Near Antietam Furnace, Md.

 

October,                                              Wednesday 1,                                                 1862

 

“October came in like a Lion”.   Weather rather pleasant in the forenoon though very cloudy in the afternoon.   I was put on “double duty” (for missing roll call) policing camp, digging a hole for offalls carrying wood. . Inc. Stevenson was put on picket – I went down by the mill and washed my body changed clothing.  I was idle all the remainder of the day in Camp.  I learned that Daniel Hall and Moses M. Bell were arrested and taken to “Harper’s Ferry”, put at hard labor fortifying the heights thereabouts.   Heard cannonading west and south of us.   Dick Barly visited me in the evening and we both attended Prayer meeting.  We had an interesting and social chat together.

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Encamped near Antietam Furnace Md.

 

October,                                              Thursday 2,                                                     1862

 

Weather very cloudy with very heavy fog in the morning and forenoon--drizzling rain in the forenoon.  But the rain passed over and the afternoon was pleasant. I was idle all day had no duty whatsoever to perform. I was engaged in the afternoon cleaning my gun, very rusty as I have not give it a cleaning since I left S. C.   I did not finish my gun.  Baltimore dailies stated that the C. S. A. were suing for peace stating the terms into days issue.  This news created quite a sensation among the troop though I for one doubt the truth of the statements.   Dress Parade at the usual time.   Prayer Meeting at the usual time.  I attended Chaplain Brown made some very appropriate remarks.

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Encamped near Antietam Furnace, Md.

 

October,                                              Friday 3,                                                          1862

 

We had a very heavy fog in the morning but after the fog disappeared it was intensely warm for this season of the year. We arose early and were assembled for the reading of orders forbidding pillaging.  Were again assembled at 7 a.m. and marched to a suitable place to be reviewed by the President A. Lincoln and the commanding Generals. President looks very much the worse of the war. He came over a year and a half earlier.  He was accompanied by Generals McClellan Burnside and all the leading Generals. We presented arms and gave him three hearty cheers. We returned to Camp about 11 a.m..  Working at my gun in the afternoon.   Dress Parade--same orders were read.  Prayer Meeting as usual.

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Encamped near Antietam Furnace

 

October,                                              Saturday 4,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot for this season of the year.  I think I never saw such beautiful October weather.  I was idle today.  I took a stroll down to the mill-a portion of the time working at my gun.   Quite a heavy rain shower passed over Camp and the air was quite cool afterwards. During the night a flock of wild geese passed over Camp-- someone shot at them.  Dress Parade. There was no Prayer Meeting oweing to the rain shower that fell in the evening.

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Encamped near Antietam Furnace   

 

October,                                              Sunday 5,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot for this season of the year--delightful weather.  We were idle all day, consequently we were very lazy knowing not how to pass the time Wm. H. Lewis – John Stevenson and I took a stroll down along the beautiful Potomac. We found some excellent water and saw plenty of PawPaws in our travels.  Chaplain Brown had preaching today and also Prayer Meeting at 7 p.m.

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Encamped near Antietam Furnace Md.

 

October,                                              Monday 6,                                                       1862

 

Weather clear in the morning and forenoon, warm and pleasant though it became gradually cooler until night when the wind was very raw and cold reminding one of October weather in the North.  All our mess was on duty today.   Lewis was on picket. Inc. Stevenson and me on Camp Guard I was the supremacy – Countersign “Newport” yet I was arrested for the first time in my life for talking and setting my gun on the ground while on duty.  I sent for a canteen of water and set my gun on the ground a moment while putting on my canteen – was talking to Lieut. Montford in relation to clothes I wanted.  The 45th Lieutenant was commanding the guards. I tried to explain but he would not hear. I remained several (3) hours under arrest long enough to miss my dinner. Lieut. Montford said had he known it he would have refused me mighty soon. Col. Welsh showed two members of the Roundheads orders for cooked rations to move early to morrow.

