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Browsing named entities in a specific section of A. J. Bennett, private , First Massachusetts Light Battery, The story of the First Massachusetts Light Battery , attached to the Sixth Army Corps : glance at events in the armies of the Potomac and Shenandoah, from the summer of 1861 to the autumn of 1864.. Search the whole document.

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mbankment enclosed nine acres, whose guns commanded the water-route to the capital, and the contiguous land approaches. On our left were the fortifications of the Maryland shore. On we sped by Vernon's sacred banks, a passing glance at mansion and tomb being vouchsafed to us; by Aquia Creek and old Fort Washington, which we were destined more than once in our career to repass. Passing upon our left Budd's Ferry, twenty-two miles below Alexandria, where were quartered during the winter of 1861 the First and Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers, we pursued our course during the night down the historic river, ever widening in its path to the Chesapeake. Morning found us ploughing the waves of the bay, in a damp, misty atmosphere. At daybreak there was a thin fog which in an hour was burned off by the sun; then followed a variable April morning, with sunshine and shower, the air being sufficiently clear to allow us to see upon the shore the peach blossoms which curiously, to our New
ement of the commissariat in these days seemed susceptible of a good deal of improvement, both in respect to preserving in good wholesome condition the bread and meat, and in regularly distributing it at necessary intervals. We shall have occasion to contrast unfavorably the seeming inefficiency of the subsistence department in this period, with its workings at a later time, when we were cut loose from our base of supplies, and were provided with no more ample means of transportation than in 1862. Still, the very annoyances to which soldiers were subjected, in the way, for example, of bad biscuit or defective meat, were the means of developing much wit and linguistic sprightliness that otherwise had remained dormant. Some wag would declare that B. C., on the cracker-boxes of the time, denoted that the hardtack was made before the Christian era, and kindred jokes abounded at the expense of salt junk and desiccated vegetables. So also was culinary ingenuity stimulated; a variety of
May 17th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 5
These men belonged to Gen. Porter's Corps (Fifth), which, with the corps of Generals Sumner and Franklin (Sixth), was to form the right wing and to proceed by the way of Cumberland and of Whitehouse on the Pamunkey, striking the Chickahominy at New Bridge, while the left wing, consisting of the corps of Heintzelman and Keyes, kept the Richmond road to Bottom's Bridge farther down the Chickahominy Swamp. During the next eight or nine days the advance guards reached these points, May 16, 17, 1862. The First Division of the Sixth Corps, consisting of twelve regiments of infantry, a regiment of cavalry and four batteries, one of which was the First Massachusetts, about the 17th of May was passing Whitehouse, hard by the landing which was to be our depot of supplies until the change of base. Those in the column who were familiar with the story of Martha Custis and Washington's wooing, doubtless looked with interest upon the weatherworn and decaying building; but we fancy that a liv
trange phase of physical evolution occurring amid the direful revolution of the social system which produced these little creatures. Our next camp was in the vicinity of Cold Harbor. The boys can see it now: a tract of ground sloping northerly from the road down to a swamp, in the edge of which was a spring; stunted pines grew here and there in a sterile soil. Two years leatr we struck the same ground and spent the night there. We thus anticipate, for comrades noticed the coincidence in 1864. By the 20th or 21st of May we had advanced to Gaines' Farm. This place is nearly due west of Cold Harbor, on a broken plateau between the bottom lands of the Chickahominy and Pamunkey; it lies east of north from Richmond, on the road leading from Bottom's Bridge up the Chickahominy via Cold Harbor to Mechanicsville, thence to Hanover court-house. At this time Gen. Naglee's brigade of Keyes's corps crossed the Chickahominy near Bottom's Bridge and pushed forward without serious opposi
as commenced and timber felled in front of it. This corps, the Fourth, therefore, was not only on the extreme left, but occupied, at this moment, the most advanced position in McClellan's line. The Third Corps, which had been moved to a position within supporting distance of the Fourth, was in the rear of the latter. It was the advanced and seemingly isolated situation of the Fourth that doubtless led to the Confederate attack three days after Casey's advance. Between one and two P. M., May 31, Naglee's brigade, after a spirited defence, was forced back from its position toward Seven Pines, by a division of the Confederate force which attacked it early after noon. A heavy rain fell the day before, swelling the waters of the several channels into which the swamp-creek is divided, and rendering the roads in the vicinity difficult of passage. A messenger who was sent to the commander of the left wing, Gen. Heintzelman, is said to have been delayed so that it was five o'clock before
aching batteries, and in placing in position heavy guns which had been ordered from Washington. His force must have been 100,000 strong, for 58,000 preceded him to Fortress Monroe, and as many more soon followed. When he was ready to open fire, May 4, it was found Magruder had retired. The division commanded by Gen. Wm. B. Franklin, during the brief period after our arrival at Ship Point, had not moved out to take position in the line of the besieging force. Our battery had been occupied ation of the dust-raising, and dismissed him with an admonition, in lieu of the harness-pole. Both cannoneers and drivers will recall the bathing in the bay, and the gathering of oysters from the flats. We were upon parade, Sunday forenoon, May 4, when a general's orderly approached Capt. Platt, Company D, Second United States Artillery, chief of the artillery brigade of our division. After a moment's interval, the latter rode up to Capt. Porter, who was in position in front of his compa
May 7th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 5
coming from the direction of the wood, with their burdens. Sometimes a wounded soldier appeared, supported by two comrades; this practice, we fancy, was not long suffered to obtain. We retained our position till night. This was the first time our guns had been pointed at the enemy, and though he was invisible to us, never having reached our line, the innermost one, our company did all that it was commanded to do. The Federal loss in this affair is said to have been 200. We encamped May 7, 1862, in a meadow four or five miles northwest of our position, on the day of the engagement, and relatively farther up the Pamunkey. On the following day, officers and men were gladdened by the sight, in camp, of Massachusetts soldiers of other commands, which had now reached this vicinity; for example, some officers and men of the Eighteenth and Twenty-second Volunteers. No doubt much correspondence, detailing the past incidents of their campaign, was indulged in by the privates, and perha
June 1st, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 5
ght, Kearney's, Couch's, and a portion of Casey's division were massed in the rifle-pits on the left, at Seven Pines, Hooker bivouacked in their rear. Sedgwick remained relatively in the same position as at dark; all his artillery that could be moved was brought up, and Richardson was placed on his left to connect with Kearney. French's brigade was placed along the railroad. Howard's brigade formed a second line, and the Irish brigade, a third. How at five o'clock on the morning of June 1, 1862, Confederate skirmishers and cavalry appeared in front of Richardson and were repulsed; how the Confederates, later, came on in full force, approaching rapidly in columns of attack, supported by infantry in line of battle on either side, appearing determined to crush, by this signal onslaught, the devoted troops that withstood them; how the Federal force sustained this shock as an immovable wall; how the indomitable Hooker, supported by Birney's brigade, attacking from the left with two r
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