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Laramie (Wyoming, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ile an important Indian war had broken out in Oregon, and the detachment of our company which had been left at West Point was now on its way there via the Isthmus under Lts. Casey and Robert. Orders had, therefore, been issued recalling our detachment to West Point, and directing the 6th Infantry to march on by land to Oregon. On Aug. 9 we set out via the South Pass and Fort Laramie route and reached Leavenworth, 1019 miles, on Oct. 3, 56 days. We lay over eight Sundays, and one day at Laramie, and made 47 marches averaging 22 miles each. The longest march was 27 miles. These figures are of interest for comparison with marches made on special occasions in the war. The conditions of the march were the most favorable possible, being over good roads, in good weather, by a small body, with all ammunition and knapsacks carried in a train of nearly empty wagons, and officers and men all anxious to make a quick trip. Distances were carefully measured by an odometer. Rests during the
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
Steilacoom. at San Francisco. interview with McPherson. resign from U. S. Army. New York to Georgia. Captain of Engineers, C. S. A. impressions of travel. the first blow. instructions to Maj.o. A, Engineer troops, at Fort Steilacoom, Washington Territory. I had entered West Point from Georgia in 1853, and graduated in 1857. For three years after my graduation I served, generally at theattitude. Johnston was sent with about 2000 men to install the new governor, Alfred Cumming of Georgia. The Mormons took arms, fortified the passes of the Wasatch Mountains, and captured and burned secession, each officer would go with his state. In Feb. we received news of the secession of Georgia. There seemed then, however, strong probability of a peaceful separation. In March came ordertake a position of neutrality in the conflict, and through that state we could make our way to Georgia. We left at 5 P. M. on 26th by the Erie road, and going through Cleveland, Cincinnati, Seymour
Yerba Buena (California, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
we took the Cortes, and, after touching at Squimault and Portland, we reached San Francisco on the 20th. We were too late to catch the Panama steamer of that date, as we had hoped, and the next boat was May 1. As our steamer made fast to the wharf all my personal plans were upset. A special messenger, waiting on the wharf, came aboard and handed me an order by telegraph and Pony Express relieving me from duty with my company, and ordering me to report to Lt. McPherson in charge of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco harbor. I was very sorry to receive this order, as it deprived me of transportation, leaving me, with my wife, over 6000 miles from home by the only available route, and it precipitated my own resignation, which I might have reasonably delayed until I was back in the East. But there was now no longer any doubt that war was inevitable, and, indeed, within a day or two the Pony Express and telegraph line brought news of the fall of Fort Sumter. So when I reported t
Lodgepole Creek (South Dakota, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ent to halt Johnston and put him in winter quarters at Fort Bridger, east of the Wasatch, until he could be heavily reenforced in the spring. Six columns of reenforcements were ordered from Fort Leavenworth, and, of these, our detachment and the 6th Infantry composed column No. 1, and marched on May 6, 1858. The only travelled route at that time passed by Fort Kearney, Fort Laramie, and the Great South Pass. Our column was ordered to open a new route, following the South Platte to Lodge Pole Creek, and up that stream to its headwaters in the Southern Black Hills, and thence, via Bridger's Pass, to join the old road a short distance east of Fort Bridger. Only Fremont, some years before, had ever gone through by that route, and it was thought to be materially shorter. When we got into the mountains we found it necessary to leave the 6th Infantry in camp, and to go ahead with our company to make a practicable road. We also had to ferry, using iron wagon bodies as boats, the Laram
Cleveland (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
hich this caused, and the hostility to all Confederates evident in general conversation, warned me that if I were known to be a resigned officer on my way to enter the Confederate Army I might encounter trouble. We cut short our shopping and decided to leave for Louisville by the first train. Kentucky was endeavoring to take a position of neutrality in the conflict, and through that state we could make our way to Georgia. We left at 5 P. M. on 26th by the Erie road, and going through Cleveland, Cincinnati, Seymour, and Jefferson, we reached Louisville on the 27th and Chattanooga on May 28. Here I met the Confederate Secretary of War, Hon. L. P. Walker, on his way to Richmond, Va., now the capital of the Confederacy. I called on him and was told that a commission as captain of Engineers was awaiting my acceptance. Of course I accepted, and promised to report in Richmond as soon as I could leave my wife in Washington, Ga., at my father's home. We spent that night in Atlanta,
