Going East to
Journal of the Kosciusko Guards Company
E 12th Regiment
Written by William S. Hemphill Transcribed
by Marjorie Priser
* * *
[July] 23rd Marched to the cars and embarked for Indianapolis
at 9 o'clock, arrived at Indianapolis at 9 p.m. and lay in Central
Depot all night. On the 24th the regiment was marched to the State
House and formally transferred to the U.S. Service by Gov. Morton,
who in a few remarks, tried to smooth over the rough places in
our experience with the State officers. The regiment remained
in bivouac in the State House Square over night, not very well
satisfied at the way the powers that be have acted. The arms furnished,
as we were assured only to drill with, we are now informed will
have to be taken to the front, when we know they are unfit for
service and that there is now improved arms laying in the arsenal.
[July] 25th At 7½ a.m. Took up our line of march
for the Depot where we embarked on the cars and at 10 a.m. left
Indianapolis for the seat of war via Madison, Dayton, Columbus,
Zenia, Newark and Steubenville. All along the road the citizens
treated us with kindness especially at London where provisions
were supplied in abundance and a general effort was made to make
[July] 26th Arrived at Steubenville at 11 a.m. and Pittsburg
at 3 p.m. Were hurried off immediately for Harrisburg where we
arrived on the 27th about 10½ a.m. where we were detained
till 5 o'clock. Took cars for Baltimore via York. Since leaving
Pittsburg we have had rather hard times for provisions, as immense
numbers of troops are returning home from the three months service,
while every available man is being hurried to the front to protect
Washington from the victorious rebels, who having defeated our
forces at Bull Run are now almost masters of the situation.
[July] 28th Arrived at Baltimore about 5 o'clock a.m. and
marched through the city to the southern Depot. Our march was
quite a different one from that of the Massachusetts troops a
few weeks before. They were greeted by howls of rage and the assaults
of a rebel mob which carried death to the ranks and furnished
some of the first martyrs in the unholy rebellion; while we were
greeted with cheers, the waving of Flags and Handkerchiefs and
a generous supply of fresh water and provisions, both of which
were very much needed on this sultry Sabbath.
At 7 a.m. we embarked on the cars for Harper's Ferry passing through
a wild looking, mountainous country, while at every village along
the road the true hearted people cheered us and waved Flags, while
bouquets were showered upon us till every man in the Regiment
had one to display, making it look more like some holy day excursion,
than one of war's stern realities. The most touching sight was
at one place when about a hundred little girls dressed in white
and decked with flowers were formed in two ranks on the platform.
The front rank was kneeling with hands clasped, as if in prayer,
while the rear rank stood with the right hands raised pointing
to Heaven. Not a word was spoken, but the big tears rolled down
many a manly cheek. All along the route women could be seen kneeling
in prayer, while many would plead with tears in their eyes that
we would not allow the old flag to be humbled. Such was the greetings
all through Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania and thus far in Maryland.
The love for the Union appears to be just as sincere.
The Regiment reported to General N. P. Banks at 4½ o'clock
p.m. and marched back onto the hill about one mile and went into
camp. Harpers Ferry presents a rather desolate appearance with
the bare blackened walls of the Arsenal and Government buildings
recently destroyed by fire. The position is one of great strength
and can be held by a small force against almost any force making
a direct attack. The Brigade organization to which we are attached
is composed of the 2nd and 12th Massachusetts and the 12th and
16th Indiana Regiments commanded by Brig. Gen. Abercrombie. Jos.
B. Dodge, who has worked faithfully since our first attempt to
organize a company and has been untiring in his efforts for the
comfort of the men, accompanied us from Indianapolis and now (July
31st) starts for home with the best wishes of the entire company.
Lieut. Gallagher also leaves for Philadelphia for the purpose
of procuring a "Sword" instead of the "walking
stick" he has heretofore so valiantly yielded, and also to
procure a "Snort" of better whiskey than the commissary
A letter was received by the orderly dated at Milford July 24th
in which the writer Jacob Brumbaugh proceeds to give all his reasons
why he cannot report back to the company from which he had a short
leave of absence, to enable him to arrange his affairs at home.
His boy is sick. He has had no opportunity to run around or see
any body. His stock is running out in the woods. The Mitchell
Judgement is gone up a spout. The Shoup claim he may save by going
to law. He can't get any one to take care of his family and stock.
He must prepare wintering for them or sell them. They would bring
nothing worth mentioning. He can't think of losing his property
and leaving his family to suffer and asks to be excused. It is
feared that if Jacob don't keep out of the Provost Guard's hands
he won't be excused, for the present he is marked as our first
August 2d Company E was ordered out for picket duty for
the first time and was stationed on Maryland Heights leaving 18
men in camp. Before going out on duty the acting Inspector General
of the Brigade inspected and condemned the arms of the regiment.
[Aug.] 3rd Mother Rumor is not yet dead, as all
kinds of reports are in circulation with regard to the regiment
being or not being in the Service. Of only one thing are we assured
and that is the heat is most oppressive. Several men had to be
carried off the parade ground, overcome with the heat.
[Aug.] 4th The company was relieved from picket duty and
reported in camp.
[Aug.] 5th Received orders to be ready to march at 3 o'clock
a.m. tomorrow. As there has been some lively skirmishing near
Point of Rocks between some New York troops and the Rebels to
day, such orders occasioned a quiver of excitement among the men.
[Aug.] 6th At the appointed time the camp was all astir
and at 5 o'clock we took up our line of march up Pleasant Valley
and went into camp about five miles back with the Brigade to which
we are attached, which consists of 12th Mass. 12th and 16th Ind.
Infantry and Doubleday's Battery.
[Aug.] 7th Our valiant Colonel John M. Wallace having resigned
his Commission to accept a position in the Pay Department where
he will not be quite so much exposed to Rebel bullets, a Regimental
election was held resulting in the election of Lieut. Col. Linck
as Colonel. Maj. Geo. Humphrey as Lieut. Col. and Capt. Henry
Hubler of Company E as Major. This produced a vacancy in Company
E which was filled by electing 2nd Lieut. Reub Williams as Captain,
James F. McGuire was elected 2nd Lieut. vice Williams promoted,
but by a little extra wire working Sergeant Andrew S. Milice was
recommended and Commissioned to fill that office. This caused
considerable dissatisfaction, as the choice of the company was
clear and the determination on the part of certain persons to
disregard their wishes with regard to promotions gave just grounds
for complaint. The rule adopted by the State authorities about
this time to make promotions in regular order, unless for good
cause shown was wise and just, as under the System we had just
laid aside, promotions were made by favoritism alone.
[Aug.] 9th James M. Nicely and Samuel McClary were discharged
on Surgeons Certificate of Disability. A good joke is told
of one of the men in our regiment. A few nights since there was
a false alarm. Col. Wallace gave the order Lights Out which
has since become the by-word of the regiment, but during the excitement
one of the men was discovered behind a stump on his knees praying
very earnestly "Oh Lord, why didst thou put it into the heart
of thy servant the Chief Magistrate of the State of Indiana to
send us into this dreary country? Lord why didst thou not retain
us in the States Service?" It has never been ascertained
whether the Lord answered these very important inquiries satisfactorily
[Aug.] 15th Received orders to march to Maryland Heights
for picket duty again, but about 8 o'clock p.m. the orders were
to strike tents at day-break ready for a march, with four days
[Aug.] 16th At 5 o'clock a.m. the Regiment was in line
ready to move but being compelled to await the movement of the
right of the Brigade, did not get started till 10 o'clock. Whilst
waiting for our turn to move, orders were given to discharge all
pieces that were loaded. Some of the men instead of discharging
their pieces into the bank in front, fired rather high, endangering
some troops encamped about half a mile south of us. A messenger
was sent over to stop it just as Co. C was about to begin firing.
Orders were given to the Lieut. in command who rushed forward
just as the company came to an "aim" when he yelled
out "Elevate your guns a leedle lower", which called
forth a roar of laughter from the regiment and gave rise to another
"camp saying" that was often afterwards hear in the
At 10 o'clock we marched to the Potomac and then took the road
leading to Washington City. On the 17th we marched about eight
miles crossing the Monocacy and encamped on the south bank to
await the movements of Bank's Division.
