11th Regiment Cavalry, NY Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
COL. SWAIN'S CAVALRY.
The Thomas A. Scott Regiment of cavalry, 900 strong, commanded by Col. Jas.
M. Swain, passed in review this afternoon before the President and Gen.
Wadsworth, by request. This regiment is from New-York, and of the best personal
material, fully armed with sabers, Colts' revolving carbines and pistols. They
made a noble appearance. (May 1962)
SCOTT'S 900.—We have received a letter from an officer of Scott's 900,
dated Camp Relief, Washington, March 9th, which informs us that the officers
have received their commissions, bearing date March 1st, from Gov. Seymour.
The men have also received their State bounty. The regiment is destined for
the Gulf Department, and the last detachment will probably leave this week.
The following is the list of officers:
Colonel—J. H. Sherburne, A. A. G. of Gen. Martindale's Staff.
Lieut. Col.—S. H. Wilkeson.
Majors—S. P. Remington, J. C. Kenyon and G. W. Richardson.
Company A—Captain, vacant; 1st Lieut. E. C. Hand (commanding); 2d Lieut.
C. J. Bronberg.
Company B—Captain A. G. Campbell; 1st Lieut., A. B. Holmes; 2d Lieut.,
Company C—Captain, E. D. Benedict; 1st Lieut., Geo. A. Bagwell; 2d Lieut.,
Company D—Captain, J. B. Mix (detached); lst Lieut., G. Nicholetts (commanding);
2d Lieut, — McKenzie.
Company E—Captain, J. C. Hyatt; 1st Lieut., J. C. Burgess; 2d Lieut.,
____ Von Wiltzein.
Company F—Captain, M. A. McCallum; 1st Lieut., ____ Raymond; 2d Lieut.,
G. D. Demison.
Company G—Captain, H. B. Ellsworth; 1st Lieut., R. P. Goodale; 2d Lieut.,
T. W. Allen.
Company H—Captain, Thomas T. Gamble (detached); 1st Lieut., J. S. Bennett
(commanding); 2d Lieut., C. B. Gibson.
Company I—Captain, J. F. Slawson (detached); 1st Lieut, R. Littleworth
(commanding); 2d Lieut., J. Johnson.
Company K—Captain F. B. Halleck; 1st Lieut, vacant; 2d Lieut., H. French.
Company L—Captain, G. W. Smith (detached); 1st Lieut., J. R. Wood (commanding);
2d Lieut., vacant.
Company M—Captain, J. Norris; 1st Lieut., H. C. Bates (detached); 2d
Lieut., D. Massey.
The Cavalry Company.
The Cavalry Company being recruited in this county for Col. Swain's Regiment,
is progressing finely. Over sixty men have already enlisted, and the success
of the enterprise is therefore insured. It is the finest opportunity that has
been offered to the young men of the country, who wish to do service in the
Union Volunteer Army, and the manner in which they have responded to the call,
shows that they appreciate this themselves. Transportation will be furnished
on Monday or Tuesday next, for those who wish to go on to the headquarters
of the Regiment at New York. Recruiting offices are open in both Canton and
A Fight at Fairfax, Va.
On Friday afternoon, in pursuance of orders, Colonel Swain, commanding the
cavalry regiment known as Scott's Nine Hundred, ordered Major Remington to
take companies B and C, numbering about. 100 men, and make a reconnoissance
to Centrerville, to see if any of the enemy were in that vicinity. Major
Remington started at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and after proceeding some
distance went into camp, intending to resume his march early in the morning.
The Chronicle says, early yesterday morning they again started off, and by
half-past eight o'clock were in the vicinity of Fairfax. Here the pickets of
the 6th Virginia rebel cavalry were discovered. Major Remington immediately
ordered his men to draw sabre and charge, which they did with so much impetuosity
that half the enemy were captured before recovering from their surprise. The
main body of rebels came up at this time, and Major Remington at the head of
his little band, venturing too far, they were surrounded, and he with the main
body of his men, turned around, and charging, cut their way through the rebel
lines. Of this body only eighteen returned; the remainder being either killed,
wounded or prisoners.
The Major was shot in the breast in two places. Lieut. Daywell, of Company
C, commanding the second platoon, composed mainly of his own company, was last
seen charging at the head of about ten men, endeavoring to cut their way through.
Capt. Campbell and Lieut. Hazeltine, Company B, were both leading detachments
when last seen. The Captain had previously killed a rebel officer. An officer
while endeavoring to kill Major Remington, was shot by Sergeant Morris. Sergeant
Beebe is probably a prisoner. It is likely that many of our men succeeded in
getting through the rebel lines and made their way back to camp last evening.
The bravery of our men was made maniest when surrounded, and their bearing
under such difficulties was noble, and has elicited the warmest commendation
from their officers.
A FIGHT AT FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE.
On Friday afternoon, in pursuance of orders, Colonel Swain, commanding the
cavalry regiment known as Scott's Nine Hundred, ordered Major Remington to
take companies B and C, numbering about one hundred men, and make a reconnoissance
to Centreville to see if any of the enemy were in that vicinity.
Major R. started at five o'clock in the afternoon, and after proceeding some
distance went into camp, intending to resume his march in the morning. Early
on Saturday morning they again started off, and by half-past eight o'clock
were in the vicinity of Fairfax. Here the pickets of the Sixth Virginia rebel
cavalry were discovered. Major Remington immediately ordered his men to charge,
which they did with so much impetuosity that half of the enemy were captured
before recovering from their surprise. The main body of the rebels came up
at this time, and Major R., at the head of his little band, venturing too
far, they were soon surrounded. The prisoners that had been taken were turned
and Major Remington with the main body of his men turned round, and charging,
cut their way through the rebel lines. Of this body only eighteen men returned,
the rest being either killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. The Major was
shot in the breast in two places.
Lieutenant Daywell, of company C, commanding the second platoon, composed
almost of his own company, was last seen charging at the head of about ten
to cut their way through. Capt. Campbell and Lieut. Hazeltine, of company
B, were both leading detachments when last seen. The captain had previously
a rebel officer. It is very likely that many of our men succeeded in getting
through the rebel lines and made their way to camp on Saturday evening.—Chronicle.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 24.
In accordance with an order from General Heintzelman, Col. Swain, of Scott's
900, on Friday night sent a detachment of cavalry, consisting of three companies,
to reconnoiter on the line of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal. By Saturday noon
they had made a circuit of forty miles, and captured 17 Rebel soldiers, with
their horses and equipments These composed the party that recently plundered
the Canal company of their best horses, burned their boats, and committed other
offences; The prisoners have been brought to Washington.
Reconnoisance of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
WASHINGTON, Saturday, Aug. 29.
Some of Scott's Nine Hundred cavalry have recently been making reconnoissances
on the line of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal. There was no appearance of the
enemy on Thursday, but at one o'clock yesterday morning two pickets belonging
to a force of sixty-one men who were stationed at Edward's Ferry, when about
two miles above, were fired upon, one shot striking Alonzo Picket, of Company
D, going through his jaw and inflicting a dangerous wound. They were both captured,
and, after being deprived of their horses and arms, were permitted to return
On their arrival, Captain Halleck immediately set out, with sixteen men, to
reconnoitre the canal, without encountering any enemy until he arrived within
a half a mile of the ferry, when his advance of four men were captured by a
party of rebels, and on looking towards the camp he saw it in possession of
between three and four hundred of the enemy—supposed to be White's or
During the absence of the reconnoitering party this camp was attacked and one
of the rebels is known to have been killed, and the reserve which had been
left here scattering and falling back on another encampment of a regiment under
Captain Campbell, at Muddy Branch, when the whole body, numbering about eighty
men, retired from the line of the canal to the hills in the rear, where they
were when last heard from, drawn up in line of battle.
