176th Regiment Infantry
New York Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
REV. DR. VINTON DECLINES A COLONELCY.
The Colonelcy of the new regiment, which is to be raised under the auspices
of the Young Men's Christian Association, and called "The Ironsides," having
been tendered to Dr. Vinton of Trinity, the reverend gentleman declines the
military honor intended for him in the following letter:
TRINITY CHURCH, New-York, Wednesday, Aug. 27. Dr. Frank W. Ballard, Corresponding
Secretary New-York Young Men's Christian Association:
My Dear SIR: Your letter of Aug. 14, addressed to me at Newport, reached me
here yesterday. You announce to me the purpose of the members of the Young
Men's Christian Association to form themselves into a regiment of soldiers,
in response to the call of the President, to serve in the army 6f the United
States against the unhallowed rebellion of the slaveholding Confederates, and
to maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and preserve the National Unity.
You ask me to lead you as Colonel of the proposed regiment of "Ironsides."
The cause to which the young men whom you represent have devoted their lives
is a sacred cause. It is to defend the life of the nation and the home of the
free. Its foundation principle of unity is the first of principles, being the
characteristic of God. A war to maintain the unity of the nation is therefore
a holy war—not only proper for Christian young men to engage in, but
which angels might enlist in to prosecute.
I rejoice that your association have resolved to offer themselves to God and
the people in an "Ironside Regiment." While I regret that it will
not be practicable for me to join you, yet I can name a commander, now in the
United States Army, who would serve you with far more efficiency than I could
do. My sphere seems to be elected for me, among those who, like those of old, "remain
among the stuff," and send supplies to the heroes in the field. The Banner
of the Cross and the Flag of the Union we will hold erect together; though
your vocation is to silence the cannon's mouth, and mine to shut the mouths
Meanwhile, give the assurances to the young men of my high appreciation of
their confidence in my military, patriotic and Christian agreement with them,
as well as in my ability to lead them. God grant you success and victory over
the misguided rebels who would madly destroy their country and commit suicide
on their own prosperity and happiness. I remain, my dear Sir, your friend and
The Ironsides Regiment.
The Committees of the Young Men's Christian Association to whom was entrusted
the selection of officers to be submitted to Gov. Morgan for this new regiment
having performed that duty, the Governor has approved and commissioned the
following gentlemen. It should be stated that Mr. Gould and another person
named have kindly allowed the use of their names for organization purposes.
An experienced Colonel will be appointed in time to proceed with the regiment
to the seat of war:
Colonel, Charles Gould; Lieutenant-Colonel, A. J. H. Duganne; Major, Wm. H.
L. Barnes; Quartermaster, Frank W. Ballard; Adjutant, David Drake; Chaplain,
Rev. J. S. C. Abbott; Captains, Rev. M. C. Kempsey, George Perry, Christopher
Pullman, Albert T. Merchant, David T. Terry, and others.
Already a large number of our most active and respectable young men have expressed
their desire to join this regiment, and there can be no question as to the
prompt filling up of its ranks. Recruiting officers will be opened immediately,
and their locations will be duly announced.
The Ironsides Regiment.
Colonel Mark Hoyt, whose efficient and zealous labors in organizing this regiment
have been finally crowned with success, has resigned on account of his ill
health, and has received from his late associates a series of eulogistic resolutions,
of which the following is a copy:
At a meeting of the officers of the Ironsides regiment, held on the evening
of t h e 27th of December, 1862, at Camp Curtis Noyes, near Jamaica, Long Island,
the following resolutions were unanimously [sic] adopted:
Whereas, The successful organization of the 176th regiment N. Y. S. V., more
widely known as the "ironsides Regiment," is greatly due to the untiring
energy, unselfish devotion and lavish liberality of Colonel Mark Hoyt, of the
city of New York.
Whereas, By the prohibition of his physician, Colonel Hoyt is prevented from
accompanying the regiment to its proposed field of active service, and has
bean compelled to resign the command on the eve of our departure;
Resolved, That in taking leave of Colonel Hoyt we, the field, staff and line
officers of the Ironsides regiment desire to place on record our high appreciation
of the services rendered the regiment by our retiring commanding officer during
the toilsome and perplexing period that has elapsed since he assumed command.
He commenced his labors early in October, when the enterprise was at the most
discouraging and depressing point in its history, and with but two hundred
men in camp. He has devoted his time, his talents, his remarkable executive
ability and the resources of his personal wealth and credit to the advancement
of the regiment's interests. As the result of his exertions the organization
of the regiment has been perfected.
Resolved, That in deciding the delicate questions arising out of the final
organization, Colonel Hoyt has acted with equal discrimination and justice,
and has apportioned the offices to the satisfaction, so far as we can learn,
of all parties concerned.
Resolved, That we learn of Colonel Hoyt's resignation with sincerest regret,
and desire to assure him that in parting from him we recognise [sic] our obligations
to him for his valuable assistance and care, persuaded that in our future career
as soldiers, as patriots and as citizens, he will find no cause to regret his
connection with us in the trying period of our organization.
Interesting from the Lower Mississippi.
Correspondence of The Saratogian,
TERRE BONNE PARISH, La., April 30.
Messrs. Potter & Judson:—Thinking that a few words from the Department
of the Gulf might be of interest to you and your numerous readers, I venture
to invade your sanctum with the following letter.
The past two weeks has given historical fame to this Department, and the Nineteenth
Army Corps. Events of the utmost importance in the present crisis have marked
We felt that the opinion was gaining ground at the North, among those who measure
the progress of the Union cause by the scenes of carnage which occur, that
the Army of this Department was doing no more than garrison duty in the state
of Louisiana. True, it has not sent forth the sad story of bloody battles,
and the sacrifice of its hecatombs of brave men, to excite the popular mind.
Nevertheless its work has been quietly going on. Silent preparations, and the
constant labor of months, purposely kept hidden from the public gaze, are now
resulting in the greatest triumphs which have crowned our military power, and
struck terror to the trembling abettors of treason. Of all the hard fought
battles in Virginia, and in the Northwest, where the veteran troops have met
in fiercest conflict, few have resulted in a more substantial victory than
that which has just occurred in this Department.
Let your readers look for a moment at the plan by which it was brought about,
and its full bearing upon the present state of affairs in the Southwest.
About a month since the first act in the grand drama was successfully enacted.
A large force was concentrated at Baton Rouge. The army trains, ammunition,
and immense quantities of Quartermaster's stores, were transported to that
city. Maj. Gen. Banks went up and assumed command. The whole force was marched
up almost within sight of the batteries of Port Hudson. The country looked
anxiously to see that stronghold fall. But one night the brave Admiral of the
river fleet, ran two of his gunboats in safety past the frowning batteries
planted there. What was the result? Pushing on, he established communication
with Porter's fleet above Vicksburg. He blockaded the Red river, which has
been the great avenue of rebel supplies. The presence of his gunboats kept
the Queen of the West, and all the rest of the rebel navy from the waters between
Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and he has also stationed the Richmond, so he can
signalize to the fleet below the latter point. Thus, any communication can
now be sent up from Baton Rouge to Grant or Porter, above Vicksburg, in spite
of the two "Gibraltars" which command the river.
The natural advantages of the two positions and their extensive fortifications
amount to very little, while their immense garrisons are menaced by as strong
a power as can be brought to reduce them—namely starvation. Thus was
the object successfully accomhlished [sic] in the late movement towards Port
Hudson. By stationing a fleet to blockade the mouth of the Red river, another
highway for the transportation of valuable supplies, was cut off. Seven miles
west of New Iberia, near Vermillion Bay, is a large salt mine. Immense quantities
of the precious article had been constantly on the way to the Rebel army by
means of bayous leading into the Red river. Foundries were in operation which
sent out great quantities of ordnance stores. A saw mill was manufacturing
lumber for Rebel use. Large quantities of sugar, molasses, sawn lumber, beef,
cattle, horses, mules, cotton, corn, and bricks, were in the hands of the enemy.
They had fortifications armed and garrisoned. Lastly, they had a navy which
included the Queen of the West, cruising around the bayous south of the Red
The past week has seen all these fall into our hands, the enemy in rapid flight
before our advancing hosts, and the rich surrounding country quietly occupied.
The money value of the captured property is immense; the important territory
occupied by us is a terrible blow to the enemy. I would not boast too loudly
of this great success, but how many victories in this war have produced such
substantial results? How many victories have hurt the enemy where they will
feel it so severely as they do this? Few, if any. This, and the passage of
the gunboats by Port Hudson, both parts of the same plan, viz: that of cutting
off the enemy's trans-Mississippi supplies, and of opening communications between
Gen. Banks and Gen. Grant, and Admirals Farragut and Porter, appear to me to
constitute an achievement of immense importance.
Our forces in the Department of the Gulf are as well organized and in good
discipline and spirit as any command in the country.—The success attending
our arms is due to the great labor, and the constant preparations, of the last
three months. With less to begin upon than any other corps in the service,
and obliged to have everything transported from a great distance, the 19th
Army Corps will bare comparison with the best of them. It conquered at Bethel
Place, it conquered at Irish Bend, and by the keen edge of the sword it will
conquer every foe that opposes its march to the restoration of the Union. All
honor to the brave men in it who have won for it an enviable place in the glorious
army for freedom. Its victories have fairly commenced, and I have faith they
will not cease until the last Rebel in the Department of the Gulf shall lay
down his arms and pledge allegiance to our cause. Since the arrival of our
regiment, the 170th N. Y., we have lost but six privates, and one officer;
we have but few in hospital; and though the weather is intensely warm, still
the men are in good spirits. We are stationed as guard over the railroad from
New Orleans and Berwicks Bay, since the advance of Gen. Banks to Irish Bend,
and beyond, train after train has passed to the city loaded with prisoners.
This morning over one hundred bales of cotton, the fruits of our victory at
Franklin, passed here en route for Boston.
I had the pleasure of being with the Staff of Gen. Weitzel, in the series of
battles fought in and about the Teche county. Hoping I have not been wearisome
to you and your readers I am, gentlemen, Yours, &c,
Lieut. J. P. ROBENS.
CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE SOUTHWEST.
A Letter from one of the 176th Regiment.
PARISH OF TERRA BONNE,
HOUMA, LA., May 6th, 1863.
To the Editor of the Times:
Knowing the great interest you take in the affairs of our Nation, and supposing
that it would be interesting to you to receive & few lines from the Pelican
State, I will give you a brief history of my experience since I left home.
You will remember that I was left behind lame when the Ironside Regiment sailed
for New Orleans. As soon as I was able I came on in the ship West Point, and
when I reached New Orleans I was sent by mistake to Baton Rouge, where my regiment
was at the time supposed to be. I arrived there soon enough to be a distant
spectator of the night bombardment of Port Hudson, and to witness the destruction
of the frigate Mississippi. While on the way up the River, and at the city
of Baton Rouge and vicinity, I had a good chance to become acquainted with
the real condition of national affairs in this State. The whole country has
resting upon it the gloom of political death, for the few white people that
still remain here are mostly the aged, the widows, children, and the infirm.
Scarcely a healthy white man seen, and the few pretended loyal people remaining
have a dishonest hang-dog look, that stamps them as villains [sic], hypocrites,
and traitors, as soon as you see them. The only real friends the soldier finds
here are the poor contrabands, who, deserted by their masters, to starve in
the hour of danger, are in the fullness of their grateful hearts ever ready
to help us. I thought, with a great many other's, that the Emancipation Proclamation
would only increase the troubles of the country and be of no material benefit.
But I am glad to find that the Copperheaded idea is erroneous in every particular.
The colored men of this State enlist very willingly. There are now five regiments.
They learn fast, take a great interest in doing their duty, and do not manifest
as brutal and as savage a disposition toward their former masters as our peace
Democrats and Copperhead traitors have predicted. I find the colored men a
far more intelligent race than I supposed. Brought up as they have been, they
would in most cases, if left to themselves, have before now devastated this
entire section of country, and would have spread terror on every side. But
either led by the hand of God, or possessed of a full knowledge of the position
of affairs, they seem to assimilate themselves with the new order of things.
They grasp eagerly after knowledge. The primmer is seen in the hand of the
colored soldier and he learns his A, B, C's at the same time that he does his
military evolutions. Here there is a great field for men who have true American
hearts to benefit themselves, their country, and at the same time elevate a
long down-trodden and oppressed race. I never before felt how really this is
a war of freedom. But it surely is not only to the Blacks, but also to the
Whites, for the spirit that influences the slaveholder has no feeling in common
with his fellow man. It has been truly said of it that it is the sum of human
villany [sic]. I could fill a quire of paper, had I the time, with cases of
outrage of the most terrible character, and each of which could be verified
in this parish of Terre Bonne. But it is useless to add to already existing
proof. Let the political grave in which this beautiful country will soon be
buried cover its crimes; a glorious resurrection awaits it.