Aug 19th Again on the road, the 12th in advance. About
noon the advance guard reported the enemy in front. The word was
given and away went the Hoosiers on the double quick up hill and
down, yelling like mad, till the top of the hill South of Hyattstown
was reached, where we rested till the balance of the Brigade came
up about four hours after us.
During the march Col. Webster of the 12th Mass. came forward,
as he said, to find out whether he was on the right road, as they
could not keep in sight of us and thought they were on the wrong
road. That evening his Regiment came straggling into camp more
than half of them without knapsacks which had been piled onto
the wagons. In Dress Parade, Col. Webster took occasion to remark
to his men: "You have laughed and sneered at the Side
Show long enough and it is true you make a finer appearance
on Dress Parade as you have finer clothes and better arms, but
boys, the Hoosiers will eat a slap-jack for breakfast, double-quick
all day, with never a thought of having a knapsack hauled, and
when you get into Camp you find them with supper over, jumping,
wrestling or running races as though suffering for exercise. Don't
say side show again till you have learned how to keep within
[Aug.] 22nd The only exciting thing about camp was a meeting
in New York Regiment which had been organized under State Authority
for two years service. They supposed they had been sent to the
front for three months and claimed that their time had expired,
and demanded a discharge which was refused; whereupon they stacked
their arms and attempted to march out of camp. The General at
once ordered Doubleday's Battery into position with the 12th Ind.
Reg't as support and gave them twenty minutes to return to camp
and to duty, which they did without any further trouble. This
was a good lesson to a great many men, who had often thought they
could at any time set aside their contract with government the
same as with an individual, but were by this undeceived.
[Aug.] 26th Company E was sent out on Picket. One post
was at the junction of the Washington City with the Leesburg road.
The duty was to examine all that passed, whence they came, whither
going and their authority for passing the lines. During the day
a buggy containing two men was stopped; a fine looking old gentleman
looked out and asked our will concerning him; upon being informed
of our orders, he replied: "I am a good sound union man,
a lover of my Country, and her flag, for which already a portion
of my blood has been spilled. My name is Kimball, my rank a Major
General in the army (opening his duster which hid his uniform),
my business to visit my old friend Genl Banks. You have done your
duty. Continue to be vigilant and the Country is safe in your
hands." He was allowed to pass on to Head Quarters.
[Aug.] 27th General Banks sent a complimentary letter to
the Regiment for the promptness with which they discharged their
duties. Read at Dress Parade.
[Aug.] 28th Review of our Brigade (2nd) by Maj. Genl Banks.
In the evening received orders to march at 6 a.m. on the 29th.
Morning came and with it, came rain in torrents. Our Regiment
was detailed as rear guard and lay by the side of the road all
day in the rain watching the troops and trains moving by. The
day wore away and it was not till 4 o'clock on the morning of
the 30th that we finally moved forward and after a very fatiguing
if not such a lengthy march, encamped near Darnstown about three
miles from the Potomac, where we remained engaged in the usual
camp duties, drills for several days.
Our camp was in a very pleasant position from which a view of
other camps was really sublime. As far as the eye could reach
camp-fires are seen burning on the neighboring hills, after night,
while the lights in the tents produced a peculiar illumination
seen only in the army and then only at rare intervals. While the
sounds of a camp are indescribable. The rolling murmur of thousands
of voices, interspersed with shouts, calls, singing, swearing,
cheering; bands playing in different direction produces a harmonious
discord of sounds that will lull the listener into a dreamy state
from which he will be aroused by the roll of drums in every regiment
and the order "Fall in for Roll Call". Then the peculiar
intonations of voice with which names or numbers are called and
responded to, all combines to render the scene and sounds indescribable.
Sept. 6th There was heavy firing at the river and at 1
o'clock we were ordered to prepare rations and be ready to move
at a moments notice.
[Sept.] 7th Regimental Band came on for duty.
