- What's On
After the Federal army was defeated at the Battle of Bull Run, July 21,
1861, newly raised regiments were rushed to the front. The
newly minted '13th Mass' left Boston for Harper's Ferry, Va.,
head-quarters of Major-General Nathaniel P. Banks
& the Department of Shenandoah.
Banks would prove a very popular leader with the men of the
he was a successful Massachusetts politician and former Speaker of the
House in Congress. From the regimental history, "Three Years
in the Army," newspaper accounts detail the exciting journey south.
correspondents cover the trip from Fort Independence to Worcester, home
Leonard, where a festive collation is prepared in honor of the
soldiers. New York papers pick up the trail in that city, and
soforth, - until the Philadelphia papers report on the
in Maryland. Soldiers Charles Roundy, John B. Noyes and
Austin Stearns give things a more 'personal' touch.
following information comes from "Three Years
in the Army" by Charles E. Davis, Jr. Boston; Estes & Lauriat,
interesting fact connected with the flags carried by the regiment ought
not to be omitted. At the breaking out of the war the firm of
Hogg, Brown & Taylor were doing business in Boston.
other firms it took a deep interest in the welfare of soldiers, and
contributed liberally to their comfort whenever opportunity
offered. On our departure, this firm, in addition to the
provided by the State, presented us with a duplicate set of colors, and
from time to time, as they became worn out, they furnished others to
take their place.
View of Longwharf courtesy of
the Boston Public Library Prints Department; Officers of the
Mass., from U.S. Army Heritage Education Center, [AHEC] Mass. MOLLUS
Collection, Carlisle, PA; Westboro Square from "Commemorative
Westborough's 250th Anniversary, 1967, Reporter Press, North Conway,
N.H.; Illustrations by Charles Roundy are from "Charles Roundy
Manuscript," CWMiscCol (Enlisted man's memoirs)
Carlisle, PA; The
Shop Lithograph courtesy of "The Library Company of Philadelphia.";
Hagerstown, Md., from Harpers Weekly, September 28, 1861 accessed
to Table of Contents
Journal,” July 30, 1861.]
DEPARTURE OF THE THIRTEENTH
REGIMENT – RECEPTION
BY THE SECOND BATTALION AND OLD CITY GUARDS – COLLATION IN FANEUIL HALL.
Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Leonard,
being the eighth regiment of three years’ troops which Massachusetts
has sent to the war, took its final departure for Washington this
The admiration and affection of a whole
community has been centred upon the young men of this regiment, the
nucleus of which, the Fourth Battalion of Rifles, was recruited in our
midst from the families of our most respected citizens. It is
disparagement to the members and officers of the battalion to say that
the companies from the country, which have been added to the regiment,
are equally meritorious and deserving of popular regard.
pains have been spared to make the Thirteenth equal, if not superior,
to any regiment which has left the state. They have a full,
serviceable uniform, equipments which any soldier might be proud to
wear, and an arm – the Enfield rifle musket – which has been pronounced
by the officers of the regiment to be the most delicate, highly
finished, and defensible weapon in the infantry service.
ARRIVAL OF THE REGIMENT IN
The regiment, which has been quartered at Fort Independence, came up to
the city on the steamer “Nelly Baker,” the boat making two special
trips for the purpose. She arrived at the foot of Long Wharf
quarter before one o’clock, bringing Companies B, C, F, I, and K, under
command of Major Gould, and then returned for the remainder of the
regiment, which was finally landed in the city at a quarter past two.
As each detachment of troops left the fort, bidding adieu to quarters
which have been the scene of so much happiness, they were honored with
a parting salute by Sergeant Parr, the United States ordnance officer
in charge of the post. The troops acknowledged the compliment
courtesy of escorting the regiment through the city was accepted by
Colonel Leonard from the Second Battalion of Infantry, Major Ralph W.
Newton, and the Old City Guard, and past members of the Fourth
Battalion of Rifles under Col. Jonas H. French. The two corps paraded
as a battalion, being accompanied by Gilmore’s Band, and the Old Guard
by the Boston Brigade Band. The first troops which arrived remained
under cover of the sheds, where they were protected from the rain until
their comrades reached the wharf, when the line was formed and the
regiment escorted up and down State Street, making the detour of the
Old state House, through Merchants Row to Faneuil Hall.
hospitalities of the city were extended to the regiment by His Honor
the Mayor, in the form of a collation to have been served to the men on
the Common; but the storm which prevailed interrupted the programme of
the march and collation, and the latter was laid on the table in the
“Old Cradle of Liberty,” which the regiment reached about three
o’clock. Hastily partaking of a most acceptable repast, the line was
re-formed, and the regiment took up the line of
MARCH THROUGH THE CITY.
but the storm which prevailed all day prevented this regiment from
receiving an ovation surpassing any which has been given to the troops
going before it.
