Gettysburg Campaign (Map by Hal Jespersen, www.posix.com/CW, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1259123)
Part of a Series
The rearguard is not always the glamorous place to be. Especially during an advance. However, “our” Lieutenants Dooley and Rhodes both found themselves forming part of the rearguard during the Gettysburg Campaign. That meant that their regiments finally crossed the Potomac while the lead units were already ranging into Maryland and Pennsylvania, scaring the civilians. Their journal entries give valuable glimpses into the experiences at the tail end of the Army of the Northern Virginia and Army of the Potomac.
Dooley, in Longstreet’s Corps, Pickett’s Division, 1st Virginia Infantry, crossed the river on this week 156 years ago and then marched on to Chambersburg. Some of his diary was definitely written in “real time”, but some sections from the period may have been added later during the campaign or when he added clarifications much later.
Rhodes, in the VI Corps, Third Division, Second Brigade, 2nd Rhode Island Infantry, started journaling day-by-day again after taking a break in the previous week. He carefully details the towns his regiment passed through.
The lieutenants’ entries are included below, along with a brief outline of other campaign happenings: Continue reading