General Joseph Hooker in Command

April 1863;

Review of the Army April, 1863

"Review by the President of the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac - General Buford's Division of Regulars.  Drawn by A.R. Waud. 

"Great things were expected.  Hooker had the name of being a fighting man;  when in command of a division or a corps, would he keep up his reputation in the command of the army?  Let us see."   - Sergeant Austin Stearns.

Table of Contents


Introduction - Whats on this Page

      Major-General Joseph Hooker did wonders for the ailing Army of the Potomac when he assumed command in late January 1863.    With a deserved reputation as an aggressive leader, he now proved to be an outstanding organizer.  He pushed Dr. Jonathan Letterman’s improvements to the medical department;  food rations & sanitation immediately improved.  Furloughs were issued to weary officers and soldiers on a rotating basis.  This curbed the wave of army desertions.  The introduction of ‘Corps Badges’ created  an ‘esprit de corps’ within the several divisions of the Army.  Hooker also embraced new technologies available to him, the balloon corps, and the telegraph.  He created a special department, the ‘Bureau of Military Information,” to gather and interpret intelligence about the enemy.  He organized the Union Cavalry into a Corps of its own for the first time,  increasing their usefulness.  He also experimented with Pack Mules instead of wagons to move supplies. 

Abraham Lincoln, April 17, 1863

            While Hooker was riding a wave of popularity due to these noticeable improvements, President Lincoln's political stock was at a new low.  Defending the rightness of the Emancipation  Proclamation “was a huge drain on Lincoln.” 2     The White House caretaker observed  on February 22nd, the President was “growing feeble,” and “he looked worn and haggard.”  Admiral John Dahlgren, one of his closest friends noted “the President never tells a joke now.” 3     

      An Ohio Congressman wrote in late February, the “criticism, reflection, reproach, and condemnation  “of Lincoln in Congress was so complete that there were only two men in the House who defended him."4    A lawyer wrote,  “The lack of respect for the President in all parties is unconcealed.”   “He has no admirer, no enthusiastic supporters, none to bet on his head.   If a Republican convention were to be held to-morrow, he would not get the vote of a State.” 5 

    This poor resolution photo of the President,  was taken April 17th 1863, so I include it here.

      With the political  tide running against him, the voices of Northern Democrats opposed to the war became loud and angry.   They were dubbed ‘Copperheads.’   The President, knowing his fortunes were linked to the army, took a trip down to see how his new general’s plans were getting along. in early April.  While there,  a review of the Army was staged for his benefit, duly noted by all the '13th Mass.' soldiers on this page. 

      On April 11, the administration approved General Hooker's plans for a new campaign.   Two days later the cavalry started out to destroy communications in the rear of the Confederate lines - before the infantry would march.   Poor weather stopped the cavalry in its tracks so Hooker revised his plans; -  the infantry would act in conjunction with the cavalry.  Hooker made his opening moves at the end of April.  

      The '13th Mass.' In Camp – Whats on this Page.

      The soldiers record that harsh weather continued in early April.  A letter from William Clark, former captain of Co. H, to his friend Capt. Elliot Pierce, kicks off this page offering some vague glimpses into the happenings of the regimental field & staff   Col Leonard is in command of the brigade, and receives high praise from General Hooker for the outstanding show the regiment puts on at the April 2nd  Division review.   Sam Webster and Charles Adams both  mention the compliment.   A great article on Sallie, the brave dog that traveled with Col. Richard Coulter and the 11th PA follows.

    On April 7th, President Lincoln attended a review of the First Army Corps, and Sergeant John S. Fay was close enough to comment on the appearance of the First Family.   Sergeant John Boudwin of Co A, provides details of the daily routine in camp.   Private John B. Noyes, detached as a clerk at headquarters, reports on bush-whacking locals, Confederate deserters, and former slaves seeking safe passage to Washington; - all who are brought before General Marsena Patrick’s Bureau of Military Information.  Noyes notes the army is in fine shape.  Morale is high and the army is ready to move.   This page ends with Sergeant Austin Stearns of Co. K who describes another local Virginia family under safeguard, when he goes to bring his comrade Warren E. Bruce, back to camp at the start of the new campaign.

    The narrative continues with the Battle of Chancellorsville on page 2, & don't miss John S. Fay's story on page 3.

Note 1.   "Chancellorsville 1863;  Souls of the Brave." by Ernest B. Furgurson; First Vintage Civil War Library Edition, 1993.    (pages 29 - 35).
Note 2.   Quote of Benjamin Brown French, 'the man responsible for the upkeep of the White House,' found in "The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln," by Larry Tagg; 2009;  Savas Beatie LLC, ( p. 352).
Note 3.  "The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln, (p. 352).
Note 4.  Quote of  Ohio Congressman A.G. Riddle; "The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln,"  (p. 353).
Note 5.   Quotes of Richard Henry Dana after a visit to Washington, found in "The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln," (p. 353).

Picture Credits:  All images are from the Library of Congress Digital Image Database with the following exceptions;  Captain William H. Clark, Captain Elliot C. Pierce, Chaplain Noah Gaylord, Lt. Morton Tower, Col. Samuel H. Leonard, & Lt.-Col. N. Walter Batchelder are from the Army Heritage Education Center, (AHEC) Mass. MOLLUS Collection;  Lt. Robert Bruce Henderson, from Tim Sewell; William B. Kimball from Scott Hann; Moses Palmer from George Oldenburg; Albert Hurter's sketches of the drunks are from his book,  "He Drew As He Pleased," accessed via the Internet;  All the Harper's Weekly Images :  "Review by the President of the Cavalry," "General Hooker & Staff," "President Lincoln & General Hooker" were accessed via; The Charles Reed sketch "Haversack & Dipper" was accessed via the Internet from the Book HARDTACK & COFFEE, by  John D. Billings;  The Winslow Homer Painting, "Pitching Quoits" is from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University;  Colonel Richard Coulter is from  the website generals and;  Portrait of artist Edwin Forbes from the Library of Congress accessed via the Virginia Historical Society Blog.  The photograph of the 11th PA Monument at Gettysburg was taken by me, July, 2012; The illustrations in John B. Noyes' letter of April 5, are by A. B. Frost.  The sketch in the April 12 letter is from the NY Public Library Digital Image Collection, it is un-credited.    The only known picture of "Sallie" is from the Pennsylvania Historical  Museum and Commission.  ALL IMAGES HAVE BEEN EDITED IN PHOTOSHOP.

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Letter From William H. Clark to Elliot C. Pierce

     Captain William L. Clark, Co. H

    William L. Clark of Boston,  was assigned captain of Company H, when the Natick Rifle Company became part of the '13th Mass.' at Fort Independence in July, 1861.  Clark resigned his commission July 24, 1862.   He was the especial friend of Elliot Pierce, who subsequently replaced Clark as captain of Company H.  Here, civilian Clark, now employed by the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, writes an intimate letter to his friend 'Percy' congratulating him on the good fortune of obtaining his new post.  Pierce was appointed Captain to the Ambulance Corps on January 31st 1863.  [When Pierce took his new position, Captain David L. Brown, of Company I, took his place as captain of Company H.]  

    Clark makes several comments about other members of the Field & Staff of the '13th Mass.,' including, Chaplain Noah Gaylord, (whom John B. Noyes called the king of rumors)  Col. Leonard,  Captain Charles H. Hovey of Co. K, (presently Assistant Inspector-General of the 2nd Division),  Major J. P. Gould, & Lt.-Col. N.W.  Batchelder.  Gould and Batchelder did not get along.  Adjutant David Bradlee is mentioned and George Craig,  Quartermaster,  who it is implied was close to former brigade commander General George Lucas Hartsuff.

    A long joke about liquor ends the letter.  Captain Pierce is pictured in the body of the letter.

William H. Clark to Elliot C. Pierce, 16 April, 1863; Thayer Family  Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.  Used with permission.

Boston April 16, 1863

    My dear Percy,
                    Your thrice welcome letter of the 4th April came duly to hand & I fear the irregularity of our correspondence is somewhat owing to the absence of  Post Master Gaylord from his post, for without him things cannot go straight  “not never any more !”   Rutland & Burlington Railroad affairs to be sure   Monopolize somewhat my time and mother Earth ( as well as my natural mother ) carried in for some share of my attentions but they don’t quite succeed in obliterating all recollections of my year’s “campaigning.”    I met Gaylord in the street on Tuesday last, he is here for something (or thinks he is which answers as well ) lecturing I suppose, as the papers say something about him and  “Shelter tents & Shoddy palaces.”    Has rather a “gag” sound to one who knows him.    He says (and of course that decides it)  Leonard is coming home in a short time, “of course, you know that order of the War Department consolidating regiments musters out of service colonels and Majors-"    I understand Capt. Chas. Hovey has also a good thing being detailed as “brigade inspector” but it don’t to me appear to shine anywhere beside your “posish.”  I shall anxiously await the arrival of the “order No. 147.” with particulars but from what you say it must be a “sweet


Elliot C. Pierce

thing and comfortable to bear.”   Of course the Department permit you a selection of horses for your “mount;” it would be wasteful to oblige a good horseman to bestride anything that comes along.   Things with the regiment must be at a pretty pass I should judge from the doings mentioned in yours .  Most Colonels would have Courtmartialled both of their field officers for less offences than Batchelder & Gould committed a year ago, but Leonard seems to be inclined to put up with most anything for peace and quiet.   We are today enjoying one of those blissful rainy, East windy, spring like days which you can doubtless remember as characteristic of this locality when you were  “a simple, sober citizen” and dwelt hereabouts.   One of what the French consider suicidal days.  Your letter makes no mention whatever of David Bradlee formerly Adjutant of the 13th.    What had become of him?   You say Louey Howe is Adjutant to Colonel Cmmdg Brigade.   Why not David?   Doesn’t Leonard take his adjutants with him when acting brigadier?    Or has David quit the concern and come home.    I don’t see many of the officers now.   Occasionally  I run against Joe Cary and Lt. Richardson and now and then Little* (very) turns up at the corner of the street.  I am glad Tom Welles got his promotion and am not


surprised to hear he makes a good Quarter-Master.  He understood the thing and is smart if he chooses to be.  Has Craig* gone with Hartsuff, who is I observe ordered to report to Burnside at the West?

