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OUB CAMFAIGK8 ; or, The Marches, BiFOuacs, Battles, Incidents of Camp 
Life, and History of our Regiment during its three years term of serrioe. 
By E. M. Woodward, Ac^utant Second Pennsylvania Reserves. 12mo., 
cloth. Price $2.00. 

the celebrated Union Spy and Scout By F. L. Sarmibrto. With Por- 
trait and Illustrations. ]2mo., paper. Price $1.50; cloth, $2.00. 

OUR BOYS. The Personal Experiences of a Soldier in the Army of the Po. 
tomac. By A. F. Hill, of the Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves. With char- 
acteristic Frontispiece. 12mo., paper, $1.50; cloth, $2.00. 

Officer. With Illustrations in Colors. 12mo., paper. Price $1.50 ; cloth, $2.00. 

Warrbn Wildwood, Esq. Illastrated by 200 engravings. 12mo., paper. 
Price $1.50; cloth, $2.00. 

LIFE OF DAKIEL BOONE, the Great Western Hunter and Pioneer. By 
Cecil B. Hartlbt. 12mo., illustrated, cloth. Price $2.00. 

LIFE OF DAVID CROCKETT, the Original Humorist and Irrepressible 
Backwoodsman. 12mo., illustrated, cloth. Price $2.00. 

LIFE OF KIT CARSOK, the Great Western Hunter and Guide. By Chablis 
Bdrdbtt. 12mo., Ulustrated, cloth. Price $2.00. 

THE BEAUxuruii SFT. An Exciting Story of Army and High Life in 
New York in 1776. • By Charlbs Burdbtt. 12mo., paper. Price $1.50 ; 
cloth, $2.00. 

Dominie of the Cotskills. A Tale of the Revolution. By Rev. David 
MdrdocH|I).D. 12mo., paper. Price $1.50; cloth, $2.00. 

THE HErP^IRL^ and How she Been me a Captain in the Army. A Tale 
of the Revolution. By Thracb Talmar. Illustrated. l2mo., paper. 
Price $1,50 ; cloth, $2.00. 

THE SOLDIER AED THE SORCERESS; or. The Adventures of Jane Seton. 
12mo., paper. Price $1.50 ; cloth, $2.00. 

Travelers who met at aiflnn. By Josiah Barnbs. 12mo., cloth. Price 

THE ORPHAN BOT; or, Lights and Shadows of Northern Life. By 
Jkrbmt Loud. 12mo., paper. Price $1.50 ; cloth, $2.00. 

THE ORPHAN GIRLS. A Tale of Southern Life. By James S. Peacockb, 
M.D. 12mo., paper. Price $1.50; cloth, $2.00. 

^^* Either or all of these Books will be sent free to any address, on re- 
ceipt of price. Agents wanted for their sale, with whom liberal terms will be 
made. Address 

JOHN E. POTTER, Publisher, 

No. 617 Sansom Street, FhiladelphiOL, 1!^« 

V i^ \''.) Y S, 

^: r^'liSuNAL rXi'KiULVrKS -F ^ bOiln;;:; 

yrjiMY OF TIJK ]/OTOMA<;. 

c/riiAtot' [!^u^cL. 

Ehtsbbd according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 

A. P. HILL, 

In the Office of the Clerk of the District Court of the United States in and 
for the Eastern District of the State of Pennsylvania. 


XJndsb the title of " Our Boys," no one will expect to find 
a work of unvarying sublimity, nor even one given exclu- 
sively to historical matters ; but rather that which will, for 
a time, divert the ever-busy mind &om things more grave, 
and lead the imagination to revel in varied scenes of wild 
adventure and careless glee. 

I have endeavored to relate each incident just as it occurred, 
and to portray each scene as it presented itself to me in its 
originality. I do not pretend to justify all the acts of the 
chaiacters, but simply lay the facts before Hie reader, for 

While in descriptions of "scenes as they occurred," the 
language, now and then, is necessarily uncouth, not a word 
touching on ribaldry can be found in the work, so that the 
most refined may not hesitate to peruse it. Although the 
reader may occasionally find the views I express at variance 
with his own, there is nothing in the work likely to prove 
repugnant to any mind that is unbiased by political feeling. 

I beg that the reader will not too severely criticize the 
general construction of the work, as it is purposely written 
m a careless, off-hand style — a style best adapted to the 


subject. It has been my object to describe such scenes as 
will most readily convey an idea of what a soldieb^s lifb 
is ; and I may say, with no impropriety, that, having partici- 
pated in various campaigns, and having finally lost a limb 
in one of the most desperate battles of the war, I am fully 
qualified, by sad experience, to portray the " life of a soldier" 
in every feature. I may have been somewhat brie^ but 
hope I have dwelt sufficiently upon each point to interest or 
amuse ; and if this recital succeed in calling forth a smile 
now and then— a tear perhaps — ^I shall fed that my labors 
are amply rewarded. 

A. F. Hill. 

PBiL^DBLPmA, Jane, 1864. 




Camp Wright • 13 

Camp WiLKiirs 32 

Baltixors • • • • • • ' • .45 

Was*unoton • • • • • • .53 


TXHNALLTTOWN • • • . • • .66 

\ Fighting Day ••••••• 85 

Thb Great Falls ....••• 94 

Lr Camp Aoaik * J| • • .106 





WildSosnks 117 


YlRGINIA • • • • • • . ,135 

Camp Pierpont ••••••• 140 


WiNTEB QUABTBBS ••••••• 155 

Thb Battlb OF Dbainesyillb • . • • • 169 

DATBWlin>BB • • • . • • .176 

MouittVebnon •••..•• 191 

Thb Adtakob • • . . . • ^ • 200 

Waitino . . . . . . ;X • 210 

MAHA8SA8 • • . . . • i • £1 « 224 


Falmouth . . . . , •I.^f • :T3* 233 



GOHTSABAHDS ••••••• 242 

A Night Adybnturb •••••• 251 

''AwAT DOWN South IN Dixne" . . . . , 263 


MlCHANIOSVILLB ••••••• 274 

ThsBattli 281 

Gaihbs'Hill • • • • • • .292 

ThhStbugolb • . • • • .902 

Ghanoh OF BA8B ••••••. 310 

Glbhdalb •••..••• 315 

Malybbk Hill ....... 325 

Harrtson's Landing ..••.. 331 




A Midnight SoENB . . • • • .336 

Man Overboard ••••••• 353 

Falmouth Again ••••••• 360 

BvLL Run . • . • . • • .366 

A CuAEOi • • . • . ' • • .380 

Maryland • • • • • • . • 387 

South Mountain ••••••• 394 


* Antibtak • . • • . . • . 398 


W0UNt>BD . • • . • • . • 405 

Conclusion • L • • • • • • S * ^^'^ 




The sun was just sinking behind the wild old hills west 
of Brownsville, when a glad cheer rang out on the mild 
evening air ; it came from the throats of a company of vol- 
UKTEERS — ^they stood in line in one of the principal streets 
of the town. 

Our company had been organized as soon as the first call 
for troops to crush the rebellion was made ; and for weeks 
we had been anxiously awaiting orders to go into camp. 
It was now June, and the welcome order had just come. 
Early next morning we embarked for Pittsburg, at which 
place we arrived after a journey of sixty miles, down the 
beautiful Monongahela. We were ordered to Camp Wright, 
which was about twelve miles from the city, on the left bank 
of the Allegheny. On our arrival thither, we found barracks 
constructed of pine boards, and we unhesitatingly took pos- 
session of one of the buildings, and moved ih. Not long 
after, a board might have been seen swinging above, on 
which was inscribed in huge letters — 


such was our name. 

We were, indeed, delighted to know that we were at last 
SOLDIERS — that we were actually in camp. Although we 
had responded to our country's call immediately after the 
fall of Fort Sumter, so many volunteers had flocked to 
Pittsburg, and offered their services, that it was impossible 



to accept tbem all on the first call; the consequence wai^ 
that our company, with miany others, was compelled to wait. 
Now, at last, our turn had come, and we were called upon to 
go into camp; now our fond hopes were beginning to be 
realized ; we were now to be armed, equipped, and organized, 
after which, we doubted not, we should be ordered to the 
seat of war. I had not resided immediately in the town of 
Brownsville, though in the same county, and it was my 
privilege to know only about one-third of the boys of the 
company. But there was my neighbor, James Eider, of 
whom I shall frequently speak in this narrative, who, being 
less acquainted in the company than myself, seemed naturally 
drawn toward me, and we felt like brothers. Many a hearty 
laugh has he brought from me, by the recital, in his quaint 
manner, of amusing incidents, which from time to time came 
under his notice during our camp life. He was a man in 
good circumstances, and although he might readily have 
obtained a position, he chose to go in the capacity of musi- 
cian — he was our fifer. He and I were constant companions. 
We took walks together ; we went down to the Allegheny, 
rowing, fishing, or bathing, and the hours passed by right 

Eeader, a word as to our first m'ght in camp. When nine 
o'clock came, the " tattoo" was beaten. At ten, came the 
"taps." We were just wondering what it meant, when a 
man who was called the " officer of the day," came round, and 
looking into our quarters, said, in an authoritative tone — 
"Lights out I" 

, Then we understood it — ^no lights were to be burning in 
camp after taps. Our candles were at once extinguished, 
and we retired to our bunks. Well, you don't suppose, 
reader, that we all dropped off quietly to sleep, do you? 
If you do, you are mistaken. No sooner did we find our- 
selves in the dark, than each one discovered that he had 
soma remark to make. 

" Hilloa, Bill, what have you got for a pillow ?" called out 
one, to a comrade. 

" Don't know — guess it's Tom's hat," was the reply. 

"Joel" called out another. 



" How about those pine boards you're lying on ?" 

" Oh, they're not so soft as the bed I slept on last night." 

"I wonder what the old folks would say, if they could see 
us stowed away in this manner?" 

" Don't know ; I guess " 

"Baa!" interrupted one of our boys, imitating the cry of 
a sheep. 

This was all that was required to suggest a new plan of 
amusement. The bawl of a calf .responded ; the barking of 
a dog followed ; the mewing of a cat came from a distant 
comer of the building ; the heigh-haugh of a donkey was 
next in the order of things. Thus it went on — ^the howl of 
a panther, the squeal of a pig, the crow of a chicken, the hiss 
of a serpent, and, in fact, the voice of almost every bird and 
heast was represented, forming, altogether, such a confusion 
of sounds, that it was a relief to place one's hands over one's 
ears. This highly interesting proceeding was most abruptly 
ended by the appearance of the officer of the day, who as 
soon as he could make himself heard, informed us that such 
conduct was " played out," and that he should be obliged to 
arrest the "whole crowd," if it should be continued or 
repeated. This had the effect of producing a death-like still- 
ness, and we soon fell asleep — on harder beds than we had 
ever before occupied. 

I was just dreaming of advancing stealthily upon a rebel 
masked battery, when a loud report burst upon the air, shook 
the barracks, and caused rae to spring up and strike my head 
against the bunk above, with such force that the flash of a 
hundred cannon seemed to be exhibited to my startled senses. 
I opened my eyes, and found all things bathed in the broad 
light of day. The report which had so suddenly interrupted 
my dreams of battle, came from a six-pounder which was 
kept in camp, to be fired every morning at five o'clock. I 
arose, and began to look for my inexpressibles ; when lo I I 
4iscovered that / had them on. For the first time in my life, 
I had slept a night without divesting myself of that article 
of apparel. It occurred to me that it was very convenient 
to arise without dressing, and I thought it would \>e ^\a\\ 

16 . OUR BOYS. 

more convenient if one could get up already washed; and his 
hair combed. My cogitations were interrupted by the voice 
of the first-sergeant. 
"Fall in for roll-call!" 

The reveille was now being played, and when the last tap 
of the drum had sounded, the roll was called. I was sur- 
prised to discover that a new style of roll-call had been 
adopted — new to me at least — for, instead of calling out the 
full name, as, "William Jones," "John Peters," etc., it was 
done in this style: "Jones, Peters, Smith, Eobinson," etc. 
However, I was told it was military, and I liked it, accord- 
After breakfast — ^it consisted of coffee, bread, beef-steak 

and potatoes — ^I was standing witKout the quarters, wonder- 
ing what I should do with myself, when Charley Bailey, a 
fine little fellow of the company, approached me and proposed 
that we should jump on the cars and ride down to Pitts- 
burg.* A train was about to leave the station, and we sprang 
upon a truck car, and were soon flying along the banks of 
the Allegheny, toward Pittsburg. 

" Hilloa, there, you fellows I You can't ride there." 

A small, sour-looking man was approaching us, stepping 
from car to car. He was the conductor. 

Pretending to misconstrue his words, I replied : — fi 

"Oh, yes, we can, I assure you, my kind fellow I GKve 
yourself no uneasiness on our account; we can ride with 
perfect comfort." 

" Then you must pay your fare." 

" What 1 for riding on this dirty car ?" 

" That makes no difference." 

" But we're soldiers — " 

"No matter." 


" I don't care for that ; you must pay your fare." 

" Indeed, we'd rather not." 

" Then you must get off." 

* The Pittsburg and Kittanniug Railroad ran direotlj bj onr camp, an4 
there was a station near. 



* Now, you wouldn't ask a fellow -creature to jump off, and 
the train flying along at this rate, would you ?" 

"I'll stop the train." 

" Don't put yourself to the trouble ; we won't get off!" 

*' Won't you, though ? Just wait a minute ; the train is 
to stop in a short time, and we^ll see if you don't get o£" 

" W e'U also see if we cfo." 

[n a few minutes the train stopped at a small station, about 
six miles from Pittsburg, and the little conductor approached 
us again, and said, emphatically : — 

" Now, look here ; are you going to get ofl^ or not ?" 

" We still think of going all the way," replied Charley. 

"Oh, indeed I— Jim? 

This word, "Jim," was addressed to the engineer, who an- 
swered : — 


"Why," said the conductor, "here's a pair of precious 
Touths, who won't get off nor pay their fare. Come and 
h'ist 'em." 

" That I wiU," he respouded, as though he were delighted 
at the prospect ; and he was on the car in a moment. 

A glance at the plebeian engineer was enough to make one 
think of all the giant-stories he had ever heard. He was a 
powerful fellow, and could have thrown common fellows, 
like us, over his head. We had no sooner observed his 
powerful build, than a couple of youths about our size 
might have been seen scrambling off that car on "the 
double-quick." We were glad to escape the clutches of the 
stout engineer, and a nice little walk of six miles brought 
us back to camp. 

Next day we were to be inspected by ar surgeon, for the 

furpose of ascertaining whether we were fit for the service, 
n order to be thoroughly ex^amined, it was necessary that 
our clothes should be removed, that any defect might not 
remain unobserved. Then, sundry gymnastic mauoeuvres 
had to be executed by each subject in turn, such as jumping 
upon a table, or over a chair ; kicking as high as the sur- 
geon's head, and striking the backs of the hands together 
over the head, etc. 


When my turn came, I trembled lest the examining snr- 
geon should detect the fact that I was affected with "palpi-* 
tation of the heart ;" for I was slightly afflicted with that 
disease. I executed the little manoeuvres^ however, with 
such alacrity, that he observed no physical, defect 

"You are a good, strong, active fellow," he said; "but — ' 

"But what?" I interrupted, with some anxiety. 

" You are rather young," he continued. 

"No! I'm not too young 1" I exclaimed, vehemently. 

" Why ? Are you eighteen ?" 

" Yes, sir, indeed I am 1" 

" All right ; you will pass." 

" Thank you !" And I sprang into my garments. 

One Mr. Craft, a stout country fellow of twenty-one, felt 
some delicacy about allowing himself to be subjected to an 
examination so strict, and swore he wouldn't strip. 

" It must be done, Craft," said the captain. 

" No, be d— d if it shall 1" said Craft, stoutly. - 

" Very well. Sergeant," said the captain, addressing Ser- 
geant Cue, " bring a file of men here, and take this young 
man to the guard-house." 

"Yes, sir.^' 

The guard was coming, when Craft's firmness suddenly 
melted away, and he hustled into the inspection-room and 
doffed his raiment with unquestionable activity. 

After all had been inspected, and several rejected, we 
were drawn up in line to be vaccinated. The surgeon 
passed slowly along the line, performing the operation upon 
the arm of each with some dispatch. He was scratching 
away at the arni of a slim, thin-faced young man, called 
" Watty," when I observed that same thin face grow, first, 
very red, then white as a sheet, and for a few minutes he 
wa& quite sick and faint. One of OUB boys rallied him in 
the following manner: — 

" Watty, if you are so tender as that, you will never stand 
it to have your head lifted off by a shell ; it would be the 
death of you." 

A groan from Watty was the only reply. He certainly 
couldn't see the joke. 


The next thing administered to us wa^ the oath. All the 
hojB took it witfaoat the least hesitation ; thej had offered 
their services to their countrj; and they were in earnest 
There was no ^backing the patch." We were sworn into 
the service of the State of Pennsylvania, with the under- 
standing that we should be subject to a call from the govern- 
ment at any time. 

Reader, permit me to introduce to your notice one of oxm 
BOYS, whose acts shall probably occupy no small place in 
this little narrative. 

After the oath had been administered, I was standing 
without the quarters, hands in pockets, and turning, over in 
my own mind the question, ''What shail I do with myself?" 
when I received a hearty slap upon the shoulder, accompanied 
with: — 

"Hilloa, oldboyr 

I turned, and beheld a young man whose countenance 
struck me as being familiar. He wore a black moustache, 
though not a heavy one, and was blessed with hair and eyes 
of the same shade; he was not unhandsome. A merry 
twinkle was visible in his eye, and a smile — almost a grin — 
adorned his countenance as he stared familiarly into my face. 

'• How do you do, Mr. A — a — ?" 

" Winder ; Dave Winder," he said. 

" Oh, yes ; I remember you now. How do you come on, 

"Never better." 

''You have come for a soldier, then?" 

"Oh, yes." 

" In our company, I presume ?" 

" Yes. How do you think we will put in the time ?" 

" I don't know, Dave, really ; I was just asking myself 
that question." 

** Well, suppose we go strawberrying." 

" Where ?'^ 

" Why, you see, there's a rich old gent living about half a 
mile from here, who owns ten acres of the fruit, and he in* 
vites all soldiers to come apd partake — free." 

" How very patriotic 1" I exclaimed. 


' I would here just 8tate,*that my new companion was jtnost 
appropriately named, Wind-er ; for, so far as blowing is con- 
cerned, his equal is rarely foAnd. And such a fellow to fib ! 
Why, he never would tell the truth, if he could possibly in- 
vent a lie to suit the case. These interesting facts developed 
themselves to me during our subsequent acquaintance. How- 
beit, I consented to accompany him to the garden he epoke so 
eloquently of, especially as it was but " half a mile" distant. 

Camp Wright was occupied by forty-three companies of 
volunteers, of which only one regiment was vet organized. 
One company was each day detailed to perrorm the guard 
duty of the camp. It so happened, that about this time the 
guard had received very particular instructions to allow no 
one to pass out. It was necessary, therefore, that Dave and 
I should resort to a rusey to gain egress from the camp. 
Watching one of the sentinels till his back was turned to- 
ward me, I sprang quickly across the beat he was walking, 
alighting in the middle of the road which lay directly by 
the camp. The sentinel, hearing the noise, turned abruptly 
toward me; but, before he had time to speak, I calmly 
asked: — 

" Will you allow me to pass into the camp, here 7" 

"Oh, you belong owteide, eh? Well, you must go to the 
gate,* if you want to get in." 

While the attention of the guard was engaged with me. 
Winder slipped quietly out of the camp behind him, and, 
coming up to me, innocently asked : — 

" How IS it ? can't we get in here ?" 

" No," I replied ; " the guard tells me that it will be neces- 
sary to pass in by the gate." 

We were now comfortably without the camp, and we 
started for thq residence of that patriotic gentleman who 
was so very liberal with his strawberries. 
• Having travelled about a mile and a half, instead of one- 
third that distance, I asked Winder, who was acting as guide, 
if we were not nearly there. 

. *.The head-qnarUn of the gnard at a partionlar side of the camp ar* 
,:^ed the ''gate.". 


*• it is but a step yet," he answered. 

Another mile — Winder had termed it "a step" — ^brought 
US to a garden which oontaided about an acre, one-fourth 
of which was set apart for the cultivation of strawberries. 
Winder halted. 

** And this is your ten acres?" said I to Dave. 

Dave grinned, gave me a confidential " poke-in-the-ribs>" 
and said*: — 

" There are enough for us, at least ; so let us climb over." 

" Climb over I" I exclaimed. 

''Yes. You don't suppose we can reach them from here, 
do you?" 

"But surely we should see the benevolent proprietor first. 
I cannot consent to enter his garden clandestinely." 

" Oh, it isn't necessary to see him ; it will be all right." 

"But I will not enter the garden in this manner. There 
is the house, only a few steps distant ; let us go and speak 
to the gentleman who resides within." 

I walked around the garden toward the house, and Winder 
reluctantly accompanied me. I opened a small gate, and en- 
tered the lawn. 

Among other interesting traits of character possessed by 
my companion, was that of — well, I will not say timidity, 
but his nerves were none of the stoutest. Said nerves were 
destined ^pon this occasion to 4)6 treated to a delightful 
shock. No sooner had I opened the gate and enter^ the 
green lawn, than a large specimen of the canine race — a great 
black fellow — came bounding toward us, making enough 
noise for any six common dogs. The secret in getting 
along safely and peaceably with' dogs is, in not being afraid 
of them, not to flinch from, or turn out of the way for 
them. Winder, it seems, did not possess this secret, and 
while I walked straight toward the house without seeming * 
to notice the dog, he (Winder) uttered a cry of terror, and 
ran behind me for protection. The dog did not molest me, 
but made a rush for Dave, who executed a number of circles 
of which I was the centre, the dog following close after his 

" Murder I murder I Oh, murder I" shouted Dave, as Ae 


dog at length sacceeded in filling his mouth full of the coat- 

At this moment the gentleman of the house made his ap- 

E^aranoe, and by simply saying, " Get out, Rover," rescued 
ave from what he supposed to be sheer destruction. 

The animal desisted with a look that seemed to say, "All 
right ;" and Dave drew a long breath of relief, while the gen- 
tleman and I laughed immoderately. 

"Are you from the camp, boys?" he asked, after gaining 
his mental equilibrium. I suppose he noticed our gray 

We replied that we were from the camp. Then, after 
conversing awhile with us on the all-absorbing topic of ** the 
war," he observed : — 

" Boys, if you are fond of strawberries, you might walk 
into the garden before you leave. I think there are some 
left on the vines." 

" Thank you." And we walked into the garden, accom- 
panied by the owner. 

" Perhaps our fellows of the camp have had a good share 
of the fruit?" I observed, wishing to discover whether or 
not he was so very generous with his berries^ as 'V^inder 
had asserted. 

" Oh, no I I sold them all in Pittsburg," he replied. 

I glanced significantly at Winder, who, instead of appear- 
ing confused upon being caught in an untruth, put on hia 
most melting grin, as though he looked upon the whole 
afiair as an excellent joke. 

I relate this little incident in order to give the reader an 
index to the character of Winder, as I may have much to 
tell of him in this little historv. Having satisfied our appe- 
tites for .strawberries, we bade the kind gentleman "Good 
. day," and returned to camp. 

On arriving at camp, another peculiar character of our 
company was introduced to my notice. As we entered, 
sounds of mirth were heard to proceed from the vicinity of 
our company's quarters. We at once repaired to the spot, 
and saw, in the midst of a crowd, quite a comical chap, of 
eight-and-twenty, with small, bright, black eyes, black nair, 


and a growth of stunted black whiskers and moustache. His 
appearance was quite clownish : he was amusing the admir- 
ing .spectators by playing as many antics as a monkey, and 
making numerous quaint remarks. But, what was my sur- 
prise when, a few minutes after my arrival, he abruptly 
stopped in the midst of a great flow of loquacity, stood still 
and erect, deliberately doflfed his beaver, and exhibited 
therein a gentle creature, known as a — black snake/ The 
serpent, which was about thirty inches in length and proper^ 
tionably thick, reared its head aloft, and took a mild survey 
of the audience. 

" In the name of all that's abominable, who is that fellow ?" 
I asked, of one of our boys. 

"Why, that's Gaskill, the clown. He is from Cooks- 

" Is he in our company ?" 

" Yes ; he enlisted but a little while ago. He knows a 
good many of our boys ; he got acquainted with them on 
the river." 

" Then he has followed the river ; is a boatman ?" 

" Yes, he has spent^much of his time on the river ; but he 
has travelled much with a circus, as clown." 

" Then he is a real clown ?" 

"Ye^ he— golly I Look I" 

Oaskill at this moment placed his hat upon his head, 
minus the snake, which he retained in his hand, and pro- 
ceeded to disperse the crowd which was collected around 
him, by thrusting the monster right at their faces. Then, 
such tumbling and scrambling as there was to escape being 
touched by the shiny reptile, I never before witnessed. 
Each man tried to jump over any who stood behind him, 
while the would-be-jumped-over made the most violent 
efforts to spring over any who stood in their way. Having 
thus dispersed the crow(i, Gaskill entered the barracks, de- 
posited his " pet " in a small box in his bunk, then came 
tripping out, singing the oddest little song in the world, and 

* A town on the right bank of the Monongahela, a few miles below 


jran smack against the officer of the day, who was just ap- 
proaching to know what the muss was, tripping him, and 
throwing him most unceremoniously over a pile of boards, 
and falling himself at the same time. 

" Why, you abominable scoundrel I" vociferated the officer, 
arising, and brushing the dust from his blue coat. 

Gaskill, with whom the affair was not at all accidental, 
arose, rubbing first his head, then his knee, then his side ; 
and finally, putting on an awful wry face, he groaned oun : — 


" A pity it didn't break your neck," said the officer, ten- 
derly(?) ; for since he supposed Gaskill to be hurt, he felt in 
a much better humor than at first. 

"I'm sorry I. hurt you, captain," said Gaskill. 

" So am I," replied the officer. 

" But Fm not sorry the way you think I am," said Gaskill. 

"How so?" 

*• Because I was going to ask you for a quarter, to get 
something to drink ; but I suppose it would be useless now, 
since I've upset you. Oh, dear 1" 

" Here !" said the officer, tossing him a quarter ; " now be 
careful not to run against me any more." 

Gaskill caught the coin in his mouth, made a low bow, 
turned away, stumbled over a camp-kettle that did not stand 
at all in his way, executed a spring, turned two summersaults 
right by one of the sentinels, found himself out of camp, and 
made off to the nearest shopkeeper to get "something to 

Sijch a character was Gaskill. I hope I have sufficiently 
introduced him to the reader. If I am somewhat tedious, 
pardon me ; for the first two or three chapters must be of a 
rather introductory nature. 

A few days passed away without any incident worthy of ' 
note. For pastime, I took walks into the country, went 
bathing in the Allegheny, and even tried my luck angling : 
the result of the latter was the capture of a grim alligator 
about a foot long. How provoking I I thought I had a 
good, large fish on my hook ; then to see that hideous crea- 
ture pop out of water attached to my hook, was a thing 


mortal patience is Dot constructed to endure ; I gave it up as 
a bad job. I also played checkers; now and then, finding an 
interesting antagonist in Watty, the youth who, as I related, 
so much enjoyed his vaccination(?). 

Meanwhile we hired a company-cook, a darkey, Goens 
Fairfax ; he brought with him, as assistant, a comical, fat, 
Jazy nigger, fifteen years old. The name of this latter indi- 
vidual was Bob Daffy. 

One evening it was announced to us that we were detailed 
for camp-guard for the following day ; our captain to act as 
'* officer of the day." I was delighted at the prospect of 
having an opportunity of trying my hand at " guard duty," 
for the first time. 

Next morning, at eight o'clock, the ceremony of guard- 
mounting was to be performed. Accordingly, at the ap- 
pointed hour we were on hand. I would be sorry to trouble 
the reader with a description of the formal proceeding of 
guard-mount. SuflSce it to say, that our duty was explained 
to us by the officer of the day. We were divided into three 
reliefs, so that each man should be on post two hours, and 
off four, during the ensuing twenty-four hours. 

I chanced to be on the "first relief." Having been placed 
on post ori the north side of the camp, by the corporal of the 
guard, and a musket placed in my hands, I felt as proud ias a 
king, and I remarkea to myself that I certainly was a soldier, 

Just without the camp, near my post, was our drill-ground, ' 
and I was kept in continual merriment by observing the awk- 
ward motions of some of the companies on drill. In fact, 
some of the officers, who acted as drill- masters, were about 
as ignorant in the miiitary line as the men they were endea- 
voring to teach. While I was watching the movements of a 
platoon which was being drilled by a youthful lieutenant, 
an incident occurred which struck me as being particularly 

The platodn had been standing at a rest a few moments, 
when the lieutenant said : — 

" Now, boys, I should like to try you on a bayonet charge. 
Do you think you can do it up brown ?" 


Tl)97 all said they could. The officer then commanded :— 

''Shoulder— arww/" 

They ghouldered arms ; and he continued : — 

" Charge — bayonet P^ 

They made an attempt to bring their muskets to the posi- 
tion of charge-bayonet, the points of their bayonets ranging 
from the height of the knee to the height of the head. The 
officer seemed to think it would do, and he said : — 

" Now for a charge. Forward 1 double-quick I march /" 

The platoon made a rush right forward, placing the lieu- 
tenant, who was standing in front of them, in imminent dan- 
ger qf being run through. In giving the command, it seemed 
he had forgotten th*at he was standing directly in front of his 
men: now they were rushing at him with charged bayonets. 
He had not the presence of mind to command them to halt ; 
so, under the impulse of the moment,, he sprang backward, 
and fell prostrate over a stump, while the men-^they had no 
orders to halt — ^rushed on ; one or two, as a matter of course, 
falling over the prostrate form of the lieutenant. That indi- 
vidual sprang up, and cried out, after his platoon : — 

" Oh — a — a — quit — stop ! that is, a — a, — ^halt !" 

But he was too late. In the excitement of the mock charge, 
the men either heard not, or heeded not : they kef)t straight 
on, and not being very well skilled in the noble art of '' keep- 
ing step," they broke up into a disorderly crowd, and, con- 
cluding that that ought to be an end of the matter, rushed 
right across the beat I was walking, and bolted into their 
quarters. The lieutenant followed presently, looking just the 
sheepishest mortal that I ever saw wearing shoulder-straps. 

Ten o'clock came, and I saw the "second relief" coming; 
not with pleasure, however, for I liked guard-duty so much. 
Ahem ! it was " something new." I was relieved, with in 
structions to report at the gate at two o'clock in the after 
noon. I did so, and two hours more of guard-duty were 
accomplished ; I was relieved at foui*. At eight in the even- 
ing, according to instructions, I again reported at the gate ; 
again the first relief was posted. At ten we were relieved, 
being admonished to report at two in the morning. Now 1 
was a very sound sleeper; how was I to "report at two 7'* 


Most of the boyg lay down upon the ground near the gate, 
that they might be readily aroused at the appointed hour. 
I imitated their example ; but not feeling very well, I ima- 
gined that I could rest with much more comfort in my bunk 
during those four hours. One Daddy Brown, as he was called, 
told me, that "if I wished to go to my quarters to sleep, he 
would come and wake me at two." I thanked him, went to 
my quarters, and was soon slumbering. I placed implicit 
reliance on the word of Mr. Daddy Brown, or I should not 
have trusted him so far. ♦ 

Bang I 

Our six-pounder pealed forth its loud report, warning us 
that it was five o'clock. The echoes rolled along the hills of 
the Allegheny, and died sullenly away in the distance. A 
sweet-toned fife led off with the reveille, and was followed by 
the tenor drum. I opened my eyes, and saw to my horror 
that it was indeed morning. A group of the boys stood 
in the building, and were talking and laughing in a lively 

" You're good for the guard-house, old fellow," remarked 
one, as he perceived that I was awake. 

" That he is," said another. 

"Why didn't you report at the gate at two?" asked a 

** Daddy Brown promised to come and awake me," I re- 
plied ; " but it is evident he has not done it, for this is the 
first time I have been awake since I went asleep." 

" You had better go to the gate and make it all right with 
the sergeant of the guard, and may be he won't put you in 
the guard-house this time," advised one of the boys. 

May be he wouldn't : how very consoling I Perhaps I 
wouldn't get intp the guard-house this time. Oh, dear ! wha 
a rough beginning for a sentinel I MijLst I go into the guard 
house at the very start? Well, I would go and see the ser- 

f»nt of the guard, at all events; I would know the worst, 
felt very curious as I stood in his presence. 
'* Sergeant," said I, making an awkward attempt to touch 
my hat ; I thought it prudent to flatter him a little, by mani- 
festing the most profound respect. 


" Well, say on," he remarked, as I hesitated. 

"Why," I stammered, "I — e — ^I was on the first relief, 
and — and — ^I— one of our fellows promised to come up and 
awake me, but he didn't do it ; so I was not here at two, to 
go on post." 

" What is your name?" he asked. 

I no^ felt sure that the guard-house was my doom. I 
told him my name ; when, to my satisfaction and surprise 
he said : — 

" Well, Ho matter ; there is no harm done. We had enough 
guards to fill all the posts." 

This ought to have been an end of the matter, but it was 
not. Next morning, while at breakfast, Corporal Dee, of 
our company, who was near me, observed : — 

" How ready some fellows are to run to the officers with a 
lot of tales." 

" Why, what ? Who's been—" 

"Nothing; only some one has informed the captain al- 
ready, that you missed two hours of guard-duty night before 

" And who took so much interest in me as to run to the 
captain with that little affair ?" 

"I am not sure; I think it was John Snyder." 

" Do you think he would be so mean ?" 

"I think he is the man ; for I saw him talking to the cap- 
tain, and I heard your name mentioned." 

" Well, I'll try to discover the truth of the matter ; but 
what did the captain say ?" 

"I think he paid very little attention to it: I don't think 
a man gets many thanks from him for reporting a comrade. 
Se is an old soldier, was in the Mexican war, and he knows 
how mean a thing it is for one soldier to tell tales on an- 

"Nevertheless, though the captain pay no attention to the 
affair, it does not lessen the meanness of the principle that 
prompted Snyder to inform." 


"•Well, there is Snyder at the table, and near enough to 
converse with ; I am going to introduce the subject." 


At tilia moment one of the boys helped me, by asking: — 

"Did you eet out of that scrape all right?" 

" Oh, yes ; out there is one thing I would like to know." 


John Snyder started. 

"It is this," I went on : "I would like to know who has 
made himself so busy as to run, open-mouthed, to the cap- 
tain about it." 

" Has some one told the captain ?" 

" Yes ; some busy fellow who, I suppose, hoped to gain 
favor thereby, and probably be made corporal. I think he 
got but few thanks, however, whoever he was." 

Snyder put on a look that said, "I wonder if 'he knows 
it was me?'' but he said nothing. 

" He must have been a mean fellow," I went on. 

John remained^silent. 

" In fact, a fellow void of principle," I continued. 

No reply. 

" Is a scoundrel," I added. 

All were silent ; Snyder looking awful. 

"Would' sell his grandmother," I Mggested. 

John could stand it no longer; he woke out: — 

" Now, look here ; are you throwing out these hints at me?" 

" At vou !" I exclaimed. 

" YSs. Do you mean me ?" 

" Why, what do you mean by taking it to heart ? Was it 
you who told the captain ?" 

" Why, I— he— I— what ?" 

"I ask, was it you who informed? Are you the culprit, 
die talebearer ? in a word, does the shoe $t you ?" 

He was silent, confused ; he had betrayed himself. 

"If you are the man, my worthy friend," I continued, "I 
mean it all for you. Aye, more ; I would go on till to-mor- 
row morning, reading your character." 

" Well, you'd better stop now." 

" Indeed, I have no notion of it. But, did you tell the 
captain ? if so, why ? And don't you feel ashamed of your- 
»efr?" • 

" Because I could," said he ; for he saw that it was now 


useless to try to conceal the fact^ that he had been the offi- 
cious gentleman. 

"Then," said I, "in addition to what I have said, I now 
take great pleasure here, in the presence of our comrade, in 
branding you as a low, cringing, treacherous sneak, unfit to 
be the companion of honest soldiers." 

" You'd better mind how you talk." 

" And you had better, in the future, mind your own affairs 
— you may think yourself lucky, this time, that I don't give 
you a tanning !" 

This was certainly talking rather big— especially when 
we come to consider the fact that John Snyder was what 
would be called, in a moderate way of speaking, twice as 
large as myself. Such provoking talk so enraged him that 
he almost choked with anger, and was unable to articulate 
another word ; I wonder he didn't pitch into me. However, 
he never repeated the offence— nor did any one else — and, 
by and by, we became quite friendly. Poor John I He is 
dead now ! He did his duty nobly when we went into active 
service; but the exposures proved too much for him, and 
the fell destroyer, conaimption, removed him at last from 
the scenes of horror ii?which he mingled while in Virginia. 

All was stir and excitement in camp. The six-pounder 
was loaded and fired, with great rapidity— thirteen times. 
What was up? Why, General McCali was enterin*Camp 
Wright, and was going to review us that afternoon. 

But one regiment was organized, armed and equipped ; it 
was known as the "Erie Eegiment." It was a regiment of 
three-months volunteers, organized at Erie, But it has since 
entered the three-years-or-during-the-war service, as the 
ij^ighty-third, commanded by Colonel John McClane, 

Tl»e remainder of the troops in camp (about thirty compa- 
nies) marched into a large field with the Erie regiment, and 
were reviewed. We had no arms, no uniforms, no accoutre- 
ments of any kind ; and when the general appeared on the 
field, and the command " Present — arms " was given, we re- 
spectfully raised our hands to our hats, thereby presenting 
our own arms. We thought it very nice—that review— very 


We learned that General M'Call was to take command of 
ns when we should enter the field. We liked him from the 
very beginning ; nor have we since found cause to dislike 
the " Hero of Coal Harbor." 

Another regiment was soon after organized, in which our 
company was^'placed. Colonel Hayes was to command it 
We then learned that we were to be no longer termed the 
" Brownsville Grays," but were to be known as " Company 
D, of the Eighth regiment of Pennsylvania Ebservjss." 
Few but have heard of this division. It was organized by 
Governor Curtin, and consisted of fifteen thousand volunteers, 
coming from all parts of* the State. 

Our regiment was now ordered to Pittsburg to encamp in 
the fair-ground — Camp Wilkins. While we are marching 
down — it was our first march — let me introduce you, reader, 
to the officers of the regiment — also of our company. 

The colonel — a tall, good-looking man of fifty — was any- 
thing but a military man. His name, as I have before men- 
tioned, was Hayes. Lieutenant-Colonel Oliphant, our lieu- 
tenant-colonel, was a more competent man. Our major — his 
name was Clark — was a large, red-feced, red-whiskered man, 
much given -to* such innocent little amusements as cursing 
and swearing, getting drunk, etc. He was also far from 
being a man of any considerable military education. He 
knew BO more of tactics th/m a pig does of French. 

A word as to our company officers. Captain Conner, our 
captain, was a gentleman well known and much respected in 
Brownsville. He was a good-looking man of medium, size, 
well-formed, and of a quiet, firm demeanor — a man not 
to be trifled with, though not at all arrogant. In fact, I 
considered him the very beau ideal of an officer. He had 
participated in most of the battles during the Mexican war, 
and he knew much of the dangers and privations attending 
the life of a soldier. 

Our lieutenants were two jolly, good young fellows, well 
known in Brownsville; their names were, respectively, Jacobs 
and Clarke. But of them, more anon. Ere we emerge into 
more active scenes, let us take a peep at Camp Wilkins; 
after which we start for the Seat op War. 




It was a rather unpleasant change of locality from Camp 
Wright to Camp Wilkins. In the former we possessed many- 
advantages which were denied us in the latter. We now 
found ourselves penned up within the walls (if they were 
walls) of what had once been the Pittsburg Fair Ground. 
Not a single green tree stood therein, beneath whose shade 
we might lie during the heat of the day : the ground was 
dirty, and unpleasant, unwholesome air furnished us with 
breath ; the water was very bad, though I have since drank 
worse. Another great disadvantage was, that it was almost 
impossible to get out of camp without a pass, either written 
or verbal, from a commissioned officer ; and to be obliged to 
apply to a commissioned officer three or four times a week 
was no very delightful thing. 

Our quarters consisted of a row of rough old cattle-sheds, 
at the south side of the ground. The sheds were divided 
into rooms capable of accommodating, with bunks, five or 
six each. Here, then, was my. first mess formed. They 
were all young men, none above twenty -four ; their names 
were — Will. Mitchell, Mr. Craft, James Troth, John Wood- 
ward, and Will. Haddock ; myself being added to the num- 
ber, made a very interesting mess. 

Our quarters being at the south side of the camp, the Penn- 
sylvania Central EaUroad lay directly by us, and trains went 
thundering along every fifteen minutes, night and day, mak- 
ing it very trying for a fellow to sleep. One day, imagining 
I should relish a walk into the country, I wondered what was 
to prevent me from coolly knocking off a board at the back 
of my bunk, and crawling out. Whatl should a board, a 
plank, a poor, pitiful, flat piece of wood, only an inch thick, 
stand between me and liberty? No— that it should not! 
Procuring an axe, I soon had one end of a board loose, so 


that I could crawl out, and then closed the aperture with the 
board as though it were on hinges. 

Away I went, making for Pittsburg as the first point, to 
have a look at the fashions. Yes, I concluded to walk into 
the city, this time ; I could get out of camp at my conve- 
nience, and I would try the country next time. I would 
here state, that the reason the men were kept in such " dur- 
ance vile" was that, were they allowed to pass out ad libitum, . 
three-fourths of thein would be constantly " on a high ;" in 
fact, they would spend half their time in the " smoky city," 

Having visited a number of my acquaintances in the city, 
I was thinking of returning to camp, when, being near the 
depot of the Pennsylvania Central Eailroad, I observed a 
train — a freight train — about to start eastward. There was, 
I knew, an outer depot near our camp, where trains going 
eastward generally stopped for a few minutes. Therefore, as 
this would enable me to get off near camp, why might I not 
jump on the train and ride up in a few minutes ? 1 unhesi- 
tatingly sprang up between two cars, and stood upon tho 
platform of one, thinking how nice it would be to ride, in- 
stead of walking, two miles. The locomotive uttered two 
great screams, the train moved ; it was soon flying up the 
road, and I had the satisfaction in a few minutes of nearing 

But, O horror I how's this ? The train, instead of stop- 
ping as usual at the depot near the camp, went thundering 
by at lightning speed ; and the smoky city, the outer diepot, 
and Camp Wilkins were soon left far behind — soon lost to 
view. Away we went — trees, houses, barns, fences, fields, 
hills, and valleys flying by us with great rapidity. What 
would I — what could I do? Mile after mile was being 
placed between me and camp. Every moment was adding 
to the distance I should have to travel — walk, no doubt — in 
order to return to camp. There I stood, on a small plat- 
form between two freight cars, unseen by any one, seeing no 
one. At length a brakeman came stepping along from car 
to car, and stepped over my head. 

"Hilloal" I cried, 


" Why, how came you there ?" he asked, halting in his 
- walk. 

I explained the matter to him, and then asked : — 

" Where will the train stop ?" 

" About seventy miles from Pittsburg," was the reply. 

" Is there no way of stopping it now ? Wouldn't the ^- 
gineer stop it ?" 

" No ; they won't stop till they are obliged to." 

" And how far are we from Pittsburg now ?" 

" Otily about nineteen miles," 

" Nineteen miles I I'll miss roll-call, that is a clear case, 

At that moment something connected with the coupling 
of the cars gave way, and the train was separated near the 
middle.^ It was soon perceived by the engineer, the train 
was stopped, and I sprang oflF. I at once took the " back 
track ;" there I was only nineteen miles from camp, at three 
o'clock in the afternoon of one of the hottest days of the 

" What a nice little stroll I have before me I" I soliloquized ; 
" nineteen miles ! Well, that's pleasant — and these iron rails 
hot enough to roast an egg in a very short time ! Eh, well I 
This all comes of attempting to evade a walk of two miles ; 
now I must try nineteen. Yes, and what is worse, I shall be 
till long after dark reaching camp; I shall have missed 
' dress parade ;' I shall have missed * nine o'clock roll-call ;' 
to-morrow, I will be detailed for guard—perhaps some more 
unpleasant duty. By the way, guard duty is beginning to 
lose its charms ; it is not half so nice as I at first thought it ; 
I am beginning to get my eyes open to the fact .that losing 
one's sleep is not what it is cracked up to be.* How will i 
get into camp ? I think that during the night, sentinels are 
posted along the sheds outside the camp; well, I must try 
^•^nd slip by them, some way, if I ever get there." 

Thus soliloquizing, I toiled on, the big drops of perspira- 
tion chasing each other down my face. It must have beep 

* Guard dntf was now performed bj detailn from all companies — the 
proper st/le. 


near eleven o'clock when I reached camp. It was rather 
dark, and I hoped this would favor me in getting into camp 
unperceived. it was not so dark but that a man might be 
dimly seen at fifteen paces. I soon discovered that sbveral 
sentinels were pacing their beats along the railroad, near 
the sheds. Now was my time to play the Indian. Await- 
ing a favorable opportunity, I glided by one of the guards, 
and reached the sheds near my secret door. But now a diffi* 
culty greeted me ; it was so dark that I could not find the 
right board. I tried several, but they were firm. Suddenly, 
one of the sentinels perceived me — he was about a dozen 
yards from me, and he called out : — 

" Halt, there, you ! Who's thcFC ?" 

I did not reply ; I was busy trying boards — searching for 
that loose one. 

" Who's there, I say ?" he repeated. 

** None of your business," I replied ; for at that interesting 
crisis, my hand touched the loose board. 

The sentinel came rushing toward me at a charge-bayonet. 
I quietly and dexterously slipped through the aperture and 
closed it with the board, just as the point of the bayonet 
came bat against it! I very naturally supposed that my 
secret was now discovered. But imagine my surprise — and . 
pleasant surprise, too — ^when I heard the foiled sentinel call 
out, to the one on the next post : — 

" liook here, Bill, I've jist seed one of the curibusest phe- 
nomenies as I ever have saw." Evidently he was no very 
distinguished grammarian. 

" What s up ?" asked the other, who had heard the noise. 

"Why, you see, jist now I seen some feller a prowlin' 
around here ; I axt him who went there, and tole him to halt, 
and he said, 'none o' your business,' and I run at him, and 
just as my bayonet was a slippin' right into him, he molted 
into nothin' and went to no place." 

It was with difficulty that I refrained from laughing out- 
right on hearing this quaint speech ; but remembering that 
it was very important to remain silent, I succeeded in doing 
so. Hbe conversation without, went on. 

''Come now," protested the one addressed as 'Bill,' "you 

86 ' .OUBBOYS. 

don't mean to say that any one disappeared in that mysteri- 
ous manner?" 

"Indeed, I do mean it ; I'd swear to it I" persisted the other. 

'* He must have dodged you, and lun away in the darkness,'' 
argued Bill. • 

"No, he never ryn away at all ; I could see him yet when 
my bayonet touched him. I don't like it out here, it's a 
lonely place." 

As may be imagined, I was very weary after my journey, 
and it was not many minutes after hearing this scientific 
dialogue till I was sound asleep ; my last thought was that 
I had reason to be thankful for not being pinned to the outei" ' 
wall, by that fellow's bayonet. 

Next morning, sure enough, I was detailed foi guard (for it 
was customary to make up the guard detail, so far as possible, 
of delinquents). It is somewhat remarkable, that when 
night came, the post which fell to my lot was the very one, 
along the railroad, in rear of the sheds, that was occupied 
on the previous night by the soldier who came so near put- 
ting a period to my existence by a single dot. It was cus- 
tomary for the officer of the day to visit all the posts during 
the night, and to try the sentinels, to discover whether they 
should adhere strictly to the instructions given them. I had 
been on this lonely post an hour (I went on post at ten) when 
I heard footsteps approaching. The night was as dark as 
the preceding one, and I could just descry the figure of a 
man approaching. I remembered my instructions, and called 
out — 

" Who comes there 7" 

My instructions were to " know no one," except by the 
countersign ; to test me on this point, the officer of the day 
(for he it was) continued to advance, saying familiarly, as he 
did so — ■ 

" Oh, it's me ; you know me." 

I did recognize the voice, but remembering my instruc- 
tions, I cocked my piece* (although it was empty), brought 
it to bear upon the approaching officer, and said — 

* A few old mnakets were used only for gaa|d dut/ ; we had not jet 
received our arms. 


"Now halt, or ni fire!" 

The officer brought up with alarming abruptness ; for he 
didn't know but that my musket might happen to be loaded. 

" Who comes there ?" I then asked. 

** Officer of the day," he replied ; all foolishness was now 
firightened out of him, 

"Advance, officer of the day, and give the countersign — 
Kke a gentleman," said I, adding, on my own responsibility, 
the last three words, to the form that had been given me. 

He advanced until within two paces of me, when I said — 

''•There— that's near enough — let's have the countersign." 

He halted, leaned forward over the point of my bayonet 
and whispered — 

'' Bunker HiUl" 


Having given the countersign, he was at liberty to impart 
any instructions, or make any remarks he might see fit ; so, 
he said — 

"You remember your instructions, I see." 

"Yes, sir." ^ 

" Well, keep a sharp lookout ; you must learn here to be 
a soldier. But is your gun really loaded ?" 

" Perhaps it is — perhaps it isn't," I replied, for I saw that 
he was still endeavoring to triumph over me. 

" Let me look at it a moment," said he, slyly, and he reached 
for it. 

" Can't come it, captain," said I, for he was trying me on 
another point. 

" Well, I guess you'll do," said he, as he walked on toward 
the next post. 

The sound of his footsteps had scarcely died away, when 
I, like the sentinel who occupied the same post twenty-four 
hours before, perceived a dark object near the spot where 
my secret door was. 

"Hilloal Who's there?" I demanded. 

No reply. 

" Now look here, old fellow," I continued, " it's no use, I 
see you ; come here 1" 

The object moved slightly, but did not speak. With a 


wild rush I was at the spot — ^I expected to make an arrest 
With a bound the object flew from the spot, across the rail- 
road, into a field, off and away, like the wind, howling like 
a very demon. It was a large dog. 

It was evening. The Eighth regiment stood in line, on 
dress parade. Our first court-martial had convened, and 
now the result was being made known. The sentences of 
several offenders were read to us by the adjutant. Several 
had been tried for " sleeping on post," and a number for 
drunkenness and rowdy conduct. There was one v^ry 
serious case. One Jack Bear, of company ** K^" had de- 
viously offended, in that he went out of camp clandestinely, 
got drunk, came back mSking an unreasonable amount of 
noise, kicked up several rows, and on being ordered by his 
captain to desist, cursed him, was put in the guard-bouse, 
broke out, and finally concluded this interesting course of 
procedure by promising most solemnly to shoot his captain 
as soon as opportunity should occur. 

The adjutant read — k .^ 

"Private Bear, of company K, charged with mtatin|^ 
specifications, that on, or about the fourth day of July, tSe 
said Private Bear, of company K, did, in open violation df 
rules and regulations, become intoxicated, during which his 
conduct was most disorderly and outrageous, and on being 
mildly reprimanded by his captain, used toward him the 
most shameful and insulting language, finally threatening to 
kill him. 

" The court-martial carefully examined the evidence ad- 
duced, and, after due consideration, seijtenced him, the said 
Private Bear, of company K^ to be br. aght before the regi- 
ment while on dress parade, to be then and there publicly 
dismissed from the service, and drummed out of camp." 

The sentence was to be immediately carried out. The 
regiment was brought to an "open ordei:," and the front 
rank faced about. Then, entering this avenue at the right 
of the regiment, came the poor fellow, a guard on either side 
of him, and following a fifer and drummer playing the 
" Eogue's March." 'Twas a sad scene. I'll never forget how 
the poor fellow looked ; it was painful to witness such un- 


utterable dejection and sliamefacedness. I felt relieved when 
lie had passed quite out of camp, and I heartily hoped that I 
might never again be called upon .to witness a similar sight. 
How then must he have felt while marching along that 
avenue of men — that gauntlet of a thousand pairs of eyes. I 
think I should much rather run a gauntlet of knives and 
tomahawks in the hands of the most relentless savages. We 
never heard of the unfortunate man again. 

About this time four interesting recruits were added to 
company " D." They were called the " Perry Boys," because 
they came from a town of the name of Perry. They were 
all young men ; their names were — Williafcs, Hasson, Archi- 
bald, and Strawn. This latter-named gentleman was what 
might be called a "nice little boy," too nice, in fact. His age 
could not have been more than seventeen ; he had light curl- 
ing hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, and looked Yery much 
like a girl. Don't forget him, for I shall have more to say 
of him by-and-by. 

It is not to be supposed that, during all this time, we were 
getting quietly along, without a little row, now and then. 
Accordingly, one night. Corporal Chair and Private Graham 
became slightly intoxicated, and after repeated attempts, 
succeeded in differing on some trivial point, and proceeded 
\o knock one another around, blacking each other's eyes, 
smashing noses, and kicking shins generally. Next morning 
they presented the delightful appearance of men who had had 
a number of bottles of ink smashed against their faces. When 
I saw them, they were shaking hands in the most brotherly 
manner, and " making it up," as the saying is, in a systematic 
way, by drinking each other's health — a small dose, I should 
think, just at that time. A word as to the character of Mr. 
Graham. He was an educated and intelligent gentleman of 
the most refined cast; he was well-informed on any topic, and I 
^Idom, if ever, have seen a better penman. But he would 
ilrink. Yes, he would drink too much, and that spoilt all. 
As the father said of his son, who was being tried for petty 
larceny, "James is a good boy, but he will steal." Thus with 
Graham, he was a good man, but he would drink. 

There were two interesting lads in our company, who, 


althougli they stated that they were eighteen years of age — 
they must do so to pass inspection — could not have been older 
than sixteen ; their names were Jim Hare and Ike May horn. 
Jim Hare, Esquire, was one of the most saucy and impudent 
fellows I ever saw ; he was a small pattern, swore terribly, 
and stuttered horribly. His face was far from being sym- 
metrical ; he was slightly lantern-jawed, his nose was one of 
.the upturned sort, and his lower jaw protruded an inch. He 
was rather hunchbacked, too. He was an unlearned, un- 
lettered fellow, but he possessed sufficient natural wit to 
atone at least for his physical deficiencies. 

Mr. Isaac Mayllorn was about the same size, as ignorant, 
as immoral, less witty, but better looking. These two hope- 
fuls bunked in a room adjoining the one I occupied. One 
night, about bunhtime, Hare concluded to amuse himself 
by teasing Mayhorn awhile before going to sleep. The 
lights were extinguished, and Mayhom's heavy breathing 
. announced that Morpheus was just reaching for him, when 
Hare put forth his hand and executed a merciless pinch on 
the calf of Mayhorn's leg. 

" Oh— o — o, d — n it I who was that ?" burst from Mayhorn's 
lips, as he found himself suddenly quite awake. 

There was no response ; Hare was snoring right merrily. 

Presently Mayhorn exclaimed : — 

" Jim Hare, that was you !" 

" Wh — wh — wh — what was me ?" asked Hare. 

" Why, that pinched me," said Mayhorn. 

"It's n — n — no such a th — th — thing." 

*'But I know it was you; you are the only one't could 
reach me." 

"I didn't; where did I pinch you?" 

"On the calf of the leg." 

" Th — that means on the 1 — 1 — leg o' the calf," ventured 

" Well, just you try it again, and I'll go and tell Captain 

" Yes 1 J— j— just you try reportin' me, and I'll kn — kn— 
knock the old b — b — boy out o' you 1" 

" You can't do it, Jimmy." 


'• m try it, a— «-^anyhow ." 

All was now quiet, and I was almost asleep, when I heard 
Mayhorn yell out : — 

" Blood and tobacker 1 Oh 1 ouch 1 Now, by gosh, I mil 
go and tell the captain I" 

Evidently Hare had treated him to another pinch, for he 
now scrambled out of his bunk, blundered out of the quar- 
ters, and his footsteps were heard to die away in the direc- 
tion of the captain's room. Presently he returned. 

"Now, Mr. Harey; if you don't go into the guard-house 
to-morrow morning, then I don't know," said Mayhorn, as 
he once more spilt himself into his bunk. 

"Have y — ^y — ^you went and re— p — ported me?" asked 

" Yes," was the reply. 

"If you have, and I git put in the g — g — guard-house, I'll 
knock your little c — c-^curly head offl" exclaimed Hare; 
for Mayhom's head wa^ " little" and his hair " curly." 

" My little curly head is on tighter than you think it is," 
said Mayhorn. 

" Well, I— I— I'll try it to-morrow." 

* You can't ; you'll be in the guard-house," said Mayhorn, 

" Then I'll do it when I come out, if it's t — ^t — ten years !" 
exclaimed Hare. 

"But you can't, anyhow; you're. not man enough," argued 

" Aint I, though ? Oh, you s — s — scamp 1 you c — c — curly- 
headed ape I ni read your pedigree 1 I — I — ^I'U show you 
a trick I Oh, if you d— d— do get me into th — ^th — ^the guard- 
house, you'd better make your w — w — will 1" 

" I'm not a-skeered," said Mayhorn. 

" I'll learn you wh— wh — what it is to be a-skeered," said 
Hare ; then, after musing awhile on the subject, he said, in a 
softer tona: — 

" I d — d — did think a good deal of you, Mayhorn ; 1 1 — 1 — 
liked you once, and I thought I — I — I'd make a man o' you ; 
but you're ruined n — ^n — now ; you'll n — n— never be of n — 


n — no account, no p — p — ^place." It will bei-eadily perceived 
that Hare was no grammarian. 

Thus they carried on, now and then almost on the point 
of "pitching into" each^ther, there in the dark, till I grew 
weary listening, and fell asleep. Hare was not put into the 
g — g — guard-house (as he termed it) next morning, which 
led me to believe that Mayhorn had exaggerated in assuring 
him that such would be the case ; I doubted, in fact, whether 
he reported Hare to the captain at all. 

Having introduced these two interesting youths, I must 
proceed to my messmate. Craft. He was a very corpulent 
fellow, twenty-two years of age ; not handsome, but somewhat 
learned and intelligent. His greatest fault was that of con- 
ceit, and he was prone to place a higher estimate upon his 
qualities, both mental and physical, than they deserved. 
Being large, he supposed that, as a matter of course, he must 
be a very powerful fellow. One day. Craft and I engaged 
in a little playful scuffle in our quarters, after which Mitchel 
told him that I " got the best of him." 

" Pooh 1" exclaimed Craft ; " I'll bet my hat I can pick him 
up and carry him out of the quarters." 

" Will you bet your hat, though ?" asked Mitchel. 

" Yes, I'll bet it against yours." 


Here then was a bet on my head. I did not wish to go 
into a regular organized and premeditated wrestle; but 
Craft went right at his task without a word, and I found 
myself compelled to act, for I was determined he shoul.d not 
carry nie out if I could help it, though he were twice my size. 
For the space of a minute we had it, helter-skelter, topsy- 
turvey, lift, push, pull, snatch, and grab. At length we found 
ourselves near the door, in the struggle. " Now," thought 
Craft, "is my time." He was nearest the door, and, lifting 
me suddenly, he sprang backward, thinking to bear me oqt 
I saw what he was up to, and I allowed myself to be drawn 
precipitately after him till immediately at the door, when I * 
suddenly stopped myself by bracing my hands against the 
sides of the door, which caused Craft to relax his hold upon 
me and fail backward over some little object which his heelfl 


came in contact with, and inyoluntarUj take a seat upon the 
hard ground. 

" Ugh 1" he granted ; and he arose, looking,,a little pale. 

" Oh, Craft 1" laughed Mitchel, " Ha, ha ! Ee put you out, 
instead of your putting him out ; you ougTit to pay a double 
wager for that." 

Craft was very much provoked at the idea of a small fel 
low putting him out of the room ; but he could not get over 
the stern fact, tmd he promised to treat if Mitchel would not 
take his hat. Mitchel consolingly informed him that he 
would not take his hat this time, but begged him to be more 
careful in, future how he risked that article on his strength. 

Mitchel was a good fellow, about my age, and he and I 
were warmly attached. As for Craft, he never liked me very 
well, although he had no reason to disYikQ me, save for 
"putting' him out" of the quarters, and I am sure it was all 
done in a friendly way. 

Several weeks passed away in Camj) Wilkins, and we had 
the satisfaction of drawing arms and 'uniforms. How nice 
our regiment looked standing in line with blue uniforms aad 
bright muskets. Surely we were soldiers now, and we looked 
forward with eager anticipations to the time when we should 
be called upon to take the field. Every afternoon we were 
called upon to go through a long regimental drill. The 
third week of July had almost passed, when, one afternoon, 
we were drilled in various manoeuvres, by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Oliphant, in the presence of a number of spectators. We 
were arranged in line, when Colonel Oliphant said — 

"Now, boys, I should like to try you on a bayonet charge. 
Try how well you can do it. Charge — bayonets /" 

Our muskets came down to the position of " charge bayo- 

" Forward — march." 

Now the colonel did not say "double-quick," but we sup- 
posed that a bayonet charge wouldn't be a bayonet charge 
at common time, and we rushed forward with a sudden energy 
that threatened to annihilate our commanding officer, as well 
as the men, women, and children comprising the spectators. 

44 O.UB BOYS. 

The women screamed; the children squealed, and tho men 
scrambled out of the way. 

"B—b— battalion— h—h— halt I" shouted Oliphant, as 
soon as he could find utterance. '*Why, what do you 
mean?" he continued, "I only wished you to try it at 
ommon time. But what is this ?" 

This latter exclamation was called forth by the appearance 
of a messenger, who, at that moment, rode up and placed an 
ojSicial document in the lieutenant-colonel's hand. He read 
a moment, then, waving his sword aloft, he shouted — 

" Marching orders for Washington 1 Three cheers I" 

Then, reader, had you been in the vicinity of Camp Wil- 
kins, you would have heard three of the most stirring cheers 
that ever rang out from the lips of a regiment of volunteers ; 
so welcome those marching orders. After our voices had 
subsided, we were told that the following Sunday (it was now 
Friday) was appointed as the day for moving. 

Sunday morning came. The regiment was in line at nine 
o'clock. Having stood in line for half-an-hour, impatiently' 
awaiting orders to move, the orders came, at last, and we 
marched from Camp Wilkins toward Pittsburg, where we 
were to take the cars. In another hour we stood in one of 
the streets of Pittsburg, slowly embarking on the train that 
was to convey us to Baltimore. Thousands of spectators, 
men, women, and children, thronged the sidewalks, talking 
kindly with us, and bidding us "good-by." Many kind 
wishes followed us as the locomotive screa^naed, and the 
streets of the Smoky City began slowly to glide from beneath 
us. We were all aboard, not one left behind, which was 
somewhat remarkable. One beautiful creature told me I 
must not think of returning without the head of JefiF Davis. 
I laughed, and informed her that I should certainly bring 
that desirable acquisition, and that if I didn't find him too 
unhandy to carry, would bring the individual's entire body. 

We were buoyant with the brightest hopes now. Pitts- 
burg was soon left behind, and we were whirling along the 
Pennsylvania Central in the liveliest manner. Alasl how 
majiy of the brave fellows whom that train carried were des- 
tined to return no more forever I How many had looked 



Upon their wives> their children, their fathers, their mothers, 
their brothers, sisters, and friends for the last time 1 How 
many had bidden a last, long farewell, had received the last 
fond caress, the last kiss from those they loved better than 
life itself I But I must not anticipate. If yott, gentle reader, 
have patience to follow our regiment through the scenes I 
shall endeavor to portray, you will readily perceive that we 
did not all return I 

As I have previously stated, the railroaa lay directly by 
Camp Wilkins. We were all anxious to catch a passing 
glimpse of our old camp. A rousing cheer greeted the de- 
serted sheds as we went thundering by, and many a pair of 
eyes looked upon Camp Wilkins for the last time. We all 
wondered whether we should ever see the old camp again, 
I wondered whether /would, and, with the rest of the boys, 
said, "Eabbwbll, Camp Wilkins 1" 



"Fire! firel jareT' 

Such was the cry, the alarming cry, while the train was 
descending the eastern slope of the Allegheny Mountains. 
It was night, and very dark. 

"The ammunition-car — it is on fire I" was Repeated by a 
dozen voices. 

There was a crowding, and thronging, and Jamming to get 
at the windows of the cars to look out. I sat by a window, 
and I thrust mjr head out, and, looking forward, saw one of 
the oars near tne locomotive blazing up right merrily. It 
was a oar that was loaded with ammunition. It had, it seems, 
been fired by sparks from tne locomotive. The train was 
stopped. What should be done ? It was dangerous to ap- 
proach the burning car ; for who could tell at what moment 

46 QUE B01?S. 

the flames would reacli the powder ? Whenever they should 
reach it an explosion must take place, which no one would 
like to stand in the way of. Now there was a riverman in 
our company, who was a little the biggest and most giantlike 
man that I ever saw with soldier-clothes on ; he was called 
Fletch Chess. He had been left in a car attached to the am- 
munition-car to look after the baggage, and, on being aroused 
by the multitude of cries (for he was asleep), he sprang up, 
and in a moment comprehended the state of things. ThoughtSy 
suggestions, and arguments flit through a man's brain with 
great rapidity in moments of danger, and, within the space 
of a second, Fletch reasoned with himself, thus :-r 

" Now, if I spring from the car and run, I feel sure I will 
not be able to get at a safe distance before the explosion 
takes place ; but, i)j taking an armful of these blankets and 
jumping upon the burning car, I can smother the flames ere 
they reach the ammunition." 

Seizing half-a-dozen blankets, he acted upon his wise con- 
. elusion ; he sprang from the car he occupied to the burning 
one, and soon succeeded in putting out the fire. He was highly 
lauded for this brave and daring act; which daring act, how- 
ever, he had been compelled to resort to, aa the only pro- 
bable means of saving his life. 

This little affair reminds me most forcibly of a good story 
a man read, and noted down in his memoranda, as follows : — 

"Mem : — Scene in school. 
Somebody whistled. 
Master calls up big boy on suspicion. 
* Hold out your hand, sir.' 
Big boy holds out his hand to be feruled. 
Noble little boy steps up ; holds out hie hand. 
' It was / who whistled, sir.' 
Master forgives noble little boy." 

Now this was all very good, but the whole thing was spoilt 
by the addition of another sentence, namely: "Noble little 
boy thought master wouldn't )jhip him if he confessed, but 
he knew big boy would lick him if he didn't." 

Thus with Chess : he thbught he could extinguish the fire 
in time to save his life, but he felt sure he'd be blown up 


before he could get away if he didn't put it out. Many dar- 
ing deeds, as well as many noble ones, are performed as a 
matter either of prudence or necessity. 

After much delay, the train moved on; I fell asleep. 
When I awoke it was morning ; the train was not in motion. 
I looked out, and perceived that we were at some town ; on in- 
quiry I learned that it was Duncannon, twenty miles west of 
Harrisburg. The kindness and hospitality of the citizens of 
this place deserve a word of praise. They no sooner knew 
that a train of soldiers was standing near the town, than they 
thronged around us with pies, cakes, bread-and-butter, milk, 
and other like refreshments. Very acceptable, too, were the 
refreshments thus gratuitously bestowed upon us, and we did 
ample justice to them, for we had not been supplied with pro- 
visions, except a few crackers. At length we moved on, and 
after an hour found ourselves at Harrisburg. Here w& re- 
mained till near evening, while various equipments were 
being dealt out. We received knapsacks, haversacks, can- 
teens, and cartridge-boxes. We remained in the cars during 
all this time, or, at least, near them. Some of the boys, how- 
ever, took a " cruise about" during the course of the day. 
There was. fat Craft, who went out to a neighboring house 
and formed the acquaintance of a " dear angel," w}t>h. whom 
he fell desperately in " love at first sight," and with whom 
he afterward corresponded. 

It was four o'clock in the afternoon before the train moved 
on ; then we went flying, and soon arrived at Little York. 

Here a. piece of sad news greeted us; it was of the battle 
of BuU'Eun, and the rout of the Federal army, which had 
taken place on the previous day (the twenty-first of July, 
1861). Printed telegrams were afloat, stating that our troops 
had been defeated and routed, that they were flying toward 
Washington in wild disorder, pursued by the victorious 
rebels, who would probablv follow them right into the Capi- 
tal, that all was confusion there, and Congress had adjourned 
to meet in Philadelphia. It was said that it would be dan- 
gerous for us to pass through Baltimore now, that the seces- 
sionists there Were growing very bold since our defeat. We 
moved on. Night found us still in the cars. 


As we neared Baltimore, Captain Conner passed through 
our car and said — 

"Men, load your pieces; we may have some trouble in 
Baltimore. Be very careful not to let any of your pieces 
go off here." 

Having thus cautioned us, he passed on. This was the 
first time we loaded our muskets, and it would have been 
strange if some awkward fellow had not accidentally dis- 
charged his piece in the operation, notwithstanding the strict 
injunction of the captain. 

Accordingly, Sergeant Blake, of our company, being intoxi- 
cated, anyhow, after loading his musket in the most careless 
style, was placing a cap on the tube, let the hapimer come 
down on it pretty hard, and bang went the gun, the charge 
going through the window. 

" Who was that ?" demanded the captain, returning hastily 
from the adjoining car. 

No one spoke. Sergeant Blake was extremely quiefc 
The captain probably suspected who the offender was, and 
said — 

" I warned you all, men, as I passed through, and should 
such a thing occur again, I will find out the offender and 
have hinj tied for the remainder of this trip, I care not who 
he is." 

We reached Baltimore during the night, and the train 
stopped ; we remained in the cars till morning. It was now 
discovered that we were to stay at Baltimore for a day or 
two, and we disembarked and formed line to march through 
the city for a place of encampment beyond. Before we 
started. Colonel Hayes addressed us thus — 

" Boys, let us pass through the city in a quiet and respect- 
ful manner. Offer no insults — disturb no one. You all 
have your pieces loaded, and if we are assaulted, defend 
yourselves. I have no fear that you will not do your 

We marched through the city unmolested, though many 
a black scowl was cast upon us. Some of the citizens, how- 
ever, looked pleasantly on, and welcomed us. It was evident 
that Baltimore was quite a mixture of Union and Secession. 


One man came to the window, an upper one, and called out 
to a friend at the opposite side of the street — 

" I say, Wilson, they'll never get bacfk, the d— d Yankee 
cusses !" 

At a point a few steps further, a beautiful young lady 
stood at her door, waving a small copy of the stars and 
stripes. Having marched through the city, we repaired to 
a hill beyond, and encamped. Tents were issued to us, the 
article known as the " wedge tent." We were totally igno- 
rant as to pitching them, but Captain Conner instructed us, 
• and we finally succeeded admirably. He also taught us the 
mode of packing a knapsack, of which, at first, we had as 
much of an idea as a pig would have of making a watch. 
Our tents were calculated to accommodate six ; but on the 
first night eight occupied the one I slept in. It was rather 
more warm than comfortable. Next day an additional num- 
ber was received, and two left ours. Our mess then consisted 
of six, namely — WiU Mitchel, George Scott, James Troth 
— ^a queer genius, who already began to regret that he had 
" gone for a soldier" — George Wagner, his son Oliver, and 
myself. Except George Wagner, who was forty years of 
age, we were all quite young. On this, our second day at 
Baltimore, I was walking past a group of OUR BOYS, when I 
perceived that they were talking about something* in an 
excited manner. I stopped, and beard one of them say — 

" I'll tell you what it is, I'd hate to eat or drink anything 
I'd get in Baltimore ; I knew somebody would get poisoned 

" What ! is any one poisoned ?" I asked. 


"Any of our regiment ?" 

"Why, yes — no — or I guess so. There is one dead in that 
regiment on the other side of the hill. One of our regiment 
is awful sick, and he says he got a drink of ale in the city." 

" And do you think he is poisoned ?" 

"I think so." 

" What company does he belong to ?" 

"Company 'G.'" 

As I was perfectly at leisure, I thought I might easily 
4 ■ 

60 OUR Boys. 

ascertain whether there were any truths in the«e reports. I 
walked first to Company G, and accosted the first one I 
met, with — • 

" How is that fellow of yours getting ?" 

" What fellow ?" he asked. 

" The one that was poisoned by drinking that ale." 


" Yes, I was told that one of your boys had been poisoned 
by drinking ale in Baltimore." 

" Ha, ha 1 There's nothing of it. One of our fellows tvas 
a little sick, but it was the result of his eating some, green 
apples, which he stole from an orchard not far oflf. But he 
is better now." 

" Then it's all— " 

"A mistake." 

I now walked to the camp "on the other side of the hill," 
where it was reported one fellow had died from poison. 

" Hilloa !" said I, to one of the sentinels, " what regiment 
is this?" 

" The — th Maine," he replied. 

" How came that man of your regiment to get poisoned ?" 

"Poisoned! Whatman?" 

" Why, I understood that one of your fellows had been 
poisoned by some secessionists in Baltimore." 

" Well, there's nothing of it, you may depend. 

" How long have you been encamped here ?" 

" Three or four weeks." 

" Do you ever buy anything to eat or drink in Baltimore ?" 

"Yes, often." 

" Do they never attempt to poison you ?" 

"No, they're afraid; they know very well that should 
they try that on, we'd burn the city." 

" That we would," said I, and I returned to camp fully 
satisfied that the officers had started these stories to prevent 
the men from going to the city and getting intoxicated. 

On entering camp, I met Mitchel, who said — 

" Let us go over into that field ; there is a battery of fly- 
ing artillery there, and they are going to drill." 

" I have no objections," said I ; and W7 were soon there 


looking at the drill, which was truly delighfiil. It was 
astonjlshing to see with what rapidity each manoeuvre was 
executed by the artillerymen, who had evidently had some 
experience. Many Spectators, citizens of Baltimore, were 
present. Among them were a reasonable number of " defence- 
lesses," as usual. 

At one tinae during the drill, the battery was flying past 
at some little distance from us, when, at a note of the bugle, 
they suddenly turned at right angles, and appeared to be 
coming right down upon us. 

" Mercy I" screamed the women. 

" Oh — oh, dear !" shrieked the children. 

"Fire and fury !" ejaculated the men. 

" Thunderation 1" exclaimed Mitchel. 

" They'll turn — they'll hardly ride us down," I suggested. 

Howbeit, the crowd surged and swayed backward, and 
the pushing, and shoving, and trying to get behind one ano- 
ther that ensued was quite amusing. One old gentleman, 
his hat having crawled down over his eyes in the confusion, 
started to run — ^he didn't know where — and went plump into 
a gravel-pilf fourteen feet deep, at the bottom of which was 
about eighteen inches of muddy water. Splash! Poor old 
fellow. He wasn't hurt, it is true ; but then he was dread- 
fully frightened, and his clothes ruined. After feeling forty 
ways for the ground, he finally succeeded in setting himself 
upon his legs : theti producing a handkerchief, which, how- 
ever, was as completely satti rated as his clothes or himself, 
he endeavored to wipe the water from his face, especially 
from his eyes. Then he managed to crawl up the opposite 
bank, which was not so steep as the one lie had fallen over, 
and having gained the level of the earth once more, he 
straightened himself up to his full height, expanded his chest, 
opened wide his mouth, drew a long breath and exclaimed — 

"Well, I declare." 

Meanwhile, the flying artillery, instead of bearing right 
down upon us, suddenly swerved to the right, at another 
note of the bugle, and in another moment were two hundred 

Jards distant. . The drill was over and the crowd dispersed, 
Ktchel and I returning to camp. 


"Puflf! puff!" replied the locomotive. 

He screamed — yelled. 

"Puffl puff! puffl" 

Troth grew desperate, and, for the first time in his life (1 
suppose), he actually ran, shouting at the top of his voice as 
he did so. 

The engine mocked him: "Puffl puffl Chu-chu, chu 

" Oh, golly I" exclaimed Troth ; " I'll have to walk clear 
to Washington ; oh, oh 1" 

As the idea occurred to him, he made one more desperate 
effort after the retreating train. Waving his cap in one 
hand and a bunch of blackberries in the other, again he 
shouted : — 

"Hilloal ho! Stop! eh— he— oh!" 

'* Ohu-chu, chu-chu, chu — " answered the engine. 

" Oh, oh ; faith ! Oh, gosh !" screamed Troth. 

The puffing of the iron-horse and the rumbling of the cars 
sounded mockingly in his ears. He grew more desperate — 
ran more violently after the now fast-receding train. Could 
he catch the train ? oh, thunder ! could he ? or must he walk 
to Washington ? It might be a hundred miles, for all he 
knew to the contrary. His struggles were vain, his voice 
failed him, and huge drops of sweat chased each other down 
his cheeks. He gave it up. But, just then, when the pros- 
pect was darkest, an accident occurred to relieve him — one 
that once relieved me — the train parted near the centre, and 
the whole thing halted. While the cars were being re-coupled 
Troth arrived, and succeeded in getting aboard. Having 
done so, he wiped the sweat from his brow, brought a long 
sigh, and exclaimed : — 

"Oh, my!" 

So saying, he took a seat upon his knapsack, panted like a 
weary cur, and presently remarked: — 

"Well, I never did— " 

"Why, Troth, what's the matter?" asked Will. MitcheL 

" Why I— the train— I—" 

" Exactly," said Mitchel. 

"Yes, that's it," said Troth. 


" But what's this I heard about you ?" 


" I understood that you had been pulling against the loco- 
motive, trying to stop the train ; that's what broke it apart." 

"No, no I I just— " 

" Yes ; I understand you." 


'' Just so ; that is — " 

"Yes, I—" 


And thus ended the interesting dialogue. 

Again we moved forward. Plantations, groups of darkeys, 
houses, woods, and small towns flew past us. At last the 
dome of the Capitol appeared to view. 

" There's Washington !" was exclaimed on all sides. 

Yes, there was Washington city, the great capital of our 
country. We were delighted at having arrived, at last. In 
the course of an hour we were standing in line near that 
mighty structure called the* Capitol. After waiting impa- 
tiently for some time, we were ordered to proceed to Me- 
ridian Hill, which lies about three miles north of the city. 
We marched through the city and out Seventh Street, find- 
ing ourselves on the hill near sunset ; we pitched our tents 
at once. This was the first march during which we carried 
on our backs that gentle lump called a knapsack. Our backa 
and shoulders gave evidence of anything but approbation. 
The march had been but a short one, it is true, but wo felt 
very tired ; and I remember thinking how delightful it must 
be to march thirty miles in one's harness. 

We passed, on our way to Meridian Hill, many encamp- 
ments of regiments, and were often greeted with : — 

" Hilloa 1 What regiment is that ?" 

" Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves," was the reply. 

" Were you over at the horse-race last Sunday ?" would 
be the next question. 

"The— what?" 

" The horse-race ; that's what we call it." 

"Call what?" 

"The Ball Run fight." 


"Oh, is that it? No, we were not there. We hare jus^ 
come from Baltimore." 

" Well, you needn't be sorry that you missed it ; it was no 

"We presume not; though we would have been glad to 
help you." 

Many regiments engaged at Bull Eun had been marched 
to the northeast side of the Potomac, and were encamped in 
our vicinity. Many came from these regiments to talk with 
us, and many were the stories they related of the very nn- 
brotherly disposition of the rebels. They told many inci- 
dents connected with the battle, all going to prove that the 
rebels were no cowards and that to fight them was no sport. 
It was growing late, and I was just thinking of retiring, 
when Dave Winder walked by my tent, and I accosted him 
with : — 

" Hilloa, Winder I Have you been talking with any of 
these Bull Bun fellows ?" 

" Yes," he replied, stopping and turning toward me with 
his accustomed grin. I knew that something was coming : 
he always did grin in that peculiar way when on the point 
of "telling one." 

" Did they tell you any stories of those desperate South- 
erners ?" I asked. 

"Yes," said Winder, and the ominous grin broadened a 
little ; " there was a cavalryman telling me something of a 
story, just now." 

"Let us hear it." 

" Well, it's this : he said, that during a hand-to-hand con- 
flict in which he took part, he and a rebel Zouave had it for 
a spell, but he was too much for Mr. Eeb., and at last clipped 
his head clean square off with his sabre. Now, one would 
think tlwLt ought to settle any man; but—" 

" What V' I interrupted, " you don't mean to say that it 
didrCt settle him ?" 

" Yes, so the cavalryman told me ; he said, that no sooner 
had he cut the fellow's head off, than the invincible reb. 
threw down his gun, picked up his owii head with both 
hands, and ran right at him. Well, such a thing as that wiU 


try any man's nerves, and our hero turned his horse about 
and retreated. A kind of superstitious horror seized him, 
and the acephalous rebel, seeing that he could not overtake 
him, actually flung his head after him, then laid quietly 
down and kicked the bucket." 

•' I think that must be one of your little romances. Win- 
der," said I, after he had finished. 

" Well, it's founded on fact ; for the fellow did say he saw 
a rebel get his head cut off;" 

*' Oh, that's coming down, a little," I said. 

Dave grinned, and walked toward his tent; remarking, 
as he did so, that it " looked like rain." 

This was true. Strange as it may seem, Winder had told 
the truth,/or once. How he came to do so is a mystery to me. 
I have thought much on the subject, and the only reasonable 
conclusion I can come to regarding the matter, is — that he 
spbke without thinking. 

My messmates had already " sought a soldier's bed," and 
feeling weary, I determined to retire at once. Heavy dark 
clouds were banking up in the wq^t, and it was evident it 
would rain. George Wagner quietly suggested the propriety 
of digging a drain around our tent, so that in case of rain, 
the water might not run in upon us. The suggestion was 
prudent ; but I was a young soldier, I felt weary and thought 
more of the present than of the future. So I replied — 

" Oh, I don't think it is worth while just for to-night." 

" But suppose it should rain." 

" I suppose it will have to rain, for we can't stop it. I am 
most confoundedly sleepy, and not a little tired. Don't those 
knapsacks pull at a fellow's shoulders, George? Well, I 
must go to bed." . 

George admitted that the knapsacks did pull at one's 
houlders. In another minute I was wrapped in a sleep too 
deep for dreams. 

It was impossible for me to know how long I had slept, 
when aroused by the most lively shaking at the hands of 
some one. It was George Wagner. 

"Jump up 1" he exclaimed ; " you'll be drowned in another 


The rain was beating upon the tent, the wind was blowing, 
the lightning flashing, and the thunder rolling. I at once 
saw the state of things, and sprang up. I can scarcely say 
saWf either ; for, except that now and then a bright flash of 
lightning made everything discernible, the darkness was 
intense. The boys were all awake and standing up in order 
to keep out of the water, a delightful little stream of which 
was winding its way comfortably through our tent. 

" Oh, ye Fates I" I exclaimed, " I would give worlds to have 
my nap out." 

But with all that water running under me, the thing was 
impossible. As I arose, rubbing my eyes, I discovered that 
for six of us to stand upright in that small tent without 
touching it, was a thing impossible ; and t<3 touch the canvas 
of a tent within while it is raining is sure to cause a leak. 
£)onsequently, it was not many minutes till the water was 
dropping upon us from all sides, making it as uncomfortable 
as possible. Wishing to impart a lesson to me on the subject 
of procrastination, George Wagner said — 

" You see now that I was right, that a drain had better 
been dug." 

" Yes," I replied, " but I was so tired and sleepy that I 
could have laid down in a snowstorm and slept very readily." 

" We'll remember it next time, at least," remarked Mitchel, 
and Scott, Troth, and Oliver Wagner all agreed that we 
would remember it next time. 

It was yet severaL hours before morning dawn, and we 
spent those several hours as uncomfortably as might be> 
standing there huddled together, trying to make ourselves 
as small as possible, and looking altogether like an equal 
number of drowned rats. When morning, came and the rain 
was over, we did dig a drain about our tent; which was, 
figuratively speaking, "locking the stable after the horse 
was stolen." 

We had been encamped on Meridian Hill for several days, 
when we received our first pay, about a month's pay, which 
was due us from the State. As many of our boys had 
actually run short of change, they were happy to have their 


purses once more replenished ; in proof of which a reason- 
able number went to Washington and got " on a spree." 

Mitchel and I concluded that as we had not yet taken a 
good look about the city, it would be well to pay it a visit, 
and we did so. We wire not long in reaching the city, 
which we entered by Seventh street, and began at once to 
look about us for sights. 

Independently of the public buildings in Washington, it 
is far from being an attractive city. But once remove from 
it the Capitol, the White House, the Treasury Building, the. 
War and Navy Departments, the Post Office, and the Smith- 
sonian Institution, and Washington would be a very common 
place ; in fact, as it is often expressed, "just no place at all." 

Having wandered about the city, viewing the wonders 
and eating ice-cream every ten minutes till near evening; we 
made up our minds to return to camp. This we supposed 
would be an easy matter ; that is, we supposed that all' we 
had to do was to walk deliberately back to camp by the 
road we had come. We had heard of such things as patrols, 
provost-guards, etc., but we never thought of encountering 
any of them. We did, however, encounter a small squad 
ofpatrolmen, whose business it was to " take up" all soldiers 
found in the city without a pass. We were just scaling a 
fence at the outskirts of the city, in order to take a little 
nearer cut for camp, when we were greeted with : — 

** I say, you fellows there 1" 

Glancing in the direction from whence the voioe pro- 
ceeded, we saw four men and a sergeant approaching us ; 
they were armed with Sharp's rifles. We readily compre- 
hended our danger of being arrested, and springing into the 
field '* broke" at once for camp. • 

"Halt I Stop, I say 1" shouted the sergeant of the patrol 

We hurried on. 

"Have you passes?" he demanded. 

We were now forty or fifty paces distant from the patrol 
and not feeling much alarmed we went on. 

"I tell you to haltl" shouted the sergeant. 

"Yell a little louder," answered Mitchel. 

"If you don't halt, we'll fire on you." 

60 OUR B0Y8. 

'We don't care," I shouted back in reply; and Mijchel 
and I quickened to a pace that would Jiave done no discredit 
to a common horse. 

Bangl Bang! went two rifles, and a couple of bullets 
whistled ten feet above our heads/ I felt sure they had not 
'ntended to hit us, and was confirmed in the belief by hear- 
ing the sergeant immediately sing out — 

*'If you dont stop, we will shoot you next time." 

But we didn't stop ; we concluded to risk another pair <rf 
bullets. But, to our surprise, no more were sent after us, 
and we never looked behind to see why. We "Reached camp 
almost breathless, at five o'clock, and found the regiment in 

" I wonder what's up ?" 

"Hard to say— marching orders, perhaps — ^there's the cap- 
tain calling to us — we'll soon know what's the "matter." ' 

The captain told us to fall in, that the regiment was about 
to be sworn into the service of the United States ; we at once 
obeyed. Three of our boys — I am sorry to call them of 
" our boys" — refused to take the oath, and that night denerted, 
notwithstanding that they had been sworn into the State 
service. Their names were Victory Jones, Kobert Campbell, 
and Thomas Grace. Thus you will perceive, kind reader, 
that Victory was ours no more, that our Caiml (Campbell) 
had run away from us, and that Grace was no more present 
with us. • 

Pardon me for punning ; but the names — they are the real 
names of the gentlemen — ^present a temptation not to /be 

On the following morning I was informed by the first 
sergeant that I was "for guard," that day. The guard was 
mounted ; I was on the second relief, and went on duty at 
ten o'clock. Orders were very strict that day ; for it gene- 
rally depended on who the officer of the day was whether 
the orders were strict or not. We were to allow no one, not 
even an officer, to go out, unless he should be passed by the 
officer of the day. The beat next the one I occupied was 
guarded by one of OUR boys, whose name was Haman Jef- 
friea. I wish you to notice him. \(iT5 ^jaTticularly, for he id 


not, by any means, the least interesting character connected 
with this narrative. He was a large and powerful man of 
eight-and-twenty — his complexion light, his eyes giay — and 
he possessed a heart that feared nothing ; and let him suppose 
that he was right in anything, in any argument or matter of 
contest, and he was the most stubborn unbending man I ever 
knew. He was indeed a spldier. There was a- lieutenant 
in the regiment whose name was Carter. H6 was somewhat 
arrogant in his ways, and imbued with the sublime idea that 
an officer certainly was better than a private — oh yes, a great 
deall Well, Haman was quietly walking on his beat, when 
this same Lieutenant Carter came forth from his quarters, 
and was walking right out of camp in the very face of Ha- 
man without so much as saying, " With your leave." 

"Haiti" said Haman. 

" What do you mean, sir ?" demanded Carter. 

"I mean stop when I say hall; my orders are to allow no 
one to pass out." 

" But I am an officer." 

" Can't help it." • 

" You'd better be careful," said Carter, warningly. 

" I am careful, as you certainly see." 

"Now look ye," said Carter, in a tone that seemed to set 
aside all further trifling about the matter, "I. am going out 
to yonder little bank to fire the charges from my 'revolver," 
and he held the revolver up to view, " so you had better not 
interrupt me." 

