It was clear and cold, with another frost, at sunrise on Friday, Oct. 31, 1862, when the division packed up, broke camp and set off southward.
They marched 19 miles, seldom being interrupted by the division wagon trains, and camped in a field on the Front Royal Road, about a dozen miles south of Winchester.
“…using the fencing for firewood,” Spartan Band Private Albert Wymer Henley recorded.
“The troops are very much fatigued,” wrote the 17th’s Private Robert A. Moore.
The next morning, they set out again, marching 11 miles, which included wading the very cold Shenandoah River, and passed through Front Royal and camped in Ashby’s Gap.
On Sunday, Nov. 2nd, they left camp at daylight and marched another 22 miles, recorded William H. Hill, quartermaster clerk of the Spartan Band.
They passed through Flint Hill and Washington in Rappahanock County, the same country they traversed in the spring when they fell back from Leesburg enroute to the Virginia Peninsula.
“Twenty miles is no short march,” Moore recorded in his diary. “All are fatigued.”
They camped that night a few miles north of Sperryville, but set off again Monday morning and clocked another 20 miles before bivouacking a few miles from Culpeper Court House.
“Tuesday. Clear and pleasant,” Hill wrote in his diary on Nov. 4, after the regiment’s four-day, 72 mile march from Brucetown. “We will remain here several days.”