and was next in order of promotion to the junior second lieutenancy.
The company, by means of two batches of recruits during the year last past, had now nearly the original complement.
The line of march of the several divisions of the left of the army, seems to have been chosen with reference to their subsequent position in the battle of the 13th of December,—the First Corps, whose badge was the circular disk, red
, and blue
, respectively, for its three divisions, marching at the extreme left, toward Belle Plain
and Potomac Creek
; the Sixth Corps, whose badge was the ‘Greek Cross,’ red
, and blue
for the First, Second, and Third Divisions, respectively, moving to the right and rear of the First Corps.
It must have been as late as the 18th of November when we reached Stafford
, C. H., northeast of Falmouth
, the divisions of the First Corps lying to the left and front, and both corps ranged before the base of supplies at the inlets of the Potomac
It was said that the pontoon trains that had been ordered from Washington
had not yet arrived.
At all events, there was now a delay of about three weeks after reaching Stafford
, C. H., before our command again broke camp; during which time there was a gathering of the Confederate
clans, far and near, on the south side of the Rappahannock
, and undoubtedly the heights behind the town were rendered impregnable.
In the vicinity of Stafford
, C. H., was an abundance of wood, much white oak, which makes a slow-burning, hot fire, and leaves a white ash. Our company and the First Maryland, which lay side by side, had their experience in working up for fuel more or less of this tough-fibred material.
It was amusing to see the variety of axes employed, that had been through various stages of use in a multiplicity of hands.
But the use of some of them that were unwedged, or improperly wedged, was a serious matter.
We observed one day one of our boys go down to the spring, which lay in the hollow between our camp and that of the First Maryland, both being upon rising ground sloping to the run. Two Maryland
boys were chopping, a couple of rods from the spring; just as the Massachusetts
man stooped to dip water, his head being on the plane of the brink of the spring, one of the axes came flying from the helve and fell upon the ground on the bank, just near enough to neatly clear the man's head.
Mingled fright and