"But I mil interrupt you I Yoxx shall not pass out over 
my beat, unless the officer of the day come and order me to 
let you pass." 

"To leimeP 

'*Yea, to let your 

" But I luill go." And, suiting the action to the word, he 
tamed to walk out. 

Haman cocked his piece, and the " click" caused by this 
little operation grated unpleasantly on Carter's ear, causing 
him to bring up abruptly in his walk, and turning he looked 
Into the eye of the guard. He saw determination there, and 


he did the wisest thing he could do ; namely, turn back; go 
into camp and get the ofllcer of the day to pass him out. 

Another of ouB boys detailed for guard that day, was Jake 
Archibald, one of the " Perry Boys." Being on the second 
relief, we went on post at ten in the morning, four in the 
evening, and ten at night. That night, between the hours 
of eleven and twelve, the oificer of the day went the " grand 
rounds," as usual, to see that the sentinels were attentive to 
their duty. Hgiving, with the usual ceremony, passed the 
posts of Haman and myself, he approached Archibald, who, 
it. seems, had just set himself down with his back against a 
tree, and was having a quiet nap. The oflScerof the day saw 
the condition of things, although it was rather dark, walked 
stealthily up to the slumberer, and, seizing his musket, bawled 
out — 

"Ha! How's this?" 

Jake sprang up, frightened almost out of his wits. 

** You rascal 1" exclaimed the oflBcer of the day — but just 
then an idea struck him, and he acted upon it. 

"Do you know who I am?" he asked: 

"Oh, dear— no I" 

'Well, I'm a Secesh officer." 

" Oh, bless me 1" exclaimed Jake, upon hearing the astound- 
ing disclosure. 

" You need blessing,''^ suggested the officer in a significant 

" Why ?" asked Jake. 

" Because, you're a dead man." 

"A— a— what?" 

" A dead man," repeated the officer, coolly. 

"Oh, no, I'm not I" 

"But I'm going to kill you," he explained. 
" Oh, don't 1 I never did not" " " 

nothin' to nobody I" 
' But you've come out to fight against me,*^ argued the 

This was a stunner ; and Jake could say nothing. 

" Come along with me," said the officer. 


Jake followed the officer, with agonizing reluctance, and 


was conducted right through the encampment, toward th« 
head-quarters of the guard ; and it looked to Jake like a very 
bold proceeding on the part of a rebel officer. A lantern 
was burning at the gate, and they were no sooner near enough 
for its rays to fall upon them, than Jake comprehended the 
trick that was being practiced upon him. With a sudden 
energy he seized his musket, wrested it from the hands of 
the officer, and, springing away, was at his post in a moment, 
the most wakeful of sentinels. 

This was no' doubt the wisest plan he could have adopted, 
for the officer of the day, who had intended to punish him, 
seeing that he was now at his post, all right, and thinking 
that he had been already sufficiently punished by fright, 
concluded to let the matter drop. 

We Were relieved at twelve, and posted again at four ; the 
remaining two hours of guard duty passing off without event. 
A new guard was mounted at eight in the morning, and I 
was released from duty. I was walking toward my tent, 
my musket on my shoulder, when I met Winder, who 
asked — 

" Are you fond of apples ?" 

" Oh, yes ! I am very partial to that species of fruit," I 
replied ; "but why do you ask?" 

" Because there's an orchard right across the hill, yonder, 
and it is full of ripe apples as big as your head." 

"How very gentle," I remarked; for having lost sleep 
during the night, my head felt very large. just then. 

"Suppose we go over," suggested Winder *:V' 

"Oh, no, I—" 

" Come," he urged, " the orchard belongs to a secessionist, 
and is to be confiscated ; we are at perfect liberty to go and 
help ourselves." 

"And how have you discovered that so soon?" I asked. 

"Oh, I've befen cruising around," said he with a grin. 

" But I have not forgotten that little strawberry affair of 
Camp Wright," said I, insinuatingly. 

" But I'm telling the truth— I'll swear I am I" and Winder 
grinned more earnestly. 


" All right ; wait till I put my musket awiiy, and I'll go. 
with you. A walk won't hurt me." 

Having placed my musket within my tent> I joined "Winder, 
and we walked about a mile " across that hill, yonder," before 
we arrived at the orchard containing those ponderous apples. 
Of course it required a little manoeuvring on our part to get 
out of camp ; but we managed that. We entered the orchard 
full of the liveliest hopes. 

And what kind of apples did we find there ? Not great 
yellow, mellow ones as large as pumpkins ; but little, hard, 
knotty, green ones, not fit for even a soldier to eat. Aye, 
and I verily believe that all the apples in the orchard, put 
together, would not have constituted one " as large as my 
head," as Winder had asserted. 

" And is this the orchard, Dave ?" said !• 

" Yes, certainly," he replied with a grin. 

" Then where are the magnificent apples you spoke of?" 

" Don't know — guess somebody's took 'em all." 

" Confound you 1 You ought — " 

" Ha, you fellows there 1 You are intruding on private 
property — did you know it ?" 

Looking in the direction from whence these words pro- 
ceeded, we beheld a youth of seventeen, attired in a gay 
uniform, rushing toward us, and flourishing a revolver in 
his hand. Winder split for it; and such running as he exe- 
cuted was delightful to witness. In a moment he had cleared 
the fence, and was making toward camp for dear life. I 
stood still. 

" What are you doing here ?" asked the youthful soldier 
as he came up. 

'* Eeally, young man, I came here for th§ purpose of getting 
some apples; having been erroneously informed that the 
fruit grew here in great abundance, to the size of a man's 

" But what right would you have to them, even allowing 
that they were as large as you were informed ?" 

" What right have you to ask ?" I inquired. 

"I belong to a company of the — th New York regiment, 
placed her^Muard this property; it belongs to a good 


Union man. My orders are to arrest every man found on 
the premises, and take him before the officer of the guard. 
I must trouble you to go with me." 

" That I don't mind doing, especially as you have a revol- 
ver." And I accompanied the young man, and soon found 
myself in the august presence of the officer of the guard, 
feeling rather small at the idea of having been arrested by 
that little imp. Nevertheless, I was not conscious of having 
done anything criminal,, and did not feel at all alarmed. 
On reaching the officer of the guard, I said — 

" Lieutenant, I have been found in this orchard and ar- 
rested by this daring young man — what are you going to do 
with me?" 

" You should have kept out," he remarked. 

" But I was not aware of it." 

"How so?" 

" I was told that it was public property -" and I explained 
the circumstances. 

My captor corroborated my statement that another fellow 
was with me, but on his appearance, had " fun like Satan." 

" Very well," said the officer of the guard, " you can return 
to . your camp. Be careful, however, to intrude here no 

" I will, thank you. Good day, sir." 

''Good day." 

And away I went, resolved that Winder should get me 
into no more scrapes after that. 

On entering camp, the first persons I saw were Mitchel 
and Scott: and they were conversing in an earnest manner 
on some unusual topic. 

" What's up, boys ?" I asked. 

" Marching orders 1" was the reply 

" Ah I I wonder where we are going ?" 

"Hard to say." 

"Do you know when?" 

" Yes — ^in the morning." 

Yes, we had marching orders. We were to hold ourselves 
in readiness to march on the following morning—our tents 
struck, and our knapsacks packed. 

66 OUR B0Y3. 

Next morning vre struck our tents and placed them in thd 
baggage wagons, then formed the regiment for a march — our 
knapsacks and other accoutrements hanging heavilj upon 
our shoulders. It was indeed amusing to hear the manj 
suggestions as to our destination (for no one knew where 
we were going). Some said we were going to move to the 
opposite side of the Potomac, and join the main army; 
while others, less hopeful, expressed it as their belief that we 
were going back toward Baltimore to guard the railroad. 

**/ know where we are going," said Winder, with a grin ; 
"there is a strong rebel redoubt beyond the river, not far 
from the Chain Bridge, and we are detailed to go over and 
take it ; I heard Greneral Scott say so. He says the Eighth 
regiment is the best regiment in the service." 

•' Eight— /ace. Forward — march /" interrupted the colonel, 
at this moment ; and we faced to the right, filed from our 
camping-ground, and were led by the colonel — toward Wash- 



The day was an exceedingly hot one — it was the second 
of August — and the thermometer stood, I think, at ninety- 
seven degrees in the shade. On arriving at Pennsylvania 
Avenue, we turned to the right and followed that street 
directly through Georgetown. At the suburbs we came to 
a halt, to await orders. While there we sat down in groups 
on the pavement or curbstones, while the sun poured down 
his scorching rays without mercy ; for, owing to the time of 
day and the position of the street we were lying in, there 
was no " shady side." There was a corpulent man in our 
company, whose name was William Kegg. This gentleman 
being very fond of what the poets call 

ll^ Something to warm within," 


liad, on tliifl occasion, taken a drop too mucb, and tbe conse 
qoence was, that we had no sooner halted than he lay right 
down in the street, crosswise, and fell into a delicious drunken 
sleep. The order to " fall in," when it came, found him still 

" Fall in 1 Fall in T was reiterated on all sides ; but Bill 
didn't hear. 

" I say, Bill, get up. ' We're going to move 1" shouted his 
friend and partner, Putty Stewart, in his ear ; at the same 
time he shook him in the most spirited manner. 

But Bill lay still. The regiment was about to move, 
nearly all being in their places, and he still remained as one 
dead. Just at this critical moment Major Clark rode up, 
and seeing poor Bill stretched out in the manner described, 
he roared out — 

'* What's this? What are you about there, you fellows? 
Why, I do believe you're drunk !" At the same time he 
was, himseU^ about as drunk as Bill. 

"He's not drunk, major," ventured Putty Stewart; "he 
was on guard last night, and he is a little drowsy— come, 
Billy, get up ! We're going to start 1" 

But " Billy" wouldn't get up ; and the major stormed and 
raved, and swore till his florid complexion became still red- 
der, and his red whiskers stood out stiff and inflexible, like 
hogs' bristles. 

At last, by dint of rubbing, pinching, shaking, kicking, 
and pulling hair. Bill was restored to consciousness ; then 
the major said — 

" You low, drunken rascal I I'll put a ball and chain to 
your leg for three months." 

This unfriendly suggestion had the effect of sobering Bill 
just enough to impart to him the free use of his tongue, 
without improving his temper; and without thinking to 
whom he was talking, or perhaps not caring, he gruffly re- 
plied — 

"Theh— 11 you Willi" t 

« Wh — wh — wh — d — d — you — y — I'll go right to the 
colonel and have you arrested instanter I Why, how dare 
you — ^you — " stammered the major, in a towering rage ; and 


■■■ > 


■; oflf he rode to inform the colonel of the affair. But he M 

j so inebriated, that he had not gone a dozen steps till he f 

got all about it, and began to wonder whom he was looki 
f for. 

Bill sullenly got up and joined the ranks. 

We marched on. After leaving Georgetown, we tool 

road which led directly northward. We suffered much frc 

, the heat. Indeed, many sank down by the way, sunstruc 

i^ji ■ il This was the first trying march we were called upon to j 

if 5 J complish. Though the distance was not great, but ten mil 

i "!' yet tKe heat was so intense (and encumbered as we w€ 

"i L . with our knapsacks) we felt its effects very sensibly. 

W,|r We arrived at Tenallytown, a small village near t 

northern margin of the District of Columbia, at two o'clo 

in the afternoon. We pitched our tents on the summit of 

high hill which was covered with luxuriant clover; it ^ 

the most elevated point for miles around. Our camp -w 

called Camp Tenally. It was not many days ere the wh< 

division known as the "Pennsylvania Eeserves" arrive 

regiment by regiment, and encamped in the vicinity. Th 

• for the first time, our division was together. It consisted 

twelve regiments of infantry, a rifle regiment (the Penns; 

vania " Bucktails"), one regiment of cavalry, and one of"i 

tillery. We numbered about fifteen thousand men, and W( 

commanded by General George A. McCall. 

We were not yet brigaded. 

It sounded quite martial when the various bands stru 
up the reveille at early morn, in the surrounding camps. 

On the evening of our arrival at Camp Tenally, it \^ 
our lot to perform our first picket duty. It was still si 
posed that Beauregard meditated an attack on Washingtt 
that his intentions were to cross the* Potomac either at 
above the Chain Bridge, and bear down upon the city 
way of Georgetown ; hence McClellan, who had now tak 
command, ordered us to Tenallytown, and, I doubt not, t 
plans of Beauregard were there]|y frustrated ; for so clos( 
watch did McClellan keep upon the tipper Potomac, tl 
any attempt of the former to effect a crossing must ha 
been immediately communicated to him, in which case ' 


were in a position to march advantageously to any threatened 
point in this direction to repel the would-be invaders. 
Earthworks, too, were speedily constructed, and had Beau- 
regard even succeeded in crossing the river at any point 
above us, his endeavors to capture Washington must have 
been vain. But pardon me ; I do not wish to. make myself 
a "committee on the 'conduct of the war." Suffice it to say, 
that when going on duty that evening, as pickets, we had. 
every reason to suppose there was danger north of us, and 
that the greatest vigilance was' necessary. The night, though 
clear and starlight, was still rather dark ; for there was no 
moon — ^that is, we couldn't see any. 

A squad, of which I was one, .was placed in a road lead- 
ing to Eockville.' Our position ^vas about half a mile from 
the village. We were divided into three reliefs, and as I 
was on the third, I lay down on the grass at the road-side, 
to rest till my turn should come to go on post. I was almost 
asleep, when suddenly aroused to perfect wakefulness by 
the following circumstance. John Snyder, of Camp Wright 
notoriety, was one of our squad, and being on the first relief, 
was already on post, having been placed there with strict 
injunctions to watchfulness. Being of a somewhat nervous 
temperament, he was prone to be very suspicious of any 
object he might chance to see moving. What aroused me 
was John's voice, as I heard him call out, in a peremptory 
manner : — 

" Ho— ha 1 Halt ! Who comes there ?" 

At the same moment I heard the sharp clkh of the fire- 
lock, as John cocked his musket. John then continued, in 
the same tone : — 

" Look out ! Beware ! What did you blow out your lantern 
for? Come here and give the countersign, or, by blazes, I'll 

" What's the matter, Snyder ?" asked the captain, who had 
heard the row. 

"Why, captain I" exclaimed John, in an excited manner^ 
" I saw some one coming toward me with a lantern in his 
hand, and when I challenged him, he blowed his light out^ 


and— Look there ! He's lit it again I" And John levelled hifl 

" Don't fire 1" exclaimed the captain. 

"Why?" asked John. 

" Because, it is merely a lightning-bug," said the captain, 
quietly ; and I am sure that, had it been light enough, a 
smile might have been seen on his face. 

Poor John! He never heard the last of it; especially 
from Gaskill and Putty Stewart, who were exceedingly fond 
of a joke. 

At twelve o'clock I was placed on post, to guard the road. 
Another sentinel was posted, at the same time, at a little dis- 
tance out. He was to challenge any approaching object, and, 
if necessary, I was to come to his assistance. I had been on 
post an hour, when a wagon was heard coming. . 

"Halt!" commanded the first sentinel, as the vehicle, 
drawn by a single horse, came up. 

The driver either did not hear, or did pot heed the chal- 
lenge, but drove right on. 

*'Halt!" thundered the sentinel. 

" Halt 1" I shouted, cocking my piece, and levelling it at 
the horse ; for the wagon had now reached me. 

This seemed to bring the driver to his senses, for he pulled 
up with such sudden energy that the poor animal quite took 
a seat upon the hard pike. 

** Who comes there ?" I demanded. 

'* What ?" was the response. Evidently the traveller was 
not familiar with military terms. I then spoke more literally, 
and asked : — 

" Who are you ?" 

"Why — I — m.e— ah — ah— Smith is my — Louis Smith. 
Mercy on me 1" And he seemed to be really alarmed. 

"You need not be at all alarmed," said I; "we are on 
picket, and must examine all who pass ; what is your busi- 
ness on the road at this time of night ?" 

"I am a farmer going to market," he replied, with that 
peculiar manner of sounding the " E," or rather of not sound- 
ing it at all, learned from the negroes in the South. 

I walked up to the vehicle — a common market wagon. 



and at the same time the captain and several others ap- 

" What have you got in your wagon ?" asked the captain. 

" Peaches, pears, and apples," was the reply. 

" It is my duty to be sure of it," said the captain ; and he 
produced a lantern and lighted it. 

The rays of the lantern fell upon a number of baskets 
containing the most tempting fruit imaginable. 

"All right," said the captain; "you may go now." 

The farmer was so glad to get off with his life (for the 
" military " was, as yet, something new in those parts), that 
he opened his heart, and handed out a basket of peaches, say- 
ing, as ho did so : — 

" Gentlemen, there is some peaches as you may have." 

"We do not wish to rob you," said the captain ; "and if 
you give us some peaches, it is voluntary on your part — 
thank you." 

"To be certainly 1" said the farmer; "I see as you're 
Union men, and so am I. You are welcome to help your- 

We did help ourselves, and the farmer drove on toward 
Washington, whistling an air that appeared to be a strange 
mixture of "Old Hundred" aud "Yankee Doodle." 

We encountered many similar customers before morning ; 
market wagons were passing continually. We e^^amined 
all ; for who could say that a spy was not concealed in one. 
The honest and unlearned Maryland farmers could not com- 
prehend that " picket business" at first, but after a little ex- 
planation on our part, they could not but admit that it was 
all reasonable and " on the square." 

When morning came, we sent to camp for coffee and other 
breakfastables, and on their arrival regaled ourselves with 
great eagerness. We remained on duty till evening, when 
we were relieved by the Third regiment, which took our 
place ; we then returned to camp. 

Frequent and numerous were the rumors afloat concerning 
the movements of General Beauregard. One day rumor 
even had it that he had actually crossed the Potomac at 
the Great Falls, about eighteen miles above Washington, 


with Qfi army of seventy-five thousand men. Thus a 
week passed quietly away, when at the end of thi? time 
an event worthy of note occurred. Our company, on 
leaving Brownsville, had been presented with a beautiful 
flag, by the ladies of the place. Well, at the time I am 
about to speak of, Fletch Chess, who, by the way, had been 
promoted to corporal, in consequence of his brave conduct 
in saving the ammunition car, took it into his head that it 
would be very nice to have a beautiful, straight pole with a 
green top, raised near the company's head-quarters, for the 
flag. Accordingly, he and Will Baker, one of our boys, 
went forth in quest of the article. After a long search, in 
which they travelled over a large portion of the District of 
Columbia, they found one which exactly answered the pur- 
pose. It was not a very tall one, it is true, but it was tall 
enough. Then it had such a beautiful green top, and having 
been trimmed off to within two feet of this, it was a nice, 
straight, smooth affair. They then carried it into camp — 
Corporal Chess taking the big end — and laid it down for 
general admiration. While the brave corporal was expatiat- 
ing on its peculiar qualities, what was his surprise, his as- 
tonishment, his amazement, his consternation, and indignation 
— what was the surprise of all of us, when Major Clark, 
. drunk as usual, appeared upon the scene, drew his sword, 
and deliberately chopped off that beautiful top. Now, cor> 
poral Chess was no coward ; of his giant size, I have already 
spoken. For the space of a minute he stood stock still, look- 
ing most witheringly right into the eye of the major, who 
looked back with a haughty, impudent stare, that plainly 
said— "/'m Major Clark." 

"What do you mean, sir?" Fletch at length broke forth, 
in a towering passion. 

" Be careful how you speak to me, sir," replied the major, 
laying a strong emphasis on the personal pronoun me. 

Fletch turned white, and red, and black, and blue, and 
yellow by turns, and finally settled down to a hue that might 
be termed a mixture of *' dark black and sky-blue-green." 
Then, his eyes starting from their sockets, his teeth and hands 


clenched, every vein in his body -swelling almost to burst- 
ing — he hissed forth — 

" You d — d infernal scoundrel to h — 1 1" 

The salutation was accompanied by a look and gesture 
that made the redoubtable major tremble in his bcots. But 
suddenly remembering that he was an officer, and had been 
thus addressed by a low corporal, he turned livid with rage, 
raised his sword, and seemed on the point of thrusting .it 
right through the man who had thus dared to brave his 
power. Fletch did not move a muscle, but stood glaring 
upon the major with a look of defiance. The latter hesitated, 
wavered, finally lowered the point of his sabre. 

When he did so, the corporal turned away, walked straight 
into the captain's tent, and presently reappeared with a re- 
volver in his hand. The major trembled. What was Cor- 
poral Chess going to do ? Surely he was not going to shoot 
the major. Oh, no I He would not dare do that. However, 
he confronted his adversary again. 

"Tyrant," he said, "you raised your sword to me once; 
now but dare to raise the point an inch, and I'll blow your 
cursed heart out, right on the spot." And Fletch cocked 
the revolver, and pointed it at the breast of the major. 

There stood the latter, stone still ; afraid to stir, lest Fletch 
should take it for a hostile movement, and put his awful 
threat into execution. At length he spoke ; he could scarcely 
do so either, for his tongue appeared to grow thick and his 
lips were dry and parched. 

" Now — come — my — good — fellow — I — did n't — think — ^lo 
— offend — ^you," he stammered out. 

"Didn't think to offend me," said Fletch', sneeringly; 
"didn't mean to oftend me; you didnH care! You thought, 
because you wore shoulder-straps, that you could trample 
upon us common soldiers with impunity. But you can't 
trample upon me I You perceived that I had been at some 
trouble to get a pole for our flag ; you saw that it afforded 
me pleasure ; you saw that I was especially proud of the 
green top, and you couldn't bear to see a soldier who was 
under you enjoying himself; so you came up with your 



d d old sword" (here Jletch began to look particularly 

fierce), " and you — ^you — " 

At this moment Captain Conner appeared upon the scene ; 
the major, thinking that the captain would, as a matter of 
course, side with him, began to grow bold again, and ^id : — 

"Now, no more! WeVe heard enough. Captain, here's an 
impudent fellow, who— he— " 

" Major," said the captain, who appeared to comprehend 
the true state of things; "if my men do anything wrong, 
report them to me; I'll not have tbem abused by any oneT 

The major, seeing that the captain was no reinforcement 
for Am, thought best to endeavor to work himself into a 
show of good humor ; he extended his hand to Fletch, and 
said: — 

" Well, well, my good fellow, its foolish to quarrel about 
so small a thing ; let us make it up." 

Fletch could not refuse the proffered hand; he took it, and 
said: — 

" Well, major, its all over -now, and may rest as it is ; 
but if you ever attempt to bully me again, one of us musi 

" Then you are willing to let the matter drop — to let the 
past be forgotten, are you?" asked the major; for he felt 
some slight misgivings lest Corporal Chess should yet wreak 
some terrible vengeance on him. 

"Yes," replied Chess, "youVe got my hand on it; and 
nobody that knows Fletch Chess can say that he ever told a 
lie or broke his word." 

This satisfied the major, and he walked away looking 
very sheepish^ after being cowed in this manner. 

This affair did not entirely break his tyrannical spirit; 
but certain it is that he never afterward attempted to come 
any of his games over Fletch — or even any of Company " D.** 
He had learned, among other things, that our captain was a 
man who, though his inferior in rank, was vastly his superior 
in courage and manliness, and an officer who would stand 
up boldly for the rights of his men. OUR boys all congratu- 
lated Corporal Chess on his brilliant achievement in "cooling 
down " Major Clark. We were not a little pleased to see it^ 


for there was scarcely one of us who had not, at some time 
or other, been the object of his tyranny. 

Another week elapsed. General McClellan, the President, 
and Governor Ourtin were to review us. As yet, we had not 
learned to love McClellan. We had only heard his name ; 
we knew he had command of the army. We also knew 
that he was.the man who had so nobly acquitted himself in 
West Virginia. 

The day and hour came, and we were arranged in a large 
field by^ Captain Biddle, General McCall's aid-de-camp. 
We were just ready, when a body of mounted men and a 
long array of carriages hove in sight. At the head of the 
cavalcade rode General McClellan ; and at the head of the 
long row of carriages was one in which were seated President 
Lincoln and Governor Curtin. 

When they were near enough, all eyes sought the features 
of our new commander. We expected to see a man of stern,. 
hard features, wearing a look of conscious importance. But 
instead of anything like this, we saw just the pleasantest 
countenance I ever beheld. Nothing of arrogance was written 
there ! Nothing of pomp or show I He was the very beau 
ideal of, 

" A Dobleman of Nature's own." 

Reader, he needs no description from me I Suffice it to 
say, that we at once learned to love, were indeed irresistibly 
drawn toward him. But there are many who have never 
seen him — many who have never been within hearing of the 
hostile cannon, who- take great pleasure in censuring him, 
and in condemning his every action! But why speak of 
them ? 

When the review was over, all the commissioned officers 
of the division assembled at a point in front of our lines 
where they received a few general instructions from General 
McClellan. Every word he spoke was to the point, and 
as though he were addressing men whom he looked upon in 
the light of equals. He even told them that if they desired 
information on any particular point, to name it, and he would 
be happy to impart any instructions in his power. 


He appeared much pleased with the Pennsylvania Reseires^ 
informed the President that we were a fine body of men. 

On this occasion, Governor Curtin presented to each regi- 
ment of our division, a beautiful silk flag. This ceremony 
over, we formed column of divisions,* and passed in review; 
that is, we marched by the general who sat upon his horsa 
and watched us passing. We then marched from the field,, 
and returned to camp. 

Being drawn up in line in front of our camp previous to 
dismissal, Lieutenant- Colonel Oliphant doffed his cap, raised 
his voice, and thus addressed us: — 

" Eighth regiment, you have this day been presented, by 
the Governor of your State with a beautiful stand of colors; 
will you ever surrender tliem .^" 

"Never! Never! No! Never, Never, Neveb!" burst 
forth from a thousand throats. 

. We kept our word. That same flag, though pierced by 
hundreds of bullets, and torn here and there by fragments 
of shell, continued to wave over the centre of our regiment 
while it was a regiment. 

Having obtained a satisfactory response from us, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Oliphant said : — 

" Now, boys, three cheers for our governor !" 

They were given with a will. He then added : — 

" Three cheers for the President of the United States^ whom 
you have seen to day !" 

Three loud and long cheers were given. Colonel Oliphant 
then concluded : — 

"Now, three cheers for our new commander, Genebal 
McClellan 1" 

Then, reader, the cheers our regiment sent forth were wild 
and stirring indeed. Three times three cheers rang out; 
nor did we stop at that. We continued to shout and yell till 
Our lungs were exhausted, and our voices subsided and died 
away like the sound of many waters. Thus early we begaa 
to love our general. And no wonder. 

* When I say " colnmn of divisions," the division referred to oonsSstft 
of two companies ; and is commanded \>j the senior captain. Sab-4iirl- 
sious might be more appropriate. ^ 


Next evening we were to go on picket again. The picket 
line had been extended, and was n^w about three miles from 
camp. The whole re^ment was to go. 

We were standing m line in readiness to start, when one 
of the boys of Company " C " seemed to have forgotten some- 
thing—his haversack or canteen, perhaps — and he left the 
ranks and went to his tetot for the missing article. Having 
obtained it, he was returning to the regiment, walking in a 
very leisurely manner, too, when Major Clark thought it 
would be as well to give him a cursing. Accordingly, he 
began — I will leave the oaths out — thus : — 

** You low, miserable imp 1 You lazy scoundrel I Hurry 
np, or I'll cut you in two T' 

The soldier thus addressed didn't "hurry up" a bit; he 
walked on at the same deliberate pace. Infuriated beyond 
measure at this want of respect for him, in the " low, miser- 
able imp," he drew his " bloody old sword," as Chess called 
it^ and rode rapidly toward the soldier. The soldier — he 
was a mere youth, did not appear to be the least disconcerted, 
but as the major reached him, and seemed on the point of 
bringing his merciless sword down upon his head, he turned 
coolly around, confronted the latter, and came to a " charge 
against cavalry" — his bayonet being fixed. 

Maddened at this show of defiance. Major Clark drew a 
revolver, and levelled it at the head of the offender, who 
thereupon, seeing that he was out-flanked, and that the sword 
no longer menaced him, came to a " shoulder," faced about, 
and walked coolly to his place in the ranks. He knew the 
major wouldn't shoot : all had, by this time, discovered that 
he was not as dangerous a man as one might think. 

In due time we arrived at the picket line, and relieved 
the regiment then on duty ; we were scattered along by 
squads of three or four at each post. This done, those not 
immediately on post proceeded to procure forage to assist 
in making up their supper. This they did by going, sans 
ceremonie, into the neighboring cornfields, potato-patches, 
tomato-patches, etc., and helping themselves to green corn, 
fruity and vegetables. An excellent, simple, and convenient 
mode of cooking green corn was introduced ; we laid the 


ears upon the fire, the husks still on, and left them on till 
the husks were burned through, when, taking them <^, we 
found them done "just right ;" although the seoesh owners 
of the provisions thought the whole proceeding neither just 
nor right, (For the land-owners of that vicinity were gener* 
ally secessionists.) 

All went well till near midnight;' when a series of alarroa 
disturbed our peace. I was on post, and had a little scare of 
my own, in the first place. The wind was blowing and a 
slight mist of rain falling, and to protect myself from this 
latter article* of weather, I placed my blanket in a slanting 
position upon some rails which I leaned against the fence, 
(for we had not yet burned all the fence-rails), and took 
shelter beneath it. The night was dark; my post was a 
lonely one, near a wood ; my comrades were asleep. I sat 
down upon a large stone beneath my blanket, and had just 
come to the conclusion that things were as unpleasant as 
might be, when the edge of my blanket near the ground was 
raised as though by some earthly hand. I sprang from 
beneath my fragile shelter, and looking at the spot where my 
blanket had been raised, I saw, in the imperfect liglit, the 
face, form, and figure of a man in a crouching posture. My 
blood ran chill ; and, to say the very least of it, I felt queer. 
However, the creature did not move, but the face was turned 
toward me in the most horrid manner, and I imagined the 
eyes were staring at me. But a moment I hesitated. Then, 
having regained my equilibrium of mind and courage, I 
sprang forward with fearful desperation, and made a savage 
thrust, plunging my vengeful bayonet right through a dislo- 
cated branch of some sycamore tree, which had been moved 
along by the wind till it came in contact with my blanket 
A number of broad leaves being on it — ^the white side of 
one of them being turned upward, to represent the face — it 
very much resembled a human figure ; especiallv to ray keen 
imagination. It was the wind which had raised the edge of 
my blanket. 

A few minutes after this occurrence. Corporal Dee went 
rushing wildly from post to post, exclaiming in an exoited 
manner — 


"Rally on the reserve! We're attacked! Se — cesh — 
cavalry!" • 

All was confusion ; the boys aroused their sleeping com- 
rades, and left their posts to rally in force. Daddy Brown 
(whom I have previously introduced to the reader) was act- 
ing corporal of a certain squad near a wood ; he was not with 
tliem at this time, and on being told by Corporal Dee to 
hasten to his squad and alarm them ; he did so, literally. 
Hare was on post at the time, and hearing Daddy Brown 
come tearing up (but he did not know who it was), he pre- 
sented his piece, according to instructions, and cried out — 


Daddy Brown thinking that under the circumstances, dis- 
cipline was out of place, had the hardihood to knock Hare's 
musket aside, at his peril, and rush right by, in order to 
alarm the rest, exclaiming, as he did so — 

"Never mind the countersign — it's me! Rally on the 
reserve ! The foe !" 

Had Hare adhered implicitly td his instructions, he must 
have shot Daddy Brown, or run him through with his bayo- 
net ; but recognizing the voice, he forbore. The whole com- 
pany was soon alarmed ; and it might have extended from 
post to post, throughout the whole picket line, and even the 
camps, but for Captain Conner, who being informed by Cor- 
porsd Dee where he had seen the rebel cavalry — at the mar- 
gin of an adjacent wood — walked fearlessly to the designated 
spot> and found a dozen solemn old co^vs lounging lazily 
about beneath a wide-spreading tree. Poor Corporal Dee I 
Poor Daddy Brown! The boys nearly bored the life out of 
them after this event. " Rally on the reserve," and, ^ Never 
mind the countersign — ^it's me," became by-words among 
OUB BOYS, and for many months scarcely a day passed that 
these salutations did not greet Corporal Dee and Daddy 
Brown. To get frightened at a few harmless inoffensive 
cows, arid to alarm the picket line in consequence — oh, it 
was too good. We were very watchful during the remainder 
of the night. One, a Dutchman, named Heinrich Rouschen- 
Bchwaker, having returned to his post after the alair^, ^\\\L 
felt ill at ease. Ha could not altogether drive faom. '\i\^ tcCw^^ 

80 • OUR BOYS. 

the fright he had beeu treated to. By-and-by^ he detected 
a white object slowly and cautiously approaching him. He 
supposed it to be some deadly foe ; for, of coursei a spy or 
prowler would dress in white (?) 
• " BLalt, you, dere !" commanded Eouschenschwaker. 

The object didn't halt ; but, in a hoarse, gruflf voice re- 
torted — 


This sounded like defiance and mockery, and our Datbh 
friend yelled out, savagely : — 

'* Who compsh dere ?" 

No reply. The daring object came nearer. 

"You't petter mindtl" said Eouschenschwacker warn- 

But the white thing didn't " mindt ;" it advanced till within 
a few steps of Eouschenschwacker, who made a desperate 
rush upon it, accompanied by a more desperate lunge. 

"Boo — hoo! Boo — oo — boo — boo!" And the big hog 
— for it was a hog — went flying through the weeds, making 
a mad, rushing, and tearing sound, similar to that made by a 
cavalry charge through a thick wood. Eouschenschwacker 
sullenly returned to his post, exclaiming: — 

" Ob, te pig prute I" 

Next evening we were relieved by the Seventh Eegiment^ 
and we returned tp camp, through a drenching rain. The 
sun had risen in a clear sky that morning, notwithstanding 
the misty rain of the previous night, and the heat throughout 
the day had been oppressive. Now that we were relieved 
and on our way to camp, a tremendous rain came up (or 
rather down), which lasted us all the way. 

Next day. Corporal Dee felt out of sorts. The ducking 
of the previous evening, and the everlasting disgrace which 
he had incurred on the night before that, had the effect of 
dampening his spirits not a little. It occurred to him that 
if he could go to Washington and have a spree, he might for 
a time bury his little perplexities. How should he get there ? 
No passes were now granted, save to those who had unavoid- 
able business to transact. Let him see — wasn't Corporal 
Chair to go to the city in one of the regimental wagons that 


day, for supplies ? Yes, lie believed so. Then let him get 
into the wagon and accompany Corporal Chair ; that was the 
ticket ! Once in the city, he feared no patrol ; they couldn't 
catch him. Moreover, didn't he wear corporal's stripes. on 
his arm 7 certainly ! 

Well, he and Corporal Chair got into one of the wagons, 
and succeeded in passing all guards, and getting into the 
city without interruption. Corporal Chair was authorized 
to transact some business connected with the commissary's 
department. JTc, therefore, had a pass; but Corporal Dee 
hadn't. Leaving Corporal Chair at some commissary depot, 
Corporal Dee sallied forth to have a stroll about the city. 
Having satisfied his eyes with "sights," and his stomach 
with something inspiriting, he was returning leisurely to the 

Elace at which he had left the wagon, and was just congratu- 
iting himself on having so successfully eluded all danger, 
when he suddenly ran plump against a sergeant of patrol, 
who, with a squad of men, marched around a corner, coming 
from a street running at right angles. 

" Hilloa ! soldier, eh ? Have you a pass ?" asked the ser- 

The corporal turned pale; for dark visions of "guard- 
house," "court-martial," etc., flitted athwart his brain. He 
couldn't speak. 

"Have you a pass?" again demanded the sergeant. 

" Why, I'm — I — that — I — " stammered Corporal Dee. 

"But have you a pass ? That's the question." 

" I just — ^I came — " 

" But have you a PASS ?" 

"No sir; but—" 

" Then, men," interrupted the sergeant, who, no doubt, was 
troubled with many such customers ; " take charge of this 
man, and put him in that lower room of the guard-liouse, 
where the three drunken fellows are ; the other rooms are 
all full." 

"Oh, dear, Mr. Sergeant, you're only in fun, aint you? 
Oh, don't !" expostulated the terrified Corporal Dee. 

" Take him along," said the sergeant. 

" But I'm a corporal" said the former. 


" Can't help it," was the unfeeling reply 

" But the captain thinks so much of me." 

"No matter." 

" But he'll lose all respect for me if he hears that I 
put in the — " 

" Never mind. Take him along, men." 

" Mercy on me !" 

He was about to be lugged oflf when the wagon he had 
come in drove by ; Corporal Chair was in it. With a des- 
perate attempt at self-possession. Corporal Dee exclaimed : — 

" Oh, there's the wagon I came in ! I say, sergeant, I was 
sent to the city on business, and I came in that wagon; 
there's Corporal Chair — he'll tell you so." 

Corporal Chair heard the voice, looked, and at once saw 
how matters stood. Therefore, he said : — 

" Yes, sergeant, he came down with me ; we came on busi- 
ness for the Quartermaster." 

" Is that true ?" asked the sergeant, half in doubt. 


" Then," said he, "why didn't you tell me so?" 

" Why, I don't know— oh, yes ! I forgot it I Or — " 

" You were scared too badly," suggested the sergeant, ex- 
plaining it for him. 

"Yes— that is— " 

Corporal Chair laughed ; but Corporal Dee couldn't. He 
got into the wagon, which, of course, had come to a stand 
still, and they moved on toward Camp Tenally. 

"Ha! ha! ha!" laughed Corporal Chair, as the wagon 
moved on. 

"What are you laughing at?" demanded Corporal Dee, 

"Oh, you were so jolly frightened? Ha! ha!" 

"I wasn't !" said Corporal Dee. But his lips were still dry 
nd his cheeks pale. 

He was very sober and quiet during the remainder of the 
journey ; no wonder. For oh, horror I What an escape he 
had made. What if he had been taken to that miserable 
guard-house. He, a corporal with two stripes on his arm, 
to be arrested, yes arrested, taken and confined in some dirty 


room, with threi© drunken rowdies. Oh, 'twas most horrible. 
He could never have gotten over it — no, never. 

A few days after this occurrence, the sound of the cannon 
was heard beyond the Potomac. A crowd was soon collected 
on the parade-ground, in front of our camp, from which 

Sosition we could see over many miles of v irginia. Evi- 
ently a fight was in progress, for the firing became more 
harried and frequent. From our situation we could see the 
flash and smoke burst from the cannon, at every discharge ; 
and ever and anon a shell could be seen to explode in the 
air. Here and there clouds of dust could, be seen ; no doubt 
they arose from the moving of bodies of cavalry. Some of 
OUR BOYS imagined that they could even see the cavalry. One, 
Mr. Dave Cease, of our company, went so far as to assert — 
aye, and persist in it — that he distinctly saw a shell strike a 
cavalryman at the stomach and explode, tearing him to 
atoms. A-hem, the distance was no less than eight miles 
Now, I do not wish to cast reflections upon the veracity 
of Mr. Cease ; but if he did witness this incident as stated, 
tf he did, it certainly speaks well for his eyesight. For au 
hour we stood gazing across into rebeldom, watching, with 
the most absorbing interest, the battle. It seemed to be a 
close contest, neither side changed position. 

"I wonder if we won't be called upon yet," said one of our 

" Hope so I" exclaimed half-a-dozen ; for we all felt anxious 
to try our hand. 

Just at this moment the " long roll" sounded on all sides, 
in all the surrounding camps. It was the call — to arms. . 

"Hurrah! hurrah I" And with a wild shout we rushed 
to our quarters, buckled on our cartridge-boxes, and seized 
our muskets. 

"Fall in! Fall in!" cried the captain, who made his 
appearance in our company street, his sword at his side. 

in fifteen minutes we were all in line, and the whole 
division, artillery and all, was en route for the Chain Bridge. 
"We were nearly wild with delight. Could it be that we 
should yet have opportunity to try our hand ? The prospect 
certainly was favorable. The cannonading conlmvxadL, Q^^w.- 


eral McCall rode along, was cheered lustily, and was soon at 
the head of the column. But oh, confusion! The firing 
suddenly ceased, and we were ordered to halt when near 
the Chain Bridge. We were told that the rebels had been 
defeated and had fled precipitately. How provoking ! "We 
really wished that they had proved too much for our fellows, 
that we might have had a chance at them. But there was no 
chance now ; the fight was over, and we were ordered to 
return to Camp Tenally, which we did, but certainly not so 
quickly as we had marched from it to the Chain Bridge. 
The distance was about four miles. 

About this time a "signal corps" was organized to ac- 
company Burnside's Expedition (though, as yet, we knew 
nothing of the intended expedition). The corps was to be 
made up of men detailed from various regiments ; and two 
were detached from our company— Craft and Baker. They 
left us and went to Georgetown, where a school was estab- 
lished for the instruction of the signal corps ; and when the 
*' Burnside Expedition" sailed, they sailed ; and we saw them 
no more. 

Meanwhile a strong redoubt was thrown up on the hill 
we occupied, and it was called " Fort Pennsylvania," for our 
division did the work. I am sure / worked half a day on 
it ; it was on Sunday, too. 

Day after day passed. Every day it was reported that the 
big fight — the fight that was to terminate the war — would 
come off " within the next forty-eight hours." But it wasn't 
destined to come off just yet, and the month of August 
passed away. 

A regiment was constantly kept at the Great Falls, doin^ 
picket duty, for it was yet apprehended that the rebels would 
attempt to cross there. This duty was performed by the 
Pennsylvania Eeserves, each regiment in its turn remaining 
on duty a week. 




Apteb a long season of peace and quiet, a season of sorae- 
tbing neither peaceful nor quiet is apt to come. There is 
no surer sign of a storm than a long-continued calm ; and 
when, after a calm of long duration, the storm does come, 
it is sure to be one of considerable magnitude. 

For a long time we had not had a single civil fight. 
What I mean by " civil fight," is, a fight among ourselves, 
entirely to ourselves — in our own company. We had been 
at perfect peace ever since the fight of Corporal Chair and 
John G. Graham, which occurred in Camp Wilkins. As 
misfortunes never come singly, neither are fights apt to; 
and they did not come singly on the occasion of which I 
am about to speak. 

When two men do not like each other, that is, when there 
is a feeling of animosity existing between them, it is truly 
astonishing how trifling a circumstance will lead to a "coming 

Now, there was a feud existing between Sergeant Cue 
and Sergeant Zee, of our company. I know not from what 
cause the bitter feeling arose, unless from envy ; but I do 
know that just the smallest matter in the world was sufficient 
to lead to a row between them, notwithstanding that they 
were non-commissioned officers ; and it is highly improper 
for officers, either commissioned or non-commissioned, so far 
to forget their dignity as to indulge in a vulgar knock-down. 
But on this occasion, dignity, position, and all else were for- 
gotten — all save hate. But I will proceed in due form to 
relate the incident. 

It was near noon. Groups were collected here and there 
in the company street, engaged in discussing the probability 
of the .war's being over by Christmas. Sergeant Cue acci- 

88 OUB B0T3. 

. dentally dropped his cap ; it fell in the dust, and the blue 
cloth was slightly, but not permanently soiled. Sergeant 
Zee, who was standing by, smiled. 

"What are you laughing for?" demanded Sergeant Cue; 
for he could not bear to see Sergeant Zee smiling at his little 

Sergeant Zee extended his smile to'a laugh — a disdainful, 
taunting laugh. 

" Rascal 1" exclaimed Sergeant Cue ; for it was useless for 
him to attempt to conceal his vexation and wrath. 

Sergeant Zee couldn't bear to hear himself openly termed 
a rascal, by his old enemy ; and he quickly removed all 
traces of mirth from his face, frowned darkly, and retorted— 

" Scoundrel !" 

" Miscreant !" shouted Sergeant Cue. 

" Demon !" shrieked Sergeant Zee 
''V Villain r. 

"Cuss I" . 

"What! you black—" 

"Youyaller— " 

"You low—" 

"You vile— " 

"You beggarly, thieving — ^" 

"You sneaking, cringing — " 



"D— d— d— " 

"Gug— g— gsh— " 

At it they went, for they could stand it no longer ; their 
war of words had become too fierce. 

" Fight I Fight !" was the cry. 

They were both tall young fellows, and they stood straight 
up, about three feet distant from each other, shut their eyea 
and began to strike out for each other's " mugs" in the " most 
approved style." Having continued this interesting course 
of procedure for the space of a minute, neither seeming to 
gain any advantage, they suddealy changed their modus 
operandi, and being near the wooi-pile, both, as though by 
mutual agreement, stopped and seized a weapon in the shape 


of half a rail; with the highly laudable and generous intention 
o^ as thev expressed it, " smashing" each other. 

" Part 'em I Part 'em I" was then echoed on all sides, and 
the boys interfered, in order to prevent further bloodshed. 

"I'll smash him I" shouted Sergeant Cue, boiling over with 
wrath, and almost out of breath. 

"I'll crush him I" yelled Sergeant Zee, also rather scarce 
of breath. 

"I'll murder him I" screamed Sergeant Cue. 

"I'll kill him I" hissed Sergeant Zee. 

" I'll tear— " 



They suddenly hushed ; and why ? Who was that officer 
standing but a few paces from the combatants, calmly 
quietly looking on ? Ah, it was Captain Conner ! The eyes 
of the two sergeants met his. He did not speak ; but his 
manly face grew eloquent, and he cast upon them such a 
thrilling, withering look of reproach, that a blush of shame 
flowed profusely over their faces, and they shrank awav to 
their quarters to hide from his gaze. It was indeed 
mortifying to witness their unutterable shame and confusion. 
What would the captain do now ? Would he have them 
court-martialed, and reduced to the ranks ? They feared he 
would. Oh, how disgraceful that would be. What 1 They, 
two respectable sergeants, reduced to the rank and station of 
a private soldier I What would their friends — what would 
their friends in Brownsville say? Eeduced to the ranks, 
and that for fighting I Oh, 'twere intolerable 1 Oh, would 
the captain put the matter through? But no. Captain 
Conner was a man who could take no pleasure in bringing 
any one to shame. Therefore, he concluded that they had 
already suffered sufficiently for their conduct, and he let the 
affair rest. 

An hour after the circumstances above detailed, I was sit- 
ting quietly within my tent, discussing in my own mind the 
propriety of taking a little ramble as far as a neighboring 
peach-orchard, when I was suddenly interrupted in my cogita- 
tions by voices without in hot dispute. 


What now? Could it be another fight? I hurried out 
of my tent, when I saw Corporal Chess and Corporal Chair 
rush at one another. I have previously alluded to the 
immense size of the former ; well, the latter was almost as 
large, and I had even believed him to be the " best man." 
Howbeit, Chess hit him an awful welt "side o' the head," 
and down he went, big Fletch becoming entangled and fall- 
ing down upon him. Then there was a struggle — and such 
a struggle! Why,, they fairly made the earth tremble I 
The great point at issue was, who should first regain his 
feet ? They both scrambled desperately for it, their hands 
entangled among each other's hair; each endeavoring to 
keep the other down, while he should get up. But, as both 
were toiling for the same end, nothing was gained on either 
side; and they at last arose together, still struggling — still 
locked in each other's warm embrace. A number of OUR 
BOYS now interposed, and the powerful antagonists were 
separated. There they stood, glaring defiance at one another 
in a truly fiendish manner. 

" The coufounded whelp I" vociferated Fletch. 

"The big, overgrown brute I" said Corporal Chair, in a 
guttural tone. 

"Oh, let me at him I" begged Fletch 

"Oh, do I" said Corporal Chair, also in a pleading tone. 
They seemed to agree on that point, at least. 

The captain, having heard the disturbance, now came from 
his quarters, and approached the spot. Corporal Chess did 
not say much then, but Corporal Chair did, and continued to 
do so. 

" Oh, the big scoundrel ! To go and pitch into me when 
1 wasn't looking I But / can tan him I Oh, I wish they 
had left us bin I" 

" Let me hear no more of this," said the captain, decidedly. 

" But the big, overgrown scamp — " 

" But I tell you to drop the matter !" 

"The big—" 

" Do you hear ?" 

"Well, he— " 

" Can you whip him ?" 




" Very well, then, if you are not satisfied, step right out to 
the parade-ground, and fight him fairly ; that will end it," 
said the captain, who evidently understood human nature, 
and knew the best mode of settling such a dispute. 

*' Come on," said Fletch, invitingly. 

" W — w — well." Corporal Chair hesitated. 

"Are you coming?" asked the captain. 

" Ye— y — the great big — " 

" Are you going out to fight him fairly ?" demanded the 

" I — I — " stammered Corporal Chair. 

" Exactly ; I see you don't relish the idea. Now let me 
hear no more of it, from either of you." And the captain 
returned to his quarters — the bloody antagonists to theirs. 

Within the same tent in which dwelt Dave Cease — the 
man remarkable for possessing good eyesight, or else not 
remarkable for telling the truth — there dwelt, also, a short, 
stout youth, who was a native of Galveston, Texas. Putty 
Stewart had given him the name of Oalvesti; which sounds 
like a mixture of Russian, Spanish, and French. Galvesti 
was the only name he was known by in the company. On 
the day in question, half an hour after the fight of Corporals 
Chess and Chair, Galvesti having invited one of his friends 
into his tent, they were sitting on an out-spread blanket^ 
enjoying a quiet game of "old sledge." The cards were 
scattered about, occupying a great deal of room, when Cease 
thinking to better the matter, at length broke forth : — 

" By thunder 1 I'd thank you fellers for to go some place 
else, and play your darned cards I" 

" This tent's as much mine as 'tis your'n 1" retorted Gal- 
vesti ; which was a fact. 

I happened to be passing at the moment, and stopped. 

" Well, confound me if I'll have it," said Cease, decidedly. 

" Won't you ?" asked Galvesti. 

"No I Be darned if I Willi" 

"How are you going to help it?" asked Galvesti, with 
evident curiosity. 

His curiosity was soon satisfied; for Cease seized the 



cards, and dashed them violently from the tent, scattering 
them most grievously over the company street. At the 
same time, he exclaimed — 

" That air's the way I'll help it, by gosh 1" 

Galvesti's wrath knew no bounds, and looking npir-he 
was still in a sitting posture — grinding his teeth, he hissed- 

" Confound you ! I'll kill you !" 

Cease, who was standing at the time, sprang right down 
upon the devoted Texan " like a thousand of bricks," crush- 
ing him to the earth, and straightening him out to a nice 
horizontal position. He then went to hammering away at 
poor Galvesti's head, like mad, at the same time roaring out 
between blows — 

" Oh, you Texas rascal ! TouHl kill me, will you 7 I've 
fit before to-day I Oh, you cuss I Tou^ll kill me I Ha I ha I 
You tarnally darnation rowdy ! Fll show you 1 Fll learn 
you how to kill people !" And he continued to pelt away 
at Galvesti's head for a full minute; then he stopped for 
want of breath. 

Cease was a large, powerful fellow, and a mountaineer; 
the reader may have inferred this latter fact from his lan- 
guage. And what was Galvesti doing during all this time? 
Why, nothing — simply nothing. Now, taking advantage 
of this cessation of hostilities on the part of Cease, that he 
might be heard, he very coolly requested that gentleman to 
'* climb off o' him, now." Cease was undecided as to whether 
to grant this polite request, or "go to work" again; but 
after some deliberation on the subject, he concluded to be 
polite, and " climb oftl" When he had done so, Galvesti 
arose to a sitting posture, not appearing to be in the least 
flurried, and, after brushing the dust from his clothes, «nd 
arranging his hair with his hand, so that it did not fall over 
his eyes, he proceeded deliberately to tie his shoe. 

Such cool conduct, I thought^ must be ominous of some- 
thing. Perhaps he meditated some terrible revenge, to bo 
consummated at a time when his adversary should least 
expect it. But such was not the case. The fact was, while 
Cease had been pounding away at him with such energy, he 
had held his hands and Arms in such positions that Cease 


conld not hit him fairly nor hnrt him ; and all that time he 
had been l3ring there, laughing at Cease's mountain talk. 

Thus ended the celebrated affair of Cease versus Galvesti. 
Hoping that we might have no more rows, during that day 
at least, I went to my tent and took a nap. 

But the fighting was not over yet. in a tent adjoining 
mine dwelt Philip Trump, of the village called Cookstow^ , 
and Estep Williams, one of the "Perry Boys." The former 
gentleman was not proof against little insinuations, such as 
the mischievous are wont to throw out ; and on the present 
occasion, Mr. Williams thought to amuse himself awhile 
by teasing poor Phil about his " gal," " what lived to Cooks- 
town," where Williams was also slightly acquainted. Trump, 
after bearing it for a reasonable length of time, at last became 
qnite angry; and he warned Estep "as how he'd better 
mind out who he was, teasing him that way." Williams 
did not desist, but teased him the more. Trump became 
more wroth ; still Williams tose on. 

"Ill knock thunder out o' youl" exclaimed Trump, 
thoroughly aroused. 

"Bah I You wouldn't do that, now," replied Williams, 
grinning provokingly. 

"But I wouH though," said Trump, savagely. 

" Oh, now, my poorty fellow — " began Williams, taunt- 


"Now, look here, I — " 

" Ha I ha 1 ha I" laughed Williams, interrupting Trump. 

Bif 1 he got it, right over the mouth, and it made that 
article feel all mashed up, like. 

" Oh — oo— ngh I" he mumbled, at the same time hitting 
Trump a stunning pelt at the " butt o' the ear." 

Then they had it. They clinched at once, and commenced 
a series of hostile operations, such as pulling hair, scratch- 
ing faces, gouging eyes, smashing noses, and feeling for 
throttles, generally. They were both strong young fellows, 
and, for awhile, it was nip and tuck ; but at last — the fates o' 
war so willed it — poor Trump's thumb managed to work its 
way into Estep's mouth. 

Estep laid hold of, and went to chewing that thumb des- 


perately. To see him at it was enough to lead one to snppoBe 
that he hadn't had anything to eat for a month. But he had, 
though ; for, with all his faults, Estep was ever punctually 
at his meals. Therefore, it could not have been hunger that 
induced him to " go to work " on that thumb with such ap- 
parent, relish. But it is not to be supposed, that any man 
would allow his thumb to be chewed, very long at a time, 
without endeavoring to prevent it. Accordingly, Trump 
laid back, and took a dead pull ; but all to no purpose — he 
couldn't fetch it ; for Williams had it above the joint. Then 
there remained but one plan of saving his thumb ; and he 
resorted to it. 

"Nuflfl" he yelled. 

This was an acknowledgment that he was defeated, and 
several of the boys interfered ; after some difficulty, they per- 
suaded Williams to let go, by forcing apart his jaws. The 
fight was over. Trump grinned and looked pitifully at his 
"chawed thumb;" while Williams spit out a mouthful of 
blood, and grinned too. All hands then grinned ; and the 
affair ended with a grin. 

" Well, it seems that all our fights come together," remarked 
one, as he contemplated the singular fact. 

" Oh, just wait till we meet the rebels," said Putty Stewart^ 
" and they'll get enough of fighting ; they won't be so fond 
of fighting then. Hah ! hah I hoo !" 

There was a rowdy little fellow in our company whose 
name was Jim Smith. He was about the size of Hare, and 
in many respects resembled that worthy. Near evening, of 
this same day, he went to Goens, the cook, and requested that 
gentleman to furnish him with a piece of pork to grease his 

" Havn't got any," was Goens' reply. 

" But I know you have," persisted Smith. 

" It's no such ting 1" 

" You're a liar, you d — d nigger I" 

Goens had an old rusty saw in his hand, and rap 1 he took 
Smith with it right over the back. Smith hustled out of the 
way but Goens pursued. Crack! crack I crack I Rap I 
rap! he got it. Smith turned with a show of fight; but 


S-oens drew the saw upon him as though he were about to 
ose it like a sword, and strike with it, edgewise. Smith 
thought he was a goner, for Goens seemed to be aiming for 
bis neck. Goens end not strike, however. Hare now came 
up, and said : — 

"Smith, why didn't you kill the d — d n — ^n — ^nigger?" 

** I will yet," answered Smith. 

" You^d better try it," suggested Goens, addressing Hare. 

"You infernal black scoundrel! PU k— k — ^k^ you, if 
foxk t — ^t — talk to m — me !" 

And Hare seized what he termed a " rock," and threatened, 
therewith, to knock Goens' " b— b — black, woolly head " oflf. 
S^oens seized a fierce-looking butcher-knife, and told Hare 
if he dared throw, he'd manufacture mince-meat of him. 
rhereupon Ben Hoffman, a stout fellow of our company, 
3ei2sed an axe, flourished it above his head, and said : — 

" You dare to raise that knife to that boy, and off goes 
jovlt head, cat-fish 1" 

At the same moment Hare blazed away with a stone he 
bad picked up, and it just grazed the head of Goens, and was 
aear striking that of Corporal Chess, who stood in the back- 
ground. Hoffman told him to desist, or Ae'rf kick him ; that 
it wasn't his idea to stand there and menace the " nigger " 
with an axe, while another should stone him. 

"What's all this about?" demanded the captain, approach- 
ing at that moment. 

Hare endeavored to explain it all according to his views ; 
emd he began : — 

"Why, G — G — Goens to— t — ^took a saw a — a — and was 
g — ^g — goin' t — ^t — t — " 

" Go to your quarters, all of you," said the captain, in a 
tone that admitted of no parley. 

The crowd dispersed. 

Thus ended a day, celebrated in the history of our boys, 
fc^j rows. 




The order of exercises had been changed ; guard-mount 
was now jperformed at six o'clock in the evening instead of 
eight in Uie morning. On the evening of the day so cele- 
brated for tights, as reported in the last chapter, I was detailed 
for camp guard. I chanced to be on the third relief — which 
was to go on duty at ten. The officer of the guard was a 
severe, strict man ; he was Lieutenant Kent, of Company ''I.** 
On this occasion he ordered, in the most explicit tern[iSy that 
those of the guard who were not immediately on post shoald 
remain at the gate. 

When ten o'clock came, the third relief was called up, and 
formed, and the corporal proceeded to march us around the 
camp, from post to post, relieving each sentinel then on duty, 
d la militaire. It so happened that I was the last man on 
the relief, and I was obliged to march almost around the 
entire camp before reaching the post which I was to guard. 
This beat was a lonely one beyond the earthwork (for our 
line of guards extended also around the fortification). The 
sentinels, when relieved, had been allowed to return to the 
gate by any route they chose. All save the last one having 
been relieved, the corporal and I bent our steps in that direc- 
tion, for the purpose of relieving the remaining one. As wo 
neared the spot, it was a somewhat remarkable thing that 
we were not challenged. What could be the matter? Ah, 
perhaps the sentinel had challenged us, and we had -not 
heard ; he might now be preparing to fire. We halted — 
listened. All was still ; the silence was solemn — death-like. 
No slow, steady, measured tramp of a sentinel could be 
heard. What could it mean ? We advanced a few steps. 
Ah, what object was that, stretched out at full length upon 
the ground ? Surely it was the body of some human being; 
lying pron^Don the green-sward. Was it the form of the 


eentinel ? Yes. There, a few paces from Lim, lay his mus- 
ket, but dimly visible in the imperfect light of the night. 
Oh, horror I Could he have been murdered — murdered 
while at his post, doing his duty with perfect faithfulness ? 
Had some stealthy prowler been crouching among those low 
bushes there; and had he sprung upon the unsuspecting 
sentinel, with relentless dagger ? Nary time ! A little in- 
vestigation disclosed the interesting fact, ifcat the faithful (?^ 
sentinel had deliberately laid his gun upon the ground, then 
composed himself for a quiet snooze ; now he was having it ; 
he was snoring delightfully. 

The corporal bent over him and tried to arouse him in the 
usual way, by shaking him roughly, aud poking him on the 
ribs. His slumber was deep. Morpheus had a firm hold, 
and was loth to let go. But he did let go at last, however 
r^u^^^^^^y* What then did the faithful sentinel do ? He 
sprang up ydth sudden energy, seized his gun and exclaimed : 

" Oh dear I I wasn't asleep I" 

"Not asleep I" exclaimed the corporal ; " do you mean to 
say that you were not asleep ?" 

" I'll swear I wasn't asleep I" 

" But what were you doing down — ? 

" I was tying my shoe," interrupted the sentinel eagerly. 

This was rather too good, and I whispered to the corporal : 

"That is such a good joke, that if I were you, I would not 
report him to the officer of the guard." 

" But," said he, " if I don't, some one may report Tne." 

" No fear of that," I replied ; " no one knows it but we 
three ; Fm sure Ac'K say nothing about it ; and still surer 
that PU not mention it." 

"Very well," said the corporal, turning to the sentinel; 
"you have been caught asleep on post, but I will not report 
you this time if you promise to be guilty of it nb more." 

"I'll promise," he exclaimed, earnestly; forgetting that 
he was thereby literally acknowledging to what he had just 
80 stoutly denied. # 

The corporal observed this, and laughing, said — 

" But only a moment ago you denied being asleep — said 
that you were tying your shoe." 


"I know," replied the delinquent, good-humoredly ; "but 
when I said tliat, I forgot that I had boots on." This was a 
fact — he had boots on. 

The corporal laughed, and said : — 

"All right, I'll say nothing about it; but if I were to 
report you to Lieutenant Kent, it would go very hard with 

The sentinel agteed that it would. Having given me the 
countersign, they left me, with the injunction : — 

" Don't you go to sleep." 

My two hours wore slowly away, and I was at last relieved ; 
whereupon I proceeded to the gate, as instructed. I leaned • 
my musket against a stack of the article ; but I had scaroely 
done so, when the stirring sound of the " long roll " burst 
upon the night air. In another moment, officers came 
hastily from their tents, buckling on their swords, and cas- 
ing out : — 

" Fall in, men I Quickly — quickly I" 

A moment later, men were rushing from their tents, cart- 
ridge boxes buckled on — muskets in hand. 

"Not one of the guards must leave the gate without 
further orders," said Lieutenant Kent, decidedly ; for some 
one had asked him whether the guards should go. 

That was pleasant. Perhaps the enemy was- coming, and 
our regiment — our division, perhaps — going out to do battle; 
and there I was, subject to the orders of that stern Lieutenant 
Kent, and these were not to leave. I wouldn't stand it, that 
was the amount of it; and with a wild emotion, bordering 
on frenzy, I seized my musket, rushed from the gate in the 
darkness, flew to my company, and joined the now swiftly- 
forming ranks. The company was soon formed; also the 
regiment. Colonel Hayes, mounted upon his black charger, 
was at our head in a moment. Facing us to the right, he 
led us to a point in front of the earthwork, halted us, faced 
us to the front, then said : — 

"It is repoi*i that the rebels are advancing upon us in 
force ; having probably crossed the Potomac at the Falls, in 
spite of the Seventh Eegiment, which is now there. We are 
ordered to form here on this hill, and defend it to the last." 


Bnt at that moment a messenger from General McCall 
rode up to the colonel, and said : — 

"Colonel, it is ascertained that there is no immediate 
danger — let the regiment return to quarters, prepare haver- 
sacks, etc., and be in readiness to tarn out at a moment's 

We then returned to quarters, and were dismissed. I re- 
turned to the gate with some misgivings; but Lieutenant 
Kent had not discovered my absence. I determined, though, 
should another alarm occur, to do just as I had done before; 
though at the imminent risk of being court-martialed. The 
night wore slowly away ; and at four in the morning I again 
took my lonely post. I was ill at ease during the two hours 
which intervened between four and six ; for should an alarm 
be sounded, I had resolved to leave my post, and join the 
regiment — which would have been a very grievous offence 
indeed. But, to my great satisfaction, those two hours wore 
quietly away, and I was relieved. The morning began to 
wear away ; and ten o'clock had nearly come. 

•' Third relief — fall in 1" called out the officer of the guard. 

I had but laid my hands upon my musket, in obedience 
to the call, when a prolonged roll of the drum broke suddenly 
upon my ears. I started ; it was the " long roll." 

Our boys began to pour forth from their tents, and the 
ranks were now swiftly forming. 

"Fall in, guards!" cried Lieutenant Kent. "We must 
stand in line, and present arms to the regiment as it marches 
from camp." He was somewhat inclined to pageantry. 

Catch me falling in 1 Catch me standing there like a fool, 
presenting arms to our brave boys as they marched forth to 
meet the enemy, perhaps 1 I darted from the gate, uij per- 
ceived by the officer of the guard, joined the ranks, and was 
soon marching from camp, with our boys, to the good old tune 
of "Yankee Doodle," played by our "Brass Band." There 
was no halting, nor hesitating; but taking a northwest road, 
we marched away, and Camp Tenally and the village were 
soon lefk far — far behind. 

Not to make a mystery of it, reader, I will briefly tell 


you what " was up." As I have previously stated, a regi- 
ment was kept constantly posted at the Great Falls, for the 
purpose of watching, and checking, if found necessary, the 
movements of the rebels at that point. At the time of which 
I write, the Seventh Eegiment, Pennsylvania Keserves, being 
on diity there, the rebels on the opposite side of the river 
took a queer notion into their heads to give said regiment a 
profound shelling. Accordingly, they opened a field battery 
upon the devoted Seventh, with great earnestness. As we 
had no artillery there at the time, the colonel of the Seventh 
felt greatly alarmed, and dispatched a courier to General 
McCall, with the startling message that the rebels were 
about to force their way across the Potomac — that they 
numbered something less than a hundred thousand. This 
accounts for the long roll affair of the night before; also, of 
our marching orders of the time now in question. We were 
ordered to the Falls to reinforce the Seventh ; if necessary, 
the whole division was to follow. Thither we bent pur steps ; 
although'we had not the most distant idea as to whither we 
were going, till we actually arrived at the " Great Falls of 
the Potomac ;" which we did near evening, after a somewhat 
roundabout march of fifteen miles. On this march we did 
not carry our knapsacks ; they were left behind, to be con- 
veyed after us by our baggage- wagons. 

Night came before our knapsacks did, and the prospect 
of spending it in an open field, without a blanket, stared us 
unpleasantly in the face. The boys of the Seventh regiment 
had many fearful stories to relate, regarding that shelling; 
and they even exhibited to our admiring eyes sundry little 
curiosities in the shape of shell, cannon balls, and small shot^ 
which had been most bountifully presented, in a somewhat 
precipitate manner, by the obliging rebels. 

Our company was ordered to repair to a certain road a 
few miles above, and a mile from the river, to form an out- 
post for the night. Eight or ten sentinels were posted at'a 
time, while the remainder of the company slept. Said sleep- 
ing was done (and it was the first time for tis) in tl^e absence 
of that very desirable little article known as a blanket. It 
was very uncomfortable, too, for only a thin blouse constituted 


onr vesture. Yes, and it rained immoderately, mal Ing the 
matter altogether very unpleasant. 

When morning came, we arose, took a few ears ( I green 
com from an adjacent cornfield, which, with om coffee, 
pork, and crackers, made quite a breakfast. This done, 
we returned to the regiment, and found our knapsacks await- 
ing us. 

Hard by the canal we found a large building, once con- 
structed for the accommodation of laborers on the Washing- 
ton Aqueduct, and we took up our abode within it. By the 
way, it was perforated in about one hundred and twenty-one 
places, the result of the shelling previously alluded to. 

It is a fact not universally known, that an aqueduct is in 
course of construction, from the Great Falls to Washington ; 
the end in view being the supplying of the latter-named 

S)lace with water. There being a descent of seveaty-five 
feet at the Great Falls, the water will readily flow into 
the aqueduct from the river above, and to WasLington, 
without the aid of machinery. A monstrous well is con- 
structed to first receive the water, and from thence it flows 
through the aqueduct, which is six or eight feet in diameter. 
A stone edifice is erected over the well, and on a marble sl'tb, 
fixed in the wall, is the motto — 

"Dei Gratia est perpetua." 

A very appropriate motto ; for the stream which is there clear 
and cool, has never yet failed. Nor is it likely to, being 
fed by hundreds of mountain springs many miles above. 

At this point there is an intervening space about three 
hundred yards in width, between the canal and the river. It 
is somewhat marshy in places, and is covered with a thick 
growth of trees and underbrush. 

It was considered dangerous to venture to the shore of the 
river, for it was known that rebel sharpshooters were con- 
stantly on the lookout, on the opposite side, and ever ready 
and willing to blaze away at any luckless man in blue, who 
might expose himself to view. Our ideas ran in the €ame 
channel. A battery had accompanied us to the Falls, and 
was now posted on the hill behind us. We expected, by 

100 OUB BOYS. 

boldly exposing ourselves in the vicinity of the building 
aforementioned, to draw the fire of the rebel batteries on the 
opposite hills, in order that our battery might discover their 
position, and open on them accordingly, ^ut it was no go. 
The rebels wouldn't fire. We offered every temptation, 
standing in line for a long time in the most exposed manner. 
But they wouldn't see us. They must have been aware of 
the arrival of our artillery ; an article of wMch they have 
ever hai*bored a wholesome dread. 

After we had broken ranks and established our quarters 
within the building, I was standing at one of the doors, just 
thinking it would be nice to go over to the shore of the river, 
if, perchance, one might get a shot at a rebel, when my 
ruminations were interrupted by Winder, who approached 
and culled out — 

" How'd ye sleep last night, old boy?" 

" Well enough — till I discovered that it was raining ; after 
making that discovery, I did not sleep much. But how did 
you make out ?" 

" Me ? I had a rather remarkable dream, for one thing." 

'* Then you must have slept some ?" 


" But let me hear your dream." 

" Well, you see, I laid down on my right side and fell into 
a sound sleep, before the rain came up; at last (I dopt 
know how long it was) I got to dreaming. I imagined I 
fired at a rebel beyond the river ; I saw him fall — I saw his 
gun as it fell from his hand, and it was a Sharpens rifle^ 
beautifully ornamented with gold; I thought I (nust have 
it — I plunged into the river, at some distance above the 
waterfall, and struck out for the purpose of swimmiag across; 
all went well — I made excellent progress, till— oh hor- 

"What?" I asked, as Winder hesitated. 

" I found myself in some particular current, and it began 
to carry me right down toward the falls ; I struggle 1, but in 
vain— I screamed, but the roaring waters mocked me, and 
away* I went, right over the dreadful precipice." 

'' Horribl&ii^^xclaimed. 

" I say, you bloody rebels over there, come out and show your- 
selves!" — Upper Potomac, p. 101. 


"Yes," he continued, "I could distinctly hear the grim 
waters bubbling in my ears ; I was drowning. But just then 
I awoke ; it was raining like thunder, and — my left ear was 
level full of rain-water, and it had just begun to run over on 
my cheek." 

At the commencement of this thrilling narration, Winder 
looked unusually sober and thoughtful ; but as he finished 
he clothed his face with his accustomed grin. 

" Suppose we walk over to the river," I suggested. 

"Me? I wouldn't go over there for a million dollars; 
we'd be shot, that's certain." 

"Come on, then," said I; for since he had so earnestly 
declared that he would not go, I felt sure he would. And 
he did, too. 

We took our muskets, and after winding our way among . 
the bushes for some time, we reached the high, rocky shore 
of the river. We were very cautious not to expose ourselves 
to view, and we took our positions among the rocks, and 
watched for a long time in hopes that some hapless rebel 
might make his appearance ; but in vain. At last. Winder 
appeared to throw aside his native timidity, and boldly 
mounting a high rock, and standing upon its summit, fully 
exposed, he waved his cap toward the wild-looking shore 
beyond, and called out — 

" I say, you d — d rebels over there, come out and show 
yourselves 1" 

" Winder," said 1, "just imagine a minie ball taking you 
about at the second button of your blouse ; no doubt there is 
a rebel sharpshooter among those bushes over there, taking 
a cool aim at you, at this very moment." 

The idea seemed to strike Winder with some force, for he 
suddenly made a mighty spring from the rock on which he 
stood, and came down among the smaller rocks, with an 
agility that would have done honor to a cat. I laughed, and 
he didn't half like it. We returned to quarters. 

Near evening the regiment was ordered to a point at some 
distance above the Falls, for the purpose of strengthening 
the picket line, which was extended along the tow-path of the 
canal. We marched several miles along t\iQ caxv^, ^\A\i'^<5ftw 

102 OUR BOYS. 

at one of the locks. A house stood here, at which we estab- 
lished our head-quarters. It was night when we reaohed 
the place, and men were posted at various points in that 
vicinity. Lieutenant Clark was sent, with a squad of OUB 
BOYS, to a point at some distance up the river; and it 
occurred to him that if he might take a gun along, he might 
get a shot at a rebel. He borrowed one from one of the 
boys, and, buckling on a cartridge-box, was about to starts 
when he said to me — 

" A cartridge-box feels rather odd." 

" I don't think ?50," I replied. 

" It seems so to W2€," he persisted. 

" Perhaps you haven't got it on aright," I suggested, 

*' Oh, yes I have," he said confidently. 

''Let me see — " and I drew near and examined it; "why, 
you have got it on upside down !" 


" You have it on wrong side up," said I, njaking a slight 
change in my language, but not in iny meaning. 

" Now, is that so ?" he asked. 

"It is," I replied. 

He unbuckled the strap, removed the box, and discovered 
that he had, in the darkness, succeeded in getting it on in an 
inverted position ; and he no sooner observed it than he ex- 
claimed : — 

"Well, that's ridiculous! I guess the boys have not 
noticed it — don't tell it on me." 

I did not promise to keep the afiair to myself, for I thought 
it rather too good a joke to be lost. 

It was my lot to remain at the lock during the night ; and 
I performed several turns of guard duty. 

The night passed away without event, save that an odd 
shot was exchanged now and then across the Potomac. 
When morning came the various squads which had been 
distributed on the previous evening were called in, and the 
regiment was formed. The colonel informed us that, after 
all, no immediate danger was to be apprehended, and that 
we were about to return to Camp Tenally. We marched 
along the path of the canal, toward the Falls, leaving still 


quite a number of stragglers behind. Most of tbi.m, on 
arriving at the lock and finding the regiment gone, decided 
to wait at that place for the first canal boat that should come 
down, that they might ride. 

We had marched a mile, perhaps, when, looking back, we 
saw a boat coming, drawn by two mules, which were getting 
over the ground at a brisk trot. A number of stragglers 
were on the boat ; and it really did look like a more plea- 
sant way of getting back, than that of marching and carrying 
knapsacks. This idea seemed to occur to the mind of lazy 
Troth, in a forcible manner ; for he exclaimed : — 

'^By jolly I I'd like to be onto that boat ; 'twould be a 
good 'eal nicer'n marchin'." 

"You might manage to get aboard," suggested Will 

" How ? Will they stop till I get on ?" 

" No — but you can get one of those fellows to throw out a 
plank while the boat is in motion ; you can run up it quickly 

" But my gun and knapsack — " 

'* They're easily managed." 

" How ?" 

" You can first toss them across to the boat, and some of 
the boys will catch them ; then they can throw out the plank, 
and as soon as the end touches the bank, you can run up, 
you know." 

This plan did look reasonable, and Troth said : — 

" I will try it, I believe — hilloa, fellers, I'd like to como 
aboard 1" 

•' They won't stop for you," replied one of the boys on the 

" But can't I run up the board, if you throw out one end V' 

" Why, yes — you might." 

" Well, take my gun." • 

" No load in it, is there ?" 

"No ] fired it this morning." 

" Over with it, then — that's the touch ;" and Troth's musket 
landed safely in the hands of a brother soldier. Troth, mean- 
while, was trotting along, keeping pace with the boat. 

104 OUB BOYS. 

" Now your knapsack." 

Troth tossed bis knapsack in the direction of the boat, but 
not with sufficient force to carry it to the deck and it struck 
the side. One of the boys, however, seized the strap quickly, 
and rescued it from a watery grave. A plank was then 
brought to the edge of the boat, and one of the boys called 
out: — 

"Now be ready." 

" I am ready," said Troth, with a desperate attempt at firm- 

In a moment one end of the plank was thrust from the 
boat, and landed upon the bank, while the other end stiU 
rested on the gunwale. 

"Now run for it," came from the boat. 

"Run. Troth, run!" shouted Mitchel. 

"Run, old feller! run! hurrah!" was echoed from one 
end of the regiment to the other. 

Troth made a desperate rush up the slanting board ; but 
the thought that the eyes of the whol^ regiment were watch- 
ing him, together with a consciousness of the awful import- 
ance of the point at issue, rendered him nervous ; and to add 
to his trepidation, a dozen mischievous fellows cried out : — 

" He'll fall ! he'll drown ! he's a goner ! he's a dead man !" 
and the consequence was that Troth made a slight misstep, 
and ere he could reach the boat, the end of the plank, in 
consequence of the boat's being in motion, slipped from the 
bank, turned edgewise, and splash went poor Troth into the 
angry waters of the canal. Here then was a quandary; 
Troth couldn't swim. In his youth he had neglected this 
important branch of education. The water at this point wa» 
eight feet deep, while Troth's height was but five feet siic, 
and the result was that he went down. Yes, poor fellow, 
down he went, and the grim waters closed over him. He 
began to think that his time had come ; he could hear the 
dismal rush of water as his ears began to fill. But would 
he give up life without a struggle ? No, though he was no 
swimmer, he determined to have another look upon the fair 
world before leaving forever. Placing his toes upon the 
bottom, he bnuht a heave with such fearful energy that he 


popped half-length out of water. The boat had now stopped, 
and a rope was thrown out to the drowning man, and he 
grasped it with an eagerness that was delightful to witness. 
He was then hauled toward the boat— it had floated some 
distance — and at length lifted to the deck. Then such 
coughing, and sneezing, and choking, and strangling. " Bank 
— bauk — blist — fist — oo — choo — flist — blur-r-r — fist-fist — 
bauk — ^bauk," he went on for a considerable length of time. 
At last, having so far recovered as to find utterance, he simply- 
said — 

"Merciful man 1" 

Poor Troth I It did not do him any lasting injury — that 
ducking; but Putty Stewart, Gaskill, and others almost 
worried the life out of him, rallying and teasing him about 
it; and as he didn't like teasing, that's why they did it. 

Without further event we arrived at our rendezvous, 
near the Falls ; then, after an hour, we set out for Tenally- 

We returned by a nearer and better ro\ite than that by 
which we had come ; for we now took a level road which 
follows the river, and beneath which the aqueduct is con- 

Strict order is seldom observed during a march ; and men 
can leave the ranks at almost any time, provided the eye of 
an officer is not immediately on them. Consequently, it 
being about peach time of year— and soldiers are generally 
fond of peaches — ^by the time we had reached Camp Tenally 
fully one-half the men of the regiment had strayed away, 
favoring all the peach orchards within any reasonable distance 
of our course, with visits. Stragglers continued to arrive in 
camp one by one, or in small squads, during the remaining 
portion of the day and the early part of the night. Now, 
there was a youth of about my size, and in fact resembling 
me in every respect, who got to musing and meditating, as 
the regiment marched into camp, and he wondered, en passant, 
what the officer of the guard — that stern Lieutenant Kent — 
«rould do with him for running oflf from guard, and accom- 
panying the regiment from camp, in direct opposition to, and 
lisregard of the most explicit orders. The case was a plain 

106 OUR BDYS. 

one. I bad been on the list of guards, subject to any order 
of the officer thereof; that officer had commanded that all 
the guards must remain at the gate, that not one must think 
of leaving. I had left the gate, had left it clandestinely, had 
run offf had left camp, accompanying the regiment a number 
of miles from it ; now, what would the officer of the guard 
do with me ? He did nothing. He considered that in leav- 
ing my duty at camp, I had voluntarily undertaken a more 
arduous, a more dangerous one, and I got off without 
even a word of censure. I felt relieved, too, when I discovered 
that no punishment awaited me ; for I didn't know how far 
the thing might be carried. Aye, vague, unpleasant ideas 
of "guard house for thirty days," or "ball and chain for the 
space of two weeks," had already begun to intrude them- 
selves upon my brain. But now it was all right ; yes, all 



It was evening. The shades of night were beginning to 
hang over the earth, and to thicken into a gloom. We were 
once more in Camp Tenally — we were at home. 

Our boys were collected in our company street, amusing 
themselves by various gymnastic performances. Here might 
be seen a group gathered about a level part of the ground 
which was marked out for leaping; there another turning 
summersaults or handsprings ; but the one to which I will 
call the attention of the reader was collected on the softest 
part of the street, engaged in practicing the stirring art of 
wrestling. The hero — the champion of this group — was a 
young man commonly called " Juggie." He was a stout-built^ 
powerful fellow, about five feet eight inches in height ; bis 
age was twenty-one. He was very active; his physical 


q["aalities far exceeding any others he possessed either moral, 
or mental. He threw with remarkable quickness, every one 
who possessed the hardihood to try him. 

/tried tim, for one; but my heels went higher than my 
head in less than a second. Many others tried him, but down 
they went. None could match Juggie. At last he began 
bo feel important ; and to express, in simple words, the very 
sxalted opinion he entertained of his prowess. 

"I'll bet I can throw any two in the crowd," said he, 

No one responded. 

" I never was thrown in my life," he continued. 

No one disputed it. 

"I'm a reg'lar little boss," he went on. 

It struck me that he resembled a less attractive animal 
than a horse, just then ; but I said nothing. 

"I'd like to git thro wed oncet," he continued, in the spirit 
rf braggadocio ; " I'd jist like to know how a feller feels when 
be gits throwed." Evidently, he believed that he couldrUt he 
' throwed," as he expressed it. 

At this interesting moment a soldier of Company "I" — ^he 
was about the age of Juggie, but smaller — walked carelessly 
up to him, and said : — 

" Partner, I'll try you once or twice." 

Juggie looked upon the new comer, and smiled — laughed. 

" Now you aint in earnest, are you ?" 

" Certainly !" and he proceeded to doff his coat. 

" Well," said Juggie, " I'm afraid I might throw you so 
hard as to hurt you ; but I'll try and let you fall as easy as 
I kin." 

"You're very obliging," said the man of Company "I," 
whose name was Franks. 

They took " fair holts," as Juggie expressed it. 

" Are you ready ?" asked Juggie. 

"Yes, ready," was the reply. 

"Then here goes," said Juggie, confidently; for he ex 
pected to throw Franks in half a second. 

But " here" didn't " go." There was a struggle of about 
ten seconds' duration, when Juggie was suddenly lifted from 

108 OUR BOYS. 

the earth, to about the height of his head, and hurled savagely 
against it again — up-side down. 

Juggie arose slowly, rubbing his head. What I " throwed?" 
Surely it could not have been fairly done ; it must have been 
an accident — he would try it again. The boys were giving 
way to the most boisterous mirth at his expense — oh I he 
fyiu^t redeem his character I 

"I only slipped 1" he exclaimed; "I'll try it again.** 

" Certainly I" replied the accommodating Franks — ^he was 
perfectly willing to try it again. 

Once more they were locked in each other's arms. 



Another struggle ensued ; lasting, now, but five seconds. 
At the lapse of that time, Juggie was again lifted from the 
ground, whirled above Franks' head like a " shelalah" in the 
hand of a skilful Hibernian, and dashed with vengeful foroe 
against old mother earth, to the great amusement of the 

Krauks stood still, calmly, quietly, and collectedly waiting 
for Juggie to get up. 

Juggie did so, but rather more slowly than before. Now 
there was no longer any room to doubt that he had encoun« 
tered at least his equal. However, he would try it again; ." 
he might throw Franks once. Could he do this, his reputa- 
tion as a wrestler would be in a measure regained. Again 
they embraced. This time the struggle lasted but two and 
a half seconds, till Juggie was again whirled in mid air and 
brought to the earth with a shock that nearly " busted" him. J 

" Ugh !" he grunted. 

The merriest laugh I had heard for many a day now broke 
upon the solemn air of night. Juggie arose, brushed the 
dust from his " sky-blues," and said he guessed he wouldn't 
try it any more " to-night," as he hadn't felt well that whole 
day. And he retired. . 

It was now Aearly time for roll-call — nine o'clock. Strange 

that, at such an hour, the idea should enter my head that I 

could eat a watermelon, if I had one ; yet it is no less true. 

I imparted the stray tbougkit.lo'WiiA'et^'^h.o happened to 


be near me, informing him that I knew of a watermelon- 
patch not a mile distant, belonging to a rich old secessionist. 
Winder grinned. 

" Suppose we slip out of camp after roll-call, and honor 
the old gentleman's garden with a visit," I suggested. 

" Agreed I" he exclaimed, eagerly. 

"Wh — wh — what are you t — t — talkin' about?" asked 
Hare, as he and Jim Smith approached. 

" We are talking of going out on a watermelon expedition, 
after roll-call ; will you go along ?" 

" D — d — don't care if I do," replied Hare, ever ready for 
mischief; "will yow go a-1 — 1 — long. Smith?" 

*' Oh, yes I" replied Smith, for he too was always ready for 

The roll was called in due time, and we, instead of going 
to our quarters like good honest soldiers, proceeded to slip 
^itealthily past the guard, and out of camp. Being favored 
by the darkness, we succeeded perfectly, doing the thing up 
in the most systematic order. Finding ourselves without 
the camp, we breathed more freely, and at once struck off in 
the direction of that watermelon garden. 

We, prowlers that we were, soon reached our destination. 
As the melon garden lay beyond the house, we made a cir- 
cuit, to avoid any troublesome dogs which might chance to 
lurk about, and came bravely up in the rear. No opposition 
was offered, simply because there was no one to offer it, the 
owner being, at that time, "sound asleep." Without any 
tiresome or unnecessary form or ceremony, we took posses- 

" Let us gather what we can carry, and take them to the 
clover-field adjoining, where we can devour them without 
interruption," I suggested. 

"Th—th— that's the thing," said Hare. 

Acting upon this hint, we each took two melons unde* 
each arm, and as the house-dog at that moment set up an 
unearthly howling, we made for the design^tted clover-field 
with admirable precipitancy. 

" These melons appear to be rather green," I TG\xv^xk^^^%S3^ 
we arrived at a convenient spot 

110 OUR BOYS, 

"That's the nature o' the beast," said Smith. A fact, too; 
melons — that is, watermelons — are green. 
. " I have one here that I do believe is a cannon ball," said 

At that moment our attention was attracted toward Hare^ 
who had set down upon the ground, and was proceeding to 
cut one of the melons. His manner was full of surprise, and 
liis stuttering was heightened, as he exclaimed — 

" Wh—wh — wh — goo — goo — g — gosh ! This ain't n— 
n—no w — w — watermelon! It — tit — tits a p — p — punk — 

" Bloodhounds and bullfrogs I" exclaimed Dave Winder. 

" Blisters and brickbats 1" exclaimed Smith. 

" Can it be possible that they are all pumpkins ?" I said, 
half inquiringly. 

" We'll soon see," said Smith ; and he set about seetng as 
well as the darkness would allow. 

And he did see. Yes, to our chagrin (though not unmixed 
with amusement), they were all pumpkins — all save one, and 
it was a very large specimen of that delicious fruit known 
as a cucumber. 

" We've been d — d — done for !" exclaimed Hare. 

"Beautifully I" I said. 

" Sweetly!" said Winder ; for as there was nothing sweet 
about it, it stood him in hand to say sweetly. 

A moment we stood in mute silence. It \vas broken by 
Smith, who said — 

" Well, I know one thing." 

" What is that. Smith ?" 

' There are some peach-trees at a house not far from here^ 
and they bear peaches as big as pum'kiuB," 

" We'll go there !" was exclaimed. 

" That's it," said Smith ; " but we must be careful how we 
go about it." 

"Why, Smith?" 

" Because the owner keeps a sharp look-out ; he's a wicked 
old fellow, and shoots." 

" Oh, he is in his bed, and fast asleep ere this time," said L 

^'Certainly, h — h — he is," sa\dB.^TQ. 


We started for the peach-orchard referred to by Smith. 
The clover-field we were in was a large one, and it was neces- 
sary for us to cross it. We had proceeded but a few steps, 
when " something white" sprang up before us, and ran away 
with great swiftness. Inspired by curiosity, we gave chase ; 
when it ran the faster, making no noise in its movements. 

Could it be a cat ? It was about the size of that animal. 
But DO, a cat could soon have distanced us in a trial of speed ; 
as it was, we kept pace with the flying object. What could 
it be ? Was it a pig ? Now was it ? Scarcely. If a pig, 
would it not have squealed ? Could it have run so noise- 
lessly ? 

" I'll shoot it," said I, finding it impossible to- overtake the 
object, and bringing my pistol to bear upon it. 

" No, wait till I throw this stone," said Smith, who had 
picked up one for the purpose. 

" Throw, then," said I, "and if that don't stop it, I'll Wtize 

Chug I went the stone, right against the poor " white thing." 
An unearthly squeal told but too plainly what the object of 
our chase was ; a pig, and nothing else. And here we had 
been chasing the poor frightened animal all over the* field. 
We abruptly gave up the hunt, and the pig trotted ofi:* ^vith 
many a miniature grunt. 

