desertion, or sleeping on his post — we cannot 
October a. recall which. It made no difference to him which it 

The men were busy at work building huts, hoping that 
our present location might be continued through the winter. 

A contraband by the name of George Washington joined the regi- 
ment to-day, and entered upon the duties of an officer's servant. We 
were glad to see George Washington, though he was much darker 
than his pictures represent him to be, and had black, curly hair. 

We were on good terms with the enemy's pickets, who swapped 
lies with us daily. 

In an order received this day from brigade head- 
Friday, quarters it was stated that " it has been observed that 
October g. in most of the regiments of this brigade there is a defi- 
ciency of axes, axe-slings, hatchets, spades, etc., and, 
as a consequence, the men suffer. Every company should have a 
proper proportion of these articles, besides those required by the 
pioneers.'' As we recollect, there was more suffering ixorsx a surplus 
of these articles than by reason of a deficiency. At least it was so 
when we were marching. 

Were in line shortly after i A.M., and marched at 3 
Saturday, o'clock to a point on the Rapidan, about a mile from 
October 10. Racoon Ford, a distance of five miles, though we did not 
reach that spot until 2 P.M., owing to frequent delays. 
A cavalry reconnoisance disclosed the fact that the enemy were 
making a flank movement, so we moved to the rear and camped 
near Stevensburg about 1 1 P.M. 

We were turned out at 3 A.M. to march, but were de- 
Sunday, layed until 9 o'clock by the passing of other divisions, 
October 11. after which we pointed our noses in a northerly direc- 
tion, crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, which 


1863. we waded about 3 P.M., the water being up to our waists. 

We then camped on the heights, within sound of the 

cavalry fighting at Stevensburg. The march was ten miles. 

The Thirteenth and another regiment moved down 

Monday, the river a short distance, occupying rifle-pits during the 

October 12. day. The boys didn't fail to get in their chaff on " Old 


We marched at midnight. 

„ Having started at midnight, last night, we marched all 

Tuesday, . , , „, , . ^ , , 

October 13 ^^Y' P^ssmg through Warrenton Junction, Catlett s, and 

other familiar places, until we reached Bristow Station, at 

9 P.M., after a tramp of thirty miles. Walking is good exercise for 

people of sedentary habits, which, of course, did not include us. 

The government hadn't got on to this idea in October, 1863. 

Fighting was heard all day on our left flank. 

We were halted at Warrenton Junction, forming in line of battle 

on our camp-ground of April, 1862, long enough to allow the wagon 

train to get ahead. 

Started early and marched as " flankers " for the corps, 

e nes ay, jgj(,j,jj,g Centreville about noon. Distance ten miles. 
October 14, 

Looking back from the heights at Centreville we could 

see the smoke and hear the sound of heavy firing, as though some 

hard fighting was going on in the vicinity of Bristow Station. 

Soon after our arrival we were moved out on the Warrenton pike, 

and deployed as skirmishers in advance of the brigade, and then 

moved on to the Stone bridge over Bull Run, where we were thrown 

out as pickets. No fires or lights of any kind allowed. 

Moved back across Cub Run to a hill near Centreville, 

Thursday, where we remained until the 19th. 

October 15. The fighting that we heard yesterday was by the 

Second Corps, which was engaged with the enemy at 
Gainesville, and which it repulsed. 

Marched at 8 A.M. to Hay Market, which place we 
Monday, reached, after several slight skirmishes, in the afternoon ; 
October 19. distance twelve miles. On our way we crossed the 

battlefield where we fought August 30, 1862. 


»863. Since our last visit to Hay Market the entire town, 

with the exception of a church, had been burnt by order 
of General Stahl, it is said, as a punishment to the inhabitants for 
firing on Union troops. 

As we were going into camp General Stuart made a dash on to 
our picket line, capturing some pickets, besides killing two or three. 
In consequence thereof we were kept under arms all night. 

About 4 P.M. we marched through Thoroughfare Gap, 
Tuesday, going into camp about midnight on the hills on the west 
October 20. side of the mountain. It was about eighteen months since 
we first landed at Thoroughfare Gap. Those of us who 
still preserved a fondness for beautifvil scenery had an opportunity 
of gratifying it to-day. In addition to the natural beauties of the 
spot, it was as fine an agricultural section as one could wish to see. 

At 7 A.M. we retraced our steps through the Gap to 
Saturday, Hay Market, then south to Gainesville, fording Broad 
October 24. Run, and on to Bristow Station, camping on the recent 
battlefield ; making a distance of fifteen miles. The 
march, by reason of the rain and muddy condition of the roads, 
was a wearying one. 

All this marching and countermarching, forming lines of battle 
and skirmishing, was to prevent Lee's attempt to turn the right flank 
of our army and interpose himself between us and our base of sup- 
plies, with the possibility of an attack on Washington, or transfer- 
ring the next battle-ground from Virginia to the States north of the 

We were now camped on the farm of General Ewell, of the rebel 
army. The whole estate was in ruins ; houses destroyed, orchards 
cut down, and every fence-rail burnt. Twelve days ago his own 
army camped on this spot, and probably his men burnt the rails, as 
our army was not allowed to touch rails. 

Moved camp a mile or so to the westward into a pine 

Saturday, grove, near Kettle Run, which we found a much more 

October 31. agreeable spot. Nights were getting cold enough for a 

furnace fire, but we believe furnaces were not allowed 

in the army. 



1863. Marched at 4 P.M. to Catlett's Station, ten miles, 

Thursday, j^jj^j bivouacked. We had seen so much of these places, 
5- we wished General Meade would hasten on to Richmond, 
where we could spend the winter among the " sassiety " 
of that city. When we were in this vicinity in the spring of 1862, 
it was " On to Gordonsville," but now it was different. 

" Learn to labor and to wait," 

says Longfellow ; but that was written " befo' de war." 

Changed camp to high ground on the east side of the 
Friday, Station. 

Nov. 6. Last week, while at Bristow Station, an old friend of 

the regiment, a commissary of subsistence, made his 
appearance in our camp, and before his departure agreed to sell to 
the officers a barrel of whiskey, which was purchased by subscription. 
Of course it was to be used for medicinal purposes only, that is, 
when the men were liable to become unfitted for duty by unusual 
fatigue or exposure during bad weather. Now, it so happened that 
the camp was excessively dusty, making the cobwebs in the throat 
impenetrable, and this whiskey was the only thing that would remove 
the obstructions. When it came to pass that the possession of this 
whiskey was known among the men, we pestered the lives nearly out 
of the officers with requests for this very effective medicine, with 
more or less success according to the disposition of the officer. 
When exposure seemed a frail and unsubstantial reason, we in- 
vented one. If this narrative of ours should by chance be read 
by one of our temperance friends, he will hold up his hands in 
horror, possibly, at this statement. We can only say, in excuse, 
that we were too young to appreciate what a terrible enemy we were 


1863. fooling with. As soon as our service ended, having no 

further need of stimulants, we — But never mind what 
has happened since, we are relating only what occurred while we 
were in the service. 

The Sixteenth Maine boys had another streak of hard luck to-day. 
As they went into camp behind us, in the tall grass, it took fire, and 
before you could count ten, was all ablaze, leaving nothing behind 
but piles of blackened knapsacks, clothing, and equipments. 

Reveille at 4 A.M. Started on the march at eight 
Saturday, o'clock. The whole army in motion, the First, Sec- 
Nov. 7. ond, and Third Corps taking roads leading to Kelly's 
Ford, and the Fifth and Sixth advancing on Rappahan- 
nock Station. The Third Corps had the lead, and became engaged 
at the ford at the same time the Sixth was fighting at the station. 

We halted at Morrisville, about three miles from the river. The 
woods being on fire, the air was full of smoke and cinders, making 
the atmosphere stifling. 

At daylight we crossed the Rappahannock River at 
Sunday, Kelly's Ford, and marched on to Brandy Station. We 
Nov. 8. saw nothing about the place that suggested so alcoholic 
a name. 

There was a painful lack of intelligence on the part of the com- 
mander of the First, Second, and Third Corps to-day, for there 
seemed to be no reason but stupidity in the way of our capturing a 
force of rebel artillery and a wagon-train. 

It seems that when the enemy was discovered a detachment was 
sent out on a flank movement. Before it was completed the re- 
mainder of our troops, which included the Thirteenth, was advanced 
out of the woods in their front, thereby disclosing to the enemy our 
approach, and he immediately withdrew to Culpeper. 

We had been long enough in the service to understand what this 
simple movefnent meant, and took a good deal of interest in its 
development. It was exactly the movement that Stonewall Jackson 
attempted to play on us the day we went to Newtown from Win- 
chester, March 13, 1862, and the lessons that Jackson taught us we 
were not likely to forget. 


1863. If the honorable major-general commanding this 

movement had been standing about some of our camp- 
fires that night he would have heard a pretty free discussion of his 
qualifications as a major-general. 

Instead of pushing on to Richmond we took another 
Monday, Step back. At 4 P.M. we again turned our faces north- 
Nov. 9. ward, crossing the river at Rappahannock Station, through 
Bealton to Lickinig Run, in a snow-storm, halting at 
I A.M. not far from Warrenton Junction. The weather was cold, 
except in the fire, which was pretty nearly covered by coffee-dippers. 
We got to bed about 2 A.M., which is altogether too late for boys 
away from home. 

" D — n the service ! " says some one, the other side, as his coffee 
upset, very nearly putting out the fire. Then a chorus of " Oh, 
h — ^1 ! " was shouted. 

[Circular.] Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Nov. 9, 1863, 12 M. 
The following movements of troops are ordered, and will take place at once : 

1. The Fifth Corps, Major-General Sykes, will take position on north side of 
Mountain Run, at Paoli Mills, sending a division to Kelly's Ford to guard the 
bridges. This division will post a brigade midway between Bealton and Morris- 
ville, at the point where the road to Kelly's Ford running to Carter's house leaves 
the Morrisville road. The division will picket so as to cover fhe supply trains 
moving by that route, and the working party on the railroad. 

2. The Second Corps, Major-General Warren, will take post between Paoli 
Mills and Brandy Station, in such manner as to have good communication with 
the corps at those two points. 

3. The Third Corps, Major-General French, will remain at Brandy Station. 

4. The Sixth Corps, Major-General Sedgwick, will move to Welford's Ford, 
on Hazel River. The divisioij of this corps at Kelly's Ford and Rappahannock 
Station will rejoin the corps upon being relieved. 

5. The First Corps, Major-General Newton, will be placed as follows : One 
division at Rappahannock Station, with a brigade at Beverly Ford ; the three 
brigades of another division will be : One at Bealeton, one at Liberty, and one 
near the railroad crossing Licking Run. These two divisions will picket so as to 
cover the supply, the trains passing along the route of the railroad, and the work- 
ing parties on the road. 

The division of the First Corps now guarding the railroad from Manassas to 
Warrenton Junction will remain as now posted. The protection of the railroad 
is assigned to Major-General Newton. 


1863. 6. The Artillery Reserve will be in the vicinity of Rappahan- 

nock Station. 

7. One brigade of Gregg's division of cavalry will take post at Morrisville, and 
will picket toward Hartwood Church and the crossings of the lower Rappahan- 
nock. The other brigade will take post at Fayetteville, and picket toward 'Water- 
loo and beyond Warrenton. Kilpatrick's division of cavalry will take post at 
Stevensburg and picket toward the crossings on the Rapidan below the railroad 
crossing. Buford's division of cavalry will be posted at Culpeper Court House, 
and will picket toward the crossings of Robertson's River and toward the right. 

8. Headquarters will be in the vicinity of Brandy Station. 

By command of Major-General Meade, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

Our corps vi^as now strung along the railroad from 
Tuesday, Manassas to Rappahannock Station, a distance of twenty- 
Nov. 10. five miles. 

Details were made daily to work on the railroad, 
which was being rebuilt as rapidly as possible. This work, with 
picket duty, completely occupied our time. 

The ground about us had been so often used as a parking-place 
for wagon-trains, artillery, and cavalry, that it had become strewn 
with oats and corn, scattered by the horses and mules. After their 
departure, it was taken possession of by quail, partridge, and other 
birds, as a feeding-ground, so that upon our arrival we found 
an abundance of game. As we were not allowed to fire our guns, 
except at the enemy, we were forced to substitute clubs, stones, etc., 
in order to supply our larder. Broiled partridge and an occasional 
noggin of "commissary" smoothed off the ragged edge of our ser- 
vice a good deal. 

If it hadn't been for guerillas that infested the neighborhood, we 
might have had a peaceful time, as the enemy in front of the picket 
line were less demonstrative than usual. 

At daylight we pulled up stakes and marched six 
Monday, miles, and went into camp on the east side of the rail- 
Nov. 23. road, at the forty-ninth mile-post from Alexandria, and 
two miles from Rappahannock Station. We had been 
near this spot so many times we had lost the count. Whichever 
direction we took in a campaign we generally brought up at Rappa- 
hannock Station. 


1863. This was a great day. The sutler arrived with-a large 

Wednesday, amount of goods, which we purchased for the morrow. 

ov. 25. ^^ j^g ^^g jj^g ^jjjy gyjjgj. about, there was a great rush 

from other regiments to take advantage of his presence. 
Among others were members of the Sixteenth Maine ; and as some 
of them added to their already overflowing cup of misfortunes, by 
losing their watches and pocket-books, they promptly accused us of 
stealing them. Well, we must allow there was reason for this accu- 
sation, for it couldn't be rubbed out that we had as fine a band of 
thievish recruits as could be found anywhere, and they just doted on 
the Sixteenth's men, whose good old honest State of Maine ways held 
no chance against their deft skill as pickpockets. Now, we had a very 
simple way of dealing with these Hessians that our much-beloved 
State sent out to mingle in companionship with us and teach us how 
to overcome honesty, and that was to put all our diamonds, watches, 
pocket-books, and silverware in the safe, while all movables, such 
as dippers, hardtack, etc., we chained. Whenever we laid a knife 
down we put a guard over it with a loaded musket. With these pre- 
cautions we managed to hang on to most of our things until these 
dear comrades of ours stole away to reenlist in some other regi- 
ment, or to crack a bank. 

Thanksgiving day ! We had laid out for a good time 
Thursday, and a good dinner ; such a kind of a dinner as our skill 
Nov. 26. and ingenuity, aided by the sutler's store, could prepare ; 

but the exigences of the service required us to move, so 
at daylight we marched, crossing the Rappahannock River as the 
sun rose ; thence to Mountain Run, which we crossed on a pontoon 
bridge about 9 A.M. at Paoli Mills ; thence to the Rapidan River, 
which we crossed at 10 P.M. at the Culpeper Mine Ford; then 
climbed the heights and halted for the night about four miles from 
Chancellorsville, having marched seventeen miles. A large part of 
the regiment was then sent out on picket. This was our roast 
turkey and plum-pudding. 


1863. Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Friday, November 27, 1863, 12.15 A.M. 

Nov. 27. 

The following movements of troops are ordered for to-day, November 27 : 

1. Second Corps, Major-General Warren, will move at 7 A.M. along the turn- 
pike to Old Verdierville. 

2. Third Corps, Major-General French, will move at 7 A.M. on the Robert- 
son's Tavern road, and close on the Second Corps. 

3. Fifth Corps, Major-General Sykes, will move at 7 A.M. to New Verdier'/ille. 

4. First Corps, Major-General Newton, will move not later than 7 A.M. on 
the route of the Fifth Corps, and close up on the Fifth Corps. 

5. Sixth Corps, Major-General Sedgwick, will move as soon as the Third 
Corps has cleared the road, and, as his artillery, etc., has joined him, close up on 
the Third Corps. One division of the Sixth Corps will remain near the river until 
the trains have crossed at Germanna and the bridges are taken up. 

6. The ammunition trains, ambulances, etc., directed to remain on the north 
bank of the river, will cross and join their corps, those of the Second, Third, and 
Sixth Corps, at Germanna; those of the Fifth and First at Culpeper Ford. 

4. Reserve artillery will cross at Germanna, follow the route of the Second 
Corps, and halt before reaching Robertson's Tavern, so as not to interfere with 
the march of the Third Corps. 

8. The chief of cavalry will direct a force of that arm to move in advance on 
the roads in front of the army. 

9. The trains, under the direction of the chief quartermaster of the army, 
will cross at Culpeper and Ely's Fords, and be parked in rear of the army. They 
will be guarded by Merritt's cavalry division. 

g^. Commanders of leading corps will keep up communication with each 
other and with the corps in their rear ; those of the rear corps with the corps in 
front. The flank next the enemy will be carefully watched, and the usual precau- 
tions against approach will be taken. The commanding general will be kept 
advised of everything that occurs. 

10. Headouarters will be at Robertson's Tavern. 

By command of Major-General Meade, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

In obedience to the foregoing order we were turned out at 4 A.M., 
and by 5 o'clock were on our way over the plank-road leading to 
Fredericksburg, and a crooked, hilly road it turned out to be. After 
following this road for a few miles we turned from it, taking a cart- 
path through the woods to Robertson's Tavern, and thence to the 


1863. Orange Court House pike, which we reached about 10.30 

P.M. and halted for the night. 

The regiment was shortly after sent out on picket, having first 
received instructions from General Robinson to be cautious about 
firing, as the Fifth Corps was somewhere in front, and the Second 
Corps on our left. There was excellent reason for this precaution, as 
the country was full of guerillas. In the order of march to-day the 
Fifth Corps had the lead, and between it and our corps was a small 
wagon-train, a part of which was led off from the road into the 
woods by a band of guerillas in Federal uniform. The drivers were 
murdered, the mules led away, and the wagons burned before we 
had time to realize what was being done. A daring thing like this 
could not have succeeded except through the protection afforded 
by the uniforms. It caused some delay in our march, and was 
likely to make the men on picket feel somewhat nervous ; hence 
the caution about firing. 

The natural repugnance we had to being hanged made us dread 
being caught by Mosby. 

The distance marched was twenty miles. 

When the announcement was made that we were going to Rob- 
ertson's Tavern, it filled our minds with visions of " flowing bowls," 
which landlords fill until they run over, according to the song. We 
thought what we might do on arriving there if we were major-gen- 
erals, but we were not. However, we couldn't resist picturing what 
this tavern might be, and so we amused ourselves by discussing 
the probabilities of broad open fireplaces and hot flip until some 
one called out " Shut up ! There's Robertson's Tavern ! " and it 
turned out to be the most ordinary-looking tenement-house, without 
the remotest suggestion of comfort or hospitality associated with the 
time-honored name of tavern. 

The following occurrence taken from a letter written by comrade 
Rollins shows so clearly the vicissitudes of a soldier's life that we 
gladly give it place in our narrative, particularly as the detail was 
composed of men from the Thirteenth, and was made soon after our 
halt to-night : 


1863. We were tired, of course, but soldiers are never so tired but they 

must build fires and cook their coffee. Fuel was plentiful, and the 
fires burned up brightly and lighted the recesses of the deep woods, and called out 
the chirps of the katydids and all kinds of insects in the foliage and tree-tops; a 
feeling of comfort crept over us as we sipped our coffee and looked forward to a 
good night's rest snugly in our blankets. I was counting on this myself, when the 
adjutant of the regiment approached me and delivered his message : " Lieutenant 

R , you are detailed to take command of a detail of twenty-five men of this 

regiment, and you will report to General Robinson at 4 o'clock to-morrow morn- 
ing for instructions." My pleasant frame of mind suddenly vanished, as I sub- 
duedly inquired, "Where shall I find General Robinson?" while at tHe same 
time surmises of the nature of the duty required were floating through my mind, 
and I barely recollected the adjutant pointing to a fire a little way distant where I 
could see some men putting up a small tent for the general's use. The most 
probable duty I could think of to be required was to be that of advanced skir- 
mishers; but then it was too small a detail for such duty. Then came the thought 
of guarding wagons, or something of that sort, but there were no wagons with us, 
and I was forced to give up my fruitless conjectures. Still my mind would con- 
stantly revert to it, and the suspense I knew would prevent my full enjoyment of 
sleep. I could hear the adjutant as he visited the bivouac fires of each company, 
going through with his stereotyped order to the first sergeant as follows : " You 
will make a detail of two men," or " three," as the case might be, " to report 

to Lieutenant R , ready to march at 4 o'clock to-morrow morning. I also 

heard responses from the men, sometimes half a dozen together, which pleased me 
more. They were like this: "Put my name down;'' — "I'll go," etc. I had 
not been commissioned many months, but I had acquired a reputation — whether 
deservedly or not it does not become me to say — that led the men whenever I 
was to take charge of a picket or skirmish line to volunteer to go with me. 
Of this I candidly say I was proud, and am to this day. I slept fitfully 
during the night, and at the hour ordered marched my men to the gen- 
eral's tent, when his adjutant-general appeared, and, taking me a little 
aside, gave me a large sealed envelope, saying it was directed to General 
Sykes, and that I was to deliver it to him. While he was telling me this. General 
Robinson, probably overhearing him through the thin cloth of the tent, put his 
head out of the opening and called me to him. Then he went on to give me mi- 
nute directions as follows: That I should retrace the cart-path by which we 
had come into these woods until I came to the plank-road; then turn to the right, 
and follow the plank-road toward Orange Court House until I met General Sykes 
with his division, and to personally deliver this package to him. Then he ex- 
plained his reasons for sending the despatch in this manner. He said he had 
only two or three mounted orderlies with him, whom he could not spare, and that 
the woods were infested with guerillas, who might attack a mounted messenger, 
but would hardly dare attack my detail. That I must look out for a surprise, and 
not allow any party to approach me, even if clad in our uniform, as almost all the 


1863. guerillas were so clothed. That after I had delivered the document 

I should fall in with General Sykes' troops, and rejoin my regiment 
when I could find it. He again cautioned me about delivering the message only 
to General Sykes, and bade me good-morning. 

Soon after getting on the march as directed, a light rain commenced to fall, and 
by the time the plank-road was reached it was daylight. The road was only a plank- 
road in name; it probably was once a plank-road. We marched on and on, with 
no signs of any troops approaching. I began to think my orders, if carried out 
to the letter, would take us into the heart of the Confederacy, and that General 
Robinson might have been misinformed as to General Sykes' route. I looked at 
my watch, and it was half-past seven. Still I kept on. At last, away down a 
straight stretch of the road, I could see something coming. I did not know 
whether it was friend or foe, but immediately marched my men into a clump of 
bushes and small trees by the roadside, and halted. The men threw themselves on 
the ground to rest, while I kept a look-out for what was approaching. I could 
only make out a small body of mounted men, ten or fifteen in number; but as 
they came nearer I could discern that a body of infantry was some distance behind 
them, and came at once to the conclusion, which afterwards I found correct, that 
that it was General Sykes and his staff some distance in front of the head of the 
column of infantry. When they had approached within thirty or forty rods, I 
called my men to attention, and formed a line on the side of the road awaiting 
them. Much to our amusement, when they discovered us. General Sykes and his 
staff reined up their horses very suddenly, and acted as though they were in doubt 
whether to remain where they were or return to the head of the column of troops 
coming. They probably feared that we were rebel guerillas. They did not go 
back, however, but waited until the column came up, and then came along with 
the troops. 

Knowing General Sykes, I gave the order to " present arms ! " and stepped out 
into the road with the papers in my left hand, and, saluting with my sword, said, 
"General Sykes, I have despatches for you." He returned the salute, and I 
brought my men to " shoulder arms ! " and handed him the envelope. Meantime, 
the column behind was halted. He read the papers very carefully; and then, 
turning to me, said : " You must have had quite a tramp with your men. You 
had better fall into any opening in the line between regiments and keep along 
with us. \'ou may not see your regiment for several days." I let several regi- 
ments pass, and finally fell into an opening in the line. We were tired, wet, and 
muddy from marching, and were objects of much curiosity to the " Regulars " 
comprising Sykes' division; the officers would come alongside of me to inquire 
where we were from. I had now to begin to favor my men, as they were becom- 
ing tired out. So I would drop out of an opening and let five or six regiments 
pass, and then file into another gap. This kept on till we got to the last regiment 
in the line. About this time we came up to a wagon park on a hill, when I filed 
out of the road and halted near fires built by teamsters, and we rested and cooked 
our coffee. It was past noon, and we learned from the wagoners that a line of 


1863. battle was in front about a mile in a piece of woods skirting a stream 

called Mine Run. We had got back to a point about three miles 
west of the one we had left in the morning. After a good rest we left the wagon 
park and marched forward to the line of battle, striking troops of the Sixth Corps. 
After a deal of searching and marching we found where our regiment had been ; 
but they were then on the skirmish line. We awaited their return, which occurred 
the next morning at daylight. 

Headquarters First Corps, 

November 28, 1863. 
Major-General Humphreys, Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac: 

The pickets I ordered advanced on my left report they cannot cross on account 
of the depth of mud and water. They also report a constant movement of the 
enemy toward our left. 

Very respectfully, 


Major- General. 

The following extract from Swinton's " Campaigns of the Army of 
the Potomac " will be of interest in showing the purposes of the 
campaign : 

Judging from the experience of such military operations as had been attempted 
during the previous years at the season now reached, it might have been inferred 
that the army could do nothing better than go into winter quarters and await the 
coming spring before entering upon a new campaign. But General Meade felt 
that the condition of the public mind would hardly brook delay; and being him- 
self very eager for action, he anxiously watched a favorable opportunity to deliver 
battle. Such an opportunity he thought he saw towards the end of November; 
and he then planned an operation known as the " Mine Run move" — an opera- 
tion which deserved better success than it met. 

It was learned that Lee, while resting the right of his army on the Rapidan 
near Morton's Ford, had left the lower fords of the river at Ely's, Culpeper Mine, 
Germanna, and Jacob's Mills uncovered, and depended upon the defence of that 
flank upon a line of intrenchments which he had constructed perpendicular to the 
river and extending along the left bank of a small tributary of the Rapidan named 
Mine Run, which flows almost at right angles with the former stream, and empties 
into it at Morton's Ford. Relying for the security of his right upon that line, 
Lee had placed his force in cantonments covering a wide extent of country; so 
that while Ewell's corps held position from Morton's Ford to Orange Court House, 
Hill's corps was distributed from that point along the railroad to near Charlotles- 
ville, with an interval of several miles between the two corps. 

This wide separation of his opponent's forces gave Meade the hope that by 
crossing the Rapidan at the lower fords, turning the Confederate right, and 
advancing quickly towards Orange Court House by the plank and turnpike roads 


1863. that connect that place with Fredericksburg, he might be able to 

interpose between the two hostile bodies under Ewell and Hill, 
and destroy them in detail. 

This plan, different from the kind of operations ordinarily attempted in Vir- 
ginia, was well suited to the circumstances. It was based upon a precise mathe- 
matical calculation of the elements of time and space, of the kind for which 
Napoleon was so famous, and depended absolutely for its success on a vigorous 
execution of all the foreordained movements in the foreordained time and way. 
Thus planning, Meade attempted the bold coup d'essaye of cutting entirely loose 
from his base of supplies, and providing his troops with ten days' rations, he left 
his trains on the north side of the Rapidan, relying on the meditated success to 
open up new lines of communication. 

The movement was begun at dawn of the 26th of November, and the order of 
march was as follows : The Fifth Corps, followed by the First Corps, was to cross 
the Rapidan at Culpeper Mine Ford and proceed to Parker's Store, on the 
plank-road to Orange Court House. The Second Corps was to cross at Germanna 
Ford and proceed out on the turnpike (which runs parallel with the plank road) 
to Robertson's Tavern. To this point also the Third Corps, crossing at Jacob's 
Mill Ford, and followed by the Sbtth Corps, was to march by other routes, and then 
make a junction with the Second Corps. With the left thus at Parker's Store and the 
right at Robertson's Tavern, the army would be in close communication on parallel 
roads, and by advancing westward towards Orange Court House would turn the 
line of the Mine Run defences, which it was known did not extend as far south 
as to cross the turnpike and plank-roads. As the distance of the several corps 
from their encampments to the assigned points of concentration was under twenty 
miles, General Meade reasonably assumed that marching early on the 26th, 
each corps commander would be able to make the march inside of thirty-four 
hours, or, at most, by noon of the 27th. It remains to relate how this well- 
devised and meritorious plan was balked by circumstances that, though seem- 
ingly trivial to those uninstructed in war, are yet the very elements that in a large 
degree assure success or entail failure. 

The first of these delays was occasioned by the tardiness of movement of the 
Third Corps, under General French, which, having a less distance to march than 
the other corps, yet did not reach its assigned point for the crossing of the Rapi- 
dan until three hours after the other corps had arrived. This caused a delay to 
the whole army, for, not knowing what he should encounter on the other side, 
General Meade was unwilling to allow the other corps to cross until the Third 
was up. A second obstacle was the result of an unpardonable blunder on the 
part of the engineers in estimating the width of the Rapidan, so that the pontoon 
bridges it was designed to throw across that stream were too short, and trestle- 
work and temporary means had to be provided to increase their length. In 
addition, another cause of delay resulted from the very precipitous banks of the 
Rapidan, which rendered the passage of the artillery and trains tedious and diffi- 
<:ult. The effect of these several circumstances was that the army, instead of 


1863. making the passage of the river early in the day, was not across 

until the following morning. Twenty-five hours had passed, and 
only half the distance was made. 

The Third Corps, under General French, fell into a series of luckless mishaps, 
by which it happened that soon after crossing the Rapidan at Jacob's Mills he 
took the wrong road to reach Robertson's Tavern, falling upon a route too much 
to the right, which brought it against Johnson's division of Ewell's corps. With 
this force it had a brisk brush, and by the time it could extricate itself, get on the 
right road, and open communications with Robertson's Tavern, it was night. 

Moved at 5 A.M., through the woods to a clearing, 
Saturday, where the rebel infantry was found in force. The corps 
Nov. 28. was then formed in line of battle, with skirmishers 

thrown out in advance. 
Mine Run was just at the foot of the other side of the hill from 
where we were now stationed. Our skirmishers having driven the 
enemy across the creek, they opened on us with artillery at long 
range, to which ours replied, when we were hastily put in a position 
of safety before any of our brigade was hurt. We were afterwards 
thrown out as skirmishers. The concentration of our army at this 
point continued all day, each corps takirig position as it arrived. 

Lay all day in line of battle. The forenoon was 
Sunday, spent in making preparations for an attack, which would 
Nov. 29. take place as soon as the Second Corps, under Warren, 

located some distance to our left, should open the ball. 
It rained hard all the morning. Late in the afternoon we were un- 
officially informed that during the approaching night an advance 
was to be made across the flooded meadow in our front, on the 
banks of Mine Run, after which we were to charge the heights be- 
yond, now in possession of the enemy, and upon which was sta- 
tioned a formidable array of artillery. To carry out this purpose the 
corps was formed in four lines of battle, the Thirteenth being among 
those in the front line. We knew very well what this meant if un- 
dertaken. To climb those heights in face of guns that could sweep 
every inch of ground with grape and canister was not the kind of 
job we hankered after, particularly in the darkness. Some of the 
boys left their vahiables, such as watches and money, with the sur- 


1863. geon, to be sent home in case of disaster. Names were 

then written on slips of paper and pinned on the coat 
or cap for identification of bodies. All these preparations gave 
such an emphasis to the affair, that when night came, there was little 
sleep. We had been out on the skirmish line, and knew too well 
what the strength of the enemy was to doubt the result of such a 

Orders were given that no word should be spoken above a whisper, 
and we were particularly cautioned against the rattling of canteens. 
In a few moments orders would be received to advance. With this 
unpleasant anticipation, the hours rolled slowly along until daylight, 
without an order to move. If there ever was a long night, this was 
one. We learned afterwards that it was not the intention to make a 
charge then, though one was intended to have been made in the 

We quote once more from the " Campaigns of the Army of the 
Potomac" by Swinton : 

Early on Monday morning the army was under arms, impatiently awaiting the 
signal-gun. At last the sound of Sedgwick's cannon came rolling along the line, 
when the entire artillery of the right and centre opened upon the works of the 
enemy. But not an echo from Warren on the left ! The explanation of this 
silence soon came in intelligence brought by an aide-de-camp. A close observa- 
tion of the enemy's position by dawn revealed a very different state of facts than 
was presented the previous evening. The presence of Warren's troops had 
attracted Lee's attention to his right, and during the night he had powerfully 
strengthened that flank by artillery in position, and by infantry behind breast- 
works and abattis. Looking at the position with the critical eye of an engineer, 
but not without those lofty inspirations of courage that o'erleap the cold dictates 
of mathematical calculation, Warren saw that the task was hopeless; and so 
seeing, he resolved to sacrifice himself rather than his command. He assumed 
the responsibility of suspending the attack. 

