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1863. hannock Station. Some of the boys expressed a curiosity
to know if it was as hot where the deserter had gone as it was here, where we were marching.
In a cloud of dust we marched ten miles to Bealton Saturday, Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. The June 13 water was about as scarce as whiskey, and so bad that
something ought to have been provided to kill the animalcula it contained.
It was evident that an army must not be hampered by Sunday, religious principles. We wondered if Miles Standish ever June 14. marched his army on Sundays. “In war there are no
Sundays," as Daniel Webster once remarked. We started promptly at 8 A.M., marching through Manassas Junction and Catlett's Station, near where we were stationed a year ago, and thence to Kettle Run, which place we reached at sunset and where we halted for an hour to cook coffee, then resumed our march, crossing Broad Run near Bristow Station, at the old mill, arriving at Manassas Junction at 3:30 A.M., a distance of twenty-three miles. All day long we were subjected to wearisome delays caused by obstructions in the road by wagons and artillery, fording brooks or crossing streams imperfectly bridged, until our patience was well-nigh exhausted. When the order was given to halt, the men dumped themselves on the damp grass, and went to sleep.
After five hours' rest we started again, marching eight Monday,
miles to Centreville, which point we reached about noon, June 15. and where we remained until the 17th. The continued
northerly direction we were pursuing began to excite the curiosity of the boys as to what was going on. As we were not in receipt of papers nor in the confidence of General Hooker, we could only make guesses. In the meantime we kept pegging on toward Boston, Mass., pumping all the people collected on the road-side as to the whereabouts of General Lee, or whether they had heard the war was over, or that General Washington was dead.
“ No, massa ; don't know nuffin at all.”
“You tell General Lee we'll be back in the fall, but just now we're going to Saratoga, where it's cooler."
“ Yes, massa."
The thirst for information was so great about this time that the “camp gossips" put in a good lot of work, resulting in some of the most ridiculous yarns ever heard in the army.
We did have ocular proof to-day that Lee's army was marching north. When you see geese flying north, look out for warm weather ; when you see rebels marching north, look out for warm fighting. The country was full of guerillas, and that enterprising cutthroat, Mosby, did a thriving business in capturing and mutilating the bodies of Union soldiers.
The First Corps had been acting thus far on our journey as rear guard to the army.
We remained quietly resting. The regimental sutler Tuesday,
arrived in camp, and those of us who had money or June 16.
credit proceeded at once to fill the aching void caused by
short rations and hard work. We were serenaded by the band of the Thirty-third Massachusetts, a bit of politeness and consideration that we highly appreciated. It had a good effect on the boys, as good music always does. We would have liked mighty well to have asked the boys to “licker,” but there was “no balm in Gilead.”
During the day we received the rather startling intelligence that the Confederate army was in Maryland and prancing along toward a cooler climate, as though they liked it. Hooker informed us that “the enemy must leave his intrenchments and fight or ingloriously retreat,” etc., and now he was ’way north of us. If Lee had lost his way, there was nothing for us to do but hunt him up and put him on the right track.
We celebrated the battle of Bunker Hill by turning out Wednesday, at 2 o'clock in the morning to prepare for marching. June 17 We got away by 3 and marched toward Chain
Bridge, changing our direction before arrival at that point, and continued on to Herndon, a distance of sixteen miles. Our new brigadier-general was Gabriel R. Paul, whom the boys dubbed the “ Apostle.” He was a brave and excellent officer.
This was so hot a day that sixty men in the corps were sunstruck. The thermometer registered 100°.
We struck tents in the morning, expecting orders to Thursday, march; but no orders came, and so we laid quiet, putting June 18.
in all the sleep we could, which was considerable, in
spite of the burning heat of the sun, while General Lee was amusing himself in “ Maryland, my Maryland.”
Marched three miles to Guilford Station, on the LeesFriday, burg Railroad. Everything we could dispense with was June 19. now thrown away, even at the risk of getting in the same
condition in which St. Thomas à Becket was found when he died, -lousy.
Guards were put on the fences to prevent our taking rails.
About half the regiment was put on picket, and were called in during the night, returning in a violent storm. Orders were countermanded, and back on picket went we. Noticing the guard had been taken off the fences, we “hooked" a lot of rails, which we carried along
“ It is a sin to steal a pin, much more to steal a bigger thing." These rails were useful, as the streams were very much swollen by the rain, whereupon the rails were fastened together, and used as bridges.
