New York Infantry Regiment, 1st
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Explanations about this file are here
NEWS FROM EASTERN VIRGINIA
Arrival of the First New York Regiment -- Reconnaissance
of Sewall's Point-Condition of Affairs in and About the
Fortress--Operations in the
Potomac and Chesapeake,
c., &c,. &c.
ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST NEW YORK REGIMENT
AT FORTRESS MONROE.
BALTIMORE, May 30, 1861.
The steamer Adelaide, from Old Point Comfort, arrived
here this morning, and reports all quiet there.
The steamer State of Georgia landed the First regiment
of New York at Fortress Monroe yesterday.
General Butler was reinforced yesterday by two thousand
Col. Fay, Aid de Camp to Gen. Butler, arrived by the
boat and proceeded to Philadelphia.
Most of the troops encamped outside the walls of
Fortress Monroe and at Newport News Point.
There were no hostile indications on the part of the
Virginians in that direction.
SURVEY OF THE BATTERY AT SEWALL'S
WASHINGTON, May 30, 1861.
Capt. Engle, of the navy, has just returned from a survey
of the position of the rebels at Sewall's Point. He
reports that the Point is held by four thousand rebel
troops, and that a powerful battery is erected on the
shore. The place is skillfully defended by works, and
the task of capturing it would be great. Capt. Engle,
however, does not regard its capture as at all necessary
for the purposes of the government - for the present at least, especially as
vessels of war can pass the Point without incurring the peril of injury from
the battery. Capt. Engle reports that the position can be turned by a rear
movement, and that by cutting off their communications with the main land,
the rebels can be starved out.
May 30, 1861
MOVEMENTS OF TROOPS IN NEW YORK COLONEL ALLEN'S REGIMENT SPOKEN AT SEA--SAILING
OF THE NAVAL BRIGADE
steamship Delaware, from Philadelphia, arrived yesterday
morning, reports:-28th 1:30 P.M. when passing
Fort Delaware, was invited by a gun from the fort to show
our colors (should not have waited for an invitation), at 6:20 P.M., off Cape
May, passed steam transport State of
Georgia, bound South, with Colonel Allen's regiment, for
The steamship Coatzacoalcos sailed from Quarantine for Fort Monroe
at 5:30 A.M. yesterday, having Naval Brigade on board.
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM.
To the Editor of The N. Y. Tribune.
Sir: Your Fortress Monroe correspondent in his letter
in yesterday's Tribune indulges in rather severe
allusions to Col. Allen's difficulties; and his remarks,
if not intended, are at least calculated to prejudice
opinion against the Colonel.
I have a letter from Col. A. under date 4th inst.,
in which he says that he is pressing for a speedy investigation, which he confidently
anticipates will his favor; and he requests me to make public the fact
that he feels he is right. Your ob't servant,
No. 240 Pearl street, July 8, 1861. JOSEPH BYRNE.
Honor the Brave.
From the New York Evening Post.
We have been furnished with the following
extract of a letter from General Kearney, addressed
to a personal friend in this city. The
officer alluded to is Captain John H. Coster, of
the First New York Volunteers, who was dangerously
wounded in one of the actions of the
seven days' retreat of the Army of the Potomac:—
" A most noble fellow, Captain Coster was
fearfully wounded in the jaw. His conduct
deserves high mention, and I hope you will
help me to render him justice with the community
and with New Yorkers particularly."
Captain Coster is now with his friends in
this city, and we are happy to hear is gradually
recovering under skillful treatment.
Lieutenant Charles Coster, brother of the
above-named officer, was attached to the Twelfth regular infantry, and was
also wounded in the leg during the same series of battles.
He also behaved with great gallantry, and we
understand is warmly recommended to Governor
Morgan by his superior officer, Major
Clark, and by many of our most influential
citizens, for a high command in one of our
Trial of Col. Allen.
From Our Special Correspondent.
FORTRESS MONROE, OLD POINT COMFORT,
Friday, July 12, 1861
The Court assembled, pursuant to adjournment, and
the proceedings of yesterday were read by the Judge
Advocate, Lieut. Loder.
Col. Allen offered a paper, asking that reporters
should be excluded, as the daily reports of the trial
might prejudice his case. The court was cleared, and
after maturely considering the request, denied the
Col. Allen offered another paper, asking that the
charges be dismissed on account of insufficiency. The
request was denied.
Brigadier-General Pierce called and sworn-—Was
in command of a portion of the troops during the
month of June, 1861; Col. Allen's Regiment was
included in his command; command extended from the
bridge near the fortress and Hampton; it devolved on
him to give commands to Col. Allen; had advanced
picket guards; Col. Allen had no authority to send out
parties of men, except guard details; he had no right
to do so without permission of witness; an order forbidding
such parties had been issued by Maj. Gen. Butler. [Said order was read, and
Col. to its reception on the ground that its authenticity was
not shown. Court required the Judge-Advocate to
establish its authenticity. Col. Allen sent a party to
outside of the pickets a few days previous to his arrest;
it was on the 27th of June. [At this point Adjutant
Haines appeared, and testified to the authenticity of
the order referred to above. Col. Allen objected, in
addition, that Maj.-Gen. Butler had no authority to
issue such an order, the consideration of which the
Court waived for the present.] Gen. Pierce continued
his testimony: he did not give Col. Allen permission
to send out a party; heard that on that day a
quantity of wheat had been burned in the neighborhood;
had a conversation with Col. Allen on that day
before he heard of the burning; sent for Col. Allen to
come to his quarters about sending some prisoners to
Fort Monroe without reporting to him, the witness;
told him that he had discharged all the prisoners, and
that they referred him to witness that orders had been
given to burn the wheat; the prisoners were harvesting
when arrested; Col. Allen said he had not given
orders to burn the wheat, but said if it took fire accidentally,
he would not care; this conversation took
place about sunset; told him that he had sent an officer
expressly to prevent the burning of the wheat; received
the same day a report from the officer of the
party sent by Col. Allen; it was signed by the officer,
and countersigned "approved" by Col. Allen. [Judge-
Advocate here submitted the original report, which
Gen. Pierce identified. It was read as follows]:
CAMP HAMILTON, June27, 186l.
Col. WM. H. Allen—Sir : I was detailed this morning at. 11
o'clock to go with six men of my company across the Bay, and
proceed to the house of a Secessionist named Thompson, there to
arrest all the white men I can find and to burn the wheat crop.
I was then to bring the men before Gen. Butler, and request him
to arrest them on the grounds of their having broken their parole.
In conformity with the order, I crossed the bay and arrived at
the house in question at about 1 o'clock. I found five white men
present, one of whom, however, is so visibly infirm, that he is
not able to walk for any considerable length of time. I arrived
with the four men in the fortress at l:50 o'clock, and presented
myself before Capt. Butler, the aide of the Major-General. After
my stating the case he asked me what proofs Col. Allen had of his
assertions, to which I replied that I did not know; that Col. A.'s
saying so was enough for me, and ought to be for him. He then
said that he did not feel authorized to act in the matter, and that
he considered it improper to do anything before the case had
been laid before Brigadier-General Pierce. I made my bow and
turned my way toward my own camp, knowing that I would get
better satisfaction there. I arrived with the persons, in camp at
One of my men asked one of the prisoners on the way, how
near the enemy's pickets were to Fox Hill, to which he incautiously
replied two miles, when one of the other prisoners hit
him gently on the side and said. No, no, you are mistaken, ten
J. CHRISTIANSEN, Lieut, commanding, Co. I.
Can't say whether the report was received when the
prisoners were brought that day or the next morning;
the conversation with Col. Allen was at the headquarters
of witness, in the seminary; the prisoners referred
to came from the Buckrow Farm; they were the same
mentioned in the report of Lieut. Christiansen; no authority
had been given by witness to cause their arrest;
I thought he might recognize some of them; (witness
was confronted with five men, three of whom he
recognized as among the prisoners referred to, and
mentioned in Lieut. Christiansen's report; they gave
their names as James Arlington, Patrick H. Hopkins,
Robert Jackson); the arrest of the men recognized
were reported to witness by Col. Allen's officer, who
reported that the arrest had been made by authority
from Col. Allen; some of the passes found on the men
were signed by Gen. Butler, and others by Col. Allen;
when the men were discharged they were allowed to
retain the passes signed by Gen. Butler; had been informed
by Gen. Butler that he only could give passes;
Col. Allen informed witness that he had issued thirtyseven
passes by the authority of Gen. Butler; it is the
duty of all under the command of witness to report
any information they may obtain of the enemy's movements.
Question by Col. Allen—By virtue of what power
did you command Col. Allen? Answer—By virtue of
detail by Gov. Andrew of Mass., to report to Gen.
Butler in person and to Gen. Scott by letter, and by
virtue of an order by Gen. B. to assume command of
troops, in camp between Fortress Monroe and Hampton.
Q. Have you a commission in the U. S. army?
Objected to, and objection not sustained. A. I have
Q. How long was Col. Allen under your command?
Have you ever had occasion to listen to complaint
against him as an officer and gentleman, and did he
ever disobey your orders? A. Since the 4th of June;
do not recollect that he ever disobeyed orders.
Q. Was not Col. Allen always prompt in obeying
your orders, and did you not consider him an efficient
officer? A. I cannot recollect of anything that leads
me to say he was not prompt; as far as military qualifications
go, he was efficient.
Q. Can you say of our own knowledge that the
picket-guard extended to Buckrow farm? A. There
is a place where it did not extend, near the Bridge.
Q. When the prisoners told you that there were
orders to burn the wheat did. they tell you to whom it
belonged? A. They said it belonged to one Thompson,
who was in the Secession service; that he was
indebted to them, and they were endeavoring to get
their pay by taking the wheat.
Q. When Col. Allen told you that he did not care
whether the wheat took fire, was he in earnest? A. I
understood him to be in earnest.
Q. What disposition did you make of the prisoners
returned by Lieut. Christiansen? A. I was going
away at the time, and ordered them to be retained
by the reserve of the guard till I returned, and could
have time to attend to their case; they were brought
to my headquarters, immediately discharged, and
ordered a guard to go with them to see them safe out.
Q. Did you not consider them under arrest till your
return? A. I did.
Q. What facts did you learn to lead you to discharge
the prisoners? A. The fact that they had the safeguard
of Gen. Butler.
Q. Have you any knowledge, of your own observation,
that Col. Allen or any of his men were beyond
the picket? A. I have not.
Q. Would Col. Allen, under any circumstances, have
the right to go beyond the picket to make arrests or
to destroy property without specific or general orders?
Objected to, and the objection sustained.
Q. Do you know positively that a picket was established
on the day in question at the head of Mill
Creek? A. There was one ordered; did not do it
Question by Lieut.-Col Washburn.~~-Was the order
in force on that day? Answer. It was.
Question by. Col. Allen. Did you not rank Col.
Allen senior in command under you by order of Gen.
Butler? Answer.—Gen. Butler did direct me to recognize
Col. Allen senior colonel of the camp at a certain
time, but never had any writing from the General
showing that he regarded him as senior in rank.
Q. Have you a commission from the State of Massachusetts
as a Brigadier General. A. I have.
Question by Col. Allen.—Was Col. Allen not the.
senior officer of and entitled to command the
brigade in case you had no commission, or in your absence
or removal to another post. Objected to, and
Q. Did you make the charges upon which Col. Allen
is now arraigned? A. I reported certain facts; can't
say whether they are the basis of the charges.
Q. Did you sign or draw up any charges against Col.
Allen, or did you consider yourself the prosecutor? A.
