168th Regiment, NY Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
They shoot shad down in Dixie. The cook of Co. H, 168th, while in the woods
the other day, saw a hawk flying over with a large fish in his talons, and
r shot caused him to drop a fine large shad, which cook took into camp in triumph,
as about the first specimen shot in the woods.
LOCAL ITEMS.—Col. Wm. R. BROWN, of the (19th) 168th Regiment, which
is stationed at Fort Magruder, Williamsburgh, Va., is at his home in Newburgh,
From THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHTH.—Mr. Charles H. Lyon, of the Seventh
Regiment, arrived in town last night. He arrived in New York on Thursday morning,
and did duty with his regiment in that city. He informs us that he spent a
half-day with the One Hundred and Sixty-Eighth, at Monocacy Junction, on the
9th instant. The regiment was in good health and spirits, and were moving to
the front with all the alacrity of good
FROM THE NINTEENTH.—Adj. Wm. M. Hathaway writes us as follows, under
date of "Headquarters of the regiment, near Middleburg, Va., July 21:
We arrived here last night, after two days hard marching; from Burlin, Md.
The health of the regiment is generally good. We are seeing hard times and
soldiers' fare. The boys deserve great credit for their perseverance and cheerfulness
under such forced marches and privations. We marched over 50 miles in two days
without anything to eat, except a little pork and coffee—our supply trains,
with hard tack, not coming up in time, and we had only one days rations in
our haversacks when we started from Funckstown after
Lee. We have been placed in another Division, now 2d Brigade, 2d Division,
11th Corps Army of the Potomac."
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHTH.—A correspondent of the Standard sends
the orders issued at the Headquarters of the Fourth Army Corps, April 24th,
by Major General E. D. Keyes, and the promulgation of the same from the Headquarters
of the One Hundred and Sixty-Eighth, by Colonel Brown, complimenting Sergeant
Wm. Rennison, of Company I, and Thompson G. Daniels, of Company B, and Andrew
Decker, of Company C, for their "good soldierly qualities," displayed
in capturing two escaped prisoners.
Col. Brown, of the 168th Regt., is home at Newburgh. The Regiment were at last
accounts, at Williamsburgh, Va., 15 miles Richmondward from Yorktown. It was
temporarily in command of Capt. Rennison, as senior captain, the Colonel and
Lieut.-Colonel being sick and the Major absent.
FATAL ACCIDENT IN THE 168TH REGIMENT.--By a letter from our young friend John
H. Malees, of the 168th Regt., we have the particulars of a serious accident,
which happened in camp on the 17th inst. One of the drummers, from this village,
named Smith Griffin, while playing with a pistol which he had found in the
woods, not knowing it was loaded, pointed the muzzle toward his person, and
pulled the trigger. The pistol exploded, and its contents were lodged in the
left lung of the unfortunate youth.
He was taken to the hospital, but little hope was entertained of his recovery.
COLONEL BROWN'S REGIMENT.—The Yorktown Cavalier, in a recent notice
of this regiment, thus refers to some of its officers:
We give below a list of its present officers. Most of them have been in the
service before. They are noted for intelligence, polished manners and gentlemanly
bearing. Colonel Brown is a merchant and manufacturer, extensively known and
very highly respected. He makes good use of his wealth, being noted for his
enterprise and generosity. He is a War Democrat, and true as steel. Has a military
reputation of long standing.
Lieutenant Colonel Low is a very skilful and popular physician, with a large
and very remunerative practice. His patriotism costs him something; but if
he can promote the interests of his regiment and his country he feels fully
Adjutant Hathaway is a very energetic and efficient officer.
Quartermaster Spencer is an extensive and very successful manufacturer and
merchant he has in some way acquired quite a legal reputation, as we commonly
hear him termed Judge Spencer. He is a "live and wide awake Yankee".
