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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in tlio year 1807, by 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 


In compliance with current copyright 

law, U. C. Library Bindery produced 

this replacement volume on paper 

that meets ANSI Standard Z39.48- 

1984 to replace the irreparably 

deteriorated original 








THE first object sought in this volume is to put on 
permanent record the deeds of a brave and noble regi 
ment an effort that will be fully appreciated by its 
numerous friends. The author also designs that it 
should be a contribution to the general history of the 
war. To secure such a history, the story of each sep 
arate regiment must first be known. 

The duties of the writer did not require him to carry 
either sword or musket, and the story he here tells is 
made up from a note-book never absent from him, 
whether in camp or on the march. When the original 
record sometimes made during a halt along the road 
side, and sometimes in the midst of battle better tells 
the story, that record is inserted, day and date. 

Everything promising to throw light upon the cam 
paigns of the Army of the Potomac has been carefully 
read and freely used, in giving the reasons for certain 



movements and the ends to be secured. It was the 
fortune of the Eleventh Regiment to be connected with 
most of the principal operations of the army to which 
it belonged. Enough of general information is there 
fore given to form a continuous narrative of events ; 
and to the ordinary reader perhaps the book will be 
found to serve the place of a larger and more protend 
ing history of the Army of the Potomac. 

W. H. L. 

PITTSBURG, October 1, 1867. 




Rebellion armed and defiant Call for troops Eleventh 
Regiment organized 13 


The offensive Guarding the railroad Patterson on the 
Upper Potomac March into Virginia Battle of Falling 
Waters Pennsylvania s first killed Martinsburg 16 


McDowell and Patterson to co-operate Army delayed 
The runaway slave Reconnoissance to Winchester 
Charlestown Battle of Bull Run 26 



The rebellion in a new phase Re-enlistment From citi 
zen to soldier Filling up regiments Quarrel about the 
number Governor s order Field and staff 35 


From Pennsylvania to Maryland Through Baltimore 

Annapolis Northern arguments Master and slave 42 




Side issues of the conflict The iron-clad Merrimac The 
subdued domestic Washington Review by the Presi 
dent 51 


From Maryland to Virginia Manassas Midnight alarm 
Clerical captive 57 


Manassas and environs Bull Run battle-field White 
Plains Absconding darkies 65 


Marching southward Hartsuff s Brigade Falmouth Mc 
Dowell s Corps Fredericksburg A night march Alex 
andria Pursuit of Jackson Front Royal Belle Boyd 
Escape 72 



Pope s campaign Warrenton Waterloo Arrival of Pope 
Review Army of Virginia Culpepper Battle of Ce 
dar Mountain Advance to the Rapidan 82 


An opportune capture Retreat to the Rappahannock 
Culpepper greetings Fight at Rappahannock Station... 93 


Pope retreating northward Company G Battle of Tho 
roughfare Gap Hospital at Manassas 100 


Second Bull Run Porter disobeys orders Longstreet 
unites with Jackson Division on the left Losses in the 
Eleventh Retreat to Centerville Battle of Chantilly 
Within the fortifications Pope and McDowell IOC 




Hall s Hill Colonel Martin Maj. Frink Colonel Fletcher 
Webster Invasion of Maryland McClellnn Feeling of 
troops March through Washington Recruits from Har- 
risburg Battle of South Mountain 115 


McClellan and Lee on Upper Potomac Rebel chaplain 
Keedysville Battle of Antietam HartsuiFs Brigade 
Fighting on the right Scenes in hospital Antietam 
after the battle 123 


Army in repose Walnut Grove camp Foraging for the 
mess Louisiana vs. Virginia Sermon in camp 134 


Tent life in Maryland Night experiences Stuart s cav 
alry raid Dreams and visions 146 



McClellan superseded by Burnside Feeling in the army 
Campaign begun On the Rappahannock Bombard 
ment of Fredericksburg Across the river 152 


Fredericksburg Night before the battle December 13th 
Operations on the left Pollock s house Burying the 
dead 161 


After the battle Wounded in Washington Excitement in 
the city Burnside Camp near Fletcher Chapel Notes 
from diary Virginia schoolmaster Northern claim on 
Virginia 168 



Burnside to cross the Rappahannock Troops in motion 
Winter storm Army in the mud 



Burnside gives place to Hooker Organized desertion -A 
new bill of fare Army kept employed Improved con 
dition of the troops Preparations to march 184 


Chancellorville campaign First Corps on the left Into 
the Wilderness Jackson s flank attack Death of Jack 
son First Corps on the right Retreat from the Wilder 
ness.... ,. 193 


After the battle of Chancellorville Feeling among the 
troops Revelations of old letters Division reorgan 
ized General Baxter Marching northward Across 
Manassas plains 205 


Hooker and Lee Moseby Parting with Virginia First 
Corps at Emmettsburg 215 



Hooker displaced by Meade Impression on the Army 
Enemy in front of Gettysburg First day of July Rebels 
quartered in the town 223 


Armies concentrated at Gettysburg Second day of July 
Third day of July July Fourth 233 



Gettysburg under rebel rule A rampant quartermaster 
First Corps on Cemetery Hill Pickett s charge A bold 
pioneer 240 


Retreat and pursuit Bulletins of victory Vandals The 
lost found Lee across the Potomac 247 


Marching through Loudon Valley Battle-field of An- 
tietam An unamiable lady Fording Goose Creek 
White Plains Bealton Station Fight at Brandy Station 
Eleventh on Hartsuff s knoll 255 


Occupying the line of the Rapidan Substitutes Raccoon 
Ford Execution of a deserter Reading the enemy s 
signals Kelly s Ford Raid on the sutlers Retreat to 
Centerville Mysterious movements 267 


From the Rapidan to Centerville First Corps at Bristow 
Bull Run Reprieved deserter Bull Run battle-field 
Detected conscript Thoroughfare Gap Camp rumors.. 277 


Back to the Rappahannock Eleventh at Morrisville 
Across the river Bivouac on Auburn farm Alarm 
Camp near Liberty Guerrillas Adventures of the 
wounded An outside patient 288 


Mine Run Campaign South of the Rapidan In position 
on Mine Run Marching back Short rations Kelly s 
Ford 303 


Another campaign completed Faith of the army Re- 
enlisting Veteran furlough 314 




Lieutenant -General U. S. Grant Furlough ended Promo 
tions Farewell to First Corps Campaign begun Bat 
tle of the Wilderness Longstreet on the left llebel 
successes on the right Race for Spottsylvania Death 
of Major Keenan 318 


In front of Spottsylvania Laurel Hill Moving to the left 
Grant marching southward On the North Anna 
Chickahominy Bethesda Church Cold Harbor Harri 
son s Landing 334 


South of the James In front of Petersburg Mine explo 
sion Fight for the W r eldon Railroad 351 


Advances and retrogrades Changes in the Eleventh 
Hicksford raid Burning ties Successful ambush In 
camp 362 


Extending the left to Hatcher s Run Consolidation of 
Eleventh and Ninetieth Opening of the campaign 
Battle of Hatcher s Run 371 


Final Concentration Army incredulous Boydton plank- 
road Reinforcing Sheridan 379 


Fifth Corps with Sheridan Getting into position Battle 
of Five Forks Captures and losses.... 386 


Last march of the Fifth Corps General Warren relieved 
of command Bivouac at Deep Creek Appomattox 
Court House Lee surrenders 391 


Homeward bound Through Richmond Across the Penin 
sula Hall s Hill Grand review Army disbanded 
Harrisburg Eleventh Regiment living and dead Knd.. 398 





THE roar of Sumter s guns, as it rolled north 
ward along the Atlantic coast, and westward 
across the prairies, awakened the nation from its 
peaceful dream of half a century, to the startling 
reality of armed and defiant Rebellion. 

A dissolution of the Federal Union, at first 
darkly hinted, and afterward openly avowed, 
toward the close of the year 1860 became a fixed 
purpose with leading Southern statesmen, a 
purpose to which they gave masterly energies, 
entailing upon the country four years of calam 
itous war. 

Following close upon the surrender of Fort 
Sumter, came the call from Washington, not 
less startling than the report of the first cannon 
shot, for volunteers to defend the rightful au 
thority of the Government. Every Northern 
State sent back the same enthusiastic response. 

2 (13) 


Party lines were obliterated, and political differ 
ences forgotten in the common danger. Cities 
and towns and villages rivaled each other in 
their patriotic offers of men and means. It was 
the uprising of an indignant and insulted people. 
The South had taken the sword ; and though re 
luctant to begin the strife, the North accepted 
the issue. 

The State capital became the military rendez 
vous of Pennsylvania ; and to Harrisburg her 
sons hastened, from their farms and their work 
shops; from offices and stores and counting- 
rooms. Eapidly as the troops arrived they were 
organized into regiments and sent to the front, 
each regiment distinguished by the number that 
marked the order of its organization. 

One week later than the President s call for 
troops, ten companies, representing six different 
counties, and containing in all nearly a thousand 
men, were united and formed into the Eleventh 
Regiment. Co. A, Captain J. C. Dodge, Co. D, 
Captain W. B. Schott, and Co. G, Captain J. K 
Bowman, represented Lycoming County; Co. B, 
Captain Phaen Jarrett, and Co. C, Captain H. 
M. Bossert, Clinton County; Co. E, Captain John 
B. Johnson, Luzerne County; Co. F, Captain C. 
J. Bruuner, Northumberland County; Co. H, 
Captain "W. M. McLure, Montour County; Co. 
I, Captain Richard Coulter, and Co. K, Captain 
W. B. Coulter, Westmoreland County. These 


brave men, meeting as strangers, but drawn to 
gether by the same noble impulse of love of 
country, were now united, for life or for death, 
in strong and enduring bonds. 

The election for field officers that followed this 
union of companies resulted in the choice of 
Captain Phaen Jarrett for Colonel; Captain 
Richard Coulter, Lieutenant-Colonel; and W. 
D. Earnest, Major. To complete the regimental 
organization, Lieutenant A. F. Aul was appointed 
Adjutant; W. H. Hay, Quartermaster; Dr. W. F. 
Babb, Surgeon, and H. B. Beuhler, Assistant 

VOLUNTEERS was thenceforth a corporeal re 
ality. From the 23d of April, 1861, to the sur 
render of General Lee at Appomattox Court 
House, the history of the U 01d Eleventh" so 
designated to distinguish it from the Eleventh 
Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps 
is the history, in part, of all the grand move 
ments of the Army of the Potomac. 




THE secession of Virginia, on the 17th day of 
April, made the National Capital the main point 
to he defended ; and to Washington each State 
sent its first available troops. But the Govern 
ment soon discovered that there were other ene 
mies to provide against than those openly in arms 
in Virginia. Traitors walked abroad in the guise 
of peaceful citizens ; and since the wanton attack 
upon the troops passing through Baltimore, and 
the destruction of the railroads leading to that 
city, all the lines of travel communicating with 
Washington were closely guarded. 

Three days after its organization, by order of 
General Patterson, commanding the Department 
of Pennsylvania, the Eleventh Regiment, then 
at Camp Wayne, West Chester, was assigned to 
duty on the Baltimore and Wilmington Railroad, 
occupying the territory between Havre de Grace 
and Elkton. The instructions issued to Colonel 
Jarrett, defining the nature of the service re 
quired of his regiment, indicated, even at that 
early day, the conciliatory spirit that ever ani 
mated the Government throughout the entire 


" The Major-General understands that along 
the line of railway placed under your charge, and 
more particularly in the neighborhood of New 
ark, inoffensive citizens have been molested by 
the troops lately removed. He wishes you to in 
struct your men that this must not be ; and that 
the object of being where you are is to make 
friends of the inhabitants, and not enemies. * * 
You will instruct the officers stationed at New 
ark to be careful to allay the angry feeling which 
has been excited at that point." 

The railroad was well guarded; and without 
any compromise of integrity, the other object 
making friends of the inhabitants along the line 
was also secured. At Havre de Grace, Cos. A 
and B, and Co. K at Newark where persons 
had been arrested on idle and ill-founded charges 
were made the recipients of the confidence and 
good will of the citizens, expressed in the most 
substantial manner. 

Into the brief hours of those unusual days 
were crowded events for whose maturity a quar 
ter of a century had been necessary. Harper s 
Ferry, evacuated by the Federal troops in the 
evening, was occupied next morning by a large 
rebel force that marched down the Shenandoah 
Valley, under command of General J. E. John 
son. An attack upon Washington, by way of 
Alexandria, was hourly expected ; and the ap 
pearance of the enemy at Harper s Ferry and 



along the banks of the Upper Potomac, looked 
as though an attempt was to be made to invest 
the city by overrunning the borders of Maryland 
and Pennsylvania. 

"With something of the spirit that character 
ized later army movements, all the troops that 
could be spared from the actual defense of Wash 
ington were placed under command of General 
Patterson, and hastened to the border. The 
Eleventh Regiment, relieved of guard duty on 
the railroad, and marching by way of Baltimore 
and Washington, reported to the commanding 
general at Hagerstown, and was assigned to 
Colonel Abercrombie s Brigade of Keinrs Di 

The army of General Patterson, as it was the 
largest single column acting against the enemy, 
was an object of national interest. It was pre 
paring to march against twenty thousand rebels, 
whose leader expressed a determination to hold 
Harper s Ferry at all hazard, as the key of the 
Shenandoah Valley. General Scott counseled 
Patterson that it would not be enough simply to 
sustain no reverse. " A check, or a drawn bat 
tle, would be a victory to the enemy, tilling his 
heart with joy, his ranks with men, and his mag 
azines with voluntary contributions," telegraphed 
the veteran commander at the moment the troops 
took their first forward step. 

Filing out from the numerous camps around 


Hagerstown, with the rising of the sun of June 
1st all the brigades and divisions of Patterson s 
column were moving in splendid order toward 
the Potomac. The army thus marching to the at 
tack of Harper s Ferry, embraced within itself 
names since become of household familiarity in 
the military records of the nation. Major-Gen 
eral Burnside was then known as Colonel Burn- 
side, in command of a Rhode Island regiment ; 
Major-General George li. Thomas was simply 
Colonel Thomas, commanding a brigade in Keim s 
Division ; Major-General John j^ewton was only 
Captain Newton, of the Engineer Corps. 

The rebel general did not wait for the near 
approach of Patterson s forces. Drawing in the 
two regiments of Texan riflemen that picketed 
the Potomac as far up as Sheppardstown, the day 
after our movement began Harper s Ferry was 
evacuated, Johnson falling back to Martinsburg. 
The unexpected retreat of the enemy was re 
ceived with demonstrations of delight. It was 
regarded as an omen of good, promising a suc 
cessful issue to all succeeding undertakings. 

Full of confident enthusiasm, the pursuit of 
Johnson was commenced the following morning. 
Seven or eight thousand troops had already 
crossed into Virginia, and were marching down 
the south bank of the Potomac, when a sudden 
halt was ordered by a telegram from Washing 
ton, announcing that the city was threatened 


from the direction of Alexandria, and calling on 
Patterson for immediate reinforcements. 

The troops required by General Scott left the 
army on the Upper Potomac without either ar 
tillery or cavalry, and so greatly reduced in the 
number of its effective men as to make a further 
advance impossible. The regiments that had 
crossed the river were recalled; and a movement, 
that at the first promised the most complete suc 
cess, ended in days of wearisome inaction as 
full of monotony to the soldier, as they were of 
impatience to the entire ]STorth. 

Meanwhile the rebels, reassuring their cour 
age at Patterson s unavoidable delay, again ap 
proached the Potomac. Scouts reported that a 
large Confederate force occupied the country 
between Dam No. 4 and Sheppardstown, under 
command of Stonewall Jackson ; and that John 
son was at Bunker Hill, with a reserve of not 
less than five thousand men. 

Toward the latter part of June, a battery of 
six guns and a small force of cavalry having been 
sent to him, General Patterson prepared to re 
sume his forward movement. A reconnoissance 
in force was to be made into Virginia, the troops 
moving in two separate columns. The Sixth 
Brigade, Colonel Abercrombie, under the guid 
ance of Captain John Newton, of the Engineer 
Corps, was to cross the river near Dam No. 4, 
supported by the First Brigade, Colonel Thomas, 


and four pieces of artillery. The Second and 
Fifth Brigades, Generals Wynkoop and Negley, 
were to remain within striking distance of Aber- 
crombie and Thomas. These troops constituted 
the first column, under command of Major-Gen 
eral Keim. The second column consisted of 
the Third and Fourth Brigades, a squadron of 
cavalry, and one section of Perkin s Battery, 
under Major-General Cadwallader. The second 
column was to cross at Williamsport. 

The night preceding the contemplated move 
ment, Lieutenant-Colonel Coulter and thirty men 
of the Eleventh Regiment, were detailed to ex- 


plore the fordings of the river near the proposed 
place of passage for the first column. Marching 
quietly down the left bank, their movements 
concealed from the enemy s pickets by the in 
tense darkness and the heavy falling rain, the 
exploring party carefully surveyed the river, 
crossing and recrossing at several different points. 
Everywhere high water rendered the fordings 

It was then decided to cross the entire force at 
Williamsport in the following order: Colonel 
Abercrornbie s Brigade, with one section of ar 
tillery and a squadron of cavalry. Colonel 
Thomas s Brigade, with one company of cavalry 
and two pieces of artillery. General 2s"egley s 
Brigade, with one section of artillery and a com 
pany of cavalry, forming General Keim s Divi- 


sion. General Cad wall ader s Division was to 
follow close in the rear. 

One clay was lost by the change in the order 
of march. But early on the morning of July 2d 
the army was in motion. An advance guard of 
one hundred and fifty men of the Eleventh, and 
McMullin s Philadelphia Rangers, was thrown 
across the river to carry the fording. A small 
rebel force, stationed on the Virginia shore to 
watch our movements, received the vanguard 
with a brisk, though entirely harmless, volley of 
musketry. Nothing daunted by a reception so 
purely Southern in all its characteristics, our men 
continued to advance, and the enemy retiring 
from the river, the army crossed the Potomac 
without further opposition. 

The first column marched southward along the 
main road, except Negley s Brigade, that di 
verged to the right, a short distance from the 
river, to protect our flank. The smooth pike 
leading to Martinsburghad not then received the 
impress of a tramping army; nor were the green 
fields, on either side of it, transformed into fields 
of blood and carnage. Yet there was a sound 
of battle in the air. Skirmishers were kept 
thrown out well to the front, and an occasional 
rebel vedette could be seen, falling slowly back 
before our cautious advance. 

Six miles from Williamsport, toward the mid 
dle of the forenoon, the army reached Falling 


Waters. Broad acres of wheat flanked the road 
right and left, and on a slight elevation in front 
stood the residence of the proprietor. At the 
moment of advancing through a skirt of woods, 
and in turning a short angle in the road, our 
skirmish line suddenly developed a force of the 
enemy posted in a clump of trees, while the main 
body of the Confederates appeared in sight, shel 
tered behind breastworks of fence rails and fallen 
timber. It was the Brigade of Stonewall Jackson 
by which we were thus confronted, since cele 
brated as the " Stonewall Brigde," consisting of 
the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Twenty-seventh 
Virginia Regiments, J. E. B. Stuart s cavalry 
regiment, and Captain Pendleton s battery of 
four guns. 

The disposition of the Federal troops was quick 
and judicious. Abercrombie deployed the Elev 
enth Pennsylvania and First Wisconsin to the 
right and left of the pike. Hudson s battery, 
supported by McMullin s Rangers, was placed in 
the middle of the road, and a general advance 
ordered against the rapid fire of the rebels, drawn 
up in battle-line behind Porterfield s house. With 
shouts and cheers, that ran along the whole col 
umn of troops hurrying forward at the sound of 
cannon, the leading brigade obeyed the word of 

The enemy s artillery was admirably posted to 
sweep the Martinsburg pike ; but, fortunately, 


Pendleton s range was too high, and the shot 
passed harmlessly overhead. While thus engag 
ing the rebel infantry and artillery in front, 
Stuart brought up his cavalry, and riding swiftly 
from the opposite direction, was seen to make 
threatening demonstrations on the right of the 
Eleventh. Repulsing two separate efforts on the 
part of Stuart to charge our line, Colonel Jarrett 
detached Cos. A, B, and C as skirmishers, to 
take the cavalry on the flank ; while the left 
wing of the regiment was pushed forward to 
turn the rebel cannon planted in the middle of 
the road. 

The unusual excitement of battle now extended 
to the remotest file of the army, and footmen and 
horse were pressing with eager haste toward the 
front. Thomas s Brigade, marching behind Aber- 
crombie, and the next to reach the ground, quit 
ting the pike, and moving in compact lines 
through the fields, extended its right toward the 
enemy s left flank. Closely pressed by Aber- 
crombie in front, and threatened on the left by 
Thomas, further resistance was useless ; and after 
a spiteful encounter of nearly an hour, Jackson 
reluctantly abandoned the field. 

The purple tide, that has since reached its 
flood height, has effaced almost every mark of 
the battle of Falling Waters. Yet the features 
of war are ever the same. Those fields of wheat, 
just ripe for the harvest, were trodden down and 


destroyed. The elegant farm-house, whose white 
front could be seen through overhanging trees 
and climbing vines, was shattered by artillery, 
and the peaceful scene of rural felicity marred 
and ruined. 

Stonewall Jackson s first engagement with our 
troops did not promise the success of later ex 
ploits. Eight of his dead were left unburied on 
the field, and a large number are known to have 
been wounded. The Union loss was two killed 
and fifteen wounded. Of these the Eleventh lost 
Amos Sappinger, Co. H, killed. Wounded 
William Hannaker, Co. B ; James Morgan, D. 
Stiles, Nelson Headen, Co. E ; Christian Shawl, 
Co. F ; Russel Levan, John De Hass, Co. G ; 
John Reed, Wm. G. Kuhns, Co. K. 

Amos Sappinger was Pennsylvania s first life 
offering on the battle-field, in the war for the 
Union. He deserves a more enduring monument 
than these pages. 

The pursuit of the retreating foe was kept up 
as far as Hainesville, four miles from Martins- 
burg, where the army bivouacked for the night. 
Resuming the march with the earliest dawn of 
next day, on the 3d of July Patterson occupied 
Martinsburg, Stonewall Jackson falling back on 
the reserve force at Bunker Hill. 




THE duty first assigned to General Patterson 
was the capture of Harper s Ferry. 2s"ow he had 
another and more important task to perform. A 
column from Washington, under command of 
General McDowell, was to move against the rebel 
army concentrated at Manassas Junction ; and 
Patterson was to co-operate with that column 
either by directly attacking Johnson at Win 
chester, or by threats and a well sustained show 
of opposition, prevent him from leaving the Val 
ley to reinforce Beauregard. 

The term of service for which the three months 
troops had volunteered would soon expire. An 
ticipating an easy victory, and regarding the 
whole aftair very much in the light of a holiday 
excursion, every man was greatly solicitous that 
before returning home, his regiment should be 
brought into actual conflict with the insurgents. 

But there was a serious delay of several days 
at Martinsburg. The rebels had utterly destroyed 
the railroad from thence to Harper s Ferry, leav 
ing behind them, in their retreat from the town, 
nothing but the smouldering ruins of the spa- 


cious depot and the charred remains of forty- 
eight locomotives. Xo reliance could be placed 
on foraging from the adjacent country, as the 
hungry Southerner had already eat it bare. 
The Quartermaster s Department did not know 
how to provide for an army of eighteen thousand 
men as expeditiously as in later days. Wagons 
were scarce, and as all the supplies for Patterson s 
troops were hauled from Williamsport, to collect 
rations for more than two days in advance was 
next to impossible. 

On the 8th of July orders were issued to the 
army for an advance on Winchester early next 
morning. But before midnight, and in the midst 
of active preparations by each regiment and 
brigade for the expected movement, the order 
was countermanded. A part of the reinforce 
ments arrived on that day was reported unable, 
without rest, to bear the fatigues of a further 
march, and be in proper condition to meet the 

In consultation with some of his principal offi 
cers, General Patterson found decided opposi 
tion to the advance on Winchester; and before 
renewing the order to march, a council was called, 
composed of the division and brigade command 
ers, the officers of the engineers, and the chiefs 
of the departments of transportation and supply. 
There was great unanimity of opinion that the 
army was on a false line ; that it could more 


certainly hold Johnson at Winchester, and co 
operate with McDowell at Manassas, by taking a 
position at Charlestown, than by remaining at 
Martinsburg, or advancing further down the 

As a result of this council, the abandoned 
picket lines around Martiusburg were again es 
tablished ; and officers who did not spend their 
evenings at the gay mansion of minister Faulk 
ner, enjoying the polite society of his accom 
plished wife and daughters, detailing to them all 
the probable movements of the Federal army 
only to be faithfully reported to the rebel com 
mander went about discharging the duties as 
signed to them. 

Every one coming into Martinsburg from the 
direction of Bunker Hill or Winchester, supposed 
to be able to give any information respecting the 
movements of the enemy, was at once taken be 
fore General Patterson. Our pickets were fa 
miliar with this custom, and when they arrested 
the runaway slave of Mr. Byerly, living at Darks- 
ville, some distance beyond Bunker Hill, they 
knew that he would be welcome at army head 

The colored man had not yet arrived to the es 
tate of a contraband ; but his information was 
always regarded as more reliable than that of any 
other. If he sometimes told more than he knew, 
the fact was no disparagement to the negro. It 


only proved that in one point at least he was very 
much like his white master. 

All the knowledge possessed by the slave was 
soon imparted. Johnson and Jackson often came 
to his master s house. He had heard them say 
that the principal part of the Southern force was 
at Winchester, throwing up intrenchments in ex 
pectation that the Yankees were coming ; and 
that many of the colored people had been sent 
there to help on the work. Jackson was at Bunker 
Hill, with Colonel Stuart and Captain Pendleton. 
He knew these officers, because they often visited 
at his master s house. 

" Did you ever hear your master say how many 
soldiers Johnson has?" 

." !N"o, sah; but he always shakes his head when 
he talks about it, and says : ; jist let de Yankees 
come on!" 

The colored man s face was turned toward the 
Potomac, and when the general and his staff had 
ceased to question him, he begged to be permit 
ted to pursue his journey. But in reward for re 
vealing what he knew, he was sent to the guard 
house, and confined as a runaway slave. 

"How did you get off at last, George?" we 
asked of him a year or two later, in the interior 
of Pennsylvania. 

"Well, sah, dey kept me in de guard-house 
until de army moved to Bunker Hill. Den I got 
away from de guard, and went right back to my 


ole massa. I was afeard ob de Yankees after 
dat, and when dey come again into de Valley I 
staid close at home. But one mornin , jist about 
daylight, your army begin to come back along de 
road from Winchester, marchin very fast. My 
ole massa rubbed his hands and shook his head. 
I know d it, says he; Jackson is arter Banks, 
and he ll cotch him yit. 

" I watch d em comin back for two or three 
hours ; and I seed among de wagons an de hos- 
men a good many colored people dat I know d. 
Den I says to my wife : i Mary, I feel as if I 
ought to go too. Jist do as you like, George, 
says she; but don t forgit to come back arter 
me. Ole massa was settin out on de poach ; so 
I goes down behind de barn and up through de 
orchard. If I could only git through de orchard, 
den I know d I would be out ob sight. But it 
seemed as if I d never git to de top ob de hill ; 
my feet felt so heavy I couldn t run. Bime-by 
I got out to de road among de soldiers, den safe 
across de Potomac, and at last into Pennsyl- 
vany. Arter awhile I goes back for Mary. Some 
body told massa I was in de neighborhood, and 
he watched all night wid a gun to shoot me when 
I come round de house. But Mary got away 
safe too, and now I spect we ll jist stay whar we 

The movement from Washington, under Gen 
eral McDowell, was to commence on the 16th of 


July. To keep up a threatening attitude in front 
of Johnson, and by every possible means retain 
him in the Valley, on the day preceding that date 
General Patterson advanced his entire force from 
Marti nsburg to Bunker Hill. 

Despite the example of the Faulkners, and 
others of like sympathies, there was a strong 
Union sentiment in Marti nsburg; and when the 
army left the town on that fair summer morning, 
the Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment and the 
First Wisconsin each carried a beautiful national 
flag, the gift of the loyal ladies of the place, in 
acknowledgment of our first victory over the 
rebel forces at Falling Waters. 

The ashes of Jackson s camp fires were still 
warm and smouldering as our troops stacked 
arms on the ground recently occupied by the 
Southrons, and bivouacked for the night. 2s"ext 
day Gen. Patterson made a reconnoissauce from 
Bunker Hill toward Winchester. The roads were 
strongly barricaded at every available point, caus 
ing frequent halts to remove the trees that had 
been felled across the highway, and to fill up the 
ditches, with which Johnson hoped to impede the 
passage of artillery. Four miles from Winches 
ter the column came to a final halt. The enemy 
occupied the town in large numbers, and with 
out waiting for him to come out from his in- 
trenchments, Patterson returned to Bunker Hill. 

The same day General McDowell began his 


movement against Manassas. On the 17th, Gen 
eral Scott telegraphed to Patterson that Mc 
Dowell s first day s work had driven the enemy 
beyond Fairfax Court House, and that in all prob 
ability Manassas Junction would be carried on 
the following morning. 

Up to that time, General Patterson had im 
plicitly obeyed the orders of his superior officer. 
Feeling himself unable to attack the rebel gen 
eral in his strong position, by a well-maintained 
show of opposition, Johnson was kept in his 
front, and could not reach Manassas, even if dis 
posed to move in that direction, in less than three 
days. There was no longer any seeming occa 
sion for keeping his troops on a false line, or of 
maintaining communications running through a 
country in active sympathy with the rebellion, 
and at any moment liable to interruption ; and 
on the morning of July 17th Patterson retired 
from Bunker Hill to Charlestown. 

From the fording of the Potomac at Williams- 
port to Bunker Hill, the enemy had retired be 
fore us ; and when the troops began to move on 
that Wednesday morning, ignorant of the plans 
of the commander, a battle in front of Winches 
ter was not only desired, but confidently expected 
by the rank and file of the Federal army. The 
first five or six miles of the march looked as 
though we were threatening to fall on the enemy s 
right flank, but toward noon the column changed 


front, and moved in the direction of Charlestown. 
From Bunker Hill to Winchester is thirteen 
m iles from Charlestown to Winchester is twenty 
miles; and without knowing the relative geo 
graphical positions of the different places, the sol 
diers looked upon the movement as a retreat 
without a pursuing foe. Murmurs of discontent, 
audible to every ear, ran along the line, and the 
reproach visited upon the commanding general 
was without stint or measure. 

The Army of the Upper Potomac presented a 
woe-begone appearance on its arrival at Charles- 
town. The vanguard that entered the place 
might well have been taken for the ghosts of 
John Brown s raiders, had they carried pikes in 
their hands instead of bristling muskets. Entire 
regiments were without shoes and without coats, 
while the nether garments of many of the men 
were out at the knees and out at the seat, flaunt 
ing their shoddy fragments in the breeze, or else 
presenting the rents closed up with patches of 
canvas torn from dilapidated tents. 

The Federal occupation of Charlestown broke 
up the innocent business of a band of secession 
militia, engaged in pressing into the rebel ser 
vice the young men of the surrounding district. 
It also had the good effect of sending many of 
its principal citizens on a reluctant pilgrimage 
further South. From this securer base, and on 
a line far more advantageous as it was supposed, 


General Patterson began at once active prepara 
tions to attack Winchester. 

In one week the terra of enlistment of eigh 
teen regiments full three-fourths of the army 
would expire. An appeal was made to the 
troops to remain ten days longer, and from the 
spirit thus far manifested by them, a hearty re 
sponse was anticipated. But the men had become 
dissatisfied, and only three Pennsylvania regi 
ments the "Eleventh, the Fifteenth, and the 
Twenty-fourth declared their willingness to stay. 
Patterson was now powerless to do anything, and 
the army lay idle at Charlestown awaiting orders 
from Washington. 

While these delays and disappointments in the 
Army of the Upper Potomac were causing heart 
burnings and bitter criminations, the nation was 
nearing the first great calamity of the war. Mc 
Dowell did not carry Manassas Junction on the 
18th of July, as General Scott had so confidently 
expected ; and the battle of Bull Run was not 
fought until the 21st. Meanwhile, in answer to 
an urgent call from the rebel government to 
hasten to the assistance of Beauregard, Johnson 
quietly withdrew his forces from Winchester, 
and marching toward Manassas, arrived on the 
afternoon of the engagement at the moment to 
turn the tide of battle, and change what prom 
ised a victory to the Federal arms into defeat and 
disastrous rout. 




THE rebellion assumed a different shape in the 
eyes of the country after the battle of Bull Run. 
The huge proportions to which it afterward 
grew, began then to be distinctly foreshadowed. 
Its leaders, flushed with victory, and expecting a 
speedy conquest of the North, did not hesitate 
to reveal, undisguised, the spirit of prejudice 
and hate that conceived and inaugurated the 
whole secession movement. 

The three months campaign accomplished 
comparatively little ; and closing with the defeat 
of Bull Run, seemed scarcely anything else than 
a total failure. Yet there was no abatement in 
the enthusiasm of the people ; and nowhere was 
this enthusiasm greater than among the men who 
had passed through this first campaign. Whole 
regiments, with hardly any change in their or 
ganization, re-enlisted for the long term of three 
years, or during the war. 

On the 24th of July, the Eleventh Regiment 

( 35 ) 


left Harper s Ferry for Baltimore, en route for 
Harrisburg, where the men were mustered out 
of service. General Patterson s order for trans 
portation was accompanied by a commendation 
of the regiment, carefully preserved among its 

"It gives the commanding general great satis 
faction to say, that the conduct of this regiment 
has merited his highest approbation. It had the 
fortune to be in the advance at Falling Waters, 
where the steadiness and gallantry of both officers 
and men came under his personal observation. 
They have well merited his thanks." 

Before the first term of enlistment had alto 
gether expired, steps were taken to reorganize 
the Eleventh for the three years service. Colonel 
Jarrett submitted to General Patterson a com 
plete regimental organization, headed by the 
name of Richard Coulter, as Colonel. The rec 
ommendations were heartily indorsed by the 
general, and referred to Governor Curtin for 

Under date of July 25th, Simon Cameron, 
Secretary of War, telegraphed to Colonel Coulter 
that his regiment was accepted for the long term 
of service. A few days later, the colonel was 
directed, by the same authority, to enter his men 
in Camp Curtin and hold them ready for march 
ing orders, leaving an officer behind to recruit 
the several companies to the maximum standard. 


With the many hands into which it was divided, 
it was only the work of a moment to transform 
the peaceful citizen into a soldier, of martial 
look and mien. Finely polished boots were ex 
changed for a pair of substantial brogans, often 
without finish, and oftener without fit. Panta 
loons of sable black, or demure brown, or sprightly 
gray, gave place to a pair of unmixed blue. The 
head that supported a luxuriant growth of chest 
nut curls, and nodded gracefully under a shining 
beaver, first closely shorn of all capillary super 
fluities, was incased in a cap of the smallest pat 
tern ; while a blue coat, with an economically 
short tail, took the place of the neatly fitting 

When the quiet citizen, thus attired, had a 
knapsack strapped upon his back, and a haver 
sack thrown across his shoulders, with gun, can 
teen, and cartridge box, the transformation was 
complete. He was thenceforth prepared to enter 
upon a mode of life, as different from his former 
self, as though he had entirely changed his per 
sonal identity. 

Early in the month of August, Co. B, under 
command of Captain William Shanks, arrived at 
Camp Curtin. To this first company others were 
quickly added; and by the 1st of September, 
the regiment might, have gone to the front with 
its full complement of men. 

In those days of intense excitement, twenty- 


four hours in camp reached the limit of any one s 
patfence. Officers and men were alike clamorous 
to be sent to Washington, or anywhere else out of 
the State that danger threatened. Each one acted 
as though in fear that the rebellion might be 
crushed, and the war closed up, without giving 
him an opportunity of striking a single blow for 
the Union. 

Perhaps it was well for the Cause that it could 
not then be known how- much of the dark and 
angry-looking war-cloud, that appeared above the 
Southern horizon, hung below concealed from 
human eyes. 

At no time, from August to November, were 
there less than five to ten thousand men in camp. 
But the work of assigning to regiments the in 
numerable squads and companies into which the 
number was divided, was a slow process ; too 
slow, indeed, for the active spirits with which the 
State authorities had to deal. As a result, regi 
mental officers took the matter of filling up their 
commands into their own hands; and as men 
were in demand, not he who knew most of 
Jomini s Art of War, or Cassey s Tactics, but 
that one who could bring with him the largest 
force of recruits, might secure any position from 
a field officer down through all the grades to a 
second lieutenant. 

Then, again, some valiant captain, anxious to 
have his favorite doctor or parson transformed 


into a surgeon or a chaplain, or his patriotic friend 
made quartermaster or sutler, in consideration 
of one or the other of these positions, would 
agree to transfer his company to the regiment 
where such a place could be secured. Patriot 
ism had gone up beyond fever heat ; and the ex 
cessive desire to be among the foremost of the 
country s defenders must apologize for all ques 
tionable practices. Especially as it happened, 
that when the times came that tried men as 
come they did the unfit stepped aside, and the 
right men gravitated into the right places. 

Though among the first of the three months 
troops to be accepted for the long term of en 
listment, and by the 4th of August sent its 
first recruits into camp, the Eleventh did not 
leave the State until late in November. The au 
thorities at Harrisburg shared somewhat in the 
feelings of the citizen-soldiers. There was a pos 
sibility that the work of putting down the rebel 
lion would not require all the men called into 
service, and that each regiment might alike enjoy 
the fame to be achieved in actual conflict with 
the rebels, four companies, at several different 
times, were taken from the Eleventh, and given 
to other regiments that had exhausted all their 
resources for recruiting, and still remained below 
the maximum number. The grave reason for such 
official partiality was in the fact that the Eleventh 
had already the distinguished honor of being the 


only Pennsylvania regiment that had participated 
in a battle during the three months campaign, and 
it could therefore afford to wait a longer time than 
some others for its complement of men under the 
new enlistment. 

But there was another cause for our long delay 
at Camp Curtin. All connected with the regi 
ment desired to retain the old regimental num 
ber Eleventh. The men had learned to love it ; 
and, besides, there was true soldierly pride in 
wishing to be known as the Eleventh Regiment, 
the name under which they had defeated Stone- 
wallJackson, won the first congratulatory order 
issued by the commander of the army of which 
they were a part, and by which the Secretary of 
War had so early accepted them for the second 
term of enlistment. 

For some reason, this very natural desire on 
the part of the regiment was strenuously opposed 
by a few of the dignitaries of the State capital. 
Early in October a flag was prepared, designating 
the regiment as the Fifty-first, but the flag was 
refused; and by way of punishing the officers 
for their obstinacy in not yielding the point, they 
were kept longer in camp than would probably 
have been the case had there been less devotion 
to the old number. 

The dispute was at last settled by an order 
from Governor Curtin, dated Harrisburg, Octo 
ber 26th, 1861 : 


" The Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
commanded by Colonel Coulter, will continue to 
be known as the Eleventh Regiment Pennsyl 
vania Volunteers. It is just to the officers and 
men, that the regiment should have future op 
portunities of displaying the courage and gal 
lantry of Falling Waters, which is now a part of 
the military history of the State, under their 
original designation." 

In everything relating to soldierly efficiency, 
our stay at Camp Curtin was beneficial. The 
drills were regular and complete. Its discipline 
was the happy medium between the liberty- of 
the citizen and the strict military rule of active 
service, preparing each man gradually to forget 
the one and submit to the other. 

It also introduced us to the active sympathies 
of a band of noble women in Harrisburg, princi 
pal among whom were Mrs. George H. Small, 
Mrs. James Denning, and Mrs. Lile Cornyn. 
The constant care of these ladies for the sick of 
the regiment in the camp hospital, and when the 
disease became serious removing the patients to 
their own houses, entitles them to our lasting 

The organization of the field and staff officers 
had undergone some change in the interval of six 
months, compared with that first recommended 
by Colonel Jarre tt. Colonel Coulter had asso 
ciated with him, as Lieutenant-Colonel, Thomas 


S. Martin, formerly of the Twenty-third Penn 
sylvania Regiment; Henry A. Frink, of Phila 
delphia, was commissioned Major; Lieutenant 
Israel Uncapher, of Co. F, Adjutant; Lieutenant 
G. W. Thorn, of Co. B, Quartermaster; Dr. R. 
M. S. Jackson, of Cresson, Surgeon; Dr. James 
W. Anawalt, of Greensburg, Assistant Surgeon, 
and William H. Locke, of Pittsburg, Chaplain. 



ON the 20th of November, in the presence of 
a large concourse of spectators, Governor Cur- 
tin presented to the regiment the stand of colors 
provided by the State, bearing on its graceful 
folds, in bright gilt letters, "ELEVENTH REGIMENT 
PENNA. VOLS." Side by side with this cherished 
gift of the State was carried the flag presented 
by the ladies of Martinsburg, both alike to be 
shielded from dishonor with nothing less sacred 
than our lives. 

One week later, Colonel Coulter was ordered 
to report his regiment to General Dix, at Balti 
more. Co. A, Captain Christian Kuhn ; Co. B, 
Captain William Shanks; Co. C, Captain Jacob 


J. Bierer; Co. D, Captain John Knox; Co. E, 
Captain James C. McCurdy; Co. F, Captain Da 
vid M. Cook ; Co. II, Captain Edward H. Rauch ; 
Co. I, Captain George A. Cribbs; and Co. K, 
Captain John B. Keenan, took cars at the North 
ern Central depot the same evening, leaving Co. 
G to follow next day. 

It was hard to realize, as we marched through 
the streets of Baltimore in the early morning of 
November 28th, on our way to the wharf where 
the regiment was to take shipping for Annapolis, 
that we were treading the same thoroughfares in 
which Union soldiers, but a few months before, 
had been stoned to death. A very different re 
ception awaited the Eleventh. Subsistence com 
mittees met us at the cars, ready to escort us to 
the Soldiers Home ; smiling faces and waving 
handkerchiefs everywhere greeted us, as though 
Baltimore would erase all recollection of the 
hateful 19th of April. 

Late at night we disembarked at Annapolis, 
and marched to the old St. John s College. Ever 
since General Butler landed his troops at the 
mouth of the Severn River, and marched from 
thence to Washington, Annapolis had been an 
important point to the Government. At the time 
of our arrival it was an immense depot of military 
supplies, besides the rendezvous of the Burnside 
expedition, whose unknown destination lent a ro 
mantic charm to everything connected with it. 


In the midst of the formidable array of ships 
and men that crowded the harbor and thronged 
the streets of the antique city, we found ourselves 
surrounded by associations inexpressibly dear to 
the heart of every American. We were in one 
of the oldest cities of the Union. Here was the 
State House, with a history running back to 
the days of the Revolution, in which the treaty 
of peace with Great Britain, acknowledging our 
independence, had been ratified by Congress. 
Here Washington resigned his commission as 
commander-in-chief of the American army, and 
retired to Mount Yernon. The room has been 
preserved unchanged; and to stand upon the 
spot where Washington stood at that hour of his 
life, to look upon the same objects on which he had 
gazed, seemed to place one in close communion 
with the spirit of the mighty dead. It was in 
deed singular that upon such hallowed ground 
the demon of treason should dare to manifest 

St. John s College in which were found ex 
cellent quarters for men and officers, the former 
occupying the three large school edifices and the 
latter the several dwelling-houses of the profes 
sors was scarcely less venerable and venerated 
than the State House itself. The main building 
had been erected more than a hundred years, and 
was at first designed as the Executive Mansion 
of the State. But the General Assembly of Ma- 


ryland, in 1784, incorporated St. John s College, 
and conveyed to the trustees the building and 
four acres of land, known as College Green. 

College Green was used in the revolutionary 
war as the camping-ground of the French army; 
and also by the American troops assembled in 
the war of 1812. Now, for the third time, it 
became a military encampment. It was not a 
foreign foe that threatened us, but those of our 
own household. Violent men were seeking to 
destroy the integrity of the republic, and the 
troops then drilling on soil already consecrated 
by the footsteps of the patriots who established 
the Government, had before them the not less 
glorious work of preserving that Government in 
tact to those who should come after. 

During the several beautiful Sabbaths that fol 
lowed our arrival at Annapolis, as the chaplain 
stood beneath the overhanging branches of a 
venerable tree, whose age can certainly be counted 
back two hundred years, and in the midst of the 
historical associations alluded to, speaking to offi 
cers and men in the name of JESUS, and re 
membering that our fathers had only succeeded 
in their struggle through the blessing of GOD, 
how necessary it seemed that our cause should 
be sanctified by prayer, and that our hope of 
success be placed alone in HIM. 

It would have accorded better with the incli 
nations of all concerned had* the Eleventh been se- 


lected to make a part of the Burnside expedition, 
then nearly ready to sail. But the order of Gen 
eral Dix assigned us to duty iu Annapolis. The 
duties were onerous, and more than should have 
been required of any one regiment. The city 
was furnished with a provost guard, twenty-one 
miles of railroad were protected, besides per 
forming a large share of fatigue duty at the Naval 
Academy, the commissary depot of the sailing 

A contraband trade had been kept up between 
Baltimore and Virginia through the lower coun 
ties of Maryland, upon which we were also to 
keep an eye; as well, possibly, by our presence, 
protect the Maryland Legislature, then about to 
assemble, in its expressions of loyalty and de 
nunciations of treason. 

Companies B, E, I, and K were sent out on the 
railroad, while the other five companies (Co. G 
having failed as yet to report) made up the pro 
vost guard, and all the details for duty elsewhere. 
The guard-house was in the old city ball-room, 
one of the historic places of Annapolis. Older 
than the State House, it had been used as the 
legislative hall during the erection of that build 
ing; while the supper-room was formerly the 
revenue office of the province. The walls were 
still decorated by portraits of Lord Baltimore 
and several of the former Governors of Mary- 
laud. Those gentlemen of the olden time seemed 


strangely out of place in the crowd of unruly 
soldiers that the Provost Marshal, Captain Ja 
cob J. Bierer, almost nightly provided with lodg 
ings in that room. 

Everything looked as though the regiment 
would pass the winter in Annapolis, and our 
plans were made with a view to patient submis 
sion. The men guarding the railroad were ap 
parently satisfied with their part of the contract, 
and those in quarters had no more complaints 
than are usual to a soldier. The trustees of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church kindly offered us the 
use of their house, where religious services were 
held every Sabbath afternoon, a hospital tent, 
then out of use, serving as a chapel for week- 
night meetings. 

Nor was the service required entirely devoid of 
the kind of excitement so essential to the volun 
teer. The companies on the railroad found am 
ple exercise for all their vigilance in the number 
of passing trains, and in the travel in private con 
veyance to and fro along their lines. The guard 
in town was not less active, keeping a sharp look 
out that no suspicious craft or contraband cargo 
was permitted to escape from the harbor. 

Governor Hicks, Speaker Berry of the House of 
Delegates, Judge Brewer, and other prominent cit 
izens, gave us special personal attention, and con 
tributed greatly to our social enjoyment. Through 
the efforts of such men as these, who nobly 


breasted the tide of disloyalty and treason, at one 
time setting in hard against her, Maryland es 
caped the desolation and ruin that have swept 
over her sister State of Virginia. 

Western boys, such as composed the Eleventh, 
had no sympathies in common with those who 
could find apologies for secession and rebellion. 
Maryland had not then accepted the logic of 
events, nor declared herself a free State ; and 
occasionally a rampant Southron was to be met, 
whose zeal for the South was greater than his 
discretion. The Articles of War forbade politi 
cal discussions by any in the service. But more 
than one of those blatant apologists of wrong 
found that Union soldiers had a way of their own 
of settling disputed points, without violating the 
letter of military law; and that the hard fist of 
a Northern yeoman struck out from the shoulder 
was an argument by no means easy to oppose. 

The chaplain was in duty bound to be less 
demonstrative, even at the risk of being less con 
vincing. But as a compensation, he had oppor 
tunities of learning the true sentiments of many 
leading citizens. One gentleman, himself a 
slaveholder, who frequently visited at regimental 
headquarters, though heartily condemning the 
rebellion, could not but blame the Xorth for an 
impertinent interference in the affairs of the 
South. Servitude, in his opinion, was the nor 
mal condition of the black man, and it was only 


a false philanthropy to attempt to place him 
anywhere else. 

"But why not hire the negro, and pay him 
stated wages?" 

" Because it won t do, sir. I have been in 
public life for more than twenty-five years, and 
pretend to know something about this matter ; 
and I give it to you as my decided opinion that 
the scheme is not practicable. Hired blacks, or 
free blacks, are too lazy to work, and you cannot 
coerce them. We must either have absolute con 
trol of them, such as ownership gives, or dispense 
with their labor altogether. Take the cultiva 
tion of tobacco, for instance. There are particu 
lar times when a delay of two hours would ruin 
the crop. How could we then go round gather 
ing up hands ? And knowing him as we do, who 
would trust to a hired negro in such an emer 
gency ? No, sir ; it will not do. And we find 
fault with you men of the North, because you will 
meddle with a thing you do not understand." 

We ventured the remark, that there were men 
at the North who did not so much oppose the 
peculiar institution of slavery, as the many and 
great evils connected with it; and to mention 
no other, the breaking up of the family, in the 
separation of husband and wife, and of parent 
and child. 

""Well, sir, we have nothing of that kind in 
Maryland, except in very rare cases. I have had 



some experience in settling up estates; and where 
negroes are to be sold in this State, they almost 
invariably select their own masters. Let me give 
you an illustration. A friend of mine owned a 
black man, whose son belonged to another part 
of the estate. A death occurring, the estate was 
to be sold, servants and all. Some time before 
the sale, the boy came to my friend with the re 
quest that he would buy him. The gentleman 
did not need him at the time, and so gave an 
evasive answer. But when the day of sale came 
round, of the several persons who really wanted 
Jack, not one of them could get him to say he 
would go to live with him. Massa Judge Du- 
vall is gwine to buy me/ was the negro s reply; 
and as no one else would bid for him, the Judge 
was obliged to take him. So, in almost every 
instance, they select their own masters, and very 
rarely, in this State, are families divided by sale." 
^ew ideas have been developed since the con 
versation of that afternoon in March, 1862. 
Maryland is a free State ; and upon her own soil 
the practicability of free black labor has been 
clearly demonstrated. 




MANY bright days visited us during that winter 
in Annapolis, when a ride to the camp of the Ira 
Harris Cavalry, or along the South River, or 
wherever else inclination might suggest, was a 
charming relief from the monotony of life in 
quarters. iSTor were we so far from the front as 
to be undisturbed by the passing events of the 
great conflict. 

It was on a Sunday afternoon, just after reli 
gious services had commenced, that an order was 
received at the church from General Hatch, com 
manding the post, requiring one company, fully 
armed and equipped, to report at headquarters 
for special duty. It was well that all the tacts in 
the case did not come out at once, or the chap 
lain could scarcely have kept the attention of his 
remaining audience. 

The iron-clad Merrimac, w^ith which the rebels 
had been threatening our navy for months, had 
actually encountered and sunk the frigates Con 
gress and Cumberland, and was reported to have 
passed Fortress Monroe with a fleet of gun 
boats. Great excitement prevailed throughout 


the city, every one supposing the vessel would 
sail direct to Annapolis, for the purpose of cap 
turing the extensive commissary stores in depot. 

Company A was sent down the bay on the 
steamer G. A. Warner to watch the movements 
of the iron-clad, and to give notice of her first 
approach. All the steamers in port were ordered 
to Baltimore, as in case of attack the harbor of 
Annapolis was without adequate defense ; while 
many of the citizens were preparing to fly at the 
moment of certain danger. But most oppor 
tunely, a new opponent appeared in the shape 
of a Monitor, to contest the further advance of 
the formidable adversary. After a severe strug 
gle of three hours, the Merrimac gave up the 
fight, and in a disabled condition returned to 

When the alarm had ceased, and all things 
once more assumed their quiet ways, one family 
at least, found itself greatly benefited by the 
threatened visit of the rebel iron-clad. Among 
the domestics of that household is one who bears 
the not very poetical name of Jane. She is de 
cidedly hard to manage, and a source of great 
vexation to the female portion of the family. 
Various and novel have been the ways resorted 
to in order to bring her to terms. A year or two 
before, a negro man was hanged for some crime, 
and among those sent to see the sight, for the 
good it might do, was Jane. But strange to say, 


not the least impression was made upon the 
incorrigible colored girl. Hanging is not an 
everyday affair, and it is hard to tell whether, 
in course of time, the effect on Jane might not 
be all that is desired. Up to that eventful Sun 
day afternoon, the only thing that subdued the 
unruly and wayward domestic, was to sing: 

" Hark from the tombs, a doleful sound." 

Whenever coaxing and driving and the whip 
failed in their efforts, some one of the family 
struck up the notes of this funeral hymn. 

With what imaginary terrors Jane had invested 
the Merrimac, the family did not care to inquire. 
But it was soon discovered that a threatened visit 
from the hideous monster, whatever the terror 
might be, was a source of alarm as potent as that 
of singing the hymn ; and as the new remedy 
admitted of an easier application than the old 
one, it was ever after adopted to quiet into obe 
dience the obstreperous Jane. 

Attachment to place does not belong to the 
volunteer soldier. No matter how comfortably 
he may be quartered, or what advantage the 
locality may possess, a few days satisfy him ; and 
an order to strike tents, though full of uncertainty 
as to where they shall be pitched again, is re 
ceived with joy. When the Second Maryland 
Regiment relieved us of duty on the railroad, 
and the men were ordered to prepare for a speedy 



move, there were no regrets expressed in parting 
with the fine accommodations and numerous ad 
vantages of Annapolis. 

General Burnside was to be reinforced. Al 
ready several spirited engagements had taken 
place, achieving important victories for the 
Union cause on the North Carolina coast. Much 
remained yet to be done ; and though not per 
mitted to take part in the first operations, there 
was every prospect that we should be in time for 
these later movements. But after days of ex 
pectation and waiting for the order to embark for 
North Carolina, the regiment was sent back to 
guard the Annapolis railroad. 

To make matters still more unsatisfactory, the 
Second Maryland at once took shipping for For 
tress Monroe, General Burnside having especi 
ally named it as the regiment at Annapolis he 
desired to have sent to him. The general fell fully 
one-half in our estimation. We forgot our early 
association with him on the Upper Potomac, and 
seriously doubted the abilities of an officer hav 
ing so little discernment as to prefer the Second 
Maryland to the Eleventh Pennsylvania. 

When the whole truth came out, it was found 
that at the personal request of a number of prom 
inent citizens, who preferred to have a Pennsyl 
vania rather than a Maryland regiment quartered 
among them, the order for the removal of the 
Eleventh had been countermanded. Cos. C, D, 


F, and H took the stations B, E, I, and K had 
formerly occupied on the railroad, while Co. A 
was sent to do guard duty at Friendship, twenty- 
five miles down the Chesapeake Bay. 

Several changes occurred among the commis 
sioned officers during our sojourn in the capital 
of Maryland. The vacancy occasioned in Co. 
B, by the appointment of Lieutenant G-. W. 
Thorn Regimental Quartermaster, was filled by 
promoting Second Lieutenant B. F. Hainesto be 
first lieutenant, and Sergeant George Tapp to be 
second lieutenant. Captain Knox, of Co. D, 
while absent on recruiting service, died at his 
home in Jersey Shore. Governor Curtin com 
missioned W. E. Sees, of Harrisburg, to fill the 
vacancy, who proved himself an officer every 
way worthy and competent. 

In Co. F, Sergeant Michael J. Kettering was 
promoted to be first lieutenant, in place of Israel 
Uncapher, appointed adjutant; Sergeant-Major 
Edward H. Gay to be second lieutenant, in place 
of Lieutenant W. McCutcheon, who died in camp 
of disease contracted in the service. 

The evacuation of Centerville and Manassas 
Junction by the rebels, and the landing of a large 
Federal force on the Yorktown peninsula, caused 
new combinations of troops to be made through 
out the whole theater of war; and during the 
afternoon of April 9th, the cars that were to trans 
port us to Washington switched off in front of 
our quarters. 


The embarking of eight hundred men, with 
tents, baggage, and quartermaster s stores, con 
sumed what was left of daylight. With night 
came the most violent snow-storm of the season, 
blocking up the railroad, and holding us fast 
on the track a few miles from the place of starting 
until the next morning. It was a freak of the 
weather never before know r n in that latitude. 
But the warm April sun soon melted the snow, 
and by the time we reached Washington every 
vestige of the winter storm had disappeared. 

Soldiers Home, as the large white-washed 
buildings at the railroad station were called, good 
enough in itself, was but a poor substitute for the 
excellent quarters vacated in St. John s College. 
But every day was so full of conflicting rumors 
that the style of our quarters, and even the qual 
ity of the rations, were forgotten in the uncer 
tainty of our destination. 

