War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0294 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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ion, from the old camp near Belle Plain. The route lay along the road from the landing to White Oak Church, and from thence to a point in the woods, nearly a mile from the Rappahannock, and opposite the left of the battle-field of December 13, 1862. The regiment was halted in these woods at sundown, and rested under orders, to be in readiness for a movement at any moment. Rain set in at noon on Tuesday.

At 3 a. m., April 29, the men were under arms and in line, where they remained until daylight, when orders were received to rest, and we remained in the same position until noon. The regiment, with the other troops of the division, marched toward the river, and was halted in the ravine on [White Oak] Run, a few rods from the pontoon bridge. In this position, with the exception of a very slight change, for protection against the enemy's shells, my command remained until the morning of Saturday, May 2.

On Thursday, April 30, the men were mustered for pay. In the evening, the enemy opened his batteries, and the ravine was shelled about on hour. The men were placed under cover of the bank, by order of General Rowley, and, though the fire was very severe, no one of my command was injured.

During the whole of Friday, May 1, command occupied the same position. At noon, we received orders to be in readiness to cross the river, and charge on the enemy's batteries at 3 o'clock. The movement was not, however, made. I believe my men were prepared to obey the order, though the trial would have been a severe one.

Early on Saturday morning, May 2, we received orders to march. My command had just been formed in line, when the enemy's batteries opened, raking the entire ravine. My horse was struck on the head by a shell and terribly mangled. The regiment moved in good order directly across the ravine and up it. A momentary slackening of the enemy's fire favored the movement, and no loss was sustained. I had no hope, a few minutes previously, that we could cross the run and move out without many casualties.

Our line of march on Saturday was up the Rappahannock River to the United States Ford. The men, though suffering from heavy loads and a burning sun, bore up manfully. We crossed the pontoon bridge at sunset. The intelligence from the front was dispiriting, but the regiment was in good condition, and marched with life through the forest under circumstances of no ordinary difficulty. The firing of artillery and musketry, directly in front, was terrible. The men had marched nearly 20 miles, but still, I am happy to say, they showed no want of fortitude for the trial that seemed to be awaiting them. I am not aware that any of my command left the ranks at this time, though the darkness would have favored skulking and though the scene was sufficiently trying. On reaching the main road, my regiment was deployed along it, on the right of the One hundred and twenty-first, and formed in line. It remained in this position until Wednesday morning, May 6, the men resting on their arms and under orders to be ready to fall in at a moment's notice. The night attack on Saturday ended just as our troops reached the field. The men sank down in their places to sleep. They were too much exhausted to eat. I deem it unnecessary to say anything of our operations between the time of our arrival at the front and our withdrawing from the position, further than that breastworks were thrown up on Sunday and Monday, May 3 and 4, and that my command was in excellent condition.

On Wednesday, May 6, my command recrossed the river with the remainder of the First Brigade. The return march to our present en-