Albert Hurter sketch of a drunk

I don’t think your xtravagance while on xtra duty at “our Country’s Capital” requires xtenuation, when the xorbitant xtortions usually made there are considered; as while alone they xceed reason, so they must have been xcessively enhanced by the xodus of your xcellent wife, the xtensive suite you occupied added to xpense, and of course xcess of livery must be xhaustive to one’s purse; however xemplary their morals, people are xposed to temptations there difficult to xpress or xplain, and xhortation in xtreme cases sometimes xpedites xamination and xculpates the  un xperiencecd from xecrating their misfortune or xpiating their folly – Don’t you see?   Or has this xecrable xhibition xhilarated or xasperated you beyond xpression?  Albert Hurter sketch - drunk You own xplanation of the condition of your xchquer xcited me to xecute it and however xcitable it may render you should not xclaim against or take xceptions to it. xalted xample!

               Your direction to Weymouth landing is very clear + shall be followed explicitly.   Mrs. C. send her regards – Baby is improving though still thin, puny + with a terrible cough.

                                    Ever Your friend

*Joe Cary, Capt. of Co. B, on disability visits the camp at this time see page 3 of this section.  Thomas J. Little mustered in as Sgt.-Major;  wounded at Manassas Aug. 30th 1862.

**George Craig of the 13th was quartermaster to Gen. Hartsuff when Hartsuff commanded the Brigade.  Hartsuff was wounded at Antietam.  He was promoted to Major-General and appointed to command the 23rd Corps in E. Tennessee but his wound prevented him from keeping the command.  He finally returned to active duty in mid-1864.  Gen. A.E. Burnside was sent west to Cincinnati following  his resignation as Commander of the Army of the Potomac.


Chaplain Noah Gaylord

    Chaplain Noah M. Gaylord of the '13th Mass.', so prominently mentioned in the first part of Clark's letter was a popular figure in the regiment.  His spirited sermons and activities  were frequently mentioned in soldiers' letters home, and more than once he boosted the morale of the dejected soldiers when things were going bad.  Aside from giving spiritual aid, the Chaplain's chief duties were with the post office - getting the mails delivered to camp.  Gaylord resigned from the '13th Mass.' March 12th 1863 to accept the position of post-Chaplain at Campbell Hospital in Washington, D.C.  As Clark mentions above, Rev. Gaylord was in Boston in mid-April.

Roxbury City Gazette; April 16, 1863


APRIL 16, 1863.

          REV. MR. GAYLORD, a Douglas Democrat, late chaplain of the 13th Regiment, and now chaplain of a convalescent hospital near Washington, delivered a lecture last Thursday evening at Institute Hall, before a crowded audience. Chaplain Noah M. GaylordThe talking title of the advertisement announcing the lecture “What New England Soldiers think of New England Copperheads,” drew together men of all parties who were curious on this point. The lecturer, however, failed to enlighten on the subject; the audience were all together left in the dark as to What New England Soldiers think of New England Copperheads; &c., however, told us what they think of traitors, disunionists, enemies of the Constitution, and it apprehended that a traitor and a disunionist, however he may cloak himself, is no more relished in the army than he is at home.  The Republicans who don’t expect to see the Old Union restored, winced under the castigation he gave them; but they were obliged to sit and bear it.

          At the conclusion of the address Mr. Gaylord made an urgent appeal in behalf of the library of his hospital.

[Roxbury City Gazette, April 16, 1863;  pg. 2, col. 2]
From the website 'Lettes of the Civil War.'

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Review of the 2nd Division by General Hooker

General Joseph Hooker

    The 13th took the shine at a Division Review April 2nd.  Drummer Sam Webster, Co. D, & Charles Adams, Co. A, record the event.

Diary of Sam Webster 

Excerpts of this diary (HM 48531) are used with permission from The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA 

Thursday, April 2nd, 1863
Col. Samuel H. Leonard         Review of Division by Gen. Hooker, who relieved Gen. Burnside in January.   Medium size, close shaved, red face, and looks to be about 45.  Rode a gray horse.  As the 13th passed, the General asked Col. Leonard [pictured, right] - who was in command of the Division – what regiment it was.  The Col. said 13th Mass.  Gen Reynolds said   “The Colonel’s own regiment,”  when Gen. Hooker turned to Col. Leonard and said

        “Give them my compliments.  They are the best looking regiment I have seen.”  

        The day was rough, the high wind carrying the sand around at a lively rate.  Officers tents are ordered to be turned in;  also mess kettles;  Two pack mules are to be allowed to a Reg’t.   Visited a “Picture Gallery” to get a “Tin Type.”  Sat on an inverted butter firkin, covered with a coat, - “Necessity, etc.”  Understand that the negro regiments are likely to prove a success.   Disliked it at first, but it is taking the strength from the traitors.

General Hooker & staff at reviewHarpers Weekly May 9, 1863.  General Hooker and Staff.

Letter of Charles Adams, Company A

Charles Adams to Brother John, 2 April, 1863; Charles Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.  Used with permission.

Camp near Belle Plain Va April 2, /63

Bro. John
        As I have not got anything particular on the docket this afternoon I thought I would answer your last Letter, which I should have answered before, had it not been for the removal of my landlady, as I wanted to give her some instruction about my things.  We had a grand review this morning by Joe Hooker.  I had a good chance to see him, as he rode by us twice.  We then marched in review within a few feet of him & his staff.  (I liked the appearance of him very much)  & think he is  “The right man in the right place.”  It is warm & windy to day & the dust begins to fly though the roads are not quite dried up yet.   There is every prospect of a forward movement very soon, perhaps in a week or so.  I overheard the major of our regiment


say that when we did go, we probably should not have more than 8 hours notice.   I hear that the officers have got to come down to small shelter tents, when we march instead of the large ones they used to have & mules are to be used when practible, instead of wagons to carry baggage &c, this will allow us to move much quicker, & we shall not be so apt to get “stuck in the mud” again.   You spoke in your letter about sending a pigs tail in a Liberator.  It came through all right, but I forgot to mention it at the time…. Just come in from dress parade, our Col. who has command of the division  (While Robinson is absent) was next to Hooker at the review today, for the purpose of telling him who the different regiments were.  He said that Hooker asked “whose regiment that was,” when we came by, he told him that it was his own.  Hooker said we looked finely, & sent his compliment to us.  Bully for we.


I suppose Emily has moved, by this time.  I don’t know whether I feel glad, or sorry, for the change, though I think it will be much more convenient for her, on account of having so much more room to do her work.  We have quite an easy time now, & play ball, pitch quoits, &c &c more or less every day.  The boys seem to be in good spirits, & are ready to move at short notice.  I have written to Hen, Jane, once or twice, & have had an answer from Jane, & expect one from Hen soon.  It is growing so dark that I can hardly see to write, & also commencing to rain, so I will finish up tomorrow with a P.S., if I think of anything more to write

Friday 3

            Had three letters last night.  One was from Ed Warner’s

P4 – [some words difficult to read]

Charles Reed sketch Haversack & Dipper

Cavalry[?] I send inclosed.    We get letters that are written Sunday, on Thursday as it takes about 3 or 4 days for them to come  through.   We had an inspection this  morning of our knapsacks canteens, haversacks &c  &c & are to have a brigade drill this afternoon.   It is a splendid day  [the sun is bright yesterday it cleared [?]  up very fast.   Speaking about the conscription act, I should think you would get clear as one article says  “That where two of one family are in the service of the U. States, two shall be exempt.”   If you are spiling for a fight [?] just come on & I will put you through the best I know how.   I guess that you are troubled with that damn dread[?] of fight.   No I don’t imagine that [?] fight.  Give my love to Mary Ann & Ellie B.  and all the rest of the folks, & write often

                Co A. 13th Rgt M.V.

Army of the Rappahannock
2nd Division
1st Army Corps
Reynolds Corps
Robinsons Division
Taylors Brigade
Leonard’s Regiment
Color Company

    Charles wrote above, "we have quite an easy time now, playing ball, pitching quoits &c."

Winslow Homer painting "Pitching Quoits"

Winslow Homer painted this famous image of Zouaves  in camp 'pitching quoits.'  Created in 1865, it hangs in  the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard College.