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Marching

 

October,                                              Tuesday 7,                                                       1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot for this season of the year I never experienced such hot weather in October. We struck tents and were on the march very early in the morning; the guards were not relieved.  I felt our army loathsome, alot of guarding the prisoners some of the “Roundheads” are marching in the rear of the Regt. We took the shortest route over two ranges of mountains. The Rebels during their invasion of Maryland had obstructed the road and our marching was very slow as our prisoners were obliged to open the road. We marched some 6 or 8 miles and encamped in Pleasant Valley, Md. Near the B. & C. R. R. about three miles from Harper’s Ferry. We were not relieved off guard until night.

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Pleasant Valley Md.

 

October,                                              Wednesday 8,                                                 1862

 

Weather clear and warm and delightful for this season of the year – This was a beautiful place to camp we had a splendid view of the heights.   Col. Miles surrendered without an attempt at defense to the Rebels. I never saw a place of such natural strength in all my life and we called it the Gibraltar of America. I propose visiting the fortifications and we leave this if it is not too much trouble to obtain a pass.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Thursday 9,                                                     1862

 

Weather was pleasant delightful all the time.   We sojourned in Pleasant Valley, in fact the warmest and most delightful October weather I ever experienced.  While in Pleasant Valley we had nothing to do-- idle all the time remitting from our severe summer campaigns, three of which we passed through by James Island, S. C. – Virginia or Maryland. Gen. Popes “Bull Run” and Gen. McClellan’s Maryland campaign and preparing for another campaign. The army needed rest, clothes and reinforcements. (The remainder of my history of our sojourn in P. V. is another from memory also our winter campaign save the most important facts – my journal was filled on 8th October 1862 consequently I have hereafter during the year to depend on my Mesnay?)

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Friday 10,                                                        1862

 

Weather to the best of my recollection clear warm and pleasant. We was idle nothing to do consequently done nothing. We spent the time while in the valley visiting “Weaverton Mills” the renowned Potomac River and along over the Mountains (at the part of which we were encamped) in search of grapes and Pa-pans and last but not least to take a birds eye view of the historic river and valley beneath, to say nothing of the Creation of “Harper’s Ferry” in the distance.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Saturday 11,                                                    1862

 

Weather pleasant to the best of my recollection the most delightful October weather I ever experienced.   I paid all the debts I owed my correspondents while in the bakery at least as far as I could, as I was unfortunate enough at “Bull Run” to lose my knapsack with ale,  the centers valued at about 25$. This is the first time I have had an opportunity to write letters since we left “Fredericksburg” Va. (We received orders and left our camp in the valley in great haste – marching to the R. R. we took the cars arming at the Frederick City depot. Some time during the night we marched to the city and bivouacked on the streets – See History Oct. 18th). Our Brigade was sent after Rebel Gen. Stewart See History October 18th.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Sunday 12,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and pleasant to the best of my recollection.  I was not in good health during our sojourn in the valley as I suffered the whole time that weakening disease which accompanied me through all my travels in the Army “sticking closer than a brother” --Diarrhea, and on to aggravate my disease we have misty morning.   Crackers alive with creepers--such was our bread during our whole sojourn in the valley.   Many of the troop were shoe less-- such was General McClellan’s care for the welfare of the Army. He was never interested enough in our welfare to see whether we had anything to eat or wear.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Monday 13,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear warm and pleasant to the best of my recollection – The fall fruits were ripening and we spent the time in search of them or roaming over the mountain on along the beautiful River – Pawpaw were plenty.   The Pawpaws is highly valued in the South.. It is decidedly the richest fruit I ever saw. Though I don’t relish them much as they are entirely too sweet--a sickening sweet to me reminding me more of ripe figs than any thing I ever ate. Any one who likes Pawpaws will like ripe figs. But as for me I prefer the fig in its sugared or preserved state as we folks in the North are accustomed to eating it.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Tuesday 14,                                                     1862

 

Weather warm and pleasant beautiful October weather during our stop in the valley our camp is opposite the “Gibraltar” of America may I say one thing certain in all my travels I have seen no place that in my humble opinion could be so easily defended. I refer to the heights that Col. Miles (the traitor) surrendered with 12,000 men to the Enemy but fortunately he never surrendered another stronghold. Had he been a loyal officer he could have held his position against the combined army of Lee and Jackson.  I never saw a position I would have liked so much to defend (provided we had plenty of provisions) as the heights Col. Miles surrendered.  (Editor's Note:  Col. Dixon Miles, USA).

