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In presenting the PHOTOGRAPHIC SKETCH BOOK OF THE WAR to the attention of the public, it is designed that it shall speak for itself. As mementoes of the fearful struggle through which the country has just passed, it is confidently hoped that the following pages will possess an enduring interest.
Verbal representations of such places, or scenes, may or may not have the merit of accuracy; but photographic presentments of them will be accepted by posterity with an undoubting faith. The Marshall House, at the commencement of the war, was a dingy old hotel, kept by a man generally known in that section by the name of Jim Jackson. In many of the Southern cities the people had erected buildings of this kind for the confinement of slaves awaiting sale. The village of Fairfax Court-House, Virginia, eighteen miles from Washington, was, previous to the rebellion, one of the loveliest of the State. Perched upon the gentle slope of the ridge that bears its name, and looking across fertile fields to the mountains that rise up grandly hiding the West, Centreville had smiled on many generations, and grown feeble with all its pleasant things about it.
Through all these scenes a few of its people have lived and suffered, faithful to their homes. After the first battle of Bull Run, the Confederates extended their earthworks from Manassas across Bull Run, and along the ridge of Centreville.
These were found in the works at Centreville, after the position at Manassas Junction was evacuated by the rebels.
This sketch represents a portion of the field of the battle of Bull Run, fought on the 21st of July, 1861, by the forces under Gen. This shattered dwelling stands on the first Bull Run battle ground, by the side of the turnpike leading from Centreville to Warrenton. The Bull Run Monument, consecrated with imposing ceremonies in June, 1865, stands about half a mile from the house. Manassas, the junction of the Orange and Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroads, twenty-seven miles from Alexandria, strikes the attention of the visitor at once by its remarkable strength as a military position. Such material as had not been wholly destroyed by the fire was speedily removed by the Government. This sketch represents a portion of the Confederate fortifications at Manassas after their occupation by the Federal Army. The work was built in a grove of peach trees, on a small promontory which ran out into the York river, and the first intelligence the enemy had of our movements there was a broadside into some of their schooners, which were unloading supplies at the wharf-front of Yorktown, nearly two miles distant. An immense magazine in the rear, was connected with the guns by an underground tunnel, through which the men could pass in carrying ammunition.
This, the best constructed of all the works thrown up for the bombardment of the rebel lines, was built in the orchard of the Farinholt House, near Yorktown, and was so completely concealed behind the little crest rising from the shore of the York river, as to be quite undistinguishable from the enemy's lines, except when the smoke of the guns revealed its existence.
While in camp at Baltimore they acquired under that officer the magnificent drill and soldierly bearing they afterwards showed upon so many battleAfields. The Farinholt House commands a fine view of the river up to Yorktown, and Gloucester opposite. In October, 1781, the commissioners appointed to arrange the terms of capitulation, between General Washington and Lord Cornwallis, met at this house.
At Cumberland Landing, one of the most magnificent spectacles ever seen in the army was presented, when the combined forces, massed upon the bank of the river, converted the barren fields, as if by magic, into an immense city of tents.
Otherwise known by the name of its builder, and marked on the map, "Woodbury's Bridge." The picture is taken at a point where the accumulated waters most presented the character of a stream, the swamp being in some places all of a mile in width, and supporting on its treacherous surface a luxuriant growth. On Saturday, the 23rd of April, 1861, the questionable policy of destroying this Navy Yard was enforced. Its accessibility made it a most convenient place as a depot for the North Atlantic blockading fleets, the James River flotilla, and Gen. Some of the shops were rebuilt, and the place presented a curious spectacle of industry in the midst of ruin; while the constant arrivals kept the adjacent waters filled with vessels, including magnificent frigates and stoops-of-war, renowned in many exploits, as well as gun-boats and purchased vessels of every build and tonnage, not to mention hosts of sharp Clyde-built blockade runners, long, low, and raking, brought here by their successful captors, previous to being taken North for adjudication and translation into ships-of-war for the capture of their fellows. This structure crosses Antietam Creek on the turnpike leading from Boonesboro to Sharpsburg, and is one of the memorable spots in the history of the war, although but little suggestive in its present sunny repose, of the strife which took place near it, on the day of the battle of Antietam. After Lee's second invasion of Maryland, which ended with the battle of Gettysburg, and the escape of his army into Virginia at Williamsport and Falling Waters, Gen. One mile below Sharpsburg on Antietam Creek, a stone structure, known as the "Burnside Bridge," crosses the stream. It was at this point that some of the most desperate fighting of the battle of Antietam occurred. This Church is located on a ridge near Sharpsburg, on the battle-field of Antietam, and suffered severely in that engagement, it was against this point that General Hooker, on the right of our line, made his assaults, and near it where he received his wound. To the hero of Antietam belongs the credit of first developing and fully appreciating the value of a corps of signalists to an army throughout its active operations in the field, and especially during a great battle.
The Elk Mountain Signal Station was operated by Lieutenants Pierce and Jerome, and the view was taken whilst the former officer was receiving a dispatch from General McClellan, probably requesting further information in regard to some reported movement of his wary foe, or sending an important order to a Corps Commander. A rebel correspondent of a Richmond paper, who claims to have been an eye-witness of that battle, thus writes on the succeeding day, of the part taken in it by the Signal Corps of the Union Army: "Their signal stations on the Blue Ridge commanded a view of our every movement.
On the 1st of October, 1862, two weeks after the battle of Antietam, President Lincoln visited the Army of the Potomac, encamped near Harper's Ferry, in Maryland.
The headquarters were located in a field near this house, and were composed only of a sufficient number of tents to shelter the General and Staff, and the offices of the various departments. Berlin is a quiet little village on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, twelve miles from Point of Rocks. The Photograph only shows the village and a small portion of the Maryland shore, from which no adequate impression can be formed of the beauty of the surrounding scenery. Perhaps no one point, North or South, has been the scene of so many changes in the shifting panorama of war, through which we have passed in the last four years, as Harper's Ferry.
When fatigued by long exercise in the saddle, over bottomless roads, or under the glowing Southern sun, John's master would propound the query, "What do I want, John Henry?" that affectionate creature would at once produce the demijohn of "Commissary," as the only appropriate prescription for the occasion that his untutored nature could suggest.
Although his head resembled an egg, set up at an angle of forty-five degrees, small end on top, yet his moral and intellectual acquirements were by no means common. The Lacy House, situated on the banks of the Rappahannock, immediately opposite Fredericksburg, when taken possession of by the United States troops, in the spring of 1862, was surrounded with beautiful lawns, rare flowers, and all the exterior adornments of an elegant country seat.
General McDowell first used the building as his headquarters, and afterwards General Burnside pitched his tents in the yard.
Just below the Falls of the Rappahannock, and midway between Washington and Richmond, is the city of Fredericksburg, the scene of some of the most thrilling events of the war. During the Wilderness campaign the city was again occupied by the Union army for a short time.
In June, 1863, the Sixth Corps made its third successful crossing of the Rappahannock, storming the works that defended the passage, and making prisoners of the garrison. Two of the pontoon bridges used at the battle of Fredericksburg in December, 1862, are shown in this sketch. This sketch was taken a few hours previous to the abandonment of Aquia Creek in June, 1863.
The landing is now used by the Washington, Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad Company, but will probably never be more than an ordinary station. These were a batch of rebel cavalrymen, captured in the battle of Aldie, by the troops under Gen.
Gettysburg, the scene of Lee's defeat in 1863, is a post borough and capital of Adams county, Pennsylvania, on the turnpike from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, one hundred and fourteen miles west of the former city. It was back of this place that the Federal cavalry first met the Confederate infantry, on the 1st of July, 1863, and on the left of the picture can be seen Seminary Ridge, where General Reynolds was killed. A battle has been often the subject of elaborate description; but it can be described in one simple word, devilish! Such a picture conveys a useful moral: It shows the blank horror and reality of war, in opposition to its pageantry. About nine o'clock on the morning of the 1st of July, 1863, the Federal cavalry, under General Buford, met the Confederates two miles beyond Gettysburg, on the road to Chambersburg.
The sketch represents a portion of the breastworks on the left of our line at Gettysburg, occupied by the Fifth and Sixth Corps, and against which, in the second day's fight, the Confederates under Longstreet repeatedly and so impetuously dashed. General Warren sent an aid to General Meade for a corps from the right, but the commanding General could not he found.
A burial party, searching for dead on the borders of the Gettysburg battle-field, found, in a secluded spot, a sharpshooter lying as he fell when struck by the bullet. On the Fourth of July, 1863, Lee's shattered army withdrew from Gettysburg, and started on its retreat from Pennsylvania to the Potomac.
On the nineteenth of November, the artist attended the consecration of the Gettysburg Cemetery, and again visited the "Sharpshooter's Home." The musket, rusted by many storms, still leaned against the rock, and the skeleton of the soldier lay undisturbed within the mouldering uniform, as did the cold form of the dead four months before.
This House is in front of the left of the position occupied by our army at the battle of Gettysburg. Thousands of dead and wounded were strewn over the fields adjacent to this House, and graves of Confederates can be found in every direction. Just back of the cemetery at Gettysburg, on the road leading to Taneytown, stands a humble dwelling, made historical by its occupation as headquarters of General Meade. A portion of the battle-field of Gettysburg, located in front of Little Round Top, is known as the Slaughter Pen. The officer upon the ground, wearing a straw hat, is Lieutenant-Colonel Dickinson, Assistant Adjutant General to General Hooker a position he held from the time that General first commanded a brigade, until the battle of Gettysburg. The omission, therefore, of any remarks by way of preface might well be justified; and yet, perhaps a few introductory words may not be amiss. Localities that would scarcely have been known, and probably never remembered, save in their immediate vicinity, have become celebrated, and will ever be held sacred as memorable fields, where thousands of brave men yielded up their lives a willing sacrifice for the cause they had espoused.
During the four years of the war, almost every point of importance has been photographed, and the collection from which these views have been selected amounts to nearly three thousand. The establishment represented in the photograph was situated in the western suburbs of Alexandria, near the depot of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Numbering about three thousand inhabitants, with three large hotels, two fine churches, and a flourishing female institute, the place had become of considerable importance at the time of secession, from which it was the first to suffer. Shattered houses have been repaired, families are returning to their homes, the Court-House is being put in order for the occupation of the courts, and, under the influence of Northern enterprise, the town promises soon to wear even more beauty than it ever knew before. The houses were leaning structures with huge stone chimneys, doors that creaked in their old age, and fences that straggled every way, but there was always an odor of wild roses and honeyAsuckle about it, and a genial hospitality to welcome the stranger. Others are turning back from uncertain wanderings to the resting place of their fathers, and, with returning peace, the husbandman finds that nature has not forgotten its fruitfulness in the years of war and devastation. The works shown in the photograph were constructed near the village of Centreville, and, by the topography of the surrounding country, were rendered almost impregnable to assault. To the east was a wide area of undulating country, covered with dense woods, and with grassy hill-sides, here and there smiling to each other over the forests. It was claimed, and is believed by many, that the rebel lines at Centreville were never defended by any others; yet the rebels had in position there at least seven heavy siege guns and numerous field batteries. Subjected to a severe artillery fire in that engagement, its inmates were driven out, and the walls badly damaged. The Mathews family have returned to their ruined house, and impoverished by the war, live in great destitution. Johnson, evacuated Centreville and Manassas, (their Northern line,) and commenced a retreat towards Richmond. High table land, flanked by dense woods, and bounded on all sides by deep, treacherous streams, or precipitous bluffs, no better place could have been selected by the Confederates for a permanent camp from which to harrass an enemy or repel attack. Federal camps were established, and with the return of spring much of that which disfigured the landscape utterly disappeared. The works were laid out by General Beauregard, well known as an engineer of great ability; but their construction illustrates the inexperience in military matters of the men who rallied at this spot to resist the authority of the Government.
McClellan undertook to capture the confederate army on the Peninsula by seige, he commenced to construct a line of works from the York to the James river, across the narrow neck of the Peninsula, in front of Yorktown. One shot tore through the rigging of a schooner, and another exploded close by, throwing an immense sheet of water into the air over the vessels. Experienced officers expressed the opinion that with this battery alone, the enemy could have been driven from their position in Yorktown. On Federal Hill, in Baltimore, they built the strong fort of that name, thus acquiring a knowledge of engineering, and, in addition to a wonderful precision in the manual and bayonet exercise, were well drilled in the use of heavy and light artillery. With a spy-glass it was easy to overlook the rebels working upon the lines at Gloucester Point, and the fortifications on this side.
In places subjected to mortar fire, the men construct bomb proofs, and place a sentinel on the watch, to give warning of the approach of a shell, and enable every man to seek shelter till the explosion of the missile. It is, however, generally believed that the draft there prepared, was signed in the trenches of Yorktown, over a mile away. The prominent object is a mud-bespattered forge, the knapsacks and blankets of the farriers carelessly thrown on the ground beneath. The crews of the Cumberland and Pawnee, assisted by some volunteers, landed at nine o'clock, threw the shot and small arms into the river, spiked the guns, and made arrangements for firing the shops and warehouses, extending over a space of nearly two hundred acres. Traces of the engagement are evident in the overturned stone wall, the shattered fences, and down-trodden appearance of the adjacent ground.
Meade had his headquarters for a number of days on a wooded ridge called the "Devil's Backbone," situated near this stream, along which the Army of the Potomac was encamped. Bold bluffs, crowned with oaks and fringed with tangled bushes, form a most delightful valley, through which the miniature river, broken here and there by tiny cascades, hurries down to the Potomac. The right of the Federal line was several miles above, and with the centre hotly engaged, the Confederates slowly forcing them back, while General Burnside, commanding the Ninth Corps, was ordered to carry this point and turn the enemy's right.
The attack of King's Division, temporarily commanded by General Hatch, was made upon the rebels posted immediately around the Church. His signal officers were most intelligently and advantageously posted, and seldom, even in later campaigns, has their assistance to a commanding general been more valuable, or more frankly and handsomely acknowledged, than in the momentous struggle on the Antietam. We could not make a manoeuvre in front or rear that was not instantly revealed to their keen look-outs; and as soon as the intelligence could be communicated to their batteries below, shot and shell were launched against the moving columns. He was accompanied on his trip by Major General McClernand and Staff, Colonel Lamon, the Marshal of the District of Columbia, and Mr. The President then proceeded to Frederick, where he was received by the people with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of respect, and reached Washington in a special train at ten o'clock at night.
Lee, situated in Pleasant Valley, Maryland, was selected by General McClellan, after the battle of Antietam, as a temporary home for Mrs. A portion of the army was encamped along the base of Maryland Heights and South Mountain, and the remainder was located on the heights back of Harper's Ferry.
A fine bridge connected it with the Virginia shore until June, 1861, when the Confederates sacrificed it to the spirit of destruction that ruined Harper's Ferry and laid waste the pleasant places of the border. The river at this point is obstructed by scattered rocks, and with the wooded hills that slope precipitously to the water's edge, forms one of the most charming pictures of the Potomac. Situated at the junction of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad passing through it, and surrounded by high mountains and impassable ravines, it was supposed that, in locating a National Armory there, that it would he secure against any assault that could be made by an enemy. Secrecy being their only safety, their heroic deeds pass unrecorded, and when the necessity for their services has ceased to exist, with rare exceptions the brave men are altogether forgotten.
The building was erected previous to the Revolutionary war, and many of the distinguished men of that period have met within its walls.
Many of our general officers subsequently occupied the house, and finally it became a sort of depot for the Christian Commission.
Nestled in a valley of unsurpassed fertility, its people had surrounded their homes with elegance, and enjoyed all that affluence could secure. The ruin, commenced in the battle of December, was complete before the close of the war, and at the termination of hostilities little remained of the city but deserted houses and tottering walls; but now business is resumed with an activity that betokens a brilliant future.
Battery D at once took position, with other artillery of the Sixth Corps, out in the fields, near the ruins of the Mansfield House, where Gen. The Army of the Potomac was along the Rappahannock before Fredericksburg, fifteen miles distant, and had used this point and Belle Plain, a similar landing, seven miles below, as a base of supplies. Fever and ague prevail during the summer, forbidding the growth of a village, and with the completion of the railroad to Alexandria, the place will doubtless sink into oblivion, except as connected with the military operations of the great rebellion. This view is taken from Cemetery Ridge, where our artillery was massed, and against which the Confederates directed their most terrible assaults in the last day's fight. The pockets turned inside out also show that appropriation did not cease with the coverings of the feet. The rebel infantry was preceded by a small body of their cavalry, which dispersed the militia wherever met with, and which, charging into our cavalry, was captured, not a man escaping. The picture represents only a single spot on the long line of killed, which after the fight extended across the fields. This position is on a steep ridge known as Little Round Top, on which was stationed General Warren, Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac, with a signal officer, for the purpose of communicating to the commanding General the movements of the enemy.
A second staff officer was sent down to Sickles for some of his troops, but he could spare none, and another officer was hurried off to bring up any command that could be found, while the enemy still pressed nearer, threatening to overwhelm us. The knoll shown in the sketch is that upon which the last assault of the enemy was made, and on which is situated the National Soldiers' Cemetery. His cap and gun were evidently thrown behind him by the violence of the shock, and the blanket, partly shown, indicates that he had selected this as a permanent position from which to annoy the enemy. From Culp's Hill, on our right, to the forests that stretched away from Round Top, on the left, the fields were thickly strewn with Confederate dead and wounded, dismounted guns, wrecked caissons, and the debris of a broken army. General Sickles established his headquarters near this House on the second day's fight, and it was in this immediate vicinity that he received his wound, from which he lost his limb. The trees are scarred by bullets, marks of cannon-shot and shell disfigure the buildings, and the remains of the hastily constructed breastworks, with mouldering fragments of accoutrements, still show where the lines of battle were engaged.
This officer having assumed command of the Army of the Potomac at Frederick, thirty miles distant, immediately sent out the several Corps on different roads towards Harrisburg, with orders to attack the enemy wherever he might he found. Upon the conclusion of that engagement, the ground was found in many places to be almost covered with the dead and wounded.
Thoughtful and erect, the most prominent figure is Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, then a Captain on the Staff of General Meade.
In that action the Colonel was hit in the arm with a link of a chain, thrown with other misiles from a rebel shell. Each of the many commands which occupied the town during the war added to the work of devastation commenced in 1861, and long before peace was announced its comeliness had departed. War crushed it, piled earthworks upon its ruins to protect hostile camps, built cantonments in its gardens, and made hospitals of the churches. In front the fields sloped down to a stream about five hundred yards distant, along which grew dense thickets of vines, underbrush, and thorn bushes. Looking west the eye rested on a fertile valley, watered by countless streams, dotted with farm-houses and herds, and bounded beyond by the mountains which rose up so boldly as to seem hut half a dozen miles away. It was orderly and well conducted for several days, but as the last trains were leaving, some of the soldiers fired a bridge south of the junction, supposing that all the trains had gone.
To this point the Southern levies were hastened immediately after the fall of Sumter, and the village of half a dozen houses soon became the centre of a vast carne, which, though nearly overwhelmed by the attack of July 21, 1861, remained increasing in strength until March, 1862, when the movements of General McClellan compelled its abandonment. The view of the adjacent country from this point is very fine, and the historic fields of Bull Run, Gainesville, and Groveton, within a few minutes drive, will forever attract the tourist to this spot. The casks were filled with earth, and were intended to supply the lack of more suitable gabions, but would have offered very little resistance to artillery.
The first battery was located on the York river, about a mile and three-quarters from Confederate's wharves and their main works in front of Yorktown, It was built by the First Connecticut artillery, Col. The rebels; in trying to return the deadly fire of this artillery, burst one of their largest rifle guns, with fatal effect upon the cannoniers. Attached to the division of regulars in the Fifth Corps, their record has been almost without comparison, as good and staunch soldiers.
Schooners, constantly coming and going, brought ammunition and stores to the wharves at Yorktown, and occasionally the battery participated, at long range, in engagements brought on by gunboats venturing too far up the river. If the bombardment is continuous, the troops remain under cover, unless absolutely required to man the works. When the Army of the Potomac invested Yorktown, the Moore House was in excellent preservation. Division after division, closely compacted, they stretched away, until, in the distance, the white tents were mere specks against the dark frame of woods. In the middle-ground are some mules picketed around the wagons, hard-working, much-abused creatures, and so humorous in their antics that they were often termed the comedians of the army. The cutting of dams above, and heavy rains, stopped the workmen a number of times, and destroyed their labor, by converting the whole valley into a broad lake, whose waters, pressing through the length of the swamp of Fair Oaks, Sumner's troops had barely passed over, when the rapidly accumulated waters of the river carried away the bridge; and it was claimed by the engineers that the weight of the men in crossing kept it in its place. The marines, as early as ten o'clock, had evacuated and fired their barracks, and soon after two A.M.
On the night of the 16th of September, the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac captured this bridge after a sharp fight, holding it until the infantry came up. As is partially shown by the photograph, the banks of the stream were very steep, and well defended by rifle pits which were covered by the guns of the Confederates on the ridge in the back-ground. At intervals along our line of battle, and on the most prominent points in the vicinity, were stationed the Federal Signal Officers, detecting by their skill, vigilance, and powerful glasses, every movement of the enemy, reporting them instantly by a few waves of their flags to the Union Commander, and in return, transmitting by the same means the orders to the subordinate generals, which were to check or defeat the manoeuvres of the enemy. Supplies were forwarded over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which afforded excellent facilities for visiting the army, and thousands of the friends of the soldiers found their way to camp. Its inhabitants, numbering about five hundred, are dependent principally for support upon the business of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which passes the place, and during the war, from the interruption of navigation necessarily suffered much hardship. Game and fish abound, many objects of interest are close at hand, and the summer fugitive from the ills of city life finds here a pleasant halting place in his journeyings for recreation. First captured by a surprise, John Brown, with seventeen men, held it for nearly three days.
For instance, he always considered Moses the most remarkable of quartermasters, in that he crossed the Red Sea without pontoons, and conducted the children of Israel forty years through the desert without a wagon train. Volumes might be written of their heroic deeds, and the historian of the rebellion will have failed in his duty if he neglects to chronicle the instances of their great exploits. Since that time the property has passed through the hands of but three different families, each generation handing it down to the descendents, after the old English custom of inheritance. At the battle of Fredericksburg, in December, 1862, a hospital was established here, and suffered considerably from the shells of the enemy, who directed a severe artillery fire against the house, supposing it to be occupied by some of our Generals. The citizens were zealous advocates of secession, and, in 1861, the city was made a rendezvous for Confederate troops; but the first year of the war passed without a blow to mar its peaceful beauty. Franklin, and composed of the First and Sixth Corps, crossed at this point, one and a half miles below the city, and went into position on the flats in front; the First Corps on the extreme left, with its right extending towards the hills, and the Sixth Corps nearly at right angles to the former, with its right reaching to the outskirts of Fredericksburg. The majority of them are dressed in the dusty grey jacket and trousers, and drab felt hat usually worn by the rebel cavalry; some, however, show no change from the ordinary clothes of a civilian, being probably recruits or conscripts, although their appearance laid them open to the charge (often made during the war) of being irregulars, out for a day's amusement, with their friends in the cavalry, as one might go off for a day's shooting. The Court-House and public offices are handsome and commodious; and the private residences are all built in a neat and substantial manner. The town suffered considerably from the fire of our artillery, and the houses in some parts of the place were covered with indentations of musket balls. The Confederates immediately threw a division of infantry into line, and advanced upon our cavalry, which dismounted, and by slowly falling back from one stone wall to another, impeded the progress of the enemy very materially.
