1st Artillery Regiment (Light)
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
COMPLIMENT TO CAPT. MINK - The Cav
laier, a neat little journal published at Yorktown, Va., has the following
ac-count of a presentation to Capt. Mink, of the 1st N.Y. Artillery, a Company
of which was enlisted in Lewis Co. After this, Col. Smith called on Cap-
tain C.E. Mink, of Battery H; 1st N. Y. Artillery, to step forward. He, not
knowing what was wanted, but anticipa-ting that it might be for a speech,
and being entirely unprepared, showed great reluctance and some embarrassment.— When
he had approached the field offi-cers of the regiment, Lieut. Col.Wick-ersham
drew from beneath his coat a su-perb sword, and in behalf of the regi-ment
presented it to him, with a very few eloquent and appropriate remarks. The
brave soldier of many battles was for the first time since entering the service
taken by surprise, and was completely over-come by his emotion. His looks
ex-pressed more forcibly than language co'd have done, his high appreciation
of the noble testimonial of regard and confi-dence."
Capt. Chas. E.
Mink, mentioned a-bove, is an Albanian, and was formerly an engineer, on
one of our river boats, but more recently engaged at Lyons' Falls, N.Y.,
(Black River country,) in the same capacity, where he resided on the breaking
out of the rebellion. He was among the first to offer his services to his
country, and received a commis-sion as Lieutenant in the 1st 1st N. Y. Ar-tillery,
and has since been promoted to the Captaincy of Battery H., of the same regiment,
for gallant services in the field. The high compliment just paid him shows
the good feeling between him and his fellow soldiers, and their esteem for
him as an officer, as it will also please
his many friends here and elsewhere.
PRESENTATION TO AN ALBANY OFFICER.—
We have received a copy of a paper
entitled "The Cavalier," a neatly printed sheet which is published
at Yorktown, Va. In it we find the following paragraph :
"SWORD PRESENTATIONS.—On Monday of last week, the officers and soldiers
of the 169th Regiment Penn. Infantry, presented their Col., L. H. Smith, with
a splendid sword. By special invitation, Battery H, 1st N. Y. Artillery and Battery
D, 1st Pa. Artillery, were present at the parade and review of the regiment,
and took positions one on each flank. At the conclusion of the parade, the regiment
and batteries were formed in a square, and Major Wm. Smyth, in behalf of the
regiment, made the presentation in a neat and appropriate speech. Col. Smith
responded very happily. "
After this, Col. Smith called on Captain C.
E. Mink, of Battery H, 1st N.Y. Artillery, to step forward. He, not knowing what
was wanted, but anticipating that it might be for a speech, and being entirely
unprepared, showed great reluctance and some embarrassment. When he had approached
the field officers of the regiment, Lt. Col. Wickersham drew from beneath his
coat a superb sword, and in behalf of the regiment presented it to him with a
few very eloquent and appropriate remarks. The brave soldier of many battles
was for the first time since entering the service taken by surprise, and was
completely overcome by his emotion. His looks expressed, more forcibly than language
would have done, his high appreciation of the noble testimonial of regard and
Capt. Chas. E. Mink, mentioned above, is an Albanian, and was formerly an engineer
on one o£ our river boats, but more recently engaged at Lyons' Falls, N.
Y. (Black River country), in the same capacity, where he resided on the breaking
out of the rebellion. He was among the first to offer his services to his country,
and received a commission as Lieutenant in the 1st N.Y. Artillery, and has since
been promoted to the Captaincy of Battery H, of the same regiment for gallant
services in the field. The high compliment just paid him shows the good feeling
between him and his fellow soldiers, and their esteem for him as an officer,
as it will also please his many friends here and elsewhere.
Battery “H” 1st N. Y. Artillery
In which are the boys from this County, is now at Gloucester Point, opposite
Yorktown, Va. As Capt. Spratt is yet unable to resume the command of it. Lieut.
Chas. E. Mink is commander.
Personnel- 1st. Lieut. D. F. RITCHIE, of this city, is in command of battery
H. First N.Y. artillery, his Captain, CHARLES E.MINK, having been wounded.
The battery is attached to the Fifth corps, and has done good service. Lieut.
had a horse shot under him a few days ago.
...ant Soldier Lad.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Saturday, Aug. 1,1863. To the Editor of the New-York Times:
Will you allow me space in your valuable journal to record the loss by death
of one of our noble soldiers, a native of England, LEWIS H. RUTDGE, Co. H,
First N. Y. V. artillery, who died at Armory-square Hospital, from injuries
by falling from the cars, when under orders to proceed to Frederick. His loss
is deeply deplored by the whole company, to whom he had endeared himself by
his bravery, his strict integrity, honor and amiability of temper. Although
in years, he had endured, since entering the service, hardships and privations
which older heads dreaded to encounter. His comrades, as a memento of their
brotherly regard and grief at his loss, have placed over his remains, at the "Soldiers'
Home," a marble monument, inscribed:
Our Comrade in Battle, LEWIS K, RUTDGE, CORPORAL FIRST N.
Died July 17, 1863 ; Aged 23. " One of our country's bravest men,
Beneath this marble sleeps."
Should any of his friends read this they may be solaced by the thought, that
Mr. and Mrs. HUGHES, residents of Washington, were in constant attendance upon
him to the last. They had only to see him ere they loved him. The Surgeon in
charge, Dr. BLISS, was assiduous in his attentions to him, and felt an especial
interest in the poor sufferer, by his patience, cheerfulness and courage under
the necessary amputations. The Assistant Surgeons and nurses were alike attentive,
as also his companion in arms, S. B. TOWNSEND, who recognized him when carried
into the ward, and carefully watched for three days and nights by the bedside
of the dying young soldier, although himself an invalid. I must add, I never
in my life witnessed more sympathy and interest for any sufferer, than was
shown to this brave boy, by all who saw and knew the terrible nature of the
and the resignation and fortitude of our young friend. His commander, Capt.
MINK, mourns him as a beloved brother for he knew and esteemed him and acknowledges
the loss of a brave and faithful soldier. His come him home at the expiration
of his service, the
one had been separated from the others upwards of
eight years. Alas! how soon has the future been
darkened by death, when only a few weeks since
all was brightness and joy at the thought that their
future years would be solaced and supported by his
presence and help. Not one complaint of any kind
did he utter, although he was severely injured internally, as well as in his
upper and lower limbs, in his
body, in his head and face, and in this state lay for
several hours until picked up by the guard. He endured amputation of both legs
without one word or
groan, his only anxiety being for his mother and sisters, and the fear of being
reported a deserter, as inthe darkness of the night he was not missed until
company reached Frederick, and he supposed they
would be unable to account for his absence.
Such is the melancholy death of this noble and
promising youth who, in the seven days' fight, before
surrendering his guns when overpowered by the enemy, took his comrade, Sergt.
