Atwell, Marshall Burton
Age: 21, credited to Johnson, VTVITALS
Birth: abt 1840, Johnson, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Died in Los Angeles, CA
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
Marshall B. Atwell
Lamoille Newsdealer: August 9, 1861
We are taking the following extracts from a letter written by a member of Company E, 2d. Vermont, who went from Johnson.
ALEXANDRIA, July 24, 1861
Since the 15th of July, our Brigade has been busy in driving the secessioners into Manassas Gap. We drove them all out of Fairfax, C.H., and then our Brigade marched to Sungster cross roads, near Alexandria river, to take about 1,500 Rebels, but they blocked the roads with heavy oak and chestnut timber, which enabled them to get about two hours the start of us for Manassas; they burnt their tents, but left about 500 bushels of corn, 200 barrels of flour, and herds of cattle and hogs &c. The hogs were wild and we had to shoot them as you would rabbits.
As our army passed along, they left everything a perfect waste, every good horse was taken along with us, and the Negroes that jumped over the fence, and joined our ranks was not a few. I will omit saying anything about our skirmishes and picket fights, and the battle of the 18th, and endeavor to tell you a little of our "discourse of last Sabbath." If I could see you I would explain every incident that I witnessed in the affray.
The troops commenced to march for Manassas at 2 o'clock A.M., and commenced the cannonade at 8 A.M., and kept it up until 5 P.M. The Rebels had Masked Batteries on every side, but our forces drove them back about a mile and a half towards the Junction. Our Artillery got entirely out of Ammunition and we had to face their batteries with infantry. When our Brigade marched on the field we had a warm reception of shell, grape, canister and chain shot, whistling around our ears continually, but we kept on until we got within 30 or 40 rods of the enemy, who were in the edge of the woods, where we were just a fair mark for them as was ever shot at. Our Brigade after they had fired would retreat back and reload, except the Vt. 2d Regt, which never left the ground till the order had come several times to retreat which we did in good order.
The South has got good Commanding Officers as ever went into the field, and the North has got to have different Officers to conquer them. I went through the Battle without getting hurt but I had to drop 8 or 10 times to let Cannon Balls pass along. If anyone is calm they can dodge a Cannon Ball but they cannot dodge Shells and Bullets.
M. B. Atwell
Submitted by Deanna French.