FREDERICK L. HITCHCOCK
A nine months regiment mustered into service in August 1862, the 132nd Pennsylvania fought its last battle at Chancellorsville. Serving with the Third Brigade of French's division in the II Corps, the 132nd was heavily engaged on the Federal center.
On April 28 our corps broke camp and joined the column northward. The winter's rest had brought some accessions to our ranks from the sick and wounded, though the severe picket duty and the excessively damp weather had given us a large sick list. We had, to start with, upward of three hundred and seventy-five men, to which was added some twenty‐ five or thirty from the sick list, who came up to us on the march. It is a curious fact that many men left sick in camp, unable to march with the regiment leave, will get themselves together after the former has been gone a few hours and pull out to overtake it. I saw men crying like children because the surgeon had forbidden them going with the regiment. The loneliness and homesickness, or whatever you please to call it, after the regiment has gone are too much for them. They simply cannot endure it, and so they strike out and follow. They will start by easy marches, and they generally improve in health from the moment they start. Courage and nerve are both summoned for the effort, and the result is that at the end of the second or third day they rejoin the regiment and report for duty. This does not mean that they were not really sick, but that will power and exercise have beaten the disease. I have heard many a sick man say he would rather die than be left behind.
We marched about six miles the first day, much of our route being through a wooded country, some of it so wet and spongy that corduroy roads had to be built for the wagons and artillery. The army can, as a rule, move as rapidly as it can move its artillery and supply trains, and no faster. Of course, for short distances and special expeditions, where