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with a heavy growth of timber. At seven o'clock P. M., the brigade was ordered by General Geary to move rapidly to the left, to re-inforce the Third Corps. Fording the creek in the face of the enemy's shells, by which Sergeant Major Charles Latford was killed, and proceeding rapidiy about two miles in the direction of Round Top, the column was halted and ordered to return to the breast-works just vacated, the enemy in front of the Third Corps having been repulsed and the line made secure by fresh troops. The incidents of the return" are best told in the words of Colonel Rickards' report:-"We returned by the pike (Baltimore) and were about to enter the wood in which our breast-works were, when we were fired on, receiving a heavy volley from behind a stone wall at twenty-five paces distance, killing Lieutenant Harvey and three men, and wounding ten. Believing that we had been mistaken for the enemy by the Third Brigade of our own division, which had been left to hold a part of the line, I ordered my men not to fire, and gathering up our dead and wounded, I moved to the rear about one hundred paces, when I returned again to the wall and called to those behind it, telling them who I was, but was answered by another volley. I now received orders to join the brigade on the pike, and we moved to the woods on the left of our trenches, when we found that the enemy had occupied them in our absence, had advanced half a mile beyond our works, and were now confronting us. A party of skirmishers under Captain Johnson, of Company B, was immediately sent out by order of General Kane. The Captain and five of his men were captured."
As soon as the position of the enemy was ascertained, a line of battle was formed at right angles with the original breast-works, and the men laid on their arms, the enemy keeping up occasional firing during the night, by which one man, a private of Company K, was severely wounded. “At three A. M., of the 3d,” says Colonel Rickards, “observing objects moving about the enemy's position, I went to the centre of the brigade and met Colonel Cobham; while consulting we received a fire from the enemy, which extended across our front, fortunately doing no harm, but knocking the eagle from my right shoulder, and showing them to he in force. The fire was returned with spirit, but soon died away and all was again quiet." The Twenty-ninth occupied a part of the line which extended through a hollow, and was somewhat protected by a ledge of rocks. At half past three A. M., the contest opened, the enemy firing from behind rocks and trees. The action soon became general and raged with unabated fury, the troops being relieved as their ammunition was exhausted, and, when replenished, again returning to the line. The Twenty-ninth was relieved for this purpose, and was absent forty-five minutes, the men taking from sixty to eighty rounds each.
At half past ten A. M., the enemy advanced to the charge, led by Stewart's Brigade moving at battalion front. It was a trying moment for the Twenty-ninth, but the men stood manfully to their ground, firing
steadily on, though their ranks were perceptibly thinned, until within
ten paces, when their column began to waver, and soon after fled in confusion, leaving their dead and wounded in frightful numbers on the field. Preparations were soon made to follow up this advantage, and General Geary's Division charged over the ground lately held by the enemy, routing and driving them out and regaining the original breast-works.
The fight still continued, the enemy taking refuge behind rocks and trees in front of the entrenchments, and keeping up a rapid fire. The Twenty-ninth having exhausted its last supply of ammunition, was relieved by the First Maryland, Colonel Maulsby, and moved out to replenish it, being heavily shelled while passing through an open field and losing one man wounded. At half past two the regiment returned to the trenches, where the men were much annoyed by sharpshooters.
pulsed, and the firing ceased with the exception of an occasional shot. Precautions were taken to guard against surprise, and the men rested in the trenches upon their arms. Much speculation was indulged in by the officers during the night respecting the events of the coming day, many believing that the fighting would be more sanguinary than on any previous one. With the dawn of July 4, came hope that the struggle was over, for silence continued to prevail. General Kane ordered Colonel Rickards to send out a party of skirmishers to ascertain if the enemy was still in front. Company E was accordingly detached for the purpose, and proceeded to examine the woods, where the enemy had been posted; but he had stealthily departed, leaving the ground strewn with his dead and wounded. Five hundred rebel dead were found and buried in front of General Geary's Division alone. The Twenty-ninth lost during three days in which it was engaged, fifteen killed, forty-five wounded and fourteen missing.*
Following up the retreat of the rebel army the regiment arrived at Littlestown on the 6th, and Walkersville on the sth. At Frederick, the brigade turned on the road leading to Middletown, and at a point about two miles out crossed the fields to the Harper's Ferry road, passing on the way a spy hanging on a locust tree. In the neighborhood of Bakersville
*General Thomas L. Kane, who led the brigade in this battle, having been disabled by wounds and sickness, had been absent since the battle of Chancellorsville, and only re-joined it on the evening or the 1st of July. He was obliged again to leave at the cur.clusion of the battle, and issued the following order, full of feeling and pathos:
Near Littlestown, July 6, 1863. Officers and Soldiers of the Second Brigade:
The hard fighting seems over. If there is to be more of it soon I will be with you. If not, farewell, and may God bless and reward you for your noble conduct, but for which, neither I, nor any of the thousands of this army would have home, country, pride or honor to return to. If you should not see me again in the brigade I hope you will renuernber long and affectionately your friend and commander.
