Long Wharf

View of Long Wharf, on the left.  Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Print Department.

Table of Contents

Introduction - What's On This Page

    After the Federal army was defeated at the Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, newly raised regiments were rushed to the front.  The newly minted '13th Mass' left Boston for Harper's Ferry, Va., head-quarters of Major-General Nathaniel P. Banks & the  Department of Shenandoah.  Banks would prove a very popular leader with the men of the 13th, as he was a successful Massachusetts politician and former Speaker of the House in Congress.  From the regimental history, "Three Years in the Army," newspaper accounts detail the exciting journey south.

    Boston correspondents cover the trip from Fort Independence to Worcester, home of Col. Leonard, where a festive collation is prepared in honor of the soldiers.  New York papers pick up the trail in that city, and soforth, -  until the Philadelphia papers report on the regiment's arrival in Maryland.  Soldiers Charles Roundy, John B. Noyes and Austin Stearns give things a more 'personal' touch.

The following information comes from "Three Years in the Army" by Charles E. Davis, Jr. Boston; Estes & Lauriat, 1894.

      An interesting fact connected with the flags carried by the regiment ought not to be omitted.  At the breaking out of the war the firm of Hogg, Brown & Taylor were doing business in Boston.  Like other firms it took a deep interest in the welfare of soldiers, and contributed liberally to their comfort whenever opportunity offered.  On our departure, this firm, in addition to the colors provided by the State, presented us with a duplicate set of colors, and from time to time, as they became worn out, they furnished others to take their place.

PICTURE CREDITS:  View of Longwharf courtesy of the Boston Public Library Prints Department;  Officers of the 13th Mass., from U.S. Army Heritage Education Center, [AHEC] Mass. MOLLUS Collection,  Carlisle, PA; Westboro Square from "Commemorative Booklet," Westborough's 250th Anniversary, 1967, Reporter Press, North Conway, N.H.; Illustrations by Charles Roundy are from "Charles Roundy Manuscript,"  CWMiscCol (Enlisted man's memoirs)  [AHEC] Carlisle, PA;  The Cooper Shop Lithograph courtesy of "The Library Company of Philadelphia."; Hagerstown, Md., from Harpers Weekly, September 28, 1861 accessed via

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[From the “Boston Daily Journal,” July 30, 1861.]


     The Thirteenth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Leonard, being the eighth regiment of three years’ troops which Massachusetts has sent to the war, took its final departure for Washington this afternoon.

     The admiration and affection of a whole community has been centred upon the young men of this regiment, the nucleus of which, the Fourth Battalion of Rifles, was recruited in our midst from the families of our most respected citizens.  It is no disparagement to the members and officers of the battalion to say that the companies from the country, which have been added to the regiment, are equally meritorious and deserving of popular regard.

     No pains have been spared to make the Thirteenth equal, if not superior, to any regiment which has left the state.  They have a full, neat, and serviceable uniform, equipments which any soldier might be proud to wear, and an arm – the Enfield rifle musket – which has been pronounced by the officers of the regiment to be the most delicate, highly finished, and defensible weapon in the infantry service.


     The regiment, which has been quartered at Fort Independence, came up to the city on the steamer “Nelly Baker,” the boat making two special trips for the purpose.  She arrived at the foot of Long Wharf at a quarter before one o’clock, bringing Companies B, C, F, I, and K, under command of Major Gould, and then returned for the remainder of the regiment, which was finally landed in the city at a quarter past two.

   As each detachment of troops left the fort, bidding adieu to quarters which have been the scene of so much happiness, they were honored with a parting salute by Sergeant Parr, the United States ordnance officer in charge of the post.  The troops acknowledged the compliment with hearty cheers.


      The courtesy of escorting the regiment through the city was accepted by Colonel Leonard from the Second Battalion of Infantry, Major Ralph W. Newton, and the Old City Guard, and past members of the Fourth Battalion of Rifles under Col. Jonas H. French. The two corps paraded as a battalion, being accompanied by Gilmore’s Band, and the Old Guard by the Boston Brigade Band. The first troops which arrived remained under cover of the sheds, where they were protected from the rain until their comrades reached the wharf, when the line was formed and the regiment escorted up and down State Street, making the detour of the Old state House, through Merchants Row to Faneuil Hall.


