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[108] which was the first to discover the approach of the enemy, and then fell back skirmishing. Colonel Peabody's brigade was one of the few which were in line when the attack came on; he rode to the front, in order to encourage his men, and fell in fifteen minutes, receiving five wounds,—in the head, thigh, neck and body. His brigade retreated in good order, and his own regiment numbered six hundred on the day after the battle, which could not have occurred had not its colonel taken better care of his men than of himself.1

The history of the Shenandoah Valley campaigns really begins in 1862, when Jackson ‘defeated Fremont at Cross Keys, captured the garrison at Front Royal, drove Banks across the Potomac, and, by alarming Washington, broke up the impending junction of McDowell and McClellan and the threatened capture of Richmond.’2 The part taken by Massachusetts troops in these proceedings was fortunately not large, and fell chiefly on the 2d Mass. Infantry, which formed the rear guard during a large part of Banks's retreat, marched fifty-six miles in thirty-three hours, lost many killed and nearly a hundred prisoners, including its major, surgeon and assistant surgeon. Col. Geo. H. Gordon, its commander, won his promotion to a brigadier-generalship by his distinguished services on this retreat. At Front Royal and Winchester (May 23-25) the regiment lost some 16 killed and mortally wounded.

In the overwhelming defeat of General Sigel at Newmarket, Va., May 15, 1864, the 34th Infantry was the only Massachusetts regiment involved, and it did its best to sustain the artillery by which it was posted, one company being deployed as skirmishers on the river bank.3 It made one remarkable charge with such energy that, on the order to retreat being given, Col. G. D. Wells, then in command, was compelled to take the standard bearer by the shoulders and force him to the rear. It afterwards held back the retreat while the whole line was giving way. Taking into action about 500 men, it lost about half of them in killed (32), wounded and prisoners, Lieut.-Col. W. S. Lincoln being among the latter. Colonel Wells was also wounded, but remained on the field.

In the early and at last ineffectual campaign of General Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley, the hard-worked 34th Mass. Infantry had a hand in a

1 See memoir in Harvard Memorial Biographies, I, 176.

2 Pond's Shenandoah Valley in 1864 (Campaigns of the Civil War), p. 3.

3 Pond, p. 19.

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