Brigadier General of Volunteers.
some of the enemy's pickets were encountered, and the rebels were reported in force at Downsville. Arriving within two miles of that place, a line of battle was formed, the Second Corps on the right of the Twelfth, and breast-works were thrown up. On the 11th, the troops were again formed in line of battle, the Second Brigade being posted on the extreme left. On the 14th, the Second Division was ordered to support the First in the neighborhood of St. James College, and moved on up the hill, expecting to receive the enemy's fire; but reconnoissances soon developed the fact that the rebel army had escaped across the river and was now in full retreat up the Shenandoah Valley. Passing Maryland Heights and Pleasant Valley, where the Twenty-ninth had its first camp on taking the field, it crossed the Potomac on pontoons at Harper's Ferry, and the
at Hill's Lookout. On the 20th of July, the division moved by forced inarches via Snickersville and Markham to Manassas Gap for the purpose of cutting off portions of the retreating army. A spirited artillery duel occurred with the enemy's rear guard, but the main column had already passed and was hastening on towards Gordonsville. The brigade was immediately ordered back to take another road by which to still overtake the foe, and marched twenty-five miles on the 24th; proceeding on the following day through Rectortown and White Plains, it arrived at the entrance of Thoroughfare Gap. A detail was here made of two non-commissioned officers and four privates to bring in conscripts. Proceeding through the gap, the command moved hastily to Catlett's Station, and from thence to Kelly's Ford, on the Rappa hannock. During the month of August, the first three days of which were remarkable for extreme heat, and during which the men suffered much, the regiment was kept actively engaged guarding the fords of the river. On the 16th of September the regiment marched at four o'clock A. M., and crossed at Kelly's Ford. The weather was excessively hot and the ambulances were filled with the sick and exhausted men. The Twenty-ninth formed the rear guard of the division, and bivouacked at night on high ground about four miles east of Culpepper Court House. The cavalry was already at Raccoon Ford on the Rapidan, engaging the enemy, the bursting of shells breaking the darkness with their lurid light. On the 21st, General Slocum visited the camp of the Twenty-ninth, and expressed his satisfaction with the condition in which he found it; he soon after issued a special order complimenting the regiment for its excellent discipline and the soldierly bearing of the men.
On the 23d of September, the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps were detached from the Army of the Potomac, and ordered, under General Hooker, to Middle Tennessee, to re-inforce Rosecrans, lately worsted at Chickamauga. On the 26th, the regiment marched to Brandy Station, whence it proceeded by rail to Washington, and immediately moved by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Bellaire, where it crossed the Ohio River, and proceeded through Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville and Nashville to Murfreesboro, arriving on the 5th of October. Here the regiment reported to General Ward, commanding the post, who directed Colonel Rickards to take charge of the troops of the Twelfth Corps then arrived. These consisted of the Twenty-ninth and One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania, Fifth Ohio and Seventy-eighth and One hundred and forty-ninth New York. On the day previous the rebels had burnt a bridge on the railroad two miles below the town, capturing the guard, consisting of forty men, but were deterred from making a further advance by the timely arrival of the Twelfth Corps troops. On the 9th, the command marched to Christiana, arriving in the evening of the same day, and on the following morning, leaving the one hundred and eleventh, the Twenty-ninth and One hundred and ninth proceeded to Fostersville, a village on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, thirteen miles south of Murfreesboro, which they were ordered to fortify. The place is not easy of defence, the hills around overlooking the town, near enough for long rifle range, and very convenient for shells. Wheeler's rebel cavalry, four thousand strong, had passed through the place but a few days previous. On the 14th, General Geary and Colonel Cobham commanding the brigade, were in consultation with Colonel Rickards respecting the location and form of the fort. A pentagonal work, the sides thirty yards long and seven and a half feet high, with a ditch to correspond, was agreed upon. Five houses which had been damaged by the enemy had to be removed to make room for it. The ground was hard and obstructed by large stones, which very much impeded the work. The men labored with a hearty good will. To hasten its completion a requisition for negro labor and for ox and mule teams was made upon the proprietors of neighboring estates, which were promptly furnished. When three sides of the fort were finished and the whole in prospect of speedy completion, the command was ordered to move by rail to Stephenson, Alabama, much to the disappointment of the men, who had cherished a pride in having, when finished, a piece of work to be pointed to with satisfaction.
