New York Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
LETTER FROM THE 160TH REGIMENT.
Correspondence of the Evening Journal.
CARROLLTON, La., Dec. 28, 1860.
I read in the New York papers of the 16ththat Gen. BANKS has landed at the
mouth of the Chowan river, in North Carolina, with a heavy force, and made
a junction with the forces in that vicinity; yet here we find ourselves, this
beautiful Sunday morning, encamped in a lovely spot, seven miles up the river
from New Orleans, with the General's headquarters at that city. Several regiments
had arrived and gone into camp in advance of the 160th, and they still continue
to come. Some five or six are encamped in our immediate vicinity, while others
are scattered along up the river, and some even up to Baton Rouge. Conjectures
are still various in regard to our final destination and work, as it is probable
that we are not to remain here unemployed any great length of time. The most
probable of these is, that we are to proceed against Port Hudson, twenty miles
above Baton Rouge, and perhaps from there to assist at the siege of Vicksburg.
At all events, it is apparent that there is active work for the famous Banks
Expedition, of which we are proud to form a part.
You are doubtless aware ere this that Gen. BUTLER has been relieved of his
command by Gen, BANKS, and that he sailed for New York some time since.
I have conversed with several persons in this neighborhood with regard to its
military occupation, and all, thus far, agree that Gen. Butler was just the
man, and that his administration has been most salutary and effective. What
that of his successor shall be remains for the future to develop.
How strange it seems to us Northerners to reside amidst luxuriant orange groves,
and revel beneath the shade of blooming peach trees, while we remember that
our loved friends left behind are celebrating the festivities of Christmas
and New Year, in the midst of a Northern winter, and doubtless the merry chime
of ringing sleigh-bells. But so it is;—our camp ground is like a beautiful
green common in the month of May. Through it runs a shell road from New Orleans,
far up the river, level as a floor, and nearly as hard as granite. Oh! if you
could see our camp, as it was last night, fully lighted, and resting quietly
under a full, glorious moon, you would certainly fall in love with this military
life, unless, perchance, you may already have centered your affections more
deeply than some of our officers who have left families behind.
While I write you in my pleasant tent, our good Chaplain is expounding the
Scriptures to a large portion of the regiment on one side, and a lively feminine
contraband interesting the boys on the other, by a description of the late
occurrences with gunboats, &c., on the river near Baton Rouge—both
being distinctly heard by me. We are doubtless still surrounded by many of
the tribe of "Secesh," though numerous members of the family have
departed to unknown quarters, leaving real estate and personal contraband property
behind. Pass through the city, in soldier's uniform, and you will meet many
averted faces and contracted hoop-skirts, but probably no demonstration of
Consequent upon the distracted state of affairs in this Southern clime, New
Orleans is dull in business of all kinds, and grass is to be seen growing in
some of the principal streets, while the whole surrounding country wears the
aspect of passing desolation.
So much for my limited observation thus far. Should anything of importance
or interest transpire I will endeavor to inform you.
Bank's Eight in Louisiana--the 160th
We have a letter from soldier in Bank's army, dated at Grand Ecore April 18th,
giving a hasty sketch of the desperate battle fought by Bank's army with
the rebels. The writer says the 13th corps went forward and near Mansfield
engaged the enemy, and was terribly cut up. The 19th corps came up and saved
their comrades [sic] from total destruction. The battle was mostly with muskets,
lasted about one hour, and was a hotly contested engagement. Both sides fought
well. Banks fell back 17 miles to Pleasant Hill, and was followed by the
rebels, who were there severely punished. Both armies lost heavily of men
at Pleasant Hill. The 160th N. Y. volunteers took an active part, and when
the battle was over Gen. Banks sent for the Colonel and told him that his
regiment turned the fate of the day. It was this regiment which charged on
the rebels, and recaptured Nimm's Battery, which the rebels had taken near
Our correspondent says it is reported that the rebel Gen. Martin was killed,
and he has a cup made of gutta purcha, which that officer used. He will send
it to us as a trophy. The writer speaks of Gen. Banks as a brave man, who did
fear the bullets, but he says he looks care-worn. The writer was at the Port
Hudson fight—battle of Fort Bisland, and other engagements, but saw nothing
so bloody as the last fought by Bank's men near Mansfield and at Pleasant Hill.
He is a son of Waterman Davis, the venerable Drum Major of the 160th regiment
who died not long since, and whose career has been the subject of many paragraphs.
The 160th suffered severely. Two Captains were killed outright, one was taken
prisoner, and many privates were killed and wounded. The scenes in the hospital
on the night following the battles were heart rending in the extreme.
The old flag which the 160th took from Auburn was riddled with bullets, and
Gen. Banks gave the regiment a new one, with the names of the several battles
Deserved Compliment to the 160th Reg't.
HEADQUARTERS, 160th REG'T, N. Y. V.,
May 3, 1863.
General Order So. —
Officers and Soldiers of the 160th Reg't, N. Y. V.:--At the conclusion of a
long and painful march, and a series of sharp skirmishes and hard fought battles,
it becomes me to cheer your brave spirits by a few formal extracts in the Lieutenant's
Gen. Wetzel's brigade is composed of the 8th Vermont, 12th Connecticut, 75th,
114th, and 160th N. Y. Volunteers—U. S. batteries A and F, and 6th Massachusetts;
and the Louisiana Cavalry. This land force was accompanied by the gunboats
Calhoun, Australia and Clifton. This expedition moved from
Brasher City up to the mouth of the Atchafalaya, skirmishing with the enemy
in its progress. Here the troops were landed, and moving forward soon found
the enemy posted in and around some sugar houses. They were dislodged by our
artillery, and retreated in the night with considerable loss.
The brigade pursued for several miles, when the enemy was again found in a
strongly fortified and entrenched position. A severe artillery engagement ensued,
lasting till far into the night, the enemy shooting pieces of railroad iron,
old flat irons, spikes and nails. During the night the rebels again "skedaddled," leaving
us masters of the field. They left a great quantity of stores and ammunition
and four cannon, which our forces secured.
Lieut. McDonough thus speaks of a loss in his company:
I learned that one of the boys of my company, who had marched up with such
buoyant spirits in the morning, had 'fought his last battle.' He laid on his
face, and I supposed he had gone to sleep. But he had been struck by a piece
of shell on the head, which killed him instantly. His name is BARNARD MCGRAW,
brother of Capt. Patrick McGraw, of Seneca Falls, of the 33d N. Y. V. No better
or braver soldier fell that day. He was much beloved and his death will be
greatly regretted by all who knew him. May the Lord in his tender mercy comfort
his widowed mother in her affliction."
The brigade pushed on to Franklin, capturing 500 prisoners, while the rebels
blew up and destroyed two gunboats to prevent them falling into our hands.
Among the prisoners was a nephew of Capt. Semmes of the privateer "Alabama."
Our correspondent thus sums up the operations:
The expedition has been very successful. The enemy has been badly beaten; the
gunboats Queen of the West, Diana, Erie and Hart destroyed; Fort Bislear reduced;
also Fort Bute-la-rose captured, thus opening the way into Red River; also
many salt works and sugar houses destroyed. We have taken ten guns and 8,000
prisoners, chasing the rebels at the point of the bayonet from Berwick Bay
to Washington, La., a distance of 200 miles. Wetzel's brigade has had the advance
the whole time. He is without doubt the best General in this department. *
* * If he were a truckling politician, like many others, he would wear two
stars instead of one.
Our regiment lost two killed outright and about 12 wounded; some of the latter
have since died. N. McD."
…. words in recognition of your service and virtues.