      The hospitalities of the city were extended to the regiment by His Honor the Mayor, in the form of a collation to have been served to the men on the Common; but the storm which prevailed interrupted the programme of the march and collation, and the latter was laid on the table in the “Old Cradle of Liberty,” which the regiment reached about three o’clock. Hastily partaking of a most acceptable repast, the line was re-formed, and the regiment took up the line of


    Nothing but the storm which prevailed all day prevented this regiment from receiving an ovation surpassing any which has been given to the troops going before it.  

     The social position of the members, the reputation which they have achieved in drill and discipline, and the fact that a majority of the officers of the regiment were representative members of some of our most popular organizations, grown up and educated amongst us, - all these circumstances conspired to ensure the regiment a most generous and enthusiastic demonstration.

     The march through the city was accomplished under trying circumstances, the condition of the streets harassing the troops, encumbered as they were with overcoats and knapsacks. The route was through Merchants Row, up state and Washington Streets to the long freight depot of the Boston & Worcester Railroad, which they entered out of Harvard Street.  Instead of a “sea of heads,” an ocean of umbrellas filled the streets, surging with the increase from streams of anxious spectators which poured in from every alley and by-way; and above the beating of drums and blast of horns arose the shouts of the people, cheering the brave boys who have pledged their lives in the defence of the Union. What was lacking in numbers was made up in enthusiasm by the people who lined the way.  Bouquets were showered in profusion upon the troops by loving hands whose hearts went with floral tributes which they gave.

     At the depot scenes occurred never to be forgotten.  The fair friends of the troops were in full possession of the place, and when the regiment filed into the cars, the flying moments, which to the actors were as hours, were fraught with incidents of self-sacrifice, of womanly devotion, and manly heroism which caused the stoutest heart to quail and the sternest lip to quiver.  There was no calling back of husbands, sons, and brothers, no repining, but brave words of encouragement, pious counsels, and motherly advice to the young and inexperienced volunteer as the final good-by and “God bless you” was spoken.


      The train left the depot at precisely five o’clock, amid the cheers of thousands of people who filled the side tracks and covered the bridges under which the train passed.  The baggage-wagons and horses of the regiment were sent forward in advance of the troops. In this latter respect the regiment fared as well as those who have preceded it. The regiment carried with it two stands of color, consisting of a State and National flag, which were presented to them by the State without ceremony, just as they were leaving the city.


Colonel Samuel H. Leonard, of Boston.
Lieutenant-Colonel  N. Walter Batchelder, of Boston.
Major  Jacob Parker Gould, of Stoneham.
Adjutant David H. Bradlee, of Boston.
Quartermaster George E. Craig, of Boston.
Surgeon Allston W. Whitney, of Boston.
Assistant Surgeon  J. Theodore Heard, of Boston.
Chaplain Noah M. Gaylord, of Boston.

Colonel Samuel Haven Leonard Lieutenant Colonel N. Walter Batchelder Major Jacob Parker Gould Adjutant David Henry Bradlee
Colonel Leonard Lt. Col. Batchelder Major Gould Adjt. Bradlee

Quartermaster George Edward Craig Surgeon Allston Whitney Assistant Surgeon John Theodore Heard Chaplain Noah Gaylord
Quartermaster Craig Surgeon Allston Whitney Asst. Surgeon John T. Heard Chaplain Noah Gaylord

The following is a list of the officers of the regiment:

Company A. – Captain, James A. Fox; First Lieutenant, Samuel N. Neat; Second Lieutenant, George Bush.

Captain James Augustus Fox 1st Lieutenant Samuel Neat
George Bush
Captain James Fox 1st Lieutenant Samuel Neat
Lieutenant George Bush

Company B. – Captain, Joseph S. Cary; First Lieutenant, John G. Hovey; Second Lieutenant, Augustus N. Sampson.

Captain Joe Cary Lieutenant John G. Hovey Lieutenant Augustus N. Sampson
Captain Joe Cary Lieutenant John G. Hovey Lieutenant A. N. Sampson

Company C. – Captain, John Kurtz; First Lieutenant, William H. Jackson; Second Lieutenant, Walter H. Judson.