On "soaping" people it is supposed he is a little ahead of any thing
Chaplain Wallace is a gentleman of extensive classical, scientific and theological
education, and a superior preacher. He is pastor of the Presbyterian Church
at Little Britain, Orange County, N. Y. His father was pastor of the same church
more than a third of a century. Beside attending to his duties in the regiment,
he preaches regularly every Sabbath on the Commodore Morris, the flag ship
of our gunboat squadron, and his services are very highly appreciated.
Surgeon Leighton is a very skilful and faithful officer. He is very popular
in the regiment, and as a token of their regard the enlisted men a few days
since presented him a fine sword.
A number of the other officers are worthy of notice, but our space will not
allow us to speak of all ....
Camp 168th Regt. N. Y. S. V.
YORKTOWN, VA., April 14, 1863.
From the 168th —Another movement.—Engagement at Williamsburgh,— Knapsack march, &c.
MR. EDITOR.—In my last, of March 28, you made a slight mistake, the letter
of our company being F. instead of I.—
As I remarked in my last, I expected that we would be turned out on the night
of the 29th, and sure enough my expectations were realized. About midnight
the camp was aroused, and orders given by our worthy Adjutant, (Wm. M. Hathaway,)
to have one days rations cooked immediately, and to have knapsacks packed,
ready to march at a moments notice. But we did not move at that time as the
139th Regt., N. Y. S. V. came up from Fortress Monroe on the morning of the
30th, and thus we were saved the necessity of having to eat a day's rations,
away from our comfortable quarters.
On last Saturday morning the sound of cannon was plainly heard at our camp,
which was generally considered to proceed from the direction of Williamsburg,
and such proved to be the case. A body of Rebels, said to be commanded by Gen.
Wise, having made an advance on the place, and after driving in our pickets
took possession of, and occupied the city. Col R. M. West, commanding Fort
Magruder, opened fire upon the city from this Fort, and drove the rebels back.—The
Rebels destroyed the camp of the 5th Penn. cavalry, which lay about two miles
below Fort Magruder. The loss on our side was one wounded and ten taken prisoners,
all belonging to the 5th Penn. cavalry.
You should have seen your humble correspondent after he had donned his fighting
rig. It would puzzle a Rebel sharpshooter to distinguish him from a private,
as he was minus all the fancy paraphernalia generally to be seen on our officers
that are strutting the streets of New York and other cities, our own included.
At nine o'clock on Saturday morning orders were given to pack knapsacks, and
soon everything being ready, we were formed in line, and the orders being given
off we went to the Fort. On our way there, we could see wood wagons, wagons
containing officers' trunks, &c, and on the road in the direction of Williamsburgh,
cavalry could be seen coming at full gallop, and last, but by no means least,
were innumerable quantities of reptiles called contrabands, and all apparently,
and in reality had the same goal in view, viz., the Fort. We remained in the
Fort about five or six hours, during which time the boys had a chance of testing
the merits of a knapsack march around the parade ground a few times, a job
by the way that is not to be laughed at, when you consider that the "fixins" weigh
at least seventy-five pounds, including about forty rounds of cartridges with
which each man was supplied, and in connection with this, imagine a hot day
in the sunny South, together with a strong wind which covered everybody and
everything with dust. To use the common expression of this part of the country, "I
reckon we had a right smart days' job," and all hands were heartily glad
when orders were given about four o'clock to retrace our steps to camp again.
On our arrival there we were highly complimented by our Colonel for the promptness
which we had evinced in the execution of his orders, &c. We then stacked
arms ready to march again at short notice, the men generally had the appearance
of being in a seven days' fight minus the scars, consequently a number of them
took advantage of the waters of the York River which lays on one side of our
camps.—Taking a walk through the Fort on Sunday, and passing the jails
I noticed fourteen so-called grey backs, alias Rebels, captured at Williamsburgh,
among them are two Lieutenants, there are also quite a number of refugees from
Richmond. They are mostly Germans, and all report a scarcity of food there.
