THE IRON HEARTED REGIMENT
THOSE WHO LOST A LIMB AND LIVED.
Capt. Solomon P. Smith, Co. H, had his left arm shot off at the elbow in the
battle of Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16th, 1864.
First Lieut. Charles Kline, Co. D, had his right arm amputated at the elbow
caused by a wound received in the assault on Fort Gilmer, Sept. 29th, 1864.
Sergt. Selden C. Clobridge, Co. G, had his right arm shot off at the elbow at
Fort Gilmer, Va., Sept. 29th, 1864.
Corp. Silas Horning, Co. A, had his right arm amputated from the effects of
a wound received at the battle of Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16th, 1864.
Corp. John Hubbard, Co. A, had his leg amputated from the effects of wounds
received by the hand of a guerrilla at Harper's Ferry, Va., Sept. 18th, 1862.
John Anderson, of Co. D, had his right hand amputated from the effects of a
wound received at Fort Gilmer, Sep. 29th, 1864.
David R. Brewer, of Co. D, had his right arm shot off at the shoulder at the
battle of Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16th, 1864.
James P. Caldwell, of Co. A, had his left leg amputated from the effects of
a wound received at the charge of Cemetery Hill, Va., July 30th, 1864.
Mark Cockran, of Co. C, had his arm amputated from the effects of a wound by
a shell at Coal Harbor, Va.
Thomes Connolly, of Co. H, had his leg amputated by the rebels at Tallahassee,
Philander Doxtater of Co. E, lost his right arm at Deep Bottom, Va., Aug., 16th,
James English, of Co. D, lost his right arm Sept. 7th, 1862, enlisted again
in June, 1863, in the 5th U.S. Regulars, and was wounded in the battle of the
Wilderness and on the Weldon railroad.
Andrew J. Freeman, of Co. C, had his left leg amputated from the effects of
wounds received at Chesterfield Heights, Va.
Ambrose W. Kirkham, of Co. A, had his left leg amputated from the effects of
a wound received at the battle of Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th, 1864.
E.C. Slocum, of Co. I, lost his arm at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th, 1864.
John A. Smith of Co. E, lost a leg in battle at Chesterfield Heights, Va., May
7th, 1864. The name of this soldier was published in the papers as having died
in the Poplar Lawn hospital at Petersburg, Va. Later information shows that
he still lives.
William Smith, of Co. C, lost an arm during the assault on Fort Fisher, N.C.,
Jan. 15th, 1865.
Thomas Snook, of Co. G, had his right arm amputtated from the effects of a wound
received at the battle of Chesterfield Heights, Va., May 7th, 1864.
John Traver, of Co. K, lost his right arm in front of Petersburg, Va., July
George Vandercook, of Co. H, had his right hand amputated from the effects of
a wound received at Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16th, 1864.
Waldo Young, of Co. C, had his leg amputated from effects of injuries received
by explosion of the magazine at Fort Fisher, N.C.
THE HEROES WHO BORE OUR FLAGS.
Charles B. Fellows, Co. H, was born in the town of Malta, Saratoga Co., N.Y.,
on the 14th day of April, 1838. At an early age he moved to the village of Mechanicsville,
where he was engaged in the mercantile business with his father, when he enlisted
in defense of that flag he loved so well. When the company organised at Fonda,
they elected him corporal by a large majority; and in November, 1863, he was
promoted to sergeant for soldierly conduct. For a long time he acted as commissary
sergeant for the company, and in the spring of '64 was honored by being appointed
to the responsible position of color sergeant. He carried his flag in every
battle from Olustee to Fort Gilmer and won lasting glory and renown. He bore
his flag gloriously at the battle of Chesterfield Heights where his brother
color sergeant was wounded, four of his color guard shot, and the flag pierced
by many bullets. He bore the flag through all the battles around Drury's Bluff
and Proctor's Creek, when the army of the James were thundering at the gates
of Richmond. At the battle of Coal Harbor he kept way in advance of the regiment,
planted his colors on the enemy's works, regardless of the rebels swarming around,
and kept them there until the 115th swept up with the Union cheer, and captured
250 prisoners. Each day during the siege of the Chickahominy, he planted the
stars and stripes on our breastworks, that the rebels might behold the glorious
folds of freedom. During the long and bloody siege of Petersburg, with his own
hands he unfurled the battle-stained flag to the breeze each day. One night
we received orders to charge a powerful rebel fort, and we all knew that if
the order was carried out it would be almost certain death to the regiment.
As many thought so, they wrote their last farewell notes to their loved ones
at home, and smoked their last earthly pipe. Charley was as calm and cool as
though nothing extraordinary was about to transpire, and stood up in majestic
dignity. "Lieutenant, if I am shot, look out for the flag," he said,
as he began to unfurl his sacred trust. Beautiful words! Noble fellow! He thought
not of his own life; his only anxieties were for his country's flag. At the
charge of Cemetery Hill he was the first man in the color company on the top
of our works. With flashing eyes he turned towards the regiment and shouted,
"The order is "Forward,' tell the boys to come on," and he waved
the colors, dashed toward the rebel works through a fearful storm of grape and
cannister, and planted his standard upon the crest of Cemetery Hill. But the
rebels could not let it remain there long, without surrendering the city of
Petersburg; so they countercharged to drive us back. In a few moments, the whole
Union army, with the exception of a portion of the 115th, were swept back like
a breath of air, in the greatest confusion. Sergeant Fellows kept his flag upon
his works, and brave hearts defended it until the rebels swarmed around, and
all hopes of successful resistance had fled. To escape capture, which all considered
as worse than death, the little party started to return; and the rebels exasperated
at seeing their supposed prisoners rushing from their bloody grasp, poured volley
after volley of bullets after the flag, its bearer, and defenders. All but two
of the party reached the Union lines in safety; but the staff was twice cut
off in Charlie's hands, and eight musket balls and grape shot tore through the
bleeding flag. At Bermuda Hundreds Captain Smith asked him if he would take
the right of the company, which was equivalent of promotion. He instantly replied,
"No sir, I can't give up the old flag." The storming of Fort Gilmer
was his last battle with the enemies of his country. The regiment had driven
the rebels nearly four miles, and were preparing to charge a heavy fort, which
promised to be a desperate undertaking. One of the boys remarked that it was
not of any use to try to capture that fort, for it couldn't be done; then Charlie
again exhibited his fearless nature. Said He, "If we were all like you,
we would never accomplish any thing. The charge commenced, and while leading
the regiment, he was about the first one to fall. A bullet passed through his
right leg, when two of his faithful comrades, Corporal George T. Hoag and Peter
Butler undertook to bear him from the field, but fate was against them. He was
such a heavy man, and the tide of battle was against the Union army, so he had
to be left on the field to the mercies of the rebels. He lay there suffering
in the greatest agony for twenty four hours, besides being obliged to endure
the taunts of his heartless enemies. A cruel, unfeeling rebel came along, and
instead of trying to help him to some hospital, as the dictates of humanity
should have prompted him, said, "You've got it now, aint you, Yank?"
Another of the chivalry took his cap and threw down his own dirty grey in return.
To another he gave his watch to carry him to some place of comfort. The rebel
remained absent for five long hours, leaving him to suffer the pangs of hunger,
to shiver beneath the piercing blast of a cool September night, and to suffer
the untold horrors of burning and choking thirst. At last he was conveyed to
a hospital; and there, far away from any friend, and surrounded by fiends in
human form, they performed a wretched amputation upon his leg, but did not wring
from him a single groan. They starved the brave man nearly to death, then granted
a parole, and he reached Annapolis, Md., where his wife and father saw him die.
He was buried with Military honors in the cemetery at Mechanicsville. Although
a heavy snow Storm was raging on the day of the funeral, the church was crowded
to overflowing with sympathizing friends. All the stores, factories and places
of business were closed in respect to his memory, and the entire town was wrapt
in morning. A beautiful inscription placed above the pulpit in the church, read:
He gave up his life, his country to save,
And claimed for the sacrifice only a grave.
Peter J. Keck, Co. E, was one of the brave men who bore our flag through many
battles, and yet lives to receive the thanks of his countrymen. He was born
at Ephratah, Fulton Co., N.Y., on the 12th day of September, 1838, and was a
farmer by occupation. At the terrible battle of Olustee he stood twenty paces
in advance of the regiment for over three hours, and was one of the last men
in the Union army to leave the field. His flag was pierced, his color guard
of ten corporals nearly annihilated, and his person a bold mark for the enemy;
yet in the midst of death he escaped with his life. When death came the thickest,
and when a heart of iron might well quail, he waved the glorious old flag and
thus inspired the hearts of his comrades anew. He won the unbounded respect
admiration of all, and his general complemented him on the spot. He was wounded
in no less than four different battles, and now carries the scars of honor upon
his person. Every inch a hero, yes, a perfect giant in battle, he is among the
most modest and unassuming of men; and what is better than all, he is a thorough
going Christian. At Olustee he was wounded in the thumb, but refused to leave
the field. At Chesterfield Heights he was wounded in the left thigh, the flag
staff in his hand was cut off, and he fell saying; "Hang on to the flag,
boys, hang on to the flag." At Deep Bottom he was wounded severely in the
knee while striving to plant his flag in the enemy's works. During the fierce
charge of Fort Fisher, he was wounded for the fourth and last time in the right
breast. This noble man returned to his native county with laurels on his brow
and with a fire of patriotism burning in his breast. His fellow citizens will
be glad to do him homage, for he shines among the galaxy of heroes of Fulton
county. The old Empire state is glad to claim him as her son, and all the people
call him blessed.