We now made for the peach-trees without delay. They 
stood immediately in rear of the owner's house, and very 
near the most distant corner of the field we were in. I hap- 
pened to be in advance, and on arriving beneath the tree, I 
saw, among the branches, the figure of a man held out in bold 
relief against the starry *sky; while a revolver was held out 
in bold relief in his hand. It was bold, but there wasn't 
much relief about it to me. 

It has been discovered, at some remote period, that the 
mind is yery active when its possessor is placed in a 
critical position, as I was on this interesting occasion. 1 
knew that I was under one of the trees alluded to by Smith ; 
and had no doubt that the gentleman now among the branches 
was the individual he had been pleased to teim" o\dL^<sJ^^\? 
In a significant tone, I called out : — 

112 OUB BOYS. 

"Boys, if you know what's best, you'll dome this way—" 
aud as I spoke, to the surprise of the trio, I walked straiffht 
on toward the road, which was near at hand. But had I 
said no more than this, it must have led the man in the tree 
to suppose that I bad seen him, and that our intention had 
been to steal his fruit. Wishing him to think otherwise, I 
accordingly added : — 

" For rm sure this road will take us to camp." 

The first part of my sentence resulted in drawing the boys 
directly after me, for it sounded mysterious ; the latter part> 
no doubt, induced the Marylander to suppose that we were 
a party who had been " on a tramp," and were now making 
the best of our way to camp, happening by mere chance 
to pass by his peach-orchard. I walked straight to the road 
— it was fifty paces distant — and soon placed myself in it by 
scaling the fence. The interesting trio which constituted 
my companions followed without a word; the mysterious 
language I had uttered, and the meaning tone in which I 
had uttered it, led them to suppose that the "old feller" was 
somewhere about. They little dreamed, however, that he 
was in the tree — that we all passed literally under him. 
When we were comfortably over the fence and in the road, 
Winder asked : — ' . 

"What's up?" 

" I saw a man in that big peach-tree," I replied. 

" Suppose you did," said he, coolly, " why didn't you blaze 
away at him r" 

" You don't presume that I would shoot the man for his 
peaches, do you ?" 

" Certainly, / would in a minute.'-' 

"Just so ; I thought you would agree with me," said I ; for 
ivhen Winder said he would, I knew he wouldnH, 

After some consultation, it was decided to return to camp, 
ivhich we did, our expedition having proved entirely fruit- 
less. As we were nearing camp, I said — 

" I presume it will not be the easiest matter in the world 
to get into camp at this time of night; it must be near 
twelve b'clofl]^ 


" We'll t — t— rtry," said Hare ; and we were all of the same 

" The point at which we can most easily run the guard ia 
near the earthwork," I suggested. 

They assented, and we were soon standing near the south- 
east corner, awaiting a favorable moment to slip by the sen- 
tinel, who was slowly pacing the prescribed line to and fro. 
"We hesitated, for it was obvious that, unless something 
should attract his attention for a moment at the far end of 
the beat, he would return to our end before we could get to 
the tents in safety. 

" Boys," said I, " I am going to throw a stone down there 
among those weeds, and while the guard's attention is attracted 
in that direction, we must hurry into camp." 

" All right," whispered Smith. 

" All r— r — ^r — " stuttered Hare ; and I took up a large 
stone and landed it as desired. 

The sentinel hastened thither, calling out — 

" Who comes there ?" 

"Now is our time," I whispered, and we glided across the 

We had but done so, when Hare struck his foot against 
some obstacle and fell prostrate, makitig as much noise as a 
drove of cattle on a charge. 

" Hilloa I halt I who's that ?" exclaimed the sentinel, turn- 
ing toward us. 

Hare sprang up, and we ran rapidly in the direction of 
out tents. 

"Haiti" shouted the sentinel. 

We didn't halt, but ran the faster. 

"Halt, or I'll fire I" he cried, and we heard the sharp click 
of his firelock, as the hammer was set. 

" If you do," I shouted back in reply, " you will be sur 
to kill some one in one of the tents." For we were between 
the encampment and the sentinel. 

This argument caused him to hesitate, and we arrived in 
safety within our company street. . 

He did not fire, but he alarmed the whole guard, and the 
word was passed around to the gate that a squad of men luid 

114 OUR BOYS. 

clandestinely entered camp, and that it was not known 
whether they belonged to the regiment or not. The officer 
of the guard took several files of men and searched the camp, 
but without effect ; for, of course, we were sound asleep when 
he came round our way. 

Next day orders were issued requiring ail the first-ser^ 
geants to examine their roll-books, find out who were absent 
on the previous evening, and report the same tx> the colonel. 
By this process, this alarming fact was disclosed — ^that more 
than one hundred of the men of the regiment had not answered 
to their names at the nine o'clock roll-call of the evening 
before. They were all summoned to appear before Colonel 
Hayes, when they were qucvstioned as to where they had been 
at the time in question. But they, one and all, declared 
that they had not " felt well," and had retired early accord- 
ingly. So nothing was made of the affair, and it was dropped. 

As evening began to draw near once more, we were told 
to " get ready for picket," and we obeyed with cheerfulness, 
for we liked to go on picket in Maryland — always had fun. 

The regiment was formed, and, in due time, we arrived at 
the picket line, and relieved the ones then on duty, three or 
four being left at every post, to relieve each other by turns^ 
after which we set about getting supper in the usual style. 

Soon after our arrival, a small boy and a girl, who lived in 
a house near by, came along the line, with pies for sale. 

" How do ye sell yer pies ?" asked one of OUR boys, whose 
name was Dennis. 

" Nine cents ; if we can't get nine, we'll take eight, that's" 
what mother told us," replied the boy, with genuine childlike 

The little girl, who was a more discreet merchant, whispered 
-* Hush — sh — sh," and addressing us said — 

"Nine cents is the price." 

"But I'll not give more nor eight," said Dennis. 

'But I want nine," persisted the girl, who was, perhaps^ 
ten years old — two years older than' the boy, her brother. 

" I can't afford to give it," said Dennis decidedly, 

'* Then you may take one for eight," said the girl, after 


some apparent hesitatioD. And so the bargain was consam 

At eleven o'clock that night, Captain Gallop, a man of 
haughty mien, rode along the picket line, doing the duty of 
" grand rounds." Pennis was on post at the time. 

" Halt !" said Dennis, as the equestrian neared his post. 

Captain Gallop did not hear, it seems, and he rode right 
on as though to pass by. 

" Halt !" repeated Dennis, cocking his gun. 

Captain Gallop heard the " click," and brought up abruptly, 
exclaiming : — 

"You careless scoundrel I HavVt you been instructed to 
challenge any approaching object before it reaches you?" 

" Who comes there ?" demanded Dennis, proceeding to 
carry out the usual form, without at all noticing the officer's 

" The grand rounds ; but you — 

" Grand rounds, give the countersign 1" 

''Austerlitz. Bm you— " 


" Now, sir," said Captain Gallop, " I have given you the 
countersign, and I want to know why you didn't challenge 
me sooner, according to instructions ?" 

'a did; but—" 

"No, you didn't!" interrupted the captain, vehemently. . 

"But I did, though ; I—" 

"Not a word, sir — I know you did notP^ 

"Not a word, sir — but I know I rfic/," said Dennis, imita- 


"I say I did challenge ye sooner — whether ye was hearin' 
me or not." 

" How dare you—" 

"How dare yow?" 

" What ! You impertinenfr^-what's your name ? 

"Terrence McGlifferty." 

"Then, sir, to-morrow you shall sniffer for your impu- 


116 OUB BOYS. 


"Yis, sir." 

" You infernal rascal I I have a mind to shoot you." 

"Fvejist bin thinkin' o' shootin' you," said Dennis, 8Ug< 
gestively; "for I'm ordered not to allow anjr kind o' dis- 
turbance on the line ; and sure yeVe bin makin' a plenty." 

This introduced a new idea into the mind of Captain GalloR 
and he rode on, swearing, as he did so, that he would have 
that man court-martialedand shot. 

Next day, an order was issued for the arrest of one priyate 
McGlifferty, on charge of threatening Ihe life of Captain 
Gallop ; but of course no such man could be found, and the 
captain was deprived of the pleasure of having a man court- 
martialed and shot. 

On returning to camp, it was discovered that his majesty, 
King Whiskey, had made his way into our midst ; and many 
of the boys were very happy and equally noisy — ^among 
them, John G. Graham, our literary friend. 

Night closed in, and all had become quiet — when a terrible 
shouting was heard in our company street. Some on© was 
crying out, in a tone of impatience : — 

" I say, come on — hurry up ; I want to be relieved I Hero 
I've been on post for six hours — corporal of the guard I Are 
you not coming ? Captain, captain, can you not have me 
relieved ?" 

It was Mr. Graham. There he stood, in the centre of the 
street, at the hour of midnight— cartridge-box on — musket 
in hand, and bayonet fixed. He had arisen under the in- 
fluence of " that whiskey," and imagined he was on guard — 
on picket. 

His shouting at length brought forth the captain, who 
demanded : — 

" What is the meaning of all this ?" 

"Til tell you," replied Graham, with the air of one who 
felt himself to be an injured man, " here I've been, on thiB 
lonely post for the last six hours. Now, I don't think it is 
right ; I want to be relieved." 

The captain at once saw how matters stood, and said:—- 


" Well, go to your quarters ; a sentinel is not particularly 
needed at this post." 

"Do you suppose I am going to leave my post in that 
manner I No I I must see another man guarding this beat 
before I leave it." 

Thereupon the captain called up one of the boys, Charley 
Brawley, and ordered him to relieve Graham. Charley, too, 
comprehended the affair, and obeyed with mock solemnity; 
then Graham retired, fully satisfied that he had done his duty, 
and that he was a " faithful sentinel." 



About the middle of September, it came our turn to go to 
the Falls, for the purpose of doing picket duty for a week. 

Accordingly, one hot Monday, we marched to the place ; 
nothing of special interest occurring by the way. On arriv- 
ing at the Falls, the regiment was divided into two detach- 
ments ; the first to go on duty at once, the second to relieve 
them on the following day. Thus, each division would 
remain for twenty-four hours at a time, when it would be 
relieved by the other, and so on. Our company was of the 
second detachment, and we were not to go on till the next 
day. For some reason we did not at once occupy the large 
building, and we began to look about us for a comfortable 
place to bivouac. This being arranged, it was very natu- 
ral that we should begin to look about us for amusement ; for- 
tune favored us. A large blacksnake was captured by some of 
CUB BOYS, who, being aware of GaskilFs blacksnake proclivi- 
ties, at once delivered the gentle creature into his hand. It was 
amusing to see how he proceeded with it. He was very 
cautious at first, holding it in such a position that it was 
impossible for it to bite him. After staring at it for some 

118 OUR BOYS. 

time, he, with mock gravity, informed it that he had duly 
considered its case, and that, after mature deliberation, he 
had decided that it was highly expedient to remove its teeth. 

He then placed the thumb and finger of his left hand 
about the neck of the reptile, and gradually tightened his 
grasp till it opened its mouth, gasping for breath, I suppose, 
then with the thumb and forefinger of his right hand he 
extracted the teeth, one after another, in a style anything 
but dental or surgical. Having completed this interesting 
operation, he slightly relaxed his grasp on the neck, upon 
which the reptile, being in a manner restored to presence of 
mind, protruded its forked tongue toward Gaskill in the 
most unfriendly manner. Gaskill, thereupon, quickly clasped 
its jaws together, catching its tongue between them, so that 
it could not " haul it in" again ; then, holding it to .his mouth, 
he proceeded to bite its tongue off and spit it out with per- 
fect composure. 

By this time quite a crowd was collected around him, 
several negro servants among the rest. Now was the time 
for fun. So, grasping the snake by the middle until it reared 
its head aloft in genuine snake-like style, he rushed impetu- 
ously at Bob Daffy, our half-grown assistant nigger cook. 
Bob fled in confusion. Gaskill pursued in perfect order, 
maintaining an unbroken line. Bob increased his speed. 
Gaskill increased his^ and gained on Bob. Bob screamed. 
Gaskill yelled. Bob turned blue. Oh, how could he get 
away? Surely Gaskill would catcK him. There appeared 
to the mind of Bob to be but a single avenue of escape ; he 
would jump into the canal, and he ran toward it. It was 
about a hundred yards distant ; the intervening space was 
very rough; being covered with bushes, heaps of brush, 
logs, trees, stumps, gullies, and rocks. Then there was a race. 
The spectators cheered. " Run, Bob, run I" shouted some ; 
while others shouted, " Catch him, Gaskill," " Bite him, snake," 
etc. Away went Bob, impelled by fear, bouncing over logs, 
stumps, and brush-heaps, and across gullies; away went 
Gaskill in pursuit, impelled by fun, getting over the ground 
as a clown only knows how. Slowly, steadily he gained on 
Bob. Boh neared the canal. It. vraa hard, even to get a 


ducking, but then it was his only hope. His pursuer pressed 
him closely — was almost near enough to touch the back of 
Bob's woolly knot, with the snake's head. Bob reached the 
shore of the canal, and plunged unhesitatingly in — ker-sowze I 
Gaskill dashed the snake -after him. Bob went under at 
first, but now came to the surface of the water, floundering 
desperately. But horror of horrors I He arose exactly at 
the point where the snake was floating, and he found it sud- 
denly around his neck. It was perfectly harmless of course, 
hut I never saw anything equal to poor Bob's terror. His 
eyes seemed about to pop out of his head ; his wool for a 
moment became stiff and straight, like hogs' bristles, while 
his face took that peculiar shade of color commonly called 
" grizzly gray." 

But Bob happened to be a swimmer, and he began to put 
his accomplishments in that line to use. He struck out for 
shore, reached it easily, then rushing up the bank to where 
Gaskill stood, he pleaded most earnestly — 

" Oo — oo — 00 — take him oflfl" 

Gaskill humanely complied, removed the creature and 
kissed it ; while Bob took the back track to look for his hat, 
which he had dropped among the busheiB, during the chase. 

Gaskill returned to the admiring crowd, which, during all 
this time, had cheered him enthusiastically ; but where was 
the snake— his much-loved pet? It was not visible. 

" Why, Gaskill, where is your snake ?" was asked. 

" It's gone up," he replied. 

Yes, it had '*gone up;" but where? Why, up his sleeve, 
where he had put it ; and it was a sleeveful, too. 

Presently, Gaskill approached a big, fat, greasy cook of 
CJompany " F" — a gentleman of pure African blood He was 
standing with his hands in his pockets, grinning d la Afrique. 

" How are you, old feller ?"* said Gaskill, drawing near and 
resting his arm familiarly on Sambo's shoulder 

" Pooty well, sah," replied Sam. 

" Hot day, old coon," suggested Gaskill. 

"Yes, sah, awfuU' 

" Had a good old tramp." 

''Yes, sah — 00 — oo — muddah! — oo — " 

120 OUR BOYS. 

Tbe cause of these exclamations of terror was no less a 
fact than this — that the snake at that moment came slowly 
crawling from GaskilPs sleeve, and its head almost touched 
Sambo's black nose. 

At this moment Colonel Hayes approached; he did not 
appear to be aware of what was going on. Gaskill hastily 
thrust the serpent into his sleeve again, and went to meet 

*' How do you do, colonel ? — hot day," said Gaskill, hold- 
ing out his hand as if to execute that frienSly greeting with 
the colonel, known as " shaking hands." 

"How are you, Gaskill?" and the colonel extended his 

But, oh, horror I as he did so, the black, shiny head of 
the serpent — and its eyes were staring right into his fece— ^ 
protruded from Gaskill's sleeve, and touched the colonel's 

"Oh!" the colonel almost screamed! "Fire and fury I 
You d— d rascal ! What do you mean.?" 

" Only an accident, colonel ; I didn't think it could get out. 
My gracious ! It might a' bit you !" 

" Confound you 1" exclaimed the colonel, as the idea was 
thus forcibly presented to his mind ; " has it got teeth ?" 

" Yes, a whole mouthful." 

" Oh, you — you — y — Gaskill, I want you to have a care 
how you act; I like fun, but you musn't go too far," said the 
colonel, cooling down. 

" All right," said Gaskill, in a business-like way ; " I'll pull 
its teeth out before I shake hands with you again." 

"You'd better pull 2^ out, too." 

" I will "next time, if it's necessary ; but it wasn't necessary 
this time, colonel." 

"Why so?" 

" Because — wasn't it able to crawl out ?" 

" I know ; but I don't want you to offer me your hand 
again with a snake in your sleeve." 

" I won't colonel, I'll hold it in my hand." 

The colonel was walking away, and Gaskill called out :— 

''Ob, say, colonel, what have yoM m your canteen there?" 


• " Water," replied the colonel, about to stop. 

'* Oh, never mind ; I thought it was whiskey," said Gaskill. 

The colonel walked away, muttering : — 

" Well, of all the fellows I ever saw, that cuss of a Gaskill 
goes ahead!" 

There was a gentleman of foreign birth, belonging to Com- 
pany " F," whose name was Jimmy "Shields. By some means, 
the redoubtable Jimmy had procured '* something," and was, 
on this occasion, " tight as a brick." 

"Lit me look at yer sarpint," said Jimmy, approaching 

" Well, look at it," said Gaskill. 

" But lit me have it in me hands," explained Jimmy. 

" I can't trust you with it, Jimmy." 

"But I laill have it," said Jimmy. 

"But you won'C 

" We'll sa about it," said Jimmy, who was a great power- 
ful fellow. 

" We will sa about it," replied Gaskill, not at all alarmed. 

Jimmy then seized the snake by both head and tail, whilo 
Gaskill held it by the middle ; he certainly had the advan- 
tage in hold. There was a slight struggle for it, when Gas- 
kill suddenly executed a jerk which caused the object 
contested for to slip greasily from Jimmy's hands. Then 
whirling it above his head, he gave Jimmy a wipe across 
the face with it, which cracked like a coach-whip. 

"Och ! Ye divill" exclaimed Jimmy, rubbing his face. 

" Didn't go to do it, Jimmy," said Gaskill, provokingly. 

"Ye did,' ye baste. I'll smash ye into smithereens I" ^ 

" Oh, now, Jimmy, don't ; I didn't go to do it," said Gas 
kill, mockingly. 

" I'll murther ye I" exclaimed Jimmy. 

" Come, Jimmy, let's make it up." 

" I'll make ye up, ye bktherin' cuss 1" 

" Come, now, Jimmy, you know / don't need making up : 
I am very well put together now." 

"If ye wasn't so much littler nor me, I'd knock off the 
bloody head o' ye," said Jimmy, coming down to that, 

" Well, I know h, Jimmy ; come, let \xa take ?). ^\\\^? 

122 OUR BOYS. 

" Have ye got anything ?" asked Jimmy. lie felt mticb. 
better now. 

" No, but you have ; that will do as well." 

"Divil the drap o' my whiskey ye'U git!" exclaimed 
Jimmy, vehemently. 

" Oh, yes, come on, Jimmy. I*m going out after a canteen 
ful to-night," said Gaskill, coaxingly. 

" An' do ye know where to git it ?" 

" Yes ; I'll take'you along after we drink yours." 

Off they started ; it was now " made up," Jimmy leading 
the way to a lonely spot in an adjacent wood, where he had 
a large bottle concealed. The bottle was uncorked, and 
Gaskill took a pull, and so did Jimmy. Then Jimmy took 
a pull, and so did Gaskill, and thus they continued till 
Jimmy was so inebriated that he couldn't navigate, and Gas- 
kill was moderately " how come ye so." 

During all this time Gaskill had kept the snake about 
him ; now he thought it time to dispose of it. He coolly cut 
its head off with the same knife he generally used to cut his 
tobacco with, then skinned it, placing the hide in his pocket 
with the remark that he intended to " keep it for a neck-tie." 

Next morning we were informed that we were at liberty 
to establish our quarters within the large building previously 
alluded to, and we at once removed our effects to the house. 
Having set everything to rights, we began to prepare for 
picket, and ere long were on our way up the canal, relieving, 
as we proceeded, the men who went on duty on the after- 
noon of the previous day. 

^ It was noon when we (Company "D") arrived at the place 
allotted to us, which was about three miles up the river. 
. We reached it by travelling the only practicable route — the 
tow-path of the canal. 

We were favored with a tremendous rain during the after- 
noon, which lasted for several hours. This was anything 
but pleasant, for, aside from getting wet to the skin during 
the rain, when night came, the ground became so muddy, 
we had no dry place to sleep. 

My messmate, Scott, to overcome this evil, so far at leaJst 
as he was oaMBfid, procured a tail, and placing it with the 


flattest side upward, each end resting upon 'a forked stick 
driven into the ground for the purpose, he lay down upon 
It, facing the zenith. He thus found himself raised about 
two feet from the wet, uncomfortable ground, and was highly 
pleased at his success. 

" Scott," said I, " are you not afraid of rolling off that rail 
and falling into the mud ?" 

" Not a bit," replied Scott ; " when I get to sleep, once, I 
lie as still as a log." 

''Bat a log wouldn't lie on that rail," I argued. 

** Because it don't understand how." 

"Then you do?" . '> 

''Oh, yes." v ' 

" Yery well. Good night, and pleasant dreams." ^ 

"Good night 1" he replied, and, closing his eyes, he was 
soon snoring away right merrily. 

Darkness came on, and it was darkness, too ; the kind of 
darkness novelists have so often described as being felt. I 
laid my knapsack in the mud by a tree, and sat upon it ; it 
was not yet my turn to go on post. A drowsiness crept over 
me, and 1 sank into an unpleasant, half- waking sleep. Pre- 
sently I was aroused by a singular sound near me. Chuck 1 
it went. I turned in the direction, and with great difficulty 
, siade out the form and figure of poor Scott. Yes, he bad- 
rolled oflf his rail and fallen plump into the mud. 

I expected, as a matter of course, to see him spring up; 
but he lay perfectly still. So deep was his slumber, that the 
sudden transition from rail to mud did not arouse him. 

" Scott I Scott !" I exclaimed, shaking him, '* get up I You 
have fallen into the mud." 

A groan was the reply. • 

"I say, Scott," and I gave him an additional shake, accom- 
panied with a poke on the ribs, "you'll be drowned! Get 

At last he became conscious. Then he slowly arose, and 
with a yawn said — 

" Oh, what in thunder did you wake me for ?" 

" Wake you for I Do you suppose I would allow a fellow 
creature — yes, and a messmate, too, to lie t\\CTe \\\ OcwvX, tc\\\\T'' 

124 OUR BOYS. • 

" But T was sleeping so nicely." 

"I should call it anything but nicely." 

At that moment my relief was called upon, and I wail 
soon on post. The post adjoining mine was occupied by 
John Snyder. At the hour of eleven, John and I meeting 
in our walk, where our beats joined, halted for a while and 
were having a bit of a talk, when an officer came riding 
along, and, after being challenged and giving the countersign 
in due form, he informed us that two men had been seen 
among the bushes between the canal and the river, and that 
it was incumbent upon us to keep the strictest watch. 

He had but passed on, when we were somewhat startled 
by hearing a rustling among the bushes within a few paces 
of us. At that time we were standing several yards apart, 
and John was nearer the spot from whence the sound pro- 
ceeded than I was. He accordingly demanded : — 

" Who comes there ?" 

He had but uttered the words when a man sprang up 
within ten feet of him, and rushed deeper into the bushes. 

*' Halt r* shouted John, cocking his piece. 

John had seen the man, but I had only heard him. All 
was now still. I was beside John in a moment. We listened: 
Nothing but our own suppressed breathing could be heard 
Could the prowler have stopped ? 

" Who are you ?" I asked, raising my voice. 

No reply. 

" Come out, I say." 

All was still. 

"John," said I, "why didn't you fire/" 

"Why, I— I— I didn't think." 

" Oh, I vrtsh I had seen him I I think I would . have 
plugged him." 

We now sent word along the line that a man had been 
seen ; and the captain soon came to our post and asked for 
the particulars.. We explained all. He then took a squad 
of men and went into the thicket ; but it was so dark they 
dare not venture to scatter much. Their search was fruitless, 
and they returned ; all was quiet once more. Scarcely ten 
minutes later, John and I heard, a little further up the canal. 

WILl; SCENES. . 126 

a sound similar to that caused by the breaking of a twig. 
We hurried to the spot, and were just in time to hear some 
one rushing away through the bushes at the rate of two- 
forty. Bang! bang I went our muskets; but the footsteps 
were still heard, and continued to be till they died away in 
the distance^ The sound of our muskets soon brought the 
captain to the spot. 

" Have you seen him again ?" he asked, 

" No, but we've heard him." 

" Confound him, we must find him I" 

Another search was made, but in vain ; 410 one could bo 
found, and the hunt was given up. 

The night wore unpleasantly away. When morning came, 
every nook and corner of the thickets was searched ; but no 
one could be found. Tracks were to be seen, however, and 
evidently some one had been there — a spy fVom beyond the 
river, no doubt. How he had managed to get across the 
river was a mystery. 

During the search of the morning— I participated in it — I 
was at one time standing by the river gazing across at the . 
opposite shore^ — the wooded shore of Virginia — when I saw 
a man glide suddenly from one tree to anothqr. 

Bang I went my musket, and a ball and three buckshot 
went flying across toward the gentleman. Its echoes had 
not yet died away when a small wreath of blue smoke burst 
from among the bushes beyond the river, and the next 
instant a bullet struck the surface of the water a little to my 
left and front. I reloaded, took my position behind a tree, 
and watched for a long time, in hopes to again see the smoke 
of the rebel's gun. But in vain. Nothing but trees and 
bushes could be seen on the opposite shore. Near eleven 
o'clock we were relieved by the first division of the. regi- 
ment, and we marched down the river to our place of 

That night was a night of general carousing within the 
building ; for a quantity of whiskey had found its way into 
our niidst, and any' number of the boys were gloriously tight. 
The performances were opened by an interesting rough-and- 
cumble fight between Bob Young and one of our sergeants 

126 OUR UOYS. 

— Sergeant Moth. Now it is bad enough for two sergeants 
to fight, but just twice as bad for a sergeant to step down 
and have a knock with a private soldier ; for a non-oommifl* 
sioned officer should set an example of orderly conduct to 
be followed by the men. 

However, Bob commenced it. He was a very quarrel- 
some man at the best ; but when under the stirring influence 
of intoxicating drink, he was truly savage. Fight seemed 
to be a kind of second nature of his — part of him, in fact 
As Sergeant Moth was slightly inebriated on this occasion^ 
and was by no gieans the most mild-tempered man in exist- 
ence, it is not to be wondered at that they got "at it." 

Bob's tongue was going at a great rate, when Seirgeant 
Moth, with ill-concealed vexation, though he tried to appear 
calm, remarked that he wished Bob would be kind enough 
to make a little less noise. Bob retorted that he wouldn't — 
not he— and, what was more, that Sergeant Moth couldnt 
make him keep quiet, "nor any other man;" "that was what 
was the matter." 

' If you don't stop, I'll try it, at least," said the sergeant 

" Ye'd better try that on," said Bob, sneeringly ; he was 
nearly twice as large as the sergeant. 

•* I will try it on," said the latter. 

"Will you, though?" And Bob rushed dead at him. 
They grabbed each other ; there was a struggle of half a 
minute's duration, when they both came down upon the floor 
with a force that shook the building — the sergeant upper- 

" 0-ho 1" he exclaimed, exultingly. 

" No, you don't," said Bob, attempting to whirl him under. 

'* Yes, I do," said Sergeant Moth ; and he firmly held Bob 
o it. 

" Ye bloody swelt, hi'U tear your heyes hout !" exclaimed 
Bob, who, as the reader will readily infer, was of cocknej 
birth — a native of London. 

" Oh, I've sTot vou," said the sergeant. 

" 'Ave ye, t'l ^ i\\ ? Hif hi get 'old hof your 'air, hi'll fix 
By a desM[^^eflfort he did svicci^^d. voi getting " 'old" of 


Sergeant Moth's "'air," and having done so, he drew him 
close to him, holding him there not very tenderly. Unfor- 
tunately, the sergeant had long hair, and his efiforts to disen- 
gage himself were fruitless. 

" 'Ave ye got henough ?" asked Bob. 

The sergeant did not reply; disliking to give it up so 

" Hi'U 'old ye 'ere till doomsday," suggested Bob, violently. 

To the sergeant this appeared like a long time to remain 
m a position so irksome, and he said — 

" Pull him oflF, boys." 

We thought it a rather difficult task to pull Bob off, when 
he was underneath ; so we just pulled him " out from under." 
He was then persuaded to release his hold upon the sergeant's 
hair, and he arose, looking the very image of victory. 

"Hare ye defeated?" he asked. 

The only reply was a malignant scowl. 

Bob, now that his hand was in, proceeded to get up a little 
row with one John Swearer, whom he did not seem to like. 
This he did, sans ceremonies by pitching right into him and 
giving him a black eye. A number of others now got at it, 
and had any one stood without, listening, and not knowing 
just how things were, he might have imagined that ten 
thousand fiends had been turned loose, and were having a 
nice little time to themselves within. 

It is impossible to say how long such conduct might have 
been carried on, had not the officer of the guard given us a 
call, and made several arrests. After that, all became quiet, 
and we fell asleep. 

Next day we went on picket again — this time going down 
the river instead of up. 

The scene was a wild, a picturesque one. Such a one as 
Nature — only Nature — is capable of producing. The river 
there is but eighty yards in width. The shores are of equal 
height, and consist of ragged walls of rock which rise one 
hundred and fifty feet above the surface of the stream. At 
the base flow the waters of the Potomac through a channel 
which, while it is but eighty yards wide, is sixty-five feQ,\» m 

128 OUB BOYS. 

The water appeared to be of a dark green hue, and from 
its great depth flows so slowly that it can scarcely be seen 
to move at all. The surface is generally^smooth and unbroken 
as a mirror. On the brink of the rocky walls, which are 
perpendicular, a few dwarf pines and c^ars are growing; 
while here and there tufts of yellow moss are carelessly 
spread over the rocky surface by Nature's hand. It is 
generally silent there ; all is seclusion — all the wildest lone- 

There the rocky waUs are of wildnoBB rare ; 
And the towering cliffs are nearly bare, 
Though the yellow^ moss is growing there. 

And the stunted pines and the cedars grow 
On the rugged heights ; while, far below, 
The dark-greon waters silently flow. 

There scarcely a sound is ever heard, 
Save the wildest note of some lonely bird— 
Of a hawk, or a crow, that may sail above. 
Or the plaintive " coo" of the turtle-dove. 

Or, at dead of night, when they are stiU, 
The startling cry of the whip-poor-will ; 
Or the chirp of a cricket, which, free from cart. 
May lurk in some lonely crevice there. 

During the night which followed, several shots were fired 
on both sides; but those of the rebels struck harmlessly 
against the rocks. It was prudent on our part to conceal 
our persons as much as possible, for to expose them to view 
was to run the risk of " catching it." 

Next morning, an hour after sunrise, a group of ns was 
collected near a large rock, watching for the appearance of 
some indiscreet rebel, when one of OUR BOYS remarked — 

" I guess they are afraid to show themselves ; well not get 
a shot at — " 

At that moment a voice, evidently proceeding from the 
opposite rocky shore, was heard to call out — , 


For a moment we were silent, and presently the call was 

O £ of 01(^30 YS, answered \t with — 

J . 



**Do you see me ?" asked the voice. 

''No," was answered. 

**I see yoM," came from the other shore. 

We could see no one, and were silent. The voice con- 
tinued — 

"Are you not afraid I'll shoot you ?" 

No answer. 

Again the persevering voice was heard. 

" u I come out and show myself to have a talk, will you 
shoot me?" 

"No. Come out." 

"Honor bright?" 

" Have no fear ; we are men who can act honorably, even 
with our enemies." 

" Here I am, then," and the owner of the voice — a rebel 
officer — stepped boldly from a clump of cedars, and stood 
exposed to view on the brink of the rocky precipice beyond 
the channel. 

All fears were now removed, and we all stepped unhesitat- 
ingly from our place of concealment, and stood upon the 
bare rocks, where we could be plainly seen. 

" To what regiment do you belong ?" asked the rebel offi- 
cer, by way of opening the conversation. 

"Eighth Pennsylvania Eeserves," was the reply. 

" What part are you from ?" * 


" What is your coloners name ?" 

"George S. Hayes." 

"Tour captain's?" 


" Well, gentlemen, I should like to establish an armistice 
at this point, for to-day at least ; are you willing ?" 

"Tes— ohyesl" 

" Then ve will not shoot at each other to-day ?" 

"No. We will not violate the truce." 

" Now, gentlemen, we can have a talk. Of course, we need 
not disclose anything of importance." 

"Bight, sir — may we ask what regiment yo\]L\^\oTL^\*oT 

130 OUR BOYS. 

" Tliirteenth Virginia Cavalry." 

•'You are one of its officers?" 

" Yes, I am captain of Company " C ;" my name is AnirtfW 
L. Pitner." 

To repeat all the conversation that followed would be a 
task, indeed. The war was talked of, the soldier's life was 
discussed, jokes were perpetrated freely ; but one little cir- 
cumstance occurred, during the conversation, which made an 
impression on my mind that time can never efface. It was 
as follows : — 

One of our boys held up a pack of cards, and called out— 

" Do you know what this is ?" 

Several other rebels had, by this time, joined the officer, 
who acted as spokesman, and continued to carry on the 

" I cannot see what it is at this distance," he replied. 

" I'll tell you," said the owner. 


" The ' history of the four kings'*,''^ was the significant reply. 

" Oh, yes — ^that's — yes, I understand now — cards, I believer 


"May I show you the history /read?" asked the rebel 

"Yes, sir, if you please." 

Placing his hand to his breast, the rebel officer drew from 
a side pocket the most blessed of all books, a small BIBLE. 
Ah, what a reproach !' Not that it was meant as a reproach, 
for it was done with the innocence and simplicity of a child; 
but to witness such an exhibition of superior morals in one' 
upon whom we looked as being a rebel — an insurgent— was 
truly abasing. Surely, that man believed he was fighting 
on the right side! How I should like to know whether he 
is yet living ! Many, on our side, who came to the rocky 
brink and conversed with him on that day of armistice, have 
passed away forever. 

I do not remember who the soldier was that exhibited the 

pack of cards to the rebel officer ; but there is one thing I 

do remember ; and that is, that he felt the reproof so sensibly^ 

that, after standing for a moment gazing vacantly upon the 

cards as he held them m \i\s \i2L\id, and listlessly twisting 


omers, lie threw them over the brink, and away they 
sailing and flattering as they slowly descended to the 
I waters many a fathom below. 
' and by one of the rebel soldiers asked : — 
P I swim over to you, will you allow me to return ?" 
!'es, certainly I" was the reply. 

'hen I'll come," said he ; and, walking to a point a little 
er down the stream, he climbed over the precipice — ^it 
lot so steep there — to the water's edge, doffed his cloth- 
md plunged in. 

i was a good swimmer, and soon reached the Maryland 
I. We also walked down to the point at which he was 
Lng, and met him at the water's edge. A great-coat 
given him to cast about his shoulders. Then the con- 
tion was opened. He told us that they believed their 
I was just — ^that had we been born south of the Potomac, 
K), had been enlisted in the rebel cause. He expressed 
3grets that, in the course of events, Virginia must fight 
ist Pennsylvania, her sister State. He would almost as 
ght the South Carolinians,* but he thought he was doing 
aty by enlisting in the cause of his State, 
nong other things, a green-back was shown him,vupon 
1 was the President's likeness. 
>o you know who that man is ?" was asked, 
"es," replied the Virginian, smiling, " and I wish he and 
eff. Davis were obliged to come here and do picket duty 
; the Potomac ; I don't think the war would last long 
it were the case." 

would have been the strangest thing in the world if 
ier had allowed our " secesh" friend to depart without 
relating to him one of his " solemn truths ;" accordingly, 
jgan :— 

say, partner, are you troubled any with muskeeters over 
way at night ?" 

Tes," was the reply ; *' we can scarcely sleep for them." 
iat's our fix," said Winder. Then, after grinning for a 
eiit, he continued : — 

lie reader majrbave seen an account of this ciroTimataTice itv aom^ cA 
Mo papers, for I know it found ita way to the preda nol \o\\% SL^V.'St. 

132 OUR BOYS. 

" Would you believe it, sir, they troubled me so, hA 
night, that I got some of our boys to turn a Iwge iron kettle 
over me ?" 

"That kept them away, I suppose?" 

"Not a bit of it ; they still came singing around, and alight* 
ing on the kettle, they actually stuck their bills clear through 
it, although the iron was an inch thick." 

" What did you do then ?" asked the rebel, smiling. 

"Oh, I just laid there, using my bayonet for a hammer 
and clinching their bills on the inside so that they could not 
get away." 

"You had them nicely, then," remarked the Virginian. 

" Why — ^yes — for a while it worked very well ; but by and 
by I fastened so many to the kettle that they actually flew 
away with it." 

Winder finished with a grin, and the rebel laughed 
heartily ; soon after, he took his departure, plunged into the 
water again, and was soon standing on the Virginia shore, 
feeling fully satisfied and convinced that the "Yankees" were 
not the most barbarous animals in the world, after all. 

Two of OUR BOYS swam over with him, and remained for 
half an hour on the Virginia side talking with the rebels ; 
after which they returned ad libitum. 

Our week passed rapidly away. On the evening of the 
following Monday, the Eleventh regiment arrived at the Falls 
and relieved us. It was dark by the time this was accom* 
plished, and we were informed that we would not start for 
Tenallytown till morning. I was about to lie down in a 
comer of the apartment we occupied, when Winder, carrying 
his knapsack in his hand, approached me and said — 

"It's so confounded cold, in here, let us go out under one 
of those sheds and sleep." 

" I think I will," I replied ; for I was beginning to feel 
most forcibly the oppressive heat within the building where 
so many were sleeping. Of course it was hot, for didnt 
Winder say it was cold? 

I gathered my effects together and accompanied him to 
the shed. We lay down together beneath it, and were aeon 


oblivious to all events, save such as ever and anon flitted 
across the dreamy imagination. 

We had no means of knowing how long we had slept, 
when aroused by some one standing over and shaking us 
alternately, as though we were anything but eggs. 

" Boys I boys I I say, boys I" he called ; and I wondered 
how he knew that we were boys there in the dark. We might 
have been officers for all he knew to the contrary. 

''What's up?" I asked. 

"Tow ought to be up," he replied. 


" What regimenti do you belong to ?" 

''Our regiment — the Eighth, you know." 

" Why, that's gone long ago." 


"The Eighth left at nine o'clock." 

" And what time is it now ? 


" Why, our orders were to be ready to start in the morn- 

"Yes, but your colonel concluded that in order to avoid 
the heat of the day he would march to Tenallytown to-night." 

"Then you belong to the Eleventh?" 


The speaker, who was an oflBicer of the Eleventh, left us, 
and we held a consultation, the question at issue being, 
whether we should arise and go at once, or sleep on and wait 
for morning? After some deliberation we came to the same 
wise conclusion that Colonel Hayes did with regard to the 
regiment, viz., that by going at once we would avoid the 
heat of the coming day. 

We packed our knapsacks, buckled on our accoutrements^ 
and started upon the lone, solitary road leading to Tenally- 
town. The regiment we were told had taken the old road, 
and not the one by the river. This lay fully two miles up, 
but there was at this point a by-road leading to it. We as- 
cended the high river hill and sawj to our delight, the full moon 
just peeping from behind the eastern horizon. It, '^^^ %ciQi\i 
high in the unclouded heavens, and shining \>n^\\^ • ^V<5Cw 

134 OUR BOYS. 

about' half-way to the main road, we were challenged by » 
sentry who, with a sabre in his hand, was slowly walking 
his beat by a small encampment. We had not the counter- 
sign, but telling him who we were and how we came to be 
leTt behind, he was satisfied. He informed us that he belonged 
to a battery which had arrived early in the night, and asked 
a series of questions relative to what we had seen during our 
stay at the Falls. Here, then, was an opportunity for Win- 
der, and he began — 

" You'll be apt to have some fun with that battery of 

" Why ?" asked the artilleryman. 

" Because the rebels on the other side of the river are just 
preparing to open out with eighty guns." 

" Now, you don't mean it ?" 

" Yes, I do. No doubt they will begin to-morrow." 

'* But how did you find out about them ?" 

" Me ? Didn't I see them ?" 

"What! Did you?" 

" Yes ; I swam over there last night. Colonel Hayes found 
out that I was a good swimmer, and he sent me over W » 
spy. It was a long swim. 

" Why ? How wide is the river down there ?" 

" Haven't you been down, yet ?" 
\^' "No." 

" Well, it's only a mile and a half." 

" And did you see all those guns ?" 


" What size are they 7" 

" Why, the smallest I saw were about as big as that oa^ 
there," said Winder, pointing to a brass twelve-pound©^ 
which stood near, bravely glittering in the moonlight. 

" Then some were larger, I suppose ?" , 

" Yes, they had a few that I might crawl into comfortably. 

' Merciful Moses I Won't we have a time ?" - ' 

" That you will." 

" All right ; I want to try my hand," said the artilleryman 5 
and he really seemed to wish for a fight with the rebels. 
^' Come^ on, Dave, let us go,''^ aa\dl,\.o Winder; for he wa^ 


g to tell another, and I knew that if let alone, he 

ind there and lie all night. 

silked on. 

3 the moonlit horizon of the east was melting into 

er light of day, we plodded into camp, having 

le pickets without difficulty. We felt weary, and at 

down to rest. 

this time we received an additional number of 
that, thereafter, only five men were to occupy each 
rnebodymust leave our tent; much against the 
►f Scott and Mitchel, I consented to go. I was 

solicited by Corporal Dee to come into the one he 

I did so, and now found myself in a new mess, 
y of Corporal Dee, Dave Hazen, Tom Fenster, and — 
id Cease, the gentleman from the mountains, who 

shell strike a man in the stomach far over in Vir- 
id the same who had the fight with Galvesti. By 
the latter gentleman had now left the tent and gone 

was nothing very remarkable about the first three 
' my mess ; but there was about Cease. He excelled 
in the art of lying. This looks incredible, but it is 
Winder did once, in an unguarded moment, actually 
3 truth ; but it is confidently asserted of Mr. Cease, 
10 know him, that he never so far forgot himself. 



P this time our much-esteemed second lieutenant, 
/larke, was commissioned second lieutenant in Cap- 
ball's battery, in the regular army, and left^ns. 
)rry to lose him, we yet rejoiced at his good fortune, 
ir began to be evident that we must ^oo\i ercci^ "vki^ 

186 OUR BOYS. 

Potomac, and take up our abode in Virginia. Every day 
marching orders were issued for the day following ; but were 
as often countermanded. September wore away. We X^ero 
dt5stined to go on picket once more in Maryland, and, is 
usual, had a nice time of it ; but nothing worthy of note 
transpired. On returning to camp, we learned that our divi- 
sion was now divided into three brigades. The first brigade 
— it consisted of the First, Second, Fifth, and Eighth regi- 
ments — was commanded by General John F. Eeynolds;* 
the second. General George G. Meade ;t the third, by Gtenend 
E. 0. C. Ord4 General George A. McCall, as I have pre- 
viously stated, commanded the division. 

After returning from picket, we had just " broken ranka^" 
when Captain Conner approached me, and said : — 

"After you have laid aside your accoutrements, report 
yourself to me at my quarters." 

" I will," I replied ; and wondered what he wanted with 

After divesting myself of a few trifling encumbrances, viz, 
knapsack, haversack, canteen, cartridge-box, belt, bayonet- 
scabbard, and musket, I repaired to the captain's quarters. 
He then explained : — 

" Our company has been called upon to furnish an orderly 
for General i^^ynolds, who commands our brigade — we are 
in the First — if you wish, you may trv it." 



" That's— that is— what is that ?" 

" A man to carry dispatches or orders to the several regi- 
ments — it is easy work." 

"Well, ril try it." * , 

" Then you may go over to his quarters, those tents on the .r 
hill across yonder, and report yourself to Captain Kingsbury,, 

* Afterward promoted to major-general, and kiUed at the battle of 

f Subsequently commander of the Army of the Potomac. 

X The '*hero of Drainesville ;'' since promoted to major-general, and 
fkppointed to a command in the Western Army. 


** Thank you;** and I walked over to the tents pointed out 
to me by Captain Conner. 

"I found Captain Kingsbury in one of them; but the 
general was absent. Captain K. informed me that my duty 
would be to carry orders, written or verbal, to any of the 
regiments of the brigade. 

Several times, during the day, I was sent out in this way, 
but did not know whether to like it or not. One of our 
BOYS who had once been in the regular service, told me that 
it was considered a slight honor to be orderly for a general ; 
but for the life of me I couldn't see it. To sit or stand all 
the time within hearing of the voice of the general or his aid, 
and to start at the word, "orderly!" didn't exactly suft 
my disposition. 

Although about the beginning of October, the day was 
extremely hot and sultry. As evening came on, huge, inky 
clouds began to make their appearance above the north- 
western horizon, banking up and rolling over one another. 
No breeze stirred ; the leaves and the branches of the trees 
hung motionless. Surely we would have a storm. I was 
standing just without the general's tent, gazing abstractedly 
upon the mountains of clouds which were boiling up, as it 
were, in the northwest, when a low, mumbling noise was 
borne to my ears, followed by a moaning sound. Suddenly 
the branches of a pine-tree above my head stirred slightly, 
and a breeze that felt almost hot touched my cheek as it 
crept by. By and by the clouds came nearer, affd the forked 
lightning could be seem making paths across them ; the 
thunder began to be more distinctly heard, and the breeze, 
at first slight, became a gale. 

The light of day began to give place to the gloom of night ; 
and the heavy clouds made the darkness thick, except when, 
at intervals, vivid flashes of lightning held everything out 
most glaringly to view. The gale swelled into a perfect 
storm ; the thunder began to roll sa»vagely ; the heavy clouds 
were approaching, crowding and thronging together as 
though the heavens were too small a place to adbommodate 
them. On thev came. A terrific clap of thunder followed ; 
a brilliant flash of lightning vibrated on the air and shook 

188 OUB BOTS. 

tlie earth ; then a few heavy drops of rain came pattering 
down, and presently a large hailstone struck the vizor of my 
cap with a startling " click ;" and I took shelter beneath the 
ample canvas of General Eeynolds' tent. The storm now 
burst forth in all its terrible grandeur. The rain no longer 
dropped or poured, but came down with a continuous splash; 
myriads of hailstones came rattling upon the canvas of the 
tent ; the angry lightnings kept the earth lighted up with 
one continual glare ; the thunders maintained an incessant 
roar that made the earth tremble ; the raging winds threatened 
to tear everything from the earth — root and branch. I 
began to feel alarmed for the stability of the tent which 
sheltered me. It flapped ominously in the wind ; it swayed 
to and fro. Here a pin was torn from the ground ; while 
there a cord was snapped. Certainly it was going to go. 
At last the entire side facing the storm was torn from Vne 
ground ; the wind puffed in and filled the tent, and it began 
to rise. I clung to it with a desperation rarely equalled. 
But away it went, lifting me ten feet into the air. In fact, 
it was beginning to fly off with me, when, letting go, down I 
came to the ground, alighting horizontally in a bed of water 
and hail that was four inches deep. Then the hail went to 
beating me : slap I slap I crack I crack I bat 1 bat ! It seemed 
to me that the hailstones were all falling right where /feU. 
I sprang up, and discovered that my cap had come off my 
head; and a score of hailstones, about the size, and with 
something of the impetuosity of grape-shot, came beating 
about my ears. I was almost stunned — bewildered; the 
lightning blinded me. I stooped to look for my cap, I 
couldn't hokf but, feeling for it, my hand touched the rim. 
How fortunate I I wondered that it had not been blown 
away. I hastily picked the article up, and placed it on my 
head, with a quart of water inside. But where now should 
I go ? I set my wits to work. Oh, yes ! There was another 
of the general's tents still standing, in which he kept his 
papers. With much difficulty I succeeded in finding my 
way thither. I rushed in, more dead than alive, and found 
Captain Kingsbury already there. 
^'Tbumierationr I breatihle^aly exclaimed. It was very 


appropriate, too, for at that moment a terrific clap of thunder 
pealed forth as though it were in the very tent, and a tree 
standing ten or fifteen paces off was shivered to splinters. 

The storm raged fearfully for an hour, then rolled away 
toward the southeast, teavingthe ground coated with hail to 
the thickness of three or four inches. The clouds floated 
slowly away ; the stars one by one peeped out ; the air be- 
came cool, and the night turned out clear and pleasant. 

General Reynolds soon rode up, gave his horse into the 
care of a darkey, and entered the tent. He was somewhat 
above the medium height, well-formed, but rather slight in 
build — had a stern face with black whiskers and moustaches, 
from which a set of beautiful white teeth now and then peeped 
forth — black hair, and dark, piercing, penetrating eyes. His 
look and manner denoted uncommon coolness, and he spoke 
not unpleasantly. His countenance was one not likely to 
encourage familiarity ; his age, perhaps, thirty-eight. 

At ten o'clock he told me that I was at liberty to go to 
my quarters ; but that I must report next morning at eight. 
On reaching the camp of the regiment, I found about one- 
half the tents non est, in fact, gone up. Fortunately, my own 
had stood firm, and I at once entered, wet and cold as I was, 
and was soon asleep, dreaming of being thrown into the 
Atlantic Ocean, near the middle, with liberty to swim either 
to Europe or America as I might choose. 

Next day I was sent about seven times to each regiment 
in the brigade, and about four times with documents to 
division head-quarters, which, being reckoned up, amounts to 
thirty-two little journeys. I got off at nine o'clock on that 
evening, and on arriving in our camp the captain asked me 
how I liked it "over there." I replied that I liked "over 
there" ve^ well, but that I wasn't there a minute at a tim 
without being sent elsewhere, which was peculiarly unplea- 
sant. He then informed me that, if I desired, he would, the 
next morning, send another in my ^tead, for which I thanked 
him, and thus ended my experience as a " general's orderly." 

The first week of October had passed away, and we were 
standing in groups in our company street one evening dis- 

140 OUR BOYS. 

cussing the prospects of receiving marching orders^ wlea 
Captain Conner made his appearance and said — 

" Boys, pack up, and strike your tents." 
Marching orders ! Marching orders I" was sboated 
on all sides ; and we did pack up, add strike our tents vitb 
remarkable alacrity. 

Soon the bugle sounded the welcome call of the "assemUy" 
and the cry of "Fall in!" was reiterated on all sides. We 
marched over the Chain Bridge, and at last were in Vlfr 


We halted and bivouacked for the night about four mite 
out on the Georgetown and Leesburg turnpike. Early the fd- 
lowing morning we moved on a mile further, then filed off 
the road- into a clover-field on the right, and encamped. 
Having pitched our tents, we proceeded to scour the surround- 
ing country to see what we could find in the way of beana^ 
potatoes, fruit, etc. The houses were all deserted ; the in- 
habitants having fled upon our approach, leaving fumituTe 
and all, fearing, no doubt, that were they to remain, we would 
eat them alive, as a matter of course-.-Yankees that we were. 



Early on the following morning, before the dawn of day, 
we were aroused to go on picket ; it was Sunday*moming; 
too. We marched a mile and a half from camp, by the pike, 
and halted ; having gained the summit of a long range of 
hills running at right angles with the pike. The river, which 
ran parallel with the pike, was about a mile from it. Upon 
this range of hills our picket line was established — ^the right 
resting upon the Potomac, and the left connecting with the 
pickets of General Smith's division. We were not fistributed 


in squads, as was our wont in Maryland, but each company 
was divided into three reliefs, as in camp guard, and a certain 
space was allotted to it. 

As soon as the first relief was posted, we proceeded to do 
(mr butchering, that is, to collect what stray sheep, hogs or 
cattle might chance to lurk in that vicinity, and appropriate 
them to our own use. This was, perhaps, rather arbitrary, 
but it could not be helped, for as the owners had fled to 
wcessiondom, it was impossible for us to ask their permission 
to deal thus summarily with their unfortunate animals. I 
»m sure the reader will not censure us for butchering on the 
Sabbath, for had we not secured the valuable steaks, hams, 
mutton, etc., somebody else would before the morrow. 

George Wagner, my ex-messmate, was a butcher by trade, 
sad he superintended the proceeding ; it was done aright, 
you may depend. We had just strung up the sixth hapless 
animal, in our business-like way, when a body of mounted 
TBBm was seen on the right moving toward us. Evidently 
some general, accompanied by his staff, was approaching us. 
Horror I it would never do for him, whoever it might be, to 
see what kind of work was going on. So we hurriedly took 
down the bodies of the animals, piled them up in a fence- 
comer, and covered them with straw taken from a neighbor- 
ing bam. We had but carried out this nice little arrange- 
ttentj when the head of the approaching cavalcade passed by. 
Who should it be riding in advance but General McClellan, 
accompanied by General McCall. A number of staff officers 
and a small squad of cavalry followed them, " Little Mac" 
J^tuming the salute of each sentinel, in a pleasant way, and 
^thout seeming to deem it a condescension ; now and then 
lilting for a moment to give a passing word of instruction. 
The day wore away, and, although it was supposed that 
^c rebels were near, and they certainly were, we were not 
disturbed. Night came. I went on post at ten o'clock, 
and was relieved at twelve. Then I wrapped my blanket 
aiound me and lay down for the purpose of sleeping from 
that time till four in the morning, when I should go on post 
•pkin. It appeared to me that I had barely closed my eyes, 
whea I was arouised bj one of the sergeants \v\l\i — 

112 OUB B0T8. 

'• Come, get up, Second Belief! — I don't see liow you can 
sleep in all this rain." 

*' in what ?" I asked in surprise, scarcely knowing whew 
I was ; and I removed my blanket and found that it ¥M 
raining decently, and that I was wet to the skin. It was i 
cold rain, too." 

" How long has it been raining?" I asked. 

*•' Three hours," replied Sergeant Cue, for it was he. 

"Three hours; is it possible ?" 

" Not only possible, but probable ; not only probable, but 
very certain." 

I arose, feeling anything but comfortable, and was soon <m 
post. A stiff, cool breeze was blowing, and it caused me to 
shiver not a little. But — would you believe it — ^I felt per- 
fectly content. I felt that the hardships attending the life 
of a soldier had now actually begun, and took pnde in the 
thought that I was permitted to suffer for my country; 

When morning came, we returned. Our new camp irafl 
called " Camp Pierpont," and was situated near the village 
of Langley. A stream of water wound its way adown a gentle 
valley near its location, and as there were no springs at hand, 
we used the pure water from the- " bubbling brook." Several 
days had elapsed, when we observed that the water of the 
stream, though at first clear and transparent, became rather 
whitish — began to put on a milky appearance. We paid no at- 
tention to it, however, supposing it to be a peculiarity belong- 
ing to the streams of benighted Virginia. We continued to 
use the water for a week before we discovered the true cause 
Then it came with a startling vengeance. It was simply 
that the boys of a regiment encamped further up the stream 
had been all this time industriously washing their garmefnU 
in it, using a superior quality of rosin soap ;• hence -that 
milky appearance. I need not say that springs came into 
immediate use, notwithstanding their non -proximity. 

About this time an election was held for second lieutenant^ 
made vacant ty the transfer of Lieutenant Clark to the regular 
army. Sol. Krepps, our first-sergeant, was elected. 

Que day, not long after our goirg into camp, an order was 
issued to have a " brigade diiW" W^ ^qtq to be drilled by 


rigadier-General Eeynolds, and were to wear our 
cks, containing, at least, our blankets. This was done 
5 might become accustomed to wearing them by the 
e should engage in active operations. 
, for the life of me, I couldn't just see it in the right 
I thought it would be time enough for this 8xtra 
when necessity should require it. But it wouldn't 
bsobey orders, so I packed a quantity of straw in mine, 
made it very light, indeed, scarcely heavier than the 
ulk of nothing. 

packed my knapsack an hour before drill-time, I laid 
1 within my tent and walked out. Corporal Dee, who 
served the operation, thought that a better opportunity 
petrating a practical joke is not in the habit of pre- 

itself to mortals. Accordingly, procuring a stone 
ig six pounds and five ounces, he slipped it in among 
iw. When the call was sounded to fall in, I hurriedly 
i on my knapsack, without noticing the generous 
Q to its weight. But I must say that, during the drill 
followed, I thought '^01 mere straw it pulled rather 
• upon my shoulders. At length General Eeynolds 
nd for an hour we were carefully instructed in various 
vres, many of which were new to us. The colonels 
everal regiments were also instrtlcted on many points, 
re had brought with us, according to orders, twenty 

blank cartridge, in our cartridge-boxes, we were 
A in line of battle, before leaving the field, to try our 
t firing. This was pretty well done by all hands. 
e fired by brigade, then by battalion, then by division, 
' company, then by platoon, then by rank, then by file, 
me, General Eeynolds informed the colonels that the 

15 at an end, and, accompanied by his staff, he rode 

16 field. The First, Second, and Fifth regiments were 
d off at once by their colonels, but Colonel Hayes 
i he would keep his regiment in the field for a short 
•r he had taken a fancy to that firing, and wanted to 
gain — ^to give his regiment an additional lesson. No 
had the other regiments left, than we were ordered ta 
Then the colonel commanded — 

144 OUB BOYS. 

"Battalion — ready— aim — pibb 1" y^^- 

Bang I went all our muskets in one volley. 

The colonel's horse started slightly, but was quiet ia i 
moment. The colonel proceeded — 

" Battalion, load at will— foarf /" 

A» rattling and singing of rammers followed. He thai 
resumed — 

"Battalion, fire by file— commence firing!" 

All who have ever been in the field are aware of the 
tremendous and prolonged rattle caused by " firing by file.** 
At first, the colonel's horse started. As the firing continued 
the horse began to rear and plunge, as only a horse knows 
how, to the great discomfiture of the rider, who with diffi- 
culty maintained his seat. 

" Cease^firing /" he shouted. 

No attention was paid him. The deafening rattle of 
musketry continued. 

" Cease — firing 1" he screamed. 

He was not heard ; he was in rear of us, and was not even 
seen. The frightened horse started to run ; the colonel 
endeavored to keep his head toward us. Then a struggle e 
commenced. I looked around about this time, and beheld a 
sight which I shall never forget. The terrified horse was s 
standing perfectly upright, executing the most fearful leaps, 
one after another ; while poor Colonel Hayes was clinging 
on by mane and rein, with truly Spartan-like tenacity. Ever 
and anon, as he could spare one of his hands, he would wave 
it wildly toward us, still shrieking : — 

"Cease firing 1" 

At length the line officers ordered us to "cease firing," 
and the colonel rode up, almost breathless, and exclaimed : — 

" Why, you are a d — d set of fellows 1" 

We doubted it, but did not say so ; and the colonel, having 
had quite enough of the firing, set about marchings us to 
camp. It so happened that about one-half the muskets of 
the regiment still contained a charge, as we had been abruptly 
stopped right in the midst of a glorious "blazing away. 
We had but right-faced, and were marching toward camp, 


when one of our boys thought it would be no harm to let his 
musket off; so, bang I it went. 

. " Stop that firing," said the colonel, turning in his saddle ; 
for it made his horse restive. 

He had but turned away, when bang! went another 
musket. The colonel's horse became somewhat angry, and 
the colonel himself far more so ; he turned and broke out : — 

" D— n it to h— 11 1 Stop that infernal firing 1" 

He rode on again, but the next moment, bang! went 
another piece. The colonel turned his horse about, and rode 
impetuously toward the left of the regiment from whence 
the shot proceeded. 

*' Who was that ?" he demanded. 

Bang! went another musket; this time near the right. 
The colonel turned about; rode rapidly thither, and, with an 
oath, commonly called a " sweetener," roared out peremp- 
torily : — 

" Who the h— 11 fired that gun ?" 

Bang! again, this time near the centre. Colonel Hayes 
turned in that direction, when bang ! went one immediately 
behind him. He again turned him about — his face livid 
with vexation and rage — but had barely done so, when bang ! 
bang 1 bang ! crack ! crack ! bang ! went half-a-dozen, toward 
the lefl and centre. 

The colonel became so fierce that a reaction took place : 
and, with a calmness that was awful, he commanded : — 

"Battalion, Aaft/" 

The regiment — it had been moving during all this time — 

The colonel then faced the men, and commanded : — 


We faced to the front. 

"Centre— rfrcss/" continued the colonel. 

We soon formed a line. 

" Order — arrm /" he went on. 

Our muskets came solidly down upon the ground. 

"Parade— res^/" 

We stood at a " parade-rest." , 

The colonel then rode directly opposite the centre, stood 

146 OUR BOT& 

straight up in bis stirrups, lifted his right hand solemnly 
above his head, and in a slow measured tone, said : — 

"Eighth Eegiment, Pennsylvania Reserves, I swear by all 
that's terrible, that if another musket is discharged, I'll placQ 
every officer in the regiment under arrest and keep them so 
till I discover the offender ; and when I do discover him— 
d — n him — I'll put him into the guard-house for six montbs 
— a ball-and-chain to each ankle — his hands tied behind him 
— a three-inch gag in his mouth 1 Mark tlvatl — ^Attention, 
battalion !— Shoulder — arms I Right — face I Forward— 
march /" 

It is needless to say that we reached camp without further 

I found myself alone in my tent, my messmates having all 
gone out, when I began to unpack my knapsack and to re- 
move the straw. Imagine my surprise when that delicate 
stone placed in it by Corporal Dee presented itself to my 

"Ah," I exclaimed; "no wonder I thought it rather 
heavy ; I see it all, now !" 

I did not know who was the perpetrator of the joke, but 
saw plainly that a trick had been practised upon me, and 
resolved to find out the guilty party. I quickly removed 
the stone, carried it away, and procured a brick, which I 
placed in its stead. By and by my messmates were all 
assembled within the tent, when, pretending to read for a short 
time, I at last feigned to be tired, laid the paper down, 
yawned, rubbed my eyes, and carelessly said — 

" I guess it's time I was unpacking my knapsack ; I do 
believe, boys, that this straw felt as heavy as my blanket 
would had I carried it." 

I then loosed the straps and emptied out the straw, dis- 
playing — not a stone, but a common brick. The desired end 
was gained, for Corporal Dee — and his eyes seemed about to 
spring from his head, so great was his surprise — unwittingly 
exclaimed — 

" Why, I put— I didn't put that— 1—1— it was— a—" 

"Exactly," said I, with a coolness that astonished him* 
^80 it wa^OU who put that stone into my knapsack ?** 


Corporal Dee saw that he had exposed himself, and his 
confusion was so great that he could not even stammer out 
a reply, but sat on his knapsack, gashing steadfastly upon the 
straw at his feet, as though he momentarily expectea to see 
a rat make its appearance. 

**No matter, corporal," said I, "no harm done — ^it was a 
good trick, but after all I think I played the best trick on 

To this he assented, as did the others, for they perceived 
ihe plan I had adopted for discovering the perpetrator of the 

A few evenings after this, a little after roll-call, I was 
about to retire, when Juggie came rushing into my tent with 
an impetuosity that was alarming. 

*' What's the matter, Juggie ?" I asked. 

" Why," he exclaimed, with energy, " I won't stay in that 
tent witn them fellers any more, by gosh ! I'll lay out first." 

'^What felleraP I asked, adopting Juggie's beautiful 

"The rellers I mess with. Won't you trade with me? 
You go into that tent, and I'll come in this — oh, do 1 I'll 
give you half a dollar 1 

This was a very tempting oflfer. 

** Whom do you mess with ?" I quietly asked. 

" Dick Shaw, and George Ort, and Haman JeflPries, and that 
cussed little Enos- Strawn — oh, I do hate him I K he wasn't 
so little, I'd pound the d 1 out of him !" 

" What appears to be the difficulty between you and your 
messmates?" I asked. 

"Oh, they're all the time borin' me about that chap a 
throwin' me in Camp Tenally." 

" Indeed," said I, " now that's very wrong of them, for they 
know that you couldn't help it— it wasn't your fault." 

" Ye — ye — ^y — but say, won't you trade ?" 

"I don't know, Juggie; wait till morning; I can tell you 
better after I have consulted my knapsack."* 

* When one wishes a night to consider any question, he says he wiU 
oonanlt his piUow, so as I used iny knapsack for this purpose) I ** ^'&S£Q!!i&^ 
mj knapsaek." ' 

148 OUR BOYS. 

"Well, I'll try and stick it out another night; but I won't 
stay any longer, that's swore to," said Juggie. 

On the following morning I visited his tent, and inquired 
whether it would be agreeable to all hands, were I to take 
Juggie'fl place. 

" Yes," exclaimed Dick Shaw, " do trade with him, for he 
is a nuisance." 

"By all means!" exclaimed Enos Strawn. 

" Certainly 1" coincided Haman Jeffries. 

" Yes, indeed 1" agreed George Ort. 

"All right, then, Juggie," said I; "I'll trade." 

" Will you ? Good ! Here, I'll give you the half-dollar P 

"Never mind, Juggie, /don't want your money. I think 
I am making a good trade of it." 

And I was making a good exchange. Dick Shaw and 
George Ort were splendid young fellows of respectively 
twenty-two and twenty, and just the best natured of boys; 
Haman I have already described ; also Enos Strawn, one of 
the " Perry Boys." It is true the latter was no very desirable 
acquaintance ; but still inoffensive. But Haman, and Dick, 
and George were, indeed, unexceptionable. 

Of course it would have been very unreasonable for us to 
be long in our new camp before some little row should occur 
among us. Accordingly, on the very morning of my chang- 
ing my quarters, Dave Adams, one of OUR boys, whose age 
was forty, and Will Haddock managed, with surprising fa- 
cility, to disagree on some trifling point, and an argument 
occurred, which resulted in Dave's applying the delicate 
term liar to Haddock. He had scarcely articulated the 
slippery word, when Haddock applied his fist to the side of 
his head in a manner anything but delicate. Then they 
had it— crack ! slap ! smack ! After dotting each other s 
eyes in a literary style, neither gaining a point, one seized 
a club about as large as a man's leg, and the other seized an 
axe; and they were about to open hostilities on a larger 
scale, when they were seized and held by friendly inter- 

^' Let me at him I" cried Haddock, who had the dab. 


" Hold him till I kill him I" yelled Adams, whose weapon 
was an axe. 

But as Haddock was not let at Dave, nor held for Dave 
to kill, they cooled down, and soon proceeded to discuss 
breakfast in the usual manner. 

George Wagner's tent chanced to be pitched immediately 
by that of Sergeant Zee. After breakfast on the morning 
in question, George was engaged in making some little im- 
provement on the ditch around his tent; and during the 
operation he managed, either accidentally or carelessly, to 
place a quantity of the soil of Virginia in too friendly prox- 
imity with Sergeant Zee's tent. The latter emerged there- 
from and suggested the propriety of having the dirt removed. 
George did not manifest any inclination to do this, remark- 
ing that there was no hurry about it ; and worked away at 
his drain. 

" But there is hurry," said Sergeant Zee, emphatically. 

*'But there isn't," persisted George. 

"Now, by thunder," said the sergeant, decidedly, "you've 
just got to take that dirt away." 

" Why — who'll make me ?" asked George, stopping in the 
midst of his work and leaning on his spade, awaiting the 


" Your 

"Yes— MB!" 

"I'd like to see you." 

" You will see me, if you don't take that dirt away, and 
that soon,^ 

*'Yov!ll play thunder," sneered Wagner; "You/ You I 
You think, because you wear two or three stripes on your 
arm, that you can — " 

Smack I he got it, right below the left eye. It staggered, 
"him a little, but, being a stout fellow, he pitched into Sergeant 
Zee with great energy. For a moment they stood blazing 
away at each other's countenances, to the evident damage of 
the ornaments belonging thereto ; but, becoming more fierce, 
they clinched, when there was a desperate struggle for ^ 

150 OUB BOYi. 

moment^ and down they went, all in a heap — George upper- 

" Now I'll give it to you I" he exclaimed, with savage 

"No, you won't!" exclaimed Sergeant Zee, who evidently 
did not feel inclined to " take it." 

He then made spasmodic eflPorts to whirl his more powerfdl 
antagonist under, but it was no go ; George stubbornly main- 
tained his horizontal position. There was then much in the 
way of scratching, biting, pinching, pulling hair, and swearing 
going on. A number of our boys presently interfered, and 
succeeded in thrusting the twain apart, with some difficulty, 
too, for they clung together most tenaciously. 

" Let me at him !" cried Sergeant Zee. 

" Let me at him /" shouted Wagner. 

" Another minute, and I'd a finished him I" screamed the 

" You hadn't commenced on me !" shrieked George. 

" I had I I was just getting you — " 

" It's a lie ! I was just getting you in a fair way." 

"You wasn't!" 

" I was ! Oh, if they had only left us bin another second, 
I'd a knocked daylights out of you !" 

" I'd like to see you — oh, do let me at him !" 

" Hush !" said one of the boys ; " yonder is Colonel Hayes. 

"I don't care for Colonel Hayes, nor any other man," 
shouted Sergeant Zee. 

"I don't neither!" vociferated Wagner, who thought he 
ought to be saying something. 

Then they carried on a war of words which it would be 
tiresome to repeat, winding up, at last, by promising to pro- 
cure each other's " heart's blood." 

But, dear me, it was not a week till they were friendly a» 
ever— in fact, more so; for each having discovered that th^ 
other would fight, it inspired them with a feeling of mutua9 

That same evening I went on guard. It was about th^s 
first of Npvember. We had been expecting a brush witfca 
the rebeh^fer since our armal «A.\,\i\^ ^kce. In fact, ther"^ 


was a standing order requiring us to be ready at any moment 
the "long roll" might be sounded, to turn out in fighting 

The night wore away. Being on the second relief, I went 
on post at six, was relieved at eight — went on again at 
twelve, and was relieved at two. With the rest, I was per- 
mitted to go to my quarters, with strict injunctions to report 
' at six. Near this hour I was emerging from my tent, mus- 
ket in hand, and was about to proceed to the gate, when the 
startling sound of the long roll broke upon the sharp morn- 
ing air. 

"Confound it if I go to the gate," I exclaimed ; and seeing 
.the boys begin to pack their knapsacks and haversacks, and 
M into line, I followed their example. I was soon very 
unexpectedly relieved from all anxiety relative to reporting, 
fcr Juggie happened to have a sore foot, and as he could not 
march with the regiment, the captain ordered him to the 
gate in my place. 

The regiment stood in line on the parade ground. The 
light of day was just asserting its superiority over the fast 
retiring darkness of the night. The wind was blowing 
briskly, and clouds were flying hither and thither in the 
most disorderly manner. 

"Look! What^s that?" exclaimed one of our boys, 
pointing toward Georgetown, at some object in the sky. 

We all cast our eyes in that direction, and saw a balloor. 
mounting up into the clouded heavens. It was plain that it& 
moorings had given away, and it was now bearing its un- 
fortunate passengers — 

"Above the clouds."* 

At length, we filed out of camp and took our position in 
the brigade, the brigade in the division ; and the whole, in- 
^try, cavalry, and artillery, was soon in motion. We took 

, l^e reader may remember reading of tbin drcnmstanoe. It was 
donnla balloon reoonnoissauce, about the beginning of November, 1861, 
Jb*t some of the cords which held it at a proper height gave way, and the 
balloon, being disengaged from the earth, darted suddenly upward, and 
disappeared among the clouds with its terrified passenger. Conflicting 
™"iors were soon afloat as to whether the man's fate was over ascertalued* 

162 OUR BOYS. 

the Leesburg pike, and marched slowly forward ; skirmishun 
were sent out on all sides as we advanced, and scouts were 
sent in advance. Thus we marched, without interruption, 
till we reached Drainesville ; a village consisting (or did 
then) of a small grocery store, a dwelling house— two fami- 
lies occupy it — and a blacksmith shop. A corpulent woman 
was standing on the piazza, while a short, stout, green-look- 
ing man in his shirt-sleeves was leaning against the closed 
door of the grocery establishment. 

" I say, old fellow, how far is it to the rebs ?" asked one 
of OUR BOYS ; for we halted here for a few minutes. 

"You'll find 'em soon enough," retorted the Draines- 

" Arn't you afraid of us Yankees ?" was asked. 

" No, not a d — d bit," he replied ; and he stood there and 
grinned as though he wasnH afraid. 

" Well, you needn't be, for we wouldn't hurt a poor inno- 
cent feller like you," said Jim Smith. 

" It's very kind of you," said he, sneeringly. 

" We're kind folks — we Yankees," said one of our boys. 

The division now moved forward again for three or four 
miles, when we again halted, filed off the road into a field, 
stacked arms in line of battle, and threw out our pickets. 
Several hours passed away, and darkness came on, when 
an officer rode toward us with great speed, shouting, *'Get 
ready to move, boys, as quickly as possible." 

Then he sought General McCall, and hurriedly said : — 

"General, this will never do! You have come too far I 
You are liable to be cut off by the rebels, who can easily 
come from Centreville, in force, and intercept you at Draines- 
ville. You should not have passed that place — get your 
division in motion, and hasten back." 

The officer, I believe, was from General McClellan's staf&s- 

We were soon returning toward Drainesville; there w^= 
took a favorable position, threw out our pickets, and l a^^ 
lown to rest, for we were weary. We enjoyed undistur bo " 
repose till morning. As there were no indications of movin— ^ 
soon, we began to wander forth, one by one, two by two, cz^ 
group by a/tj^^ quest of vi\\at vre termed "forage." Ei" m 


mg; the wood in which we bivouacked was alive with 
hickens, turkeys, pigs, calves, and sheep. It was on this 
lenaorable occasion that some of our fellows killed and 
>utchered a cow belonging to a farmer who lived in the 
eighborhood, and actually sold him the hide for a dollar. 
Zi didn't know, at the time, that he was purchasing his own 
Toperty. No, poor fellow I he little imagined that he was 
'Uying the hide of his own departed cow. 

On the occasion in question, George Wagner, our practical 
'Utcher, had just administered the coup-de-grace to a fine ox, 
rhen General Eeynolds suddenly appeared. Perceiving 
rhat was going on, he broke out : — 

" Why, what the d— 1— how is this?" 

No one spoke ; the general, no doubt, saw plainly enough 
how it was." . 

Captain Conner, who had been asleep, and was not cogni- 
ant of the morning's proceedings, awoke at this moment, 
nd General Eeynolds asked : — 

" Are these your men, captain ?" 

"Yes, sir, but— I—" 

" Very well — consider yourself under arrest." 

«But,^neral, I—" 

"You are under arrest, sir." 


"No more, sir; you are under arrest, and you will lay 
your sword aside as soon as you reach camp." 

And the general rode away in sore displeasure. 

The day wore away, and night found us still in that wood, 
J^nns stacked, enjoying our beef, mutton, and poultry. Morn- 
/^g came, but the rebels didn't ; and we were ordered to fall 
^^, and take our way toward Camp Pierpont; which we 
^ched at three o'clock that afternoon. 

Ihat same night Lieutenant Jacobs was somewhat startled 
y some one thrusting aside the curtains of the tent, and 
^"troducing a face; it was Major Clark's. That individual 
^red cautiously in, looked very mysterious, and said : — 


*'Whatisit, major?" 

^'Come out here — mind^ be quiet about iC' 


i^S^rk spoke scarcely above a whisper. 

^ Whut^ up, major r" asked the lieutenant. 

^ Not too loud," cautioned the major. 

The curiosity of the former was now thoroughly arons 
\\^ luttl already removed his unmentionables, preparatory 
wtidng ; but he replaced them with some dispatch. Tl 
)u* donned his coat and cap, walked quietly out and job 
tho major. 

•* What in the world is the matter ?" he asked, in a whis] 

«< — sh — come with me," was the cautious reply ; and 
loil the way toward his tent — Jacobs following, all curiosi 

What could it mean ? The hour was a late one ; the ni 
was dark ; not a star was to be seen, while a cold wind ' 
singing as 'twere some mournful requiem among the tall tr 

They arrived at the tent of the major, then stopped. 

" Lieutenant," said he, in a low, solemn, impressive U 
" wait here one moment ; and, as you value your life 
mine, make no noise" 

Then he quietly, cautiously entered his tent. Oh, i« 
awful mystery was about to be revealed? Five mini 
passed away, and the major came not out. Half an 1 
actually crept by. 

'* What does this mean ?" began Lieutenant Jacol)s — * 
what's that ?" 

Sure enough, what was it ? Some sound proceeding f 
within attracted his attention. And what sound was 
Simply a terrible sneezing ! 'Twas Major Clark. Yes 
had gone into his tent, laid down, and was now sleepin] 
perfect indifference to all without. And there had stood 
lieutenant for nearly an hour, keeping watch over 
drunken slumbers. 

Wishing Major Clark in China, Jacobs returned to his i 
tent, felt his way into it, in the darkness, and began to 
dress for bed. Now, Captain Conner, who slept in there, 
made his bed upon the floor, and was lying, snoring av 
upon his back. The lieutenant, while poised upon one 
lost his balance, and fell upon the captain's stomacL 

"Oh — oh — ah — excuse me! I beg pardon, capto 
iJear in^LI wouldn't for the N^orld — oh, bless me!— 


gradous goodness! — excuse me — ^I hope jou are not hurt — 
oh, dear!" 

The captain, aKhough his breath was nearly knocked out 
of him, was yet so amused at the confused and promiscuous 
"Words of apology, uttered by the lieutenant, that he laughed 
Ae affitir off; and he laughed still more when the lieutenaut 
idated how he had been bamboozled by Major Clark. 



As November was wearing slowly away, and as there were 
JH) indications of a grand movement of the army, it began to 
w our policy to erect winter quarters ; for to dwell in tents, 
^out fire, too, during the frosts and snows of winter, was 
^ very delightful prospect. Just across the soapy stream, 
^ch I have mentioned, was an extensive wood — almost a 
«>i]e8t Having obtained permission of General Eeynolds to 
wfld quarters in the wood, and to remove thither, we at once 
*t about erecting rustic habitations, arranging them in the 
''^ttal form of an encampment. 

The huts we built were eight by ten feet in dimensions; 
^ built them of small logs, to the height of four or five 
^ and pitched our tents upon the top of the walls, for 
'^Verings. A fire-place and chimney adorned a comer of 
f^h building, imparting a cheerful, domestic appearance. 
*^h were our castles. When they were completed, we 
^Oved into them without delay. We now concluded tbljo 
^ own cooking, as our fire-places presented every facility ; 
J^d we discharged our sable emj^yees, Goens, Fairfax, *nd 
H>bert Daflfy-, and they were employed by our company 

Onco fciirly settled and established in our v;\T\\.eT o^^-^Xct^ 


156 OUB BOTS. 

we began to resort to all manner of gSfiik^ mental and gyxn- 
uastiC; for amusement. 'd^ 

In camp, a man who would not steal imn a peddler or 
sutler is looked upon, by the soldiers in general, as being very 
low, indeed. Any soldier who could have the moral courage 
to openly avow his principles as being averse to stealing 
from sutlers, would be ridiculed — nay, he would be looked 
down upon by his brothers-in-arms, with a contempt that 
might be termed sublime I 

It is not to be supposed that our excellent friend, Dave 
Winder, would so debase himself as to refrain from such 
noble deeds as robbing sutlers and peddlers. Well, a short 
time after we took possession of our winter quarters, a wagon 
entered camp, laden with small sheet-iron stoves; stoves 
that were peculiarly adapted to our. huts. A crowd soon 
collected about the wagon, some intending to purchase, some 
to steal. Mr. David Winder, the most prominent among 
the latter class, made his way through the crowd to the 
wagon, and putting on his most pleasant grin, said to the 
dealer in stoves — 

" Partner, you had better watch those fellows at the front * 
part of your wagon ; I know one or two there, that wouldn't 
be a bit too nice to hook one of your stoves." 

"Ahl ni watch! Thank you! Tm glad you told me," 
said the vender of stoves ; ana he crawled over the stoves 
to the front of his wagon— it was a covered wagon — and se- 
cured a curtain there, so that it would be impossible for any 
one to extract a stove without attracting his attention. 

While thus engaged, Winder gently lifted a stove from 
the hinder part of the wagon, and conveyed it to his quar- 
tos. The owner did not miss it, but proceeded to sell hia 
aierchandise as fast as he could handle it. 

When Winder arrived at his hut with his prize, lie made 
the startling discovery that he had entirely forgotten to steal 
a pipe for it. Nothing daunted, the brave fellow placed his 
stove within, and returned ,to the wagon. Not seeing^ any 
very favorable opportunity to extract a pipe clandestinely, 
he boldly addressed the man of stoves, and, with the air and 
manner of one who felt Vi\rcvad? Xo \>^ ^w vc^vkTed man, said — 


**Look here, my good fellow, you didn't give me any pipe 
fqj: mj stove." 

"Didn't I?" said thei peddler in some surprise. 

"No, of course not, or I wouldn't say so; I couldn't use 
two^ you know." 

" Oh, here, take it — ^I don't doubt your word — they are 
crowding me so that I may have forgotten it, though I don't 
often make a mistake ;"* and he handed Winder a pipe for 
the stolen stove, thinking, of course, that he had sold him 
one. i- 

Winder and his messmates — they were Hare, Smith, May- 
horn, and Underwood — had just finished setting up their 
stove, when another wagon entered camp; it was loaded 
with boots and shoes. Winder was soon aware of the fact, 
and he concluded to try his hand in this quarter. He went 
to the wagon, and, in an incredibly short space of time, suc- 
ceeded in spiriting away a pair of boots. He hoped the fates 
would favor him as to the size, and as soon as he found him- 
self possessor, he hurried to his house to try them on. But 
oh, horror ! they were not mates I One was a nine and the 
other an eleven, and both were for the right foot. Very well 
— no matter — he would go back and exchange them, he 
would pretend to have bought them, and no doubt the boot- 
and-shoe-dealer would give him a pair of mates for them. 
Certainly ! didn't he come it over the stove man with his 
honest grin ? Oh, yes ! He was soon at the wagon again, 
when he handed the boots to the proper owner, and said — 

"My dear sir, you didn't give me mates." 

Now the boot merchant happened to be a little too sharp to 
be thus taken in ; he knew that they must have been stolen ; 
and to the surprise and chagrin of Winder, and the amusement 
of the spectators, he took the boots, coolly placed them in 
one of his boxes, and said — 

" If you come playing any such games around me, I'll be 
gosh-dashed if I don't black both o' your eyes! Then they 
"^ill be mates, for certain — you rogue 1" 

, «i 

* The very thiDg that aU basiness men say ; and thoj make about as 
manj misUikett^as ordinary mortals, after all. 

158 OUR BOYS. 

Winder saw that he was outwitted ; so, he returned to 
his domicile, and soon forgot his troubles over a game of 
"seven- up." 

Drilling was suspended for the winter, but another dutf 
was now incumbent upon us ; viz., that of chopping our own 
fire-wood and carrying it to our tents. Each day, we turned 
out in force to procure fire-wood. I'll never forget my first 
experience in this line. We had each carried several loadf^ 
except Haman, who on this occasion did the chopping (for 
one generally, did the chopping, while the others did the 
carrying), when I returned for another load. I was about 
to shoulder a very light log, when Haman pointed to one 
which weighed about two hundred, and said : — 

'' Why don't you take that one ?" 

" May be you think I can't," I retorted. 

"ThsLt'&just what I think," said he. 

"Well, we'll see," said I; and I raised the log, thougl 
with some difficulty, and soon succeeded in balancing it upob 
my left shoulder ; then I started for the street of Company 
"D." I had about two hundred yards to carry it, and my 
way lay directly through quantities of brush which were 
scattered hither and thither. I had accomplished about half 
the distance, and was carefully crossing a rather muddy spot^ 
when my toe caught among some brush, and down I went 
in the mud, right on my countenance, the heavy log coming 
down upon my back with all the force it could muster, 
thrusting me still deeper into the mud. Then it rolled off 
me, and, about as much dead as alive, I arose to my feet> 
raised the piece of timber to a vertical position, one end rest 
ing in the mud ; I turned to see whether Haman had ob- 
served me. Yes, sure enough, there he stood leaning on thb 
, handle of his axe, laughing at my woe in the liveliest manner. 
In much wrath I shouldered the log again, and ran all the 
way to my hut with it, just for spite. 

I was returning for a last load, when I found a log^ lying 

much nearer camp, which had been cut off by some ona 

As there was no one near, I supposed that some one had cut 

it oS, and afterward concluded that it was too heavy to carry, 

and had abandoned it accoTdYagV^'. 


^ 1 can carry it/' said I to myself; and I placed it upon 
ray shoulder, and marched toward camp. 

I was just entering our company street, when I heard some 
one shouting after me most energetically. The thought 
struck me that it was the owner of the log — that, after all, he 
had not given it up. But would / give it up now, after 
carrying it thus far? No, I rather thought not. So I 
walked on, and threw it down by our hut. Immediately 
after, Enos Strawn came up with a load, and threw it down 
beside the stolen log. In another moment, an old man of 
Company " 0," known throughout the regiment by the name 
of " Christie," came rushing into our street in a towering not- 
in-a- very-good-humor. I had by this time retired to a point 
a little way from the wood- pile ; but Enos, who knew nothing 
of the state of affairs, was still standing by the stolen log 
which I had thrown down. 

"Who in thunder took and stole my log?" vociferated 
ihe old chap, boiling over with wrath. 

No one replied, but he presently descried his log lying 
near Enos, and rushing up to that individual, he ex- 
daimed: — 

•* You thunderin', mean, dirty little scamp I" 

Enos thought this a rather rough greeting, and expanding 
his optics to an innocent size, he said — 
• "Why, what?" 

"WhatI Oh, you know what! Aint you ashamed o' 
yourself, to go and steal^an old-man-like-me's wood ?" 

" Why, I didn't steal nobody's—" 

"What? You lyin' scampi Don't tell me that, or I'll 
knock your upper jaw offi" and he advanced menacingly 
upon Enos, who slowly advanced backward. 

" That shows you're guilty I What makes you run ? Oh^ 

" I didn't run," said Enos, hesitating, and trying to appear 

"Didn't you? Well, we'll see," said old Christie; and he 
made a rush at Enos. 

Enos Strawn, Esqujre, influenced by that "first law of 
nature" turned him about, and manufactnied. ^iiTiX^n^^'t qS. 

160 OUB BOYS. 

tracks in rapid succession — the heels all pointing boldly 
toward old Christie. The latter would have pursued, but I 
interrupted him with : — 

" My friend, you are mistaken ; it was I who took your 
log, but I supposed it to be abandoned. There it is — ^you 
may take it — or, as you are an old man, I will carry it to 
your quarters for you." 

" Never mind ; you may keep it and be — " and without 
finishing his friendly sentence, old Christie walked off in a 

At that moment I heard a loud burst of laughter in the 
street of Company " I ;" certainly, some sport was in progresB 
there. I went over, still laughing about Enos, and, sure 
enough, they were having some sport. A crowd was collected ■ 
around two pugilists who, with boxing-gloves to protect their 
knuckles and prevent them from being barked against each 
other^s faces, were batting away at each other's heads most 
delightfully. It was amusing to hear the cheers and plaudits 
of the crowd. 

"Hit him, Jim I" "That's right, knock him, Bill!" 
" That's the style, Jim ; another of them swipes I" " Give him 
one of them tifters, Bill I" "Another side- wipe, Jim V 

Thus they went on, laughing, yelling, and shouting at 
every blow. 

Eeader, did you ever see two awkward fellows with box- 
ing-gloves on ? And did you see them stand and belt away 
at each other for five or ten minutes, making a thousand 
grotesque and ridiculous motions? If so, you certainly 
laughed. / did on the occasion in question. 

When this pair of novices got tired — and it wasn't long 
till they did — another couple tried it, making, as usual, many 
ludicrous motions, and calling forth peal on peal of laughter. 
After quite a number had tried it to their satisfaction, the 
gloves were at last thrown down, and none seemed willing to 
try it any more. Now I just began to think that / would 
like to try it once ; and at length I stepped into the ring 
and the first words that greeted me were — and from a score 
of voices — 

''How the blazes did yo'd get so muddy, partner?" 


I had forgotten how mud-covered I was from my fall, or 
I should not have ventured within the ring, to become a target 
for so many eyes. It was too late now, however, so I replied 
that I fell, and putting on a pair of the clumsy gloves, I 
looked around and asked — 

" Who'll try it with w^ ?" 

There was no reply. 

"Come on, one of you," I urged; "I'm no boxer, so you 
needn't be afraid." 

Still no response. 

" Now come, somebody, I am as awkward as any of you— 
we*ll make a little fun for the crowd." 

•* Bill, you go and try him," said one, addressing a short, 
stout youth, whose Christian name must have been William. 

The youth hesitated. 

•* Come on," said I, invitingly ; " I can't hit you — ^I only 
want to try it for fun." 

"Go on. Bill, dp— go on — go and try it— just for fun," 
orged the crowd in concert. 

Thereupon William walked deliberately into the ring, put 
<m the remaining pair of gloves, and took a pugilistic "posish" 
that alarmed me. 

There was a feint, a dodge, a wince, two blows, and a parry. 
and my adversary let me have it " aside o' the head" with a 
force diat placed me at full length upon the ground, and 
exhibited to my startled imagination great bon-fires, and the 
flashes of many cannon, and much lightning. I arose; I 
looked at' my antagonist — he was grinning heartily. The 
crowd, however, did infinitely more than grin ; they burst 
into convulsions of laughter. 