His verdict was that of his soldiers, — a verdict pronounced not jn spoken 
words, but in a circumstance more potent than words, and full of touching pathos. 

The time has not been seen when the Army of the Potomac shrank from any 
call of duty; but an unparalleled experience in war, joined to a great intelligence 
in the rank and file, had taught these men what by heroic courage might be 
done, and what was beyond the bounds of human possibility. Recognizing that 
the task now before them was of the character of a forlorn hope, knowing well 
that no man could here count on escaping death, the soldiers, without sign of 


1863. shrinking from the sacrifice, were seen quietly pinning on the breast 

of their blouses of blue slips of paper on which each had written 
his name. 

The following is taken from the account of the Mine Run cam- 
paign published in the " History of the Civil War in America," by 
the Count de Paris : 

The demonstration made by Warren on Mine Run in the afternoon of the 
29th, which cost him about twenty men, has of course attracted Hill's attention 
toward his extreme right, which he hastily reenforced. The concentration of the 
Federal forces on the south of the plank-road could the less escape him since 
Warren, far from concealing them, has, on the contrary, applied himself, while 
placing them in sight of the enemy and lighting large fires, to making them ap- 
pear still more considerable than they were in reality. He has himself stated this 
fact, wnthout explaining the reason of these tactics, which are incomprehensible 
on the eve of an attack. If he hoped to intimidate the enemy he was greatly 
mistaken. Hill, well warned, brings back all his forces on the south of the plank- 
load, thus opposing about twenty thousand men to the twenty-six thousand of his 
adversary, and hastily constructs a few intrenchments. A small stream and :>. 
space of about six hundred yards separate the combatants. The night is long 
and cold. 

The dawn, impatiently waited for on both sides, at length makes its appear- 
ance. Meade's manoeuvre has been baffled. The Southern army, closed in mass 
behind Mine Run, presents everywhere a formidable front; the intrenchments 
roughly sketched the day before by Hill have been completed during the night; 
the artillery, concealed in the woods, is displayed on all the heights. 

The Federals study with attention, then with uneasiness, the positions which 
they are about to assault. Almost all have witnessed Fredericksburg and Gettys- 
burg; they know by a double experience that a bloody defeat is reserved to one 
of the two armies which takes the offensive. It is said that most of them on the 
morning of the 30th took care to pin to their coats pieces of paper bearing their 
names. They wished that their names might be placed over the fresh earth 
which was to cover them in their everlasting sleep. No hope of glory was occu- 
pying their minds at that supreme hour, but they were anxious to secure on that 
distant soil the modest epitaph which allows the soldier's family to distinguish his 
remains, instead of having to kneel at the grave of the unknown. It was in this 
manner, it is related, that they silently showed the conviction that they were going 
to be asked for a useless sacrifice. If it is only a legend — for legends are some- 
times easily made — it is worth being quoted, for it perfectly describes the char- 
acter of the Army of the Potomac. 

A few minutes more and it will be 8 o'clock ; every one is waiting for the 
signal; faces are grave, but resolute. Warren, however, has been stiU more struck 
than his soldiers by the formidable aspect of the enemy's positions; those which 


1863. seemed scarcely defended on the evening of the preceding day are 

covered with artillery. His first examination had perhaps been too 
superficial. He ought to have foreseen that by parading his forces on the evening 
of the 29th, and leaving to his adversaries fourteen hoars' respite, he was inviting 
them to put themselves on their defence. But Warren will not lose time in useless 
regrets; he has made a rapid toup d'ail and a correct judgment, and does not 
shrink from responsibility. His decision is quickly made; the attack trusted to 
his care cannot succeed, and he does not hesitate to postpone it. He must have 
great moral courage to take this step, for he will be pardoned more easily, he 
knows, an unfortunate act of daring than the most justifiable prudence. The fatal 
hour has come; the regiments under arms receive no orders, — a painful waiting 
to those who are ready to march to death, and which at first arouses in them a 
feverish impatience. But they soon divine the wise hesitation of Warren; they 
whisper to each other that the attack is abandoned, and every one immediately 
forgets the future conflicts and the present sufferings to think only of the absent 
family, and of home, sweet home. 

At 4 A.M. we were turned out, and shortly after a 
Monday, movement was made, but not as anticipated all night 
Nov. 30. long. A line of battle was formed in the woods, and 
an advance begtm. After- proceeding a short distance 
an order was received to " Right flank, march I " and the regiment 
soon emerged into an open field and massed with the Fifth Corps 
for an attack. It was now daylight. The rebel batteries began 
firing, the shot flying over our heads and making havoc with the 
trees to our right, the Union batteries replying. A halt was made 
behind a hill, where we were protected from artillery fire. Hope be- 
gan to gain upon us that the foolhardy attempt of charging the enemy 
was to be abandoned, which was indeed the fact. We subsequently 
learned that in the hollow to the borth of the Orange pike were 
massed twenty thousand men about daylight for some purpose, as if 
anticipating a movement such as we were expecting to make. Time 
dragged along, and no movement was made. We were all tired of 
the inaction and the heavy strain on the mind from hours of expec- 
tation, and so we had a game of ball to pass away the time. Occa- 
sionally the ball would be batted over the crest of the hill in front, 
in range of the rebel skirmishers, necessitating some one going 
after it. It was a risky piece of business and required quick work, 
but it was got every time. 


1863. During the day a sheep was seen running along out- 

side of the skirmish line, when it was fired upon and 
wounded. An adventurous member of Company E ran out for it, 
but a Johnnie on the rebel skirmish line covered him with his gun, 
shouting, " Divide, Yank ! " which was agreed to. The sheep was 
then split in halves, each taking his portion, returning to their places 
amid shouts of laughter from both lines. 

When night came we built large fires to ward off the bitter cold, 

and slept. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

November 30, 1863, 8.40 P.M. 
General : The major-general commanding desires to have your opinion upon 
the practicability of carrying the enemy's intrenchments, so far as they are known 
to you within the limits of the front of your command. Please reply immediately. 
I am, General, very respeclfuUy, your obedient servant, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 

(To commanders of First, Third, Fifth, and Sixth Army Corps.) 

Headquarters First Army Corps, 

November 30, 1S63, 9.05 P.M. 
Brig.-Gen. S. Williams, Assistant Adjutant-Gemrat : 

In reply to your 8.45 this P.M. I have the honor to report that since dark I 
have not been able to obtain the information that I desire concerning the topog- 
raphy of the other side of the stream. I will be enabled to answer your note 
more satisfactorily on receiving from division commanders the information already 

sent for. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Major- General. 
Headquarters First Army Corps, 

November 30, 1863, n P.M. 
Brig.-Gen. S. Williams, Assistant Adjutant-General : 

General : The papers enclosed are the answers of my division commanders 
[only Cutler's can be found] to an inquiry as to the nature of the ground in their 
respective fronts. I regard any attempt to storm as hopeless, unless the troops 
can be massed near the point of attack without the knowledge of the enemy, and 
unless strongly supported on both right and left. The works of the enemy in my 
immediate front appear to be heavy, and their attention seems to have been 
drawn to the possibility of an attack here. 

Very respectfully, etc., 


Major- General. 


1863. [Enclosure.] 

LiEUT.-CoL. C. Kingsbury, ]k., Assistant Adjutant-General, First Army Corps: 
Colonel ; I think the works can be carried at or near the first angle of the 
pike to the left, provided that the enemy is first dislodged from the pines in front 
of the works by an attack from the left. This is the only practicable way I see, 
and that at a great sacrifice. If I were to make the assault, I would hke to see 
the officer that is to lead on my left, and have daylight to execute it in. 

Very respectfully, 

Brigadier- General Commanding Division. 

Headquarters Third Army Corps, 

November 30, 1863, P.M. 
Major-General Humphreys, Chief of Staff: 

As to carrying the line in my front, the two divisions being now at my disposal, 
I say there is no obstacle to success except those incidental to military enterprises. 

Very respectfully, 


Major- General. 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

November 30, 1863, 9 P.M. 
Brig.-Gen. S. Williams: 

General : In answer to your question of this evening, I do not think it prac- 
ticable to successfully carry the intrenchments of the enemy within the front of 
my command. I mean the front on either side of the old turnpike road of which 
I spoke to you yesterday. 

This was followed by a second despatch at 1 1 P.M. : 

General : In answer to your question, I desire to say, that, so far as could be 
seen, I do not consider it impracticable to carry the front threatened by us, to-day, 
although I regard the chances of success as very much lessened, both because the 
enemy has prepared to-day to meet the threat there offered, and because I am 
almost assured that he knows the nature of the attack it was our design to offer, 
and has prepared to resist it, 


Major- General. 

The following paragraphs are taken from General Meade's report 
of the Mine Run campaign : 

On the 30th the batteries opened at 8 A.M. The skirmishers of the First and 
Third Corps advanced across Mine Run and drove the enemy's skirmishers, and 


1863. every preparation was made by Sedgwick for his attack (he having 

moved his columns during the night and massed them out of view 
of the enemy), when about ten minutes of 9 I received a despatch from General 
Warren to the effect that " the position and strength of the enemy seem so 
formidable in ray present front that I advise against making the attack here — 
the full light of the sun shows me that I cannot succeed." The staff-officer who 
brought this despatch further reported that General Warren had suspended his 
attack, and would not make it without further orders. 

As Sedgwick's attack was subsidiary to Warren's, and as, owing to Warren's 
confidence of the night before, I had given him so large a part of the army that I 
had not the means of supporting Sedgwick in case of repulse, or reenforcing him 
in the event of success, I was obliged to suspend the attack of Sedgwick on the 
enemy's left, which I did just in time; and immmediately proceeded to General 
Warren's column, some four miles distant, in the hope of arranging some plan by 
which the two attacks might yet take place in the afternoon. I reached General 
Warren between 10 and 1 1 A.M. and found his views were unchangeable, and 
that it was his decided opinion it was hopeless to make any attack. 

I am free to admit that the movement across the Rapidan was a failure, but I 
respectfully submit that the causes of this failure, a careful perusal of the fore- 
going report will show, were beyond my control. I maintain my plan was a 
feasible one. Had the columns made the progress I anticipated and effected a 
junction on the night of the 26th, at or near Robertson's Tavern, the advance the 
next day would either have passed the formidable position of Mine Run without 
opposition ; or, had Ewell attempted to check the movement, he would have been 
overwhelmed before reenforced by Hill. 

Prisoners reported that Hill did not come up till the afternoon of the 27th, so 
that if the movements of the Third Corps had been prompt and vigorous on the 
27th, assisted by the Sixth and Second, there was every reason to believe Ewell 
could have been overcome before the arrival of Hill. And after the enemy, 
through these culpable delays, had been permitted to concentrate on Mine Run, 
I have reason to believe but for the unfortunate error of judgment of Major-Gen- 
eral Warren, my original plan of attack on these columns would have been suc- 
cessful, or at least, under the view I took of it, would certainly have been tried. 

It may be said I should not depend on the judgment of others, but it is impos- 
sible a commanding general can reconnoitre in person a line of over seven miles 
in extent, and act on his own judgment as to the expediency of attacking or not. 
Again, it may be said that the effort should have been made to test the value of 
my judgment, or in other words, that I should encounter what I believed to be 
certain defeat, so as to prove conclusively that victory was impossible. 

Considering how sacred is the trust of the lives of the brave men under my 
command, but willing as I am to shed their blood and my ov/n when duty re- 
quires, and my judgment dictates that the sacrifice will not be in vain, I cannot be 
a party to a wanton slaughter of my troops for any mere personal end. 


1863. The following is the report of our division commander, 

Brig.-Gen. John C. Robinson : 

Headquarters Second Division First Army Corps, 

December 3, 1863. 

Colonel : On the 22A of November this division was posted at Bealeton, 
Liberty, and Licking Run, and on the 23d it was concentrated near Rappahan- 
nock Station. At daylight on the 26th it started on the march, crossed the Rap- 
idan at Culpeper Ford after dark, and biouvacked until 3 o'clock next morning, 
when the march was resumed. About midnight I took up a position about a mile 
and a half to the left of Robertson's Tavern, and picketed one of the roads lead- 
ing to the front. 

At daylight I moved the division about one mile to the right, and formed on the 
left of the First Division in two lines with a reserve of four regiments and a 
double line of skirmishers. In this order the division advanced to the line after- 
ward occupied by the army in front of the enemy's works on Mine Run. At this 
time there were no troops on my left, but the Third Corps, coming into position 
toward night, relieved my pickets on that flank. The enemy's works in my front 
appeared to be strong, and between us was a mile open space with ravines, 
through which ran two streams — Mine Run and one of its branches. On the 30th 
I was directed by the major-general commanding the First Corps to advance my 
pickets across the stream in front, and build two bridges suitable for the passage 
of artillery and troops in column. The enemy's pickets occupied the crest of the 
hill immediately in front, and it became necessary to dislodge them. This was 
handsomely done by the Ninety-fourth Regiment of New York Volunteers, under 
Major Moffett, which advanced to the stream, exposed to severe musketry fire, 
crossed it, and charging up the hill, drove a\yay the rebel pickets, and took pos- 
session of the crest. Working parties were immediately set at work, who by 
night had completed two bridges, and were proceeding to build others, when I 
received orders to suspend the work, and, during the night, to withdraw my pickets 
to the position they occupied in the morning. The only casualties in the division 
are a few men wounded. 

At 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the first of December, the division was 
relieved by a brigade of the Third Division, Fifth Corps, and marched to Ger- 
manna Ford, when I took position and covered the crossing of the Fifth and 
Sixth Corps, and the picket details of the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Corps. The 
division was then withdrawn, with the exception of one hundred men, who re- 
mained until the bridges were taken up, and then came over in boats. About 
noon on the 2d of December I left the river, and bivouacked near Stevensburg. 
The division left Stevensburg this morning, and is now encamped, one brigade 
at Paoli Mills and one at Kelly's Ford. 

Very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Brigadier- General Commanding Division. 


1863. The following instructions for the retirement of our 

Tuesday, corps are taken from the circular issued by General 
Meade, under date of Dec. i, 1863 : 

I. The First Corps, Major-General Newton commanding, will withdraw from 
its position on Mine Run (part of the Fifth Corps relieving it), concealing the 
movement from the enemy, and march at 4 P. M. to Germanna Ford, where it 
will take position and hold the crossing of the river until the Fifth and Sixth 
Corps cross, when it will follow those two corps as soon as the road on the oppo- 
site side is clear. It will then form the rear guard, and use every precaution to 
insure the safety of the rear. It will take post at the termination of the plank- 
road, covering the trains on the Stevensburg road, and watching the Mitchell's 
Ford road. 

Shortly before daylight we moved back to the position occupied 
by us on the night of November 27. 

At dusk our division began its march back to the Rapidan, arriv- 
ing at the Germanna Ford about daylight, when we took position as 
directed in the order of General Meade. 

The whole army crossed the river. We marched to 
Wednesday, Stevensburg, ten miles, arriving about 4 P.M., and halted 
Dec. 2. for the night. 

The rest of the army, like ourselves, was very much 
dissatisfied with the result of the campaign. Grumbling was heard 
on all sides. As usual we knew little about the position of troops, 
but that didn't interfere with our having some lively discussion as to 
how the battle ought to have been fought. Arguments were illus- 
trated by diagrams drawn in the ashes of smouldering fires. While 
this was going on, our attention was attracted to a group of substi- 
tutes who were demonstrating how easy a pocket could be picked. 
These fellows made no bones of their occupation, and they were 
always willing to teach us the mysteries of their profession, that we 
might have an agreeable and genteel occupation when we reached 


Marched to a point near Kelly's Ford on the Rappa- 

Thursday, hannock River, where we took possession of some rebel 

Dec. 3. huts, built for winter quarters, and where we remained 

until th? 24th, attending to the usual duties of camp life, 

watching with interest the steady diminution of our comrades, the 


1863. substitutes and bounty-jumpers, who returned to their 

native heaths to reenlist in accordance with the earnestly 
expressed wish of the government, that all veterans should do so. 

Complaint was made by General Newton, our corps commander, 
that our regiment did not have recitations from the Army Regula- 
tions. There were four hundred and eighty-three pages, containing, 
in all, sixteen hundred and seventy-six regulations. We were gratefiil 
to our officers for this deviation from the strict line of their duty. 
There were inflictions enough without this one. The busybody that 
informed General Newton of this neglect deserved to be choked, we 

Section 500 of the Army Regulations says : " The sentinel at the 
colonel's tent has orders to warn him, day or night, of any unusual 
movement in or about camp." The most unusual thing that ever 
happened in camp was the prompt relief of the camp guard on duty 
at 3 A.M. According to this regulation, therefore, it was the duty 
of the sentinel after such an occurrence to wake the colonel and let 
him know the fact, though we believe it was never done, because life 
was sweet, even to a private soldier. Then again, the ninth article of 
war forbade a soldier using any violence to his superior officer. 

Headquarters First Bricade, 
[Circular.] Second Division First Army Corps, 

Dec. 14, 1863. 

I. As one of the aids to a proper attention to guard duty is to have comfort- 
able guard quarters, the commanding officers of the different regiments of this 
brigade will, without unnecessary delay, have such quarters prepared. 

II. As the moral and conscientious soldiers are among the most faithful and 
devoted to the service, it is desirable that the best means be used for cultivating 
and promoting the highest moral influence amongst the troops. It is, therefore, 
recommended to all officers, particularly to commanding officers of regiments, to 
extend all facilities in their power to the chapliuns in the performance of their 
high and sacred duties. Every regiment should have a suitable building or tent 
in which to hold their religious meetings. Every regiment not having a chaplain 
should adopt the speediest means for obtaining one. 

III. The colonel commanding does not feel himself authorized to issue any 
orders on the duties of chaplains, or prescribing any form for religious services, 
although the religious orders of the President, repeated by several commanders of 
this army, might warrant it, yet he would most earnestly recommend that the 
commanders of regiments require their chaplains, or in their absence, some suit- 


1863. able person, to have a short and appropriate religious service on 

the occasion 'of the evening dress parade, believing, as he does, that 
it would be a dutiful recognition of that Almighty Power that has preserved us, 
blessed our nation and flag, blessed our arms, and that is rapidly leading us into 
a long-looked for haven of peace and prosperity. 

By command of 

COL. T. F. McCOY, 

Comjiianding Brigade. 

The reading of this order reminded us of the utter darkness into 
which we had wandered by the loss of our spiritual guide, the chap- 
lain. The Bibles which we had discarded in the streets of Phila- 
delphia, under the impression that the presence of a chaplain would 
supply their place, might now be useful in regulating our conduct 
so as to fulfil the enunciation of Colonel McCoy, that " moral and 
conscientious soldiers are among the most faithful and devoted to 
the service." We were certainly among the breakers, — house- 
breakers, as our last August recruits appeared to be, — and needed, 
if ever, the services of a chaplain, or a jailer, though the latter was 
the officer we felt would be most useful. The chaplain left us about 
Fredericksburg time to take charge of a hospital in Washington, 
and we are free to say that we missed the cheering influence of his 
amiable presence. Surrounded as we now were by a brawling set 
of recruits, it looked like a travesty to remind us of cultivating 
morals in soil so destitute of good. There were some things we 
could do to be saved without the aid of a chaplain : we could pray, 
sing a psalm, take up a collection, or take a bath. Most of us chose 
the latter, for its proximity to godliness, and felt purer and happier 

for doing so. 

Headquarters First Army Corps, 
[Circular.] Dec. 22, 1863. 

For the information of those concerned, the following facts are furnished in 
regard to bounties paid by the different .States, collected from the Adjutant-Gen- 
eral's office : 

Massachusetts pays ^325 cash, or $c,o and S20 per month. 

New York pays 37S- 

New York City pays 5300, provided the men were enlisted in the city, provided 
the men were originally enrolled there, no matter whether the men reenlisted in 
the city or army. 

Wisconsin pays $5 a month to families of volunteers. 


1863. Michigan, J50 bounty; also township and county bounties are 

paid in some localities, varying in amounts. 
By command of 


A noticeable change had taken place in the business of enlistment 
since we hung round No. 344 (old number) Washington street, pa- 
tiently waiting to learn if we had been voted in and accepted. 

Marched about 8 o'clock to Brandy Station and on to 

Thursday, Culpeper Court House and along the railroad to within 

Dec. 24. a mile of Mitchell's Station. Snow on the ground and 

cold. No rests were given us. The distance marched 

was seventeen miles. 

Christmas day. Had to break ice in the swamp near 
Friday, by for a supply of water, some of which was about the 
Dec. 25. color of whiskey. The pickets of the enemy could be 
seen on the opposite side of Cedar Run. Merritt's divi- 
sion of cavalry were in camp near us. 

About 3 P.M. we moved our camp down the hill to 
Saturday, Mitchell's Station in a field to the west of the station. 
Dec. 26. Our camp of August 17 and 18, 1862, was less than a 
mile away, towards Cedar Mountain. 

General Orders, 1 

No. 56. I Headquarters First Brigade, Second Division, 

First Army Corps, Dec. 28, 1863. 

This brigade now occupies one of the extreme outposts of this army. It is a 
position of honor as well as danger, and as such requires much more than the 
ordinary degree of vigilance and faithfulness on the part of officers and men. 

The colonel commanding would, therefore, call upon all to manifest their appre- 
ciation of the important service devolving upon them by a. prompt and cheerful 
response to every duty. 

In view of an additional precaution against surprise, when firing is heard on 
the picket line, the commanding officers of regiments will at once have their com- 
mands under arms, without waiting for any orders or signals from these head- 

The safety of the camp being more particularly in the keeping of the pickets 
and guards, the necessity of intelligence, vigilance, and promptitude with them 
are of the most essential importance. 

The colonel commanding the brigade deeply regrets the necessity for the late 


1863. movement, involving so much inconvenience and suffering, and most 

heartily s"mpathizes with the troops in their extraordinary fatigues 
and exposures. Knowing, however, that the noble and righteous cause in which 
we are engaged is worthy of and demands the highest services and the greatest 
sacrifices, he feels assured that the brave and patriotic officers and soldiers of this 
brigade will, with renewed determination, if necessary, sustain their own high 
name, won upon so many battlefields, and the honor of the old flag, by a prompt 
and willing compliance with every duty, however arduous, the exigency may require. 

By command of 

COL. T. F. McCOY, 

Commanding Brigade. 

We had an opinion about this Colonel McCoy. The " old flag " 
which has come thundering along down the oratorical highway of 
the last thirty years probably got its start from this order. 
Tuesday ^^ were formed in line of battle to meet an advance 

Dec. 29. of the enemy, but the alarm proved to be a false one. 

General Orders, ) Headquarters First Brigade, 

No. 58. ' Second Division First Army Corps, 

Dec. 30, 1863. 
For the health and comfort of the soldiers of the First Brigade, it is of great im- 
portance that especial attention be bestowed in the construction of huts and the 
laying out of grounds for convenience and beautifying. For the purpose of en- 
suring uniformity in the accomplishment of these objects, I hereby, with the 
advice of the medical officers of the First Army Corps, direct that the walls of the 
huts shall not be less than five feet high, the length not less than ten feet, and the 
width between the walls not less than six feet and one half, the roofs being cov- 
ered with shelters in the usual manner. The doors of the huts shall all face the 
street, and the chimneys should not be erected in the front. 

A choice may be ejJercised by the regimental commanders whether the huts be 
end to the street or side to it, though there should be uniformity in adopting one 
mode or the other. 

The streets should not be less than twenty-five feet in width, and the space 
between huts in the rear should not be less than eight feet. The streets will be 
graded in the usual manner. The draining will be thorough. 

By command of 

COL. T. F. McCOY, 

Commanding Brigade. 


1863. Changed camp to high ground, half a mile to the 

Thursday, westward, and proceeded at once to build huts for win- 

^'^' ^'' ter quarters. Six months and sixteen days more before 

"Johnnie comes marching home." 
During the month of January, 1864, the Confederate Congress 
passed resolutions thanking General Lee and the officers and soldiers 
under his command for the great and signal victories they had 
won, and the service they had rendered in defence of the liberty 
and independence of their country. Accompanying the resolutions 
was the following general order : 

General Orders, 1 

No. 5. S Adjt. and Insp. General's Office, 

Richmond, Jan. 13, 1864. 
I. The President having approved the following joint resolutions of Congress, 
directs its announcement in General Orders, expressive of his gratification at the 
tribute awarded the patriotic officers and soldiers to whom it is addressed. For 
the military laggard, or him who, in the pursuits of selfish and inglorious ease, 
forgets his country's need, no note of approbation is sounded. His infamy is his 
only security from oblivion. But the heroic devotion of those who, in defence of 
liberty and honor, have perilled their all, while it confers, in an approving con- 
science, the best and highest award, will also be cherished in perpetual remem- 
brance by a grateful nation. Let this assurance stimulate the armies of the 
Confederacy everywhere to greater exertion and more resolute endurance, till, 
under the guidance of Heaven, the blessings of peace and freedom shall finally 
crown their efforts. Let all press forward in the road to independence, and for 
the security of the rights sealed to us in the blood of the first Revolution. Honor 
and glory await our success. Slavery and shame will attend our defeat ! 

As a specimen of turgid eloquence this is too fine to remain 
buried in the War Records. 



1864. We were given today a half-ration of whiskey. With 

January i. jj^g thermometer at ten below zero and fifty per cent, 
reduction in the quantity of whiskey, there was indeed 
cause for anxiety. The substitutes appealed to their goddess — 
"Helen Blazes" — for interference, and some of us felt like joining 
in the chorus. The significance of reducing the allowance of whiskey 
on the first day of the year was very striking, and suggested that 
perhaps the annual fever of reform which occurs on New Year's 
day had attacked the government, though we hoped it would not be 
more lasting than it usually was with mankind. The life of a com- 
mon soldier is such an irksome grind, that it is not to be wondered 
that he welcomes anything that will put a polish on the hard surface 
of his daily duties. There was nothing that so effectually removed 
the wrinkles from " grim-visaged war " as a noggin of old rye, 
although we allow that its absence was no excuse for profanity. Of all 
men who served in the army, the private soldier could afford the least 
to indulge in the luxury of profanity, as will be seen by the following 
extract from the " Articles of War : " 

Article 3. Any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall use any pro- 
fane oath or execration, shall incur the penalties expressed in the foregoing article 
(one-sixth of a dollar) ; and a commissioned officer shall forfeit and pay for each 
and every offence, one dollar, to be applied as in the preceding article. 

That is, applied "to the use of the sick soldiers of the company or troop to 
which the oflfender belongs." 

According to the " War Records " the man who did the most 
swearing was the distinguished commander of the Army of the 
Potomac, but perhaps he thought he could afford it ; we couldn't, 
even at the low price fixed for the rank and file. If General Meade 
chipped in a dollar for every profane word he uttered, the amount of 


1864. money so collected would have supported all the hospi- 

tals in the army, unless he has been grievously maligned. 
It must have bothered him to keep the count unless he left that to 
his private secretary. In the heat of battle, or when stupid soldiers 
tried their patience, some other officers, following his extravagant 
example, believed the expletives of our language acquired additional 
force if garnished with profanity, and we fear they often exceeded 
the limit allowed even by the army in Flanders. But, as we have 
already said, war is not a Sunday-school picnic. 

Now we were settled in winter quarters, we had plenty of time to 
reflect on the perils through which we had passed, and the fact that 
thirty months of our three-years' service had been wound off, hoping 
our luck would hold out until July 16, when we could, with honor, 
turn our backs to the foe. As we sat on picket, watching the stars, 
our minds would go back to January i, 1862, when we were quar- 
tered in the hospitable town of Williamsport, where we celebrated 
the day with " apple-jack," a decoction which many of us became 
acquainted with for the first time, and which discretion suggested 
ought to be the last. We recollected how much fun we had seeing the 
old year out — way out. There were singing and dancing, darkies' 
praise-meetings, and entertainment at houses where the hospitality 
was supplemented with the stirring words of " Maryland, my Mary- 
land." In those happy days we were a thousand strong, but now a 
small band welded into veterans by the perils and hardships we 
had encountered. 

General Orders,! 

No. 2. / Headquarters First Brigade, Second Division, 

First Army Corps, January 2, 1864. 
As an additional measure of precaution for defence, and to guard against sur- 
prise, in the position now occupied by the brigade, there will be one regiment 
designated daily as an inlying picket, to go on duty at the hour of guard- 
mounting, at which time, by the same calls, it will assemble on its regimental 
parade ground, under its own officei-s, have roll-calls, inspection, and stack arms, 
its commanding officer to report in person at these headquarters immediately 
thereafter. This picket will always be in readiness to fall in at a moment's notice, 
to march to any point that may be threatened, and will be under arms at daylight. 
The officers and men will, therefore, remain in camp and quarters, with their 
accoutrements on, and if deemed necessary by the brigade commander, patrols 


1864. under a commissioned officer will be sent out at proper intervals, 

part of whose duty it will be to arrest all soldiers found beyond a 
proper distance from the camp, besides any suspicious characters that may be 
found in the vicinity. 

That this duty may be as light as possible upon the different regiments, the 
two larger regiments (the Sixteenth Maine and Thirty-ninth Massachusetts) will 
be divided, five companies at a time being designated for this duty. It will be 
necessary that the regiments upon this duty be subject to the usual details. They 
will be relieved from drill. 

By command of 

COL. T. F. McCOY, 
Commanding Brigade, 

Our brigade, consisting of the Thirteenth Massachusetts, the One 
Hundred and Fourth New York, the Sixteenth Maine, the One 
Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania, and the Thirty-ninth Massa- 
chusetts, was now encamped for the winter at Mitchell's Station, on 
the Orange & Alexandria Railroad ; the remainder of the division 
being stationed near Culpeper and Pony Mountain. We remained 
in this camp doing outpost duty for the Army of the Potomac until 
April 26. 

As soon as our position was fixed we proceeded to make ourselves 
comfortable by building log huts, using our " shelters " as a roof, and 
a very comfortable camp we made of it. After the huts were com- 
pleted we proceeded to build corduroy streets in and about the 
camp, that we might get about when the ground was softened by 
thaws, without wallowing in the mud. This work was accomplished 
by piece-meal, during the hours when we were reUeved from picket 

There was a deal of anxiety and hard work about this picket duty, 
and on several occasions regiments were sent down from corps head- 
quarters to relieve us of some of the strain. Our picket lines were 
so close to the enemy that the sound of rebel drums could be 
plainly heard. The most continual watchfulness was required to 
prevent surprises. Each day one regiment of the brigade was kept 
" under arms " in readiness to repel a sudden attack. This service was 
performed in turn, as was also that of picket duty. The line was 
daily invaded by deserters from the enemy, often coming in groups of 
a dozen, with tales of hardships and destitution which their array was 


1864. contending with ; informing us, also, that more were pre- 

paring to come, and that it took a considerable force to 
prevent these desertions. From our previous experience we were 
led to take about as much stock in these yams as we did in the stories 
of contrabands. 

As drilling was dispensed with we had some leisure moments 
which were spent in listening to the wonderful exploits of the out- 
laws sent out by the old Bay State in August last. They never tired 
of relating the mysterious uses to which a "jimmy " could be put by 
a man of nerve, and how easy it was to crack a bank or filch a purse. 
They robbed each other as freely as they did others. We noticed on 
their arrival that nearly every man had his pocket cut. Their 
mouths were full of oaths and mottoes, such as " God helps those 
who help themselves," and " All men are bom free and equal," and 
that " No man is entitled to more than another unless he has the 
sand to get it." Of this band of one hundred and eighty-six only 
about forty did any duty at all, and what they did was not very 
reliable. The others deserted, went into hospitals, or shirked. 
Every time any of them deserted we felt glad they were gone. 
From the moment of their arrival until they departed we had no 
peace or continuous sleep, so turbulent and noisy were they. Two 
or three times a week the woods near the camp were witness to 
fights, frequently of terrible brutality. The disputes which arose 
among them as they gambled their money, made one's life a misery. 
We often talked over, among ourselves, this business of filling up a 
decent regiment with the outscourings of humanity ; but the more we 
thought of it the more discontented we became. We longed for a 
quiet night, and when day came we longed to be away from these 
rufHans. What with hollering, and swearing, and threats to knife each 
other, these fellows made our lives anything but enjoyable. 