GILBERT, and in the face of the enemy, spiked every gun before leaving. Gen.
McCLELLAN, noticing the act, complimented them as the "two bravest men in
the whole army."
Several friends of the brave and faithful soldier, Corporal L.H. RUTDGZ, who
lost his life under most melancholy circumstances at Washington July 17, de-sire
to offer their sympathy and condolence to his afflicted mother and sisters
under their sad bereavement. It is therefore hoped that all who esteem a noble
faithful soldier will endeavor to alleviate the loss he is to his family as
much as possible, and will aid in carrying out the plans which this noble boy
projected for the benefit of his widowed mother.
Any subscription may be forwarded to the office of the St. George's Society,
No. 40 Exchange-place, New York.
CAMP BARRY, D. C., Oct 3, 1863.
To the editor of the Utica Morning Herald: Government does not intend that
Rosecrans shall remain long on the defensive. Reinforcements are
rapidly going westward. Gen. Joe. Hooker, it is said, is to command the troops
recently sent from here to the west, comprising parts of the 11th and 12th
corps of the Potomac army. Other portions of Meade's army are being sent to
perhaps to strengthen Gillmore. These heavy detentions from the Army in Virginia
might cause serious disasters were it not that Lee's army has been correspondingly
weakened by reinforcements sent from it to Charleston, to Bragg, and elsewhere.
Our army is probably now of equal strength, numerically with Lee's, and is
able to hold its ground against it. Neither is in condition to assume the offensive,
and for the present there will probably be no fighting between Meade and Lee.
Many are crying out impatiently for the capture of Richmond. But it may well
be questioned whether this is the most important object to be attained at the
present juncture. Is it not possible that the vital point of this rebellion
at or very near the insignificant hamlet of Chattanooga? Jeff Davis can risk
his capitol to defend it. He sends his veterans against Rosecrans, taking them
as it were from the very defenses of Richmond.
We cannot afford to have the
Army of the Cumberland defeated. Not though by such a sacrifice we should gain
rebel capitol. If, however, Rosecrans can be sufficiently reinforced to enable
him to push Bragg backward and gain possession of Atlanta, thus severing the
Confederacy in halves, we may well afford to let Meade and Lee lie idle be-fore
the gates of their respective strongholds for a few months.
The military situation at this moment is a peculiar one. The rebel government
in checking Rosecrans did the only thing feasible for it to do. By it they
gain a few months more of miserable existence, although the rebel cause is
by this spasmodic effort. It may be questioned why Rosecrans was not reinforced
before instead of after his defeat. Perhaps it was impossible to do so, or
maybe he was considered strong enough. It is easier to pro-pose than provide
for our army is much smaller and weaker than many shrewd civil tacticians imagine.
We are, in fact, very nearly at a stand still. Our army in Virginia may just
now be regarded as little else than a grand Corps of Observation, watching
the movements of Lee, who is ready at any moment to fall back behind the fortifications
of Richmond, where it would only defend itself against a much larger force
Meade has now at his command. As far as the armies in the field are concerned,
the rebels very nearly match us in strength. Rosecrans is doubtless ere this
full as strong as Bragg, and may be able to outwit him.— But suppose Jeff.
Davis should suddenly take it into his wily head that Washington would be a nice
prize, even if it cost the sacrifice of Atlanta and Macon to attain it—what
then? Can Washington be successfully besieged by all the troops Jeff. Davis is
able to concentrate against it? Here, in my opinion, lies the only possibility
of danger. It is hardly probable though that the rebels will make a demonstration
against Washington, unless they gain a decided advantage in the West, which is
a most doubtful contingency.
I hardly think there will be any active operations in this department for several
months. The army has yet received but comparatively few reinforcements from
the draft, although owing to the great bounties now paid for enlistments the
service is quite brisk in some localities. Men get from two to six hundred
dollars in bounties in some of the States. A few men in this camp who enlisted
Jersey a few days ago received over seven hundred dollars apiece.
The spirit of John Brown is certainly "marching on." A few days since
a boy came into camp to get permission to sell books, pictures, etc., to the
soldiers. On looking over his stock I was pleased to discover a number of fine
lithographs of Lewis Ransom's painting of John Brown going to execution, now
on exhibition at Goupiel's, New York. This picture already begins to possess
historical interest. The lithograph found many purchasers among the soldiers,
among whom, the name and history of John Brown and the songs written about him
are wonderfully familiar.
But little is heard of this General, lately. Some trifling excitement was gotten
up recently over the subscription list which McClellans's friends have been circulating
through the army. But the whole thing was such a transparent political humbug
that it has fallen harmless to the ground. It has been met almost universally
with stunning rebuffs, except in some instances, where the motive was so well
concealed as to deceive the unsuspecting. No doubt we shall next have a committee
of ''Plug Uglies" soliciting ten cents apiece from the admiring friends
of Fitz John Porter. Such demonstrations are an insult to all true men, but it
comes from a source too vile for notice.
Preparations are being made for the voting of the Ohio soldiers. This is
a privilege denied to the soldiers of New York, and well do they appreciate
the fact. Of
course the Governor of said State has to bear all the slurs, all the blame,
and all the curses It is a very good thing for the Copperheads that they
the bill allowing soldiers to vote, for the great majority of the men are decidedly
opposed to all secession sympathizers, whether in the form of open rebels or
concealed under the guise of Seymourites. It is a great pity the soldiers of
New York State are not allowed equal privileges with those from other parts
of the Union.
A CAMP JOKE.
If all the ludicrous occurrences of camp life were recorded, they would make
a more laughable book than ever Burton compiled. One of the most comical incidents
that has occurred lately is in the case of a certain member of Battery H, 1st
New York Artillery—one John. John is of a speculative turn of mind, and
saving of his wages. But, like too many good men, he will take a drop too much
some-times. Having procured a pass the other day, he proceeded to the city, with
about fifty dollars in his pocket—a happy soldier. At night he returned,
but his face wore an uncertain, bewildered air, as of a man lost in abstruse
reckonings. Something was wrong, and John was submitted to a thorough examination.
His fifty dollars were gone, every centof it, and John did not like to confess.
however, it came out in the testimony of other witnesses
that John had been suddenly stricken with a
passion for music while on Pennsylvania Avenue,
and had struck a bargain with an Organ-grinder for
his whole establishment, including an educated
monkey and three white mice. By some hocus-pocus,
however, in making change, the organist managed
to retain the monkey and mice. So the organ
was toted off, but John began to get sober as he
neared camp, and finally left it at a house for safekeeping.
It has not yet appeared in c a m p , John
has had to borrow tobacco money, however, since
From the Army of the Potomac
BATTERY H, IST N. Y. ARTILLERY,
IST Army CORPS, Culpepper, Va.
March 29, 1864
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald:
A review of the 1st Army Corps by Gen. Grant
took place this morning near Culpepper, and at an
hour unprecedented for reviews, viz: 8 o'clock.