On the 30th of last month the men and part of the officers were paid, and
a great proportion of the money was forwarded to their respective homes.—
We cannot but chronicle the amount, as it is creditable to any body of men,
company A. forwarded $2241, company B. $4100, company C. $2760, company D.
$2,000 company E. $2700, company F. $2825, company G. $2500, company H. $3000,
company I. $2000, company K. $3712; making an aggregate of $24,163. But enough
for the present. L. B.
Honor to Whom Honor Is Due.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD.
HEADQUARTERS, 168TH REGIMENT N. Y. V.
CAMP BROWN, YORKTOWN, Va., June 11, 1863.
In an article in your paper of June 9, headed "The Mattapony Expedition," it
is stated "that the expedition was made up of detachments from the One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment New York Volunteers;" &c., &c.,
which is an error.
The detachment was from the One Hundred and Sixty-eighth regiment New York
Volunteers, which is the Nineteenth regiment National Guard, State of New York,
from Newburg, Orange county, and was under the command of Captain Daniel Torbush,
Hoping you will insert the above in your valuable paper, I am, very respectfully,
your obedient servant, Wm. R. BROWN.
Colonel 168th regiment New York Volunteers,
(19th regiment National Guard, State of New York.)
From the 19th Regiment.
Fort Magruder, near Williamsburg,
Virginia, July 6th, 1863.
MR. EDITOR: Thinking you might like to hear from the old 19th (alias 168th),
I thought I could do no better than to employ a few of my leisure moments in
writing to your paper.
Since my last we have moved our location. Tuesday, the 30th of June, we were
ordered to muster for pay at 3 P. M., but at about 10 o'clock A. M., up came
Col. Smith, of the 169th. pay-master, to muster us, and at 2 1/2 o'clock we
were en route for this place. On our arrival, we were assigned to our places
immediately. Co. I in No. 1 Redout; Co. B in No. 2; Co. G in No 4; Co. E in
No 5 ; Co. C in No. 6; Co A in No. 7; Co's H and K in No. 8; and Co's D and
F in Fort Magruder. The country is a very fine one about here. We are directly
upon the old battle field of Williamsburg. Inside Fort Magruder is an 8-inch
naval gun, on a pivot. It is the one that made such havoc with our troops at
the first battle here, and is just as the rebels left it. The circle is wood,
and the pivot is made of yellow pine. There is a great many graves here of
soldiers killed in the fight. Could you but see and count those graves you
would be astonished.
The New Jersey brigade and Sickles' Excelsior and Hancock's brigade have the
greatest numbers buried here, and must have suffered severely during the fight.
The health of the regiment is generally good. Yours, &c, J.T.C.
FORT ALBANY, July 15th, 1853.
MR. EDITOR: Since my last letter we have had exciting times here, consequent
on the change of position of the army of the Potomac. When Lee left Fredericksburg
for his northern tour, it was not known positively but that he would like to
call at Arlington and see how his estate there was being cared for, and if
time and circumstances permitted, he might even visit Washington and pay his
respects to the occupants of the White House. This uncertainty as to his movements
gave much anxiety here, and it was decided to keep everything in readiness,
that in case he should visit our lines, that his arrival might be heralded
by the thunder of the guns on our whole line, and his reception be as warm
as a hot June day and plenty of ammunition could make it. Pickets were sent
out from the different forts every night, forming an inside line as a precautionary
measure against surprise. The position of the guns when commanding certain
prominent points were ascertained during the day time, so that in case of a
night attack they could be used with good effect.