The social position of the members, the
reputation which they have achieved in drill and discipline, and the
fact that a majority of the officers of the regiment were
representative members of some of our most popular organizations, grown
up and educated amongst us, - all these circumstances conspired to
ensure the regiment a most generous and enthusiastic demonstration.
march through the city was accomplished under trying circumstances, the
condition of the streets harassing the troops, encumbered as they were
with overcoats and knapsacks. The route was through Merchants Row, up
state and Washington Streets to the long freight depot of the Boston
& Worcester Railroad, which they entered out of Harvard
Instead of a “sea of heads,” an ocean of umbrellas filled the streets,
surging with the increase from streams of anxious spectators which
poured in from every alley and by-way; and above the beating of drums
and blast of horns arose the shouts of the people, cheering the brave
boys who have pledged their lives in the defence of the Union. What was
lacking in numbers was made up in enthusiasm by the people who lined
the way. Bouquets were showered in profusion upon the troops
hands whose hearts went with floral tributes which they gave.
the depot scenes occurred never to be forgotten. The fair
the troops were in full possession of the place, and when the regiment
filed into the cars, the flying moments, which to the actors were as
hours, were fraught with incidents of self-sacrifice, of womanly
devotion, and manly heroism which caused the stoutest heart to quail
and the sternest lip to quiver. There was no calling back of
sons, and brothers, no repining, but brave words of encouragement,
pious counsels, and motherly advice to the young and inexperienced
volunteer as the final good-by and “God bless you” was spoken.
train left the depot at precisely five o’clock, amid the cheers of
thousands of people who filled the side tracks and covered the bridges
under which the train passed. The baggage-wagons and horses
regiment were sent forward in advance of the troops. In this latter
respect the regiment fared as well as those who have preceded it. The
regiment carried with it two stands of color, consisting of a State and
National flag, which were presented to them by the State without
ceremony, just as they were leaving the city.
THE REGIMENTAL ROSTER.
H. Leonard, of Boston.
Walter Batchelder, of Boston.
Parker Gould, of Stoneham.
H. Bradlee, of Boston.
E. Craig, of Boston.
W. Whitney, of Boston.
Theodore Heard, of Boston.
M. Gaylord, of Boston.
Surgeon John T. Heard
The following is a list of the officers of the
Company A. –
Captain, James A. Fox; First Lieutenant, Samuel N. Neat; Second
Lieutenant, George Bush.
Lieutenant Samuel Neat
Company B. – Captain, Joseph S. Cary; First Lieutenant, John G. Hovey;
Second Lieutenant, Augustus N. Sampson.
John G. Hovey
A. N. Sampson
Company C. – Captain, John Kurtz; First Lieutenant, William H. Jackson;
Second Lieutenant, Walter H. Judson.
William H. Jackson
Company D. – Captain, Augustine Harlow; First Lieutenant, Charles H.
Hovey; Second Lieutenant, William H. Cary.
Charles H. Hovey
William H. Cary
Company E. – Captain, Charles R. M. Pratt; First Lieutenant, Joseph
Colburn; Second Lieutenant, Edwin R. Frost.
Edwin R. Frost
Company F. – Captain, Henry Whitcomb; First Lieutenant Abel H. Pope;
Second Lieutenant, Charles F. Morse.
Abel H. Pope
Company G. – Captain, Eben W. Fiske; First Lieutenant, Loring S.
Richardson; Second Lieutenant, John Foley.
Eben W. Fiske
Loring S. Richardson
Company H.- Captain, William L. Clarke; First Lieutenant, Perry D.
Chamberlain; Second Lieutenant, Francis Jenks.
William L. Clarke
Company I. – Captain, Charles H. R. Schreiber; First Lieutenant, Moses
P. Palmer; Second Lieutenant, David Brown.
Captain R.O. Shriber
David L. Brown
Company K. – Captain, William P. Blackmer; First Lieutenant, William B.
Bacon; Second Lieutenant, Charles B. Fox.