On the morning of April 9th, when you had not fully recovered from the effects
of the glorious but trying expedition of the Teche, and while yet suffering
from the baneful influence of new climate, you crossed Berwick Bay and started
upon an expedition which is destined to be far-famous in the history of our
country. On the following day you went to the extreme front and took your
position a mile beyond any support, and in the immediate presence of the
enemy. On the 11th you had the advance and the right of the Brigade, and
marched seven miles, most of the way in line of battle, in support of cavalry
and light artillery, and in hot pursuit of the foe. On the 12th, you manfully
supported the batteries to which you were assigned under circumstances of
great trial and danger. On the 13th in just three months to a day from the
time you had been engaged with the same enemy, and on the same battle field
you had contributed to make illustrious, you participated in one of the great
battles of the war, and performed an honorable part in adorning our national
flag with another wreath of victory. Early the next morning, when sadly worn
by fatigue, privation and excitement, you joined the triumphant column in
swift pursuit of the flying foe. With distinguished fortitude you kept your
place throughout the march of more than a hundred miles from Fort Bislau
to Opelousas, and well you did your duty as Provost Guard of that town.
When you had enjoyed scarcely a day of quiet and rest, an order came for us
to guard an important Department train to and from New Iberia, and to make
all possible haste. The manner in which you performed this onerous duty is
an honor to you and the American soldier. After all the fatigues and sufferings
endured when those really fit for duty among you were the exemptions, you undertook
that march and with marked patience and promptness performed it, making most
excellent time, and captureing [sic] by the way nearly a hundred bales of cotton,
eighty horses and thirty prisoners.
With great pain and heartfelt sympathy we have witnessed your toils and suffering.
You imitated your Fathers of Revolutionary fame. You enjoy the compliments
of your General and other commanding officers, and the eulogy of the press.
In common with compatriots from New York and New England, you have gained distinction
which will embalm your names in the urn of history. You have a record of glory
to transmit as a priceless legacy to posterity. Better than all you have proud
satisfaction in your own hearts of having acted as becomes good soldiers and
Toils, sufferings, and dangers multiply and quicken before us. New achievements
are to be made—new glories to be won. Let us be prompt and cheerful in
the discharge of our high duties. Let us live and die devoted to the sacred
cause of Union and Liberty. By command of
J. B. VAN PETTEN, Lieut. Col.
Com'd'g. 160th N. Y. V.
Official. G. H. Merrill, 1st Lieut., Adjutant.
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH REGIMENT.—
We have received a long letter, dated May 4th, from a soldier in the One Hundred
and Sixtieth New York Volunteers, recruited, we believe, in the vicinity
of Auburn. This letter is written chiefly in vindication of the part taken
by the Eastern troops in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, the
writer contending that the 19th Corps has been greatly misrepresented, in
order to add to the glory of the Western troops. Describing the march to
the front, at Mansfield, he says: "Soon the orders came to pack up and
hurry to the front. We were soon on the road again, and went the most of
the way at quick time, and the other part at double quick. We traveled between
seven and eight miles in an hour and a quarter. When we arrived at the scene
of action it was enough to make every man of us turn and run; and I think
if we were not worth any more than our worthy Western comrades we would have
run; but we held our ground, the cavalry and infantry, niggers, mules and
everything rushing right on to us." He also declares that it was their
corps which formed the reserve at Pleasant Hill, and whose charge turned
the fortunes of the day--advancing so effectively that "the rebels,
who, a moment before, were coming towards us with victory on the point of
their bayonets, as they thought, were now going the other way with defeat
on their heels." This soldier, too, maintains that Banks is a favorite
with the troops, being greeted with "cheers," not "sneers," whenever
he rides along the lines.
He sends the following list of casualties in the regiment, whose ranks have
been sadly depleted since their gallant setting out from home:
COMPANY A—Killed, Capt. Rudusen, Edward Taylor, Bura Vaughn; wounded,
Sergeant T. Lauson, W. Boyle, W. Vanvalkenburg, J. Coons; prisoner, A. Atwood.
COMPANY B—killed, none; wounded, M. Dalton; prisoners, G. Pelcher, J.
COMPANY C—Killed, A. Hamner; wounded, Capt. Ennis, and a prisoner; missing,
C. Ford, E. Sherwood.
COMPANY D—Killed, Sergeant C. Kadder, Corporal E. Tripp; wounded, L.
Kellogg, O. P. Hennion, mortally, S. Kauff, H. Field,
COMPANY E—Wounded, Lieut. A. McDonough and a prisoner; missing, James
McGowan and slightly wounded, Patrick Ryan, Joseph Mc-Call, Patrick J. Morris,
William Ryan, William Durnin, Harrison Raymond, Florence Sullivan, James Maney.
COMPANY F—Killed, none; wounded, Lieut. C. C. Edwards and a prisoner;
S. R. Ingraham and a prisoner.
COMPANY G—Killed, Capt. Cotton, Corporal. C. Boody; wounded, W. Lasher,
D. Miller, and a prisoner, W. Boyce, and a prisoner, Sergeant J. Burdick, G.
Marley, H. Walbridge, E. Spink.
COMPANY H—Killed, Willard Straight; wounded, W. H. Lambert and a prisoner,
J. Ganung; missing John Schuyler.
COMPANY I—Killed, wounded and missing, none.
COMPANY K—Missing, Sergeant Daniel Smith, Lewis Kraigher.
ADVERTISER AND UNION.
AUBURN, N. Y.
Tuesday Evening, June 16, 1863.
Tribute to the Memory of the late Capt. Josiah P. Jewett of Co. F, 160th Regiment
N. Y. V.
Before Port Hudson,
Headquarters 160th Reg't
N. Y. V., June 3d, 1863.
GEORGE W. PECK, Esq.:—The painful news of the death of Capt. Josiah Jewett
of Co. F of our regiment having come to hand by the Advertiser & Union
of the 11th ult., it becomes me to offer a tribute to his memory. Of his character
as a citizen and a man, I need say nothing. He was well known in Auburn and
the southern towns of Cayuga, and greatly respected and beloved for his high
intelligence, refined manners and many virtues. Had he not taken up arms in
the cause of his country and died of wounds received in battle, still his death
must have been an interesting event in the history of the community to which
he belonged. As it was, his memory should be cherished by his neighbors and
fellow citizens, and his name be transmitted with honor to posterity.
Captain Jewett with marked ability and perseverance in the midst of peculiar
difficulties and discouragements recruited his company. As a commanding officer
he possessed great ability and merit. With rare assiduity he devoted himself
to military studies and drill, and was untiring in the instruction of his company.
He was a thorough and most excellent disciplinarian, and by devotion to his
duty became one of the best drill-masters in the regiment. He was very correct
and successful in the discharge of his duties as officer of the day, president
of court martial or in the performance of any special service. As a compliment
to him for having his company well drilled and disciplined, and in deference
to his special fitness for important service, I detailed him with his company
as guard upon the ill-fated Diana. This gunboat with two others was employed
in scouting in Berwick Bay, Grand Lake and various Bayous in the neighborhood.
The service just suited the brave, enterprising and adventurous spirit of Captain
Jewett, and he very much desired it. His men can relate many incidents illustrative
of his daring and enterprise. I will narrate one. Informed that a rebel picket
of some eight or ten were wont to stay nights at a certain sugar house on an
island, he took a small party from the gunboat and in the dead of night scoured
the island, and having stationed his men he went accompanied by Corporal D.
