New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center - Unit History Project
     Unit History Project  
  About the Museum
  Contact Us
  Armories & Arsenals
  Unit History Project
   - Revolution
   - Civil
   - Spanish American
   - Mex. Border, 1916
   - WWI
   - WWII
   - Korean
  Veteran's Oral History
  DMNA Homepage
  NY Naval Militia

An Address
JUNE 5, 1895


The following is a transcription of Wardwell G. Robinson’s speech at the 1895 Reunion of the 184th NY Volunteer Infantry that was subsequently published.

My great / great Grandfather, William McGrath (enrolled as William McGraw) was a private in “D” Company under the command of Captain Sylvester E. Town. He participated in the Battle of Cedar Creek where he received injuries to his leg and back during the counterattack on Early’s troops. The injuries were not recorded at the time but for which he later received a pension.

I have annotated the text to give the reader a better understanding of the people, places and events referenced in this document as well as appended additional materials for a greater appreciation of the history of this unit.

This compilation of documents relative to the actions of the 184th is dedicated to their sacred memory and the sacred memory of the 24th NY Volunteer Infantry, 81st Volunteer Infantry, 110th Volunteer Infantry, 147th NY Volunteer Infantry, 24th NY Cavalry, 21st NY Light Artillery, and all the other soldiers and sailors from Oswego, New York who sacrificed their blood, sweat, tears and lives for the preservation of the Union and the freedom of all men and women in this country.

The text is divided so as to show what appeared on the respective page of the original text.



Fellow soldiers and Gentlemen of the
One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment
Of New York State Infantry Volunteers

Pursuant and in obedience to a resolution passed at a reunion of the survivors of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment held at Pulaski in June, 1893, whereby I was requested to prepare and present to your body a history of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment [1] during the late civil war, I have the honor to present and submit the following paper.

In the outset I may be permitted to state that in the preparation of this paper I have been seriously hampered and embarrassed by the fact that for a time the regiment was separated or divided, and the further fact that I am unable to speak from a personal knowledge as to matters connected with what is known as the “Four Companies,” or the “Shenandoah Valley Companies,” also the further fact that the history of the regiment necessitates a two-fold history down to the point when the regiment became united in one organization in fact. These several facts to a great extent interfere with and mar the unity of the history.

I beg leave to return my sincere thanks to Mr. Amos Youmans, of Fulton, N. Y.; to Mr. Squires, of New Haven, N. Y. and to Mr. M. V. Wadleigh, of Oswego, N. Y., for valuable data and assistance rendered me in the preparation of this paper, so far as the four companies are concerned; and to D. P. Morehouse, Esq. [2] of Oswego, N. Y., for a substantial copy of the names of the officers and privates appearing upon the muster-in rolls of the regiment, which are hereto attached, marked “Appendix A.”

I am unable to narrate the many sad, pathetic, and humorous incidents connected with the regiment --- the camp songs and stories sung and told in camp, on the march, and on the picket line. They must be and are left to your individual recollections, to be remembered when calling to mind this portion of your life’s history, and to be repeated at the fireside to children and friends, as also rehearsed at Grand Army post camp-fires.

The moving causes of the civil war have become matters of history, and to rehearse them at this time would be inappropriate. I may, however, venture to say that in my judgment such causes were three in number:
1. The jealousy on the part of the South, occasioned by the overshadowing political importance, wealth, and prosperity of the North, West and Northwest,
2. The doctrine of States’ rights, or the reserved powers [3] of the several States not granted to the General Government; and
3. The question of slavery.

The second and third causes or questions have been practically settled by the civil war. The first cause remains to some extent, but is rapidly being adjusted by the advancing prosperity of the South.

The progress of the war in the year 1863 and the early part of 1864 had been disastrous and barren of results to the Federal Government and army; the country at large, which was favorable to the Federal Government, was filled with consternation; the sympathizers at the North with the secessionists were outspoken in their predictions as the triumphant success of secession, and were giving all aid in their power to those engaged in destroying the unity of the United States; Canadian lake ports were filled with those plotting the dismemberment of the country. There was a feeling of deep gloom overspreading the whole loyal North; not a city, and hardly a village, town, or school district in this State but that had maimed and wounded exemplars of the fact that a sanguinary war was raging. The North had already contributed freely in men, money, and material, and the end was not yet. The “On-to-Richmond!” cry had ceased to delude the most sanguine, and the oft-repeated saying, “The war won’t last ninety days,” no longer found believers; on the contrary, it was everywhere and by every one recognized that the Republic was battling for its very existence.

Oswego County [4], in proportion to its population and size, had already contributed its quota, and even more than its quota, towards sustaining the burden of the war. How well Oswego County bore its burden is shown by the fact that it furnished in round numbers five thousand men in excess of its quota --- the quota being some seven thousand five hundred, while it furnished about twelve thousand five hundred men. In addition to raising five regiments --- the Twenty-fourth, Eighty-first, One Hundred and Tenth, One Hundred and Forty-seventh, and One Hundred and Eighty-fourth --- it furnished men to the following named organizations, viz.: Cavalry Regiments --- Seventh, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-fourth, and First Veteran. Artillery Regiments --- Batteries F and G, First; Battery M Second; Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Sixteenth; independent battery, Twenty-first,. Engineers Regiments --- First (new), Fiftieth. Infantry Regiments --- Nineteenth, Twenty-first, Twenty-third, Thirty-seventh, One Hundred and Forty-sixth, One Hundred Eighty-ninth, One Hundred Ninety-third.

It was under these gloomy and terrible circumstances and conditions, thus briefly and inadequately stated, that Oswego County, again responding to the proclamation of the later-on martyred President Lincoln, calling for five hundred thousand additional troops to serve for one year, and which proclamation was dated July 18, 1864, set about the enlistment of another regiment to be added to the other Oswego County regiments that had already gone to war, and from which regiments maimed and wounded men were continually returning home as leaves falling to the earth from trees smitten by the autumn frost.

Under the auspices and direction of the War Committee of the county, whose chairman was the late Hon. Elias Root, a series of so-called war meetings was held throughout the county to promote the enlistment of men for the proposed regiment. These meetings were addressed by, so far as I now recollect, Hon. Cheney Ames, Hon. Henry Fitzhugh, Dr. A. Van Dyke, Hon. A. B. Getty, Hon. D. G. Fort, and others whose names I do not now call to mind. [5] The recruiting and formation of the regiment was authorized by Hon. Horatio Seymour, [6] Governor of this State, on the personal application of Hon. Elias Root as chairman of the War Committee of the County of Oswego. It is my recollection that these so-called war meetings did not continue for a time longer than from ten days to two weeks, for recruiting and enlistments proceeded rapidly and the number of men necessary to fill the regiment was soon obtained; in fact, there were some fourteen hundred men and over recruited for the regiment from Oswego County alone, and some two hundred and over from Madison and Cayuga counties. This excess of men went into and formed part of other organizations that were at this time in process of formation throughout the State. [7]

The companies of the regiment when recruited and enlisted, were clothed, mustered, and sent forward to Elmira, N. Y., the general rendezvous, by A. L. Scott, Esq. then Provost Marshal at the City of Oswego. Companies A, B, D and F were forwarded from Oswego to Elmira on the dates following: Company A, August 30th; Company B, August 31st; Companies D and F, September 5th. They remained at Elmira until on or about September 13, 1864, when they were forwarded to Washington, D. C. by General Devins, then in command at Elmira. The remaining companies of the regiment (C, E, G, H, I, and K) were on or about the 14th Day of September, 1864, clothed, mustered and sent forward to Elmira by Provost-Marshal Scott, where such companies remained until on or about the 16th day of September, 1864, when they were sent forward by General Devins, via Baltimore, to the Army of the James [8] at Bermuda Hundred, [9] near City Point, a place then and later on a very important point so far as the Federal forces were concerned, as it was the base of supplies for the armies then operating in front of Richmond, Petersburg, and points farther south, and at which pace an immense amount of army supplies of all kinds was gathered.

So great at this time (in 1864) was the need of men at the front, that the United States authorities, without waiting for the arrival of the six companies at Elmira, despatched, as I have stated, the four companies to Washington, [10] and, without waiting for the arrival and muster-in of the field and staff, despatched the six companies to Bermuda Hundred as above stated; in fact, every available man was sent to the front as rapidly as possible all over the country, and when regiments were not complete, companies and even detachments were forwarded to the front. It will be remembered that in the case of the Twenty-fourth, Eight-first, One Hundred and Tenth, and One Hundred and Forty –seventh regiments they each went to the seat of war as complete organizations, fully equipped, etc.

I have always attributed, and at this time attribute, the comparatively small loss the One Hundred and Eighty Fourth Regiment sustained to the fact that the regiment was sent forward in detail as above mentioned. I never understood, and do not now understand, why the six companies should not have been ordered to join the four companies in the first instance. I can understand why, after the several portions of the regiment reached the front, a union could not readily be effected, growing out the fact that the commanding officer of whichever part of the army to which a portion of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth was attached would be averse to letting go such portion, or to diminishing his command by losing such a substantial body of men. I know that from the moment I was mustered in I was constant, in season and out of season, in using every effort in my power to effect the union of the several portions of the regiment. I at once upon my muster-in and even before that, called the attention of General Devins at Elmira to the unpleasant and unfortunate condition of affairs, and was assured by him that as soon as the field and staff reached the front this unfortunate state of affairs would at once be remedied. However, "Man proposes, God disposes," and today I am satisfied that to the condition of affairs above mentioned, and for which none of us were or are responsible, we owe, by the favor of Heaven, the immunity of the regiment from greater loss and disaster.

On Friday, the 16th day of September, 1864 at Elmira, N.Y., and at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon of that day, the writer, as Colonel, William D. Ferguson, as Major, and Howard M. Smith, as Adjutant, were severally mustered into the service of the United States. At 5 o'clock of the same day Major Ferguson, by order left Elmira, destined for Washington, to join the four companies and to take command thereof; and on the same day Adjutant Smith, by like order, left Elmira to join the six companies already sent forward to City Point. The writer, accompanied by Hon. Elias Root, left for Albany to attend to regimental business at the Adjutant-General's office of the State of New York.

On the 22nd day of September, 1864, at Elmira, N.Y., William P. McKinley, as Lieutenant-Colonel, and John Dunn, Jr. , as Quartermaster, were mustered into the service of the United States as of September 16, 1864.

The regiment thus organized, mustered, and enrolled, consisted of the following named field, staff and line officers:

Wardwell G. Robinson, [11] Colonel, enrolled by Governor Seymour; mustered September 16th, by Lieut. W.G. Fitch , [12] U.S.A.

William P. McKinley, Lieutenant-Colonel, enrolled by Governor Seymour; mustered September 16th, by Lieut. W.G. Fitch, U.S.A.

