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[188] them. At first the prisoners were coralled near the Monterey House. When the number had got to be large they were driven down the mountain toward Waterloo. A gang started off in this direction at about midnight — it was not prudent to wait until morning, for daylight might bring with it a retreating column of the enemy, and then all the prisoners would have been recaptured; finally, when near the Gettysburgh road crossing, a band of straggling rebels happened to fire into the head of the party from a spur of the mountain overlooking the road. Here was another panic, which alike affected guards and prisoners. The rain was falling in torrents, and the whole party, neither one knowing who this or the other was, rushed under the friendly shelter of a clump of trees. All of these prisoners might have, at that time, escaped. Hundreds did escape before daylight dawned.

It is impossible to tell the number of vehicles of all descriptions captured; the road was crowded with them for at least ten miles; there were ambulances filled with wounded officers and privates from the battle-field of Gettysburgh; ambulances containing Ewell's, Early's, and other officers' baggage; ambulances filled with delicacies stolen from stores in Pennsylvania; four and six mule and horse teams; some filled with barrels of molasses, others with flour, hams, meal, clothing, ladies' and childrens' shoes and underclothing — mainly obtained from the frightened inhabitants of York County and vicinity; wagons stolen from Uncle Sam with the “U. S.” still upon them; wagons stolen from Pennsylvania and loyal Maryland farmers; wagons and ambulances made for the confederate government, (a poor imitation of our own;) wagons from North-Carolina and wagons from Tennessee--a mongrel train — all stolen, or what is still worse-paid for in confederate notes, made payable six months after the recognition of the Southern Confederacy by the United States Government--or in other words — never. After daylight a lot of the wagons were parked and burnt at Ringgold; hundreds were burned in the road where captured. Our men filled their canteens with molasses and replenished their stock of clothing, sugar, salt, and bacon. Some very expensive confederate uniforms were captured; several gold watches and articles of jewelry were found. A few of the captured wagons (the best) were saved, and to the balance, with contents, the torch was applied. The road here is more like the bed of a rocky river, the dirt having been washed away by the heavy rains, left large boulders exposed; where there were no boulders, there was mud and water. Over this road the troopers dashed and splashed in the midnight darkness, yelling like demons. Is it to be wondered at that the confederate soldiers unanimously declare that they never will visit Pennsylvania again?

The Fifth New-York was pushed forward to Smithsburgh early on Sunday morning, but found only a small picket to interrupt their progress, and this ran away upon their approach. This town was held by the Fifth until the arrival of the main column, at a late hour in the day.

When the First Vermont, Lieutenant-Colonel Preston, had reached the Monterey House Saturday night, it was detached to aid in the main object of the expedition, by intercepting a portion of the rebel train which it was believed might possibly be in the advance. At the Mountain House, at about twelve o'clock midnight, Colonel Preston took the left-hand road, and moving in a south-westerly direction down the mountain, passed through Smithsburgh and Lightersburgh to Hagerstown, arriving there soon after daylight, without meeting with any team, and scarcely meeting an armed enemy. A drove of cattle and something like one hundred rebel soldiers, stragglers, were captured, and were brought into the main column Sunday night.

The head of the column, as I have said before, reached Ringgold at about daylight — the whole command, horses as well as men, tired, hungry, sleepy, wet, and covered with mud. Men and animals yielded to the demands of exhausted nature, and the column had not been at a halt many minutes before all fell asleep where they stood. Under the friendly protection of the dripping eaves of a chapel, a gay and gallant brigadier could have been seen enjoying in the mud one of those sound sleeps only obtained through fatigue, his long golden locks matted with the soil of Pennsylvania. Near him, in the mud, lay a dandyish adjutant, equally oblivious and unmindful of his toilet, upon which he generally bestows so much attention. Under a fence near at hand is reclining a well-got up major, whose stylish appearance and regular features have turned the heads of many fair damsels on Chestnut street; here a chaplain, there a trooper, a Commanding General, aids, orderlies, and servants, here for the nonce meet on a level. The faithful trooper lies by his horse, between whom there seems to exist an indescribable community of feeling. Two hours are thus passed in sleep — the provost-guard only on duty — when word is passed that “the column has all closed up,” which is the signal to move on again. The indefatigable Estes shakes himself and proceeds to shake the Commanding General to let him know that the object for which the halt was made had been accomplished; that it is time to move. Five minutes more all are in the saddle again and marching for Smithsburgh. A body of armed men, mailed in mud! what a picture. Smithsburgh was reached by nine o'clock A. M. The reception met with there made all forget the trials of the night — made them forget even their fatigue. It was Sunday. The sun shone forth brightly; young misses lined the street-sides singing patriotic songs; the General was showered with flowers, and the General and troops were cheered until reechoed by the mountain sides; young ladies and matrons assailed the column with words of welcome and large plates heaped up with pyramids of white bread spread with jelly and butter, inviting all to partake. While the young sang; the old shed tears and wrung

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