162nd Infantry Regiment
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
THIRD METROPOLITAN REGIMENT.—
The Third Metropolitan Regiment—One Hundred and Sixty-second N. Y. S.
V.—left Riker's Island, on Friday, for the seat of war. The regiment
numbers 900 men. The following is a list of the field and staff officers:—
Colonel—Lewis Benedict, of Albany.
Lieutenant Colonel--J. W. Blanchard, of Albany.
Major--W. N. Bogart.
Adjutant—R. W. Seward.
Quartermaster—W. H. Albertson.
Sergeant Major—Wm. P. Huxford.
Three of the above officers hail from this city, and are well known to a vast
majority of our citizens.
Early in the campaign Col. Benedict left for the seat of war, second in command
of Excelsior Brigade, and was unfortunately taken a prisoner in one of the
battles on the Peninsula, and remained in prison at Richmond, and subsequently
at Salisbury, N. C., up to within two months, when he was unchanged and returned
to this city enfeebled in health. After a short sojourn he partially recruited
his health, and immediately upon his promotion to the command of the Third
Metropolitan Regiment he repaired to New York and entered upon his duties,
where he has been up to the time of the departure of his regiment, actively
Lieut. Col. Blanchard was among the first that volunteered their services in
the defence of his country. He entered the service in the Spring of 1861, and
left here in May of that year as Captain in the Third (Townsend) regiment.
He served in that capacity with his regiment at Fortress Monroe, and was under
fire for the first and last time at the battle of Big Bethel. His regiment
was subsequently transferred to Fort McHenry, and then to Suffolk, where they
are now doing garrison duty.
Major Bogert, more than a year ago, left here as Adjutant of the 43d (Col.
Vinton) and went through the Peninsula campaign with his regiment. When the
regiment was consolidated, Adj. Bogert resigned.
Another Albanian, one equally deserving of praise for his heroic conduct on
the field of battle, has been promoted to this regiment. Sergeant Major William
P. Huxford, although he enlisted at the breaking out of the rebellion as a
private in the 4th Michigan regiment, was born and brought up in this city.
He was in all the battles on the Peninsula and in the last day's fight he was
wounded in the head, the ball entering below the eye and coming out behind
the ear. The ball that wounded him was intended for his Colonel, for
Major Huxford stood beside him, and soon after being wounded his Colonel fell
mortally wounded beside him.
Major Huxford's comrades being of the belief that he was mortally wounded,
left him on the field, where he remained three days, and was subsequently taken
a prisoner to Richmond. He remained there several weeks, and being reported
as dead, efforts were being made to recover his body, when his relatives received
a letter from him from Philadelphia. He was in the hospital at that place,
almost destitute and quite feeble. With good medical attendance and kind nursing
he quickly rallied and came to this city. After a short sojourn here he recovered
his strength, and being desirous of avenging the insults, to say nothing of
the cruel treatment he received while a prisoner at Richmond, he sought for
and was appointed to the position he now holds.
In fact, all the above are brave and accomplished officers, and will doubtless
reflect credit upon Albany, in whatever field of active duty they may be placed.
The Siege of Port Hudson.
We are permitted to make the following extracts from a note written huriedly
in pencil by Col. LEWIS BENEDICT, of the 162d Regiment
New York Volunteers, to his mother, dated
PORT HUDSON, June 17.
On Sunday, 14th inst., we had a battle along the right and left of our lines
enclosing Port Hudson. At 12 o'clock Saturday night the orders were given.
I was put in command of the 2d Brigade of DWIGHT'S Division." It was composed
of my Regiment, 162d New York,. 175th New York, Col. BRYAN, 28th Maine and
48th Massachusetts. The order did not reach the 28th Maine, so I had three
regiments, the 48th only 100 strong.
The attack was begun by the 1st Brigade, under Col. CLARK, 6th Michigan. I
was ordered to support him, and to march in column of companies. As we issued
from behind the woods where we formed, we were saluted by bullets, shot and
shell, but the column advanced firmly amidst a terrible iron rain, and presently
to a point where the Rebels had us under a cross fire of artillery.
On this advance I lost Col. BRYAN, shot through both legs. He fought as the
brave only do, and so died, at 11 o'clock. Also, Maj. BOGART, struck by a shell,
which tore away his sword hilt and carried it through his left hip. He lived
but a few minutes. It being impracticable to convey his body to Baton Rouge,
he was buried at the foot of a tree, which is marked and a board put up. Col.
BLANCHARD was not hit, though exposed to all the fire. Capt. HUXFORD was touched
on the hand, slightly. Lieut. NEVILLE was badly wounded. Several brave men
of the 162d were killed outright; about twenty-four wounded, some mortally.
The 48th Massachusetts had two killed and twelve wounded. The 175th lost heavily.
Our medical attendance is good, and the wounded are well cared for.
Being without aids, I was compelled to retrace the road to report to Gen. DWIGHT,
and was mercifully permitted to go and return without receiving a scratch,
though I was a target for the enemy. We were so close to them that their sharpshooters
kept us under cover all day after the attack ceased, and we removed our wounded
under the darkness of night."
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SECOND
REGIMENT AND SURGEON BRACKETT—LETTER
FROM LIEUT. COL. BLANCHARD.—A short time since we published a letter
from Surgeon Brackett, of 175th Regiment, in which he did not speak very flatteringly
of the conduct of the members of the 162d Regiment, in the action before Port
Hudson. In reply to this letter, Lieut. Col. Blanchard, under date of August
4th, writes as follows:
To-day, upon my return from New Orleans, after an absence of two weeks from
my regiment on account of ill health, my attention was called to an article
in the Albany Knickerbocker purporting to be from Surgeon Brackett, dated June
15th, 1863, which statement is so ...pably false, that I deem it my duty, as
commanding the Regiment at the time mentioned by him, to notice it. In his
letter it is stated that the 162d Regiment quailed and broke under the enemy's
fire, when Col. Bryan dashed ahead and l ed his regiment by and over us—or
words which would convey that idea. This Statement is totally untrue, and no
member of the 175th Regiment that was in the action will support this non-combattant
in his story. I beg to state that on the morning of June 14th, the 1st Brigade
was marched into action at six o'clock; in a half-hour later the 2d Brigade,
composed of the 162d and 175th New York, and
48th Mass., marched to the support of the 1st Brigade. Our route was up a road
leading directly to the citadel, and almost entirely without cover. The Brigade
moved in column of companies, on the double quick, under an enfilading fire
of artillery and musketry from the enemy. When within three hundred yards of
the fortifications a ravine ran directly across the road, which it was impossible
for men to pass. Col. Benedict, commanding the Brigade, ordered it to halt.
Col. Bryan not hearing the order, one or two of his leading companies moved
on and became mixed up with my right, and on the following day they were reprimanded
by the division commander. According to orders, my regiment remained on the
ground that we had gained all day, near the ravine, exposed to the galling
fire of the enemy, and retired only when the column fell back at nightfall.
My only reason for noticing this statement of Dr. Brackett is on account of
the injustice done by it to the brave men of my command, who, as yet, have
never failed to do their duty. J. W. BLANCHARD.
Lieut. Col. 162d Reg't., commanding.
FROM PORT HUDSON.
Letter from a Volunteer in the "Forlorn Hope."