William D. Ferguson, Major, enrolled by Governor Seymour; mustered September 16th, by Lieut. W.G. Fitch, U.S.A.

Howard M. Smith, Adjutant, enrolled by Governor Seymour; mustered September 16th, by Lieut. W.G. Fitch, U.S.A.

John Dunn, Jr., Quartermaster, enrolled by Governor Seymour; mustered September 16th, by Lieut. W.G. Fitch, U.S.A.

Nelson R. Barnes, Surgeon, enrolled at Harrison's Landing by W. G. Robinson; mustered November 8th, by Lieut. L. H. Brown, A.C.M.

Theodore S. Kinnie, Assistant Surgeon, enrolled in the field by Capt. A. J. Smith; mustered November 1st, by Capt. Smith.

Jacob Post, Chaplain, enrolled at Harrison's Landing by W.G. Robinson; mustered December 31, by Lieut. L.H. Brown, A.C.M.

Company A – Joel S. Palmer, Captain; Cheever P. Strong, First Lieutenant; Marquis L. Branch, Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira September 12, 1864. Ninety three- enlisted men, mustered between July 29 and September 4, 1864.

Company B – William S. Morse Captain; James H. Root, First Lieutenant; Charles H. Peavy, Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira, September 16, 1864. Ninety-eight enlisted men, mustered between August 13 and September 1, 1864.

Company C – James W. Parkhurst, Captain; George A. Leonard, First Lieutenant; David Bothwell, Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira, September 16, 1864. Ninety eight enlisted men, mustered between August 13 and September 1, 1864.

Company D – Sylvester R. Town, Captain; Augustus Phillips, First Lieutenant; Joel H. Warn, Second Lieutenant. Captain mustered at Elmira, September 14, First and Second Lieutenants, September 12, 1864. Eighty-five enlisted men, mustered between August 15 and September 1, 1864.

Company E – John Sheridan, Captain; John W. Francis, first Lieutenant; James H. Loomis, Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira, September 12, 1864. Ninety-eight enlisted men, mustered between August 17 and September 5, 1864.

Company G. – James T. Outerson, Captain; Joseph H. Grant, First Lieutenant; Thomas W. Smith, Second Lieutenant, Officers mustered at Elmira, September 15, 1864. Ninety six enlisted men, mustered between August 19 and September 2, 1864.

Company H – Henry W. Ramsay, Captain; George W. Woodin, First Lieutenant; Thomas M. Watkins, Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira, September 16, 1864. Ninety-eight enlisted men, mustered between August 20 and September 4, 1864.

Company I – George Wetmore, Captain; Edgar F. Morris, First Lieutenant; John H. Gilman, Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira, September 16, 1864. Ninety-eight enlisted men, mustered between August 12 and September 5, 1864.

Company K. – Stephen J. Scriber, Captain; Merritt G. McCoon, First Lieutenant; no Second Lieutenant. Officers mustered at Elmira, September 15, 1864. Eighty-six enlisted men, mustered between August 22 and September 8, 1864. (Leonard S. Carter was afterward mustered as Second Lieutenant of Company K and Jerome H. Coe was promoted from Orderly Sergeant of Company K to First Lieutenant of same company, vice Merrit G. McCoon, resigned,).

After the regiment was united, Sergeant M.V. Wadleigh, Company F, carried the National colors and Sergeant Burton Wheeler, Company C, the State colors.

The total of field staff, and line officers and enlisted men was nine hundred and fifty seven, according to the original muster-in rolls.

On the 23rd of September, 1864, the Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, Quartermaster, Thomas G. Sinclair, Sutler, and James Raney, Sutler's clerk, left Elmira bound for City Point, via Baltimore and Fortress Monroe. Upon reaching City Point, it was learned that the regiment was encamped about two miles from Bermuda Hundred and about one or one and one-half miles for the front, and as was found, within hearing of the firing along the picket lines. The camp of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth was reached about 6 o'clock P.M. of the 26th day of September, 1864. It is the recollection of the writer that at this point and time Sutler Sinclair concluded not to go further, and somewhat later P.H. Ellis became Sutler of the Regiment.

The four companies [13] reached Washington at 10:30 P.M. of the 16th day of September, 1864, and remained at the Soldier's Rest in that city during that night. On the afternoon of the 17th of September, 1864, the men of the four companies marched to Fort Corcoran, on Arlington Heights, and remained at the fort for the following four days. Just where and when Major Ferguson joined the detachment is not entirely clear, but it must have been at the Soldier's Rest on the 16th of September or at Fort Corcoran on the 17th, for it seems to be reasonably clear and certain that the first company report made (that of Company A, Captain Palmer, Mr. Squires acting as company clerk), was made to Major Ferguson, as commander of the detachment, on Sunday morning, the 18th day of September, 1864.

On the 20th day of September, tents and rubber blankets were issued to the detachment. On the 21st, guns and accoutrements were issued. On the 22nd, forty rounds of ammunition were issued to each man, and on the same day the first dress parade of the detachment was had.

On the same or following day (September 23rd), the detachment was forwarded from Fort Corcoran by cars to Harper's Ferry, and, marching to Bolivar Heights, camped there until the 27th of September, when the detachment was assigned to and became a part of a provisional brigade commanded by Colonel Heine; [14] and on the same day, at about 3 o'clock P.M., the brigade struck tents and took up the line of march for Winchester, Va. [15] This provisional brigade was assigned to duty as a part of a guard to a supply train destined for General Sheridan's [16] army.

On the 28th of September the brigade and detachment went into camp a mile or two beyond and south of Winchester, the march being twenty-two miles. On the 29th of September the troops camped about three miles from Strasburg, or Fisher's Hill, a march of twenty-two miles. On September 30th the march was twenty five miles, to Mount Jackson, and on October 1st the march was about thirty-five miles to Harrisonburg, where the troops arrived at about midnight. During almost the entire march this day the troops were looking upon the unaccustomed sight of burning barns, houses, mills, and stacks of hay and straw that had been fired presumably by the Federal cavalry.

On Sunday, the 2nd of October, the day was passed in camp, and for part of the time the men of the detachment were engaged in scraping and beating the dried mud of the so-called "sacred soil of Virginia" from their clothes, and in scouring and removing the rust from their guns. No little part of the day was passed in cooking and eating fresh pork and mutton that had been obtained in generous quantities from the ample stores of the men connected with the wagon train, and which had been secured by judicious foraging in the enemy's country on the previous day's march. Song and jest were not wanting or unheard about the several camp-fires. Home and the loved ones were not forgotten, and from many went up the silent prayer to the Giver of all good, asking the blessings of Heaven to rest upon these so loved, upon the cause in which they were engaged, and upon themselves.

On the 3rd of October, 1864, the detachment started from Harrisonburg, destined for Winchester, having under escort a large number of white and colored refugees, some on foot and others in all sorts and descriptions of vehicles, also a number of Confederate prisoners and a large drove or herd of captured sheep, horses and cattle. At night of that day the detachment camped near New Market.

On the 4th of October the march was resumed, and the same night camped near Woodstock. On the 5th of October the march was continued, the detachment camping that night about eight miles from Winchester.

During the week from October 5th to October 12th the detachment was engaged in marching to, remaining at, and marching from Martinsburg to Winchester.

On the 12th of October the detachment marched from Winchester to Newtown and camped for the night, and the next day marched to Front Royal and camped for the night.

It was at or about this time that the detachment was attached to and became a part of the First Brigade, Third Division of the Sixth Army Corps.

On the 14th day of October, 1864, the brigade left Front Royal, destined, as was supposed, for Petersburg, but after marching until in the afternoon, the column was countermarched, and later camped at Millwood.

At 3 o'clock A.M. of October 15th, the bugle call of "Fall in!" sounded; whereupon, after the column had been formed, a forced march of sixteen miles was made, through woods, fields, ditches, and over stone walls, to Newtown. Halting at that place for an hour, the column resumed its march to Middletown, and then through the fields to what was called and known as Cedar Creek camp, where it remained until the day of the battle hereinafter mentioned. While so camped, a detail was made of one hundred men from the detachment for picket duty, and this detail returned to camp on the 16th or 17th of October.

On the 19th of October 1864, occurred what is known as the battle of Cedar Creek, [17] and closely connected therewith is the famous ride of General Sheridan, so often told in story and sung in song. [18] I shall not attempt at this time to describe that battle. Suffice it to say that the Federal forces were at first driven from their encampment in confusion, through an attack made upon them at an early hour in the day by the Confederate forces, who were in superior numbers; that later in the day the Federal forces were rallied by General Sheridan, faced about, and making a gallant attack upon the Confederates, then flushed with victory, put them to utter rout. Taking everything into consideration, it was one of the most gallant and unique engagements of the war, and the memory of Sheridan's ride from Winchester to Cedar Creek on that memorable 19th of October, 1864 will long remain fresh and green in the annals of the civil war.

This battle of Cedar Creek was the first engagement in which the detachment participated, and wherein it received its baptism of fire. It can truthfully be said that it sustained its part well, and materially aided in the final triumphant repulse and defeat of the Confederates. In justly estimating and awarding to the detachment its fair and well-merited need of praise for its conduct on that occasion, it must be remembered that at the time of the engagement scarcely a month had elapsed wince the members of the detachment had been drawn from the peaceful avocations of home life, and had but little or no acquaintance with military drill, tactics or discipline.

Lieut. Augustus Phillips, of Company F, the acting Adjutant of the detachment, was severely wounded early in the engagement. Two privates (whose names I am unable to obtain) had started to remove him from the field of battle, but they had not proceeded far when he died, and at this time, the Confederates being on the advance and the Federals retiring, his body was left on the field of battle. After the battle was concluded the body was recovered, but it had been stripped of everything save a part of the underclothing. [19] I understand that Lieutenant Phillips was buried on the field of battle. [20] It is said that for a day or two preceding his death Lieutenant Phillips seemed to belaboring under a premonition of some disaster personal to himself.

From the best information obtainable, the names of the enlisted men of the detachment killed at the battle of Cedar Creek are: Peter E. Eldred, of Company A [21]; Lester E. Wyburn of Company B [22]; Joseph Menway [23] and John Sabin of Company D [24] and John M. Wing, of Company F. {25] These five persons were buried on the field of battle. After the battle Private William H. Victory of Company A, was missing; he never returned to the detachment or the regiment, and his fate was never known.

To indicate the burial place of Peter E. Eldred, a marker or headboard was made from a part of a hardtack box and placed at the head of the grave, and his name, company, regiment, and when and where killed was carved thereon by Mr. Amos Youmans.