Captain John Kurtz Lieutenant William H. Jackson
Captain John Kurtz Lieutenant William H. Jackson

Company D. – Captain, Augustine Harlow; First Lieutenant, Charles H. Hovey; Second Lieutenant, William H. Cary.

Captain Augustine Harlow Lieutenant Charles Henry Hovey Lieutenant William Howard Cary
Captain Augustine Harlow Lieutenant Charles H. Hovey Lieutenant William H. Cary

Company E. – Captain, Charles R. M. Pratt; First Lieutenant, Joseph Colburn; Second Lieutenant, Edwin R. Frost.
First Lieutenant Joseph Colburn Lieutenant Edwin R. Frost
Lieutenant Joseph Colburn Lieutenant Edwin R. Frost

Company F. – Captain, Henry Whitcomb; First Lieutenant Abel H. Pope; Second Lieutenant, Charles F. Morse.
Captain Whitcomb Lieutenant Abel H. Pope
Captain Henry Whitcomb Lieutenant Abel H. Pope

Company G. – Captain, Eben W. Fiske; First Lieutenant, Loring S. Richardson; Second Lieutenant, John Foley.

Captain Eben W. Fiske
Lieutenant Loring S. Richardson Lieutenant John Foley
Captain Eben W. Fiske Lieutenant Loring S. Richardson Lieutenant John Foley

Company H.- Captain, William L. Clarke; First Lieutenant, Perry D. Chamberlain; Second Lieutenant, Francis Jenks.

Captain William L. Clarke
Captain William L. Clarke

Company I. – Captain, Charles H. R. Schreiber; First Lieutenant, Moses P. Palmer; Second Lieutenant, David Brown.

Possibly Captain Shriber
Lieutenant Moses Palmer Lieutenant David L. Brown
Possibly, Captain R.O. Shriber
Lieutenant Moses Palmer Lieutenant David L. Brown

Company K. – Captain, William P. Blackmer; First Lieutenant, William B. Bacon; Second Lieutenant, Charles B. Fox.

William P. Blackmer
Lieutenant William B. Bacon Lieutenant Charles Barnard Fox
Captain William P. Blackmer
Lieutenant WIlliam B. Bacon Lieutenant Charles B. Fox


     After leaving the station of the Boston & Worcester Railroad the regiment was greeted with cheers and fluttering handkerchiefs all along the route to Worcester. The citizens of the towns on the road seemed to have been on the watch for the train, and as the regiment went quickly past they improved the short time by the most energetic demonstration of good-will.  It was a considerable distance beyond the city that the members of the regiment took a last look of Boston friends.  Far out on the Back Bay lands were a considerable number of ladies and gentlemen who seemed to vie with each other in their exertions to cheer the departing soldiers.  “Good-by, boys, - keep up the reputation of the Thirteenth,” were words earnestly impressed upon the minds of the men; and they promised to do all in their power to answer the expectations of the friends of the regiment.

     Every house near the railroad was filled with ladies, as the train passed through Brighton, who flung their handkerchiefs back and forth, and seemed anxious to be counted among the well-wishers of those who got to fight for our country.  Thus it was at Newton and Natick, and at the latter place large numbers were collected at the railway station, as if desirous to have the train stop; but it whirled past, and many relations of the Natick company were probably deprived of an opportunity to say a parting word to them. The first stop of the train was at


     As the train drew near, it was greeted with the booming of cannon and ringing of bells.  There were several thousand ladies and gentlemen gathered at the station from Marlboro’, Natick, and other adjoining towns, from which several companies of the regiment came.  A tarry of ten minutes was well improved by the soldiers, many of whom were engaged in farewells to relatives; while others improved the opportunity to replenish their canteens with what had been provided for them.  Had there been a probability of longer stay, still further provision would have been made by the Framingham people for the comfort of the soldiers.  As it was, the reception was warm and enthusiastic, and the men left with a renewed feeling of sadness for those left behind. The train arrived at Framingham at six o’clock, and at ten minutes past six it was again whirling away towards Worcester.