I have not signed or drawn up any charges, nor do I
consider myself the prosecutor.
Question by Lieutenant-Colonel Washburn-~When
did you learn that the prisoners were arrested—before
or after they were taken to Fort Monroe? A. After
they had been taken to the Fort.
Adjourned till to-morrow morning.
It is probable that the Col. DeRaney reported to
have been killed in the skirmish which Capt. Hammell
had with the Louisianans near Newport News,
was no less than Col. De Rusey, brother of Col. DeRusey, chief of the Engineer
Corps at Fortress Monroe.
He was at Great Bethel, and there is but little
doubt that he was the officer killed on the occasion re-erred
Following the example of Gen, Butler, quite a number
of officers in the different regiments have brought
their families here, and many more are preparing to
do so, so that before long we shall have the novel spectacle
of the stern realities of war and the gentle amenities
of the domestic circle mingling in the camp.
When the Rebellion first broke out, Col. Dimmick ordered
the families of officers and men to be sent away,
and was among the first to obey the order; for what
he required of others he was willing to submit to
himself. Gen. Butler, perhaps with more liberal or
civil ideas, if not with better notions of camp life, came
and with his family occupied the fine quarters which
Col. Demmeck's family had so lately given up. The
social characteristic is contagious if not universal.. In
this case it is supported by logic; for, as the greater
includes the lesser, so what is good for the Major-Gen,
is at least excusable in the colonel, and even the humbler
private. The argument of the camp, as I hear it
laid down, is that the example of the commanding officer
is eminently worthy of imitation; and, as I have
already said, not a few are preparing to signify their
appreciation of it. What the Army will become is
another, if not a secondary question. Let us have your
wives is the word; aye, and children too. If wives
make better men of us, why not better soldiers? I
venture to say that from their ranks might be selected
better Brigadiers than some that might be named. It
is true that wives and children might at times prove
incumbrances, especially on long and hurried marches.
I believe it was the practice of ancient commanders to
take their wives and daughters with them to the field;
and their example well-studied, if not that of more
modern ones, may, perhaps, show us how to manage
under such circumstances.
Return of the First Regiment New York
A telegraphic dispatch from Washington, received yesterday
by Colonel W. H. Allen, late commander of the
First regiment New York State Volunteers, informed him
that the regiment would leave Washington that (Friday)
evening, and arrived Jersey City about eight o'clock this
(Saturday) morning. The members and friends of the
regiment in the city will meet at Central Hall No. 274
Grand street, at ten o'clock in the morning, to prepare to
give the gallant fellows a suitable reception.
Regiments En Route for Home.
Washington, May 8, 1863.
The First New York regiment came up from the Rappahannock
this evening en route for home. They were in
The mail boat from Aquia creek did not reach here until
about eight o'clock this evening, having been detained in
order to bring up the First and Fourth New York regiments,
whose term of service has expired.
The Twenty-sixth New York and One Hundred and
Twenty-third Pennsylvania regiments, whose term of service
has expired, are expected to arrive here to-night, or
in the morning, on their return home.
THE Turn-Out On Wednesday.—The three
regiments which paraded on Wednesday were very
prompt at the formation in the Park. There were upward
of 1,500 uniforms paraded, including officers,
bands, etc. The First Regiment had not 192 troopers,
the Sixty-ninth rank and file numbered 261, and that
of the Seventy-first Regiment, 483. We noticed that
the cavalry held their sabres at a carry, and the band
and Colonel were posted in the rear, while the infantry
carried their arms reversed, and the band and officers
were all in their usual positions.
The Hawkins Zouaves formed the feature of the procession;
their handsome uniforms and soldierly appearance
attracted the attention of all spectators. They
should have been armed with muskets, and formed the
guard of honor.
The 1st N. Y. Volunteers
— is re-organizing under its late Colonel, Wm. H.
