Friday, July 22, 2016

Major Wilder Dwight: Monday, March 24, 1862

winchester, Virginia (again), March 24, Monday.

I've only a minute in which to send you greeting. Again are we hurried by a forced march, over rough roads, to see the dregs and debris of a battle, — heaps of wounded, dying, and dead. Well, again fortune is against us. We left here on Saturday morning for Centreville. The bridge across the Shenandoah broke, and luckily delayed us. Back we were ordered at midnight of last night. An angry, bitter, well-fought fight followed, yesterday afternoon, upon an artillery duel which had occupied nearly all day. So little did any one know it was coming, that General Banks went up to Harper's Ferry at three, P. M., and the sharp fight commenced at four! The battle-ground was that on which my pickets had been posted until we left town. It seems to have been an exhibition of dogged courage by unruled and undisciplined soldiers.

So we go The lees and flatness of the sparkling goblet of victory are all that we taste. Jackson and Ashby are clever men. We are slow-w-w!

SOURCE: Elizabeth Amelia Dwight, Editor, Life and Letters of Wilder Dwight: Lieut.-Col. Second Mass. Inf. Vols., p. 215-6

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