At night, the hearing of the sentinels on the parapets seemed uncommonly good,
else they were more watchful than usual, and "Halt, who goes there," would
ring out sharp and clear on the night air, long before one would imagine his
clumsy feet had made noise enough to be heard. Once or twice the usual quiet
of the night was broken by the booming of signal guns, as warning of danger;
the long roll was sounded and the forts manned in double quick time. Horses
were hooked to the wagons, so as to be moved out of danger if necessary, but
no attack was made. Many thought the alarm was given to see how soon the men
could turn out in case of real danger; and thus the time passed until it was
known that Lee was across the Potomac into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Arlington
House is the headquarters of one our Generals, and is kept pretty well for
war times. The farm is cultivated under the direct supervision of Uncle Sam,
the labor being done by contra-bands, many of whom are woman. The results of
their farming operations, however—unless I am much mistaken—will
show a large sum to the debtor side of the contraband camp, which the aforesaid
U. S. will have to pay; but if possible I will obtain something like a fair
estimate of profit and loss when the crops are gathered, the result may be
of interest to your readers.
The news from the army is encouraging, and it would seem almost impossible
for a large portion of Lee's army to escape, as has been predicted. However,
if it be possible, he will undoubtedly accomplish it. Yesterday afternoon we
had a real Virginia thunder shower—one of that kind in which drops of
rain form no apparent part, their places being supplied by constant streams.
To-day it has poured down in torrents nearly all day long, and the Potomac
is now un- fordable, and will be so for some days to come. It goes foaming
and dashing through and over the rocks in a frightful manner and looks very
unlike the Potomac when at its ordinary level. Quite number of men and horses
belonging to Lee's army were carried away by the current while endeavoring
to ford the river, and some of the bodies were taken from water at Chain Bridge
to-day. Saturday quite a large number of troops from Gen. Dix's army reached
Washington on their way to reinforce Meade, who must have an army, variously
estimated from 150,000 to 170,000 men—it may be even larger. Lee is represented
as holding a very strong position, and one from which it will be difficult
to force him from, if he really desires, or is forced fight. The events of
the next few days are looked forward to with anxiety, though all seem confident
a battle can result only in favor of our troops. The country toward Fairfax,
Falls Church, even nearer our lines, is now freely visited by small scouting
parties the Rebels, who can do but little real harm, though they are at times
annoying, and have once or twice chased some our men pretty close up to the
July 14th.~This morning it is clear and pleasant again, and reports say that
Lee has a bridge across the Potomac, and that a portion of his army are
across. Yours, M.
FROM T H E OLD NINETEENTH.—We h a v e a letter from Captain W. H. Terwilliger,
of the One Hundred and Sixty-Eighth Regiment, dated at Brentsville, Prince
William County, Va., August 5, 1863. The regiment had seen hard service, having
been constantly making forced marches for three weeks previous. At that date
the regiment was encamped in a pleasant park surrounding the Brentsville Court-House.
The court-house itself was occupied as headquarters by the officers of the
regiment. The period of the stay of the regiment in that place was uncertain,
and letters should be addressed as heretofore to Washington, D. C.
Captain Terwilliger requests us to publish for the information of their friends
and the public, the following list of the sick of Company A, in what hospital,
and post-office address, as near as he is able to give the particulars:
At Nelson Hospital, Yortown, Va.:
Sergeant John R. Reed,
At Hospital in or near Washington, D. C.:
William A. Reeve,
Left at Frederick, Md.:
Sent to Alexandria, Va.:
M. K. Stitt,
Coe G. Conkling,
FROM THE 168TH
HEADQUARTERS 168TH, N. Y. V.,
August 6th, 1863.
Mr. EDITOR:—Thinking the good people of Newburgh would like to know our
whereabouts, I again address myself to your valuable paper. We are now encamped
on the grounds surrounding the court house of Prince William Co., Va., it is
as beautiful a location for a camp as any regiment could wish for. Since leaving
Yorktown we have seen but little rest. The daily routine was reveille at 4
a.m., then fall in and tramp halt for breakfast, and again tramp—halt
for dinner and tramp, and about seven o'clock p. m., halt for the night, detail
a guard for division headquarters, and then sleep, if you are not too tired
to do so. The 1st of August the corps arrived here and was ordered into camp
to rest and recruit up a little. The Surgeon-in-Chief gave orders to have the
boys pitch their tents with the lower edges raised from the ground, and to
build bunks. We were then in a thick growth of young pines, and when those
orders were received the boys smiled some. The next night brought with it orders
to be ready to march at 3 a. m., and then the boys didn't smile so much.—At
3 o'clock we were ready to march, and fully expected a 20 or 26 mile march
sure. But fate decreed otherwise, and we only moved about three-fourths of
a mile to our present location, relieving the 33d Mass. and 73d Ohio, while
the rest of the corps went to Catlet's Station and Warrenton Junction.