I had enough of it ; I slowly removed the gloves from my 
hands, and said I believed I wouldn't try it any more at j^r^ 

Such were the innocent amusements resorted to in camp. 
When the weather would not admit of out-door sports, seven- 
up and euchre were resorted to ; but when the weather was 
good, we were kept in continual hilarity by a boxing match, 
a game of foot-ball, a jumping match, a wrestle, or, perhaps, 
a — fight. Well, soldiers will be soldiers, yo\xkao\^* 

162 OUR BOYS. 

Among other little pastimes, was that of throwing cartridges 
down each other's chimneys ; this was generally practised tt 
night, as the darkness favored it. 

One dark night, a few days after the events just narratect 
Winder took it into his head that it would be rare fun to 
drop just one package of ten down Colonel Hayes' chimney. 
Procuring a package, he groped his way to the coloneFs 
cabin, for the purpose of putting his benevolent design into 
execution. He reached the cabin in safety, and seeing a 
light shining from the window, he neared it and peeped oaa- 
tiously in. The colonel was seated by his fire-side, reading 
the evening paper. Winder saw that all was right; he left 
the window, went to the chimney and climbed to the top- 
it was higher than our chimneys. He held tl^e paoluge 
exactly over the centre, hesitated a morhent, then let go. It 
dropped into the fire below, but the explosion did not take 
place at once. The colonel hearing it drop into the fire, bent 
over it, exclaiming — 

" My gracious I What's that ?" 

At that moment the fire touched the powder, and a tro* 
mendous pufi' of fire and smoke greeted his countenance. 

" Fire and blazes 1" he exclaimed — and right appropriately 
— and he rushed from his cabin for the purpose of disco- 
vering, if possible, the perpetrator of the irreverent deed, and 
ran smack against Hare, who happened at that moineiil 
to be passing by, on his way to the sutler's. 

The collision knocked him a rod, heels over head, aftei 
which he got up, and exclaimed — 

" C — c — c — con-f — f— found you I" 

"What? Who's that? Who are you confounding ? Go 
to your quarters, you scamp; I'll arrest you — " then, raiang 
his voice, he cried out — " Corporal of the ^ard I" 

Hare thought it prudent to retreat, which he did in tol- 
erable order. After getting a little way off he stopped, and 
called out — 

" I say, old c — c — coon !" 

"What? Who are you? How dare you? What il 
your name ?" 


Wouldn't you 1—1 — like to know ?" replied Hare, taunt 



Jf yo^ — you— you-^go to your quarters, you — cor- 
poral of the guard I" 

" Come, now, old b — ^b — boy, won't you let me k— k — kisa 
you, before I go ?" 

Boiling over with wrath at this piece of impudeuce, the 
colonel rushed into his cabin, seized his cap and came out, 
muttering — 

ni punish that fallow — I'll go -to Captain Johnson— he's 
officer of the day — I'll make him bring out the whole guard, 
and hunt up that fellow — oh, the impertinent—" 

He then proceeded to the cabin occupied by Captain 
Johnson, of Company " B," and when he arrived he uncere- 
moniously flung xypen the rough door, and entered. 

" Now, it-BO happened that Captain Johnson was not within, 
but there were others within, for half-a-dozen darkeys—two 
bein^ servants of the captian— were collected around a table, 
in his absence, and were having a quiet game of ''poker;" 
Qoens Fairfax was among them. 

" Out o- this I" began the colonel ; " what are you all doing 
here? You black— " 

Here the worthy colonel perceived the green-backs which 
were scattered over the table, and readily comprehending 
what was going on, he drew a long breath, opened his eyes 
to their utmost capacity, and exclaimed — 

''Great Methuselah I playing cards for money I" and he 
made a fearfiil rush at them, and the way those darkeys did 
scatter was surprising. One, more discreet than the rest, 
scraped off the " pile" and thrust it into his pocket; As for 
Goens, he never thought of his money, but unhesitatingly 
skedaddled, leaving his "little all" (seven dollars) on the 
table, to be " gobbled up" by the aforesaid discreet darkey ; 
^ and he never stopped "running till he reached the head-quar- 
r tersof Company "D." 

" My golly I" he exclaimed, breathlessly. 

"what's the matter, Goens?" asked Lieutenant Jacobs, 
who happened to be in the cabin. 
• "Oh my, massa me I" exclaimed Goens, \n tetior. 

164 OUB BOYS. 

"Whatwup, Gk)en8?" 

At length Goens found breath to relate what the reader 
already knows, and had just finished, when he suddenly 
recollected his money, and exclaimed-^— 

" Oh, my golly I" 



"Of what?" 

" My money ; I left um on de table." 

"You did?" 

"Yes, sah — oh, it's a goner I" , 

"Oh, I think not." 

" Yes, it is — oh, dear me I" 

"Oh, I think you'll get it again." 


" Yes, you% will. Go, and see the colonel ; he has it, no 

"Will he gib it to me?" 

" Yes, if you go and apologize for gambling. Tell him 
you didn't know that it was against the rules, and all tha1« 

" I hab a notion to try it," said Goens, half in hesitation. 

" Certainly ! Go try it. I tell you what, old oooBi seven 
dollars ain't to be picked up every day." 

This solemn truth had the elBFect, and Goens took his soli- 
tary way toward the quarters of the coloneL The colonel, 
not finding Captain Johnson, had just returned, and was in 
the act of retiring when Goens entered. 

" Colonel," began Goens, " I wasn't awar it war ginst de 
rools, and I was down dar playin' poker ; won't you gib me 
my money ?" 

" Go away and don't bother me," was the reply. 

"Now, colonel, do — " 

" Clear out, you black — " 

" But, colonel, a pore darkey, you know — 

" Clear out, I tell you I I won't have a black nagger coining 
round — " 

" But, colonel— " 

" Don't I tell you— " 


•You d — d nigger I if you don't leave, III shoot you I" 

** Shoot and be d — d 1" said Goens, who now, that he found 
tt impossible to recover his money, grew desperate. 

The colonel sprang up and seized his revolver, and Goens 
rushed from the cabin, expecting every second to feel a bullet 
between his ears, and, with the speed of a race-horse, made 
for his quarters, making the mud fly in a manner that was 

About the beginning of December, Lieutenant Jacobs 
resigned his commission, and Sergeant Moth was elected to 
the first-lieutenancy ; the position of first-sergeant was then 
filled by Sergeant Blake. A vacant sergeantcy thus occurred, 
to which John G. Graham was promoted. About the same 
time Major Clark discovered that he, himself, was no mili- 
tary man^ and not fit to fill his position (moreover it was 
sometimes difficult to procure whiskey in camp), and Ac, too, 
resigned. Captain Gardiner, of Company " G," was elected 

The colonel invited the ex-officers to favor him with their 
company at dinner before they should leave Camp Pierpont. 
The invitation was accepted, and the colonel ortlered a good 
dinner to be prepared in his cabin — among other things, a, 
bottle of "cognac." 

A sentinel was generally posted in front of the colonelV 
quarters, and on this occasion it chanced to be Gaskill. Gas- 
kill had faithfully paced his "beat for nearly two hours, and 
as the hour of meal-time was approaching, he thought it 
would be no harm to open the door — he knew that the 
colonel was out, and that the company had not yet arrived 
— ^and peer in, just to see what good things were on the 
table. He did so ; and, oh, how his mouth watered as his 
eyes fell upon that loved bottle I No one was within ; the 
colonel's servant had just gone to the sutler's. Gaskill was 
about to close the door, when the name of " cognac," on the 
bottle, attracted his eye. Now he loved any kind of spiritu- 
ous or malt liquors, but cognac was his particular weakness. 
He couldn't stand it — he went in and took a pull. Having 
done so, he hurriedly set down the bottle and came out; 
BtilL no one was near. How good that \iTaudcj '^^^X ^^ 

166 OUB B0Y9. 

must have another horn I In he went, leaving his miisket 
leaning against the cabin wall- without. This time he drank 
half-a-pint. He soon became " boozy" — reckless ; and as no 
one appeared, he again staggered into the cabin — ^his musket 
still leaning against the wall — and took one long; lingering 
pull. Suddenly in stepped the colonel, accompanied by 
Lieutenant Jacobs and Major Clark. 

" Why, you thieving — " began the colonel. 

" Er — (hie) couldn^t (hie) stand (hie) tempt (hie) ta — a— 

" You drunken dog I Get out of this, or TU kick the d— 1 
out of you I You good-for-nothing — oh, you rascal I I 
have a mind to shoot you I" and the colonel frowned 

" He ought to be shot," said Major Clark, for he didn't like 
it about Gaskill drinking any of the spirits. 

Gaskill waddled out, just wondering how it would feel to 
get shot. 

A few days after this event, the colonel was standing 
without his cabin, when he saw Gaskill approaching. 
Hastening to* his door, he looked in, and called out to his 
servant : — 

" Reuben, hide the whiskey ; here comes that d — d Gas- 

Gaskill was passing by, when suddenly perceiving the 
colonel, he faced him, and touched his cap with the most 
profound obeisance. 

" Ain't you ashamed of yourself?" said the colonel, strag* 
gling to maintain a straight countenance. 

" Ashamed of what ?" asked Gaskill, innocently. 

" Ashamed of what I Why, what impudence 1" 

" Don't know what you mean, colonel ?" . 

"You don't?" 

"No — can't imagine." 

"Didn't you drink nearly all my brandy the other day?" 

"Did I?" 

" Certainly you did I" 

" Well," said Gaskill, drawing a long breath, " the mystery 
ia solved 


" What mystery ? what do you mean 

" I'll tell you : the other day I got drunk somehow, and, 
to save me, I couldn't remefnber where I got the sperrets." 

" Do you mean to say that you don't remember stealing 
mj brandy ?" asked the colonel, in surprise. 

"Why, since you mention it, colonel, I believe I have a 
slight recollection of it — but, let me see — didn't you treat 
me ? Yes, that was the way of it ; you — " 

" What I Begone with you !" exclaimed the colonel ; and 
Gaskill executed a backward' summersault, and, with great 
rapidity, retired from that peculiar locality. 

That evening we received orders to hold ourselves in 
readiness for a foraging expedition, on the, following morning. 
Accordingly, at eight o'clock on the following morning, a 
long train of wagons, convoyed by our brigade, moved out 
the turnpike toward Drainesville. We were in good spirits, 
for it was generally supposed that our chances of a brush 
with the rebels were good. 

We hjdted a short distance from Drainesville, and formed 
"line of battle." 

We were not treated to a brush with the rebels on this 
occasion ; and everything .passed off* .quietly. The wagons 
were loaded with hay, oats, and corn at the neighboring 
barns, after which they returned toward camp ; -we followed.- 

It was usual on the march to have a little fight, or at 
least a quarrel, in the company. On this occasion it was 
facilitated by the fact of the men all being out of humor on 
account of our disappointment in not having a fight with 
the rebels. 

" It's kape in yer own place, an' don't be crowdim' me out 
o' mine, I'd like ye to," said Jack Burke to one Page. . 

"I am keeping in my own place, and I'd thank you^to 
mind your own business !" retorted Page ; they were march- 
ing in the same file. 

" What is it yer sayin' ? Sure, I'll split the bloody head 
o' ye, if I hear much o' yer blarney I" 

" You'd better try it," suggested Page. 

" What> blast jer — " and, throwing down his gun^ Jack 
turned upon Page with both fists drawn. 

168 OUR BOYS. 

Page was a rather small fellow of twenty one, while Jack 
was three or four years older, and much larger and stronger. 
Page, therefore, sprang backward from the ranks, coeked his 
musket, and was about to draw a bead on Jack, who, regard- 
less of anything in the shape of fire-arms, rushed upon him 
ere he could fire, dashed his gun from his hand, and let 
him have a stunner above the eye. Thereupon, Lieutenant 
Krepps interfered, by seizing Jack roughly by the collar. 

"Is that yer game, laddie?" sneered Jack, turning from 
Page, and imprudently tackling the lieutenant, notwithstand- 
ing his shoulder-straps. 

'* Let go of me," commanded Lieutenant Krepps. 

" Lit go o' me, or divil the one o' me lits go o' ye before 
that same," retorted Jack. . 

It might be difficult for one not familiar with the circum- 
stance, to arrive at the exact meaning of this sentence. 

Sergeant Zee now interposed, and effected a compromise 
on these stipulations— that both should let go at once, and 
that Jack should be immediately placed under gu^rd and 
reported for court-martial on the grave charge of mutiny — 
specifications, that he tackled his superior officer. On ar- 
riving at camp, however, Lieutenant Krepps released Jack, 
assuring him that he had great reason to offer up thanks 
to his " stars" that he got off without being court-martialed 
and shot ; or, perhaps, sentenced to wear a delicate piece of 
jewelry known as "ball and chain" for a peribd of six 

December was now slowly wearing away. Time passed 
as usual. The customary routine of amusements was prac- 
tised. We had been paid regularly every two months since 
entering the United States service — the sutler generally com- 
ing in for about three-fourths of each soldier's pay. A word 
as to this class of individuals. Much has been said of sutlera^ 
and of their prodigious prices. It is upon the grounds that 
sutlers sell their goods at such exorbitant prices, that soldiers 
claim the right to steal from them ; and it is upon the grounds 
that soldiers steal so much from them, that sutlers attempt 
to justify themselves in selling at such astounding orioea 
Now the questiQMHi^& — ^Y*\io Vje^-axv Sx,*? 1 leave the*teadeT 


to judge. I will say, however, that it is my op.iiion that 
sailers would charge the same stupendous prices for their 
merchandise, whether the soldiers should steal from theta or 
not ; and that the soldiers would steal from 'sutlers, in the 
usual style, let them sell their goods at high or low prices. 
So, it is six versus half a dozen ; nip and tuck— go it, boys — 
pitch in, sutlers — ho I ye gbeen-backs I 



** Come, boys, let's have a little game of foot-ball," said a 
big fellow, and he walked out, a large foot-ball in his hand, 
to an extensive field adjacent. It was the nineteenth day of 
December. . 

About two hundred followed the proposer, which number 
comprised the " little" game proposed. I was of the number. 
We were soon divided off, and stretched out in two opposing 
lines across the field ; I was on the right. The centre was 
Boon agreed upon ; also the goals, which were the extreme 
ends of the field. Soon the ball was going — kick, bat, spang, 
and away it would go — now back, now forth — now to, now 
ftx)— hither and thither. At last it received an impetus that 
brought it near my end. Another like that and it would be 
out of the field — the game would be lost. I ran tdWard it to 
kick it back. At the same moment, a powerful fellow of the 
opposite side ran for it. We were at equal distances from 
it ; I saw that he was running desperately, and / ran despe- 
rately. Our course lay at right angles. As we arrived 
within ten feet of the ball, we knew that all now depended on 
a single desperate effort. Simultaneously we made that des- 
perate effort. We both reached it at once, coming together 
with a force that sent me sprawling at quite a remote di&taac^ 
from the ball. At the same time, tlie co\\\svo\i «o %\^^^\^ 

170 OUB BOYS. 

my opponent^ that, after all, one of my comrades succeeded 
in reaching it and kicking it first ; which he did, sending it 
a hundred paces from immediate danger. The game was Hot 
yet lost, it grew more desperate. The ball seemed to be 
struck alternately by some one of each side every second, so 
that it was kept spinning backward and forward within a 
small sphere, in a manner truly delightful. The opposite 
side gained a momentary advantage ; the ball was once more 
sent spinning almost to the goal, but it stopped right at my 
feet. It was decidedly useless for any one to attempt to reach 
it now before I could kick it ; all stood still. Now was an 
opportunity for me both to exhibit my prowess to the admir- 
ing crowd, and, at the same time, do much for our side of the 
game. Now, I would just show them how to kick a ball — 
how to send it the whole length of the field. I poised my- 
self on my left foot, swung my right foot backward, drew a 
Jong breath, and executed a kick that a mule might have 
delighted in. But, oh, horror I I missed, the ball; I aimed 
too low, and my unfortunate toes came in sheer contact with 
a tough root which protruded ftom the ground. I uttered 
the word " oh," and leaving the ball to the mercy of — I didn't 
care whom — I limped to a stump, which was near at hand, 
and sat down upon it, feeling very pak indeed. I didn't play 
any more foot-ball that day. A rush was made for the ball, 
as soon as my mishap was comprehended, and, as though to 
avenge my fall, our side went to work with such wild energy, 
that in less than a minute the ball travelled with lightning 
speed the whole length of the field, and flew acrosis the pre- 
scribed goal, and the victoby was oubs. 

I went to my quarters and lay down, stating that I didn't 
feel very well. My great toe pained me very much. To 
make matters more unpleasant, we received orders to be 
ready on the following morning for an expedition. 

Morning came, and all were busy arranging their accou- 
trements for the projected expedition. I was very lame, but 
I determined I would not be left in camp, and I limped off 
with the regiment as it filed out of camp and joined the bri- 
gade. TJ^Ldone, we moved into the pike and marched 
/owarc^l^^kjrille. ^e ti^t^ \.o\d t\iat General Ord had 


marcbed out with his brigade some hours earlier — ^that he 
had gone to Drainesville, on a foraging excursion, and that 
our brigade was to go out and lie in reserve at Difficult 
Creek, which was about half-way. 

On reaching Difficult Creek, we did not march directly 
c ver the bridge, but filed off to the left, and taking our posi- 
tion on a high hill, a quarter of a mile from it, we stacked 
arms and broke ranks. We had lain for several hours, and 
were just beginning to wonder whether the Third Brigade 
would be so fortunate as to moet with a party of rebels, when 
the heavy, booming sound of the cannon reached our ears, 
coming from the direction of Drainesville. 

'• Fall in I fall in I Tbfe— arms I" cried General Eeynolds, 
and in a moment we stood in line, and seized our arms. 

" Eight— /ace / Forward, double-quick — march I" 

General Eeynolds, at the head of his brigade, led the way. 
He unhesitatingly struck right across the country toward 
the southwest^ with the evident intention of coming up in 
rear of the rebels. But in a few minutes an officer of Gene- 
ral McCall's staff rode hastily after him, and on coming near 
enough to make his voice heard, shouted — 

" Stop, general I Not this way — the pike, the pike 1" 

"Eucheredl" exclaimed General Eeynolds, for, as he must 
obey an order from General McCall, his favorite plan of cut- 
ting off the rebels must be abandoned. 

He then gave orders to file to the* right, toward the pike, 
and cross the ci*eek, just anywhere. Our battery, of course, 
bad to go around to the bridge, which it did at a gallop. 
We reached the stream ; then such jumping and splashing 
as there was in getting {[cross was truly interesting to look 
upon. I made a leap. I felt sure that I could clear the 
stream, which, at this point, was seventeen feet wide, and three 
or four feet deep. Splash I I came down in the water, within 
a foot of the opposite shore. I scrambled out ; mv clothes 
were saturated, but my ammunition was not wet. It was no 
very pleasant aflEair for the twentieth day of December.* 

* VtTriters differ, as nsnal, as to the date of the battle of Drainesville. 
Now, I want it distinctly understood, that it was on Friday^ D<icQmh«c 2A0aL^ 

172 OUB BOYS. 

However, my ammunition being dry, I rared little for my 
clothes just then. We were no sooner across the stream tlian 
we hurriedly formed and started toward Drainesville by the 
pike, at a double-quick, with five miles between us and glory. 

Meanwhile the sound of the cannon continued to reach 
our ears ; the firing had become more rapid. "We hurried 
on. Four miles were marched in forty minutes. We then 
began to meet the forage wagons, which blocked up the road, 
and somewhat impeded our progress. The drivers informed 
us that the Third Brigade wag "at it out there." We at 
length neared the field. The musketry could be heard. 
We began to meet ambulances laden with wounded, and 
now and then brave fellows limping along still carrying 
their guns. We also met a squad of rebel prisoners under 
charge of a corporal and two men. 

We were within a few hundred yards of the village, where 
our forces were posted, when the firing suddenly ceased, and 
a wild shout arose. 

"TheyVe driving the rebels I" was exclaimed; and we 
rushed madly on. 

We arrived upon the scene just in time to see the rebels 
disappear down the Centreville road, with the gallant Buck- 
tail Eegiment, and the Sixth and Ninth Eegiments, Pennsyl- 
vania Eeserves, at their heels. We sent up a deafening 
cheer — such as never before rang out among the green pines 
in the vicinity of Drainesville. The rebels made good their 
escape, and the pursuers wer^ recalled. 

The rebel force, on this occasion, consisted of five thousand 
infantry and a battery of artillery ; they were commanded 
by the renowned General Stuart.' Our force was about 
equal — the Third Brigade being accompanied by the Buck- 
tail Eegiment, and Captain Easton's battery of artillery. 
Our loss was seven killed, and sixty-one wounded. The 
exact loss of the rebels is not known ; but this is certain, that 
tlwy left ninety dead bodies on the field. 

This was the last battle fought in 1861 ; and it was the 
first victory our arms had achieved for some time. From 
that time forth, the rebels met with nothing but defeats^ 
until late the following summer, when the tide of victory 


was again reversed; in consequence of a change of com* 

The brave conduct of General Ord and Captain Easton 
cannot be too highly spoken of. The general sat on his horse 
by the battery, during the engagement, now and then ex- 
dwming: — 

"(Jive it to 'em, boys I That's a good shot 1 That mado 
one of their old caissons fly I There I that knocked a gun I 
Hurrah, bojy's I" 

At one time during the fight, a ball, no doubt from the 
rifle of a rebel sharpshooter, whistled by the general's ear, 
tearing one of the buttons from his cap. He coplly re- 
marked: — 

"A miss is as good as a mile I But I do hope they have 
no better marksman than that fellow." 

It was night ere we retraced our steps. As may be 
imagined, my physical condition was not improved by a 
march of ten miles, half of which had been done at a double- 
quick. My foot pained me very much, and it was no better 
than torture, as it came in contact with the sharp, hard 
stones of the pike ; for my shoes were thin, and, being wet, 
they were very flexible. I was in a bad humor, too. Here, 
I had limped ten miles, hoping to have the pleasure of a xoyr 
vith the rebels — had just arrived in time to be too late—and 
liad got a good ducking in Difficult Creek in the bargain. 
On reaching camp, however, I soon forgot my troubles in a 
deep slumber, from which I awoke next morning, feeling 
^ery old. I couldn't get over my disappointment, and in 
writing a letter to a friend, that day, after detailing the events 
of the battle, I wound up with — 

" I teU you, Tom, we cursed the fate 
That brought us to the field too late— 
That brought us there, j ast as the foe 
Concluded to get up and go. 

** The Third Brigade had aU the fun, 
It did the fighting that was done ; 
And it got all the praise, to boot, 
For making rebels skalljhoot."* 

* Skedaddle. 

174 OUB BOYS. 

The reader will think this scarcely sublime, and I per*— 
fectly agree ; but it serves to express my feelings on the dis- 
appointment we were treated to, in not arriving in time to 
participate in that glorious little affiur, known as Ths BattlSS 
OF Draixesville. 

Now, strange as it may seem, Corporal Chess, of our cona.- 
pany, was, at times, a very religious man. Nay, he even. 
went so far as to pray in public, at little prayer meetingiB 
held occasionally in camp, at the instigation of our worthy 
chaplain. Well, he, being the most intimate friend of t\x& 
chaplain, had undertaken to superintend the building of a 
rough log church for winter service. At the time of whicli 
I write, the walls had been reared to the height of ten feet ; 
but lately the work had been neglected, and it was apparent 
that Corporal Chess was beginning to grow tired of the 
" good-begun work." On the morning following the battle 
of Drainesville, the weather was cold, and we were all scarce 
of wood. Accordingly, some ruthless soldier practically 
suggested the idea of resorting to the logs of the half-finished 
church for fire-wood. One had no sooner made a breaJs; 
than the whole regiment pitched into it, and went to tearing 
down the building, and carrying oflf the logs to be split vxp 
for fire- wood. The chaplain, who dwelt near by, came o%x% 
and exclaimed : — 

"Why, boys, what are you about?" 

" Only getting out our fire-wood for to-day, chaplain." 

"But you mustn't tear down that building; it's sacrilege.** 

"Oh, it will never be finished, anyhow." Although to 
witness the operations, one would have been led to suppose 
that it would be finished very soon. 

The chaplain was not a fighting man, but he knew that 
Chess was. So, finding that the boys would not desist, he 
hastened to inform him. Corporal Chess was lying within 
his hut taking a nap, when the chaplain suddenly made his 
appearance at the door, and cried out — 

"Brother Chess 1" 

A loud snore mocked him. 

" I say. Brother Chess," said the chaplain, reaching in and 
catcb'Dg Chess by the foot. 



•n it, let go ray foot I" said Chess, half awake. 

le, Brother Chess," urged the ohaplain, " they're tear- 

''n our church I" 

at I" exclaimed Chess, now fully awake. 

whole regiment is at our church, tearing it down for 

y are ?" exclaimed Chess, springing up and rushing 
They are ? Oh, the d— d vil— " 
J be calm. Brother Ch — " 
ains, I'll tear — " 
le, brother — " 
murder— ril kill— " 

Brother Chess, you — " 

I't hold mey I'm going to go into them. Oh, the miser- 
-d sons of guns 1 I'll — " 

Corporal Chess broke away from the chaplain, and 
Uy toward the church. 

at the d — 1 are you fellows doing ?" he demanded, 
.'t swear, Brother Chess," admonished the chaplain, 
i hastily followed him. 

I church will never be finished anyhow," said several. 
V do you know ?" 

ause we have marching orders, and we're going to 
imp Pierpont next week," said one. 
I now began to consider the matter, and this seeming 
ery plausible pretext to abandon the idea of building 
rch, he said — 

ther chaplain, if this is the case, whv, I suppose the 
light as well be used for fire- wood." And placing 
ge logs upon his own shoulder, he conveyed them to 
; he was determined to have his share, 
er now set in, and we had some very rough weather. 
d became three or four inches deep throughout all 
ips. It made things vety disagreeable; especially 
e had to go on picket — which we did every two or 
eeks during our stay in Camp Pierpont. Often have 
d from camp for picket, with feet wet and cold to 
30 till I should return twenty-four hours after. There 
id #tay at the cheerless picket line,co\int.\\i%,^N«t^jaSk 

176 OCB Bora. 

anon, tlie hours that must elapse ere we should be relievel. 
At times it would be raining during our whole stay, at times 
snowing. A cold, raw wind, too, was generally whistlinfir 
mockingly among those green pines. But one thing woulcL. 
console me on such occasions. "It is for my country," X 
would exclaim ; then I would whistle two bars of " YANKBlB 
doodle/' break suddenly off and sing a line and a half odP 
the ''STAB SPANGLED BANNEB,'' brush the snow from uky 
shoulders, stamp to keep my feet from freezing, then try tbL^ 
^ng of the " BED WMITE AND BLUE," but only ffet as &t slb 
* 0, Colum — " when a keen blast of wind would lift my 'oap 
off; I would pick it up and replace it, then wonder for tlxe 
fiftieth time whether the following morning would ever 



The Pennsylvania Reserve Corps was encamped so as t;^ 
occupy, about equally, both sides of the " Georgetown and 
Leesburg" pike. This road was to us as Broadway to 'if&^ 
York — as Chestnut Street to Philadelphia; it was our 
thoroughfare — our most public avenue. A number of ind®' 
^ pendent sutlers had erected their temporary store-houses by 
the pike ; several generals, among them McCall and Reynolds 
had established their head-quarters immediately by it ; and 
it was altogether quite a public street. 

About a week after the battle of Drainesville, I had ooo 
day just finished my dinner, when Winder looked into my 
quarters, and said : — 

" Come, let us take a promenade on the pike." 

" Rather too muddy," I replied. 

This was the only fault that could be found with the dayV 
which was otherwise clear and beautiful; a beautiful day"# . 
8uch as we do sometimes have in winter. 


"Ob, come along," urged Winder, "the mud makes no 
Ssrence ; if anything, I would rather have it a little muddy." 
d Winder put on that honest grin of his. 
' Well, I don't care if I do go," said I, at last ; " for I don't 
»snme that it is so muddy on the pike as it is in camp 

With this we started. We reached the pike and prorhe- 
3ed awhile, seeing life, when Winder suggested that we 
3uld leave the pike and pay a visit to Smith's division, 
lich lay immediately on our left. I assented; and after a 
py muddy walk of three-fourths of a mile, we found our- 
ves within the camp. Winder had some acquaintances in 
'egiment of that division, and seeking them out, he intro- 
ced me to them as a man of great political renown, and a 
Jhew of General Scott. Then he began. I thought he 
aid never get done telling his friends stories of the battle 
Drainesville, in which he asserted that our regiment had 
n hotly engaged. He stated that, three separate times, 

regiment repulsed a brigade of five thousand rebels ; and 
expressed it as his belief, that the Eighth Eegiment alone, 
vipported, could charge clear to Eichmond. When, at 
gth, he did pause, I suggested the propriety of returning 
the pike. Winder, with difiiculty, succeeded in tearing 
^self away from his friends, informing them, as he bade 
na farewell, that he expected soon to be made captain of 

company to which he belonged — that ouf former captain 
I been killed in the battle of Drainesville, and that the 
fipany would not hear to any other man than himself 
Uming the position. 

^Ve had but left the regiment, and were about to take the 
^Ttest cut for the pike, when our attention was attracted 
''^ard a large, rough-looking man of thirty-five or forty, i 
' habiliments of a civilian ; he stood gazing, with grea 
^rest, upon a sentinel who was pacing to and fro d la mili- 
^«/ evidently he had not been long about camp. Here 
^} was an opportunity for Winder to enjoy himself. He 
^Ued himself of it ; he walked unhesitatingly up to the 
^tiger, extended his hand in the most friendly manner, 
^Ued profoundly, and said : — 

178 OUR BOYS. ' 

" Why, is it possible ? How do you do ?" 

" I guiss yeVe the advantage o' me," replied the stranger, 
with an unmistakable Hibernian accent. 

"Oh, no, I han't I" said Winder; "Fm sure it's youl Tin 
surprised that youVe forgotten meP 

" Indade, sir, I can't think — " 

" Come, now," said Winder, familiarly, " dorCt you knoir 

" Sure, sir, I belave not." 

." Did you never see me before ?" 

The stranger looked into Winder's face, almost solemnly. 
Presently he said : — 

" I'm sure ye're mistaken." 

" Not at all — think, now ; can't you bring to mind where 
you have seen me, Pat ?" said Winder, who thought that, as 
a common necessity, the stranger's name must be Pat. He hit 
it, too, for the stranger replied : — 

" Yer do seem to know my name, sure 1" 

"Certainly, Pat! How is Mike?" Dave was equally 
sure that Pat must have a brother — or some near relative 
of the name of Mike. He was right, for Pat replied :— 

" An' ye know him, too 1 He was well the last time I saw 
him ; but sure — " 

" And Terrence — how is he ?" interrupted Winder. 

" Oh, he is not my brother ; ye mane — " 

" I mean your cousin," said Winder, at a venture. 

" Yis, ye never spoke a thruer word. But who — " 

" Come, now, Pat, try if you can't think who I am— you 
cannot have forgotten me." 

Pat now put on a studious look. He surveyed Wind®^ 
cap-a-pie, with singular minuteness. Presently his fiice light- 
ed up with a bright beam of intelligence, and he ex- 
claimed : — 

" Howly Moses ! I do belave yer Bill Moore 1" 

" That's me," said Winder, with a gracious grin 

"From Seflfordville?" 

*" The very same — how have you been ?" 

"The bist kind 1" exclaimed Pat, now shaking the pwf 
fered band of Winder with great warmth. 


Poop Pat I The fact is, when he got to runriinating on the 
sabject, he had been able to call to recollection some one 
whom he had seen at the town he spoke of, and who probably 
Tesembled Winder. This was just what that gentleman 
wished and expected. Presently Pat asked : — 

"An' how long since ye lift our town ?" 

" It's been some time, replied Winder, who, not wishing 
to commit himself, knew that " some time" might mean six 
weeks, or six years. 

"An' ye're in the airmy ?" said Pat inquiringly. 

"Yes, I am a recruiting officer." 

" What rigiment did ye jine ?" 

Winder saw that here, too, he might be in danger of com- 
miting himself; so he discreetly replied: — 

" Why, you see, Pat, I didn't get off with the boys from 
our town, for I happened to be away at my uncle's when 
ihej started ; so, I came to Washington, and some of my 
firiends got me a special commission as a recruiting officer. 
By the by, Pat, how came you here ?" 

" Ah, that's it — I Ve been workin' in Alexander ; but I'm 
gittin' kind o' tired o' it." 

" Why don't you enlist, then ?" 

" Sure, I come out here thinken' o' that, but me hairt kind 
"foils me." 

" Oh, that's foolish 1 You'd better enlist right away." 

Pat started. 

"Let me enlist you," urged Winder. 

"Ochll-I— " 

" Come I I can swear you into any regiment you wish, and 
in ten minutes I can go up to the quartermaster, and bring 
you a nice blue uniform, and a bright gun like that guard 
there has." 

This was very tempting, but, as Pat said, "his hairt failed 
him." That Winder was just what he represented himself 
to be he had not the shadow of a doubt. 

"Indade, sir, I almost—" 

" Come, Pat, don't be afraid ; you don't know what a nice 
life a soldier's life is. Plenty of beef-steaks, mutton-chops^ 
potatoes, mince-piesf, and the Uke ; let me swear you. iul" 

180 OUBBpYS. 

Pat hesitated. 

'• Think of twenty dollars planked into your hand on the 
first (lay of every month, in gold or green-backs, as you like." 

''Ibelavel— I— " 

" Certainly, I knew you would. You're a brave fellow, Pat. 
What regiment would you like to be sworn into?" 

" I — I — that one there, I believe," said Pat, pointing to the 
one we had just left. 

" Very well, then, that is the Three-hundred-and-seventy- 
ninth Ehode Island." 

" Exactly." 

" Do you think you will feel satisfied as a member of that 
regiment ?" 


" What company 7" 

" I don't know, sir." 

" Well, Company ' Q' is a good company ; suppose you go 
into it r' 

"All right, sir." 

" Then I will proceed." 

Winder now put on the most solemn look I ever saw him 
vear, and in a slow, measured, and emphatic tone said — 

" Patrick, raise your hand." 

Pat theneupon elevated a hand about the size and some- 
thing of the appearance of a large tortoise. 

" Your right hand, Patrick," admonished Winder, for Pat 
had held up the left article. 

"Och, but Pm left-handed," argued Pat. 

" Oh, so you are, I had forgotten the fact." 

Winder then proceeded — 

"You do solemnly and sincerely swear and affirm, that 
you will honestly and faithfully perform the duties of a sol- 
dier in the Three-hundred-and-seventy-ninth Regiment Bhode 
Island Volunteers — that you will support the Union and the 
Constitution, and respect and obey your superior officers in 
any position where-in-so-ever-all-to-gether you may be placed. 
So you affirm ?" 

'' Yis. sur-r-r." 

^^Now, Patrick," said Winder, with some dignity, "yon 


are a member of Company * Q,' Three-hundred-and-seventy- 
ninth Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers ; you must now 
stand where you are, and not move, till I go and bring you 
a gun and uniform." 

" I will, sur-r-r." 

" Of course I don't doubt you, but it is my duty to make a 
signal to that sentinel yonder that you are sworn in, and if 
you should offer to go away he would shoot you." 

Winder then turned toward one of the guard of the adja- 
cent regiment, and raised his cap with his left hand, touched 
the top button of his blouse with his right, and raised his 
left foot so as to touch the right knee with his heel. Pat 
looked very solemn, and promised not to stir till Dave should 
return with musket and uniform ; and if he has kept his pro- 
mise, he must be standing there yet. Winder and I left him. 

On reaching the pike we stopped for a few minutes by a 
sutler's establishment, around which was collected quite a 
crowd. While there we heard one soldier ask another, in 
a whisper, if he could inform him ^here ''something to 
drink"* could be procured. 

The individual questioned replied that he didn't know 
tohere the article could be had. 

Winder overheard the conversp.tion, and thinking this an 
excellent opportunity to indulge his peculiar faculty, beckoned 
to the would-be-get-something-to-drink man, took him to one 
side, and cautiously said — 

" I guess you are looking for something to drink ?" And 
he looked knowingly. 

" Yes,^ can you — " 

'*I'll tell you how it is," interrupted Winder; "I do know 
of a place where the article can be had, but I rather promised 
not to tell ; the fellow who sells it is a soldier, and he is very 
sly about it, and don't want it to get out, lest the officers 
should get hold of it." 

" Tell, me, do I I'll not tell anybody else," urged the soldier. 
pt is on this principle that so many secrets get out.] 

* The sale of liquor in the armj being prohibited, it was frequently 
veoded bjr antlers and others "on the sly." 

182 OUB BOYS. 

"I don't much like to," said Winder, with apparent hesita* 

" Oh, do ; I swear I won't tell anybody 1" 

" Well," said Winder, pointing to the tent of Colonel Emn^ 
which stood upon a hill near by, " do you see that large tent 
yonder with a stove-pipe sticking out at the side, and the 
smoke rolling out ?" 

" Yes, is that the— " 

" Yes, it is ; but for all that, you can't get anything there 
without the password." 

"How's that?" 

" There is a certain word you must say when you go ta 
the door, or else you can't get it." 

" What is the word ? Tell me !" he exclaimed, eagerly. 

"Indeed I don't know whether I ought to or — " 

" Oh, yes I Tell me ! — upon my word of honor, I won't 
tell anybody !" 

"Won't you?" 

"Indeed I won't!" 

" Well, I'll tell you," said Winder ; and looking cautiously 
around as if to make sure that no one should orerhear, lie 
whispered :^- 

"This is it— 

* Davy Crockett, Old Davy Crockett — 
His tobacco in his hat, his whiskey in hi? pocket.'" 

"Is that it?" 

" Yes — ^try if you can say it." 

"Certainly, I can — 'Old Davy Crockett — his tobacco in 
his — whiskey in his' — how was it?" 

Winder repeated the little lines. 

"Oh, yes! now I have it— 'Davy Crockett, Old Davy 
Crockett— His — his — ' confound it! I always forget that 

" This is it — ' His tobacco in his hat, his whiskey in hia 

" Oh, yes I Now I can say it — 

'DsLvy Crockett, Old Da^y Crockett— 


'^That's it I I knew you'd soon learn 'tf" exclaimed 
Winder, admiringly. 

" I always was quick about learnin' anything that way," 
replied the soldier, feeling somewhat flattered. 

" You have a good head on you," suggested Winder. 

''Oh, yes — but I must go. Are you sure I can get' some 
on that password ?" 

"Yes, certainly. At first the fellow will pretend to he 
insulted, or perhaps he'll try to make you believe that he 
don't know what you mean ; but then you tell him that you 
know he is a brick — ^that you know he keeps a whiskey-shop, 
and has kept one all his life. You'll know him as soon as 
you see him — ^he wears an officer's coat that he stole; he 
often tries to make people believe that he is an officer." 

Thus admonished, the soldier, who happened to be of 
General Smith's Division, and didn't, therefore, know Colonel 
Emm's tent from any other, proceeded thither at once. 
Already he imagined that he could hear the " good old rye" 
gurgling graciously into his canteen. He wondered what it 
would cost ; perhaps he could get it cheap — a dollar a quart 
— a dollar and a half — or, perhaps two dollars. Even that 
would be cheap. However, he would soon know. 

On arriving at the tent of Colonel Emm, he most uncere- 
moniously threw aside the curtains, and inserted his counte- 
nance; he saw the colonel, seated at a table writing. The 
colonel looked up, and the seeker-after-" something," in a 
tone which he meant to be intelligent, called out: — 

" Davy Crockett, Old Davy Crockett— 
His tobacco in his hat, hip whiskey in his pocket." 

On hearing this vulgar greeting. Colonel Emm stared at 
the intruder in mute astonishment. 

" Come, now, old brick," said the soldier, persuasively ; for 
he meant to carry out his instructions ; " you know you keep 
a regular whiskey -shop here, and you know you never done 
nothing else in your life ; you know you stole that coat you 
have on ; I know it too. Now, I want — " 

"You— you— " 

Colonel Emm was too much amazed fot \3L\Xfit^\i^^\ V^ 


arose to his feet — his &ce pale aod his eyes flashing fire, and 
for a moment he hesitated. The soldier, still supposing him 
to be acting a part, now put in : — 

" Come, now, old fellow, I like a joke as well is anybody, 
but I hate to see a fool ; I'm in a hurry, and — " 

The next moment he mas in a hurry — striking across 
camp — the mud splashing and flying in perfect clouds- 
Colonel Emm at his heels, alternately kicking at him, and 
slashing at him with his sword, though never quite near 
enough to reach him. The colonel chased him half-a-mile^ 
but couldn't catch him ; for the soldier now be^an to com- 
prehend the trick that had been practised upon him, and ho 
realized the importance of not being caught. Many were 
looking on, wondering what it meant to see a fellow running 
at that rate, and Colonel Emm after him — which looked 
anything but dignified on the part of the officer. 

The colonel, almost breathless, returned to his quarters^ 
wondering what such an unwarrantable intrusion could mean. 
But I suppose he don't know yet, nor ever will, unless he 
should one day peruse this little narrative. 

Winder and I now left the pike, striking diagonally for 
camp. As we were crossing a field not far from camp, we 
met a soldier of the Tenth Eegiraent carrying a heavy stick 
of wood toward his camp. 

" Uow long have you been from camp ?" asked Winder, 

" About an hour and a half," was the reply. 

"That long?" 

"Yes— why?" 

" Nothing, only the division has marching orders," 


" We have marching orders ; we are to start to-night after 
dark. I have been sent over to the pike to tell all our fel- 
lows who might happen to be there, and send them to the 
regiment. I guess I have found them all, I sent over two 
hundred and seventy-eight, and — " 

The soldier waited to hear no more ; down went his wood, 
off he started, at a dead run, for the camp of the Tenth regi- 
ment, which was on the south side of the pike. And ofT 
Winder started for our c3^m^,foT ha didn't want that big fel* 


low to return to the spot, as no doubt he would as soon as 
he should find that he had been duped, and whale him 
(Winder) out of his boots. I hurried to camp, too, for I 
feared that the fellow would return, and, n6t finding Winder, 
whale me, as accessory. 

On arriving in camp, I was informed, by my messmates, 
that a "box" had been sent to one of them from home, con- 
taining, among other things, two half-gallon tin cans, tightly 
sealed, one marked in big letters— "preserved peaches," 
the other, " currant jelly." Now, the one marked " pre- 
served peaches" contained whiskey ; that marked " currant 
jelly" contained whiskey, too. Thus one gallon of the " poi- 
son" had walked slyly into camp, beneath the very noses of 
provost-marshals, officers of the day, etc. 

Haman, Dick, Ort, and Enos had been imbibing, and were 
already right merry when I entered our domicile. They 
urged me to take " something." Well, I do not think it any 
hwrm to take a little now and then while in camp, especially 
indatap and muddy weather, so I did take a" little" three 
or four times. By and by all became boozy ; Haman and 
Dick called in everybody that passed by, made everybody 
drink several times till nearly every man in the company 
felt right happy. 

There was a good fellow of our company dwelling next door 
to U8, whose name was Nick Swearer. When under the influ- 
ence of liquor, he was somewhat ill-tempered. He, among 
others, came into our hut, and, after a while, he and Dick 
got into a little dispute about nothing, and Dick finally pulled 
his whiskers. Nick spoke of knocking thunder out of Dick ; 
Dick assured Nick that he was ready to knock that article 
out of him. The dispute became pretty warm, and Nick at 
^ left the shanty, insulted. 

After a little while, Dick, having forgotten the whole affair, 
thought that he would just step into Nick's hut, and see an 
old man there called Daddy Bayne, one of Nick's messmates. 
Nick happened to be standing at the entrance, and as Dick 
^88 about to enter, he interposed his form and demanded — 

"Or — r — old feller, where er goin'?" 

'^Er a goin' in to see Daddy Bayne," said Dick. 

186 OUR BOYS. 

" Well, er guess not," said Nick. 

" Why ?" asked Dick, in surprise. 

" Kase er don't," said Nick, firmly. 

Dick looked foolish ; he remembered that " Every man's 
house is his castle," — he turned away and went into nis own 
house, exclaiming — 

" Well, I declare, if er not a joke. Ha, ha !" 

Half an hour afterward, Nick, in his turn, having forgotten 
the whole of his affair with Dick, made his appearance at the 
entrance of our tent, grinned, and said- 

"Harye, boys?" 

*' Oh, come in, Nick," said Dick, in the most friendly tone 
of voice. 

Nick climbed over the low wall with much difficulty. 
Finding himself within, he sat down upon a rough bench and 
asked — 

" How'd yer come on ?" 

" Bully !" said Dick ; then all at once, as though he jnsk 
thought of it, he exclaimed — 

"Oho, Nickeyl" 

"What is er*?" asked Nick. 



" You wouldn't let me (hie) inter-r house a while er go." 

Nick looked startled. Dick continued — 

" Now, old cooney, you waddle out o' this !" And he 
seized Nick by the whiskers and began to assist him ont> 
which, however polite it might have been, was not at all 

Just as Nick was nicely poised upon the wall, Dick ga^ 
him an impetus that expedited his egress, and sent niiB 
sprawling upon the muddy ground. Nick, without saying • . 
word, arose and went into his cabin. Presently he came out 
with his musket, took the position of a soldier, rested the 
breech of his musket upon the ground, and proceeded, with 
astonishing deliberation, to " load in nine times" — with htiA 
and ball. His intention was obvious ; he was going to shoot 
Dick. As this conviction flashed across my mind, I sprang 
from my hut, seized t\ie m\xak.^\., ^xx^ ^^ be was placing a cap 


the tube, and succeeded in wresting it from his grasp. 
lis done, I discharged the contents into a stump near by, 
aking a hole therein, which appeared to be an inch in dia- 
eter, and I could not help thinking what an ugly thing it 
ould have been in Dick's head. It so happened that the 
Beer of the day witnessed the aflfair, and readily cotnpre- 
ending it, sent Nick to the guard-house, there to remain till 
e should become sober, which occurred at some time during 
le ensuing twenty-four hours. This was an example by 
Wch the rest of the company profited, and quiet reigned 
tiring the remainder of the evening— it was now dark. 
Next morning I was somewhat startled by the information 
lat a friend of mine— Corporal Einehart, of Company "I" — 
id been taken ill and conveyed to the regimental hospital 
e day previous, and that he was now supposed to be dying. 
is disease was " typhoid fever," contracted on the day 

the Drainesville fight. I hastened to the hospital, ac- 
tnpanied by Lieutenant Wood, of Company "I" (also a 
lend of mine), and soon succeeded in gaining admittance, 
looked around on the miserable sufferers occupying the 
urious beds, but I could not see my friend. Some, whom 
saw, were suffering terribly with one disease or another ; 
le I particularly remember, had some disease of the throat, 
id he lay constantly struggling and gasping for breath ; 
ihers lay pale and wan — wasted away to almost nothing 
-iheir eyes sunken, their lips thin and white, and their 
^llow cheeks wearing a deathly pallor. But the patient 
lat most attracted my attention was one who lay in a 
slirium, struggling for every breath he drew; his face 
as almost black, as from mortification ; his lips dry and 
irched; and his eyes rolling and staring wildly. I turned 
«ray sickened at the sight. 

"but where — " I asked of Lieutenant Wood — "where is 
orporal Rinehart ?" 
"Don't you see him ?" 
"No — where is he ?" 

"There !" said he, pointing to the suffering figure I have 
at described; "poor fellow, he is nearly gone!" 
I was amazed, I could not trace in those ^^aVxxt^ xiorv 


turned black by disease— those wildly-staring eyes— that 
prostrate form, any resemblance to my dear friend, Corporal 
KinehartI Yet it was he. Disease had almost done it's 
work — death stood impatiently waiting for him. 

Heavy, dismal clouds were flying in wild disorder across 
the heavens. The cold, chill winds of December were righ- 
ing from hill to hill, and through the dark-green pine woods, 
A solitary snow-flake, here and there, descended lazily— it 
was too cold to snow much. Slowly, sadly an ambulance, 
escorted by ten soldiers with arms reversed, and followed by 
a company of soldiers, as mourners, took its way from camp. 
The low, solemn, and plaintive notes of a fife, and the doll 
roll of the muffled drum, told but too plainly what that am- 
bulance contained — the pale corpse of a solaier. 'Twas the. 
cold, lifeless form of my friend. 

The body was escorted to the pike with military honora, 
sent thence to Washington, there embalmed and sent to the 
bereaved ones at home. 

As my friend was borne from my view forever, I could 
not refrain from tears. Yet why ? His transition from this 
world to another could have been no loss to him — it must 
have been infinite gain ; for he was one who could have no 
reason to fear the pale Conqueror — to shrink back from the 
icy waters of the Eiver of Death. He was one of the very 
few, yes, the very few, who, besides professing religious prin- 
ciples, carry them out. It has never been my privilege to 
form the acquaintance of a more honest, honorable, amiable^ 
or upright young man. Such was my friend Corporal Bine- 

The holidays had passed away, and the new year haa en- 
tered upon the great table of time. The month of January 
was beginning to wear away. 

One evening, while I was cleaning my gun, Juggie thrust 
his countenance into my quarters, and, in a lively tone, said— 

"Oh, IVe had bully luck!" 

''Eh, what at?" I asked. 


ck-o-luck,"* he replied ; "I won ten dollars." 

I where is that interesting game in progress?" I 

he next house, here," he replied. 

11, Juggie, I advise you to keep out of that game, or 

)se your little all." 


there is danger." 
11, I'm not going to try it any more to-night," said 

and he turned away. 

minutes had scarcely elapsed, when Juggie again 
d at the door of my tent, 
at's up now, Juggie ?" I inquired. 
e good luck !" he exclaimed, 
at 1 have you been back in there, betting on chuck-o- 

, and IVe gone and won seventeen more dollars." 
Juggie, whose language, it is easy to perceive, was 
the best. 

yon did go back." 
, and I'm glad I did." 
Y well, you'll go on till you lose all." 
I am not going to try it any more now." 
I said that before." 

ril stick to it now ; it ain't many fellers that quits 
' the bank." 
you seem to be peculiarly lucky. But you had 
top now; you know the old adage ' Chuck-o-luck, 
e you lay down the less you take up.' " 
, I know ; I will stop now ;" and he turned away, 
if he had been satisfied with his twenty-seven dollars, 
d have been the winner, as a matter of course; but 

nterestiiijE; species of gambling is much practiced in the army. For 
ition of the non military reader, I would just impart a slight idea 
the game is played. It is as follows : Six cards — those from th9 
? six of any suit — are fastened to a table ; the proprietor shakes 
•ox and upturns it upon the table : outsiders then bet that a cei« 
bet will come uppermost on the dice, laying their money upon a 
dning the number on which they wish to try their lack — f^enit- 

190 OUR BOYS. 

that strange fascination which allures the gambler on, took 
possession of him, and, notwithstanding his vowi to tfa6 
contrary, he returned to the chuck-o-luck bank, not five 
minutes after his conversation with me, and tried it again, 
"seeing that he had been so lucky." The result was, that 
fickle i'ortune vacillated, and in less than two minutes^ Juggie 
lost hia twenty-seven dollars, and all the "loose change" he 
had about him, besides; and he found himself a penniless 
soldier, without enough money to buy a " plug o' tobacker." 

Poor Juggie looked very wo- begone, as his last quarter 
was " gobbled up ;" and he said " pshaw," and " confound it>" 
and " darn it," and " tarnation," and finally wound up will 
— " The d—l take it." Thereupon some unfeeling bystander 
remarked, that his satanic majesty would no doubt, someday, 
" take" the whole concern ; and him, too, for gambling. 

"Ah, Juggie," I said to him, next day, "you had mucli 
better have taken my advice." 

"I know I had," he replied; "but I swear I'll never try 
the darned thing again." 

Juggie adher^ to this wise resolution, most faithfiilly, tiH 
pay-day ; then, his purse being replenished, he again plunged 
into the vice yclept chuck-o-luck. Poor Juggie I His 
physical capacities and attainments were very go^ I Sonj 
I can't say as much for his moral. 

I relate this little incident because, while it may be wmO' 
what amusing, it will define another interealiDg feature in 
the life of a soldier; it will serve to impart to the reader an 
idea as to the way in which men plunge into vices in tta 
camp, of which they would be ashamed at home. In camii 
drinking, gambling, etc., are carried into excess by men who- 
at home would scorn to have such misdeeds associated iritii 
their names. 

« « « « * « ^ 

The winter wore gradually away. The regular routo 
of exercise was kept up ; save that out-door sports wert 
somewhat eschewed in consequence of the increasing mni 
Otherwise, things went on as usual ; Gaskill got tight reg* 
larly, whenever he could procure anything to get tight on; 
Winder continued lo \«\\ \i\^ \3kS»wal number oi solemn un- 


tmths daily; Hare stuttered away as usual, getting into a 
fight alternately with Dave Adams and Bob Young ; chuck- 
o-lnck was carried on daily; the mud continued in good 
swimming order ; military funerals were intermixed with 
oiher things, the muffled drum becoming a familiar sound ; 
picket duty was done regularly ; the captain was tried and 
acquitted — ^released from arrest and restored to his command ; 
nimorsy as usual, were afloat ; talking was done, and opin- 
ions expressed as to the plans for the coming spring's cam- 
paign ; and, altogether, we looked earnestly forward to the 
ooming spring, when we should surely go forth to meet the 
defiant rebels. Anxiously, impatiently, we waited, watched 
and wished for clear, windy days to come and dry up the 
mod, that we might move forward. All was anticipation. 



February was fast passing away. The mud was making 
• move toward drying up — barely a move ; the windy season 
Was already ^pugurated. 

One day, near the last of February, I learned that Mount 
yemon was within our lines; and I resolved to visit the 
interesting spot I requested the captain to write a pass for 
■ Jtte and get it countersigned by the colonel ; he did so. It 
Wag on a clear, windy Monday morning ; my pass allowed 
lUe till Tuesday evening to return. 

^ Mount Vernon is situated on the west bank of the Potomac, 
^gbt miles below Alexandria. My route was, to walk to 
J'airs Church, a distance of five miles ; then take the cars for 
Alexandria, a distance of ten miles from the church ; once 
^bere, I would have to secure a passage on foot, by way of a 
Very muddy road. 
A train was* to leave Fall's Church foi AXcxa.xATv^> ^ 

192 OUR BOYS. 

twelve o'clock ; the first question to be considered was, could 
I reach said i)lace in time for said train? It was ten o'clock 
when I left Ciinip Pierpont, and I determined to try ; though 
the road I had to travd was a very muddy one, and the wind 
was blowing extravagantly. I breasted the wind with des- 
perate energy, and left the shape of my feet in the mud with 
great rapidity. As the sun began to admonish me that the 
hour of twelve was at hand, I found myself within sight of 
the station, and a few hundred paces too far down the rail- 
road. A train was standing by the station, and the locomo- 
tive sent forth a shrill whistle. Oh, horror I Would I be 
too late after all ? I hastened to the railroad, then turned to 
the right, and walked upon the ties, in the direction of the 
station. I saw that a locomotive with a train attached waa 
headed directly toward me. Between me and the station, 
the track lay through a deep cut or gorge. To oppose my 
progress, the wind was rushing down against me with great 
energy. I struggled desperately against it I eagerly 
watched the train ; it was not moving yet. Oh, horror 1 the 
unearthly shriek of the locomotive was repeated. With 
redoubled energy I struggled against the wind; it almost 
held me back, but I made some progress. Of course it would 
have been perfectly absurd for my cap not to blow off at this 
interesting crisis. So away it went, I after it; every step 
taking me farther and farther from the train. Oh, the agonr 
of that moment! Surely the train would sta%pow, before! 
could recover my cap and reach it. At last I overtook the 
truant cap, and picked it up. Breathless, at last, cap in hand 
and hair flying in the wind, I reached the train smd sprang 
upon a car just as the iron horse commenced his " fith-st-cha- 
chu," and the train moved. Twenty-five minutes later I was 
in Alexandria. Tiiere I inquired the road to Mount Vemu", 
and was told to follow the road that lay nearest the river. I 
passed directly through Alexandria, and soon arrived at a 
bridge which is constructed over a small bay or nook of the 
river half a mile below. At this bridge was a sentinel who 
very politely informed me that I couldn't "pass that way." 

" But I have a pass," said I, producing that document. 

''Let's see it." 


*Herd it is;" and I handed it to him. 

He examined it> and said — 

''This is only a colonel's pass." 

« Well, isn't that sufficient." 

''No, a colonel's pass will not take you over this bridge; 
fon should have a pass from your brigadier-general." 

"Surely you don^t mean that, partner?" said I. 

"But 1 do mean it," he said. 

"And I can't pass?" 

"My orders are strict, and you. can't pass." 

" I'm soft'y to be obliged to go back after walking fifteen 
jr twenty miles," said I ; though I had not the most distant 
notion of returning to camp without seeing Mount Vernon. 

The sentinel looked thoughtful. He didn't like to see me 
wo back without accomplishing the object of my journey. 
X on will always find a true soldier entertaining a kind feel* 
ing of fellowship for any soldier with whom he may meet — 
dways sympathizing with a comrade in his misfortunes. 

" The officer of the guard is not fer ofl^" he said, at length ; 
"perhaps he will pass you." 

" Conduct me to him," I said, eagerly. 

The head-quarters of the guard, whose duty it was to guard 
ihe bridge, were in an old building near at hand ; thither I 
WMB conducted. A lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, and half 
I dozen soldiers were seated around a fire that was blazing 
cheerfully ii^g^ilapidated fire-place. 

The sentineTexhibited my pass to the lieutenant, and said — 

"Lieutenant) here is a man from the Pennsylvania Re- 
lenres ; he has come a long way to visit Mount Vernon." 

'• Where is his pass ?" asked the lieutenant, who was officer 
>f the guard. 


The lieutenant examined the pass a moment, then said — 

" This won't pass you." 

"Why?" I asked. 

" Because it lacks a general's signature." 

"But, lieutenant, I have come a long distance, and — " 

"' Can't help it," was the unfeeling response ; and he handed 
ne my pass. 

196 ' 0UBB0Y8. 

I knew that that loved one rested now within that marble 
vault Yet I could scarcely realize that I was actuallj 
gazing upon what contfdned the mouldering bones of the 
adored hero. Long, long*! stood^ as rootea to the spot^ 
gazing thoughtfully, earnestly, upon the white marble. At 
length the extending shadows of surrounding objects warned 
me that the sun was low. P looked westward, and, lol half 
the golden orb of day was already hidden behind the green 
pines fer away. I must go. Reluctantly I turned away. 
Oh, I did hate to leave that hallowed spot I 1 could have 
died there I But night was fast approaching, and I most 
depart. I cast one lingering look within ; I snatched a small 
twig from a vine which hung from the wall, and turned away. 
I repassed the cottage. Then I thought of him who once 
dwelt therein — whose resting-place I had just left. I 
remembered his unceasing, untiring toils for his idolized 
country, and I wondered what he would say were he living 
now. Ah, what would be his feelings, as the sound of the 
cannon employed in civil strife shook the walls of his peace- 
ful home — when the sharp crack of the rifle in the hands of 
a Virginian was the death-signal of some native of Virginians 
sister State I Surely, his heart would be broken I 

I soon found myself again in the main road. The wind 
liad abated, and I walked briskly on. I must endeavor to 
reach Alexandria that night. Darkness — ^thick darkness, 
too, among those pines — soon reigned. I soon made a 
somewhat remarkable discovery — I was tired. Eight miles 
lay between me and rest ; it was too cold lib sleep out of doors 
without a blanket. It was freezing now ; ever and anon the 
thin ice rattled under my feet like glass. Wearily I trudged 

" Halt I" I had reached the post of the patrol with which 
I met on my way to Mount Vernon. 

"Who comes there?" demanded the sentinel on duly. 

" Friend — with a pass," I replied. 

"Was it you who passed here a little after noon today?" 


"Let me see your pass." 

I produced my pass. 



** Come with me," he said ; and he led the way to a blaz 
. ing fire near at hand, around which were seated the re- 
mainder of those on duty. By the light of the fire he 
examined my pass, then he said : — 

" All rights you can pass if you wish ; but it's a re Qgh 
road from here to Alexandria, and I advise yon to remain 
with us for the night. You are welcome to stay ; we have 
a good fire here, and plenty of blankets." 

*' Yes, stay with us," said another of the squad. 

" By all means," said another. 

" Do I It's foolishness to walk clear to Alexandria to- 
night," urged another. 

''I believe I will," said I. 

*' Certainly I That's right I You have not had your supper : 
sit down and have some coffee." 

I complied ; after which we all seated ourselves around the 
fire, and were soon on the most intimate terms. We chatted 
away in merry humor for hours, relating stories, etc. 

At length, I lay down by the fire, o^na slept comfortably 
till morning. Then I arose to depart. As I did so, I perr 
ceived that there was a camp of some regiment very near ; 
turning to the boys, I asked : — 

** What camp is this ?" 

" That's the camp of our regiment," was the reply. 

" Your regiment ?" 


** Eeally, I believe I never asked you what regiment you 
belonged to." 

" And we forgot to tell you — it's the Sixty-third." 

We exchanged " good-byes," and I walked on, over the now 
frozen ground, toward Alexandria. On arriving thither, it 
struck me that nothing in the world would be so delightful 
and refreshing on that cold morning as a plate of hot 
oysters. Accordingly, I stepped into a saloon, called for 
the article, and dispatched it, which made me just thirty 
seconds too late for the eight o'clock train for Falls Church. 
Therefore I was obliged to wait for the one o'clock train ; 
for a train was to leave at that hour. 
% As I had some boara to spend m MeiL^xidcnSb \ \r^^ ^ 

198 OUR Bonrs. 

stroll, " seeing the place !" Of course I visited the " Marshall 
Ilouse"— the hotel in which Colonel Ellsworth was killed. 

I could not help remarking the peculiar names of the streets. 
Five of the principal streets of Alexandria are named as fol- 
lows: "King." "Queen," "Prince," "Princess," "Duke." 
Alexandria»has not the name of being a loyal city, but thi 
certainly sounds royal. 

In order to make sure of the one o'clock train, I went to 
the depot at eleven A. M., and had the pleasure of waiting 
three hours instead of two; for the trains there are never, 
very punctual. At last, however, I found myself aboard an 
open car, which was loaded with hay — it travelled jast as 
fast as any, though — and I was soon at Falls Ohurct once 
more. Then I started for Camp Pierpont. Thinking to take 
a near cut, I passed through an extensive wood in which I 
lost my way, and took a " near cut" of eight miles instead of 
five. Just as the sun was sinking in the west, I entered the 
camp of the Eighth. Al the same time a mounted messenger 
dashed into camp, shouting — 

" Fort Donelson is ours I It has been surrendered with 
twenty-five thousand prisoners 1" 

Every man who heard, shouted — 

"Hurrah! hurrah! Fort Donelson is taken! Three 
cheers 1" 

A soul-stirring cheer went up ; every man in the regiment 
shouted with gladness on hearing the welcome news. Other 
regiments took up the cheer, and ere long fifteen thousand 
men were yelling at the top of their voices ; and they con- 
tinued to do so until they were hoarse. 

Our brass band now came forth, took its position on the 
most elevated spot in our regimental street, and played all 
the national airs they could think of; beginning with "Hail 
Columbia," and winding up with "Yankee Doodle." The 
whole regiment gathered around, cheering at intervals in a " 
deafening manner. 

" Hurrah 1 The war is about over " shouted one. 

"Who wants to buy a good gun ?" asked another. 

''Or a good knapsack? I'm about done with mine," said^ 
MBOtber. ~ 

MOUNT vURisroN. 199 

*' Or a cartridge-box," was suggested. 

"Or a canteen?" 

" Or a haversack ?" 
• " Or a good overcoat ?" 

"Ah, boys, the war is not over yet /" said a youthful soldier, 
gravely ; he was a member of Company " B." 
• Poor fellow, he was right. Better had it been for him if 
the war had been over then. Then he could have returned 
to his smiling home on the green banks, of the Allegheny. 
But alas! Where is he now? His bones lie buried at 
Glbndale, no stone marks the spot, and his widowed mother, 
now doubly a widow, sits, lonely and sad, at her, cottage 
window, gazing sorrowfully upon the glassy surface of the 
clear river, thinking of her boy — ^her only boy — ^her lost 
Willie! / 

Several glorious victories were shortly added to that at 
Fort Donelson. It was obvious that the time was not far 
distant when we should do something ; the mud began to 
grow " beautifully less." By and by, we received orders to 
keep three days' rations in our haversacts, and be ready to 
march at any time. 

Sunday, the ninth of March, came. It was a beautiful day, 
warm and pleasant. The roads were now in a pretty good 
condition, especially the pike by which we expected to move. 
The general impression was, that we should march on the 
following day. I took a stroll, and in my .walk passed 
through thejcamps of a number of regiments belonging to our 
division ; I found that the expected move was all the talk — 
the reigning topic. Surely we would go next day. ^ 

Morning came. We arose alive with expectation. We 
Were somewhat disappointed to find that the sky was over 
cast with clouds, and a slight mist was falling. The morn 
ing began to pass away. No marching orders. What could 
it mean ? - Were we not going after all ? It looked like it 
Noon came, and we were beginning to be reconciled to our 
disappointment; we proceeded to prepare dinner. It was 
just ready^ when & startling cry rang Qut, and was repeated 
by hundreds of tongues throughout the camp. 
I "Pack up! i-ACKr.tJPj Marching oiLDEi^aV" 

200 OUR BOVS. 

Instantly all was bustle and excitement. Ccffee-pots were 
kicked over ; a few extra provisions were thrust into haver- 
sacks; knapsacks were hurriedly packed, and in fifteen 
minutes the regiment was formed — We stood in line. Imp* 
tiently we waited the order to march. Oh, could it be that 
the time had at last come when the grand movement of the 
Army of the Potomac should be consummated ? "We could* 
scarcely realize that it was so. Where was Colonel Hayea? 
Why is he not here ? Probably he is at the general's quar- 
ters, waiting for orders. Ah, there he is I 

The colonel rode hurriedly into camp, and shouted— 

"Battalion, shoulder — annsr 

It was done with alacrity. 

"Eight— /ace/" 

This command was obeyed with equal agility. Then oame 
the magic — 

*' Forward — MARCH I" 

The band struck up a favorite air, we moved as one man, 
and uttering one wild farewell cheer, we marched from Camp 
PiERPONT — forever. 



Th|; division was properly formed, and we moved out tho 
pike in the direction of Drainesville. We had no doubt that 
we were to march to that village ; thence, make a flank move- 
ment on the rebel works at Oentreville or Bull Run. C!e^ 
tainly we were not going to Leesburg, for the Union forceB 
already occupied that place. Slowly, steadily, we marched 
on. The sky had now become clear, and the sun shone ov^ 
warmly and beautifully. 

When within ArcQ miles of Drainesville, we abruptly left 
the pike, filing off to the left, and following a by-road through 
a wood; it was jhe load \ftad\ii^ to " Rviuter's Mills." ^^ 


n crossed the " Alexandria and Leesburg'' turnpike. ' On 
went — on, toward Hunter's Mills. The march was a hard 
) ; many extra great-coats, many blankets, and much super- 
)xi8 clothing were abandoned by the^ way — ^left lying at 

;t was near evening, whpn, in passing through a low valley, 
found ourselves called upon to cross a deep creek. Eails 
re thrown across from bank to bank — the creek was nar- 
T — and we waited carefully across. Here and there trees 
I fallen across ; and to such places many flocked for the 
rpose of walking over on the trunks one by one. At one 
these places happened our friend Dennis, and dnother of 
R BOYS — Tonamy Simpson. They, by dint of pushing and 
nmirig, and heaving, and surging among the crowd, suc- 
)ded in rS^ching the log simultaneously. Dennis, how- 
3r, being the most active, mounted upon the log ahead of 
•mmy. This latter gentleman, in the excitement of the 
ttaent, lost his balance slightly, and to save himself from 
ohing into the stream, set the breech of ]^s musket in the 
ter, thinking to rest it on the bottom and thus support 
Oself ; for he supposed the bottom to be but a few inches 
ow the sur&ce of the water. But in his calculations as 
he depth of the water he was fearfully at fault ; it chanced 
be at this point six feet deep. Down went the musket 
> the water, making a terrible blubbering as it went, 
Damy bajrely saving himself from going in, too, by grasping 
adjacml' ooat-tails of Dennis. The result was, both 
anis' feet suddenly slipped from the log, one on each side 
Lt, causing him to take his seat upon the loff most violently, 
I in a truly equestrian style — his feet dangling in the 
ter for want of stirrups. Tommy, who had only seen 
* back of Dennis, failed to recognize him. Thinking, 
wever, that owing to his proximity to the water, he 
snnis) might be able to seize the gun ere it should sink, 
cried out, in a supplicating tone : — 
^ Mister I mister I Grab my gun — quick I Oh, do !" 
''Grab h — HI" exclaimed Dennis; "sure. Til think I'm 
sky if I'm able to grab mesel' out o' this — without settin' 
fe feshen' for yer dommed old gun." 

202 OUR BOYS. 

" Ah, ah I" muttered Tommy, pitifully, giving the word 
the broad sound ; for his musket gave a final blubber, and 
took a horizontal position upon the pebbly bottom. 

What could Tommy do ? The regiment was moving on 
— he was soon left behind. Must he strip ofl^ during that 
cold March evening (for the sun w^as low, and it was getting 
cool), and take a dive for his fire-arm? Horror, nol Yet 
he must recover his gun — or else pony up twelve dollars of 
his next two months' pay, for another; and that would be 
decidedly unpleasant. A bright thought struck him; and 
he proceeded to act upon it. He procured a long stick and 
tried "feshin'" awhile, as Dennis had expressed it; but it 
was no go — he could feel it at the bottom, but that was all 
At last it became obvious that there .was but one alternative; 
he must dive. With stoic determination, he removed his 
accoutrements — then his Raiment. Oo — ool plunge I splash I 
Down he went to the bottom, the waters closed over him, and 
for a moment he was lost to earthly view — Jost to the view 
of all save, perhaps, some lonely fish that sported among Ae 
waters. Presently the waters parted, and out popped 
Tommy's heels. With some difficulty he succeeded in get- 
ting ''t'other end up;" then his countenance appeared above 
the surface, he seized some reeds that grew upon the bank, 
and crawled out, shivering triumphantly, gun m h^nd. 

AVeary and worn, we reached Hunter's Mills; we had 
marched twenty miles that afternoon. It was now dark 
We were stacking arras ; each man was just making the re- 
mark that he couldn't march half a mile further to save hia 
life, when the adjutant rode up, and called out : — 

" Captain Conner !" 

"What is it, adjutant?" 

" You will take your company and march out the road a 
mile and a half, where you will form a picket line connecting 
on either flank with the pickets of other regiments. 

" Yes, sir — company, take — arms.^^ 

This was pleasant. Of course it was fair — perfectlv fisdr; 
for it was our turn. There was some cursing the liu:k, though, 
and many words worse than " really" were uttered by OUB 
BOYS. We now proved \Ai^\. \n^ ** ^.o^ldu't march half a wSk 


to save our lives," by marching a mile and a half with much 
less at stake. When a man finds that a thing must be done, 
however difficult, it is surprising how readily he manages to 
do it. 

At ari early hour on the following morning we returned 
from picket and took our position upon a high hill not far 
from an old mill belonging to Mr. Hunter. Here we were 
furnished with painted tent-blankets, and we established our 
camp and styled it '* Camp Hawkhurst," in honor of the se- 
cessionist who owned the ground ; but as this was a rather 
difficult word to remember, the boys all called it "Camp 
Cornstalk," and they who are living do to this day. 

A word as to those renowned shelter-tents. Each man 
was furnished with a tent-blanket about four by six feet in 
size ; any members were allowed to form a mess and con- 
struct a tent of any size the number of blankets might permit. 
Haman, Dick, and I constructed an awkward affair of ours. 
Bnos did not go in with us ; he thought we teased him too 
much about his affair with old Christie concerning that wood. 
Ort WHS detached with the ambulance corps ; and he, too, left 
us. Thus we were three. 

The first event that occurred in Camp Cornstalk was, it 
rain^ most mercilessly ; which rain, aided by a brisk wind, 
succeeded in entering our frail abode in torrents, drenching 
us completely. March rains are no delicacy, even in the 
sunny South; so we huddled together within our narrow 
house, bumping each other's heads, knocking each other's 
caps off, and looking very glum. The fact is, these tent- 
blankets, as described, do not constitute a very spacious 
apartment. And — let me see — well, I don't remember 
exactly, but I think Haman swore a little, so did Dick ; but 
/.didn't, I know, for I qtiit swearing seven years since, am 
have held out most faithfully. 

We had been in cjlr new camp fwo days, and were begin- 
ning to wonder why we were not called upon to " pitch into" 
the rebels at Centreville, when the colonel rode into camp 
and informed us that they had skedaddled several days pre- 
viously, evacuating and abandoning their boasted strong- 
holds, Centreville and Manassas. This Y(aa Xift\^^, ^^^ ^^ 

204 OUR BOYS. 

mistake. We didn't half like it> for we bad hoped lo i 
them in leaving those places. 

On Friday morning, the fourteenth of March, an order was 
issued, signed by General McCall, requiring us to hold oari 
selves in readiness to move at a moment's notice,'by toaier. 
That evening, about dark, the " moment's notice" came^ and 
^e hastily pulled down our miniature tents, each making 
one of the blankets fast to his knapsack — we were to carry 
them of course. It was rumored that we were to march to 
Alexandria, there to embark in steam transports, for parts to 
us unknown. Soon we were in line, soon m motion, direct- 
ing our steps toward the Alexandria'and Leesburg pike. 

On arriving at the pike, we halted for the nighty and lay 
down in a wood beneath the soothing influence of a refresh- 
ing rain. By spreading out tent-blankets over us, we sno- 
ceeded in keeping partly dry. Our heads and feet caught i1» 
though, for in attempting to cover the one we were sure to 
draw the covering off the other ; and in the morning we 
arose, feeling as stupid as might be. 

AVe had taken coffee, when Captain Biddle, General 
McOalPs aid-de-camp, rode by, ordering us to get into line- 
telling us that we were about to march. It was still raining. 
Now the turnpike bridge, crossing Difficult Creek, had been 
burned by the rebels, so it was necessary for us to march 
across to the other — the Georgetown and Leesburg pike — cnw 
the stream by that bridge, then march back to the Alexan*. 
dria and Leesburg pike east of Difficult Creek. This was an 
addition of ten miles to our journey. The rain continued to 
pour down steadily all the while; the mud became deep, 
and the marching was both unpleasant and laborious; a cold 
wind was blowing ; our clothes became saturated, our shoes 
were filled with mud. At last, we once more reached the 
Alexandria pike and marched toward Alexandria. When 
near Falls Church we halted, and were allowed to bivonao 
for the night in a pine grove. The rain had gradually in- 
creased, and was now pouring down in torrents. Night was 
approaching. To kindle a fire was literally impossible, ye* 
we had stopped for the night. There we stood, looking 
iuiiserah^glWub, t\ie ram i\\'&\vvci^iT:cyni qxix can^s and flow- 


ing soothingly adown the backs of our necks/ Some had the 
courage to sit down upon a stump, or the trunk of a fallen 
tree. But, oh, such courage as it must have required I / 
didn't possess it, I'm sure. I tried to stand in some position 
that the rain might not beat into my face ; I faced to the east, 
and to the west, and to the north, and to the south, but to no 
vorpose ; the rain seemed to be coming from every direction. 
I tned to shelter my devoted head with my tent-blanket, but 
the wind blew it hither and thither, and the rain continued 
to beat furiously into my face, and to run down the back of 
my neck. At length, exasperated and desperate, I deter- 
mined that I wouldn't stand there and be drowned alive, I 
would walk clear to Alexandria, that I would. It was yet 
ten miles. I started. A thought struck me.. The streams 
must certainly be much swollen, and they would be difficult 
to cross. I had better follow the railroad, that I might cross 
dl the streams on bridges. I acted upon this suggestion, and 
was soon walking down the railroad, stepping from tie to tie, 
amusing myself with the thought of how many of those ties 
lay yet between me and rest — shelter. I soon discovered 
that I was not the only one of our division who had made 
this desperate resolve — to walk to Alexandria. I fell in 
with three Bucktails ; they constituted my travelling com- 
(anions. After remarking all around that it was "rather 
fainy," we pursued our way in silence. Darkness came on. 
We crossed many bridges, stepping from one tie to another, 
which, considering that they were wet and slippery, and that 
the night was dark, was certainly attended with danger. 

When within three miles of Alexandria we encountered a 
bridge which must have been fifty feet high, and it was fiHy 
paces in length. The waters beneath were rushing and 
roaming, pitching, and tossing in a manner altogether savage. 
We hidted — hesitated. Should one of us in passing over, 
make a single false step, encumbered as we were, death would 
be inevitable. 

"Boys,'' I said at length, '<I'm going to try it. 

They were silent. I commenced the perilous walk over 
the bridge, stepping carefully from one tie to another. I 
could hear the mad waters below, and I shudd^i^. i^\ds^ 

206 OITR liOVS 

— it seemed an age — I arrived in safety on tte east side of 
the stream. 

" Boys, I'm over," I called out. 

" Well, I'm coming," said one ; and he commenced the 
dangerous walk. 

lie reached me in safety, and heaved a great sigh of relie£ 
Another followed ; he, too, arrived in safety. The last one 
then attempted the dangerous crossing. He reached the 
centre of the bridge, when, hearing the surging waters fiir 
below, his courage deserted him, and he stopped stood stiU^ 
and trembled violently. 

" Come— come — and — take — my — gun," he said. 

There was a moment of hesitation. The others, being hil 
comrades, had the best right to go ; but they made no move 
toward it. I knew it would be dangerous to go out to him, 
but I could not see a fellow being perish, and I stretch forth 
no hand to save him. I laid my musket down and carefolly 
approached him. 

" You needn't be afraid," said I, encouragingly. At die 
same time, I thought he need be, and that / need be, too. 

When I arrived to within a few steps of him, he suddenlj 
recovered his equilibrium of nerve, and said: — 

"Never mind, now; I guess I can make it." Aufl he 
began to move on. 

'• Let me take your gun," I said. 

"No, I can go it now ; I only felt a little unnerved for a 
moment, but it's all over now." 

We were soon clear of the bridge, and we trudg«>d on 
toward Alexandria. At last we arrived thither, almost over- 
com'e with fatigue — having marched twenty-seveu mite 
through storm, rain, and mud, carrying, the average weighs 
of forty-five pounds. 

Learning that all the public buildings of the place were 
thrown open for the accommodation of soldiers, I proceeded 
to a public hall near the post-office, and, with many othen^ 
spread my blanket on the floor, and, all wet as I was^ threw 
myself down, and a deep, dreamless slumber came over me. 
When I again awoke, the broad light of mid-day— and ft 
yraa ^^UpVlUr — g^^^^^ ^? xxxi^lo^m^ eyes. 


oon learned that our division was not the only one 
ed back to Alexandria — that nearly the whole arrtiy 
etumed, or was returning to Alexandria, all with orders 
5pare to move hy water. After our march through the 
g rain, OUR boys suggested that the order to move hy 

alluded to the rain. I doubt it, though, for the order 
; know that it was going to rain, 
.rose, feeling very old, packed my knapsack, strapped 
jT effects, and sallied forth into the street. I was pass- 
be telegraph office, when whom should I see but Cap- 
Biddle. He rode up to^the door, dismounted, and was 

to enter, when I approached him, touched my cap, and 

AS our division arrived yet ?" 
es," said ie, returning the salute. 
There is it?" 

. has halted a mile from here; you will reach it by 
out King Street." 

hank you," I said ; and leaving Alexandria, by King 
J, I walked a mile out the pike, and arrived at our divi- 

B camp of the Eighth Eegiment was pointed out to me, 

! was soon among the boys, who were busily engaged 

ging their tents. 

Thy, where have you been?" asked Haman. 

I Alexandria," 1 replied. 

1 Alexandria?" 

es, certainly." 

Then did you go there ?" 


esljprday ?" 

f course ; when should I go, if not Yesterday ?" 

ut you didn't walk all the way ?" • 

Tell, I didn't run." 

ut did you go all the way a-foot ?" 

es, I went all the way ; but it was more than afoot^ 

.nd you did walk it ?" 

h, yes." 

Thai a walk ! Where did you sleep loait ti\^\.T^ 


''In a, public building in Alexandria. Where did you 
stay — in that wood ?" 


" What a sleep 1 I am of the opinion that my walk WM 
more pleasant." 

" Sleep I All the sloping tve did you could put in year 

"No doubt; but /had enough to fill both mineP 

" Did you sleep comfortably r" 

" Yes. After I lay down, I didn't know anything untfl 
about an hour ago." 

" I wish I had gone with you." 

" I wish you had — ^but what kind of a tent is that you are 
putting up ?" 

" Oh, that's a tent made of these blankets, you know." 

" But it looks large." 

" True. We have taken a few more into our mess." 

"Have you?" 

"Yes, if you have no objections." 

" Oh, none I The more the merrier. Who are they ?" 

" Well, Captain Conner and Lieutenant Moth are coming 
in with us." 

" Ah, very good ; then we are five." 

" Yes ; but Sergeant Cue and Sergeant Graham are com- 
ing in." 

" Ah, seven I Well, that's none too—" 

" Galvesti is coming in, too." 

"Eight! All right; I—" 

"And Jim Eider." 

" I'm glad of that ! I always wanted Jim with ua. Well, 
that's nine, and — " 

"Sois— " 

"What I Anymore?" 

" No, that's adl ; I was only joking. Nine we are. Come 
on with your blanket." 

" All right. What a remarkable mess we have P 

"Haven't we?" 

Having completed the construction of a tent composed of 
niao blankets, we got dittHQT — or auppcr, I don't know whiclu 


After this, a tremendous rain came up — or rather dovm — 
lasting the remainder of the day and all of the night. 

When night came, we crowded together within our any- 
thing-but-spacious abode, lying very " close apart," with the 
reasonable intenfion of " snoozing " the night away in sheer 

It so happened that the two sergeants, Graham and Cue, 
lay side by side. Neither was in a very good humor , so, 
Sergeant Cue said to Sergeant Graham : — 

"I wish you'd quit your scrougin', and lay off o' me 1" 

" It's you who are crowding ; I wish you would keep off 
7i€," responded Graham. 

" It's no such thing," said Sergeant Cue, snappishly. 

"But it is such a thing." 

"I know better I" • 

" You don't know as weliy 

"It's a lie I" 

"You're another r 

" Confound you I don't you tell me that." 

" And don't you tell me thatP 

" You'd better dry up." 

" I wish I could, but this rain — " • 

"You — for half a cent I'd smash you I" 

"You would?" 

"Yes, I WOULD I" 

" Well, now, you work very cheap." 

" I'd as lief do it for nothing." 

" Well, I suppose that is as cheap as I can get it done 
K> I give you the contract. You can begin operationrf?>a8 
K)on as you please." 

"Well, I'm just the man that can do it!" said Sergeant 
Due, coming all the way back to that. 

"No doubt," ^aid Sergeant Graham, coolly. "Dear me 
bow it does rain !" 

And thus ended the bloody (?) quarrel. 

I was very glad that they didn't " get together,'.' for had a 
struggle occurred there, between those stupendous men, "down 
woxAA, have gone our house." However, I suppose they had 
ao notion of carrjing the difficulty so far as a(i\.\N^ o^^i^>AKrcL^. 

210 OUB BOTS. 

Next morning, the rain having ceased to fall, I took a walk 
to Alexandria. I discovered that many steam transports 
were lying along the wharves. The work of embarkation 
had already begun. I wondered when our turn would come. 

Day after day passed away ; troops wer^ continually em- 
barking, and still our turn did not come. Anxiously and 
impatiently did we await the ord^r to go on board ; for we 
wanted to be off for Dixie. All felt that some important 
movement was about to be made, and we were eager to 
begin active operations — ^to meet the rebels. 



As day after day passed and our turn to embark seemed 
as distant as ever, I began to look about me for amusement 
One morning, while I was at breakfast, it suddenly occurred 
to me that the battle-ground of Bull Eun was now within 
our lines ; I asked myself what was to prevent me from 
visiting it? After some rumination, I arrived at the conclu- 
sion ' that nothing was to prevent me. Having finished my 
morning repast, I straightway arose, said "nobody to nothing," 
and went to Alexandria with the intention of taking the ear- 
liest train for Manassas. On arriving there, I was informed 
that no train would leave for Manassas till eleven o'clock. • 
For amusement in the meantime, as the morning was yet 
young, I walked down to the shipping. The wharves were 
alive with soldiers who were going aboard ^he transports as 
fast as possible. General McClellan was there on horseback 
superintending the embarkation. A large steamboat was 
nearing the wharf, and his horse became restive; nearer it 
came, and the h orse became unmanageable. But when tbe 
whistle mMBk uttered a frightful shriek, the animal exe- 
cuted fljjj^^^^tat\>o\m3L,\\i^\.X\*i ^<i\3L^Tal was thrown firom 


Ills seat; and, as he fell, the foot of the kicking and j)lungin^ 
horse came within an inch of striking him upon the head. 
Little Mac sprang up with an easy grace, deized the bridle 
of his horse, remounted, and coolly remarked to the soldiers 
who stood near — r 
" Boys, you came near losing your general." 
A murmur of admiration spread rapidly among the as- 
sembled spectators. • 

When the hour of eleven was near, I went to the depot, 
and was soon aboard the Manassas train; in due time it 
started, and at one o'clock I found myself at Manassas Junc- 
tion. I at once made inquiry as to the location of the Bull 
Bun battle-ground. I was informed, to my chagrin, that the 
distance was seven miles — that no man could find the way 
"without a guide — that it was, moreover, dangerous to go, on 
account of guerrillas. This was encouraging, wasn't it? 
Seven miles — impossible to find the way — danger from 
guerrillas — whew I What else ? Howbeit, I determined to 

''Which path — what direction is it?" I asked. 

" Why, are you going to try it ?" 

** Yes," I replied, resolutely. • 

" Well, if you are determined to go," said my informant, ' 
''it's in that dii'ection" — he pointed northward — "but I advise 
jou not to undertake the journey." 

" I have come all the way from Alexandria for the purpose 
of seeing the Bull Eun battle-ground, and I won't go back 
without it," I replied. 

I took the path pointed out, and far away through tangled 
forests of pines I pursued* my lonely way. I walked at a 
brisk pace, following the wanton* wanderii:^gs of the path, 
which, at times, becaipe almost invisible. I was just begin- 
ning to think that I had travelled those "seven miles," when 
I espied a cabin which stood a little way from the path. 
Wondering what secluded creature might chance to dwell 
in that lonely place, I left the path and walked over to the 
hut. An aged negro woman was the sole occupant. 

"How do you do, my good woman?" I asked. 

She nodded but did not speak. 


''Am I on the right road to the Bull Ban battle-ground?" 
I asked. 

" Sah ?^' said she ; although I thought I had spoken ag 
distinctly as I could. 

"Am I on the right road to the battleground ?" I again 

"Yes, sah." 

"How far is it yet?" 

" Two miles, massa." 

" Thank you — good-day," and I walked on. 

After travelling what appeared to me to be two milea^ I 
suddenly, on emerging from the wood into an open spaoe^ 
came upon another habitation. It was a white frame houae^ 
with two out-door chimneys as usual. Strange to say, a 
white man — a Scotchman— dwelt there. He was sitting by 
his door, and I approached and said — 

" Good-evening, my friend." 

"Gudeven'," was the response. 

''Am I on the right road to the battle-ground ?" I asked. 

" The same, sir." 

"How far is it?" 

"Three miles un a half."» 

" What ? You're surely joking I" 

" It's true, man." 

On I went. I was so provoked that I did not bid the 
gentleman good-evening, or thank him for his information. 
Three miles and a half I Now I thought he might have left 
the " half" off, at least. The negro woman had told me that 
it was but two miles from her residence; I had travelled 
about that distance, and still it was three and a half miles. 
This was a somewhat remarkable gain of a mile and a )aii 
But now, irritated by disappointment, I determined to dee Boll 
Eun battle-ground, though I should be obliged to go round 
by China. I hurried on, and — at last, did reach the battle- 
field. I was on it before I knew it. A house stood on the 
ground, and within 'dwelt a leather-colored individual, who 
stood at the door grinning horribly, and displaying about a 
fourth of ^^^MHpf white teeth, to the best advantage. It 


was this fiSBf. ^V^ doddi^ Md^^si ds^ent who informed 

• WAITING 213 

irie that I was actually on the ground. He pointed out vari- 
ous interesting spots to me ; among other things, a chimney 
' — all that remained of a house in which an old woman was 
killed by the bursting of a shell, during the terrible battle 
of the previous summer. 