[Sept.] 8th Company E on guard duty with supply train where
we remained till 4 p.m. on the 9th roasting corn and chaffering
[Sept.] 11th The Captain and Lieut. Milice and eleven men
went out to capture some rebel arms they had received information
about. Returned at 9 p.m. with three uniforms and one stand of
[Sept.] 16th There was a great time among the men to get
letters written to send home with Capt. Williams who is detailed
to recruit for the regiment, and nearly every man had from 2 to
211 verbal messages to send which it would be impossible for any
man to remember.
[Sept.] 17th Capt. Williams left for home on recruiting
service, leaving the company nominally under command of Lieut.
Gallagher. Tommy Hubler goes along on thirty days furlough. In
the evening our camp was cheered by the arrival of Dr. Hazzard
[Sept.] 19th Pay-day. No drill. No one was sorry to see
the yellow boys. At 10 o'clock p.m. the long roll was beat
and the 12th Mass. ordered to the river, much to the disappointment
of the balance of the Brigade.
[Sept.] 21st Received a new uniform of regulation blue.
Discard the old.
[Sept.] 28th Ordered to march to support Col. Geary at
Point of Rocks. Started at 9 o'clock a.m. and reported at Nolins
Ferry in just three hours, distance 25 miles, carrying a load
of about 40 lbs to the man. This was rather bigger marching than
Lew Wallace's celebrated march on Romney of 31 miles in 8 hours
We encamped in a beautiful grove, but our position being exposed
to the enemy's fire, we moved about three miles west on the 29th.
The movement was very quiet; no one living along the road knew
[Sept.] 30th Poor camp - miserable water - and no provisions
till mid-day. Capt. Saml Boughter promoted to Sergeant vice
Milice promoted 2nd Lieut. George Deardorff promoted to Corporal
vice Saml Boughter promoted. Quite a number of men managed
to get out of camp today and procured a supply of "ammunition"
which they used quite freely, in consequence of which they became
rather unsteady and noisy.
Oct 2nd Moved to within a half mile of Point of Rocks where
we encamped in a beautiful grove. The enemy are now on the other
side of the Potomac river, and within hailing distance of our
pickets. Many polite invitations are given to visit each other.
[Oct.] 3rd Our camping ground being rather pleasant the
boys said we would be sure to get orders to march. This was the
case for in the evening the orders came; and on the morning of
the 4th we moved to Poolesville. This was the hardest march we
have had yet. The day was excessively warm; the roads dry and
very dusty and the only procurable water was a few degrees past
lukewarm; although we only marched 13 miles we found on getting
into camp only twenty men in the company and it, the largest company
in the camp. More than two thirds of the Regiment had given out
and kept crawling into camp until midnight. On the 5th the march
was continued to Dannorsville, a distance of ten miles where we
found the 16th and 27th Indiana and several N. York and Penn Regiments
and went into camp near them, where we rested on the 6th.
On the 7th there was heavy firing toward the river. About 4 p.m.
a heavy rain came up which continued all night, accompanied by
a high wind which blew down over one half of the tents. There
was a great many amusing incidents during the night. Sometimes
the men would be suddenly awakened with the rain pouring down
upon them, and no sign of a tent to shelter them. In the next
tent probably would be found every man holding the tent down to
keep it from blowing away, while in still another the men would
find themselves stretched across a respectable stream making a
dam; and I verily believe they did generally damn that
water strong enough to have run a good sized grist mill to say
nothing of the dam-age to a christian's reputation. Curses
were both loud and deep but I could not see that they did any
good. I found the best way was to lay still on one side till well
soaked. Then turn over and get the other side soaked too. By this
means a man can catch cold all one alike.
Oct. 8th Cold - Wet - Windy Water five inches deep in our
tent. In the afternoon we moved our camp across the hollow to
a better location. All the women in the camp were ordered home
and there was an exciting time, as there was a large number of
them and they had to be driven out of camp by the Provost Guard.
Our camp is a lively place - when off duty the soldier's life
is one of constant enjoyment and discontent mingled in nearly
equal doses. Here a little group speculating over the latest camp
rumor or the next probable move. There a euchre party. Here a
man asleep amid all the din that surrounds him. There another
oblivious to all that is going on, over the pages of some old
novel - while another is just as deeply interested in a letter
to "The girl he left behind" or some other person. The
notes of two or three old violins, "confiscated" on
the march furnishes music for as many sets to trip the "Light
fantastic too" while the usual complement of "Darkies"
raise cain generally. If the weather is fair they are all gay
- happy free from care, but if it should be wet and gloomy like
weather like soldier. Nearly always complaining of the strict
discipline or hardships of a soldier's life while in camp let
the order pass to march and we would suppose they had received
an invitation to dine with the President and if that dignitary
should happen to get in their way or bother them with remarks
he would in all probability receive an invitation to visit a place,
supposed to be uncomfortably warm.
Oct. 10th At 2 o'clock a.m. orders were received to prepare
three days rations. At 8 a.m. we marched to Darnestown where we
were joined by the 13th Mass. Infantry and continued our march
to our old camping ground at Hyattstown. Our train did not get
in till well toward morning, so that we were compelled to bivouac
and spend the night without shelter. It was a cold wet disagreeable
night. Company E succeeded in procuring a supply of wood and rails
and brought them into camp, which Capt. Morrison, temporarily
in command, insisted on dividing. He was informed that if he had
men enough in Company A to take them he could divide but Co. E
proposed to fight it out before any division was made.
Finding that he could not "skare" any body very bad,
he waived his claim threatening to reduce the "orderly"
to the ranks for insolent language to his superior. Being informed
that he was not supposed to be the superior of any man in the
12th Regiment he returned to his blanket.
Oct. 11th Marched to Frederick City, where we went into
camp. During the night there was another storm of wind and rain
during which about three-fourths of our tents blew down and we
had a repetition of our Dawsonville experience on a little larger
scale. We remained in camp till 1 o'clock p.m. on the 12th when
orders to march to Boonsboro was received. Away we went -left
in front- and a merry march it was. Capt. Morrison had the rear
and it was a chance to put him through not to or neglected. (It
is a fact well known to Infantry soldiers that the rear is the
hardest place to march in the column.) We halted on the summit
to rest when Surgeon Lomax, came up and told us we were marching
too fast. Company A could not keep up. He was assured that we
all knew it and proposed to have about three miles "double
quick" to work it off and as soon as orders were given to
march again some one called out "double quick" and with
a yell the regiment sprung forward and notwithstanding the efforts
made by Major Hubler and the Adjutant to stop them, the double
quick was kept up for nearly three miles and the Regiment went
into camp at Boonsboro at 6 o'clock p.m. A march of 17 miles in
Oct. 13th Marched to Williamsport on the upper Potomac
passing some very beautiful country. Here we find the 1st Maryland
and 1st Virginia regiments in camp and we rested ourselves on
the 14th preparatory to a march on the 15th to our destination,
which it now appears is to be on picket duty at Dam No. 4. However
unsatisfactory to us this arrangement may be we will have to submit
as some regiment must fill the place in the line.
Oct. 15th Marched in company with Co. A and Co. H through
Downs-ville. (Company) A going to Shepherds Island - E and H to
Dam No. 4 while the balance of the Regiment is stationed at Sharpsburg
and Antietam Bridge with Headquarters at Sharpsburg. After a march
of about ten miles we went into camp in an old field on a hill
overlooking the river, about one mile from the dam relieving a
company of the 1st Virginia Regiment.
Oct. 16th Heavy firing down the river which we subsequently
learned was a brisk fight between Col. Geary's forces and the
Rebels at Harpers Ferry.
Oct. 17th Some of the men came in reporting a strong rebel
force on the Virginia side, preparing for an attack on our position.
They were planting a battery etc. Upon examination it proved to
be two negroes with a wagon gathering corn.
