Moyer, Henry P. History of the Seventeenth regiment, Pa. volunteer cavalry or one hundred and sixty-second in line of Pa. volunteer regiments, war to supline the rebellion, 1861-1865; by Pennsylvania cavalry. 17th regt., 1862-1865; 1911,
THE MARCH INTO MARYLAND AND PENNSYLVANIA, pg 48-49
As we crossed the boundary line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, one of the guidon carriers of Company G, of our regiment, was stationed at the line making the announcement to each company as they approached, that they were, at that point, entering upon Pennsylvania soil. The boys raised their caps and lustily cheered, again and again, for the old Keystone State and Old Glory.
On June 29, 1863, the regiment encamped for the first time, since it left Harrisburg, on Pennsylvania soil, in the vicinity of Waynesboro, in sight of the homes of many of the members of Company G. A request was made to Colonel Josiah H. Kellogg to permit the men of Company G, to visit their homes during the night, which request was granted, however, only upon condition that every member of the company would be present again at roll call the following morning. Captain L. B. Kurtz commanding the company vouched for the men, and, to the credit of the company, it could be truthfully said that every member of the company was present for duty and answered roll call the next morning. It was in this same camp that, early the following morning, an old Pennsylvania farmer and his daughter drove into our camp with a one horse spring wagon and handed out loaves of bread and cakes, free of charge, saying he and his wife and daughter stayed up all night and baked them for the soldiers. “They are yours,” he continued, “you are welcome to them. I wish I had more to give you.” The boys doffed their caps and thanked the donors. Then someone proposed three cheers for the old farmer, another proposed three cheers for his wife, and still another proposed three cheers for the daughter. It is needless to say that in less time than it takes to tell this little incident, the bread and cakes were all distributed. The old farmer said, if we would remain until next morning, he would come again with more bread and cakes; but, before he left camp, “Boots and Saddles” sounded, and we parted, he no doubt for his home, and the regiment in the direction of Gettysburg where we arrived about four o clock in the afternoon of June 30, 1863.
CROSSING THE POTOMAC, pg 58-59
We crossed the river on pontoons at Edwards Ferry and took up the line of march through Maryland, moving so as to cover the left flank of the army. The country was loyal and men and horses recuperated rapidly. Passing near Frederick City, Md., a luckless spy happened to fall within our clutches. A drumhead court-martial dealt out prompt justice and his body was left hanging to a tree by the road side. A committee of indignant citizens called on General Buford and wanted to know why he was hanged. General Buford informed them that the man was a spy and he was afraid to send him to Washington because he knew the authorities would make him a brigadier General. The committee retired, unanimously voting General Buford a “Northern brute.” The march through Western Maryland was thoroughly enjoyable good roads, frequent streams of water, fine camping grounds, sympathizing people often crowding villages and country towns as we swept on through them. Mails, with letters from home, and newspapers, too, met us and were distributed almost every day. Later in the day June 29th w r e crossed the boundary line into Franklin County, Pa. The men of Company G, of this regiment, commanded by Captain Luther B. Kurtz, were natives of this county, and mostly recruited at or near Waynesboro. A trooper of this company, with guidon, stood at the line while the regiment passed, and each squadron lustily cheered him as we hastened on.
The division crossed the South Mountain on a good highway, along which the enemy s cavalry had preceded us some days. The road at some points had been barricaded by home guards and local troops to retard their progress, but these obstructions had mostly been removed. The command bivouacked on the night of the 29th at the foot of South Mountain, with orders to move at sunrise. The camp, as near as we can remember, was some eight or ten miles east of Waynesboro, the home of Captain L. B. Kurtz and the home of the men of Company G. The captain asked Colonel Kellogg for permission to take his company and spend the night in his native village. The request was novel; the orders under which the command was marching were very exacting. The colonel was a West Pointer and a strict disciplinarian. On the other hand, the sympathies of every officer in the command were with Captain Kurtz and his men. The request was granted and Company G went home for the night, leaving assurances of honor that all would be back at the hour the column would march, and, true to their word and country, they came, and when they reported the next morning, without a man missing or a straggler, they received a warm greeting from their generous, though less fortunate, companions.
A RETROSPECT, pg. 379-380
General Buford s Division crossed the Pennsylvania line in Franklin County on the 20th of June Passing over the South Mountain it went into camp near Fairfield for the night, in a region abounding in forage and water for our jaded horses, as well as in supplies of Pennsylvania bread and meat for the wearied men of the command. The days march was uneventful, save in the short but eloquent speeches made by the captains in obedience to orders, and in the responsive and ringing cheers made by the gallant soldiers as they marched by the trooper of Company G, who stood with streaming guidon, on the boundary line of the State, indicating our exit from doubtful Maryland into loyal Pennsylvania.
The restful camp that followed our march over the mountain was memorable only in the departure of Company G on a social visit for the night to their homes, at and near Waynesboro, in the exercise of authority reluctantly given them by Colonel Kellogg, and their return without a man missing by sunrise on the following morning, in fulfillment of their pledge of honor. The day s march had a significance, however, far beyond the comprehension of the toiling officer and soldier of the line. The trained eye and splendid forecast of General Buford, scanned with eager interest the landscape that opened to his view on this mountain highway. Gravely impressed by the importance of impending events, Buford said to the officers surrounding him “within forty-eight hours, the concentration of both armies will take place upon some field within view, and a great battle will be fought.” By the examination of a local map obtained in the neighborhood, the remarkable convergence of broad highways at Gettysburg was first clearly disclosed to the officers in command, and indicated the approximate field of the coming conflict. To this point, under general instructions, Buford hastened and directed his next day s march. It is a remarkable coincidence that on the evening of this day, June 29, General Lee issued his order for the concentration of his army at Cashtown, recalling General Ewell from the Susquehanna. The march of
Buford’s column northward, reported to Lee by his secret service, indicated the advance of the Army of the Potomac in the same direction. This movement precipitated preparations for what was then, as well as subsequently, believed to be the greatest battle of the war.
The advance of all columns was upon Gettysburg on the morning of June 30, save that commanded by General Stuart; General Ewell from the east, General Hill from the north, General Longestreet from the west; from the south, General Buford on the left, General Gregg on the right, covering the capital, and the face of the country from Hanover to Fairfield the Army of the Potomac, under a new commander was moving to strike the Army of Northern Virginia whenever found.
BACK IN PENNSYLVANIA, pg. 396-397
On the night of June 29th, the regiment encamped upon Pennsylvania soil, about eight miles from Waynesboro, almost in sight of the homes of the members of Company G. I heard Colonel Bean, in a public address, make the statement that Captain Kurtz, commanding Company G, asked permission at this time to allow his men to visit their homes during the night, and that this permission was granted upon condition that every member of the company must report for duty again at sunrise the following morning; and that, to the credit of Company G, it could truthfully be said that every member of the company answered roll call the next morning.