The one event that gave character to our short 
stay in Washington was the review of the Elev 
enth by President Lincoln. A special invitation 
was sent to Colonel Coulter to march his regi 
ment to the White House. An hour later, 
donning the new clothes issued to them by the 
quartermaster, our boys were marching up Penn 
sylvania Avenue. Standing on the steps of the 
Executive Mansion, as we then saw him in the 
clear light of that 15th of April, with head un 
covered, and a kindly smile playing over his face, 


bowing to the ranks of men that passed in review 
before him, is associated our most vivid recollec 
tion of Abraham Lincoln. 

The next day the regiment took boat for Alex 
andria, and from thence was transported by rail 
to Manassas Junction. 



MANASSAS was the name formerly given to a 
small village and railroad station at the junction 
of the Alexandria and Orange and the Manassas 
Gap Railroads. Xow it is applied indiscrimi 
nately to a section of country several miles in 
extent. Xothing was left of the village but con 
fused heaps of bricks and mortar, while either 
side of the railroad, for miles in extent, was 
blackened with the charred remains of camp 
equipage, baggage and stores, that the rebels, for 
want of transportation, had been compelled to 

The Manassas Gap Road extends from its in 
tersection with the Alexandria and Orange Road, 
through Front Royal to Strasburg, in the Shen- 
andoah Valley. Important co-operative move- 


ments were in contemplation from all points 
upon Richmond, making it necessary that this 
line of communication should be kept open. The 
construction corps was already at work repairing 
damages and rebuilding the bridges across the 
Shenandoah River, while a guard sufficient to 
protect the road from guerrilla attacks extended 
along its entire length. 

The Eleventh was placed on duty between Ma- 
nassas Junction and "White Plains, a distance of 
twenty-two miles. Major Frink, with Cos. B, C, 
and D, was stationed at White Plains ; Co. E at 
Broad Run ; Co. K at Thoroughfare Gap ; Co. I 
at an intermediate point between K and H ; Co. 
H at Haymarket; Co. F at Gainesville, and Co. A 
between F and the Junction. Regimental head 
quarters were at Manassas, as here a general depot 
of supplies had been established, and direct tele 
graphic communication with the department at 

White Plains, Haymarket, and Gainesville are 
small villages, rescued from oblivion by the 
fierce engagements associated with their names. 
Thoroughfare Gap is a rocky chasm in the Bull 
Run Mountains. Through this natural cut the 


railroad passes, and Broad Run, a limpid stream 
on whose banks are several valuable mills, also 
finds a passage through the gap to the Potomac. 
The companies at all the several points had the 
same instructions issued to them : " To prevent the 


destruction of the track, or any property or stock 
belonging to the road ; to see that the track is kept 
clear, and bridges fully protected; to prevent 
depredations on the private property of citizens; 
all suspicious persons to be carefully examined, 
and if circumstances warrant, to be sent to head 
quarters, especially all mounted men found with 
arms near the road or any of the pickets." 

The duty required on the Manassas road, 
though the same in kind as that performed at 
Annapolis, was more exciting because demand 
ing greater vigilance. 

We had passed from comparatively loyal Mary 
land into positively disloyal Virginia, where the 
most peaceable citizen was ready to strike a blow 
secretly, when he could not do so openly. Guard 
duty assumes a very different character under 
such surroundings. It loses every feature of mo 
notony; and if the ears of the picket do not put 
on the dimensions of those of the rabbit, he has 
at least all the acuteness of hearing accredited to 
that watchful little quadruped. The gentlest 
zephyr does not loosen from its stem a solitary 
leaf without arresting his attention, while his eye 
possesses such magic power that many times a 
moss-grown stump, or a stray horse, has been 
metamorphosed into an armed rebel. 

Co. H was stationed at Haymarket. It was 
known that several of Ashby s Cavalry had re 
sided in the town, and a strict guard was kept 


over all the inhabitants. Toward twelve o clock 
of a particular night, when quiet reigned through 
out the quarters of Co. H, and all were wrapped 
in soundest sleep save the trusty sentinel, whose 
duty it was to watch for danger, an unusual com 
motion was observed throughout the village. The 
bright light in one house, that had first attracted 
the notice of the guard, was soon seen in several 
others. The captain was aroused, and having 
satisfied himself that something more than ordi 
nary was going on, the men were ordered to fall 
into line \vith the utmost dispatch and quiet. In 
a moment sixty men, with guns and cartridge- 
boxes, stood in their places. All could now see 
lights flickering in half a dozen windows, and 
even the fast trotting of horses was distinctly 

It was enough. Either Ashby meditated an 
assault on Co. H, or else some of his bold parti 
sans were on a visit to friends. But, in the pres 
ent state of affairs, a visit could not be allowed, and 
an assault must be resisted. The plan of attack 
was to surround the town, and then close in toward 
that point where suspicion seemed the strongest. 
By the time these arrangements were completed, 
all the lights had disappeared, except in the win 
dows of a single house, and at this one the sev 
eral squads into which the company had been 
divided at last met. The captain boldly entered, 
demanding the surrender of the impertinent foe 


who had dared to plot mischief at such an un 
seasonable hour. A small man, with spectacles 
on his nose, and of demeanor far too quiet for a 
soldier, made his appearance. In answer to the 
captain, he announced himself a physician, called 
on professional business; and that the good peo 
ple of the house were rejoicing in a small addition 
to the male department of the family. 

Early in the month of May, a citizen brought 
information to White Plains that two deserters 
from the Union army had taken possession of 
a forsaken residence, some miles distant in the 
direction of Warren ton, and were threatening 
the lives of all around them. 

It was feared that the story might be intended 
to entrap our men; but a detachment sufficiently 
strong to protect itself, was sent out under com 
mand of Captain Sees. When the party came 
near the house, a squad of cavalry, drawn up in 
line of battle, was in full view. Selecting the 
best possible position of defense, Captain Sees 
awaited the result of what he now felt certain 
to be a scheme to capture himself and men. In 
a little while, two horsemen rode out from the 
line, waving their hats. At first no attention 
was paid to the movement; but as the cavalrymen 
continued to advance, the captain stepped for 
ward to meet them, when they were found to be 
a part of Colonel Geary s command, stationed at 
Salem, and out on the same errand as himself. 



Coming up to the house, the cavalry discov 
ered that a party of citizens had anticipated them ; 
and in their attack upon the deserters, one of 
them had been killed, but at a loss of two of their 
own number, of whom was Mr. Scott, a prominent 
citizen of Warrenton and a leading member of 
the bar. The surviving deserter made good his 

The next day after the affair, the reported de 
serter came to Captain Keenairs quarters at 
Thoroughfare Gap, and gave himself up. He 
and his companion belonged to the Seventh "Wis 
consin Regiment. While on picket duty, they 
had been captured by Ashby s cavalry; but mak 
ing their escape in a few days after, were leisurely 
getting back to Warrenton to join their regiment. 
The only depredations committed were for some 
thing to eat. When attacked by the party of 
citizens, only one of them was in the house, the 
other being some distance from it. The man on 
the outside was without arms of any kind, and 
surrounded by half a score of men. But instead 
of attempting to secure him as a prisoner, and 
return him to his regiment, he was shot dead, 
three balls entering the body. His companion 
witnessed the whole scene, and having both guns 
in his possession, and anticipating a similar fate, 
fired each from an open window with fatal effect. 

The prisoner was retained in our possession 
until we reached Falmouth, and then sent to Gen 
eral McDowell s headquarters. 


Colonel Coulter s stringent order to arrest all 
mounted citizens, found with arms near our lines, 
was not based entirely upon suspicion. Several 
men of Colonel Geary s command had already 
been murdered on picket; a fact that fully re 
vealed the animus of the people around us. Some 
of the arrests may have caused great personal 
inconvenience; but the convenience of the few 
had to be sacrificed to the safety of the many. 

A clergyman of the Southern Methodist 
Church, named "Williams, and in charge of War- 
renton Circuit, was among those arrested and 
brought to headquarters at Manassas. He was 
quite indignant that our pickets should molest 
him; but when questioned as to the propriety of 
carrying a loaded revolver in his saddle pockets, 
he could give no satisfactory answer. In respect 
for his profession, the clerical captive, instead of 
being placed in the guard-house, was handed over 
to the charge of the chaplain, who tried to make 
him feel that he had fallen into the hands of 
generous captors. We gave him supper, shared 
with him our blankets when night came on, and 
breakfast in the morning. The colonel having 
assured himself, by telegraphing to Warrenton, 
that Mr. "Williams was practicing no imposition, 
he was at once released, and furnished with a 
pass through our lines; leaving his carnal weap 
ons in the hands of the soldier who made the 


No class of men did more to embitter the 
Southern feeling, and urge on to open rebellion* 
than the ministers of the Southern Methodist 
Church. Mr. Williams was present at the con 
ference that met in Norfolk. The iron-clad 
Merrimac was nearly finished, and the entire 
conference, by special invitation, paid a visit to 
the vessel as she lay in her moorings. Speeches 
were made in the highest style of secession elo 
quence ; hopes were expressed , and prayers offered 
up for the success of the huge monster in her 
work of ruin and death. Many of these men, 
forsaking the peaceful calling of the gospel, took 
the sword, and by the sword they perished. 
Others of them, through the madness of rebellion, 
drifting away from the principles and practices 
of the religion of Christ, are now moral wrecks, 
stranded on the shores of time. 




AT Mauassas we were in the vicinity of the 
Bull Run battle-field. Xot curiosity only, but 
such an interest in that event as nearly related 
us to the actors, prompted an early visit. 

Near regimental headquarters was Fort Beau- 
regard, a large and formidable earth- work; while 
at different points on the Manassas plain, and in 
commanding positions, were several other works 
of lesser magnitude. Two miles distant, on the 
road to Centerville, stood the large brick man 
sion of Mr. Weir, Beauregard s headquarters. 
Here the Confederate general and his staff re 
mained during the attack at Blackburn s Ford, 
July 18th, which so greatly deranged the plans 
of McDowell, who intended that General Tyler 
should make a mere feint movement at that point, 
while the main force was making the transit of 
Bull Run at the Stone Bridge and further up to 
the right. 

Crossing Bull Run at Blackburn s Ford, where 
the stream is perhaps fifty yards wide, we rode to 
Centerville. The whole intermediate space of ter- 



ritory was a chain of breast-works and fortifica 
tions. Everything that industry and skill could 
devise to make Manassas impregnable was done; 
and if General McClellan had marched from 
Washington direct upon those works, in the 
opening of the spring of 1862, after having al 
lowed the rebels so long a time to perfect them, 
it would have been a disastrous undertaking. 

Turning from Centerville, we continued our 
ride along the Warrenton pike to Stone Bridge. 
It is the highway across Bull Run, the northern 
bank of which is a steep, rocky bluff. In that 
direction our forces were retreating on the 21st 
of July; and standing on the spot, one could 
easily imagine how the blockading of the bridge 
by broken-down wagons and abandoned gun- 
carriages, would worse confound the scattered 
ranks of a retreating army. 

On the south side of the bridge, and ascending 
a gentle slope, we were in full view of every 
point of the battle-field, from right to left. Near 
by is the dwelling of Henry Robinson. The old 
negro man remained in his house during the 
engagement of July 21st, though it was struck 
several times, and in one instance a cannon ball 
passed directly through its walls. AVhen asked 
why he did not leave and seek a safer place, he 

"You see, massa, dey had no safe places dat 
day. Ole Henry spected to git killed anyhow, 


and he tink he jist as lief die in de ole house as 
anywhare else." 

After the defeat of the Federal army, Manas- 
sas became a spot of great interest to Southern 
ers, who visited it in large numbers. The old 
man s house stood so near where the principal 
engagement took place that no one came to 
the battle-field without making him a visit. He 
entertained us for a long time with the opinions 
and remarks of rebel officers, as he had often 
heard them express themselves, in reference to 
that battle. All agreed that early in the day 
Beauregard acknowledged himself defeated, and 
would have retreated but for Johnson, who, ar 
riving on the ground some hours before his army, 
urged him to hold on until his forces should come 
up. The arrival of several thousand fresh troops 
was more than our exhausted men could endure. 
Still, at the first, they retired in good order; the 
panic which resulted so disastrously having oc 
curred far in the rear of that part of the army 
actually engaged with the enemy. 

In the sickening details of a hundred battles, 
the country has not forgotten the indignities 
offered to our killed and wounded on this first 
field. Many of its dead were left unburied, as 
the bleached human bones lying on the surface 
too plainly declared, while of those buried, arms 
and limbs and heads were seen projecting from 
the shallow graves. 


Every available spot of the country over which 
we passed had been used as a camp. The quar 
ters were comfortable log cabins with clap-board 
roofs, indicating that a large army, well cared 
for, had spent the winter at Manassas. 

The village of White Plains escaped, in a great 
measure, the devastation of Manassas. It was 
the location of the rebel general hospital, and the 
numerous graves on the hillside above the town 
truthfully told how severely the enemy suffered 
in his first great battle, and that fell disease, during 
the long winter months, had almost decimated en 
tire regiments. 

Several brothers by the name of Foster, the 
owners of valuable estates, resided in the village. 
Colonel Ashby lived at Markham, some miles 
distant up the railroad, but his famous cavalry 
troop, that afterward degenerated into Moseby s 
guerrillas, was made up of the best young men of 
this and the adjoining neighborhoods. For a 
number of years tournaments, with Col. Ashby 
at their head, pronounced the best equestrian 
in Virginia, were among the chief attractions 
of Warrenton Springs. The young men of the 
vicinity became most expert horsemen, and when 
the war broke out, the Colonel had a troop of 
unequaled riders ready at hand. 

In company with Dr. Jackson and Captain 
Shanks, the chaplain found a home for several 
days at the house of Thomas Foster, the Quar- 


termaster of Ashby s Cavalry. The family con 
sisted of the wife, two daughters, and an elderly 
uncle, their only male protector. It was to be 
expected that there would be more or less re 
straint in our social intercourse with those whose 
dearest friends we could only regard as our bitter 
enemies. But underneath all the studied polite 
ness of which we were the recipients in that ele 
gant residence, there was a stratum of the old 
Virginia hospitality that nothing but the actual 
existence of war could keep from coming to the 

Whatever was once said of the masses of the 
South not understanding the questions at issue 
between the two sections of the country, at no 
time could it ever apply to the more intelligent 
portions. The doctrine of State rights had been 
thoroughly studied and as heartily believed. In 
their libraries and on their tables were to be 
found the works of Nott and Gliddon, and Mor 
ton, plausible theories, all going to prove that 
the white man and the negro are of distinct 
races ; that the negro belongs to an inferior order 
of beings, and finds his proper condition only in 
subjection to the superior. With this class of 
persons the war was a contest of ideas, thoroughly 
understood because thoroughly studied. 

At an early period in the war Alexandria came 
to be regarded as the negro s paradise. Without 
newspapers or telegraph, he soon learned that to 


reach that point was to be no longer a slave. 
White Plains was the general rendezvous of ab 
sconding negroes for a large section of country, 
and scarcely a train of cars passed down the road 
without its complement of human freight. Some 
times they came to the station in pairs, and again 
in squads, big and little, old and young, carrying 
all their worldly possessions, rolled up in bundles, 
on their heads, or slung across their shoulders, 
having little conception of where they were go 
ing except to some wonderful place called Alex 
andria or what they would do. They knew 
they would be/ree, and that fact answered every 

On one particular day a motley group of them, 
not less than twenty in all, came to White Plains 
in an ox-cart. Scarcely had they unloaded them 
selves on the platform, when a panting and foam 
ing horse, carrying an excited-looking rider, stop 
ped in front of headquarters. The man on 
horseback eagerly demanded where he might 
find the commanding officer, as he had special 
business with him. Every one was on the qui 
vive, and with the hope that he might be the 
bearer of such stirring news as would cause a 
speedy move, the rider was directed to Major 
Frink. But his business was altogether of a per 
sonal nature. 

" Major," said he, "those people out there, who 
have just arrived in that ox-cart, belong to me, 
and I want you to compel them to return home." 


"Well, sir," replied the major, "that kind of 
work is not exactly in my line. If your people 
wish to return home, not a man of my command 
will interfere ; but if they do not desire to re 
turn, so far from compelling them myself, I can 
not even allow their owner to compel them." 

The Virginian was not satisfied with the ma 
jor s decision, and inquired where he might find 
the commander of the regiment. He was in 
formed that regimental headquarters were at 
Manassas Junction, and as his slaves had already 
got aboard of the train, which in the mean time 
had come up to the station, their owner took a 
place near them. 

But it so happened that while conductors of 
trains were directed to allow all negroes free pas 
sage to Alexandria, without let or hinderance, no 
white person could travel over the road, to any 
point whatever, without a pass from the nearest 
post commander. In the hurry to keep in sight 
of his property, the white man had forgotten this 
salutary arrangement. When the train was ready 
to start the conductor politely told him that he 
could not carry him to Manassas without a pass 
from Major Frink. Enraged beyond endurance, 
and too haughty to ask permission to ride where 
his slaves could go with impunity, he left the 
train, people and all, swearing bitter vengeance 
against the whole ^"orth. 

Many furtive glances, mingled with evident 


fear and dread, had been cast by the fugitives at 
their old master. But when they saw him stand, 
ing on the platform, and felt the train moving on 
the iron track beneath them, the comical shrug 
of the shoulder, and the laugh-provoking grin 
that spread over their ebony faces, were silent 
expressions of joy at the sudden breaking of 
life-long bonds. 



AN order from General HartsuiF, directing Col 
onel Coulter to report his command at Falmouth, 
indefinitely postponed several proposed expedi 
tions from different company stations in search 
of Ashby s Cavalry. 

The march from Manassas, on the 12th of May, 
was our first going afoot. Hitherto the regiment 
had been transported in cars or on steamboats. 
During the campaigns that followed, the men re 
peatedly traveled twenty to thirty miles a day, 
but the sore feet, and the weary lengths to which 
those ten miles of that breaking in march stretched 
themselves, are remembered to this hour. 

The route over which we passed by way of 


Catlett s Station, Bristersburg, and Hartwood 
Church became the track of the army in its 
after surges back and forth between Washington 
and the Rappahannock. Then but few troops 
had marched that way, and the country was lux 
uriating in the undisturbed beauties of early 
spring. Handsome residences lined the roadside, 
while the first view of Fredericksburg, and those 
hights that are now historic, was enchanting. 
In three days after leaving Manassas Junction 
the Eleventh reported to General Hartsuff, and 
was permanently assigned to Hartsuff s Brigade 
of Ord s Division, McDowell s Corps. 

The dingy little village of Falmouth was the 
gathering place of McDowell s troops, intended 
to co-operate with McClellan against Richmond. 
Large details of men were engaged in repairing 
the railroad from Aquia Creek, and in rebuilding 
the bridge across the Rappahannock. An ex 
tensive foundery located in Fredericksburg, where 
shot and shell were cast for the rebel army, was 
turned into a Union workshop, as artisans of 
every kind, from the master mechanic to the 
youngest apprentice, helped to swell the ranks 
of the great Federal army. 

Fredericksburg is one of the ancient towns of 
Virginia. Walking leisurely through its clean 
and shady streets, filled with sauntering soldiers 
dressed in blue, there was an air of peaceful quiet 
strongly in contrast with the noisy and bustling 


camps across the river. It was in this place that 
the mother of Washington lived during the war 
of the Revolution, and here, too, is the burial 
place of that illustrious woman. 

More than thirty years ago, a gentleman of 
New York proposed, at his own expense, to erect 
a monument to the memory of Mary Washing 
ton. The corner stone was laid near her grave 
with appropriate ceremonies by Andrew Jack 
son, President of the United States. But after 
the work had progressed to the completion of the 
pedestal, commercial reverses overtook the pa 
triotic designer, and the monument has never 
been finished. To show their utter contempt for 
everything Northern, the chivalry of Fredericks- 
burg, in the preparations to defend themselves 
against the ruthless Yankee invaders, made of 
this pedestal a target for their rifle shots. With 
its face marred and indented, and the corners 
broken off by glancing balls, we could only re 
gard it as a monument of the ingratitude and 
hate possible to the human heart. 

The denizens of the old town were amazed, 
not only at the versatility of the Yankee genius, 
but at the dreadful earnestness with which North 
ern soldiers went to work. It was almost too 
much to believe, though seen with their own 
eyes, that in five days a railroad bridge could be 
built across the Rappahannock River. An old 
Virginia esquire, who could be seen every day 


closely watching the rapid progress of the busy 
workmen, was conquered by the first locomotive 
that went puffing and screaming over the new 
and substantial structure. 

"Don t burn any more bridges," said he. "It 
is all of no use. You might just as well attempt 
to keep rats out of a meal chest, as to keep back 
these Yankees. If there is no other way of get 
ting over rivers, they will invent a plan to fill 
their knapsacks with wind, and cross on them!" 

Everything was now in readiness for the ad 
vance of McDowell s Corps to Hanover Court 
House, where it was to form the right wing of 
the Peninsular army. Surplus baggage had 
been sent to Washington ; immense depots of 
supplies established at Falmouth; and when, 
toward sundown of that Sabbath afternoon, May 
25th, the order to march was received, officers 
and men had marked out the course as across the 
Rappahannock and through Fredericksburg. 

But the head of the column turned in the op 
posite direction. The bright afternoon was suc 
ceeded by a cloudy night; and as we moved 
along in silence over those unknown Virginia 
roads, a thousand conjectures as to where we 
were going, and why we were going, floated 
through the mind. 

An hour or two after midnight the troops bi 
vouacked, as morning revealed, near Aquia 
Creek. It then began to be know^n that Stone- 


wall Jackson had driven General Banks through 
the Shenandoah Valley, and across the Potomac, 
and rumor added that the rebels were threatening 
an attack on Washington, for whose defense Ord s 
Division had been ordered northward with all 
possible haste. Transports were already at the 
wharf to convey us to Alexandria, and at an 
early hour the troops began to embark. 

Aquia Creek enters into the Potomac River 
forty miles below Washington. The banks are 
high and precipitous; and for a long time during 
the fall and winter of 1861, the rebel guns, 
mounted on fortifications at the mouth of the 
creek, completely blockaded the Potomac. The 
position was well chosen, having command of the 
river up and down for several miles. 

It was three o clock in the afternoon before 
our vessel steamed out into the channel; four 
or five hours later, we were safely moored at the 
Alexandria dock. 

Neither the sail up the river, delightful in it 
self, nor the several points of interest to be seen, 
among others Mount Yernon and Fort Wash 
ington, could keep awake troops tired and 
fatigued by the long march of the preceding 
night. All were in the proper state of body and 
mind to hear, with great complacency of feeling, 
when the steamer reached Alexandria, that we 
should remain on shipboard until morning, and 
each one adjusted himself for an undisturbed 
night s sleep. 


Alas, for human expectations. In the midst 
of peaceful dreams, the command "fall in" 
aroused every sleeping soldier. Half an hour 
later we were moving toward the railroad depot. 
It was believed that the rebels, successful in driv 
ing Banks across the Potomac, were concentra 
ting large forces at Manassas Junction for an 
attack on Alexandria and the capital. 

The city was wrapt in slumber, and the only 
sound that awoke the midnight stillness was the 
measured tread of the men marching through its 
deserted streets. Long trains of cars, filled with 
soldiers, were soon moving out from the station, 
and proceeding cautiously along the road, send 
ing out skirmishers from Union Mills, Fairfax 
Station, and Bull Run, the Division reached 
Manassas Junction a little after daylight. 

Banks had retreated before the advancing 
forces of Stonewall Jackson; and Washington 
City was in a state of feverish excitement, lest 
the next hour would bring the impetuous rebel 
thundering at its gates. But not a foe was to be 
seen near Manassas. The wily Jackson had no 
intention of coming in that direction. His flank 
movement was successfully executed. McDowell 
had been diverted from Hanover Court House, 
a movement General Lee greatly feared, and 
the rebel army, with all possible speed, was mak 
ing its way down the valley toward Richmond. 

The authorities at Washington, supposing that 


Jackson might be intercepted in bis homeward 
march, ordered McDowell to move on to Stras- 
burg. While one column was approaching from 
the east, Fremont was to cross the mountains from 
the west, and between the upper and the nether 
mill-stone the rebel general was to suffer for his 

Our line of march, that commenced on the 
morning of May 29th, lay along the Manassas Gap 
Eailroad. We bivouacked the first night at 
Thoroughfare Gap, and on the second night at 
Oak Hill, the birthplace and residence of Chief 
Justice Marshall. The house is in the old st3*le 
of architecture. Antique furniture, the product 
of a past century, filled the rooms, whose walls, 
wainscoted from floor to ceiling with polished 
oak panels, were adorned with many choice 
paintings. Here was written Marshall s Life of 
"Washington. The estate is in possession of a 
grandson; but the numerous descendants of the 
chief justice residing in the neighborhood, for 
getting the virtues of their illustrious ancestor, 
gave all their influence to break down the gov 
ernment that Marshall labored to render firm 
and enduring. 

It was nine o clock on the third night before 
we reached Front Royal. The march of the last 
day was long and wearisome, and for several 
hours during the latter part of it, through a vio 
lent rain-storm. A black cloud shut out moon 


and stars, and when the halt was ordered, we 
were lighted to our bivouac, in a thicket of 
pines, by vivid flashes of lightning that followed 
each other in quick succession. But much of 
the weariness of the march was forgotten in the 
striking beauty of the country through which we 
passed. The Blue Ridge was in sight from early 
morning, and toward evening the hills began to 
close us in on every side. An hour before sun 
down the head of the column entered Manassas 
Gap, a break in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which 
looks like one of nature s efforts to help man. 
Without it the mountain would be an insuperable 
barrier against railroad or stage-coach. Un- 
equaled for its wild sublimity, it was rendered 
doubly impressive by the army of men and horse 
crowding its way through the narrow defile. 

Front Royal was the scene of the gallant re 
sistance made by Kenly s Maryland Regiment 
against Jackson s advance guard. But before 
assistance could be sent from Strasburg, they 
were overcome by numbers, and most of the 
regiment fell on the battle-field, or into the 
hands of the enemy. 

Belle Boyd, whose subsequent career as a rebel 
spy has made her name notorious, appeared first 
at Front Royal. For several days prior to the 
attack she had been a visitor in the town, and 
through her information of the isolated position 
of Kenly s command was communicated to the 
rebel general. 


The long roll of the drum early next morning 
brought each man from his hiding-place in the 
pines, and the march was continued toward 
Strasburg. The clouds had all cleared away, and 
a bright sun shone upon mountain and valley. 
Ord s entire division had now come together. 
The beautiful morning the picturesque sur 
roundings the fine appearance of the troops 
all conspired to make a scene full of spirit and 

The sight must have been as inspiring to Gen 
eral McDowell, who had accompanied the divi 
sion from Falmouth, as to others; for not more 
than three miles from our bivouac the troops 
were drawn up in line for a grand review. But 
Stonewall Jackson did not choose to wait several 
hours on our parade. While we were thus 
amusing ourselves, he was pushing rapidly south 
ward through Strasburg, Fremont s advance com 
ing up barely in time to exchange a few shots 
with the Confederate rear-guard. 

Next day HartsufTs Brigade was advanced 
across the South Fork of the Shenandoah, and 
again, on the day following, across the North 
Fork, to Water-lick Station, two miles from 
Strasburg. It had rained incessantly for forty- 
eight hours. The Shenandoah was rapidly filling 
up its banks, and no longer fordable. The only 
bridge across the Xorth Fork was a railroad 
bridge; and this, together with the temporary 


structure across the South Fork, was yielding 
to the pressure of the angry waters. 

On the 4th of June, the brigade, then the ad 
vance of the division, was ordered back to Front 
Royal. To cross the several pieces of artillery 
and the wagons that had accompanied the troops, 
over the railroad bridge, was not thought possi 
ble, and orders were given to abandon them. 
But a little practical good sense, acting outside 
of the usual routine of military operations, easily 
overcame the apparently insurmountable diffi 
culty, saving to the government a battery of four 
guns and ten or twelve wagons, and securing the 
troops, already greatly chagrined at the escape 
of Jackson, from further mortification. A detail 
of men from the Eleventh Regiment, with the 
colonel to direct operations, denuded an adjacent 
mill and several extensive out-houses of every 
available piece of timber. In a few hours the rail 
road bridge had a substantial flooring, over which 
artillery and wagons crossed in perfect safety. 

Stonewall Jackson succeeded in evading the 
combined forces of Fremont and McDowell to in 
tercept his retreat ; and after severe engagements 
at Cross Keys and Port Republic, united his 
forces with those of General Lee before Rich 
mond in time to bear a conspicuous part in the 
defeat of McClellan on the Peninsula. 

General Fremont concentrated his army in 
the Shenandoah Valley, and McDowell s Corps 
returned to Manassas. 




FOR the third time we pitched our tents on the 
wide-spreading plain of Manassas. But not too 
familiar did we become with the famous locality 
for the service there required of the Eleventh 
Regiment two months later. 

The last week of June was full of exciting ru 
mors. At one time we were to take shipping for 
the Peninsula, whither the eyes of the nation 
were now turned; the next day s rumor returned 
McDowell to Fredericksburg by the overland 
route. Marching orders were received on the 
4th of July morning, not for the Peninsula, nor 
for Fredericksburg, but for Warrenton. By an 
order from Washington, read to all the troops, 
the three corps of Fremont, Banks, and McDow 
ell were constituted the Army of Virginia, under 
command of General John Pope ; and the march 
to Warrenton was the beginning of Pope s cam 
paign in Virgini i. 

Never before was there so much opposition to 
marching orders. And not much wonder, when 


the march so interfered with the grand 4th of July 
celebration, for which there had been becoming 
preparation. Camps were decorated with arches, 
and festooned with evergreens, in honor of the 
day Our friends of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania 
sent North for tire-works to enliven the evening. 
But instead of the proposed jubilee, came a swelt 
ering march of ten miles over dusty roads, and a 
bivouac at night near the little village of Gaines 

On the evening of the second day the troops 
encamped in sight of Warrenton. It had seen 
none of the ravages of war, and was a handsome 
Virginia town of broad, clean streets, containing 
many elegant private residences, hid in groves of 
oak and maple, or surrounded by tasteful lawns, 
ornamented with shrub and flower. 

General Blenker s troops passed through the 
place some time previous, leaving a mortal dread 
behind them of everything clad in Yankee blue. 
The general did not wait for Pope s order to sub 
sist off the country, but supplied his men with 
whatever the merchants happened to have on 
hand. When they entered the drug stores, his 
directions were to take only the fullest jars on 
the shelves, without respect to what they con 
tained. The general was always noted for hav 
ing a well-stocked hospital. 

What with our shaded encampment, on a farm 
adjoining the town, and the easy duty required 
of the men, the stay at Warrenton, though of 


nearly three weeks continuance, was without the 
usual monotony of camp life. We had very little 
intercourse with the citizens. Xow and then a 
gentleman was to he met who seemed disposed 
to exchange courtesies; but the bitterest of all 
rebels were the women. Our lady readers, how 
ever, must be informed that brass buttons and 
shoulder straps were as potent in reaching the fe 
male heart at the South as they were at the 2s"orth, 
and many a Southern damsel, with strong dis 
union proclivities, has been brought to a better 
state of mind by the polite attentions of some 
gallant Yankee soldier. 

On the 22d of July, Ricketts s Division (Gen 
eral J. B. Ricketts having succeeded General 
Ord) was moved from Warrenton to Waterloo, 
eight miles distant, on the Luray pike, where the 
road crosses the Upper Rappahannock. Waterloo 
was the site of an extensive woolen mill, manufac 
turing large quantities of cloth for the Southern 
army. The establishment was destroyed by Gen 
eral Banks because the proprietor, who claimed 
to be an English subject, insisted upon prose 
cuting his contraband trade. 

Camp near Waterloo is remembered for the 
beauty of its location, and the abundant supply 
of pure cold water. When an army bivouacs for 
a night only, little attention is paid to the selec 
tion of grounds. But it is very different when 
the stay is to be protracted for days or weeks. 
The selection once made, streets are laid out with 


the nicest of regularity, 011 either side of which 
the tents of the men are pitched in double rows, 
each row facing a street. Trenches are dug for 
purposes of drainage, unsightly objects are re 
moved, and a neat city, with perfect uniformity 
in its buildings, both as to shape and color, springs 
up in a day. 

The picture would not be complete without a 
night scene. Each tent is then illuminated with 
the nightly allowance of two inches of candle. 
Those myriads of little lights, twinkling and 
dancing all around, often play fantastic tricks 
with the imagination of the beholder. As the 
shadows of evening hide all outward objects from 
view, how easy for the soldier to trace in those 
camp lights the streets of his own native town, 
and the very street in which he lives, and his 
own house 

" with its light in the window," 

sure sign that the loved watcher is waiting for 
him. A loud blast from the bugle awakens the 
volunteer from his reverie. It is the signal to 
put out lights, and a moment later the beautiful 
vision has faded into darkness. 

WEDNESDAY, July 30. Spent most of the day 
in Warrenton, looking after the sick of the regi 
ment, left there in hospital when we marched to 
Waterloo. Shedron, a member of Co. C, died 



last night, and was buried this morning. -Poor 
fellow. In rny possession are several letters ad 
dressed to him from home. What words of ten 
derness and affection they contained, that might 
have cheered his heart, came all too late. 

General Pope arrived in town this afternoon, 
much to the displeasure of all seceshdom, but 
greatly to the joy of the whole army. We are 
hoping that he will make good the promise of a 
vigorous prosecution of the war throughout this 
Virginia valley. 

While in Warrenton, and as a member of the 
board of appraisers appointed by General Hart- 
suff, whose business it is to assess damages done 
to the grounds upon which the brigade encamps, 
called on the proprietor of our late encamp 
ment adjoining the town. He is a gentleman 
of fine social qualities, who made us welcome 
to his house ; but, like all the rest of the promi 
nent men of this State, violently opposed to the 
Federal Government. The gentleman complained 
that any damages we might assess could not be 
recovered unless he took the oath of allegiance, 
in which case he would be an alien from the State 
of Virginia, and in the event of the success of 
the South, must lose all. 

In. the case of Mr. Horner, the damages as 
sessed were larger than usual. We were three 
weeks on his estate, and one of the tenant houses, 
in which a colored man lay sick with small-pox, 


and where he died, before the body was removed 
was ordered to be burned, to prevent the spread 
of the infection. 

FRIDAY, August 1. General John Pope, ac 
companied by Generals McDowell and Ricketts, 
and their respective staff officers, reviewed Hart- 
sufPs Brigade at seven o clock this morning. It 
was a very quiet review. The men do not like 
the tone of the recent orders issued by General 
Pope, nor the covert reflections on the courage 
of the eastern army, which they think those or 
ders contain. As he sat on horseback, the gen 
eral seemed of manners so unassuming as to 
make one wonder whether he or his adjutant, 
who appeared far more important than his supe 
rior, had written the objectionable orders. 

The Peninsular campaign was at an end. 
General McClellan had effected a change of 
base from the York River to the James, concen 
trating the remnant of his army at Harrison s 
Landing. It now became apparent what was 
expected of the Army of Virginia. Washington 
was to be protected, the Valley of the Shenan- 
doah guarded, and by operating on the enemy s 
lines of communication tow r ard Gordonsville, it 
was intended to draw oft* a large part of Lee s 
forces from Richmond, thus enabling the Army 
of the Potomac to escape from Harrison s Land 


On the morning of August 4th, Ricketts s Di 
vision broke camp at Waterloo, and marched 
for Culpeper, the first step toward Gordonsville. 
The country through which we passed was of 
rare natural beauty. Many stately mansions were 
here and there to be seen, but a Northerner failed 
to discover the taste so apparent at home in the 
surrounding grounds and out-buildings. The 
straggling and inferior negro quarters, always 
near the main residence, are an insuperable bar 
rier to neatness in external arrangement, or taste 
in appearance. 

The old South Fork Church, near Robertson 
River, where we bivouacked after the first day s 
march, was an object of curiosity. Erected in 
the days of the colonies, the internal structure, 
of the style of a century ago, remains unchanged, 
even to the high-back pews and lofty pulpit. 
Here was to be seen the Yankee propensity for 
recording autographs on prominent places, and 
from the walls of the old church one might al 
most have made a muster-roll of the entire 

The march was resumed at four o clock of the 
following morning, and toward sundown of Au 
gust 6th we encamped near Culpeper. Two clays 
marching, with the thermometer indicating a 
hundred degrees, was hard work, and the troops 
enjoyed the succeeding day of rest and quiet. 

Already the ubiquitous Stonewall Jackson had 


arrived at Gordonsville, and scouts from the front 
reported that the enemy was crossing the Rapidan 
River at several different points. Late on Fri 
day afternoon Ricketts s Division was quickly 
formed, and moved through Culpeper to a point 
two miles beyond, where the road from Madison 
Court House intersects the road from Culpeper 
to Cedar Mountain. General Banks was three 
miles distant to the right, near Cedar Mountain. 
If the enemy was moving on Culpeper from 
Orange Court House, he would first strike 
Banks s line, but if he came from Madison, 
Ricketts s Division lay across his track. 

The night passed without alarm ; but with the 
morning of August 9th came authenticated re 
ports that Jackson was showing himself in front of 
Cedar Mountain. Some hours later there was 
heard an occasional artillery discharge, and, as 
the day wore away, the firing increased in near 
ness and rapidity. From a knoll, near where the 
troops had rested on their arms from early morn 
ing, batteries could be seen getting into position 
and opening fire. 

The greatest impatience was manifested by the 
men of Ricketts s Division, and when the for 
ward command was given, about five o clock in 
the evening, no time was lost in getting into line. 
We moved directly toward Cedar Mountain, and 
soon began to see evidences of the battle that 
had been fought so near us. Those of the 


wounded able to walk were moving slowly to the 
rear. Others, again, were supported by the arm 
of a companion, and at last they came in long 
lines of ambulances. As the Eleventh drew 
nearer to the battle-field, the men halted for a 
moment to be relieved of knapsacks, and then 
pushed on with a quickened step. 

It was quite dark when Ricketts s Division 
reached the position held by Banks s right dur 
ing the day. A renewal of the engagement was 
hardly expected before morning. But as Banks 
withdrew to give place to McDowell, concealed 
under cover of the night, the enemy had followed 
after; and while Ricketts was getting into posi 
tion, opened upon us a furious cannonade. The 
suddenness of the attack, and the surrounding 
darkness that hid the enemy from view, save as 
the flash of the guns revealed his presence, was 
to many an experience strange and startling. 

Moving forward through the heavy fire, Hart- 
suff s Brigade was placed under shelter of a 
stretch of rolling ground. Batteries were now 
got into position, and the answers returned from 
the Federal lines were as savage as the messages 
received. In the comparative safety the rising 
ground afforded, w T e could distinctly trace, by the 
burning fuse, the shells from our own and the rebel 
batteries, as they went hissing overhead through 
the heavy night air. The firing was kept up un 
til after midnight, the enemy expending most of 


his shell on a dense woods some distance to our 

The losses in the brigade were confined to the 
Twelfth Massachusetts and Eleventh Pennsylva 
nia. The former had one commissioned officer 
killed, and ten men wounded. The Eleventh 
reported three wounded. 

A little before daylight of next day, the regi 
ment moved from the open ground where it lay 
in line of battle all night, to the rear of the woods 
so lately shelled by the enemy. We were in the 
front line, in momentary expectation of the re 
newal of yesterday s conflict. 

Conscious that the chaplain, non-combatant 
and unarmed, ought to escape harm, perhaps it 
was easy for the men to believe that he would 
escape. On that morning one and another of 
officers and men, who well knew the rapacious 
character of the foe, and his intense hatred of 
everything belonging to Pope s army, came to 
commit to the chaplain whatever of value was 
about their person. 

" This is for my wife, if I am killed or taken 
prisoner," said one. 

" This is for my mother," said another. 

Placing a valuable ring on our finger and a 
folded paper in our hand, a young man said: "If 
I do not come out of this day s fight, please send 
the ring as therein directed." 

But the enemy did not attack ; and the day 


passed in unlooked-for quiet. Under a flag of 
truce, the llth of August was spent in caring for 
the wounded left on the field, and in burying the 
dead. On the 12th, our scouts reported that Jack 
son was falling back across the Rapidan River. 

The Union loss in killed, wounded, and miss 
ing was fifteen hundred. If General Banks 
wanted to test the fighting qualities of his corps, 
he must have been greatly elated at the result of 
the battle of Cedar Mountain. But it was a use 
less and wicked sacrifice of life, to contend for 
half a day with double his number, when thou 
sands of troops, impatient to assist, were within 
an hour s march. 

Three days after the rebel army retired across 
the Rapidan, Pope s entire force was posted 
along its north bank. From Cedar Mountain we 
followed in the track of the retreating enemy. 
The road was strewed with tattered garments, 
abandoned equipments, and- here and there a 
broken-down wagon, the debris of battle. Graves 
were everywhere, and of a size to indicate that 
large numbers of the dead had been buried to 

Leaving the advancing column for a time, we 
rode over the battle-field, and to the top of 
Cedar Mountain. Here was the residence of 
Mr. Slaughter, the owner of the estate, and from 
whom the hill is sometimes called Slaughter 
Mountain a name by which it should evermore 


be known. The proprietor is an Episcopal clergy 
man, and his house among the most homelike we 
had seen in Virginia. But everything was in 
ruins; and over the yard were strewed fragments 
of elegant furniture, and valuable books and 
papers, the collection probably of two or three 
generations. Several books were brought away 
from the deserted mansion, that we retain in our 
keeping to be restored to their rightful owner. 



AT that opportune moment, and by one of 
those little events which men call accidents, for 
want of faith in an overruling Providence, the 
plans and intentions of the enemy became fully 
known. The adjutant-general of Stuart s cavalry 
was captured by our scouts, having on his person 
a letter from General Lee, dated at Gordonsville. 
It was therein revealed that the whole Confed 
erate force was coming against Pope; that the 
Army of Virginia was to be overwhelmed before 
reinforcements could reach it from the James 

The authorities at Washington had declared 


that if the two armies of Pope and McClellan could 
only be united, the country was saved beyond a 
doubt. To secure a union so desirable, Pope s first 
move was to abandon the line of the Rapidan for 
the more defensible one of the Rappahanuock. 

August 19th, as we lay near Mitchell s Station, 
orders came to prepare to march. The wagon 
trains moved toward Culpeper soon after the 
receipt of the order; but it was eleven o clock at 
night before the troops began filing off on the 
same road taken by the trains. Xothing in sol 
dier life was so much to be dreaded as a night 
march. The sullenness of such vast bodies of 
men in motion itself oppressive is strangely 
increased by the absence of all genial sunshine. 

The frequent halts, to allow the lumbering 
wagon trains to clear the road, detained the in 
fantry until long after daylight in passing through 
Culpeper. Rank and file well understood that 
the rebels were in close pursuit, and that every 
thing depended upon the crossing of the Rappa- 
hannock. The heat was intense, and the dust 
almost suffocating. At any season of the year that 
part of Virginia is only poorly supplied with water; 
but in the parching August month the springs are 
nearly dried up, and pure, cold water a rare lux 
ury. Yet through heat and dust, and almost 
famishing with thirst, the army pushed heroically 
forward. Many there were, indeed, whose phys 
ical endurance was not equal to the trial; and 


throwing themselves down on the roadside, the 
very picture of despair, we were compelled to 
abandon them to their uncertain fate. 

As we hurried through the town, a little dark- 
eyed girl, standing near the street, and swinging 
aloft a jaunty bonnet, inflated her lungs with 
the morning air to cry out after us: 

"Good-by, Yankees. I m glad you re gone! 
Good-by, Yankees." 

But it was not thus with all our Culpeper 
friends. Crossing the deep bed of Mountain 
Run, at the northern extremity of the village, 
with ambulances and artillery, and officers on 
horse, was an old negro man, driving a yoke of 
oxen fastened to a rickety wagon, on which were 
piled women and children, bedding and boxes, 
in wonderful confusion. 

"Halloa, uncle, where are you going with that 
load of darkies?" 

"Gwine w T id you all," was the satisfactory re- 


Whether it was a like preference for the Yan 
kees, such as that possessed by their master, or 
the goad of the earnest driver that urged them 
forward, the oxen kept up with the quick pace of 
the troops, and crossed the Rappahannock at the 
fording below, while the footmen marched over 
the railroad bridge at Rappahannock Station, a 
short distance above. 

It was nine o clock at night, and no couch of 


down invited to a sounder repose than did the 
grassy hillock of our bivouac, on the north side 
of the river, after that wearying march of twenty- 
five miles. 

"Wednesday morning, huge columns of dust, 
stretching away in the distance, indicated the 
approach of the enemy. An hour later, his 
cavalry emerged from the woods, three-quarters 
of a mile from the river, ready to carry the 
railroad bridge by a gallant charge. But a 
strong line of our own horsemen, sent across to 
support the infantry pickets, confronted him, and 
gave a different turn to his intentions. 

Toward noon, Matthews s Pennsylvania Bat 
tery, supported by the Eleventh Regiment, was 
ordered to occupy a commanding elevation on 
the south side of the Rappahannock. Three 
hundred yards further in advance was another 
slight elevation, and, later in the day, a section 
of the battery occupied this new position, the 
Eleventh moving forward with it. These move 
ments gave us possession of the best defenses on 
the enemy s side of the river, completely cover 
ing the bridge and the fording, though bringing 
us quite near to the position taken by the Con 

There have been few more daring and determ 
ined undertakings than that now made by the 
Army of Virginia, With a greatly inferior force, 
it had stretched itself along the Rappahannock 


in face of an opposing host, bold in the con 
sciousness of superior numbers and elated at the 
total failure of the Peninsular campaign. It was 
not intended that Pope s army, unaided, should 
take the field against Lee. The present move 
ments were all designed to gain time, that the 
hundred thousand veterans from Harrison s Land 
ing might join their strength to the fifty thousand 
on the Rappahannock. To accomplish this object 
we were keeping close connections with Freder- 
icksburg and Aquia Creek, the route by which 
many of those troops were to reach us. To break 
that line of defense, and intercept expected re 
inforcements, was, for the time being, the princi 
pal object of General Lee. 

The Eleventh passed the night on the south 
side of the river without molestation, though 
every man slept with his hand on his musket, 
and was aroused by the breaking of a twig, or 
the chirp of a cricket. Thursday morning the 
rebels opened a furious fire from several batteries 
wheeled into position during the night. But the 
defenses thrown up by our men were ample pro 
tection from shot and shell ; and though the at 
tack lasted for more than an hour, the casualties 
in the regiment were only one killed and two or 
three wounded. 

Simultaneously with the attack at Rappahan 
nock Station, a determined effort was made to 
break the Union lines at Kelly s Ford, six miles 



below, but witb no better success. All day of 
Friday comparative quiet prevailed in our front. 
Several attempts were made by the enemy so to 
place his artillery as to enfilade our position; but 
Thompson s Battery and the rest of Hartsuff s 
Brigade moved across the river, and every such 
effort was anticipated and defeated. The princi 
pal engagement was far to the right near Sulphur 
Springs. Through the latter part of the fight a 
heavy rain-storm prevailed, and the booming of 
cannon below was answered by the deep pealing 
thunder above. 

Saturday morning dawned full of intense ex 
citement. The heavy rain of the night before 
began to be seen in the rapid rising of the river. 
Shortly after midnight, a temporary bridge, built 
to facilitate the crossing of reinforcements, or the 
retreat of Hartsuff if need be, was washed away 
by the flood; and lodging against the railroad 
bridge, threatened to carry it down also. Every 
moment the river was swelling higher and higher, 
and every moment increasing the danger to the 

The other three regiments composing the 
brigade were ordered across to the north side of 
the Rappahannock, carrying all the batteries 
with them but the two guns that remained with 
the Eleventh on the advance knoll. Some mo 
ments later, orders came for the Eleventh also to 
retire, excepting Cos. I and K. These two com- 


panies, with the guns of Thompson s Battery, 
took- the first position of Wednesday. At the 
same time Co. B recrossed to the south side, and 
was placed to guard the approach to the bridge. 

Now came on the rebels, cavalry, artillery, and 
infantry, crowding toward the river, and jostling 
each other for the position so lately evacuated 
by the Eleventh. But too surely did death meet 
the few, braver than their companions, that h rst 
made the ascent of the vacated hill for others to 
try it, until the little squad of two companies, 
whose guns were never silent, should be routed 
from their stronghold. Against our last position 
the whole rebel lire was concentrated. The men 
increased the hight of the breastworks by piling 
up their knapsacks, and thus, in close quarters 
with the enemy, awaited the signal to retire. At 
last it came, and under cover of our guns on the 
north bank, the companies crossed the river with 
out the loss of a man. The batteries were then 
turned against the bridge, and in ten minutes 
not a timber remained standing. 

The Rappahannock was at flood hight; the 
fordings were all sunk, and withdrawing from 
the river and marching toward Warrenton, the 
Eleventh bivouacked Saturday night in sight of 
the town. 




FOR two days the enemy was reported in large 
force, moving up toward the right of the lines. 
Sunday morning Ricketts s Division was sent in 
the direction of Sulphur Springs, where it was 
supposed Lee might attempt a crossing. Monday 
we were pushed still further to the right; and on 
Tuesday afternoon, the division was thrown across 
the Warrenton pike, near Waterloo Bridge. 

In the midst of this last shifting of position, 
fifty men, the first installment of Co. G, com 
manded by Lieutenant A. G. Happer, joined the 
regiment. They came to Warrenton by railroad, 
loaded down with heavy overcoats, blankets, and 
extra clothing, that some dishonest quartermaster 
had imposed upon them. But though only raw 
recruits, unskilled in the ways of war, and with 
out training either in the manual of arms or in 
marching, they soon learned to adapt themselves 
to the exciting surroundings. Knapsacks were 
emptied of their contents along the roadside; and 
thus relieved of the one striking peculiarity 
a John Bunyan load on their shoulders the re 
cruits of Co. G were lost in the rapidly moving 


Scouts continued to say that the Confederates 
were marching toward our right, and by Wed 
nesday evening it was known that Jackson had 
passed through Thoroughfare Gap, and was con 
centrating his corps at Manassas Junction. 

So confident was General Pope that troops 
from the Peninsular army would be at the points 
assigned to them, and at the time designated, 
that Jackson s movement in the direction of 
Salem and White Plains had given no uneasi 
ness, as his passage through Thoroughfare Gap 
would not have been possible. But on the night 
of the 26th of August, telegraphic communica 
tions with Washington were interrupted, and 
Pope knew that reinforcements, from the quar 
ter expected, had failed him. The Federal com 
mander now determined to abandon the line of 
the Eappahannock, and throw his whole force 
upon the enemy that had passed through the 
Gap, hoping to destroy Jackson before the rest 
of Lee s army could come to his support. 

Wednesday night McDowell s Corps bivouacked 
near Gainesville. Thursday morning had a pronir 
ising look for the capture of Jackson. He could 
not retrace his steps toward Thoroughfare, be 
cause the sudden and unexpected movement of 
Pope placed Sigel and McDowell between him 
and retreat in that direction. Xo other course 
was left to Jackson but to retire toward Cen- 
terville: and as that carried him still further 



from Lee, it increased the probabilities of his 

Everything depended upon quick and energetic 
work. Reinforcements must first reach the rebel 
general by way of Thoroughfare, and General 
McDowell ordered Ricketts s Division to march 
direct for that point, while the rest of the corps 
moved on to Manassas Junction. Harts ivff s 
Brigade, under command of Colonel Stiles of 
the Ninth Xew York (General HartsurF having 
been left sick at Warrenton), was in the advance 
of the division; and the Eleventh Pennsylvania, 
more familiar with the country than any other 
regiment, led the brigade. 

At Haymarket, couriers reported that our cav 
alry held the Gap, but the enemy was advancing 
in strong column from "White Plains. If the rebels 
could be kept in check two hours at Thorough 
fare, McDowell had assured General Ricketts that 
Jackson and his whole force would be captured. 
Heavy and rapid firing was heard in the direction 
of Manassas. The other divisions of the corps 
were evidently performing their part of the great 
work then to be done, and every man in Ricketts s 
Division was anxious that we should do the part 
assigned to us. Within a mile of the Gap the 
cavalry were met retiring toward Haymarket. 
They had been driven back, and the enemy held 
the pass. A quarter of a mile further brought 
our own skirmish line in sight of that of the 


It was now the middle of the afternoon, and 
until the sun went down did the contest continue 
for possession of that mountain Gap. The en 
emy could not bring his artillery into position, 
and such was the nature of the ground, that for 
our own batteries there was little use. It was a 
musketry fight, but the Bull Run Mountain, in 
whose face was the tiring, seemed to catch each 
distinct volley, and in returning it again, the 
echoes were so loud and long as to remind one 
only of booming cannon and bursting shells. 

Gradually the Confederates were pressed back 
to the entrance of the pass, where they were 
found to be in possession of Chapman s Mill, 
within the Gap, and of the bights on either side. 
Every foot of those hills was as familiar to the 
men of the Eleventh as a residence of several 
weeks could make them, and though nobly sup 
ported by the rest of the brigade, the brunt of 
the battle was met by the Eleventh Eegiment 
gallantly leading the way. Pushing up the hill 
to the right of the Gap, against a severe fire 
from the enemy concealed behind the mills, our 
men finally succeeded in establishing a strong 
line on the summit of the ridge. The steep and 
rugged character of the ground over which they 
were contending rendered a further advance im 
possible. But if the Eleventh could not advance, 
neither could it be driven back, and the colonel 
maintained his position until ordered to retire. 


For more than four hours the enemy was held 
in check. But it cost the regiment eighteen men 
killed and thirty-seven wounded. Among the 
killed were Captain Shanks, of Co. B, and Lieu 
tenant Saxton, of Co. D. Among the severely 
wounded were Captain Keenan, of Co. K, and 
Lieutenant Tapp, of Co. B. Our killed and many 
of the wounded were left on the field. Those 
brought off were made as comfortable in hospi 
tal as the one solitary house near by would allow. 
When the division retired, the wounded were all 
placed in ambulances and brought off with the 
troops, rather than leave them to the tender mer 
cies of the rebels. 

The men of the Eleventh and other regiments 
of the brigade, as well as the few wounded South 
erners that fell into our hands, had occasion to 
remember the kindness and unselfish devotion of 
Surgeon Anawalt, in charge of the regiment, and 
of Assistant Surgeon Phelps, who, two weeks 
before, had reported for duty. 

The division fell back to Gainesville, and halted 
until morning. Less than a quarter of a mile 
distant was the entire force of Lon^street, neither 


commander knowing of the nearness of the other 
until the order of General McDowell, directing 
Bicketts to move at once to Manassas Junction, 
revealed it. The aid-de-camp lost his way, and 
did not reach our bivouac until the day had 
dawned. But a veil-like mist was between the 


two armies, and, marching by way of Bristow 
Station, the division came up with the rest of the 
corps at Manassas. 

During the night two of the men died in the 
ambulances. On a little knoll near Bristow we 
placed them side by side in a single grave, in that 
sleep which neither the tramp of advancing or 
receding armies, nor the din of battle so often 
heard around that spot, has ever disturbed. 

Scarcely had the division rested half an hour 
at Manassas until it was again ordered to Gaines 
ville. Pope s plans had not been fully carried 
out by all the corps, and a break in the line was 
then discovered that might, as indeed it did, de 
feat everything. 

It was now noon of Friday, August 29th. We 
had in our ambulances thirty or forty wounded 
men, for whom little had been done since the 
previous evening. It was impossible for these 
longer to follow the division. .Dr. Phelps and the 
chaplain of the Eleventh were directed to place 
them in hospital as near as might be to the Junc 
tion. Half a mile distant to the east, was a small 
dwelling, occupied by two old persons, who 
strongly objected to having their house taken for 
a hospital. But it was the only building near, and 
we were compelled to disregard their protest. 
The sight of suffering, however, touched the heart 
of the old lady, and, woman like, she did will 
ingly what she could to make the wounded easy 
and comfortable. 




DURING Friday afternoon Dr. Phelps was joined, 
at our improvised hospital, by two other surgeons 
of the brigade. Leaving the doctors in charge of 
the wounded, early Saturday morning we started 
in search of Ricketts s Division, going in the di 
rection of Gainesville. 

Four miles from the Junction, a squad of cav 
alry reported Gainesville in possession of the 
rebels, and that their picket line extended but a 
short distance up the road we were riding. Leav 
ing a path so beset with danger, and taking the 
direction indicated by the cavalry, who pursued 
their way to Manassas, we came up with the 
troops north of the Warrenton pike, and in sight 
of the stone house. The division, diverted from 
its march to Gainesville by later orders, had 
passed the night near Bull Run. 