Pettit, of Sterling, one of the bravest of his men, into the sugar house, a
large building with various apartments, and searched for rebels. Though I felt
it my duty to caution him to be careful, I could but admire his courage and
One of the most excellent qualities of Capt. Jewett was his unfaltering devotion
to the cause in which he was engaged. Too many men enter upon the service for
bounty, honor or position, and when amid the hardships, privations and dangers
of the field, or when victims of disappointment as to promotion, are disposed
to be moody, petulant, faultfinding and querulous, and to shun all duties but
receiving pay, drawing rations and eating them. Such men, especially such officers,
should be drummed out of the army with every mark of odium and scorn and scourged
from the walks of patriotic and honorable men. In a time like this when, the
great Republic of the earth is in peril and constitutional liberty itself is
endangered, our officers should be devoted and uncompromising patriots. Such
was Josiah P. Jewett. He comprehended the momentous importance of our contest,
and upon its issue he fully consecrated his honor, fortune and life. Thoroughly
devoted to his country he was always hopeful of her destiny, confident in her
final success and future greatness and glory; with marked cheerfulness and
alacrity he went forward in the path of duty. Hence he was ready and happy
to do picket duty on land or upon water, about camp or upon the extremity of
the battle field as during the affair of the Teche on the memorable night of
the 15th of January.
Alas! that on the 28th of March the gunboat he was appointed to guard, and
over which he had no command, fell into an ambuscade, and amid the fearful
tragedy that followed he received wounds of which he finally died.
How happy we were! How the 160th hurrahed and shouted when on our late triumphal
march up the Teche, having reached Franklin on the morning of the 14th April
we learned of his re-capture by our advance. He appeared so well and strong
when he obtained his leave to go home, we confidently hoped that amid the kind
offices of his friends, he would soon recover. But alas, an inscrutable Providence
had otherwise ordered.
Not only his company but our entire regiment deeply lament his loss. With profound
respect for others, we feel that we have lost in him one of our bravest and
best officers. May those of us who still survive, emulate his virtues and patriotism
and follow his example in the performance of honorable deeds whatever may be
our fortune or fate.
J. B. VANPETTEN.
P. S.—On the 27th we had a hard fought battle here. We gained a glorious
victory. The fight raged hottest from 5 o'clock to 8 1-2, but continued the
entire day. We drove the enemy out of their rifle pits through a skirt of woods
about a mile wide, where we met all sorts of obstruction's from the rough,
irregular nature of the ground, certainly worse than that of Bull Run, and
from timber felled in all sorts of fantastic ways across ravines and gorges.
We also drove them through a broad skirt of forest into their entrenchments.—Our
infantry lost severely, but not so much as the artillery. Our whole loss in
killed and wounded is variously estimated at from 1000 to 1300.
We have the enemy now in a narrow circle completely invested by an invincible
land and naval force and are now occupied in harrassing [sic] him day and night
by artillery and infantry. Our brigade occupies a position some two hundred
yards from the enemy's works. The enemy has a breastwork from which they shoot,
and so have we. From these two a cruel target practice continues day and night.
Our position is manned by details from the brigade, who serve in turn.
The 20th Brigade (Weitzel's,) on the 27th, as usual, acquitted itself with
distinguished honor. We went into the fight in the rear of the 1st Brigade,
and were to support it. But somehow in the woods, among the gorges and felled
timber we passed it, the 8th Vermont and 75th going through it on the right
and the 160th on the left.
But our loss was severe. The 75th lost in killed and wounded between seventy
and eighty, among whom was the accomplished and gallant Lieutenant Avery. The
loss of the 160th was but twenty-three. But as Major Sennett was absent on
duty elsewhere with our right wing, I had in the fight only the left wing,
and hence my loss was nearly as heavy in proportion to the number of men, as
that sustained by the rest of the brigade.
Among our lamented dead who fell on that day, is Capt. J. B. Hubbard, our
much respected and beloved Ass'st Adj't General, and Lieut. Rhodnoski, Aid-decamp
of Gen. Weitzel. The brigade lost in them, two most valuable officers.—Rhodnoski
was a Pole, and possessed the chivalric spirit and the devotion to country
and freedom peculiar to his race.—He was fighting under our flag because
he admired and loved it, and when the siege of Port Hudson was over, he was
going home to fight for the emancipation of Poland.
I have not time to write more, nor even to give a list of our killed and wounded.
Heavy guns are getting into position. The loyal work goes bravely on. When
next you hear from us, we shall be in Port Hudson or the grave.
J. B. V. P.
HEADQUARTERS, 160TH REGIMENT N. Y. V.
Donaldsonville, La., July 17th, l863.
Mr. S. H. Parker:
DEAR SIR:—Well, Port Hudson is ours, as you must have heard before now.
It surrendered to the Union forces on the morning of July 8th, at 7 o'clock.
The surrender was received by Brig. Gen. Andrews, and at daylight
on the morning of the 9th the Union forces marched in—the stars and stripes
took the place of the ensign of rebellion—a national salute was fired—the
noble ship "Hartford" "dropped down" and also fired a salute—a
salute that proclaimed that the Mississippi was once more free. The fruits
victory are 6,000 prisoners, 35 pieces of artillery, 8,000 stand of small arms.—If
there was ever a Sebastopol, this is certainly one; and one General made the
remark, that for strength, he never saw anything equal to it. It is a natural
fortification—being situated on a short turn in the river, and any boat
that got by must be a good one.
I have been amused in reading the different accounts of the fight at Port
Hudson. One New York paper says we were repulsed twenty-seven times, lost 8,000
in killed and 12,000 in wounded; and it further says that "all that got
up to the enemy's works were bayoneted." For what cause men can tell such
barefaced lies I am at a loss to know. The fight of May 29th was a splendid
one; and as Capt. Ned Wilson, of the 15th Arkansas, (who claims to be a nephew
of our townsman, Mr. T. D. B.,) said to me, "you whipped us like h—l1,
and you might as well have taken the place that day as not." At 3 o'clock
on the 27th of May, companies G, K and E, of the 160th, with parts of the 12th
Maine and 38th Mass., reached the ditch of the enemy; and the five companies
of our regiment that were in the tight, (the other five were
guarding transports,) stayed in that ditch four days, and you may bet there
was no "reb" showed his noddle over those works, much less "bayoneted" any
The attack of June 14th was not quite so successful, for this reason:—The
24th Conn., a nine months regiment, was to carry cotton bags and fill up the
ditch. The 75th N. Y. and 12th Conn. were to act as sharpshooters, to keep
the "rebs" down—and they did their work nobly; but the 24th
Conn., in place of filling up the ditch with their cotton bales, lay down in
the road and blocked it up so as to render it nearly impossible to climb over
them. The result was it gave the enemy time to concentrate their forces at
that point. When the 8th Vermont, 114th and 160th N. Y. regiments arrived at
the enemy's works, the ditch was so wide and so deep that it was next to impossible
to get over it; and Col. Smith, of the 114th N. Y., who was mortally wounded
that day, said with his dying words that to the circumstance of that regiment's
failure to perform the part assigned it, might be attributed our defeat, and
also his death. As to our losses, 1,500 will cover the permanent loss—500
killed outright, 500 more will die of their wounds, and 500 will receive their
discharge or be transferred to the Invalid Corps. I will give you an illustration:
Out of 5 companies of the 160th regiment 18 were killed and wounded. My company
(E) had 27 men wounded, including the Captain, (Moore.) Twenty of those were
on duty again in 2 weeks, 2 are still in the hospital, including the Captain,
and five of those will be fit for duty in a month. One had his left hand shot
off. He will be discharged or transferred to the invalid corps. Why, to read
the stories that correspondents write and believe them, would be as well for
you to buy a coffin as soon as you volunteer. Then the Tribune purports to
give a list of the killed and wounded, and I believe there were six put down
for our regiment on the 27th of May, when there should be 7; and those they
had down—there never were such men belonged to the regiment. And then
they had some down for the 114th N. Y. V. That regiment never got to Port Hudson
until the 4th of June.