We are now anxiously looking for the Pay Master to dispense to us some of Uncle
Ambraham's green backs, as such articles are decidedly scarce in our camp.
We are also gazing with anxious eyes for the return of our much loved Colonel.—The
regiment is now in charge of Lieut. Col. Low, who commands it with great credit
to himself and satisfaction to the regiment. Adj't Hathaway is, as the boys
say, "a bully fellow." It appears to me as though he does three men's
work. Will. had ought to be considerable higher than he is. Well, it is now
time for dress parade, and I will close, first stating that all letters or
papers addressed to the 168th N. Y. Vol., 2d Brigade. 2d Division, 11th Army
Corps, Washington, D. C., will be sure to reach us. With our best wishes for
yourself and paper,
I am yours, &c.,
The Travels of the Old Nineteenth.
Correspondence of the Newburgh Journal.
MANASSAS JUNCTION, Sept. 6, 1863.
A short time after our regiment arrived in Yorktown, Va., I sent you a short
sketch of our proceedings, and by a paper which I received from Newburgh.
I had the pleasure of seeing a part of my communication to you in print, and
thinking that if you thought that was good enough to publish to the worthy
citizens of Newburgh and vicinity, I would try and give you a brief synopsis
of our proceedings since we broke camp in Yorktown.
On June 30th we were mustered in for pay, and then we received orders to march
for Fort Magruder. We arrived there about 10 p. m., the regiment garrisoning
the fort and different redoubts. We remained there until July 9th, when we
marched back to Yorktown and embarked on a steamboat for Washington. A good
many of the boys were under the impression that they were bound for home, it
being just nine months to the day that the regiment first encamped in Newburgh,
but they were very soon made aware of their mistake.
We arrived in Washington on the 10th; received orders to go to Frederick, Md.,
arriving there on the 11th. All the sick and those that were thought not able
to stand a long march were left there; some were left in Washington. The regiment
left their knapsacks there. We received orders to march to Boonsboro; left
Frederick in the evening, marched about five miles, encamped for the night.
It being the first night the boys laid out, they missed the comfortable quarters
they used to have in York town. Started next morning at sunrise, encamped at
night at Boonsboro, raining very hard. On the 13th marched to Funkstown and
encamped for the night; met a good many Rebel prisoners, and ambulances with
wounded and sick soldiers; saw the flashes and heard the reports of the Rebel
guns, supposed to be their rear guard. On the 14th joined the Eleventh Corps,
and were all drawn up in line of battle; line of march being formed, we started
Orange County and Newburgh need never be ashamed of the One Hundred and Sixty-Eighth
(as I am sorry to say some of them were when we laid in Newburgh). The Colonels
of some of the other regiments said they behaved like veterans that had seen
plenty of hard service, and that they were a credit to the place they came
from. They went forward with the same spirit as if they were marching for home.
We were told that we had Lee in a trap, and made up our minds to fight like
men. The regiment was never in a better condition to fight than they were on
We arrived at a place called Falling Waters, close by Williamsport, at six
p. m., passing through Hagerstown. General Lee had entrenchments outside of
Hagerstown, which if he had seen fit to defend, would have been hard to be
taken, owing to the advantageous position he had them in. When we were close
to Williamsport there was no sign of General Lee or any of his army; we were
too late; he had got across the Potomac. So you see if the One Hundred and
Sixty-Eighth had not the pleasure of fighting him, they had the pleasure of
helping to drive him out of Maryland.
