November 1862

From the Army of the Potomac.
Scenes on the Return of Union Men-McClellan and Burnside-Devastations of the Army.

Warrenton, Va., Nov. 10

We have advanced into Virginia as far as this place-too slow, doubtless, as it appears to the country, but faster than supplies could be transported without railroad facilities.

London county, through which we have passed, is much favored in its scenery, and is better cultivated than most of northern Virginia, and what is remarkable for this recreant, wretched State, some of its inhabitants are genuine Union men who generally are either of German descent of Quakers. I-witnessed the almost sacred scene of the return of one of these to his family after an absence of some weeks in Maryland, where so many fled from the conscription while the rebels held possession of this district. what glad tears were shed, and what a tender kiss pressed the face of the little sleeper, all unconscious in its cradle of the tramp of successive armies, and the blasting sorrows of horrid war.

To-day, General McClellan has taken leave of the army, receiving their farewell cheers as he rode before them. during the Mexican war, when Gen. Scott was called home to appear before a curt of inquiry, he would not permit the like. "No demonstrations; it will set you against the government." but the chief who could conquer the enemy, was not able wholly to repress in his men the manifestation enthusiastic devotion to their injured leader.

One cannot help asking, what is gained by removing McClellan and putting in his place his well trusted counselor and friend-his other self. That such have been their personal relations, will not be questioned. I think by any person who has seen them together, and observed their manner towards each other. The familiar "Mac." with which the senior in years addressed his first in command, could hardly mean less than this.

But it is to be borne in mind that it is a diversity of traits that cements our friendships. it may be that McClellan and Burnside agree so well precisely because they are not entirely alike. there is much evidence that Burnside is free from McClellan's fatal fault-inaction. It is said that while the latter would not move of himself, and could hardly be pushed forward by the Federal Executive, except by his favorite Peninsular route, the former says, "we must strike now or never."- And you read the same in that large muscular form so evidently charged with energy throughout. To look at him, one would think that he would need to slay some Goliath before breakfast for exercise.

We have not been able to transport the immense supplies which the army requires fast enough, and have been for several days almost without bread. The soldiers have supplied themselves somewhat from the stores of the inhabitants which in this vicinity were quite reduced by the rebel army before us. such a necessity is to be regretted as destroying the discipline of the army, and also bearing hard on persons comparatively innocent and inoffensive.

I am acquainted with the case of a poor man, more than eighty years old who served in the war of 1812, and had received a pension until the rebellion, and had never voted for secession, whose small corn field, and garden, and hen roost were pillage, leaving nothing for himself and daughter to subsist on during the winter.

I will give another instance somewhat different from this. A strong Union man in Burkesville, Md., who is a small mechanic, and is quite advanced in years, had cleared a few acres on the mountain near, where, as he expressed it he might "scratch a living," when his eyes should fail. Gen Franklin's men encamped on his land and appropriated his wheat corn and clover. they used, as is customary, his fence for fuel, and as they were without tents, cut his chestnut trees to more shelter for themselves. this man is obliged to sell one of his hogs to enable him to bury corn to fatten the rest. His fences are gone and he has no timber with which to replace them. He is without seed for another  year, or protection for crops. Gen. Franklin's corps left before he made application for a receipt for damages, and it was not in the power of the officers of any other corps to make compensation.

It is an easy matter to talk flippantly or bitterly about guarding rebel property, but the subject has many aspects, and is embarrassed by many difficulties. We would gladly have the monotony of the soldier's fare varied by some luxuries form the table of the well-to -do secessionist, but any army would abuse the license to help themselves " in a manner which would occasion unnecessary suffering to the poor, and be fatal to military discipline. All such supplies should , as far as possible, be secured through the agency of the quartermaster. Our supplies failing to reach us here, the Quartermasters in out brigade took possession of a mill and of some corn and set the miller at work allowing him one bushel in eight for grinding his own grain. If he proves his loyalty, of which there is small probability he will be paid by the Government.

From the 6th Regiment
Camp near Fayetteville, Va. Nov. 14, '62

Editors Republic:- Your readers are aware that the army of the Potomac had been moving down into Virginia again. Gen. Doubleday's division crossed the Potomac on the 80th of October at Berlin, and took up the line on march toward Warrenton where we arrived on the evening of the 6th inst.

Wherever we go in Virginia we find that the hand of the spoiler has preceded us; a country which was once beautiful and productive, sadly exhibits war's blighting sting. fields once luxuriant and fertile, are covered with weeds and grass, stripped of the last vestige of a fence and reduced to a wild and gloomy heath.

The more the army marched over this unfortunate rebel state; the more heartless it becomes and the less sympathy it has for the disloyal and deceitful inhabitants. the soldiers have no genuine respect for the property of people who have repeatedly shown a most inveterate hostility toward the government and its supporters. A rebel pig or sheep is almost certain to feel a Yankee's knife-all orders to the contrary notwithstanding, and property of every description which can be of benefit to the soldiers is converted to his use without much hesitation. Such is the punishment to a disloyal people and such is the unmistakable evidence of our increasing enmity as the war continues. the intensity of their hatred on the other hand leads the mind to almost doubt sometimes shrink from the idea of ever being united to them in the future.

But here we are down near the Rappahannock once more where we are well acquainted. We were through here last August pursuing what is know as Pope's line of retreat. but Pope was defeated partly through his own imbecility, and partly perhaps through the jealousy of some military contemporary. this is no time however to review past grievances; the question with the soldier is what next is to be done. It is getting late and he asks to be used speedily for some purpose. Autumn is upon us--the falling leaves and moaning winds declare his reign, and the keen atmosphere and biting frost speak his severity.

"He comes! he comes! in every breeze the power
Of philosophic Melancholy comes!"

