Newport News, Va.

 

August,                                               Friday 1,                                                          1862

 

“August came in like a Lamb” Weather clear and very hot August like in every respect – We had Company drill as usual. Inspection of knapsacks at 10 a.m. and Dress Parade at the usual time – I was very sick all day – face swollen very much I fear I will “beat” I reported sick and went to the Surgeon (Dr. Luddington) for medicine I received an outward appreciation for my face – I received two letters to day one from Mama and one from R. A. M. which revived my spirits considerably under the circumstances especially were they doubtly interesting missives – I had no appetite for anything to day – ate nothing for dinner save a little rice – I took a walk to the woods to get a few berries thinking I would relish them but I could not find any – I drew a knapsack – blouse and stockings.

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Newport News, Va.

 

August,                                               Saturday 2,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very hot I think I never saw so beautiful a sun set in all my life – A rainbow was visible – I was also very ill to day I fear I am about taking the fever I reported to the Doctor and he gave me four powders composed principally as I thought of quinine’s they had a powerful effect on my bowels at night.  I took a dose of composition – applied pain killer inwardly and outwardly to my face which was much worse than at any previous time. The Brigade was called out and reviewed by General I. I. Stevens every man was ordered to be present – I was excused by the surgeon.

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Newport News, Va.

 

August,                                               Sunday 3,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear in the morning early but cloudy and not with frequent rain showers during the day – However all the rain passed by Gun Camp – I went down to the River and took a good bathe in fresh water – I put on new pants and blouse – Just five months to day since I enlisted in the service of my Country – Chaplain Brown had Prayer Meeting in the morning  - We all packed our knapsacks and awaited further orders; About 8 p.m. we received orders to strike tents we did so and awaited further orders; About 10 p.m. we fell in line and marched to “Newport News” Lt. Ocker was so full of lager he did not know whether he was standing on his head or feet and undertook to command the Co. thus the other officers being about I felt much better – greatly impressed by the medicine I took.

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Newport News, Va. – Aboard the “Atlantic”

 

August,                                               Monday 4,                                                       1862

 

Weather clear and very hot in the forenoon – Cloudy with a heavy rain shower in the afternoon however we were traveling faster than the rain and thus escaped it – About 4 a.m. we were aroused from our slumber reposing on “Mother Earth” to go aboard the Boat the “Atlantic”.   “She” was more like what a boat should be than any steamer I have traveled in since enlisted. We remained off “Fortress Monroe” several hours.  Col. Leasure went ashore.   Nothing I eat had the right taste to day--I had nothing to eat I could relish.  Lorenze gave me a bath “Pitt Chronicle” 79th N. Y. Hilanders 46th N. Y. and “Roundheads” were aboard the “Atlantic”.  The “Hiland” Brass Band entertained us with the best of music of all the bands ever I saw this one caps the climax.

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Aboard the “Atlantic”

 

August,                                               Tuesday 5,                                                       1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot. This was I think the hottest day I have experienced this summer; We saw none warmer in “Dixie” – We remained aboard the “Atlantic” all day when we awoke in the morning we found ourselves sailing up the “Potomac River”, “My Maryland” on the one side and the “Old Dominion” on the other.  There is quite a contrast so far as we traveled, Maryland looked like a land civilized enlightened and tilled reminding me of home as the inhabitants were busily engaged harvesting and taking in their harvest – While Virginia appeared to be desolate and uninhabited the fruits of war – We cast anchor about noon the water being too shallow for the “Atlantic”. The sailors told us the vessel was infested with “grey back” carrying “Secesh prisoners” so I fear we’ll get busy also.

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Atlantic – Aquia Creek – Aboard the Cars

 

August,                                               Wednesday 6,                                                 1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot August like in every respect – In the morning the steamer “Balloon” came alongside the “Atlantic” and took the 46th N. Y. Regt. ashore – I was on fatigue duty leading baggage about 1 p.m. the “Eelmin? City” run along side the “Atlantic” and took the “Roundheads” ashore we landed at the dock about 5 ½ p.m. – I paid 50 cts. for my supper I may say the first table I sit down to since I left home – we left “Aquia Creek” about 7 p.m. aboard the Cars on U. S. M. R. R. – bound for Fredericksburg traveled at fine speed; the boys were all happy to get aboard the cars once more traveled through a hilly uninhabited country - - Pickets stationed all along the road.