Although there had been severe fighting most 
of the day of Friday by the several corps of the 
army, nothing decisive was gained. The rebel 
forces, since coming through Thoroughfare, had 
nearly completed a circle. Sweeping down over 
Manassas plains and along the hights of Center- 


ville, capturing immense supplies of stores, and 
destroying a million of dollars worth of prop 
erty, all that day Jackson boldly manoeuvred to 
rest his right flank on Gainesville. 

At an early hour McDowell and Porter were 
ordered to move their respective corps to that 
point of the field, where Jackson might have 
been attacked on the flank and in the rear before 
reinforcements reached him. The troops in front 
listened anxiously for the signal of assault on 
the enemy s right. Repeated artillery discharges, 
coming from that direction in the afternoon, 
awakened the hope that Porter and McDowell 
were then both at work. But suddenly all was 
again quiet. 

Some time later, General McDowell was an 
nounced through a courier as moving along the 
Sudley Springs road, to join the main army in 
front. Peremptory orders were then sent to Gen 
eral Porter, who commanded the largest corps in 
the army, and had undergone less fatigue, to 
move on to Gainesville, and at once attack the 
enemy. When a sufficient time had elapsed for 
Porter to get into position, a furious attack was 
made upon the rebel left, completely breaking 
the line, and throwing it back on the center; and 
if a like spirited attack had been made on the rebel 
right, the day would have been won to the Fed 
eral army. But the order of General Pope was 
disobeyed. Porter did not march to Gainesville, 
nor did he encounter the enemv. 


The complexion of affairs throughout the en 
tire field was materially changed on Saturday 
morning. Longstreet had united his corps with 
Jackson by way of Thoroughfare, and Lee s entire 
force was concentrated at Gainesville. The high 
est estimate of Pope s army, at that critical mo 
ment, was forty thousand men. He had given 
up all hope of any assistance from the army ar 
rived at Washington and Alexandria from the 
Peninsula, and to delay the further advance of 
the enemy toward the capital, the Federal com 
mander determined to renew the engagement. 

The first movement was on the right, by Heint- 
zelman and Reno, to whose support Ricketts s 
Division was at once sent. Colonel Stiles had 
been returned to his regiment, and Iiartsuff"s 
Brigade was under command of General Towers. 

The order to move to the right reached the 
Eleventh as we sat around the mid-day meal 
of coffee and hard bread, spread out on the 
ground, with a gum poncho for a table cloth. 
Never will be forgotten that hurried dinner on 
the Bull Run battle-field. From the organiza 
tion of the regiment, the headquarters mess con 
sisted of the three field officers and the chaplain. 
At that meal all were present, and with us, as in 
vited guests, were the surgeon and the adjutant. 

Soon after Heintzel man s attack on the right, 
the enemy made a furious assault along our whole 
line; but most severely was he felt on the ex- 


treme left. The left of the Federal line was 
south of the Warrenton turnpike, and termin 
ated with Bald Hill, a low but commanding ridge 
rising above the road, and sloping down into 
broad open fields in front, that were bordered, 
half a mile away, by a thick forest of timber. 
McDowell s Corps was already on the left with 
its lines formed on Bald Hill, and recalled from 
the right, Ricketts s Division marched rapidly 
across the battle-field to rejoin it. 

A score of batteries, posted on the top of the 
ridge, commanded every foot of the open fields; 
and though at each separate discharge whole 
lines of advancing rebels were swept down in 
death, still they came pouring forth from the 
dark woods beyond with daring impetuosity. 
Dreadful, too, was the carnage in the Union 
ranks on Bald Hill. Entire regiments seemed to 
melt away in an instant. One moment a strong 
line was seen advancing with steady step to the 
top of the ridge; the next moment it came roll 
ing back in disordered and straggling masses. 
Other lines took the place of the broken columns 
only to meet a similar fate. The left was a mael 
strom, that swallowed up everything coming 
within its fatal reach. 

Conspicuous on that part of the ground was 
Towers s Brigade. " The conduct of the brigade, 
in plain view of all the forces on the left, was 
especially distinguished; and drew forth heart} 7 



and enthusiastic cheers. The example of the 
men was of great service, and infused new spirit 
into all the troops that witnessed their intrepid 
conduct." * 

In the thickest of the engagement General 
Towers was seriously wounded and taken from 
the field. Colonel Stiles was absent on detached 
duty; Colonel Fletcher Webster, of the Twelfth 
Massachusetts, was among the early slain on the 
left, and the command of the brigade devolved 
upon Colonel Coulter, the next ranking officer. 

"Do the best you can to hold the position, 
colonel," were the words of General Towers, as 
he passed to the rear. 

The battle had gone seriously with the Eleventh. 
Colonel Martin was killed instantly. Major Frink 
was seen to fall, shot through the head. Lieu 
tenant Dalby, of Co. E, and Lieutenant Hyndman, 
of Co. D, were killed at the same moment. Cap 
tain Cribbs, of Co. I, and Lieutenant McClintock, 
of Co. C, lay at the foot of the hill in a dying 
condition. Lieutenant Weaverling, of Co. A, 
Lieutenant Haines, of Co. B, Captain Bierer 
and Lieutenant Shawl, of Co. C, and Captain E. 
H. Rauch, of Co. H, were among the severely 
wounded. The command of the regiment de 
volved upon Adjutant Uncapher, and maintained 
its place, until of three hundred and forty-six 

Pope s official Report. 


men, twenty-two were killed, and one hundred 
and fifty-four wounded and missing. 

But no valor or heroic daring could withstand 
the numbers and fury of the rebels. Reinforce 
ments were coming up slowly, and resistance 
was almost at an end, when a wild hurrah, and 
a murderous volley of artillery and musketry far 
to the left, told that the enemy had completely 
flanked our position, and the day was lost. 

Singly and in squads of a dozen, but hardly in 
companies, the Army of Virginia retreated across 
Bull Run, resting at night on the hights of Cen- 

The miserable town presented a woeful appear 
ance on that next Sabbath morning. Those of 
the wounded that could endure to walk had 
found their way hither from the battle-field, and 
could now be seen by scores stretched out in the 
yards, and along the side-walks, as well as crowded 
into the houses and out-sheds of the wretched 
place. There were wounds about the head that 
stained the face and matted the hair with blood. 
Others were carrying hands mangled and torn 
by bursting shells, while many were faint and 
dying from loss of blood and want of nourish 
ment. Many hands, though the willing instru 
ments of hearts full of sympathy, and actively 
engaged throughout all of that day, could do 
scarcely more than reach the most needy of the 
needful throw g. 


Fearful of those formidable Centerville Lights, 
that his own men had rendered impregnable, 
General Lee did not venture to follow our retreat 
across Bull Run. But the whole country to the 
left was opened before him, and with scarcely an 
hour s halt in his movements, the first of Sep 
tember showed his troops on the Aldie pike, 
marching hard upon our right flank. The design 
of the enemy was too transparent to be disguised. 
It was a bold attempt to reach Fairfax Court 
House in our rear. Centerville was no longer 
tenable ground; and with its thousands of 
wounded and dying, was given up to the enemy. 

If the persistent foe, elated by a second victory 
at Bull Run, expected to make short work of the 
jaded and worn-out Army of Virginia, by cutting 
off its only avenue of retreat, he made a sorry 
mistake. Within three miles of Fairfax his path 
was crossed by a triple line of brave and valorous 
hearts, that neither incessant marching, nor skirm 
ishes, nor battles with thrice their number, could 
overwhelm or defeat. 

The battle of Chantilly, where the gallant 
Kearney gave up his life, was a final check to all 
efforts on the part of the Confederate general to 
get in between Pope and the capital. But as 
the rebels continued to march by the left flank, 
and were disappearing from our front, Pope s 
entire army fell back within the fortifications of 
Washington. On the morning of September 2d, 


moving from the banks of Difficult Creek where 
it had been placed in position the evening before, 
holding the enemy in check in front, while Reno 
and Kearney attacked on the flank, Ricketts s 
Division encamped at night on Hall s Hill, in 
sight of the Potomac. 

Pope s Virginia campaign was now at an end. 
Seldom has one army been asked to undergo what 
the men of the Army of Virginia performed. 
Ck For fifteen days, with scarcely half a day s in 
termission, it was either making forced marches, 
many times through the night, and many times 
without food, or else engaged in battle. These 
fatigues were most severe toward the last, when, 
on account of the movements of the enemy, we 
had separated from our supplies, and many gen 
erals, as well as private soldiers, had no food, or 
only such as could be picked up in the orchards 
or cornfields along the road. In all this the 
patience and endurance and good conduct of the 
men were admirable. To fight and retreat, and 
retreat and fight, in the face of a superior force, 
is a severe test of soldiership."* 

But General McDowell omitted to say, that all 
the fatigues of that campaign were endured by 
the men, not only without that confidence in the 
leading generals, from which comes the enthu 
siasm of an army, but with a positive aversion 

McDowell s Report. 


toward them. At the very outset, by the tone 
of his orders, and the self-superior style of his 
addresses, General Pope made an unfavorable 
impression upon the troops, an impression that 
was never corrected. 

With General McDowell the case was still 
worse. Besides an utter want of faith in his 
competency as a field commander, the wildest 
stories of complicity with the rebels were cir 
culated and believed concerning him. During 
the excessive hot days of the campaign, the gen 
eral wore a cool and becoming bambo hat, of 
peculiar Shape. But the troops declared that it 
was especially designed as a distinguishing mark 
to the enemy. To such a hight did the feeling 
prevail, that when the rumor was circulated, 
on the last day of the Bull Run battle, that Mc 
Dowell had been shot by Sigel for open acts of 
treason, there were few who cared to call the 
truth of the rumor in question. 

New light has been thrown upon that unfortu 
nate, though valorous campaign, chasing away 
the darkness of ignorant and unfounded preju 
dice, so damaging to the reputation of a gallant 
though unsuccessful officer. In that new light 
the country can also see how the second battle 
of Bull Run might have been a victory instead 
of a depressing defeat. 




THE broad Potomac rolled on toward the At 
lantic, through the deep bed of its channel, as 
placidly as though no defeated army rested on 
its banks, and all unconscious of the sanguinary 
contest so soon to be decided near its upper 

The unusual quiet of the few nights passed at 
Hall s Hill, wherein there was neither booming 
of cannon, nor tramping of men, was a generous 
relief to soul and body. To sleep under the 
shelter of a tent, with our colored cook Strauthers, 
ever faithful and true, to see that the mess-chest 
was well supplied, were comforts we had not for 
gotten how to appreciate. But we sadly missed 
our genial mess-mates, Colonel Martin and Major 

Colonel Martin fell at the post of duty, and at 
the moment when, with bitter curses and loud 
imprecations, the rebels were charging upon our 
lines on Bald Hill. It was a critical moment, 



and every man belonging to the Eleventh was 
needed in his place. "With an unselfishness per 
fectly characteristic, the dying officer said to 
those who saw him fall, and had gone to his as 
sistance : 

"Never niiud me, boys; never mind me. Go 
back to the regiment. You are wanted there." 

The tide of battle soon swept us far beyond 
the spot where his companions left him to die. 
But the body was afterward buried by Dr. 
Woods, of the Ira Harris Cavalry, an old An 
napolis friend, and the place of interment so 
carefully marked, that some weeks later the re 
mains were recovered, and now rest in Monu 
ment Cemetery, Philadelphia. 

Barely have we met a person of such high 
social qualities, or one who combined so many 
elements of the true gentleman. No braver or 
more patriotic soldier fell on that field of Bull 
Hun than Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas S. Martin. 

Passing through the various hospitals in the 
City of Washington, looking after the wounded 
of the Eleventh, in the register of Armory Hos 
pital, our eye fell upon this entry: "Bed 75 
Major H. A. Frink, Eleventh Regiment Pennsyl 
vania Volunteers." In the list of casualties, we 
had counted the major among the killed; and 
the frightful gash in the head, that the surgeon 
was dressing at the moment we entered, told 
how nearly that report had come of being 


The flag of truce party, sent out to gather up 
the wounded, overlooked him; and after days of 
suffering on the battle-field, without shelter and 
without food, and almost totally blind from the 
effects of the wound, Major Frink made his w T ay 
first to Centerville, where the rebel authorities 
paroled him, and finally to Washington. 

Among the losses in the brigade, outside of 
our own regiment, none was more keenly felt 
than the death of Colonel Fletcher Webster, of 
the Twelfth Massachusetts. Our first introduc 
tion at Falmouth, in the preceding month of 
May, had grown into an intimacy still remem 
bered with pleasure. The colonel was a brave 
and chivalrous soldier; partaking largely of the 
warm impulses and noble nature of his illustrious 

Four days of rest and quiet, short as was the 
time, told wonderfully upon the looks and spirits 
of officers and men. It must also be said that a 
new enthusiasm had taken hold upon the troops. 
As our depleted columns moved slowly back 
from Fairfax Court House, to an officer who rode 
up at our side, we said: 

" This is sad work, captain. I am afraid the 
rebels mean to drive us across the river and cap 
ture Washington." 


"^N"o, sir," was the reply. "General McClellan 
is in command of the army. It will all be right 


But not even four days of rest had been allowed 
to the Confederate army. A new thought was 
stirring the active brain of its daring commander. 
The seat of war was to be brought northward. 
Maryland was to be occupied, and such an up 
rising of the people to welcome him as their 
deliverer was anticipated by Lee, as to defy the 
power of the Federal Government longer to hold 
the State in the Union, or dislodge the Southern 
army from its firm foothold. The rebel general 
was already across the Potomac; and the day the 
Eleventh left Hall s Hill, Stuart s cavalry entered 
the City of Frederick. 

It was midnight of September 6th, as we filed 
along .the road leading to Georgetown bridge, 
across the Potomac, and through the streets of 
Washington. General Hartsuff was again at the 
head of the brigade, and General Hooker in com 
mand of McDowell s Corps. Hooker was moving 
with his corps toward Frederick, not directly, 
but over a route that covered the capital and 
defended Baltimore from a fiank attack by the 

Thursday evening we pitched our tents along 
side the Baltimore and Frederick turnpike, 
twenty miles from the latter place. Whatever 
the rebel leaders may have thought of Maryland, 
it was quite evident to us that we were in the 
land of our friends. 

At our second bivouac across the Potomac, 


Captain John B. McGrew, of Co. G, and fifty 
men from Harrisburg, reported to the regi 
ment. The first detachment, under Lieutenant 
Happer, had nearly disappeared in the battles of 
Thoroughfare Gap and Bull Run; and this arrival 
of the captain was a timely addition to Co. G. Here 
also, on the Frederick pike, we were joined by 
Dr. Phelps, direct from Manassas. Not two 
hours after we left the hospital, on the morning 
of August 30th, a force of rebel cavalry came in 
upon them, taking off nurses, drivers, ambu 
lances, and horses. Even the horses of the sur 
geons were captured; but on application to Colo 
nel Rosser, commanding the cavalry, these latter 
were restored. 

The doctor soon learned of the defeat of the 
Union forces, and that all the intervening country 
between Manassas and Alexandria was in pos 
session of the rebels. At the end of three or 
four days, the scanty stock of supplies with which 
the hospital opened, was entirely consumed, and 
how to subsist thirty or forty wounded men, in a 
country where there was nothing to buy, and 
nothing to forage, became a serious question. 
Riding out toward Centerville, in search of some 
one to whom he might apply for assistance, the 
doctor fortunately met the flag of truce party. 
Rations and ambulances were at once provided, 
and all the wounded left at Manassas were 
brought to Alexandria. 


It was a Sabbath morning, clear and beau 
tiful, when the Federal army marched through 
Frederick an event always to be remembered. 
For one week the town had been under rebel 
rule, a time sufficiently long for even the most 
intense Southern sympathizer; and the sight of 
the Union ranks filled the people of the place 
with extravagant joy. Amid deafening cheers 
and flying banners and waving handkerchiefs we 
pressed our way through the crowded streets 
toward the South Mountain, that rose boldly in 
front to the hight of a thousand feet. 

The route was along the National road. From 
the top of Fairview Hill could be seen the smoke 
of the enemy s batteries, and we knew that in 
posting himself in Turner s Gap (the main pass 
of the mountain), and on the bights on either 
side, by which he commanded every way of ap 
proach, General Lee had the advantage of posi 
tion, and would hold the stronsr mountain de- 


fense to the last. The Corps of Hooker and Reno, 
forming the right wing of the army, were under 
command of General Burnside. To attack in 
front would have been the extreme of folly. The 
only hope was to get on the enemy s flank, and 
while Reno was manoeuvring to the left of the 
National road, to secure such a result, Hooker s 
Corps moved to the right. A short distance from 
the Hagerstown pike we struck the old Braddock 
road, which crosses the mountain at a point not 


so high as that over which the main road passes^ 
but of steep and difficult ascent. Two miles 
from the pike, we began our upward march. 
The Eleventh was on the extreme right of Rick- 
etts s Division, and if it made rapid time in reach 
ing the crest above, it was because we had learned 
at Thoroughfare Gap how to march and fight up 
the side of a mountain. 

General Lee was too shrewd a commander to 
depend entirely upon that steep and rugged hill 
side to defend his left flank. Hid in the ravines 
washed out by the summer torrents, and shel 
tered behind breastworks leisurely constructed, 
the enemy awaited our advance. Half way up 
to the summit, the crest of the mountain sud 
denly gleamed with a sheet of flame. If some 
staggered and fell back, meeting those whistling 
bullets from above, it only nerved that advancing 
column with new determination. 

The firing was severest on the left of the corps, 
held by the Pennsylvania Reserves; and when 
at last a prolonged cheer told that the left of the 
mountain top had been carried by Pennsylvania 
troops, the old Eleventh, fighting on the right, 
sent back the echo of victory from the same high 

Many a brave heart met a soldier s fate, climb 
ing up the South Mountain. But each foot of 
ground wrested from the enemy was securely 
held. Xext morning, Hartsuff s Brigade moved 



cautiously along the Braddock road, over the 
deserted breastworks and rifle-pits of the enemy, 
until we struck the Xational pike at the Mount 
ain House. Turner s Gap was now in the rear. 
The attack on the left though the gallant Reno 
lost his life in making it was as successful as 
that on the right ; and the clouds of dust, rising 
from the plains below, told that Lee was in full 
retreat toward the Potomac, leaving his killed 
and wounded on the field. 

If the South Mountain battle had not been 
followed so soon by that of Antietam, whose 
greater proportions now almost overshadow it, it 
would be considered, as indeed it was, a decided 
victory over General Lee. Its influence on the 
morale of our troops was of far greater advantage 
than the loss of men and material of war sus 
tained by the enemy. It was a success when, of 
everything else, success was needed to restore the 
waning confidence of the rank and file. It was 
the silver lining to the dark cloud of reverses 
that had so long hung over the Potomac Army. 




EVERY spot along the road in which a man 
could find room to lie down, out of danger of 
being trampled to death by the moving columns, 
was found occupied by the wounded. The 
church at Boonsborough, and many private resi 
dences, were converted into rebel hospitals, 
giving to the town the appearance of Center- 
ville after the battle of Bull Run. 

A Virginia chaplain remained behind to take 
care of the wounded of his regiment. Their 
loss was severe, numbering one or two hundred 
in killed and wounded. He was not disposed at 
first to be at all cordial, and our proposed good 
offices were politely refused. But afterward re 
lenting, some assistance we were able to give 
was accepted with as much courtesy as it was 
before declined. 

"Our recent successes over your army have 
made us too confident. "We had no thought of 
being driven from South Mountain ; and I fear 
that your rapid pursuit of General Lee will pre 
vent him from crossing the Potomac without 
serious loss." 


Turning off from the National pike at Boons- 
borough into the road leading to Sharpsburg, the 
army halted at Kedysville for several hours, 
waiting on cavalry operations in the front. Our 
advance came up with the enemy, stretched 
across the road over which we were marching, 
in strong force. When his position was fully 
known, it was too late to attack, and the Eleventh 
bivouacked for the night a short distance west of 
the village. 

Tuesday morning revealed that the enemy had 
changed his position during the night, and was 
now posted along the line of Antietam Creek, 
his right near Sharpsburg and his left resting on 
Miller s farm. With his usual sagacity, the rebel 
general had selected a most advantageous posi 
tion. His right flank was protected by a high 
ridge a continuance of Maryland Hights, run 
ning northward, and his left flank by the Poto 
mac River, half a mile distant. Whether Mc- 
Clellan might determine to attack the rebel cen 
ter, or on either flank, he was compelled to cross 
the Antietam, and move over ground swept by 
artillery planted on every available spot. 

The Federal attack was to be similar to that 
made at South Mountain. Hooker s Corps, sup 
ported by those of Mansfield and Sumner, was 
sent to the right to fall on the enemy s left, while 
Burnside was to assault his right. Hooker s 
Corps consisted of the three divisions of Generals 


Meacle, Ricketts, and Donbleday. Three o clock 
in the afternoon of Tuesday, leaving our bivouac 
near Kedysville, and marching in rear of the 
first division, Ricketts crossed Antietam Creek 
at the upper bridge and the fording at Fray s 
mill, and continued moving to the right as far 
up as Hoffman s farm. 

The day was nearly spent when Hooker s 
Corps reached the position assigned it. There 
had been desultory firing during the afternoon 
in the direction in which we were marching, but 
for a time everything had remained in a state of 
quiet. Scarcely, however, did we come to a halt 
in a field of corn, before the enemy from a copse 
woods in front, opened on our ranks with in 
fantry and artillery. The advance brigades came 
at once into action, and until ten o clock the 
severe skirmish was continued. 

Thus began, on the evening of September 16th, 
the battle of Antietam. Stonewall Jackson had 
formed his main battle line on Miller s farm, 
and the force so early encountered was a body 
of troops thrown out three-quarters of a mile in 
advance. If General McClellan had attacked Lee 
on Tuesday morning, he would have had thirty 
thousand less troops opposed to him. Jackson s 
whole corps was absent, and only by a forced 
march from Harper s Ferry did it reach the bat 
tle-field late on Tuesday morning. In the even 
ing the troops were in position on our right, 


and the delay in the battle until Wednesday 
morning gave to Jackson and his soldiers a pre 
cious season of needed repose. 

As the men rested on their arms during that 
clear, starlight night, no one could doubt what 
the morning would bring forth. Ever and anon, 
throughout its wakeful hours, the fierce firing of 
the pickets reminded us of the presence of a 
stubborn foe. 

Just as the gray dawn of the morning of the 
17th streaked the sky, a volley of musketry, out 
on the picket line, changed the whole appear 
ance of those once quiet fields. Up from among 
the stalks of corn, sprung ranks of armed men; 
while from sheltered woods and every rising 
knoll, the artillery of friend and foe was sending 
forth shot and shell. Hooker had inaugurated 
the great conflict. 

In front of General Hooker s position, with 
their backs resting against a skirt of timber, were 
the forces of Stonewall Jackson, consisting of the 
divisions of McLaws, Anderson, and A. P. Hill. 
They were the flower of the Confederate army, re 
turned from their successful attack on Harper s 
Ferry, and placed opposite our right, because there 
were to be met the heaviest blows of the battle. 

When Hooker said, "This is one of the world s 
great days," he must have felt what he expressed; 
for his own enthusiasm was imparted to his men. 
Nothing could withstand the impetuosity of that 


first attack on the right to carry the rebel posi 
tion. The enemy s heavy line of skirmishers 
fell back almost without resistance, exposing his 
main lines to a determined fire of shell and can 
ister, from batteries run out within the closest 
possible range. Over the plowed ground that 
intervened, through the fields of corn, and into 
the woods beyond, were driven the shattered 
lines of the rebels. 

The fighting had now become general on the 
right, and heavy forces of reserves were brought 
forward to strengthen and hold the ground we 
had Drained in our first assault. But in front of 


that woods into which the enemy was driven, our 
advance halted. Fresh rebel troops were coming 
to the rescue of their comrades. Volley after 
volley of musketry lighted up its dark bosom, as 
line upon line of Confederates issued from it. 

The fortune of the day seemed suddenly to 
change. The rebels were now advancing; and 
our own gallant lines that but a moment before 
moved through the cornfield in such overwhelm 
ing force, came back broken and depleted. The 
watchful eye of Hooker took in the whole scene 
at a glance. 

" Send me your best brigade," was his message 
to Ricketts. 

In a moment, Hartsuff s Brigade, that had 
been in position on a slight elevation near the 
house of Joseph Poffenberger, came down the 


hill on a double-quick, through the open ground 
beyond, and into the cornfield; passing, as they 
went, the fragments of three brigades shattered 
by the rebel fire and now streaming to the rear. 

" I think they will hold it," said Hooker, as he 
saw that splendid brigade of veteran troops 
moving on under a galling and destructive fire. 

At the moment of entering the cornfield, a 
conspicuous mark to the enemy, the brave Hart- 
suff fell from his horse severely wounded. 

"Forward, Third Brigade !" rung out the voice 
of Colonel Coulter, who succeeded to the com 

" Steadily, but not hurriedly, up the hill they 
^o, forming on the crest. Not a man who was not 

O / O 

in full view not one who bent before the storm. 
Firing first in volleys, they fired then at will, 
with wonderful rapidity and effect. The whole 
line crowned the hill and stood out darkly against 
the sky; but lighted and shrouded ever in flame 
and smoke. There, for half an hour, they held 
the ridge, unyielding in purpose, exhaustless in 
courage. There were gaps in the line, but it 
nowhere bent. Their supports did not come, 
and they determined to win without them. They 
were there to win that field, and they won it. 
The rebel line for the second time fled through 
the corn and into the woods. I cannot tell how 
few of HartsufFs Brigade were left when the 
work was done, but it was done. There was no 


more gallant, determined, heroic fighting in all 
this desperate day."* 

The battle had reached a crisis on the right. 
Ricketts s Division exhausted itself in the vain 
endeavor to advance beyond the woods. Part of 
Mansfield s Corps was ordered in to their relief; 
but the general was mortally wounded, and the 
troops halted on the crest of the hill. 

It was nine o clock, and all the fighting had 
been done by the Corps of Hooker and Mans 
field. Presently Sumner s Corps came on to the 
ground, forming to the left of Mansfield. Still 
later, French and Richardson arrived, and about 
noon the Corps of General Franklin. But though 
the troops had fought only in detachments, 
Hooker in the morning, then Mansfield, then 
Sumner, then Franklin, and Burnside far on the 
left, the enemy had been pushed back from 
many of his strongest positions, and when wel 
come night covered the ensanguined field, the 
vantage-ground belonged to the Federal army. 

In the thoughts of the men, daylight would 
renew the battle, and each soldier stood in his 
place, waiting for the coming dawn. But the 
whole of Thursday passed without any demon 
stration from those lines, still confronting each 
other, that only on the yesterday were full of 
bitter hostility. 

* Geo. X. Smalley, in N. T. Tribune. 


Again the shades of night covered Antietam. 
Rlcketts s Division held the extreme right of the 
army; and the general was cautioned to take 
care of his flank. McClellan determined to re 
new the attack on Friday morning, with a vigor 
increased by one day of rest. But when Friday 
came, from every commanding ridge and hidden 
ravine, from open fields and sheltered woods, 
the enemy had disappeared, and the rapid Po 
tomac rolled between the two opposing armies. 

The Eleventh went into the battle on Wednes 
day morning, a mere handful compared with its 
former self, nine commissioned officers, and two 
hundred and twenty-six men. The other regi 
ments of the brigade were but little larger, for 
altogether it only numbered eleven hundred. 

Hoffman s farm-house a substantial stone 
building was taken for a hospital; and every 
moment, from the firing of the first gun at break 
of day, until they were relieved by other troops, 
the wounded were coming in from Hartsuff s 
Brigade. A wounded man naturally desires to 
be among his friends ; and by keeping the brigade 
together, the surgeons were certain that all 
would receive like proper care and attention. 

In what quick succession they seemed to come 
from that angry front. Scarcely eight o clock, 
and seventy men of the Eleventh Regiment lay 
bleeding and groaning in the yard of that farm 
house. When the battle ceased, five officers out 


of the nine were disabled, and one hundred and 
twenty of the men killed and wounded. Of the 
eleven hundred of Hartsuff s Brigade that 
marched so steadily through that field of corn, 
only five hundred returned. 

From the field of Waterloo, after the battle 
had spent its fury, and in the midst of its reeking 
carnage, the Duke of Wellington wrote to a 
friend: "I have escaped unhurt; the finger of 
Providence was on me." And those brave men, 
as they looked over that field of Antietam, 
strewed with the harvest of death, through 
which they had passed unhurt, with a manli 
ness of heart equal to that of the English duke, 
confessed that the finger of God was upon them. 

The hospital is a place where one may look 
on the battle-field shorn of 

"The pomp and circumstance of war." 

To see those with whom you have been in daily 
intercourse, with whom you have exchanged 
all the kind amenities of social life, and Christian 
fellowship, to see these lacerated by gaping 
wounds, bleeding and dying, is a harrowing 
sight, from which you would gladly turn away. 

Many of the young men of the Eleventh Regi 
ment came from praying families, and during 
the gracious revivals of religion that preceded 
the rebellion, some had made a personal conse 
cration of themselves to the service of God. 


Not only at Annapolis, but through all the sub 
sequent campaigns, however wearisome the 
marches or fatiguing the duties, there were a 
few who could always find the time and the 
place to pay their vows to the Most High. 

Every foot of ground over which we marched 
and fought has a deep and abiding interest. But 
those secluded spots, just outside of camp limits, 
where the meeting for evening prayer was held, 
will live longest in the memory of all. Faithful 
to their Divine Master, they were also faithful 
to their country; and at Thoroughfare Gap, and 
Bull Run, and Antietam, the first to fall were 
from among these young men. 

There was one thing belonging to the battle 
field not to be seen in our hospital, its foul 
spirit of hate. The term/oe was there forgotten. 
All were now friends. A soldier from Maine 
and another from Georgia the one having lost 
an arm, and the other a leg occupied the same 
pallet of straw. A South Carolinian, slightly 
hurt in the head, was the cook for himself and 
two severely wounded Xew Yorkers. A volun 
teer from Pennsylvania and a conscript from 
Alabama, sheltered under the same tent, w r ere as 
fraternal in "their acts of kindness as though they 
had fought side by side, and not in opposing 

With the earliest knowledge of Lee s retreat, 
a squad of surgeons and chaplains repaired to the 


battle-field. If any of the wounded that could 
not be reached during the first days engagement 
had lived through Thursday, the object of our 
visit was to give them the speediest relief. But 
that field, furrowed by cannon shots and strewed 
in every direction with human forms, was a place 
of the dead. Cries of water! water! uttered 
in tones of beseeching agony, fell upon our ears 
in the first hours of the battle. Now every 
tongue was still, and every heart had beat its 
last pulsation. 

Death came to many with musket raised to 
the shoulder, in the very act of firing; and in 
falling forward, the dead soldier kept fast hold of 
his gun. Others, again, lay on the ground, with 
arms wide extended, and the last look of anguish 
fixed in the rigid features. In a single row, with 
scarcely two feet between them, were eighty-one 
of the enemy s dead. It was a battle-line mov 
ing forward, each man meeting death at the 
same instant. Such a volley, telling so fearfully 
on the front rank, was a complete check at that 
point ; for there were no indications here of ad 
vance and retreat, as were seen on other parts of 
that ground, in the bodies of friend and foe fall 
ing together. 

We had only to pass up through Miller s corn 
field, and into the woods beyond, to find most of 
the slain belonging to the Eleventh. Writing 
the name of each man on a slip of paper, with 



the number of the regiment and the letter of his 
company, and fastening it to coat or shirt, the 
graves of our comrades were so plainly marked, 
that when friends came to remove sons and 
brothers, we could point with certainty to all 
that remained of brave and loving hearts. 



MOVING forward from the battle-field late Fri 
day afternoon, Hartsuff s Brigade went into camp 
on a bluff overlooking the Potomac. The river 
was between us and the enemy; the firing heard 
at intervals during the day was away toward 
Harper s Ferry, and each soldier, wrapping up 
in blanket, promised himself a night of needed 
repose. But our slumbers were disturbed near 
midnight by a frightened courier, who reported 
a large body of Stuart s cavalry north of the 

The whole brigade was marched three miles 
up the river to guard the fording, and, if possible, 
intercept Stuart. The movement was sufficiently 
adventurous to arouse the most sluggish, as we 
passed over roads darkened by heavy forests, and 
every ear was strained to catch the faintest sound 
of tramping horsemen. 


The troops were disposed along the roads lead 
ing to the river to the best possible advantage, 
Colonel Coulter finding himself in the vicinity 
of his first explorations of the Potomac, under 
General Patterson. The watch was maintained 
until Saturday at sundown; but no foe showing 
himself to be near, the brigade was relieved and 
returned to camp. 

Those were glorious autumn days that followed 
the battle of Antietam. The camp of our divi 
sion was in a walnut grove, on the farm of James 
Rowe, with the Potomac in full view. It was 
not easy to realize that the narrow, rocky stream 
rolling below was the same Potomac, of such 
majestic proportions, that we had crossed at 
Washington. The course of the river was like 
that of an unpromising youth, disappointing all 
the ill prophecies drawn from a mean beginning, 
and developing at last a sturdy and magnificent 
manhood. They were also days of masterly in 
activity. Company drill and battalion drill were 
observed as usual. But however interesting such 
exercises might be to the new recruit, to those 
veterans, who had made their evolutions to the 
music of charging columns and bursting shells, 

c> O O 

all ordinary drill was dull monotony. 

There was business enough, however, at regi 
mental headquarters. The numerous vacancies 
in the list of commissioned officers were to be 
filled, amounting almost to a reorganization of 


the regiment. Major Frink was promoted to the 
vacated place of Lieutenant-Colonel Martin. 
Captain J. B. Keenan, of Co. K, was made major. 
In Co. B Lieutenant Haines took the place of 
Captain Shanks, killed at Thoroughfare Gap ; 
Second Lieutenant Tapp was made first lieu 
tenant, and J. P. Straw second lieutenant. In 
Co. D Sergeant J. B. Overmyer was appointed 
captain in room of Captain Sees, honorably dis 
charged; Jas. T. Chalfant, transferred from the 
Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, 
first lieutenant, in place of Lieutenant Saxton, 
killed at Thoroughfare, and Sergeant F. J. Cross 
second lieutenant, in place of E. T. Tiers, dis 
charged to become captain in another Pennsyl 
vania regiment. In Co. E, Second Lieutenant 
II. B. Piper took the place of Lieutenant G. R. 
Dalby, killed at Bull Run, and Sergeant Samuel 
J. Hamill was promoted to second lieutenant. 
In Co. F, Second Lieutenant E. H. Gay took the 
position of Captain D. M. Cook, honorably dis 
charged; and Sergeant Robert Anderson, of Co. 
K, was appointed second lieutenant. In Co. H, 
Sergeant Daniel C. Tubbs was made second lieu 
tenant in place of Lieutenant Hyndman, killed 
at Bull Run. In Co. I, Second Lieutenant Jacob 
X. Thomas took the place of Captain George A. 
Cribbs, who died of wounds received at Bull 
Run; and Sergeant A. Lobaugh was promoted 
to second lieutenant. Lieutenant Lobaugh died 


at Hagerstown, of wounds received at Antietam, 
before his commission from the Governor of 
Pennsylvania reached the regiment. In Co. K, 
First Lieutenant Walter J. Jones resigned; Sec 
ond Lieutenant John Reed was appointed captain 
in place of Captain Keenan promoted, but died 
of wounds received at Antietam before his com 
mission arrived. Corporal W. A. Kuhns was 
appointed second lieutenant; afterward promoted 
to first lieutenant, and Corporal Freeman C. Gay 
made second lieutenant. 

Since the death of Colonel Martin, it had fallen 
to the chaplain to keep the mess now increased 
to more than the original number by the addition 
of adjutant and surgeons in rations. We were 
so nearly starved in Virginia, that in a land of 
plenty each one s appetite seemed determined on 
making amends for past compulsory fasting. 
" Sold out," was the reply to inquiries for any 
kind of provender, made of farmers living near 
the camp. Then we had to enlarge the circle of 
our operations, sometimes in one direction and 
again in another. 

While the cook Strauthers, who always accom 
panied us on these foraging expeditions, rode off 
a short distance further to secure some articles 
for which he had bargained on a former visit, we 
remained at Bakersville, in conversation with an 
old woman with whom we had agreed for a 
supply of shanghais. 



" Them chickens were raised for my own use; 
hut I am always ready to divide with a soldier, 
even to the last half a loaf of bread." 

The old lady had no very flattering opinion of 
the Virginians, and was greatly delighted at the 
defeat of the rebel army. 

; Them Virginians always thought they were 
a heap smarter than the Marylanders. But I 
told them they had better stay at home ; that 
they would find out to their sorrow we had just 
as smart people here as they had over there. I 
always said this fight would come some day. 
But they said I was dumb, and didn t know any 
thing. "Well, I don t know much ; but I know 
the good Book says the lather shall rise against 
the son, and the son against the father ; and 
aint that so, now? I knew it would come, but I 
was never afraid that the South would whip the 
North. It will all be right by-and-by, mind I 
tell you. I told my son John, the other day, that 
as I had seen the first of this war I should like 
to see the end of it; and John said, La, mother, 
do you expect to live that long? Do you think 
the war will end soon ?" 

The arrival of Strauthers, and his violent 
demonstrations in the chicken yard, put an end 
to the harangue. It was four miles to camp, and 
night was coming on. AVe could not even guess 
how much longer the war would last; but sin 
cerely hoping that all would be right in the end, 
we took our leave. 


That old woman in Maryland was not the only 
one to entertain a mean opinion of her Virginia 
neighbors. A Louisiana captain said : 

"There is nothing in Virginia to make any 
one fall in love with it. Her men are mean and 
her women ugly. I would trade off Virginia to 
day for Maryland. I think there is more of the 
cunning Yankee and his cowardly disposition 
among the people of that State, notwithstanding 
their high pretensions to chivalry, than can be 
found among any other class of men in the Con 
federate service. 

"There is General R. A. Pry or, whose politi 
cal and dueling reputation got him a military 
position for which he is totally unqualified. He 
is not only a coward, but a knave. At one of 
the recent battles he lost his command, and of 
fered some of the Louisiana boys a fifty-days 
furlough if they would point it out to him. I 
have heard aids to our generals say that they 
would rather be dispatched with orders for any 
other officer on the ground in time of battle than 
Pryor, as he is always the most difficult person 
to find, and when found is usually posted as se 
cretly as possible in some safe place." 

SUNDAY, Sept. 20. Another delightful day. 
The clouds that obscured the early rising of the 
sun, gradually floated away, and toward ten 
o clock the morning was as bright as though no 
threatening rain clouds had marred its early 


beauty. Six o clock in the evening we held our 
public religious services in connection with the 
dress parade. The sun had gone down behind 
the Virginia hills, as the regiment marched out 
upon the open green to the rear of headquarters. 
Almost every man in camp was present, each one 
manifesting by a becoming and quiet demeanor 
his interest in the duties of the hour. These words 
of Paul, addressed to the Ephesians, "My breth 
ren, put on the whole armor," were read as a text. 

It was remarked that they must all have ob 
served the familiar as well as kindly manner in 
which the Scriptures address us. The Bible is a 
gift from God ; but it came intermediately through 
men, men like ourselves, and therefore in its 
spirit it is like the address of one man to an 
other. The Apostle calls us brethren, and as a 
brother he delivers his instructions. There is 
another thing that endears Paul to us. It is said 
that he was a soldier, and from the frequency 
with which he uses illustrations and phrases 
drawn from the soldier s life, this may be true. 
He talks about lighting a good fight; warring a 
good warfare; and of putting on the whole ar 
mor as though he knew all about it. 

We are to understand Paul as teaching that 
everything that goes to make up the complete 
soldier is to be secured; no part of the armor 
must be neglected. The brave, valiant, and suc 
cessful soldier is always fully equipped. You 


would not regard that comrade who should go 
into the battle with his cartridge box only, as 
fully armed ; neither that one who, leaving his 
cartridge box behind, should take only his mus 
ket. In order to put on the whole armor he 
must have both gun and cartridge box, bayonet 
and scabbard. 

A good cause, personal bravery, a spirit that 
will lead to death rather than turn the back to 
the foe, are essential parts of every soldier s 
armor. So far as these are concerned, you are 
fully armed. Your cause is the cause of human 
ity. It concerns all peoples. Are there anxious 
hearts here in our own nation awaiting the result 
of this contest? There are hearts as anxious 
in every nation under the sun. We have taught 
other nations that man is free; that God has 
made him capable of self-government. We have 
taught them new ideas; awakened in them new 
hopes. Through our teachings they have been 
aroused to action. If we succeed, a bright 
future opens to them. If we fail, a darker 
night, because of the already dawning day, 
closes around them. Our cause is good; it is 
our country s cause, the country that God gave 
to us, and that bears the seal of our fathers 
blood. As to your personal bravery, let the 
battle-fields of Cedar Mountain, Rappahaunock 
Station, Thoroughfare Gap, Bull Run, Chan- 
tilly, South Mountain, Antietam, speak. That 


you are ready to die rather than forsake the 
cause in which you have engaged, or dim the 
glory of your flag, let our thinned ranks tell, let 
our three hundred killed and wounded declare. 

This part of your armor is complete. But, 
according to Paul, my comrades, this is not the 
whole armor; and Paul knew whereof he affirmed. 
He was a soldier, and a courageous soldier, ^o 
craven fear entered his manly heart. He is, 
therefore, a proper person to teach, and his 
teachings ought to be regarded. We must ever 
remember that the circumscribed present is not 
the only field of action upon which the soldier 
who hears me to-day will be marshaled. The 
impudent foe, that threatens with insulting boast 
ing, to demolish our fair fabric of State, is not 
the only one he is called upon to meet. We 
must remember that sacred as is our allegiance 
to country, laudable as is the ambition to deserve 
well at her hands, our allegiance to heaven is 
more sacred, and to be approved of God is an 
ambition higher than to be approved of man. 
Each one of us will soon overstep the boundaries 
of time, and enter upon the boundless eternity. 
Spiritual foes whose name is legion invest us 
on every side. The eye of the Almighty, looking 
through every covering, now beholds us. 

It is for this higher service, for this more im- 


portant field of action, and these more subtle 
enemies, that our brother Paul would prepare us. 


And we may see in this kindly advice something 
of that regard which every soldier feels for his 
fellow-soldier. War may accustom one to scenes 
of carnage and bloodshed ; but war also devel 
ops the most generous sentiments of our na 
ture. Let a companion fall on the battle-field, 
and a score of hands are ready to raise him up. 
Let an enemy, wounded and bleeding, cast him 
self down before you, and he is treated like a 
brother. Paul knew the soldier s generosity, 
and with a generosity nearly akin to it, urges his 
brother soldiers to put on the whole armor, that 
having deserved well of his country, he might 
deserve and secure the more enduring honor of 

How to secure this additional armor is an old 
story, my fellow-soldiers. The road to heaven s 
arsenal has ever been the way of the CROSS. Re 
pentance toward God; an acceptance of Christ 
as our Saviour; a life of prayer, of trust, of obe 
dience, of faith, puts us in possession of the whole 
annor, and equips the soldier entire. I must 
warn you against embracing that wide-spread 
fallacy, that the life of the Christian and the life 
of the soldier are so far apart as to make it ut 
terly impossible for them to meet in the same 
person, and that the best soldier is the man who 
is least religious, or who has thrown off, to the 
greatest degree, all moral restraint. 

Let me ask you what constitutes a good sol- 


dier? Certainly not brute force merely, nor an 
ignorant recklessness of life. Show me the man 
to whose courage and bravery is added a sense 
of his responsibility to God, one who believes 
that his motives and actions here are to give 
shape and coloring to his life in the other 
world, and I will show yon the best soldier. 
If the path of duty leads him to the very mouth 
of the cannon, or upon the sharp points of the 
enemy s charging bayonets, will a preparation 
to die, and a sense of his acceptance with God, 
in the least degree interfere with the discharge 
of his duty? Rather has not such a one put on 
the whole armor; and who, more than he, is fit 
for such deeds of noble daring ? A profession 
of religion hightens every joy of life. It does 
not blunt, but quickens every sensibility; and 
yet with every joy hightened, and every sensibil 
ity quickened, the Christian is brave to dare and 
bold to do whatever God or his country de 

Let me ask you another question. If we ne 
glect to put on the whole armor from those more 
subtle foes to which I have alluded, who shall 
defend us ? Vice is always degrading. Every 
sin we commit detracts from our true manhood, 
and makes us mean and despicable in the eyes 
of the Almighty, in the eyes of good men, and 
in our own eyes. I am sorry that in this camp, 
and among our own brave men, so manv vices 


prevail. Some of you are profane; some are in 
temperate; some are gamblers. How sad to see 

men who have noblv contended for so ffood a 


cause as ours, men who but yesterday were vic 
tors on this hard-fought field, to-day captives in 
the hands of these gross vices. Rouse ye, solr 
diers ! In the name of Jesus, rouse ye ! Put on 
the whole armor, and then you shall be able to 
meet every foe ; those of your country, and 
those greater enemies of your souls as well. 

There are loved ones at home who daily pray 
God to watch over and protect you. You can 
not imagine with what intense interest every 
thing from the battle-field is read by them. 
AVhat heartfelt thanks went up to heaven that 
you had escaped where so many fell. But think 
you, comrades, they have no other concern than 
for your personal safety ? Dearly as that wife or 
mother loves you, fondly as that sister thinks of 
you, she would rather you had died on the san 
guinary field of Antietam, by the side of your 
brave companion, than to return to her arms a 
thing loathsome and degraded by vicious habits. 
Every interest conspires, brother soldiers, to make 
it our duty to put on the whole armor. Our duty 
to God, our duty to our country, our duty to self, 
our duty to friends, all require it. May you be 
thus equipped; and in every contest, whether with 
the enemies of our country or with the enemy 
that leads us into evil, be always conquerors. 





OCTOBER 1. The new month made its begin 
ning with a genial shower of rain, which lasted 
long enough to lay the dust, and give to the trees 
a greener and fresher look. It is now night. 
The moon rides through a cloudless sky; while 
the hum of the myriads of insects that swarm 
this sylvan retreat, and the ceaseless murmur of 
the river, on its way to the sea, mingle their 
somnific music. In the tent, as joint occupants, 
are the two surgeons. They have already spread 
their blankets on the ground, and though present 
in body are absent in spirit in the land of visions. 

The junior doctor is by himself. The senior 
and the chaplain are more social, and sleep on 
the same blankets. The junior has been spend 
ing some time at the Sharpsburg hospital, among 
the rebel wounded, and we have voted him out 
in a corner until he shall have completed his 

We could wish all things that crawl but to 
contaminate and annoy, might be kept in seces- 
sia where they belong by right of possession. 


But even in this loyal State of Maryland, there 
are all sorts of creeping worms and flying bugs. 
They make of one s body, during the night sea 
son, a common highway. Just at that delicious 
moment of human existence, when the substantial 
world is fading into that out of which dreams 
come, did you ever have one of those long-legged 
spiders take the dimensions of your face ? Or a 
black beetle persist in getting into your ear, 
while half a dozen over-large ants, mistaking 
your nose for an ant-hill, make a violent effort 
to stop up the channel through which you draw 
your ration of oxygen? Then you never made 
your bed on the ground, overlooking the Poto 
mac, in the State of Maryland. 

OCTOBER 6. One o clock this morning, General 


Porter, on the extreme left, sent word that the 
enemy was planting cannon on the hills opposite 
Blcketts s Division ; and that forces were moving 
up the Potomac. The headquarter tents of the 
regiment, pitched near the outer edge of the 
grove, and that might serve as an admirable tar 
get from the other side of the river, were removed 
to a less conspicuous place. 

OCTOBER 7. All quiet along the Potomac. Xo 
enemy has shown himself on the opposite shore. 
The extensive laundry operations afforded by the 
river, somewhat curtailed through the rumors of 


yesterday, are again as active as ever. General 
kelson Taylor, who has been assigned to the 


command of the brigade, arrived this afternoon. 
We have lost the title of Hartsutf s Brigade, of 
which we had reason to be proud. May we make 
a reputation as honorable under our new name 
of Taylor s Brigade. 

During the last ten days our camp has been 
full of visitors. Some are here to see the battle 
field; others come on the sadder errand of re 
moving their dead to the quiet resting-place of 
the church-yard at home, or the family burying 

OCTOBER 11. All not quiet on the Potomac. 
From Harper s Ferry to Cumberland there is 
confusion and alarm. If anything conceived by 
Lee could astonish one, the occupation of Cham- 
bersburg by the rebel cavalry would certainly do 
it. While we have been massing our army at 
Harper s Ferry, and sending reconnoitering par 
ties as far south as Warrenton, the enemy steals 
northward around our pickets and invades Penn 
sylvania. When will we be able to cope with 
this wily, and, one might almost say, ubiquitous 

SUNDAY, October 12. Last night the regiment 
was ordered out on picket, near where we did 
duty September 19th. It was merely precaution 
ary, lest Stuart and his cavalry might feel dis 
posed to recross into Virginia via Piper s Ford. 
Returned to camp late this afternoon, where or 
ders were in waiting to cook two days rations, 
preparatory to march. 


OCTOBER 14. To cross the Potomac from Vir 
ginia into Maryland, at an unguarded ford, with 
one or two thousand cavalry, may riot have been 
a great thing in a military point of view. But 
with that number of men, to make a detour from 
right to left of our army, through a densely pop 
ulated country, compelling the surrender of a 
town of five thousand inhabitants, capturing 
hundreds of horses, and thousands of dollars 
worth of property, and with all this booty, and 
without the loss of a man, to recross into Virginia, 
is something of a feat. If the enemy should be 
falling back on Richmond, as is reported, this 
raid will enable him to do so with better grace ; 
while to a large degree it neutralizes the good 
effects of recent victories. 

OCTOBER 16. The move for which preparations 
have been making for several days past, is likely 
to be retarded for some time longer. The rain 
is falling heavily on our tent-roof, threatening to 
sink the fordings of the Potomac too deep for 
crossing. But if the night is dark and cheerless 
without, we have anything but a cheerless party 
within. Two of the doctors are engrossed in a 
game of checkers, while two or three officers are 
discussing the battle of Antietam. Dr. Morris, 
the latest addition to the medical department, 
who weighs full two hundred pounds, in the vain 
attempt to adjust himself to an army bed, is 
loudly bemoaning the loss of home-sleeping com- 


forts, only appreciated in their absence. Pushing 
aside the checker-board, Doctor Phelps inquired: 

" Chaplain, did I ever tell you of that singular 
dream 1 had if dream it was after you left us 
in the hospital at Manassas?" 

Not one of the company had heard it, and the 
doctor was urged to proceed. 

" You remember that for more than a week I 
was on the sick list. The fight at Thoroughfare 
Gap, and the fatiguing march of next day to 
Manassas Junction made me so much the worse. 
Then came the tearing up of that old woman s 
house for a hospital. Scarcely through with that, 
the rebel cavalry made a dash on Manassas, 
capturing ambulances, drivers, doctors, and all. 
The horses and ambulances were appropriated to 
their own use; the drivers and nurses taken 
prisoners; the wounded paroled, and the doctors 
marched off to Colonel Rosser s headquarters. 
The colonel generously dismissed the surgeons, 
and sent them back to take care of the sick. I 
returned to the hospital completely prostrated ; 
and for once you might have seen the strange sight 
of a doctor taking his own physic. The medicine 
quieted my nerves and produced a feeling of drow 
siness. Lying on the bed, and conscious of every 
thing around me, the two armies were seen con 
fronting each other in line of battle. At the 
head of the rebel troops was a figure of giant 
size, that seemed to walk through our ranks with 


the utmost impunity, the whole Southern army 
following close behind. The Eleventh Regiment 
lay directly in his track, and the men were fall 
ing to the right and left like mown wheat. The 
exclamations of horror uttered at such a sight 
attracted the attention of some one in the room, 
who came to the bedside to inquire w^hat was 
the matter. What is the matter! Why, the 
rebels are whipping us. Pope s army is giving 
way at all points, in rout and defeat. You all 
know that the result of the Bull Run battle was 
nearly to the letter as seen in my dream." 

A long discussion followed on the philosophy 
of dreams and visions. It was certainly very 
ungenerous in one of the company to speak in 
that particular connection of Goethe s story of 
Dr. Faust, leaving us not only to infer that the 
huge figure at the head of the rebel army was 
the same well-known Mephistopheles, who 
formed such a close alliance with that ancient 
physician, but that the propensity to form simi 
lar alliances still belonged to the profession ! 
Perhaps it \vas the pelting storm without, that in 
angry blasts drove the rain against our tent, and 
went howling dismally through the trees, a real 
night for the witches of Brocken to be astir, 
that suo^ested the thought. 



FOUR days from the close of October, Ricketts s 
Division bade good-by to Walnut Grove, and 
marched to Berlin. The delightful autumn 
weather was at an end, and with the beginning 
of winter, General McClellan commenced a new 
campaign against Richmond. 

Never was there a more cheerless march ; and 
though continued from three o clock in the after 
noon until midnight, so dark was the night, and 
so incessant the rain, and so slow the progress, 
that when we halted, the brigade had only made 
six miles, not half the intended distance. Ber 
lin, the destination of the tirst day s march, was 
not reached until the 28th. It was an inauspi 
cious beginning, and proved prophetic of the 
whole movement. Two days later, the army 
crossed the Potomac into Virginia. Passing 
through Lovettsville, Bloomfield, and Salern, 
Ricketts s Division bivouacked at Warrenton on 
the 6th of November. 


The ground was covered with snow, and a 
frosty chilliness dwelt in the air. But it was not 
the winter storm, with its moaning winds, and 
sleet -and snow, that so depressed the spirits of 
the troops. It was the order, read to the several 
corps, dismissing General McClellan from the 
chief command of the Army of the Potomac that 
filled all hearts with sorrow. 

Long after the patience of the country was ex 
hausted by his hesitancy and want of decision, 
the army still confided in their favorite general. 
The rank and file beheld McClellan only in 
the favorable light in which he first appeared 
among them, as the organizer of the volunteer 
masses of the nation into splendid corps and 
divisions of well-trained soldiers. And when 
the ranks of that army were broken, and almost 
ruined by defeat and disaster, they remembered 
him as gathering up the fragments, reorganizing 
them, and marching through the victories of 
South Mountain and Antietam. 

It would be to insult the common sense of our 
citizen soldiers, to say they did not see that some 
one was to blame for delays and defeats. Why 
the Peninsular campaign was such a fearful fail 
ure; why the battle of Antietam was not renewed 
on Thursday; why days and weeks, so favorable 
for military operations, were not afterward im 
proved, were questions fully discussed. But with 
wonderful unanimity, all agreed in placing the 


blame anywhere else than on the chief com 
mander. The authorities at Washington were 
charged with interfering with his plans and pur 
poses; with withholding reinforcements and sup 
plies; and when delays ensued, or defeat came, 
the whole blame was thrown upon the shoulders 
of others. 

In a record of the lights and shadows of army 
life, the removal of McClellan must be set down 
as one of the shadows. The appointment of his 
successor was a wise though unintentional stroke 
of policy. Next to McClellan, General Burnside 
had the confidence and affection of the troops ; 
and for the peace of the army there was more 
than happy chance in that selection. 

The Confederate army was concentrated at 
Culpeper, with a strong rear-guard in the Shen- 
andoah Valley. Abandoning the plans of his 
predecessor, who intended to march to Gordons- 
ville, General Burnside proposed, by a sudden 
move, to throw his whole army on Falmouth, 
then cross the Rappahannock, take possession of 
the hights of Fredericksburg, and compel Lee 
either to attack him in that strong position, or 
fall back toward Richmond. 

The plans of the new commander were inau 
gurated on the morning of November 8th by 
detaching Taylor s Brigade from the rest of the 
division, and sending it as a support to Bayard s 
cavalry, doing picket duty on the Rappahanuock 


from Beverly ford to Kelly s mills. Regimental 
headquarters were established near Rappahan- 
nock Station. Across the narrow stream was 
HartauiFs knoll. 

If the boys of the Eleventh had an earnest 
desire to cross over and drive away the rebel 
pickets by which the knoll was guarded, a de 
sire they executed in gallant style one clear, 
frosty morning, capturing the entire camp equip 
ments and the half-cooked breakfast of the ab 
sconding enemy, it was because the scene of 
one of their early contests stirred anew the 
courage that held it, on the 21st of August, 
against such unequal numbers. 

