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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 109
of battle, when the enemy left, marching on. We camped at Brownsburg for the night. The distance marched was twenty-three miles, and we were glad to halt; we were tired, hungry and foot sore.
    June 11. At 5 a. m. we took up the line of march; defeated the rebel force occupying Lexington, and took possession of the town. The Fifty-fourth supported a battery, but suffered little loss; crossed the river and camped near Lexington. This town is a historic place, because Stonewall Jackson is buried there. There was a flag pole at the head of his grave, but there was no flag on it when we arrived. I suppose the Johnnies had taken it with them.
    June 12. A small supply train arrived.
    June 13. Laid in camp all day; nothing transpired to mar the pleasures of camp life.
    June 14. At 4:30 a. m. we broke camp and arrived at Buchanan at 6 p. m. We found the bridge burnt; crossed the river---the upper James---and went into camp for the night.
    June 15. Left Buchanan at 4:30 a. m.; crossed the Blue Ridge; had some skirmishing all day with our own company. William Helsel was wounded in the hand; crossed near the Peaks of Otter; it is said to be 4,500 feet above sea level; we camped about four miles from Liberty.
    June 16. On the tramp again; marched all day; nothing of any note happened, except we were very tired and were ready to lay down when the word “halt” was given. We went into camp near a branch of the Upper James river.
    June 17. Marched the greater part of the day along the Orange & Alexandria railroad; tearing it up and rolling it over the bank, and sometimes rapping a rail around a tree. When we were about five miles from Lynchburg we met the enemy and drove them into their fortifications, where they had concentrated in a large force and the fighting became general, when darkness overtook us and we laid in line of battle all night. Every now and then the enemy would let us know he was not sleeping, and we would return the compliment in the same way to let him know what he wakened us up out of a good night's sleep.
    June 18. Some time after daylight the morning call was sounded, a shot from one of the batteries opened the ball, and it was answered promptly, and you can bet the dance began; for two days the contest was waged with great fury. All this time the troops were without rations and were worn out with hard service. The strength of the regiment going into the fight was 420; the losses were; killed 11; wounded 37; slightly wounded 30, and missing 7, making a total of 85. While in front of the town (Lynchburg, Va.) we received orders to fall back at darkness; then at 8:30 o'clock p. m. we commenced our retreat actoss the mountain toward the Kanawha Valley in a


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Created: 17 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors