War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0242 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., TEC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

sick, and sent home; thus Lieutenant-Colonel Bokee was suddenly left the only field officer in the regiment . The Thirteenth also had but one field officer in the regiment . The Thirteenth also had but one field officer, Colonel John. B. Woodward. Both regiments were fortunate in their adjutants-the Thirteenth, Lieutenant[William A.] McKee, the Twenty-eight, Lieutenant Dean, and I am pleased re report now that Lieutenant McKee has been elected lieutenant -colonel of the Thirteenth, and Lieutenant-Colonel[David I.] Dean brigade inspector of the Third Brigade, both well-earned promotions . The quartermasters-[Joseph B.] Legget, of the Thirteenth, and [Samuel]Duel, of the Twenty-eight -had each most arduous and difficult duty to perform, and did so zealously and ably, as far as was possible . Lieutenant Legget has since been elected major of the Thirteenth . July 4, after midnight, the brigade left by railroad for Carlisle, 21 miles . The quartermaster and brigade surgeons were left to attend to their departments. As the sun arose, we arrived at Carlisle, and saw the ruins of the barracks and the railroad brigade outside, destroyed by the rebels . We were, under command of Brig. General William Hall, Third Brigade, New York State National Guard, marched into the main street of Carlisle, and rested in column ; saw marks of shell on the buildings . General Hall here received a dispatch from Harrisburg, ordering him to return to Fort Washington. He informed me I was left in command . I asked for orders ; he had none to give . I telegraphed to General Couch, at Harrisburg, that I was there without orders, supplies, or horses. At 10 a. m. I received the answer by telegraph:

HARRISBURG, July 4, 1863.

An order was given to take rations last night . Do troop, s wasn't me to tell them to breathe? Always have rations in your haversacks. You want no buggy; you are going in the mountains for a few days . Beef-cattle go forward . Now is the time to aid your country . Let trifles go ; march .

D. N. COUCH,

Major-General . On the receipt of this paper -as the only information seemed that we were bound " for the mountains "- I started on the turnpike leading to the mountains south of Carlisle, all the officers, as well as men, on foot, without anything except they carried it ; not a wagon or pack-horse, or any knowledge of route or supplies,, present or future . The result proved the dispatch in one respect ; we wanted " no buggy "- the roads in places were impassable for one . The dispatch was in fault as to the beef-cattle; they did not " go forward " fast enough to overtake us . We were left to our own resources in a country which had been overrun and exhausted by the rebel forces. About 2 miles south of Carlisle, we were overtaken by a heavy rainstorm, and we rested for three hours in a large barn and farm-house . Here we met a few stragglers from the battle of Gettysburg -paroled Union soldiers and rebel deserters - and from them heard of the great battle which was going on when they left. We then knew our route, and started anxiously. We met 3 of the "Brooklyn Fourteenth, " who had been taken prisoners and parboiled in the battle . Their unexpected recounted with their Brooklyn friends in the middle of Pennsylvania was startling and strange. We left them cheered and cheering . A little before sundown we arrived at Paperville, a village at the gorge of the mountains, with a steam of water which had over-