William P. Blackmer
WIlliam B. Bacon
Charles B. Fox
ON THE ROAD.
leaving the station of the Boston & Worcester Railroad the
was greeted with cheers and fluttering handkerchiefs all along the
route to Worcester. The citizens of the towns on the road seemed to
have been on the watch for the train, and as the regiment went quickly
past they improved the short time by the most energetic demonstration
of good-will. It was a considerable distance beyond the city
members of the regiment took a last look of Boston friends.
Far out on
the Back Bay lands were a considerable number of ladies and gentlemen
who seemed to vie with each other in their exertions to cheer the
departing soldiers. “Good-by, boys, - keep up the reputation
Thirteenth,” were words earnestly impressed upon the minds of the men;
and they promised to do all in their power to answer the expectations
of the friends of the regiment.
Every house near the railroad
was filled with ladies, as the train passed through Brighton, who flung
their handkerchiefs back and forth, and seemed anxious to be counted
among the well-wishers of those who got to fight for our
it was at Newton and Natick, and at the latter place large numbers were
collected at the railway station, as if desirous to have the train
stop; but it whirled past, and many relations of the Natick company
were probably deprived of an opportunity to say a parting word to them.
The first stop of the train was at
the train drew near, it was greeted with the booming of cannon and
ringing of bells. There were several thousand ladies and
gathered at the station from Marlboro’, Natick, and other adjoining
towns, from which several companies of the regiment came. A
ten minutes was well improved by the soldiers, many of whom were
engaged in farewells to relatives; while others improved the
opportunity to replenish their canteens with what had been provided for
them. Had there been a probability of longer stay, still
provision would have been made by the Framingham people for the comfort
of the soldiers. As it was, the reception was warm and
and the men left with a renewed feeling of sadness for those left
behind. The train arrived at Framingham at six o’clock, and at ten
minutes past six it was again whirling away towards Worcester.
Westboro’, in which town company K was organized, the speed of the
train was slackened, and went through the village so slowly as to allow
the citizens and the soldiers to take leave of each other. The train
then hurried on.
Square when trains ran up Sumner Street.
RECEPTION AT WORCESTER.
regiment arrived in Worcester at half-past seven o’clock, while
preparations had been made to give the soldiers a collation. This was
prompted in part by the fact that Colonel Leonard was formerly a
resident of that city, and has a large number of personal and warm
friends there. The cars passed from Worcester to Norwich
stopped just beyond the Common. The regiment then filed out
marched round to Main Street, where an escort was waiting to receive
The escort consisted of several companies from the
Fifteenth and Twenty-first Regiments, as follows : Fifteenth
Company B, Capt. J.W. Kimball; Company E, Capt. Charles H. Watson;
Company E, Capt. Charles H. Watson; Company D, Capt. Charles H. Foster;
Company G, Capt. Walter Forsband. Of the Twenty-first
: Company G,
Capt. Addison A. Walker; Company D, Lieut. C. S. Foster in
The whole was under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, of the
Fifteenth Regiment. The regimental band of the latter
The column marched up Main Street and returned to
City Hall, where a collation was in waiting. Main Street was
with people, but it was growing dark, and they did not have a good
opportunity to see the regiment. They were, however, disposed
praise Colonel Leonard’s command very highly.
account of the unfavorable weather the arrangements to prepare a
collation on the Common were changed, and the City Hall was taken for
There was not as much room in this building as was
necessary for the whole regiment, and in consequence but five companies
were entertained at a time. The collation was prepared liberally, under
the supervision for a committee of the citizens, who had received aid
from the city government. In the hall were major-General Morse and
staff and other prominent individuals, including the mayor of the
city. Colonel Leonard and staff were made to realize that
they have a
host of friends in Worcester.
On the entrance
of the colonel
to the hall he was presented with a beautiful bouquet by the ladies
present. About an hour was consumed in the hall, when the
left and marched back to the cars under escort. At shortly
half-past nine o’clock the train was again in motion, and it moved away
amid the drowning cheers of the multitude.
