On his arrival within the Union lines, he writes, ‘I cannot describe our thankfulness and heart-swell’; and on reaching his regiment, ‘I cannot describe their welcome; God knows I should be proud to deserve it. I have never known greater happiness or thankfulness than to-night.’ Of his return to the regiment, another, an eyewitness, has given the following account:—
It was in the dusk of Monday evening, June 2d, just after evening parade, while officers and men were in or about their tents, many talking of the Major and his probable fate, that a stir was perceived among the officers. The lamented Captain Cary was heard to exclaim, “Good heavens, the Major!” as he rushed forwards; then the Major was seen running on foot towards the regiment. The officers ran to meet him. More than one lifted him in his arms. The men ran from their tents towards the limits of the camp. They could not be restrained: they broke camp and poured down upon the Major with the wildest enthusiasm.At this time our informant left the scene to telegraph to his family the news of his safety.
‘On my return to camp,’ he says, ‘the scene of noisy excitement was changed for one of profound calm. The regiment was drawn up around the Major, who was reading to them from a paper which he held in his hand. Not a face there but was wet with tears. He gave them the names of those of their comrades who were prisoners in Winchester. He told them who were wounded and the nature of their wounds. He told them of their dead, and of the burial upon which even the Rebels of Winchester had looked with respect. Then he said: “And now, do you want to know what the Rebels think of the Massachusetts Second? ‘Who was it ambuscaded us near Bartonsville?’ asked a cavalry officer of me. I replied, ‘That was the Massachusetts Second.’ An officer of Rebel infantry asked me, who it was that was at the Run near Bartonsville. ‘That was the Massachusetts Second,’ said I. ‘Whose,’ asked another officer, ‘was the battery so splendidly served, and the line of sharpshooters behind the stone wall, who picked off every officer of ours who showed himself?’ ‘That was the Massachusetts Second,’ said I. On the whole, the Rebels came to the conclusion that they had been fighting the Massachusetts Second, and that they did not care to do it again in the dark.” ’