Our brigade went into a camp regularly laid out, and we were soon in quite comfortable condition, though our baggage had not yet come up. Here, for the first time since we crossed the Ohio, fuel was issued to us, and the men fully appreciated the fact that they were once more in a loyal community. Many of the gardens that supplied Washington City and Georgetown were in this neighborhood. Abundance of watermelons, cakes, pies and what seemed great luxuries were offered, and as the morning papers announced that Washington was safe, the men concluded a fortiori, that they were, and sat down to the enjoyment of all these little extras with admirable gusto.
     On the 4th of September the regiment was mustered and pay rolls made out and forwarded. The regiment had not been paid since at Luray, and there was now six months' pay due.
     During the day it was announced that Gen. Lee was crossing into Maryland near the Point of Rocks, and orders came, to be in readiness to march at once. The wagon trains had not yet come up. The Second Corps moved out to near Rockville, where MoClellan had his headquarters, and where the whole army seemed to be massed. The Fourth Ohio was suffering from sickness to a considerable extent, and went into convalescent camp at Tenally Town, where it remained for several months. Its place was filled in the brigade by the One Hundred and Thirty-second Pennsylvania, commanded by Col. Oakford.
     From this time up to the 10th the army moved about five miles per day, generally going into bivouac in very close quarters.
     On the 10th, marched to near Clarksburg, where we got rather better quarters, and where some of our baggage reached us which we greatly needed, the men suffering much for want of clean clothes. On the evening of the 10th the advance came in contact with the rebel cavalry and had some skirmishing. Next morning, we moved about, three miles, when the writer was sent to the front with the Eighth Regiment, with pieces loaded and bayonets fixed, it being reported that a considerable cavalry force blockaded the road. We moved cautiously through a dense woods, with skirmishers deployed, and over the Walter's, plantation, beyond his residence and farm buildings, where we threw out a strong picket line, and halted. Gen. French and staff, commander of our division, soon came up, and after hearing our report, dismounted, and took dinner with this hospitable planter. The rebel cavalry in some force had been on his plantation the night, before, but it was not believed that any considerable force was now in the; neighborhood. We maintained this position during the night, and in the morning rejoined the division, and moved forward a few miles and formed line of battle near Littletown. Our brigade soon advanced, keeping up a good battle front, and felt its way along to Monocacy. During the day, heavy firing was heard occasionally to the front and right, which notified, us that Burnside was
advancing on Frederick City. The rebels had been in Monocacy during the day in strong force, and had slaughtered and driven away a good many cattle, but had confined their military operations to shooting down a few negroes, whose dead bodies our men found and buried. They had also destroyed the rail road bridge and some other property.
     On the morning of the 13th, the Second Corps moved out early towards Frederick, the whole corps having come up. Between Monocacy and Frederick, Gen. McClellan with his staff and the McClellan Guards, a dashing body of some hundreds of lancers passed us. As a staff officer had preceded him and given notice that the men would be permitted to cheer as the General-in-Chief passed, they did so, most vociferously. Soon Gen. Burnside came along on his bob-tailed horse, with a single orderly, and when fairly recognized, was greeted with a cheer as uproarious and as hearty as that given to McClellen.
     We passed through Frederick, a most beautiful town, and decorated profusely with flags and banners in every quarter. The ladies waived their handkerchiefs from the the windows and cheered us. We undoubtedly saw the veritable Barbara Fritchey, of Whittier's memory. The men were almost wild with enthusiasm. We had not seen a woman's face that wore a smile in a year. The vinegar visaged Virginians" were the subjects of comparisons that were indeed "odious."  One of the enthusiastic Hibernians shouted, "Colonel! we're in God's country again!"
     We passed through the city and halted near the reservoir, where the men had dinner, and after resting for a short time the Eighth again went on picket; not being called in until the corps moved next morning.
     Early on the morning of the 14th heavy cannonading was heard to the front. We had learned from Staff Officers that Gen. Burnside was to attack South Mountain Gap and Gen. Franklin Crompton's Gap, and presumed this to be the attack of Burnside at South Mountain. We were soon called in from picket, a few rations were hastily distributed, and orders issued to be in readiness to fall in at a moment's notice.
     The corps soon moved across the fields to the right of the Pike, and round under the east side of the Catoctin hills, up which we wound in a zig-zag direction, halting for a time in the woods on the summit. The roar of artillery in front was almost constant, and occasionally the dull, heavy swell of musketry could be distinctly heard. The men were impatient to move forward. Their wish was soon gratified. As we came out of the woods on the brow of the hill the whole panorama of the valley of Middleton lay before us, calm and beautiful, but on the verge and on the mountain slopes beyond we caught suddenly a most distinct view of the battle. The smoke from the rebel fire burst out continually along the sum­mit, while Burnside's artillery from the plain below was belching forth volumes of smoke, but the same to us was perfectly mute. The tramp of our twenty-five thousand men, the rattle of our artillery along the stony roads, and the hum of subdued tones of voice among our troops completely shut out any sound from beyond.  Every one remarked this. But the scene to the eye was grand beyond description. Batteries were sweeping across the plain under a full run and going into position. Columns of troops would burst forth from the woods on the mountain side and move gracefully across open spaces, and disappear in the woods again.  Skirmish lines appeared and disappeared along the ridges and crests. Clouds of smoke would break forth among the woods, underneath which we would catch occasional glimpses of the combatants. When within about two miles of the Gap the corps halted, or rather was formed in line of battle along the crest of a considerable ridge, and rested for a time. The view of the battlefield was now considerably hid, but as the troops became quiet the storm and thunder of the battle, and its echo along the hills that surround the valley were loud and startling and seemed in strange contrast to the mute scene, as it had appeared amid the din of our own march.
     About sunset the second corps moved forward, over fields and-fences, ditches and brooks, allowing nothing to vary the line for some distance; but as it grew darker the sound of the battle died away, in front, and the order of march changed. Soon we came upon the dead and wounded, ambulances and stretchers, and finally halted at the foot of the mountain among the dead and amid the scenes of the day's carnage. The victory to our arms had been complete; but the loss heavy. Over fifteen hundred men had been killed and wounded. Among the slain was Gen. Reno, one of the most dashing of the Federal officers. We could get but little report of the battle.. We knew that Gen. Cox of Ohio, with his division, had been engaged. The Pennsylvania troops were greatly elated with reports of the battle and seemed disposed to appropriate the victory to themselves. An officer rode among them saying the Bucktails have covered themselves with glory! Hurrah for Pennsylvania!" when the Ohio troops sung out, "the Buckeyes have covered themselves with glory! Hurrah for Gen. Cox! Hurrah for Ohio!
     There was but little chance for sleep. The men were crowded together on the ground where the battle had raged, the ground was filthy and damp, the ambulances were rattling by all night, and the stretcher carriers busily hunting for the dead and wounded. Finally Lieut. Lewis, then acting Adjutant, and the writer found a couple of rails, and placing them near each other, made our couch in the interval between them with a guard over our heads formed by a couple of muskets fastened in the ground by the bayonet.
     In the morning our arms were carefully cleaned and inspected, and sixty rounds of ammunition issued to each man.
     About ten o'clock Richardson's division moved through the gap, and were soon engaged at Boonsborough and continued the fight during the day, driving the enemy back on Sharpsburg. Sedgwick's and French's division of the Second Corps moved next, and passing through, the gap, came up with and formed on Richardson's left,
Boonsborough was carried, and the whole corps moved, after dark, to beyond KeedysviIIe. Here we again lay on our arms, the divisions being masked behind a considerable ridge, which, hid us from the enemy.




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