The 1st and 5th Corps are supposed to be merged
in one, but owing to inclement weather the camps
of neither Corps have been changed, so that the two
are still lying some distance apart, the 1st occupying
the country about Culpepper. Gen. Warren, the
new corps commander, has located his headquarters
in Culpepper, near Gen. Grant. Hereafter, the 1st
corps, although every soldier in it is allowed to retain
his old badge, will be officially known as the
5th, but probably not till the campaign opens will
the two corps be united. The troops reviewed today,
therefore, consisted only of those belonging to
the old 1st corps. They were very promptly in line,
and showed to fine advantage formed along a ridge
of ground running northwest from Pony Mountain,
each regiment of infantry massed in column of divisions,
with the artillery on the right of and nearly
at right angles with the infantry. The cavalry was
formed en masse in the rear of the artillery.
As usual on such occasions, it commenced to
rain, which with the accompanying raw east wind,
ventured a seat on horseback or a position on foot
anything but comfortable. And as a notion prevails
that it looks unmilitary to appear on review
with overcoat or poncho we had nothing to do but
to stand and take the storm. This being the first
review at which Gen. Grant has appeared, great
curiosity was felt to gain a sight of the highest officer
in the American army, the most successful hero
of the war.
Presently our wish was gratified. The General
started from our right and rode slowly along in
front of the line, accompanied by Major Generals
Meade and Warren with their respective staffs. As
he passed within a few feet of the line, he seemed
to scrutinize closely every face, and every eye was
bent as earnestly on him in return. It is customary
for the reviewing officer to pass at a trot or a gallop,
but General Grant rode by at a walk, thus
affording every soldier an opportunity to see his
face - a: sort of military "introduction," in which
the General forms a mental acquaintance with his
troops. Now, therefore, we all have the honor of
an acquaintance with Gen. Grant "by sight." In
all probability we shall be better acquainted before
the summer is over.
General Grant's personal appearance is not striking.
He is of medium size and height, but appears
possessed of great powers of endurance. His
physiognomy is of the Saxon cast, light complexion,
somewhat browned by exposure, and sandy
beard, almost approaching to white near the mouth.
His eyes are either light blue or gray. The general
expression of the face is cool, calm and thoughtful,
with an underlying strata of indomitable energy
and determination, indicating more of talent than,
genius. General Meade would be considered much
the finer-looking man of the two, and much more
intellectual. His countenance indicates keener
intellect, greater power than Grant's. Meade would
be taken for a military genius sooner than
Grant, judging by his head and face alone,
But there is no questioning the ability of either.
Both are heroes, and are already enshrined in the
heart of the nation. One wears on his frontlet the
proud name of Vicksburg; the crest of the
other is adorned with that of Gettysburg. Both
possess the confidence of the army. Individually
the greatest heroes of the war, how can we but hope
and believe that their united efforts will result in
the signal discomfiture and destruction of the rebel
hosts. The greatest and best tried players in this
game of war are now pitted against each other,
and this game is the "rubber."
But I have diverged from the review. To resume:
Alongside of Gen. Grant rode Gen. Warren, our
new corps commander, a younger and totally different
officer from either of the above. Gen. Warren
is more of the Ellsworth style, with long dark hair,
and a restless, impetuous bearing. He has risen
rapidly from the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in
Duryea's Zouaves, to the proud position of Major-
General and corps commander. He superseded Gen.
John Newton, and I have no doubt will sustain the
reputation which the 1st Corps possessed under its
late highly respected and much loved commander.
Gen. Warren is the junior corps commander in the
army, and Gen. Sedgwick ranks them all. Passing
along to the left of the batteries Gen. Grant approached
the right of the infantry. The artillery bugles
ceased, and the band of the 1st division struck up "
Hail to the Chief," the colors gracefully saluting.
It was a fine sight, and made one's nerves thrill.
Every soldier looked his proudest, for it is worth
something to simply meet the approving glance of
two such heroes as Grant and Meade. After passing
round to the extreme left of the line, the reviewing
party turned off to look at the cavalry. Meanwhile
a staff officer announced to the artillery and
infantry that they could return to their camps, the
passing in review being dispensed with, and in a
moment batteries and regiments were marching
homeward by the shortest route. Thus ended the
review commenced and finished before 101/2 o'clock
The rain which commenced this morning has
been falling steadily ever since, and the wind has
increased to a perfect gale. But I do not think it
will hinder operations here, for there are no indications
of a movement on our part. Be convinced
nothing will be attempted here until everything is
ready. When all the asked-for troops are furnished
and marshaled in their appointed places, then
operations will commence. The stakes at issue in
the coming campaign, involving, as they doubtless
do, the destiny of the nation, are too important to
be hazarded by hasty or immature plans and undertakings.
It will not do to repeat the campaign
of 1862, else the mercurial temperament of our
Northern brothers may suffer another ebb, and
Seymour| No. 2 be foisted into the gubernatorial
chair of New York, and McClellan No. 1 enthroned
in the White House. Besides, and above all, we
are all anxious to close the war, which can be accomplished
in no other way than by thorough decisive
From the Army of the Potomac.
BATTERY H, 1ST N. Y. ARTILLERY,
1ST ARMY Corps, CULPEPPER, Va.,
April 6th, 1864.
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald:
For a week there has been few changes in the
phase of affairs in this department. We have had
more warm weather, more hail, snow and sleet during
the last two weeks, than in the greater part of
the months of March and February, and consequently,
had it been the desire of our commanders
to commence operations, they would have been
frustrated. Whenever the forward movement
comes it will be hailed with joy, yet we are content
to bide our time, trusting in Providence and Gen.
Grant. We know that our Lieutenant General is
putting forth every effort to prepare for a decisive
campaign, backed up by all the power of the Government.
The consolidation of corps has produced no material
change in the troops, most of them, particularly
the batteries, being allowed to occupy their
old camps for the benefit of their stables. And
most of the infantry still occupy their comfortable
winter huts along the railroad, on the Rappahannock,
at Brandy Station, Culpepper, and toward the
Rapidan. Extended as are our lines, the enemy would
have a hard task before them if they attempted to
whip us, for we are accessible to numerous excellent
positions for defense, and could hold our ground
against considerable odds. The rebels still maintain
their old position on the opposite bank of the
Rapidan. Some of their camps are visible from the
signal station on Pony Mountain, which commands
a view of the country ranging from twenty
to thirty miles in different directions. The Rapidan
is not more than five miles distant, but flows in so
deep a channel and is so thickly shaded with pine
forests that its waters are visible in only one place.
The signal officers have, however, located the exact
position of the various fords, so that any attempt to
cross would be known by them quite as soon as by
the pickets along the stream.