July 30, 1861.]
column marched up State Street at twenty minutes before three o’clock,
around the Old State House, down State Street, and through Merchants
Row to Faneuil Hall, where a collation was provided. State
filled with people notwithstanding the storm, and on no other occasion
has there been more enthusiasm manifested. Cheers were
given for the Thirteenth, while around Faneuil Hall there was also an
immense crowd. Everybody desired to see somebody, and there
perfect rush about the doors of the hall for admittance. The
were required, however, to keep all persons, except soldiers, from the
hall, as a different course would only tend to unnecessarily delay the
departure of the regiment. As the troops marched in, all
patriotic airs were played by the band, and excited proper
When “Glory hallelujah” was reached the soldiers and crowd joined in
the chorus, and no one within a half a mile of Dock Square, except a
deaf person, could have any possible excuse for ignorance of the
whereabouts of John Brown’s bones or his ashes.
Very few beside
the members of the regiment and the waiters were allowed inside. Our
reporter was one of the few civilians admitted, and he had to take the
oath of fealty, agree to behave, and promise to eat nothing. This was,
of course a mere formality, with no reference to his habits.
soldiers were weary and hungry. They ate voraciously, and sat on the
sanded floor, when no better resting-place could be found. There was no
profanity, no drunkenness – all praise to officers and men for this.
Notwithstanding their fatigue there was no hustling, no ill-natured
remarks, and no criticism on the arrangements. The hall was
large enough for the accommodation of so large a body, but there was no
When the troops again sallied forth and were taken
charge by the escort the crowds were found to be greatly augmented.
Every street on the route was blocked up. The people readily
when possible, but some delay was occasionally caused. One continuous
round of cheers was kept up from the time they left Dock Square till
they halted in Oak Street.
The fine bearing of these troops
excited comment at every point where they were seen. Their uniform is
the regulation style, and appears to be of excellent quality. They all
wore their blue overcoats as they marched up State Street, and this
gave a uniformity in appearance which was very pleasing. They marched
with great precision, and executed all movements with more regularity
and exactness than is generally noticed.
the “New York Herald,” July 31, 1861.}
TROOPS BOUND FOR THE SEAT OF
WAR - THE THIRTEENTH
MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS EN ROUTE FOR THE SEAT OF WAR.
Thirteenth Regiment of Massachusetts volunteers, under command of
Colonel Leonard, arrived in this city yesterday en route to the seat of
war. The regiment, which was organized in a great measure in
of Boston, was encamped for some time at Fort Independence, in Boston
harbor, where they were so well perfected in discipline that few
regiments can compete with them in drilling and manoeuvering.
struck their tents on Monday morning, and after a short parade in
Boston proceeded to this city by the Norwich & Worcester route,
arrived about eleven o’clock yesterday. They were met at the steamboat
wharf by a deputation of citizens, natives of Massachusetts wearing on
their breasts badges with the inscription “Sons of
These badges, as also the banner carried by the “Sons,” were ornamented
with the coat-of-arms of the Bay State. The regiment then
their line of march through Canal Street and Broadway to the City Hall
Park, where the men were dismissed for dinner in the barracks and “a
ramble about the city.”
Shortly after four o’clock the
regimental line was again formed, and the procession, preceded by the
escort of citizens, marched down Broadway and around Battery Place to
pier No. 1, where they embarked on board the steamboat “John Potter,”
for Amboy. Their reception was a most magnificent one, and the applause
of the populace was expressed at every step of the route in a continued
clapping of hands.
The Thirteenth Regiment is one of which
Massachusetts may well be proud. It is composed of a superior class of
men. In physical appearance, soldier-like bearing, and
discipline, the regiment is perhaps unsurpassed. The members generally
belong to a higher social position than those composing most of our
regiments, and their enlistment had been a matter of pure patriotism,
many having left remunerative salaries and situations to go to the
war. The uniform of the regiment consists of a dark-blue
of flannel, light-blue cloth pants, and regulation cap. They are all
armed with the Enfield rifle.
Stearns served three years with the 13th Mass. in Company K.
He was present at every engagement and never missed a day of
service. After the war he wrote his memoirs, "Three Years
Company K, 13th Mass. Infantry." His great
grandson Arthur A.
Kent had them published in 1976.
Leaving Boston at
5:30 P.M. over the Norwich route, we stopped at Worcester and paraded
the principal streets, after which we partook of a collation which
awaited us in Mechanics Hall. As only a part of the Regiment
could enter at a time, the right wing entered first, and from the
tables bountifully supplied they made a most substantial meal.
After eating all they could, they filled their haversacks and
canteens. The waiters, thinking all the Regiment was in the
hall, generously brought forward all they had and urged it upon them.
When the left wing entered, with blank faces they confessed
they had nothing but the broken food on the tables. The
coffee was nothing but slops; disgusted with the fare, we went out.
The rememberance of it to this day is not pleasant.
Whose fault it was, at this day it is not best to say, but it
is evident some one neglected their duty.
The train was
waiting and we left immediately for New York, where we arrived the next
morning and marched up to City Park. After stacking arms,
Col. Leonard dismissed the men till a certain hour in the afternoon.
One of the City officials expressed surprise and offered a
"squad of police" to keep the men within certain limits, telling the
Colonel he never would get all his men together again. He
declined all offers, saying all his men would be on hand at the
appointed hour. At the specified time every man was in his
place, and the march was resumed down Broadway in "column by platoon,"
reaching from "curb to curb," the band playing and the men singing
It was a perfect
ovation all along the whole way. the sidewalks were crowded,
and from every window were waving handkerchieves to cheer us on our way.
We took the Steamer
near the Battery, which was to convey us through the Kill-Von-Kull to
All the way, till
night came on, the same enthusiasm was displayed. At short
intervals the Steamer whistle was blowing, and some of the boys had
taken possession of the bell; this was rung continually, adding to the
hearing us coming, would hasten to the banks and in every way manifest
their interest in us. If they were far away, we could see the
waving handkerchief of its owner.
transportation awaited, and we were soon off for the City of "Brotherly
Love," about 2 A.M.
Memoirs of Charles H.
Roundy, Company F
(Charles Roundy's handwritten memoirs are in the collection of the Army
Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) in Carlisle Pennsylvania.
Fort Independence for the Front
Eight weeks from the time we entered the fort we were ready
anxious to get away. We had drawn Uncle Sam’s uniforms and
and equipments. We were armed with Enfield Rifles – the natty
battalion uniforms were discarded now and all the companies looked
alike and the eight weeks of hard work showed as we marched Company
front – 50 men in the front rank with the other 50- thirteen inches in
the rear, and each man struggling for a straight alignment – the
Companies reaching from Curb to Curb as we marched up State Street and
on to the State House, where Governor John A. Andrew talked to us like
a father to his sons, - gave us our Colors and bid us God Speed.
We went to the Worcester depot and after the
excitement of leave taking we left Boston and arrived at New London,
Conn. at midnight - took the steamer “John Brooks”1
for New York and were
allowed a short liberty in the city, then fell in and marched down
This march down
this famous Street – lined with
thousands on thousands of people – with every window packed with
people, cheering – clapping hands, - waving flags and handkerchiefs,
was for me the proudest day of my life. The regiment marched
We had got rid of many things which we had thought
we could not do without, but we found we could do considerable more
trimming yet, and the process was kept up at every halt.
Marching company front down Broadway reaching from
curb to curb, the band playing “John Brown’s body lies” – every man
nerved to do his utmost to keep a straight line. The
singing – cheering – and waving of flags made one continuous ovation
till we took train for Philadelphia – going via Havre de Grace (where
the whole train was run onto the ferry boat with out our leaving the
cars) and taken across the river.
landed in Phila. about 1 A.M. Midnight, and at 2 A.M. we were eating
first square meal at the afterwards famous “Old Cooper Shop”
those waiters in their quaker
looked to us as they helped us to sandwiches and coffee – yes and pie –
Who of the 13th can ever forget their kindness?
After our late supper or early breakfast we marched down Chestnut St.
to west Philadelphia where we made our first camp and here we again
reduced the size of our Knapsack which was growing heavier at every
o’clock in the morning
I remember that the windows had shutters on them
we marched along Chestnut St in the early morning, and the Band awaking
the echoes and the people – the shutters flew open and we saw many
dainty nightcaps peering out at us a very pleasing sight.
Our First Camp and detail for guard.
We marched out towards Germantown and made our first
camp, and it did seem good to shed gun – knapsack - haversack – canteen
– Cartridge-box, belt and bayonet and draw a good long breath – then to
get some coffee and hardtack.–
took cars for Hagerstown, Md. And arrived there after dark – marched
six miles to Williamsport2 on the Potomac river.
Here the different companies were scattered up and
down the river doing picket duty.