Abbott C. Musgrove, Co. H, was born in the town of Bristol, New Hampshire, but
took up his abode in Cohoes, N.Y., when quite young. He was a knitter by trade,
and 19 years of age. An older brother is 1st Lieut. in the 1st U.S. Regiment
of repentant rebels, now serving against the Indians in the western wilds. Abbott
was a good, brave, patriotic, Christian soldier, and his mind was stored with
a world of knowledge for one of his years. He was promoted to corporal for good
conduct, and did honor to the position. For a long time he held the position
of hospital steward in one of the large hospitals at Beaufort, S.C., and at
different times acted as guard to the colors of the regiment. He was a strong,
conscientious, devoted Christian, and amid all the wickedness abounding in camp,
preserved his christian integrity, and lived a pure and holy life. He was temperate
in drink, food, and language. No matter how warm or how cold the day, or how
fierce the battle raged, not a drop of strong drink polluted his lips. When
offered his ration of whiskey, his reply was, "I do not drink." Although
young in years, he possessed a wonderful knowledge of the merits of the great
issue before the country, and was a warm and uncompromising Unionist. His hatred
against the institution of slavery was of the most intense nature, and every
pulsation of his kind and generous heart beat loud for liberty and freedom to
all men, and true to the Union. His love of country bordered on the sublime,
and next to his God he loved the land of his birth. Many times he expressed
himself as willing to die in defense of the starry flag, and when the occasion
offered, he did not falter, but bore it aloft, and fell, bathing its folds in
his own best blood. Though small in stature, and as fair as a girl in complexion,
and seemingly as timid, he was sick scarcely a day from the time he entered
the service until the day of his death, and was always found at the post of
duty, of danger, and of honor. He kept a complete journal of all the passing
events of his life, and the rich pages were the productions of no ordinary mind.
He passed through many battles, and endured many hardships and trials, which
only served to increase his devotion to the sacred cause of freedom, and to
add new glories to the beautiful temple of liberty. At the battle of Deep Bottom,
after two of his comrades had fallen while bearing the regimental battle flag,
and when it was sure death to any man who dared to hold it in his hands, Abbott
sprang forward unhesitatingly and grasped it, and then unfurled its starry folds
to the breeze of heaven, when a bullet crashed through his brain, and he fell
with a mortal wound. His fellow soldiers, at the risk of their own lives, carried
him nearly a mile from the field, where he breathed his last in their arms.
The last words uttered on earth by this young Christian soldier were, "I
die happy." He died as he had lived, happy in the Lord, and his country
lost a true patriot and a noble son. His body was placed beneath the sod in
the great graveyard of Virginia, and the beautiful flowers and green grass growing
around his tomb were watered by the best blood of the north. The grave may never
again be found, for no kind head-board marks the place, and no gentle mound
rises over the dead hero's bones. The soldiers dug a scant hole in the ground,
and wrapped in a suit of blue, they laid him gently down, took the last look
at their dead comrade, brushed a few tears from their bronzed cheeks, and then
covered his lifeless form with earth.
James K. P. Himes, Co. H, was born at Rocky Hill, Mass., and resided in the
village of Cohoes, Albany Co., where he enlisted. He was a blacksmith by trade,
and 18 years of age. An older brother served with distinction in the 177 N.Y.
Vols. James was promoted to corporal early in 1864, and soon afterward received
the star of color corporal. Kind, courteous and respectful to all, he had many
warm friends. Gallant and brave to a fault, he was admired by every true soldier.
Patriotic, truthful, and a powerful advocate of freedom, he stood in the front
ranks of liberty. He was in thirteen engagements, was wounded in the cheek at
Olustee, but remained with the company. During the battle of Deep Bottom the
color sergeant was shot, when James sprang forward and said to Charlie Fellows,
who had picked it up, "Give me that flag;" he waved it quickly, and
then shouted "Come on boys, don't stop for that!" and then led the
regiment. A bullet soon struck him in the breast, passed through his right lung
and lodged in his knapsack, inflicting a mortal wound. He fell forward, and
with his dying breath whispered, "Good bye, Charlie; I die for my country!"
These were his last words on earth, and the young patriot breathed his last
on the battle field, amid the roar and smoke of battle, with his eyes resting
upon the stars and stripes. After the work of slaughter was finished for the
day, a party from the company searched among the piles of dead for his body,
but it could not be found, and was doubtless buried in a trench with a number
of others. He died the death of a hero, and his remains lie uncoffined in the
soil of Virginia.
Lieut. Col. N.J. Johnson took the flag at Fort Gilmer, after two color bearers
had been shot, and in the most gallant manner led the regiment, receiving a
painful wound in the shoulder which injured the bone.
Corp. Peter Butler, Co. H, took the flag from the wounded color sergeant at
Fort Gilmer, and led the regiment until painfully wounded in the leg. He was
a model soldier and engaged in nearly every battle in the regiment.
Sergt. James D. Thompson, Co. C, and another brave sergeant of the same gallant
company, bore the flags with honor at Maryland Heights, and Bolivar Heights,
One of the three flags presented to the regiment in August, 1862, was torn to
pieces at Fort Fisher, N.C., and the pieces were divided among some of the officers.
The others were deposited at the bureau of military statistics, at the capital
of the state; and those desiring to see two war-worn banners can find them there,
numbered 127 and 128.
Before returning home, the government presented the regiment with two beautiful
silk flags, and upon the stars and stripes are inscribed the following principal
Maryland Heights, Sept. 13th, 1862. Bolivar Heights, Sept. 15th, 1862. Olustee,
Feb. 20th, 1864. Chesterfield Heights, May 7th, 1864. Weir Bottom Church, May
12th, 1864. Drury's Bluff, May 14th, 1864. Proctor's Creek, May 16th, 1864.
Coal Harbor, June 1st, 1864. Petersburg, July 30th, 1864. Deep Bottom, Aug.
16th, 1864. Fort Gilmer, Sept. 29th, 1864. Darbytown Road, Oct. 27th, 1864.
Fort Fisher, N. C., Jan. 15th, 1865. Wilmington, Feb. 22d, 1865.
BATTLES AND SKIRMISHES.
The following is a complete list of the battles and skirmishes fought by the
1. Maryland Heights, Md., Sept. 13th, 1862.
2. Bolivar Heights, Sept. 15th, 1862.
3. West Point, Va., Jan. 8th, 1863.
4. Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 7th, 1864.
5. Camp Finnegan, Fla., Feb. 8th, 1864.
6. Baldwin, Fla., Feb. 9th, 1864.
7. Sanderson, Fla., Feb. 11th, 1864.
8. Callahan Station, Fla., Feb. 14th, 15th, and 16th, 1864.
9. Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th, 1864.
10. Pilatka, Fla., March 10th, 1864.
11. Bermuda Hundreds, Va., May 5th, 1864.
12. Chesterfield Heights, Va., May 7th, 1864.
13. Old Church, Va., May 9th, 1864.
14. Weir bottom Church, May 12th, 1864.
15. Drury's Bluff, May 14th, 1864.
16. Proctor's Creek, Va., May 16th, 1864.
17. Coal Harbor, Va., June 1st, 1864.
18. Siege and battle of the Chickahominy.
19. Siege and battles of Petersburg, June 23rd to July 30th, 1864.
20. Battle and charge of Cemetery Hill, Va., July 30th, 1864.
21. Port Walthall Junction, Va., May 16th, 1864.
22. Battles of Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 16th, 17th, and 18th, 1864.
23. Fort Gilmer, Sept. 29th, 1864.
24. Darbytown road, va., Oct. 27th, 1864.
25. 1st Expedition to Fort Fisher, N.C., Dec., 1864.
26. Assault and capture of Fort Fisher, Jan. 15th, 1865.
27. Explosion of the Magazine, Fort Fisher, Jan. 16th, 1865.
28. Fort Anderson, N.C., Feb. 19th, 1865.
29. Advance on Sugar Loaf batteries, N.C., Feb. 20th, 1865.
30. Wilmington, N.C., Feb. 22d, 1865.
OFFICERS OF THE 115TH,
Col. Simeon Sammons, resided near the village of Fonda, Montgomery Co., N.Y.,
when he entered the service. Previous to the war he had been colonel of the
militia, and had held many positions of trust in his native town and county.
