Monday, October 10, 2016

Diary of Corporal Charles H. Lynch: June 27, 1865

Taps sounded later than usual last night. When the lights were put out we could not sleep for joy, as we were all so happy over the prospect of going home. I cannot write and do justice to those happy hours. Will remain with me as long as memory lasts. The hymns heard mostly last night were “Oh Happy Day” and “We are going home, to die no more.” Everybody can sing at this time if they never can again. Reveille sounded very early this morning, for the last time at Martinsburg. Broke camp very early this morning. In line, waiting for orders to march. This is a fine morning. We shall soon be homeward bound. When orders were given to march great excitement prevailed. Cheers and shouting as we marched along, on through the town. The waving of flags, handkerchiefs, and “Good-bye boys” from the towns-people. On reaching the depot it did not take us very long to board the train, a gay and happy crowd. I was soon on top of a car, where I enjoyed riding when the weather would permit. In this section we always rode in box cars. The train left about 7 A. M., with cheers and shouting to and from old Martinsburg friends. The train soon rounded a curve and that scene was closed forever. We knew this railroad and country, having been over it a number of times by rail, and marching through it, during our service in the Shenandoah Valley. About 10 A. M. we arrived at Harper's Ferry. Soon out of the cars and in line ready to march. Passed through Shenandoah Street. Entering an open lot, close in town, came to a halt, stacked arms. Must remain here until we are mustered out of the United States service. When we first entered Virginia, near three years ago, at Harper's Ferry, our first stopping place was this very same place, or lot, where we are now waiting to be mustered out. Late this afternoon we were mustered out. Expect to go on board of train tonight, homeward bound.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 156-7

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