Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

THE 7TH REGIMENT OF NEW YORK ATTACKING THE 8TH MASSACHUSETTS AT HANOVER

officer from the highest to the lowest United States army transport, Kilpatrank to handle large masses of men. rick, loafed up Buzzards Bay at a fiveThe increase of men under an officer's knot gait, felt her way up the Acushnet control tests his ability and quickly River and made fast to a pier at New shows the line at which he ceases to be Bedford, closely followed by the Purian effective commander.

tan and Pilgrim. The manoeuvres were largely devised The city had been all "agog" for two for the purpose of bringing officers face day, as well she might, as the scenes to face with conditions involving hand were such as any American city seldom ling of large bodies of men, and the sees and New Bedford considered herresults achieved indicate that certain self remarkably fortunate to be able to officers are qualified for advancement witness the spectacle. while some command as many men as All the afternoon the moving troops they will ever be capable of handling. filled the narrow streets, while bulky They were of especial value to the auto trucks of the quartermaster's deCommissary and Quartermaster's de- partment rumbled back and forth as partments. The test was a severe one they moved commissary supplies and but proved that, with an occasional ammunition to the front. Crowds exception, these departments were stood in gaping wonder at the commanded by efficient men.

strange and interesting sights, winAlthough the manoeuvres were from dows and roofs

crowded, the fourteenth to the twenty-first, every available place from which a many of the troops were on duty ten good sight of the soldier could be obto fourteen days. The ioth Cavalry tained was filled. Many had dreamed left Fort Ethen Allen, Vt., on the tenth, of such things but had never expected the District of Columbia troops left on to see them, at any rate not in the the eleventh, while Battery A, of Bos- staid old thoroughfare of their town. ton, and the New York troops, started Somehow, order gradually came out on the twelfth. It was not until Fri- of the chaos of boxes, stacked arms, day, the 13th, that the invading force cavalry horses and mixed companies on commenced to land at New Bedford. the water front and shortly after three On the afternoon of that day the o'clock the troops began to move in

were

[graphic]

THE CAPTURE OF THE BLUE SCOUTS BY THE RED AT MIDDLEBORO

!

land. The route of march led through the brought in, General Bliss suddenly northern end of the town and out into shifted his forces some ten miles East, the country, and finally, bit by bit, the sending his cavalry directly North to long line of infantry, cavalry and ar capture Middleboro.

The cavalry tillery was broken into segments and scouts ran into the point of the advance sent into various fields for {emporary guard of the 8th Regiment about a camps, and when the sun came up on mile North of Middleboro at eleven Saturday morning, General Bliss's Red o'clock and were fired upon. They did Army was ready for its advance on not realize at the time that the ComBoston. It also found General Pew mander-in-Chief of the Blue Army, Gov. and his Blue Army on its way to the Draper, was in the saddle within a short front and when night came its line of distance on his way to town, or, possidefence extended from Taunton to bly, they would have attempted to have Plymouth, over seventeen miles. On captured him. As is was, both parties the extreme left was the 9th infantry made a hasty retreat. The shuts, howthen the 8th and 5th, forming the ist ever, brought up the ist battalion of Brigade at Halifax; then came the the 8th Regiment, who entrenched on Provisional Brigade at Division head- Pratt's Hill, just out of the town, which quarters, including the ist and and they held until nearly one o'clock, when Corps of Cadets, Troop A, Batteries A, the roth U. S. Cavalry charged the hill, C and D at Robin Pond. The ist re-enforced by the New Jersev Cavalry Brigade, made up of the Coast Artillery and the Connecticut bicycle squad. It Corps, 2nd Regiment and 6th Regiment was almost history repeating itself. at Paper Mill Village, near Bridge. There was San Juan again, even to water, with Troops A and D at Scot- Richard Harding Davis, who arrived land.

just at the essential momenë and conSaturday night was one of the cold- tinued to be in the thick of all the est of the summer and the soldiers of battles during the entire week. bot: armies were too cold to sleep Of course, the battalion of the 8th much, but lay shivering all night, and was driven back, but they retired in were only too glad when reveille blew good order with small loss. at four o'clock.

At night the invading army had adOn Sunday the Brigade camps were vanced about seven miles. Its adspread out, each sending a battalion of

vance force was in possession of Midinfantry several miles South. The bat- dleboro and its main army was located talion, in turn, sent squads and com at Rock, about eight miles South of panies to patrol and reconoiterallroads. the city. General Bliss stated that he The 3rd battalion of the 8th Regiment, had suddenly changed his plans and under the command of Major Perry, advanced on the right flank because was advanced as far South as South General Pew had gone to the trouble Halifax.

of blowing up several bridges in the The movements of the invading Red path. Army on Sunday consisted of a simple As night closed in the drizzling rain advance and at night it cam ved South which had been coming down from of Lake Assawampsett and Long Pond. time to time during the day turned During the day miles of wire had been into a downpour and added to the dislaid in advance toward Taunton and comfort of the preceding nights of cavalry and bicycle scouts were sent chilly atmosphere. During the evenoff in that direction, giving every in- ing the streets and hotels of Middledication that General Bliss intended to boro were crowded with soldiers, sightstrike the Blue Army's right flank. seers and war correspondents, the

