“Dazzled by the spectacle, a gunner in the 1st Massachusetts Battery strained the limits of language to paint a more eloquent portrait:
What a panorama of autumn landscape, grandeur and loveliness, lay before us! There was the broad valley stretching up from the Potomac…miles of undulating curves…miles of intervale, over the face of all, almost perfect pictures of thrift and plenty, orchards groaning with fruit of many varieties; broad acres golden with the ripened grain; groves of timber clean of underbrush; snug farm cottages and capacious barns, giving just the necessary variety to the scene; there were sheep on the hillsides, and herds of cows in the meadows; there were fine horses feeding in pastures….
All this, bathed by a healthy, stimulating atmosphere, and gilded by the rays of the September sun, was presented to our view. We seemed by some mental process, without conscious analysis, to grasp each of the elements of this wonderful picture at the moment the whole was presented to view when we came over the summit. A deep voice behind us exclaimed: ‘Is this not superb!’ We turned and beheld the speaker, Lieut. Col [Edward R.] Platt [Inspector General, Sixth Corps], riding with Gen. Franklin and his staff. The eyes of the General and all of his suite were bent in admiration upon the scene before us.”