While the Eleventh was thus employed, taking 
care of the bridge and river fordings, the main 
army was moving on to Falmouth. Pieasantorrs 
cavalry relieved the infantry on the evening of 
the 18th, and setting fire to the railroad bridge, 
rebuilt by the rebels since its destruction in Au 
gust, we rejoined the division at Stafford Court 

Before the army left Warrenton, General Hal- 
leek and General Meigs were in consultation 
with Burn side. The Orange and Alexandria 
Railroad was to be given up, and the troops 
supplied by way of the Potomac; the Aquia 
Creek landing was to be repaired, and pontoon 
bridges, on which to cross the river at Freder- 
icksburg, at once sent forward. These were 


essential parts of Burnside s plans; and to facili 
tate these movements, a picked force of cavalry 
under the gallant Captain Dahlgren, cleared the 
railroad from Aquia Creek to the Rappahannock 
of all the enemy s pickets. 

But when the army reached Falmouth neither 
was the wharf at Aquia repaired, nor were the 
pontoons where Burnside expected to find them. 
The Rappahannock was too high to be forded, 
and for want of the bridges, the occupation of 
Fredericksburg was defeated. One day later, 
the enemy left at Culpeper was seen covering 
the opposite hights, and confronting us with 
bayonet and cannon on the south bank of the 

Burnside s force was composed of three Grand 
Divisions, commanded respectively by Sumner 
on the right, Hooker in the center, and Franklin 
on the left. It was the 9th of December before 
the several Grand Divisions moved forward into 
position along the Rappahannock. The purpose 
of the Federal commander to attempt a crossing 
of the river was surmised by the enemy, and 
those Fredericksburg hights, formidable enough 
in themselves, were terraced from bottom to top 
with rifle pits, and crowned with bastions. A 
feint was made, as though the crossing would be 
effected at Port Conway, twenty miles below, 
and a large force of the rebels had marched in 
that direction. The object of Burnside was now 


to cross immediately in front, and throw his 
whole united army against the divided army of 
the enemy. 

General Ricketts had retired from the com 
mand of the division, and was succeeded by 
General Gibbons. Gibbons s Division was at 
tached to Reynolds s Corps of Franklin s Grand 
Division, the other divisions of corps being those 
of General Meade and General Doubleday. In 
the order of the battle, Franklin s Grand Divi 
sion was to cross four miles below the city, and 
that of Surnner directly opposite Fredericksburg, 
while the center division of General Hooker re 
mained in reserve. 

Five o clock on the morning of December llth, 
leaving our camp near White Oak Chapel, the 
Eleventh Regiment marched toward the river. 
The moon was high in the heavens, casting a 
calm, clear light on all beneath, while the air of 
the early morning was just cool enough to make 
the brisk walk at which the men started off im 
part a gentle warmth to the blood. 

Passing through the several regiments formed 
in line, and waiting to fall in behind us, a group 
of officers were gathered around their colonel, 
who was addressing his men : 

"Keep your .eye on the flag. If the shot and 
shell of the enemy break your ranks, let that be 
the rallying point. Don t crowd together. Give 
room for the balls to pass between you ; but 



always rally on the flag. There will be hard 
fighting to-day, and every man must do his duty. 
Do your duty, and a grateful country will never 
forget you." 

The hour, the foreshadowings of the day, 
the full tones of the orator, were all impressive ; 
and the good, round cheers that followed told 
that the speaker had an appreciative audience. 

At daylight the troops rested on the hills above 
the river. The bridges on which the Left Grand 
Division was to cross were laid at the mouth of 
Pollock s Creek, and with little opposition. But 
Franklin was not to pass over until Simmer s 
bridges were completed. The opposition to Sum- 
ner was fierce and decided. Sharp-shooters, con 
cealed in the houses along the river, picked off 
the bridge-builders with deadly certainty. Sev 
eral of our batteries fired occasional shots into 
the city, but with what effect could not be told 
for the dense fog that enveloped it. We knew 
that the sharp-shooters had not been driven from 
their hiding-places, for every attempt to complete 
the pontoons drew forth a vigorous and fatal fire. 

The plain on which Fredericksburg stands is 
completely commanded by the hills of Stafford. 
Toward noon, the fog having rolled away, and 
the bridges still remaining unfinished, the order 
was given 10 concentrate the fire of all our bat 
teries on the citv. Riding a short distance through 

\j O O 

the woods from where the regiment rested, we 


were at a point affording a full view of Fred- 
ericksburg, and the position of many of our guns. 
Already the town was on fire in several places, 
and the flames of the burning buildings mingled 
with the white smoke of the bursting shells. 

One could not look upon an exhibition of war 
so sublime in its terrors without conflicting emo 
tions. "When all the time-honored associations 
belonging to Fredericksburg were remembered, 
that a large part of the youth of WASHINGTON was 
spent there, that for years it was the home of his 
mother, and her hist earthly resting-place, we 
could wish such a fate had not overtaken the old 
town. But when we reflected that sacred mem 
ories and associations were no longer regarded by 
those who lived among them, and that the glo 
rious past was forgotten in the bitterness of the 
present, there was a subdued feeling of satisfac 
tion as the angry flames, approaching from differ 
ent directions, threatened to leave the doomed 
city a mass of ruins. 

One of our batteries on the left had thrown 
several shot at a large house standing near the 
river, and from which could be seen issuing the 
smoke of the rebel picket, as in his concealment 
he fired upon our unprotected men. The chim 
neys were knocked away, and a solid shot had 
broken through the roof. But every few minutes 
a wreath of white smoke, curling up from door 
or windows, indicated the presence of the persist- 


ent Southerner. The four guns of the battery 
were depressed to range with the windows in 
the lower story of the building. When the 
smoke of that last discharge cleared away, the 
front wall had fallen out, and carrying down the 
roof with it, crushed to death every living thing 

In the midst of this furious bombardment, at 
tempts were made to complete the bridges. But 
each effort was ineffectual. Despite all the artil 
lery firing, the enemy lay concealed on the oppo 
site shore. Impatient at the delay, and aroused 
to deeds of daring by the daring of the enemy, 
the Seventh Michigan, under command of Lieu 
tenant-Colonel Baxter, volunteered to cross in 
boats, and drive away the sharp-shooters. It was 
an act nobly done. Rushing down the river 
bank, and filling the pontoons, the brave fellows 
pushed out into the river. More rapid than ever 
came the whistling bullets from the south shore ; 
more vigorous than ever they pulled at the oars. 
As the boats touched the beach the men leaped 
forward with a shout, and forth from their hiding- 
places started the lurking foe. But swift of foot 
though they were, swifter were the musket balls 
of those sons of Michigan that struck a score and 
more of them to the earth, dead or dying. 

Ten thousand spectators beheld the valiant 
feat ; and as boat after boat landed its crew, wild 
huzzahs filled the air. Half an hour later Sum- 


ner s bridges were completed; and from right to 
left the army was preparing to cross the Rappa- 



A FEW troops on the left crossed the river 
Thursday evening, hut not until the morning of 
the 12th did the entire force move to the south 
side. A dense fog covered hill and plain. The 
same ominous silence observed by the rebels 
during the bombardment of Fredericksburg was 
maintained. Their pickets slowly retired before 
our advance, and Franklin s Division crossed the 
bridges without drawing from the enemy more 
than a single shot. 

There was no longer any break in the rebel 
line. The troops that marched to Port Conway, 
in anticipation that the Federal army would there 
cross, at the discharge of the first gun on Thurs 
day morning, hastened back; and now from Ma- 
rye s Rights, at Fredericksburg, to Massaponax 
Creek below, the Corps of Longstreet and Jack 
son were in well-chosen positions. 

Running through the plain on which Frank 
lin s troops formed their ranks, and in a line par- 



allel with the river, is the Fredericksburg and 
Richmond Railroad. The railroad crossing of the 
Massaponax was the extreme right of the rebel 
line, held by Stuart s cavalry and a battery of 
three or four guns. 2s"ext came the Divisions of 
A. P. Hill and General Early, with D. H. Hill s 
Division in reserve, forming Jackson s Corps. 
These troops occupied the low hills in our imme 
diate front, and were joined on the left by Hood s 
Division of Longstreet s Corps. 

Reynolds s Corps, occupying the extreme left 
of the Union line, was formed with Meade s 
Division on the left, Gibbons s on the right, and 
Doubleday in reserve. Gibbons s Division was 
in three lines of battle Taylor s Brigade in the 
first line, Colonel Lyle in the second, and Colonel 
Root in the third line. 

Thursday was spent in laying the bridges, and 
Friday in crossing the troops and placing them 
in position. If that marching and countermarch 
ing of brigades and divisions had been prepara 
tions for a grand review, the enemy could not 
have observed it with less apparent concern. 
When the day closed, the pickets of Taylor s 
Brigade were across the Bowling Green road. 
Excepting here and there a solitary sentinel, 
scarcely a Southern soldier was to be seen ; but 
throughout the night could be heard the hum 
of voices, and the falling of trees, and the dull 
rumbling of moving artillery. A few indulged 


the hope that the enemy would quietly slip away, 
leaving us in possession of the coveted bights, 
while others, again, argued little good of his 
sullen reticence. 

They were veteran troops that composed the 
Left Grand Division, and in view of the coming 
morrow, each man, hugging close his musket, 
was soon seeking rest for the present and endu 
rance for the future in such sleep as only comes 
to the tired soldier. 

The Eleventh had not greatly filled up its ranks 
since the battle of Antietam. A few of the 
wounded had returned to duty ; but altogether 
we only numbered on hundred and eighty officers 
and men. Colonel Frink and Major Keenan were 
in hospital. Adjutant Uncapher had lately re 
signed. Doctor Jackson was absent on detached 
service. Doctor An await had been promoted to 
surgeon, and was transferred to the 132d Regi 
ment Pennsylvania Volunteers. Doctors Phelps 
and Morris were at the hospital on the opposite 
side of the river; leaving the chaplain the sole 
representative of the colonel s staff present that 
night before the battle. 

Saturday morning, December 13th, was like 
the several mornings that had preceded it. A 
thick haze enveloped the entire plain, and hung 
before the army like an impenetrable veil. Even 
our own pickets, though only a few yards in ad 
vance of the battle-line, were hid from view by 


the fog. Toward ten o clock, the rays of the sun 
beginning to part the heavy curtains, the lines 
of Reynolds s Corps, from right to left, were or 
dered to move forward. Scarcely quarter of an 
hour later, there was an irregular and scattering 
exchange of picket shots. Then came a volley 
of musketry, sharp and compact, and the battle 
had begun in fearful earnest. 

Those quiet hills, no longer concealed by the 
fog, were seen to be filled with cannon, enfilading 
every foot of the plain ; while from behind the 
railroad embankment, and from the woods be 
yond, the double lines of rebel infantry dis 
charged their rifles in the face of our advancing 
columns. The enemy had now revealed himself, 
and firing over the heads of our own men, who 
were ordered to lay close to the ground, a hun 
dred cannon from Stafford hights were turned 
upon those woods and hills. 

An hour of such work as made the very earth 
to shake, and filled the air with fiendish sounds, 
was followed by a moment of quiet. It was the 
signal for a renewal of the advance. The plain 
was again a sheet of flame, as if ten thousand 
muskets had been discharged by a single touch. 
Again those reticent woods were sending forth 
sounds of death. But the Third Brigade moved 
steadily forward, followed by the Second and the 
First, within a few yards of the railroad. 

The Eleventh was on the extreme left of the 


first line, and moving obliquely toward the rail 
road, encountered the concentrated fire of the 
enemy. Three times had the flag been shot down, 
carrying with it at each prostration the brave 
heart that bore it aloft. But only for a moment 
was it suffered to trail in the dust. Others were 
there to venture limb and life in maintaining it 
erect in si;htof the foe. Before the railroad was 


reached eight of the regiment killed and seventy- 
three wounded, including the colonel and five 


other officers, marked the ground over which we 
had passed. 

Through the ranks of the Third Brigade came 
Colonel Lyle, at the head of the Second Brigade, 
charging against the weakened line of the enemy 
across the railroad, and into the woods in front; 
while the First Brigade, further to the right, 
making a similar move, penetrated the enemy s 
line, capturing two hundred prisoners. The 
Pennsylvania Reserves, on the left of Gibbous s 
Division, were equally successful in breaking 
through the lines of A. P. Hill, and throwing 
them back on those of Early. Reinforcements 
were needed to hold the advantage we had gained, 
and to press the yielding rebels still more furi 
ously. But reinforcements did not come. The 
enemy was quick to see the delay; and massing 
his forces at the threatened point, compelled us 
to abandon the ground so dearly bought, and 
that we ought to have held secure. 


It was late in the afternoon; and falling back 
across the Bowling Green road, the Eleventh 
took a position near the bivouac of the previous 
evening. Darkness ended the strife, and hill and 
plain, so recently thundering with artillery, and 
rattling with the sound of exploding muskets, 
were wrapt in the silence of night. 

On the north side of the river, occupying Pol 
lock s mansion, was the hospital of Gibbons s 
Division. The large tents that were pitched on 
the lawn in rear of the house, and reserved for 
serious cases, were soon crowded. But a kind 
Providence cared for all. Thick matted grass 
covered the ground, and the mildness of summer 
was breathed into the air of December. 

At no previous battle had there been such per 
fect system introduced into the hospital. A part 
of the surgeons were detailed for the operating 
rooms, while to the others were given the care of 
the wounded in the tents and out on the lawn. 
All kinds of supplies of medicines and rations 
were in desired abundance; and if the percentage 
of deaths among the wounded of the division 
was smaller than it had ever been, the reason 
was to be found in the character of the treatment 
they received. 

To the chaplain of the Eleventh was assigned 
the duty of keeping a general record of the 
deaths, and burying the dead. A spot of ground 
near the house was made sacred as the cemetery 


of our companions ; and with all the care and 
skill displayed by the surgeons, the performance 
of our solemn duty was painfully frequent. 

"Dig deep, boys," said the corporal in charge 
of the grave diggers. " The old man that owns 
this ground won t have much respect for these 
graves after we leave. He may level them down, 
but we ll show him that he caa t reach the 

If daylight of Sunday morning seemed to 
come too soon, it was because each one antici 
pated a renewal of the desperate work of Satur 
day. During the night, Gibbons s Division 
moved a mile further to the left, forming in the 
rear of General Doubleday. The same hazy 
cloud of yesterday hung over the plain, limiting 
the view to a few yards on either side. As the 
morning advanced, the boundaries of vision en 
larged, until hill and plain were again in full 
sight. Xo change was to be seen, except here 
and there a tree, denuded of its top branches, or 
shivered in trunk and limb as if struck by a 
thunder-bolt, caught -the eye. The enemy had 
relapsed into his former silence; and though 
once or twice during the day the lines were 
formed for an advance, none was made. 

Rumors began to reach us of a disastrous re 
pulse on the right. Simmer s Corps, that was 
only to hold the enemy in check, while Franklin, 
supported by Hooker, endeavored to turn his 


right, had attempted to carry Marye s Rights, 
and utterly failed. 

The quiet of Sunday was continued through 
out Monday. The Eleventh, under command of 
Captain Kuhn, was detailed for picket duty on 
the extreme left of the line. Three o clock 
Tuesday morning the order was given to retire 
toward the pontoon bridges ; and by daylight of 
the 16th all the troops had crossed to the north 
bank of the river. 



"Pollock s House, Dec. 18, 1862. 

" CHAPLAIN WILLIAM H. LOCKE, of the Eleventh 
Pennsylvania Regiment, is hereby detailed to 
proceed to Washington with the wounded of 
Gibbons s Division, Reynolds s Corps, Frank 
lin s Left Grand Division. 

"CHAS. J. XORDQUIST, urg eon-in- Chief ." 

Winding round the base of Stafford hights, 
the long line of ambulances at last drew up at 
the railroad station. A train of cars was in wait 
ing to convey us to Aquia Creek landing. From 


thence to Washington the transportation was by 
boat; and as our corning was expected, the cabin 
floors of the steamer had been covered with beds 
for the reception of the wounded. In many 
cases the bed was only a truss of hay ; but it was 
a softer couch than usually invited the wounded 
soldier to repose. The transfer of six hundred 
men from the cars to the boat occupied us until 
after midnight, and delayed our arrival in Wash 
ington until the next day. Surgeon-General 
Hammond, and a corps of assistants, were at the 
wharf, to whom we turned over our responsible 

The War Department had refused passes to 
civilians to visit the front since the battle; and 
the arrival of the steamer was awaited by many 
anxious friends. How each stretcher that passed 
over the gangway, bearing a bruised and muti 
lated form, was closely scanned! Again and 
again the earnest glance turned away in dis 
appointment. But the looking was not all in 
vain. In one case the recognition between a 
gray-haired father and the son who had left his 
arm in front of Fredericksburg, was so full of 
affection as to impart a joy to every beholder. 

Washington was in a state of intense excite 
ment. Every one demanded to know who was 
responsible for the move across the Rappahan- 
nock; and, as usual, every one placed the blame 



on the Commander-in-Chief or the Secretary of 
War. Said a prominent official: 

"The nation is tired of the rule of these igno 
rant pretenders; men who have never seen a 
battle, and yet undertake to lead an army sixty 
miles distant, by the click of the telegraph." 

Returning to camp a day later, the same spirit 
of discontent manifested itself. Ten thousand 
men had been killed and wounded, and yet no 
thing was accomplished, not even a cannon or a 
battle-flag taken from the enemy. 

With characteristic magnanimity, General 
Burn side assumed the entire responsibility of 
the attack on Fredericksburg. But every drum 
mer-boy connected with the army knew of the 
disappointments to which the general had been 
subjected, and of the criminal neglect of those 
to whom important parts of the undertaking 
had been intrusted. It was also painfully ap 
parent that there was great want of hearty 
co-operation on the part of leading generals, 
amounting to positive disobedience of plain and 
explicit orders. 

Franklin was to attack on the left, as that was 
the salient point, with his largest corps, and then 
to follow up with prompt and heavy supports. 
Sumner was to threaten Longstreet on the right, 
and thus prevent him from reinforcing Jackson. 
If the orders had been reversed, they would have 
been carried out to the letter. It was Sumner 


that made the vigorous assault, throwing his 
whole Grand Division against those unyielding 
hights, and filling the streets of Fredericksburg 
with his dead; while Franklin, attacking with 
his smallest corps, left it to accomplish its won 
ders of valor without reinforcements, and without 
proper supports. 

Moving back from the river, the line of de 
fense occupied by the Federal army extended 
from Hartwood church on the right, to King 
George County on the left. On the Northern 
Xeck, midway between Potomac Creek and the 
Rappahannock, lay Reynolds s Corps. The camp 
of the Eleventh was near Fletcher chapel, an 
unpretending frame building, thirty feet long 
and forty wide. The disproportion in its width 
was owing to an addition to one side of the main 
edifice, an afterthought, w r e were told, for the ac 
commodation of the colored people, as the church 
was without the gallery usually appropriated to 
their use. 

The contour of this section of the Northern 
Xeck is peculiar, a succession of sharply de 
fined ridges and deep ravines. Getting to the 
leeward of one of these ridges, the quarters of 
the men were constructed along the sloping side, 
while the top of the ridge was crowned with the 
several tents that made up headquarters. There 
was no formal announcement that the army would 
go into winter quarters, but taking it for granted 


that active movements were at an end, the men 
made themselves comfortable to the extent of 
their ability. Excavating some eight or ten feet 
in length and breadth by three feet deep, the dirt 
was thrown up at the sides, on which a frame 
work of logs was placed. Using the shelter tents 
for a roof, an apartment was thus constructed 
large enough for five or six persons to live in. 
A fire-place, made through one of the sides, with 
an old barrel for a chimney, completed the heat 
ing apparatus, in perfect keeping with the prim 
itive style of the domicile. 

DECEMBER 31. In two hours the year 1862 
will be dead. Personally, we must speak well of 
the dying. His daily visits have been full of 
blessings. In camp, on the march, and on the 
field, a kindly hand has been over us. Nation 
ally, the old year has been one of disappoint 
ment. The rebellion, dark and terrible, that 
1861 brought upon the country, we were led to 
hope 1862 would surely end. But it still rages. 
The hungry spirit of war, though devouring 
tens of thousands, cries for more. After twenty 
months of varied fortunes, the enemy is proud 
and defiant as ever. 

JANUARY 1, 1863. The winds that went moan 
ing wildly through the live-Long night the re 
quiem of the dying year, have gone to sleep. 
]STot a cloud is in the sky, while the warm sun, 
now shining out brightly on camp and field, 


drives away the frosty breath of winter. Auspi 
cious beginning of the Xcw Year. May it fore 
shadow to the Xation the coming of its glorious 
summer! Lieutenant-Colonel Frink, who has 
been absent since the Bull Run battle, arrived 
in camp to-day and took command of the regi 

JANUARY 3. Reveille at 6 o clock A.M.; break 
fast at 7; dinner at 12 ; supper at 5 P.M.; tattoo at 
9, with drills, guard duty, and dress parade, 
make up the routine of camp life, day after day. 
But this dull monotony does not extend to the 
world without. The President has issued his 
Emancipation Proclamation, and the slaves in all 
the States and parts of the States now in rebel 
lion are declared forever free. "Events, not 
hours, are the measure of progress." 

JANUARY 7. The breaking out afresh of the 
old wound has compelled Colonel Frink to re 
turn home. Lieutenant-Colonel Batchelder, of 
the Thirteenth Massachusetts, is assigned by 
General Taylor to the command of the Eleventh. 

JANUARY 10. There was a wedding at Belle 
Plain Landing this afternoon. Too late to wit 
ness the ceremony, we spent the time that the 
boat was getting ready to leave for Washington 
in a familiar chat with the bride and groom. It 
was the same old story over again. They were 
both natives of Stafford County. The groom 
had enlisted at an early stage of the war in one 


of the Virginia regiments. He was with John 
son in the Shenandoah Valley, and at the first 
battle of Bull Run, and latterly in ^"orth Caro 
lina. But a pair of handsome eyes were ever in 
his memory, haunting him in camp, or bivouac, 
or. battle. One dark night, while doing picket 
duty on the Edisto, so deep a yearning came over 
him, that deserting the picket post, and braving 
the dangers of many long and wearisome miles, 
he started for Virginia. After various fortunes 
and hair-breadth escapes by land and by flood, 
the deserter arrived in Stafford County just at the 
moment the Federal army occupied Falmouth, 
glad to find himself secure within the Union 
lines. Those handsome eyes were now by his 
side, all his own. One of our chaplains had mar 
ried him and them, and with a pass to Washing 
ton, signed by General Hooker, he and his wife, 
without a friend, or even an acquaintance, but 
with implicit faith in each other, were to try 
their fortunes in the free and glorious !S~orth. 

JANUARY 12. Except a small camp-guard, the 
whole regiment is out on picket. Since Stuart s 
cavalry passed around the right of the army as 
far north as Dumfries, picket duty on the left has 
been something more than mere name. Three 
lines extend from the Potomac to the Rappahan- 
nock, two of cavalry and one of infantry. The 
last line is within a mile of our quarters. The 
rebels make nightly visits to King George Court 


House, and there is a lurking suspicion that they 
contemplate the larger game of falling upon our 
camp or of attacking Belle Plain Landing, from 
whence the Left Grand Division draws its sup 

On our way back from the outer picket line, 
whither we had gone in compan} T with the divi 
sion officer of the day, we came up with a citi 
zen of the Old Dominion, clothed in regular 
homespun of the most approved butter-nut color. 
We found him ready to converse, and so, by our 
questions, led the way. We talked about his 
farm, whose boundaries were pointed out as 
marked by a "wattle fence," inclosing three 
acres, strict measure. Corn and potatoes were 
named as its principal productions. Two cows 
supplied the family with milk and butter when 
there were no soldiers about; for the citizen de 
clared that every Yankee could milk a cow as 
good as a woman, and that since the picket line 
carne so near him, his wife was saved that 

The house was a frame building, of single 
story and a single room, with door and window 
in one. And yet so insidious is pride, and 
withal so exacting, that even there, in that hum 
ble dwelling, it demanded a place, and the good 
man complained of it. 

" Times aren t now as they were when I was 
a boy. Then we spun our own cloth, and made 


our own clothes. But people have got too proud, 
sir; they won t have looms in their houses any 

The result was, that all the chickens they could 
raise, and the geese, and turkeys, and ducks, 
were sold in Frederickshurg to buy clothes, 
which, but for the pride of this later generation, 
might have been made at home. After he had 
finished enumerating the sources of his income, 
the Virginian must have detected the thought in 
our mind, certainly it did not find expression, 
that, putting all together, the chances for a living 
were still exceedingly slim ; for he added that he 
farmed only in a small way. He was a school 
teacher, and had been such for thirteen years. 
Here then was a real pedagogue. We were 
misinformed. They did have that useful person 
in Virginia, and we stood in his presence. In 
deference to the memory of other days, we made 
a low bow, and expressed ourselves as happy at 
such an unexpected meeting. The pedagogue 
went on to say that his stock of corn and po 
tatoes, of poultry and pork was considerably 
increased by the useful occupation of school 
teaching, as in one or the other of these articles 
his pupils always paid their tuition fee. It was 
as good to him as money, he said, besides making 
it much easier for people who want to "school" 
their children to bear the expense, an out-crop 
ping of the same spirit of forgetfulness of self for 


the good of others, that everywhere animates the 
brotherhood of teachers. 

If we rode on toward our quarters, thinking 
how many pounds of hacon, or how many pairs 
of chickens, or bushels of potatoes were con 
cerned in the education of the Southern chivalry, 
it must have been because their camp-fires, on 
the opposite side of the river, beginning to show 
in the darkening twilight, called our thoughts in 
that direction. 

THURSDAY, January 15. Private Charles W. 
Adams, of Co. B, died in hospital yesterday morn 
ing of intermittent fever. The funeral was at 
tended this afternoon by the entire regiment. 
We buried him near Fletcher chapel, in a pine 
grove, secure from the foot of the heedless in 
truder. Almost every part of Virginia has be 
come sacred to us as the burial place of our com 
panions; and each new grave is as an another 
reason why the Old Dominion must not be given 
up. Xot only her battle-fields, but her grave 
yards and highways belong to the North as the 
endeared depositories of its noblest and bravest 




FOR two weeks Burnside had been making 
preparations for a second crossing of the Rappa- 
hannock. Where the attempt should be made 
was difficult to decide, and required a careful 
survey of a large stretch of river shore. The 
lines of the enemy extended twenty miles above 
Fredericksburg, and an equal distance below, 
while every fording of the Rappahannock was 
defended on the south side by earth-works and 

A point below the city was thought to offer 
superior advantages for such a move ; and fatigue 
parties were kept at work day and night con 
structing roads and bridging water-courses and 
ravines. But as far down as Port Royal, the op 
posite shore differed little in formation from that 
in our immediate front. There was the same 
terrace of hills, and the same broad plain over 
which we must march, promising, in case of at 
tack, no more favorable results than the 13th of 

Above the city, both sides of the river were 
alike, the bluffs running down to the water s 


edge, and forming a deep gorge for the bed of the 
stream. The south bank was within easy cannon 
range, and a crossing once effected, the carrying 
of the hights could be made by assault, where 
the advantage of attack or defense was much 
more nearly equal. United States Ford, ten 
miles above Fredericksburg, offered the best fa 
cilities for laying pontoon bridges, and was the 
place selected for this new adventure. Great 
secrecy was observed in all the movements; and 
on the 20th of January the Divisions of Franklin 
and Hooker, keeping behind the Stafford hills 
to evade the rebel look-outs, were marching to 
the designated point. 

The success of the present advance depended 
entirely upon the celerity with which the several 
departments of the army carried out the duties 
assigned them. Five bridges were to be laid, 
and the pontoons must not be a moment behind 
the appointed hour. A large force of the enemy 
was at Port Royal, and the crossing must be 
made before Lee could have time to draw in his 
extended lines. Xothing had been forgotten by 
the commanding general. The road over which 
each division was to march, where it would 
bivouac, and where park its wagon trains, were 
all marked out. 

For two or three weeks the weather had been 
charming, leaving the roads in excellent condi 
tion for the movement of troops. But the men 


had lost all their wonted enthusiasm. A mile 
from camp, the order of General Burnside, an 
nouncing that the Army of the Potomac was 
again to meet the enemy was read to each regi 
ment. The spirited words of the address did 
not awaken a single response. A moody silence 
closed the mouths of officers and men. 

Those were dark days in the Army of the Po 
tomac. It had lost confidence in itself, and in 
its commander, and confidence in the Cause for 
which it had endured so much. Xot only private 
soldiers, but general officers, maligned every act 
of the government, and talked of compromise 
with the South on the best terms that could be 
made. Men that had stood in their places on 
every battle-field of the Peninsula, and at Bull 
Run and Antietam, many of them bearing the 
marks of honorable wounds, were now desert 
ing by scores. Private letters, received from 
different parts of the North, increased the feeling 
of depression by their desponding tone, or en 
couraged desertions by their defiant language. 

From Western Pennsylvania one wrote : "De 
serters are coming home rapidly, and meet with 
such countenance and encouragement, that it 
would be useless to try to arrest them. Any 
severe punishment there [with the regiment] 
would raise a storm of excitement and indigna 
tion. The war seems to be more unpopular than 
ever. There is a growing disposition to fight for 


white men s rights, and to crush the despotic 
power now so intent on making these subservient 
to those of the negro. A revolution, peaceable 
or forcible, is pending in the North." 

Whether the successful crossing of the Rap- 
pahannock and a sight of the old foe would have 
aroused the flagging courage of the Federal 
army, is a question that cannot be answered. 
But in view of the vast interests at stake, it is 
well, perhaps, that an experiment so full of peril 
was not pushed to the issue. 

Long before the Eleventh had reached its place 
of bivouac, the clouds that overcast the noon 
day sky were pouring forth a drenching rain 
accompanied by a tempest of wind. On an open 
field, without even the protection of a forest, the 
men pitch ed their shelter tents. Cold and stormy 
was the night that now set in, whose wearisome 
and comfortless hours seemed to stretch them 
selves to interminable lengths. But above the 
beating of the rain, and the whistling of the 
wind could be heard the terrible oaths of the 
cannoneers and the bridge builders, urging for 
ward their jaded teams drawing pontoons and 

Daylight of the 21st came through murky 
clouds and a drizzling rain. The march was 
continued within a short distance of the river. 
What a change in twelve hours ! The hard roads 
of yesterday had sunk two feet below, and the 



army waded through a sea of mud. Pedestrians 
and horsemen, by slow plodding, and tedious 
windings, could barely navigate; but everything 
on wheels was hopelessly bemired. Thirty-four 
pounders and twelve pounders ; commissary 
wagons and caissons; pontoon trains and ambu 
lances, were at a dead lock, hub-deep in the 

According to orders, the bridges were to be 
laid at earliest dawn of this day. One hundred 
boats were needed, but only fifteen had reached 
the ford not enough for a single spanning of 
the river. A hundred and fifty cannon were to 
be posted along the overlooking hights not a 
third of that number was up with the troops. 

The w r atchful foe on the opposite shore was 
now awake to our intentions. Still Burnside 
was many hours in advance of any concentration 
of forces that General Lee might attempt; and 
throughout Wednesday earnest efforts were 
made to bring up the artillery and the rest of 
the bridges. Double teams and triple teams 
were put to a single gun. Regiments of men 
pried at the wheels and pulled at the ropes, but 
the deceptive soil, so easy to penetrate, with its 
surface of sand, held fast in its under-stratum of 
clay by a grip impossible to escape. 

Thursday morning, new earth-works began to 
be seen on the other side of the Rappahannock, 
and by railroad from the right, and plank road 
from the left, the Southern legions were drawing 


near the threatened point of United States Ford. 
There was scarcely any abatement in the storm, 
and no improvement in the roads. The elements 
were against us. The time for striking a deci 
sive blow had passed. 

FRIDAY, January 23. Again in camp near 
Fletcher chapel. Last night we were bivouacked 
in the woods, half a mile from the river, expect 
ing every moment to be ordered across. To-night, 
knowing that the winter campaign is ended, the 
troops of the division are enjoying the log-cabins 
and clay huts erected weeks ago. So little con 
fidence was there felt in the success of the last 
move, that the men did not destroy their quarters. 
There was nothing to do, on our return, but to 
put on the canvas roofs to make them as good as 
ever, except considerably dampened by the heavy 
rain. The order to move back from United States 
Ford came at daylight this morning. "We reached 
camp about five o clock this afternoon, having 
marched twelve or fourteen miles over roads 
whose like for mud we never wish as;ain to see. 


One must be here, and tramp through it, to know 
the effects of a few hours rain upon the half sand 
and half clay soil of Virginia. The rebels are in 
high glee at our failure to cross the Rappahan- 
nock, and are giving expression to their joy in 
shouts and cheers that we can distinctly hear. 
Perhaps if they knew how many on this side of 
the stream regard that failure as the salvation 
of the Union army, they would be less exultant. 




THREE days later in the month of January, 
General Burnside was relieved of the command 
of the Potomac Army, and General Joseph H. 
Hooker appointed his successor. Franklin, of 
the Left Grand Division, and Sumner, of the 
Right Grand Division, were also relieved of their 
respective commands. 

The announcement of these several changes 
was received by the troops with manifest uncon 
cern. Who commanded outside of their own 
regiment certainly outside of their own brigade 
had come to be regarded as a matter of per 
fect indifference. There was, therefore, neither 
regret for the departure of Bnruside, nor enthu 
siasm over the promotion of Hooker. 

Desertions were still frightfully frequent 
counting up two hundred a day. Those who 
were successful in evading the pickets, wrote 
back to camp, for the benefit of others that 
might wish to leave, minute directions how to 


proceed what route to take, where the line 
was weakest, and where to inquire for help. 

The route through Maryland was discovered 
to offer fewer risks of detection to the runaway, 
and therefore the most popular. Crossing the 
Potomac in small boats that could easily .conceal 
themselves in the numerous coves along the shore, 
once in any of the lower counties of the State, 
the deserter found himself among friends, where 
he might change his attire of blue for that of the 
citizen. When the picket boats were more than 
usually watchful, and the sort of craft in which 
the deserter took passage could not come from 
the Maryland side, the crossing would be at 
tempted on the frailest kind of improvised floats. 
Many of these rafts, in the darkness of the night 
the time always selected for such an adven 
ture are known to have been run down by 
steamers; and among the "missing" on the 
army rolls, whose mysterious fate is still the 
wonder of the household, are those who thus 
ingloriously found a watery sepulture. 

Besides its bad effects on the men that remained, 
to lose by desertion at the rate of a regiment a 
week was no small drain on the material strength 
of the army. To stop this leak was the first con 
cern of the new commander. A squadron of 
cavalry was sent across into St. Mary s County, 
Maryland, with orders to guard well all the roads 
running north. The picket lines in Virginia 


were also re-established and extended ; but with 
little perceptible improvement. There was evi 
dent collusion between the vedette and the de 
serter. Even those that were apprehended and 
brought back, though in several instances severely 
dealt with, failed to prove wholesome examples 
to others. The true spirit of the soldier was 
gone. Politics had supplanted patriotism ; and 
a discontent, as broadcast as it was craven, 
wasted the efficiency of officers and men. 

At last the new feature of a complete system 
of furloughs was introduced. Two commissioned 
officers in a regiment, and two privates out of 
every one hundred men, were granted ten days 
leave of absence at a time. Cleanliness in ap 
pearance, and proficiency in the manual of arms, 
were also rewarded by furloughs. The publica 
tion of this order was the first successful check 
to desertion. Every man had now a hope of 
visiting home, and for the sake of an honorable 
visit, could well afford to bide his time. 

The door once opened, numerous letters were 
received by the commanding general from the 
wives of soldiers, asking a short leave of absence 
for their husbands. In all such cases the letters 
were sent to the several regiments, so indorsed 
by General Hooker as to secure a furlough to the 
happy husband of the interceding wife. It will 
be no violation of confidence at this late day, nor 
any detriment to the service, to mention by way 


of passing, that many of those wives were the 
veriest myths, with but an imaginary existence, 
or at best only wives prospective! y ! 

Another measure of General Hooker, not less 
magical than the furlough system in its good ef 
fects on the morale of the troops, and his own 
popularity as a commander, was the generous 
reinforcement of the commissary department. 
The blood of the men had become degenerated. 
They had lived too long on the low diet of hard 
tack, salt pork, and coffee. Now to Uncle Sam s 
bill of fare was added potatoes, onions, rice, and 
molasses all unknown luxuries; and the com 
missary sergeants gave out that in the opening of 
spring, butter and eggs, and chickens already 
roasted, would be issued as regular rations! 
Ovens were ordered to be built in every bri 
gade, and soft bread, of an excellent quality, was 
given to the men instead of the inevitable hard 

With the Potomac River as the line of com 
munication with Washington a line perfectly 
secure from the interruption of guerrilla attacks 
and a fleet of steamers, larger than that guard 
ing the North Carolina coast, to convey supplies, 
the rations were as abundant in quantity as they 
were good in kind and agreeable in variety. The 
allowance to ten men for a period of thirty days, 
as compared with the actual consumption of a 
family of equal number in civil life, will show 


that the charge of starvation could not be suc 
cessfully maintained against the military author 
ities of that winter. 

To ten men in camp were issued in the course 
of thirty days three hundred pounds of meat; four 
hundred and thirteen pounds of bread over two 
barrels of flour; thirty pounds of rice; ninety 
pounds of onions; forty-five pounds of sugar; 
twenty four pounds of ground coffee; ninety 
pounds of potatoes; four pounds of candles; 
twelve pounds of soap; one pound of pepper; 
six quarts of salt; three quarts of molasses; three 
gallons of vinegar. 

A regiment of one thousand men consumed 
weekly within a fraction of twenty-four thousand 
pounds of rations. Every man weighing not 
more than one hundred and forty-five pounds, 
during the four months of our stay at Fletcher 
chapel camp, consumed nearly three times his 
weight in coffee and sugar, bread, meat, onions, 
and potatoes. 

The winter passed through all the variations 
of climate peculiar to that region of Virginia; 
one day mild and spring-like, and the next day 
cold as the latitude of the Alleghany Mountains. 
But an improved condition of affairs soon mani 
fested itself among the troops. There was a 
more cheerful submission to discipline, a more 
hearty discharge of duty; and as each man be 
gan to think better of himself, he thought better 


of the Cause for which he was contending. "Well 
clothed and well fed, the old enthusiasm that 
carried the army through the campaigns of the 
former year was seen to return. 

Though there were no battles to be fought, 
there was woik enough on picket, and in the 
details for fatigue duty, to keep all employed, 
thus driving away the evils ever attendant upon 
a stationary army. Thousands of men were en 
gaged every hour of the day at the several land 
ings where supplies were received, in unloading 
steamers and loading up wagons. Miles of cor 
duroy road were constructed, leading from the 
numerous camps to Belle Plain, Falmouth, and 
Aquia Creek. Ancient highways and landmarks 
were utterly ignored in the construction of these 
roads, and the landowner will find the evidences 
of Yankee industry where he least expects them, 
and where he least desires them some-times run 
ning across the meadow, and over the lawn, and 
through the barn-yard. For generations to come 
those old corduroy roads, so different from any 
thing natural to Virginia in their vast expenditure 
of labor and skill, will be interesting remains of 
the great conflict. 

But with all this work to do, there were many 
leisure hours; and the chaplain could see the im 
proved spirits of the men in the manner in which 
they employed their leisure. Xo church choir, 
with its accompaniment of splendid organ, ever 


sent forth grander sounds of music than the even- 
ing breezes then wafted from the group of men 
that used to meet in the clear, open moonlight, 
for praise and prayer. There was also a closer 
intercommunion, through letter writing, with 
the better associations of home, prompted doubt 
less by the excellent mail arrangements of the 

Even the recreations of the camp took a dif 
ferent turn, and wore a changed complexion. 
With many of the men it was an impossible un 
dertaking to convince them that there was any 
harm in a simple game at cards, only engaged in 
to pass the time, and where nothing was lost or 
won. But the game did not always maintain 
this assumed innocency of character. The morbid 
state of mind, growing out of the wide spread 
discontent, found a momentary relief in desper 
ate venture, in which officers and men alike 
indulged, and where the only support of depend 
ent ones at home was oftentimes wickedly squan 

It was the sign of a healthier state of morals, 
as well as of physics, when the men began to 
seek recreation in the open air, in trials of phys 
ical strength, and in the dextrous pitch of the 
quoit, or toss of the ball. And when, in the exu 
berance of their spirits, a delinquent mess-mate 
was placed on a blanket made taut by the grip 
of a score of hands, and bounded ten feet into 


the air, to come down again in the midst of the 
merry group, only to make a second and a third 
such involuntary upward flight, it was always 
more pleasant to hear the hearty laugh, over 
these rough out-door camp sports, than to reflect 
that, for want of the spirit to engage in more 
manly recreation, many were dissipating hody 
and soul around the card-tahle or the dice-board. 

Xot content with its own proper allotment of 
time, the winter made heavy draughts upon the 
spring months of March and April. Through 
much of the former month we were disposed to 
think that there had been an upheaving in other 
affairs than those of the nation, and that some 
how March had jostled itself into the place of 
.February. Such blustering and biting winds as 
swept over that northern neck of Virginia are 
scarcely more pleasant to think of than they were 
to endure. 

One particular night the winds made the camp 
of the Eleventh the point of their fiercest as 
saults. Away down the ravines, and over the 
hills, we could tell by the deep and sullen roar 
that there was a gathering of those ariel troop 
ers. Waken when we would, they were howling 
round the tent, straining at the ropes, and striking 
such angry blows against its sides and roof as to 
make one wonder whether the next minute would 
not leave him houseless in the unpitying storm. 

At last there was a momentary lull. Morning 


was nearly ready to dawn, and we thought the 
disturbers of our dreams had fled to their secret 
hiding-places. It was a fond thought ! Gather 
ing all their forces for a mighty effort, before the 
sun should see them at their furious work, a 
thundering blast struck our tent. The long- 
strained ropes parted in every strand. The sides, 
first collapsing, were thrown madly back upon 
the roof, while unseen arms, catching up the 
ruined tent, hurled it to the ground fifty feet 

The same rude blast that carried away our 
house stripped the bed whereon we lay of all its 
covering, and but for the timely assistance of the 
thoughtful quartermaster, we should have been 
left to meet the keen morning weather with far 
less covering than that required by army regula 

But the March winds, hardening the mud, put 
a new bottom in the worn-out Virginia roads, 
and early in April, throughout every department 
of the troops, there was the usual hurry attend 
ant on an important movement. Discarding the 
Right, Left, and Center Grand Divisions, Hooker 
had reorganized his army into corps. The First 
Corps, under command of General John F. Rey 
nolds, included the Divisions of Wadsworth, 
Doubleday, and Robinson, to the latter of which 
belonged the Eleventh. 

The roll of the drum and the sound of the bu- 


gle called forth from the log cabins and clay huts, 
in which they had passed a third of the year, 
one hundred thousand men. It was the opening 
of the spring campaign, and Hooker was to re 
peat the undertaking in which Burnside had 
twice signally failed. 



EVERY possible crossing of the Rappahannock 
had been rendered doubly secure by the indus 
trious enemy, and the game of strategy com 
menced now was more desperate than ever. 
Stoneman s cavalry had already started on its 
perilous journey to the rear of the rebel army, 
designed to sever all communication with Rich 
mond. Doubleday s Division of the First Corps 
was sent to Port Conway, and kindling fires along 
the route gave out the impression of a large 
force preparing to cross there. Following after 
Stoneman were the three corps of Slocum, How 
ard, and Meade. Marching far to the right, and 
crossing first the Rappahannock and then the 
Rapidan, these corps were concentrated in the 



Wilderness, near Chancellorville, before the 
foiled and baffled enemy knew where the Fed 
eral commander intended to strike his first blow. 

Longstreet s Corps was absent from our front, 
operating in the neighborhood of Suffolk. A 
part of Lee s forces had been drawn off in the 
direction of Port Con way, and further to divert 
attention from the right, on the afternoon of 
April 28th the First Corps moved directly toward 
the Rappahaunock. There was now no lurking 
suspicion that the Eleventh would ever again oc 
cupy the old camp. Quarters that had been built 
with great care, and at an outlay of much mus 
cle in keeping with true soldier policy to destroy 
what cannot be used were either leveled to the 
ground or given to the flames. 

A short march of two or three miles, and we 
bivouacked in the woods until three o clock next 
morning. Then continuing the advance, by day 
light of the 29th the corps was massed along the 
river, in front of the Fitzhugh house. Over 
against us, clothed in the bright green of spring, 
were those murderous hights and that fatal plain 
of the last December. But neither the recollec 
tion of former defeat, nor the threatening line of 
rifle-pits occupied by the enemy, abated the ar 
dor of the men. The pontoons were quickly laid, 
and Wadsworth s Division crossed to the south 
side, losing in the transit nine men killed and 
forty or fifty wounded, but clearing out the rifle- 


pits with a loss to the enemy of twenty-three 
killed and one hundred prisoners. 

Fitzhugh mansion was the residence of Major 
Norman Fitzhugh, of the Confederate army. The 
estate contained a thousand acres, and from the 
broad veranda in front of the dwelling was pre 
sented a scene of rare landscape loveliness. The 
parlor carpets had been taken up and sent to 
the Richmond hospitals, to be used as substitutes 
for blankets, but there still remained costly tables 
and sideboards, elegant chairs and sofas, and rich 
adornings of damask curtains, and choice paint 
ings. These parlors were converted into a hos 
pital, and amid such surroundings we attended 
our wounded, .while the surgeons spread their 
amputating tables in the spacious hall. 

"When was your master home, uncle?" we 
inquired of an old servant. 

"Only tother day, sah. He is in de camp jist 
across de riber, dab. He can see now all dat s 
gwine on ober here." 

Early on the morning of the 30th, the enemy 
was seen moving up the river in considerable 
force, and tiling off behind the Fredericksburg 
hights. Turning our guns upon the column, 
that came within easy range at the fording of 
Massaponax Creek, we attracted the fire of seve 
ral rebel batteries, that for an hour devoted them 
selves to the destruction of our pontoon bridges. 
One shell, exploding in the Thirteenth Massa- 


chusetts, that lay to our right, killed Captain 
Bush and five men, and severely wounded ten 

Occasionally, through the night of the 29th, 
as the First Corps still maintained its position on 
the left, a cannon discharge was heard high up 
the river, indicating important movements in 
other parts of the field. "With morning came a 
dispatch from General Hooker, announcing that 
the operations on the right had been so success 
ful that the enemy would be compelled to come 
out from behind his intrenchments, and fight on 
open ground, or give up his strongly fortified 
position. The Union army had an abiding faith 
that on an open field it must be victorious, and the 
announcement was received with shouts so loud 
and long that the rebel column halted in its 
march, startled by the awakened echoes. 

Saturday, May 2d, Fitzhugh hospital was 
given up to those wounded on Wednesday and 
Thursday, and the First Corps marched to Chan- 
cellorville. Besides sixty rounds of ammunition, 
the men carried in their haversacks eight days 
rations. Thus equipped, those twenty miles were 
a fatiguing march; but every belching cannon 
seemed to tell that our presence was needful to 
success, and the men toiled bravely on. It was 
midnight when the Eleventh, at the head of the 
Third Division, reached the banks of the Rappa- 
hannock. Filing down the narrow and tortuous 


road to the river, and crossing at United States 
Ford, on the opposite side we entered the Wil 

Never was a dreary and desolate belt of coun 
try more properly named. It is a region of dense 
woods, not of large trees, but of gnarled and ill- 
shapen oak, so thickly studding the ground, 
which in many places is broken and marshy, 
that a man could hardly march through it with 
out trailing his musket. But the Wilderness on 
that night was a scene of appalling grandeur. 
The bursting shells had ignited the dry leaves, 
and the red names, running up the tree trunks 
and enveloping the highest branches, made the 
whole country like an ocean of lire. 

Up to Saturday afternoon, all had gone well at 
Chancellorville. Considering the nature of the 
ground, the troops were in admirable position for 
attack or defense, patiently awaiting the devel 
opment of General Hooker s plans. Toward 
four o clock a suspicious movement was observed 
on the part of the enemy. Stonewall Jackson, 
with a force of forty thousand men, was coming 
around on our right Hank. Whether it was a re 
treat, or a contemplated attack upon some point 
of the line, did not at once appear. The column 
was a mile distant, marching along the plank 
road leading from Fredericksburg to Gordons- 
ville; and to ascertain its destination, a division 
of the Third Corps was pushed out on a recon- 


noissance. It was soon found that whatever else 
the movement meant, it did not mean a retreat, 
and another division of the same corps, with a 
part of Pleasanton s cavalry, was also sent for 

It was now dark, and falling upon the flank of 
Jackson, the advance of the Third Corps prom 
ised to he a brilliant success. But meanwhile 
the enemy, acting out the peculiar strategy of 
Jackson, massed a heavy force in front of the 
Eleventh Corps holding the Federal right; and 
without throwing forward so much as a skirm- 


isher, hurled his whole force against that one 
point of our line. Unable to resist the impetu 
ous assault, and stricken with panic, the entire 
corps gave way. Scarcely a shot was fired in 
their desperate haste, and the mass of fugitives 
throwing away guns and haversacks, and stam 
peding artillery and ambulances, well-nigh con 
founded the whole field. 

While these terrified troops were thus stream 
ing to the rear by hundreds, others, throwing 
themselves into the deserted place, were perform 
ing deeds of heroic valor. General Pleasanton, 
coming to the right with two regiments of cav 
alry, took in at one glance the whole measure of 
the catastrophe. The rebels were already in 
rear of our troops, and still pressing onward. 
" I saw," said the general, " that it was a critical 
moment. Calling Major Keenau, of the Eighth 


Pennsylvania Cavalry, I said to him, Major, you 
must charge into the woods with your regiment, 
and hold the rebels until I can get some of these 
abandoned guns into position. You must do it 
at all cost. I gave this order to the major be 
cause I knew his character so well ; that he was 
the man for the occasion. He replied to me with 
a smile on his face, though it was almost certain 
death : 

"General, I will do it. 

" He then started in with his whole regiment 
of about four hundred men. It was one of the 
most gallant charges of the war. The major 
was killed at the head of his troops, but he 
alarmed the enemy so much that I gained about 
ten minutes of precious time. I immediately 
run up my horse battery at a gallop, put it into 
position, ordered it unlimbered and double- 
shotted with canister, and directed the men to 
aim at the ground line of the parapet that the 
Eleventh Corps had thrown up, about two hun 
dred yards off. I then set to work with two 
squadrons of the remaining regiment to clear this 
field of fugitives, arid to stop what cannon and 
ammunition that we could and put them in posi 
tion. I managed to get twenty-two guns loaded, 
double-shotted, and aiming on this space in front 
of us The whole woods now appeared to be 
alive with men. I had ordered the pieces not to 
fire unless I gave the word, because I wanted the 


effect of an immense shock. Presently the rebels 
commenced leaping over the parapet, and as they 
did so, I saw eight or ten battle-flags run up the 
line. I immediately gave the order -fire! and 
the fire actually swept the men away; it seemed to 
blow those men in front clean over the parapet." 

Sunday morning the battle was renewed on 
this disputed part of the field. But though the 
rebels came to the work with great spirit, their 
attacks showed the absence of the intrepid Stone 
wall Jackson. In the assault of the night be 
fore, either by the shots of his own men or the 
murderous fire of Pleasanton, Jackson had been 
mortally wounded, and the hero of so many bat 
tles was now far to the rear, in a dying condition. 

The same volley that struck Jackson to the 
ground, killed, wounded, or dismounted his entire 
escort, except one aid-de-camp and a signal officer. 
In removing the dying general to the rear, one of 
the men carrying the stretcher on which he lay 
was shot through both arms, and dropped his 
burden. His companion did likewise, hastily 
flying from the dangerous locality, and but for 
one of the officers present, who caught the han 
dle of the litter, it would have fallen to the 

"Under these circumstances the litter was 
lowered into the road, and the officers lay down 
by it to protect themselves in some degree from 
the merciless hurricane of grape and canister 


which whistled through the air. They lay in 
this manner without moving, and in the midst 
of the most terrific confusion. A few minutes 
before, the road had been crowded, and now no 
man or beast was visible except those writhing 
in the agonies of death. The wounded soldier 
and his companions were the sole living human 
beings upon the gloomy scene."* 

The rout of the Eleventh Corps lost to Hooker 
the key of the position at Chancellorville. But 
the original line was maintained throughout the 
night, though at great disadvantage, for the pur 
pose of co-operating with the movement of Gen 
eral Sedgwick on the left. The First Corps took 
position on the right of the army, with Robin 
son s Division as the extreme right of the corps. 
Occupying the center of the division, Taylor s 
Brigade was thrown across the road leading to 
Ely s Ford on the Rapidan. Excepting the nar 
row road in front, and here and there a bare 
place of several yards in extent, this part of the 
line was a dense woods. Into the deep under 
brush, the Xinth Xew York was deployed as 
pickets, while the rest of the brigade strength 
ened the position by throwing up intrenchrnents. 
Thompson s Pennsylvania Battery was also added 
to the force, which completed the preparations for 
a stubborn resistance, should the enemy again 
attempt to break through the right. 

* Cooke s Life of Jackson. 


Though the attack of Sunday morning did not 
reach our immediate front, many of the enemy s 
wounded, lost in that entangled wilderness, came 
within our lines and were captured. A half-fam 
ished rebel picket, leaving his musket in charge 
of a companion, crawled a few feet through 
the brush, where the ground seemed to slope a 
little, to a marshy spot that promised a canteen 
full of water. So near were the opposing lines, 
and yet so completely hidden from each other, 
that those few feet brought the Georgia ranger 
within reach of our own watchful picket, keep 
ing guard on the counter slope of the same shal 
low ravine. 

Monday morning was ushered in by a daring 
attempt, some distance to the left, near the Rap- 
pahannock. Discovering a wide gap in the Fed 
eral lines, the enemy boldly pushed forward four 
guns to the brow of the river hill, and discharged 
their contents into our wagon train, parked on 
the north side. It was the last fire of that bat 
tery against us. Closing up the gap, and before 
they had time to reload, gunners and guns were 
added to the list of captives. 

General Sedgwick had taken the hights of 
Fredericksburg, and was reported as marching 
up in rear of the rebels. As we sat behind our 
intrenchments, listening to the heavy sound of 
exploding cannon, we tried to imagine that each 
distinct report was coming nearer. Later in the 


day, attention was diverted from the left to the 
front. So tierce was the fire of musketry and 
artillery, that for a moment it was believed that 
Sedgwick had driven the entire rebel army upon 
us ; and that they were determined to make up 
on the right what they were certainly losing on 
the left. 

When comparative quiet was restored, the 
Ninety-seventh Xew York, that had relieved the 
Xinth Xew York of picket duty, was in turn re 
lieved by the Eleventh. There was evident un 
easiness all along the rebel front; but the frequent 
alarms throughout the night, when the discharge 
of a single gun drew forth the fire of the whole 
picket line, made another attack like that of 
Saturday night impossible. 

Tuesday morning, May 5th, General Hooker s 
plans had entirely miscarried. Compelled to 
retire from his first line at Chancellorville by the 
breaking of the Eleventh Corps, there was an 
equally disastrous failure on the part of General 
Sedgwick to carry out the operations assigned 
to him. Instead of uniting his forces with 
those on the right, the advantage of the cap 
ture of Fredericksburg hights was all lost; and 
to save his command from destruction or cap 
ture, Sedgwick was compelled to retire by way 
of Bank s Ford to the north side of the Rappa- 

Hooker now determined to withdraw from 


Chancellorville. The movement was to com 
mence on Monday night. But a heavy rain 
storm, swelling the river to flood-night, and 
making it necessary to take up one of the pon 
toon bridges to lengthen the remaining two, de 
layed the crossing until Tuesday. The retrograde 
march was from left of the line to right. Early 
Wednesday morning Colonel Coulter was ordered 
to call in the Eleventh, still on picket, as quietly 
as possible. An hour later, the regiment was 
concentrated in the intrenchments, now aban 
doned by all but the One-hundred-and-seventh 
Pennsylvania. We were the rear-guard of the 

Moving quickly back toward the river, with 
flanks and rear protected by a strong line of 
skirmishers, of all the thousands of men who 
had marched over that ground, and the hundreds 
of wagons and artillery that were going and com 
ing night and day for a week past, nothing was 
to be seen. The tire that blazed so furiously 
in the midnight of Saturday, had burned far 
into the woods, leaving the road-side lined with 
charred and smouldering tree trunks, while here 
and there a noble oak, growing among its meaner 
kind, and more tenacious of life than they, pre 
sented in that early morning a heart still glowing 
with tire. 