Allen. A meeting will be held this evening at Central
Hall, Grand street, to perfect the re-organization. Recruits
are wanted for this regiment.
[From our Brooklyn Reporter.]
No positive orders to march have as yet been received
by the Brigade officers. The orders for the Brigades
to fill up, and proceed to Harrisburgh have, however,
not been countermanded, and this morning all the
regiments were rapidly filling up their ranks.
There appears to be no difficulty in
getting recruits, for by ten o'clock this morning nearly
every company had taken in from ten to twenty new
members. The Quartermasters have made requisitions
for equipments and supplies, which are to be
furnished forthwith. The officers of the various commands
are to hold themselves in readiness to march at
any moment. They are to meet again at the City
Armory at 71/2 o'clock this evening to receive, new orders.
ADDITIONAL REBEL ACCOUNTS
OUR NEWPORT NEWS CORRESPONDENT
CAMP BUTLER, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. Feb 13,1862.
Norfolk Telegraphic Dispatches to the Richmond Dispatch— Roanoke Island Captured on Sunday, &c.
Sergeant James Bell, of Company G, First regiment
New York Volunteers, renowned in camp for his daring
and successful scouting excursions, went yesterday up to
Watt's creek, six miles above our camp, where a rebel
picket is stationed. He found there that the picket guard
had been largely increased; twenty men used to do guard
duty there, while now they seemed to be at least a hundred
strong. Sergeant Bell succeeded in procuring a copy
of the Richmond Dispatch, of February 10, from which I
copy the following telegraphic despatches:
FIRST REGIMENT, NATIONAL GUARD.
The First regiment, National Guard, now encamped at
Quarantine, Colonel Wm. H. Allen commanding, are to
have a full dress parade and review before a large number
of military gentlemen, at Quarantine grounds, at four
o'clock this afternoon. This occasion will afford a fine
opportunity for the public to witness the transformation
of a raw recruit into a perfect soldier, embodying efficiency, precision and
promptness in company and field
movements, as well as in the manual of arms. The
Quarantine boat leaves the foot of Whitehall street at
three o'clock P. M. This regiment sails on Saturday next.
RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE 1ST REGIMENT, N.Y.V.
In consequence of the earnest call of a large
number of commissioned and non-commissioned
officers and men of the old 1st regiment, N.Y.V.
and of other returned volunteer organizations, Colonel
Wm. H. Allen, now engaged in the re-organization
of the 1st regiment, called a meeting of
officers at noon yesterday, at Central Hall, opposite
Centre market, to organize a volunteer regiment for
the special purpose of repelling the rebel raid in
Pennsylvania. It will be composed entirely of veterans,
rank and file, and assurances have been received
that it will be gladly accepted by the government,
and fitted, out promptly. A number of
officers were present, and after discussing the subject
for some time, it was adjourned until this evening
at eight o'clock.
Col. Allen is well known as an able and brave
officer, and all who have ever been under his command
or met him in the course of his military
career, will gladly accept the opportunity thus offered
for service with him. His popularity, the
veteran character of the command and the short
term of service for which it is to be called out, must
together fill up the ranks very quickly when the
organization is once commenced.
WELCOME THE HEROES.—
The First Regiment,
Col. Pierson, was received in New York
with distinction on Thursday, and escorted
through the principal streets by the Seventh
Regiment. Broadway was gay and gorgeous
with banners—cannon roared—crowds cheered— bands played,
and all were merry as a marriage bell. A supper at the cost of the city was
for their entertainment at the Seventh
Reception of Returning Regiments.
The formal public reception by the city authorities
of the First New York Volunteer regiment,
which arrived here on Sunday, will be given today.
The Seventh regiment (National Guard)
will be the escort. The procession will pass in
review before the Mayor and Common Council at
5 o'clock this afternoon, and then marching up
Broadway to Fourteenth street, will pass to Fifth
avenue and to Seventh street, when it will cross to
Fourth avenue, and be dismissed at the Seventh
regiment armory. The First will, in the evening,
at the armory, be given a banquet by the authorities.