Of course the soldiers don't care that statements are made about them, but
it is very wrong to cause such anxiety to their friends. It is bad enough to
tell the truth; but to report that there were sixteen times as many killed
and wounded as there really were, is detestably mean, and no one but a miserable
coward would make such a statement.
The nine months' men, with very few exceptions, behaved very bad; they thought
it was really too bad to make them fight and their time so near up.—
One regiment, the 4th Massachusetts Militia, two days before the surrender,
stacked their arms and refused to do duty. The 91st N. Y. took their colors
and carried them to Gen. Banks' Headquarters. The privates of the 91st cut
the stripes off of the Sergeants and Corporals, and Capt. Curuth, A. A. G.
on Weitzel's staff, cut off the buttons and shoulder straps on the officers'
coats: and such a degrading sight I never before witnessed. They were then
put under guard, and four companies of the 30th Mass. marched them off to Springfield
Landing, to be sent to the Tortugas. A regiment that will lay down their arms
in face of the enemy and give as a cause that "their time is out," should
never be sent to the Tortugas, but be hanged up by the heels in plain sight
of the rebels, and let them riddle them. Old Elcelsior would never do that;
if they only went out for two days, they would never stack arms within fifty
rods of the enemy.
While we were at Hudson the "Confeds" made a raid on Brashear and
captured two 9 months regiments and all the baggage belonging to Weitzel's
Brigade, both of officers and soldiers, for we started in light marching order—
tents, cooking utensils, &c. If they will only keep them prisoners for
three years, I think every man of us will be perfectly satisfied.
The boys all feel well and are in good spirits. The news is good. Old U. S.
Grant and "Rosy" will make the rebels climb; and we hear that Meade
doing pretty well. Bully for Meade! What is the matter of Hooker? I thought,
to judge him by the evidence in the McClellan case, he would "clean out
Lee" in a few days; but it seems to have been vice versa. Weitzel has
been put in command of the Lafourche country; and I guess no 300 rebel cavalry
will take two regiments again.
I remain, with much respect,
HEADQUARTERS 160TH N. Y. V.,
Donaldsonville, La., July 20, '63.
S. H. PARKER:
Dear Sir—We are still at Donaldsonville, and "all is quiet on the
Mississippi." This brigade is expecting to remain for a litte [sic] while
at Thibadeaux, but they say 25,000 rebels lie there. I believe there is as
near 25,000 there as there was at Port Hudson; but everything is so exaggerated
lately, that it is hard to place any dependence in "official papers," not
to speak of camp rumors. Their is probably from three to four thousand of them,
and I confidently believe that we will capture them—at least we will
try very hard, for that is the only true way. We may drive them for months,
and as soon as we leave they will be back in the same place 24 hours after.
Weitzel has been put in command of the Lafaurche country, and he can take care
of it if any of them can.
It is very amusing to us to see the illustrations in the papers of our brigade
charging on the enemy's works with clubbed muskets, and the six gun batteries
that sunk the Mississippi—all this on the river side where we never were
nor any one else; and more than that, it was impossible for any one to go there.
And a negro tearing the flesh of a rebel with his teeth. All this is really
amusing to us. You might as well read a chapter in the "Arabian
Nights," and you would get just about as much information in regard to
a battle field. The Herald correspondent, writing under date of June 17th,
gives a very good account of the attack of June 14th, with the exception of
the numbers of some of the regiments.
About that storming party. A general order, issued on the morning of the
15th, called for a thousand volunteers to lead a "forlorn hope." They
got the volunteers immediately. Col. Berge, of the 13th Conn., and Lieut. Col.
Petten of the 60th N. Y. V. were to lead the storming columns, and Weitzel's
brigade was to support them. The charge was never made, for the very reason
that before they were ready, the place was surrendered. The statement that
two Wisconsin regiments volunteered to storm the works, and were all killed
or taken prisoners, is false. There is only one Wisconsin regiment (the
40th) in the department, Gen. Payne's old regiment. They are a gallant lot
of boys, and are never found in the rear when they are wanted to the front.
There was still another statement in a New York Paper, that the 1st and 2d
La. reg'ts (white) "are not trusted, and they were put in the front ranks
and all killed and wounded but 25." That is a most bare-faced falsehood.
They belong to the first brigade, first division, and consequently they were
on the right and suffered severely, but not so very bad. 180 was the loss of
the 2d La., in killed and wounded. This is certainly hard enough, but is a
great ways from leaving "only 25." I wish also to state that their
are no troops in this department in whom more confidence is placed than in
the 1st and 2d La. regiments, and they have often proved that they were worthy
of that confidence.
It is very warm here at present, and must be bad for those who have received
wounds from the 9th of April to the present time. We have been constantly on
the move, rain or shine, and no shelter except what our blankets afforded us.
It is nothing unusual to wake up after a good, sleep to find the rain pouring
down in perfect torrents; yet all we can do is to draw our blankets more closely
about us, and "let her rain." But we have been amply rewarded by
the opening of the Mississippi.—Quite a number of boats have already
passed down to New Orleans from St. Louis and Vicksburg, and all report everything "quiet
on the river." The boys that have been wounded are doing well, and those
who have not think they can try another pull for Mobile.
I am proud to hear of the noble stand that has been taken by New York in sending
troops to repel the invasion of a sister State. We are all glad to hear that "old
U. S." and "Rosey," as the boys call them, are again on the "war
path." Woe to you, Johnston and Bragg!
Respectfully, your most
160th N. Y. V.
Correspondence from the Department
HEAD-QUARTERS 160TH REGIMENT, N. Y. V., BEFORE PORT HUDSON, June 7th, 1863.
Br. Bingham:--A copy of the old Northern came to hand to-day, and brought to
mind many grateful reminiscences. I was prompted, by the reception of this,
to send a communication to you, as I have long intended. Since the middle of
January, when Colonel Dwight was appointed Provost Marshal of Louisiana, the
labors and responsibilities of my position have been such, amid the activities
of our wing of the Gulf Department, that I have found little time to devote
to correspondence, and the various amenities of life.
I have not learned directly, nor received positive information of the disposition
our Conference made of my case at the last session. But the rumor has reached
me in this far-off land, that I was allowed to retain my relation. If this
be true, I am happy in view of the fact, not only because I prize that relation,
but also that the seal of the disapprobation of that intelligent Christian
body be not put upon the minister who feels it his duty to take up arms in
our present holy cause, for the conservation of republican liberty. Let us
who regard it as a solemn obligation we owe to God, to our country, and the
world, not only to preach patriotism, but to practice it side by side with
our fellow citizens on the battle field, feel that we have the hearty approval,
blessing and God-speed of our brethren in the ministry. But whatever be our
fate, we have put our position, future reputation, and life itself, upon the
altar of our poor bleeding country, and through Christ, submit our destiny
to the Judge of all.
The public is aware that while in the service with a regiment in Louisiana,
I am advertised as Principal of Fairfield Seminary. I will explain this, as
I wish to occupy no equivocal position before the Church and the world. I am
Principal of that Institution, really and truly. I have the direction as to
government, mode of teaching, and all the influence I ever had, or could ask
for, concerning the election of teachers. I am at liberty to be present or
absent, as I can be, and in my absence to designate the one who shall act as
Principal, and who shall teach in my place. During a part, if not all of the
fall term, depending, of course, upon the military authority and situation
of this department, I hope to be present. I have attempted to secure the services
of Br. Steel, late Principal of Mexico, or of Rev. Wesley Mason, of Rome, but
failed. Against the opening of the fall term, I expect to secure for the trustees
the services of such a man, when the Faculty, with the leading members still
present who were associated with me, must be fully equal to that of my administration
for eight years.
