J[ohn] H[amilton] Se Cheverell.

Journal history of the Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran volunteers, 1861-1865 online

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into camp. i3lh, put up tents and prepared to live.
14th, and all is quiet. 15th, another inspection and re-
view. There is one consolation if we do have inspec-
tion every other day, there are so few men left that but
little time is consumed in doing so. i6th, 17th, and
1 8th, still in camp; was inspected again, and at 6 o'clock
on the evening of the latter day, struck tents under
orders to march; slept on our arms that night. 19th,
marched at 10 a. m., north to the Rappahannock, a dis-
tance of eleven miles, and went into camp. Had only
a small quantity of green corn to eat. 20th, all quiet in
camp. 2 1 St, at 6 a. m. firing began, and was kept up
along the line ail day; at 7 in the evening the regiment,
under command of Captain Schoonover, marched two
miles and halted ; company H was sent forward to the
picket line, and the regiment moved at 6:30 a. m. along
the Rappahannock; halted at 9:30; after a brief rest the
regiment again fell in, and marched till 12 at noon with-
out breakfast ; sharp firing along the line; halted until
6 o'clock p. M.; moved up the Rappahannock river
two miles, halted, stacked arms, and remained up nearly


all night ; (rainy) no tents or blankets, made our bed
of rails. . Saturday, August 23d, at 6 o'clock a. m. the
artillery opened fire, and continued until 1 1 o'clock p.
M. ; remained on our arms all day; at 10 o'clock p. m.
moved a short distance up the river, and the Twenty-
ninth went on picket. 24th, and all is quiet; at 9:30
A. M. the artillery commenced firing, which was kept up
continually during the day. 25th, artillery and musketry
firing all along the line; at 8 o'clock p. m. the Twenty-
ninth with its brigade moved up the river four miles and
camped for the night. 26th, no rations for breakfast,
but after a short time some green corn was procured,
which filled the bill. At 8 a. m. the artillery dueling again
commenced and was kept up the remainder of the day.
The Twenty-ninth regiment moved one-half mile for
shelter, remained here until 9 p. m., when it marched
forward until 3 o'clock a. m., of the 27th; halted, moved
forward a distance of three miles, and again halted. At
I o'clock p. M., moved in the direction of Warrenton
Junction, and camped for the night (no rations for sup-
per or breakfast). On the morning of the 28th day of
August, the regiment moved at 5 a. m., marched three
miles and halted, drew rations and moved on in the
direction of Bristow station, and camped for the night.
Heavy firing in our advance all day. 29th, remained in
camp, about two miles above Bristow station. 30th,
marched at 6 o'clock a. m. and halted at Bristow station,
and remained till 5 o'clock p. m., when the enemy was
reported in our rear. The sick and disabled were moved
to Alexandria and other points. August 31st, teams and
trains containing camp and garrison equipage and other
army supplies, were moved in the direction of Fairfax
Court House.

During the campaign under Major-general Pope from


August 2oth until the regiment reached Alexandria on
the 2d day of September, 1862, it was one continuous
march and counter-march, by day and night, moving up
the Rappahannock as far as White Sulphur Springs. On
the 29th and 30th of August near the Bull Run battle
ground. A very hard battle was fought, in which the
Nationals were forced from the field, and, again late in
the afternoon on the ist day of September at Chantilly,
a short distance from Fairfax Court House, a sanguinary
battle was fought, which continued late in the evening.
In this last engagement the Nationals held the field at
night, and on the 2d the Union army fell back within
the fortifications around Washington city. During the
last two or three days of the above campaign the Twen-
ty-ninth regiment was completely cut off from the main
army, as it had been ordered to guard the quartermaster
stores with other government property on the railroad
at and near Bristow station, and when ordered to join its
brigade it found the enemy in the rear, so that it was
only by a circuitous route in the direction of Brintsville,
and a forced march that it reached the Chantilly bat-
tlefield during the engagement, on September ist.
Here it bivouacked for the night, and on the following
day marched to Arlington heights, via Alexandria, where
it went into camp.

