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CAMP GBIFFIN. 57
On the 10th of October, the whole Division again moved out to Makell's Hill, and formed in line of battle, skirmishers being thrown out in front. After remaining here several hours, the force fell back to Langley, and from there proceeded east on the Kirby road to "Big Chestnut." In the afternoon of the next day they advanced half a mile further, and went into camp, at what has since been known as "Camp Griffin," where the Thirty-third remained until the final advance was made.
On the second day after locating here, sixty men, under command of Capt. Platner, proceeded on a reconnoissance beyond the picket line, and falling in with some rebel cavalry, killed two of the number; Lieut. White shooting one of them dead. The fleeing enemy were pursued until they reached the cover of a dense thicket, when, being strongly reinforced, they turned upon the pursuing party, who escaped back in safety to camp by closely following the sinuous windings of the Virginia rail fences.
On the same afternoon Co. E. had a skirmish with the rebel cavalry, killing several of them in the woods where they were engaged. Some of the other Companies hastened to its support, but did not reach the ground in time to participate in the melee. This was the last of the picket firing before Washington. The men were employed here in drilling, "slashing," reviews, sham-fights, and picket duty. Frequently they proceeded out on picket at two or three o'clock in the morning, when the mud was knee-deep, often remaining for thirty hours or more without being relieved.
58 GENERAL DAVIDSON.
During the month of October, Col. Stevens left for the south, taking the Seventy-ninth Highlanders with him. Col. Taylor assumed command of the Brigade, until Gen. Brennan was sent to take charge of it. Not long after he was likewise ordered south. The Forty-seventh Pennsylvania accompanied him, the Eighty-sixth New York taking its place. Gen. Brooks now commanded the Brigade for a few days, at the end of which time General Davidson, a loyal Virginian, from Fairfax County, was placed over it. Previous to the outbreak he had been a Major in the regular cavalry service, and was a brave and popular officer. He rode a spirited mustang, presented to him by Kit Carson, while serving on the western frontier. The Eighty-sixth New York was soon sent back to Casey's Division, and the Seventy-seventh, raised in the vicinity of Saratoga, succeeded it. As an instance of the great cutting down of the impedimenta of our armies, this regiment then employed one hundred and five double wagons for transportation, where only five are now used for that purpose. The same can be said of most of the commands.
A novel wedding came off one night at the Chaplain's quarters, the happy couple being a private and a laundress belonging to Company C. The affair was conducted with all the ceremony the circumstances of the case would permit of, and to the satisfaction of the guests, who were regaled with wedding cake, wine, and other refreshments, decidedly palatable after the long experience on "hard tack."
A WEDDING IN CAMP. 59
While the after-festivities were happily progressing, the fortunate bridegroom suddenly brought them to a close by grasping the hand of his "fair one," and disappearing in the direction of his domicile, with a general invitation to "call round." The wife remained with her husband until the battle of Antietam, when, he being wounded, they both departed for the North.
About $400 were contributed by the various Companies for a chapel-tent and reading-room. A temperance pledge, circulated among the men, was signed by a large number, many of whom have kept it until this time. On the day of the battle of Drainesville, the long roll beat, and the Brigade proceeded out to " Freedom Hill," where it was drawn up in line of battle to intercept the rebels, should they, in case of a defeat, attempt to escape in that direction. The enemy not appearing, the Regiments returned to camp at sunset.
At the time of the Ball's Bluff affair they were furnished with three days' rations preparatory to again moving, but were not called out.
60 GENERAL M'clellan BEVIEWS THE ARMY.
Grand Review of the Army, at Bailey's Cross Roads.—Pleasant Acquaintances formed.—Changes and Deaths at Camp Griffin.— Dissatisfaction at the General Inactivity.—President's War Orders.—Gen. McClellan's Plans and Correspondence with the President.
The grand review by Gen. McClellan took place while the Thirty-third was encamped at Camp Griffin; the troops, over seventy thousand, were assembled at Bailey's Cross-Koads, early in the day, to await the arrival of their Chief. Towards noon Gen. McClellan appeared, accompanied by the President and other distinguished personages, and as the party rode along in front of the line, cheer after cheer rent the air. Having assumed a stationary position on an elevated spot, the various commands passed in review before them. The day was mild and beautiful, the roads in good condition, men in fine spirits, and the review presented a most imposing spectacle, surpassing anything of the kind ever before witnessed in America. Surgeon Dickerson was unfortunately thrown from his horse by a collision on this occasion, receiving a severe concussion. The Surgeon attending pronounced the case a fracture of the skull producing compression of the brain, when a Herald attache, standing by, added: "died