      At Westboro’, in which town company K was organized, the speed of the train was slackened, and went through the village so slowly as to allow the citizens and the soldiers to take leave of each other. The train then hurried on.

Westboro Square

Westboro Square when trains ran up Sumner Street.


     The regiment arrived in Worcester at half-past seven o’clock, while preparations had been made to give the soldiers a collation. This was prompted in part by the fact that Colonel Leonard was formerly a resident of that city, and has a large number of personal and warm friends there.  The cars passed from Worcester to Norwich Railroad, and stopped just beyond the Common.  The regiment then filed out and marched round to Main Street, where an escort was waiting to receive them.

     The escort consisted of several companies from the Fifteenth and Twenty-first Regiments, as follows :  Fifteenth Regiment, Company B, Capt. J.W. Kimball; Company E, Capt. Charles H. Watson; Company E, Capt. Charles H. Watson; Company D, Capt. Charles H. Foster; Company G, Capt. Walter Forsband.  Of the Twenty-first :  Company G, Capt. Addison A. Walker; Company D, Lieut. C. S. Foster in command.  The whole was under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, of the Fifteenth Regiment.  The regimental band of the latter regiment headed the escort.

     The column marched up Main Street and returned to City Hall, where a collation was in waiting.  Main Street was crowded with people, but it was growing dark, and they did not have a good opportunity to see the regiment.  They were, however, disposed to praise Colonel Leonard’s command very highly.


     On account of the unfavorable weather the arrangements to prepare a collation on the Common were changed, and the City Hall was taken for that purpose.

     There was not as much room in this building as was necessary for the whole regiment, and in consequence but five companies were entertained at a time. The collation was prepared liberally, under the supervision for a committee of the citizens, who had received aid from the city government. In the hall were major-General Morse and staff and other prominent individuals, including the mayor of the city.  Colonel Leonard and staff were made to realize that they have a host of friends in Worcester.  

On the entrance of the colonel to the hall he was presented with a beautiful bouquet by the ladies present.  About an hour was consumed in the hall, when the soldiers left and marched back to the cars under escort.  At shortly before half-past nine o’clock the train was again in motion, and it moved away amid the drowning cheers of the multitude.

[From the “Boston Herald,” July 30, 1861.]

     The column marched up State Street at twenty minutes before three o’clock, around the Old State House, down State Street, and through Merchants Row to Faneuil Hall, where a collation was provided.  State Street was filled with people notwithstanding the storm, and on no other occasion has there been more enthusiasm manifested.  Cheers were repeatedly given for the Thirteenth, while around Faneuil Hall there was also an immense crowd.  Everybody desired to see somebody, and there was a perfect rush about the doors of the hall for admittance.  The police were required, however, to keep all persons, except soldiers, from the hall, as a different course would only tend to unnecessarily delay the departure of the regiment.  As the troops marched in, all sorts of patriotic airs were played by the band, and excited proper enthusiasm.  When “Glory hallelujah” was reached the soldiers and crowd joined in the chorus, and no one within a half a mile of Dock Square, except a deaf person, could have any possible excuse for ignorance of the whereabouts of John Brown’s bones or his ashes.

      Very few beside the members of the regiment and the waiters were allowed inside. Our reporter was one of the few civilians admitted, and he had to take the oath of fealty, agree to behave, and promise to eat nothing. This was, of course a mere formality, with no reference to his habits.  The soldiers were weary and hungry. They ate voraciously, and sat on the sanded floor, when no better resting-place could be found. There was no profanity, no drunkenness – all praise to officers and men for this. Notwithstanding their fatigue there was no hustling, no ill-natured remarks, and no criticism on the arrangements.  The hall was scarcely large enough for the accommodation of so large a body, but there was no grumbling.

     When the troops again sallied forth and were taken in charge by the escort the crowds were found to be greatly augmented. Every street on the route was blocked up.  The people readily fell back when possible, but some delay was occasionally caused. One continuous round of cheers was kept up from the time they left Dock Square till they halted in Oak Street.

     The fine bearing of these troops excited comment at every point where they were seen. Their uniform is the regulation style, and appears to be of excellent quality. They all wore their blue overcoats as they marched up State Street, and this gave a uniformity in appearance which was very pleasing. They marched with great precision, and executed all movements with more regularity and exactness than is generally noticed.  