Our force at Muddy Branch yesterday captured two men, one of whom admits he
piloted Stuart into Maryland previous to the battle of Gettysburg.
Operations of Scott's Nine Hundred Cavalry Force.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29.
Some of Scott's Nine Hundred have been recently making reconnoissances on the
line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. There was no appearance of the enemy
on Thursday; but at 1 o'clock yesterday morning, two pickets belonging to a
force of 61 men who were stationed at Edwards ferry, when two miles above,
were fired upon. One shot struck Alonzo Picked, of Co B, going through his
jaw, and inflicting a dangerous wound.
They were both captured, and after being deprived of their horses and arms,
were permitted to return to camp. On their arrival Capt. Hallock immediately
set out with 16 men, to reconnoitre the canal, without encountering any of
the enemy until he arrived within half a mile of the ferry, when his advance
of four men were captured by a party of Rebels, and on looking towards the
camp he saw it in possession of between three and four hundred of the enemy,
supposed to be White's or Mosby's men. During the absence of the reconnoitering
party their camp was attacked, and one of the Rebels is known to have been
killed, and the reserve which had been left here scattering and falling back
on another encampment of a regiment under Capt. Campbell at Muddy Branch, when
the entire body, numbering about 80 retired from the line of the Chesapeake
to the hills in the rear, where they were when last heard from, drawn up in
line of battle. Our force at Muddy Branch yesterday, captured two men, one
of whom admits he piloted Stuart into Maryland previous to the battle of Gettysburg.
Letter from the Army.
Near Poolsville, Md.
Mr. Editor.--After a dreary rain storm of five days duration the weather has
again cleared up, and the sun once more spreads its cheerful light on the
once pleasant, but now unhappy desolate and devastated Dixie. And so it is,
dear Editor, with our country. Though the dark clouds of internal warfare hangs
its impenetrable pall o'er the destinies of this powerful and happy nation;
let us console ourselves with the thought that it is always darkest just before
day, and that this cloud, notwithstanding its darkest and formidable appearance,
will soon through the interposition of Devine Providence in behalf of right
drift away, and the sunlight of freedom will shine in unison with the Goddess
of Liberty. The voice of equality shall be sounded throughout the land, and
slavery shall be classed with those persecuting wrongs that have been. Through
the union of all true patriots, loyal to their God, their conscience, and their
country, peace will once again be restored to our bleeding country, security
to our government, and happiness to our firesides. But you are aware, as all
sensible men are, that Copperheadism serves to backen, yea murder in their
infancy, all those bright prospects, consequently I am obliged to exclaim:
Copperhead, serpent-like traitors
avaunt! thou art a curse to the nation. Henceforth and forever thy doom is
sealed; Oh where is thy conscience to thus aid in spilling the blood of thy
fellow man, Cain--like thou art spilling the blood of your brother. But being
a private soldier of Co. E, Scott's 900, I will leave politics to those having
more time to spare than I have, and proceed to give you such of your readers
as may be interested, what information I possess regarding the Regt., for there
is many a noble son of old St. Lawrence, which, like myself, are making their
sacrifice in this Regiment.
You are aware that the Regiment is commanded by Col. J. B. Swain of N. Y. State,
a man such as we not often meet in the common walks of life. Possessing a figure
slightly above the medium height, well proportioned, shoulders slightly forward,
indicative of strength and muscle. To this he adds a countenance on which,
although the virtuous labors of fifty summers leave their mark, traces exquisite
beauty, health and vigor are plainly visible. His hair is silvered with the
frost of fifty winters; in fact his manner and general appearance is such as
to command respect and admiration from all who has the good fortune to know
him. As a military man we have every reason to believe he cannot be surpassed,
for, added to his great natural military
atainments, he has had the benefit of a thorough military education at the
West Point Military Academy. Neither was there anything in the arts and sciences
left unrevealed by him when he graduated, in fact he is capable of commanding
an army of thousands, governing a nation, or managing a farm, at each of which
he would be equally happy and content. He is evidently a man for peace when
war could be avoided with honor. I had almost forgotten to speak of his dress;
it is very plain, often doning the blouse of the private. He often assists
in engineering, and converses as freely with the private on matters of business
as with one of his own rank, thus carrying out the sensible principle of equality.
He is the idol of the regiment. Me thinks I see him the future Governor of
Of Major S. P. Remington, of Canton, I need not speak. He is well known in
that vicinity as a man of superior talents and courage. Suffice it to say he
is well likes in the regiment, and bids fair to make a high mark in the annals
of our country's history. In fact all the commissioned officers of the regiment
are well worthy of their place, and with the exception of one or two, perhaps
they are capable of filling the highest place.
Although this regiment has performed many very important scouts and reconnoicances,
yet though a part of it is in constant danger but one man has been killed by
the Rebels. That one was the Orderly Sergeant of Co. L, killed near the place
my letter is dated. But my letter is already to lengthy so I must conclude
by saying that the boys from St. ..... the very life and substance of the Regiment,
and Co. D especially, our Col. says, is the apple of his eye.
I remain your with respect,
W. R., Co. E, Scotts 900.
CAMP RELIEF, Scotts 900, 1st U. S. V. C.,
Washington, D. C., Feb. 6th, 1863.
Sir:--Out of justice to myself I take the liberty to occupy a few lines in
your paper. The story has been widely circulated through the village of Canton
that I had deserted from my Regiment and gone, some said to Canada. Now in
my own defence I will say that I am here and have been here ever since I joined
my Regiment, the last of August, 1862, and if it is necessary I can get a certificate
from Col. Swain and the company officers that I have not missed a Roll Call
since I came into the service, or never been absent from Camp without written
authority. Now Mr. Editor, I think it would look a great deal better if the
originator of that story would enlist himself or keep sober so he could tell
when he meets any one he thinks he is acquainted with.
Our boys are all well that came with me. You would not know some of them they
have fatted up so. We are ready for "Johnny Reb" whenever the order
is given for Boots and Saddles.
By giving this a place in your paper you will greatly oblige,
HORACE D. MOODY.
Sergeant CO. D, SCOTTS 900, 1st. U. S. V. C.
Camp Heintzleman, near Poolesville, Md.
May 28th, 1863.