During this time we were asked to reenlist. The commanding 
officer of each regiment was instructed to make an effort to this end. 
We were drawn up in line, and had explained to us that the country 
needed men ; that it was a critical period ; that old soldiers were 
worth so much more than new ones, etc.; to all of which we 
listened with respectful attention. It was very sweet to hear all this, 


1864. but the Thirteenth was not easily moved by this kind of 

talk. The boys knew too well what sacrifices they had 
made, and longed to get home again, and, if possible, resume the 
places they had left. Four times we were addressed as to our duty 
about reenlisting. On two or three of these occasions there was an 
unusual amount of grog floating about. Who the mysterious bene- 
factor was, we are unable to recall, but it was evident to us that some 
one was Interested in putting a halo of attractiveness on the service 
that didn't seem to fit. On one of these occasions, eleven men 
yielded to the influence of oratory or rum, though some of them 
afterwards said it was the rum, and were given thirty days' furlough. 
Seven of this number succeeded in obtaining commissions in other 
regiments, so that only four returned. 

About this time one of the boys in another regiment, whose wife 
had died, requested leave of absence to attend her funeral, and the 
application was returned from headquarters with the indorsement, 
"This man can have thirty-five days' furlough by reenlisting. 

« (Signed) Gen. S. Williams, A.A.G." 

When this came to our ears a good deal of feeling was expressed 
in terms not very comphmentary to the government. 

General Orders, ) 

No. 3. 3 Headquarters First Brigade, 

Second Division, January 9, 1864. 

It is believed that the troops would be more efficient in battle if opportunities 
were afforded them an occasional target practice. 

From II o'clock to 12 is now allowed, during which the relieved guards and 
pickets may fire off their muskets. 

In order that we may profit by this privilege, it is directed, under the general 
supervision of the commanders of regiments respectively, that the pieces of their 
men be discharged at a target daily, Sundays excepted, between the hours desig- 

Great care should be taken to select a perfectly safe locality for this practice, to 
prevent accident, and in every case it must be under the direction of a com- 
missioned officer. 

By command of 

COL. T. F. McCOY. 
Occasionally the monotony of camp-life was relieved by our 


1864. brigade commander, who exercised a kind of parental 

care over us, as will be seen by the following order : 

General Orders, 1 

No. 5. / Headquarters First Brigade, Second Division, 

First Army Corps, January 17, 1864. 
Regimental commanders will cause inspection to be made of the haversacks of 
picket details before they leave camp, and will be held responsible that their details 
are fully supplied with the necessary rations. 

By command of 

COL. T. F. McCOY, 

Commanding Brigade. 
Captain and A. A. A. G, 

If we had known of the existence of this order at the time, we 
should have taken mighty good care that our haversacks were empty 
when the inspection took place. 

We find among the orders issued at that time the following : 


Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

Office of the Provost Marshal-General, 

January 20, 1864. 
Assistant Adjutant-General of Corps, and other independent commands, are 
respectfully requested to notify officers and men connected with their commands 
that they can be supplied at Brandy Station, daily, with fresh oysters, at the fol- 
lowing prices : 

Per gallon in \ bbls. or tubs, $1-55 

" 4 " in cans, .90 

" quart, in cans, ,45 

Shell oysters in bbls., per bushel, 1.70 

Mr. John Tyson, of Baltimore, Md. (who has the contract^, announces, that 
having supplied the hospitals, he will hereafter be able to meet all demands for 
oysters made upon him by officers and men, 

Provost Marshal- General. 

It took the government two and a half years to learn that oysters, 
and not pork, went with crackers ; so we were well pleased to see this 
kinship reestablished. 

The following interesting order is from the pen of General Lee : 


General Orders, 1 

No. 7. i Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

January 22, 1864. 
The commanding general considers it due to the army to stale that the tem- 
porary reduction of rations has been caused by circumstances beyond the control 
of those charged with its support. Its welfare and comfort are the objects of his 
constant and earnest solicitude, and no effort has been spared to provide for its 
wants. It is hoped that the exertions now being made will render the necessity 
of short duration; but the history of the army has shown that the country can 
require no sacrifice too great for its patriotic devotion. 

Soldiers ! You tread with no unequal step the road by which your fathers 
marched through suffering, privations, and blood to independence. Continue to 
emulate in the future, as you have in the past, their valor in arms, their patient 
endurance of hardships, their high resolve to be free, which no trial could shake, 
no bribe reduce, no danger appal, and be assured that the just God who crowned 
their efforts with success will, in His own good time, send down His blessing 
upon yours. 

R. E. LEE, 


In a letter to General Lee from the Quartermaster-General of the 
Confederacy, under date of February 5, 1864, occurs the following 
paragraph, which shows the straits to which the Confederate States 
had been driven : 

You desire to be informed in regard to the prospects for the future. As to the 
article of blankets, we are entirely dependent upon the foreign markets for our 
supply. There is not a solitary establishment within the limits of the Confederacy 
where they are made, nor is there one, since the destruction of Crenshaw's at this 
place (Richmond) by fire, that possesses the appliances for making them. In 
view of this, would it not be well to require the men to turn them in for reissue 
just as soon as approaching summer will justify, as at that season these articles 
are wasted? The Department is also, owing to the great scarcity of wool, some- 
what dependent upon the receipts from abroad for the heavy woollen cloths essential 
for winter wear. In the important item of shoes, I believe we are now laboring 
under our greatest difficulties, and that the coming spring will bring great relief. 
I do not allude so much to the relief incident to the season itself as that which 
will result from our increased resources. Besides the shoe establishment here, 
there are two other larger ones in Georgia, at Columbus and Atlanta, and minor 
affairs at other points. Arrangements have been recently entered into for the 
introduction of machinery, which, with limited details, will enable two of these 
workshops to turn out one thousand pairs of shoes each daily. Major Dillard has 
also in hand a very large number of hides that have been for some time in the 
vats, and which he reports will be available in the spring. A small portion of 
that material would relieve, if available now, the wants of the army. 


1864. We had a case of small-pox break out in camp during 

February, jj^jg month, but the prompt measures taken by the 
doctor prevented its spreading. 

On the 6th we received orders to be in readiness to march at 
daylight, but they were subsequently countermanded. Rumors were 
always circulating about camp as to what we were going to do, but 
the old reliable, " All quiet on the Potomac," was kept standing in 
the newspapers, though " On to Richmond" occasionally made its 
appearance to relieve the monotony. 

On the 26th a substitute, in order to make things lively, set fire to 
the building occupied by the picket reserve, endangering the lives of 
the men who were lying in it asleep. The time was fast approaching 
when the boys, becoming exasperated, were thinking of taking the 
law into their own hands. This fire had one good effect, as it served 
as a beacon to several officers and soldiers who had escaped from 
Richmond, and were seeking our lines. They were accompanied by 
four negroes. 

On the 29th a lieutenant of the Eightieth Illinois, being among the 
last who came through the tunnel under " Libby prison," approached 
our lines and was challenged, when he answered, " Friends without 
the countersign." Upon being admitted, he was so overjoyed he 
knew not what to do or say. Shortly after leaving Richmond, he was 
laid up by a bad knee, stopping at the cabin of a negro who con- 
cealed him and cared for him until he was able to travel, and then 
accompanied him to our lines. They travelled only nights, and were 
helped along by negroes. The last two days he was near the rebel 
lines, but kept out of sight. On this night, before the moon was up, 
they crossed the Rapidan between the rebel pickets, and entered our 
lines. He was sent by a special engine to army headquarters. 

The following order is inserted to offset any impression that may 
arise in the minds of our readers that all the deprivations or hard- 
ships fell upon the private soldier : 


General Orders, ■( 

No. 6. / Headquarters Second Division, 

First Army Corps, Feb. 5, 1864. 
Gambling within the limits of this division is prohibited. The attention ot 
brigade and regimental commanders is called to the suppression of this evil. 
By command of 


Commanding Division. 

Lieutenant and A. A. A, G. 

It will be seen by this communication that even the brigade and 
regimental commanders had their sorrows. There were a good 
many orders issued in the army that were prompted more by a 
splenetic condition of the mind than the good of the service. Con- 
sidering our kind regard for General Robinson, it may seem a sacrilege 
to say so, yet, when this order was read to the rank, and file, we 
immediately concluded that the " old man " had been " roasted " the 
night before by some of his " brigade and regimental commanders." 

The language of this order was too plain to be misunderstood, 
except by a person whose mind was as opaque as a billiard-ball. 
According to our thinking, it had no reference to the rank and file, 
but solely to the officers mentioned in the order; therefore they 
received our charitable commisseration. 

An odd incident occurred on the 7th, while our regi- 
Wednesday, ment was on picket, that afforded us considerable 
March 10. amusement. A Dutchman belonging to a New Jersey 
brigade, becoming dissatisfied with fighting for Uncle 
Sam, concluded to transfer his valuable services to the enemy, and 
accordingly started for the rebel lines. On his way, he passed 
through the picket lines of the corps and the cavalry line without 
being stopped. Imagining that he had passed the outpost lines of 
the Union army, and that our line was the rebel picket line, he 
boldly advanced and announced to us that he " Belonged mit the 
Shersey brigade, but was run away from camp and desert." Though 
we informed him of his error, he was not convinced until he was 
shown the brigade flag, and then he was too well convinced for his 
own comfort. He was a man of intelligence, as was shown by the 


1864. remark he made in speaking of himself, " I'm a tam 

fool." " Be sure you are right, then go ahead," was the 
sound advice of David Crocket. 

Early this morning an alarm was sounded, and after standing in 
line nearly two hours we were dismissed. It was subsequently 
learned that the rebel cavalry made an unsuccessfiil attempt to 
capture the signal station on Bald Pate Mountain. 

It began to rain early in the morning and continued all day, 
settHng the question of moving for several days, as the roads became 
almost impassable on account of the mud. 

War Department, March 10, 1864, 140 P.M. 
Lieut.-Gen. U. S. Grant, Commander-in-Chief, Headquarters Army of the 
Potomac : 
Pursuant to the authority of the Act of Congress, approved February 29, 1864, 
the President, by executive order of this date, has assigned to you the command 
of the Armies of the United States. 


Secretary of War. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 
[Circular.] March 10, 1864. 

The Major-General commanding requests me to inform you that Lieutenant- 
General Grant has arrived at his headquarters, and will remain this afternoon and 
to-night. He will be happy to see you here at any time during his brief stay. 


Major-General, Chief of Staff. 
(To Corps Commanders.) 

We should like to have been a corps commander long enough to 
have tested the quality of his " cold tea." 

There was a variety of opinions expressed in camp about the 
appointment of General Grant to the command of the army. Some 
who had followed his career closely were enthusiastically in his favor, 
while others had grave doubts. The Army of the Potomac had been 
pretty severely criticised by some of the Western generals, conveying 
the impression that we couldn't fight. The ill feeling engendered by 
such silly talk soon wore away, however. 

On the 12 th of March we had a game of base- ball with some 
members of the One Hundred and Fourth New York Regiment. As 


1864. opportunities for indulging our love for this pastime were 

not very frequent, we got a deal of pleasure out of it. 
The score was as follows : 

One Hundred and Fourth New York, 20 

Thirteenth Mass., 62 

Let the young people of to-day (1893) ponder on that score as 
they recall sitting all the afternoon to see professional clubs play 
without making a point on either side. While modesty forbids com- 
mending our own playing, there is no reason why we should refrain 
from bestowing praise on the One Hundred and Fourth New York, 
though it is evident enough that they must have played a fine game 
to have won even twenty points. 

During our stay at Mitchell's Station, one of the officers of 
the Thirteenth, while in the performance of his duties on the 
picket line, in the vicinity of Cedar Mountain, picked up several 
very good specimens of flint arrow-heads, such as are commonly 
used by North American Indians. His curiosity becoming excited, 
he continued his searches until he succeeded in filling his haversack 
with arrow-heads, hatchets, and lance-heads. The land where they 
were found belonged to a Mr. Yeager, a non-combatant, and was that 
occupied by the rebel army at the battle of Cedar Mountain, August 
9, 1862. Presumably this spot was once the site of an Indian 
village, and possibly before the white man gained possession of the 
" sacred soil " of Virginia. Mr. Yeager assured the finder that, as 
long back as he could remember, he was in the habit of finding these 
evidences of Indian occupation of his farm, and had long since lost 
his interest in them as curiosities. It so happened at this time that 
a fair was being held in Philadelphia in aid of the Sanitary or Christian 
Commissions, information of which had reached us through the news- 
papers. The idea occurred to the finder that these rude specimens 
of the handicraft of another race might serve a useful purpose, and 
he thereupon sent them, with an explanatory note, to the managers 
of the fair, to be sold, and the receipts turned in as part of their 
income. A letter was subsequently received stating that quite a con- 
siderable sum was received from their sale. 


1864. The duties of outpost guard relieved the Thirteenth 

from a strict observance of the following order issued 
to the division : 

General Orders,! 

j^(,_ j5_ / Headquarters Second Division, 

First Army Corps, March 20, 1864. 

I. The signal for service will, until further orders, be as follows : 
Reveille, daylight. Recall, 4 P.M. 

Police call, I J minutes later. First call for, parade, 45 minutes before 

Surgeon's call, 6 A.M. sunset. 

Breakfast, 7 A.M. Second call, 15 minutes before sunset. 

Guard mounting, 8 A.M. Tattoo, 9 P.M. 

Drill, 9 A.M. Taps, 9.20 P.M. 

Recall, 1 1 A.M. Sunday morning inspection, 8 A.M. 

Dinner, 12.30 P.M. Guard mounting immediately after. 

Drill, 2 P.M. 

II. The calls will be sounded promptly at the hours named, and the men will 
be ready to fall into the ranks instantly. The morning drill will be by company, 
the afternoon by battalion or brigade. Particular attention will be paid to skir- 
mishing, both by company and battalion. There will be a brigade drill every 
Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. 

III. At police call in the morning the whole command will be turned out, 
and the camps swept and put in perfect order; at the same time earth vfill be 
thrown in the sinks. Regimental commanders will be held responsible for this. 

IV. The men's quarters will be inspected daily, and the coverings of the huts 
removed every Saturday when the weather will permit. 

V. Officers must attend and superintend roll-calls. 

VI. At the first call for parade, companies will be formed and thoroughly 
inspected by commanders; at the second call they will be inarched to the regi- 
mental parade ground, 

VII. The hours appointed for drill must be employed in drill, and not in 
resting. Men will not be permitted to sit or lie down, and the prescribed uniform 
must be worn on all duty under arms. 

By coraiiiand of 


The financial stringency that had for some time af- 
Monday, fected the pocket-books of most of us was removed 
March 21. to-day by the paymaster, and penury's tedious burden 
vanished like dew before the sun. 


General Orders,"! 

No. lo. / Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

March 24, 1864. 

I. The following order has been received from the War Department : 

II. The Second, Fifth, and Sixth Army Corps will each be consolidated into 
two divisions. The First and Second Divisions of the Third Corps are transferred 
to the Second Corps, preserving their badges and distinctive marks. The Third 
Division of the Third Corps is transferred permanently to the Sixth Corps. The 
three divisions now forming the First Corps are transferred to the Fifth Corps, 
preserving their badges and distinctive marks, and on joining the Fifth Corps they 
will be consolidated into two divisions. 

The commanders of the divisions transferred to the Second, Fifth, and Sixth 
Corps will at once report to the commanders of those corps for instructions. 

III. The Major-General commanding avails himself of the occasion to say that, 
in view of the reduced strength of nearly all the regiments serving in this army, 
the temporary reduction of the number of army corps to three is a measure 
imperatively demanded by the best interests of the service, and that the reasons 
for attaching the First and Third Corps, for the time being, to other corps were 
in no respect founded upon any supposed inferiority of those corps to the other 
corps of this army. All the corps have equally proved their valor on many fields, 
and all have equal claims to the confidence of the government and of the 
country. The First and Third Corps will retain their badges and distinctive 
marks, and the Major-General commanding indulges the hope that the ranks of 
the army will be filled at an early day, so that those corps can be reorganized. 

By command of Major-General Meade, 


Assistant-Adjula>il General. 

A good deal of dissatisfaction was expressed with General Meade 
for wiping out the First Corps, notwithstanding we were allowed lo 
retain the corps badge in combination with that of the Fifth Corps 
— a sop to our indignation. 

General Orders,") 

jjq_ g_ J Headquarters First Army Corps, 

March 25, 1864, 
On relinquishing command I take occasion to express the pride and pleasure I 
have experienced in my connection with you and my profound regret at our 

Identified by its service with the history of the war, the First Corps gave at 
Gettysburg a crowning proof of valor and endurance, in saving from the grasp 
of the enemy the strong position upon which the battle was fought. 


1864. The terrible losses suffered by this corps in the conflict attest its 

supreme devotion to the country. 
Though the corps has lost its distinctive name by the present changes, history 
will not be silent upon the magnitude of its services. 


Major- General, 

In his retirement from the command of the First Corps, General 
Newton carried with him the good- will and respect of every oflScer 
and soldier that had the honor to serve under him. 

General Orders, 1 

No. 17. J Headquarters Second Division, 

Fifth Army Corps, March 26, 1864. 

I. Immediately requisition will be made for everything necessary to equip the 
troops for active service in the field, including shelter tents, pioneer tools, and 

II. All men, including clerks, waiters, etc., must be armed and equipped. In 
addition to the division badge, every man will be required to have on his cap the 
number of his regiment. 

By command of 


Each company was required to be provided with an axe, and each 
regiment was to have five pioneers. 
Tuesday, An order was received to-day from General Warren 
March 29. containing the following paragraph : 

III. Details, unless otherwise ordered, will be for one day only, and men 
must eat their breakfast before leaving camp, and bring their dinner in haver- 

What, in the name of all that was good and holy, came over the 
honorable major-general when he penned that paragraph about 
eating our breakfast and bringing our dinner was more than we could 
guess. This was the first instance when any solicitude was shown, 
after we had drawn rations, as to whether we ate them at once, or 
divided them into nine parts. "Bring their dinners in haversacks " 
pleased us immensely. 

The monotony of camp life was relieved to-day by a celebration 
which took place in the camp of the Sixteenth Maine, in honor of 
the return of its colonel, who had recently escaped from Richmond. 


1864. Greased pig, sack races, and base-ball were among the 

list of sports marked out for the day's pleasure. We had 
a good time, and as the Maine boys had learned from experience not 
to trust their pocket-books in reach of our substitutes, there was 
nothing to mar the fun. One of the Thirteenth boys succeeded in 
capturing the " greasy pig," so there was fresh pork in camp. 

[Circular.] Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

March 29, 1864. 
The General commanding the corps regrets to find that a false notion prevails 
with many soldiers that labor is not their duty; nevertheless the removal of filth 
and garbage, the making of sinks and drains, are all necessary to prevent sickness, 
and increase the number to stand by our sides in the day of battle. In making 
good roads, we make certain the timely arrival of provisions and equipage at all 
times, and in movements against the enemy secure the rapidity to the advance 
and reliability in the calculated arrival of supports and reserves. 

No officer should camp in a wet and filthy place, and leave it so, or allow it to 
accumulate, nor be content to get his own command over a difficult place, if he 
does not expect to see his men failing from bad health and disease, and be left 
alone when he meets the enemy. Duty in all these things requires labor, with 
axe and pickaxe, spade and shovel. In their proper places these harmless tools 
contribute as much to the success of an army as the most ponderous projectile, 
the deadliest rifle, or the sharpest sword. There is no great soldier of ancient or 
modern times who succeeded more by fighting than by using his troops as 
laborers and mechanics. Work of such vital importance is therefore honorable to 
all engaged, and should be performed with as much good-will as the storming of 
an intrenchment. 

The General commanding the corps believes with the true impulses of a soldier, 
and appeals to the good sense and patriotism of his command, and calls upon his 
officers of all grades, when engaged on working parties, to be constantly on the 
alert, to preserve order and regulate the apportionment of the details so the labor 
shall fall equally upon all, and be performed with despatch. 

The experience which all will acquire in this will habituate the officers to com- 
mand, and their men to obedience, ami add an essential element to their morale 
in battle. Troops that work cheerfully, and march well, always fight well, and to 
the best advantage. 

Working details will always be made out, and conducted according to General 
Orders No. 9, from these headquarters. 

By command of 



1864. Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

April 8, 1864. 

The granting of all leaves of absence and furloughs having been stopped, 
except in extreme cases, no others will be granted. 

The dangerous illness or death of any relative will not hereafter be so consid- 
ered. These grievous events are common to all, as much so at least to the soldier in 
the field as to those at home. 

Soldiers and their friends should remember that they came here in their 
country's cause, and that the prospect of death to the latter should no more call 
the soldier from his duties than the greater chance to which he himself is exposed. 

An extreme case can only be made out when the applicant's presence is 
necessary to perform some essential duty at home more important to him than the 
service of the country, and which no one else can attend to. 

This circular will be read at the head of every camp and regiment in the 

By order of 


The winter did not pass without our receiving boxes 
from home ; those remembrances, prepared by mothers 
^ ' ■ and sisters, were filled with choice eatables, and frequently 

contained things to wear. These evidences of thought- 
fulness of friends at home were very cheering, and as each little mess 
shared their contents they brought pleasure to many. There were 
others, besides our immediate friends, who were working for the 
soldier. Young ladies were busy knitting stockings and mittens and 
making comfortable articles of wearing apparel, which were sent out 
as fast as collected. These were all highly appreciated. We were 
not always aware who these kind friends were, though now and then 
a name would be found tucked away in some corner and when dis- 
covered, often started a pleasant correspondence which was not the 
least of the pleasures that grew out of their anxiety for the welfare 
of the soldiers. This noble work was carried on during the war 
with an unremitting labor, and a devotion that should never be for- 
gotten while a soldier is alive to express his appreciation of the 
practical good that it did. Nor were the women our only friends. 
There were men in Boston, as well as in other parts of the State, 
who were untiring in their efforts in behalf of the soldiers. They 
not only contributed time and labor, but gave large sums of money 


1864. to help along the work that was being done by the 

women. It was a disinterested work for which they got 
nothing, not even a "thank you" from the men whose interest they 
had so much at heart. Soldiers were too far away without suitable 
opportunities for expressing the appreciation they felt at this patriotic 
service that was being carried on in their absence. The names of 
some of these men became known through our correspondence with 
friends, and are cherished among the recollections of that exciting 
period. It is difficult to estimate how much good was done by these 
earnest patriotic men and women to give encouragement to soldiers, 
or how much they did to keep alive patriotism in others. Soldiers 
should never forget, that without the aid of these people at home, 
the war could not have been successfully carried on. 

On the fourth of the month we had a snow-storm that would have 
honored Massachusetts Bay. It was followed by rain, and then 
mud — the "sacred soil" of Virginia. 

On the eighth we were reviewed by General Grant. Our curi- 
osity was very great to see the new commander. This review was a 
new experience to us. The absence of " red tape " was one of its 
noticeable features. We waited in line but a short time when an 
officer was seen approaching at a gallop, completely outstripping the 
other members of his staff, who found it impossible to keep pace with 
him, so great was the speed. He made a complete circuit of the 
regiment, looking every man square in the face, returning our salute 
as he passed along, continuing the same rapid gait to each camp of 
the brigade until the work was completed. It was performed so 
quickly that we hardly realized that it was done. His staff came 
straggling along as best they could on their panting horses, to the 
great amusement of the boys. 

This review afforded a topic for some lively conversation. It was 
so much different from anything we had seen before ; there was such 
an air of business about it, and so little reaching for adulation, that 
it produced a good effect by inspiring confidence in the new com- 

In accordance with an Act of Congress, approved February 24, 
1864, an order was issued from Army Headquarters on the 29th 


1864. of March, containing a provision that " Any person now 

in the military service of the United States, who shall fur- 
nish satisfactory proof that he is a mariner by vocation, or an able 
seaman, or an ordinary seaman, may enlist into the navy, under such 
rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the President of the 
United States." The regulations provided that the commanding 
officer of each company should forward all applications for transfer 
with the proof that the applicants were mariners by vocation. When 
the news of the passage of this order reached the army some of the 
boys thought a transfer to the navy might be a good way to round off 
their three years' service ; but, as the provisions of the act were read, 
it was seen that unless a man could splice the main brace, dance a 
hornpipe, or was master of other nautical accomplishments, such as 
hitching up the trowsers, a habit peculiar to man-of-war's men, or he 
could tell when the sun crossed the foreyard, he could not be 
accepted. The only nautical experience most of us had was that 
gained by paddling a raft on a duck- pond during our school days, 
which was not sufficient to come within the meaning of " vocation." 
There were times when fatigued by long marches, or when compelled 
to rest one's bones on the unyielding surface of the frozen ground, 
that we wished ourselves snugly stowed away in a hammock between 
decks, undisturbed by the inclemency of the weather. In spite of 
the allurements of comfort, which our imaginations associated with a 
" Life on the ocean wave," we hesitated before jumping from the 
frying-pan into the fire. Even the natural hankering which the 
human mind has for riches, and which was said might be gratified by 
the distribution of prize-money, failed to stimulate our cupidity. 
Our companions, the substitutes, looked at the matter differently. 
They were disgusted with the tiresome routine of a soldier's life, and 
longed to go where rations of rum were provided with regularity. 
Some of these men had served in the navy under other names, and 
knew what they were talking about. According to the government's 
idea, the vigor and strength that rum was supposed to impart to the 
muscles of a sailor was unnecessary to the soldier. 

There were twenty-six of our roistering buccaneer bounty-jumpers 
who availed themselves of the provisions of the order, and they were 


1864. promptly transferred, and it was " good riddance to bad 

rubbish" when they left. 

According to Samuel Johnson, " Being in a ship is being in a jail, 
with the chance of being drowned." Hence the appropriateness of 
transferring our substitutes. 

On the 1 9th of April an order was received from General Robin- 
son that " Particular attention will be paid at battalion drill to the 
formation of squares both direct and oblique, and to the formation 
of columns against cavalry. Regiments should be so drilled that 
the movements can be made promptly," and that " during an en- 
gagement men must not be allowed to leave the ranks to accompany 
their wounded comrades to the rear ; this duty will be performed by 
men of the ambulance corps ; neither will they be allowed to leave 
for want of ammunition." We were first drilled in the formation of 
squares when we were at Fort Independence and pretty continuously 
ever since, so we were tolerably familiar with that movement. 

[Circular.] Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

April 25, 1864. 

The first evening parade after this is received, the General commanding the 
corps directs that in each regiment it must be announced that all applicants for 
admission to the free military school at Philadelphia, on a furlough for thirty days, 
for the purpose of becoming qualified to command colored troops, shall be handed 
in before next morning. A report will be at once made of the total number of 
such applications in each regiment and the number present in the regiment to 
these headquarters. 

Prompt return in this case is desirable. 

By command of 


We broke up our winter quarters and marched a short 
Tuesday, distance across Cedar Run to a hill near by, and after 
April 26. dark moved again to the right of the camp of the 
Thirty-ninth and pitched our shelters. 
The officers were again notified to reduce the quantity of their 
luggage, but the rank and file as usual were allowed to carry an un- 
limited amount. As our comrades, the substitutes who left us to 
seek foF glory on the high seas, had stolen about everything we had 


1864. but the pediculus humanus, we had little trouble in keep- 

ing within the bounds of prudence. 
The following, taken from the report of General Grant on the 
operations of the armies of the United States, outlines the duties 
imposed on the armies operating near Richmond : 

Major-General Meade was instructed that Lee's army would be his objective 
point; that wherever Lee went he would go also. For his movement two plans 
presented themselves : one to cross the Rapidan below Lee, moving by his right 
flank; the other above, moving by his left. Each presented advantages over the 
other with corresponding objections. By crossing above, would be cut off 
from all chance of ignoring Richmond or going north on a raid. But if we took 
this route all we did would have to be done while the rations we started with held 
out; besides, it separated us from Butler, so that he could not be directed how to 
cooperate. If we took the other route, Brandy Station could be used as a base 
of supplies until another was secured on the York or James Rivers. Of these, 
however, it was decided to take the lower route. 

The following letter of instruction was addressed to Maj.-Gen. 

B. F. Butler : 

Fort Munroe, Va., April 2, 1864. 
Maj.-Gen. B. F. Butler: 

General : In the spring campaign, which it is desirable shall commence at as 
early a day as practicable, it is proposed to have cooperative action of all the 
armies in the field, as far as this object can be accomplished. 

It will not be possible to unite our armies into two or three large ones to act as 
so many units, owing to the absolute necessity of holding on to the territory 
already taken from the enemy. But generally speaking, concentration can be 
practically effected by armies moving to the interior of the enemy's country firom 
the territory they have to guard. By such movement they interpose themselves 
between the enemy and the country to be guarded, thereby reducing the number 
necessary to guard important points, or at least occupy the attention of a part of 
the enemy's force, if no greater object is gained. Lee's army and Richmond 
being the greater objects toward which our attention must be directed in the next 
campaign, it is desirable to unite all the force we can against them. The neces- 
sity of covering Washington with the Army of the Potomac, and of covering your 
department with your army, makes it impossible to unite these forces at the 
beginning of any move. I propose, therefore, what comes nearest this of any- 
thing that seems practicable : The Army of the Potomac will act from its present 
base, Lee's army being the objective point. You will collect all the forces from 
your command that can be spared from garrison duty — I should say, not less than 
twenty thousand effective men — to operate on the south side of James River, 
Richmond being your objective point. To the force you already have will be 


1S64. added about ten thousand men from South Carolina, under Major- 

General Gillmore, who will command them in person. Maj.-Gen. 
W. F. Smith is ordered to report to you, to command the troops sent into the field 
from your own department. General Gillmore will be ordered to report to you at 
Fortress Munroe, with all the troops on transports, by the i8th instant, or as soon 
thereafter as practicable. Should you not receive notice by that time to move, 
you will make such disposition of them and your other force as you may deem 
best calculated to deceive the enemy as to the real move to be made. 

When you are notified to move, take City Point with as much force as possible. 
Fortify, or rather intrench at once, and concentrate all your troops for the field 
there as rapidly as you can. From City Point directions cannot be given at this 
time for your further movements. 

The fact that has already been stated — that is, that Richmond is to be your 
objective point, and that there is to be cooperation between your force and the 
Army of the Potomac — must be your guide. This indicates the necessity of your 
holding close to the south bank of the James River as you advance. Then, 
should the enemy be forced into his intrenchments in Richmond, the Army of 
the Potomac would follow, and by means of transports the two armies would 
become a unit. All the minor details of your advance are left entirely to your 
discretion. If, however, you think it practicable to use your cavalry south of 
you so as to cut the railroad about Hicksford about the time of the general 
advance, it would be of immense advantage. 

You will please forward for my information at the earliest practicable day, all 
orders, details, and instructions you may give°^br the execution of this order. 

Lieutenant- General. 

On the l6th these instructions were substantially reiterated. On the 19th, in 
order to secure full cooperation between his army and that of General Meade, he 
was informed that I expected him to move from Fort Munroe the same day that 
General Meade moved from Culpeper. The exact time I was to telegraph him as 
soon as it was fixed, and that it would not be earlier than, the 27th of April; 
that it was my intention to fight Lee between Culpeper and Richmond if he 
would stand. Should he, however, fall back into Richmond, I would follow up 
and make a. junction with his (General Butler's) army on the James River; that, 
could I be certain he would be able to invest Richmond on the south side, so as 
to have his left resting on the James above the city, I would form the junction 
there; that circumstances might make this course advisable anyhow; that he 
should use every exertion to secure footing as far up the south side of the 
river as he could, and as soon as possible after receipt of orders to move; 
that if he could not carry the city, he should at least detain as large a force there 
as possible. In coSperation with the main movements against Lee and Johnston, 
I was desirous of using all other troops necessarily kept in departments remote 
from the fields of immediate operations, and also those kept in the background 


1864. for the protection of an extended line between the loyal States and 

the armies operating against them. 

Owing to the weather and bad condition of the roads, operations were de- 
layed until the first of May, when, everything being in readiness, and the roads 
favorable, orders were given for a general movement of all the armies not later 
than the fourth of May. My first object being to break the military power of the 
rebellion, and capture the enemy's important strongholds, made me desirous that 
General Butler should succeed in his movement against Richmond, as that would 
tend more than anything else, unless it were the capture of Lee's army, to 
accomplish this desired result in the East. If he failed, it was my determination, 
by hard fighting, either to compel Lee to retreat, or to so cripple him that he 
could not detach a large force to go north and still retain enough for the defence 
of Richmond. It was well understood by both Generals Butler and Meade, 
before starting on the campaign, that it was my intention to put both their armies 
south of the James River, in case of failure to destroy Lee without it. Before 
giving General Butler his instructions, I visited him at Fort Munroe, and in con- 
versation pointed out the apparent importance of getting possession of Petersburg, 
and destroying railroad communication as far south as possible. Believing, 
however, in the practicability of capturing Richmond unless it was reenforced, 1 
made that the objective point of his operations. As the Army of the Potomac was 
to move simultaneously with him, Lee could not detach from his army with safety, 
and the enemy did not have troops elsewhere to bring to the defence of the city 
in time to meet a rapid movement from the north of James River. 

