Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, July 15, 1864

Remained in camp until 8 o'clock a. m. and then marched up Pennsylvania Avenue by the Treasury, White House and War Department, amidst a continuous ovation for fully three miles. Great respect was shown our Division, as it was known that it was its stubborn fighting at Monocacy that had saved Washington, and the sidewalks, windows, balconies, housetops, etc., were thronged with enthusiastic people. The business-like appearance of our regiment, its proud bearing, fine cadence and marching, its weather-beaten, tattered old battle flags all in strings from shot and shell, as well as the men's clothes, its splendid band, together with the evergreen sprig proudly worn by some of us, which always gains us recognition, captured the crowd, and the heartiness of our deserved ovation over all other regiments in line was very noticeable. It was a proud day for the plucky Tenth Vermont, never to be forgotten — even prouder than when showered with flowers on our return home at Burlington a year later — for we were the feature of the parade — real live heroic Green Mountain Boys, as true and valiant as was ever Ethan Allen. We had a right to be proud, for hadn't we proved to the world many times what Meade said to us at Spottsylvania and Sedgwick at the Wilderness, when some wag said to Meade at Spottsylvania when in rear of our regiment, as the lines were being hastily formed for assault on the enemy a stone's throw away, that he was in a dangerous place, and he replied, “I'm safe enough behind a Vermont regiment, anywhere?” We marched via Georgetown and Tennallytown to within a few miles of Offutt's crossroads and bivouacked. It is rumored that we are to join our corps at Poolesville. Probably we shall have to chase the enemy down the Shenandoah Valley again. As the Sixth Corps is the best marching, fighting and most reliable one in the army, I reckon Grant and Meade knew what they were about when they concluded to send it after Early. Now, if they will only send us Sheridan, we will lick the whole rebel army if they will set it on to us in detail, and finish up the war.*

*As General Sheridan was soon sent us, this prediction was as good as proven, but many a poor fellow bit the dust first.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 122-3

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