When it was : proposed to raise the 115th regiment, the war committee immediately
selected him for its colonel, and he did all in his power to recruit the regiment
and to have it thoroughly organized. He was commissioned colonel by governor
Morgan in August, 1862, followed the fortunes of the regiment for more than
two years. He took a deep interest in the regiment, and always took care that
it had its rights. The colonel was brave and gallant on the battlefield, and
never turned his back to the foe. At Olustee he fought with his regiment splendidly,
and his voice could be heard encouraging on themen amid the rattle of musketry
and booming of cannon. He rode along the line continually, and was always in
the thickest of the fight. He was wounded slightly in the hand, and received
a musket ball through his foot, shattering it badly. Although bleeding profusely
from his wound he kept on his horse for half an hour. For a long time his life
was despaired of and amputation deemed almost necessary to save life, but under
kind care and skillful treatment his foot was saved. He recovered and took command
of the regiment the day before the explosion of Burnside's mine. During the
charge of Cemetery Hill the color company were nearly surrounded and in great
danger of being cut to pieces. The colonel came to aid in protecting the flag,
when a rebel a few yards from him raised his rifle, took deliberate aim, and
fired, the ball passing through the fleshy part of his legs, inflicting a severe
wound. His military life is without a single blot, and he bears the reputation
among all his officers and men of being a gallant soldier. During the fall of
1864 he was elected to the assembly from Montgomery Co., when he resigned his
commission and was honorably discharged from the service.
Col. N.J. Johnson first entered the army as a captain in the 93d N.Y. He was
commissioned lieutenant colonel, and took command of the 115th Regiment in May,
1864. At Bermuda Hundreds, Va., he had a horse shot dead from under him. During
the battle of Deep Bottom he had command of the brigade and was wounded in the
hand. At Fort Gilmer he was severely wounded in the shoulder while carrying
the regimental battle flag. At Fort Fisher he has the credit of being the first
brigade commander who entered the fort. He was slightly wounded during the assault.
He was a brave officer, and fought well in every battle in which he engaged.
He commanded the regiment when it arrived home, and was recommended for promotion
to colonel. He resided at Ballston, Saratoga Co., was a lawyer by profession,
and was formerly judge of Fulton county.
Lieut. Col. George S. Batcheller was born in Saratoga county, N.Y. He studied
law when quite young, and soon took a high position as a lawyer of ability.
He was married to the daughter of the Hon. James M. Cook, state senator and
ex-state treasurer. When the war began he was engaged in his profession at Ballston
Spa, and took strong grounds in favor of the government. When it was proposed
to raise the 115th Regiment he entered upon the work of filling up the ranks
with great zeal, and was eminently successful. He was appointed and commissioned
Lt. Col. of the regiment, and accompanied it to the seat of war, where he took
part in all the operations in the Shenandoah valley, including the battles of
Maryland and Bolivar Heights, and the siege of Harper's Ferry. He endured the
fatigues and sufferings of the long march made after the Harper's Ferry surrender,
and served the country faithfully while in the army.
At Hilton Head, S.C., he was assistant provost marshal general of the department
of the south for a considerable period, and discharged the arduous duties connected
with his office in the most creditable manner. He was on detached service in
Elmira, N.Y., and late in 1863 he resigned his commission and resumed the practice
of law. Gov. Fenton selected him to serve on his staff as inspector general
of the state, with the rank of brigadier general.
Lieut. Col. E.L. Walrath was born in Lenox, Madison Co., N.Y., on the 2d day
of May, 1827. He came to the city of Syracuse in 1847, and has since made that
town his home. He is a manufacturer of jewelry and gold pens by occupation.
He served for many years in various military organizations in the state, and
in 1861 entered the field against the south. He was elected captain of the Syracuse
Citizens Corps, August, 1853, Lt. Col. of the 51st N.Y.S.M. in Dec., 1853, Col.
of the same regiment in 1859, and was appointed Col. of the 12th N.Y. Vols.,
May 7th, 1861. He served under McClellan and McDowell nearly a year, was taken
sick, resigned and again entered the service as captain of Co. I, 115th N.Y.
Vols., Aug. 26th, 1862. He was appointed major of the 115th, Nov. 24th, 1863,
served with it, and had commanded of it in a large number of battles. He was
appointed Lt.Col., April 29th, 1865. He had the honor of commanding the gallant
3d brigade in the battle of Deep Bottom, Aug. 16th, 1864, and was wounded in
the side by a fragment of shell. He had command of the brave 1st brigade at
the capture of Fort Fisher after Gen. Curtis was wounded. At Olustee his shoulder
straps were shot away. At Chesterfield Heights his horse was shot from under
him, and he had second killed in another battle. He was provost marshal in Beaufort,
S.C., in 1863, and in Magnolia, N.C., in 1865. He fought in about thirty battles,
and was mustered out with the regiment.
Major Patrick H. Cowen resided in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., N.Y., at the
time the regiment was organized. He was a son of the late lamented Judge Cowen,
and a lawyer by profession. He recruited a large portion of Co. G, was commissioned
as major of the regiment, and served with it until June, 1863, when he resigned
his commission and resumed the practice of law. He had a considerable number
of warm friends in the regiment, who regretted to part with so able an officer.
Surgeon Carrington McFarland entered the service early in the war in the 81st
N.Y. Vols. He was promoted to assistant surgeon in that regiment and served
for a long time with distinction in Virginia. In 1863 he was commissioned surgeon
of the 115th Regiment, and immediately joined it at Hilton Head, S.C. He served
with it through all its bloody battles and dreary marches from that time. At
Olustee he established his quarters so close to the battle field that he was
obliged to move several times, and regardless of his own personal safety worked
with the wounded until night. In Virginia he remained frequently under the heaviest
fire, so as to be able to assist the wounded the moment they were hurt. He gave
entire satisfaction to the great mass of the regiment, and many of his old associates
will ever think of him with feelings of gratitude.
Surgeon Richard E. Sutton was a practising physician of distinguished reputation
in St. Johnsville, Montgomery Co., N.Y., when the war broke out. At the organization
of the 115th he was commissioned as its surgeon, and labored hard with it for
a long time. He was eminently successful as a surgeon in the army, and obtained
a great reputation. He was prostrated with a fever at Hilton Head, S.C., in
1863, and was compelled to leave the service.
Assistant Surgeon Samuel Peters has resided in the village of Crescent, Saratoga
county, N.Y., for a number of years. At the organization of the 115th, he left
a large practice and a beautiful home, to accept the position of assistant surgeon
in the regiment. At Harper's Ferry he acted nobly and cared for the sick and
wounded like a brother. At Chicago, Ill., he labored among the sick and dying
night and day, until nature could no longer stand the strain, and he was prostrated
with a withering fever. At last his health became so impaired that he was reluctantly
compelled to resign, and he returned to his home, followed by the blessings
of his comrades. In the army he bore the reputation of being a careful, skillful,
and a kind and humane physician.
Assistant Surgeon H.H. Ingerson was a homeopathic physician in the village of
Fonda, Montgomery, Co., N.Y., when the rebellion began. He was commissioned
assistant surgeon of the 115th, at the date of its organization, and accompanied
it to the field. He was overcome by the poisonous air in South Carolina, and
in October, 1863, was honorably discharged from the service on account of physical
Assistant Surgeon John P. Perry, Jr., was appointed to the regiment in 1863.
He joined it in South Carolina and was very quickly taken with the terrible
southern fever, and by reason of severe sickness was obliged to resign.
Assistant Surgeon John D. Watson entered the 115th Regiment in 1864, and served
with it through some hard campaigns, and was mustered out March 22d, 1865, to
accept commission in 17th N.Y.
Rev. S.W. Clemens was born in the town of Hyde Park, Lamoille county, Vt., in
1818. For twenty-two years he has been connected with the Troy conference of
the M.E. church, as a traveling preacher. He was commissioned chaplain, and
went out with the 115th Regiment in Aug., 1862, remaining until the 15th Of
September, 1864, being the only chaplain the regiment ever had. He labored hard
with the regiment, and during the bloody campaign of '64 in Virginia, probably
worked harder than any chaplain in the army. He rode day after day many miles
through the hot sun, to procure delicacies for the sick, and early and late
was engaged in boiling tea and coffee for the men. He did not hesitate to go
where the bullets
flew if his work called him there. At Drury's Bluff he went out on the skirmish
line under a heavy fire, to aid in rescuing the wounded, and being much worn
out lay down to sleep while the balls were flying past. In a letter to the author
"As chaplain of a regiment in the army, I found I had much to learn; and
that do the best I could, it was impossible to give universal satisfaction.