General Orders, I 

No. z'l. i Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

May 2, 1864. 
The Commanding General having learned that, notwithstanding the caution con- 
tained in General Orders, No. 22, of April 25, 1864, from these headquarters, 
there are men in this army who refuse to do duty on the ground that their term 
of service has expired, it will be made known to such men that their conduct, 
being open mutiny, will be punished with death without trial unless they promptly 
return to duty ; and, hereafter, any soldier who refuses to do duty on a similar 
plea will instantly be shot, without any form of trial whatever. The honor of the 
service, and the necessities of the hour, admit of no other disposition of such 
cases. The Commanding General again expresses the hope that the soldiers of 
this army will respectfully ask for and cheerfully abide by the decision of the War 
Department with respect to their term of service, but he has no further word of 
warning for those who, at a time like the present, choose to defy lawful authority. 
Corps and other independent commanders are charged with the execution of this 

By command of Major-General Meade, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. 

thirteenth: mass. vols. 321 

1864. Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

May 2, 1864. 

1. The army will move on Wednesday, the 4th of May, 1864. 

2. On the day previous, Tuesday, the 3d of May, Major-General Sheridan, 
commanding Cavalry Corps, will move Gregg's cavalry division to the vicinity of 
Richardsville. It will be accompanied by one-half the canvas pontoon train, the 
engineer troops with which will repair the road to Ely's Ford as far as practicable 
without exposing their work to the observation of the enemy. Guards will be 
placed on all the occupied houses on or in the vicinity of the route of the cavalry 
and in advance toward the Rapidan, so as to prevent any communication with the 
enemy by the inhabitants. The same precaution will be taken at the same time 
in front of the First and Third Cavalry Divisions, and wherever it may be con- 
sidered necessary. At 2 A.M. of the 4th May, Gregg's division will move to 
Ely's Ford, cross the Rapidan as soon as the canvas pontoon bridge is laid, if the 
river is not fordable, and as soon as the infantry of the Second Corps is up, will 
move to the vicinity of Piny Branch Church, or in that section, throwing recon- 
naissances well out on the Pamunkey road, toward Spottsylvania Court House, 
Hamilton's Crossing, and Fredericksburg. The roads past Piny Branch Church, 
Todd's Tavern, etc., will be kept clear for the passage of the infantry the following 
day. The cavalry division will remain in this position to cover the passage of the 
army trains, and will move with them and cover their left flank. At midnight of 
the .3d of May, the Third Cavalry Division, with one half the canvas pontoon 
bridge train, which will join it after dark, will move to Germanna Ford, taking the 
plank-road, and cross the Rapidan as soon as the bridge is laid, if the river is not 
fordable, and hold the crossing until the infantry of the Fifth Corps is up. It will 
then move to Parker's Store, on the Orange Coiurt House plank-road, or that 
vicinity, sending out strong reconnaissances on the Orange pike and plank-roads 
and the Catharpin and Pamunkey roads, until they feel the enemy, and at least as 
far as Robertson's Tavern, the New Hope Church, and Almond's or Robertson's. 
All intelligence concerning the enemy will be communicated with promptitude to 
headquarters and to the corps and division commanders of the nearest infantry 

3. Major-General Warren, commanding Fifth Corps, will send two divisions 
at midnight of the 3d instant, by way of Stevensburg and the plank-road, to the 
crossing at Germanna Ford. So much of the bridge train of the Fifth Corps as 
may be necessary to bridge the Rapidan at Germanna Ford, with such artillery as 
may be required, will accompany these divisions, which will be followed by the 
remainder of the corps at such hour that the column will cross the Rapidan with- 
out delay. Such disposition of the troops and artillery as may be found necessary 
to cover the bridge will be made by the corps commander, who, after crossing, will 
move to the vicinity of the Old Wilderness Tavern, on the Orange Court House 
pike. The corps will move the following day past the head of Catharpin Run, 
crossing the Orange Court House plank-road at Pareer's Store. 


1864. 4. Major-General Sedgwick, commanding Sixth Corps, will move 

at 4 A.M. of the 4th instant, by way of Stevensburg and the Ger- 
manna plank-road to Germanna Ford, following the Fifth Corps, and, after crossing 
the Rapidan, will bivouac on the heights beyond. The canvas pontoon train will 
be taken up as soon as the troops of the Sixth Corps have crossed, and will follow 
immediately in rear of the troops of that corps. So much of the bridge train of 
the Sixth Corps as may be necessary to bridge the Rapidan at Culpeper Mine Ford 
will proceed to Richardsville in rear of the Reserve Artillery, and, as soon as it is 
ascertained that the Reserve Artillery are crossing, it will move to Culpeper Mine 
Ford, where the bridge will be established. The engineers of this bridge train 
will at once open a road from Culpeper Mine Ford direct to Richardsville. 

5. Major-Ueneral Hancock, commanding Second Corps, will send two 
divisions, with so much of the bridge train as may be necessary to bridge the 
Rapidan at Ely's Ford, and such artillery as may be required, at midnight of the 
3d instant to Ely's Ford. The remainder of the corps will follow at such hour 
that the column will cross the Rapidan without delay. The canvas pontoon 
bridge at this ford will be taken up as soon as the troops of this corps have passed, 
and will move with it at the head of the trains that accompany the troops. The 
wooden pontoon bridge will remain. The Second Corps will enter the Stevens- 
burg and Richardsville road at Madden's, in order that the route from Stevensburg 
to the plank-road may be free for the Fifth and Sixth Corps. After crossing the 
Rapidan, the Second Corps will move to the vicinity of Chandler's or Chancellors- 

6. It is expected that the advanced divisions of the Fifth and Second Corps, 
with the wooden pontoon trains, will be at the designated points of crossing not 
later than 6 A.M. of the 4th instant. 

7. The Reserve Artillery will move at 3 A.M. of the 4th instant, and follow 
the Second Corps, passing Mountain Run at Ross' Mill or Hamilton's Cross at 
Ely's Ford, take the road to Chancellorsville, and halt for the night at Hunting 

8. Great care will be taken by the corps commanders that the roads are 
promptly repaired by the pioneers wherever needed, not only for the temporary 
wants of the division or corps to which the pioneers belong, but for the passage 
of the troops and trains that follow on the same route. 

9. During the movement of the 4th and following days the commanders of the 
Fifth and Sixth Corps will occupy the roads on the right flank, to cover the pas- 
sage of their corps, and will keep their flankers well out in that direction. The 
commanders of the Second Corps and Reserve Artillery will, in a similar man- 
ner, look out for the left flank. Whenever practicable, double columns will be 
used to shorten the columns. Corps commanders will keep in communication 
and connect with each other, and cooperate whenever necessary. Their picket- 
lines will be connected. They will keep the Commanding General constantly 
advised of their progress and of everything important that occurs, and will send 
staff officers to acquaint him with the location of their headquarters. During the 


1864. movement of the 4th instant headquarters will be on the route of the 

Fifth and Sixth Corps. It will be established at night between 
these corps on the Germanna plank-road. 

10. The infantry troops will take with them fifty rounds of ammunition upon 
the person, three days' full rations in the haversacks, three days' bread and 
small rations in the knapsacks, and three days' beef on the hoof. Each corps 
will take with it one-half its infantry ammunition, one-half the intrenching 
tools, one hospital wagon, and one medicine wagon for each brigade ; one half 
the ambulance trains, and the light spring wagons and pack animals allowed at 
the various headquarters. No other train or means of transportation than those 
just specified will accompany the corps, except such wagons as may be neces- 
sary for the forage for immediate use (five days) . The artillery will have with 
them the ammunition of the caissons only. 

11. The subsistence and other trains, loaded with the amount of rations, 
forage, infantry, and artillery ammunition, etc., heretofore ordered, the surplus 
wooden pontoons of the different corps, etc., will be assembled under the 
direction of the chief quartermaster of the army in the vicinity of Richardsville, 
with a view to crossing the Rapidan by bridges at Ely's Ford and Culpeper 
Mine Ford. 

12. A detail of one thousand or one thousand two hundred men will be made 
from each corps as guard for its subsistence and other trains. This detail will 
be composed of entire regiments as far as practicable. No other guards what- 
ever for regimental, brigade, division, or corps wagons will be allowed. Each 
detail will be under the command of an officer selected for that purpose, and the 
whole will be commanded by the senior officer of the three. This guard will be 
so disposed as to protect the trains on the march and in park. The trains are like- 
wise protected by cavalry on the flanks and rear. 

13. Major-General Sheridan, commanding Cavalry Corps, will direct the 
First Cavalry Division to call in its pickets and patrols on the right on the 
morning of the 4th instant, and hold itself ready to move and cover the trains 
of the army. It will picket and watch the fords of the Rapidan from Rapidan 
Station to Germanna Ford. On the morning of the 5th the First Cavalry Division 
will cross the Rapidan at Germanna Ford and cover the right flank of the trains 
while crossing the Rapidan and during their movements in rear of the army. The 
signal stations on Cedar, Pony, and Stony Mountains will be maintained as long 
as practicable. 

14. The wooden pontoon bridges at Germanna Ford and Ely's Ford will 
remain for the passage of General Burnside's array. That at Culpeper Mine Ford 
will be taken up, under the direction of the chief engineer, as soon as the trains 
have crossed, and will move with the train of its corps. 

By command of Major-General Meade, 

Assistant- Adjutant General. 


1864. Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

May 3, 1864. 

General: The First Division, followed by the Third, will move at midnight, 
crossing the Mountain Run at the double bridge; thence direct to Stevensburg; 
thence toward Doggett's; thence about one mile to a place marked " Ruins," at 
which point an officer will be stationed ; thence the road will be marked by men 
stationed along the route to the plank-road; thence along the plank-road to 
Germanna Ford. The Fourth Division, followed by the Second, will proceed 
from Culpeper, keeping along the south side of Mountain Run, to Stevensburg; 
thence on the main road toward Shepherd's Grove to a place about two and one- 
half miles beyond Stevensburg, marked "Ruins" on the map; thence to the 
right, over a road to be marked by persons on the ground, to the plank-road; 
and thence to Germanna. These divisions will be careful not to cut into those 
they may find on their left, moving in the same direction. 

The Artillery Brigade will at midnight move direct to Stevensburg; thence on 
the main road toward Shepherd's Grove to a place marked " Ruins " on the map; 
thence to the right, over a road to be marked by persons on the ground, to the plank- 
road; thence to Germanna Ford. It will have precedence over the Fourth and 
Second Divisions, and follow the First and Third (each division having its train 
with it). Whenever the country will permit of different columns approaching 
each other, they will continue moving in parallel lines. The brigade will take 
wagons enough to ensure five days' forage, one wagon for sales to officers, one 
wagon and spring wagon for brigade headquarters, one hospital and one medicine 
wagon, and half its ambulances. No other wagons will be allowed. The rest of 
the train of all kinds will be sent to the vicinity of Brandy Station, to make up the 
corps train, which will have an especial guard. 

The men will carry three full days' rations in haversacks, three days' bread and 
small rations in the knapsacks, and three days' beef on the hoof. Care will be 
taken that no fires are built along the route, nor any unusual ones in the camps, 
as these may inform the enemy of our movement. The troops will cross the bridge 
at Germanna Ford as fast as possible, move out and eat their breakfasts on the 
other side, and then continue the march to Old Wilderness Tavern, taking up 
position there as fast as arriving, the First Division moving up the turnpike, 
toward Mine Run, about one mile. Each division will take half its own ammu- 
nition and half its ambulance train, one hospital and one medicine wagon for 
each brigade, wagons for five days' forage, and one wagon for headquarters of 
each division and brigade, and the wagons for sales to officers. No other wagons 
will be allowed. 

The infantry will take fifty rounds of ammunition upon the person, three days' 
full rations in the haversacks, three days' bread and small rations in the knap- 
sacks, and three days' beef on the hoof. General Griffin will detail a regiment of 
about four hundred strong to guard the trains remaining behind; ' the quarter- 
> Similar instructioas to General Robinson. 


1S64. master in charge of these will send to Colonel Owen, quartermaster 

Fifth Corps, in Culpeper, for instructions. Division commanders 
will give instructions to all their officers to prevent their men from building fires 
along the line of march, or any unusual ones in camp, so as to indicate to the 
enemy our movements. 

By command of Major-General Warren, 

Assislanl Adjutant-General. 



1S64. We turned out at-i A.M. and a little before 3 o'clock 

Wednesday, gt^fgfj on the march toward the Rapidan River. On 
*^*^ *■ the old maps of Virginia, this river is recorded as the 

" Rapid Ann." Whether it was named for some woman 
whose gait had a noticeable quickness, or whose habits were thought 
by her neighbors to be somewhat skittish, we are unable to say, nor 
does it matter much anyhow. One thing is certain, this stream had 
occupied a large part of our attention, off and on, for many months, 
and as we crossed it once more, we speculated a good deal as to the 
number of days that would elapse before we should see it again ; but 
it so happened that we now crossed it for the last time. " On to 
Richmond " was once more the cry. Joined the Second Division of 
the Fifth Corps near Culpeper, continuing our march, crossing the 
river at Germanna Ford, halting at 3.30 P.M. on the south side of 
the plank-road about two and a half miles from Robertson's tavern. 
The weather was hot and the roads dusty. The distance covered 
was twenty-two miles. The whole army was on the move, and an 
imposing spectacle it must have been to the looker-on. The men 
carried six days' rations. Two and a half months more and we 
should be marching toward Boston unless we took up our residence, 
before that time, in the " promised land." 

Few persons, even soldiers, have any idea of the size of a wagon 
train required to feed, clothe, and provide ammunition for an army 
numbering a hundred thousand men, say nothing of the ambulances, 
the wagons for transporting the hospital stores, the baggage of 
officers, and the books and papers necessary to each regiment. It 
is said that General Grant's wagon train if stretched out in a con- 
tinuous line would reach a distance of one hundred miles. It was an 
interesting sight to see a "wagon park." Five hundred wagons, 



1864. arranged in lines as straight as soldiers on dress parade, 

were frequently to be seen at the headquarters of the 
chief quartermaster, where also might be seen harness-makers, 
wheelwrights' repair-shops, blacksmiths, and horseshoers, all in full 
operation, where hundreds of horses and mules were shod every 
month, and wagons and harnesses repaired. 

A park of five hundred wagons meant a collection of not less than 
two thousand mules. Multiply the noise made by one mule by two 
thousand, and you can judge how little chance there is for sleep 
within a radius of ten miles. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

May 4, 1864. 

Soldiers : Again you are called upon to advance on the enemies of your 
country. The time and the occasion are deemed opportune by your commanding 
general to address you a few words of confidence and caution. You have been 
reorganized, strengthened, and fully equipped in every respect. You form a part 
of the several armies of your country, the whole under the direction of an able 
and distinguished general, who enjoys the confidence of the Government, the 
people, and the army. Your movement being in cooperation with others, it is of 
the utmost importance that no effort should be left unspared to make it successful. 
Soldiers ! the eyes of the whole country are looking with anxious hope to the 
blow you are about to strike in the most sacred cause that ever called men to arms. 

Remember your homes, your wives and children, and bear in mind that the 
sooner your enemies are overcome the sooner you will be returned to enjoy the 
benefits and blessings of peace. Bear with patience the hardships and sacrifices 
you will be called upon to endure. 

Have confidence in your officers and in each other. Keep your ranks on the 
•march and on the battlefield, and let each man earnestly implore God's blessing, 
and endeavor by his thoughts and actions to render himself worthy of the favor 
he seeks. With clear consciences and strong arms, actuated by a high sense of 
duty, fighting to preserve the Government and the institutions handed down to us 
by our forefathers — if true to ourselves — victory, under God's blessing, must and 
will attend our efforts. 

Major-General Commanding. 

Thursday ^^ daylight this morning, the march was resumed in 

May 5. obedience to the following order : 


1864. Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

May 4, 1864, 6 P.M. 
Major-General Warren, commanding Fifth Corps, will move at 5 A.M. to Par- 
ker's store, on the Orange Court House plank-road, and extend his right towards 
the Sixth Corps at Old Wilderness tavern. 

By command of 


We marched about two miles and halted in line of battle. We 
were soon sent to support Griffin's division. Early in the afternoon, 
after several unimportant changes, we took a position in the first line 
of battle on the extreme left, in the thick woods and underbrush. 
Here the regiment became seriously annoyed by the enemy's skir- 
mishers on our flank and rear. Skirmishers were sent to cover our 
left flank, which was seriously exposed, and very soon they became 
engaged with the enemy. A charge was made on our front by the 
enemy and repulsed. The rebels retiring, the line advanced and 
changed front. At the same time our skirmishers on the flank were 
attacked with renewed vigor and fell back ; finding themselves iso- 
lated from the main line, they returned to the earthworks in their 
rear. We had one officer and eight men wounded. Just before 
going into action in the morning, Generals Grant and Meade rode 
up to observe our position, etc., the bullets kicking up a dust all 
about them. 

Our skirmishers, who became lost in the woods yester- 
Friday, day, returned to the brigade this morning. 
May 6. In the forenoon, we moved forward a short distance 

and halted without seeing the enemy. In the afternoon 
we marched to the left, three miles, and began building earthworks, 
while the men not so engaged kept up a lively skirmish firing with 
the enemy. We lost an officer who was mortally wounded. 

During the day, we saw the Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, Fifty-eighth, 
and Fifty-ninth Massachusetts regiments just out from home. We 
also saw several of our boys who had received commissions in the 
Fifty-ninth. Our morning report to-day showed one hundred and 
sixty-nine men on duty. 

Our corps (the Fifth) suffered a severe loss to-day by the death 


1864. of General Wadsworth, commander of the Fourth Divi- 

sion. We have avoided, as much as possible, the mention 
of officers not immediately connected with us, but General Wadsworth 
is an exception. Few officers in the army possessed greater quali- 
fications to excite the admiration of soldiers. We first saw him at 
Fredericksburg in December, 1862, and almost daily thereafter, until 
we were established in our winter quarters at Mitchell's Station. We 
had read in the newspapers accounts of some of his patriotic services 
in behalf of his government, but the one that appealed most strongly 
to our young minds was that of serving without pay. To see a man 
nearly sixty years of age disregarding the pleasures and comforts that 
opulence can confer, and which are so very desirable at his age, 
ignoring the risks to health, or danger to life, to enter the service of 
his country, was an extraordinary example of patriotism, and would 
have made him a marked figure in any army. 

During the absence of General Newton after the battle of Gettys- 
burg, he commanded the First Corps until we crossed the Potomac 
River into Virginia, and we felt rather proud of serving under a man 
of such lofty patriotism. In the first day's fight at Gettysburg, he 
was conspicuous for the courage and gallantry he showed where 
fighting was the hardest, and strengthened the attachment which we 
already felt for him as an officer. 

He was born in Genesee, N.Y., October 30, 1807, and was edu- 
cated at Harvard and Yale colleges, after which he studied law in 
Albany, N.Y., completing his course with Daniel Webster. Though 
admitted to the bar in 1833, he never practised his profession, as his 
time was wholly occupied with the management of his family estate 
in western New York. Although a Democrat, he supported the 
Free-Soil party of 1848, and continued to act in defence of the anti- 
slavery movement, being presidential elector in 1856, and again in 
i860. When communication was cut off with the capital, which 
happened for a short time in 1861, he chartered two ships on his 
own responsibility, loaded them with provisions, and went with them 
to Annapolis, where he superintended their delivery. He was a 
volunteer aid on the staff of General McDowell at the first battle of 
Bull Run, where he was commended for his bravery and humanity. 


1864. On the 9th of August following he was appointed a 

brigadier-general of volunteers, and assigned to duty under 
General McClellan. On March 15, 1862, be became military gover- 
nor of the District of Columbia, and in the autumn of the same year 
was the Republican candidate for governor of New York, but was de- 
feated by Horatio Seymour. In December, 1862, he was assigned 
to the command of a division under General Burnside, taking part 
in the battle of Fredericksburg. He displayed great skill as com- 
mander of the First Division of the First Corps at Gettysburg, his 
troops being the first that engaged the enemy in the first day's fight. 
On the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac in the spring of 
1864, he was assigned to the command of the Fourth Division of the 
Fifth Corps. 

While rallying his troops, he was struck in the head by a bullet, 
and before he could be removed the enemy had gained possession 
of the ground where he laid. Although unconscious, he lingered for 
two days. Horace Greeley, in his " American Conflict," says : 
"The country's salvation claimed no nobler sacrifice than that of 
Gen. James S. Wadsworth, of New York. No one surrendered more 
for his country's sake, or gave his life more joyfully for her deliver- 

During our march from Gettysburg to Willianisport an incident oc- 
curred, which, though of trivial importance, made a deep impression 
on the minds of those who were a witness to it. We had halted for a 
rest, when General Wadsworth made his appearance. Seeing one of 
the boys without shoes he stopped his horse and called to a citizen, 
who was standing near by, and asked him if he was a Union man, 
and the man answering that he was, the general told him to take off 
his boots and give them to that barefooted soldier, adding, " It won't 
hurt you to do that much for your country." Having waited long 
enough to see his order carried out he passed along. There was so 
much sincerity, so much tender solicitude for the soldier, expressed 
in his manner, and the tone of his voice, that the scene is not likely 
to be forgotten by those who were a witness to it. 

In the very interesting book, " Personal Reminiscences," by L. E. 
Chittenden, who was Register of the Treasury during the adminis- 


1864. tration of Mr. Lincoln, may be found a sketch of General 

Wadsworth, of which the following is an extract : 

Wadsworth fell yesterday. He is in the hands of the enemy, either dead or 
mortally wounded. 

I remember now the sharp pang of sorrow that went through my heart when 
this despatch was laid on ray table; for James S. Wadsworth was a lovable man, 
my model of the very best type of the citizen of a free republic. I first knew 
him in the Peace Conference. He was then in the prime of life, with a magnifi- 
cent physique, an open, frank face, a kind heart, and a fearless soul. After our 
call upon President Buchanan, he regarded our mission in the conference as 
ended. He said to James A. Seddon, of Virginia, " Why do you persist in your 
attempt to deceive the North? You secessionists mta.n fght ! You will keep 
right on with your treasonable schemes until you either whip us or we discipline 
you. I shall stay here until Congress adjourns on the third of March, because I 
cannot honorably resign from the conference. Then I shall go home and help 
my people to get ready for the war in which you slaveholders intend to involve 
the Republic." 

After the conference I heard no more of Wadsworth until, among the first 
of the seventy-five thousand, he appeared in Washington with a full regiment of 
his neighbors from the Genesee Valley. They came so promptly, it was said, be- 
cause they were armed and clothed by Wadsworth himself. ... I loved 
James S. Wadsworth. Here is what I wrote of him when he fell in May, 1864: 
" In the Peace Conference or in the world there was never a purer or more 
unselfish patriot. Those of us who were associated with him politically had 
learned to love and respect him. His adversaries admired his unflinching de- 
votion to his country and his manly frankness and candor. He was the type of a 
true American, able, unselfish, prudent, unambitious, and good. Other pens will 
do justice to his memory, but I thought, as I heard the last account of him alive, 
as he lay within the rebel lines, his face wearing that serenity which grew more 
beautiful the nearer death approached, that the good and true men of the nation 
would prize their government more highly when they remembered that it could 
only be maintained by such sacrifices." 

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

Via Orange Court House, May 6, 1864, 8 P.M. 
(Received Richmond, 4.45 P.M., 7th.) 
Secretary of War: 

Early this morning as the divisions of General Hill, engaged yesterday, were 
being relieved, the enemy advanced and created some confusion. The ground 
lost was recovered as soon as the fresh troops got into position, and the enemy 
driven back to his original line. Afterward we turned the left of his front line 
and drove it from the field, leaving a large number of dead and wounded in our 


1864. hands, among them General Wadsworth. A subsequent attack 

forced the enemy into his intrenched lines on the Brock Road, 
extending from Wilderness Tavern, on the light to Trigg's MilU Every advance 
on his part, thanks to a merciful God, has been repulsed. Our loss in killed 
is not large, but we have many wounded ; most of them slightly, artillery being 
little used on either side. I grieve to announce that Lieutenant-General Long- 
street was severely wounded and General Jenkins killed. General Pegram was 
badly wounded yesterday. General Stafford, it is hoped, will recover. 

R. E. LEE. 

We remained in the earthworks until 4 P.M., when 

Saturday, we were withdrawn to a hill looking down upon the 

May 7. junction of the Orange pike and the plank-road. Rations 

of fresh meat were issued, large fires were built, and 

coffee cooked. 

Headquarteks Army of the Potomac, 

May 7, 1864, 3 P.M. 
At 8.30 P.M., Major-General Warren, commanding Fifth Corps, will move to 
Spottsylvania Court House, by way of Brock Road and Todd's Tavern. 

By command of 


In obedience to this order, at 9 P.M. we started for Spottsylvania 
Court House, and marched all night. As we passed along in the 
rear of the rifle-pits, we noticed the tired soldiers fast asleep on the 
ground, oblivious to the steady tramp of soldiers who were march- 
ing within a few }rards of them. We wished we were in the same 
blissful state. Finally the extreme left of the line was reached when 
we entered a narrow, crooked road in the woods which were dark as 
a pocket. Silently and stealthily the trail was followed in single file, 
and with great care, as the path became obscured. We were now in 
the heart of the Wilderness. Instructions were whispered along from 
the head of the line to " jump the run j " " look out for the log," etc., 
with cautionary orders not to lose connection with each other, nor to 
get out of the path. In this way we noiselessly marched until nearly 
daylight, when a halt was made, and the men, tired out, threw them- 
selves on the ground for rest or sleep. We had overtaken the cavalry 
which was in advance, and now waited for daylight, having marched 


»864. only twelve miles, owing to the difficulties we encoun- 

tered on the way. We were now within four miles of 
Spottsylvania Court House. 

When daylight afforded us an opportunity of seeing 
Sunday, each Other's feces, it was impossible to restrain our laugh- 
May 8. ter at the comical appearance we presented. The woods 
where we hailed had been burned over by the fire which 
had been nging for twenty-four hours previously, making a bei of 
black ashes which stuck to our perspiring faces, so that, on waking, 
we looked more like drivers of charcoal wagons than soldiers. 

Little time was granted us for rest. Some were hastily cooking their 
coffee while others were engaged in removing the black from tlieir 
faces, when we were hurried forward, our division being in the 
advance. It W'as now learned that both armies were hastening to 
Spottsylvania Court House. Our present position was near Todd's 
Tavern, north-e^t from the town. The cavalry under General Sheri- 
dan opened the fight and were soon relieved by our (General Rob- 
inson's) division. As we passed out of the woods we charged the 
wooded hill in front, occupied by rebel dismounted cavalry, who 
retreated as we advanced, m.iking a stand on another wooded hill 
half a mile beyond. Here they kept up a brisk fire, aided by artil- 
lery. Another charge was ordered, and up tlie hill we double- 
quicked, driving the enemy from the crest across an open plain. 
We were told by General Warren that we should find nothing but 
dismounted ca\'alry, but instead, we found Longstreet's corps. A 
section of a battery was discovered to the south and east of us that 
had been used to retard our advance. The "Johnnies" were busy 
getting it away, so we directed our fire toward the group of men and 
horses, hoping to capture it. A company of cavalry now role out 
from the woods on the flank and hailed the battery. We supp<Ked 
it to be Union cavalry demanding its surrender, and consequently 
reserved our fire. We soon discovered our error as we saw them 
running off the battery with drag ropes, whereupon we resume*! our 
firing, but were unable to prevent their securing the gun. 

A halt of a few minutes now took place, while we retumeii the fire 
from still another hill on the Akop ferm. Soon we received an order 


1864. from General Robinson to advance on the double-quick 

over the plain. It was obeyed as well as it was possible 
for men to obey after two previous charges following an all-night march. 
There wasn't any double-quick in us. Though nearly played out, we 
slowly advanced, while the rebel skirmishers fell back to the crest of 
Laurel Hill. The firing from the rebel line behind earthworks on the 
hill now became general, and although the men of our division (the 
Second) were exhausted, yet we mustered strength enough to make 
another charge on this division of rebel infantry. As we advanced, 
the firing became more effective. The foot of the hill was gained. 
As the Thirteenth was picking its way through the abatis and under- 
brush, shouting was heard in our rear. On looking back, we saw a 
whole brigade of rebels in line of battle, swinging round from the 
rebel right flank. A general retreat was taking place among our 
troops in the rear, so we followed suit by taking a circuitous route to 
avoid the rebel line which was preparing to capture us. Upon 
reaching the hill from which we advanced we halted and made a 
stand. Our loss so far was one officer killed and one wounded, and 
fourteen men wounded and twelve missing — probably captured. 
The staff of the national colors was shattered by a solid shot. During 
the repulse. General Warren took the flag with its shattered staff to 
rally a Maryland brigade, a picture of which appeared in " Harper's 
Weekly " for 1864, page 372. 

At night we were moved out in front of the earthworks and laid 
on our arms. 

During the day the heat was intense. 

General Robinson, our division commander, lost a leg in the fight 
to-day. He was a real loss to the Army of the Potomac, as he 
ranked very high, being considered one of the bravest as well as one 
of the most efficient officers in the army. While we recognized in 
him the qualities of a brave, upright, and clear-headed soldier, 
candor compels us to say that the feeling of regard that many of us 
felt for him was not unanimous. We were not always just in our 
estimation of division commanders. We had an impression for a 
while that he didn't like us, — this was a mistake. He hedged him- 
self with so much strict official dignity, that he concealed many of the 


1864. good qualities he possessed. It took a long time for us 

to work up the regard which was natural for us to feel for 
a brave and gallant officer, such as we knew him to be. We had been 
eye-witnesses to his bravery and intelligence on plenty of occasions, 
and to us he was always " Old Reliable." We got to like him very 
much, and the fondness which we felt has grown with years, so that 
to-day we gladly associate his name with Hartsuff and Reynolds, two 
officers for whom, as already stated, the regiment had a great ad- 

We make the following quotations from General Grant's Memoirs 
respecting this campaign : 

More desperate fighting has not been witnessed on this continent than that of 
the 5th and 6th of May. Our victory consisted in having successfully crossed a 
formidable stream, almost in the face of an enemy, and in getting the army 
together as a unit. 

It may be as well here as elsewhere to state two things connected with all 
movements of the Army of the Potomac : first, in every change of position or 
halt for the night, whether confronting the enemy or not, the moment arms were 
stacked, the men intrenched themselves. For this purpose they would build up 
piles of logs or rails if they could be found in their front, and dig a ditch, throw- 
ing the dirt forward on the timber. Thus the digging they did counted in making 
a depression to stand in, and increased the elevation in front of them. It is 
wonderful how quickly they could in this way construct defences of considerable 
strength. When a halt was made with a view of assaulting the enemy, or in his 
presence, these would be strengthened, or their positions changed under the 
direction of engineer officers. The second was, the use made of the telegraph and 
signal corps. Nothing could be more complete than the organization and discipline 
of this body of brave and intelligent men. Insulated wires — insulated so that 
they would transmit messages in a storm, on the ground or under water — were 
wound upon reels, making about two hundred pounds of wire to each reel. Two 
men and one mule were detailed to each reel. The pack-saddle on which this 
was carried was provided with a rack like a sawbuck placed crosswise of the 
saddle, and raised above it so that the reel, with its wire, would revolve freely. 
There was a wagon supplied with a telegraph operator, battery, and telegraph 
instruments for each division, each corps, each army, and one for my headquar- 
ters. There were wagons also loaded with light poles, about the size and length 
of a wall tent pole, supplied with an iron spike in one end, used to hold the 
wires up when laid, so that wagons and artillery would not run over them. The 
mules thus loaded were assigned to brigades, and always kept with the command 


1864. they werS assigned to. The operators were also assigned to par- 

ticular headquarters, and never changed except by special orders. 
The moment the troops were put in position to go into camp all the men con- 
nected with this branch of the service would proceed to put up their wires. A 
mule loaded with a coil of wire would be led to the rear of the nearest flank of 
the brigade he belonged to, and would be led in a line parallel thereto, while 
one man would hold an end of the wire and uncoil it as the mule was led off. 
When he had walked the length of the wire the whole of it would be on the 
ground. This would be done in the rear of every brigade at the same time. 
The ends of all the wires would then be joined, making a continuous wire in the 
rear of the whole army. The men attached to brigades or divisions would all 
commence at once raising the wires with their telegraph poles. This was done by 
making a loop in the wire and putting it over the spike and raising the pole to a 
perpendicular position. At intervals the wire would be attached to trees, or some 
other permanent object, so that one pole was sufficient to a place. In absence of 
such a support two poles would have to be used, at intervals, placed at an angle 
so as to hold the wire firm in place. While this was being done the telegraph 
wagons would take their positions near where the headquarters they belonged to 
were to be established, and would connect with the wires. Thus, in a few minutes 
longer than it took a mule to walk the length of its coil, telegraphic communica- 
tion would be effected between all the headquarters of the army. No orders ever 
had to be given to establish the telegraph. 

