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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.


called to two guests recalling Civil War memories, when one of them boasted of a wonderful horse he captured at Harper's Ferry, rode through the war, and took home, exactly describing Batcheller's horse. Batcheller turned upon him sharply and said, "My friend, I have been looking for you for thirty years. That was my horse and you took him from my camp at -----," naming the position on Bolivar Heights held by the 115th New York. It proved to have been the horse taken in violation of the cartel.

We had gathered up the usual number of darkey servants, but Virginia gentlemen stood in rows on either side of the pontoon, claiming and grabbing out every darkey when on the next day we marched into Maryland. They made one mistake by seizing a very dark complexioned, curly-haired French Canadian of my company, who was only too happy for an excuse for letting out his outraged feelings, drew back and knocked the Virginian over backward, stiff and cold. On the whole they treated us kindly, giving up to us all the rations in the commissariat, a very scant two days' supply, and allowed our adjutant, Stearns, to seduce them into lending him six four-horse teams with which to transport our private baggage to Annapolis. These teams were a great comfort to the sick, and were afterward sent back to the Rebs, I am sorry to confess not as we agreed, not until October 22d, after Lee had written several sharp letters to McClellan about it. It was a great deal for them to do, as at that time their batteries were in a wretched condition, according to the report of their chief of artillery.

The Rebels gave us an interesting and instructive object lesson in the way they could close up one job and rush without an instant's rest or loss of time, and hurl themselves into another. The lesson was one needed by the Northern armies at that period of the war. The Army of the Potomac had been transported to the battle-grounds in front of Washington from the Peninsula, while Lee's army had marched from Richmond and fought Pope back within the defences of Washington, then had hurried on into Maryland, Jackson making the great circuit around by Williamsport,

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