I am satisfied, however, that the 115th contained as noble a class of men, both
officers and privates, as could be found in the service. The regiment was enlisted
at a time when large bounties did not tempt the cupidity of men, and most of
our men enlisted out of pure patriotism. A history of the peculiar sacrifices
and sufferings of the regiment I need not write, as your proposed book will
contain them, written by an abler hand.
The moral and religious condition of the regiment during most of the time I
was in the service, I am convinced was as good as most regiments in the service.
Many of the men were from the different churches, and many more during our stay
at Hilton Head, S.C., became truly pious. About one hundred and fifty professed
faith in Christ, and I had the pleasure on one Sabbath of consecrating forty-eight
of our noble men to God in baptism.
"The old regiment is about to be mustered out of service, having accomplished
that for which the men enlisted, the putting down of the great rebellion, and
sustaining the government and constitution. But alas! many of those noble men
who went out so full of life, courage, and patriotism, will never return. They
sleep in a southern soil. Sleep in a soldier's grave, where soldiers; hands
have laid them. To do justice to the dead, and many of the living of the regiment,
would require an abler pen mine. Few if any regiments in the service, were better
officered than ours. Col. Sammons, although he found it, as did ; the writer
of this article, impossible to give universal satisfaction, was a good officer,
and has left the service with honorable scars which he will carry to his grave.
"From his kindness to me, as well as the readiness he ever manifested to
aid me in my work, and the great respect with which he ever treated religious
service and effort in the regiment, has greatly endeared him to me, and I shall
ever respect and love him.”
Lieut. Olney, who fell at Fort Fisher, was as brave as a lion, and in every
respect a noble young man; and the record of those officers was the record of
many of the privates that fell in the ranks. But time would fail me to enumerate,
and distinctions would be invidious.
Adjutant Thomas R. Horton was born in the town of Charleston, Montgomery Co.,
N.Y., on the 18th day of April, 1823. At an early age he entered a printing
office, where he not only learned the printer's trade, but by diligent study
and self culture, acquired a liberal business education. In 1841, with the means
which he had saved by his industry, and upon a credit which his good name gave
him, he purchased the Montgomery establishment at Fultonville. The paper is
now known as the Republican, and he has ever since, except while he was in the
army, continued to be its editor and proprietor. He was successful in business,
and soon obtained an influential position among the leading men of the state.
He has held various positions of honor and trust, and has never failed of an
election when a candidate before the people. In 1854 he was the Whig candidate
for congress in the 18th district, comprising the counties of Montgomery, Schenectady,
Fulton, and Schoharie, and was elected by a large majority. In the 34th congress
he was noted for his faithful attention to the duties of his office, and for
the fidelity with which he represented the sentiments of the masses of the people
of his district upon the great questions of public policy which then agitated
the country. In 1860 he was one of the delegates from New York to the national
convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln for president. Upon the breaking
out of the rebellion he entered earnestly into the work of securing volunteers
for the Union armies, and was among the foremost in his section in contributing
means for volunteer bounties, and aid to the families of soldiers. In 1862 he
was appointed by Governor Morgan chairman of the 18th district military committee.
At the first meeting of the committee, measures were taken for raising the 115th
Regiment. He consented to accept the office of adjutant, though he had previously
declined to accept positions superior rank from distrust of his own ability
to creditably discharge their duties, having had no previous military experience.
On the 28th of July, 1862, he enlisted at Albany, and was mustered in as adjutant.
In less than thirty days he had mustered in the entire regiment, which comprised
as fine a of men as was ever organized in the state. During the same period
he prepared his regimental books and muster rolls, made his daily reports, attended
a school of officers to perfect himself in military tactics, and gave the necessary
attention to organizing and disciplining the men. He accompanied the regiment
to the seat of war in the Shenandoah valley, Va., shared its fatiguing marches,
its dangers and privations at Charleston, Maryland Heights, Bolivar Heights
and Harper's Ferry. He was ever content to share the often coarse and scanty
rations of the private soldiers, and to lay down with them at night upon the
bare ground without shelter. The hardships of this campaign brought on disease,
yet he continued to discharge his duties until utterly prostrated, when under
the advice of physicians he was compelled to resign. His resignation was accepted,
and he was honorably discharged on the 28th of February, 1863. He merited and
enjoyed the respect and confidence of his brother officers and of the entire
regiment. He is one of the thousands of true men, who, in this great war for
the preservation of the Union, have shown their devotion to the cause of their
country to be paramount to all other considerations.
Captain Hugh S. Sanford was born in Amsterdam, Montgomery Co., N.Y., and was
engaged in the mercantile business in the village of Amsterdam, when the war
broke out. He entered the regiment in August, 1862, as 2d Lieut. of Co. D, and
to 1st Lieut. and adjutant, April 15th, 1863. He possessed the finest voice
of any officer in the regiment, and his word of command sounded as clear as
a trumpet. He served in the army for nearly three years and was engaged in a
large number of battles and skirmishes. At Hilton Head, S.C., the officers presented
him with a fine horse. He served for a long time on the staff of the 3rd Brig.
2d Div. 10th Corps, and accompanied the remains of the lamented Col. Bell to
his home in New Hampshire. He was slightly wounded in the hand at the battle
of coal Harbor, Va., June 1st, 1864, and received a furlough in consequence.
Quartermaster Martin McMartin resided at Johnstown, Fulton Co., N.Y., was a
lawyer by profession, and left a fine practice to accept the position of quartermaster
in the 115th Regiment. He entered the regiment in August, 1862, and served faithfully
with it for nearly three years, being the only quartermaster it ever had.
Captain Garret Van Deveer resided in the village of Fultonville, Montgomery
Co., was a coal merchant by occupation, and like many others, left a young wife,
a large circle of warm friends and the many endearments of home to take up the
sword in defense of our country. He entered the service as Capt. of Co. A,which
rank he held to the day of his death. At Olustee, Fla., while gallantly cheering
on his men he was badly wounded through the thigh, and although weak and pale
from the loss of blood, refused to leave the field; and steadying himself with
his sword continued to fight. When the conflict was raging the most furiously,
and when the red tide of blood drenched the soil like rain he was shot through
the right lung and fell to the ground under a mortal wound. His faithful comrades
bore him through the swamps a distance of nineteen miles, when he rode all day
and the most of the next night in an open car, never as much as sighing, though
suffering extreme pain. At Jacksonville he was placed on a hospital boat and
conveyed to Beaufort, S.C. When he breathed, the blood filled his mouth, and
as he lay it soaked the sheets and bedding; still the brave man never complained.
Upon reaching Beaufort, Chaplain Harris came up to the captain and said; "Are
you wounded badly?" He replied, "some think I'm not, but I think I
am." He had barely reached Beaufort when death came to his relief, and
he died on the 24th day of February, 1864, and was buried beneath the soil where
treason first breathed hostility to the Union. The funeral was largely attended,
and the military and the order of Free Masons, of which he was a member, accompanied
his honored remains to the grave. Col. Sammons desired to take the remains of
the captain home; so the corpse was taken up and sent to Hilton Head, and inclosed
in a metallic coffin. It was not permitted to go on the steamer at that time,
and several sick and wounded soldiers from the regiment buried him in the soldiers'
grave-yard at Hilton Head, S.C. General Seymour caused a redoubt in the fortifications
at Jacksonville to be named Van Deveer, in honor of his memory, and noticed
the captain's gallantry in general orders. Had he lived, a Lieut. Col's commission
would have been his. A brother served as an officer in the Union army.
Captain Sol. P. Smith was born in Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., N.Y., Aug. 13th,
1830. He began to recruit the first company for the 115th Regiment in July,
1862. He was and is yet, "loyal to the back bone," and made some stirring
addresses before the people, urging them to sacrifice everything and protect
the honor and life of the nation. Like a true man and a brave soldier, he accompanied
his command to the field, and fought with it in every battle until he was disabled,
and thus compelled to leave the service.
If ever there was a brave officer in the Union army, the subject of this sketch
was one. At Olustee he commanded his company with the greatest skill and gallantry,
and when the battle closed he marched it off in perfect order. When the Union
line was broken at all points, and it was said the rebels were marching to attack,
he deployed his company across the road and in the woods, stopped every Union
soldier who approached, and soon had a new line of battle formed of several
hundred men. He was struck by a spent bullet. He was provost marshal at Pilatka,
Fla., and with his company made some daring raids into the interior of the state,
capturing numbers of the enemy, and keeping the different rebel camps in constant
commotion. For the great success attending one of these raids, the captain and
his men were noticed in general orders and officially complemented by General
Hatch. General Gilmore also expressed his thanks to the captain for the zeal
and ability displayed by him on that occasion. He had nearly sixty Union men
in the different rebel camps in Florida, who gave him early information of any
movement about to take place among the enemy.
