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As we learned in the Last Issue of YANKEE SCOUT – Fredericksburg!!
– the Union Army is now reeling with the implications o...
In response, a grateful General Burnside -- unaware of the level of Lincoln’s understatement -- wrote back:
"Headquarters ...
Mud Campaign
“The Regiment moved up the river some two miles of more after dark, and camped close to the bank in a grove
o...
“The Army was stuck in the mud. It was the 22nd
or 23rd
of January, 1863. We were out of grub, had no hot
coffee since lea...
Back to Camp
“ We got orders to return to camp on the shortes route we could fine – we went through woods, across
fields w...
R. K. Sneden “The Mud March, map shewing movement on Banks’ Ford, January 19th
, [sic] 1863
by Hooker, Franklin and Sumner...
“Most of us sat around a big fire all night.”
Winslow Homer – “Winter Quarters in Camp – the Inside of a Hut,” -- Harper’s...
Neal Dow went on to become a General in the Union Army, and served with great distinction.
Neal Dow had inaugurated a temp...
“The next day we got the camp in good shape to sleep in, and the cracker line got to [working] smoothly. Then
bakers were ...
“Some way [since Fredericksburg ] the men seems to have lost something came out different: no joking or
rollocking fun as ...
“And there is music in Washington D.C. where Gen’l Burnside is trying to lay the blame on someone else.”
“There is music i...
IN FACT, General Burnside did not even lead his famous Mud March ! At the time, he was pre-occupied with
an all-out effort...
[P. 82] Burnside Out Hooker In
“Gen’l [W.B.] Franklin removed from command of
Corps. [W.F.]Smith [removed] from the Divisi...
“On the last day of Jan’y we moved camp to the left and near Bell Plains -- was told to build winter quarters.
“A engineer...
Maj. Gen’l Joe Hooker ( after Brady )
[The Light Division ]
“On parade one evening by Gen’l Orders we was informed that th...
After 150 years of Civil War history, the Union Army’s Light Division must be, to
date, the best kept secret of the Great ...
Getting Acquainted with
Gen’l John Sedgewick
“The left Co’s of the regiment was on picket. It was the second day of
the st...
“By the way,” said the horseman. “I hear you have a new commander to the corps, old John Sedgewick they call
him. Do any o...
“The horseman had finished eating. Dan offered him a pipe -- he shook his head. I held out half of a plug of
horseshoe [to...
Here follow in the MS vignettes in which Pvt. Drew mentions his encounters with a few Negroes serving in the
Union Army. B...
“The Colonel got a young nigrow for a horsler: he was a scrapper and tried to boss the whole Reg’t – so awful
saucy he did...
“The first part of April there was a report that the rebels was building earthworks on the south side of the
Potomac withi...
“While I was gone the Army was reviewed by the President, his son, [Tad ] the Secretary of War; also
Congressman Pike from...
“Spring was coming on. The 6th
was in fine shape. The return of the sick and wounded and the new recruits put
us well up i...
YANKEE SCOUT --  MUD CAMPAIGN !!
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YANKEE SCOUT -- MUD CAMPAIGN !!

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As we learned in the Last Issue of YANKEE SCOUT – Fredericksburg!! – the Union Army is now reeling with the implications of a military,strategic and moral catastrophe precipitated by growing awareness of the grim news, of it’s unprecedented battlefield losses incurred before Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 12, 1862 – a scene of carnage that was already being dubbed “the Slaughter Pen” by the men, even as it was occurring.
United States Army forces commanded by Gen. Ambrose Burnside, saw a staggering level of losses: Pvt. Drew will peg
the Yankee killed under Gen. Burnside at 12,172 -- men uselessly sacrificed at the Battle of Fredericksburg: for not a single square inch of rebel-held territory has been taken, and Burnside has finally been forced to retreat again, north across the Rappahannock.
Meanwhile, the loss to Gen. Lee’s rebel Army of Virginia Drew reckons on the order of 5, 377. Up to this point in the Civil War, only casualties on the battlefield at Antietam, the preceding September, can compare with these new numbers of Yankee lives extinguished. Gen. Burnside, too, has seen better days. After removing Gen. McClellan (again) President Lincoln
had offered Burnside command of the Army of the Potomac in
recognition of his signal victories at Roanoke Island and New Bern, early in the war. …
Now however, after Fredericksburg, the winds of destiny seem to have shifted against Gen. Burnside ….

The ignominy now to be achieved through his pointless "MUD CAMPAIGN" will now finish his command of the Army of the Potomac, and President Lincoln will hand the Army to Hooker, placing GEN. JOHN SEDGWICK in command of the 6th Corps.

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YANKEE SCOUT -- MUD CAMPAIGN !!

  1. 1. As we learned in the Last Issue of YANKEE SCOUT – Fredericksburg!! – the Union Army is now reeling with the implications of a military, strategic and moral catastrophe precipitated by growing awareness of the grim news, of it’s unprecedented battlefield losses incurred before Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 12, 1862 – a scene of carnage that was already being dubbed “the Slaughter Pen” by the men, even as it was occurring. United States Army forces commanded by Gen. Ambrose Burnside, saw a staggering level of losses: Pvt. Drew will peg the Yankee killed under Gen. Burnside at 12,172 -- men uselessly sacrificed at the Battle of Fredericksburg: for not a single square inch of rebel-held territory has been taken, and Burnside has finally been forced to retreat again, north across the Rappahannock. Meanwhile, the loss to Gen. Lee’s rebel Army of Virginia Drew reckons on the order of 5, 377. Up to this point in the Civil War, only casualties on the battlefield at Antietam, the preceding September, can compare with these new numbers of Yankee lives extinguished. Gen. Burnside, too, has seen better days. After removing Gen. McClellan (again) President Lincoln had offered Burnside command of the Army of the Potomac in recognition of his signal victories at Roanoke Island and New Bern, early in the war. … Now however, after Fredericksburg, the winds of destiny seem to have shifted against Gen. Burnside …. Following the debacle, Lincoln sent this message of commendation to the Union troops – being careful to reign in his inclination for rhetorical flourish. The terse result reads like retrained effort at morale-building… voiced through clenched teeth. In it, Lincoln attributes the disaster to nothing “other than an accident:” Executive Mansion, Washington December 22, 1862. To the Army of the Potomac: I have just read your commanding general's report of the battle of Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful, the attempt was not an error, nor the failure other than accident. The courage with which you, in an open field, maintained the contest against an intrenched foe, and the consummate skill and success with which you crossed and recrossed the river, in the face of the enemy, show that you possess all the qualities of a great army, which will yet give victory to the cause of the country and of popular government. Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympathizing with the severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is comparatively so small. I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation, A. Lincoln."