The following named enlisted men of Company A were wounded, viz: Andrew W. Fish, Richard Baker, Andrus L. Gilbert, Dwight Parkhurst, Henry Hale, George Baily, William Visgar, Franklin Collins, Tucker Woodson, John P. Coe, Aaron Stoughtenger.

Andrew W. Fish [27] and Dwight Parkhurst [28] were sent to a hospital, where they died within about a month after the battle. After the battle Private Parkhurst was found lying on the field of battle, badly wounded through the hips; he had been nearly stripped of all his clothing by the Confederates. Men of other regiments found Mr. Parkhurst, who communicated the fact to the men of the detachment. The men who found Mr. Parkhurst had cared for him as best they could – had built a fire near him and had covered him with dry hides that had been left on the ground by the army butchers. The men of the detachment learning of Mr. Parkhurst's condition and whereabouts, Private Amos Youmans and three others proceeded to the place indicated, and, by means of a stretcher improvised from two pieces of fence-rail and a tent cloth, carried Mr. Parkhurst to a camp-fire of the detachment, and the next morning he was carried in an ambulance to the hospital.

Henry Hale [29] was taken to a hospital, where he remained until sufficiently recovered to be sent to his home in Volney or Scriba, where he died shortly after his arrival.

I am unable further to follow the ultimate fortunes of the other wounded men of company A above named. [30]

The following named enlisted men of Company B were wounded, viz.: James Allen, William Blackwood, John P. Kennedy, William J. Moore, Lewis Parmentier, George W. Reed, Matthias Strawback, Charles A. Wilks, Charles Woolson, Thomas M. Wood, Sergeant Daniel D. Hartigan, Sergeant Edwin Snyder, Corporal William P. Stevens, Corporal James Pearson.

The following named enlisted men of Company D were wounded, viz.: Charles D. Feriss, Joseph Flanagan, William Hewitt, Whitmore Percival [31], Dunham C. Shapley, Frederick Younglove, Sergeant Alfred Moran, Sergeant George G. Barber. Private John Sabin, of Company D, who was killed as heretofore stated, was shot while in close proximity to Sergeant M. V. Wadleigh.

The following named men of Company F were wounded, viz.: Willis E. Brunott, Joohn W. Budds, Job Babcock, James Lowden, David Marshall. Private James Allen of Company B [32], was removed from the field of battle to the field hospital, where he died from his wounds in a day or two after the battle. I am unable to state further as to the wounded men of Companies B, D, and F, above named.

To recapitualate, at the battle of Cedar Creek the detachment lost one officer and five enlisted men killed, thirty-eight enlisted men wounded, and one missing; making a total of forty-five killed, wounded and missing.

After the battle had terminated, the detachment returned to the encampment from which it had been so unceremoniously driven in the early morning, and where it remained encamped until the 9th day of November, 1864. On that date it broke camp and marched to Camp Russell, near Winchester, where it remained, doing camp, guard, and picket duty, until the 3rd day of December, 1864, when it marched to Stephens Depot, a distance of about four miles from Winchester, and there embarked in cars for Washington, D.C., and reached its destination on the 4th of December 1864.

While the detachment was a Camp Russell, Major Ferguson was taken sick and was obliged to absent himself from the detachment, and did not return to duty until after the detachment had reached and joined the regiment at Harrison's Landing. [33]

At Camp Russell a detail was made of from sixty to one hundred and fifty men under Captain Town, Lieutenant Warn, and another Lieutenant; the duty of the detail was that of guarding a wagon train destined for Martinsburg.

In the afternoon of the 4th of December the detachment boarded the steamer Charlotte Vanderbilt, en route for City Point, Va., which place it reached about or soon after noon of the 5th of December, 1864, and at once disembarked. Not long before reaching City Point the detachment passed Post Harrison's Landing, situated on the James River, at which place at that time was stationed the remaining portion of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment. Upon passing Harrison's Landing the detachment loudly cheered.

It may, I think, be truthfully said that the campaign in the Shenandoah and Luray valleys involved three hundred and fifty or four hundred and fifty miles of hard marching, with alternate heat, cold, and rain; at times the line of march enveloped in stifling dust, then wading through the mud – and one never having seen or experienced the mud of that portion of Virginia can have no adequate conception of its stickiness. Many of the men were without tents, blankets or overcoats, and suffered severely from exposure to the elements. It may be added that the detachment at all times during that campaign did its full share of camp, guard, picket and fatigue duty. During the campaign, Lieut. Augustus Phillips acted as Adjutant until his death at Cedar Creek; thereinafter, Lieut. Joel H. Warn. Lieut. S.H. Brown acted as Quartermaster.

* * * * * *

The fortunes of the four companies (who, under the circumstances, may almost be entitled to the appellation of the "Lost tribes of Israel") have new been followed until we have arrived at a fitting point to take up the history of the doings and wanderings of the six companies.

It will be remembered that it has heretofore been stated that the field and staff officers joined the six companies at a point near the front, at Bermuda Hundred, at about 6 o'clock P.M. of the 26th day of September, 1864. Perhaps it would be well, and liberty is asked to quote extracts from a paper diary kept of the principal matters occurring at this period, as it may serve more vividly to bring before you on this occasion what happened more than thirty years ago. There is every reason to believe that such extracts as may be made are truthful and may be implicitly relied on, for the several entries upon the diary were made at the time or substantially the time of the happening, of the several events therein recorded, and were not made for publication:
We reached the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth camp about 6 P.M.; found the boys camped in an opening; on either side of our regiment were camped Pennsylvania regiments of one years; found the boys had a few tents. We slept in the Adjutant's tent; it was somewhat crowded, there being six of us; however, about 9 P.M. we spread our blankets on the ground and laid down to sleep; while so lying, one could distinctly hear the picket firing at the front. Found the regiment in utter confusion, and things looking discouraging and squally. Had the pleasure on reaching the camp of meeting Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Spencer.

On Tuesday, September 27, 1864, after breakfasting upon hardtack and fried pork, orders were received from Colonel Potter to strike tents and for the regiment to be ready to move at 10:30 a.m. Tents were immediately struck, and at 11:30 A.M. the regiment marched to Bermuda Hundred, where orders were received to report to Brigadier-General Marston at Fort Pocahontas [34], or Wilson's Landing, sometimes known as Brandon. On leaving camp in the morning, three hundred and forty four men and twelve officers of a New Jersey regiment (Thirty-eight New Jersey, Colonel W.J. Sewell), by order of Colonel Potter, were placed in charge of the commanding officer of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth. [35]

At 1:30 P.M. the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth and other troops left Bermuda Hundred for Fort Pocahontas on the steamer Thomas Powell. The New Jersey troops were transported on the steamer Portsmouth. The One Hundred and Eighty Fourth Regiment reached Fort Pocahontas at 4 P.M. of the same day, and on reaching the landing or wharf, received orders that the One Hundred and Eighty fourth should disembark and that the New Jersey troops should return to Fort Powhatten, sometimes called Wynamoke, which had been passed on the way to Fort Pocahontas.

While at the wharf at Fort Pocahontas, and either just before or at the time of the disembarkation of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth, General B.F. Butler passed across the wharf with his aides and went on board a small despatch boat lying at the wharf, bound for City Point or Bermuda Hundred, as was said. After landing, the tents of the one Hundred and Eighty-fourth were pitched inside the breast-works of the fort; got our supper, consisting of fried pork, hardtack, and tea.

On Wednesday, September 28, 1864, at about 9 A.M., an order was received for a detail of one hundred and twelve men and two commissioned officers for picket duty; the order was promulgated and executed. At 12 o'clock M. an order was received to send two companies to Harrison's Landing, and without delay two companies were despatched by the steamer Thomas Powell. The names of the two companies so sent forward to Harrison's Landing must be supplied by your recollection. At or about 3 P.M., by invitation, the writer accompanied Brigadier-General Marston and Dr. Rice [36] of the Eighty-first New York Volunteers, in a ride to and along the picket lines, inspecting same. While on such inspection, Brigadier-General Marston promised that the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth should be sent to Harrison's Landing. At 5 P.M. of this day, Lieutenant Morris and forty-two enlisted men arrived.

On Thursday, September 29th, letters were written to the Secretary of War, to D.C. Littlejohn, M.C., [37] and to Governor Seymour, urging the union of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth, and stating the manner in which it had become separated. At about 1 o'clock P.M. four companies of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth received orders to proceed to Harrison's Landing [38] without delay, and the greater portion of such four companies, together with the field and staff, embarked on the headquarters despatch boat, the steamer Ella, bound for Harrison's Landing, at which place they arrived at about 3:30 P.M., and immediately camped in quarters that had been used by the regiment commanded by Colonel Holman, that had been ordered to the front. Upon arriving at Harrison's Landing, a company of cavalry was found to be in temporary charge of the post Harrison's Landing, which was commanded by a Lieutenant Miles, from Massachusetts. There was also a detachment of Pennsylvania artillery at the post. It may here be remarked that Harrison's Landing was sometimes known as Berkeley, a manorial residence before the Revolution. It was at one time the residence of the Harrison family, and the birthplace of Ex-President William Henry Harrison. The fortifications were extensive and in the form of an oval, and at or near the apex of the fortification was a magazine stored with ammunition etc.; the breast-works, and the space enclosed, rested upon the James River. The post was in plain sight of City Point. The afternoon the regiment reached the post the booming of cannon at the front could be distinctly heard, and at night the firing was heavy and continuous, and the flash of the guns could be distinctly seen. The breast works at Harrison's Landing enclosed a space of perhaps twenty-five to thirty acres.

On the 30th of September the remainder of the four companies reached the post, leaving two companies at Fort Pocahontas. To-day, details were made for picket, camp, and guard duty. The farthest point at this time covered by our picket lines was at a point on Herring Creek, sometimes called "The Wade," sometimes "Widow Rowland's Mill," for at this point there was a grist-mill and residence owned or at least occupied by a widow lady by the name of Rowland, who was a native of New Jersey. On the farm connected with this and adjacent property at this time were to be distinctly seen the lines of McClellan's breast-works after he fell back to the James River through the Chickahominy region, and hundreds of tents and ridge poles could there be seen. The highway leading north from Harrison's Landing to "The Wade" extended, was one of the direct roads through the Chickahominy region or swamp to Richmond, and beyond "The Wade" and bearing northeast the road led to Charles City Court House, thence to Norfolk. The mansion house within the breastworks was at once designated and occupied as a post hospital. By order, the regimental commander was detached from the regiment and placed in command of the post.

On Saturday, October 1st, the pickets sent or brought in two deserters, who claimed that they had enlisted at Syracuse, N.Y. They were sent forward the same day be the mail boat to General Marston, at headquarters of the separate brigade. A full mail for the regiment reached the post today.