Mr. Editor.--On the strict discipline of an army, however numerous, depends
its strength and success. It is the vital power of an army, before which raw
or undisciplined troops will be made to tremble and be swept away like chaff
before the wind. If an army would succeed strict discipline must be enforced,
under pain of death. Officers as well as men should strictly obey all orders
coming from its proper source, regardless of personal safety or even of certain
death, for how often has the disobeying of a single order, or the untimely
retreat of a regiment caused the defeat and ruin of an army, which otherwise
would have gained decided victories over the enemy. The disobeying of an order
is like breaking an important member of some powerful machine, all its vital
power is lost, the whole machine is thrown out of gear, and in some cases a
general crash occurs. But not only on the battle-field is strict discipline
required, but also in the camp where no fighting is expected, it is indispensable
to the comfort, health and good name of both officers and men. Unless the officers
commanding a detachment of soldiers in camp keeps a sharp look-out, small,
yet important orders will frequently be carelessly overlooked or maliciously
disobeyed; the tents or quarters of the soldiers will in many cases be filthy
or unclean, horses, arms and equipments will be neglected and spoiled, consequently
sickness and disease will pervade the camp, and unnecessary cost to the government
from the untimely breaking down of horses by bad care, and running cavalry
and wasting of arms and equipments in both cavalry and infantry. In fact no
person enlisting with the intention of violating those apparently insignificant
orders can expect to make a good soldier or sustain his good name. It is our
duty to our fellow soldiers to obey those orders and to take no advantage of
any liberty our officers are kind enough to grant us. For instance, a good
obedient soldier goes to his Captain, Major or Colonel, and asks for permission
to go out mounted. The officer writes him a mounted pass, the soldier mounts
his horse goes out and enjoys a pleasant ride through the country and comes
back in due time, and to use a soldier's expression, all right. But the next
day perhaps another soldier requires a mounted pass. He gets it goes out and
runs his horse at full speed to the nearest whisky shop, becomes intoxicated,
abuses and perhaps spoils his horse, and comes back a fit candidate for the
guard house. This of course must be put a stop to, consequently an order is
given out that no mounted passes will be given. Thus the good, as well as the
bad soldier, (of the cavalry) if he wishes to go out of camp must go on foot
and experience has long taught me that when one has become accustomed to riding
a horse it is very tiresome for him to walk a distance which would be considered
nothing by one accustomed to walking. It follows then that on the attention
paid to the sanitary condition of the soldier by the surgeons and officers
depends the health of an army, that strict discipline enforced by the officers,
and cheerful obedience of orders by the soldiers will insure success if there
is any possible chance, and that if we would do our duty to ourselves and our
comrades we should take no advantage of liberties granted us by our officers.
I would say then to those that are about to enlist to aid in finishing up this
once formidable rebellion, let them come with a true and patriotic spirit with
the intention of serving their country and sustaining their own good name by
cheerfully obeying their superior officers. By such conduct you secure the
blessing of God, the confidence of your superior officers and the love of your
fellow comrades, and bear in mind too, that such conduct will be rewarded.
If through many circumstances which may arise you do not get your reward in
this world it will stand before you in broad letters at the judgment seat.
Officers may err and the private may think himself agrieved, but he has a higher
power than a lieutenant or captain to lay his grievance before, he has his
colonel to go to, and if he is a man worthy of his station he will hear the
private and see that he has his rights. As for me I have nothing to complain
of, I do my duty as near right as I know how, and hope to do so till this bloody
rebellion is crushed. The officers of Co. E are good, they are well worthy
of their places, as I believe all the officers of the regiment are, but the
merits of an officer is not for me to judge. If they are strictly military
it is all that is needed. They are my superiors and as such I am bound to obey
Captain J. G. Hiatt of Co. E, Scotts 900, went out as captain of a N. Y. reg't
of infantry but his health failing him he reluctantly resigned his commission,
but as soon as his health was sufficiently restored he joined Scotts 900 as
captain of Co. E. Still holds that position and is well liked by the Co. Our
lieutenant, J. Burgs and Van Wilson, are noble fellows, and it is useless to
add they are loved and respected by the Co. Our orderly sargeant, Otto Johnson,
a German by birth, has served 5 years in the U. S. service previous to the
breaking out of the rebellion, during which he participated in the Indian wars
of California and Oregon, he is termed by the boys a bully good soldier. He
is worthy of a higher place and will undoubtedly be promoted to a lieutenancy
as soon as a vacancy presents itself. My comrades, the non-commissioned officers
and privates of Co. E, although many are foreigners, one from Greece, one from
Denmark, others from England, France, Germany and Ireland, others from Long
Island and new York City, a few like myself hails from St. Lawrence. They are
all fellow soldiers and shall always hold a brother's place in my affections,
and should I live to see any of them laid beneath the cold sod I will shed
tears of sorrow o'er their grave and a silent prayer shall rise to heaven in
their behalf. But hold, I am wandering from my subject, I had intended to speak
of the fatality of bringing inexperienced soldiers onto the field to cope with
veterans. Suffice it to say that there is no longer any need of placing raw
troops in the field. We have an army of well trained troops now in the field,
sufficient to crush the rebellion, all we want of those that are to come out
now is to man the defences at Washington and to guard line of the Potomac,
which I will guarantee will not again be molested by rebels, they have something
to do in other quarters. Come out then ye noble sons of the Empire State and
guard Washington for us while we go to the front to aid the heroes that are
I will now leave my subject to tell you that the prospects are far brighter
around here now than they were the day I arrived in Washington, about the fifth
of last September. At that time the roar of artillery could be distinctly heard
at the Capitol, and but a few days previous Stonewall Jackson's shells fell
in close proximity to Chain Bridge, only six short miles from Washington. But
how far different is the prospect to-day. You are well aware of the position
of the rebel army; with fifty dollars a barrel for flour, scarcely ant meat,
no coffee or tea, very little sugar, from twenty to thirty dollars for a pair
of boots, I think their prospects are dubious.
With respect I remain yours,
W. R., Co. E, Scott's 900.
Camp Heintzleman, near Poolesville, Md.
June 21st, 1863.
Mr. Editor.--I am sad to-day; a younger brother who has served nearly two years
in the 9th N. Y. Cavalry came over from Leesburg yesterday to see me. He is
2nd bugler in Co. L, which forms a part of the battalion detailed from the
9th for Gen. Slocum's body guard. He volunteered to come with four others sent
here for the purpose of carrying dispatches to Slocum who has command of three
army corps at Leesburg. Hooker has sent his dispatches to Slocum for the last
three days by telegraph, via Washington, Rockville and Camp Heintzleman. From
our camp they were conveyed by orderlies. But yesterday the telegraph corps
commenced running the wire from our camp to Leesburg, which I believe they
finished at 9 o'clock this morning. Thus, Hooker has unobstructed communication
with each division of his army. My brother, on whose face the marks of loner
and hard service is plainly visible, returned to Leesburg this morning with
a dispatch from Hooker. The parting with him has made me sad today and I have
reason to think that he is this moment on the battle-field with Gen. Slocum,
for the rebel Gen. Lee has been marching rapidly toward Harper's Ferry on his
way to invade Maryland and Pennsylvania. Hooker has also moved with great rapidity.
His right wing rests at Leesburg, and I believe his left extends around to
the rear of Lee's army. At 7 o'clock this morning the roar of heavy artillery,
interspersed with the rumbling thunder of light guns, could be distinctly heard
at our camp, although the day is cloudy and the air so thick
that a gun could not be heard at any great distance. The firing appeared to
be perhaps one mile west of Leesburg. It is now 2 o'clock and the firing has
continued incessantly since 7 o'clock this morning, but it is now further up
the river, and it is believed here that the rebels are trying to cross to Maryland
at Nolan's Ferry or Point of Rocks, or that our forces are driving them up
towards North Mountain and Harper's Ferry.-- They may get into Maryland but
it is generally believed that Lee will possess but a small portion of his army
if he ever returns. Hooker will probably hook then by a better plan than little
Mac tried to bag them by last year. Hooker's army is in good spirits and prospect
of catching Lee and giving a death blow to the rebellion lends them new animation.