  2. 2. In response, a grateful General Burnside -- unaware of the level of Lincoln’s understatement -- wrote back: "Headquarters Army of the Potomac, December 26, 1862. Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington: I have the honor to acknowledge your kind letter of the 23d, together with the late order of the President. In the name of the Army of the Potomac, I beg leave to thank the President for his kind expressions of approbation and confidence in us. This assurance of support and appreciation by the Government of their labors is a source of great strength to the officers and men, and we hope, by our constant and unwearied efforts to sustain the cause for which we are laboring, ever to merit the esteem and confidence of the American people. The address will be published to all the troops, accompanied by a general order, a copy of which will be duly transmitted to you. I have the honor, &c., A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding." Gen. Burnside, however, meanwhile was already preparing his next disastrous move: an attack on Lee’s forces at a ford seven miles below Fredericksburg. Thus, also on Dec. 26th – without telling Lincoln -- he ordered the Army to be ready for this move, on twelve hours’ notice, and sent the cavalry out immediately. At the same time, however, two of his generals – Gens. John Newton and John Cochrane -- alarmed at the incompetence of this campaign, made their way to President Lincoln, obtained an interview, and warned him of the danger. Thus, also on Dec. 26, Lincoln telegrammed Burnside: “I have good reason for saying, that you must not make a general movement without first letting me know if it.” Burnside countermanded the order and left for Washington. He was checked, but determined. Thus, shortly after the New Year, Burnside again suggested to Lincoln that he could succeed at “another crossing of the river” Rappahannock – this time to be attempted upriver from Fredericksburg, at crossings called Banks Ford and U.S. Ford: a plan for which he had already making engineering and artillery preparations: “Since my return to the Army I have become more than ever convinced that the General Officers of this command are almost unanimously opposed to another crossing of the river; but I am still of the opinion that the crossing should be attempted, & I have accordingly issued orders to the Engineers and Artilery to prepare for it. There is much hazzard in it as there always is in the majority of Military Movements, and I cannot begin the movement without giving you notice of it, particularly as I know so little of the effect that it may have upon other movements of distant armies. ***In order to relieve you from all embarrassment in my case, I enclose with this my resignation of my commission of Major General of Volunteers which you can have accepted, if my movement is not in accord with the views of yourself, and your military advisers. *** [I]t was necessary as I learn from Genl Halleck for you to approve of my general plan written at Warrenton, before I could commence the movement, and I think it quite as necessary that you should know of the important movement I am about to make---particularly as it will have to be made in opposition to the views of nearly all my General Officers, & after the receipt of a dispatch from you informing me of the opinion of some of them who had visited you.” This “important movement” which Burnside announced to Lincoln he was about to make, even in the face of opposition to the views “of nearly all my General Officers” was none other than …
  3. 3. Mud Campaign “The Regiment moved up the river some two miles of more after dark, and camped close to the bank in a grove of small thick timber and brush – with no fires. “I went on picket out on the bank of the river. The Johnneys let me know they were at home – we agreed to terms of suspension of hostilities for 24 hours for the sake of commerce and traded our coffee for tobacco and traded old newspapers – had a good visit until it got so dark we couldn’t see each other.” Oertel – “Meeting of Union and Rebel Pickets in the Rappahannock” -- Harper’s Weekly, February 7, 1863 “It had been getting warmer since noon, the wind from the south, and the rebel on the other side of the river said “Mr. Yank -- your move is over a big rainstorm is commencing and where your’n is camping will mire a duck before it is done.” “When the 12 o’cl relief came on it was raining like – like – then I knew that rebel was right.”
  4. 4. “The Army was stuck in the mud. It was the 22nd or 23rd of January, 1863. We were out of grub, had no hot coffee since leaving camp. I stood the rest of the night by a small tree with the rubber blanket over my head. No order to march came, so Colonel Burnham had his cow butchered and divided among the men. Poor critter she had been three days with nothing but water and brush to eat. He had got the cow so to have milk at headquarters during the winter.” “The Next morning while Burnham was moving among the men calling on them to turn out --some one said, “What’s the use Colonel, we have nothing to eat and want to keep our strength against a case of necessary – “O, turn out and brouse the way I am doing,” replyed the old man: he had his mouth [ P. 81 ] full of buds.” Waud, “Fruitless Attempt of the Army of the Potomac to Move toward the Rappahannock on January 20, 1863,” -- Harper’s Weekly, February 14, 1863
  5. 5. Back to Camp “ We got orders to return to camp on the shortes route we could fine – we went through woods, across fields wherever we came to a road it was blocked. Cannons, cassons, wagons and everything on wheels had sank to the axles in the mud.” “The whole Army sloggered back to the camp that we had left a few days before. We reached ours at dark, re-erected our own tent, got wood, built a fire to dry out the room.” Image: N.C. Wyeth, The Road to Vidalia, portrays a different, and completely Confederate “mud march!” But Wyeth’s unparalleled paintings of Civil War subjects capture a sense of the universal human drama of pivotal events in the conflict, and illustrate the commonality of the average soldiers’ condition. Wyeth’s paintings also appear on the covers of YANKEE SCOUT – Battle of White Oak Swamp!!, and YANKEE SCOUT – Chancellorsville!!
