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nt was reassigned to the Sixth Corps. It was by this unexpected meeting of two old friends that in going to the front the 121st was put into one of the choicest brigades of the army; and we were marched out by way of the Tenallyville road, to, and through Rockville, and by Darnstown and Sugar Loaf Mountain, and joined the brigade commanded by Gen. Joseph J. Bartlett, with which we remained till the war ended. (B.) By all accounts this march to the front was unnecessarily severe. On the first day it was continued until late in the evening, and the men were too weary even to eat, and as they had left their knapsacks behind and had not yet been supplied with shelter tents, the night was spent most miserably, and in many cases the health of the men was so shattered that they never recovered from the effects of their excessive fatigue and exposure. Many subsequent marches were longer and more difficult, but they were made under experienced commanders, with the men more inured to exe
tcher's Run the attack on Ft. Steadman a successful charge The corps remained in the camp near Middletown until November 9th, the men doing only picket and guard duty. Then it retired to Kernstown where a slight skirmish with the enemy occurred on the morning of the 10th. Picket and guard duty continued until the 1st of December, when the corps broke camp and marching to Stevenson's Station entrained for Washington. The next day it embarked on steamers and arrived at City Point on the 4th. There cars were taken to Parke's Station. Here the railroad was left and the corps or a portion of it, relieved the 3d Division of the 5th Corps, and occupied their finely laid out, and well constructed winter quarters near the Jerusalem plank road, the position we had left five months before. The regiment now numbered not far from 175 men and was commanded by Colonel Olcott. On the 9th of December a reconnaisance was made to the vicinity of Hatcher's Run. Rain and then snow made farthe
recovered his energy, and had spent the intervening time in refitting and restoring the shattered morale of his army, began a rapid movement northward, virtually over the same ground on which the advance had been made. The first feature of this movement was another crossing of the river at the old place, called Franklin's Crossing. This movement began on the 6th of June, and the crossing was made by Howe's Division on the 6th with little loss. The 1st Division crossed on the evening of the 6th, occupying about the same ground as on the previous crossing. Rifle pits were immediately dug and preparations made to resist attack. But none was made. Several days transpired and then the Corps recrossed the river and prepared for the march northward by sending everything and everybody that were not needed to Washington. In the race with Lee's army for Pennsylvania and Gettysburg, the Sixth Corps brought up the rear and the rearmost position was assigned to the 121st. It was sent down
and occupy Myer's Hill, an elevation to the left, and in front of the Fifth Corps. At this point quite a sharp engagement occurred. The position was occupied easily, but being attacked sharply by a force large enough to flank the troops engaged, they were compelled to fall back a little distance until reinforcements arrived, when the enemy in turn retired and the hill was reoccupied and the picket line extended to the left. Colonel Cronkite who was not present, having been wounded on the 10th, speaks very briefly of this affair, but Colonel Beckwith describes it quite minutely. On the morning of the 13th we moved to our left and early in the morning of the 14th crossed the Nye River, a narrow, sluggish, deep stream where we crossed, and moving a short distance came to a brigade of regular troops which we relieved. We moved forward a short distance and were deployed in a heavy skirmish line, taking down a rail fence and making a protection of the rails as best we could. A li
e cut off by our minnie balls, for we had no batteries in play at that time. The trunk of one of these trees is now in the Patent Office at Washington. The trees in the vicinity are dead, killed by the poison of the lead. I will not describe the appearance of the field as our men found it when they entered the works. I do not wish to recall the sights, they are too shocking. The 5th Maine and the 121st charged at that point; they fought bravely, but lost heavily, as they did also on the 10th, a mile farther to the right, near the spot where General Sedgwick was killed. From the 2d of June when we reached Hall's Hill till the 27th the time was spent in making out the muster out papers of the men and the transfer of the men whose term of service had not expired to the 65th New York Veteran Volunteers. The total number of men discharged at Hall's Hill was 320, of whom 275 were original members of the regiment and 45 recruits and transferred men. The review of the corps took p
