Unauthorized socializing and commerce between the Union troops across the Potomac in Maryland and the 13th’s Rebel ones on the opposite Virginia shore continued after the Leesburg/Ball’s Bluff battles—until the regiment’s second-in-command put a stop to it.
Quartermaster clerk William H. Hill recorded on Nov. 11:
“Monday. Cloudy and cool. The 13th Regiment moved [back] to Carter’s Mill and the 17th Mississippi Regiment will take our place. [Minutemen Pvt.] C. Hansborough crossed the river on the invitation of the Yankees, visited their camp, dined with them and returned with several presents, newspapers, etc.”
Shortly before the move, five Yankees crossed to the Virginia shore and joined the Minutemen at their campfire, according to the diary of Pvt. Thurman Early Hendricks (still in private hands) quoted in McLean’s history.
“Lt. Col. [Mackerness Hudson Whittaker] rode up unexpectedly. ‘What are you doing here,’ he asked. ‘Johnnie said we could come over,’ they replied. ‘If I ever find any more of you here I will send you to Richmond.’ Of course they were gone at once.”
The regiment’s move away from the Potomac and back to their old camp at Carter’s Mill on the Oatlands Plantation probably stopped the visiting more effectively than Whittaker’s threat would have.