Oct. 18th Received a dispatch from Col. Link that an attack
was threatened by a strong force on Dam No. 4 with instructions
to defend it at all hazards. The men are very anxious to burn
Oct. 19th A force of about 75 men from Companies D, E and
K crossed the river, which returned about 10 o'clock a.m. with
3 prisoners, 2 horses, 6 mules, 21 fat hogs, turkeys, chickens,
hams, butter, etc. in abundance. So for a time at least we will
fare sumptuously. The circumstances under which the above property
was captured was a little peculiar. On the 16th the writer was
instructed by Maj. Hubler, commanding the post, to examine the
roads, ravines, houses etc. on the Virginia shore in the neighborhood
of Hardscrabble and Shepherdstown and make a plat of the scene
for the guidance of the force sent over on the 19th, whose main
object was to be the capture of Henry Shepherd and a rebel picket
force stationed on his premises. The plat was made and every important
point noted, so that there could be no mistake made.
The expedition consisted of details from Co. K commanded by Capt.
Draper and Co. E. commanded by Lieut. Milice of 12th Indiana and
a portion of Co. D. NY Vols. commanded by Capt. Robinson. Capt.
Draper being the ranking officer was placed in command and fully
instructed as to the plan. A portion of Co. A under Capt. Morrison
was ordered to cross the river at Shepherd's Island and move to
a position which would effectually cut off the retreat of any
one from Shepherd's. Owing to a dense fog which prevailed and
the failure of Capt. Morrison to occupy the position assigned
him, Shepherd and his son with the picket made their escape, excepting
the men who were captured and who upon being brought into camp,
took the oath of allegiance and were allowed to return home. Capt.
Draper from some cause returned to camp very soon, leaving his
force to take care of themselves. Capt. Robinson as soon as he
found himself in command ordered his men back to camp, advising
Lieut. Milice to return also. Lieut. Milice determined to carry
out the orders as far as possible and proceeded to search the
premises, making all the captures that were made and returned
to camp at 10 o'clock.
Oct. 20th The men have been engaged digging Rifle Pits
and constructing defenses at the dam, all day. During the night
the picket at Bull Hollow was fired upon two or three times.
Oct. 21st Received and issued Overcoats, Blankets and Knapsacks.
As a cool piece of imprudence, the following will pass muster.
After our forces came back, two of the boys crossed the river
and went back into the country about four miles. Coming back,
they stopped at the house of one of the Strongest Secesh in that
part of the country, took dinner with him and chatted about an
hour, over the events of the morning, and then returned to camp,
passing in full view of about 200 rebel cavalry, who, suspecting
an ambuscade, made no attempt to molest them. In the evening a
dispatch was received from Sharpsburg, that a force was marching
toward this point to destroy the dam and we are ordered to protect
it at all hazards.
Oct. 21st D. W. Hamlin started for home on Sick leave.
The pickets were fired upon during the night.
Oct. 23rd Lieut. Gallagher with ten men crossed the river
on a scout.
Oct. 27th Reports received that a force of the enemy 5000
strong was at Martinsburg.
Oct. 29th Capt. Williams returned from recruiting Service
bringing about 250 recruits for the Regiment. Of them 22 were
assigned to Company E increasing the effective force very materially
and lightening the duties of the men proportionately. There was
much dissatisfaction among the recruits on being assigned to the
various companies as a majority of them expected to be assigned
to Co. E and could hardly be reconciled to the idea of serving
in another company. The recruits assigned to this company were:
Thomas J. Anderson
Solomon L. Milice (Mc)
Joseph S. Baker
Nathan B. McConnell
Virgil M. Chaplin
Silas H. McAlpine
John A. Campfield
Charles V. Pyle
Louis B. Davis
Austin M. Sanderson
Joseph A. Goodman
James H. Williams
Elmer G. Harvey
Stephen G. Hamlin
Henry H. Hubler
William E. Rousseau
Martin L. Lash
The boys met with a hearty welcome and a promise to give them
a trip into Dixie in a few days.
Oct. 31st The Captain, 1st Sergeant and twelve men crossed
the river at 11½ o'clock p.m. and made their way over the
rocks, through fields, woods and mud for several hours but only
succeeded in gaining some knowledge of the country which may prove
November 1st Another squad, under Lieut. Milice crossed
the river in the evening and proceeded back into the country several
miles, notwithstanding a terrible rain storm that prevailed nearly
all night. They passed within half a mile of a detachment of the
enemy, 750 strong, who, but for the storm, would probably have
given them trouble.
