New York Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
The 115th are yet at Beaufort, S. C. We learn from the New South that Col.
Sammons is President of a Court Martial, now in session there. Lieut. Col.
Batchellor is Assistant Provost Marshal General of Gen. Gilmore's department,
and Capt. S. P. Smith Provost Marshal at Hilton Head. Assistant Surgeon H.
H. Ingerson, who is home on sick leave, informs us that the health of the regiment
The 153d is now doing police duty at Washington.—M. V. American.
— The following recent deaths have occurred in the 115th Regiment from typhoid
July 6th, Paul Crandall, Co. G;
July 8th, George Cassidy, Co. D;
July 8th, George Colony, Co. C.
The 115th, we hear, is suffering a good deal from sickness. Their service
has been quite severe at Port Royal, but it is stated they will soon be sent
over to St. Helena Island to rest. The following deaths from typhoid fever
have occurred: June 5th, Private Ira Washburn, of company F. June 6th, Musician
James M. Dean, Jr., company A. June 11th, Corporal Reuben S. Wright, of company
LOCAL & GENERAL.
S. M. PETTENGILL & CO., No. 37 Park Row, New York,
And 6 State Street, Boston,
Are our agents for the Ballston journal in those cities, and are authorized
to take Advertisements and subscriptions for us at our Lowest Rates.
The One Hundred and Fifteenth regiment from Montgomery county, is doing garrison
duty at Hilton Head, S. C, and numbers eight hundred efficient men.
HOSPITAL STEWARD.—We are pleased to announce that James Mingay, who
went out as a sergeant in Capt. French's company, 115th Regiment, N. Y. Y.,
has been appointed Hospital Steward, and is now in charge of a large hospital
at Beaufort, S. C. His experience in Hill's drug store well qualified him for
the position, and we have no doubt he will prove a faithful and capable person
for the position.
Lieut. Col. Batcheller, of the 115th regiment, as we learn from the New
South, is Assistant Provost Marshal General of the Department of the
South, comprising the command of Gen. Gillmore.
OUR REGIMENTS.—The 115th are yet at Beaufort, S. C. We learn from the
New South, that Col. Sammons is President of a Court Martial, now in session
there. Lieut. Col. Batchellor is Assistant Provost Marshal General of Gen.
Gilmore's department, and Capt. S. P. Smith Provost Marshal at Hilton Head.
Ass't Surgeon, H. H. Ingerson, who is home on sick leave, informs us that the
health of the regiment is improving.
DISCHARGED.—The last steamer from Port Royal brought home sixteen members
from the 115th Reg't, who have been discharged on account of ill health. Five
of them were from Co. D, John Wilmot, John Ostrander, Francis Snyder, Alfred
Sheppard, of Amsterdam, and Alfred Eaton of Burtonville. A board of examining
surgeons have inspected the entire regiment lately, and have reported to the
authorities at Washington that the change of climate and exposure which this
regiment has undergone, has affected their livers, and advises their return
to a more northern climate.
THE ATTACK ON CHARLESTON.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
HILTON HEAD, April 25.
Messrs. Editors: I notice that some of the Northern papers, in accounting for
the delay that has occurred in the expedition against Charleston, have attached
blame to General Hunter. A late number of the Waterford Sentinel contained
a letter from a private of our regiment in which he is charged with quarreling
with General Foster. I write to say, in justice to General Hunter, that as
far as I can learn, there is no truth whatever in the charge; and as camp rumor,
which, by the way, is never reliable, attributes the apparent failure in the
recent attack on Charleston to a misunderstanding between General Hunter and
Admiral Dupont, permit me to state the facts in the case as I have obtained
them from the most reliable sources.
Soon after the attack on Fort Sumter had commenced, and when promising favorable
results, a dispatch arrived from Washington ordering a delay in the attack
on Charleston, and that three of the Monitors be sent to the relief of Admiral
Farragut at Vicksburg. This order was sent with the supposition that the attack
on Charleston had not commenced. On the arrival of the order, a council of
the naval officers was held. Some of them were in favor of continuing the attack,
but Admiral Dupont decided in the negative. He reasoned thus: If I should continue
the attack contrary to orders and should succeed, the Government might sustain
me. If I should make a failure, and lose the Monitors, I should lose my head.
Who will say that this was not sound reasoning? As soon as it was known at
Washington that the attack on Charleston had already commenced, and that it
would go out to the country as a failure, another order came for an immediate
renewal of the attack.
I write this in justice to General Hunter, who, as commander of this department,
is giving general satisfaction. S. W. CLEMENS,
Chaplain 115th Regiment, N. Y. V.
John Kiderling, a member of Capt. Van Derveer's Company, 115th. Regiment, who
has been home sick for the past two months, will leave home to rejoin his
Company the present week.
For the Recorder.
HEAD QUARTER'S Co. D. 115th REG'T, N. Y. S. V.
HILTON HEAD, S. C., June, 25th, 1863.
Thinking perhaps you would like to hear again from the Regiment, I will drop
you a few lines.
The box of religious reading was received in due time and in good order.
Please accept our sincere and heartfelt thanks. I speak in behalf of the Regiment.
It came like a Godsend to us, as we were nearly destitute of religious reading
matter. Our Chaplain was overjoyed, and thought there were some left in Amsterdam
yet to provide for the Christian soldier. I gave it over to him, and he made
distribution, each Sabbath, until be left for home, when we finished them.
The men seemed very anxious to get at its contents, and were thankful for what
they received. I was very much pleased to see books, papers, &c., bearing
the names of many dear christian friends.
God bless them.
The prayer meeting has been stopped for a long time. Now they are using our
chapel-tent in connection with the hospital; but on Sabbath evenings we have
service in our cook-house, and feel that the Savior is present with us. Some
of those who experienced religion during our revival have been called to die
of disease. I trust 'tis well with them.
Our Regiment is again under marching orders; we are ordered to report at
Beaufort, S. C.; it is a beautiful place to encamp. The village of Beaufort
consists of about two hundred buildings, some of them excellent structures.
The dwelling houses are of the southern style of wood, double plazas nearly
all the way round, with shrubbery and shade trees in abundance, which make
the place very inviting. I think it will improve our condition to go there.
Well, I believe I have written all the news. To-morrow, I suppose, there will
be a general tearing down, and any amount of confusion and hurry. Beaufort
is distant about twelve miles. We go by water. To-day the sun is very warm,
but we have a splendid sea-breeze to counterbalance the heat in a degree.
If it was not for the sea-breeze it would be impossible to stand the heat.
Regiment is in a very unhealthy condition at present. There are about 150 under
the Surgeon's care each morning. Troops that have been here since the place
was taken say it is the same with all regiments, the first season they are
here. Presuming you will hear from us again, before long, I will close.
LIEUT. N. DE GRAFF.
THE 115TH REGIMENT.
The following recent deaths by typhoid fever of members of the 115th
Regiment, we find in the Free South, of the 1st instant:—
July 23d. Private Sylvester Andrews, of Company G
July 26th. Private James Bolster, of Company E.
[NOTE: The following article refers to the 150th Regiment.
Thanks to David Jay Webber for pointing this out.]
UNDER DATE OF Sandy Hook, Md., July 17, Chaplain Vassar, of the one hundred
and fiftieth regiment, writes as follows to The Amenia Times:
I wrote you last from the field of Gettysburg, or its vicinity. We left there
on Sunday morning after the fight, and on the following Saturday came up with
Lee's army in the neighborhood of Williamsport. Though weary, there was on
the part of the Union forces a universal desire for a fight, with a confident
expectation of being able to finish up, on the banks of the Potomac, what had
been begun ten days previously among the hills of Pennsylvania. All day the
different corps kept coming in, and by Sunday morning a crescent-shaped line
ran round the rebel fugitives.—Anxiously we waited orders for the attack
to begin. Toward night, however, instead of moving upon the foe, the command
was given to commence throwing up breastworks; and all day Monday the great
army was kept thus engaged. Magnificent pieces of timber were cleared off,
fences torn down, and fortifications reared mile after mile in the rear of
a retreating foe. Soldiers could see no reason for this, but supposed that
their officers could, and so
of course pushed the job along; and, while thus employed, Lee quietly moved
his frightened men safely across the river, the last going over as the light
of Tuesday morning dawned. By noon the report became general that the prey,
which seemed within our grasp, had affected an escape. Soon the rumors turned
into a settled fact. Never have I witnessed manifestations of deeper disappointment
or burning rage. After all that long, wearisome march, born with such patient
endurance, was vain. That army which had so often defeated, baffled, or eluded
us, but of whose destruction we had been all but sure, had again slipped away
when its overthrow seemed ordained. Is it surprising that curses, loud and
bitter, upon those whose timidity or dilatoriness had brought about such a
result, should have been denounced; Wednesday morning we started upon the track
of the runaways. Terrible was the trail which they had left. In the barns lay
unburied putrifying dead. By the road-side used-up horses were scattered all
Growing crops were trampled flat, fences stripped away, houses pillaged, stables
and stalls and poultry yards left empty—ruin on every side.
" Yesterday we reached Maryland Heights, opposite Harpers Ferry, and afterward
moved a mile lower down, where we pitched our camp for the night, and are lying
still. This morning a drenching rain is falling, but the pontoon bridges are
being laid, and probably by tomorrow the army will again be crossing over to
Virginia soil. What the next move in the programme is to be, it would be hard
to tell. Somehow or other, somewhere or other, and at some time or other, Lee
and his army are to be destroyed. Nothing more definite can hardly be predicted
LETTER FROM CAPT. SHAW.
Beaufort, S. C., July 13th, 1863.
Friend Heaton: Yours of the 20th ult. received yesterday. Glad to hear from
you; wish I could say our regiment are all well, but can't. We have about two
hundred sick. News is very important here at present. Gen. Gillmore is pegging
away at Charleston. We have Morris Island. Today we occupy James Island, if
no one objects; probably we will if they do. Charleston is ours; it is only
a question of time when we occupy it. Gilmore knows every inch of the ground,
and is determined to have the city or lose every man, gun and ship in the attempt.
Admiral Dahlgren is sending in his compliments from the monitors. The Wabash
and ironsides lay in reserve, watching closely the movements of the swarm of
vessels that are dropping their iron hail into Fort Sumter and Battery Bee.
I should think Copperheadism was pretty well played out. Their hopes of a Southern
Confederacy to lean upon, must be growing bright, over the left. Sorry to say,
we have one or two with us, that carry long faces on account of the failure
of the Vallandigham meetings in the free North. The thing is fixed, the die
is cast; rebels and copperhead tories have got to go to the wall. The cause
is unholy, being conceived in sin, and whom Lord Garle thought so highly as
he thought of Decima Verner; and he had spoken in his mind's impulse.
Sibylla believed that he had purposely flung a shaft at her. And she flung
one again--not at him, but at Decima. She was of a terribly jealous nature,
and could bear any reproach to herself, better than that another woman sho'd
be praised beside her.
When young ladies find their charms have been laid out in vain, wasted on the
desert air, they naturally covet attention although it be but a brother's.
Poor Decima's growing into an old maid; of course she cannot help the neglect,
and may be excused for being sore upon the point." Perhaps the first truly
severe glance that Colonel Verner ever gave his wife he gave her then. Disdaining
any defence of his sister, he stood, haughty, impassive, his lips drawn in,
his eyes fixed sternly on Sibylla. Decima remained quite under the insult save
that of 6persuasion. Haven't time to write any more at present.
Monday, 20th, 2 P. M. -- We have just finished taking the wounded from the
boats. The Cosmopolitan and Mary Benton came down last night, bringing about
500 wounded officers and men. Our forces charged Fort Wagner on Saturday
night and held it til morning, when the rebels came down on them with fresh
troops and in superior numbers, and our forces were obliged to spike the
guns and retreat. The slaughter was terrible on both sides. Gen. Gilmore
ordered all the works to be stormed this morning at daylight. We have not
heard the result; but feel confident of success. The mon... ...ged Fort Sumter
again this morning. Generals Strong and Seymour are wounded. Cols. Emery
of the 9th Me., and Col. Shaw, of the 54th Mass., killed. Our loss in officers
is large. Every attention possible is paid to the wounded.
About 300 prisoners have been sent down. They feel that their cause is hopeless
since the fall of Vicksburg, the defeat of Johnston, the defeat of Bragg, the
fall of Port Hudson, to say nothing of the misfortunes of poor Lee, who got
his foot into it (Pennsylvania.) I will send you a detailed account of the
Charleston affair as soon as received.
Yours, &c., W. H. SHAW,
Captain Co. E, 115th N. Y. V.
FROM THE 115TH REGIMENT.
BUFORT, S. C., July 22, 1863.
ED. OF THE REPUBLICAN:—
Sir--I hav sene ocasionaly a small item in sum ov yur hummaid sheats supporting
tu be Ann xtrack frum the Kernel's letters, sum other milentary lim ov this
core, saying invaribly, that the A4sed core wus laing on ther ores. Now, ther4,
to ce sich idel gas as this, wee, Rank N Fyle ov this onerbel core kant gormandize,
phor ayund a dout hour respecktiv frenz at hum wood cum to the kenklusion that
awl wee dun waz to feste on goverment rashuns, ann slep the intermeenin ours.
On corse this wood B grand, butt low the kontrast:—5ty persent ov thie
grand core iz on xtra dewty now, ov witch thar iz know smawl amount at prezent.
Wee fernich provo gard fur the sity ov Beufert, & a larg heap ov Horspittle
nurses, whu hev awl tha ken du, fur thares a rite smart heap a wunded hear.
Thar iz ni a duzen Horspittals in town, ann the avreg No. in etch iz about
phifty. So you persieve at a glans that Gen. Killmore haz ben stering up a
nest on Moris Iland. Butt I gess he didnt go 2 Charlestun 2 rekoniter as onerbel
Niggerder Gin. Hunter did. He went thar with ful intent 2 capter that rut ov
Hour frenz ar awl a war that this Killmore iz the herow ov Phort Pewlaski,
but tha ar probly knot awl a war ov what obstickle he had two kontend with.
Beside brick wauls and rebble Rtilleri, The Gin. was thin a capting in the
Inginnear core, reglar Rmy, witch orfice he stil holes. Butt tho he war onli
captin he looked a grate deil hier than hiz dewty cawled him. He tuk a longing
luk at the ole phort, staning az a bariekaid 2 the Save Anna river, & he
wanted it. He dru up hiz planz akordin to hiz vue & committed them 2 Gin.
Right, who, after taking a karful sirvey from Tibe Hand, sed thar aint ole
iren enuff in America tu riduce it. And this same Gin. Rite waz chef ov the
Buro at Washington 3 yeres, & ov corse waz supozed 2 no hou many ownses
it tuk 2 maik a pound ov ole iren, & hou many rods thar iz in 16 hundred
yards; also, hou thik a fore fete waul iz maid ov breek, an sir, theze waz
jest the figers ver bait em.
Gen. Totten, then an nou at the hed ov the Inginneer core, when sed projeck
cum to hiz sugjestshun, told captin Killmore he better plant hiz morter on
Tibee & commens chellin the Rokey Montins. It wood B equely concistent.
It waz under sich serkemstanses that the rezeloot captin resolved to taik the
phort, and did take it in les than 30 ours frum the tim the phirst gun waz
phired. Kernel homestead hawled hiz dirty kullers, & razed in lew tharov
one whit rag. I dun no whether he dun az razin hiz white rag az we did at Harperz
Pheri. Thar wee got np awl the white fetherz wee had on ann stil the phiring
continewed, sow wee got up in a tre & hangd haron a tent on Bolver Hites,
so thar waz know xcuse fur Stonwaul 2 phire eny mour, fur a bline man cood
cee our adopted kullees, and the kernel was afrade, the kullers bein so hi,
that the viziters 2 Bunkre Hil Monement mite luke that wa & cee em unphurld
2 the brez.