On the afternoon of the 7th, I received news from Washington announcing that 
Sherman had probably attacked Johnston that day, and that Butler had reached City 
Point safely, and taken it by surprise on the 5th. I had given orders for a move- 
ment by the left flank, fearing that Lee might move more rapidly to Richmond 
to crush Butler before I could get there. 

My order for this movement was as follows : 

.Headquarters Armies of the U.S., 

May 7, 1864, 6.30 A.M. 
Major-General Meade, Commanding A.P. : 

Make all preparations during the day for a night march, to take position at 
Spottsylvania Court House with one army corps, at Todd's Farm with one, and 
another near the intersection of the Piney Branch and Spottsylvania Road with the 
road from Alsop's to Old Court House. If this move is made the trains should 
be thrown forward early in the morning to the Ny Ri»er. 

I think it would be advisable in making the change to leave Hancock where 
he is until Warren passes him. He could then follow and become the right of 
the new line. Burnside will move to Piney Branch Church. Sedgewick can 
move along the pike to Chancellorsville, and on to his destination. Burnside will 
move on the plank-road to the intersection of it with the Orange and Fredericks- 
burg plank-road, then follow Sedgewick to his place of destination. 


1864. All vehicles should be got out of hearing bf the enemy before the 

troops move, and then move off quietly. 
It is more than probable that the enemy concentrate for a heavy attack on 
Hancock this afternoon. In case they do, we must be prepared to resist them, 
and follow up any success we may gain with our whole force. Such a result 
would necessarily modify these instructions. 

All the hospitals should be moved to-day to Chancellorsville. 


Lieutenant General. 

My object in moving to Spottsylvania was twofold : first, I did not want Lee 
to get back to Richmond in time to attempt to crush Butler before I could get 
there ; second, I wanted to get between his army and Richmond if possible ; and, 
if not, to draw him into the open field. But Lee, by accident, beat us to Spottsyl- 
vania. Our wagon-trains had been ordered easterly of the roads the troops were 
to march upon before the movement commenced. Lee interpreted this as a semi- 
retreat of the Army of the Potomac to Fredericksburg, and so informed his gov- 
ernment. Accordingly he ordered Longstreet's corps — now commanded by 
Anderson — to move in the morning (the 8lh) to Spottsylvania. But the woods 
being still gn fire, Anderson could not go into bivouac, and marched directly on to 
his destination that night. By this accident Lee got possession of Spottsylvania. 
It is impossible to say now what would have been the result if Lee's orders had 
been obeyed as given ; but it is certain that we would have been in Spottsylvania, 
and between him and his capital. My belief is that there would have been a race 
between the two armies to see which could reach Richmond first, and the Army 
of the Potomac would have had the shorter line. Thus, twice since crossing the 
Rapidan, we came near closing the campaign, so far as battles were concerned, 
from the Rapidan to the James River, or Richmond. The first failure was caused 
by our not following up the success gained over Hill's corps on the morning of 
the 6th, as before described; the second, when fires caused by that battle, drove 
Anderson to make a march during the night of the 7th-8th, which he was ordered 
to commence on the morning of the 8th. But accident often decides the fate of 

Moved from our position in the centre to the right, 
Monday, halting three times to build earthworks. Were placed on 
May 9. the skirmish line with the " Bucktails," taking part with 

the corps in its grand charge. After dark we again 
advanced, driving the enemy back, after which we threw up more 

Fifty men of the regiment were detailed for skirmish 
Tuesday, jyjy on the brow of a hill in front of Battery D of the 
May 10. pjj.|.j^ y_g_ Artillery. The position was uncomfortable, 


1864. being swept by the artillery of both armies. Forty men 

were detailed to carry ammunition up to the line during 
a charge. 

During the day an order was received for the brigade to charge ; 
and the unusual occurrence happened with our regiment that in that 
charge we had no enlisted men, all of them being detailed away, 
leaving none but commissioned and non-commissioned oflScers to 
obey the order. 

We had ten men wounded on the skirmish line. It was a hard 
day's work. During the day General Grant and his aids and order- 
lies rode up to our line to make observations. While he was intently 
watching the battle through his field-glasses a piece of shell struck 
the head of one of his orderly's horses, carrying away a portion of it, 
causing the horse to plunge madly about, creating a great panic 
among the other horses. During it all the general remained as 
unconcerned as if nothing had happened, not even removing the 
glasses from his eyes. 

General Lee made the following report of the doings of the rebel 

(Via Guiney's, nth. Received 2^.5 P.M.) 
Hon. Secretary of War : 

General Grant's army is intrenched near this place on both sides of the Brock 
Road. Frequent skirmishing occurred yesterday and to-day, each army endeavor- 
ing to discover the position of the other. To-day the enemy shelled our lines 
and made several assaults with infantry against different points, particularly on our 
left, held by Gen. R. H. Anderson. The last, which occurred after sunset, was 
the most obstinate, some of the enemy leaping over the breastworks. They 
were easily repulsed, except in front of Doles' brigade, where they drove our 
men from their position and from a four-gun battery there posted. The men were 
soon rallied, and by dark our line was reestablished and the battery recovered. A 
large body of the enemy moved around our left on the evening of the gth and 
took possession of the road about midway between Shady Grove Church and the 
Court-House. General Early, with a part of A. P. Hill's corps, drove them back 
this evening, taking one gun and a few prisoners. Thanks to a merciful Provi- 
dence our casualties have been small. Among the wounded are Brig.-Gens. H. T. 
Hays and H. H. Walker. 

R. E. LEE. 

(Same to the President and General Bragg.) 


1864. The brigade morning report showed five regiments 

Wednesday, ^jfjj ^jjj ^^g ^^^^^ q^j. bj-jgade lost more men yester- 

day than any other in the division, but our regiment's 

loss was slight. 

The Thirteenth had one hundred and seven guns this morning. 

We lost one man by the explosion of a shell which landed in our 


We moved into earthworks, near General Warren's headquarters, 
during a thunder-storm in the afternoon. 

Executive Department, C. S. A., 

Richmond, Va., May 11, 1864. 
Gen. R, E. Lee, Spottsylvania Court-House, via Guiney's, Va, : 

Hoke's brigade left Petersburg this morning with other troops to effect if pos- 
sible a junction with Ransom at Chester. I have been painfully anxious to send 
your troops to you, but unaccountable delays have occurred, and we have been 
sorely pressed by enemy on south side. Are now threatened by their cavalry on 
the Brook turnpike and Westhara Road. I go to look after defence. Will have 
supplies attended to at once, and as soon as possible send troops to you. May 
God have you in His holy keeping and support your efforts for your country's 


Near Spottsylvania Court-House, 

May II, 1864, 8.15 A.M. 
Major-General Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac : 

Send back to Belle Plain every wagon that can be spared, retaining here only 
sufficient to move what ammunition and other stores that cannot be carried on 
the person. Two days of the present supply of rations should be unloaded to 
issue to the men, and ammunition enough to fill all the cartridge-boxes. These 
wagons can go back with a small escort, relying on reEnforcements expected to 
give them a strong escort back. All the wagons should start back with a heavy 
load, say from two thousand five hundred to three thousand five hundred pounds, 
the amount depending upon the strength of the team. I would advise also the 
sending back to Belle Plain all the reserve artillery. This, however, I leave to 
your own discretion. General Burnside will be instructed to send back as an 
escort to the wagons all his cavalry, and, if necessary, his division of colored 


Lieutenant- General, 


1864. Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Near Spottsylvania' Court-House, May 11, 1864, 8.30 A.M. 
Maj.-Gen. H. W. Halleck, Chief of Staff : 

We have now ended the sixth day of very heavy fighting. The result to this 
time is much in our favor. But our losses have been heavy, as well as those of 
the enemy. We have lost to this time eleven general officers, killed, wounded, 
and missing, and probably twenty thousand men. I think the loss of the enemy 
must be greater, we having taken over four thousand prisoners in battle, while he 
has taken but few, except stragglers. I am now sending back to Belle Plain all 
my wagons for a fresh supply of provisions and ammunition, and propose to fight 
it out on this line if it takes all summer. 

The arrival of reenforcements here will be very encouraging to the men, and 
I hope they will be sent as fast as possible, and in as great numbers. My object 
in having them sent to Belle Plain was to use them as an escort to our supply 
train. If it is more convenient to send them out by train to march from the rail- 
road to Belle Plain or Fredericksburg, send them so. I am satisfied the enemy 
are very shaky, and are only kept up to the mark by the greatest exertions on the 
part of their officers, and by keeping them intrenched in every position they take. 
Up to this time there is no indication of any portion of Lee's army being de- 
tached for the defence of Richmond. 


Lieutenant- General. 

Rainy morning. Were under arms at 3 A.M. At 

Thursday, 9 o'clock our brigade was massed with other troops 

May 12. in the centre for a grand demonstration. Had two men 

wounded in the unsuccessful charge. 

About I P.M. we were moved to the left, in the rain and mud, to 

support Ricketts' division. The regiment continued on duty all night. 


Headquarters of the Potomac, 

May 13, 1864. 
S jldiers : The moment has arrived when your commanding general feels 
authorized to address you in terms of congratulation. For eight days and nights, 
almost without intermission, in rain and sunshine, you have been gallantly fighting 
a desperate foe, in positions naturally strong, and rendered doubly so by intrench- 
ments; you have compelled him to abandon his fortifications on the Rapidan, to 
retire and attempt to stop your onward progress, and now he has abandoned the 
last intrenched position, so tenaciously held, suffering in all a loss of eighteen guns, 
twenty-two colors, and eight thousand prisoners, including two general officers. 
Your heroic deeds and noble endurance of fatigue and privations will ever be 


1864. memorable. Let us return thanks to God for the mercy thus shown 

us, and ask earnestly for its continuance. 
Soldiers, your work is not over, the enemy must be pursued, and, if possible, 
overcome. The courage and fortitude you have displayed renders your com- 
manding general confident your future efforts will result in success. While we 
mourn the loss of many gallant comrades, let us remember the enemy must have 
suffered equal, if not greater, losses. We shall soon receive reenforcements 
which he can not expect. Let us determine, then, to continue vigorously the 
work 50 well begun, and, under God's blessing, in a short time the object of our 
labors will be accomplished. 

Afajor- General Commanding. 

The following is taken from Grant's Memoirs and explains itself : 

The criticism has been made by writers on the campaign from the Rapidan to 
the James River, that all the loss of life could have been obviated by moving the 
army there on transports. Richmond was fortified and intrenched so perfectly 
that one man inside to defend was more than equal to five outside besieging or 
assaulting. To get possession of Lee's army was the first great object. With the 
capture of his army Richmond would necessarily follow. It was better to fight 
him outside of his stronghold than in it. If the Army of the Potomac had been 
moved bodily to the James River by water, Lee could have moved a part of his 
forces back to Richmond, called Beauregard from the south to reenforce it, and 
with the balance moved on to Washington. Then, too, I ordered a move simul- 
taneous with that of the Army of the Potomac, up the James River by a formi- 
dable army already collected at the mouth of the river. 

Headquarters, May 12, 1864. 
(Received Hanover Junction, 13th.) 
Hon. Secretary of War: 

This morning at dawn the enemy broke through that part of our line occupied 
by Johnson's division and gained possession of a portion of our breastworks, 
which he still holds. A number of pieces of artillery fell into his hands. The 
engagement has continued all day, and, with the exception indicated, we have 
maintained our ground. In the beginning of the action we lost a large number 
of prisoners, but, thanks to a merciful Providence, our subsequent casualties were 
not large. Major-General Johnson and Brigadier-General Stuart were taken 
prisoners. The brave General Perrin was killed, and Generals Walker (of the 
Stonewall Brigade) and Daniel severely wounded. 

R. E. LEE, 

In all the communications of General Lee it will be noticed how 
careful he is to keep in touch with the " merciful Providence." 


1864. About 10 A.M. we returned to Cutler's division. 

Friday, E,ested three hours and were then sent to the comer of 
May 13. ^^^ woods, where we began our " charge " of last Sunday. 
Here we strengthened the earthworks, the enemy vigor- 
ously shelling us with canister during the operation, but their guns 
were too elevated to do us any harm, though they did take effect in 
the first division, which was in our rear. Showery all day. At 1 1 
P.M. we were marched by a circuitous route for ten miles, across 
fields and over fences, until we struck the Bowling Green and 
Fredericksburg pike, and so on until daylight, when we halted in 
sight and to the south of Spottsylvania Court- House, where the whole 
corps was formed en masse. The roads were saturated with water 
from the continuous rains, and were so ploughed with the artillery 
and baggage-wagons of the retreating foe, that their condition re- 
minded us of Bumside's " Mud march." 

The following was in answer to an inquiry as to the best man to 
succeed General Robinson in the command of our division : 

May 13, 1864. 
General Meade: 

I think General Griffin or General Ayres is the most competent soldier, but 
Generals Cutler and Crawford have behaved very handsomely with me. General 
Cutler is the only general officer left with me in the old First Corps. General 
Robinson behaved well the day he was so severely wounded. He will hardly 
ever be fit for duty again, 


Major- General. 

Rained hard all day, making the roads almost impas- 
Saturday, sable. Since the 3d we had been marching, fighting. 
May 14. and building earthworks so continuously that no oppor- 
tunity had been afforded to change any of our cloth- 
ing. Our march of last night was made without halting, over very 
bad roads, and in darkness so aggravated by the fog as to make it 
nearly impossible for one to see the man in front of him. In some 
places the mud was nearly knee-deep, but that was not as bad as 
though it had been hip-deep. A man of philosophic turn of mind 
could always find something to be thankful for in the army. 


1864. We were close to the Fredericksburg pike on the south 

side, while just across, on the north side of the pike, was 
Burnside's corps, and to the left of us was the Sixth Corps. 

Our brigade was moved to the north side of the road, but with 
that exception we laid quietly in the mud, watching the shells as 
they passed over our head, thankful that the fuses were long enough 
for them to burst elsewhere than over us. 

We remained in the same position all day until 6 P.M., 
Sunday, when we were massed with other troops for a charge 
May 15. which, we are happy to say, was not made. It was 

therefore a day of rest, as indeed Sunday should be. It 
was showery all day. 

At noon the sun came out bright and hot, but it 
Monday, rained again about dark. At i P.M. we were formed in 
May 16. line of battle, but that was all, for the expected charge 

was not made. At 5 P.M. we were sent out on the 
skirmish line. 

We have only two months more to serve, so the less number of 
charges we were called upon to make the happier we were. 

The last two or three days' rest brightened up the 
Tuesday, boys a good deal. We felt a little less like an " armed 
May 17. mob " even if we did look it. We were relieved from 

the skirmish line about 6 P.M., and then moved to the 
right on the flank of Burnside's corps, where we were set to work 
building breastworks with the timber which we cut in the woods 
about us, and by digging. We worked all night. Though our 
brigade contained six regiments it had less than a thousand men. 

Spottsylvania Court-House, May 17, 1864. 
(Via Guiney's. Received 3.15 A.M., i8th.) 

Hon. Secretary of War: 

The enemy has made no demonstration against our position to-day. His army 
still lies in the valley of the Ny, extending across the road from this place to 
Fredericksburg. For some reason there seems to be a pause in his movements. 
The army received with joy the news of General Beauregard's success south of 
James River, as reported in the papers of to-day. 

R. E. LEE. 


1864. Having completed our earthworks we were moved to 

Wednesday, ^j^g ^gj^^ ^j ^.j^g brigade, where we were held in reserve. 

^^ '^' About 5 A.M. the rebel artillery opened fire on the Ninth 

Corps, and as a number of the shells burst in our vicinity 
we felt uneasy as to results. As these shells were intended for 
the Ninth Corps, it shows how careless the enemy were in their 
artillery work. We didn't wish to rob the Ninth Corps of anything 
that was intended for it. At 7 A.M. we were moved by the left 
flank, about half a mile, to a spot near General Warren's head- 
quarters, and laid under a shelling fire until afternoon, when we were 
moved to the right again, near the earthworks we built last night. 
About II P.M. we moved into the works. Rained in the night, 
of course. We noticed during the day that a movement was on 
hand ; in fact orders were received for all to be in readiness to move 
at a moment's notice. 

The changes that occurred in the positions of other 
Thursday, corps had left us apparently on the right flank of the 
May ig. army instead of adjoining the left flank, as we were 

on our arrival at Spottsylvania Court-House. Rained in 
the morning, with occasional showers all day. 

A detail of twenty-five men and an officer was sent from the regi- 
ment to join other troops for duty as skirmishers. About 5 o'clock 
an attack was made on this skirmish line, the enemy attempting to 
get round on our right, but, falling in with some Union troops on 
their way from Fredericksburg, they were repulsed. 

Lay quietly in our earthworks all day. Weather hot. 
Friday, A congratulatory order to the First Massachusetts Heavy 
May 20. Artillery was read to us to-day. It seems that was the 

regiment that was doing the fighting yesterday. It was a 
regiment of sixteen hundred men, and this was its first fight. They 
were on the way from Fredericksburg to the army when they encoun- 
tered Rodes' division of Ewell's corps attempting to steal our wagon- 
train. The First Maryland, just returning from the furlough granted 
it for reenlisting, happened along in the nick of time and also 
pitched in. 
The Heavy Artillery would have lost less men if they had had more 


1864. experience in fighting, as the men unnecessarily exposed 

themselves ; but they did good work nevertheless. 

General Orders, ) 

No. 44. 5 Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 

May 20, 1864. 
The commanding general announces to the army with heartfelt sorrow the 
death of Maj.-Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, late commander of the Cavalry Corps of the 
Army of Northern Virginia. Among the gallant soldiers who have fallen in this 
war. General Stuart was second to none in valor, in zeal, and in unfaltering devo- 
tion to his country. His achievements form a conspicuous part of the history of 
this army, with which his name and services will be forever associated. To mili- 
tary capacity of a high order, and all the nobler virtues of the soldier, he added 
the brighter graces of a pure life, guided and sustained by the Christian's faith and 
hope. The mysterious hand of an AH- wise God has removed him from the scene 
of his usefulness and fame. His grateful countrymen will mourn his loss and 
cherish his memory. To his comrades in arms he has left the proud recollection 
of his deeds and the inspiring influence of his example. 

R. E. LEE, 


A change was made to-day in the order of companies 
Saturday, in the regimental line, with the following result : G, A, F, 
May 21. c, E, D, I, B, H, K. We are now a part of the grand 
movement of the army by the left flank. The march of 
an army, always inspiring, was to-day a beautiful sight. A cloudless 
sky, while the air, filled with the song of birds, was invigorating, and 
fragrant with the flowers that were growing luxuriantly in the 
meadows and fields. The roads were in perfect condition, and the 
boys cheerful, as they viewed the brilliant scenery about them. 

The movement began early, our corps following the Second and 
Sixth Corps. We abandoned our earthworks, leaving our skirmishers 
to take care of themselves j the rebels, moving promptly into our 
works, capturing one of our officers and three men. We marched 
ten miles, and halted about two miles south of Guiney's Station. 
The men we left on the skirmish line reached us later. 

Great exertion was made to get the army over Guiney's Bridge, 
which crosses the Mattapony River, before the enemy burned the 
bridge. This river is formed by the union of the Mat, the Ta, the 
Po, and the Ny rivers. 


1864. The officer who was captured was at that time in com- 

mand of Company B, and had in his possession two 
hundred dollars of that company's money. Foreseeing his inevitable 
capture, he secreted the money in the reenforced seat of his trousers, 
which he was able to do through a small hole. A cavalryman noticing 
he was an officer, pursued and captured him, promptly demanding his 
possessions. Whereupon his overcoat was first taken, then the con- 
tents of his pockets, his sword, pistol, boots, and hat ; after which he 
was sent back to the rebel lines, and subsequently taken to Libby prison. 
The officer, appreciating that the money would soon be useless, unless 
changed to some place where there was less wear, divided it into two 
parts, hiding each part under a shoulder-strap, and thus preserved it. 
Some time after the regiment was discharged, he was exchanged and 
returned to Boston, and promptly offered to restore the money, but 
the company declined to accept it. The officer was originally an en- 
listed man in Company D, and after his promotion was assigned to B. 
At II A.M. we started for Bull's Church, about ten 
Sunday, miles. The day was hot and sultry and the roads dusty. 
May aa. The only fun we had was making puns on the name of 
the church. It was also known as St. Margaret's Church. 
We were under the impression that St. Margaret was generally at- 
tended by a dog, so were unable to understand the significance of 
calling it Bull's Church. 

On our march to-day we were, once, vigorously shelled by the 
enemy, who were retreating toward Richmond. A hundred of their 
stragglers were captured during the day. 

During the last few days we had been marching through 

Monday, an open country, attractive in appearance and rich in 

May 23. fertility, and showing none of the devastations of war. 

All this was an agreeable change from the dense forest 

of the " Wilderness." 

At 5 A.M. we took up the line of march toward the North 
Anna River, catching up with the rear guard of the enemy at a place 
called " Old Church," about 9 o'clock. We halted here for some 
time, while the cavalry, and a light battery of the Second Corps, passed 
along to see what the firing ahead of us meant. About 3 P.M. we 


1864. were countermarched, and shortly after took a road to the 

left for Jericho Ford, one of the most picturesque spots on 
the North Anna River. The division ahead of us forded the river, but 
we built a pontoon bridge and crossed dry shod, and thence up the 
bluffs, where some of the corps had begun intrenching. We had 
hardly crossed when A. P. Hill's corps, formed en masse, made a furi- 
ous charge upon our troops. It was now about dusk. For a few 
minutes the fighting was terrific, but the enemy was driven back with 
heavy loss, in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Our regiment had five 
men wounded. The Third and Fifth Massachusetts batteries did gDod 
service in this engagement. We were now occupying a piece of woods 
from which the enemy had just been driven. As soon as it was dark 
we were ordered to lie down on the ground, in line of battle, with: guns 
in readiness, at a moment's notice, to continue the fight. We were to 
remain absolutely quiet and not to strike a match, even for lighting 
a pipe. Not a sound could be heard along the line so perfect was 
the stillness. While we were lying there, completely hidden from 
sight by the impenetrable darkness of the woods, watching with ears 
strained to catch the slightest sound, and eyes struggling to pierce 
the gloom, the crackling sound of footsteps was heard, and suddenly 
a tall specimen of the Southern chivalry appeared. With gun on his 
shoulder and an air of confidence, such as a soldier has when fancy- 
ing himself safely within his own lines, he walked up to the very 
muzzles of our rifles before being challenged. To his inexpressible 
astonishment he received the order to " Aa/i/ " " Who comes 
there ? " to which he responded, " Second South Carolina, by Gawd ! " 
One of the boys, imitating the tone of his voice, replied, " Well, we're 
the Thirteenth Massachusetts, by Gawd ! " At this unexpected salu- 
tation, which surprised him as much as if he had been suddenly 
challenged by St. Peter, he unclasped his belt and threw it, with his 
gun, on the ground, to the great amusement of the boys, who, in spite 
of orders to the contrary, could not restrain their laughter. " How 
did you like the fight, 'Johnnie'?" was asked by one of the boys. 
"Wall, you 'uns fire shell a derned sight worse than we 'uns do." 
The necessity for silence prevented our carrying on the conversation 


1864. We were within about forty miles of Richmond, and 

learned what was meant by sending a man to Jericho. 
Tuesday, The place was called Noel's Station, and was situated 

May 24. Qj^ jjjg Virginia Central Railroad. We built earthworks 
last night in addition to our other duties, and were 'so 
tired out that, notwithstanding the enemy were continually crawling 
up through the woods and firing upon us, we could be kept awake 
only by the persistent efforts of the officers. 

Received congratulatory orders from General Meade for the work 
of the corps yesterday. 

Remained on the skirmish line all day. 

We didn't fail to notice how well marked with bullets were the trees 
in front of us. One in particular, at the height of a man's head, 
contained a dozen, while many of the branches were completely 
severed. We were glad to know that trees were good for something 
besides shade. 

Moved down the river about two miles to the " Lone 
Wednesday, Star Hamlet " or farm, and formed in line of battle, con- 
May 25. necting with the Sixth Corps. Threw out a strong Une of 
skirmishers, which was under fire all the time. The 
twelve men of the Thirteenth who were captured on the 8th instant all 
returned to the regiment, having been recaptured by Custer's cavalry 
at Beaver Dam. Lucky boys ! 

A bill of merchandise was picked up by one of our boys, near Bull's 
Church, in which was charged two barrels of whiskey at twenty-five 
dollars per gallon and tea at eleven dollars per pound. At thirteen 
dollars per month it would take thirty days to earn half a gallon of 
whiskey. It ought to have been pretty good at that price. A man 
couldn't be bit many times by rattlesnakes with whiskey at that price. 

Since the 8th, when General Robinson was wounded, our brigade 
had been under the immediate command of General Warren, who 
directed our movements in addition to his other duties. In the 
afternoon, we threw up earthworks, followed by a cracking old 

Our base of supplies was now the Pamunkey River. 

At the house near where we were now located, we noticed a pretty 


1864. girl. It was like a gleam of sunshine on a cloudy day. 

As the rest of the family had left, this young maiden had 
all the admiration to herself. General Warren placed his head- 
quarters in front of this house, thereby cutting off our communication 
with it. His appearance suggested the Indian. He was swarthy in 
complexion, high cheek-bones, long hair, and a mustache which he 
was fond of twirling. There was such a yawning chasm between 
thirteen dollars per month and the pay of a major-general that even 
our good looks, as compared with his, could not bridge it, so we 
left the " Lone Star " maid to his tender consideration. 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

May 25, 1864, 12 M. 
Major-General Meade: 

I send you now an exact sketch of developments as far as made. I have 
found the intrenchments visible on the left and right, and I enclose a report of 
General Cutler on the result of his effort to push on in the centre. My line makes 
a salient at this point. Sharpshooters are very active. I have my troops in two 
lines, and cover a front reaching near to Little River. I cannot extend farther 
without making a weak line. I feel satisfied that I should have great difficulty at 
best in whipping the enemy in my front. Perhaps if General Wright were to 
send a division across Little River we would be able to develop the intrenched 
line farther. We can hear wood-chopping south of the river, which just beyond 
us bends southward and perhaps forms part of their line. The woods, however 
prevent seeing much anywhere. On my right General Griffin has got eight guns 
in an enfilading position to the enemy's skirmish line, and will fire pretty soon. 
To advance my right carries me over a clear field three-fourths of a mile, with the 
enemy intrenched on the other side. General Cutler's report gives you an idea of 
the trouble in the centre, and General Crittenden's advance last night shows the 
state of things on my left. Do you wish anything further done ? 



Major- General. 
Headquarters Fourth Division, Fifth Army Corps, 

May 25, 1864, 10.45 A.M. 
General Warren: 

I can't find any way to get at the flank of the enemy's skirmishers. I am of 
the opinion that there may be a salient near my centre; the fire at that point is 
very galling. I have had two officers and some eighteen to twenty men killed, 
and a large number wounded. I have instructed my pickets to get around as 
well as they can, and not fire any more than is absolutely necessary. 


Brigadier- General. 



[First indorsement.] 
General Grant: 

I should judge from the within that, unless Warren attacks, not much more 
can be done in his front. 


Major- General. 
[Second indorsement.] 
I do nut think any attack should be made until preparations are made to use 
our whole force. The best Warren can do now is to cover hb men well in their 
advanced position, and rest them all he can, ready for active services. If you 
think proper to send a division of Wright's force across Little River, do so, but I 
think unless there is some reason for it that I do not know, it would be better not 
to send them over until the cavalry gets around. 


Lieutenant- General. 

Lay in the works all day until 9 P.M., when we left 
Thutsday, them and recrossed the North Anna about two miles 
May 26. below Jericho Ford, and then halted about midnight, 
near a church, and drew rations, including a ration of 
whiskey, after which we took a bath in the river. After an hour's 
rest we marched the rest of the night. 

We now had with us six days' rations. Marched 
Friday, cautiously all day, making a distance of twenty-five miles 
May 27. in the last twenty hours. We crossed the Fredericks- 
burg Railroad to St. Paul's Church, camping near Mango- 
hick, in the woods, at the top of a high hill. A few mor« churches 
and the army would have no excuse for staying away from divine 
service. We found no whiskey at St. Paul's Church, as we did near 
the church where we halted last night. We were now passing through 
a country that had seen something of war, — so had we. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

May 27, 1864, 4.15 P.M. 
Major-Gene RAL Warren: 

Headquarters are at Mangohick Church. The commanding general directs me 
to inform you that examinations are now being made that will probably modify 
your route from Hebron Church (one mile beyond this), so thxt youvvill move 
to Hanovertown instead of New Castle Ferry. Wright is moving by a road thiit 
turns off a mile or two back from here and near to the bridge right opposite Mrs. 


1864. Hundley's, in the vicinity of which he will throw a bridge. The 

commanding general thinks it better that you should move on as 
far as you can until toward evening and go into camp, then resuming the march 
as soon after daylight as practicable. Report when you camp. 

Major-General and Chief of Staff, 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

May 27, 1864, 7.10 P.M. 
Major-General Humphreys: 

I have two divisions in camp, the third coming up, and the artillery and trains- 
following. We camp on Dowell's Creek, about two miles from Mangohick 
Church. My headquarters are about two miles from the church, at a house called 
Turk's. My flag is on the road. The march has been very severe on men and 
animals. I have moved as fast and far as I could to clear the road for General 
Burnside. If he be camped five miles behind me he can start at the same hour,. 
and not be delayed. 



Major- General. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

May 27, 1864, 8.30 P.M. 
Major-General Warren, Commanding Fifth Corps ; 

The major-general commanding directs that you move to-morrow to Hanover- 
town, crossing the river, and take position in advance, with your left resting on 
the Totopotomoy and your right extending toward Crump's Creek. The map 
indicates this position to be beyond Mrs. Via's house.. General Burnside will form 
on your right; Hancock next, and Wright on the right, holding the crossing of 
Crump's Creek. Upon crossing the river you will relieve General Russell's 
division, which will then rejoin its corps. 

Major-General and Chief of Staff. 

Marched at 4 P.M., passing army headquarters at 
Saturday, Mangohick Church. There was hope for us all while 
May 28. headquarters were near a church. We were now march- 
ing through what was known as the Brandywine country,, 
and a beautiful country it is, as it ought to be, with such a name. 
Crossed the Pamunkey River, not far from Hanovertown, about 
noon. The Pamunkey River is formed by the union of the North 
and South Anna Rivers. We found the Sixth Corps resting on the 
meadows as we reached this point. Crossing a small stream called 


1864. Herring Creek, that flowed over the road, we moved to 

the ridge beyond, where we formed in line and built 
earthworks. Severe cavalry fighting in front of us. For two days 
— being the only ones since we crossed the Rappahannock — we had 
not exchanged a shot with the enemy. 

As General Grant and his staff was passing he noticed one of the 
boys of Company D with his tin cup filled with water. The cup 
was old, battered, and greasy, black with constant use in making 
coffee, and about as uninviting a piece of tinware as ever was seen. 
General Grant halted and asked, " Have you any good water there, 
my man? " 

" Yes, sir ; I can recommend the water if I can't the cup." 

"Oh, that is all right," said Grant, "the water is just as good;" 
and he raised the old black coffee cup to his lips and drank as 
heartily as though it were a silver goblet. 

All doubts of Grant's capacity as a general had disappeared with 
the steady onward movement of the army. 

Called up at daylight to move, but didn't get away 
Sunday, until noon, when we advanced our line about two miles. 
May 29. At 6.30 P.M. we marched to the eastward about three 
miles, halting at the junction of the White House and 
Richmond Roads, where the brigade proceeded to throw up earth- 
works to cover the cross-roads, working all night. We were cautioned 
about making noise or building fires. On our way to this point we 
passed through the small hamlet of " Howells' Store." As one of the 
boys remarked, " Howells must be a h — 1 of a man to have a store 
named after him." 