The following was designated by the boys as “ Paul's Epistle to his brigade : "
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE,
June 22, 1863 1. In order to ensure uniformity, no words of command or forms of parade,“not prescribed in the General Regulations or in Casey's tactics,” will be allowed in the regiments of this brigade.
II. It is expected at guard mounting and on parade and reviews the officers and enlisted men will be neatly dressed, and their accoutrements put on in a soldierlike manner. On parades pioneers will be in the ranks with their respective companies.
The color guard will consist of one sergeant and five corporals, who will be selected for accuracy in marching and soldier-like deportment. The companies being numbered from right to left, the first sergeants, when they report the results of the roll-call, will say in a quick, firm tone, “First company all present," or “Second company three absent,” and so on as the case may be.
III. Sentinels will not be permitted to sit, read, or talk on post, or to bring 1863
their pieces to the order. They will habitually walk their post, watching vigilantly and allowing no infractions of orders.
By command of
G. R. PAUL, Brigadier-General Commanding.
“ And God wrought special miracles by the hand of Paul."
We remained at Guilford Station until June 25, engaged in such light amusements as dress parades and brigade drills, sandwiched with a liberal allowance of guard duty.
Information reached General Hooker that General Thursday, Lee had crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and ShepJune 25. herdstown, whereupon the First Corps was put in motion,
and we crossed the river into Maryland at Edward's Ferry. Thence we marched through Poolsville, where we spent a rainy night on Sept. 6, 1861, and then to Barnesville, where we halted for the night, having marched about twenty miles.
We were about the first troops of the Army of the Potomac to cross the river. Some idea of the situation of the two armies, with relation to Gettysburg, may be obtained by bearing in mind that Shepherdstown was twenty-four miles in an air line north-west from our camp-ground of last night, and Williamsport thirty-six miles in the same direction, as may be seen on referring to the map accompanying this chapter. Williamsport was thirty-five miles from Gettysburg, while Shepherdstown was forty-one miles. Our camp-ground at Guilford Station was sixty-five miles from Gettysburg, thirty miles farther away than Williamsport, where Lee was reported to be. From Fredericksburg to the Potomac River the rebel army had marched a greater distance than ours. They had an unobstructed road, with a purpose in view; while we were constantly delayed, not only from our uncertainty of their movements, but the constant hindrance of our wagon trains, which blocked the roads for hours. It was impossible to move faster than the wagon train could go, as it would not do to leave our supplies behind to be captured by Mosby or Stuart.
They had, while in Virginia, a great advantage over us in this respect, as they could depend on the friendly hospitality of the coun1863. try, while we were obliged not only to carry our supplies,
but to protect them. When moving in the opposite direction, toward Richmond, we were leaving our base of supplies while they were returning to theirs.
We were now back in Maryland among the people we met in the summer of 1861. It seemed pleasant once more to see smiling faces and to be greeted with friendly words. The Union people of Maryland were very much disturbed as to what might happen if Lee was successful in his invasion of the Northern States. As we marched northward, the feeling took possession of us that we were now about to fight for our homes, and the impending battle would be one of intensity, though we were all in the dark as to where it might be fought. These people, whose friendly hospitality we had enjoyed two years before, were now in danger, and they looked to the Union army for protection, and without doubt this feeling had an influence in the events that followed.
On General Lee's previous excursion into Maryland, during the Antietam campaign, he issued the following circular to the people of that State. There is no evidence in the War Records that he treated the people of Pennsylvania with such an appeal. Possibly he thought it was unnecessary. It is interesting as a curiosity, if nothing more.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
NEAR FREDERICKTOWN, MD., Sept. 8th, 1862. To the People of Maryland :
It is right that you should know the purpose that brought the army under my command within the limits of your State, so far as the purpose concerns your. selves. The people of the Confederate States have long watched with the deepest sympathy the wrongs and outrages that have been inflicted upon the citizens of a commonwealth allied to the States of the South by the strongest social, political, and commercial ties. They have seen with profound indignation their sister State deprived of every right, and reduced to the condition of a conquered province. Under the pretence of supporting the Constitution, but in violation of its most valuable provisions, your citizens have been arrested and imprisoned upon no charge and contrary to all forms of law. The faithful and manly protest against this outrage made by the venerable and illustrious Marylander, to whom in better days no citizen appealed for right in vain, was treated with scorn and contempt; the government of your chief city has been usurped by armed strangers; your legislature has been dissolved by the unlawful arrest of