PARTICULARS OF THE ASSAULT OF THE FOURTEENTH--
COL. BRYAN'S LAST HOURS—HOW MAJ. BOGART WAS KILLED—BRAVERY OF COL.
LEW. BENEDICT, WHO IS TO LEAD THE NEXT STORMING PARTY.
Correspondence of the Evening Journal.
BIVOUAC OF THE "THOUSAND STORMERS,"
BEFORE PORT HUDSON, June 22.
Some days since I wrote and sent to New Orleans by a friend a few lines, which
I hope are ere now in your hands. From them you will know of my whereabouts.
I know the date line of this letter will seem queer to you, but the order enclosed
will explain it. [Gen. BANKS call for a thousand volunteers to storm the fort.]
I have thus far been spared, but I fear now that this is my last letter for
a long time, if not forever. On the 14th we stormed the works again and were
repulsed with much loss.
Our regiment lost 60 out of 250. I lost just half my company, (killed and wounded)
and was slightly hurt on the left wrist by an unexploded shell, which cut the
flesh, and the concussion lamed the arms badly. However, I am on duty and have
commanded the regiment since then, till yesterday A. M., Col. B. being in command
of the brigade and Lieut. Col. B. being sick. Poor Major BOGART was killed
in the charge—struck in the hip by a shell before it exploded and almost
cut in two. The same one killed Sergt. LORD and Corp. NEWMAN, of my company—then
exploded and wounded several men. I have been in many battles, but I never
saw, and never wish to see, such a fire as that poured on us on June 14th.
It was not terrible—it was HORRIBLE.
Our division (2d) stormed about a mile from the Mississippi. We left our camp
where I wrote you last at 12 o'clock midnight, on the 13th, and proceeded to
the left, arriving just at daylight, where the balance of our brigade (2d)
Col. BENEDICT arrived from opposite Port Hudson on the 12th, and our regiment
was transferred from the 1st to the 2d brigade, and he placed in command. The
movement to the left took all by surprise; but we got in shape behind a piece
of woods which concealed the enemy's works and rested. The 1st brigade went
in first and we followed—the 3d brigade being a reserve. I saw the 1st
brigade file left and move on, but saw no more of it. When the order came to
move on, we did so in "Column of Company," at full distance. Ask
some good military man what he thinks of a brigade moving to a charge in that
manner. The 162d leading, the 175th (BRYAN'S) after us, then the 48th Massachusetts
and 28th Maine. We were in a road parallel to the enemy's works, and had to
change direction to or file left round the corner of the woods, and then started
forward by a road leading up. The ground rose gradually, and away above, the
Rebel works were in plain sight. The moment we turned into the road, shot,
shell, grape and canister fell like hail in amongst and around us. But on we
went. A little higher, a new gun open- ed on us. Still farther, they had a
cross-fire us—oh! such a terrible one; but on we went, bending, as, with
sickening shrieks, the grape and canister swept over us. Sometimes it fell
in and about us; but I paid no heed to it. P-After the first, my whole mind
was given to the colors, and to keep my men around them; and they did it well.
I wonder now, as I think of it, how I did so. I walked erect, though from moment
I saw how they had us, I was sure I would be killed. I had no thought (after
a short prayer) but for my flag. I talked shouted. I did all man could do to
keep my boys to their "colors." I tried to draw their attention from
the enemy to it, as I knew we would advance more rapidly. The brave fellows
stood by it, as half score who fell attest. The "color bearer" fell,
but the "Flag" did not. Half the guard was there. Ask (if I never
come home), my Colonel or Lieut. Colonel if any one could have done better
than did that day. I do not fear their answer. When about three hundred yards
from works, I was struck. The pain was so intense that I could not go on. I
turned to my Second Lieutenant, who was in command of Co. C, as he came up
to me, and said: "Never mind me, Jack; for God's sake jump to the colors." don't
recollect any more, till heard Col. B. say: "Up, men, forward." I
looked and saw the rear regiments lying" flat escape the fire, and Col.
B. standing there, shot striking all about him he never FLINCHING. It was grand
see him. I wish I was of "iron nerve" as he is. When heard him speak,
forgot all else, and, running forward, did not stop till at the very front
near the colors again. There, as did all the rest, I laid down, soon learned
the trouble. Within two hundred yards of works was a ravine parallel with them,
imperceptible till just on the edge of it, completely impassable by the fallen
timber in it. Of course we could not move on. To stand up was certain death;
so was retreat. Naught left but to lie down what scanty cover we could get.
So we did lie down, in that hot, scorching sun. I fortunately got behind two
small logs, which protected me on two sides, and laid there, scarcely daring
to turn for four hours, till my brain reeked and surged, and I though I should
go mad. Death would have been preferrable to a continuance of such torture.
Lots of poor fellows were shot as they were lying down, and to lie there and
heap them groan and cry, was awful. Just on the other side of the log lay the
gallant Col. BRYAN, with both legs broken by shot. He talked of home, but bore
it like a patriot. Near him was one of my own brave boys, with five balls in
him. I dared not stir, my hand pained so, and it would have been death also.
Well, the Colonel got out of pain sooner than some, for he died after two hours
of intense agony. Bullets just grazed me as they passed over, and one entered
the ground within an inch of my right eye. I could not go that. Our boys had
run back occasionally, but got a volley as they did so from the Rebels, who
would curse them. I waited till our cannon fired a round at them, then up and
ran across the road, and fell flat behind some low bush or weeds, and well
I did. They saw my sword and fired several volleys after me. As my hand was
very lame, I crawled several rods back, then under a big log, got behind it,
and, for the first time in five hours, sat up. I bathed my hand, and after
awhile made way to the rear, got it dressed, and was on back when I learned
that men were to work in, by one and twos, so I staid. I then learned of poor
BRYAN'S fate, one by one came the tidings of my own men, and when word came
of them I cried like a child. Some of them passed me on way to have their wounds
dressed, and blessed me as they passed by. When night came, the troops in and
line was formed, and a small we had. The Major's body was brought in be sent
home, my pet favorite, Sergt. FRED. MITCHELL (who, as a favor to me, Col. BENEDICT
had made an acting lieutenant—he was so good a soldier and handsome talented,)
who, the last I saw of him, was his flashing in the sunlight as he urged the
men forward; but he brought in with half his head torn off, and was hard to
recognize him. But God bless him! He was true, for right hand grasped his sword
firmly in death. I have it stored to be sent to his friends. Col. B. and Lieut.
Col. B. came out safe. The Lieut. Col. had been sick for some time, and this
finished him. So I took command of the regiment, brought it to the Mortar Battery
bivouacked for the night.
On 18th came the call from Gen. BANKS a thousand stormers, and four officers
fifty men of our regiment responded to it. Yesterday our regiment went to Springfield
Landing to guard against a raid, (it is our base,) and "Stormers" came
here to camp. The thousand are here, and we storm on Weitzel's front, on the
The first officer in our Brigade was myself, my 2d Lieutenant is another, Col.
BENEDICT leads us. It is, as you will perceive, in spite of flattering order, "a
forlorn hope." Our position is critical. Something must be done. I am
confident this will succeed. I pray earnestly it may, though I live not to
know it. You will wish to know why I came when our regiment is so short of
officers, and I am so easily fixed now. I came on principle. I did not come
for the reward or promotion, but because I deemed it my duty to come.
