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9th Vermont Infantry

Harper's Ferry

Memories of the Ninth Vermont at the
Tragedy of Harper's Ferry, Sept. 15, 1862.


Rebel hand. I can look back through the long years, and see the picture still vivid before me; the quaint old street; the old mill; the pontoon, so near and yet so far; the willowy banked canal; the venerable sycamore trees; the hot, panting, eager regiment at the halt; the excited group about the colors; many men and officers secretly tossing their arms into the water; the mounted aides, blue and gray, leaning on their horses over the defiant Stannard and earnestly expostulating with him (I visited the spot last spring and found everything unchanged except the dramatis personŠ of this historical scene). Marching back to our camp, we found the surrender all over. Long and melancholy rows of stacked arms were along the crest, and the troops dismissed to their camps. I take pleasure in quoting General Walker's post-bellum article again in connection with our actual experience with the tattered Confederates. He says:

"Some hours later I rode into Harper's Ferry with my staff and we were greatly interested in seeing our tattered Confederates fraternizing in the most cordial manner with their well-dressed prisoners."

Now this is the cordiality of their welcome and how we fraternized: After adding our clumsy old Belgian muskets to the others, glad that they were no better arms, and entering our camp we found it full of Rebs pillaging it freely, in spite of the terms of the surrender. A group of mounted Rebel officers sat on their horses on the pike in front of company E's street. It began to be whispered about that the full sandy-bearded officer in dilapidated clothes and slouched hat was the redoubtable Stonewall Jackson. We stood in despair, watching him, and not daring to resent the intrusion of his men, although so lawlessly disregarding the cartel before his eyes. Suddenly I saw Lieutenant Quimby of Company E, a hot-headed, bold fellow, stride out of his company street, down to the side of Jackson's horse, and demand in insolent voice, "Are you Stonewall Jackson?" Jackson said, "Yes, Lieutenant, I am General Jackson." "Then," said Quimby," did you not agree to protect

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