Butt Im digressin. The konsiquense ov Killmore's sucksess iz he iz the best
dislicked orficer in the Injinnear core, & whi? Bkaws heze shode himself
souperior tu the uthers. Butt were in hoops, that heel cum out ov this cround
with victry, fur hiz idomnitable kurage & percieve earance merits it.
Sum ov this onerble core iz up 2 Morice 2. Tha wear dtaled tu ascist in the
canitarei department. Tha air on the feeld when the battil iz progressin,& pic up the wunded az fast az tha faul.—Sum wear pickd up by them out
ov the mote, that phell phrom the paripit of phort Wagner, witch if that wear
left lain tha must hev dround az thar iz 6 feat ov wauter in at hi tied.
Very respectfly, yur humbly servnt,
115 N. YORK SUPERNU MARY.
LETTER FROM REV. W. C. MATTISON.
ON BOARD THE STEAMER "ARAGO,"
Off THE COAST OF S. CAROLINA,
May 8th, 1863.
Dear Sir,—According to agreement, I comply with your request to send
you a few lines of notes of travel, &c. Arriving in New York on Thursday
evening, April 30th, we learned that our vessel was not to sail till Tuesday,
May 5th. This gave us ample opportunity to make preparation and arrange our
outfit. The U. S. Christian Commission, under whose auspices we go out, provided
us with every necessary for voyage and stay at our destination. We have, then,
a supply of reading matter to circulate on the vessel, free. We have two boxes
of books and papers to use among the soldiers when ashore. For personal accommodation
we have blankets—heavy woolen and oil cloth—haversack, canteen,
camp kettle containing all utensils for cooking, and providing cups, plates,
knives and forks, &c., for four persons. We have hams, pork, crackers, &c., &c.
Thus provided we set sail on Tuesday at 11 A. M. In fifteen minutes we ran
into the schooner "Mary A. Moran," of New Bedford. Scarcely got a
half mile from pier No. 37 North River when that beautiful schooner lay a wreck
upon her side in the harbor, all hands safe; a little dely and our noble steamer
plowed down the bay, past Governor's Island, Bedloe's and Staten, out the Narrows,
around Sandy Hook, and the Ocean lay off to the South bounding the horizon.
The ocean waves struck us and soon half the passengers were sick. With others,
I also paid attention to the general business, and for two days served my time,
when old ocean said "enough," and I have been relieved for near twenty-four
hours.—The sea is quite rough, though not so much from present winds,
as from storms at a distance that chop the sea with great waves.—Our
incidents of sailing are not many—now and then a sail off on the horizon.
The gunboat "Napoleon" passes us. The "Wyoming," a Port
Royal vessel, bound for New-York.—
Flying fish sailing over the waters for a number of rods; they appear very
much like swallows skimming the deep; about a foot long, and wings that quiver
rapidly and sustain their flight. The rolling porpoises are around frequently.
One of the crew spied a shark ten feet long, dolphins are seen, so we are amidst
the monsters of the deep. How grand the restless ocean!—eternal motion,
glancing, quivering and hissing with curling waves.
Roll on thou dark blue ocean, roll." Monsters hide in thy black abyss,
thou land destroyer and world builder,—roll on for ever if thou wilt,—we
shall all sleep soon, thou never.
Thursday, 5 P. M.—A sail is seen off towards the coast; our captain watches
her. She aims her bow across our track. Is it the "Alabama?" We shall
see. She nears us; a fast sailer; shows a smoak-stack—is a steamer. I
stand on the davits with a borrowed glass, trying to make her out. Thro' my
glass I saw her open her red eye, about two miles off. A smoke rolled over
her, and "bang" came over the waves. We heaved to in short order.
Soon ran along side and heard from an officer through a trumpet the inquiry, "What
steamer is that?" "The Arago," was the reply; and the questioner
waved his trumpet for us to pass on. Our Captain then demanded, "What
war vessel is that?" "The 'Dacotah,' of the blockading squadron,
off North Carolina, Capt. Sterns."
All right, and we bid our visiters good bye and pressed on our course to the
south-west. It was an exciting time for us uninitiated souls! Truly we are
in war. The "Dacotah" carries seven guns and one hundred and sixty
men—an iron clad. Our vessel was four times as large, and yet the little
cock with spurs makes the smooth-legged shanghaie succumb.
We are now looking for Fort Sumpter, in Charleston harbor. We have passed without
the sight, and after being overhauled again by a nameless iron-clad of 15 guns,
we enter the harbor of Port Royal. Here on this flat sandy beach, covered over
with commission store-houses, hospitals, officers' head-quarters, tents of
regiments, was the old Fort Walker, taken by Dupont. Opposite, old Fort Beauregard,
now occupied by our soldiers. We made our way to Gen. Hunter's head-quarters.
Met him, and through his Aids obtained the following permit, written on the
back of my pass:
" By command of Maj. Gen. D. Hunter, the within described W. G. Mattison has
liberty to take passage on board government transports, to and from posts within
this department. GEO. S. BATCHELLOR,
Lt. Col. 115th N. Y. V.
Dp. Provost Marshal Dept. of the South."
Also, "Rev. W. C. Mattison is hereby permitted to have and to transport
provisions, also wines and liquors for sick and wounded soldiers, subject to
the regulation of the medical department." (Signed the same.)
Thus ample opportunity is given to do all the good we can.
Friday, 6 P. M. --Took passage on board steamer "Gen. Hunter" and
passed up the bayou to Beaufort, 13 miles. I have not time in this communication
to say what I would about this beautiful place. It must have been as near a
Paradise as land and water and trees and flowers and stately dwellings could
make a spot of earth. We are now occupying a deserted mansion. Spacious as
a hotel, with evidences abundant of once aristocratic occupancy.
We are getting hold of our business and shall soon be ready to go out to our
work.—As to the army and soldiers, I leave that for my next, when I shall
know enough that is reliable and worth telling.
Mr. IRA P. BENNETT, of Painted Post is my companion "in arms," a
noble, self-sacrificing man, and I believe is here in his element. We are both
very well, and send love to all our friends behind.
Truly, &c., W. C. MATTISON.
Having presented two flags, one the Stars and Striped, and the other the New
York State colors; having finished pleasant and delightful labor in behalf
of the brave men who march under those colors; feeling much obliged to the
gentlemen of the fifteenth senatorial district for their contributions; and
under special obligations to those among them who so cheerfully laid aside
their business during our call, to facilitate our petition and hasten our
subscription; we take this opportunity to present our acknowledgements to
those gentlemen for their courtesies, as unexpected as they were timely and
influential; and which we shall ever recollect with gratitude and pleasure.
The consciousness of having laid aside the pressure of business, at the call
and cause of patriotism, will be a sufficient reward far above our humble thanks.
Could you have been present either at the presentation, and witnessed the reception
of the colors, by Col. Sammons, the officers, and Regiment; or could you have
been present, on the morning of their departure for the seat of war, when our
brave soldiers, about to march away from their homes, their hearts leaping
with joy as your banners, sent by our hands, for the first time unfurled from
the ranks, by the standard bearers to their view raised in their bosoms those
patriotic emotions which could not be suppressed, and which rent the air with
joyous shouts and enthusiastic greeting; had you been present on either of
these occasions, you would feel that your labors and liberality were not unappreciated.
With sentiments of the highest respect,
we remain Yours,
Mrs. John Nott.
Mrs. JOHN CAMPBELL.
P. S.--There has been received in cash for flags for the 115th Regiment
From Fonda..............................$38;50 cts.
" Canajoharie.............................31;00 "
" Johnstown...............................30;00 "
" Fort Plain................................39;00 "
" Amsterdam.............................52;00 "
Of the $221;50 cts., cash received by us, we spent as follows:
For one New York State Colors...................$115;00 cts.
" one Stars and Stripes Colors.........................70; 00 "
Leather casings to Flags, Portage and Freight………..................................................10;50 "
" Incidental expences.........................................6;00 "
" We have left on hand, in cash.......................20;00 "
There remains, in our hands, unspent a balance of Twenty dollars. This balance
will be applied to the use of sick soldiers in the hospital, or to purchase
a flag for the new regiment forming under Col. McMartin, as circumstances may
PRESENTATION OF FLAGS.
Two beautiful banners, one of the State, and the other of the Nation, were
presented on Thursday, the 28th ult., to the 115th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers,
Col. S. SAMMONS, at their camp ground near Fonda, by the Ladies of the Fifteenth
Senatorial District. For the surpassing interest of the occasion all concerned
were deeply indebted to a very efficient Committee, consisting of Mrs. Dr.
John Nott and Mrs. John Campbell, of Fonda, by whom the needful funds were
secured and the flags obtained.
The presentation speech was made by Horace Smith, Esq., of this village. It
was listened to not only by the Regiment, but by a large concourse of people,
gathered in spite of the rain, which at one time threatened to prevent the
MR. SMITH'S ADDRESS.
Col. Sammons, officers and soldiers.
The ladies of your district have procured for your use, and commissioned me
to present for your acceptance these beautiful banners. They desire to express,
in the most emphatic manner, the deep interest they feel in the cause that
summons you to the field of battle, and their appreciation of your courage
and patriotism in promptly rallying to the standard of your country, in this
her hour of peril. They desire to bear public testimony to the confidence they
repose in your true hearts and strong arms, and to furnish you with a pledge
of their sympathies and prayers. How could they more effectually, or more appropriately
accomplish their purpose than by entrusting to your care these consecrated
In one, you behold the classic banner of the Empire State—your own noble
commonwealth. Vast in extent, abundant in physical resources, possessing all
the elements and complete in all the conditions of material greatness and moral
power, and rich in historic fame, she stands proudly pre-eminent among the
sisterhood of loyal States, an illustrious example of freedom, and free government.
It is an honor to be sons of such a State, but a still higher honor to bear
forth her imperial banner in such a conflict —a conflict not for the
State alone, but for our whole glorious country.
The other is the National Standard,—the flag of our country,—the
symbol of light, of freedom and union. For beauty of artistic design, and appropriate
significance of symbolic device, it challenges our highest admiration. Well
has an American poet sung—
" When Freedom, from her mountain height,
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there!
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of he skies,
And striped its pure, celestial white,
With streakings of the morning light;
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land!"
We admire its picturesque beauty, its heraldic emblazonry, and are justly
proud of its symbolic significance; but it is especially dear to our hearts
for its traditional glory,—for the historic associations that cluster
in its sacred folds. It is the dear old flag of our own—our beloved land;—
"Land where our fathers died!
" Land of the pilgrim's pride!"
It is the flag of Washington and the Revolution. It waved, over the battle-fields
of that glorious struggle, which gave us our freedom, and witnessed those scenes
of patriotic devotion and chivalrous daring which illustrate the brightest
page in history. Where it led was the path of glory, lit up with heroic deeds,
and drenched in the best blood that ever coursed through human veins. Under
its inspiration on the foundations of the best government on earth were laid,
and beneath its waving folds the fair fabric of National Freedom has been reared.
It has graced the council chamber, adorned the festive hall, and draped the
bier of the patriot and statesman.
It has waved over our fields, our hearth-stones and our altars. Under its protection,
our marvelous growth and development as a Nation have been the wonder of the
Our flag was everywhere the symbol of freedom, civilization, power, and national
glory. It was a proud and potent thing to say in any part of the wide world, "I
am an American citizen" Yet, "O, tell it not in Gath, nor publish
in the streets of Askelon," while our old flag is honored and respected
by all the nations of the earth, and even by barbarous tribes that traverse
deserts and dwell on the Islands of the sea; while cherished in our heart of
hearts, and linked with all that is dear to us as a nation, it has been dishonored
by domestic treason, and trampled under the unhallowed feet of rebels against
their country and their God! Inscrutable, yet just and wise are the ways of
Providence. But seeing as we see, and feeling as we feel, it seems strange
that a thunderbolt from heaven does not strike every traitor dead who puts
forth his polluted hand to touch this sacred banner!
Your mission, Officers and Soldiers, is to wipe the foul stain from our National
escutcheon, and rescue the holy places of the Revolution, and the sepulchres
of the fathers from these infidel traitors! You are to aid in crushing out
with a strong arm this monstrous rebellion, which threatens our national existence,
and disgraces humanity! It is a great work upon which you are entering—a
struggle whose issues are the most momentous ever submitted to the arbitrament
of arms. It is no less than a life and death struggle. You are to fight for
your homes, and all that is dear to you as Americans.
We have been inclined to underrate the magnitude and difficulty of this contest.—The
outbreak of an armed rebellion was so unexpected, so unnatural, so utterly
without justification or even palliation, that we were slow to believe the
traitors in earnest. Their course seemed to us a demonstration for effect,--only
one of the shifting scenes of a political-drama upon the National stage.—We
looked to see a few marches and counter-marches, in bedizened dress and paper
caps; a few cuts, thrusts, and feints with fencing foils; a few noisy discharges
of blank cartridges; then, the curtain drop, and a new scene pass before us,
marked upon the bills, "compromise" or "re-construction."
But it soon became apparent that it was no play gotten up for our entertainment,
or for political effect. The men that passed before us were real soldiers,
clad in the panoply of war; their swords had points which pierced the loyal
hearts of our brothers and sons; their guns were charged with murderous bullets,
which sped with deadly aim into our brave ranks, and reaped a harvest of death!
We were at length compelled to see that they were terribly in earnest, and
that whatever we might be willing to concede for the sake of peace, they contemplated
nothing, and would be satisfied with nothing short of ruling this continent,
or laying our fair fabric of freedom in the dust! We began to realize what
we should have known at first, that in the career of treason there is no stopping
place short of success or the halter.
Then we thought to over-awe, and reduce them to subjection by a great demonstration
of force. If this should fail, we supposed that our vast resources and great
power would enable us to crush them at a blow. But, we did not succeed; a great
army was raised which seemed powerful enough to march through the South, and
crush the heart of every traitor under its iron heel, and still the rebellion
held on its course. We have since poured out our blood and treasure like water,
and won great victories, and still the contest rages.
We are not permitted to doubt the ability of the Government to crush this rebellion;
but it is time for us and the nation to awake to the magnitude of the work.
We shall be compelled to tax all our energies, draw upon our resources with
a liberal hand, and put forth a mighty effort. We ought to use all the means
known to civilized warfare that Providence has placed within our reach.
The importance of this great contest is not measured by its relation to our
own country. Its magnitude increases to vast proportions, and its issues awaken
a painful intensity of interest, when we consider that we are not struggling
for ourselves alone, nor for this generation merely, but that we are working
out for the world, for the race, and for all time, the great problem of self-government.
We have demonstrated to ourselves, and to the world, that we are able to defend
our freedom and our government against foreign foes, but the great question
now pressing to a final decision in this contest is, -- Are we able to contend
successfully against domestic foes? Has this Government, in itself, sufficient
cohesive force to maintain its integrity against the disruptive elements at
work within? Has it unity and strength, or is it a rope of sand? In other words,—Is
man capable of self-government? While we are working out this great problem,
the nations of the earth are bending across the water, watching with anxious
solicitude for the result— some longing for our overthrow, and others fervently praying for our success.
The nations struggling for freedom and popular government, regard us now as
the arbiters of their destiny. As we think of the future, and try to penetrate
the "dim unknown," unborn generations, in a "multitude that
no man can number," seem to rise from the darkness, and fix upon us their
If we fail, the cause of popular government falls with us. Under what circumstances
more favorable to success could the experiment of free government be made?—We
have an imperial domain, of every variety of climate and soil, of unlimited
resources, and surpassing beauty. From the regions of snow and ice, it stretches
away to the fields of perpetual verdure; on either hand it is bounded by two
oceans, which waft to our shores, in rich-freighted argosies, the treasures
of all lands; within are mountain and plain, hill and dale, forest and prairie,
lake and river. It is peopled by a hardy, enterprising, intelligent race. Civilization,
education, science, literature, art and religion, have each contributed to
our success. If we fail, who can succeed, and what are the possible conditions
Officers and Soldiers, it is not merely an important duty that you are called
to perform, but a high privilege that you are permitted to enjoy. This is a
world-crisis, which occurs only once in centuries, and determines the destiny
of millions. But few in the world's history are permitted to act in such a
crisis; and such of those as are true to themselves and to the right, are the
world's heroes, whose names are enscribed in fadeless characters on the scroll
of fame. This privilege is yours; and the friends you leave behind have no
fear that you will prove untrue to yourselves, or unequal to the great occasion.