Bold men are wanted. If I am not bold, God will make me so. I came, and am
to have the honor of leading a company in this charge. If I am wounded I shall
come home at once, and I know you will not be ashamed of me or my conduct.
If I die, you will think of me as one whose short life was not wholly without
a purpose. I hope to come to you with honor—with the medal on my breast.
THE BATTLES OF THE RED RIVER.
We Lose 15 or 18 Cannon—4 are Retaken.
LIST OF OUR KILLED AND WOUNDED.
NEW YORK, April 23.—The New Orleans Picayune says our forces on Sunday
last were encamped in and around Grand Ecore. The enemy were quiet and showed
no signs of battle. About 400 wounded came to the city yesterday. Among them,
Gen. Ransom, Col. Robinson, First Louisiana Cavalry, Col. Carr and Col. Green.
Among the killed were Col. Benedict, One Hundred and Sixty-second New York;
Col. Webb, Seventy-seventh Illinois, in the first day's fight. Col. Mix, New
York, Lieut. Col. Newbold, Lieut. Logan, Fourteenth Iowa; Captain Black, Fourteenth
Iowa. Capt. Chapman, Judge Advocate on Gen. Franklin's staff, had both feet
shot off just above the ancle, and is believed to be left in the enemy's hands.
Our loss in artillery was sixteen or eighteen pieces.
Three are reported to have been retaken. Gen. Ransom when wounded, was directing
the fire of the Chicago battery, and had scarcely been removed, when the Rebels
were in possession of the spot on which he fell.
Among the Rebels taken, are three Lieut. Colonels and six Majors:
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SECOND NEW YORK REGIMENT.
Col. Lewis Benedict, commanding Third brigade, ... division, Nineteenth corps,
Corporal Henry Beckers, Co. G, leg.
Henry Deuttman, Co. B, arm.
Corporal Thomas Moore, Co. B, arm.
Peter Jackson, Co. A, arm.
John Warnford, Co. F, hip.
John Garvey, Co. C, hand.
Wm. Cole, Co H, cheek.
Amos Waffle, Co. H, leg.
A. B. Palmatier, Co. H, thigh.
Corporal Julius Latiges, Co. K, leg.
Corporal Henry Wood, Co. D, thigh.
Henry Walier, Co. d, thigh.
Sergeant George Lee, Co. F, foot.
Corporal Samuel Groeninger, Co. a.
Jacob A. __, Co. E, thigh.
Sergeant Major Harry Fitch, wounded and missing.
Lieut. Madison K. Finley, Co. B, wounded and missing.
Capt. Eugene Caison, Co. C, wounded and a prisoner.
Lieut. George W. Gibson, Co. G, wounded and a prisoner.
Lieut. Fisher, Co. I, wounded.
Lieut. Feudder, killed.
Capt. Frank T. Johnson, killed.
Patrick Moore, Co. G, killed.
Henry Miller, Co. H.
Brian McGowan, Co. A.
Corporal Lewis Collen, Co. H.
Lieut. Finley, wounded and a prisoner.
Lieut. Gibson, wounded and a prisoner.
Battle near Cane River—Gallantry of Col.
Blanchard and the New York Regiment--Sharp Fighting and a Brilliant Victory.
The following letter we copy from the Freie Presse, a German paper published
in New Orleans:
HEADQUARTERS 1ST BRIGADE, 1ST DIVISION,
19TH ARMY CORPS,
ALEXANDRIA, LA., April 27, 1864.
The 22d of April, at 5 o'clock P. M., we left Grand Ecore to move back to Alexandria.
The 16th Army Corps, General Smith, which had already marched off, was attacked
by the enemy near Natchitoches. The enemy had surrounded us on all sides, and
opposed our retreat with 10,000 men. General Smith maintained his position,
and drove the rebels back until our army had advanced 25 miles on a new road
between the Natchitoches road and the Red River. At 4 o'clock on the morning
of the 23d of April, we encamped near Cane River, where the enemy had passed
with a strong force the day before, and after a few hours rest, at 9 A. M.
we were again on the march: The enemy was on our front and rear, and our only
choice left was to press through his lines. We had scarcely left camp when
we encountered the enemy and drove him before us that whole day. Thus continually
fighting we could only march 15 miles, and towards 8 o'clock in the evening
we encamped between Clouthierville and Baton Ferry, near the entrance of the
Pine Woods. General Smith was engaged that whole day, pressing hard upon the
rebels to cover our retreat, and following us as we broke through their lines.
Towards 11 o'clock in the morning, when we came near the spot where we had
to cross the Cane River, and where our pontoons were to be placed, we discovered
the enemy intrenched there. Eleven of their guns commanded the crossing point,
and on the heights on the other side of the river were their rifle pits, commanding
for several miles the road our army had to take. Without making a flank attack
on the other side of the river it would have been impossible for our small
army to gain a crossing, in consequence of the excellent position of the enemy
on a woody ridge. Fortunately General Banks came to the front and discovered
our situation. The 3d brigade, 1st division, 18th army corps, was immediately
ordered back and marched several miles up the river, whilst three of our batteries
kept the enemy engaged. Here the brigade had to cross. It was a shallow place
and since there was no time left to throw a bridge across, the brigade had
to wade over the river.
On the other side of the river the regiments were formed into line of battle,
and pushed forward. A portion of cavalry that had meanwhile crossed, was sent
in advance as skirmishers. The bendings in the Cane River had prevented the
enemy from observing our crossing, and now the heat began. Away over mountains,
thickly wooded, and through vallies and thick underwood the pickets of the
enemy were attacked on their left flank and driven back from thicket to thicket.
We had already chased the enemy over several mountains, when a clear valley
opened before us, behind which a very steep mountain chain arose, its foot
washed by a small bayou. A long fence on the other side of the bayou served
as breastworks to the rebels, protected in front by a swamp. Our brigade, composed
of the 30th Maine, 162d New York, 165th New York, and the 173d New York Volunteers,
was formed in line of battle at the foot of the mountain. The rebels opened
on us before the line could be formed. The 30th Maine Regiment, already formed
in line of battle, had to march to the left flank to make room for the other
regiments. The 162d New York had so far advanced that the 173d New York could
follow. But the fire of the rebels became now too warm, and our boys preferred
rather immediately to attack the enemy than to wait for the rest of the brigade.
Hurrah!" shouted the right wing of the 31st Maine, “Come on, boys!" and
with the rapidity of lightning they went over the fence.
Hurrah, come on!" replied the 162d N. Y., and they rushed over the fence
on the enemy. The 173d New York followed their example. The double quick with
fixed bayonets they rushed upon the enemy lying behind breastworks on the other
side of the plains. Wild, terrible firing was kept up during the charge. Nothing
could be seen but the flashes of the guns and the forward rush of the raging
masses. Before the enemy had time to look around our bayonets glittered in
his lines. We had gained the position on the foot of the mount and taken many
prisoners, but from the top of the steep and woody mountain the reserves of
the rebels poured volley upon volley into our lines. No choice was left but
to press onward. Col. Fessenden, of the 30th Maine, commanding the brigade,
lay wounded on the battle field, and it was high time to accomplish something
stupendous. Colonel Blanchard, of the 162d New York, turned to his regiment
arid cried out "Come on, 162d, let us drive them from the hills," and
forward they marched, irresistible, up the mountain. "Forward!" and "forward!" it
sounded from all lips; volley thundered after volley, one more powerful "Hurrah," and
the mountain was ours. The 162d New York Regiment, with which the 174th had
been consolidated, was the first that planted its colors on the top of the
mountain, and they were greeted with a thundering "Hurrah!" by the
other troops who followed. The enemy had been driven from an almost inaccessible
position. The color bearer was wounded while planting his banner on the summit.