After I left Baton Rouge, I came out to this parish, where I found our regiment
on the New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad, under General Weitzel. We were soon
ordered to Berwick's Bay, opposite Brasher City. Our forces were found to be
too weak to hold the position, as the rebels observing General Banks advancing
on Port Hudson, prepared to attack Berwick and retake the railroad. Weitzel
fell back with two companies of the Ironsides and covered the retreat for 48
hours. One of our reconnoitering parties, returned with the gunboat Diana,
and was captured. General Banks immediately moved his whole force from Baton
Rouge, passed rapidly to Berwick Bay, crossed over towards Bayou Teche, and
in a series of engagements during the past three weeks has defeated and driven
the Rebels 150 miles, recaptured the Diana, Queen of the West, and destroyed
the Rebel fleet on the Atchafalaya. He also captured 2,000 Rebels, and thousands
of horses, mules, cattle, cotton bales, sugar, etc., and destroyed important
salt works. To-day we hear the retreating Rebels have made a stand at Washington,
La., where they are being reinforced from Texas. If so, reinforcements must
be sent to Banks, for we have to hold all the important places taken, which
spreads our forces over a great extent of country. A desperate conflict, I
think, will take place soon, somewhere on the route to Texas, as the Rebels
will suffer more from the loss of supplies from that direction than they would
from the loss of Richmond or Charleston at the present time. But after another
grain harvest in the States east of the Mississippi, Texas would be of less
value to them, as they could get supplies from there. At present those States
have nothing to spare.
Our regiment now does the Provost duty over a large extent of country, holding
confiscated plantations, guarding the Blacks at work on them, scouting the
country to prevent the operations of guerrillas, enforcing the laws of the
United States, etc. The mail closes. I will write more fully and take time
to inform you of passing events. Yours, respectfully,
The Ironsides Regiment.
As a portion of this regiment is composed of men from this vicinity (who enlisted
under Colonel Wood and were subsequently consolidated with the Ironsides),
the following letter, which we find in the Goshen Democrat, will prove of
NEW ORLEANS, LA., JUNE, 26, 1863.
FRIEND T____ :
Having fulfilled the promise of writing to all my near friends, I will occupy
a few spare moments I have in writing you a short letter.
Well, the Ironsides Regiment is laid on the shelf for the present, as far as
active duty is concerned. There remains but about one hundred and forty members
for duty, the remainder being taken prisoners with our Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel.
The regiment has been at Brashear City for the past month, skirmishing daily
with the enemy across the bay and up the Teche country.
Last Saturday morning we received a dispatch from Thibodeaux, that a large
cavalry force had got in the rear of us and marching on that place, hereupon
a detachment of the One Hundred and Seventy-sixth was ordered to take the cars
to Lafourche Crossing, distant from Thibodeaux four miles, and from Brashear
City twenty-five. We arrived at Lafourche in due time and found everything
quiet, remained until night when we were ordered to return. Just then in came
a courier, stating that fifteen hundred mounted Rebels were within two miles
of Thibodeaux. We accordingly began preparing for them. Their advance guard
rode in town, capturing some twelve of our company, who were on foot, and one
company of the Twelfth Maine.
Our Captain, who was mounted, escaped with some others, and came into camp
closely pursued by the Rebels. They rode to within thirty rods of our lines,
when we sent a shell from a 12-pound howitzer among them, dismounting about
half a dozen of them, when they retreated back toward Thiboudeaux. Nothing
more was heard from them except picket firing until the next night, when they
advanced under a drenching rain, driving our pickets before them. We were formed
in a line of battle, our left resting on the bank of the bayou, our regiment
in the centre, a 12-pounder on each flank, supported by a company each, of
the Twenty-Third Connecticut, and a rifled piece in the centre.
They opened first with canister from a piece they had concealed behind a distant
sugar house, but we silenced it after firing three rounds. They then charged
with a yell through the thich [sic] weeds, in front, firing at the same time.
Our boys did not fire until their line was within thirty feet of ours when
we opened on them with a murderous fire and it cheeked them immediately. They
rallied and charged again on the left flank, getting one of our guns in their
possession, but only for a moment.—One Rebel Lieutenant layed [sic] his
pistol across it and demanded the surrender of the piece, when he was picked
up instantly on at least six bayonets. Three others met the same fate, and
seeing they could not break our lines they fell back in the darkness, evidently
not well satisfied with their evening's entertainment.
The groans of their wounded were terrible. They lost eighty killed and one
hundred wounded. Nearly all fell within fifty feet of our lines. We lost ten
killed and twenty wounded. We took about thirty prisoners. It was the Second
Texas that charged on us; they were three hundred and fifty strong, while we
had but two hundred and twenty-five engaged in the fight. They fought desperately
and bravely, but they could not break our lines, our boys never give way one
foot, but stood and fought like veterans. We had only one hundred and ten of
our regiment engaged. They say it is the first time they were ever whipped,
and indeed they were as fine looking men as I ever saw. They were with Price
in Missouri and Arkansas, and at the taking of the Harriet Lane.
The next day we went in force to Thibodeaux, but they had retreated and left
their Lieutenant-Colonel there badly wounded; the Colonel was wounded in the
arm and leg, but escaped with them. We killed two Captains and four Lieutenants
outright. Our company had seventeen men in the fight, including the Second
Lieutenant, and we had six wounded. I myself had a very narrow escape. I was
capping my gun, with my head slightly bent, when a bullet grazed my temple
and cheek, leaving a mark as it went and striking the button on my shoulder
and cut the cloth strap nearly off. It turned my head around for a few moments.
Old John Finley has sustained his reputation as a marksman. Being out on picket,
three Rebels rode by at some distance off, when he fired, bringing one of them
to the ground. Our Adjutant, T. Henry Edsall, is a very brave and skillful
soldier. He was in the thickest of the fight with a rifle in his hand, but
he over-exerted himself and was carried to the rear before the firing ceased.
The day after the battle, a negro came riding in, stating that seven thousand
Rebels were advancing on us, which we soon found out to be true.
Not having one third of their force we began retreating, burning bridges behind
us as we went. We arrived opposite New Orleans the next night, and there learned
that our Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel and the remainder of the regiment had
been captured, with all our knapsacks, but heard no particulars of the battle.
We have not had a blanket to lay on for the past week, and it has rained near
all the time. We are staying at present on a race course, about four miles
above New Orleans. The Rebels now occupy the country between Oppelousas and
New Orleans. Magruder is in the state with about 15,000 men, but Banks will
take care of him, if things go right at Port Hudson, and no doubt they will,
as the news from there yesterday was very favorable. If we ever do get back
in the Lafourche country again, we will lay waste everything. The very planters
whose property we protected, and even supplied them with guards, fired on us
on our retreat.
Mr. Alexander Ross, formerly of Goshen, was doing a fine mercantile business
at Thibodeaux. He was absent at the city at the time, and being the only Union
merchant in the place, his store was pointed out instantly to the Rebels, who
entirely emptied it of its contents. But I must close. Give my respects to
all the friends and answer soon.
Yours, HARRY GORDON,
Acting orderly, Co. D., 176th Regiment, N. Y. V.
P. S.—I send you a list of our wounded of company D, which I wish you
would have the Democrat publish for the benefit of their friends.
Corporal A. Nelson Smith, of Chester, mortally, in the groin, now in the hands
of the Rebels.
Privates.—J. E. Redner, Chester, through the wrist; William H. H. Hall,
Chester, legs off, prisoner; George Slauson, Monroe, leg, prisoner; Edwin Sanders,
New York, hip, prisoner; Richard Shortall, New York, in shoulder.
Sergt. S. K. Wood, Newburgh, accidentally, jaw.
Capture of Brashear City--Thirty-six Syracusans Taken Prisoners.
Correspondence of the Syracuse Journal.
Headquarters 176th Reg't, N. Y. V.,
New Orleans, June 30th, 1863.
As you are of course aware, our regiment was encamped at Brashear City, La.
Saturday morning, June 20th, we were called to resist an anticipated rebel
attack in the railroad bridge at that point. Your humble servant was in command
of the Company, in consequence of Capt. Thompson's being lame from rheumatism.
The Captain was consequently left in camp, with thirty-four men of our Company
and about the same proportion from other companies. Seven companies of our
regiment went to Lafourche. On Saturday night our picket were driven in, and
in turn we drove theirs back.—
Throughout Sunday brisk skirmishing went on. At 4 o'clock a heavy rain set
in. Still we were in line, our skirmishers out, and squads digging trenches.
At 7 1/2 o'clock our pickets were again driven in by a superior force. In fifteen
minutes the Texan devils came on with a hideous yell. It was now dark and rainy.
We took two volleys from them before replying. Not a man flinched. They had
gotten within four rods of our front, when we let go our "dogs of war." They
immediately broke and ran, every man taking care of himself. But they immediately
rallied and came up again. The battle lasted thirty-five minutes, when they
again skedaddled, and retreated to Thibadeaux, four and one half miles distant,
after receiving as pretty a thrashing as the rebs ever got.
The next morning we advanced on Thibadeaux, but they gave us the slip during
the night. We were attacked by the First and Second Texas regiments, twelve
pieces of artillery supported by 250 mounted cavalry. To resist them we had
only 246 infantry, 75 mounted cavalry, and 7 pieces of artillery.—We
loaded ninety-three of their dead on carts, and their wounded and prisoners
counted 175. Their prisoners and wounded informed us that they had been in
the service nineteen months, fought eight battles, and this is the first threshing
they have received. They say they thought they were fighting regulars, and
concluded they had no business with us.
On Tuesday, the 22d, they were reinforced, and cut off our communication with
Brashear. They attacked Brashear at four o'clock in the morning in front, and
at six o'clock a strong force came in at the rear and took possession of the
city. It was here Capt. Thompson fell into their hands, with four of our sergeants,
two corporals, and twenty-eight men. The majority of these were sick.
The privates will probably be immediately paroled, but the officers will not.
They will have to wait patiently until they are exchanged.
Companies A, F and I, were taken en masse; consequently we have the remains
of seven companies here, where we are trying to rest a few days. We all lost
everything we had, including even knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens. We are,
in fact, in a deplorable condition; but by all means ready for another fight.
GALEY O. WEED.
DAIRY OF A NEW YORK SOLDIER.
EXPERIENCES IN CAPTIVITY.
The Ironsides Regiment After its Capture by the Rebels at Brashear City.
The following interesting diary of a member of the "Ironsides" regiment
(One Hundred and Seventy-sixth New York) has been handed us for publication.
It was written by the son of a well-known gentleman of this city, and describes
the scenes which followed the capture of Brashear City, La., by the rebels,
after the movement of General Banks upon Port Hudson. The writer's experience
as a prisoner enabled him to see and hear many curious things which have not
before found their way into print:
BRASHEAR CITY, La., July 7, 1863.
Dear Mother: I managed to send off a long letter to M___ about a week ago,
relating the sad news of the capture of this place, and the complete disorganization
of our regiment, in consequence of the loss of its officers and the cutting
up and capture of our men. I also stated that I had remained behind to help
care for our wounded, instead of proceeding with the rest of our paroled men
to our own lines.
I have now been two weeks here in the hospital, and matters have changed but
little. The gunboats have not yet arrived to recapture the place, nor has the
flag of truce boat come to bear us all to New Orleans. We can hear but little
of what is occurring between us and the city, but there are indistinct murmurs
to the effect that the rebel advance has received a severe check at Donaldsonville
(about fifty miles from New Orleans), and has halted there awaiting reinforcements.
The stake the rebels are playing for is the capture of the Crescent City itself,
and to effect this they are rapidly massing all their forces upon the one point.
The Texan brigades were poured rapidly across the frontier and thrown against
our feeble defences along this railroad, with what effect I have already told
you. We delayed their advance one week, however, according to their own account,
by the bold front put on by our almost empty camps, and by fortifying Bayou
Boeuf and other places along the road. A fragment of the One Hundred and Seventy-sixth,
assisted by a part of the Twenty-third Connecticut, held them at bay four or
five days more at Lafourche, a little further down the road, with considerable
loss of life on both sides. So that we did our share towards resisting the
invasion of the Vandals, and if New Orleans is not prepared it is not our fault.
A column of eight thousand men, from the rebel army in Arkansas, is daily expected
to cross at this place and support the Texans, while General Kirby Smith is
said to be advancing down the east bank of the Mississippi with the troops
from Mississippi and Alabama. According to their own accounts they have risked
all on this last attempt, and are bound to regain possession of the Department
of the Gulf or perish in the struggle. I think they are in earnest, and I do
hope Banks and his advisors are aware of and are equal to the exigency of the
Our wounded have not been badly treated by our captors; they give them what
they have, but that is often very little. The weather has been very hot for
the last few days, and the poor fellows have suffered much and we have lost
To-day little Newlan died; he was a German boy, not more than seventeen years
old, but a good soldier and a brave fellow.
He with three others and a lieutenant stood by one of our two cannons till
the last moment.
Three of the five were struck down, and his comrades, scattered by the fire,
fled to the depot and called upon him to follow, but he would not leave his
lieutenant. In another moment they fell together; Lieutenant S___ with a bullet
through his foot, and poor little Newlan with his arm fractured, a ball through
his body and a charge of buckshot in the head.
He stood his wounds bravely, but this hot weather proved too much for him,
and he died in great pain, babbling about his home in the "vaterland."
There are many other pitiful cases in our hospital, and it makes one's heart
sick to witness so much misery. But I suppose it is good discipline for a man.
FOURTH OF JULY IN CAPTIVITY.
We did not, as you may suppose, pass a very joyous Fourth. I never expected
to celebrate it in captivity, where, among greater troubles, champagne and
fire crackers are an impossibility. Yesterday our colonel, lieutenant colonel
and two lieutenants, who have been here on the sick list, were carried off
up to Franklin, a town farther inland, where there is less danger of recapture.