Some of the dead presented an aspect which showed that they had suffered severely just previous to dissolution, but these were few in number compared with those who wore a calm and resigned expression, as though they had passed away in the act of prayer. In front and to the left open fields stretched away, with here and there a small grove, which afforded shelter to sharpshooters, who annoyed our officers at the signal station excessively. Sickles' left was turned, his Corps pressed slowly back, and the Confederates commenced clambering up the rocky sides of the ridge, when the tramp of the Fifth Corps, on the double quick, was suddenly heard coming up through the woods to the rescue, and in a moment our colors flashed out from the foliage. The original cemetery was a very handsome enclosure, and contained many elegant monuments, very few of which were injured, notwithstanding the terrible nature of the conflict.
How many skeletons of such men are bleaching to-day in out of the way places no one can tell.
The artist, in passing over the scene of the previous days' engagements, found in a lonely place the covert of a rebel sharpshooter, and photographed the scene presented here. On the first of July, Reynolds, with the First Corps, engaged the Confederates at Gettysburg, and after a gallant struggle, in which that officer was killed, the Corps, reinforced by the Eleventh, retired to the strong position on Cemetery Ridge. This sketch only represents a few of the dead, the wounded having been removed to the hospitals. Handsome, chivalric, one of the bravest of the brave, his character was fitly compared to that of the good knight, the Chevalier Bayard, and like him, he was truly "sans peur et sans reproche." So noble a man, that of all the heroes who have perished for the nation, his loss is the hardest to realize.
The high brick wall enclosed a court yard, in which were stables and outhouses for the accommodation of planters who come in for the purpose of selling or purchasing slaves. Its best houses were burned, the churches were converted into hospitals, and then into stables, while the venerable Court-House was stripped of its wood-work, leaving only the naked walls and roof. Beyond were forests, which had been leveled, in order to perfect the range of the artillery, the fallen trees forming a barrier through which it would be impossible to move a line of troops. All this section was devastated by the armies, and is now a wilderness, overgrown with bushes, rank weeds, and running briars.
Porter, then commanding the First Massachusetts Light Battery, found in one park the tracks of ten batteries.
There Ricketts and Griffin lost their guns, the former receiving a severe wound, and falling into the hands of the enemy, who kept him in prison several months, where he would undoubtedly have perished but for the faithful nursing of his wife, who obtained permission to pass through the lines, and remained with him until he was exchanged. Barns, outhouses, and fences were destroyed, and the whole country presents the appearance of utter desolation. Two, however, had not left, and these were at once fired, together with the surrounding buildings, used by the Railroad Company for depot, machine and repair shops, &c. Tyler, and had six of the heaviest rifled guns ever mounted in a land battery, namely, one 200-pound Parrott and five 100-pounders. Occasional shots were fired from this battery, at various intervals, up to the time of the enemy's departure, but no regular bombardment was ever attempted by it.
That the fire of battery "Number One" contributed largely to the reasons for evacuating the stronghold, there can be no doubt, the rebels wisely reasoning that if one battery could accomplish so much, what might not be the result if all opened. New York may well be proud of them: As a proof of their standing in the army, it was invariably their part to be chosen for an exhibition of military proficiency when distinguished visitors came to see the troops at the front. It was far from a safe habitation, the rebel shells striking it several times; one, in particular, entered through the wall, and exploding inside, did consideable damage. On one side the slow Pamunkey, like a mirror, reflected the immense fleet of transports, with their convoy of gunboats.
If, in that fight, our troops had been defeated, the limited facilities of re-crossing the Chickahominy would probably have led to the capture of the greater portion of the corps. The fire of our artillery, planted on the ridges near the bridge, was terrible, and at one time no doubt contributed principally to the success of our partially disordered lines in checking the headlong assaults of the enemy.
Houses and fences have been repaired, harvests have ripened over the breasts of the fallen, and the ploughshare only now and then turns up a shot, as a relic of that great struggle.
The assaulting column suffered heavily as it approached the bridge, and, in crossing, was exposed to a murderous fire, through which it rapidly pressed, breaking over the lines of the enemy like a resistless wave, and sweeping him from the hillside. Each of the contending lines charged repeatedly across the field in front of the building, and strewed the ground with their dead. The adjoining sketch represents the most important of those signal look-outs, and was located on the summit of Elk Mountain, one of the South Mountain Range of the Blue Ridge, and overlooking the battle-field. The President reached General Sumner's headquarters, on Bolivar Heights, at Harper's Ferry, on Wednesday, occupied the afternoon in reviewing the forces at that position, and spent the night at General Sumner's quarters.
The General spent much of his time here, when not occupied with military matters, and in the vine-clad porch the officers of the Staff whiled away many a pleasant October day. The citizens of Maryland were noted for their hospitality to such visitors, and their generosity to the troops. The bivouac of the Army of the Potomac in its vicinity in 1862 first introduced its name to the country, and it has fallen again into the partial oblivion that has hidden much more pretentious villages.
When Virginia seceded, the first step taken was to send an officer to seize the armories and arsenals, but orders having been given by the Government to fire them on the approach of any hostile force, they were burned by a small body of artillerymen, who retreated to Carlisle, Pa. It is needless to state that this was a libel, originating in a scurrilous picture of that African, drawn by a special artist. Every army had its scouts, but none proved more efficient than those of the Army of the Potomac. The owner was a Major on the Staff of one of the rebel corps commanders during the rebellion; and his young wife, whose rare beauty was only equalled by her spitefulness towards Federal officers, lived with a relative near the Wilderness battle-field after the occupation of the estate by our troops. A large number of the Union dead are buried near the house, and earthworks for artillery disfigure the adjacent grounds.
General Augur, in April, 1862, surprised and captured the place, which remained in our possession till the middle of summer, when Pope's retreat from Cedar Mountain necessitated its abandonment. This picture was made as the guns were engaging the enemy, the gunners who had just received the order, "cannoniers to your posts," calling to the photographer to hurry his wagon out of the way, unless he was anxious to figure in the list of casualties. The remainder of the army was formed through the city, extending about one mile above the town, and assaulted the heights. The President was expected to visited the army on that day, but the advance of the Confederates into Pennsylvania admitting of no delay, Gen.
The fight in which they were taken, was hotly contested, and took place at the foot of the upper end of the Bull Run range of hills, in Loudoun County, in and around the village of Aldie.
The town has a flourishing Lutheran Theological Seminary, with a library of about ten thousand volumes; and is also the seat of Pennsylvania College. Very few of the inhabitants were injured, however, most of them taking refuge in their cellars and other sheltered places.
Killed in the frantic efforts to break the steady lines of an army of patriots, whose heroism only excelled theirs in motive, they paid with life the price of their treason, and when the wicked strife was finished, found nameless graves, far from home and kindred.
The cavalry had just taken up the last available line of defence beyond Gettysburg, when, at eleven o'clock, General Reynolds arrived with the 1st corps on a double-quick. Sickles, with the Third Corps, had opened the fight in the afternoon, considerably advanced in front of this position, with his left exposed, and the approach to the ridge entirely open to a flank movement. Both armies reached the crest at the same time, the battle opened like a thunder-clap, and raged with terrific fierceness.
The shrubbery was badly broken, and the fence swept away, but at the conclusion of the fight there still remained, as if in mockery, the notice, "All persons found using fire-arms in these grounds will be prosecuted with the utmost rigor of the law." The third day's fight was in front of this spot, and was commenced about one o'clock in the afternoon by the enemy opening a cannonade from 120 pieces of artillery on the front of the line connecting Cemetery Ridge with Round Top. Now and then the visitor to a battle-field finds the hones of some man shot as this one was, but there are hundreds that will never he known of, and will moulder into nothingness among the rocks.
The Confederate soldier had built up between two huge rocks, a stone wall, from the crevices of which he had directed his shots, and, in comparative security, picked off our officers.


General Sickles had discovered early in the day that the enemy were moving around on our left, and advanced his corps some distance, for the purpose of securing a favorable position. General Meade first heard of the engagement and its result at Taneytown, ten miles away, about sundown. The story of his short but brilliant career has been written by abler hands, and is now a "household word." Of its closing scenes, the writer narrowly escaped being a witness, having been invited to accompany the Colonel on that ill-starred expedition by which his life was sacrificed. Ellsworth was posting his troops about the town, he discovered a Confederate flag waving from the roof of the Marshall House.
In 1864, loop-holes were cut through the sides of the building for riflemen and troops stationed in it to repel any attack that might be made by guerillas who constantly hovered in the vicinity. Redoubts and riflepits stretch along its knolls; graves, half hidden by the grass, tell where the dead of both armies slumber, and the spot now only interests the visitor because of the wreck that has come upon it. The Confederates never had any guns heavier than twelve pounders in these works, it being extremely difficult to move any other artillery than field batteries to this line. As for the "Quakers," it was not at all an uncommon thing to place them upon deserted positions. Everything was destroyed, except half a dozen cars, which contained flour and some camp equipage of a South Carolina Brigade, and which for some reason escaped the conflagration. Of the pleasant village only tottering chimneys were left, surrounded by blackened ruins, and the debris of half-burned cars and storehouses. The interior of the works was badly drained, and the trenches were almost constantly filled with stagnant water.
The guns were mounted on heavy wrought-iron carriages, and could only be fired once in fifteen minutes. On riding through the confederate works, the next morning after the retreat, it was found that shells from this battery had fallen two miles beyond their works, or four miles from the battery. This earthwork was occupied by the Zouaves, Fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, commanded by Colonel, afterwards General, G. On one of these occasions they had to go through the exercises encumbered by heavy overcoats, rendered necessary by the unpresentable condition of their red breeches. Some of McClellan's aids, who had been reconnoitring from the windows, had but a few seconds before left the house.
Winding among the tents, long strings of animals were continually passing to drink of its brackish waters. Past these, a cook sitting on a mess chest, close to the ashes of his fire, near which are the camp-kettles and a pile of firewood. The Cumberland and Pawnee, proceeded to Hampton Roads, the former shortly to go down before that formidable iron-clad, the Merrimac, which was fitted out at this yard. Here our troops again formed under a heavy artillery fire, and pushed forward into the standing corn, out of which a second line of Confederates suddenly arose and renewed the contest, which lasted for many hours, finally resulting in our victory. The terrible effect of cannister was never more clearly demonstrated than in this vicinity.
On Thursday morning he recrossed the Potomac, and was met by General McClellan and Staff, who conducted him during that and the following day over the scenes of the recent battle, and in reviewing the various Corps and Divisions of the Army, extending over a space of several miles.
Two of the officers shown in this group were members of General Burnside's Staff, and one of General McClellan's. When the army was on the march, many families stood at their gateways with buckets of water for the thirsty men, and filled the canteens of all who had time to wait.
Here McClellan had his headquarters after the battle of Antietam, and the troops crossed into Virginia, marching down through London to Rectortown and Warrenton, and thence to Fredericksburg. Thousands of rifles were burned, but a number of buildings and considerable machinery were saved by the enemy, who subsequently removed the machinery to Richmond and commenced the manufacture of rifles there for the rebel army.
As his mind expanded, boots became monotonous, manual labor distasteful, and a dissolution of partnership inevitable. The individuals in this group were attached to the Secret Service Department of the Army of the Potomac when conducted by Major Allen Pinkerton. The view here presented shows the front of the house, looking towards the city, which is not more than three hundred yards distant, the river being very narrow at this point. The shade trees have been cut down, the gravel walks annihilated, and many years must elapse before the last evidences of war shall have disappeared from the place. In November, the Army of the Potomac marched down from the Antietam campaign, but owing to delay in occupying the heights commanding the city; failed in capturing it, and encamped upon the hills north of the river, where the troops went into winter quarters, the Confederates, meanwhile fortifying the Fredericksburg heights, and rendering the position impregnable to assault.
The enemy then halted for a short time, re-formed their lines, and prepared to charge, which was met by a severe fire from the advance of our infantry, which went into line as rapidly as the regiments could be brought up General Reynolds, appreciating the importance of holding the Seminary Ridge, rode out into the field, and directed the posting of the troops, and while engaged in this work, received a shot in the neck, falling lifeless to the earth.
While the battle was raging fiercest in front, Longstreet, with fifteen thousand men, suddenly emerged from the woods into the open fields on our flank, and moved rapidly down upon Round Top, the occupation of which must inevitably have resulted in our defeat. After the first volley, our whole line charged with the bayonet, struggled with the enemy for a moment breast to breast, and then, with shouts and cheers, drove him in disorder down the slope to the shelter of the groves and stonewalls in the fields.
There were several regiments of Sharpshooters employed on both sides during the war, and many distinguished officers lost their lives at the hands of the riflemen. The side of the rock on the left shows, by the little white spots, how our sharpshooters and infantry had endeavored to dislodge him.
The battle opened about half-past three, the enemy moving down in three lines, and almost overwhelming the Third Corps. Crawford, commanding the Third Division of the Fifth Corps, was placed near this ravine, on the second day of the fight, to support Barnes' Division, and the scenes which transpired cannot be better described than in his own words before the Committee on the Conduct of the War. Just recovering from the loss of his leg, and suffering acutely from any physical exertion, his active spirit could not be controlled, when he thought of his brothers in arms pining under the cruelties of Libby and Belle Isle. Accompanied by Private Brownell, the Colonel went up through the building after the flag, and on coming down was shot on the stairAcase by the proprietor, Jackson. It had a number of apartments, in which the slaves could he kept singly or in gangs, and one large mess room, where they received their food.
The records kept here were of great historical interest, dating from the early settlement of Virginia, and including many documents in the writing of General Washington. Here the divisions of McDowell gathered strength after their weary march to assault the position of the enemy, and here his rear-guard checked the returning tide of half-beaten Confederates.
Redoubts, lunettes, and rifle-pits were so constructed as to command each other; and to render any portion of the works, if captured by an assaulting column, untenable.
Our soldiers, at the evacuation of Harrison's Landing, left the works so well supplied with "Quaker" guns, and bogus figures on guard duty, that it was several days before the rebels ventured to approach them. The ford above the bridge is also guarded, whether with artillery or not, is not positively known, but every indication favors the belief that he proposes to defend the passage of the stream.
McDowell in his report, and a number of officers, who denied the existence of a stream at that place, cited this statement of the General as evidence of his alleged intoxication on the day of the battle. The old wooden turn-table was uninjured, and is a fair sample of the old fashioned equipage of the Orange and Alexandria Road, at that period.
The forts were dismantled, broken wagons were strewn over the fields, and quartermaster and commissary stores smoked in all directions, presenting one wide area of desolation, but a small portion of which can he represented in a single photograph. The fortifications formed a semi-circle about four miles in length, but contiguous to this position were the ridges and earthworks of Centreville, extending the line to nearly fifteen miles. The muzzles of the guns were about five feet from the ground, and the bottom of the carriages about ten feet below the surface. Nineteen men were killed and wounded at a distance of three miles by a single shell of tyke 100-pounders dropping into a confederate camp and exploding before the men could scatter.
As the fire of mortars is entirely a work of calculation, it is not necessary for the gunners to see the object against which the shells are directed, and accounts for the position of this Battery under the high bank.
Much frequented was it by the sharpshooters, the orchard beyond offering fair opportunities to advance to the front unobserved. Along the shore piers formed of barges, side by side, were thronged by commissaries and their assistants, while strong arms rapidly discharged the cargoes of meat and bread into the waiting wagons.
On the edge of the wood the Fifth New York Volunteers, Warren's Zouaves, have encamped, and in front of them a regiment of infantry are drawn up in column of companies.
Its construction was necessarily rude, as rough, unhewn, and twisted logs formed the material. When the Merrimac was blown up, and Norfolk evacuated by the rebels, they did what additional damage they could to the Navy Yard and its docks. At the close of the fight the dead and wounded on the field here presented seemed countless.
Battery B, Fourth United States Artillery, had lost heavily in the course of the engagement, its commander, Lieutenant Campbell, having been wounded and carried from the field, the command devolving on Lieutenant Stewart. The evening and night of Thursday and Friday the President spent at General McClellan's quarters, occupying much of the time in private conversation with him. It was intended that General McClellan should make one of the group, and all the necessary arrangements had been perfected by the photographer, when heavy cannonading on the Virginia side of the Potomac, caused by a reconnoitring party of cavalry, drew the General away. There were very few of the Army of the Potomac who left Maryland and crossed into Virginia after Lee without regretful partings with new made friends, and for many a month thereafter the bivouac was enlivened by the memories and recital of the Marylanders' welcome. An officer's hat blew off; John raised it, and with a grin (which alarmed the Captain, lest he should be held responsible if the head should fall off,) politely handed it up. The grounds in front of the mansion were terraced down to the river bank, and were ascended by means of granite steps, bordered with vines and tropical plants.
Further still, is the bank of the river, skirted by the trees; those to the right being a grove of white poplars around the Mansfield House.
A number of copper mines have been opened in the neighborhood, and worked with considerable success. His remains were brought off the field under a withering fire, which lasted until night, our troops, overwhelmed by numbers, slowly falling back, and finally taking a position on Cemetery Ridge, which was next day occupied by the rest of our army, and became the battle-ground of the succeeding days. Breastworks of stones and timber, shattered by the shells, were instantaneously thrown up, and after a brief interval the fight was renewed. Hancock, in one of his reports, says: "That cannonade continued for probably an hour and a half.
The first regiment was composed of men selected from each of the Loyal States, who brought their own rifles, and could snuff a candle at a hundred yards. The trees in the vicinity were splintered, and their branches cut off, while the front of the wall looked as if just recovering from an attack of geological small-pox. At five o'clock General Birney assumed command of the corps, General Sickles having been wounded. The headquarters camp was struck, tents and wagons were sent back to Westminster, and shortly after midnight the General and staff pushed on to Gettysburg, establishing headquarters at this house. Brownell instantly killed Jackson, and with others hurried to Washington with Ellsworth's remains.
A great number of these were carried off by curiosity hunters in the sacking which took place in September, 1862, and a still greater number were ruthlessly destroyed by the soldiery. Pope next sought it as a rock of strength in his fierce struggle back from Cedar Mountain, and again, in 1863, Meade turned his columns towards its ridges for a bulwark to defend the Capital. In the rear of these defences, on the western slope of the ridge, the Confederates had their cantonments.
These Centreville works, in consequence of their natural advantages, were almost impregnable to attack. A few mud huts, and about fifty broken down wagons, and the usual debris of a winter's camp, were the sole remnants of the rebel army, which, like the Arabs, had folded its tents, and silently stolen away. The armament consisted principally of six and twelve-pounder field batteries, with a few old fashioned thirty-twos, brought from the Norfolk Navy Yard. The dirt thrown out of the excavation was banked up in front of the guns, and kept from falling in by wicker baskets, constructed by the Engineer Corps, and filled with earth. Stealing amongst the trees, purple with the bloom of the peach, the riflemen would proceed, at the first glimpse of dawn, while yet the mist hung in the air, to take a position, they would not dare to leave till night extended her friendly cover. Prominent in the picture was the camp of General McClellan's headquarters, which had just narrowly escaped capture, through taking, a wrong direction. Down in the woods, the air seemed to be suffocating with stagnation, while beneath the pall of mist, an immense orchestra of double-bags bull frogs kept up a continual din, which at night drowned the rumble of the wagons over the corduroys. The Confederates were buried where they fell, and our own carefully interred in groups, which were enclosed with the material of fences overthrown in the struggle. Several of the horses had been killed, and Lieutenant Stewart, sending two guns to the rear, took up a position with his four remaining pieces on a little knoll near a sunken road. In this conversation, it is said, that when the President alluded to the complaints that were being made of the slowness of the General's movements, General McClellan replied, "You may find those who will go faster than I, Mr. Once they captured it with an immense amount of stores, artillery, and ten thousand prisoners. The rare intelligence exhibited in this act naturally made a deep impression, and suggested an unusual capacity for the care of boots and other attentions, seldom rendered, although occasionally expected of camp servants. John Henry remained, whether owing to inducements offered by the Provisional Government is not yet definitely known. Men of iron nerve and indomitable perseverence, they braved the halter with perfect consciousness of their peril, and seldom failed in an undertaking. The artillery was planted along the river bank opposite the city, and about three o'clock on the morning of the 11th the pontoon train came down to the river.
With characteristic coolness some of the troops had already pitched their little shelter tents, and were sleeping beneath their frail cover. At daylight, Sunday morning, the whole army was in motion, and an immense throng of sutlers and other camp followers collected at Aquia Creek for transportation to Washington. In some instances the cartridge remained between the teeth, or the musket was held in one hand, and the other was uplifted as though to ward a blow, or appealing to heaven. Each change in the lines, by the fluctuations of battle, was marked by defences of stone, our troops never neglecting thus to protect themselves from the withering fire of the enemy.
The enemy then made an assault at the end of that time; it was a very formidable assault, and made, I should judge, with about 18,000 infantry.
Some of the regiments tried almost every variety of arms, but generally found the Western rifle most effective.
The sharpshooter had evidently been wounded in the head by a fragment of shell which had exploded over him, and had laid down upon his blanket to await death.
In the meantime, the rebels had forced back the left of our lines, and undoubtedly would have gained possession of Round Top, but for the timely arrival of the Fifth Corps, which became hotly engaged, losing many valuable officers, but finally repulsing the enemy, and holding a position, the loss of which would have necessitated the retreat of our army, and perhaps resulted in its total defeat.
The second of July was one of the most lovely days of the season, and, with the exception of occasional shots between the advanced picket lines, remained perfectly quiet until three o'clock. None, who knew him, need be told how false was the document, claimed to have been found upon his person. The intelligence of his death was kept from the Zouaves for several hours, until measures could be taken to prevent them from destroying the city, which it was feared they would attempt in revenge for the killing of their commander.
Generals McClellan and Hooker each temporarily had their headquarters here when in command of the Army of the Potomac, as did also the lamented Sumner, and other officers of equal rank. Guerillas have swarmed about it, cavalry have charged over its untilled fields, and demoralized divisions have bivouacked for roll-call behind its hills. The rifle-pits covering the crest of the hill were strengthened at intervals with embrasured forts, the whole commanding the natural glacis, gently descending for half a mile to the little stream called Rocky Run, and the opposite slope, to its crest half a mile distant.
Manassas Junction was but a level plain, as seen by the photograph, and with neither natural or artificial works of any strength, the fortifications at that time consisting only of rude mud banks. Located, however, upon high table-land, bounded by ravines and the almost impenetrable thickets bordering Bull Run, the works did not require, very heavy ordnance. On the top of these were piled bags of sand, and the whole sodded, making an embankment of thirty feet thick in front of the guns.
With their heavy, telescope-sighted, rifles, they made deadly work among the gunners upon the fortifications, the sturdy company of Massachusetts riflemen, called the Andrews Sharpshooters, proving themselves much surperior to the squirrel-shooters of Mississippi, who were driven to the exercise of great caution in their endeavors to retaliate upon the working parties.
Another striking object was the park of the pontoon boats drawn through the bottomless roads of the lower peninsula, with so much labor.
Such pictures carry one into the very life of camp, and are particularly interesting now that that life has almost passed away. The stone wall extending from the bridge still bears evidences of the battle, and is the only monument of many gallant men who sleep in the meadow at its side. The smoke obstructed the view considerably, and the Lieutenant not seeing anything of the enemy was cooling his guns, when suddenly his sergeant shouted "Here they come! During the campaign of the army in front of Fredericksburg, they proved of incalculable value. The engineers had constructed bridges about half way across the stream, when the Confederate sharpshooters opened a severe fire from the houses and rifle pits, which was returned by our artillery, numbering about seventy guns.
The faces of all were pale, as though cut in marble, and as the wind swept across the battleAfield it waved the hair, and gave the bodies such an appearance of life that a spectator could hardly help thinking they were about to rise to continue the fight. When night closed upon the field, these breastworks were stretched along like winrows marking the shifting tide of the struggle, between which the dead lay in countless numbers, and to-day the visitor traces by them, the steps of our advancing lines, which, though frequently repulsed, finally rested in triumph at the front. When the columns of the enemy appeared, it looked as if they were going to attack the centre of our line, but after marching straight out a little distance they seemed to incline a little to their left, as if their object was to march through my command and seize Cemetery Hill, which, I have no doubt, was their intention.
The men were seldom used in line, but were taken to the front and allowed to choose their own positions.
There was no means of judging how long he had lived after receiving his wound, but the disordered clothing shows that his sufferings must have been intense. General Meade, suspecting his inability to undergo the fatigues of an expedition in the inclement weather of February, was disinclined to give him permission; but Dahlgren, determined on his purpose, mounted his horse, and proceeding to a review of the Second Corps, rode so fearlessly over the fields, and under his frank smile, so well hid all traces of bodily suffering, that the General reluctantly permitted him to depart.
Iron bars were fixed in the masonry of the windows, and manacles were frequently placed on the limbs of those suspected of designs for escape.
The battle-field of Bull Run is ten miles distant, and Chantilly, where the gallant Kearney and Stephens fell, but five miles away. The huts in the distance were a portion of the rebel cantonments, numbering in all about fifteen hundred log cabins, calculated to contain from eight to twenty men each. The plan of the attack was for Tyler's division to threaten the passage of the bridge, Miles to make a demonstration at Blackburn's Ford, two miles below, and the divisions of Hunter and Heintzleman to move up the stream ten miles, and by a flank movement surprise and overwhelm the enemy while occupied with the two other divisions. The photograph sets at rest the idle story, based upon the supposed non-existence of the water course. Had they been assaulted, the musket and bayonet would have proved far more serviceable in repelling the attack than artillery, although there is no doubt that the small number of heavy cannon was attributable to their scarcity in the South rather than to confidence in the natural strength of the position. The enemy fired a number of solid shot and shell into this bank from an English sixty-four rifled gun, but none of them did any damage, or entered over ten feet into the earth.
Here they come!" A rebel brigade was coming down the road on a double-quick, and when discovered were only fifty yards distant. In the centre are eight buildings, what were left of the armory, some of which have been roofed in with boards and used as warehouses for army stores. Each man was provided with a pass from the Commanding General, written with a chemical preparation that only became visible when exposed to solar rays, and on the back of which was pencilled some unimportant memoranda, to deceive the enemy, should the scout fall into his hands. The bombardment lasted throughout the day, with frequent intervals to, enable the engineers to resume work, but who were invariably driven off with considerable loss, until late in the afternoon, when a storming party crossed in boats and drove out the riflemen.
This Battery was present at the first battle of Bull Run, where the enemy got a taste of its mettle, while attempting to turn our extreme left, and fall upon the rear of the army.
Doubleday's division on the left with the same purpose, but a strong demonstration made on that portion of the line by the enemy with artillery and cavalry, rendered it necessary to throw the whole of Doubleday's command against them. Some climbed into bushy trees, and lashed themselves to the branches to avoid falling if wounded. Was he delirious with agony, or did death come slowly to his relief, while memories of home grew dearer as the field of carnage faded before him?
Commanding officers and couriers were constantly arriving and departing, while the staff officers and escort lounged in the shade about the house, or slept on the green turf, gathering strength for the conflict momentarily expected to commence.
After the review, when he came over (for the retirement it offered) to the writer's tent, it was too evident how fearful had been the effort of his will. Relic hunters soon carried away from the hotel everything moveable, including the carpets, furniture, and window shutters, and cut away the whole of the staircase and door where Ellsworth was shot.
Auction sales were regularly held, at which Virginia farmers disposed of their servants to cotton and sugar planters from the Gulf States. The fort in the foreground has a revetement or lining of rude hurdle work, to keep the earth from crumbling down, a very necessary precaution with the Virginia soil. The country at that time was densely wooded, and the entire portion shown in the sketch occupied by the Confederates. The fortifications are now rapidly being leveled, and in a few years will have entirely disappeared. The cannoniers sprang to their pieces, and instantly opened on the approaching column with cannister double-spotted, the discharge from the four twelve pounders sweeping out half a dozen panels of the fence, and driving a storm of slugs and spotted rails into the mass of Confederates. Passing between the Potomac and the armory buildings is the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which crosses upon a high bridge to the Maryland shore.
If captured, he could drop this paper, apparently by accident, without exciting suspicion; and if successful in his expedition, the pass, after a moment's exposure to the light, enabled the bearer to re-enter our lines, and proceed without delay to headquarters.
A small portion of the troops occupied the town that night, and next day was followed by the whole army, the Confederates offering no resistance except by occasional shots from their artillery on the heights. Meade held his position in the woods for some time, but not receiving additional support, was forced by a fierce attack in front to retire.
The shock of the assault fell upon the Second and Third Divisions of the Second Corps, and these were the troops, assisted by a small brigade of Vermont troops, together with the artillery of our line, which fired from Round Top to Cemetery Hill at the enemy, all the way, as they advanced, whenever they had the opportunity. Others secreted themselves behind logs and rocks, and not a few dug little pits, into which they crept, lying close to the ground and rendering it almost impossible for an enemy to hit them. In the afternoon, Sickles, with the Third Corps, was attacked by the enemy, and the battle finally became general, the First, Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh participating, with the Second and Twelfth in reserve in the rear of the right wing. Finally Northern men took possession of the building, and fitted it up for business, so changing the interior as to be scarcely recognizable by those who visited it in 1861. If a slave-owner needed money which he could not easily procure, he sold one of his slaves; and the threat of being sent South was constantly held over the servants as security for faithful labor and good behavior. The board platforms show where guns have formerly been in position, commanding the approaches from Fairfax Court-House. It was expected that Hunter and Heintzelman would strike the left of the enemy at daylight on the 21st, but owing to unforeseen obstacles, failed to reach the designated point until after ten o'clock.