Xot a foe followed our retreat; and by eight 
o clock of the 6th of May, the army of General 


Hooker, excepting the brave men that lay dead 
or wounded on the field, had recrossed the Rap- 



THE heavy rain that threatened to carry down 
the pontoon bridges, and leave Hooker without 
a way of retreat from the Wilderness, had a 
damaging effect upon the tine smooth roads over 
which, but a few days before, the army had 
marched to Chancellorville. In the depth of the 
mud, now worked up to the consistency of thin 
mortar by the troops that preceded us, the rear 
guard had much to remind it of the muddy 
"march of the last January. But unincumbered 
by either wagons or artillery, the men picked 
their way, as best they could, first on one side of 
the road, then on the other, bivouacking at night 
two miles above Falmouth. 

A depot of rations, found not far from the 
ford, without commissary sergeant or guard, was 
seized as public property, from which the men 
replenished their empty haversacks. Thus pro 
vided for an ample feast, after the hurried eating 
on the battle-field, which is never scarcely better 



than a semi-fast, the hour of bivouac was heartily 

Hooker s new line of defense was nearer the 
Rappahannock than that maintained during the 
winter, throwing the First Corps still further 
down the Northern Neck, and bringing the 
camps of the Third Division some distance below 
the mouth of Mattaponax Creek. One day later 
than the rest of the troops, the Eleventh joined 
the division, once more taking position on the 
extreme left, and again near the outer line of 

There was no longer any need of winter 
quarters; but the warm sun, every day growing 
warmer, suggested a protection from its exhaust 
ing heat, which was dignified with the home- 
sounding title of summer-house. A frame work 
of saplings, so constructed as to cover the top of 
the tent and extend some distance in front of it, 
was overlaid with branches of spruce and hem 
lock, making a roof that at once screened us 
from the rays of the sun, and threw an agreeable 
shade around our canvas dwellings. 

Within the shadow of these bowers was dis 
cussed the successes and failures of the last bat 
tle. In the Union army, where every man had 
access to newspapers containing such admirable 
correspondence from every part of the field, all 
the different points of a campaign came very 
soon to be well understood and freelv canvassed. 


It cannot be said that the failure of Chancel- 
lorville had any bad effect on the troops other 
than that it was a disappointment. There had 
not been enough of hard marching or unsuccess 
ful fighting to dishearten them. A compara 
tively small part of the army was actually en 
gaged with the enemy, and the larger part that 
remained idle in the hearing of guns and in 
the sight of battle-lines, felt disappointed that 
the whole of General Hooker s splendid army 
had not been brought against Lee; as in that 
event victory would have been certain. 

The men of the army always spoke of their 
commander as "Fighting Joe." Playing upon 
that familiar mode of expression, the rebels now 
called him " Fallen Joe." But though Hooker had 
failed of positive success in the Wilderness, he 
had crossed the Rappahannock; surprised the 
enemy in his intrenchments; captured five thou 
sand prisoners, and disabled eighteen thousand 
of his chosen troops. The battle of Chancel lor- 
ville was accepted rather as an earnest of what 
Hooker could do, than a proof of what he had not 

Not far from the camp of the Eleventh was 
another of those Virginia mansions, resembling 
in its generous dimensions, as in its internal 
finish and outward beauty of grounds, the resi 
dence of Major Fitzhugh. The proprietor was 
in the South, and for two years the fields had 


been uncultivated, and the garden and lawn suf 
fered to grow wild with weeds, save the little 
attention given to them by a family of miserably 
poor white retainers living on a part of the 

In two days after our arrival, if one had made 
a tour through the encampments of the First 
Corps lying nearest this mansion, he might have 
found distributed here and there, as additions 
either ornamental or useful, almost everything 
that could be carried from the forsaken house. The 
heavy panneled doors were transformed into camp 
bedsteads of the most approved style, or made to 
serve the meaner purpose of a tent floor. In one 
of our company streets, cool and airy quarters 
were constructed of its Venetian shutters ; and 
though all the glass had been broken from the 
windows, members of another company, not to be 
outdone by the inventive genius of their neigh 
bors, carried away the empty sash, of which 
they built quarters still more cool and airy. 

Scattered over the floors, and mingled with 
broken china and mahogany, were papers and 
letters doubtless of great value to the family, 
because of the many years through which they 
had been preserved. An old ledger told that in 
the beginning of the present century, the elder 
proprietor was a merchant, living in Port Royal, 
on the Rappahannock. The Fitzhughs, and the 
Lewises, and the Slaughters, and Hed^man, and 


Taliferio, were among his customers ; in many 
instances buying at a single purchase of shoes, 
cotton goods, and calico (supplies for their slaves) 
to the value of ^50. 

A soldier, with nothing else to employ his 
leisure time, gathered a bundle of these scattered 
papers and brought them into camp. It was a 
strange coincidence, that two of the letters thus 
preserved should present the old Virginia mer 
chant in such different phases of character. One 
letter was from a clergyman, thanking him for 
his "thoughtful gift" of twenty pounds. The 
other was from a lady, appealing to him, as the 
executor of her deceased husband, to deal justly 
with herself and dependent children. 

Our field glasses revealed a state of things on 
the south bank of the Rappahannock very like 
to that existing on its north side. There, too, 
summer bowers could be seen, mingling their 
dark green with tents bleached to pure whiteness 
by the spring rains and the summer sun. The 
pickets were in easy speaking distance of each 
other, and for a time neither army seemed dis 
posed to do more than lazily patrol the opposite 
shores of the river. 

Then came alarms from the rebel side. There 
were movements of artillery, and marchings of 
infantry, that awakened suspicion, and led to the 
belief that the enemy contemplated a crossing 
somewhere on the loft. Between corps head- 


quarters and the pickets, a line of couriers was 
established, and the old spirit of vigilance, suf 
fered to sleep awhile after the battle of Chan- 
cellorville, was fully aroused. 

Tow ird the latter part of May, the camp was 
astir at midnight by a report that the enemy was 
crossing the river in large force. Wagons were 
packed and moved out to the road, and the troops 
got in readiness to form in line at a moment s 
notice. But it turned out to be a false alarm, 
thus accounted for by one from the south side: 
" Night before last an incident occurred which 
exhibited their [our] nervousness. A party of 
Mississippi an s undertook to draw a sein in the 
river near Knox s mills. The Yankees concluded 
that the Rappahannock was being crossed by the 
Confederate army, and at once the heavens were 
illuminated with their rockets the picket lines 
were doubled, and their whole camp gave every 
indication of fearful apprehension. Fallen Joe, 
however, was permitted to pass the night unmo 
lested by the sein-haulers." 

These alarms, far down on the left, were a part 
of General Lee s plans. "With their resources 
well-nigh exhausted, and hard pressed to subsist 
the army in the impoverished country where it 
had passed the winter, the authorities at Rich 
mond again and again demanded of Lee to assume 
the offensive. Hooker s failure was accepted as 
the dawning of the propitious hour for such an 


undertaking, and behind the hills, across the 
narrow channel, the Southern leader was mar 
shaling his legions for the invasion of the Xorth. 

O O 

The strength of the First Corps was greatly 
reduced by the discharge of troops whose term 
of enlistment had expired, compelling a reorgan 
ization of its divisions and several of its brigades. 


After the battle of Fredericksburg, General Taylor 
resigned the command of the Third Brigade, and 
retired from the service. During the Chancellor- 
ville campaign, it was under command of Colonel 
Leonard, of the Thirteenth Massachusetts. In 
the reorganizing of Robinson s Division, the 

O 5 

three brigades that formerly composed it were 
consolidated into two brigades. The Thir 
teenth Massachusetts, Orie-hundred-and-fourth 
New York, One-hundred-and-seventh Pennsyl 
vania, and Sixteenth Maine, formed the First 
Brigade, under command of General Paul. The 
Eleventh, Eighty-eighth, and Ninetieth Penn 
sylvania Regiments, and the Ninth and Ninety- 
seventh New York Regiments, formed the Second 
Brigade, under command of Gen. Henry Baxter. 
General Baxter was at the head of the Seventh 
Michigan Regiment in its charge across the Rap- 
pahannock in pontoon boats, on the 12th of De 
cember, driving away the rebel sharp-shooters, 
that for half a day retarded the laying of Sum- 
ner s bridges. The gallant feat won for him a 
brigadier s star. Baxter s fame had preceded 


him, and when he took charge of the brigade, 
the men were as proud of their new general as 
the general himself was proud of his new com 

The Eleventh began its march northward with 
two hundred and eighty-eight men, scarcely a 
third of the number with which it had marched 
southward a year before. Some of its numerous 
wounded had recovered and were again in their 
places; while many others, including the two 
subordinate field officers, were still absent. 

The vacancies occasioned among the line offi 
cers, by death or resignation, were mostly filled. 
Sergeant-major Arthur F. Small was promoted 
to adjutant; and Commissary-sergeant Allen S. 
Jacobs to be quartermaster. Doctor W. F. Os- 
borne, of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 
had been assigned to the regiment as second as 
sistant surgeon, vice Doctor Morris resigned, be 
fore we left Fletcher chapel. The time of service 
of the 132d Pennsylvania Regiment having ex 
pired, Doctor Anawalt was returned to the 
Eleventh as surgeon. 

FRIDAY, June 12. Between five and six o clock 
this morning, the Second Brigade of the First 
Corps moved out of camp. Three hearty cheers 
were given for General Hooker as we passed 
army headquarters. We are now bivouacked at 
Deep Run mill, on the road leading to Warren- 
ton, twenty-two miles from the point of starting. 


The heat of the day was oppressive; and what 
with their kuapsacks on their hacks, and the 
dust settled in hair and eyebrows, the men looked 
like a regiment of octogenarians, instead of the 
stalwart Western hoys that they are. That part 
of the road lying between Falmouth and Hart- 
wood church was passed over last spring in our 
march from Manassas to Fredericksburg. Deep 
Run mill is a large stone building half a century 
old. The flood-gates are torn away, and the 
burrs removed, to prevent its use by the Yan 

SATURDAY, June 13. It was nearly seven 
o clock this morning before the column got fairly 
started; and although the rests were frequent, 
the march was full of weariness. We are halted 
for the night in a thick woods between the Rap- 
pahannock and Bealton Station, on the Orange 
and Alexandria Railroad. A large rebel force is 
reported to be concentrating on the opposite side 
of the river, and the troops are going into bivouac 
in line of battle. During last August, while the 
Eleventh was engaged at the bridge just below, 
holding the rebel advance in check, Jackson s 
forces passed to the right, and made their appear 
ance on the plains of Manassas. Many express 
themselves to-night that the same programme is 
to be enacted ; and that the annual battle of 
Bull Run will be fought some weeks earlier. 

MONDAY MORNING, June 15. Three days ago 


we were eight miles below Fredericksburg, on 
the Rappahannock ; this morning the First Corps 
is encamped at Manassas. General Halleckonce 
said that the great want of the Army of the Po 
tomac was legs. He will be glad to learn that 
we have come into possession of those valuable 
appendages, and know how to use them. The 
march of yesterday, if not the longest in miles, 
was the longest in hours we have ever made. 
Leaving the woods near Bealton at nine o clock 
A.M., Sabbath, the regiment halted this morning 
at four o clock, marching nineteen hours, with 
only one hour s rest at Broad Run. From Beal 
ton to Bristow the route was new to the Eleventh, 
and made up the broken link in the chain of 
inarches through this part of Virginia We have 
now traversed almost every foot of its territory 
from the Potomac to the Shenandoah, east and 
west, and from Alexandria to the Rapidan, north 
and south. 

MONDAY EVENING. Shortly after eight o clock 
this morning the march was resumed across Ma 
nassas plains toward Centerville. Every spot was 
familiar, for no less than six different times have 
we encamped on this ground. Manassas never 
looked so beautiful as now, clothed in the rich 
verdure of early summer. But although the 
green grass covers up many a foul spot, and hides 
from view the graves, and in some instances the 
unburied bones of our companions, nothing can 


wipe out the memory of the terrible conflicts 
that will always be associated with this sanguinary 
battle-field. To-night we are encamped on the 
hights of Centerville. 



"The service required of the First Corps will 
be of such a nature that all unnecessary baggage 
must be left behind," read the order of General 
Hooker the day before the corps left the Rappa- 

When General Lee commenced moving it 
w r as uncertain whether he was making for the 
Shenandoah Valley or the Orange and Alexandria 
Railroad, by way of Thoroughfare Gap. In either 
event, the possession of Manassas and the hights 
of Centerville was of vast moment to the Fed 
eral commander, and hence the rapid marching 
of the First Corps to those points. At the same 
time of our bivouac at Centerville, the head 
of the rebel column reached the vicinity of Win 
chester, and from all the signal stations came the 
same report that Lee was concentrating a large 
army in the Valley. Still, the real object of the 



Confederate commander did not clearly appear, 
arid then commenced that series of strategic op 
erations between Lee and Hooker that reflected 
such credit upon the latter. 

In less than one week all the corps of the Po 
tomac Army were massed in the region of Fair 
fax Court House. The Blue Ridge rose between 
the two opposing generals, hiding from each 
the movements of the other. The wily Lee, who 
marched so rapidly at the first, halted his main 
column under cover of the mountain, sending 
only a part of his forces to ravage the shores of 
the Potomac. He had expected to see General 
Hooker, in his eagerness to protect the threat 
ened border, cross his forces into Maryland, and 
leave open all the easy approaches to the national 
capital. But the brave Pleasanton, with his fear 
less troopers, penetrated the gaps of the Blue 
Ridge, and revealed the designs of the enemy. 

While the First Corps was halted at Guilford 
Station, on the London and Hampshire Railroad, 
Pleasanton s cavalry was approaching Aldie Gap. 
The outline of the country stretching away to 
ward the Blue Ridge was such that, occupied by 
the enemy, he could hang upon our flank and 
rear, observe all our movements, and harass us 
at every step. General Stuart made a march of 
forty miles in one day to get into this territory, 
and on the morning of June 21st, in the very 
act of passing through Aldie, encountered Pleas- 


anton. The fight was long and severe; but the 
rebels were finally driven back, and retreated 
through Middleburg. Lee s strategy was now at 
an end; and following in the wake of Swell s 
Corps, his whole army invaded Maryland and 

On the march from Centerville to Guilford 
Station, we had an instance of the daring ex 
ploits of the guerrilla Moseby, within whose do 
mains we then found ourselves. Two clerks, 
belonging to the brigade commissary, rode oft 
some distance from the troops to procure a 
supply of forage for the horses. Scarcely had 
they left the road over which our wagon train 
was passing, on their way to a farm-house across 
the fields, when, in going through a narrow strip 
of woods, they fell into the hands of Moseby. 
The party, consisting of the guerrilla chief and 
a dozen men dressed in Federal uniform, were 
mistaken for a squad of our own cavalry. Re 
lieving the clerks of the pistols they always car 
ried in their belts, but never used, the prisoners 
were ordered to remain seated on their horses, 
and observe perfect quiet. In a little while, 
placing our boys in the center of the squad, and 
intimating what would be the result in case of 
the slightest alarm, the guerrillas boldly galloped 
out into the road, riding some distance along 
with the train, and again taking to the woods on 
the opposite iiank. 



Excepting to disarm them, not the slightest in 
dignities had thus far been offered, and Moseby 
seemed determined to convince his captives not 
only in words, but by actions, that he was not 
the style of person the Yankees represented him. 

"Your papers speak of us as guerrillas, and 
every murder committed between the Potomac 
and the Blue Ridge is blamed on me or some of 
my men. These charges are all false. We are 
an independent command, to be sure, but a part 
of the Confederate cavalry, and only kill when 
we cannot capture, just as your men do. It is 
my business now to get all the information I can 
of your movements, and that is what I have been 
doing to-day. We have gone all along your 
trains, and from the marks on the wagons, and 
conversation with the drivers, I know how 
many corps are moving in this direction, and 
where you will probably bivouac to-night. If 
any horses should stray away from camp, or men 
either, for that matter, they may be among the 
missing in the morning." 

Riding up to a house, partly hid in an apple 
orchard, another source from which Moseby 
derived his information was discovered. The 
farmer met him at the gate with every expres 
sion of hearty welcome. Two Yankee soldiers 
had been there an hour before, to \\hom he had 
given dinner, in the hope of getting some news 
out of them. "But they were a stupid pair/ 


said the farmer, "and only knew that they be 
longed to the Eleventh Corps." 

Moseby retained his prisoners until next morn 
ing, and then released them on parole. If he 
had not kept their horses, thus compelling the 
clerks to walk ten or twelve miles to overtake 
the brigade, so far as their experience went, the 
partisan chief might have received more credit 
for cleverness than he deserved. 

SATURDAY MORNING, June 27. Although or 
ders to be ready to move were received on Wed 
nesday, it was not until 10 o clock Thursday that 
we broke up camp at Guilford Station. A march 
of six or eight miles brought us to Edward s 
Ferry, on the Potomac. Two o clock we stood 
on the shores of Maryland. Not one single regret 
pained our hearts at parting with Virginia, and 
we shall be glad never again to set foot on her 
disloyal soil. 

While the troops were crossing, rode up the 
river to Ball s Bluff , the scene of that wicked 
blunder in which the gallant California Senator 


(Colonel Baker) and nine hundred men were sac 
rificed to incompetency or treason. Passing 
through Poolsville, the Eleventh bivouacked at 
night near the little town of Barnesville. 

Friday morning the troops were again on the 
march, moving toward Frederick City. The 
roads were in the worst possible condition, soft 
and slippery. But there were many points of spe- 


cial interest that helped, in no small degree, to 
vary the weariness of the way. First was the 
Sugar Loaf Mountain, whose graceful peak was 
in full sight almost from the moment of leaving 
Guilford Station. It must be said, however, that 
it had a grander view in the distance than when 
we came to climb up its steep rocky sides. After 
a march of two or three miles along the bank of 
Monocacy Creek, the troops began the ascent of 
the Ivittoctan Mountain. Behind us was the 
Sugar Loaf and the country through which we 
had passed. In front were the South Mountain 
range, and the gap at Harper s Ferry, where the 
waters of the Potomac and the Shenandoah meet 
and mingle into one. At our feet lay Pleasant 
Valley, intersected by fields of ripening grain 
and green, waving corn, looking in the distance 
like a vast garden. The brigade halted last 
night outside the village of Jefferson. In com 
pany with Chaplain Howell, of the Ninetieth, 
found lodgings in the town, where we are now 
waiting the coming of the troops. 

SATURDAY EVENING. It was eight o clock this 
morning before Baxter s Brigade, in rear of the 
Division, left Jefferson. The route was up the 
valley toward Middletown. Passing through the 
village, we are now in camp in sight of Mount 
Tabor Church, at the foot of South Mountain, 
near where the Eleventh marched up to take 
part in the engagement of 14th September last. 


MONDAY, June 20. There was such a falling 
oft of startling rumors yesterday, and everything 
wore an aspect so peaceful and Sabbath-like, 
that every one imagined, holding as we did all the 
passes of South Mountain, and guarding all the 
avenues leading to Baltimore and Washington, 
that the army might rest some days in Pleasant 
Valley. But the call of the bugle dispelled the 
delusion; and at the hour we had appointed to 
hold religious services, the Eleventh marched 
to Frederick. The distance was only com 
pleted with the last ray of daylight; and yet so 
charming was the weather, and in such fine 
spirits were the troops, that the eight miles were 
made with scarcely more apparent fatigue than 
has often been seen in a simple change of 

At four o clock this morning the column was 
again in motion, moving toward Emmettsburg. 
Everywhere along the route the troops were 
greeted with demonstrations of delight. It was 
so new to us, who had always been received with 
frowns, or a look of contempt, or in sullen silence, 
to be met with smiles of welcome, that the en 
thusiasm of the citizen was communicated to the 
soldier, and for miles a prolonged cheer rose 
from the moving ranks. Late in the afternoon, 
the First Corps entered Emmettsburg. One week 
ago, the finest half of the town was destroyed 
by fire, certainly the work of an incendiary 


but whether a rebel spy, or a home rebel sympa 
thizer, does not yet appear. 

Two miles from town we passed the Catholic 
College of Mount St. Mary, a large, imposing 
stone edifice, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and 
surrounded by everything in nature to make it 
attractive. Taking advantage of a moment s 
halt, a party of three or four rode through the 
capacious gateway, and up to the main entrance 
of the building. We were cordially received by 
the president, and escorted through the several 
parts of the college. With characteristic hospi 
tality, a collation was in preparation for us, but 
the column had moved on, and we were obliged 
to decline. Immediately in the town are the 
buildings and extensive grounds of the Sisterhood 
of St. Joseph, the headquarters of the Sisters of 
Charity in the United States. The regiment is 
now T bivouacked a short distance to the west of 
Emmettsburg, on the road leading to Cash town. 




WHILE the Army of the Potomac was resting 
under the shadow of South Mountain, on the 
28th of June, the supreme command of its forces 
passed from General Hooker into the hands of 
General George G. Meade. 

Those were days when official jealousies and 
personal animosities home-bred traitors great 
ly interfered with the efficiency of the army. 
There had never been anything but bad blood 
between Hooker and General Halleck. " If the 
general-iu-chief had been in the rebel interest," 
said Hooker, " it would have been impossible for 
him to have added to the embarrassment he 
caused me, from the moment I took command 
of the Potomac Army." 

A garrison of ten thousand men had been 
placed at Harper s Ferry. There was nothing 
for them to do; they covered no ford of the river, 
nor were they of the slightest defense to the 
Cumberland Valley. Having sent the First, 

( 223 ) 


Third, and Eleventh Corps to Middletown, on 
the flank of Lee, Hooker proposed, with the 
Twelfth Corps and the force at Harper s Ferry, 
to fall upon the rebel rear, destroy the bridges 
Lee might have laid across the Potomac, and in 
tercept the commerce Ewell had established in 
grain, horses, and cattle, which he was sending 
into Virginia in large amounts. But Halleck 
refused to allow the withdrawal of those troops, 
and General Hooker asked to be relieved ; de 
claring that he would rather go into the ranks 
as a soldier, than to stand at the head of the 
army and be thwarted at a time when it was 
necessary for every man to be used for the safety 
of the country and the destruction of the rebels. 

On the morning of June 30th, leaving our bi 
vouac near Emmettsburg, and tiling out into the 
road to Gettysburg, the First Corps crossed from 
Maryland into Pennsylvania, the Eleventh Regi 
ment halting near the house of James Wolf red. 
Two miles from Emmettsburg, an old tree, grow 
ing in a fence corner, was pointed out as marking 
the State line. As the three Pennsylvania regi 
ments of the Second Brigade passed that bound 
ary, a new class of emotions was awakened in 
every heart, that could only find expression in 
the hearty cheers there given for the good old 
State. * 

The order announcing the change of com 
mander was here read to the troops. Cut off from 


all sources of information, the movements of the 
rebels only came to us in vague and unreliable 
rumors. Xow the reports were more explicit. 
Lee had indeed penetrated far into the interior 
of Pennsylvania. Carlisle and York were already 
in possession of his forces, and a large body was 
marching against Harrisburg. It was a perilous 
adventure, in such a moment as that, when every 
man felt the impending crisis, to remove from 
the command one who knew so well not only 
the qualities of his own army, but the designs 
and purposes of the enemy, and supersede him 
by another who had all that to learn. 

Unaccounted for, and to them unaccountable, 
the removal of General Hooker was accepted by 
the rank and file as the expression of doubt and 
uncertainty, in the high places of government, 
as to the issue before us ; and with an army less 
patriotic or less intelligent, the effect would have 
been full of disaster. But there comes an hour, 
in the experience of every true soldier, when he 
feels that victory depends not so much upon the 
commander as on himself on his own fidelity 
to duty. Such an hour came to the Army of the 
Potomac, and each man was nerved for the 
work before him. 

The right wing of the army, consisting of the 
First and Eleventh Corps, under command of 
General Reynolds, continued its leisurely move 
ment toward Gettysburg. There was nothing 


in the clear blue sky of that first morning in 
July to indicate what the day would bring forth. 
If anything could suggest peaceful thoughts to 
armed men, it was the country through which 
we were passing, so like a paradise it seemed to 
the forsaken regions south of the Potomac, al 
most every acre of which had been furrowed by 
battle, or trenched for the burial of the dead. 
With what hearty State pride each one beheld 
the lofty mountains the broad plains the 
flowering valleys of Pennsylvania. Xo wonder 
the Southern soldier, remembering to what he 
must return, was loathe to leave those fair fields. 

While General Reynolds was approaching the 
town, Hill s Corps, of the rebel army, was mov 
ing in the same direction from Chambersburg, 
and Early s and Swell s Corps from Carlisle and 
York. Buford s cavalry occupied Gettysburg 
the last day of June, and on the first of the new 
month, in a reconnoissance out on the Chambers- 
burg pike, encountered Heath s Division of the 
rebel advance. 

Robinson s Division was three miles to the rear 
when the first artillery report broke the stillness 
of the morning air, and rolled away in echoes 
among the surrounding hills. How that first 
gun the invariable prelude to battle always 
startles the nerves, and sends the heart on a 
double-quick motion! But as cannon answers 
to cannon, the nerves become accustomed to the 


unusual sound, and the heart comes back again 
to its steady beat. 

It was not known that a considerable force of 
the enemy was in our immediate vicinity; and 
the party in front of the cavalry was regarded as 
an advance guard, sent forward to watch the 
movements of the Federal commander. Pres 
ently long lines of infantry began to develop 
themselves, and Buford sent word that the 
enemy was in heavy force. Wadsworth s Divi 
sion of the First Corps was in the advance, then 
came Donbleday, and last Robinson. Placing 
himself at the head of Wadsworth s column, 
General Reynolds pushed rapidly forward, mov 
ing across the fields to the left of the Emmetts- 
burg road and taking position on Seminary 
Ridge, half a mile west of Gettysburg. 

There were other eyes than those of General 
Reynolds that saw the advantages of that com 
manding ridge. Scarcely had our troops reached 
the ground, when Heath s Division, having driven 
back the cavalry, turned upon AVadsworth, and 
in desperate charges vainly endeavored to drive 
him from the ridge. In the first volley from 
the rebel line General Reynolds fell mortally 
wounded, dying in the arms of his attendants 
before he could be removed from the field. 

The firing of the first gun in front closed up 
the straggling ranks of the rear division. Aid- 
de-camps were seen riding along the column, 


delivering orders to the several commanders, 
and urging* forward the troops. 

"Step out lively, men," said one. General 
Reynolds has heen wounded, and every man is 
needed at the front." 

Those were troops not to be disheartened by 
disaster, and as they neared the battle-field, a 
firmer and a steadier step struck the ground. 

Nobly did the First Division maintain its lines, 
inflicting heavy loss upon the rebels, and before 
its supports came up capturing General Archer 
and his entire brigade. The death of General 
Reynolds placed General Doubleday in com 
mand of the First Corps and General Howard 
in command of the right wing of the army. 
Strengthening Wadsworth s line with the Third 
Division, Robinson s Division was held in reserve 
behind Seminary Ridge. While the troops of 
the First Corps were thus disposed, the Eleventh 
Corps marched through the town and formed on 
the right. The outlines of the battle of Gettys 
burg at this moment began to be seen. Hill was 
in front of the First Corps with thirty thousand 
men, and Ewell was approaching our right flank 
with thirty thousand more. 

"Tell Doubleday to fight on the left, and I 
will hold on to the right," said General Howard 
to Buford s adjutant, who rode up to tell him of 
the advance of Ewell. 

Robinson was getting into position near the 
Seminary when Doubleday observed a dangerous 


gap between himself and Howard. The Eleventh 
Pennsylvania and the Ninety-seventh New York 
were at once pushed forward some distance be 
yond the railroad embankment to occupy the 
space. A little later, the rest of the Second 
Brigade was sent forward, and at last the whole 
division. Not a single regiment remained in re 
serve, and from left to right the line was envel 
oped in fire and smoke. 

The enemy was striking his heaviest blows on 
the left, and changing front, Robinson took posi 
tion on a ridge running parallel with Seminary 
Ridge, four or five hundred yards further west. 
It was now noon, and the battle grew fiercer with 
every hour. Gallantly the rebels came against 
our front, and as gallantly were they driven 

"We are Pennsylvanians, and have come here 
to stay," was the shout that followed every re 
pulse of the enemy. 

There seemed to be no end to those Southern 
ranks, as there was no exhausting the persistent 
courage with which they continued the attack. 
Quick as one line was swept away another and a 
stronger line took its place. Baxter had just 
repulsed one of the enemy s severest assaults, 
when a North Carolina brigade veered round for 


a charge on our right fiank. The Ninetieth Penn 
sylvania and the Twelfth Massachusetts met the 
North Carolinians with a musketry fire that 



doubled up their ranks and sent them streaming 
back toward the left in defenseless confusion. It 
was our time to charge; and rushing upon those 
broken ranks with the spirit of men who had 
everything at stake, the Eleventh Pennsylvania 
and .Ninety-seventh New York brought back 
with them four hundred prisoners, and the flag 
of the Twenty-third North Carolina Regiment. 

The record of one hour on that ridge is the 
record of the three hours the troops maintained 
their position. Xow repelling the fierce attacks 
of a greatly superior force in front; now chang 
ing to the right and then again to the left ; and 
when the enemy s ranks were broken, charging 
upon him, capturing his colors and his men. 
Shot and shell were every moment lessening the 
number. But the brave fellows were fighting on 
their native soil ; they had come there to stay, and 
closing up the gaps, they fought on. AVhen the 
ammunition began to fail, wounded men, carried 
from the field, passed their cartridge-boxes to 
the front. More than one volley that shattered 
through those rebel lines was supplied from the 
unexpended powder and ball taken from the per 
sons of dead comrades. 

Toward three o clock the First Brigade moved 
to the front. The battle was now raging with 
greater fury than ever, and the Eleventh was 
hurried to the railroad embankment, a short dis 
tance to the left, to support Stewart s Battery. 


The enemy, coming from the direction of Cham- 
bersburg, was gradually extending his line on 
the left so as nearly to touch the Emmettsburg 
pike. For six hours the First Corps, numbering 
in all only eight thousand men, had contended 
with Hill s Corps, full thirty thousand strong. 
A new danger now threatened them. The 
Eleventh Corps, that for some time gallantly 
held its own, suddenly broke, precipitating 
E well s Corps upon our right flank. Neither 
courage nor valor could avail against such fearful 
odds. Overwhelmed in front, and sorely pressed 
on either flank, the Union lines gave way in de 
feat and retreated through Gettysburg to Cem 
etery Hill. 

Early in the day the surgeons had taken pos 
session of the Lutheran Church, near the center 
of the town, for Division Hospital. Basement 
and auditory, chancel and choir, the yard in 
front, and the yard in rear, were soon crowded 
with the brave men of the Second Division, 
wounded and dying. We were going in and out 
among these, when the broken aud flying bat 
talions of the Eleventh Corps came streaming in 
from the right. It was a sight never to be for 
gotten. Crowding through the streets, and up 
the alleys, and over fences in utter ignorance of 
whither they were going, every moment increased 
the confusion and dismay. To add to the terrors 
of the hour, the enemy gained possession of the 


town, and firing rapidly into our retreating ranks, 
shot and shell mingled their horrid sounds with 
the groans of the dying thus stricken down. 

But that retreat was not all confusion. The 
same nohle corps that had so successfully main 
tained its ground on the left, when resistance 
was no longer possible, fell back in solid phalanx. 
And though 

" Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them. 

Volley d and thunder d," 

shoulder to shoulder they marched, rank after 
rank halting to fire upon the advancing foe, and 
then closing up again with daring coolness. 

In marching through Gettysburg to his posi 
tion on the right, General Howard placed Stein- 
wehr s Division of the Eleventh Corps in reserve 
on Cemetery Hill. Twenty-four guns in position, 
with a strong infantry support, was not only a 
grateful covering for our retreating forces, behind 
which they could reform their broken lines, but 
also arrested the further pursuit of the victo 
rious Southerner, and saved the Federal army 
from utter ruin. 




DEFEATED on our own soil, and held in the 
town a prisoner, never did the cloud that hung 
over the nation seem so dark and threatening as 
at the close of that first day of July. 

Generals Longstreet, Ewell, and Hill were quar 
tered in the village, indicating that the entire 
rebel force was concentrated at Gettysburg. But 
there was no one to tell us of the Union army, 
whether its other corps were near enough to 
come to the support of the First and the Eleventh 
holding Cemetery Hill. Baltimore and Wash 
ington were within two days march ; and for 
anything that we could learn, there was nothing 
to prevent the entire accomplishment of the bold 
plan of invasion marked out by the Southern 

Elated with the success of the first day, the 
enemy in town passed the night in riot and feast 
ing. But with the morning of the 2d of July, 
that dawned as brightly as though no disaster 
had befallen the cause of Liberty and Humanity, 
came preparations for renewing the conflict. 
Two lines of battle were formed in the streets, 


and a force of pioneers removed all the fences 
and whatever else obstructed an easy access from 
one side of the town to the other. If we could 
have known that throughout the night one 
corps after another had been arriving until the 
line of the Federal army stretched from Round 
Top on the left to Gulp s Hill on the right, we 
would have accepted that bright morning as the 
harbinger of final success. 

General Meade was laying out a battle line 
along the banks of Pipe Creek, ten miles nearer 
to Baltimore, where he intended to concentrate 
his army and await the approach of General Lee. 
But the first gun fired in front of Gettysburg de 
cided the battle-field. The Third and Twelfth 
Corps arrived on the evening of July 1st ; the 
Second and Fifth between midnight and day 
light of July 2d, and the Sixth Corps, after a 
march of thirty miles, between ten o clock and 

" Your troops occupy a strong position at the 
upper end of the town, on the road leading to 
Baltimore," said a Confederate captain, who 
came into the hospital. "But I m sure they 
won t be there long." 

No word that a single man had been added to 
the brave few that bore the brunt of yesterday s 
fight, came to our ears; and when the bat 
tle commenced, shortly after noon of Thursday, 
it need not be concealed that there were painful 


fears of the issue. Hour after hour passed slowly 
away without a moment s lull in the roar of ar 
tillery and the rattle of small arms. Not until 
the darkness of night closed in between the two 
armies did the noise of battle cease. 

The fiercest fighting was on the rebel right, in 
the vicinity of Round Top. Heavy columns of 
Confederate troops were seen moving rapidty in 
that direction, and long lines of ambulances had 
been passing to and from their hospitals all after 
noon. The surgeons of the Eleventh, as indeed 
nearly every surgeon belonging to the Second 
Division, with all the medical stores, fell into the 
hands of the rebels when they occupied the town. 
We could not but think of our wounded, thus 
unprovided for. But the army, did it hold its 
position throughout the fight, or were its ranks 
broken and scattered, was the thought that en 
grossed every other. 

Later in the evening we inquired of an officer 
gathering up the stragglers that were hanging 
about the hospital, how the battle had gone. He 
was not at all inclined to be communicative, and 
only in answer to a direct question did he say 
that we still held our lines unbroken. 

There was a faint dawning of hope. We knew 
that nothing less than the entire Potomac Army 
could resist such an attack as had been made 
during the day by the combined Southern forces. 
And though the contest was still in doubt, it was 


encouraging to think that our men were not con 
tending against the fearful odds of the first day s 

Daylight of Friday, July 3d, the fighting that 
had ceased with the darkness of the night before, 
was renewed on the right of the line. During 
the previous evening, while the enemy was 
making his attack near Round Top, and the 
right had been weakened to strengthen the left, 
Early s forces broke through the lines, and took 
possession of a part of our defenses. 

The Federal battle-line in its shape resembled 
a horseshoe. It was the inner circle, of which 
the rebel line was the outer circle, giving to 
General Meade immensely the advantage of 
position, in the facility with which reinforce 
ments could be sent from one part of the field 
to the other. The threatened and broken risrht 


was now reinforced, and after a stubborn resist 
ance, maintained from dawn until eight o clock, 
the rebel troops, that shouted aloud over the suc 
cess of Thursday night, with scarcely more than 
half their number left, fell back to their original 

Then the firing ceased, and for hours there 
was an ominous quiet. It was not the quiet of 
inaction, but like that which precedes the storm. 
It was beyond human endurance that such fight 
ing as had characterized the last two days could 
continue longer. And there was a changing of 


troops and a moving of artillery that indicated 
preparations for the final assault. 

The enemy was boastful as ever. Our taci 
turn friend of the clay before, accompanied by 
one or two others, came again into the hospital. 
They had been making observations from the 
church steeple, and the prospect of success made 
him more talkative. 

" Everything, " said he, "is going just as we 
wanted it. Longstreet has succeeded in reaching 
a position for which he was manoeuvring all yes 

It was one o clock before the silence that had 
lasted from the forenoon was in the least dis 
turbed; and then it seemed as though ten thou 
sand furies were let loose at once. Shells of all 
sizes and shapes went howling over the town 
like demons escaped from perdition, tainting the 
very air with sulphurous smoke and smell. 

On the right and on the left, the enemy had 
vainly endeavored to pierce our lines. This at 
tack in the center a point upon which he had 
concentrated one hundred and fifty guns was 
the last and most furious of all. 

"If we cannot drive them from that hill we are 
gone," said a rebel officer. 

From the spire of our church hospital we 
watched those rebel lines moving from the direc 
tion of Seminary Ridge to the attack of Ceme 
tery Hill. In splendid order did they come, 


three columns deep, with every flag unfurled and 
flying in the breeze. For some minutes not a 
shot had been fired from the Cemetery, and the 
daring Southerners, counting largely on the 
effects of the terrific cannonade, marched with 
quick step across the several intervening fields. 
As they advanced nearer our lines, the pro 
longed shout was heard so different from our 
own distinct cheer that ever presaged a rebel 
charge. But a sheet of flame ran along Ceme 
tery Hill, and everything was hid from sight by 
dust and smoke. 

It was a fearful afternoon. The wounded men 
lying in the yard, and able to help themselves, 
crawled into the house. It seemed safer there, 
because less distinctly did the unearthly sounds 
that filled the air strike upon the ear. The rebel 
troops in line of battle in the streets, crouched 
closer to the earth, and for six hours we waited 
as men might be supposed to wait the striking 
of the knell of time. 

Toward evening, when the fury of the battle 
had spent itself, there was evident uneasiness 
among the Confederates. Xo shouts of victory 
ran along their lines; there were no congratula 
tions among officers and men, so natural if suc 
cess had crowned their efforts. 

Details of men were employed in loading into 
wagons the spoils of the first day s fight. The 
few of their wounded brought into the Second 


Division Hospital were quietly removed, and by 
nightfall, scarcely a Southerner was to be seen, 
not even the paroling officer, who for two days 
had been busy taking the name and rank of 
each prisoner. 

There was a complacent smile on the face of 
every Federal soldier; and when one ventured 
the belief that Lee was preparing to fall back, a 
brave Michigan volunteer, whose right arm had 
been amputated near the shoulder, held up the 
other, as he said: 

" This is all I have now, doctor, but for a vic 
tory here, I would give this one, too!" 

The signs of uneasiness so apparent early in 
the evening, increased with each hour of the 
night. Intense interest in the passing events 
drove away every feeling of weariness; and from 
a window that overlooked the street there were 
anxious witnesses of all that occurred. Xow a 
passing wagon train, now a squadron of cavalry, 
and again the steady tramp of infantry, arrested 
the attention. Xor did we fail to observe that 
all these were moving in the same direction not 
toward our lines but from them. 

A little after the dawn of July 4th, a small 
party of Confederate cavalry rode rapidly through 
the street, hurrying up, in an excited manner, 
some lagging footmen. Scarcely had they passed 
when the sharp report of a rifle was heard, fol 
lowed by another and another in quick succes- 


sion. Looking in the direction from whence the 
firing came, a good strong line of Federal skirm 
ishers was seen advancing boldly through the 

One clear, shrill cheer was given, which, quick 
as thought, was repeated by a hundred voices. 
Instantly houses that had been closed for three 
days and looked deserted, were thrown open, 
and doors and windows crowded with faces beam 
ing with hope and joy. Many of the wounded 
in hospital crawled to the doors as best they 
could, and though in some instances only in fee 
ble strains, welcomed the morning with shouts 
of victory. 



DURING the three days that the rebels held pos 
session of Gettysburg, for representatives of South 
ern chivalry they displayed the grossest ruffian 
ism. Stores were broken open and pillaged of 
their contents, and private cellars robbed to re 
plenish their knapsacks. They came into the 
hospital, taking from the wounded men shoes or 
caps, or whatever article of clothing suited their 


fancy. Two soldiers fought over a sword taken 
from the side of a captain too badly wounded to 
offer resistance, and the dispute was only settled 
by the interference of an officer who, happening 
in at the moment, appropriated the coveted wea 
pon to his own use. 

The quartermaster of an Alabama brigade 
made himself especially conspicuous on the 
streets for loud talking and boisterous threats of 
firing the town, and making of Gettysburg a 
second Fredericksburg. On the night of the 3d 
of July, he invited himself to lodge in the house 
of one of the citizens. True to the instincts of 
genuine Pennsylvania hospitality, in the general 
rejoicings of the following morning, the host did 
not forget his guest Two armed Union soldiers 
were shown into his room, and a few minutes 
after, the quartermaster was seen on an involun 
tary march up street, with a captor on either 

It had often been a question with those of us 
who had never seen them put to the test, whether 
the women of the Xorth were as earnest sympa 
thizers in the triumph of their cause as those we 
had met in the South. At Culpeper, and War- 
renton, and Fredericksburg, the devoted atten 
tion of the Southern women to their sick and 
wounded was marked and apparent. It was 
something more than the natural expression of 
kindness that everywhere dwells in woman s 



heart; and seemed to us to come from sympathy 
for the cause, as well as for the sufferers in that 

But no thin sf we had ever seen could exceed 


the devoted attention of a few noble women of 
Gettysburg. From that first dreadful day to the 
last, they were angels of mercy, always coming 
at the auspicious moment; braving alike the 
bullets that were flying through the streets, and 
the shells that were bursting overhead, and the 
leering look and coarse remark of an exultant 
foe, to carry comfort and succor to the wounded 
and the dying. 

Fears were entertained that the rebels might 
turn their guns against the town, and at an early 
hour on the morning of July 4th, all the wounded 
were removed three miles to the rear on the 
Baltimore pike, where general hospitals, well 
provided with medical stores and rations such 
as the men greatly needed had been estab 

Leaving the wounded comfortable in their 
new quarters, we went in search of the regi 
ment, from which we had been separated since 
the morning of July 1st. The army was in the 
same position it had maintained during the last 
two days. Robinson s Division was to the left 
of Cemetery Hill, the Eleventh connecting with 
Hays s Division of the Second Corps. 

When the Eleventh Regiment entered the 


battle of the first day, on Seminary Ridge, there 
were present two hundred and twelve officers 
and men. By the time it reached Cemetery Hill 
it numbered only seventy-nine. In the last hour 
of the first day s fight, General Paul, of the First 
Brigade, was severely wounded, as were also 
Colonel Leonard, of the Thirteenth Massachu 
setts, and Colonel Root, of the Ninety-fourth 
Xew York, who successively succeeded General 
Paul in command. The Eleventh Regiment was 
then transferred from the Second Brigade to the 
First Brigade, and Colonel Coulter placed in 

Taking position on Cemetery Hill, on the 
evening of July 1st, the three Divisions of the 
First Corps were arranged with Wadsworth on 
the right center, Robinson on the left center, 
facing toward the Emmettsburg road, and Dou- 
bleday in rear of Robinson. The First Corps 
was under command of General Newton, Cap 
tain of Engineers in the three months campaign, 
and under whose guidance the army of General 
Patterson, with a vanguard from the Eleventh 
Regiment, made its first crossing of the Potomac. 

Longstreet s attack, in the vicinity of Round 
Top, was on the afternoon of July 2d. The 
lines of the gallant Third Corps, that bravely 
met the furious assault, first bending beneath the 
heavy pressure thrown against them, at last 
broke, and were driven in. Then a part of the 


Second Corps, sent to the help of the Third, was 
also compelled to fall back. Generals Hancock, 
of the Second, and Sickles, of the Third Corps, 
were both wounded and carried from the field. 
General ^Tewton ordered the Second and Third 
Divisions of the First Corps into the gap. The 
Third Division, taking the lead, were ordered to 
charge the rebels still coming on, and threaten 
ing to turn our left flank. A moment later the 
order was countermanded. But it was too late. 
The cheers had been given, and the ranks were 
flying across the field. The four guns lost by 
Hancock were recaptured, besides two other 
guns and a large number of prisoners taken 
from the enemy. 

"When my men returned," said Doubleday, 
" they apologized to me for not halting at the 
command, and I accepted the apology." 

Friday morning, Robinson s Division was 
massed in rear of Cemetery Hill, ready to push 
forward to the support of the Twelfth Corps, then 
engaged with the enemy near Gulp s Hill, 
the same enemy encountered the previous night 
by Wadsworth s Division and the single brigade 
of General Green, of the Twelfth Corps. 

The troops that were seen from the church 
spire, on the afternoon of July 3d, moving up in 
such splendid order to the attack of Cemetery 
Hill, were the Divisions of Pickett, Wilcox, and 


"I anticipate an attack on the Cemetery from 
the enemy s forces massed in the town," said 
General Meade to Robinson. "Place your 
troops so that if our line gives way you can 
strike the enemy on the flank." 

The division moved out at the moment that 
the rebels turned one hundred and fifty guns 
upon our position. "Never were troops exposed 
to such a fire of shot and shell," said General 
Robinson, "and yet the movement was made in 
perfect order, and with little loss." 

For some minutes our guns had remained 
quiet, the cannoneers laying close to the ground, 
watching the steady approach of the enemy, and 
awaiting the word to send their double charge 
of grape and canister into those compact col 
umns. At last it came; and the quick discharges 
from Captain Ricketts s Battery, and the guns 
of the Eleventh Corps, tearing great rents in 
Pettigrew s ranks, sent them back a broken and 
disorganized mass. Wilcox fared no better. 
But Pickett s Division, living through all the 
terrible storm, was moving onward with furious 
threatening against our left. 

Robinson s Division, ordered to the threat 
ened point, moved over ground plowed in every 
square inch by exploding shells, and taking po 
sition on the right of the Second Corps, the 
First Brigade met the shock of Pickett s won- 


derful charge, and shared in the last repulse of 
the sanguine Southerner. 

Ten of the Eleventh Regiment were counted 
among the dead that lay on Seminary Ridge and 
in front of Cemetery Hill. Sixty were seriously 
wounded, and sixty taken prisoners. On the 
evacuation of the town by the rebels many of 
the latter returned to the regiment; while others, 
carried to Richmond, lingered days and weeks 
in Libby prison and on Belle Island, to die at 
last of disease or starvation. 

In every former battle there w-ere to be found 
those always ready to evade duty; men who 
seemed to have a greater fondness for the wagon 
train or the hospital than a place in the ranks. 
But there were no stragglers at Gettysburg. "No 
soldiers ever fought better, or inflicted severer 
blows upon the enemy."* "2Tot a single case of 
faltering came to my notice, "f 

As illustrating the spirit that ruled the hour, 
was a private in Co. K, who had been with the 
Eleventh ever since its organization. Mentally 
detective to a slight degree, Lacock was never 
intrusted with a gun; but strong as an ox, he 
was placed among the pioneers, and armed with 
a spade. Catching the enthusiasm of the men 
around him, with his spade on his shoulder, John 

* Gen. Robinson s Report, 
f Col. Coulters Report. 


bravely marched with the regiment, not only in 
the thickest of the first day s fight, but during 
the second and the third day. Passing un 
harmed through all, it deserves to be told that 
the sturdy fellow held fast to his spade. 

In Pickett s charge, two of his three brigade 
commanders were killed, and the other seriously 
wounded. Fourteen field officers were killed, 
and only one out of the whole number escaped 
unhurt. Two-thirds of his men were killed, 
wounded, and captured, and of the thirteen 
standards that his regiments carried on that 
afternoon, only two did not fall into our hands. 



EMMETTSBURG, July 6. Yesterday morning 
the pickets sent in word that the rifle-pits and 
breast-works in front had been abandoned during 
the night, and that the rebels were in full re 
treat. The entire army was at once put in mo 
tion. AVe are bivouacked on Wolfred s farm, 
near our resting-place of last Tuesday, thus far 
on the way in pursuit of the running foe. Xever 


has this army come out of a battle in such high 
spirits. Every man is enthusiastic at the hope 
of overtaking Lee before he crosses the Poto 
mac, and at once and forever finishing up the 
rebellion. The Eleventh is under command of 
Captain Bierer, of Co. C, the colonel having 
been left behind wounded. 

Our friends of the Ninety-seventh Xew York 
have just received Colonel Wheelock with three 
uproarious cheers. The colonel was taken pris 
oner during the first day s fight, but escaped 
from his captors night before last. He reports 
great demoralization throughout the enemy s 
ranks, and the road strewed with his wounded 
and stragglers. Our cavalry is following close 
in the rear. Couch and the Pennsylvania militia 
are on the right flank, cutting oiF almost every 
possible chance of Lee s escape. 

o clock on the morning of the 7th, we left our 
bivouac at Emmettsburg, marching briskly along 
the Frederick pike. Crossing Kittoctan Mount 
ain some time in the afternoon, we turned off 
the smooth pike into a narrow country road that 
brought us to another, and, as we thought, the 
steepest part of the same range of hills. General 
Robinson halted the division on the mountain 
summit, and after half an hour s rest, massed 
the several regiments and read to them the dis 
patches from Washington, announcing the sur 
render of Yicksburg to Gen. Grant. 


"Soldiers, the news of yonr glorious victory at 
Gettysburg has been telegraphed to the West. I 
propose three cheers for Grant and his army, feel 
ing assured that while we shout their victories 
from this mountain top, they are shouting our 
victory along the Mississippi Valley." 

Three o clock this morning we were again under 
march, and are once more bivouacked at the foot 
of South Mountain, in si^ht of Mount Tabor 



JULY 9. Late last evening, with not more than 
an hour s rest after a long and severe march, Ro 
binson s Division was ordered to cross South 
Mountain, and take position to the right of Turn 
er s Gap. General French has destroyed the 
enemy s pontoon bridge at "William sport, and it 
was thought Lee might make a desperate effort 
to secure this pass in order to protect his flank. 
In this position, a short distance below the old 
Mountain House, we have been resting all day, 
while one continuous stream of artillery, infantry, 
and cavalry has been passing along the National 
pike, in the direction of Hagerstown. Everything 
reminds one of last September. Over this same 
mountain, and along this same road, and with 
much of the same spirit, we were then, as now, 
in close pursuit of the rebels. Let us hope for 
a more decisive issue. 

BENEVOLO, July 10. The division left South 
Mountain at six o clock this morning. "Wonder- 


ful indeed are the recuperative powers of the 
soldier. Footsore and tired, when the hour for 
bivouac comes, if the sky should be overcast, 
and rain threaten, he may take time to pitch his 
shelter tent; but more frequently, with only a 
blanket wrapped around him, he stretches him 
self on the ground, to sleep soundly and well. 


Can snore upon the flint, where resty sloth 
Finds downy pillows hard." 

2Text morning the fatigue of the former day 
is forgotten, and with spring and elasticity in his 
step, he takes his place in the ranks, ready to 
move forward at the word of command. So the 
few hours of rest enjoyed by our boys yester 
day imparted renewed vigor, and when they 
started off this morning it was on a quick and 
steady march. We passed through Boonsborough 
and on toward Hagerstown, following after the 
rebels, with whom we have been skirmishing all 

Three or four houses and a small, neat church 
make up this little town of Benevolo. Our troops 
are in line of battle about half a mile to the front, 
in expectation of an engagement. 

" We had hard work to save our church from 
destruction the other day," said a gentleman 
living on the adjacent lot. " A party of rebels 
determined to tear out the upper corner for the 


sake of the money they were told that we always 
place under the corner-stone of our churches. I 
suppose they would have persevered in their at 
tempt had not our cavalry come up so near be 
hind them. " 

All the vandals are not found in the ranks of 
the Southern army. After the battle of Cedar 
Mountain a party of Irish soldiers visited a beau 
tiful frame church, that graced the north slope of 
the hill, and forced out the corner-stone, not for 
the money beneath it, but for the bottle of whis 
key which they avowed was always sealed up in 
the corner-stone of churches. 

FUNKSTOWX, July 12. Early this morning, the 
enemy disappearing from our front near Bene 
volo, the whole of the forces moved forward. 
Every day we have been coming nearer to the 
main body of the rebel army. Lee is now in line 
of battle across Antietam Creek, with his left 
resting on Hagerstown, and his right extending 
to Downiesville. The different corps of the army 
are coming up in quick succession, and going into 
position. The First and Sixth Corps are on the 
right, the Fifth and Third Corps in the center, 
and the Second and Twelfth Corps on the left. 
Buford reports that the enemy has a strong posi 
tion, which he is fortifying and rendering stronger. 
Our troops are in excellent spirits. The hard 
rains of the two or three days past have swollen 
the Potomac almost to flood-hight, and with 


his bridges destroyed, there is every prospect 
that the most of Lee s army will fall into our 

The citizens of this village are not a little 
alarmed that the two hostile armies should have 
met so near their doors, while they look on with 
wonder at preparations making here in the rear 
for the battle in the front. The three churches 
of the place are fitted up for hospitals. Medical 
wagons are unpacked, and the amputating tables 
set up, and as our battle line is in easy sight on 
the other side of Antietara Creek, ambulances to 
bring off the wounded are all in readiness to 
proceed to the field on the discharge of the first 

When we came to count noses, after leaving 
Gettysburg, Dixie, one of our colored servantSj 
was missing. He is a boy about sixteen years 
old, the former slave of a doctor living in Fau- 
quier County, Ya., but always regarded at head 
quarters as the personal property of the chaplain. 
Dixie was last seen on Seminary Ridge a mo 
ment before the troops fell back, and no one could 
tell what became of him. He was given up for 
lost, when but a little while ago he walked into 
the hospital, attired in a full suit of rebel gray, 
even to the cap. It is a wonder that some of 
the provost guards did not arrest him as a gen 
uine u Johnnie," for he looks quite as white as 
many we have taken from their ranks, except- 


ing, perhaps, that his hair is a little more inclined 
to curl. 

This is his story. Lost in the confusion of 
the first day s fight, Dixie found himself among 
the rebels. "Dey war all too busy a-fightin to 
mind a darkie. So I slid down into a deep gully 
washed out on de side of a hill by de rain, and 
laid quiet till it was nearly dark. Den I come 
out and looked around. Heaps ob dead war 
lyin dar on de ground, and so many ob de 
wounded was cryin for water. I spected if de 
rebels catch me wid dem blue clothes on dey would 
take me back to Virginny. I seed a dead man 
jist t other side ob me wid dese clothes on. I 
took dein off de man and slipped into em; den 
I went back to my hidin place, and lay till 
mornin . Arter awhile, a company came out to 
gadder up de wounded and bury de dead. Dey 
hollered at me: 

"Hallo, darkie, where do you belong:" 

"I told dem I b long to an officer in de Second 
Virginny, and had lost my reg ment. Byme-by 
de firin commenced agin, and I went back and 
laid low in de hole." 

Knowing the keenness of Dixie s appetite from 
an experience running through many months, we 
interrupted him in his story to inquire where he 
got his rations. 

"Dar was plenty ob habersacks laying about 
full ob hard tack, and I helped myself." 



" How did you know when to come away from 

" I kept near de party dat was buryin de dead. 
One evening a captain came an told em to 
go to dar reg ment dat de troops was gwine 
to leave Gettysburg. I went a little way wid 
em, until I seed a chance to go to one side, and 
get back to my hole in de ground. ^N~ext mornin 
eberybody was gone. Presently some ob our 
own men come out dar, and tell me which way 
de corps was marchin . I se been gamin a little 
on it ebery day since." 

I^"EAR WILLIAMSPORT, July 14. After all our 
marching and planning, the rebels have eluded 
us. "With his army little better than a mob, 
General Lee has succeeded in making a safe pas 
sage of the Potomac. Where his capture was 
regarded with so much certainty, there could not 
be anything else than great disappointment at 
this unexpected result. Citizens along the route 
to this place tell us that if an attack had been 
made yesterday thousands of rebels would have 
fallen into our hands, as the troops then on this 
side of the river were entirely without artillery, 
and with but little ammunition. Another of those 
mistakes has been made so fatal to the permanent 
success of the Potomac Army. Xever were men 
more eager to be led forward, and never did an 
opportunity, to all appearances, so favorable for 
utterly routing Lee present itself. If to that 


council of war, said to have been held night be 
fore last, where all the generals present, except 
ing Wadsworth (representing the First Corps in 
the temporary absence of General Xewton) and 
Howard, voted against an attack, General Meade 
had invited representatives from the rank and 
file of his army, a different result would have 
been reached. Xothing now remains but to fol 
low the enemy through Virginia, where the ad 
vantage of roads, position, and everything else 
will be in his favor. 



THE halt of the army at Williamsport, after it 
was definitely ascertained that Lee had crossed 
the river and was pushing toward Martinsburg, 
was only a few hours. 