On Sunday, October 2nd, information was received that General Marston had been ordered to the front. Later, Dr Strong reached the post, bringing orders for him to remain at Harrison's Landing until further orders. The firing was very heavy and continuous today on General Grant's left (Petersburg). At about 11 P.M. the commanding officer of the post visited the camp guard, and upon arriving at the sally-port the sentinel was leaning against the parapet; upon being spoken to, he at once cried "Halt!" brought his gun up and fired, the ball from the gun passing uncomfortably near the officer.

On the night of the 3d of October, and in the absence at Fort Pocahontas of the commanding officer of Post Harrison's Landing, there was an alarm occasioned by one of the sentinels on guard firing at a white dog, calling out the force and manning the trenches. The incident was laughable, but rather inconvenient.

October 5. – At 3 P.M. a despatch boat from City Point reached the wharf at Harrison's Landing, bringing Brigadier-General Hunt and a Colonel on General Mead's staff and an unknown officer; after giving certain instruction to the Post Commander, they left for City Point.

October 7. – Orders were received that the command of the separate brigade and department had been temporarily turned over by General Marston to Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson, of the Second New Hampshire Volunteers. [39]

October 8. – A scout named Myers, from Richmond, on his way to General Grant at City Point, came into the post. Lieutenant Grant, of Company G [40], as about this date appointed Post Commissary.

October 9. – Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson, commanding the separate brigade, arrived on steamer Ella and rode out to picket line, vidette [41] post, and McClellan's fortifications, accompanied by the commandant at Harrison's Landing. After Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson left, a prisoner was sent in from the picket line; he was sent to the guardhouse, and later on to department headquarters at City Point; he had important intelligence for General Grant from Richmond.

October 10. – At 10 A.M. the Post Commandant left on the steamer General Howard for General Butler's headquarters, via Bermuda Hundred and the upper pontoon bridge, on business of the post. Butler's headquarters were in a fine pine grove about one mile from Aiken's Landing. The General was at the extreme front, and the business was transacted with the acting Adjutant-General. Before returning, the celebrated Dutch Gap canal was visited, as also the place where our troops were at that time shelling the enemy. In the evening of the same day Captain Dan O'Brian, of the Twenty-fourth New York Volunteers reached Harrison's Landing.

October 11 – There were several alarms on the picket lines and several shots fired. John C. Lake of Oswego, N.Y., arrived today.

October 12. – On visiting the picket line it was reported by the Sergeant of the picket line that four strange men had been seen to leave Widow Rowland's at near daybreak. The next night six men were posted in Widow Rowland's barn, unknown to her, to capture the visitors if possible. At evening, James McKinley, Captain Corey, and James Kingsley, from the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Volunteers came into camp from City Point.

October 13. – The post Commandant, accompanied by Lieutenant Miles and a cavalry escort, rode out to Harrison's plantation; nothing was found of importance, save a United States ambulance wagon. While returning to the post, was met by a cavalryman, who reported that three of the cavalry scouts, about three miles out from the Widow Rowland's, were attacked by guerillas and one of the scouts killed and one wounded. A hurried march was made to the post, whereupon a force of cavalry and twenty-five infantry were despatched to the scene of the attack. After some time the force returned, not having succeeded in finding the guerillas, but brought in the dead cavalryman. He had been shot three times through the chest, and his head was terribly bruised and crushed in. The wounded cavalryman will recover. Three cows were driven in today. A part of twenty went out tonight to drive in a quantity of stock understood to be herded about three miles outside the picket lines.

October 14. – About 10 o'clock A.M. the raiding party returned, bringing with it five cows, two yearlings, three heifers, and two hogs. In the afternoon the Post Commandant, accompanied by Dr. Stone, rode out to an along the picket lines, and thence to Westover, where there was what remained of a fine old colonial mansion, antedating the Revolutionary War. A profusion of roses were in flower in the garden. A monument stood in the garden west of the house, upon which appeared an inscription nearly defaced by time, and which, by reason of its uniqueness, is here reproduced: [42]

Here liethe the Honorable William Byrd, Esq. Being born to one of the amplest fortunes in this country, he was sent early to England for his education, where under the care and direction of Sir Robert Southwell, and even favored with his particular instruction, he made a happy proficiency in polite and various learning. By the means of the same noble friend he was introduced to the acquaintance of many of the first persons of that age for knowledge, wit, virtue, birth, or high station, and particularly contracted a most intimate and bosom friendship with the learned and illustrious Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery. He was called to the Bar in the Middle Temple, studied for some time in the Low Countries, visited the Court of France, and was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society.
Thus eminently fitted for the service and ornament of his country, he was made Receiver-General of His Majesty's revenues here, was thrice appointed publick agent to the Court and Ministry of England, and being thirty seven years a member, at last became President of the Council of this Colony. To all these were added a great elegancy of taste and life, the well-bred gentleman and polite companion, the splendid occonimist and prudent father of a family, with constant enemy of all exorbitant power and hearty friend to the liberties of his country. Nat. Mar. 28, 1674 Mort Aug. 26, 1744
An. Aetat 70.

October 15. – Today Brigadier General Carr [43] inspected the infantry and artillery at the post. In consequence of the few cavalry at this time present (the rest were out scouting) at the post, they were excused from a formal inspection.

October 16. – During the day a negro lad came to the post; you will probably remember him by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte.

October 17. – S.N. Dada, of Fulton, arrived at the post.

October 18. – Adjutant Smith left for Elmira to correct the muster in rolls of the companies. There was some firing on the extreme right (Richmond) tonight.

October 19. – Occurred the first formal dress parade. Colonel George Harney [44] and Captain Hubbard [45], of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment, visited the post today – came from City Point by the headquarters boat.

October 23. – Had divine service; sermon by Private Robbins [46], a member of Company I. A colored man woman and child came in from Richmond.

October 24. – Six cavalrymen and fifteen infantry were sent out to protect the crew of the gunboat then lying in the James River opposite the post, while the crew were destroying boats in Herring Creek. Eight boats were destroyed by the gunboat crew; the boats so destroyed furnished the Confederates and guerillas the means to cross and recross the river at will.

October 26. – The entire forces at the post were inspected by Lieutenant Thompson, Assistant Inspector-General. He was pleased to compliment the forces upon their appearances. Today a private by the name of Hall died at the post hospital; disease fever and dysentery. By means of a New York Herald of the 24th inst., news was received of the killing of Lieutenant Phillips at the battle of Cedar Creek, and of the battle itself.

October 27. – Private Teague died this morning, and at 3 P.M. he and Private Hall were buried with military honors within the fortifications and near the river, under the greenwood trees; and there, after life's fitful fever, they sleep well. Little they'll reek, in the graves where their comrades have laid them, the sigh of the breeze, the tempest's blast, and the ceaseless murmur of the waters of the River James as they flow to the ocean, singing their last requiem. Heavy firing all day at the front.

October 29. – General Carr, the Captain of the monitor lying in the river abreast the post, and several other officers, visited the post. News was received today by Lieutenant-Colonel McKinley that Adjutant Howard M. Smith was sick and might not return to the regiment.

October 30. – Divine services held in the open air opposite post headquarters; Private Robbins, of Company I, officiated.

October 31. – Heavy firing on the right all day. Captain Morrill [47], of Company M, Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, reported for duty. Lieutenant Miles [48], of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry, was appointed Provost-Marshal of the post.

November 1. – In the afternoon four cavalrymen who were outside the lines without permission were captured by the Confederates, together with two horses and harnesses. The capture took place at or near the Westover Church.

November 3. – About dark, Major Stearns, with Lieutenant Davenport, Provost Marshal of General Butler's forces, and one hundred and ten cavalrymen and several prisoners, came in our lines on the way from Wilson's Landing (Fort Pocahontas) to Bermuda Hundred. The cavalry camped in the rear of the post headquarters, in the open air. It rained heavily all night. They were without tents.

November 5. – Lieutenant Gilman with fifty infantry were sent out to ambush the Confederate scouts, guerillas, and bushwhackers that troubled our front.

November 6. – Confederate soldiers were seen in the woods to the left of the picket line. Lieutenant Smith with picket reserve and Post Commandant proceeded to and about the spot where the Confederate were seen, but without success. In the afternoon divine service was held in the open air; preaching by Private Robbins.

November 8. – Lieutenant Gilman and detachment returned, bringing with them thirteen horses, two mules, and twelve head of cattle. In the evening an election was held for Chaplain to the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth; it resulted in the election of Rev. Jacob Post, of Oswego, N.Y.

November 9. – At about 1 A.M. the Post Commandant assisted Dr. Barnes in amputating the foot of a private at the instep, who accidentally or otherwise shot himself through the foot. [49] At about 8 A.M. a courier brought the news that a force of Confederate cavalrymen were outside, beyond "The Wade." All the cavalry and fifty infantry, in charge of Lieutenant Smith, were at once despatched to meet them. In about an hour Lieutenant-Colonel McKinley, who had previously ridden out to water his horse, rode into the post and asked that an additional force be sent out. Lieutenant Gilman and eight men were at once sent out. After the last detachment was sent out the entire garrison was put under arms. About 3 P.M. the detachments returned; they had exchanged shots with the enemy, who were variously estimated at from thirty to one hundred strong. No Confederates were injured, so far as could be ascertained. One of the cavalrymen received a scalp wound; one had his horse shot dead; another cavalry horse received a rifle shot wound in the fleshy part of the ham. The picket reserve at night was strengthened with fifteen men and a Sergeant; arms stacked in the company streets.

November 10. – Dr. A. S. Coe, of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh, visited the post. [50]

November 13. – Sermon by Private Robbins. In the morning the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth received a set of regimental colors; they were displayed for the first time at dress parade today.

November 16. – A large number of steamers passed up the river to City Point, some loaded with troops, some with stores. Mr. Mason, of Pulaski, visited the post today.

November 17. – A leave of absence was granted to the Post Commandant to go to headquarters of the Fifth Army Corps. Very heavy musketry firing at the front. The Post Commandant returned to the post on the 19th inst.

November 20. – A despatch boat from City Point brought intelligence from General Grant's headquarters that a force had left Richmond to attack Post Harrison's Landing, and ordering that extra vigilance be had and maintained; in consequence, the picket line, picket reserve, and vidette posts were strengthened and guns stacked in company streets, and men were ordered not to undress during night.

November 24. – The steamer Pioneer arrived, bringing a large supply of Thanksgiving gifts, eatables, etc.
November 25. – A new and more extensive picket line was established and vidette posts thrown out further toward Richmond. During battalion drill two gunboats came down the river from City Point, having in tow a number of small boats, and indulged in gunboat exercised in the river off the post. About this date Corporal Warren C. Emmons [51], of Company H, died, and was buried with military honors. His body was interred within the fortifications.

