Sunday, August 19, 2012

On the March North

Tuesday, August 19, 1862

The Union Army struck camp at Harrison's Landing on Saturday, August 16 to pursue the Confederate Army, nearly two weeks after General George McClellan received orders from President Lincoln to strike camp. General Robert E. Lee ordered General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson north to draw fighting away from Richmond. The Union Army left Harrison's Landing at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday morning, marching about six miles to Charles City. On Sunday the Union soldiers endured an all-day march that covered sixteen miles, making night camp at the mouth of the Chickahominy River. On Monday the Army began their march this morning at 5:30 A.M., crossing the James River at Barrett's Ferry where they enjoyed a bath in the James River and marched another five miles for night camp. This morning the Army struck camp at 7:00 A.M. and marched through the colonial town of Williamsburg, resting briefly before resuming their march. They made camp by nightfall at Fort Magruder.1

1George A. Bruce, The Twentieth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861 - 1865 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1906), 142.

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