On the 2nd the storm continued all day without intermission and
we were permitted to see the Potomac "on the high."
The water raised so rapidly that it became necessary to call in
the guard at, and below the dam. The rise was about twenty feet,
the canal below the dam being entirely submerged, while the dam
itself could only be distinguished in the mad rush of water, by
the abutements and a slight depression where the foaming flood
dashed over the breast of the dam which in ordinary stages is
ten or twelve feet high. It was a grand and terrific sight, the
waters foaming and boiling threatening to tear everything before
it. So fierce was the flood that toward evening it was deemed
necessary to call in the guard that was stationed at the Guard
Lock. On going to their relief it was found that the guard had
taken refuge with the family at the Lock, and all were upstairs,
the lower floor being some three feet under water. A boat was
procured and all were safely removed to safer quarters, until
the waters would subside. Most of the men took refuge in the barns
and houses in the vicinity of the camp, but a few of them made
themselves as comfortable as possible in their quarters. This
storm dampened the ardor of the recruits and they began to hint
that there was not as much fun in soldiering as they had imagined.
The high waters put a stop to crossing the river for several days
and the men had but little duty to perform in camp. In consequence
of this frequent visits were made to Downsville about four miles
north of the camp and some of the men were intoxicated nearly
all the time and disturbances were of almost hourly occurrence.
So annoying did this become that it was determined to put a stop
to it and on the 9th, Lieut. Gallagher, 1st Serg't Hemphill and
seven men proceeded to Downsville and compelled the dealers at
that point to sign an agreement not to sell or give away any intoxicating
liquors, to, or for a soldier, and also becoming responsible for
liquors procured by citizens, which should find its way into the
hands of the soldiers, under penalty of the destruction of their
Nov. 10th The camp was surprised by a visit of the Chaplain,
Revd. J. P. Watson, who had heretofore appeared to think that
the men at Dam No. 4 were either very moral, or not worth saving.
The rebel pickets on the other side of the river, were becoming
more numerous and their force appeared to be increasing, rendering
it necessary to be on the alert. Shots were frequently exchanged,
but no great damage was done on either side. It was annoying,
The sale of liquors at Downsville had caused considerable trouble
in camp. The fact that some of the commissioned officers, who
proposed to be most anxious to suppress the sale, have it brought
into camp by the gallon for their own use, and use it openly in
the presence of the men to such an extent that "half drunk"
seems to be their normal condition, does not tend to lessen the
trouble. The Commander of the post, while somewhat under the influence
of "old Rye" had a misunderstanding with privates Oliver
Hubler and Aaron M. Wagner and after placing them under arrest,
ordered them on guard duty for several hours. They were probably
innocent of the offence of which they were accused, but were both
rather stubborn and refused to do the guard duty. The Major ordered
them to be confined in the guard house and ordered Capt. Williams
to prefer charges against them for insubordination. It was only
petty spite work, but the Captain was compelled to obey, the charges
were preferred and a Court Martial ordered to convene at Regimental
headquarters, at Sharpsburg, on the 12th, at which time the Court
Martial met and adjourned till the 13th. The Captain and 1st Sergeant
did all they could for the prisoners, and succeeded in having
as light a penalty imposed as was possible, but Hubler was one
of the "pig-headed" kind and from that time forward
was the bitter enemy of those who had worked hard to save him
from the undeserved punishment.
Nov. 13th A rather amusing fight came off just outside
the guard lines in the evening. Jack Mankin, "Big Jack"
as he was called, prided himself on his powers as a pugilist,
and had always held a grudge against Corporal John Deardorff,
who had been appointed to that office vice Jack, who was
reduced to the ranks for getting drunk and resisting arrest. Jack
had been "just honing" for a chance to get satisfaction
out of Deardorff, without subjecting himself to the penalty therefore.
