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masked by his cavalry, approached Front Royal unexpectedly, quickly
a large part of his command, and appeared upon the flank of Banks, threatening his communication with a force of twenty thousand men. At midnight of the 23d, Banks having been apprised of the defeat of Kenly, commenced a retreat in the direction of Winchester, with the enemy in full pursuit, flushed with success on every hand. At three o'clock on the morning of the 24th, the Twenty-ninth reached Middietown, and turning to the right on the road to Front Royal, met the fugitives of Kenly's command about five miles out, who reported the enemy advancing in great force. Falling back to Middletown, it again joined the retreating column. An attack on the head of the train, threw it into confusion, causing considerable delay and the loss of some wagons; these were destroyed to keep them from falling into the hands of the enemy, who hovered on the right flank, keeping the column constantly engaged. The Twenty-ninth reached the hill near Winchester at seven P. M., the men lying on their arms during the night.
At day-break on the 25th, the pickets reported the enemy advancing in force. The Second Brigade, under Colonel Gordon, occupied the ground on the right of the Strasburg road. A large body of the enemy having moved off to turn its right flank, the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania and the Twenty-seventh Indiana, Colonel Colgrove, were ordered to change position from the left to the right of the line to meet and check them. The
and commanded by General Dick Taylor. As they came into the open field they were received with a destructive fire of musketry which checked their advance for a few minutes; but soon rallying, they deployed regiments to turn the flank of our weak line, which was at length compelled to retire. On reaching the rising ground it was found that the rest of the line had been forced back. Moving towards the town a stand was made behind a stone wall by the Colonel, together with what men remained, but they were soon surrounded and compelled to surrender, The remainder of the regiment, under Major Scott, withdrew with the Brigade.
This engagement held the enemy in check five hours, giving time for the train of nearly five hundred wagons to get well on the way towards the Potomac. The enemy made a vigorous pursuit, but the troops moving in three parallel columns, with an efficient rear guard for each, arrived at
Colonel Murphy, and others of the Twenty-ninth who were taken prisoners, were sent to the rear, and on their way had a full view of the rebel forces as they rushed on, whooping and shouting, in pursuit of the national troops. Major Wheat, in whose charge the prisoners were placed, took Colonel Murphy and Captain Rickards, of Company I, to the Taylor House in Winchester, for breakfast, where he introduced them to Generals Ashby and Stonewall Jackson. Jackson appeared quiet and taciturn; but Ashby was choleric and gave vent to much bitter feeling against the north, saying that he would never be satisfied until he had them THERE! at the same time stamping his foot upon the floor with great At daybreak on the 6th, the Twenty-ninth crossed the river and marched to Potomac Creek, Hooker having decided to withdraw, leaving the dead on the field and the wounded unable to be moved, in the hands of the enemy. The loss in the engagement was six killed and thirteen wounded.
bellion, and which has been so aptly expressed by Horace:
_ira, quæ procudit enses
Et miseras inimicat urbes." The prisoners from Front Royal were brought in during the day. Of the Twenty-ninth, there were, including those of the two companies captured at that place, seven officers and one hundred and forty-eight non-commissioned officers and privates. The men were organized into squads for drawing rations, and were placed under the charge of Sergeant Brown, of Company F. On the 30th the prisoners arrived at Harrisonburg, having marched seventy-six miles and received but four crackers per man during the four days march. Here the officers were paroled to report at Staunton on the 6th. At Waynesboro' the dead body of Ashby, killed at the battle of Cross Keys, was brought in. Here also, Colonel Kane, of the Bucktails, wounded in the same battle, was added to the company of captive officers.
The Twenty-ninth, under command of Major Scott, remained with General Banks, and upon the incorporation of his army with that of Fremont and McDowell, it moved from Winchester to the valley of the Rappahannock, and was present at the battle of Cedar Mountain, though not actively engaged, and suffered no loss. Early in September the regiment was on duty at Williamsport, Maryland, and on the approach of the enemy in the Antietam campaign, fell back to Hagerstown, and from thence to Chambersburg.
