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June 29, 2013

Diary entries by Matthew Marvin of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, marching in the Army of the Potomac – June 29, 1863

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

The Army of the Potomac skirmishes with the Rebels in Haymarket, Virginia, then moves toward Leesburg on the Gum Spring Road, crossing the river into Maryland at Edwards Ferry.  The men march on toward Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, passing through Frederick and many other towns in Maryland along the way; see a map of the Army’s movements.

Marvin writes of the skirmish at the Battle of Haymarket on June 25th:
This morning about 6 o’clock The Rebell cavalry attacked our pickets & skirmishing continued for abot an hour[.] We fell in under arms expecting a skrimage at any moment[.] We stocked arms & packed up[,] ready to move at the word. Rumor says we shall go back to Leesburg[.] Started on the march & about 9 o clock the rebs opened on us from a hill[,] Wounding one man in 15th Mass & a piece of shell wounded the horse that Col Colville was riding[.] he had to abandon it[.] Battery A of the 4th Reg got in past & the men pulled of their Blouses & rolled up their sleeves & very soon mad the rebs skedaddle[.] rumor says they dismounted 2 of the rebs  cannon[…] Battery A is one of the best in the servace[.] They are most sure to silence any battery on which they open[.] Battery B of the 1st R.I. is not behind Battery A though the 1st shell they fired killed a man in the [14]th Me[,] Though I guess it was from some defect in the shell[.] soon after our Batteries opened we skedadded[.] Hay[market] is about one & half miles [back] […] it is a splendid country arround it[.] The soldier[s] completely striped the chery trees all along the road[.] some of the trees wer 3 ft through & 30 or 40 ft high & hung full of cherries[.] after we passed their was hardly a limb left f[r]om tip to [but.] It was supposed that […] we wer on the Gum spring Road though we changed to a half doz differant by roads as crooked as a rams horn[.] We reached Gum-spring about 8 o clock [some] tired as the day was Lowery & by 5 oclock the road had become soft & slippry & cloths nearly wet through[.]

The Army’s long march begins again on June 26th:
The drums sounding Reville waked me up[.] I found my stockings soked full & cloths wet through[.] we had barely time to make coffee and eat when the order came pack up fall in & march[…] We took the Leesburg road but soon cut around on by roads[.] camped on the hills oppaset Ed Ferry at 12 o’clock[.] everything wet through & mud to our knees[.] Packed up at dark[,] & went down to the river[,] layed in the mud till 11o’clock & crossed in to Maryland at Ed Ferry[.] Their was 66 Ponton boats 16 ft apart & 2 Bridges layed down about 1 o clock Am[…]

June 27th:
Started on the march at noon[.] took the same road that we marched one year & half ago[.] The roads wer very muddy & badly cut up with the wagons[…] The Brigade was badly strung out & tired out[.] on arriving at the camp the boys hooted[…] Had just got to sleep & had to get up & detail 16 [men] for picket[.] Their was a rite smart of swearing[...]

June 28th:
Started on the march about 9 oclock[.] The roads wer very good for Infantry but all most impassible for wagons[.] We crossed one creek whare we went in Singlee file[.] I[t] would of only taken 6 men half hour to fixed it all rite[.] We wer delayed 2 or 3 hours & then had to march harder to make up[.] We passed through Uurbana[*] about 12 o clock[.] camped in sight of Frederick city[*.] drew 2 days rations[.]
[*Urbana and Frederick, MD]

June 29th:
Started ½ pas[t] 8[.] passed on the South of Frederick[;] passed through Liberty[,] Johnsville Union[, …] & passed through Union Town[*] about a mile & camped at 9 o clock[.] it is the longest marche we ever had[.] Some of the citizen wer glad to see us[,] others wer not[.] The first 12 miles we marched in 4 hours & waded a creek that could be bridged in ½ an hour by ½ doz men[.] Gen Order complyments us & says we marched 30 miles[.] Rumor says that Mc is in command of the Army[.]
Weather Lowery Rain & pleasant[.]
Rumor says that McClellan has been Reinstated & they think it to good to be true but pray that it is so[.]
Marched 30 miles Union town[.]

[*Liberty (Libertytown), Johnsville Union (Union Bridge), and Union town (Uniontown), Maryland]

On June 30th Marvin get his last reprieve before marching north toward a looming battle in the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg.  He writes:

Layed in camp all day[...] Finished the Pay Rolls & mad the monthly Repo[rt.] had to lean against the fence & wrote on knapsack[;] it is rough[...] Drew two days rations[.]”  Though he does not yet know what in store for him, Marvin writes of his hope for the rest of his time in service: “I should like to serve the rest of my time in a state whare our services appear to be appreciated as here […].

See week’s worth of entries here: 1863-06-29_Marvin_6-23_6-30combined

Citation:  June 23-30, 1863 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary, January 1-December 31, 1863. Volume 2.  Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 2]

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