The Twenty-ninth left in two detachments, the first under command of Lieutenant Colonel Zulick. At Wartrace the trains halted, to let an express train pass bearing General Grant to the front. After considerable delay in ascending the mountain, from the slipping of wheels and want of motive power, the trains passed the tunnel three and one-fourth miles long and were nearly down the long grade on the other side, when they were met by Colonel Innes, superintendent of military railways, who ordered the engineers to back the trains to the summit again to let four freight trains pass. Without taking advantage of the back ride, the Twenty-ninth alighted and marched down to the foot of the mountain. At Stephenson, Alabama, a little muddy village of a score of habitations, the Twenty-ninth reported to General Hooker and encamped near corps headquarters. On the 26th, the regiment marched to Bridgeport, where General Geary and his brigade commanders had already arrived. Drawing three days' rations and sixty rounds of ammunition the regiment crossed the Tennessee River on pontoons, and proceeded to Shellimound,
where is located the celebrated Nick-a-Jack Cave, from which the rebels
Lieutenant Colonel Zulick was here detailed to superintend the working party laying a pontoon bridge, and constructing a road leading to it. The line of march from Shellmound lay through mountain passes, and along the bank of the Tennessee river, the rocky bluffs rising like a wall, to a height varying from ten to three hundred feet for many miles. Passing along, beneath the shadow of Lookout Mountain, the command* halted at Wauhatchie Junction.
The Twenty-ninth was immediately ordered on picket duty. General Geary had designated Wauhatchie Junction as an important point, and three Companies, E, B and K, under command of Captain Rickards, were posted there with orders to throw up rifle-pits; two Companies, I and H, under Captain Stork, were sent out three miles on the Kelly's Ferry road; two Companies, A and F, under Lieutenant Coursault, were posted to cover the ground between the camp and Lookout Creek; two Companies, C and G, were pushed out a half mile on the Brown's Ferry road, and Company D was ordered to the left, between Stork and Rickards, completing a continuous line around the camp.
General Geary, ever on the alert, had ordered this faithful picketing of his camp, knowing that his single division was isolated from the rest of the corps, but believing the enemy not to be nearer than Lookout Mountain; this impression was confirmed by the testimony of citizens. The man most relied on for the correctness of this report was a Mr. Rouden, 3 magistrate living at the junction of the rail and the Kelly's Ferry road. Colonel Rickards, after posting his regiment, went to the house of this man, under the pretense of getting bread baked, but for the purpose of ascertaining more definitely the exact location of the enemy; and while in casual conversation with a woman, learned that Longstreet's men had been on that ground the day before. Rouden was immediately taken in custody and brought to the tent of General Geary, who soon drew out the important information that there was a bridge over the creek, and that Longstreet's men were at that moment lying just beyond it not more than a mile and a quarter from his camp. Precautions were immediately taken to prevent a surprise. Colonel Rickards was dispatched as officer of the day for this purpose, found the road leading to the bridge, and posted his men on it three-fourths of a mile from camp, with instructions to be especially watchful. He ordered Captain Millison, in charge of the reserve, to hold them in readiness to deploy as skir
*Twenty-ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, three hundred and eighty-three
Volunteers, one hundred and twenty-five men, Lieutenant (olonel Lewis W. Ralston: One Hundred and Eleventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, three hundred and seventy-five men, Mejor Thes. M. Walker, Seventy-eighth Regiment, New York Volunteers,
unteers, two hundred men; One Hundred and Second Regiment New York Volunteers.