At Petersburg and Coal Harbor he built most of the advance line of works in
front of the 3d Brigade, and at the last named place engaged in mining a rebel
fort. With his company he aided the people of Florida were accustomed to say
of him, that he did more work than any general ever in command there; and although
he was very strict, yet both Union men and rebels honored, loved, and feared
Captain W. W. French was born in Proctorsville, Vt., Sept. 2d, 1835, brought
up a farmer boy, graduated at the New York Normal school, Albany, in Feb. 1859,
and taught school until elected school commissioner of the 2d assembly district,
Saratoga Co., which office he held when he entered the service as captain of
Co. F, in July, 1862. While bravely fighting the enemy he was badly wounded
in the right ancle at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th, 1864, and was discharged for
physical disability, June 11th, 1864. He resides in the town of Welton, Saratoga
Co., and intends to devote the remainder of his life to farming. While in the
service he took good care of his company, was always on duty, paid strict attention
to military discipline, and ranked among the first in the regiment. At Olustee
he went into the fight with fifty-nine men, and forty beside himself were either
killed, wounded, or missing. A brother commanded the 77th N.Y. Vols, and served
through the war with distinction.
Major Edgar B. Savage, of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., N.Y., first entered
the service in Aug. 1862, as Capt. of Co. G, 115th Regiment, being with one
exception the youngest officer in he was taken sick at Yorktown, Va., with a
fever, and for a long time but little hope was entertained for his recovery.
Upon reaching home he received the best care and the most skillful treatment,
and was permitted to join his regiment in the department of the south. He bravely
commanded his company in 26 battles and skirmishes. At Fort Gilmer, Va., Sept.
29th, 1864, a twelve pound shell from the enemy knocked him senseless, cut the
back of his coat, severed his suspenders, and bruised his back badly. Just before
the explosion at Fort Fisher, in company with several other officers, he visited
a distant part of the fort to examine the work, and thus escaped the effects
of that terrible affair. After serving faithfully in the 115th for nearly three
years, he was transferred to the 47th N.Y., at Raleigh, N.C., June 17th, 1865.
He was recommended for promotion to major.
Captain Isaac E. smith, born in Minden, Montgomery Co., N.Y., and by occupation
a farmer, entered the regiment as 2d sergeant of Co. B, promoted to 2d Lt, June
10th, 1863, to 1st Lt. in Co. C, Nov. 1st, 1864, and soon received a commission
as captain. He was wounded severely in the shoulder at Olustee, and received
a furlough in consequence. He served faithfully on the staff of the 2d Brig.,
2d Div., 10th Corps, during the hard campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina,
and on the 17th day of June, 1865, was transferred to the 47th N.Y.V.
Capt. Willett Ferguson was born at Fort Plain, Montgomery Co., N.Y., Jan. 5th,
1832, resided in the village of Fonda, and was a merchant by occupation. He
entered the service as 1stLieut. of Co. A, and was promoted to Capt., Feb. 24th,
1864. He was a very brave officer, and fought in fifteen battles besides numerous
skirmishes. At Maryland Heights he seized a gun, mounted the breastworks, and
fully exposed to the rebels, fired many rounds o ammunition, while a rebel sharpshooter
shot at him no less than seven times, and afterward informed the captain that
he was the first man his rifle ever missed with such a mark. When Gen. Miles
surrendered Harper's Ferry, he broke his sward in pieces rather than let the
rebels have it, and his friends at home presented him with a new one as a token
of their esteem for him as a brave officer. At Maryland Heights he handled his
company with great skill, and punished the rebels badly. He engaged in more
than one battle he ought to have been in the hospital, and was finally compelled
to leave the army, being honorably discharged, Jan. 1st, 1864, on account of
chronic disease of the liver, contracted in the department of the south. He
commanded three different companies in the regiment, and gave universal satisfaction.
One brother served in the army as captain in the cavalry, and another served
in the navy.
Captain William smith was born in the town of Amsterdam, Montgomery Co., N.Y.,
August 28th, 1824, was married to Miss Jane Lyan, Sept. 17th, 1851, and was
a carriage maker by trade. He entered the service in July, 1862, as Capt. of
Co. K, and had rank until the regiment was mustered out.
He had the honor of being the first officer in the regiment wounded. He was
hurt severely in the leg at Maryland Heights, Sept. 13th, 1862, had to be left
in the hands of the enemy, was paroled and exchanged, and joined the regiment
at Yorktown, Va., in Jan., 1863, although still suffering from the effects of
his wound. At Olustee the clothes he wore and a blanket were pierced with several
bullets, and his body considerably bruised, yet he escaped without serious injury.
He engaged in a large number of battles and skirmishes, and was mustered out
with the regiment at Albany, N.Y., July 3d, 1865.
Captain John P. Kneeskern was born in Minden, Montgomery Co., N.Y., resided
at St. Johnsville, and was by occupation a carpenter. He was commissioned and
mustered as captain of Co. B, and held that position during the entire term
of service of the regiment. His company was made up of a splendid class of young
men, and many of them belonged to the best families in the western part of Montgomery
county. There were privates in the company who were worth large fortunes. The
subject of this sketch had the reputation of taking the best care of his company,
and ever protected all his men in their rights, though he suffered in consequence
himself. When a member of his company was sick he visited his bedside, and on
more than one such occasion the tears of sympathy were observed streaming down
his cheeks. He engaged in a great many battles and skirmishes, and had numerous
narrow escapes. At Olustee the rim of his hat was shot off, and at Fort Fisher
he was injured by the explosion of the magazine, but remained at the post of
duty. He was strict when on duty himself, and respected the man who performed
his duty properly. He was discharged with the regiment at Albany, N.Y., July
Captain William H. McKittrick, resided in the village of Ballston, Saratoga
Co., N.Y. When the great rebellion began to assume such gigantic proportions,
he deemed it his duty to sacrifice every thing dear to his heart at home, to
aid in upholding the government. He enlisted in the 115th Regiment, and was
commissioned and mustered in as captain of Co. C, which rank he held until the
day of his death. He served through the Mexican war as orderly sergeant, and
had become a thorough soldier. It is believed that he commanded his company
in every battle in which it was engaged to the day of his death; and although
not blessed with a strong constitution, shared all the hardships with his men.
He was most honorable in all his dealings with his fellow officers, and never
willingly wronged any man. At one time he was in a position to receive promotion,
but refused to accept it on the ground that others were more entitled to it.
He possessed many virtues, and was loved and respected by the company he had
the honor to command. He was fearless, gallant, brave, honorable and kind, and
when he fell at the post of duty the regiment lost one of its best officers.
During the battle of Deep Bottom, Va., Captain S.P. Smith had his arm badly
shattered at the elbow and was fast bleeding to death, when the subject of this
sketch rushed up to him and tied a white hankerchief around the captain's arm,
in the heat of battle, thus saving his life. At the assault on Fort Gilmer,
Va., Sept. 29th, 1864, he was shot through the breast and fell into the hands
of the enemy. He is supposed to have been killed, as he threw up his arm when
struck and was not observed by his comrades to move afterwards.
Captain Fred. S. Moshier resided at Ballston, Saratoga Co., N.Y. He was commissioned
1st Lt. of Co. c, and accompanied the regiment to the seat of war in August,
1862. He was promoted to captain in May, 1864, and mustered in as captain of
Co. f. He engaged in nearly all the battles with the regiment, and was a brave
officer. He received final discharge at Albany, N.Y., July 3d, 1865.
Captain David Kettle, of Canajoharie, Montgomery Co., N.Y., entered the 115th
regiment as 1st Lieut. of Co. I, and was after ward promoted to captain of the
same company. At Olustee he fought gallantly, and while the bullets were flying
thick and fast, the colonel rode up to him and requested him to be sure and
keep the company in line. He replied, "Of course I will colonel, but the
d--d scoundrels have reduced me to the ranks." "Reduced you to the
ranks! What do you mean sir?" thundered the colonel in astonishment. "Why,"
continued the Lieut. (for he was a Lieut. then), pointing first toward the rebels
and then toward his shoulders, "they have shot away my shoulder straps." His superior officer saw the joke, and rode away with a broad smile upon his
face. At Chesterfield Heights, Va., a shell from the enemy detached a limb from
a tree which fell, and buried the captain considerably. After that he was taken
severely ill and was honorably discharged from the service.
Captain Sidney D. Lingenfelter of Amsterdam, Montgomery co., first entered the
regiment as Capt. of Co. D, Aug. 26th, 1862. He held rank until Oct. 8th, 1864,
when he was honorably discharged on Surgeon's certificate of disability.
Captain William H. Shaw, of Mayfield, Fulton Co., first entered the army as
a captain in the famous Northern black horse cavalry, and was mustered out with
that regiment. He was commissioned and mustered in as captain of Co. E, 115th
Regiment, Aug. 26th, 1862, and held the same rank until mustered out. He engaged
in most of the battles with his company, and was wounded at two different times.