With what interest did I view the celebrated battle-field 
How little did I imagine that a terrible battle would yet be 
fought on that self-same field, and that /was destined to take 
part in it. But I must not anticipate. 

The sun was fast nearing the glowing horizon of the west, 
and I began to feel the importance of departing. A train was 
to leave Manassas for Alexandria at seven o'clock, and if I 
was not there in time for this train, I would be obliged to 
remain all night at M^assas. I at once took my way through 
the lonely woods. The sun soon went down, and it began to 
grow dark^ As the shades of night thickened, many pic- 
tures of guerrillas, and of having my throat cut or the top of 
my head shot off by some prowler among the bushes, chased 
each other, phantom-like, across my active imagination. But 
I reached Manassas in safety, just in time for the train ; and 
in a few hours more I found myself in camp. My messmates 
were all asleep, and, crawling in among them, I was soon — 
''that same." 

Next morning, on awakening and finding me with them, 
the boys broke out in exclamations of surprise. 

" In the name of all that's not understandable, where were 
jou all day yesterday?" asked one. 

''At Manassas," I coolly replied. 

" At Manassas ! You don't mean to say you went all the 
way to Manassas yesterday ?" 

"Yes, certainly." 

"More likely you were in Alexandria all day, on a spree." 

" I don't go on sprees myself." 

" Then you probably had company." 

" You are wrong in your surmises. I tell you that I went 
to Manassas on the cars, and that I also visited the Bull Bun 

"Indeed I" 

" Yea Here are 'some relics — an old \)\i\\eiV», «ii «aivi!\ ^ito'^^ 

214 OUR BOYS. 

a piece of cornstalk, a small twig — ^I got them all on the field." 
And I produced the above-named articles, which I really had 
brouglit with me from the battle-field. 

"And did you get those on the Bull Eun battle-field?" 


"Well. I declare!" 

" No doubt you do — but I am hungry ; I have had nothing 
to eat since yesterday morning. Let us get breakfSeist ready." 

It was a fact. I had thoughtlessly started off on the pre- 
vious morning without putting so much as a cracker into 
my pocket, and the consequence was I went twenty-four 
hours without eating. 

Evening was once more approaching, when Page — ^the 
same who had the muss with Jack JBurke, as previooslj 
described — came to my t«nt and asked me to accompany him 
to Alexandria. I consented, and we started, taking a near 
cut across the commons. These grounds were plentifully 
strewn with the carcasses of depart^ horses and mules once 
the property of Uncle Sam. As we walked along we saw 
one lying directly in our path ; it looked as though it had 
not been long dead. Half unconsciously, we stopped and 
gazed upon the lifeless animal. 

When two persons have nothing especial to occupy their 
minds, it is astonishing on what trifling topics they will talk, 
rather than not talk at all. Accordingly, I said : — 

"Page, I wonder how long that horse has been dead?" 

" Three or four days, I suppose," was the reply. 

" I scarcely think it," said I, by way of inaugurating an 

" I do — ^I know it ; look how stiff it is." 

"I don't think it looks so stiff." 

" Yes it does ; see how it is stretched out." 

" I don't care for that ; I don't believe the horse has been 
dead twenty-four hours." 

"Fudge! I believe it's been dead a week," said Page> 
growing stronger in his assertions by being opposed.. 

" Foolishness," said I ; " I doubt whether it has been dead 
three hours." 


" Three hours I Merciful Moses I I'll bet a dish of oysters 
it has been dead for three weeks." 

" Done I" said I ; though I wondered how he was going to 
prove it. 

" Very well, now — great gooseberries, look there I" And 
Page pointed wildly at the animal's head. 

At that moment the horse, which we had supposed to be 
lifeless, deliberately raised its head, opened its eyes, stared 
tranquilly at us for a moment, then lay quietly back in its 
former position. The truth is, it was a horse that had been 
turned out to die ; but its time having not yet come, it had 
l^d down to take a nap. 

Page and I passed on, entered Alexandria, promenaded till 
near dark, and finally entered an oyster saloon. There we 
called for " oysters-stews," to which we sat down and went 
to work on with absorbing interest. While engaged in this 
delightful occupation, a soldier, who was somewhat " liquor- 
ated " finished a dish of oysters on which he had been at 
work, and arose to pay for them. Affer searching all his 
pockets with tedious drunken deliberation, he finally produced 
^ve-doUar bill, taking it, I think, from his coat-tail pocket. 

" This, I think, is not good," said the proprietor^ 

" What ?" asked the soldier. ^ 

"This is not a good bill," repeated the oysterman. 

"But it is," said the soldier. 

"I don't think it is," said the proprietor, mildly. 

''Bxit I know it isy 

" I'm a little afraid of it." • . 

"It can't hurt you." 

" Neither can it do me any good." 

" Well, now I say it's a good bill." 

" I'd rather not take it." 

"But I tell you it's good." 

"I think not." 

"And it's all I have, too." 

" Well, I can't take it ; I would rather give you the oysteri 
than to lose the whole five dollars." ' 

" But I tell you it isn't a counterfeit." 

216 OUB BOYS. 

" ril not risk it," said the proprietor, growing weary of 

" But you've got to. You mustn't accuse me of passing 
counterfeit money." 

''I don't accuse you of passing counterfeit money; pu 
haven't passed it yet, nor you wonH pass it on m^" said the 
proprietor, beginning to lose his temper. 

"But you—" 

" I told you I would give you the oysters, as this is all the 
money you have. What more do you want ?" 

"I tell you this 'is a good note," persisted the soldier, wiik 
drunken obstinacy. 

" Well," said Page to me, " if that isn't an idea. Here a 
fellow is presented with a plate of oysters, and, not satisfied, 
wants to whip the benevolent giver in the bargain." 

It was an idea. One would think that the soldier should 
have been satisfied; but there is no reason in a drunken 
man. As there was some probability of a row being the final 
result of the matter, and I had now finished my oysters^ I 
arose and remonstrated with the inebriated soldier. 

"Come, now, partner," I said, "this man has given yoiyi 
plate of ovsters, and you ought to ask no more of him." 

" But ¥ want him to change this note," said the soldier, 

"But, my friend," said I, "you don't understand him; he ' 
is a patriotic man, and don't want to take any pay from a 
Union soldier ; so, he has pretended that he dian*t like to 
change the aote, just so that he could get to give, you those 

" Is that so ?" asked the soldier in surprise. 

" Certainly. Can't you see plainly ?" 

" That must be it," he said, thoughtfully ; and thrusting 
his worthless bill into his pocket, he talked from the saloon, 
wondering what had made the citizens of Alexaridria so very 
patriotic all at once. 

On leaving the saloon, we discovered that the night was 
very dark. It began to be a question whether we could find 
our way out of the city at the right point. We could go 
ont King Street and \iave xvo difficulty in finding our way to 


camp ; but as the camp of our regiment lay a quarter of a 
mile or more from the pike, we could, by leaving the city at 
a point fiirther north, get to camp by a much nearer route. 
We walked up the Washington railroad, and, in the darkness, 
passed by the "tuming-off place." 

" Page," said I, after we had walked a quarter of a mile 
too far, " I think we have passed the road by which we should 
leave the city." (It will be recollected that there was no 
gas-light at this part of the place). 

" I think so, too," was the rejoinder. 

" Then let us return, and watch more carefully for it." 

" I guess that is our plan," said Page, stopping so abruptly 
that I ran violently against him in the darkness. 

We turned us about, and retraced our steps. We were 
still walking on the railroad, which, at this point, was raised 
to the height of five or six feet. 

"I think it would be better walking down there than on 
these cross-ties ; I think I see a smooth path down there," 
said Page. 

The "smooth pa^h" alluded to happened to be a ditch 
beside the railroad, five feet in depth, seven feet in width, 
and full of muddy water. The night is seldom so dark that 
the surface of water cannot be discerned ; it was dimly seen 
on this occasion by Page, who supposed it to be an even 

" I think I'll jump down and walk on that path," continued 
Page. ' 

" Go ahead," said I ; " but I would as lief walh here." 

Page made a jump: splash! he went into the muddy 

" Hilloa ! What's up ?" I asked. 

" Bloc — bloc — gsh I" blustered Page ; and he crawled from 
he water, minus a dry stitch. 

I soon comprehended what was up — or rather down — and 
I rallied Page, laughing provokingly. 

" Ha, ha I One would think, Page, that you were attemp^ 
ing suicide. Just think of it — a promising young man to 
attempt to put an end to his existence by drowning I How 
inglorious ! Why, Page, what do you think of yonvaeli?" 

218 OUR BOYS. 

" IcBJi't see anything to," said Page, in no very 
amiable humor. 

'' A man with so much muddy water in his eyes is not apt 
to see the joke of it," I remarked. 

" I suppose you would have laughed if I had drowned,** 
said Page, shivering. 

" Oh, I can't say that I would have laughed at the drown- 
ing part ; but I must have had a little laugh over that flying 
leap you took. Come, now, Pagey, you know it is a good 

" It is rather funny," said Page, with a show of returning 
good humor ; "but donH tell the boys in camp." 

" You don't suppose that I tell every little trifling thing 
that transpires, do you?" said I, evasively. 

The affair did, however, leak out by some means, and I 
am sure that Page never told it. 

At last we saw a light which we supposed to be in the 
direction of camp ; and toward it we bent our steps, striking 
across ihe common, stumbling and falling over dead horses, 
stumps, and logs, and running bump ^gainst trees, fences, 
and banks, and now and then stepping into a deep gulley 
with such abruptness that it threatened to jerk our hstns 

With sore shins, bumped heads, and scratched hands and 
faces, we at last reached the light, which, to our unutterable 
woe, proved to be a light placed upon an earthwork half a 
mile from camp. Almost in despair, we turned in the true 
direction of camp, which we finally reached after many a fell 
over various obstacles, and many a tap on the shins and head. 
We then retired, and were soon wrapped in slumber — dream- 
ing, the while, of confused and intermingled heaps of oysters, 
dead horses, counterfeit notes, dark nights, railroads, and 
ditches of muddy water. 

Several weeks passed away. A new order was issued, 
stating that the programme of military operations was 
changed — that we were not to embark after all — that we 
were to take the over-land route via Manassas and Catlett sta- . 
tion, and join McDowell in his movements upon Fredericks- 
burg. The order was iaaued on Sunday ; it stated that we 



Bbould move on the following Tuesday. The First Brigade 
was to go as far as Manassas, by railroad ; the Second and 
Third were to march* I do n^t know why this distinction 
was made ; feeling satisfied that we were to ride, I did not 
investigate the matter. 

..j^hen the border had become patent, Watty and Ed. Mor- 
gan — ^two of OUR BOYS — sought me out, and one of them 
usked — 

" Haven't you been at Mount Vernon ?" 

"Yes," I replied; "I was there in February." 

" Then you know the road ?" 

"I flatter myself that I do." 

" Well, we would like to go ; to-morrow will be our last 
[)pport!lnity, as we are to leave on Tuesday ; will you accom- 
pany us?" 

" Yes, if it don't rain." 

" Well, we'll be ready ; we'll start after breakfast." 

" I suppose so ; I wouldn't like to start before." 

Next morning, having partaken of our morning meal, we 
started for Mount Vernon. I felt that a second visit would 
be interesting — nay, a hundred visits to that consecrated spot 
would not weary me. 

Without misnap we reached the grounds. The day was 
cool and the sky cloudy ; the indications were for snow. 

As we entered the grounds, the little notice which I have for- 
merly mentioned attracted the notice of Ed. and Watty, viz : 
■ "All persons visiting Mount Vernon are requested to pay 
an entrance fee of twenty-five cents : By order of the Asso- 

"What will we do? We have no money!" exclaimed 
oth in a breath. 

" That arrangement isn't in force now," I replied. 

" Oh. isn't it ?" they said, much relieved. 

We soon entered the lawn. Here we met a well-dressed 
gentleman, who appeared to be a kind of proprietor. 

" How do you do, sir?" said Ed. 

" How are you ?" was the reply. 

"A fine (iay," remarked Ed. • 

" Beautiful," agreed the man ; although for the life of xna 

220 OUB BOTB. 

I couldn^t see how the day could be thought either fine or 

" I believe you have stopped charging entrance fees, have 
you not?" 

" Yes, we did stop it on account of the war; but now thai 
the place is out of all danger from rebels we harte <M>mmenced 
it again." 

"You have I" 


" But we— we— " 

" This fee is not required of persons merely visiting the 
grounds; but if visitors wish to be conducted through the 
gardens and buildings, they must pay their quarter." 

"Oh, that's the way?" • 

" Yes, that's the arrangement." 

After walking around the dwelling-house three or four 
times, we visited the tomb,, also the old vault,* then we re- 
turned to the lawn. 

" I wish we had some money ; I would like to have a look 
into the gardens, green-houses, and cottage," said Ed. 

"Yes — confound it," said Watty, "I wish we had been 
paid ; just think how much good a dollar would do us now.** 

" There comes a carriage I" said I ; for 1 saw one approach- 
ing at that moment. 

" Some visitors, I suppose," suggested Ed. 

The carriage drew up at the entrance of the lawn, and an 
old gentleman, two young ladies, a well-dressed young gen- 
tleman, and a lad of the age of 'twelve, emerged from it 

" What a country this is," remarked one of the ladies. 

" Not much like Jersey," said the. other ; which led me to 
suppose that the visitors were from the State of New Jersey. 

" Is that the Potomac ?" asked the boy. 

" Certainly ; haven't you studied your geography enough 
to know that ?" replied one of the ladies. 

The proprietor of the premises now approached the party 

* The remains of Washington were at first interred in a temporafyTanlt 
—a kind of cavern in, the hillside ; they were afterward removed to tlw 
spot I have described as his tomb. It is said that it w$9 his request to be 
Varied in the latt 


»nd introduced himself as the man who "tended to things 
there." The old gentleman informed the proprietor that 
thej had come to visit Mount Veruon, and he expressed a 
desire to be conducted over the premises, wishing to^^know 
how much he snould pay for the party. The proprietor 
counted them three or four times, when, having ascertained 
that they were five in number, he informed the old gentle- 
man that it would be a dollar and a quarter, he believed. 
The old gentleman paid it cheerfully, and the receiver pro- 
ceeded to conduct the party from spot to spot, explaining 
many things as he went. 

" That old fellow has plenty of money, no doubt," suggested 
Ed, thoughtfully. 

"Yes, Ed," I replied ; "now that I come to think of it, I 
wonder whether that kind-looking old gent wouldn't give us 
a dollar to pay our fees ?" 

" I suppose he would ; but I wouldn't like to ask him," Ed 


" Oh, I wouldn't like, you know — " 

"Pooh, that would be nothing 1 We are soldiers, you 

"Yes, I know; but—" 

" Well, it's hothing for a soldier to be out of money." 

"Yes, but— " 

" €!ome, now, suppose you go and ask him politely — " 

' Tou go." • 

"I would, but I have not the gift of loquacitv that you 
have," said I, flatteringly. 

" Yes, you have," said Ed, faintly. 

" No, I haven't, you know. Now you go and ask him — ^you 
can do it just right; he won't like to refuse you in the pre- 
sence of those ladies. Won't you have him nicely ? Ha, ha !" 
And I laughed at the idea. 

"That'^the thing!" put in Watty. 

" CeBtainly 1 He'll do it," said I, confidently. 

"I believe I— I— will," said Ed. 

"Of course," I urged; '*go on; then we can go into the 
houses and see all those things of which WQ havQ keaxd «a<i 

222 OUR BOT& 

read so much/' At the same time /didn't remember that I 
had ever heard a word as to what was within the house. Nir 
had Ed ; but he didn't like to say so, lest I should think him 
anything but well-informed. He was'a printer by profession. 

At that moment the party approached ftie spot where we 
stood ; they were escorted by the proprietor, who, as their 
** twenty-five centses" were all paid, was using all the language 
he coufd command, to explain " this and that." 

" This," said he, pointing to a lynn tree, " is a tree which 
General Washington planted with his own hands." 

" Indeed !" ef claimed both ladies, in a breath ; while the 
old gentleman said : — 
-"Well, now." 

" Then the tree must be a hundred years old, ' reasoned, 
the-young man. Certainly, he was none of the brightest. 

*'t)h, no, it does not follow," said the obliging conductor; 
" General Washington has not been dead much more than 
half that time, you know." 

" Y — ^ye — ^yes — I know," stammered the young man, in a 
tone that signified unmistakably that he didnH know — any- 
thing about it. 

" Will you now walk inta the house ?" asked the civil 

" If you please," said all .but the young man, who was evi- 
dently ruminating on the 'pfece of information he had just 

"Now is y^ur time, Ed," said I. 

" With desperate firmness, Ed approached the party as 
they were moving leisurely toward the cottage. 

" How are — ho.w do you — good m — day," said Ed, to 
begin with. 

Perceiving that Ed was a soldier, the old gentleman nodded 
pleasantly, and the young ladies smiled sweetly ; the young 
gentleman stared at him with a look of curiosity, while the 
lad of twelve gazed wii-tfuUy at the row of bright buttons on 
his soldier coat. Ed then stammered forth : — 

"Would you be kind enough — eh — ah — a — we came— 
I — we have come — we have — have — ^no — money, and — and 
we didn't see — we couldn't see — I— we — " 


*• Exactly. You have no money to pay your fees, and you 
would like to see the sights," interrupted the old gentleman, 
coming to Ed's relief; for he might have been stammering 
away yet. ^ 

" N — or, yes, sir ; that's — ^it," sa^d Ed, timidly. 

" Well, well," said the old gentleman, kindly, " it* would be 
a pity if you were obliged to go back without seeing all." 
And he handed Ed a dollar-bill. ^. . 

" Thank you !" exclaimed Ed, gratefully. 

" Oh, it's a small matter," said the did gentl^^n carelessly. 
No doubt it was a small matter with him; «ut with us it 
was a very large matter. 

We now paid our fees, and had a quarter left. We were 
conducted into the house, where many interesting sights met 
our eyes. Among other things, we saw a ponderous iron 
key, which, we were told, was once the key of the Basti^^in 
which La Fayette was confined. After the destruction of 
the prison, the key was presented to Washington by the 
former. We were also Conducted through the gardens and 
green-houses, where we saw many things that were attrac- 
tive and interesting. 

It was two o'clock when weltook our departui^. Snow 
was already beginning. to fall, sftid by the time we reached 
Alexandria it was storming, b^|pfcering, and snowing at a 
great rate. 

On reaching that place we thought that, as we felt gold 
and uncomfortable in consequence of exposure to the weather, 
it would be no harm to step into an establishment where 
"something" was vended on the sly, and invest our quarter 
in that line. We did so, and had just tossed off our glasses, 
when the door was abruptly opened, and a pa*rol-party, 
consisting of a sergeant and six men, unceremoniously en- 
tered. • . 

" How is this ?" demanded the sergeant of the affrighted 

The barkeeper couldn't tell him how it was ; therefore he 
said nothing, but looked volumes. 

" Ts whiskey kept here ?" demanded the sergeant. 

" Nc — ^yei^— no — I guess I have some— -in tho !iovi^^, W\ 

224 0U& BOYS. 

I don^t sell nobody none — upon mj soul I don't !^ and he 
looked earnestly innocent. 

'* My friend, I have orders to destroy all the liquors I find; 
I am sorry, too," said the sergeant^ sympathetically. 

" But I don't do no ha^m with it ; I don't sell none to no 
soldiers, I keep it for my own use," said the man of whiskey 

The sergeant hesitated. Presently he turned to me and 

" Does he sell liquor, or not ?" 

" I didn't see him sell none," I replied ; and to quiet my 
conscience I thought of a rule in "Kirkham's Grammar;" it 
says : " Two negatives destroy one another, and are generally 
equivalent to an affirmative." 

The sergeant then, in mercy, told the dealer-in-something; 
that he wouldn't pour out his whiskey thcU time; and, urging ' 
upon the now relieved Alexandrian the importance of bebg 
careful not to sell any to soldiers^ he departed. The barkeeper 
promised to "be careful," and as th6 footsteps of the patrol 
died awav along the street, he heaved an eloquent sigh of 
relief, and humbly said — 

"Dear me I" 



The storm continued all night ; and when morninff cam^ 
the snow obligingly turned into a driving sleet. Tnia wM 
very unpleasant, as it was the day fixed upon for our removal 
to Manassas. With soldierly fortitude, we packed our knap- 
sacks, buckled on our accoutrements, and stood in line, ex- 
posed to the cruel storm. The sleet, driven by the keen win4 
charged savagely into our faces. Though it was now about 
the beginning of Apxi\, lYie ^to^m ^^ a& bitter a one as w» 


lad experienced during the winter. While standing in line, 
.waiting the order to move, Lieutenant-Colonel Oliphant 
ode out in front of us and said — 

" Now, boys, talk about your old revolutionary fathers ; 
re, too, can suffer for our country — can't we, boys ?" 

A cheer arose, though it was ^imost drowned by the voice 
f the storm. 

Soon after, the brigade was formed and we moved off. We 
oarched to a point on the Orange and Alexandria railroad, 
kbout two miles from Alexandria ; here we were to take the 
tars. Why this place was selected as the place of embarka- 
ion insteaa of the city itself I have never been able to sur- 
oise. Be that as it may, when we arrived at the place, no 
ndn of cars had yet come ; and there we stood, shoe-mouth 
ioep in mud — the cold wind cutting us keenly — the sharp 
fleet beating mercilessly upon us. An hour thus passed away. 
A. train did come at last ; but several regiments were to em- 
bark before us ; and still we were left standing in the mud. 
The first train held only half a regiment. Another train came 
—another and another ; still ours did not come. Thus, hour 
•fter hour passed away, and there we stood the blessed day, 
in that most disagreeable of storms — it lasted the whole day 
•^waiting impatiently for the train which was to take its — 
which, however, didn't arrive at all that day. 

When night came, we saw that there was no probability 
rf our getting to Manassas before the next day ; and we took 
ip our abode for the night, within some old dilapidated build- 
ngs which stood a quarter of a mile • distant. The sleet 
^nich had continued to descend during the whole day, now 
Si^dually slackened, and a snow-storm graciously consented 
o take its place ; and four or five inches of snow fell during 
be night 

The greater part of another day was occupied in waiting 
oi a train. At last, near evening, a train did come, arid we 
^©ip soon aboard. The train moved very slowly, and stopped 
'^ry often ; so that it must have been near midnight when it 
^*Qached Manassas. As it was to stand till morning, we re- 
^Uined in the cars all night, nearly freezing by the operation , 
Or it was very cold^ and the cars were otA^ coTomciXi i\€\^^ 

226 ouB Bors. 

cars, offering every facility to the entrance of the keen air. 
The night was clear, sharp, and frosty. When morning came^ ' 
we got out of the cars and mored to a neighboring wood, 
where we scraped the snow from the ground in places, and 
pitched our fragile tents. 

After our tent was erected, I took a stroll among some of 
the old cabins which had constituted the winter quarters of 
the rebels ; I found many relics of the past winter in the 
shape of broken bottles, Bichmond newspapers, etc. In od6 ^ 
of the buildings I found an envelope which had once con- 
tained a letter. It was addressed : — 

" Captain Edgab Covington, 

" Thirty-eighth Virginia Begiment, 

'' Manassas.'' 

It was a fancy envelope; on it were a five-cent rebel 
stamp, a picture of the rebel flag, and the following patiiotio 
verse — 

" On, on to the rescue I the vandals are coming ! 
Go, meet them with bajonet, sabre, and ppear I 
Drive them back to the desolato land they are leaving— 
Go, trusting in God — 70a have nothing to fear !" 

I inclosed this interesting little relic in a letter and sent it 

I saw many beautiful sentiments on the walls of some of • 
the cabins, written with pencil ; one of the most poetical wtf 
this : — 

" You d — d Yankee cusses I These quarters are only len* 
to you ; weHl be back." 

Now, I would about as soon have believed that Lord Corn' 
wallis with his army would come back to this country, as© 
suppose, for an instant, that the rebels would ever retnmto 
Manassas. How erring is human judgment. 

I returned to our camp and discovered that, from aofl* 
source, a considerable quantity of spirits had made its ipj 
among the boys. Upon inquiring *' whence such great goot 
fortune," I was informed that a train of cars laden iriA 
whiskey, bound for- Banks' Division, via Manassas Ghip^ bli 
broken down justToeyoxid \)[i^'y\\i<i\xoT^%x^4t^ cub BOYBltfi 


eked over, and unhesitatingly appropriated said whiskey to 

nr own use. Scarcely a man was there who had not his 

iteen full ; the most ot the boys had already become inebri- * 

\d, and were making an unwarrantable amount of noise. 

le first one whom I met on entering camp was James Hare, 

quire. He had his canteen full, and seven bottles full, 

sides; the latter having been the property of a sutler, 

rich was also aboard the fated train. 

" T — ^t — t (hic)ake a horn," said Hare, to me ; and he pre- 

ited his canteen. 

" Well, Hare, as it is a cold morning, and my feet are wet, 

would not be polite to refuse," I replied. 

The mouth of the canteen met mine, and — I'll noc say what 

Jf ext, I met Haman ; he, too, had a canteenful. 
"Come, old boy, take a drink," he said; and he held his 
Qteen toward me, invitingly. 
'*I just had a drink," said I. 
"Well, that makes no difference." 
** But I am afraid it will make a difference,'' • 
"No, nol Nonsense! Take a drmk." 
'All right, I will this time ; but I won't drink any more 
•day." I took the cante6n into my hand — our mouths met 
once more I placed myself outside a quantity of the allur- 
g contents. 

Beader, perhaps you are an advocate of the temperance 
inse ; I hope you are — I am. But I beg you will not cen- 
ire me for drinking on this occasion, i ou may be a civil- 
n— a lady, perhaps — and you don't know how a man feels 
hen exposed to the inclemency o£the weather— his feet wet 
id cold— ^his clothes damp, and a chill wind penetrating 
lem! Under circumstances like these "something," dear 
ader, is of inconceivable service, warming one up, and 
aking one feel good generally. 

Well, every man whom I met insisted that I should drink 
Etfa him "just thU once." In vain I protested — " thank you. 
It — " I must drink; 'twouldn't be soldier-like to refuse. 
'dl, I did drink ; first, a few times ; then, a number <sC 
aes; and, finaUj, quite often-; and at \a«^ 1 ^^Ni \X» \it^- 

228 oub'boys. 

digiously. Before the close of that eventful day there mxf 
possibly have been ten sober men remaining in the regiment; 
•out I doubt it. 

At four o'clock in the evening, an order was issued, re* 
quiring the commander of each company to inspect the arms 
of the men under him. Captain Conner, being unwell, ordered 
Lieutenant Moth to inspect the arms of our company. 

" Fall (hie) in er line, bo-hoys — comperny xpection," said 
Lieutenant Moth, who was about as " tight " as anybody. 

We did fall in, some in the most literal sense — ^then such a 
line I but few were sober enough to stand still ; some faced 
the wrong way ; some carried the musket on the wrobg 
shoulder ; and when the order — " prepare for inspection " was 
given, some inserted in their muskets the wrong Bnd of the 
rammer. One Fred Dabbit, a Dutchman, had his cartridge- 
box on up-side-down. Strange as it may seem, IfeuteoADt 
Moth discovered jthe fact, and said : — 

" You— you Dabbit (hie), look at er carrige-box." 

Fred turned his head first to the right, then to the left; 
vainly emdeavoring to fix his eyes upon the article men- 
tionea. Failing, he saia : — 

" I, no (hie) kin see te tam ting." 

" 1st wrong-side-out I^'exclaimed Lieutenant Moth, indig- 

" It tam not so !" said Fred, stoutly. 

"What! (hie) yer talk to — I order — yer — arrest you I" 
blustered Lieutenant Moth. 

" I care (hie) not tam," said Fred. 

" Take 'm Vt guard-house," said Lieutenant Moth, deci- 
dedly, addressing a couple of our boys. 

The two addressed took Fred in charge, and the three 
staggered off together — they didn't know in what direction 
— and they- soon became separated from each other, and 
didn't find any guard-house. 

Now it so happened that Lieutenant Moth had, from oor 
earliest acquaintance, formed an unaccoufltable dislike for 
me. I could always see it sticking out ; but as I generaflf 
did my duty, he had never yet seen an opportunity to exteM 
bis ennutuutihex t^vtm m^x^ \!bi\^\xi%. But what if in a 


»ian when he is sober, will develop itself when he is drunk. 
Aoeordingly, my gun not being very clean — in fact, no- 
body's was just then — he examined it, and said :— 
- - " Your gun (hie) dirty as h — 11." 

: I politely replied, that if the place he mentioned were not 
dirtier than my gun, it had been frightfully misrepresented. 

" What I I — er — (hie) order — er — under — er — est !" And 
lie passed on. He- meant that then and there he ordered me 
under arrest ; but he forgot it in less than two minutes. 
. The inspection over, a series of fights came next on the 
programme. Hare and Fred Dabbit commenced these pro- 
ceedings, and pitched into each other furiously. Fred was 
much the largest, but so awkward that, in striking at Hkre, 
he missed him and struck a tree that stood near, falling to 
the ground in the operation. Hare fell down upon him, and 
quite a hair-pulling followed. Presently they arose. Hare 
seized a musket — the bayonet was fixed — and was on the 
point of thrusting a hole in Fred, when I luckily knocked it 

" You (hie) — tam cuss I" exclaimed Fred. 

" You (hie) 1—1— lubberly— d—d— (hie) Dutchman I" said 

A war of words thus began, was carried on — Hare stutter- 
ing and stammering — Fred swearing in Dutch. It was cer- 
tainly amusing. 

A number of similar rows ensued— there must have been 
fifty. It would be tiresome both to the reader and the 
writer were I to describe them ; and I will desist. 

Next morning I made the discovery that I didn't feel 
well — a discovery that a man is apt to make after drinking 
too much bad whiskey. For it was bad whiskey which we 
had been drinking— "fighting whiskey" — "crazy whiskey." 
My head "ached; my appetite was gone; and as the day 
wore away, I "got no better much faster," as the Dutchman 

In a day or two I had become so weak as to be scarcely 
able to walk. As I was unable for duty, I found myself 
obliged to enter the " sick list" — to place myself under the 
doctor's care. I was loth to do it, too*, &t \\, \i^»& ^n^\ 'Vk'^^^ 

280 OUR BOYS. 

my opinioD that a man is no better than a dead man whea 
placed uilder the hands of almost any of our army surgeona 
This is startling, but it is true. An ordinary army surgeon 
can, by a course of treatment, bring the stoutest man Xo the 
grave ; and they seldom fail to do it. 

I entered the sick list and went to the head-surgeon of our 
regiment; he felt my pulse, looked at my -tongue, and, after 
duly considering my case, ordered a dose of quinine to be 

It is a remarkable fact that most of our army surgeons 
invariably prescribe quinine for all diseases. If a soldier 
afflicted with the toothache appears before the surgeon, he will 
givrf him quinine; if afflicted with' the headache, quinine is 
prescribed ; if with fever, quinine ; if with bad eold, quinine; 
if with consumption or bronchial affection, quinine ; if with 
chills, quinine ; if the patient have a pain in the toe, quinine 
is administered ; if affected in the cranium, quinine is at once 
ordered and prescribed, as being the surest remedy for that 
particular disease. 

The wounded are treated in a similar manner; amputation 
taking the place of quinine. If a soldier be wounded in the 
foot, amputation follows " to save the poor fellow's life ;" if 
the wound be in the leg pr thigh, amputation is at once re- 
sorted to ; if the wound be 'in the hand, amputation is decided 
to be the only remedy; if in the arm, amputation follows 
immediately ; if in the head, the surgeon ruminates a long 
while, and at last decides that, although amputation is the 
only remedy, the "poor fellow," in his "weak condition," 
would scarcely survive the operation, and might as well be 
laid aside to die at his leisure ; the consequence is the head 
is left on, much to the delight of the mutilated one, who is 
happy to get off from an array surgeon with his head. H 
certainly is fortunate. 

We had been at Manassas a week, when we received or- 
ders to move to Catlett Station, on the Orange and Alexandria 
railroad, twelve miles from Manassas. I was too weak to 
walk, and was accordingly placed in a vehicle known as a 
"one-horse ambulance." This was my first ride in an am- 
bulance ; and, oh, how devoutly I prayed that it might be 


llie last I •For, oh. such a ride ! I veriJy believe that a vehi- 
cle worse adapted to the transportation of sick and wounded 
soldiers could not be invented. Whenever the wheels came 
ia contact with the slightest obstacle, the ambulance would 
rock, and jump, and spring, and surge, and shake, and quake 
in a frightful manner. Once, I remember, the wheel went 
suddenly into a gutter, and the body of the ambulanc#gave 
Bnch a fearful leap, that it threw the driver from his seat, and 
he came down in the mud with a startling grunt. As for 
me^ there I lay within that miserable contrivance, jostled 
from side to side, my head knocking violently against the* 
frame- work at every revolution of the wheels, while I won- , 
dered how it would gC) to ride in such a jumping, jolting 
affiair with a broken arm or leg. 

After being knocked about in the mj^nner described for 
some hours, I wa« at last *set down at Catlett Station, near 
the camp of my regiment, which had already arrived. My 
messmates manifested the greatest kindness and attention, 
looking after my accoutrements (which were in the baggage- 
wagons), and making every effort to procure soAething for 
me to eat. Captain Conner, too, seemed much interested in 
my behalf, suggesting that, as our division would probably 
have some marching to do during the coming week, I had 
better return to Washington and enter a hospital. I shud- 
dered as the captain pronounced the word " hospital," and I 
firmly refused U> return, stating that I would as soon think 
of stepping out into a field and allowing the whole regiment 
to fire at me with buck-and-ball, at a distance of thirty paces ; 
that I considered a man just the same as dead the moment 
lie set foot in a hospital ; that I considered our army surgeons 
an organized band of scientific murderers ; and so they are. 

Three days after our arrival at Catlett Station, I began to 
j-ecover, and I went straight to the doctor and requested him 
to erase my cognomen from the sick-list at once.' He did so, 
and I speedily recovered my wonted health. I was soon 
able for duty again. How thankful I felt as I found myself 
dipuldering my musket once more ; for I fully understood 
what fearful peril I had passed through in being placed 
under the doctor's hand. 

282 OUB BOYS. 

' One day — I was just myself again — ^I was sitting within * 
our low tent, when, looking out upon the field in front of our 
camp, I descried a small inclosure of some kind, around which 
were planted a profusion of green pines and bushes. They 
seemed to have been but recently planted, for I could see 
fresh soil about the roots. I at once jumped to the conclu- 
sion Ihat a soldier was interred there. No doubt, a soldier 
belonging to some regiment of McDowell's corps, which had 
passed that way a few weeks previously. I grew sentimental. 
[I am a poet]. The soldier's grave — what a- beautiful 
subject ! Surely, I must write a poem on the subject^ and 
send it to one of our papers in Brownsville. "The soldier's 
grave." Ah, that was a beautiful theme ! What an oppor- 
tunity for the development of my peculiar faculties ! , I luould 
write a few verses— ^that I would. But would it not be better 
to go to the immediate spot and write ? Would not inspira- 
tion come to my aid while I should sit or stand near—lean 
upon the railing, perhaps ? Yes, I would get my portfoiio 
aud repair to the solemn spot. I took my portfolio from my 
knapsack, ^d walked toward the inclosure. As I walked, I 
thought of the one who, no doubt, lay buried there. My 
imagination grew active. I thought of the disconsolate ones 
at home ; I pictured to myself a once-happy wife, now a heart- 
broken widow ; I pictured an orphan child — a rosy-cheeked 
boy ; I pictured a weeping mother — a brother — a sister— a 
father. Ob, cruel war ! Already, as I walked along, port- 
folio in hand, I began to put my ideas together in the shape 
of a verse. A moment, and I had it constructed. I could 
scarcely wait till I should arrive at the spot, that I might sit 
down and transfer my thoughts to paper. I reached the 
spot, walked through the bushes, and leaned upon the railing. 
Oh ! My brain reeled I Header, there was no soldier's grave 
there I — merely a rough calf-pen belonging to a farmer who 
resided near. * Yes ; and as I gazed in, a solitary calf looked 
up, exhibited the white of its eyes, and greeted mo witb a — 
" ba — aw — aw," that is ringing in my ears yet. How hastily 
sentiment fled from me then I The verse which I had already 
composed was gone like a flash ; and to this day I have never 
been able to recall it. How I did " put" for camp 1 


As I entered our company street, I met Jim Rider, who 
laked me whether I had been out writing a letter. 

" I tvas going to write several letters,''^ I replied, " but I 
believe I won't now^ . 

I forgot to state that, on our entering camp at CatletlTSta- 
tion, our mess split — Sergeants Cue and Graham, and Galvesti 
leaving us and going into other messes. Thus, we were now 
but six m number. 

We had remained at Catlett Station a week, when we re- 
Beived marching orders ; we packed up, and broke up camp. 
We supposed that we were to move toward Fredericksburg. 
A. skirmish had lately occurred in that direction between the 
Pirst Cavalry and a small rebel force. We learned that 
Fredericksburg was now occupied by our troops — that the 
rebels had abandoned it. 

^he division formed, we moved oflF. We left the railroad 
o our right, and marched due south, striking across the 
jountry toward Fredericksburg, which was about thirty 
niles distant. 



It was near evening when we started, so that only a few 
niles were marched on the first day. As the shadows of 
light began to veil the earth, we bivouacked on the grassy 
3anks of a clear winding stream. It was now about the last 
)f April, and the weather was pleasant and attractive. Vege- 
»tion now, at spring's early breath, was just springing itito 
ife. Fruit-trees were covered with blossoms; the maple 
Tee and the oak were putting forth their tender leaves; 
mllions of blades of grass were rising up, and crowding and 
;hronging together over the wide fields. 

We constructed our tents in a temporary manner, to pro- 
ect us from the dew of the night •, we pte^BH^^ oxsct «s«^^'5i*^ 

284 OUR BOYS. 

repast, making our cofifee of the pure water from " the brook 
that bubbled by." This done, we wrapped our blankets 
about us, lay down beneath our shelters, and sought repose. 
— Not all. Here and there, within some low tent, a solitary 
lighf, like some secluded star, glimmers merrily, casting its 
coveted rays upon a portfolio which lies before a soldier ; a 
sheet of paper is laid thereon, and the soldier's pen, now 
taking sudden starts, now resting in. its course, scratches its 
way across, to convey some passing thought— some little 
story of adventure, to a Ear-oflf home. Such is a brief picture 
of " The soldier writing Home." Draw near him, reader ; the 
night is dark, and he will not see you ; his thoughts, too, are 
far away — he is talking to his friends at home now. Now 
the pen stops — his hand rests. See him sit awhile in rumi- 
nation. Listen ! " Let me see," he mutters — " what else shall 
I tell ?" His face turns away from the paper, and his eves 
in vain endeavor to pierce the outward gloom. A moment 
all is quiet — all still. Suddenly he starts — he smiles. "Ah, 
I'll write that I" he exclaims, as some little incident of camp 
life, or something relative to the march or bivouac, suddenly 
occurs to his memory. His eyes turn upon the paper ; again 
his pen moves right busily, till the little item is transferred 
to the paper. Then he stops again. Again his face grows 
thoughtful, and he sits in rumination. Another thought 
occurs, and his pen moves again. "Now," he murmurs, 
" I've told all," At last he has finished ; he folds his letter, 
places it within a yellow stamped envelope, writes the address, 
closes his portfolio — the light vanishes, and we can see no 

As the gray of morning hung over the eastern landscape, 
we moved slowly on — toward the south. About noon we 
reached White Ridge, eighteen miles north of Falmouth. 
Here we filed off into a green field, and, being tpld that we 
should remain till the following momiijg, pitched our narrow 
tents. This done, the boys might be seen striking out in all 
directions in quest of eggs, chickens, potatoes, 'etc. ; some 
intending to buy (for we had been paid while at Manassas), 
others to steal. In company of Dave Malone, a good young 
fellow of our company, I walked out the main road a quarter 


of a mile, and called at a farmer^s house. The farmer, a tall 
Virginian, was standing at the door, and he gazed upon us 
with an impudent stare. 

** Can you ^11 us a dozen eggs ?" I asked. 

'* Yes," was the brief reply. 

He entered the house, and presently reappeared — hat in 
band, eg^s in hat. 

"How much are they worth?" 

" Forty cents." 

We produced a green -back. 

" I can't take that," said he. 

At this juncture General Eeynolds rode up, accompanied 
by his stafl^ and halted opposite us. Our parley went on — 

" Surely, you'll take this monev, my friend," I urged. 

"Surely,! won't." 

" But this is the only money we have." 

" Don't care ; won't take it, nor any d — d stuff like it." 

" What would you take ?" 

" Cpnfederate script." 

"No doubt you would; but it so happens that we don't 
deal in that stuff." 

" Well, that's the only kind I take." 

"You appear to have great confidence in your Confede- 

"J have ; and I think that in six months your government 
«t Washington will go to smash, and your green trash won't 
be worth a snap ; and I'll be glad of it." 

"Ah? Judging by your 'gab/ one would be led to sup- 
pose that you, among the rest^ have deserted the flag of your 

" D— n the flag I It's a rag." 

At this interesting point General Eeynolds, who had thu 
fiir quietly listened to the conversation, interrupted — 

"Sir, I'll trouble you to go with me." 

"Go with you?" 

"Yes; come along." 

" Who are you ?" 

" I am General Eeynolds, of the Federal Army." 

"Idon'tcare^I— " 

286 OUB BOTS. 

" Come on, sir ; you are my prisoner." 

"But you—" 

"Are you not coming? Do you wish me to resort to 
force ?" and General Beynolds glanced significantly at the 
revolver he wore in his belt. 

Tlie " secesh" hesitated. 

"Are you coming?" demanded Reynolds. • 

" N — yes !" he exclaimed, as he saw the general's hand 
move t(jward his revolver. 

Leaving the eggs in care of a woman who had now joined 
him at the door, the affrighted Virginian followed Eeynoldfl 
who led the way toward camp. 

" Wliere are you going to take me to ?" he asked. 

" I am going to take you to camp, put a guard over you, 
and keep you there till you take the oath of allegiance to 
your country," replied the general, unhesitatingly. 

" You don't mean — " 

"Indeed I do mean." 

The disconsolate Virginian was conducted to camp and 
placed under guard. He stubbornly refused to take the oath, 
and even swore he wouldn't take it, till the gloom of night 
began to gather over camp, when, finding that he should be 
obliged to sleep on the ground, or else not sleep at all, his 
resolution, firmness, and determination fizzled gallantly out^ 
and he told one of the boys to go and tell General Reynolds 
that he would — or no he woul(ki't — ^yes he- would, too ; oh, 
dear — take the — oh, no — yes— oath. It was administered, 
and he was allowed to depart. 

Now, after seeing the fiery Virginian arrested and marched 
toward camp by General Reynolds, Dave and I concluded 
to walk further and call at some other house. After walking 
some distance along the road, we concluded to leave the road 
and stl'ike across the fields. We did so, and after a walk 
of half a mile found ourselves at the door of a picturesque 
mansion surrounded by tall green trees. Thinking to ml 
in and try to procure dinner, we knocked at the door. We 
did so several times before there Was any response. At last 
the door was opened by a pleasant woman of fifty. 


*'Can you accommodate us with dinner T' I asked, after 
the compliments of the day had passed. 

" Walk in— I will try," was the reply, 

We did so, and were ushered into a commonly -furnished 

" Is your husband at home ?" I asked. 

''No," she unhesitatingly replied; "he is in the army." 

"Ah? The— the— " 

" The Confederate Army — you call it the rebel armyy 
. " I perceive that you do not hide the truth. A great many 
rf the ladies of these parts, on being asked where their hus- 
bands are, say they have none — that they are widows." 

"Some may say so; but I do not wish to disguise the 
truth. I am what you call a secessionist ; my husband and 
only son are in the army of the Southern Confederacy. It 
is nothing to be ashamed of; we believe our cause is just." 

" I suppose that it would be useless to argue the point with 
you; I could never convince you that your husband and son 
are fighting in an unjust cause." 

" I^houlcf be. sorry to say that I am not open to conviction ; 
yet I am sure you could never convince me. To what divi- 
sion of the Federal Army do you belong?" 
.." McCall's Division — the Pennsylvania Reserves." 

" What, they who fought at Drainesville ?" 

" The same," said I, smiling. 

The lady now busied herself about preparing dinner, and 
jii^hen it was ready we sat down. We were treated to a very 
satisfactory repast, during which- the meritaof the war were 
discussed with some warmth. Our entertainer was very 
intelligent, and she defended the cause of the South with 
great enthusiasm. Dinner over, Dave suggested that we 
should return to camp. When we offered remuneration for 
the hospitality we had received, the old lady said — 

" No ; I ask nothing ; I fed our own soldiers when they 
were here ; I have plenty, I will give even to our enemiQ3 
as long as I can." 

"You afe very kind, madam," said I "but I would much 

288 OUR BOYS. 

"No," she interrupted, "1 wish no pay; one never loses 
anything by being hospitable." ^ 

" I hope I may never meet your husband or son in battle." 

"I hope not." 

We bade the hostess good-day, and departed. I felt some- 
what stung that I had partaken of the hospitalities of one 
whose soil I was invading. 

On the following morning we were again in motion. This 
day we travelled the remaining eighteen miles, and halted 
in a grove near Falmouth. 

During this day's march, Dave Winder, seeing a farmer's 
house a little way from the road, climbed over the fence and 
visited a ^ring which he found a little way beyond. Having 
filled his canteen, he returned to the road. While scaling 
the fence, he was just in the act of telling some of the boys 
that a man over at that house had ten barrels of the best 
" old rye," and was giving it away to the soldiers by the 
quart, when he (Winder) lost his balance, fell from the fence, 
and broke his leg. He was placed in an ^.mbalance, conveyed 
to a hospital, afterward discharged, and I saw him no more. 

The wood in which we bivouacked was a little way from 
Falmouth; and, as yet, we had seen neither that village nor 
Fredericksburg. Next morning we were told that we were 
to remove to a permanent camping-ground, and that we 
should pass through Falmouth on our way. We were anxious 
to see it, for we wondered what manner of place it was. 

While sitting on the trunk of a fallen tree, " taking coffee," • 
I heard a muss; I turned in the direction, and saw Jack 
Burke and Dave Adams—" at it." In order to explain the 
cause of their hostility, I must go back a little. 

For a month past Jack and Dave had been on terms of 
the closest intimacy ; so much so, in fact, that they were in 
the habit of carrying on sarcastic dialogues, and applying all 
kinds of epithets to each other — just for fun. For instance : 
Dave being rather dark-complected, Jack often called him a 
" nigger" in a joking way ; and Jack's complexion being on 
tTie " sandy," and he a native of the Emerald Isle, JAve gene- 
rally termed him a " red-headed Irishman." Now this was 
all m fun — no harm meant by it ; but as "familiarity breeds 


oontempt/' I prophesied that a fight would one day be the 
result ; and my prophecy was fulfilled on this occasion. Jack 
chanced to be. on the morning in question, attacked with a 
fit of ill-humor, and wasn't in for foolishness. 

'• What's the matter with you this morning ?" asked Dave. 

" Don't ye bother me," replied Jack, pettishly. 

"Oho," said Dave, "I know; you couldn't stand the 
march yesterday, and — " 

" I till ye it's foolin' I don't want now," interrupted Jack, 

" Come, now, my red-headed Irish pratie-machine," Dave 
remonstrated, " you wouldn't snap a feller off that way, would 

" Ye d — d nagur I I'll snap the divil out o' ye I" 

" Oh, no, old sorrel-top, you wouldn't do that, now ; for you 

" Blast the bloody eyes o' ye 1" interrupted Jack, rushing 
furiously upon Dave. 

It was at this juncture that I looked around, as above 
stated, and saw them ** at work." For a few seconds they 
stood blurting away at each other ; but presently, as though 
tired of standing, they lay down to it, Dave taking care to lie 
down first — and he did it with great energy ; Jack followed 
him to the earth, and began to " pelt" him furiously. Dave 
endeavored to pelt Jack in return, but he discovered that 
striking upward was np-hill work, and he couldn't inflict a 
bit of violence on the person of Jack. That gentleman, at 
last^ having pounded Dave to his heart's content, reluctantly 
arose, almost breathless, and exclaimed: — 

'•To the divil wi' ye r 

This was very uncharitable of Jack — after almost pound- 
ing the life out of Dave, to consign him to so unsympathizing 
a personage as the one mentioned. 

• " 111 go right and tell the captain I" screamed Dave, arising 
from his hori:&ontal position to a reclining one. 

He certainly presented an interesting picture-rhis face 
green with rage — his hair standing out in all directions, d la 
porcupine; one of his eyes was beautifully blacked ; a great 
scratch of Jack's finger-nail wound its way from his left ear 
to the right-hanji corner of his mouth-, lQ\a\>\Qf\>s»^^%'vsr«\ 

240 OUB BOYS. 

in two places^ — several of the buttons were hanging down by 
shreds ; his shirt collar was torn open ; his chin had a great 
bruise on the point, and the " claret" was rushing profusely 
from his " mug." 

" Where's the captain ? — ^I'll go and tell him I" repeated 

" If ye do, ye bloody squaler, I'll smash that same black 
aead o' ye !" said Jack, savagely. 

I gazed upon Dave, and it occurred to me that " that same 
olack bead o' him" was very nearly " smashed" already. 

"Fall in! fall in I" was at this moment reiterated from 
company to company. 

This put an end to the affair ; Dave didn't tell the captain, 
Qor did Jack " smash" him any more. We were soon formed 
ind marching toward Falmouth. 

As we descended the hill which lies north of Falmouth, 
we looked across the beautiful Eappahannock, and beheld a . 
piece of scenery which I shall never forget. The sun was 
already mounting up into the blue heavens, and his full, open 
light shone upon Fredericksburg. That city appeared to 
our view as a mixture of gable-ends, chimney-tops, and tree- 
tops. It appeared to be a city built in the midst of a wood, 
or a wood of tall green tree^ growing up in the midstiof a 
city. The leaves upon the trees were now full-grown, and 
they wore all the verdant freshness that an early spring 
morning is wont to inspire. Thousands of dewdrops stiU 
hung thereon, and sparkled like diamonds in the melting 
light of the morning sun ; while in the midst the blue smoke 
ascended in curling wreaths from many chimneys. The 
Eappahannock flowing from between two green hills, half 
a mile above, and disappearing, in its windings, among the 
rolling woodlands far below, lay placid and smooth, its 
glassy surface reflecting the outline of a few white cottager 
and green trees which stood upon the opposite shore in the 
full light of the morning sun. 

We marched into Falmouth, then took a road to the left, 
and marched to a pine grove upon a hill which lay opposite 
Fredericksburg, and there pitched our miniature tents in the 
best manner possible. 


The pines here were not of the dwarf nature of those which 
we had encountered further north. They were tall and 
straight, with beautiful green tops, which were woven together 
over our heads— a shelter formed by the hand of Nature. 
The wood in which we encamped lay near the Aquia Creek 
railroad. Several bridges between Fredericksburg and the 
Potomac had been destroyed by the rebels, and, as yet, no 
trains had been able to come down from Aquia Creek Land- 
ing. We had not been long in our new camp, however, ere 
these bridges were re constructed, and trains were flying 
along the road in a decidedly business-like way. Also three 
bridges over the Eappahannock at Fredericksburg and Fal- 
mouth had been burned by the rebels upon our approach. 
As the rebel forces had fled, Fredericksburg was unhesi- 
tatingly surrendered to General McDowell by the city authori- 
ties; and pontoon bridges were soon thrown across. The 
railroad bridge was soon replaced so that the cars could go 

The people of Fredericksburg openly manifested their 
dislike for Yankees — acknowledged that they were seces- 
sionists at heart, and expressed the most flattering hopes that 
"Jeff Davis would take Washington, conquer the North, and 
ban^ all the oflBicials from the President down*to the con- 

Meanwhile, General McClellan had landed his army at 
Fortress Monroe, and was commencing operations in front 
of Yorktown. We eagerly watched the papers for news 
from the Peninsula ; and whenever a newsboy entered camp, 
shouting — " National Eepublican ; exciting news from Mc- 
Clellan's army I" it was amusing to see the crowd collected 
about him, every man exerting himself to be the first to get 
a paper lest he should be too late and get none at all ; which 
generally was the case. 

How ardently we wished that we were with McClellan. 
We were now under McDowell, and we dj^ not know much 
about him — had no particular confidence in him. But Little 
Mac, who could doubt him f None ! No one doubts him 
even now, though he has many enemies who say they doubt 
him — doubt his ability — hj# loyalty. AXi, \i ^xxsJa. \ia.N^ > 

242 OUR BOYS. 

conscience (which I doubt); how that conscience most start as 
their foul tongues apply to that noble man such an epithet 
as " traitor 1" 



About the beginning of May, Lieutenant Krepps was 
transferred to the regular army ; Sergeant Blake was pro- 
moted to the second-lieutenancy, Sergeant Cue to the first- 
sergeantcy, and my humble self to a sergeantcy. 

I had not yet visited the city of Fredericksburg ; there 
was a stern barrier between us and that city-7-the Rappahan- 
nock River. Now, many men were at work upon the rail- 
road bridge, and it was nearly completed. One day, about 
the middle of May, learning that the bridge was in a passable 
condition, I resolved to attempt to pass over and visit 
Fredericksburg at once. I was about to start, when Sergeant 
Cue notified me that I was detailed as "sergeant of the 
guard ;" that I was to be ready for guard-mount at sixT o'clock 
in the evening. It was then about noon, and doubting not 
that I should be able to return by six, I started on the pro- 
jected visit. When within a quarter of a mile of the 
river (for the camp lay at some little distance from it) I 
observed a sable Sambo approaching with his bundle. For 
jibout this time the negroes of that vicinity might be seen 
at all hours, day and night, striking out in various directions, 
leaving their masters. The gentleman in question was one 
of this class. Thinking to gain some information from him 
regarding the geography of that part of the world, I accosted 
him as soon as ncOT enough to be favorable to the opening 
of communications with — 

" Hilloa, Sam ! Striking out, eh ?" 

"Yes, sah — ^yah-hahl hah-hahJJ' replied Sam, seeming to 


be very mucli amused at the idea of striking out; and lie ex- 
hibited two rows of immense eaters. 

" Where does your master live ?" I asked. 

" Ober 'crosa de riber dar — down below dar," replied Sam, 
with a voluptuous grin. 

" And you've dissolved partnership with him ?" • 

" Oh, yes ; lots ob it." 

" Well, Sam, can't you tell me something of ^he country 

"Yes, sah — considable." 

"I believe this is Stafford County, is it not?" 

"I spec ^." 

" You came from beyond the river, you say ?" 

"From be— what?" 

" The other side of the river." 

" Oh, yes — come from dar dis mornin'." 

" And what county is that over there ?" 

" Oh, it's Vawginny — dat's what dey call it. Wichmond's 
de capilet ob it— de place dey's fightin', you know." 

" Yes— but the county , I mean, Sam," said I, with a sup- 
pressed smile ; " Virginia is the StatCy you know." 
. "Yes — Vawginny am de— de — ^yes, sah." 

Perceiving that it was useless to attempt to gain any infor- 
mation from that ignorant darkey, I bade him good-day, and 
passed on. I was nearing the bridge, when I saw a lieuten- 
ant of our division engaged in conversation with a little 
dftrkey of twelve years of age. It appeared that little Sambo 
,had been to camp to see those animals called "Yankees," and 
had not found them exactly what he had expected. Happen- 
ing to meet with the lieutenant above spoken of, he had now 
opened a conversation on the subject. As I came within 
hearing distance, the darkey gaid : — 

" Massa, is dem de weal Yankees ?" 

" Yes, certainly — the simon-pure — the unsophisticated," 
replied the officer, somewhat amused at Sam's earnestness ; 
and. \(d stopped with the obvious intention of holding con- 
versation with him. 

"But," aiigued the sable juvenile, "where is der horns I'm 
heered'so much about f " 

244 OUB BOYS. 



" Oh, the horns, eh ?" replied the lieutenant readily com^ 
prehending the ideas which had prompted this question; 
" why, you see, they take them off and put them into their 
knapsacks x^hile about camp ; the Yankees are dififerent from — 
other animals, in that respect." 

"Deft do dey put dem on to fite wid?" 

"Yes," replied the officer, with difficulty chpking down -^ 
his risibility. 

" Oh, golly I" exclaimed Sam, turning away horrified. , 

The officer laughed and walked on. I did the same. I Jt 
approached the bridge, wondering the while what ruse I J^ 
should resort to in order to get over ; for I saw agsentinel at ^^ 
the bridge. A few men were at work on the bridge, near 
the centre. Happening to know the name of the officer in 
charge of the laborers, I approached the sentinel, and in an 
authoritative tone, asked : — 

" Is Captain Johns over there ?" 

" Yes, I think so," was the reply, 

"How long will you be on post?" 

"Nearly two hours; I just came on." 

" Well, take a good look at me, so that you will know me 
when I come back, as no doubt I will return before you are 
oft* post ; or, if I do not, you can tell the sentinel who relieves 
you, that I went over and am entitled to return — you can 
describe me to him." And with this, I strode boldly on, 
while the sentinel stared at me rather curiously ; but before 
he was sufficiently collected to argue the matter, I had passed 

I soon found myself at liberty to walk the streets of 
Fredericksburg. Idany an angry scowl was cast upon me 
by the citizens, but I was not molested. 

From the hill on which we were encamped, I had often 
observed a marble column, about fourteen feet in height, 
standing in a green field beyond Fredericksburg. I was told 
that it was a monument marking the spot where the mother 
of Washington was buried. I determined, while on, that 
side of the river, to visit it ; and thither I bent my steps. 
After wading through a field of luxuriant cloveij I arrived 
at the monument. What was my indignation and Horror, 


■when, on arriving there, I perceived that the white marlfle 
was spattered ov^r with hundreds of bullets and shot — that 
the rebels, during their possession, had been amusing them- 
selves by discharging thejir muskets against it I What 
desecration I I cannot think that it was. ..ever tolerated by 
their officers. Perhaps it was done by the more vulgar ones 
of the rebel army ; yet it was done by rebels. As I stood 
contemplating the sacrilegious act, I imagined that nothing 
could afford me greater relief at that moment, than to have 
a few hundred of them there. I felt that I could whip a, 
whole regiment of such despicable barbarians. 

I tarried long at the spot. When, at last, I did leave, I re- 
membered that several hours must have elapsed since I came 
over, and I retraced my steps. While crossing the bridge 
I discovered that the sentinel that was on post when I went 
over, had now been relieved by another. On nearing him 
the following definite dialogue occurred — 

" Did the other sentinel tell you about — " 

" Oh, are you the man that — " 


" Very well, you can — " 

"All right— a nice day," and I passed on. 

I arrived in camp, after my visit to Fredericksburg, just 
in time for guard-mount. The ceremony over, I proceeded 
to write out the reliefs — it was the duty of the sergeant so to 
doj-during which I encountered some of the twistiest names 
I had ever heard ; for instance, " Shrecenghost," *' I&ppslam- 
mer ;" added to these chanced to be the name of the German 
of our company — Heinrich Eouschenschwacker. 

The ." first relief" was posted ; two hours later, the second ; 
but before ten o'clock came heavy clouds came up ; and the 
rain was descending extravagantly when the hour for calling 
out the third relief arrived. The corporal and I proceeded 
to do this in the; usual manner. The officer of the guard had 
told me that I might allpw the men to rem'ain at their quar- 
ters while not on post. It is not the most delightful thing 
in the world to go over the camp of a whole regiment, hunt- 
ing up a relief, the night dark, the rain pouring ,do^\i, ^\^4^ 
one Tunning against trees and falling over atwmipa. ^YVi^tL^a^ji 

246 OUR BOYS. 


flDme of tbe men sleep very soundly and are hard to arouse, 
and others are loth to come out in the rain even when they 
are awake, if one's patience is not of a superior quality he is 
• in imminent peril of losing it. , 

Heinrich Kouschenschwacker was on this relief. He had 
not yet retired ; he was sitting within his low tent engaged 
in a game of euchre with some of his chums. 

," Henry," said I^speaking English, " it's time for the third 

" Coot cosh !" he exclaimed in agony, as the idea of coming 
forth in all that rain forcibly suggested itself to his mind. 

A moment he sat as though on a study as to whether to 
come or not. 

"By chinks, it too tam patl" he said, pettishly. Then 
buckling on his cartridge-box, and seizing his gun, he 
scrambled out, started for the head-quarters of the guard, and 
ran smack against a large pine tree the first thing. Suppos- 
ing, in his ill-humor, that it was some man who had carelessly 
run against Am, he levelled his fist and in a threatening 
manner broke out — 

" What fur you run aginst me ? I knock tam h — 1 out of 

Th6 brave old tree stood silent and heedless, which ap- 
peared the more provoking. 

" It's only a tree, Henry," said I, soothingly. 

" Tree pe tam I He run right aginst me." 

At that moment the corporal — ^he had been assisting in 
arousing the men of the third relief — called out — . 

" Sergeant, where are you ?" 

" Here," I replied ; " what do you want ?" 

" Here's a fellow of Company * V who won't get up." * 

''Who is he?" lacked. 

" Smith is his name." 

" Smith, eh ; an odd name. Well, go with me and show 
me his tent — perhaps he may be persuaded to get up." 

With this I followed the corporal, who led the way to a 
low tent constructed of two tent-blankets. 

" This is it," said the corporal. » 

''Is he asleep?" I asked. 


'' I think so ; but lie was awake." 

" And you couldn't get him up ?" 

"No." ^ 

Stooping down before the mouth of the tent, I placed my 
countenance almost within, and energetically called cut : — 


A loud snore was the reply. The rain was beating down 
ipon me in torrents, Snd I did not feel disposed to trifle very 
lOng over the affair. 

" Smith r* I repeated ; and I grabbed somebody's foot. 

"Ouch I gosh I Don't pull my foot oflFI" pame from 

" Is that you, Smith ?" I asked ; for there were two slum- 
bering within. 


" Is that you — is your name Smith ?" 
, "Yes." 

" Do you belong to the third relief?" 

"Y— e— e— yes." 

" Well, get up — we're waiting for you." 

He made no reply, and I supposed that he was putting on 
bis cartridge-box. After waiting long enough for a thousand 
»ea to put on their cartridge-boi^s, I found my patience 
'ast ebbing out ; and I a3,ng out : — 

"Smith, are you not coming?" 

A groan and a snore came from within. 

" Smith I" I said, shaking him roi:ighly, " are you not 
loming out ?" 


" Are you coming out to go on guard ?" 

" Oh, it's too d— ni rainy," said he, with a coolness that 
Lstonished me — just as though he could do as he pleased 
ibout coming out. * 

"Look ye, Smith," I said; "I can convince you that it is 
rotir better plan to come out at once, notwithstanding the 
•ain; you see, if you don't, I'll just send to the gate for a 
piard, and I'll have you brought out, and I'll keep you 
rtanding in the rain all night with a guard over you," 

He^id not reply; and I began: — 


" Corporal, go to the gate and bring a file of men, and—" 

"No, no!" exclaimed Smith, with sudden energy; "Pni 
comiug I I didn't say I wasn't yet." " And clapping on hii 
cartridge-box, and seizing his musket, he emerged from hi 
habitation with a readiness seldom equalled. 

By this time, the men of the third relief were all at th 
gate, waiting to be posted. I formed them at once, an 
handed them over to the corporal, who marched them aroun 
for the purpose of relieving the posts. 

They had left the gate but a few minutes, when the repoi 
of a gun was borne to my ears. It sounded dull and om 
nous on the damp, misty air ; and I could not tell exactl 
from what direction the sound proceeded. I followed th 
third relief round the camg, and on coming up with them, 
asked — 

" Where was that gun fired ?" 

" It sounded over in the Bucktail camp," replied the co] 

" It don't sound right to hear a gun at this time of nighty 
I observed. " However, it was in the Bucktail camp, and 
have nothing to do with it," and I returned to the gate. 

Next day a procession marched, with slow and measure 
step, past our camp. Tjje fife was heard in the low, moun 
ful notes of the "dead march;" tte dismal sound of th 
muffled drum rolled sadly out among the thick woods; the 
gave evidence of a " soldier's funeral." 

On inquiry I learned that a soldier of the Bucktails, whos 
reason had. been undermined by sickness, had committe 
suicide between ten and eleven o'clock the previous nigh* 
by shooting himself through the brain — that he was noi 
being borne to the grave. 

This accounted for the report of the gun which I had hear 
during th^ night. ^ 

I shall never forget. the singular feeling that crept ove 
me when, on that dismal night, I heard the report of the rifl 
nth which a wretched fellow creature hurried himself ub 
bidden into Eternity. 

About this time we heard glorious news from the vicinitj 
of Fortress Monroe. Norfolk, Suffolk, and Portsmouth wer« 


iken ; the rebel iron-clad " Merrimac" blown up ; the rebels, 
MTced to l^ave Yorktown and Gloucester, had retreated 
)ward Eichmond — had fled across the Chickahominy — 
[cClellan in pursuit. How we cheered — shouted till we 
3uld shout no more. Then how we talked. How we 
tuded General McClellari. How we regretted that we were 
ot with him. 

How strangely some men talk. How inconsistently. The 
aj^ture of Yorktown was no achievement, they say. It was 

stronghold. The rebels never intended to hold the place. 
Hdn^t they, though? Why then did they so strongly 
>jrtify it ? Why did they send the whole of their available 
3rce to Yorktown ? Why did they fortify Gloucester on 
he opposite side of the York Eiver ? But some go so far 
3 to Ue, and say that only wooden gUns were planted on these 
ortifications. How ridipulous ! Go to the proper authori- 
ies, if you wish to be informed on these points. You will 
ind it recorded at the office of the Secretary of War in 
i^ashington City that ninety-one heavy guns were left on the 
brtifications by the rebels to fall into our hands. What, the 
•ebels not fortified at Yorktown? Why should they not 
brtify there? Why not, if possible, prevent McClellan from 
jetting negirer Richmond ? Had they anything to gain by 
Jiaking the battle-ground within rifle range of their Capital ? 

There is a place upon the left bank of the Rappahannock, 
ien miles above Falmouth, known as the " Gold Mines," at 
irhich the stream is fordable. Near the last of May, our 
'egiraent was ordered to this point, to guard the ford, while 

1 number of trees should be felled into it. While there, 
Jergeant Dock of Company " B," and one Jones of Company 
G," got on a spree together, and went to a farmer's house 
a the vicinity, at the dead of night, and demanded admit- 
since. Not being admitted, they procured an axe, and pro- 
eeded to break the door down, in the most off-hand manner, 
?his little ceremony was about completed, when the farmer 
rithin, by way of protecting his family, fired a glln through 
he door, at the marauders. The shot took eflfect- in the 
>Teast of Jones, and he fell to the earth with a groan, of agony. 
iergeant Dock, somewhat sobered by the OQC\)iiTe\i^^,\iMtiv^^ 

250 OUR BOYS. 

to the bivouac of the regiment, for assistance. A squad of 
men accompanied hira'to the house, and conveyed the bleed- 
ing form of Jones to the regiment. The farmer had es- 
caped. Jones suffered the most excruciating agony, ^nd, after 
the lapse of a few hours, expiree^, Next day we returned 
to our camp at Falmouth. 

Soon after this a court-martial convened in our division. 
"While on dress-parade one evening, the results of said court- 
martial were read to us. A number of non-commissioned offi- 
cers had been tried for gambling, and were sentenced to be 
"reduced to the rank and station of a private soldier." 
Others were tried for drunkenness on duty ; some for sleep- 
ing oh post. One private Shark, of Company *1," was tried 
for absenting himself from his company and regiment with- 
out leave. He was found guilty, and sentenced to stand on 
the head of a barrel, eight hours «ach day, for a period of 
three days. Many similar cases had been investigated. 

But the saddest case of all was that of Sergeant Dock ; he 
had been tried for that night's business at the Gold-Mines. 
He was sentenced to lose his rank and station — to forfeit all 
pay due him — to be dishonorably dismissed from the army, 
and drummed out of camp, in presence of the regiment^ 
during dress-parade. 

Thus for the second time it was my lot to witness a pro- 
ceeding so disgraceful, so mortifying and humiliating to the 
luckless offender. The poor fellow, who had been a non- 
commissioned officer, and consequently accustomed to wield- 
ing some authori^-y, was now brought before the regiment, 
disgraced, and I'cduced to a grade far beneath any present. 

The usual process of " drumming out" ensued. Between 
two guards, and followed by fife and drum playing the 
"rogue's march," the wretched and crest-fallen man waa 
ushered from camp, and from the presence of his comrades^ 
for ever. 

" Readeiv it was hard— <oo hard, I think ; yet it is neces- 
sary that ftch examples be made in the army. Were they 
not, a body of troops invading an enemy's country would 
naturally become a band of robbers and murderers ; aye, and 

aVight adventure. 251 

nes too black to mention would be freely perpetrated by- 
unrestrained soldiery. 

Tet how frequently I hear men express themselves as be- 
in favor of what they are pleased to term, " harsh mea- 
5s" — in favor of turning our soldiers loose upon the 
snceless inhabitants of the seceded States, and of allowing 
n to burn, destroy, plunder, murder, and commit the dark- 
srimes without restraint. It is remarkable, too, that such 
the very men who have never had the heart to join the 
ly, and face the enemy they so much hate, in a fair fight. 
I The cowardly heart that could suggest or sanction the 
Tsh measures" referred to would shrink from, and sicken 
;he approach of danger ! 

tut why speak on the subject here ? To discuss it as I 
lid like to, I should be obliged to write another volume — 
arger one than this. I tell you, reader, that mercy, 
Jness, and consideration are the most powerful weapons 
; can be used in war; and they will a thousand times 
•e likely be sanctioned by the ALMIGHTY, and crowned 
1 success, than the doubly-blood-stained weapons called 
Tsh measures P^ 



LBOtTT the last of May we suddenly received orders to 
re across the Rappahannock; we broke up camp, and, 
ching over a pontoon bridge, passed through Predericks- 
j, and encamped half-a-mile beyond. We had scarcely 
hed our tents, when any number of contrabands made 
r appearance in camp; they all wanted us to employ 
tt. One mess of half-a-dozen good fellows, hired, as cook, 
wfully black, shiny fellow, named Mose — so black .was he 
'* charcoal would make a white mark on him." Another 
3 hired one of similar beauty, of the nivme o? YcXa. 

262 OUR BOYS. • 

A leather-colored, sleepy-looking fellow of sixteen sauntered 
into camp, and encountering Captain Conner near his tent lie 
said: — *►* 

" Massa cap'n, may I go wid you ?" 

" Go where ?" asked the captain, 

" Whereber you goes." 

" What would that be for?' 

" I work for you." 

"What can you do?" 

" Anyting." 

" Can you cook ?" | 

"I tinklcould." ^ ^ ■ 

" But have you had no experience at it ?" 

" No what ?" And the darkey grinned. 

"Experience." * 

" I don't tink dey use him to cook here." 

" But I mean, have you ever cooked any ?" 

"No, sah." 

" What have you done ?" 

" Curry bosses and hoe cawn." 

" I suppose you are pretty strong ?" 

"Oh, yes." 

P didn't doubt his word.] 

" Well, I will hire you ; you can carry a blanket for ^ 
during the march. Meanwhile, you must try and learn 


" What is your name ?" 


"Henry— what?" 

"No, sah, not Henwy what — ^Henwy Cwaig." 

"Henry Craig, eh?" 

"Yes, dat'sit." 

"Why did you leave your master, Henry ?" 

" Case I wanted to go wid de dam-Yankees." 

" The what ? How is that you are talking ?" 

"De dam-Yankees; is dat any harm? Dat's what I alle^ 
heers you called — I tink you's de mens." 

" Is that what they call us about here ?" 


*' Yes, notin' else. Isn't dat you folkses names?" 
T?he captain laughed at this, and resumed : — 
" Were you not comfortable with your master ?'' 
''Yes, sah; but—" 
" Did he whip you ?" 
"Only once." 

" And what was it for that time ?" 

'* For knockin' de colt's eye out wid a stone ; he alles told 
B not to fling stones at de bosses, but one day I blazed 
ray when I tot he didn't see me, and hit his black colt in 
) eye ; den he whale me." 
"Then you" 
"Yes, sah." 

**Did your master give you enough to eat?" 
"Yes, sah." 
"Enough clothes?" 
"Yes, plenty." 

"Then I think that you had better have stayed with your 
aster — that you would have been better off. However, T 
ill hire you ; you can make yourself useful about my^tent, 
*eping things in order. Meantime, as I said before, you 
Ust learn to cook ; and when it comes to the march, you 
11 carry a blanket for me." 
"Yes, sah, I tote it." 

The captain turned away, and Henry Craig, Esquire, 
inned, and remarked to me : — 
" De Yankees is cur'us folks." 
''Why?" I asked. 
" Dey axes so many questshuns." 
"Are you not used to that?" 

"No, sah, I neber heered so many in all dis nigga's life." 
" Well," said I, consolingly, " I think you'll like the cap- 
in ; but be very careful that you do everything he tells 
»u, and don't offend him, or out will come his bright sword, 
d off will come your woolly head." 
Henry turned blue at this, and I walked away, leaving 
tn to his cogitations. 

In the meantime, Haman Jeffries, Dick Shaw, Jim Rider, 
d I formed a mess of our own, and constructed a tent to 

254 OUR BOYS. 

ourselves. [This mess was destined to remain unchanged, 
without any increase or diminution, so long as I remained in 
the army.] 

That night a little after dark the captain came to our tent 
and said — 

" Boys, are you ready for a little adventure ?" 

'• Yes ; what's up ?" we replied, in concert. 

" Some negroes have given information that a rebel oflScer 
intends to come to his house to-night to take his wife away 
with him ; the adjutant wishes to go out with a small squad 
to capture him in the event of his coming. 

" AYhere is the house ?" I asked. 

" Two miles out the plank road." 

" Out;3ide the picket line, I suppose." 

"Yes, a little way." 

" How many are going?" 

"The adjutant, two of Company 'X' and you four, Yea^ 
I told Nick Swearer that he might go." 

"Are you going along ?" 

" Oh, certainly." 

We buckled on our cartridge-boxes, took up our muskets, 
and followed the captain. Jim being a musician, had np gun, 
but he readily borrowed one. 

Nick Swearer joined us, and we went to the street of 
Company " I," where Adjutant Kent and two of the boys of 
that company joined us according to arrangement. The 
adjutant then procured the countersign, that we mieht pass 
the pickets, and we took our way out the plank road which 
led toward the southwest. The night, though clear, was 
dark; for there was no moon. We had no guide with 
ua, but the darkeys who had given the information had 
stated that we could not miss the way — ^that it was a large 
brick house — that it stood on a hill to the left of the road — 
that there was a lane leading to the house which was a quar- 
ter of a mile from the road — that it was half a mile beyond 
the picket line, and that the name was Boss. We had passed 
the picket line a little way, when, peering through the dark- 
ness, we descried the outlines of a house on an elevated 
spot a few hundred yards from the road. 

**Ja«t at tbftt moment I was startled by seeingr, against the sky the dim 
outlines of a man appear at the farther end of the bnilding." — Sfte page 215. 

li^' . 


That must be tte house," was remarked. 
V"e hallj^d. 

It must be," said Adjutant Kent. 
Certainly it is," said the captain. 
But where is the lane ?" 
Here it is !" exclaimed Haman, opening a gate. 
¥e approached, and by the dim light — or darkness, rather 
if the night, we detected a by-road leading from the gate 
ard the house. We passed through, walked to the im- 
iiate neighborhood of the house, and proceeded to surround 
n the most methodical manner. We formed a kind of 
) of skirmishers around the house> yet a little way from 
At a given signal we were to advance stealthily, keeping 
lose watch, in the meantime, that no one might escape 
n the .premises. I was posted within twenty or thirty 
es of a cluster of out-buildings — stablfes, etc. They stood 
ground a little higher than that which I occupied, so that 
ir outline was described against the sky. ^ 

wag lying in the deep clover, awaiting the signal to ad- 
ice, when Nick Swearer, who was postQii thirty or forty 
es from me, blundered over a pile of rails in the darkness, 
king a terrible racket, and starting three or four house- 
;3 to howling and barking in a style that was appalling. 
Tioment after I saw the form of a man, held out in bold 
ef against the night-sky, glide from the house and approach 
out-buildings aforementioned. I at once hurried to the 
Pest of the buildings, which chanced to be a stable. The 
posed fugitive reached the buildings before me, and I was 
ewtiat surprised on arriving thither that I could hear or • 
Qo one. I listened. I felt a little curious there by my- 
Suppose the man whom I was sure I had seen, was, at 
very moment, lurking in the darkness within a few feet 
rie, just ready to spring upon me with one of those 
bhern bowie-knives of which I had heard so much. My 
ition grew painful. Just at that moment I was startled 
leeing, against the sky, the dim outlines of a man appear 
he farther end of the building ; he had come round th^ 
ier and he now walked right at me. He was iatall man, 
to my imagination, appeared the veriest giant — lou^ aa 



a rail — ^thick as a horse — and to help the matter, he wore a 
tall hat ; it really looked to me as though it was at least two 
feet high in the crown. My heart crawled unhesitatingly up 
into my mouth, while my hair stood boldly up, lifting my cap 
politely as though to let in a little of the night air. 

" Halt !" I said, determined to stand my ground. 

He didn't halt but drew nearer. 

" Halt !" said I, in a peremptory tone ; and I brought ray 
musket down to a dangerous position, and cocked it, with a 
click that must have sounded unpleasantly in the ear of the 
"man at the muzzle." 

He came to an abrupt stand-still. 

" Who comes there ?" I demanded. 

" It's one," was the reply ; at the same time it occurred to 
me that he was big enough for half a dozen. 

*' But who are you, sir ? Beware, I am not to be trifled 

'* belong to the premises here," said he, coolly. 

" What are you doing out here at this time of night?" 

" Oh," he replied, with unwavering coolness, " I thought I 
heard some disturbance among the cattle, and I came out to 
see if anything was wrong ;" and he passed right by me and 
walked toward the house with slow, calm, deliberate, and 
measured strides; and — yes, reader, would you believe it? 
— he had the assurance to remark that it was a ** fine even- 
ing," in the most common-place way, as he moved away and 
left me standing there like a fool. And it wasn't a fine even- 
ing at all, reader, for it was very dark, and — let 'me ^ee—l 
think it must have been rathe.r cold, too ; for I remember 
that I was shivering slightlv just then, and it must have 
been the cold that occasionea it, for it couldn't have been — 
oh, no, it couldnH have been because I was unnerved or any- 
thing of that kind, you know (?) 

I was so taken aback by the dogged coolness of the giant 
Virginian, that he was halt-way to the house before I re- 
covered my presence of mind. It then struck me that I 
shouldn't let him slip so easily ; I hastily followed him and 
called out — 


*' Look here, my friend, I am sorry to detain you, but the 
captain may wish to see you." 

' Well." That was all he said, and he stopped. 

Meantime the signal to advance had been given, and all . 
approached the house. Perceiving this, I called out — 

" Captain, will you step this way a moment ?" 

The barking of the dogs had now become stupendous, and 
the captain did not hear me at first. I raised my voice and 
•gain called to the captain ; he heard me. 

" This is the wrong house, sergeant," said he, approaching 
me; "this is a frame house — not a brick." Then commg 
nearer he discovered the presence of a third party, and he 
exclaimed — 

''Who is this?" 

^I don't know; I encountered him a^the stable." 

" Who are you ?" asked the captain, addressing the Vir- 

** I am the owner of this house." 

" What were you doing out there ?" 

He made the same explanation which he had made to me. 
The captain then asked — 

" Can you tell me where one Boss lives ?" « 

** Yes, sir; but he is not at home." 
■ "Where is he?" 

"I don't know — ^that is — a — " 

*• He is in the rebel army, you mean." 

«I think he is." 

tf Well, where is his house?" 

''It is on this same ridge; you take the path that leads 
right past those buildings." 

« How far is it?" 

"Only a quarter of a mile.'' 

" Thank you. You mav now go into your house. I am 
Borry that I have disturbed you. Come, boys." 

All had gathered around by this time, and we started. 

With some difficulty we followed a path that led through a 

idover-field, and we soon found ourselves in the immediate 

proximity of a large brick mansion. The usual process of 


258 OUR 130Y3. 

surrounding was resorted to. All being ready we crept 
upon the house from all sides. All was quiet. Leaving 
two men to watch the rear of the house, we approached the 
/ront entrance en masse, 

"Who comes there?" demanded a voice from the dark 
shades of the piazza. 

We remained quiet. 

"Who comes there?" was repeated; and we heard the 
sharp click of a fire-lock as the hammer was drawn back. 

'* Be careful," said the captain, " we are in force. Resist- 
ance would be in vain." 

" By gosh, Joe, we're gone up. There is a whole lot of 
'em," said the one who had challenged us, in an undertone ; 
he was speaking to a comrade. 

" I suppose we must go with them," replied the person 
whose name seemed to be Joe. 

" Come down, here ; you are our prisoners," said the cap- 

There was no reply ; all was still as the grave. 

"Are you coming? Or do you want three hundred 
DuUets rattling up there in a second ?" 

In% proof that they did not desire the articles mentioned, 
two men with guns in their hands walked reluctantly from 
the piazza, and approached us. 

" What are you doing here ?" asked the captain. 

"We were placed here to guard this property," replied 
one of the affrighted rebels. 

"But do you not know that you are in the immediirte 
vicinity of the Union picket-lines ?" 

" Yes, we thought we would be safe this close ; we never 
thought the reb — the Southern soldiers, I mean, would 
venture so near our lines." 

" Why, whom do you take us for ?" 

"For the reb— the— the— " 

" And who are you .?" 

" We belong to King's Division ; we — " 

" My goodness !" 

" Are you not rebels ?" 

" No. We are of McCall's Division.*" 


" You are I Why, we thought we were in for a trip to 
Eichmoad-*-that you were rebels I" 

" Ha, ha I We took you for rebels I" 

"Well, that's/unnyr 

"It might not have been funny — but who lives I ere?" 

"A Mr. Ross." 

" In the rebel army, is he ?" 

" Rebel army ! No I He is a Union man ; we are hero 
to protect his property from his secesh neighbors." 

" And where is he ?" 

" In Washington." 

" What is he doing there ?" 

" He is carrying on some business there." 

" Well, isn't that astonishing ?" 

" What is astonishing ? What brings you out here ?" 

The captain, thereupon, explained the whole affair; then 
he asked : — 

" Are any of the family within ?" 

" Yes ; Mrs. Ross, two children, and the overseer." 

That individual at this moment made his appearance — 
if appearance it could be called, for it was so dark that he 
oould scarcely be seen. He invited us in, and we entered. 
He lighted a candle ; and, in a short time, a pleasant woman 
made her appearance, and quite a confab ensued. 

It was near twelve o'clock when we left the premises and 
started for camp. We arrived there, feeling very weary 
after our wild-goose chase. 

A few days after this, we were surprised at receiving or- 
ders to recross the Rappahannock. As we passed through 
Fredericksburg, on our return, the citizens, supposing the 
movement to be a kind of reverse — that we were probably 
compelled to fall back across the river — stood with their 
hands in their pockets, at the corners of the streets, staring 
and grinning at us with evident delight. 

Once more on the north side of the Rappahannock, we en- 
camped a little nearer the river than before. 

Major Gardiner having resigned his commission. Captain 
Baily, of Company *' I," was elected to the office of major ; 
A^utant Kent, whc^was formerly a licutenaut oC G^^wgis^QL:^ 

280 OUR BOYS. 

"I," was made captain of that company ; Lieutenant Witter, 
a brave young officer of Company " H," was appointed adju- 
tant of the regiment. 

On the evening following our return from Fredericksburg; 
I was detailed sergeant of the guard. The guard was 
mounted at six o'clock ; the ceremony over, I went to our 
company quarters, for the purpose of writing out the reliefs. 
Our boys had finished pitching their tents, and rations were 
being distributed ; George Wagner was engaged in cutting 
up the beef. 

Now, it was customary to have some little fight or alter- 
cation of words over the rations when issued. Accordingly, 
Enoch Calvert, of our company, remarked that George was 
not cutting xxp the beef so as to divide it fairly. 

*' What's the reason I'm not?" demanded George. 

*• I don't know what the reason is," retorted Enoch, pro- 
vokingly ; " unless it is that you want to cut it so that the 
best may fall to your share." 

" But I am cutting it fairly, by gosh I" said George. 

" I know better ; you're not." 

** It's a lie 1" shouted George ; and he abruptly stopped in 
the midst of his work, and glared fiercely upon Enoch. 

*' What's that ?" demanded Enoch ; although he perfectly 

" I say, you lie /" repeated George. 

" You'd better mind." 

" I will mind; I'm not likely to forget it." 

"Forget what?" 

" That you are a LIAR I" • 

" You're a — nother." 

" Look out, sir, or — " 

"What, what will you do?" 

"I'll smash—" 

"You will!" 

" Yes, I WILL I You d— d— " 

" What, you—" 

Enoch seized a spade that stood near, while G^rge, 
butcher-knife in hand, arose and seemed on the point of 
rushing upon him. Both hesitated. There they gtood, palf 


and trembling with rage, glaring at each other in a truly 
demoniac style. 

" Why don't you come on ?" queried George. 

''Why don't youT' asked Enoch. 

"Til show you—" 

"And I—" 

Both now made a move as if to- advance ; simultaneously 
ihey took a step forward. They presented a savage picture, 
with those kill-tools in their hands ; and I thought it time to 

"Boys," I said, "I am on guard to-night; and if you do 
not immediately desist, I shall be compelled, in course of 
duty, to arrest you both, at once." 

After a little consideration Enoch laid down the spade, 
and George resumed his work, unmolested. It would be 
natural to suppose that, after this aflFair, the parties engaged 
would have been deadly enemies for many years ; but such 
was not the case. Before the lapse of twenty-four hours, 
they were on as friendly terms as ever ; playing " euchre," 
''poker," "seven-up," and "bluff" together, with innocent 
delight. ^ Soldiers of one company are not apt to remain at 
enmity very long at a time. ' 

I returned to the gate With my relief rolls. 

Night came, and a dark night it was, too. It was near 
eleven o'clock, and my eyelids were just beginning to feel 
heavy, when I heard a low groaning within the camp of the 
regiment. It gradually increased in magnitude till at last it 
became intolerable. Evidently some poor fellow of our 
regiment was undergoing some torment. What could be the 
matter ? It was truly agonizing to listen to those groans. 
At last I left the gate and soon stood by the tent from which 
the cries of pain proceeded. Yes, within that tent lay a 
wretched soldier tossing about, groaning, crying, and swear- 
ing to the great unrest of his messmates; he appeared to be 
suffering the most excruciating agony. 

" I say, partner, what's the matter ?" I asked. 

"Ugh?" was^ the singular query, as though he didn't 
understand me. 

" What seems to he the matter w\lV\ yoxiT'' 1 T^-^^^Xfe^* 

262 OUR BOYS. 

" I — — — 00— oo — ^IVe got — 00 — ^boo — ^boo — hoo — the 
d — d tootl. — oo — ache," was the reply. 

" Well, well, ray poor fellow," said I, soothibgly, "lie still, 
and try to forget it." 

'• To — 00 — ^for — what ?" he indignantly mumbled. 

Fearing that he might chance to have a load in his gun, 
I turned hurriedly away and ran toward the gate ; felling 
over a stump in the darkness, as a matter of course, to the 
great abuse of my shins. 

Strange to say, the sufferer seemed to have taken my advice, 
for his voice was now hushed, and I heard no more from him 
during the night. 

Reader, my conscience has often reproved me for mj want 
of humanity and feeling in telling that poor fellow to "lie still 
and try to forget" — the toothache. To forget the toothache ! 
Forget such a torment as that confined within one's very 
mouth I A tooth jumping and dancing as though about to 
spring right up through the top of the head I Beating, 
and heaving, and throbbing like the heart of an angry lion I 
Forget it ! Lie still I Oh, horror I who ever heard of the 
like ! My great wonder is, that the fellow didn't shoot me. 

My twenty-four hours of guard duty passed away without 
further event. 

About this time came news of the battle of Fair Oaks ; and 
as we read stirring accounts of the brave conduct of our troops, 
and of the glorious victory that crowned our arras, we again 
cursed the fate that had cast our lot at so peaceful a place as 
Fredericksburg. Again and again we wished that w^ were 
with McClellan — ^participating in those scenes of strife — ^in 
those struggles for the perpetuation of the liberties established 
eighty years ago — coming in for our share of the glory as a 
division of the "Army of the Potomac." McClellan had 
repeatedly asked 'sfor reinforcements — had requested that 
McDowell's corps might join him ; but for some reason they 
could not be sent — it might endanger the Capital. 

