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owing, it is supposed, to the treachery of the captain, whom they put in irons and wanted to hang. I regret to say that they did not do it. During the greater portion of that forenoon we were occupied in trying to get the Maryland off the sand-bar on which she was grounded. From our decks we could see the men in file trying to rock her, so as to facilitate our tugging. These men were without water and without food, were well-conducted and uncomplaining, and behaved in all respects like heroes. They were under the command of Colonel Butler, and I regret that that gentleman did not care more for the comforts of .men whose subsequent pluck proved that nothing was too good for them.
On the afternoon of the 22d we landed at the Annapolis dock, after having spent hours in trying to relieve the Maryland. For the first time in his life your correspondent was put to work to roll flour-barrels. He was entrusted with the honorable and onerous duty of transporting stores from the steamer to the dock. Later still he descended to the position of mess servant, when, in company with gentlemen well known in Broadway for immaculate kids, he had the honor of attending on his company with buckets of cooked meat and crackers—the only difference between him and Co. and the ordinary waiter being, that the former were civil.
We were quartered in the, buildings belonging to the Naval School at Annapolis. I had a bunking-place in what is there called a fort, which is a rickety structure that a lucifer match would set on fire, but furnished with imposing guns. I suppose it was merely built to practice the cadets, because as a defence it is worthless. The same evening boats were sent off from the yard, and towards nightfall the Massachusetts men landed, fagged, hungry, thirsty, but indomitable.
The two days that we remained at Annapolis were welcome. We had been without a fair night's sleep since we left New York, and even the hard quarters we had there were a luxury compared to the dirty decks of the Boston. Besides, there were natural attractions. The grounds are very prettily laid out, and in the course of my experience I never saw a handsomer or better bred set of young men than the cadets. Twenty had left the school owing to political convictions. The remainder are sound Union fellows, eager to prove their devotion to the flagAfter spending a delightful time in the Navy School, resting and amusing ourselves, bur repose was disturbed at 9 P. M., April 23, by rockets being thrown up in the bay. The men were scattered all over the grounds; some in bed, others walking or smoking, all more or less undressed. The rockets being of a suspicious character, it was conjectured that a Southern fleet was outside, and our drummer beat the rollcall to arms. From the stroke of the drum until the time that every man, fully equipped and in fighting order, was in the ranks, was exactly, by watch, seven minutes. The alarm, however, proved to be false, the vessels in the offing proving to be laden with the Seventy-first and other New York regiments; so that, after an unpremeditated trial of our readiness for action, we were permitted to retire to our couches, which means, permit me to say, a blanket on the floor, with a military overcoat over you, and a nasal concert all around you, that, in noise and number, outvies Mnsard's concerts monstres.
On the morning of the 24th of April we started on what afterwards proved to be one of the hardest marches on record. The secessionists of Annapolis and the surrounding districts had threatened to cut us off in our march, and even went so far as to say that they would attack our quarters. The dawn saw us up. Knapsacks, with our blankets and overcoats strapped on them, were piled on the green. A brief and insufficient breakfast was taken, our canteens filled with vinegar and water, cartridges distributed to each man, and after mustering and loading, we started on our first march through a hostile country.
General Scott has stated, as I have been informed, that the march that we performed from Annapolis to .the Junction is one of the most remarkable on record. I know that I felt it the most fatiguing, and some of our officers have told me that it was the most perilous. We marched the first eight miles under a burning sun, in heavy marching order, in less than three hours; and it is well known that, placing all elementary considerations out of the way, marching on a railroad track is the most harassing. We started at about 8 o'clock, A. M., and for the first time saw the town of Annapolis, which, without any disrespect to that place, I may say looked very much as if some celestial schoolboy, with a box of toys under his arm, had dropped a few houses and men as he was going hom'e from school, and that the accidental settlement was called Annapolis. Through the town we marched, the people unsympathizing, but afraid. They saw the Seventh for the first time, and for the first time they realized the men that they had threatened.
The tracks had been torn up between Annapolis and the Junction, and here it was that the wonderful qualities of the Massachusetts Eighth regiment came out. The locomotives had been taken to pieces by the inhabitants, in order to prevent our travel. In steps a Massachusetts volunteer, looks at the piece-meal engine, takes up a flange, and says coolly, "I made this engine, and I can put it together again." Engineers were wanted when the engine was ready. Nineteen stepped out of the ranks. The rails were torn up. Practical railroad makers out of the regiment laid them again, and all this, mind you, without care or food. These brave boys, I say, were starving while they were doing this good work. As we marched along the track that they had laid, 1 hey greeted us with ranks of smiling but hungry faces. One boy told me, with a laugh on his young lips, that he had not eaten anything for thirty hours. There was not, thank God, a haversack in our regiment that was not emptied into the hands of these ill-treated heroes, nor a flask that was not at their disposal.
Our march lay through an arid, sandy, tobacco-growing country. The sun poured on our heads like hot lava. The Sixth and Second companies were sent on for skirmishing duty, under the command of Captains Clarke and Nevers, the latter commanding as senior officer. A car, on which was placed a howitzer, loaded with grape and canister, headed the column, manned by the engineer and artillery corps, commanded by Lieutenant Bunting. This was the rallying point of the skirmishing party, on which, in case of difficulty, they could fall back. In the centre of the column came the cars, laden with medical stores, and bearing our sick and wounded, while the extreme rear was brought up with a second howitzer, loaded also with grape and canister. The engineer corps, of course, had to do the forwarding work. New York dandies, sir—but they built bridges, laid rails, and headed the regiment through. After marching about eight miles, during which time several men caved in from exhaustion, and one young gentleman was sunstruck, and sent back to New York, we halted, and instantly, with the divine instinct which characterizes the hungry soldier, proceeded to forage. The worst of it was, there was no foraging to be done. The only house within reach was inhabited by a lethargic person, who, like most Southern men, had no idea of gaining money by labor. We offered him extravagant prices to get us fresh water, and it was with the utmost reluctance that we could get him to obtain us a few pailfuls. Over the mantel-piece of his miserable shanty I saw—a curious coincidence—the portrait of Colonel Duryea, of our regiment.