During the last twelve days of the campaign the
Twenty-ninth suffered severely for rations and rest, it
being on the march, under fire, and on the skirmish line
the entire time. When we reached Fairfax station, on
the platform of the depot we found an immense table
upon which our wounded boys were being subjected to
the ofttimes bungling butchery of ignorant alleged
surgeons, a number of whom were busily engaged in
depriving the poor fellows under their charge of wounded


legs and arms, and in many cases hastening their death
thereby. This worse than murder by men, the majority
of whom, when at home, had never even witnessed a
capital operation, cannot be too highly condemned.
(The writer is personally acquainted with professional
men of this sort, who came out of the service first-class
carvers, but the number of brave fellows sacrificed to
bring about this state of proficiency is unknown.) It
was now ascertained that the Confederate army of
General Lee was making rapid marches towards Mary-
land. To checkmate this movement our columns were
at once ordered on a retrograde movement in the direc-
tion of Washington. Reaching Alexandria, we passed
up the Potomac, crossing at the long bridge, and mov-
ing forward to Georgetown where a halt of one day was
made, the command departing the following morning
for Frederick City, Maryland, which was said to be occu-
pied by the rebels. A day's march brought us beyond
Rockville, Maryland, where we encamped for the night.
At 2 o'clock, on the afternoon of September 5th, the
regiment marched to Monocacy Junction, where the
rebels had a short time previous destroyed the railroad



Frederick City — Recruits — Dumfries.

The regiment remained at Monocacy junction, guard-
ing the immense supply trams which had accumulated
here by reason of the burned bridge. Sergeant Bald-
win relates that a lot of rebel prisoners passed Mono-
cacy bridge, one of whom claimed to have fired seven
shots at Colonel Buckley at the battle of Port Republic,
but without effect. About September 13th, the bridge
having been replaced, we moved on to Frederick city,
Maryland. Here we engaged in camp, picket, and pro-
vost duty, and a large number of the men were detailed
to care for the wounded from the battlefields of South
Mountain and Antietam, September 14th and 17th.

In the meantime we were joined by a large number of
recruits, amongst which was a brigade cornet band, com-
posed of the following members : George Shaw, leader;
Everett Shaw, assistant leader ; J. G. Caskey, Jacob
Koplin, Sylvanus Hile, Columbus Ferguson, N. G.
Hartman, Christian Hardag, William Kurtz, George
Metcalf, James Lyon, " Bige " Nickerson, Benjamin
Snyder, George Turney, Micajah Rice, Bennett Wads-
worth, Edward White, Frank Waltz, Eli Waltz; Gurley
G. Crane, drum major.

November 25th, Colonel Clark says : " Patiently
waiting in camp. ' Dress parade ' to-day, the first many
of us have seen since May last. Only about two hun-
dred men in line. Remembering how far our line
reached at Camp Giddings, our force looks small in-


November 27th. "Cold and raw. A fierce gale
makes our canvas houses rock like cradles. We are
now having an easy time; that is all but the men and the
mules. Our men go on duty every other day. As to
rations, don't think any of us will get the gout."

November 27th. "Thanksgiving. — "Distance lends
enchantment,' etc., to turkeys, chickens, pies, and fix-
in's that make good cheer at home. Well, some of us
are thankful — that we are here instead of being locked
up in those dirty rebel prisons. Nine of our officers and
a large number of our men have just been released.
This inactivity is irksome to the volunteer who has
business at home needing his attention. We hardly
think Burnside will reach Richmond via Fredericksburg
unless he goes as some of us did — as prisoners."

On the loth day of December, 1862, the regiment
struck tents at Frederick City, Maryland, and moved by
cars in the direction of Harper's Ferry. At Sandy '
Hook a halt was made for the night; slept in freight
cars; suffered severely from cold. The following day
marched at 6 a. m. About noon crossed the Potomac
and Shenandoah rivers into Virginia ; marched about nine
miles and camped for the night. Twelfth, marched at 3.
p. M. some nine miles and went into camp. Thirteenth,
moved at 6 a. m., marched twelve miles, halted for din-
ner, passed through Leesburg, and camped for the night.
Fourteenth, marched at sunrise, passed through Fairfax
Court House to the station, where we encamped.
Fifteenth, marched till about 4 p. m., crossed Broad run
and encamped for the night. Sixteenth, marched four
miles in rain, snow, and mud; at 12 m. halted for din-
ner; had a fight with a Pennsylvania regiment over some
rails that had been collected from the fence. These we
used for wood occasionally in preparing our, meals.