There is a considerable influx of recruits lately
for the artillery. All the batteries are to be raised
to the maximum strength, and put in the most complete
fighting order. The recruits for the infantry,
however, come slowly, and it is hard to conceive
what has become of the immense number of troops
we have raised on paper. By the latter part
of this month or first of May, the greater part of
the "veterans" will have returned, and before that
time every recruit and conscript should be in his
place with a tolerable idea of his duties as a soldier.
Every man called for by the President will be needed
before the summer is over, and doubtless more.
As yet the effect of the late calls for troops is but
just beginning to be perceptible in the field. And
one fighting man now is worth a dozen three months
We read with joy the glorious news of a Union
triumph in Connecticut. Only let New York
blot out the disgrace of '62 by giving a Union
majority next fall, and we shall be satisfied. The
name of "Seymour" appears to have gained but
little prestige of late. Why would it not be a good
thing to give us soldiers an opportunity to vote for
Gen. Wadsworth for our next Governor? Every
New York soldier would vote for him, for they
know him. Brave as the bravest, staunch as the
staunchest, he has been tried and not found wanting
in any respect. The men and officers of his
Division (1st Division, 1st and 5th Corps) universally
love and esteem him; He is a true man, a
tried soldier and a thorough patriot, and though his
troops would regret to part with him, I do not believe
a man in his division would cast a vote against
him. I have yet to hear the first word spoken
against Gen. Wadsworth by any soldier. With the
exception of a few copperheads, who hold their positions
in the army through any motive but patriotism,
I think the soldiers will vote a straight Union
Presidential ticket, and the prevailing sentiment is
strongly in favor of Abraham Lincoln. His prudence
and sagacity have carried the nation safely
through the struggle thus far. A change might be
an improvement, but would probably be our loss.
President Lincoln is radical enough for the radicals
and he is just as conservative as a loyal and true
Union man can be. As he is condemned by the
extremes of both parties, it is but safe to infer that
his position is as near right as it can be. At all
events, he is the first man in the heart of the nation
The storm seems to have wasted its energies at
last, and the lowlands about here which were submerged
by the flood yesterday, are now rapidly drying
up. The sun has ventured to shine a little today,
and a few timorous birds have caroled in
doubtful strains, as though they hardly knew
whether it were best to rejoice yet. The spring
comes tardily, but as we have probably had our
last snow and sleet, the timid goddess will soon venture
forth to gladden the hearts of none more than
the hearts of soldiers.
D. F. R.
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL COUNTIES.
From the Army of the Potomac.
BATTERY H, 1st N. Y. ARTILLERY, 5th CORPS,
June 5th, 1864.
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald,
Shortly after I dispatched my letter last Thursday,
the bullets were flying and cannon shots howling
in fearful earnest over the spot where I wrote.
It seems that Wright and Hancock had been withdrawn
from our extreme right, and shifted to the
extreme left of our line, and that Burnside had also
partially withdrawn, and was passing toward the
left in rear of the 5th Corps. The watchful enemy
observed the movement and followed up our pickets
so closely that almost before we knew it, they had
doubled around on our right, completely enfilading
the right of Warren's Corps, while from our front
they opened a most murderous artillery fire, raking
both our own and Burnside's troops directly in our
rear. This was about 5 o'clock P. M. A tremendous
storm was raging, adding to the gloomy magnificence
of the scene. Very soon the rattling, scattered
shots of the retiring skirmishers, increased
to steady volleys, and from the sound every soldier
knew that the enemy was pressing hard on our
right and rear. It was a trying moment. The rebel
shells were flying thick and bursting everywhere,
among our trains, hospitals and the thickly massed
troops. None of Burnside's infantry were in line,
and his batteries had all been withdrawn from their
position and closely packed directly under the range
of the rebel guns. A good portion, too, of Warren's
batteries had been withdrawn from his right,
and the infantry were preparing to leave, so that
for a time the enemy had it all his own way. Part
of Griffin's Division, the 146th among them, had
already left their first line of intrenchments, and
were retiring, wondering what the movement could
be, when they were quickly ordered back to their
first line. They had scarcely regained this position,
the fighting on their right flank growing hotter
every moment, when Burnside's pickets came rushing
back in their rear, and the rebels following them
close, began to pour a heavy enfilading fire into Griffin's
line, compelling regiment after regiment to fall
back with considerable loss, but in good order. In
this manner the enemy drove part of Burnside's
and Warren's Corps about half a mile, doing us
considerable damage. But they soon came to a
stop, for Burnside and Warren hastily formed a
strong line nearly at right angles with the former
front, and getting the artillery in position opened
savagely on the advancing rebels, checking their
progress and slaughtering them terribly. By this
time, darkness had fallen, and the fight gradually
Friday the enemy was forced back on our right
and our line re-established on its old ground. Our
losses on Thursday night and Friday morning were
quite heavy. I am informed that the 146th lost
about 60 killed, wounded and missing. Lieutenant
Chalmers is, I believe, the only officer lost. Lieut.
Lowrey, of Utica, received a severe wound in the
thigh during the day. While in the picket line,
Battery D, 1st N.Y. Artillery, suffered a heavy loss
in the death of Lieut. De Mott, the fourth officer
lost in the battery during the present campaign. — Lieut. De Mott was but recently promoted from
Battery L, and bore an untarnished character, both
as an officer and a man. He was killed suddenly
by the bursting of a shrapnell while working his
guns on the advancing rebel lines.
In regard to Thursday's operations, it is said
there is great blame attached to some officers of the
picket line in Burnside's Corps, who allowed his
skirmishers to come in long before the hour intended,
thus exposing the flank movement of our army.
It is reported that Balda Smith is on our left, and
has formed a junction with Hancock. Night before
last there was a heavy cannonading heard to the left
and, we hear that it was Hancock repulsing a rebel
charge. Yesterday the rebels withdrew from our
right and have probably moved down to meet Hancock
nearer Richmond. Grant has attempted nothing
like another flank movement, and our left must
have swung pretty well around toward Richmond
by this time. We have Ewell in our immediate
front and are holding ground less than a mile from
that occupied by our corps one week ago. Then we
were on the left, now we are on the extreme right,
The army is if possible, in better spirits than ever
and fully prepared to do the most stubborn fighting.
Notwithstanding its thirty days fighting, its night
and day forced marches, its digging and wading, it
is just as ready for action as ever, though we are the
roughest, ruggedist, dirtiest looking crowd you ever
beheld. Many of the men have been and are without
shoes, having literally marched them off their
feet. But now that our base is so near, Quartermasters
are exerting themselves to the utmost to
get up supplies of every description. The fighting
wilt not be stopped, however, for lack of shoes or
anything else. It is understood to be Gen. Grant's
intention to have the rebel capital by July 4th, and
no d o u b t he will do it. You would be astonished
at the amount of digging done by this army since
it started. Every position has been intrenched as
soon as taken, and though they have been generally
abandoned without a shot being fired out of
them, the troops no sooner gain a new one than
the shovel and pick are busy again.
