This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 On this march particulary, when the troops had no change of clean clothes for weeks, the soldiers were literally infested with them, many used to place their under raiment, during the night, in the bottom of some stream and put a large stone to keep them down; in the morning they would hastily dry them and get a temporary relief. Every evening in Maryland, when the army halted and bivouaced for the night, hundreds of the soldiers could be seen, sitting on the roads or fields, half denuded with their clothes in their laps busily cracking, between the two thumb-nails, these creeping nuisances — a hundred full-fledged fathers of families was not considered an unusual number in one haul. To have a daily examination and execution was a habit just as regularly and naturally indulged in as washing our face and hands. In our march along the turnpike, there was not left a ear of corn, or a green apple, in the bordering fields; the soldiery made a specialty of cooking these vegetables, eating them raw, roasted, boiled, and all mixed in a kind of soup, filling themselves full, but still longing for the meat and bread diet. The actions of the citizens of Hagerstown showed in vivid contrast to Frederick City, for not only were the men and women out-spoken in their sympathy for the Southern cause, but they threw wide open their hospitable doors and filled their houses with the soldiers, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked, as well as their limited means allowed. I saw a citizen in that place absolutely take the shoes off of his feet, in the streets, and give them to a limping bare-footed soldier. On the morrow, instead of advancing northward the order came to right about face, and march back on the same road we advanced up the evening before; back the brigade retraced its steps, and about 4 o'clock that evening, on the 14th, took position in a corn-field on a sloping hill. A savage attack came from the enemy on our left to break the line, but was repulsed; the musketry firing and cannonading was for a short time very severe; no determined infantry charge was made upon our brigade, though several Yankee batteries shelled the line, and a feeble attack made, which was easily checked, for the regiment was in place behind a fence. The Seventeenth only lost about half a dozen wounded. That night, or rather at early dawn of the 15th, the brigade marched towards Sharpsburg; the men had not a mouthful to eat, and squads from the different companies obtained permission to forage for them-selves and comrades. I was on one of these details; leaving the road and striking across the fields, we entered into a yard in the centre of which stood a fine brick mansion; we knocked at the door — there was
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.