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Lying at the Depot opposite “Fredericksburg” Va.

 

August,                                               Thursday 7,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot even hotter than any weather I experienced in Dixie.  I went to the bridge opposite the City to get a view of “Fredericksburg”--Guards stationed on the bridge with orders to let no man or set of men of any rank or position without a pass from Gen. Kine – I longed very much to go over and see the place and was tempted to find the river – In the afternoon Aaron Templeton wanted me to go along and I did so we went up on the river hills opposite the town and then had a splendid view of the City Muhes?  a fine appearance but has a hard name – “Roundheads” lay in and around  Dept until evening when we  marched out to a waste field near by guards were put on. I was on the 3rd Relief with orders to let no officer out without a pass.

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Marching – Fredericksburg, Va.

 

August,                                               Friday 8,                                                          1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot apparently getting hotter every day – Broke up camp early in the morning marching with all our luggage across the Suspension bridge (John Strathern assisted in making this bridge) up through the City and down at right angles. We saw quite a number of citizens and not a few females some of the latter indicated by their looks that our presence was neither pleasant nor agreeable to them; saying that our rum would be more preferable than our presence. Some would even turn their backs to us as we marched past.   Encamped on the Richmond R. R. near the City in a clover field where there was neither shack nor water--commenced a very poor camp ground.   Lorenze and I went after apples – found plenty on a wealthy old Vodovers? plantation.

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Fredricksburg, Va.

 

August,                                               Saturday 9,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and very hot but we had a fine breeze at intervals during the day. Morris McKeever John France and some more of the Co. went for apples out to the wealthy Vedeners? plantation. John France and I got a good mess of tomatoes – I wrote a letter to D. K. M. – I received a letter and programme from R. A. M. – In the evening Companies L and A were detailed to go out scouting – to capture some Rebel officers who it was said frequented a certain house along the R. R. out side our lines. A Darkey was our guide – Captain Templeton was along – Major Leckey commanded the scouting party – some canaly accompanied us. We arrived at the house after about 10 miles marching and skirmishing – surrounded and searched the house. Women were crying and very insulting – searched it but no officers were to be found some rebel clothes were found – We seized several fine mules and returned to “Fredericksburg” About sundown we reached Camp.  This was the most heavy seize march we have yet made and all for mules.

 

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Camp near Fredericksburg, Va.

 

August,                                               Sunday 10,                                                      1862

 

Weather very hot in the forenoon but in the afternoon cloudy and threatening rain.  We had a fine shower which cooled the atmosphere making it pleasant. I fell very much fatigued by our “scout” of last night.   Consequently I was sleeping the greater part of the day to make up for lost time. It was decidedly the hardest march I have experienced in the U. S. A. and worst of all resulting in no good whatever--all in vain.   I was insulted for the first time in the Army by a Secesh livein he appeared to delight in and make it his business to insult the Defenders of the Union.   Doubtly his parents taught him the business. I received a letter from M. C. B. and one from Bill Holland – I took one a thorough wash and bathe as soon as I arrived in Camp – I attended Prayer Meeting in the evening--Chaplain officiated.

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Fredericksburg, Va.

 

August,                                               Monday 11,                                                     1862

 

Weather very warm and cloudy indicating more rain but today passed over without rain – I got a pass and went to the City today, was all through the town (as I would call it) Tom Boon was also with me – very little business doing though there are quite a number of Sutler shops, very few male inhabitants left in the place though females are not so rare.  All of the latter in my judgment are Secesh and almost all were raped in mourning (after some killed rebel doubtless) – When seeing a Union soldier they would hang their heads and cross to the other side of the street to avoid if possible meeting “the hated Yankees” but I crossed also when I saw them trying to play this game thus checkmating several. I had apple dumplings for dinner a glorious repost or feast for a soldier in consequence if brandy dip I did not relish them as wishes usual – I wrote a letter to R. A. M. – I bought some milk to drink the first I have had for a year.

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Fredericksburg, Va.

 

August,                                               Tuesday 12,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and intensely hot August like in every respect – I wrote letter to sister Maria – George Stevenson and I went out in search of some apples.  I saw our Pickets bring in a Secesh under guard. We returned to Camp in time for dinner.  After partaking of the same, we went in search or a shady place to rest in peace from “Sols” bleaching rays and had scarcely settled down in comfort for the time when an officer came ordering all to Camp immediately as the Regiment was falling in.  He said adding that the Pickets were attacked and the Enemy was coming. Happy to say it proved to be a false alarm – I received a letter from Jonathan which had been sent with Luae and mailed at Old “Point Comfort” the very day we passed.

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Fredericksburg, Va. – marching

 

August,                                               Wednesday 13,                                               1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and somewhat cooler and more pleasant than the preceding days of the week oweing to the rain shower in the night.  We started on the march early in the morning, stopped in the City until the other Brigades had passed. We followed crossing the river.  Our band played Yankee Doodle marching through the City.  We crossed the river at the lower part of the city on a pontoon style of bridge made of old canal boats.  Marched through “Falmouth” stopped about two hours at noon.  We found our loads were too heavy and considerable luggage was thrown away. We encamped for the night about sun down--marched about 12 miles.  I should think this the longest and hardest march on me yet--I was almost played out yet I last not give up.

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Marching – Bivouacking

 

August,                                               Thursday 14,                                                   1862

 

Weather cloudy threatening rain yet pleasant weather for marching .  Commenced the march pretty early stopping about 9 a.m. to kill some beeves for dinner.  Starting again about 3 p.m. we moved until 7 or 8 p.m. bivouacking for the night in a orchard near a railroad. A heavy shower of rain fell in the night and in consequence our repose (without shelter) was not very sweet. I think we marched about 18 miles today I was very sore and stiff from yesterdays march--knapsack was heavy in our shoulders. This was the hardest march on me yet – water on the route drinkable and we suffered much for water.

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Marching – Culpepper – Bivouacking

 

August,                                               Friday 15,                                                       1862

 

Weather very cloudy in the morning with drizzling rain – Clear and cloudy and changeable in the afternoon the sun shining at intervals – our clothes and blankets were all wet and believe it weighed 15 or 20 lbs consequently we had a tremendous heavy load to carry in our knapsacks today – quite a number of the boys [?] out got aboard the cars, but I was too “spunky” for that bound to worry it out. We marched along the Rail Road about 1.2 mile crossing the “Rappahannock River on the R. R. bridge I saw for the first time a part of 28th Regt. P. L. guarding the R. Road bridge about half the Regt. only Co. B. was not with them. I commenced with a member of C. G. but seen none of my friends or acquaintances – marched through “Culpepper” C. H. encamped about a mile from the town – Lorenze and I fell out the ranks and took a kiers [?].

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Marching

 

August,                                               Saturday 16,                                                    1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy and very warm – We were ordered to discharge our guns and we did so – We had Dress Parade about 8 a.m. did not commence the march until about 10 a.m. – Marched only about 6 miles today coming in contact with another Division of troops – we encamped about Ύ mile east of the road – on an old waste field stormy batter or common between the woods, about 2 miles from the “Rapidan River” – A log house was here inhabited by white Seceshes – having two sons in the Rebel Army two men were here; one very aged man and one able bodied man.  We took them by surprise and almost scared them out of their senses - women crying piteously. Lorenze took the wrong road and did not reach the Regt. to day – We encamped in a land flowing with honey but “nary” milk – my feet were very sore yet this was an easy march.

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Camp hard scrabble – Near the Rapidan

 

August,                                               Sunday 17,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and very hot August like in every respect. As soon as we encamped last night guards were put around Camp.  I was one of the lucky ones. We received two Countersigns. I came off guard this morning was on the Second Relief standing from 9-11 and from 3-5 countersign was “Waterloo” and “Erie” – Lorenze found the Regiment about 11 o’clock accompanied by John Strathern. He had strayed miles off the route over the “Cedar Mountain” battlefield.  John S. is detailed in the “Engineer Corp” which is encamped about 3 miles distant. We had a very pleasant and social comfort about matter and things generally and I was very happy though very agreeably astonished to meet my old friend in the wilderness.  I bought ½ pound of honey – John left us about 5 p.m. Co. A. went on Picket.

