SERVICE WITH THE THIRD
achievements. A number of changes in the organization of the Division were made while we were here in camp. The only one of importance to us was the transfer of the Second Massachusetts to our Brigade in place of the Ninth New York, giving us Colonel Gordon of the Second Massachusetts as brigade commander in place of General Hamilton, our old leader. This circumstance was little liked at the time; but it was the beginning of our friendship with the Second Massachusetts, that remained very close throughout the war.
On March 22 our Division left Winchester to proceed, as we believed, to Manassas Junction. At the end of a two days march we were camping for the night about three miles east of Snicker's Gap, in the Blue Ridge. Rumors here began to circulate, that there had in our absence been considerable fighting at Winchester. It was reported that the Confederates had been defeated, but that General Shields had been wounded in the battle. We were not, therefore, surprised, the next morning, to be ordered to march back over the identical road upon which we had come. We reached Winchester the same night after a hard march of