November 27. - A bridge was built on the picket line. Dr. Rice, Adjutant E.A. Cooke, and Charles Hart reached the post from City Point.

November 28. – General inspection, Lieutenant H.P. Thompson acting as inspector General.

November 29. – A large monitor anchored in the river opposite the post.

November 30. – Two gunboats that had lain at the post dock all night left for City Point. About 10 A.M. the signal telegraph was completed, and the post has now direct connection with City Point and the headquarters of the Army of the James, as also General Grant's headquarters.

December 1. – At 3 P.M. General Carr, Colonel Sewell, and Lieutenant-Colonel Angell, of Fort Powhattan, with their wives, reached the post and were entertained as handsomely as possible. At evening, Adjutant Smith reached the post, looking better than when he left, but still far from well.

December 2. – Second Lieutenant Carter, of Company K (I think) [52] arrived at the post.

December 3. – Post headquarters and new quarters for the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth were practically finished today. The new quarters for the regiment are very commodious.

December 4. – Inspection of quarters today. In the afternoon divine services were held in the open air in front of post headquarters; a man from Pennsylvania preached.

December 5. – About 10 A.M. the steamer Charlotte Vanderbilt passed up the river, headed for City Point, and from the cheering on the steamer it was believed that the four companies from the Valley were on board. So strong was the impression that this might be the fact, that Lieutenant-Colonel McKinley was without delay despatched by the headquarters boat to City Point to investigate, and if true that the detachment had arrived, to use every means in his power, even an appeal to General Grant personally, to effect the union of the regiment, and, in case of necessity, to telegraph to the Post Commandant and he would go personally to City Point and endeavor by every means in his power to effect the desired object. The hours wore slowly away. Many eyes were watching for the coming of a steamer. The signal station was watched for intelligence; none came from that source. Later in the day a steamer was observed making its way down the river from the direction of City Point. The anxiety of the Post Commandant was a fever heat when, at about 6 P.M., the steamer rounded to the dock and the four companies, Captain Palmer in command, disembarked. [53] The long and earnestly desired event had happened – the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment was for the first time in its history a unit. As may well be imagined, the greater part of the night was spent in mutual congratulations and in narrating to each other what had occurred in our army experience. Not the least of our congratulations was the fact that the six companies could now enjoy the benefit of the experience of the four companies, and that the field and staff would be reinforced by the experience and capacity of Major Ferguson.

December 7. – In the afternoon the troops were marched to Westover in heavy marching order by the way of the reserve station, and thence to camp again.

December 9. – Light snow, the first of the season here.

December 14. – About 1 o'clock this morning a tug arrived from General Butler's headquarters with an order directing that the cavalry be ready to march at 10 A.M. with ten days rations and four day's forage. The order was promulgated to Captain Morrill of the cavalry by the Post Commandant personally, but nothing resulted – no movement took place.

December 17. – The Post Commandant came up from Fort Pocahontas by the steamer Pioneer to the post and found matters in some confusion. The night before Bradby's daughter was killed by another girl. A raiding party from the post brought in one hundred and forty three bushels of corn in the ear.

December 19. – Warm as in June. The Pioneer left for Norfolk, Lieutenant Johnson, Acting Adjutant-General, on board. Dr. Rice received an order to muster out.

December 22. – The Post Commandant went to Harrison's Landing by the mail boat and assisted Adjutant Smith about his returns, and at evening there was a dress parade – the first one had by the regiment as an entirety. Gave three cheers for the victory of General Thomas, [54] three for the State of New York, the colors and the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment. The Post Commandant returned to Fort Pocahontas.

December 24. – At Fort Pocahontas Major Tantum and party, with the Pioneer, went after the family and goods of a Mr. Pearman; returned safely same night with the parties and property, and next day were taken to Norfolk on the Pioneer. Mr. Pearman was a Union man and had been of service to the cause of the United States, and for these reasons was very obnoxious to the Confederates.

December 25. – Christmas; passed without incident.

December 30. – Major William B. C. Pearsons, United States Paymaster, reached the post today and paid off the Third Pennsylvania Artillery.

December 31. – All quiet in camp today. Rev. Jacob Post reported today and was mustered in by the Colonel of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth.

January 1, 1865. – Passed without incident.

January 3. – Two inches of snow.

January 4. Quartermaster Dunn left for Oswego.

January 5. – Adjutant Smith left for home. The expedition for Wilmington, commanded by General Terry, passed down the river, the troops on the boats giving us cheers as they passed.

January 6. – The Pioneer, with General Carr, wife and son, passed up the river to City Point.

January 8. – Divine service in the open air before post headquarters; Chaplain Post officiated. Lieutenant-Colonel McKinley and Captain Town went to the front.

January 9. – McKinley, Town and Mr. And Mrs. R.H. Spencer [55] reached the post by the steamer Swan.

January 10. – Mr. And Mrs. Spencer left for City Point. Major Ferguson arrived by the Swan and reported for duty; the Major was warmly welcomed.

January 11. – Major Ferguson with the Post Commandant visited the picket lines, and at battalion drill nearly all the officers of the regiment were present Dr. Stone left the post. The Doctor was esteemed by the regiment. Surgeon Barnes arrived.

January 12. – Captain Town left for home on leave of absence.

January 14. – Major Ferguson, a civilian, and a party of infantry, went out to Westover Church for lumber. At evening two scouts reached the post from General Grant's headquarters.

January 15. - Major Ferguson, a civilian, the two scouts, and one hundred infantry, went out on an expedition; returned in safety. Divine service in open air; Captain Post officiated.

January 16. -- The Chaplain performed the marriage ceremony between a colored man and woman. The marriage took place in the open air before post headquarters. An amusing incident occurred while this marriage was being celebrated; doubtless some of you will remember to what I allude. Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Spencer reached the post this evening.

January 17, -- Intelligence was received that General Carr had been summoned to Norfolk and that the Post Commandant had command of the separate brigade. News was received this evening of the capture of Fort Fisher. [56]

January 19. -- Lieutenant-Colonel Angell, [57] of the Thirty-eight New Jersey Volunteers, inspected the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth and in the afternoon drilled the regiment.

January 20. -- The Major, Adjutant, and a civilian left for the front. Heavy firing all day at the front.

January 23. -- The firing at the front this evening is very severe and sounds like a heavy conflict.

January 24. -- Terrific firing at the front all night.

January 26. -- The new ironsides and other war vessels passed up the river toward City Point.

January 28. -- The commissions of J.H. Warn, as Adjutant, and Andrew Y. Bockus, as Lieutenant, were received.

January 31. -- Inspection of regiment, detachment of artillery, and provost guard. Evening warm and balmy; moonlight; negroes singing, and every one appears to be feeling well.

February 1. -- Inspection of cavalry.

February 3. -- Heavy firing at the front. In raising flag-pole for post headquarters, the rope broke; pole fell and broke in two.

February 4. -- Between 8 and 9 A.M. the outer infantry vidette post, beyond "The Wade," was attacked and our men captured. Major Ferguson, in command of twenty-five cavalrymen, was at once despatched in pursuit of the rebels and to retake our men if possible. About 4 P.M. the expedition returned safely to the post, having recaptured our men, killed one of the rebels (John Roach), and brought in one prisoner, a mule, three Spencer repeating rifles, and other property -- a good days work. The names of the enlisted men thus captured and recaptured are as follows: Otis Kipp, Stephen Frent, William Galloway, and Charles Lester, all of whom were members of Company C.

February 7. -- All day (judging from the sound) there has been a terrible fight at the front.

February 8. -- Post flagstaff completed and flag unfurled. About 9 P.M. there was and alarm on the picket line; four shots fired at the picket; no harm done, however. Heavy firing at the front today.

February 12. -- Two alarms on the picket line.

February 14. -- A force of twenty-five cavalry was sent out on scout.

February 17. -- Major Payne, of the One Hundred and Third New York Volunteers, reached the post by the Swan.

February 19. -- Ira L. Jenkins, of Oswego, arrived at the post.

February 21. -- Received news of the fall of Charleston. [58]

February 27. -- The Post Commandant went to City Point by the Swan, with intelligence for General Grant, but the latter being at the front, as was said, the same was communicated to General Patrick and Colonel Sharpe.

February 28. -- Forces at the post mustered for pay.

March 5. -- Inspection of quarters. Divine service under charge of Chaplain Post. Dr. Coe arrived at the post by the evening boat.

March 12. -- Inspection of quarters. Divine service out of doors; sermon by Mr. Johnson, of Palermo. While he was preaching two couriers from General Sheridan to General Grant arrived; news good and cheering. The couriers were sent forward without delay.

March 18. -- General Carr and party arrived at the post.

March 19. -- Preaching in the open air by Private Robbins.

March 21. -- Lieutenant Colonel McKinley, Captains Palmer and Morse, Lieutenants Gilman and Peavy, and the Post Commandant went to the headquarters of the Twenty-fourth Army Corps to attend a court martial as witnesses.

March 23. -- A reconnoitering part was sent out in the command of Lieutenant Gilman.

March 25 – About 4 P.M. General Sheridan and some ten thousand cavalry encamped about Westover Church.

March 26. -- About 12 o'clock last night dispatches were received by the Post Commandant from General Grant destined for General Sheridan, with orders to forward without delay. Adjutant Warn was ordered to carry the dispatches to General Sheridan; he was accompanied on this mission by Captain Outerson, and later they returned, reporting that their mission had been successfully accomplished. About 8 A.M. General Sheridan had staff rode into our lines and to post headquarters where he (his staff having strolled about the post) remained for over an hour; after which General Sheridan and staff embarked upon the Swan for City Pont. Meanwhile his cavalry were marching to the pontoon bridge near Bermuda Hundred, and thence to City Point. By the Swan Major Ferguson proceeded to the headquarters of General Gibbon, and returned in the evening, bringing very satisfactory news. During the stay of General Sheridan at post headquarters, much was said by him about the progress of the war, future possibilities, probabilities and results, and the cavalry movement afterwards resulting in the battle of Five Forks [59] was clearly foreshadowed. Much was said about the enormous war supplies of all kinds then collected and stored at City Point, and the terrible effects that would result if by any chance the Confederates should capture that base of supplies; that the post Harrison's Landing was an important key to such movement, and must be held at all hazards; that if the forces then at Harrison's Landing had not done their whole duty in the past and did not enjoy the fullest confidence of those entrusted with the conduct of the war, they would long since have been removed and their place taken by troops considered more reliable; that while post and garrison life was irksome and tiresome, yet good soldiers had but one rule to follow, and that was to obey orders under any and all circumstances; that he was pleased with the post and that appearance of the officers and men, and the vigilance observed in those who were doing vidette and picket duty. This is but a meager outline of what was said by General Sheridan on this occasion and memory of what was said on the occasion referred to. The Post Commandant accompanied General Sheridan to the steamer, and on parting bade him God-speed.