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Wednesday 15,                                               1862

 

 

Weather warm and delightful to the best of my recollection – chestnuts, pawpaws, grapes, and persimmons, were ripe or ripening so we feasted on fruits.  I ate my first persimmon in the Valley.  I like them very much and I found they were better for my diarrhea than all the medicine.  In fact they never failed to give me ready relief though they were not yet ripe enough to eat while we remained in the valley, save a precious fern. Consequently, I suffered much diarrhea all the time while we remained in the valley before I discovered this remedy.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Thursday 16,                                                   1862

 

Weather clear warm and pleasant to the best of my recollection – we were idle as usual with the exception of a little guard duty to please Col. Welsh of 45th P.V. who commanded the Brigade in Col. Leasure's absence.   I was suffering of diarrhea while in the valley in fact almost during my whole stay in the U. S. A.   My old and highly esteemed friend Walter Robertson while in the Valley his stay was short though a happy one to me this is the first time we ever met in the Army.  He is in the signal camp at McClellan’s headquarters and Mac is quite a favorite with him .   However, this was not astonishing to me knowing him as I do but since the Battle of Antietam I have no passion for “Macs” Generals trip.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Friday 17,                                                        1862

 

Weather warm and pleasant to the best of my recollection. I was suffering from my Army disease (diarrhea), came of climate water for it is the cause. I like Maryland better than any slave state I have yet seen. Roundheads say Maryland produces the prettiest ladies they ever saw.   They are better cooks and lovers than any Southerners I have seen.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Saturday 18,                                                    1862

 

Weather clear warm and delightful to the best of my recollection – we had easy time during our sojourn in the valley as gun duties were very light-- little or nothing to do.   We only drilled once during our stay as Col. Leckey would not drill us saying the Roundheads were drilled enough, did not need any more drilling.   All other Regiments were kept drilling more or less when they should have been resting and recruiting for the visited campaign especially the old troops who have seen so much hard service during the summer.   About dark we marched to the B and C. R. R. and took the cars for Frederick City – We left cars in a great hurry.

This history as it transpired commence Saturday Oct. 11th I wrote from memory and knew it was a Saturday 18 Saturday while in the valley.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Sunday 19,                                                      1862

 

Weather cloudy and rather cold if I recollect right.  We arrived at the depot in Frederick City sometime during the night marching to the City.   We bivouacked in the pavements or streets during the remainder of the night. The 36th Mass. Regt. accompanied us.   They were new troop and complained bitterly at the citizens for not throwing open their doors and them in their houses.  At day break we loaded our pieces and formed on the turn pike (national road) to meet the  Enemy but he did not come. So we marched out the pike about a mile and bivouacked in a field.  Here we remained several hours when we marched back through the city.  Taking a position at the other end of the city we heard cannonading at a distance – remained here until nearly dark when we marched down to the bridge (Roul Redd bridge if I remember correctly).  Here the Roundheads took a position in the rear of a Battery to support the some and protect the Bridge.  Here we bivouacked for the night and I believe it rained in tents the whole night without intermission . Who wouldn’t be a soldier without shelter?