1. It was the
2. The Regiment did not come to
Williamsport until mid-October
Philadelphia Inquirer, July
At Washington street wharf, at eleven o’clock
last night, the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment was
expected en route from Boston
It was doubtful, however, whether they would not
be taken to the Kensington depot, and marched from thence to the depot
at West Philadelphia, their final destination being with General Banks,
regiment numbers one thousand men, well equipped for the war. They are
with the Enfield rifled
musket. The uniform is neat and
substantial, consisting of dark blue jacket and cap, and light blue
pantaloons. The men are supplied with
everything needed on the field, ninety-five horses and twenty baggage
accompanying the regiment. The
conveniences for taking care of the wounded are unusually ample,
one two-horse and eight one-horse ambulances, and two hospital
wagons. A peculiarity in connection with the horses
brought by the regiment is, that they are nearly all grey – designedly
chosen. The nucleus of the regiment was
the Boston City Guard – a rifle corps, consisting of four
companies. Of the remaining companies two came from
Marlboro’, one from Stoneham,
(nearly all shoemakers,) one from Westborough, one from Roxbury, and
from Natick (shoemakers). The
men, it is said, as a class, are sober,
intelligent, earnest and determined.
Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, 1862, 1009 Otsego Street,
soldiers, including the 13th Mass, at this early stage of the war,
could find food and refreshments. The Cooper Shop grew and
continued the service throughout the war. (Graphic obtained from The
Library Company of Philadelphia. used with permission.)
August 1, 1861
The Military Spirit:
programme laid down for the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment in The
Inquirer of yesterday was strictly
adhered to, the men being marched down to Washington street wharf for
refreshments, and from thence
sent to the Pennsylvania Railroad depot at West Philadelphia.
The refreshment stands were reached about 2 o’clock, A.M. The
men were pretty well tired out, and a rest was ordered. The
men laid around the pavements and seemed
to enjoy the novel way of catching a nap. The band, before
taking up the line of march, played several airs for
the gratification of the ladies who had refreshed them. One
piece, peculiar to the land from whence
they came, entitled “Glory Hallelujah,” is regimental music; a number
men joined in chorus. Another piece,
called “Wood up,” caused the troops and citizens who had collected to
quite rapturously. It was near 4 o’clock before the line of
march to West Philadelphia commenced. The
regiment started out Washington street
to Broad, it being stated that the Sixth were coming on, and a greeting
friends would take place. When the
Thirteenth reached Broad street,
the train bearing the Sixth appeared – the regiment drew up in line and
commenced to cheer vociferously. The
“boys” of the Sixth appeared to be taken all aback, but “Boston,”
“Boston,” run along the line, and
the Sixth soon recognized their brother soldiers. Then came
friendly greetings, and cheer upon
cheer was given until the train reached the wharf.
to Top of
of John Buttrick
Noyes; Company B; August 2, 1861.
he speaks disparagingly of the city of Harrisburg, PA in this letter,
B. Noyes later admitted that his
impressions of the city were very wrong. He had
but praise for the citizens of the city who helped him recover
from wounds received at the battle of Antietam.
I have added
paragraph breaks to make this letter easier to read.
Am2332 (5) By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard
Friday Aug. 2d 1861
mother has already secured my
letter dated July 30th, written
aboard Boat on Long Island Sound, which I entrusted to Stephen while in
New York. Of course I reached NY safely, where I saw J.U.
Mr. White, and Ned Wyeth. Dinner with Stephen. Saw Trinity
a splendid structure, and walked through Wall Street. Marched
down Broadway. The enthusiasm was small compared with that in
Massachusetts. Late in the Afternoon we took the boat to
Amboy where we took the Camden and Amboy cars for
We weren’t thrown off the track.
Arrived in Phil. At
we marched to Wash. St. and had a fine collation & rested till
when we set out on our march, knapsacks on back, at route step, to a
field about 5 miles distant, outside of the city. There we
halted, washed, and started at about 8 Am (Wednesday) for Hagerstown
Md. Rode all day through the state of Pennsylvania.
scenery was magnificent. Nothing but hills & Valleys
the route till we reached the Susquhannah, along which apparently
unnavigable stream we rode many miles. A canal extends along
river aside, up and down which are drawn the queer canal boats by
queerer mules. The road side, canal side, river side and
sides are covered with locust trees which here grow in great
luxurience. Their dark foliage is thick resembling in some
respects our own uncultivated elms and adds greatly to the loveliness
of the landscape. The islands which dotted the river, also
covered with the dense foliaged locusts are very pretty. The
along our route was well cultivated. The wheat and oats
have been harvested, but fields of tall corn and cabbage looking
tobacco contrasts well with the shorn stubble. All day long
enjoyed the beauty of the landscape, stopping now and then but hardly
long enough to refresh the inner man, till we reached Harisburgh the
Capital of Penn.
