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Friday, October 17, 2014

Near Bottom's Bridge, June 11, 1864


From the Army of the Potomac.
BATTERY H, 1st N. Y ARTILLERY,
Near Bottom's Bridge, June 11th, 1864.

It seems hard to realize that I am writing on almost the same ground as that occupied by the old "Empire Battery" two years ago. Really, some changes have come over since then, when we stole around through the underbrush and low pines to get a sly shot at the rebels across the Chickahominy. And when we opened on a rebel battery, lying on the other end of the railroad bridge, making them " skedaddle" with indecent celerity, we deemed it true that we had certainly done a big thing. And it was quite an achievement for such greenhorns as we were when. It was not till after the bloody baptism of Seven Pines that we realized the idea of battle. And here let me say that I have never experienced anything, even in this campaign of campaigns, which could compare with that fearful struggle. So here we are on the classic grounds of the Chickahominy. Two years have sped by, two crimson years. We have hoped and struggled and bled, and now, like a benighted traveler, we emerge from the wilderness to find ourselves walking in the same path we left but an hour ago. We are no nearer the rebel capital today than we were two years ago. Under ordinary circumstances this fact might be discouraging, but though we are even further from Richmond than we were two years since, we feel, we believe, we know we are nearer the end of the rebellion than at that time. There is naught pleasant in this desolate region, dotted on every knoll and hillock with the graves of our comrades, but there is an expression on the countenance of each bronzed veteran telling a different tale from that look which sat upon many faces in '62, when the Army of the Potomac dragged its slow length along at the rate of a mile a day. We all believe that the doom of the rebellion is scaled. We hope that this summer may put Richmond in our hands, and so the army is cheerful, even here in the ill-fated Chickahominy country. The army of the Potomac occupies ground near that held by McClellan in 1862, but it occupies the country in a totally different manner. There is life, energy and action in the army now. It fights and marches in downright earnest. We are in the Chickahominy swamps now, but we shall not lie here all summer, except for a purpose.
. . . .

- -Utica Morning Herald

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