Doc. 20.-the battles of Gettysburgh.
Cincinnati Gazette account.1
After the invaders.
I. Getting a good ready.
Washington, June 29, 1863.“would like you (if you feel able) to equip yourself with horse and outfit, put substitutes in your place in the office, and join Hooker's army in time for the fighting.” It was a despatch, Sunday evening, from the manager, kindly alluding to a temporary debility that grew out of too much leisure on a recent visit west. Of course I felt able, or knew I should by to-morrow. But, alas! it was Hooker's army no longer. Washington was all a-buzz with the removal. A few idol-worshippers hissed their exultation at the constructive disgrace; but for the most part, there was astonishment at the unprecedented act and indignation at the one cause to which all attributed it. Any reader who chanced to remember a few paragraphs in a recent number of the Gazette, alluding to the real responsibility for the invasion, must have known at once that the cause was — Halleck. How the cause worked, how they quarrelled about holding Harper's Ferry, how Hooker was relieved in consequence, and how, within an hour afterward, Halleck stultified himself by telling Hooker's successor to do as he pleased concerning this very point, all this will be in print long before this letter can get west. For once, Washington forgot its blase air, and, through a few hours, there was a genuine, old-fashioned excitement. The two or three Congressmen who happened to be in town were indignant, and scarcely tried to conceal it; the crowds talked over the strange affair in all its phases; a thousand false stories were put in circulation, the basest of which, perhaps, was that Hooker had been relieved for a fortnight's continuous drunkenness; rumors of other changes, as usual, came darkening the very air. Never before, in the history of modern warfare, had there been such a case. A General had brought his army by brilliant forced marches face to face with the enemy. They were at the very crisis of the campaign; a great battle, perhaps the battle of the war, was daily if not hourly impending. No fault of generalship was alleged, but it happened that a parlor chieftain, in his quiet study, three score miles from the hourly-changing field, differed in judgment on a single point from the General at the head of the troops. The latter carefully examined anew the point in issue, again satisfied himself, and insisted on his conviction, or on relief from responsibility for a course he felt assured was utterly wrong. For this he was relieved — and within five hours was vindicated by his own successor. But a good, perhaps a better general was put in his place-except from the unfortunate timing  of the change, we had good reason to hope it would work at least no harm. There was little regret for Hooker personally; it was only the national sense of fair play that was outraged. Presently there came new excitement. Stuart had crossed the Potomac, twenty-five miles from Washington, had captured a train within twelve or thirteen miles, had thrown out small parties to within a mile or two of the railroad between Baltimore and Washington. In the night the road would certainly be cut, and for a few hours, at any rate, the Capital isolated from the country. We had need to make haste, or it might be difficult “to join Hooker's army.” It was not to be a solitary trip. Samuel Wilkeson, the well-known brilliant writer on the New-York Tribune, lately transferred to the Times; and U. H. Painter, chief Washington correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, a miracle of energy in such a sphere, were to go; and Coffin of the Boston Journal, known through all New-England as “Carleton,” had telegraphed an appointment to meet me in the army. Monday morning Washington breathed freer, on learning that the Baltimore trains had come through. Stuart had failed, then? But we counted too fast. A few hasty purchases to make up an outfit for campaigning along the border, and at eleven we are off. Unusual vigilance at the little blockhouses and embankments at exposed points along the road; soldiers out in unusual force, and every thing ready for instant attack; much chattering of Stuart and his failure in the train; anxious inquiries by brokers as to whether communication with New-York was to be severed; and so we reach Baltimore. “Am very sorry, gentlemen; would get you out at once if I could; would gladly run up an extra train for you; but — the rebels cut our road last night, this side of Frederick, and we have no idea when we can run again.” Thus Mr. Prescott Smith, whom every body knows, that has ever heard of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. And so Stuart had not failed — we were just one train too late and were cut off from the army! There was nothing for it but to wait; and so — ill-satisfied with this “Getting a good ready” --back to Washington.