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Sallie the Dog

    The following anecdote is recorded [erroneously] for the date of April 13, 1863, on page 199 of the regimental History,  by Charles E. Davis, Jr.   The date is incorrect.  Diaries and other sources prove the correct date of General Robinson's review is March 19, 1863.  Charles Adams of Co. A wrote in a letter home:

    Day before yesterday we had a division review by Gen. Robinson who commands the Division & were to have another yesterday by Hooker but the weather being stormy it was post-poned.  The boys got some paper collars of the sutler & wore them out to the review & some of the Penn. regiment (feeling jealous I suppose, they not having any)  caught a dog & put a collar on him & Let him run round among the troops which caused  a good deal of sport.

    Here is the story as Davis recorded it in  "Three Years in the Army,":

Col. Richard Coulter, 11th PA

    The division was reviewed to-day by its commander, Gen. John C. Robinson, and other distinguished officers.     We were notified in advance that this was to be an unusual occasion, so the boys shined their buttons, brushed their coats, blacked their boots, and last but not least, adorned themselves with paper collars purchased from the sutler.     This prinking which the boys indulged in occasionally, just to remind them of days gone by, and which gave the regiment the sobriquet of  “Band-box guard,”  reached the ears of Colonel Coulter, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania, who was bound to have a little fun at the regiment’s expense.   Now it happened that “Dick” Coulter was the owner of a brindle bulldog called  “Sally,” who was famous throughout the brigade for her intelligence, and had a habit of sticking close to the colonel’s heels when not restrained.

     On this occasion she was decked with a white paper collar round her neck labeled  “13,” and a white glove fastened on each paw.   During the whole of the ceremony “Sally” trotted about in plain sight, a most ludicrous object, affording a deal of amusement to all who witnessed it.  In spite of this ridicule the regiment made a fine appearance, and received the praise of General Reynolds, who liked neatness and orderly appearance in the soldier.  Col. Richard Coulter, pictured.

    The following article, about Sallie, the well-known mascot of the 11th PA Vols, comes from "The Bivouac, an Independent Military Monthly,"   Vol. III; January 1885. 

A War Dog.

    The case of one of the canine race widely known, and well authenticated, is given below.  The account was prepared under the direction of Brevet Major-General Richard Coulter, with whose regiment, the Eleventh Pennsylvania, the events recorded occurred.


“She was a gash and faithful tyke
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke;
Her hones sonie pleasant face,
Aye gat her friends in ilka place.”

Sallie    In the month of May, 1861, the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, being enlisted for the term of three months, and commanded by Colonel Phaon Jarrett, together with the Ninth regiment, occupied the Fair Grounds near West Chester.  The camp was an exceedingly pleasant one, the quarters comfortable, and the rations plenty and good.   War then, at the North, was but the fancy of poesy and the dream of fiction ; its sorrows and its miseries were to come, and soldiers and camps were but novelties and shows.   The citizens at the pleasant old town welcomed the volunteers, although the roll of drums and tread of the march broke up the wonted quiet of the Sabbath-day ; and during their stay entertained them as holiday visitors, treating them with a hospitality and kindness which in after times called up gentle memories and grateful emotions.  The ladies of the town and vicinity, beautiful and accomplished, daily visited the camp, talked with them, prepared a banquet for them, and by their smiles, presence, and delicate sympathy, gave to Camp Wayne more the semblance of a Maytime picnic or a pleasure excursion, than what it was intended to be, a school of instruction, drill and discipline.

     One bright morning a civilian, carrying on his arm a small market-basket, came to Captain Terry’s quarters,  Company I, and stated that he had brought him the pup he had promised him, producing from the basket a little puffy, pug-nosed, black muzzled canine scarce four weeks old, and barely able to toddle upon its short clumsy legs.    The pup was taken into quarters, a nest provided for it under the captain’s bunk, fed, and cared for, and duly christened Sallie.  She soon became accustomed to her new friends, and thrived rapidly.   Milk and soft bread were to be had in plenty, and there was nothing for her to do but eat and sleep, snugly rolled up in her bed or lolling lazily on the blankets.  No shadow of future trouble or hardship cast a gloom over her spirits, nor darkened the sunshine of her happy infancy.   Such was our heroine’s introduction to a life which proved an eventful one, changing from quiet, ease, and plenty, to hardship, weary travels, bloody scenes, excitement and suffering  –  a life, with its surroundings,  such as few men have lived, and such as no other of her race ever lived before.

     Whilst the regiment lay in its different camps, she stayed at the captain’s quarters, at the marquee, or about the company street, was fed,  petted, and played with,  soon becoming a general favorite,  and when the term of three months expired she had grown to respectable size and was able to take care of herself.   When this regiment was reorganized for three years; service,  Sallie returned with Company I, and again took her place in the field.    The winter of 1862 was passed in doing provost-guard  duty in the city of Annapolis, Maryland,  drilling,  fatigue duty at the Naval Academy, and in guarding the Annapolis Branch Railroad.   Sallie took part in all these various duties, having become a regimental institution, and formed new acquaintances and made new friends through-out  the entire company, always evidencing some particular intimacy, as her fancy or whim suggested, which would be continued for weeks.

    She knew the roll of drum at reveille, was out of quarters among the first, and regularly attended the morning roll-call.  At the squad or company drills she patiently followed the particular soldier she had selected, until it was over.   When the regiment formed for battalion-drill, she sought out the colonel’s horse, who soon began to know and recognize her, and barking and leaping led him to the drill-ground,  remaining until the regiment was dismissed.    At dress-parade she sought the color-sergeant, and after the regiment was formed,  lay down in front of the colors, watching the  “beat off,” and not moving from her position until the parade was over.    These two positions,  to lead off with the colonel’s horse when the regiment moved, and to front the line at dress-parade, thus chosen by her at  Annapolis, were sure to be taken, and the habit continued until the day she led the column from the camp at Hatcher’s Run.

    The regiment left Annapolis on the 10th of April, 1862, for Washington,  going thence to Manassas Junction, to Falmouth and Aquia Creek, and back by way of Alexandria to Manassas and Thoroughfare Gap,  Front Royal, and the Shenandoah, then to Warrenton and Waterloo, and down to the Rapidan.   The battle of Cedar Mountain was fought ; Pope’s retreat, Rappahannock, and Bull Run rapidly succeeded.  Edwin Forbes dog sketch dated Apr. 30 1863 In all these Sallie was a participant, faithfully following in the long and hurried marches, by night and by day, under fire for the first time at Cedar Mountain, sticking close by the colors at Bull Run, and falling back with them to Centreville and Chantilly.   In the disorganization subsequent, through the toilsome march of the South Mountain,  through cities and towns, she managed to thread her way, and at Antietam went out into the corn-field with one of the skirmishers who vainly endeavored to drive her back, fearing she would be killed.  A ball did, indeed, strike her here on the side, but fortunately only left its mark through her hair.

    At Fredericksburg, on the 13th of December,  Sallie was again with the regiment in the thick of the fight, crossed the river in her accustomed place, and went on regardless of the heavy firing.   During the afternoon Colonel Coulter was wounded and obliged to leave the field.   The regiment had been exposed to terrible fire, had suffered severely, its ranks thinned and broken, and Sallie, for the first time in her life, became demoralized.   Missing the accustomed faces and forms, she sought safety in a flank movement to the rear, and for the pontoon bridge.  She was seen to approach it at a rapid rate, and  “Old Daddy Johnson,” detailed in the hospital department, to whom she was much attached, and whom she frequently followed, whistled for her ; but she only gave one look of recognition, and hurried on, and

 “With drooping tail and humbled crest,”

    passed the bridge and sought the temporary hospital on the other side to which the wounded were conveyed, anticipating by a few hours a similar movement by the entire army.

    On the expedition to Mine Run,  Burnside’s advance, again in front of Fredericksburg, at Chancellorsville, and all the marches, movements and operations of the regiment, the faithful animal steadily shared the toil, and privation, and danger, escaping unhurt, remaining true to her friends in all changings of camps and amidst the confusion, and intricacies of a vast army – through woods and forests, across rivers and swamps, on march or counter-march, in advance or retreat, a very embodiment of devotion, courage, patience, and endurance.   Bullets had no terrors for her, and she never straggled nor deserted.   Hunger and thirst, heat and cold, were disregarded, and hardship and exposure utterly unheeded.

Sallie; Gettysburg monument, 11th PA    At Gettysburg, having kept with the regiment the whole of the long and rapid march from the front of Fredericksburg,  Sallie went into the first day’s fight ;  but during the repulse and falling back of our line through the town, became separated from it, and being unable or unwilling to pass the rebel lines, returned to the crest of the hill, where the regiment had been engaged, and, seeking out the dead and wounded, remained with them, licking their wounds, or patiently watching by their lifeless bodies.  Captain Cook, of the Twelfth Massachusetts, with the provost guard, on the morning of the 4th, while in search of stragglers and prisoners, found and took her back with him to the brigade and her own regiment.   During this faithful vigil of three days and nights, she must have been without food, and appeared quite lean and emaciated from her long fasting.   Why  she was not either captured, or wantonly killed by the straggling rebel soldiers, seems strange, and can only be accounted for by the fact that she knew a rebel uniform from our own, and from her antipathy to them would give the wearers as wide a berth as possible.

