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Diary of a Soldier

BY 2nd Lieutenant William A. McIlhenny

Submitted by: Mark Dudrow


Interesting experiences and minute details of the Civil War career of William A. Mcllhenny, Gettysburg veteran, as taken from day to day ledger published for the first time. The Author. William A.McIlhenny, who now resides on Lincoln Ave.,Gettysburg, was born August 31,l83p in Straban township. He is the great grandson of Robert Mcllhenny, one of the pioneers of the county and a veteran of the Revolutionary War: a grandson of Robert McIlhenny, likewise a Revolutionary War veteran, and the son of Hugh Mcllhenny.

Mr.Mcllhenny enlisted as a private at Frederick, Maryland, in Company C of Cole's Battalion, Maryland Cavalry. This company was made up largely of Pennsylvanians* He was subsequently advanced to corporal and-later made sergeant of the company while serving in the Shenandoah Valley.

At the expiration of his original enlistment and at the time of the re-organization of Cole's Battalion he was appointed a second lieutenant of Company C of the regiment, generally known as the First Potomac Home Brigade; of Maryland Cavalry. (Original) Editor's note.

Diary of a Soldier William A. McIlhenny

During the scene of the great Political Campaign of l859 and 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was first elected President of the United States, I had first gained my majority and cast my vote for that grand old man.

I well remember how we young men went wild about the " Great Rail-splitter" of the West. We held political meetings in every town in the county and the usual scene was the carrying of a huge rail on the shoulders of several men. After Mr. Lincolnís election the country was thrown into a wonderful turmoil, the Southern States threatening to secede if Lincoln was inaugurated and the Northern States rejoicing over his election and the excitement becoming more intense when it drew near the time of Inauguration. A movement was set on foot to mob him when he passed through Baltimore on his way to Washington,' but that was frustrated by the Governor of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Railroad officials by running a special train through ahead of the scheduled time and when the mob was looking for him to pass through Baltimore he was already at the Capitol at Washington.

A very ridiculous incident occurred in the county bordering on Maryland. Steps were taken to organize home guards and there was a meeting being held in the Court House for that purpose. The fact that they tried to mob Mr. Lincoln at Baltimore started a rumor that the mob had started on the invasion of the border town of Pennsylvania and they were taking up the railroad and moving on to Hanover and then to New Oxford and then to Gettysburg.

Two railroad men procured a handcar at Hanover and proceeded to alarm the town along the route. They first stopped at New Oxford and all the stations between New Oxford and Gettysburg. When they got to Gettysburg the perspiration was rolling off them like rain. They reported the terrible news at the meeting in the Court House and a company was formed and pickets were placed on every road that entered Gettysburg. The inhabitants of the town remained up all night expecting the mob to enter the town at any moment.

New Oxford organized a company armed with old shot guns, pitchforks, shovels and spades and sent word along the line for ammunition. An engine was sent from Gettysburg to New Oxford. It stopped at Granite Station where Robert Bell and several others took passage on the fender with a keg of powder for a seat and went as far as New Oxford. At New Oxford they pound old Dr. Pfeiffer drilling the company he had organized for the protection of the town. But the mob never appeared, this affair only showed how ridiculous people will make themselves under excitement.

Robert Bell later became Major of the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Then came in rapid succession the firing on Fort Sumter by the Southern troops and the calling out of 75,000 volunteers by Mr. Lincoln.  We had a fine company of infantry called the "Independent Blues of Gettysburg "under the command of Captain Henry Buehler with Dr.Fahnestoek as First Lieutenant; John Culp as Second Lieutenant and John T. McIlhenny (my brother) as Orderly Sergeant. They immediately offered their services to the government and were accepted and were sworn into the United States service and went into camp at York. We were living near Hunterstown. My father and I drove down to York to see the camp and drove back ,the same day. That was the farthest I ever was away from home in my life, up to that time.

