Mustering Out of Service
Chapter 72 (June 1, 1865 – June 9, 1865)
Thursday, June 1 was a day set apart by President Johnson for prayer and thanksgiving. The writer had gone into the city for the purpose of looking thru the public buildings, not knowing that all were closed. He came to camp very much disappointed. I had the extreme pleasure of seeing General Winfield Scott on Pennsylvania avenue, walking toward the Capitol. A fine looking soldier he was.
After going into camp in the evening Corporal Lumbard started out for woods. He soon found two or three fence rails, placed them on his shoulders and started for his regiment. Troops were coming in and fires were started everywhere thruout the woods, and Lumbard became confused. So he finally came to a good sized fire around which several soldiers were taking their evening meal, it now being dark.
Lumbard said: “Boys what regiment is this?” They replied “Fifth Ohio.” and he said: “Can you tell me where I can find the 147th?” They said: “Yes, down at that large fire.” Lumbard started out but again got lost and came back to the same fire, and asked again whether they could tell him where he could find the 147th regiment. One said: “We just told you a little while ago, down at that large fire.” Joe still held on to his rails and started off again and for the third time came back to the same old fire place.
One of the men upon hearing a noise looked up and saw Lumbard coming, said: “There comes that darned fool again with the rails on his back.”
Saturday, June 3. All the men on detail from Company G were ordered to report to the company, preparatory to being mustered out of service.
Sunday, June 4, orders were read that all guns and accoutrements be cleaned up and made ready to turn over to the general government.
June 5, in camp.
Tuesday, June 6. Today Company G was mustered out of the service of Uncle Sam, whom we had served as best we knew how for almost three long years. We were a happy set of boys, yet when we thought of our dear comrades who sacrificed their lives for their country it made us feel solemn and sad.
STARTING FOR HOME
Thursday, June 8. We left our last camp near Bladensburg, Md., about 8 A. M., having given goodbye to the boys, who remained with the regiment. Company G, with H and F companies, marched to the depot at Washington city, where we waited transportation. Four members of Company G, Henry Brown, Peter R. Hoffer, Francis Smith, and Edward Reed Smith, who were not embraced in the general orders by which we were discharged, on account of having enlisted after a certain date in 1862, were transferred to Company E of our regiment. Soon after being transferred to Company E, Peter R. Hoffer, who had been paid off, met with a serious loss, by having his pocketbook taken out of his tent.
We awaited transportation until late in the afternoon during which time we had a pleasant wait of it. We were about as happy as the darkies of the South were when told they were free. When we were ready to leave camp, the writer told Captain Byers that he had not missed a day of service since his enlistment and the joining of the regiment, that he had never been a shyster, but that now he had made up his mind not to do any more marching. It was four miles to the railroad station from camp. The captain said: “How will you get there?” I told him I would attend to that and he said all right. After the company had gone I went to the wagon master and inquired about Captain Byers’ baggage. He told me what wagon it was on and I told him I was going to take charge of the baggage and he said all right.
Our first division was having review and their line extended over the road we were to take. So in order to get upon this road, we found a bank two or three feet high, down which the mules refused to go.
The teamster was a good one and understood his team, so he cracked his whip and yelled, “Git up!” One jump and they were down over the bank, the wagon upset and the fellow who had charge of the baggage was all tangled up, but soon made his exit thru a hole in the canvas in the rear end of the wagon. The boys who were being reviewed gave us cheer after cheer. Soon we got the wagon in shape and off we started. Met the company an hour or so later, and when we related our experience all had a good laugh and was glad to see no one was hurt.
At 4 P. M. boarded train for Harrisburg, and were soon speeding on toward Baltimore. On reaching Baltimore, we marched from the B. & O. depot thru the city to Northern Central depot. About 10 A.M. on the 9th, the order came all aboard. Reached west side of river opposite Harrisburg about 1:30 P.M. Here the company was ordered off the cars and marched over the old camel back bridge and thru the triumphal arch, which was erected on Market street, and then out Market to the station. The writer had been ordered off the baggage car but as he had charge of the baggage he was allowed to remain. Our car was run over the bridge to the freight station by gravity. When the car got on the Harrisburg side of the river, and while running along slowly I heard a lady playing on a piano, “Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Marching,” and I thought the music was the finest and the sweetest I ever heard. And I was doubly thankful that the tramp and marching was over.