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13th Vermont Infantry

Rowdy Co. A, 13th Regiment


A correspondent of Walton’s Daily Journal, writing from the 13th Regiment, Washington, Oct. 16th says:

Just before leaving Brattleboro a little event occurred , which created quite an excitement, among the boys. It was this, Company A, in this regiment is composed mostly of Irishmen, and many of their wives and sisters and friends were there taking a farewell leave of them and there was consequently a great deal of lamentation, wringing of hands &c, and the strong feeling of this impulsive people were all excited thereby, making the spectacle appear as though their heart’s were all breaking. Then too, some of them refused to start until they had their bounty(which was not to be paid until till after they got into the cars)  and taking it for all in all there was almost a row in the company. Capt. Lonergan and the other company officers did their utmost, but after the battalion line was formed the Colonel and other officers of the staff had to attend to them, and so bad was their conduct that the rest of the regiment got very tired standing with their arms and knapsacks on waiting for them, and many of the boys became almost exasperated. One fellow refused to obey the Colonel, and got up quite a row about him, and all I could see of that occurrence was the plucky Colonel suddenly leaping about four feet higher than the crowd and coming down like thunder on him, and as I looked through the legs of the men I could see the Colonel’s foot rapidly coming into frequent and uncomfortable proximity to the rear muscular guard of the fellow’s bones, who soon” begged”. The company fell in, we marched to the cars, and there occurred another scene. Col. Brown ordered Capt. Thatcher to march down our gallant and now impatient company, which was done and we formed in two ranks completely around them. Then we were ordered to fix bayonets, which we did, and as I stood at the head, and looking along the line of boys, I knew by their compressed lips and nervous movements that few things would gratify them more than to --- Well, I don’t know what they wanted, but I know that Company A was soon still, and in the cars, and since that their own officers have managed them. I think Capt. Lonergan is a remarkable man.

It will be remembered that this is the same company that went into the 2d regiment, and were disbanded on account of their insubordination. They now behave well, and if they ever go into battle, I pity their foes.

Well, we left Brattleboro and were glad to leave. But very few people came out to bid us good-by, and the boys were not surprised, for they had all acquired an unfavorable idea of that place. The people there seemed to care nothing for us, only to get our money, but when we arrived in good old Massachusetts, what a change! Men, women, and children came out of every station to greet us, and they showered us with boquets, brought us bread cakes, cheese and fruit, gave of cheers, and in some instances, even more. One or two handsome  captains received  kisses in Springfield, and many were the boys determined to go to the Old Bay State to live if ever they come back from the war. In Connecticut it was night, but the people were out to greet us, notwithstanding. They called us all along the line the handsomest regiment they had seen yet. One young lady at Hartford remarked to our correspondent, “ Why, I  should think you Vermonters were going down to reclaim the Secesh women, you are so very good looking!” I thanked her and told her we felt flattered   for the ladies of Springfield  felt just so, and even went as far as to kiss some of us. “Is that so?” said she “Well, we will not be out done by anything there is in Springfield.” whereupon --- well I’ve nothing to say. At New Haven we embarked on the Continental, and the next morning arrived in Jersey City. We then took the cars and at 3 o’clock arrived in Philadelphia, and there were met by a large concourse of citizens and escorted to a large hall, and treated to a splendid supper gratis, and then took the cars, and moved off amid the rousing cheers of the multitude. That is a good old town, and judging by the talk of the boys, one would have then thought that what of them Massachusetts don’t get, Philadelphia will.  From Philadelphia we had to ride in box  freight cars, and being so very tired and sleepy it came pretty hard for the boys.

We arrived in Baltimore at about 2 o’clock next morning, and encountered a cold hard rain. In this rain we had to march a mile and a half through the streets, and then wait in an open depot about three hours for our officers to procure transportation. So very tired were we that we fell down wherever best we could and immediately went to sleep. We soon awoke, ate breakfast of bread and bacon and then started for Washington; and after a slow ride through lonesome Maryland arrived here as above specified --- all tired out.

A correspondent of the Free Press, writing from the 13th Reg.,Washington, Oct. 14th, speaking of their treatment while in Baltimore.

This morning the boys were waiting for breakfast a man appeared selling apple turnovers, and many bought of him. In a few minutes pounded glass was found in one of the turnovers, and the peddler was speedily pelted for a mile with his own turnovers. Before he was out of sight an officer came along in search of him, and said five men had died from the poison after eating pies made of this man. One of our regiment was sick after eating the one he bought, but is mow all right.

Submitted by Deanna French