is perhaps unnecessary to mention that the Twenty-
ninth boys enjoyed good fires to-day. In the afternoon
the Twenty-ninth went on picket one mile to the rear.
Seventeenth, brigade counter-marched to Fairfax station,
where it remained until the 19th, when it moved south-
east about one and one-half miles to an orchard, where
it encamped, and where it remained until the 27th,
when it marched at 9 a. m; reached Broad run
late in the evening. On the hill on the south side of
the creek was a fort occupied by rebels; the Twenty-
ninth crossed the creek, halted, loaded their guns, and
advanced, and a red-hot little skirmish ensued at the
close of which the rebels fell back. We went into the
fort, sending two companies out in the road leading
towards Dumfries as skirmishers. The regiment re-
mained on arms all night; cold and frosty. Guns are
not very warm bed-fellows: Twenty-eighth, marched at
7:30 A. M., Twenty-ninth in advance of division. About
10 o'clock met some rebel cavalry; the Twenty-ninth
regiment deployed into line of battle, a few shots were
fired, and the rebels fell back. One man wounded in
company A. While in this position Generals Slocum,
Geary, and Green came up; a battery was soon in posi-
tion which sent a few shots after the retreating rebel
-cavalry. In the afternoon marched through the woods
on right of road, in line of battle, while the division
moved in the road ; skirmishing the balance of the day.
At dark we halted three miles from Dumfries and
•camped for the night. Twenty-ninth, reached Dumfries'
about 10 o'clock a. m., and went into camp on the side
hill in the woods north of town.

January i, 1863, the regiment and its brigade re-
mained at Dumfries, doing camp and picket duty, until
January i6th, when it was ordered to march on two


hours' notice, did not march. On the 17th and 18th
nothing transpired worthy of note. On the 19th the
regiment passed in grand review by Colonel Charles
Canby, of the Sixty-sixth Ohio infantry. January 27th,
General Geary visited the regiment while on parade, and
complimented us on our discipline, neat appearance, and
soldierly deportment. February 2nd, Colonel L. P.
Buckley, Adjutant T. S. Winship, Captain E. Burridge
and Lieutenant Gregory, of company F, resigned and
went home. Lieutenant J. B. Storer was made adju-
tant, and Sergeant H. R. Baldwin, of company F, pro-
moted to captain. February 3d, Companies D and I
were detached at Dumfries landing, on the Potomac,
about four miles from camp, doing guard duty, unload-
ng army supplies from boats, and loading the Second
Division trains.

On the 14th some musketry firmg was heard in the
direction of Brentsville.

March 9th, Eli Waltz, of Company D, and a member
of the brigade band, died.

April 1 6th, Companies D and I moved from the land-
ing, and joined the regiment.

From the 29th day of December, 1862, the time when
the Twenty-ninth regiment entered Dumfries, its duties
were severe ; the line of pickets was over three miles
long, and over one mile from camp; and as the rebel
cavalry were hovering around, the main roads entering
Dumfries, were patroled at night. Our men suffered
severely from cold and the protracted storms. In the
meantime five companies were added to the brigade.
' The Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania originally had fifteen
companies; five companies were added to the new re-
cruits, and designated the One Hundred and Forty-
seventh Pennsylvania, with Ario Pardee as colonel. Our


■first brigade now consists of the Twenty-ninth, Seventh,
Fifth, and Sixty-sixth Ohio regiments, and Twenty-eighth
and One Hundred and Forty-seventh Pennsylvania.

The suffering our men endured during our stay at
Dumfries from inclemency of the weather, the arduous
service, and the scarcity of alrnost every necessity,
cannot be easily over-estimated, and it might with pro-
priety go into history as a counterpart of that much
written about, and extensively illustrated affair " Wash-
ington at Valley Forge."

About the 20th day of April, 1863, with Colonel
Clark in command, the Twenty-ninth regiment, with its
brigade, left Dumfries, Virginia, and marched to Aqua
creek, which place it reached two days later, and en-
camped about one mile from the Potomac river. Aqua
creek is sixty miles below Washington on the river ; it
was used as a base for supplies, and a field hospital was
soon established. The regiment with its brigade re-
mained at this place performing the usual camp and gar-
rison duty, building forts and, at the same time, doing its
full share of picket duty. We are encamped on the hill
overlooking the Potomac. To the north and west is a
fine rolling country partly covered with pine timber and
tangled undergrowth. All was quiet until orders were
received to march ; then what a bustle ; haversacks were
filled, each soldier furnished with sixty rounds of ammu-
nition, and preparations made for " business." At 7
o'clock A. M., on the 27th day of April, the regiment fell
into line and moved forward on the road leading to
Kelleys ford via Stafford Court House and Hartwood
church, reaching the Rappahannock river at Kelley's
ford late in the afternoon. The enemy was found in
small force on the south bank of the river. Late in the
evening the Sixty-sixth Ohio regiment crossed the river