Summer has departed! Williamsburg, Malvern hill, Bull-run, south Mountain and Antietam are buried in the past, and are matters of history only. Our early victories have been scattered to the winds and  are already on the dark verge of oblivion. Our army today is in a shattered state of mind. After fighting a year without signal success, they still find themselves with out a commander who has proven himself capable of leading them to the achievement of results. It cannot be expected that Gen. Burnside can grasp suddenly that confidence of the army which a commander ought to possess, but I believe that the army as a general thing, knowing him to be a good general and brave man, are ready and willing to try him, and pray earnestly that something may be done and that quickly. the idea of remaining in service another winter, is to say the least unpleasant and receives no favor with the soldiers.

A stormy day comes, and he has but a shelter tent for protection. then it is that you can read in his dejected countenance the melancholy reflection. The farmer longs once more to feed his herds of sheep and cattle-talks of his smug cottage home and cheerful fireside while the student expresses his eagerness to ply his mind again to his favorite studies. these are brave men who fight for their country, and it will be a happy day to them when peace spreads her genial wings over the distracted land.

Yours truly.

H. J. H.

Clinton, Nov. 24th, 1862
Messrs Editors: The following few items may be of interest to those having friends in the Beloit company in the 6th regiment.

The deaths in the company up to this time, as far as I know are as follows:
Knud J. Dahlg died March 17th, 1862, in the brigade hospital at Arlington Heights is buried there. Jabez A. Hyatt-killed at battle of Gainesville, August 28th; Mathew Haley, do; William Bedford, do. John H. Cowen-killed at Antietam, Sept. 17th; frank Green, do. D. Clinton Burbanks died of wounds received at the battle of South Mountain, Sept 14th. Ole Wilson died at Harewood hospital in Washington, about the 28th of September; he had been sick about three weeks. Joseph M. Moore has died of wounds received at Antietam. Smith Young and Hiram Whitaker, having been detached to battery B, 4th U.S. Artillery, are reported to have been killed at Antietam. Henry S. Purfield was detached to Western-gunboat service, and was known at one time to have been on board the Mound City; whether he was lost or not when she blew up, is not known, but it is supposed he was.
One of Co. G is reported to have died, in an ambulance, near Centreville the night after the battle of Gainesville. it was supposed that this was Collins Mann, of Harrison, Ill, as he was wounded there; but I have never heard definitely, I presume, however, that his relatives know whether he is alive or not.
Those who were wounded at Gainesville, the 28th of August, were:
L. L. Medbury, Charles Guivitts-since discharged, M. H. Kinsey, Thos. O'Maley, Andrew Allen, Collins Mann-reported dead, Moses Odell-slightly.
those wounded in Maryland on the 14th and 17th of September were:
Joseph M. Moore-since died, Michael Ball, John Gonner, John w. Frodine, John Miller, John O'Leary , John McMahon-slightly, John Lane, James F. J. Davis, Daniel F. Lumbard, Thos, Smith, Henry Brady, Ellis Rachel-slightly, D. C. Burbanks, since died.

None except those marked "slightly" had returned to the regiment up to Nov.1st; but as far as I could learn were all doing well.
Alonzo Weller and W. P. force have been sick a long time. They were in a hospital in Philadelphia Geo. M. Keyt has been sick nearly two months in Harewood hospital in Washington.
These who have been discharged from the service on account of sickness and disability were:
Peter Tafferty, in November, 1861; Asher Lane and O. West, December 16th, 1861; Martin ripple, January 1st, 1862; S. g. Bayer and A. M. Southworth, in March, 1862; Henry L. Beemon, Henry F. Paine, Henry C. Powers and Alonzo Killum in April, 1862; L. B. Raymond, Nov. 4th and Charles H. Guivtts, Nov. 5th 1862.

Those who have deserted are Geo. w. Bly, in October, 1861; James Confier, in August, 1862, and Arthur Moffatt and william a. fuller, in September, 1862.
There are others who have been published as deserters, but they have either been apprehended or returned to duty. It is unnecessary to give their names.
Randolph O Wright and B. Parkerson were reported Nov, 1st as missing since the battle of Antietam. they were supposed to have been taken prisoners.

John N. Bingham, taken prisoner at Catlett's Station, Aug. 22d returned from Richmond the latter part of September.
Several are on service detached from the regiment. W. c. Gardner, John H. Fillmore and Burton Miller, in Battery B, 4th U. S. Art., besides Young and Whittaker, previously mentioned
James Avery in Engineer and construction corp. Barnard Chrisler at Farirfax Seminary Hospital. Purfield already spoken of as on gunboat service and A. Webb and Daniel Briggs in Hospital at Smoketon Md. Michael Ball and Arva O. Austin Have been transferred to the regular army.
Lts. Hiram H. Carpenter and Jas. L. converse have been promoted from the ranks to their present positions in the company. Geo. W. reed was commissioned in the 17th Wis. regiment.
the actual loss of the company then is Known to be dead 9, discharged 12, deserted 4, transferred 2, commissioned 3, total 30.
Besides there are absent from the regiment: wounded and in hospital 13, sick in hospital 3, on detached service 7, missing 2, supposed to be dead 4, total 29, making 69.

In this enumeration, I have not included four that are on service detached from the Company but not from the regiment, and two that have been published as deserters, but have been apprehended and will probably be returned to duty.
The company was sworn into the United States service with 92 men. 75 taken from this number leaves only 17. But there have been three recruits and I do not know but one or two lately. In all probability some of those mentioned above as wounded sick or missing are now with the company. I presume 25 is not far from the number with the company and fit for duty.

The above was the condition of the company the 1st inst., as far as I could learn from seeing the muster roll. Any other information concerning the boys that I can impart is at the service of their friends.
L. b. Raymond