Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Sunday, July 10, 1864

Oh! I'm so tired and used up I can hardly write; have been marching all day on the pike, and my feet are badly blistered, besides being so lame, sore and stiff from my wound I can hardly move without groaning and crying out with pain after being still a little while. We arrived at Ellicott's Mills, Md., about 4 o'clock p. m. where we remained about two hours and took the cars for the Relay House. The Sixty-seventh Pennsylvania is with us. The balance of the division is yet at the mills. Stragglers still continue to pour in. Our regiment was never before in such disorder, i. e. so many stragglers. The tension was so great though, having held the enemy all day with such an attenuated line, that when it did collapse, being nearly surrounded, it was every man for himself in order to keep from being captured. The stragglers report the enemy's cavalry close after them all along the retreat in order to pick up prisoners. We arrived at the Relay House at sundown with only about ninety men. But the regiment fought valiantly yesterday up to the last moment when we were obliged to fall back in disorder or be made prisoners of war, and anybody could have played checkers on my coat-tail, I know, if they could have kept up, for Libby Prison had terrors for me, and I have always looked upon it as being a disgrace to be taken prisoner by the enemy; but in this I am wrong — still it would hurt my pride to be captured. We found no troops but a regiment of hundred days' men here, and they were greatly frightened. We are camped a short distance in rear of the hotel on a side hill in the woods.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 118-9

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