Adjutant John B. Babcock, of the 162d New York, seized the banner, exclaiming, "Follow
this banner!" and the chase commenced anew until the enemy was put to
Both color bearers were killed near Pleasant Hill, but the colors are still
the honor and pride of the regiment.
Here, on the top of the mountain, the brigade was again formed to continue
its flanking march towards the crossing point. The 2d brigade, 1st division,
19th army corps, had arrived as reinforcement, and formed the second line of
battle. Our brigade now pressed the enemy towards the Cane River, and this
move brought us to the rear of their rifle pits and made them harmless.
Brigadier General Bury assumed command here, and accompanied by his body guard,
30 horsemen, he inspected on horseback a position in our front. The enemy opened
on him, and killed and wounded twenty of his guard and also several officers.
This was a signal for a new attack. The brigade charged and drove the enemy
to the crossing point. Our batteries on the other side of the river fired incessantly
at the flying rebels. Towards six o'clock in the evening the enemy was dispersed,,
and the army and train crossed the river.
General Smith, who covered the retreat of the whole army, gave battle and took
over 1,000 prisoners and a battery. The cannonade in our front and rear continued
all the day. The enemy in our front was totally beaten, and annoyed us no longer
before we reached Alexandria. T. S.
Major James H. Bogart.
Col. Lewis writes that Major James H. Bogart, of the 162d Regiment, N. Y. S.
V., was among the killed in the assault on the 14th instant, but we have
received no particulars of his death. He was formerly a clerk in the Assorting
House in this city, and a member of the Zouave Cadets. He entered the service
early in the war, and was subsequently appointed to the Majority of the 162d.
He was an accomplished young officer and a gallant soldier, as is attested
not only by his death on the field of battle, but by the willing testimony
of the officers and men of the Regiment.
MAJ. JAMES H. BOGART KILLED.—We learn of a note from Col. LEWIS BENEDICT, "Before
Port Hudson, June 18," that Maj. BOGART,
of the 162d, was among the killed in the assault on the 14th. We have no particulars.
Major B. was a young man well known to, and respected by, our citizens. The
intelligence of his death will carry grief into a large family circle. Col.
BENEDICT was well.
In this same note, Col. B. alludes to the death of Col. Bryan, and speaks of
a letter, not yet received, in which he had more fully spoken of the death
both of Col. BRYAN AND MAJ. BOGART.
A CARD.—I cannot leave this city without expressing the most sincere
thanks, and those of my men, for the many kindnesses towards us and the skillful
attendance with which we have been favored, by Dr. J. L. Van Ingen, during
our stay in this city. This card would not be called for were it not that the
Doctor refuses a single cent of pay; doing so, I can do no more than thank
him thus publicly, and assure him that he will be remembered by every member
of the company, with the sincerest gratitude, to the latest day of their lives.
(Nov. 19, 1863) FRANK T. JOHNSON,
Capt. 162d N. Y. V.
DEATH OF CAPT. FRANK T. JOHNSON.—
The New York papers bring us the sad intelligence of the death of Capt. Frank
T. Johnson, of the 162d N. Y. Regt., brother of J. M. Johnson, Esq., of this
city, and for several years a resident here. He was killed at the battle
of Pleasant Hill, on the 9th inst. When the rebellion broke out he was employed
in the Tredagar Works at Richmond, Va., and made such patriotic haste northward
that he reached Albany in time to join the 3d Regt. as an Orderly Sergeant.
His bravery and good conduct finally secured for him the promotion to a First
Lieutenancy. After his regiment had been discharged from the service he applied
for a command, and was promptly appointed captain of a company of drafted
men, and assigned to the 162d Regiment last November.
As an efficient and brave officer he stood high in the esteem of his superior
officers, a number of whom warmly urged his appointment to the position he
nobly died in nobly filling. He leaves a brilliant record to remind us of the
bright young life so sadly and yet gloriously ended.
DEATH or CAPT. JOHNSON.—Capt. Frank T. Johnson, of the 162d New York
Volunteers, was killed at the battle of Pleasant Hill, on the 9th inst. Capt.
Johnson, was a brother of J. M. Johnson, Esq., of this city. He enlisted in
the 3d New York in April, 1861, at Albany; was promoted from Orderly Sergeant
to First Lieutenant, and served two years with the Regiment. After the time
of his regiment had expired, he acted as drillmaster of drafted men at Camp
Butler, Schenectady, and was subsequently commissioned by the Governor as Captain
in the 162d N. Y. V. The Secretary of War assigned him a company of drafted
men, and he sailed for Louisiana in November last with his Company. In the
late movement, his regiment was assigned to support the artillery, and his
company, "K," was the skirmishing company. The particulars of his
death are not known. He was an accomplished officer, and respected by all who
Capt. Johnson was born in Portland, Maine, July 16th, 1838; came to Buffalo
about six years ago and resided here three years, working at his trade as a
machinist. At the outbreak of the rebellion he was at Richmond, Va., in the
Tredegar Works, and immediately left for the North, intending to join, the
74th Regiment of which he was a member. Before he arrived here, the orders
to this regiment were countermanded, and he enlisted, as above stated, at Albany.
He was a young man of great promise, a good soldier, and had won a high reputation
in the army.—Buffalo Courier.
TRIBUTE OF RESPECT. At a meeting the 162d New York Infantry, held in camp
at Morganzla Bend, June 4, 1864, the following resolutions were unanimously
Whereas, It has pleased the Almighty God to remove from our midst, our late
brother officers, Capt. Frank T. Johnson, 2d Lieut. Wm. C. Hawes and 2d Lieut.
Theodore A. Scudder, and
Whereas, We deem it our duty as a mark of respect, and wish to express our
sympathies to their respective families and friends, therefore
Resolved, That in the loss of these our late brother officers and companions
in arms, the regiment has lost earnest and efficient members, who were ever
prompt and zealous met the discharge of their duties, and who never hesitated
to render service when called upon to render aid in suppressing this unholy
rebellion and for which they offered their lives a willing sacrifice.
Resolved, That we knew them as honest and just men, true to every trust confided
in them, and although but for so short a time, connected with the regiment,
both officers and men had learned to place in them the utmost trust and confidence,
and to appreciate their value as men and soldiers.
Resolved, That to the families of the deceased we tender our heartfelt sympathies
especially would we offer our condolence with the widow and children of the
late Wm. Hawes; and our prayers are that the God whom they trusted will be
their strength and consolation.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the families of
the deceased officers, and that they be published in the New York, Buffalo,
Boston and Portland papers.
Capt, Co. I, 162d, N. Y. V.
J. P. SEAMAN,
Capt. Co. D, 162d, N. Y. V.
J. H. VAN WYCK,
1st, Lt. Co. G, 162d N. Y. V.
