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August 24.
Arrived in Baltimore after traveling all night. Did not see much of the country in Pennsylvania, being asleep most of the time. We marched through the city to the Baltimore & Washington R. R. Depot where we had a breakfast provided in a large brick storehouse but lately used for this purpose.
On our route we passed by many troops who were encamped between Baltimore and Washington and by the long-heard-of “Relay House,” so notorious in the early part of the War9. Every soldier we saw asked us for papers. We went so slow we had plenty of time to talk to them.
We arrived in Washington about 2:30 P.M. We had lunch in a wooden building built especially for the purpose. We had mule meat and ‘coffee’ [as the boys call it] but it tasted some good.10
Washington looked some different from what we expected. For miles it is one barren waste covered with wagons, teams, cavalry and men. Not a spear of grass to be seen. We started for Arlington Heights at 4:30 P.M. We went by way of Georgetown, 7 or 8 miles farther than the usual way, a bridge being up the other way.11
It was a hard march, we having got tired out before we got to the dust of Arlington by marching over the pavements in Washington. After crossing the river at Georgetown the dust was 6 or 8 inches deep, and the air was close and hot, with not a drop of wind. The dust rose up slowly in our faces so that we could hardly breath.
The old troops ran over the hills to meet us, and we kept thinking we were going to stop, but we kept on for 5 or 6 miles farther. We sang “Glory Hallelujah” as it was never sung yet.
Gradually the boys kept dropping out from fatigue. When we got to our stopping we had but between two and three hundred men left in the regiment. We stopped on the Hunter Plantation nearly opposite the mansion house. We were not long in building a fire, and rolling ourselves up in our blankets, with our feet towards it. We had no tents and it being our first night in the open-air, we got up in the morning with pretty stiff necks.