command of the regiment, much against his will; ‘the Lieutenant-Colonel, together with the Adjutant, having been taken prisoner while eating dinner across the river at White Sulphur Springs.’ After leaving camp on August 22d, he was in command about half the time; and he remained in command till he fell. November 15th, Saturday, he was, for the first time, under fire; and says, November 16th:—
I don't think I either showed or felt the least fear. The Rebels shelled us; and I had to march my regiment back under the fire of our battery over our heads, and of the Rebels from a hill opposite directly into us. A fragment of shell (so the men said, I thought it was dirt) struck the road, and bounced right over my cap, about two feet above my head; and shot and shell struck and whizzed about in all directions. The Lieutenant of the battery was killed, and an artilleryman had his arm torn to pieces, besides wounded men in other regiments than ours. We had one man badly wounded in the leg. I was reading your letter during the shelling, while my regiment was lying under cover, and when that bit of dirt or iron, I don't know which, bounced over my head. . . . . Home-matters are what I care for in home-letters; they are indescribably pleasant.At length the army reached the front of Fredericksburg. On November 24th he writes:—
We have marched south along the base of the Blue Ridge; then turned to the left, and marched here. We have been on the move for three weeks and two days quite steadily. We left Pleasant Valley; marched along the Potomac to Berlin; crossed, camped; then south through Lovettsville, &c., to Amesville, Jefferson, White Sulphur Springs, Fayetteville, Warrenton Junction; then straight here,—to wit, a mile from Falmouth, and near Fredericksburg. We have zigzagged over the country (particularly in our marches near the Blue Ridge) beyond all description; but now we are promised a two days halt. ... I wish you, dear——, the pleasantest Thanksgiving you have ever had. I shall, God willing, remember you all most lovingly on that day; and I know you will not forget me. . . . . Burnside means to push for Richmond; in what way, I am sure I can't tell or conjecture: but we shall have some very hard fighting, I expect, within the next four weeks.