Oct. 2nd

Nothing has occurred since my last date of any importance, till with in a very few days.

The rebels have evacuated and abandoned their works on Munsons Hill and the hills adjacent, and have retreated with their whole advance line toward Bull run. The Union troops now occupy those hills and our advance line is thrown out as far as Fairfax. Where I heard the rebels a few weeks ago playing in division the ever glorious Star-Spangled-Banner, now the air resounds with the strains of that noble tune sung and pledged by true, loyal, and patriotic men.

Considerable excitement was created in this and other camps belonging to the 4th brigade. The day-before-yesterday, by rumors being circulated that the enemy were returning upon their lately abandoned works and had begun an attack upon our centre. The rumors were however false. The reason why the Brigade was called and (which was done) was because we had received orders to march or to hold ourselves in readiness to march, and the alarm was sounded for the purpose of testing the energies of the men. A real fighting spirit was manifested. We have orders now however to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moments notice. The camp is all quiet however at present. People still continue to seek safety in Washington. Three teams are passing along while I am writing, fleeing from the country, and the rebels, and seeking safety within the Union fortifications.  

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Who’s Matthew Baird?

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Aug. 26th

Portion of Aug. 26th entry, HCP Collection.

Today I paid a visit to the 4th Mich. Regt.  to see one or two old acquaintances. This is a healthy robust looking regiment. It is stationed at half a mile west of Fort Corcoran and forms a part of Sherman’s brigade. The 4th is at present engaged in building another fort in a commanding situation to the right of their camp. The work has progressed finely since they began. The boys seem to be in good spirits, jovial and full of life. On my return I passed Fort Corcoran, which presents quite a formidable appearance. It is situated on the opposite side of the river from Georgetown and has a command of the town and river, and the road leading down the canal, beside a large range of country to the west. Passing through one or two other camps,and down the canal road I soon arrived in camp.

Going out on picket.

I had not been long in camp before the alarm was given and the 3rd was called out to relieve the picket guard in the advances. This is a pretty particular duty and in this war has thus far proved to be a very dangerous one.

There seems to be so much antipathy existing between the Union and the rebel troops that a sight of each other is temptation enough to draw fire. Quite a number have been killed on both sides in such cases. Company E [Baird’s company] are posted along the road at short intervals in squads of six. While several other companies are thrown out still further in the advance.

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Who’s Matthew Baird?