I am happy to state that Lieut. Fowler, of the
146th, has just received an appointment as A. D. C.
on Gen. Griffin's staff.
Capt. James E. Jenkins, of the 146th, has kindly
furnished me the subjoined list of casualties in his
regiment since Thursday's engagement. All the
troops on the right of the regiment having fallen
back, there was but one alternative left for it, and
it retired. The enemy was so far in its rear that
it lost quite a number of prisoners, as the following
Co. A--Lieut, J. S. Lowrey, wounded in thigh,
Co. B—missing, privates Stephen Weaver, Geo.
Wolcot, Francis Coffin.
Co. C—wounded, private M. Godfry, head, slightly.
Co. D—killed, Cor. Z.P. Hoagland. Wounded,
1st Sergt. 0. H. Jones, leg, (prisoner), Cor. Backus,
arm slightly, private D. Walley, foot, slightly,— Missing, privates B. Colton, J. Avery, D. Coon, E.
Collar, J. Fitch, S. J. Garret, W. Hessee, H. Holloway,
F. Leggin, J. Lenox, W. J. Scott, P. Kirchner.
Co. E—killed, private Jesse Thomas. Wounded,
Private E. Farnsworth, left lung, Cor. Jno. Hinchman,
hip. Missing, Lieut. H. Chalmers, 1st Sergt.
Jno. Kenedy, Sergt. Jno. Swanson, Privates C. W.
Cook, F. Diamond, L. Empy, L. W. Green, A. B.
Gibson, E. Gallott, C. Gaylord, Jno. Hays, J. McGoughlin, J. Morrison, D. Parish,
J. Ready, A. Scovill,
W. Slout, H. Stowell, L Starkweather.
Co. F—killed, Sergt. H. B. Saunders.
Co. G—missing, Cor. William Taylor, privates A.
Burlingame, J. Goodfellow, S. Hyde, E Quinn, D.
Williams, E Smith. Wounded, J. Sullivan, fingers,
Co. H—wounded, Sergt. F. Sittig, neck, slightly.
Co. I—missing, privates J. West, W. Platt.
Co K—missing, privates E. Little, W. D. Lake,
Jas. Kelly, Geo. F. Berline, A. Weller. D. F. R.
P. S.—Since writing the above I have learned
that our extreme left rests at or near Bottom's
Bridge, and that Gen. Smith, with the 18th Corps,
has crossed the Chickahominy higher up, and after
a gallant fight taken the same fortifications erected
by him two years ago, but so precipitately abandoned
at the beginning of the Seven Days' fighting before
Richmond. So the good work goes bravely on.
God grant we may take no backward steps.
D. F. R.
From the Army of the Potomac.
BATTERY H, 1st N. Y ARTILLERY,
Near Bottom's Bridge, June 11th, 1864.
It seems hard to realize that I am writing on almost
the same ground as that occupied by the old "
Empire Battery" two years ago. Really, some
changes have come over since then, when we stole
around through the underbush and low pines to get
a sly shot at the rebels across the Chickahominy.
And when we opened on a rebel battery, lying on
the other end of the railroad bridge, making them
skedaddle" with indecent celerity, we deemed it
true that we had certainly done a big thing. And
it was quite an achievement for such greenhorns as
we were when. It was not till after the bloody baptism
of Seven Pines that we realized the idea of battle.
And here let me say that I have never experienced
anything, even in this campaign of campaigns,
which could compare with that fearful struggle.
So here we are on the classic grounds of the
Chickahominy. Two years have sped by, two crimson
years. We have hoped and struggled and bled,
and now, like a benighted traveler, we emerge from
the wilderness to find ourselves walking in the same
path we left but an hour ago. We are no nearer
the rebel capital today than we were two years ago.
Under ordinary circumstances this fact might be
discouraging, but though we are even further from
Richmond than we were two years since, we feel, we
believe, we know we are nearer the end of the rebellion
than at that time. There is naught pleasant
in this desolate region, dotted on every knoll and
hillock with the graves of our comrades, but there is
an expression on the countenance of each bronzed
veteran telling a different tale from that look which
sat upon many faces in '62, when the Army of the
Potomac dragged its slow length along at the rate
of a mile a day. We all believe that the doom of
t h e rebellion is scaled. We hope that this summer
may put Richmond in our hands, and so the army is
cheerful, even here in the ill-fated Chickahominy
country. The army of the Potomac occupies ground
near that held by McClellan in 1862, but it occupies
the country in a totally different manner. There is
life, energy and action in the army now. It fights
and marches in downright earnest. We are in the
Chickahominy swamps now, but we shall not lie
here all summer, except for a purpose.
It is unnecessary for me to state, even as far
as I know, the exact disposition of our troops. Be
assured, however, that we do not consider this campaign ended. You may hear of
new and unexpected
developments at any day. I do not think Lee
will act off the defensive, and General Grant will
keep him busy. In the vicinity of Cold Harbor our
lines are very close to the enemy, so close in fact,
that the sharpshooters control every foot of the
breastworks. In front of the 2d, 6th, 9th and 18th |
corps, earthworks of the strongest kind have been
thrown up in opposition to those of the enemy, and
everything wears the aspect of a siege. It is not at
all probable, however, that the siege of Richmond
will be commenced at such a distance from the
town, if it is Grant's intention to besiege it at all —
The campaign has reached a most important crisis,
and must now assume a different character.
From the wide field between the Rapidan and Richmond,
which afforded scope and range for Grant's
splendid genius, the scene of war is transferred to a
narrow strip of country corrugated and honeycombed
with the productions of military engineering, and
these works filled with soldiers and bristling with
the most approved and destructive engines of war.
Grant's irresistible logic has reduced and sifted the
military problem down to the comparatively simple
issue of a siege. All the vague, uncertain probabilities
and chances which hung like an impending
mist over the armies of the Rapidan have vanished
like the mist. Then, Lee threatened invasion of
the North. He stood on vantage ground, holding
in his hands like reins the railroads of Central
and Western Virginia. He was accessible to
strong strategic points on every hand.— His army had the encouragement of prestige. If
not the prestige of victory, the prestige of baffling
a powerful foe. All these have gone; and now the
boastful Army of Northern Virginia is weltering behind
the sand works of Richmond, tired and worn,
shorn of prestige, but still desperate and determined.
And still, with ceaseless energy and undivided purpose,
their terrible enemy keeps pounding at the
door of their citadel. The memory of Vicksburg
cannot have faded from the memories of the Richmond
rebels. True, it will be a different undertaking
to capture Richmond, but in no emergency has
Grant's genius failed him yet. It may require a
long time to accomplish the reduction of Richmond.
The allies were many months before Sebastopol.