COL. LEWIS BENEDICT, of the 162d, who has been home for a few weeks on sick
furlough, has so far recovered as to be able to travel, and he will start for
New Orleans on Monday next on the first afternoon train. He will be glad to
take any letters or small packages which the friends of soldiers in his regiment,
or in any other regiment, may send to his house before his departure.
COLONEL BENEDICT.—We make the following extract from a letter from Adjutant
S. B. Meech, of the 26th Connecticut, written after the battle of Port Hudson,
I saw Colonel Benedict standing just in front of me, when I was wounded on
the edge of the ravine, looking intently at the rebel works, while bullets
and shells were flying about very thick. He walked to the rear as composedly
as if he was out for a stroll. I think he is a fine officer. One of his officers
died in this hospital this A. M. Lieutenant Haven, I think, was his name."
Col. Lewis Benedict, of the 162d, who has been home for a few weeks on sick
furlough, has so far recovered as to be able to travel, and he will start for
New Orleans to-day on the first afternoon train. He will be glad to take any
letters or small packages which the friends of soldiers in his regiment, or
in any other regiment, may send to his house before his departure.
COL. BENEDICT IN COMMAND OF A BRIGADE.
Gen. Banks has just promulgated an order for a new organization of troops under
his command, placing Col. Lewis Benedict, of the 162d N. Y. V., in command
of the 1st Brigade of Gen. Nickerson's Division. Col. Benedict 's Brigade consists
of the 162d, 110th, 165th, and ____ New York Regiments and the 14th Maine.
These are all fine regiments, and if opportunity is furnished, we doubt not,
that Col. B. will prove his brigade to be as grand as any in the Department
of the Gulf.
Col. Benedict has detailed Col. Blanchard, Capt. Huxford, and Lieut. Seaman
to come North to receive conscripts for the 162d N. Y. V. The Death of Col.
Lewis Benedict Confirmed.
As we anticipated, the reported death of Colonel Benedict proves to be too
true, letters confirming the sad intelligence having been received in this
city yesterday morning. He was pierced by five balls and instantly killed while
gallantly leading his Brigade in the final charge. The Journal well says: "No
braver man ever lived, and he died, as he wished to die, fighting for the Old
Flag, with his face to the foe."
The following letters are, unfortunately, conclusive of the reported death
of Col. Lewis Benedict:
NEW ORLEANS, La., April 17.
Col. Lewis Benedict is dead. He was killed in the late engagement up the Red
river. His body arrived here last night in charge of Lieut. J. H. Van Wick,
one of his A. D. C, from Grand Ecore. Transportation has been furnished for
the body on board the United States transport steamship Mississippi, which
I think will leave for New York this afternoon.
Yours, P. J. O'CONNER.
Extract from a letter from Lieut. Viele, U. S. A.
Aid to Gen. Dudley, to his father in this city, dated
GRAND ECORE, April 11.
My good luck has, in a measure, forsaken me. My horse was killed under me in
the fight of the 8th, falling very heavily on me, which I fear will disable
me for a short time. I was struck in the left leg slightly, and came very near
being made a prisoner, but was saved by the gallant conduct of some of our
men, who put me on a horse and run me off.
All our trains were lost, and all I have in the world is what I have on my
The Fourth Brigade fought splendidly, but the enemy was too strong for us.
Out of 2,110 men, all we have left are 922.
Col. Benedict was killed. He was shot through the head. I breakfasted with
him that morning. I shall be all right in a day or two."
The Tribune contains the following brief but feeling notice of the brave soldier:
Among the good and true men whose lives have been freely given to save their
country from disruption and overthrow, scarcely one has been or will be more
justly or deeply deplored than Col. Lewis Benedict, of Albany, who fell pierced
with five bullets and lifeless while commanding and leading the left wing of
the Union army at the battle of Pleasant Hill, Upper Louisiana, on the 9th
inst. Col. Benedict was the son of the eminent merchant of like name, recently
deceased, after an active and influential career of half a century. His son,
who inherited much of the father's eminent ability and positive, downright
character, volunteered for the war soon after the Rebels fired on Fort Sumter—aiding
to recruit and discipline the Sickles Brigade—and has ever since been
in active service. He was wounded and taken prisoner in the "hottest forefront
of the battle" at Williamsburg, two years ago. Transferred to the Gulf,
he there evinced talent and energy that commended him to the favor of his Commanding
General, so that, though ranking as a Colonel, he commanded a brigade when
he met death in the desperate but glorious battle of Pleasant Hill. It will
somewhat console his many devoted friends to know that he did not fall till
the sunlight of victory was gleaming on our charging columns, so that his last
look of earth turned with pride as well as affection to the flag and the land
for which, in his early prime, he joyfully laid down his life.
Colonel Benedict Before Port Hudson.
The Journal of last evening publishes a letter to a relative in this from Captain
Willie Huxford, son of our old friend and townsman, Fred. Huxford, describing
the late assault on Port Hudson. It is by far the most graphic and thrilling
account we have read of the terrible slaughter. We wish we had room for the
whole letter. It is worth reading. We make the following extract from it,
to show how Colonel Benedict, who lead the charge, behaved amidst the shower
of leaden rain.
I had no thought (after short prayer), but for my flag. I talked and shouted.
I did all man could do to keep my boys to their 'colors.' I tried to draw their
attention from the enemy to it, as I knew we would advance more rapidly. The
brave fellows stood by it, as the half score who fell attest. The 'color bearer'
fell, but the 'flag' did not. Half the guard fell, but the 'flag' was there.
Ask (if I never come home), my Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel if any one could
have done better than I did that day. I do not fear their answer. When about
three hundred yards from the works, I was struck. The pain was so intense that
I could not go on. I turned to my second Lieutenant, who was in command of
Company C, as he came up to me, and said: 'Never mind me, Jack; for God's sake
jump to the colors. I don't recollect any more, till I heard Colonel B. say:
'Up, men, and forward.' I looked and saw the rear regiments lying flat to escape
the fire, and Colonel B. standing there the shot striking all about him and
he never flinching. It was grand to see him. I wish I was of 'iron nerve,'
as he is. When I heard him speak, I forgot all else, and, ruffling forward,
did not stop till at the very front and near the colors again. There, as did
all the rest, I laid down, and soon learned the trouble."
We learn from the same letter that Colonel Benedict is to lead the "forlorn
hope" in the next assault on the works. God guard the brave fellow from
WHO KILLED STERLING PRICE?—Francis Munson, esq., who went to Pittsburg
Landing a short time ago to present a stand of colors to the Fifty-first Illinois
Infantry, Col. Cumming, returned this morning. He says there is no doubt that
the Rebel General Sterling Price of Missouri was killed, as rumored a day or
two ago. He fell into an ambuscade of the Fifty-first Illinois, who fired upon
him, and he fell, pierced by forty balls. He was brought into the Union camp,
and identified by parties who knew him.
[Chicago Journal, 20th.
COLONEL BENEDICT HEARD FROM.—The family of Col. Benedict received a
letter from him yesterday, dated Richmond. He was confined in prison. His friends
will be happy to learn that he is in excellent health, and has almost entirely
recovered from the wounds received in the Williamsburg fight. He was offered
to be released on his parole. Several officers accepted. Col. Benedict, however,
declined on the ground that he enlisted in the war to put down the rebellion,
and he would prefer to rot in prison before consenting to lay down his arms
until treason was exterminated. He writes that Col. Crocker and Major Cassidy
have been shamefully abused by intimations of their disloyalty.
