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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
Page 327 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.

latter train was attacked by a body of the enemy's cavalry, who destroyed many wagons and paroled the wounded private soldiers, but taking with them all of the officers who fell into their hands. The former train was more fortunate; however, it, too, was attacked by the enemy, and met with some little loss in wagons and prisoners. The poor wounded suffered very much indeed in their rapid removal by day and night, over rough roads, through mountain passes, and across streams, toward the Potomac. Those who could be removed from the battle-field and infirmaries were concentrated at Williamsport, and transferred to the Virginia bank of the river, by rafts and ferry-boats, as rapidly as the swollen condition of the stream would permit. Since my hasty and imperfect letter of the 10th instant from the vicinity of Hagerstown, Md., I have not had time or opportunity to report to you more fully our movements. At Hagerstown, as I informed you in my last letter, we fully expected another battle, and prepared for it. We waited there six long days, nearly every day the two armies engaging in desultory skirmishing. When the enemy made his appearance in force, instead of attacking us, as we expected, he commenced fortifying himself all along our line of battle, his line being little less than a mile from ours. Our supplies for both men and animals were being rapidly exhausted, and the enemy declining battle by laying aside his muskets and talking to his picks and shovels, orders were given for us to resume our march toward the Potomac on the 13th instant. The army crossed at tree points(two fords near Williamsport, very deep and bad fords, the river being swollen, at which quite a number at animals were drowned, and the pontoon bridge at Falling Waters)without molestation from the enemy, who contented himself with picking up stragglers. Our crossing the river without annoyance evidently shows that the enemy were very badly crippled and could not risk another general engagement. The sufferings of the wounded were distressing. Indeed, the healthiest and most robust suffered extremely in crossing the river. The head of our column commenced its passage at dark on the 13th instant, and, in the afternoon of the 14th, the rear guard reached the south bank. On July 15, we encamped near Bunker Hill, 12 miles north of Winchester and remained there until the 21st, refreshing the troops and removing to the rear our sick and wounded from Winchester and Jordan Springs, at which place I found about 4, 000 sick and wounded, steps for their removal to Staunton being immediately taken. All who could bear transportation were gotten off by the 22nd instant, less than 150 remaining at the two places. Mount Jackson and Harrisonburg have been used simply as wayside hospitals, where the sick and wounded were refreshed with food, and wounds redressed. Medical officers, with supplies of all kinds, being, stationed at the two points, on the 22nd the army resumed its march, the First and Third Corps taking different routes to Front Royal and Chester Gap, where they were convalesce, and the march continued to this point, where they encamped on the 25th, and now resting after their arduous night marches through great inclemency of weather. The


Page 327 Chapter XXXIX. THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign)
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