in a small boat capable of carrying but one company at
.a time. The regiment deployed as skirmishers, holding
the enemy back until the division had all crossed when
we bivouacked for the night. The next mornmg we
marched at 5:30 a. m., the Twenty-ninth regiment in
advance ; passed through a low, level country, with
heavy timber; halted at 12 m. for dinner at a fine resi-
dence on a large plantation; fell in at 1:30 p. m. and
moved in an easterly direction, reaching the Rapidan
river late in the afternoon. The bridge had been de-
stroyed, so that a crossing was not effected until in the
evening, after which the Twenty-ninth camped for the
night. 29th instant, — marched at 7:30 a. m. on the
direct road to Chancellorsville. About 10 o'clock a. m.
General Slocum came up and orders were received for
the Twenty-ninth regiment to send out a line of skir-
mishers on the right of the road, which was done, the
regmient passing through an open field and entering
the timber, forcing the enemy back ; marched on the
flank through the woods and thick undergrowth for
several miles, were then ordered to join the brigade.
We reached Chancellorsville late in the afternoon of
April 30th, where we found a small force of Confed-
erate soldiers who were engaged in throwing up earth-
works near the Chancellor house, at a point where the
roads crossed, one leading to the United States ford,
and the other to Fredericksburg. The Twenty-ninth
regiment, with its brigade and division, were the first
Union soldiers to enter the place. A number of prison-
ers were taken, and late in the evening the Twenty-ninth
moved a short distance southwest from the main road
and the Chancellor house into a piece of timber and
bivouacked for the night.



Battle of Chancellorsville — March to Leesburg, Littletown, and

The morning of May ist dawned upon a scene of bustle
and active preparation for the bloody work which was
to follow. Troops had been arriving during the entire
night from the direction of the United States ford, and
the light of early morning revealed an almost solid mass
of blue-coated soldiers filling the open fields and woods
in the vicinity of the Chancellor house. They were
mainly from the Fifth, Eleventh, and Twelfth corps. At
about 8 o'clock a. m. the Twenty-ninth, with its brigade
and division, made a reconnoissance in force, and after
marching about one-half mile the division formed in
line of battle, and in this position was moved about the
field until afternoon, when the lines were generally
moved to the east through the timber, the right resting
on the road. Moving perhaps half a mile we found
the enemy in strong force, his artillery masked in
the road. During this time some skirmishing and
artillery firing was indulged in, and several of the
Twenty-ninth were wounded. Late in the afternoon we
moved to the rear under a heavy fire from the rebel
artillery. Reaching the place we had left in the morn-
ing we set to work throwing up breastworks. The rebels
advanced and our skirmishers kept up a rattling fire
all night, while the regiment worked like beavers pre-
paring the works for the coming conflict. The Second


division, commanded by John W. Geary, occupied about
the left center in the order of battle.

During the evening of May ist the Confederate army
were charging the right of our lines, and for four hours
the artillery firing on both sides was terrific. It con-
tinued at intervals the entire night. The air was ablaze
and full of deadly missiles dealing destruction all around
us; the earth trembled under our feet; the rattle and
roar of artillery was like continued bursts of thunder.
The heavens seemed on fire, revealing the deadly strife
of two grand armies locked in close embrace, fighting
with desperate valor. The dense smoke was lightened
by rapid flashes of artillery, the bursting of shell, and the
unceasing discharges of musketry, making a scene grand
and terrible in the extreme. At midnight this deadly
combat ceased, the death-like stillnes'? w^hich succeeded
being broken only by the cries of the wounded and the
dying comrades so recently beside us in deadly combat.
About I o'clock at night pickets were posted forty yards
from the main line. We were so near the rebel pickets
we could hear every movement. Here we lay flat on
the ground watching for demonstrations of the enemy
until the dawning of another day of blood and death.
In the first flush of early morning the rebels advanced
with columns eji masse and at once opened fire on us.
This we returned and then quickly retired under a storm
of leaden hail. Leaping over the rifle-pits we soon
rejoined the command.