COL. BENEDICT'S REMAINS.—A letter received in this city yesterday, from
J. P. O'Connor, a young man who was formerly attached to our office as mail
agent, and dated New Orleans, April 17th, says: "Col. Lewis Benedict is
dead. He was killed in the late engagement up the Red River. His body arrived
here last night in charge of Lieut. J. H. Van Wick, one of his A. D. C., from
Grand Ecore. Transportation has been furnished for the body on board the United
States transport steamship Mississippi, which I think, will leave for New York
this afternoon," Such being the case, the body may be daily expected at
New York. We trust that our city authorities will take proper steps to give
the remains of the gallant soldier, not only a fitting reception, but a public
funeral, worthy of his brave and noble deeds.
ALBANY. MONDAY, MAY 2, 1864.
Order of Arrangements of the Funeral Ceremonies of the Late Colonel Lewis Benedict,
to take Place this Afternoon, May 2, 1864.
ORDER OF PROCESSION.
Police, under command of Chief Jonnson.
Twenty-fifth Regiment, National Guard, State of
New York, Colonel Church.
Flanked by Company A. Captain Pochin, as Guard of Honor.
Relatives of deceased.
Officers of the Tenth Regiment, N. Y. S. N. G.
Officers of United States Volunteers.
Governor and Staff.
Mayor and Common Council.
Fire Department, under Chief Engineer McQuade.
The 25th Regiment will form in Chapel street, left resting on Maiden Lane.
Military mourners will form in Pine street, right on Chapel.
The Fire Department will form in Pine street, left of military mourners.
The Civic Societies will report to the Grand Marshal, at the Mayor's Room,
at 10 o'clock.
The procession will move precisely at 2 P.M., from the Second Presbyterian
church, through Chapel to State street, down State to North Pearl, up Pearl
to Clinton avenue, thence to Broadway, and up Broadway to the north bounds
of the city, where carriages and cars will be in waiting.
By order. Col. W. S. CHURCH,
Funeral of Colonel Benedict.
The funeral of the late Colonel Lewis Benedict took place yesterday afternoon,
and created a deep interest throughout the city, where the deceased, as boy
and man, had been so well known and so generally beloved.
At 1 P. M. the body, followed by the family and friends, was conveyed from
the residence of the deceased to Dr. Sprague's church, where the funeral services
took place. The crowd was very great. Every inch of available space was occupied,
while hundreds were unable to get in. A large number of people from different
sections of the State—friends of the deceased—were present and
participated in the sad obsequies.
The services were deeply impressive. Rev. Dr. Sprague made a beautiful prayer,
and the address by Rev. Mr. Bridgman was earnest and eloquent. He paid a glowing
tribute to the memory of the deceased, spoke of his gallantry as a soldier
and his noble qualities as a man, and the large and honored place he held in
the affections of the community. His allusion to his love for his mother, and
the quotation from a letter written to her a short time before his death, deeply
affected his hearers. Singing by the choir closed the exercises in the church.
The remains were then given in charge of the military, and carried from the
church and placed upon an open hearse drawn by four white horses. The coffin
was covered with the American flag, and upon it lay the sword, cap &c,
of the deceased, surrounded by a wreath of white flowers.
The funeral cortege was headed by a detachment of the Police, under the command
of Lieut. Gillispie.
25th Reg't, National Guard, Col. Church.
The Pall-bearers—Col. Harcourt, Col. McQuade,
Utica, 14th Reg't; Col. Ainsworth, 10th Reg't;
Col. Young, 18th Reg't; Col. Baker, 12th
Reg't; Lt. Col. Davis, Utica, 14th
Reg't; Lt. Col. Chamberlain, 10th
Reg't; Major A. S. Cassidy,
Relatives of the deceased.
Military Mourners, Officers of the Tenth Regiment,
N. Y. S. N. G., and Officers of the U. S. Volunteers, in carriages.
Gov. Seymour and Staff, State Officers and members of Common Council in carriages.
A portion of the Fire Department, consisting of Companies 6 and 9.
The procession passed down State and up North Pearl street to the north bounds
of the city, where the bearers took carriages and the military and others took
cars, for the Cemetery, where impressive ceremonies took place.
The Twenty-fifth Regiment, under command of Col. Church, (whose arrangements
were in excellent taste,) was out with full ranks—a graceful testimonial
of their admiration of the worth and victories of the deceased soldier.
THE LATE COLONEL BENEDICT.--At a meeting of the Bar and citizens of Schoharie
county, assembled at Cobleskill, on hearing of the death of the lamented Col.
Lewis Benedict, of Albany, Charles Holmes,
Esq., was chosen Chairman, and N. Degraff, Esq., Secretary.
On motion, W. H. Young, G. W. Smith, D. W. Darrow, L. Cross and A. Loucks were
appointed a Committee to report resolutions expressing the sense of this meeting.
H. Smith, Esq., of Albany, in appropriate remarks recounted the social qualities,
the legal acquirements, the enviable positions, the personal sacrifices, patriotic
devotion and excellent traits of character of the deceased.
W. H. Young, from the committee, reported the following resolutions, which
were unanimously adopted:—
Resolved, That we have learned with sincere and profound regret of the death
of Col. LEWIS BENEDICT—late of the city of Albany--while at the head
of his Regiment, bravely and gallantly leading his men forth to "battle
for the cause of his country."
Resolved, That his cheerful sacrifice of the ease and luxuries of home, the
society and, associations or numerous personal and social friends, for the
hardships and dangers of a soldier's life, bespeak for him an enviable position
in the list of heroes. That his loss is a source of deep regret to his friends,
his regiment, and country.
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be published in our county's
Funeral of Col. Benedict.--The funeral of the late Col. Benedict, of the 162d
N. Y. regiment, killed in Louisiana, was held in Albany yesterday. The procession,
says the Knickerbocker:
consisted of a delegation of the police, under Lieut. Gillespie, the 25th reg't
National Guard, officers of the 10th regiment, members of the Common Council,
Gov. Seymour, Adj't General Sprague, and other members of the Governor's staff;
officers of volunteer regiments now in the city, the county and state officials,
and friends of deceased in carriages, and Engine Co. 6, and Hose Co. 9 of the
The catafalque, upon which the coffin lay was handsomely draped in mourning.
Following this was a black horse led by a colored man who was within twenty
feet of Col. Benedict when he was killed. Upon the saddle were the uniform,
boots, and spurs which Col. Benedict had on when he was killed. The coat is
perforated with bullet holes and stained with blood.
The funeral exercises took place in Dr. Sprague's Church, and: were very impressive.
The Express says:
Rev. Dr. Sprague made a beautiful prayer; while the Address by Rev. Mr.
Bridgman was earnest and eloquent. He paid a glowing tribute to the memory
of deceased, spoke of his gallantry as a soldier and his noble qualities as
a man, and the large and honored place he held in the affections of the community.
His allusion to his love for his mother, and the quotation from a letter written
to her a short time before his death brought tears to many eyes. Singing by
the choir closed the exercises in the church.
The funeral cortege was imposing. The remains being taken in by the military,
were carried from the church and placed upon an open hearse, drawn by four
white horses. The coffin was covered with the American flag, and upon it lay
the sword, cap, etc., of the deceased, surrounded by a wreath of white flowers.