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Camp Hard Scrabble

 

August,                                               Monday 18,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very warm. Clark McKeever, W. H. Lewis, Isaac (Stanger), Brice, Martin and I were on guard from Company A. We were on reserve guard for the first time. I was a supremacy guard I was not called in during the day consequently had a good time.  I bought some corn bread from the Darkeys though it was not very good for none of salt the inhabitants have never to put in it. “Roundheads” Brass Band also Hilanders Brass Band received their discharges from the U. S. A. and left about 5 p.m. bound for home. Mile march to “Culpepper” and there take the Curs – We received news of the collision of two steam boats on the Potomac one a respectful boat loaded with sick and wounded the latter was sunk of almost all aboard drowned “Tom” McKeever was one of the unfortunate passengers. Poor fellow yet I believe he was prepared to die.

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Marching – Kellys Ford

 

August,                                               Tuesday 19,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very warm. We commenced the march about 1 a.m. marching until about 8 p.m. the biggest march we ever made--I suppose about 26 miles at least. Landed at “Rappahannock” at “Kellys Ford” and encamped about distant – We passed through the little town called “Sterensburg” scarcely an inhabitant was to be seen and I had a fine feast at noon on black and whistle berries – we encamped about 18 miles from “Fredericksburg” – This was the first river we were obliged to ford on any of our marches water about 2 or 2 Ό feet deep bottom very rocky and many of the boys fell stripped off our pants as ordered by the Colonel.

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Marching

 

August,                                               Wednesday 20,                                               1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy and pleasant – notwithstanding it did not appear like August weather.  Early in the morning I went in search of berries gathered a tinful – ate them with sugar (Oh! for some milk) went out again in search of apples – found some prime ripe ones splendid for cooking – About 11 a.m. we were aroused by the beating of the “Long Roll” and it was beaten and suffice at least a half dozen times--soon often rumoured the Rebels Calvary was coming to attack us.  Some of the Officers became so much excited they knew not what they were doing.  Our Orderly Sergeant said their actions was enough to create a panic alluding to “Lieut. L. H. Pentecost” until about one o clock encamping in a corn field.

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Bivouacking

 

August,                                               Thursday 21,                                                   1862

 

Weather very cloudy in the forenoon and very warm – clear and cloudy alternately in the afternoon – The corn field we encamped in last night was entirely destroyed much so apparently as if a drone of cattle had been turned in it – We heard cannonading at intervals during the day – The “Hilanders” and 8th Mich. Regiments went over the river skirmishing to feel for the Enemy and bring on an engagement.   Found the Enemy but after a whole days maneuvering the Enemy would not fight.  Our loss three men wounded.  We changed our Camp into an orchard near by after all the corn was destroyed.  I was put on guard for about one hour and a half guarding property – Saluted General I.I. Stevens for the time first time – went early to bed and got a thorough soaking during the night.

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Bivouacking

 

August,                                               Friday 22,                                                        1862

 

Weather cloudy warm and wet very disagreeable marching as the roads now are in an awful condition oweing to the heavy shower of rain during the night – We left our place of bivouacking in the morning and marched about 5 miles halting at “Rappahannock Station” quite a number of troop concentrated here every indication of a fight or Col. Leasure had the “Roundheads” counted off just 500 ready for action. We halted beyond the station a short distance at Gen. Popes headquarters, which were under a tree the same as a private without tent or shelter.  Here we remained several hours--artillery was all in position. In the evening we marched about Ύ of a mile farther forming a battle line in the rear of the artillery near Gen. Burk headquarters here we bivouacked for the night.

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Marching and Bivouacking

 

August,                                               Saturday 23,                                                    1862

 

 Weather very cloudy--sun shone but little but with intense heat when it did shine.   The roads were very muddy--onsequently it was very tiresome work marching.   We marched very slow and quite a number of troops passed us on the way this detailing us. Gen. Sigels Division passed us today and we awaited our position in the morning. Army troop passing almost continually until about 2 p.m. We took our position and commenced the march. We did not halt until late at night – We had a very heavy shower of rain in the evening; making the roads almost impossible some of the nigers in the trains stuck in the mud.

