Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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Civil War Diary of Charles H. Lynch

May 23, 2013

Civil War Diary of Charles H. Lynch, 18th Conn. Vol's.

May 23d. After an uneventful ride we arrived at Sandy Hook at four o’clock this morning, getting our first view of the Potomac River. Orders received to turn out and form in line for a march. The road was along the side of the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal, under the Maryland Heights. The march continued on over the iron railroad bridge crossing the Potomac River into Harper’s Ferry. Here we first put foot on what was called the sacred soil of Virginia. Harper’s Ferry was historical ground. Here John Brown started an insurrection to liberate the slaves. Our march through the town was by way of Shenandoah Street, then by file left into a large open lot in town. Here we prepared our breakfast. Later we were allowed to visit the town and the points of interest. The old brick fire-engine house, known as John Brown’s Fort was one of the points of interest. Saw where the bricks had been knocked out for port-holes to fire through. A government arsenal had been located here. Destroyed by the rebels, only the old walls remained standing. Some severe fighting had taken place in this side hill town. At 5 P. M. we left the town on the march for Winchester. After a march of eight miles camped for the night in woods. Not being strong, after my illness, I was obliged to fall out by the roadside. Lieutenant Merwin wished me to return to the hospital. I answered no, I would rather die in the field, I wanted to stay with the boys. The Lieutenant was very kind to me, he taking my knapsack and the boys my equipment. After a short rest and a bath in a brook I was able to follow on, finding the regiment in camp for the night near Charlestown.

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