"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunday, October 26, 1862. Fort Monmouth to Baltimore via Philadelphia

"Had a pleasant trip until we arrived at Baltimore. There it rained & we had miserable cattle cars & it was cold and disagreeable. But on the whole it was a pleasant journey." ~ Col. Wheelock G. Veazey, Letter to Julia, October 29, 1862

"[From Port Monmouth, NJ] [w]e had, however, excellent cars and the RR agent did everything to make us comfortable, I had three hours sleep while riding. Sunday morning about 8 we arrived at Camden, disembarked and crossed over to Philadelphia in ferry boats. A splendid breakfast we in waiting furnished by the Soldier’s Aid Association and we were served with great adoration and kindness. In the mud and a drenching rain, this meal and these attentions were doubly pleasant and marked a green spot in the memory of every man. Every person we met in the Quaker City was kind and cordial. Men bowed respectful, women waved their handkerchiefs and Union flags and small welcome, and even the little boys and girls came up to us in (damaged text) and gave us their hands (damaged text)  “good bye” and “god bless you.” 

"In the midst of a pouring rain we marched two miles to the depot, where in the street we loaded into freight cars with many hole cut in them and boards knocked off for ventilation. They were the best obtainable.  A rapid ride over the Phil, Wilmington, and Baltimore Rail Road, 95 miles, brought us to Baltimore in six hours, or at 6 1/2 o’clock Sunday evening. All the way to Havre De Grace - the dividing line between Delaware and Maryland we were enthusiastically cheered, every house sent forth its greetings, but in Maryland Union flags and cheers were infrequent.  

"At Baltimore we changed cars in darkness and rain, about e – (damaged text) several to that of High W on a raining night spent after a march of over a (damaged text) We arrived at the Depot of the Baltimore and Washington Railroad, near (damaged text) we were furnished with a good supper, which is never provided partly at the expense of the general government partly by the city, party by the state and the balance by private contributions. Giving back to the depot, a large open shed of huge dimensions, no cars were there to take us along. 

"It was now 9 o’clock and when we could move was a matter of uncertainty. So following the example of the men I laid my rubber blanket on the wet, muddy - floor, and with a stick of wood for a pillow and my shawl for a covering over my saturated great coat.  I laid down and in five minutes was sound asleep.  Lt. Col. Charles Cummings, Letter No. 1, October 28, 1862

"At Fort Monmouth we took the cars at 1:30 a.m. for Philadelphia where we arrived just in season to breakfast with the kind and generous people of the Quaker City.  It would be useless for me to speak of the hospitality of the people of this city, when so much has been said, though I was told there were few to greet us, to what there was sometimes, on account of church services, and the storm which prevailed at the time.  

"The remainder of our passage was very unpleasant on account of this storm, which raged terribly.  The soldiers had to take passage in old freight cars.  –most of them open ones where they suffered much from exposure.  Every bridge, great and small, was guarded to prevent as I supposed, the traitors from tearing them up.  On arriving at Baltimore I was surprised at the reception we received.  At all appearances this seems to be as loyal and patriotic as any city through which we passed.  We were furnished a supper at the soldier’s retreat ...." E. D. Keyes, 1st Lieutenant, Company H. writing as "Duane" to the Bellows Falls Times, published November 7, 1862

"The parts of New Jersey through which we traveled was for the first twenty or thirty miles as far as we could judge by riding through it in the night, was barren, sandy, piney, miserable country, but as we got nearer Philadelphia the country began to look better, though their oddly contrived Dutch buildings did not compare favorably with the farm buildings in any part of old Vermont. 

"At Philadelphia they took us into the Cooper Shop Refreshment Saloon and gave us a superb breakfast. This was on Sunday morning and rainy at that, but our reception at the old Quaker city was one that will probably be long remembered by every member of the 16th. Gentlemen came out and shook hands with us and cheered us. The ladies waved flags and handkerchiefs at us from the windows and all seemed just as joyously demonstratively enthusiastic as though we were the first regiment that had passed through the city to the relief of beleaguered Washington. 

"We left Philadelphia about seven on Sunday and proceeded on our journey on board some very comfortable freight cars and got to Baltimore just in the edge of the evenings. The boys rode into the city singing "Old John Brown." Pennsylvania, that part of it which we saw, is a splendid looking country but neither the people nor their buildings would remind one of New England, though they were all true Union blue, for from every hamlet and village, from every hovel and shanty could be seen waving flags, handkerchiefs and other tokens of good will. Perhaps the late rebel raid into Pennsylvania has refreshed their loyalty, but be that as it may, their devotion to the Union was manifest and thorough."  Hezron G. Day, Company C, Letter of October 28, 1862

We marched through Baltimore from depot to depot.... Baltimore looked dark and silent. There was only now and then a Union sympathizer to greet us, and at one place a big Union flag suspended across the street. ~ Hezron G. Day, Company C, Letter of October 29, 1862

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