{From the “New York Herald,” July 31, 1861.}


     The Thirteenth Regiment of Massachusetts volunteers, under command of Colonel Leonard, arrived in this city yesterday en route to the seat of war.  The regiment, which was organized in a great measure in the city of Boston, was encamped for some time at Fort Independence, in Boston harbor, where they were so well perfected in discipline that few regiments can compete with them in drilling and manoeuvering.  They struck their tents on Monday morning, and after a short parade in Boston proceeded to this city by the Norwich & Worcester route, and arrived about eleven o’clock yesterday. They were met at the steamboat wharf by a deputation of citizens, natives of Massachusetts wearing on their breasts badges with the inscription “Sons of Massachusetts.”  These badges, as also the banner carried by the “Sons,” were ornamented with the coat-of-arms of the Bay State.  The regiment then took up their line of march through Canal Street and Broadway to the City Hall Park, where the men were dismissed for dinner in the barracks and “a ramble about the city.”

     Shortly after four o’clock the regimental line was again formed, and the procession, preceded by the escort of citizens, marched down Broadway and around Battery Place to pier No. 1, where they embarked on board the steamboat “John Potter,” for Amboy. Their reception was a most magnificent one, and the applause of the populace was expressed at every step of the route in a continued clapping of hands.

     The Thirteenth Regiment is one of which Massachusetts may well be proud. It is composed of a superior class of men.  In physical appearance, soldier-like bearing, and martial discipline, the regiment is perhaps unsurpassed. The members generally belong to a higher social position than those composing most of our regiments, and their enlistment had been a matter of pure patriotism, many having left remunerative salaries and situations to go to the war.  The uniform of the regiment consists of a dark-blue loose jacket of flannel, light-blue cloth pants, and regulation cap. They are all armed with the Enfield rifle.

Austin Stearns Memoirs

    Austin Stearns served three years with the 13th Mass. in Company K.  He was present at every engagement and never missed a day of service.  After the war he wrote his memoirs, "Three Years with Company K, 13th Mass. Infantry."  His great grandson Arthur A. Kent had them published in 1976.  

    Leaving Boston at 5:30 P.M. over the Norwich route, we stopped at Worcester and paraded the principal streets, after which we partook of a collation which awaited us in Mechanics Hall.  As only a part of the Regiment could enter at a time, the right wing entered first, and from the tables bountifully supplied they made a most substantial meal.  After eating all they could, they filled their haversacks and canteens.  The waiters, thinking all the Regiment was in the hall, generously brought forward all they had and urged it upon them.  When the left wing entered, with blank faces they confessed they had nothing but the broken food on the tables.  The coffee was nothing but slops; disgusted with the fare, we went out.  The rememberance of it to this day is not pleasant.  Whose fault it was, at this day it is not best to say, but it is evident some one neglected their duty.

    The train was waiting and we left immediately for New York, where we arrived the next morning and marched up to City Park.  After stacking arms, Col. Leonard dismissed the men till a certain hour in the afternoon.  One of the City officials expressed surprise and offered a "squad of police" to keep the men within certain limits, telling the Colonel he never would get all his men together again.  He declined all offers, saying all his men would be on hand at the appointed hour.  At the specified time every man was in his place, and the march was resumed down Broadway in "column by platoon," reaching from "curb to curb," the band playing and the men singing "John Brown."

    It was a perfect ovation all along the whole way.  the sidewalks were crowded, and from every window were waving handkerchieves to cheer us on our way.

    We took the Steamer near the Battery, which was to convey us through the Kill-Von-Kull to Amboy.

    All the way, till night came on, the same enthusiasm was displayed.  At short intervals the Steamer whistle was blowing, and some of the boys had taken possession of the bell; this was rung continually, adding to the general din.

    The citizens, hearing us coming, would hasten to the banks and in every way manifest their interest in us.  If they were far away, we could see the waving handkerchief of its owner.

    At Amboy transportation awaited, and we were soon off for the City of "Brotherly Love," about 2 A.M.

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Memoirs of Charles H. Roundy, Company F

(Charles Roundy's handwritten memoirs are in the collection of the Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) in Carlisle Pennsylvania.