Both North and South were busy drilling and equipping their armies, preparing for the clash which was soon to come. We had a splendid army at Washington under Generals Scott and McDowell. The troops lying at York and Harrisburg were placed under the command of General Patterson. Our leaders finally decided to move on the enemy. McDowell crossed the Potomac and moved on the enemy stationed at Bull Run.

When the advance of our army was passing through Alexandria, Colonel Ellsworth went Into a Rebel's house to take down a rebel flag and was shot through the heart, dying instantly and the man who shot him was immediately shot in return. These were the first men killed in the war on either side, General Patterson moved with his army by way of Chambersburg and Hagerstown and crossed the Potomac at Will I am sport and moved on to Martinsburg, West Virginia. General McDowell attacked the rebels at Bull Run and was holding his own all right, but General Patterson failing to attack the rebels under Jackson in the Shenendoah Valley, let them slip across the mountain and join General Lee which enabled him to defeat our army under General McDowell and drove them back to Washington. Demoralized and disorganized and with the three months volunteers enlistment almost expired, our government only began to comprehend what a task they had /before them. Mr. Lincoln immediately called out three hundred thousand Volunteers for three years or during the war. The North took up the refrain "we are coming Father Abraham three hundred thousand mere." Then came, the best blood of the young men all over the North, the humble youth of the farm who was never (some of them) more than five miles away from home; from the shops; from the schools and colleges and soon we had the finest army that ever trod on American soil. General McClellan was placed in command of the Army of the Potomac.

I will not attempt to give an account of all the battles and skirmishes that took place in the four years of this bloody war (history had Recorded all that), but I will try to give a short sketch of my enlistment and experience and what part I took in preserving this our glorious Nation. In the summer of l86l the raising of regiments and companies was going on and we were watching and looking for the best organization to join. About August 1st. the Ex-Governor of Maryland procured permission from the government to recruit a Brigade of three regiments of infantry and a Battalion of Cavalry for service along the Potomac for the protection along the borders of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Consequently Old Captain John Horner recruited a company of Cavalry from Adams County and from the vicinity of Emmitsburg in Maryland. Thinking this would be a nice and easy organization te belong to and we would never get very far from home, Captain Horner soon had his company ready to be mustered in. The scene of parting from parents and sisters comes vividly before my eyes today. It was a trying moment. Everybody had

some little gift for us that we might possibly need for comfort. I remember one article called a "Housewife" filled with pins, needles, buttons, etc. With many kisses and "God Bless You" we left Gettysburg in several large farm wagons for Emmitsburg. The last lady I remember kissing was Mrs. Soleme Welty, mother of Mrs. Dr. McKnight.

We stayed at Emmitsburg a while and with the additional recruits from that town we started for Frederick where, the next day, we were examined by doctor to see if we were all right physically and after that we were sworn I to the United States Military Service and we were full fledged soldiers.

We went into camp in the old fair grounds which enclosed the old Military Barracks which are still standing, but used now as a hospital. We did not have our uniforms yet or tents, but we slept very comfortably in the horse stalls around the fair grounds. All we had to do for a long time was drill and do some guard duty. We had not drawn our horses yet but were very anxious to get them. Finally there was a detail made out of a certain number of men from each company to go to Washington for our horses. We were to that we would go to Washington fey rail and draw our horses, saddles and bridles and ride on our horses back, but instead of going on the train we had to walk more than fifty miles from Frederick to Washington. That was an experience I will never forget. We were so worn out when we got to Washington that many of us could not stand on our feet. After resting a day or so and going through the great Capitol building, which was a Wonderful sight to boys who were never more than ten miles away from home, we were finally marched out to the corral where there were thousands of horses and mules, some running loose and some tied with rope halters.

As our officers picked the horses out for us, each man was given from four to six horses apiece, tied together with rope halter, and with no bridles or saddles, and we were expected to take the horses to Frederick City, over fifty miles without rations or horses feed and with only a rope halter to guide them. The horses and men were completely exhausted when we reached Frederick. That was the first hard experience I encountered, but it was to b followed by many more. General Bank's division of the Army of the Potomac was encamped around Frederick during the winter of l86l. With several others I was detailed as an orderly for General William's Headquarters. General Williams commanded a brigade and later "became Major General, (A statue of General Williams now stands at the entrance to Gulp's Hill at Gettysburg.)