The coming struggle will be bloody vigorous on both sides, but the chances
are inevitably in our favor. Although the discharge of two years and nine months
men somewhat lessened Hooker's army yet with reinforcements which he has received
from Washington, and the militia from Pennsylvania, he will give Lee a hard
one. He has pontoon bridges across the Potomac at Edward's Ferry and White
Ford, so that he can Maryland if it be necessary. His supplies come up the
Chespeake Canal from Washington and are then transported to Leesburg across
the pontoons by wagon trains. I learn that troops have been coming up from
Baltimore by rail to intercept Lee if he should attempt invade Maryland, thus
carrying Hooker's right still further in advance Lee making his capture more
probable. I am unable to give you the particulars of the several skirmishes
which occurred on the upper Potomac during the past ten days, but you must
certainly have them before this date.-- The next day after the date of my last
letter in which I spoke of Mosby's dash at Senica two rebels were found dead
in a wheat field, it has been ascertained that another died on Young's Island,
which increases number of rebels killed in that little engagement to six, among
which was a captain and lieutenant.
The Michigan C. lost but two killed, one badly one slightly wounded. Mosby
took a few prisoners who were patroling the towpath. At half past 2 o'clock
the firing ceased for half an hour, but at the expiration of that time it commenced
with redoubled fury. It is now half-past three o'clock and we can count 20
guns a minute. They are having sharp fighting in the vicinity of Leesburg.
Our command was reinforced last evening by the 2d Maine regiment. We expect
an order every moment to prepare to march, and we are all cheerfully anticipating
a brush with the rebels, and I assure you that there is no long faces visible,
yet I fear we will not have the pleasure of participating in the fight.
6 o'clock.--A telegraph dispatch has just arrived from Leesburg. General
Slocum, with the 1st, 11th and 12th corps of Hooker's army has been fighting
Lee and has been driving the enemy ever since noon.
6 o'clock, June 22d.--The latest dispatch from Leesburg states that the fight
of yesterday was with cavalry and artillery; the contending generals were Pleasanton
and Stuart. Stuart was driven back several miles. We have learned no particulars.
With high hopes for the downfall and destruction of Lee's army, which will
be the forerunner of peace, and we may say the end of the contest. I remain
W. R., Co. E, Scott's 900.
June 28, 1863.
MR. EDITOR,--I had the pleasure of making a trip up the Potomac on the
Maryland shore a few days since, with the Provost Marshal, Lieutenant Bogue
of the 10th Vermont infantry--who by the way is a relative of the Bogue and
Moody families of Canton. He is an excellent officer and a good man, which
in my estimation is praise enough for the most worthy of our fellow men. There
are good men, and sharp men but I would that all were good. You have undoubtedly
read much of the beautiful scenery of Potomac's fair shore and perhaps have
gazed with your own eyes upon some part of it, but I have examined this scenery
very minutely, for I am a lover of nature. And perhaps a short description
would not be out of place here. The traveler visiting Washington, after having
feasted his eyes on the Capitol, U. S. Post Office, Patent Office, and the
Smithsonian Institute, very naturally turns his gaze to the Potomac; but surely
no more extraordinary beauty present itself to his view than if he was standing
on the wharves of Ogdensburgh, gazing out on the placid bosom of the St. Lawrence
Prescott and the old Wind Mill in the distance. He casts his eye down the Potomac,
dotted with the white sails of schooners, or wreaths of smoke from small steamers.
But these vessels are not so numerous, nor so beautiful, nor the waters so
bright or clear as the vessels and waters of the St. Lawrence. In
the immediate vicinity of Washington, the shores of the river are very low
and in some cases marshy, the river is subject to rise and fall rapidly according
to the amount of rain falling in the Shenandoah Valley and on the Blue Ridge
and Alleghany Mountains. It has been known to rise 18 feet in 48 hours, and
when it gorges this immense flood into the Chespeake Bay, a very offensive
odor arises from its marshy margins/ The Potomac gradually expands until it
widens out to the Chespeake Bay and mingles its waters with the Atlantic. In
its course it flows by Mount Vernon, which, every American will recognize as
the resting place of the remains of the greatest man the world ever knew, Washington.
Oh! what feelings the mere mention of the name and deeds of this noble hero awakens in the soul, how sadly we
think of the present state of our nation, how we wish that Washington could
be given back to us that he might advise us how to proceed in this our hour
of trouble. But alas the grave cannot give up the dead. Oh, that he could speak
from Heaven to the erring Confederates, and tell them the error of their ways.—But
I fear they are possessed of all the demons of sin, and perhaps would not hear
the warning voice. So I will leave them to meet their fate and persue my description
of the Potomac and its fair shores. Spanning the Potomac between Washington
and Alexandria is situated the long bridge,—it is very near a mile long,
and the heaviest laden trains of cars is passing over it almost continually—it
is a splendid and costly structure, and contains a draw bridge to admit vessels
of light draft to pass up to Georgetown which is the head of navigation. At
Georgetown, another bridge called the Acqueduct bridge spans the river, but
the river is quite narrow here. Above Georgetown is the chain bridge, another
splendid and costly structure. It would be worth a journey from old St. Lawrence
to see it, yet who would not rather see the Suspension bridge at Niagara Falls.
At Georgetown we first see the Washington Acqueduct made to convey good water
to the city. The water here passes over quite a stream in two iron pipes of
at least two feet in diamater, in the form of a rainbow, and painted so as
to give them the appearance of marble. The river here becomes rapid and for
some 10 miles it presents one of the most rocky and picteresque channels that
I ever saw, although there is no very precipitate falls, yet it is continually
winding between garred and rugged rocks, and anon dividing itself as it passes
around some huge pile of broken rocks heaped on each other in every imaginable
shape. It is a wonder that the quick eye and hand of the artist has not been
attracted to this place ere this. Some very fine sketches of mature in its
wild form might be obtained here. The Ohio and Chespeake canal is constructed
between the Acqueduct and River, and it
is almost a succession of costly Lochs for some six miles. The canal is made
as near the river as it possible could be. And as one travels along the towpath
he gazes down artificial wall in some places fifty feet on the boiling waters
of the Potomac as it foams and dashes along its rocky bed. Above the Canal
and the Acqueduct towers massive rocks and hills crowned with evergreens, pines
in many places. A tunnel has been forced for the Acqueduct through solid rock
for several yards without removing the upper surface. We have now arrived at
a place called Great Falls about twenty-five miles from Washington. There are
two buildings here formerly used for store, tavern and a dwelling house. The
Acqueduct commences here, and receives its waters from several pure and cool
springs which ooze out at the foot of the rocks and hills. Although this place
is termed Great Falls there is no precipitate falls, but merely a long rapids.
Many fine Mill sites presents themselves here, but a lack of enterprise in
the inhabitants of this section leaves those great sources unimproved. I ask
who would sympathize with the persecuting institution slavery, to come down
here and see for themselves vast difference existing between the enterprise
of the north and that of the south. From Great Falls up to muddy branch, the
scenery, distance of seven miles, the scenery continues nearly same. The canal
is overhung with Locust, Butterwood, Oak, Whitewood, Thorn trees wild grape
vines. From muddy branch to Seneca six and a half river is more still, yet
fordable at many places from Seneca to Manoxly bridge, twenty miles the river
is still and quite clear, and corn, wheat and meadow fields extend down to
the waters edge.--But there is almost an absence of stirring life, the dwellings
are generally a mile apart, and only an occasional slave is seen sadly laboring
in the cornfield. That the hand of free labor could make the scenery along
the Potomac very beautiful to the civilized eye cannot be denied, but how sadly
different and how ordinary is the appearance of the fields and buildings along
this river, when compared with the valley of the Mohawk or St. Lawrence, between
the two last named places. Out on the Potomac we find Walkers Ford, Young's
Island. Edwards Ferry, Conrad's Ferry and White's Ford. Between Manoxly and
Point of Rocks we find Cheeskses and Nolan's Fords. At the latter Ford the
rebel General Lee crossed into Maryland with his artillery last summer. A little
Ford my attention was attracted by what was represented to me as a place made
by the Indians to catch eels. It is a low loose stone dam in the form of the
letter V with the point extending down the river. As the fish come down they
are caught in a close basket work at the point of the dam. Here my journey
ended, so it is now time to end this letter,
With respect I remain Yours,
W. R., SCOTT'S 900.
A Squadron of Scott's 900 Cavalry Surrounded and Cut Up.