At Olustee the point of his sword blade was shot off, and it is believed that
he fired sixty rounds of ammunition at the enemy during the battle. At Coal
Harbor he was wounded slightly in the leg but remained with his command. At
Fort Fisher, N.C., he was much injured by the explosion of the magazine. He
was mustered out with the regiment.
Captain Frank D. Barnum, of Charlton, Saratoga Co., N.Y., entered the regiment
Aug. 26th, 1862, as 2d Lieut. of Co. I. He was soon promoted to 1st Lieut.,
and in Feb. 1865, to captain of the same company. He served with distinction
on the staff of the 2d Brig., 2d Div., 10th Corps, for a long period, and was
transferred to the 47th N.Y., in June, 1865.
Captain Cyrus N. Ballou, of Fonda, Montgomery Co., N.Y., enlisted as a private
in Co. a, was appointed orderly sergeant Aug. 20th, 1862, received promotion
to 2d Lieut. in 1864, and in 1865 to captain in the same company. He engaged
in a large number of battles and did good fighting.
At Olustee he was slightly wounded. At Deep bottom, Va., Aug. 18th, 1864,
he commanded a detachment of the regiment on the picket line. The rebels swept
down in superior numbers, and the captain refusing to retreat, was taken prisoner
by the enemy, fighting to the last. He was placed in numerous southern prisons
and suffered as prisoners generally do at the south. He was exchanged in 1865,
and as usual, started promptly for the front, and served with the regiment until
it was mustered out, and received final discharge.
First Lieut. Thomas Wayne, of Florida, Montgomery Co., entered the regiment
on the 26th day of August, 1862, as 1st Lieut. of Co. D. He served with his
company through the Maryland and Virginia campaign, through the campaign of
Florida in 1864, and did service in Virginia until after the regiment moved
to Petersburg. He commanded his company at Olustee with skill. At Chesterfield
Heights, Va, a bullet broke the hilt of his sword, and two others passed through
his coat, yet strange to say, he escaped injury. He enjoyed poor health while
in the army, and was bowed down with sorrow when the news reached him of the
death of his two children. He was honorably discharged from the service on surgeon's
certificate of disability, Feb. 22d, 1865.
Captain A. C. Slocum resided in Fulton Co., N.Y., and entered he regiment Aug.
26th, 1862, as 2d Lieut. of Co. E. He was afterward promoted to 1st Lieut.,
and in 1865 commanded companies A and H. He engaged in nearly all the battles
with the regiment and escaped remarkably well. He was post treasurer at Beaufort,
S.C., and went home to recruit men for the regiment, after Olustee. His time
not expiring prior to Oct. 1st, 1865, he was transferred to the 47th N.Y. Vols.
First Lieut. Jacob Haines, of Fulton Co., N.Y., first entered the army in the
Northern Black Horse Cavalry, and was mustered out with that regiment. He entered
the 115th, Aug. 26th, 1862, and was appointed orderly sergeant of Co. E. He
was commissioned 1st Lieut. in 1863, and held that rank until discharged. He
engaged in the operations at Harper's Ferry, Maryland, and Bolivar Heights,
in Sept., 1862, and took part in the battle of Olustee, after which he sent
in his resignation, and was honorably discharged from the service.
First Lieut. Frank Abbott, of Johnstown, Fulton Co., N.Y., entered the regiment
Aug. 26th, 1862, as 1st Lieut. of Co. E. He was with the regiment during the
campaign of 1862, and resigned Oct. 15h, 1862, at Chicago, Ill.
First Lieut. Henry Diefendorf, of Canajoharie, Montgomery Co., N.Y., entered
the regiment Aug. 26th, 1862, as 1st Lieut. of Co. B, served with his company
until after it reached the department of the south, when he resigned his commission
and was discharged from the service.
First Lieut. James M. Hill was born in the town of Broadalbin, Fulton Co., N.Y.,
July 3d, 1836, and was a shoemaker by trade. He enlisted in Co. K as a private,
was appointed sergeant at the muster in of the company, promoted to 1st sergeant
Oct. 30th, 1862, and commissioned 2d Lieut. Nov. 25th, 1863, in place of Francis
H. Francisco, promoted. He was transferred to the 47th N.Y.V., at Raleigh, N.C.,
June 17th, 1865, and is still in the service. He engaged in several battles,
and for a time was acting quartermaster of the regiment.
First Lieut. Augustus Collier was born in St. Johnsville, Montgomery Co., N.Y.,
and was a blacksmith by trade. He entered the regiment at its organization as
1st corporal, promoted to 3d sergeant Oct. 1862, 1st sergeant May, 1863, 2d
Lt. Nov., 1864 and commissioned as 1st Lieut. in June, 1865. He served through
all the campaigns with the regiment, and engaged in many battles and skirmishes,
and was slightly wounded on one or two occasions. He was mustered out with the
Second Lieut. Wm. Tompkins entered the regiment from Saratoga Co., N.Y., as
2d Lieut. of Co. C., Aug. 26th, 1862. He took part in the Maryland and Virginia
campaigns of 1862, and fought at Olustee in 1864. Co. C. presented him with
a beautiful sword, sash and belt at Hilton Head as a token of their love for
him. At Olustee he acted nobly his part in that great conflict, until a rebel
bullet pierced his brain and he fell to the ground a lifeless corpse. His body
had to be left where it fell, and Capt. McKittrick took the blade of his sword
and carried it to his old father in Saratoga county. Upon his person was left
a fine gold watch and considerable money, which some rebel, no doubt, took possession
of. General Seymour mentioned his bravery in general orders, and caused a redoubt
in the defenses of Jacksonville, Fla., to be named Tompkins in honor of his
First Lieut. Charles L. Clark, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y., enlisted in
co. E, Aug 26th, 1862, as a private. He was afterward made sergeant, and in
1865 was commissioned and mustered in as 2d Lieut. of Co. E. He engaged in all
the campaigns with the regiment, and was discharged with the same, July 3d,
Second Lieut. Levi Sheffer entered the 115th as a private in Co. G, from Saratoga
Co., N.Y. Early in the war he became a member of Fremont's Body Guard, and served
with that officer through his various movements and battles in Missouri. In
August, 1862, he was appointed sergeant of Co. G, soon afterward orderly sergeant,
and in Jan. 1864, was commissioned 2d Lieut. of the same company. At Beaufort,
S.C., Co. G. presented him with a sword, sash and belt, as a token of their
esteem for him. At Olustee he was shot through the heart, and died almost instantly.
His body fell into the hands of the enemy.
Second Lieut. John W. Filkins was born in Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., N.Y.,
was 44 years of age, a carpenter by trade, married, and had seven children.
He enlisted in Co. H as a private, was appointed sergeant Aug. 21st, 1862, 1st
sergeant in Nov. 1863, and was commissioned 2d Lieut. of the same company in
May, 1864. He engaged in fifteen battles and skirmishes, shot a rebel at Drury's
Bluff, fought well in every engagement, and was wounded severely in the foot
in front of Petersburg, Va., July 29th, 1864. He was discharged Dec., 1864,
in the U.S. general hospital, fortress Monroe, on account of wounds. He had
a brother in the 115th.
Second Lieut. George O. Smith was born in Canajoharie, Montgomery Co., N.Y.,
and was a son of George Smith, a distinguished lawyer in that town. The subject
of this sketch entered the regiment as a private Aug. 26th, 1862, was appointed
1st sergeant May 1st, 1863, and Jan. 27th, 1864, was commissioned and mustered
in as 2d Lieut. of Co.I. He served with his company until the middle of August,
1864, when he was taken to the Chesapeake hospital sick, and was discharged
from the service, Nov. 4th 1864.
First Lieut. Wallace McIntosh, of Ballston, Saratoga Co., enlisted as a private
in Co. I, was promoted to sergeant July 1st, 1863, and Jan. 1st, 1865, received
a commission as 2d Lieut. He served with his company through all its hardships
and battles, and as discharged at Albany, N.Y., July 3d, 1865.
First Lieut. George Curren was a resident of Ballston, Saratoga Co., N.Y. He
enlisted as a private in Co. C, and at the formation of the company was appointed
orderly sergeant. In June, 1864, he was commissioned and mustered in as 1st
Lieut. of the same company. He engaged in a number of battles, was wounded slightly
at Olustee, and was discharged from the service on account of sickness.
First Lieut. John Van Desande, born in Minden, Montgomery Co., N.Y., resided
at Fort Plain, and at the period of entering the army was engaged in reading
law. He joined the regiment as 2d Lieut. of Co. B, in August, 1862, and in 1864
was appointed 1st Lieut. of the same Co. He was on detached service at Elmira,
N. Y., for several months, and joined the regiment in time to take part in the
Florida battles. he was engaged in ten battles, and escaped without a scratch
until Aug. 16th, 1864. When at Deep Bottom, Va., a musket ball struck him above
the eye and temple. The wound seemed slight at first, but on reaching the hospital
at Fortress Monroe, and abcess began to grow on, and soon terminated fatally.