March 28. -- Paymaster Pearsons arrived.

March 29. -- The regiment was paid off.

March 30. -- Last night the cannonading at the front, especially Petersburg, was continuous, and it has continued all day. By order of General Carr, Company “I” was sent to Fort Pocahontas. Company ”I” was transported by the Swan.

April 1. -- Heavy firing on the left (Petersburg) all night.

April 2. -- Inspection of quarters. Intelligence was received this evening of the capture of Petersburg and a large number of prisoners. Heavy firing all day, and especially in the right (Richmond).

April 3. -- Richmond was taken this morning. [60] The news was received with great rejoicing. "Glory to God in the highest." During the day an occasional gun can be heard at the front.

April 4. -- There was a rumor at evening that General Lee had surrendered with thirty thousand men. The rumor is not creditable -- it is too good to be true. The Major and party went out scouting today.

April 9. -- Sermon at the post hospital by Chaplain Post.

April 10. -- News of the surrender of General Lee and his army was received. "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."

April 13. -- About sunset a salute was fired at Richmond. Can it be for the surrender of Johnston? [61] It is to be hoped so.

April 19. -- About 10 A.M., Private Daniel Cole, of Company K, while on picket duty, was killed by the explosion of a shell which he had found in the woods near the picket line. He was endeavoring to remove the cap, and the same being rusty, he struck it to loosen it. A piece of the shell penetrated his right thigh and came out under the left arm. He was mangled horribly and killed instantly. Private Cole was buried with military honors. His grave was made under the trees on the river bank, within the fortifications.

April 25. -- The entire force at the post was reviewed by General Carr and staff. At or near evening General Rufus Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac, visited the post and post headquarters.

April 26. -- By order No. 66 of the War Department, the post flag was displayed at half mast and minute guns were fired every half-hour from sunrise to sunset, and by the same order the troops at the post were mustered at 10 A.M. to hear said order read. Order No 66 had reference to the death of President Lincoln.

April 27. -- The forces at the post were inspected by Lieutenant Saulpaugh, Brigade Inspector.

April 28. -- Intelligence of the surrender of General Johnston and forces was received, and by order from the War Department one hundred guns were fired. The good work marches on apace, and the end of this terrible war draws visibly near.

April 29. -- General Carr and party of officers and ladies arrived at the post and visited Westover.

April 30. [62] -- Troops mustered for pay by Lieutenant Saulpaugh.

May 4. -- Mr. Crenshaw, the owner of Harrison's Landing (Berkeley estate), and Mr. Elliott, the owner of the Westover estate visited the post.

May 7. -- Inspection of quarters and sermon from Chaplain Post.

May 12 or 13. -- The cavalry were ordered from and left the post. The force has been effective and very satisfactory.

May 14. -- Farewell sermon by Chaplain Post. The guards about the vacant cavalry quarters were doubled.

May 18. -- Inspection by Lieutenant Saulpaugh . At 12 o'clock noon General Carr and a party of citizens reached the post by headquarters boat and visited Westover.

May 19. -- Shirley, also called Carter's, General Lee's plantation and residence, [63] built before the Revolution, was visited by Major Ferguson, Quartermaster Dunn, and the writer. At about sunset orders were received by telegraph from City Point directing that the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth be ready to move at an hour's notice, and all surplus property be carried with the regiment.

May 20. -- By virtue of special orders No. 40, all the ordnance and ordnance stores, etc. were shipped to Colonel W. J. Sewell, thirty-eight New Jersey Volunteers, at Fort Powhattan.The writer here ventures to transcribe the last entry made in his diary at Post Harrison's Landing:
Sunday, May 21, 1865. -- Arose 5 A.M. Morning fine. No inspection today. In the afternoon rode around the picket line, visiting all the posts now occupied, as well as those heretofore occupied. It was a sad ride, and yet not unmingled with satisfaction, for I knew that while we had been at this post we had done our whole duty so far as the same had come to our knowledge. About sundown it clouded up, and during the whole evening have had a furious thunderstorm. This is probably the last night at Harrison's Landing.

It proved to be the last night at Post Harrison's Landing.

At this particular point in the regimental history it will not be inappropriate to state that during the sojourn of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth at Post Harrison's Landing the duties devolved upon the regiment were many and arduous, and were at all times discharged efficiently and cheerfully. From the very first day the regiment reached the post, camp, guard, vidette, and picket duty was commenced, and continued each and every day without intermission until the regiment left the post, excepting the few days when the inclemency of the weather forbade it. Squad, company, and battalion drill, inspections and dress parades were had with the utmost regularity. Various scouting parties were sent out that have not received mention in this paper. Inspections were had in strict accordance with the army regulations. Toward the latter part of the tour of duty at the post, scarcely a day passed that scouts and spies were not passing to and from City Point and to and from Richmond through the post, and may interesting incidents might be narrated in connection with such visitations by such persons. To narrate them would unduly lengthen this paper, and might savor of improper and undue personality on the part of the writer. It was not infrequent that torpedoes were seen floating down the river that had been set afloat by the Confederates higher up the stream, with the hope and expectation that some of them at least might chance to collide with out gunboats, monitors and other craft occupying the river, and thus destroy our craft. Two at least of these torpedoes were captured and brought on shore just above and west of our outer picket line.

For many days prior to the visit of General Sheridan to the post as herein narrated, gunboats were patrolling the river from time to time from a point a little below Westover. The occasion was not infrequent that monitors anchored off the post; from all which things, and from what was said, as well as from dispatches received at post headquarters from General Grant's headquarters from time to time, it was then believed, and time and reflection has confirmed that belief, that it was thought at army headquarters that an effort might be made at any time to capture Harrison's Landing, thus effecting a lodgment on the river from which to make a movement looking to the destruction of the depot of supplies and munitions of war at City Point, which, if effected, would have practically paralyzed the armies then operating at the front, and especially the army before Petersburg and farther south.

It was for the reasons enumerated, and for other reasons that might be stated, that the utmost vigilance was at all times insisted upon to guard against surprise. How well those duties were discharged, and vigilance at all times maintained, yon are the only living witnesses. Whether the vigilance of the troops at Harrison's Landing prevented an attack upon the post and then a movement on City Point, is and ever will remain an unknown quantity and an unsolvable problem. Suffice it to say, no attack was made during the occupancy of the post by the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth.

May 22, about noon, the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth commenced leaving by steamer for City Point, beginning on the right--first three companies, then four companies, and lastly two companies, with headquarters. One company remained at Fort Pocahontas until later. The One Hundred and Eighty-fourth camped a little south of the prison, called the "bull-pen." A few days later the remaining company of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth (Company I) arrived at City Point from Fort Pocahontas.

On May 23d, headquarters of the regiment were located in quarters formerly occupied by Colonel Morrison, of the Sixteenth New York Heavy Artillery.

On May 27th, Hon. Elias Root and wife visited the camp of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth. About this date, the Colonel commanding the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth was detached and placed in command of the United States forces stationed at City Point.

The camp of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth, although selected with the greatest possible care, was unhealthy, for it had been camped on. So frequently that the ground was saturated with the offal and filth of previous camps. The weather was very warm and murky, and the water for use was unfit for drinking The consequence was, very soon fevers and bowel complaints made their appearance, and the sick-list swelled at a rapid rate, and; with it all, the daily detail from the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth for camp and, prison guard duty was largely increased.

It was difficult to maintain and enforce a proper discipline, for it was conceded on all hands that the civil war was practically at an end, and, after the tension of the past few months, caused by the suspense and vigilance required, the reaction and rebound was proportionately great.

The days at City Point were without special incident, and were passed by the regiment in the usual routine duties.

On May 29th, the Colonel of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth was returned to duty with the regiment.

June 11.-Special order No. 67 from department headquarters was received at the regimental headquarters. This was an order preparatory and looking toward the muster-out of the regiment.

June 12.-Lieutenant-Colonel McKinley's health became so much affected that he was ordered to the post hospital at City Point.

June 13.-A general court-martial was ordered by the commander of the Department of the Nottoway, of which court-martial the commanding officer of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth was appointed President. The medical officer in charge of the hospital reports Lieutenant-Colonel McKinley as very low.

June 18.-General Carr and Captain Johnson, his Acting Adjutant-General, were relieved from duty and ordered to their homes. The command of the separate brigade was then devolved on the commandant of the regiment, as also of the forces stationed at City Point. For the past few days troops have been passing City Point on their way to Washington to participate in the grand review, and thence to their homes.

June 19.-Quartermaster Dunn, Dr. Lovejoy, and the writer rode to Petersburg, where the writer had an interview with General Hartsuff; the General promised that the regiment be mastered out within ten days.

June 20.-An interview was had with Captain Remington, Chief Commissary of Musters, Department of Virginia, and instructions received to proceed at once to prepare muster-out rolls. These instructions were communicated to the company commanders, who at once proceeded to prepare discharge and descriptive lists. Quartermaster Dunn was sent to Richmond to obtain blank muster-out rolls, etc., and other necessary blanks.

June 21.-Quartermaster Dunn returned from Richmond with muster-out blanks, etc.

June 22.-Messengers Lieutenant Smith and Private Amos Youmans, carrying muster-out rolls, etc., left for department headquarters.

June 23.-Mrs. Ferguson, Captain Palmer, Lieutenant Leonard, and Sergeant Rich arrived at City Point and the camp of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth. Messrs. Smith and Youmans returned with corrected rolls, etc.

June 24.-The Ninety-sixth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Heynes, commanding, arrived at City Point from Richmond.

June 25 (Sunday).-By order, the writer turned over the command of the forces stationed at City Point to Lieutenant-Colonel Heynes, of the Ninety-sixth New York Volunteers, and took command of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth; and by the same order the separate brigade ceased to exist. Lieutenant Smith and Private Youmans left for Richmond with corrected rolls, etc.

June 27.--The last dress parade of the regiment was had.

June 29 - Captain Remington, accompanied by two clerks, reached the regiment, and about 3 P.M. the muster-out commenced, and was finished about 4.30 P.M. Two transports (North Point and Robert Morris) reached City Point, and are here for the purpose of transporting the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth to Baltimore. Commenced placing on board these boats the baggage, etc., and during the night and early on the 30th of June the regiment embarked -- Companies. A, B, D, I, and F on the North Point, Major Ferguson in command. The remaining companies, together with the field and staff, embarked on the Robert Morris.

There was also embarked the body of one of our privates who died at the City Point [64] hospital the day before the embarkation of the regiment; the body was carried with us to Syracuse, N. Y. The transports so loaded left the dock at City Point about 4 A. M. arriving at Fortress Monroe about 2 p. M. After about an hour's delay at Fort Monroe, the transports left for Baltimore. Soon after leaving Fort Monroe the transports parted company. The North Point being much the faster boat was not seen again until the Robert Morris reached Baltimore.

