Pennsylvania's Emergency Men

Pennsylvania's Emergency Men

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18, 1862: 2nd PA Emergency Militia (J. Witmer)

Read the previous day here.

This morning was quite an eventful one, in the movements of the militia, the men just now appear to understand where they are going. Some companies skedaddled Entire, and a great many straggled from others. the Colonel [Col. John Wright] told us that he wanted all to leave now, that intended to go, as he wished none to leave after they got into Maryland, so that our ranks began to look as much thinned as though we had encountered the enemy. About 2 o’clock P.M. we took the cars and after a very pleasant ride arrived at Hagerstown late in the afternoon. We were then marched out and formed into line in a very rocky lane west of the town, here we stacked arms, and were then ordered to march up to the railroad station and leave our knapsacks, which we did, and they were safely stowed away in the wood shed.

            I never understood this movement, unless it was feared that we would be called into action, or have forced marches to perform. We now got our little shelter-tents which we put up along a pale fence and after getting supper which consisted of crackers, coffee (the real genuine article, unadulterated) and a little fat pork we crawled into bed with as little concern as though the rebel pickets had not left the very place where we were only the Monday before. We likewise heard artillery firing nearly all day to day.

- John Witmer

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