[WRITTEN FOR THE COLUMBIA DEMOCRAT.]
From the Army.
Warrenton, Va,, Sept. 1, 1863.
Dear Sir:- I take my pen to let you know that I am still in the land of the living. I am well and enjoying myself as well as could be expected after the long marches we, have had; I will give you some account of them, since we left Yorktown. We left this latter place on the 23rd of June, and have been on the march ever since. When we started we thought we might be going towards Richmond. That day we went 9 miles on the other side of Williamsburg, when we stopped at a place called the nine mile ordinary¹. It was about 9 o'clock at night when we got into camp, and being very tired we soon had our horses fed and lost no time in taking our night's rest. Early in the morning we were roused out for the purpose of feeding our horses. Boots and saddles were sounded, and we were all ready to move in little or no time, for we did not know what was up. Soon we got orders to move and were off, feeling as good as could be expected; we marched all day without stopping, and halted at a place called Spruce Grove². There we stopped for the night; the next morning we were ready to start in good season. Then we found out our destination, and took our line of march for the White House. Our scouts saw some rebel cavalry near New Kent Court House, so called by those living around there, which are most all negroes. One section of our battery* was then ordered to turn to the left and come into position, while the rest kept to the right down to the Pamunkey river. We were then furnished with rations, of which we were in great need. That night we were brought into position, and were soon through with our horses. We then laid down to enjoy a good night's rest, we laid there until towards noon of the next day, when the remainder of our battery joined us; we then started of for the White House, which we reached in the course of a few hours.
We laid there two days, when the army was brought up in line of battle, which looked very much like having a general engagement but however, we marched on to Baltimore Stores(sic), and so on to Baltimore Cross Roads³ where the Graybacks had just left, fires were still burning were they had cooked their coffee. Out battery was then brought into line; this was about 4 o'clock, the battery was then ordered on the right into a little field, where they could see some rebels in a an orchard, not far away, they were brought into position, and immediately commenced shelling the woods, they threw shells for about two hours, when the firing ceased; some cavalry, one section of artillery, and two regiment of infantry were ordered to advance, which was done at once.
We laid there until the next morning, when we were ordered back to Baltimore Store. Soon after our cavalry came in at full speed reporting the enemy near.-- Matters looked rather dark, and I thought we would soon get into a general engagement then appearing very near, but our pickets giving them a well directed fire, they soon were driven back. We then received orders to return to Yorktown, which we were glad to hear, for we were short of rations long enough. We were two days going back.
We remained there two days when orders came for us to join Meade's army; we accordingly loaded the battery on board the splendid steamer Thomas Morgan, and in company with General Keys and Staff, were soon on our way towards Washington. We reached the latter place the next night. The next day we received orders to proceed to Frederick City soon news came that the track had been washed away, when we commenced unloading the battery and prepare to go by land.
We reached Frederick City in the course of a few days, and it is a very fine place, we laid there over night, and next morning joined the 6th army corps in the army of the Potomac. We are now stationed at Warrenton; it is a fine place, but quite deserted by the male population. Our corps is scattered all around here, both up and down the rail road.
They are now filling up the old regiments with conscripts. The old corps are in good health and spirits at the present time, and got plenty to eat. A few days ago five men were shot for desertion. It is the only way to prevent it. A rumor was afloat in camp yesterday that the army was soon to move, but I do not know which way. The weather is getting quite cool here; No more at present.
CHARLES A. KNORR,⁴
-Columbia Democrat and Bloomsburg General Advertiser.(Bloomsburg, Pa.) September 19, 1863
¹ The Hickory Neck Church/ Toano area
² There were a lot of farms and plantations in New Kent with "Grove" in the name, but I am unfamiliar with any named "Spruce Grove." A strange name in itself in that the spruce is only native to the highlands of Virginia. Of the "Grove" farms, the most likely is "Locust Grove" owned by Harmon Walker. It is the only one at the proper end of the county on a logical route from James City, excepting "Aspen Grove" at Slatersville, but I am not sure how long that property has had that name.
³ The intersection/ crossroads at Quinton proper sometimes known as Patterson's Store
⁴ Corporal Charles A. Knorr survived the war dying in Cleveland, Ohio, December 1, 1913 age 72.
* Battery M probably consisted of 6 12-lb. Napoleons, a section was normally two guns of the battery