Chapter 3: battles of ball's Bluff and Edward's Ferry.--experiences at Darnestown and Rockville.
In a few weeks we broke camp and took up our line of march to the front.
Our destination was the Potomac
, near Poolsville.
It was our first march and to us “tender feets” a hard one.
The older men of the company laughed at us boys, said we would never be able to march that distance, but before night we left those who had laughed by the roadside.
(I think our experience, that the boys fresh from school or from indoor life were able to endure more than men of mature years, was general.) Just before we arrived at Rockville, Md.
, we received ten rounds of ball cartridges and the command was given, “Load at will!
I shall never forget the sensation I experienced as my ramrod forced home the first ball.
We were told that at Rockville
a strong secession sentiment existed, and I expected to kill a rebel or be a dead Yankee before night.
We marched through the town and found it as quiet as a New England
The second night of our march we arrived at Poolsville.
Here we met the 15th Massachusetts, and Company A of the 19th was entertained by Company A of the 15th.
Next morning we marched to Camp Benton, which was to be our home for several months.
We were brigaded with the 20th Massachusetts, 7th Michigan, 42d New York (Tammany regiment), Captain