The Federal commander was much in the same 
position that McClellan found himself after the 
battle of Autietam. The question of pursuing 
the enemy through the valley of Virginia was 
then thoroughly discussed; and because of the 
difficulty of supplying an army with only a single 
track railroad from Harper s Ferry to TTinches- 


ter, it was pronounced impracticable. General 
Meade therefore determined to adopt the plan of 
the previous year, which was to move upon the 
enemy s flank through Loudon Valley. Pontoon 
bridges were ordered to be thrown across the 
Potomac at Berlin, and on the morning of July 
15th the entire army was moving toward that 

CRAMPTON S G-AP, July 15. Crampton s Gap 
is the most southerly pass of the South Mount 
ain. Here we are encamped for the night, after 
a march from "Williamsport of twenty miles. 
Leaving the column still moving onward, and 
riding off to the right of Keedysville, we paid a 
visit to walnut grove, our camping ground of last 
fall, and to the house of Mr. Rowe. There were 
mutual congratulations over the victory of Get 
tysburg, and mutual regrets that Lee should have 
escaped. A large force of the enemy marched 
down the river and crossed at Shephardstown. 
They gave a pitiable account of the condition of 
the rebel army; and in such haste were they to 
have the Potomac between themselves and the 
Yankees, that they did not even stop to plunder 
a thing they dearly love to do, and in which 
they are completely versed. 

On our way back to the regiment we passed 
over the right of Antietam battle-field. Prolific 
nature and industrious man have greatly changed 
the face of the ground during the past few 


mouths. Tall grass waves over spots once worn 
bare by the friction of cannon wheels, or the 
tread of shifting infantry. The broken fences 
have been set up in the old lines; w T hile the 
Dunkard church around whose doors was the 
fiercest fighting between Hooker s Corps and 
Stonewall Jackson, and whose walls were pierced 
with many shells still bearing the scars of battle 
upon it, has been refitted, and resounds again 
with prayer and praise. 

During the fiercest fighting of September 17th, 
near this spot, a soldier, mortally wounded, was 
carried by his companions. They laid him at 
the foot of a tree, and were vainly endeavoring 
to stop the blood flowing from a gaping wound. 

" It s all of no use," said he. " I am dying." 
With some effort he drew from his pocket a Bible, 
and handing it to the nearest friend, said: "Give 
this to my wife. Tell her that I died trusting in 
Christ as my Saviour; and that this book has 
been to me a comfort and solace in all the trials 
of soldier-life. To my children I send a father s 
last blessing." Still addressing his friend, he 
added, " Now pray with me." And there, on 
the battle-field, amid bursting shell and flying 
shot, those men knelt down, and commended 
their companion to the care of God. Afterward 
he said, " Sing." There was a moment s pause, 
as though one was waiting for the other, when 
the dying man commenced, faintly 


"Jesus, lover of my soul, 
Let me to thy bosom fly." 

But before the verse was ended the pulse had 
ceased to beat, and the tongue of the singer was 
silent in death. Did the victorious general, fall 
ing at the head of his charging column, die more 
heroically than this nameless and unknown sol 
dier ? Xo, not unknown! To-night he marches 
the streets of the Xew Jerusalem, the loved 
companion of its blessed inhabitants. 

A sad fatality has attended the Hoffman fam 
ily, whose house was occupied as brigade hospi 
tal during the battle. Returning to their home 
after the last of the wounded were removed, in 
a few days a malignant fever carried off one and 
another, until of father, mother, two daughters, 
and an equal number of sons, not one remains. 

WATERFORD, YA., July 18. For the third time 
we crossed the Potomac, and are again in Vir 
ginia. The pontoon bridges were laid at Berlin 
last night, and the crossing commenced early 
this morning. There is no enthusiasm among 
the men; nor will they be persuaded that we 
shall be more successful in the pursuit of Lee 
south of the Potomac than we were north of it. 

The district surrounding AVaterford is the most 
loyal of Virginia. Captain Steel s Rangers, a 
body of troops that often measure arms with 
Moseby s guerrillas, are from this neighborhood. 
The gallant captain and a part of his men arrived 


in town to-night, to the evident gratification of 
the citizens. 

HAMILTON,, July 19. We marched eight miles 
to-day from Water-ford to Hamilton. There is 
an air of quiet repose about these little towns, 
nestled in this verdant valley, quite refreshing. 
Why a town should be built just in the particu 
lar locality you find it, would be hard to tell. 
But the suddenness with which you come upon 
them, and the unexpected places in which they 
are to be found, adds all the more to their beauty 
and attractiveness. Another thing is also to be 
observed that every mile we make southward 
marks a change in the sentiments of the people. 
Loyalty to the Government increases as you 
move toward the Potomac, and decreases as you 
recede from it. The hospital steward of the 
Ninetieth New York asked permission of the 
lady of a house, near where we halted, to bring 
into her room, until the ambulances came up, a 
sick man, who gave out on the march. 

"No," was the curt reply. " Sick or well, no 
Yankee shall come into my house with my con 

The sick man was taken in and made comfort 
able, without the consent of the amiable madam. 

MIDDLEBURG, July 20. As early as four o clock 
this A. M. the Eleventh Regiment, leading the 
First Corps, was moving in the direction of Alid- 
dleburg, sixteen miles distant from Hamilton. 


The march was drawn out until late in the after 

One thing that has greatly relieved our journeys 
through this part of Virginia, is the abundance 
of good water. Loudon Valley is the great 
highway to the ocean for all the streams rising 
in the Blue Ridge. Clear running water met us 
all day long at every step, and in one instance 
offered no little impediment to our progress. 

A large stream, that flows into the Potomac, 
under the domestic name of Goose Creek, where 
the main road to Middleburg crosses it was once 
spanned by a substantial stone bridge. But our 
friends from Richmond, after they themselves 
had made a safe passage, turned round and de 
stroyed it. Xothing was left for us but to ford 
Goose Creek, as we had more than once forded 
other creeks. With the water three and a half 
feet deep, the crossing was not made without the 
occurrence of many ludicrous scenes. Some of 
the men were content to remove only shoes and 
stockings ; others doffed coat and breeches ; while 
many more, discarding every particle of Uncle 
Sam s uniform, excepting the cap, undertook the 
transit in the uniform provided by nature. One 
missed his footing and became an involuntary 
immersionist. Another let fall the bundle of 
clothes he seemed most anxious to keep dry; or, 
stepping into a treacherous hole, for a moment 
man and bundle both disappeared. Escaping all 


the perils by water, the first step up the slippery 
bank was often a false step, letting down the too 
confident soldier into a bed of soft mud, or slid 
ing him back into the stream. All these mis 
haps were signals for expressions more witty 
than polite; and for bursts of laughter more 
vociferous than musical. 

Our present encampment is in sight of the 
handsome town of Middleburg. The citizens of 
the place showed their utter contempt for us 
by retiring to their houses and closing every 
door and window. Xot a white person was to be 
seen, and but for the negroes that met us on the 
street corners, we might have thought the town 

Another reason for the unusual quiet of Mid 
dleburg has just been discovered. Between one 
and two hundred rebel wounded from the field 
of Gettysburg are quartered in the town, and it 
was very desirable that they should remain un 
discovered by the prying and curious Yankees. 
Liberal supplies of stores, stolen from Maryland 
and Pennsylvania, were also left for their sub 
sistence. General Xewton has very properly 
ordered this supply to be considerably lessened. 
It may be gratifying to some loyal Pennsylvania 
farmer to know that a part of his smoked hams, 
recaptured from the rebels, is now filling the 
haversacks of Pennsylvania soldiers. 

JULY 23. Just as we had ceased to wonder at 


our long delay in one place in the pursuit of Lee, 
the bugle sounded the assembly, and at seven 
o clock yesterday evening the march was re 
sumed, Robinson s Division in rear of the corps, 
and the Eleventh in rear of the division. We 
had not proceeded more than a mile or two be 
fore it was known that guerrillas were following 
after our wagon train, and fears were entertained 
of an attack. The regiment halted along the 
road-side until the wagons passed, when we fell 
in behind them, thus marching until daylight 
this morning. After a rest of three hours at 
White Plains, the column moved on to Warren- 
ton, where we are now in camp, with the pros 
pect of remaining for some days. Our friends 
the Fosters are still at the Plains. But a 
shadow has fallen upon the hearth-stone. The 
son, a lieutenant in Major Moseby s Partisan 
Rangers (so they speak of Moseby and his men), 
is now a prisoner in Washington, confined in the 
Old Capitol. 

BEALTOX STATION, July 26. All our pleasant 
imaginings of a quiet time at Warrenton were 
suddenly dispelled yesterday morning by orders 
to march. "What does ail this mean ?" "Where 
are we going?" were questions asked in no 
amiable mood. "Our supplies have been cut off 
at Catlett s Station, said one. "Bragg has re 
inforced Lee, and the rebels are coming down 
the Manassas Gap Railroad to Bull Run, said 


another. Toward noon we reached Warrenton 
Junction, to find that the supplies were not cut 
off, and that Lee had no intention of coming to 
Bull Run. It was satisfactorily explained that 
we had moved to the railroad junction, to be 
nearer our base of supplies. Wagons were again 
unpacked, tents pitched, and arrangements made 
for a long stay at Warrenton Junction. ]S"ear 
sundown, when we were listening for the bugle 
to sound retreat, it sounded to march. "Where 
now?" all were ready to ask. "It is only a 
change of camp to get a better supply of water." 
But an order assigning the Eleventh Regiment 
as rear- guard of the wagon train, was the end of 
all further speculation. A little after midnight 
we bivouacked at Bealton Station, where we are 
awaiting further orders. 

JULY 26, Evening. The only move we have 
made to-day was to join the rest of the brigade, 
from which we were separated last night by the 
wagon train. With our tents pitched, we find 
ourselves comfortably located, and will accept 
Bealton Station as the resting-place we have 
been looking for since we left Warrenton. 

MONDAY, July 27. A train of cars came from 
Alexandria, loaded with material for building 
the bridge at Rappahannock Station. One bri 
gade of our division is now at the river, three 
miles distant. It seems to be the purpose to 
cross at the earliest practicable moment. But 


that cannot be for several days to come. Our 
men are sadly in want of clothing, and many of 
the troops that have joined us since the last battle 
are unarmed. All these wants must be supplied 
before we can advance. 

FRIDAY, July 31. During the last four days 
Bealton Station has grown into quite a business 
center. Half a dozen trains arrive daily, loaded 
with all kinds of army supplies. ^N"ew clothing 
and equipments have been issued, and the rest 
enjoyed since Sabbath has had an improving 
effect upon the men. 

While the First Corps was marching through 
Loudon Valley, in the rear and on the flank of 
the army, the other corps had been pushing rap 
idly forward toward Manassas Gap, in the hope 
of intercepting Lee at Front Royal. The Third 
Corps reached the Gap on the 23d of July, the 
day of our halt at Middleburg. We were then 
in advance of the rebels, and it w r as expected 
that the error committed at Williamsport would 
be atoned for at Manassas Gap. But instead of 
attacking with his usual earnestness, General 
French wasted a w T hole day in reconnoiteriug 
the position. When the Gap was at last forced, 
it was only to find that he had been baffled by a 
small rear-guard, General Lee, in the mean time, 
making good his escape. Scouts report that the 
Southern army is now in position near Culpeper, 
while our own lines stretch along the north bank 


of the Rappahannock, from Kelly s Ford on the 
left to Sulphur Springs on the right. A large 
cavalry force, under command of General Buford, 
is collecting here, which looks as if the pursuit 
of Lee was still to be kept up. 

SATURDAY, August 1. Across the Eappahan- 
nock. At five o clock this morning we left 
Bealton Station and marched to the river. As 
soon as the pontoon bridges were laid, the cav 
alry crossed in force, and afterward Robinson s 
Division of infantry. The Eleventh was at once 
placed in position on the knoll next to the river, 
and every man set to work throwing up intrench- 
ments. The cavalry continued the march toward 
Culpeper, in which direction there has been 
severe fighting all afternoon, but with what 
result we cannot tell. 

SUNDAY, August 2. The warmest day of the 
season; not a breath of air stirring; not a tree to 
protect the men from the scorching rays of the 
sun. All work on the intrenchments suspended 
because of the heat. 

The fight of yesterday was a serious affair. 
Encountering a force of rebel cavalry at Brandy 
Station, Buford opened the engagement, press 
ing the enemy back near to Culpeper, when a 
heavy reinforcement of infantry fell upon the 
Federal flank, compelling a retreat to Brandy 
Station, with considerable loss. The entire rebel 
army is concentrated in the neighborhood of Cul- 



peper; and it is possible that the fight may be 
renewed at any hour. Xo troops are here but 
those belonging to the First Corps. We must 
make our intrenchments count in the place of 

MONDAY, August 3. The railroad bridge across 
the river was completed to-day, a locomotive pass 
ing over to try its strength. Everything is quiet 
on the plain below. Our position is the same as 
yesterday, excepting that the Eleventh was moved 
further to the front this afternoon. AVe are now 
on the hill occupied during the engagement of 
last August, and which our boys claim especially 
as belonging to them. Here are the breastworks 
thrown up nearly a year ago. They have been 
strengthened this afternoon, and if the enemy 
should attack us again in this place, he will have 
a greeting quite as warm as on the former occa 
sion . 

TUESDAY, August 4. ~\Ve had about made up 
our minds that an opportunity would be afforded 
to test the strength of our intrenchments and 
our ability to hold them. The day passed quietly 
enough until two o clock P.M., when the discharge 
of a cannon out in front brought every man to 
his feet. A few steps from our tent and the 
whole plain was visible. The rebels had planted 
a battery on the crest of a slight eminence, a mile 
distant, and opened a rapid fire on the pickets, 
at the same time they advanced a strong line of 


skirmishers. For a time everything looked as 
though a general engagement was inevitable. 
Our guns replied to the enemy; the cavalry 
formed in line of battle on the plains, and the 
Ninetieth Pennsylvania reinforcing the Elev 
enth on the top of HartsufFs Knoll, the men 
took their places in the intrenchments. After 
two hours of brisk skirmishing, all the time 
gradually advancing, our cavalry compelled the 
enemy to withdraw. The plain is now quiet, but 
the troops are ordered to remain in the intrench 



N General Meade reached the Rappahan- 
nock, he proposed at once to follow up the pur 
suit of Lee, rather than to wait for the rebel 
general to rest his men and recruit his army. 
But orders from Washington directed Meade to 
assume a threatening attitude along the Rappa- 
hannock, but not to advance beyond it. The 
operations on the south side of the river, during 
the first days of" August, were in obedience to 
General Halleck s orders. 

The campaign was now at an end. Through- 


out the month of August the army remained in 
undisturbed quiet, receiving daily accessions to 
its numbers from the draft that had been made 
in the several Northern States. Some of the 
drafted men were good and reliable soldiers ; 
but the vast majority that first reached the army 
were hired substitutes, adding nothing whatever 
to its material strength. They deserted every 
day by scores, before they had time to learn the 
number of the regiment to which they were as 
signed, or even the letter of the company. The 
division guard-house became an indispensable in 
stitution, often containing at one time a hundred 
prisoners. Courts-martial were in perpetual ses 
sion, and the shooting of deserters an ordinary 

The mortality among the conscripts, even of 
the better class, was fearfully great. Coming to 
the front in the heat of July and August, and 
taking their places by the side of men who had 
been inured to the service, they broke down on 
the march, or yielded to the first attack of dis 
eases incident to camp life. 

Toward the 1st of September, the numerical 
strength of the army was greatly diminished by 
sending detachments of troops, first to South 
Carolina, and then to New York to enforce the 
draft. But the army of General Lee had under 
gone a like depletion, Longstreet s Corps having 
been sent to the Southwest to reinforce Bragg. 


Without waiting for instructions from Wash 
ington, General Meade abandoned the line of the 
Rappahannock, and advanced to the Rapidan. 
The rebel army was found on the south bank, in 
a position so strongly fortified as to defy an at 
tack in front. The country south of the river 
was almost unknown, and before a flank attack 
could be made the only one promising any suc 
cess it was necessary that the territory should 
be explored by our cavalry. 

Meanwhile the disaster of Chickamauga oc 
curred, and the Potomac Army was further weak 
ened by the departure of the Eleventh and 
Twelfth Corps to Tennessee. With the army 
thus reduced, the attack on the enemy s flank 
was abandoned, and General Meade occupied 
the line of the Rapidan, as he had before occu 
pied the line of the Rappahannock. 

THURSDAY, September 24th. Moving from 
camp near Culpeper, the First Corps has taken 
the place of the Twelfth Corps, next to the river. 
The regiment is doing picket duty at Raccoon 
Ford. The history of the Eleventh marks each 
distinctive step of the war. First we did picket 
duty on the Potomac; then, advancing south 
ward, on the Rappahaunock, and now on the 
Rapidan. Will it come our turn, in the course 
of events, to picket the James? 

A part of the day has been spent with two 
men who are to be executed for desertion. One 


is an Irishman, and the other a German. The 
German has been in this country only two or 
three months, and is to be pitied as the victim 
of circumstances. The case of the Irishman is 
one of the many impositions practiced upon the 
government. A citizen of 1$ew York, he sold 
himself for a substitute in Boston, and then took 
advantage of -the first opportunity to desert. 

SUNDAY, September 21. Broke up camp at 
noon, and after marching an hour through the 
woods and over the rocks that skirt the base of 
Pony Mountain, halted in our present bivouac 
near Mitchell s Station, the railroad crossing of 
the Rapidan. The wherefore of these short and 
frequent moves is not quite plain to us. One 
thing, however, is apparent our friends across 
the river do not mean that we shall come to 
their side of the stream, for, as usual, they are 
busy ditching and intrenching a position that 
nature has already rendered next to impreg 

THURSDAY, October 1. These mellow, au 
tumnal days slip away almost imperceptibly. 
September is gone, and we have entered upon 
October. So little has been accomplished since 
the battle of Gettysburg, that we fear to think 
the fall rains will soon commence. Virginia 
mud will be worth more to Lee than fifty thou 
sand men. The cases of Sullivan and Yon He- 
nike are still in suspension. But another Ger- 


man, named Schmidt, a conscript belonging to 
the Ninetieth Regiment, has been added to the 
condemned, and will be shot to-morrow. 

FRIDAY, October 2. Private Henry Schmidt 
was executed in presence of the entire division. 
It is well when a man is to be ushered into eter 
nity, whatever is the nature of the crime for 
which he dies, that all the arrangements should 
be solemn and impressive. The troops were 
drawn up on three sides of the open grave, with 
space enough between the regiments in front for 
the funeral cortege to pass through. After the 
lines were formed, the slow notes of the band 
playing a funeral dirge, gave warning that the 
procession was approaching. The provost mar 
shal of the division entered the arena, followed 
by an ambulance containing the condemned and 
a Catholic priest. Arrived at the grave, the 
coffin was placed at its side. The priest and the 
prisoner knelt a moment in prayer, then taking 
a seat on the coffin, the hands and feet of the 
condemned were pinioned, a bandage placed over 
his eyes, and all was ready for the execution. 
The commands were given in a clear, steady voice, 
"Ready aim tire !" Half a dozen balls entered 
the body near the heart, and without a move 
ment of limb or muscle, the deserter was dead. 
Schmidt had been in the country only a few 
months. He was a stranger in a strange land. 
The friends he left behind in the fatherland will 


never know what has become of him, and there 
will be none to mourn his ignoble fate. 

WEDNESDAY, October 7. Most of the regiment 
has been detailed for special picket duty. The 
Rapidan in front is so narrow, that the pickets of 
the two armies approach within a few yards of 
each other. With rare exceptions the utmost 
good feeling prevails, and a regular exchange 
of newspapers, coffee, sugar and tobacco is kept 

FRIDAY, October 9. The quartermaster is 
busy issuing eight days rations to the men, 
always a sure intimation of a speedy move. 
Yesterday morning, as division officer of the day, 
Colonel Coulter had a short interview with a 
Confederate captain, stationed on the south side 
of the Rapidan. The rebels fired on our pickets 
stationed near the house of Dr. Stringfellow, and 
the meeting was in the interests of the family, 
who were in continual alarm for their personal 
safety. The officer said that the firing was unau 
thorized, and had occurred through the removal 
of the old pickets and the substitution of others 
not acquainted with the order against picket 
firing. The fact of the interview was signaled 

O O 

all along the rebel lines, and read at our own 
stations. For some time the signal officers have 
thought themselves in possession of the key to 
the enemy s signals, and this slight event, appar 
ently so accidental, has proved the surmising 


to be true. General Meade and staff spent the 
day at the signal station on Pony Mountain. 
The discovery of yesterday has doubtless much 
to do with present preparations for an advance. 
What a little thing sometimes develops great 

SUNDAY MORNING, October 11. Late on Friday 
night, orders were received indicating the char 
acter of the move for which preparations had 
been making during the day. Buford s Division 
of cavalry was to cross the Rapidan at (srermania 
Ford, and, marching up the south bank, uncover 
the fords of Morton and Raccoon, at which 
points the First Corps was to cross and move 
against the enemy s right, while the Sixth Corps 
was to attack his left, The infantry forces were 
to march as noiselessly as possible, and to be at 
the localities designated before daylight, so as 
not to, awaken the suspicion of the enemy, or 
reveal the movements of the cavalry. 

Leaving camp at two o clock Saturday morn 
ing, long before the hour appointed Robinson s 
Division was massed in the woods in front of 
Raccoon Ford, awaiting the approach of Buford. 
Hour after hour wore away, but no sign of our 
horsemen. A little after dusk yesterday even 
ing, the cavalry still failing to appear, the divi 
sion moved back to Culpeper pike, in sight of 
Stevensburg, where we remain in bivouac. It is 
rumored that while Meade is operating here on 


the enemy s left, Lee is moving up toward our 
right. However that may be, the movement on 
this side of the Rapidan extends to the whole 
army, and no longer looks like an advance. 

MONDAY MORNING, Oct. 12. Yesterday after 
noon the First Corps marched to Kelly s Ford, 
on the Rappahannock, the Eleventh in rear of 
Robinson s Division. No time was lost on the 
way, as it soon became known that the pickets 
had been withdrawn from the Rapidan, and the 
rebel cavalry was in close pursuit. Twice the 
regiment was halted to meet an expected charge 
of the enemy. As the sun was going down the 
men waded waist-deep through the waters of the 
Rappahannock, and formed in line on the north 
bank. Our batteries were unlimbered and placed- 
in positions commanding not only the river ford, 
but all the opposite plain. General Baxter was 
ordered to keep a watch on the road over which 
we had come, and have a care lest we did 
not fire into Buford s men, who might find it 
necessary to fall back in this direction. The 
large brick-mill and neat dwelling-houses at the 
ford, the river-hills, and the broad, green plain 
on the opposite shore, seen in the lingering twi 
light of yesterday evening, made up a picture 
the mind will long retain. 

MONDAY EVENING. The sharp firing heard all 
day, at short intervals, on our right, is certain 
evidence that the enemy, as well as ourselves, is 


making rapid moves. For several hours we have 
been in readiness to march. Just now an order 
was received for the wagons to proceed to Beal- 
ton Station, and the drivers are already in the 

The individuals who suffer most in these ex 
cited army movements are the sutlers. A large 
train of them had ventured to the front with a 
heavy stock of goods. Halting with us here at 
Kelly s Ford, they have been doing a brisk trade. 
There is great alarm among them as they make 
for the rear; and great sport among the boys as 
one wagon after another (from whose wheels the 
pins have been secretly removed) breaks down, 
leaving their contents to the mercy of a hundred 
sly and roguish soldiers. That hurrah, this mo 
ment heard, is everywhere understood to mean 
"cleaning out" a sutler s establishment, and 
never fails to bring forth a large body of recruits. 

CENTERVILLE, Wednesday, Oct. 14. For the 
last thirty-six hours we have had scarcely more 
than time to breathe. Monday midnight the di 
vision left Kelly s Ford for Warrenton Junction. 
All manner of rumors were in circulation as to 
the doings of the rebels. Some had it that they 
were moving in large force far up to our right; 
others again, that they were coming down from 
Warrenton. The latter report seemed the more 
probable; because from the Ford to the Junc 
tion was all the way at a run, and with scarcely a 


halt. Robinson s Division was the first to reach 
the threatened point, and without a moment s 
delay artillery and infantry were formed in line 
of battle. 

If any one imagines it to be an easy thing to 
move an army, he should have seen the sight 
that here presented itself. oSTot far in the rear 
was heard the roar of cannon; but louder than 
this came the rumbling of hundreds of wagons, 
that in every direction skirted the horizon, and 
covered the plain. By every avenue troops were 
pouring in, until the eye wearied of the watch 
ing. Waiting in line of battle for two hours, 
Robinson moved on to Catlett s Station, and 
then to Bristow, where, foot-sore and tired, we 
bivouacked for the night. 

Early this morning the division was again in 
line, moving toward Manassas. A courier re 
ported Manassas Junction occupied during the 
night by a force of the enemy. Skirmishers 
were thrown out on either flank and in front. 
Slowly and cautiously the troops advanced, halt 
ing occasionally that the skirmishers might enter 
some copse of woods, or turn some angle in the 
road far enough in advance to give the main 
column notice of danger. But not a foe was 
to be seen to dispute our march. Over Ma 
nassas plains and across Bull Run we continued 
to these hights of Centerville, within whose for 
tifications \ve are ordered to halt. Thousands of 


armed men, and bristling cannon, and white- 
topped wagons crowd the roads below. What it 
all means is to us a profound mystery. 



THE reason of the retrograde march soon be 
came apparent. As already stated, General 
Meade determined to assault the enemy s right 
in the vicinity of Raccoon and Morton Fords. 
From the hights of Pony Mountain and Slaugh 
ter s Hill the country had been carefully studied, 
and the plan of attack thoroughly discussed. 
But the last view from those look-outs presented 
a new scene to the eyes of our signal officers. It 
told that a movement of vast magnitude the 
very counterpart of our own was in progress on 
the south side of the Rapidan. Lee was as well 
satisfied that he could turn the Federal right, 
and break our communications with Washing 
ton, as Meade was that he could turn the rebel 
right, and break Lee s communications with Rich 
mond; and the singular coincidence occurred of 
the two armies moving to attack one another at 



the same time, and on the same though opposite 

Confident of the enemy s intentions, Gen 
eral Meade determined to select his own battle 
ground. The cavalry was thrown out to watch 
Lee s movements; Pleasanton occupying the 
ground between the Bappahannock and Cul- 
peper, and Gregg guarding the fords near and 
above Warrenton. The commanding general 
looked to Gregg for the earliest information of 
the whereabouts and the doings of the enemy 
on his right. 

The Federal army was that moment en route 
for Warrenton Junction, along which line it was 
intended to await the approach of the Southerners. 
But no word coming from Gregg that would in 
dicate the appearance of the enemy on the Upper 
Rappahannock, and Pleasanton reporting that 
Lee was concentrating around Culpeper, the 
troops were halted, and three corps moved back 
to Brandy Station. 

A recoimoitering party kept on to Culpeper, 
but without meeting any force of the rebels. 
It began to be thought that General Lee had 
countermanded marching orders, and that his 
troops were going back into the old position 
along the Rapidan. Thus passed the 12th of 
October until ten o clock at night, when word 
came in from Gregg that his cavalry was at 
tacked by an overpowering force of the enemy, 


and driven from their defenses with great loss. 
He was then within five miles of Warrenton 
Junction, hard pressed by Ewell, with whom he 
had been contending since eleven o clock A.M. 
It was a critical moment. On our ri^ht Hank 


were the advancing columns of Lee s entire army, 
while our own corps were distributed, one at Free 
man s Ford, three at Brandy Station, across the 
Rappahannock, and one at Kelly s Ford. The 
darkness of the night favored the concentration 
of our troops, and the correction in part of Gregg s 
error. But Meade was compelled to move fur 
ther in toward his base, in order to get the army 
together and recover a position on the line of 
his communications. 

The First Corps came to Warrenton Junction, 
by w r ay of Bealton, without opposition. Xo 
enemy showing himself, after a halt of two hours 
the troops were pushed on to Bristow Station, 
and then to Manassas. Not a living thing was 
to be seen moving over those broad plains, on 
which had settled down the very silence of death. 
Far to the left great clouds of dust were driving 
along by the blustering October winds. Lee was 
still moving over the Warrenton pike, with the 
hope of occupying Centerville, and thus compel 
Meade to open his communications with Wash 
ington by first attacking that strong position. 
The First Corps continued its steady and rapid 
march, reaching the bights of Centerville at 
noon of October 14th. 


Although a day behind the rebels in the start 
of that exciting race, we were now several hours 
in advance. General Ewell, whose corps led the 
opposing army, in his eagerness to strike our 
flank, left the plain road over which he was march 
ing, and penetrated a section of country lying be 
tween the railroad and the Warrenton turnpike. 
It proved a terra incognita, in which his entire corps 
was lost. Heath s Division came up with the 
rear of the Federal army at Bristow, and follow 
ing close after it to Kettle Run, the skirmish 
assumed the outlines of a fierce battle, Heath 
losing five pieces of artillery, two stands of colors, 
and five hundred prisoners. 

There was something too threatening in those 
fortified hights of Centerville, bristling with ar 
tillery and crowded with infantry, for General 
Lee to come further north, and his troops halted 
south of Bull Run. The Federal army now \vell 
in hand, General Meade at once countermarched 
his troops, ready to accept battle wherever the 
enemy might offer it. 

CUB RUN, October 15. Three hours after 
reaching Centerville Robinson s Division moved 
back along the "Warrenton turnpike to Bull Run. 
The Eleventh formed in line to the left of Stone 
Bridge, extending some distance down the stream. 
Along this same road the army has twice re 
treated in rout and confusion. The extreme 
care with which the pickets were stationed ; the 


strict orders given to the men; and the low tone 
of voice in which all commands passed down the 
column, betokened danger, and seemed to point 
to the possibility of a third engagement on this 
ill-fated field. iSTo fires were allowed to be kin 
dled, and with blankets spread on the ground, 
we went to sleep, watching the bright stars 
that shone in the overhanging sky. The night 
passed without the firing of a shot ; and this 
morning the Eleventh moved to the hights of 
Cub Run, where we still remain in line of battle, 
with several large guns in position on the hill 
above us. 

FRIDAY, October 16. Xo change since yester 
day. The troops are in line of battle awaiting 
the movements of the enemy, who is reported as 
massing large forces directly in front. 

To know the meaning of Despair and Hope 
one must have such an experience as was this 
day afforded at the division guard-house. The 
execution of Harrison, convicted of desertion at 
the battle of Fredericksburg, was fixed at twelve 
o clock noon. We called to see him at ten 
o clock. His countenance was haggard and care 
worn. It was hard for him to realize that he 
must die so soon; but he saw no avenue of escape, 
and had given up all hope. Some time was spent 
in writing to his mother, begging her to forget 
the manner of his death, and to believe that he 
never intended to desert. His personal effects 


were given into our keeping, together with mes 
sages for several absent friends. It was now past 
eleven o clock. The ambulance in which the 
condemned was to ride to the grave, and also 
containing the coffin, had driven up along the 
roadside; while the beating of the drums, that 
announced the forming of the division to witness 
the execution, could be distinctly heard. Every 
thing was ready to carry out the sentence of the 
court-martial, and the officer only delayed for 
the word of command. Presently there came 
the sound of a horse s hoofs clattering over the 
hard stony road. It was an aid from army head 
quarters, not to order the procession forward, 
but bearing in his hands a commutation of the 
death penalty. The complacent smile on the 
face of the rider betrayed the nature of his mes 
sage before it was read aloud in the hearing of 
the prisoner. Harrison looked at the officer 
for a moment with a vacant stare, and then ex 
claimed, in a wild and hurried manner: 

" Read it again, won t you ? Does it mean me ? 
Are you sure there is no other Harrison in the 
army ? Am I really to live ?" 

His tongue refused to say anything more. 
Nerves strung to the utmost tension now relaxed ; 
and, prostrate on the ground, the reprieved man 
gave expression to feelings too deep for words in 
tears of joy. Saw Harrison an hour ago. That 
look of fixed despair was gone. The light of hope 


was in his eye, giving him the appearance of 
quite another being. 

MONDAY, October 19. General Lee refuses 
battle, though offered to him on the field of Bull 
Run. He is now retiring in the direction of the 
Rappahannock, but will hardly be permitted to 
do so in undisturbed leisure. Five o clock this 
morning the First and Sixth Corps were moving 
toward Gainesville and Haymarket. The route 
was across Bull Run and along the Warrenton 
pike. Leaving the regiment halted near the 
Henry House, took a hasty ride over the ground 
of the second Bull Run battle. It did not look 
as though the foot of a human being had passed 
over it since the day of the fight. Boxes half 
filled with ammunition, and others again entirely 
empty, knapsacks stuffed with clothing now rotten 
and musty, and haversacks containing the moulded 
remains of the last scanty issue of rations, lay 
scattered about just as we had seen them during 
the engagement. From the spot where the regi 
ment halted on the night of August 29th, we 
rode to the extreme right of the line, where the 
division was sent to the support of Heintzleman. 
Coming back over the same path traversed by the 
Eleventh in its rapid move to the left, we stood 
on Bald Hill, and looked down into the woods 
out of which poured the rebels, and over the 
fields through which they came, on the afternoon 
of the 30th, in such overwhelming masses. The 


field presented a loathsome sight. Human hones, 
washed from their shallow graves by the rains of 
the past year, covered the ground, telling more 
plainly than the living tongue can tell of the 
horrors of war. The Eleventh is bivouacked be 
tween Gainesville and Haymarket. 

TUESDAY, October 20. After my note of yes 
terday was made, and toward the dusk of even 
ing, we became aware that the enemy was in our 
front, but in what numbers it was impossible to 
tell. A heavy detail of pickets from the Third 
Division, and a battery of four guns, advanced 
through Haymarket, and formed in line. Pres 
ently the battery opened a quick fire, lasting for 
several minutes. Then all was quiet for an hour. 
Another rail was added to the camp-fire, and the 
men laid down to wait the developments of the 
morning. But the discharge of a single musket, 
that soon multiplied into volleys, brought every 
man to his post, ready to meet the danger. Again 
the noise in front ceased, and after extinguish 
ing the fire whose genial warmth was so needful 
to our personal comfort, the men once more lay 
down to sleep. To any one who had seen the 
dead of the battle-field arranged in rows for 
burial, those ranks of men, wrapped up head and 
foot in blankets and ponchos, would have sug 
gested the thought of dead men awaiting sepul 
ture. This morning brings the report that the 
attack of last night was made by a party of guer- 


rillas who drove in our pickets, capturing thirty 
or forty prisoners and so exciting the rest as to 
cause them to fire upon each other. The Elev 
enth is now advanced a mile beyond Haymarket, 
supporting a force of cavalry sent out toward 
Thoroughfare Gap. 

These rapid marches that we have been making 
for the past few days have been particularly hard 
on the conscripts the "conneys, as the boys 
call them for short. They have not yet learned 
to march with the same ease as the old soldier, 
and many of them present a pitiful appearance 
in their efforts to keep up with the column. One 
man particularly, who complained of a stiff knee, 
awakened our sympathy as he hobbled along 
under a heavy knapsack and gun. After earnest 
solicitation, an ambulance driver agreed to haul 
his knapsack, and when not overcrowded with 
sick, allow the fellow to ride. But from the first, 
the doctors suspected that it was all pretense, and 
that the man was playing a part. Yesterday even 
ing, after the regiment halted for the night, to be 
certain of his case, the soldier was taken into a tent 
and chloroform administered. He had complained 
that the knee-joint was so rigid from a hurt re 
ceived in youth that it would not bend. But it 
was found uninjured, and flexible as the other. 
Tying the foot back so as to bring the limb in a 
kneeling posture, the conney was aroused to con 
sciousness. One look at the laughing spectators, 


and another at his knee, was enough. He was 
heard to say, as he left the tent, " Played out!" 
This morning he was in the ranks, sound and 

THOROUGHFARE GAP, October 21. The First 
Corps commenced moving late on Tuesday. Cav 
alry scouts reported a large body of the enemy 
concentrating at White Plains, with the intention 
of falling upon our rear, should we keep up the 
pursuit of Lee to the Rappahannock. New tac 
tics must now be resorted to by the enemy. Occu 
pying this mountain pass, as we do, it would be a 
hazardous adventure to attempt its passage. This 
is an interesting spot to the Eleventh Regiment, 
not only because several companies were sta 
tioned in this vicinity, guarding the railroad, in 
the spring of 1862, but it is the scene of our first 
severe battle. As soon as it was known that the 
march was not to be resumed this morning, in 
company with Major Keenan, we passed through 
Chapman s mill, the strong barricade of the 
rebels, and on to the hill above, across which our 
men drove the astonished enemy. 

" I was standing here by this rock," said the 
major, "hurrying up the men of Co. K, when I 
was shot. I saw the soldier as he raised his gun 
and aimed directly toward me, and felt confident 
that he would hit me. But there was such a brief 
moment between the look and the shot, that per 
haps I confound the thought that he was taking 


sure aim with the fact itself. I was near enough 


to the fellow to see his face, and it is singular 
how his features remain fixed in my mind. I be- 
lieve now that I could distinguish him from a 
regiment of Southerners, though they do look 
so much alike." 

FRIDAY, October 23. Yesterday and to-day 
have been days of quiet and rest. We who are in 
camp, trusting to the vigilance of a strong guard 
of reliable pickets to keep off the roving bands of 
guerrillas that infest these mountains, have given 
ourselves up to discussing the various rumors of 
the hour, exciting enough to arouse the utmost 
stoic. Rosecrans, whose very name hitherto has 
been a talisman of strength, has been relieved 
from the command of the Cumberland Army. 
General Thomas succeeds Rosecrans, while to 
General Grant is given the command of the de 
partment. In the wake of this dispatch comes 
the rumor that General Meade has been removed 
from the Army of the Potomac, and that Gen 
eral Scdgwick is to be his successor. There is 
the usual excitement among the troops always 
attendant upon a change in army commanders. 
Some are loud in their defense of Meade, while 
others again, with equal warmth, condemn him. 
One thing is certain, General Meade has added 
nothing to his fame since the battle of Gettys 
burg, and it is questionable if he has the same 
hold upon the troops now that he had then. 




ON the 25th day of October the Federal army 
was concentrated at Bristow Station. General 
Lee rapidly retired before our advance, but at the 
same time effectually destroyed the Orange Rail 
road from Bristow to the Rappahannock. A 
further pursuit was impossible until this main 
artery of supplies was repaired, and to this one 
object all the resources of the army were ap 

In the mean time, the Confederate army strongly 
fortified the defenses at Rappahannock Station, 
and confident in the belief that General Meade 
could not make another advance during the sea 
son, had gone into winter quarters on the south 
bank of the stream. But our cavalry, without 
waiting on the tardy movements of the infantry, 
penetrated the enemy s lines, felt the strength of 
his position, and learned the points of attack and 

The relation of that army to our own was such as 
to warrant the belief that by marching three corps 
to Kelly s Ford, and thence across the Rapidan at 


Germania Ford, while the two remaining corps 
moved by way of Rappahannock Station, the 
rear of the rebel army could be reached, and 
Lee s line of communication with Richmond 

The new movement was at once inaugurated, 
and with a degree of spirit that of itself insured 
success. The First, Second, and Third Corps 
were to cross at Kelly s Ford, and the Fifth and 
Sixth Corps at Rappahannock Station. The 
preliminary move concentrated the corps at Cat- 
lett s Station, and on Saturday morning, Novem 
ber 7th, the army was again in motion. 

NEAR MORRISVILLE, November 7. Six o clock 
this morning the Eleventh Regiment was bring 
ing up the rear of Robinson s Division. It was 
understood, before leaving Catlett s, that a grand 
movement was in contemplation that might take 
us further south than the army had yet essayed 
to go. We are now within five miles of the 
river at Morrisville, a cluster of houses near the 
junction of the roads leading to Kelly s Ford and 
Falmouth. A part of our forces have already 
reached the river, as heavy firing is heard in that 
direction. The night air is cold and chilly, re 
minding us of the comforts of stoves and fire 
places that we had gathered around us during 
our stay at Bristow. 

BRANDY STATION, Sunday, November 8. The 
clear, shrill blast of the bugle, sounding from 



brigade headquarters at four o clock this morn 
ing, cut short our slumbers, and from the land of 
dreams brought us back to the realities of a fall 
campaign. Half an hour later, the Eleventh was 
leading the division in the march, and the division 
leading the corps. The direction in which the 
army is moving, and the prospect ahead, always 
make a difference in the conduct of the men. At 
other times lively and hilarious, awake to every 
thing that can provoke a criticism, and ready to 
laugh at it, when the enemy is in front, and a battle 
imminent, a quiet that of itself becomes solemn 
possesses the most garrulous. Every one is in 
communion with himself; and what thoughts are 
born of those silent moments; what high resolves 
are formed, or what earnest prayers go. up to 
Heaven, are only known to Him who can read 
man s heart. It was so this morning. The troops 
were marching toward the river through a deep 
pine forest, the slow firing in front telling of the 
presence of the enemy, and for more than an 
hour scarcely a word was spoken that disturbed 
the current of our meditations. 

The fight of yesterday afternoon was for posses 
sion of the river crossing, in which the enemy lost 
a pontoon bridge, four pieces of artillery, and 
twelve or fifteen hundred men in killed and pris 
oners. On our arrival at the river hill, the Third 
Corps was passing over under cover of the artillery, 
and toward ten o clock all the troops were across 


moving up the south side to Rappahannock Sta 
tion. The passage of the river at Kelly s Ford 
flanked the strong position at the railroad bridge, 
causing the enemy in front of the Fifth and 
Sixth Corps to fall back to Culpeper. The army, 
thus united, moved to Brandy Station in long 
battle lines, sweeping across the entire plain, and 
presenting a sight of great animation. Here we 
are in bivouac, with our faces toward Culpeper. 
The Eleventh occupies a part of the grounds of 
John Minor Botts. In our frequent marches over 
this disputed territory, the troops have often been 
compelled to make a detour of many weary steps 
to save passing through the fields of this im 
portant individual. During the late retrograde, 
three thousand rebel cavalry halted for the night 
on Auburn farm, burning up the fence-rails, and 
appropriating to their own use a plentiful supply 
of corn and oats. The soldiers have never had 
the same respect for Botts that army commanders 
appear to entertain ; and no tears are shed over 
the losses that are said to make the irate old 
Virginian more crusty than ever. 

NEAR LIBERTY, Tuesday, November 10. Yes 
terday passed in comparative quiet until an hour 
before sundown, when with an alarming sud 
denness the whole army was in motion. It only 
made the excitement greater to observe that in- 


stead of moving to Culpeper, we were taking the 
backward track toward the Rappahannock. Ar- 


tillery and wagons made the most of the good 
roads, as the very spirit of Jehu took possession 
of the drivers. 

"Another race for Manassas," whispered the 
brigade commissary, as he rode past to take 
charge of his supply train. 

When we reached the north bank of the river 
it was discovered that only the First Corps was 
on the wing, and that instead of Manassas as its 
destination, the corps was to be placed along the 
line from the Rappahannock to Warrenton Junc 
tion. A detachment of four regiments and a 
section of artillery, under command of Colonel 
Coulter, is stationed at this point, reached last 
night at ten o clock. 

It is the intersection of three roads, one lead 
ing to the upper fords of the river, another direct 
to Warrenton, and a third running parallel to 
the railroad, and at present used by our trains 
in conveying supplies to the front. From the 
location of Liberty, the special duty of the de 
tachment, as may be inferred, is to fill up a 
gap through which Stuart or Moseby might fall 
upon our wagons, or capture the stores at Beal- 
ton Station, two miles distant. 

FRIDAY, November 13. Our camp is in the 
midst of a pine forest, whose trees have been cut 
out to make room for the quarters of officers and 
men; while a fence, constructed of green pine 
boughs, incloses the entire space. Just now the 


weather has all the genial warmth of a Northern 
Indian summer; and if soldier life were ever like 
that we have been living for the past few days, war 
would not be a frightful thing. There is only 
enough of actual danger to make the pickets 
watchful, and prevent the men from straying too 
far from camp. Passing down the several com 
pany streets this evening, beginning with Co. A 
on the right, and ending with Co. B on the left, 
you might notice at the head of each street, ex 
cept one, comfortable board shanties, the quarters 
of the several line officers. The exception is Co. G-. 
Our boys have come to believe that in some way 
or other the movements of the regiment are con 
nected with the building of Captain McGrew s 
quarters. For a long time past it has been ob 
served that at the moment the captain has fin 
ished fixing up for a lengthy stay in camp, orders 
to march have been received. Neither officers 
nor men have the slightest disposition to leave 
Liberty; and as a condition that he will be in no 
hurry to complete his house, Captain McGrew 
is the guest of all the other companies, entitled 
to the choice seat at table, and the extra blanket 
at night. 

SUNDAY, November 15. A heavy rain last night, 
with thunder and lightning. To-day the weather 
is cool and cloudy. Most of the Eleventh is out 
of camp on special duty, giving to our quarters 
an unusual quiet. A soldier belonging to the 


Ninth New York died suddenly this morning, 
and was buried an hour ago. There is some 
thing touchingly sad in these army funerals; 
not that they are wanting in feeling, or in any 
of the respect which the living everywhere pay 
to departed friends. But do the best we. can, 
and it is only a rough sepulture. A blanket is 
at once winding-sheet and coffin. Sometimes 
in an obscure corner of the camp, and again 
along the roadside, a square trench receives the 
remains. A rude board, unskillfully inscribed 
with name, company, and regiment, may tell 
who lies there, but far more frequently even 
this is wanting; and there is nothing to distin 
guish the grave of a brave soldier from the com 
mon earth that surrounds it. 

WEDNESDAY, November 18. There has been 
no little excitement in camp during the last three 
days. Sunday morning one of our men went to 
a farm-house near by to purchase something for 
the mess. The farmer would not allow him to 
alight; but pointing to three horses tied up at a 
residence quarter of a mile distant, told him they 
were Moseby s guerrillas, and to make his way 
back to camp as fast as possible. The farmer 
himself has been suspected of belonging to 
Moseby, and was given to understand that he 
would be held responsible for attacks on the 
pickets, or any of the men near his premises, 
which may have been the reason of his anxiety 


for the safety of Mike. From the manner in 
which both rider and horse came panting into 
camp, the farmer s instructions must have been 
obeyed to the letter. A party went out in pur 
suit of the guerrillas, scouring the country for 
several miles. The road they had taken was 
readily shown by those of whom inquiry was 
made; but in every instance certainly the wrong 
one, for nothing could be seen of the flying 
horsemen. Monday morning the whole field 
and staff of the Eleventh, with the addition of 
several cavalrymen, renewed the search, with no 
better success. To-day the picket line was se 
cretly extended, taking in several of the sus 
pected houses, and the three gentlemen who 
have been prowling about our camp since Sun 
day, were taken prisoners. They were on foot 
when captured, and armed with navy revolvers. 
Guerrilla warfare is little better than cowardly 
assassination. If General Meade will send the 
prisoners to the detachment stationed at Liberty 
for proper punishment, the census of Virginia 
will be reduced by three before morning. 

THURSDAY, November 19. Expecting a speedy 
move. The paymaster has been here to-day, 
paying off the regiment for the months of Sep 
tember and October. Then there has been a 
canceling of the conditions between Captain 
McGrew and the line officers, and the headquar 
ters of Co. G are nearly completed. It hap- 


pened in this wise: The captain s negro man, 
lost during the night of our march to Liberty, 
and carrying with him the entire commissariat 
of his master, suddenly turned up to-day, minus 
everything but a handleless coffee-pot. The 
captain insisted on including Bob in the liberal 
conditions made for his own easy subsistence. 
But the party of the second part strongly de 
murred, saying many things of the looks and 
habits of the African in question neither com 
plimentary nor polite. The result was a disso 
lution of the social compact between the Captain 
of Co. G and the other line officers of the Elev 
enth Regiment. 

The delightful fall weather still continues. 
When the sun goes down, the frosty evening air 
is tempered by the huge fires burning through 
out the camp, and around which the men gather 
in groups. The conversation is more generally 
retrospective than prospective; suggested, pos 
sibly, by the presence of one whose arm or leg 
has not quite recovered from some serious wound, 
and who now, in the midst of attentive listeners, 
recounts the mishaps of past battles. Xoble, of 
Co. A, and Murdock, of Co. E, were both re 
ported killed, the latter at Thoroughfare Gap, 
and the former at Bull Run. Xoble was left on 
the battle-field nearly a week. Toward evening 
of the day of the fight, a Confederate soldier 
came along and placed near him a haversack 


tolerably well filled, and a canteen of water. 
Fortunately for Noble, he bad fallen near a clump 
of bushes, which afforded ample shade during the 
heat of the day. With his haversack and can 
teen, he began to calculate that although a 
Minie ball had penetrated his side, producing a 
painful wound, and entirely disabling him, his 
chances for living were still tolerably fair. Next 
day another rebel soldier passing that way, gave 
it as his opinion that the sergeant would die in 
exactly three hours ; and lest they should fall 
into more worthless hands, relieved him of haver 
sack and canteen. Then he was compelled to 
beg of those that lingered around the battle-field 
for the sake of the spoils. One gave him a drink 
of water, another a cracker, and a third put a 
blanket under his head. Two days later three 
or four Virginia soldiers came along in company, 
one of whom wanted his shoes. 

"No," said Noble; "these are all I have, and 
you can t get them." "But see here, Yankee," 
replied the Southerner, "you ll die anyhow to 
morrow. My shoes are all worn out ; yours are 
good, and I will have them." He then stooped 
down and began to untie Noble s shoes. "No 
doubt," retorted the wounded Federal, "you are 
a brave fellow. Only a brave soldier like you 
are would take the shoes from a man unable to 
help himself. You always bring up the rear 
guard in time of battle, don t you ?" The com- 


panions of the Confederate, who had been look 
ing on all the while, raised a loud laugh, and the 
Virginian walked away, leaving the sergeant in 
possession of his shoes. On the sixth day, one 
of our ambulances, sent out under a flag of truce 
to bring off the wounded, passed near him. He 
called to the driver and begged to be taken up. 
But the ambulance had already a full load, and 
the driver said he would take no more. The 
offer of money, however, touched the fellow s 
heart sooner than the wounded man s condition, 
and a comfortable passage was secured to one of 
the Washington hospitals. 

Sergeant Murdock was reported killed at 
Thoroughfare Gap. He was shot through both 
legs at the moment our men were retiring 
from the hill from which they had driven the 
enemy. After laying for some time in a par 
tially unconscious state, he became aware of 
some one coming toward him. It was a rebel 
picket, feeling his way slowly over the rough and 
uneven ground. The Southerner had raised his 
gun, ready to shoot, when a groan brought him 
to the side of the wounded Federal. Between 
the two thus introduced, there sprung up the 
most kindly feeling, and in his new friend Mur 
dock found a protector against several fellows of 
the baser sort, who shortly after arrived, plun 
dering the living as well as the dead. From 
Thoroughfare Gap he was conveyed to Warren- 


ton, the rebel general hospital, and was there on 
the 26th of the following September, when the 
town was captured by our cavalry. A week or 
so prior to that attack, a visit from the Yankees 
was hourly expected. Then came wild stories, 
that Washington and Baltimore were in posses 
sion of Southern troops, and that Lincoln and his 
Cabinet had fled to Philadelphia. The Yankees 
were entirely forgotten, and everybody gave 
themselves up to the joys of the hour. One tine 
afternoon, a number of ladies were visiting the 
hospital. Some young Southern beaus, who bad 
been watching from the cupola of the building a 
squadron of cavalry going through the quick 
evolutions of the drill, came down in apparent 
alarm, and announced that the Yankees were 
approaching the town in force. Of course the 
ladies were frightened, and the gentlemen too, 
not in the secret of the joke. But, alas for the 
jokers, the cavalry force they had supposed to be 
their own, were genuine Yankees, and in less 
than half an hour the town was in our posses 

FRIDAY, November 20. Yesterday afternoon 
a young lady, attended by an ancient negro, came 
into camp, asking the services of a physician in 
behalf of her mother. It was too late an hour in 
the day at once to accompany the lady to her 
home ; but after leaving explicit directions how 
to tind the house, she was dismissed with the as- 


su ranee that the doctor would see her mother in 
the morning. The lady was sincere enough to 
say that guerrillas were frequently seen in the 
neighborhood in which she lived, and begged of 
the surgeon not to come alone. It would be 
better to come in such numbers as either to over 
awe an attack or be able to resist it. It cannot 
be said that no suspicions were entertained as to 
the designs of the fair visitor. Some accused 
her of acting the part of a spy, and regarded the 
guerrilla story as made up to deceive. Others de 
clared that the intention was to invite all the 
mounted officers belonging to the regiment out 
of camp, and then make a wholesale capture of 
them. It was at last decided that if guerrillas 
were so near camp we had better know it; and 
if the young lady were an accomplice, she ought 
to be secured before imparting to them any 
knowledge she might have gained by coming 
within our lines. 

Fully armed and equipped, a party of ten, 
under command of Captain Haines, started this 
morning through the woods and over the fields, 
two miles beyond the picket lines, to the resi 
dence of Mrs. Kelley. It is an old Virginia 
mansion, large enough in its dimensions to recall 
the halcyon days of Virginia hospitality. Within 
and without everything indicated taste and re 
finement. The captain had observed the. pre 
caution of posting a part of the escort outside of 


the house to give alarm in case of danger. Thus 
secure in the enjoyment of the conversation of 
two intelligent ladies (the mother did not prove 
to be seriously indisposed), interspersed with de 
lightful music by the younger, an hour passed 
rapidly away. It was like suddenly transplant 
ing us from the roughness of soldier life to all 
the kindly endearments of home. As we bid 
adieu to those who had made us so happy, and 
turned our faces camp ward, we laughed at our 
unfounded suspicions, and sincerely wished that 
the doctor might have many such patients. 

SATURDAY, November 21. It is a serious ques 
tion whether, after all, the pleasant termination 
of yesterday s adventure was not owing more to 
good fortune than prudence. The events of to 
day have almost confirmed the first suspicions 
entertained of the young lady who visited our 
camp on Thursday, and that a few hours ago we 
were so ready to laugh away. A party of guer 
rillas, variously estimated at seventy-five to one 
hundred and fifty strong, just now attacked a 
supply train, under escort of a small cavalry 
force. The guard was overpowered, and taking 
refuge in flight, fell back on the first line of 
pickets. The guerrillas were dressed in blue 
overcoats, and before they could be distinguished 
from our own men, succeeded in capturing five 
or six of the infantry pickets. The alarm soon 
became general, and the whole detachment was 



speedily under arms. But after robbing their 
prisoners of money, overcoats, and haversacks, 
and with eighteen mules and four horses, Moseby 
was off as suddenly as he came. A cavalry force 
was sent out in immediate pursuit, and a second 
squadron is preparing to follow. 

Was the young lady an accomplice of these 
thieving fellows, and did she really intend to 
lead us into the hands of this party, whose ar 
rival she had calculated a day too soon ? Ap 
pearances are certainly much against her, and 
in the absence of positive proof, we have con 
cluded to decline the very polite invitation to call 
again ! 

SUNDAY, November 22. Three or four of the 
guerrilla party that entered our lines yesterday 
have been captured. It scarcely admits of a doubt 
that these robbers are citizens of the immediate 
vicinity, so familiar with every nook and corner 
that their capture in any numbers is next to im 
possible. Those captured to-day were taken in 
the very act of changing the attire of the soldier 
for that of the farmer. 

An hour after sundown orders were received 
to be ready to march to-morrow morning. The 
men are now engaged in cooking the extra ra 
tions that have been issued, and a buzzing noise 
is heard throughout the camp, in strong contrast 
with the former repose of the day. For some 
reason, as yet unexplained, General Meade s late 


crossing of the Rappa bannock, though a com 
plete surprise to the enemy, resulted in nothing 
more than the army occupying its old position 
around Culpeper. It was a small advantage to 
be purchased at the loss of a good many lives; 
and in the opinion of leading generals, a great 
mistake was committed in not following out the 
original plan of pushing across the Rapidan and 
attacking the rebel rear. The order received 
this evening does not give the line of march; 
but it is intimated, now that the railroad is fin 
ished to Brandy Station, that the Rapidan is to 
be forded at several points, and an earnest effort 
made to reach Gordonsville. 



ber 25. The entire army has been halted here at 
Rappahannock Station since Monday, awaiting 
the holding up of a cold, drizzling rain that com 
menced falling on Tuesday morning. The sky 
is clear now, and with the stiff wind that has 
been blowing since noon, the roads must become 
at least passably good in a few hours. There is 


no longer any secrecy about the contemplated 
move. A Washington paper received this after 
noon gives the whole programme. General 
Meade s scouts report that the lines of the enemy 
are so formed as to leave uncovered all the 
lower fords of the Rapidan ; that Swell s Corps 
is next to the river, and Hill s Corps in the vi 
cinity of Orange Court House, leaving a space 
between them of seven or eight miles. Our 
present object is to gain this interval, prevent a 
union between Ewell and Hill, and give them 
battle in detail. "Whatever is done must be 
done quickly. There is not an hour to spare. It 
is late in the season, and bad weather and bad 
roads may be expected any moment. 