stify an assault, and the banks of Deep Run furnished shelter from the artillery of the enemy, so that the chief duty of the regiments of the Brigade was to do skirmish or picket duty. Of this duty the 121st had its full share, as vividly described by Comrade Beckwith. Our Brigade, as I remember, was commanded by Col. H. L. Cake of the 96th Penn., General Bartlett having another command temporarily, and the Division was commanded by General Brooks. We moved early on the morning of the 12th, which was Friday, up towards the heights, crossing a deep gully along the bottom of which a little stream ran towards the river. The sun rose and dispelled the fog, which was heavy and thick and covered the flats of the river like a blanket, also concealing from view the hills in our front, at the same time screening us from the enemy's observation. Looking back towards the river, there was a mass of troops in motion, including infantry, artillery and cavalry, equal in number to an army co
ndered necessary from the fact that General Wallace had restored the morale of his defeated army, and was threatening Early's rear and flank. The advance continued through Rockville and Seneca on the river road to the vicinity of Poolsville, the 1st Division having the lead. At Poolsville the enemy was found, but gave way before the attack of our cavalry. The corps encamped there for the night. The next day by a long and dusty march, the cavalry leading, Edwards Ferry was reached. On the 16th the river was crossed and the advance reached Leesburg, and passed beyond to Clark's Gap. Here the 3d Division under General Ricketts rejoined the corps. They showed the effect of their hard fight at Monocacy. Of them Beckwith says, They gave us an account of their fight there, and spoke of the confidence with which the Rebels charged them, until they found out what troops were in front of them. Prisoners said that the Rebel officers told their men, that the troops in front of them were o
he 21st inst. September 3: Marched to a position near Clifton and remained until Sept 19. September 19: Broke camp at 3:30 A. M., crossed the Opequon Creek at 9 A. M. To fill in the incidents of this period of apparently erratic movement, resort must be made to Colonel Beckwith's narrative. He writes, While at Halltown, Colonel Olcott and quite a number of men, who had been away wounded and sick, returned to the regiment and increased its strength and appearance materially. On the 16th we started back down the valley, marched all night and passed through Winchester at 8 o'clock in the morning and got some pies and eggs with jewelry advertisements which the inhabitants mistook for greenbacks. On the 21st the enemy drove in our pickets and we were sent out on the skirmish line and skirmished all day. On the way out, when some distance, as we supposed, from the line, Captain Van Shaick commanding our (4th) company, and Bob Topping were wounded, the Captain seriously, and Bob
he feeling of security and gaiety that prevailed among officers and men, reminds one of Lord Byron's description of the care free gaiety in Belgium's Capital the night before the battle of Waterloo. He says, In the interval between the 14th and the 19th we lay in camp at Cedar Creek. I went out one day with the teams for forage, and in addition got some honey, apple butter, butter, apples, and mutton, also visited a cave in the vicinity and explored it with several others. On the 17th we were paid, as I remember, and on that day, all who were voters had the privilege of sealing up their votes and sending them home. Each party had a representative in camp. I don't know how the vote stood in our regiment as I never heard it announced, except that it was said that President Lincoln had a majority. We also drew clothing and shoes, and the sutlers came up and opened a tempting display of their goods, which were eagerly sought after. Supplies and mails from home, and the exh
ts, and they had pulled off the one on his sound leg and attempted to do the same from his wounded leg, but could not because it had swollen so, and it caused him terrible pain. Finally a Rebel officer came along and made them desist, and covered the wounded leg with some straw. Both Captains Douw and Burrell were gallant soldiers and great favorites with the men, Captain Burrell especially so. We buried our dead with simple ceremonies and visited our wounded at the division hospital on the 20th. We slept in our old camp the night of the 19th. It had been fought through and was a wreck, several dead men lying in it when we returned. Much has been said and written about the battle of Cedar Creek, but none of the Union writers have given to General Horatio G. Wright, our corps commander, and the commander of the army during that trying and terrible day, the praise and credit due to his superb courage and skill which saved the army from utter defeat. ´╝łGeneral Gordon, however,
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