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UNION LINE OF MARCH
THE AIR LINE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE TOP AND
WE remained in camp in this vicinity until June 12. During this time the regiment was engaged in the usual camp routine of drills, reviews, inspection, and parades, besides doing our share of the picket duty along the north bank of the Rappahannock River, the enemy's pickets being on the south bank, within easy hearing distance.
On the 2d of May the regiment was transferred from the third to the second brigade in the same division under command of General Robinson; General Reynolds continuing in command of the First Army Corps. Our associates in the second brigade were the One Hundred and Fourth New York, the Sixteenth Maine, and the One Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania regiments. The Eleventh Pennsylvania was subsequently transferred to the same brigade, to our very great pleasure. All this time active preparations were being made for another campaign, while we freely discussed the competency of generals, planned campaigns, and patiently waited for an order from Washington to take command of the army. As time rolled on, and the price of recruits advanced, we learned that the Government felt that we were doing too good a service in the ranks to be transferred to the head of an army. The wishes of the Government were not to be lightly set aside, so we continued to tote a knapsack and gun, though we yearned occasionally for the comfortable quarters of a major-general.
So much complaint was made about carrying out the order of March 21st, respecting the wearing of badges, that on the 12th of May General Hooker issued an order containing the following paragraphs:
The badges worn by the troops, when lost or torn off, must be immediately replaced.
Provost marshals will arrest as stragglers all other troops (but those designated as being without badges) found without badges, and return them to their commander under guard.
From this time on the corps badge was universally worn, and proved a great convenience, besides exciting a feeling of pride among the men.
From time to time fears were entertained at headquarters that the enemy were intending to cross the river, and orders were received to move, but were countermanded in season to prevent us from marching.
We received about this time a lot of books and pamphlets from home, collected by some kind friends who were not forgetful of our wants. They afforded us a good deal of pleasure, and helped to wear away the depression that we shared in common with the rest of the army at our recent defeats.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION,
1. Existing orders require a critical inspection of companies half an hour be fore dress parade, the object of which is to see that men are in a proper condition to go on parade, that the clothing and accoutrements are clean and in good order. At dress parade of ceremony, officers and men will be required to appear in uniform. Regimental commanders are reminded that white hats and butternutcolored sacks form no part of the prescribed dress of a soldier, and must not be worn on parade. Soldiers will be allowed to wear them on fatigue. The practice of wearing boots or stockings outside of pantaloons must be suppressed on parade. By command of
At 4 A.M. we broke camp and marched in a westerly Friday, direction via Stoneman's Switch on the road toward June 12. Bealton Station, following the Rappahannock River, and bivouacking at Deep Run, a distance of twenty-five miles. It was a scorching hot day, and the road was very dusty. It occasionally happened, through somebody's stupidity, that troops, by taking the wrong road, had their march considerably lengthened. This was one of those occasions; several miles of hard work were squandered in consequence of being misdirected. This kind of
foolishness does not sweeten the temper of a man who is working for $13 per month. "Let not the sun go down on your wrath," said Paul the Apostle. As the sun was already down when our wrath was excited, we had nearly twenty-four hours to spare before obeying this command.
A learned writer on the Holy Scriptures says: "It is acknowledged that neither the Apostles nor Fathers have absolutely condemned swearing, or the use of oaths, upon every occasion, and upon all subjects. There are circumstances wherein we cannot morally be excused from it; but we never ought to swear but upon urgent necessity, and to do some considerable good by it." According to our ideas, instances like the one just described justified a liberal use of "cuss words."
While we halted at noon to-day an ambulance was driven by us containing a man who was to be shot for desertion. The man belonged to one of the Union regiments, and during the winter deserted to the enemy. It appears that a detachment of Union troops while on picket saw a soldier in Union uniform acting rather suspiciously, as if he wished to get away unnoticed; whereupon he was headed off and captured by men of his own regiment, the Nineteenth Indiana. Under his blue uniform he was found to have a Confederate suit of gray. About him were found papers containing the numbers and locations of Union troops. He was tried by court-martial and sentenced to be shot, and was now on his way to take part in that rather unpleasant ceremony.
His corps was halted for an hour at Hartwood Church, where he was taken into a field, blindfolded and tied, seated on a box that was to be his coffin, and shot by a detail of twelve men. A certain number of the guns were loaded without ball in order to deceive the men into thinking that some other fellow's gun did the work. It is an unpleasant duty at best, but the circumstances, in this case, were particularly aggravating. When the unfortunate victim was launched into eternity, as the newspapers say, the drums were sounded and the bands struck up the liveliest airs; and while his soul went marching on, we marched on until we halted for the night, bivouacking in the same field where we stopped last November on our way from Rappa