    Following the regiment closely in battles through the Wilderness, she was, on the 8th of May, struck in the neck by a minie-ball.   The wound was examined by one of the field surgeons, bandaged, and she was sent back with some of the wounded to the hospital.   Her wound was carefully re-examined by Dr. Chase, the surgeon in charge, and pronounced not dangerous ; but the ball could not be extracted.   She stayed about the hospital for while, but soon returned to the field to the regiment, and about her first performance on her return was to tear the seat out of the breeches of a conscript from another regiment, who being scared at the firing, had broken ranks, and was retreating through the lines of the Eleventh.

    Sallie carried this ball for several months, it becoming enclosed in a cyst in the fleshy part of her neck, the size of a hen’s egg, where it could be plainly felt.  Afterwards the neck began to fester, and finally the unpleasant appendage dropped out and the wound healed, leaving a well-defined scar.

    During the operations on the Weldon Road, the Hickford raid, and the siege at Petersburg, she travelled along, or stayed with the men in the trenches or at the forts, or on the picket-line,  always at her old place at the head of the column when it moved,  announcing the departure by barking and jumping at the horse of the officer in command until the line fairly started, when she quietly trotted along, sometimes at the horses’ heels,  sometimes in the rear, or winding through the legs of the men in the middle of the column. 

    Sallie’s career, at length was brought to an end, and after a life

“- of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of  hair-breadth ‘scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach,”

    She was killed on the 6th of February, 1865, at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia.

    The adjutant of the regiment, at the close of his official report of the battle, says :

    “Sallie was killed when the regiment was making its first advance upon the enemy.   She was in line with the file-closers when shot.  We buried her under the enemy’s fire.”

    One of the men, in a letter dated  “Camp near Hatcher’s Run, Virginia, February 11th, 1865,” writes :

     “Sallie fell in the front line in the fight at the Run – a bullet pierced her brain.  She was buried where she fell, by some of the boys, even whilst under a murderous fire, so much had they become attached to the poor brute, who so long had shared with them the toilsome march and the perils of battle.    It would, indeed, be a pleasant reverie if one could reconcile to himself the poor Indian’s theory of the happy hunting-grounds, where his faithful dog would bear him company.”

11th PA Monument, Gettysburg

    Sallie was a brindle, bull-terrier, of a fine breed, and showed marks of blood.    She was of undoubted courage, generally good-tempered, always so towards any one in the regiment ;  but had an extreme dislike to civilians, women, and strange darkies, with whom she would make battle anywhere in the camps.   She was cleanly in her habits, and strictly honest, never touching the rations of the men unless given to her.   She would lie down by haversacks full of meat, or stand by while fresh beef was being issued and never offer to touch it.  She seemed to know that she would get a share, for the men never let her suffer if they had anything themselves, and she patiently waited until it was given to her.   The men grew very fond of her, and so far from any of them ever striking or kicking her, they immediately resented it or punished any attempt of the kind.   She was of medium size, squarely but handsomely built,  her coat soft and silky, chest broad and deep, her head and ears small, and her eyes a bright hazel, full of fire and intelligence.  She was active, quick, and had remarkable powers of endurance.  Her knowledge of the individual members of the regiment was truly wonderful, and one was at loss to know how she acquired it ; a whole corps might pass her, but she could make no mistake about her own regiment, and never followed any other.   She could distinguish and recognize her own people, under all circumstances, whether in camp or on the march, and even at home on furlough.  She knew the teamsters belonging to the regiment, although they were necessarily much absent from it ;  and when, about the time of crossing the James river, she missed the regiment, she hunted up the wagon belonging to the headquarters,  remained with it, and came into camp the first time it was ordered up, seemingly highly delighted at getting back again.

    The night preceding the movement to Hatcher’s Run, where she was killed,  Sallie quartered under the tent occupied by a sergeant and three men of Company D, and at intervals awoke them with a prolonged and mournful cry.   They endeavored to drive her away, but she persistently returned, repeating her moaning, as if predicting the sad fate of the morrow.   The sergeant and one of the men were killed by her side upon the field, and each of the other two were severely wounded.

    In the long after years, when the gray-haired veteran of the war for the Union repeats the legend of his earlier days, he will tell his listening grandchildren the story of Sallie.

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A View from Headquarters

    Private Noyes of Company B, was  detached from the regiment and served as a clerk at Army Head-quarters in General Marsena Patrick's Office from mid-March to late-April.   --  A terrible storm with snow, greeted President Lincoln on the occasion of his visit to the army to nudge General Hooker into action.

     Noyes also describes some of the local citizens brought before General Patrick's  office, on charges of bushwhacking.

Lincoln's train on the way to Army, April 5, 1863Pictured is a sketch of President Lincoln's train crossing the Potomac Creek Bridge on the way to visit  General Hooker and the Army of the Potomac, Sunday, April 5th, 1863. (The same day private Noyes wrote this letter from Head-quarters.)   Sketched by artist Alfred R. Waud.

Letter of John B. Noyes

By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Head Quarters Army of the Potomac
    Office of the Provost Marshal General
        April 5, 1863

    Dear Father
            Last night was about the worst we have had this winter.  All day yesterday the wind blew a perfect hurricane topping off with a snow storm at dusk.  The wind did not subside but even now blows hard.   About 11 %  half the occupants of our Sibley tent,  left the tent to sleep in the office,  fearing the tent would be blown down, one of the chains holding the tent in position having broken.   The tent stood the gale however, thanks to the new pole set up a day or two ago.   The noise of the flapping of the tent, the strings having broken, like the rumbling of Artillery on the move, or approaching thunder made it almost impossible to sleep.  The wind was also very searching and cold.

Sketch of a wet winter camp by A. R. Waud

    During the storm Pres. Lincoln was probably stopping at Acquia Creek not wishing to come to Belle Plain by boat in such a gale.  At any rate the Pres’t is now here the guest of Gen’l Hooker.  He occupies a couple of office tents raised for his accommodation yesterday.   If he ventures out of his tent to day in the snow about two or three inches deep, to ride in this chilling gale, he will probably understand why the army does’nt move.   President Lincoln, Sept, 1862Had not this storm arisen I am inclined to think the army would have moved tomorrow.  Gen’l Hooker has reviewed all the Corps D’armies.  I am inclined to think the visit of the President, like that of his at this place last May was doubtless intended for the purpose of personally inspecting the Army before it moved.   Perhaps this storm may chill his impetuosity of an immediate advance.  To day in any event marching would be impossible as neither man nor beast can stand this weather.  One blanket would hardly have Kept the Commander in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. warm last night.  I shivered under three and an overcoat.  The weather is now moderating, and it is clearing off, the snow melting rapidly.  Tomorrow doubtless twill be all gone!

    No news of special interest.  The Regiment has not yet been paid off, but the paymaster has been expected daily the past week.  Greater stringency than was formerly the case in the regulation of the native inhabitants of the country between here and the river is now used.  Several have been sent to the prison ship for bushwhacking.  One man was brought here for the third time day before yesterday, over 51 years old.   No charges or witnesses came here with him.  He was accordingly sent back to the Provost Marshal of the Cavalry Div. under guard with instructions that the citizen Woodyard by name should be released and furnished with a pass to his home or charges & witnesses forwarded to this office.   The next day charges came to the affect that the prisoner Woodyard had taken a rifle from a rebel soldier and was about to shoot a union cavalry prisoner with it, using vile epithets at the same time, when our cavalry making a second Charge recaptured the prisoner and struck down the rifle of the peaceful citizen.  This at the late raid near Dumfries I think.  The citizen was sent to the prison ship at Acquia Creek.  Similar cases come before us.  

A.B. Frost illustration

    A man with a loaded rifle was caught prowling round our pickets a week or two ago.  Yesterday one Henry Love of Dumfries was brought before us.   He wanted to go to Richmond to collect his debts one of which was a bill of $3000.00 against the Confed. Gov’t.  We asked him how much our Gov’t. owed him.   He said if we paid him for the niggers we had stolen, and hay and grain his bill would be 9 or 10,000 dollars.  We asked him whether he would prefer to go to Richmond or home.  He said that latter, but he wanted to go to Richmond too.  We told him he could’nt do that without being parolled as a citizen and swearing to do nothing against the U.S. &c.   He would not take the parole assigning as a reason that he had already taken it at Alexandria near a year ago.  We telegraphed to Washington to find if this was so or not.   To day he was furnished with a pass to his home at Dumfries.  Should he attempt to dodge our pickets he would meet with worse (?) treatment the next time.  For a day or two past not many deserters have come in.  The greater part of them who have deserted from the enemy lately are from the 8th Alabama.

A.B. Frost sketch of colored man

    The few remaining darkies in this region, in anticipation of the army’s moving, are endeavoring to get to Washington.  These cases give us a good deal of amusement as we question them closely as to their motives.   The men and women always have quite a family.  Even George* would hardly think the slave was much attached to his or her master were he here.  We endeavored generally to prevail upon them to stay, specially if old.  But they have invariably set their hearts a going to Washington.  They have sons or daughters or brothers there.  One man here the other day must have been 55.  He had made up his mind that he could take no rest till he had gone to Washington.  His mistress had sold his last daughter South, he taking her himself to Fredericksburgh.   He had “nuffin left” at his home.  T'warnt a home to him.  He had two sons in Washington, and could work there as well as here.   He didn’t want to live with his mistress any more.  He had thought the matter over several months.  There warnt no change in him.  We gave him a pass.

