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1863. its members; freedom of the press and of speech has been sup.
pressed; words have been declared offences by an arbitrary decree of the Federal Executive, and citizens ordered to be tried by a military commission for what they may dare to speak. Believing that the people of Maryland possessed a spirit too lofty to submit to such a government, the people of the South have long wished to aid you in throwing off this foreign yoke, to enable you again to enjoy the inalienable rights of freemen, and restore independence and sovereignty to your State. In obedience to this wish, an army has come among you, and is prepared to assist you with the power of its arms in regaining the rights of which you have been despoiled.
This, citizens of Maryland, is our mission so far as you are concerned. No constraint upon your free will is intended; no intimidation will be allowed within the limits of this army, at least. Marylanders shall once more enjoy their ancient freedom of thought and speech. We know no enemies among you, and will protect all, of every opinion. It is for you to decide your destiny freely and without constraint. This army will respect your choice, whatever it may be; and while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will.
R. E. LEE,
General Commanding. “ Throwing off this foreign yoke” is good.
At 6 A.M. we marched over the Catoctin mountains to Friday, Adamstown, through Greenfield's Mill, across Monocacy June 26. River, and thence to Jefferson, a distance of eighteen
miles, through the rain and mud. The route was circuitous, owing to a change made in the direction of our march, by orders from headquarters.
Marched to a mile beyond Middletown, a distance of Saturday, eight miles for the day. As we passed through MiddleJune 27 town we were greeted with the same kindly hospitality we
met with on our previous marches through this town. The resignation of General Hooker, which is quoted in full, was accepted by the President:
SANDY Hook, June 27, 1 P.M. MAJ.-GEN. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief :
My original instructions require me to cover Harper's Ferry and Washington. I have now imposed upon me, in addition, an enemy in my front of more than my number. I beg to be understood, respectfully and firmly, that I am unable to comply with this condition with the means at my disposal, and earnestly request that I may at once be relieved from the position I occupy.
In accordance with the terms of the following com
munication, General Meade was placed at the head of the Army of the Potomac :
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 1863. MAJ.-GEN. GEORGE G. MEADE, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: You will receive with this the order of the President placing you in command of the Army of the Potomac. Considering the circumstances, no one ever received a more important command, and I cannot doubt that you will fully justify the confidence which the Government has reposed in you.
You will not be hampered by any minute instructions from these headquarters. Your army is free to act as you may deem proper under the circumstances as they arise. You will, however, keep in view the important fact that the Army of the Potomac is the covering army of Washington, as well as the army of operation against the invading forces of the rebels. You will, therefore, manæuvre and fight in such a manner as to cover the capital and also Baltimore, as far as circumstance will admit. Should General Lee move upon either of these places, it is expected that you will either anticipate him or arrive with him so as to give him battle.
All forces within the sphere of your operations will be held subject to your orders.
Harper's Ferry and its garrison are under your direct orders.
You are authorized to remove from your command, and to send froin your army, any officer or other person you may deem proper, and to appoint to com. mand as you may deem expedient.
In fine, General, you are intrusted with all the power and authority which the President, Secretary of War, or the General-in-Chief can confer on you, and you may rely upon our full support.
You will keep me fully informed of all your movements, and the positions of your own troops and those of the enemy, so far as you know, I shall always be ready to advise and assist you to the utmost of my ability. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief Marched over the mountain to Frederick City, a Sunday,
distance of ten miles. These familiar scenes raised the June 28.
spirits of the regiment very high, and the old war songs
were sung with a fervor we hadn't felt for a long time. The colonel announced to the regiment that General Meade was to take command of the Army of the Potomac in place of General 1863. Hooker, removed ; adding, jocosely, “that we needn't be
discouraged, as we all might yet receive the same honor." Monday,
We made a forced march of twenty-six miles to June 29. Emmitsburg, passing through the town and camping
about a mile beyond, on the Fairfax road. It rained all day, and many of the men were obliged to march barefoot for want of shoes.
The inhabitants brought to the roadside bread, milk, cheese, and other eatables, which they freely dispensed to us as we passed along. To be the recipients of such kindness from the people had a great effect in enlivening the spirits of the boys.
