10 September 1862 – Drainsville, Maryland

Wednesday 10 September 1862

I yield to no man in sympathy for the gallant men under my command; but I am obliged to sweat them tonight, that I may save their blood tomorrow. – Lieutenant General Thomas J. Jackson, CSA


Private Oliver Case and the rest of his comrades in Harland’s Brigade remain in camp in the small village of Drainsville believed to be the modern town of Sunshine, Maryland. While Union commanders made their best attempt to enforce discipline in the ranks, straggling both purposeful and accidental is a significant problem. During these periods in camp along the route of march, many soldiers wandered away from camp in search of local hospitality. One such soldier was Charles Buell of Company E, 8th Connecticut who wrote in his diary that “in my search after wood I got lost and wandered all day.”[i]

General McClellan’s army is slowly making its way toward the Confederate Army and he now believes that Pennsylvania may be Lee’s intended target as he warns Governor Curtin:

Everything that we can learn induces me to believe that the information you have received is substantially correct. I think the enemy are checked in the directions of Baltimore and Gettysburg. You should concentrate all the troops you can in the vicinity of Chambersburg, not entirely neglecting Gettysburg. I will follow them up as rapidly as possible, and do all I can to check their movements into Pennsylvania.[ii]

In Frederick, Robert E. Lee has placed his army in motion per Special Order 191. From early morning until evening, the Army of Northern Virginia moves in columns of four through the streets of Frederick. An event with future implications for Oliver Case and the 8th Connecticut takes place this day in Stonewall Jackson’s command. After being under arrest at the direction of Jackson for the past week, division commander A.P. Hill requests that Jackson allow him to assume command of his “Light Division” again for the next fight that now seems to be very close. Jackson realizes that Major General Hill is an excellent division commander and will be sorely needed for the coming battles.

An officer in Hill’s division recorded that once reinstated Hill donned “his coat and sword he mounted his horse and dashed to the front of his troops, and looking like a young eagle in search of his prey, he took command of his division to the delight of all his men…”



A dispute between Jackson and A.P. Hill almost kept Hill out of the fight


[i]  Diary of Charles S. Buell, 8th Connecticut, as published on Antietam on the Web, http://antietam.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=369

[ii] George B. McClellan Letter to Governor Andrew G. Curtin, 10 September 1862.


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