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Monday 20,                                                     1862

 

Weather cloudy and cool oweing to the rain – We remained all day at t he position we took last night to protect the bridges there was large trains of cars here loaded with Government stores and the boys fared well on sugar, though I was too late to get any save about a pound.  At night we was relieved by some other troop and we marched down to the R. R. awaiting some time we got aboard the cars and when we stopped we found ourselves at “Point of Rocks”.  Here we crossed the Canal, though the Pickets of the 36th Mass. did not want to let us cross and were going to shoot because we would not give them the countersign. We marched along the Canal about 3 miles to a ford in the river here we bivouacked for the night to protect the same. I was very weary and had almost made up my mind to drop out of ranks for the night.  (Editor's Note: Canal is "the Potomac River")

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Pleasant Valley, Md. Near Point of Rock guarding a ford on the Potomac

 

October,                                              Tuesday 21,                                                     1862

 

Weather cloudy and clear alternately if I recollect right – We found ourselves in the morning stationed here to guard a ford in the Potomac about 3 miles distant from “Point of Rock”. In the evening the Regt. was divided-- Col Leckey taking the left half to another ford up the River farther, Lieutenant Jas. Montford of Co. A. was left in command of the right half of the Regt. – We found quite a number of partially destroyed letters, envelopes and stamps, all of Confederate Manufacture-- abundant evidence that the Enemy had been here a short time previous.   I was roaming about in search of apples or Pawpaws.

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Pleasant Valley, Md. guarding ford - Marching

 

October,                                              Wednesday 22,                                               1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately if I am not mistaken – we remained here the greater part of the day watching the ford – when the Colonel brought back the left wing of the Regt. and we started back to our Camp at P. V.  We marched to “Point of Rocks” and took dinner after which we took the troop of the Canal bound for the Valley but Col. Welsh (who hated the Roundheads) desired to improvise over them when he had the power. Being Brigade commander he found innumerable faults and objections with our mode of marching (Roundheads were in the front).  Col. Leckey got angry and would march away from the 45th and leave them to get along as best they could.  So we let out almost at a double quick and continued at this gate until we reached P. V. learning the 45 P.V. (Col. Welsh’s Regiment) some 2, 3, or more hours behind.  Col. Welsh ordered Col. Leckey to stop the Regiment whenever a man wanted to attend nature’s call .  Leckey did it once as a burlesque telling us that it was Welsh’s orders – Cool of Co. K

N. B. This history of the wild goose chase should have been written one week sooner but I wrote entirely from memory and got it a week too late.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Thursday 23,                                                   1862

 

 

Weather warm and pleasant to the best of my recollection.  Yesterdays march was one of not the hardest march I ever made.   I am not positive that we left our Camp at P. V. on the night of the 18th but it was a Saturday night while in the valley so I put it on 18 as it will not make any material difference I suppose.  But the reader will ask what meaneth this “wild goose chase”?  I will tell you I presume you remember when the Rebel Gen. Stewart made his Cavalry raid into “Chambersburg” Pa. So Gen. McClellan sent our Brigade of Infantry troop, Infantry after Cavalry!! Who ever heard of such generalship. We were sent out to ? for Captain Stewart’s Cavalry Routines.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

 

October,                                              Friday 24,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and warm and pleasant to the best of my recollection. We were idle today discussing our “Wild Goose Chase” after the Rebel Cavalry.  I was on guard once during our stay in the valley.  Gen. A. E. Burnside visited us once accompanied by a single orderly. He asked us whether we had enough to eat and how we were clothed.  We told him and showed him our mince pies, crackers full of worms and all musty.  At that he said he would see that we had good grub and were properly clothed. After General Burnside’s visit to our Camp we fared very well could not complain as we got no more of McClellan’s “White House” crackers.  – By the way Burnside was the first General ever to visit our Camp to see whether we were fed or clothed.

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Pleasant Valley, Md.

October,                                              Saturday 25,                                                    1862

 

Weather cloudy and rather cool reminding me that winter was approaching I went to a stream near by and washed my body thoroughly putting on some new clothes thus preparing for our next campaign as we have marching orders.   Really I am not physically fit to go with the Regiment but I could not bear the name of staying behind “Playing Off”.  I had the diarrhea and a very sore foot which I fear will disable me from marching. But go I will or die in the attempt – I drew a pair of “Army coat boots” in order to give my feet room to play freely.