Washington, Saturday June 27, 1863.
A squadron of Scott's 900 Cavalry, under Major Remington, on their way to Centerville,
this morning, encountered near Fairfax, the 6th Virginia Cavalry, and dashed
at them with the saber. The Major made two charges and drove the enemy for
three miles into a wood, and there encountered a superior force, checked him
with the fire of carbines. The fight from the beginning to the end, was fierce.
Its termination, from the overwhelming disparity of numbers, was disastrous.
Major Remington, after having had his horse shot twice, cut his way out and
made his escape with eighteen men. Five have come in since. Eighty are reported
as either killed, wounded, or missing. Among them are Capt. Dagwell, Capt.
Campbell, and Lieut. Hazelton. The companies were B and C.
Washington June 29.—Thirty of the detachment of Scott's cavalry, who
encountered the enemy at Farifax Court-House on Saturday, with Major Remington
and Capt. Campbell, have returned. About 50, including three Lieutenants, are
yet to be accounted for.
Camp Relief, Washington, D. C.
August 10th, 1863.
Dear Sir:--The long space of time which has elapsed since last I wrote you,
may seem to demand an apology. If so it is easily given. You are well aware
that there exists in the world two powerful articles, the Pen and the Sword.—
You are well aware, also, that those two powerful instruments cannot be used
by one and the same person at the same time, and that while we use the sword
we must drop the pen, and if we use the pen we must drop the sword. But which
is the most powerful of these two impliments yet remains to be shown. At
the present it is about an equal race between the two, but whether the pen
write its way or the sword cut its way through first is now and will yet
remain a question for debate, on the principle that these two powerful implements
cannot be used successfully at the same time. I base my opology, certain
receive your pardon, when I tell you that as soon as rebel Gen. lee invaded
Maryland the pen was laid aside by all but those who had nothing else to
do. Our object at that time was demoralize, cut up or capture the invading
of Lee, and it must be conceded that the pen would prove but a sorry weapon
to drive those infuriated and starving hounds from Northern soil. Consequently
the Union soldiers disencumbered themselves of portfolios as well as blankets,
and persued the war path with
drawn sword, loaded gun and fixed bayonet, until the audacious invader, after
suffering untold losses and found themselves shamefully cut up and demoralized
on the South side of the Rappahannock. (It was the sword here, not the pen,
yet something way down in the depths of my brain tells me that far away in
the future ages, diplomatic questions will be settled without the effusion
of blood.) And by way of further apology I would say that shortly after I
wrote you last we were ordered from Poolsville to Harper's Ferry, since which
we have been almost continually on the march, halting at long intervals and
only long enough to sleep and cook our rations. During the time occupied
by our march from Frederick City, Maryland, to the Rappahannock, Virginia,
passed through many towns and saw much natural scenery, which if time or
space would permit would be worth a description. Frederick City is the largest,
most beautiful, and the best Union of any of the towns through which we passed,—Harper's
Ferry has the most ruins, and its surroundings are the most picturesque. The
scenery along the Rappahannock if the most beautiful, but as this letter is
intended only as an apology or an introduction necessary after so long a silence
I must bring it to a close by informing you that the Union soldiers, one and
all join in unreserved disapproval of the New York rioters, which arose from
the misleading influence of the leading Copperheads. Yours, &c.,
W. R., Co. E, Scott's 900
(CAMP RELIEF, WASHINGTON, D. C.
August 20th, 1863.
OUR IRISH SOLDIERS.
The Irishman; I love him, I love his noble traits of character, his warm heart
his honor, his generosity, his patriotism and his courage. Oh, that I possessed
the power, to break the galling chains which binds him to a life worse than
Slavery, in his native land. Prejudiced people may say what they will to misrepresent
the Irish race before the public, yet, the very belief that the race is misrepresented
to the credulous public is a sufficient reason why I, knowing their nature
and noble traits of character, should do my duty towards them. It is painfully
evident, that, but a few years ago, in certain localities of our country where
the Irishman was known, and through the writings of persons blindly prejudiced
again the race, people were wont to shrink from him in terror; supposing him
to be little less than a savage. But that time has passed, and the people of
the United States now see the Irish race in a more favorable light. Prior to
the breaking out of the rebellion, they learned his value as a laborer. If
a Railroad was too made or a canal dug, Irish laborers were indispensable to
their completion. Consequently the wiser part of our people encouraged Irish
emigration, but here again prejudice was at work. The narrow minds of selfish
men regarded this flow of emigration dangerous to the Government. As if the
introduction of a few thousand strangers could possibly be the means of overthrowing
the vast population of our nation, even if they were so disposed. But no, the
Irish emigrants came here not to injure a hair of Uncle Sam's head. They came
here to till the soil and earn their living by hard and honest labor. They
risked the raging waves of the Atlantic for no other purpose than that of giving
to their posterity the boon of Liberty and the blessing of a free Education.
Neither did they come here to have anything to do with the Government of this
country; they would rather not. Scarcely any of them would become naturalized
was not for the advice of some American neighbor, and many even then would
not, was it not to secure their property to whatever party it rightfully belonged.
But not only did the Irish emigrant prove himself useful in the construction
of canals and railroads, reclaiming the soil of our Western Territories &c.,
but when the thunder of civil War spread like wildfire over the Southern line
of our nation, our young Hibernian emigants rushed with open arms to clasp
the Stars and Stripes. They were among the first to sacrifice their lives to
crush this gigantic rebellion which was then raging like the internal fire
of the earth: and not only were those young men valuable as private soldiers,
but men were found among them who were amply fit to lead them. Among them were
found men qualified to fill the place of the Colonel, Brigadier or Major General.
The names of General Meagher and Corcoran will stand high on the pages of our
nations history, and think you, can the deeds of the 69th ever be erased from
the memory. No, these deeds of gallantry, these acts of patriotism will float
down succeeding ages until the Irish race will be known in its true merit.
When the Irishman first lands upon our shores he is certainly rough in his
demeanor, his habits are foreign to the intellectual and moral inhabitants
of our country, yet there is something in his manner that draws us towards
him. He is as it were like unto the rough diamond, his virtues lie dormant
visible only to the most intelligent eye. The lower class of the race is unavoidably
ignorant, but if we study the history of Ireland we find sufficient excuse
for the backward state of Irish education; the persecuting and prejudicial
laws of England is to blame. I will now close by hoping that--instead of a
curse, as the forgotten and worthless Know Nothing party would have it—the
Irish emigrants and their posterity will prove as they ever have done, a blessing
to our nation. Yours, &c.,
W. R. Co. E, Scott's 900.
CAMP RELIEF, WASHINGTON, D. C.