SOUTH OF THE RAPIDAN, November 26. The 
moon was shining in a cloudless sky when we left 
Rappahannock Station this morning. After cross 
ing the river on the railroad bridge, the Division 
marched down stream. It soon became known 
that the First Corps was to cross the Rapidan at 
Culpeper Mines, while the other corps crossed at 
the several different fordings above. We of the 
Eleventh did not forget that it was the national 
thanksgiving day on which the movement was 
inaugurated, and our trust is that God will hear 
the prayers this day offered up in behalf of our 
cause. Our thanksgiving dinner was eat during 
a halt near Richardsville; and though it consisted 
only of the plain fare Uncle Sam furnishes his 


men when on a march, it was with a relish, and, 
let us hope, with becoming thankfulness. It 
was dark before we reached the Rapidan River. 
Pontoon bridges were at once constructed, and 
the corps crossed to the opposite hights recently 
occupied by the enemy. The bivouac of the 
Eleventh is near the Culpeper gold mines. The 
hour is one for thought and reflection. We are 
further advanced in this direction than any of 
the infantry troops have yet marched. If the 
movement proves a success, all will be well ; if it 
should result in failure, it may be a great ca 
lamity. The men are in good spirits, and en 
thusiastically cheered the dispatch received from 
army headquarters that Grant had gained a de 
cisive victory over Bragg. 

FRIDAY, November 27. The march was re 
sumed this morning at live o clock, over a coun 
try entirely unknown, whose hills and ravines 
had never before been pressed by such an army. 
In two hours we struck the Germania and Fred- 
ericksburg road. Our movements became more 
cautious as we were advancing through the 
dreary and uncertain region of the Wilderness. 
Scarcely had we entered its thick growth of 
dwarfed oak, when far to our right was heard 
the slow and measured reports of artillery. We 
knew they were signal guns, and that however 
Meade might have deceived the enemy in the 
crossing, his presence south of the Rapidan was 


fully known. Pursuing the Fredericksburg road 
within five miles of Chancellorville, the Elev 
enth halted" in front of the Wilderness Tavern ? 
a tall frame building, and one of the bygone ce 
lebrities of this remarkable country. There was 
some confusion in front, a part of the ambulance 
train of the Second Corps having been decoyed 
from the right road, and two or three of the 
drivers murdered. Xear the tavern is the resi 
dence of Major Vincent of the rebel army. To 
this house Stonewall Jackson was conveyed after 
the battle of Chancellorville. Some distance 
beyond we left the old turnpike and marched 
along the Orange and Fredericksburg plank- 
road. We are now halted at Parker s store, 
where the whole corps is concentrated on the 
extreme left of the army. There must have 
been severe lighting by some of our forces dur 
ing the afternoon. It is nearly dark, but from 
the direction of the river every once and again 
comes the sound of cannon. 

SATURDAY, November 28. Two hours after 
dark last night Robinson s Division, following the 
Orange plank-road half a mile beyond Parker s 
store, turned abruptly to the right into a narrow 
country road, leading through a thick forest. The 
march was continued for more than an hour, 
when we halted at the junction of a broader and 
more clearly defined highway. The division was 
formed in line of battle, with the Eleventh on 


the right. " Colonel," said General Robinson, 
"tell your men that the Second Corps is on the 
left, and the Fifth Corps in front. Instruct the 
pickets not to fire without first giving the chal 
lenge." The night passed without alarm, and at 
daylight this morning the division, continuing its 
march through the woods, was massed with the 
rest of the First Corps near Robertson s tavern, 
on the old Orange turnpike. Two hours later a 
general advance was ordered. The army is now 
in position along Mine Run. Colonel Coulter is 
in command of the division reserve, consisting 
of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania, Sixteenth Maine, 
and Twelfth Massachusetts, leaving the command 
of the Eleventh to Major Keenan. The enemy s 
pickets occupy an opposite crest of hills, so sin 
gularly shaped as to make them look like the 
angles of a fort, while between us and them is a 


low marshy ravine, through which Mine Run 
flows to the Rapidan. Heavy skirmishing has 
been going on all day, and there is every appear 
ance of another Sunday battle. A cold drizzling 
rain has been falling for several hours, making 
us fearful of the effect it may have on these 
Virginia roads. 

An incident occurred this morning which 
clearly shows the vigilance of the troops here 
marshaled. Shortly after the Eleventh had taken 
its position on the extreme left of the line, a body 
of skirmishers was seen advancing across the 


fields. The rainy weather made the atmosphere 
dull and hazy, and for a time it was doubtful 
whether they were friends or foes. The skirm 
ishers finally halted, and an officer came within 
speaking distance. "Who are you?" " First 
Corps, "was the reply. "Who are you?" "Fifth 
Corps." " All right," said Major Keeuan, "come 
on." Assured that there was no deception, the 
officer advanced, saluted the major, and informed 
him that the Fifth Corps was approaching to 
form on the left of the First Corps. 

SUNDAY, November 29. Although there has 
been considerable activity in the shifting of divi 
sions and brigades, no change has been made in 
our battle-line, nor has there been any general ad 
vance upon the works of the enemy. The Elev 
enth has been on picket duty out in front of the 
lines since early this morning, meeting with no 
other casualties than private Swartz, slightly 
wounded. This evening the Eleventh was added 
to the division reserve. 

MONDAY, November 30. Marching from our po 
sition on the left, the division formed in line to the 
right of the Orange pike. Later in the day Gen 
eral Robinson was directed to advance his pickets 
across a small stream (a branch of Mine Run) di 
rectly in front, and build two bridges for the 
passage of artillery and troops in column. A 
small force of the enemy occupied the overlook 
ing crest, and though they stubbornly resisted, a 


detachment of the Ninety-fourth New York drove 
them awa} . Large working parties are now en 
gaged constructing the bridges. 

Back at the hospital, the day has been one of 
suspense and anxiety. Several times reports came 
to the rear that the troops were in the act of at 
tacking the rebel fortifications, and from the po 
sition the enemy occupies, fearful losses were 
anticipated. There ismore news here than reaches 
the front. This hospital, from its location, hap 
pens to be the rendezvous of the newspaper re 
porters, and already the gentlemen of the press 
are predicting a retrograde move on the part 
of Meade. ^The fight of the Third Corps, 
Friday afternoon, with a part of E well s forces, 
not only delayed the Second Corps in its march 
to occupy the interval between Hill and Ewell, 
but revealed the point of Meade s strategy. Fall 
ing back from the commanding position at Ro 
bertson s tavern to that of Mine Run, by Satur- 
dav morninsr the breach in the rebel line was 

/ O 

closed, and whatever we do now must be done 
against a force quite as large as our own. 

General Warren marched to-day to the extreme 
left of the line, and will attack the rebel right 
to-morrow morning. The weather has grown 
intensely cold, causing much suffering among the 
troops, especially to those on the picket line, 
where not a spark of fire is allowed to be kindled. 
Three men of the last relief were frozen to death 
at their posts. 


TUESDAY, December 1. Last night General Ro 
binson was ordered to suspend all operations on the 
bridges in front of his line, and to withdraw the 
pickets across the run. From early morning until 
this hour (noon) the men have been waiting in 
battle-line for the sound of Warren s guns on the 
left as the signal of a general charge. Not a 
sound, not even the crack of a rifle has been 
heard in that direction. Something has gone 
wrong, too late to be corrected. The men are 
nearly out of rations, and our supply trains are 
on the other side of the Rapidan. In another 
day we must either go back for supplies, or the 
trains must be moved to the front. The former 
is far more likely, in the present precarious state 
of the weather, than the latter. 

FOUR O CLOCK P.M. The First Corps is ordered 
to march, by way of Robertson s tavern, to Ger- 
mania Ford. 

December 3. One week ago the grand move 
ment of the Army of the Potomac was inaugu 
rated. This evening we are back within a few 
miles of the starting-point. However much was 
intended, very little in fact has been accomplished. 
My last entry was on Tuesday afternoon, at 
the moment the corps began its move for the 
river. We bivouacked at midnight overlooking 
Germania Mills, crossed the Rapidan at daylight 
Wednesday, and took position to cover the cross- 


ing of the Fifth and Sixth Corps. The division 
remained at the ford until noon of Wednesday, 
when we marched to Stevensburg. 

The rations of the men were entirely consumed, 
and every haversack was empty. "Twenty-five 
cents for a hard tack," was the offer made after 
the first hour s march. "Fifty cents for a hard 
tack," became the cry as the march continued. 
"One dollar for a hard tack," but even that 
did not bring it at the hour of bivouac. The 
time was in the memory of some of those same 
men, who now clamored so loud for hard tack, 
when the commissary of Camp Wayne was 
treated to a shower of the vilest epithets for 
offering them such fare. "Soft bread! soft 
bread!" was then the cry. The crackers strung 
upon a rope, and with which they garlanded the 
neck of his horse, and at last the neck of the 
commissary, was their estimate then of that for 
which they now clamored so furiously. The 
officers were in the same hungry plight as the 
men. Imagine the headquarter s mess of the 
Eleventh, composed of a colonel, a major, two 
doctors, and a chaplain, sitting down on the 
ground, ten o clock at night, to a supper made 
up of one dish only a plate of fried liver. But 
we were better off than brigade headquarters. 
Their last meal was taken in the morning, and 
consisted of stewed dried apples. 

Even the brigade commissary was on short 


allowance, as the novel mode to which he re 
sorted to supply himself will fully attest. Rid 
ing off some distance from the troops to a fine- 
looking residence, he represented himself to the 
family as an officer of Stuart s cavalry, disguised 
in Yankee uniform, the better to watch the 
movements of the Yankee army. Without a 
question, he was taken into their confidence. 
All the information they had was readily com 
municated; and, better still for the captain, pre 
parations were at once made for dinner. An 
old colored woman, who overheard the conver 
sation, unperceived by the family started off in 
all haste for the nearest body of soldiers. She 
was not long in finding some one to listen to her 
story, and a lieutenant and a squad of men were 
dispatched to make the arrest. The squad ar 
rived at the house as the officer was sitting down 
to the table. Expostulation was useless. They 
had no time for delay, and he yielded himself a 
prisoner to the guard. Taken beiore the corps 
commander, of course he was recognized as 
Captain Bucklin, Commissary of the Second 
Brigade; but it was Captain Bucklin without 
his dinner. 

This morning, before the march was con 
tinued, a ration of fresh beef was issued, and in 
the strength of that one meal the men journeyed 
to our present halting-place. An hour ago the 
wagons came up with full supplies. There is 


just now a savory smell throughout the camp of 
broiling beef and boiling coffee, by no means 
unpleasant to the olfactory nerves, as the hos 
pital steward likes to say. 

expectedly to all, the first sound that disturbed 
our camp this morning was the bugle note to pack 
up. We were again to cross the Rappahannock. 
Last evening, hungry, tired, and cold, the men 
waded three feet deep to the north bank. To 
be called upon so soon to repeat the cool opera 
tion, was well calculated to ruffle the not very 
even temper of the soldier; and terrible male 
dictions were called down on the heads of all in 
authority. But it must be confessed that there 
was less grumbling to-day than last night the 
difference, possibly, between stomachs full and 
stomachs empty. 

TUESDAY, December 8. Without waiting for 
orders, the men have gone into winter quarters. 
Substantial log-cabins, with fire-places and chim 
neys, have been constructed by all the compa 
nies. At headquarters we have our w r all tents, 
but no fire-places. The fire is on the outside, 
and a picture of our present home would show 
to good effect. About a mile from the Rappa 
hannock, and within a few yards of the road 
leading from Kelly s Ford to Stevensburg, would 
be seen four tents, two on a line, and one on 
each flank, facing inward. Between the tents 



and the road is a fence of pine boughs; on the 
other side of the road are the quarters of the 
men. The iire that burns night and day in 
front of the tents deserves to be noticed because 
of its royal back log, ten feet long and three 
feet in diameter, the contribution of a noble old 
white oak tree that has lived in these forests 
since the days when the red man claimed them 
as his own. 



THE advance on Mine Run completed another 
campaign of the war. The operations of the 
year had been on a scale of vast magnitude. 
Beginning at Chancellorville, seven months be 
fore, they had extended twice across Virginia, 
through a large part of Maryland, into the inte 
rior of Pennsylvania, and back again within a 
day s march of the place of commencement. 
But in its bearing upon the great issue the 
destruction of the rebel army it was easy to 
see, looking out from our winter quarters on the 
Rappahannock, that the campaign had not ful 
filled all its promises. 


It must be said, however, that a better spirit 
prevailed throughout the army at the close of 
this campaign than had marked the close of the 
last. There had been, during the year, a grad 
ual dying out of the ruinous partisan spirit once 
so prevalent. Without losing the least respect 
for the genius and ability necessary to command 
the army, each man had more respect for his 
own well-performed duties. The lesson had at 
last been learned that the strength of the army 
was not in McClellan, or Burnside, or Hooker, 
or Meade, but in the intelligent patriotism of 
the rank and file. 

There was also to be noticed an increasing 
confidence in the integrity of the government, 
and in the justice and humanity of those princi 
ples lying at the base of the great conflict. The 
prophetic spirit of that strangely popular song, 

"John Brown s body lies mouldering in the grave, 
But his soul is marching on," 

now sung more than ever, possessed every heart; 
and though it might seem a long and wearisome 
way to the end, the ultimate triumph of the na 
tional cause was the accepted faith of the army. 
The troops once in winter quarters, no farther 
general movement could be expected before the 
beginning of May five months in the future. 
But with that very month would commence the 
expiration of the term of enlistment of a large 


proportion of the old regiments, and before the 
next spring campaign fairly opened, the govern 
ment would lose one-half of its most available 
force. It was well for the nation that the patri 
otism of the army was equal to the emergency; 
and when those men were asked to re-enlist for a 
second term of three years, if, in yielding to the 
request, there was less enthusiasm manifested 
than at the first enlistment, the veteran volun 
teer proved that he had lost none of his devotion 
to country. 

It was provided, in addition to the liberal 
bounties that a generous people could well afford 
to pay to their noble defenders, that each veteran 
volunteer should be granted thirty-five days fur 
lough; and that where three-fourths of a regi 
ment re-enlisted, such portion of the regiment 
should go home in a body, taking with it arms 
arid equipments. The gallant old Eleventh was 
among the first of the Pennsylvania regiments 
to answer this new call of the government, just 
as it had been among the first to answer the na 
tion s call at the end of the three months cam 

During the three weeks that intervened be 
tween the inception of this third term of service 
on the part of the Eleventh, and its entire com 
pletion, in the shiftings of the several corps, and 
the changing of the picket lines, marching from 
Kelly s Ford to Culpeper, and from thence to 


Mitchell s Station, early in January the regi 
ment encamped on Cedar Mountain. We were 
again upon our first battle-field; the circle was 
now complete, and from that field, after spend 
ing a few days at Culpeper, it was proper that 
the Eleventh Regiment should take cars, on the 
5th of February, for Alexandria. 

Five days later the regiment was in Camp 
Curtin, Ilarrisburg. From that point the men 
separated, in companies, and in squads, and 
singly, to meet again at the end of the veteran 






OLD Time, unaffected by the joyous meeting of 
long absent friends, and heedless of the fresh 
griefs to be experienced at another parting, 
abating nothing of his rapid flight, hurried away 
through February and March at his usual gait. 

The veteran furlough ended, the Eleventh 
once more rendezvoused at Camp Curtin. From 
thence over the familiar route through Balti 
more, Washington, and Alexandria, and along 
the Orange Railroad by the old camping grounds 
of Manassas,Bristow, Rappahannock and Brandy 
Station, on the last day of March, after an ab 
sence of fifty days, the regiment rejoined Bax 
ter s Brigade at Culpeper. 

During the several weeks of our Northern so 
journ a large number of recruits had been added 
to the regiment, which now, in dimensions, looked 
somewhat like its former self, numbering over 
five hundred men present for duty. Many va 
cancies were filled among the commissioned 


officers, and such a general reorganization ef 
fected as told favorably in the subsequent cam 

Lieutenant Absalom Schall was promoted to 
be captain of Co. C, vice Captain Jacob J. Bierer, 
honorably discharged ; Lieutenant James Chal- 
fant, captain of Co. F, vice Captain E. H. Gay, 
deceased ; Lieutenant Andrew G. Happer, cap 
tain of Co. I, vice Captain Thomas, mustered out 
of service ; Jesse Lauifer, captain of Co. K, vice 
Captain John Read, killed at Antietam ; Lieu 
tenant John P. Straw, first lieutenant of Co. B, 
vice Lieutenant George Tapp, discharged on ac 
count of wounds ; Sergeant Enos E. Hall, first 
lieutenant of Co. D, vice Lieutenant Chalfant, 
promoted ; Lieutenant Samuel J. Hamill, first 
lieutenant of Co. E, vice Lieutenant Piper, pro 
moted ; Lieutenant Robert Anderson, first lieu 
tenant of Co. F, vice Lieutenant Kettering, dis 
charged; Lieut. W. A. Shrum, first lieutenant 
of Co. I, vice Lieutenant Painter, discharged ; 
Quartermaster Sergeant Samuel "W. Phillips, 
second lieutenant of Co. B, vice Lieutenant 
Straw, promoted ; Sergeant James Moore, second 
lieutenant of Co. D, vice Lieutenant Cross, dis 
charged; Hospital Steward James J. Briggs, 
second lieutenant of Co. E, vice Lieutenant Ha 
mill, promoted ; Sergeant Samuel McCutcheon, 
second lieutenant of Co. F, vice Lieutenant An 
derson, promoted ; John Brenneman, second 


lieutenant of Co. G, vice Lieutenant Liedtke, 

While the Eleventh was enjoying its well- 
earned rest from active duties in the field, and 
thus preparing for the future, great and import 
ant changes, materially affecting the army, were 
taking place at Washington. General IT. S. Grant 
had heen confirmed Lieutenant-G-en eral, and was 
invested by the President with the chief com 
mand of all the national forces. 

To those who had known of the petty jeal 
ousies and personal ambitious aspirations, often 
interfering with the wisest plans, and threatening 
the most fatal consequences to the army and the 
country, the revival of the rank of Lieutenant- 
General, that placed Grant over all other gen 
erals, and out of the reach of envy or inter 
ference, was accepted as an assurance that the 
same spirit which had induced more than three- 
fourths of the army to re-enlist for the suppres 
sion of the rebellion pervaded every department 
of the nation. 

Three days before the Eleventh returned to 
the front, General Grant established his head 
quarters with the Army of the Potomac at Cul- 
peper, and the work of getting ready for the 
spring campaign was at once commenced. Speed 
ily armed and equipped, the new recruits were 
drilled four to six hours each day, making such 
proficiency in the manual of arms, and in the 


various evolutions of regiment, brigade, and di 
vision, that by the time the spring suns had 
dried up the roads, recruits and veterans were 
one in everything except the actual experience 
of the battle-field. 

Instead of the five corps with which General 
Meade had conducted the latter movements of 
his last campaign, the army was consolidated into 
three corps the Second, Fifth, and Sixth com 
manded respectively by Hancock, Warren, and 
Sedgwick. In this new organization the old 
First Corps was merged into the Fifth Corps, of 
which Wadsworth s Division was the first, Ro 
binson s Division the second, Crawford s Division 
the third, and Griffin s Division the fourth. Re 
tiring from the command of the First Corps, with 
which he had been associated since the death of 
the lamented Reynolds, General Newton ex 
pressed his regrets in an eloquent farewell ad 
dress, in which the former services of the men 
were acknowledged and appreciated : 

"In relinquishing command, I take occasion to 
express the pride and pleasure I have experienced 
in my connection with you, and my profound 
regret at our separation. Identified by its ser 
vices with the history of the war, the First Corps 
gave at Gettysburg a crowning proof of valor 
and endurance in saving from the grasp of the 
enemy the strong position upon which the battle 
was fought. The terrible losses suffered by the 


corps in that conflict attest its supreme devotion 
to the country. Though the corps has lost its 
distinctive name by the present changes, history 
will not be silent upon the magnitude of its ser 

In all this new-modeling and reorganizing of 
his forces, General Grant had not overestimated 
the prowess of his antagonist. The army of 
General Lee, composed of the Corps of Ewell, 
Hill, and Longstreet the latter just returned 
from Tennessee lay along and near the south 
bank of the Rapidan, with its flanks well pro 
tected by the natural defenses of the country, 
and its front secured by strong artificial intrench- 
ments. The Federal commander could discover 
no secret or untried route leading to Richmond. 
The opposing armies were to meet somewhere, as 
they had often met before, and the result of the 
campaign, as seen from the beginning, was a 
question of martial endurance. 

The stirring address of General Meade, issued 
on the 3d of May, was followed by the bugle 
note to march. At midnight the Fifth Corps was 
leading the army over the Stevensburg pike 
toward the Rapidan. The Sixth Corps followed 
after the Fifth; while the Second Corps, keeping 
down the north bank to Ely s Ford, was intended 
to strike the plank-road near Chancellorville, 
each corps commander hoping to evade an en 
gagement in the forlorn region of the Wilder 


Crossing the river at Germania Ford, and 
marching two or three miles toward the Wilder 
ness Tavern, five o clock P. M. the Fifth Corps 
halted for the night, the Eleventh bivouacking 
in an open field, and furnishing the picket de 
tail for the brigade. To our right, and some 
times apparently in front, during most of the 
night, dull rumbling sounds were heard, such as 
indicated that the enemy, too, was moving. Five 
o clock next morning the march was resumed, 
carrying us out to the old turnpike, in sight of 
the Wilderness Tavern. With every passing mo 
ment it became apparent that our further pro 
gress was to be contested. 

General Lee, ever watchful, and tracing in the 
outlines of the opening campaign the energy of 
the new commander, was coming against Grant 
in two columns, one along the Orange turnpike, 
and the other by way of the Fredericksburg and 
Orange plank-road. The rebel general was in 
tent on accomplishing what Grant was manoeu 
vring to avoid, to intercept our southward 
march, and, by striking his blows on the flank, 
entangle the Federal army in the Wilderness. 

The advance division of EwelFs Corps, that 
reached Parker s store, immediately in front of 
Warren s left, was the first to become engaged 
with parts of the First and Fourth Divisions. 
The Fifth Corps, halting all its regiments, and 
concentrating on the turnpike, prepared for a 


vigorous defense. The Sixth Corps was hurried 
to its place on the right, and the Second Corps, 
marching rapidly along the Chancellorville plank- 
road, hastened to extend our position on the left. 

Sights not strange to the veteran soldier, but 
new and exciting to the recruit, were now to be 
witnessed. Divisions and brigades, advancing at 
a double-quick, were forming in line of battle, or 
massing in reserve. Hundreds of pioneers, with 
axes and shovels, were felling trees and throwing 
up earthworks, behind which scores of cannon, 
unlimbered and charged with shot, presented a 
threatening array. 

The first attack of the Fifth Corps, led on by 
Wadsworth and Griffin, drove Ewell from all his 
positions, and far in from our front. But meet 
ing heavy rebel reinforcements, by a sudden turn 
the enemy rallied, and Wadsworth and Griffin 
were compelled to give way to the enemy. 
Baxter s Brigade, with the Eleventh in front, 
marched in quick time to the extreme left at the 
moment to support the wavering lines of the 
two divisions, and hold in check the advancing 

The storm of battle had again broken out in 
the Wilderness, and was sweeping along the 
lines with increasing fury. Lee s intention was 
now more apparent than ever. It was to turn 
Warren s flank before Hancock, who was march 
ing from Chancellorville, could come to his 


relief. He had so far succeeded in his design 
that Hill s Corps, overlapping Warren, was al 
ready confronting a part of Hancock s lines, 
vainly endeavoring to force him back to the 

Baxter s Brigade was again ordered to the left, 
and together with Grifiin s Division, marched to 
the support of Hancock. 

It was six o clock in the evening, and the 
dense undergrowth through which the troops 
had to feel their way made it prematurely night. 
The Eleventh, marching by the flank, soon en 
gaged the enemy s skirmishers, keeping up a 
brisk fire until total darkness ended the contest. 
Uniting with Hancock, and throwing out a strong 
line of pickets, the position was maintained until 
the morning of the 6th of May. 

At the close of the first day s fight the line of 
the Federal army extended along the Germania 
Ford and Chancellorville road, with the right 
near the river, and the left near the Brock road 
leading to Spottsylvania. During the night it 
was determined to make a simultaneous attack 
on the enemy s left by Sedgwick, and on his 
right by Hancock. Shortly after daylight Han 
cock s advance was undertaken by the Fourth 
Division of the Fifth Corps and Baxter s Bri 
gade. It was a bright May morning, and as 
the troops marched through the thick growth 
of hazel, the rays of the sun, that here and 



there penetrated the deep shade of the Wilder 
ness, were reflected as well from the unsheathed 
swords of the officers as from the muskets of 
the men. 

The first shock of battle fell unexpectedly on 
the enemy, causing his lines to give way in rout 
and confusion. No time was lost by Hancock 
in following up so great an advantage, and occu 
pying either side of the plank-road with his 
forces, the men pushed steadily onward. In 
that gallant advance General Baxter was se 
verely wounded and taken from the field, leav 
ing the command of the brigade to Colonel 
Coulter, and the command of the Eleventh to 
Major Keenan. 

Quick to see the danger that threatened his 
right flank by Hancock s valorous assault, Gen 
eral Lee hurried forward the troops of Long- 
street s Corps, then arriving on the ground, and 
placing himself at the head of one of the bri 
gades, dashed forward into the wide and extend 
ing breach in his lines. 

It was not a broad, open country in which the 
men were fighting, where the movements of the 
enemy could be seen and promptly met by coun 
ter movements. But every one knew from the 
galling fire poured in that the enemy, reinforced, 
was assuming other and more advantageous po 
sitions. Presently the whole front lighted up 
with deadly volleys, and coming down on our 

first lines with the force of an avalanche, the di 
visions of Longstreet swept Hancock back over 
the ground taken from Hill, across the plank- 
road, and to the shelter of the shallow earth 
works that the troops had left in the morning. 

Sedgwick on the right, at the instant of mov 
ing out his lines, received the advance of Ewell, 
who had anticipated the Federal attack. After a 
fierce conflict, repulsed at every point, the rebel 
general slowly retired. Several hours later, 
coming once more against Sedgwick, the whole 
Sixth Corps was thrown forward, driving Ewell 
far back in the Wilderness, and firmly holding 
the ground thus won. 

It was now noon ; and from right to left there 
was a lull in the battle. Each army, half ex 
hausted, as if by common consent was reposing 
a moment to gather new strength for a more de 
cisive blow. Four o clock P.M. there came a 
sharp rattling of musketry and a quick succes 
sion of artillery reports from the left of the lines. 
It was quiet no longer. Longstreet had again 
moved up to assault Hancock in the most fear 
ful attack of the day, and made with a vehe 
mence that threatened to ruin our left and drive 
us into the Rapidan. 

But foreseeing where the blow would fall, the 
left had been strongly reinforced by Gibbons s 
Division, to whom Colonel Coulter was ordered 
to report his brigade. The charge of the rebels, 


though at first successful, met by the timely ar 
rival of Gibbons, was handsomely checked, and 
the enemy at last forced back across the Brock 
road. Foiled a seccfnd time in his attempt to 
turn our flank, and in each instance suffering 
severely in killed and wounded, Longstreet with 
drew, and, to all appearances, the second day s 
fight in the Wilderness was over. 

General Lee had promised to drive Grant 
across the Rapidan in three days. The advan 
tage of the fighting thus far had been with 
neither army; but to accomplish his undertaking 
the rebel general saw how much still remained 
to be done, and in the very last hour of day, 
while many a soldier was looking forward to a 
night of rest for weary and aching limbs, the 
battle broke out afresh far to the right. 

With all the stealth and quiet with which the 
twilight was coming, a heavy rebel column, 
moving out from behind its intrenchments, fell 
upon Ricketts s Division, holding the right flank 
of the Sixth Corps. Impetuous and sudden, the 
enemy s assault was successful, completely turn 
ing our flank and cutting us oft from Germania 
Ford; and but for the promptness of officers and 
men, might have crowned the day with irretriev 
able disaster. But fresh troops strengthened the 
yielding line, until the enemy, first completely 
checked, and then put on the defensive, gave up 
the contest. 


Colonel Coulter s Brigade, a short time before 
united to the division, from which it had been 
separated for nearly two days, at the beginning 
of the last attack was ordered into position on 
the plank-road, in rear of army headquarters. It 
was the direction in which the rebels were bear 
ing down with such frightful rapidity, until ar 
rested further toward the front. 

The Federal battle-line, after two days of wave- 
like advancing and receding, excepting that the 
right was thrown somewhat back, occupied the 
same ground on which the conflict had begun. 
There was no difficulty in tracing that line 
through the most intricate and deeply-tangled 
portions of the battle-field. It was not the marks 
of blood only that guided us over those six miles 
from left to right, but a line of prostrated human 
forms, here dead, and there dying; here still and 
uncomplaining, and there wild with the delirium 
of fever and the agony of pain. Scattered all 
along the way, from the Brock road to the Wil 
derness Tavern, lay one hundred and fifty-seven 
killed and wounded belonging to the Eleventh. 

During the quiet of the early afternoon the 
roads had been given to the ambulance corps 
that came upon the field, rapidly loading up the 
wagons with maimed and bleeding forms. The 
wounded of the Fifth Corps were placed under 
charge of Surgeon Anawalt, with directions to 
cross the Rapidan and proceed to Rappahannock 


Station, where cars were in waiting to convey 
them to Washington. But before the first car 
riage of the long line had made half the distance 
to the ford, the rebel assault on the right cut us 
off from the river. The confusion was only for 
a moment. 

Doctor/ said an aid-de-camp from General 
Warren, "you are directed to take your wounded 
men to Fredericksburg." 

Turning short in the road, and pushing forward 
as fast as a care for the comfort of the men would 
allow, a little after midnight Fredericksburg re 
ceived its first installment of \vounded from the 
Wilderness battle-field. 

The 7th of May dawned clear and bright. Sev 
eral hours of undisturbed quiet, in rear of army 
headquarters, prepared the Eleventh and the rest 
of the brigade for a change of position to the 
support of Ricketts s Division on the extreme 
right. A fierce and determined effort was to be 
made to retake the ground lost on the previous 
evening ; and as we marched to our place early 
in the morning, batteries were already wheeling 
into line, preparing to open the attack by a 
shower of grape-shot and shell. But when at 
last all was in readiness, and with the first volley 
of our numerous cannon a heavy body of skirm 
ishers advanced, it was found that we were only 
beating the air. The rebels had retreated from 
our front, and nothing remained but the line of 


rifle-pits from which Ricketts had been driven to 
tell the story of their last successful charge. 

Traversing each of the roads leading south 
ward, the cavalry were employed in developing 
the meaning of General Lee s sudden and unex 
pected retreat. He had failed to make such an 
impression on the Union lines as in any degree 
to compensate him for his own severe losses, 
and observing the movement of our wagon 
trains and ambulances toward Fredericksburg 
as a new base of supplies, Lee became alarmed 
for the safety of his right flank, and was march 
ing with all speed to secure the high grounds 
around Spottsylvania Court House. 

In rapid pursuit came the Army of the Poto 
mac. The Fifth Corps again took the lead, with 
Robinson s Division in front. Filing out from 
the grounds near the Lacey House, and march 
ing past the Second Corps, ten o clock P.M. of 
the 7th we struck the Brock road and pushed 
on to Todd s tavern. Few and short were the 
halts of that long night march, that tested to the 
full the endurance of every man. 

Five o clock of the next morning the division 
was within three miles of Spottsylvania. But 
the enemy moving on a shorter parallel road 
further to the west, with a start of several hours, 
headed us in the exciting race for position. 
Crossing our path was the narrow little river 
Xy, and in our front, disputing all further pro 
gress, were the rebel skirmishers. 


Time was now more precious than life; and 
without a moment to refresh themselves after the 
fatigues of a ten hours march, the division was 
pressed rapidly forward, meeting in what was re 
ported as only dismounted cavalry, Hood s splen 
did Division of rebel infantry. In charging over 
the rough and difficult ground, and through Al 
sop s farm, though many fell out of the ranks 
from utter exhaustion, the troops steadily ad 
vanced, driving back the enemy s skirmishers 
and pushing on within seventy-five yards of his 
intrenched position. At every step the rebel fire 
was becoming more and more destructive. At 
last it could not be endured, and retiring first to 
the edge of the woods, and then to the rear of 
Alsop s house, temporary defenses were thrown 
up, behind which the troops took shelter. 

General Robinson, while gallantly leading 
the charge across Alsop s fields, was severely 
wounded, and carried from the field, the com 
mand of the division devolving upon Colonel 
Coulter. " The disabling of General Robinson at 
this juncture was a severe blow to the division, 
and certainly influenced the fortunes of the day. 
The want of our commanding officer prevented 
that concert of action which alone could have 
overcome the enemy in front."* 

But above the loss of General Robinson, the 

* Coulter s Report. 


Eleventh felt the loss of Major John B. Keenan, 
shot dead at the head of the regiment while by 
word and example he was cheering forward the 
men. Identified with the Eleventh from the 
beginning, and in every time and place display 
ing all the generous qualities of the true soldier, 
the commanding officer could well say, not only 
for himself, but for the regiment, that "long ac 
quaintance led to a full appreciation of Major 
Keenan s character. He was brave, cool, and 
courteous, and by his personal exertions and 
bold example nobly sustained his command." 

The rapid arrival of fresh troops enabled us 
to hold the line on Alsop s farm. But when the 
day closed Robinson s Division was nearly with 
out an organization. In three days it had lost 
General Robinson, all of its brigade commanders, 
and not less than two thousand officers and men. 
What still remained of it was temporarily at 
tached to the other divisions of the corps. The 
First Brigade, Colonel Lyle, was transferred to 
the Fourth Division; the Second Brigade, 
Colonel Coulter, to Crawford s (Third) Division; 
the Third Brigade, Colonel Bowman, was re 
tained by General Warren under his own super 




LAUREL HILL, Monday, May 9. The 
remainder of yesterday, until eight o clock P.M., 
was spent in strengthening our intrenchments 
near the Alsop mansion. Then the Eleventh 
was ordered some distance further to the right, 
passing the rest of the night and until noon of 
to-day in erecting defenses in front of the new 
position. This afternoon Robinson s Division 
was broken up, and the brigade reported to 
General Crawford, of the Third Division, near 
Laurel Hill. We were at once placed on the 
right of the line, the Eleventh (under command 
of Capt. B. F. Haines) connecting on the left 
with the Pennsylvania Reserves. The Fifth 
Corps is now in the center, with the Second on 
the right and the Sixth on the left. The enemy 
holds strong and solid intrenchments just over 
against us, that can only be taken by the most 
determined valor. 

TUESDAY, May 10. Our men bivouacked last 
night behind a range of formidable breastworks; 
and but for the active preparations going on 
around us, all pointing to an early attack on the 


enemy s lines, we might have slept in undis 
turbed security. When the order came this 
morning for a general assault along the whole 
front of the Fifth and Sixth Corps, there was a 
determined expression on the face of every man, 
answering to the desperate work before him. 

"You will advance your entire brigade in 
support of the line of skirmishers, and carry the 
rifle-pits now in front. Go on until you come 
upon the enemy s intrenchments, and hold on 
firmly to all you get. Take the first line of rifle- 
pits at all hazards." 

There was no mistaking these orders sent 
from General Crawford to Colonel Coulter. 
Throwing out the Ninety-seventh New York as 
skirmishers, and placing the Eighty-third New 
York and Eleventh Pennsylvania on the left of 
the line, the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania and 
Twelfth Massachusetts on the right, and form 
ing the left wing of each regiment in rear of the 
right wing, the two lines of the brigade moved 
out to the attack. 

The first forward step developed the well- 
directed fire of the enemy, but through a shower 
of bullets, for more than a quarter of a mile, the 
forward step was maintained. Still moving on 
up the slope of Laurel Hill, the summit was at 
last gained, and the line of rifle-pits that crowned 
its crest gallantly carried. Beyond a reach of 
broad open ground were now to be seen exten- 


sive earthworks tilled with artillery. Advancing 
within a hundred yards of these intrenchments 
all further progress was impossible. The troops 
had fought their way to that point, not with en 
thusiastic cheers, but with steady and persistent 
determination. Colonel Coulter reported to 
General Crawford that he had taken the rifle- 
pits of the enemy, but could go no further. 

"Tell the colonel to hold the line where he 
is," was the reply. 

And though the rebel artillery swept the area 
in our front, and a severe musketry tire was 
concentrated upon the men, the line was held 
from noon until five o clock. Two brigades of 
Gibbons s Division, Second Corps, then came to 
our relief, and Coulter s Brigade retired twenty 
or thirty yards to the rear. With the line thus 
reinforced, an hour later there was a second at 
tempt to carry the enemy s position ; but no ad 
vance could be made beyond the ground already 
secured. At dusk the Pennsylvania Reserves 
were sent to the right of Gibbons, and Coulter s 
Brigade ordered back within the breastworks, 
where we are at present resting. When we 
marched out from these defenses this morning 
the brigade numbered nine hundred men. Two 
hundred and twenty-nine have been killed and 
wounded in the narrow space in our front of less 
than half a mile. 

THURSDAY, May 12. Another unsuccessful 


attempt has been made to dislodge the enemy 
from Laurel Hill. Yesterday and last night 
were occupied in remodeling and extending our 
defenses. After dark, in the midst of a heavy 
rain-storm, the Second Corps commenced mov 
ing toward the left, leaving our brigade on the 
extreme right flank. This morning dawned 
with fierce fighting in front of Spottsylvania, 
the roar of musketry passing slowly from left 
to right until every part of the line was engaged. 
At the hight of the battle, Coulter s Brigade 
was ordered to the support of the Pennsylvania 
Reserves, who were seen a moment before 
to pass over the intrenchments to attack the 
rebels in front. The Reserves hardly reached 
the crest of the hill until the same staggering 
fire that told so fearfully upon our ranks on the 
morning of the 10th, was again experienced. 
The enemy was as strong and watchful as- ever. 
Following after the first line, and a little to the 
right of its former position, the brigade ad 
vanced a short distance beyond the Reserves, 
the men protecting themselves from the rebel 
fire by the peculiar formation of the ground. 
Toward noon we were again withdrawn to the 
intrenchments, but leaving behind on that fatal 
hill, as an additional sacrifice to its evil genius, 
seventy-five men. 

SATURDAY, May 14. The uncertainty hanging 
over all our movements since we crossed the 



Rapidau, and which has been a serious check to 
the esprit de corps of the army, begins to clear 
away. The troops had not ceased cheering over 
Hancock s successes on the left, in capturing 
Johnson s entire Division, when Grant s dis 
patch to the Secretary of War, in which he pro 
poses to " fight it out on this line if it takes all 
summer," aroused them to the highest pitch of 
enthusiasm. Now we have the congratulatory 
order of General Meade, stating in brief what 
has already been done, and what there remains 
yet to do. On the heels of this comes a rumor 
that Sheridan s cavalry is operating in rear of 
the rebel lines, tearing up the railroads and 
burning depots of supplies. But these successes 
do not make us insensible of our own great 
losses. The Fifth Corps, as it is now seen, 
looks scarcely larger than did Robinson s Divi 
sion ten days ago. 

Since crossing the Rapidan we have lost Gen 
erals Hays, AVadsworth, Sedgwick, Stevenson, 
and Rice. A Pennsylvanian and a resident of 
Pittsburg, General Alex. Hays was a personal 
friend of the officers of the Eleventh, admired 
by all as a brave and accomplished soldier. At 
Mine Run, as the troops were in line of battle, 
awaiting the word to charge the enemy s works, 
the general remarked: "I don t like the look 
of things around here. This is the only place 
in Virginia where I have not wanted to fight." 


It is not a little singular that he should have 
met his death so near that same locality. The 
rebels have lost Generals Jenkins, Jones, Gor 
don, and Perrin. Long-street was severely 
wounded on the evening of the 6th; and it is 
rumored that J. E. B. Stuart was killed in a 
fight with Sheridan. There is a spirit of hope 
fulness throughout our ranks that will carry the 
men along with their indomitable leader. 

XEAR SPOTTSYLVANIA, May 16. Leaving the 
Twelfth Massachusetts and Eleventh Pennsyl 
vania on the picket line in front of Laurel Hill, 
the rest of the brigade, following in the wake of 
the division, on the evening of the 14th moved 
toward the left. It was a dark, rainy night, and 
the muddy roads and swollen streams made the 
march full of weariness to men already worn 
down with incessant labors. Yesterday after 
noon, the two regiments left on picket having 
rejoined the brigade, we were placed in position 
near the Anderson House, holding now the ex 
treme left of the army, as we formerly held the 
extreme right. It is a relief to know that we 
are quite out of the Wilderness; but the ground 
in front is rough and uneven, covered with a 
heavy growth of timber. On every command 
ing position is a rebel fortification, from which 
defiantly floats the Confederate flag. 

THURSDAY, May 19. During the last three 
days the lines of the army have been several 


times changed to meet the impetuous assaults 
of the rebels, who seem stung to the quick by 
operations in their front and rear. Tuesday af 
ternoon the brigade crossed the River Xy, and 
moved up nearer Spottsylvania, taking position 
to the left of the First Division, and in support 
of Cooper s Pennsylvania Battery. All night 
long the men worked with pick and shovel 
tools with whose use they have grown familiar 
intrenching themselves on their new ground. 
It was a wise precaution ; for with the morning 
of the 18th the rebels opened a heavy cannon 
ade. But the shells buried themselves in the 
newly constructed sand-banks, or harmlessly 
ricochetted from the fallen timber in our front, 
while a squad of riflemen, hiding behind the 
logs, and picking off with unerring certainty 
every gunner that showed himself above the 
parapet, kept in silence one of their most effec 
tive batteries. 

Toward 10 o clock P.M., making a sally on the 
pickets in front of our brigade, the rebels pushed 
back the line for more than a hundred yards. 
While bringing up supports, and in the act of 
advancing the troops to re-establish the picket 
lines, Colonel Coulter was shot through the 
body and taken to the rear. Apparently satis 
fied with testing the strength of the force in his 
front, the enemy retired, and everything re 
mained quiet until a few hours ago. A part of 


E well s Corps, crossing the Ny at a point above 
our extreme right, moved down to the Freder- 
icksburg road, thus seizing the main line of our 
communications. The Eleventh was hurried 
along for two miles toward Fredericksburg, at a 
double-quick. But the work of driving back 
Ewell was accomplished by Tyler s foot artiller 
ists; and leaving it to others to keep up the pur 
suit, we returned to our intrenchments on the 
left. The brigade is under command of Colonel 
Bates, of the Twelfth Massachusetts. 

ACROSS THE PAMUNKEY, May 28. The events 
of the last nine days, though so full of signifi 
cance, have been crowded upon each other in 
rapid succession. Noiselessly as the Second 
Corps, preceded by a large force of cavalry, 
marched some distance to the rear of our posi 
tion in front of Spottsylvania, at midnight of 
the 20th, it did not escape the notice of the 
men. It was the beginning of another move by 
the left flank. Xext morning the Fifth Corps 
was following the Second, in easy supporting 
distance, over the road leading to Guinney s 
Station, where we bivouacked on the night of 
May 21st, driving away a small body of rebel 
cavalry. On the morning of the 22d, Colonel 
Bates s Brigade was ordered to make a recon- 
noissance toward the Telegraph road, three miles 
from the station. It was a slow and cautious 
march, our flanks well protected by trusty skirm- 


ishers. Not an enemy was to be seen ; he too 
was moving southward. Some hours later, 
striking the Telegraph road, the Fifth Corps 
marched to Bowling Green, the county seat of 
Caroline County. The dreary "Wilderness, and 
the scarcely less dreary region of Spottsylvania, 
where for two weeks, day and night, we had 
been fighting or intrenching, were left behind 
us, and the beautiful county of Caroline, without 
a mark of war s ravages upon its fair face, was a 
feast to the eye and a joy to the soul. Quitting 
our bivouac near Bowling Green early Monday 
morning, and passing in the march the Second 
Corps halted at Milford, the Fifth Corps reached 
Jericho Ford, on the North Anna River, near 
the hour of noon. The enemy was not expect 
ing us so high up the river; but Hancock s guns, 
afterward heard further to the left, gave warning 
by their thunders that the rebels had neither 
been deceived by our movements nor surprised 
at our advance. Unconquerable as ever, their 
gray-clad legions formed in battle-line across our 
path to Richmond. 

The Fifth Corps crossed the North Anna at 
Jericho Ford without opposition, and marching 
a short distance down the south bank to a copse 
of woods, formed its battle-line with Cutler on 
the right, Griffin in the center, and Crawford on 
the left. Time was when the first thing to be 
done after a halt was to make coffee, in whose 


grateful fumes all weariness was forgotten. Now 
the first thing the men do is to intrench. We 
had but commenced this necessary work when 
the center division was furiously assaulted by a 
heavy rebel column. The attack soon spread all 
along the line. But with intrenchments incom 
plete, the rebels were repulsed at every point, 
leaving in our hands not less than a thousand 

Tuesday morning an interval of three miles 
was discovered between Hancock on the left, who 
had bravely fought his way across the river at 
Chesterfield bridge, and the Fifth and Sixth 
Corps on the right. The First Regiment of 
Pennsylvania Reserves was sent down the stream 
with orders to form a connection with the right 
of Hancock s line. Moving stealthily along the 
rocky bed of the river, concealed from view by 
its high bank, the regiment reached Quarrel s 
Ford, to find all further progress impossible, and 
the enemy closed in upon its rear. General War 
ren then ordered Crawford to advance his entire 
division to find the lost regiment, and to com 
plete the connection with Hancock. With the 
Second Brigade on the left, the Eleventh march 
ing next to the river, our line was advanced 
against a desultory fire from the rebel pickets. 
The Reserves were found in communication with 
Burnside s troops, just arrived, and posted on the 
north bank. The uncovering of Quarrel s Ford, 


thus effected, made a passage for the Ninth. 
Corps, whose divisions at once passed over the 
river, and tilling up the gap, by nightfall Craw 
ford had returned to his place on the right. 

After two days of unsuccessful effort to carry 
the enemy s position, Thursday night, under 
cover of the thick clouds that were scudding the 
sky, the Fifth Corps recrossed the North Anna, 
Daylight of Friday, following after the Sixth 
Corps, we were marching down the north bank. 
Traveling eastwardly for two or three hours, the 
impression became general that the army was 
making a retrograde movement. Again we 
changed course to the westward, and at last to 
the southward, bivouacking at night five miles 
from the Pamunkey. This morning when we 
came to the river it was spanned by pontoon 
bridges; the cavalry and the Sixth Corps were 
already on the opposite side, and filing down the 
slippery banks, made so by half an hour s rain, 
and over the trembling foot-walk, the Army of 
the Potomac was again on the Yorktown Penin 

SUNDAY, May 29. There has been nothing of 
the quiet or sanctity of the Sabbath in any of our 
movements to-day. From early morning until 
this late evening hour, cavalry, infantry, and ar 
tillery have been marching, now cautiously in 
line of battle, and again Hying in squadrons, 
or quickly moving in columns of division. 


Leaving our bivouac at an early hour, the 
corps began its advance toward the Chickahom- 
iny, Crawford on the left, Cutler in the center, 
and Griffin on the right, and thus forming the 
left of the array. The route has been along the 
Grove Church turnpike, the enemy s skirmish 
line falling slowly back as we continued forward. 
The entire army is to-night in battle-line near the 
Chickahominy River. On the left of the Elev 
enth are the Pennsylvania Reserves. Xear the 
camp-fire where we write, a group of officers and 
men are recounting incidents that occurred two 
years ago, as the army of General McClellan 
marched over this same ground to the battle of 
Mechanicsville. There are frequent shots on the 
outlying picket posts, that seem to speak of the 
probabilities of to-morrow; but there is no flinch 
ing anywhere among the troops. "We have fought 
our way once more to the gates of Richmond, 
and this time with a persistency that must sooner 
or later carry us through them. 

^"EAR COLD HARBOR, Monday, June 6. This 
is the eighth day of the battle of Cold Harbor, 
and the end is not yet. With the first dawn of 
Monday, May 30th, starting from beds on the 
ground, and shaking the dew from their blank 
ets, the ranks of the Fifth Corps were formed for 
a speedy advance. Crawford s Division moved 
directly forward across the road to Shady Grove 
Church for the Mechanicsville pike, driving back 


in its progress a body of rebel cavalry. But it 
soon came to be known that there was something 
more than horsemen in our front that the whole 
of E well s Corps held a position to cover all the 
approaches to the upper bridges of the Chicka- 
hominy. Detaching a division from his left, and 
marching it in rear of his line of troops, the rebel 
general had attempted to seize the Mechanies- 
ville pike, and thus strike our undefended flank. 
The movement was at once detected, and a 
brigade of the Reserves sent out to meet it. 
Penetrating as far as Bethesda Church, the Re 
serves were met by the head of the rebel column 
as it emerged from a narrow strip of woods, and 
the fierce encounter in which we are still engaged 
was there begun. Soon the whole division moved 
to the left, and around that quiet church, hitherto 
resting in undisturbed repose in a grove of beau 
tiful oak trees, for many hours there was an an 
gry clashing of arms, and a thundering of artil 
lery. The rebels came to the attack in double 
lines, exposing themselves with reckless daring 
to the unerring tire of our batteries, whose shot 
and shell made great and frequent gaps in their 
ranks. Six o clock in the evening the conflict 
extended along the whole front of the Fifth 
Corps, the enemy concentrating all his efforts to 
carry that portion of the line. But the troops of 
those war-tried brigades were immovable, and 
despite the most passionate and earnest charges, 


in which the Confederates revealed the spirit that 
inspires men fighting in the last straits, those 
lines maintained an unbroken front, and when 
night closed down upon the battle-field the po 
sition was securely held. 

Tuesday, the 31st, was comparatively quiet 
until late in the afternoon, when the battle 
broke out afresh still further to the left. It was 
Sheridan s cavalry fighting for the important 
point of Cold Harbor, that was only wrested 
from the enemy after a severe struggle. June 
1st the Eighteenth Corps arrived from Butler s 
Department, and formed in line to the left of the 
Fifth Corps. During the night of the 31st the 
Sixth Corps had also been moved to the left, and 
on the morning of the 2d of June the Fifth Corps 
was the extreme right of the line, which now 
extended from Cold Harbor to Bethesda Church. 

In forming this new line there had been more 
or less of fighting at different points; but true to 
the promises of these preparatory moves, Friday, 
June 3d, witnessed the contest renewed with a 
fierceness beyond all precedent. Hancock s first 
gun on the left was speedily answered from the 
extreme right, and everywhere along the ex 
tended line there were the sounds of desperate 
battle. Late in the afternoon the Eleventh was 
sent out on the picket line. It was taken by the 
enemy to be an advance of the division on his 
position, and subjected the regiment to a fire so 


direct and certain that in hardly as many feet 
across the open ground four of the men were 
killed and a number wounded. No impression 
whatever was made upon the rebel position on 
the right, and scarcely any on the left, where the 
fighting was more severe. The night of the 3d 
and most of the 4th of June were occupied by 
the troops in throwing up intrenchments, as 
though the enemy s works were to be carried 
by regular siege. 

The showery afternoon of Saturday was fol 
lowed by a dark and cloudy evening. It was 
one of those nights when the soldier feels like 
early wrapping himself up in his blanket to rest; 
and it was a fitting night for the enemy, ever 
watchful and sagacious, to make a furious attack 
upon our lines. Deeper than midnight thunder 
peeled forth the cannon; while the burning 
shells, coursing through the air, looked like 
angry meteors escaped from their orbits. The 
assault did not reach the front of the Fifth 
Corps; but as the men stood in their places, 
ready for the word of command, they joined in 
the loud hurrah that told again and again of the 
repulse of the foe. The attack had been de 
ferred too long. If we could not drive the 
Southerner from his strong earthworks, we were 
not to be driven from our own. Behind its in 
trenchments either army was unconquerable. 
Last night was not unlike Saturday night in the 


black clouds that hung over the army. Under 
cover of its darkness, again the enemy sallied 
forth, this time, as before, on our extreme left. 
In the midst of the heavy cannonading we drew 
in our picket lines, and leaving the position near 
Bethesda Church, the corps marched slowly to 
ward the left. 

The Eleventh is now on the right of the line, 
which rests near Gaines s Mills, while the left 
extends to Cold Harbor. The troops of the Sec 
ond and Eighteenth Corps are between us and 
the enemy. Whether the corps are thus massing 
for a linal assault upon the rebel lines, or a new 
flank movement is to be inaugurated, will soon 
be known. 

SOUTH OF THE JAMES, Thursday, June 16. It 
has a strange sound to say south of the James. 
From the point where we entered the Peninsula 
to that of our exit is fifty miles. We could have 
made the distance in two days march, if nothing 
had opposed our progress, whereas it has con 
sumed nearly three weeks. In less than two 
years history has so far repeated itself as to re- 
enact nearly all the prominent scenes of the first 
Peninsular campaign. Chickahominy Swamps, 
Gaines s Mills, Cold Harbor, Harrison s Landing 
names familiar, and of enduring associations, 
for the moment pushing aside Antietam, Fred- 
ericksburg, Chancellorville, Gettysburg claim 
again their first absorbing interest. 


Five days were spent in comparative quiet 
near Cold Harbor, the men working in details at 
digging rifle-pits and throwing up intrench- 
ments. Saturday morning, June llth, the march 
of the Fifth Corps began, Crawford s Division 
leading the corps, and itself led by Wilson s Divi 
sion of cavalry. The route was down the Pen 
insula, and the purpose to effect a crossing of the 
Chickahominy at Long Bridge. The Confederate 
general was also extending his line eastward, and 
on the morning of the loth, when the brigade 
reached the bridge, a force of the rebels already 
held possession. It was only a small force, how 
ever, that quickly retired at our approach. Cross 
ing the Chickahominy and filing out into the 
!N"ew Market road, the division changed the di 
rection of its march and moved toward Rich 
mond. In less than an hour, and within a mile 
or two of White Oak Swamp, our line of battle 
was confronted by a line of the enemy. There 
was a mutual halt, each army again throwing up 
intrenchments and preparing for an attack. 

While the Fifth Corps thus lay stretched across 
the only road by which General Lee could assail 
our flank, the other corps were crossing the 
Chickahominy at points lower down, and with 
out opposition moving toward the James. When 
night came on our picket line was quietly aban 
doned, and falling into ranks, the Fifth Corps 
was bringing up the rear of the army. The 


march was continued all night and until eleven 
o clock of Tuesday, when we halted near Charles 
City Court House. 

This morning, all the wagon trains having 
passed on to the James River, we left our bi 
vouac and marched to Harrison s Landing. The 
steamer John Brooks ferried the Eleventh across 
the magnificent river to Windmill Point. The 
men are now disembarking, and stacking arms 
on the nearest ground. The Army of the Poto 
mac is at its watering-place, and ten thousand 
bathers crowd the beach. 



THE Army of the Potomac had not yet reached 
its resting-place. The campaign north of the 
James, though bitter and bloody beyond any 
thing that had ever preceded it, without any 
abatement of these terrible qualities, was to be 
continued over the territory south of it. A halt 
of an hour or two, and the bugle-note, familiar 
as ever, though echoed from strange and un 
known surroundings, called the men into lines, 


and the march was continued toward Peters 
burg, now the objective point of the campaign. 

Contending with an opponent ever on the de 
fensive, and fighting always on his own ground, 
Grant had so far failed of his original intention to 
invest Richmond from the west, and connect his 
lines with those of Butler at Bermuda Hundred, 
that he now resolved to siege Petersburg, and 
thus cut off the rebel army, pent up in its capi 
tal, from all sources of supply except the solitary 
line of the James River Canal. 

The Eighteenth Corps, that came in transports 
from White House Landing, on the York River, 
to City Point, on the James, and the Second 
Corps, the first to cross from the Peninsula, were 
already in front of Petersburg. The Ninth Corps 
was en route for the same destination, two or 
three hours in advance, when the Fifth Corps 
began its march from the river shore. Diverg 
ing to the left of the direct route, and following 
the road to Prince George Court House, the last 
rays of the setting sun had melted into twilight 
as we took our position on the left of the line 
now formed in front of Petersburg, the right of 
the Eleventh connecting with the Ninth Corps. 