Atlanta (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
did everything possible to make my going easy and comfortable. I never saw him again after our sad parting on the dock, for, as he had foreseen, he was ordered East, and, having been made a major-general and won high distinction, was killed at Atlanta in July, 1864. My resignation was duly accepted, and notice reached me in August, before the mails to the South through Kentucky were entirely discontinued. We sailed on May 1 in the Golden Age, crossed the Isthmus on the 14th, and arrived ion him and was told that a commission as captain of Engineers was awaiting my acceptance. Of course I accepted, and promised to report in Richmond as soon as I could leave my wife in Washington, Ga., at my father's home. We spent that night in Atlanta, and reached Washington, Thursday, May 30. The next day I left for Richmond and arrived there Saturday night, June 1. One feature of this eight days journey, which I recall very distinctly, was the comparative impressions made upon me by the
Puget Sound (Washington, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
p. There was generally little active interest taken by army officers in political questions, but, with few exceptions, the creed was held that, as a matter of course, in case war should result from secession, each officer would go with his state. In Feb. we received news of the secession of Georgia. There seemed then, however, strong probability of a peaceful separation. In March came orders for the return of our detachment to West Point. No vessel was then running to any port in Puget Sound, and we had to wait until special arrangements for our transportation could be made. Our Quartermaster Department, however, maintained an armed vessel, the Massachusetts, upon the Sound to keep off invasions of the Stikane Indians, who made raids from Alaska in their immense war canoes. This vessel was directed to take us to Port Townsend, and there the Cortes, which ran between San Francisco and Vancouver's Island, would call and get us. We sailed from Steilacoom City in the aftern
Fort Hamilton (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
ine's telegraphic alphabet, which formed the letters by the use of only two elements — dot and dash. The Morse alphabet uses four—dot, short dash, long dash, and interval between dashes. Myer had originally suggested its use as a language for the deaf and dumb, when he was a medical student. By the waving of anything to the left for dot, and to the right for dash, any letter could be indicated by a few waves. For three months we experimented with flags, torches, and glasses between Fort Hamilton and Sandy Hook, and, in Jan., 1860, we reported to the War Department in Washington with what has been since known as the Wig-wag Signal System. A bill was introduced into Congress to adopt the system and Myer and I were directed to exhibit it to the Military Committees. I was also assigned to temporary duty on a board of officers experimenting with breech-loading rifles, of which there were several models being offered to the War Department. By April, 1860, the Signal Bill having
Louisville (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
the hostility to all Confederates evident in general conversation, warned me that if I were known to be a resigned officer on my way to enter the Confederate Army I might encounter trouble. We cut short our shopping and decided to leave for Louisville by the first train. Kentucky was endeavoring to take a position of neutrality in the conflict, and through that state we could make our way to Georgia. We left at 5 P. M. on 26th by the Erie road, and going through Cleveland, Cincinnati, Seymour, and Jefferson, we reached Louisville on the 27th and Chattanooga on May 28. Here I met the Confederate Secretary of War, Hon. L. P. Walker, on his way to Richmond, Va., now the capital of the Confederacy. I called on him and was told that a commission as captain of Engineers was awaiting my acceptance. Of course I accepted, and promised to report in Richmond as soon as I could leave my wife in Washington, Ga., at my father's home. We spent that night in Atlanta, and reached Washingto
Green (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 1
its headwaters in the Southern Black Hills, and thence, via Bridger's Pass, to join the old road a short distance east of Fort Bridger. Only Fremont, some years before, had ever gone through by that route, and it was thought to be materially shorter. When we got into the mountains we found it necessary to leave the 6th Infantry in camp, and to go ahead with our company to make a practicable road. We also had to ferry, using iron wagon bodies as boats, the Laramie, the North Platte, and Green rivers. Fort Bridger was reached on Aug. 1— 86 days, 970 miles. The new route proved to be 49 miles shorter than the South Pass road. Without mails for six weeks, it was only on arrival at Fort Bridger we learned that the Mormon War was over. Brigham Young, on seeing the large force prepared to install his rival, Gov. Cumming, had wisely concluded to submit and forego his dream of independence. Perhaps he was the wisest leader of a people seeking freedom, of all his generation. At first, t
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