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Pleasant Valley, Md. Marching

 

October,                                              Sunday 26,                                                      1862

 

Weather cloudy and cool being a winter appearance.    We broke up camp early in the morning and commenced our guard.  Commence march to Richmond (Col. Leasure commanding Brigade-- Roundheads in front).  We marched down to “Weaverton Mill") and there down the river about two miles to a small village where the peens of an old bridge were standing in the River,  a pontoon bridge spanned the Potomac and after several hours waiting we crossed without meeting any opposition. It commenced raining about 10 a.m. and continued all day and night. We marched several miles on the Virginia side, encamping near “Lovettsville” a more disagreeable night I ever saw or experienced. My diarrhea was very bad and I was obliged to get up no less than 5 times during the night and go out in the rain hail and storm lost my silver pen holder and gold pen valued at $500.

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Camped near “Lovettsville” Virginia

 

October,                                              Monday 27,                                                     1862

 

Weather cloudy and very unpleasant in the morning though every night it bid fare to insure us a season of pleasant weather – favorable to military movements.  We remained in Camp near the village of “Lovettsville” Va. I was very sick suffering severely of diarrhea-- my disease compelled me to remain close to camp. I fear if I don’t get something to relieve me soon I shall not be able to retain my place in my Regiment long but be left by the way side in the hospital and fall into the hands of the Enemy.  We had nothing to do today but thaw and dry ourselves from yesterdays and last nights rain and select troop complaining bitterly of the hardships they were enduring while these at here were complaining of military march and arguing on to “Richmond”.

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Encamped near “Lovettsville” Va.

 

October,                                              Tuesday 28,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately to the best of my recollection – Quite a number of troops passed our camp moving to the front doubtly had just crossed the river today – Col. Leckey and some other officers were invited to dine with an old Farmer (Planter southern style) who lived near camp and supplied us with straw or beds the night we came which we considered quite a luxury.    My diarrhea was no better and I considered to report to the Surgeon as the last resort though I have tried medicine so often I am loathe to do it. I reported to Dr. Luddington who examined me and reprimanded me severely for not reporting yesterday or sooner. He presented me the medicine and I returned to camp.

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Marching (I think)

 

October,                                              Wednesday 29,                                               1862

 

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately fine weather for military movements to the best of my recollection. We struck tents about noon and commenced a march .  I felt much better today never took medicine that had such a powerful effect relieving me so suddenly.   I felt like a new or entirely different man to day.   We marched through “Lovettsville”, saw several females who came out of their houses on the highway to see us. We passed quite a number of troops in camp after passing the village. The county we passed through today bore no appearance of war. No mark of devastation was visible. We were cheered on our march today by ladies on our route. Marched through “Waterford” about 8 or 9 p.m. and encamped in the suburbs.

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Waterford, Va.

 

October,                                              Thursday 30,                                                   1862

 

Weather clear and pleasant for this season of the year. We passed through and are now encamped in the richest or best portion of Virginia in my opinion. We have yet seen in our travels grain and fruits-- apples are plenty reminding me of home.   No army has ever visited the portion of the state or if so have left no mark of destruction or devastation. This town (Waterford) is called a Quaker town and settlement and the village raised a Company (Cavalry) for the Federal Army who had done good since they accompanied (or rather took the advance) of our Army to their homes. I was very weary and hungry last night when we stopped. I felt partly well to day – think the medicine Dr. Luddington gave me has almost if not altogether cured me – We moved our camp today-- dug sinks and for a stay.

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“Waterford” Va.

 

October,                                              Friday 31,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and pleasant to the best of my recollection – We remained in camp to day completely idle. Captain Pentecost returned last night had been home on a sick leave did not shake hands with me scarcely spoke. (however there is no bore list).  I went out early in search of apples, got a lot at an orchard near camp returned with what I had. I had fine chance to captive several large turkeys but I could not stretch my conscience long enough.    Quite a number of the ladies of Waterford visited the troop accompanied with soldiers by the way. Females are quite numerous and not lonely in Waterford.   We were mustered for pay today--this was the first time ever I was mustered though the Regulations require a muster every two months.  Dress Parade – “Bo” sleeking brought the fattest and largest turkey to Camp I ever saw.

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