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

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thursday, June 18, 1863. We are the front line.

"June 18. On picket opposite the village. ... During the next two days events are being shaped behind the curtain, -we spectators seeing and hearing just enough to set curiosity and anxiety chafing the pickets as they leave camp are reminded of their responsibility; that we are in the front line, guarding not only our own camps, but those of the army of the Potomac, which is mostly in the rear of us."  ~ Lt. Edwin Palmer, 13th Regiment, The Second Brigade: or, Camp Life, By a Volunteer (1864)

"June 18. We are still acting an important part in the great drama. It can be said with truthfulness that the 14th is now in the front. The movements of Gen. Lee have compelled the army of the Potomac to fall back towards Washington. We became apprised of the fact on Sunday, the 14th. This being one of the principal routes to Fredericksburg, a part of the army passed here. ...  It took four days and nights for the column to pass. 

"The 1st Vermont Brigade passed on Tuesday, stopping here two hours for rest. We had a fine chance to give these heroes of many battles a hearty shake of the hand. The officers and men appeared to be in fine spirits, notwithstanding the forced march they had endured. The brigade halted at Fairfax Station until this morning, when they again moved on. 

"The 14th is now in a very exposed position. There was no picket line between ours and the Rappahannock, which now leaves us in front." ~ John C. Williams, Corporal, Co. B, 14th Regiment, Life in Camp 126-29 (1864)

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