August 26th, 1863.
MR. EDITOR.--After a chilly night I drag my chilly limbs out of a chilly barracks,
groom my horse, eat breakfast, and proceed to inform you that a party of Scott's
900 has been so unfortunate as to get gobbled up by Mosby and White's guerrillas.
It appears that the guerrillas had begun to show themselves along the Potomac
between Muddy Branch and Point of Rocks. Accordingly, this section of country
being included in the Department Commanded by Gen. Hentzleman, termed the defenses
of Washington, four Company's, C., D., H., and K., of Scott's 900 was dispatched
on the morning of the 25th for the purpose of picketing the river and protecting
the Canal Boats as they passed to and from Harper's Ferry and the Pennsylvania
Coal Mines. But they were not destined to be permitted to remain as long in
peace as did the detachment composed of E. I. and F. on the same grounds for
six months last Winter and Spring, for they had scarcely been there two days
when 300 of White and Mosby's guerrillas surprised and captured all but 17
of them. It is stated that four of our boys were killed, but the particulars
have not been ascertained. Major Wilkinson, Commander of Detachment, being
at the house of Mr. Young, about a quarter of a mile from the Camp, and having
his horse with him succeeded in making his escape by a circuitous rout of 35
miles to Washington. Captain Halleck of Co. K. escaped also.
AUG. 29th.—Two companies started at 4 o'clock this morning in the direction
of Edwards Ferry, but on arriving at Auford's Cross-Roads they discovered that
the toe-path of the Ohio and Chespeake Canal was picketed by rebel Cavalry.
Our boys encamped at the cross-roads and was not disturbed during the night.
AUG. 30th.—Company A. accompanies the Colonel to Auford's Cross-Roads
to-day, and it is stated that a large force of Federal Cavalry will clean the
guerrillas out soon. They are now on their way up the river on each side. If
they have not already smelt a large sized rat they will soon find themselves
in a trap.
The Washington papers of yesterday, in speaking of the loss sustained by our
regiment says: "We regret this the more as it is one of the most serviceable
regiments in the Army." It may be supposed by some that this regiment
dose but little duty, but I would like to see the regiment of Cavalry that
has done more marching, performed a greater number or more dangerous scouts;
and in fact where is the Battallion of Cavalry that could make a better fight
than did the little band which fought under Major S. P. Remington, against
overwhelming odds, near Fairfax, Va. And whoever could see Camp Relief at the
present time must admit that our hands have not been idle while in Camp. Company
E. I. and F. have been out of Camp for seven months at a time, and we will
hail the day with joy that we are ordered to the front again.
Most Respectfully Yours,
FROM SCOTT'S 900.
STEAM COTTON PRESS BARRACKS,
NEW ORLEANS, May 23,1864.
EDITORS COURIER & FREEMAN:
To the soldier it is one of the greatest consolations to know those he has
left behind have not forgotten him, or repudiated his claims on their kindness;
and the assurance that the Empire State has lately given that she still extends
her fostering care over those who have left her borders in the cause of right,
the generous manner in which her rulers have provided a way for her soldiers
to vote while absent in the cause of human freedom, is one of the most gratifying
civil measures passed during the war, and will long be gratefully remembered
by those it is to benefit.
While expressing our appreciation of this excellent measure we may be pardoned
for reminding good citizens that they have a duty to perform—an important
duty, and one that cannot safely be neglected in carrying out this wise measure.
Now that the soldier can vote, it is of equal importance that he be enabled
to vote right. Education is the corner stone of all Republican institutions,
and the right of suffrage cannot be safely entrusted to ignorant or prejudiced
persons; and besides a degree of intelligence and general knowledge it is also
necessary the voter should thoroughly understand the subject upon which he
is to exercise his choice, in order that he may do justice to his country and
his own conscience. Your kind readers, to whom I would appeal, all understand
these facts; but they cannot know what I am about to tell them. It is with
reluctance I make the statement and would not did I not hope thereby to do
some good and open the way for a removal of the veil. There are in the army
a great many—too many—who are tired of soldiering and "want
to go home." They are by no means a majority, but as all men have their
influence these do not fail to make theirs felt even among a majority of sterling
patriots. They have allowed their dislike of the service to run away with reason
and patriotism, and if a president was elected to-morrow, they would disgrace
themselves and the army by casting their votes for a man who would support "peace
on any terms." As I said, they are in the minority, yet constitute a dangerous
element by poisoning the minds of others and ought to be cured or the contagious
disease closely guarded. Their lack of true patriotism arises from a lack of
information concerning the great questions the day and a want of knowledge
of their own and their country's best interests. They do not comprehend the
weight of responsibility resting upon the present generation, especially the
portion engaged in prosecuting this war for the establishment of the most sacred
rights of man. They think all has not been done that might have been, and for
this reason would abandon the glorious things already achieved, for the allurements
of home (and they are strong) and the enjoyments of peace that could not long
endure if purchased by the sacrifice of all our aims. They must be convinced,
must be made to know and understand that the only sure way to lasting peace,
is through a vigorous, victorious war—war shall subdue rebellion, crush
out last writhing atom of slavery and restore the Union on a truly free Republican
basis. Then will peace be stable, permanent. A convention was lately held in
this city to appoint delegates to Baltimore Convention. The resolutions adopted,
strongly endorsed action of the present administration and expressed sentiments;
of most unmistakable loyalty. Seven delegates were appointed and instructed
to give their support to Abraham Lincoln as nominee for presidency; thus showing
that even southerners appreciate what has been done, and desire a continuance
of the same policy. Shall northern men let re- claimed rebels outdo them? In
the present state of affairs it may justly be feared some would; and to bring
about a reversion of sentiment, papers must be plentifully circulated throughout
army. There are none—or very few—who cannot read and do not seize
with pleasure every bit of reading matter that comes within reach. When a new
paper makes its appearance camp, a crowd gathers around, some one reads aloud,
and so all hear and hearing are benefited. Now if papers of right character
are distributed judiciously, they will work wonders in the sentiments readers
by strengthening the right and con- founding wrong. The of majority of the
soldiers are right and truly patriotic, and if kept informed what the country
is doing, they will in a great measure control the prejudiced and erring party,
and at all events it will prevent their becoming contaminated themselves. Those
who are right need sustaining and they will fight those who are wrong. The
work of spreading the necessary information, of distributing the proper papers,
belongs not to the government, but to the friends of soldiers and to those
who will be affected by the result of the election; the latter includes every
American citizen. The work can be best performed by the former—by the
brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives and children of the loyal soldiers.
Send them papers. If you don't take one, subscribe at once for a good stirring
patriotic weekly, read it yourself and then send it to a friend in the army.
It will find more readers there than you ever dreampt of. Write its contents—its
best points—to some other, and by so doing serve the country more than
you are aware of. Young men in town get up reading rooms and when you have
scanned your papers, at the close of the week do them up in a bundle and send
them to some regiment for distribution. It won't cost you a great deal, and
it is a tax you ought to pay for staying at home. There are a great many ways
of providing the army news, without much expense, and I feel confident it will
I have said more, perhaps, than is becoming, but could not refrain from speaking
on a subject I deem of so much interest to citizens, soldiers and the country.
I will leave it to the good judgment of those who may happen to cast a casual
glance over these lines.