Among the bearers we notice the names of Col. JAMES MCQUADE and Lieut. Col.
DAVIES, of this city, and of the old 14th, Regiment. The bells of the city
tolled during the moving of the procession, and minute guns were fired. It
was a solemn day for Albany.
THE LATE COL. LEWIS BENEDICT.
Words Spoken at his Obsequies,
BY Rev. C. D. W. BRIDGMAN.
An unusual occasion has opened these doors, which turn to only sacred uses,
and drawn us to this house of prayer. Flags waving so lowly from every staff—the
martial tramp of those who gather in the street below to a solemn and impressive
ceremonial—this vast assembly of aspect so grave and sad—the group
which sit apart, fenced in by thoughts and griefs into which only the omniscient
One can look—the mournful strains of the choir, intermingled with the
pathetic, beseeching, but submissive lament of the organ, as though itself
felt an agony and at the same time an inspiration from the Comforter: all indicate
that calamity has fallen here—that an overwhelming sorrow has burst upon
us, the waves of which can be rolled back only by Him whose presence so often
is invoked in this holy place. A man has fallen whom most of you well knew:
gifted and generous, honorable and brave—an honored son of this ancient
capital, whose family name is written high on the roll of her citizens—a
brother of ours, in whom the natural elements of manliness were mingled in
due proportion, and who, through his maturing years, swept a wide circle of
influence in this city and State—s soldier worthy of his name, and the
record of whose fidelity to duty, of sacrifices cheerfully endured for our
common weal, is his commanding claim to be associated with the accomplished
heroes whom our old, imperial State has freely offered to the hazards of this
great struggle, and whose blood has been the price of her self-renouncing devotion.
Of LEWIS BENEDICT, whose empty tabernacle lies here before us—emptied
of all that gave it comeliness and made it dear—let me speak in but few
words: not in the style of impassioned panegyric as when the Athenian father
pronounced the oration over his son who had fought valiantly in the battle,
but with the brevity befitting one who forms his estimate only from the testimony
of others, and with the soberness which ever becomes us in the sanctuary of
God and in the presence of death.
Born in this city, of a pure and honored parentage, his youth was full of grace
and duty, and expressed, in constant testimony, the rare devotedness of his
filial love. Earnest in his studies as he was zealous and enterprising in the
amusements which relieved his soberer pursuits, he was soon prepared for a
higher instruction than our city afforded, and, at an early age, was registered
as a student in Williams College. Shaping his course with care and energy,
he was honorably graduated in the year 1837, and returned three years thereafter
to deliver the Masters' oration. Devoting himself to the profession of law,
he entered upon its study in the office of the late Mr. Spencer, with the same
ardor of pursuit as when he seized the prizes in our Academy and earned the
honors in his collegiate career. Shortly afterward, he was received to be the
partner of a gentleman then in the zenith of his professional fame and intellectual
vigor, and was elevated at once to a position in the profession not attained,
perhaps, as often as it is deserved. But, having risen to this height, and
given such promise of a brilliant career, and being possessed of a sufficient
inheritance, his former stimulus seems to have failed him; and, where others
regarded the profession as an agency for the accumulation of wealth or winning
a wide, enduring fame, he looked upon it rather as a manual of intellectual
exercise. Turning his thoughts, at this time, from subjects purely legal, he
engaged himself in the study of those political questions which were then commanding
the popular attention, and, by a diligent reading, fortified in him those principles
his father had so faithfully
adhered to and defended, and which have become the controling principles in
our national policy. Though possessed of a highly cultivated taste, that was
shocked by rude appeals--with a mind enriched by a varied reading and observation,
and by intercourse with refined society at home and abroad—there was
that social, generous nature underneath which toned away the scholar's dignity
and gave such an easy grace to every accomplishment as that they interposed
no barrier between himself and the humblest one he knew. Of such easy access,
so cordial in his treatment of all, it is not strange that soon he should have
been appealed to by his political friends to serve for their candidate, nor
that from this time he should be met less often in the forum than in the arenas
where public questions furnish the themes of debate, and political action becomes
definitely determined. With a varied fortune, he continued the career thus
opened to him, until the nation's hour of peril came; and, when the alarm trumpet
was sounded, waking us all from our dull, strange apathy, it fell on his quick
ear as an imperative summons that he could not shut out. Upon the adjournment
of the Legislature of which he was then a member, he gave himself, with the
devotion his later life so constantly illustrates, to the service of his country.
The cause that then seemed to him—as it now seems to all—The cause
of human liberty, engaged his earnest activities; and, to serve it intelligently
and well, in the only way our enemies permitted, he strove, by a diligent study,
to prepare himself for the duties of the position to which he was early commissioned.
The old stimulus again is felt—his former habits are revived. Writing
with reference to this to his father, he says: "I have followed, or rather
preceded, the advice you gave me in respect of study; for, since my determination
was formed to take an active part in the war, I have felt that any one assuming
a command had a grave responsibility." Not from hasty impulse did he gird
on the harness of the soldier—not from a blind frenzy, or feverish ambition;
but as one who detected the deep meanings of this struggle, and whose soul
was afire with love and duty toward our (Government and liberties. Cheerfully
he threw his life into the struggle, without a scruple—with the ancient,
judging it sweet and decorous to die, if need be, for his country's safety.
As an expression of the sentiment that ruled him, let me read to you an extract
from a letter to his mother, written whilst the siege of Yorktown was in progress: "I
am pained to learn that so much apprehension for my safety is mingled with
the gratification you feel at my being in a position to do service to my country.
I know it is impossible for a mother to forget her son; but I would, if I could,
inspire you with the pride I feel in devoting my life to the cause of Freedom
and the Union. Thus far, though I have endeavored to do, as far as my frail
nature would permit, my duty to man"—and the truth of this, his
carefulness for the interests of his men most constantly affirms—"I
know I have not forgotten myself as I should in many instances have done; but,
in the struggle to be soon inaugurated here, the opportunity will be given
me to furnish unmistakable evidence that I am animated by the noblest sentiments—that
I can resign life, which I love, that my country may again enjoy the blessings
of peace and the development of its beneficent principles of government. Politically
acting, I have sought its weal—personally, my life belongs to it in its
woe: so that I view the result of the battle with complacency. If I survive—as
I hope I will—no fortunes in future life can destroy my consciousness
of having periled life for right; and, if I fall, through all the grief which
you and our dear ones will feel, will breathe the consolation that I was a
soldier, fighting in a just cause. Let that feeling, dear mother, console you,
as it reconciles me to the chances of this war." What patriot ever has
penned nobler words than these? Who among us has risen to a more illustrious
height of patriotic devotion? Above the voices of home and congenial companionships
he hears the awful trump of duty, and that is the incitement by which he marches—the
imperious summons to self-renunciation, and possibly to death. Shortly after
those words were traced, he was taken a prisoner; but returned from the enemy's
hands only to give himself anew for the work to which he had given himself
with so entire a consecration. Although greatly impaired in health, he accepts
a new command, and leaves again for a more distant field, where he is called
on to assume a larger responsibility than is strictly involved with his commission.
