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164

GRAVES OF UNION SOLDIERS.

Marching by Fort Magruder and the old battle-field, the Thirty-third bivouacked in a pleasant spot three miles beyond. The troops rose early the next morning, and by six o'clock were in motion. Proceeding through Yorktown, the Regiment encamped near a grave-yard, two miles distant from the city, in which two of General Washington's Aids, killed in the first siege of Yorktown, were buried. Officers and men now for the first time visited the city, spending several hours in wandering through the streets, and examining the heavy fortifications constructed by the enemy. General Van Allen was in command of the place. Near to the fortifications was a “Union Cemetery," containing the graves of 300 Union soldiers, each of which was adorned by a neat head-board, designating the name and Regiment of the soldier. Wednesday the march was resumed at five o'clock, and continued for ten miles, until Big Bethel was reached. At ten o'clock on the following morning the Regiment arrived in Hampton. The various Divisions of the army had now reached here, the entire retrograde movement having been performed most successfully.

LEAVING THE PENINSULA.

165

CHAPTER XVIII.

Abandonment of the Peninsula.- Arrival at Acquia Creek.

Diseinbarkation at Alexandria.-Pope's Operations.— Death of Generals Stevens and Kearney.-Retreat to the Fortifications.Responsibility for the Disaster.— Fitz-John Porter.

On the following day, the Thirty-third and other Regiments of the Third Brigade embarked at Fortress Monroe, on board the steamers Vanderbilt and Empire City, and came to anchor the same evening at Acquia Creek. The design in sending them here was to reinforce General Burnside, who had already arrived, and held Fredericksburg with a large force. As affairs were assuming a threatening attitude around Washington, it was deemed best, however, to withdraw all the troops from Fredericksburg and vicinity. General Burnside, therefore, commenced evacuating the region the same day that the Thirtythird arrived. The three bridges constructed over the Rappahannock, the railroad, Quartermaster and commissary buildings at Falmouth, were destroyed, the Fredericksburg machine-shop and foundry blown up, and various other property laid in ruins. As the last of the forces were leaving, a woman appeared, with three little children clinging to her

166

RETURN TO ALEXANDRIA.

side, whom General Burnside recognized as a prominent Union lady. He immediately remarked to her: “Have you anything down to the bridge, madam ?” “Only a bed and a few small articles, sir.” Turning to one of his wagon-masters, he said, “Send down an ambulance, wagon-master, and have them brought up and carried to the depot.” The lady afterwards had the pleasure of being landed safely in Washington with her children and effects. This was a little incident in itself, but illustrates the character of the man.

The Thirty-third did not disembark, but proceeding: on up to Alexandria, went into camp near Fort Ellsworth, on the 24th, just five months from the day it left for the Peninsula. Five months of active campaigning had brought with it all the fortunes of war. Victory and defeat had anon perched on our banners. New Generals had come and gone. Brave spirits innumerable had been shot to death on the field, lain down in sickly swamps to die, or breathed their life away in northern hospitals or homes. The retrospect was not a cheerful one.

The other Regiments of Franklin's Corps arrived during the same day, on the Daniel Webster and other transports.

General Pope's army was in the meantime actively engaged.

Saturday, August 9th, the battle of Cedar Mountain was fought between Generals Banks and Jackson, which can hardly be claimed as a victory for the Federal arms, though the subsequent retreat of the enemy left us in possession of the field.

GENERAL POPE'S OPERATIONS.

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Wednesday, 13th, General Buford's Cavalry pushed on further south, as far as Orange Court House, capturing many wounded who had been abandoned.

Sunday, 17th, the army encamped along the banks of the Rapidan.

Wednesday, 20th, General Pope and his entire command crossed to the north bank of the river, and during the same day Jackson, who had been heavily reinforced from Lee's army, appeared at several of the fords, and opened a brisk and lengthy artillery fire. Opposing batteries were planted along the river at different points for a distance of fifteen miles. No advantage resulted to the enemy from this prolonged artillery duel. They succeeded, however, in throwing a body of cavalry across one of the fords at the extreme left of our lines, which was met by a corresponding force. A severe conflict ensued, neither party being the victors.

Saturday, 23rd, the rebels made a spirited attack on Rappahannock Station, compelling us to abandon it. The bridge over the Rappahannock at that point was burned, and the abutments blown up.

Monday, 25th, the entire left wing of the rebel army crossed the river at Warrenton Springs, and General Pope immediately decided upon abandoning the line of the Rappahannock.

Tuesday, 26th, Ewell, with a part of Jackson's command, appeared at Bristow Station, in Pope's rear, and destroyed two bridges, two locomotives, and fifty cars, en route back to Alexandria from Warrenton Junction, whither they had conveyed General

168

EWELL OPERATING IN POPE'S REAR.

Hooker's Division a few hours previous. Leaving Bristow Station, Ewell proceeded to Manassas Junction, and burnt one hundred more cars, heavily laden with ammunition and supplies. He also destroyed the bridge over Bull Run, and retreated to Hay Market, closely pursued by Hooker and Kearney. About the same time Longstreet's corps forced a passage through Thoroughfare Gap, after meeting with a stubborn resistance from General King's Division.

On abandoning the Rappahannock, General Pope had marched rapidly back, in three columns, from Warrenton and Warrenton Junction, and disposed his forces in the following manner. The Corps of McDowell and Sigel and the Pennsylvania Reserves, under Reynolds, were moved to Gainesville. Reno and Kearney were directed upon Greenwich, while Hooker's Division was sent against Ewel] along the railroad. These dispositions, General Halleck tells us, were well planned, but were unfortunately too late, as a large detachment of Lee's army was already east of Thoroughfare Gap. General Porter was ordered to be at Bristow Station by daylight on the morning of the 28th, but not obeying the order, his Corps did not participate in the battles of the 28th and 29th. Heintzelman's Corps pressed forward to Manassas on the morning of the 28th, and forced Jackson to retreat across Bull Run by the Centreville turnpike. McDowell had succeeded in checking Lee at Thoroughfare Gap, but the latter took the road to New Market, and hastened to the relief of Jackson, who was now in rapid re

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