Meanwhile, Stonewall Jackson had followed Banks to the 
banks of the Potomac, when, the latter being reinforced, the 
former began to act on the defensive, and they had quite a 
time of it manoeuvring thfere in the *' Valley." 


The first week of June passed away. The railroad bridge 
across the Rappahannock had been carried away by the rise 
in the river, and the potitoon bridges had been taken up. 
Measures were taken for the reconstruction of the railroad 
bridge ; and it was no small task, for it had to be built fifty 
feet above water. This required much lab?>r. 



Camp near Falmouth : Jane 8, 1862. 

"General M'Call is happy to inform the soldiers of his 
command, that he has^ received orders to embark with his 
division, aj; Belle Plain, below Fredericksburg, where trans?- 
ports will be in waiting, sail around to White House Landing, 
and JOIN M'Clellan in front op Richmond. 

"All will hold themselves in readiness to march this 
evening for the place of embarkation. 

(Signed) " Brigadier-General George A. M'Call. 

"H. J. BiDDLB, Assistant Adjutant General." 

Such was the order issued on Sunday morning, the eighth 
of June. To embark in transports, for Eichmond I Oh, we 
Were in transports already ! To join M'Clellan in front of 
HiCHMOND I " Long-looked-for come at last I" Oh, it was 
glorious I . 

Evening came, and we broke up 'camp. Our knapsacks 
Were packed and ready to sling ; the officers had their bag- 
gage packed and conveyed to the wagons. 

Now it so happened that there was a coolness at this time 
existing between Colonel Hayes and the line-officers of the 
regiment. I do not romomhor fromj.w^\al Qi2i\x?»^ Xlci^*^-^^'^^^ 

264 OUR BOYS. 

arose ; but this I remember, that Colonel Ha^'es was down 
upon all the line-officers of the regiment, and that ihey were 
down on him. Further : that the non-commissioned officers 
and privates sided with the colonel; so it was — "Line-offi- 
cers vs^ Colonel Hayes and the soldiers of the regiment." 

Well, as line-officers are allowed transportation for only 
Beventy-five pounds of baggage (though this article of the 
regulations is seldom observed strictly),^ the colonel thought 
this an excellent opportunity to make a point. Accordingly, 
he ordered the scales belonging to the Quartermaster's De- 
partment to be placed by the wagon that was to receive the 
officers' baggage, for the purpose of weighing it, to make sure 
that none should have transportation for more than the 
wonted seventy-five pounds. The first officer who ap- 
proached — his darkey toting his baggage — was Captain John- 
son. The baggage was about to go in, when the colonel, 
who was standing by the scales, said : — 

" Captain Johnson, is that your baggage ?" 

" Yes, sir," was the reply. 

" Well, you must have it weighed," said the colonel. 

" Have — it— it — what ?" exclaimed Captain Johnson, open- 
ing his eyes to an alarming width. 

" Weighed," said the colonel, coolly. 


"Yes, certainly." 

" What for ? I am not going to sell it ; and if I were, I 
would not sell it by weight." 

" You had better sell it, or a part of it ; for if it's ovei 
weight, it cannot be transported." 

" And what do yQu call weight ?" asked Captain Johnson, 
with awful calmness. 

" Seventy-five pounds." 

The baggage was placed upon the scales, and the colonel 
proceeded to weigh it. Captain Johnson felt ill at ease ; for 
well he knew that it weighed more than seventy-five pounds. 

" It weighs ninety-tfiree ; it can't go," said the colonel. 

"Can't go?" 

" No, I can only allow you transportation for seventy-five 


* And must it be left behind for only weighing so much 
as ninety-three?" 

" Yes ; if it weighed just seventy-six, it couldn't go. You 
will he obliged to lighten it by leaving something ouLl^' 

" What I leave something behind ?" ' ' 

•* Oh, yes — some little articles that — " 

**! won't take out a d — d pound I" exclaimed Captain 
Johnson, vehemently, -interrupting the colonel. 

^ Then leave it all out, for it don't go into that wagon if it 
weighs an ounce more than seventy-five pounds," said the 
oolonel, emphatically; then seeing Lieutenant Carter ap- 
proaching the wagon — ^baggage in darkey's hands — he called 

"Lieutenant Carter, don't put your baggage into that 
Wagon until it's weighed." 

" ^rill what's weighed ? — the baggage, or the wagon ?" asked 
Lieutenant Carter, in a provoking tone. 

" The baggage of course," said the colonel. 

" The baggage — weighed ?" 

" Yes." 

« What for?" 

"Because, it can't be transported if it weighs more than 
fche Army Regulations allow." 

" And what weight is allowed ?" 

" Seventy -five pounds." 

" Well, I'm sure my baggage don't weigh more than that." 

"Very well, I hope it don't; but we must try it." 

"All right, I'm sure it don't weigh that" said Lieutenant 
Carter, confidently. 

The baggage was placed on the scales, which now stood 
at ninety 'three ; the beam did not move, showing conclusively 
that it didn't weigh as much as the baggage of Captain John- 
son, anyhow. The colonel moved the pea back to ninety, 
but the beam remained still ; he moved it back to eighty-five, 
bat without effect ; then to eighty ; still the beam did not 
rise. The colonel then moved the pea one notch — they were 
half-pound notches— then another, then another, then another, 
and the beam gracefully rose. 

"Seventy eight! Can't go I" said t\ie co\oiife\ VvOa. '"^^ 

266 OUR BOYS. 

concealed delight Then, in a business-like manner, he 
said : — 

" Who's next ? Captain Lemon, put yours on." 

Cwtain Lemon placed his baggage upon the scales ; the 
cololel weighed it. 

"A hundred-and-three 1 It can't go! take it awajl My 
goodness, it's shocking the way men will impose on the 
government I" 

" But, colonel — " began Captain Lemon. 

"It's no use talking; you can only have seventy-fiva. 
pounds transported. Next! Captain Henry! Too heavy 
— weighs eighty-seven — can't go I Next I — Captain Dawson, 
yours ! Too heavy — seventy-nine 1 Away with it ! — Next I" 

Thus it went on ; all were too heavy, and all alike were 
rejected. The last one was just being weighed, when Cap- 
tain Johnson again appeared on the scene — a slip of paper 
in his hand. 

''Colonel, read this," said Captain Johnson, triumphantly; 
and he held the note within three-quarters of an inch of the 
colonel's nose. 

The colonel took the note, placed his glasses between it 
and his eyes, and read : — 

" Heao-quabters, Fibbt Bbioade, 

McCaWs Division^ Jane 8th. 

'* Colonel Hayes is requested to allow baggage weighing 
from one pound to one hundred and seventy-five to be trans- 
ported for each officer of his regiment. 

(Signed) "Brigadier-General John F. Beynolds. 
" C. Kingsbury, Adjutant." 

" Well, yes," stammered the colonel — " all right — exactly 
— one hundred and seventy-five — very well, you can put 
your baggage into the wagon. I didn't like to give you 
transportation for more than the Army Eegulations provide 
without a special order to that eSect ; I didn't want to be 
involved in any difficulties." 

"Certainly, colonel, we all know that>" said half-a-dozen 
officers, ironically. 


All the officers smiled ; and they ordered their darkeys 
bo load up. 

Captain Johnson, it appears, on being refused transporta- 
lloii for his effects, had gone straight to General Reyi^lds, 
nplained mattera, and obtained the small instruraen? of 
^Rfnting just mentioned. 

The sun was just sinking among the green pines far up 
the Bappahannock, when we marched from our Falmouth 
CSamp, and, with the division, took our way down the fair 
sbores of the romantic stream. The sky was clear, and the 
weather beautiful and pleasant. As the shades of night 
btQgaa to gather over the moving column, the full moon 
arose, and the bright steel of our arms glittered fantastically 
in her mellow light. 

By and by we struck a smooth road, on both sides of 
which arose tall hedges. The scene, was delightful. The 
fiiir queen of night mounted up into the heavens, and looked 
calmly, smilingly, down upon the earth now green with vital 
Tegetation. Slowly we moved along this delightful avenue 
^•between those romantic walls formed half by Nature, half 
"by Art. Nothing was heard save the steady, monotonous 
tramp of the moving troops, and, perchance, the footsteps of 
fte horse of a field-officer, or of an orderly. 

We had marched six miles, and were clear of the hedges, 
when we were brought to a halt and permitted to bivouac 
in a luxuriant clover-field at the roadside. Our arms were 
Boon stacked and we were ere long wrapped in slumber as 
sweet as that enjoyed by any king on his bed of down. 

When I again opened my eyes the morning sun was staring 
One boldly in the face, admonishing me with mute eloquence 
tliat it was time to arise. I arose, brushed the dew from my 
bair, and looked around me. The cloveif -field was a scene 
of busy stir. Here and there the blue smoke was curling 
ap in playful wreaths from our bivouac fires. The boys 
were making their coflfee. The fences of the vicinity very 
kindly supplied us with fuel. 

I observed that the river was no longer in view ; the road 
lad diverged from it at some distance behind. We couldn't 
1>3 far fr)m it, however. 

268 OUR BOYS. 

We were soon called into line, and filing throjgh agate ^ 
at the right of the road we marched down a lane towaini a 
low valley that was thickly set with trees. What was oar 
surprise when on nearing the valley we descried the tops rf 
a number of iron chimneys intermingled, as it were, with the 
green foliage. They were the chimneys of steamboats. 

The Rappahannock at this point flows through a narrow 
channel, and the shores are thickly lined with trees. At a 
hundred yards distant no vestige of a river can be seen ; in 
fact, one is not likely to discover the stream till he stands on 
the very bank,, among the underbrush and trees. Here, 
almost hidden by surrounding trees, lay a number of steam 
transports that were to carry us into the presence of our 
country's enemies. 

Embarking a body of troops — infantry, cavalry, and ar- 
tillery — is no trifling matter, and is not to be pflerformed in a 
few minutes; it requires much time and is very tiresome. 
It was, therefore, an hour past noon when we found ourselves 
aboard the "K. Donaldson." 

No sooner were we on the boat than the officers proceeded 
to monopolize the state-rooms, leaving the floors of the decks 
for the non-commissioned officers and privates. Seeing the 
door of " No. 19" open, and the room not yet occupied, Ha- 
man, Dick, Jim, and I rushed in, deposited our luggage, and 
secured the door on the inside. 

" I'd like to see an officer get this room," remarked Haman, 
after we had made the door fast. 

" I guess they'll have to bu'st the door open before they 
get it," said Jim. 

"And us, too," suggested Dick. 

Bap, rap, rap-a-tap I came against the door at that moment 

" Who's there ?" I asked. 

"Open this door," said a voice without. • 

"Who is there ?" I again demanded. 

" Me !" was the definite reply. 

" Which one ? — ^there are so many mes in the regiment; 
you know." 

" I'm Captain Gallop — I want this room." 

" This room is already occupied." 


*But I must have it. These rooms are for officers." 
; ''Well, what do you call w^?" said I, aflfecting to laugh. 
-. ** Oh, is that you, lieutenant ?" Captain Gallop had sud- 
Aimly imagined my voice to be that of some lieutenant of 
(^ regiment. 

. "CJertainly it's me. Didn't you know that I took this 

' No. But is there no spare room in there ?" 

' I'm sorry to say there isn't, captain ; there are four of us 


: -'Yes." 

" You must be somewhat hampered." 
. " We are, very much." . 

*• Then, I'll go in with Captain Lemon ; there are only two 
in his room ;" and we heard him walk away, leaving us in 
peaceful possession of our state-room. 

By ana by the boat let go her moorings, the machinery 
liegan to operate, the wheels revolved with quick splashes, 
mnd we glided down the stream — our band striking up the 
•ir — 

*'Awa7 dovm South in Dixie." 

We were at last oflF for the scene of action. 

The day was beautiful, and our voyage down the Eappa- 

hannook was delightful. Here and there along the grassy 

shores we saw throngs of negroes, who, on hearing the music 

of our band, threw hats and bonnets into the air, shouted, 

cheered, danced, and manifested signs of the wildest delight. 

Lovely scenes, from time to time, unfolded themselves to our 

view as we glided down the river. On the green shores 

stood many a picturesque cottage of snowy whiteness in the 

^idst of a cluster of trees. In many places the banks were 

Very low and the bushy trees ^ grew, in wild luxuriance, to 

the water's edge. 

I had in my possession a copy of "Lloyd's map of Vir- 
Rinia," and I found it an interesting companion. Comparing 
^ with the river in its windings, I found it perfectly correct 
in every curve — in every angle— in every nook. 

The colonel talked and chatted with us pleasantly, as we 

270 OUR BOYS. 

moved along. During one of our little confabs, Hamau said 
to him: — 

*' Colonel, I just thought of something." 

" What is that, JeflFries ?" asked the colonel. 

" Why, if we privates were to take the notion, we ooald 
just tie all the officers, and take the whole thing into our 
own hands." 

" Why — I — yes ; that's a fact 1 I never thought of that>" 
said the colonel. 

"But," continued Haman, "we won't do it, of course; we 
think too much of you, colonel, for that." 

"Exactly — yes, I know that," said the colonel; and h^ 
appeared pleased and happy to know that he occupied a^ 
warm corner in our hearts — which he did. 

Colonel Hayes was ever loved and esteemed by those oT^ 
his command. Although some of the mischievous boys ot'^ 
the regiment took pleasure in teasing or annoying him, they " 
really loved him. The colonel had no military education: : 
but he has proved his comp^*.. .. v to lead his regiment 
against the enemy. 

While on board the " R. Donaldson," we sorely felt the need 
of coffee ; we missed our bivouac fires now, for we couldn't 
' boil our coffee. At length we hit upon a remarkable expe- 
dient for boiling the article; it was to hold our tin cups, 
over lighted candles. It is true it required about an hoar 
and a half; but we had learned to be patient, during our 
soldier's life, and we thought ourselves peculiarly favored to 
be able to produce a cup of coffee, even in an hour and a 
half. We had a plenty of candles, for during the short 
summer evenings, we did not use all that were issued to a& 

When night came, we cast anchor, and lay to till morning. 
When the morning came, we discovered that the state of the 
weather was materially changed ; the sky was overcast with 
clouds, the rain was descending, a gale was blowing, and the 
air was cool and disagreeable. The river, which is but one 
hundred yards wide at Belle Plain Landing, had gradually 
extended, as we neared the bay, to a width of several miles. 

Aga^n we moved down the stream. When within twenty- 
five miles of the bay,*! was lounging lazily in my berth 


tn it occurred to me that it would not be out of place to 
» a verse upon the snow-white panel, on which future 
orations might look, and know that we were once there, 
arpened my pencil, laid off my cap, pushed back my hair, 
upright in my berth, and wrote : — 

^ On the BapiMihaimook River, 
twenty-five miles from the hay ; 
June the tenth in two-and-sixtj'— 
Ciondj, rainj, stormj daj. 

" Who we are, and where we're going, 
Reader, wonld jon like to know f 
We are of McCalPs Div^ision ; 
And to White Hoase do we go. 

" There to join the hrave McClellan, 
And to whip the rebels ont ; 
Then secession and rebellion 
WiU be ' clean gone np the spent.* " 

Aer this little poetical effusion, as the reader may suppose, 
At weary; ana I lay down and took a profound nap. 
en I awoke, we were lying at anchor within sight of the 
sapeake Bay. As a brisk gale was blowing, it was not 
idtered safe to venture out till* the wind should abate ; 
» the casting anchor. It was about one o'clock, and we 
several hours. 

gain headed down the stream, we steered out upon the 
»m of the bay. We could scarcely tell at what exact 
t the river and the bay met ; for the Rappahannock at 
mouth is five or six miles in width, 
hat night we cast anchor at the mouth of the York Eiver. 
t day we moved up the river, passing the famous York- 
1 and Gloucester. From what we could see of the forti- 
ions, I judged that they were truly formidable; and 
llellan, in dislodging the rebels, certainly displayed the 
test military skill. 

bout noon we arrived at West Point, the terminus of 
York Eiver. Here two smaller rivers— the Mattapony 
the Pamunky — flow into the one wide channel forming 
York. Our course lay up the Pamunky, which hap- 
jd to be the crookedest river I ever saw. We passed 

272 OUB DOTS. 


hundreds of government transports — steamboats, schoonert, 
and tugs — and many gunboats. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon we arrived at Whi^ 
House Landing. The boat touched the wharf, and we ha^ 
tened to put on our accoutrements. This done, we wel^® 
about taking a final leave of our state-room, when Ham*-^* 
for the twentieth time since we embarked, accidentally^ 
struck his head against a slanting beam therein. In wrat^^ 
he levelled the butt of his musket, ram fashion, and, althoug^^ 
I cried out " don't hurt it," he dealt it a shock that mad^^ 
the boat tremble. I laughed, and so did Jim and Dick 
and Haman, cooling down a little, and seeing how ridiculoui^ 
the thing looked, laughed not a little himself. 

On going ashore we pitched our shelter-tents for the nigfat^^s 
near the celebrated " White House" — the property of Gene- — 
ral Lee. The house stood, perhaps, three-quarters of a mile ^ 
from the river. It was then used as a hospital ; and however ' 
beautiful and picturesque it might once have been, it now 
possessed but few attractions. 

When morning came we struck our tents and took our 
way up the railroad toward Richmond. According to the 
mile-posts the distance was twenty miles; and we started at 
a pace which, had it been maintained, would have taken 
us to Richmond in just six hours and forty minutes. A great •* 
pity we didn't keep straight on. 

General Reynolds, on this occasion, gave the most explicit 
orders that not a man must fall out of the ranks by the way; 
lest, on arriving at Dispatch Station, we should be called upon 
to cross the river, and all should not be present. The day was 
an extremely hot one ; and Colonel Hayes, by way of carry- 
ing out the general's orders, rode along the lines, and, after 
remarking that the heat was "awful," broke forth thus — 

" Boys, it's too d — d hard to march men on such a day as 
this. General Reynolds has given strict orders for all to 
stay in the ranks, but I'm not going to murder m^ men for 
him, or anybody else ; so if you get too hot j.ust fall out under 
some shade, and come along at your leisure. Confound any 
man who would want to melt soldiers up in this style," and 


the colonel wiped the sweat from his brow in honest indig- 
nation. • 

Tne result of the colonel's well-meant admonitions was, 
that the men all dropped off by the way, and the regiment 
was strung bravely out from Tunstall to Dispatch ; the colo- 
nel was also placed under arrest by General Reynolds for " dis- 
obedience of orders." Lieutenant-Colonel Oliphant accord 
ingly took command of the regiment. 

I We marched to Dispatch Station near the Chickahominy, 
Vtere we remained for several days. Stuart made his cele- 
brated raid about this time, and we were sent in pursuit of 
Ikim, which occupied, several days more. It is well known 
that we were unsuccessful in our pursuit of the rebel Stuart. 
$0, on another hot day, during the third week of June, we 
returned to Dispatch Station. 

Next day we were ordered to be ready for review in the 
afternoon ; it was stated that McClellan was to come from 
beyond the Chickahominy to review us. 

At four o'clock we were in line. Two hours passed away, 
and McClellan did not come. And why ? Simply because 
an artillery fight took place at the front, and Little Mac 
wouldn't leave danger. As the sound of the cannon was 
borne to our ears, we felt sure that we wouldn't get to see 
liittle Mac that day. 

We were about to be dismissed, when ^n orderly rode up 
to General McCall and placed an official dispatch in his 
liand. He read it and handed it to Captain Biddle, his aid 
de-camp. The captain glanced at the paper, then ordered 
the division to be massed, when he read to us an order to 
march forward on the ensuing morning and take a position 
" in the immediate presence of the enemy." 

We were then admonished by General McCall that strict 
silence must now be observed — that no unnecessary noise must 
be made — that the bands must not play — that not a gun must 
be discharged, and that cheering must be for a time dispensed 
with. He told us that we should, no doubt, soon be called 
upon to meet the enemy, jmd to fight for the banner we 
loved — that he expected much of the Pennsylvania Reserves 
and that he had great confidence in thdr NaVox. 

271 OUR BOYS. 

We felt like cheering the brave old general, but silent 
having just been so strictly enjoined, we forebore. 



At eight o'clock on the following morning, the Pennsyl ^ 
vania Reserve Corps moved slowly from Dispatch Station^ ^^ 
taking a right-hand road, and marching up the northeastC^/^ 
bank of the Chickahominy. This was somewhat unexpected-^-^ 
to us, for we had supposed that we were to cross the river, '^^' 
and join the main army. The post of honor, however, had J^, 
been assigned us ; we were to constitute the " extreme right." 

Our destination was Mechanics ville, which lies just four- "" 
and-a-half miles due north of Richmond, and on the left shore ^^ 
of the Chickahominy. When within two miles of that cele- '^ 
brated village,^ we halted, and pitched our tents to remain -^ 
till the following morning. It was not considered prudent ^ 
to advance with much haste. 

Next morning, the coast being found clear, we resumed 
our miirch. We marched but a mile, when we were led ofiF 
the road a little way into a corn-field, and there ordered to 
encamp. . The whole division was arranged in a proper posi- 
tion and ordered to pitch tents for the present — all save two 
regiments that were detailed for picket. I observed that our 
position was entirely concealed by surrounding woods. We 
were Hieing to the west, and we could see the village of 
Mechaniesville, which stood on a hill a mile to our front and 
a little way from the Chickahominy. 

Several days passed away in peace and quiet. Scarcely, 
either ; for poor Haman, being subject to neuralgia, or sun- 

* That ***celebrated village" is composed of one dwelliDg-hoase, a black- 
fimith-fihop, a tobacco-house, aud a weU. 


pain, as it is sometimes called, took a spell of it about the 
time of our arrival at Mechanics ville, and his suflFerings 
amounted to torture. The hot sun of the Peninsula was a 
great encouragement to the disease. He positively refused 
to be sent back to the hospital at White House Landing 
and he lay in our low tent, half-frantic at times with pain 
The disease is quite intermittent, and it would suddenly leave 
him at times, to return in a few hours probably with in- 
creased violence. 

During the latter part of June, the First and Eighth Eegi- 
ments were detailed for picket. We were to remain forty- 
eight hours, and we took our tents and all oUr equipage with 
us. One regiment was to form the picket line, while the 
other was to lie in reserve at the viUage. The picket line 
extended along the Chickahominy to a point half-a-mile west 
of Mechanicsville, thence at right angles, toward Hanover 
Court House. 

We arrived in Mechanicsville during the forenoon. The 
yinrt Eegiment was appointed to do the picket duty, while 
we were to lie in reserve. We accordingly stacked arms in 
a wood near the village, then set about amusing ourselves 
by going cautiously to the edge of the woods, and gazing 
across into rebeldom. Several earth-works were visible on 
the opposite hills; and by the aid of a field-glass, rebel 
sentinels could be seen, and now and thep a squad of men or 
a baggage-wagon going from one redoubt to another. 

Twenty-four hours passed away without event. .At the 
expiration of that time, a battery of parrott guns that had 
accompanied us to the village, opened fire on some of the 
rebel earthworks. We stood in line ready for action, and 
we could see the shells from our guns bursting about the 
rebel fortifications at every discharge. But, although there 
appeared to be guns mounted upon the works, the fire was 
not returned. With a glass, however, rebels could be seen 
standing by their guns as though awaiting orders to fire. 
They did not fire though, and our battery, after an hour, 
ceased to play. 

It was just dark when an order came to the regiment for 
one company to be sent to the Chickahominy at the bridge^ 

276 OUR BOYS. 

the mon thereof to be posted at intervals from the river back 
to the village — it was near half-a-mile — ^forming a kind of 
line of communication through which any order or informa- 
tion might be readily passed from one point to the other. 
Company '*D" was selected ; and we buckled on our accoutre- 
ments, and marched down the road toward the Chickahominy. 
The night was dark, and ere we were aware of it we found 
ourselves immediately at the bridge. 

" Halt 1" said the captain, suddenly. 

We halted. We were surprised that we had reached the 
river without encountering any picket-line. We knew not 
what to do. Could it be possible that the pickets had been 
called oflF without our knowledge ? As the idea suggested 
itself to my mind, I felt unpleasant ; for I did not know how 
many rebels might at that moment be preparing to fire upon 
us from the opposite shore, which, barely seen in the dark- 
ness, looked very gloomy. The river could not have been 
more than forty yards wide at this point. A moment we 
stood in breathless silence. We listened. All was stilL 
At length footsteps were heard approaching — coming from 
the left. They came nearer and nearer till the dark form 
of a man was dimly seen. The captain was about to chal- 
lenge him, when he said — 

" Good evening'j" 

" Good evening. May I inquire who you are ?" 

" I am an officer of the First." 

"Advance and give the countersign." 

The officer did so ; then the captain asked — 

" How is it that we reached the river without encounter- 
ing the pickets ?" 

" Because they are extended to the other side." 

" Oh, is that it I Well, we are ordered to form a line of 
copmmunication from this point to the village, and here we 
are. Are you in command here ?" 

"Yes; you will please post your men at intervals of 
twenty or thirty paces from here to the village, with orders 
to pass along any message that may be intrusted with them 
as speedily as possible." 

This was done. Our head-quarters were established at a 


point about half way from the village to the bridge. Cap- 
tain Conner was instructed to take his place at the head of 
the line to see that orders were promptly delivered. Lieu- 
tenant Blake and Sergeant Cue remained with him. At the 
head-quarters were Lieutenant Moth, Sergeant Zee, Sergeant 
Anawalt, ^nd myself. For awhile all went well— or rather 
nothing went at all, for no communications were transmitted. 

Near the hour of ten, a sentinel of the First Eegiment, 
being on post beyond the bridge, saw, in the imperfect light, 
an object cautiously approaching him from toward the 
enemy's lines. As it came nearer he discovered that it was 
a suit of light-gray clothes, over which hung a broad-brimmed 
low-crowned hat. The sentinel little doubted that within 
that suit of clothes and beneath that ample hat was a human 
being, though it was too dark to discern face or feature, and 
lie demanded — 

" Who comes there?" 

The object paused abruptly and stood motionless. This 
looked rather ominous, and the sentinel cocked his piece, 
brought it to bear on the suspicious object, and again de- 
manded, in a peremptory voice — 

*' Who comes' there ?" 

" Be aisy — it's a frind," said a low, cautious voice, proceed- 
ing certainly from beneath that interesting hat. The senti- 
nel had no doubt that the speaker was an Irishman. 

"Advance, friend, and give the countersign," he said, in a 
formal way. 

"It-8 mesel' 'at hasn't got that same," said the intruder, 
advancing. jNow there could be no doubt that he was a 
native of the Green Isle. 

" Then you are my prisoner," said the sentinel, decidedly, 
holding his gun in a menacing position. 

" Sure I've kim all the way down hur to be tha%i' was the 
reply ; and the man-in-gray drew near, holding up Ihfl ktmda 
to signify that he had no arms. 

" Have you come to give yourself up, then ?" 

"Ye've guissed it entirely." 

"And you are a Confederate soldier ?" 


278 OUR BOYS. 

"So you are tired of being in the rebel army 7" 

" Yes ; an' was before I wint intil it." 

" Were you pressed into the rebel service ?" 

" I was forced to volunteer,^^ replied the deserter (for such 
he was), with a show of that imperturbable wit and humor 
peculiar to an Irishman. 

" Well, you have got out of a bad scrape this night," 

" I was thinkin' that. It's glad I am to find meseP beneath 
the good ould sthairs and sthripes once more." 

" Have you anything to communicate to our commander ?" 

" It's something particular I have." 

"Then I will call a corporal and have you sent to the 
picket officer of the day." 

"That's it I" 

The sentinel called for a corporal, and on his coming, 
handed over his prisoner with explanations. The corporal 
conducted him to an officer of the First Eegiment, who sent 
him under guard to Colonel E. B. Egberts, then in command 
of the picket line. As the guard passed us with their 
prisoner, they asked us where they would find Colonel 
Eoberts. Lieutenant Moth told them that they would 
probably find him at the village ; and they passed on. 

A few moments after, we heard the beatmg of a drum, and 
several times, the whistle of a locomotive far in the direction 
of Eichmond. A strange feeling came over me when I heard 
this. I felt that some important movement was on foot 
among the rebels — probably they were about to evaouate 
Eichmond. I felt sure that that drum-beating was a " sell" 
— that the rebels had left the opposite shore of' the river — 
that the drum was beaten to make us believe that they were 
still there. It afterward proved that my ideas were not 
altogether at fault. 

Not long after the guard had passed by with the deserter, 
I lay down to take a nap, leaving Sergeant Zee to see that 
the men on post were relieved at the proper time, telling him 
to call me up in a few hours, and I would take charge and 
relieve him. 

I took my wool blanket from my knapsack, and made my 
bed upon the ground. For some time occasional faint flashes 


of lightning had been visible toward the nvNrthwest ; now it 
was growing more frequent and brilliant, and the low rum- 
ble of distant thunder began to be heard. I was about to lie 
down, when I observed Lieutenant Moth sitting quietly upon 
the trunk of a fallen tree ; he had no blanket, and I offered 
to share mine with him, inviting him to lie down with me. 

As I have before remarked. Lieutenant Moth had formed 
an unaccountable dislike of me ; but I was determined not 
to resent it, and I felt a kind of pleasure in doing him a kind- 
ness; and as I offered to share my blanket with him, I 
thought of the words : " If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; 
if he thirst, give him drink : for in so doing, thou shalt heap 
coals of fire on his head." 

Lieutenant Moth lay down beside me upon my wool 
blanket, and we used my tent-blanket for a covering. 

The air had been still during the evening, but a breeze 
now sprang up, and in a quarter of an hour a storm was 
introduced — a thunderstorm. As the black clouds gathered 
thickly over us, the darkness became intense. The light- 
■ ning, however, became quite frequent ; and flash after flash 
lighted up the angry heavens with a vivid glare. The rain, 
at first slight, increased in violence until it poured down in 
perfect torments. 

Awhile — ten minutes, perhaps — we lay beneath our frail 
shelter, secure from the rain ; but a great stream of water at 
last came crawling through between us, and we found that 
we must get up. 

" Lieutenant," said I, " do you feel that stream of water ?" 

"Yes; it would turn a mill." 

" I suppose we must get up." 

" Yes, we'll drown here." 

"Then let us jump up. You may take the'tent-blanket> 
and keep yourself dry if possible ; I'll take the other." 

We sprang from our deluged bed, and acted upon my 

The lightning was now almost incessant, and so brilliant 
that it was painful to the eyes ; while peals of thunder fol- 
lowed each flash of lightning, and sounded like the crashing 
together of worlds. It was a terrible storm. It ^'a& m^^kok 

280 OUR BOYS. 

to attempt to keep dry ; my blanket was already saturated, 
and it hung about me heavy as lead, while the pelting rain 
went straight through it to my devoted hide. 

At length the storm was over. The rain ceased to de- 
scend — the lightning glimmered at intervals upon the far-off 
horizon of the southeast, and the thunder rolled off and died 
away in the distance. 

Suddenly I became aware that the sky was lighted np 
with an unearthly glare. I started. What was it ? It could 
not be lightning. I looked toward Mechanicsville, and 
beheld two bright-blue rockets mounting up into the 
heavens.* I watched them and saw them burst into thou- 
sands of brilliant stars, which soon went out, and once more 
black darkness reigned. 

A moment after an order was passed along the line, coming 
from Mechanicsville. 

" Call off the pickets I Return to camp I Quick P 

Such was the message, and it passed speedily from post to 

f)ost to the Chickahominy. In accordance with this start- 
ing order, we hastily formed the company and marched to 
the wood in which we had left the regiment. It was so dark 
that we could scarcely find the place ; but when we did — 
there was no regiment there. This was strange. Could it be 
that the rebels had crossed the Chickahominy at some point 
above, and were they about to come down upon us ? Oh, 
impossible ! More likely they were evacuating Richmond. 
Yet why these strange orders. 

Stumbling, blundering, and falling over logs> running 
against trees, and falling into ditches and pools of water, we 
made our way out of the wood, and very naturally took the 
wrong road for camp, which camp we reached about day- 
light after a round-about march of four or five miles, during 
which we had waded a reasonable number of swollen 

We found the whole division standing in line of battle — 

* It appears that the deserter, on being examined by Colonel Roberts, 
had imparted the startling fact that the rebel force bejond the river had 
suddenly decamped — probably to evacuate, more probably to cross the 
river son^e mi^es above, and attack us. Hence the signals. 


their knapsacks packed, and their tents struck — the batteries 
in position, and the artillerymen by their guns. This was 
certainly an interesting state of things ; especially when we, 
weary as we were, were ordered also to stand in line of battle. 
After several hours it was ascertained, it seems, that an at- 
tack was not immipent, and a new picket was sent out. We 
were then allowed to pitch our tents again, and to build up 
oar exhausted frames with refreshing slumber. 



The day and night passed quietly away. 

Next morning we were called out on regimental drill; 
Lieutenant-Colonel Oliphant of course in command. The 
drill over, we were dismissed, with injunctions to be ready 
for a skirmish drill at four in the afternoon, in case we 
should not receive marching orders. We had but broken 
ranks and returned to our quarters when we were again 
called into line and ordered to stack arms. This done, we 
were again dismissed and permitted to go to our tents, with 
strict orders not to go far from camp. 

As all was quiet, and there were no indications of moving, 
I repaired to a mill-race a quarter of a mile in front of our 
lines for the purpose of bathing. This race ran by the base 
of a hill, while. beyond it was a swamp of several hundred 
yards in width. I descended the hill toward the race. The 
face of the hill being covered with timber and underbrush, 
I could not help remarking what a quiet, secluded place it 
was. The clear water flowed silently along, half hidden by 
the overhanging branches of trees and bushes that grew 
\ipon the bank. How little I imagined that before night 
thousands of bullets, shot, and shell were destined to fly 
across that race. 

282 OUR BOYS. 

Mj bathing accomplished, I returned to camp just in time 
for a dinner of vegetable soup and hard crackers. 

While at dinner we saw a balloon slowly ascend to the 
height of a hundred and fifty feet, where it remained. It was 
held to the ground by means of three guy -ropes. We could 
see a man in the car ; he raised a telescope and proceeded to 
take a survey of Mechanics ville and rebeldom in general. 
Suddenly he lowered his glass, and in the most feeling and 
eloquent manner signalled to those below to draw him down 
quickly. The balloon had just begun to descend, when bang ! 
bang I went two cannon in quick succession, seemingly in the 
vicinity of the rebel earthworks beyond the river, and a shell 
and a solid shot came shrieking through the air over our 
heads flying past the balloon — the shell exploding just be- 

An hour later we were suddenly ordered to pack our 
knapsacks, strike our tents, and be ready for a march. The 
baggage-wagons and ambulances were soon in order and 
ready to move. Poor Haman was suffering terribly with 
the neuralgia ; he insisted on marching with the regiment 
wherever it should go. I told him that he must not under- 
take to march — that he must get into an ambulance — that I 
would go with him to the surgeon and get him a place in 
one. He stubbornly refused, saying that there would prob- 
ably be a fight, and he wanted to be in it. I argued that 
there would be no such thing — that the rebels were probably 
retreating, and that we should no doubt have a hard march 
before overtaking them. 

" D— d if I'll go in any ambulance," said Haman, vehe- 

" But just think, Haman — " 

" No use talking ; I'm going with the regiment." 

" But you can't stand it this hot day, in your present con- 
dition. Suppose you should sink down by the way." 

"But I don't like the idea— oh I" 

"What's the matter?" 

"That pain— oh I" 

" Come, now," I urged, " you'll never stand it to march." 

We were standing unprotected from the melting rays of 


the sun, and tbe pain had become awful. Haman, with great 
reluctance, consented to get into an ambulance, provided the 
doctor would allow him ; for the ambulances were generally 
crowded on such occasions. 

"Allow you 1" I said; "we'll see if he don't allow you I 
Oome; I'll carry your things over for you." And we 
walked across a little valley, an^ made our way to where 
iSke wagon and ambulance trains stood. 

"Doctor," said I, approaching that worthy, "here is one 
of our men, who — " 

" There is no room for any more," he interrupted. 

"But you must make room for this one I" I said, savagely, 
forgetting that I was addressing a man of superior rank. 

" You talk very positive," he said. 

" I am positive. Here — " 

"Let's go back and let him go to h — 11," iutcrrupted 

"No, he must make room for you. I say, doctor, this is 
one of the best men we have in the regiment; he is almost 
jGrantio with a torturing neuralgia, and it would be no better 
than suicide for him to attempt to march, or murder for 
you to compel him to." 

He looked at Haman, and he could see the beating and 
throbbing of the veins on his forehead, and the feverish 
glow upon his cheeks. 

"Ill try to make room for him," he said; "though the 
ambulances are pretty well crowded." 

Ere long I had the satisfaction to see Haman in an ambu- 
lance, and I bade him " good-bye," and returned to the regi- 
ment. Soon alter, the wagons and ambulances moved oftj to 
my surprise, down the Chickahominy toward Dispatch 

As I have previously stated, our arms were stacked in 
line in front of our camp. For awhile we lounged about, 
our accoutrements on, awaiting orders to fall in. Half an- 
hour after the w^igons and ambulances had departed, a 
staff-officer rode by and said something to Lieutenant-Colo- 
Bel Oliphant, who thereupon mounted upon his horse that 
stood by already saddled and bridled, sluA ^\\Ci\\\.^?y.\ — 

284 OUR BOYS. 

" Fall in I fall in, men I quickly !" 

At the same moment, a startling volley of musketry wu 
heard toward the right of the division. Another followed, 
and another, and a wild, fierce, continuous rattle ensnecL 
With a wild shout we flew to our arms, and awaited the 
order, " take arms ;" it was given at once by Oliphant He 
-(lien rode along in front of the regiment, addressing each 
company separately ; as he rode by our company, remember- 
ing that he was a native of the same county with Ui^ he 
said : — 

" Now, boys, you will have an opportunity to show tbe 
gray-backs what old Fayette County will do for tbe 
Union I You'll do your county no dishonor — you'll stand 
by your flag, won't you? — the flag presented you by — ^ 

His voice was drowned by a deafening cheer. 

At that moment, Colonel Hayes came riding into our 
presence at headlong speed. 

"Boys — my gallant Eighth I" he shouted ; "I have just been 
released from arrest I I can draw my sword once more 1 I 
have come, my brave boys, to take command — ^to go witb 
you into the coming battle I I trust that I will never leavd 
you now, till we return to old Pennsylvania again I" 

Then, reader, the shout that arose drowned the noise of 
the musketry that was now raging on the right, and echoed 
like a scream against the hill of Mechanicsville. 

The roar of artillery now joined in, and a shell went shriek- 
ing over our heads, striking the earth a hundred yards to our 
rear, and bursting into fragments. Our brave colonel took 
command of the regiment, and formed us in column of divi- 
sions, giving orders with perfect coolness ; proving that he 
was equal to his task — able to handle his regiment in battle. 
He then marched us forward to the brow of the hill that de- 
scended to the mill-race and swamp, and there halted us. 
As I have previously stated, the face of the hill was covered 
with a thick growth of trees and underbrush. At the mar- 
gin of the wood the column was deployed into line, where 
we stood for a few minutes, awaiting orders. Presently nn 
order came, requiring Colonel Hayes to send four companie* 
down to the mill-race, there to deploy as skirmishers. The 

THE BATTLE. , 285 

lamaii-ing six companies were to remain where they were, 
as a support to Captain Easton's battery, which was posted 
flbbnt two-hundred paces to our left. 

The first four companies of the right of the regiment were 
Ordered to go into the wood as skirmishers. Our company, 
lieing the third company of the regiment, was sent among 
Oihers. We were ordered to lay oflf our knapsacks in a 
he ap, which we did, leaving Jim Hare to guard them. 
- When we were ordered to enter the wood to deploy as 
(Adrmishers, it was amusing to witness the excitement of our 
fighting friend, Bob Young. He instantly cocked his musket 
r*-4t was loaded of course — levelled it toward the woods, and 
iaemed to be waiting and watching for a rejbel to make his 
appearance. At the same time, he exclaimed : — 

" They're coming I Hi'U shoot one I They're coming right 
hup through the woods hat hus I Be ready I Look — loo — 
hi thought hi saw one I" And he seemed on the point of 

^ Bob," said I, speaking very loudly to make myself heard 
above the din of battle, " let down the hammer of your gun ; 
fAkere are no rebels in the woods ; we are going down to the 
face, presently." 

" But they hare hin the woods — hi know they hare !" 

** But I tell you they are not. Uncock your gun, I say ; 
you'll let it off- presently, and shoot some of our own men." 

Bob reluctantly obeyed, declaring that the rebels would 
be upon us before we could make ready. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Oliphant soon led us into the wood, 
aad with some difficulty we made our way through the 
underbrush to the race at the foot of the hill. Companies 
"A," "F," and "I" were the others that went down. At the 
base of the hill we halted, and deployed as skirmishers 
among the trees and bushes that stood on the bank of the 

"Now, Young," said I, "you see there are no rebels in the 
wood ; you must be more cool." 

" But they were 'ere, hi believe yet," he exclaimed. 

"Then what has become of them? Where have they 

286 , OUR BOYS. 

"Thej retreated hat hour happroacL/' 

"But how did they get over this swamp so quickly?" 

Bob looked thoughtfully toward the swamp, but did not 

We were deployed at intervals of eight or ten paces, along 
the race — our company directly in front of the position occu- 
pied by the regiment, Company " I" on our left, and Com- 
panies "A" and " F" on out* right. 

I could not help admiring the perfect coolness and bravery 
of Captain Conner. He directed every movement, and gave 
orders with as much complacency as though he were super- 
intending the roasting of an ox. The whole regiment, indeed, 
officers and men^ with few exceptions, behaved admirably. 

Meanwhile, the fight grew fierce on the right, gradually 
nearing us, and finally opened on the left. A rebel battery 
had now taken position on the opposite hill, and opened fire 
upon Captain Easton's battery. Another rebel battery 
further to our right opened an oblique fire upon that of Cap- 
tain Easton. The brave cannoniers stood by their guns — 
their coats thrown of^ their sleeves rolled up. and the sweat 
pouring from their faces — while the death- dealing projectiles 
from the rebel batteries — one of them was not six hundred 
yards distant — filled the air and flew about their heads 
in all their terror. The brave Easton, too, displayed the 
most invincible coolness and gallantry. 

Our situation in the wood was not very enviable. 
Hundreds of shells, solid shot, and charges of grape-and- 
canister came crashing among the trees about us, or striking 
in the race and splashing the water into our very faces. We 
were truly in the midst of the fight; yet we could take no 
active part, for the rebels beyond the swamp were hid from 
our view. They were so near, however, that at times their 
bugles could be heard among the trees that covered the face* 
of the opposite hill at this point. 

A number were wounded by grape or fragments of shell; 
among them Will Dean, a brave fellow of our company. 

The first of our regiment killed was Sergeant Huston, of 
Company "A." He was standing beside Lieutenant Murray, 
of the same company, and they were gazing int.ently into the 


woods beyond the swamp, watching for the appearance of tho 
rebel skirmishers, when he suddenly clapped his hand to his 
lireast, and sank to the ground, exclaiming : — 

"My God 1 Fmshotl Tm dying I Fm dy— " 

The death-rattle was in his throat ; it was all over ; his 
apirit had fled. 

Lieutenant Murray bent over him, and tore open his blouse 
and the bosom of his shirt, and saw a few drops of blood 
oozing slowly from a bullet wound near the heart. 

The battle went on.; every moment ^t seemed to increase 
in fury. The maddening rattle of musketry pierced the ear, 
ftnd the thunder of the artillery made air and earth tremble. 
A dense cloud of smoke gathered over us, and the sulphurous 
Bmell of gunpowder was predominant. 

At length, a mad shout arose above the din of battle, far 
toward the right. 

"Ah, that don't sound like one of our cheers — I fear it is 
a rebel cheer I" said one of our boys. 

" That's no northern cheer," said another. The difference 
ia distinguishable. 

" Perhaps they are making a charge," suggested another. 

"No doubt they are," said the captain ; "but never fear — 
they will be repulsed."* 

Presently a loud, prolonged, and exultant cheer rose high 
above the preceding one. 

" That's one of our cheers 1" exclaimed the captain. 

" I suppose our fellows are giving it to them now," I re- 
marked, just as a solid shot went crashing through the tree 
above ray head, tearing off a large limb which fell near me. 

The next moment a shell came whizzmg over, exploding 
among the branches of the same tree ; and an ugly three- 
cornered piece came near dropping on my head. I picked 
it up and was making some observations on its peculiar 
tearing qualities, when Lieutenant- Colonel Oliphant walked 

♦ These specnlations were correct. A whole brigade of rebels were 
charging upon the little Second Regiment, which consisted of bnt seven 
companies. Tlie gallant Second, commanded bj Colonel McCandless, stood 
firm, charged the rebels in turn and effectually repulsed them. Three 
times was this repeated on that dreadful afternoon. 

288 OUR BOYS. 

by. I perceived that he was laughing at me^ and I exhibited 
the fragment to him — it was very hot — and remarked — 

*' Colonel, those are a very inferior quality of shell which 
they are throwing." 

" Why so ?" be asked, taking the piece in his band. 

"Because they break up into such homely pieces ; there 
is nothing uniform about them." 

"That may be, but they are quite military." 

I laughed at this, and 1 fully realized that all things must 
not necessarily be urdform because military. CSolonel Oli- 
phant passed on. 

The sergeants were placed along the line of skirmishers at 
intervals of thirty or forty yards, with instructions to pass 
any orders along that might be committed to them. Oliphant 
had but passed when T heard on my right the cry of — " Bally 
ON THE battalion!" Perceiving that it came from the 
sergeant next on my right, I passed it on ; and the whole 
line of skirmishers was soon called in and the companies 
formed. We hurriedly ascended the hill and joined the 
regiment. We had but done so when we heard a* loud cheer 
in the direction of the rebel lines, a few hundred yards to the 
left. Colonel Hayes, raising his voice to the highest pitch 
to make himself heard above the awful tumult, shouted — 

"By the left flank— marc^ /" 

We marched at a double-quick toward Captain Easton's 
battery, for it appeared that the rebels were about to attempt 
to cross the valley below the swamp for the purpose of tak- 
ing the battery. As we passed in rear of the battery in 
order to gain the left, we could look across and see the rebel 
battery; though it was dimly visible through the smoke. 
At every discharge we could see the flash — they were firing 
rapidly — and the next instant some horrid projectile came 
flying about our ears. Ball after ball, shell after shell struck 
in rapid succession around us ; now whistling a few feet above 
our heads, now striking the ground in front of us and bound- 
over. Now and then a charge of grape-and-canister spat- 
tered around us. while a shell would come shrieking along, 
and burst within a few yards, the fragments whistling and 
singing in the air. 


In less time than it requires to relate it we had gained the 
left of the battery and formed a line for its protection. 
Simultaneoasly with our movement a brigade of rebels in 
close column charged madly down the opposite hillside, utter- 
ing the most savage yells that ever greeted my ears. Bush- 
ing unhesitatingly across the narrow valley that intervened 
between the two hills, they were about to ascend our hill, 
when one of our regiments — ^I had not observed it before — 
which lay in a concealed position near the base, arose and 
poared such a murderous volley into the rebel ranks that 
they broke and fled in dismay. As they were rushing up 
the hill they had just descended, the battery, to add to their 
ooufusion, sent showers of grape-and-canister after them ; 
and hundreds fell to the earth torn and bleeding. 

The battery now being in no immediate danger, we were 
ordered to resume our former position. The first four com- 
panies returned to the race and reformed the line of skir- 
mishers, while the remainder of the regiment took position 
on the right of the battery as before. 

It was now evening ; the battle grew fiercer. Shell, solid 
shot, and grape-and-canister poured into the woods, striking 
against the hillside in perfect storms. Some of our boys 
fired a few random shots, which only had the effect of reveal- 
ing our position to the rebel skirmishers, and we were treated 
to an occasional minnie ball. 

As there were many large trees standing along the 
race, we were ordered to take shelter behind them ; for as 
the men were standing eight or ten paces apart, there was at 
least a tree at the service of each. Near my position stood 
a large pine tree. I did not fancy the idea of taking shelter 
behind it, lest it should look like cowardice ; for I had not yet 
learned that it was both customary and fair for both sides to 
take advantage of every object that afforded the least shelter. 

"Sergeant," said the captain, "you had better take that 
tree there." 

" I don't much like to, captain," I said. 

"But you must; it's foolish to expose yourself unneces- 

I reluctantly obeyed. Another argument, ^ l\id.\» tsl^xol^^. 

290 OUR BOYS. 

came to the captain's assistance ; it was a ponderous solid shot 
that flew by, striking the hill-side with a stunning shock. I 
observed that the captain himself stood surveying the scen^ 
perfectly exposed to the missiles of the rebels. 

" Captain," said I, " why don't you get behind a tree ? You 
are exposing yourself P 

" Because, I must stand where I can see what is going on," 
replied the brave captain. 

Thinking at that moment that / would like to see -what 
was going on, I thrust my head from behind my tree, but 
could see nothing but smoke, and an occasional flash, proba- 
bly of the rifle of a rebel skirmisher, and just as I withdrew 
my head, a bullet grazed the side of the tree, and cut a leaf 
from a bush at just the height of my eye. I looked to see 
whether the captain noticed it, but he had not ; he was stand- 
ing with his marine glass, endeavoring to make oilt some 
object in the smoke in our front. 

Night closed in ; but the battle went on with unabated fury. 
The Pennsylvania Eeserves, commanded by the brave old 
hero, McCall, stubbornly held their ground. Not a regiment 
gave way — not a regiment faltered, although out-numbered 
three to one at the very least. We certainly had the advan- 
tage in position, and our position was a good one ; to this 
advantage may be partially attributed our success. It is 
supposed that no leas a number than thirty thousand was en- 
gaged against us in that battle. Captain Easton's Battery 
engaged three rebel batteries ; for, besides those mentioned, 
another farther to the left opened upon it. The whole divi- 
sion behaved admirably. 

The battle continued without intermission till ten o'clock. 
when the firing gradually slackened, and finally ceased. We 
lay down to rest, first procuring our knapsacks. Jim Bider, 
Captain Conner, Dick,*and I lay down together. 

The firing having entirely ceased, the groans, screams, and 
shrieks of the wounded rebels on the opposite hill could be 
distinctly heard. Occasionally, one could be heard to cry : — 

" Oh, doctor I doctor I must I die ? must I die ? My God 1 
Oh, my mother 1 My father !" . 

Although they were our enemies, my heart bled for them; 


.'and I mentally ttanked God that I was not in the same situa- 
- tion as they. 

I began to think of the morrow. I little doubted that the 
fight would be resumed on the following morning, in the 
flame position. What would be the result ? Would we ai 
last effectually re*pul8e the rebels ? Then would we pursue 
them to Richmond ? Would the morrow's setting sun find 
me alive ? Or would his last golden rays fall sadly on my 
lifeless corpse. I felt no presentiment of death. 'Yet my 
ideas of the deeds of the morrow were vague and vacillating. 

I was about to compose myself to sleep, when I thought 
of Haman. Jim seemed to think of him at that moment, too ; 
for he suddenly exclaimed : — 

" My gracious I Won't Haman swear because there was a 
battle and he wasn't in it !" 

" YA^" I replied ; " he will harbor no very amiable feeling 
for tbft sun-pain ; it was the cause of keeping him out of the 

" Listen I" said Dick ; " they are moving the artillery." 

We listened. Yes, the dull sound of the wheels of gun- 
earriages and caissons could be heard. 

*' They are changing position for the morning," I suggested. 

"No doubt; oh, we'll have a time of itl" 

*' Captain," said T, addressing Am, " what think you will be 
done to-morrow ?" 

But the captain did not reply ; he was sound asleep, as hia 
heavy breathing indicated. We soon followed his example. 

There we lay, within rifle-range of the enemy, fully expect- 
ing that the morrow would unfold scenes of the most terrible 
carnage ; yet we slept soundly. I know that my sleep was 
as deep as any I ever enjoyed. 

It is, indeed, remarkable that men can lie down and sleep 
BO tianquilly, when they know the danger that awaits them 
on the morrow— when they hear the cries of the already 
mangled — when they know that the dead lie strewn around, 
and that, with the early dawn of the coming day, the work 
of death will be resumed. 

Such is the case — and it is well; for men never so mucli 
need repose as on occasions like the one m c^vv^^X^ovi. 

292 OUB BOTS. 


A I N B S' H I L L.- 

A BATTLING discharge of musketry suddenly aroused va, 
and we sprang to our feet. It was daylight. "^Ve packed 
our knapsacks and returned them to the brow of the KU, 
where we left them in a heap as before. Jim and I repaired 
to a spring near at hand and filled our canteens with the 
clear water. Having done so, Jim suggested that a cup of 
coffee would be exceedingly beneficial to us. I told him that 
there was nothing to prevent him from going over to the 
camping-ground and making a cup ; but as for myself, I 
could not accompany him, as it was my duty to remaib with 
the line of skirmishers. He departed for the place men- 
tioned, while I returned to the mill-race. 

The fight was now progressing ; but with far less vigor 
than on the previous afternoon. The musketry was pretty 
brisk on the left, but was languid on the right ; the artillery 
was working very deliberately, and Union and rebel shots 
flew alternately over our heads, at intervals of a quarter of 
a minute. 

Half an hour had elapsed when I heard a command uttered 
by some one who came down through the wood ; the voice 
was that of Colonel Hayes, and he shouted — 

" Rally on the battalion !" 

The order was rapidly passed along the line, and we were 
soon collected, the ranks were formed, and we marched up 
the hill toward the regiment. Company '* F," however, not 
comprehending the order, remained in the wood, consequently 
they were taken prisoners an hour after, and they enjoyed 
the delightful privilege of seeing Richmond. 

On arriving at the margin of the wood where the remainder 
of the regiment was, a question arose as to whether we should 
take our knapsacks. It remained a question, for no one 
could tell whither we were going. Some, therefore, took 


their knapsacks, while others injudiciously left them ; I was 
one of the latter. Yes, I left my knapsack, fondly, vainly hop- 
ing to return to it ; but I never saw it again. Some grim rebel 
I suppose, soon after took possession of it, and gloried over its 
contents, which were as follows : A woollen blanket, a tent- 
blanket, a change of under garments, a " Lloyd Map of Vir- 
ginia," a copy of the New Testament, a port-folio containing 
:ainple writing materials and stamps, a photograph, an ambro- 
type, and half a dozen letters from my darling. 

As we moved off, Easton's Battery, which had not moved 
^during the night, limbered up and followed us. We took 
Ae road toward Dispatch Station. It was necessary to move 
.'toward the left in order to get to this road ; and we had but 
reached it, when, looking back, we saw a regiment of our 
division coming after us at a double-quick. The rebels were 
firing after them, and hundreds of bullets flew over them and 
whistled about our ears. The terrible truth flashed upon me 
with stunning acuteness; we were retreating. My heart sank 
within me. Eetreating ! Oh, what could it mean ? I knew 
that we had not been worsted in the battle of Mechanicsville. 
Then it occurred to me that we were falling back to prevent 
being flanked — that the rebels outnumbering us, as I was 
-sure they did, had probably thrown a force in a position to 
menace our rear and threaten to cut off our communication 
with the main army. It was true ; my conjectures were cor- 

Our retreat, if such it might be called, was well conducted. 
It was not precipitate ; it was not disorderly — no panic. All 
was deliberation and perfect order. 

We had marched two miles, when a rebel battery opened 
upon us from beyond the Chickahominy ; and while passing 
that point, solid shot were striking around us one after ano- 
ther, ploughing up the ground in a style truly agricultu- 

When we had passed out of range of this impolite battery, 
we breathed more freely ; for while exposed to its deliberate 
fire, how was a fellow to know at what moment one of those 
balls would take the top of his head off? 

A mile further a halt was ordered, and we sat dovrxv "b^ tlaa 

294 OUR BOYS. 

roadside, where we remained for a couple of hours. At last 
we moved on ; and it was eleven o'clock when we reached 
the vicinity now known as Gaines' Hill. There we found 
the whole of Porter's Corps in line of battle. They cheered 
us as we approached, for they had already learned of our 
resistance at Mechanicsville. As we neared them, many 
eagerly asked — 

*'Are you the Pennsylvania Reserves?" 

On being informed that we were that body of troops^ they 
would exclaim — 

" By jolly, boys ! you've give it to 'em ! Do you know 
that you have been fighting Stonewall Jackson and his whole 

" Stonewall Jackson ! No 1 We thought he was in the 

" No, he has left the valley, and come to reinforce the rebels 
in front of Richmond." 

"And where are McDowell and Banks ?" 

" Probably they will follow him up." 

" No doubt. Oh, we'll lick 'em yet 1" 

"That we will." 

The rebels were evidently advancing; our troops were 
being placed in position, the batteries were being planted, 
and general preparations for battle made. Our division 
halted ; and we sat down to rest, waiting to have our position 
assigned to us. 

" Where is Jim ?" asked the captain, abruptly. 

" Sure enough — where is he ?" said Dick. 

" The last I saw of him," said I, " he was making for the 
camping-ground for the purpose of getting up a cup of coflEee." 

"When was that?" asked the captain. 

" Early this morning." 

" Then I am afraid he is captured." 

" I hope not/' said I. 

" Or he may be killed," suggested Dick. 

At that moment our yellow contraband, Heniy Craig; 
made his appearance — half grinning and almost asleep. It 
was the first time I had seen the gentleman for twenty-four 


• ** Where have you been, Henry ?" asked the captain. 
"I bin back dar." 

.. ^ Where — among the rebels ?" 
. "Yes, sah." ^ 

" But how did you get away ?" 

" I jes walked." 

• ** Walked right away from them ?" 

" Did they see you ?" 
" Yes ; um couldn't help it." 
"Why did they not take you prisoner?" 
" Kase dey didn't know if I wasn't one ob deir darkeys.'' 
" Did you see anything of Jim Eider ?" 
" Yes, sah ; I saw all ob him." 
"Among de webels." 
" What ! Was he a prisoner ?" 
" Pooty near." 
"How so?" 

" Kase dey nearly cotch him." 
'* Then they didn't catch him ?" 
"I spec not. De last I saw, he was gittin'." 
" Which way was he going ?" 
" Comin' dis way." 
" I'm afraid— " 

" There he comes now 1" exclaipaed Dick, interrupting iho 
captain's fears. 

• We looked. Sure enough, Jim was deliberately approach- 
ing us from toward the Chickahominy — his knapsack on his 
back — ^an arch look upon his face ; while he was whistling 
some old-time tune. 

" Why, Jim," said the captain, " we supposed that you were 
a goner — that you were either in for a trip to Eichmond, or 
elfie a bigger journey." 

Jim came to where we were sitting, deliberately laid off 
his knapsack and sat down upon it, drew a long breath, and 
finally remarked : — 

"Not yet." 

296 OUR BOYS. 

At our earnest request he then related what had befalleD 
him since we had seen him in the morning. 

" When I went over to the old camp," said he, "I found it 
necessary, before making my coffee, to build a fire ; for the 
fires which we left burning yesterday were all out. There- 
fore, it must have been an hour before my coffee was ready 
for drinking. I noticed that the firing had ceased in the 
vicinity of the lines, but I thought nothing of it ; I drank my 
coffee and leisurely returned to the wood. I had not reached 
it, though, when some fellow of Company " F" came flying 
from the wood — capless, knapsackless, cartridge-boxless, 
musketless, canteenless, haversackless, and almost witless, 
crying :— 

" * The rebs ! the — the — rebs ! They're— all — around us 1 
You'd better skedaddle !' 

"As I had supposed our boys to be still in the wood, I felt 
somewhat taken aback ; however, I said : — 

" ' How do you make that out ?' 

" ' Oh, the division's retreated !' he exclaimed, excitedly. 

" ' Eetreated !' 


" ' Well, I'll go and get my knapsack before I retreat* 

"'You'd better not!' 

" ' Yes, I will,' I said, ' for my tobacco is in it ; and my 
fife, too.' 

"As these arguments couldn't be resisted, the fellow rushed 
On, and I went to the wood and got my knapsack. 

" I left the wood and was coming this way, when I looked 
bapk, and saw a regiment of men coming. I soon saw that 
they were not our men, and I quickened my pace. I heard 
them shouting after me, but I wouldn't halt; and the whole 
crowd fired, and a shower of bullets followed me. I increased 
my. pace to a run, and volley after volley of bullets came 
rattling about me, striking all the trees for rods around me 
— I was then passing that little grove at the cross-roads — 
and knocking up the dust at my heels. Every second I ex- 

Eected to feel an ounce of cold lead walk gently in at the 
ack of my head. Just then, looking to the left and front, I 
saw a body of horsemen coming in such a way as to head me 



oflF; and at the same time I saw Henry Craig about three 
hundred yards ahead of me, and I never saw a bundle get- 
ting over ground like the bundle he was carrying. As a last 
alternative, I turned abruptly to the right, and soon reached 
the river. I then walked down beside the river, till — here I 

"Old fellow," I said, "you had a narrow escape." 

"Oh, that was— " 

"Yonder is an order!" interrupted Dick. 

An orderly just then rode up to Colonel Hayes, and 
aaid: — 

" Colonel, you are to take position in that road, near the 
battery which you see on the hill yonder — ^by order of Gene- 
ral McCall." 

" Fall into your places, boys !" said the colonel. 

" We are probably going into battle," said the captain, ad- 
dressing his company ; " I advise you all to lay off your 
knapsacks — those who have them." 

All acted upon this suggestion, and the knapsacks were 
left beneath a tree at hand. We then marched to the spot 
which had been pointed out by the orderly, and took our 
position in a road that ran northeast and southwest. The 
road was a graded one, and was cut through the hill, so that 
a bank eight or ten feet high rose on either side, the north- 
west bank, of course, affording us some protection from the 
rebel artillery which was expected soon to open upon us from 
a range of wooded hills three-quarters of a mile in our front. 
The Second Regular infantry lay in the road with us, so that 
we were somewhat hampered. A battery of four parrott 
guns and two brass howitzers was planted upon the bank 
behind us. 

In our front was a large open field, six hundred yards 
in width. Beyond it was a thick wood. In this field were 
several small hills, ridges, etc. ; and about midway, rarniug 
parallel with the road, was a deep depression. A regiment 
of zouaves (the Fifth New York) marched into this valley, 
a little to our right, and marched up the opposite ascent till 
their position remained barely concealed from any who 
mi^ht be beyond ; there they stood in waiting^. "^^ ^<^\ss!^ 

298 OUR BOYS. 

prepared to meet the approaching rebels. Now and thea 
some field, or general officer, would ride to ibe brink of the 
bank in our rear, place his glass to his eyes, and look long 
and earnestly toward that frowning wood. 

It was about noon, when, on an elevation beyond the wood, 
several flashes, accompanied by puflFs of white smoke, sud- 
denly burst forth, and in a few seconds a solid shot and a 
shell or two flew over our heads. Our battery replied. 
Another moment, and several additional rebel guns were let 
loose, and a number of projectiles passed two hundred feet 
above our heads. Our battery let off a whole volley ; and 
we could hear the bursting of several shell in the vicinity of 
the rebel battery. Then the rebel battery went to work in 
earnest ; so did ours. 

A number of batteries, right and left, now opened, and 
were replied to by 9thers. The fight soon became generaL 
The artillery began to play rapidly ; and shell after shell 
screamed over our heads, coming lower and lower everv 
ininute, and at last occasionally striking the face of the hill 
in our front, and ricocheting over us. They were getting the 
range. By and by a line of rebel skirmishers appeared at the 
edge of the wood, and were fired upon by the zouaves. They 
fell back into the deep shades of the wood ; but presently a 
line-of-battle could be seen emerging slowly from the wood. 
Our brave zouaves treated them to a volley, of bullets from 
their " Sharpens Eifles." The rebels opened a brisk fire, and 
a continuous rattle of musketry was added to the roar of 
artillery. The zouaves stood their ground bravely. The 
musketry was not, however, confined to this point. Like the 
artillery, it was here introduced to be taken up by the forces 
both right and left ; and it soon became general. 

Colonel Hayes climbed to the top of the bank in our front, 
to tlie imminent risk of having his head suddenly carried 
away by a shell, and took a survey of the prospect with his 
gJass. A moment he watched the zouaves, then he lowered 
his glass, and exclaimed, in admiration : — 

" I tell you, boys, those fellows are fighting bravely I" 

A move was made by many to climb to the top of the 
bank and look ; but the colonel said : — 


"Stay dowa! You musn't expose yourselves unneces- 
sarily ! It will be time enough when you are called upon." 

The colonel again raised his glass. 

" Ha 1" he exclaimed ; " now they are having it ! They're 
charging 1 Hurrah ! The rebels are standing their ground ! 
They have nearly reached them ! Ha ! Three cheers ! The 
rebels are giving way ! They're running! they're running!' 
The brave zouaves have pursued them to the wood ! Now 
thev are returning to their old position." 

A wild cheer rent the air. 

Many of the brave zouaves now came limping from the 
field — their red pantaloons stained with their still brighter 
blood — some of them still carrying their rifles — some cursing 
the rebels for shooting them. Some were being assisted from 
the field by comrades. Many, though, fell dead where they 
stood — ^their fingers on the trigger, perhaps, and their eyes 
fixed in aim upon their country's foes. • 

Captain Conner climbed to the top of the bank and viewed 
the scene with his field-glass. After a minute he sat down 
upon the face of the slanting bank, so that his head was just 
bfelow its crest ; and as he did so, a conical shell skipped the 
top of the bank, passed a few inches over his head and struck 
the opposite bank without exploding. I was surprised to 
observe that the captain betrayed no emotion at such a nar- 
row escape ; there he sat, his face was calm, and he was playing 
with the hilt of his sword in the most placid manner, t 
oould not but admire his soldierly bearing. 

Suddenly I heard an explosion a little to my right that 
pierced to my very brain. I naturally turned in the direc- 
tion, and saw a sight that is before my eyes yet. Twenty or 
thirty feet from me, where the banks were not high enough 
to afford much protection, I saw a cloud of dust and smok 
in the very midst of Company "A." I saw a man throw hi 
hands wildly above his, head, and fall backward, covered with 
blood. A moment he lay quivering convulsively, then he 
lay still — ^perfectly still. He was dead. Another stooped, 
and picked up his own arm which had been torn off by the" 
shell as it descended, and rushed wildly toward a small 
hospital some distance to the rear flouriahmg^ XJaa ^^&\s^jot!l- 

800 OUR BOYS. 

bered limb above his bead, and shouting, in the broad 
tongue : — 

" Och, docther, me airm's ofl^ me airm's oflF!" just as though 
the doctor could help it. 

A percussion shell had struck fairly among the boys, kill- 
ing three outright, and wounding four. It is a terrible sight 
to see a shell strike and explode in the midst of a body of men. 

It was anything but pleasant lying in that road ; the red 
dust was several inches deep ; the heat was intense ; and it 
was highly judicious for one to lie close to the ground, if he 
had any respect for the terrible missiles whose peculiar quali- 
ties were so impressively demonstrated to us, as described. 

During the engagement, an ofiBcer of the battery on the 
bank behind us came to the edge of the bank — ^I verily 
believe he had his hands in his pockets — and with surpris- 
ing coolness, said — 

" Men, be kind enough to keep your heads as low as pos- 
sible for a little while ; I want to try a round of grape-and- 
canister — just one — and some of the shot may fly pretty 
low ;" and he returned to the battery. 

A moment the guns were silent. The rebel infantry, at 
this juncture, were pressing out from the wood in solid bodies, 
presenting great temptations for grape-and-canister. 

Suddenly the earth shook — the hill seemed to be starting 
from its place as the six guns were discharged in concert ; 
and six charges of grape-and-canister went hissing over our 
heads toward the wood. A moment after the battery officer 
reappeared at the brink of the bank, and gleefully exclaimed : 

" 'Twas ^ lucky shot, boys ! 'Twould have done you good 
to see how they were mowed down ; and how the lucky ones 
scrambled back into the woods, ha ! ha !" 

The infantry fighting abated, while that of the artillery 
was resumed with redoubled fury. There was not a second 
that the air above our heads was fre^ from either shot or 
shell. They were sent one after another so rapidly, that a 
constant, prolonged, and connected whizzing, shrieking, and 
screaming was maintained. Shell were exploding every 
second — now in front of us, now in our rear, and frequently 
over our heads. Grape-and-canister came whistling shrilly 


about US ; while solid shot came rushing madly along, now 
flying a few feet above our heads, now striking the hillside 
with a dull crash, and ricocheting a hundred feet into the 
air, and falling far in our rear. 

When a shell explodes in the air above one's head, many 
firagraents fly upward, and are heard singing and whistling 
in the air for half a minute before they drop. During this 
half minute the suspense of those beneath it is horrible to 
endure. How is a poor mortal to know that it is not going 
to drop plump upon his head ? Every one is sure to think 
that, judging by the sound, it is descending in a straight line 
for his head. 

During the season of cannonading, of which I have just 
upoken, a shell exploded thirty or forty feet above us ; and 
we could hear a large fragment singing in the air in the usual 
style. We looked at each other ; every man felt that it was 
coming right down upon his head ; and all sat motionless — 
breathless. Down it came — whiz-z-z-st — chuck 1 and it 
struck fair upon the heel of Page's shoe ; for he was reclin- 
ing on his side — his feet extended. He took up the ragged 
piece of metal, examined it a moment, felt its sharp corners, 
and exclaimed — 

"Holy horror!" 

About four o'clock there was a lull in the storm of battle ; 
the artillery gradually slackened, and finally ceased to play ; 
and only now and then could be heard a solitary shot from 
a rifle or musket — scarcely heard either ; for after the dread- 
ful tumult that had reigned during the afternoon, the sound 
of small-arms was scarcely superior to a snap of the finger. 
Such a silence is always ominous in battle ; it betokens pre- 
parations for something of vital importance. 

Presently a stafif oflBlcer rode along the lines and enlightened 
us as to the state of things, in these words — 

" The enemy have^ been repulsed on all sides. Our lefl^ 
though furiously beset, has stood firm ; the artillery fighting 
on the right has been terrible, and Captain Tidball's battery 
has knocked the rebel batteries into pie. The rebels, it is 
supposed, are preparing to make a vigorous demonstration 
at this point with a force about two thousand ^tio\\%\ ^sq& 

802 OUR BOYS. 

the Second Regulars, and the Fifth and Eighth Reserves kco 
detailed to repel the attack." 




The field in our front was now clear. The rebel infantry 
had withdrawn, to the wood ; and our own exhausted infantry 
had retired across the road in which we lay, to reform their 
broken and thinned-out ranks — among other regiments, the 
gallant zouaves, who had been in the field during the whole 

About five o'clock the rebels began to show themselves at 
the edge of the wood, and to manifest signs of an intended 
attack. A line of skirmishers was sent toward them to 
develop their intentions, and the battery behind ns sent 
several charges of grape-and-canister toward the wood. The 
rebels appeared firm, however, and even proceeded to advance 
in excellent order upon our line of skirmishers. A fire was 
soon opened, and for a few minutes quite a rattle of small- 
arms was kept up. They began to press our skirmishers 
rather closely — the firing increased in severity — and it began 
to be time for the battle to open in earnest. An officer rode 
precipitately to the position we occupied, and shouted — 

•" Second Regulars — stand to arms I" 

With a shDut the boys of the Second Regulars rushed to 
their ranks, and the regiment was soon formed. They then 
marched into the field that was already strewn with gory 
corses, and met the advancing rebels. The conflict was 
terrible. Both sides, right and left, stood oS awhile, as 
though the battle was to be decided at this particular point 
A brigade of our division lay on our left to be ready to take 
up the fight after we should be " used up." I will not at- 
tempt to describe the encounter of that evening. It was 


indeed awful ! The batteries resumed their work, and the 
hand of death was busy bearing men into Eternity. 

' By and by an orderly rode up to the colonel, and said 
something to him ; thereupon, the colonel shouted — 

"Fall in, Eighth 1" 

Our turn had come. 

Our readiness in forming was not surpassed by that of 
the Second Eegulars ; and in a moment the regiment was 

We entered the field. The conflict was gradually nearing 
us ; the Second Eegulars had been so pressed by overwhelm- 
ing numbers that they were forced to retire to the brow of 
the hill that descended to the valley of which I have spoken, 
where the ground offered some advantages. Bebel bullets 
were already beginning to reach us. We had just entered 
the field and were marching along the valley in order to 
gain the right of the Second fiegulars, when Nick Swearer — 
brave fellow! — who had left us a few minutes before we 
were called into line for the purpose of filling his canteen, 
came rushing after us at the top of his speed, exclaiming — 

" By jolly, boys, I must be in that scrape I I won't be left 
behind in that style !" 

He had but uttered the words when he fell headlong— a 
bullet in his hip. Poor Nick I It was sad that he should 
thus be robbed of the privilege of participating in the glorious 
struggle about to ensue. Jim Eider was following us into 
the field, when, seeing Nick fall, he ran to his assistance, and 
did not leave him till he saw him safely conveyed to a 

We marched to the right of the Second Eegulars, and lay 
down under the hill. We saw many horrid sights while lying, 
there. Men staggering from the field with mangled hand or 
arm, or limping oflF— a leg covered with blood ; some crawl- 
ing away, only a few inches at a time ; some — an officer now 
and then — were being carried off, covered with blood, and 
groaning in agony. 

The rebels, it seemed, were aware of our position beneath 
the hill mentioned ; for the bullets began to whistle over our 
heads in an industrious style. I supposed that there was\i\ 

804 OUR BOYS. 

a bit of danger of any of those bullets flying low enough to 
hit any of us ; I did not suppose that they were coming in a 
sufiBciently declining course to curve over the brow of that 
hill. But I soon discovered that our situation was not 
entirely -without danger; for a ball suddenly whizzed right 
past my foot, and struck the hand of Heinrich Bouschen- 
schwacker, with a startling chuck ! Heinrich sprang up, utter- 
ing some Dutch word, and the captain admonished him to 
go at once to a hospital, and have his wound attended to. 
He did so, leaving the field at a beautiful pace. 

The brave captain was standing fearlessly erect, watching 
the conflict through his glass. 

. " Captain," said I, observing that the bullets were flying 
thick, " had you not better sit down ? One of those stray 
bullets might find you." 

" Oh," said the captain, indifferently, " that's what we enlist 
for — ^to get a dip now and then." 

From time to time the captain apprised us of what was 
going on. 

" I tell you, boys, they're having it ! Oh, how our fellows 
are standing up to them I I wish we would be called to their 
assistance now — " 

At that moment the Second Eegulars turned fiercely upon 
the almost exultant rebels, and made a desperate charge. 
Thereupon the captain exclaimed : — 

"They're charging! they're charging!" 

Presently the rebels broke and fled to the wood ; and the 
captain grew enthusiastic, and eagerly exclaimed : — 

" The rebs are skedaddling 1 they're skedaddling !" — Thjen, 
raising his voice, he shouted : — 

"Give 'em tt— ll!" 

The Second, after driving the rebels into the wood, fell 
slowly back before a fresh force of rebels that came to the 
assistance of the vanquished. Our turn had come. 

''Now, Company 'D,'" said the captain, "remember that 
you are just as good as any rebel company we may meet. 
Don't be afraid, boys ! Never let them call us coumrde /" 

" Up, boys, up !" shouted Colonel Hayes, at that moment. 

We sprang to oiir feet as one man. 


' " Forward !'' shouted the colonel. 

At that magic word we pressed on, directing our course 

■ toward the rebels who were engaging the Second Eegulars, 

' relieving that regiment and allowing it to march from the 

' field. Perfect showers of bullets greeted us. The brave 

colonel led us forward, himself taking the advance, direttly 

in front of the colors. Oh, I'll never forget how noble he 

looked ! How, in the face of death, he pushed forward, 

waving his sword above his head, and shouting: — 

" On, my brave Eighth ! . Onward !" 

And we did go on. Not a man wavered. The bullets 
whistled shrilly about our ears; Major Bailey fell with a 
* wound near the temple, and was carried from the field insen- 
sible— some thought, dead; Captain Johnson, Captain Wis- 
hfirt. Captain Gallop, Lieutenant Carter, and several other 
officers, besides many men, fell wounded. 

In the midst of all this, an incident occurred, at which I 
could not help feeling amused. Among other casualties, a 
bullet whizzed unceremoniously along, striking Bob Young 
*on the hand, near where the thumb grows out, you know, 
inflicting a slight wound. He instantly dropped his gun — 
clasped his hands in agony — screamed, " my God !" — fell — 
struggled up to an erect position — fell again — scrambled to 
his feet again, and rushed from the field in a jiflfy. 

The rebels gave way before our firm front, and we pur- 
sued them to the edge of the wood, when a battery opened 
upon us at short range. 

Just within the wood the rebels made a stand ; and we stood 
and fought them, loading and firing as rapidly as we could. 

Now a number of rebel sharpshootefs had concealed them- 
selves among the branches of the trees for the purpose of 
picking oflFour officers. One of these gentlemen fired at the 
colonel, missed him, and struck a soldier of Company " C." 
The colonel chanced to observe the sharpshooter, who was 
seated upon the limb of a tree fifteen feet from the ground ; 
and seizing the rifle of some fallen soldier, he levelled it upon 
the rebel. 

" Don't shoot ! don't shoot ! I'm coming down !" screamed 
the rebel. 

806 OUR BOYS. 

"Yes, I know you're coming dowrif^ replied the colonel; 
and he pulled the trigger, and down came Mr. Reb. 

Our conflict with the rebels at the margin of the wood was 
very desperate. We stood within twenty or thirty paces of 
them, loading and firing at will. The smoke was so dense 
that they were but dimly visible. But the flash of their 
pieces could be distinctly seen, and I each time chose a flash 
as the object of my aim. I remembered, in this critical hour, 
the great injunction, "FiKE low;" and I was ever careful 
not to elevate my musket too much. Bullets, with their fierce 
hissing sound, were passing my ears by scores. I wondered 
that I could escape. 

The captain was among us instructing the boys about 

*' Not so high !" he shouted, as Jake Archibald elevated his 
musket to an angle of forty-five degrees ; " you're not firing 
a salute ;" and with his sword he pressed the musket down 
to a horizontal position. 

Meanwhile the enemy's bullets were doing their work on 
all sides. Here a man would suddenly start, drop his gun, 
and limp away — the blood flowing from a wound in the leg; 
another would suddenly spring into the air, uttering a 
piercing shriek, then fall back, quivering — lifeless — his eyes 
staring vacantly — his teeth set — his hands clenched till the 
finger-nails cut into the palms. Another would sink to the . 
ground without a groan — without a gasp for the suddenly- 
departing breath. Another would convulsively clasp his 
' hand to bis breast — perhaps his brow — a moment stand, thea 
stagger, reel, and fall to the earth gasping for breath — the 
hot .blood gushing from his wound. Only the mad excite- 
ment of battle prevents one from growing deathly sick at 
such horrid sights. 

''Fall back r. 

I was Ipading and firing with all the rapidity I could 
muster, oblivious to everything save what was before me, 
when these words reached my ear. I recognized the voice 
of the colonel, and I was glad to know that he was yet safe. 
I was in the act of loading as the regiment acting upon thLi 
command formed in order, ts^c^eA. ^omX* ^\A xaax'^iei^i from 


that fatal wood. I resolved to fire that shot yet before I 
should go ; and I did so, at the imminent risk of being sur- 
rounded and taken. Having fired this farewell shot, I faced 
about to follow the regiment, which had already gone 
Uiirtj or forty yards. I didn't just like to run, so I walked 
at a brisk pace, loading again as I went, eventually coming 
off the field with a loaded gun. 

The rebels, perceiving that we were falling back, fired after 
OS with increasing rapidity ; and the bullets rained about us 
in perfect storms. Every moment I thought 1 should be 
perforated. For the rebels, or anybody else, in fact, can take 
a much cooler aim at a man's back than at his breast. .1 
overtook the regiment in safety, however, before it reached* 
the road. We came off the field in perfect order, and were 
treated with voluptuous cheers by the admiring regiments 
that had remained spectators of our actions. 

The Fifth Eegiment stood in line ready to take our place. 
The brave Colonel Simmons sat upon his horse, tranquilly 
surveying the scene. He was in his element; the prospect 
of an encounter with the rebels delighted. him. 

The rebels had so suffered in their fight with us, that they 
did not venture to follow us when we fell back from the 
wood. But now being reinforced, they at last sallied forth, 
when the Fifth walked bravely into them, holding the field 
till near sunset. We, or rather those left of us, returned to 
our old position in the road. 

About sunset the rebels were reinforced, and they made 
the most energetic onset along the whole lines. Our troops, 
already exhausted and praying, like Wellington, for night to 
oome, began to give way. The enemy pressed vigorously 
on ; and our whole line fell back to a position on another 
range of hills. The rebels followed closely ; already their 
bullets began to sing about our ears. We left our position 
in the road, and descended the slope in our rear ; the battery 
ceased to play, limbered up and accompanied us. 

This movement dampened our spirits. We fell back in 
perfect order, it is true, but some, half seized by panic, left 
the ranks and hurried away. Several left our regiment and 
dived into a deep wood on the right. Ca^X.^iiCjOxcCkSi.'^V^ 



i>:. i: 

Zlz "V J^ 

:':.e nght with us in safety, shouted after 
riej .iii not heed him, and, drawing his 
: tr.em. But the dusk of evening 
' :- — nT.i the smoke added to the darkness 
h m. He pursued them a hundred yards, 
. . r.:en: then he stood, hesitating whether 
:-.- Z-jzr. :\:r:her or return to the regiment. 
: -^"is ^v\ring dark, and he knew that the 
\i:Z >.vz be in that wood. He was just 
: : : re'iTzi to the regiment, when he waa 
:=: :nr-:r.d by two persons, his revolyer 
J.-I :y one, his sword seized by the other. 


re*d:i.r'i oar new position and formed line of 
i- :=:r«:r:Ant elert&m, a little way to our lefi^ 
: :iiz Ecisson s baSteiy; it now opened fire upon 
huLrr ODlnmn& It was 
' wMle position that this 
;, mpoitBd by a r^ment 
to MA it Char 
' -d against t' 
. stuV 
le bait 

.-. :.*v; -^ceCiw and 
." j^7;s&:ion. 
:v ^: .-*« ::pon 
A 7 i^ and ' 
i «: ^-./jtinTin 

rv bra- 


The rebels did not waver. As they advanced to within forty 
or fifty yards of the battery, they were treated to shell with 
the fuse pulled out, which exploded within a second after 
leaving the cannon, making sad havoc among them. But, 
now that they were so near, they would not give way ; and 
with a savage yell they rushed upon the battery. The last 
oharge was being put into the guns as the rebels came to 
within pistol-range. Aye, the rammers, as they were with- 
drawn from the pieces, after putting home the last charge, 
actually touched the breasts of the rebels — their ranks were 
so near. The guns were all charged for the last time ; all 
•was ready. 

" Fire !" shouted Captain Easton ; and at the same moment 
he fell dead from his horse — a bullet had pierced his heart. 

The pieces were all discharged, doing fearful execution 
among the rebel ranks. 

Perceiving that it was impossible longer to hold their 
guns, the artillerymen, to escape capture, ran from the hill, 
and were soon among us relating the sad tale. 

The tide of battle was now going sadly against ns. But 
hark I What wild shout is that ? Ha ! There comes the 
"Irish Brigade!" Yes; burning with eager desire for 
battle, they have come from beyond the Chickahominy — they 
rush madly upon the almost triumphant — the already exult- 
ant rebels; and they drive them from their blood-gained 
position I On, on they charge! driving the rebels before 
them with the swiftness of the wind. Another battery is 
planted upon the crest of that blood-stained hill. The Irish 
brigade halts. The brave Irishmen take position, and stand 
by the new battery ; and relentlessly it plays upon the panic- 
stricken rebels I Night thickens ; the array is saved from 
panic and ruin ; the firing gradually dies away, and all is 

That night the whole corps moved quietly across the 
Chickahomipy. All the Union forces, and all property of 
the government were safely over atfd the bridge was de- 

' Next day — Saturday, the twenty -eighth of June— we found 
ourselves near Savaoje Station. 


Tt became known that General Reynolds was missing; 
inquiry was made throughout the division, but no tidings of 
him could be gained ; and it was evident that he was either 
kilijd or taken prisoner. 

As yet we did not know Captain Conner's fate ; we feared 
that he was killed. A number of OUR boys were missing — 
among them George Scott, one of my former messmates. 

Haraan now made his appearance. ' He was still suffering 
terribly from that neuralgia. But he had not missed all the 
fighting. Not he! Being in a hospital near Gaines' Hill 
on the previous day, and hearing the firing he had torn him- 
self away from the doctors, seized a gun and rushed into the 
fight of that terrible afternoon, with the first regiment he 
came across — and it chanced to be a Massachusetts regi- 

During the whole of the day succeeding the battle of Gaines* 
Hill, we lay near Savage Station. When night came, we 
lay down to sleep — it was too hot to sleep during the day — 
and had lain a couple of hours, when we were aroused by 
the cry of — 

"Fall in!" 



LoNGSTREET and Hill having crossed the Chickahominy 
above Mechanicsville to attack us, General McClellan sent 
from the main army sufficient reinforcements to enable us 
to hold our position against those two generals and their 
forces. But Stonewall Jackson, with a force of thirty thou- 
sand, slipped quietly away from the presence of General 
Bsflis, Jeft .the valley, passed through Gordonsville almost 
ivitbin g-unshot of McT)owd\, axi^ vxtm^^ ^\. ^^^Vi^siviaville 


on the very day of the battle — in fact, a portion of his forces 
participated against us. For McClellan now to have sent 
from the army south of the Chickahominy sufficient reinforce- 
ments to secure our position against all these forces would 
have so weakened the main army as to render its destruction 
certain; But how should he save ils from annihilation? 
But one feasible plan presented itself; it was to call us 
across the river and concentrate the army. He adopted this 
plan, and, in consequence, on the morning succeeding the 
battle of MechanicsA^ille, we received orders to fall back to 
Gaines' Creek, at which point there was a bridge across the 
Chickahominy. Had our retreaf been delayed six or eight 
hours, we would certainly have been cut oflFfrom this bridge. 
To have crossed the river immediately after arriving at this 
point would have beeii impracticable on account of various 
encumbrances in the shape of wagon-trains ; or if even prac- 
ticable, it would have been injudicious — nay, absurd: for 
McClellan having now sent orders to White House Landing 
to place all the commissary stores, munitions of war and army 
equipage aboard the transports, burn the White House, 
evacuate the place and sail down to the bay and up the 
James, it was indispensable that we should hold the rebels 
in check till the orders should be executed. Hence, the 
Battle of Gaines' Hill. 

McCleilan's only plan now was to move the army by 
flank toward the James Eiver, that supplies might be received 
through a new line of communication, viz., the James River. 
Had he even been able with the force at his command to 
take Richmond by a coup de main^ it would have been mad- 
ness ; for he would suddenly have found himself entirely 
without supplies, as the transports could not have reached 
Richmond on account of Fort Darling. Moreover, our situa 
tion would have been very critical there with a large rebel 
force in our rear. 

But when we consider that the rebel forces at Richmond 
outnumbered us two to one, and possessed advantages iu 
fortifications and in the proximity of their supplies, it is not 
to be presumed for a single moment, by any intelligent per- 
son that Richmond could have beexi lakeu, \iCi\^u^^iS.^^^^^^^s^% 

812 OUR BOYS. 

that a great warrior, and a man fondly yclept "Fighting 
Joe," asserted that *' Eichmond might have been taken." 

Many censure McClellan for his operations on the Penin- 
sula, simply because they wish to, though they are totally 
ignorant of anything connected with them. McClellan, the 
most able general we have had, has many enemies — snarling 
politicians at home. Whenever you find an enemy of Gene- 
ral McClellan, you will find an inveterate civilian. No brave 
soldier will ever turn his tongue against Little Mac. Among 
the most prominent of that noble man's enemies are army 
contractors, etc., who, as a matter of course, will be in favor 
of any measure that will prolong the war, and dead opposed 
to any man who is likely to end it soon. 

Reader, what think you of the " Committee on the Conduct 
of the War ?" What do you think of the stupendous inves- 
tigations they made — ^that intelligent body ? 

If purely a committee on the conduct of the war, why did 
they begin their investigations at the very date of McClellan'a 
instalment at Washington, and conclude them directly after 
the date of his removal ? I allude to the report published 
in the spring of 1863. Why did they not investigate his 
West Virginia campaigns ? Why did they not investigate 
the doings of other generals ? Why did they not investigate 
the conduct of the generals in the West ? Why not the con- 
duct of General Hunter? Why not that of Butlei*? Why 
not that of Banks ? Why not that of Fremont ? Why not 
that of Halleck— of Buell — of Rosecrans — of Grant, and of 
many others? Why did they so carefully gather every 
little fact and incident that could by anj possible means be 
made to appear to the discredit of McClellan ? And why 
were all these little clauses and sentences printed in italics in 
that report ? It would not be unreasonable to answer all 
these questions thus: Because the investigations of the so- 
called committee on the conduct of the war were made and pub- 
lished for the sole purpose of destroying, if possible, the reputa- 
tion of our most faithful, brave, able, and patriotic commander^ 
George B, McClellan I 

The little instrument might have been, with great propriety, 
entitled ;— 

change of base. 813 



Committee to investigate and condemn 




General George B. McClellan." 