It is matter for congratulation that in the veins of your Commandant, runs
some of the best blood of the Revolution. That blood is untainted by disloyalty,
and will never curdle with cowardly fear. With such a leader, in such a cause,
you will go forth boldly, manfully, and cheerfully, to victory or death. We
admire your courage, we honor your patriotism, and give you our benediction.
As you linger in the camp; as you make the long and wearisome march; as you
pace the lonely round of the sentinel during the night watches; as you mingle
in the deadly strife; as you lie sick or wounded upon the field or the soldier's
pallet, if such should be your fate, it may cheer you to know that you are
followed with the sympathies and prayers of friends at home. Especially will
you love to think that you are remembered with the most tender solicitude for
your safety and welfare, by the mothers, sisters, wives and daughters—noble,
faithful and true. That you will have their sympathies, let these banners,
the gift of woman, be at once and ever, a pledge and memento.
Yes, you shall be remembered. In the sanctuary of God, around the public altar,
the ministers of our holy religion shall breathe prayers for your safety and "all
the people will say amen." At the family alter, where piety and affection
blend in the morning and evening sacrifice, you shall not be forgotten. And,
if it shall be the fate of any of you to fall in your country's cause, we will
embalm your memory in our hearts, and teach our children's children to lisp
your names with gratitude and reverence.
Go then, and as you bear these banners with you, remember that one is the representative
of the honor and majesty of your own State; that upon the folds of the other
are inscribed the sacred legends of the Revolution, and around it cluster the
memories of the past and the hopes of the future. Remember, too, the donors;
and, as you enter the field of battle, let chivalry, added to your patriotism,
stimulate your zeal and lend your to your blows! These ladies, to whose patriotism
and energy you are indebted for these peerless banners, charge you—
Strike—till the last armed foe expires;
Strike—for your altars and your fires;
STRIKE--for the green graves of your sires;
God, and your native land!"
And God grant that victory may perch upon these banners, and her laurels crown
COL. SAMMONS' REPLY.
You have been pleased, Sir, to inform me that the ladies of this Senatorial
District have procured for me and my command, and have delegated you to present
these splendid State and National Colors; and that they desire thus to express
the deep interest they feel in the cause that summons us to the field of
battle, and their high appreciation of our patriotism in rallying around
the standard of our country in the hour of her peril. It has been well said
by you, that these banners for artistic design and finish, challenge our
highest admiration. Well have you spoken, in the words of the poet, of "the
stars of glory" on this standard of freedom. That galaxy of stars, the
States of our Union, fitly represented on the national flag, have moved harmoniously
in their Constitutional orbits for nearly a century; and the result has been
the pride and wonder of the world. But now we behold their planetary order
disturbed by domestic treason.—The stripes have been torn in shreds
and trampled in the dust. The heritage received from our fathers, the traitors
say, shall not be ours. But they shall not prevail. This wonderful uprising
of the people, as manifest here and throughout the State, as seen also in
the East and in the West; the raising, arming and equipping 600,000 men in
ninety days--and even a larger number, if necessary; means, sir, that the
heritage of our fathers shall not be taken from us. Aye, and more; it means
that those stars shall every one of them be restored in all their glory.
When mothers, sisters, daughters contribute in the way they have here, it gives
us the strongest evidence that we shall succeed. When the Ladies of the North
unite in making such donations, and delegate such men as you, sir, to convey
to me and my command such inspiring and patriotic appeals to do our duty to
our country, our constitution, and the revered memories of the dead; when the
example here set is followed by all the northern ladies, then shall we be assured
of victory. For who, I would ask, when ladies engage in this great and good
work, dare refuse to march to the music of the Union?
Officers and Soldiers: We have been told to take these banners with us; the
one representing the name and majesty of our own Empire State; the other bearing
upon its folds the sacred legends of the Revolution, with the memories of the
past and the hopes of the future clustering about it. To the ladies of your
Senatorial District you are indebted for this magnificent gift, and they charge
you through their representative, Mr. Smith, to
"Strike till the last armed foe expires!
Strike for your alters and your fires!
Strike for the green graves of your Sires,
God and your native land!"
Gentlemen, Officers and Soldiers: The presentation to-day is to each and all
of us; and I desire every man shall answer for himself. Will you accept, rally
around, and protect these banners, [taking one in each hand,] at all times,
upon all occasions, and at all hazards? [From the whole regiment, as one man,
rose the shout, "WE WILL!"]
And now, sir, [turning to Mr. Smith,] I can command no language commensurate
with the occasion. I desire you, therefore, to convey to the fair donors that
response— that volume of true patriotism—which I trust has ascended
to heaven, to receive a blessing from that Omnipotent Being, those smiles in
the darkest hours of the Revolution, gave immortality to a Washington, victory
to our armies, and a just and glorious peace.
The liberality of our fair countrywomen of this Senatorial District, [turning
to Mrs. Nott, who was supporting the stars and stripes, and Mrs. Campbell,
who was supporting the N. Y. State colors,] was solicited for successive days,
ladies, through your persevering patriotism. The deed was spontaneous, and
therefore the more to be commended.
It sprung from your ardent love of country, and is therefore the more precious
and the more prized. These colors, as they are unfurled, will ever be not only
the stimulus to patriotism, but the memento of friendship. When spread out
to our eye, they will ever awaken the sublimity of courage not only, but the
emotions of tenderness. They will stir the heroism of the soldier, not merely,
but recall the delightful reminiscences of this scene, of your frequent presence
with us beside our sick, and your sympathies with our errand to the seat of
war, demonstrated by this presentation.—When far away, these banners
will bring to our recollection this campground, this immense, concourse of
our fellow citizens, the endeared of our own hearthstones, [alluding to Mrs.
Sammons and daughters behind him,] and you, ladies. Rest assured you too will
be associated with these hallowed remembrances of the distant soldier. Nor
will you be remembered and recalled by myself alone. My fellow officers and
these brave soldiers appreciate, like myself, these beautiful banners, secured
through your solicitations.—This kind, patriotic act of yours, this regiment
appreciates. [Here a response of several voices from the regiment, followed
by nine cheers for the two ladies supporting and presenting the flags, interrupted
Col. Sammons.] They will show their appreciation not only by recalling the
graceful, fascinating presence of patriotic women, never more fascinating than
when she bears to the brave and spreads to the breeze our state and national
colors; they will show it also by their valor on the field.
Accept, ladies, my own personal acknowledgements, the thanks of my officers,
and the joyous recognition of my soldiers, for these rich, elegant and tasteful
standards. When we meet again, may you behold them in the sunshine of peace,
with not a star blotted out nor a stripe erased, the emblem of heroic deeds
and devine interposition for our beloved and restored country.
COL. SAMMONS’ REPORT.
HEAD QUARTERs, 115TH REG., N.Y.S V.
Camp near Annapolis, Md., Sept. 22, 1862
Col. T. G. Utassy, com'ding First Brigade:
I have the honor to submit the following report, in reference to the action
of the regiment under my command in the recent battle at and near Harper's
On Friday, the 12th inst., in pursuance of your order companies A and E were
detailed and sent to Sandy Hook, from whence, on the morning of the
13th, they were ordered to Maryland Heights, to co-operate with other forces
under Col. Ford, and on the same day company F was sent out for picket duty
on the Shepardstown road. Late in the afternoon the advance pickets of company
F, under Captain Walton W. French, discovered a squad of rebel cavalry advancing;
his men being in ambush, he suffered them to approach within easy musket range,
when he fired upon them bringing five of them to the ground, who were immediately
carried away by their comrades, either dead or wounded, the enemy immediately
On the morning of the 13th, companies A and E were engaged in the skirmish
with the advancing rebel forces on Maryland Heights, in which four of company
A's men were wounded, none seriously, and of whom three have reported to duty,
and the fourth who was shot in the thigh, is slowly, but surely recovering.
On the morning of the 13th, between the hours of 9 and 10 o'clock, I received
an order to march immediately with the remainder of my command, except company
B, which was on picket duty, to Maryland Heights, and with the utmost dispatch
we were en route for the designated point, and before 11 o'clock had our whole
line deployed as skirmishers. In the woods in front of the battery, just as
our right was being formed we were fired upon, and Capt. William Smith, of
company K, received a severe wound in the thigh, and is now in the Hospital
at Harper's Ferry. At about 2 o'clock, P. M., I received orders to, retire
to Harper's Ferry, which was accomplished in good order, and on arriving there
was ordered to our camp on Bolivar Heights.
On the afternoon of the 14th, in pursuance of orders, I moved my Regiment to
the front, near the base of the hill, and formed in line of battle. At about
10 o'clock in the evening I distinctly heard the approach of the enemy's cavalry,
on the Shepardstown road, in front of the line of the 111th N. Y. V., which
was immediately on my left, and from which they received a fire along the whole
line. As they came in front of the line, I gave the order to fire, which was
promptly obeyed, and upon which the enemy retired precipitately, giving us
a return shot, wounding one man in company A, by a shot in the shoulder. We
remained in position until the morning of the 15th, when we received notice
of the surrender of the post and were ordered back to our camp to stack our
arms. During the morning and about 40 minutes after a white flag had been displayed,
a shell from the enemy's battery on our front struck and dangerously wounded
private John Van Brocklin, of company I, who is now in the Hospital at Harper's
Our total casualties are 11 wounded —one Captain and 10 privates.
In conclusion, I cannot forbear the expression of my approbation of the coolness
and promptitude of my Field and Staff officers, in the various positions of
peril and danger through which they were called upon to pass. My Line officers
behaved most commendably, as did the men under them; and it is a most agreeable
duty for me to be able to thus make honorable mention of my whole command.
All which is respectfully submitted.
FROM THE 115TH REGIMENT.
Beaufort, S. C. November 20th, 1863.
Messrs. Editors:—It is unnecessary for me to say how slow and tedious
are military operations in this Department at present, yet we believe that
ere long another blow will be struck that will gladden every loyal heart. As
this is a side post, but little can be expected in the way of active operations,
yet the amount of work that is done is a matter of no small consideration.
Picket and fatigue duty, company and battalion drills, consume the time. The
life of a soldier is anything but one of pleasure; yet how few, (if it were
in their power,) would obliterate from their memory the recollection of the
hardship, trial and privations while a soldier. Incidents of an exciting character,
recollections of adventures, &c., &c., will be the theme for many an
evening while gathered around the hearth stone at home for years to come.
It seems that the 115th is not forgotten entirely, from the fact that we have
received quite an accession to our numbers; about 165 conscripts or substitutes
were added to our Regiment a few days since. These were proportioned so as
to equalize the different companies. "H" received 23 good stalwart
fellows. They seemed to look upon it like reasonable men, determined to make
the best of it. Accordingly they went to work with a will, scoured up their
muskets, put their accoutrements in order, also their quarters. After this
they proposed to give the old members of Co. "H" a real homelike
dinner. The bill of fare would do credit to any modern "Hotel in ye ancient
city of Albany" and with the salads and the deserts, served in Butler's
best; style, produced the best of feelings and the hugest jokes. If our friends
at home could have witnessed the bountiful board and good feeling that existed,
they would dismiss many fears in regard to our suffering for the necessities.
This proceeding on the part of our new friends and comrades, produced the kindest
of feelings, and they are now looked upon the same as though they had been
with us from the first. We welcome them to our ranks, and hope and believe
that they will make good soldiers.
The health of our regiment, and in fact the entire command, is improving. We
hope, before another summer shall have passed, the obituary of treason will
have been written and the soldiers sent home. The result of the recent elections
in the northern and Western States gives universal satisfaction to the soldiers,
but none more than that of the State of New York. The left wing of the Rebel
army got, on election day, what their brother traitors in arms are sure to
receive—a sound thrashing.
The Regiment yesterday received their pay. Green backs are always acceptable
among the soldiers. By the way, Mr. Editor, what has become of the man who
was so insane as to drop a coin on the plate a collection, in one of the churches
at Cohoes?--has he emigrated? It must be so. I think he must be in this Department,
from the fact that, a day or two since, I stepped into a store and purchased
a paper of the vile weed, and threw down a postage currency, and the vender
of the tobacco actually gave me my change in coin from our Uncle's Mint. The
man must be insane, or the war is surely going to close speedily.
The Death of our recent comrade, Duane Shepard, cast a gloom over the whole
company. He was loved as a comrade, for his soldierly ability and patriotism,
his moral worth and Christian integrity. Duane is gone, but the influence he
exerted will be felt through the lives of many who associated with him. We
miss his name from our roll call, together with those of Richardson, House,
Higgins, Abel, Richards and Dugan. May we meet them at the great Roll-call
of God's chosen ones, to go no more out forever. The sympathy of the entire
company is with the afflicted friends of the departed; their memory will be
cherished in our hearts until we are called to join them in that Home beyond
I am glad to hear that several of our comrades who were sent North to recruit
their health are improving, and hope to welcome them back to Co. "H," in
good health. Yours,
FROM THE 115TH REGIMENT.
PALATKA, FLORIDA, March 18th, 1864.
The 115th N. Y. Vols. have now been in Florida about six weeks, having landed
with Gen. Seymour's forces at Jacksonville, on the 7th of February.
But we will not go into the details of our many marches during the advance
into the State, toward the capital, which resulted in our repulse, and the
loss of many of our brave boys at the hard fought battle of Olustee; nor of
our retreat back to the fortifications at Jacksonville, for all of your readers
are doubtless familiar with its history, as given by the correspondents who
were with us on the march and in the battle.
After falling back to Jacksonville, our brigade lay quietly within the fortifications,
having a refreshing rest after the wearisome marches of the previous three
weeks. But on the 9th, we were again ordered to pack up and start for some
unknown destination, which we soon learned was Palatka, a village situated
on the St. John's river, about seventy-five miles south from Jacksonville,
where we arrived the next morning, and landed without any opposition, only
two companies of rebel cavalry having been in the place, and these evacuated
when we took possession of Jacksonville.
Before the war, Palatka must have been a very flourishing village, having had
several large docks and warehouses, steam saw mills, where large quantities
of ship timber were marked out, and having daily steamboat connection with
Savannah, Charleston, &c. It has also four small churches and several fine
mansions. But like all Southern towns, it has suffered greatly, although being
at a distance from the seat of war. The mills have been burned down, docks
partially destroyed, houses deserted and tumbling down, and a general scene
of desolation everywhere. On the appearance of our troops, the place begins
to look like a thriving Yankee village—places of business begin to be
opened, and steamers arriving daily.
Palatka was settled by the U. S. troops during the Florida Indian wars, and
made the headquarters of the army. It is situated in a very healthy, pleasant
and fertile tract of country. Oranges, lemons, and other tropical fruits grow
in immense quantities, and on landing here we found large orange groves bending
down under their load of ripe fruit, which was eagerly seized by the soldiers.
The woods abound in game of all kinds, such as turkeys, deer, &c., and
the river with fish of the best quality and largest size, which are easily
We do not think there are many sections of the country where northern enterprise
would be more richly rewarded in most every pursuit, than that section bordering
on the St. John's River, and when the war ends, free labor will doubtless bring
out the hitherto hidden riches of this and other portions of the once Slave
Since the landing of our forces here, the place has been quite strongly fortified,
and although our position is somewhat isolated from the main force at Jacksonville,
yet we think it is secure from any force that the Rebs can bring against us.