 We leave Fort Independence for the Front

     Eight weeks from the time we entered the fort we were ready and anxious to get away.  We had drawn Uncle Sam’s uniforms and guns and equipments.  We were armed with Enfield Rifles – the natty battalion uniforms were discarded now and all the companies looked alike and the eight weeks of hard work showed as we marched Company front – 50 men in the front rank with the other 50- thirteen inches in the rear, and each man struggling for a straight alignment – the Companies reaching from Curb to Curb as we marched up State Street and on to the State House, where Governor John A. Andrew talked to us like a father to his sons, - gave us our Colors and bid us God Speed.

    We went to the Worcester depot and after the excitement of leave taking we left Boston and arrived at New London, Conn. at midnight - took the steamer “John Brooks”1 for New York and were allowed a short liberty in the city, then fell in and marched down Broadway.

Marching Down Broadway by Charles Roundy

    This march down this famous Street – lined with thousands on thousands of people – with every window packed with people, cheering – clapping hands, - waving flags and handkerchiefs, was for me the proudest day of my life.  The regiment marched as never before.

    We had got rid of many things which we had thought we could not do without, but we found we could do considerable more trimming yet, and the process was kept up at every halt.

    Marching company front down Broadway reaching from curb to curb, the band playing “John Brown’s body lies” – every man nerved to do his utmost to keep a straight line.  The multitude – singing – cheering – and waving of flags made one continuous ovation till we took train for Philadelphia – going via Havre de Grace (where the whole train was run onto the ferry boat with out our leaving the cars) and taken across the river.

    We landed in Phila. about 1 A.M. Midnight, and at 2 A.M. we were eating the first square meal at the afterwards famous “Old Cooper Shop”  Restaurant.

    How sweet those waiters in their quaker bonnets looked to us as they helped us to sandwiches and coffee – yes and pie – real pie.

    Who of the 13th can ever forget their kindness?

    After our late supper or early breakfast we marched down Chestnut St. to west Philadelphia where we made our first camp and here we again reduced the size of our Knapsack which was growing heavier at every mile.

    At 4 o’clock in the morning 

      I remember that the windows had shutters on them as we marched along Chestnut St in the early morning, and the Band awaking the echoes and the people – the shutters flew open and we saw many dainty nightcaps peering out at us a very pleasing sight.

sketch of camp by charles roundy

    Our First Camp and detail for guard.

    We marched out towards Germantown and made our first camp, and it did seem good to shed gun – knapsack - haversack – canteen – Cartridge-box, belt and bayonet and draw a good long breath – then to get some coffee and hardtack.–

     We took cars for Hagerstown, Md. And arrived there after dark – marched six miles to Williamsport2 on the Potomac river.

     Here the different companies were scattered up and down the river doing picket duty.

1.   It was the steamer 'Connecticut.'
2.  The Regiment did not come to Williamsport until mid-October

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Philadelphia Inquirer, July 31, 1861


Cooper House, PhiladelphiaAt Washington street wharf, at eleven o’clock last night, the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment was expected en route from Boston to Washington.  It was doubtful, however, whether they would not be taken to the Kensington depot, and marched from thence to the depot at West Philadelphia, their final destination being with General Banks, in Maryland. 

The regiment numbers one thousand men, well equipped for the war. They are armed with the Enfield rifled musket.  The uniform is neat and substantial, consisting of dark blue jacket and cap, and light blue pantaloons.  The men are supplied with everything needed on the field, ninety-five horses and twenty baggage wagons accompanying the regiment.  The conveniences for taking care of the wounded are unusually ample, consisting of one two-horse and eight one-horse ambulances, and two hospital wagons.  A peculiarity in connection with the horses brought by the regiment is, that they are nearly all grey – designedly chosen.  The nucleus of the regiment was the Boston City Guard – a rifle corps, consisting of four companies.  Of the remaining companies two came from Marlboro’, one from Stoneham, (nearly all shoemakers,) one from Westborough, one from Roxbury, and the other from Natick (shoemakers).  The men, it is said, as a class, are sober, intelligent, earnest and determined. 

     (The poster shows the Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, 1862, 1009 Otsego Street, Philadelphia, where soldiers, including the 13th Mass, at this early stage of the war, could find food and refreshments.  The Cooper Shop grew and continued the service throughout the war.  (Graphic obtained from The Library Company of Philadelphia.  used with permission.)

Philadelphia Inquirer, August 1, 1861

  The Military Spirit:

    The programme laid down for the Thirteenth Massachusetts Regiment in The Inquirer of yesterday was strictly adhered to, the men being marched down to Washington street wharf for refreshments, and from thence sent to the Pennsylvania Railroad depot at West Philadelphia.  The refreshment stands were reached about 2 o’clock, A.M.  The men were pretty well tired out, and a rest was ordered.  The men laid around the pavements and seemed to enjoy the novel way of catching a nap.  The band, before taking up the line of march, played several airs for the gratification of the ladies who had refreshed them.  One piece, peculiar to the land from whence they came, entitled “Glory Hallelujah,” is regimental music; a number of the men joined in chorus.  Another piece, called “Wood up,” caused the troops and citizens who had collected to applaud quite rapturously.  It was near 4 o’clock before the line of march to West Philadelphia commenced.  The regiment started out Washington street to Broad, it being stated that the Sixth were coming on, and a greeting of friends would take place.  When the Thirteenth reached Broad street, the train bearing the Sixth appeared – the regiment drew up in line and commenced to cheer vociferously.  The “boys” of the Sixth appeared to be taken all aback, but “Boston,” “Boston,” run along the line, and the Sixth soon recognized their brother soldiers.  Then came friendly greetings, and cheer upon cheer was given until the train reached the wharf.

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Letter of John Buttrick Noyes; Company B; August 2, 1861.

    Although he speaks disparagingly of the city of Harrisburg, PA in this letter, John B. Noyes later admitted that his first impressions of the city were very wrong.   He had nothing but praise for the citizens of the city who helped him recover from wounds received at the battle of Antietam.

    I have added paragraph breaks to make this letter easier to read.

MS Am2332 (5)  By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

    Hagerstown, Md. Friday Aug. 2d 1861

    Dear Martha,

     I suppose mother has already secured my letter dated July 30th, written aboard Boat on Long Island Sound, which I entrusted to Stephen while in New York.  Of course I reached NY safely, where I saw J.U. Pearce, Mr. White, and Ned Wyeth.  Dinner with Stephen. Saw Trinity Church a splendid structure, and walked through Wall Street.  Marched down Broadway.  The enthusiasm was small compared with that in Massachusetts.  Late in the Afternoon we took the boat to South Amboy where we took the Camden and Amboy cars for Philadelphia.  We weren’t thrown off the track.  

    Arrived in Phil. At 1:30 where we marched to Wash. St. and had a fine collation & rested till 3% when we set out on our march, knapsacks on back, at route step, to a field about 5 miles distant, outside of the city.  There we halted, washed, and started at about 8 Am (Wednesday) for Hagerstown Md.  Rode all day through the state of Pennsylvania.  The scenery was magnificent.  Nothing but hills & Valleys along the route till we reached the Susquhannah, along which apparently unnavigable stream we rode many miles.  A canal extends along the river aside, up and down which are drawn the queer canal boats by queerer mules.  The road side, canal side, river side and mountain sides are covered with locust trees which here grow in great luxurience.  Their dark foliage is thick resembling in some respects our own uncultivated elms and adds greatly to the loveliness of the landscape.  The islands which dotted the river, also covered with the dense foliaged locusts are very pretty.  The land along our route was well cultivated.  The wheat and oats appear to have been harvested, but fields of tall corn and cabbage looking tobacco contrasts well with the shorn stubble.  All day long we enjoyed the beauty of the landscape, stopping now and then but hardly long enough to refresh the inner man, till we reached Harisburgh the Capital of Penn.

