ll was put in command of a new Provisional Brigade, and was ordered to report to General Hunter, then at the head of the Army of the Shenandoah.
This brigade, which numbered nineteen hundred men, contained, besides the Second Massachusetts, representatives of every cavalry regiment in the service; and Lowell never gave a more signal proof of his wonderful administrative power than when he brought this heterogeneous collection of men in a few days into a state of organic unity.
On the 6th of August General Sheridan took command of the Army of the Shenandoah, which, on the 10th, moved up the valley from Harper's Ferry, the Provisional Brigade taking the outside position.
The next day Lowell overtook the rearguard of the enemy, and, after a sharp skirmish, drove it pell-mell through Winchester.
On the 16th, Sheridan began to retire down the valley, the cavalry protecting his rear; and for two weeks from this date Lowell's brigade was fighting every day. On the 21st, the army was ag
sty, filthy place of thirty acres, containing thirty thousand men; no filth removed; dead men carried out at all hours.
After marching over the place, White and myself, with two others, found a place to pitch a tent; most of the boys have no shelter at all; drew some corn-bread and rotten bacon.
August 4.—Not very well to-day; the trip on the cars disagreed with me. Weather hot and dry. The guard shot a man to-day for crossing the dead-line.
August 5.—A shower, and very hot.
August 6.—Not well to-day; took a good bath in the creek; got some coarse bread and little meat; no appetite; very warm night.
August7.—Had a good night's sleep, notwithstanding the weather; took a bath and washed my shirt and drawers, the only ones I have.
Pants well worn.
Sent a letter home.
Another man shot near the dead-line.
August 9.—About noon rained very hard, washed down part of the stockade, and wet us all. No rations.
August 10.—Drew half rations bread and boiled b
iving a very heavy fire from behind at every cross-street and out of the houses.
The Rebels kept up a sharp pursuit for about three miles, and it seemed impossible that we should get off. We arrived at Martinsburg at three, a distance of twenty-five miles, and got here at nine in the evening, having marched sixty miles in two days, without one mouthful to eat, or a bit of sleep.
In July the Second Regiment became a part of the forces under the command of Major-General Pope, and on August 6th moved forward on the disastrous campaign which was directed by that general.
On the day before the battle of Cedar Mountain Lieutenant Robeson wrote as follows, from the Camp near Culpeper, of the discomforts from which his men suffered on this march:—
We have been having two days very hard marching, not so much on account of the length of the marches as the heat, which has been tremendous.
It makes the marches very disagreeable, for you have literally to drive the men along, often