week of June 19, 1861- Arrival of federal army in Hagerstown
ARRIVAL OF THE FEDERAL ARMY—EVENTFUL DAYS AND STIRRING SCENES IN THE HISTORY OF HAGERSTOWN AND WASHINGTON COUNTY.—
The long looked for and anxiously expected Army, destined to operate upon the rebels in Virginia, commenced arriving in Hagerstown early on Saturday morning last, and continued at brief intervals until Monday evening, imparting to our town and county an entirely new and thrilling phase of character, and constituting an epoch in their history which will never be forgotten. The 1st Penn. Reg., commanded by Col. YHOE, and numbering about 1000 men, led the van of the Grand Army in the order of arrival here. It made its appearance about 8 o'clock on the morning of Saturday, and produced the most lively demonstration among our citizens. It was accompanied by a band of music and a drum corps, and was marched through town down the Baltimore Turnpike to the lands of Mr. HUNTER, a short distance below Funkstown, where a camp was formed. It was soon followed by the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment, nearly a thousand strong, commanded by Col. STAMBAUGH, which also proceeded to the camp below Funkstown. These were followed in quick succession by the 7th Regiment, Col. IRWIN, the 8th Regiment Col. EMLEY, accompanied by Gen. WILLIAMS and Staff, the 10th Regiment Col. MEREDITH, and the Scott Legion, Col. GRAY, accompanied by Bands of Music and Drum Corps, and numbering four thousand men. These Regiments proceeded to a Camp near the College of St. James, where they remained over night, and the next day moved to Williamsport with a view of crossing the river. Towards evening the 8d Pennsylvania Regiment, Col. MANIER, and at night the 24tb do., Col. OWENS, arrived and proceeded to the camp at HUNTER'S. On Sunday morning the 14th Pennsylvania Regiment, Col. JOHNSTON, and the 15th do., Col. OAKSFORD accompanied by Gen. NAGLE arrived and went into camp on a field near the Baltimore Turnpike belonging to Mr. JONATHAN HAGER, and about 1 ½ miles from Hagerstown. Later in the day the Wisconsin Regiment, an elegantly equipped body of men, under the command of Col. STARKWEATHER, of Milwaukee, reached town, and encamped in Hager's field, and on Monday the 11th Pennsylvania Col. JARRETT, and the 4th Connecticut, Col. WOODSIDES, arrived, and proceeded to the same camp.
While the troops were arriving and passing through this town on Saturday heavy bodies of Federal forces, under the command of Gen. CADWALLADER, passed down the Greencastle Turnpike to Williamsport, embracing Capt. DOUBLEDAY and his Fort Sumter heroes, and the famous Rhode Island Regiment with Gov. SPRAGUE at its head, MCMULLEN'S Rangers, Cavalry, Infantry and Artillery of the regular army, together with several Volunteer Regiments. These, with the exception of Capt. DOUBLEDAY add his men, and the Rhode Island Regiment, crossed the river on Sunday and marched in the direction of Martinsburg, where they have no doubt long since arrived and flung to the breeze the stars and stripes. The passage of the troops over the river is said to have been a most impressive scene by those who beheld it:— They marched into the water in solid columns, keeping step to the music as they went, although the water in some places was breast deep, and when they reached the opposite shore, where treason has been holding its carnivals and rebellion inaugurating a reign of terror, they planted the glorious emblem of our nationality, and made the very welkin ring with deafening cheers.
The number of troops, who have passed through this town and county within the last few days; together with those that are still here, cannot be accurately ascertained, but it is believed to be nearly twenty five thousand. Hundreds of wagons, containing military stores of every description from a shovel and a pick to the most important article of the Commissary's Department, have been thronging our streets, and in long trains following the Regiments. We, however, acknowledge our utter inability to give even the faintest description of the scenes by which we were surrounded. They are constantly shifting, like a panorama, a Regiment being here today and gone in the direction of "Dixie’s Land" tomorrow and we cannot, therefore, advert to the twentieth part of what we see and hear every hour in the day. Our town and surrounding neighborhood resemble a vast military Camp. Soldiers are seen, in every street, and guards on almost every corner. Companies are constantly parading, and strains of music are wafted to the ear on every breeze. On the Sabbath long lines of bristling bayonets glittered in our streets, and the peals of Church bells blended with the stirring notes of the drum and fife, presenting a striking contrast with the order and quietude which usually mark that Holy day in our midst. Few, very few persons, and they secessionists at heart, objected to the necessity which rendered these scenes unavoidable on the Sabbath day. Our people generally hail the troops as the brave defenders of a Government to which, under God, they owe their lives, their liberties and their property, and extend to them all the courtesies and accommodations in their power, which are gratefully received and duly appreciated. Although the town has been full of soldiers of every shade and hue of character but very few excesses of any kind have been committed. Soldiers who fight for peace, order and free Government seldom violate the proprieties of life, and need not be feared by even Secessionists, who don't think too loud [?]
P. S.—On Monday evening seven Companies of the 3d and 7th U. S. Infantry, and a heavy body of U. S. Cavalry, arrived in town via. Williamsport from Berkeley county, whither they had gone on Sunday. Their supposed destination was Washington city, but during the night the order was countermanded, and they returned to Williamsport before day on Tuesday morning, followed by six or eight of the volunteer Regiments, encamped in this vicinity, the whole, embracing some ten Regiments, re-crossing, as is supposed, the river into Virginia on Tuesday. The object of the movement is not understood here at present writing, but it is evidently one of deep significance.
Herald of Freedom & Torch Light
Washington County Free Library
Hagerstown (Md.), Newspapers; Maryland, History, Civil War, 1861-1865
Washington County (Md.), 1861-1865