    I can say but little in praise of Harisburgh.  It is veritably a one horse town.  There are no hotels worthy of the name, at least so far as I could see.  The bakers don’t keep pies, apothecarie’s cigars, or saloons cider or ale.  These may seem small matters to you, but for us who had had nothing for 17 hours but hard bread & water it was a matter of vexation.  At last I managed to get a dinner & supper but only by paying down before hand 25 cents.  Two or three Regiments of soldiers were hanging round the city waiting to be paid off.  This may account for the comparative destitution of the city, but is no excuse for the extreme dirtiness of everything about the place, its one horse hotels and stores.  We left Harrisburgh gladly, crossed the Susquehannah on a fine bridge, and rode all night in the cars towards Hagerstown. 

    It rained all night.  The cars leaked.  I let the rain wash my head and at last managed to go to sleep.  A miserable night and more miserable morning, when we turned out of the cars at about 6 o’clock AM this day the rain falling in torrents.  You will recollect that on such a morning we left Fort Independence for Boston on the previous Monday. Not liking my position there I put on my rubber blanket, left my knapsack in a woodshed and walked along the RR to a small inn where a sergeant and corporal of our Company and myself  had a hot breakfast (beef steak & coffee) which left us in capital spirits.  Three fips (18cents) was all we paid for our luxurious fair which included washing privileges.  Meantime the Regiment had started for the middle of the town.  I followed after, the Sun now shining gloriously.  The Reg’t halted in the centre of the town, and waited for the baggage wagons of some Connecticut Regiment to file past us.  The people here are very hospitable.  Bread plastered with jelly & hot coffee were dealt out from one or two houses to hungry mouths for an hour or two, when we marched to a field outside the town and put up our tents.  

    Amunition had not been dealt out to us when we spread our blankets preparing for a good night’s sleep.  It was reported and believed that not more than 700 rebel cavalry were within five miles of us.  In the middle of the night the camp was turned out, the pickets having been fired at as was said.  Eight rounds of cartridges etc were given to us, so that if I am now attackted I can defend myself.  Bill Allen I believe caused the alarm by firing his gun at as he says at a [supposed] secessionist.  No blood was shed.  The soldiers in my tent at least showed no signs of fight and I for one was prepared to shoot even Jeff Davis himself in defence of the liberties of our gal-o-ri-ous country.   It may make George happy to know that the slaves seem to be happy round here, through a pretty fat boy who swaggered considerably and looked the very picture of content both in body & mind, and who enjoying himself catching suckers in a river, said he did not like his master very well.  His body however told a different story.  The land hereabouts, at least a good deal of it looks like brick dust.  The water is said to have much lime in it.  It tastes well.  It seems to be the general opinion that our canteens and drinking tubes are great institutions.  I can now appreciate the celebrated story so well told by Mother of Sir Philip Sidney and the wounded soldier.  This afternoon we start for Harper’s Ferry.

    Your Affectionate Brother
    John B. Noyes.


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Austin Stearns' Memoirs

    The following excerpt describing the trip to Maryland is from pages 15 & 16.  Used with permission, Associated University Presses.

Army Supply Train, Hagerstown, MD Sept., 1861

This picture from Harpers Weekly September, 28, 1861, shows an army supply train in the center of  Hagerstown, Maryland.

      With cheers for the good people of Mechanicsburg, (PA) the train rolled away.  Being tired, I fell asleep and did not wake till morning. I found the train was not in motion; taking a look out of the window, I found we were in a cut of the Railroad with banks so high we could not see over them. The rain was coming down “so easy” and the weather so warm, [that] the very ground seemed to steam.

      About the first of my recollections that morning was, on looking out of a window, I saw a soldier step off the car and go ankle deep in mud, yes genuine Maryland mud, with which we were so familiar afterward.

      Soon the order was to get our traps on and get out of the cars, up on to the bank – a thing a great deal easier said than done, but at last it was accomplished.

      Slatery could not find his cap anywhere and had to substitute his sleeping cap instead. Afterwards; when we used to laugh at him about it, Jim would say “By gard, if I had known then as much as I do now I would had a hart,” which was a byword with us for a long time when any one was laboring under a difficulty.  We were at Hagerstown, Md.  We marched from the depot up to the town. Stacking arms, we were dismissed to make ourselves as comfortable as we could.  Some of the boys went into a hotel and had breakfast – a good one, for twenty-five cents.  Darkies waited on the table.  This was quite a novelty with some of us.

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