    I send with this letter some autographs for Martha.**  She must not cut off the number of the Brigade or the Div., or Corps from the autograph as it serves to identify the officer.  The names can then be classified.   If Martha will send me a list of the names of the Generals, I will hunt up their Brigades & Divisions.  Gen’l Duffie is one of the heroes of the late cavalry fight at Kelly’s Ford.  Gen’l Buford is also a cavalry officer.  I have only 3 stamps left as I was some in debt when yours last came.

                With love to all,  I am Your Aff. Son
                                        John B. Noyes.

*George is his brother.
** Martha is his sister.

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Review of the First Corps by President Lincoln

President Lincoln at Review by A. R. Waud

    President Lincoln was busy reviewing the different corps of the Army of the Potomac in company with his commanding General, Joseph Hooker in early April.  Alfred R. Waud dated this sketch Monday, April 6th.  

    On Thursday, April 9th with short notice, the regiment was alerted the President would review the First Army Corps at Belle Plain Landing.   Sam Webster indicates the regiment were among the first to arrive, and while waiting, a game of baseball was played to pass the time.  John S. Fay was relieved of duty that day and got a good look at the First Family.  Warren Freeman shows that once again, the 13th put on a show with their conspicuous paper collars and white gloves.  

    Information derived from the diary of Sergeant John Boudwin, Co. A, provides the daily routine in camp, with a look at which officers were present day to day.

Diary of Sergeant John Boudwin.

    Sergeant John Boudwin's Record in the rosters reads as follows:  John A. Bowdwin; [sp] age 21; born, Boston;  printer; mustered in as priv., Co. A, July 20, 1861; mustered out as sergt., August 1, 1864.  

Pearce Musuem Link    There really isn't much there, but his diary of 1863 includes a record of his incarceration at Richmond's Belle Isle Prison camp following his capture at the battle of Gettysburg.  For more information, or to order a transcript of the diary see the collections of the Pearce Museum, Navarro TX.       I  am primarily interested however, in his narrative of the routine of camp life in the '13th Mass.' during this period, from April 1st  - June 12th, 1863.  His diary entries record daily life in the regiment.

April 1.    Cold & Pleasant.  Batallion drill in the after noon under Captain Palmer. 

April 2.    Cool & Pleasant, windy.  Review by General Hooker.

Robert Bruce HendersonApril 3.    Pleasant.   Brigade Inspection & Brigade Drill.

April 4.    Cold & Windy.   A snow storm has set in.

April 6.    Cloudy.   Company Drill in Morning.  Lt Henderson in command at Dress Parade.

April 7.    Cool & Pleasant.  Company Drill under Lt. Henderson. (pictured).

April 8.    Cool & Cloudy.    Pleasant at Noon.  Battalion Drill under Maj. Gould.

April 9.     Cool & Pleasant.   Reviewed by President Lincoln.  the boys looked well at 1.PM   passed in review and arrived back at camp at 4 PM    There was several ladies from Wash at the review among the most prominent was Mrs Lincoln,  Mrs Blair. 

Diary of Sam Webster

Excerpts of this diary (HM 48531) are used with permission from The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA 

Thursday, April 9th, 1863.
    First Army Corps reviewed by President Lincoln.  Had notice at reveille, and less than an hour to march in.   Regt moved down below Belle Plaine Landing towards the Potomac, and formed line on a large plain or meadow, skirting the river.  Other Brigades – Divisions came after, and while waiting for the “reviewing officers,” we visited the banks of the river, had a game of ball, and plenty of time to get hungry.   However, all things have an end, and they came at last.  As the 13th had the right of the Corps, it was first off the field.  I was one of the spectators and can truly say they looked very well.   As soon as convenient, after getting to camp, they were sent on out to the picquet line – their luck.

Picket Post at Potomac Creek by A.R. WaudArtist Alfred Waud sketched this picket post at Potomac Creek March 13th 1863.

Letter of Warren Freeman

    Warren's letters were published privately by his father in 1871;   "Letters From Two Brothers Serving in the War for the Union;" Riverside, Cambridge:  Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company.

In Camp Near Fletcher’s Chapel, Va., April 13, 1863.

    Dear Father, -  I have received another box of nice things since my last.  Everything was in prime order and just as good as could be ;  the apples were splendid.   I do not  think the box had been opened on the way, but I have received two or three boxes that I thought had been tampered with.  I think they do not open many boxes – only the suspicious ones.

    Our corps was reviewed last Thursday by President Lincoln and General Hooker.  Our regiment had the extreme right of the line ;  about every man in our regiment wore a paper collar, and the color guard and guides had white gloves.  We marched in the morning about four miles to a level plain on the banks of the Potomac, where we waited some hours for the President; but at last he came along, and we had a grand review.  The weather was very pleasant; we got back to camp about five o’clock, and about sunset I started off on picket and was gone three days.

    From your affectionate son,      Warren.

Engraving of A.R. Waud's sketch April 9th 1863.The original sketch of this picture by artist A. R. Waud is dated April 9th, the date the 13th were reviewed by President Lincoln.   But in the original sketch, General Hooker's head has been cut out, so the actual drawing, which is more of an accurate representation has a conspicuous gap.  I have settled for the engraving as it appeared in Harper's Weekly.

    Commissary at HQ sketched by A.R. Waud

    Pictured is the Commissary Department at Hooker's Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, sketched by artist A. R. Waud.

Memoirs of John S. Fay

    One great addition Gen. Hooker made to our rations was vegetables such as potatoes onions beets &c.  They were much needed and was a great benefit to us.   In March Gen Hooker revewd [reviewed] the army by division.  He was very particular and examined every Brigade and Regiment thoroughly.  If a Regiment did not drill or appear to suit him, they was severly censured, and if they did suit him, he was free with his praise and the result was that both Officers and men took great pains to have their clothes looking neat and clean, and their guns and equipment in best order.

    About the 1st of April President Lincoln revewed us again.  [The First Corps was reviewed April 9th.]  He was accompanied by Mrs Lincoln.  This was the third time that he had revewed us but this time I had a better oppertunity to see him than ever before.     I was on guard the night before and so was off duty the day the revew took place and I went over the field to witness it.

Tad Lincoln & his pony

    I got a position near where the President and Gen Hooker stationed themselves to revew the Troops as they passed before them.  I was so near to the President that I could hear him converse with Gen Hooker.  I never shall forget him as he appeared that day.  He was dressed in plain black clothes, while all around him was dressed in uniform  Sholder straped Officers from a Maj General to a second Lieutenant decked out in gaudy plumes and gold lace.   As the different regiments passed before him, he was very particular to inquire what state they was from and how long they had been in the service.

    Mrs Lincoln was near by in a carrage.  I made my way near to it so as to get a sight of her which I suceeded in doeing.   It is needless for me to attempt to give a description of her, as many of the picturs that I have seen of her are very natural.  Little Thad [Tad] was also with them.  He was mounted upon a pony and riding about among the men apparently much delighted as most boys of his age would naturally be.

    Precocious Tad Lincoln is pictured here on his pony.  His given name was Thomas, after his grandfather, but when he was born, his father joked that he looked like a tad-pole with a big head and little body.  The nick-name stuck and Thomas was forever after "Tad," which was frequently mistaken for 'Thad.'     His older brother Willie died of typhoid fever in February, 1862.  Tad survived the fever,  but still died young at age 18.


    The following narrative is taken from "Thirty Years After; An Artist's Memoir of the Civil War," text & illustrations by Edwin Forbes (pictured).  Louisiana State University Press, 1993; (Originally published circa 1890 in New York).

Artist Edwin Forbes     Correspondent Edwin Forbes' vivid description describes the grand events of the day.  His sketch is dated April 6th, and he describes the parade ground as being near head-quarters at Falmouth.  It appears Lincoln reviewed the First Corps separately at Bell Plain on April 9th.

    It was announced early in April that President Lincoln would soon review the army, and great preparations were made for this important event.  A spirit of rivalry arose among the commanders of corps and divisions as to how their men should appear; and brigadiers and colonels of regiments and captains of companies and the rank and file joined in the strife.  Clothes were brushed and repaired, shoes polished, brasses brightened, and white gloves were received with great satisfaction to lend finish to the uniforms.

    All desirable preparations had been made, when word came that President Lincoln had arrived at Gen. Hooker’s headquarters near Falmouth, and that he would review the whole army on the following day.  The soldiers fell asleep full of anxious expectancy, and at dawn the camps were astir with busy preparations. Breakfast was hurriedly disposed of, and by eight o’clock everything was in readiness for the march to the parade-ground.

    This was a level stretch of country several miles in extent, north of the town of Falmouth and in direct sight of the enemy’s camp: and towards it as a common center columns of infantry marched slowly along.  Mounted officers preceded them, and the men who came under my notice trotted along in route-step, chatting gaily and making comments on the events of the day.  Bodies of cavalry, with bright colors and fluttering guidons, wound slowly over the rolling hills, and here and there batteries of artillery lumbered along.  The cannoniers sat with folded arms upon the ammunition boxes, consciously proud of the splendid appearance of their guns.