Waiting several hours the next morn latter really forming a third army; ing, apparently with the idea of giving every paper in Boston and New York General Pew an opportunity to act having from two to fifteen men repreupon the information which his scouts senting it. They were here, there and

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

everywhere, some went into battle in The next morning more than one automobiles, others in the saddle or a soldier repeated

soldier repeated Sherman's famous carriage and many others walked. aphorism as he pulled himself together Wet or dry, hot or cold, they were and fell into line at four o'clock, with a never absent, and even the soldiers north-easter, the worst for many a themselves realized before the week month, threatening to blow away the was out what the men with red and camp. Shortly after five the Red Army blue bands about their arms did in advanced with a screen of cavalry order that their friends at home might thrown out on its left. This cavalry hear of the manoeuvres. There was soon encountered a Blue force at "The no rowdyism or ill feeling between Green,” two miles north of Middlesoldiers and citizens. The natives of

The natives of boro, which finally fell back on the rise the district through which the soldiers outside of the little hamlet of Eddymarched extended cordial greetings. ville.

ville. Here for three hours Colonel Flags were displayed from nearly every Sweetzer's regiment, the 8th lay in farm house and both armies were the slanting drive of the rain and fired cheered all along their marches. The from behind solid stone walls and kind acts shown were too many to mossy headstones of the old gravemention. All night long the rain came yard on the hill, and held at bay the down in sheets. When the two armies entire strength of the Red Army. Just pitched their camps, green soldiers lay as the 8th was about to retreat before down to sleep in pools of water and the fierce attack of the 7th New York, sentries had hard work lifting their the Battery A machine guns got into feet in waterlogged shoes.

action. This required the Red Army to

hold up until its field artillery could be it was the advance of his main body, brought up and put the machine guns hold them until his real main force had out of business. After this there was got a good advance. It was a clever nothing to do but retreat in good order scheme and worked beautifully at first and at one o'clock the Red Army had and General Bliss in this way really an advance of eight miles to its credit. succeeded in getting around the Blue's

As night approached it found the left flank. men of both armies drenched to the The Red Army won most of the skirskin and facing a tough proposition. mishes during the morning and would Not a dry spot in or near the camps have won the battle of Halifax at noon was to be found and, in most cases, the but for the timely arrival of Colonel blankets, that the soldiers were to Thomas Talbot and the ist and 2nd throw over them, were as wet as was Corps of Cadets, which was just their clothing. The weather was cold enough of a re-enforcement to check and it was still raining in torrents. the advance, and at one o'clock, which However, the men were pretty well was the time hostilities ceased, each exhausted after the long march in the day, General Pew's army was holding rain with water-soaked coats on, Pup its own. tents and blankets rolled horse collar The Blue Army had been scattered about their necks and so slept in spite over twenty to thirty miles of defensive of the existing conditions. For two line owing to the uncertainty of where days and a night it had rained without the attack would be made,and on Wedlet up. All the roads had been con- nesday night few expected that Genverted into quagmires and the camp- eral Pew could rally his forces in time, ing places of the troops had become and the press of the country announced really unfit for the pasture of horses. in headlines that it was defeated and The men themselves were not only Boston, theoretically, was captured. wet and tired but they were bruised They did not know General Pew, nor and footsore and, in many cases, foresee the masterful way in which he actually suffered.

was to concentrate his forces. It took The Red Army camped between long and fast marches which astounded Plympton and North Carver and the the Red Army. Even the regular army outlook for General Pew was bad. It officers and the foreign attaches were seemed as though the Red Army had amazed when, on Thursday morning, got the jump on him, but he was they found the Blue Division Headcleverly concentrating his army with quarters at South Hanson, with its enout taking the press into his confidence. tire army massed about it.

On Wednesday morning the rain was For four days the Blue Army had still falling, but after a while the sun given way against the on-slaughtering came out, only to be followed by more of the enemy, and for four days they rain. Although the men from both had been credited with defeat. They sides had a bad night they appeared were not defeated; it was part of their contented even though they were still game to fall back until their army was wet to the skin.

ready. They were now realy and inThere were repeated skirmishes as stead of waiting to be attacked they the Reds advanced. General Bliss's made the advance. main body was marching directly At six o'clock in the morning the North over the road which leads from battle of Bryantville took place. As on Plympton to Bryantville, by way of previous days, General Bliss sent a Monponset Pond, while on a parallel force at the Blue Line while his main road he had a line of defence from army proceeded North. The ist and which a cavalry screen was thrown 2nd District of Columbia Infantry out. His idea was to engage the Blue turned into Bryantville with instrucArmy at every cross road with his de tions to hold their ground, if possible, fence, and under the impression that until eight o'clock, at which time the

« PreviousContinue »