By September of 1861, it became apparent that this Rebellion was not going to be over in 30 days as some thought in the beginning. When Edward and I heard that a Union regiment made up of Eastern Shore boys was forming in Cambridge, we decided to go and join the "cause".
It might have been out of boredom, or a sense of duty or a sense of adventure, but before long we found ourselves in Union blues in General Lockwood's Brigade under the regimental command of Colonel James Wallace, a lawyer from Cambridge. Edward carried an Enfield rifle. I was lucky and got into the regimental band as a fifer. We were in "B" company from Dorchester County, but several other companies of men from Talbot, Wicomico, Somerset and Kent counties made up the rest of the regiment.
Now, the regiment was originally organized to help put down Confederate sympathizers in our home state of Maryland. Some of the boys were not too happy about the orders that were to take us into Delaware and Virginia.
We took a train from Delmar to Dover and wound up spending the night sleeping on the floor of the Statehouse. Well, some did. Many of us slept outside. That cold marble floor was a little too hard.
After a short stay in Dover, we shipped south to Accomac County on the eastern shore of Virginia, where southern empathy was running high. Fortunately the county sheriff, a man by the name of William Hope, was very anti-slavery and was a big help to us all.
It was while we were in Virginia that we got word that ole Bobbie Lee had crossed into Maryland and was on his way to Pennsylvania. Having not seen any real action, the regiment, was excited when Colonel Wallace told us we were going to join up with the "real" army, as some put it. The regiment had been ordered to Baltimore to combine with the rest of the brigade. Everyone was excited except 30 boys of Company K, who refused to fight outside of Maryland. They were disarmed at their camp at Cambridge and dishonorably discharged.
We soon found ourselves on boats bound for Baltimore and on June 26, about 500 of us became part of the Army Of The Potomac. We arrived in Gettysburg on July 2nd and placed in reserve. Little did we know the profound impact that this formerly quiet little place would have on our lives.
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