    When I reached the reviewing ground a wonderful sight was presented.  Seventy thousand troops of all arms were drawn up in long lines, and under the soft grey light of an April day formed a picture that I shall never forget.  The President soon arrived, and, after passing up and down between the lines, was escorted by Gen. Hooker and staff to a position on a gentle slope near an apple orchard, where he awaited the movements of the troops.

Edwin Forbes sketch of Lincoln's Review April 6 1863

Artist Edwin Forbes sketched this review April 6th, 1863.  No. 1, is the President & General Hooker, No. 2, Rush's Lancers, crowd control, & over on the upper right is the Drum Corps.  The 2nd Corps flag (a trefoil)  is visible in the upper left.  Maybe this is the Irish Brigade tromping by?  The dark flag might represent their green banner - just a guess.

    I placed myself where I could see Mr. Lincoln to advantage.  He was very tall and his horse being rather small his feet appeared to almost touch the ground;  his black frock coat and high “stove-pipe” hat seemed in strange keeping with the soldiers’ uniforms, and his pale, anxious face in great contrast to the thousands of sun-burned ones about him.  From the position he had taken, the whole body of troops could be seen at once, and his kind face lit up with pleasure from time to time at the great picture before him.  It was a beautiful sight to see the great army stretched for miles across the gently undulating hills, waiting for orders to march in review; flags and guidons innumerable fluttered in the breeze, and mounted officers could be seen dashing about in all directions, engaged in giving orders. 

    But the signal to march (a cannon-shot) was given at last, and the head of the column, preceded by the commander-in-chief and staff, appeared in sight, moving to the sound of the headquarters band.  Crowds of spectators, composed of civilians from Washington, officers’ wives and friends, sutlers, wagoners, officers’ servants, and those detached from duty, were ranged in lines and kept in position by Rush’s Lancers as the column passed through.  The infantry, marching in “company front,” presented a magnificent appearance.  They were bronzed and hardy-looking, and marched with mechanical precision ; and for hours the men poured by, under the critical eyes of the President and the General in command.  The President was again and again saluted and made pleasing acknowledgement by the raising of his hat.  As each corps commander passed the reviewing-stand, he would wheel to the right and with his staff  fall in behind the President.

    Not the least interesting feature of the review was the tattered and smoked battle-flags; they were carried in nearly every instance by a splendid specimen of the American soldier, who seemed conscious of his precious burden.

    The cavalry corps, under command of General Pleasanton, followed the infantry, and were a grand sight as they too marched in company front.  The bright trappings of the men and horses,  the gay regimental flags and guidons,  gave a brilliancy and color that the infantry did not have, and the animated movements of the horses, with the blare of bugles and noise of  tramping were sights and sounds not easily forgotten.  The artillery came next, with heavy rumbling sound, nearly two hundred guns passing by ; both men and officers were in the best of condition and the batteries were finely horsed.

    When a regiment had passed the point of review, it hurried off in “double-quick” that the progress of succeeding troops should not be impeded; the artillery also made way at a trot, and by noon the last of the long columns that had formed the grand pageant could be seen disappearing over the hills in various directions.  None were left but a few camp-followers and idlers, who gathered in groups and discussed the day’s exciting scenes.  The President rode through the camps in the afternoon, accompanied by Gen. Hooker and staff, and great enthusiasm was manifested among the soldiers.  In the evening a reception was held at the General’s  headquarters, and the  President returned to Washington the next morning, after expressing a great admiration for the splendid array which had passed before him.

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Orders to be Ready to March

Stoneman's Cavarly at Kellys Ford April 21

     In mid-April General Hooker's first  plan was set in motion.   The newly formed Cavalry Corps commanded by General George Stoneman moved up river - to cross - and then ride deep into Lee's rear lines to cut off the Rebels communications from Richmond.    They set out and made about 25 miles the first day, but a rain storm stopped the advance.  Once again artillery got stuck in the mud, and the swollen river prevented the cavalry from crossing.   Hooker would have to revise his plans.

Pictured is General Stoneman's Cavalry at Kelly's Ford, April 21, 1863, after its first attempt to cross a week earlier was bogged down by rain.  Note the pack mules.  One of General Hooker's experiments was to replace supply wagons with pack mules, in theory, to help the troops move faster.  The experiment had mixed results.

    The rain storm (April 14) is mentioned in John Boudwin's diary below.  From Head-quarters, movements have commenced.  The army he observes, is in excellent condition.  Hooker has worked wonders with his command.  Rations are handed out to the troops and everyone anticipates a forward movement.

Diary of Sergeant John Boudwin

            From the collection of the Pearce Museum, Navarro College, Texas.

April 10.    Cool & Pleasant.    Mustered in by Col Leonard. [Note: The soldiers had to be mustered-in before they could be paid. ]

Lt. Morton Tower April 11.    Cool & Pleasant.    On picket at 8 a.m.  Relieved at 4 PM by Lieut. Tower. (pictured)  Nine rebel prisoners came across the river and gave themselves up.

April 12.    Pleasant.    Releived by detachment of the 94th Penn came back to camp.  Inspection at 3 pm.  Slight Shower in the Eve.

April 13.    Pleasant.    Bayonet, Skirmishing & Company Drill in morning  Afternoon Ball drill by Captain Harlow.  A large force of cavalry left this vicinity this morning on expedition across the river.  [Note:  This is the start of Gen. Stoneman's Cavalry Corps Raid which was eventually halted by rain at Kelly' Ford.]

April 14.    Pleasant.    Orders to march.  Received our badge today.  Received five days rations making in all 8 days we have on hand.  Commenced to rain.

Edwin Forbes sketch of a cavalry scout Private John Noyes writes,  "Gen’l Stoneman received permission from Gen’l Hooker to clear the country within 3 miles outside of the Cavalry pickets."

Letter of John B. Noyes

Mr. Lewis Washington great-grandnephew of Geo.

    In the following letter, he notes that private citizen Lewis Washington was brought in to head-quarters.   Mr. Washington was a great-grandnephew of the first president, George Washington.  As a prominent citizen of Virginia, in the Harper's Ferry area, he was   specifically targeted by John Brown to be seized and held prisoner, when Brown raided the Federal Arsenal  in October, 1859.  Brown's men dragged Washington from his home and brought him to the fire house on the Arsenal grounds.  And so, he  became a prominent witness to the bloody shoot out that ended the raid.  Washington was a witness at the trial of John Brown.

    Noyes reports the army is in splendid condition & ready to move out.  

By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. 

               Head Quarters Army of the Potomac
                    Office of the Provost Marshal General
                                April 12, 1863.

    Dear Father
        To day has been quite a busy one with me, albeit it is Sunday.  The other clerk in my department being away as also Capt. Lyttle I have had to attend to all the business myself.

    A number of citizens arrested by the Cavalry have been brought in.  I do not Know but that I informed you that Gen’l Stoneman received permission from Gen’l Hooker to clear the country within 3 miles outside of the Cavalry pickets.  The result of the order is seen in the increase of my duties.  It is a hard case with some prisoners, but there is no help for it. 

    Lawrence [Lewis] Washington, whose wife is the nearest living relation of Washington was brought in.  His wife owns the estate where Washington was born, & himself the next Estate.  A Mr. Mason was also brought in who has lost only 60 negroes since the war broke out.  

    Several prisoners came in who swam the river, one from the 3d North Carolina.  His brother who accompanied him, and another soldier were drowned in the Rappahannock.  A private of the 5th Louisiana came in, who also was with another member of his Company, who, he thinks, must have been drowned.   The Richmond papers of yesterday the 11th inst contain no further news from Charleston of importance.

    Active movements have at last commenced.  The Cavalry Corps has received marching orders & is expected to move tomorrow.  Gen’l Stoneman’s head-quarters are said to have been struck.  The 6th Corps also has received orders to move, I think tomorrow.  The ball has opened.  When it ceases to roll times will not be so hard for citizens hereabouts.

graphic - Rebels surrendering to Union Pickets

    I called on Frank Vaughan a day or two ago and breakfasted with him the next morning.  He is attached to the Topographical engineers.   His brother is to superintend a floating hospital at Cairo, I believe.  Frank Stimpson is now a Lieut.  I have not yet seen him.

    The whole army was reviewed by the President on his late visit here.  He is satisfied with the morale of the Army.  The army was never in more excellent condition, either as respects health, spirit, or confidence in its commander.  On the other hand such does not seem to be the case with the Rebels.  One pound of flour & four ounces of bacon just staves gaunt famine away, but does not satisfy & make contented like our liberal rations of one loaf of bread, pound & 1/2 of beef, besides coffee, sugar and vegetables.  From account of deserters who do not exaggerate I should judge the rebel army to be deficient in morale, that it is dissatisfied with the rations and is not confident of victory.  They have a wholesome fear of Gen’l Hooker. Numbers wait our advance to desert.  I do not Know that there is any more news.   The commander in Chief of the Swiss Army is now here.

    It is a little shivery to day, but I doubt if the rains  harm the roads.  I send some autographs for Martha. Cavalry & Artillery were moving all night.  The army has commenced to move. Citizens continue to come in under arrest.

            In haste Your Aff. Son
                            John B. Noyes.

Letter of Charles Andrews Company I

    Charles W. Andrews, age 19, was one of the brave recruits of '62.  He mustered-in July 28, 1862, and probably joined the regiment in the field at Mitchell's Station just before Pope's Retreat to the north bank of the Rappahannock River.   Charles writes a touching letter home to his parents of the impending campaign.  He mentions Charles Cotting & Frank Stowe, (whose picture is in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society).  Unfortunately it is encased in a locket with  convex glass,  which will not photocopy very well.   Consequently I cannot post his picture.  Frank is listed incorrectly in the Roster too, as Francis H. Stone.    I guess he is destined to remain anonymous.

      I transcribed this  letter when it appeared for sale at an auction house "Museum Quality Americana."  Hopefully more of Charles'  letters will turn up one day.

    I have added paragraph breaks to make it easier to read.

                           April 14th, 1863

Dear Father & Mother,

Charles Reed sketch Heavy Marching

            With pen in hand I once more take my seat to try and write a few lines.  I am still enjoying the best of health.  We are at last under marching orders to be ready to march at anytime.   With 8 days rations carried by the men.  5 days of hard bread, sugar and coffee to be carried in the knapsacks.  Three days in our haversack.  60 rounds of cartridges to be carried by each man and one hundred and fifty on the backs of pack mules.   There are to be no wagons whatever but everything is to be carried by the men and pack-mules everything that can be dispensed with we leave    but our extra blankets we packed in boxes they are going to be teamed to the landing to be kept there    and if we stop anywhere they will be brought to us on the wagons.  

    The cavalry about 15 thousand have broke camp a few days since and are now reported across the river and they have captured 500 rebels.  The 2nd Army Corps  is also reported across.   We could see the balloon up all day today spying out the enemy’s position.   It is thought that we will march tomorrow.   And Hooker means to put us through a course of sprints which will take a great deal of labor to perform but we are able to perform many tasks if this war can be settled by any help of ours.  We think that there will be a great battle and that if Hooker whips the rebels we will follow them and chase them to Richmond.  

    Every division has a badge to distinguish them one from the other.  Our division is a round wheel or a circle of white cloth.   Every man has to wear them some divisions will have stars some diamonds of all colors.   It is a good way no men can shirk their duty   if they fall out they will be punished hard.  But the boys are in fine spirits about marching       we have been expecting the paymaster every day.  Some of the  regiments nearby have been paid today.  

3rd Brigade, 2nd Division Banner

    We are having very warm days but cool nights.   The peach trees are in full bloom and the grass is quite green, the frogs are peeping in the valley which reminds me of  Marlborough.  Frank Stowe Eugene’s brother a sergeant in the company and the one who has been acting orderly in the absence of Cotting is coming home on a ten days furlough in a day or two   he is a “good fellow”.    But as I have no news to write I must close.   I thought I must write and let you know that we are going to leave soon.  

    My love to you all good bye for this time.  Hope for the best.  Write often. 

    From your own loving son, Charles W. Andrews

Note:  The graphic represents the 3rd Brigade banner for the 1st Corps, [white circle];  2nd Division, [white all around];   3rd Brigade, (Leonard's) {Blue Field].  The Color Key = Red, White & Blue corresponding to the numbers, 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively.  Brigade flags were triangular in shape. Division Flags were rectangular.  The First Corps was represented by a White Circle.

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Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe & the Balloon Corps

    Charles Andrews (in the letter above) mentions "the balloons are up."  This is the Balloon Corps of the Union Army, pioneered by Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe.

Professor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, Balloonist    The very colorful, Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe war born into a poor but respectable New Hampshire family at Jefferson Mills, 1832.  Grandfather fought in the Revolution, and his father, Clovis, ( a cobbler by trade) served as a drummer boy in the war of 1812.  His father was also elected to the state legislature.

    Growing up, young Thaddeus borrowed books from his teacher's personal library to feed an insatiable appetite for learning.  Reports vary, but at age 10 thereabouts, his mother died, and he went to work at a neighboring farm as an indentured servant.   At age 14, he left the farm and headed to Portland Maine, and later Boston,  where he worked in the shoe cutting trade with his brother Joseph.   At age 18, his health faltered and he returned home to recover from a serious illness.  Then his life changed.

    His younger brother invited him to a chemistry lecture on “The Phenomena of Lighter than Air Gases."   When Professor Reginald Dinkelhoff called for an assistant from the audience Thaddeus eagerly answered the call.  Impressed with the young man, Professor Dinkelhoff offered to take him on the road as a permanent assistant.  They toured together two years after which Professor Dinkelhoff retired and  ‘Professor’ Lowe bought the business.

    The lecture circuit was lucrative enough to allow Thaddeus to continue his education.  He tried medical studies but it bored him.  His passion was with aviation using lighter than air gases, so he experimented with balloon building, touring as a showman and offering rides to adventurous fair-goers.  It was profitable but he had bigger ambitions.   He dreamed of a transatlantic flight using  easterly blowing winds which he theorized could be found  in the upper atmosphere.  He set to work preparing for the enterprise.

    Investors from the world of science and business supported his ventures and he built the massive balloon 'City of New York.'    In November 1859, a scheduled test flight was canceled when the local gas company failed to deliver a sufficient supply of gas to fill the massive balloon.   A new backer, Chairman of the Board of the Point Breeze Gas Works in Philadelphia, promised Professor Lowe the necessary amount of  gas.  This resulted in a successful test flight from Philadelphia to New Jersey, June 28th 1860 in the balloon now christened “Great Western.”   The great trans-Atlantic launch was scheduled for September 7th, 1860.  The attempt failed when strong winds ripped open the balloon.  A second attempt at inflation, September 29th, exposed a bulge in the repaired spot.  The balloon needed to be overhauled and the venture was again delayed.

    Lowe’s supporter,  Professor Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institute, proposed another test flight from Cincinnati to the Eastern Seaboard in a smaller balloon, “The Enterprise.”  Lowe launched the balloon at 3:30 a.m. April 20th 1861. “when at an altitude of a mile and a fifth, I shot out of the lower westerly current, entered the great easterly river of the sky, and began to travel toward the Atlantic coast.  I could have cheered in my elation.”   Before reaching the Alleghenies, "owing to the flow of deep and rapid current of air between that range and the Blue Ridge, my balloon was drawn slightly southward, out of the direct eastern path, and I finally landed in South Carolina.” 

    It was the eve of the Civil War, and the mysterious Yankee who fell from the sky in top hat and tails was not to be overly trusted.  After some negotiations the balloon was landed and he and his equipments were transported by a six mule team in a large wagon over bad roads to Unionville.  An educated town official familiar with  Lowe ‘s experiments vouched for him &  convinced the motley guard that attached itself to Professor Lowe, to disperse.   The authorities eventually calmed the local population and allowed Professor Lowe to return to the north by train.  Trying to get home, he was arrested in Columbia, S.C.  where he again had to clear his name and prove he was not a spy with the Mayor of that city.  A pass was drawn up to convey him safely out of the Confederacy.  It took an anxious depressing 4 day ride on  a crowded train bound for Cincinnati, before he and other northern refugees from the South could breath easy again.

    Two months later President Lincoln invited Lowe to the White House, where he requested a balloon demonstration.  The demonstration was made June 11, 1861, & from a height of 500 feet Lowe dispatched a telegram to the President on the ground.  President Lincoln was impressed, but  Lowe still had to compete with his foremost rivals to get the government contract to create  and lead an aeronautic corps.Thaddeus Lowe making observations in his balloon  His rivals got the chance first.   It was not until their failure after the battle of Bull Run that Lowe gained the contract.   This was the birth of American Military Aviation.  In four months Lowe built 4 balloons and designed mobile hydrogen generators to inflate them.

[Pictured at right is Thaddeus Lowe making observations in his balloon 'Intrepid,' at Fair Oaks, Virginia, May 31, 1862.]

    For two years Lowe and his trained aeronauts performed valuable service during the war, especially for McClellan during the Peninsula campaign, particularly at Yorktown.  A midnight observation discovered Rebels had vacated their fortifications at Yorktown.  General McClellan immediately advanced his army in the wee hours, to Williamsburg, just beyond Yorktown. Professor Lowe later wrote: 

    "Without the time and knowledge gained by the midnight observations, there would have been no battle of Williamsburg, and McClellan would have lost the opportunity of gaining a victory, the importance of which has never been properly appreciated.   The Confederates would have gotten away with all their stores and ammunition without injury.  It was also my night observations that gave the primary knowledge which saved the Federal army at Fair Oaks."* 

    An illness and lack of transportation prevented the Balloon Corps from participating in the Antietam campaign, much to the regret of General McClellan.  General Hooker embraced the Balloon Corps in the Chancellorsville campaign but in 1863 the military re-assigned them from an independent civilian operation to the newly formed Engineer Corps.   Military Bureaucracy destroyed the corps.   In April,1863, Captain C. B. Comstock of the engineers informed Lowe :

    “I do not think the interests of the public service require the employment of C. Lowe, your father, or of John O'Donnell. Please inform me whether you have, as desired, notified them of the fact.
        I also stated to you that it might be necessary for the public interest to reduce your pay from $10 to $6 per day . I also mentioned some general rules to be observed by all civil employés connected with the balloons. Some of them are repeated here, and you will please notify your subordinates of them:   No absences from duty without my permission will be allowed, and pay will be stopped for the time of absence.”