Some of the boys having discovered a house, a short distance 
away, paid it a visit to see what they could find. Having secured a 
young pig they were making tracks for the regiment, when they ran 
plump into General Wheelock, of the Ninety-seventh New York, 
who couldn't speak in a low tone if he tried, and who yelled, " Don't 
you know it's against orders to make such d — d noise? " So they 
clapped their hands on poor piggy's throat and informed him they 
belonged to the Eleventh Pennsylvania, which wasn't true, of course, 
and then disappeared. 


1864. Our division, which was broken up and the brigades 

Monday, temporarily distributed among other divisions when 

General Robinson was wounded, was reorganized under 

General Lockwood. It was a welcome sight to again see 

bur old division flag at the head of our column. 

About 8 o'clock in the morning we returned to the place we 
left yesterday, and laid quiet until 4 P.M., when we moved forward 
and formed line in a ploughed field, on the opposite side of which 
was a piece of woods. General Warren made his appearance and 
immediately gave an order for the brigade to move forward through 
the woods. He seemed to think the urgency of the occasion great, 
as he called on "Helen Damnation" as if she could render assist- 
ance were she so disposed. You might call on " Father Mars " until 
the cows came home without inspiring soldiers to fight ; but the 
moment Helen's name was heard things began to move. Helen was 
a first-class goddess, and had much to do with the fortunes of the 
Army of the Potomac. 

We moved as ordered, through the woods, and connected our line 
witji that of the Pennsylvania Reserves on our right, and built earth- 
works during the night. 

Remained in earthworks all day. Heavy firing heard 
Tuesday, on the right in the forenoon, and on the left in the after- 
May 31. noon, at Cold Harbor, between Sheridan's cavalry and 
the enemy. 

Our brigade was now on the left flank of the army. 

We were in a sandy country, where the sand was so light that it 
seemed impossible to keep it out of our shoes or haversacks. 

The following itinerary from the report of General Warren shows 
the doings of the Fifth Corps from the time it crossed the Rapidan 
to May 31st : 

Jlfay ^, — Corps left Culpeper at midnight ; crossed the Rapidan 
at Germanna Ford, and bivouacked near Wilderness Tavern. 

JIfay J. — Attacked Ewell's corps with Griffin's, Wadsworth's, and 
part of Crawford's divisions ; afterward attacked Hill's corps with 
Wadsworth's division ; fought until dark. 

May 6. — Commenced fighting again at 4.30 A.M.; fought all 


1864. day; General Wadsworth killed and General Baxter 


May 7. — Took the advance at dark; marched all night toward 
Spottsylvania Court- House. 

May 8. — Met Longstreet's corps in the morning near that place ; 
fought all the rest of the day, encountering part of Ewell's corps just 
at dark ; General Robinson severely wounded. 

May g. — Drove the enemy into his intrenched line. 

May 10. — Vigorously assaulted enemy's position in conjunction 
with Second Corps. 

May J 2. — Repeated assault on enemy alone at the same place as 
on the loth. General Ay res marched to left to support Second 
Corps in afternoon ; marched back during the night in the rain. 

May ij. — Constructed line of breastworks to contract our lines; 
worked all day ; marched all night in the rain around the rear of our 
army to attack the enemy at daybreak on the 14th. Remained in 
front of the enemy at Spottsylvania Court-House, skirmishing daily 
until May 21, part of the corps taking an important part in the battle 
of May I 7. 

May 21. — Left enemy's front at noon ; crossed the Po River at 
Guiney's Bridge ; the advance crossed the Ta River at Madison's 

May 22. — Followed along the Telegraph Road, fighting his 
cavalry ; bivouacked at Dr. Flippo's. 

May 23. — Crossed North Anna at Jericho Mills, and fought Hill's 
corps on south side. 

May 24. — Pushed out to the Virginia Central Railroad, and 
down the river to connect with the Ninth Corps. 

May 2j. — Drove the enemy into his intrenched lines, developing 
their location. 

May 26. — At dark recrossed the North Anna at Quarles' Mills in 
the rain ; marched all night. 

May 2j. — Marched all day, proceeding via Mount Carmel Church 
and St. Paul's Church, bivouacking two miles from Mangohick Church. 

May 28. — Crossed the Pamunkey at Hanovertown, and encamped 
near Brockenbrough's house. 


1864. May 2g. — Moved to Norman's house. 

May 30. —^ Moved to Via's house, south of Totopo- 
tomoy Creek, and had a skirmish with enemy. 

May ji. — Was engaged with the enemy at and near Bethesda 
Church, on the Mechanicsville Road to Richmond. 



1864. Twenty-seven days had passed since we crossed the 

Rapidan under the leadership of General Grant. During 
this time we had received a new experience in warfare. The ordi- 
nary duties of camp life, such as drilling, guard- mounting, etc., had 
disappeared, and in their place were marching, digging, and fighting, 
getting sleep as best we could. It seemed a grand hustle to see 
which army would get to Richmond first, keeping us busy all the 
time. Yet, to some of us, it didn't seem so hard a campaign as 
either Manassas or Gettysburg, or even Chancellorsville. The ra- 
tions were issued regularly ; our marches were not, as a rule, long ; 
we had earthworks to fall back into, and were well supported by 
other troops, and our position in battle frequently changed. No 
matter how hard the fighting, or doubtful the result, we moved 
onward as resistless as the car of Juggernaut. The Army of the 
Potomac having been unaccustomed to the sunshine of victory, 
rejoiced at the change and became buoyant with hope. The dis- 
couragement that hitherto attended us vanished as our confidence 
in Grant increased. Fears for the safety of Washington — the 
skeleton that, hitherto, haunted the closet of our army — seemed 
to have been eliminated from Grant's plan. There was one draw- 
back to our confidence in General Grant, and that was his occasional 
appearance on the skirmish line at times when it was very danger- 
ous. It was running too great a risk, and our apprehensions were 
■ often very much excited at his apparent insensibility to the peril 
of his position. 

Now that we had only forty-seven days more to serve we found it 
a good deal harder to respond when the order waa given to " charge," 
and were glad enough when a day passed without our being called 
upon for that disagreeable duty. 

MAP N«? 17 


1864. About 8 A.M. we left the earthworks, advancing our 

Wednesday, jjj^g about a mile, swinging forward the left of our 

division across the road leading to Bethesda Church, 

during which operation we were vigorously shelled by 

the enemy. We had two men wounded, one fatally. 

At dusk, just as we had completed our earthworks, our division 
was moved to the left, connecting with the Eighteenth Corps which 
had been fighting all the afternoon. Began another line of earth- 
works which took us nearly all night to complete. As we were in a 
very exposed position, we had to work as silently as possible. 

Some of the boys, with irrepressible curiosity, stepped into a house 
near the church, to learn the cause of the excitement that seemed 
to prevail inside. It was indeed a sight to see. When the rebels 
retreated the occupants, having no faith in the chivalry of the North, 
followed suit. What furniture they couldn't take with them, they 
destroyed. Fine mirrors lay shattered on the floor, carpets torn up, 
dishes, chairs, and other articles of furniture were smashed and 
lying about in bewildering confusion. Notwithstanding its remote- 
ness from the water, the occupant appeared to have been a mariner 
of some sort by the sails and seines which were found in the base- 
ment, while in the parlor, as if to confirm the impression, hung a 
marine painting showing a schooner under sail flying the stars and 

While the boys were taking notice of this scene of destruction 
they observed a soldier pulling down one of the painted curtains, 
and upon inquiry as to what purpose it could be used, he re- 
marked that having no rubber blanket the curtain would "just 
be a bully thing." 

At daylight we were saluted with a shower of bullets 
Thursday, from the rebel skirmish line, which was very near. 
June 2. Our earthworks afforded us excellent protection, while 
we remained in them. The skirmishers soon advanced 
and drove the enemy from their trenches, and hot work it was for 
a short time. 

About noon we vacated the earthworks, which were at once occu- 
pied by artillery. The regiment was then moved to the left, form- 


1864. ing on the left of Du Shane's Maryland Brigade, to pro- 

tect a gap in the line. 

General Lockwood, our division commander, was relieved by 
General Crawford to-day. 

We were well ducked by heavy showers during the afternoon and 

The following extracts from the War Records will be very interest- 
ing reading to the Thirteenth : 

JXJNE 1, 1864. 
Major-Gen ERAL Meade : 

General Griffin repulsed the attack on him to-night, which was no more than a 
strong feeler. The Cold Harbor Road is not open, and I have been able to make 
no impression on the enemy. A very large field intervenes just beyond the forks 
of the road commanded by the enemy's batteries. I directed General Lockwood 
to extend well to the left with a line of skirmishers, and to prepare his whole 
division for an attack in conjunction with Wright and Smith. I thinned my line 
down to the least possible amount to get two brigades in reserve to support him, 
but in some unaccountable way he took his whole division, without my knowing 
it, away from the left of the line of battle, and turned up at dark two miles in my 
rear, and I have not yet got him back. All this time the firing should have 
guided him at least. He is too incompetent, and too high rank leaves no sub- 
ordinate place for him. I earnestly beg that he may be at once relieved from duty 
with this army. Major Roebling has not yet returned. 



Major- General. 
Special Orders, "1 

No. 26. J Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Bethesda Church, Va., June 2, 1864. 
I. Brig.-Gen. H. H. Lockwood is hereby relieved from duty with the 
Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac, and will proceed to Baltimoi-e, Md., and 
await further orders, reporting by letter to the Adjutant-General of the Army. 
By command of Lieutenant-General Grant, 

Assistant Adjutant- General. « 

Baltimore, Md., June 10, 1864. 
Brig.-Gen. S. Williams, Army of the Potomac : 

Dear Sir : A certain penny-a-liner of the " New York Herald," writing from the 
headquarters of the Fifth Army Corps, having recently said that my removal from 
the Army of the Potomac arose from an error on my part in opening the lines, 
and thus exposing my division to capture, and the whole line to loss, I feel it a 
duty to myself to let you and my friends near you into the facts of the case. You 


1864. must pardon me this letter, which shall be as short as possible, and 

which I address to you because you expressed concern at my abrupt 
and most unjust removal. On the afternoon of the 1st instant my division occupied 
the extreme left of the main line, neither Smith nor Wright connecting with me. 
General Warren ordered a strong line of skirmishers to be extended from my left 
some one-third or one-half mile. This was done. Afterward he ordered that 
these skirmishers, together with those in my front, should feel the enemy by ad- 
vancing the left, turning on the right as a pivot. Some delay took place in 
effecting this. To hasten this, and to be able to report its successful execution, 
I went in person at 4 P.M. toward the left of this extended line of skirmishers. 
During my absence an order came from General Warren to my flag, in these 
words, which I beg of you to note as having an important bearing on this unfor- 
tunate issue, unfortunate at least to me : 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

June I, 1864, 5 P.M. 
Brigadier-General Lockwood, Commanding Second Division ; 

Wright is engaging the enemy on your left up the Cold Harbor Road. Ad- 
vance your entire command along this road, and take part in the action if oppor- 
tunity offers. A division will support you. 


Major- General. 

I arrived at my flag at 6 P.M., when this note was handed to me by one of my 
aides-de-camp, who remarked that General Warren had been over in person; was 
very impatient and very angry, and had used some harsh language respecting me. 
I immediately mounted my horse, led my reserve up to the main line, put the 
whole in motion by the left flank, sending one brigade, which was bent somewhat 
to the rear, by a nearer route to join me up the road a half mile distant, the road here 
running nearly parallel to the line, distant two hundred yards. I led the rest o£ 
the division up, and, as I interpreted it, " along " the Cold Harbor Road, at great 
peril to myself and ofEcers, and reached the desired point in the direction of the 
action then raging between Wright and the enemy about sunset. The detached 
brigade was there before me. Here I met Major Roebling, of Warren's staff, 
with some four hundred of my men, who had been reconnoitering the ground. 
He said he had an admirable position for my left beyond the road, and had al- 
ready posted the four hundred men and a portion of the detached brigade upon 
it, and would advise my filling out the line by another brigade, leaving one brigade 
in the road, whose left would reach to the left of my former position. I acceded 
to this and posted my men accordingly, by directing them to keep quiet and in- 
trench. Feeling sure that the enemy had not observed us or our change of posi- 
tion, skirmishers were thrown out and a double line sent to occupy or cover our 
former position. 

Supperless and blanketless I laid down on the ground at the angle made by 


1864. those in the field with those in the road and passed the night. The 

contest with Wright had now well-nigh ceased, the firing being con- 
fined to pickets apparently beyond my left. Rising at daybreak I found my line 
well covered, and myself saluted by a. shower of balls from sharpshooters in a 
thicket near my front. These my skirmishers soon dispersed, gaining possession 
of the thicket. Regarding my position a good one and safe, my left secured by 
the issue of Wright's contest, as well as by a swamp near it on which it rested, 
and which I had covered by a double line of skirmishers, coimecting my right 
with Cutler's left, I retired to a small house two hundred yards up the road and 
raised my flag. Soon after this Major Roebling again came up and agreed with 
me as to the advantages of my position, claiming for himself the merit of select- 
inj; it. I remarked that I was sorry to inform him that General Warren differed 
from us as to its merits; that one of my staff missing me passed a portion of the 
night at General Warren's headquarters ; that the general denounced the move- 
ment as not contemplated by his orders, declared we would be captured or cut to 
pieces and bring on a general engagement; and further, that he had made use of 
very harsh and damning language respecting me personally. 

I said further to the major that this must cease, as I would not permit General 
Warren or any other general to abuse me in the presence of ray staff. The major 
replied that if I had anything to say of General Warren I should say it to General 
Warren himself. I replied that I certainly would call on General Warren and 
say as much or more to him. The major then left, and I presume returned to 
corps headquarters. One hour later I received an order relieving me from the 
command, with orders to report to General Grant, and later in the day an order 
from General Grant directing me to proceed to Baltimore, there await further 
orders, and report to the Adjutant-General United States Army. Now, general, what 
I have related is the sura and substance of this difficulty, and the facts herein given 
can be sworn to by a multitude of witnesses. The order was seen and read by 
Colonel Bates, commanding brigade, and by some of my own and Warren's staff. 
We all agreed that by the words " move along the Cold Harbot Road and take 
part in the action " was intended that we should move up that road toward the 
point where Wright was engaged. 

Had I done otherwise I would have laid myself open to the imputation of fear- 
ing to meet the enemy with my five thousand men and as many more at my [com- 
mand] to support them. Knowing that General Warren had a spare force near 
him, I took it for granted that he would look out for that unlucky gap. But to 
avoid all difficulty I took the precaution of covering it with a double line of skir- 
mishers advantageously posted, and connecting my right with Cutler's left I 
innocently believed that I was faithfully carrying out Warren's orders, had suc- 
cessfully flanked a battery, would be commended by my chief, aftd perhaps get 
another star. But alas, how foolish are the imaginations of man ! how vain his 
expectations ! I declare I never was more astonished than when I heard from an 
officer, who had passed part of the night at corps headquarters, that General 
Warren disapproved the proceedings, and meant, when he wrote I should " move 


1864. along the road," that I should move up the road, remaining parallel 

to and abreast of my former position. 

Of course this removal damages me in public opinion, and its effects on my 
future career are irreparable, as no other corps commander vrill care to have a 
division commander sent to him \chom so skilful and able a corps commander as 
Major-General Warren had rejected for exceeding his orders, endangering his 
own men, and almost bringing on a general engagement without orders. I see no 
remedy. The public press is closed to me both by general orders and by my own 
sense of propriety. As a good patriot I must suffer, but I am desirous that you. 
General Meade, Major Michler, and some others whom I have regarded as my 
friends, ready to hear reason, should know the truth and be thereby enabled to 
form a just appreciation of this case. 

■I have the honor to be, general, very truly, and respectfully, your obedient and 
obliging servant, 

Brigadier- General of Volunteers. 

Rainy; built a line of earthworks with traverses. 
Friday, Shelling Continued during the day. 

June 3. Out of twenty-one men detailed from the regiment for 

duty on the skirmish line, we had one man killed, an 
officer and five men wounded, and two taken prisoners. 

General Meade: 

Headquarters Fiffh Army Corps, 

Bethesda Church, June 3, 1864, 9 A.M. 

We have forced the enemy back still farther on the road to Shady Grove, but I 
have all my troops in one line. I cannot maintain the battle this way all day 
without reenforcements. Can I withdraw them, if necessary, from my own left 
without jeopardizing the operations to the left of me ? I have no way of j udging 
of the force of the ^nemy except by the extent of his front, which is very great, 
and by the prisoners we have taken, which are from all three of Lee's old corps. 
They probably have not all the force this last would indicate. The right of my 
corps is now over on the Shady Grove Road, and General Burnside is preparing to 
move down the road toward Mechanicsville, toward the position he left yesterday. 



Major- General. 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

June 3, 1864, 9-3° A.M. 
General Meade: 

I have written you every little while, and sent to you the substance of General 
Burnside's and my operations. We have been fighting hard on our right, and are 


1864. getting the enemy back, which will eventually shorten our lines and 

make more troops available for assault. While we attacked from 
our right, the enemy assaulted my right centre, but were repulsed. I am not 
waiting for anybody, but putting in whenever I can judiciously. 



Major- General. 

Near Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, 7 A.M. 
Major-General Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac : 

The moment it becomes certain that an assault cannot succeed, suspend the 
offensive ; but when one does succeed push it vigorously, and if necessary pile in 
troops at the successful point from wherever they can be taken. I shall go to 
where you are in the course of an hour. 


Lieutena nt- General, 

Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, 12.30 P.M. 
Major-General Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac : 

The opinion of corps commanders not being sanguine of success in case an 
assault is ordered, you may direct a suspension of farther advance for the present. 
Hold our most advanced positions, and strengthen them. Whilst on the defen- 
sive, our line may be contracted from the right, if practicable. Reconnaissances 
should be made in front of every corps, and advances made to advantageous 
positions by regular approaches. To aid the expedition under General Hunter it 
is necessary that we should detain all the army now with Lee until the former gets 
well on his way to Lynchburg. To do this effectually it will be better to keep the 
enemy out of the intrenchments of Richmond than to have them go back there. 
Wright and Hancock should be ready to assault in case the enemy should break 
through General Smith's lines, and all should be ready to resist an assault. 


Lieutenant- General. 

A hot day until about 4 P.M. when it began to rain 
Saturday, and continued all night. 

June 4. About noon we left our earthworks and rejoined our 

brigade which we found held in reserve. Skirmish firing 
all along the line at night. 
We had a whiskey ration issued to us to-day. " Down with rum ! " 
One man wounded to-day. 


1864. Rained until noon. About 3 A.M. we were turned 

Sunday, ^^j. j.^ jg^j^g possession of the earthworks vacated by part 
"' of the second brigade of our division. Laid still all day 

with no fighting except on the skirmish line. 
About 8 P.M. we were cautiously and very quietly withdrawn 
from the earthworks and made a rapid march to Cold Harbor, leav- 
ing our skirmish line in position for three or four hours after we left. 
The march was about five miles. Bivouacked at i A.M. in the rear 
of the Second Corps. 

Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Cold Harbor, Va., June 5, 1864. 
Major-General Halleck, Chief of Staff of the Army , Washington, D.C. . 

General : A full survey of all the ground satisfies me that it would not be 
practicable to hold a line north-east of Richmond that would protect the Freder- 
icksburg Railroad, to enable us to use it for supplying the army. To do so would 
give us a long vulnerable line of road to protect, exhausting much of our strength 
in guarding it, and would leave open to the enemy all of his lines of communica- 
tion on the south side of the James. My idea from the start has been to beat 
Lee's army, if possible, north of Richmond; then, after destroying his lines of 
communication north of the James River, to transfer the army to the south side 
and besiege Lee in Richmond, or follow him south if he should retreat. I now 
find, after more than thirty days of trial, that the enemy deems it of the first 
importance to run no risks with the armies they now have. They act purely on 
the defensive, behind breastworks, or feebly on the offensive immediately in front 
of them, and where in case of repulse they can instantly retir,e behind them. 
Without a greater sacrifice of human life than I am willing to make, all cannot be 
accomplished that I had designed outside of the city. I have, therefore, resolved 
upon the following plan : I will continue to hold substantially the ground now 
occupied by the Army of the Potomac, taking advantage of any favorable circum- 
stance that may present itself, until the cavalry can be sent west to destroy the 
Virginia Central Railroad from about Beaver Dam for some twenty-five or thirty 
miles west. When this is effected, I will move the army to the south side of 
James River, either by crossing the Chickahominy and marching near to City 
Point, or by going to the mouth of the Chickahominy on the north side and 
crossing there. To provide for this last and most probable contingency six or 
more ferry-boats of the largest class ought to be immediately provided. Once on 
the south side of the James River I can cut off all sources of supply to the enemy, 
except what is furnished by the canal. If Hunter succeeds in reaching Lynch- 
burgh that will be lost to him also. Should Hunter not succeed I will still make 
the effort to destroy the canal by sending cavalry up the south side of the river 
with A pontoon train to cross wherever they can. The feeling of the two armies 


1864. now seems to be that the rebels can protect themselves only by 

strong intrenchments, while our army is not only confident of pro- 
tecting itself without intrenchments, but that it can beat and drive the enemy 
wherever and whenever he can be found without this protection. 

Very respectfully, 

Lieutenant- General. 

Our position, we found at daylight, to be on the top of 
Monday, a hill half a mile in the rear of the earthworks at Cold 
June 6. Harbor, where fighting still continued. Our corps was 

held in reserve. Clothing, shoes, etc., were issued to us, 
all of which articles we were in much need of. Have been under 
fire every day but two since May 4th. During this time the army 
had acquired, as already stated, a well-established faith in General 
Grant. No matter what happened we moved forward. No back- 
ward steps were taken, — an experience to which the Army of the 
Potomac had, heretofore, been unused to. The consequence was 
that the "Old Man" (as General Grant was called) was always 
greeted with genuine enthusiasm, though he didn't seem to care 
much for it. In his old blouse and hat he appeard like the rest 
of us — ragged and dirty. Once, when we passed him, he sat on a 
platform-car gnawing away on an old ham bone ; as the boys cheered 
him he merely gave the bone a flourish for a second, and then went 
on gnawing it as though we were miles away. It was wonderful 
how thoroughly this retiring, undemonstrative man had gained the 
confidence of the army. In spite of the hard work we had been 
having, the men were in good spirits, pleased that we were at last 
accomplishing something. 

Our wagons reached us to-day, affording the officers an oppor- 
tunity to pitch their tents, which they had not done since the 3d 
of May. The books and papers of the regiment were overhauled 
and records made of our work during their absence. 

We received an order transferring our regiment from the Second 
to the Third Division of the Fifth Corps. 

For the ten companies of the regiment we had only four line 
officers on duty. 


1864. We remained in camp at this place, within eight miles 

of Richmond, until June nth. Artillery firing was kept 
up most of the time, and on one occasion all night. A soldier be- 
comes so accustomed to this thing that he is rarely disturbed. 

Leary's House, June 6, 1864, 4.30 A.M. 
Major-tGeneral Humphreys: 

The head of my last division is just coming into camp. We have been in the 
rear of the column on the road all night, and I stayed there to see what would 
be done by the' enemy. They made a considerable demonstration by yelling and 
firing about 9.30 P.M., and disconcerted us a little. It is almost useless, I think, 
to attempt marching these dark nights, unless it is for the mere object of safely 
retiring from a position. It was 3 A.M. before the rear of my column got on the 
way, and it was so on all our previous efforts. The road was good, but narrow 
and through forests. The men being unacquainted with the roads, on all descents 
step out just as one does in a strange house when they go down-stairs. It is un- 
avoidable, the inclination to feel before planting the foot, and the frequent tum- 
bles they get off of banks and other places makes them do it in spite of every effort 
of their officers ; then, too, in the night an officer cannot be distinguished, nor 
those who disobey him, so that practically an army on one of these dark nights 
marches a little better than the crowd that walks the streets, as far as organiza- 
tion is concerned. The men never march well except on a retreat, when they are 
all hurried forward with the common instinct of fear. The consequence, besides, 
of this is that the men are unfitted to-day to do the work they may be called upon. 
I find shoes have arrived and will be issued this morning. They are greatly 


Major- General. 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

June 6, 1864, 1° A.M. 
Major-General Humphreys, Chief of Staff : 

General ; I believe if I should remain here to-night I could get up the bag- 
gage wagons of the corps, sort out that of the killed and wounded officers, let 
those remaining change their clothes, and dispense with half our baggage wagons 
for use in other ways. Will I be here long enough to effect this ? 


Major- General. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, 

June 6, 1864, 10 A.M. 
Major-General Warren, Commanding Fifth Corps : 
I am unable to say authoritatively whether you will remain here to-day and 


1864. to-night or not, but I am under the impression you will, and that 

it would be worth while to undertake what you mention. 

Major- General and Chief of Staff. 

In a communication received from corps headquarters 
Thursday, respecting the order of march, etc., appears the following 
•' paragraph : 

Great detention of the whole column, especially on night marches, 
has arisen from the indisposition of the troops to cross small streams and the 
shallow swamps with which the country abounds, except in single file. No stream 
or like obstruction, that does not wet their cartridge-boxes, must detain the 
soldiers of this corps for a moment. Brigade commanders will station a staff 
officer at such points, who will see that each regiment marches without halting. 

We may have acquired a great fondness for the external use of 
water, but we found it difficult to overcome our natural prejudice 
against wet feet ; hence this order to prevent men hesitating when 
coming to a stream. 

The rest and sleep allowed the men since the 6th 
Friday, did good service. On the 7th our old friends of the 
June 10. Ninth New York (Eighty-third Volunteers) started for 
home, their term of enlistment having expired. We 
had^ been together a long time and their departure was like the sep- 
aration of old friends. In bidding " good-by" we couldn't repress 
the feeling of gladness we felt for them at their good luck and the 
hope that we might soon meet again, as our own time of return 
was drawing nigh and already near enough for us to begin counting 
the days. This excellent regiment took back only one hundred and 
fifiy men. 

Yesterday we were treated to a new experience. A correspondent 
of the " Philadelphia Inquirer," who had written some libellous letters 
against General Meade, was escorted through the army by a Provost 
Marshal's guard, his back ornamented with a board on which was 
plainly printed, "Libeller of the Press." His appearance 
afforded us a good deal of amusement, in spite of the probable 
misery of his feelings. 

On June 10, 1864, an order was received that no bass drums 


1864. would longer be tolerated, and brigade inspectors were 

instructed to see that they were properly disposed of. 
Exit bass drum. 

" The man that hath no music in himself, 
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, 
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils," 

saith the poet. There were no tears shed in the army at this depri- 
vation. As long as rations were issued regularly, with an occasional 
noggin of whiskey, we could spare all the drums. 

Marched at 5 A.M. to Bottom Church, otherwise 
Saturday, v called " Shokoe Hill Church," a distance of eight miles. 
June II. This place is about three miles from Bottom Bridge on 
the Chickahominy River. We camped on the ground 
occupied by McClellan's troops in 1862, — a fine grassy spot with 
splendid water. Some of McClellan's old tent poles were still to be 
seen lying about. 

It will be seen by the following communications that the " rebs " 
were getting nervous. Their affairs did not appear to be running 
with the same smoothness they did before Grant took command. 
They were beginning to realize that to fight a man who has " no 
strategy " and who is only a " butcher " requires more intelligence 

than they hitherto had suspected : 

June ii, 1864. 
General Beauregard, Commanding: 

General : I am so much disturbed about our condition, but especially about 
our relations to Petersburg, that you must excuse me for a suggestion. It seems 
to me that there is but one way to save the country and bring the authorities to 
their senses, and that is to say, " I cannot guard Bermuda Hundred and Peters- 
burg both, with my present forces. I have decided that Petersburg is the impor- 
tant point, and will withdraw my whole command to that place to-night." It is 
arrant nonsense for Lee to say that Grant can't make a night march without his 
knowing it. Has not Grant slipped around- him four times already ? Did not 
Burnside retire from Fredericksburg, and Hooker from the Wilderness, without 
his knowing it ? G*-ant can get ten thousand or twenty thousand men to West- 
over and Lee know nothing of it. What, then, is to become of Petersburg? Its 
loss surely involves that of Richmond, perhaps of the Confederacy. An earnest 
appeal is called for now, else a terrible disaster may, and I think will, befall us. 
Very respectfully, 

D. H. HILL, 
Major- General and Aide-de-Camp. 


1864. [Indorsement.] 

Swift Creek, Va., June 12, 1864. 
General Hill: 

I fully concur in the above views, which have been already communicated to 
the Government in substance if not in words. I consider it useless again to do 
so, as it would produce no good results, and my records are already " all right." 
I shall continue to hold " the lines " as long as there is the slightest hope of being 
able to do so with success and without endangering Petersburg. 


Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Cold Harbor, Va., June 11, 1864. 
Maj.-Gen. B. F. Butler, Comdg. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina: 

General : The movement to transfer this army to the south side of James River 
will commence after dark to-morrow night. Colonel Corastock, of my staff, was 
sent specially to ascertain what was necessary to make your position secure in the 
interval, during which the enemy might use most of his force against you, and 
also to ascertain what point on the river we should reach to effect a crossing, if it 
should not be practicable to reach this side of the river at Bermuda Hundred. 
Colonel Comstock has not yet returned, so that I cannot make instructions as 
definite as I would wish, but the time between this and Sunday night being so 
short in which to get word to you, I must do the best I can. 

Colonel Dent goes to make arrangements for gun-boats and transportation to 
send up the Chickahominy to take to you the Eighteenth Corps. This corps will 
leave its position in the trenches as early in the evening to-morrow as possible, 
and make a forced march to Cole's Landing or Ferry, where it should reach by 
10 A.M. the following morning. This corps numbers now fifteen thousand three 
hundred men. They take with them neither wagons nor artillery, these latter 
marching with the balance of the army to the James River. The remainder of the 
army will cross the Chickahominy at Long Bridge and at Jones' and strike the 
river at the most practicable crossing below City Point. I directed several days 
ago that all reenforcements for the army should be sent to you. I am not advised 
of the number that may have gone, but suppose you have received from six 
thousand to ten thousand. General Smith will also reach you as soon as the 
enemy could going by the way of Richmond. The balance of the force will not 
be more than one day behind, unless detained by the whole of Lee's army, in 
which case you will be strong enough. 

I wish you to direct the proper staff officers, your chief engineer and chief 
quartermaster, to commence at once the collection of all the means in their reach 
for crossing the army on.its arrival. If there is a point below City Point where a 
pontoon bridge can be thrown, have it laid. Expecting the arrival of the Eigh- 
teenth Corps by Monday night, if you deem it practicable from the force you now 
have to seize and hold Petersburg, you may prepare to start on arrival of troops 


1864. to hold your present lines. I do not want Petersburg visited, how- 

ever, unless it is held, nor an attempt to take it unless you feel a 
reasonable degree of confidence of success. If you should go there, I think troops 
should take nothing with them except what they carry, depending upon supplies 
being sent after the place is secured. If Colonel Dent sliould not succeed in 
securing the requisite amount of transportation for the Eighteenth Corps before 
reaching you, please have the. balance supplied. 

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Lieutenant- General. 

P.S. — On reflection, I will send the Eighteenth Corps by way of White House. 
The distance which they will have to march will be enough shorter to enable 
them to reach you about the same time, and the uncertainty of navigation on the 
Chickahorainy will be avoided. 

U. S. G. 

Remained undisturbed until 5 P.M., when the whole 
Sunday, army was put in motion. With frequent delays we 
June 12. inarched to the Chickahominy, where we waited for two 
hours until a pontoon bridge across the river was com- 
pleted. At 3 A.M. we crossed the river behind Wilson's cavalry, 
continuing the march. 

Our base of supplies had been changed to the Chickahominy. 

A pontoon boat that was in use by the army at this time was a 
more substantial affair than might be supposed by a person who had 
never seen one. It was strong and serviceable, often very heavy, 
and was carted along on wheels. On arriving at a river it was slid 
off into the water, rowed out to its position, and made stationary by 
anchors and ropes attached to either end. Timbers were then laid 
from boat to boat, with the planks on top firmly lashed together with 
ropes. When used as a permanent crossing, where it was of consider- 
able length, signals were adopted in the night to prevent the confusion 
that might arise if two teams met while crossing, as there was room for 
only a single file. A box containing a lantern was placed at each end 
of the bridge to signal the sentry at the opposite end before a team 
was allowed to cross. When pursued by the enemy, without time to 
remove it altogether, the anchors were taken up and one end of the 
bridge detached from the shore, when the remainder would swing 


1864. round with the current to the opposite side of the bank, 

where it could be taken up at leisure. 
Monday, After crossing the river this morning we marched up 

June 13. stream about three miles, and then halted for awhile. 
The cavalry becoming engaged, our division advanced 
to their support. The place where they were fighting was White 
Oak Swamp, the same ground on which McClellan fought the battle 
of that name in 1862. The debris of the old battle still remained 
scattered about the field. 