The Twenty-ninth regiment now moved in a south_
westerly direction along the line of works a short distance
in support of a New York regiment. While supporting
this regmient the Twenty-ninth was under artillery fire
from the right flank. Colonel Clark was struck by a
shell, and rendered unconscious nearly two hours. The



regiment again moved into its old position on the road
south of the Chancellorsville house, where it remained
under heavy fire of artillery and musketry, and in the
afternoon our right flank "was turned, and the Union
army was soon forced back in the direction of the river,
at Bank's ford. When the Twenty-ninth fell back the
rebels were in possession of the Chancellor house, and
there were not one hundred Union soldiers in sight.
The army fell back about one mile and a half, filling the
woods and the road leading to Banks' ford. Here it
took a strong position and threw up a line of works and
remained until May 6th, when, after being on arms all
night. It marched at 6 a. m., crossed the river at Banks'
ford, and camped for the night.

During the three days' fight the Twenty-ninth regi-
ment lost quite heavily; the killed were four, wounded
forty-two, and prisoners twenty-five.

In this action the rebel loss was officially reported in
killed, wounded, and missing, as upward of io,ooo men,
while the Union loss was about the same. The rebel
loss in killed and wounded was greater than ours, in
addition to which they lost one of their ablest generals.

May yth, marched at 6:30 a. m. It rained hard all
day. We passed Hartwood church, Staffordshire, and
went into camp near Aqua creek, and here it remained
until June 3d, when the regiment moved to the south
about one mile, and engaged in the construction of two
small forts.

Early on the morning of June T3th, we received orders
to march. Tents were struck, but it was not until late
in the afternoon that we moved, and then marched dur-
ing the whole night, reaching Dumfries after daylight on
the morning of the 14th.

15th, march at 4 a. m. Halted on the north bank of


the Occoquan creek for dinner. Resuming the march
in the afternoon we passed Fairfax station and Court
House on the road leading to Leesburg (marched
twenty-five miles). This was a march of much suffering
to the men, several of whom died during the day from

1 6th. Remained in camp all day.
17th. March in the direction of Leesburg. Halted
at 12 M., and camped for the night.

June 1 8th. Marched to near Leesburg and went into
camp. Oh ! How it rains !

19th. Remained in camp cleaning up guns and equi-
page, and all is quiet. In the afternoon the Twelfth
army corps were ordered out to witness the shooting
of three deserters from the First division of the Twelfth
army corps. Following are the names: William Mc-
Kee, company A, Forty-sixth Pennsylvania ; Christopher
Krumbart, company A, Forty-sixth Pennsylvania; and
William Grover, company B, Thirteenth New Jersey.
Lieutenant-colonel Clark left us here badly broken
down in health.

Sunday, June 20th. In camp cleaning up for inspec-
tion. 2ist and 22d in camp. 230, 24th and 25th,
Captain Schoonover, in charge of one hundred and
twenty men from the brigade, felling timber, uncovering
Ball's Bluff in front of Fort Beauregard.

26th. The regiment left Leesburg, crossing the Poto-
mac at Edward's Ferry, passed Poolsville, and encamped
for the night at Monocacy aqueduct.

27th. Moved at 4:30 a. m. by way of Point of Rocks,
Petersville and Parkersburg, and camped for the night
five miles from Harper's Ferry.

28th. Moved in the forenoon, passing through Har-
per's Ferry, then up the tow path of the Baltimore &


Ohio canal to Clear Springs, where the Twenty-ninth
passed under the canal through a culvert, and moving in
the direction of Frederick City, Maryland, went into

29th. Moved through Frederick City in the direc-
tion of Pennsylvania, and went into camp. General
Hooker was relieved from command of the Army of the
Potomac, and General George G. Mead placed in com-

30th. Moved north into Pennsylvania, and late in
the afternoon reached Littlestown, where we had a skir-
mish with the advance guard of the rebel Lee, which
falling back toward Gettysburg, we moved north of
town ; mustered for pay and went into camp for the




July I, 1863, the Twenty-ninth regiment, under com-
mand of Captam Edward Hayes, marched at 6:30 a. m.,
passed through Littletown and on towards Gettysburg.
After moving some five miles, we halted, and while
preparing for dinner, first heard the distant artillery fir-
ing which seemed to be many miles away.

While resting, troops were passing to the front.
Meanwhile some of Company H had advanced to an
eminence, from which they soon returned, reporting that
the cannonading was not far off, as they could plainly
see the shells as they burst above the timber. We were
soon on the march, halting occasionally to breathe, as it

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Online LibraryJ[ohn] H[amilton] Se CheverellJournal history of the Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran volunteers, 1861-1865 → online text (page 4 of 17)