Capt. Sol. P. Smith is Provost Marshal of the Post, and Co. H is doing provost
Quite a number of deserters and refugees have come within our lines, some of
whom had been concealed in the swamps for a considerable time. All of them
give tough accounts of their sufferings since the war commenced. Capts. Dickerrans
and Chamber's Company of rebel cavalry have been engaged in hunting up deserters
and negroes who were trying to escape to our lines at St. Augustine, but in
spite of all their efforts, they are leaving them in large numbers. The deserters
say that the negroes are being driven back into the interior, in droves, to
prevent them from falling into our hands.
A few days since, one of our tug boats, mounting two guns, and called a gun
boat, went up thirty-five miles, to Lake George, and in the night captured
a rebel steamer and crew of eleven men, who were engaged in transporting cotton,
turpentine, &c., to a point on the river where it could be carried overland
to the coast, to run the blockade. A prize crew were placed on the craft, and
sent back, expecting to capture another one. The Captain of the rebel steamer
says that the first intimation he had of a Yankee craft being on that river,
was the unexpected summons, "Let go your anchor there, or we'll blow you
out of water!" Yours, respectfully,
ABBOTT G. MUSGROVE,
Co. H, 115th Reg., N. Y. V.
THE 115TH REGIMENT.
Letter from Orderly C. N. Ballon:
We are permitted to publish the following extracts, from a private letter from
orderly C. N. Ballon, of Co. A, 115th Regt:
March 19th, 1864.
The Regiment is at Pilatka, about 75 miles from here, up the River. I was left
here sick, but am better now and shall join the Regiment in a few days.— Stephen Morris and George Bellos are dead. They were brave men.
We had but sixty men in the battle of Olustee, thirty-two were killed or wounded.
Thirteen are missing and supposed to be prisoners, all wounded except Elisha
Carson. He was tired out by hard marching. Capt. Van Derveer was severely wounded
in front of his Company, before he had got into his position in the line. A
minnie ball passed through his thigh. It bled profusely. I tried to get him
to leave the field, but he would not abandon his post. At last he was shot
through the breast, and was carried to the rear.
The boys stood until they had fired their last cartrige, and then cut the
cartrige boxes from their dead and wounded companions. We numbered 670 and
held our position for more than two hours under a murderous and steady fire,
from the enemy. We stood about fifteen minutes after all our ammunition was
exhausted and would not yield an inch of ground till we were ordered back.
Lieut. Davis was brought 7 miles from the battle field. We left him comfortably
and we thought safe, but he fell into the hands of the enemy. There was ten
miles of woods before us and I could not get him on to a wagon. The men were
all tired out and we could do no better.
I am proud of the 115th Regt.
From your Old Friend,
C. N. BALLOU.
CASUALTIES IN THE 115TH.
We give below, as far as we can learn, a list of the wounded in this regiment,
at the late disaster to our arms in Florida:—
Col. Sammons, wounded in the foot. Capt. Van Derveer, Co. A, leg and
shoulder; G. Smith, leg; H. O'Niel, knee; Sergt. S. S. Morris, knee.
Co. B.—2d Lieut. J. E Smith, arm; O. Onell, head; W. Beck, arm; H.
Hose, hand; J. Srech, foot; E. Southington, back.
Co. C.—E. Myers, knee.
Co. D—Corporal J. S. McMasters, knee; A. F. Price, hand; O Brower,
side; Sergeant Levi Lingenfelter, killed; R Barlow, killed; Peter Folansbee,
killed; Ed Smith, killed; George Kelins, side; N Clark, J M Countryman,
W E Glover; M Eaton, leg; M Kellogg, T Leppcr, James McNalley; W McCollum,
hand; N Newman, B Owen; John Turner, wrist; Daniel Tullack, leg; N Wood, leg;
R Welch, N Harvey, Joseph Seager, Daniel Grant, leg; J Gillins, back; W M Thayer,
neck; C Ormand, leg.
Co. E--S Shaver, leg; F Miller, shoulder.
Co. F.—Capt W W French, ankle; J Donohue, side; Q A Benedict, leg
and thigh; M Byers, arm; D Frarey, leg; W Mahan, nose.
Co. G.--Sergeant L J Cloovert, leg. Co. H.—2d Lieut J H Clark, breast.
Co. I.—S Southwick, thigh; E S Slocum, arm.
Co. K.--R A Thorp, side.
List of killed, wounded and missing, of Co. F., 115th Regt N. Y. S. V., at
the battle of Olustee, Fla.:
Corporal Elisha A. Steere, private Hiram E. Collins, private Peter Jeandreau.
Capt. W. W. French; ankle, severely; Sergt. Henry Adams, slightly in both legs;
Corporal Lewis S. Bailey, slightly in breast; Privates John R. Burnham, severely,
head; George Brougham, slightly, arm; Lewis A. Burdick, severely, leg; Hugh
Bennett, slightly, leg; Noah B. Clark, slightly, side; John Croak, slightly,
leg; William Clark, slightly, hand; John Donohue, severely, left side; Daniel
Frazier, severely, knee; Elijah H. Garner, slightly, head; John Gracy, severely,
arm; James Grey, slightly, foot; John Hardy, severely, arm and leg; Hugh
Kennedy, slightly, hip; William Lee, slightly, arm; James Lingham, slightly,
hand; Handford Myers, severely, shoulder; Andrew McGuire, slightly, arm;
John Merritt, slightly, arm; William Mayher, severely, face; John S. Osborn,
slightly, hand; Michael Smea, slightly, foot; Irvin Simpson, slightly, ankle;
John R. Valentine, slightly, hand; John C. Winney, slightly, side; Myron
W. Wilcox, severely, knee; Michael B. Wood, slightly, hand.
Corporals Walter D. Burnes and Dennis Welch, wounded; Privates Thomas H. Adeock,
Harry Benker, Frederick Riem, Charles Taylor and Joshua Stead, wounded, and
Richard Shults, left behind, sick.
Including the Captain, the list foots up 41 men hit, of 59 who went into the
fight. The war has furnished nothing severer than this.
A REVERSE IN FLORIDA.
On the 6th of February an expedition left Hilton Head, S. C., for Florida,
under command of Gen, Truman Seymour, consisting of the Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth
and One Hundred and Fifteenth New York Volunteers; Fortieth and Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts Volunteers; Seventh Connecticut, Seventh New Hampshire, First
and Eighth United States Volunteers (colored), First North Carolina Volunteers,
First Massachusetts Cavalry, and sections of the First and Third United States
Artillery and the Third Rhode Island Battalion. These forces, not over strong
in numbers, were, on the afternoon of the 20th, brought into contact with
the Rebels, under (it is supposed) either Gen. Hardee or Gen. Beauregard.
The Rebel troops were supposed to number about fifteen thousand men. The
engagement took place at Olustee, on the railroad between Jacksonville and
Tallahassee, and over fifty miles from the former place. Olustee is between
Sanderson and Lake City.
From the imperfect accounts we have it would appear that General Truman
Seymour neglected the all-important precaution of throwing out scouts and skirmishers,
and the troops therefore advanced in force into a trap set by the Rebels.
The 115th N. Y., which was raised in this Senatorial district, and two or three
companies of it in this county, suffered most. They were exposed to a murderous
fire from rifle pits, and would have been cut to pieces but for the valor of
the 54th Mass, (colored) which rallied gallantly to their rescue.
Company F., commanded by Capt. E. B. Savage, of this village, went into the
fight with 60 men, and came out with only 25.
Among the killed we find the following:—Lieut. Tompkins, Co. C. and Lieut.
Levi Sheffer of Co. G. Sergt. Pat Colappy of Co. G. Corp. Steere. Privates
James Hanna and Sidney Cornell, Co. C.
WOUNDED.—Col. Sammons, in right foot; Capt. W. W. French, in right ankle;
Capt. Vandevoort, Co, A., legs; 2d Lieut. J. H. Clark, Co. H., right breast;
2d Lieut, J. E. Smith, Co. B., right arm.
Privates.—Co. C., Wilbur Wagar, in the leg: Robert Fox, severely, and
despaired of; Alonzo Allen, in the ankle; John Duckett, in the leg; J. M. Mason,
in leg, slightly; Mark Cochrane, in head, slightly; George L. Van Sternberg,
in hip, slightly; Levi Myers; in knee, slightly; Birch Kelly, in arm by a spent
Sergt. Henry Adams, of this village, was slightly wounded; Corp. Welch was
wounded and taken prisoner. Sergt. Loper was wounded in the shoulder,
Also the following:
O. Onell, Co B., head; Corp. J. S. McMasters, Co. D., right knee; J. Donohoe,
Co. F., left side; Q. A. Benedict, Co. F., right leg and thigh; G. Smith, Co.
A., right leg; S. S. Morris, Co. A., knees; H. O'Niel, Co. A., right knee;
M. Byers, Co. F., right arm; D. Frarey, Co. F., right leg; S. Shaver, Co. B.,
legs; W. Beck, Co. B., left arm; F. Miller, Co. E. right shoulder; A. F.
Price, Co. B., left hand; O. Bower, Co. B., left side; H. Hose, Co. B., left
side; J. Brech, Co. B., left foot; R. A. Thorp, Co. K., left side; C. Southwick,
Co. I., 18B right thigh; E. Myers, Co. C., left knee; E. Southington, Co. B.
bruised back; E. C. Slocum, Co. I, right arm; W. Maham, Co. F., nose; Sergt.
L. J. Cloovert, Co. G., left leg.
Gen. Seymour, who is blamed for lack of prudence in this movement, is a native
of this county, and was born at Schuylerville. He is a graduate of West Point,
served with honor in Florida and Mexico, and was in Fort Sumter at the time
THE CHAUTAUGUA DEMOCRAT.
JAMESTOWN, N. Y., March 30, 1864.
DAVIS H. WAITE... EDITOR
Private 1etter, published by request.
Monday, Feb 29th 1864.
DEAR SISTER :— Your letter in reply to mine from New York was received
nearly a week ago, but anxious as I was to write I could not possibly find
time till to-day. You will probably see accounts of the battle of
Olustee or Ocean Pond in the papers. I have ordered a copy of the Brookville
Republican containing a letter from Dr. Reichold, descriptive of the battle,
to be sent to you, but I will give you some of my own ideas about it too. You
always expressed a preference for them, you know.
Well, the morning of Saturday the 20th, found us at Barber's Ford on the St.
Mary's River, ready to march, and loaded down with ten days rations. Our force
consisted of the 115th, 47th and 48th New York regiments, 7th New Hampshire,
and 7th Conn. (repeating rifles) 54th Mass. (colored) of Fort Wagner memory,
the 1st and 8th N. C. Colored, 20 pieces of artillery, one battalion of Cavalry,
and the 40th Mass. (mounted infantry). We started, marching in three columns,
artillery in the road flanked by the infantry on either side. After marching
twelve miles we halted near a few desolate houses called "Sanders" and
while resting heard a few musket shots in advance. We supposed our cavalry
had met a few of the enemie's pickets. Their force was supposed to be at Lake
City, twelve miles distant, so we moved on up the Rail Road. The skirmishing
increased as we marched, but we paid little attention to it. Pretty soon the
boom of a gun startled us a little, but not much, as we knew our flying artillery
was ahead, but they boomed again and again, and it began to look considerably
like a brush.
An aid came dashing through the woods to us and the order was, "double
quick march!" We turned into the woods, and ran in the direction of the
firing for half a mile when the head of the column reached our batteries. The
presiding genius, Gen. Seymour, said "put your regiment in Col. Fribley," and
left. Military men say it takes veteran troops to maneuver under fire, but
our regiment with knapsacks on and unloaded pieces after a run of half a mile,
formed a line under the most destructive fire I ever knew. We were not more
than two hundred yards from the enemy, concealed in pits and behind trees,
and what did the regiment do. At first, they were stunned, bewildered, and
knew not what to do. They curled to the ground and as men fell around them,
they seemed terribly scared, but gradually they recovered their senses, and
commenced firing—and here was the great trouble, they could not use their
arms to advantage. We have had very little practice in firing, and though they
could stand and be killed, they could not kill a concealed enemy fast enough
to satisfy my feelings. After seeing his men murdered as long as flesh and
blood could endure it, Col. Fribley ordered the regiment to fall back slowly,
firing as they went. As the men fell back, they gathered in groups like frightened
sheep, and it was almost impossible to keep them from doing so. Into these
groups the rebels poured their deadliest fire, almost every bullet hitting
some one. Color bearer after color bearer was shot down time and again and
the colors seized by another. Behind us was a battery that was badly manned.
They had but little ammunition, and after firing that, they made no effort
to get away with their pieces, but busied themselves in trying to keep us in
front of them. Lieut. Lewis seized the colors, and planted them by a gun and
tried to rally his men round them, but forgetting them for a moment they were
left there and the battery was captured, and "one-color" with it.
Col. Fribley was killed soon after his order to fall back, and Major Burritt
had both legs broken, we were without a commander and every officer was doing
his best to do something, he knew not exactly what. There was no leader. Seymour
might better have been in his grave then there. Many will blame Lieut. Lewis
that the colors were lost. I do not think he can be blamed. Brave to rashness
he cannot be accused of cowardice, but man cannot think of too many things
Some things look strange. Officers should know exactly what to do. You may
say certainly, but it is a damper on that duty when there is a certainty on
the mind that the commander does not know. When, with eight or ten regiments
ready, you see only two or three fighting, and feel you are getting whipped,
from your general's incompetence, it is hard to be soldierly—I saw from
the commencement of our retreat that the day was lost, and I confess to you,
that I was in doubt whether I ought to stay and see my men shot down, or take
them to the rear. Soldierly feelings triumphed, but at what a cost! Capt. Dickey
was shot early in the fight and the command of the company devolved on me.
He was not seriously wounded-a ball through the face.
Captain Wagner was standing by me when he fell pierced by three balls. I seized
him and dragged him back a few rods and two of his men then took him to the
rear. I carried his sword through the fight. Several times I was on the point
of throwing it away, thinking he must be dead, but I saved it, and had the
pleasure of giving to him and hearing he would recover.
Of twenty-two officers that went into the fight, but two escaped without marks.
Such accurate firing I never saw before. I was under the impression all the
time that an inferior force was whipping us, but the aim of their rifles told
Well you are wanting to know how I came off no doubt. With my usual narrow
escapes but I escaped. My hat has five bullet holes in it. Don't start very
much at that, they were all made by one bullet. You know the dent in the top
of it—well the ball went through the rim first and then through the top.
My hat was cocked up on one side, so that it went through in that way and just
drew the blood on the top of my head. Of course a quarter of an inch lower
would have broken my skull, but it was too high. Another ball cut away a corner
of my haversack and one struck my scabbard. The only wonder is, I was not killed
and the wonder grows with each succeeding fight, and this the fifteenth or
sixteenth, Yorktown, Hanover, Gaines Mill, Charles City, Malvern, Bull Run,
Antietam, Shepardstown Ford, Fredericksburg, Richards Ford, Chancellorsville,
Louden Valley, Gettysburg, Manassas Gap, Rapahannock Station, and Olustee,
to say nothing of the shelling at Harrison's Landing or the skirmish at Fly
Ford. Had any one told me when I enlisted, that I should have to pass through
so many, I am afraid it would have daunted me.—How many more!
Company K went into the fight with fifty-five enlisted men and two officers
came out with twenty-three men and one officer of these but two men were not
marked. That speaks volumes for the bravery of negroes. Several of these twenty-three
were quite badly cut but they are present with the company. Ten were killed
and four reported missing though there is little doubt they are killed, too.
A flag of truce from the enemy brought the news that prisoners black and while
were treated alike. I hope it is so for I have sworn never to take a prisoner
if my men left there were murdered.
Yours Affectionately, Oliver.
Amsterdam, May 2nd.
EDITOR OF RECORDER :
Enclosed I send you a list of the wounded of the 115th Reg't N Y. S. V., who
fell into the hands of the enemy after the battle of Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th.
This list was copied from the hospital registers at Lake City and Tallahassee,
and I believe it to be very nearly correct.