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Marching – Bivouacking – Sulpher Springs

 

August,                                               Sunday 24,                                                      1862

 

Weather cloudy and cool for August yet very pleasant especially for marching – we commenced the march about the usual time and marched about two miles when we overtook the other Divisions. We halted in on old orchard--here we remained about two hours and cleaned our guns for action.   Our Chaplain commenced religious services as usual but in the midst of them he was very abruptly interrupted by the Colonel ordering the Regt. to fall in urgently as the Enemy was coming. We fell back over the brow of the hill forming a line we awaited about two hours when the Enemies artillery opened fire briskly on us – had perfect range if our Regt. .throwing four shells when we “charged” our line in double quick time as ordered. But one shot from one of our rifled guns silenced the Rebel battery. We halted for the night at Sulpher Springs--artillery was engaged in ball, shots all day.

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“Sulpher Springs” – Marching – Marching near all night

 

August,                                               Monday 25,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and very warm – We commenced the march early in the morning got on the turnpike and marched about a mile.  When we left the pike turning to the left we halted in our old field on the road side. Here we remained about three hours until Sigels and Banks Divisions passed. In the meantime the boys being hand up for Meet the greater portion went foraging,  The Old Planter nearby was completely robbed of everything.  I took a few of his apples – He made a speech to the soldiers warning them that “Stonewall Jackson” would settle us for the depredation. Sam Fowler and I were after sheep and made a narrow escape from bullets of our gunman--but we got no mittens.  We marched to “Warrington” and remained there about three hours.  I received a note from A. Young came across the P. R. Cap same George Fentz and Hen Struble also Inc. Inc. Strathern.

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Marching – Warrington Junction

 

August,                                               Tuesday 26,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very warm.  I caught up with my Regiment before they awoke in good time for breakfast.  The Regiment had marched about 1 ½ miles farther than I did, but I only drifted out of ranks from completely exhausted.   Commenced the march immediately after breakfast and marched about 4 miles. We halted near “Warrington Junction” I was exceedingly tired and worn out and remained in Camp to rest myself.  We were obliged to carry our water one mile at least – I was very agreeably surprised (when about stretching myself for a sleep) by my old friend Isaac Mills calling on me for the first time since a soldier. He looked very well – I accompanied him down to the Roul Road to see John’s but we could not find him – Lorenze was out foraging and did not see me.

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Marching – Bivouacking

 

August,                                               Wednesday 27,                                               1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot August weather in every respect.   I felt no hotter weather this year.  We took the back track marched back to the old camp ground of Monday night doubtless bound for “Warrington” but while resting here our orders were countermanded and we retracted our step again marching to “Warrington Junction” down the Rail Road in pursuit of the Enemy as we were informed he captured and destroyed a large train from Washington heavily loaded.  I was obliged to drink filthy stagnated water today.  We now commenced a forced march in pursuit of the Enemy.  Marched about 20 miles to day ([?] of these unnecessary) I was never so completely exhausted in my life and was obliged with sores of these to fall out of the ranks. Bill Lewis and me got together-bivouacked on an old Englishman’s farm. He claimed England’s protection lived liked.

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Marching – Bivouacking

August,                                               Thursday 28,                                                   1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately indicating rain. We had a tremendous heavy shower about 7 p.m. Intensely hot during the day apparently the hottest day I have experienced this summer. – We passed some of our troops who were guarding some 100 prisoners in an old field.  We passed the moldering ruins of the train. The Enemy buried some of the cars and rubbish was still burning.   I think it was the longest train of cars I ever saw loaded with arms--ammunition medicine and provisions. We were formed in line of battle near the moldering ruins, remaining there about two hours awaiting orders.   Marched about 3 miles farther to “Bull Run”, heard cannonading – as though Sigel has found the Enemy and taken the bull with him.