The arrangements are to be carried into
effect under the supervision of the Common
Council Committee on National Affairs.
The Fourth regiment (Scott Life Guard) was
received yesterday. Mayor Opdyke returned to
the regiment its battle flag, which had been sent
hither, and made an appropriate speech, to which
Colonel McGregor, of the Fourth, responded.
Three regiments of militia, the Duryea Zouaves,
and several companies of firemen paraded. The
procession was reviewed by General Scott.
First Regiment New-York Volunteers.
The First Regiment New York Volunteers is
expected home to-day. The Seventh Regiment will
receive them, Col. Lefferts having issued the following
Headquarters SEVENTH REGIMENT, N. Y. S. N. G.,
12 o'clock, Feb. 17,1864.
GENERAL ORDER No. 3.—In compliance with division
and brigade orders this moment received, this regiment
will parade on Thursday, the18th instant, to receive
the First Regiment New York Volunteers, upon
its return from the seat of war, where it has rendered
distinguished services to our country.
Regimental line in Lafayette place at 12 3/4 o'clock
Band and drum corps will report to the Adjutant.
By order of Col. MARSHALL LEFFERTS.
W. H. HUME, Adjutant.
THE REGIMENT'S OFFICERS ENGAGED IN THE ACTION
The following is a carefully
compiled list of the officers of the various regiments said to have been engaged
in the contest near Fort Monroe - -
The First Regiment
Volunteers (National Guard) of New York City. Field Officers: Colonel, Wm.
H. Allen; [still in New York, not having gone on with his regiment,--
Ed. Herald]; Major, James M. Turner.
Adjutant, Walter Scott; Quartermaster, Robert J.
Walmsley; Paymaster, P. J. Joachimsen; Surgeon, Joseph
L. Hicks; Assistant Surgeon, John Howe.
Non-Commissioned Staff Officers.
Benjamin Page, Sergeant Major; Joseph C. Briscoe,
Color Sergeant; Robert B. Montgomery, Quartermaster
Sergeant; James Murray, Officers' Mess Steward; Edward
Willis, Cook to Officers' Mess; Joseph E. Eastman, Right
General Guide; Richard J. Perry, Drum Major; Richard
Willis, Fife Major; Wm. A. Bishop, Left General Guide.
Company A—Captain, Leon Barnard; First Lieutenant,
John C. Campbell; Second Lieutenant, N. S. Morenus.
Company B— Captain, James Clancy; First Lieutenant,
George W. Duncan; Second Lieutenant, Wm. T. Allen.
Company C—Captain, William L. Coles; First Lieutenant,
Jamet C. Shaw; Second Lieutenant, David E. Carpenter.
Company D—Captain, Henry M. Burleigh; First Lieutenant,
Charles Ingersoll; Second Lieutenant, John F.
Company E—Captain, Timothy Waters; First Lieutenant,
Joseph Yeamans; Second Lieutenant, Henry
Company F- Captain, David Tuomey; First Lieutenant,
James F. Hyde; Second Lieutenant, James Dolan.
Company G—Captain, William H. Underhill; First Lieutenant,
George S. Melville; Second Lieutenant, Henry S.
Company H--Captain, Frederick Pierson; First Lieutenant,
W, H. Hamilton; Second Lieutenant, C. M. Martin.
Company I—Captain, Ole P. Balling; First Lieutenant,
Christian Christensen; Second Lieutenant, Alfred Fredberg.
Company K—Captain, Werner Bjerg; First Lieutenant,
Nicholas Gronbeck; Second Lieutenant, John Allen.
THE RETURNING REGIMENTS.
Reception of the First New York State
Volunteers—Parade of the Seventh— Dinner at their Armory, &.
