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John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 5: battles at Peach Orchard, Glendale and Malvern Hill. (search)
r. What for? said the colonel. I do not know, was the reply; it is orders from General McClellan to General Dana. Give my compliments to General Dana and say that we did our cheering in front of the line yesterday. Soon we were ordered to pack up and leave everything not absolutely necessary to carry. We were ordered into line and remained under arms all night. The next morning we found the retreat had begun, and, before we had recovered from our surprise, were ordered in to support Tompkins's Rhode Island battery, and the enemy was soon upon us. At the headquarters of the commissary department all was confusion. A pile of hard-tack as large as Faneuil Hall was set on fire. Heads of commissary whiskey barrels were knocked in and the whiskey ran in streams. This was also set on fire and men were burned as they tried to drink it. Blankets, clothing, stores of all kinds were destroyed, and one would think as an army we were going out of business, but such was not the case, a
John G. B. Adams, Reminiscences of the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, Chapter 6: battles of Fairfax Court house, Flint Hill and Antietam. (search)
d in, and deployed as skirmishers to the right of the town, as it was expected the rebel cavalry would attack the flank. We remained in this position until the army had passed, when, with the 1st Minnesota, we were selected to cover the retreat. The rebel cavalry came down on us, and we had some sharp fighting as we fell back. At Flint Hill we made a stand. Night had come on and we did not care to be bothered with the rebels any longer. The 1st Minnesota formed a V with two sections of Tompkins's Rhode Island battery at this point, the 19th supporting the battery. On came the rebels, right into the trap we had set. The Minnesota boys opened fire, followed by the battery. The 19th charged with a yell; the rout was complete, as all not killed or wounded turned and fled. We had no time to follow them, as we were quite a distance from the main army. When we rejoined the column our two regiments were mistaken for the enemy, and fired upon by our own ranks. Assistant-Surgeon Hill