On the 12th of September, Colonel Murphy, and other officers who had been prisoners of war with him, rejoined the regiment and advanced under orders from Colonel Wright, an aid to Governor Curtin, to Greencastle. Two days later the returned officers were notified by Governor Curtin that they were not exchanged, but only paroled, and ordered to report at Camp Parole, near Annapolis. On the 17th of September, at the battle of Antietam, the Twenty-ninth was on provost and rear guard duty, and not actively engaged. After the battle it was stationed at Boonsboro, Maryland, in charge of the hospital and property collected from the battlefield.
October 22, Colonel Murphy and other paroled officers, having been regularly exchanged, returned to the command. Greatly crippled by its losses, the scattered fragments were now gathered up and put once more in a condition of efficiency. On the 31st of October it marched to Hagerstown, where it was detailed for provost and guard duty. On the 10th of December, it struck tents and moving via Boonsboro and Pleasant Valley, crossed the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers on pontoon bridges, and joined the Brigade near Leesburg. Colonel Murphy, being the senior officer, assumed command of the Brigade. The battle of Fredericks
*Hatred, which forges swords and sets at varlance unhappy states.
burg was fought on the same day. Marching via Gum Springs to Fairfax Station, tents and all extra baggage were turned in, and all who were unable to walk were sent to Alexandria in cars. On the 28th, the Corps marched in pursuit of the enemy's cavalry, which retreated rapidly, and crossed the Occoquan at Wolf's Ford, eluding pursuit.
On the 19th of January, 1863, the regiment was ordered to march with the Brigade, with all possible dispatch, towards Fredericksburg, as Burnside was concentrating his forces for a second advance. The weather was clear and cold, the ground frozen, the marching good, except that the artillery and heavy loaded wagons occasionally cut through the frost and sank in the mud. Crossing the Occoquan, it marched via Dumfries to the Quintico, now swollen by the incessant rains and filled with floating ice, which was, in consequence, passed with great difficulty, and reached Stafford Court House on the 25th. The mud had by this time so deepened that the roads were impassible, and the prospect that all further forward movements would be suspended was clear. On the 3d of February the troops were ordered to build tents and put their camping ground in proper condition for winter quarters. On the same day Wm. Rickards, Jr., Captain of Company I, was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, to date from October 4, and, in the absence of Colonel Murphy, at once assumed command. The camp was enlarged and improved, and details of men were kept daily at work to put it in good condition for health and comfort. On the 19th, Captain Zulich was appointed to bring in from Camps Convalescent and Distribution all men fit for duty belonging to the corps. During the months of February and March little activity prevailed in the army other than that of organizing, drilling and perfecting the discipline of the troops. In the camp of the Twenty-ninth great improvement was exhibited in the appearance and condition of the men, who manifested a pride in preserving a soldierly bearing, and in presenting to the eye of the inspector faultless arms and equipments. On the 19th of March, the division was reviewed by General Hooker, now in command of the army, who met the commanders of regiments at the headquarters of General Slocum, and was personally introduced. He spoke of the necessity of using all possible means for crushing the rebellion, and expressed a confidence in the efficiency of his troops, and a hope that the next movement of the Army of the Potomac would be a successful one.
On the 21st of March an order was received transferring the Twentyninth to the Second Brigade, Second Division of the Twelfth Corps. On the 10th of April this corps was reviewed by President Lincoln, accompanied by Generals Hooker and Slocum. The corps was drawn up in two lines of battalions by divisions closed in mass. The President
"Organization of Second Brigade, Brigadier General Thomas L. Kane, Second Division; Major General John W. Geary, Twelfth Army Corps; Major General Slocum. Twentyninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel William Rickards, Jr.; One Hundred and Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania, Colonel Steinrook; One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel George A. Cobham; One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Hawley: One Hundred And Twenty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunters, Colonel Higgins.
rode up and down, when the lines were broken into columns and passed in review. Previous to the movement General Slocum called the field officers together and explained the manner in which the battalions would change direction by a flank to form column, and, fearing that all might not understand the explanation without a visible representation, called for a regiment to volunteer to illustrate it. The Twenty-ninth was offered and immediately put in motion, executing the manoeuvre to the entire satisfaction of the General, and illustrating at the same time the eficiency in drill to which it had attained.