It was not intended to bring on a battle at this point, but only to 
cover and protect the roads. The skirmishers of our division suf- 
fered severely, though we escaped with the loss of one man who was 

In the afternoon we changed front to the left, and in company 
with the Thirty-ninth threw up earthworks on the left of the second 
brigade, subsequently putting out skirmishers. 

Two rebel skirmishers strayed from their lines up to ours, asking 
where their line was. One of our boys answered them, and in they 
came, supposing we were their own troops. They proved to be 
North Carolina men of Hill's corps which was in front of us. 

We became warmly engaged with the enemy until darkness put a 
stop to the firing. About 9 P.M. we were withdrawn and marched 
to St. Mary's Church, passing the " Iron Brigade," which was resting 
on the side of the road near the church. We took the right-hand 
road, and after marching an hour or so we found ourselves again pass- 
ing the same brigade in the same position near the church, where, 
this time, we met " Helen Damnation." We were too tired to appreci- 
ate the explanation of this movement, but passed along, taking the 
left-hand road, this time proceeding on to Charles City Court- House, 
where we halted at 3 A.M., having caught up with our division. 

At half-past five o'clock we started again, marching 
Tuesday, about six miles across swamps and fields, and again 
June 14. halted about a mile from Charles City Court-House, 
where was located the army headquarters. 

The movements of the Fifth Corps during the last three days, we 
subsequently learned, were a feint intended to deceive the enemy 


1864. into believing that the army was advancing on Richmond, 

while in fact it was marching to the James River, where 

it crossed, and which was about four miles from our present position. 

We remained quiet all day. Drew rations, which were 
>Wednesday, brought to us via the James River, our new base of 
June 15. supplies. 

We were treated to a genuine surprise to-day. When 
we left Boston we had as fine a set of twenty-five wagons as could be 
found, all labelled "Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment." From 
time to time reductions were made, until the number was reduced to 
our present allowance of one wagon. When we saw these wagons 
of ours, now engaged in hauling some general's baggage, it grieved 
us to see them put to such a use, instead of the more noble one of 
carrying the effects of the rank and file. 

At 3 A.M. we marched to the James River, passing 
Thursday, through Charles City Court-House, now only a town of 
June 16. chimney-stacks, the houses having been destroyed during 
McClellan's campaign of 1862. 
When our eyes beheld the James River, it seemed to many of us 
as though we had never seen a picture of greater beauty. Nature 
was in her loveliest garb. Vessels were moving about in the calm, 
blue water of the river, while on either side of the two pontoon 
bridges, two thousand two hundred feet in length, were stationed 
gunboats in close proximity, anchored for protection. On the bluffs 
overlooking the river could be seen the stately colonial mansions of 
wealthy planters, commanding noble views up and down the river. 
If one was to pick out a spot on which to dwell, where could be 
found a place of such surpassing loveliness? 

We crossed the river from Wilcox Ferry to Windmill Point, on 
the steamer "Thomas Powell." After crossing, we halted for a 
couple of hours on the bank of the river. There was a beautiful 
beach at this point of the river, affording an excellent opportunity 
for bathing, which the whole corps took advantage of. In our three 
years' service, we ran across no place like that for a swim, and we 
made the most of it, and a mighty fine time we had too. 

About 3 o'clock we resumed the march towards Petersburg, 


1884. halting at 1 1 P.M. Distance for the day was fifteen miles. 

The roads were crooked and narrow, winding over hills 
and across swamps, now fragrant with the perfume of the wild mag- 
nolias, and resounding with the incessant piping of hundreds of frogs. 
At I o'clock this morning, having had two hours' 
Friday, rest, we resumed our march, passing through Prince 
June 17. George's Court- House in the darkness to a point about 
three miles from Petersburg, and bivouacked. 

At 8 A.M. we moved to the rear of the outer line of the Peters- 
burg intrenchments, where we remained until dusk, in support of the 
Ninth Corps. Laid in the earthworks, under a desultory firing of 
the enemy, which was kept up nearly all night. 

We passed on our march to-day the Fifty-ninth Massachusetts, which 
regiment had several officers formerly members of the Thirteenth, and 
we found their canteens contained something besides water. 

This day being the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill, one 
of the boys thought some notice ought to be taken of that historic 
event. It so happened that during the day our division was re- 
quired to make a charge on the enemy's works, an almost daily 
event, by the way, during which several men of the division were 
killed or wounded, as generally happens on such occasions. Now 
the guns of these men were seen lying out in front, a suggestive and 
tempting sight to his scheme. A detail was made to go out after 
dark and bring them into the works. The guns were then loaded 
with the ramrods and fired into the enemy's works. The whizzing 
noise that ensued as these ramrods left the guns was too fiinny for 
anything, and must have produced a sensation in the rebel camp. 
They would have been a good deal more astonished if they had found 
themselves, by this means, pinned together as chickens' livers are 
prepared for cooking. The racket that this deviltry made started a 
firing all along the line of both armies, and might have ended seri- 
ously, though we believe it didn't. 

Saturday Advanced at daybreak and found the rebels had aban- 

June 18. doned their line of last night ; our brigade, which was 

in the first line, passing over the dead bodies of both 

armies that laid in our path, driving the enemy's skirmishers about 


1864. a mile, when we came in sight of the rebel earthworks. 

We then halted and threw up works for our own protection. 
We soon made another advance across a field toward the railroad. 
A deep cut, dug out for the railroad, passed through the hill about 
one hundred and fifty yards in front of us, to gain which we had to 
run the gauntlet of musketry and artillery from the enemy intrenched 
on a hill the other side of the railroad. Word was passed along that 
a dash was to be made, under fire, directly into this cut, and it was 
done. As the men in the front line reached the edge of the cut, 
fifteen feet high, they jiimped over the edge into the soft yielding 
sand, followed by the men in the rear lines, who came tumbling on 
top of the first line, before the men could extricate themselves from 
their uncomfortable predicament, rolling over each other clear to the 
bottom. A more ludicrous sight could hardly be imagined in spite of 
the seriousness of the occasion. The lines were reformed in the cut. 
The Thirteenth was then deployed as skirmishers and marched out 
of the cut by the right flank partially protected by scattering woods 
and a ravine, then faced to the front and advanced up the side of 
the hill where the enemy was intrenched, and where we halted and 
worked all night throwing up breastworks. The enemy could be 
distinctly heard doing the same thing on the top of the hill. 

A gully made by heavy rains was soon found in this ploughed field 
extending from the bank of the river to the upper line of the earth- 
works. This we deepened and extended so as to form a sunken way 
that could be safely traversed. 

This hill was afterwards known as " Fort Crater." 

We were expecting to make a charge at half-past seven o'clock 
on the works in front of us, but it was abandoned. 

We had six men wounded. In building our works, we utilized 
the dead bodies of the rebels by burying them in the earth which we 
threw up from the trenches, serving the double purpose of burial and 
increasing the size of the breastworks. 

At daylight we found ourselves within a hundred and 
Sunday, ^^^^ yards of a rebel fort, high above us on the crest of 
June 19. ^^^ j^.^j^ ^.^j^ ^^^^ staring us in the face. The rebels 
were unable to depress their artillery sufficiently to trouble the 


1864. skirmish line so near them, but the infantry made it lively 

for us. Any portion of a human body exposed above the 
earthworks was sure to draw a perfect shower of bullets. 

That they might waste as much ammunition as possible, we fre- 
quently tried that old gag, so often told, of raising a cap above the 
works by means of a ramrod to attract their fire. Collecting the 
guns of the men who had been killed or wounded, we extracted 
the ramrods and fired them over into the enemy's works. The 
enemy soon discovered what made the peculiar noise and returned 
the compliment, until both sides became tired of the novelty. We 
had five men wounded during the day. 

While here, ammunition and rations were brought to us through the 
sunken way already described. 

We were relieved at midnight. 

The regiment returned to the brigade, taking position 

Monday, in the earthworks. Musketry and sharpshooting all day. 

June 20. Two men wounded. One of the wounded men was the 

color-sergeant, who made more fuss about losing his 

haversack than he did about being shot. 

At night we were detached from the brigade and sent to the left 
to fill a gap occasioned by the withdrawal of Griffin's brigade for 
some special service. 

Rations of potatoes and cabbage issued. 

George Washington called on us to-day. He began his military 
career as an officer's servant, in the Thirteenth. Having access to his 
employer's canteen he imbibed some of the spirit of " '76 " which led 
him to enlist in the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry, and now he was a 
" bloody hero " like the rest of us. There's lots of patriotic spirit 
in a canteen after it has been to the commissary. 

The earthworks were separated from those of the 
Tuesday, enemy by a distance of only four hundred yards and ex- 
June 21. posed to the full rays of the sun. To-day it was very 
warm without a breath of air stirring. The moment any- 
thing appeared above the works it was sure to be saluted with a 
dozen bullets. Great caution had therefore to be exercised in our 
movements. A trench was dug from the works to the rear like the 


1864. one at the " crater " which made a passageway for the 

boys in procuring rations, ammunition, etc. As it con- 
nected with an ice-house, we had all the ice we wanted. 

A Uttle later the two hills now occupied by the opposing armies 
were strongly intrenched and called Forts Hell and Damnation. 
Thereafter when a man spoke those words it was supposed he alluded 
to the forts. 

Our situation at this point was said to be the most dangerous as 
well as the most disagreeable, notwithstanding we had only one man 
wounded to-day. We were provided with a ration of fresh beef. 

The regiment remained in earthworks, detached from 
Wednesday, the brigade. Our earthworks were on the top of a hill, 
June 22. while those of the "rebs " were on the next hill beyond, 
which was higher than ours. It was the most exposed 
place for a long distance. Being farther advanced than the troops on 
our right, no skirmishers were out during the day, but, instead, men 
were detailed to keep watch and to fire occasionally. At night some 
pits in front were occupied. 

About 4 A.M., while few of the regiment but the alarm guard were 
awake, one of the boys crawled from' his blanket and began chatting 
with two or three others, when he remarked that he was going to try 
one or two shots ; whereupon he stepped to the embankment, and 
just as he sighted his gun was struck in the neck. His posture was 
such that the bullet entered his body and he fell back and died in a 
few moments, without speaking. During the past month this man 
had been counting the days and even hours when he would see his 
wife and child again, " One day less " was his salutation each 
morning. On this particular morning it was " only twenty-four days 
more, boys ! " Few of us had wives or children to be anxious about, 
and his death excited moer than the usual pity for his hard luck. 

We had another man killed in the afternoon. He was a conscript 
and came to us with that batch of reprobates about which we have 
written so much. He was an Irishman, and when assigned to his com- 
pany, no one wanted him. No one knew his history until later, when 
we learned that he was a drafted man. Supposing him to be like the 
others, he was shunned by all. As he stood apart from the rest, the 


1864. tears were seen to roll down the poor fellow's cheeks. 

Whereupon one of the boys, whose sympathy was excited 
at the sight, stepped up to him and with kind words told him to come 
and tent with him and his chum, and with these two boys he stayed 
until he was killed. The feelings of this man must have been terrible ; 
drafted and sent to the front in companionship with the vilest rufSans, 
to stand friendless and forsaken in the midst of an army. This man 
when drafted was unable to convince the examining surgeon that he 
was disqualified from performing the duties of a soldier by reason of 
an old injury to his shoulder which prevented him from carrying a gun. 
He persisted that he could not do so, and threw away every musket 
that was given him, so that he was useless as a fighting man. Upon 
being taken as a messmate by the two boys, he conceived a great 
fondness for them and was very useful in many ways. As a forager 
he had no equal, so the boys lived very well, even when rations were 
short. When the regiment went into battle, armed with a spade he 
kept close to his messmates, insisting upon keeping with them, even 
against their remonstrances, saying, " Surely, if one of ye's is kilt, 
I'll be handy by with the spade to kiver ye up." At one place where 
we had thrown up earthworks, water was only procured by running 
the gauntlet of the rebel fire, where each man in a company must 
load himself with canteens and take his turn, with its chances, or 
show his weakness. One day this conscript succeeded in collecting 
the canteens, and insisted upon doing this service for one of his 
chums whose turn it was. He was expostulated with, but before he 
could be stopped, was half way to the spring, saying, " It's meself 
has no frinds ! " On the way back he was knocked over by a 
bullet which struck one of the canteens, and feeling the water run 
down his leg, supposed it was blood. " I'm kilt, I'm kilt ! " he 
hollered, and the boys rushed out and brought him in, to find that it 
was only the canteen that was " kilt," the concussion of which 
knocked him over. He continued to serve his comrades faithfully, 
standing by their side in every hour of danger, until to-day, when a 
bullet struck him and he fell dead beside them. It was a hard case, 
as it was a very singular one. The boys took him to the rear and 
buried him beside his other comrade who was killed in the morning. 


1864. One of the boys who assisted at these burials was 

wounded on his way back to the trenches. 
_, , Remained in the earthworks. One man wounded. 


June 23. '^^^ boys were getting more cautious. Heretofore they 

had been rather reckless. As compared to the rest of 
our brigade our regiment had been fortunate in the number of 
killed and wounded. 

We were relieved about 7 A.M. and moved to the left 
Friday, about a mile, where we joined our division, and by noon 
June 24. were established in position in the first line, under a 
brisk fire, on the left of the Jerusalem Road, at a point 
where the heavy fighting was done on the twenty-second. We began 
at once to throw up earthworks. 

During the night an alarm was sounded from the skirmish line, but 
nothing came from it. 

We were now on the ground where Fort Warren (subsequently 
called Fort Davis) was built. 

One of the boys who, being a drummer, had more liberty than the 
rest of us, took advantage of his opportunities to learn what he could 
of the country about and the position of other troops in our 
vicinity ; all of which was interesting to those of us who were con- 
fined within the narrow limits of earthworks. He was an observing 
chap, this boy of ours, and what he saw during his peregrinations he 
related on his return, to oar great amusement and edification. 
To-day he returned with a startling piece of information. We 
guessed all sorts of things we thought he might have seen, from 
General Washington's body servant to a " straight flush," until at 
last, in despair we demanded to know, without any more nonsense, 
what it was. " A new rail fence ! " — " Sam, you are a d — d liar," 
was the response that was made. To appreciate what a miracle this 
was, one should have been with the army. 

The Twelfth Massachusetts started for home to-day, 
Saturday, turning over their recruits to the Thirty-ninth Massachu- 
June 25. setts. Our turn next. The Twelfth Massachusetts was 
one of the finest regiments sent out by the State of Mas- 
sachusetts, and had a record of which it was justly proud. We bade 


1864. the boys good-by, after an association together of more 

than two years, with the kindest feelings of regard. 
Tuesday, In Company with the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts we 

June 28. moved to the front about half a mile and built earthworks 

under cover of the night. These works were at right 
angles with those in the rear. 

Completed the works which we had been laboring on 
Thursday, since the night of the twenty-eighth. 
June 30. The regiment was complimented in orders from 

General Crawford, for our efficiency in building earth- 
works. It was about the last chance for compliments, as in sixteen 
days more we should " Lay down the shovel and the hoe, hoe, hoe." 
Pickets mutually agreed to desist from sharpshooting. We wished 
they might desist from all shooting until after our departure for 
home on the i6th of July. It seemed as if that joyous day would 
never come. 

We learned that time drags mighty slowly when you 
Friday, are waiting for it to pass. 
July I. jj ^^g g^ ,t red'letter " day with us to-day, being the first 

time we had drawn rations from any source except the 
government's larder. The Sanitary Commission issued to us, caimed 
turkey and chicken, canned mutton and tomatoes, condensed milk, 
loaves of bread and lemons, besides other things. As one of 
the boys wittily remarked, " They always fat a pig just before they 
kill him, so let us not eat too much." If we could have struck 
some " commissary" we might have made good use of the lemons. 

While some of the boys were crowded together about 
Thursday, sundown on a little rise at the edge of the woods, watch- 
July 7- ing a " reb " double-quick up and down the line as 

punishment for exchanging papers on picket, a shell was 
thrown among his comrades, killing one and wounding two men. 

The enemy taking advantage of the quiet which pre- 
Monday, vailed to-day, and the carelessness that occurs on such 
July II. occasions, suddenly opened fire with artillery. For a few 
minutes the scene was very lively. Nobody of our regiment was hurt, 
though the colonel of the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts was killed. 


1864. At night the regiment was moved back to assist in 

building Fort Warren, afterward Fort Davis, in honor of 
the colonel of the Thirty-ninth. 

Still at work on the fort, which was laid out so as to be, 
AAT'ednesday.when completed, four hundred feet square. It was hard 
July 13. work and continued night and day, the men being re- 
lieved every two hours for rest. It took eight men to 
get one shovelful of dirt from the bottom of the ditch to the top of 
the work, the men standing on little niches cut in the side and pass- 
ing the earth from one to another. 

General Orders, 1 

No. 69. f Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, 

July 13, 1864. 

4. The officers and enlisted men of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers 
whose term of service expires on the i6th instant will proceed on that date to 
Massachusetts and report to the General Superintendent of recruiting service for 
that State for muster-out and discharge. 

The Assistant Commissionary of Muster of the Third Division will accompany 
the command to the place of embarkation and see that no officers or enlisted men 
leave the army except those entitled to discharge by reason of expiration of 

5. The enlisted men of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers whose term 
of service does not expire on the 1 6th instant will be transferred to the Thirty-ninth 
Massachusetts Volunteers. Their late officers will not be permitted to leave the 
army until they have furnished the descriptive lists and necessary transfer papers 
of the men so transferred. 

By command of 




1864. The happiest day we had experienced for many a long 

Thursday, month had now arrived. We were to turn our faces 
■^ homeward, having received orders to go to the rear and 

make out the necessary papers for our departure, turn- 
ing over to the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts Regiment all enlisted 
men whose term of service had not expired. 

No more marching, no more skirmish or picket duty, no more 
fighting, and no more digging. It was hard to realize that in a few 
days we should be beyond the sound of the " long roll ; " that we 
would soon be sitting in our arm-chairs at home criticising the 
movements of the army and its generals, like a disgruntled tax-payer, 
without the risk of insubordination. " Put down those rails ! " might, 
in our dreams, disturb our slumber; we might occasionally be 
startled by an imaginary order to " Turn out the guard ! " but on 
waking we could say, " Never mind the guard ! " and turn over to 
sleep again. Already we were thinking of the joy in store for us in 
the meeting of old friends, and wondering if our old comrades were 
as anxious to see us as we were them. 

While our papers were being prepared we made and received 
calls from our acquaintances in other organizations, with whom we 
had been long associated, bidding them " good-by," until 6.30 P.M., 
when we took up the line of march to City Point. The boys were 
in high spirits, singing the old songs with a, joy that hadn't been 
felt for months. The rear of a great army, with its wagon-trains 
loaded with food and ammunition, which we met on the road, was a 
curiosity even to us. The soil on the roads was so ground to pow- 
der, almost knee-deep, that in the bright moonlight the atmosphere 
looked like a fog. 

We marched six miles, and then halted. During one of our halts 


1864. some of the boys discovered posts driven into the ground 

in such a way as to excite their curiosity to know the pur- 
pose. A match was lighted and examination made, when there was 
seen tacked to one of these posts a paper containing the information 
that a soldier would be hanged there the next day for some offence 
not stated. This was not a pleasant reminder of a soldier's life. 

We came to a final halt about i A.M. within a short distance of 
the James River. 

At daylight we were on the way again and marched 

Friday, to the river, halting at City Point, five miles, where 

July 15. we waited for the steamer. Off went our clothes and 

into the river we plunged for a frolic and a swim, and 

great was the fun we had. 

At 4 P.M. we boarded the steamer " City of Bath," and were 
soon on our way. It was a glorious sail until sunset, when we 
anchored near Jamestown. 

Three years to-day since we were mustered into the 
Saturday, United States service. We continued our sail down 
July 16. (^jjg river, around Fortress Monroe, and anchored near 
the mouth of the Potomac at 8 P.M. Some of the 
boys paid tribute to old Neptune, and were so unhappy that they 
would have reenlisted for twenty years to have escaped their present 

After a beautiful sail up the Potomac we landed at 
Sunday, Seventh-street wharf, and marched down Pennsylvania 
July 17. avenue to the " Soldier's Rest," where we were quar- 
tered for the night. 
One of the boys, who was wounded a few days since, and whom 
we were bringing home, died on the way up the river. 

Left Washington at 8 P.M. for Baltimore, where we 
Monday, arrived at 2 A.M., and proceeded to another " Soldier's 
July 18. Rest," where we received refreshments, and then went 
to sleep on the sidewalk. 

Left Baltimore at 10 P.M. and proceeded as far as 
Tuesday, Philadelphia, being on the road all night. This was not 
July 19. a "fast train." 


1864 Arrived in Philadelphia at 6 A.M. and marched to the 

Wednesday, << Cooper-shop " where we had breakfast. What changes 
July zo. jj^^ taken place with us since our last entertainment at 
this place ! yet the same kindly hospitality existed as at 
our previous visit. We were treated with great kindness by the 
people of Philadelphia, who flocked to see us and who showed us as 
much attention as though we belonged there. Our story is nearly 
ended, and we have written so much that we have left ourselves too 
little space in which to express what we all felt toward the people of 
that great city ; but we shall always remember the interest they took 
in us, and their kindly greetings. At 8 A.M. we bade them all good- 
by and took the train for New York, which city we reached at 3 
o'clock, marching up Broadway to the Park barracks, where refresh- 
ments \Nere supplied to those who wished them. The officers were 
handsomely entertained at dinner by the proprietors of the Astor 
House, while many of the boys found old and new friends in readi- 
ness to take them where hospitalities awaited. So much kindness 
and friendly interest was shown by everybody that we began to think 
possibly we might be heroes, though our appearance suggested 
tramps. How they laughed at us when we apologized for our ragged 
and dirty uniforms ! We had a " bully " time until 8 o'clock, when 
we took the train for home, via the Boston & Albany Railroad. 

[From the " New York World," July 21, 1S64.] 

The Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers arrived in the city yesterday from the 
front ynHa ranks shattered and decimated, and covered with the smoke and dust 
of the battles they have passed through. It has participated in the battles under 
General McClellan's command and those of his successor, General Grant. The 
Thirteenth has recruited, since its departure, to fourteen hundred and forty men, 
and nowr return with but two hundred and sixty-five men and seventeen officers. 
The regiment, or what there is left of it, looks well and hearty. They lefl last 
evening for Springfield. 

Upon reaching Worcester at 6 A.M. we found dele- 
Thursday, gations from the various towns, besides a large crowd of 
July 21. friends in Worcester, who greeted us with enthusiastic 
cordiality, after which we proceeded to Boston, ^where we 
were met by a committee of our old comrades who had made great 


1864. preparations to give us a royal welcome. As the band 

struck up our old Fort Independence song, " Corporal of 
the guard, post eight," it touched a tender chord in our memory, 
bringing back to our recollection the day when we marched away with 
one thousand and thirty-eight men. We marched to Boylston Hall, 
on the corner of Washington and Boylston streets, where facilities had 
been provided for a good wash and a good drink. While we were 
busy with our toilet or shaking hands with old comrades and friends, 
who should walk into the hall but General Hartsuff, our old brigadier- 
general. Joining hands we formed a ring with the general in the 
centre. If he had any doubts of our fondness for him, they must have 
been removed at that moment, for such enthusiasm is rarely seen. We 
had not met him since he led us through the corn-field at Antietam, 
where he was wounded and where we separated. Cheer upon 
cheer was sent up in greeting to him, until we were hoarse with 
the effort. This was an unexpected pleasure to all. It seems that 
he happened in town that morning, and accidently hearing of our 
arrival, he came up to see us. He could hardly appreciate the grat- 
ification his presence afforded us, for no opportunity had been pre- 
viously given us of testifying the admiration we felt for him as a 
soldier and a commander. After shaking hands with us all, and three 
more cheers for him, we marched to the United States Hotel, where 
we breakfasted, and the rest of our story is contained in the following 
account ; 

[From the " Boston Journal," July 21, 1S64.] 

The veteran heroes of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment, or rather what 
remains of that gallant corps, after an active campaign of three years in the Army 
of the Potomac, left New York on their way homeward at 8 o'clock last evening. 

It is well known that the nucleus of the Thirteenth was the Fourth Battalion of 
Rifles, and that it was composed chiefly of young men of this city and of the im- 
mediate vicinity. 

The reception which the regiment vrill receive to-day will undoubtedly be one 
worthy of its distinguished services. In addition to the honors paid it by the city 
and State authorities, the Boston City Guards, Roxbury State Guard, Fourth Bat- 
talion of Rifles, and past members of the regiment, will unite in demonstrations of 
welcome, and the occasion will be an unusually interesting one. 


1864. [From the " Evening Transcript."] 


These war-worn veterans, owing to unavoidable delay, did not arrive until about 
9 o'clock, when they were escorted to Boylston Hall, where their equipments were 
deposited. They then, under the escort of past members of the regiment and the 
old City Guard, commanded by Gen. John S. Tyler, proceeded to the United 
States Hotel, where their inner man was comforted by a hot breakfast, prepared 
in Mr. F. M. Pratt's well-known style. 

The men looked hearty and happy. The regiment numbers eighteen officers 
and two hundred and fifty-six men. The losses in action have been heavy, and a 
large number have been commissioned in other regiments, and detailed for duties 
in the departments at Washington. 

The following is the roster of the regiment : 

Colonel, Samuel H.Leonard; Lieutenant-Colonel, Charles H. Hovey; Major, 
E. C. Pierce; Adjutant, David H. Bradlee; Quartermaster, George E. Craig; Sur- 
geon, AUston W. Whitney ; Assistant-Surgeon, Loyd W. Hixon. 

Captains : O. F. Morse, O. C. Livermore, W. H. Cary, J. A. Howe, William 
B. Kimball, Morton Tower, David Whiston, H. N. Washburn, T. R. Wells, and 
W. S. Damrell. 

Lieutenants: M. S. Smith, Edward F. Rollins, R. M. Armstrong, W. R. 
Warner, E. W. Cody, and F. Stowe. 

(All these officers, however, were not present to-day.) 

After breakfasting, the Thirteenth returned to Boylston Hall, where they were 
received by the escort, composed of the Independent Cadets, Major Jeffries (who 
were under orders to parade in the afternoon, but turned out this morning with 
but an hour's notice), accompanied by the band of the First United States Artil- 
lery, Captain Little's Heavy Artillery Company from Fort Warren, the Roxbury 
Reserve Guard, Capt. Edward Wyman, and the past members of the Thirteenth 
and old City Guard, under the lead of Gen. John S. Tyler, assisted by Major 
J. C. Park and Col. N. A. Thompson, preceded by the Germania Band. 

The route of the procession was through Kneeland street, Harrison avenue, 
Chauncy, Summer, Winter, Tremont, Boylston (where a rest was taken for re- 
freshments), Arlington, Beacon, Tremont, Court, and State streets, to Faneuil 
Hall. The scene along the entire route was one of great enthusiasm, giving proof 
of appreciation by the citizens of the arduous services of this Boston regiment. 

The hall was elegantly decorated. The galleries were occupied at an early 
hour by the fair friends of the soldiers, and presented a view of compact 

A blessing was invoked by Rev. N. M. Gaylord, former chaplain of the regi- 
ment, at the close of which Mayor Lincoln invited the veterans and escort to par- 
take of the rations before them, which they were ordered to do by Colonel 
Fellows, without regard to military precedent, as they were minus their haver- 


1864. After which the regiment was granted a furlough until August 

1st, when it was to assemble for muster-out. 

[From the " Boston Herald," July 32, 1864.] 

The Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment, comprising two hundred and fifty-six 
men and seventeen officers, reached Boston over the Worcester Railroad at 9 
o'clock this forenoon. A committee composed of past members of the Thirteenth 
and many members of the Old City Guard, of which Capt. James A. Fox was 
chairman, was present to meet the regiment. There were also present the usual 
crowd of personal acquaintances and relatives of the men comprising the regi- 
ment, who gathered around the train eager to embrace their long absent but 
now returned friends. 

Line was immediately formed, and the regiment, headed by the Germania 
Band and a force of police, proceeded directly to Boylston Hall, where they dis- 
encumbered themselves of their equipments, and marched back to the United 
States Hotel, where they partook of a bountiful breakfast. Thence they returned 
to Boylston Hall, and from there they will be escorted and received by the au- 
thorities later in the day. 

The Thirteenth Regiment left the front a week ago to-day, and came North by 
the land route, being the first to pass over the railroad between Washington and 
Baltimore, after its destruction by the recent rebel raiders, and accomplished the 
journey without accident. 

During the present campaign the regiment has lost about eighty men, of which 
number the proportion of killed is comparatively small, being about fifteen — 
twelve privates and two or three officers. The men who had reenlisted were 
left behind, having been transferred to the Thirty-ninth Regiment; and one 
hundred and thirty-six men besides were left in the hospital, though not in those 
immediately connected with the army. Some half a dozen, not too feeble to be 
transported, also returned home. The men as a general thing look rugged, 
bronzed, and hearty, and manifest no little delight at being once more among 
their friends. 

Between 11 and 12 o'clock the escort arrived at Boylston Hall, and was formed 
in Washington street. It comprised the following-named bodies : 

Independent Corps of Cadets, Lieutenant-Colonel Holmes; Capt. T. J. Little's 
company of heavy artillery, from Fort Warren; 75 men, with the band of the 
First United States Artillery, from Fort Independence; the Roxbury State Guard, 
35 men, Capt. Edward Wyman, with drum corps; members of the Old City 
Guard and past members of the Thirteenth Regiment, with badges, and number- 
ing about 150 men, with the Germania Band. 

The escort was under the chief marshalship of General Tyler, assisted by Col. 
N. A. Thompson, John C. Park, Esq., and others as aids. 


1864. The procession having been formed, it moved through Kneeland 

street, Harrison avenue, Chauncy, Summer, Winter, Tremont, 
Boylston, Arlington, and Beacon streets, to the State House; thence through 
Beacon, Tremont, Court, State, Commercial, and Market streets, to Faneuil Hall, 
reaching the latter place at i o'clock. 

The demonstrations on the route were quite numerous and enthusiastic, and the 
veterans heartily cheered. On Harrison avenue there was considerable bunting 
displayed, and the same was the case on Arlington and Beacon streets, where 
innumerable flags were thrown out. 

At the residence of Colonel Thompson, on Boylston street, the regiment made 
a halt, and were furnished with copious libations of ice-water, lemonade, etc., 
and as they passed up Beacon street, by the Common, they were honored with a 
national salute fired by a section of the Boston Light Artillery, under Captain 

Faneuil Hall was decorated as heretofore on similar occasions, and the front 
gallery supported the words, " WELCOME, THIRTEENTH REGIMENT." 

One-half of the galleries was densely filled with ladies, who threw numerous 
bouquets and kisses and waved their delicate kerchiefs at the noble veterans as 
they filed into the hall and took their places around the tables. The other gallery 
was filled with the members of the escort. 

On the platform were His Honor Mayor Lincoln, and members of the reception 
committee of the City Government, the marshals, and the officers of the regiment 

After all had been seated, prayer was oftered by Rev. Chaplain Gaylord, 
formerly of the Thirteenth Regiment. Subsequently the assembly, at the invitation 
of the Mayor, partook of the collation provided for them. 

Subsequently the Mayor claimed the attention of the men and addressed them, 
extending a cordial welcome, and saying that our crowded streets, and the 
enthusiasm noticeable everywhere, was sufficient indication of how the people felt 
upon their arrival home. He said it was not for him to go into a history of all 
that they had done. For three years they had been defending the flag and all it 
represented. The members of the old State Militia who had turned out to-day, 
as well as the demonstrations of the rest of the citizens of Boston, seemed to him 
to indicate that they were proud of the renown which the Thirteenth had 

Adjutant-General Schouler next spoke in behalf of the State, saying for the 
Governor that he was proud of the old Thirteenth Regiment for the history it had 
conferred upon the Commonwealth. In behalf of the State, whose citizens they 
were, in behalf of the great honor they had won for Massachusetts, he welcomed 
them back to their homes and their firesides. 