In the next square, and in plain sight from the window by which I am writing,
is a building used for the accommodation of rebel prisoners. Their numbers
receive occasional accessions and I judge there is still room for more. They
are clad in all sorts of garbs and present withal a motley appearance. There
is a striking contrast between them and Uncle Sam's boys, not at all flattering
to the former. The door the prison is this way, and there is scarcely moment
in the day that we do not see a crowd of ladies waiting outside for admittance,
with baskets of luxuries for distribution among their friends inside. This
calls up painful reflections on the treatment our own dear friends have received
while incarcerated in the foul dens of Richmond. By the way, we hope soon to
hear Gen. Grant has captured stronghold of rebellion and set our comrades free.
Our latest news from that quarter was of the most cheering character.
We have very pleasant summer weather, but I suppose we shall scorch it bye
and bye. For the past three weeks the market has been plentifully supplied
with all sorts of garden vegetables, fruits, berries &c. It seems strange,
but not at all disagreeable. There is not much of interest going on now in
this vicinity. Gen. Banks is now here but probably will make but a short stay.
His "biz" up the Red River is of too much importance to admit of
a long absence.
The detachment of Scott's 900 stationed here, about three hundred fifty in
number, B, D, L, and M. D and M came down from near Donaldsonville one week
ago yesterday, on the transport "Col. Colburn." The former was under
the command of Lt.-Col. Wilkeson and the latter that of Maj. Remington, who
is highly esteemed by all the men who have ever been under his command, and
they would endorse any language of commendation that might be bestowed upon
him. Maj. T. T. Gamble commands this battalion.
I believe I mentioned in my last that Capt. Halleck of K company was seriously
wounded in the head by a shot from concealed guerrillas. He has since died
of the wound, deeply regretted by all who knew him.
A weekly paper called the Union Guidon has been started at Phibodeaux, by
Carpenter & Gazlay of G company, this regiment. It made its first appearance
last Wednesday, and promises to prove, notwithstanding the difficulties under
which it is issued, a very interesting little sheet. It will especially attend
to the affairs of this regiment, and will no doubt find many subscribers among
those who have friends here. We wish it success.
This letter has already become much more lengthy than at first anticipated,
and though some things might yet be written, we will reserve them for another
time and leave their room for more interesting topics.
Yours truly, SABRE.
FROM SCOTT'S 900.—The following extract from a letter written by a Buffalonian,
now a member of Scott's 900, contains an interesting account of the fight with
the rebels in which the regiment was engaged, on the 6th inst. Doyal's Plantation
is in the vicinity of Donaldsonville:
HEADQUARTERS 11TH N. Y. CAV., "SCOTT'S 900," DOYLE'S PLANTATION,
Aug. 8, 1864.
On the morning of the 5th of August, just as we were eating breakfast, the
alarm was given that our pickets had been attacked, about a mile from camp.
The Major at once gave orders for every one to saddle up, and fall into the
ranks. We had just formed the squadron, and were waiting for the report from
a party who had been sent out to ascertain the strength of the enemy, when
an orderly rode up and said they were in strong force, and coming from all
directions. The Major ordered every one inside the stockade, and had determined
to fight them dismounted, inside the defences. We had scarcely got inside the
stockade, before a shot from a field piece told us the enemy had artillery.
We then were ordered to fall in, in column of fours. We had just made this
formation when we saw a flag of trace approaching. The Major rode out to see
what they wanted, when the man who bore the flag, handed him a note from the
commanding officer of the rebs, demanding our immediate and unconditional surrender,
giving us five minutes to decide. The Major's answer was characteristic of
him. He said "he wanted no such time as that to decide, that he intended
to cut his way through." When the man got this answer he started for his
command, and the Major rode up to the head of our column and ordered us forward
at a gallop—and we went As soon as the rebs felt our charge they scattered
in all directions, but immediately reformed their lines, and started for the
house in which we were or had been quartered. The men who followed Major Remington
(our commanding officer) got through safely; those who remained behind were
taken prisoners. I heard of no one being killed. Capt. Norris led the advance
most bravely. He was wounded in the shoulder by a carbine bullet, but is doing
The rebs had between 1000 and 1500 men and four pieces of artillery, while
our command did not exceed 225 effective men. The rest were sick and utterly
unable to mount a horse. The prisoners they took were nearly all sick men.
The only ones captured belonging to Buffalo or vicinity, were George H. Miller,
Hamburg, Edwin W. Osborne, South Wales, and Wm. W. Sweetland.
The Gouverneur Times
Gouverneur, Friday, September 9th, 1864.
FROM SCOTT'S 900.
HEADQUARTERS "SCOTT'S 900" CAVALRY,
MT. HOAMO'S PLANTATION, LA.
August 6, 1864.
EDITORS COURIER & FREEMAN:
Our regimental headquarters, which were formerly a mile below and opposite
to Donaldsonville, has been removed to this place. Since Col. Sherburne was
appointed Chief of Cavalry for this Department, our Lieut.
Colonel has been detatched to serve on a military board in New Orleans, consequently
the command of the regiment devolves on Major S. P. Remington, who is highly
esteemed both for his fine soldierly qualifications and his gentlemanly conduct
as exhibited to the officers and men under his command.
Several promotions have recently taken place; among the number is the name
of John Mills of Canton, to be 2d Lieutenant.
The health of the regiment is very poor, there being at one time more than
four hundred and eighty men unfit for duty, Co. F. had only twelve men reported
for duty this morning, as I am told by the hospital steward. Fever and ague
and chronic diarrhea are the prevailing epidemics, and both are attributed
to the bad water we are of necessity compelled to drink.
There has been but little alteration in the disposition of the various companies
comprising the regiment. The 1st Battalion, composed of companies A, D, H and
M, are stationed here together with Co. C; companies F and E are at the Hermitage;
K, G, and L are at Mannings; I is at Whitehall saw-mill; B is at New Orleans,
doing Provost duty. You have doubtless ere this learned os the good fortune
that befell your townsman, Mr. G. E. Clark, who came out as a private in Co.
M, and was on detached duty as orderly at headquarters department of Washington.
He was the recipient of a special order from the Secretary of War, ordering
him to report without delay at Louisville, Ky., with a view to his promotion
to a Lieutenancy in the U. S. Colored troops. He left the next morning, July
23d, since when we have not heard from him. Previous to his leaving he was
the recipient of a fine complimentary address from his Captain, before his
company, which was drawn up in line. Capt. Norris said: "Private Clark,
I hold in my hand the document which separates you from my command, and in
you I feel it my duty as well as esteem it a pleasure, to say to you in presence
of your comrades here assembled, that while you have been a member of Co. M,
I have found you willing, prompt and ready to perform your duty, and as a trooper
your arms and accoutrements have been unexceptionable, and your horse well-cared
for; and in parting from you we feel that we are losing a fine soldier, but
believe you to be well qualified for the position you are about to assume,
and --handing him the order—congratulate you on your appointment." On
the receipt of the document Mr. Clark said with much emotion: "Capt. Norris,
although proud of the position conferred upon me by this order, yet it is with
deep regret that I part from my associates and comrades in Co. M."
The weather is exceedingly warm, so much so that we feel like taking up with "Major
Jack Downing's" advice to "lay off yer flesh and sit in your bones." Pretty
lively scenes have been enacted here the past week, rendered all the more exciting
from its being unexpected. Thursday, August 4th, a rebel brigade of cavalry
and a battery of artillery, under command of Col. Scott, crossed the Amite
river, and leaving two pieces of artillery and a squad of cavalry to protect
their communications, marched on us by stealth, and attacked us at 7 a. m.