When, during the night of Saturday, the twenty-eighth 
day of June, we were aroused by the cry of " Pall in,'* a 
slight mist was descending, and it was dark. We were lying 
about two miles north of Savage Station, and when we formed, 
we marched in that direction. Our way lay through a thick 
wood, and at times over marshy ground ; but we had a good 
corduroy road under our feet, so that the nature of the ground 
was immaterial. 

During this march, owing to the concourse of baggage- 
wagons, artillery, and various bodies of troops moving on 
the one road, but a few steps were marched at a time, when 
there would be a "choke up," then a halt of a few minutes 
— ^which is decidedly unpleasant. 

We had halted after travelling a couple of miles, and were 
standing upon a corduroy road, when feeling very weary, I 
thought to step off and take a seat upon a log which I could 
dimly see a few yards distant. The road appeared to be 
raised about a foot above the ground which also appeared 
solid at this point. But height, distance, shape, and dimen- 
sions are very deceptive to the eye, in the darkness ; and as 
I stepped from the road to the ground, instead of from the 
moderate height of one foot, I stepped from the rather im- 
moderate height of four feet, and fell forward with a ven- 
geance against the supposed log, which, however, proved to 
be a dead horse. 


I hastily picked up myself and my gun, one at a time^ 
and, in no very amiable humor, climbed upon the road and 
trudged on with the regiment. We progressed so slowly, 
that when daylight came, we were barely beyond Savage 
Station. So many army wagons atvd ^m\yo\vyxv.«^^'Si \Jt^^^^ 

811 OUR BOYS. 

up the way, that we did not average a mile an hour. It waj 
past noon when we arrived at White Oak Swamp. Of course 
a strong rear-guard was left behind the teams, which were 
making their way toward the James Eiver as fast as possible. 

Though the sky was thickly overcast with clouds in the 
morning, they rolled away before noon, and the sun blazed 
forth upon us in his wonted style. 

While halting once near White Oak Swamp, General 
McClellan rode by, accompanied by his staff; it was the 
first time we had seen him since we landed at White House. 
We had felt somewhat cast down at this movement of the 
army ; but when we saw Little Mac ride by — a calm, confi- 
dent, pleasant expression on his face — we were reassured, 
and our spirits were raised to an unusual degree. The pres- 
ence of our loved commander ever had this effect. 

We crossed White Oak Swamp on a corduroy bridge, and 
halted in a field a short distance beyond, where we stacked 
arms. We were surprised that we had not yet been attacked, 
for that the rebels would attempt to annihilate us during this 
movement, we little doubted. Our brigade was now com- 
manded by Colonel Seneca G. Simmons, of the Fifth Eegi- 
ment — General Reynolds being among the missing. Lieu- 
tenant Moth commanded our company — Captain Conner 
being also among the missing. 

We had rested several hours beyond White Oak Swamp, 
when we were called into line ; we resumed our march, and 
the sun was just sinking when we reached New Market 
Cross Roads. We stacked arms in a large field, and thought 
to rest for the night. 

We could now hear the cannon at Savage Station ; for it 
was on that evening that the battle was fought there— the 
evening of Sunday, the twenty-ninth of June. 

Night came on. The sound of thunder was heard in the 
distance, and dark clouds were hurrying hither and thither ; 
now rolling and crowding together, now scattering. Mingled 
with the sound of thunder, were now and then the heavy 
discharges of artillery. The thunder storm, which appeared 
to he also in the vicinity of Savage Station, did not reach us. 
The shades of uigiit, \iad ^j^jCS^t^Sl \ki\$M:^ over us, when 


onr regiment was ordered to proceed out the road toward 
Bichmond, accompanied by a battery, and establish a strong 
outpost for the night. The road we took ran at right angles 
with the one we had been travelling during the day. The 
night was so dark that we encountered many difficulties 
in establishing ourselves in position. We were not molested 
during the night, although the rebels were certainly not far 

Next morning we returned to the large field where the 
whole division lay, and stacked our arms with the rest. The 
forenoon wore quietly away. 



All I then and there was hnrrjing to and fro. 

« « « « « 

And there was mounting in hot haste ; the steed, 
The mustering sqaadron, and the clattering car 
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed, 
And swiftlj forming in the ranks of war. 


"Fall IN, TALL in!" 

It was one o'clock when this cry suddenly rang out, and 
spread with whirlwind swiftness over the division. In a 
moment we rushed to our stacked arms, and seized them. 

" Cool, boys, cool 1" said the gallant Colonel Hayes, who 
was mounted upon his steed, and riding in front of our line 
in less than half a minute. 

Poor Haman was with us, and he was still suffering the 
most excruciating pain from the neuralgia. The colonel 
seeing him in the ranks, and knowing how he was suffering, 
said — 

"Jeffries, you are not able to "be \w \Jclq t^\^^, ^\^ i^"^*^*^ 

816 OUR BOYS. 

"I'm — going — ^to — to try it," said Hamaii; scarcely able to 
articulate for pain. 

" You're a brave fellow I" said the colonel, in admiration, 
" but I am afraid you can't stand it ; we shall probably have 
warm times." 

" That's why I want to go along," was the reply. 

The various regiments began to take their positions in 
line-of-battle. We marched toward the left, and took our 
position in a wood. 

Having formed line-of-battle, facing to the west, we stood 
awaiting the attack. I ever made it a point to go into battle 
with my canteen full of water, if possible ; for the excitement 
of battle, and the strenuous exertions, together with the 
fumes of gunpowder, create a burning thirst. I discovered 
that my canteen was empty. I knew that there was a spring 
of cola, clear water a few hundred yards to our front, but I 
did not like to go that distance from the regiment. I looked 
about me, and presently discovered in the wood a pool of 
stagnant water ; with this water, I filled my canteen. 

The sound of artillery began to be heard some distance 
toward the right ; it was at White Oak Swamp ; the battle 
had already opened there. For an hour the artillery could 
be heard playing away with some fierceness ; but it grew no 

One by one OUR boys grew weary of standing, and began 
to sit down; some laid off their accoutrements. At last, as 
the air was very hot, I laid off mine. Knapsacks, we had 
not; for all who did not lose them at Mechanicsville, lost 
them at Gaines' Hill. As I sat down at the root of a tree I 
remarked : — 

"Well, boys, a fellow may as well rest ; I don't believe 
we are going to have a row after all." 

I had scarcely uttered the words, when a tremendous dis- 
charge of artillery pealed forth, and a perfect storm of grape- 
and-canister, shot and shell, came dashing and crashing 
among the trees above our heads, tearing off limbs and 
branches and scattering them around us. 

" Up, boys !" shouted the colonel. 

J think that I buck\e^ on m^ ^Sa^\s. o^xi tta^t occasion in 


a little less time than T ever before performed the same ope- 
ratioQ. The ranks formed, our line was advanced to the 
edge of the wood, and we were there ordered to lie down. 
A Dattery on our right replied to the rebel batteries ; and 
for a few minutes an active artillery fight was carried on. 
As we lay near the battery, we were much exposed to the 
projectiles from the rebel guns ; and, for awhile, shell were 
exploding about ns, and solid shot were flying over our 
heads, tearing the trees shockingly; while charge after 
charge of grape-and-canister rattled among the trees, and 
spattered the ground in our midst. Our artillerymen stood 
by their guns, loading and firing with a rapidity that kept 
up a constant roar. It was soon evident that the rebels were 
getting the worst of it in the artillery fight ; for a regiment 
of infantry soon emerged from a wood a few hundred paces 
in our front, and advancing half the intervening distance, 
prepared to charge. They came so close, in fact, that we 
neard their colonel give the following command : — 

" Sixth Georgia, fix bayonets ! Give the Yankees a little 
eold steel r* 

We heard the clinking rattle of their bayonets as they 
placed them on their guns, and we felt that warm work was 
at hand. 

We saw that a charge was about to be made upon us, and 
we nerved ourselves to resist it ; but ere the rebels had well 
succeeded in fixing their bayonets, one of General M'Call's 
aids rode hastily up, and shouted : — 

"Eighth Eegiment, General McCall orders you to 


'Twas enough. Our bayonets were already fixed; and, 
with a savage yell, we sprang up and rushed madly upon 
the Georgians. They couldn't stand it; away they went 
flying hither and thither in the most disorderly style. Hav 
ing charged half-way across the open space between the two 
woods, the regiment halted. Seeing some rebels in the act 
of disappearing among the trees in the marshy valley to our 

* The latter part of this oommand is not to he found in our tactics ; hat 
tt xnaj he in those adopted hy the rehela. 

818 OUR BOYS. 

left and front, a dozen of us — Haman among the rest — im-^ 
prudently rushed down the descent, in pursuit. On arriving, 
at the eige of the marsh, we discovered that the rebels had 
crossed ; and we very rashly followed. A fire was opened 
upon us from the bushes, and several of our boys fell ; but 
we rushed on, with some diflBiculty gaining the opposite side 
of the swamp. The swamp was narrow, and running from 
the left of our lines, toward the northwest. Having crossed, 
we saw a squad of rebels toward the right, and we followed 
them, firing an occasional shot as we went. Half-a-dozen of 
them, supposing that there was a host of us at their heels, 
instead of a dozen, suddenly stopped, threw down their arms, 
and held up their hands in token of surrender — their £aces 
pale, and they: eyes starting from their sockets, they were so 
terrified. On reaching them, I told them not to be alarmed — ► 
that they were prisoners of war, and as such should be treated. 

" There are our guns," said one, pointing to the muskets 
which they had thrown down. 

I glanced at them, and perceived that they were old 
muskets altered from flint-lock to percussion; and I let 
them lie. 

"Never mind," I said — "Boys, some of you will take 
charge of these prisoners, and conduct them to the rear." 

Several of the boys thereupon took charge of the rebels, 
and started back with them. Will Mitchel was among 
them ; it was the last time I saw him. 

At that moment, I observed a brawny gray-back standing 
just among the bushes, about twenty paces from me. 

" Come here, sir I" I yelled, savagely, and with an impera- * 
tive gesture. 

He raised his foot, and a moment hesitated as to which 
way to step — whether to advance or retreat. He concluded 
to try the bushes, and take the chances of the contents of my 
musket rather than fall alive into our savage Yankee hands ; 
and he darted deep into the bushes, and was lost to view in 
a moment. I sent a ball and three buck-shot after him, but 
whether they hit him or not can never be known. I hastily 
reloaded. I had but completed the task, when I saw another 
rebel ran from the bushes to^itT^i ^\\\x\fe>i^x3^^\>LVjkTjrould 


afford him greater protection. I drew a bead on liim. He 
was scarcely forty paces from me, and the idea of missing 
idm did not even suggest itself to my mind. I fired. The 
rebel did not fall — he did not start — he did not drop his gun, 
nor take to limping suddenly ; but he kept steadily on, at 
the same brisk pace. I had missed him. 

I loaded my musket for another shot ; but of course the 
rebel succeeded in gaining the little breastwork spoken of. 

The rebels began to discover that there were but a few of 
us — that ten or a dozen of us had chased them several 
hundred yards, taken half-a-dozen prisoners, and almost 
frightened them out of their wits ; and they grew bold, and 
began to make their appearance, emerging from the bushes 
by scores. They opened a brisk fire upon us, and we began 
to realize the danger of our situ£^tion and the importance of 
returning to the regiment at once. Acting upon this, we 
commenced a retrograde movement, keeping up a retreating 
fire. At every tree one of us would stop, take shelter behind 
it, and fire upon the pursuing rebels. The bullets were 
following us at a great rate, whistling past our ears, and 
knocking up the dust at our heels and upon either side of 
us. The air seemed alive with the leaden messengers of 

We recrossed the swamp. On reaching the right side 
once more, Haman — his face flushed with the excitement of 
battle, together with the pain he was suffering — called out 
to me: — 

** Old boy, I killed one d — d gray back !" 

The regiment was now forming to receive a brigade of 
rebels that was about to advance from the wood a little to our 
right and about two hundreds yards to our front. Another 
regiment had now come to- our assistance, and the whole 
force had taken position behind a slight swell in the ground. 

I had returned to within thirty paces of our new line, when 
one of our . fellows looked, I thought, right toward me, and 
called out — 

" Hilloa, you rebel there, are you wounded ?" 

I thought that he was addressing me — that he had taken 
mo for a rebel; but glancing to my T\g\i\»l«aw^,m\»\i\\>L^i^^ 

820 OUR BOYS. 

yards of me, a wounded rebel lying under a peach-tree — the 
blood gushing from a wound in the breast. Although the 
rebels were already beginniug to rally on us, I could not 
refrain from stopping a moment with the sufferer — he was 
trying to support himself on his elbow. I bent over him and 
asked — 

"Are you much hurt ?" 

He did not reply, but looked imploringly into my face, 
and seemed struggling for breath. 

"Are you much hurt?" I repeated in a louder tone, that I 
might be heard above the din of battle, which had now 
opened, and was raging fiercely on the right. 

" Oh, yes — ^I — ^am — dy — dying !" he muttered. 

" Can I do anything for you ?" I asked. 

He tried to speak, but could not. I observed that his lips 
•were dry and parched, and I did not doubt that he wanted 
water. So I asked — 

" Do you want water ?" And at the same moment a bul- 
let whistled by my ear and struck the' peach-tree. 

"Oh, yes! oh, yes!" he replied, with all the energy he 
could muster. 

I placed my canteen to his lips, and he eagerly drank. 
Then wishing to make a good impression upon him, regard- 
ing us Yankee.Sy of whose cruelty I had no doubt he had 
heard the most horrible tales, I said — 

" You see, my friend, that we know how to treat even an 
enemy with kindness." 

"Ah," said he, solemnly, speaking with more ease, ^'yovlre 
no enemy of miney 

" Why," said I, thinking that he had taken me for a rebel ; 
" I am a Union soldier." 

" You're no enemy of mine I" he repeated. 

The rebels were now decidedly advancing ; bullets were 
whistling about my ears in great luxuriance, and I found 
that I must hasten on. I took the dying man's hand in 
mine, and said — 

*< Good-bye!" 

He did not reply. I cast a parting glance upon him — a 


deathly pallor had settled upon his face--his eyes were set^ 
and staring yacantly. Se was dead, 

A moment after I was with my regiment. The first man 
whom I met was Adjutant Witter. The brave fellow said 
to me — 

" Well, sergeant, I perceive that you are still unhurt." 

" Yes, adjutant, I. am glad to see that you are not hurt. 
You esoaped those bullets, did you ?" 

" Yes, I escaped <Aem, but I got a charge of shot in the 
shoulder, but tney are the small ones ;" and he pointed to' 
his right shoulder, which was perforated with small shot. 

The rebels were now firing as they advanced, and we were 
ordered to lie down to avoid the bullets. Colonel Simmons 
stood by his horse within a few feet of where I lay. 

" Boys," said the brave old veteran, " lie still ; don't arise 
or fire till I give you the word. I'll give you the word in 

The bullets of the rebels were now flying over us in per- 
fect swarms. Every moment I expected to see the gallant 
Simmons fall. At length the rebels arrived to within thirty 
paces of us. 

" Now, boys, let them have it I" shouted Colonel Simmons, 
and at the same moment he was struck in the breast, and 
fell dead, almost beneath the feet of his horse. 

We arose ani poured a murderous volley into the rebel 

" Fall back into the field beyond the wood !" shouted Cap- 
tain Biddle, McCall's aide-de-camp, riding up at that moment. 

He had but uttered the words, when he fell from his horse 
mortally wounded. 

It so happened that as I arose to fire, some fellow stepped 
in front of me, so that I was afraid to fire lest I should hit 
him; and I walked forward a few steps, while the whole 
line fell back. The smoke was so dense that of the whole 
brigade of rebels I could only see three. They were stand- 
ing together beneath a peach-tree, in an attitude that led me 
to suppose that they were hesitating whether to advance, or 
retreat — after that volley. By way of advancing an argu- 
ment in hYOT of the latter plan, I blazed a^a^ ^\. ^JckWccL^^*^^^ 


822 OUR Boi's. 

followed the regiment which had already gained the wood. 
This rendered my situation rather delicate, and I walked 
hurriedly after the regiment, loading my musket as I went, 
turning and firing when I reached the wood. Hundreds'of 
bullets followed me, striking the trees around me with a 
perfect clatter. I hurried through the wood, again charging 
my gun. 

On reaching the edge of the wood, I saw before me a large 
clover field. In this field, about two hundred yards from 
hie, our lines were being formed anew to receive the rebels 
in case they should foUoW us through the wood. Directly 
in front of me was the battery that had first replied to the 
rebels at the commencement of the fight — and the guns 
looked frowningly at me as I emerged from the wood. It 
occurred to me that the battery might open upon the wood 
before I could get out of range. Just then I saw six flashes 
and six clouds of smoke suddenly burst forth, and then six 
charges of grape-and-canister rattled about me — some striking 
the ground, others flying over my head and striking the 
trees. I felt my situation to be a peculiarly embarrassing 
one ; for I knew that I could not get entirely out of range ere 
another charge should follow. I suddenly swerved to the 
left, and made my way toward a line of infantry that was 
being formed on the right of the battery. Again the battery 
was let off. I dropped upon my face, to evade the missiles, 
and a shell and about a quart of grape-and-canister whistled 
savagely over me. I then sprang up and hurried toward 
our lines ; and before the guns were again discharged, I was 
out^ of range. I now wondered whether some impulsive 
fellow of our division would not take me for a rebel and 
blaze away at me, accordingly. I did not relish the idea 
of being killed by our own men — in fact, didn't care 
a]x)ut being killed at all. But I reached the regiment in 
safety. The first one of our boys whom I met was Ed. 
Morgan, who informed me that Sergeant Zee was killed — 
that he had been killed in the wood through which I had just 

The whole .division now formed a new line on General 
jETooker's division, w\i\c\i \i^4. \>^e.\i lying at our left and 


rear.^ Presently the rebels made their appearance at the 
edge of the wood, and the battle was renewed with vigor by 
both sides. Our battery played upon them in a delightful 
way ; and the reformed lines of infantry opened upon them 
•fiercely. We were in the open field— not a tree, not a bush 
to protect us from danger or from observation. The .brave 
colonel sat fearlessly upon his horse, the bright buttons of 
his unifbrm, and his shoulder-straps rendering him a con- 
spicnous mark. Every moment I feared that I should see 
him fall. Presently his horse was struck by a shell and it 
fell upon its side dead. The colonel was caught beneath the 
horse, and was in imminent danger of being crushed : but 
several of the boys rushed to his assistance, and succeeded 
in extricating him from his perilous situation under the 
animal. He arose, and the boys gathered around him and 
asked him if he was hurt. 

"Oh, no; none to speak of!" he said; although it was 
evident that he was suffering much pain. 

The fight was kept up at this point till near sunset, when 
the rebels gave way, and fell back through the wood. They 
were effectually repulsed in front of our division ; but it was 
at a terrible cost that we succeeded in holding the field. Yet 
I am sure that the rebels suffered equally. We stood in line 
for some time waiting for them to reappear ; but they had 
had enough of it at this point, and they deemed it prudent 
not to attack the Pennsylvania Eeserves any more that 

Meanwhile the battle raged savagely on the right; the 
musketry rattled fiercely, and the hoarse thunder of the ar- 
tillery made the earth tremble. 

About dark I began to look about me to see how many 
of the boys were yet safe. Many were missing, but Haman 
and Dick were yet with us. 

" How does your head feel, Haman ?" I asked. 

" Oh, itd awful I" he exclaimed, and he groaned to prove it. 

* In his official report, it pleased General Hooker to say that we were 
"routed." I have onlj to say of his statement, that it U false we were 
ordered to faU back to this position, and we did so in order. 

ft24 OUE BOYS. 

"Have yon any water?" I asked; "I have drank all 

"No, not a drop — oh 1" 

"I wonder where we could get any?" 

"I don't know; I guess the rebels won't be back — \9e 
might go and look for some." 

" I am willing." 

Acting upon this suggestion, we obtained leave of the 
colonel, and started toward the right — we didn't like to go 
to the rear. Half-a-mile brought us to a small house near 
which was a well. We succeeded, with some difficulty, in 
obtaining a little muddy water, which we eagerly drank. 
Directly in front; of us the battle was raging fiercely, and 
hundreds of bullets, and many shell came singing around us. 

About this time the troops at this point, being heavily 
pressed, began to give way. Gradually theyfell ba<5k — step 
by step, and the rebels followed closely. The result might 
have been serious, but a brigade just arrived from White 
Oak Swamp dashed up to the rescue. With a yell they set 
upon the rebels and forced them back. The rebels rallied 
again, and for a while the conflict was desperate. The rebels 
were ultimately repulsed, however, and this point was held. 

It was the gallant ''Irish Brigade" that so fortunately 
came to the rescue. They had been fighting at White Oak 
Swamp during the whole afternoon ; now they came to our 
assistance, as they did at the battle of Ghiines' Hill, at a most 
important crisis. 

It was now growing very dark, and Haman and I pro- 
ceeded to return to the regiment. It was a difficult task, too ; 
for our way lay through thick woods, and the darkness had 
increased since we left the regiment. In passing through 
these woods on our return we got mixed up with some dis- 
ordered regiment — I know not to what division it belonged 
— got lost from each other, and, in fact, almost from ourselves. 
After looking in vain for Haman, I sank down upon a log 
to rest, for I was much exhausted. 

In a few minutes I arose and groped my way through the 
wood toward the point where Haman and t had left the 
regiment I lost my way, wi^ «X\»^t ^^odmn^ about the 


wood for an tour, now and then falling over the body of 
8ome fallen soldier — a knapsack — a dead horse or mule — I 
came out upon a road which I followed a short distance, and 
found myself near a hospital. Walking to the rear of the 
hospital, I found a number of men lying beneath a large oak 
tree against which a flag was leaning. 

"Are any of the Pennsylvania Reserves here ?" I asked. 

" Yes. IS that you, sergeant ?" was the reply. 

''Yes. Is this the Eighth?" 

''Yes; what's left of it." 

"Is that you, Charley?" 

" Yes. Come and lie down." 

It was Charley Brawley, a brave young fellow of our com- 
pany. I lay down beside him, and, notwithstanding that 
cries of agony proceeded constantly from the hospital at hand, 
I was soon wrapped in slumber. 



"I SAT, sergeant, wake up! The regiment has gone, and 
the rebels will be on us in ten minutes." 

It was the voice of Charley Brawley. 

" Wh— a~t ?" I said, about half-awake. 

" Rouse up I The regiment's gone ; and we'll be captured 
if we stay here long." 

I sprang up and found that the sun was already up, and 
glaring hot. 

" Why, how is this ?" I exclaimed. 

"I don't know how it is, but so it is; I just awoke, and I 
find the regiment gone." 

"I wonder which way it went?" 

''Hard to say. Toward the James, 1 svx^^o^? 

826 OUR BOYS. 

Oar accoutrements were buckled on in'a moment, and we 

We had but gone when the advance of the rebels arrived 
at the hospital, and took possession. We barely escaped 

A few miles were passed over, and we found ourselves 
witliin our lines, and ascending Malvern Hill: The batteries 
were already posted, and the cfinnoniers standing by their, 
guns awaiting the approach of the rebels. The troops were 
in position, and everything was in order of battle. A Brass 
band was playing " Yankee Doodle" with a cheerfulness that 
must have sounded very invitingly to the advancing rebels. 

Charley and I were informed, upon inquiry, that the 
Pennsylvania Eeserves lay at the summit of the hill. As we 
ascended the hill we met Little Mac riding down toward 
rebeldom, accompanied by his staff. We saluted him, and 
he was careful to salute us in return, although he was busily 
engaged in conversation with an oflScer of his staflF. I heard 
him say something about bringing a cavalry force into uSe. 
I saw that he was expecting an attack ; there was something 
of eager earnestness in his manner, but more of confidence. 

Charley and I, on arriving at the crest of the hill, distin- 
guished our regiment by its battalion flag, and found the 
boys sitting by their stacked arms. 

" Why, sergeant, is that you ? I feared that you were 
dead ; I felt sure that one of those balls must have hit you, 
and left you lying dead among the bushes in that wood." 
The speaker was Haman. 

" Yes,,Haman," I replied; "and I feared that one of them 
might have hit you after we were separated. I am glad you 
are safe." 

" Where did you sleep last night ?" 

"With the regiment under that tree by the hospital. 
Why did the regiment go off and, leave Charley and me 

" O, we were aroused and hurried off very suddenly ; it 
was not daylight yet." 

"Have you learned of iVv^ leswlt of the battle ?" 
" We'vQ heard sometVmg. GK^xiet^^vi^^Sss.\si\^scs\!^^ 


"Then General Meade has command of the division " 

"No, he is wounded. General Seymour is in command." 

[It will be recollected that, some time previous, General Ord 
iad been transferred to a command in the Western Army, 
and that General Seymour had been appointed to the com- 
mand of the Third Brigade.] 

" How does your head feel this morning ?" I asked of 

" It's nearly as bad as ever; but I'm getting used to it npw " 

"How about our company? How many are killed or 
wounded ?" 

" Lieutenant Moth is missing." 

"Ah, I believe I did not see him after that charge. Who 
else are missing ?" 

" Mitchel is missing, and so is Jake Archibald ;"* also 
Jim Roland, Hen Underwood, John Young, Ike Mayhorn, 
and Will Haddock. Sergeant Zee and Mc Williams were 
killed. John Gue was badly wounded. John Woodward 
was slightly wounded, too ; also Finley Whitmire." 

The report of a cannon was heard at this juncture, and a 
solid shot flew over our heads. Several others speedily 
followed ; our batteries replied,' and a hot artillery fight was 
soon in progress. Bodies of infantry were soon pushed for- 
ward ; but our division having suffered severely in the battle 
of the previous day, we were ordered to remain in reserve. 

The infantry of the opposing .forces began to meet. Here 
and there were heard scattered discharges of musketry; 
volleys followed, and finally the sound of small-arms swelled 
into a fierce incessant rattle. The operations of the artillery 
increased in magnitude, its hoarse thunder chimed in with 
the rattle of musketry, and echoed in heavy peals against the 
opposite shore of the James. The Battle of Malvern Hill 
was opened. 

Suddenly, there arose behind us a stunning report that 
made the old hill shake ; and a monstrous shell went scream- 
ing over our heads, dropping in the vicinity of the rebel 

♦ It was afterwards ascertained that Jake Archibald was mortally 
wounded, while crossing the swamp alluded to, in the previous day's bat- 
a^—that he died iiai/-an-hour after. MitchoVa i&lft \?^^ tx^n^xVolw^x^.. 

828 • OUBBOYS. 

batteries, and exploding with a terrific crash. It was from 
a gunboat that lay quietly at anchor on the bosom of the 
James. In a few minutes another followed — another and 
another, at intervals. Surely, the shrieking sound of those 
terrible projectiles, as they were hurled through the air, was 
enough to appal the rebels. The very sound was terrifying ; 
it was like the howl of some wild beast ; the scream of a 
panther is scarcely worthy to be compared to it. 

The fight went oy. Shell after shell, hot from the mouth 
of the rebel cannon, whistled over us, or exploded near us ; 
while many a solid shot ploughed up the ground in our front, 
or, flying over, struck in rear of us, and went bounding and 
rolling down the hill toward the river. 

Meanwhile, our batteries were thundering away, pouring 
death and destruction into the rebel ranks ; while ever and 
anon the heavy, jarring report of a gyn on the James was 
heard, and a great howling, shrieking demon of a shell would 
make a circle in the air, over our heads, striking and explod- 
ing among the rebels, generally, as some of cub boys ex- 
pressed it, *' clearing out an acre of ground." The musketry 
raged fiercely ; we could see the bullets dropping upon the 
ground in front of us, but few reached us. 

How worn — how weary we felt ! There we lay ; we had 
Blept but little, eaten but little, and fought three hard battles 
within the past week. Our spirits were low. Even there, 
lying in line of battle — the thunder of the artillery bursting 
upon the ear every second— the missiles of the rebels flying 
about us — the sound of musketry continually piercing the air 
— I, before I was aware of it, grew drowsy ; my eyelids grew 
heavy, and refused to stay up — they fell — closed — shut out 
the battle-scene. I was asleep. 

Presently, a wild cheer aroused me. It was on the right 
of the division. I opened my eyes — looked — listened. Why, 
what does this mean ? I sprang up. Look at our fellows ! 
A few minutes ago, they lay, amid the tumult of battle, dull, 
drowsy, languid — no life, no energy in their exhausted 
frames. Now they are dancing, shouting, cheering — tossing 
their caps into the air. Ha! Who is that riding along^the 


lines, amid descending fragments of bursting shell, the bound- 
ing shot ? 'Tis McClellan ! 

Who so Tinjust as to associate with that man's fair name 
so base a term as coward — to cast reflections upon his bra- 
very ? Reader, in the " Report of the Committee on the 
Conduct of the War," publiAed in the Spring of Sixty- 
Three, it was stated that on the morning of the first of July, 
General McClellan posted the troops at Malvern Hill, then 
left the field until the afternoon. The falsity of this state- 
ment, wherever it may have originated, is too palpable to 
need comment. But, oh, reader, it is galling to me to see . 
men resort to means so foul as this piece of slander in order 
to tarnish the pure name of our loved commander— my com- 
mander — the noble, generous, brave, true-hearted McClel- 

Little Mac rode along our lines — his cap in his hand — 
that calm, quiet, confident smile upon his face. We cheered 
him till we were hoarse. The very thunder of the storm of 
death was drowned for awhile by our voices. 

During the whole of the day, from morning till night, 
McClellan was on the field riding from point to point — ^from 
battery to battery — from regiment to regiment — from divi- 
gion to division. 

Throughout that terrible day the battle raged. The rebels 
marched in heavy columns to the very mouth of the cannon ; 
but they were moym down by hundreds, and thrust back. 
Again and again they charged upon our batteries ; but in 
vain ; each time they were compelled to retire, leaving the 
ground strewn with unsightly corpses. 

The sun had just set when they made a last, desperate, 
determined gnset. They came /orward in good order, and 
with a firmness that seemed to defy death. They were cut 
down by the artillery like grass before the scythe. They 
would not yield; on they came. Our infantry met them. 
Then the struggle was fearful. Sheets of fire blazed savagely 
forth ; and showers of lead were rained upon the contending 
parties. The rebels pressed steadily on. Our fellows, worn 
and exhausted, began to waver before the mad fury of the 
iesperate rebels. Evidently we eihoxM \>^ (i^'^ftL xic^w ^^^ . 


The fight grew nearer ; the bullets began to reach ns. Sud- 
denly a staff officer rode furiously toward us and shouted — 

" Pennsylvania Reserves, stand to arms 1" 

In an instant we were up — in line. But jUst then the 
" Rush Lancers" rode madly to the front, formed, and pre- 
pared for a charge. The way^was made clear for them ; they 
Avere ready. 
. '* Forward— charge!" 

Like the wind they dashed forward, followed by the loud 
cheers of thousands— on, on — and while the death-dealing 
. bullets flew thick and fast, they disappeared in the smoke 
of battle. Like a hurricane they bore down upon the almost 
victorious enemy. Terror — dismay seized the rebels ; their 
ranks melted away — they fled. Hundreds fell bleeding to 
the earth — cut down by the sabre, or thrust through with 
the spear. 

Hope died within the rebels ; they could rally no more ; 
their whole lines gave way — many of their guns being aban- 
doned, and falling into our hands. 

Darkness was now coming on. Our batteries were moved 
forward; they took new positions and resumed the work of 
death with redoubled vengeance. Flash after flash lighted 
up the earth and sky with a red glare — peal on peal shook 
the hills — the air was alive with the instruments of destruc- 
tion — storms of shot and shell were sent whistling and 
screaming after the panic-stricken foe. The woods and fields 
• were strewn with the wounded and dying, and with the 
ghastly forms of the dead. 

At last the battle was hushed, and all was still. Night 
veiled the earth. Its gloomy shades were thickened by a 
sulphurous cloud that, like a pall, hung sadly over the field 
of the dead. We lay down upon the crest of that immortal 
hill, and were soon wrapped in slumber. 

Near midnight we were aroused, the regiments were formed, 
and we moved quietly down the James. 

The campaign was over. 

Our loss during the Seven Days' Fight was, in killed, 

wounded; and .missing, fourteen thousand, nine hundred 

Hnd twenty-four. T\ie T^\ie\a ^a.m\\Xfe^ 'Ockfcxt \<5r& to be 


* • 

eighteen thousand ; which, of course, means thirty-six thou- 
sand. Twenty-six pieces of artillery were taken at Malvern 
Hill by our forces; which repaid us for all that we Jost 
during the grand movement of the army. 



. Slowly we took our way down the left shore of the 
James. It was past midnight when we started, and the night 
was very dark. We were very much worn, and we still felt 
most sensibly the need of repose. The road as usual was. 
blocked up here and there with teams and artillery, causing 
many a halt in our march, and rendering it very trying. 

As the gloom of night melted into the gray of morning 
dawn, rain began to fall, and it gradually increased in vio- 
lence till it finally came down in torrents. 

Slowly, steadily we marched on—the rain beating merci- 
lessly upon us. About the middle of the forenoon we neared 
Harrison's Landing. As we did so, a for«st of masts and 
steamboat chimneys loomed up to view. It was evident 
ihat we were near our journey's end — that here was to be 
our camping-ground. A large plain lay before us, and it • 
was covered with bodies of troops, baggage-wagons, ambu- 
lances, etc.. The rain was still pouring down with great 
violence, and we were led into a pine wood, where, under 
these peculiarly gloomy circumstances, we bivouacked. Dick 
Haman, Jim, and I found ourselves able to produce, among 
us, three tent-blankets, with which we constructed a rude 
shelter. Then going to. an adjacent wheat-field — the wheat 
had lately been cut — I procured several sheaves, carried tbem 
to our shelter, and spread them out beneath it. We then lay 
down, wet and uncomfortable as we were, and slept for 
aevc il hours. 

882 OUR BOTS. 

« • 

When I awoke it was still raining, ai^d a gentle stream 
was pouring through a rent in one of the tent-blankets, right 
down into my ear; and if it was not sufficient to "turn a 
mill," it certainly caused me to turn with great rapidity. 
Feeling very much refre^hed^ I arose and satisfied my appe- 
t'te by wishing for something to eat. 

As the rain could make me no wetter than I already was, 
I walked forth to have a look about me. The moving of 
cavalry, infantry, a1*tillery, baggage-wagons, and ambulances 
had worked up the plain to a perfect bed of mortar. For 
miles around the mud was from six inches to a foot in depth. 

The last of our forces had just arrived ; and after* them 
came General McClellan and staff. His garments were 
saturated with rain, and hung about him as heavy as lead. 
He rode straight to the landing. It was half a mile distant, 
and I walked down. When I reached it, there stood Gene 
ral McClellan knee-deep in the mud. He had dismounted, 
and was holding his horse by the bridle — surrounded by 
hundreds of soldiers from various divisions ; he was shaking 
hands with them, and talking freely with them as they 
eagerly crowded around him. 

" God bless you, boys," he said, warmly ; " God bless you. 
You have done your duty nobly; you have suffered much; 
you have stood resolutely by your flag ; you have braved 
the dangers and endured the hardships attending the move- 
ment of the army, with truly soldier-like fortitude. * Yoi^ 
shall rest now, boys ; reinforcements are coming, and they 
shall take your places in the front." 

And reinforcements did come. Several divisions arrived 
that afternoon — among them Shields' Division — and were 
immediately sent to the front where lines of defence were 
formed. Several corps of the "Army of the Potomac," which 
had least suffered during the Seven Days' Fight, took the 
front also ; and a strong line was formed in a semicircle, each 
flank resting upon the James. 

How singular that men have the effrontery to assert that 

McClellan, after arriving at Harrison's Landing, remained 

idlj there for twenty -foui Taowxs, ^Kithout taking any position, 

forming sl line, or makiivg an^ ^crw o1 \^1«^^^, X^\.*^^ss«i 


gre some who have the audacity, and utter disregard of 
manly principle, to stand up in the face of the truth, and 
make such false, outrageous assertions. 

Between three and four in the afternoon the rain ceased 
to fall. 

When night came we again lay down beneath our frail 
shelter, and slept soundly till morning. 

An hour after daylight we were suddenly ordered to fall 
into line ; the report of a cannon was heard, and a solid shot 
charged furiously ovier our heads and struck in the mud with 
a splash. It came from a point on the right. A rebel bat- 
tery had approached very near our lines, and opened fire ; 
and many of the shot reached us. One of our batteries re- 
plied, and soon silenced it. When the artillery fight was 
over we repaired to a field near Heron Creek, stacked our 
arms, and called it our camp. 

•We were soon supplied with rations ; for McClellan took 
care to have provisions landed at once. Knapsacks, shelter- 
tents, and blankets, too, were soon issued to us. 

The following day was the " Fourth of July." The sky 
was clear, the sun shone forth, and the mud began to dry up. 
In the afternoon, we were drawn up in line for review, ancj 
Little Mao rode along, wearing his usual smile; and we 
cheered him enthusiastically, as was our wont. His address 
as issued to the Army of the Potomac was read to us ; it was, 
as nearly as I can remember, as follows : 

''Soldiers of the Akmt op the Potomac : — 
*"You have been attacked at your position in front of 
Bichmond by far superior numbers; and, there being no 
hope of reinforcements, you have succeeded in changing 
your base of operations by a flank movement — always con- 
sidered the most hazardous of military operations : you have 
borne the privations and perils attending you with a forti- 
tude never surpassed ; you have repulsed the enemy in every 
encounter, always holding the field at night; of guns and 
munitions of war, you have captured more than sufficient to 
repay you for all that you have lost. Our lines are now re- 
established^ ovr position is strong-, aiv^i M \Jcka ^^issojcsV^^^ 

834c OUBBOYS. 

the hardihood to attack us, he will be severely punished, and 
effecLu illy repulsed. There can be no longer any doubt that 
each one of you may say, with pride, ' I belong to the Army 
of the Potomac!' Ana on this, our nation's birthday, we 
declare to our foes who are rebels against the best interests of 
mankind, that this army shall yet enter the capital of their so- 
called confederacy, ^t whatever cost of time, treasure, or blood. 
(Signed) " Gbo. B. McClellan, 

" Major- General Commanding^ 

How different this* address from the proclamation issued 
by General Pope not long after : — 

"No more ditch-digging; no more strong positions; no 
more lines of retreat ; no more base of supplies ; no thought 
of any position save one from which the army might most 
easily advance against the enemy— head-quarters in the 
saddle!!!" — in fact. General Pope was just going to "win* 
this thing up without any more fooUn^ about it." The world 
knows how well he succeeded.' 

The excitement and fatigue attending the Seven Days' 
Fight now began to tell upon some of our brave fellows. 
Colonel Hayes grew ill, and his strength began to decline. 
At last, at the urgent advice of Assistant Surgeon-Gemeral 
King, he resigned and very reluctantly left us. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Oliphant, not strong at the best, having 
also been constantly at his post during that trying week, was 
now attacked with fever ; .for a time, his situation was critical^ 
and his recovery was despaired of; he recovered, however, 
but with the total loss of his hearing. He, of course, was 
compelled to resign, and he left the regiment with many a 
regret, and went to his home in Western Pennsylvania. 

Major Baily having been dangerously wounded at Gaines 
Hill, the regiment was now entirely without field officers. 
Captain Lemon, of Company "H," being senior captain, took 
command of the regiment. 

Lieutenant Blake was the only commissioned officer re- 
Tnaining in our company. He, too, grew ill, and resigned. 
First'SergeeLUi Cue was ipTomoXsA. Vi \)aa «ft^»\iac^\M^\\^tiajicy. 


A number of our boys were sent off to hospitals in 
;he north. A number, also, were discharged on account of 
disability ; among them were Enos Strawn and John Snydfer, 
The latter died after reaching home.* 

The division was now commanded by General Seymour ; 
Generals McCall and Eeynolds being prisoners, and General 
Meade wounded. The conduct of all these officers during 
the Seven Days' Fight was brave and soldier-like, and entitles 
them to a fair place among the heroes of the nation. General 
Reynolds was captured late in the evening of the Battle of 
Gaines' Hill while endeavoring to rally some disordered 
troops. The brave Meade was wounded just at dark near 
the close of the Battle of Glendale, and refused to be carried 
from the field, but remained upon his horse. General McCall, 
OVL the same evening, having posted a regiment at a certain 
point, left it for a short time to attend to another part of the 
line. On returning to the spot, he found "that the regiment 
bad Iretired, and that he was surrounded by the enemy. 
Rebels who assisted in capturing him, and have since been 
taken prisoners, have stated that the blood was dropping 
from his sword at the time. 

On our coming to the Peninsula sutlers had been excluded ; 
but now they were allowed to visit us once more, with their 
usual prices; for instance, butter one dollar per pound; 
cheese seventy-five cents ; eggs sixty cents per dozen ; tobacco 
one dollar and a half per pound; preserved peaches one 
dollar and a half per pint-bottle ; raisins seventy -five cents 
per pound ; ham thirty cents ; cards — the common article- 
sixty cents per pack ; whiskey (on the sly) two dollars per 
pint ; and, in fact, everything else in proportion. 

It is amusing, when a sutler has been for some time 
excluded from a regiment, to see how eagerly the boys 
crowd around him on his reappearance. As soon as the 
establishment is open and the propriet6r ready for business, 
hundreds throng around, money in hand, all asking for some- 
thing at once, and the confused sutler hears something like 
the following— 

*' Here, sutler, give me — " "cents' worth — " "I want — ' 
« dollars—" " some o' that—" '' I—" ** tobaci— '' " ^n^xci^^^xsj 



— ** cheese and — " *' bologne sau — " " four sheets o' — " " enve^ 
lopes — " "sutler, hand me — " "your money for — " "in a 
hurry; I — " "for any sake, give— " " ain't you goinff to — ^ 
** a fellow to wait all day — " " sutler, wait on me ; I — " " pre- 
served peaches — " "those cigars—" "of butter — " "here, 
( — " "stamps — " "that ham worth — :" "how do you — " 
•* eggs — " " those suspend — " " pies, and — " " a pouad of-—" 
'steel pens—" "that—" "sutler, do—" "cards—" 

"Who says the rebels are advancing?" suddenly asks 
some soldier of the crowd, in a loud, distinct tone. 

In a moment all is still — every voice is hushed. 

" Sutler, give me four pounds of that cheese, and here's 
your three dollars," continues the shrewd soldier, who had 
resorted to this nLse to make himself heard. 

He gets his cheese, hands the sutler a " two" and a " one," 
and retires. The old proceeding is then resumed, and con- 
tinued throughout the day. 

Meanwhile the weacher was very hot. Although Harri- 
son's Landing is but three degrees south of Pennsylvania, it 
certainly appeared to me to be at least ten degrees hotter 
than I had ever seen it in my native State. I remember 
one day that my canteen was accidentally thrust out from 
beneath my tent, and it remained for some time exposed to 
the rays of the sun before I discovered it. When I. did dis- 
cover it, I noticed that it felt very hot ; and I poured some 
water from it upon my hand to ascertain how hot it had be- 
come. It proved to be so hot that I could not bear it upon 
my hand ; it seemed almost boiling. 



Tab month of July wore away. 

On the last day — and it was a hot one — of the month, Jim 
and I walked down to ^^toil Ct^^ VcaOcl ^t«k ^ ^exter 


of a mile from camp. It was past noon, and the heat being 
excessive we repaired to the bank of the creek, beneath a 
spreading tree. Beneath its grateful shades we took a bath 
in the waters of the stream. 

Heron Creek is from eighty to one hundred yards in 
width ; it winds its way through a swamp six hundred yards 
wide. This swamp is covered with tall reeds, which, at high 
tide, stand actually in the water. The creek, in its wind- 
ings, touches the solid ground alternately north and south of 
the swamp. The stream touched our side- at a point not far 
from camp, and a great many were bathing there. Jim and 
I repaired to a spot a hundred yards above; it was beyond 
a nook or swamp that was fed by the creek. We were 
obliged to walk three or four hundred paces to get around 
the barrier. 

At this point, several large boats, belonging to a pontoon 
corps, were lying at anchor. A small boat or skiff was 
usually there, but at this time it was down among the 
bathers who thronged the shore and the water a hundred 
yards below. 

" Jim," said I, after our bath, " I think it would be very 
nice this hot day to take a ride up the creek in that small 
boat yonder." 

"I think so, too," he replied. 

" Then suppose we do." 

" But those fellows yonder are playing with it." 

"No matter; they won't play with it while we are riding 
in it." 

" But they won^t give it up." 

"Oh, I think they will; they ought, at least, for they have 
had it to themselves all day." 

" All right ; if you can get it, well take a ride." 

" Then remain here a few minutes, and I will bring it ovei 
and take you in." 

I walked around the nook previously mentioned, and was 
soon star ding on the shore of Heron Creek, at the interest- 
ing bathing place. I suppose there were two hundred 
soldiers in the water; and they were splashing, and floating, 
and swimming, and diving among one another, in a maiiuec 

838 OUR BOYS. 

that reminded me of the tiny creatures seen in a drop of 
water, through a microscope. I stood a moment watching 
them, and at last, in an authoritative tone, called out : — 

"I say, boys there, you have the captain's boat, ^nd I have 
come after it." 

" Captain who ?" asked several. 

"Why, Captain Grover," said I, inventing a name; "Cap- 
tain Grover,* of the pontoon corps." " 

" Well, we'll bring it ashore presently," said one. 

'* Be in a hurry* about it then," I said. 

Supposing me to be a sergeant- of the pontoon corps, they 
soon brought the boat to the shore. 

" Where are the oars ?" I demanded. 

" There wasn't no oars in it whwi we got it." 

" Are you sure of that?" 


I knew this myself; but I only asked the question to 
confirm them in the belief that I had something to do with 
that boat. 

" I suppose they are lost, then," said I, " and I will be obliged 
to paddle it along with this board." And I picked up a 
small board about the size of a common shingle. 

I then got into the boat, and paddled toward the spot 
where Jim stood. As it glided from the throng of bathers, 
some of them began to suspect that I had deceived them, 
and that I had no greater claim on the boat than they ; accord- 
ingly, one called out : — 

" Old fellow, I don't believe you have any business to take 
that boat away." 

" Ot, yes, I have— lots o' business," I replied. I was now 
^4 dozen yards from them. 

'* Look ! he's laughing I" said another. 

I was laughing, and they looked upon the fact as being 
the clearest evidence that I had " done" them. 

" Bring that boat back I" sTaouted several. 

I did not reply. 

"Don't let him take it, fellows," said one, who, too big a 
coward himself to attempt to prevent me, thought to incite 
others to do so. 


''Oh, do let me take it, fellows!" said I, mockingly. 

"But we ioonH let you," said several. 

"How do yott propose to prevent me?" I inquired. 

" We'll show you !" And half a dozen plunged in, and 
swam after me with a rapidity that led me to just wonder 
whether I could paddle fast enough to escape with the boat. 

They gained on me, and a chase of considerable interest 
was soon in progress ; Jim saw the state of things from where 
he stood^ and he was watching me with some anxiety. 

"Hurrah!" he shouted; "you can distance them!" 

"I know I can," I replied, although I was far from know- 
ing it. 

The crowd cheered my pursuers. 

"Hurrah! hurrah !" catch him! you can do it!" shouted 
a multitude of Voices. 

" Then diu:k him when you catch him," added a number 
6f others. 

Duck me I Oh, horror ! I wondered whether they iimuld 
undertake to put this fiendish suggestion into execution, in 
case they should overhaul me. With redoubled energy, I 
plied my paddle, and the boat skimmed the water with in- 
creased speed. The distance between the pursuers and the 
pursued began to increase ; save that one resolute fellow — a 
better swimmer than the rest — continued to keep pace with 
me ; nay, he was still gaining on me. The others gave up 
tiie chase, but he kept on. I felt quite at ease now, however, 
for I was not much afraid of one man taking a boat from me. 
It was obvious that he would overtake me before I could 
reach the shore at the point where Jim stood. When he was 
within a few yards of me, I began to negotiate with him. 

" I say, partner," I began, coolly, " are you aware that a 
very slight tap on the cranium with some small weapon — a 
piece of board, for instance— is sufficient to have the effect 
of drowning a man when he is in the water ?" 

" You^d better try it," he said, savagely ; atid he continued 
the chase. 

" I've just made up my mind to try it ; I think that after a 
gentle tap on the crest, you will go down quietly this hot 

840 OUB BOTS. 

It must not be supposed that I really had the least notion 
of hitting him. 

" Hurrah I hurrah ! Don't give the chase up now 1 * Catch 
him 1" shouted the spectators. 

" Don't let him have it," said Jim. I was now within a 
dozen yards of the shore. 

" I fear I will be obliged to let him have it" I replied, 
alluding to something else than the boat. 

Upon hearing this my pursuer struck out with' such deter- 
miuation, that the next moment he laid his hand upon the 
stem of the boat. I was sitting aft, and looking, in an aw- 
ful (?) manner, upon the fellow, I asked — 

" Well, what do you propose to do ?" 

"J am going to take this boat," he replied. 

"Do you intend to swim all the way back with it, or get 
in, throw me out, and paddle it back ?" 

"I'm going to swim back with it>" he replied, with dogged 

"We'll see," said I. 

" We will see," he retorted ; and he made spasmodic eflforts 
to swim toward the crowd, and draw the boat after him. 

But he discovered that he could only use one hand to 
swim with while the other held the boat, and that my paddle 
was superior to his one hand ; the boat, propelled by the 
paddle, moved slowly toward the shore. 

"I advise you to giv^o it up for a bad job," I said, in a 
quiet, business-like way. 

"No, I won't," said he, savagely; and he proceeded to 
climb into the boat for the purpose of trying "that other 

I did not interfere with his proceedings till his body was 
poised upon the edge of the boat ; then, suddenly dropping 
my paddle, I gave him, with both my hands, an impetus that 
sent ^ him into the water several yards in rear of the boat 
with a fearful splash I Before he recovered I reached the 
shore and took Jim in. The gentleman who had given me 
BO much trouble now thought it prudent to relinquish the 
enterprise he had in view, which he did very reluctantly. 
Me was verj wrotb, Tiovrev^i, «i.xA>aa ^oAl— 


•^ Confound you I I wish the boat was in h — ^11, and you, 


"If so," I replied, provokingly, "you might stand a chance 
of having another chase after us. But say, my friend, are 
you going to swim all the way back to where your clothes are, 
or shall I take you into the boat and convey you thither?" 

" Oh, you scoundrel I You think you've aone something 
sharp ; but I'll pay you ; I'll watch for you till you come 
back, then d — d if I don't tan you." 

" It won't be necessary, my covey," I replied ; " for if the 
sun shines so hot as this all the time, I will be already tanmd 
before I return." 

" Oh, you needn't make light of it." 

" I won't ; it would be difficult to make light of anything 
you say." 

We glided up the stream, leaving the foiled adventurer to 
swim back at his leisure. 

" L expect that fellow will be watching for us when we 
return — ^he is so angry," said Jim. 

" I scarcely think so ; it's a hot day, and he'll cool down." 

" I don't know ; I think the crowd will urge him to wait 
for us, that they majr see the fun." 

The tide was commg in, and we soon disappeared from the 
throng round a curve among the tall reeds. It was not so hot 
on the water. Indeed, it was quite pleasant ; a slight breeze 
fanned us, and we enjoyed ourselves prodigiously. We went 
far up the stream, propelling the boat by turns, till it began 
to grow more narrow and crooked. Having gone "about 
fer enough," we concluded to return. Jim was at this time 
using the paddle, and thinking that he was scarcely using it 
with sufficient energy or skill, I said : — 

"Jim, I can beat all such paddling as that." 

. " I don't know," he replied. 

^" I'll wager the buttons of my blouse that I can." 

"Well, vou may try it." 

I took the paddle, and Jim sat down amidships. 

" I guess I'll try it standing up ; I can execute a longer 
stroke," I suggested. 

"Well, be careful that you dotf t IwioVA^ omV^ 

842 OUB BOYS. 

"No danger." 

I then brought a tremendous stroke, and the boat being 
unsteady, I began to totter to and firo. 

" Don't fall," cried Jim, laughing. 

But I did fall. As I lost my equilibrium, I caught at the 
side of the boat, but missed it, thrusting my right arm into 
the water, and going in after it, upside down. The water 
was very deep, and I did not go to the bottom ; I returned 
to the surface. As my head popped out of water, I looked 
about, and could see no boat — no Jim. Hearing a loud laugh 
behind me, I turned me about in the water, and lookS. 
There sat Jim in the boat, eight or ten yards from me, almost 
bursting with laughter. I swam after the boat, and was soon 
crawling up over the side. 

" Where s your cap ?" asked Jim. 

Sure enough ; where was my cap ? I knew it wasn't on 
my head. Presently I espied it floating lazily upon the 
water's surface at the spot where I had fallen in, I was 
about to swim after it, but Jim said : — 

" Get in ; we'll row the boat to it." And he laughed till 
the tears ran down his cheeks. 

Having procured my cap, I wrung the water •from my 
clothes as well as I could, and the sun soon dried them. 

•^That's your improvement in propelling a boat^ is it?" 
said Jim. 

"Certainly; anything is an improvement that decreases 
the weight of the cargo." 

As we rounded the bend above the point from which we 
had started, Jim said : — 

" There are those fellows waiting for us, as sure as I live ! 
They are determined to give us some trouble, for taking that 
boat away." 

" I do not presume that any of them will molest us but 
that one; he will probably pitch into me. I wonder whether 
he is as good a pugilist as he is a swimmer ?" 

"I believe I recognize him standing there on the shore; 
he doesn't look dangerous." And Jim pointed out the one 
to whom he referred. 

I recognized, in the oxve ^ovcvXft^ o^iJ^ "^^^ ^^^ V-^^.^ '^ 


desperately attempted to prevent me from taking the boat 
away. He didn't look dangerous at all; he was rather 
smaller than myself, and, I thought, not very compact. 
There he stood, however, awaiting our approach, and looking 
altogether as though he were determined to have satisfaction. 
I didn't like the idea of mixing up with a rude fellow in a 
rough-and-tumble aflfUif ; yet I was determined not to be 
intimidated. Having landed our barque and made it fast, 
Jim and I walked boldly up the sloping bank, talking about 
the war. We would have passed on, but the soldier con- 
fronted me, and said : — 

" Now look here — I see by your stripes that you are a 
sergeant, but I don't care a cuss for that ; I want to know 
what you took that boat away for awhile ago ?" 

" Oh, is that you ?" I asked, with a show of surprise. 

"Yes, it's mc." 

'^Oh, yes, I know you now by that cut on your face." 

"What cut?" he exclaimed, raising his hand to his face. 

" That great gash th^re from wnich all those profane oaths 
came when I took the boat away," I replied coolly. He had 
a very large mouth. 

There wa& a laugh at his expense, and several of the 
crowd said — 

"Will you take that ?" 

"Now," said he, decidedly, beginning to square off, "I 
want to know what you took that boat away for ?" 

" Why, is it possible that you don't know ?" 


" Can't you guess ?" 

" No, nor aint a goin' to try .'^ , 

" Well, then,' I'll tell you. I took it away for the purpose 
of having a ride up the creek." 

"You did, eh?" 

"Yes, certainly." 

"And do you know what I am going to do?" 

"No; I have just been wondering." 

" Why, I am going — ^I — I have a d — d notion to thrash 
you." He was beginning to vacillate. 

844 OUR BOYS. 

" Have vou, though? Now that sounds dangerous — have 
a notion, eh ? Well — why don't you do it ?" 

" For a cent, I would." 

" Well, I won't pay a cent to have it done. You know 
how scarce change is here. You had better do it for no 

" If it wasn't for raising a row — " 

"Bah I bah I" shouted the spectators in derision; they 
were somewhat disappointed, for they had expected to see a 
fight as soon as I should land. 

" Is that the whipping you were going to give that fellow 
for taking the boat away ?" asked one. 

"And for pushing you into the water, and nearly drown- 
ing you ?" suggested a second. 

" And for taunting you about having to swim back 7" put 
in a third. 

My adversary was silent. 

'* If I was him, I'd whip you now," said a fourth. 

My antagonist turned a little pale at the idea. The great 
courage and determination which he had manifested in the 
watei seemed to have deserted him now. 

" Don't be alarmed," said I ; " I am not going to pitch into 

"I'm not afraid of that," he replied, a little stung, and 
recovering a little of his wonted bravado. 

For a while nothing was said. 

" Well," said I, at last, wishing to bring the affair to a 
crisis, " what do you intend to do ? li^ you are determined 
to fight about the boat, why don't you go to work ? If not, 
I will pass on ; ^it is growing late, and I expect to be on 
guard this evening." 

He was silent. 

Now was my time to^impart a moral lesson; and I be- 
gan :— 

"Don't you see that those fellows are making a fool. of 
you by urging you to fight about nothing? They care no- 
thing for you, so that they see the fun." 

"I think so myself," he said, thoughtfully. 
' Then you are very iooWda \o ^^«*a^3 'Ca««vV 


Jim and I walked on, and were not interrupted. The un- 
fortunate youth, who had been made a dupe, was now freely 
ridiculed by the crowd. 

" Ha I ha I That's the great fight that Was to come off I" 

"That's the 'way you were going to knock that fellow off 
his pins. Ha I ha t" 
. Presently the youth replied : — 

"If you want to see a fight, go and fight the fellow your- 
selves ; for be darned if /do I" 

It was five o'clock when we reached camp. We had not 
been there long, when Ser^^eant Anawalt came to my tent and 
said : — 

"You are detailed for guard to-night." 

" I expected it," I replied. 

"You are to act as officer of the guard" 

"As what?" 

" Officer of the guard." 

"How is that?" 

" Because our company must furnish an officer of the guard, 
and Lieutenant Cue being in command of the company will 
be called upon in his turn to act as officer of the day ; I being 
first-sergeant, my duties will not allow me to do guard duty. 
You are next in command, and must of course act as officer 
of the guard." 

This was true. Captain Conner and Lieutenant Moth were 
missing ; Sergeant Graham had long since been transferred 
to the Construction Corps ; Sergeant Zee had been killed at 
New Market Cross Roads ; Sergeant Anawalt was now first- 
sergeant, and I was next. 

" Well," said I, " I will go of course ; but it will be awk- 
ward for me to act in that capacity. I presume I must wear 

sword ?" 

"Yes; Lieutenant Cue will lend you his." 

At six o'clock the call was sounded for guard-mount, ani 
I walked out and took my place at the right of the line— the 
sword I wore knocking awkwardly against my heels. As 
the reader is probably aware, there is much eeremonjr con- 
nected with the mounting of a new guard ; the forming in 
order; the counting off; the inspeclion c& ^tkis.-, '^^\^5a&jas^ 

846 OUR BOYa 

off; the close order and present arms; the wheeling into 
sections and passing in review. During these delightful 
little proceedings on this occasion, a cheer arose within the 
camp, and swelled out over the whole division. Contrary 
to military order and discipline, I turned my head toward 
the camp, as did all, and saw the boys of all regiments run- 
ning hither and thither, and forming groups here and there 
apparently around some interesting or delightful object. 
The truth flashed upon me ; an exchange of prisoners had 
been effected, and those of OUB boys who had been captured 
during the Seven Days' Fight wer%now returning to us from 

When the ceremony of guard-mount was concluded, I 
marched my guard to head-quarters, relieved the old guard, 
took a short ledve of absence, and went to our company 
street. Sure enough, there stood Jim Roland, John Young, 
Hen Underwood, and Mr. Ike Mayhom — all returned priso- 
ners — surrounded by the boys, who were eagerly asking 
questions in rapid succession. 

" Did you see the captain or Lieutenant Moth in Eich- 
mond ?" was asked. 

" Yes, both of them ; and Greneral McCall and General 
Eeynolds. We saw them in prison at Eichmond ; but we did 
not remain there long till we were removed to Belle Island. 
The oflBicers are not yet exchanged." 

" Do you know anything of Mitchel or Jake Archibald ?" 

" No ; but we saw Will Haddock. He is wounded." 

It was amusing to hear the returned prisoners relate what 
they had^seen and experienced during their captivity, espe- 
cially on Belle Island. Mayhem's doings there were par- 
ticularly interesting. Jim Eoland related an amusing anec- 
dote of him of which I will give a brief sketch. 

During the first day of their sojourn on the island, May- 
horn observed a rebel lieutenant — an officer of the guard — 
wearing a pair of magnificent boots. It at once occurred to 
him that he would like to possess those boots. Being at 
liberty to walk about the island, he watched the officer, fol- 
lowed him from place to place, and haunted him like a 
Blmdow till night. 'W^«t^ «A» \«&\»,\!D>fe 'qSjl^^ x^lxsod^ May- 


horn succeeded in hooking the boots and making off with 
them. Next morning, however, he began to grow ill at ease, 
lest the oflScer, missing his boots, should institute a search, 
discover the boots iu his possession, and deal summarily with 
him, for he remembered that he was in a rebel camp. He, 
therefore, carried the boots to another part of the island, and 
sold them to one of the rebel sentinels for twenty dollars, 
which was very cheap. The rebel supposed that he was get- 
ting quite a bargain ; and so he was, as we shall presently 

Meantime, the bereaved officer missed his dear boots, and 
took active measures to recover them, in the shape of offering 
twenty dollars reward. Mayhorn* heard of it, and seeking 
out the officer, he said : — 

'* Will you give me the reward if I tell you who has your 

"Yes, certainly; why not?" 

"I thought because I was a Yankee—" 

" Oh, that makes no sort of difference ; tell me who has my 
boots, if you know, and here are twenty dollars ;" and the 
officer produced a twenty-dollar confederate note. 

" Well," said Mayhorn, " I will point out the fellow who 
has your boots, but I don't want him to know^ho informed 
on him or to see me ; he would kill me if — " 

" Very well ; he shall not see you. Come with me and 
point him out, and here is your money." 

The unfortunate rebel sentinel was on post aj; the time, and 
wearing the stolen boots, large as life. 
* " Yonder he is I He has them on I" exclaimed Mayhorn, 
as he led the officer to a point from which the sentinel could 
be seen. 

" So he has I 0, the villain I The barefaced scoundrel I 
— to steal my boots — here, take your money — O, I'll fix 
Lira! Who would have thought it? — to steal my — and 
from an officer — O, the — " 

"It's too bad," said Mayhorn, sympathizingly ; and he 
thrust his twenty -dollar bill into his pocket, and sought a 
position from which he could see the — as he called \\>—fun. 

TJse rebel ofBcer approached the afeTilYCvd^^V^ >w^&^^i&!^cs^% 

848 OUR BOYS. 


his beat displaying his boots to the best advantage — ^his 
pantaloons thrust within .the tops. 

"You burglar I" exclaimed the officer, savagely. 

The sentinel looked up in innocent surprise. 

" You criminal !" thundered the officer. 

" What 1" And the rebel sentinel expanded his optics to 
n incredibly large size. 

" You complicated villain I" 

"Why— I— what— " 

" You unsophistipated knave I" 

"What have /done?" 

"What have you done! Varlet, look at those boots I" 

The sentinel surveyed his boots with evident pleasure ; he 
began to think that the officer was jesting with him. Suppos- 
ing this to be a piece of unpardonable impudence and reckless 
defiance, the officer grew violent. 

"You infernal rascal! Off with those boots'!" he 

The sentinel now perceived that the officer was in earnest ; 
and he asked : — 

" What do you mean, any how ?"# 

"What do I mean! You d — d thief! You insolent 
villain ! Thdise boots are mine ! You stole 'em : you know 
you did!" 

" They're my boots ; I bought 'em." 

"You lie! You didn't!" 

" I did ; I lyught 'em of a Yankee." 

" You lying scoundrel ! I'll — Oobporal of the guard !"^ 
And the corporal made his appearance. 

" Corporal," said the officer, " bring another man here, and 
put him in this one's place. He has stolen my boots, and he 
must be arrested." 

" Yea, sir," replied the corporal, retiring. 

" I didn't steal the boots," persisted the hapless sentinel. 

" Yes, you did ; you — " 
• "No, I—" 

«Yes— " 



" Not a word, or I'll punch a hole right through you, you 
miserable icamp !" 

The corporal soon reappeared, accompanied by three men ; 
one to relieve the sentinel, the others to arrest the oflfender, 
take off the stolen boots, and escort him to a place of confine- 
ments What was afterward done with him is not known. 

The returned prisoners related many other pleasing (? 
stories ?onuected with their imprisonment on Belle Island. 

'*It was remarkable," said one of them, in conclusion, 
" what a snappish humor seemed to prevail among our fellows 
while on Belle Island. The least thing in the world would 
lead to a fight. For instance, one in walking by the tent of 
another would accidentally strike his foot against a tent-pin or 
cord. Then — ' Confound your d — d old tent V he would say. 
'D — n your black-hearted feet; keep them off my tent I' 
would come from within. *Go to the d — II' would be the 
retort. 'I'll send you there mighty quick!' would be the 
next thing ; and out would rush the ill-tempered inmate and 
pitch right into the ill-tempered offender. Then they would 
nave it, rough and tumble, up and down, pulling hair, goug- 
ing eyes, and knocking teeth down throats. I cannot ac- 
count for the ill-humor that pervaded while we were on the 
island, save on the grounds that our allowance of rations was 
80 small as to keep down our spirits. Short rations, you 
know, will put any soldier out of humor." 

"Yes," suggested Gaskill, who had been listening with 
interest to the narration, " it's enough to put a fellow out of 
humor when spirits can't be raised!^ 

1 returned to the head-quarters of the guard. Between 
eight and nine o'clock that evening a tremendous rain, ac- 
companied by thunder and lightning, visited Harrison's • 
Landing and vicinity. The sky was overcast with heavy 
black clouds, and the darkness, save when brilliant flashe 
of lightning revealed everything, was intense. The rain 
prured down in floods; the wind blew savagely; the 
lightning gleamed in all its fierceness athwart the angry 
heavens ; and the heavy thunder vibrated stunningly upon 
the air. Nine o'clock came ; still the storm raged violently. 
Aa I did not deem it really ne(ieaaaiT^,at ^^^^ \ss2c^^tv»S!i^ 

860 * OUR BOYS. 

that men should be kept standing car.ip-guard during such 
a night, I went to Captain Lemoii and asked his permission 
to dismiss the guard for the night, assuring him that everj- 
thing about camp would be perfectly safe without a gnanL 
The brave are ever kind-hearted ana generous, and Captain 
Lemon, who was about to retire, came to the door of his tent, 
and peered oat. 

" Yes, sergeant," he said, warmly, " dismiss thei guard and 
let them go to their quarters ; it would be inhuman to keep 
men exposed to such a storm as this, when there is no urgent 

I thanked him, and at once sent the sergeant and corporal 
to the various posts with instructions to call off the sentinels 
and send them to their quarters. I then repaired to my 
quarters, laid off the sword I wore, stretched myself beside 
my comrades, and was soon lulled to sleep by the steady 
patter of the rain on our low tent. 

A terrific discharge of artillery aroused me from my 
slumber. It was followed by the whizzing of a solid shot and 
the bursting of a shell over our camp. Another solid shot 
struck the ground so near that I could feel the shock ; and 
I sprang up. The rain had ceased to fall, but it was pitch 
dark. Several shell went screaming over, bursting — the 
fragments flying and singing in all directions. What could 
it mean ? I sprang from our low tent and stood erect. As 
I did so, I encountered Mose,'a contraband cook. He was 
much terrified, and he exclaimed — 

" My Lod I whar ar dey flingin' dem from ?" 

I was just asking myself that question ; where were they 
flinging them from ? The missiles — they were now flying 
• through the air in great profusion — were certainly not coming 
from the front; they appeared to be coming from the -river, 
wliich was three-quarters of a mile distant. What could 
it mean ? Had the artillerymen at the river batteries arose 
in their sleep, turned their guns upon us, and opened fire ? 
Or was it that rebel gunboat that was reported " iust finished" 
come down from Eichmond to shell us. I lighted a match 
and Jooked at my watch; it was twelve precisely. Jim, 
Dick, and Haman emerged ?Tom \!>aa \«ktL\» ^m\Q\^^ 


" What's up ?" they exclaimed. 

" Why a big shell is w/>, and it's coming dbi^m," I replied ; 
for at that moment I heard a shell approaching, which I 
judged by the sound was coming in a neat line for the spot 
where I stood. 

I had barely uttered the words, when a monster shell struck 
the ground with a shock, a dozen yards in our front, bound- 
ing over our heads and bursting some distance behind. 

" Why, it's getting warm I" exclaimed Jim. 

" Yes — ^I wonder what it means ?" 

At that moment, a solid shot struck in the street of Com- 
pany " H," right at the feet of a sound sleeper who was yet 
snoring away. It had the effect of arousing him, though, 
and supposing himself to be killed, he sprang erect with such 
violence as to tear up his low tent by the roots. 

For a while, the hostile cannon seemed to have it all to 
themselves ; but presently one of our gunboats, which lay a 
thousand yards down the river, commenced operations. We 
began to comprehend the true state of things. Several rebel 
batteries of heavy artillery had come down to the opposite 
bank and taken position under cover of the darkness ; they 
had opened fire just at midnight between July and August to 
give tne af&ir a romantic touch and facilitate the writing of 
a novel on the a^ir, in future ages. — So I suppose. 

A battle of some magnitude now took place. One of the 
rebel batteries turned upon the gunboat, while the others 
plugged away at us. The picture was a 'grand one — a 
terribly grana one. The night being very dark lent great 
effect to the scene. Flash after flash burst forth from the 
gunboat, lighting up the surface of the James with a vivid 
glare; and at each flash a stunning report with a dozen 
echoes shook the earth, and a shell, with its tail of fire, could 
be seen making a circle against the gloomy heavens, scream- 
ing like a veiy demon, and bursting near the rebel batteries 
with a crash. They followed each other so rapidly, that che 
operations of the rebel batteries were thrown entirely in the 
shade. The rebels couldn't stand it; their batteries were 
soon silenced, and they beat a hasty retreat. Our gunboat 


continued to hurl "feelers" until it was obvious that they 
liad fled beyond reach. 

It was one o'clock ; the fight was over ; and we resumed 
our slumbers. 

The James River at Harrison's Landing is a mile wide. 
As the rebels had no force opposite us, neither within miles 
of us, on the south side of the river, no pickets had heretofore 
been posted there. It now became a matter of importance 
to take possession of the opposite shore of the James. 
Accordingly, next morning, a regiment was sent over to 
take possession, and to burn several beautiful mansions that 
stood upon the green shore opposite our camp ; for it was 
supposed that from observatories on these houses the rebels 
had been, for some time past, keeping watch over our camps. 
No opposition was offered to their landing, and they burned 
the houses to the ground. 

The day passed quietly away ; and at six in the evening, 
I was relieved from guard. 

About this time, we received '* Springfield Rifles" instead 
of our muskets, and we were now a rifle regiment. We were 
highly pleased at this ; for it cannot be doubted that the rifle 
is a more effective weapon than the musket. 

On the third day of August, a cavalry recbnnoissance was 
made upon the south side of the James, to within ten or 
twelve miles of Petersburg. When about five miles from 
Harrison's Landing, our cavalry encountered a regiment of 
Virginia cavalry drawn up in line to receive them. Our 
fellows at once charged upon them, put them to flight, pur- 
sued, drove them several miles, right by their camp near 
" Sycamore Church," routing them completely. As they re- 
turned, they destroyed all the tents and equipage about the 
rebel encampment. 

That evening, our regiment was detailed for picket duty 
beyond the river ; and we were carried over l;^y one of the 
transports. Nothing of importance occurred; and next 
evening we returned. 

On the fifth of August, McClellan recaptured Malvern 
Hill; and but for a mistake that occurred in the disposition 


of his forces, he would have bagged about thirteen thousand 
rebels who were posted there. 

At the same time the Army of the Potomac received orders 
to be in readiness to march at a moment's notice, and we 
supposed that a movement was about to be made on Bich* 
mond. How little did we dream that the Peninsula was to 
be abandoned I 



It was evening. We were about to leave our camp at 
Harrison's Landing — ^about to march — we knew not whither. 

It was obvious 'that we were going to embark, for we 
marched toward the landing. Whither were we going? - 
Probably to Malvern Hill ; probably to City Point, in order 
to move on Petersburg ; probably we were going around to 
join Pope. We halted near the landing to await orders. 

Night came on, but it was not very dark ; the full moon 
was looking serenely down from a cloudless sky. After 
much delay, we embarked. We found ourselves aboard a 
crowded steam transport, with scarcely room to lie down. 
Every nook and corner was speedily occupied, and I began 
to ask myself where I should sleep ? After some considera- 
tion I ascended to the hurricane deck ; I found it so crowded 
with soldiers who had already lain down to sleep, that to 
walk from stem to stern without stepping upon some one's 
shins, stomach, or head^ would be a very skilful feat, 

By and by it occurred to me that to sleep on the wheel- 
house might not be impracticable. Yet, would there not be 
danger of rolling off? No, I could arrange that ; there was 
a beam extending across the top of l\i^ ^\i^^\-W\^^^ ^:cA. \. 

8M ' 0UBB0Y9. 

might lash myself to it by means of my knapsack-straps, I 
resolved to try it ; and I was soon at the summit of one of 
the wheel-honseS) with my accoutrements. I lashed my gun 
to one side of the beam, and myself to the other. I lay with 
my feet at the edge. Not long after my arrangements were 
completed, the boat was got under way, and we moved off — 
down the James. 

My eyes were soon closed in sleep. 

''Jumping Joseph! if that isn't a place for a fellow to 
sleep 1" 

"Isn't it, though!" 

" Why, I wonder that he didn't roll off during the night I" 

" He might have done so, and it wouldn't hare awakened 
him— if one may judge by the way he is sleeping now." 

"Ha, ha I Come nowl" and I received a hearty thrust 
on the ribs. 

The voices were those of my messmates. I was about 
half awake — in that dreamy state when one hears all that 
is said, yet is not sufficiently himself to speak. At last, 
however, I opened my eyes, and found that it was morning. 
Haman had climbed up to my lofty perch, and was endeavor- 
ing to break the stubborn chains of slumber wherewith I 
was bound; Dick and Jim remaifaed upon the hurricane 
deck, which was eight feet below, and they were enjoying a 
laugh at my expense. 

" How is this ?" asked Haman. 

'• How is what?" I queried, rubbing my eyes. 

" What ever put it into your head to come up here to sleep? 
— we have been looking for you al^ over the boat." 

** I selected this place as being the least crowded, and the 
most airy." 

•' You might . have found it more watery. Suppose you 
had ratted off 1" • 

"Nofliingdr of my rolling ofl^" I replied, carelessly, opn- 
ceallTig the fact that I had lashed myself to the beam. 

" I wouldn't like to risk my life that way," said Jim. 

" Nor would I," said Dick. 

''Ob, it wasn't mucVv o? 2^1 t\^\ \ ^j«i%\«e it would have 


aroused me from my sleep had I fallen off. But vrhere dre 
we ? Are we still on the James ?" 


" Then the boat has not been moving all night ?" 

** No ; she has been lying at anchor ever since eleven o'clock 
in the night." 

" And how long has she been under way ?" 

"An hour." 

" Have we passed the mouth of the Chickahominy yet ?" 

"Yes, only a quarter of an hour since." 

" Well, really, I wish you had not disturbed me for a while ; 
I was just in the midst of a glorious dream of sitting down 
to a dinner of ro^st turkey." • 

"We awoke you to give you some coffee; we have suc- 
ceeded in getting some boiled at the furnace, by paying the 
fireman a quarter. So, come below, and we will drink it." 

"What! can it be possible that you have left it below 
without any one to watch it?" I asked, in surprise. 

" Oh, nO; not by any means. It is still in the hands of the 

" Oh, I thought — " and I set about unbuckling the straps 
which bound me to the beam. 

"Oho I I see now why you didn't roll off, ha! ha! Yott 
lashed yourself to the timber," exclaimed Haman, observing 
the secret; and my comrades rallied me immoderately. 

Leaving my ejects lashed to the beam, I accompanied the 
boys below, and we regaled ourselves with a cup of coffee — 
the soldier's friend. This done, we returned to the hurricane 
deck, in order to enjoy the delightful scenery that adorned 
the shores of the James. Many beautiful cottages and man- 
sions, surrounded by romantic trees, stood on the picturesque 

About noon we arrived at Hampton Roads. Here we saw 
all that" was visible of the wreck of the Cumberland ; viz., 
three masts, with the wonted rigging, protruding in a slant- 
ing manner twenty or thirty feet from the water. 

We also passed a number of schooners each with a heavy 
mortar mounted upon deck. Transports, tugs, and gunboats 
greeted our vision in great numbers. 

856 OUB BOYS. 

By and by we approached the bay. Near the mouth of 
the river we ob/terv^ a hill, as it were, rising from the 
water. On nearing it, it appeared to be a hu^e heap of 
stones ; and it was. It is known as the " Rip Raps." Oppo- 
site this on the left was Fortress Monroe, and is yet, I pre- 
sume. We glided out upon the bay and cast anchor, which 
afforded me an excellent opportunity to view the stupendous 
fortifications. It is scarcely in my line to describe them. 
Suffice it to say that two hundred and fifty barbette guns 
frowned upon us ; and an equal number of heavy guns could 
be seen peeping out from the port-holes. The two celebrated 
guns, " Lincoln" and " Union," were mounted upon the sandy 
shore in front of the fort. 

Splash I 

" Man overboard I man overboard I" 

" Where ? who ? where is he ?" 

There was an unreasonable amount of confusion, of run- 
ning to and fro, of bumping against each other, and of tread- 
ing, upon each other's toes. Evidently a man had fallen 
overboard. We had been lying off Fortress Monroe at 
anchor for an hour. All heard a wild splash, but none, saw 
any one fall ; none knew who it was that had fallen over- 
board, or where he fell from. Whoever it was,,if he was not 
a swimmer, certainly* stood an excellent chance of drowning, 
for the water was no less than ten fathoms deep, and that is 
" over any man's head." Men were anxiously peering over 
the sides of the boat at every point ; but no one could be 
seen in the water. 

" Who is it ? who is missing ?" asked some one. 

No one could tell ; each one looked at himself to make 
sure that he wasn't missing. 

I was at that time aft on the lower deck ; I looked over, 
but could see no one. I listened. Presently I thought I 
heard a movement in the water below — a slight: ripple. 
Owing to the projection of the deck I could not see the rud- 
der. I climbed over a low railing, and stood upon a space of 
three inches; theu I gtaaijjed the railing for support, and, " 


leaning over, saw, in the grefen water below the leg and foot 
of some mortal, minus any apparel. 

"Here he is I" I shouted. 

/'Where? who is it?" and a rush was made for the stem 
of the boat, and many heads were thrust over the railing, 
making my situation precarious 

" Some one appears to be holding to the rudder." 

A boat was soon lowered and rowed to the stern. 

" Why, it's a fellow in a swimming 1" exclaimed one of 
the boatmen. 

" Yes," said a voice, which, I doubted not, belonged to the 
owner of the foot and leg which I saw, " of course it is ; 
what is the use of making such a fuss about it ?" . 

" Why, it's Teddy Smith, of our company 1" exclaimed one 
of the boys of Company "A," on hearing the voice. 

" Yes, and he's boozy, too," said another. 

" I say, Teddy," called out one of his comrades, " get into 
the boat and come out ; the transport will move up the bay 

" Not a bit of it till I get my swim out," replied Teddy ; 
"it's not every day that a fellow has such a nice chance for 
a dive— no danger of striking one's head against the bottom ;" 
and Teddy let go the rudder, disappeared beneath the water, 
and presently came up near one of the wheel-houses, climbed 
aboard, and proceeded to don his garments. 

It was near two o'clock when we moved up the bay. 
About four o'clock we encountered a squall ; and the wind 
was so strong as to materially retard our progress. The 
waves rolled savagely and threatened to capsize us; for our 
vessel was not a sea-going one. 

That night we anchored near the mouth of the Potomac, and 
I retired as on the previous night, and was soon wrapped in re- 
pose. When I awoke, it was yet dark, and the air was very 
cool ; the temperature of the atmosphere was here quite at va- 
riance A^ith that at Harrison's Landing. The air felt decidedly 
too chilly and damp to sleep with much comfort on the 
wheel-house. Loosing myself from the beam, I crawled 
down, and made my way to the hold of the vessel; which 
operation was attended with sundry ^l\iiu\:i\\\v'gi ^^^^itS.^x^'^- 

858 OUB BOTS. 

over-men, whereupon the stumbled-and-fallenover awoke, 
and called down numberless imprecations upon mj unhappy 
head. At last, finding a vacant spot of three feet by eiglit 
inches, I doubled myself up and lay down for a nap. Whea 
I again awoke, I discovered that my arms and legs were 
still asleepf owing to stagnation of the blood, the result of 
compressing myself into so small a space. It was day, and 
the boat was in motion. I made my way to tlie upper deck, 
and there, near the wheel-bouse, I beheld a scene which I shall 
never forget. There stood Dick, Haman, and Jim, the most 
solemn-looking men in the world ; they were gazing sorrow- 
fully upon my goods, which still lay lonely and desolate upon 
the spot where my form had slept Dismay was written on 
the face of my messmates. 

" Poor fellow I" I heard Jim say. 

The truth flashed upon me: they supposed that I had 
rolled oflf during the night, and was a '*goner". In truth, 
indications certainly favored such « conclusion, l^ere 
were my accoutrements, just as I might have suddenly and 
unexpectedly rolled away from them — my knapsack, cart- 
ridge-box, and haversack, where my head had been ; my 
wool blanket still stretched out as it bad been when I lay 
upon it, and my tent-blanket fast by one corner, and hang- 
ing lazily over the side of the wheel-house. 

"He ought to have known better," said Dick, a tear 
thrusting itself from his eye. 

" I suppose there is no hope of recov— " 

Haman could not finish the sentence. 
• " Oh, it's awful !" said Jim. No doubt he was beginning 
to ruminate upon the task that would fall to his lot — writing 
to my friends. 

They had not the least doubt that I was drowned. This 
circumstance gave me opportunity to observe the fact that 
my messmates harbored the warmest feelings for me— affec- 
tion, in fact. I thought that it would be cruel to keep them 
any longer mourning their supposed losg. Accordingly, I 
abruptly confronted them, remarking that it was a ''fine 
morning ; though a little cool after the rain, to be sure." 

" Why— ah— I— what I"—" Well !— " 


"If he— this — well—" were their broken exclamations. 

" What's up, my coveys ?" I innocently queried. 

"Oh, we thought it was'aZZ up with you 1" 

" How so ?" I coolly asked. " • 

" We felt sure that you had fallen oflf the boat and were 

"You did?" 

"Yes, certainly." 

" What, in the name of all that's mysterious, ever put such 
an idea into your heads ?" I asked, in pretended amazement ; 
at the same time, I thought the idea the most natural in the 

''Because we knew that you slept here, and seeing your 
eflFects hanging in this way, and you gone, it was very natu- 
ral for us to suppose that you had fallen oflF during the 

"Well, that's a joke," I said. 

" If you ever do such a thing again — " began Jim. 

" Oh, you have no room to say anything," I interrupted ; 
"you know what a fright you gave us all at Mechanicsville, 
when we thought you either killed or a prisoner !" 

We went below, and took breakfast ; which means drink- 
ing a cup of coffee without milk or sugar, and eating two 
hard crackers. 

Meanwhile, our boat glided up the Potomac ; and about 
ten o'clock, we arrived at Aquia Creek Landing, and there 
disembarked. This done, a rush was made iipon all* the sut- 
lers and storekeepers in the vicinity ; and we purchased all 
the cakes, pies, apples, cheeSe, lenjonade, and whiskey which 
they chanced to have on hand. 

Here we heard the most interesting stories of what was 
going on. Pope had just fought a terrible battle with the 
rebels, at Oedar Mohn tain, and both sides had held their 
ground. Then three hundred thousand volunteers had. 
arrived in Washington, and were about to join Pope. The 
latter individual was to take command of all the troops east 
of the Allegheny Mountains ; and he was going to call them 
"The Army of Virginia." He was also to enter Kichmon3 
" the ]ast of this week, or the first, ot Xie^tC C>V, $vftax\ 

860 OUR BOYS. 



The reader is probably aware that there is a railroad 
running from Aquia Creek Landing to Richmond via Fred- 
ericksburg. A train of cars was soon ready to convey us 
to the latter place ; we embarked and away we went. On 
this occasion I placed myself, in company of a number of 
others, on the roof of one of the cars. About half way 
between Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg the railroad crosses 
a deep gorge, through which a small stream quietly flows. 
The depth of this gorge is ninety feet; its width three hun- 
dred feet. The bridge over it consisted of tressel-work. The 

. train was moving very slowly over the bridge, and I could 
not help thinking what a fall it would be from the top of 
the car to the brook, a hundred feet below ; for, setting my 
mathematical faculties to work, I supposed the car to be ten 
feet high, and I added it to the height of the bridge, arriving 
at the sum of one hundred feet. While making these scien- 
tific calculations, the train suddenly separated ; the fore part 
moved on after the locomotive, leaving several cars, mine 
among them, standing upon the unsteady bridge. Thus wB 
were left on the bridge for ten or fifteen minutes, while the 
train was being reconnected. During that time I felt very 
uncomfortable, especially as a d'runken fellow of Company 
"G" was on the same car, and talked of jumping over just 
for exercise, and even proposed taking one of us along. He 
was a stout fellow, too, and I feared that he might take me 
along, as I sat near him ; which, considering that there was 
nothing on the roof of the car to cling to, was very unpleas- 
ant to contemplate. At last, to my relief, the train was 
joined together, and we moved from the bridge. 

The train stopped at a depot of Government stores half a 
mile from the Rappahannock, and we disembarked and 

inarched to the top of a\x\\\ ^\\\xXa ^^i \Rk "vki^ VS\.,^Wte wa 


found an unoccupied encampment of Sibley tents of wnich 
we at once took possession. Several other regiments soon 
after arrived. 

When we were settled down in our new quarters, Jim 
an^ I concluded to take a walk in quest of fruit. We 
rambled over the country for several hours, and on our 
return we observed a flock of fine sheep in a field at the 
right of the road. Jim suggested that we might get up a 
crowd and come out after one that evening ; and with this 
idea we hurried to camp, which we reached about six o'clock. 
As we approached, the most coJ)ious cheering arose and was 
borne to our ears. 

" Hark, what's that ?" said Jim. 

" It sounds like cheering," I replied^ 

" I wonder what's up ?" 

" Hard to say. It's scarcely marching orders^ 

'No; perhaps Pope has taken Richmond." 

"Or perhaps the rebels, alarmed at his approach, have 

''That's it, no doubt." 

Our conjectures were miserably at fault. Two horsemen 
rode into camp ; they were the brave Reynolds and Meade : 
the former, having been a prisoner, was now exchauged ; and 
the latter had suflSciently recovered from his wounds to be 
able to take th^ field again. General Reynolds took com- 
niand of the division, and General Meade* of tlie First Bri- 
gade. We felt like cheering when we saw these heroes with 
us again. 

After supper we made arrangements to go sheep-ptealing 
as soon as night should come. Our party was soon made 
up ; it consisted of Jim, Haman, Dick, and myself, and ano- 
ther mess, namely, our friend Dennis, George Wagner, and 
Mr. David Cease. When eight o'clock came we found it 
dark enough to embark in our enterprise, and we sallied* 
forth. Just think of it, reader, respectable men' like our- 
selves going out deliberately and premeditately to steal sheep. 
Sheep-stealing, you kncTw, is universally acknowleged to be 
of all thefts — of all crimes — the meanest and the niost d^- 
grading. Bat we were soldiers. 

362 OUB BOYS. 

We arrived at a gate that opened into the sheep-field, ana 
there held a council of war. How should we set, about 
tackling one of those sheep ? Each proposed a plan of his 
own, which he considered to be infinitely superior to those 
of all the rest put together. At last, however, the foUowftig 
plan was agreed upon : that we should all get over into the 
field at once, and " try to catch one, some how." This wise 
plan could only have originated with a deep-thinking, far- 
seeing man (?). I am not prepared to say who the proposer 
was, but I think it was Mr. Cease. 

We entered the field, and, after much searching, found the 
sheep. They smelt a rat, sprang up, and bounded away like 
the wind. One of them had a hoil on, too, and it rattled and 
rung so prodigiously, that all the dogs for tw^ity miles 
around had a good bark over the aflBair. 

