On the evening of August 16th Sumner's corps moved out of camp some four miles, being the last of the grand army to leave. The sick had been sent away some days before, as well as the heavy equipage and baggage, by water, and on the 16th the whole army was put in motion. Great curiosity was manifest as to our destina­tion, but the few glimpses of Pope's battles on the Rappa-hannock, to be met with in the newspapers, afforded to most of us the coveted information.
     At six o'clock next morning we took up our line of march, the Eighth being the rear guard. The pickets of the old camp having been called in' during the night, we knew there was nothing between us and the rebels but small detachments of cavalry.
     The men were merry over the "dumb sentinels" they had constructed of old clothes and posted in position to warn off the inquisitive rebel. The writer was afterward told by a rebel Major, wounded and captured at Antietam, that these "desperately stubborn sentinels" received many a ball before their true character was discovered.
     Our march was most fatiguing. The dust along the road was pulverized to the fineness of extra superior flour, and we soon looked more like an army of millers than soldiers in blue. We passed Charles City Court House, when all that was to be seen of the city was the court house, negro pen, whipping post, the remains of an old hotel and what was said to have been JOHN TYLER's law office; a new structure had not apparently been built in a century, and the second growth pine was of forest size' in the ancient streets of this city.
     We halted for dinner on what was called the Tyler farm. Here we rested two hours and then resumed our march, which was not again intermitted until we had crossed the Chickahominy, between two and three o'clock next morning. Our men were soon asleep on whatever vacant ground they could find. The passage of the Chickahominy was effected just at its confluence with the James, by means of a pontoon bridge eighty rods in length.
     On the 18th we marched out about seven miles and encamped. Here we found green corn abundant, and the men improved the opportunity to change their diet with commendable avidity. The march was continued during the 19th and 20th. Our corps arrived at Yorktown on the afternoon of the 20th. On this march we passed through Williamsburg, the seat of William and Mary's College, the oldest city in the State, and for many years the capital of the colony, and a noted place, but, at this time terribly dilapidated. In fact, this whole march from Harrison's Landing was through the earliest settled portion of the country, and once highly cultivated and famous for its tobacco crop, but now almost entirely overgrown with forests of second growth pine, and bearing evidence of a most thriftless and unenterprising people.
     Yorktown was found by the men well supplied with green corns and, going into the river to bathe, they discovered fine oyster beds, which they appropriated ad libitum regardless of existing statutes of Virginia on that subject.
     Yorktown was, of course, a point of great interest to all. Those who had been there with MCCLELLAN in the spring renewed their acquaintance with the work of his spades and MAGRUDER's fortifications, which so terribly frightened, for so long a time, the little General, while we who were there for the first time eagerly sought out the scene of the last battle of the Revolution and surrender of Cornwallis, without being much interested in the long ditches and fortifications so barren of glory as the recent constructions of the "Mackerel Brigade."
     On the morning of the 21st we moved down the peninsula, passing Little and Great Bethel, the battle fields of that neighborhood, the ruined and desolate city of Hampton, and arriving on the James again above Newport News, went into camp on the afternoon of the 23d of August, tired and worn with the fatigues of our long march.
On the 25th we received orders to be in readiness to move, and about eight o'clock marched down to Newport News, and during the night the Eighth and Fourth Ohio embarked on board the Oahawba, a large, fine ocean steamer. The steamer weighed anchor at daylight and steamed down the river, passing Fortress Monroe, the Rip Raps, Old Point Comfort, &c, and entering the Chesapeake Bay, headed north. About noon the next day we anchored at Acquia Creek, where we debarked. We were now within hearing of Pope's battle of Cedar Mountain. Towards evening we were ordered to reembark on the "Long Island," the reason being given' for this new move that Gen. POPE's army had suffered, a terrible defeat, and was retreating. We arrived at Alexandria on the morning of the 28th of August, and moved out in front of Fairfax Landing, and went into Camp, that is, camp without- tents, camp garrison or any other equipage except our arms and knapsacks. All this time we were hearing of disaster to Pope's army.
     During the night of the 29th, our entire corps, being now united, moved back through Alexandria, and up the - river, and bivouaced in front of the Arlington House, in full view of the city of Washington—it appeared to be safe.
     Next morning we moved about a mile further up the river, where we were ordered to clear off and arrange a permanent camp, and about which the men worked vig­orously until eleven o'clock. For near two hours heavy cannonading had been heard to the west, which appeared to be drawing nearer and nearer to us. Everyone knew that Pope was having another battle.
      A little after noon on the 30th the troops were rapidly formed, cartridges distributed, and with no explanatory orders, a rapid march commenced toward Fairfax Court House, which was passed during the night. The terrible disaster of "the second Bull Run" was now known to everyone. The road was full of splendid carriages from Washington being rapidly driven to the battlefield to be used as ambulances, while wagons and ambulances were pouring past us with the wounded and dying, to, places of safety. Towards daylight in the morning we halted for a while, to enable the stragglers to come up, for the march had been so rapid that in some companies half their number had fallen behind during the night.
     During a halt of a couple of hours the men breakfasted as best they could, most of the stragglers coming up in the meanwhile.