Friday. We were quietly taking breakfast when our pickets came galloping in,
announcing the near approach of the rebel force. Lieut. Gibson, of Co. H, with
the three reserve picket immediately proceeded to reconnoitre their position;
on reaching the sugar mill, about a mile half back from the river, he discovered
the rebels moving in three columns to the attack, one coming between us and
our reserves at Donaldsonville, another cutting us off from Baton Rouge, while
third advanced to the main attack. These facts the Lieutenant reported to Major
Remington, who determined to await the onset within stockade which would afford
us a slight protection. Ordering Capt. Norris to form Co. M behind levee, and
to protect the front gate at all hazard, he moved his whole force inside the
stockade, but it was found too small to contain even the small number under
him—not over 200 effective men—and orders were immediately given
to form on the river bank behind the levee. Scarcely had this order been executed,
when the report of a cannon and the howling shriek of a shell, as it struck
a chimney close by us, knocking the brick about our ears, gave us the first
intimation that the "Johnnies" had any artillery with them. At this
juncture a flag of truce approached and demanded the surrender of all the forces
at this post, or fire would be opened upon us in five minutes. The message
stated that we were surroundered by a full brigade of cavalry, supported by
six pieces of artillery, and was signed by Col. Scott, commanding brigade.
The answer was characteristic of Major Remington. "Tell Col. Scott," said
he, "that 'Scott's 900' never surrenders."
Turning to us the Major said, "boys, this place is no longer tenable;
we must cut our way out or be taken prisoners; Capt. Norris lead on with Co.
M." Only a part of the company were in line, but not a man faltered, and
as the order came sharp and clear.—"Forward, gallop, march!" every
man seated himself firmly in his saddle, tightened his reins, and clapping
hands to our horses away we went at a whirlwind speed, taking the road that
leads to Donaldsonville. As soon as we started the artillery opened in right
good earnest, but their gunners were not very good marksmen, and the shell
went high over head, and sunk in the Mississippi without exploding.
The rebel line we were charging upon held their fire until we were close upon
them, and then came one terrible volley; before they could load we were upon
them, scattering them right and left like chaff, giving them leaden doses from
Col. Colt's pill boxes which are hard to take; one moment and we were through
and strange to say two hundred of us had cut our way through treble our number
without losing a man killed, and had only one man wounded, Capt. Norris, shot
the shoulder; but we lost largely in horses, one company alone losing 40 in
killed, wounded and captured. Several men had very narrow escapes. Major Remington
had, his horse shot from under him. Wm. Bots- ford from Potsdam had his horse
shot three places. Corp. Lewis had a ball pass his hat, and several others
had very narrow escapes. A large number of prisoners were taken, but most of
them were sick and unable to join in the fight, but compelled to match on foot
when the rebs moved off. Our detachment fell back to the telegraph station,
about six miles, when we were joined by companies E, F, G and C making in all
about six hundred men, and preceeded by a gunboat, returned scene of action.
few shells from gunboat No. 27 created great confusion among "Johnnies" who
fell back at double quick, taking with them all the plunder they could carry.
Our advance followed them as far as Mauchac Ferry, driving across in such a
hurry that all the captured arms and ammunition were thrown into the river.—Plunder
appeared to be the main object of the rebs in making the attack, for instead
of following up the retreating column they turned their whole attention to
rifling our quarters of everything movable. Boots and shoes were in great demand,
most of them having very poor or no shoes at all. Blankets, rubber pouches,
writing paper and envelopes were all taken, and pants and dress jackets did
not escape their notice. Their loss as admitted was four killed and fifteen
Since then everything has been quiet and we occupy our old quarters. The total
number of prisoners taken by the rebs. was 94 men, one captain, one 1st lieutenant,
Sergt.-Major Davis, and Hospital Stewart Freeman.
Promotion of Capt. S. P. Remington.
We are pleased to learn that Captain S. P. REMINGTON, of "Scott's 900"
Cavalry has been promoted to Major in his Regiment.
Lieut. Starkie, of Scott's Nine Hundred Cavalry, committed suicide Friday by
cutting his throat.
DEATH OF ANOTHER BUFFALO SOLDIER.—
Jesse K. Corwin, of River Side, aged 20 years, a member of Scott's 900th Cavalry,
died on the 9th inst., in the hospital at Leonardstown, Md. His body is to
arrive here this week for. interment, Of the three brothers who enlisted
about a year ago only one is now left.
TRIBUTE THE DEAD.—At a meeting of the members of Co. "M," Scott's
900 U. S. V. Cavalry, held at the Court House in Leonardstown, Maryland, on
the 12th day of June, 1863, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously
Whereas, It hath pleased Divine Providence to take from among us our well beloved
and esteemed comrade Corporal Jesse Corwin; therefore,
Resolved, That the cause in which he served has lost not only a dutiful, willing
and zealous soldier, but a good, honest, warm hearted man.
Resolved, That the members of this company, for his kind disposition and high
social qualities, had learned to respect and love him as a brother, and his
sudden death has fallen like a heavy blow upon the hearts of all.
Resolved, That we tender our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends
in this their sad bereavement.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family of the deceased
and that a copy be also forwarded to the Morning Express and Commercial Advertiser,
of the city of Buffalo, for publication.
Another Canton Volunteer Gone.
Canton has again been called upon to mourn the loss of a volunteer. Thomas
Gamble, a member of Co. G. Capt. H. D. Ellsworth, Scotts 900, U. S. C., died
in Hospital, at Washington, on the 18th inst. His remains was sent home by
the company and arrived here on Saturday evening, and a large concourse of
people attended his funeral at the M. E. Church on Sunday. From a private
letter which we have been shown from Capt. Ellsworth we learn that Mr. Gamble
was universally beloved and respected by both officers and men both as a
soldier and a man, and although he was but a private, he was always ready
and willing when duty called him, to share the hardships and dangers of a
soldier's life, and few stood higher in the confidence of his superiors and
whose death will be more regretted. He has long been a resident of this town,
and was known to be a good citizen and an honest hard working man, and his
bereaved family have the sympathy of this community in their deep affliction.
He leaves a wife and four children to mourn his loss.
Melancholy Suicide—Yesterday morning, 2d Lieut. Fred'k Starkey, company
C, Scott's 900 cavalry, committed suicide in his tent at the headquarters of
the regiment, above the Park, Seventh street, by cutting his throat with a
razor. Starkey had been ill for some days, and the surgeon of the regiment
had had a man detached to attend him; and in the temporary absence of the latter,
the Lieutenant got out his razor and cut a horrid gash across the throat, severing
both carotid arteries, dying in a few seconds thereafter. Coroner Woodward
held an inquest, and the jury returned a verdict that he came to his death
from wounds inflicted by himself while laboring under a temporary depression
of mind. Lieut. Starkey was a German by birth, and a soldier by profession,
and had been in the regular service. He came out with the regiment as a private,
and has been advanced from one position to another, and recently was commissioned
a second lieutenant and assigned to company C. A letter was found among his
effects, written the day previous, directed to Gen. Judd, our Minister to Berlin,
in which he requests the General to inform a lady, whose name is mentioned,
that he was ill, and that she must not be surprised to hear bad news from him
at any time. Lieut. Starkey was about forty years of age, and was much esteemed
by the officers and men of the regiment.
[Wash. Star, 13th.
Back to 11th Cavalry during
the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
November 9, 2006