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1st Artillery Regiment (Light)
Battery C
Civil War Newspaper Clippings

December 21st, 1864
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald:
My last letter to the intelligent and appreciative readers of the Utica Morning Herald was, I think, dated away back in October and recounted the valiant deeds and thrilling adventures of Battery " H" in the battle of "Peebles' Farm;" wherein Warren took another slice of territory, about two miles in width, west of the Weldon Railroad. Having established his line within a couple of miles of the Danville Railroad, the position was turned over to the 9th corps "to have and to hold," since which time the 5th corps has been shifted and countermarched, marched and manoeuvred to and fro along the left of our grand line, until the other day, when they sent "Railroad Goth" on another destroying expedition, the results of which you already know. Now, the 5th corps is, after all its arduous labors, placed in reserve, with permission to build, winter quarters. Of course everybody will build the best of quarters, at the same time cherishing but slight expectations of occupying them move than a couple of weeks. Although nominally in reserve, the corps furnishes heavy details both of infantry and artillery for the front. Battery " C," with which organization of fighters your correspondent has of late linked his fortunes, is represented at the front by four "Napoleons," which look grimly through the embrasures of Fort Davis, where the song of the bullet is heard nightly and the air is often made resonant with the sublime thunder of artillery. Battery " H," which is to me a sort of military Alma mater, having fought, marched, drilled, and in fact done everything but "bled and died" with it, for the last three years, lies within neighborly distance. Its gallant commander, Charles E. Mink, has been brevetted Major and still remains with the Battery. Since my departure the brave and efficient 1st Sergt. of the Battery, Hiram H. Schell, of Lewis county, has been promoted to 2d Lieutenant. The Schell family is eminently loyal. The three scions who each hold a position in the Union army, are not a whit more loyal and patriotic than their sturdy sire, who expouses the cause of liberty with as much earnestness at home as do his three boys in the army. In fact, there are not many bad men up around our northern counties. They at least send very few of them to the army. A good share of my men are from Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, and though it may be merely a sort of natural weakness to think so, I do believe they are the best in the army, always of course excepting Oneida county men, of whom there are quite a number here. This latter fact, by-the-way, was well attested a few evenings since, for, as I sat absorbed in contemplation of a picture of " Long Abraham Lincoln a little longer," which my enlightened and humorous colored "help" had cut out of Harper's and stuck up over the fire, my ears was suddenly saluted by a concord of sweet sounds just outside the door. I knew in an instant that I was being serenaded, but by whom? After listening through a polite interval of time the " folding doors" were thrown open, and there appeared to my astonished gaze, what? A lot of Utica chaps—"Heavies" we call them, be cause they belong to the Heavy Artillery—and some who were not from Utica. At their head stood Miller—him of the stalwart moustache, who erst did beat the rolling drum for Arnott of the " Old Brass Band." It was indeed him, but alas ! how changed. The face, the Louis-Napoleonic moustache, were, it is true, all there; but the form, the waist, how changed! Once it rivalled in circumference the big base drum; now, patriotism and deprivations, hard tack, hard marches, have reduced its fair proportions to the diminutive measurement of a common sized "snare drum." But greatly as Mr. Miller has changed outwardly, his spirits nor his musical faculties are in nowise impaired.

" Quips and cranks and wanton wiles,"
or jokes, comes naturally to him as in those halcyon days when he revelled in picnic joys, and made fun for Sunday school children Falls. Behind Miller came the rest of the "Second New York Heavy Artillery Glee Club," composed of Messrs. Burtiss, Hudson and Harrington, all from " Old Oneida," besides several other gentlemen, (not musical,) from Oneida, and elsewhere; but nearly all representatives of the " Second Heavy." Suffice it to say, your correspondent wished that every man in the world could pass every evening of his life as pleasantly as we passed every moment of that evening amid song and story. Among other songs that the club gave was one composed by "old Dr. Reynolds" of the Second Corps, entitled "Hancock's Farewell," and which the club had the honor of first singing in the presence of Gen. Hancock, the night before he bade ; adieu to his war-worn corps. It was sung to the air of "The Star Spangled Banner," and brought tears to the eyes of brave Hancock.
There are many Oneida County men in the Second Artillery, and I am proud to say that the regiment bears a high reputation in the Second Corps, in which they have done much hard fighting. I can at least vouch for the prime condition of its Glee Club. May they all live long enough to tell their great-grand- children how they helped whip Jeff Davis in the time of the "Great Rebellion," and what a glorious time they had when peace was declared in the year 1865. (Vide Sherman's campaign) There are many things which might be said in this brief, but uninteresting letter, but which had perhaps better not be said, Au revoir, D.F.R.

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