Sunday, September 14, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Sept. 14. – x x x Up at 5 to 5 ½ A.M. Looked after our horses – got some breakfast at 6 to 7 and mounted. I formed the company at 6 ¾ and at 7 A.M., we were on the march to Chambersburg. We reached Shippensburg about the middle of the day. The streets were crow{d}ed, and the people hailed our arrival with manifestations of great pleasure and satisfaction. Our horses were quartered chiefly alone at the hotels, but the people insisted upon distributing the members of the company among themselves to dine 1 or 2 or 3 here and there among them as seemed suitable. Frank Meaham and myself were pressed to the home of one E.J. McCune, a youngish man, merchant, with a pleasant young wife and their child, living very comfortably, who gave us an excellent dinner and indeed in some respects rather extra. I wrote whilst dinner was getting ready to my wife, giving her an account of our progress thus far. At about 2 P.M. we were again in our saddles, and after a short return of thanks by Byers, on behalf of the company, to the citizens for their kind {two crossed out words} and polite treatment we left for Chambersburg where we arrived, eleven miles from Shippensburg and fifty from home, at 5 P.M., and stopped at Mr. Riley’s Western Hotel, where we got our horses comfortably stabled, got a comfortable supper and distributed ourselves for sleeping to various quarters. I went just across the way from the hotel to one Guiselman, where I was put into a well furnished chamber with a superior spring bed. Went to bed about 9 ½ to 10 P.M.

Monday, September 15, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Sept. 15. Clear, fine, hot-sun, extremely dusty. A large cavalcade of secesh prisoners and wagons captured by our army, or a portion of it, was brought into this place yesterday, creating a whirl of delight and rejoicing some 40 to 70 wagons and some 70 prisoners. There were put into the jail. At 2 ½ to 3 P.M., our troop left Chambersburg for Greencastle, where we arrived at 5 ½ to 6 P.M. We had considerable difficulty in getting our horses and men properly distributed into suitable quarters. A good deal of disatisfaction among the men, and justly so I thought, that quarters had not been certainly and sure provided for all of them beforehand. J.B. Boyd and self stopt at Mrs. Kurikles {?}, and an aunt of his wife, where we were treated very kindly. got a good supper and good bed! Our horses were in {"the" inserted with arrow} stable of a man named Haas, who had kept a livery, but had left the town with his horses for fear of the rebels. x x x x To be at 10 ½ to 11 P.M.

Tuesday, September 16, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Sept 16. Clear-fine-hot-sun. We at 5 A.M. Considerable {marked out word} discussion and doubt in the Company about the propriety of our going out of the State. We had been ordered to report to Gen. Reynolds at Chambersburg, where, not finding him, we proceeded to Greencastle expecting to find him He was not there, but said to be at Hagerstown. The Captain himself had great doubts about the fitness of our going out of the State to report to any one, as we would then be under his orders. I considered it rather rediculous for us to set out for service and yet {marked out word} stop short of being appointed to any, and thought it most unbecoming and unsuitable for us to ask the nature of the orders we might get there. We accordingly determined with some hesitation on the part of the Captain and some others, (he hesitating I think mainly from his implied obligations not to take the men beyond the borders) to move on to Hagerstown, and we left Greencastle at 2 to 3 P.M. Our arrival at the State line five miles from Greencastle, we loaded pistols to be ready for emergencies. When within a few miles of Hagerstown the Quarter master Peters, and the Surgeon Dock went ahead into the town to look for quarters. They returned with word that all was full and forage not to be had. We halted at the farm of an Thomas Spriggle, two miles out of town, where we got hay for our horses and quarters for the men in the barn and got bread, butter and apple-butter in abundance for ourselves. I detailed the guards – four watches of two hours each for the night, and turned into sleeping quarters at 9 to 10. Dr, Dock slept in a bed in the house. The men were quartered on the barn floor.

Wednesday, September 17, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Sept. 17. – Windy, signs of rain. Left Spriggle’s at 7 A.M., for town, where we reported to Gen. Reynolds at 8 to 9. Received orders to proceed to Jones’ Cross Roads, six miles on the Sharpesburg Pike or road, where we arrived about 10 to 11 A.M. Found great bustle. large numbers of the Anderson Cavalry about, riding back and forth as orderlies to and from the scene of the terrible fight there and all day going on in the neighborhood of Sharpsburg. x x x x x x We have been within very distinct hearing of the rapid and incessant discharges of artillery at the fight the whole day since daylight this morning. Saw some secesh prisoners from the fight brought in while we were at the Cross Roads. We reported there, {in the marked out} as ordered, to Captain Palmer who is by no means of unassuming appearance a man of some 30 years of age, about 5 feet 10 inches high, quite thin, reddish face, quick and firm looking, but {word marked out} evidently to my {unrecognizable word} feeling and thinking himself to be some considerable {unrecognizable word}, and that he was making that impression upon observers. He inquired our force and how we were armed; said we would do very well, and ordered us to proceed to Williamsport, some four miles distant, by way of Manor Cross Roads to relieve, as I at finish understood him, a cavalry company there. We started off and when within a mile or two Williamsport were met met by him coming from that direction. How he had got round or ahead of us I cannot say, as we had left him at the Cross Roads. He hurried us in on the gallop and sharp trot to Williamsport, and ordered us through Capt. B., and his aid, one Samborn or Sambent, to proceed to the burning of the ware-houses, canal boats, board yards, {etc?}, to prevent and obstruct the passage of the retreating rebels across the river into Virginia at that point. Our fellows unhorsed and went into it with a will, and in a very short time – say from 10 to 15 minutes the ware-house, planing mill and lumber yards were in full and terrible conflagration. Many of the leading citizens cursed and swore at what they chose to designate as a wanton useless and unauthorized destruction of property, calculated in no way to retard the progress of the rebels across the river. They got up a {marked out word} great excitement against us, and for a time it seemed as if they had determined to make an attack upon us. Capt. Palmer was there until the flame was fully going, and left there to direct us the aid above named. There were no Union troops of any kind in Williamsport or nearer than one to two miles. A brick dwelling house, said by the man who lived in it to belong to "dam rebel or secesh", was burned from the were heat of the burning warehouses nearest it, which were some 20 or 30 yards off, and the wind blowing parallel with and not toward the house any part of the time. We got there about the middle of the day, and had our work accomplished, including the undermining of and preparation to blow up the wall of the acqueduct across the creek, and depositing a heavy amount of powder in it, awhile before sun set. We had orders to remain there until notified by our pickets or by Union picket firing that the enemy was approaching, and then to leave on the Hagarstown road. Our horses were tied round a certain warehouse on the main street, or near it and around a coal yard fenced in, not unsaddled , but with bridles off, eating hay. We had laid down to sleep about 9 to 10 o’clock – myself and the bugler together. He went to sleep soon. I had not gone to sleep, when about 10 ½ to 11, four picket shots followed by Captain’s order, "Up men!" roused us, and in less than five minutes we were in our saddles and on the way out of Williamsport. When out about 1 to 1 ½ miles, we encountered a heavy picket of cavalry, which we at first took for rebels, drawn up along side of the road. They were uncertain of our character and purpose for a time as we were of theirs. Questions were hurriedly exchanged an "who are you ?" {"and" put in with an arrow by writer} a shot fired on their side, (warning shot, I suppose) I drew my right pistol and the Captain and I and {Leut Boyd written in left margin} advanced slowly. Explanations took place and we turned out to be friends – they a picket of New York cavalry encamped near by where we encountered them. We passed on and made our camp that night at Spriggle’s , east of Hagarstown and some seven miles from Willaimsport, an hour or two after mid-night.

Thursday, September 18, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Sept. 18.- x x x x We spent this day at our camp at Spriggle’s , where we staid last night and night before. We received this morning at this camp an addition of 15 men to our troop, whose names we had before we left, but who, for want of horses or otherwise, were not ready to leave Harrisburg with us. They were Wm. Knoche, Henry Thomas Hugh --------, Luther Simmons, Jno. Mountz, Jacob Ulman, Jno. Greenwalt, Wm. Emminger, Jno. Miller, Saul Robinson, Cornelius Bomgardner, Henry Bunker, {strange symbol} 2, V. Orsinger, Geo. M Dinger, x x x x . Jno. and Walter Crawford were added here, or one of them at least. There was great rejoicing on their arrival in the morning soon after breakfast. Several of them were very sore from the long ride, especially Wm. Knoche and others, who it seemed had been a source of much merriment to their companions. x x x x x x Spent all day at this camp two miles from Hagarstown.