Those marked convalescent (con) had been sent to the C. S., military prison
at Andersonville, Georgia, before I left Tallahassee (April 5th.) Yours, &c.
C. A. Devendorf,
Ass't Surgeon, 48th N. Y. S. V.
COMPANY A.--John Fance, thigh, con; Lieut. John W. Davis, side, con. at Macon;
John Marcine, knee; Charles Weeper, leg, con; Corp. R. H. Tipple, leg; David
Wherry, thigh and elbow; Geo. Hart, right leg; A. W. Kirkham, left thigh amputated;
John Lasher, ankle.
COMPANy B.—R. Maxfieid, foot; L. A. Smith, right side, con; August Myers,
thigh, con; D. C. Thompkins, breast, con; Jas. Green, side and back.
COMPANY C.—Charles Baker, right foot, con; Philip Christy, arm and back,
con; Corp. Robt. Fox, died March 6th; Wesson Benton, left thigh very seriously
at Lake City, Fla.
COMPANY D.—Corp. Dan Grant, left foot, con; Chas. Owens, right thigh,
con; John Gillans, back, con; Wm. Thayer, head, con; J. H. Simpson, thigh,
died March 19th.
COMPANY E.—Sanford W. Shaw, died March 6th; Geo. W. Buell, right thigh
COMPANY F.—Corp. Walter P. Barnes, knee joint; Dennis Welch, knee joint,
con; H. E. Collins, arm and breast; A. F. Adcock, foot; Henry Banker, left
hand, con; Joshua Stead, arm, con.
COMPANY G.--Michael Castello, right thigh; Henry Hazendore, back; Wm. H. Blackwood,
thigh, con; Wm. H. Wiley, arm; Hiram Hagadorn, right arm and left thigh; Corp.
S. T. Denismore, foot; J. C. Smith, thigh; Hiram Woodcock, died March 3d; James
Koerber, died Feb. 27th.
COMPANY H.—W. Taylor, right thigh, con; Charles H. DeGraff, leg; Andrew
Stewart, probably dead; John Robinson, both legs; Thomas Connelly, leg amputated;
Corp. James H. Grettings, right thigh, con.
COMPANY I.—Wm. Wager, right thigh, con; Russell Crandalle, leg, con;
James Jourman, leg; Henry Johnson, thigh, con; John G. Steinbour, thigh; Thomas
Reese, foot; Daniel Peeler, left leg and thigh.
COMPANY K.—Joseph VanDerpool, died March 3d; George D. Cole, groin.
FROM THE 115TH REG.
We are permitted through the favor of Mr. Alex. Horning, to publish the following
letter from his son, which will be read with special interest at this
CAMP 115th N. Y. Vol.
IN THE FIELD, May 8. 1864.
DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER:
I write you a few lines to let you know that I have seen some tough times since
I left Yorktown, on the 4th inst. We came up the James River and landed above
City Point; then started into the interior towards Petersburgh. Yesterday afternoon,
after marching from 4 o'clock in the morning we came upon the Rebels on the
Railroad about 10 miles from Petersburgh, ready for battle.—Barton's
Brigade went into the fight the first ones. The right and left were both ordered
to retreat, and the 115th left to be gobbled by the Rebels. We fought them
for one hour when we got the order to retreat, and just in time too.—There
were 60 or 70 killed and wounded in the Regiment. There was a large number
of our men sun struck. We left the field and returned to our knapsacks, about
9 1/2 o'clock at night. After coming out of the fight Capt. Ferguson was exhausted
by the heat and I helped bring him into camp with the assistance of Adjt. Hale's
horse. We expect to go to the front to-night again and will probably have another
time by tomorrow noon. I did not receive the first scratch, although the bullets
flew pretty thick about my head.
The following are the killed and wounded in our company:—
Michael Biers, killed; Oliver Lighthall, wounded in the head; Whitney A
Lee, in arm; Charles Eignbroadt in the face; Corporal Wm. H. Pratt, in shoulder.
Ever your affectionate Son.
SILAS W. HORNING.
We gather the following casualities to the 115th from a general list published
in the N. Y. Times:
K. Funder; Sergt. J. P. Keck; Corp. W. H. Pratt; W. F. Robinson; W. N.
Lee; F. Fredendall; G. W. Luffman; J. A. Wagner; L. Phillips; J. Manchester;
L. Madden; P. Durgman; J. P. Ward; C. W. Jinkens; J. Deyo; H. Sluck; C. Eigenbrough;
S. Snell; A. Keefe; A. J. Freeman; Oliver Lighthall; L. Sharer; L. Cruise ;
O. H. Brown.
FROM THE 115TH REGIMENT.
CAMP NEAR BERMUDA HUNDREDS, VA ,
Friday, May 27th, 1864.
MR. EDITOR: Herewith I send you a brief sketch of the situation in general
at Bermuda Hundreds, and of our Regiment in particular.
Landing at Bermuda Hundreds on the 6th, we marched about six miles, and the
next day were engaged in the action at Chester Heights, on the Petersburgh
and Richmond Rail Road. The rebels were strongly posted on the Heights, and
while our Reg't was sent forward to engage the enemy, the rest of our brigade
was destroying the road. We lost in this engagement about sixty in killed and
wounded.—Among the latter was Sergeant-Major E. Raymond Fonda, of Cohoes,
who, during the fight, bravely and almost recklessly exposed himself to the
storm of bullets, but escaped unhurt, until we were falling back, after the
accomplishment of our object, when he was struck in the leg and arm. Our flag-staff
was cut in two, the same ball glancing and severely wounding the bearer, Serg't
On the 12th, we left our entrenchments, and with the other forces commenced
the advance on Fort Darling, and the earthworks south of Richmond. A brisk
skirmish took place, in which the rebels were driver in, and on the next day
struck the Richmond Turnpike, coming up to the rebel skirmishers at evening,
posted in rifle pits, in advance of their works.
During the night of the 13th, Gillmore made a move to the enemy's right, by
which they were obliged to leave their rifle pits, and a very strong line of
earthworks, and fall back into a second and still stronger line. We took possession
of this deserted line in the morning, our skirmishers driving the rebel skirmishers
under the guns of these works, where a very lively engagement was kept up all
day, our skirmishers being protected by a narrow strip of woods. Our reg't
was engaged during the day, and lost about 70, mostly wounded. The rebels fired
a large quantity of grape and cannister at us, but as it went too high, the
only damage done was to mow off the tops of the trees over our heads. Our artillery
also kept up a brisk fire on their works.
Chaplain Clemmens was foremost in good works, going with the ambulance corps,
to the front of the skirmish line to bring off the killed and wounded, and
did much to alleviate their sufferings.
Being relieved at night by the 47th N. Y., we retired to the rear, where we
remained on Sunday, only a few shots being fired by either side.
During Sunday, the 15th, the rebels received large reinforcements from Richmond,
and Jeff Davis himself came down and addressed the troops. At 4 o'clock, Monday
morning, under cover of a heavy fog, the rebels sallied from their works, and
made a desperate assault on the right of our line. They rushed up, column after
column, enfuriated by whiskey, which had been freely issued to them, and were
mowed down in heaps, but still they came on, with loud yells. Our forces could
not be brought to bear in consequence of the fog, and altho' our men fought
desperately, the line was at length broken. The 115th had not been brought
into the action, but was still exposed to a hot fire of artillery, and while
we were expecting to be ordered into the battle which was then raging with
great fury, we were marched from the field, losing several men while doing
so, and with Gen. Ames at our head, made a rapid march of four miles to Chester
Heights, to confront Gen. Beauregard, who was marching from Petersburgh to
attack Gen. Butler's rear, which event would have been very disastrous to the
There were only three or four reg'ts of our forces at this point, but all were
deployed as skirmishers in front of Beauregard, who was in large force. Thinking
from our bold front, that we had a large force in the rear, the rebels threw
over us large numbers of shells, but they did no harm as we had no reserves.
We kept up this show of a fight until dark, when we silently fell back to our
entrenchments, Butler's army having in the meantime also fallen back, in consequence
of our line being broken, and the movement in our rear.
Since that time Butler has been strongly fortifying himself here, on the line
of entrenchments reaching from the James to the Appomattox river, with both
flanks protected by our fleet of iron-clads, until it is now almost impregnable.
There is considerable artillery and picket firing every day, and several assaults
have been made by the enemy on our lines, but have always been repulsed. They
have been throwing up quite strong works within rifle range of us, but why
they are permitted to do thus almost in our faces, we cannot say, as we think
they could easily be shelled out. Butler has probably some good object in view.
A few shells are thrown over to them daily, which they sometimes answer.
The army here is in fine spirits, notwithstanding we were obliged to fall back
from Fort Darling, the results of which we will leave for others to determine,
but we feel confident that the rebels suffered much more severely than we did.
We have great confidence in the result of the present campaign, thinking that
it will prove decisive. Whenever dispatches are received at head quarters from
the Army of the Potomac, they are read to the troops amid deafening cheers. "Gen.
Grant is the man to lead us safe through Dixie land." Yours, &c.,
A. C. MUSGROVE,
Co. H, 115th N. Y. V.
FULTONVILLE, N. Y.
Tuesday June 21, 1864.
The 115th Regiment.
We are permitted to make the following extracts from a private letter from
Capt. Ferguson, Co. A, 115th Regt. N. Y. V.:
Since the 7th of June, our Regiment has been under fire most every day.—We
have been in four general engagements and numerous skirmishes. I left
Glouchester Point. Va., with 52 men.—This morning we only muster 31.
Sergeant Charles Gross, from Fultonville, was wounded in the trenches on the
3d, in the left leg with a shell. His wound is bad. On the 1st we made a gallant
bayonet charge on the enemy's rifle pits and the 115th captured 200 prisoners,
mostly Georgia troops. Gen. Smith witnessed the charge and the next morning
sent his compliments to the Regiment, praising them much for their bravery
and also sent to the Secretary of War a Complimentary order. Grant flanked
the Rebels at Bottom's Bridge and crossed the Chickahominy. The 18th Army Corps
now hold the right of the line. Every thing goes well and all feel confident
of success. Grant is a giant.
My health has been very miserable since I rejoined the Regiment, still I keep
about and have been in all the engagements.
To give our readers an idea of a soldier's duties in an active campaign, we
subjoin extracts from a journal kept by one of our Cohoes boys from June
11th to June 18th inclusive.:
Saturday, June 11th.—Engaged in building a line of rifle pits near Coal
Harbor with my battalion, finished it about 11 o'clock P. M., then returned
to camp tired out and sleepy. Bunked in without my blankets. Had a cold sleep.
Sunday, June 12th.—Feel rather sore this morning; had a good sleep all
the forenoon; received orders to move at 2 o'clock and report near Gen. Hancock's
Head Quarters. Reported there and remained until 9 o'clock P. M., then took
up the line of march for Charles City Landing, at James River. Marched all
night; took breakfast near the Chickahominy river; crossed the river about
10 o'clock, at Long Bridge, on Pontoons. After crossing, bathed for an hour
or so; continued the march, and reached the landing at the house of Dr. Wilcox,
about 9 o'clock P. M.
Monday, June 13th.—Camped there all night. The place is very fine, large,
and the ground is laid out with taste. On one account I liked it very much,
it furnished a very nice clover field for my horses. Slept under a tree; had
a good rest.
Tuesday, June 14th.—Engaged all day cutting a road through the woods,
for the purpose of letting teams get to the river; returned to camp, stayed
there all night.
Wednesday, June 15th.—Marched to the river, and there remained all day
and night. Was engaged in loading transports with the artillery and baggage
Thursday, June 16th.—Crossed the James river at sunrise at Charles City
Landing; marched about 5 miles and drew rations. Continued the march for Petersburg;
halted at 8 o'clock and camped for the night—distance marched since last
halt, 18 miles—a fine country we passed through. Almost every house was
deserted. "Massa" gone to Petersburg to build breast works, was the
usual reply from the colored persons that were lelt, when asked where they
were. Very dusty and warm. Need rain very much.
Friday, June 17th,—Continued the march at 5 'clock, A. M.; marched to
within sight of Petersburg, about 2 miles off, and there camped in some pine
woods. Our forces have taken several works and lines of rifle pits, which we
passed on the way, all very strongly made, also captured 14 guns. Our advanced
line is within 1000 yards of Petersburg, it will be taken in a short time.
Very warm and at the present time of writing, 10 o'clock A. M., we are lying
under our shelter tents raised all around so as to get plenty of air, and taking
things as comfortable as possible, under the circumstances.
Saturday, June 18.—The 3d Batallion, and one Co. from the first, and
one Co. from the 2d Batallion, were ordered to the front last evening. About
4 o'clock A. M., we that remained in camp were ordered forward. The first Battalions
that went out made a charge, and captured a line of works, which they now hold.
We are now (our regiment) occupying the rifle pits. A part of our forces are
within 900 yards of Petersburg.
ON THE FIELD, NEAR PETERSBURG,
June 19th, 1864.
As our regiment has again been called into action, I will try and give you
a brief description of the fight which took place about two miles in front
of Petersburg, on the evening of June 16th. Our company was led into the charge
by Lieut. O'Hare, Captain Shannon having been taken sick while on the march
from Cold Harbor, two days previous, but who, as soon as he heard the cannonading,
started in pursuit of his company, which, having been so scattered and cut
up, it was impossible to find them. He succeeded, however, in finding the Division,
and made himself generally useful, assisting the Provost Marshall in picking
up stragglers, and fighting with a musket until the following morning. The
over exertion having nearly prostrated him, Major Murphy, who is now in command
of the Reg't, sent him to the rear, in charge of the regimental surgeon, as
he refused to go to the hospital, wishing to remain as near the reg't as possible,
so that in case of their being called into action, he might be present. This
is the first time he has been absent from the Company since we left Washington,
and the boys seem to be somewhat discouraged in not having him with them, as
his well-known voice was always heard in action, cheerin us onward.
Since the charge, we have advanced three miles, and last evening threw up breastworks
in front of the Richmond, Dalton & Petersburg Railroad, which is now in
our hands, after two days' hard fighting. The rebel supplies from that quarter
are now cut off. When our regiment left Washington, we numbered between seventeen
and eighteen hundred men for duty; it now numbers between three and four hundred.
Our company, which then numbered one hundred and forty-seven men for duty,
now numbers but twenty-three. Since coming to the field, we have been to the
front all of the time, having never been relieved. We have been under fire
and have taken part in every engagement that has taken place.
Lieut. O'Hare was last seen by some of our company, going to the rear, with
his hand to his heart, since which time nothing has been seen or heard of him.
Captain Shannon is very anxious to know of his whereabouts, and has made inquiries
of every stretcher-bearer and at every hospital, but receives no tidings of
him; he seems to be very much cast down at the uncertainty of his fate, as
he was a brave and efficient officer. I heard the Captain say he would be willing
to lose his right arm to have him return safely to his company. Enclosed, I
give you a list of the names of those missing on the night of the charge. Two
or three of them are known to be wounded, and the rest we know nothing about,
but they are supposed to have been taken prisoners:
Lieut. James 0'Hare; Sergeants Thos. J. Syms and George W. Lefferts; Corp'ls
James Halpin, Jonathan Russell and Jeremiah Dailey.
Privates—George H. Drysdale, Francis Butts, Lawrence Brennan, Charles
Brankman, Ira F. Brown, William Brown, John Cochran, James Connelly, John DeGroat,
Michael Doyle, 2d, John Dolan, Freeman Gunthier, John Gilchrist, Michael Gannity,
James Houghtailing, George W. Hodgman, John H. Hamilton, Wm. Kehn, Jas. Maney,
Charles Mullin, Alexander Nichols, Amos Rogers, Henry Smith, Geo. Texter, Henry
VanBenthuysen, Edward Williams, Jacob Wilhiman, Wm. Smith, 2d, James Dolan.
P. S.—The reason that so many of our Company were taken prisoners was
because there must have been a misunderstanding about the orders given. This
is the first time any of our number have been taken prisoners, except they
were wounded. J. V. B.