  6. 6. R. K. Sneden “The Mud March, map shewing movement on Banks’ Ford, January 19th , [sic] 1863 by Hooker, Franklin and Sumner” http://www.loc.gov/item/gvhs01.vhs00128/ Gen. Burnside's mission-critical movement was upriver along the Rappahannock to Banks Ford and United States Ford – shown at far left of map – and was based on faulty, unvetted intelligence that the Confederates were most vulnerable here, above Fredericksburg. Sneden, however, correctly shows that Gen. Lee has learned of the effort, and ordered a brigade of Confederates to defend this position, over steep banks of the Rappahannock – easily checking Burnside. Without a shot fired, Burnside orders the Union Army back to camp in the high ground opposite Fredericksburg. With this less-than-illustrious “Mud March,” Gen. Burnside has done his military reputation -- and career – one final fatal favor: for this is the same “Military Movement” which he had with such conviction promoted to Lincoln, in his letter of January 8, saying, “…it will have to be made in opposition to the views of nearly all my General Officers.” For Burnside now, he has larded in his legacy, laid up his eternal fame, and will have no opportunity to implement a backup plan. For the key details on Burnside’s strategic “Military Movement” back and forth, up and down along the Rappahannock, see Edwin C. Fishel, Secret War for the Union: the Untold Story of the Military Intelligence of the Civil War, pp. 271-272 (1996).
  7. 7. “Most of us sat around a big fire all night.” Winslow Homer – “Winter Quarters in Camp – the Inside of a Hut,” -- Harper’s Weekly, January 24, 1863 “We were given a gill of whiskey and quinine.1 It seemed funny that a barrell of whiskey could get where a box of crackers could not.” Pvt. Drew and his comrades are from the State of Maine, where a temperance movement led by Portland Mayor Neal Dow has been underway throughout Drew’s young life. Drew was born in 1845; Dow – a Quaker and abolitionist - - began his first public efforts in a lifelong crusade against “spirituous liquors” in 1827, and Dow’s Temperance Law was first passed in Maine legislature 1851 -- making Maine the first “dry state” in Untied States history. The “Maine Law” was repealed in 1856, but left a legacy, and Dow continued his crusade – going nationwide. However, note that whiskey is standard issue in the Army: so young Pvt. Drew tipples on many an occasion. See note following ….. 1 Quinine sulfate was used as a medicinal tonic and febrifuge: together with whiskey it was a Yankee medic’s cure- all issued at daily “quinine call” in winter. Quinine had only recently been isolated from cinchona bark, and the U.S. government contracted with John Maisch for its manufacture in standard strengths and dosages. Maisch’s Philadelphia plant manufactured 6 tons of the stuff throughout the war, for use by the troops -- as often as daily.
  8. 8. Neal Dow went on to become a General in the Union Army, and served with great distinction. Neal Dow had inaugurated a temperance revolution in the State of Maine – so that young Drew would have been raised with opportunities to peruse such great literature as Cornyn’s “Dick Wilson: the Rumseller’s Victim” (1855) or the Maine Law Illustrated Temperance Manual – shown for 1853, when Drew was an impressionable eight years old. https://archive.org/details/cihm_10851 There was never any complaint about abuse of spirituous liquors by the rambunctious troops under Brigadier General Dow’s command – or by the General himself ….. But “generally” speaking, alcoholism plagued the Union Army command – and not just during these long sodden winters, when there was no alternative “warmer-upper.” The troops naturally tippled, and Drew did not abstain; but Pvt. Drew had a jaundiced eye for habitual drunkenness among the Union Army generals. See the “Review of Generals” below, where Drew skewers Gen. John Newton, p. 20, for alcoholism where men are under fire. After the battle of Antietam, Drew & Co eviscerate Col. George E. Pratt for alcoholism. See, YANKEE SCOUT – Antietam!! Drew later immortalizes both Gen. H.A.G. Wright and Brig. Gen David A. Russell, for hitting the bottle, and shirking their command, at the battle of Spottsylvania. See, YANKEE SCOUT – Spottsylvania!!
  9. 9. “The next day we got the camp in good shape to sleep in, and the cracker line got to [working] smoothly. Then bakers were coming back and sill have warm softbread each morning. Sunday morning [ January 25, 1863 ] inspection in the afternoon we called a meeting of the Glee Club “Nothing Doing.” “’McClellan is Our Man’ – Favorite Song of the Army of the Potomac” –Harper’s Weekly, p. 492 (August 2, 1892) http://www.loc.gov/resource/ihas.200001578.0/?sp=1 “It is the opinion of the Glee Club that Gen’l Burnside is done for as a commander of the Army – we have no confidence in him it looks as if he had an understanding with the Rebs and was to deliver us to them in unbroken package -- to put it milely, the Army is somewhat demoralized and Burnside must step out [of] our slaughter pen for a Major General is enough.” Forever famous forerunner of fun facial-hair fashion – despite his early key victories on Roanoke Island, for which he was promoted by Lincoln, General Ambrose Burnsides will not be long remembered for his successes in battle – not following Fredericksburg !! But the inconsequential Mud Campaign has now sealed his fate …
  10. 10. “Some way [since Fredericksburg ] the men seems to have lost something came out different: no joking or rollocking fun as we always have had in camp. The drummers and fifers seem to have lost all ability to make a sound. But old John Moloney of our Reg’t – bugler at Brigade Head Quarters can shure wake them up in the morning ….2 Sheppard – Our Battery at the Front, Reveille after an Anxious Night . 2 Like all musicians, Pvt. John Malone – not Moloney, as Drew writes – Co. B., Sixth Maine Volunteers, was hardly a non-combatant. Where Pvt. Drew evidently dropped out of orderly status, and “returned to the ranks,” Malone clearly became Gen. Winfield S. Hancock’s regular orderly or aide-de-camp, and so was singled out for commendation by Gen. Hancock, e.g., in his Official Reports, on the battle of Williamsburg May 5, 1862 “for gallantry on this occasion,” as well as on the battle of the Seven Days, and the battle of Antietam. Check out YANKEE SCOUT – Battle of Williamsburg !!
  11. 11. “And there is music in Washington D.C. where Gen’l Burnside is trying to lay the blame on someone else.” “There is music in Washington D.C. ….” Pvt. Drew had written – just figuratively -- to the effect that there were rumors – “music” -- current in D.C., that Gen. Ambrose Burnside sought to salvage his reputation after the Union Army’s bloody defeat at Fredericksburg. However, he was closer to the mark than he knew. For there was in fact “music in Washington” available for the occasion: at left, “Gen’l Burnside’s Victory March -- for the piano forte.” The score for this sheet music was copyrighted April 9th , 1862 -- shortly following Gen. Burnside’s signal victories at Roanoke Island and New Bern, North Carolina !! Indeed, General Burnsides had achieved a track record which first recommended his appointment to Lincoln, once it was decided that Gen. McClellan had to be removed for good. But after the wanton carnage of Fredericksburg, and the manner in which Burnside had so relentlessly pursued his disadvantageous assault, which ended in the absurd Mud March, he had completely lost the confidence of the men, the officers, and the President. And yet, it gets worse … SEE BELOW!! Meanwhile, to this day the theme of “Gen’l Burnside’s Mud March” is still “out there” in the public domain, and awaiting the treatment of some budding American composer, ready to launch a New Renaissance in American music -- Quartet for tuba, sousaphone, bassoon, trumpet and glockenspiel. … Burnside’s victory march was no longer on the evening’s playlist after Fredericksburg. What Pvt. Drew was really referring to, is the manner in which Gen. Burnside chose to close his career out: with such a catastrophic self-destructive flourish of official charges and recriminations against his fellow officers, such as suggests he had become deranged while attending the May, 1862 performances of Shakepeare’s Hamlet, in New York’s Provost Theatre production, starring John Wilkes Booth. For while Pvt. Drew reports “there is music in Washington D.C. where General Burnside is trying to lay the blame on someone else…” the actual truth was far worse: General Burnside was ready to take the half the Union Army brass down with him in his psychomache.
  12. 12. IN FACT, General Burnside did not even lead his famous Mud March ! At the time, he was pre-occupied with an all-out effort to discipline numerous subordinate generals, who had criticized him for undertaking this effort – just as many of the same generals had criticized his assault on Marye’s Heights behind Fredericksburg. Burnside was busy with what amounted to a total Army overhaul: on the evening of January 23, while the troops were marching toward Banks Ford, Gen. Burnside was about to cashier a full half-dozen Division generals, three Brigadiers, and one staff officer – all of whom had criticized his plan for the march. However, when advised by a cool-headed adjutant, that he might want to consult with the President first, Burnside telegraphed Lincoln as follows: “I have prepared some very important orders and I want to see you before issuing them. Can I see you alone if I am at the White House after midnight?'' Lincoln agreed to meet, and Gen. Burnside reached the White house in the early hours of January 24, presenting Lincoln with an alternative: either to accept Burnside’s resignation, or to approve his “General Orders No. 8” in which he displayed his agitated, and perhaps paranoid mental state. It reads as follows: "I. General Joseph Hooker, major-general of volunteers and brigadier-general U.S. Army, having been guilty of unjust and unnecessary criticisms of the actions of his superior officers, and of the authorities, and having, by the general tone of his conversation, endeavored to create distrust in the minds of officers who have associated with him, and having, by omissions and otherwise, made reports and statements which were calculated to create incorrect impressions, and for habitually speaking in disparaging terms of other officers, is hereby dismissed the service of the United States as a man unfit to hold an important commission during a crisis like the present, when so much patience, charity, confidence, consideration, and patriotism are due from every soldier in the field. This order is issued subject to the approval of the President of the United States. "II. Brig. Gen. W. T. H. Brooks, commanding First Division, Sixth Army Corps, for complaining of the policy of the Government, and for using language tending to demoralize his command, is, subject to the approval of the President, dismissed from the military service of the United States. "III. Brig. Gen. John Newton, commanding Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, and Brig. Gen. John Cochrane, commanding First Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, for going to the President of the United States with criticisms upon the plans of their commanding officer, are, subject to the approval of the President, dismissed from the military service of the United States. "IV. It being evident that the following-named officers can be of no further service to this army, they are hereby relieved from duty, and will report, in person, without delay, to the Adjutant-General, U.S. Army: Maj. Gen. W. B. Franklin, commanding left grand division; Maj. Gen. W. F. Smith, commanding Sixth Corps; Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, commanding Second Division, Ninth Corps; Brig. Gen. Edward Ferrero, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps; Brig. Gen. John Cochrane, commanding First Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Corps; Lieut. Col. J. H. Taylor, assistant adjutant-general, right grand division.'' Lincoln advised Burnside that night, that he wanted to discuss the order with Stanton and Gen. Halleck, but immediately – and sua sponte, as they say -- he resolved to dismiss Burnside and advance Hooker, Burnside’s chief critic and the first target identified in General Order No 8. Nevertheless, Lincoln did take disciplinary measures against Maj. Gen. Franklin and Maj Gen. Smith, and amidst the upheaval, appointed Gen. John Sedgwick to the command of the Army’s VI Corps. Sedgwick is now Pvt. Drew’s VI Corps commander.
  13. 13. [P. 82] Burnside Out Hooker In “Gen’l [W.B.] Franklin removed from command of Corps. [W.F.]Smith [removed] from the Division,3 Pratt [removed] from the Brigade. 4 “Gen’l Sedgewick takes command of [the VI ] corps. [General John Sedgwick – See below – Ed.] “Wright of the Division [ Gen. H.A.G. Wright – Ed.] “Russell of the Brigade 5 “ Unkle Abe accepted Burnsides resination on the 26th or 27th “,,, and fighting Joe Hooker was put in command of the Army.” 6 “Things were moving if the army was not.” 3 Pvt. Drew’s Memoir notes the removal of two Major-Generals who had been targeted in Burnside’s General Order No. 8, Par. IV -- highlighted, here and preceding page. Lincoln judged he had little choice except to remove these officers who had openly criticized Gen. Burnside, but by and large the President rejected the proposed order. Fishel, Secret War for the Union…, ibid. pp. 272-3, writes “The Mud March served to bring Burnside’s disagreements with his subordinates to a head. On January 23 he asked the president to approve an order cashiering from the service, General Hooker and three lower-ranking generals, and relieving from duty with the Army of the Potomac, Generals Franklin, Smith, and three others. The result … was quite different. Franklin and Sumner were relieved, the latter at his own request; Burnside, also at his own request, was also relieved 4 Col. Calvin E. Pratt had been advanced to Brigadier General to fill the void created with the advancement of the 1st Brigade’s General Winfield Scott Hancock, to Division Commander, following the Battle of Antietam. Hancock was promoted to Major-General of Volunteers on November 29, 1862. See, YANKEE SCOUT – Antietam !! 5 Then-Lt. David Allen Russell had served with Lt. Phil Sheridan in Oregon, stationed at Fort Yamhill on the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation, during the Oregon Indians Wars of the latter 1850’s. Many Civil War generals on both sides, including Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, had, after service in the Mexican War, spent the interim years of their military career, away out West on similar service: future “Rebs” mingling shoulder to shoulder with future “Yanks.” 6 Hooker assumed command of the Army on January 25, 1863. Fishel, ibid. p. 273 “Burnside also at his own request, was also relieved; and Hooker, whose actions inimical to the good of the service had been dwelt upon at length in Burnside’s proposed order, was given command of the Army of the Potomac.” Sneden -- Gen. Joe Hooker and Staff, 1863
  14. 14. “On the last day of Jan’y we moved camp to the left and near Bell Plains -- was told to build winter quarters. “A engineer laid out the camp grown. We put in some fancy work walling up and building fireplaces – plenty of hard wood to burn.” U.S. Army camp at Belle Pain Landing, Virginia, 1862. Army supply ships are docked along the shoreline of the sinuous Pamunkey River, tributary to the York In the foreground, the circular Cibley tent slept sixteen soldiers, splayed out with their feet toward the center support pole. This photo is dated 1862, and may show the advance activity of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Belle Plaine Landing, laying out the camp as Drew reports they did. “The 5th Wisconsin came and camped besides us and some life began to show.”7 7 This is one Civil War Infantry regiment still awaiting its own regimental history! Remember, that following the Battle of Antietam, the 5th Wisconsin and 43rd New York had been separated from Hancock’s First Brigade back on Nov. 1, 1862, and sent back to N.Y.C. to quell the New York Draft riots!! This extra duty assignment to New York was in recognition of the discipline and loyalty of these valiant men. See, YANKEE SCOUT– Antietam !! The 5th Wisconsin, under Col. Amasa Cobb, had been in the vanguard of Hancock’s 1st Brigade forces behind the Confederate defensive line at Williamsburg, and lead the infantry charge which repelled the Confederates and sent them on a long retreat toward Richmond. See YANKEE SCOUT –Williamsburg !! (pictured, p. 11, above).
  15. 15. Maj. Gen’l Joe Hooker ( after Brady ) [The Light Division ] “On parade one evening by Gen’l Orders we was informed that the Reg’t was a unit in the Light Division of the 6th Corps which was composed of the 61st Pa Inft. 31st N.Y. Inf’t 43rd N.Y. Inf’t 6th Me Inf’ty 5th Wisc. Inf’ty The 3rd N.Y. Light battery of Artillery was attached to the Division and Gen’l John Newton was put in command of the Division. [See p. 20, below—Ed.] “By Order of the 3rd of Feb. of Gen’l Joe Hooker, Commanding Army of the Potomac (Feb 3rd , 1863) the Light Division was supposed to be selection of the best troops in the corps. They were to move at a moment’s notice in light marching order with 100 extra rounds of ammunition. Pack mules was to convay our knapsacks, tents, blankets and all over one days rations. We was to move with the cavalry when and where they needed infantry support, so we started to get acquainted. [ P. 83 ] The 5th Wisc. was our sister regiment. The 31st Pa. we had seen under fire and they had stood up to the work in fine shape. We had a number of our men in the battery and we took the judgment of those who made the selection as to the efficiency of the New York men. 8 [ See YANKEE SCOUT – “Charge” of the Light Brigade !! -- coming up NEXT !!! ] “The Grand Division was done away with. I’ll take from history the following. Burnsides had an army of 133,000 men. Lee had 78,000 behind fortified lines. Most historians give 3 in breastworks to 1 in field, is a jenrous allowance; but Sherman men at Kenesaw Mountain says 7 to 1 is not any too much. Burnsides loss [of] Dec. 12th , 12, 672. Lee’s loss 5,377. Not so bad for Burnsides men. “Gen’l, Orders to Hooker: Any one wishing to furlow for 30 days to make a visit home, could get it by re-enlisting for three more [years]. “Enlistment from the Volenteers in the field into the regular army brought a bounty from the U.S. and a 60 - day furlow. The bounty paid in three installments. Of the many men who re-enlisted from the 6th Me, there was a few Canadians who failed to return. Co. K had five wounded men at home recruiting, which leaves the force in the field so small that the whole of the three left company goes on picket for a three-day stand every two weeks.” 8 In recognition of their conduct in battle, the 5th Wisc. and 6th Maine infantry regiments now form the backbone of this unsung Light Division of the 6th Corps. Pvt. Drew consents to the judgment of the Army command, that the 31st and 43rd New York Infantry will measure up as well as ‘the bully 5th .” For more, just READ ON !!
  16. 16. After 150 years of Civil War history, the Union Army’s Light Division must be, to date, the best kept secret of the Great War of the Rebellion; but only the short-lived history of this division can account for such oversight. The Light Division by its composition of only 5 regiments of infantry and a battery of light artillery, was indeed truly a Light Brigade – and given its accomplishments deserves to be commemorated in its own heroic poem, one composed to contrast Tennyson’s grim, fatalistic dirge, “Charge of the Light Brigade”-- on the doomed charge of the British cavalry in the Crimean War. Yes, there was an American Light Brigade. And they kicked ass. The Light Division was organized upon orders from General Joe Hooker, from regiments within the Army’s VI Corp, with the design that the Division would be ready to move on reconnaissance or in battle, in circumstances “which required great activity, unencumbered by the usual impedimenta.” See, E.B. Quinter, Military History of Wisconsin (1866). The regiments of the Light Division were those men proven to be the most outstanding under fire, for bravery, discipline and execution. Pvt. Drew says directly, in this issue of YANKEE SCOUT, that the Light Division was placed under the command of General John Newton, and later, has General Sedgwick repeat this. However, Drew goes on to report later in the Memoir, that for the actual assault of Marye’s Heights, the Light Brigade was commanded by the 6th Maine’s own regimental commander, Col. Hiram Burnham, enjoying a brigade command. So, we find Burnham referenced as General Burnham in some texts recounting “Fredericksburg II” – aka, the assault on Marye’s Heights. After its stunning success at Fredericksburg II, , the VI Corps Light Division was disbanded, as of May 11, 1863 and was no more. Thus, officially speaking, the Light Division participated in only the Fredericksburg II front of the Battle of Chancellorsville: first in winning Marye’s Heights back from Gen. Jubal Early’s forces on May 3, 1863, thereby opening the way for Sedgwick’s VI Corps to proceed to the aid of Hooker at Chancellorsville; and thereafter, during the battle of Salem Church, wherein Light Division forces were checked by Lee’s forces and executed a brilliant retreat maneuver across the Rappahannock at Banks’ Ford. For all the nitty-gritty details of these immortal Light Brigade actions, see, YANKEE SCOUT – Charge of the Light Brigade!!, and YANKEE SCOUT – Chancellorsville!! Furthermore, Drew discloses that in the days after the Battle of the Wilderness, following the May 9, 1863 death of General Sedgwick, and in the hours before the famous May 10 assault on the Mule Shoe salient, or “Upton’s Charge” at Spottsylvania, that the Light Division was effectively reconstituted under Gen. H.A.G. Wright, and assigned to Col. Upton – with disastrous results. Drew describes the events, and gives regimental components of what he derisively calls “Upton’s Brigade” -- only in YANKEE SCOUT -- Spottsylvania!!