Colonel Nott was as dignified, graceful and self-possessed as ever, and appeared
confident that this reverse was but temporary, and that our arms would soon
recover their ascendancy.
APPEARANCE OF BRASHEAR CITY.
Brashear looks dreary enough at present: our long line of deserted and pillaged
encampments, the closed and empty houses, the vacant railroad depot, once
so busy, the cars standing idly on the track, the cessation of all business,
the desolation and disorder everywhere apparent, contrast most painfully
with the animation, busy life and neatness of the scene a fortnight ago.
The view from my window of those fatal woods, of the disaster bringing orange
groves and of the ruins of our once beautiful camp, is hateful to me, and it
will be an immense relief to get rid of it.
THE RECAPTURED NEGROES.
One of the most melancholy features of the recapture I have omitted to notice:
the hundreds of poor negroes who, taken with our troops, are doomed to a
harsher fate, to a worse captivity than they ever before experienced. Oh!
it is bitter to see them look half-reproachfully, half-imploringly to us,
as they are driven off like sheep to the slaughter, as if to say: "How
could you betray us, promising us liberty and safety, and now abandoning
us to slavery and misery worse than death?” It makes my blood boil
to see (as I saw yesterday) three cowardly ruffians driving before them a
poor tottering old woman, and not to be able to strike a blow in her defence;
to see my own faithful and intelligent servitor, lame and unfit for work,
led off separated from his wife, to hard labor, and to be obliged to disregard
his appealing glance for help; to see able bodied men on horseback driving
before them at the point of the bayonet old and young, sick and well, all
weary and starving so that they can hardly stand.
God must give us strength and victory to rescue these poor creatures, and I
believe yet, in spite of the dark clouds about us, that he will do it.
During the attack many of the negroes escaped to the swamps, and some of the
men probably succeeded in getting through to our lines. Many, however, as I
was told by eye-witnesses, were shot down like dogs by the rebel pickets; and
others, old women and mothers with babes in their arms, unable longer to stand
the pangs of hunger and want of rest, have come in day after day, covered with
mud, emaciated and in rags, and surrendered themselves to the Texans. If you
had seen these swamps and could picture to yourself the horrors of exposure
to the darkness, mire, alligators, snakes, flies and mosquitoes, the wandering
without food and without hope, you would form some idea of the fear with which
these poor creatures regard their former masters, which induces them to dare
all dangers rather than be again enslaved.
LIFE IN PRISON.
JULY 11—I am still a prisoner and a hospital nurse, and shall hail with
relief being freed from both positions, which I hope soon to be. My duties
as nurse are not as arduous now as they were at first, as those of my comrades
most severely wounded have died, while the others are rapidly approaching recovery,
and can almost take care of themselves. I am too seldom reminded that I am
a prisoner, and as the hospital is not wholly destitute of books I am able
to while away the leisure hours. Besides several novels and English reviews,
I have found a "Life of Jefferson," which is, under the circumstances,
a treasure. I also have had opportunities of talking with the rebel doctors,
officers and privates, and find it interesting to hear their side of the question,
white at the same time I am by no means backward in stating and defending ours.
One of the rebel captains appeared to take quite a fancy to me, and wanted
me to go home with him to Texas, where he said he would direct my energies
and my spunk into better courses than the defence of abolitionism. He thought
I must have been raised in a perfect hotbed of radicalism, which is a compliment
to you and father.
I find these southern champions are more doughty in the use of the sword than
of the tongue, and their logic is easy to controvert. Unfortunately, this very
want of logic renders them unable to see when they are discomutted, and by
dint of frequent reiterations in a loud tone of voice, interrupting their opponent
whenever he is about to say anything provoking, and breaking off the contest
with the sound of their own voice still ringing in their ears, they often leave
off with the impression that they have been very successful.
This mode of arguing does not arise so much from want of courtesy as from ungovernable
impetuosity of temperament.
THE REBEL SOLDIERS.
M___ may have mentioned to you, one of the reasons given her for secession
is "the President's Emancipation Proclamation." Ridiculous as it
may seem, I have heard that and similar reasons assigned by many men who
ought to know better. Many of the privates have very confused ideas of what
they are fighting for, and, in fact, being illiterate in the first degree,
they have few opportunities of information, and have to believe what their
officers tell them about the North and the war. One Texas captain to whom
I offered some books told me there was not a man in his company could read.
Testiments [sic] are almost unknown amongst them, and I have heard of but
one regiment that had a chaplain. (Better even to have no chaplain than have
one like ours.) Both officers and men, of course, talk very confidently about
their prospects in the war before us, but now and then, when caught off their
guard, they don't speak so boldly, admit that it is impossible for them to
fill up their ranks further, that they are short of clothing, food, and accoutrements,
and that there is more or less discontent among their men. Many of the privates
say openly they would give much if some accommodation could be made, in order
to bring the war to an end, and give them a chance to see their homes again.
We can only hear rumors of what is going on between Banks and Taylor, at
Vicksburg, on the Cumberland, and in Virginia, and the want of reliable news
from the army and the impossibility of communicating with home are the principal
causes of the irksomeness of our present position.
DEATH OF A NEW HAVEN BOY.
Yesterday a little fellow died whom I had had under my especial care, and whose
loss is much felt by all of us. He was hardly eighteen, and had one off the
purest, most beautiful faces I ever saw on a boy. He came from New Haven,
and spoke much of his happy home and good mother. Although he was severely
wounded, he was always patient, and even cheerful. I think I hardly ever
saw a boy who had gone through the temptations of camp life so unstained
as he seemed to have done. He must have been well brought up, and I am afraid
his mother will feel his loss deeply, as he was an only son--and such a loveable
son! I wrote to her a few lines, which will be a softer way of breaking the
news to her than the dry hospital report.
It is hard to think how many such lives have been lost in this cruel war, and
it is fearful to think of the possibility of their being thrown away, of no
great and good object being gained by this expenditure, of the war being a
failure, and this carnage murder. I cannot believe that God will permit it.
The longer the war lasts the more impossible does it seem that it should not
be intended for the regeneration of the land. May God grant that such may be
THE REBEL DESIGNS UPON NEW ORLEANS RELINQUISHED.
JULY 16.—I remember some years ago reading aloud to you "Eothen," which
I then considered a very dull book, and the only thing that struck me as sprightly
was an account of a dervish who arrogated to himself the power of raising the
Devil at his will. Undertaking the experiment, however, before a large audience,
he proved unsuccessful, and actually died of mortification. The comment of
Sir Francis was, "As the mountain wouldn't come to Mohammed, Mohammed
went to the mountain."
It is even so with our captor, General Taylor, who, as his supporting force
does not come up, must needs fall back to see what has become of it, and it
is also so in another sense with us prisoners, who, as we can't go to our lines,
are going to have the pleasure of seeing our lines come to us.
The simple truth is that the rebels, discouraged by the loss of their two great
strongholds on the Mississippi, and by the checks they received at Lafourche
and Raceland, and their total defeat at Donaldsonville, have relinquished their
ambitious designs upon the Crescent City, and are retreating bag and baggage
towards Texas, pursued by Banks's victorious forces. Yesterday and to-day they
have been crossing over their heavy stores and artillery, and in two or three
days this place will be entirely evacuated. I only hope Banks comes up before
they get through their work here and bags some of them. If they go, they leave
our sick and wounded here, and will only be too glad to be rid of them; but
it is to be hoped there will be no long intermission between the pulling down
of the Stars and Bars and the hoisting of the Stars and Stripes, for we should
stand a fair chance of starving.
Of course, situated as we are, the news that we hear is vague and unsatisfactory,
and it is only worth noting down in order to compare with the"
original Jacobs," of which we hope in a few days to be in possession.
It is probable that you, even as I write, know more of the campaign of the
last month than I, who have been an actor in it. It is a fact that no one knows
so little about a war, or even a great battle, as the soldier engaged.
THE NEWS FROM PORT HUDSON.
We are told that Port Hudson fell on the 27th of June, the works being stormed
by a last desperate charge of our men; and it is this sudden release of Banks's
troops, the energy with which they have been brought down the river and the
non-arrival of the rebel force from Arkansas, which have put an end to General
Taylor's plans. Vicksburg, according to the rebel account, was surrendered
on the 4th of July, not to Grant, but to Admiral Farragut, and if one of
the reported conditions be true, the worthy Admiral could not have acted
with his usual judgment. I refer to the rebel officers being released on
their parole, instead of being detained, as ours have been. We have a large
number of officers in rebel hands, and, especially now that they are threatening
to hang these belonging to negro regiments, it is important that we should
be in a condition to retaliate if necessary.
Such are the reports of the day; to-morrow may witness a dashing of our hopes.
Still the presentiment is strong with all of us that before many days we shall
again be under the "good old flag."
JULY 19TH.—This waiting and watching, now having our hopes fed by the
downcast countenances and whispered rumors of disaster among the rebels about
us, again having our fears excited by their triumphant and exaggerated reports
of successes, is beginning to have an effect upon our nerves, especially with
such of us who are not well. Every shock of thunder seems to herald the approach
of our victorious gunboats, every drum-tap in the night is magnified by the
excited fancy to the once dreaded, now longed for sound of the "long roll," and
at every accidental gunshot from the neighboring camps we listen to the continuous
fire of the attack of which it is hoped to be the alarm.
That the rebels are expecting an attack here in their rear is very evident,
but whether they will try to evade it, or prepare to meet it is still a question.
Their sick, as fast as they are brought from their forces down the railroad,
are moved up the Bayou Teche to Franklin and New Iberia. The number is very
considerable, and our surgeon gives it as his opinion that many of the men
are merely shamming, to escape the toils of the campaign.
This Louisiana climate, however, seems to sicken Texans as fast or faster than
it acts upon northern troops, and loud and deep are the curses of the "Lone
Star" men upon this "God-forsaken land." Then the exposure to
the heavy showers of this month, their utter want of cleanliness, and often
of a change of clothing, and their poorly-cooked food, must have damaging effects
upon their constitutions. We have still fifty sick here, who are all doing
well, but are still unable to travel without transportation; and that the rebels
can't furnish us. These rascals have pretty well cleaned out poor Lafourche
parish of all that is worth having—negroes, cattle, wagons, tools, &c.,
and if they escape without punishment, their raid may be termed a most successful
one. But they have strong fears that they will not escape so freely. Our forces
are reported to have reoccupied the Red river (which the late rains have swollen
most opportunely) and cut off their retreat to Texas, and in that case, unless
they can cut their way through, there is no resource but surrender.
Meanwhile they are occupied night and day in crossing over their ill gotten
plunder upon two or three antiquated-looked steamboats, which escaped capture
when the country was first occupied by running far up the Red river. Horses
are carried over in barges or in flat-boats, while the cattle are compelled
to swim the stream. This last sight is novel and amusing. a drove is collected
where the bank is a little steep, and, if possible, the water deep. The cattle
are then whipped up and spurred on from behind, and driven with much clamor
into the water. Then it is the task of boats to keep behind and along the
flanks of the drove, keeping their noses directed towards the opposite shore,
and goading up the stragglers with sharp sticks and long whips. Sometimes,
when the other shore is not far distant, and the leaders are old soldiers,
and know it to useless to rebel, they swim over quietly en masse. But oftener,
frightened at the broad expanse before them, they will scatter, and the greater
fear overcoming the less, shove aside the boats and poles, make for the shore
they have left, charge up the bank, scattering and upsetting the drivers,
and gallop off to enjoy their temporary liberty. The whole scene is accompanied
by the shouts, yells and war whoops, without which the true Texan can neither
work nor fight; and add to this the roaring and lowing of the herd, the cracking
of the enormous whips and the splashing of the water, and you have a very
respectable hubbub. I have been told that this method was employed once or
twice on dark nights, to victual Port Hudson during the siege, but they must
have made less noise about it.
GOOD NEWS CONFIRMED.
It is at last, it seems, an established fact that Vicksburg and Port Hudson
The capture of the first was the way old U. S. Grant took to celebrate the
Fourth, while the last surrendered on the eighth to General Banks, just as
the lists of volunteers for the morrow's storming party had been made up. Brave
as those volunteers must have been, it was undoubtedly a great relief to them
to be spared the murderous duty. These two successes have placed thirty-three
thousand prisoners in our hands, and released Grant's army just when it is
I can't help here recording what it seems to me he ought to do, in order to
be able hereafter to compare my dictum with what he does do. After leaving
a sufficient garrison in Vicksburg, he should send fifteen thousand men to
reinforce General Banks's worn out army, by which means Banks could capture
or annihilate Taylor and Sibley, and render his authority secure through the
2nd. He should advance with the remainder of his army to attack Bragg in his
rear, acting in cooperation with Rosecrans. Together they should be able to
finish up Bragg; and then, while Grant was left to protect the Tennessee frontier
and finish up the states of Mississippi and Alabama, Rosecrans should advance
through West Tennessee with all the troops that could be spared into Virginia,
and, in co-operation with Dix and Hooker put an end to the war there. Meanwhile,
Grant, advancing through Alabama, could communicate by a cavalry raid with
Hunter, and together they could overcome Georgia and South Carolina, and take
Savannah and Charleston. This would be the final stroke. Isn't that a fine
plan? I only hope some part of it may be accomplished. Our rebel friends are
telling us strange stories about the annihilation of Hooker, the capture of
Philadelphia, &c., and although we don't believe them, of course, still
we feel uneasy and anxious.
If Lee has penetrated into the Keystone state, I have faith enough in the militia
of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to trust that he will have to pay
the piper dearly before he gets out again. And then it may be to find Richmond
oc¬cupied by Dix and Foster, and Virginia no longer a secession state.
One of our negro girls has just come in and informed me in a cautious whisper
that the Yan¬kees have advanced as far as "Bayou Boeuf," only
eight miles below here. The crisis is coming, and something has got to burst.
FLIGHT OF THE REBELS.
July 23.—Yesterday the rebels completed their evacuation, and left us
alone in our glory. The last able-bodied darkey was grabbed, the last strag¬gling
cattle swam over, the last crew of "ragged riders" embarked. As fast
as they arrived on the west side of the bay they were sent off in long trains
towards New Iberia, and by two P. M. both shores were deserted, the last tent
was struck, the last gun on the march, and the steamboats, hav¬ing finished
their work, were steaming up to¬wards their former place of safety.
The cars that had been captured were burnt, and the locomotive sent under full
head of steam into the burning train. The concussion was tre¬mendous, and
the ruin complete.
They left for our hospital five days' rations, a large portion of which were
stolen and sold by the cooks before the evacuation was over. They took all
our negro nurses and cooks, as well as the cooking stove, and even the wash
basins. As the doctor was sick, there was but one well man left in the building
to do everything, so he had rather a hard time of it. (I had been hors du combat
myself for ten or twelve days.) Almost every atom of medicine, and even the
bandages and lint, were cabbaged by the Confederate doctors, so that our sick
were left quite destitute. Fortunately, by this morning we had obtained a reinforcement
of darkeys who had hid themselves in the swamps to escape being carried off,
so that the work of the establishment can again be carried on. I could not
help laughing at our situation, cast adrift as it were between the two armies,
unable to help ourselves, and anxiously awaiting whatever fortune the surging
tide of war might cast upon us. For a few hours the placid waters and deserted
shores of the bay remained undisturbed by anything warlike, when suddenly from
behind the point, far down the bay, a puff of smoke was seen, and "boom" a
shell fell in the water a quarter of a mile below us, and then another at a
higher elevation screeched over our heads and exploded in the woods behind
us. The gunboat! was the general exclamation, and the gunboat it proved to
be. A white flag was quickly run up on the tower of the depot to show that
there was no opposition in the place and shortly afterwards a boat landed,
and Lieutenant ____ , of the good boat "Sachem" took possession of
the town in the name of Uncle Sam. Four hours after the "lone star" had
been hauled down the "stars and stripes" waved triumphantly over
the town. The rebel occupation had just lasted four weeks. The gunboat had
been trying for two or three days to cross the bar, but for want of a pilot
had only just succeeded.
The most cheering news we had heard for a long time was that Washington and
Philadelphia, which the rebels had assured us were taken, were still safe,
and that Lee had been defeated instead of being overwhelmingly victorious.
Hurrah for Meade! General Weitzel, with the advance of Banks's army, is expected
here this afternoon.
A word before I close this epistle about the Texans, whose prisoners we had
been for a month. I have called them half savages, and it is about true,
but they have some of the noblest qualities of savages. They are brave to
rashness, and will endure with patience any amount of exposure and suffering
to accomplish their end. They are generous, good natured, and treat their
prisoners with much kindness. They are splendid horsemen, fine marksmen,
and can go for days with but a morsel of uncooked food to eat. They are cheap
troops to support, because they don't care for tents, will wear any kind
of clothing, and will live on bacon and hoecake, or forage for themselves
and their horses.
But though brave, they are perfectly undisciplined and regardless of orders,
and will fight every man on his own hook, breaking ranks as soon as they commence
firing. So that although they are excellent bushwhackers, they are often scattered
and routed in the open field. They consider themselves the equals of their
officers, and it is a risky matter to punish them for insubordination. When
there is no fighting going on they soon tire of the re¬straints of camp
life and often leave for home, coming back when it suits them. Then they will
steal, even from their own officers; they will brag beyond all the bounds of
truth, and they wont wash themselves or their shirts. They don't consort readily
with the Louisianians, whom they call "lazy, cowardly Creoles," and
by whom they are cordially hated and termed "Camanches and thieves," and
both charges have, I expect, some foundation. To give you an example of the
Texan way of doing things: Two or three days ago some of them broke into the
stores of their Post Quartermaster, and came riding past our hospital decked
out with their spoils—captured federal clothing. One long, lank country
boy had a hat and a cap on his head and another cap in his hand. One of our
wounded men, looking over the balcony, called out: "I wish you would give
me one of those caps, I have'nt got any?" Not expecting, however, that
his request would be granted: "All right," cried Texas, and chucked
the cap up; it fortunately proved a good fit.
On the whole, I don't know as we could have fallen into better hands, and our
month of cap¬tivity passed pretty pleasantly, considering the circumstances
of our position, I am staying at present at Mrs ____'s, who, since her husband
has left, was desirous of having someone in the house to protect it from the
thieves and prowlers who always infest an evacuated town. She and Miss ____,
her neice [sic], have been very kind to our sick and wounded, and if any property
should be protected hers should.
The arrangement is a very pleasant one for me, as I am not well, and a comfortable
bed and well-cooked meals are a great "desideratum."
ARRIVAL OF FEDERAL TROOPS.
JULY 27.—The first detachment of our troops has at length arrived, and
their fagged out and tattered appearance was a sufficient excuse for their
not coming earlier. That fearful struggle at Port Hudson has worn out Bank's
forces, and unless he is speedily reinforced he will have to rest on his oars
for a while. It was right pleasant, after such a long dose of "Dixie" and
t h e "Bonnie blue flag," to hear the splendid band of the Twelfth
Connecticut playing "John Brown." We heard, too, some good news about
our boys. They were, it seems, not taken prisoners at Lafourche, but retreated
in good order, after repulsing the rebels twice, and they were the first regiment
to reoccupy Thibodeaux after the rebel evacuation. Hurrah for the Ironsides;
their honor is not lost, though their flags are.
I have the opportunity of sending this by the transport Crescent to New Orleans,
but it may be some days on t h e road. Your son, ____.
Fall of Port Hudson—Affairs in New-Orleans—Killed and Wounded
in the 176th York.
From Our Special Correspondent.
NEW-ORLEANS, July 11, 1863.
Your correspondent has for a week been busily engaged in accumulating material
for a comprehensive letter, but the details thus gathered are positively without
interest since the announcement of the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson. If
we were joyous and hopeful over the surrender of the former, we may truly be
said to have gone mad over the capture of the latter. On both occasions business
was almost entirely suspended, and champagne was as free as Mississippi water.
Bonfires were built, several buildings were illuminated, salutes were fired,
and hilarity reigned supreme. Loyal men were cheered by this demonstration
of the power of the Union arms, while there were not wanting sympathizers with
the Rebellion who accepted the victory in a contented spirit, as a mighty stride
The brigade of volunteers being raised by Gov. Shepley is nearly completed. "Umbra" and
myself accepted Yankee muskets for sixty days on the night Port Hudson fell,
not in time to reap the prestige. Now that there is scarcely need for troops
in this Department, we are seriously discussing the propriety of enlisting
for the war.
In my last letter I referred to Gen. Emory's order forbidding citizens to remain
in the streets after 9 p.m. The scene at the Provost Court on Monday morning
was ludicrous, yet impressive. At the door, under guard of twenty soldiers,
stood an incongruous assemblage of nearly two hundred people. There were merchants,
hucksters, butchers and bakersmen, women and children. The meat carts were
detained at the station-houses until the stock was valueless. For some reason
the culprits were dismissed without further punishment than a night in prison,
and the clause of the order relative to citizens was revoked.
Capt. Alex. N. Shipley, Assistant Quartermaster, a regular army officer, some
time since asked to be relieved from duty in this Department. The relief has
been granted in so far as his Quartermastership is concerned, and he has been
made an Acting Brigadier General. He is ordered to take command of all troops
in this Department west of the Mississippi.
Lieut. U. B. Pearsall, who enlisted as a private in the 4th Wisconsin, has
been appointed an Acting Assistant Quartermaster, and placed in charge of all
Brevet-Surgeon W. Blaisdell, 75th New-York, has resigned on account of ill
Upon the statement of a field officer I wrote you that our loss at Brashear
City was small. It has been ascertained to be nearly $1,500,000. The officers'
baggage of Grover's division fell into the hands of the enemy. The number of
Union prisoners paroled there was 3,513—chiefly convalescents in camp.
To Sergeant A. H. Vassar of the 176th New-York, I am indebted for the following
lists of killed and wounded in his regiment:
KILLED—Capt. John S. Cutter, Co. C; Wm. Crawbuck, Daniel Kelly, Co. I.
WOUNDED—Lieut. L. W. Stevenson, Co. B, severely; Sergt. R. Deming, Co.
C; Corp. Robert Ely, Co. G, since dead; Nicholas Nolan, Co. C; Jeremiah Vandevery,
Co. G, slightly; John G. Norton, Co. B; Jacob Hogancam, Co. C.
The following officers were taken prisoners:
Col. Chas. C. Nott, Lieut.-Col. A. J. H. Duganne, Captains Wm. P. Coe and S.
E. Thomison, Lieuts. L. W. Stevenson, Sherman, D. G. Gillette, D. G. Wellington,
J. D. Fry, J. Babcock, T. F. Petrie, J. F. Kimball, all of the 176th New-York;
Major R. C. Anthony, Lieut. C. Brennal, 2d Rhode Island Cavalry; Captains Wells,
Sandford, Hopkins, S. F. Bailey, J. R. Jenkins, G. S. Crawford, Lieuts. J.
G. Stephens, G. W. Hugg, O. F. Hubbard, C. Bailey, J. W. Buckingham, of the
23d Connecticut; Capt. A. Allen, 1st U.S. Vols,; Lieut. C. E. Page, 4th do.;
Lieut. G. Avery, 25th Connecticut; Lieuts. J. W. Sampson and H. O. Morse, 4th
Massachusetts; Capt. Noblett, 21st Indiana. C. A. A.
The following letter, which is published by request of the gentleman to whom
it is addressed, was dated nearly one month since, but it will be interesting
to some of our readers:
CAMP OF PAROLED PRISONERS,
SHIP ISLAND, July 18th, 1863.
MR. VANDEVERG: Dear Sir: Not knowing whether Jerry had written to you since
we were taken prisoners and having a few moments to myself to-day, I thought
I would devote them to you. I suppose before this you have heard the particulars
of the fight, but, for fear you have not, I will give you a few of the partictlars
[sic] concerning it.
June 23d, the rebel batteries from across the bay of Berwick opened upon our
camp with six cannon. These after a while we managed to silence for a short
time, when all of a sudden about 3,000 rebels dashed in upon our rear yelling
like wild Indians. Our men were quickly drawn up in line and gave them volley
for volley, but t he main body of our regiment being at La Fourche where they
expected an attack; the rebels outnumbered us ten to one; therefore, after
a hard though short fight, during which the ground on both sides was covered
with the dead, the white flag was hoisted and we were bagged. Poor Robert Ely
was killed during the fight. Jeremiah and about a dozen others were posted
at a large cannon down the road during the fight, under charge of Lieut. Stevenson,
and bravely did they hold it too. Out of that little band of twelve seven were
wounded and the Lieutenant shot in t h e foot. In the heat of the fight Jerry
received a ball in the fleshy part of his thigh, it went in one side and came
out the other making a sore, although not by any means a dangerous wound; tying
his handkerchief around it he kept on throughout the whole fight and never
turned his back once to the foe. After all was over and we all were taken prisoners
he walked with us up as far as the camp and had his leg dressed by the doctor,
who told him that he would be all right again in a few days. But we did not
know where we were going to stay and Mr. Chamberlin and myself advised him
to go to the hospital where he could have the best medical aid to be found.
When we came away we heard from him and he was getting along finely; the wound
healing nicely. Since we arrived here one of our boys who was nurse there has
come in, and reports all favorable and that he was traveling around again;
the wound getting nearly well so I suppose that by the time this reaches you
he will have entirely recovered. As soon as I can hear from him I will let
you know more about him. I expect they are only waiting to get conveyances
to bring him and the rest of them down here and you need not worry for where
he is now he will receive the best medical care and treatment that can be procured;
if in the meantime anything of importance occurs I will let you know. As Jeremiah
is still in the enemy's hands I do not know whether any letters will reach
him or not. If you wish to send any letter for me to give him please address
Sergt. W. H. Rogers, Co. G, 176th Regt., N. Y. S. V., Banks' Expedition, New
Orleans, to be forwarded to the camp of paroled prisoners, on Ship Island.
I remain your sincere friend,
W. H. ROGERS
Sergt. Co. G, 176th Regt. N. Y. S. V.
Arrival of the One Hundred and Seventy-sixth Regiment N. Y. S. V.
The above regiment (nine months men), which left this city in January last,
under command of Colonel Charles Nott, arrived in this city yesterday afternoon.
They numbered some four hundred men. They have been in action at Brashear
City and Lafourche, and everywhere gave evidence of bravery and military
discipline. The Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel were taken prisoners, and
the regiment returns to this city under command of Captain Charles H. Barber.
Since leaving for the seat of war they have been in Banks' division. The
following are the officers of the regiment:—
Captain Commanding—Charles H. Barber.
Acting Adjutant—Lieutenant W. F. West.
Company A—Lieutenant Fowler.
Company B—Sergeant Taylor.
Company C—Lieutenant Lewis.
Company D—Lieutenant Loudon.
Company E—Lieutenant Smith.
Company F—Lieutenant Bicknell.
Company G—Lieutenant Stevemore.
Company H—Lieutenant Weed.
Company I—Lieutenant Mead.
Exchange of Prisoners in the Department of the Gulf—Arrival at New-Orleans
of One Hundred Officers and nearly a Thousand Men from Texas—Terrible
Condition of the Poor Fellows—Col. C. C. Nott and Lieut.-Col. A. J. H.
Duganne of the "Ironsides" among the Number.
Correspondence of The N. Y. Tribune
NEW-ORLEANS, July 26, 1864.
A partial exchange of prisoners has been effected in the Department of the
Gulf by the zeal and perseverance Col. Dwight of the 160th New-York. He returned
from his successful mission to the Red River on Sunday, the 24th instant, bringing
with him about one hundred of our officers and nearly a thousand men, most
of whom have been imprisoned from fourteen to eighteen months. The list includes
most of the prisoners who were captured at Galveston, Sabine Pass, Brashear
City, and Morganza, more than a year ago, and also a few of those taken in
the late Red River campaign. It is but a small portion of the number held by
the enemy in this Department, as they have yet nearly 4,000 of our men at Tyler
and Houston, Texas, beside the number taken in the late campaign, who are kept
at Shreveport, and who number over 2,000 more.
The appearance of the men as they marched through our streets was shocking
in the extreme. Nearly all of them were without shoes, and had been so for
the last eight months. Most of them were in Rebel uniform, of the most ragged
and dirty description, without blankets, shirts, or underclothing of any kind,
and in this condition they had been marched hundreds of miles. No wonder that
they were mistaken for Rebel prisoners by many who saw them, as they came in,
for a more wretched looking party has seldom been seen.
A few had preserved their blue coats and blouses, and as these appeared in
the line, a jibe arose among the spectators and, "See, the rascals have
stolen our uniform," was the remark most often heard.
These men state that they were marched from Tyler to Shreveport, a distance
of more than three hundred miles, last December, in the expectation of an exchange.
The ground was covered with snow, and hard frozen at the time, so that the
poor, half-clothed fellows literally tracked the road ... feet. They were kept
at Shreveport all Winter, and until the approach of Gen. Banks in the late
campaign when they were marched back ... the long and toilsome road to Tyler—a
... admission, by the way, that the Rebels expected Gen. Banks would capture
Shreveport. They have now marched over the same long road again and down to
Alexandria, whence they were transported in steamers to this city.
The mortality among them has not been as great as might have been expected
as they have been in a high inland region, with a healthy climate, and plenty
of good water. They also had the range of about sixteen acres of lawn and grove
at Tyler, which afforded them ample space for exercise and amusement.
Their rations to officers and men were uniformly a pound of corn-meal and a
pound of meat daily, which, though very limited, as compared with the variety
of our rations, including tea, coffee, sugar, bread and vegetables, was yet
sufficient to sustain life, and even health in a majority of cases.
Many a poor fellow, however, has fallen a victim to the privations of the prison
life, the want of medicines or medical attendance, and has gone to his long
rest in the strange land with the flag of treason floating over his grave.
One of them is said to have expressed the wish before he died that he might
never see the resurrection until that hated flag should be banished forever
from the sight of mortals or immortals.
The officers fared but little better than the men in treatment, though many
of them found friends among the Texans who loaned them large sums in Rebel
currency with which to buy necessaries, taking the obligations of the officers
therefore [sic], to be paid with interest in lawful currency, whatever it shall
be, after the establisment [sic] of peace. It is said that more than twenty
thousand dollars have been loaned in this way to our officers by the citizens
of Tyler and Houston, they doubtless believing it to be the best investment
they could make of their almost worthless currency; and it evidently is so,
as our officers will probably have to refund the amount in greenbacks.
Col. C. C. Nott and Lieut.-Col. A. J. H. Daganne of the l76th Regiment New-York
Volunteers, known as the Ironsides, and which has just left this Department
for Virginia, are among the exchanged, and have endured their long captivity
with good health and spirits. They will be heartily welcomed by their regiment.
They were taken at Brashear City in June, 1863, with nearly their entire regiment,
Major. Morgons escaping with three companies.
Col. Duganne came in wearing quite a picturesque suit of butternut, made by
one of his soldiers from a Rebel blanket; and in a White necktie which he obtained
on the steamer. He looked more like a Rebel parson or an Indian missionary
than like a United States officer. He has a book in his pocket, by the way,
in manuscript, to be published as soon as possible, under the title of "Camps
and Prisons," and which no doubt will delineate his adventures and experiences,
in his usual graphic style. It is thought that in his hands at least "the
pen is mightier than the sword." The following is a list of the officers
Col. Nott. 176 N. Y.
Col. Bertell, 42 Mass.
Lieut.-Col. Duganne, 176 N. Y.
Lieut.-Col. Leak, 20 Iowa.
Lieut.-Col. Ross, 26 Ind.
Lieut.-Col. Cowen, 19 Ky.
Major Gray, 175 N. Y.
Major Anthony, 2 R. I. Cav.
White, 42 Mass.
Capt. Coe, 176 N. Y.
Capt. Thomason, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Robbins, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Lyon, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Wellington, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Stevens, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Petry, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Gillette, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Stevenson, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Riley, 176 N. Y.
Lieut. Sherman, 176 N. Y.
Capt. Allen, 1 U. S. Inf.
Capt. Savage, 42 Mass.
Capt. Proctor, 42 Mass.
Capt. Sheriff, 42 Mass.
Lieut. Newcomb, 42 Mass.
Lieut. Humble, 42 Mass.
Capt. Roderick, 19 Iowa.
Capt. Fisher, 19 Iowa.
Capt. Adams, 19 Iowa.
Capt. Syuott, 19 Iowa.
Lieut. Key, 19 Iowa.
Lieut. Bennett, 19 Iowa.
Lieut. Johnson, 19 Iowa.
Lieut. Peck, 23 Ct.
Lieut. Babcock, 23 Ct.
Lieut. Woodward, 23 Ct.
Lieut. Hurlbut, 23 Ct.
Lieut. Buckingham, 23 Ct.
Lieut. Chase, 12, Me.
Lieut. Dana, 12 Me.
Lieut. Delemater, 91 N. Y.
Lieut. Mase, 4 Mass.
Lieut. Page, 4 U. S. Inft.
Lieut. Gremburg, 10 Ill. Cav.
Capt. Crofoot, 23 Conn.
Capt. May, 23 Conn.
Capt. Sandford, 23 Conn.
Capt. Hopkins, 23 Conn.
Capt. Bailey, 23 Conn.
Capt. Wells, 23 Conn.
Lieut. Wright, 19 Iowa.
Lieut. Powell, 19 Iowa.
Lieut. Walton, 19 Iowa.
Capt. Stott, 26 Ind.
Capt. Logan, 26 Ind.
Capt. Wallace, 26 Ind.
Lieut. Collin, 26 Ind.
Lieut. McDowell, 26 Ind.
Lieut. Robertson, 26 Ind.
Capt. Coulter, 20 Iowa.
Lieut. Bailey, 23 Conn.
Lieut. Hibbard, 23 Conn.
Lieut. Stevens, 23 Conn.
Lieut. Therpy, 1 Ind. Cav.
Lieut. Hogg, 25 Ct.
Lieut. Avery, 25 Ct.
Lieut. Hurshey, 1 U. S. Art.
Lieut. Sampson, 4 Mass.
Lieut. Root, 75 N. Y.
Lieut. Cox, 75 N. Y.
Lieut. Dane, Signal Corps.
Lieut. Kirby, 160 N. Y.
Lieut. Bulkley, 12 Ct.
Lieut. Lanrin, 12 Ct.
Acting Master Weeks of the Clifton.
The Free-State Convention for the amendment and revision of the Constitution
of the State of Louisiana has at last adjourned, after a somewhat tumultuous
and disorderly session of 78 days. Some of the closing scenes were hardly
of the dignified character which pertained to the early days of the Convention,
when the members came together full of earnest purpose, and thinking only
of the great objects and interests which brought them together, they being
no less than the salvation of a lost State and the freedom of an enslaved
The Convention sat only three hours a day, and as much of the time was passed
in verbose discussion, the amount of work accomplished bears little proportion
to the time occupied, except in its significance, and exceedingly interesting
and important character.
Grave charges of financial extravagance and recklessness are openly made against
the Convention. And it has been alleged, undisputed, in the city papers that
the liquor bills alone of the Convention, which have been paid out of the public
money, amount to over $90,000.
As this is over $1,000 a day for each day the Convention has sat, some idea
may be formed from it of the bibulous qualities of the few dozen members composing
It assumes doubtful powers. A curious incident occurred near the close of the
Convention growing out of their bibulous qualification. Mr. Thomas P. May,
the editor of The N. O. Daily Times, the most independent, popular and ably
conducted paper here, by the way, had ventured to protest, in his paper of
the 22d instant, against this extravagance, and to assert that even the President
of the Convention, Judge Durell, had been drunk in his seat to such an extent
as to be entirely unfit to perform the duties of his position, which assertion
many good men and fair believe to be true.
At the meeting of the Convention on the same day, Judge Durell denounced the
article in The Morning Times as an infamous libel on himself and the Convention,
and Mr. Stauffer thereupon introduced a resolution directing the Sergeant-at-Arms
to take possession of The Times office, and to bring Mr. May before the Convention
to purge himself of the libel upon the President and the members of the Convention.
Mr. May was accordingly brought before the Convention, being advised not to
resist the arrest, as he clearly might have done; and when informed of the
object of his arrest, and asked if he had any apology to make, he answered
I am here, not in obedience to any resolution of this Convention. At the proper
time, in the proper place, and in pursuance of the forms of law, I will answer
to any charge made against me and my paper."
This answer led to a violent and disorderly discussion, which finally resulted
in a resolution, that Mr. May be imprisoned for ten days; that the Commander
of the Department be requested to suppress The Times, and that the President
of the United States be solicited to withdraw Mr. May's commission as Assistant
United States Treasurer at this point.
This resolution was passed, Yeas, 49; Nays, 31; and the Sergeant-at-Arms was
directed to take Mr. May into custody; notwithstanding all which, Mr. May is
still at large, The Times is not suppressed, and its editor is still Assistant
Gen. Banks saw fit to interfere somewhat with the execution of the sentence,
and to intimate to the enraged President Durell that the usual remedies for
a libel in civilized communities were an indictment and trial before a competent
criminal court, or a suit at law for damages in some civil court; and as the
Convention possessed the powers of neither, its proceedings in the matter were
simply null and void.
NEW GOLD ORDER.
The speculation in gold has been almost entirely suppressed here, by an order
from Gen. Banks "prohibiting the traffic in gold except upon the condition
that the purchaser deposit the gold purchased in the Treasury of the United
States at New-Orleans, for which deposit the seller and the purchaser will
be held alike responsible, and which may be drawn by such depositor from
the Treasury upon presenting to the Assistant Treasurer or the Provost-Marshal-General
a satisfactory explanation of the purposes to which it is to be applied."
The object of this order is said to be to prevent the transfer of gold to the
Rebel States, but its effect is to stop gambling and speculating, as it is
considered that no "satisfactory explanation" can be offered for
such proceedings. The brokers are greatly excited about the order, and scarcely
a sale has been made since it was issued on the 23d inst., except for the payment
of duties or for foreign shipment, for which purpose prices still range from
280 to 300.
HEALTH OF THE CITY.
The Weather is still delightful here, with cool breezes daily, although the
thermometer is among the nineties. The city is clean, and remarkably healthy
for the season, nothing of an epidemic character prevailing. An abundance
and great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables now flood the market, though
at prices still extortionately high. The army hospitals are in excellent
order and well cared for, and large numbers of the patients have been sent
North for change of climate, which is almost a necessity in many diseases.
Adjutant G. Haven Putnam and Capt. Wm. W. Badger of the 176th New-York are
lying ill at the St. James Hospital in this city, but expect to go North soon.
Your correspondent intends to be of their party, and you will probably hear
from him next in Virginia.
RETURN OF EXCHANGED PRISONERS—THEIR SUFFERINGS AND DEPLORABLE CONDITION--A
TALE OF UNMITIGATED AND INFAMOUS CRUELTY.
From our Correspondent.
NEW-ORLEANS, July 27, 1864.
Few sights have been recently seen in the streets of this or indeed of any
other American City which have created a more painful or profound impression
than the marching in last Sunday morning, the 25th inst., of some 800 of our
men who have been exchanged and just home from Camp Ford near Tyler, Texas,
vis Shreveport and the Red River. It would be absolutely
impossible in words to express to your readers the abject squalor, destitution,
and wretchedness of these noble soldiers as they filed up past the headquarters
of gen. Canby on St. Charles street, on their way from the boat to the quarters
assigned them in the Alabama and Factors' Cotton Presses. With scarcely an
exception, they were barefooted, ragged to a degree that cannot be conceived
of; many were absolutely destitute of sufficient rags to fulfill the requirements
of common decency; large numbers are without shirts or hats of any kind; infested
with vermin, their dingy rags fluttering in the wind and bound upon their persons
with strips of bark and strings; but they marched into New-Orleans proudly
in spite of their squalor, and with stout loyal hearts cheered the old flag,
in defense of which they have so cruelly and needlessly suffered.
These men represented many States, but the largest numbers of any regiments
were the 26th Indiana, 168 men, the 19th Iowa, 167 men, 19th Kentucky, 100
men, and the 75th New-York, 82 men, beside many smaller squads from nearly
every State in the Union. Quite a large proportion of them were the troops
who were captured under Lieut.-Col. J. B. Leake of the 20th Iowa at Bayou Ferdcche,
some six or eight miles from Morgansia, La., on the 29th of last September.
The story of suffering which these men have experienced since that time can
never be told as the men themselves relate it, nor can any language convey
to the world the misery which has been theirs much of the long weary time that
they have been penned up in that terrible inclosure [sic] at Tyler, in Texas.
It is true that it is not to be expected that the quarters of prisoners of
war shall be beds of roses, but the Confederate authorities have seemed to
exercise, ever since this war began, a refinement of cruelty in their treatment
of prisoners which is a disgrace to the civilized world, a scandal to the are
in which we live, and an outrage upon all the amenities which enlightened nations
practice toward their prisoners taken in honorable warfare.
The stockade at Tyler, or rather at Camp Ford, which is somewhere about four
miles from Tyler, consists on an inclosure [sic] made of pine trees, cut some
seventeen feet in length, split in half, and set upright in the ground, making
a stockade some fifteen feet in hight [sic]. The size originally was an area
of about two acres, which was, however, enlarged after the Red River expedition
to embrace some seven acres in extent. There in that pen some 4,500 of our
men have been cooped in hunger, nakedness, filth, and wretchedness for mouths
past, and until the last of June no means were allowed to the men for removing
the filth which had during the time accumulated inside their inclosure [sic].
During all last Winter our men were barefooted almost to a man; many had no
shirts; scarcely any one had any blanket at all in which to wrap his shivering
limbs from the winds; wood was doled out in quantities insufficient even to
cook their scant rations of corn meal and hard corned beef To be explicit,
two sticks of cord wood were issued per week to cook the rations of a mess
of twelve men, and this was packed in on the men's backs from the adjacent
forests under strict guard. Not even straw was permitted to the shivering men,
and I have the assurance of our officers and men of having waked up many a
night last Winter benumbed with cold, and unable to sleep from their inability
to keep the sluggish blood circulating in their veins.
No tents or quarters of nay kind were assigned the officers or men, save the
canopy of Heaven for a shelter and the earth beneath for a bed.
They at once set about constructing shelter of brush, bark and logs, when permitted
to go outside the stockade to the neighboring forests and cut. Inside the stockade
itself were trees at the start, and these were used so far as they went for
constructing shelter in the shape of rude cabins and brush huts.
Col. Leake states that when he and his brother officers in captivity first
arrived Camp Ford, on the 23d of last October, they were drawn up in line,
counted, and ordered to be shown to their quarters. This hospitable duty devolved
upon Adjt. Ochiltrie, who conducted them to a part of the inclosure [sic],
where there was a slight ridge or side hill, on attaining which the Adjutant,
with the bow of a Brummel, turned to the party remarking, "Gentlemen,
these are your quarters for the present," and walked away. And then in
the earth they burrowed a place to lie, until in course of time they could
cut logs in the contiguous timber, carry them by hand to the stockade, and
erect a hut, when they could feel as if they were human beings once more. A
sketch of this made by Capt. May of the ___ Connecticut, shows the Colonel's
skill as an architect in a very creditable manner.
Col. Leake states that the officers with whom he was brought in contact during
his captivity were mainly courteous, disposed to be humane, but inattentive
and negligent to the last degree about doing what would have promoted the comfort
of the prisoners. Their utter want of administrative or executive capacity
permitted abuses which they would have been incapable of doing themselves directly,
and which they would not knowingly have probably permitted. Nevertheless, the
abuses did exist, and seemed to be the rule instead of the exception so far
as the treatment of the private soldiers was concerned.
The morning of the day when Col. Leake's men arrived at Tyler, the 23d of October,
they had breakfast at Sabine, 21 miles from Tyler; and, owing to neglect on
the part of somebody, were furnished with nothing else until the next day at
5 o'clock in the afternoon.
There were at that time 72 officers and a few privates lodged in an old barrack,
when Col. Leake's command arrived, amounting to near 500 more. No cooking utensils
of any sort whatever were furnished these men, and from that time until the
9th of November they had to live as best they could. Two companies of Texan
militia, on guard duty, loaned them, when not using themselves, five or six
pots and skillets, which was all the prisoners had to cook their corn meal,
and often the men were obliged to eat their corn raw and roast their beef on
sticks, or go without it at all.
Ten days' rations were issued to the men at once of corn, and no barrel, box,
nor bag of any kind existed at the stockade to put it in, nor would they furnish
any. The men used some of their old drawers, the lining to their coat sleeves,
some their hats and went bareheaded; some took off their shirts and made a
sack, and others their blowses [sic] in order to have the precious meal in.
On the 9th of November, Col. P. V. Allen of the 17th Texas, assumed command,
who set at work to make men more comfortable. He at once sent to Shreveport
and raised one pot and one skillet to each squad of men, and thenceforth this
part of their troubles was ameliorated. On the 29th of November the men were
started to Shreveport for exchange, as they supposed. On the previous day it
had sleeted and turned cold, the, earth being frozen some three inches in depth,
and the. Ground was covered with ice when the men set out.
Over 100 of the men were barefooted, probably 200 more had no shirts, and hardly
any had a blanket, or anything which might serve for the purpose of one. In
this pitiable plight this army of martyrs filed forward, marching 21 miles
to Saline Town that day, with frosted, bleeding feet, the blood literally tracking
their pathway as they went. Those present tell me that the tales of our revolutionary
fathers at Valley Forge could furnish no sadder story than that wearisome way
where our brave-hearted soldiers trod. But crueler still, I have from undoubted
authority that beef cattle sent along for the subsistence of these men were
never applied to their use, but were undoubetedly [sic] sold and the proceeds
made use of by those who had them in charge, while our weary men went hungry
as well as naked and shoeless on that long march to Shreveport. Here they remained
until the 30th of last March, when they were sent back to Tyler once more,
where they had scarcely arrived before they were again notified that they were
to be paroled, and were once more started towards Shreveport. They, however,
only proceeded to Marshall, where they were detained until the 24th of May,
in the woods, with no shelter but the sky and the tree-tops. Their condition
at this time was pitiable in the extreme; scarcely any had shoes, not 100 had
shirts. Many had no pantaloons, and only a breech clout of rags. If it were
possible to laugh at so sad a tale one might laugh heartily at the description
one poor fellow gives of himself. His costume was a little more extensive,
though not so elegant as that of the Indian princess, which consisted of a
string of beads. It was an old blouse which had been patched with a profusion
of colors, and that was all that he wore from Marshall to Tyler, where they
arrived once more on the 27th of May, their hopes of an exchange having died
out in their aching hearts.
I have stated above that certain of the officers were disposed to be humane
to our men, but that through criminal remissness they often allowed those who
were not so to abuse our men shamefully.
It is but justice to state that Col. Allen deserved the thanks of our men by
many courtesies. Col. Scott Anderson is generally well spoken of by our officers.
Also, Lieut.-Col. Border did many kind acts, and neglected to do many more.
He is the officer who issued an order for the guards to shoot any Yankee prisoner
whom they might apprehend after escaping from the stockade, and directed them
to bring in no prisoners alive who had escaped and might be caught. He is also
an officer, as in fact were all the rest, who practiced catching our men with
packs of hounds; and our officers show blouses to-day which are torn to tatters
by the teeth of these dogs, with which they have been pursued when seeking
I should not do my duty to Adjutant McEachern if I omitted to state it my positive
belief founded on abundant testimony that this Confederate gentleman of Hibernian
descent is a brute, one of the chief amusements of whom was to take out a pistol
whenever he entered the stockade and threaten with a variety of choice and
elegant oaths, that he would shoot the top of the head off from that particular
assemblage of Yankees on the slightest provocation. Major G. W. Smith (a relative,
I believe, of John's) had charge of our men coming from Tyler to Shreveport,
the last time, and was kind, generous, and considerate. He, on a former occasion,
however, marched 100 men from Shreveport to Tyler, 110 miles in four days,
and nearly used up the entire squad in consequence. Two actually died in two
days afterward from the effects of this cruel march.
Lieut. Haines of Harrison's battalion merits a separate paragraph for soldierly,
manly, and other qualities. The particular manly and soldierly qualities for
which I consider him entitled to notice consists in his regard for the feelings
and comfort of our men while on the march from Shreveport to Tyler. For instance,
if a man became lame or weary or weak with walking, this humane officer directed
his men to place a rope around said man's neck, and to tie said rope to the
pommel of the saddle of the mounted guard. This was done on repeated occasions,
as there is abundant testimony to verify, among both officers and men, who
witnessed it. On several occasions squads of our men escaped from the stockade,
and some escaped to our lines, but the packs of hounds which they kept for
the purpose generally enabled them to overtake and capture those who endeavor
to get away.
Our men amused themselves in every imaginable way to kill time and earn money
to provide themselves with something to cover their nakedness. They baked cups,
plates, and bowls of potter's clay, which they found in their stockade. They
whittled and carved cups, pipes, spoons, knives and forks, out of wood, plaited
hats out of straw which the Confederates sold them at $2 per bundle. Their
success in pottery led some of the guards to fear greatly that our men would
be able to make guns with which to over whelm them and escape some fine day
or evening. I do not learn, however, that they had brought that branch of business
to a successful issue when these men left there. They had their jokes, however;
and as the Rebels were hard to convince that our zouaves were not amazons,
the boys humored the joke by imitating the crying of a baby, and actually caused
many of the moral women of Tyler to firmly believe that we had female soldiers
in our army, and that the crying babies were a natural result. We have remaining
yet at Tyler about 3,500 men, and it is the belief of our officers that there
are no others in their hands in Texas. This is considerably less than they
claimed when they sent us the men from the hospitals of Mansfield and Pleasant
Hill, of which I advised you some days since. Then they claimed 6,000 still
on hand. Forty-four hundred and eighty rations are all they issued before these
men left, which leaves 3,500 to 3,600 remaining behind.
Many interesting incidents might be added, which the length of this forbids
my stopping to relate. The condition of these men is a fair index of those
remaining, and calls loudly for attention. Kirby Smith has intimated that it
was our fault, but the facts do not verify the assertion, as repeated efforts
have been made to get supplies to them by the authorities, but the conditions
which the Rebels imposed prevented our sending them. Gen. Canby has given instruction
to his Commission of exchanges to confer with the Rebel Commissioners at once,
and will again seek to send up medicines and clothing to our men, while the
agent of the Cincinnati Branch Sanitary Commission has tendered to Gen. Canby
whatever sanitary stores may be proper to send so soon as the Revels will permit
to be sent forward such articles as the Government can furnish. It is to be
hoped that an early favorable reply will be received, in which case our soldiers'
hearts will be gladdened by some comforts to which they have long been strangers.
The health of the remaining troops is variable. They have good water, and not
food enough to give dyspepsia; but the Eastern, especially Maine men, do not
do as well as Western men there. Medicines are greatly needed, and it is to
be hoped that this will be soon remedied, along with their other necessities.
The Confederate officers excuse our men's destitution, so far as they are the
cause of it, by attributing it to our rigid blockade, and say when we ease
up that they will give our men in their hands more comforts, and have more
themselves to give.
Our boys are getting new clothes, and will be paid off immediately, and are
happy beyond expression to see friendly faces once more.
I cannot forbear mention of one fact, notwithstanding the length of this. Some
two to three hundred of our men have been vaccinated up there, and the greater
part of them are in anything but a satisfactory condition. The matter with
which they were vaccinated was tainted with other horrible mixtures, and the
result is that their arms present dreadful sores, and frequently disgusting
ulcers have broken out on other parts of their bodies.
Many of the men will have to go at once into hospital and have the care of
skillful surgeons to save them from frightful consequences. One man left behind
it is feared will lose his arm from the same cause. All this is in most striking
contrast with the boatload of sleek, well-fed, well-dressed prisoners whom
we sent up in exchange for these squalid, half-starved, ragged suffering men,
nut in whose hearts dwell more loyalty, honesty and humanity than in an army
of deceitful, treacherous sons of pseudo Southern chivalry. In the language
of a distinguished Major-General, God save the
Union, by command, &c. J. B. C.
THE 176TH REGIMENT IN LOUISIANA.
We have had for some weeks past lively times which to most of us was quite
a change from what we have had, which has been nothing more than guarding
the New Orleans, Great Western and Opelousas, R. R. When the road was considered
safe without us, we were ordered to Brashear City, a beautiful place opposite
Berwick City. The Bay between is pleasant and good for bathing and fishing,
both of which the boys are very fond of. At Brashear we had very little rest
in consequence of the frequent tapping of the long roll, to hasten from our
quarters to meet as supposed the enemy, on this way for some weeks, during
which time we were engaged in guard and picket duty and in going over the
bay in search of the Rebels. We at times found some but were sure to come
back with a large drove of cattle consisting of almost all kinds, not for
ourselves, but for the government contractors, who were sure to make a big
thing of the labors of us and others. We were not allowed as much as to kill
a chicken, not even for the sick and wounded. You may judge all we had in
the shape of fresh meet was salt junk and pork. Some of our officers were
very particular on this point and would not hesitate a moment to place in
the guard house any man who at times got a little fresh meet from the hands
of rebel sympathizers. This was owing in a great measure to the fact that
the aforesaid officers were very intimate with the Planters and Creoles and
could get what they desired at our expense, which was nothing more than respect
to them and cold shoulder to us. I must now in as few words as possible mention
about our recent engagements. One fine morning the 20th of June, we were
aroused from our quarters by the sound of the long roll. We were without
further ceremony hastened to the rail road depot, not having time to take
anything but our equipments. We took the cars and on our way we learned we
were bound for Lafonche.
One our arrival there we had breakfast after which we waited for orders, about
noon we were informed by Mr. Lamber of Co. G., that the enemy was in strong
force at Thibidearux, with the intention of attacking us. As we were making
preparations at that time to leave, the report was in just the right time and
was afterwards confirmed by a cavalry officer who had been driven in by them,
had it not been for their reports we would have taken the cars to Brashen [sic]
City, and would have been gobbled, as the enemy then had possession of the
road at Terre Bonne. So without losing any time we set to work and had entrenchments
made and formed a line of battle. In the afternoon some of the Rebs made their
appearance to see how things were, but were driven back.
We continued in line of battle during the night and were not molested. The
next day, Sunday, a very rainy and cheerless one, we were in waiting for them,
anxious to have a brush; and as we had nothing to make us comfortable, our
position, without blankets and other necessaries, was really distressing; but
our men bore all this manfully. In the evening, about 7 o'clock, in a heavy
rain and fog, they attacked us; but did not, as they anticipated, find us napping.
We were ready for them. They rushed upon with their yells, but we remained
at our posts. After sharp and constant firing on both sides for an hour and
a half or longer, they retreated with heavy loss and amid much confusion. Too
much credit cannot be given to our brave and much-esteemed Major, Mr. Morgan,
whose coolness and self-possession in the field was unsurpassed. There was
no cowardice manifested, save that of a little captain, who was so alarmed
that he, with some men, skedaddled, and did not halt until they arrived at
New Orleans, where they reported, very much to the consternation of the Unionists
there, that we were all cut to pieces or captured. We were very fortunate not
to have any more officers of that stripe with us. The next morning we found
that the enemy had lost in killed and wounded over 200 men, while our loss
was but 25 in killed and wounded.
The number of our troops in the engagement was not more than 400 men, while
that of the enemy was 1,500 strong, and with cavalry. We then started for Thebedeax.
Before leaving, we were reinforced. On our arrival there, we found the enemy
had retreated, and there was none there save a number of wounded. We remained
there for two days, when the rebels made their appearance 5,000 strong, and
as our forces were to 500 strong, we were obliged, after taking a few prisoners,
to retreat as fast as possible. But we did not leave till the bridge connecting
that place with Lafouche was totally destroyed, by Major Morgan, under the
superintendance [sic] of Mr.
Lambert. While all this was going on, we learned that the enemy had captured
Brashear City, with all our officers and men, save those that were with us
at Lafourche. They also took all the troops at the different stations. Some
of our men were killed or wounded, how many, we can't say; but the enemy, although
they took the place, had a great many killed. Captain Cutter of Co. C, Corporal
Ely and James Thompson of Co. G, our company, were killed, also we lost our
2d Lieutenant, D. M. Chamberlain, who was much esteemed by our men. He died
with the fever. The rest of the boys in Co. G, that were with us at Lafouche,
are well. Mr. William Lambert, of our company, by his action at Lafourche battle,
is a credit to our company and regiment. Our Orderly Sergeant, Fred. Couzner,
is as fat and jolly as ever. The command of the company devolved upon him at
the battle and in the camp, as the commissioned officer is absent. Hen. Couzner,
although paroled, is doing well. Ike Beers is around and well. Bill Rogers,
Charley Doane, John Bennett, Jim Denton, all of whom were taken and paroled,
are now doing as well as circumstances permit. Jerry Vanderburgh, I am sorry
to say, has been wounded, but at last account was fast recovering. All of our
field and line officers that were captured were taken to Texas. I have not,
as yet, heard of the particulars of the Brashear City fight, but from what
I can learn, and from the best of authority, it was a most shameful defeat,
all owing to the incompetency [sic] of officers in command, who were so alarmed
at the condition of affairs, that they could not muster courage enough to face
the enemy. The Rebs. seeing this took the place with little resistence [sic].
Colonel Nott of our regiment was sick; if he had been well things might have
gone different. Since our engagement at Lafourche we have been shifted from
one place to another, not remaining long anywhere. All the paroled boys are
in comfortable quarters, on Ship Island; there is some talk of them joining
the regiment. I hope they will, as we want some men to come home with. IRONSIDES.
Affairs in the South-west as Viewed by a Syracuse Volunteer.
Correspondence of the Syracuse Journal.
HEADQUARTERS 176th N. Y. S. V.,
BONNET CARRE, La., Aug. 16th, 1863.
The 176th (Ironsides) regiment is now encamped about forty or fifty miles above
New Orleans, upon the east bank of the Mississippi, at a small place called
Bonnet Carre.—Five or six shanties, occupied by native French, and a
contraband camp numbering about four hundred old men, women and children, make
up the "village of Bonnet Carre."
All who are acceptable of the contrabands have "gone for soldiers. A lively
business is done in this Department in enlisting colored troops. They are usually
anxious to take up arms for the Union and their own freedom; and in cases where
they "can't see the point," a little "inducement" overcomes
their objections, and they readily volunteer. There is no disguising the fact
that the colored men make excellent soldiers. All they want is good officers—fighting
officers. With but few exceptions they have been provided with white officers,
and Gen. Banks has very wisely "set his foot down" that they shall
have none but competent, experienced commanders. They have done, when called
upon, as good fighting as has been done in the Department of the Gulf, and
their powers of endurance and the efficiency of drill which they attain is
truly remarkable. Let our Government but give them the protection which they
deserve and are justly entitled to, and they will yet win a renown that cannot
be "sneezed at" with impunity by "stay-at-home, peace-howling" upstarts.
Some twenty-seven of the paroled the Syracuse company are in camp near us,
but doing no duty, as their paroles will not permit of it. Considerable sickness
among both officers and men of the whole regiment,--a larger proportion among
the paroled men, consequent upon the harsh treatment which they received at
the hands of the rebels. Hunger, thirst, long marches
under a broiling sun, sleepless nights in the wet grass, without covering,
tormented by mosquitoes,--all combined to debilitate even the strongest among
them. Many, I fear, have received a shock from which they will never recover.
They bear their sufferings with remarkable fortitude, and "nary grumble" is
heard. Occasionally, when the prospect is fair for a skirmish, one cannot but
observe how suddenly many of them get well, and desire to "have a hand
Your readers may be surprised to learn that the genuine Texans uniformly treated
our men, who fell into their hands, kindly and with marked courtesy. They would
often share their food and water with our suffering men, when they could do
so without detection. If one of our sick were ill-treated, ruthlessly robbed
of his canteen, cup, haversack, or anything which the miscreant might fancy,
the thief would invariably prove to have been once a Northern man, who had
come South to "make his fortune." It is a bitter pill to swallow,
but it is nevertheless true, and the kind readers of the Journal must draw
their own inference. The Texans are brave men, excellent fighters, and pure
unadulterated rebels at heart; but they are generous to a fault. At least,
this has been our experience. And we do not have the dread of them that we
do of the groveling curs who do not know upon which side they do belong.
All eyes are now turned upon Mobile.—The coming struggle at this point
has its share of public interest. That Mobile must fall, and speedily, too,
no one ventures a doubt—unless, indeed, it be one of that class who do
not believe that Vicksburg and Port Hudson have yet fallen, and that the whole
affair is a "Yankee ruse." Mobile once in our possession—a
few weeks rest for our wearied troops, and then "hurrah for Texas."
The Mississippi wears a lively appearance once more. What a contrast to the
dull monotony which existed before Banks granted an opening of navigation.
Its waters literally swarm with loaded boats of almost every conceivable style.
Everything that will float is suddenly brought into use; and it is laughable
to witness the ingenuity of some of our river merchants in their anxiety to
hurry their produce into the New Orleans market before prices "come down." Our
commanding officer has made application to Gen. Banks for permission to join
in the coming struggle before Mobile. Whether our prayer will be granted or
not, remains to be seen. We certainly hope yes. There is a strong probability
of our men being speedily restored to duty, in consequence of some informality
in their paroles--they not being in accordance with the late cartel. In such
an emergency, we may yet have "another dab" at the Rebs, and pay
them off for stealing all our "good clothes" at Brashear.
Truly yours, IRONSIDE.
From the 176th.
We find the following letter in the Utica Observer of last Friday. It is a
confirmation of the rumor that the 176th Reg't were mostly taken prisoners:
NEW ORLEANS, June 28, 1863.
To the Editor of the Utica Daily Observer:
You will confer a favor on the friends of Co. A, (Hamilton Co.) 176th Reg't
N. Y. Vols., by publishing the following statement: The above County men were
all taken prisoners—(but Jas. E. Saulver and N. Y. Austin)—together
with my two Lieutenants, our Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, two Surgeons, Quartermaster,
three Captains, seven Lieutenants and about 400 men of our Regiment were captured
at Brasher City on the 19th of June. Whether any were killed or not we cannot
learn; nor whether they were paroled or not.
A portion of our Regiment were ordered to La Fourche, and that portion were
saved. I was with the latter portion when Brasher City was taken.—
As soon as the particulars can be learned I will send them to you. Very respectively,
ALMON C. MESSINGER,
Captain Co. A, 176th Reg't N. Y. V.
Return of Capt. Messingess' Company of the 176th Regiment,
The following account of this company, compos-ed of Hamilton, Brookfield, Lebanon
and Madison boys, is the best we have been able to obtain, and we think it
is correct. We are indebted to Mr. Wilcox, of this place, for it.
The following persons have returned home, or came as far as New York where
a few of them went into business, or went to some other place for
Jonathan Wilcox, Erastus W. Throop, Oscar F. Blandin, Fayette J. Booth, Elmer
Clark, Pandon T. Clark, Orrelius Crocker, Daniel W. Fowler, Edward Loomis,
Byron F. Newton, Andrew J. Nichols, Wm. M. Plumb, Isaac S. Rury, Albert Saunders,
John M. Torrey, Isaac B. Marsh, Henry F. Button, Chauncey W. Barker, Berj.
S. Bates, Wm. B. Crandall, Chas. A. Daniels, Thos. G. Hewey, Tracey A. Hanson,
Wm. W. Keith, Emery Langworthy, H. W. Maxson, Leroy Maxson, Albert Marshall,
Emery D. Morgan, Ira D. Palmer, Daniel F. Reynolds, A. E. Root, M. E. Snow,
Geo. Swartz, Henry Thompson, H. J. House, Harlow Abbe, Jerome Bishop, Ira G.
Colwell, James Carter, Wm. Clow, Chauncey B. Clark, A. J. Henderson, Franklin
Hadcock, Henry C. Hart, Jonathan Hazzard, Geo. W. Leonard, Wm. Mathews, E.
S. Messinger, Geo. B. Phelps, Franklin Pallet, Henry C. Smith, Wesley D. Stevens,
Fred'k Woodhull, Israel K. Tucker, Geo. Foote, Wyllis A. Merrifield, Fred'k
Younglove, Ira L. Sharp.
1st Lieut. D.G. Wellington, prisoner in Texas.
2d Lieut. D. S. Crandell came home from New York before the Regiment went South.
Orderly H. W. Rice, left sick in New Orleans.
Truman W. Detrey, left in New Orleans.
Orville D. Eaton, died at La Fourche.
Seneca H. Foote, died in New York after the return of the Regiment.
Curtis Holt, died in Hospital on Opelousas R. R.
Henry C. Loomis, died with fever at Brashear City.
W. D. S. Ellsworth, enlisted in Cavalry at New Orleans.
C. Y. Burdick, died in New Orleans on return.
A. D. Anthony, sick in New Orleans.
Henry O. Partridge, died in New York after return.
John B. Rury, died at New Orleans.
James E. Saunders, went into a colored regiment at New Orleans.
Frederick Williams, died at New Orleans.
Hiram Wells, did not leave New York; since died.
Edwin M. Austin, drowned in Berwick Bay.
James A. Torrey, not been to New Orleans at last account.
Geo. L. Coleman, died at La Fourche.
Wm. Croft, killed at Jamaica, L. I., by cars.
Robert M. Frink, died at Bonne Carre.
Norman Tucker, died at New Orleans.
Orlando Joslin, deserted at New York before going South.
A number of the Company deserted from the Regiment before they left New York
for the South, but for fear of doing injustice to any one who served his time
faithfully, we forbear to mention the names as we might make mistakes. if any
one will furnish a list of these, who is certain it is correct, we should be
happy to expose them.
ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIXTH N. Y. VOLUNTEERS SINCE THE 19TH DAY OF SEPT.