        Lowe replied to General Hooker's Chief of Staff General Daniel Butterfield:

Camp Near Falmouth, Va., April 12, 1863.

Maj. Gen. D. Butterfield,
Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

        General: From a copy of Special Orders, No. 95, April 7, 1863, I am informed that the balloon establishment is placed in charge of Capt. C. B. Comstock, Corps of Engineers, to whom I reported immediately on receipt of the above order.  In conversation with him yesterday I learned that different arrangements were to be made, and among other things he informed me that my compensation for services were reduced from $10 per day to $6.  This Captain Comstock does, I have no doubt, in good faith, and from the view which he takes of this department as it now stands.

        Now, in justice to myself and the service in which I am engaged, I beg to submit the following succinct statement:

        At the breaking out of the rebellion I was urged to offer my services to the Government as an aeronaut. I did so, at the sacrifice of my long-cherished enterprise in which I had expended large sums of money and many years hard labor, and which, if successful, would compensate me for my expenditure and place aeronautics among the first branches of useful science.

        (The enterprise above alluded to could not now be revived, except under the most favorable circumstances.)

        During my first operations for the Government I had three competitors in the field and many more applicants.  I used my own machinery and expended considerable private means, and two months' labor, for all of which I have never received pay.

        My system of aeronautics was selected, and I was offered $30 per day for each day I would keep one balloon inflated in the field ready for officers to ascend. (This was when it was supposed balloons could not be kept constantly inflated, as is now the case.)  I declined this offer and offered my services for $10 per day, as I desired to continue during the war and add to my reputation; besides, that amount would be sufficient to support my family.  Ever since then I have labored incessantly for the interest of the Government, and I have never shrunk from duty or danger whenever it was necessary to gain information for the commanding general. 

        For nearly two years, aside from doing all the business of this department, I have made frequent personal reconnaissances and have attended to the management of several balloons for different officers to ascend until within the past two or three weeks, during which time I have been occupied by order of the Secretary of War in preparing a history of this branch of the service, &c., at the same time keeping an eye to the proper management of the balloons, which have been kept in constant use, attended by my assistants.

        General, I feel aggrieved that my services should not have been better appreciated.  As it is, I cannot honorably serve for the sum named by Captain Comstock without first refunding to the Government the excess of that amount which I have been receiving ever since I have been in the service. This my very limited means will not allow, for it requires full the salary I have received to support myself in the field and my family at home; therefore, out of respect to myself and the duty I owe my family, it will be impossible for me to serve upon any other conditions than those with which I entered the service.

        Notwithstanding, as I have promised the commanding general that nothing should be lacking on my part to render the greatest possible service during the next battle, and as I consider that all should be done that genius can devise to make the first move successful, I will offer my services until that time free of charge to the Government.

I remain, general, with great respect,
T. S. C. Lowe,

      Captain Comstock would not yield and the balloon corps continued without Professor Lowe’s services for a few months more, then dissolved.

    Lowe went on to invent refrigeration, and many other useful things that have more than benefited mankind.

    Professor Lowe remained through the Chancellorsville campaign, out of loyalty.  All day long May 1st, Lowe reported to General Sedgwick commander of the 6th Corps,  heavy columns of the enemy's infantry and artillery moving west toward Chancellorsville.  And, regarding the enemy left at Fredericksburg,  "The enemy on the opposite heights I judge considerably diminished.  Can see no change under the heights and in the rifle-pits.  I can see no diminution in the enemy's tents."

 NOTE: * The Photographic History of the Civil  War in Ten Volumes, [Vol. 8,  p 376.]  New York, 1911.

Sources:   References for this essay derive mostly from an excellent web-site of primary source material about Professor Lowe, maintained by one of his many  G. G.  Grandsons, Lance S. Ferm.  []

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The Campaign Begins...

Diary of Sergeant John Boudwin

From the collection of the Pearce Museum, Navarro College, Texas.

April 15.    Rained all day.  Nothing else heard in regard to our advance.  Col Batchelder and Captain Bush* came back from furloughs.

April 16.    Cloudy.  No drills

Captain Moses PalmerApril 17.    Pleasant. Company Drill in the morning, Batallion drill in the afternoon by Col Batchelder.  Dress Parade in the Eve.

April 18.     Pleasant.  Company Drills in the morning.  No Drill in the afternoon.  Eve. dress parade.  

April 19.    Pleasant and very warm.   Brigade Guard Mounting.  Regimental Inspection by Capt Palmer.  had a good bath down to the brook   Dress Parade in the Evening.

April 20.    Cloudy during the morning, Rain.     Had Regimental Inspection by the Inspector of Brigades.  Afternoon Rained quite heavy.  

April 21.     Cloudy.     Read orders again to be ready at a Moments - Notice to march.   Dress Parade in the eve.

April 22.     Pleasant.   Company Drill in the morning.  Brigade Drill in the afternoon by Col Leonard.  The paymaster has arrived and is paying th 12th Mass.  Dress Parade in the Eve.  Raining all night.

April 23.     Rain.     Signed pay roll this afternoon.

April 24.    Rain.  Regt was paid to day up to the 1st of March.  I did not receive any pay on acct of not being here when mustered in, being home on furlough.  Amount of pay due me to the 1st of March  $56.00.
Clothing money due   $ .80
Up to  March 1st Whole Amt. Due  $60.80.

William B. KimballApril 25.    Pleasant.   Company Drill in the morning.  Nothing occurred during the day.  Dress Parade in the Eve.

April 26.    Pleasant.  8 AM Picket Line formed and we started and reached the line at 10 AM.  Lt Kimball (pictured) in command of Post.  Day is very warm, I have indulged in a bath.

April 27.    Pleasant.  Relieved at 10 AM, came back to the reserve.  Nothing ocurred till we received 5 days  rations and orders to march.  Orders came to march in the morning with 8 days rations.

April 28.    Stormy.  10 1/2 received orders to draw in pickets and at 11 went back to old camp.  At 1 oclock left old camp and marched towards Falmouth. Camped in the woods for the night.

*Captain George N. Bush, Co. F,  was killed in action April 30, 1863.  See page 2.

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Bringing in the Safeguards

        From "Three Years With Company K," by Sergeant Austin C. Stearns; ed. by Arthur Kent, Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 1976. (pages 163-167) Used with Permission.

Edwin Forbes Sketch of one of the cattle guard

    Winter having gone, and spring having passed a goodly portion away, the army reviewed, and all things were ready for a move.  But where, or in what direction, none of us knew; we were still in our old quarters.

    Dan Warren, my tent mate, was detailed as one of the cattle guard, as all the fresh beef were driven around on the hoof and killed as we wanted it, an easier way then transporting it on teams.

    And somewhere towards the last days of April we received orders to pack up and march the next morning at nine o’clock.  As the order did not come till night, there was no time that night to send for the safe guards, and then they did not want to take them off till morning, so I was detailed to start early and bring  Bruce in. [private Warren E. Bruce]    I went, getting there before sunrise.  Bruce had just turned out and was stretching himself before the door.  I made known my errand, and he stepping back into the house made its inmates acquainted also.  Coming out, we went down to the spring for him to wash, [and] after that being performed we went back to the house, and as its inmates were now up we went in.  They were busy preparing breakfast and Bruce told them that I would eat with him.

    The family, consisting of a widow by the name of McCarthy and her  three grown up daughters, soon had the meal on the table, the old lady sitting down with us but all the daughters declining to do so, the breakfast consisting of army coffee provided by Bruce, smoked sides, and a nice hot corn cake.  I really enjoyed it; everything was neat and clean, in striking contrast to that of Mr Bullards;*  the old lady was quite a talker but the girls said but little.  I thought they did not like to have their “safe guard” go away and thought I was in some way to blame for it,  and so did not look upon me with much favor.  After we had finished, with many thanks for their kindness, I went outside for Bruce to take his leave; soon he came out and [I] helping him carry his things, we started for camp.

Lt. Col. N. W. Batchelder

    Their house was like many others found in Virginia, built of logs, chimney on outside, and plastered with mud,  [but]  they had what some did not have, a window of real glass.   They had but one room, although one end was curtained off for a sleeping apartment, and in there all the ladies slept,  Bruce rolling himself in his blanket before the fire.  Their sleeping rooms being so small, Bruce when he arose would build the fire then go out doors while the ladies performed their toilet; at night when they retired he would do the same.

    Bruce said he had enjoyed himself greatly all winter and had much rather stay with them then to take his chances in the uncertain fate of war, a point that I was ready to concede at once, after my experience of the morning, and would even be willing to take my chance with them for the next few months.

    Bruce said that none of the young ladies could write, and could read but little when he went there, and that he had spent most of his leisure time in teaching them, and that the youngest, his favorite, had become quite a scholar, and when in camp he had gathered all the reading matter he could find for them. When we arrived in camp we found the regiment all ready to move, and strapping on our things, we bade adieu to our old camp with many regrets, for we had passed a very comfortable winter here.

      Hooker had command of the army,  Reynolds the corps,  Robinson the division, and Leonard the brigade, while the regiment was under the command of Lt Col Batchelder.  [Lt.-Col. N. Walter Batchelder, pictured.]   Great things were expected.   Hooker had the name of being a fighting man;  when in command of a division or a corps, would he keep up his reputation in the command of the army?    Let us see.

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Page Updated October 19, 2013.