From the

Bucktail Rifles



Camp 1st Bucktail Rifles

June 23rd, 1863


Last Monday a week, we were all surprised while on drill, to see quite a number of batteries of artillery, and long columns of infantry came pouring in from the direction of Dumfrie’s, but judge of our amazement to learn that it was our old friends, the Army of the Potomac!  Although we all knew it was possible we did not think it probably that Hooker would evacuate the line of the Rappahannock, and on meeting with the troops composing this grand army, the first intimation we had of the fact.  General Hooker knows his “biz” however, and I think for once Lee has found a match.  It was evidently the Rebel Generals intention, as his Pa. raid conclusively proves, to endeavor to get the main portion of the Army of the Potomac into Maryland, and then, while all eyes were turned northward make a sudden dash on Washington, and if possible, capture it.


Judge from report, lee has changed his program, and will no doubt try to get on the north side of Washington, and make the attack from there, but I am sure the authorities will prove too wide awake, and when he arrives in Maryland, give him and his Greybacks such a reception as he received at South Mountain and Antietam.


The invasion of the state caused a great deal of anxiety, particularly to the Penn’s Reserve Division.  I never saw the men so anxious for news, and you can depend upon the news venders did a thriving business.


While the Army of the Potomac was passing, I had the pleasure of grasping by the hand Col. James Selfridge, Captains Stotzenbach, and Selfridge, Lieut. Fetter and Orderly Sergt. Sigley of the gallant 46th.  Their regiment has been terribly thinned since I last saw them, only having some 230 men left for duty.  What is left look well, however, and will, as they always do, give a good account of themselves when next they meet the foe.  Capt. Phillips of the 81st also called on us, and took breakfast with ‘the mess’.  I returned the visit the night before they left, and had the pleasure of seeing Lieut. Ginder, Lieut. Col. Stroh, and the remainder of the Mauch Chunk Boys.  The 81st, composed a part of the infantry support of the Cavalry fight on the Rappahannock, but had I believe no one hurt.  Capt. Beiber, and Lieut. Hawk are both in Washington, the firmer sick and the latter not yet recovered from his wounds received at Chancellorsville.


All day Sunday and Monday heavy cannonading was heard in our front, which proved to be a Cavalry fight between General Pleasanton and Stuart, our forces coming off first best.  Yesterday one hundred and forty prisoners arrived, among which were a Lieut. Colonel, Major and several union officers.  Last night they were escorted to Washington by a portion of our Regiment, where they were lodged in the old Capitol prison.


Several promotions have taken place in the Regiment since last I wrote, among which were Capt. Harrower, of Co. A, to Major of 161st N.Y., now at Port Hudson, Lieut. Wolf, to Captain of Co. F, 2nd Lieut. Wright of F. to be 1st Lieutenant.  Orderly Sergt. Blett of Co. K, to be 2nd Lieut. of F, 1st Lieut. Mack of E, to be Capt., and a number of other promotions which I do not now recollect.


How is it Carbon has sent no Company to Harrisburg yet.  We saw a list of companies that had arrived at H., but was sorry to find Carbon was not represented.


Last weeks Gazette has arrived, and so I must stop to see what’s going on among the mountains.










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Jack Sterling

October, 2003