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Waitt, Ernest Linden, History of the Nineteenth regiment, Massachusetts volunteer infantry , 1861-1865, Chapter 10: the march to the Chickahominy. (search)
Chapter 10: the march to the Chickahominy. On May 8, the second day after reaching West Point, the troops began the long, dreary march up the Peninsula, through rain and mud to the Chickahominy River. They first marched to Eltham, four miles distant, and remained there several days, while the engineer corps were building miles of corduroy roads and bridges. Here the men began to break down very fast and there was much sickness. While at Eltham many of the men were greatly interested in watching the landing of cattle. The beeves would be hoisted over the side of a flat boat, which had been towed up, and let into the river to swim ashore. The water was not deep at this point, and the soft muddy flats extended for some distance. Some of the animals would land in a soft place and, in their attempt to get ashore, would get mired up to their bellies and stay exhausted in the mud. The cattle guard would then get out to them by means of boards, shoot them, and put a rope about th
Waitt, Ernest Linden, History of the Nineteenth regiment, Massachusetts volunteer infantry , 1861-1865, Chapter 15: the rest at Harrison's Landing. (search)
nd spoke with great effect in several towns of the Commonwealth, inducing a large number of men to enlist. On Aug. 8, he returned to Harrison's Landing, and, though not recovered from his wounds, was immediately assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, composed of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts, the Forty-Second and Fifty-Ninth New York, and Seventh Michigan regiments, Second division, Second Corps; which Division was assigned to cover the retreat of the army to the Chickahominy River, upon its evacuation of Harrison's Landing. Gen. Halleck, commander-in-chief, was opposed to any further demonstrations against Richmond from the position then occupied by the Army of the Potomac. McClellan, however, insisted upon the plan, declaring that the rebels had received a sincere chastising and that the Army was ready and anxious to again push forward. McClellan's purpose was to cross the James at Harrison's Landing, attack Petersburg, and cut off the enemy's communicatio