I will give you now a brief outline of the principal events in this Department.
The first was the expedition, in January, of Gen. Weitzel, in whose brigade
the 160th N. Y. has the honor of belonging, up the Bayou Teche, in which, in
a fight that lasted nearly two days, the gun boat Cotton, a rebel iron-clad,
was destroyed, and the enemy's artillery and infantry force supporting her,
was badly beaten and used up. The second, which has proved of great importance,
was the passage of the batteries of port Hudson, by Commodore Farragut, when
he cut off communication of the garrison with the Red River. To aid in this,
the foray was made by gen. Banks upon the Fort. This occurred some time, I
think, in March. The ploy thickens, when, the first of April, Brasher City,
which had hitherto been occupied by only one brigade, becomes the rallying
point of some fifteen thousand men. April 9th, the crossing commenced of Berwick
Bay into the enemy's territory. During the 13th and 14th of April we had a
hard but very successful battle at Fort Bislan. An interesting fact of this
fight was, that in just two months to a day, and on exactly the same ground,
our brigade fought the same enemy it had engaged at the destruction of the
Cotton. The enemy was wofully [sic] cut up at Fort Bislan, and signally defeated.
Our loss in killed and wounded, owing to the peculiarity of the ground, and
the skill with which the troops were handled, was comparatively small. The
best description of this fight I have seen, is in the N. Y. Herald of the 28th
While the battle of Fort Bislan was in progress, a division, under General
Grover was crossed over the Bayou below the Fort and sent to Franklin, to take
the enemy in the rear, and intercept his retreat. This movement was unsuccessful.
Gen. Grover gave the enemy a pretty hard fight, but his loss was heavy, and
he succeeded in occupying every road except the one the rebel General Dick
Taylor wanted, and that was the main road from Franklin to New Iberia. Then
hurrah for a pursuit, and such a march as troops in such climates rarely make!
On! on! the 19th corps of the army of the Union moves in pursuit of the fugitives!
Eagerly we press after them to New Iberia, where they were expected to stand,
where they had the strongest possible position, and where was their famous
island of salt, with its splendid works, and a vast depot of stores for Port
Hudson.—But no ! They had seen the madness of withstanding us at Fort
Bislan. Our advance had a brush with the enemy's rear guard just beyond, with
trifling loss on either side. On! on! the standard of the 19th corps moves,
until we pause for a few days' rest at Opelousas. Here the 160th was doomed
to special labor. For twenty-four hours we had to perform the provost duty
of the city, which was no small task in so large a place, with the presence
of so many troops. We had but one day of rest, and that was interrupted by
inspection, and I was detailed, with our regiment, to guard an important department
train to and from new Iberia, a distance of over fifty miles. We had to guard
and turn over at New Iberia seventy-three prisoners, and a train of over eighty
wagons. But we had a good time, foot-sore and worn out as we were. We were
ordered to load the train with cotton, and to pick up what horses and mules
we could. So on we went. We very soon had our load of cotton, over a hundred
bales, and then the boys had rare sport in catching horses and mules, and breaking
them in. Many were of the wildest and most mischievous sort; and having the
sweep of broad prairies, it was lively sport to take them. And when we had
some, the next thing was to subdue them. One, a black and white stallion of
seven years, upon whose head rope or rein had never been, gave us rich entertainment.
Our Quarter-Master pursued him, aided by a large party, upon fleet and hardy
horses, for hours, and gave up the chase.—On our return we saw him feeding
in the distance. Mounted on a beautiful gray, in which I had some confidence,
I started the chase myself. After him we went, through the woods and across
the prairies. At length we surrounded him, and by getting him in the midst
of a lot of others, got him in a yard with a high fence around.—Party
after party tried to bridle him in his enclosure, but in vain. He would break
through them, knock them down, and run over them with perfect abandon. At length
he was lassoed and subdued by two Mexican bred negroes. It was, however, a
glorious fight that the desert born made for his freedom!
On our way to New Iberia we captured twenty-one prisoners and over eighty horses.
On our return, we took eight prisoners, and captured a train of twenty-one
wagons, mostly loaded with a lot of fine horses and mules, belonging to three
or four sesech families on their way for the promised land of Texas, and made
the march in two days.
When scarcely rested from this, we started for Alexandria, on the Red River,
distant some ninety miles from Opelouses. This march was almost a perfect race,
day and night. An interesting incident occurred on the afternoon of Thursday,
May 7th. When some eight miles from Alexandria, Gen. Weitzel took from the
residence of Governor More a large and gorgeous secesh flag of his brigade,
and sent the standard bearer along the line. Hurrah! What shouts for Weitzel
and the brigade! On the way, a few hours before, we had heard that Com. Porter
had stolen the march on us, and taken Alexandria. Perhaps our coming up in
the rear may have influenced secesh to move on.
While this triumphal march of the land force was in progress, with gen. Banks
in person leading us on, Com. Cook had sunk the Queen of the West, and destroyed
the whole of the “small but efficient navy" of the rebs in Grand
Lake, the Bayou Teche, and the Atchafalayu, and made the important
capture of Bute La Rore. Meanwhile Grant had been multiplying his victories
about Vicksburg, and Porter had passed with his fleet below Vicksburg, and
captured Grand Gulf, guns, powder and all.—More wonderful still, Rosecran's
Illinois Cavalry sweep round the garrisons of
Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and join our forces under Auger. Two brigades of
Banks' corps, under Gen. Weitzel, push after the relics of Dick Taylor's force,
some forty miles in the pine woods towards Shrievesport [sic]. This was a vain
chase. By this time the rebels were all flying artillery, or still more flying
cavalry, and we could not catch them. When Weitzel returned from the pine woods,
Gen. Banks and Staff, with the rest of his force at Alexandria, excepting the
two brigades under Weitzel, start for Semmesport, on the, Atchafalayu. On the
17th of May the residue of the corps at Alexandria take up their march for
Semmesport. Here a junction is formed of his troops, and then ho for Port Hudson!
The 26th of May we were in position about this devoted fortress. On the 27th
we had a severe battle, in which we drove the enemy out of their rifle pits,
drove them through a piece of woods about a mile wide, abounding in the most
horrible gorges and obstructions, natural and artificial, and through a slashing
cut in the most fantastic style, and thence into their works. Our brigade did
not start in the advance, but at 3 1-2 P. M., (we began the fight at 5 A. M.,)
I was able to report to Gen. Weitzel that my command occupied the ditch on
one side of the breastwork, with the enemy on the other. The 12th Ct. was in
position on our left, and the 75th N.Y. and 9th Vt. had been equally successful
on the right. Here we waited orders for an assault, which we had been informed
was to be made by our whole line. The order was not given. Had it been, we
should certainly have gone into the Fort, and the stars and stripes would now
wave over it. The loss in the brigade was severe, about thirty killes and three
hundred wounded. Among the killed we have to count some of the bravest and
best of our officers. Major Lewis, of the 12th Ct., who had been in the service
from the first of the war, and one of the most talented and courageous, was
severely, and we fear, fatally wounded. The young, Accomplished, and gallant
Lieut. Avery, from Auburn, of the 75th N.Y., was killed. A sad loss was experienced
among the Staff of Gen. Weitzel, in the fate of Capt. J. B. Hubbard, A. A.