The soil composing them is of a light character, and washes away in every rain, filling up the ditches and reducing the sharply defined works to sloping mounds, over which the farmer's plow is already turning the furrow. The rear still pressed on, ignorant of the havoc in front, and again and again the artillery poured its iron hail into the column, completely obstructing the road with dead and wounded. This bridge has been so often destroyed during the last five years, that it is estimated that a million of dollars have been spent in keeping it in repair. They generally passed as foragers within our own lines, always coming in with vegetables, poultry, and the like, and with the enemy assumed such characters as the Occasion might require. The troops were formed for assault, with the right resting on the Rappahannock, one mile above the city, the lines extending in a semiAcircle around the town, to a point three miles below, where the left also joined the river.
Under the latter officer the Battery gained much commendation, and on his promotion to the command of a New York regiment of volunteers, continued its glorious career under Lieut. Our forces having been driven from the woods, and it being late in the day, no other attack was made on this portion of the line, the troops remaining in entrenchments hastily thrown up across the plain, until recalled to this side of the river on the night of the 15th.
Occasionally a Federal and Confederate Sharpshooter would be brought face to face, when each would resort to every artifice to kill the other.
What familiar voices may he not have heard, like whispers beneath the roar of battle, as his eyes grew heavy in their long, last sleep! The headquarters, from its exposed position, at once became the centre of a terrible artillery fire. The enemy, in masses, were coming across this wheat field, having driven everything before them. Before the war, a child three years old, would sell, in Alexandria, for about fifty dollars, and an able-bodied man at from one thousand to eighteen hundred dollars. This delay revealed the movement to Beauregard, who immediately disposed his forces to meet it by extending them obliquely across the turnpike, facing the bridge, at a distance of about two miles. Later in the day a Captain of this brigade was taken prisoner, and stated, that of the command of eighteen hundred men which received that fire, but eighteen had returned to the division. As the Potomac disappears in the distance, it unites with the Shenandoah, which rushes down the gorge by the side of the Loudoun Heights. Early on the morning of the 13th, the battle commenced; lasting all day, with fearful loss on our side, and night closing the struggle with both armies occupying the same positions taken in the morning.
Williston, being finally transformed into a horseA-battery, and ordered to the cavalry, where it remained to the close of the war, without ever losing a gun, although the list of its actions was so long that its battle-flag had no space to transcribe them upon. There were seventeen thousand men engaged at this point, with thirty-eight thousand supporting them, but who were not brought into action in consequence of a misinterpretation of the orders of Gen. The barges anchored in the stream were locked together for the transportation of the cars on the wharf, and were towed to Washington by the steamers loaded with passengers.
No doubt there were other troops that fired a little, but those were the troops that really withstood the shock of the assault and repulsed it. Hats would be elevated upon sticks, and powder flashed on a piece of paper, to draw the opponent's fire, not always with success, however, and sometimes many hours would elapse before either party could get a favorable shot. Shot and shell plunged through the building in quick succession, and made sad havoc with the group about it. Their line of skirmishers had crossed the stone wall, and their column was coming across the low ground towards the hills upon which we stood. A woman would bring from five hundred to fifteen hundred dollars, according to her one and personal attractions.
Meade returned with the Army of the Potomac, after it had been reduced by the transfer of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps to the West.
Hunter, Heintzelman, and Tyler, who had crossed the bridge, attacked the enemy, and the engagement became general; our forces, after a severe struggle, driving him in great confusion from the field, and occupying the turnpike. Some of course had been taken prisoners or had wandered off after the annihilation of the brigade, but most of the men had fallen in front of the cannon. The Union people of the South sheltered them, and furnished information that frequently led to the discovery of the designs of the enemy in time to enable our commanding officers to wholly frustrate them. Sunday and Monday passed without anything transpiring except skirmishing along the lines, and Monday night, under cover of a pitiless storm of rain and sleet, our troops returned to their camps. All of the supplies had been removed from the buildings, and the latter, erected at great expense by the Quartermaster's Department, were committed to the flames. The attack of the enemy was met by about six small brigades of our troops, and was finally repulsed after a terrific contest at very close quarters, in which our troops took about thirty or forty colors, and some four thousand or five thousand prisoners, with great loss to the enemy in killed and wounded. When the armies were entrenched, as at Vicksburg and Richmond, the sharpshooters frequently secreted themselves so as to defy discovery, and picked off officers without the Confederate riflemen being able to return the fire. In a few minutes a number were killed, and the General was soon compelled to withdraw, leaving dead and struggling horses on every side. A number of the scouts were taken prisoners, some of whom were executed, while the survivors, scarcely less fortunate, wasted in cells, long, weary months.
A gunboat lay out in the river for the protection of the place until all could get away; but no enemy appeared, and in a short time nothing remained of the busy village but smoking embers and half-burned wharves. The repulse was a most signal one, and that decided the battle, and was practically the end of the fight." Here President Lincoln attended the consecration of the Soldiers' National Monument, erected to the memory of the heroic men who fell in that struggle. On the third day the house was exposed to even a more severe fire, which threatened to utterly annihilate it. The division moved forward at once: Two volleys were fired, when the whole command started at a double-quick. Warren, at Bristow Station, and declining the proffered battle at Centreville, fell back to the Rapidan, destroying the railroad as he retreated.
McDowell was expressing his thanks to some of his officers for their services, when Johnston's reinforcements from Winchester suddenly appeared in rear of our right, and threw our lines into utter confusion. Ford abandoned his position, and Stonewall Jackson seizing it the next day, compelled a surrender of our forces just before the battle of Antietam. A few are still retained in the employ of the Government, and have proved no less faithful servants in peace than when confronting the dangers that surrounded the military spy. Bayard, of the Cavalry, was killed by a shell in the edge of the little grove represented in the sketch.
The shattered trees and crushed flowers have all been replaced by others, whose beauty and fragrance we may confidently hope shall never be again blasted by war.
Immediately after the battle, the owner returned, repaired the damages, and the building now promises to stand for many years, bearing the scars of that fierce conflict. We met the enemy in the low ground, drove them back to the stone wall, for the possession of which there was a short struggle, and at which two regiments which had been massed on the flanks of the line, were deployed, drove the enemy through the woods, and over the wheat field, to the ridge beyond. A feeble attempt was made to repulse the attack, but the regiments rapidly broke to pieces, and forming a mass of terror-stricken fugitives, rushed from the field down across the bridge, which soon became obstructed by wagons, and to prevent pursuit by the enemy was destroyed.
The high brick building at the end of the bridge was a fine hotel, but the confederates subsequently destroyed it. Pontoons were again laid at this point in June, 1863, and a body of troops thrown across the river to ascertain the movements of the enemy, who was found to have abandoned Fredericksburg, and to be marching towards the Blue Ridge, for the purpose of invading Pennsylvania.
Nearly a hundred steamers have been collected here at one time, while sailing vessels anchored in the river nearly obstructed its navigation.
Between it and the row of tents, and not far from the hotel, is located the little engine house used as a fort by John Brown, and which has escaped destruction. The wounded were brought here from Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spottsylvania, to be sent to Washington; and in nearly all of the operations of the army in Eastern Virginia the place has borne a conspicuous part.
Hardly had the men unmasked from the hill before a battery of the enemy, stationed on a ridge beyond the wheat field opened, with grape and canister. The Confederates had formidable batteries on the bluffs which commanded the river previous to our occupation of Fredericksburg in the spring of 1862, and at the same time sheltered in the stream that runs down between the hills, the once notorious iron-clad Page. As soon as the skirmishers opened fire on the cannoniers, the battery limbered up and fled. Bonham, composed of Georgia troops; they attacked them, capturing 260 prisoners, the battle-flag of the 15th Georgia, re-taking nearly all the ground that had been lost, and over 7,000 stand of arms, besides one 12-pound Napoleon gun and three caissons, and all the wounded, who had lain entirely uncared for.




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