|Capts of the 10th Mass.- Newell is bottom center|
An account of the 10th Massachusetts in New Kent during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. The regiment was part of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the Fourth Corps. The regiment consisted of men from western Massachusetts and the Connecticut Valley of that state. The regimental history was edited by Joseph Keith Newell, the 24 year old captain of Company I.
THURSDAY, May 8. In camp near Williamsburg. Several officers of the Regiment were permitted to take a stroll through the town. Visited the William and Mary College, which was used as a hospital for the wounded. It was mostly filled with rebels, they having been carried there during the engagement. The ladies of Williamsburg were present in large numbers, tenderly caring for their wounded soldiers.
FRIDAY, May 9. At half-past six this morning started again; marched as far as James City. We took a long roundabout way, and after marching ten miles, were only three miles from Williamsburg.
SATURDAY, May 10. Marched as far as Barhamsville, and encamped upon the edge of a beautiful grove, the Seventh Massachusetts on our right, and the Fifty-fifth New York in the rear of us. Reached this camp about three o'clock in the afternoon. By shiftlessness in our quarter master s department, our baggage train is not up. While the officers of every other regiment in sight are luxuriating in clean changes of clothing, we are waiting for our baggage as usual.
SUNDAY, May 11. In camp at Barhamsville. Dress parade at five o clock, by all the regiments. This drew, as visitors, quite a crowd of first-families, and some that were not first. One couple footed it five miles to see the soldiers. They hadn't seen any of "youuns" before. The woman said she never before saw the American flag, and we didn't doubt her word.
MONDAY, May 12 Still in camp at Barhamsville. Dress parade at five o clock.
TUESDAY, May 13. Broke camp at seven o clock, taking the direct telegraph road to Richmond. Marched until midnight, reaching New Kent Court-house, a distance of only ten miles from where we started. The long line of baggage train impeded our march, and we could move but a short distance at a time. Halted for the night much fatigued. Bivouacked on a sand-bank.
WEDNESDAY, May 14. Whole Regiment detailed for picket; rained all night; the men soaked through and through.
THURSDAY, May 15. Still raining hard; the whole Regiment on picket all day and all night. A cavalry picket, from the Eighth Pennsylvania, are attempting vidette duty in our front, but during the night, they were all the time coming in with cock-and-bull stories of whole squadrons of the enemy just ready to charge, and managed to keep us up and in line, all night. In the morning, found out that one company had been scared all night by another company of the same regiment.
The able-bodied men of this region are all in the rebel army; we see some of their maimed and crippled, who have been discharged from the confederate service, and have returned to their homes. They have but little to say, and answer but few questions.
All the houses we pass have little white flags of truce hanging out of the windows, or stuck up in the door-yard. Flags of mercy, the boys call them, and the property so marked, is generally protected and respected. At James City, we protected a poor lone widow, saved her fences for her, and allowed no one to molest her. Next morning, found out that her husband was in the rebel army, and she was secesh through and through.
- ' "Ours" of 10th Massachusetts Volunteers, in the Rebellion.'
Edited By: Captain Joseph Keith Newell, Historian of the Regiment,
Published by C. A. Nichols & Co., Springfield, Mass. 1875-