Friday, September 19, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Srpt 19. – Clear, fine, hot sun, very dusty as it has been since we left home. Left our encampment a Spriggle’s at 8 to 9 A.M. in pursuance of orders to report to Gen. Reynolds at headquarters. Arrived in Hagerstown at 10 to 11 A.M., and reported accordingly. Were ordered to proceed to Nagin’s Old mill or the Wm Hagers mill on or near the leavetown pike, 1 ½ to 2 miles east or north east of Hagarstown, to encamp there and await orders. I attended in town at depots, warehouses, tc., to assigned duties touching our ammunition, tc. Company proceeded to said encampment in the forenoon. I got dinner and fed my horse at Western Hotel, Kept Wm. E. Doyle and where John Houltz, a very clever, accomodating fellow is far tender. x x x Bought peck of fine peaches to take to camp. x x x x x I proceeded out the Frederick pike about the middle of the day to find Hager’s Mill. Impressed Nagin into service to haul munition, tc – one horse dearbourn – and put my peck of peaches in basket I had borrowed in the wagon, and went with same to depot again about the ammunition. Meet Quartermaster Peters and one {of put in with arrow by writer} our Lieutenants and left the wagon and ammunition question in their charge, and then it was that I went and got my dinner as aforesaid. Between 3 and 4 P.M., I mounted and went out to camp, which I found in a pleasant woods on a hill adjoining a large creek on which the mill is located. After the wagon came I distributed the peaches among the men, making about one a-piece for them. Picketed my horse; turned into the bugler’s mess and arranged to spend the night. but lo! and behold! there came orders before we had finished supper that we should report at headquarters. Here were beautiful visions of dreams – heavy slumbers too – at once destroyed. We proceeded to town between 7 and 8 O’clock having one quartermasters wagon (not the one I had impressed but another impressed by the Q. M.) loaded with corn, rations, tc., along. We had received orders in town to divide the company into two corps – one of 34 or 35 with Lieut. Boyd to proceed forthwith to Greencastle – the other {marked out word} with Capt Byers to proceed out the Hancock road to Col. Biddle’s camp about two miles from town and report to him. We got to his camp I suppose sometime from 11 O’clock to midnight; found him with a heavy battery planted in the road and wagons across it to stay or impede the progress of the rebels should they make their appearance, exigencies to be apprehended on the said Hancock road. Divided here by orders into two parties – one under Capt. Harris taking the road leading to the Williamsport road and the other under Capt Byers on the Hancock road which we were ordered to scout or examine some four or five miles from Col. B’s camp. We could only get around his battery and wagons by getting into a corn field and then get out of that again by chopping down a panel of post and rail fence. We moved along quietly and deliberately, passing Col. B’s pickets with all due form and ceremony, and after that proceeding even more cautiously and silently. Dr. Dock, our Surgeon, and myself proceeded half a mile or so further towards Hancock after our main body had halted to go no further, and we were joined on returning to the main body by Luther Simon. We all returned to Col. B’s camp about 3 O’clock in the morning. I do not know what time Harris got in, but it was not until after us, I think. Capt. Byers and the men, excepted myself and Dr. Dock, encamped by invitation of Col. Biddle adjoining his camp. Surgeon Dock and myself proceeded to town two miles, or so far as to the Western Hotel, where we put our horses in the stable and then laid down – Dock on the floor and myself on a settee in a small parlor – with our clothes on, of course, at about 4 O’clock in the morning. I had witnessed the exciting, inspiring march of our Pennsylvania militia through Hagertown toward Williamsport in the afternoon before I went out to camp at Nagins Mill. There had some 15,000 or more of them gone through – fine looking fellows, well-clad, bold and gay, the march enlivened by songs making the walkin sing and eliciting the admiration and praises of the crowds of spectators that lined the streets in Hagerstown. I never felt prouder as a Pennsylvanian in my life – my own son, John Calvin, then only 16 years, 2 months and 14 days old, being in the ranks of the 1st Regiment, (I think that was his regiment) commanded Col. or Lieut. Col. R.M. Lamberton. Though I had seen him in the morning he ran out of the ranks to give me a hurried shake of the hand. I heard men there in Hagerstown wonder where Pennsylvania found all her soldiers, and the fellows protest with quite emphatic oaths that Pennsylvania could fight the war out herself, without any other State interfering, and that it would be a good thing to engage her {crossed out word} by contract to do it. There were hundreds of men in these proudly moving columns from our very town with whom I was well and intimately acquainted and who hailed me with exulting and friendly greetings and salutations as they passed.

Saturday, September 20, 1862 page icon [Intro & Addenda] pdf icon [PDF]

Sept. 20. x x x x Surgeon Dock and myself had breakfast at the Western Hotel. {strange symbol}, I recollect he went up street a short distance, at the suggestion of a young man and got his breakfast at a private house. Dr. Dock, George Bergner and myself called to see Gov. Curtin soon after breakfast at his quarters. He was in fine spirits and expressed himself as believing that the Pennsylvania militia had saved the country, and at all events an invasion of our State by their sturdy and formidable appearance in Dixie, and ourselves, that is our troops, to the very bans of the Potomac. We met there Gen. Kenley (late Colonel) of Maryland, a small and preposessing man in his appearance and manners, who was complimented highly on the spunk and prowess he had already evinced on the Union side in this contest, and in further compliment to the General, after something I had said to him of what we thought of him in Pennsylvania for his bravery, Gov. Curtin said, "You Know, Mr. Rawn, they make game cocks small."

Surgeon Dock and myself dined at Western Hotel. Our troops went back early this morning to the camping ground at Hager’s mill. Dock left on horseback at 4 to 5 P.M., for Greencastle in consequence of information by R. J. Haldeman, and perhaps by letter, that his father, Judge Dock, was dead or dying. I was sorry to part with the Doctor, but he felt that he must go, expecting to take cars at Greencastle for home. It turned out afterwards that the report of his father’s death, or even serious illness, was not correct. In the evening I rode out the Williamsport road a short distance to see what might be seen or heard. Io bed at hotel 9 to 10. P.M.

Jump to date: