169th Regiment, New York Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Note: Steve Wiezbicki was kind enough to offer to transcribe
the newspaper clippings for the 169th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry.
This was a large
job. Anyone who has ever tried to read such small print for a long time will
attest that it is also tedious. We would like to thank Steve for his effort.
A few months ago you sent me the newspaper clippings file for the 169th N.Y.S.V.
Infantry Regiment at no cost, with the request that I transcribe them into
MS Word for the Museum. That task is now completed, and attached you will find
the document containing the transcriptions.
I have re-sequenced the articles into
chronological order. I was able to determine the dates (or approximate dates)
of the undated clippings by referring to my
extensive holdings of materials on the 169th, as I am writing a history of
In addition, I have included restored newspaper banners at the top
of each article for which the identity of the newspaper is known. If you do not
the banners, just delete them and type in the name of the newspaper.
many circumstances where the names of soldiers were misspelled, particularly
in the casualty lists from May to July of 1864. These errors have
been corrected according to the official roster of the regiment from the N.Y.S.
Adjutant-General's report. Some soldiers had aliases listed in the roster,
and in these situations, the version of the name which most closely resembled
the one which appeared in the newspaper article was selected. If you do not
wish to retain these spelling corrections, and would like to revert to the
mutilated spellings from the articles, please let me know and I will change
them for you.
In a few cases, some soldiers were listed as being a part of the
169th, but their names were not in the roster, and nothing that was even close
found. These were noted as such at the end of the relevant articles.
three situations where I could not discern words in the articles due to the photocopying
process, or bleeding-through of text from the other
side of the newspaper. I have highlighted these items in yellow, and was wondering
if you may be able to consult the original clippings file with a magnifying
glass, and advise me as to what the words are? If so, it would be greatly appreciated!
Below are the page numbers where the illegible text was found:
1.) P.4 (MS Word
file) transcribed from P.2 (clippings file). ("head, the manly" and "air") both
will be bold.
2.) P.67 (MS Word file) transcribed
from P.14 (clippings file). ("and [illegible] part") this will be in bold
3.) P.86 (MS Word file) transcribed from P.27 (clippings
file). ("A. McMahon*, Co. G;") The initial "A" is unclear,
this will be in bold.
It was a pleasure working on this task. As I am still researching newspaper
articles about the 169th, I will send you an updated version after I identify
the names of the newspapers and dates of the articles in question.
- Steve Wiezbicki
169th Regiment, New York Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
SOMETIME BETWEEN OCTOBER 19, 1862 AND APRIL 15, 1863
DESERTER ARRESTED. – William
Mercy, a member of the 169th Regiment, was arrested in Troy on Wednesday, on
a charge of desertion. This Mercy is
a desperate fellow. We recollect only about two months ago while he was confined
in jail here, how he assaulted one of the inmates of that institution. At that
time he was taken to Washington in irons, and strange as it may appear, he
deserted again and was back to Troy before the Marshal that had taken him to
his regiment. Now that he is caught, an example should be made of him.
c. APRIL 1863
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Regiment – Full Particulars
of the Late Skirmish.
CAMP OF COL. BUEL'S COMMAND,
NEAR SUFFOLK, VA., April 24, 1863, EVENING.
This has been truly an historic
day in the annals of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Regiment, being the first
upon which Colonel Buel led his command
to face the foe; and the sequel will show that the liberal confidence reposed
in the regiment not only at home, but more especially among those who have
been in authority over it since its advent at the seat of active operations,
has been fully justified by its noble bearing beneath a really prolonged and
terrific fire by an able and unscrupulous enemy.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, under command of Colonel Buel, left its camp
this forenoon at about half-past eleven o'clock, in accordance with orders
issued by Colonel J. C. Drake, commanding the Third Provisional Brigade, and
reported at Fort Dix, at one P.M. This being done, an order was at once given
to move out on the Edenton Road, leading directly to North Carolina. Soon after
passing our old picket post, the first two divisions of the regiment moved
to the right, and the two last divisions to the left of the road, in support
of sections of the Fourth United States Artillery, (regular) commanded by Captain
Follet, U.S.A., and a son of Hon. Frederick Follet, Ex-Canal Commissioner of
our State. The left division, which sustained the brunt of the day, was composed
of companies A, B, H, K, and D, under command of Major Alonzo Alden. Major
Alden’s command supported the left flank of Company D, Fourth Regular
Heavy Artillery, and occupied the extreme front of our entire force, and was
there throughout the entire day under a concentrated and terrific fire of four
pieces of rebel artillery. – Major Alden displayed the utmost bravery,
moving everywhere upon his horse beneath an almost complete canopy of canister
and grape, especially directed to his devoted and gallant band, who, without
exception, acted with the most daring coolness and exemplary fortitude under
a galling fire. It was impossible that the battery entrusted to its support
should fall into the hands of the enemy. It was at this point that the bright
and glowing services of Lieuts. Cary, B. M. Smith, E. K. Smith, and Lyon, were
especially noticeable and valuable. Of the Company commanders on the left,
Senior Captain James A. Colvin, of Company A, Captain Nat. Wood, commanding
Company B, and Captain Ferguson and Wickes were remarked for their coolness,
intrepidity, and determination in their new positions. Private Alexander Bell,
of Company D, lately commanded by Captain Warren H. Coleman, now by First Lieutenant
Walter Scott Birdsall, the commission of Lieutenant Snyder as its Captain not
having yet arrived, exhibited marked bravery, as did, in fact, all the men
of the wing, the woods over whose heads, and the rail-fences surrounding whom
were literally riddled with the thickly delivered shells of the enemy, not
a man flinched in the face of that awful and concentrated fire.
Shortly after the action commenced, Colonel Buel's riderless horse was seen
furiously dashing up the road, and a deep consternation became prevalent. Agonizing
fears were entertained that our gallant and really beloved commander, who was
known to be in the vicinity of the extreme front, in the discharge of his duty,
might have fallen another victim of this insatiate rebellion. Lieutenant-Colonel
McConihe, who commanded the right wing, immediately rode over to learn the
nature and extent of the casualty that had befallen Col. Buel. – On his
returning, we learned that he had been painfully and annoyingly wounded in
the left hand, and had been borne to the rear, whence he was tenderly conveyed
to camp. While the deepest and most affectionate regret was experienced at
the casualty, there was a universal feeling of joy that Colonel Buel was yet
spared to us, to lead us in other conflicts. He is delirious to-night, and
it is probable that he will be detained from command for some time. Major Alden
was slightly wounded in the thigh, and his horse was shot directly through
the more fleshy part of the neck. Adjutant Kisselburgh was calm and collected
throughout the trying ordeal, and was remarked for his energy, in the conveyance
of orders. The right wing of the regiment, composed of companies E, G, I, and
F, were stationed on the extreme, in support of two, and part of the time three
sections of battery, and was, as above stated, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel
McConihe, who several times during the day was in consultation with General
Corcoran. Colonel McConihe's bearing in front of the enemy was that of one
familiar with such scenes. While the balls whistled all around him, he sat
upon his horse, cool, and seemingly anxious for a closer contact with the foe.
When we remember the gallantry displayed by Colonel McConihe on the memorable
field of Shiloh, which he fully sanctified in the action of to-day, there is
no room to doubt where he will be found in the hours of tribulation and conflict
yet in store for the noble regiment which he, in part, commands. And this leads
me to remark that the regiment is everywhere conceded to be highly favored
in the character and ability of its field and staff. I shall speak more at
length, however, upon this point, in my military notes, a liberal transcript
of which I hope to send you in a few days.
The first division supporting the right section of Follet's Battery, was in
command of Capt. John T. McCoun, who, upon hearing of Colonel Buel’s
wound, eagerly besought Colonel McConihe to allow that portion of the battalion
to charge into the woods. This was not considered feasible, but the suggestion
does equal credit to the head and heart of the young Captain so earnestly making
it. – Lieutenant T. B. Eaton was here honorably conspicuous. The second
division of the same support was ably commanded by Captain A. D. Vaughn, assisted
by Lieutenant Snyder, Lieut. Birdsall, and Lieuts. Patrick Connors, Scriven
and Jellico, all of whom acted well, and fully deserve this honorable mention.
Among the many instances of noble daring displayed by the privates, I may mention
the capture of a rebel rifle by private William M. Swartwout of Company G.
Private S. met a rebel who had wandered from the rebel lines armed with an
English rifle. Private S. immediately presented his pistol and said to him – "here
Mr. Rebel, dance this way, I want that rifle." – There were no two
ways in the matter, and the seedy secesh "wilted" nolens volens,
under the sturdy glance of the gallant "Swarty." He is proud of his
The severe cannonading of this never to be forgotten artillery duel lasted
three hours, when our forces retired after a sharp and favorably decisive contest.
I close with subjoining a complete list of the casualties of the day, in the
One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, which I may here state were kindly and attentively
cared for by Senior Surgeon Knowlson, and his assistant, Dr. Clark Smith, the
new associate Surgeon of the command.
Col. Clarence Buel, severely in the left hand. – One finger
has been amputated.
Major Alonzo Alden, slightly in the left thigh, and horse shot under him.
First Lieutenant John H. Hughes, Company A, injury from shell in leg, both
above and below knee.
Corporal Charles H. Noyes, Co. H, contusion of scalp.
Michael Falen, Co. B, wound in hand.
E. H. Brock, Co. H, killed.
John Kenneley, Co. K, slightly in arm.
Thomas Fogarty, Co. K, slightly in hand.
Among the noteworthy incidents, I may mention that a shell struck Sergeant
Spalding of Capt. Wood's company, and completely divested him of his equipments
without doing him other injury.
I cannot forebear mentioning that Sergeant Major Van Santvoord, a brother of
the late lamented scholar and jurist of our city, was in the thickest of the
fray, throughout the day, nobly doing his duty.
APRIL 25, 1863.
Colonel Buel is much better this morning, though not entirely
free from pain. He leaves for home this noon.
I must not forget, under this head, the manly and patriotic bearing of Company
I, mostly from the Nail Works, and in the ranks of which your correspondent
saw his first duty in the field, directly in front of belching cannon, and
air flying shrapnel, I am proud of Company I.
Our good friend, Chaplain Eaton, who is universally beloved and respected by
the regiment, was on the field ready both to do his pious office, and if needs
be, give prompt and holy aim to a piece whose effect upon the enemy would doubtless
tell us that the sacred office, and the exploits of war, are no less than intimately
blended in a cause supported by man and blessed of God.
During the shrapnel storm, Major Alden discovered a gun upon the field without
its caisson, and from which all the gunners had been shot save two, and which
promised to fall into the possession of the enemy. The gallant Major thought
to bear it away with his men. Addressing the Chief of Artillery, the Major
asked – "Shall I carry off that gun." The two survivors said,
before the Chief of Artillery could respond, "There is only two of us
left, and we mean to stick to the gun." This incident is illustrative
both of Major Alden's foresight and coolness upon the field, and the unselfish
devotedness of the gallant gunners.
Thus has the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth had its first experience in the glory
of arms and the dashing and honorable advance.
W. H. M.
COL. BUEL'S CONDITION.
A despatch was received yesterday, stating that Col.
B.'s physician would not permit him to leave Washington at present. Mr. H.
C. Lockwood, brother-in-law
of Col. B., left for Washington last evening.
MAY __ , 1863
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Regiment
CAMP GRISWOLD, NEAR SUFFOLK, VA.
May 4th, 1863 – 5 A.M.
Another dashing and successful – though in respect to the number of
dead and wounded, sad – reconnaissance took place in this department
yesterday (Sunday) under the general supervision of Major-General Peck, and
the more immediate auspices of General Getty and General Dodge. At a point
just below Suffolk, Gen. Dodge crossed the Nansemond River early in the morning
with a force amounting to nine thousand men, while Gen. Getty with six thousand
men crossed at a point immediately in front of the city, and in the long range
of woods literally belting Suffolk, the rebels in large numbers were believed
to be encamped and more or less intrenched. The gallant Thirteenth Indiana,
so renowned for its dash and invincible pluck, and Col. Buel's Regiment, the
One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York, under command of Col. McConihe, both
commanded by Col. Dobbs, were held as a reserve force on this side of the Nansemond.
The rebels, as Captain McA. would say when he wanted to make a novel (?) quotation,
were "as thick as leaves in Vallambrosia." The affair was a serious
one – the killed and wounded amounting to one hundred and twenty-five – the
former predominating. During the day Dr. Smith, one of the associate Surgeons
of the general hospital in Suffolk, not Dr. Clark Smith of our regiment, was
mortally shot by a Major, said to be under the influence of delirium tremens. – As
is its custom, the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth came speedily and willingly
under arms, and though in reserve its bearing was patient, affable and gentle,
and its reputation here fully warrants the belief that it would have considered
it a favor to cross the river with its gallant confreres from noble Indiana.
All day long, in company with Capt. Nat. Wood, Lieutenants Cary and Charles
Douglas Merrill, I have been sitting in my easy chair, just outside of my "A" tent,
looking at the rebel prisoners brought in by our gallant captors. Former reports
at their wasted and destitute appearance do not belie them. Just at this point
of my letter, Sergeant Robert Rainsbury, of Company I, informs me that five
hundred additional prisoners are in sight on the main road.
Concerning the future of our regiment, we know of course little, but whatever
destiny may be in store for it, God grant that its career of effort may be
honorable, and followed by a safe and speedy return to the homes we all so
dearly love, and pointedly remember. I had almost omitted to say, certainly
in its proper place, that all accounts agree in representing the rebel loss
as being very large. We know of three hundred killed and wounded in Princeton
Church, five miles from Suffolk.
You may look for the first installment of my military notes in a few days,
in which I shall endeavor to picture to the readers of the Whig some of the
more salient features of the daily life of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
in camp. I need not add that I will, through the medium of brief letters, keep
up the thread of current events with the journal.
W. H. M.
JUNE __ , 1863
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH. – Among the recent promotions
in this regiment are the following:
First Lieutenant Spencer W. Snyder to be Captain,
vice Warren B. Coleman, resigned.
Second Lieutenant Patrick Conners to be First Lieutenant, vice Snyder, promoted.
First Sergeant Norman J. Crippen to be Second Lieutenant, vice Connors promoted.
friends of Capt. Snyder will be pleased to hear of his promotion to a position
which his talents and military experience so well qualify him to adorn.
As a gentleman and a soldier he stands deservedly high in the regiment, and
his advancement is an evidence that merit is appreciated.
c. JULY 1863
SOLDIERS IN TOWN. – Captains McCoun, Allen and Ferguson,
with six soldiers of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, are home on duty.
among the delegation is Private Wm. H. Merriam, who, with Capt. McCoun, reached
Troy this morning. The object of this military visit is to escort drafted men
assigned to the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth to the regimental headquarters.
c. JULY 1863
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH – The officers and soldiers of
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, who are in this city for the purpose
charge of drafted men, are Captains J. H. Allen, John T. McCoun and D. Ferguson;
Sergeants Chas. Dumary, Jacob Cook, Horace P. Beckwith, Mason S. Chambers;
Private William H. Merriam.
c. JULY 1863
OFFICERS OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH ON SPECIAL DUTY – Yesterday
morning, quite a delegation of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth arrived in the
city on special duty. It consisted of Captain McCoun of this city, Captain
Allen of Brunswick, Captain Ferguson of Lansingburgh, five sergeants and Private
Merriam. They are to report at Riker's Island – their special duty is
to take charge of the drafted men of this district. Captains Ferguson and Allen
have both visited home before, but Captain McCoun had not visited the city
until this time since the regiment left. All, so far as we have seen them,
look well – Captain McCoun, remarkably so. His presence affords gratification
to a large circle of acquaintances, who know the circumstances of his leaving
a position of ease and affluence, and a luxurious home, to endure the privations
and encounter the perils of service in the field. Private Merriam – the
unique, comique, rotund Merriam – an original "institution" of
himself without a parallel anywhere, whether at home or in the camp, – the
Merriam of old only "more so," amplified in brain and physique from
the congenialities, which "where'er he roams," he always brings about
him. A pleasant visit and a successful mission to the detachment. But why go
to Virginia for men to perform this duty, when there are at least fifty shoulder
strapped loafers hanging around the city, to whom the slightest service would
be a novelty – if not a benefit?
c. JULY 1863
PRIVATE WM. H. MERRIAM, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment,
has been engaged in hand-shaking and congratulation-receiving ever since his
in Troy. Few young men, soldiers or civilians, have such "troops of friends" as
our military and ex-editorial townsman. His connection with the regiment has
been honorable and arduous – having been in two actions and any number
of marches – never flinching amid the labors of the second Peninsula
campaign. He seems to like the service very much, and declares that he would
not quit it on any account. A pair of epaulettes is alone lacking to complete
the "personnel" of our martial friend.
c. JULY 1863
PERSONAL. – George G. Arnold, sutler of the 169th, reached town on
Thursday, and received the welcome to which his manly, genial qualities entitle
him. On the same day, Ex-Ald. Hugh Rankin arrived home, having completed an
agreeable European visit. – Captain J. Thomas Davis of the City Artillery
has resigned, in consequence of his removal to Berlin. – Dr. Eber W.
Carmichael and wife of Sandlake were quite severely injured yesterday by being
thrown from their carriage. – Timothy Connors broke his thigh by falling
from the new building at the head of Broadway yesterday morning. – Hon.
Isaac McConihe, L.L.D., President of Troy Academy; J. H. Willard, Principal
of the Female Seminary; and W. N. Barringer, of the Blatchford school, are
among the additional attendants at the Collegiate Convention.
c. JULY 1863
The 169th N. Y. S. V.
The conduct of the 169th Regiment N.Y.S.V., raised in the
counties of Rensselaer and Washington, in the spirited action on the Edenton
Road, 24th of April,
elicited from the commanding General special and complimentary orders. It has
within the last twenty days marched upwards of two hundred miles and formed
part of two expeditions to the Blackwater River. It is now stationed at Yorktown,
and we find in the Cavalier, published at that place, a most complimentary
notice, which we condense.
Col. Clarence Buel, its commander, is a son of the late distinguished jurist
David Buel, of Troy, N.Y. Col. Buel graduated at Union College in 1849. At
the outbreak of the war he raised a company of which he was Captain, in the
Harris Light Cavalry, from which he was called to the colonelcy of the 169th
New York. He was severely wounded in the affair of the 24th of April on the
Edenton Road, while doing his duty at the head of his regiment, and since has
been at the North under medical treatment. Col. Buel's military qualities consist
in cool judgment, dauntless bravery and a wise forecast in behalf of all those
under his command, with whom he is extremely popular. He is an able commander.
The present commander of the Regiment, by reason of Colonel Buel's absence,
is Lieut.-Col. John McConihe, son of the Hon. Isaac McConihe, Sr., LL. D.,
He was also a graduate of Union College, of the class of 1853, of which he
bore off the first honors. Leaving college, Col. McConihe took up the study
of the law, and graduated at the Albany Law School. Receiving his degrees in
the laws, Col. McConihe proceeded to the West and took up his residence in
Nebraska, where he held the office of Private Secretary to the late Governor
Black, Adjutant-General of the Territory, and Master in Chancery, and was candidate
of his party for the mayoralty of Omaha City. At the opening of the war he
entered the army, and was made Captain of a company in the 1st Nebraska Volunteers,
in which position he served in Missouri, and was severely wounded in the left
arm at the memorable battle of Shiloh, from which he since suffered and is
still suffering. As one of the Field Officers of the 169th, Col. McConihe is
beloved by his regiment, and is remarkable for the frankness of his character,
and his unremitting valor in the face of the enemy. He is an ornament to the
service and worthy of its highest regards.
Major Alden is a graduate of Williams College of the class of 1859. Major Alden
joined the 30th New York as a private, and was soon made 1st Lieutenant, and
shortly thereafter Adjutant of his regiment, and saw service at Centreville
and at the first entrance of our army under McDowell at Fredericksburg. He
has also served under Gen. Keyes, and more recently Gen. Auger, before Port
Hudson. Major Alden may truly be said to be a great proficient in military
science. He is, notwithstanding his present arduous duties in the field, a
close and continuous student, and is in all respects a model soldier and a
genuine man, commanding and compelling the common respect of all with whom
he comes in contact.
The following comprises a list of the officers of the 169th:
FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS.
Colonel – C. Buel (absent, wounded).
Lieut.-Colonel – John McConihe (commanding regiment).
Major – Alonzo Alden.
Surgeon – John Knowlson.
Assistant Surgeon – P. L. F. Reynolds.
Second Assistant Surgeon – Clark Smith.
Adjutant – W. E. Kisselburgh.
Quartermaster – Sidney N. Kinney.
Chaplain – Rev. Joel W. Eaton.
Company A – Captain, James A. Colvin; 1st Lieut., John H. Hughes; 2d
Lieut., Clark Smith.
Company B – 1st Lieut., Bernard N. Smith (commanding); 2d Lieut., E.
Company C – Captain, Joseph Allen; 1st Lieut., Charles. E. Morey; 2d
Lieut., James H. Dunn.
Company D – Captain, Spencer W. Snyder; 1st Lieut., Walter S. Birdsall;
2d Lieut., D. E. Scriven.
Company E – Captain, Frank W. Tarbell; 1st Lieut., Charles. H. Palmer;
2d Lieut., Henry Mulhall.
Company F – Captain, A. D. Vaughn; 1st Lieut., J. F. Thompson; 2d Lieut.,
T. D. Jellico.
Company G – Captain, John T. McCoun; 1st Lieut., T. B. Eaton (detached
on Gen. Foster's Staff); 2d Lieut., C. D. Merrill.
Company H – Captain, W. H. Wickes; 1st Lieut., W. H. Lyon; 2d Lieut.,
J. B. Benjamin.
Company I – Captain, Jerome Bonaparte Parmenter; 1st Lieut., Patrick
Connors; 2d Lieut., Norman J. Crippen.
Company K – Captain, Daniel Ferguson; 1st Lieut., Daniel J. Cary; 2d
Lieut., Edward R. Smith.
AUGUST __ , 1863
From the 169th Regiment.
BOWERS' HILL, 8 MILES FROM PORTSMOUTH, VA., July 28,
EDITORS WHIG: – The material construction of the lines of this Department,
and the diversion of several thousand of the veteran troops, – who distinguished
themselves during the "Siege of Suffolk," and signally defeated the
objects of the rebel investment of that antiquated city, – to other and
more important points, where military operations are now being vigorously prosecuted,
while the efficiency of this force for the defence of Norfolk and Portsmouth
is not in the least affected thereby, their services in other quarters must
have no inconsiderable effect in rendering irresistible and overwhelming a
combined coup of our land and naval forces for the extinguishment of the rebellion,
during the Summer and Fall campaigns.
Bowers' Hill is one of the characteristic misnomers etched from the fertile
brains of Southern imagery upon local geographical charts, but the topography
of this country, from Norfolk to the Blackwater, refutes unequivocally the
assumption of a hill, and nowhere, perhaps, is this refutation more palpably
illustrated than in this immediate vicinity. This country is decidedly level,
and were it not for the dense forests and swamps that flourish on its surface,
would present a view as unbroken, almost, as the sea in a perfect calm.
Bowers' Hill is located eight miles from Portsmouth, eleven from Suffolk, and
is flanked on the south east by the Dismal Swamp, and on the west and north-west
by Goose Creek. Thus, Bowers' Hill is very easily fortified, and hence, in
a strategic point of view, of great importance, commanding as it does, the
main avenue of approach to Portsmouth.
It always has been, and still remains, a great object of mystification to your
correspondent, why Suffolk, of itself a place of no importance, commercially
or otherwise, and a point of no military account to the Rebels, should have
been so strongly fortified, – while long chains of forts, earthworks
and stockades, upon which our soldiers labored so many months, thro' Summer's
heat and Winter's rain, should have been erected, incurring as it did, immense
expense, when the line of Deep Creek and Bowers' Hill could have been so readily
fortified, at little cost, and more effectually held with one-fifth of the
imposing force required to hold the dirty, dilapidated borough of Suffolk.
I can account for it only on this hypothesis – that there was a large
plethora of soldiers, whom the Government found it difficult to employ elsewhere,
and wishing to school both officers and men in the art of erecting field fortifications,
the soil here being singularly susceptible to the spade, in the absence of
all geological substances of a hard nature, this was considered a most desirable
field for the prosecution of that work. The moment finally arrived when a vacuum
occurred somewhere in the ranks of our mighty armies, which this large gang
of "ditchers" could advantageously fill, and having turned over all
the available earth in the vicinity of Suffolk, it was decided to fall back
upon the line of Deep Creek and Bowers' Hill, and with a small but all-sufficient
force, to protect the great Southern commercial city of Norfolk, and the lesser
one of Portsmouth, from that point, where it could be so easily done, with
only about one-fifth the expenditure of troops and money adequate to hold the
large area of unimportant territory about Suffolk.
* * * * * * *
Suffolk is now said to be a howling waste of burnt camp
houses, mourning quasi widows, – some of whom really loved our soldiers,
notwithstanding their secession proclivities, – Richmond prices, dismantled
fortifications, general gloom and despondency. An occasional rebel cavalryman,
who has friends in town, may be seen upon the now almost deserted streets.
The Rebs do not want Suffolk. It is of no use to them without Norfolk, and
Portsmouth, and they will make no effort to retain it in their possession.
Gen. Dix having been called to New York, Gen. Foster, of North Carolina, has
been placed in command at Fortress Monroe, and the two Departments of Southern
Virginia and North Carolina have been consolidated. Gen. Foster paid us a flying
visit last week, and evidences are not wanting to demonstrate that he is a
man of business and intends to infuse new vigor within the enlarged sphere
assigned to him for military operations, in this quarter. Already a force of
cavalry and artillery, tried on many a sanguinary field, have been dispatched
to North Carolina, to bring the citizens of that wavering State to a sense
of their danger, if they longer persist in paying homage to the wooden image
at Richmond. I am confident, however, that if the people of North Carolina
were allowed the privilege of voting upon the subject, she would not only relieve
the army now required to hold the ground acquired in the territory, but drive
from her borders every sympathizer with the Rebel Government who dared to show
* * * * * * *
As day after day brings us additional news of fresh
victories and successful raids in all parts of the mythical Confederacy, the
New York daily papers,
which are received regularly here, containing full details of these events,
we have a fruition of good things in the shape of reading matter, upon the
current scenes of this most tragic war. We begin to see, or fancy that we see,
the not afar off end of this fratricidal strife, and the many dear and long-denied
associations of home come unbidden into our thoughts by day and dreams by night. – Yet,
understand us, if peace and re-union are to be attained only by dishonorable
concessions, or a single shameful admission on the part of the North, let us
remain and fight this matter out to the bitter end. We know who must breathe
the last breath and gasp the last gasp, if it is to be a life and death struggle.
The blush of shame would indeed crimson the cheek of the patriotic soldier,
if, after all he has braved and endured, – after all the comrades and
brothers in arms that have been struck down by his side on the field of battle,
and by the many diseases induced by the miasmatic poisons of a pestiferous
climate, a few leading political demagogues should acknowledge to each other
that the whole affair was but the result of misled conceptions of each others'
views on certain questions of national policy, – that, if there was a
mutual recognition of the law as laid down by our forefathers, the old Constitution,
if rightly interpreted, was sufficiently comprehensive, to meet every emergency
that had arisen or might arise, and there was no reason why both North and
South could not live happily together through all time, after the humiliating
lesson of this gigantic trial of prowess.
The general morale and discipline of this regiment continues to furnish a theme
for universal congratulation on all hands, and its friends at home have every
reason to feel proud of an organization which reflects so much unqualified
honor upon the city and county which furnished the men so promptly to save
the cause of an imperiled country. The health of the regiment continues good.
truly, T. S.
AUGUST __ , 1863
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH is likely to have some rough
work before it. They have been sent from Portsmouth, as it is believed, to
with other large bodies of reinforcements. Fort Wagner, and the dozen similar
obstacles of the kind, are troublesome things to manage, and are likely to
give the 169th with others, some exciting employment.
AUGUST __ , 1863
OFF FOR CHARLESTON. – Two brigades – in one of which is our
One Hundred and Sixty-ninth – sailed from Portsmouth, on Saturday, for
Charleston, to re-enforce Gen. Gillmore.
AUGUST __ , 1863
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT have been heard from
in front of Charleston, on Folly Island. Col. Buel will leave next week to
Ex-Private Merriam has gone. Sutler George A. Arnold, will leave next week.
AUGUST __ , 1863
OFF FOR CHARLESTON. – Colonel Clarence Buel and Captain Jerome B.
Parmenter, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, left for Morris Island
last evening. Capt. P. has been prostrated for some weeks past by a severe
attack of typhoid fever, and is not, as yet, wholly recovered. This is the
second attempt made by him to regain his regiment – the first time he
being taken suddenly ill in New York, Capt. P. is highly spoken of by the officers
and men of the regiment, and his return to duty will be hailed with satisfaction
by his old associates.
– Col. Buel will no doubt meet with a warm reception from the members of
AUGUST __ , 1863
COL. CLARENCE BUEL, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, who
was severely wounded in the hand, at [the Edenton Road, Virginia], has at last
recovered to return to his regiment. He has gone. The fighting at Charleston
is probably now over.
AUGUST __ , 1863
PERILOUS VOYAGE BY A TROY OFFICER. – We have received
an interesting letter from our former associate, Adjutant W. E. Kisselburgh,
of the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth regiment, describing his attempted voyage from Fort Monroe
to Charleston, which resulted in a return to port. Although the letter was
written in pencil, hastily, without any view to publication, it will be read
with interest by the numerous friends of the Adjutant and the regiment in Troy.
It is dated on the steamer "City of Albany," and is begun "off
Roanoke Island" – ending at Fort Norfolk. He says:
Now that we have
struck comparatively smooth water again, and as the vessel's jar does not entirely
preclude the possibility of writing, I sit down to give
you the particulars of my fruitless attempt thus far to reach my regiment.
I landed at Fortress Monroe Aug. 6, and on the same day got transportation
to Charleston on board the steamer City of Albany, a very light and pretty
boat, built for passenger service on the Hudson, but very poorly adapted to "roughing
it" along our Atlantic coast. There were few other officers and a few
privates on board as passengers. The Captain had told me the vessel was not
sea-worthy, but I supposed she would be entirely safe, and went on board of
her feeling jubilant over the idea of going to Charleston in so pretty a craft.
You must have known some people very particular as to the shrouds and coffins
that were to contain them after death. The accommodations were elegant; my
state-room spacious, and everything about the boat had such an air of comfort,
so like our North River palaces, and so unlike other Government vessels, that
I was really willing to risk a little something in order to be entirely comfortable.
We made Cape Hatteras in good style; but there the sea got on his elevated
shoulder-straps, and disputed the question of rank with our poor little craft. "What
right," he appeared to say by his actions, "has that pesky river-boat
to tread so lightly and yet so proudly and defiantly over my imperial back?
I'll stir her up." And he did. A great rough wave struck her mid-ships,
and the fragile thing trembled in every part. Others followed in quick succession,
and at last being unable to sleep, I got out of bed, and went below. I saw
the sea was turbulent, and it was with difficulty I could keep my feet. First,
I was thrown against the engine room, and then banged against the wheel house.
But I supposed it was all right. I had never been to sea before, and as all
the nautical knowledge I possessed had been derived from books and pictures,
I supposed it was necessary for a landsman to be "well shaken" on
the ocean and for a vessel to shiver and quake, to roll and pitch, to spring
a leak, and do other curious things. – Therefore, I was not frightened
at the rolling of the ocean or the pitching of the vessel; still I must confess
it was not quite so pleasant as a trip across the Hudson on the Troy ferry
line. I walked or tried to walk among the hands of the boat, to see how "they
took it." Much to my surprise, I found them greatly alarmed. Some had
already provided themselves with life-preservers, and one fellow had actually
ensconced himself in the life-boat, and no amount of persuasion could induce
him to get out of it. This rather alarmed me, and I began to think of the chances
of being lost, with no record on shore or on the vessel to give my friends
a knowledge of my fate. I began to feel queer. This was 2 A.M., August 7th,
off Cape Hatteras, the wind blowing a gale, the sea running mountains high,
the vessel a leak, dreadfully strained, the deck planks working up, and the
water going over her almost every moment. I stood, a second Christopher Columbus,
quite anxious on the subject of land. I would have given anything in the world
then just to have been an agriculturalist. Land was my great hobby. I would
have taken stock in any description of the article known as terra firma. – But
after awhile we rounded the cape, the sea partially subsided, and we kept on
our course until 9 o'clock in the morning, when we made Beaufort, N.C., leaking
badly and generally disabled. To go on to Charleston was an impossibility,
and after remaining at Beaufort until 5 A.M., August 8, we proceeded on our
return to Fortress Monroe.
This last is being written at Norfolk, August 9. We arrived last night in good
order, safe and sound. Three days wasted, and I am no nearer my regiment than
when I started. As a boat leaves the Fortress to-day; however, I expect to
get off in her, and shall probably soon be at or near Charleston.
At Beaufort, when we arrived on the 7th, they had no papers since July 31,
and you can imagine how utterly benighted everybody was. The papers we gave
them were like mines of gold. Charleston, I am fearful, will be even worse,
though I hope not.
AUGUST __ , 1863
PERSONAL. – Dr. John S. Delevan, of this city, has resigned
his position as Pension Surgeon, to accept the appointment of Assistant Surgeon
in the 169th
N. Y. S. V.
AUGUST __ , 1863
APPOINTED – We see it stated that Doctor John S. Delevan,
of Albany, has been appointed Assistant Surgeon in the 169th Regiment New York
SUMMER OF 1863 OR 1864
About thirty farmers of Sandlake, N.Y., turned out one
day last week and did the whole of Mr. Alonzo Horton's haying. Mr. H. is a
soldier in the 169th
regiment. He has also a son in the army.
SEPTEMBER __ , 1863
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH AT CHARLESTON. – The
following letter from an officer of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, before Charleston,
be read with interest by all Trojans, especially those who have relatives and
friends in the besieging army. The writer was one of the number of officers
who recently visited Troy on special duty; –
HEADQUARTERS 169TH REGIMENT,
FOLLY ISLAND, Sept. 6, 1863.
MR. F.: – We started in the staunch ship Fulton for this place on the
24th of last month, arriving safe, – but, as far as myself was concerned,
not very sound, – on the 28th. What a fine thing it is to be a landsman
and write glowingly of the "glorious sea!" and what another "fine
thing" it is for that same landsman to be tossed about on the ocean he
has so often admired, with no land in sight, no solid foundation under foot,
and nothing but the fearfully treacherous water as far as the eye can reach.
One travels under such circumstances much faster than fifteen knots an hour
through the labyrinthian trenches of the past. The skeletons of his former
eccentric actions become perfect, living, and uncommonly lively bodies, and
cling to him so unpleasantly that he feels very much like the man in the play
who was comically anxious to get back under the roof of his "paternal
parent." He is like the man in Pickwick, who said he could skate, and
yet suddenly remembered that he had a coat at home which would just fit Samuel
Veller, who was kindly holding him up. I know such an one, who, by the way,
is in my tent at present – and remember, painfully well, of his sitting
on the deck of the vessel in New York harbor, humming the tune of that rare
old song –
" A life on the ocean wave."
The day following
he was rolling in his bunk dismally thinking, that
" The man who wrote it
He had never been to sea,
And a storm he had never seen."
A sea voyage, like many other calamities,
stirs up the fine feelings of a man's nature and makes him more kindly disposed
towards life and the living.
I think I do not flatter myself, or speak unwisely, when I say this was true
in my case, and in the strictest sense. Three times each day I crept from my
state-room to the table, but after having eaten a little I suddenly bethought
me of the myriads of famishing fishes, who were hunting through the waters
for the means of sustaining life, and the impulse to mitigate their miseries
and fill their stomachs was so strong upon me that I would spring from the
table, and reaching the deck, would project my head dreamily over the vessel's
side and wonder how many fishes and what their names, who were then and there
feeding at my expense far down in the deep blue sea. The passengers soon informed
themselves of this peculiarity of mine, and cheered me on with hilarious shouts
each time I started for the table. Need I add that Lieutenant Merriam appreciated
this part of the voyage most fully, and always applauded longer and louder
than the rest? And now, as the surf rolls up almost to the very door of my
tent, I think of the voyage, and the three daily meals, and the hungry fishes.
We arrived at Port Royal on the noon of the 28th, and took a tug for the island
(which is, say, sixty miles from Port Royal) at midnight, reaching the landing
at early morning. I had a fine view of the Sumter ruins from this point, but
concluded to defer my taking of Charleston until I had visited the regiment.
I need not attempt the description of the island here; your readers well know
its white sand would make any Troy grocer rich. The shade of its largest trees
would burn any man up, the "grub" hereabouts would starve any man,
and the mysterious sand flies, fleas, and other horrible and carnivorous insects,
drive to desperation every man who comes here, and makes a heavy remark or
so, regarding their stings, and eyes, and bills, and "souls" a positive
luxury. The government has wisely furnished each soldier in this lively department
with mosquito bars, and it is a pleasant study, indeed, to lie and watch the
mosquitoes as they light upon the threads of the meshes, look sharply around,
and then come down on you for the blood you have, with so much labor, distilled
out of "hard tack" and "salt horse." But the "bars" would
do very well, as they keep out everything which does not measure more than
five inches from tip to tip – were it not for huge horned bugs which
come from the ground at night and crawl over you and make horrid noises in
your ears. But these fleas and things cannot interest you as much as though
they were in your ears, and I will leave them (I wish they would leave me)
and give you a night and day in the trenches, right under the banks of Wagner.
I say the "banks," as a huge shapeless mass of sand cannot be dignified
by the name of walls.
On the second of this month, our regiment occupied the fifth or advanced trench
in front of Wagner. The getting out and into the trenches, is far more dangerous
than remaining there after once in, and most of the casualties occur at dusk,
when the "relief" comes in and the relieved go out. At that time
Wagner pours in grape and canister, and Johnson and Gregg shell the beach.
We pay not so much attention to the order of our going, as we do to going,
and the boys dance in and out pretty lively. It was so dark when we reached
our position in front, that I could see nothing, but laying down in the sand,
watched the shells, with their burning fuses, course through the air and explode
away behind us. No description can convey an idea of the hissing, horrible
noise of the shells tearing through the air, and of the thunder of their bursting.
Take the scale of fearful noises, run the gamut through in a few shrieks and
screams, and you have it.
As soon as morning broke I was looking around, of course. Through a hole in
our wall I could see the whole thing, as it lay before me. Wagner was directly
in our front, not a hundred yards from us; and there, a little to our left,
was the in-famous Charleston. We could see people on the docks and walking
the streets. It is an easy matter to shell the thing to the ground, but that
is not yet a part of the play. Sumter, or what is left of it, is just across
the bay from Wagner and says never a word. The Ironsides and the monitors were
laying lazily in the harbor close to Sumter, "throwing things" at
Wagner. Wagner didn't like it much, and threw back, but soon got weary and
remained quiet. Johnson, further yet to our left, fired often and wonderfully
accurate, making the sand and soldiers fly in all directions. And so the affair
continued, and we started for home at night very dirty, very hungry, and arrived
there, after wading through the surf, very wet and weary. I forgot to mention
that we must have marched over seven miles from our camp to the trenches, including
the crossing of [Lighthouse] Inlet, which is only a stone throw across, and
were consequently pretty tired when we reached camp at midnight.
Of course you want to know the present state of affairs. To-night, or to-morrow
morning, Wagner is to be assaulted and without doubt taken. – We have
run our "sap" so close to it that our men to-day have been throwing
hard tack and onions into the fort, and the old stars and stripes are planted
on the very corner of the rebel stronghold! The storming brigade was received
this afternoon. To-morrow night the place will be ours unless the General countermands
the order. I think Massachusetts and Illinois troops are to make the attack.
To-day we fired several experimental shots into Charleston, setting it on fire
in several places. The ball is moving, and as rapidly as we who are here, can
desire or expect. Those wiseacres who sit at home in their easy chairs, and
take Charleston daily, are wanted here now, if things are not going on fast
enough to suit them.
SEPTEMBER 7 – Morning. – Morris Island was taken last night.
Wagner and Gregg are ours. – No particulars.
SEPTEMBER __ , 1863
OUR TROY BOYS IN FRONT OF CHARLESTON – LIFE ON FOLLY ISLAND – A
detachment of half a dozen non-commissioned officers and privates, members
of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, came in yesterday morning, for
recuperation or business, among them John R. Wethey, of Co. G, (on thirty days'
furlough) formerly a printer with D. H. Jones & Co.; Sergeant Robert Rainsbury,
Co. I; Sergeant Charles O'Reilly, Co. B; Corporal Murphy, Co. D, and Private
Charles H. Myers, Co. I, discharged for disability. From a correspondent on
Folly Island, who is an officer of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, we have
letters down to the 22d, which we give below:
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT,
FOLLY ISLAND, S. C., Sept. 13, 1863.
Mr. F.: – Nothing on this surf-bound heap of sand, so forcibly reminds
one of his great distance from the Verandah saloon, as the almost complete
impossibility of procuring anything drinkable. – When this statement
is coupled with the fact that these islands are the grounds where Quarantine
corpses have been buried for a century, and that consequently the naturally
villainous water is hardly endurable, does it seem strange that the distance
to us is almost fabulous? Saratoga has its mineral waters, and Clarendon its
sulpher springs; but the fountains of the islands of Charleston harbor are
greater than those, for they are stronger to the nostrils, ranker to the palate,
and more weakening to man, than are the waters of either Saratoga or Clarendon.
A glass of cream headed ale, glowing like liquid amber in its crystal prison,
would be to us a more tempting incentive to deeds of valor, than a golden cross
of honor, and a dozen Wagners or Greggs would be daily stormed for a foaming
goblet of milk punch with its miniature icebergs, snow crested and mottled
with spicy nutmeg, fragrant and yellow. – Besides the water, we have
sometimes issued by the Quartermaster, something under the dignified name of
whiskey. Luckily it is seldom issued, and in such small quantities that few
men die immediately from its effects. One is not aware of the immense length
and superfine windings of the tube leading from the mouth to the stomach, until
he has surveyed the premises with a gill of government "tangle foot."
The 9th of this month was a red letter day in the annals of the regiment. The
Sanitary schooner, Amy Chase, sailed into Stono Inlet, with a cargo of ice,
and the troops rejoiced. A barrel of water, generously seasoned with ice, was
soon at the disposal of the men, and whoever thirsted might come and drink.
As the soldiers came up under the hot sun and through the burning sand, and
filling their cups drank eagerly, I could imagine the cool spring in the shade
of an old tree by a Northern home, from whose crystal wave one less drank than
in days of lang-syne, and I saw one sad face gazing down into its mirror-like
depths where two had gazed before, and time and space were annihilated; the
sad face grew joyful, for another brown and bearded soldier was beside it,
and then a hot southern gust shivered the mirror, and there stood the barrel
with its fast decreasing supply and the brown and bearded soldiers coming and
going. Blessed be the Sanitary Commission and its supporters, and may "Amy
Chase," with her heart of ice, which melted at the prayers of our soldiers,
be long spared for the good deed she has done them.
You are now, probably, rejoicing over the fall of Wagner and Gregg. To us it
is an old thing. We have plenty to do until James' Island is taken, and no
time for congratulation. The incidents connected with our operations, few ludicrous
but many more sad – so occupy our thoughts that we have little time to
realize or rejoice. Our regiment, although losing but two men, has had its
full share of the glories and dangers of the campaign. Private Frisbie of company "A" fell
a victim of his own carelessness. He was shot through the heart, while sitting
unconcernedly on our advance trenches. Two days before we took Wagner, our "sap" was
so close to the walls of the fort, that we planted the stars and stripes over
the very heads of the enemy on the outer ramparts of the fort, and our men
amused themselves by throwing "hard tack" and onions over the wall,
accompanying each article with "how are YOU, grey back?" "We're
coming over to call on you." "How do you like the spoon victuals
our monitors feed you on?" etc., etc. That night we arranged several Calcium
lights so that while we remained in total eclipse, Wagner was completely flooded
with light. The enemy could not work his guns, for the moment a head appeared,
bang! up went a pair of rebellion's arms and down dropped a very dead rebel.
About nine o'clock corporal John W. Guyer, of company "B," was standing
with several others in our advanced parallel, watching operations, when the
alarm was given by the look-out, "cover, Johnson!" All covered except
Sergeant Chas. O'Reilly and Corporal Guyer. They both stood watching the shell,
thinking it would fall short, but soon the death-bearing star came nearer and
nearer, and with a shriek it buried itself in the ground between the feet of
Corporal Guyer, bursting at the same time, mangling his limbs terribly, and
making a frightful wound in the abdomen. He fell, exclaiming, "My poor
wife and mother!" He died the next morning at three o'clock, and was buried
on the Island with military honors. He was an exemplary man and soldier, and
died regretted by every officer and enlisted man in the regiment. Sergeant
O'Reilly escaped by throwing himself on his face. He was buried in the sand,
but exhumed himself with wonderful rapidity, unhurt, but with nostrils, eyes,
ears and mouth filled with dirt. Lieut.-Col. McConihe had a narrow escape the
next night. A piece of shell weighing some fifteen pounds, came tearing through
the air and his coat, gouging a hole in the sand into which his foot slipped,
almost upsetting him. His escape with only a bruised foot, is almost miraculous.
The taking of Wagner is an indisputable proof of the brilliant engineering
skill of Gen. Gillmore. The bomb-proofs were capable of holding 900 men and
so strong that we might have continued on bombardment until the death of our
antediluvial friend Hagadorn, and accomplished nothing. – Gillmore dug
them out, and so skillfully, that our "sap" was under their very
noses before they knew it. We rushed in and found them – absent, with
the exception of two, who were lying asleep among the fragment of shell and
gun carriages. They were reminded of the presence of interested parties by
insinuating caresses from the toe of a Government "gunboat" – sometimes
called a shoe. – On learning that the "Yanks" were in possession
they said they "didn't care a Continental d----n, they would have some
We secured much valuable ordnance. Many of the guns were dismounted, but enough
were in order to supply grape and canister liberally. I would like to write
more about operations here, but cannot disobey orders. I think Capt. Parmenter
will be obliged to return home on sick leave. He rejoined the regiment before
fully recovering from his severe illness, and against the advice of his physician.
He is now suffering from a relapse, caused by exposure and overwork in the
trenches in front of Wagner. He has persistently refused to accept a leave
of absence, but the surgeons insist upon his returning home for a season, knowing
that he cannot recover here.
Yours, &c., N. W.
FOLLY ISLAND, Sept. 22.
Since my previous letter nothing of note has occurred
in regard to the progress of the siege that it would be proper for me to write.
Since the 17th the following
deaths from disease, in the regiment, have occurred, and on this point your
readers may be assured I will keep you fully posted: Albert S. Hall, Co. I,
died Sept. 18th, Grafton; Thomas Kiernan, Co. I, died Sept. 18th, Troy; James
Colden, Co. D, died Sept. 19th, Fort Edward; William McKelvy, Co. F, Sept.
20th. The cause of their death was by prostration from their fatiguing marches
on the Peninsula, on Gen. Dix's July "feint," at and from the "White
House," and the Pamunkey.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON, SEPTEMBER 15, 1863.
FROM THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH
REGIMENT. – Corporal Charles
D. Frisbie, of Co. A, One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, was shot through
the heart by a sharpshooter, while working in the trenches before Fort Wagner,
Morris Island, on the 28th ult., and instantly killed. Mr. F. was from Nassau.
Our correspondent writes: "He was one of the very best soldiers in the
regiment, and both officers and men regret his loss. His son, you will recollect,
died at Suffolk, Va., and thus father and son – both true patriots as
ever lived – have fallen victims to this atrociously wicked rebellion." The
health of the regiment is tolerable – eighty of the men are sick and
in hospital. – Our correspondent writes that his health is good, and
he evidently feels "gay and festive" amid the booming of cannon and
the screeching of shells. He thinks the naval work isn't going on quite fast
enough, but Gillmore is doing it up in first-best Yankee style. Col. Buel soon
got under rebel fire in the trenches after his return, and flinched not a hair
under the brisk cannonading of the rebels. – Our correspondent describes
a case of rebel barbarism. Just the other side of our trenches – this
was before Wagner was captured – the rebels had shot down a negro, had
stripped him naked, and attached a torpedo to the body, so that if the attempt
was made to remove it, the infernal machine would explode and kill the person
who ventured upon the act.
– Theodore Schutt, a very intelligent soldier of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
regiment, writes a letter from Morris Island, in which he thus speaks of some
of the officers:
And yet another mark of distinguished favor has been conferred
upon the editorial fraternity by Gen. Foster. William E. Kisselburgh, our brave
and dashing Adjutant,
has been appointed upon a General's staff. This is a good appointment, and
shows the sagacity and discrimination of the General in selecting his staff
officers. None will be found more efficient, prompt and competent to discharge
the important duties of this post, amid the trying scenes we are passing through,
when a clear head, undoubted courage, and unshaken nerve are among the prerequisites,
than Adjutant Kisselburgh. Capts. Parmenter, of Co. I, and Wood, of Co. B,
also returned with Col. Buel, much to the gratification of their companies.
It is but justice to Lieut.-Col. McConihe to say that, during affairs of the
regiment in the most satisfactory manner to all concerned, sharing our long
marches and privations like a true soldier, and setting an example that will
never be lost upon the men. And the same will apply to Major Alden. Long may
they survive to wear the honors which must inevitably attach to their names
at the termination of their career at the close of war.
OCTOBER 7, 1863
PROMOTED. – Private Merriam is no more. Not that our genial friend
fills a soldier's sarcophagus, nor that the army has lost his military services,
but his prefix has changed, and he is now Lieutenant Merriam. Governor Seymour
presented him with a commission, yesterday, – nominally in the One Hundred
and Eighteenth regiment, but practically on the staff of Gen. Foster, in accordance
with whose request and the wishes of the officers of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth,
the appointment was made. – While in some respects "the post of
honor is a private station," in others, the bars of an officer are infinitely
preferable – on a tough march, for instance. We congratulate our townsman
upon taking rank with those to whom his education and social accomplishments
naturally connect him – yet we shall rather miss the former title. "Private
Merriam" had become a distinctive name, adapted as naturally to its owner
as "the little Corporal" was to Napoleon. Promotion is the rule of
war, however, and the new title supersedes its predecessor. Lieut. Merriam
wears his honors and his epaulettes with equal modesty. He will report to Gen.
Foster at his headquarters, and be assigned to duty.
OCTOBER __ , 1863
FROM THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH. – The following
letter is from our regular correspondent:
HEADQUARTERS 169TH REGIMENT, N.Y.V.
FOLLY ISLAND, S.C., Oct. 9, 1863.
As a friend is about returning to Troy, I cannot
resist the opportunity afforded me of sending a line. We are doing simply nothing
at all, at present, if drilling
four hours a day, laying in the marsh at Stono every other night, running a
hill at the Sutler's "Cheap Cash Store," and entertaining bugs and "things," may
be considered as doing nothing. Sometimes, in our insane moments, we almost
wish in our nightly marches of seven miles through surf and sand, back again,
and sigh for other Greggs and Wagners, with their disconcerting protests of
shot and shell – to conquer. We strive, however, to relieve the monotony
of our lives by gathering shells and watching for the transports which are
to bring the conscripted members of the gallant Twenty-fourth. This last remark,
is, I understand, contraband; but, as I am aware you will say nothing about
it, I give it to you in all confidence. We are greatly cheered at the prospect
of those deeply laden transports, and will give a heart-felt welcome to the
dauntless heroes, who were so effective during the riot, of the 15th of July.
The minds of the regimental philosophers have, of late, been deeply agitated
on the bug question, and their researches have resulted in the discouraging
fact, that there are over 9,000,000 classes of those animals on this island,
the individual members of each class being furnished with bills from two and
a half to five inches in length, steel pointed and ingeniously arranged for
the purpose of tapping and drawing blood from the patriotic bodies of Uncle
Samuel's chosen. Each individual has a name, the utility of which the sages
have not as yet discovered. The following are the names of those most generally
known and highly appreciated:
Bed-Bug, (ancient house).
Mus-Key-Toe, (very old family).
Some, you will see by the names, are as familiar as "household words," or
old friends; but the greater portion are indigenous. It is wonderful how soon
these last named accommodate themselves to circumstances. We had no sooner
landed and encamped than they swarmed in upon us, perfectly willing to share
our indifferent beds, or form parts of our meals, and we have now become so
accustomed to their peculiarities, that a piece of meat, without palpable evidence
of animation, or dried apples, minus active life, would make our meals perfectly
lonesome, and I verily believe there is not a soldier in camp who could eat
his rations without the accompaniment of the ubiquitous maggot sandwich, (this
last named article is generally known by the name of "hard tack," and
is supposed by imaginative persons to be a good substitute for bread). Although
there seems to be a perfect willingness in the minds of our big bug friends
to remain with us, and at present a christian-like resignation on ours to submit,
I fear that sooner or later a falling out will take place, and then look out
for civil war and a recognition of the South.
We find a slight difference between the duties imposed on us now, and those
we performed during the Morris Island controversy. Here, we may ramble over
the beach for hours and hunt shells; there, the shells were in the habit of
rambling over the beach for hours to hunt us, and we are, in regard to the
change, what many officers in the service would like to be in regard to their
positions – resigned! I suppose the time will come, and soon enough for
most of us, when even a very deep mud hole will again command a premium, with
shot and shell fluctuating with a downward tendency.
The call for drill has just been sounded, and is, like the fabled voice of
Justice, inexorable. Therefore, I must close by performing the chirographical
feat of subscribing myself.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, DECEMBER 4, 1863.
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
FOLLY ISLAND, Nov. 26, 1863.
It is a long while since I have put pen to paper
for the purposes of newspaper correspondence; and I do not sit down to write
now because there is any amount
of news here, either departmental or regimental, to justify the enterprise,
though I have thought a few running comments on the prospects of our army before
Charleston, sandwiched with such items of regimental consequence as I might
deem worthy of note, might not be entirely misappropriate. First, then, I am
led to believe that the North is clamorous for the capture of Charleston, but
I can assure you that the people are not more so than are the soldiers who
are specially engaged in the difficult task; and from a clearer knowledge of
the situation it ought not to surprise anyone if we read with pain the comments
that occasionally appear in the Northern press upon the apparent deleteriousness
with which the siege is being carried on. Perhaps we may as well confess the
truth, admitted here, that the "campaign is closed." The impression
is general that the present army can do nothing further towards the capture
of the city, but it is believed on the contrary that if the navy was disposed
to do its work, the imperial seat of chivalry might soon be made to bow its
head to our united forces. The man who can look at Sumter to-day and desire
that it should be subjected to any more poundings from our artillery, to protect
the fleet in its approaches to the harbor, must have an obliquity of vision
painful to contemplate. And yet, in obedience to the request of the Admiral,
our guns keep up their fire on the fort, and little by little it is crumbling
away, and will eventually I presume be leveled to the sea. It is simply a Quaker
fort, as Beauregard's guns at Manassas were Quaker guns, more terrible to look
at than fearful in execution. If the North could fully understand our position,
it would not wonder that events progress no faster, but on the contrary it
would be surprised at what has been done with the means at hand. The capture
of Forts Wagner and Gregg was in itself the most difficult feat of the war,
and yet owing to circumstances that cannot now be explained, the fall of those
works has been of no practical use to us, nor any great injury to the rebels.
But whilst the people cannot rightly complain of any real tardiness in the
conduct of the operations here on the part of the army, they may perhaps have
good ground of complaint against the military administration in another essential
particular, and that is, the persistency with which our successes and the ability
we possessed to inflict injury upon the enemy were permitted to be magnified.
Every vessel that went North from here took with it tidings of great joy to
the people – the army was on the eve of doing great things – the
navy had not, it is true, gone into the harbor, but was about to do so – Greek
fire had been or was about to be thrown into Charleston, and that city was
on the verge of destruction, if it had not already surrendered. These were
some of the reports circulated by skippers running between this point and New
York. And when Gen. Gillmore announced to the world that "his guns covered
the harbor and city of Charleston," he delighted the public with a piece
of information that subsequent events have not served to justify. The plain
fact is, somebody has been hoaxed, whether it was Gen. Gillmore or the public,
I will not attempt to say.
Our batteries have recently thrown a considerable number of shots into or at
Charleston, but so far as we can learn, very little damage has been inflicted
upon the city. I do not learn that Greek fire was used in any case; and indeed
it matters little, since it is pretty generally thought that the injury which
can be inflicted on the town from our present position will not compensate
for the material expended. The idea that we can fire Charleston to any extent
even from Cumming's Point, is pretty well exploded. Somebody is to blame for
exciting public expectations in this particular, also. The "siege" is
no longer a siege, if at any time it was one.
Adjutant-General Sprague, of New York, is now paying a visit to this Department,
one of the objects of his trip being to concert measures by which the New York
regiments in the field could be filled up, and recruiting in the State stimulated.
A meeting of the commanding officers of State regiments was held at Gen. Gillmore's
headquarters one evening, at which Gen. Sprague was present, and various plans
were discussed for securing these desirable results. Finally, it was decided
that the commanding officer of each regiment, one staff officer, one line officer,
and three enlisted men for every fifty men required to fill up the regiment
to the maximum, should be despatched home to their respective districts to
recruit for their commands. This proposition was approved by Gen. Gillmore,
and forwarded for the sanction of the War department. If it is approved by
Mr. Stanton, the recruiting party from the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment
will soon be in Troy, where it is hoped a sufficient number of volunteers may
be obtained to fill the regiment up to the maximum standard. Lieut.-Col. McConihe
will head the delegation from the regiment.
To-day being Thanksgiving day, religious services are held at all the camps,
and in some instances whole brigades assemble together for worship.
W. E. K.
LATE NOVEMBER OR EARLY DECEMBER 1863
Col. Clarence Buel, 169th regiment, lies dangerously ill of typhoid
fever, at his residence in Troy.
MONDAY AFTERNOON, DECEMBER 28, 1863.
FAREWELL ADDRESS. – In leaving Co. I, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
regiment – a body of men principally recruited at the Nail Works, and
as gallant a lot of soldiers as ever upheld the stars and stripes – Capt.
Parmenter, who has been compelled to resign by reason of indisposition, addressed
them the following spirited letter:
UNITED STATES GENERAL HOSPITAL,
BEAUFORT, S.C., Dec. 4, 1863.
Officers and Men of Co. I: In taking my final leave
of the company of which I am proud to have been the commander, I feel it due
to the officers and men
that I should return them my thanks for the faithful and patriotic manner
in which they have severally performed their duties and rendered service to
country, while under my command, and for the promptness and studied intelligence
with which they have executed every order.
In leaving you, my fellow-soldiers, I feel that I am leaving a noble band
of patriots, – an act which could only be justified by protracted disability,
contracted in the service. I deplore the charge which compels me to accept
the discharge which causes our separation, and no one more than I, appreciates
the loss I sustain in surrendering the command of a company rendered dear
to me by all that can bind an officer to his men.
Your valor has been tried and has stood the test. The "iron hail" from
the belching cannon of Fort Wagner has attested it. But there is still more
labor for you to perform – more hardships for you to encounter, nobler
works for you to achieve, more sacrifices to be made, and more glory to be
won. Let not the ardor of your patriotism be dampened, let not your faith
in final victory waver, and let your former commander learn in a distant
that the old company is still up to its work, and always ready to do its
duty faithfully and well.
As i write these words, the bronzed faces of your little band come back upon
my memory, one by one, and my heart is sad that I must leave you, my friends,
to fight the good fight without me. God bless you, every one. I think of
you as friend thinks of friend, and shall through life be proud that I have
the honor to command you. Again I say, God bless you.
JEROME B. PARMENTER.
c. JANUARY 1864
THE BAND OF THE 169TH – ITS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.
When our Regiment
was encamped at Camp Abercrombie, in Virginia, it was discovered that the element
for the composition of a good brass band existed in the ranks,
and forthwith a number of the officers, conspicuous among whom was Capt. Ferguson,
of Co. K, determined to develop the embryo talent, thus awaiting the classic
hand of some competent master to mold into an organic body, which should be
capable of filling a sensible void in our otherwise well appointed and efficient
regiment. Accordingly, Capt. Ferguson was sent home to purchase the instruments
and secure the services of a competent teacher and leader. – His mission
proved successful in both respects, and in due time the instruments were received,
and were shortly followed by Mr. H. A. Ensign, of Lansingburgh, who at once
entered upon the in no wise enviable task of organizing and instructing the
future members of the band. In this he was ably seconded by Mr. J. M. Smith,
of Co. K, under whose immediate charge the band and drum corps are, and who
assumes the leadership in the absence of Mr. Ensign.
Thus organized and controlled, the band made rapid progress, and in the course
of a few weeks evinced marked proficiency, and continued to improve until the
Peninsular campaign of last summer, when its members threw aside their instruments
to join in the long and toilsome marches and deprivations incident to the penetration
of an enemy's country where their services might be required to minister to
the wants of their wounded and dying companions, should the enemy choose to
dispute our progress before the accomplishment of the object for which the
expedition was intended.
During the sojourn of the regiment in Washington, the Daily Chronicle pronounced
the execution of the band equal to that of the famous Dodsworth's, which I
assure your readers was no mean comparison at that time, for the band performed
excellently, and at dress parades and guard mountings the streets about the
barracks were thronged with eager listeners, and crowded with equipage of the
elite of the city.
Since the Peninsula expedition, however, sickness has entered the ranks of
the band, and other causes have militated against its successful continuance
as an institution of more than ordinary interest. The introduction of new members
to replace those who by sickness or inefficiency, were removed, and the absence
of a competent instructor, may be set down as the chief cause of its deteriorated
excellence. These disparaging circumstances, however, are now happily overcome.
Mr. Ensign, accompanied by a superior fifer for the Drum Corps, Mr. Thomas
D. Halligan, formerly of Sullivan's Band, reached here by the Arago last week,
and we may now safely predict for the Band a reputation for the future excelled
by none in the service.
The names of the members of the Band, as now organized, together with the instrument
played by each, I herewith append for the knowledge of their friends at home,
and all who may feel interested:
H. A. Ensign, Leader and Instructor
W. Adams Solo Ebercorno.
George Youngs 1st Baritone.
J. M. Smith Eb Cornet.
W. Puffer 1st. Tuba.
J. H. Stickelmyres Bb
" J. Fox 2d Tuba
J. Murray 2d Alto.
S. Olmstead Cymbals
H. Fritz 1st Alto.
T. Knight Snair Drum
S. Cheever 1st Tenor.
H. R. Leffingwell Snair Drum
W. Briggs 2d Tenor.
F. Delaire Base Drum.
J. Rose* Bb Cornet.
The Drum Corps also bids fair, under the tutorship of
Mr. Halligan, and daily practice, to make its mark in the history of the regiment,
and we hail these
indications of certain improvement with feelings of pride and pleasure.
The following now constitute the members of the Drum Corps: Thomas D. Halligan**,
Fife Major; D. Cummings, fifer; James Waters, fifer; Thomas A. Overcocker,
snair drummer; George D. Ripley, snair drummer; Barney Dean, snair drummer;
Julius Stebbins, snair drummer; C. D. Fuller, snair drummer; F. Delaire, base
[Notes: *There is no soldier in the official roster of the regiment named
J. Rose; this man may be Private Irving W. Rose. **There is no soldier in the
roster named Thomas D. Halligan; this may be Private John Halligan, who mustered
into the regiment at Charleston, S.C., on December 22, 1863. According to the
article, he arrived a week before the article was written, thus giving an approximate
date for publication of January, 1864.]
LATE 1863 TO EARLY 1864
CAPT. NAT. WOOD leaves for his regiment, (the 169th)
now before Charleston, to-night. Persons who desire to communicate with their
friends in his company
or the regiment, will have their letters delivered, if handed to Capt. Wood
PROMOTIONS IN THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT. – The
following changes have taken place in the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Regiment.
John McConihe, promoted to be Colonel, with rank from Feb. 13, 1864. Major
Alonzo Alden, to be Lieut.-Col., vice John McConihe, promoted to be Colonel.
Captain Jas. A. Colvin to be Major, vice Alonzo Alden, promoted; Lieut. Jas.
F. Thompson to be Captain of Co. A, vice Colvin, promoted; Second Lieut. T.
D. Jellico to be First Lieut., vice Thompson, promoted; First Sergeant Richard
Van Alstyne to be Second Lieut., vice Jellico, promoted.
APRIL 4, 1864
COLONEL JOHN McCONIHE, the new commander of the One Hundred and
Sixty-ninth regiment New York Volunteers, Gillmore's department, and General
sails in the Fulton to-day, to join his command. Colonel McConihe will be accompanied
by Captain D. J. Cary, Captain Spencer W. Snyder, Captain Augustus Vaughn,
Lieutenant W. H. Merriam and Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant Clark Smith. The
One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment now reports eight hundred and fifty men
for duty, and is in all respects up to the standard of active commands in the
field. Colonel McConihe, though the youngest colonel in the army, has seen
much arduous and honorable service since April, 1861. He was severely wounded
at Shiloh, and has an excellent reputation for ability and courage. – New
York Herald, to-day.
The compliment to our townsman is well bestowed. We wish him and his noble
regiment, honor and success.
LATE APRIL TO EARLY MAY 1864
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT. – A
correspondent of the New York Times, writing from Bower's Hill, Virginia, thus
speaks of our Troy regiment,
on a recent martial demonstration:
The troops reviewed composed Gen. Robert S.
Foster's brigade, and consisted of the Eleventh Pennsylvania cavalry, Major Stratton,
commanding; the war-worn
Thirteenth Indiana volunteers, Col. Cyrus J. Dobbs, commanding; the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth New York volunteers, Col. John McConihe, commanding; and the
One Hundred and Twelfth New York volunteers, Col. J. C. Drake, commanding.
Among those present at the review were Maj.-General Peck's staff, Brig.-Gen.
Foster's staff, Brig.-Gen. Getty and staff, late in temporary command of Fortress
Monroe; Gen. Harland and staff, Col. Alvord, U. S. A.; Capt. E. S. Coureise,
of Gen. R. S. Foster's staff; Inspector-General T. B. Eaton, of Gen. R. S.
Foster's staff; Adjt.-General S. E. Marvin, U. S. A.; Lieut. Durbin, U. S.
volunteers; Maj. Alonzo Alden, Capt. James A. Colvin, Dr. John Knowlson, Surgeon
U. S. volunteers; Rev. Joel W. Eaton, Chaplain, and many others. No untoward
incident occurred to mar the exercises of the day, and everything passed off
to the unqualified satisfaction of all participating.
c. MAY 1864
LIEUT. WM. H. MERRIAM has been mustered into the service of the United
States, in Col. McConihe's regiment (the 169th,) at Hilton Head, S.C., by Lieut.
A. Crozet, of the 75th Ohio, on the 22d of April. Lieut. Merriam was on the
same day assigned to duty as Aid-de-Camp on the staff of Gen. Robert S. Foster.
MAY __ , 1864
LOCATION OF TROY REGIMENTS. – The 169th regiment left Jacksonville,
Fla., on the 30th of April, ult., and is now with Butler in the vicinity of
Petersburgh, Va. The 125th is with Grant, and has probably had plenty to do
before this time. – The 93d Regiment, composed in part of Troy officers
and soldiers is also with Grant, and has probably had a hand in the battles
of the last week. The (21st) Griswold Light Cavalry is under Sigel in the valley
of the Shenandoah, but at last advices was moving up to join Grant's right.
We have made arrangements for lists of killed or wounded in Troy Regiments
by telegraph from Washington at the earliest moment that the accounts of such
casualties can be obtained from that city.
MONDAY AFTERNOON, MAY 16, 1864.
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
NEAR PETERSBURG, VA., May 10.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment has again witnessed and participated
in the scene of a day marked by carnage and blood, and to-night some of its
brave men sleep in death on this Virginia soil, others are wounded and prisoners
in the hands of the enemy, while yet others languish in the hospitals, all
having nobly borne up the honor of the flag on the desperately contested field
of Chester. The battle of Chester, on the 10th day of May, 1864, will fill
up its page in history, and will long be remembered for the severity of its
incidents, and the bloody results upon which night closed in. I shall simply
recount the part Col. McConihe's command so nobly sustained in the heat of
the day, feeling assured that such recital will best attest the matured character
of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth for courage, coolness and well-disciplined
military ability. In respect of these attributes, the regiment is already well
nigh prepared to take the place of the tried and gallant Thirteenth Indiana
volunteers, Col. Dobbs, who go out of the service on the 19th of June proximo,
after a magnificent career of usefulness in the armies of the Union, crowned
with those exalted laurels of a lofty and unselfish patriotism that will ever
constitute questionless passports to the choicest affections of their countrymen.
In all the events of to-day, which I am about to recite, no regiment enacted
a more glorious and truly heroic part than the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth,
as the noble support it gave Howell's menaced brigade at the front will witness.
In accordance with orders that portions of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
regiment not doing picket duty, left camp, at Foster's Plantation, eight miles
above City Point, Va., about 3 o'clock A.M. on the morning of the 10th of May,
1864, and in junction with the Thirteenth Indiana volunteers, Col. C. J. Dobbs,
proceeded to a point on the Richmond and Petersburg Turnpike, near Chester
Station, – arriving there about daylight, and duly reporting to Col.
Voris, of the Sixty-seventh Ohio. Co. H, Lieutenant Wm. H. Lyon, commanding,
was ordered forward on the right, and Capt. Daniel Ferguson, Co. K, on the
left of the Turnpike, in support of the Fourth New Jersey battery. Co. C, Capt.
Joseph H. Allen; Co. D, Capt. Spencer W. Snyder; and Co. F, Capt. Augustus
D. Vaughn, moved, all under command of Lieut.-Col. Alden, out on the right
side road leading to Henry Friend's House, deploying as skirmishers from the
route to the Turnpike. Soon thereafter, the enemy were discovered in force
on the right and in front, manœuvring to advance, and passing around our
right flank, Lieut.-Col. Alden found this flank movement in time to change
the line of skirmishers, so that our right might connect with Col. Howell's
brigade. Col. Alden had but just accomplished this when the enemy made the
general attack. The first shots were exchanged at 6½ A.M. At 9 o'clock
A.M., Co. G, Lieut. C. D. Merrill; Co. I, Capt. D. J. Cary; Co. A, Capt. J.
F. Thompson; Co. E, Lieut. H. Mulhall, and Co. B, Lieut. J. H. Dunn, rejoined
the regiment – having been relieved from picket duty. Cos. A and I moved
out on the right to strengthen the line of skirmishers, while Co. B took position
on the left – Co. E and C being on the right in support of the battery.
A desultory firing and skirmishing was maintained until about 11 o'clock in
the forenoon, at which hour the enemy made a general attack with one brigade
upon our right flank, and another with cavalry and artillery upon our centre
and left. The advance of the enemy was made in columns of four ranks. They
were received with a terrific fire, both from the regiment and the battery.
Both the officers and men stood to their respective posts with great courage
and nobleness, and the quick discharge of grape and canister made most perceptible
openings in their ranks. Not until the enemy were fairly upon the guns did
the line fall back, and then the regiment fell back, firing, but a short distance
to our line on the right, on the crossroads, for the purpose of checking a
flank movement of the enemy on our right. The two companies on the right (E
and G) and the two companies on the left of the battery remained in their respective
positions and did not fall back until the gun on the right of the road had
limbered up, and the caisson without the gun on the left was moving to the
rear. The companies then retired by orders. This position was held nobly against
a very superior force, the Lieutenant commanding the battery behaving with
distinguished gallantry; yet Col. McConihe could not account for the caisson
going to the rear without the gun. Every effort was made to halt the caisson,
the Lieutenant commanding the battery discharging his revolver at the driver.
There are some few incidents of the day worth relating as favorably affecting
the character of the officers of the regiment for bravery and intelligent military
discretion. During the heat of the fight, while Col. McConihe was in front
of his command, directing the various movements of his regiment, he was made
the target of a terrible bullet hail, none of which, in the good Providence
of God, stuck him; but his escape from falling pierced again and again was,
under the circumstances, truly miraculous. His horse, familiarly known in the
regiment as "Old Dick," and formerly owned by Col. Clarence Buel,
when that young prelate commanded the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, fell, while
the Colonel was mounted upon him, with sixteen bullets in his equine body.
The horse fell with Colonel McConihe, who was with much difficulty extricated
from beneath the carcass. – The part enacted in the battle by Lieut.-Col.
Alonzo Alden was conspicuously creditable and able. Colonel Voris, of the Sixty-seventh
Ohio volunteers, who had command of the brigade, under the general direction
of Gen. Howell, of the Thirty-ninth Illinois volunteers, directed Colonel Alden
to extend his deployed line until he could connect with the left of Col. Howell's
brigade. In compliance with these orders the line was extended about three-fourths
of a mile, when a large force of the enemy was discovered about six hundred
yards to our right. Col. Alden immediately made a hazardous reconnaissance,
in person, for the purpose of effecting a junction of the picket lines. At
this point Col. Alden discovered that a large force, at least one brigade,
of the enemy was already far advanced in closing upon our rear. With the assistance
of Major Butler of the Sixty-seventh Ohio, and the gallant Lieut. Smith, acting
Adjutant of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, Col. Alden, with great difficulty,
effected a change of front, by which strategical manœuvre the enemy were
prevented from attacking our rear. No sooner had Col. Alden effected this change
of front than a vigorous attack was made upon our entire line, by a force of
at least three brigades. – At this moment Major Butler of the Sixty-seventh
Ohio assumed command of the right deployed line, by order of Col. Alden, with
explicit directions to check any flank movement of the enemy. Col. Alden, accompanied
by Adjutant Smith, then left to join Colonel McConihe, who was in immediate
command of the forces on the Petersburg and Richmond turnpike. At this point
the attack was vigorously pressed, and a continuous and heavy fire of artillery
and musketry from the solid ranks of the enemy, was most sharply returned by
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York, the Sixty-seventh Ohio, the noble
old Thirteenth Indiana, and a section of the Fourth New Jersey Light Artillery,
whereby the enemy were severely punished – as was afterwards confessed
by them, under flag of truce they sent in when general defeat was settling
down upon them. At this moment it was discovered that large forces of the enemy
were being massed upon our right and left flanks. A rear change of front was
effected under a galling fire. In this manœvre a little incident occurred
worthy of mention. Colonel Alden, while rallying his men around the colors
upon the new line of battle, received the announcement from Lieut. D. S. Durbin,
of Gen. Ames' staff, confirmed by a staff officer of Gen. Gillmore's, that
Gen. Grant had accomplished a glorious victory over Gen. Lee, who was fast
falling within the entrenched lines around Richmond. In making this announcement
to the men, Col. Alden proposed three cheers for Gen. Grant and his army. The
response was truly electrifying, the cheers of the men vying with the roar
of the cannon, the bursting of shell and the whistling of bullets. As soon
as the cheering had subsided, the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth moved to a point
farther to the right and rear, and successfully checked a renewed effort of
the enemy to get to our rear, and at the same time effecting a junction with
Col. Howell's brigade. The enemy having been effectually repulsed and punished
at all points, suffering most severely in killed and wounded, discontinued
the attack, and by flag of truce were permitted to enter our lines and bury
their dead. Thus ended the hotly contested battle of Chester Station, twelve
miles from Richmond – the losses of the enemy being unexaggeratedly triple
those of the Union forces engaged. The following is a list of the casualties
in the regiment:
Killed – Wm. S. Hand, Theodore Sheldon, Co. A; John Mallery,
B; Oliver Gilchrist, J. W. Taylor, E; Leonard Fish, F; Wm. Wilbrand, Wm. Campbell,
Wounded – Privates Daniel Osborn, E. A. Prouty, W. H. Shufelt, Jonathan
Hoag, Co. A; First Sergeant M. Ryan, privates Robert Anderson, Edward Clary,
John Moran, Patrick O'Brien, Owen Tanzey (badly), George Roarbock, John Barlow,
Jeremiah Cahill, Co. B; Corporal Hugh Toole (slightly), Co. D; privates G.
C. Edgerton (leg amputated), John H. Bligh, George D. Bennett, H. J. Nichols,
Charles Peer, Co. E; private S. B. Keech (badly wounded in the abdomen), Co.
F; Corporal Louis Winkler (mortally), privates Valentine Rheinholtz (badly),
John Beckstein (slightly), John Leach (severely), Co. G; privates H. E. Stuart,
Peter Quinlan, Daniel Odell, King Goodell, Co. H; privates Jeremiah Murphy
(mortally), Nathaniel Harris, Oliver Santos, Co. I; privates Alfred J. Moss
(severely), J. H. Mower, George Burgess, Wm. E. Griggs, Co. K.
Sergeant Jaques, and private Theodore Schutt, Co. A, and several others are
wounded and prisoners in Richmond, making the whole number of killed, wounded
and missing fifty-six.
Lieuts. Mulhall and Van Santvoord had narrow escapes
from bullets which perforated their clothes. I ought not to omit mention of
the fact, that at one time during
the day, a large portion of Co. A were completely surrounded by the enemy,
including Capt. Thompson and Lieut. Alexander R. Bell, who bravely and literally
cut their way out, each killing several fierce greybacks with their sabres,
while many of the surrounded privates beat rebel brains out with the butts
of their muskets. All the officers and men, I may properly repeat, did their
whole duty, and did it in a manner to reflect the highest credit upon themselves
and the command. This is so true that to individualize would be invidious.
Col. McConihe in his report to Gen. Gillmore, speaks in high terms of the services
rendered throughout the day, by Lieut.-Col. Alden, the accomplished, energetic,
and disciplinary Major James A. Colvin, and Chaplain Chapman, as well as all
of the line officers. The Brigade is at present under command of Col. J. C.
Drake, of the One Hundred and Twelfth New York volunteers, Gen. Foster having
been relieved and made Chief of Staff with Gillmore. Col. Drake is a most hardy,
intelligent, efficient and active commander, and in my humble judgment really
among those who should grace that "star" by Presidential promotion.
I close with saying that inasmuch as the compositors havocked the nom de plume
attached to my last letter, I announce this dispatch as being written by
W. H. M.
MAY __ , 1864.
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
FOSTER'S PLANTATION, VA., May 18, 8 P.M.
My last dispatch was suddenly terminated
yesterday morning by the opening of fire from the enemy on our front. Since that
moment, we have known no cessation
from such active duty as belongs to a large army operating immediately upon
the enemy, and I now snatch an instant to mail you a list of our killed and
wounded on and since the 16th inst., inclusive up to this hour. For the past
thirty-six hours, we have been engaged constantly with the enemy, Col. Drake's,
formerly Gen. Foster's brigade, to which the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth has
been assigned, doing by far the largest share of the duty. The fighting to-day,
which has been both with infantry and light and heavy artillery, has been most
intense, prolonged and terribly bitter, and the results have been correspondingly
sanguinary. Our brigade suffers less than it otherwise would, were it not for
the coolness, sagacity, hard work and effective heroism of the distinguished
Colonel commanding. He is a safe man, and works his brigade to the end that
it may do its whole duty with the least possible impairment of its individual
and collective strength beyond what is absolutely necessary for the public
good. He is recognized by all the commanding Generals as a most accomplished
and able officer. I have said this much of Col. Drake for the reason that I
am anxious that the friends of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth may rest assured
that the regiment is brigaded under an honest and competent commander, who
like Gen. Foster, its beloved chief, will not sacrifice his troops for the
object of advancing his own military ambition or forwarding selfish interests
at the expense of precious blood. The results of to-day's contest are best
set forth in the list of casualties occurring in the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth,
Killed – First Sergeant Frederick French and private
Richard Kearney, Co. D.
Wounded – Capt. Spencer W. Snyder, commanding D Co.; privates James Boyce,
Patrick Murphy, Ed. Connor, L. Woodcock, Co. E; Corporal Patrick Holly, privates
Jeremiah Wallar, John Dillon, D; privates George Woodruff, Jas. Hever, Edward
Smith, B; Corporal Conrad Albert, privates Nicholas O'Brien, Louis Braxmarer,
G; privates Jere. Robollard, Thomas Plunkett, Peter Riley, Thomas Abbey, I;
private Jas. W. Hummell, C; Sergeants Thomas Jessup and McGregor, privates
John H. Grose, William Messenger (badly), A.
I am gratified to be able to state
that Capt. Snyder is but very slightly wounded, and is in the corps hospital.
He was wounded while gallantly operating
against the enemy. In my dispatch of the day before yesterday, I sent you a
list of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth killed in the battle of the 16th inst.
I now append a list of the wounded in the regiment on that day. My full account
of the battle of that day I am compelled to defer for another mail, owing to
the excitements in the field:
Sergeant Dennis Corbett, Corporals William Donegan
and Samuel Harris, private Joseph Hillis, Co. D; private M. S. Knowlton, H; private
Adanson Lewis, C;
private John McMahon, B; private Jerry McCarty, F; Sergeant John Quinn, privates
F. H. Smith, Thomas Kane, K; Corporal Thomas Tilley, private B. G. Walker,
G; Corporal Adolph Lavine, privates M. Fitzpatrick, James Haley, Patrick Smith
(said to be dead), Lewis La Duke, M. O'Brien, I; Sergeant H. A. Slack, A; private
C. Varney, E.
The preliminaries of the flag of truce to which I alluded in my
last are fast approaching settlement. Col. McConihe is making every effort, with
prospect of success, to induce Gen. Butler to earnestly ask for information
touching the disposition by the rebels of the body of the deeply lamented Lieut.
Birdsall. The campaign is so active and bloody that but little attention can
be paid to these distressing features of the casualties on either side, and
therefore we may not hope to recover the body of the fallen young hero, but
we have a right to expect that the enemy will tell us what became of the remains.
Col. Alden, who is in chief command to-night of the grand picket line, – a
most responsible and hazardous duty, to the discharge of which he is fully
equal, – narrowly escaped instant death this noon from one of the enemy's
solid shots. The Colonel was just leaving his tent for the extreme front, where
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth was doing some fighting, when a heavy solid
shot from the enemy landed at his feet and rolled from him. The imperturbable
Colonel walked on as though nothing had happened. Had I been in his position,
I should have at least regarded it as an approach to a solemn call for... [end
W. H. M.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, MAY 27, 1864.
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
FOSTER'S PLANTATION, VA., May 20.
Now that the dense smoke of an awful scene of
carnage, such as Gen. R. S. Foster promised us, in a stirring speech addressed
to a party of officers and
musicians who called to pay their respects to him in a serenade just before
we left Gloucester Point, has cleared away, I am enabled to send you a definite
account of the operations of the memorable sixteenth and twentieth days of
May, 1864, and the exciting scenes that marked their opening and waning hours,
so far as this brigade is concerned. I shall furnish your readers with some
account of the participancy of Col. Drake's brigade in the battle of Drewry's
Bluff and Port Walthall Station, which will necessarily include the noble and
patriotic part enacted by our own One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, under the honored
lead of Col. McConihe and his associates in the field, Lieut.-Col. Alonzo Alden
and Major James A. Colvin, thus rendering complete without loss of time my
somewhat hurried, but in the main, correct dispatches of the morning of the
16th in this army corps.
of which the able, cool, cautious and reliant Colonel J. C. Drake,
of the One Hundred and Twelfth New York volunteers is the commander, is the one
which the gallant Gen. R. S. Foster, of Indiana, was recently relieved to become
Chief of Staff in the military family of Maj.-Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, commanding
the Tenth army corps. It is known as the Second brigade, Third division, of
that army corps, and consists of the following named regiments, who will in
all probability compose it during this eventful campaign in Virginia: The Thirteenth
Indiana volunteers, Col. Cyrus J. Dobbs; the One Hundred and Twelfth New York
volunteers, Col. Drake being in command of brigade, Lieut.-Col. Carpenter,
mortally wounded; and Major Smith, Provost Marshal, is now commanded by senior
Captain Chaddock; the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York volunteers, Col.
John McConihe; and the Ninth Maine volunteers, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Z.
THE MORNING OF THE 16TH
dawned upon a heavy and impenetrable fog, which lasted
until 10 o'clock, and which constituted the greatest advantage of the rebels
during the day. At a
very early hour an exceedingly heavy musketry firing was heard at the front.
Colonel Drake at once received a verbal and hasty order through General Ames
to instantly send a regiment to the right of our line, (thus dividing the brigade
for the day into two brigades,) as the enemy had suddenly emerged from the
fog and were making a desperate effort to turn that flank. This order found
Colonel Drake's command just set down to breakfast. The matutinal meal was
most precipitately abandoned, which in the end amounted to a great hardship,
as neither officers nor men had anything to eat until late in the evening.
In compliance with this order, the One Hundred and Twelfth New York, and subsequently
the Ninth Maine volunteers, were sent to our right, at the time resting on
the James River, near Spring Hill. The One Hundred and Twelfth regiment proceeded
to Gen. Heckman's headquarters. At this point, the lamented Colonel Carpenter
halted the column, and ascertained that Gen. Heckman had gone to the front. – Sending
his Adjutant, Lieut. Hedges, to the front to report to Gen. Heckman, he was
captured by the enemy, and Col. Carpenter following him, was mortally wounded
after finding himself on account of the fog within the enemy's lines, and refusing
to surrender. At this juncture the gallant Colonel Drake moved up with the
balance of his command, and immediately forming them in line, most successfully
resisted all further advance of the foe. At this point, Gen. Weitzel, commanding
division, ordered Col. Drake to retire his brigade to what he deemed a more
favorable position. The brigade supported Follett's battery several hours,
and finally made a most able and gallant charge, driving the enemy clear into
the rifle-pits, and repossessing themselves of all the ground lost in the morning
by reason of the fog. The conduct of Col. Drake and his staff, consisting of
Lieut. George L. Pierce, One Hundred and Twelfth New York; Lieut. Thomas B.
Eaton, One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York, and Lieut. William Lincoln Hughes,
of the Ninth Maine, was of the most questionless and soldierly character throughout
the entire day.
WHY THE BRIGADE WAS DIVIDED.
So much by way of showing cause why Col. Drake's
command was made the subject of a military necessity suddenly arising, and temporarily
divided into two
brigades. The controlling reason for the division is a most flattering one,
and is to be found, by common consent, in the efficiency and solid character
of the organization. Two important points were to be held, and it was justly
deemed that the Second brigade, Third division, Tenth army corps, separated
into two brigades could more satisfactorily accomplish the difficult military
roles to be enacted than any other two whole brigades in the corps. The result
fully justified the honorable confidence reposed.
COLONEL M'CONIHE'S COMMAND,
AND WHAT IT DID THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, in conjunction
with its bosom companions, the good old Thirteenth Indiana volunteers, under
command of Lieut.-Col. Wilson,
the two forming a Provisional brigade, and the whole commanded by the veteran
and long-tried Col. Cyrus J. Dobbs, were charged with the arduous duty of protecting
a front of at least two miles in extent – thereby protecting the left
flank of Major-Gen. Butler's heavy and main force operating against the rebel
stronghold, Fort Darling. For a period of three days, anterior to the 16th
inst., the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth and the Thirteenth Indiana had been
thrown out as skirmishers on the portion of the railroad running for a considerable
distance beyond Walthall Junction. All of a sudden on the morning of the 16th,
during the heavy fog already alluded to, the enemy advanced in solid column,
with a line of skirmishers in front and in greatly superior force directly
upon the two regiments, the section of artillery, and the two hundred colored
cavalry in support. The line was splendidly held to the moment when the enemy
in vastly greater numbers appeared on our flanks, compelling an absolute withdrawal.
The regiment fell back slowly in admirable skirmishing order to a distance
of six hundred yards, when an advance was again made towards the junction.
At the end of this advance, the enemy were found to be in such force and strong
position that it was tantamount to a sacrifice of the command, without hope
of success to attempt to dislodge them. The regiment returned inside the entrenchments,
having experienced a day of uninterrupted skirmishing and fighting through
dense underbrush, and almost impenetrable thicket from daylight to dusk. And
all this after having been on duty incessantly at the front for a period of
four days and nights. I propose herewith to add some account of the part taken
by the several companies of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth in the tedious,
trying and arduous duties of this new calendar day in the career of Colonel
McConihe's command. I will begin with
COMPANY C, CAPT. JOSEPH H. ALLEN, COMMANDING.
This company, when the regiment
was attacked by the enemy, was in reserve with Co. F, (Capt. Vaughn's). The company
was immediately ordered forward and
advanced at "double quick" to a small stream in rear of the picket
line. The enemy opened with artillery on our forces, havocking them. During
this firing, Co. C laid by the creek, and suffered in the loss of one man killed
and two wounded. The men, however, held their ground stubbornly throughout
the entire action. Capt. Allen, Lieut. Morey and Orderly Jonas H. Warren were
actively efficient all the day, and were ever in the thickest doing their whole
duty to themselves, the company and the country.
COMPANY G, LIEUT. CHARLES DOUGLAS
held a position in front of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad,
on the turnpike and in the woods on a side hill, when the firing, which quickly
the whole line, commenced. Lieut. Merrill's orders were to hold the turnpike,
which he did against the enemy's skirmishers and sharpshooters until the rebels
moved a large column in and deployed them in his front, when he had orders
to fall back, which he did, covering the retreat on the turnpike, and at the
same time stoutly contesting the ground inch by inch – during all which
time he lost but three men. Lieut. Merrill, on reaching the grove in the rear,
rallied his men, faced them to the foe, and gallantly joined a destructive
volley of musketry into their threatening front, when he withdrew and joined
the regiment in obedience to Col. McConihe's orders. Upon the division of the
regiment, Lieut. Merrill, with Co. I, Capt. Cary, were ordered as a reserve
to support a line of skirmishers commanded by Capt. James Thompson, commanding
Co. A, which duty occupied the remainder of the day – devolving on the
entire reserve a vast deal of tiresome marching from point to point through
the woods, beating back the enemy. The company, thus fatigued, was under fire
a number of times at different points of the field of battle.
COMPANY K, CAPT.
DANIEL FERGUSON, COMMANDING.
Firing commenced on the left of the picket line commanded
by the now immortal Lieut. W. S. Birdsall. At about 6 o'clock in the morning,
they were forced
to fall back upon Co. A, thence on the reserve on the centre of the picket
line. Capt. Ferguson commanded at this time but a portion of his company. Shortly
after, the balance were brought up by Lieuts. E. R. Smith and Eugene Van Santvoord,
brother of the late Hon. George Van Santvoord, from the right and left. Here
the enemy's fire became so intense that the company was forced to fall back
on the way, passing, unavoidably, an open field, where they were exposed to
a deadly fire from at least two regiments and three pieces of artillery. Lieut.
Van Santvoord again nobly rallied the men, who did their best in a return fire.
The company had rejoined the regiment, when Lieut. Birdsall was killed. It
is thought that the brave Lieutenant was the victim of a sharpshooter, as they
were seen posted in the tops of trees. Capt. Ferguson was frequently shot at
by them, but the only injury he sustained was a shot through the hat.
F, (WHITEHALL,) CAPT. A. D. VAUGHN, COMMANDING,
was deployed on the left, early
in the morning, under Col. McConihe. Co. F, with Co. C, was ordered to hold the
hill on the extreme left of the turnpike.
This they did until ordered to fall back. Subsequent to this, a part of our
line was ordered up to the rebel batteries under a heavy fire. Proceeded thence
and back, accomplishing their mission, and falling back under a galling fire,
both companies losing their knapsacks and rations.
COMPANY E, (FORT EDWARD,) LIEUT.
H. MULHALL, COMMANDING,
did nobly. This company occupied a position on the right
of the turnpike, and on top of the railroad bank, where there was a deep cut
through a rise
of ground. The attack commenced on the left by the enemy's skirmishers, Co.
E fully participating and doing so to its credit throughout the day. Lieut.
Mulhall was conspicuous for his bravery, dash and soldierly bearing. At one
time the order to fall back was given, but did not reach Lieut. Mulhall,
who, in consequence, continued to hold his position for some time after the
of the line had fallen back. The company were subjected to a flank fire.
Lieut. Mulhall made a stand at this sharp fire, pouring back several volleys.
driven back by numbers involving ten to one.
COMPANY D, CAPT. SPENCER W. SNYDER,
The raised at Sandy Hill by Col. William Coleman and his patriotic
son, Capt. Warren B. Coleman, was remarked throughout the day for its pertinacious
and daring. Upon reaching the railroad the company was divided, Lieut. Birdsall
taking command of the second platoon, on the extreme left, and Capt. Snyder
the first, on the extreme right, supported by a reserve from the Thirteenth
Indiana. The attack beginning at the left, Lieut. Birdsall's portion of the
command was the first engaged. They fought splendidly, and held their position
until the sainted Birdsall fell mortally wounded, and all his men, save two
or three, were bullet-pierced, when they fell back to the reserve, having done
their duty magnificently. Falling back, Capt. Snyder gave the command to fire
vigorously upon the enemy as they fell back. This splendid set of soldiers
occupied several other positions during the day, receiving at one time subsequent
to the above events a heavy fire of grape and canister from the "greybacks." Capt.
Snyder was at the front all day.
COMPANY I, (NAIL FACTORY,) CAPT. D. J. CARY,
was proudly grand during the battle, for massive endurance, unyielding
defiance to the enemy, and a cool and lofty courage that had its origin and basis
Nail Factory bone and sinew. It was a grand sight to watch their movements
during the day. Always so correct, so forcible and marked by sterling results.
It is the hardy, plucky, physically enduring company of the stalwart old One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth. Its position was on the left of the turnpike, and
in advance of the skirmish line. Company I aided materially to hold portions
of the enemy in check when they advanced in force on the front and flank. The
company only fell back when absolutely compelled to by superior numbers.
B, COMMANDED BY LIEUT. J. H. DUNN,
acted in cooperation with Co. E, Lieut. Mulhall
commanding, during the day. The action of the company was energetic, bold and
COMPANY H, LIEUT. WM. H. LYON, COMMANDING,
was stationed in a most important position
at the right of the railroad, connecting with Co. D on its right. When the massed
column of the desperate enemy came
pouring down the hill, Lieut. Lyon and his brave and devoted men were the last
to leave the road to the rebels. Lieut. Lyon promoted on the spot private Phineas
W. Holt and Minturn S. Knowlton, to be Corporals in Co. H, for marked bravery
in full presence of the enemy on the field of battle. In the fight of Chester
Station, on the 10th of May, Lieut. Lyon, let it be remembered to his immortal
credit, was ordered by Col. McConihe to support a battery with his company,
and being subsequently reënforced by Lieut. Mulhall, of Co. E, and Lieut.
Merrill, of Co. G, with additional orders to hold the battery at all hazards,
held it beyond hope of capture, rallying his men three times in front of hundreds
of rebels, whom he checked and drove back. All this accomplished, Lieut. Lyon
very coolly reported to Col. McConihe, "Colonel, I have obeyed orders;
the battery, thank God, is saved." During all the firing that marked this
incident of that severe day, Lieut. Lyon was shouting to his men in a noble
and pardonable excess of patriotic ardor, "Give it to 'em, d----n it boys,
give it to 'em. They need it, d----n 'em." And thus it was he did his
duty, and is now Capt. William H. Lyon, an idol in the regiment.
COMPANY A, CAPTAIN
JAMES F. THOMPSON, COMMANDING,
was posted as pickets along the railroad (Richmond
and Petersburg) between Walthall station and the turnpike. Capt. Thompson's orders
were to hold his
position at all events, until he should receive orders to fall back. Capt.
Thompson was cordially sustained and ably seconded by Lieut. Alexander R. Bell,
a most accomplished, tenacious, fearless and energetic officer, who were inspired
by the heroic courage of this brave and idolized young soldier of the Republic.
Lieut. Bell has been personally congratulated by Col. McConihe, Lieut.-Col.
Alden and his Captain (Thompson) for his grand qualities in battle. I have
heretofore sent you a list of the killed and wounded in this engagement; had
I not done so, the list would have terminated this branch of my letter.
MCCONIHE'S REGIMENT IN THE ACTION
OF THE 18TH OF MAY, 1864.
On the night of May 17th, three Co's. of the regiment,
E, H, and D, went to the front on picket duty. Early in the morning the picket
line was attacked.
This was so stoutly done that Co's. A, I, B and G were sent out as supports,
at once deploying as skirmishers. The enemy had broken the original picket
line, and the pickets about eight hundred strong were falling back. The One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth went at the rebels with a yell that I apprehend neither
party will soon forget. A grand charge was made by the command. The "rebs" ran
like sheep, our boys driving them and gallantly re-taking the original picket
line. The fight lasted all day; the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth being relieved
at night. The entire loss of the regiment was twenty-eight. It was in this
action that Capt. Snyder received his wound. I have already sent you the list,
numbering twenty-seven in killed and wounded.
ON THE 19TH
heavy fighting was going on immediately in front of our intrenchments,
all day; the One Hundred and Twelfth and Thirteenth Indiana, operating against
the enemy outside the rifle pits; the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth, and Ninth
Maine, of Col. Drake's brigade, manning the works. The enemy suffered severely
on this as on the subsequent day, by reason of attempting to approach our fortifications.
OF THE 20TH OF MAY
Just before 8 o'clock, A.M., on the 20th, the enemy made two
stout assaults upon the picket line, on Gen. Ames' division, and Colonel Drake's
The first advance was most vigorously repulsed amid musketry and cheering of
our troops. The enemy immediately advanced again in force, and made a truly
tremendous effort to successfully storm and carry our works. They succeeded
in driving in our pickets, and owing to the ignorant treachery of a federal
Lieutenant, who was at once reduced to the ranks by Major-Gen. Butler, succeeded
in taking our entrenched picket line. Colonel Dobbs with the Thirteenth Indiana,
made a gallant charge upon the enemy, in the hope of retaking the line, but
was repulsed – his regiment suffering terribly, in the loss of seventy
men. The enemy were entrenched behind rail fences and earthworks. Another charge
was subsequently made by Major Pennypacker, and the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania
volunteers, who were literally decimated by artillery and musketry. It was
awful standing as I did, on top of our entrenchments, with Cols. McConihe and
Alden, to see those noble Keystones fall, decade after decade, within a space
of eight hundred yards. The assaulted foe was yet in possession of the line.
The artillery then opened, and after a short duel night "threw its opaque
mantle" over the scene. The enemy worked industriously during the night,
improving upon the line of works. Last night (the 21st) the enemy advanced
upon our entire line and were met by a terrific fire of artillery and musketry
along Terry and Ames' fronts, doing them immense damage – blowing up
one of their caissons, and driving them back – it must have been with
great slaughter. A decisive blow will have to be dealt the foe in the course
of a few hours, and when it comes it will cause them to reel back towards their
so-called capital – let us hope entirely discomfited.
INCIDENTS AND PERSONAL.
The preparation of this dispatch covering a period of
several days, has been frequently interrupted by engagements of the contending
parties, and these
headquarters being in direct range of a convergent fire usually directed upon
three of our defenses, by the enemy, may account for the somewhat incoherent
nature of this letter. I beg to assure you that I write in the field, crouched
beneath a shelter tent, instead of sitting upright at a spacious table in the
cool recesses of the Times office, not knowing the moment when a shell or a
bullet may strike my capacious omentum, and send all this mortality ad astra
dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, even though one is required to depart
suddenly while catering to the public in the way of a newspaper dispatch.
Gen. Ames yesterday waited on Major Colvin, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth,
who had command of the outer picket line on the 19th, and thanked him for the
cool and useful part he enacted on that day amid so many doubts and perplexities.
All through the various operations in which the brigade has been engaged since
the 17th, the Colonels and all other officers could not fail to note the prompt
and facile manner, added to the energy and discretion, with which Col. Drake,
commanding the brigade, encountered and overcame every emergency that presented
itself to his cool judgment and dispassionate nature. – These urgent
and trying times directly in front of the enemy, where we are compelled to
contest his pretensions more or less stubbornly every successive day, imperatively
bring to the surface a man's character and capacity. This tremendous ordeal
through which we are now passing, has in Col. Drake one of the few men capable
of eliminating it, by force of ability, energy and elevated military character,
and a comprehensive knowledge of this fact inspires the entire command.
The common grief in the regiment, occasioned by the death of Lieut.
Birdsall, is not yet assuaged, notwithstanding the rapid and ceaseless march
Col. McConihe, in his official report to the commanding Colonel of the part
the regiment took in the operations of the 16th, says of the brave fallen: "Lieut.
Birdsall was a true soldier and gallant officer, whose loss falls heavily upon
the regiment, and whom, among all others, we had learned to love and respect.
Feeling sad at his loss, yet we are consoled to know that he died bravely in
the intelligent discharge of his duties."
Among the dead is announced Theodore Schutt, private of Co. A. Private Schutt
will be remembered as the accomplished correspondent in the field of Pease's
Press. He was a genial, companionable man, always prompt to duty, and fell
nobly doing it. He lies buried in the enemy's country and lines.
Orderly Sergeant Frederick French, of Co. D, (the Sandy Hill company,) is also
among the dead, and buried beyond the lines. He was an efficient First Sergeant,
modest and retiring, and respected by his comrades. He had been favorably,
though ineffectually, recommended to Gov. Seymour by a large body of his friends
in Washington county for promotion to a Lieutenancy.
There are no other casualties in the regiment since my last list, save that
of private [Patrick] Devin, of Co. E, who was shot through the head inside
the entrenchments while talking with Lieut. Mulhall. I am now up to the 22d
We give the following inclusive list of casualties in Co. A, One Hundred and
Sixty-ninth New York volunteers, since May 10, 1864, at the request of Major
James A. Colvin:
Sergeants Edward P. Jaques, wounded and prisoner; Henry A. Slack,
killed by windage of shell; Thomas Jessop, wounded; Thomas H. McGregor, wounded;
Calvin Champlin, wounded and prisoner; Jas. Brown, Geo. Cain, Elijah G. Bradway,
prisoners; privates Theodore Schutt, Theodore Sheldon, Wm. S. Hand, Edward
Barrett, Darius Morris, killed; George W. Bailey, wounded and died; Wm. H.
Shufelt, E. A. Prouty, Daniel Osborn, wounded; Paul Roberts, Lyman Ostrom,
wounded and prisoners; Jonathan Hoag, Edward Stickles, Loren Teator, Asbury
Bacchus, Abram C. Folmsbee, prisoners; John H. Grose, Geo. H. Sheldon, Henry
Andrus, wounded slightly; Wm. F. Messenger, wounded, since dead.
W. H. M.
c. MAY 1864
HONORS TO A SOLDIER. – A very pleasant little affair occurred
at the Nail Works on Saturday evening. Capt. Spencer W. Snyder, of the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth regiment, wounded in one of the late battles, having returned
home on a leave of absence, was serenaded and musically honored by Sullivan's
Band in their usual happy style. Mr. Kemp, on the part of the Band, welcomed
the Captain home, and the speech was replied to by the Captain in a very patriotic
and feeling manner. After this the party partook of the bountiful hospitalities
furnished the inner man by John H. Snyder, father of the Captain, one of the
most esteemed residents of the Sixth Ward.
MAY OR JUNE 1864
WOUNDED. – Among those who have recently been admitted
in Hampton Hospital, Fortress Monroe, are Capt. D. J. Cary and Capt. C. H. Lawrence*,
of the One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth, both wounded.
[Note: *There is no soldier by the name
of C. H. Lawrence in the official roster of the regiment.]
JUNE __ , 1864
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
We have intelligence to-day that the One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, Col. McConihe, is with Gen. "Baldy" Smith,
now under Grant.
JUNE __ , 1864.
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
WHITE HOUSE, VA., May 30 – Evening.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth has just reached this point, after a tedious
day's march. Col. McConihe's command belongs to that portion of the forces
the Government determined to transfer to Gen. Grant, under the command of Maj.-Gen.
Smith. The regiment left Bermuda Hundred on transports at daylight on Sunday,
and proceeded to West Point, where they, in common with the Thirteenth Indiana
and Ninth Maine, were debarked during Sunday night. – Early Monday morning,
Gen. Smith (Baldy) received the news of Grant's successful arrival to the South
side of the Pamunkey river, and gave orders through Gen. Ames, commanding the
division, that all the forces should instantly proceed to White House. Those
that had not been debarked from the transports to go forward in them, and those
that had to advance on foot to that point. Both officers and men were breakfast-less,
owing to this untoward circumstance, but they made the march with rare good
cheer, and have just arrived here in excellent spirits, though considerably
wearied. The regiment, in common with all the other troops, will leave here
in the morning, (Tuesday, the 31st,) to join Grant, Gen. Smith's column forming
the left wing of the grand army, whose aim and solemn duty it is to reduce
Richmond. At this point, my relations with the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth,
as an officer, cease, and I regretfully take leave of it to enter upon another
and more congenial sphere of duty at its side. In finally parting with this
band of tried and noble officers and men, I desire to record in this public
manner my deep and abiding sense of the high character Col. McConihe's command
sustains in the field for all of those affirmative and essential qualities
that go to enhance the usefulness of a regiment in an active and arduous campaign,
like the one in which it is now enacting so honorable and [illegible]
Under the command of a Colonel who unites to large experience, great activity
and personal solicitude for the individual and collective welfare of his men,
and who has once, by his bravery and unfaltering devotion to duty, secured
the coveted word of compliment and encouragement from the Lieutenant-General
of the armies, the friends of the regiment may safely feel that in the hands
of the gallant McConihe, it will continue to do its full share in the future,
as in the past, in shedding new lustre, according to the extent of its generous
abilities, upon our arms, in the closing hours wherein our great trouble is
to find its solution for the weal of "Liberty and the Union, one and inseparable."
W. H. M.
MONDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 6, 1864.
Col. John McConihe Dead.
A painful gloom has been thrown over the city to-day
by the news that one of the bravest, most popular and distinguished officers
that Troy has sent
to the war, has given up his life for his country. Colonel John McConihe, of
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, is no more. He has fallen, sword
in hand, bravely leading his noble comrades against the haughty but humbled
enemy – fallen with his face to the foe, where the battle smoke was thickest – fallen,
we may believe, with the same word of cheer upon his lips that was his rallying
cry at Shiloh; "Come on, boys" – fallen that his country might
rise, and surrendered his life only at the stern summons of the Great Commander
who leads all our armies.
In Sunday's New York papers, under the head of correspondence from Gen. Grant's
army, was a brief paragraph stating that "our loss was heavy; among the
killed on the 1st inst., (last Wednesday) was Col. John McConihe, and Lieut.-Col.
Alden was wounded." All suspense was set at rest this morning, by the
following telegraphic dispatch:
YORKTOWN, June 4.
We are wounded – not dangerously. Will be home soon. Col. McConihe is
killed – body with us, in charge of Chaplain Chapman.
ALONZO ALDEN, Lt.-Col. 169th.
JAS. H. ALLEN, Capt. 169th.
From the records of the military bureau at Albany,
we compile the following biographical sketch of this deceased officer:
McConihe was the son of Hon. Isaac McConihe, one of the oldest and most prominent
residents of Troy, and was 29 years of age. He was born
at Troy, studied at law with his father, and went to the law school at Albany,
graduated at Union College in 1853, was chosen one of the Board of Education,
and took a high stand in the Board. He went to Omaha, Nebraska Territory in
1856, and was soon appointed private Secretary to the Governor. He went as
Colonel of a detachment of military, to which he was appointed, against the
Pawnee Indians, and met with entire success. He was appointed Adjutant-General
of the Territory. On the breaking out of the rebellion, he raised a company,
and was appointed Captain, went through the campaign of 1861 and part of 1862,
in Missouri, and was in the battle of Shiloh, Tenn., where he acted with great
bravery. He was severely wounded, and came afterwards to Troy, where he received
the appointment of Lieutenant-Colonel of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment.
Since that time he has been at Washington on provost duty, and then went to
Morris Island, S. C., where he performed much arduous duty at the siege there,
then went to Florida. He next went to the Peninsula, under Gen. Butler, and
fought several battles with great gallantry, and finally went to the army under
Gen. Grant, where, on the 1st of June, he was killed in battle.
But this formal
record of the position and achievements of the lamented dead, does not and cannot
justly commemorate the character and virtues which were
identified with that form, now lifeless, when the flush of health was upon
the brow now grown cold, and the voice now hushed in death gave the pleasant
salutations of friendship or rang forth the clarion words of command. He went
from among us – from the home where his father, mother and brothers still
dwell – from the spot where mourning friends were once the companions
of his youth and the associates of his riper years – where his engaging
manners had made him so tenderly beloved and where his talents had raised him
to a high social position. From boyhood to manhood he had grown up, only to
be cut off in the bright promise of his military career. To all who knew the
deceased we need not say that he was brave, chivalrous and honorable. His mortal
remains will be honored by the only tribute the living can pay to the dead,
and Troy will give an imposing burial to her fallen son. His memory will be
kept green, among the noblest of the martyr-heroes of this cruel war.
are they, –
Gone at their country's call ;
And yet, and yet, we cannot forget
That many brave boys must fall.
TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 1864.
COL. MCCONIHE'S BODY. – The remains of the late Col. John McConihe,
of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, will reach here at a late hour
to-night. The family having yielded to the request of the military of the city,
to pay a suitable tribute to the deceased officer, the arrangements have been
placed in the hands of the public authorities and soldiers; and no doubt the
Common Council will take action this afternoon. The Twenty-fourth regiment
will be under the command of Lieut.-Col. Leroy – their Colonel being
a brother of the deceased. – On the arrival of the body at the dépôt
to-night, it will be received by the Troy City Artillery, who will conduct
it to the Common Council chamber, where it will remain until it is consigned
to the dust. The ceremonies of the Masonic Fraternity will also be conducted,
under the auspices of Mount Zion Lodge No. 311, of which the deceased was an
honored member. The resolutions of the Lodge passed last evening will be found
in another column.
– Lieut.-Col. Alonzo Alden, of this city, and Capt. Joseph H. Allen, of
Millville – each wounded – reached here by the noon-train, since
the above paragraph was in type. They state that Col. McConihe's body, in charge
of Chaplain A. T. Chapman, will arrive by the next train due here at 4:25 P.M.
Col. Alden is wounded in the head, but not dangerously.
– Capt. Wm. McConihe, brother of the deceased officer, also arrived by
the noon train, and states that Col. McConihe fell while leading his men in a
charge on the enemy's entrenchments, last Wednesday. He was shot in several places
almost simultaneously – the hand, arm and body. The latter wound proved
fatal – the bullet passing directly through him, and he was instantly killed.
The remains are not in a good state of preservation, as the nature of the wound
prevented the process of embalming being performed with success. A second attempt
was made in Washington to preserve the body, but it failed. The fact that Col.
McConihe died thus gloriously will be a source of satisfaction to the community,
and will partly mitigate the severity of the blow to his relatives and friends.
– We conversed with Lieut.-Col. Alden this afternoon at his residence.
The bullet entered from above, near the ear, striking the bone, and it is still
imbedded near his throat. Capt. Allen is wounded in the foot; Capt. Ferguson
in the back; Lieut. E. R. Smith in the shoulder; Lieut. Morey through the body,
and Capt. Clark Smith slightly. Col. McConihe was killed just as our forces had
carried the first series of the enemy's rifle pits and were pushing towards the
second. As the flag was planted on the second, Lieut.-Col. Alden was struck.
Col. McConihe uttered a single exclamation, "Oh," and expired in the
arms of a soldier who caught his falling form.
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 8, 1864.
Col. McConihe's Funeral.
The engrossing topic of local interest is the funeral
of the late Col. John McConihe and the arrangements connected with it. The
body reached the city
at an early hour this morning, by the Hudson River Railroad train, and was
received at the depot by a detachment of the Troy City Artillery, under command
of Lieut. J. E. Curran. It was placed in a hearse in waiting, under direction
of Wm. Madden, and about eight o'clock the remains were taken to the residence
of Judge McConihe, father of the deceased, corner of First and Division streets. – Four
officers acted as bearers – Col. Babcock, Lieut.-Col. Lawton, Major Otis
and Adjutant G. G. Moore, – and the Artillery detachment formed an
escort. The body will be taken to the Common Council room at half past six
this evening, where it will remain until the funeral takes place. It is enclosed
in a neat, plain coffin, draped in the American flag.
The funeral will take place to-morrow (Thursday) afternoon at 2 o'clock,
from St. Paul's church. The services will be worthy of the distinguished dead.
Gov. Seymour and staff will be present, and in addition to the Executive of
the State, the Mayor and Common Council of Albany, with the Twenty-fifth regiment,
will join in paying the last military tribute to this lamented officer. Thus
far the military arrangements have been under the direction of Adjutant Moore.
The following officers will act as bearers: Col. George Babcock, Col. Chas.
E. Brintnall, Lieut.-Col. W. H. Lawton, Major John L. Flagg, Major George H.
Otis and Capt. Charles Hughes, Provost Marshal. Col. Le Roy will act as Marshal
of the day.
ORDER OF PROCESSION.
The order of procession at the funeral of the late Col. John
McConihe, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, will be as follows:
of police, forming on Third street, near Broadway.
Twenty-fifth regiment N. Y. S. N. G., Col. Walter S. Church.
Twenty-fourth regiment N. Y. S. N. G., Col. John I. Le Roy.
Troy City Artillery as guard of honor.
Mount Zion Lodge of Masons, No. 311, of Troy, as mourners.
Relatives of deceased.
Gov. Seymour and staff.
Gen. Wool and Staff.
Gen. Allen and staff.
Mayor and Common Council of Albany.
Mayor and Common Council of Troy.
Citizens in carriages.
The remains will lie in state at the Court House from half-past
6 o'clock this afternoon till 2 P.M. to-morrow, – the Troy City Artillery
acting as guard of honor. The remains will then be removed to St. Paul's church,
the funeral services will be performed. The line of procession will move up
Third street to Broadway, up Broadway to Fifth street, up Fifth street to North
Second street, up North Second street to Hoosick street, up Hoosick street
to Cemetery Avenue to Oakwood Cemetery, where the interment will take place.
Lieut.-Col JOHN I. LE ROY, Marshal.
The proceedings of the Common Council meeting are re-published
from yesterday's second edition on our fourth page to-day. The remarks of the
Mayor in announcing
the object of the meeting, were as follows:
Gentlemen of the Common Council: It
has been thought proper that a special meeting should be held to take action
in reference to the death of our late
townsman, Col. John McConihe of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, who
was killed in battle at the head of his command, and whose remains are soon
expected to reach here. The patriotic services of the deceased officer are
known to you all; his bravery has been attested on many memorable fields, and
his talents were recognized by all his fellow citizens. The regiment which
he commanded was raised here, and was in every respect a home organization.
It left Troy but a few months since, and has reflected lustre upon the city
from which it was sent. Its gallant Colonel was born and reared among us; his
father is among our honored and oldest citizens; his brother one of the ex-Mayors
of the city. He fully deserves all the honor that we can bestow. It is noble
to die for our country, and he has nobly rendered this truth. – Therefore,
it seems proper, gentlemen, that some action should be taken worthy the city
of Troy, to show that our soldiers and heroes are not forgotten by those who
are protected by their danger and labors.
The committee appointed by the Common
Council – Mayor Thorn, Ald. Starbuck
and Murphy, Col. Le Roy, Capt. Tillman and Hannibal Green – have sent
invitations to the Governor and staff, Mayor and Common Council of Albany,
and to the other persons named in the invitation of the Common Council of this
HEADQUARTERS 24TH REG’T, N. Y. S. N. G.,
TROY, June 7th, 1864.
Special Order: Lieut.-Col. LE ROY will assume command of the regiment until
I. McConihe, Jr., Col. Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS 24TH REG’T, N. Y. S. N.
TROY, June 7th, 1864.
General Order: The regiment will parade on Thursday, the 9th day of June next,
for the purpose of attending the funeral of the late Colonel John McConihe.
Commanders of companies will report with their commands at the regimental armory
at 1 o'clock P. M., fully uniformed and equipped. Line will be formed at 1½ o'clock
precisely on River street, right resting on Congress. The field and staff will
report fully uniformed at 1½ o'clock P.M., precisely, at the Colonel's
quarters. Band will report at the armory at 1 o'clock. It is especially enjoined
upon commandants of companies to be punctual at the time specified.
By order, JOHN I. LE ROY,
G. G. MOORE, Adjt. Lieut.-Col. Com'g.
The deceased was one of the earliest members of Mount Zion Lodge No.
311, of Free and Accepted Masons, by which organization the funeral will be attended
and the ceremonies of the order be conducted. In the absence of the Worshipful
Master, L. A. Rousseau, at New York, Past W. M. Randol W. Roberts will officiate.
An invitation is extended by Mount Zion Lodge to the Fraternity in this city,
Albany, West Troy, Lansingburgh, Waterford, Cohoes, Greenbush, Ballston, Saratoga
and Schenectady, to attend the funeral. Apollo Commandery No. 15 of Knights
Templar expect to attend the funeral as an escort, although the deceased was
not a member of that body. A meeting will be held this evening.
Col. McConihe's last order, as Commandant of the regiment, was given
an instant before his death. The regiment had charged upon and aided to carry
first line of works, which made the carrying of the second line possible. While
moving upon this second line, after passing an open field three-fourths of
a mile in width – the enemy having fallen back – to order in these
words: "Cease firing; fix bayonets, and charge again. Dress up on the
colors – don't leave the colors." The order was wisely given to
meet a sudden emergency, and was necessary to prevent the regiment being mowed
down. The Colonel fell instantly after the order. He was dressed in a simple
blouse at the time, with no insignia of military rank, and his sword was lost.
The diary of the deceased was found in his pocket written up to Monday night,
only one day remaining unwritten. When his body was taken to the rear, Chaplain
Chapman took charge of it. He soon after met Major Samuel McConihe, of the
Ninety-third New York, a brother of the deceased, who inquired of the Chaplain, "How
is the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth"? The Chaplain replied: "Here
is the dead body of your brother, the Colonel."
INVITATIONS TO OFFICERS.
We are requested by the committee of arrangements, to
tender an invitation to the officers of the Second regiment, and other officers
now in the city,
to take part in the funeral obsequies.
The Mayor has engaged rooms at the Troy House for the reception
of the Governor and staff, Mayor and Common Council of Albany, and other guests.
They are expected
to be present at half-past 1 o'clock.
Many of the flags in this city are at half-mast; all should be so.
This mark of respect is due from our citizens, especially during the funeral
WEDNESDAY EVENING, JUNE 8, 1864.
OFFICIAL PAPER OF THE CITY.
FUNERAL OF COL. JOHN MCCONIHE – The remains
of the late Col. John McConihe reached here by the early express train this morning,
by Chaplain Chapman. A detachment of the Troy City Artillery, under command
of Lieut. Curran, received the remains at the Union Depot, and escorted them
to the family residence of the deceased, where they will remain at the Union
Depot, and escorted them to the family residence of the deceased, where they
will remain until half-past six o'clock this evening, when they will be taken
to the Common Council room, and remain in state until the funeral takes place.
The time of the funeral has been fixed for Thursday (to-morrow) afternoon at
two o'clock, from St. Paul's Church.
The Twenty-Fourth Regiment of Troy, and the Twenty-fifth and Tenth Regiments
of Albany, will parade on the occasion. – The Governor and his staff
will also be present. The Common Council held a meeting yesterday, the proceedings
of which we publish in another column, and resolved to attend the funeral in
a body. The members of Mount Zion Lodge (Free Masons) have also taken appropriate
action, and will attend the funeral in a body. Resolutions on the subject will
be found elsewhere in these columns.
In addition to what we published yesterday, relative to the death of the deceased,
we copy the following incidents from the Whig: At the time of his death, he
had his sword in his right hand, a bullet struck the clenched hand between
the little and third fingers, shattering the hand, passing up the arm and coming
out about six inches above the wrist. Another bullet shattered the upper part
of the left arm. Over the right shoulder of the coat is a small hole which
was evidently made with a buckshot. The sword was lost at the time Col. McC.
Fell, but the scabbard was brought off with the body. Deceased was on foot
and had on a sack, or blouse, with no shoulder straps, so that it is not probable
he was singled out by the rebels as the commandant of the regiment when he
was shot. At the time he fell he was caught by a private, and his body was
immediately taken to the rear. The diary of the deceased was found in his pocket
written up to Monday night, only one day remaining unwritten. He died almost
instantly, exclaiming "Oh!" as he fell. – When his body was
taken to the rear Chaplain Chapman took charge of it. He soon after met Major
Sam. McConihe, of the 93d N.Y., a brother of the deceased, who inquired of
the Chaplain, "how is the 169th?" The Chaplain replied, "here
is the dead body of your brother, the Colonel." The body was conveyed
on foot twenty-two miles to the White House, by privates of the regiment. – On
the way they found an old buggy wagon in which they put the body and drew it
part of the way. At the White House an effort was made to embalm the body,
but it was found impossible to do so from the fact that it was so badly cut
up with wounds. An effort at embalming was also made in Washington, which also
ACTION OF THE MILITARY.
HEADQUARTERS, 24th Regiment,
N.Y.S.N.G., Troy, June 7th, 1864.
GENERAL ORDER. The Regiment will parade on Thursday,
the 9th day of June next, for the purpose of attending the funeral of the late
Colonel John McConihe.
Commandants of companies will report with their commands at the regimental
armory at 1 o'clock, P.M., fully uniformed and equipped. Line will be formed
at 1½ o'clock precisely on River street, right resting on Congress.
The field and staff will report fully uniformed at 1½ o'clock, P.M.,
at the Colonel's quarters. – Band will report at the armory at 1 o'clock.
It is especially enjoined upon commandants of companies to be punctual at the
By order, JOHN J. LEROY,
G. G. MOORE, Adjt. Lieut. Col. Com'g.
MEETING OF THE BAR.
A meeting of the Bar, of this city, will be held this afternoon,
at 4 o'clock, at the Court House, for the purpose of paying suitable tribute
to the memory
of the deceased.
The arrangements for the funeral are in charge of the committees appointed
by the Mayor at the Common Council meeting yesterday, and Lieut. G. G. Moore,
of the 24th Regiment. The following have been selected as bearers: Col. Geo.
Babcock, Lieut.-Col. Lawton, Major Otis, Major Flagg, Col. C. E. Brintnall,
and Capt. Chas. Hughes.
The remains will lie in state at the Court House from half-past six o'clock
this afternoon till two P.M., to-morrow, the Troy City Artillery acting as
guard of honor. The remains will then be removed to St. Paul's Church, where
the funeral services will be performed.
The order of Procession at the funeral will be as follows:
Platoon of police,
forming on Third street, near Broadway.
25th Reg't N. Y. S. N. G., Col. Walter S. Church.
24th Reg't N. Y. S. N. G., Lt.-Col. J. I. LeRoy.
Troy City Artillery as Guard of Honor.
Mount Zion Lodge of Masons, No. 311, of Troy, as mourners.
Relatives of deceased.
Gov. Seymour and Staff.
Mayor and Common Council of Albany.
Mayor and Common Council of Troy.
Citizens in Carriages.
The committee of arrangements have extended an invitation
to the officers of the Second and Thirteenth regiments to attend the funeral
of Col. McConihe
Chaplain Chapman will return to the regiment on Friday.
The line of procession will move up Third street to Broadway, up Broadway to
Fifth street to North Second street, up North Second street to Hoosic street,
up Hoosic street to Cemetery Avenue to Oakwood Cemetery, where the interment
will take place.
LT.-COL. JOHN I. LEROY, Marshall.
JUNE 8 OR 9, 1864
REV. A. T. CHAPMAN, Chaplain of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth – whose
praises are on the lips of all identified with the regiment, – will return
to his post of duty immediately after the funeral of Col. McConihe, whose body
he brought home.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 9, 1864.
Col. McConihe's Funeral.
The funeral of the late Col. John McConihe is in progress
as we go to press with this edition, with every indication that the afternoon
will be almost
entirely given up by our citizens to the solemn obsequies of the lamented dead.
The weather, unpropitious in the morning, cleared up towards noon, and at one
o'clock gave favorable promise for the public exercises – an account
of which will be given in our second edition.
– The Albany military reached here soon after two o'clock. Their commander
issued the following order:
HEADQUARTERS 25TH REG'T, N. G., S. N. Y.,
ALBANY, June 8, 1864.
General Orders, No. 10: The Colonel Commanding is pained to announce to you
the death of Col. John McConihe, late of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment,
who fell at the head of his command in the battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia.
A member of a family long distinguished in peace and war, for their faithful
support of the laws and Constitution of their country; at the commencement
of the war he entered the service from a sense of duty. He was a true soldier,
seeking only to serve the Republic. He was among the bravest, and fell in all
the pride and vigor of early manhood. A resident of a neighboring city, we
are called upon to join in paying funeral honors to this gallant hero. Therefore,
the regiment is hereby ordered to assemble, fully armed and equipped, at the
Regimental Armory, 12½ P.M., June 9, 1864, to attend his funeral. By
order of Col. W. S. CHURCH.
J. M. KIMBALL, Adjutant.
JUNE __ , 1864.
In Memory of Col. McConihe.
BY E. V. S.
A requiem for the brave!
A dirge for the gallant dead!
O'er his calm and peaceful grave
Soft airs and bloom be shed!
Away with the mournful cypress, here
Bring flowers to deck the soldier's bier!
The noble heart is stilled –
Closed is the beaming eye;
The manly voice that thrilled
With music's melody,
No more shall charm the listening ear,
Nor break the silence, deep and drear.
Deaf, to the voice of Fame,
Of civic honors won –
His pure and spotless name
With radiant lustre shone.
He laid them all at his country's feet –
Her starry flag was his winding sheet!
With words of hope and cheer,
He urged his comrades on;
And crowned his bright career
With fadeless laurels won.
He fell on the gory battlefield,
Like the Spartan son, upon his shield!
In Freedom's cause he died –
He gained immortal Fame!
A country's grateful pride
Enshrines his honored name,
While fond hearts mourn with ceaseless grief,
That a noble life should be so brief.
His star in glory set –
No cloud obscured its ray:
With calm effulgence, yet,
Its lights the sorrowing way
Of those who linger, mid their tears,
O'er the bright record of his years.
The life blood, thick and fast,
Welled from the throbbing veins –
The trumpet's ringing blast
Reëchoed o'er the plains.
Unfaltering – mid the fiercest fray
His dauntless spirit led the way.
The toilsome march is o'er –
The crimson tide is stayed:
From the scabbard never more
Shall leap the shining blade.
And the hero sleeps a dreamless sleep,
While loved ones, sorrowing, wake to weep!
JUNE __ , 1864
THE 169TH REGIMENT, N. Y. S. V. – By the death of Col. McCONIHE
and the wounding of Lieut.-Col. ALDEN, Major JAMES A. COLVIN, (son of Hon. A.
COLVIN, of this city,) is placed in command of the 169th Regiment N. Y. S.
JUNE __ , 1864
IN HOSPITAL. – The following soldiers of the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth regiment are in the hospital at Alexandria:
James Fraser, William
Keech, jr., John McGinnis, Thomas McLaughlin, James McQueen, Thomas Ward*.
to-day's New York Times, the following wounded men of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
are reported in battlefield hospital:
J. Jinyack, Geo. Descell, Sergeant N. Root,
Corporal T. Ross, A. Bailey, Geo. Burgess, J. Mower, E. Corron, F. Hope, G. Klauss,
L. Miller, Lieut. C.
E. Morey, J. Dewing*, Geo. Fellows, Sergeant M. Russell, M. Martratt, M. Brabander,
J. Bachline, B. Moore, Geo. Broker, Corporal P. Murphy, G. T. Bachelor*, M.
Delker, J. H. Nolan, J. M. McGinnis, T. McKanna, J. Milligan, R. B. Stillman,
W. M. Swartwout, Sergeant D. S. Cruikshank, S. C. Sargeant, Corporal J. D.
Havens, G. C. Wagner, R. F. McBath.
[Notes: *There are no soldiers by the name
of Thomas Ward, J. Dewing, or G. T. Bachelor in the official roster of the regiment.]
JUNE __ , 1864
WOUNDED. – The following casualties in the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth regiment, are reported:
Jas. Caton, ankle; J. Dewing*, leg; Sergeant
Geo. Descell, arm and hand; Sergeant N. Root, side; Corp. T. Ross, breast; J.
West, shoulder; G. Klauss,
knee; Sergeant Geo. Fellows, shoulder and neck; W. S. Parsons, shoulder; J.
B. Randall, bowels; J. Jinyack, arm; A. Bailey, arm; Geo. Burgess, arm; J.
Mower, thigh; E. Corron, foot; F. Hope, shoulder; Corporal A. B. Van Buren,
head; M. Martratt, arm; J. Bachline, hip; B. Moore, dead; M. Delker, shoulder;
Corporal P. Murphy, head; Sergeant D. Corbett, groin; Geo. Broker, shoulder;
L. Miller, arm; Sergeant S. Nevens**, thigh.
[Notes: *There is no soldier by the
name of J. Dewing in the official roster of the regiment. **Sergeant S. Nevens
may be Corporal J. D. Havens.]
JUNE __ , 1864
WOUNDED. – Lieut. C. E. Morey, Ed. Bristol*, Co. F; Sergeant
M. Ryan, Co. E; A. McMahon*, Co. G; Norman Schermerhorn*, Co.
F; of the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth regiment.
[Notes: *There are no soldiers by the name of Ed. Bristol,
A. McMahon, or Norman Schermerhorn in the official roster of the regiment.]
JUNE __ , 1864
CASUALTIES IN THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT – We
are indebted to Lieut. Thos. B. Eaton for the following list of casualties (ninety-four)
in the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment:
Killed – Col. John McConihe,
Sergeant Dennis Corbett, Corporal C. W. Gardner, privates W. H. Mason, Wm. Hoag,
Michael McBreen, George Galander,
Geo. Wagner, Chas. Buckbee.
Wounded – Lieut.-Col. Alonzo Alden, Capts. J. H. Allen and D. Ferguson,
Lieuts. C. E. Morey and E. R. Smith, Sergeants James H. Straight, John H. Williams,
S. L. Cipperly, Michael Russell, D. S. Cruikshank, P. J. Aylmer, George Sauer,
Samuel Sargeant, George Decell, Napoleon Root; Corporals A. B. Van Buren, H.
Chamberlain, Geo. C. Wagner, Jas. B. Randall, James Perry, Thos. Ross, Patrick
Murphy, John Waul, Chas. G. Bruce, Ed. Estus, David Keller, M. H. Martratt,
Chas. H. Noyes, Michael Delker, John D. Havens, Frank Hope; privates R. B.
Stillman, Philetus Brown, August Strassman, D. S. Corbin, Geo. Burgess, Francis
Gillispie, J. H. Mower, I. G. Porter, Jos. Shannon, Ira Chamberlain, Geo. Greene,
John Jinyack, Wm. Keech, Thos. McKanna, Labourn Miller, W. T. Warner, John
McGinnis, Thos. McLaughlin, Bissell Moore, Jas. Caton, Geo. Seneca, John M.
Farley, John P. West, Jas. Mulhall, Herbert L. Lott, Levi N. Gardner, Gustav
Klauss, Wm. Tyrrell, C. D. Gibson, Geo. Broker, Chas. Gallagher, Charles Farley,
John Brimmer, A. S. L. Bailey, Wm. S. Parsons, John Boechline, Wm. M. Swartwout,
Martin Brabander, John Milligan, John Hughes, Arthur Desmond, Edward Corron,
Missing – Privates John H. Grose, Wm. H. Wilson, Jas. Riley, Jos. Neddo,
S. R. Cooper, Frank Lapprarie, Samuel Guiser, James Fraser.
writes as follows from Cold Harbor, Va., under date of June 4th:
The total number
of casualties in the brigade was three hundred and fifty, including Col. Drake,
its commander, who was mortally wounded and died on the
2d. This brigade was the first to charge and occupy the rebel works, and the
two brigades from our division were rallied on the colors of the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth, and held possession of the enemy's works.
JUNE __ , 1864
WHITE HOUSE, VA., June 7, 1864
This has been a day of toil and labor, and as evening
comes on, we are thankful for an opportunity to close our eyes from the scenes
of anguish and misery
all about us. The wounded have been arriving all day, and delegates have been
carrying and supplying them with food. I have found some new cases from the
One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York volunteers: Capt. Ferguson, of Co. K,
of Lansingburgh, wounded slightly; Lieut. E. R. Smith, slightly wounded; Lieut.
Chas. E. Morey, Co. C, severely wounded in the side. He is from Hoosick Falls.
Lieut. Clark Smith, of Co. A, acting on Gen. Martindale's staff, was wounded
severely in the thigh, but is not considered dangerous. Sergeant John H. Williams,
Co. E, was wounded in the leg. These have all been lying in the field hospitals
here, and possibly others which I have not found.
The heavy artillery regiments
have been actively engaged, and, I learn, terribly cut up. The following is a
partial list of those wounded in the Seventh heavy
artillery: Amos J. Dow, Co. I, of West Fulton; Wm. Wagner, M, of Guilderland,
sick; Corporal Wm. Jones, L, of Bath, slightly; John H. Hongstine, L, of Wynantskill,
leg; Henry E. Strope, L, of Wynantskill, left hand.
While all about us are sounds
of pain, away in the distance is heard the booming cannon, each note telling
us of death and ruin, and yet freighted with
prayer that it may bring triumph and victory. One of the affecting scenes of
this campaign is the departure of parts of regiments from those who have reenlisted.
In one of the Rhode Island regiments, it is said, as they parted two days since,
strong, stout-hearted men wept like children as they saw their comrades leave
for home. One young fellow, just leaving the field, exclaimed, "[It's
almost] over now – we'll soon be home;" and before he left the field,
he passed into the spirit [world] being shot by a rebel ball. Thus the plans
[we form] are quickly frustrated, especially in [time] of war. This is seen
in the changes in our [plans] constantly upon the field. Yesterday, the [railroad]
from here to Richmond was completed [five] miles out, so far that across the
Chickahominy could be seen the rebel cars and engine; [to-day], the road is
being taken up and we remove to some other scene of action. The young [man]
shot by guerillas, of whom I spoke in my [last] is still improving, and, we
trust, [permanently]. Let the friends of our boys be well assured that the
hospital arrangements here are and men are well cared for. But more... [end
G. A. H.
[Notes: Part of the left side of the article was torn off and missing;
also the article suddenly ended in mid-sentence, thus the words inserted in brackets
in the last paragraph. The 7th N.Y. Heavy Artillery was recruited in Albany
JUNE __ , 1864
FROM THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH.
[From Hospital Steward B. Blair.]
IN CAMP, June 8, 1864.
I believe the last letter I wrote home was from Bermuda
Hundred. Since then what scenes I have been through. We left Bermuda Hundred
on May 25th in transports,
down the James River to Fortress Monroe, and waited here for orders, were
ordered to West Point on the York River. Our brigade having disembarked, the
the fleet received a dispatch from Grant ordering them to keep on up the
Pamunkey (which comes in there) to White House, to which place we were obliged
as it would waste time to re-embark, so for fifteen weary miles on a torn-up
railway and under a hot sun, we plodded along, arriving opposite White House
at six o'clock in the evening. We found the railroad bridge over which we
expected to pass had been burned. Here was a dilemma. The other transports
up and were disembarking on the other side. The men were set to work and
laid logs across sleepers of the bridge that still remained standing, out to
channel of the river, where two ferry boats were moored, upon which we were
transported to the other side, which was not till noon the next day. As soon
as we were formed, our corps (the Eighteenth, Baldy Smith commanding) started,
marched all night and part of the next day, resting only to make coffee,
until we came up with the army of the Potomac. On our arrival at Cold Harbor,
filed down past our rifle pits, formed in line of battle and charged on the
rebs. Then commenced a terrible fire, both of musketry, shell, grape and
canister, which poured into our boys with tremendous effect. In ten minutes
the commencement of the charge, Col. McConihe was brought in killed from
a musket ball through the heart, Lieut.-Col. Alden severely wounded in the
Capt Allen, Lieut. Morey, Lieut. Smith, Capt. Ferguson and men innumerable;
and there was Dr. K., the assistant and myself down outside the inner line
of entrenchments dressing wounds as fast as we could fly around. Soon an
orderly rode up and told us that we had better get farther back, as the rebs
in on that side. As soon as we got our wounded started for the rear, we picked
up our things and followed to where the Medical Director had established
the corps hospital – which consisted of a side hill opposite the fire
of the enemy, on which the men were laid in rows as fast as they were brought
in. We worked all the afternoon, night and part of the next morning before
we got through with the dressing. Rough amputating tables were erected, over
which the bowers of green boughs were arranged so as to protect from the
as much as possible. The cries and groans of the wounded during the night
were heart-rending. As fast as they could be got off to White House they were
and the few now remaining slightly wounded have tents over them. After being
driven back three times, our boys took and now hold the rebel pits. The rebels
charged twenty or thirty times but were in every instance driven back. Chaplain
Chapman started for home with the Colonel's body the next day, and ere you
receive this will probably be with you. Our loss in killed and wounded is
very heavy, and there are many missing. Our boys are in excellent spirits,
pretty well played out. We are on the ground now upon which, two years since,
McClellan was flanked. All around us are his old earthworks. There is no
mistake about his doing all he knew how while here. We are building great fortifications
to fall back on and as a base of operations. General Grant is making sure
this place, and does not mean to fall back from here. We have made no advance
in the last three days. The enemy have charged a good many times, but have
always been repulsed. It is probable that offensive operations will be resumed
in a day or two, when you may expect to hear of big things from the army
of the Potomac. We are annoyed a great deal by shell from the enemy, which
all around us. Five men were wounded within a hundred yards of our quarters,
yesterday. We have put up a kind of bomb-proof and feel pretty safe.
JUNE __ , 1864
TRIBUTE TO COL. MCCONIHE FROM NEBRASKA. – The Omaha Daily
Nebraskian, published at the former home of the late Col. John McConihe, copies
of his death, from the Troy Times, together with the resolutions of Mount Zion
Lodge of this city, and adds:
The foregoing is sad intelligence to the people
of Nebraska. All remember the kind, generous and able McConihe. As private secretary
of Gov. Black, all
learned to love and admire him. When the sad intelligence of the attack on
Sumter reached the plains of Nebraska, Col. McConihe was among the first to
fly to the support of the old flag. He raised a company and marched forth with
the Nebraska First, and ere long we heard of his heroic deeds on the sanguinary
field of Shiloh, where he received a fearful wound, but scarce had that wound
been healed, when we hear of the hero again mingling in the dubious contest
with the enemies of his country. But the patriot hero and generous friend hath
died the soldier's death and contributed an imperishable renown to deck and
adorn the history of the war for constitutional liberty and the Union of the
States. As a friend he was true; as a mason he acted upon the square – fulfilled
his destiny and hath gone up with his credentials properly attested to join
that lodge where the "Grand Architect" presides. We suggest the propriety
of the old friends of Col. McConihe taking some action to attest their admiration
of the former friend – now the dead hero.
JULY __ , 1864
From the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
This regiment had a severe engagement on
the 30th of June, and met with a heavy loss. From a recent letter received by
Col. Alonzo Alden, we are permitted
to make extracts:
We have moved around from Bermuda to Petersburg and Petersburg
to Bermuda. We have lain for nine days in the front, with the rebel works not
from us, and a continual pooping of guns and cannonading going on. An assault
was ordered on the 30th – our brigade to make a diversion – Barton
and Curtis to charge. We made our demonstration; the charge failed to come
off. The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth was posted on the left of the line as
a support and to prevent a flank attack. We went into position nearly at right
angles with our main line. The rebs attempted a flank movement in two lines
of battle. The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth lay in a ravine. We were ordered
to advance, and moved in line on top of the bank, and met the enemy, and caught –––.
In less than ten minutes we met with nearly our entire loss and fell back to
the cover of the edge of the ravine. We kept up the fire from there, and as
Col. Bell tells me, prevented the flanking movement – saving the regiments
on our right and piling the rebs in heaps. Our regiment paid the enemy off
badly; but our loss, as you see, is seventy, while the other four regiments
together lost only eighty. The regiments of our brigade are the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth New York, Thirteenth Indiana, Ninth Maine, Fourth New Hampshire
and Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania, under command of Col. Bell – Third Brigade,
Second Division (Gen. Turner), Tenth Corps, (Gen. Brooks).
We are indebted to
Col. Alden for the following complete and official list of the casualties in
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth:
Killed – Sergeant Nathan C. Simmons, Co.
B; privates Clement Carr, E; Horace Chamberlain, Joseph Neddo, Patrick McConkey,
F; Archy Graham, G;
Barney Marvin, H; Nathan Martin, I.
Wounded – Co. A – Sergeant Henry A. Slack, Corporal Anton Reeder,
privates John H. Miller, John L. Sheldon, Peter Roberts. Co. B – Sergeants
John Sullivan, Peter Roche, Corporal William D. Wager, privates John G. McTominy,
Peter Sloan, Aaron Bremer, Otis Strong. Co. C – Sergeant Chas. S. Philips,
Corporal James Johnson, privates John Hofmeister, John Snow, Aaron B. Davis,
Joseph Rogers, Jacob Coons. Co. D – Privates Sylvester Madden, Geo. Brown.
Co. E – Capt. Frank W. Tarbell, Sergeants Rollin Jenkins, C. F. Harrington,
Corporal George White, privates Geo. W. Mead, Wm. Godfrey, Michael Quinn; Seymour
Carr, L. R. Woodcock, Geo. Price, Eugene Kelly. Co. F – Sergeant J. S.
McFaddin, privates John Gannon, Geo. Williams, Alex. McKelvy, Virgil Jackson,
Robert Taggart. Co. G – Privates John R. Wethey, Jas. Flynn, D. B. Farrel.
Co. H – Privates Nelson Clemmence, Edward Alipaw, Dagobert Zeiser. Co.
I – Corporal Leonard Ducharme, privates Edward Corron, John Niles, John
Tavis, David Clancy, Michael O'Brien. Co. K – Sergeants Ezra Crannell,
Albert Tompkins, Corporal E. T. Penny, privates John Kenneley, Louis Byron,
Frank Gillispie, Robert Martin, James Keller, Jos. Powlett, Louis Shaffer,
Ernest Burnman. Sergeant-Major Edgar Vanderzee.
–Col. Alden intends to
return to his regiment about the latter part of next week, and will carry to
the officers and soldiers any letters that
may be left with him, corner of Third and State streets.
JULY __ , 1864
Casualties in the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Regiment.
In a list of casualties
in the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, during the engagement of June 30th,
published yesterday, we did not give the nature
of the wounds. We therefore repeat the list, with these additions – so
important to the friends of the sufferers:
Killed – Sergeant Nathan C. Simmons,
Co. B; privates Clement Carr, E; Horace Chamberlain, Joseph Neddo, Patrick McConkey,
F; Archy Graham, G;
Barney Marvin, H; Nathan Martin, I.
Wounded – Co. A – Sergeant Henry A. Slack, right arm; Corporal
Anton Reeder, left shoulder; privates John H. Miller, elbow joint amputated;
John L. Sheldon, left hand; Peter Roberts, fracture right arm with flesh wound
in side. Co. B – Sergeant John Sullivan, neck and lung; Sergeant Peter
Roche, contusion ant. tibia, right leg; Corporal William D. Wager, contusion
right lumbar; privates John G. McTominy, right side, slight; Peter Sloan, fractured
radius, left arm; Aaron Bremer, thigh, flesh wound; Otis Strong, left hand.
Co. C – Sergeant Chas. S. Philips, chest, severe; Corporal James Johnson,
left foot; privates John Hofmeister, neck and lower jaw; John Snow, fracture
left leg; Aaron B. Davis, contusion right arm; Joseph Rogers, contusion left
shoulder; Jacob Coons, head, slight. Co. D – Privates Sylvester Madden,
right thigh, flesh wound; Geo. Brown, finger. Co. E – Capt. Frank W.
Tarbell, condyle inj. maxillary, exit mouth; Sergeant Rollin Jenkins, contusion
right arm; Sergeant C. F. Harrington; Corporal George White, elbow, flesh wound;
privates Geo. W. Mead, left scapula; Wm. Godfrey, elbow joint amputated; Michael
Quinn; Seymour Carr, face and tongue, since dead; L. R. Woodcock, shoulder;
Geo. Price, neck, slight; Eugene Kelly, left arm. Co. F – Sergeant J.
S. McFaddin, thigh, flesh wound; privates John Gannon, neck and head, severe;
Geo. Williams, ulna left arm; Alex. McKelvy, fractured tibia near ankle, left
foot, two toes of right foot; Virgil Jackson, slight; Robert Taggart, slight.
Co. G – Privates John R. Wethey, leg; Jas. Flynn; D. B. Farrel, left
groin. Co. H – Privates Nelson Clemmence, abdomen, penetrating; Edward
Alipaw, contusion left side; Dagobert Zeiser, inj. maxillary, fracture. Co.
I – Corporal Leonard Ducharme; privates Edward Corron, side, penetrating,
mortal; John Niles, right forearm, flesh wound; John Tavis, thigh, flesh wound;
David Clancy, left hip, flesh wound; Michael O'Brien, left forearm, flesh wound.
Co. K – Sergeant Ezra Crannell, right shoulder, arm and left hand; Sergeant
Albert Tompkins, right shoulder, slight; Corporal E. T. Penny, left arm, fractured
radius; privates John Kenneley, left hand, two fingers; Louis Byron, left lung
and arm; Frank Gillispie, gluteus, flesh wound; Robert Martin, contusion right
shoulder; James Keller, gluteus, flesh wound; Jos. Powlett, right arm, flesh
wound; Louis Shaffer, shoulder and scapula; Ernest Burnman, contusion, left
forearm. Sergeant-Major Edgar Vanderzee, contusion inj. maxillary.
JULY __ , 1864
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH – The following is a list of
the recent casualties in this regiment:
Lieut. Van Alstyne, Co. F, leg; Sergeant
J. B. Foot, F, face; Alphonzo Horton, E, head; Henry Fritz, A, hand; George De
Bar, B, foot, (amputated); Peter Hodo,
D, left arm; John McTominy, B, both legs; R. C. Kerr, F, left arm.
JULY __ , 1864
FROM THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH REGIMENT. – Wm. H.
Merriam, in a dispatch to the Herald, under date of the 19th inst., says:
to say that Lieutenant R. B. Van Alstyne, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
regiment, New York Volunteers, was severely wounded in front of
Petersburg on the 13th inst., while going out on our lines in charge of a working
party, where Acting Brigadier-General N. B. Curtis' brigade were throwing up
additional works and performing other work against the enemy. Lieutenant Van
Alstyne has served his country well for three years, as a private soldier,
presenting an instance of enlistment in the ranks from cultivated life that
should find more imitators. He is at present in the Chesapeake hospital, and
will probably go to his home, in Rensselaer county, in a few days.
AUGUST __ , 1864
CASUALTIES IN THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH – We have
received the following official list of casualties in the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
regiment, in the battle of July 30th, in front of Petersburg, Va.:
Killed – Capt.
Augustus D. Vaughn, Co. F; Sergeant George Whitcomb, Co. D.
Wounded – Sergeant-Major Edgar Vanderzee, head, slightly; private James
B. Sheldon, Co. A, head, seriously; Sergeant Richard J. Horton, Co. H, head,
seriously; private Leon Supernaut, Co. I, leg, slightly.
Missing – Corporal Lewis Hopkins, Co. I.
Loss prior to July 30th, not yet
Killed – Corporal Daniel T. Caulfield, Co. B.
Wounded – Private Patrick Shehan, Co. C, right shoulder, seriously; private
Sorrell Paine, Co. D, head, seriously; private Henry Bourdage, Co. D, head,
slightly; private John Finch, Co. G, concussion of shell.
AUGUST __ , 1864
FROM THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH. – Mr. Wm. H. Merriam
writing from the headquarters of the Tenth army corps on the 6th to the Herald
The death of Capt. Augustus D. Vaughn, of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
volunteers, is announced among the casualties of the 30th July in front of
Petersburg. Capt. Vaughn was a resident of Whitehall, New York, at the outbreak
of the war, whence he brought a company to Troy in that State, to aid in the
perfecting of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New York volunteers. The chief
characteristics of the late Capt. Vaughn were coolness, decision, activity
and personal bravery. He met death with that fortitude which he had ever displayed
in life, receiving a wound from which he survived only a few hours.
Capt. Thomas B. Eaton, of this same regiment, has just received his second
shoulder bar, after long, arduous and honorable service. Capt. Eaton first
served as Lieutenant and Provost Marshal at Chain Bridge, near Washington,
in 1862, and subsequently as a staff officer in the military families of Gen.
R. S. Foster and the late Col. J. C. Drake. He is now Assistant Adjutant-General
upon the staff of Col. Bell, commanding the Third brigade, Second division,
of the Tenth army corps. Capt. Eaton is an industrious and efficient officer.
AUGUST __ , 1864
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH. – The casualties in this
regiment were given yesterday, and are reprinted on the fourth page to-day. An
private letter from Col. Alonzo Alden, written when he had been without sleep
for sixty-two hours, details some new facts. The Colonel, in command of quite
a force of troops, was placed in charge of the Dutch Gap ship-canal – his
own regiment doing picket duty, and the others digging, until a rebel attack
compelled them, too, to shoulder arms. The enemy opened with a two hundred
pound gun, and fired twelve rounds before it was silenced. One of the shots
disabled eleven men, among them Assistant Surgeon Mandeville and Hospital Steward
Blair, who were dressing the wounds of Lieut. Crippen, which were slight. As
the shell exploded, it killed the Lieutenant and wounded the medical men. About
the same time, Lieut. Swartwout, who had just been mustered in as First Lieutenant
and Acting Adjutant, had left Col. Alden's headquarters, on a barge, and was
walking along the river bank to join the regiment, when one of these monster
shots took off his arm. It has been amputated at the socket, and his recovery
is looked for. Col. Alden, in a letter to Lieut. Swartwout's parents, speaks
of him in the highest terms. Sergeant Shinners, also killed, was a very estimable
young man, formerly employed at Eaton, Gilbert & Co.'s. Hospital Steward
Blair is pronounced by Dr. Knowlson to be as good as an Assistant Surgeon.
A letter from Chaplain Chapman, to his mother, speaks encouragingly of his
condition. Col. Alden wants Lieut. Swartwout back, even with only one arm.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, FEBRUARY 3, 1865.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth.
Correspondence of the Troy Daily Times.
FORT FISHER, N.C., Jan. 26, 1865.
In the belief that news from the One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth will be sought after, I am anxious to communicate it through
It will be recollected that the regiment participated in the first expedition
to this point. We returned to our old camp near Richmond about Dec. 30th. After
remaining a few days, we were again ordered away, and after several days at
sea, arrived (Jan. 13) off our former point of debarkation. The One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth was the first regiment to land, and the writer was sent by
Col. Alden in charge of the first detachment. Co. G was first ashore and immediately
deployed as skirmishers, and in a few minutes were engaged in slight skirmish
firing with the enemy. Co. I, (Nail Factory Co.,) commanded by Capt. Jas. H.
Dunn, landed shortly after and advanced up the beach. They entered a redoubt
and captured a 32-ponder Columbiad and a quantity of ammunition. The gun was
spiked, but was soon put in working order by D. F. Winters, a member of the
band. It was turned on the enemy. A skirmishing party from Co. I captured eighty-four
head of cattle. The day was occupied landing troops and stores.
On the morning of the 15th, the command was ordered towards Fort Fisher. It
soon became evident that work was to be done. The men moved in fine spirits,
and never evinced better morale. The line of battle was formed but a short
distance from the fort, the navy keeping up a furious bombardment, and greatly
protecting the disposition of the troops.
Finally, the charge was ordered, and one of the fiercest assaults of the war
began. The First brigade led. The Second followed, and then our own (the Third).
The rear of the fort was reached through a storm of bullets and grape. The
contest was desperate. The fort was to be taken or we were all gone. There
was no such thing as getting away from it in case of failure. The men knew
it, and with almost unparalleled gallantry, stood up to the work. 10 P.M. found
the fort in our possession, the enemy doing their best to get away. The forces
engaged captured many prisoners – almost man for man. The enemy suffered
terribly. While the fight was progressing, our line in the rear, which was
defended by the colored troops and the Second brigade of the First division,
was attacked. Capt. E. R. Smith was in command of the picket line at that point,
and held his own until compelled to fall back under cover of the gunboats.
This demonstration effected nothing, as our troops were not to be driven back.
Capt. Smith reestablished his line at dusk.
The accounts and dispatches already published will furnish a better idea of
our victory than any I can give. It is impossible to describe the extent and
magnitude of this, the strongest earthwork, and one of the most powerful defenses
in the world. An unfortunate casualty marred our triumph. Our brigade had been
placed in charge of the fort after its capture. Early the next morning, a magazine
exploded directly in front of, and but a few rods from the brigade. The One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth was immediately opposite, and many valuable officers
and men were buried and lost. About one hundred of the regiment were mingled
in the ruins and covered by the debris. Col. Alden, who had been prominent
for his coolness and gallantry in the assault of the preceding day, was dangerously
if not fatally wounded. Capt. Daniel Ferguson and Lieuts. Cipperly and McGregor
were killed, and others wounded. The cause of the explosion is a matter of
doubt. Some say that a sailor carried a lighted candle into the magazine, while
others attribute the disaster to the rebels. A wire was afterwards found leading
from the magazine to the river, and supposed to run across to a rebel battery
immediately opposite. Appended is the report of the Lieutenant-Colonel upon
the operations of the regiment in the assault, together with a full list of
[The casualties have already been published in the Times.]
NEW YORK VOLS.,
FORT FISHER, N.C., Jan. 17, 1865.
Capt. G. W. Huckins, A.A.A.G.: The undersigned
has the honor to report that upon the opening of the engagement of the 15th inst.,
Colonel Alonzo Alden
was in command of the regiment, but on reaching the enemy's works assumed command
of the brigade, (Colonel Bell being wounded.) The undersigned then took command
of the regiment. It would seem almost invidious to make any special mention
of officers and men when all did their duty with unparalleled gallantry and
zeal. The undersigned can bear testimony that every officer led his men and
the men vied with each other to attain the front. Colonel Alonzo Alden was
distinguished for his accustomed coolness and bravery. Major J. H. Allen was
shot through the arm and leg, but persisted in remaining with the command.
Capts. Daniel Ferguson, Jas. H. Dunn, Chas. D. Merrill, J. H. Warren and E.
W. Church, were distinguished for their coolness and gallantry. Lieuts. J.
H. Straight, wounded; Michael Ryan, killed; Michael Russell, wounded; all in
command of companies, were the right men in the right place. After the death
of Lieut. Ryan, Lieut. J. B. Foot assumed command of his company and led it
gallantly. Lieut. E. Van Santvoord deserves mention. Lieut. E. R. Mosher was
hit by a spent ball on the 13th. He went into action on the 15th being obliged
to use a cane. He hopped into the fight, leading his men. Other officers distinguished
themselves, and indeed all deserve mention. The undersigned has mentioned such
as came particularly under his notice. Accompanying will be found a list of
enlisted men who distinguished themselves; also a full report of losses in
action. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. COLVIN, Lieut.-Colonel,
Commanding 169th New York Vols.
HEADQUARTERS 169TH NEW YORK VOLS.,
FORT FISHER, N.C., Jan. 17, 1865.
Capt. Geo. W. Huckins, A.A.A.G.: I have the
honor to report the following names of enlisted men as having distinguished themselves
for gallantry in the
assault on the 15th: Private John Finlay, Co. A., wounded; First Sergeant John
Fleming, Color bearer; Corporal Peter Osterhoudt, wounded; Corporal John McGolrick;
Private Chas. Madden, B.; Private Wm. H. Freeman, B., who volunteered to carry
the brigade flag after the bearer was wounded; Corporal Patrick Holley, D;
Sergeant L. R. Woodcock, wounded; Private Patrick Murphy, E, killed; Corporals
John McLoughlin, T. J. Congden, Privates John Jenyack, Patrick Curley, F; First
Sergeant Chas. H. Noyes, wounded, Corporal L. Odell, H., killed; First Sergeant
Patrick Aylmer, Sergeant Benj. G. Walker, Private James Lester, G.; First Sergeant
Geo. Campbell, Sergeants Jas. F. Smith, Robert Rainsbury, wounded, I; and specially
commended for bravery in the presence of the commanding officer – Corporal
Thomas Ryan, I.; First Sergeant Joseph White, K.; Sergeant Major T. H. Gardner.
The commanding officer desires especially to mention Frederick Close, of Co.
F., who was conspicuous for his gallantry and bravery in getting a field piece
into position and firing upon the enemy after we had got inside the works.
Many of the officers report that their men did so well that they could make
no special mention, and the commanding officer is constrained to base his report
chiefly upon circumstances within his own observation.
Very respectfully, JAMES
Lieut.-Colonel Commanding 169th N.Y.V.
LATE JANUARY OR EARLY FEBRUARY 1865
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH. – The
Albany Express publishes extracts from a letter written by Lieut.-Col. Colvin,
of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
regiment, to his father. He says:
The way I came to get hold of the rebel flag
was this: After we had taken possession of the casemates, I was engaged in taking
the surrender of some
rebel officers, and about two hundred men, many of them wounded. One of my
men called to me, "Colonel, there is a flag in here!" I made a dive
for it, and on examination it proved to be the big rebel flag of the fort – the
real stars and bars – and about sixteen feet long. I took it out of Col.
Lamb's quarters and carried it to the General. I turned it over to the Provost-Marshal
and took a receipt for it. I have not had a letter for several weeks. All our
mail goes to our old camp near Richmond, where most of our corps and a detachment
of all our regiments remain. We cannot get the New York papers.
–A friend has shown us an interesting letter from a sailor on the
gunboat "Quaker City." Its statements have been mainly given by other
writers. "Henry" says:
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth was in the fight,
and they fought very bravely; but I did not get a chance to see any of the boys,
for I had to help get the
wounded on board of the ship.
MONDAY AFTERNOON, JULY 24, 1865.
THE 169TH REGIMENT.
ITS ORGANIZATION AND HISTORY.
ITS BATTLES, SIEGES, MARCHES.
PERSONAL ITEMS AND OFFICERS' ROSTER.
[Prepared for the Troy Daily Times.]
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment
was raised in this city in the month of September, 1862, under the call for 600,000
men by President Lincoln. Seven
of the companies were from Rensselaer county and three from Washington. The
following was the original organization of the regiment:
Colonel – Clarence
Lieutenant-Colonel – John McConihe.
Major – Alonzo Alden.
Adjutant – Wm. E. Kisselburgh.
Quartermaster – S. N. Kinney.
Surgeon – John Knowlson.
Assistant Surgeons – Jos. F. Skinner, P. L. F. Reynolds.
Chaplain – Rev. Joel Eaton.
Co. A – Capt. J. A. Colvin, Nassau.
Co. B – Capt. Nat. Wood, Troy.
Co. C – Capt. Joseph H. Allen, Brunswick.
Co. D – Capt. W. Coleman, Washington Co.
Co. E – Capt. J. Croff, Washington Co.
Co. F – Capt. A. D. Vaughn, Washington Co.
Co. G – Capt. J. T. McCoun, Troy.
Co. H – Capt. W. H. Wickes, Sandlake.
Co. I – Capt. M. Murname, Troy.
Co. K – Capt. D. Ferguson, Lansingburgh and Troy.
MUSTER-IN AND OFF FOR
The regiment left the city of Troy on the 25th of September, and was
mustered in at New Dorp, Staten Island, Oct. 6, 1862. On the 9th of October,
to the national capitol, and reporting to Maj.-Gen. Silas Casey, the renowned
tactician, it was assigned to Abercrombie's division of the Twenty-second corps,
and, until February, 1863, constituted a part of the garrison of the fortifications
surrounding Washington, – Col. Buel being assigned to the command of
a brigade. In the latter month, it was sent to Washington, where it performed
provost duty until the following April, when it
TOOK THE FIELD
for the first time, being ordered to re-enforce the troops at Suffolk,
Va., during the investment of that place by Longstreet with an army of 30,000
The federal force was very small indeed; and the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
was the first to arrive of the re-enforcements that were sent to the relief
of the endangered garrison.
At Suffolk, it participated in its first action, Col. Buel being
the first man wounded in an attack upon the enemy's entrenchments on the Edenton
Private Brock, of Co. H, was the first man belonging to the regiment was killed.
Major Alden was slightly wounded in the thigh during the engagement. On the
3d of May, the regiment participated in the last of a series of skirmishes
at Suffolk – the enemy withdrawing on the night of that day after a considerable
fight at Providence Church.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth next took part in several raids to the
Blackwater River, and in a number of inconsiderable skirmishes, – thus
familiarizing it to a certain extent with battles, and educating it for the more
contests through which it was destined to pass. In June and July, it formed
part of an expedition under Gen. Dix, which was sent up the Peninsula to destroy
the South Anna Railroad bridge, and thus cut off Lee's retreat from Pennsylvania.
The expedition proved a total failure, and returned to Fort Monroe after a
series of slight skirmishes with the enemy.
SIEGE OF CHARLESTON.
In August, the regiment was sent to Folly Island, S.C., and
bore a prominent part in the siege of Forts Sumter, Wagner and Gregg, until the
fall of the
last two named, Sept. 6th. Here, owing to the insalubrity of the climate, the
impure quality of the water, and the hard work imposed upon the troops in the
trenches, the regiment lost heavily by sickness, though its actual losses in
battle fortunately were comparatively light.
COL. BUEL RESIGNS.
In January, 1864, Col. Buel, greatly to the regret of both
officers and men, to whom he had endeared himself by the highest military qualities,
and by his
studious interest in their welfare, resigned the Colonelcy, and Lieut.-Col.
McConihe was promoted to fill the vacancy, Major Alden being advanced to the
Lieutenant-Colonelcy, and Capt. Colvin to the Majority.
GILLMORE ISSUES AN ORDER.
At this time, Col. McConihe was home on recruiting service,
and Lieut.-Col. Alden administered the affairs of the regiment, and so thoroughly
did he discipline
and drill the command, that in the month of January, Maj.-Gen. Gillmore, commanding
the Department, issued a special order commending the officers and soldiers
of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth upon their general efficiency and military
deportment, calling the attention of other regiments to their superior equipment,
drill and discipline, as exhibited in the report of his Inspector-General.
In the same month, it took part in an expedition to John's Island, and engaged
in a slight skirmish with the enemy.
AMONG THE EVERGLADES.
In February, the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth was sent to
Florida, after the defeat of Gen. Seymour in the celebrated battle of Olustee.
closed the campaign; and the regiment remained at Jacksonville (taking part
in a little fight at Cedar Creek,) until April, when it came North with the "old
Tenth Army Corps" to engage in the grand campaign against Richmond,
then being planned by Gen. Grant, and which, under God, was destined to forever
end the rebellion.
FIGHTS "MIT" BUTLER.
The Tenth corps, under Gillmore, was assigned to
Butler's command, and, with the Eighteenth corps, constituted that redoubtable
warrior's force in his attack
against Petersburg and Richmond from the South side. The expeditionary column
left Gloucester Point, opposite Yorktown, May 5, and landed the following day
at Bermuda Hundred, on the South side of the James River. On the 10th of the
month, the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth engaged in the battle of Chester Station,
on the Manchester and Petersburgh Railroad, with a loss in killed and wounded
of fifty-six men. Drewry's Bluff and Foster's Plantation, (two fights at the
last place,) followed, to be succeeded by
COLD HARBOR, JUNE 1,
where the regiment suffered a loss of one hundred and two
men, among the number, Col. McConihe, killed, and Lieut.-Col. Alden wounded.
Col. McConihe's last
words were: "Close upon the colors, men." His loss was sincerely
regretted, not more so among his numerous friends at home, to whom he was affectionately
endeared by the possession of great social powers, than among the officers
and men of the regiment. He had reached, with the regiment, the line of entrenchments
held by the enemy, and had stepped upon the embankment, when he was shot and
instantly expired. The color-bearer had been wounded; Lieut.-Col. Alden seized
the standard and planted it – one of the very first – on the rebel
works, when he, too, fell, with a wound that happily was not mortal. The regiment
bore itself with the most conspicuous gallantry during the battle, and at once
asserted itself as one of the very best fighting organizations in the army.
AND MORE FIGHTING.
Alden was now made Colonel, Colvin Lieutenant-Colonel, and
Capt. Jos. Allen Major. Allen was one of the sufferers at Cold Harbor – ball in the forearm.
Grant now threw his whole army South of the James, and the One Hundred and
Sixty-ninth took a hand in an engagement at Petersburg Heights, on the 15th
and 16th of June. On the 30th of that month, in an attack upon the rebel line
in front of Petersburg, the regiment suffered severely. An assault was to be
made in front; a demonstration upon the flanks of the enemy was accordingly
ordered, to divert their attention from the main point of attack. The One Hundred
and Sixty-ninth took part in the feint. The officer commanding the brigade
that was to lead the attacking column failed to get his troops in position
at the hour named. The delay was fatal – the enemy discovered the plan
of attack, and came down in unexpected force upon the flankers.
right of them,
Rebels to left of them,
Stormed, raved and thundered."
They seemed to come up from the earth – each blade of grass appeared
to be converted into a rebel soldier. They poured a murderous fire into the
Union ranks – no troops could withstand it. The regiment fell back, but
with its face to the foe. There was no panic, no disorder, but a firm, unbroken
line of glistening bayonets was presented to the howling, yelling devils that
charged upon our boys. In five minutes seventy-four brave and noble soldiers
as ever stood in serried ranks had either gone to swell the number of our martyred
dead, or were lying torn and mangled victims of rebel shot and shell.
The regiment next took part in the celebrated mine explosion of July
30. Here Capt. A. D. Vaughn, of Co. F, a gallant and glorious fellow, was killed.
Brave as a lion, courteous and kind to all,
" None named him but to praise."
dying request was to be buried on the field of battle, and he sleeps in an
unknown, but not unwept or dishonored grave.
IN THE TRENCHES.
From June 23d to August 1st, the regiment was in the trenches
in front of Petersburg, subjected to the constant fire of the enemy. During
exclusive of the losses on the 30th of June and at the mine, it lost an aggregate
of sixty-eight men.
A WICKED SHELL.
At Dutch Gap, August 13th, it was again engaged. Here Lieut.
W. H. Swartwout, the Acting Adjutant, lost an arm – the same shell which paid its respects
to him, killing and wounding thirteen officers and men of the regiment. The
incident must not be passed over. Lieut. N. J. Crippen had been shot in the
thigh by a canister ball. Under a heavy fire, Assistant Surgeon Mandeville
extracted the ball, and presented it to Crippen with the remark: "Old
fellow you are mighty lucky." No sooner were the words spoken than the
fatal shell exploded, instantly killing Crippen, wounding Mandeville in four
places, tearing away Swartwout's arm, and scattering death and destruction
all around. Were all our implements of warfare as effective as this shell proved
to be, wars and rumors of wars even would be entirely unknown the world over.
A day's combat with such weapons would have annihilated both Grant's and Lee's
FROM PLACE TO PLACE.
August 28th, the regiment returned to the Petersburg trenches,
and remained just one month, until it was ordered on the North side of the
On the 29th of September, it took part in two engagements, – New Market
and Fort Gilmore, – suffering a loss of about forty in both affairs.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth now remained on the North side of the James
until Butler set out on his memorable expedition against Fort Fisher, when
it was selected as one of the assaulting regiments. The enterprise, it will
be remembered, resulted in lamentable failure. The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth
again returned to Winter quarters in front of Richmond, only to enjoy, for
a very brief season, respite from the arduous labors of the campaign.
On the 3d of January, under Maj.-Gen. Terry, it again set out on the
dangerous duty of compelling the surrender of Fort Fisher. After days of hardship
the sea, subjected to the storms which rock the bosom of mother ocean at that
season of the year, the regiment approached the hostile shores of the Cape
Fear River. It was the first to disembark from the army transports, and tread
the enemy's soil, – this time with an unfaltering faith that Fort Fisher
was to be ours. In the assault upon the fort, in which for seven hours our
heroic soldiers fought and struggled from bomb-proof to bomb-proof, Alden commanded
the brigade, and Colvin the regiment. We know of no fiercer or more desperate
fighting during the late war. Better pluck was never exhibited. That fight
is a good subject for a historical painting. No battle in the war begins to
approach it in dramatic power. The fleet firing her fifteen-inch "pellets," which
blaze in magnificent arches over the doomed fort, and fall in beautiful, fiery
circles in traverse after traverse, just ahead of the boys in blue, advancing
as they advance; the pyrotechnic glare of the musketry in the gloom of the
night; the hand-to-hand contests and the desperate struggles over the crests
of the bomb-proofs; the garrison driven out of the fort, and surrendering only
when they are pressed back by the waves of the sea upon the bayonets of the
victorious Unionists. Hell scenes mimicked on earth.
EXPLOSION OF THE MAGAZINE.
The magazine of the fort exploded next morning, and
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth "had
a hand in that." Upwards of seventy-five of the members were either blown
into shapeless atoms in the air, or found a living burial beneath the debris
of the fort, or were left shattered wrecks on the great ocean of humanity.
Alden was rescued from a mass of dead and dying, and for four weeks the vital
spark glimmered so faintly that once it was thought to have fled; but he lived
to read his obituary in our columns, and modestly wear the star his valor won
at Fort Fisher. Capt. Ferguson, – a modest worthy officer – and
Lieut. McGregor – promoted from the ranks for good conduct – both
lost their lives in the explosion. Lieuts. M. Ryan and S. L. Cipperly were
killed in the attack. The entire loss of the regiment in the fight and explosion
was about one hundred and thirty.
THANKS OF THE LEGISLATURE.
The New York troops engaged in this affair were complimented
for their bravery and good conduct, by a concurrent resolution of thanks, passed
by the Legislature,
and approved by Gov. Fenton. We append an extract:
Resolved, That the thanks
of the Legislature of the State of New York, and of the people of the State
are due and are hereby tendered to the officers
and soldiers of the Forty-seventh regiment, Col. Christopher McDonald; the
Forty-eighth regiment, Lieut.-Col. Wm. B. Coan; the One Hundred and Fifteenth
regiment, Lieut.-Col. N. Johnson; the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment,
Col. Alonzo Alden, commanding, for their consummate skill and undaunted bravery
in wresting from the enemies of our Government their last stronghold on the
IN NORTH CAROLINA.
The regiment now remained in North Carolina until its muster
out of the United States service. It was the first regiment to enter Wilmington,
(where it did
provost duty for a short time,) and it took part in the capture of Raleigh.
The march of our forces through the State to the capitol was attended with
more or less skirmishing, and the regiment was constantly in the presence of
Aggregate strength of the 169th at date of muster 915
Gained by recruits and transfer 953
Lost by casualties, disease, resignations and other causes 916
Original number of commissioned officers 39
New officers by promotion, appointment and assignment 44
Number of resignations 22
Number of dismissals 6
Number of killed in battle 8
Number died of disease 2
Number discharged 12 –50
About five hundred men return with the regiment – a large
number being absent sick and wounded, in hospital.
The regiment has been in twenty-eight battles and skirmishes, beginning
with Edenton road, and ending with Raleigh, N.C.
It is impossible, in a newspaper sketch, to do anything like full justice
to the officers and men of the regiment, individually. Of the returning officers,
only seven went out with the regiment bearing commissions: Alden, Major, now
Brevet Brigadier; Colvin, Captain, now Lieutenant-Colonel; Surgeon Knowlson;
J. H. Allen, Captain, now Major; F. W. Tarbell, First Lieutenant, now Captain;
B. N. Smith, Second Lieutenant, now Captain; E. R. Smith, Second Lieutenant,
I do not wish the remark qualified in the least – no braver man than
General Alden ever drew a sabre, or wore the single star. A superior disciplinarian,
a thorough tactician, cool and fearless in battle, he had no superior in the
army as the commander of a regiment or brigade. Going out in 1861 as a Second
Lieutenant in the Thirtieth regiment, he musters out of service a Brigadier-General
by brevet, in command of the Third brigade, Second division, Tenth army corps. – Lieut.-Col.
Colvin and Major Allen have each done exceedingly well – the latter having
been twice wounded. Dr. Knowlson followed the regiment through thick and thin,
and comes home beloved by all in the command. His record is a proud one, and
his friends may well congratulate him upon it. The Doctor was always on hand – whether
duty called to the front, or devotion to the sick exercised his wits to procure
from obstinate B.G.'s the necessary orders upon the commissary for a supply
of prophylactics – by the barrel. Tarbell bears a terrible remembrance
of the enemy's bullets on his person; and the two Smiths sustain the very best
reputation as officers and gentlemen. B. N. Smith was, on one occasion, the
recipient of a congratulatory order from Gen. Butler, for coolness and bravery
in battle. Speaking of the Smith family, reminds me that at one time the One
Hundred and Sixty-ninth was made happy by the presence of four Smiths as officers – two
of them named Clark Smith.
There are others in the regiment – privates as well as officers – and
some now out of it, of whom it would give me pleasure to speak; but where all
have performed their duty so faithfully and heroically, the task may be well
discharged when I say that what the regiment is they have made it, and its
honor and fame belong as much to them as to those whose superior position attract
the public eye in a more marked degree. Whatever of good report is attached
to the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, the enlisted men have sustained
their full part in its acquirement.
The following is a roster of all the officers of the regiment:
Name Date of Rank Remarks
Clarence Buel October 11, 1862 Resigned
John McConihe February 13, 1864 Killed
Alonzo Alden June 1, 1864
Name Date of Rank Remarks
John McConihe September 17, 1862 Promoted
Alonzo Alden February 13, 1864 Promoted
James A. Colvin June , 1864
Name Date of Rank Remarks
Alonzo Alden September 20, 1862 Promoted
James A. Colvin February 13, 1864 Promoted
Joseph H. Allen June , 1864
Name Date of Rank Remarks
W. E. Kisselburgh September 1, 1862 Resigned
Name Date of Rank Remarks
Sidney N. Kinney September 1, 1862 Resigned
Name Date of Rank Remarks
John Knowlson September 3, 1862
Name Date of Rank Remarks
Joseph [F.] Skinner September 18, 1862 Resigned
Clark Smith March 2, 1863
John S. Delevan August 18, 1863 Not mustered
Aust. Mandeville May 11, 1864
P. L. F. Reynolds September 22, 1862 Resigned
Homer G. Newton December 15, 1863 Declined
Peter M. Murphy January 14, 1864 Resigned
I. M. Schermerhorn April 11, 1864 Not mustered
John T. Parker December 8, 1864
Name Date of Rank Remarks
Joel W. Eaton October 11, 1862 Resigned
Edgar [T.] Chapman October 31, 1863
Name Date of Rank Remarks
J. A. Colvin – A August 21, 1862 Promoted
J. [F.] Thompson – A February 13, 1864 Dismissed
Clark Smith – A August 19, 1864
Nat. Wood – B September 13, 1862 Dismissed
Nat. Wood – B June 8, 1863 Re-appointed
B. N. Smith – B December 7, 1863
Jos. H. Allen – C September 16, 1862 Promoted
Thos. B. Eaton – C June 1, 1864 Resigned
C. D. Merrill – C November 2, 1864 Discharged
E. Van Santvoord – C March 21, 1865
W. B. Coleman – D September 17, 1862 Dismissed
S. W. Snyder – D March 30, 1863 Resigned
Chas. E. Morey – D July [19,] 1864 Resigned
J. H. Warren – D September 16, 1864
John F. Croff – E September 17, 186 Resigned
F. W. Tarbell – E February 21, 1863 Discharged
E. W. Church – E October 1, 1864
A. D. Vaughn – F October 11, 1862 Killed
E. R. Smith – F July 30, 1864
J. T. McCoun – G September 20, 1862 Discharged
E. R. Mosher – G March 29, 1865
W. H. Wickes – H September 20, 1862 Dismissed
W. H. Lyon – H February 12, 1864 Resigned
Henry Mulhall – H August 16, 1864
Michael Murname – I September 20, 1862 Resigned
J. B. Parmenter – I December 31, 1862 Resigned
Dan'l J. Cary – I November 29, 1863 Resigned
Jas. H. Dunn – I October 8, 1864
Dan'l Ferguson – K September 20, 1862 Killed
F. W. Tarbell – K January 16, 1865
Name Date of Rank Remarks
J. B. Parmenter – A August 21, 1862 Promoted
J. H. Hughes – A December 31, 1862 Died
A. R. Bell – A September 5, 1863 Discharged
C. D. Merrill – A May 24, 1864 Promoted
E. R. Mosher – A November 2, 1864 Promoted
John B. Foot – A March 29, 1865
D. P. Benson – B September 13, 1862 Resigned
B. N. Smith – B December 4, 1862 Promoted
Clark Smith – B December 7, 1863 Promoted
E. F. Vanderzee – B August 19, 1864
F. W. Tarbell – C September 16, 1862 Promoted
C. E. Morey – C February 21, 1863 Promoted
J. H. Warren – C July 19, 1864 Promoted
Michael Russell – C September 16, 1864
Rob't O'Conner – D September 17, 1862 Resigned
W. S. Birdsall – D December 26, 1862 Killed
Jas. H. Dunn – D May 16, 1864 Promoted
Michael Ryan – D October 8, 1864 [Killed]
Chas. H. Palmer – E September 17, 1862 Died
W. H. Merriam – E July 28, 1863 Resigned
N. J. Crippen – E May 27, 1864 Killed
E. W. Church – E August 13, 1864 Promoted
E. P. Jaques – E October 1, 1864
J. [F.] Thompson – F September 25, 1862 Promoted
T. [D.] Jellico – F February 13, 1864 Discharged
Jas. H. Straight – F June 24, 1864
Geo. H. Gager – G September 20, 1862 Resigned
T. B. Eaton – G January 21, 1863 Promoted
W. M. Swartout – G June 1, 1864 Discharged
Chas. [L.] Knox – G March 29, 1865
W. S. Hartshorn – [H] September 20, 1862 Dismissed
Wm. H. Lyon – H February 22, 1863 Promoted
Henry Mulhall – H February 12, 1864 Promoted
E. Van Santv'rd – H August 16, 1864 Promoted
A. Tompkins – H March 21, 1865
S. W. Snyder – I September 20, 1862 Promoted
Pat'k Connors – I March 30, 1863 Resigned
Chas. Dummary – I July 21, 1864
Dan'l J. Cary – K September 20, 1862 Promoted
E. R. Smith – K November 29, 1863 Promoted
R. B. Van Alstyne – K July 30, 1864 Discharged
R. J. Horton – K March 27, 1865
Name Date of Rank Remarks
B. N. Smith – A August 21, 1862 Promoted
W. S. Birdsall – A December 4, 1862 Promoted
Clark Smith – A December 26, 1862 Promoted
E. W. Church – A December 7, 1863 Promoted
E. P. Jaques – A August 13, 1864 Promoted
B. McGuire – A October 1, 1864
Mich'l Holmes – B September 13, 1862 Resigned
E. M. Connor – B January 2, 1863 Dismissed
Michael Ryan – B September 20, 1863 Promoted
S. [L.] Cipperly – B October 8, 1864 Killed
Chas. H. Noyes – B January 17, 1865 Not mustered
Geo. A. Willis – B March 30, 1865
Chas. E. Morey – C September 16, 1862 Promoted
James H. Dunn – C February 21, 1863 Promoted
E. R. Mosher – C May 16, 1864 Promoted
Mich'l Russell – C August 16, 1864 Promoted
C. [G.] Francisco – C September 16, 1864
J. H. Hughes – D September 17, 1862 Promoted
D. [E.] Scriven – D December 31, 1862 Resigned
Alex. Bell – D July 26, 1863 Promoted
Chas. Dummary – D September 5, 1863 Promoted
T. D. McGregor – D June 24, 1864 Killed
Jas. H. Straight – D July 21, 1864 Promoted
Geo. Campbell – D January 17, 1865
Henry Mulhall – E September 17, 1862 Promoted
J. H. Warren – E February 12, 1864 Promoted
A. Tompkins – E July 19, 1864 Promoted
T. H. Gardner – E March 21, 1865
T. D. Jellico – F September 23, 1862 Promoted
R. B. Van Alstyne – F February 13, 1864 Promoted
Rollin Jenkins – F July [30,] 1864
T. B. Eaton – G September 20, 1862 Promoted
C. D. Merrill – G January 21, 1863 Promoted
J. Faulkner – G May 24, 1864
William H. Lyon – H September 20, 1862 Promoted
J. B. Benjamin – H February 22, 1863 Discharged
W. M. Swartout – H November 9, 1863 Promoted
Thomas J. Tilley – H June 1, 1864
Pat'k Connors – I September 20, 1862 Promoted
N. J. Crippen – I March 30, 1863 Promoted
E. F. Vanderzee – I May 27, 1864 Promoted
Chas. L. Knox – I August 19, 1864 Promoted
Benj. Duryea – I March 29, 1865
E. R. Smith – K September 20, 1862 Promoted
E. Van Santv'rd – K November 29, 1863 Promoted
John B. Foot – K November 2, 1864 Promoted
James Hickey – K March 29, 1865 Discharged.
C. S. Phillips – K April 1, 1865
[Note: Items in brackets were corrected according to the official roster of
The "discharges" were the result of wounds or physical
disability contracted in the service.
JULY 25, 1865.
THE HOMEWARD MARCH.
Arrival and Departure of the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New-York
and Seventeenth Connecticut Regiments – Departure of the Fifth New-York Heavy Artillery
and One Hundred and Forty-third New-York Regiment for Hart's Island – Speech
of Gen. Hooker.
The homeward march of the gallant boys in blue will soon come
to an end. Very few regiments belonging to New-York or the Eastern States now
the field. In all probability, the 1st of August will see the glorious and
triumphant march toward home and a peaceful life, come to a close, and thus
will cease all semblance of a great war that has cost so large an expenditure
of life and treasure. Yesterday only two regiments arrived on their way to
be finally mustered out.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINTH NEW-YORK arrived early yesterday afternoon
from City Point via Baltimore and Philadelphia. The regiment marched up Broadway
to the New-York State Agency Rooms, over Centre Market, where a most substantial
dinner was provided by Col. COLYER. Among the various items in the bill of
fare, we noticed an abundant supply of peaches, pears, and water-melons, which
evidently gave the boys a pleasant surprise, as well as a delicious treat.
At 3 P.M. the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth took passage by the steamer John
Brooks for Troy. The regiment numbered 530 men, and was commanded by Brevet
Brig.-Gen. ALONZO ALDEN.
The One Hundred and Sixty-ninth New-York Volunteers was organized at Troy,
N. Y., in September, 1862, and was mustered into the service of the United
States at New Dorp, Staten Island, Oct. 6, 1862. It entered the field under
the command of Col. CLARENCE BUEL, and was stationed during the Winter of 1862-63,
near Chain Bridge, Va. In February, 1863, it was ordered to Washington, D.
C., and performed guard duty in that city with entire satisfaction to the authorities
until April 15, 1863, when it was ordered to Suffolk, Va., to assist in preventing
the threatened advance of LONGSTREET on Norfolk. At this place it "smelt
powder" for the first time on the Edenton Road, being all day under a
galling artillery fire, and by its firmness under very trying circumstances,
fully vindicated the confidence reposed in it. The siege of Suffolk being raised,
the regiment was ordered to take part in an operation on the Peninsula, under
Maj.-Gen. DIX, having for its object the destruction of the iron railroad bridge
over the South Anna River, over which, at that time, immense supplies were
being run by Gen. LEE from Penn-sylvania. The expedition was not an entire
success, owing to the strong guard at the bridge, which it would have been
simple madness to attack; and so, after destroying a few miles of track, the
regiment returned to Portsmouth. Remaining near Portsmouth till after the 1st
of August, the regiment was ordered to Folly Island, S. C., where it saw much "sharp
work" in the trenches, before Wagner and Gregg. After the fall of Wagner,
the expedition was ordered to Jacksonville, Fla. When Gen. GRANT was marshaling
his hosts upon the "sacred soil" for his grand movement upon Richmond,
the regiment came North with orders to report to Gen. BUTLER at Fortress Monroe,
and it took part in all the "affairs" which grew out of Gen. BUTLER'S
operations on the line of the Richmond and Petersburgh Railroad and against
Drewry's Bluff. It was present at the battle of Cold Harbor, and suffered severely.
Col. JOHN MCCONIHE, upon whom the command had devolved, in consequence of the
resignation of Col. BUEL, was killed in this fight, and many other valuable
officers badly wounded. The regiment afterward took an active part in the dash
upon the defences of Petersburgh, on the 18th of June, 1864, which was a complete
success, and secured for our forces a position in front of that city from which
the enemy were never able to dislodge us. It was engaged in all the operations
on the line in front of Petersburgh and Richmond, from June 18 till Dec. 7,
1864. Many and severe were the fights it fought, and heavy the loss it sustained,
until its ranks were so reduced that the entire number for duty at one time
was only eighty-seven men. On the 7th of December, 1864, the regiment started
upon the first Fort Fisher expedition, returning from which Dec. 31, 1864,
it started upon the second expedition Jan. 2, 1865, and was the first regiment
to land. In the fight it fought gallantly, and lost heavily. It suffered a
loss of eighty-one men by the explosion of the magazine in the fort the morning
after the capture. Col. ALDEN, who had succeeded Col. MCCONIHE in command,
was badly injured by the explosion. He was breveted for gallantry in this action.
After Fort Fisher the regiment was engaged in the operations against Fort Anderson
and Wilmington, and was first to enter the latter city. It marched with Gen.
SHERMAN after JOE JOHNSTON, and entered Raleigh, N. C., with the advance of
our troops, where it remained as a garrison till it was mustered out. The regiment,
since it entered the field, has been in twenty-eight different engagements.
In all its fights it never yet showed a disposition to flinch, and officers
and men have ever behaved in the most gallant and praiseworthy manner, earning
for themselves laurels which never fade.
The following is the record of the regiment:
1863 – Siege of Suffolk, April and May; South Anna Bridge, Va., July
4; Forts Gregg and Wagner, (before Charleston,) S. C., August and September.
1864 – Olustee, Fla., February; Hatcher's Farm, Va., May 10; Port Walthall
Junction, Va., May 14; Drewry's Bluff, Va., May 16; Cold Harbor, (where the
Colonel, JOHN MCCONIHE, was killed,) June 1-3; First advance upon Petersburgh,
June 17; Siege of Petersburgh; Dutch Gap Canal Enterprise; Deep Bottom, Aug.
28; Chapin's Farm, Sept. 29; Fort Gilmer, Sept. 30; Darbytown Road, Va., Oct.
27. 1865 – fort Fisher, N. C., Jan. 16-17; (at the taking of Fort Fisher
the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth was almost completely buried beneath the ruins
caused by the explosion of the magazine;) capture of Wilmington, Livingston
Creek, April 4-5; marched to join SHERMAN, under SCHOFIELD and TERRY.
Since the taking of Raleigh the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth has been doing
garrison duty at that place.
[Note: The original article continues with descriptions
of the 17th Connecticut and 3d N. Y. Infantry Regiments, and Gen. Hooker's
speech to the officers and
men of the 143d N. Y. Infantry. The newspaper clipping in the collection of
the New York State Military Museum was cut at this point.]
Back to 169th Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
December 12, 2007