But his intelligence and wisely-regulated zeal, and subsequent successes, attest
that the honor was properly awarded, and attracts the frequent commendations
of those above him in the command. In charge of the brigade to which he was
assigned, he was engaged in that—thus far—unfortunate expedition,
wherein so many have made their final sacrifice; and, while gallantly leading
it against the enemy on the third day of that fierce struggle, he fell—passing
away in one swift pain—another victim in this awful strife. So suddenly
this light is quenched, and our glowing hopes transformed to sad remembrances!
So suddenly is the voice of mourning wakened in the home where so recently
it had been stilled, as the son goes from mortal fellowship to rejoin the father,
in the silent land. His eulogy may not be woven from these simple, hurried
words of mine, but from signals of the general woe. It is the silent homage
to his worth of which this concourse is the devout expression—it is the
unbounded confidence and love of his companions in arms, and their pathetic
testimony to his merits as a man and soldier—it is the memories cherished
in the grateful hearts of those who knew him best, of how tenderly he fulfilled
the offices of son and brother, and with what generous action he responded
ever to the calls of outward need and suffering. On this bright spring day
when nature is speaking only of renewal, we mourn him as among our early dead.
The battle was soon over with him—the contest and assault—the pain
the privation—weary marches and vigils the night; and, with these sprinkled
flowers upon his breast, bear him hence, from the cross to sepulchre, and suffer
it to fold him in forever from our mortal sight. Such as this are our sacrifices,
beloved--but they are our glories, too. Fidelity to our convictions and living
as we believe, at whatever cost of substance or existence, are the only glories
we are equal to; and he has but lowly views of the grand meanings of human
lite who weighs comfort or fortune or peace for a moment in the scale with
honor and duty and the public weal. What is your flesh and blood or mine in
comparison with loyalty to principle? What is your life or mine compared with
the integrity of a nation into which have been garnered the hopes of humanity,
and which alone among the nations is the city of refuge from foreign tyranny.
But for more than for national integrity are these young lives, so full of
glowing promises, laid down in sacrifice. If this were all, then Denmark may
give the same emphasis to the calls upon her youth to-day as America to hers.
But the Providence that has controlled our movements, and shaped our policy
by His superior intention, has made our cause identical with the cause of human
freedom, and bound indissolubly together the patriots' self-surrender and the
philanthropists' self sacrifice. Our love of liberty—our loyalty to those
rights which belong to every man, as an equal son and heir of the Infinite
Father—is now appealed to by every whirl of the conscription-wheel and
in every exaction of the tax-list; and until these liberties, so audaciously
impealed are established beyond every hazard in the future and forevermore,
we are enjoined by all the sufferings of those who, in dungeons and on scaffolds,
paid the price of their devotion to the same cause—by the memories of
our heroic and sainted fathers— by all the hopes we have derived from
it for our children and children's children—to carry on this contest
to a triumphant issue. And the grandeur of such a struggle—a struggle
reaching backward to Sidney's scaffold, and beyond, to where men felt the first
faint inspirations of such a cause: for which Hampden died—for which
our fathers left their bloody impress on the snows of Valley Forge, and endured
the privations which made our Revolutionary annals so glorious and inspiring
for our study; the grandeur of such a struggle invests these frequent deaths
with a meaning most sublime, and demands the enrolment of these humble names
in the grand, historical obituary of those who have suffered for the dear cause
of liberty in the ages of the past. In s coming day, when the clouds shall
have been lifted, and present ignorance and prejudice no longer shall distort
the popular vision, with what a lustre these names will shine on the historic
roll, and how closely will they be pressed against the nation's heart! Already,
what heraldry on palatial walls is more glorious than the uniforms torn by
the bayonet and cut by the bullet, hung in all those homes where the dead soldier
comes no more? What words more eloquent, or preserving a prouder fact, than
these which are often recited above these swiftly-rising mounds in all our
cemeteries: "He fought and fell in this war for the Union and for Freedom"?
Oh! sleep, sleep, ye martyrs, in your quiet graves! Our spirits have been reinforced
by your sublime example! By the fervor of your love of freedom you have kindled
ours, and out of your graves shall spring a better harvest than sickles straightened
into swords have ever cut for our humanity! We are not cast down by our defeats.
We are not moved away from this great contest by a despair as to its issue.
The sacred standard will not be lowered, but be kept proudly aloft by those
who are inspired by their hereditary trust and devoted to the common cause.
Nathan Hale dies; but the cause was not thwarted. Warren dies: and it seems
as though the bullet that blasts his life shatters the cause of the people;
but the cause does not slacken, though he is borne helpless from the field.
It marches on--if to new defeats, yet to grander successes; and, only widened
in its scope, lives hero to-day, marshaling a nation's armies in its interest,
and pressing forward to a triumphant issue. All the sacrifices in the past
have only prepared us for sacrifices richer and ampler in the future. The hostile
stroke recoils. The blood that has run reddening from these veins, apparently
to stop still and be clotted as a pool on the earth, will run back somehow
and be reinfused into the people. As the tree dies, but in its very decay nourishes
the roots of the new forest; as the silkworm dies, but his fire facric does
not perish; as the wave wasting along the strand, in its recession completes
the fullness of the one succeeding; as the damp sprinkling at the mouth of
the furnace kindles
the fire it but superficially quenches to a hotter glow; so no vital current
at present flowing can be so mighty for our triumph as that which has been
spent and spilt like water in these red furrows of our civil strife.
From our very sacrifices, therefore—sacrifices offered in these homes,
of comforts and of treasure; sacrifices in the field, of our lovely and winning
youth, our noble manhood, our brave leadership--we prophecy success; against
our very war sky we trace out our vision of hope. All the great landmarks of
modern freedom--Magna Charta, Reformation, Protests, Declaration of Rights,
Declaration of Independence—have been sealed with blood.
Philosophy and science have pined in dungeons and bled under the axe before
putting on their immortal robes and ascending to thrones. Religion, in all
its humbler forms, has "sweat great drops of blood, running down to the
ground," and in its highest expression is crimsoned and warmed with the
blood of the Son of God. The law is universal and inevitable that all things
valuable are secured and consecrated by blood alone—and so must we as
a nation buy our redemption from our past iniquities and seize that richest
possession--equal and impartial freedom for the human brotherhood—by
these fierce pangs and this bloody sweat. And if the blood shed so generously
by all our brave ones, whilst cementing anew the walls of our Republic shall
wash away our national reproach; if, when we sing in grandest concert our thanksgiving
hymn over the return of peace, a captive people sings of Freedom as one, already,
of them has been prepared to sing by him we mourn, will there not be a consolation
flowing for us from that glorious result?
Before this coffin, then, my hearers, in the very valley of this our sorrow,
let us devote ourselves, with no outward ritual, but in the deep recesses of
our hearts, to this our cause as it was his, the cause of "Freedom and
the Union," with the solemn resolve of a perfect consecration. Then, as
on the battle field, so here, the death of this brave soldier shall minister
strength unto our souls; a fresh ardor and energy to all our exertions. May
God direct His Providence to such an issue, and whilst inspiring us vouchsafe
to those who more deeply mourn the abundant consolations of His grace. May
they be felt to-day by the mother who breathes her long and deep lament, by
the sisters who sob their tender anguish, by the brothers who look with regretful
memories on the "vacant chair," by all who weep and mourn for the
beauty of our Israel slain upon the desolate places of battle.
Back to 162nd Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
September 5, 2006