During the winter we got orders to march. We left Frederick one evening about dark and about break of day next morning we reached Hagerstown, Maryland. That was our first march and we were tired and cold. From Hagerstown we went to Hancock, Maryland. My next duty was to guard the telegraph line between Hancock and Hagerstown and then we were ordered to Williamsport, Maryland where we camped for a while. Captain John A. Horner was our Captain. John M, Annan had been elected as our first Lieutenant but was accidentally shot through the head and died immediately. He was a fine young man and was attending the Seminary, fitting himself for a Presbyterian Minister, Washington Morrison was our Second Lieutenant and after Lieutenant Annanís death Morrison was promoted to First Lieutenant and A.M. Hunter was elected Second Lieutenant.

A great many things occurred in camp that helped to keep us from getting homesick. For instance we had what we called the "Fool's Den", In this tent were quartered three men who were always up to some deviltry or mischief. Jim Grimes, a dirty unkempt old man, who was the old fool, and Henry Hughs, a tall large man, we named the big fool and Tom Sherfy we named the young fool. All visitors who came into camp had to see the "Fool's Den", While we were lying at Hancock, Maryland, there was considerable sickness in camp, and our Captain concluded to get a quart of whiskey to take occasional to keep off chills and fever. One of the "boys happened to know of the fact and knew that the Captain would surely hand out the bottle for him to sample it if he would call in, but imparted the information to about six of the other comrades who were to drop into the Captain's Headquarters, of course accidental about the time he would have the "bottle out and he could not help handing it all around and when it came around to the Captain, he, of course, would have to drink to the health of the "boys, but upon raising it to his mouth behold it was all gone and the Captain did net get any of the whiskey.

Early in the spring of 1862 we left Williamsport, crossed the Potomac and marched to Martinsburg, West Virginia. The next day we marched to Winchester, Virginia, under General Banks. We had no tents and were Quartered in a large brick house on Main Street. The rebels had fallen back up the Valley. We left Winchester for several weeks. General Banks took part of his army and crossed the mountain toward Washington leaving General Shields in command at Winchester. After General Banks had gone the rebel General Jackson thought that he would come down the Valley again and capture General Shields' little army or drive us back down the Valley but General Shields was not sleeping. He met General Jackson's forces at Kernstown, two miles south of Winchester, and after fighting all day we defeated Jackson and drove him back up the Valley. Our company made a charge on a rebel Battery across Cedar Creek but did not take it. (I was not in the charge.) We again fell back to Winchester and remained there for sometime. General Banks fell back en the Potomac and our company halted at Harper's Ferry. The next evening we were ordered across the Potomac River and were ordered to ford it as it was not considered safe to take horses across on the railroad "bridge which consisted of only one railroad track and planks between the rails. Where we had to ford the river, the ford was crooked and hard to find. It was then getting dark and about six or seven of the advance soldiers started into the river, which was somewhat swollen from heavy rains.

The Comrade that went Just ahead of me missed the ford and got a little too far down the stream and went down into a deep hole, and horse and rider went under the water, but finally the horse came to the surface with the rider holding onto the horse's tail and came safe to shore again. The Comrade was Oscar D. McMillan of Gettysburg. The rest of us concluded that we would rather risk the railroad bridge, I presume the bridge is fifty feet above the water, so we dismounted and led our horses between the tracks with no side rails and nothing but the one track. It was cloudy and intensely dark and it was thundering and lightening. Our Batteries were shelling the rebels from the top of Maryland Heights, but we all got safely over without any loss.

The rebels under General Jackson, again retreated up the Valley. We re-crossed the Potomac and camped at Bolivar where we had our headquarters for quite a while. We were almost continuously on the scout through Louden County East of the Mountains and through West Virginia.