Frederick, Md., Tuesday evening, June 30.Washington was again like a city besieged, as after Bull Run. All night long, troops were marching; orderlies with clanking sabres clattering along the streets; trains of wagons grinding over the bouldered avenue; commissaries were hurrying up their supplies; the quartermaster's department was like a bee-hive; every thing was motion and hurry. From the War Department came all manner of exciting statements; men were everywhere asking what the President thought of the emergency. Trains had again come through regularly from Baltimore, but how long could it continue? Had not Stuart's cavalry been as near as the old Blair place at Silver Springs, and might they not cut the track any moment they chose? Might they not, indeed, asked the startled bankers, might they not indeed charge past the forts on the Maryland side, pay a hurried visit to the President and Cabinet, and replenish their army chests from our well-stored vaults? In the midst of all this there came a blistering sight that should blacken evermore every name concerned. With cries for reinforcements from the weakened front, with calls for volunteers and raw militia to step into the imminent breach and defend the invaded North, with everywhere urgent need for every man who knew how to handle a musket, there came sprucely marching down the avenue, in all their freshness of brilliant uniforms and unstained arms, with faultlessly appareled officers and gorgeous drum-major, and clanging band, and all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war, (about the Capital,) with banners waving and bayonets gleaming in the morning sunlight, as with solid tramp that told of months of drill they moved down the street — in such bravery of peaceful soldiering there came a New-England nine months regiment, mustering over nine hundred bayonets, whose term of service that day expired! With Stuart's cavalry swarming about the very gates of the Capital, with the battle that was to decide whether the war should henceforth be fought on Northern or Southern soil hourly impending, these men, in all the blazonry of banners and music, and glittering uniforms, and polished arms, were marching — home! They had been implored to stay a fortnight, a week--three days even; but, with one accord, they insisted on starting home! Would that Stuart could capture the train that bears them! Another exciting ride over a yet unmolested track, and we are again in Baltimore. Mr. Prescott Smith gave us the cheering assurance that the road was open again to Frederick; that nobody knew where Stuart had gone, but that in any event they would send us out in the afternoon. For the rest there was news of more dashing movements by our army. The rebels were reported concentrating at York, Pennsylvania. Our army had already left Frederick far in the rear, and spreading out like a fan to make use of every available road, it was sweeping splendidly up to meet them. There was no fear of their not fighting under Meade. lie was recognized as a soldier, brave and able, and they would follow him just as readily as Hooker — some of them, indeed far more willingly. But there was sore need for every musket. Lee at least equalled us in numbers, they thought. Baltimore had been in a panic. Monday evening some rebel cavalry had ventured up to within a few miles of the city, and frightened persons had rushed in with the story that great squadrons of horse were just ready to charge down the streets. Alarm-bells rang the Loyal Leagues rushed to arms, the thoroughfares were thronged with the improvised soldiery, and within an hour thousands of bayonets guarded every approach.  It was worthy the new life of Baltimore. Here, thank God, was an eastern city, able and ready at all times to defend itself. Stuart did not come — if he had, he would have been repulsed. General Tyler (former Colonel of the Seventh Ohio) had been hastily summoned here to assume command of the defences of Baltimore. This display of citizen soldiery was part of the work he had already done. But those “defences!” “Small boy,” exclaimed W., as we sauntered through the street and passed an urchin picking pebbles out of a tar barrel to fling at a passing pig, “small boy,” and he uttered it with impressive dignity, “You must stop that, sir! You are destroying the defenses of Baltimore!” And indeed lie was. Single rows of tar-barrels and sugar hogsheads, half filled with gravel, and placed across the streets, with sometimes a rail or two on top, after the fashion of a “stake and rider” fence, constituted the “defences.” They were called barricades, I believe, in some official paper on the subject. Outside the city, however, were earthworks, (to which additions had been made in the press of the emergency) that would have afforded considerable resistance to an attack; and if cavalry had succeeded in getting into the city, the “barricades” might have been of some service in checking their charges. In the afternoon. Stuart's cavalry was heard from, making the best of its way, by a circuitous route, on the rear and flank of our army, to join Lee in Southern Pennsylvania.