Capt Fred Agner, wounded; Capt Wm Coxsen, do; 1st Lieut Ed Pastley, do; Francis
Huber, killed; Corp R Fergusin, wounded; Corp W Schwartz, do; S Moore, do;
A Sewwney, do; Corp J Burns, do; H Greyerson, do; R Johnson, do; P McVan, do;
R Lyons, do; C Brandon, killed; J Kelly, do; J Avery, do; P McDonald, wounded;
Corp F Fritcher, do; Wm Keyes, prisoner; J Walpert, do; Corp J Peters, killed;
J Wilde, wounded; B Dakin, do; Corp J Labour, do; W Hoffman, prisoner; Corp
N lawn, wounded; F Koin, prisoner; J Derry, wounded; N Nichols, do; Sergt J
Robinson, do; Corp H Havens, do; J Boyle, do; J Nichols, do; J Riggs, do; Sergt
S Rackfellow, do; J Woods, prisoner; W Walter, do; J Spelser, do; G Quigley,
wounded; P Herr, do; J Dwyer, do; W Greeley, do; Sergt A Michaels, prisoner;
P Flynn, do; A Gillen killed; Corp J Daniels, wounded; J Eglington, do; A Hannah,
do; P Murphy, do.
PRISONERS PAROLED.—The Syracuseans in the 176th New York regiment, who
were captured at Brashear City, La., by the rebels, excepting the commissioned
officers, have been paroled, and are now at New Orleans.
CAPTURE OF SYRACUSE VOLUNTEERS,—
Some thirty-four of the nine months' company of volunteers from Syracuse, attached
to the 176th or Ironsides regiment, were captured by the rebels at the taking
of Brashear city, Louisiana. Among them was Capt. S. E. THOMPSON, who was
formerly a Captain in the Fourteenth Regiment, but resigned on account of
his health. The Captain was sick in camp at the time of the battle.
The Alleged Bounty Swindles.
Major Barnes, of the Ironsides regiment, has called upon us to say that the
testimony of Mr. La Forrest, one of the persons arrested for getting bounty
on false pretences, given in this paper yesterday, so far as it implicates
the Major and Adjutant of the Ironsides regiment in certain alleged embezzlements
of bounty money, is utterly false. They know nothing of the man, nor of the
subject to which he refers, and are utterly surprised at his allegations. The
truth will appear in the course of the adjudication, and in the meantime the
public will give no credit to the mere unsupported assertion of a person arrested
for crime, against gentlemen of standing and reputation.
SYRACUSE MEMBERS OF THE 176TH REGIMENT CAPTURED.--The Journal has a letter
from the 176th regiment, from New Orleans, which says that thirty-four of Captain
Thompson's company, of the 176th regiment, were taken by the rebels in their
recent recapture of Brashear City La. The following is a partial list of those
captured: Captain S. E. Thompson, Sergeant Merrill Foote, Charles Gramwell,
sr., Charles Gramwell, jr., H. A.
Stillman, Patrick Riley, Corporal P. McConney, Sergeant Bettes, Corporal Bryant,
Sergeant Van Camp, E. L. Benjamin, William Dunton, Patrick Auganne, Franklin
Graves, Mathew Haberle, Jno. Hart, John G. Kurtz, Charles Kinney, Hiram Partridge,
Lieutenant Galen O. Weed, of the 176th Ironsides Regiment, is safe, not having
been taken by the rebels.
Escaped.--It is believed that Lieut. G. O. Weed of this city, who went with
the 176th, or Ironsides Regiment, was not taken prisoner at the capture of
Brashear City by the rebels. Some thirty members of the Syracuse company were
taken prisoners, but Lieut. Weed and the balance of the company escaped to
Prisoners of War.--Lieut. G. O. Weed, of the 176th N. Y. Volunteers, writes
us, under date of New Orleans, July 24th, that Capt. S. E. Thompson and the
other officers captured at Brashear City, have been taken by the rebels to
Houston, Texas. He adds:
The men have all been paroled; were marched seven days through a broiling sun,
and what were left finally reached this city. I saw them paid off in 'green-backs,'
and they have all been taken to Ship Island to await exchange, or until the
regiment returns home."
He states further that Capt. Thompson's Company, from this city, was then at
Bonte Station on the railroad to Brashear, where our troops were slowly advancing.
The Syracuse men were enjoying tolerable health. Lieut. Weed was recovering
from a severe attack of fever.
Lieut. D. Gerry Wellington, who went from Hamilton in the 176th Regiment, in
the Fall of 1862, and was taken prisoner at Brasheir [sic] City and conveyed
to Tyler, in the State of Texas, where he remained twelve or fifteen months,
arrived in town on the 13th inst. A large crowd of his friends assembled at
the Park House immediately on his arrival being made known, who testified their
joy at his safe return in the most cordial manner. In the evening the Band,
accompanied by a large number of citizens, gave him a "welcome home serenade," at
the Park House, to which greeting Lieut. Wellington responded in an eloquent
and heartfelt speech. Lieut. Wellington seemed surprised at his reception,
probably not aware before that he had so many friends in Hamilton.
The following letter was printed in the Utica Daily Observer of the 10th:
NEW ORLEANS,. LA., June 28, 1863.
You will confer a favor on the friends of Co. A, (Hamilton, Madison county,
Company,) 176th N. Y., by publishing the following statement: The above company
of men were all taken prisoners—(but Jas. E. Saulver and N. Y. Austin)
together with my two Lieutenants, our Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, two Surgeons,
Quartermaster, three Captains, seven Lieutenants, and about 400 men of our
Regiment were captured at Brashear City on the 19th of June. Whether any were
killed or not we cannot learn; nor whether they
were paroled or not.
A portion of our Regiment was ordered to La Fourche, and that portion was saved.
I was with the latter portion when Brashear City was taken. As soon as the
particulars can be learned I will send them to you.
ALMON C. MESSINGER.
Captain Co. A, 176th Regiment N. Y. V.
Among the officers of the 176th taken prisoner at Brashear City we notice the
names of Lieut. THOMAS F. PETRIE, jr., of Peterboro, and Lieut. D. GERRY WELLINGTON,
of Hamilton. All of our men there captured have been paroled.
THE IRONSIDES REGIMENT.
A correspondent of the Tribune at New Orleans, writes that the Ironsides Regiment
(176th) is mostly in the hands of the enemy. A portion of the Regiment, it
will be remembered, was recruited in Orange County by Colonel Wood last summer.
The greater portion of the Regiment was captured by the enemy in the late
affair at Brashear City. 156 of the Regiment escaped, and are in New Orleans,
including the following officers:
Lieuts. Irwin, Goodshell, Kehr, West; Capt. Terry, Lieuts. Ostram, Landers,
Stevenson, Sergt. Conner, Lieut. Weed and Capt. Barbar. At the battle of Lafourche
Crossing, previous to the surrender of Brashear City, four of the Regiment
were killed and twenty-three wounded, but the correspondent cannot give their
PRISONERS OF CAPT. THOMPSON'S COMPANY.—Lieut. G. O. Weed, of the 176th
N. Y. Volunteers writes to the Journal under date of New Orleans, July 24th,
that Capt. S. E. Thompson and the other officers captured at Brashear City,
have been taken by the rebels to Houston, Texas. He adds: "The men have
all been paroled; were marched seven days through a broiling sun, and what
was left finally reached this city. I saw them paid off in 'green-backs,' and
they have all been taken to Ship Island to await exchange, or until the regiment
He states further that Captain Thompson's Company, from this city, was then
at Bonte Station on the railroad to Brashear, where our troops were slowly
advancing. The Syracuse men were enjoying tolerable health. Lieut. Weed was
recovering from a severe attack of fever.
PROBABLY A PRISONER.—By the capture of Brashear City, Louisiana, the "Ironsides" regiment
(176th N. Y. V.) were mostly taken prisoners. The
Tribune gives a list of those who escaped, and as the name of our correspondent
Lieut. John P. Robens does not appear in that list, we are forced to conclude
that he was either killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
A. Nelson Smith, late of the 176th N. Y. S. V., has been appointed Enrolling
Officer for Chester, vice T. G. Pierson, resigned.
THE 176TH REGIMENT.—The privates belonging to the 176th (who were recently
captured at Brashaer [sic] City) have been paroled, and sent to Ship Island,
awaiting an exchange. The officers of the regiment—among whom are Lieuts.
Fry and Petrie of Capt. Norton's Company—have been sent to Texas by their
The One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth Regiment is reported in the New York papers
as having returned from New Orleans—their term of enlistment having expired.
The regiment numbers 400. A large number of these, we believe, were from this
section of the state.
Recent letters received from members of Capt. Norton's Eaton Company (176th
Reg't) state that the boys are at Ship Island, on parole, and that they are
well satisfied with their location, the island being healthy and abundantly
supplied with good water. As but few weeks remain of their term of service,
it is probable that they will be sent Northward before long, for the purpose
of being mustered out of service.--Morrisville Observer.
The officers of the 176th who have been captured have been sent to Houston,
Texas. We have already stated that the men were paroled.
Death of Lieut. Lawrence.
We find the following announcement of the death of our late townsman, Lt. James
R. Lawrence, jr., in the New Orleans Era of the 2d instant.
We regret to learn that Lieut. James R. Lawrence, jr., of the 176th regiment
N. Y. Volunteers, died at Lafourche, yesterday morning, of typhoid fever. Lieut.
Lawrence was a native of Syracuse, a son of Judge Lawrence, of Onondaga county,
and was at one time Attorney General of Minnesota. The body of deceased will
be forwarded to his friends for interment by the next steamer for the North."
The Utica Observer, whose local editor was a brother-in-law of deceased, pays
a handsome tribute to his memory,—saying:
Lieut. Lawrence, whose age was thirty-eight years, was a young man of brilliant
talents, and would, had not his social impulses been superior to his ambition,
have won at the bar a distinction not inferior to that enjoyed by his father,
with whom he studied and for a time practiced law. His wide circle of friends
will mourn the departure of one of the most faithful and genial of their number,
and will not fail to pay suitable and sincere tribute to his memory upon the
arrival home of his remains. He leaves a widow and two children."
MEETING OF THE BAR.
In the County Court on Wednesday, Hon. Judge Riegel presiding, Hon. LeRoy Morgan,
of the Supreme Court, arose, and in some appropriate and feeling remarks,
announced the death at New Orleans on the 1st instant of
Lieut. Jas. R. Lawrence, Jr., while in the military service of his country,
and late a member of the Onondaga Bar. The Judge concluded his remarks by suggesting
that appropriate notice of his death should be taken by the
Mr. VanBrocklin moved that the Court should adjourn, in token of respect to
the memory of the deceased, and Judge Riegel immediately adjourned the Court.
On motion of Judge Morgan, Judge Riegel was then called to the Chair, and R.
F. Trowbridge appointed Secretary.
A committee on Resolutions was then appointed, consisting of R. F. Trowbridge,
Hon. LeRoy Morgan, Hon. R. Woolworth, and R. H. Gardner, Esq., who reported
Whereas, It has been the destiny of our lamented brother and associate, James
R. Lawrence, Jr., to be called away suddenly from the scenes of his usefulness,
and the duties and labors of this life, we, his fellow members of the Onondaga
Bar, appreciating his spirit of patriotism, his generous disposition, his fine
and active talents, and sympathizing deeply with his afflicted family, have
Resolved, That in the death of Lieut. James R. Lawrence, Jr., the country has
lost an active and patriotic soldier, his profession has lost a talented and
efficient member, his family has been deprived of a kind father and husband,
and his friends of a social and generous companion.
Resolved, That we bear a sincere respect for that patriotic devotion to his
country, which called him away from the enjoyments of home and the happiness
of the family fireside, to brave the dangers of the ensanguined field and the
subtler enemy which decimates the camp with his poisoned breath, and we shall
ever honor the soldier whose self-sacrifice and death were in the cause of
Resolved, That we hereby tender to his stricken wife and orphaned children
that sympathy which is mingled with an honorable regard for the dead, and to
them, and to that sorrowful father and those tearful sisters, we would offer
that condolence which, while lamenting the loss of the son and brother, would
assuage their sorrow by our generous and just appreciation of the holy cause
for which he gave his life.
Resolved, That the foregoing resolutions be published by the city papers, and
a copy signed by the President and Secretary, forwarded to the family of the
Frequent and feeling tributes were then made to the memory of the dead by Judge
Morgan, Judge Woolworth, R. H. Gardner, Esq., Andrew H. Green, Esq., and H.
C. Miner, Esq.
Many touching allusions were made to the father of the deceased, Hon. Jas.
R. Lawrence, one of the oldest and most eminent members of the bar of this
State, and much sympathy was expressed for him in this bereavement which has
stricken him so severely. Mr. Green spoke of the success which the deceased
achieved in Minnesota. Judge Woolworth spoke of the skill and ability with
which he conducted his causes, and alluded to the strong brotherly feeling
which existed among the members of the Onondaga Bar—which allusions were
concurred in by Mr. Miner, whose practice in four counties gave him an opportunity
to judge. Mr. Gardner paid a most eloquent personal tribute to the deceased,
and in a most beautiful and touching manner spoke of his professional intercourse
with him, of the skill and readiness with which he conducted the many causes
which he had tried against him, and closed with a kind and sympathizing allusion
to his aged father.
On motion of Mr. Gardner, the Clerk was directed by the Court to make a minute
of the proceedings and resolutions in the records of the Court.
On motion of L. W. Hall, Esq., a committee of the Bar was appointed to take
charge of the arrangements for the funeral of the deceased, and the meeting
H. RIEGEL, Chairman.
R. F. TROWBRIDGE, Secretary.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
December 11, 2007