The Peninsular Campaign under General McClellan was a stupendous failure and General Pope was brought from the Western Army to take command of the Army of the Potomac. We camped at Bolivar. I remember Pope and his staff rode through our camp on their way across the country to Washington to take command of his army promising to turn the tide against the rebels, but through the policy of McClellan and Pitz John Porter by not hurrying up reinforcements to Pope's aid, Pope was defeated at the second battle of Bull Run. Colonel Miles who had command of the forces at Harper's Ferry heard that Lee's army was defeated and that it was scattered throughout Louden County so he sent Cole's Battalion with one company of Independent Cavalry under Captain Means to proceed through Louden County, go as far as Leesburg and pick up stragglers from Lee's army. The facts were just the reverse. Lee whipped Pope and was advancing by way of Leesburg into Maryland. We crossed the Shenandoah River at Harper' s Ferry and scouted around through Louden county, the first day picking one rebel prisoner. Went into camp and next day proceeded very leisurely to Leesburg; passed on through the town; turned back and were moving slowly on our way to Harper's Ferry.

We had not gone more than half a mile when the rebel cavalry charged on our team. There was a strong post and rail fence on both sides of the road and we could not form into line until we moved farther out the road where we came to a gate and moved into a large field. We formed into line and charged the force that attacked us in the rear, but when we had done that we looked around and found that a rebel force had gotten around us and was coming at us from the other side. We suddenly found that we were surrounded by a largely superior force so Major Cole gave the command "every man for himself" and we made a dash to get through the rebels. When I discovered the situation most of our boys had gone. One side of the field was covered with bushes and second growth timber. I struck for the bushes with Sam Bostick close behind me; two rebel on horseback were trying to cut us off from getting into the bushes; one of them, only a few rods away, raised his carbine and fired at me, but the bullet missed me and Sam Bostick said he shot the rebel who shot me. We soon came to the road where a lot of our boys were trying to get across the fence, some of the horses fell down trying to jump the fence; others being shot; some men on foot running to get away. Fortunately for me I was riding a good mare and, when she came to the fence, she cleared it without falling and with O.A. Horner, Andrew Annan, and several others I made my way to Waterford and riding all night came into Harper's Ferry sometime next day almost tired to death. Our boys kept coming into camp for two or three quite a number were killed and wounded and a large number captured. The captured were paroled and allowed to go home until they were regularly exchanged. James A. Scott was severely wounded by saber cuts; Samuel McNair was shot through the lungs; George Scice was killed and about fifteen of our company were taken prisoners. General Lee's army crossed the Potomac and moved on to Frederick City. Colonel Miles at Harper's Ferry, with about 15000 infantry and about three regiments of cavalry and quite a lot of "but surely artillery, was being slowly, surrounded. He could have gotten out if he had started in time, but every day made it more difficult and finally he was completely surrounded.

General Jackson's rebel force moved on west of Harper's Ferry; re-crossed the Potomac and advanced from the West and attacked us on Bolivar Heights, a part of Lee's main army attacked us on Maryland Heights and from the East another rebel force attacked us, from the Southeast or Louden Heights, General Miles, who had command of our force, was very anxious to know where General McClellan was with the Army of the Potomac, but supposed that he was following up the rebel army and must be now in the neighborhood of Frederick City and that the rebel army had passed through that City, so he sent Major Cole with about twenty-five men (I was the only one out of Company C that was along). The road from Harperís Ferry to Frederick City was open and had not been occupied by the rebels. The distance to Frederick was about twenty-five miles. We started and did not meet with any opposition whatever and halted at Colonel Mausby's house, about a mile from Frederick City. We knew there were some rebels occupying the City, but did not think there was any large force and Major Cole proposed to charge through the City and make our way to General McClellan' s army. We were preparing for the charge keeping behind the buildings, when we saw a man riding put from the City on an old horse. We let him come up to us and then halted him to get all the information about conditions in the city. This man happened to a member of our own regiment, who had been captured at Leesburg and was at his home in Frederick. He informed us that the last army corps of the rebel army had just entered the City and it was impossible for us to get through and advised us to get away from where we were as soon as possible or we would certainly be Captured so we concluded to get back to Harper's Ferry if we could. We got back as far as Jefferson, about half of the way, where we were informed that the rebels had possession of the road and were encamped at Knoxville, about two miles from Harper's Ferry. Knoxville lies close to the river, only the canal being between the town and the river, so we got a guide to guide us across the country to Point of Rocks on the Potomac River. We crossed the Canal and took the tow path and, riding single file, turned toward Harper's Ferry. It was the about midnight and we had about twelve miles to our camp. We proceeded cautiously until we came to Knoxville where the rebel army was camped and only the Canal between us and the rebels. It was an exceedingly dark night and we quietly slipped past their camp and got safely into Harper's Ferry without losing a man or firing a shot.

Harper's Ferry was then completely surrounded. There had been heavy fighting on top of Maryland Heights and Miles had withdrawn our troops into the town. There had been heavy fighting on Bolivar Heights and they were shelling us from Louden Heights. General Miles after calling a counsel of war, concluded to surrender the next morning, but Major Cole and the Colonels of the 12th. Illinois Cavalry and of the 8th New York Cavalry made a request of General Miles to let them try and cut their way out before the surrender; he reluctantly consented and gave orders for every man who had a good horse to make preparations for the ordeal. We were ordered to throw our blankets and overcoats away so that our I horses would have as little weight to carry as possible and report at his headquarters after dark. He put our Battalion in the advance; 12th Illinois Cavalry next 8th New York next and a part of Rhode Island Cavalry and a company of 1st Maryland Cavalry in the rear. About nine o'clock of September 11th, 1862, we started across the Pontoon Bridge over the Potomac to the Maryland side; took the Sharpsburg road; proceeding very slowly up through the mountain; came to the Rebel picket post, but the pickets must have run away or been withdrawn as their fire was still burning. We went on to Sharpsburg where our advance ran into a rebel cavalry patrol; a few shots only were exchanged as the rebels evidently supposed we were some of their own forces, and did not think of there being any Union forces in that vicinity which was about the middle of their army. At Sharpsburg we left the public road; we had a good guide and it was a dark night so we kept to the fields and woods, not striking a road until we struck the Pike running from Hagerstown to Williamsport, then daylight was just beginning to break.

As our advance struck the Pike we ran against the advance of a large wagon train moving from Hagerstown belonging to General Longstreet's Corps of the Confederate Army. It was loaded with ammunition; we captured about 65 wagons all loaded with ammunition and it is said the capture of this wagon train had largely to do with the defeat of General Lee at Antietam Battle, which was fought the next day.

Our Company C took the captured wagon train to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, that same day and were treated royally by the citizens of that town. After remaining a short time we were ordered to Frederick City, Maryland. The next day after we left Harper's Ferry General Miles surrendered to General Jackson all the forces at Harper's Ferry. The Battle of Antietam had been fought and the rebels were driven out of Maryland and on our way to Frederick we passed over the battlefield and beheld the devastation, the dead and wounded that follow a great battle, and this was one of the great battles of the war. We then marched to Frederick City and remained there for some time. Major Cole was made Provost-Marshal of the city.

Sometime after we marched to Harper's Ferry. While we had been at Frederick City, General McClellan with his army was encamped at Middletown and around Harper's Ferry inactive and resting. It was in October of 1862 that the rebel General Stuart with his cavalry force crossed the River at Williamsport and made his famous raid around McClellan's Army, passing through Emmitsburg, Md., East of Frederick, on to the Potomac River crossing the River into Virginia, having stolen a great many horses from the farmers and losing only A few men and they were captured by Cole's Cavalry. Our Battalion was after them and charged their rear guard at Hyattstown, capturing about twelve men.