Geul, and Lieut. Wrodnoski, Engineer and Aid-De-Camp.
Capt. Hubbard was an accomplished scholar, an exemplary man, a model gentleman,
brave soldier and meritorious officer. He was the best assistant Adjutant General
I ever saw. His office and field duties were alike completely done. He was
beloved and respected by the whole brigade, and the circumstances of his death
are peculiarly interesting. He was on the right of the brigade and was about
coming to the left, when he paused to indulge in a few shots at the enemy with
a soldier's musket. He discharged his piece four times, when some foe, perhaps
conscious of his shining mark, shot him in the forhead [sic], killing him instantly.
He purposed, as we have been informed, when the campaign was over, to take
a leave of absence to go home to be married; but alas, for that circle of which
he must have been the star and pride, he fell in battle, another victim of
this wicked rebellion.
Lt. Wrodnoski was also a brave, educated and devoted soldier. He was a Pole,
and on all occasions evinced the spirit, chivalry and true nobility of his
race. He was in our service because he loved America and American liberty.
And many a native officer could learn how to do his duty from him. Building
bridges, erecting forts and signal stations, making and finding roads, struggling
in swamps, fathoming bayous in storm and sunshine, cold and heat. Wrodnoski
always seemed content and happy, if only his work went on. He also fell from
a hostile bullet, while in the act of leveling a musket upon the foe. It was
his purpose, upon the fall of Port Hudson, to resign and return home to fight
for the emancipation of his Fatherland. Noble spirit, let his name be embalmed
with those of Pulaski, De Kalb and Steuben, those Polish patriots and heroes
who gave themselves to the cause of America in the dark hour of the revolution.
Another noble spirit, recently departed from us, was Lt. Allen, also aid-d-camp
of Gen. Weitzel. Lt. Allen was severely wounded, and taken prisoner on the
ill-fated Dianah, on which we lost Capt. Josiah Jewett and company. When on
the march up the Teche, while the rebels were taking him up past Franklin toward
New Iberia, seeing Grover's artillery and troops in position, he demanded the
surrender of the boat, passengers and crew. He thus captured prisoners enough
to compensate for all we lost on the Dianah. We thought him quite well, but
he never fully recovered from his wounds. A few days since, like our own lamented
Capt. Jewett, he died of typhoid Tever. So in turn we meet our fate. Never
mind! It is the same cause in which Montgomery and Warren died. No matter how
many fall amid the exposure and dangers of the service, if our country yet
remains undivided, indivisible great and free.
Gen. Banks' entire loss in the battle of the 27th is variously estimated from
1000 to 1300 killed and wounded. The success was decided and clear. We now
have the enemy in close quarters. He occupies a space of some six miles long,
and from one and a half to two miles wide. Our gunboats occupy the river. Our
land force forms a semi-circle round the Fort, reaching from the river above
to the river below. We have nearly completed a circle of heavy guns at close
range around the enemy's position, and in one or two days doubtless a perfect
tempest of shot and shell will pour upon his devoted tenament. Whether it will
be necessary to make an infantry charge or not, I cannot say. If necessary,
it will be made, regardless of the sacrifice.
The troops in this department have been worked excessivly [sic] hard since
the 8th of April. In the course of some thirty days, besides considerable skirmishing
and fighting, we marched over four hundred miles. And it seems to us that we
have been on the rack of exertion ever since we crossed Berwick Bay, and entered
upon the campaign. But the achievements have compensated for our toils and
sacrifices. The amount of sugar and cotton captured is immense and untold,
and enough contrabands have followed us from the great plantations between
Berwick Bay and the Red River, to recruit the whole of Banks' Corps D'Afrique.
The military result is well summed up in a letter to Gen. Hallack, by our most
excellent corps commander as follows: "We have destroyed the enemy's army
and navy, and made their re-organization impossible, by destroying or removing
the material. We hold the key of the position. Among the evidences of our victory
are 2000 prisoners, 2 transports, and 20 guns, including one piece of the balvade
battery taken, and 3 gunboats and 8 transports destroyed. We add, we now have
the cords round Port Hudson, and she must fall.”
Allow me sir, now, that I have observed them much in camp on marches, and in
the midst of battle, to say to their many friends in Wayne, Cayuga and Alleghany,
that the 75th and 160th N. Y. V. sustain a high character for bravery and good
conduct, and enjoy the boundless confidence of Gen. Weitzel and other superior
officers. Asking pardon of you and your readers for the length of this letter,
I subscribe, your friend and brother,
J. B. Van Petten.
From the One Hundred and Sixtieth.
DONALDSONVILLE, July 29th, 1863.
To the Editor of the Lyons Republican:
We are at Donaldsonville,—in former years the Capitol of Louisiana, but
now a pile of ruins. It was burned by the gunboats; part of it recently, but
most of it one year ago.
Our Regiment has marched, since the 9th of April, over five hundred miles,
and during that time has been in three battles.—Our loss during this
time has been eleven killed and seventy-five wounded. But five Companies were
in the fights of May 27th and June 14th. This will account for there being
men killed and wounded in some Companies and none in others.
Let me here state that the monthly report of the effective men of our Corps,
on the last day of June, (which I saw myself) was ten thousand nine hundred
and forty men. The effective strength of the Nineteenth Army Corps has been
very much over estimated. The climate is very severe upon troops from the North.
There were ten thousand sick and wounded in the Hospitals at New Orleans when
Port Hudson surrendered, and some five thousand in Baton Rogue. The members
of Companies A, C, D and I, though not exposed as much as the others to rebel
bullets, had severe duties to perform, as the low water in Thompson's Creek
permitted the rebels to cross from the fort with little difficulty, and escape
on the Bayou Sara road; and scarcely a day passed that they did not take some
prisoners.—Lieut. Westfall alone captured two—one of them armed
with a Colt's revolver, and having despatches from Gen. Johnson.
During the fight of the 14th of June, when the color-bearer of the One Hundred
and Fourteenth was shot down, and nearly all the Line and Field Officers killed
or wounded, and the Regiment had fallen back without its colors, Lieut. Shover
(Acting Adjutant) walked up, and brought them to the Regiment.
Lieut. Col. Van Petten is in command of our Regiment now, and has been in every
engagement—always at the front; and too much credit cannot be bestowed
on all of the officers and men of the Regiment.
The corn that got mixed with soft earth has sprouted, and over the graves of
those who were killed on the 27th, was four feet high when Port Hudson surrendered—the
only head-stone that marks the spot where so many brave heroes lie. D. H. A.
DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF.
Headquarters 160th Reg't N. Y. S. V.
Brashear City, La., Sept. 16th, 1863.
Report of casualities [sic] in the 160th Regiment, N. Y. S. Vol., in the late
battles in which it has been engaged.
To the Editor of the Auburn Daily Advertiser:
Having seen many errors in the publication of the casualities [sic] suffered
by our Regiment in the late battles of the Gulf Department, I send you herewith
a list made up from the official reports of Company Commanders which you will
oblige us by publishing. We wish a correct report for the friends and relatives
of the killed and wounded.
On Gunboat Diana, near Pattersonville:—
Killed—B E Steel, Lieut. H Baily, J F Lovejoy, J Lathrop, and Levi Slater,
Co. F. Wounded.—J P Jewit, mortally; D Pettit, seriously; J D Clark,
seriously; J E White, G Verplank, Serg't. slightly; S Simon3, seriously; M
Jonson, seriously; E Barhite, slightly; W McPherson, slightly; Joseph Marks,
slightly; of Co. F.