The Robert Morris reached Baltimore Saturday, July 1, about 10 A. M. The North Point had already arrived, and the troops on her had disembarked.

The regiment thence proceeded to the Soldiers' Rest, and after having a dinner which the authorities had kindly provided, the regiment reformed and marched to the depot, where some unavoidable delay was encountered in consequence of a lack of proper transportation for the sick of the regiment. The cause of the delay having been obviated, the train left Baltimore bound for Elmira, which latter point, after a continuous ride, was reached about 4 P.M. of Sunday, July 2. For want of transportation, the regiment remained at Elmira, in Barracks No. 1, during the night. En route from Baltimore to Elmira, Orderly Sergeant Hiram Lincoln [65] and Private Castle, [66] both of Company H, died, and their remains were taken to their several homes.

July 3.-The regiment took a, train for Binghamton, arriving at the last-named place at 12 M. After a vexatious delay for want of transportation, the regiment left at 5 P.M. for Syracuse, and arrived at that place about 12 o'clock midnight. The regiment without delay marched to the fair ground south of Syracuse, and encamped in due form. Instructions were duly given and promulgated that there must be no straggling, and camp guards were placed about the camp.

July 4.-Daybreak revealed the fact that during the night all the regiment save about one hundred men and one or two officers had decamped and had availed themselves of a train of cars that had been sent to Syracuse by friends in Oswego, in waiting to convey the regiment to Oswego and places along the line of the road, and which would enable the men to meet their friends and participate in the national holiday. Had it not been that the regiment had in fact been mustered out of service and that the only reason that existed for the regiment remaining intact was to receive pay, the occurrence of such an unceremonious leave-taking would have been a grave breach of military discipline, and would never otherwise have occurred. It is proper to say that when the above mentioned instructions were given, it was deemed quite questionable whether they would be followed, but had they not been given, it might have been thought that the commanding officer of the regiment had been derelict in his duty.

July 8.-The muster rolls for pay were completed and delivered by the mustering officer to the paymaster.

July 11.-The larger portion of the regiment reported at camp for muster and pay.

July 12.-At about 11 A. M. Major Storms, United States Paymaster, began paying, and paid the men of eight companies, when the funds then on hand were exhausted. Companies C and I were left unpaid.

July 14.-About noon Companies C and I were paid – the former at the Second National Bank and the latter by Major Storms. After the companies and all the officers of the regiment save the commanding officer had been paid and discharged, the Colonel commanding was paid and discharged, and the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment no longer existed in fact, but nevertheless remained as a memory.

A few words may not be out of place in memory of those of the regiment who lost their lives on the field of battle, [67] as also those others who lost their lives by disease [68] in the discharge of their duty. Very fortunately, the number in both classes is relatively small. They have simply preceded us to that land whither all are hastening. The lives thus lost and lain down in the service of our country are mute testimonials of their devotion to the perpetuity of the institutions of our native land and its indivisibility. The observances upon Decoration Day proclaim the respect of the people for the sacrifices thus made by the dead. But, comrades and survivors of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth, there is a solemn but unspoken warning that comes from every life now silent in the grave. It asks us not to keep our kisses for the dead; it pleads for tenderness and kindly sympathy toward those who are still at our side. They annoy us, perhaps, for they are human; they offend us daily, it may be, for they are not perfect; they tax our forbearance sorely and are often harsh and unjust to us. But the grave is only a little way before us all. When the face that frowned upon us is white and cold, and the lip that mocked us or said cruel things to vex us is forever silent, and the hand that menaced us has lost its last hold upon earth, will it be any comfort to us that we resented the injury and returned scorn for scorn? Perhaps the fault is not all on one side. It may be, to a juster judgment, we have sinned the most in these petty conflicts; but if we have not, and if the wrong has been wholly unprovoked, we shall do well to anticipate the day when the river of death divides as, and look Just now into the eyes we shun, with something of that tender, forgiving spirit we fain would show when we bend above the unanswering clay. Let us not wait for our friends and neighbors to die before we cover them with flowers. Let us make our present fellowship a fragrant offering that shall be a part of their life, and thus survive in memory beyond the tomb. Such flowers and offerings are perennial blossoms, gifted by the chemistry of the heart with perpetual beauty and fragrance through the eternal years.
Oswego, N. Y., May 18, 1895

Appendix A
Roster of the 184th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Appendices provided by Thomas J. Ebert

Report of Col. J. Warren Keifer, Commander, Third Division, Battle of Cedar Creek



The poem, Sheridan’s Ride by Thomas B. Reed

The Description of Sheridan’s Ride by Pvt. Hiram Dutcher, “D” Company, 184th NY Volunteers given in the Oswego Daily Palladium, April 6, 1898

An article from the September 27, 1864 Oswego Commercial Times

An undated article in the Oswego Commercial Times concerning the battle of Cedar Creek

A letter dated November 4, 1864 from Colonel Robinson to the Oswego Commercial Times

An article from the Oswego Daily Palladium dated November 27, 1897 regarding the discovery of Lieut. Phillips’ revolver in New Orleans.


1. 184th Regiment, New York Infantry: Organized at Oswego, N. Y., and mustered in at Elmira, N. Y., September 12, 1864. Companies "A," "B," "D" and "F" left State for the Shenandoah Valley, Va., September 12, 1864. Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps, September to December, 1864. Battle of Cedar Creek, Va., October 19. Duty at Kernstown till December. Moved to Washington, D. C., thence to Petersburg, Va., December 3-6, and joined regiment. Companies "C," "E," "G," "H," "I" and "K" left State for Bermuda Hundred, Va., September 16, 1864. Attached to Defences of Bermuda Hundred, Va., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to December, 1864. Separate Brigade, Army of the James, at Harrison's Landing, Va., December, 1864, to June, 1865. Operations against Petersburg and Richmond September, 1864 to April, 1865. Duty in the Defences of Bermuda Hundred, Va., till December, 1864, and at Harrison's Landing, Va., till June, 1865. (Co. "I" detached at Fort Pocahontas December, 1864, to June, 1865.) Mustered out at City Point, Va., June 29, 1865. Recruits transferred to 96th New York Infantry. Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 10 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 27 Enlisted men by disease. Total 38.
Source: National Park Service, Soldier and Sailors Database. Back to text

2. Listed in Landmarks of Oswego County, p. 270 as a practicing attorney in Oswego. Back to text

3. He is referring to the language and interpretation of Article X the Bill of Rights which reads “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Back to text

4. In a speech delivered by Maj. H. H. Lyman of the 147th New York Volunteer Infantry the same summer and later reproduced in Oswego County in the Civil War (1962) pp. 1-4, he notes the following:
“The population of Oswego County at the outbreak of the Rebellion was 75,600.
It was excelled by no other county in the State, in promptly and fully responding to its country’s calls, and is credited with having furnished 12,500 men for the War, as shown by the records of our War Committee. Many of these, however, were re-enlistments of men who had served in short term regiments; some had been discharged for disability, and re-entered the service; and some even, who had deserted, repented of their foolish action, and again entered the service.
As to the exact number of individual men, I am unable to state, but in round numbers, not far from 11,000, or fifteen per cent of its whole population, and seventy-five percent of its voting population.
These figures will seem almost incredible, until you know that nearly as many enlisted who were under the voting age as those who were over, ---- the average being about twenty-three years.
We had five regiments of infantry and two batteries of artillery, composed mostly, and some of them entirely of Oswego County men, namely, the 24th, 81st, 110th, 147th and 184th Infantry and Ames’ Battery and Barnes’ Battery. The 24th Cavalry was also called an Oswego Regiment, but actually had but three Oswego Companies and they were largely reenlistments from the old 24th Infantry.
We furnished a battalion each for the 12th Cavalry and the 189th and 193rd Infantry. We sent 300 men into the 1st Artillery and 241 into the United States Regulars, and being a lake county, with at that time a large sailor population, sent hundreds into the navy, besides many to the Engineers and other branches of the service.” Back to text

5. Churchill in his work, Landmarks of Oswego County, names only two others, William I. Preston and Wardwell G. Robinson. Back to text

6. Democratic Governor of New York, 1853-1854 and again in 1863-1864. He was the Democratic nominee for President in 1868 losing to Ulysses S. Grant. Back to text

7. Churchill in his work, Landmarks of Oswego County (pages 205-210), has a thorough discussion of the draft and the bounty legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors which spurred enlistments. Back to text

8. Under the command of Major General Benjamin F. Butler (April 28, 1864 – January 8, 1865) and then Major General Edward Ord (January 8, 1865 – August 1, 1865). Back to text

9. Bermuda Hundred is near the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers in SE Virginia not far from City Point (now Hopewell) VA. Back to text

September 22, 1864.
Brigadier-General DE RUSSY,
Commanding Division”
GENERAL: In accordance with instructions from headquarters, Middle Military Division, [the general commanding’ directs that the following-named regiments move with as little delay as practicable, via Harper’s Ferry, by rail, to Winchester, Va., to report to the commanding officer at that place (the troops will be provided with three days’ cooked rations and 100 rounds of ammunition per man), viz: One hundred and eighty-fourth New York Volunteers, One hundred and third New York Volunteers, One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Tenth New York Heavy Artillery. The chief quartermaster of your division will report at once to the chief quartermaster Department of Washington for instructions and preparation of transportation.
Very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.
War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 43, Part II, p.p. 143-144. Back to text

11. Wardwell G. Robinson, enlisted as a Colonel, September 16, 1864. He was an attorney by profession. He died on December 8, 1913 at the age of 84 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Oswego, N. Y. Back to text

12. William Goodwin Fitch, 2nd Infantry U. S. Army. Back to text

13. Here, Colonel Robinson relates the history of the detached companies A, B, D and F. Back to text

14. Colonel Wilhelm Heine of the NY 103rd Infantry. Back to text

September 22, 1864.
Brigadier-General DE RUSSY,
Commanding Division”
GENERAL: In accordance with instructions from headquarters, Middle Military Division, [the general commanding’ directs that the following-named regiments move with as little delay as practicable, via Harper’s Ferry, by rail, to Winchester, Va., to report to the commanding officer at that place (the troops will be provided with three days’ cooked rations and 100 rounds of ammunition per man), viz: One hundred and eighty-fourth New York Volunteers, One hundred and third New York Volunteers, One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Tenth New York Heavy Artillery. The chief quartermaster of your division will report at once to the chief quartermaster Department of Washington for instructions and preparation of transportation.
Very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General
War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 43, Part II, p.p. 143-144. Back to text

