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Chapter 10:

  • Northward movement of both armies
  • -- accessions from the Sixteenth New York -- Wolf Run Shoal Fairfax Station -- Bristow Station -- enter Maryland -- change of army commanders -- Sixth Corps at Manchester -- memorable march of the Sixth Corps to Gettysburg

The great highway from Falmouth to Alexandria leads through Stafford, C. H., across Aquia Creek to the ford at Wolf Run Shoal on the Occoquan. North of the Occoquan, a road leads northwesterly from the highway, to the Fairfax Station on the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, eighteen or twenty miles west of Alexandria. This was part of the route traversed in June, 1863, by the Sixth Corps, in its transfer from the vicinity of the Rappahannock to the subsequent theatre of military operations in Pennsylvania.

Our company supped and slept, on the night of the 14th of June, on the north bank of Agwam Creek, south of Aquia. The next morning we were astir betimes, and moving through the fog a good two hours before the sun appeared to scatter it. Notwithstanding that dress uniforms and extra blankets, shirts, and stockings, had been turned in, in April, many of the infantry seemed to consider their overcoats and more than one blanket for two men, encumbrances, for these articles were plentifully strewn along the way, this morning, and must have afforded a considerable prize to the dwellers on this route, even though some thrifty soldiers exchanged inferior garments or blankets for excellent ones that had been cast away.

Arriving at Aquia Creek, where this road crosses, we found, as we were about to ford the stream, that a foot bridge of rails had been thrown across, on the lower side of the wagon road through the creek; but this was only wide enough for the passage of two abreast, and while the bridge would be continually lined with men passing over, there was a considerable crowd waiting on the shore, the men being naturally reluctant to plunge into the cold water before sunrise, and to wear their wet pants, stockings, and

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