At Fort Bisland, Killed.—Barney McGraw, Co E, Nelson Burack, Co. I.
Wounded.--John Van Dusen, Serg't. A, seriously; Jacob Giberson, Serg't. D.
slightly; John A Case, Co B. slightly; A Loring, Co. I slightly. John France,
Co D slightly; Wm More, Co. I slightly.
At Port Hudson, Killed.—John H Minkle, Lorence Corcoran, Frederick Potter,
Co B, Chauncy Jones, Co H.
Wounded.—Henry Moore, severely; Lieut. James Gray, slightly; Jno H Shaver,
Lieut. Ass't Adjutant, severely; of Co E. James Kelley, 2d Lieut. Co B severely;
Thos Dawson, Serg't Co B seriously; John Cider, Co B severely; Wm Howe, Co
B severely; Patrick Mc Carty, Serg't Co E severely; Thos O'Heron, Serg't. Co.
E slightly; John O Berron, Co E. severely; Peter Crelley, Co E severely ; I
L Tooney, Co E severely; Edmund Stanton, Co E severely; Edward Cruley, Co E
slightly; W J Rawson, Corporal Co E slightly; Jno Jordan, Corporal Co E severely;
Florence Sullivan, Corporal, Co E severely; James McGowen, Corporal Co E slightly;
Joseph Mc Call, Co E slightly; Michael Hill, Co E severely; Patrick J Morris,
Co E severely: Thos Morris, Co E slight; Wm Lane, Co E slight; Patrick Byron,
Co E severely; Jno Edwards, Co E severely; Chas H Buttner, Serg't Co D slightly;
Lovell O Hicks, Serg't Co H slight; Miles Meservey, Corporal Co H slight; Banoney
Parker, Co H severely. Adelbert Potter, Co H severely; Geo Rawley, Co H severely;
Hilliard Straigh, Co H severly [sic]; S Putnam, Co H slight; Joseph Brewster,
Co H severely; Oscar N Morris, Co H slight; Henry Reeland, Co H severely; Barnard
Berrand, Co K severely; Jno Pipp, Co E severely; Nichols Mintz, Co K severely;
Jno Spellacy, Co K slight; Jacob Wilder, Co K slight; Fred Ditzel, Co B severely;
Clinton Mc Donald, Co B severely; Thos Welch, Corporal Co B slight; Jacob Conrad,
Co G slight; Morris Kennedy, Co G slight; Fayett Terry, Co G severely; Jno
Stewart, Co G slight, Jno Blauvelt Co G severely; Wm Moore, Co I slight.
As a note of explanation I would say that there were no casualities [sic] in
Companies A, C, D, and I, because they were detached from the rest of the Regiment
with a battery to guard an outpost, and hence were not engaged in the battles
incident to the siege. But these Companies being employed in most arduous guard
and picket duty, have suffered quite as much from hardships during the siege
as the others from battle.
J. V. D. WESTFALL,
Adjutant 160th Reg't. N. Y. S. Vol.
From the 160th.
The following extracts from a letter from a Sergeant of the 160th, will interest
the friends of the Regiment in this city:
IN THE FIELD AT STRASBURGH, Va.,
Sept. 22, 1864.
On the 18th we received orders to be ready to march at a moment's notice. We
were up at one o'clock on the morning of the 10th—took up our line of
arch at two, and reached the battle-field about 9 o'clock.
Skirmishing had been going on for over two hours by the 6th Corps. At about
10 o'clock we were ordered in at the double quick, and took up our position
behind a rail fence just in time to see the 2d Division of our Corps driven
from a fence in advance of us, and fall hastily back, half way across a field,
and then rally.—I do not recollect where they went to, for my whole attention
was taken up with loading, looking for the Rebs, and firing. Pretty soon the
bullets (a perfect hail storm all the time) began to come more from the right,
until they whistled over the whole length of our line, and then a Rebel battery
opened away to the right —the shells bursting over us. There our ammunition
gave out. We were ordered to hold the place at all hazards. A battery placed
behind to help us, cut and run. Capt. Dexter and Lieut. Maxon were killed.
Col. Van Petten, Lt. Wheelock and Capt. Kirby were wounded, yet refused to
leave the field. The men were being hit right and left. I had about concluded
we were all going. At last an order came to fall back. Our left had before
rested on the woods. We simply swung round so that our line should be at right
angles with our former one, and within the shelter of the woods. The 114th,
just on our right, suffered more than we, for until they fell back to the woods,
their line was more exposed. Then cartridges came, and we began firing again.
Gen. Sheridan sent us word to hold on a few moments longer, and we should have
plenty of help.—and it came.—Crooks' line far overlapping the Rebels,
came sweeping on and sent them skiltering away like chaff. Then we were off
to the left a little, and then forward into the open field, where we saw the
Rebels skudding across the fields, with thousands of our Cavalry cutting and
slashing among them. Then we went through another woods—where Sheridan
passed us, taking off his hat as we cheered him;—and into the open field,
where we saw the Rebels again running like sheep, with our Cavalry all among
them. We cheered and yelled like mad. It was the first cavalry charge I ever
saw, and it almost compensated for the horrible fatigue.
That night we camped just this side of Winchester. The next day we marched
to within three miles of this place, and rested all day.—The 21st we
took up our present position on a hill, almost perpendicular, and directly
above the little town of Strasburg. The 160th is detached from the Brigade,
to support a Battery placed on the hill, and with the exception of one or two
Regiments, skirmishing in front is entirely detached by two or three miles
from the rest of the army.
We are safe, however. There is constant firing on, and but a few moments ago
I saw a most brilliant charge by our men away on the right. Our skirmish line
was reinforced, and advanced quickly, and the Rebels firing only a few shots,
abandoned one of their strong earth works. It was perfectly splendid. I saw
but one or two of our men fall.
Averill and Crooks have gone off somewhere on a flanking movement, and we are
keeping the enemy busy, while they are getting into position. One battery has
just opened again, and is pitching in lively.
I do not think the 160th is appreciated by the good folks in Auburn. The Regiment
has never gone backward—"Nulla vestigia retrosum," and when
the column is halted for the night, there are no stragglers from the 160th.—I
wish you could see the flag which the ladies of Auburn gave us. It is all whipped
and shot to pieces except six or eight stars; the rest is mere rags.
The summing up is this: we had a tremendous battle—thrashed the Rebels
as they never have been thrashed before in this valley, and will probably do
it again here, if Crooks and Averill come out all right.
I am safe and well, though how I am so, is only to be accounted for by the
fact that a gracious Providence kept me, for I never heard rain drops patter
faster than the bullets did.
Our loss is 14 killed and 50 wounded, inclusive of officers.
PROMOTIONS.—We hear that Wm. Mc-Math, of Lyons, has been (or soon will
be) promoted to the Second Lieutenancy of Company C, One Hundred and Sixtieth
Regiment; and that Lieut. R. B. Ennis assumes the Captaincy and Lieut. J. V.
D. Westfall the First Lieutenancy of the same Company. These promotions are
consequent upon the resignation of Capt. B. R. Rogers. Lieut. Westfall is now
the Acting Adjutant of the Regiment.
COL. VAN PETTEN.—The N. Y. Herald correspondent thus mentions an assault
on Port Hudson which was expected to be made;
It was surmised and generally believed the assault was to take place on the
20th, to be led by Gen. Grierson and Col. Van Petten of the 160th New York.
The assaulting party to be supported by Gen Weitzel's old brigade and that
of Col. Dudley.
Capt. B. R. Rogers, late of the 160th Regiment, arrived home on Monday morning
last, having resigned his position on account of impaired health. He reports
the general health of his Company as first rate. George Fowler of Sodus,
and Martin Dickinson of Lyons, received their discharge before Capt.