The men "belonging to Company C who lived in Pennsylvania had gotten a pass to come home to vote in the October election. After being in our saddles all day and part of the night, after the rebels, we started to our homes in Adams County to attend the General Election. After riding all night I arrived home about nine o'clock next morning very tired but glad to see the home folks and they were glad and surprised to see me; I after remaining a few days we returned to our camp at Frederick and moved from Frederick to Harper's Ferry and camped there during the winter of 1862. General Geary's Division of the Army of the Potomac was camped there also. General Geary's Division made a reconnaissance to Winchester Virginia; and we were out two days and two nights and the weather was extremely Cold; our Cavalry was put in the advance; we had a slight skirmish at Charlestown and several times during the day. We went in to camp beyond Berryville; our Cavalry was in the advance and was skirmishing with the rebels when the rebel cavalry made a charge on us and drove us back to our Infantry. When our artillery shelled them they retreated toward Winchester. Next day we took up our march to Winchester and arrived there about ten o'clock; I was detailed as one of General Geary's orderlies. He formed his command in line of Battle and with his Staff and orderlies in front advanced on the City, but found no rebel force of any account there, only a few Cavalrymen who retreated as we approached We then took up our march back to Harper's Ferry by the Martinsburg Pike and turning off at Falling Waters passed through Smithfield. About three o'clock it commenced snowing and by night the snow was four inches deep. Went into camp without any tents to keep us from the storm. We gathered up rails and brush and built big fires and stood around in the snow all night. Next morning we marched to Harper's Ferry to our old camping ground. We remained at Harper's Ferry all winter doing scouting duty. I was detailed as one of the orderlies at General Sullivan's Headquarters for a long time. While I was at Headquarters our Battalion had quite a hard skirmish with Captain Baylor's rebel cavalry capturing Captain Baylor and a good part of his command.

In the spring of 1863 we moved to Kearneysville where we lay for quite awhile scouting and patrolling the country around. Kearneysville was a station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and freight trains usually stopped there to take water. One day there were several large open cars loaded with whiskey in a large freight train and the boys had a very great desire to get hold of some of that whiskey so they sent a couple of their comrades down the track about a mile from the station where the train passed through a woods and where the embankment was convenient to dump a barrel off the train; two more of the comrades jumped on the train when it left the station and, when the train drew near to the place designated in the woods, they rolled a barrel off and the two comrades that had been sent ahead on foot rolled the barrel of whiskey back into the woods and soon had it buried under the ground. The two comrades who rolled it off the train went on to Harper's Ferry and at the next stop they got off the train and went back to camp. For several weeks our officers had a great time wondering where the boys got the whiskey as a great number were in the habit of indulging quite freely.

General Milroy had quite a considerable force at Winchester, Virginia, and everything was quiet in the Shenendoah Valley; no sign of any movement of the rebel army, so Comrade Theodore McCallister, who now resides in Gettysburg, and I concluded that we would like to make a visit to our homes and our sweethearts whom we had not seen for quite a while. We asked our Commander for a furlough for a couple of days and he was kind enough to grant it. We started for home and made the trip in one day and night; we were delighted to get home but about the time we got home General Lee decided to make another invasion of the North and moving down the Shenandoah Valley, striking General Milroy at Winchester and crushing him back down in the Valley and capturing a great many of his men and artillery and driving all our troops across the Potomac River. Our Battalion crossed the river at Shepardstown and fell back to Maryland Heights opposite Harper's Ferry. General Lee crossed the river at Williamsport and marched on to Chambersburg, Pa. and there halted. Comrade McCallister and I were at Gettysburg and, of course were anxious to get back to our Regiment but did not know where to find it.