     About ten o'clock the corps was formed in. three lines and marched forward towards Centreville. As we came upon the plain to the east of Centreville, the con­fused and shattered army lay before us. On every hand was the confusion of a defeated and retreating army. Wagon trains, artillery, tents, baggage, camp fires were huddled and jammed together without order or system. Guide boards pointing out the location of the various corps, divisions and brigades, were posted everywhere. Provost Marshals and Provost Guards were picking up stragglers. Wounded officers and wounded men, with bandaged limbs and heads, in squads and companies, were inquiring their way to the rear. There was a sad absence of the "pomp and circumstance of war" in all this.
     The Second Corps moved up to the right of the Gainesville pike, and took post with a battle front towards the enemy, where pickets were distinctly visible,. but no evidence of any immediate attack was manifested.
     Several officers of our division procured a few moments leave of absence, and rode over the plain to Centreville Heights, to find some friends who could give some account of the fate of our Ohio troops. We soon found Capt. TABER of the Fifty-fifth Ohio, then acting. Brigade Quartermaster, struggling through the streets of Centreville with a mule train, and soon after Capt. F. H. MORSE, then serving on Gen. SCHENCK's staff, Col. ROBINSON, of the Eighty-second Ohio, and many others.
     Col. CARROLL, with his brigade, in which Lieut. JOHN G. REID, of Co. D, was serving as Adjutant, had participated in this campaign and in the late battle.
     The Ohio troops had suffered, severely, especially in the last battle. Col CANTWELL, of the Eighty second Ohio, had been killed and many other officers and privates whom we knew. Everybody inquired why the Second Corps had not come up in time to save the fortunes of the battle.
MCCLELLAN and his Generals came in for a good share of censure and curses at every point. In company with Col. CAVINS, of the Fourteenth Indiana, we. met Gen. MILROY, whom the Colonel had represented as a most devout and pious man. Col. GAVINS asked him: " General, what is the cause of this terrible defeat ?" "Treachery and incompetency, by G - " was the stern old warrior's reply.
     The officers of POPE's command universally sympathized with him, and believed that he had been left to be crushed by the overwhelming army of LEE, through the jealousy of the Generals in the interest of MCCLELLAN. Especially was Gen. FITZ. JOHN PORTER most roundly berated.
     We occupied our position on the left during the day. and night and next day, during which time the vast mass of disorganized troops and trains gradually drew out towards Fairfax Court House. The full capacity of the Alexandria Railroad was taxed in carrying away the, wounded and heavy munitions of war.
     Towards evening, August 31st, Gens. PHIL. KEARNEY and STEVENS passed our position to attack a rebel force that threatened the retreating columns toward Fairfax, and soon we heard the thunder of his artillery, and the distant hum of musketry, but all was presently drowned in the fury of a rain storm that suddenly came on, which flooded the whole country, and completely drenched and soaked every thread of our garments. We were in readiness to support the troops under Kearney, but were not called on to move.
     The fore part of the night was intensely dark, but we knew of the activity with which the retreat was going forward by the noise and cursing of the teamsters, the huge bonfires all over-the plains, from the burning of camp and garrison equipage, disabled wagons, ambulances, &c.
     Gen. BANKS' corps covered the retreat along the rail­road, destroying whatever was left in that direction, while the second corps covered the Fairfax road. Some­thing after midnight we began to move. As we passed over the plains to the pike road, we found the whole sur­face trodden to a mire, and our line not being fully formed, regiment jostled.; regiment in the dark. Men sunk in the mud and lost their places in ranks, and for a time the march was beset with the utmost confusion. Finally we were fairly on the pike, the ditches on either side of which were literally filled with the remains of burning wagons, ambulances, limbers and caissons overset and abandoned by the drivers. Surgical instruments were strewn along the road. Medicine chests, arms, knapsacks, blankets and overcoats carpeted the way. These the. rear guard destroyed, or were, at least, supposed to destroy.
     The march was slow and wearisome. Near eight o' clock in the morning the troops began to mass in the open fields to the left of Fairfax Court House, several divis­ions of the retreating army and most of the wagon trains having halted just below the village. Here we break­fasted, and here we saw the solemn procession bear along the remains of the gallant Gen. PHIL. KEARNEY and the heroic Gen. STEVENS, who were killed in the battle the-previous evening, and known as the battle of Chantilly.
     About nine o'clock the Second Corps moved to the left and formed in line of battle near Germantown. For a time the rebels shelled us quite spiritedly, and our batteries replied. The day had become pleasant, and when the men were allowed to rest,. generally fell asleep on their arms. Something about four o'clock the corps was formed in three lines, the regiments of each brigade moving abreast, with artillery and extra animals in rear of the center column. When our line was first formed the Eighth Regiment was on the right flank, most remote from the enemy, but one of the regiments-on the left complained of this, and we were transferred to the left, an exposed flank. This. caused some sharp comments from the men of the Eighth, but we had hardly received the order to march when a rebel shell passed over our heads, striking in the ranks of the complaining regiment, whereat our fellows raised a cheer, shouting " fortune favors the brave."
     The march was rapid, and continued until near two o'clock in the morning, when the troops were halted and lay upon their arms. The route was in the direction of "Vienna and the Potomac Chain Bridge. The march had not been molested, the rebels only paying their compliments by an occasional shell from a safe, distance. .The next day we crossed by the Chain Bridge into Maryland and went into camp at Tenally Town, where the men for the first time in seven days stacked their arms, and slept as long as they wished.




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