  17. 17. Getting Acquainted with Gen’l John Sedgewick “The left Co’s of the regiment was on picket. It was the second day of the stand 9 – the 3rd relief came off post at 9 o’cl A.M. was cooking something to eat, when a lone horseman was seen approaching. As he drew near we saw he wore the uniform of a private. His horse was small and poor, the man was large and heavy, wore a private’s overcoat. His saber showed he belonged to the Light Cavalry.” “He dismounted near the fire throwing the lines over the horse’s head [P. 84 ] leting them drag on the grown. He looked the crowd over as if seeking some particular one, remarking, “It’s a pretty chilly day!” and seated himself on a log where three or four of us sat. His face was covered with a great growth of whiskers, hiding all his feachures except a pair of piercing dark eyes and a promanet nose.” “The scabbard he wore was rusty, his belt worn and muddy, his boots was much worn, his coat and hat had seen their best days. We took him for a private who had been on a big drunk. We gave him an Army sandwich and a dipper of hot coffee, telling him to get outside of that [ Get the sandwich inside him ! – Ed] and he would feel better. The way he bit down through them two hard-tacks and a half-inch of elan bacon showed he had good teeth and strong jaws and a big appitight. After disposing two sandwiches and a pint of hot coffee, his first question came like the crack of a rifle.” “What Regiment do you men belong to, how many are on picket and where is your main reserve?” “Denbo and several others moved out of the smoke of the fire and got closer to the guns in stack. Then I said, “Here you see Co. K of the 6th Maine. Co. C is on the picket-lines and Co. E. is sleeping. We are within supporting distance of the pickets.” “The 6th Maine…. Your Colon’s name is Burnham. I have heard Gen’l Hancock mention you men, and your reg’t has been put in a new organization to be known as the Light Division of the 6th Corps, and Gen’l John Newton is to command it. Have any of you seen him?” [ For more on Gen. Newton, see p. 20, below -- Ed. ] “No we have not seen him. We hear he is a late comer from West Point.” With the Army command getting re-adjusted to this total organizational overhaul initiated by Gen. Hooker, Gen. John Sedgwick is taking a few moments out of his schedule to conduct his own field reconnaissance –in this case he is reconnoitering the new troops freshly assigned to his VI Corps. Sedgwick has consulted with Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, regarding the prowess of the men comprising Hancock’s old First Brigade: the regiments made famous under “Hancock the Superb,” for their bold charge against C.S.A General Jubal Early’s forces, behind Confederate lines at Fort Magruder. See, YANKEE SCOUT – Williamsburg !! ( Pictured above, p. 11 ) The outstanding performance of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry and the 6th Maine Infantry in that battle has won them coveted positions as leading regiments in the Army’s new Light Division – perhaps the Civil War’s closest approximation of a modern American Army Special Forces unit, like the Green Berets. 9 An assignment to picket duty generally lasted for three days. It is now about February 2, 1863. General John Sedgwick Gen. W. S. Hancock
  18. 18. “By the way,” said the horseman. “I hear you have a new commander to the corps, old John Sedgewick they call him. Do any of you know him?” “No one of us had seen him enough to know him. I gave him another sandwich and Dan gave him more coffee. Capt. Roach who had been sitting on a blanket eating, got-up and was filling [P. 85] his pipe, said, “We heard he is a fighting Gen’l and are hopping he is. “We’ll take him on that.” Wiggins “Then Wiggins, a red-headed Irishman who had lit his pipe with a live coal stuck in his gab…. “Is it sergeant?[?] the old commingen [sic] “Yes, William to …take years must be green. [ MS text illegible – Ed.] “The gentlemen sitting there will tell you that old Sedgwick is one of the hardest Gen’ls on the volunteers there is in the army. He has no love or mercy for a poor private; he’ll shove them into a fight where there is no chance, like Burnside did at the Slaughter Pen, so that he will bad cess [MS illegible: lead us?] to the day they took Hancock from us.” “Where did you get all that?” asked Dan. “Shure, and I have a letter from me cousin, he is a red-headed like mesef, he’s in Co. C. of the 69th [sic – 65th was probably intended – Ed.] New York and he says to hell with Sedgewick, Humphry Slocum, Howard and the damned Dutchman -- Segt. Colonel Cochran is the boy to lead this Army.” Not so surprisingly, Wiggins is stumping for the leadership of a fellow Irish… John Cochrane was Col. of the first United States Chasseurs -- aka the 65th New York Regiment -- which he commanded with distinction during the Peninsular Campaign. So this is probably where Wiggins’ Irish cousin is getting his information on Cochrane’s sterling abilities. Cochrane was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers in July, 1862, but Pvt. Wiggins’ appears to be still in the habit of calling him “Colonel.” After Fredericksburg, Gen. Cochrane had been prominent in calling for Gen. Burnside’s ouster: he was one of two generals who called on Lincoln to expose Burnside -- so he was targeted by Burnside in his General Order No. 8., Par III. Cochrane’s agitation was seen as compromising his command credentials, leading to his resignation. The same is true of Gen. John Newton, see note following. Gen. John Cochrane
  19. 19. “The horseman had finished eating. Dan offered him a pipe -- he shook his head. I held out half of a plug of horseshoe [tobacco] and my knife – again he refused. “Denbo remarked “You must be a little lonesome or homesick.” “We chafed that cavalryman about his rusty scabbard and boots that had not seen any blacking since the Mud March. Someone asked, “Do you know Gen’l Sedgwick, and what do you think of him?” “Yes,” he said, getting to his feet, “I am somewhat acquainted with Sedgwick…. Have known him a long time and I think you and he will get along fine when you get better acquainted.” Sidgwick Good Nature “As he reached for his bridle a strong gust of wind blew aside his overcoat, exposing the double stars upon the collar of his blous. Wiggins quick eyes caught sight of them. Coming to attention he saluted saying, “By the Holy Poker -- I think you are Mr. Sedgwick himself, so that I do, and if you [P. 86] be, I’ll not take back a single word I’ve sid.” “As he swung into the saddle he faced us with a smile and his eyes were sparkling, “Yes, gentlemen, I am old John Sedgwick and I am glad to meet you men on even terms.” “Fall in!” ordered Capt. Roach.” “Never mind, Captain,” said the Gen’l. “I am pleased to bid you good day,” and he rode away. This was our first meeting with that grand old man.” Gen’l John Newton “The next Sunday Gen’l John Newton attended the inspection in all the pomp of a Major General uniform except one star. His horse was very unruly and some of the boys said he was more than half drunk.” Gen. John Newton – along with Gen. Cochrane, above – had obtained an interview with Lincoln complaining of Gen. Burnside’s incompetence, and was therefore identified in Burnside’s General Order No. 8, for dismissal. Nevertheless, he returned to his command, and was promoted to Major General of Volunteers in March, 1863, as Drew notes, above. He was later breveted Colonel for his conduct at Gettysburg. His insubordination under Burnside eventually caught up with him, and a year later he was left without a command when the First Corps was dissolved, and the Senate later stripped him of his appointment as Major-General. Cartes de Visite of Gen’l John Sedgwick --
  20. 20. Here follow in the MS vignettes in which Pvt. Drew mentions his encounters with a few Negroes serving in the Union Army. But as it is still early in the year 1863, and so none of his encounters are with Negro soldiers. It was not unusual that a Black man might serve as a cook however, or as an orderly or …. as below… a “horseler.” As the Civil War progressed, it soon became clear that it the fighting was – in every respect – truly about the institution of slavery – and Union soldiers soon recognized the war was a campaign for the liberation for the Negro race, in Southern bondage. However, this objective, while it ultimately sanctified the fighting, hardly elevated the men individually from their own habitual and cultural biases against blacks, and – early in the war at least -- this is certainly true of the teenage Pvt. Drew, who can be regularly found forming snap judgments on members of the Black race, reacting to stereotypes, and often playing pranks on black men – as first seen in YANKEE SCOUT – Outbreak of War !! This mischievous behavior continues, at least until Pvt. Drew finds himself an escaped Prisoner of War, and a wayfaring “Stranger in Richmond” – at which point he recognizes his best interest lies in making common cause, maybe even friends, with a young African-American slave ….. For more, pick up a copy of YANKEE SCOUT – Stranger in Richmond -- Confederate Christmas !! “That evening four of us was detailed to go to the boat-landing and work one week. Some way Dan and I always gets in on all the good things. We worked hard handling Army supplies and lived high. “The Quarter Master wanted us to get transferred to his Department and stay with him but we liked the old Regiment and went back at the end of the week. A big nigrow cook for the Quartermaster had my old violin. I put in a requisition for it and with the help of the other three of the Co. the colored gentleman was glad to give it. I paid him $3 for the extra strings he had, [&] we had music in Co. K again. The Band recovered and gave the Drum Corps a rest.” Recruits “I got a hound pup, I learned it to tend out behind me when I played baseball – I was catcher. It soon got to be an expert, no ball ever passed him he was the pet of the Co. We got a lot of new recruits – four young English soldiers came to Co. K: they [ had ] deserted [ into Maine ] from the English troops at St. John’s N[ew] B[runswick]. 10 “One of our [own] recruiting sergeants deserted in New York and joined the navy and was transferred later, but he sent along four [P. 87 ] German recruits whose whole knowledge of the English language consisted of a single sentence: “We are for Company K of the 6th Maine Volunteers.” They reached us all right and were turned over to [Emile] Hanneman to drill.11 10 This unfortified border was in dispute -- or let’s just say it was wide-swept -- until as recently as the Webster- Ashburton Treaty of August 9, 1842, so if some of the New Brunswickers identified as Unionists – or vice versa -- it should come as no surprise. Pvt. Dew reports that his own grandmother had emigrated from New Brunswick into Maine after the Revolution. For the tale of this exciting elopement, see YANKEE SCOUT – Fort Sumpter !! 11 For more on young German emigrant, Pvt. Emile Hanneman, including his marksmanship, devotion to his adopted United States, and ultimate sacrifice and death in the November 7, 1863, Yankee assault on the Confederate-held works at Rappahannock Station, read YANKEE SCOUT – Rappahannock Station !!
  21. 21. “The Colonel got a young nigrow for a horsler: he was a scrapper and tried to boss the whole Reg’t – so awful saucy he did not stop with us very long. “The pioneers [ Members of the elite Pioneer Brigade –Look it up.-- Ed.] was in need of a grindstone. On a little scout one day I found one about 20 inches in diameter. Later I took 2 of the pioneers out – they bought it from the old farmer, they took the stone leaving the mountains to pack it easily, put it in a grainsack. As we came through the campground that nigrow saw us, came a-running and yelling, “The Con’l must have some – Hey – you’es hear [?] The Con’l must have some of that, by golly! Youes got a cheese. The Colonel shore must have some of that.” We offered to sell it but he would not bye. As we had no knife it was up to the nigrow to break it with his head. Quite a crowd had collected to see what’s a-going on. “He agreed to break it with one but – taking it to true, that the sack contained a chees, he told us to hold it against a tree at that proper height for him. He gave it a tremendous butt. We left him setting on the grown rubbing his head, the crowd laughin and yelling. He got up saying he guessed the Con’l. didn’t want any of that.” Corps Bages “The Army is being reorganized better than ever it was. We of the Light Division adopted a new skirmish drill doing it on the rush – no double-quick: for us it must be faster. The Greek cross is the bage given to the 6th Corps. Red for the 1st Division, white for the 2nd , Blue for the 3rd Div. [P. 88] The Light Division was given a dark green cross. Gen’l Kearney was originator of the bage system. We were well acquainted with the Kearneys’ patch – a peace of red cloth cut dimond shape and sewed on. The cap was known throughout the Army before we left the peninsula.12 Gen’l Hooker made the different designs for the corps and it was a violation of Army rules and regulations to be caught without your corps bage, on cap hat, or coat. “It seems as if the battle of Dec. was forgotten.” 12 Drew appears to be referring to Gen Phil Kearney’s Division with the “red dimond patch” --  -- but may also have in mind his own Green Cross of the Light Division --  -- known – soon enough -- throughout the Union Army: see YANKEE SCOUT – Charge of the Light Brigade!! – NEXT!! And probably through the Confederate Army as well. Or so it would seem, anyway: for when Pvt. Drew is later captured by Rebel skirmishers, following the Battle of Mine Run, he will be treated royally well – likely because of the Green Greek Cross badge still affixed on is cap! See, YANKEE SCOUT – Mine Run !!
  22. 22. “The first part of April there was a report that the rebels was building earthworks on the south side of the Potomac within shelling distant of the river. Colonel [Hiram] Burnham was requested to assitain if the report was true. He told me to find out if there was anything in the report. I went alone on this cruise down to the Mouth of the Rappahannock River. [Sic: Potomac must be intended – Ed.] The new earth-works was some new plowed land on rising grown six or seven miles from the river.” Under the old chain of command, Brigadier General Winfield Scott Hancock, Pvt. Drew’s old First Brigade leader, would have approached Col. Burnham – shown at right -- to request Pvt. Drew’s recon services. Following the Army re-organization triggered by Burnside’s Mud March, the new VI Corps Commander General Sedgwick -- whom Drew just met in camp -- has decided he is in need of intelligence, and has put out the word. Drew’s Memoir is inconsistent in this passage: he first identifies the mouth of the Potomac as his target, then the mouth of the Rappahannock. Since Sedgwick is in camp at Aquia Creek, on the Potomac, and since the Rappahannock is not navigable to Fredericksburg, the Potomac must have been intended. Gen. Sedgwick is concerned that the Confederates are possibly establishing a new fort at the mouth of the Potomac, from which they could attack shipping and cut off supplies to the Union Army Winter Quarters up the river. Before he and the Army of the Potomac initiate any movements in their Spring Offensive of 1863, Sedgwick wants to guarantee that he has no such concerns over his supply lines. After reconnaissance by horseback to the mouth of the Potomac, Pvt. Drew reports back that there is nothing to fear behind these rumors. This latest recon required of Pvt. Drew, is an overland campaign of its own, which will have him riding for days, from the Union Army Winter Quarters near Belle Plain and Aquia Creek, down to the mouth of the Potomac River, to verify or dispel the rumors -- and then riding back again to report. Where did rumors of the rebel fort come from? Probably a Union vessel running up the river had seen something onshore, through field glasses, and grown suspicious. The lack of a reliable Army intelligence service was one of Gen. Burnside’s handicaps, and Sedgwick is determined to eliminate from his list of concerns, potential threats to his supply lines; and he is doing so, by the most reliable means available: direct inspection. How far down the Potomac did Pvt. Drew ride? He doesn’t say, but only references “the mouth” of the river. To answer the question, one would need to know at least, the range of Confederate artillery, and the location of the Potomac river shipping channel, especially its distance from the Virginia bank of the Potomac at various points: these factors would have informed Sedgwick’s concern over threats to Army supply transports. One possible point of destination about which Gen. Sedgwick might seek intelligence, would be the reach of the Potomac near Colonial Beach, Virginia, -- a distance of only about 47 miles on today’s roads. Even closer to the mouth of the Potomac, is Ragged Point Beach, which might also command the shipping lane: this is closer to 80 miles downriver, and as a destination, might justify Pvt. Drew in being out on reconnaissance for about a week. In 1862, there was cultivated ground as far downriver as Smith’s Point: truly at the “Mouth of the Potomac”, as shown on A.D. Bache’s 1862 USGS four-sheet map, Potomac River -- https://www.loc.gov/resource/glva01.lva00044/ A sheet of just the mouth, is also here: https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3792p.cw003520a/ At about 100 miles distance, 200 round trip, this would make for a nice Springtime tour through scenic Virginia countryside, and -- best of all – with no drilling !! Col. Hiram Burnham, Commander -- 6th Maine Vol. Inf. Reg.
  23. 23. “While I was gone the Army was reviewed by the President, his son, [Tad ] the Secretary of War; also Congressman Pike from Maine came out to see the men of his own town Calais [ Maine ] –Co. D was from there. This was the “Grand Review’– originally scheduled for April 6, but postponed on account of rain to April 8, 1863. Pvt. Drew was out about one week! “The evening I got back to the Reg’t there was quite a little noise in the officers mess tent. After making my report I asked the Colonel what was going on, “Oh” said he, “They are initiating the new doctor. Come in and see him.” Lieut. Hill of Co. C. was standing by the door as I went in, taking me by the arm, he said, “Here is the other boy from Whitneyville. Step up Doctor and see if you know him.” “We stood face to face. I could not help it I just yelped I was so surprised. [P. 89 ] “Rawhide Buck, By George!” our hands meet -- a clasp that shore had some gripp. “Know him?” said the doctor, “I shall never forget him. He is the only pupil I ever undertook to punish and was glad to drop the job.” “Then he told the crowd the story that is on page 9,13 after which we all had several drinks of champagne. The Dr. was a fighter. Many times he was on the firing line until his services were needed elsewhere professionally. I often told him that I would have to help plant him if he did not stay away from such bad places. “We were true friends. He died at home after the war. 13 This incident about Dr. William Buck’s first meeting with Drew, is told in YANKEE SCOUT – Fort Sumpter !!
  24. 24. “Spring was coming on. The 6th was in fine shape. The return of the sick and wounded and the new recruits put us well up in numbers. “The officers with one or two exceptions mingled with the men in fun and friendship. “ We played Base Ball, Foot Ball and Snow Ball when there was snow togeather. “The four English recruits said there was no discipline in the American Army. “We smoked the officers out of their quarters; they [was] smoked out of their tents and ducknet. “The High Dutch and the low dutch had fights.”

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