On this occasion they had some misunderstanding and Jack tried
every means he could think of to get Deardorff to fight him. Finally
he proposed to get the Major's permission to go outside the guard
line "just long enough to thresh Deardorff." Deardorff
was agreed, and Jack made his wants known to the Major, who gave
the necessary permission and instructed the guard to "pass
the two men outside the lines and allow them to fight it out."
Jack stripped himself and walked out, taking his position on a
little knoll a few feet from the line. He was really a magnificent
specimen of manhood, standing some six feet, four inches and well-built.
Corporal Deardorff was not so tall by about three inches, but
he was fully as heavy, and it looked as though it would be a battle
between giants for both were more than ordinary men, both in size
and strength, and both had some science.
The Corporal stripped for the fight very quietly, and some thought
very reluctantly, and while Jack was smacking his fists and daring
him to "come within reach," the Corporal, with a smile
on his lips, stepped quietly across the line and walked deliberately
up to Jack, who, having the choice of positions, reached for him
with a blow that would have felled an ox. With the same good natured
smile on his face, the Corporal parried the blow and gave Jack
"a light tap" that sent him spinning about a rod. Jack
came to the scratch a second, and a third time, only to meet the
same cool smile and "light tap", but each time the "tap"
increased in weight, the last one nearly sending him "to
grass" the Corporal quietly remarking as he gave it "Jack,
if you don't quit bothering me I'll hit you." Jack concluded
not to bother him any more and they both returned to camp amid
the cheers and laughter of the entire force who had watched the
fight with much interest. Jack was satisfied and never bothered
the Corporal again.
Nov. 15th Company marched to Sharpsburg and exchanged the
old smooth-bore muskets for Springfield Rifles, returning to camp
in the evening, muddy and tired, but better satisfied at having
arms that would be of some service in an engagement as the muskets
were fit for nothing but to drill with; a man could hardly hit
the side of a barn, at twenty rods, with them. Had our first snow.
Nov. 16th A light snow and a very cold Northwest wind started
the subject of winter quarters. On the 18th a barn across the
river, belonging to a Union man who took refuge in Maryland, was
burned down. It was without doubt, an incendiary fire, started
by some of the rebel soldiers or guerilla, who are hovering around
Nov. 20th The command was made glad by the appearance of
Major McKibbin who dealt out the first Treasury notes we have
seen. In the evening a small force of the enemy was discovered
on the Virginia side, and during the night a large amount of noise
was discovered in camp. The latter was caused by the first investment
of treasury notes, being made for whiskey, a supply of which had
been procured at the bridge near the guard-lock. On the 21st the
Captain with seven men proceeded to the bridge, took charge of
the liquor and stored it away in a safe place. This was resented
by private Frarey who indulged in some very abusive language concerning
the Captain for which he was arrested and charges preferred.
Nov. 22th Enemy again seen on Virginia side of the river.
They seemed to be growing bolder and suspicious persons have approached
the pickets several times, who upon being challenged ran away.
On the night of the 24th some person was discovered sneaking around
camp and shortly afterwards signals were exchanged with some person
or persons on the Virginia side. This kept the guards constantly
on the alert as an attempt to destroy the dam was hourly expected.
On the 27th Company F made a raid upon Shepherdstown and captured
a few prisoners. Mr. Cookers, our guide and scout was taken by
the enemy and lodged in Charlestown jail. Mr. Williamson's hogs
and horses were also confiscated by the rebels.
Dec. 1st Serg't Hemphill started for Indiana County, Pa.
and Serg't Sam'l Boughter started for Carlisle, Pa. both having
been granted furloughs to the 8th with leave to remain about until
the 10th, to visit their parents from whom they had been absent
Dec. 7th A small force of the enemy estimated at 400 infantry,
200 cavalry and a battery made a demonstration against Dam No.
5, but another company being sent to reinforce the picket force
at that place on the 8th, the enemy retired after a sharp skirmish
and losing several men. On the 10th about 40 or 50 of the enemy
approached Dam No. 4 probably for the purpose of reconnoitering.
Capt. Williams took a detachment from his company and went out
to interview them, but they (the company) evidently were not looking
for a fight and withdrew.