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Chapter II

The defeat of McClellan before Richmond, and his retreat to Harrison's Landing so uncovered Washington to an advance of the Confederate army, that it became necessary to rush additional forces to the defense of the capital of the nation, and only a week was allowed for equipment and drill of the 121st at Camp Schuyler. On August 30th the regiment left camp under orders to proceed to Washington. The journey was made by railroad to Albany, by boat to New York, and by railroad through Philadelphia and Baltimore to Washington. The events of this journey are graphically told by members of the regiment. Colonel Beckwith's is the most explicit, and before quoting from his diary of this and future events, a sketch of his previous army experiences is almost a necessity. At the age of fifteen he went to Albany and enlisted in the 91st N. Y. Infantry, and with them went to Florida where he was unable to endure the climate, and was discharged for disability. Returning to his home in Utica, he so recovered his health that he determined to re-enlist, and after visiting several recruiting stations decided to enter the 121st. He was made a corporal in Company B. He has entitled the story of his war experiences, “Three Years with the Colors of a Fighting Regiment in the Army of the Potomac, by a Private Soldier.” Passing over the very interesting account of his previous experiences I quote from his journal, beginning at the departure from Camp Schuyler. “My life in camp at Camp Schuyler was thoroughly enjoyed by me and I never pass it now ”

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