He expired on the 3d day of Oct., 1864, and his remains were placed in the officers'
burying ground. His father and brother stood by the bed as he was dying, but
he knew them not.
First Lieut. John W. Davis, of Palatine, Montgomery Co., N.Y., entered the regiment
in August, 1862, as 2d Lieut. of Co. A, and was promoted to 1st Lieut. while
a prisoner in the hands of the rebels. He was a carpenter by trade, and was
married. He served with the regiment until after the battle of Olustee. In that
battle he was badly wounded through the body and the surgeon pronounced him
mortally hurt. His captain received a mortal wound at the same time, and the
members of the company desired to carry them both to Barber's, a distance of
nineteen miles, but could only take one. The lieutenant was lying on a stretcher
in a piece of woods, and insisted that the captain should be taken and himself
left. He said, "Take Van, for I will soon be dead." The captain was
taken, and the lieutenant left in the woods, as his comrades supposed, to die.
The rebels came along the next day and carried him to a house, where his wound
was dressed. He soon became able to travel and was sent to a rebel prison. He
was under fire at Charleston, and served in various rebel prisons, suffering
much, and was exchanged in January, 1865.
First Lieut. F. N. Barlow was born in the town of Kent, Litchfield Co., Conn.,
March 13th, 1822. He was the third in a family of five sons, and with the exception
of the youngest, all became ministers of the gospel of peace; two of whom have
passed to their reward in the better land. Their mother died when the subject
of this sketch was only four years of age, when the health and pecuniary condition
of the father being such as not to enable him to provide a comfortable home
for his children, they were all scattered in different directions, and have
never at any one time been together since. The lieutenant then lived in two
families near the place of his birth for nine years, and was treated by them
in the most shameful manner. His child life was fearfully crushed under the
frigid indifference and drudging toil, to which for those nine terrible years
he was subjected. At the age of 13 he went to reside with a family at Danbury,
Conn., where he remained for three years and was kindly treated. Here he was
permitted to attend the village school for three months in a year, but of course
he had made but little progress at sixteen. At sixteen, without a home, without
friends to render any assistance, and with fifty cents in his pocket, he started
out alone on life's great mission. For two or three years he was entirely in
doubt as to the part in this mission he should act. At 18 he spent about four
months in a private school with decided advantage. An opportunity then offering,
he read law for some months in the office of one of the ablest lawyers in Western
New York. Being dissuaded by his friends from making law his profession, he
entered the classical school in Castile, N.Y. After remaining there a year he
went to Pennsylvania and taught in that state with great success for five years.
His health failing he relinquished the profession and in June, 1850, was ordained
and settled as pastor of the 1st Baptist church in Newtown, Conn., and up to
the breaking out of the great rebellion, gave his attention exclusively to ecclesiastical
matters with much success. When the war broke out he felt it his duty of raise
his voice against those great national sins which he judged were the cause of
our calamities, and on proper occasions did not hesitate to press upon the attention
of his people their duty to the government. When the war began to grow in magnitude,
and demanded men and means to carry it to a successful issue, he enlisted on
the 11th of July, 1862. His many was the first on the enrollment list of Capt.
S.P. Smith. He aided in recruiting the regiment, and went out as 1st Lieut.
of Co. H. He was with the regiment at the disgraceful surrender of Harper's
Ferry, commanded the Co. at Summit Point, Va., and during the terrible march
after the surrender, received injuries from which he will probably never recover.
He went with his Company to Chicago, and from there to Washington, where he
received a leave of absence on account of his disease. His surgeon informing
him that he was totally unfit for active service, he reluctantly sent in his
resignation, and was honorably discharged, Feb. 6th, 1863.
First Lieut. Delos J. Parker, was born in the state of Mass., was a book keeper
by occupation, and resided in the city of Troy when he entered the service as
a Lieut. in Co. F. For a long time he was A.D.C. to Brig. Gen. George D'Utassy,
1st Provisional Brigade, Carey's Division. He took part in the Maryland and
Virginia campaign of '62, and was discharged from the service in '63 on account
of physical disability.
First Lieutenant Stephen S. Olney was a native of Saratoga Co., and resided
at Saratoga Springs when he entered the service as 2d Lieut. of Co. F. He entered
the regular army when he was eighteen, and served two years as sergeant in the
cavalry. He was promoted to First Lieut. of Co. F, in 1863, and commanded the
company in a large number of battles with great ability. He was on of the best
and bravest officers in the regiment, and was loved and esteemed by officers
and men. At Drury's Bluff, while in the heat of action, a rebel officer commanding
a superior force ordered him to surrender his command. He replied "Never!" and rallying his men fought desperately until the rebels were driven from the
field in confusion. While leading his company during the fierce charge of Fort
Fisher, N.C., Jan. 15th, 1865, he was struck by a musket ball and instantly
killed. He was a lawyer by profession, and leaves a little daughter about four
years old, and orphan.
First Lieut. Ralph Sexton resided at Coroga, Fulton Co., was a farmer by occupation,
married, and entered Co. K. as 1st Lieut. at date of organization. His health
was poor while in the army and he was honorably discharged from the service
at Hilton Head, S.C., May 25th, 1863, on surgeon's certificate of disability.
First Lieut. Francis H. Francisco was born in the town of Wells, Hamilton
Co., resided in the same town when he entered the service, and was a lawyer
by profession. He entered Co. K as 2d Lieut., and was promoted to 1st Lieut.,
Nov. 25th, 1863, in place of Ralph Sexton, resigned. he acted as brigade quartermaster
during the Florida campaign, went home to recruit for the regiment after it
was so reduced at Olustee, and was the first man of the 115th to mount the works
during the charge of Cemetery Hill. He fought bravely in numerous battles, and
finally at Deep Bottom, Va., August 16th, 1864, while leading his own company,
was shot through the head and instantly killed. He was buried under a flag of
First Lieut. Charles Kline was born in the town of Amsterdam, Montgomery Co.,
N.Y., and resided in the village of Tribes hill at the date of his enlistment.
he was a farmer by occupation, received a common school education, and was unmarried.
He entered the army July 23d, 1862, as sergeant in Co. D, was promoted to 1st
sergeant, June 12th, 1863, to 2d Lieut., Nov. 19th, 1864, and to 1st Lieut.,
May 17th, 1875, holding the last rank at the expiration of service. He engaged
in fourteen battles and several skirmishes, always fighting with gallantry.
At Deep Bottom a bullet struck him in the breast, causing the blood to flow
quite freely. During the assault on Fort Gilmer, Va., Sept. 29th, 1864, his
right arm was shattered, and was amputated at the elbow. From the effects of
the wound he was confined in the U.S. hospital at Fortress Monroe, from Sept.
30th, 1864, to Jan. 26th, 1865, and with wonderful perseverance and courage
joined the regiment at Raleigh, N.C., May 15th, 1865. He was on detached service
at Elmira, N.Y., from Aug. 15th, 1863, to April 5th, 1864, and was mustered
out of the U.S. service at Raleigh, N.C., June 17th, 1864.
First Lieut. Nicholas De Graff was born in the town of Amsterdam, Montgomery
Co., N.Y., June 9th, 1842. His father's name was Emanuel De Graff, and his mother's
maiden name Maria Mynderse. Both were Americans by birth, and their ancestors
were natives of Holland. The lieutenant's father died March 25th, 1865, and
his mother is yet living. He entered the service July 23d, 1862, as a private
in Co. D, was promoted to 1st sergeant, Aug. 21st, 1862, to 2d Lieut., June
12th, 1863, and to 1st Lieut., Feb. 8th, 1865. He enjoyed good health while
in the service, engaged in nineteen battles and skirmishes with the regiment,
and for a long tome was acting adjutant. He was a brave young officer, and escaped
remarkably well considering the large number of battles in which he engaged.
At Chesterfield Heights, Va., May 7th, 1864, he was slightly wounded in the
hand, and on other occasions had narrow escapes. He was mustered out of the
U.S. service at Raleigh, N.C., July 17th, 18644, and received final discharge
at Albany, N.Y., July 31st.
First Lieut. James H. Clark was born in Fonda, Montgomery Co., N.Y., Nov. 22d,
1842, was a farmer by occupation, and resided at the date of enlistment at Clifton
Park, Saratoga Co., N.Y. He entered the service as a private in Co. H, was elected
1st sergeant, Aug. 25th, 1862, promoted to 2nd Lieut. Feb. 6th, 1863, and to
1st Lieut. in May 1864. He engaged in seventeen battles and skirmishes, was
wounded in the right side at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th, 1864, by order of the
secretary of war on account of physical disability.