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Marching – Fighting – “Bull Run”

 

August,                                               Friday 29,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot August like in every respect.  We commenced the march very early. General Stevens was on a great hung. (Editor's note: hungover?). We halted near “Centerville” while here John Young came along and we had a pleasant though short earful. We were correct in assuming there Sigel “before the bull”.  Cannonading was heard all day and we were hastening to the field of carnage in marching about 10 miles.  We arrived at the battle field and within five minutes after were formed in lines of battle supporting “Benjamin’s” Regular battery we were soon ordered to fire on the rebel ship sites who were advancing and in 15 minutes after our arrival on the field Companies A and F were ordered by Gen. Stevens to charge on the Rebels. We did so and drove them back.  This was the first charge I ever had a hand in and I hope it may be the last. In carrying out this order we run foul of a Rebel masked battery which opened at short range with grape and canister.  This was the hotter fire ever I was under. Here we lay between two fires.  Captain Templeton ordered us to go and hunt the Regt. and we did so in small squads but I did not find the Regt. as I had wanted – assisted in carrying Joseph Templeton. Clark McKeever Inc. Clements and me carried Joseph Templeton to the hospital a mile at least. He was wounded in the leg by a shell.  Saw a woman in the hottest of the fight with a child in her arms running to save her and her child's lives. She was scared out of her senses and knew not where she went.   Captain Templeton gave her good advice which she took.

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“Bull Run” – Second Battle

 

August,                                               Saturday 30,                                                    1862

 

Weather warm and pleasant cloudy perhaps oweing to the smoke of battle; Clark McKeever Inc. Clemens and one remained over night at the hospital where we carried Joseph Templeton.  We assisted to remove the injured.  I then cleaned my gun ready for action again and we then went in search of our Regiment at another hospital where we learned the sad and sorrowful news which pulled my heart in the Company with sorrow and mourning over the death of our beloved and highly esteemed Captain Wm. F. Templeton mortally wounded in last evenings engagement, died about 2 a.m. to day, thus a vacancy is made in the Co. which will never be filled. I never became acquainted with a stranger that treated me so brotherly and gentlemanly as did Capt. Templeton and a braver nobler Capt never drew a sword or led his men to battle.  A better example was never beheld by soldiers in an engagement than that of Captain William F. Templeton. I found several members of the Co. near the hospital and one preceded to join for Company “Roundheads” were ordered to support the 8th Mass. Battery which was hotly engaged all afternoon this battle commencing about 1 p.m. – threw grape and canister a portion of the time – shells flew around and in our midst quite past covered me with dust which was neither pleasant or agreeable but fortunately nothing of the “Roundheads or “Batterymen” were killed or wounded to my knowledge.  Once during the action we were ordered to charge to save the battery but it was a false alarm – the Enemy start a tremendous heavy and hot fire of artillery and infantry.  Gun batteries were hijacked in a henri-candle. One of the gunners of the 8th Mass. walked up to his place pulled off his coat and said “this is what you read about isn’t it boys” cooly readied his gun.   – This was the heaviest cannonading I ever witnessed and the grandest battle I ever beheld. The enemy being re-inforced we were overpressured. We held out 8 p.m. falling back slowly – Enemy advanced within a hundred yards. I chose a fence cover to fight in and found the Regt. had fell back and 3 fellows narrowly [?] escape [?] forever.

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Centerville, Va.

 

August,                                               Sunday 31,                                                      1862

 

“August went out like a Lion.” Weather very cloudy, wet and disagreeable all day long.    We lost our knapsacks and all our clothes save those on our backs in Friday’s engagement and last night I felt the need of a blanket very much almost freezing lying on the cold ground after being overheated by the excitement and march during yesterday.  I marched about a mile when I found the whereabouts of the “Roundheads” but did not join them as I felt very unwell – I went to a house on the roadside noon “Centerville” here I remained all day and night I fell miserable caring little whether “school kept or not” was thoroughly soaked with rain.  Quiet, wet, cold and chilly and I had nothing I may say to keep soul and body together. An Irish soldier gave me some ham (which the skippers claimed) yet I thought I never ate better or sweeter ham than this as I was nearly starved not eating a full meal of victuals since Thursday fighting and marching all the time since – Our Battery were feeling for the Enemy to do but no engagement was brought on.

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