from The Worcester Spy, July 8, 1863 , (Volume 92 # 27), 

Washington D.C., June 30, 1863

Dear Friend B., Having just returned from one of your old bases of operation, I thought a line informing you of the condition of things, in that vicinity would not be unacceptable. after the cavalry fight at Aldie I started from this point, hoping to reach and render some assistance to our wounded in that vicinity; but on reaching Fairfax Court House, found it would be impossible, as our army was then moving up to Frederick via Edwards Ferry .

I accompanied the reserve artillery ammunition train, passing through Vienna and Drainville to the ferry crossing at that point, over the pontoon bridge, and making for our old headquarters at Poolesville, which I reached last Saturday at ten A. M. I found many familiar faces, though the stores were all closed. The trains and infantry passing through created a very unusual stir for so quiet and muddy a locality. I visited our burying ground and found the graves and stones of our fallen comrades in good condition, though the fence around the enclosure had been entirely demolished. Our corner was in much the best state.

Before leaving at noon I met many of the 15th, and learned from them that the men were well and were expecting to pass through the town about three o’clock in the afternoon. Starting from Poolesville at noon we reached Rockville at dusk, our horses and selves, that is, self and friends nearly exhausted with our ninety miles ride. We put up at that point for the night, partaking of our evening repast in the presence of that colored personage who swung the fly fans from his elevated seat. Only think of our spending the night quietly there, when a force of rebel cavalry had actually crossed the Potomac at Great Falls, not far from Senecca creek.

We started from Rockville at 8 a.m., and met the front, of the wagon train some six miles from Rockville. That was afterwards captured and destroyed between us and that place. We saved ourselves, by being absent three quarters of an hour in the advance of this force, that came to within six miles of Washington, returning thence to Edwards Ferry, where they destroyed quite a supply of government stores.

Well having written so much, the question arises whether you will receive, as our communications in this vicinity is being tampered with in all directions. I should have started for Frederick this morning but the railroad communication is broken. These temporary raids amount to little. If I am not much mistaken, a blow producing permanent results will soon be struck, or three or four of them, threatening the life of the rebellion. A good militia system in the state would be worth something now; but the assembled wisdom of the commonwealth could not see it during the lull in our winter session. Such experiences ought to teach us the wisdom of action.

Truly Yours

Wm. G. Scandlin.

Agent of American Unitarian Association.



15th Massachusetts VI