Richmond may prove the Sebastopol of the rebellion, I will not venture to predict
the time and manner of its fall, but will only record my full faith
in Grant's ability to put a girdle around Richmond.
All he needs is the full support of the Government and the people of men and
means. Without these, he is helpless.
Since my last letter, the 5th corps has had but little fighting to do, and there
have been no general engagements. The enemy baa during the week made several
desperate assaults on our position, but has always met with severe repulses.
There have been comparatively few casualties, and those mostly from chance shots.
The cannonading along the lines his been, at intervals, breaking suddenly the
stillness of the night, or bursting forth at midday. All day long we hear the
continued cracking of the sharpshooters' rifle's and the popping of skirmishers,
while occasionally at night we will suddenly be aroused from sleep by an alarm
on the picket, and ugly, spiteful volleys of musketry, fired at un-seen objects
in the dark. We listen to the singing of the bullets till our nerves are grown
quiet again, then turn over to uneasy slumbers. The days are very tedious. Only
once in a great while can we get hold of a paper, and the mails come when they
can be brought without interfering with the necessary transportation. But the
regularity with which
the general details of this army are managed, is perfectly astonishing. Forage
has been short sometimes,
but that occurred while we were in Winter quarters. Our animals have suffered
from the lack of hay, which is never supplied on the march, but look very well
A few days since, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the 146th Regiment, which
is attached to Gen. Smith's command. They have had hard fighting to do under
Butler, but have been in no general engagement in this department. As the regiment
still retains the able pen of your correspondent "Gene " to describe
its joys and sufferings, I will not enter into details concerning it. Since the
engagement of June 2d, I have learned further particulars concerning the part
taken in the fight by the 24th N. Y. cavalry, now attached to Gen. Burnside's
corps. Had they fought well as mounted cavalry, it would have earned them laurels,
but inasmuch as they repulsed three fierce, distinct charges, and held their
ground with seven companies against a much larger rebel force, till ordered to
withdraw, their cavalrymen acting as infantry, sent out to reinforce Grant in
his hardest struggle have thrice earned their laurels. They deserve triple praise
at the hands of all, and should, as a reward for their good conduct,, be quickly
mustered and allowed to fight in the capacity for which they enlisted. The 24th
dismounted Cavalry, composed in good part of Oneida county men, old members of
the 14th, 26th, 34tb, 35th, etc, be remembered, can fight on foot for the cause,
and facing rebel infantry, beat them back with confusion and slaughter. I have
been unable to procure a list of the losses in the 24th, but I know that Lieut;
col. Newberry and Capts. Palmer and Coventry are all safe. They are
all very anxious to get horses but all face the enemy in any capacity till such
time as the Government can procure them their desired outfit.
Yours for our country; D.F.R.
From the First N. Y. Artillery.
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald:
HD QR's LIGHT BATTERY H, 1st N.Y.A.
BEFORE PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA,
July 1st, 1864.
Since the 18th of June, the lines in front of Petersburg have not been materially
changed, except where the miners have dug and moved themselves in some places
almost under the muzzles of the rebel guns. I cannot discover that Petersburg
is much worse off than when this army first appeared before it. We have taken
a portion of the outer and principal line of fortifications, but Petersburg is
very far from being invested and our operations here can hardly be considered
in the light of a regular siege. The city of Petersburg may in due course of
time be taken, but the simple capture of the town is a matter of comparatively
little consequence. It may be an indispensable preliminary to the siege of Richmond,
but probably not much time will elapse ere new issues will be developed which
will materially change the aspect. I cannot but believe that bad it not been
contrary to Grant's plan of operations Petersburg would have been ours many days
ago, and when General Grant is entirely ready for the capture of Petersburg,
it will be taken. Perhaps it was Grant's desire to capture the city and hold
the railroads leading out of it, when he first crossed the James River. If so
his place has either been frustrated or changed for some reason unknown to sage
speculators like your correspondent. The truth of the matter is, our position
is an incomprehensible one to most people here. We cannot realize that Petersburg,
although it is in our power to burn it any day, is a beleaguered city. Its railroad
communications with Richmond and Lynchburg are almost undisturbed, go that as
long as there are supplies to be had in the Confederacy, the rebel army at Petersburg
need not suffer. Here are the two great armies of Grant and Lee facing each other
at a distance of a few hundred yards, both sides impregnably intrenched and fortified,
and but little advantage or disadvantage to be discovered for either party. In
fact, along the greater part of the lines there exists a perpetual armistice
between the solders, and they have not fired a hostile shot for many days. The
pickets of both sides walk out in open view within two hundred yards of each
other, often conversing together, although this practice has been forbidden lately.
So, as we seem to be gaining very slowly, if at all on the rebels here, we look
for new developments each day. The confidence hitherto felt in Gen. Grant is
still unshaken, and I think on the whole the army is grateful for this comparative
respite from its labors. I would not; have you understand that this army is idle
now, for every portion of it perform its daily and nightly share of arduous duties.
It is a task wearisome and tedious beyond expression, to simply lie idle all
day in the hot rifle pits, sweltering and thirsting in the hot sun, even without
firing a gun. And this cessation of hostilities only covers a portion of the
lines. On the left of Burn-side's corps there is a point where bot night and
day since the 18th ult, there has been incessant firing kept up. The position
was gained by the 5th corps, on that day, and for several days battery H was
in position commanding the rebel guns at a distance of less than five hundred
yards. We are now lying back in a park, about three quarters of a mile from the
front, and while I write (now midnight) the never-ceasing firing is still going
on. The crack of the rifle comes so clear and sharp on the night air, and I hear
the hum and whistle of the bullets so plainly that it is hard to realize that
the lines are so far away. Every few moments a cannon shot or a bomb is thrown
into our lines, but we have become so accustomed to these sounds that unless
our attention is called we do not notice them. Still it would afford infinite
relief to get out of hearing of cannon and muskets, if only for a few hours
July 2d.—This day has passed like its predecessors for a week. In our immediate
front the pickets and sharpshooters have not cessed their firing, and the artillery
of both sides has kept up a slow and irregular fire most of the day, some of
the shells coming in unpleasant proximity to our quarters.
The subject next in interest among us here is the weather. We have not had rain
enough to lay the dust since just one month ago tonight. The drouth Is really
terrible, and both men and animals suffer greatly from the need of water. Yet
there is astonishingly little sickness in the army. The morale of the army is
From the Army of the Potomac,
BATTERY "H" 1st N. Y. ARTILLERY
BEFORE PETERSBURG, VA.,
AUGUST 1st 1864.
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald:
THE FIGHT OF THE 30TH.