After much skillful manoeuvring, we succeeded in driving 
all the sheep into a comer of the field; then we felt sure of 
one. Slowly, steadily, we advanced upon them, ivt a kind 
of "line of skirmishers." At last, our proximity became' 
painful to the sheep, and they made a wild, vk>knt, desperate 
rush through our lines. I grabbed a big fellow by the wool, 
but he was going by with such velocity that I was thrown 
at full length upon the ground, my head striking a stone 
with such violence that the quantity of fire exhibited to my 
vision was truly wonderful. The rest of the party fared 
similarly — all save Haman. He, more fortunate than any 
other of the party, succeeded in capturing a nice animal; 
though the way it struggled was anything but nice. 

" Hold him fast, Haman I" said Jim, arising from where he 
had last lain. 

" Don't let him get away, Haman I" said Dick, rising to 
a sitting posture. 

" Knock him on the head, Haman 1" exclaimed Cease ; and 
I wondered what he would do it with. 

" Take this, and cut the throat of him," suggested Dennis, 
handing him a knife which he had brought along for the 

Haman did cut "Oi^ t!ato^\» of him" whereupon his 
Btmggles ceased. • TViia ;ob ^aa y^^x. ^m^^xs^ %s^^^ 


wondering whether we were observed, when Cease suddenly 
exclaimed : — 

"Listen I I am sure I hear somebody coming!" 

I then felt relieved; for, when Cease said that he heard 
some one, I was convinced that no one was about. Mr. 
Cease, in addition to -his peculiar untruthful qualities, pos- 
sessed anything but iron nerves ; And he felt ill at ease, lest 
the owner of the sheep, who resided in a house near at hand, 
should come out with a shot-gun, and kill us all at one shot. 

George Wagner, being a butcher, removed the hide of the 
animal in a business-like way, and we hid it. He then cut 
the sheep up into seven pieces ; and half an hour after, we 
entered camp, each carrying the one-seventh part of a sheep. 
The result was that we had mutton three times a day for 
twenty-four hours. 

We had been in camp several days, when our company 
and another were detailed for railroad guard. We were to 
guard the road from the river to the high bridge previously 
mentioned. We started at eight o'clock in the morning, and 
marched up the road toward Aquia Creek, dropping off in 
squads at the various posts. I was left in charge of a squad 
of ten, at a point near our old camp-ground. Having posted 
several sentinels, I concluded to visit our old homes ; and, 
crossing a thickly-wooded valley, I found myself at the spot. 

Two months had wrought a great change ; I could scarcely 
recognize our old camp-ground. It was overgrown with 
weeds and grass; and thick bushes had sprung up and 
covered the spot where our tent had stood. 'Twas very quiet 
and lonely now in that pine wood. A bird here and there 
might be seen hopping from branch to branch, uttering, ever 
and anon, some little note that sounded too mournful for a 
song. Only here and there the sun penetrated the thick 
foliage. The scene was one of solitude. 

My mind reverted to the time, but a few months gone, 
when that green grove was a scene of life and mirth— when 
the roll of the drum and the bugle notes floated gaily cut 
among those green pines. I fancied I could still hear our 
brass band playing some favorite air at guard-mount or at 
AresS'parade. Where now was iVial \^<^A\i«^\\wi% ^^'vss^^ 

864 OUB BOYS. 

Gone I* I thought of the many merry voices, now hushed 
forever, that once rang out in joyous peals of laughter, at 
some amusing little scene of camp-life — at some trick or 
prank of Gaskill, perhaps ; 'twas at th.e spring's early open- 
ing. They were gone now ; they would join our ranks no 
more ; they would answer to roll-call lio more ; their names 
were no longer called now ; the word " killed" or " missing" 
was written opposite the names of many on the roll-book. I 
thought of many of our brave comrades, once so full of care- 
less glee, whose forms now lay mouldering away in front of 
Bichmondl I thought of many who, two months before, 
full of eager anticipations of glory, marched with us from 
that camp-ground, to return to it no more forever 1 Near 
at hand lay the old camp-ground of the Fifth; and as I 
looked upon it, I thought of the brave Colonel Simmons. 
He, too, was gone — gone to the land of shadows ! 

I returned to the railroad. 

At two o'clock Lieutenant Cue came to my post and re- 
quested me to go to camp for the mail, which would probably 
arrive at three. I walked down the railroad, and soon found 
myself in camp. I went to the quartermaster and inquired 
whether the mail had yet arrived; he said it had not. I 
then concluded to wait till it should arrive, and, in the mean- 
time, I went to my tent to write a letter to a friend. I took 
my writing materials from my knapsack, and was soon fen- 
gaged in telling my friend "all about it." I had about 
finished — in fact, I had just written " I remain very respec — " 
when a voice called out — 

" Hilloa, sergeant I all alon^ ?" 

I looked up, and there, just without the tent, stood Capiain 
Conner and Lieutenant Moth. T dropped .my pen — it was 
full of ink — right on my letter, niaking a savage splotch, 
and, springing out, seized them by the hands. 

"Why, captain, is this— can it be you?— and you lieu- 
tenant ?" 

"It's us— where are all the boys?" asked the captain, 

♦ While we were on tVe Ywa\Tv^\j\«k, «XV \iwAA, «was^\. \sias\.v».\ b&mU« 
jrere dispensed with, by otdw ol \\ia ^«at^\.w^ ^1 ^R^t. 


"They're on railroid-guard a few miles above; I came 
down for the mail." 

"And how are the boys ?" 

"As usual — those left of them. But, captain, you look 
thin ; does not Bichmond agree with you ?" 

"No; provisions are scarce there." 

"And you, lieutenant," said I, addressing Lieutenant Moth, 
••you, too, look slightly slighC 

"Y^s," he replied; "life in Eichmond is not what it is 
tracked up to be." 

I conducted them to Lieutenant Cue's tent, and they sat 
down ; whereupon we all related what had befallen us since 
we were together before. 

. It was past four o'clock when the mail came. When it 
did arrive, I took that of Company " D," and was abput to 
go up the railroad when Captain Lemon rode into camp, and 
seeing me, said — 

" Sergeant, are you going up the railroad ?" 

" Yes, sir," I replied. 

" Then as soon as you reach the first post send word up 
from post to post that we have marching orders — that we 
will march to-night, and that the two companies on duty are 
to return to camp immediately." 

I hastened to the railroad at. a*startliDg pace; when I 
reached it, I hurried up, going over four ties at a step. On 
reaching the first post, I sent a messenger up the road, giv- 
ing him the mail to distribute, and charging him to deliver 
the marching orders at each post without delay. 

At dark we stood in line in front of our camp, waiting for 
orders ta march-*-we wondered whither. 

888 OUB BOTB. 



A LONG time we awaited the order to march. A^ last, 
when it began to rain, the order" came and we marched from 
camp. We moved down the hill, crossed the railroad near 
the depot, and crossed a small creek which I fell into, it was 
so dark, and got thoroughly saturated ; and as it was raining 
at a reasonable rate, it was probable that I should remain so 
for a while. The darkness every moment grew more intense, 
till it arrived at a pitch of perfect gloom. After crossing the 
creek we found ourselves upon a level plain of some extent 
just below Falmouth ; but it was so dark that the proper 
point by which to leave the plain could not be found, and 
we actually made a circuit of a mile and arrived at the place 
from which we started. We were then ordered to stack 
arms and rest for the night. After several hours the rain 
ceased to fall. 

Next morning we arose, passed through Falmonth, and, 
taking a northwest road, marched up the Bappahannock. 
We marched during the whole day, and near evening were 
visited with a tremendous rain of an honr's duration. Soon 
after, we halted, having marched twenty-nine miles since 
morning. During the whole day the so^nd of artillery had 
been beard at intervals in the distance. It was still further 
up the river, and at night it sounded scarcely nearer than 
it had in the morning. 

We bivouacked for the night in a clover-field at the road- 

Next morning we were taking our coffee, when, seeing 

Lieutenant Moth pass by, I invited him to sit down and take 

a cup with us ; and, thanking me, he complied. I imagined 

he gave me a pkasantet loot ^w this occasion than he had 

ever given me bcfox^. lAevvXsvi^tA. "\!LoSki^^a %.\st^i:^<^\fissaM^ 

BtTLL BUN. ' 307 

and naturally warm-hearted^ and he could not pass lightly 
over a little act of kindness. | 

• Presently the captain approached, spoke pleasantly to us 
all, and addressing Lieutenant lioth, said— 

*' Lieutenant, you will take comjnand of the company ; I 
am to assist Captain Lemon in commanding the regiment." 

" Yes, sir ; I imagine things are fixing up for a fight, don't 
you ?" • 

At that moment a discharge of artillery was heard up the 

"There," said the captain; "that sounds like it." 

** Yes ; do you know where it is, captain ?" 

" I have understood that it is at Rappahannock Station." 

" I suppose we will move soon." 

''Yes; the division will march in half an hour." 

Bre long we were in motion. We took a road that 
diverged slightly to the right, and which seemed to lead 
directly toward the firing, the sound of which continued to 
reach our ears. By and by we noticed that the sound was 
growing gradually nearer as we advanced. 

During the forenoon the clouds rolled: away, and the day- 
became very hot. Water was very scarce during this. day's 
march; not a stream lay in our way; houses we seldom 
passed ; and when we did, we wereHiothing the better for it, 
fbr we were strictly forbidden to leave the road. My can- 
teen was empty, and so were nearly all in the regiment. For 
several miles I looked eagerly and in vain for some small 
stream at the ipoadside. At last I resolved to strike for the 
first house that should come in view, hoping that, perchance, 
I might not be observed by any general officer, and might 
succeed in filling my canteen at a spring or well. 

At length a house hove in sight; it stood several hundred 
yards from the road. On arriving at a point not quite 
opposite, I scaled the fence, and ran across the field toward 
the house. I was half way to the house, when I heard some 
one calling out, from the road — 

'^ Hilloa there, you 1" 

Very naturally supposing myself to be the "hilloa-there- 
you" addreased, I turned toward the To^ii wA ^a»^ Xb^^swsst^ 

868 OUB BOT8. 


If eade, who was riding at the head of the colamn, heiS}^cs£ng 
to me in a decidedly savage manner. . y 

" Come back here !" he cried. 

There was nothing left for nje but to *obey ; for I knew 
that the old general carried a brace of strong-shooting revol- 
vers, and how was I to know that he wouldn't blaze away at 
me if I didn't return ? I, therefore, retraced my steps, wish- 
iilg General Meade's spectacles* at the bottom of the well at 
that house, and three pints of water in my canteen in ex- 
change for them. 

A mile further, we passed through a little valley in which 
lay the bed of a stream ; but there was no water in it. The 
column halted here, and, following the course of the brook, 
I at last arrived at a pool of stagnant water, through which 
all manner of "wiggle-tails" and overgrown animalcules 
were sporting. I unhesitatingly filled my canteen from this 
pool, taking care to exclude those innocent little creatures.; 
for it would have been cruel to deprive them of liberty, and 
to confine them within the narrow limits of my canteen. I 
returned to the regiment. 

The reader may think it strange that, after so much rain, 
there were no streams of running water. It is easily ex- 
plained; for some weeks back, the weather had been un- 
usually dry ; and when the rain did come, it was speedily 
swallowed up by the parched earth. 

At two o'clock, we reached Rappahannock Station. A few 
pieces of light artillery, planted upon a small redoubt, were 
playing away upon the rebels, who occasionally made their 
appearance a mile beyond the river. The bridge was 
leisurely burning, and a few trains of cars that stood near the 
station, laden with commissary stores, were undergoing the 
same delightful operation. We expected that a halt would 
be ordered here, but it was not ; we marched on. About 
four o'clock, we were once more treated to a magnificent 
storm of rain, wind, thunder, and lightning. At night, we 
halted and bivouacked at a place which was "no place;" for 

* General Meade usnaUy wore a pair of spectacles, and it was through 
tbem that he bkw me *, hi« v^^«i« ol v^jc^^^Wnu^^t^ Mtonishing. 

^ BULL RUK. 369 

there" was tid village, house, nor habitation in the vicinity. 
We lay down on the wet grass, and a kind of miserable 
sleep stole over ns, and rested on us till morning. When 
morning came, it was discovered that it was Sunday ; though 
how i^ was found but, I never could tell, nor even conjecture. 
We ag^in took up our line of march toward Warrenton j 
we readied it about noon. Sheering off to the left, we took 
positicifcfc^ a range of hills one mile west of the* town. 
There we lay till the following day. We became aware that 
fighting was going on some distance to the west. We could 
see the smoke arise from the field, and now and then the 
explosion of a shell in the air. We were ordered to fall into 
line, and be ready to march. 

The division soon moved out the road, and at a point three 
or four miles west of Warrenton, we halted and stacked arms. 

We lay at this point for two days. On the second night 
we received two days' rations, together with orders to be 
re ady to march on the following morning. 

When morning came, we fell into line, and after standing 
three or four hours;, we marched from the field in which we * 
stood, into the road — back toward Warrenton. 

We marched directly through Warrenton, taking the 
Alexandria pike, eastward. • 

While passing through the town, I observed a sergeant 
whose form appeared familiar, standing upon a sidewalk; as 
we marched by, he turned toward us, and I beheld Sergeant 
Graham. He recognized me, and rushing out, seized '»jiy 

" Why, how are you ?" he exclaimed. . 

" I'm all right — how are you ?" 

"The same." '^ 

"Are you still with the construction corps ?" 

" Yes ; but it shouldn't be called that now." 

"What then?" 

" It should be called a c?estruction corps." 

"Why so?" 

" Because, for the last week, we have been busily engaged 
in Durning bridges, destroying stores which could re- 
moved, and tearing up things, generally." 

24: ^' 

870 OtJRBOYS. ^^ 

** Have you an idea as to where we are bound for 1^ 

•' Why, it is reported that Pope has dextrously decoyed 
the rebels through Thoroughfare Gap, that he has enticed 
them to follow him to Bull Bun, and that we being on this 
tide of them, they are entirely surrounded." 

" 0, that's glorious ! I suppose that this movement is to 
hem thf m in more closely — to tighten on them." 

" No doubt. But I must return to our rendezvous ; we, 
too, will march soon. Good-bye." 


During this conversation. Sergeant Graham walked beside 
me as we moved along. He now returned to the head-quar- 
ters of the construction corps. 

It was generally reported that the rebel army was — bagged 
at last I We began to think that General Pope was a very 
great man, and that, after this mighty achievement, the great 
warlike deeds of Alexander the Great, of Julius Caesar, and 
Napoleon Bonaparte would be cast entirely into the shade — 
would sink into gloomy oblivion. 

We marched slowly toward Bull Run; it would not do to 
inarch fast; it was necessary that much caution should be 
observed, lest a part of the rebel force should escape us ; and 
we didn't want that to happen, we wanted to capture all. 
The country was, accordingly, scoured on all sides, as we 
moved slowly along. We thought this a sure guard against 
the escape of the leader of the rebel army, who would cer- 
tainly endeavor to eftect his own escape. 

When night came, we found ourselves only ten miles east 
of Warrenton. We halted, formed Jine of battle facin<r 
toward the northeast, stacked arms, made our coffee, dranl* 
it, and lay down to sleep. 

Early next morning, we arose, formed, and resumed our 
inarch. For a quarter of an hour, we marched very fast ; 
but at the end of that time, we were suddenly brought to a 
stand-still. After a few minutes, we moved on again ; but 
very slowly — very cautiously ; so slowly that it was noon 
before we found ourselves five miles from the place we left 
in the morning. Again we halted ; and again we moved on. 
Several miles were passed over in a reasonable space of time, 


when the report of a^ cannon was heard a mile in onr front, 
and a shell flew over our heads, striking in a Held on our 
right. A halt was ordered. Half a dozen additional shell 
and shot now came crashing and smashing around us. Gene- 
ral Reynolds— brave fellow — was among us; and, with 
soldierly coolness and courage, he proceeded to arrange a 
line of battle. 

As the reader will surmise, a rebel battery had opened 
* upon us ; and with great earnestness, too, for shot and shell 
began to follow each other in rapid succession, striking about 
us in the most familiar manner. 

Our brave little adjutant had just ridden by me to convey 
some order to Captain Conner, who was at the left of the regi- 
ment, when I heard a shell explode not far behind me. I 
turned, and saw a riderless horse plunge wildly from amid a 
cloud of smoke and dust, run a short distance, then fall. I 
perceived that a shell had exploded in the very midst of 
Company " G." When the smoke cleared away, I beheld 
the form of the adjutant lying prostrate, bleeding, motionless, 
upon the hard pike. The regiment had not yet moved, and 
I stood gazing upon the scene with great interest. I felt like 
going to the spot, but I did not like to leave my place at 
such a time. Captain Conner hastened to the assistance of 
the adjutant, and lifted him up. He was not dead ; but the 
blood was flowing from his face, and his right thigh was 
horribly mangled. He was carried to the rear, and his leg 
was soon amputated. He was not the only sufferer from 
that shell ; seven others, of Companies " G" and " B," were 
either killed, or disabled forever. Among the killed was a 
very dear friend of mine — Sergeant William Leathead, of 
Company "G" — who was torn in a shocking manner. Several 
lost an arm or a leg ; one lost both legs. 

One of our batteries, hastily taking a position, replied to 
the rebel battery, and the latter soon ceased to play. Line 
of battle was formed. Our regiment took position at the 
margin of a wood upon a slight elevation on the left of the 
road. We could see dark lines of rebel infantry upon a 
range of hills a mile to our front, and a little to our left. 
We had very little doubt that a fight was at hand— that a 

^72 OUB BOYS. 

force of rebelfl were about to cut their way out of tbe net 
into which laey had been drawn by General Pope. What> 
therefore, w^ our surprise, our amazement, our astonish- 
meniy our disappointment^ our chagrin, when, after standing 
in line for half an hour, we were suddenly marched by the 
right flank, across the road, through a wood, across a field, 
over a hill and £ar away ! We marched across the countij 
several miles, when we reached a common road, filed into it 
and turned toward Manassas. As we had had no rain for 
several davs, a big one came up and presented us with a 
complete ducking at this interesting crisis. This over, it 
was found to be four o'clock. 

The sound of artillery began to be heard far to our left; * 
it was evidently in the vicinity of the old Bull .Kun battle- 
ground. When within two miles of Manassas, we tamed to 
the left. The firing in that direction was still beard. It was 
not difficult to perceive that we had taken this roundabout 
course in order to get around those rebels. When I say 
" we," I mean not only our own division, but all the forces 
that we had had in the vicinity of Warrenton ; for that place 
was now evacuated. 

We were told by some teamsters, who were en route from 
Manassas to the battle-ground with provisions, that General 
Sigel with his corps was " down there fighting the rebels like 
thunder;" that Pope had "been playing smash;" that the 
rebels had been " taking pleasure-rides in their carriages all 
around us," and that they had made a dash upon Catleti 
Station, had captured a number of wagon-trains, stores, etc.; 
that they had invaded the sanctuary of General Pope's Qwn 
private baggage- wagons, and had taken all his cash. 

This was interesting. If anybody had been surrounded, 
it was more likely that it was we than the rebels. From the 
time we started in the morning, up to the time of which I 
speak — a period of ten hours— our confidence in General 
Pope had fallen a hundred and thirty-seven degrees. 

The sound of the artillery grew nearer and nearer, (X * 
rather we drew nearer and nearer to it, till at last, a little 
after the sun had •gone down, we found ourselves within 
hearing of the musketry. 

BULL BtTN. fi73 

Near nine o'clock we drew veiy near the scene of action. 
Soon after, t)ie firing gradually ceased; and all became siill. 
The night W€U8 very dark. We stacked arms and lay down 
to test, I felt sure that the morrow would be a terrible day, 
and T just wonUered, by the way, whether I would be living 
at that time of night one day later. While thus ruminating 
I fell asleep. This was the evening of Thursday, the twenty- 
eighth day of August. 

I do not know how long I had slept when I was suddenly 
aroused by having a heavy weight placed suddenly upon 
my stomach, for some one had stepped upon me. But what 
was up ? AH were flying to their arms with one wild rush. 
I heard the clatter of horses' hoofs. 

" The rebels are upon us !" cried a hundred voices. 

At that moment a horse dashed right across our line of 
stacked arms — knocking several stacks over, and discharging 
several pieces — :his feet passing my ear like the wind as he 
went by. 

Now I was in the habit of removing my shoes from my 
fe^t before going to sleep, and I had done so on this occasion. 
I, therefore, proceeded to put them on with great delibera- 
tion; for I doubted whether the rebel cavalry was really 
upon us. Having piU on the right shoe and tied it, I began 
to feel for the other, t found it, and on endeavoring to 
thrust my foot into it, I was startled to discover that it was 
also a shoe for the right foot, though certainly not the right 
shoo. It then occurred to me, for the first time, that although 
" two wrongs will not make a right," two rights are certainly 
capable of making a wrong. • 

" It's only a frightened horse running away," said some 
one, and the word spread rapidly. 

Nearly all the boys had sprung up and sei^d their arms. 
It ttxw only a frightened horse running away that ha^ caused 
all this disturbance. The boys began to return to their 
blankets and lie down. John Young return^ to the spot 
which he had occjipied near me, and remarkM — 

** I think I put somebody else's shoe on." ; 

'•And /have left somebody else's oflF,"^*I replied. 

*' Who is that? Is it you, sergeanllj? , >- 

874 OUB BOYS. 


**! think your gun is knocked over." 

"No doubt; I am going to look afiber it in a moment." 

"I think I must have put one of jour shoos on; the one 
on my right foot feels so queer." • 

"Because it is the left shoe." 

" Then you have my right, one ?" 

" Yes, here is a right shoe belonging to some one ; it has 
been left here." 

Our conjectures were correct : John had my left shoe on 
his right foot, while he had left his right shoe for me to put 
on my left foot. So much for the hurry and excitement. 
John restored to me my left shoe, and took the right one 
which he had left ; I then placed my left foot within my left 
shoe, and found it all right. 

Repairing to the stack in which I had placed my rifle, I 
founa several of the boys engaged in setting the stack up ; 
for it chanced to be one that was knocked over by the 
frightened horse. I assisted in reforming the stack, then re- 
turned to my humble couch. 

When morning came, we were not aroused by the sound 
of the cannon, but were allowed to awake at our leisure. 
When it came to preparing breakfa^ we felt rather awk- 
ward — we did not Know how to set about it; for we were 
entirely out of rations, no water was to be had, there were 
no fires to cook or boil anything over, and we were forbidden 
to kindle any, lest the smoke should attract the attention of 
the rebels, and draw their fire. 

By and by, we were ordered to fall in. Having done so; 
we were marched through a wood a few hundred yards to 
• an open ground which I at once recognized as the old Bull 
Eun battle-ground. Here we halted, and were massed in 
column j)f divisions. We stood upon the very spot over 
which tne famous "Black-Horse Cavalry" once charged so 
fiercely. Our lines were faced toward the west. A battery 
of artillery took a position a quarter of a mile in our front, 
and it presently opened upon the rebel lines, and was re- 
plied to by a rebel battery a mile and a half distant. An 
artillery fight oi ^[la^£-Ml•\LO\3Lt ^xi^vxaftc* ^\!^<i^^^i^ ^^^j^ared 

BULL RUN. 875 

to be scarce of shell, for they threw solid shot; although 
they nearly all flew over our battery, but few of them 
reached us. 

After an hour, we returned to the spot where we had slept 
during the nigh^ and from that point began to advance to- 
ward the rebel lines. We moved slowly and cautiously ; in 
fact, having crossed a small valley and arrived at a wood, 
we halted. The Bucktail regiment was thrown forward as 

The fight was beginning on all sides. The battery which 
wejliad been watching resumed its work, and several others 
fiirther toward the right commenced operations. « 

As the Bucktails could not find any rebels in the wood in 
our front, we were massed in close column, and actually 
stacked arms. From the position which we occupied, we 
had opportunity of witnessing operation^ on the right. The 
sound of musketry was soon added to that of the artillery, 
and things generally began to wear a very warlike aspect. 

But I cannot give a general description of this, or any other 
battle ; the reader must look to history for detailed accounts 
of the engagements of this unhappy war. It is my object to 
relate merely what is connected with our boys. 

Near eleven o'clock our brigade was ordered forward with 
a battery to the support of a brigade (of some other division) 
that had made a reconnoissance beyond and a little to the 
right of the wood in our fjront. We moved directly forward 
through the wood, and found ourselves in a large clover-field 
which, except on the north side where the pike ran, was en- 
tirely surrounded by woods. Taking a right-oblique course, 
we soon found ourselves at the northwest corner of the field. 
We heard a battery playing away in a lively manner to onr 
right and front. Siaddenly a brigade came rushing from the 
wood in our front at a double-quick. A brigadier-general 
whom I did not know was with *them, and he appeared very 
much excited. General Meade rode up to him, and asked 
him what was up. 

" Oh, that's a d — d hot place," he replied. 

General Meade led us right into the wood by way of the 
pike, when we found ourselves fairly in. rauga of «» b».tt«t^ 

876 OUR BOYS. 

that was on our right, though we could not see it. It was 
belching forth grape-and-canister, and they were spattering 
about us, striking the trees on all sides. It was, without 
doubt, a very hot place. It seemed to me that every tree 
for twenty yards around was struck at every discharge, and 
it became a matter of speculation with me how so many of us 
could escape. We passed through the wood at a double-quick, 
and soon found ourselves .slightly out of range for a time. • 

On arriving at the western extremity of the wood, a line 
of battle was formed and our skirmishers thrown forward. 
The rebel battery abruptly ceased to play ; it was prob^ly 
taking another position, for had it remained where it was we 
would have taken it. Our own battery did not unlimbe^, 
for as yet no good or safe position presented itself. 

In our front was a slight elevation, at whose summit num- 
bers of bushes and small trees stood. Our line of skirmishers 
began to ascend the hill, but had only advanced fifty paces 
when they were fired upon from the bushes. They returned 
the fire, and a lively skirmish ensued. Many of the rebel 
bullets passed over the heads of our skirmishers, and mani- 
fested an inclination to strike about where we stood. This 
was very annoying. 

It was soon discovered that we had been drawn into an 
ambuscade ; in proof of which the rebels began to make their, 
appearance in force in our front and upon either flank. A 
battery also opened upon us from a concealed position on 
our left. General Meade hastily ordered the skirmishers to 
rally and join us. This done, we began to fall back through 
the wood in perfect order, still maintaining our line of battle. 
When we returned to the clover-field we found the remainder 
of the division there, and we moved toward them for the 
purpose of joining them. Meanwhile the rebel battery began 
to play savagely upon us, and shot- and shell were hurled 
into the field with great rapidity. 

It soon became evident that our position was one which 

we could not maintain. As no support was nigh, the whole 

division retired in perfect order through the wood on the 

east side of the clover-field. Shot and shell followed us, 

ploughing up the gTOxxtvd^ «txi^ c\^^\^^ ^\cv«^«^ ^Ko, threes 


Having passed through this wood and arrived once more 
upon what fi^)peared to be our side of the field, we were no 
longer annoyed by the rebel artillery. 

The battle, in the mean time, raged furiously on the right, 
while some slight intercourse opened qn the left. At the 
point which we occupied all now became quiet ; we lay in 
waiting for the enemy to emerge from the wood. 

It must not be supposed, merely because I have not kept 
it before the reader, that we did not feel the pangs of hun- 
ger during all this time. We were hungry. The last rations 
we had received were two days' rations issued to us on the 
previous Tuesday night near Warrenton. It was now be- 
ginning to be Friday night, and we were entirely without 
anything in the eating line: 

It was near evening, when General Reynolds, accompanied 
by his staff and several orderlies, rode into the wood jn our 
firont to see whether any rebels were there. Riding at the 
head of his party, he had advanced two hundred paces, when 
he suddenly found himself confronted by a party of rebel 
skirmishers. He quickly turned about, and rode from them, 
with difficulty escaping. 

On coming from the wood, he was joined by Greneral Meade, 
to whom he related his adventure ; and he requested him to 
send a regiment into the wood, with instructions to throw 
forward a line of skirmishers. General Meade sent our regi- 
ment into the wood. Our flanking companies were deployed 
as skirmishers ; they advanced, and soon came in contact with 
the rebels. A brisk contest ensued, during which many 
minie balls, flying over the heads of our skirmishers, came 
whistling about our ears in a decidedly unpleasant sort of a 

As night closed in, the firing gradually ceased ; not only 
in our front, but also along the whole lines. Our skirmishers 
were called in, and we began slowly to retire to a less exposed 

Moving troops in the darkness and in the immediate pre- 
sence of an enemy is a very ticklish and uncertain operation. 
It was, therefore, incumbent upon us to fall back entirely 
clear of the rebels, that the army m\g\i\. \yi ^\^vi^ \x\ '^'«aSw'^ 

878 OUR BOYS. 

position for the night. The division had already begun to 
retire, leaving our regiment to bring up the rea^; and as we 
were in line, we simply faced about and began to move slowly 
after the main bod^. 

We were crossmg a slight swell in the ground a few 
hundred yards east of the wood, when we distinctly heard 
the tramp of troops apparently pursuing us. 

''Haiti" said Captain Lemon. 

We halted — stood m9tionless— listened. Yes, we distinctly 
beard the footsteps of what appeared to be a regiment ap- 
proaching from rebeldom. 

" Ahoxxt— face/" commanded Captain Lemon, in a cautious 

We faced toward the enemy once more. 

"Boys, you are all loaded?" 

" Yes — yes — yes — " 


We crouched down to await the approaching enemy. 

"Now, boys, not a shot till yott get the word 1" 

We remained quiet — the stillness was death-like. On 
came the bod^ of troops. Certainly, it was no mere line of 
skirmishers — it was not less than a regiment. 

" They're coming, boys 1 Steady ! Keep cool I Be very 
quiet ; they don't know we're here, and we'll take them by 
surprise." % 

Nothing could now be heard, save the steady tramp of the 
advancing troops — perchance, the suppressed breathing of 
some soldier. They were within thirty paces of us. 

" Make ready 1" 

With a clicking rattle, our pieces were cocked. 

"Hilloal Don't fire on tisT said a voice in front. 

" Who are you ?" asked Captain Lemon. 

"New York troops." 

" Halt your regiment then and come forward, whoever is 
m command." 

."Halt!" commanded a voice. 

They halted, and an officer rode forward. 

" What regiment?" asked Captain Lemon. 

'' The Fourteentb BiookX^TiJ^ ^%i^ "Ooa ^<s^ • 


"What I the fellows with the—" 

" Red breeches," interrupted the oflficer. 

" It's very dark — will you come a little nearer, that I may 
see if you wear our uniform ?" 

" Certainly 1" And the horseman rode almost upon us. 

"All right! I perceive that you are a Federal officer. 
How did you get between us and the rebels ?" 

" By a flank movement ; we have been engaged a little 
further to the right this afternoon." 

" Are you aware that we came near firing upon you ?" 

" I imagined as much when I heard your boys makmg 
ready.; I presume that I called out just in time?" 

"xes, you did. Do you know whether the rebels are far 
from us now ?" 

" Not far— listen ! I hear—" 

At that moment a party of rebels were approaching. 

" I'll get my regiment ready for those fellows I" said the 
commander of the Fourteenth Brooklyn, gleefully ; and he 
turned, faced his regiment about, and awaited the approach 
of the rebels. 

On they came. When they arrived within twenty^five 
paces of the Brooklyn boys, the commander of that regiment, 
in order that no blunder should occur, called out : — 

" Who comes there?" 

Thei:e was no reply — there was a sound as of confusion — 
several " clicks" were heard, and even the report of a gun, 
followed by the whistling of a bullet. 


The Brooklyn boyfl- poured a fierce volley of bullets into 
the rebel ranks, and they fled in disorder. 

''Load again, boys, and give them another I" exclaimed 
the commander of the Fourteenth Brooklyn. 

They did load; and another shower of bullets whistled 
after the dismayed rebels. 

The battle of Friday, the twenty- ninth of August, was now 
over. It was after nine o'clock — we fell back, and joined 
the division— our post was assigned us — we lay down upou 
our arms, wondering what the morrow would bring forth— 
and slept 




Thb memorable Saturday — ^the last day of the Second Bull 
Run — the thirtieth day of August dawned upon us. All 
was quiet — the air was oppressive ; dull, heavy clouds hovered 

Our first move in the morning was to form close column 
of divisions, and march again to the spot famed for the Black 
Horse Cavalry charge. From that point we moved forward 
over Bull Run, and took our position upon a hill beyond. 
As yet, the sound of a gun had not been beard. It was evi- 
dent that the rebels had retired a short distance the previous 
night, to reform their broken lines. 

After half an hour, we moved to a position some distance 
up the stream. From our new position, skirmishers were 
thrown forward into a valley a little to our front ; they soon 
came in contact with the rebel skirmisher^ and a scattering 
fire was opened. The rebel skirmishers at last gaVe way, 
and we prepared to move forward across the valley and take 
position upon a hill a quarter of a mile to our front. The 
firing ceased, and we descended into the valley. As we did 
so, I looked across to the hill opposite, and saw a sight which 
I shall never forget. The whole face of the hill was literally 
covered with our dead. The fighting on the previous day 
had been, at this point, very desperate ; and so thick did the 
dead lie, that one might have stepped from one to another 
for several hundred yards. They were all our own men — 
the rebels, I suppose, having removed theirs. As we ascended 
the hill, we had to walk with care to keep from stepping on 
some of them ; and the battery that accompanied us could not 
ascend at all without running over some of the poor fellows. 

Our battery was planted upon the hill, and we took our 
position in the rear. Omt. skitttviahers had moved forward, 
descending the biU, au^i wei^ t\.«js:\\i ^\* n^otV. '^V<^\i"iiisi«x^ 

A CHABGS. 381 

opened upon a rebel battery whicli could be seen upon a hill 
three-quarters of a mile in front. The rebels replied with 
grape-and-banister, which, witU a graceful curve, swept over 
the hill and descended among us. The fi^ht between the 
two batteries grew very warm, and the projectiles rattled 
about us in all their terror. Our own brave artillerymen 
worked with all their might ; one charge had scarcely left a 
gun till another was rammed home and ready to follow. The 
captain of the battery sat coolly upon his horse watching 
the effect of each sh9t through his glass, occasionally ex- 
claiming — 

" Hurrah, my boys I you're knocking them ! . Let them 
have it r • » 

And they worked till great drops of sweat chased one 
another down their powder-blackened faces. • 

After half an hour of brisk cannonading the rebel battery 
ceased to play, and things became very quiet. 

In a short time we fell back to the position from which 
we had advanced. Our battery took position on the hill, 
while we fell back beneath it near the stream. There was 
water in the creek, but it was muddy and red. 

It seemed that "fall back" was the order of the day; for 
without any cause that we could see (though doubtless there 
was cause enough) we were ordered to fall back across Bull 
Run into a wood a little to our left and half a mile to our 
rear — the same wood in which Eeynolds encountered the 
rebel skirmishers on the previous day. 

We took a position at the east side of the wood, where we 
stood for some time in line of battle, wondering what was 
going to happen. All was quiet ; no cannon could be heard 
— no rifle — no musket. That silence was ominous. What 
we had yet experienced at Bull Eun was as nothing when 
compared with what we were destined to see during tha 
Saturday afternoon. The clouds which had hung heavily 
over during the forenoon began to break away, and the sky 
was soon clear. 

It must have been after three o'clock when the dread 
silence was broken by the report of a single cannon, and the 
next moment a solid shot came ctd&\iMi^ ^xclq\>i% "^^ v^^^^^ 


Half a minute yet all was still. Suddenly a thunderi ig 
discharge of artillery shook the earth, aud a dozen shell w< nt 
screaming toward the rebel|.. Our batteries had opened. 
Several rebel batteries now began to play. Each moment 
some new battery chimed in on either side, and the air was 
soon alive with the fierce missiles. 

An officer galloped wildly toward us and delivered a mes- 
sage fo General Reynolds. 

" Up, boys 1 fall in 1" said the general. 

We were soon in our places. 

" By the right flank — march /" 

We moved off by the right flank, marched across a field, 
down a hill, over Bull Bun, and up another hill into an 
orchard in which some of our batteries were planted. 

The battle had begun in earnest — and it was a battle. A 
• hundred guns on each side were at work ; whole batteries 
were discharged at once. Shell, round shot, grape-and-can- 
ister, case shot, railroad iron, and stones were hurled li^on 
us. The rebels grew bold ; they began to make their ap- 
pearance from the woods in our front in heavy columns and 
firm, unbroken lines. As far as I could see toward the right 
were heavy bodies of our troops awaiting the approach of 
the rebels. They were closely massed, and in good order 
for battle. 

We were now obliged to pass through a hot place — an 
orchard in which were posted three of our batteries as closely 
together as they could stand, and all were thundering away at 
the enemy ; while the rebel -batteries were treating that point 
with the greatest attention. The iron hail struck in such 
quantities, tearing the fruit trees, tearing the earth, tearing 
men, that it seemed to be rained from the skies. We passed 
through the orchard at a double-quick. Many of our brave 
fellows fell by the way. The battle seemed to increase in 
fury every moment. When we had passed through we 
found ourselves out of immediate range, and .we sat down to 
rest. The battle went on. Musketry was opened on all 
sides— the infantry was hotly engaged. Captain Lemon 
rode to an elevated spot, and with his glass took a survey of 
the field. When he returned to us he remarked — 

A CHARGE. 883^ 

"Boys, a mouse couldn't live in that ti'ood we have just 
left. The battle is raging terribly there ; the rebel infantry 
are in the wood, while our infantry is two hundred paces east 
of it, and they are at it. The artillery, too, is playing on 
chem. Surely, there will not be a leaf in that wood that 
won't have a hole through it." 

" Fall in 1 fall in ! Left— /ace / forward — march /" ^ 

It was General Reynolds, who, at this juncture, rode along 
our lines, and gave these commands in a loud voice. 

We were again led toward the left, but this time obliqiaely 
to the rear. In fact, we passed some distance in rear of the 
orchard, down a hill, recrossed Bull Run, ascended another 
hill, and once more found ourselves on the ground famous 
for the Black Horse Cavalry charge. Here a battery of 
brass howitzers took position, and opened out toward rebel- 
dom with great earnestness. We took position to support 
it. Each brigade was deployed in line, ours in front, the 
Second immediately'in rear of us, and the Third in rear of 
them. Each brigade comprised a line about as long as a 
regiment ought to ; so many had fallen out on account of 
hunger and fatigue, while many had been killed or wounded. 
Company "D" consisted of eleven — all told. Lieutenant 
Moth was the only commissioned officer; while Sergeant 
Chair and myself were the only non-commissioned officers. 
The regiment consisted of about a hundred and twenty ; the 
brigade of five hundred ; the division of less than two thou- 

The smoke and dust had become so dense that the sun 
was but dimly visible ; and objects could not be distinguished 
at the distance of eighty yards. It appeared that our infantry 
in front had given way, and the battery was holding this point. 
The artillerymen worked with great spirit and enthusiasm. 

•A cheer — it sounded like the waitings of an approaching 
storm — rose above the din of battle ; it came from the wood 
a few hundred yards in front ; it was a rebel cheer. 

" They're coming 1" exclaimed the captain of the battery ; 
"they're coming, boys I Nothing but case shot — bring no- 
thing but case shot 1" he shouted to the men who were carry- 
iog the ammunition from the ca\asoii!& \iO \Xi^ ^\i\>i&. 

884 OUR BOYS. 

Eeynolds, Meade, and Seymour sat Upon their horses near 
the battery ; thiey appeared to be enjoying themselves pro- 

Another rebel cheer burst forth ; it was nearer than the 

"Up, boys!" shouted Eeynolds; ''they're going to try to 
take this battery ; you won't let — " 

A wild cheer drowned the voice of the brave Reynolds. 

Our bayonets were fixed in a second. 

"Boys, I. know I can depend on the Pennsylyania 

" You can.l ves, you can I" 

" Forward, then — charge I" 

With a mad shout that arose far above the thunder of the 
artillery, we rushed forward — General Reynolds leading the 
charge. Bullets were poured upon us from the wood in 
swarms. Still we rushed on. There is a wild excitement 
about a charge in battle which induces men to face death 
without a thought of fear. How fast our poor fellows fell 
during that charge 1 My wonder was that any of us could 
pass unscathed through that leaden storm. I could actually 
near the savage bullets striking and crashing among the 
bones of men around me. We could not see the rebels — ^the 
smoke was so dense; but we knew they were there. We 
charged across a road, and right into the wood. 

About this time, the colors of the Seventh Regiment were 
cut from the staff by rebel bullets, and fell to the ground. 
General Reynolds, in the twinkling of an eye, sprang to the 
ground, seized the colors, remounted his horse, waved the 
flag over his head, and shouted — 

" On, my brave fellows— on 1" 

We charged to the very ranks of the rebels, when they 
turned and fled. We halted, opened fire upon them, and 
rained bullets after them without mercy. A rebel battery 
opened upon us with shot and shell. How they got the range 
of us is more than I can explain; but they threw their 
missiles with tolerable accuracy, for a solid shot struck the 
ground uncommonly close to my left foot — so close that it 

A CHAKGS. 886 

came near being left forever. In order to avoid the artillery 
fire, we formed in the road where banks of from three to five 
feet in height afforded a slight protection. The rebel infantry- 
began to rally, and to return our fire ; and for half an hour, 
the fight went on with great fierceness. We effectually re- 
pulsed them at last, however, and continued to rain the bullets 
after them so long as a single shot was returned. 

Meantime, shell were flying over our heads most extrava- 
gantly ; but, being warmed up with our infantry encounter, 
we scarcely noticed them. One exploded so alarmingly near 
the top of my head, as I stood upon th^ bank upon which I 
had climbed to peer through the smoke after the rebels, that 
I could not, for the life of me, explain why my head was not 
abruptly torn off. A moment after, another shell went scream- 
ing over our heads, struck a wounded man who was limping 
from the field leaning on the arm of a comrade, and, explod- 
ing, tore him to fragments — almost to nothing — while his 
comrade was uninjured. But so bewildered was the latter 
when the man leaning on his arm was thus suddenly annihi- 
lated, that he dropped his rifle and started to run — he knew 
not whither — and presently brought up against a tree with a 
shock that brought him to his senses. Thus restored to 
equilibrium of mind, he began to look for his gun, and not 
finding it, he picked up that? of a fallen soldier, returned to 
the lines in the road, and went to work. 

The sun, tired of gazing on the terrible scene, had just hid 
his face behind the far-off hills beyond Bull Kun, when we 
were ordered to fall back upon the battery again. We had 
become somewhat scattered during the charge, and our regi- 
ment now consisted of but forty men. I was pleased to see 
that Captain Lemon was yet unhurt and riding at the head 
of the regiment. As for Company " D," there was but one 
with the regiment! 0, horror! Where were the rest? 
Could they all be killed or wounded ? When we reached 
the battery we lay down to support it, and it began to play 
away in the same old style. Three more of our boys now 
joined me— Charley Brawley, Bobby Haught, and Jim Ryan. 

At dark, the battle began to grow beautifully less, and 
finally ceased altogether. We supposed that we had held the 


field ; but what was our surprise when we were ordered td 
fall in, and take the pike for Centreville ! I was just wonder- 
ing why this was, when a rebel battery, which had gained a 
position on our left, opened upon us at long range. They 
were throwing solid shot ; and when I considered that it was 
Very dark and that they could not see us, I imagined that 
they were doing remarkably good shooting; for some of 
those " feelers" came most feelingly near to us. It was evi- 
dent that the left had given way. The battery kept up a 
brisk fire for a quarter of an hour, but finding that we treated 
it with silent contempt (!) it ceased to play — to. our great 
relief, too, for we were so crowded in the pike, that wo 
couldn't get out of range very fast. 

When we had arrived to within two or three miles of 
Centreville, we halted for the night. We were in no kind 
of order; and the commanders of regiments were allowed to 
use their own will and judgment with their commands. 
Captain Lemon, therefore, concluded to halt and rest for the 
night, as did many others. He requested me to go over into 
a field, and see whether I could find a suitable place to He. 
I soon found a "suitable place,'* and reported to him. We 
then left the road, entered the field, and marched to the spot, 
when Captain Lemon informed us that we were at liberty to 
lie down and rest for the night. 

"Charley," said I, addressing Charley Brawley, "this is 
the thirtieth day of the month." 

" Well," said Charley, who thought this a very singular 
and uncalled-for remark. 

" Do you remetaber this night two months ago ?" I asked. 

" O. yes— the night of the battle of—" 

"EKactly; do you remember whom you slept with that 
• " O, yes — I slept with you." 

" Then suppose, just for the sake oif coincidence, that we — " 

" I was just going to propose that myself— why, it's begin- 
ning to rain, as I'm a sinner." 

And it was beginning to rain. We lay down together, 
arranged our teTit.-\Aa\i^^\a ^o ^^ \k> shelter us as much as 
possible, and proceeded \.o — %o \.o ^vto;^- 


As my eyes closed, I thought of those now lying upon the 
battle-field cold in death, and of those dying from their 
. wounds, crying perhaps for water to slake their burning thirst. 
I felt that I had great reason to be thankful that I was still 
spared. Why it was so I could not tell ; for well I knew 
that many better men than I, and exposed to no greater dan- 
ger than I had been, had fallen, while I was still allowed to 
come out of the battle without a scratch. 

The pattering of the rain upon my tent-blanket lulled me 
to sleep beside my brave comrade — -Charley. 

« « « « « * 

Next day (Sunday) was spent at Centre ville. 

On Monday we began to fall back ; and that evening the 
Battle of Chantilly occurred. We lay within supporting 
distance during this fight, but were not called into action. 
Twenty-four hours later we were lying comfortably upon 
Arlington Heights. 



Vabious rumors began to gain currency as to the rebels, 
their position and intentions. It was stated that they were 
heavily massed near Vienna. Some thought that they were 
about to make a most desperate assault on Washington; 
others, more wise, expressed it as their opinion that Lee was 
about to cross the Potomac and invade Maryland. 

We had lain on Arlington Heights two days when we 
received marching orders and moved to Upton's Hill, where 
w< pitched our small tents and began to feel very comfortable. 
But it appeared that we were not destined to remain longer 
than two days in one place, for on the evening of the second 
day we very suddenly and unexpectedly rec^w^d \s\ax^\ss% 
orders. }^e struck our tents, and mov^doS va^^ ^y^^^^^^^ 


of Washington. The full moon arose and looked calmljr 
down upon us, making our journey more pleasant than it 
would have been in the darkness. We marched to the Long 
Bridge and passed over, leaving Virginia — ^at last Near 
eleven months had elapsed since we entered Virginia. How 
many of our brave boys had marched with us over the Chain 
Bridge and were not in the ranks now ? When I thought 
of them I considered myself peculiarly favored to be allowed 
to return. 

We marched into Washington to Seventh Street, then 
turning to the left we moved toward Meridian Hill. A mile 
from wie city we halted for the night. Next morning we 
moved on — northward. It became obvious that the rebels 
had indeed invaded Maryland. Some of the startled citizens 
informed us that " Lee's whole army of two hundred thou- 
sand had crossed the Potomac — had taken Hagerstown and 
Frederick, and were marching right on toward Baltimore." 

Since leaving the Peninsula we had been attached to 
General McDowell's Corps; he had been relieved of com- 
mand, and General Hooker now commanded us. 

At the junction of two roads twelve miles from Washing- 
ton we halted and remained thirty-six hours, during which 
time we were supplied with clothing and rations, of which we 
stood sorely in need. Again we marched on, taking the 
right-hand road— a turnpike. 

Captain Conner was now in command of the regiment; 
Captain Lemon, having been taken sick, had remained in a 
hospital in Washington. 

After marching a dozen miles, we halted near Brooksville, 
and bivouacked for the night in a beautiful clover-field near 
the residence of a wealthy gentleman. It was here that I 
had a striking illustration of the eftect shoulder-straps are 
wont to produce on the fair, especially when contrasted with 
the humble apparel of a common soldier like myself. Jim, 
my messmate, was unwell; he had refused to remain ih 
Washington at a hospital, insisting on accompanying ua 
through our Maryland campaign. We had just halted on 
the evening in c^ueatioxv, -w^iew, perceiving thathe looked wan^ 
I asked him how he fe\\,. * 


** Oh, I can get along," he answered, eyasively. 

"Jim," said I, "you are not well enough to march; I 
advise you to — " 

"No," he interrupted, "I never was in a hospital, and I 
never will enter one. I consider it suicide." 

" I cannot but acknowledge that I am of the same opinion, 
when I come to think about it, Jim. Have you anything 
you feel like eating ?" 

"No; I—" 

" Would you relish some milk ?" 

"I think so." 

" Then 111 go to that house and get some if they have any." 
And I threw down my effects, took my canteen and walked 
to the residence of the wealthy gentleman before alluded to. 

Two young ladies of from eighteen to twenty years were 
seated on the front piazza. They were tastily dressed, and 
the moment I looked upon them, 1 perceived that they were 
handsome. A second glance convinced me that they knew 
that before /did. Howbeit, I had nothing to do with their 
beauty, and I bowed, said " good evening," told them that I 
had a sick comrade, and that " if they would be kind enough,'* 
and all that sort of thing, I would be glad to be able to pro- 
cure some milk for him. A sly wink was exchanged by the 
bewitching pair ; they didn't suppose that I observed it — but 
I did. At that moment, the mother made her appearance at 
the door, and one of the maidens apprised her of the object 
of "that soldier's" errand. The old lady took my canteen 
and entered the house while I stood upon the steps awaiting 
her return, feeling just as awkward as possible ; for any man 
will feel awkward when he knows that his general appear- 
ance is being criticized by two saucy-looking angels. 

Now the lady of the house had but disappeared with my 
canteen, when the father came up the path and ascended the 
steps of the piazza, accompanied by an officer — a major. 
The officer was not a fine-looking fellow, but he wore two 
rows of bright buttons on his blue cloth coat ; and on each 
shoulder, a great broad gold shoulder-strap about the size 
of a spade. 

890 OUR BOYS. 

" Daughters," said the Marylander, " let me introduce you 
to major — a— eh — " 

" Smith !" whispered the major, coming to his relief. 

"Smith! yes, Major Smith! My daughters, major." 

The two lasses arose, egcecuted scientific courtesies, smiled, 
and said, " Major Smith," in the most killing manner. 

" A beautiful evening," remarked Major Smith. 

"Splendid!" exclaimed Miss Mary, the elder. 

" Lovely 1" agreed Miss Louisa Catharine, the younger. 

" You have a beautiful pla^ here," remarked Major Smith, 
taking a seat which was offered him. 

" Do you think so ?" said both ladies, somewhat pleased. 

" Indeed I do 1 And I think that — I observe that there is 
a great resemblance between the — the — ^in fact, the people 
seem well-suited to the place." 

The ladies were still more pleased, for they saw in this a 
compliment to them. They blushed, and said "Oh, no!" 
although it was evident that they thought, " Oh, yes !" 

Meanwhile, I was standing there unnoticed, waiting for 
that milk, ruminating on the weaknesses of human nature, 
and mentally making promiscuous calculations as to the rela- 
tive value of brass and lead — of swords and rifles— -of blue 
cloth and kersey. At last, to my great relief, the kind lady 
of the house reappeared with my canteen filled with milk. 
I asked her how much I should pay for it, but she wouldn't 
take any pay for it, and I thanked her, bade her good evening, 
and departed. A deep sigh of relief escaped me as I passed 
through the gate and found myself once more in the clover- 

Next morning we arose, prepared our breakfast, dispatched 
it, and felt ready to move. But the morning began to wear- 
away. Near twelve o'clock we moved on ; but not by the 
pike; we took a by-road to the left, and marched over some 
of the most beautiful country I ever saw. Many beautiful 
orchards full of ripe tempting fruit met our eyes as we 
marched along. To leave the ranks and attack any of the 
orchards was a thing strictly forbidden, and consequently 

Near evening we were passing an orchard of nice* fruity 

MARYLAND. , 891 

when a corpulent fellow of our regiment concluded tbat those 
red apples were too tempting for human nature to bear. 
Looking about to make sure that he was jiot observed by 
any field or general officer, he mounted the fence at the road- 
side, and was soon standing beneath the nearest tree. The 
heavy laden branches hung low, and grasping a limb he gave 
it such an energetic shake that about a bushel and a half of 
apples came showering down. Simultaneously with the rat- 
tling of the fallen apples, a grim, buzzing sound was heard 
in the tree above the soldier's head. A moment he stood 
and listened. 

*'Buz — z—z — z — ^z-z-z," greeted his ears, and a great 
swarm of hornets came darting at him. 

With a cry of horror, he turned him about and " streeked 
it" for the fence. But too slow were his feet for the wings 
of the pursuing fiends. On they came — " buz — z — z — bat !" 
Just as he reached the fence they reached him ; and as he 
sprang over one of the monsters settled on his nose, another 
over his eye, and half a dozen among his hair ; while any 
number buzzed unwholesomely near his ear, undecided 
as to where to attack him. This was a warning to all evil- 
doers, and no more such attempts were made that evening. 

The sun was just sinking when we filed off into a beautiful 
green field, stacked arms, and bivouacked for the night. 
There was a house near the field, and I started for it at once 
to procure some milk for Jim. General Meade was riding 
up a lane near the house as I approached, and seeing a peach 
tree laden with fruit, he called a cavalryman — one of his 
orderlies, I think — and left him to watch the tree till a guard 
should be detailed. He then rode up to the house for the 
purpose of ascertaining what number of guards would be 
required to protect the premises. I got my canteen filletl 
with milk and was returning to our line of stacked arins,^ 
when I observed that the cavalry sentinel who had been 

E laced on guard over the peach tree, was busily engaged in 
elping himself to the delicious fruit; for he could reach it 
while sitting upon his horse. But how romantic it is that at 
that very moment General Meade was returning from. the 
house and " caiiglit him in the act." 

892 « OUB BOYS. 

" What are you about there ?" he called 'out, savagely. 

The guard started. 

"Why, you thief 1" exclaimed General Meade. ^ 

The cavalryman looked confused. 

" You mercenary villain ; I set you to guard that tree, and 
— and — ^you — " and Meade rode at him. 

The sentinel was terrified. 

"TU cut your head off!" and the general drew his sword 
and flourished it above his head as he reached the offender. 

The young gentleman looked awful. Every moment he 
expected the bright blade to descend. General Meade with 
the bcu:k of his sword began to saw upon the back of the 
terrified offender's neck, who, feeling the cold steel, and 
imagining that his hour had come — at last — shraigged his 
shoulders, drew in his head apparently like a tortoise, writhed 
his whole body into the most frightful contortions, and said— 

" Oh — oh 00 — 00 — hoo — ^hoo 1" and he seemed on the 

point of falling from his horse for dead. 

General Meade, thinking that he had punished the poor 
fellow enough, suspended operations, and was returning his 
sword to its scabbard, when the magnitude of the unfaithful 
sentinel's offence seemed to strike him more forcibly than 
ever, and seizing his sword by the blade, he menaced the 
soldier's countenance with the hilt. 

" 0, you rogue 1" he exclaimed ; I must kill you yet ! I 
can't help it!" And he seemed on the point of letting him 
have it right below the eye. 

Then, of all the dodging, and blinking, and squinting, and 
shaking, and quaking that I ever witnessed, that executed 
by the terrified sentinel far excelled. 

"Confound youl I can scarcely keep from murdering 
you !" said General Meade, at last returning his sword to its 

The soldier heaved a sigh of relief, as the sword returned 
to its place with a clank. 

"Oh, you deserve killing!" said Meade. 

The soldier groaned ; he feared that the general might kill 
him yet before he should go away. 


" Don't you think I ought to kill you ?" persisted the latter, 
looking savagely upon the oflFender from behind his spectacles. 

The soldier wa& silent. 

*' Say !" demanded Meade. 

" Yes, sir," was the faint reply. 

General Meade rode away, and I imagined I saw a slight 
smile play about his firm lips. 

The jiight passed away without event, save the returning 
to the regiment of several officers who were wounded during 
the Peninsula Campaign — among them, Lieutenant Carter. 

The next dav's march brought us to the " National Eoad" 
at Poplar Springs, forty miles from Baltimore. Here we 
were informed that on the previous day a scouting party of 
rebel cavalry had been there, had behaved very civilly toward 
the citizens, had made inquiry as to whether any ".Yankees" 
had been there, and had at last returned toward the west. 

At this point we halted for the night. At ten o'clock next 
morning we formed, and marched westward, following the 

We had marched ten miles, when General Eeynolds re- 
ceived a dispatch instructing him to transfer the command 
of the division to General Meade, and to report at Harris- 
burg, where a command would be given him. It was at this 
time that he was promoted to major-general. It was impracti- 
cable for him to take any formal leave of us, as we were on 
the march ; but he was cheered with great enthusiasm as he 
rode away. I never saw him again. 

General Meade took command of the division ; and Colonel 
Maigilton of our brigade. 

We marched a few miles further, and halted for the night. 

About noon next day— Saturday, the thirteenth of Sep- 
tember — we reached the Monocacy River. We passed over 
on a stone bridge from which the rebels had been driven a 
few hours previously, filed from the road, and stacked arms 
in a field by the river. 

During the past few days, the sound of the cannon had 
been constantly heard in front, and we had no doubt that a 
fight would soon take place. Various rumors were afloat as 
to the movements of General Lee. A. «k\.TOVi^ iot^ifc ^^ ^^^^ji^ 

894 OUR BOYS. 

cavalry had been driven from Frederick City, which was a 
few miles in front. It was generally thought that Lee had 
established himself in a strong position some miles beyond 
Frederick City, and that he would make the most desperate 
defence. But we felt confident, for we knew that McClellan 
was once more our leader ; and we didn't feel Bull-Bunisk 



When night came and there were no indications of march- 
ing, we wrapped ourselves in our blankets and sought re- 

The morning of Sunday, the fourteenth of September, was 
beautiful — the sky clear. Before noon, however, it became 
clouded over, and there was every appearance of rain. We 
had time to breakfast before we were ordered to fall in. At 
last we were on our way again — westward. An hour after 
we passed through Frederick, where the number of flags and 
white handkerchiefs waved at Us from doors and windows 
was truly gratifying. At almost every door stood some 
bewitching creature with a pail of clear, cold, sparkling 
water ; while others stood with glasses in their hands invit- 
ing us to drink. They talked pleasantly with us, and mani- 
fested every indication of preferring us to the rebels. I 
can't for the life of me tell what made me so thirsty that 
morning; for I must have stopped a dozen times for a drink 
of water ; and each time it chanced (?) I was helped to a 
glass by a beauty. 

A s we progressed the sound of artillery began to be heard 
in front. We had marched twelve miles and were certainly 
within two miles of the firing when it ceased. A little after 
three o'clock we foiind ourselves almost at the base of a tall 
mountain. Here taking a by-road we (our division) filed off 


the pike to the right. We had marched nearly half a mile 
when a rebel battery whi6h was posted at the summit of the 
mountain opened upon us with shell and round shot. By 
a left-oblique movement, we soon succeeded in gaining the 
cover of an abrupt ridge near the base of the mountain. 
The battery then ceased to play. A line of battle was now 
formed and preparations made to move forward. 

About this time Lieutenant Carter said to Captain Con- 
ner — 
• " Captain, I think there will be a fight !"^ 

" No doubt there will," replied the captain. 

"Captain," he continued, earnestly, "I know I shall be 

" Oh, nohsetise I" 

"But I will; I am an unlucky mortal. I was shot while 
on the Peninsula almost the first chance I got — ^I was only 
wounded there ; to-day I will be killed ; I know it." 

" Come now, lieutenant, it's only a foolish notion that has 
got into your head; get rid of it; cheer up: you will come 
out all right." 

" I wish I could think so. I will fall doing my duty, cap* 
tain," said the brave fellow ; for he tvas a brave man. 

" I know you will do your duty, lieutenant." 

About four o'clock we began to advance. We toiled up 
the steep ascent in front of us, when we discovered that a 
valley lay yet between us and the main ascent of South 
Mountain. While passing through a corn-field upon the 
hill, the enemy's artillery again opened upon us with solid 
• shot. Down the hill we went — across the small valley — up 
.the steep ascent of the mountain. A few hundred yards 
fix)m the base of the mountain was a stone-fence. • Below 
this, the ground was clear; above, the face of the mountain 
was covered with trees and rocks. When within fifty yarda 
of the stone-fence, a murderous fire of musketry was opened 
upon us by the rebels, who lay concealed behind it^ and 
swarms of bullets whistled about our ears. With a wild 
shout, we dashed forward — almost upward — while volley af- 
ter volley was poured upon us ; but we -heeded it not ; we 
rushed madJj on. The rebels, mt\m\di«^\j^\i^ osxx -^^ns^r^ 


and taken aback by oar recklessness and disregard of their 
bullets, began to give way. We reached the stone-fence, 
and sprang over. The rebels reformed among the rocks, 
and fought with remarkable obstinacy. 

Captain Conner had left his horse at the rear, and he and 
Lieu tenant. Carter were just springing over the wall, within 
a few feet of each other, when the latter was st^nick in the 
head by a bullet, and fell back — dead. 

We pressed the rebels closely. They stood awhile, load- 
ing and firing, but at last began to waver. Directly in front 
of the right of our regiment, they gave way ; and several 
companies from the right — ours among them — ^pressed for- 
ward, becoming detached from the regiment. We soon 
found ourselves thirty or forty paces ahead of the regiment, 
having gained the flank of the Seventeenth South Carolina. 
We were within twenty or thirty steps of them, directly on 
their left, and they did not see us ; then we mowed them 
down. Poor fellows I I almost pitied them, to see them sink 
down by dozens at every discharge I I remember taking 
deliberate aim at a tall South 'Carolinian, who was standing 
with his side to me loading his gun. I fired, and he fell 
into a crevice between two rocks. Step by step we drove 
the rebels up the steep side of the mountain. By moving a 
little to the left, I reached the spot where I had seen the 
rebel fall. On my arrival thither, he arose to a sitting pos- 
ture, and I was convinced he was not dead yet. I inquired 
whether he was wounded, and he very mournfully nodded 
assent. The blood was flowing from a wound in the neck. 
He also pointed to a wound in the arm. The same bullet had 
made both wounds ; for at the time I fired, he was in the act 
of ramming a bullet home — his arm extended vertically. 
He arose to his feet, and I was pleased to find him able to 
walk. I informed him that, in the nature of things, he was 
a prisoner; and I sent him to the rear, under charge of one 
of the boys. 

Having done so, 1 threw myself upon the ground, and 
crawled among the rocks to a position fifteen paces in ad- 
vance of the company, with the intention of taking some un- 
"Vary rebel by surprise, and getting a fair shot at him. Cock- 


iiig my rifle, I abruptly arose from my position, which was 
protected by a rock three feet high. Oh, horror! there, 
scarcely ten paces from me, stood a great grim rebel, just on 
the point of bringing his gun to an aim — right at me, too, 
and his dark eyes scowled fiercely upon me from beneath 
the broad brim of a large ugly hat. Now it is sheer non- 
sense to talk about taking a cool aim under such circum- 
stances. Therefore, with a little more agility than I had ever 
before exhibited, I blazed, away at random, and dropped be- 
hind the rock— every hundredth part of a second seeming 
like an age ; for I felt sure that the rebel bullet would catch 
me yet, ere I could drop behind my redoubt. A bullet 
tipped the rock above my head as I dr6pped. 

Step by step, the rebels retired. I waited at my new po- 
sition till the line came up. Our boys had just reached me, 
when Dave Malone was struck in the head by a .bullet, and 
he fell back, quivering and gasping for breath. He soon ex- 
pired. After the battle he was buried in that wild, lonely 
mountain — where he fell. 

By sunset we had driven the enemy to the crest of the 
mountain. Many were the dead and the wounded they left 
lying among the rocks. Many prisoners were taken. Among 
the wounded left on the field was a rebel officer of manly ap- 
pearance. He was wounded in the thigh, and appeared to be 
suSering intense pain. Captain Oonmer approached him, and 
said : — 

" You are wounded, are you not ?" 

" Yes, in the thigh — and badly," was the reply. 

" May I inquire your name ?" 

" I am Major Meanes, of the Seventeenth South Carolina. 
May I ask you the same question ?" 

"I am Captain Conner, of the Eighth Pennsylvania 

" The — the — Pennsylvania Reserves I" 


"Well, captain, your men fight like devils; they are 
driving our men right up this steep mountain ; I never could 
have believed it I" 

898 OUR BOYS. 

"Ah, major, there is blood in Pennsylvania as well as in 
South Carolina." 

"I am convinced of that." 

About dark, the rebels abandoned the mountain at this 
point, and the firing ceased. At the left and centre, however, 
the fighting continued till nine o'clock, when it ceased, and 
the whole rebel force gave way. O that it had been day- 
light, that we might have pursued them at once I Under 
the circumstances, however, it was impossible. The night 
was very dark, and the ways of the mountain obscure. We 
lay down among the rocks and slept. 

Our whole loss at the Battle of South Mountain was twenty- 
three hundred; that* of the enemy, more than four thousand. 
If there was ever a victory gained, in any war, in any cam- 
paign, the Battle of South Mountain resulted in a most 
decided and complete Union victory. 



As our division was on the flank of the army, we were not 
the first to start in pursuit of the rebels on Monday morning. 
It was necessary for the greater part of the army to cross 
South Mountain by the one road — the pike. It was ten 
o'clock when our division moved. As we descended the 
western slope of South Mountain, a wide valley of many 
square miles lay extended to our view. Here and there a 
village could be seen — Boonsboro' among the rest. The 
sound of artillery could be heard, and bright flashes and 
puffs of white ^moke were seen beyond Boonsboro'. The 
advance of the column had already come up with the rebels, 
and were now feeling for them with shell ; though it scarcely 
seemed like/celing /or t/iem, at all. 

On reaching BoonaboTO^ , ^^ Vj^ n^^ '^vct^'fcQR^ ^Ike ; 


and at four o'clcxjk, we found ourselves at Keedyaville, where 
"we halted. We were now near the scene of action.' A 
battery a little way to our right and front was carrying on a 
little fight with a rebel battery. The rebels were throwing 
shell very carelessly, for some of them reached us. 

The road for some distance back was crowded with troops. 
We had but halted when a cheer arose in the direction of 
Boonsboro', and was borne faintly to our ears. It grew 
. more distinct, louder — ^nearer, clearer. 

"That's for McClbllanI" exclaimed half a dozen of OUR 
BOYS, in a breath. 

" It must be — he is coming this way." 

Louder and nearer grew the cheering. 

" McClellan must be coming 1" exclaimed one. 

" He will be along here presently — won't we cheer him ?" 

Yes, McClsllak was coming. The cheer was taken up 
by each regiment as sodn as he hove in sight of it, and con- 
tinued till his form disappeared in the distance. The tumult 
swelled out to a roar of voices as he arrived within sight of 
us. We knew that he had directed the movements of the 
previous evening, and we felt ready to embark in a still more 
dangerous contest under his guidance. On he came, riding 
at a moderate pace— his cap in his hand, and a smile upon 
his manly face. How glad we felt to see him among us now 
that a decisive battle would probably soon be fought ! Lit- 
tle Mac, accompanied by his staflF, rode over to the battery 
to see how things were going on. 

At six o'clock we moved forward a few hundred paces ; then 
taking a by-road we left the pike and moved toward the right. 
Half a mile from the pike we halted and took position in an 
orchard. Darkness came op, the batteries ceased to play, and 
we sought repose. 

Next morning a dense fog hung over us and obscured 
everything from view. It was obvious that nothing would 
be done till the fog should disappear. The white veil hung 
heavily over us till near noon ; then it began to move away. 
Still it was cloudy, and rain was even expected. The ar- 
tillery fighting was resumed, and continued till near three 
o'clock. Then we began to move, ^e taax^^ ^^i^.'^^:^ 

400 OUB BOYS. 

road, crossed Antietam Creek, marched three-quarters of a 
mile, and halted for half au hour. All was still. That 
silence more dreadftd than the battle of which it is ominous 
now reigned. We moved on half a mile further, then 
marched into a field on our left, where we formed close 
column of divisions. Then we advanced across several 
fields — our course nearly westward. Having gained the 
crest of a gentle slope, the head of the column wheeled to 
the left ; I imagined the whole movement to be one intended 
to gaiu the flank of the enemy. I think, however, that the 
entire front of our army must have been changed that eve- 
ning ; at least the right and centre. 

When our column turned to the left I observed that a 
general who did not belong to our division was directing the 
movements. As at one time he chanced to ride very near 
our regiment, I discovered, to my gratification, that it was 
McClellan ; and it led me to believe that the movement in 
progress was one of no little importance. Noble Little Mac I 
How his very presence cheered us I The very mention of 
his name was su£Gicient to inspire us with a ready desire to 
meet the enemy; for when McClellan was with us we 
knew that all would be well. 

We were now marching toward a wood that skirted the 
field on the south side ; on our right and on our left M'ere 
corn-fields. When within two hundred yards of the wood a 
rebel battery opened upon us from a slight elevation beyond, 
and shot and shell began to fly about us in a way at once 
lively and disagreeable. We instantly deployed into line ; 
while a battery took position in the corn-field on our right, 
another on our left, and a third, well supported, went forward 
and took position in the wood.. They opened vigorously 
upon the rebels, when several additional rebel batteries 
joined in. Evening was now approaching. 

We advanced to the margin of the wood and formed line 
of battle. A rebel battery far to the right opened a flank 
fire. The battle was terrible. Amid the storms of iron hail 
General McClellan rode up to the battery in the corn- 
£eld on our right, and directed it to change its position in 


order tbat it might play upon the rebel battery on our flank 
to greater advantage. 

" Lie down !" 

Such was the command that passed along the lines, shortly 
after, and I took a seat upon a stump that was near where I 
stood ; for I thought I should be as safe in a sitting posture 
as in a horizontal one. Most of the boys stretched themselves 
upon the ground to avoid the missiles which were now 
being copiously rained about us. Just as I sat down, a large 
ragged fragment of a shell whizzed savagely past the top of 
my head, and struck the ground a few paces in rear with a 
fierce spat I It must have struck my head had I been a 
moment later in sitting down. 

" Whew 1" exclaimed Juggie, with an oath— he was a 

Erofane young man—" What if that had hit you 1" Juggie 
ad lain down.near the stump. 

" I suppose it would have killed me," I replied ; " but what 
if it had hit you with that great oath in your mouth ? I tell 
you, Juggie, a man is mighty apt to get hit for swearing — 
you had better quit it." 

Whiz I bang I went a shell at that moment, bursting into 
fragments ten or fifteen feet above our heads. 

"Je— or I forgot 1" exclaimed Juggie. He had come 
very near swearing again. 

Juggie was ill at ease; he could not help thinking now 
and then what a terrible thing it would be if one of those 
shells should chance to hit him. 

The cannonading continued with great fury. Meantime, 
the musketry had opened on our left, with some fierceness. 
At half-past nine the firing ceased — all became quiet. 

For four hours we had been exposed to the most terrific 
artillery fire. During all this time Captain Conner, having 
dismounted from his horse, was walking quietly to and fro 
in front of the regiment, regardless of the showers of shot 
and shell which were continually hurled upon us. When 
the firing ceased, I took off' my knapsack, lay ^down, and 

Morning — the morning of the memorable Wednesday, the 
seventeenth of September — came. With the early gray of 

402 OUB BOYS. 

dawn, tbe battle was resumed with artillery ; atd, as on the 
previous evening, the missiles from the enemy's guns came 
crashing through the belt of timber in our front, striking all 
around us. For half an hour this interesting process was 
carried on. 

" Fall in 1 fall in I— By the right flank— marcA /" 

It was the voice of General Meade. We arose and moved 
toward the right. When we had marched three hundred paces, 
the head of the line, directed by General Meade, began to break 
oft* in divisions, by the left flank ; and we were soon march- 
ing in column of divisions toward the enemy. The head of 
column halted just at the edge of the wood, and we hurriedly 
closed en masse. The artillery fighting continued with all 
the violence of the previous evening.' After half an hour, 
the column again moved forward ; the front emerged from 
the wood. 

I knew that we were going into battle ; that it would prove 
to be a desperate one, I had no doubt. I felt that Lee was 
about to make a last desperate effort to maintain the foot- 
hold he had gained on the Maryland shore ; and as McClel- 
LAN was equally determined to dislodge him, the conflict 
promised to be a terrible one. I examined my cartridge-box, 
and found it all right ; it contained forty rounds. I examined 
my cap-box, and found it all right ; it contained about half 
a pint of caps. Then I thought of the thirst under which a 
man labors in battle, and I looked to my canteen : to my 
chagrin, I found it empty. I had filled it on the previous 
afternoon just before we left our position in the orchard, and 
I could not account for the mysterious disappearance of the 

*'.Haman," said I, addressing my messmate, " I find that I 
have not a drop of water — have you any?" . 

*' Yes — here, I'll divide with you," said the brave fellow ; 
and as we were moving but slowly he began to pour some 
of the water from his canteen into mine. 

" There, |ihat's enough," I said. 

"But you haven't half yet," he argued. 

*' ril make it do, though." 

The column moved s\o\\\^' ow^ ^wd we soon found ourselves 


entirely^ clear of the wood, and moving directly toward a 
large corn-field * Just in front of us, near the corn-field, there 
was a slight depression, on reaching which we hurriedly de- 
ployed into line. A battery took position upon a slight 
elevation behind us, and opened upon the rebels who occu- 
pied the corn-field. The rebel infantry suddenly opened 
upon us from the corn-field; the fight had commenced in 

Presently Colonel Magiltpn, who sat calmly upon his 
horse near us, ordered our regiment to a small grove two 
hundred paces to our left, where a regiment of rebels were 
amusing themselves by picking off our artillerymen. We 
moved by the left flank, and I had an opportunity to look 
around. I saw General Meade sitting quietly upon his horse 
by the battery; he was calmly surveying the prospect in 
front through his spectacles, while the rebel bullets were 
spattering the ground at his horse's f^.et, and many, no doubt, 
singing about his ears. The brave Magilton, too, still sat 
tranquilly upon his horse in the very face of death. 

As we neared the grove — it was at the corner of the field 
— a regiment of rebels, who had lain concealed among the 
tall corn, arose and poured upon us the most withering volley 
we had ever felt. Another and another followed, and a con- 
tinuous rattle rent the air. We could not stop to reply — 
we could but hurry on. The slaughter was fearful ; I never 
saw men fall so fast; I was obliged to step over them at 
every step. I saw Lieutenant Moth fall senseless to the 
ground— stunned by a spent ball. Poor Page fell dead; 
John Woodward, too, fell to the earth — a bullet buried in 
his brain. Putty Stewart, Jim Hasson, John Swearer, Dave 
Cease, Juggie, and a number of others fell wounded. 

We reached the grove, and drove the rebels from it. 
They retired obliquely into the corn-field, keeping up a re- 
treating fire. I observed, not thirty yards from me, two 
stout rebels assisting a wounded comrade from the field, 
supporting his fainting form between them. I could have 

* The corn-field famous for being the scene of the desperate straggle 
between Hooker's oorps and that of Longstreet. ^ 

404 OUR BOYS. 

killed one of tbem ; their backs were presented toward mo 
very temptingly. I was going to fire, but at that moment I 
heard the wounded man groan. I hesitated. Could I shoot 
one of the men who *were bearing him away and allow him 
again to fall to the earth ? I could not. I sought another 
mark ; and seeing a rebel in the act of loading his gun just 
at the edge of the corn-field I fired at him. 

I now saw a long line of rebels filing from a wood at the 
right and rear of the corn-field, and coming upon the scene. 
They hurriedly marched by the right flank, which brought 
them toward those already in the corn-field. As we had 
driven the rebels entirely from the wood, we opened fire 
upon the yet far-oflF reinforcements. But they changed their 
course slightly by an oblique movement, and came to the aid 
of the rebel lines two hundred paces to our right. 

Lieutenant Moth having been wounded, and assisted from 
the field by Sergeant Anawalt, and Lieutenant Cue having 
remained at Keedyaville sick, I suddenly, for the first time, 
found myself in command of Company " D" — and in battle, 
too. I saw, however, that OUR boys did not stand in need 
of much commanding just then : they were doing very well 
. — selecting their own positions, and firing at any rebels who 
presented the most tempting mark. 

In order to gain a better view of the field, I stepped for- 
ward to the crest of a slight elevation, and stood by a small 
oak tree which I hoped would shield me from observation — 
it was too small to afibrd protection. From this point I had 
an excellent view of the rebel lines in the corn-field. 1 could 
distinctly see their colors. I saw that they were not aware 
of the position of our regiment— they were looking to the 
front — and it occurred to me that it would be a beautiful 
thing, in a military point of view, for us to open a flank fire 
upon them. I turned and called to our boys, beckoning at 
the same time, and they joined me. Will Hoffman and Charley 
Brawley stood beside me. At the same moment, Haman 
glided by us and took his position by a tree still farther 
toward the front. As he did so, a spent ball struck him on 
the ankle, and he fell ; but he immediately sprang up, stood 
by his tree and proceeded to retaliate with great deliberation. 


"Boys," said I to Will and Charley, ''do you see those 
rebels ?" 

"Is that their line?" 


"So close as that?" 

"Yes — don't you see their flag? And look! See how 
they are peppering fiway at our fellows on the right I Fire 
away, boyst Who will be the fibst to bring down 


Without further ado, we went to work. I aimed every 
shot at the point over which the flag waved ; at every fire I 
looked eagerly to see it fall. 



I HAD fired a dozen rounds at the rebel flag, when I 
suddenly became conscious of a most singular and unpleasant 
feeling in my left leg. I was in the act of ramming down a 
ball at the time, and I would have finished, but my left foot, 
of its own accord, raised from the ground, a benumbing 
sensation ran through my leg, and I felt the hot blood stream- 
ing down my thigh. The truth flashed upon me — / was 
wounded. I could not yet tell where the ball had struck me, 
but on looking down I perceived, by a small round hole in 
my pantaloons, that I was shot in the thigh about three inches 
below the hip-joint. It was plain that the bone was broken ; 
the contracting of the muscles had shortened the limb, and 
raised the foot from the ground. 

"Boys, I— I— rm shotl" I said. 

Brawley and Hofiman looked seriously into my face. 

" Where ?" they asked, in a breath. 

"Here." And I pointed to the perforation which the 
bullet had made. 

106 OUR BOYS. 

•They took liold of my arms. 

" Let me fire this charge yet," I said. 

I endeavored to ram the ball home, but I grew weak and 
faint, my head became dizzy, and a mist obscured my eye- 

*' Boys, I — ^I— can't make it," I said ; and I leaned my rifle 
against the small tree by which we stood. 

" We must carry him away, Brawlev," said HoflFman. 

" Certainly 1" replied Charley; and they supported me 
between them. 

" Wait a moment," I said — I felt my strength fast leaving 
me — and I threw off my haversack, canteen, and knapsack. 

The cartridge-box remained. I hesitated: I thought of 
some stamped envelopes which I carried therein. Would I 
throw it off and lose them ? Yes ; perhaps I should never 
need them — and off it went. While ridding myself of these 
incumbrances, I had been standing on my right leg. 

" Now, boys." 

Supporting my whole weight between them, my brave 
comrades moved slowly toward the rear. My left leg hung 
powerless, my foot dragged upon the ground, and I felt the 
shattered pieces of bone grinding together. The pain thus 
caused was so acute that I grew deathly sick, everything 
faded from my sight, and sense left me. But I soon awoke. 
Where was I? I could not at once recall my scattered 
senses. The rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery 
sounded familiarly in my ear, and I soon remembered what 
had happened. My comrades had laid me down, and were 
standing anxiously over me ; they feared that I was dead. 
When I opened my eyes they were much relieved, and I 
was asked — 

" How do you feel ? are you in much pain? 

"No— not— m— oh I ohl" 

" Let us place him on this blanket," suggested Charley , 
and he picked up a blanket that lay near. 

" Yed, we can carry him better on that, and — here, let us 
get those two fellows to help." 

They called to two mexi ^\io W^ \aafe <iarried a wounded 
comrade from the field audL^^^T^T^xv^^Yc^Vi'C^'^^^v ^V^^ 


assisted, and I was soon laid on the blanket. Then, each seiz- 
ing a corner of the blanket, they moved slowly toward the rear. 
The pain caused by every motion was terrible ; I had never 
experienced anything worthy of being compared with it. 

As yet we were scarcely fifty paces from our line of battle, 
and many a bullet flying oVer the heads of OUR boys fol- 
lowed us, striking the ground and throwing up the dust * 
about us, plainly manifesting that they had no respect for a 
wounded man. I was carried directly through the strip of 
woods near which we had lain on the previous evening and 
during the night. Just in the rear of this wood stood a 
number of ambulances ready to convey wounded men from 
the field. I was placed in one— a one-horse owe— another 
sufferer was placed beside me, and the jumping, jostling, 
springing, shaking, quaking vehicle moved oflF. I opened 
conversation with my companion in misery. 

"Where— are — you (oh I oh I) wounded?" I asked, as the 
ambulance went plunging along. 

" In the side — oh I" he exclaimed, as it gave a sudden leap. 
Then he asked — 

"Where are you wo— oh I" 

" In the — oh, dear — leg — thigh — oh !" 

" Partners," interrupted the driver, at that moment, " we 
are about to go over a little rough place now, but we'll soon 
be over it." 

" What kind of a rough—" 

"Oh, it's only a little corn-field." 

The ambulance now began to go over the ridges of the 
corn-field, and it made such a succession of starts and knocked 
me about so alarmingly, that I really wondered that the 
wounded limb stayed on at all. My companion groaned in 

At last the vehicle came to a stand-still, and we were 
lifted out and laid down in front of a barn. Many wounded 
were lying in and around the barn. Some one very near 
me uttered a deep, agonizing, heart-felt groan; and, turning 
my head in the direction, I beheld Juggie lying prostrate 
upon the ground — rpale as death, and his clotK^^ «,^TOsk\sAw 
here and there with blood. . ' 

408 ouBBOTa 

" Juggldy is that you?'' I asked. 

"Oh, yes!" 

** Where are you wounded ?" 

" Through and through I Oh 1 oh 1" and he pointed to a 
bullet-hole in his right side. 

A youthful surgeon was passing at that moment, and I 
requested him to look at my wound. 

*' In one moment," said he, passing into the barn. 

After the lapse of a hundred times " one moment," he re- 
turned, made a slight examination of my wound, and said— ^ 

" Oh that's— a— a— the— " 

"The what?" 

" The bone is all smashed, and — " 

"And what?" 

" Why, I expect— <Aa< leg mil have to came oj^." 


" I'm afraid that — ^here's the bullet that struck you I" and 
he produced that interesting article, having taken it from 
my drawers, where it had lodged after passing through my 
thigh ; it was much bruisi^d, but I could make out that it 
was an ounce minie ball. 

I took the ball — what a consolation I and put it into the 
pocket of my blouse, but afterward lost it. 

" Do you really think there is any probability of ampu- 
tation being necessary ?" I asked. 

" It is almost certain^'* and he again passed into the barn. 

Oh, horror! could it be so? Must 1 lose my leg? If 
I would not— I could not reconcile myself to it. The sur- 
geon was a young man — perhaps he didn't know. 

About this time, our boys in front began to give way. 
The fighting came nearer and nearer, and a shell or two 
came flying over the barn. It was decided to remove the 
wounded, if possible, and I was placed, with several others^ 
in a two-horse ambulance. After a ride of twenty minutes 
the vehicle stopped, and we were lifted out and laid upon 
the ground near a small school-house. Within this little 
building, the work of amputation was going on. It was a 
kind of field hospital. The surgeon-in-charge came out af- 
ter b^If an hour, aud. 1 aaX^^ "^^^w^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^Nv^t of my 


wound. He examiued it, and very coolly and indifferently 
said : — 

"Til have to take that leg oflf for you after a while, but I 
hav'n't time just now — ^there are so many cases on hand, you 

I assured him that I could wait; and he left me and re- 
turned to his work. 

It was near evening when my turn came. I had lain 
during the whole afternoon without the school-house, listen- 
ing to the horrible screams which came from within, and 
occasionally, to kill time, gazing upon a heap of men's arms 
and legs which lay piled up against the side of the house. 
The sound of the battle could still be heard. 

But to be brief. 

I was carried mto the school-house, and laid upon the 
operating table. 

"Tell me, doctor," I said, earnestly, "mitst my leg be 
amputated ?" 

He coolly thrust his finger into the^wound, and felt the 
pieces of shattered bone. 

"That bone," said he, "is shivered all to pieces; and if 
you value your life — " 

" Can my life be saved only by — " 

" Yes, and even then I doubt — I — ^" He hesitated. 

" You think it a doubtful oase, even»then ?" 


I said no more; chloroform was administered, I sank into 

unconsciousness ; and when I awoke — it was all over. 
* # # , # * * 

'Tis enough. I will not tax the reader's patience by a 
recital of my subsequent sufferings. I will not detail the 
circumstances connected with the autumn and winter which 
followed. I will not tell how I lay for weeks in an old bam 
near Antietam Creek, neglected for days at a time by those 
who called themselves "surgeons" — "doctors." I will not 
ask the reader to^accompany me to that miserable institution 
called " Smoketown Hospital " where I lay in a tent, without 
fire,- during*the greater part of the winter, suflfe'ring from cold, 
hunger, and neglect. Ah, reader, l\iQ\i^t^^\^^^\A^^i^^wc^'^ 

410 OUR BOYS. 

connected with the campaign are not to be compared with 
those I experienced in the hospital I Yet such are many of 
our ho8pi^.als. Ye who sleep on your beds of down, ye who 
gather around your tables covered with plenty, ye who are 
free from pain, from hunger, from danger — how little do ye 
know, how little imagine, of the misery that reigns in our 
far-off hospitals I You may have brothers there — fathers, 
sons, husbands, lovers — none to whisper a kind word to 
them, to soothe the aching heart I No I 

** The rude oath and the heartless Jeer 
FaU ever on the loathing ear." 

There are doctors there— cfoc^or^ ; but what kind of men 
are they generally? Do they care for the sufferer? No! 
All they care for is money I 

Ah, were it not that the days of miracles are past, 'twould 
be strano^ that fire falls not from heaven to consume a few 
thousanoH— not only of army surgeons, but also of others, 
who care not how long the work of death goes on, that they 
may fill their pockets I 

But, as GOD is just, a day — a terrible day of vengeance 
will come, when many now glorying in wealth and renown, 
the proceeds of torture and blood, will cry in agony unto 
the rooks, "Fall on us!" and unto the hills, "Cover us!" 



The Eighth is no more. The Pennsylvania Reserves 
are disbanded, and those lefk of them have returned to their 

Reader, have you felt interested in the fortunes of our 
BOYS, and have you patiently watched their progress as you 
read this narrative ? If so, a word in conclusion may not 
be inappropriate. 


The officers of our division would demand a few remarks ; 
but history will tell you of them. History records no 
brighter deeds than those of McCall, Eeynolds, Meade, Ord, 
Magilton, McCandles^ Hayes, Simmons, Woolworth, Sickels, 
and others. Were I an historian I would ask no prouder 
names wherewith to adorn my pages. 

Major Bailey became colonel of the Eighth; Captain 
Lemon, lieutenant-colonel ; and Captain Gallop, major. 

Captain Conner resigned his commission in consequence 
of ill health, but has since won his way to distinction in the 
Western Army. 

Lieutenant Cue became captain of Company " D." 

Lieutenant Moth was killed in the battle of Fredericks- 

Sergeant Graham returned to the regiment, and was com- 
missioned adjutant. 

My brave messpiates are still alive. 

Dick and Haman became non-commissioned officers — the 
former being first-sergieant at the time the regiment was 
mustered out. Jim refused to accept any position — he reso- • 
lutely adhered to his fife. 

Gaskill is still alive. No bullet was ever made to kill 

Dave Winder recovered from his fracture, re-enlisted, ai;id 
entered the army in West Virginia. 

Hare, Maythorn, and Smith are still alive. Underwood 

Cease recovered from his wounds. His morals are unim- 
paired ; for, to this day, he has never been known to speak 
the truth. 

Dennis — ^brave fellow — passed unhurt through many bat- 
tles, and at last fell a victim to disease. He sleeps in a quiet 
churchyard on the banks of the Mo«ongahela ; and the snow- 
white stones that mark his resting-place can be seen by 
travellers as the boats glide up and down the smooth stream. 

Others whom I have not mentioned — ^though no less worthy 
of notice — have died of disease ; but many more lie buried 
where they fell. The soil of Virginia and MarylaTLd c<i^^\% 
them, and green as ever is the aod «}oo^^ \!a^\sv/ X^^,*^^^ 

412 OUB BOTB. 

are scattered over the fields of Cold Harbor, Glendale^ 
Beaver Dam, South Motintain, Antietam, Gettysburg, Fred- 
ericksburg, and the Wilderness of Spottsylvania, where 
friend and foe 

** In one red burial blent*' 

lie wrapped in the sleep that knows no earthly waking — ^the 
sleep that will only he broken when the last trump shall 
wake the slumberers to new life in a land whose bright and 
happy skies are never veiled in the storm-clouds of war, 
and a land where the shriek of the shell and the whistle of 
the bullet are never heard. 





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