R. left, and will doubtless arrive home in a few days.
Capt. Wm. Kreutzer of the 98th Regiment is at present A. A. General; at Port
Royal, S. C.
QUERE.—Has Capt. K., ever been mustered out of the service as ordered
by Gen. Foster?
The 160th and 75th N. Y. Regiments are in the advance of all our forces at
Port Hudson. Col. Van Petten of the 160th has volunteered to lead the assault
against the rebel works. He is acknowledged to be among "the bravest of
the brave." Events have proved him a valuable officer, and his efforts
have been fruitful of good results, while the 160th are deservedly praised
for their soldierly bearing and efficiency.
MISSING.—In the list of casualties in the 160th Regiment, N. Y. V.,
at the battle of Pleasant Hill, La., we find, among the missing, the following
names of five young men from this village: Corp. Florence Sullivan, Privates
Wm. Durnin, Wm, Ryan, J. Mc-Call, and T. Mangan.
The 160th has made a noble record for itself. The night after the battle of
Pleasant Hill, Lieut. Col. Van Petten, (in command of the Regiment,) was summoned
to Head- Quarters, and received, in behalf of his Regiment, the thanks of Gens.
Banks, Emery and McMullen, they remarking that "the One Hundred and Sixtieth
turned the tide of battle and saved the day.
CASUALTIES IN WESTERN NEW YORK REGIMENTS IN LOUISIANA.—The following
casualties in the 160th N. Y. occurred in the late battle of "Pleasant
Hill," as reported by the Tribune's New Orleans correspondent:
Capt. Robert B. Ennis, C, thigh, paroled.
Lieut. C. Edwards, E, thigh, paroled.
Lieut. N. McDonough, E, died May 3d.
Lewis T. Kellogg, D, paroled.
Corp. James McGowan, E, amputation, died May 13.
Corp. L. K. Ingraham, F, died May 14.
Corp. O. P. Henyan, D, died May 17.
Henry Field, D, hand amputated, paroled.
Otto Miller, G, foot, paroled.
Wm. H. Lambert, H, amputation, died May 26th.
A Sorrowful Journey.
On Monday of last Mrs. Martin Dickerson received a telegram summoning her to
New York to see her husband. She started on Monday evening and on Wednesday
returned with the dead body of her husband. Mr. D, was a member of Capt.
Rogers' Co. 160th Regiment, and was on his way home, having been discharged
from the service.
Waterman Davis, the Venerable Drummer.
NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 2, 1863.
DEAR EDITOR:—Being at leisure, I thought I would address you a few lines.
My mother sent me an article published in your paper, relating to the death
of Waterman Davis, Drum-Major of the 160th N. Y. V. He was my father; and if
I do say it, he was a faithful soldier, always at his post in time of battle,
and, although 68 years of age, could get around smarter than any of the young
drummers. But the long march from Brashear City to Port Hudson caused his death.
He was not able to perform such a march, but he was through all the battles
of Gen. Banks' army up to the taking of Port Hudson.
This event found him too much prostrated to go home. He was taken sick at Port
Hudson and had to be removed to Baton Rouge, where he died. Poor old man, peace
be to his remains!
Our men die very fast of chill fever. There are enough men in the hospital
to make a large army. Yours respectfully,
DRUM-MAJOR WATERMAN DAVIS.—The following which we notice in the New
York Tribune has not appeared in these columns. It may have originated, however,
in some paper in this county:
The death of Drum Major Waterman Davis, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on the first
day of August, 1863, deserves more than a passing notice. In the war of 1812
he was among the first to respond to the call for volunteers. He served during
that war, in the regiment of Colonel Farrand Stranahan, raised in and about
Otsego County. Major Davis took part in the battle of Queenston Heights. He
had, early in the war, attained the rank of Drum- Major. At the breaking out
of the present war, although then sixty-six years of age, he was among the
foremost in recruiting in the County of Monroe, he, with a fine martial band,
of which he was leader, being at every war meeting, and his voice at every
opportunity was raised on the side of loyalty to the Government. In August,
1861, he joined the "Old Thirteenth" New York Volunteers, having
received an appointment as Drum-Major. In front of Washington for eight months
he taught the drummers of many of the new regiments then lying there. The result
of his teaching has been heard on many hard-fought fields. In the summer of
1862, he was discharged by reason of sickness. In the autumn of 1862, when
the call for six hundred thousand more came, he at once threw himself into
the work of recruiting, and after about two months' arduous work in that capacity,
he received an appointment of drum-major of the One Hundred and Sixtieth New
York Volunteers, raised at Auburn. His regiment was ordered to join General
Banks' army at New Orleans, and the 'old drum-major of two wars' was with his
regiment in all the field operations of Gen. Banks' army, from New Orleans
to the taking of Port Hudson. The last letter received from him by his family,
(which resides in Brockport, Monroe county, New York,) expressed a determination
to see the fall of Port Hudson, then resign and return home. That event found
him, however, so much prostrated, that he could only be removed to Baton Rouge,
where he died as above stated, at the age of sixty-eight years."
MISSING SOLDIERS HEARD FROM.—The following is a copy of a letter received
by Mr. John Sullivan from his son, who with the other three named in the letter,
were reported as missing after the battle of Mansfield, in Western Louisiana.
CAMP FORD, TYLER, Texas,
April 21, 1864.
DEAR PARENTS :—I write you a few lines to inform you that I am a prisoner
of war. I was taken at the battle of Mansfield, on the 9th of April. Bill Durnin,
Pat Ryan, and Joseph McCall, were taken on the 10th. We are well, and are in
good spirits. We get enough to eat, and I do not want you to be troubled or
anxious about me. Give my love and best respects to all the folks.
Co. E, 160th Regt., N. Y. S. V.
NEW-YORK, DECEMBER, 1865.
WILLIAM OLAND BOURNE, Editor.
Office, No. 12 Centre Street.
THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND.
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH
THE 160th N. Y. Vol. Infantry arrived in this city on Monday, the 7th November.
They halted at the Battery Barracks a few hours, and in the afternoon left
for their destination at Elmira, to be paid off and discharged.
It was our privilege, at two o'clock, to go with the Rev. W. C. VAN METER,
of the Howard Mission, in the New Bowery, and give the regiment a "welcome
home." Mr. Van Meter took with him a choir of about fifteen of the girls
of his school, who for an hour and a half sung many of the beautiful hymns
and songs taught in the school. Addresses were also delivered by Mr. Van Meter,
Mr. Dyer, and the editor of THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND.
At the close of the concert, the latest news by telegraph from the elections
was announced—and when the result in New-Jersey was declared the applause
shook the barracks, and the little choristers departed with the thanks of the
men, who will not soon forget the children's welcome concert at the Battery
The 160th was recruited chiefly in Cayuga, Wayne, and Allegany Counties. Lieut.-Col.
H. P. Underhill, commissioned as Colonel; Capt. John B. Borrud, commissioned
as Lieut-Colonel; Capt. D. L. Vaughn, commissiond [sic] as Major. The regiment
returned from Savannah, Ga., where they were mustered out.
The regiment was engaged at Fort Bisland, Port Hudson, Saline Cross Road, April
8th, 1864; Pleasant Hill, La., April 9th, 1864; Cane River; Mansury Plains,
La., May 16th; Deep Bottom, July 27th; Winchester, Sept. 19th; Fisher's Hill,
Sept. 22d; Cedar Creek, Oct 19th, 1864.
Back to 160th Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
May 4, 2007