First Lieut. Alfred G. Noxon resided in the village of Crescent, Saratoga Co.,
N.Y., and was commissioned 2nd Lieut. of Co. H, 115th Regiment, when but 18
years of age. He labored hard to recruit for the regiment to which he belonged,
and his efforts were crowned with success. He accompanied his regiment and company
to the seat of war, and won the esteem of all for his kindness. He was promoted
to 1st Lieut., Feb. 6th, 1863, and was mustered in at Hilton Head, S.C. During
the summer of 1863 he was taken sick with a fever, and in Oct. of the same year
was discharged on surgeon's certificate of disability. He entered the army again
in 1865 as a captain in the 192d Regiment, N.Y. Vols., and served in the Shenandoah
Valley and Western Virginia. A brother, who was an officer in the army, served
with distinction in the west.
Capt. David H. Graves, of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., N.Y., enlisted in
Co. G, 115th Regiment, as a private. At the organization of his company he was
appointed orderly sergeant; at Chicago he was commissioned 2d Lieut., and at
Beaufort, S.C., 1st Lieut. of the same company. He was slightly wounded in the
thigh at Olustee, but did not go to a hospital. He was also wounded severely
in the head at Petersburg. In 1865 he joined the regiment in North Carolina,
and when it was mustered out of the U.S. service he was transferred to the 47th
N.Y. Vols. His father is a minister of the gospel in Saratoga Co.
First Lieut. George Farrar, of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., N.Y., entered
the 115th Regiment as 1st Lieut. of Co. G, and served with a fever. He received
a leave of absence and went home, and upon being partially restored to health,
joined the regiment again at Hilton Head, S.C. There his health grew worse,
and he was honorably discharged from the service on surgeon's certificate of
ENLISTED MEN COMMISSIONED AND NOT MUSTERED.
John J. Ashman enlisted in Co. I, and resides at Maltaville, Saratoga Co., N.Y.
He was appointed 4th sergeant at the organization of th company, and 1st sergeant
afterward. He was commissioned 1st Lieut., Jan. 7th, 1865 in place of J.W. Davis,
John Brand was promoted from 1st sergeant to 2d Lieut., Feb. 1st, 1865, in place
of J.M. Hill, promoted.
Lewis Bailey enlisted in Co. F, in 1862, and was appointed corporal. He received
promotions to sergeant and 1st sergeant, and was commissioned 2d Lieut., Feb.
1st, 1865, in place of C. Kline, promoted. He was wounded at Olustee, where
a roll book saved his life.
Seldon Colbridge enlisted in Co. G as a private, was appointed corporal, then
sergeant, and finally 1st sergeant of the same company. He was wounded at Olustee,
Fla., Feb. 20th, '64, and lost his right arm at Fort Gilmer, Va., Sept. 29th,
1864. He was commissioned 1st Lieut., April 29th, 1865, in place of J.E. Smith,
Fred. S. Goodrich was born at Poultney, Vt., resides at Mechanicsville, Saratoga
Co., N.Y., is a watchmaker by trade, and 29 years of age. He enlisted in Co.
H as a private, and recruited a considerable number of men for the company.
He was promoted to 2d Lieut. in the 33d U.S.C.T., in 1864, and commissioned
1st Lieut. in the 115th, June 7th, 1865.
George T. Hoag was born in Rensselaer Co., N.Y., but for a number of years has
resided at Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., N.Y., is a farmer by occupation, and
23 years of age. He enlisted in Co. H, in July, 1862, as a private, was elected
corporal Aug. 20th, 1862, appointed 1st sergeant, Dec., 1864, and commissioned
2d Lieut., June, 1865. He engaged in every battle with the regiment with on
exception, and always behaved with gallantry. He commanded Co. H for a considerable
time, and was severely bruised at the explosion of the magazine at Fort Fisher,
Henry W. Heaton resided at Charlton, Saratoga Co., N.Y. He enlisted as a private
in 1862, was appointed corporal at the organization of Co. I, promoted to sergeant,
July 1st, 1863, and to sergeant-major, Sept. 1, 1864. He was wounded at Fort
Fisher, N.C., and was commissioned 2d Lieut., Feb. 1st, 1865, in place of J.W.
Peter J. Keck enlisted in co. E, in 1862, and resides at Lassellsville, Fulton
Co., N.Y. He was promoted to sergeant and soon became color sergeant of the
regiment. He carried his flag in many battles with great gallantry, and was
wounded in four different engagements. He was commissioned 1st Lieut., April
29th, 1865, in place of J.A. Herne, not mustered.
Luther M. Loper enlisted in Co. G at its organization, was afterward appointed
sergeant, and finally 1st sergeant of the same company. He fought in a large
number of battles, was badly wounded in the breast at Olustee, Fla., Feb. 20th,
1864, and again received a severe wound at Fort Gilmer, Va., Sept. 29th, 1864.
He was commissioned 1st Lieut., Feb. 1st, 1865, in place of F.H. Francisco,
Charles Marselis was promoted from 1st sergeant to 2d Lieut., Feb. 23d, 1865,
in place of W.M. McIntosh, promoted.Beekman R. Near enlisted in Co. I as a private,
was promoted to corporal, Feb., 1863, and to sergeant, Nov. 1st, 1864. He was
wounded at Fort Fisher, N.C., and commissioned 2d Lieut., April 21st, 1865,
in place of L. Sheffer, killed in action.
John Rearden was born at Malone, Franklin Co., N.Y., and is by occupation a
carpenter, residing in Glen, Montgomery Co., N.Y. He entered the regiment as
3d corporal of Co. B, was promoted to 3d sergeant in 1863, to 1st sergeant,
Nov. 7th, 1864, and received a commission as 2d Lieut., June, 1865. He served
with honor for three years, and was always noted as a faithful and well drilled
soldier. He fought in a large number of battles.
James w. Van Arnam was born in Lewis co., N.Y. resides at Fonda, N.Y., is a
laborer by occupation, and twenty-three years of age. He enlisted in Co. A,
July 29th, 1862, was appointed sergeant, Aug. 26th, 1862, taken prisoner at
Deep Bottom Aug. 18th, 1864, paroled Nov., 1864, promoted to 1st sergeant, May
1st, 1865, and commissioned as 2d Lieut. in June, 1865.
George H. Weeks was promoted from 1st sergeant to 1st Lieut., June 8th, 1865,
in place of F.S. Goodrich, declined.
Joseph Wester resided in New York city, and joined Co. K as a recruit in 1864.
He was commissioned 1st Lieut. in the 1st Florida cavalry, but shortly afterward
taking part in the battle of Chesterfield Heights, he was mortally wounded and
soon died in New York.
Sergeant-major E.S. Haywood was born in Waterford, Saratoga Co., N.Y., in 1838,
lived in Troy from 1840 to 1854, when his father removed to Amsterdam, Montgomery
Co., purchasing the Recorder printing office. Here he acquired a practical knowledge
of the printing business. At the time of the uprising of the people which followed
the first call to arms, he was teaching vocal music at the seminary at Fort
Plain. At that time he caught the spirit of the conflict, but not being of an
impulsive nature, saw the great rush to arms with a determination to enter the
struggle himself when the slackened ardor to the others demanded.
In 1862 the first call for '300,00 more' met with a hearty response, and with
authority from the state, he commenced recruiting the first one in Montgomery
Co. He was then in the printing business at Amsterdam, and securing a person
to attend to his business, entered heart and soul into the work. The local committee
of his town selected him for captain, but before the ranks were filled so many
other recruiting offices sprang up, that a consolidation became necessary, and
through some means he was thrown out, having frequently expressed himself willing
to serve in any capacity. Unwilling to urge others to do what he would shrink
from himself, he entered the service (on account of non-acceptance by the surgeon)
as a free volunteer, performing the arduous duties of sergeant-major without
hope of fee or reward. His friends in Amsterdam in appreciation of his conduct,
presented him with a handsome sword. Throughout the short campaign which culminated
in the surrender of Harper's Ferry, and during the transportation to Illinois,
he fulfilled the duties of his post, never shrinking from active duty in action
or when danger was imminent, although he well knew if disabled he could have
no claim for pension or services. After remaining at Chicago with the regiment
for two months, and seeing no prospect of immediate exchange he returned home,
but not soon enough to escape the western fever (resulting from exposure) which
carried so many of our comrades to their late resting place. Though receiving
no pecuniary compensation for services, or even seeking for any, he had the
noble satisfaction of winning the respect of all who knew him, as evinced by
acts of kindness and attention from the rank and file, and from high testimonials
bestowed upon him by the field, staff and line, together with the oft expressed
regrets at his departure. He is now residing at Amsterdam, Montgomery Co., as
co-publisher of the Recorder.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
March 19, 2006