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FIRST SKIRMISH WITH THE ENEMY. 53 proved to be merely a raid for the purpose of destroying “ Hall's House," and property belonging to other Unionists. Lieutenants Mix and Gifford were sent north from here on recruiting service, and D'Estaing Dickinson, of Watertown, was appointed Assistant Surgeon. • Hitherto the army had been organized into Brigades simply. Divisions were now formed, and the Thirty-third was attached to the Third Brigade, commanded by the lamented Colonel Stevens, and consisting of the Forty-ninth and Seventy-ninth N. Y. and Forty-seventh Pa. General Smith was appointed commander of the Division. This change consummated, Camp Advance was abandoned for Camp Ethan Allen, which was taken possession of September 24th. The men were employed in working on Fort Allen, slashing timber, performing picket duty, &c., &c. A visit from the Paymaster was made here, who distributed several months' pay among the troops. Colonel Stevens, in a special order, prohibited profanity in his command.
It was while lying at Camp Ethan Allen that the Thirty-third engaged in its first skirmish with the enemy.
On the morning of September 29th, Smith's entire Division moved up the Lewinsville Turnpike, to attack, as was generally supposed, the rebel force at Vienna. On arriving, however, at Makell's Hill, between Langley and Lewinsville, the men were formed in line of battle, and Mott's battery planted in front, supported by the Thirty-third. Other batteries
were also unlimbered, and placed in position. Co. B., together with twenty-five New Hampshire sharp shooters, were deployed in front as skirmishers. After firing a few shots — from Mott's battery — at and dispersing a squad of rebel cavalry in the distance, the force moved forward to the edge of a dense pine forest. Taking seven men with him, Lieut. Draime proceeded through the thicket, to reconnoitre the country beyond, and was, not long after, followed by the entire Company, under Captain Corning. Several herd of cattle were captured, and a large amount of booty secured, at the residence of Captain Ball, the rebel cavalryman who was taken prisoner at Alexandria, and afterwards violated his parole. Great numbers of wagons were in the meantime sent out, in various directions, to secure forage. Very suddenly, however, the rebels opened a warm artillery fire along the whole line, which was responded to by our batteries. Many of the enemy's missiles struck among the Thirty-third, but fortunately no one of the regiment was injured during the entire skirmish. Seeing Lieutenant Draime and his men at the Ball residence, they shelled them furiously, but did not prevent their carrying off a good supply of honey, which was highly relished by them and their comrades.
Having obtained a large amount of spoil, the whole force returned to camp. Lieut. Col. Walker resigned at Camp Ethan Allen, and Capt. Corning was appointed to his place. He was succeeded by Lieut. White, and he, in turn, by 2d Lieut. Draime.