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[263]

Chapter 33: the advance to Culpepper and Bealton.

The Nineteenth regiment left Morrisville on September 12th with the Second Corps, which marched in support of Buford's cavalry in the advance to Culpepper.
1‘September 12, 1863. The day is very sultry and hot. Can just breathe. Many are falling out. A number have fainted and fallen in their tracks. The mules are falling dead along the line of march. In the afternoon a heavy thunderstorm came up, drenching us to the skin, which greatly refreshed us. Camped at night in the woods. Heavy showers all night, making it very uncomfortable for us, but we must take it as it comes.’

This march was not long or rapid, but it was, perhaps, the most distressful ever made by the Second Corps. In the shade of large trees the temperature rose in the forenoon to 106 degrees. The sun beat upon the troops with terrible power and during the march of eight miles not less than one-third of the command fell by the way-side, overpowered by the extreme heat. The shower, however, proved a blessing to all, and the march was continued to Bealton Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, a point which few would have reached but for that refreshing shower.

The command halted at Bealton Station for the night and all but a few of the stragglers, restored by the same cool shower, rejoined it. Here it was learned that Chamberlain, with the Maine Brigade, had, at noon, by a most gallant charge, carried Lee's works at Rappahannock Station and now held the line of the river.

On the following day, Sept. 13, the corps crossed the north fork of the Rappahannock at Kelley's Ford on a pontoon bridge

1 This and other similar quotations which follow are extracts from a diary written by Lieut. Joseph E. Hodgkins, of Co. K.

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