For a long time it has been supposed that the works of the rebels were being
mined by our forces at some point along the lines, but the precise
locality was not generally known. There is a certain
portion of our line in front of Burnside, where
it makes a sudden jog towards the enemy, approaching
within a hundred yards of one of his strongest
forts. This ground was taken by the First division
of the Fifth corps on the 18th of June, and has
been tenaciously held ever since by the Ninth
corps , there being scarcely a moment's cessation of
the firing night or day between the two lines. For
several days last week we had been getting heavy
guns and mortars in position along the line under
cover of the woods and ravines, the whole of the
2d corps had been employed making covered ways
and the engineers had been laboring night and day
all along our front. It was evident something was
brewing for the rebels, but not till Friday night
were we informed of the place of attack. Then we
received an order detailing the plan of attack and
assigning us our special part in the programme.
The mine in Gen. Burnside's front would be sprung
at daylight the following morning., when a column
was to charge the enemy's line through the breach.
All Friday night under cover of the darkness,
haze and mist, we worked busily, getting our guns
on position on the front line so as to bear directly
in the enemy's works and cover as much as possible
Burnside's attacking column. Our battery occupying
a position in the right wing of the 5th
corps very near the expected point of attack. We
commanded a fair view of the scene. Everything
was conducted with great secrecy, but it was necessary
that the artillerists should know when to train
their guns, and we were accordingly informed of
the position of the mine. It was at the point in the
lines designated above, where they approached
nearest together about five hundred yards on our
right and front. As soon as the mine was sprung
we were to open on the enemy's batteries. Through
the dim starlight we could discern the outlines of
the fort from the ramparts of which the rebels maintained
as usual an irregular, spiteful fire all through
the night. We could see the sharp flashes; and
hear the whining and the "thud" of the
bullets, or their cat-like "mew" when they
struck a stone or a tree and glanced on
through the air. In the stillness of the night
the reports of the guns seemed prepossessed of different
degrees of hate, as if the passion of the unseen
form who pulled the trigger found expression
in the tone of his rifle. The flash of a Union
or rebel rifle told the position of the line, and the
report was loud or low, sharp or dull, according to
the formation of the ground. Once in a while a
revengeful cuss" would slyly send a bullet over
into the 5th corps where nobody expected it, contrary
to all the rules and maxims of civilised warfare
and as the ugly things hissed over or among
our quiet workmen, curses deep but not loud were
bestowed on the sneaking "Johnnies."
By the time the first streak of dawn tinged the
east our guns had been unmasked, loaded and pointed
on the rebel works, the infantry had been
prepared with loaded guns, ready and expectant
behind the breastworks. The mine was expected
to be sprung at early day light, but it was quite light
already. All seemed quiet behind our works, and
the rebel lines appeared wrapped in slumber, all
save in front of the doomed rebel fort, where the
persistent firing never slacked for a moment. The
critical moment had arrived, and every eye and ear
was strained to catch the first sight or sound of the
grand catastrophe. Suddenly the earth trembled,
and almost simultaneously came a deep, dull, sullen
roar, like underground thunder. The mine had
exploded, and in an instant every eye was turned
in the direction of the fort. It was a sight terribly
magnificent. I can only liken it to a huge fountain.
The earthwork covering several hundred
square feet of earth, was hurled over a hundred
feet into the air an indescribable mass of sand,
cannon and human beings. When the great mass
settled to the earth, there lay in place of the strong
and shapely walls only a heap of smoking, horrible
ruins. I could not see a single person moving
in its immediate vicinity. For an instant after the
explosion not a sound was heard, as if every one
were holding his breath in amazement. Then, as
suddenly as had been the explosion of the mine,
came the "opening roar" of cannon and musketry
along our whole line, and the body of infantry
made a rush for the breach directly opposite the
exploded mine. Almost without firing a shot, or
losing a man, they gained the black ruins of the
fort and planted the stars and stripes in the highest
point of its smoking debris.
Up to this time the affair was a complete success,
and all who looked felt that the day was ours, and
that Petersburg was likely to be soon, but from this
time to the moment when the rebels regained the
work in the afternoon, and held it, a curse hangs
over the whole operation. The effort in its initiatory
parts was a complete success, but as a whole it ,
was a most lamentable fizzle. It is very easy to
criticize and find fault now that the plan has failed,
and I do not propose to fix the blame but that it
proved a signal failure no one can gainsay.
In this action the colored troops were engaged,
and much blame is cast upon their poor shoulders,
but I think they did as well as raw troops generally
do. Some of the regiments had only had their
arms three months. The colored troops were not sent
into the fort first. Two or three white regiments
went into the ruins of the fort and remained there,
while the colored troops were sent in through the
breach to do the work, and for a time they did it
well, capturing quite a number of prisoners and
two lines of works; but they were subsequently
charged on by the rebels and driven back, losing
many men and all their vantage ground. Let time
and the hand of impartial justice develop who is
to blame. I have lost no faith in the, value, of colored
troops, but they should have at least equal advantages
of drill and discipline with white men before
they are required to do what has heretofore
been expected of only disciplined and veteran soldiers.
The day was full of incidents, and sights which
will never quit the memory of those who witnessed
the fight. Looking through a powerful glass at the
ruins, the ground presented a sight the most awful.
All over the surface were strewn the dead and mangled
bodies of union and rebel soldiers, the former
slain by the flank fire which the rebels poured into
them from right and left after they were repulsed,
the latter killed by the explosion of the mine. — Some of the poor wretches still lived, and moved
their arms and legs. It was a sight too horrible for
It is said that only four or five men were taken
from the mine unharmed out of a whole regiment
that occupied it. One of them told a rather tough
story. He was asked by his captors about the
colonel who commanded the fort. His reply was the
last he saw of the colonel he met him just as he was
coming down, and that he had his sword drawn,
and yelling at the top of his voice, "Forward men !
forward ! Give it to the d - d Yankees."
The poor fellows who came out of the ruins alive
were so blackened and singed as to be hardly recognizable.
During the day, after the rebels charged and recaptured
the upper part of the ruins of the fort,
they took many of our men prisoners, because they
could not fall back without running a terrible
gauntlet. The rebels held the upper part of the
ruins where they were concealed partially from our
fire, and the men only concealed in the holes and
crevices and behind the huge chunks of earth to
the number of two or three hundred. Many of
them preferred running the risk of death to capture,
and would suddenly jump up and run for the
shelter of our rifle pits. In doing this they had to
cross a distance of about a hundred yards exposed
to a cross fire from the rebels. We could watch
them as they would spring from their cover and
scud for dear life down the slope to our pits. The
majority of them got through all right, though the
bullets struck the earth all about them, while some
of the less fortunate ones would suddenly be
brought to a stop, throw up their hands and fall. — Others would get almost in, when a bullet would
strike them and they would have to crawl or limp
the rest of the distance. One poor fellow started
with a comrade, and through a storm of bullets
they both reached our breastworks, but before
they could get over one fell dead. Sometimes
they would start in squads of three or four or more
and all get in, or one or two fall on the way. We
could also see large numbers clambering over the
works and giving themselves up as prisoners to
the rebels. We watched them with the most intense
interest, unable to render assistance.