NEW MARKET RACE COURSE,
NEAR PETERSBURG, VA.,
July 4th, 1864.
Another anniversary of our National Independence has dawned upon us, not in
possession of the Rebel Capital, as we had fondly hoped at the commencement
of the campaign, but in the entrenchments before Petersburg, with our flag
proudly floating from the works within sight of the doomed city.
Richmond has not been taken to be sure, but still the country has great reason
to be thankful for what Gen. Grant and the army has done, and look forward
with bright hopes for the future.
By reason of constant marching and fighting the army has become greatly exhausted,
but they are still able and willing to do all that is required, and at any
time. We have great reason to desire rest, and need it; but we all much more
desire to see this campaign brought to a successful and glorious close—and
before this is done we expect much hard fighting, and know that it is for us
to do it. All we ask of the people at the North is, to stop complaining at
the army movements, &c., support the government with everything necessary,
and come to war themselves if they think they can do better. Surely if the
soldiers, who do the fighting and endure the hardships do not complain, those
enjoying all the comforts of home ought to "dry up," and remain so.
There is considerable sickness at this time through the army, arising from
constant exposure and fatigue, which rest would soon remedy.
But one great want of the army is for vegetables, and especially onions. The
Sanitary Commission has done much in distributing different articles of diet,
still much more could be done by the people, with a little expense, by sending
supplies of vegetables, which would greatly lend to promote health through
In relation to the position and movements of the army, we know nothing, except
what we see ourselves, which is but small. For the past week there has not
been much of general interest transpiring. The pickets keep up a continual
fire, while the artillery give them a liberal shelling daily.
Several mortar batteries planted at this point, do especial good service in
dropping their eight inch shells into the rebel trenches, which are only about
three hundred yards distant. A new mortar battery was planted yesterday to
our left, where the 169th Reg't, from Troy, is posted. A hundred rounds of
ammunition were taken to it yesterday, with which the Troy boys, said they
intended to "celebrate the 4th."
It was expected that a general artillery fight would take place to-day, in
honor of it; but as yet it has been comparatively quiet, and if it does occur
it will be in the "cool of the day," as the weather is excessively
Some thirty-two pounders mounted in one of the captured forts on a hill in
our rear, sends its shells into Petersburg at regular intervals, and the boys
call them the "Petersburg Express," as they go humming over our heads
toward the city.
The city can be easily destroyed at any time it is thought necessary, as it
is within range of many of our guns, and at this point only about one mile
All the regimental colors have been unfurled to-day and planted on the breastworks.
We hope before long to see those same colors planted, on not only the towers
of Petersburg, but of Richmond, and before another "4th of July" to
see them wave over a united country, no longer distracted by war.
Respectfully yours, &c.,
A. C. MUSGROVE,
Co. H, 115th N. Y. Vols.
THE 115TH REGIMENT.
CAMP of 115th REG. N. Y. Vol.,
NEAR PETERSBURG, Va., July 14th, 1864.
MY DEAR FATHER:—Again it is my painful duty to announce the death of
two of Co. A, 115th. Serg't Charles Gross died in Washington, on the 4th inst.
John Hogan was wounded while on picket duty, the ball passing between his ribbs
and through his liver. He died in about 10 minutes after he arrived at the
Hospital. When he was wounded I was lounging about headquarters of the picket,
when one of the men on picket motioned me to him.—I could not devine
the cause, but running through the fire soon found that Johnny was wounded.
I turned about and went for a stretcher, determined that he should not die
in the pit. So taking one man with me I went after him. When we got him on
the stretcher the sharpshooters kept the Rebs down while we brought him off.
Johnny talked till the Surgeon dressed his wound and got him in the ambulance,
when he began to strangle. In conversing he said to the Dr.: "Many better
men than I have died," and, "don't hurt me, but let me die easy." He
died without a struggle-poor fellow. So you see Co. A is fast diminishing in
numbers. Who the next will be no one can tell. Give my regards to all.
Your affectionate son, SILAS W. HORNING.
BEFORE PETERSBURG—HOW TRENCHES ARE DUG--
INCIDENTS OF THE SIEGE—THE MARYLAND INVASION.
We are permitted to publish the following extracts from a private letter from
acting Col. E. L. Walrath, of the 115th N. Y. Vols., dated Headquarters 115th
N. Y. V., to the trenches three-quarters mile from Petersburg, Va., 2d Brigade,
2d Division 10th Army Corps, temporarily attached to 18th Army Corps:
My Dear ***:
This regiment has been in the front of the fight ever since we landed at Bermuda
Hundred, and most of the time in a trench dug in the earth just high enough
to protect us while in a stooping position. Perhaps you would be interested
if I give you an idea how we get our first ditch and the manner we are making
for Lee's "last ditch." Well, as our troops approach towards the
enemy, (skirmishers in advance,) we move cautiously along as we perceive and
evidence of their proximity. Hardly a word spoken in the ranks, commands are
given in low tones, and they march on until crack, crack of the enemy's vidette
or lookout, followed up by similar responses from our skirmishers. The transportation,
in the meantime take a position in the rear. Our main body then halt for a
moment, and after a little reconnoitering for advantageous ground, some brigade
or regiment are sent forward to "knock the chip off their shoulder." The
skirmishers will by this time be engaged in a sort of "give-and-take" fight,
keeping the main bodies of troops in check while the preparations for a general
engagement are going on by both parties. This regiment or brigade is soon met
by a volley of musketry, and then other troops come pouring in, supporting
the first line. If we find that the enemy are entrenched behind earthworks,
(or those ditches I mentioned,) then the command is given to charge," and
then comes the tug of war,—the enemy striving to hold, and the Union
forces with equal sincerity are using all exertions to get possession of them.
If we drive them, the first one will hold them, and the other troops pass on
and gain as much ground in front as possible. Skirmishers or pickets are immediately
brought forward, and they take position behind the trees or lie down on their
faces, protected by the unevenness of the ground, and are required to hold
the enemy in check until dark by constant firing at every rebel head they see.
At dark the pioneers with their arms and implements advance to where the pickets
are and dig a hole in the ground about four feet long and three wide. These
holes are made in a tolerable straight line and at intervals of say twenty
feet. This picket will not be relieved until the next night, and then the pioneers,
with a considerable fatigue party, will again approach and dig trenches connecting
these pits, making a long trench with room enough for the whole regiment. So
you perceive that this makes the second ditch or trench. These are then strengthened
every night. As soon as the troops are sufficiently rested, another charge
will be made, and if unsuccessful, we retire back to the "works" and
then bring the mortars to bear on them and wait anxiously for their attacks.
Our boys like the attacks made by the rebs., as they have become very good
soldiers, and their hideous yelling, that they call cheers, does not frighten
them, but they have patience to hold their fire until they are within easy
range of their Enfields, when of a sudden, a roar of musketry sends them back
howling with rage. The "Johnnys" tried a charge yesterday, but were
driven back by the picket alone--it being the first instance of the kind I
ever heard of. Our troops lie close to Petersburg, and can destroy the city
any moment that Gen. Grant should give the word.
You mention the Fourth at Syracuse and the parade of the "Corps." I
thought of the old Company on that day. I was quite sure they made a parade,
as it is an old time-honored custom with that Company to celebrate the Fourth
of July and the 22d of February. I think it is required of that Company in
You say that you have some fears of the raiders under Ewell on the borders
of Maryland and Pennsylvania. I guess that these fine fellows will be "limbering" to
the rear if Gens. Hunter and Sigel get after them. This is only a piece of
Lee's strategy to draw away the strength of Gen. Grant's command here, but
it won't work. He will wish that Ewell is safely back to aid him at this point
in a short time. You must take care of that small force, and if they get a
good thrashing for their pains, it will help the cause here very much.
We have received the glorious tidings of the capture of the Alabama, and I
ordered the Old Flag to be raised over the works this morning in honor of the
event. The rebs have been firing at it all day. The boys sang out to them that
if they did not like it to "come and take it."
The pickets are within talking distance of each other. The other day a couple
of rebs came to our trench and got a cup of coffee in exchange for some "plug" tobacco.
The boys held a chat with them for an hour, and then separated. You must excuse
so much war matter in answer to your kind letter, but you know that I get no
other news of interest here. I occasionally get a paper from home, and read
advertisements as well as other matter in them. My regards to all my friends.
Your friend, E. L. WALRATH.
[Correspondence of the Albany Atlas and Argus.]
FROM BEFORE PETERSBURGH.
The Grand Explosion of the 30th ult—Port taken by the 115th Regiment--They
advance through a murderous Fire of Grape and Canister--Charge of the Negro
Troops and their Terrible Repulse--All effort to rally them futile—Col.
Sammons wounded—The retreat— List of Casualties.
CAMP OF THE 115Th N. Y. VOLS.,
Near Hatcher's, Va., Aug. 3, 1864.
Editors Atlas & Argus, Albany, N. Y.
It may be a matter of some interest to your numerous readers, especially those
who are interested in the welfare of the 115th Regiment N. Y. Vols., to learn
what part the regiment played in the "grand action" of the siege
of Petersburgh, on the 30th day of July, 1864; therefore, I will endeavor to
give you as faithful and as brief a relation thereof as possible. The regiment,
in conjunction with the brigade and, division to which it belongs, (3d brigade,
2d division, 10th A. C.,) left the trenches which they had previously, occupied,
at 9 o'clock, p. m., of the 29th, and moved to the left about two miles to
the entrance of the covered way which led to the front line opposite the doomed
fortification.—Here we formed in column by battalion (the 115th forming
the 1st battalion) and laid down to await the explosion, which did not occur
until 5 o'clock, a. m. Then a dull heavy sound broke upon the ear, and the
earth shook as if agitated by an earthquake. The great mass of earth, the work
of many days and many hands, rose in the air, and then fell, carrying with
it hundreds of men, some of whom were thrown several rods from the work and
the rest buried in its sulphurous and silent depths. Immediately there opened
one of the most, if not the most terrific cannonadings ever heard. The air
was filled with whizzing shot and screeching shell, reverberation met reverberation
and echo struck against echo, until it seemed as if the heavens must be rent
with the incessant concussions, and the air blistered by the lightning-like
passages of shot and shell. The earth trembled under the recoil of the cannon,
and as the sun rose lurid, it required no very strong or vivid imagination
to concieve that hell and earth and heaven had joined in the Titanic conflict.
As we were reserves for the left of the 9th Corps, we remained in our position
awaiting the charge of those troops which we were to support, until the word
should be given to advance. At last it came, and we passed up the covered line
which the advance had just left. Here we remained a short time until the colored
troops moved up from our left and took possession of the new line just gained.
This they did in fine style, and their conduct elicited warm commendation from
our veterans. We were soon ordered to advance, and we did so, passing the demolished
fortification on its immediate left, and over some of its debris, under the
most galling and murderous discharges of grapes and canister that the oldest
veteran ever saw. The ground in front of us was plowed up on almost every foot
of it, and as the grape and canister struck it, the appearance put one in mind
of a body of water when it rains, the drops striking and raising up little
pyramids on the surface. How we ever passed through that terrible storm without
being annihilated, it is impossible to say, but we did, reaching the new line,
where we halted and laid down to save ourselves as much as possible from the
murderous fire which still continued.
After remaining a while in this position, the colored troops were ordered to
charge, for the purpose of securing another line in our immediate front. They
started off in fine style, and we moved up taking their places, but they had
not gone far before they wavered, then halted, and the enemy taking advantage
of this charged upon them, and the negroes immediately turned and fled, reaching
our lines in the utmost disorder and fright, tumbling, rolling and falling
over the walls upon our men, bruising and wounding many.
Our officers having no trouble to keep the 115th from running away, turned
their efforts to stop the fleeing darkies, when a scene took place that baffles
description. Our officers, in conjunction with the officers of the colored
troops, shouted, threatened, pushed back, kicked, knocked, struck with their
swords, drew their pistols, and exhausted every imaginable effort to stay the
overwhelming tide of blackness, as it surged on and over us, followed by a
stronger tide of furious rebellion, but it was of no avail. In the meantime
the rebels had reached this line of works, and some had passed it beyond our
flank, next the exploded works. When seeing that further resistance was useless,
we were ordered to fall back to the line we had just left. It was just as we
were about to fall back that our gallant Colonel Sammons, who had just returned
to us, having partially recovered from a wound received at Olustee, Florida,
was wounded for the second time. He had been using almost superhuman exertion
to drive back the colored troops, and was still driving them back, when a rebel
jumped on the line of works, and discharged his piece at the Colonel, hitting
him in the thigh. It is almost a miracle that he was not killed, as the rebel
was not more than eight feet from him when he fired. Had the aim been surer,
one of the bravest officers in the service of our country, would have fallen
to rise no more.
The colors of the 115th received another invoice of holes, and the flag staff
was struck twice, the last by a grape shot which broke the staff near the top.
Our colors were the first on the line and the last to leave it. We fell back
to the line of intrenchments which we occupied in the morning, the rebels coming
on in hot haste thinking that they could drive us as they did the darkies,
but in this they were mistaken, for they were sent back in as much haste as
they came, loosing a large number. Our brigade held this line until they were
relieved, when they marched to this place and have once more joined their corps.
In this action we lost two killed and twenty wounded, (many of them severely)
and three missing. The list is as follows:
Private A C Snyder, Co I.
Corporal—Runnels, Co K.
Col Sammons, hip, severely.
Capt Wm McKittrick, shoulder, slightly.
Lieut D Graves, hand, seriously.
James P Caldwell, Co A, left leg.
Bartholomew Quilty, Co A.
Michael Maloney, Co B.
Smith Harlow, Co C, jaw, severe.
James M Countryman, Co D, missing.
Thomas Gregory, Co D, missing.
Joshua Getman, Co E, leg.
Sanders Johnson, Co E, wrist.
Stewart Hutnam, Corp Co E.
Charles L Parker, private, Co F, mortally.
Nathan Hogle, private, Co G, foot, severely.
Wm Van Slyke, " knee, slight.
Ira Scott, Corporal, " thigh, slight.
John Gaffrey, private, " missing.
Almon E Stone, private, Co H, neck.
Benjamin Thackrah, Co H, hip.
Albert Wood, Co I, shoulder.
H Engleburth, " neck, slight.
John Warn, Co K, arm, amputated.
Yours, &c., N.
115TH REGT., NEAR RICHMOND,
Oct. 22d 1864.
To H. L. Grose, Editor Journal, Sir:—
While on the silent picket line, the sere and yellow leaf admonishes me that
in my nothern home, there are those whose thoughts will often wander the coming
winter to the camp or entrenched home of the 115th, even now me thinks I hear
some kind friend make enquiry concerning us along the streets of your peaceful
village. Therefore, I thought a few lines to you, sir, would be welcomed by
them through the medium of the ever opened umus of the Ballston Journal. To
tell that we occupy the works extending from Chapin's farm running north would
not be very new at present, but how we got there, and what it cost, and how
we are now situated, is what would most interest our numerous friends. We broke
camp in front of Petersburg, on the night of the 26th ult., as we thought to
occupy a newly made Fort in that vicinity, but our expectations, and I may
add, our hopes, were soon blasted by a countermand order, which fixed our destination
to be our present place, which place we reached on the morning of the 29th,
having had a rest of three days to wash shirts and other garments. The sun
broke forth with the hot rays of a July day, the men were somewhat fatigued,
having marched all the night previous. The colored troops led the van and bravely
breastworks of the rebs, protected by two rows of abattis, through which they
charged under a galling fire and soon forced the rebs from their fancied security.