The rebels had driven all troops out of the Valley and we thought they had kept in front of the rebel army and might be somewhere about Chambersburg so we struck out the Chambersburg Pike, and went as far as Fayetteville where we ran up against the pickets of General Lee's army. Of course we did not go any further in that direction; we turned back toward Gettysburg again, stopping at Renfewe Mills and getting our dinner there, they being relatives of Comrade McCallister. We then returned to Gettysburg giving the first authentic information of where the rebels, under General Lee were located. The next day we took another direction, went South toward Harper's Ferry and found our Regiment on the Western side of Maryland Heights. About that time General Lee crossed the mountains toward Gettysburg, Pa., one corps, Early's, going on East as far as York, Pa. , The troops on Maryland Heights fell back to Frederick City. Before we left Maryland Heights I was sent out with a squad of men on picket duty and when the rest of the troops 'left for Frederick they forgot to call us in and we were left out on picket, but they finally sent a man back to tell us to join our regiment then well on the road to Frederick.

One little incident occurred while we were on picket; one of the boys came to me and asked permission to go down the Valley and procure something good to eat, but all the money we could raise was a five dollar note on a broken bank which was of course no good. He said I should give it to him and he started down the Valley and soon returned with his arms full of provisions and handed me $2.50 of good money in change. The first thing we did was to get up a good supper and about the time we were enjoying our feast a man appeared upon the scene and asked for the Sergeant of the squad. I asked him what he wanted and he said: he sold one of my men some provisions and all he asked was to give him "back his change and we could have the provisions. I promptly handed him his change and we went on with our feast.

We joined our Regiment at Frederick City. The Union Army was moving rapidly toward Gettysburg, Pa. The Rebel army was moving East from Chambersburg, Pa, A squad of Cavalry from our Regiment was sent out under Lieutenant Horner toward the mountain and came across a body of rebel cavalry collecting horses from the farmers about two miles west of Fairfield. Our regiment charged and dispersed them and captured most of them and returned to Frederick City.

Major Cole was made Provost-Marshall of Frederick City and our Regiment was kept with General French's Division at Frederick City until after the Battle of Gettysburg. When the rebels retreated, we under Captain Horner, were sent from Frederick to Harper's Ferry to burn the bridge over the Potomac River In order to prevent the rebels re-crossing into the Virginia side. We then kept up a lively fight across the River until our Engineers set fire to the bridge and burned it down. We returned to Frederick City and were up all night, tired and hungry.

After the Battle of Gettysburg we were again taken to Harper's Ferry and resumed our old camp at Bollivar. We were almost constantly on the go, scouting an4raidlng after the rebels, under Captain Mosby's command, among which was a raid to Rectors Crossroads and another up the Valley as far as New Market, the particulars of which I do not sufficiently remember to attempt to describe them.

About the middle of October in 1863 we had been lying in camp at Bollivar for sometime, when one afternoon the bugle sounded "boots and saddles". We mounted and were off for a scout not knowing where we were bound for, only the officers knowing. Our duty was to merely obey orders. We crossed the Shenandoah River in the midst of a tremendously heavy rain; night came on and it was still raining; got so dark we did not know where we were going; just stopped along the road and held our horses by the bridles; some of the boys found a spring house and got a lot of milk; sat there all night; In the morning we started again and it was still raining. We went through Snedekerville, some of the boys broke into a distillery and got a lot of whiskey. Some of them got drunk; had a skirmish with some rebel cavalry; one of Company D men got shot in the arm; drove the rebels away; passed through Snicker's Gap in South Mountain; re-crossed the Shenandoah River; still raining; the River was high; nearly swam our horses; heard there was a large force of rebels in Berryville, a few miles ahead.

Colonel Cole sent Captain Gallagher with a squad of men into Berrville to see what was there. It was now night and dark as pitch and still raining. Captain Gallagher and his men went into Berryville and it was so dark that the rebels could not see whether they were their own soldiers or Yankee soldiers as they had gum blankets over their uniforms. The rebels had no picket out and the Yankees were not challenged. Captain Gallagher got off his horse and went Into a house where he knew the lady of the house; got something to eat and four out what rebel force was there and under whose command. It was a part of General Imboden's command of about three thousand infantry and artillery.

Colonel Cole and the rest of the Battalion took another road and Captain Gallagher was to rejoin us at Charlestown next morning. The rain was now coming down in torrents and it was so dark that we lost the road and halted: got some dry kindling wood in an old house and built a large rail fire and tried to dry our clothes; we were wet to the skin. The next morning we started again and came to Charlestown where the 9th Maryland Regiment of our army was camped. Captain Gallagher and his little squad, trying to rejoin our command, got tangled up in the woods and it being very dark the Captain was kicked by another's horse and had his leg broken between the knee and ankle, but they rejoined us at Charlestown, the Captain suffering very much. Colonel Cole told Colonel Simpson who commanded the 9th Maryland Infantry that he had better move his command back out of the town on higher ground so if he was attacked, he would have a better chance of defending himself, to which Colon Simpson replied that he could take care of himself. Our command came back to our camp on Bollivar Heights; Charlestown was eight miles farther south; we got into camp about sundown, tired and hungry; had a good nights rest. The next morning before we had our breakfast the bugle sounded "boots and saddles" and in about ten minutes we were on the road to Charlestown. We got word that General Imboden's command, which we had located at Berryville, had come down the Valley and surrounded the town of Charlestown and captured the whole of the 9th Maryland Regiment. General Sullivan who was in command at Harper's Ferry sent orders to Colonel Cole that we should push forward with all haste and attack the rebels and that we would be followed by a Battery of Artillery and several regiments of infantry.

We started on the lope and soon covered the eight miles to Charlestown. We drove in the rebel pickets and charged into the town, the rebels retiring into a woods a little way out of town where they were drawn up in line of battle. We had only three companies of cavalry and it was useless for us to attack a force of three or four thousand so we waited for our artillery to come. In the meantime the rebels thought they had better make use of the time to get away so they moved on South with their prisoners when our artillery got up and shelled them and threw a few shells after them. We took up the march again and came up to their rear guard, drawn up in a clump of woods, Colonel Cole immediately ordered a charge; we charged up into the woods but were not strong enough, and we had to fall back and just as we were falling back a musket ball struck me in the right shoulder and went straight through which put me out of active service for several months. The rebels kept falling back and a Doctor bandaged my shoulder and A.M. Walker, who lately died at Gettysburg, took me back to Charlestown. I was able to ride horseback. We came to the Court House where they had a hospital; we dismounted and went in; I was anxious to have my wound dressed; they were busy cutting of a man's leg, but finally a surgeon examined my wound a little and remarked that he supposed my arm would have to be amputated and I told him I guessed it wouldn't be, so Walker and I got on our horses and rode eight miles farther to find our own regimental hospital. It was then about ten o'clock at night and I did not get my wound dressed until next morning and then the Doctor got at it. He pulled a piece of my coat out that was fast on my arm bone and he got through and bandaged me up.

I felt pretty comfortable after remaining in the hospital about a week or ten days. Of course they were very uneasy about me at home and thought I was wounded much worse than I was, and so Brother Jacob drove over from home to Harper's Ferry in a buggy and I procured a furlough to go home and next morning I started for home and stayed at Brother Robert's at Emmitsburg all night and reached home next day, glad to get home and they were glad to see me. After remaining at home until about the middle of December, I returned to my company which was then encamped in winter quarters on Louden Heights across the Shenandoah River, opposite Harper's Ferry. The Battalion had been on several big raids up the Valley while I was at home. General Sullivan ordered the battalion to locate our camp on the East slope of Louden Heights as an outpost and when I returned from home I found them very comfortably fixed for the cold weather. Soon after I returned (my wound was not yet healed fully and I was excused from duty for awhile) there was quite a large detail sent out on a scout under the command of Captain Hunter. They were to go a distance into the enemy's country and were to be gone several days. They ran into quite a large body of rebel cavalry and before they were aware of it they were surrounded and most of them captured. Captain Hunter himself was captured but had made his escape and found his way back to camp.

Read Part Two