On the 15th broke camp at five a. m., arrived in Middletown at eight p. m.,
passing through Hagerstown, Smoketown, and Meyersville. 16th broke camp at
five a. m., arrived at Berlin close to the Potomac at four p. m., laid in camp
on the 17th and 18th; raining most all the time; a good many of the men being
sick, the worst were sent to Annapolis hospital, Maryland. 19th, broke camp
at four a. m., crossed the Potomac on a pontoon bridge, passed through Lovetsville
and Waterford, camped three miles from Leesburgh. 20th, broke camp at six a.
m., arrived at Goose Creek four p. m. Missed
Corporal John B. Gould and private William McMasters, supposed to be taken
prisoners. 21st and 22d, laid in camp. Broke camp five a. m. of the
23d, passed through Middleburgh, stopped for dinner at White Plains close to
the battle field, arrived at New Baltimore six p. m. 24th, remained in camp.
25th, broke camp at two a. m., and arrived at Warrenton junction five p. m.
26th, left camp for Catlett Station, regiment doing guard duty on railroad.
27th and 28th, remained in camp. 29th, broke camp at two a. m., arrived at
Kettle Run at seven a. m. 30th and 31st, remained in camp; men busy building
a log fort. August 1st, broke camp and marched for Brentsville. 2d, laid in
camp. 3d, broke camp and formed in Prince William
Court House yard. 4th, 5th and 6th, remained in camp, regiment doing patrol
and picket duty. 7th, broke camp, were relieved by the Sixty-Eighth and One
Hundred and Nineteenth New York regiments, marched to Greenwich and encamped
close by a church. 8th and 9th, still in camp, regiment doing patrol and picket
duty. 10th, broke camp, marched to Manassas Junction, patrol and picket duty.
11th and 12th, in camp. Paymaster arrived on the 13th, and paid us for four
months; was very welcome I can assure you. Companies C, D, and K received orders
to march to Greenwich; left at 7 1/2 p.m., under the command of Captain I.
Jenkinson, of Company D; camped for the night at Cannon Run. 14th, started
at four a. m., arrived in Greenwich ten a. m. 15th. 16th and 17th, still in
camp, companies doing picket and patrol duty. On the 18th were relieved by
the Seventy-Third Ohio Regiment at eight a. m., companies marched for Bristow
Station and joined the brigade. From the nineteenth to the 28th remained in
camp, regiment doing picket and patrol duty. On the 27th, Adjutant W. M. Hathaway
went to Frederick to get the men's knapsacks; it being very cold at night,
the men needed their coats and blankets. On the 28th Lieutenant Colonel James
Low left the regiment and started for home, leaving us without a Colonel or
Adjutant; but fortune smiled on us once more, for Colonel W. R. Brown, who
had been home on a sick furlough since July, arrived the same afternoon and
immediately took command of the regiment. Captain George McCleary, of Company
F, arrived the same time. 29th, marched to Manassas Junction and encamped. 30th, 31st, still in camp, regiment doing picket and
patrol duty. September 1st, regiment was inspected and mustered in for pay
by Colonel W. R. Brown.
Orderly Sergeant W. J. Cornish, of Company D, and several others visited the
old and new battleground of Bull Run. He says it is an awful sight to see the
graves only partially covered, leaving exposed the bones of the brave men who
fell fighting for their country's rights.
We had exceeding hot weather while on our long marches, but it is quite cool
now, especially at nights. The men have to get up sometimes and start a fire
to keep them warm.
I am sorry to say there is a good deal of sickness in the regiment, both among
the officers and privates. Company C lost one young man by the name of Gaines,
and has another very low in the hospital. Company A buried one at Manassas;
likewise Company H. Company D has fifteen sick, but I believe none dangerously.
We have ten absent in the different hospitals.
On the 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th we were still in camp.
The regiment was reviewed to-day by Major General Howard and staff.
I think I have given you pretty nigh all the news that is of any account, and
Yours respectfully, E. G.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
May 19, 2006