I can say but
little in praise of
is veritably a one horse town. There are no hotels worthy of
name, at least so far as I could see. The bakers don’t keep
apothecarie’s cigars, or saloons cider or ale. These may seem
small matters to you, but for us who had had nothing for 17 hours but
hard bread & water it was a matter of vexation. At
managed to get a dinner & supper but only by paying down before
hand 25 cents. Two or three Regiments of soldiers were
round the city waiting to be paid off. This may account for
comparative destitution of the city, but is no excuse for the extreme
dirtiness of everything about the place, its one horse hotels and
stores. We left Harrisburgh gladly, crossed the Susquehannah
fine bridge, and rode all night in the cars towards
rained all night. The cars leaked. I let the rain
head and at last managed to go to sleep. A miserable night
more miserable morning, when we turned out of the cars at about 6 ½
o’clock AM this day the rain falling in torrents. You will
recollect that on such a morning we left Fort Independence for Boston
on the previous Monday. Not liking my position there I put on
my rubber blanket, left my knapsack in a woodshed and walked along the
RR to a small inn where a sergeant and corporal of our Company and
myself had a hot breakfast (beef steak & coffee)
which left us
capital spirits. Three fips (18cents) was all we paid for our
luxurious fair which included washing privileges. Meantime
Regiment had started for the middle of the town. I followed
after, the Sun now shining gloriously. The Reg’t halted in
centre of the town, and waited for the baggage wagons of some
Connecticut Regiment to file past us. The people here are
hospitable. Bread plastered with jelly & hot coffee
dealt out from one or two houses to hungry mouths for an hour or two,
when we marched to a field outside the town and put up our
Amunition had not
been dealt out to us when we spread our blankets
preparing for a good night’s sleep. It was reported and
that not more than 700 rebel cavalry were within five miles of
us. In the middle of the night the camp was turned out, the
pickets having been fired at as was said. Eight rounds of
cartridges etc were given to us, so that if I am now attackted I
defend myself. Bill Allen I believe caused the alarm by
his gun at as he says at a [supposed] secessionist. No blood
shed. The soldiers in my tent at least showed no signs of
and I for one was prepared to shoot even Jeff Davis himself in defence
of the liberties of our gal-o-ri-ous country. It
happy to know that the slaves seem to be happy round here, through a
pretty fat boy who swaggered considerably and looked the very picture
of content both in body & mind, and who enjoying himself
suckers in a river, said he did not like his master very
His body however told a different story. The land hereabouts,
least a good deal of it looks like brick dust. The water is
to have much lime in it. It tastes well. It seems
to be the
general opinion that our canteens and drinking tubes are great
institutions. I can now appreciate the celebrated story so
told by Mother of Sir Philip Sidney and the wounded soldier.
afternoon we start for Harper’s Ferry.
John B. Noyes.
following excerpt describing the trip to Maryland is from pages 15
& 16. Used with permission, Associated University
This picture from Harpers Weekly
September, 28, 1861, shows an army supply train in the center of
cheers for the good people of Mechanicsburg,
(PA) the train rolled away. Being tired, I fell
asleep and did not wake till morning. I found the train was not in
motion; taking a look out of the window, I found we were in a cut of
the Railroad with banks so high we could not see over them. The rain
was coming down “so easy” and the weather so warm, [that] the very
ground seemed to steam.
About the first of my recollections that morning
was, on looking out of
a window, I saw a soldier step off the car and go ankle deep in mud,
yes genuine Maryland mud, with which we were so familiar afterward.
Soon the order was to get our traps on and get
out of the cars, up on
to the bank – a thing a great deal easier said than done, but at last
it was accomplished.
Slatery could not find his cap anywhere and had
to substitute his
sleeping cap instead. Afterwards; when we used to laugh at him about
it, Jim would say “By gard, if I had known then as much as I do now I
would had a hart,” which was a byword with us for a long time when any
one was laboring under a difficulty. We were at Hagerstown,
Md. We marched from the depot up to the town. Stacking arms,
were dismissed to make ourselves as comfortable as we could.
of the boys went into a hotel and had breakfast – a good one, for
twenty-five cents. Darkies waited on the table.
quite a novelty with some of us.
© Bradley M.
Page Updated January 11, 2013