The whole force then moved on, charged and took the works which we now occupy,
our regiment participating with little casualties to relate. After resting
some 3 or 4 hours the command was given to form line of battle, which was cheerfully
responded to, onward they pressed toward an unseen Fort, across the ravines
and underbrush, at quick and double quick time, a distance of about three-fourths
of a mile. Oh, how they wished for some dark cloud to obscure even for an hour,
the sun's parching heat. The
shot and shell pouring into our ranks, the rebel musketry being reserved for
that range, which told upon our already thinned ranks, our brave boys, never
flinching until they could see the rebs reinforced by overpowering numbers,
which our commanders took advantage of by retiring to our earlier won works,
but not before the 115th had lost (at least for the present) some of her bravest
men. Col. Johnson, commanding our regiment, was wounded for the second time
in this campaign, and Co. C, I am sorry to relate, contributes largely to the
list of casualties, having lost about half of those that joined in the charge.
And here I come to the most painful portion of my narration, in having to chronicle
the loss of our Captain, Wm. H. McKittrick, than whom a more cool or better
captain is seldom to be found in this or any other regiment. Co. C has lost
its head and chief, one whose counsels and care were ever employed in behalf
of those who like himself had left their homes and friends to fight the battles
of their country. But the tale is too sorrowful, and I feel that the kindest
thing one can do is to keep silence for the present. God grant that he has
fallen even in rebel hands, it would leave us a hope. Four others of our company
fell on that day, two of whom are missing, and one is in hospital: the other,
Sergt. Fisher, we are ignorant as to his fate.
Saratoga is again called upon to weep for her fellow braves, but the tears
will not be shed o'er cowards graves, the flag they carry will fully attest
the courage of the men who march beneath it. And when it is returned, torn
but unsallied, to the fair donors of the 15th Senatorial district, their delicate
but ingenious hands, may be puzzled to unravel its tattered remains, showing
that the 115th meant to redeem its pledge given to them, on that sabbath day
at Fonda, that death before dishonor would be the watchwood of the 115th N.
Y. Vols. Our Col. (Johnson), has gone home on leave of absence, which renders
it unnecessary to say much about our present condition, as he will, I am sure,
tell all the friends of his command all concerning us.
Suffice it to say, the Ballston boys are well. Having changed our campground,
we are rather more comfortable than before in the trenches. If anything of
importance transpires, and I am spared, I will try and give you early information.
Capt. Mosker often visits our company, and he being the warm friend of our
lamented Captain, and it is refreshing to have him mingle with us as in days
of yore, when he was connected with our company.
The regiment had an opportunity of voting for their respective candidates,
everything was conducted in a fair and upright manner, no intimidation or compulsion,
by threats or otherwise, was brought into requisition, and all passed off as
peaceable as a marriage bell. The soldiers of all political creeds are a unit
so far as the restoration of the Union is concerned, that the blood of their
comrades shall not be shed in vain, and although the graves of many may be
unknown to them their memory will remain as green as the grass that bends to
the sighing winds o'er their cherished ashes.
With much respect I remain,
Your very ob'dt servant,
Wm. J. JENNINGS, Sergeant Co. C, 115th Regt.
COURRIER AND UNION.
Friday Morning, February 3, 1865.
Letter from Col. Walrath.—Interesting Account of the Capture of Fort
HEADQUARTERS 115TH N. Y. V.,)
Fort Fisher, N. C., Jan. 17.
Dear Colonel:—Fort Fisher is ours. The old Union flag floats triumphantly
over the "Sebastopol of the Confederacy." We have captured two thousand
prisoners, eighty cannon, and buried three hundred of the enemy. Our loss is
very heavy, but not so great as we expected we would have to sacrifice to take
such strong works as these are. Our troops are wild with excitement. Every
man takes upon himself the airs and stride of a hero. I enquired of one of
my men, "how he felt?" He answered that "he weighed a ton," The
navy has done admirably; and what made everything pleasant as well as successful,
there seemed to be a harmony of feeling extending from the commanders to the
privates and marines, and it was the fixed determination of all concerned that
(after what had been said by the late Gen. Bombastus Dutch Gap Butler in his
correspondence and report,) the Fort must be taken, if good fighting would
do it. Now, Colonel, I will detail as much of the landing, assault and capture
as I can at present. My conveniences for writing are not of the best, situated
in the Fort, surrounded by the debris of a severe bombardment, with the noise
and confusion indispensable in the event of so important a capture.
I will not say much about the voyage, nothing of interest occurred, save the
usual amount of sickness, throwing up everything except our commissions, running
into Beaufort, N. C., for coal or water or for shelter from a severe gale blowing
from the outside, &c., until the 13th inst., when we effected a landing
about six miles from the fort, (north) on a dry and barren beach. The surface
or "ground swell" was very high and we had to jump from the small
boats into the water up to the waist and wade to the shore. Our brigade immediately
deployed skirmishers who protected the landing of all the troops, stores, ammunition, &c,
We had been on shore about an hour when we captured four or five prisoners
and 85 head of cattle, also a sand battery, mounting three guns, 32 pound Parrots.
The next day, 14th, we received orders to build fires, dry our clothes and
rest, as we were to assault the fort on the morrow. Fires were kindled and
the boys could be seen busy writing letters to their friends at home. The opportunity
of sending them by the return of the transport ships, was too good to be lost.
In a short time they were wrapped in their blankets sleeping as soundly and
dreaming as sweetly of home and friends, as if they were stretched on hair
mattrasses, and forgetting that the morning reville would call upon them to
attack the strongest work of the Confederacy (and some say, the strongest on
the Continent.) On the morning of the 15th, (Sunday,) preparations were made,
such as detailing the stretcher bearers, fixing up convenient quarters for
the surgeons' Hospital, putting together amputating tables, dealing out ammunition,
rations, sending the sick to the rear, &c., &c.
At one o'clock, P. M., our division received orders to move upon the enemy's
works. We proceeded cautiously until within 200 yards, when we started in double
quick time amidst a shower of grape and cannister poured into us from a howitzer
battery placed at the Sallay port, and from guns planted on the parapet between
large traverses. The first traverse was reached by several of the color bearers,
where their flags were planted. The colors of the New York 15th Regiment and
those of the 13th Indiana were places almost simultaneously side by side amid
the cheering of the troops. Both of these brave color bearers have been complimented
in orders for their gallantry and daring on that occasion. But it has been
subsequently decided that our flag was first planted on the parapet, by Fred.
Waters, a Syracuse boy, formerly a member of the old 12th N. Y. V., now attached
to the 3d New York. This fort has, besides a mounted parapet, nineteen large
traverses, between which are mounted very heavy guns and of large calibre.
Underneath these mounds or traverses are the bombproofs and magazines, for
fixed ammunition. We lost many men before we reached the works, but the fighting
became severe at the first traverse, and continued so until we reached the
tenth one, when the Fort surrendered. To give you some idea of the stubbornness
of the contest, I will give a few incidents. One man had to climb up one side
of these traverses, reach the top so as to bring the enemy to view, who were
posted on the other side. To do so, it would bring the parties within rifle
length of each other. No quarters were asked, no surrender was demanded, and
the simultaneous discharge of the pieces would blow each other's brains out
upon the sand. The strife was hand to hand. My command which consisted of men
from almost every regiment, was ordered through the interior of the fort. We
had to throw up works as we proceeded, keeping opposite to the party on the
parapet, and in the absence of entrenching tools, I set the men throwing up
the earth with their tin plates and cups, making very good protection against
the bullets coming from the above mentioned bomb proofs, where many of the
rebels had taken refuge during the assault.
While I was busy working slowly through the interior an Aid from Gen. Ames
came to me with an order to take command of the 1st Brigade, (Gen. Curtis being
severely wounded.) I assumed the command and remained with it until the garrison
was captured. One of my Color Corporals captured a rebel flag, which I have
sent by express to my wife to be presented to the Onondaga Historical Society.—We
all feel proud of this victory for more reasons than one. First, it was captured
by the 2d Division of the old 10th (now 24th) Corps. Second, it was done by
hard fighting, without the aid of Gen. Butler or his "powder boats," or
any of his idiotical experiments of torpedoes of black troops. Third, we had
the fullest confidence in the abilities of Gen. Terry and Ames. The greater
portion of our division had served under them in the Department of the South,
and in Florida, and the troops were positive that success would attend this
expedition. We captured the finest looking cannon I ever saw. It was presented
to Jeff. Davis by the maker, Sir J. J. Armstrong, about one year ago. It is
a 150-pounder, mounted on a splendid chasse. All the wood work is of mahogany,
polished as neatly as any piece of parlor furniture. The gun is of twist, and
as smooth as any fowling piece. Most of the guns we captured had the appearance
of bad usage by our navy, two-thirds of them were dismounted. I did not see
any spiked.—I have to record the saddest event of this glorious victory.
Our brigade was left in possession of the fort on the evening of the 15th,
(the other brigades encamped on the outside.) The men bivouacked and slept
soundly after their hard work, and many were taking an extra matritional nap
next morning. Some were busy in preparing breakfast when the powder magazines
exploded, burying about 200 men under the sand from two to ten feet deep, and
many were injured by the falling of timbers, powder boxes, and dense masses
of sand. For a few moments, those who escaped were mute with horror and astonishment.
Entrenching tools were soon brought to the spot and the men worked fast and
hard exhuming their dead comrades from the ruins, and I shudder when I think
how near I came of being buried with the rest. The Lieut. Colonel was standing
by my side, looking on and giving directions to the cooking of our breakfast
about five minutes before the explosion took place, when I proposed to him
to take a walk on the parapet, remarking, "that it would give us a better
appetite for so poor a breakfast," (hard tack and fried pork.) He hesitated,
saying he was tired, &c., but I urged him and we went,—we had gone
about seventy-five or one hundred yards when the magazine exploded. Our attention
was called in that direction at the time which gave us plenty of time to throw
ourselves under a gun carriage, making an excellent cover against the falling
debris of the magazine. But such a sight when we returned I shall never forget!
The pen cannot describe the groans of the dying and wounded, or depict the
agony impressed on every face, brother searching after brother, comrade after
comrade, and all expecting that other magazines would soon follow this one.
There is a Court of Inquiry now in session investigating the cause of the explosion.
In my opinion it happened by a torpedo fired from the other side of the river,
on the plan of Colt's submarine battery. Wires have been found extending across
the river leading into the Fort.
Pardon me for writing so long a letter. I have endeavored to give as much of
the history of this affair as I could, at the same time with a view to make
it as brief as possible. My regards to Mrs. H. and to my friends at home.
Truly and cordially, Yours, E. L. Walrath.
To. Col. J. B. Hawley, Syracuse, N. Y.
THE RETURNING VETERANS.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE OF THE ONE HUNDRED
AND FIFTEENTH NEW-YORK—INTERESTING HISTORY.
The One Hundred and Fifteenth New-York, numbering 180 men and 14 officers,
and under the command of Lieut.-Col. N. J. Johnson, arrived yesterday from
City Point, per government transport North Point, landing at Pier No. 12, North
River. Marching up Broadway to the New-York State Agency, through the pouring
rain, the regiment was received with some little applause, the dampness, however,
lessening the enthusiasm somewhat. Col. Colyer and his assistants provided
dinner for the command, at the Eighth
Regiment Arsenal, over Centre Market.
The One Hundred and Fifteenth was serving, at the time of its leaving Raleigh,
Ga., for home, in the Third Brigade Second Division Tenth Army Corps, but has
been identified with the Eighteenth and Twenty-fourth Corps. During its term
of service 8 officers were killed and 14 wounded. The regiment was raised in
the Counties of Fulton, Saratoga, Hamilton and Montgomery, rendezvousing at
Fundy, Aug. 26, 1862. During their three years' service the One Hundred and
Fifteenth have had 1,493 names upon their rolls, and left behind them at Raleigh
301 recruits. The following comprises the officers' names accompanying the
Field and Staff—Lieut.-Col. N. J. Johnson, Maj. E. L. Walrath, Surgeon
C. McFarland, Acting Adjt. N. DeGrath, Quartermaster Martin McMartin.
Line Officers—Co. A—Capt. N. Bellew. Co. B—Capt. J. P. Kneeskern,
First Lieut. A. Collier. Co. C—Capt. F. S. Mosher. Co. D—Second
Lieut. Chas. Kline. Co. E—Capt. W. H. Shaw, First Lieut. A. C. Slocum,
Lieut. C. L. Clark. Co. I—Second Lieut. W. McIntosh. Co. K—Capt.
The One Hundred and Fifteenth New-York have participated in the following battles:
Maryland Heights, Sept. 13, 1862; Bolivar Heights, Va., Sept. 15, 1862; Chester
Heights, Va., May 7, 1864; Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20, 1864; Weir Bottom Church,
Va., May 12, 1864; Drewry's Bluff, Va., May 14, 1864; Proctor's Farm, Va.,
May 16, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., June 1, 1864; Siege of Petersburgh; Cemetery
Hill, ("the Crater,") July 30, 1864; Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16, 1864;
Fort Gilmer, Sept. 29, 1864; Darby Town Road, Va., Oct. 27, 1864; Fort Fisher,
(Wilmington, N. C.,) Jan. 15, 1865; Wilmington Advance, Feb. 22, 1865; Advance
on Sugar Loaf Batteries, Feb. 20, 1865; attack upon Fort Anderson, Feb. 19,
1865; forced march to Northeast River, and capture of pontoon bridge.
Col. Bell, commanding the brigade, was killed in the fierce attack upon Fort
Fisher (under Gen. Terry) and Lieut.-Col. Johnson assumed the command, entering
the fort and thus gaining the distinguished honor of being the first brigade
commander to enter that fort. The regiment marched up the
Neuse River to join Sherman, making the connection from the 14th to the 20th
April, 1865. They departed by special steamer yesterday afternoon for Albany.
(N.Y. Times - June 27, 1865)
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH REGIMENT N. Y. S. V. arrived here about five
o'clock this morning, on board the Thomas Way, and was received with the usual
salute, and properly cared for, by the Citizens' Committee, at the various
hotels. The boys look remarkably well, their uniforms are in the best condition,
and everything betokens that the best care has been taken to present a fine
soldierly appearance. The regiment was mustered in at Fonda, August 26, 1862,
1,000 strong, and returns with 280. There has been added to it about 500 recruits,
and 301 have been left in the field.
The Veterans have done gallant service at Maryland Heights, Md., Bolivar Heights,
Va., Olustee, Fla., Chester Heights, Va., Drury's Bluff, Proctor's
Creek, Weir Bottom Church, Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg, Cemetery Hill,
Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plain, Chapin's Farm, Fort Gilmer, Darbytown Road,
Fort Fisher, both expeditions, (it lost heavily at the explosion) and Wilmington.
It bears on its flag the names of most of these engagements, in which it has
especially distinguished itself, and on the fields of which it has left many
a gallant hero.
The following officers returned with the regiment:—
Lieutenant-Colonel--N. J. Johnson; was transferred from the Ninety-third.
Major—E. L. Walrath; went out as Captain.
Surgeon—C. McFarland; transferred from Eighty-first.
Quartermaster—Martin McMartin; went out in same capacity.
Acting Adjutant—First Lieutenant N. DeGraff; went out as Orderly Sergeant.
Company A—Captain, C. N. Ballou; went out as Orderly Sergeant.
Company B—Captain, J. B. Kneeskem; went out as Captain; Lieutenant J.
A. Collier; went out as First Corporal.
Company C—Captain, Fred. S. Mosher; went out as First Lieutenant.
Company D—Lieutenant, Charles Kline. Went out as third Sergeant.
Company E--Captain, William H. Shaw. Went out as Captain.
First Lieutenant, A. C. Slocum. Went out as Second Lieutenant.
Second Lieutenant, C. L. Clark. Went out as Sergeant.
Companies F, G and H have no officers.
Company I—Lieutenant, W. McIntosh. Went out as private.
Company K—Captain, William Smith. Went out as Captain.
The Regiment will remain at the Barracks on the Troy road until paid off.
(Alb. Journal June 27, 1865)
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEENTH REGIMENT N. Y. S. V. arrived here about five
o'clock yesterday morning, on board the Thomas Way, and was received with the
usual salute, and properly cared for, by the Citizens' Committee, at the various
hotels. The men looked remarkably well, their uniforms are in the best condition,
and everything betokens that care has been taken to present a fine soldierly
appearance. The regiment was mustered in at Fonda, August 22, 1862, 1,000 strong,
and returns with 280. There has been added to it about 500 recruits, and 301
have been left in the field.