After a brief rest of about an hour, we again commenced our march; a march which lasted until the next morning—a march than which in history, nothing but those marches in which defeated troops have fled from the enemy, can equal. Our Colonel, seems, determined to march by railroad, in preference to the common road, inasmuch as he had obtained such secret information as led him to suppose that we were waited for on the latter route. Events justified his judgment. There were cavalry troops posted in defiles to cut us off. They could not have done it, of course, but they could have harassed us severely. As we went along the railroad we threw out skirmishing parties from the Second and Sixth companies, to keep the road clear. I know not if I can describe that night's march. I have dim recollections of deep cuts through which we passed, gloomy and treacherous-looking, with the moon shining full on our muskets, while the banks were wrapped in shade, and each moment expecting to see the flash and hear the crack of the rifle of the Southern guerilla. The tree frogs and lizards made a mournful music as we passed. The soil on which we travelled was soft and heavy. The sleepers, lying at intervals across the track, made the march terribly fatiguing. On all sides dark, lonely pine woods stretched away, and high over the hooting of owls, or the plaintive petition of the whip-poor-will, rose the bass commands of "Halt! Forward, march I"—and when we came to any ticklish spot, the word would run from the head of the column along the lines, "Holes," "Bridge—pass it along," &c.
As the night wore on, the monotony of the march became oppressive. Owing to our having to explore every inch of the way, we did not make more than a mile or a mile and a half an hour. We ran out of stimulants, and almost out of water. Most of us had not slept for four nights, and as the night advanced our march was almost a stagger. This was not so much fatigue as want of excitement. Our fellows were spoiling for a tight, and when a dropping shot was heard in the distance, it was wonderful to see how the languid legs straightened, and the column braced itself for action. If we had had even the smallest kind of a skirmish, the men would have been able to walk to Washington. As it was, we went sleepily on. I myself fell asleep, walking in the ranks. Numbers, I find, followed my example ; but never before was there shown such indomitable pluck and perseverance as the Seventh showed in that march of twenty miles. The country that we passed through seemed to have been entirely deserted. The inhabitants, who were going to kill us when they thought we daren't come through, now vamosed their respective ranches, and we saw them not. Houses were empty. The population retired into the interior, burying their money, and carrying their families along with them. They, it seems, were under the impression that we came to ravage and pillage, and they fled, as the Gauls must have fled, when Attila and his Huns came down on them from the North. As we did at Annapolis, we did in Maryland State. We left an impression that cannot be forgotten. Everything was paid for. No discourtesy was offered to any inhabitant, and the sobriety of the regiment should be an example to others. Nothing could have been more effective or energetic than the movements of the Engineer Corps, to whom we were indebted for the rebuilding of a bridge in an incredibly short space of time.
The secret of this forced march, as well as our unexpected descent on Annapolis, was the result of Colonel Lefferts' judgment, which has since been sustained by events. Finding that the line along the Poto* mac was closed, and the route to Washington, by Baltimore, equally impracticable, he came to the conclusion that Annapolis, commanding, as it did, the route to the Capital, must of necessity be made the basis of military operations. It was important to the government to have a free channel through which to transport troops, and this post presented the readiest means. The fact that since then all the Northern troops have passed through the line that we thus opened, is a sufficient comment on the admirable judgment that decided on the movement. It secured the integrity of the regiment, and saved lives, the loss of which would have plunged New York into mourning. Too much importance cannot be attached to this strategy. To it the Seventh regiment is indebted for being here at present, intact and sound.
On Thursday, April 24, this regiment reached Washington, having taken the cars at the junction. They were followed directly by their noble comrades of the march, the Massachusetts Eighth, and immediately moved into quarters.
While the troops under Butler and Lefferts were lying at Annapolis, great anxiety was felt regarding them «at Washington. The lamented Lander was then at the capital, pleading for the privilege of raising a regiment for the defence of the government, but, for somo inexplicable cause, General Scott had not yet accepted his services. With Baltimore in open revolt, and Annapolis doubtful in its loyalty, this anxiety about the troops become so urgent, that Lander was sent forward to Annapolis, with general directions to aid the troops with all his ability, and to direct Colonel Butler not to land his men until the kindly feeling of the citizens of Annapolis was ascertained.
Lander started on the mission, as he undertook everything, with heart and soul. He rode from Washington to Annapolis on horseback, without stopping for darkness, or any other cause save the necessary care of his horse, and reached Annapolis an hour after the troops had landed. Bringing his experience, as a frontiersman, who had seen hard service against hostile Indians on the plains, to bear on the position, Lander gave Colonel Butler such aid and advice as assisted greatly in bringing the soldiers forward with less danger and suffering than might otherwise have arisen during their march to the junction.
• The attack by an armed mob upon the Massachusetts regiment had called the attention of the entire country to the State of Maryland, and her future course was the subject of deep feeling. Indirectly, Washington was, of course, menaced by her movements, and it became a matter of vital importance that she should be retained in the Union and