16. General Philip Sheridan (1831-1888), later General of the Army. Sheridan’s March through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia was “total war” against the economic base of the South just as Sherman’s March to the Sea (going on at the same time in Georgia). Back to text

17. Reports of the battle by Col. J. Warren Keifer, Commander of the Third Division, and a report on the actions of the 184th NY Volunteer Battalion by Major William D. Ferguson are appended. Back to text

18. Appended to this document are two documents: Hiram Dutcher’s (“D” Co.) description of Sheridan’s ride published in the Oswego Daily Palladium, April 6, 1898 and Thomas Buchanan Reed’s poem, Sheridan’s Ride. Back to text

19. On November 27, 1897 articles appeared in the Oswego Daily Palladium and the Oswego Daily Times noting that a revolver with Lieut. Phillips’ name engraved on it turned up in New Orleans. The articles are reproduced in Appendix JJ. Back to text

20. Augustus Phillips is buried in Section 15 Site 501 of the Winchester (VA) National Cemetery. Back to text

21. Peter Eldred of Volney, N. Y. Back to text

22. Military records show that, while wounded at Cedar Creek, Lester E. Wyburn survived the war. Back to text

23. Joseph Menny of Fenner, N.Y. He is buried in Rural Cemetery, Oswego, N.Y. Back to text

24. The body of John P. Sabin was later returned to Oswego and buried in Riverside Cemetery. Back to text

25. John M. Wing is buried in Winchester (VA) National Cemetery Section 15 Site 519. Back to text

26. See Appendix GG for a list of wounded that appeared in the New York Herald and the Oswego Commercial Times. Back to text

27. Andrew W. Fish of Volney, N.Y. Back to text

28. Dwight Parkhurst of Volney, N.Y. died on October 24, 1864. Back to text

29. Henry Hale died on November 14, 1864 at his home in Volney, N. Y. Back to text

30. They all survived the war. Back to text

31. Whitmore Percival, died of his wounds on December 19, 1864. He is buried at Loudon Park National Cemetery, Section A Site 577 Back to text

32. Military records indicate that James Allen survived the war. Back to text

33. Harrison’s Landing is across the James River from City Point, VA. It is the Berkeley Plantation originally owned by the Harrison family that included Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence and his son, the ninth President, William Henry Harrison. Back to text

34. Brigadier-General Gilman Marston of the U.S. Volunteers General Staff. He was from New Hampshire. Back to text

35. William Joycee Sewell was from Camden N. J., originally a member of the 5th NJ Infantry. Back to text

36. Dr. William H. Rice, Surgeon, enlisted at Fort Ontario, Oswego N.Y. Back to text

37. DeWitt Clinton Littlejohn, (1818-1892) Member of Congress. He had been a Colonel in the NY 110th Infantry. He was elected a member of Congress from the 22nd District of NY as a Democrat for the term 1863-1865. Back to text

38. The 184th would spend most of its time at Harrison’s Landing for the remainder of the war. Fortifications at Harrison’s Landing protected the vital supply depot and port of City Point VA directly across the James River. These facilities were northeast of the rail center of Petersburg VA just outside Richmond. City Point served as the headquarters for General Grant during the siege of Petersburg. General Grant had started the siege of Petersburg on June 15, 1864 and it would last until April 2, 1865. City Point was only about 10 miles from Petersburg so as noted in the diary the sounds of the siege could be readily heard on a daily basis. Back to text

39. Lt. Colonel Joab Nelson Patterson of “H” Co. NH 2nd Infantry. Back to text

40. Lt. J. Hiram Grant enlisted at Sandy Creek, N.Y. Back to text

41. A vidette was a mounted sentinel stationed in advance of pickets. Back to text

42. William Byrd II (1674-1744), prominent member of the Byrd Family of Virginia. The family home was Westover. Back to text

43. Brig. Gen. James B. Carr (1828-1895), U. S. Volunteers. From Troy, N. Y., he originally enlisted in the 2nd N.Y. Vol. Infantry. Back to text

44. Lt. Col. George Harney, Field and Staff, 147th NY. Back to text

45. Capt. Henry H. Hubbard, from Fulton, N. Y. He commanded “C” Co. 147th NY. Back to text

46. Private Elisha Robbins, from Palermo, N. Y. He died on June 15, 1865 at Fort Monroe, VA. Back to text

47. Captain Lucius H. Morrill of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Back to text

48. Lieutenant Thomas Miles of Waltham, Massachusetts. Back to text

49. Private Dewain M. Spencer, of Richland, N.Y., the wound resulted in the amputation of the left foot. Back to text

50. Augustus S. Coe would be a prominent Oswego physician after the war. Back to text

51. Warren C. Emmons died January 30, 1865 of typhoid fever. Back to text

52. 2nd Lieutenant Leonard S. Carter of “K” Co. Back to text

No. 143 l City Point, Va. December 5, 1864
1. The four companies of the One hundred and eighty-fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, now in the First Brigade, Third Division, Sixth Army Corps, are hereby transferred from the Sixth Army Corps to the Army of the James, and will proceed to Harrison’s Landing and join the six companies of the regiment on duty there. The quartermaster’s department will furnish necessary transportation.
* * * * * * * * * * *
By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:
Assistant Adjutant-General
War of the Rebellion, Series I v. 42 Part III p. 809. Back to text

54. Major General George Henry Thomas (1816-1870), known as the Rock of Chickamauga, won the two-day Battle of Nashville on December 15, 1864 defeating Confederate Lt. General John Bell Hood and crippling this Confederate army. Back to text

55. Mrs. Robert H. (Elmina) Spencer, wife and teacher from Oswego went to war with her husband, accompanying the 147th N.Y., nursing the troops while working in makeshift kitchens and tent hospitals. Eventually, she received an appointment to the New York Agency for the Relief of the Sick and Disabled Soldiers. She worked tirelessly on behalf of the men of the Oswego regiments, visiting them all, distributing needed provisions and often served as an intermediary between the troops and their families back home. Back to text

56. Fort Fisher, N. C. guarded the seaward entrance to the Fall River and Wilmington, N. C. This strategic fortress fell on January 15, 1865 after a failed attempt in the previous month. The troops were led by General Alfred E. Terry who would later command the Dakota Column in the Centennial Campaign against the Sioux Indians in 1876 leading up to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Back to text

57. Lt. Col. Ashbel W. Angel. Back to text

58. Charleston, South Carolina was a hotbed of the secessionist movement and the place where the Civil War commenced on April 12, 1861 with the bombardment of Fort Sumter. It surrendered to Sherman’s army without a fight and was spared the fate of Atlanta and Columbia, S. C. Needless to say, the fall of Charleston while not militarily significant was both psychologically and symbolically important to the North. The war was fast coming to an end. Back to text

59. The Battle of Five Forks lasted from March 29 – April 1, 1865. The battle is named for the action of the last day when the Union cavalry under General Sheridan succeeded in seizing the last rail yards around Petersburg. The result was that Lee had to abandon Richmond on Sunday morning April 2 and flee west, a maneuver which led to his surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on Sunday, April 9, 1865. Back to text

60. With the fall of Petersburg, Richmond was abandoned by both the Confederate Army and Government. Units of the Army of the James which had participated in the final phases of the battle occupied Richmond, while the Army of the Potomac pursued Lee west to Appomattox Courthouse. The 81st NY Volunteer Infantry, also from Oswego, was the first infantry unit to occupy the former Confederate capital. Back to text

61. There is a popular myth that the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865 when Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. While Lee’s surrender signaled the end of the war, Lee could not surrender other Confederate armies in the field. The Army of Tennessee under General Joseph E. Johnston remained in the field in North Carolina until it surrendered on April 26, 1865. The last active units of the Confederacy would surrender in Texas on June 2, 1865. Back to text

62. The War of the Rebellion, Series I, v.46 Part III, p. 1497, details the organization of troops in the Department of Virginia as of April 30, 1865. “I” Company was still at Fort Pocahontas. Col. Robinson was in command of the post at Harrison’s Landing, Va. The post not only included the remaining units of the 184th NY but also “I” Co. 1st U. S. Colored Cavalry under the command of Capt. David Vandervoort. Back to text

63. This is incorrect. Shirley Plantation (established 1613) has remained as the property of the Carter-Hill family through nearly four centuries. Robert E. Lee owned Arlington House and the attached lands through his wife Mary Custis, granddaughter of Martha Washington. His home was seized by the Federal Government and turned into Arlington National Cemetery so that he could never return and occupy the house. Lee’s mother was Ann Carter Hill Lee. He spent time during his boyhood at Shirley Plantation with his mother’s family. Back to text

64. Private Monroe I. Baker, died on June 4, 1865. He enlisted at Hannibal, N. Y. Back to text

65. Sergeant Hiram Lincoln enlisted at Hastings, New York. Back to text

66. No available information on a Private Castle.

     67. Died in combat or as a result of wounds
Name Unit Date of Death Town
Peter E. Eldred A Co. 10/19/64 Volney
Andrew W. Fish A Co. unknown Volney
Joseph Menney D Co. 10/19/64 Fenner
Dwight Parkhurst A Co. 10/25/64 Volney
Whitmore Percieval D Co. 12/19/64 Oswego
Augustus Phillips D Co. 10/19/64 Lenox
John P. Sabin D Co. 10/19/64 Oswego
John M. Wing F Co. 10/19/64 Oswego
Daniel D. Cole K Co. 4/12/65 Schroeppel
All but Pvt. Cole died as a result of the Battle of Cedar Creek, VA. Pvt. Cole was killed while trying to disarm a land mine.
Back to text


     68. Died of disease before mustering out on June 29, 1865
Name Unit Date of Death Town
Stephen G. Babcock E Co. 9/26/64 Volney
Henry E. Baker C Co. 10/4/64 Volney
Monroe I. Baker I Co. 6/5/65 Hannibal
Damon C. Brockway K Co. 10/28/64 Schroeppel
Judson Clark C Co. 12/27/64 Oswego
John M. Hall K Co. 10/28/64 Parrish
Levi E. Harris A Co. 11/28/64 Volney
Adson Kinsley D Co. 6/1/65 Lebanon
Alonzo S. Leonard D Co. 12/7/64 Oswego
Henry D. Lighthall G Co. 11/12/64 Sandy Creek
Elisha Robbins I Co 6/15/65 Palermo
Hiram Sherman A Co. 12/15/64 Volney
Andrew Stoughtenger A Co. 11/20/64 Granby
James Teague C Co. 10/27/64 Hannibal
John F. Whitney E Co. 11/20/64 Volney
Francis J. Young . E Co. 11/26/64 Lenox
Back to text      

69. Awarded a Medal of Honor. Back to text


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: October 3, 2006

Valid HTML 4.01!

Home | Contact Us | Language Access