The golden moment to carry Petersburg by an 
unexpected attack passed away with the night of 
the 15th. It was then held by only a small force 
of home-guards. But clearly divining Grant s 
designs, Lee had crossed the James at Drury s 


Bluff, and every subsequent hour witnessed a 
fresh arrival of his veteran divisions. The 17th 
was spent in adjusting our lines and preparing 
for a general assault on the following morning. 
Toward nightfall Crawford s Division advanced 
with the Ninth Corps, and gaining some ground 
in front, captured a number of prisoners and the 
battle-flag of an Alabama regiment. 

The morning of June 18th opened clear and 
bright, revealing in its first light the spires of 
Petersburg, and wafting on its fresh, balmy air 
the sound of bells, ringing out their alarm in the 
ears of the anxious inhabitants of the beleaguered 
city. It was five o clock, and orders having 
passed along the lines, from the right of the 
Eighteenth Corps, on the Appomattox, to the 
Fifth Corps, opposite Cemetery Hill, on the left, 
the skirmishers advanced to the grand assault. 
But the intrenchments, filled with armed men 
only the night before, and in whose front many 
a soldier expected to die, were now empty. The 
enemy had taken up a new line nearer to the 
city, and more securely defended than the outer 

Instead of a general assault, as at first intended, 
a new order of battle was devised. The attack 
was to be made in columns at different points 
along the enemy s works. Speedily as possible 
the troops were distributed, and beginning on 
the right, the fearful work soon extended to all 


the corps. The Fifth and the Xinth, moving 
out from their intrenchments, and passing over 
ground whose surface was crossed by deep and 
numerous ravines, made their daring but unsuc 
cessful assault against that part of the Confed 
erate line afterward the scene of the mine explo 
sion. The repulse of the Federal army was 
general. Enfilading fires of infantry and artil 
lery swept through our columns, leveling the 
ranks and with frightful suddenness depleting 
our numbers. 

The same persistency of purpose, seen in all 
the movements of the Federal army north of 
the James, was still apparent. Moving up to and 
beyond the abandoned works of the enemy, the 
morning of the 19th found the Union troops be 
hind intrenchments as unyielding as those of the 
foe. The lines of the opposing armies, in many 
places, were scarcely a hundred yards apart, and 
for several succeeding days the conflict on either 
side was committed to the sharpshooters, who 
picked off every man that showed himself above 
the parapets. Men and officers lived in bomb 
proof quarters, and moved to the rear, or from 
right to left, through covered ways. 

As the line of earthworks became more sys 
tematic and complete, daily attempts were made 
to extend our left flank, and more certainly en 
velop the communications of Lee. But every 
day only brought out more clearly the conviction 


that the enemy had lost nothing of his watchful 
ness, and that for every advantage gained we 
must pay the price in men. 

The mining of Fort Pegram, opposite the 
Ninth Corps, began on the 25th of June. Its 
conception belonged to a Pennsylvania!! Colo 
nel Henry Pleasants and its entire construction 
devolved upon a Pennsylvania regiment. The 
want of entire success attending the enterprise 
does not detract in the least from its merits as 
a wonder of perseverance and industry. The 
length of the main gallery was five hundred and 
twenty-two feet, and that of the laterals forty 
feet. For want of wheel-barrows, the excavated 
earth was carried out in cracker boxes, and in 
geniously concealed from the prying look of the 

Through many discouragements, the mine was 
at last finished, and the 30th of July fixed for its 
explosion. It was to be the signal of another 
grand assault. Every gun along the whole Fed 
eral line was to open upon the enemy, while the 
Eighteenth Corps, on the right of the Ninth, and 
the Fifth Corps on the left, were to be drawn up 
in line of battle, ready to rally to the support of 
Burnside as soon as his divisions succeeded in 
carrying the crest of Cemetery Hill. 

The orders were received the night before, and 
at the hour appointed half-past three the can 
nons were charged, and the troops formed in line. 


A defect in the fuse delayed the explosion for 
more than an hour. It seemed almost an age 
to men eager to behold the result, and who 
stood with one foot advanced, ready to leap over 
the parapets at the first appearance of success. 

At last it came a low, rumbling sound, which 
made the ground to shake with a sudden tremor, 
and then a heavy report, that seemed like distant 
thunder. Quickly following was the more dread 
ful roar of hundreds of cannon, lighting up a 
line of miles in extent with a sheet of flame. 
Along the entire front the supports moved for 
ward, while forth from their intrenchments 
poured the storming party of the Xinth Corps. 

By the explosion of the mine a strong fort was 
converted into a deep and extended fissure, in 
which three batteries of the enemy and not less 
than two hundred of his men found a sepulture. 
Paralyzed by the disaster, and fearful of other 
explosions, for a time the enemy was powerless, 
and a gap was made in his lines through which we 
might have secured the coveted city. But it was 
only for a moment. The divisions of the Xinth 
Corps, pausing at the crater instead of pushing 
on to Cemetery Hill, gave the enemy time to re 
cover from his surprise From right to left he 
gathered up his forces, and turning his guns upon 
the gap through which the confused masses of 
Union troops were vainly endeavoring to force 
their way, the crater became the burial place of 


more than two hundred rebels. Before the at 
tacking column returned to the intrenchments 
four thousand men of the Federal army were 
killed and wounded. 

The reverses in our immediate front did not 
prevent a gradual extension of our lines south 
ward. For several days the Fifth Corps had been 
constantly veering toward the left, until toward 
the middle of August, the camp of the Eleventh 
was within three miles of the Weldon Railroad, 
one of the chief sources of supply of the Con 
federate army. The whistle of the locomotive 
arid the rattling of the trains could be distinctly 
heard in their passage to and from Petersburg, 
now laden with commissary stores, and again 
with troops. A happy combination of move 
ments calling the attention of Lee north of the 
James River, promised success to an effort to se 
cure this road, and thus lessen the resources of 
the Southern commander. 

The enterprise was committed to the Fifth 
Corps, throughout whose camps cartridge-boxes 
were replenished, and rations for four days issued 
to the men. The march began on Thursday 
morning, August 18th, Griffin s Division in the 
advance, and Crawford s following in his rear. 
Two hours of slow and steady marching brought 
us to the railroad, when, changing direction, and 
moving toward Petersburg, the work of tearing 
up the track was prosecuted with vigor. 


The thin line of the enemy, met early in the 
morninsr, had fallen back before our advance. 


But the great clouds of dust, rising between us 
and the city, told of the approach of such a body 
of troops as would contest any further progress. 
It proved to be Hill s Corps moving down the 
railroad in line of battle, and presenting indeed 
a formidable barrier across our path. Securing 
the position we had already gained, at six o clock 
p. M. the divisions of Crawford and Ayres were 
ordered forward. The enemy at once developed 
a strong line in front of Crawford, but it was a 
mere feint, for, massing to the left of Ayres, Hill 
fell upon that extreme flank with one of his 
strongest divisions, capturing many prisoners, 
and driving back the entire line. 

It was now night, and the falling rain made it 
pitchy dark. There were few alarms until after 
daylight of the 19th, with whose first dawning 
the men of Crawford s Division began the erec 
tion of earthworks, to protect their flank and 
front. All forenoon reinforcements were reach 
ing the enemy, and everywhere along the line he 
was testing the strength of our position. We 
might have concluded that a thorough examina 
tion only revealed the folly of assaulting a 
strongly intrenched line. But General Lee is 
reported as saying that the AVeldon Railroad 
must be regained that day if it cost him one-half 
his army, and at four o clock in the afternoon 


those rebel troops came rushing down upon us 
with yells and hurrahs, only a proper accom 
paniment for the volleys of their rifles. 

There was a gap between the left of the main 
line of the army, resting on the Jerusalem plank- 
road, and the right of Crawford s Division, held 
by the Third Brigade, discovered by the enemy, 
through which he was pouring his regiments, 
until completely carrying away our right flank, 
he had swept quite into our rear, taking in his 
track nearly all of four regiments, the Ninetieth 
and One-hundred-and-seventh Pennsylvania, and 
the Ninety-fourth and One-hundred-and-fourth 
New York. It was a moment when confusion 
worse confounded had come again, threatening 
not only the loss of our hold on the railroad, but 
of most of the corps. 

Fortunately Colonel Wheelock, for the time in 
command of Baxter s Brigade, with characteris 
tic gallantry, ordered his command to change 
front, and charging upon the rebels at the same 
time that each regiment delivered a terrible vol 
ley of musketry at short range, retrieved the for 
tunes of the day. The enemy broke and fled 
with an astonishment equal to that caused by his 
own daring flank movement, leaving in our hands 
numerous prisoners, besides hundreds of our own 
men captured a moment before, and on their way 
to the rebel rear. 

The standard of the Ninety-fourth New York, 


wrested from the color-bearer as he lay on the 
ground wounded, was retaken by Captain James 
Noble, of the Eleventh, and restored to the reg 
iment. Private George W. Reed, of Co. E, in a 
hand to hand conflict, captured the flag of the 
Twenty-fourth North Carolina Regiment, and 
was awarded a medal of honor by the Secretary 
of War. 

Our front line had now given way, and though 
the Confederate loss in men was as great as our 
own, the grasp by which we held the railroad, 
the prize for which we had been contending, was 
considerably weakened. At that opportune mo 
ment reinforcements from the Ninth Corps came 
up. Our ranks were at once reformed, and by a 
charge full of the old enthusiasm, the lost ground 
was regained. The enemy fell back to the in- 
trenchments from which he had so defiantly 
marched three hours before, disappointed and 

The morning of the 20th of August found a 
strong line of earthworks along the entire front 
held by the Fifth Corps, and the gap through 
which the enemy executed his flank movement, 
filled by a division of the Ninth Corps. Heavy 
clouds poured forth a constant rain during most 
of the day, and though there was sharp firing 
among the skirmishers, the rebels seemed indis 
posed to repeat the assault of Friday. Sunday 
morning came, wearing a smile of loveliness on 


the clear sky and in the balmy air. The first 
look at the Southern lines revealed an intention 
to renew the attack. The Weldon Railroad was 
of too much importance to be yielded up without 
a further effort. 

Half-past eight o clock, treating 9 us first to a 
storm of shell from well-posted artillery, Lee ad 
vanced his columns for a final assault. There 
was no faltering anywhere along that rebel line. 
But it was too late. Waiting behind earthworks 
that could not be stormed, our men reserved 
their fire until the furious foe came within the 
measure of certain death. Then cannon and 
musketry shot forth their contents, sweeping 
down whole ranks at each separate discharge. 

It was too late. The Federals held secure 
possession of the Weldon Railroad. The rations 
in Lee s army were at once reduced from half a 
pound of bacon and a pound and a quarter of 
meal per man, daily, to one-fourth pound of 
bacon and three-fourths pound of meal. 





THE days that followed the occupation of the 
"Weldon Railroad were as prolific as ever in ac 
tive movements against the rebels. Xow north 
of the James, and again south of it; now in But 
ler s Department, and again on the left as far 
as Reams s Station and Rowanty Creek, there 
were advances and retrogrades, skirmishes and 

The month of September and the greater part 
of October wore away in these various enter 
prises, and in extending the strong line of re 
doubts to Fort Dushane, the extreme southern 
flank held by Baxter s Brigade. Presuming still 
more upon the beautiful weather of that fine au 
tumnal month, on the 27th of October a new 
movement was undertaken, having for its object 
the extension of our lines to Hatcher s Run. It 
was a blow threatening the Southside Railroad, 
and aroused all the vigilance of the Southern 


commander. The expedition was unsuccessful, 
and by the 1st of Xovember, after an absence of 
six days, the corps were back again in the old 


The campaign that opened with the crossing 
of the Rapidan in May, ended with the expedi 
tion to Hatcher s Run. It had continued through 
six months, with an aggregate loss, on battle 
fields, in skirmishes, on picket, and in the 
trenches before Petersburg, of a hundred thou 
sand men. The organization, not only of single 
regiments, but of the entire army, was almost 
radically changed. Xew recruits that were com 
ing rapidly to the front prevented the ranks of 
the Eleventh from falling at any time below two 
hundred; but they were strange faces. Five 
hundred men had been lost to the regiment 
during the campaign ; many of them among the 
killed; more of them disabled by wounds, and 
still others of them in the hands of the enemy, 
enduring the horrors of Andersonville and Salis 

On the 5th of September Colonel Coulter re 
commended the appointment of Captain B. F. 
Haines to be major, vice Major Keenan, killed 
at Laurel Hill; Sergeant Harrison Truesdale to 
be first lieutenant of Co. B, vice Lieutenant 
John P. Straw, killed at Cold Harbor; Corporal 
Robert R. Bitner to be second lieutenant of 
Co. B, vice Lieutenant Samuel "W. Phillips, dis 
charged on account of disability; Sergeant Major 
John A. Stevenson to be first lieutenant of Co. 
C, vice Lieutenant John McClintock, discharged 
on account of wounds; Sergeant William H. 


McLaughlin to be second lieutenant of Co. C, 
vice Lieutenant A. Schall, promoted; Second 
Lieutenant James Moore to be first lieutenant 
of Co D, vice Lieutenant Enos S. Hall, died of 
wounds; Sergeant James R. Brown to be second 
lieutenant of Co. D, vice Lieutenant James 
Moore, promoted. On the 13th of October Sec 
ond Lieutenant James J. Briggs was recom 
mended to be first lieutenant of Co. E, vice 
Lieutenant Samuel J. Hammil, discharged on 
account of wounds; Sergeant Daniel Bonbright 
to be second lieutenant of Co. E, vice Lieuten 
ant Briggs, promoted. Immediate attention to 
these appointments was urged, because four 
companies were without commissioned officers 
in the field, and the other companies had but one 
officer each present for duty. 

On the 1st of November Sergeant John Kyle 
was recommended to be first lieutenant of Co. 
I, vice Lieutenant W. A. Shrum, discharged on 
account of wounds; Sergeant Lewis Mechling 
to be second lieutenant of Co. I, vice Lieuten 
ant Shrum, promoted. Again, later in the month, 
the heavy loss in officers continuing to be felt, 
Lieutenant John A. Stevenson was recommended 
to be adjutant, vice Arthur F. Small, discharged; 
Sergeant David Weaverling to be second lieu 
tenant of Co. A, vice Lieutenant Allen S. Ja 
cobs, promoted; Lieutenant William II. Mc 
Laughlin to be first lieutenant of Co. C, vice 


Lieutenant Stevenson, appointed adjutant; Ser 
geant Henry I). Weller to be second lieutenant 
of Co. C, vice Lieutenant McLaughlin, pro 
moted; Lieutenant Robert Anderson to be reg 
imental quartermaster, vice Lieutenant Allen S. 
Jacobs, deceased; Lieutenant Samuel McCut- 
cheon to be first lieutenant of Co. F, vice Lieu 
tenant Anderson, appointed quartermaster ; Ser 
geant James T. Cook to be second lieutenant 
of Co. F, vice Lieutenant McCutcheon, pro 

The reorganizing of the broken ranks of the 
old Eleventh was not only necessary, but timely. 
A new raid was to be made by the Fifth Corps 
on the AVeldon Railroad. Although our lines 
crossed it within six miles of Petersburg, it 
was known that the enemy was procuring large 
supplies for his troops by way of this road to 
Stony Creek, whence they were conveyed in 
wagons to Petersburg. The Fifth Corps, with 
the Third Division of the Second Corps, and 
Gregg s cavalry, were detailed effectually to de 
stroy the road as far south as the town of Hicks- 
ford, on- the Meherrin River. 

The march commenced on Wednesday, the 
7th of December. It was a dull winter morning 
as the troops filed out along the Jerusalem plank- 
road. Various indeed were the conjectures as 
to the probable destination of the column, carry 
ing on the persons of its troops six days rations. 


At one time the movement was pronounced a 
reconuoissance toward the Southside road; at 
another we were certainly to effect a union with 
Sherman in Georgia. 

The heavy clouds of the opening day realized 
the promise of a rain-storm which lasted until 
noon. Late in the afternoon the sun came out 
bright and warm, sending a spirit of cheerfulness 
throughout all the ranks. Crossing the Kotto- 
way River a little stream not unlike the Upper 
Rappahannock, that flows on toward 2s"orth Car 
olina, and helps to form the Chowan River 
nine o clock at night, we bivouacked at Sussex 
Court House. A brick building, standing a 
short distance from the road, and of unpreten 
tious size, was pointed out as the place where in 
other times Justice was dispensed according to 
the code of Virginia. Six other buildings, every 
one of them a good deal the worse for the wear, 
completed the ancient and insignificant town. 

Thursday morning, with the first streak of 
gray dawn, the march was resumed. The quick 
ear of the troops, awake to the perils of the un 
dertaking, that increased with every advancing 
mile, caught the first shot in front, that told of 
the presence of the enemy. It was Gregg en 
countering a party of rebel cavalry guarding the 
railroad bridge across the river. Driving away 
the guard and setting fire to the structure, the 
work of destruction at once commenced. The 


infantry struck the railroad four miles further 
south, and lending willing hands to the cavalry, 
by Friday night, from the Nottoway to the Me- 
herrin, a distance of twenty miles, the Weldon 
Railroad ceased to exist. 

Each division did its appropriate part; de 
stroying all in its immediate front, and then 
moving alternately southward. The burning 
ties, aided by the nearest fence rails, cast a lurid 
light on the midnight heavens, telling to the Con 
federate commander the story of ruin wrought; 
while the heated rails, torn from the car track, 
that many strong arms made to take the shape 
and form of the distinguishing badge of the Fifth 
Corps, may remain to this day to tell by whom 
the ruin was wrought. 

The country through which we passed differed 
but little iii its general features from that in the 
immediate vicinity of Petersburg. There were 
no iritrenchments to be seen, nor anything to in 
timate that two hostile armies were only a day s 
march distant. The plantations were large and 
frequent, with here and there fields of cotton, 
still carrying their small, imperfect crop. 

The most noticeable feature to the eye of the 
soldier was the apparent plenty that dwelt in the 
land. Chickens and turkeys, that were thought 
to be extinct in Virginia, dwelt here prolific, in 
ease and security; while the lowing of the cow 
and the tinkling of sheep bells suggested that 



quieter days than those that came to us still 
dawned upon the world. 

Breaking up our bivouac at Bellfield Station, 
two miles from the Meherrin River, the return 
march began in the early morning of December 
10th. A cold, sleety rain had fallen during the 
night, softening the roads, and making the move 
ment slow and heavy. Crawford s Division was 
the left of the column, with Baxter s Brigade and 
a squad of cavalry as its rear-guard. 

Our destructive operations had not proceeded 
altogether unmolested. At different points the 
enemy showed himself, and as his cavalry were 
known to be following a short distance in our 
rear, every precaution was taken to defend the 
column against attack. Five miles from the 
place of starting, the troops halted in a thick 
woods, whose trees and overhanging branches 
were an agreeable shelter from the cold north 
wind that blew in keen and piercing blasts. Re 
suming the march, and as the rear regiments 
were moving out into the road, our cavalry guard, 
driven in by the rebels, came rushing through 
the ranks of the brigade in affrighted confusion, 
breaking its files, and throwing the whole line 
into disorder. 

It was only momentary. A line of battle com 
posed of four regiments the Eleventh Pennsyl 
vania and Ninety-seventh New York on the left 
of the road, the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania and 


Thirty-ninth Massachusetts on the right, each 
regiment deploying skirmishers in its front was 
thrown across the track of the pursuing enemy. 
The cautious Confederates came near enough to 
reconnoiter our lines, but not near enough to ex 
change shots. Supported by infantry bayonets, 
the cavalry recovered their courage, and falling 
into ranks, the advance was continued. 

Seven o clock in the evening the rebel cavalry, 
that had followed us all day, was still hanging on 
our flanks, with the evident purpose of attacking 
some part of the column as we went into bivouac 
for the night. But there were counter-move 
ments going on, quietly and secretly, that entirely 
defeated this purpose of our troublesome friends. 

Halting near the camp of the division, by or 
der of General Crawford, the Eleventh Pennsyl 
vania, Ninety-seventh New York, and a part of 
the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania, formed in am 
bush on either side and across the road. Favored 
by the darkness of the evening and the shadow 
of the pine woods through which a section of the 
road passed, the men crouched down behind the 
fences, and awaited the coming of the foe. The 
strategy was explained to our cavalry, who, first 
making a show of resistance, quickly retired, 
pursued by the rebels, fifteen or twenty of whom 
came within the ambush. It was a fatal trap for 
more than half the number that entered it. At 
a word, a volley of musketry issued from either 


side of the road, lighting up the darkness with a 
fitful glare, and carrying death and wounds to 
those fearless rebel riders. 

"If you had delayed a day longer," said one 
of the wounded men, "you would not be march 
ing back at your present leisure. A force is now 
in pursuit with orders not to permit a single 
raider to escape." 

The knowledge of a pursuing foe had some 
thing to do with the early sound of the bugle on 
the following morning; and while the stars were 
yet shining, the troops started off at a brisk walk 
over ground frozen hard by the cold that had in 
creased with every hour of the night. Late in the 
afternoon, reaching the ^Tottoway liiver, a di 
vision of the Xinth Corps was found halted on 
the north bank. General Meade had read the 
signals of the enemy in front of Petersburg, and 
with the departure of the Confederate force to 
intercept our return, sent Park s Division to re 
inforce Warren. Three cheers from the south 
side of the stream greeted those on the north 
side ; and crossing on pontoons that were soon 
made to span the river, two miles from its bank 
the army encamped until next morning. 

By sundown of Monday we were back again 
in the old position on the Jerusalem plank-road. 
More than a hundred miles had been traveled in 
six days, and with a loss to the Eleventh of one 
man severely wounded, and two missing, the 


Hicksford raid resulted in the entire destruction 
to the Confederates of the Weldon Railroad. 

The Army of the Potomac quietly settled down 
into winter quarters. Dense forests, once so dif 
ficult to traverse, yielded to the sturdy blows of 
the axe, and numerous log cabins, similar to those 
erected north of the Rappahannock in the pre 
ceding winter, were now seen covering miles of 
territory where once stood the baronial dwellings 
of the Randolphs and the Tuckers, and around 
which transpired scenes and events that still live 
in story. 



THE advent of the year 1865, in the prepara 
tions throughout the camps of infantry and cav 
alry, gave notice of an early campaign. During 
the several weeks of comparative quiet that fol 
lowed the expedition to the Meherrin River, the 
Eleventh was adjusting its broken ranks, and 
preparing for the next offensive movements 
against the rebels. 

Major B. F. Haines was promoted to lieuten 
ant-colonel, vice H. A. Frink, promoted to col- 


onel of the One-hundred-and-eighty-second Regi 
ment of Pennsylvania Volunteers ; Captain John 
B. Overmyer was commissioned major ; Lieuten 
ant James Moore was made captain of Co. D ; 
Lieutenant James J. Briggs, captain of Co. E, 
vice Henry B. Piper, discharged; Daniel Bon- 
bright, first lieutenant of Co. E ; and Sergeant 
Richard W. Morris, second lieutenant of Co. H. 

Some time before the Hicksford raid, in De 
cember, the members of the Ninetieth Penn 
sylvania Regiment, who had re-enlisted as vete 
rans, were transferred to the ranks of the 
Eleventh. Belonging to the same division 
and brigade, companions in the march from 
Washington to Petersburg, side by side these 
two regiments had fought in all the great 
battles from Cedar Mountain to the Weldon 
Railroad. The story of one, with but slight and 
insignificant changes, is the story of the other. 
It was eminently proper, at the close of the 
original term of enlistment, on the retirement of 
Colonel Peter Lyle and Lieutenant-Colonel Wil 
liam A. Leech, together with a number of the line 
officers men who did their whole duty nobly 
and well that what remained of the Ninetieth 
should be consolidated with the Eleventh. 

With the opening of the month of February 
the wind began to blow warm from the south. 
Inspection of arms and accouterments had been 
a part of the daily drill for more than a week, 


and on the evening of February 4th, when there 
commenced all along the lines a tierce bombard 
ment of the rebel works such as had not been 
heard since the close of the fall campaign every 
man knew that the time to march had come. 

Three o clock Sunday morning, the shrill blast 
of the bugle gave notice that Gregg s Division of 
cavalry was in motion, moving down the Jerusa 
lem plank-road. Two hours later, the Fifth 
Corps was following the cavalry, marching along 
the Halifax road, with Ayres s Division in the ad 
vance, Griffin next, and Crawford in the rear. 
Further to the right the Second Corps was 
moving directly toward Hatcher s Run. The 
Fifth Corps was intended to strike the enemy s 
right, and so made a detour to the left; while the 
Second Corps, marching along the Yaughan road, 
would strike the enemy s works on Hatcher s 
Run in front 

Leaving the old camp on the Jerusalem plank- 
road which had already served as the starting- 
point for several important movements the 
Eleventh marched in rear of the brigade. 
Through the stupid blunder of an aid-de-camp, 
the troops started out equipped for light march 
ing, taking nothing with them but arms and ac- 
couterments. In the afternoon a cold, pelting 
rain-storm set in, continuing through most of 
the night. 

The bivouac on Dabney s plantation, across 
32 " 


Gravelly Run, presented a strange sight of men 
crowded together around the camp-fires, with no 
other protection than overcoats, and an occasional 
gum blanket. Sleeping on the ground, in a win 
ter rain-storm, is not well calculated to make men 
amiable, and there was a disposition on the part 
of many to express their wrath in hard words. 
But there was also a vast deal of patient endur 
ance among those men who covered up their 
heads in the capes of their overcoats, and with 
feet to the blazing camp-fire that was made to 
burn despite the rain slept on until morning. 

Next day the march was continued, Crawford s 
Division crossing Hatcher s Run, and massing 
along the bank of the stream. The Federal 
battle-line was formed with the Second Corps on 
the right, the Fifth Corps in the center, and the 
cavalry on the left. Hatcher s Run flows in a 
southeasterly direction, and at its junction with 
Gravelly Run, forms the Rowanty Creek, a deep 
but sluggish stream that flows into the Nottoway 
River. The country around is low and swampy, 
cut up by ravines, and covered with forests 
traversed here and there by narrow country 

Early in the morning the Second Corps carried 
the first line of the enemy s works, and was 
firmly established on Hatcher s Run, the left con 
necting with the Fifth Corps. Two o clock P.M. 
of February 6th, Crawford s Division recrossed 


Hatcher s Run, and advanced three-fourths of a 
mile toward Dabney s Mill, with the intent of 
striking the Boydton plank-road. Baxter s Bri 
gade was formed in two lines of battle, the Ninety- 
seventh New York, Sixteenth Maine, and Thirty- 
ninth Massachusetts in the first line, and the 
Eleventh and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania in the 
second line. 

Colonel Coulter had been breveted brigadier- 


general, and was in command of the Third 
Brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Haines was serving 
on General Crawford s staff as Inspector-General, 
leaving the command of the Eleventh to Major 

Moving forward a quarter of a mile further, 
the first line encountered Pegram s rebel division, 
and in a moment Crawford s troops were in the 
heat of battle. General Pegram was killed by 
the first volley from our guns, and the ranks of 
his division, missing the animating voice and 
cheering presence of their gallant leader, were 
pushed back in surprise and confusion. 

In front of Crawford were the ruins of an old 
saw-mill and a broad swamp; to the right of his 
line was a strip of heavy forest. Moving a short 
distance by the right flank, the Eleventh threw 
up temporary breastworks within the cover of 
the woods. But Evans s Division was sent to the 
relief of Pegram, and no troops being on our 
right, in which direction the enemy was bearing 


down in large force, the defenses were abandoned, 
Crawford s line falling back some distance to the 

The momentary lull in our ow r n rapid firing 
brought to our ears the sound of battle as it was 
raging on the right and on the left. Seeing the 
enemy halt in the works we had just abandoned, 
and encouraged by the report of heavy reinforce 
ments coming up in the rear, Crawford s men 
rallied, retook the works from the enemy, and 
held them against a terrible fire. 

The head of Ayres s Division, marching to 
Crawford s relief, was now in plain view. But 
before he could form his line on the right of the 
Eleventh, the enemy struck his flank, and threw 
him back on Hatcher s Run. Without support, 
and the last round of ammunition expended by 
the troops on the right, Crawford s line could 
maintain itself no longer, and went down with the 
giving way of Ayres. 

Meanwhile Gregg, on the left, pressed on flank 
and in rear by the rebel cavalry, was also driven 
from his defenses, and forced to retreat beyond 
Hatcher s Run. The enemy, still further rein 
forced by Mahone s Division, followed the routed 
Federals with fiendish shouts. Another disaster 
on the left " the bloody left," as the troops called 
it appeared inevitable, as the men, lost in the 
woods, and entangled in the swamps and ravines, 
made their uncertain way to the rear. But the 


line of intrenchments thrown up by the Second 
Corps, on the evening of the 5th and the morn 
ing of the 6th, was a rallying point for the 
troops, and from behind those works a fire was 
poured into the eager Confederates that first 
halted their lines, and then sent them back to 
the cover of the woods. It was now dark night. 
The noise of battle had ceased, and secure 
within its defenses, the Federal line kept a firm 
hold on Hatcher s Ran. 

Early on the morning of February 7th, the 
enemy showed himself in front of our infantry 
and cavalry pickets, keeping up a heavy skirmish 
fire for several hours, but making no attempt to 
charge our lines. Toward noon Crawford s Di 
vision, supported on the left by General Wheaton, 
marched along the earthworks a mile to the right 
of the Yaughan road. Debouching from the in 
trenchments, the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts, of 
Baxter s Brigade, supported by the Eleventh 
Pennsylvania, was thrown forward as skirmish 
ers. At the moment of marching out into com 
paratively open ground, as though possessed with 
the thought of testing the strength of our works 
across the Vaughan road, a line of the enemy s 
skirmishers was seen issuing from behind- tem 
porary works, and moving toward us. The con 
test between the skirmishers was short and de 
cisive, resulting in the driving back of the rebels, 
and the capture of their defenses. 


The Eleventh remained on the picket line un 
til ten o clock P.M., and without attacking the 
main line of the Confederates, Crawford retired 
behind Hatcher s Run, where the division biv 
ouacked until morning. 

Throughout the livelong night was heard the 
sound of the axe and the spade, as thousands of 
workmen threw up strong and enduring in- 
trenchments. On the afternoon of February 8th, 
Baxter s entire brigade was sent out on picket. 
But the enemy maintained a sullen silence. Con 
tent to defend the Boydton plank-road against all 
attacks, Hatcher s Bun was given up without a 
further struggle, and on the morning of the 10th, 
the Eleventh marched back to the old camp near 
Jerusalem plank-road, losing in the first cam 
paign of the new year eighty-nine officers and 

Two days later, the military railroad running 
from City Point was extended to Hatcher s Run, 
which thus became the extreme left of the Fed 
eral battle-line, a success of no little importance 
in the subsequent campaign. 




THE extension of the left flank to Hatcher s 
Run was followed by several weeks of almost en 
tire inaction to the armies besieging Richmond 
and Petersburg. But it was not inaction after 
all ; it was the labor of patient waiting. Sher 
man had completed his march from Atlanta to 
the sea, and turning northward, the tramp of his 
legions was heard moving across the Carolinas. 
A second attempt had reduced Fort Fisher to a 
Federal garrison, over whose parapets now waved 
the old flag, while a column of brave troops, 
thirty thousand strong, were marching inland 
from Wilmington and JsTewbern to join Sherman. 
One comprehensive mind was directing all the 
parts, and the Army of the Potomac, beginning 
the campaign on Hatcher s Run, was resting on 
its arms, awaiting the Lieutenant-General s final 

For two or three days President Lincoln, and 
a party of ladies and gentlemen from Washing 
ton, had been the guests of General Grant. Be 
fore returning to the capital, the President was 


to review the army, throughout whose ranks ac 
tive preparations were making for the event. 
General officers sent to City Point for dress-coats, 
and fancy horse trappings, that had been left 
there as of no use at the front; while the men, 
compelled to wear whatever the quartermaster 
provided, burnished their muskets, and rubbed 
to silvery brightness the brass plates of their ac- 

Daylight of March 25th the day appointed 
for the review the troops were startled from 
their bomb-proof sleeping apartments by firing 
on the right. It was too early in the morning 
for a salute, and the practiced ear of the soldier 
detected in the thud of the distant guns some 
thing more than the noise of a blank cartridge. 

The click of the telegraph at Crawford s head 
quarters, whose first anticipated message was an 
order to fall in line for review, told of the rebel 
attack on Fort Steadman, and an hour later the 
division was marching at a quick step to the 
right. Two divisions of the enemy, quietly mass 
ing in front of the Ninth Corps, burst upon our 
intrenchments, and capturing the fort, turned its 
nine guns upon the adjacent batteries. It was a 
brilliant achievement, but its success was short 
lived. Rallying from all points of the Federal 
line, the daring enemy was pushed out into 
the space over which he came, now swept by 
the cross-fire of a score of batteries right and 


left of Steadman. There was no alternative but 
to surrender, and two thousand prisoners were 
sent to the rear. Thus the review was changed 
into a hattle ; and Crawford s Division marched 
back to its place on the left. 

For three days after, the camps were all alive 
with preparations for a general move. But when 
the order came, on the 29th of March, there was 
nothing borne on the wings of the wind, or seen 
in the face of the sky, to indicate that the army 
was beginning its last campaign. Rumors reached 
us of the conference of generals at City Point, 
and the union of the armies of Meade and Sher 
man. But all that had been talked of many times 
before. The rank and file had grown incredu 
lous. Four years of war, while it made the men 
brave and valorous, had entirely cured them of 
imagining that each campaign would be the last. 
Passing by the cooking apartment of regimental 
headquarters, a soldier struck his musket against 
the cracker-box, set up on a barrel to help the 
draught of the chimney. 

"Don t knock dat chimbly down, please, sah," 
was the polite expostulation of the cook. "We ll 
be back here agin in a week, and I ll want to 
use it." 

But Struthers was a false prophet. That was 
our last move from the old camp near the Jeru 
salem plank-road. 

Wednesday morning, March 29th, as early as 


three o clock, the Fifth Corps was moving in the 
direction of Dinwiddie Court House. Sheridan s 
cavalry was in the advance, with instructions to 
find the enemy s right, and, if possible, force 
him from his intrenchments. Crawford s Divi 
sion moved along the Halifax road, Baxter s 
Brigade bringing up the rear. Time was when 
the Eleventh alone would have made a show of 
resistance quite equal in numbers to that pre 
sented by the entire brigade. Neither through 
volunteering nor drafting could the ranks be 
kept up to more than a fourth of their original 
strength for duty. 

By noon we had passed the line of earthworks 
on the left, and moving southward, crossed Row 
an ty Creek, below the junction of Gravelly and 
Hatcher s Run. Following the road to Dinwid 
die Court House as far as the Quaker road, the 
troops turned up the latter, and crossed Gravelly 
Run. The line of the Fifth Corps was formed 
with Griffin on the right, Ayres in the center, and 
Crawford on the left. In front of the entire line 
were the enemy s skirmishers, disputing every 
step of our advance. But it was Griffin, near 
the old saw- mill, that had the sharpest engage 
ment, inflicting a severe loss upon the enemy, 
and losing heavily himself. The left of the line, 
not thus delayed, swung around further to the 
front, until near its junction with the Quaker 
road. The brigade commanded by General Coul- 


ter was the first to lay its hands on the coveted 
Boydton plank-road, and by early evening a 
strong line of intrench ments was stretched 
across it. 

The rain that commenced falling in drenching 
showers with the setting in of night, though it 
did not prevent the men from extending the de 
fenses, confined the operations of March 30th to 
short advances and reconnoiterings along the 
plank-road as far to the right as Burgess s Mill. 
March 31st, the storm was over; but the whole 
country round was one vast swamp, holding fast 
in its quagmire everything on wheels. The only 
exception to the fiat, marshy character of the 
ground was the line held by the enemy, running 
along the White Oak Ridge, whose tolerably good 
road crossed the Boydton plank-road near Bur 
gess s Mill, and continued on to Petersburg. 

General Lee was not ignorant of Grant s move 
ments on the left, and with heavy reinforcements 
from Petersburg, was directing in person the 
operations in our front. Toward eleven o clock a 
brigade of Ayres s Division was sent out against 
the enemy s skirmishers. The object was to 
discover with what force he held the White 
Oak road. Our troops had only advanced a few 
hundred yards, when the repulse became gen 
eral, and Winthrop s Brigade returned. 

Meanwhile, the rebels were also contemplating 
a forward move ; and seizing that as a favorable 


moment, the Confederates fell upon Ayres, from 
the north and the west, breaking his ranks and 
forcing him back in confusion. Crawford s lines 
were also carried down in the assault, both divi 
sions falling back on Griffin, who was in position 
along the bank of a small stream a branch of 
Gravelly Run west of the plank-road. Four 
hours later, with broken ranks reformed, Gen 
eral Warren advanced the entire available force 
of the Fifth Corps, driving the enemy back into 
his intrenchments, capturing almost the whole of 
the Fifty-sixth Virginia Regiment, with its com 
plete stand of colors. 

Sheridan and his cavalry bivouacked at Din- 
widdie Court House March 29th. IText day a 
reconnoissance toward Five Forks drove back 
parties of the enemy s skirmishers, and devel 
oped a strong force in position, holding the White 
Oak road. Returning once more to Dinwiddie, 
the troopers awaited the coming of March 31st. 
Early Friday morning they were moving out 
along the several roads concentrating at Din 
widdie, to the attack of Five Forks. But 
there were counter-movements from the rebel 
side. As a military point, the Court House was 
all-important, and must not be left in the hands 
of the Yankees. Starting as early as Sheridan, 
the enemy met him in the way with cavalry and 

The Fifth Corps was distant several miles from 


where the opposing forces first exchanged shots. 
But the sound of battle could be distinctly heard, 
and toward evening the receding noise suggested 
the driving of our cavalry before the enemy. 
Later in the day an officer of Sheridan s com 
mand, cut off in an attack, found his way within 
the lines of the Fifth Corps, confirming the sus 
picion that the cavalry had been driven back to 

Army headquarters were all astir, and orders 
quick and fast were transmitted to Warren. At 
one time a brigade is ordered to be sent down the 
White Oak road, and at another time down the 
Boydton plank-road. One order directs Warren to 
open communications with Sheridan ; by another 
he is told to halt his troops at Gravelly Run. 
Eight o clock, it was intimated in a confidential 
note that the Federal battle-line would be con 
tracted, and an hour after Warren was directed 
to draw back two of his divisions within the 
Boydton plank-road, sending the remaining divi 
sion to report to Sheridan. 

One o clock A.M. ot April 1st, it became known 
that Sheridan could not maintain himself at Din 
widdie without reinforcements, and as these could 
only reach him from the Fifth Corps, its com 
mander was urged to use every exertion to get 
troops to him as soon as possible. The bridge 
across the swollen stream of Gravelly Hun, now 
too deep for infantry to ford, had to be rebuilt, 



and with the first order to send troops to the re 
lief of Sheridan, a pioneer force was set to work 
spanning the creek. 

Two o clock A.M., the bridge was completed, 
and Ay res s Division reported to General Sheri 
dan. The enemy that had driven Sheridan back 
to Dinwiddie retired from his front during the 


night and early morning of April 1st. With 
drawing from White Oak Ridge in line of battle, 
first Griffin and last Crawford marched in the 
direction of the Court House, and by ten o clock 
A.M. Sheridan was reinforced by the three divi 
sions of the Fifth Corps. 



THE movement of the Fifth Corps to Dinwid 
die Court House was a part of Grant s general 
plan, and placed Warren under the immediate 
orders of General Sheridan, with whom he was 
to co-operate. 

Eleven o clock of April 1st, the three divisions 
of Griffin, Ayres, and Crawford were in position 
near Gravelly Run, looking toward the White 
Oak road. The thick fog had cleared away, and 
long lines of cavalry, soiled with mud, but with 


spirit and daring in every look and movement, 
were seen marching in the direction taken by 
the retiring Confederates. Two hours later Gen- 


eral Warren was ordered to move his corps to 
the front, the enemy having made a stand which 
promised to be obstinate, behind formidable in- 
trenchments at Five Forks. 

Up to this moment General Lee seems to have 
been in strange ignorance of the doings on his 
right. Assured that with a knowledge of the 
danger imperiling his flank would come rein 
forcements, or a retreat, Sheridan, anxious to 
improve the golden opportunity, was impatient 
at the slightest apparent delay. 

The roads were heavy with mud, and the men 
worn down by four nights of marching and 
battle. It may have looked like slow plodding, 
as the troops crowded through that narrow lane, 
leading past Gravelly Run Church to the White 
Oak road. But they were doing all that men 
depending upon their own legs alone could do, 
and when they merged out into the open ground 
upon which they were to act, the compact lines of 
the old Fifth Corps told that the lessons learned 
in the van of many important army movements, 
since the crossing of the Rapidan a year before, 
were not quite forgotten. 

The right of the battle-line was given to Craw 
ford s Division, and the left to Ayres, Griffin 
forming his ranks behind Crawford. A hurried 


survey of the ground in front enabled General 
Warren to explain to his division and brigade 
commanders the part that each one was expected 
to perform. The cavalry was to attack in front, 
while the infantry, crossing the White Oak road, 
was to carry the enemy s flank and rear. 

The lines moved out in splendid style. But a 
faulty calculation as to the exact position of the 
enemy s left flank, and the difficult nature of the 
ground over which the troops were moving 
through bogs, and tangled woods, and thickets 
of pine threw Crawford too far to the right. 
The assault intended to be made by the Third 
Division, supported by Griffin, as a consequence 
fell upon Ayres. 

The first volley from the muskets of the in 
fantry was the signal of attack for the cavalry in 
front. It was now four o clock in the afternoon, 
and though assailed on the flank and in front, 
and threatened in the rear, the enemy made a 
bold and gallant defense. Griffin came into the 
gap between Ayres and Crawford, while the 
latter, wheeling to the left, crossed the Ford road, 
a country highway running through the center 
of the enemy s position and directly in his rear. 
It was not intended that the Federal line should 
take such a formation, but it was this form alone 
that made the battle of Five Forks such a com 
plete victory. Staggered at first by the heavy fire 
that struck their left flank, and unable for the 


thick woods and bushes to see the foe with whom 
they were contending, Ayres s men faltered a 
moment. But it was only for a moment. Re 
covering from their surprise as they neared the 
enemy s intrenchments, they charged his works 
at a single bound, capturing hundreds of prison 
ers and several flags. Joined by Griffin, who had 
also wheeled to the left, both divisions went 
sweeping down the line of rebel works toward 
Five Forks. The cavalry was already on the 
right flank, and it only needed Crawford to close 
in upon the Ford road to cut off every avenue of 

Crawford s line was formed with the First 
Brigade on the right, the Second (Baxter) on the 
left, and the Third (Coulter) in the rear. The 
Third Brigade was soon ordered to the front, to 
fill up the gap between our own and the Second 
Division, bringing it next to the Eleventh Regi 
ment, holding the left of Baxter s second line. 
The fire of the enemy now became severe, espe 
cially on Crawford s center and left. But shouts 
and cheers, rising above the din of clashing 
arms, were heard from every part of the field. 

The moment had come for the final charge, 
and riding to the right, Warren directed Craw 
ford to move down the Ford road, and attack 
the enemy in rear of his fortifications. The ad 
vance was given to General Coulter, the other 
two brigades marching in near support. Across 


the road, and in a position to defend all its ap 
proaches, was a rebel battery of four guns and a 
strong line of infantry. Against this force the 
division was pressing down, meeting in its ranks 
a rapid and destructive fire, from which the troops 
were at first disposed to shield themselves in the 
woods on either side of the road. But the en 
thusiasm of certain success carried them on 

Coulter was handsomely sustained by Baxter, 
and when the men of the Third Brigade shouted 
over the taking of the battery whose terrible ex 
ecution could be seen in the breaks in their 
ranks, so near was the Eleventh to its old com 
mander that not only did it join in the cheer, but 
charging the enemy s line of infantry, Sergeant 
H. A. Delavie, of Co. I, seized the flag of the 
Thirty-second Virginia Regiment from its re 
treating bearer, and waved it aloft over the 
enemy s captured works. 

A short distance beyond where the guns were 
taken, Crawford connected with the First and 
Second Divisions, and without halting for an in 
stant, the lines of the Fifth Corps, as they bore 
down on Five Forks, moving through the rifle- 
pits and over the intrenchments of the enemy, 
swept them clean of everything dressed in gray. 

Crawford s Division lost three hundred in 
killed and wounded, Ayres s Division two hun 
dred and five, Griffin s Division one hundred and 


twenty-five, in all six hundred and thirty-four 
men. But the enemy s right flank was com 
pletely broken, leaving between five and six thou 
sand prisoners in our hands; the Fifth Corps 
alone capturing over three thousand men, with 
their arms, eleven regimental colors, and one 
four-gun battery with its caissons. Seven o clock 
P.M., camp-fires were burning in every direction, 
around which gathered groups of men, jubilant 
over the successes of the day. Retracing its 
steps over the line of battle, the Fifth Corps 
bivouacked at night on the White Oak road, 
near Gravel Iv Run Church. 



THE second day of April was Sabbath a 
bright, clear day. Called from their bivouac 
near Gravelly Run Church, whose closed doors 
reminded us of the wicked times upon which we 
had fallen, the two divisions of Crawford and 
Griffin, turning their backs upon Five Forks, at 
an early hour in the morning were marching in 
the direction of Petersburg, to open communi 
cation with the main body of the army on the 


The enemy was found in strong position di 
rectly across our path, at the junction of the 
White Oak and Claiborne roads. Miles s Divi 
sion of the Second Corps, sent to reinforce Sher 
idan, and that marched in front of the Fifth 
Corps, at once opened the attack on the enemy. 
Before the lines of Crawford and Griffin could 
be formed, General Humphreys, with the rest of 
the Second Corps, moved down from the right. 
The connection with the right of the army was 
now complete, and leaving Miles to act with his 
own corps, Sheridan countermarched the Fifth 
Corps to Five Forks, and crossing Hatcher s Run 
by the Ford road, reached the Southside Railroad 
without opposition. 

A thousand caps went swinging into the air as 
the troops crossed that great thoroughfare of the 
Confederate army. The men believed that they 
had now reached the objective point of the cam 
paign, and with willing hands awaited the order 
to unsling knapsacks, and commence the work 
of tearing up the railroad. But instead of a 
halt, the march was continued at a quick step 
up the road toward Petersburg. Then, obliqu 
ing to the left, and still marching on across 
Chandler s Run, late at night the Eleventh biv 
ouacked in line of battle north of Sutherland 
Station, the right of the regiment resting on 
ISTamozine road, and connecting on the left with 
the rest of Baxter s Brigade. 


The absence of General Warren from the 
head of the column, a8 it filed out into the 
White Oak road, early in the morning, was the 
first intimation to the troops that the general 
had been relieved of the command. With the 
splendid achievements of General Sheridan fully 
acknowledged, and with an admiration of his 
dashing soldierly qualities second to none, the 
men of the Fifth Corps have never forgiven him 
for his hasty action toward their well-tried com 

The successes that followed the victory of Five 
Forks a victory which belongs as much to 
Warren as to Sheridan and that culminated in 
the surrender of General Lee, sunk out of sight 
many things that might otherwise have come to 
the surface. Regarded at the time as a freak of 
temper rather than the dictate of calm and sober 
judgment, the removal of General Warren re 
mains to this day without the justification of 
reason or expediency. 

The enemy that we knew to be behind the line 
of earthworks in front of our bivouac, slipped 
away during the night, and on the morning of 
April 3d the Fifth Corps, commanded by Gen 
eral Griffin, moved out with its accustomed 

Too busy with the exciting contest in our im 
mediate front to hear the guns that had opened 
all along the front of Petersburg, it was not 


until this morning that we knew of the success 
ful storming of its outer defenses, and the com 
pression of our lines around the city. It was 
while the men were waiting for the order to fall 
into ranks, that a deep and prolonged cheer 
came rolling along the line of troops, like the 
swellings of a tornado, telling that Petersburg 
and Richmond were both evacuated, and that 
the whole rebel army was in precipitate retreat 
toward Danville. 

If the quartermaster had gone through the 
ranks of the Eleventh, and, taking up all the 
sore feet and stiffened limbs, had issued to each 
man of the regiment a new pair of legs, they 
could not have marched forth with a more 
supple step. The roads over which we moved 
were the same, in their make-up, that we had 
been traversing for four long and wearisome 
years swamps and woods, varied only by woods 
and swamps. That day, too, we were marching, 
at a dog- trot, after Merritt s cavalry; but all fa 
tigue was gone. From his place in the ranks 
each private soldier could see the end of the re 
bellion in the capture of Lee s retreating army: 
and toward that point everything was now made 
to bend. 

Ten o clock at night we bivouacked at Deep 
Creek, with the Appomattox River not far to our 
right. Scores of stragglers from the Southern 
army, and multitudes of contrabands, who had 


lost their masters, had fallen into the moving 
column during the day. Gathered around the 
camp-fires that the chilly night-air still made 
pleasant and agreeable, the events of the passing 
hours were discussed with an interest as absorb 
ing as cabinet ministers could discuss them. 

An hour later most of the men had stretched 
themselves on the ground to sleep. Walking up 
and down through the ranks of prostrate forms, 
we found ourselves not alone wakeful with the 
thoughts of the past and the promises of the fu 
ture. With heads toward the fire lay huddled 
together a group of darkies, all on terms of the 
most friendly intimacy. We came upon them, 
unobserved, and waited a moment to listen to 
their talk. 

"I feels better to-night than I did after that 
fight at Gettysburg," said one, whose voice was 
at once recognized. " That was a mighty warm 
place, I tell you. It seemed to me as if I d 
never git away from thar. I felt as if I wanted to 
pray, but de colonel s Jim was thar, and de doc 
tor s Andy, and I didn t like to let em see me. 
Then the shells begin to come faster than ever, 
and dey seemed to say as plain as anything, 
H-a-r-vey! H-a-r-vey!! So I stretched myself 
square on de ground, jist as I m laying now, and 
I said low to myself, 0, Lord, if you please, do 
de very best you can for Harvey. Jist then I 
heard an awiul hollering. Andy said, * do John- 


nies is gitting whipt; and it was. all true. I felt 
good then; but I feels a heap better now." 

Daylight of April 4th the Fifth Corps was 
again on the move. The cavalry had divided 
into three separate columns, and were pushing 
forward to harass the flank, and cross the front 
of the retreating Southerners. It was the same 
hurried mirch to-day as yesterday; and not until 
the head of the column crossed the Richmond 
and Danville Railroad at Jetersville, sixteen 
miles from the place of starting, was the bard 
day s work completed. 

Throughout the day of April 5th Griffin s 
Corps remained intrenched at Jetersville. Ame 
lia Court House was five miles to the northeast, 
and already in possession of the Confederate ad 
vance. o!s~ext day, turning westward, General 
Lee marched with rapid haste for Farmville, in 
the desperate endeavor to place the Appomattox 
River between himself and his eager pursuers. 
It was on this morning that Sheridan turned 
over the Fifth Corps to General Meade. It had 
followed the cavalry for three days, keeping up 
with the troopers in all their long and hurried 
marches, and watching at night in the same line 
of battle, or resting in the same bivouac. 

The Sixth Corps was now pushed to the front. 
Moving one day on the flank of the army as far 
to the left as Prince Edward Court House, and 
the next day hanging on the rear of the retreat- 


ing rebels, April 9th the Fifth Corps halted at 
Appomattox Court Honse. 

The 9th day of April, 1865, was Sabbath; just 
such a calm, clear day as the one that preceded 
it, on which we moved out from our bivouac 
near Gravelly Run Church. The two armies of 
Grant and Lee were at last together, with only 
the little town of Appomattox between them. 
But there was no deploying of skirmishers, or 
movements of divisions into lines of battle, or 
unlimbering of cannon. The army of General 
Lee had surrendered; and in a small house, 
plainly seen low-squatted within a green inclos- 
ure, and before whose door an orderly on horse 
back still held the white flag brought in by Gor 
don and Wilcox, Grant and Lee were settling 
the terms of capitulation. 





THE great work done, and well done, the lines 
of the victorious Federal army began to draw 
away from the scenes of the surrender, leaving 
the Fifth Corps behind to carry out the terms 
of the capitulation and to take charge of the 
public property. We confess to a feeling of 
loneliness, as with the disappearance of the last 
brigade over the hill that bounded our view, the 
notes of fife and drum, every moment growing 
fainter, were heard no more. 

But the morning came when the spoils of war 
were all secured, and the last Southern soldier 
paroled. Then the bugle sounded the order to 
march. It was the homeward march. One look 
at the beautiful country around the head- waters 
of the Appomattox, and, with faces once more 
toward Richmond, the column moved forward, 
first to Farmville, and then along the Rich 
mond and Danville pike to the banks of the 
James. As we crossed the river, Belle Island 
was in full view, bringing an angry look to the 
eyes of the men, that at last expressed itself in 
derisive cheers, as they marched by the doors of 
Libbv Prison and Castle Thunder. 


The day before the evacuation of Richmond, 
the only remaining prisoners confined in Libby 
were sent down the river for exchange. Among 
these was Captain James T. Chalfant, of Co. F, 
captured at the battle of the Wilderness, May 
5th, 1864. After nearly a year s experience in 
the prison-pens of Lynchburg, Macon, Charles 
ton, Columbia, and Charlotte, twice making his 
escape, and each time recaptured, the captain 
was the last Pennsylvania!! to leave Richmond 
as a prisoner. 

Richmond was now in the rear, and moving 
over the Peninsula, across the Chickahominy 
and the Pamunkey, and then across the Rappa- 
hannock at Fredericksburg, we 

" Nightly pitched our moving tents 
A day s march nearer home ;" 

until one evening, in the last hours of sunlight, 
the troops looked down from Hall s Hill upon 
the City of Washington, smiling at the return of 
peace, but sad and stricken over the death of 
Abraham Lincoln. 

After a few days of rest and quiet came the 
grand review of the armies of Meade and Sher 
man by the President of the United States, the 
Secretary of War, and General Grant. Then 
followed the work of disbanding; and the ranks 
of the Federal army were scattered from Maine 
to Minnesota, each true volunteer forgetting the 


calling of the soldier in the more peaceful duties 
of the citizen. 

As the State capital had been the rendezvous 
of the departing regiments, so it now became the 
gathering place of those returning from the war. 

Its best friends would hardly have recognized 
the old Eleventh, so changed was its organiza 
tion, had not General Coulter and one or two of 
the original staff officers remained to prove its 
identity. One of its field officers-^Major I. B. 
Overmyer and most of the line officers had been 
promoted from the ranks. Even the drummer 
boys had grown up to be men, and came back 
wearing sword and epaulets. 

Those promoted out of our ranks, as well as 
those in them, did valuable service wherever 
they were placed. Col. II. A. Frink, of the One- 
hundred-and-eighty-sixth Regiment, afterward 
breveted brigadier- General, will be remembered 

O O 

as the efficient provost-marshal of Philadelphia. 
Assistant Surgeons AY. C. Phclps and W. F. Os- 
borne whose places were filled in the regiment 
by Drs. John M. Rankin and Charles D. Fortney 
became surgeons; the former of the Twenty- 
second Pennsylvania Cavalry, and the latter of 
the One-hundred-and-seventeenth Infantry Regi 

Awaiting our arrival in Harrisburg were men 
who had been absent from the regiment on de 
tached service, or sick in hospital, sent forward 


to be mustered out of service with their several 
companies. There were also a few returned from 
the prisons of the South, among whom were 
Captain A. G. Happer, of Co. I, and Lieutenant 
Freeman C. Gay, of Co. K. Captain Happer 
was severely wounded, and fell into the hands 
of the enemy at the "battle of the Wilderness. 
Lieutenant Gay was captured at Gettysburg, 
and remained nearly two years a prisoner. 

More than three thousand men were enrolled 
in the ranks of the Eleventh daring the war. 
Less than three hundred marched back to Camp 
Curtin for final discharge. Many of the absent 
ones, who had been sent home because of dis 
ease, or the severities of the campaign, or of 
honorable though disabling wounds, could have 
answered to their names. had there been a calling 
of the roll. But the rest are filling graves scat 
tered from Gettysburg to the Appomattox, from 
Annapolis to Andersonville, and will only answer 

"When the general Roll is called." 

The Story of the Regiment is not for them. 
Its pleasant memories or sad reminiscences of 
marches and bivouacs, and of battles fought and 
victories won, are only for the living. 

"On fame s eternal camping-ground 

Their silent tents are spread; 
While glory keeps, with solemn round, 
The bivouac of the dead." 






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