's corps marched to Chain Bridge by the Flint Hill
and the Vienna
Without time even to make coffee, the Nineteenth Massachusetts was ordered out and deployed as skirmishers to the right of the town, as it was expected that the rebel cavalry would attack the flank.
They remained there until the entire army had passed.
Then the Nineteenth Massachusetts and the First Minnesota regiments were selected as the rear guard for Porter
's and Sumner
's Corps and were placed under the command of Gen. Oliver O. Howard
. Col. Hinks
, who was in command of the rest of Dana
's Brigade, was chosen with his command as the rear guard of the other column.
The two regiments started at five o'clock in the afternoon to bring up the rear of their column.
There were a number of ambulances and wagons on the road with a squadron of cavalry in their rear.
The regiments had been instructed to follow the column just inside the woods and the Nineteenth was just entering them when a shell came whistling over their heads.
The horses in the wagons ahead were frightened and attempted to run. The cavalry horses took the cue and in an instant the mounted force started.
Their officers, however, were cool and prevented a panic among the ambulances.
As it was, these started off as though bound for Washington
with sealed despatches, but were soon stopped.
The shell fire was continued and the regiment had to march several times its length directly in the line of fire, but the men moved as steadily as if on dress parade.
The officers suffered most, as their darkey servants could not stand the noise of the shells and, heavily laden as they were, with knapsacks, blankets, etc., could not easily run, so they unloaded as fast as possible and the field was strewn with articles, while the darkies hastened to the woods.
Once sheltered, the regiment waited a few minutes for the trains to move off and then followed at a fair pace.
Lieut. Col. Devereux
had received a shell wound on the left knee, but kept to the saddle.
Fortunately no men were lost, although several were hit and Gen. Howard
mentioned in his report that ‘the coolness and perfect quietness and absence of any hurry or confusion was most gratifying to see.’
As the enemy's cavalry continued their pursuit, the two