The Veterans have done gallant service at Maryland Heights, Md., Bolivar Heights,
Va., Oulstee, Fla., Chester Heights, Va., Drury's Bluff, Proctor's Creek, Weir
Bottom Church, Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg, Cemetery Hill, Deep Bottom,
Strawberry Plain, Chapin's Farm, Fort Gilmer, Darbytown Road, Fort Fisher,
both expeditions, (it lost heavily at the explosion,) and Wilmington. It bears
on its flag the names of most of these engagements in which it has especially
distinguished itself, and on the fields of which it has left many a gallant
hero. The following officers returned with the regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel—N. J. Johnson, was transferred from the Ninety-third.
Major—E. L. Walrath; went out as Captain.
Surgeon—C. McFarland; transferred from Eighty-first.
Quartermaster—Martin McMartin; went out in same capacity.
Acting Adjutant—First Lieutenant N. DeGraff; went out as Orderly Sergeant.
Company A—Captain, C. N. Ballou; went out as Orderly Sergeant.
Company B—Captain, J. B. Kneeskem; went out as Captain;
Lieutenant J. A. Collier; went out as First Corporal.
Company C—Captain, Fred. S. Mosher; went out as First Lieutenant.
Company D—Lieutenant, Charles Kline; went out as Third Sergeant.
Company E—Captain, William H. Shaw. Went out as Captain. First Lieutenant,
A. C. Slocum. Went out as Second Lieutenant. Second Lieutenant, C. L. Clark.
Went out as Sergeant.
Companies F, G and H have no officers.
Company I--Lieutenant, W. McIntosh. Went out as private.
Company K—Captain, William Smith. Went out as Captain.
The regiment will remain at the Barracks on the Troy road until paid off.
Of the 115th Regt. N. Y. V. reached home on Saturday night last. He was wounded
in front of Petersburgh. He has been in the Hospital under treatment, and
his friends will be glad to learn that he is getting along well.
ORDERED BACK.—Col. Sammons on ...day received and promulgated per-… ...y
orders for all men of the 115th ...ugh to return to the front instanter-
The following list of its casualties in the recent battles before Richmond
we take from the N. Y. Times:
H. Goodrich, B, killed.
F. Cole, K, killed.
S. P. Johnson, B, mortally wounded.
C. Timmerson, D, leg.
S. Johnson, G.
J. Vosburgh, arm.
J. Templer, D, leg.
WOUNDED OF 115TH--In the fight before Richmond on the 29th of September, the
following casualties are reported as occurring in the 115th N. Y.: Wounded—Capt
Egbert B. Savage, back; Sergt. L. M. Loper, back; Sergt. C. Cline, arm.
Capt. Savage is a son of Mr. James Savage of this village. He is a gallant
officer, and it is to be hoped that his wound will not prove a serious one.
Among the killed of the 115th regiment, is John Westley Dubois, of the town
of Hadley. He was shot through the head.
CAPT. FERGUSON.—A private letter from Capt. Willett Ferguson of Co.,
A 115th Regt., informs us that he is in the Hospital at Point of Rocks, suffering
from diseases contracted in the service. He has borne a gallant part in all
the battles under Gen. Grant, on the James River and in front of
COL. SAMMONS.—Of The 115th Regt. N. Y. V. reached home on Saturday night
last. He was wounded in front of Petersburgh. He has been in the Hospital under
treatment, and his friends will be glad to learn that he is getting along well.—Republican.
THE HONORED DEAD.—Charles Fellows, Color-bearer of the 115th regiment,
was buried at Mechanicsville, a few days since. He was wounded in one of the
recent battles in front of I Petersburg, and fell into the enemy’s hands.
With a refinement of cruelty they amputated his limb, which was shattered below
the knee—and cut it off so close to the body that his recovery was impossible.
Had he been properly attended to, he would have no doubt lived (Dec. 1, 1864)
Of the One Hundred and Fifteenth, left for his regiment Monday evening.—
He has nearly recovered from the wound received at the battle of Olustee.
FROM BEAUFORT.—Sergeant J. J. Harlow, of Co. B, 115th N. Y. Vols., to
whom we are indebted for a copy of the Free South, and other Beaufort papers,
writes us that the Fort Plain boys in his company are well, with the exception
of one or two, who are suffering from Fever and Ague.
E. RAYMOND FONDA, Sergeant-Major of the 115th regiment, died at the Ladies
Home U. S. Hospital, in New York, July 22d, of wounds received in one of the
actions near Petersburg. The 115th regiment has returned from Florida, and
was at Gloucester Point, opposite Yorktown, on the York river, at last advices.
Other troops came on at the same time.
MAJ. WALRETH SEVERELY WOUNDED.—The friends of Maj. Ezra L. Walrath were
startled on reading in Saturday's Tribune, a notice of his death. They were
much relieved Sunday morning, by the more welcome intelligence that he was
not dead, though severely wounded.—A letter written by him to his wife,
dated Chesapeake Hospital, Fortress Monroe, the 17th inst., states that he
was struck in the left side by a piece of shell in the action at Deer Run,
Va., on the 16th, which broke one rib; he also sustained a severe hurt of his
shoulder by a piece of shell. The Colonel of the regiment,—115th N. Y.
Volunteers, — was killed, and Maj. W. took command. The Captain who became
acting Major was also killed. Maj. W. was carried off the field by an aide,
who supposed that he was dead, and from this circumstance arose the report
which found publicity in the columns of the Tribune. It is thought he will
be able to come home in two or three weeks.
A letter from a member of the Regiment dated in front of Petersburgh,
July 13th, says: "there is considerable sickness in the Regiment. Lieut.
Johnson is still under arrest. Capt. William Smith, of Co. K, is also under
arrest for drunkenness while on duty.—Col. Sammons has not yet arrived
but is anxiously looked for. Heavy guns are constantly being brought forward
and put in position to operate against the enemy's works.
Sergeant Charles Gross of Co. A, died in the Hospital at Washington, on the
4th of July. He was wounded at Cold Harbour Va., on the 3d of June by a shell
in the thigh; John Hogan of the same company was mortally wounded by a shot
in the right side on the advance picket line in front of Petersburgh, on the
W. H. McKittrick, of this village, Capt. of Co. C., 115th Regiment, reached
here last Wednesday. He passed through the battle of Olustee unscathed, although
long in the midst of dangers most appaling. The Captain was in the Mexican
war and came out safe. So may it be in the end of the present strife.
Maj. E. L. Walrath, of the 115th N. Y. V., arrived home last night, on leave
of absence. The Major is looking rather thin, having suffered severely from
his wound received before Petersburg.
We are glad to learn that Capt. W. W. French, of the 115th who was wounded
at the battle of Olustee, is recovering. 31B
COLONEL SAMMONS, of the One Hundred and Fifteenth regiment, was visited on
Thursday by Dr. March, of Albany, who re-dressed his wounded foot, taking therefrom
a number of loose bones. He stood his journey finely, is in good spirits, and
entertains the hope of again being ready for duty in a short time.
The Colonel is a Democrat dyed in the wool, but doesn't believe in any but
an honorable peace.
P. S.—As we go to press we regret to learn that the Colonel has been
sinking rapidly since Sunday—but hopes are yet entertained of his recovery.
RESIGNATION OF CAPT. FRENCH.—Capt. W. W. French, of the 115th, resigned
a short time since, finding his wound slow to heal. The order covering his
discharge is in the following terms:
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
WASHINGTON, JUNE 11, 1864.
Special Order No. 204.
[Extract.] Captain Walton W. French,
115th New York volunteers, is hereby honorably discharged from the service
of the United States, on account of physical disability, from wounds received
in action, with condition that he shall receive no final payments, until he
has satisfied the pay department that he is not indebted to the government.
By order of the Secretary of War,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant General.
Adjutant H. S. Sanford, from Amsterdam, of the 115th, is at home on a furlough,
in consequence of a wound received at Cold Harbor, in a charge on the rebel
rifle pits. He is wounded in the left hand, losing one or two of his fingers.
ESCAPED FROM THE PENITENTIARY.—Yesterday forenoon, a prisoner in the
Penitentiary, named Charles Dyer, alias Cluso, who was arrested by Davis & Co.
for stealing a horse and buggy at Troy several months ago, effected his escape
from that institution. He is also a deserter from the 115th N. Y. Volunteers,
and was to be returned to that regiment. He made his escape by prying open
a window and sliding down to the ground by a scantling. Being dressed in citizen's
clothes, he walked away from the prison grounds without exciting attention.
Supt. Baum has instituted pursuit of the fugitive and proposes to retake him.
Dyer is 5 feet 8 3/4 inches tall, sandy complexion, full sandy whiskers, light
brown hair 43 years old, slight impediment of speech—had on a black cloth
suit, black kossuth hat, blue check shirt and shoes. Mr. Baum offers a reward
of $100 for his arrest and detention.
Among the deaths reported in hospital in Fortress Monroe, we observe the name
of Ezra Coleman, 115th N. Y.
THE 115TH.—Capt. N. J. Johnson, of Ballston Spa, who had served in the
93d New York for nearly three years, has recently been promoted to be Lieut.
Colonel of the 115th, and has gone on to take command of the regiment. The
selection is said to have been made on the recommendation of Col. Sammons,
who is still at home disabled by a wound received in the battle of Olustee.
Why a Lieut. Colonel was not taken from among the officers of the 115th is
The latest news from the 115th is dated March 14th, at which time the regiment
was at Pilatka, 45 miles up the river from Jacksonville, Florida. The men were
in good health and fine spirits.
FROM THE 115Th REG.—this Reg. is still at Pilatka, Fla., doing post
and picket duty. The health of the men is good. On the 28th ult., private James
Britton, of Co D, while playing with shell, accidentally dropped a coal into
it, when the powder blew out without bursting the shell. Britton's face was
somewhat burned. Some fears are entertained that he may loose one of his eyes.
Lieut. Francisco and Serg't Slingerland, from the Reg., who are home on Recruiting
service, have established their Headquarters in this city. (April 1864)
SERGEANT JAMES M. YOUNG, of the One Hundred and Fifteenth (Montgomery county)
regiment, died, at his home in Johnstown, on Friday last, of disease contracted
while in the service of his country. He was a printer, and was for a number
of years connected with the writer of this, not only by the ties of business
but of the strongest friendship. Dear, generous, noble heart! if honesty of
purpose, and an earnest desire to do justice to all in preference to self,
and a morality whose main foundation is not mere profession, are the surest
stepping-stones to Heaven—as we believe them to be—he has been
mustered into that better army which death nor disease can ever decimate.
SAD ACCIDENT.—Yesterday forenoon, Mrs. Mary Bond, wife of John D.
Bond, of the 115th Regt. M. Y. Vol., received a letter from her husband, and
on arriving home she stepped up stairs to read the letter to a neighbor leaving
her two little girls alone in the room.—She had been absent only a
few moments when alarmed by their screams she hastily returned to find the
eldest, Alice, aged about 6, enveloped in flames. She franticly extinguished
the blaze, badly burning her own hands, to find the child's breast, neck,
face and arms severely burned; but it is hoped she may recover. The children
were playing with matches by the stove.—American.
LIEUT. COL. OF THE 115TH.
We learn from the Atlas & Argus that on the recommendation of Col. Sammons
Capt. N. J. Johnson, of the 93d Reg., has been commissioned Lieut. Colonel
of the 115th Regiment, and will take command immediately. Col. Johnson—better
known in this and Fulton County, as Judge Johnson—has already seen nearly
three years of active service, and in addition possesses every qualification
requisite to make him a popular and successful commander. The Regiment will
thank the Colonel for being thus mindful of their present wants.
We congratulate the "Judge" on his preferrment, and the Regiment
on being joined by an old friend and acquaintance.
THE 115TH.—The editor of the Ballston Journal has seen letters from
115, which show the following casualties in the regiment:
Milo E. Burby, arm; John H. Briggs, thigh; John W. Clark, Jr., thigh;___
Herrick, shoulder, slightly; ___ Rhode, side, slightly; D. W. Jones, wounded
and taken prisoner.
The above were in Capt. McKittrick's company.
Capt. S. P. Smith lost his left arm; he is a resident of Halfmoon, in this
county. Lieut. Francisco, killed. Lieut. Vandersee, wounded. Major Waldrat,
THE 115TH RREGIMENT.
The following casualties to the 115th are reported:—
Charles Near died at Hampton Hospital, June 27.
Michael Kelly and G. H. Wildey were admitted to the same Hospital—the
former on the 27th and the latter on the 28th of June.
N. Ferril, N. Y., Co. A, elbow.
Henry Smith, N. Y., Co. D, arm.
D. E. Willard, Co. E. neck and side.
H. Reynolds, Co. A, hip.
Henry Hizer, Co, A, from Fultonville, flesh wound.
Alex. Lanegar, Co. A, from Fultnville, wounded.
John Holzner, Co. A, from Glen, slight wound from the bursting of a
Among the wounded in the field hospital of the 18th army corps, we notice
the names of H. Hitzer, Co. A., leg, and J. H. Carrol, Co. I, shoulder, of
115th N. Y. Vols.
FONDA, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N. Y.,
January 6, 1865.
To the Officers and Privates of the
115th Regiment of N. Y. S. Volunteers:
My resignation, as your Commanding Officer, having been accepted, and my military
connection with you thereby terminated, in taking leave of you I cannot refrain
from expressing the feelings of my heart in relation to the past, and my hopes
for your future.
For your kind and generous confidence, while I had the honor to command the
115th, I cannot fail to express my warmest thanks. The responsibilities of
a Commanding Officer are neither few nor light; but they were materially lessened
by the frank and generous support of officers and men who were so long connected
with me both in camp and field.
Your record, thus far, is, one you may be truly proud of. In the numerous engagements
in which you have borne a part, no disgrace has stained your reputation—no
dishonor attaches to your, good name; and on many a hard fought battle-field
your colors have been foremost in the fight, and they have never been desecrated
by rebel hands.
You have endured hardships, toil and privation, with fortitude, and without
a murmur; and by your discipline and soldierly bearing won enconiums even from
unwilling lips. I grieve when I think of your numerous and gallant dead, and
of the just as gallant but more numerous wounded and maimed companions who
are now suffering for their devotion to the Union, and the adored banner, the
Stars and Stripes of our Country.
Let us cherish, on the ever green tablet of our memory, those brave spirits
who have fallen; and be ever ready to aid the wounded and suffering who survive.
The Colors of our Regiment, forwarded by you, have been received; and I have
placed them in the State Department, appropriated for such purposes, as a record
of the deeds you have so nobly performed; and I cannot close without alluding
to one—the beautiful banner, with its beaming folds, presented to us,
on the 28th of August, 1862, by the fair ladies of the Fifteenth Senatorial
District of our State. Our thanks were returned, on that day, in a suitable
manner, before we went forth to battle; and the fair donors cannot but feel
proud that their beautiful and kindly gift has been so honorably supported;
and now, although torn and tattered by the tramp of battle, it lies safely
deposited in the archives of our State, as an evidence of their handiwork,
and a memento of their patriotism, accompanied by the record of the many battles
through which it has passed.
In closing, I must express my profound gratitude to an over ruling Providence,
through whom alone we have blessings and success—and reverently commit
to His guidance your lives and labors for the future, humbly trusting that
He will protect and preserve you, each and all, to the expiration of your term
of service in the field; and that you may return with safety and honor to your
friends and families. To one and all I send kind greetings, and trust you will
not fail to call upon me, on your return, and I shall take great pleasure in
extending to each a kindly welcome.
After having been with you two years and four months, I had cherished hopes
of being able to remain until the expiration of your term of service. My wound
and failing health compelled me to resign.
I am with great respect,
Back to 115th
Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
February 20, 2009