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22nd MVI Departs on the Gettysburg Campaign

Posted by webguy on Friday 31 May 2013

22nd MVI Departs on the Gettysburg Campaign

(May 28 - June 7 1863)

One hundred and fifty years ago today, the historical 22nd Massachusetts had just embarked on what would become known as the Gettysburg Campaign. The first stage of the campaign was a pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which had given the Army of the Potomac the slip in Virginia, moving away to the north. The 22nd MVI had been on picket duty on May 28 for Hooker's force when...

"...and order was received to 'pack up' and move. Gen. Meade directing that it join the column on the march. Every thing was hurly-burly for a short time, the boys leaving all their traps in camp, taking only their blankets and rations. Nobody knew where we were going, or that we should ever return. The regiment, however, came in from picket in the afternoon, packed up, and on the 29th, made a long arch, in the direction of the upper river fords. It was very warm, the marching vim was out of the boys, and it was a weary, painful trap of eighteen miles. We bivouacked at Wykoff's Mine." (Parker 321)

Over the next two days, the 22nd MVI made a more deliberate pace, moving four miles to Morrisville on the 30th, then retraced their steps back two miles on the 31st. The 22nd MVI -- and indeed, the Fifth Corps as a whole-- was then used as a massive picket while Hooker groped around looking for Lee. The 22nd MVI was posted on the old Bull Run battleground, at Kelly's Ford. By the accounts of Walter Carter, Kelly's Ford was a fine place to camp. He writes: "...our camp was pitched in a most delightful locality-- a vast stretch of open fields, sloping to the river, surrounded by groves of fragrant spruce, cedar, and other evergreens" (Carter 276). They remained near Kelly's Ford for nearly a week.

Sources: Carter, Robert Goldthwaite. Four Brothers in Blue. Second Printing. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1978. Print. Parker, John Lord. Henry Wilson's Regiment: History of the Twenty-Second Massachusetts Infantry. Reprint. Baltimore MD: Butternut and Blue, 1996. Print.

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