Although the day began so propitiously, and our
hearts were big with hope, yet when night came
there were gloomy faces all along our lines. There
had been great loss of life and limb, and no advantage
had been won. The 5th corps lay on its
arms all day expecting to charge, but the lack
of success in the 9th prevented. The opportunity
seemed such a glorious one that it was hard to
see all its advantages wasted, and the army of the
Potomac retired to its bomb-proofs in very bad
humor the night of July 30th.
Major Fitzhugh, who commanded a portion of the
5th corps batteries, was slightly wounded in the
side early in the day. Major F. belongs to the First
New York Light Artillery, and every one rejoiced
to find that his wound was not serious, and
he will be able to return to duty in a few weeks — Major Fitzhugh is one of our best and bravest officers,
and is universally esteemed both as an officer
Pardon me for occupying so much of your space.
D. F. R.
From the Front at Petersburg.:
Mink's BATTER Y FIFTH CORPS, Oct. 3, 1864.
To the Editor of the Utica Morning Herald:
BY THE LEFT FLANK ,
Early Friday morning the 5th and 9th corps
moved westward from the Weldon railroad and attacked
the enemy's position. The 1st and 2d divisions
of this corps, commanded by Generals Griffin
and Ayres, led the advance, the 9th corps acting
as reserve and covering our left. Griffin soon developed
the enemy's line of works and promptly
charged them, capturing one cannon and a goodly
number of prisoners. The rebel position was very
strong, and their works contained at least ten or
twelve pieces of field artillery which they succeeded
in hauling off. But the infantry force was weak,
and could not resist the impetuous assault of our
troops. It was one of the most gallant and brilliant
engagements of the war. The charge of Griffin's
division is described as a splendid thing, even
the raw recruits behaving very creditably. The 2d
division and the 9th corps were not engaged during
the forenoon, nor was the artillery of either corps.
The enemy used his artillery freely and with effect,
but the nature of the ground forbade the use of
our batteries till later in the day.
As soon as the troops could be brought up, the
rebel line already taken was occupied, and the 9th
corps advanced still further to the left, keeping its
connection with the 5th corps, which also advanced
northward, so that the left wing of the array was
gradually swinging around towards the Danville
railroad. Here it was discovered that the enemy
had a second line of works running southwest from
Petersburg and nearly parallel with the Dinwiddie
Courthouse Road, and that he had retired to and
occupied them. Just as the 9th corps was preparing
to charge a portion of this line the enemy
massed his troops and advanced against the right
of the 9th corps, easily breaking its first line and
pushing it back. The advantage thus gained by
the rebels was promptly pushed, and for a time
there was a terrible state of confusion on our front
which threatened to implicate the left of the 5th
corps. In this temporary confusion the 34th New
York Independent Battery came very near being
taken by the enemy, but was finally saved entire.
At this juncture the scene became terribly exciting.
The rebels were rapidly advancing on our
second line. It was already getting dark and everything
indicated that disaster and defeat were in our
front. But: the 5th corps yet stood firm. Warren
came to the rescue. He rode directly to the
front, and at once saw the desperate turn in our affairs.
Reinforcements were hurried up, and Griffin
closed the gap. Riding up to Captain Mink he
asked him if he would take his battery up on the
front line. The Captain acquiesced, and up we
went at a trot. It was almost dusk, and the rebels
had just struck our line. Our infantry had opened
fire and were pouring deadly volleys into the rebels.
Until our battery came up we had no artillery at
work. The sight of our light-twelves coming up
on the line encouraged our infantry wonderfully. As we unlimbered and opened
the ground most stubbornly. Their artillery
kept up a very annoying fire from the left, but
it was soon silenced, and the fighting ceased for
the night. This was altogether the hardest part of
the fight and although we relinquished a portion of
the ground gained earlier in the day, yet we inflicted
heavy loss on the enemy and repulsed his assault
most successfully, while our loss was not heavy.— The 9th corps lost considerably in prisoners.
Friday night our lines were withdrawn to the
works first taken from the enemy. Saturday morning
the enemy occupied our abandoned line, and
there was skirmishing during the day. Sunday
morning it was discovered that the enemy had fallen
back to their next line of works, and an advance was ordered to develop the result
we now occupy the same line that we
gained on Friday, and our position is so strongly
intrenched that there is no danger of being forced
from it. We are about four miles from Petersburg
and the same distance from the Danville Railroad.
Our left is three or four miles nearer the Danville
Road than before. The ground we occupy was
precious territory to the enemy, if one may judge
by the labor expended in fortifying it and the desperation
with which they disputed our advance.
In every respect, save the temporary check of
Friday evening, our late move may be reckoned a
brilliant success, a most important acquisition to
our previous gains on the Weldon Railroad, and a
very bitter pill for the rebels to swallow. Although
our lines may appear somewhat attenuated on the
map they are in reality of immense strength. Our
army has been largely reinforced, and many of the
new recruits are old soldiers, while the rebel army is
steadily depleting both in numbers and morale; A
great many of the prisoners taken Friday greeted
our men with the utmost cordiality, some grasping
them by the hand and urging them on. The rebel
army is in a very great measure, utterly hopeless,
and tired of the war. They do not fight any longer
than they are absolutely obliged to, and consider it
a streak of good fortune if they are captured. Of
course, there are exceptions to this rule, but the
mass of the rebel army would shout for the old
flag if they dared, to-day. They are under the heel
of despots, and they dare not. When peace is declared,
and the stars and-stripes are hoisted in
Richmond and through all the South, the bells will
ring as gladly in Georgia as in New York.
Our army is in splendid condition and constantly
improving. Recruits are still pouring by thousands, j
and the "old veterans " soon teach them the art of
soldiering with the greatest degree of comfort and
convenience. Although many of the old regiments
nominally go out of service this fall, yet the majority
of their members are re-enlisted veterans and remain
here. The old Forty-fourth, the "Ellsworth
Avengers," and one of the best regiments in our
corps, went home to Albany the other day, and had
a fine reception, but the Forty-fourth is also here
and made a most gallant charge last Friday. It
has several hundred new men who went into the
fight like old veterans, although there are some exceptions.
Many old officers are retiring from service
just now, whose places cannot easily be filled,
but promotions from the ranks are frequent, and are
doing much to increase the zeal and ambition of the
rank and file. Success appears to follow our arms
everywhere of late, and even though we should
meet with some temporary reverses, this fall's campaign
cannot fail to bring peace if it continues to
be as vigorously prosecuted as it has been thus far.
The weather has been very wet for a day or two,
but the roads do not appear to suffer at all.
Lieut. B. F. Fuller, late of Bates' Battery, has
been mustered out of service, in accordance with a
recent order allowing certain officers to retire.
D. F. R.
Back to 1st Artillery (Light)
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
March 14, 2006