While halting at Mechanicsville, a farmer and his wife were seated in a wagon loaded with bread which they tossed to the hungry soldiers, his wife sobbing and bemoaning the terrible fate that awaited us. “Oh, boys, you don't know what's before you. I'm afraid many of ye'll be dead or mangled soon, for Lee's whole army is ahead of ye and there'll be terrible fighting.” One of our officers jumped on to the wagon to help the farmer, shouting, “ Walk up, boys, and get your rations ! Bread and tears, tears and bread,'' while he tossed the loaves about. “Who takes another?" The boys, undismayed by the old lady's prophetic words, shouted their thanks, with “God bless you, old lady!” and rousing cheers for the old gentleman.
The people in the town of Emmitsburg were jubilant at sight of the troops, whom they greeted with great cordiality. Without regard to rank, everybody on horseback was greeted with “ Three cheers for the 'general’!” which were given with a will.
There was an irrepressible spirit of levity in the Thirteenth, and presumably in other regiments, as there is no patent on the animal spirits of young men. If there was any fun to be had, it was soon found. Toward the last of our service it was hard pickings, but still there was some one to excite laughter by a quaint saying, an apt nickname, or innocent joke, to relieve the strain and monotony of our daily lives. We were just as likely to get our fun out of a majorgeneral as we were out of ourselves. The dignity and importance that hedged a general never affected us in the least. Every oppor1863. tunity to ridicule or criticise the doings of an officer out
side the regiment was taken advantage of by the wits and the growlers, to excite mirth or ridicule. We were never quite satisfied with ourselves if we failed in fastening a nickname on a general officer, particularly if he was a martinet, or if he presented some peculiarity of manner or dress that suggested a name. One officer was called “Old Crummy,” another “ Butter and Cheese,” another the “ Apostle," and still another “Old Bowels.” Nicknames were so common among ourselves that few of the boys escaped without
General Abercombie said we were “add impertinent lot, fit only for the guard-house," and from his point of view perhaps he was justified in saying so. His temper had such a beautiful feather edge that the boys, with the thoughtlessness of youth, couldn't resist the temptation of stirring him up just to hear him swear. If he had been a man of calm and equable temper he would have escaped our notice.
Just as soon as a lot of boys discover that a man takes notice of their gibes the fun begins. You might as well stir up a hornets' nest as to notice the remarks of young boys, as every sensible person knows. We had no intention of being insubordinate, yet our conversation was often loud enough to be heard by a passing officer, as happened to-day on our march to Emmitsburg, while General Robinson and his staff were sitting on a piazza taking a rest as we went by. There was no impropriety in their doing so, and really nothing to complain of. The boys themselves were tired out with days of constant marching, and as we passed the house where these officers were so comfortably sitting, one of the boys remarked with a rather loud voice, “ How they must suffer !” Shortly after, one of the general's staff approached our colonel and in a very excite:l manner said, “ Colonel, your men have insulted ze general."
Zay said, 'How zay must suffer!'"
“I will go back and zay that you have insulted ze
general." General Robinson was too sensible a man to bother with the remarks of tired soldiers. So long as the men made good time in their marching, he was quite willing they should relieve their feelings, even at his expense, and we never thought any worse of General Robinson, who was an estimable officer, for taking the rest he must have needed.
It was part of our daily life to form and express opinions about matters and persons, and woe betide the officer who was silly enough to notice them. In dealing with children or soldiers, which is the same thing, it doesn't pay to have your hearing or your eyesight too keen.
About 10 A.M. we marched back through Emmitsburg, Tuesday, meeting the Eleventh Corps on our way, which caused us June 30. a good deal of delay. We passed through the town out
upon the Gettysburg road about two miles, near Marsh Creek, where we halted and stacked arms, it being asserted that the enemy was between us and Gettysburg.
It having rained every day except Sunday since we crossed the river, the roads were consequently very muddy.
The Eleventh Corps had been keeping along with us, but the remainder of the army we had not seen. We enjoyed the marching very much, in spite of our fatigue. Day after day we were met on the way by women in front of their homes with pails of fresh water, milk, bread, cake, and pies, which they freely distributed among us.
The following order by General Meade was this day read to the army :
The enemy are upon our soil. The whole country now looks anxiously to this army to deliver it from the presence of the foe. Our failure to do so will leave us no such welcome as the swelling of millions of hearts with pride and joy at our success would give to every soldier of this army. Homes, firesides, and domestic altars are involved.
Corps commanders are authorized to order the instant death of any soldier who fails in his duty at this hour.
If there was any man in the army who remained unaffected by the