Sunday, July 26, 2009
For two hours following reveille, the 18th Massachusetts busied itself with striking their tents and packing gear, before finally resuming their march toward Warrenton at 6 a.m. Five hours later they had only made five miles even though traveling exclusively by road. By eleven with heat from the sun growing in intensity, those who couldn’t keep up, even under the slow pace, were dropping out by the roadside, most taxed beyond endurance by the climb over “Critter” Mountain. In the words of one veteran, “marching is tedious work.”
The primary concern for all was water. What little that could be found in the streams they crossed was described as neither cool nor clear.
Having been without a Chaplain for more than fifteen months, some of the men turned their eyes toward a large church as they passed. Joshua Wilber’s pen became reflective when the Regiment made camp that night in a field, still miles from their goal of Warrenton. “[I] wish I could be there today with a good preacher and a respectable congregation with a fair proportion of ladies to make it look natural.”