The necessary preparations were made, and on the 26th of April, orders were received to march on the Chancellorsville campaign. With three days' rations in haversacks and five in knapsacks, baggage reduced to the lowest limit, sixty rounds of ammunition in cartridge boxes and eighty per man in wagons, and of the four hundred and eighty-seven present for duty, leaving twenty sick in hospital, the march commenced. Passing through Stafford Court House and Hartwood, and crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, and the Rapidan at Germania Mills, the regiment reached Chancellorsville on the evening of the 30th. This route was pursued by Howard's Eleventh, Slocum's Twelfth, and Meade's Fifth Corps; Couch's Second Corps crossing at Banks' and United States Fords, shielded by the advancing column on the right bank. At nine A. M., the regiment, with the brigade, marched on the right of the Fredericksburg road, and soon met the enemy, who had a battery posted which opened heavily. Remaining in position about an hour, the brigade was ordered back to its former camp, which it immediately commenced to fortify. Intrenching tools could not be procured, and most of the work was done with bayonets and tin plates. At three P. M., the regiment was again ordered forward on the Fredericksburg road to take a battery posted in an annoying position. Arriving within charging distance, it was deemed inexpedient to make the attempt, and the regiment was ordered back with a loss of three men killed and five wounded. The pressure of the enemy under Jackson on the right of the Union line, at about five P. M., became so heavy that it was forced to give way, leaving the flank of the Twelfth Corps exposed. Geary's Division was immediately wheeled into position to check the enemy, swarming forth almost in the rear of Gencral Hooker's Headquarters. The firing was very heavy, and continued till eleven P. M., the men laying on their arms all night. On Sunday, May 3, the battle opened early, and at seven A. M., the enemy had turned our right flank, and commenced a cross-fire which was very severe. The position being untenable, the division was ordered to retire by the United States Ford road, and take up a new position; but it was vigorously shelled, losing many while carrying the wounded from the hospitals which had been set on fire by the enemy's shells. At ten P. M., the regiinent was ordered into position on a hill commanding the road, which was immediately intrenched. On the following morning the enemy attacked on the right, but was repulsed. Rations and ammunition (on account of the nature of the ground) had to be distributed on pack mules.
An examination was made of the ground at Acquia Creek by Colonel Cobham, in command of the brigade, to determine the dispositions to be made in case of attack. It was decided that Fort No. 1, should be occupied by the Twenty-ninth and that the One hundred and ninth and One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania should take position in the rifle-pits. Colonel Murphy, who had been absent sick for more than two months, now resigned on account of disease contracted while a prisoner of war, and the regiment was notified of the fact May 8. The time of the One hundred and twenty-fourth and One hundred and twenty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiments of nine months' men having expired on the 11th of May, they left the brigade. On the 4th of June, the regiment being stationed at Acquia Creek, a beautiful flag prepared by ladies of Philadelphia, was presented, on their behalf, by H. M. Dichert, Esq., of that city, and was received for the regiment by General Geary.
commenced to move on the Gettysburg campaign. Passing through Stafford, Dumfries and Fairfax, it arrived at Leesburg on the 17th, and taking possession of a rebel fortification, was employed in extending and strengthening it. At dawn of the 26th it moved to the Potomac and crossed at Edward's Ferry. The river is here four hundred and forty yards in width, and was sparned by two bridges of sixty-six boats each. Lee's main body, under Longstreet and Hill, had crossed on the 24th and
and was now at Carlisle and York. Hooker crossed with his army on the 25th and 26th, but one day later than Lee, designing to concentrate his main body at Frederick, while the Twelfth Corps with the division of General French, then at Harper's Ferry, was to strike at the rebel communications at Williamsport. With the 28th, came the change of commanders, and a change of plans in so far as to abandon the movement to
bearing further to the right.
Moving on the 29th through Frederick and Bruceville, the Twelfth Corps arrived on the 30th at Littlestown, where the cavalry had a skirmish with a marauding party of the enemy, in which a few prisoners were taken. On the 1st of July, General Geary's Division pushed on in advance of the rest of the corps, and at about two miles from the battle-ground Kane's Brigade was detached and posted to prevent the enemy from turning the right flank of the army, while the remaining brigades hastened to the front and took position on the extreme left of the line, on and about Round Top. On the morning of the 2a, the Twenty-ninth with Kane's Brigade moved to the right and took position in a wood to the right of the Baltimore pike, on Culp's Hill, where breast-works were thrown up across the head of a ravine which spreads to a large plateau on Rock Creek, covered