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Pope, Albert Journal of the Southern campaign 1862-1863

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06266.01.01 Author/Creator: Pope, Albert Place Written: [various places] Type: Diary Date: 1 September 1862- 17 June 1863 Pagination: 1 v. ; 238 p. ; 20.7 x 17.9 cm.

Full Transcript: [Volume 1, 1862-1863]
[6] Wed. Sept. 17. The Battle of Antietam Creek... [7] We soon drove the rebels away from the bridge, and then our brigade was ordered over. On the other side of ...the creek was a thick growth of trees, and nearly every rebel was treed or behind some cover. The fifty-first N.Y. advanced over the bridge, followed close behind by our regiment. The fifty first drew up in line of battle on the other side. We passed by them and formed in line of battle beyond, and then we received orders to charge up a hill, which we did. The hill was very steep and long, but we went up over fences and every thing to the very top, when we received a terrible volley from the rebels' artillery, causing us to fall back just over the brow of the hill. Then we were ordered to lie down, and the rebels poured their shot, shell, and rail-road iron into us in good style... [8] As we advanced, we met four of our regiments and a battery of artillery retreating. We did not understand this, but still kept on over the hill, and down the other side, about one hundred yards into a valley, and took position behind a rail fence. Then commenced a terrific engagement, which lasted until dusk. Our men were supplied with sixty round of ammunition. The rebels were posted in a corn-field, behind a stone wall. They were about four to one of our men, besides having a battery of artillery, with which they kept up a steady fire all the time. After we had fired about half of our ammunition, the rebels ad[9]vanced on our left, and got us under a cross-fire, which mowed our men down at a fearful rate. Our Lieut. Col, was wounded early in the engagement, while going over the hill for reinforcements. Capt. King, acting Major, soon after started for reinforcements, but neither did he come back, for he was pierced with six balls before he got over the hill...
[15] Sat. Oct. 4... [16] ...We saw Abe Lincoln, Gen. McClellan, Secretary Chase and Vice President Hamlin in an ambulance drawn by four horses. Lincoln waved his hat to one of our wounded men.
[72] Sat. Dec. 13... Battle of Fredericksburg
Our forces commenced firing at half past nine. At this time, we did not hold [any] ground beyond the city, but our troops began to advance, and the infantry was soon engaged, and the fight began in earnest. We were ordered towards the left, and advanced up Caroline St, which runs parallel with the river, on the double quick. We marched about a mile, and then we halted, and the rebels opened directly upon us, the shots falling and striking all around us. My company was protected by a little one story house, and the shots and shells were piled into the house in fine style. One six pound round shot struck in a beam close behind my back, and another passed through the roof, knocking down the boards, bricks, and shingles on our hea[ds]. A little house just opposite where we were stationed was riddled with shot. Grape and canister shots flew round, striking just at our feet, and ploughing [sic] up the ground all around... [73] It was a little past noon, when we began our advance towards the breastworks. The rebels had very strong breast [struck: master] works all along their whole line. We advanced up a street leading out of the city, and towards the breastworks. There is an open plain, about a [inserted: half] mile across, (with out any place for a cover or shelter), on which we formed in line of battle along the whole line, under a heavy artillery fire from the enemy. We halted here for about five minutes until the whole line was formed, and then we were ordered to advance, and we advanced across the open plain, under a galling fire from the rebel artillery. Our Major was leading us gallantly on, when he was seen to fall; but our men still pressed on, until we got up, under the very mouth of the rebel guns, when we were ordered to fall down. Then we opened on the rebels, although we had no orders of any kind, and poured the bullets into them, though we could see very few, they [74] keeping behind their breastworks, and in the woods. There was another regiment just in front of us. We had no cover at all, but kept receiving reinforcements, until night, when I should think we were eighteen or twenty deep. The rebel artillery was only about three or four hundred yards from us, keeping up an incessant rain of iron, and we were not supported by our artillery until late in the afternoon. We go out of ammunition about the middle of the afternoon, and fell back about ten yards, to give room to the twenty second Mass, which was to take our place. I saw Capt. Williams and shook hands with him. The firing was deafening, and the shells burst right in my face.
[159] Mon. June. 15... [160] ...On the way we passed the first negro regiment I ever saw. The place is full of contraband negroes, who live in little huts built of bushes. Some of the contrabands are nearly white. There are hundreds of them on the peninsula. There has been heavy fighting all day with infantry engaged. I hired a new negro to day for our mess. Mason has been very sick for two of three days and I have to carry my blankets myself...
[174] Sun. July 12. We fell in this morning about three o'clock, got started about four, and marched to the front where we relieved the 17th Mich. reg. which was skirmishing with the enemy. We relieved them about half past four, at day-light, and the rebels opened a pretty hot fire on us. The artillery opened with earnestness on our side about the middle of the forenoon, and as a good many of the shots and shells burst right into the midst of my company...
[Volume 2, 1863-1864]
[17] Oct. 23rd... Our two regiments were finally got on board, some in open, and others in dirty box cars, crowded so close, that a man had scarcely room to stand up in, much less to sit down. We got started at half-past two P.M.
We had on board four Generals and their staffs; Maj. Gen. Burnside, commanding the Department; Maj. Gen. Parke, chief of Burnside's staff... [18] All the officers' were crowded in one passenger car, so that a good many had to stand up. The engine was short of wood, and what we did have being very poor, we went very slow, until we got to Concord, which is about half way. Then Gen Burnside got on the engine himself, gave the engineer and [fireman] a good blowing-up, and then told them how to keep up a good fire and run the engine. The Gen. had run an engine himself when he was a young man...
[177] Apr. 3rd...While were waiting here, Pres. Lincoln, Sec. Seward, and Admiral Porter rode by on their way to the city. They were received by the soldiers with rounds of applause...
[193] Breveted [sic] Lieut. Col. for meritorious conduct before Petersburg, &c. Mar. 13th, 1865.
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People: Burnside, Ambrose Everett, 1824-1881

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryUnion ForcesBattleSoldier's DiaryBattle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)Battle of VicksburgBattle of FredericksburgContrabandsUnion GeneralAfrican American History

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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