Colonel Leonard responded, in behalf of the regiment, expressing his heartfelt 
thanks for the reception which had been extended them, and which he considered 
evidence that their services had been appreciated, and that the people thought 
they had done their duty. 

The speaker then referred to the organization of the regiment and continued 


1864. giving a very minute and detailed account of its adventures since 

leaving the State, and claiming for it its full share of glory. He 

closed with a renewed expression of thanks for the hospitalities extended to-day. 

General Hartsuff, who once commanded a brigade of which the Thirteenth 
formed a part, was now called up, and made a very brief but eloquent speech, 
saying that when he took command of the brigade alluded to, he knew not a man 
in it, they were all entire strangsrs to him. When he left it, he said it numbered 
three thousand men, and he trusted that in it he had three thousand friends. 
(Cheers.) The Thirteenth, he said, was one of the best regiments in his com- 
mand, and he had found no better among the sixty which had since been under 
him. He thanked them very kindly for the greeting they had given him, and 
was glad to see the evidences of satisfaction with which their friends had regarded 
their course, for he thought it was deserved and sincere. 

Rev. Chaplain Gaylord, who was formerly connected with the regiment, was 
next introduced and was warmly received. After some preliminary remarks, he 
said he had never been so happy in all his life as to-day. He had crowded into a 
few brief hours happiness enough for a lifetime, in witnessing the reception the 
city of Boston had given them. He said that he was in a position to tell all he 
knew about the Thirteenth, and he would do it in presence of that vast assembly 
and in the hearing of the reporters. There were those present whose hearts were 
swelling with the memories of three years, back to the time when they marched 
through our streets one thousand and twenty strong. Not a day had passed but 
their thoughts and prayers had gone forth for these noble and brave boys. The 
prayer of mother and wife, father and sister, was that God would bring them back 
as good men as they had gone forth. 

Those prayers had been heard, and many of them had returned not only as 
good but better men. " Oh, I know them well," said the speaker, " they are a gay 
and festive crowd." (Laughter.) He had slept with them under the same fence 
corner and under the same blanket, and oftentimes had shared their hardtack; 
they were fond of fun, ready to joke, a brave, generous, noble-hearted body of 
New England young men. (Cheers.) They were celebrated wherever they 
went for their mirth and jollity. But this was not all : they were, when occasion 
demanded, sober and thoughtful; and they were intelligent. 

He envied the man who had been through all their trials. He was proud of 
the reception they had this day received. To use the language of the old hymn, 
it was " the day for which all others were made." The speaker also gave them 
some advice, saying that they would go back into society and would meet more 
temptations than in camp. He conjured them to preserve their moral integrity, 
and cause no one to blush for any act of theirs. " Go back," said he, " and be- 
come, each of you, a healthy, moral influence in society. 

" Frown down anything that looks like treason. Whenever you meet a sleepy, 
squalling half-patriot, shake him up, and make him to see things as they are. Tell 
them that your brave general has his grasp upon the throat of that rebel scoundrel, 
Lee, and that he will throttle him before many months. (Cheers.) That the 


1864. army is hopeful, that there is no going back, and no rest, until the 

* rebellion is completely crushed and subdued." (^Cheers.) He closed 

by expressing his thanks for the kindness which they had always shown him. 

John C. Parke, Esq., spoke in behalf of the City Guard, and the men were then 
furloughed and dismissed. 

On the first day of August we assembled on Boston Common and 
were mustered out of the United States service in due form. Among 
the persons present at the ceremony was our old division commander, 
General Robinson, who lost a leg at Spottsylvania, whom we had not 
seen since that day so unfortunate to him. His presence, there- 
fore, afforded us an unqualified pleasure, which was demonstrated with 
an enthusiasm we honestly felt for him as a brave and gallant officer. 




THE following list contains the names of men who were killed or 
who died of wounds received in battle, arranged according 
to battles : 

Pritchard's Mills, Sept. 75, 756/. 
John L. Spencer. 

Thoroughfare Gap, Aug. 28, 1862. 

Daniel R. Jackson. 
Geo. Clarke. 

Manassas, Aug. S°> 1862. 

Paul E. Fiedler. 
Albert S. Estes. 
Henry A. Holden. 
Wm. R. Porter. 
Loring Bigelow. 
Charles B. Mills. 
Albert O. Curtis. 
Jacob H. Littlefield. 
Henry S. Sanborn. 
Frederick A. Williams. 
Chas. T. Linfield. 
Warren A. Blanchard. 
Elias H. Bennett. 
Frederick A. Dickenson. 
John E. Keith. 
John Mitchell. 
Chas. E. Page. 

Wm. D. Dorsey. 
John E. Dowling. 
Albert Hazeltine. 
John F. McNally. 
Edwin F. Morris. 
Chauncy L. Peck. 
Ira Bowman. 
Edwin N. Welch. 
Hollis L. Johnson. 
Washington I. Lothrop. 
Wm. H. Baker. 
Charles H. Coggins. 
Geo. R. Markham. 
Alfred G. Howe. 
Franklin J. Wood. 
Edward E. Bond. 
Isaac B. Crowell. 
Peter Flynn. 
Wm. H. P. Christopher. 
Thomas Copeland. 
Hollis H. Fairbanks. 

Antietam, Sept. 17, i86z. 

Wm. F. Barry. 
Thomas P. Bowker, Jr. 



Samuel S. Gould. 
Chas. R. Nelson. 
John P. Shelton. 
Geo. F. Wakefield. 
Isaac H. Stimpson. 
Chas. A. Clement. 
Joshua T. Lawrence. 
David S. Thurber. 
James T. E. Kendall. 
Edward S. Danforth. 
Thomas J. Oddy. 
Chas. E. Perkins. 
Geo. O. Berry. 
John E. LaClair. 
Chas. A. Whittier. 
Daniel E. Reed. 
Luther F. Favour. 
Geo. W. Gale. 
Adna P. Hall. 
James N. Smith. 
Thomas R. Gassett. 
Hollis Holden. 
Chas. A. Trask. 
Chas. H. Wellington. 

Fredericksburg, Dec. /J, jS6z. 

Geo. E. Bigelow. 
Chas. Armstrong. 
Chas. J. Taylor. 
Edmond H. Kendall. 

Fitzhugh Crossing, April 30, i86j. 

George Bush. 
William Cordwell. 

Chancellor sville. May 4, 1863. 
Samuel S. Carlton. 

Gettysburg, yuly 1—4, 1863, 

John F. Welden. 
Edwin Field. 
Chas. E. Leland. 
Roland B. Morris. 
John S. Fiske. 
James H. Stetson. 
Geo. S. Wise. 
Edgar A. Fiske. 
Edward Church. 
Geo. A. Atkinson. 
Herschel A. Sanborn. 
John M. Brock. 
Prince A. Dunton. 
Wm. H. Gage. 
Sylvester A. Hayes. 
John M. Russell. 
Chas. W. Andrews. 
Chas. Stone. 
WiUard Wheeler. 
Horatio A. Cutting. 
John Flye. 
Frank A. Gould. 
Michael O'Laughlin. 
Geo. E. Sprague. 

Wilderness, May j, 1864. 

Jos. H. Stuart. 
Edward A. Vorra. 
Gilbert H. Greenwood. 
Theodore H. Goodnough. 



Spottsylvania, May 8, 1S64. 

Selah B. Alden. 
William Sanders. 
John Schnell. 
Chas. A. Williams. 
RoUa Nicholas. 
Thomas E. Bancroft 
Charles E. Colburn. 
Chas. W. Whitcomb. 
Charles W. Mosher. 
John P. Peebles. 
Wm. P. Farqueson. 
Chas. F. Rice. 

Bethesda Church, June 2, 1S64. 
Walter Humphreys. 

Cold Harbor, June j, 1864. 
Daniel A. Levering. 
Myrick T. Wentworth. 

Petersburg, July, 1864. 

Edmund P. Hayes. 
Thomas Casey. 
William F. Brigham. 
Joseph W. Mann. 
Anton Otto. 


Pritchard's Mills, Sept. i, 1861 . 
Thoroughfare Gap, Aug. 28, 1862 
Manassas, Aug. 30, 1862 . 
Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862 . 
Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862* 
Fitzhugh Crossing, April 30, 1863 
Chancellorsville, May 4, 1863 
Gettysburg, July 1-4, 1863 
Wilderness, May 5, 1864 . 
Spottsylvania, May 8, 1864 
Bethesda Church, June 2, 1864 
Cold Harbor, June -3, 1864 
Petersburg, July, 1864 










THE following roster was transcribed from the books of the regi- 
ment, and each name carefully compared with the list on file 
at the Adjutant-General's office. As the company books were away 
from the regiment on several of the longer campaigns, it was difficult 
to keep an accurate account of the whereabouts of the men who were 
absent, as we all know. If any injustice has been done any man by 
this publication, it is due to his own neglect in not seeing that his 
service was correctly recorded at the State House, where clerks have 
been employed for more than thirty years in readiness to correct any 
and all mistakes that may have occurred. 

For the information of those whose names are published as de- 
serters, I have to say that they are so entered on the books of the 
regiment and the files at the State House. I am informed by the 
War Department that the State has been notified of each case 
where the charge of desertion has been removed. I am obliged, 
therefore, to take the record as I find it. 

C. E. Davis, Jr. 

AbbreviaiioHS used in Roster. — V.R.C., Veteran Reserve Corps; Col., Colored; H.A., 
Heavy Artillery. 

Charlf5 F. Adams; age, 20; born, Dorchester, Mass.; clerk; mustered in 
as priv., Co. A, Aug. 7, '62; mustered out, Aug. 7, '64; wounded at Get- 
tysburg, July I, '63, and transferred to V. R. C; residence, Boston, Mass. 

Henry P. Adams; age, 23; born. New Boston, N.H.; clerk; mustered in 
as priv., Co. H, July 16, '61; mustered out, Feb. 11, '63. 

William D. Adams; age, 21; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as Corp., 
Co. C, July 16, '61; mustered out, March, '63; promoted to sergt., Nov. i, 
'62; commissioned as 1st lieut. in the 79th U.S. colored troops, March, '63; 
residence, Orange, N.J. 

GODLOVE AeCHTLER; age, 18; born, Germany; burnisher; mustered in as 
Corp., Co. E, July 16, '61; deserted, July 4, '62. 


Daniel C. Aiken; age, 20; born, Derry, N.H.; shoemaker; mustered in 

as priv., Co. G, July i6, '61; mustered out, Nov. 21, '62; wounded, Aug. 

30, '62. 
Eugene A. AlbeE; age, 24; born, Marlboro', Mass.; farmer; mustered in as 

Corp., Co. I, July 16, '61; promoted to 2d lieut., 40th Mass. Inf., Aug. 23, 

'62; promoted to capt., 40th Mass. Inf., June 25, '63; mustered out, April 

20, '64; died Oct., '93. 
John AlCOCK; age, 22; born, England; seaman; mustered in as priv., Co. 

B, July 28, '63; deserted, Aug. 20, '63. 
SeLAH B. Alden ; age, 28; born, Lynn, N.H.; cordwainer; mustered in 

as priv., Co. D, July 22, '61; died of wounds received. May 25, '64; pro- 
moted to Corp., April 26, '64. 
Augustus Allen; age, 25; born, Franklin, Mass.; machinist; mustered in 

as Corp., Co. K, July 16, '61; mustered out, Sept. 5, '62; residence, Orange, 

Charles H. Allen; age, 29; born, Kennebec, Me.; teacher; mustered in 

as priv., Co. C, Aug. 2, '6i; mustered out, Feb. 6, '63; wounded, Sept. 17, 

Edward F. Allen; age, 28; born, Lancaster, N.H.; trader; mustered in 

as priv., Co. A, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. 1, '64; residence. Brook- 
line, Mass. 
Fred W. Allen; age, 21; bom, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., Co. 

B, July 16, '61; deserted, Aug. 30, '62. 
John Allen; age, 28; born, Canada; farmer; mustered in as priv., Co. A, 

July 27, '63; died Oct. 15, '63. 
William A. Alley; age, 19; bom, Danvers, Mass.; shoemaker; mustered 

in as priv., Co. I, July 16, '61; mustered out, Oct. 12, '63; sergt., Nov. 

I, '62; sergt. -major, April I, '63; 2d lieut., June 30, '63; wounded at 

Gettysburg, July i, '63; residence, Brockton, Mass. 
William B. Allyn; age, 20; born, Belfast, Me.; clerk; mustered in as 

priv., Co. A, July 16, '61; deserted, April 26, '62. 
Walter T. Amos; age, 18; born. New York City; druggist; mustered in 

as priv., Co. E, July 24, '61; mustered out, Dec. 23, '62. 
John ArNOTT ; age, 22; bom, Bathgate, Scotland; clerk; mustered in as priv., 

Co. C, July 16, '61; died Oct. 18, '62; wounded and taken prisoner. 
Archibald Anderson; age, 25; bom, Scotland; seaman; mustered in as 

priv., Co. E, July 27, '63; transferred to navy, April 22, '64. 
George R. Anderson ; age, 18; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 

Co. D, July 24, '61; deserted, Sept. 13, '62. 
William J. Anderson; age, 20; bom, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 

Co. D, Aug. 22, '62; deserted, Sept. 13, '62. 
Charles W. Andrews; age, 19; born, Claremont, N.H.; carpenter; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. I, July 28, '62; killed, July i, '63. 
Thomas L. AppLETON; age, 19; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 

Co. C, July 16, '61; mustered out as capt., Aug. 21, '65; commissioned 

in 54th Mass. Vols., Feb. 19, '63; residence, Chelsea. 
Edward Archibald; age, 23; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 

Co. C, Aug. 6, '62; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, Montreal, P.Q. 


Charles Armstrong; age, 22; bom, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. D, Aug. 6, '62; killed, Dec. 13, '62. 

Geo. D. Armstrong; age, 20; bom, St. Stephens, N.B.; clerk; mustered 
in as Corp., Co. C, July 16, '61; mustered out, Dec. 17, '62; wounded 
at Manassas, Aug. 30, '62; residence, Lewiston, Me. 

Robert M. Armstrong; age, 21; born, Albany, N.Y.; clerk; mustered in 
as Corp., Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out as 1st lieut., Aug. I, '64; pro- 
moted to 1st lieut., April 16, '64; residence, San Francisco, Cal. 

Samuel B. Arnold; age 23; born, Roxbury, Me.; clerk; mustered in as 
priv., Co. E, July 16, '61; mustered out as Corp., Aug. I, '64. 

George M. Ash; age, 21; born, Bangor, Me.; auctioneer; mustered in as 
priv., Co. A, July 29, '61; mustered out, Dec. 30, '62. 

Edwin H. Atkins; age, 18; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. I, July 22, '62; mustered out, Aug. I, '64; residence, Gardner, Me. 

George A. Atkinson; age, 25; born, Amherst, N.S.; shoemaker; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; killed, July i, '63. 

Algernon S. Auld; age, 21; bom, Boothbay, Me.; clerk; mustered in as 
priv., Co. C, Aug. 7, '62; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, 236 Prince- 
ton street. East Boston. 

Orlow Austin; age, 20; bom, Salem, N.H.; bleacher; mustered in as priv., 
Co. E, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. I, '64; wounded at Petersburg, 
June ig, '64; detailed for duly as guard at General Newton's head- 

J. H. Ayer ; age, 18; born, Boston; shoemaker; mustered in as priv., Co. 
G, July, 16, '61; mustered out, Nov. i, '62. 

Michael G. AyerS ; age, 20; born, Boston; painter; mustered in as priv., 
Co. B, July 31, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, Philadephia. 

AlONZO p. Bacon; age, 21; born, Winchester, Mass.; clerk; mustered in 
as priv., Co. D, July 16, '61; mustered out, March 9, '63, for promotion ; 
detailed as clerk at headquarters, June, '62; appointed capt., Ulman's brigade 
Colored Troops, March 9, '63; resigned, July, '63; residence, San Fran- 
cisco, Cal. 

Henry Bacon; age, 21; born, Haverhill, Mass.; artist; mustered in as 
Corp., Co. D, July 16, '61; mustered out, Dec. 19, '62, on account of 
wounds received at second Bull Run; was special artist with French Army 
in the Franco-Prussian war; residence, Paris, France. 

James Bacon; age, 21; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., Co. E, 
July 27, '61; mustered out, Nov. 15, '62; address, B. & A. R.R., Boston. 

JoSIAH S. Bacon; age, 26; born, Natick, Mass.; shoemaker; mustered in 
as sergt., Co. H, July 19, '61; mustered out as 1st sergeant, Jan. 8, '63; 
wounded, Aug. 30, '62, at Manassas; residence, Natick, Mass. 

William B. Bacon; age, 19; mustered in as ist lieut., July 16, '61; re- 
signed, July 25, '62, to accept appointment as capt. in 34th Mass. Vols. 

Charles Badger; age, 27; bom, Natick, Mass.; farmer; mustered in as 
priv., Co. F, March 24, '62; mustered out, Aug. 17, '63. 

William A. Bail; age, 19; bom, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., Co. 
B, Aug. 8, '62; died, Jan. u, '63. 

George H. Bailey; age, 19; born. Sterling, Mass.; shoemaker; mustered 
in as priv., Co. F., July, 16, '61 ; mustered out, April 22, '63. 


AlPHONSO Baker; age, 23; born, Portsmouth, N.H.; bookbinder; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. D, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; resi- 
dence, Boston. 

Frank O. Baker; age, 20; born, Lancaster, N.H.; clerk; mustered in as 
sergt., Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out, Dec. 22, '62. 

JOHN Baker; age, 21; bom, Germany; baker; mustered in as priv., Co. E, 
July 16, '6x; mustered out, Jan. 23, '63. 

William Baker; age, 34; bom, Marlboro', Mass.; shoemaker; mustered 
in as Corp., Co. I, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; wounded 
Aug. 30, '62; residence, Marlboro', Mass. 

William H. Baker; age, 20; born, Weymouth, Mass.; student; mustered 
in as priv., Co. H, Aug. 5, '62; killed, Aug. 30, '62. 

Henry C. Balch; age, 18; bom, Frescott, Me.; clerk; mustered in as 
Corp., Co. E, July 16, '5i; mustered out, Oct. 23, '63. 

Charles Baldwin; age, 44; bom, Westmoreland, N.H.; stonecutter; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. K, July 16, '61; mustered out. May 21, '62; ap- 
pointed fifer, Co. K, Feb., '62; died, Feb. II, '79. 

Peter BamboUR; age, 18; bom, Boston; moulder; mustered in as priv., 
Co. E, July 16, '61; deserted, July 4, '62. 

Marcus M. Bancroft; age, 19; born, Wilmington, Mass. ; farmer; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. G, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. 1, '64. 

Thomas E. Bancroft; age, 22; bom, Reading, Mass.; farmer; mustered 
in as priv., Co. G, Aug. 12, '62; missing after May 8, '64; supposed to 
have been killed. 

Cyrus E. Barker; age, 23; born, Acton, Mass. ; powder-maker; mustered 
in as priv., Co. H, July 19, '61; mustered out, Jan. 30, '63. 

Thomas Barkley; age, 21; born. New Brunswick; plumber; mustered in 
as priv., Co. C, July 24, '63; deserted, Aug. 16, '63. 

Edward Barnard; age, 23; born, Boston; shoemaker; mustered in as 
priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; mustered out, Feb. 6, '63. 

William Barnes; age, 38; born, Marlboro', Mass.; hotel-keeper; mustered 
in as sergt., Co. I, July 16, '61; mustered out as orderly sergt., April 23, 
'63; wounded, Aug. 30, '62, at Manassas; promoted to ist sergt., Oct. 6, 
'61; residence, Marlboro', Mass. ' 

William B. Barnes; age, 24; bom, Marlboro', Mass.; shoemaker; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; resi- 
dence, Marlboro', Mass. 

William D. Barron; age, 22; bom, Wrentham, Mass.; bleacher; mustered 
in as priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; mustered out, Nov. 25, '62. 

Thomas Barry; age, 19; born, Nova Scotia; painter; mustered in as priv., 
Co. E, July 24, '61 ; mustered out, June 26, '62. 

William F. Barry ; age, 18; bom, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. A, Aug. 4, '62; killed, Sept. 17, '62. 

Sidney BarSTOW; age, 19; born, Hanover, Mass.; clerk; mustered in as 
priv., Co. K, July 16, '61; mustered out, March 27, '63; residence, Lynn, 

Darwin F. BarTLETT; age, 27; bom, Boston; whitener and colorer; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. D, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, 
Boston, Mass. 


Alexander BaSSETT; age, i8; born, Bassilboro', Me.; wood-turner; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. E, July 20, '61; deserted, July 25, '62. 

Daniel K. BaTCHELDER; age, 46; bom, Landgrove, Vt.; gilder; mustered 
in as priv., Co. D, July 16, '5l; mustered out, Jan. 20, '63; detached on 
recruiting service in Boston; died, May 26, '91, at Reading, Mass. 

N. Walter BaTCHELDER ; mustered in as lieut. -col., July 16, '61; resigned 
as lieut. -col., April 15, '64; deceased. 

George E. Bates; age, 19; born, Weymouth, Mass.; clerk; mustered in 
as priv., Co. G, Aug. 18, '62; transferred to 39th Mass.; reenlisted in 13th, 
Jan. 4, '62. 

Henry Bates; age, 21; bom, Milford, Mass.; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out as corp., Aug. i, '64; residence, Mil- 
ford, Mass. 

John F. Bates; age, 26; born, Weymouth, Mass.; shoecutter; mustered 
in as priv., Co. K, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; taken prisoner 
Dec. 13, '62; again at Gettysburg; residence, Weymouth, Mass. 

Henry S. Battles; age, 24; born, Sudbury, Mass.; farmer; mustered in 
as priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; deserted, Sept. 14, '62. 

Francis J. Baxter ; age, 30; born, Boston; finisher; mustered in as priv., 
Co. B, July 16,' 61; mustered out, Dec. 9, '62; died, '92. 

SaVILLIAN E. Bazin ; age, 24; lx)rn, Dover, N.H.; paper-hanger; mustered 
in as priv., Co. D, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, 

JOSIAH H. BeaLES ; age, 29; born, Liverpool, Eng. ; shoemaker; mustered 
in as priv., Co. K, July 16, '61; mustered out, Nov. 7, '62; wounded at 
Rappahannock Station, Aug., '62. 

John E. Bean; age, 18; born. Freedom, Me.; carpenter; mustered in as 
priv., Co. E, July 16, '61; mustered out, Dec. 22, '62. 

Samuel A. Bean; age, 27; bom, Mt. Vemon, Me.; shoemaker; mustered 
in as Corp., Co. H, July 19, '61; mustered out as sergt., for promotion, July 
I, '63. 

W. A. S. Bean, Jr. ; age, 24; born, Portland, Me.; confectioner; mustered 
in as priv., Co. E, July 20, '61 ; mustered out, Dec. 23, '62. 

Walter P. Beaumont; age, 20; bom. Dexter, Me.; clerk; mustered in 
as Corp., Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out as sergt., April 24, '63; ap- 
pointed 1st lieut., 8lh Unattached Co. H. A., Aug. 11, '63; capt., Co. G, 
3d Regt. H. A., Jan. 17, '65; wounded, Aug. 30, '62, at Manassas; also 
wounded at Battle of Washington; deceased. 

James BeGLEY; age, 25; born, England; sailor; mustered in as priv., Co. 
D, July 29, '63; mustered out, April 22, '64; transferred to the navy. 

Clarence H. Bell; age, 18; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. D, July 28, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; detailed for duty at divi- 
sion headquarters, Jan. 28, '63; residence, Boston, Mass. 

Louis BeLOND; age, 25; bom, Belgium; shoemaker; mustered in as priv., 
Co. D, July 28, '63; deserted, Aug. 17, '63. 

James H. BelSER ; age, 29; bom, Inverness, Can. ; carpenter; mustered in 
as Corp., Co. F, July 16, '61; mustered out for promotion, March 7, '63; 
promoted to 2d lieut. 9th Regt. Colored Troops, March 7, '63; residence, 
Marlboro', Mass. 


■ John BelSER; age 22; bom, Bakersfield, Vt.; teamster; mustered in as 
priv., Co. F, July 27, '61; mustered out, Oct. 10, '62, for promotion in 
another regiment. 

John P. Bemis; age 20; bom, Lincoln, Mass. ; clerk; mustered in as priv. , 
Co. B, July 24, '61; deserted, Sept. 24, '61. 

Charles S. Bennett; age, 30; bom, Stowe, Mass.; shoemaker; mustered 
in as priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; mustered out, July 25, '62. 

ElIAS H. Bennett; age, 20; bom, Brighton, Mass.; clerk; mustered in as 
priv., Co. C, July 16, '61; killed, Aug. 30, '62. 

John A. Bennett; age, 21; bom, N. Rochester, Mass.; salesman; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out, March 20, '63. 

EbENEZER Benson; age, 24; bom, Ireland; laborer; mustered in as priv., 
Co. C, July 25, '63; deserted, Aug. 16, '63. 

Herbert Bent; age, 21; bom, Suffolk, Mass. ; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, Boston. 

George O. Berry; age, 22; born, Tamworth, N.H.; currier; mustered in 
as priv., Co. G, July 16, '61; killed, Sept. 17, '62. 

John F. Berry; age, 21; bom, Tamworth, N.H.; shoemaker; mustered 
in as priv., Co. G, July 16, '61; mustered out, Feb. 27, '63; residence, 
Stoneham, Mass. 

Nathaniel F. Berry; age, 28; bom, Gosport, N.H.; carpenter; mustered 
in as priv., Co. H, Aug. 7, '62; mustered out, Aug. I, '64; wounded, July 
I, '63. 

Samuel Berry, Jr.; age, 24; born, Bangor, Me.; shoemaker; mustered in 
as priv., Co. G, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. 1, '64. 

Thomas Berry; age, 22; born, Boston; printer; mustered in as priv., Co. 
B, July 16, '61; deserted, Aug. 27, '62. 

Charles BeRTSCH; age, 21; born, Germany; painter; mustered in as corp., 
Co. E, July 16, '61; transferred to Co. C, 22d V.R.C., March 3, '64; resi- 
dence, Paul Gore street, Jamaica Plain, Mass. 

SetH BeSSEY; age, 36; born. Bethel, Me.; butcher; mustered in as priv., 
Co. G, July 16, '61; mustered out, Oct. 3, '62; residence, Reading, Mass. 

John Best; age, 25; born, Boston; shoemaker; mustered in as priv., Co. G, 
July 16, '61; mustered out as Corp., Aug. 1, '64; promoted to Corp., May 
I, '63; wounded at Manassas, Aug. 30, '62; at Gettysburg July i, '63, and 
at the Wilderness, May, '64; residence, Stoneham, Mass. 

Abraham BiGELOW; age, 21; born, Natick, Mass.; shoemaker; mustered in 
as priv., Co. H, July 16, '61; mustered out as sergt., Aug. 1, '64; resi- 
dence, Wellesley, Mass. 

Chester A. BigeLOW; age, 18; bom, Sherburne, Mass.; musician; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. H, Feb. 24, '62; transferred to 39th Mass., July 13, 
'64; taken prisoner at Gettysburg; mustered out, Feb. 24, '65; residence, 
Wellesley, Mass. 

Charles C. BiGELOW; age, 20; bom, Phillipston, Mass. ; farmer; mustered 
in as priv., Co. B, July 20, '61; detached on division supply train, Dec. 2, 
'62; deserted, July 20, '63; arrested and returned to duty on supply train. 
June I, '64; desertion removed, Aug. I, '64. 

Daniel R. BiGELOW; age, 25; bom, Hanover, N.H.; mason; mustered in 
as priv., Co. F, July 16, '61; mustered out, Jan. 2, '63. 


Frank W. BigeLOW; age, 28; bom, Weston, Mass.; attorney-at-law; mus- 
tered in as sergt., Co. G, July 16, '61; mustered out for promotion, Jan. 29, 
'63, as capt. in the 4th N.Y. Cavalry; residence, Weston, Mass. 

George E. BiGELOW; age, 22; born, Boston; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. C, Aug. 5, '62; died of wounds, Dec. 19, '62. 

LoriNG BiGELOW ; age, 22; born, Quiney, Mass. ; clerk; mustered in as cor- 
poral, Co. B, July 16, '61; died of wounds, Oct. 18, '62. 

Charles H. Bingham; age, 23; born, Belfast, Me.; clerk; mustered in as 
priv., Co.C, Aug. 6, '62; mustered out, Oct. I, '62; wounded at Antietam, 
Sept. 17, '62; detailed, Dec, '62, at medical director's office, Washington, 
subsequently at adjt.-gen.'s office, Washington; residence, Boston. 

JabeZ a. Blackmer J age, 18; born, Mansfield, Conn.; shoemaker; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. K, July 16, '61; mustered out as capt., Nov. iS, '63. 

William P. Blackmer; age, 31; clergyman; mustered in as capt., Co. K, 
July 16, '61; resigned, Nov. 5, '61. 

Edward Blake j age, 33; born. West Brookfield, Mass. ; butcher; mustered 
in as priv., Co. H, July 16, '6:; mustered out, Aug. i, '64. 

George A. Blake; age, 27; born, Dover, Mass.; painter; mustered in as 
priv., Co. H, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; residence, Wellesley, 

Jeremiah P. Blake; age, 28; bom, Wakefield, N.H.; whitener; mustered 
in as priv., Co. E, July 20, '61; mustered out as sergt., Aug. 1, '64; 
wounded twice; promoted to sergt., March i, '63; residence, 10 North 
ave., Boston. 

Brainard p. BlaNCHARD; age, 18; bom, Baltimore, Md.; clerk; mustered 
in as priv., Co. B, Aug. 13, '62; mustered out as 1st lieut., Aug. 7, '67; 
commissioned as 1st lieut. U.S. Col. Inf., July 21, '64; wounded at Spott- 
sylvania C.-H., May 11, '64; brev.-capt. U.S. Vols., March 13, '65. 

John E. BlaNCHARD; age, 22; born, Holderness, N.H.; shoemaker; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. G, July 16, '61; mustered out, Dec. 13, '62. 

Warren A. BlaNCHARD ; age, 23; born, Hallowell, Me.; clerk; mustered 
in as priv., Co. C, July 16, '61; killed, Aug. 30, '62. 

William F. BlanCHARD; age, 23; born, Boston; tailor; mustered in as 
priv., Co. B, July 16, '61; transferred to 39th Mass., July, '64; appointed 
2d lieut. 27th U.S. Colored Troops, Aug. 31, '64; ist lieut., April 6, '65; 
brev.-capt., March 13, '65; wounded, Nov. 28, '61, Aug. 30, '62, Dec. 13, 
'62, Oct. 27, '64; taken prisoner, July i, '63; recaptured, May 8, '64. 

John J. BleULER; age, 28; born, Switzerland; clerk; mustered in as priv., 
Co. E, July 28, '63; transferred to 39th Mass., July 14, '63; wounded. 

Reuben BlODGETT; age, 36; born, Tolland, Conn.; soap manufacterer; mus- 
tered in as priv., Co. C, July 29, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64. 

Edwin A. Blonde ; age, 27; born, Boston; painter; mustered in as priv., 
Co. D, July 16, '61; mustered out as corp., Aug. 1, '64; died at Boston, 
July 28, '91. 

Charles BluCHER; substitute; age, 20; born, Prussia; machinist; mustered 
in as priv., Co. K, Aug. 3, '63; deserted, Sept. 19, '63. 

Edward E. Bond; age, 17; born, Marlboro', Mass.; farmer; musteredin 
as priv., Co. I, July 17, '61; killed, Aug. 30, '62. 


Nathaniel BoSWORTH; age, 29; bom, Boston; machinist; mustered in as 
priv., Co. C, July 16, '61; mustered out, Aug. i, '64; served at brigade 
headquarters the last two years of the service; residence, Boston. 
John A. Bowdwin; age, 21; bom, Boston; printer; mustered in as priv., 

Co. A, July 20, '61; mustered out as sergt., Aug. i, '64. 
George H. Bowen; age, 25; born, Hopkinton, Mass.; clerk; mustered 

in as priv., Co. B, July 16, '61; mustered out, Jan. 23, '63. 
Theodore P. Bowker, Jr.; age, 20; bom, Boston; clerk; mustered in as 

priv., Co. A, July 16, '61; died of wounds, Nov. 12, '62. 
Ira Bowman; age, 32; born, Littleton, N.H.; silversmith; mustered in as 

priv., Co. D, Aug. 22, '62; died of wounds, Oct. 6, '62. 
George B. BoyCE; age, 36; bom, Londonderry, N.H.; cabinetmaker