This morning at 8 am we recieved [sic] an order to pack up and be ready to move at moment[']s notice. All was soon confusion and conjecture as to what was to be done and a general [unidentified word] of bothe [sic] officers and men [unidentified word] anxious to have the opinions of their comrades. The excitement was great as might well be expected, as it was the first time the regiment had ever been ordered out in a manner that indicated active duty[,] although portions of it had done some scouting duty possibly seen some reb soldiers[,] though always at a distance. We learned during the day that the army was in motion and[,] as it was generally understood that Centreville and Menassa [probably means Manassas, Virginia] would be the first points that our army would be likely to attack[,] concluded that Menassa [sic] was probably our destination.
Moved this morning at 2 am with the 3rd Pa [Pennsylvania] Cavalry[,] the two regiments forming a brigade under Comd. [command] of Col Averill [Colonel William Averill] of the 3d, Col Gregg comd [commanding] the 8th going toward Centrevill[e] about day light caught up to the infantry arriving a[t] Fairfax CH [Court House] about 8 o[']clock[,] where we halted for a short time and moved to Centreville by way of the turnpike road, (sometimes called the Braddock Road) arriving there at 3 pm[. O]n the way met my old friend William B. Finsey carrying a knapsack.
At 5 pm left Centreville for Menassa [sic] (the stronghold of the reb enemy in Va)[,] crossing Bull Run by moon light[,] the banks of which stream were very steep and passable