The First regiment New York State Volunteers had
their formal reception yesterday afternoon. There being
several members of the Seventh regiment, N. G., attached
to the First, the former regiment turned out in full
and escorted the returned soldiers through our streets,
The interest and enthusiasm exhibited in giving those
brave spirits a hearty welcome has not abated in the least,
and the people turned out in large numbers yesterday in
Broadway, as well as the principal thoroughfares through
which the procession passed, in order to cheer the soldiers
in their triumphal march. The parade of the Seventh in
yesterday's reception also much enhanced the enthusiasm
of the occasion.
At five o'clock in the afternoon the procession filed
through the Park and marched up Broadway in the following
Squad of Police.
Seventh Regiment, National Guard, under command of
Colonel Marshal Lefferts.
First Regiment New York State Volunteers, under command
of Colonel Pierson.
Wounded of the First in Carriages,
City Authorities in Carriages.
Citizens generally, &c.
The procession passed up to Fourteenth street, down
Fourteenth street to Fifth avenue and up W Seventeenth
street, then passing down Fourth avenue to
the Seventh regiment Armory, where the corps was
dismissed, and entered the building in order to partake
of a sumptuous dinner provided by the city authorities.
A number of the Seventh also sat down to dinner with
the gallant First. Among those present were Colonel
Lefferts, of the Seventh; Colonel Pierson, of the First;
Aldermen Farley, Mitchell, Boole and others. Alderman
Farley presided upon the occasion. The following toasts
were drank and responded to by the gentlemen whose
names are attached:—
The President of the United States. Music.
Governor of the State of New York. Music.
The Union—Priceless as liberty, and as inestimable as
liberty itself. Responded to by Colonel B. F. Shephard.
The First regiment of Volunteers, God bless them. Responded
to by Colonel Pierson.
The Army of the Union:—We will support them and reinforce
them; they have achieved great victory. May
their last great victory be speedily won. Responded to
by Colonel Lefferts.
Shortly previous to the conclusion of the entertainment
Mayor Opdyke entered, and made a few complimentary
remarks relative to the gallantry of the First regiment in
the field. The splendid band of the Seventh regiment
furnished the music upon the occasion.
MONDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 21
THE POTOMAC ARMY
A brilliant Skirmish - New Yorkers Engaged
A correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer writing from Headquarters, on Thursday, says:
Last night at 8 1/2 o'clock, a detachment of fifty
men from the First New York, and another of
the same number from the Twelfth Pennsylvania
cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant D. A.
Irwin, were ordered out on scout, the whole under
command of Captain Jones, First New
York. They proceeded to Charlestown and
bivouacked for the night. At seven o'clock next
morning marched to Summit Point, and hearing
of a force of the enemy in the vicinity
of Smithfield advanced on that place. When
within three miles of the town they overtook
one of the enemy's scouting parties and at once
gave chase. Pursued them to the town where
the retreating "Rebs" were reinforced by a detachment
of sixty of the Twelfth Virginia Rebel
cavalry, who made a desperate charge upon a
portion of our force, and a sharp skirmish
ensued, in which Captain Jones was wounded
in the hand and taken prisoner. A number
of prisoners were also captured by us. After
the first charge the enemy attempted to
come in upon us from four sides, but
were handsomely met and repulsed at all
points by detachments under Captain Bailey,
Lieut. Poindexter, of the first New York,
and Lieut. Irwin of the Twelfth Pennsylvania
Cavalry, who at that moment came to
the rescue. The fight lasted about two
hours, was a complete succession of charges
and of captures and recaptures by both parties,
one of the most important of which was the recapture
of the gallant Captain Jones, together
with the capture of three men who were his
captors, by Sergeant Thompson, of the First
New York, Corporal Casler and Private Amos
Parks, of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, allowing
the captain an interview of not more than
ten minute's with the chivalry, scarcely time
enough to receive from them the congratulations
due an officer of his rank upon so auspicious
After the enemy had been repulsed a number
of times they beat a hasty retreat toward Winchester,
hotly pursued by our forces to within
four miles of that place.
Lieut. D. A. Irwin, of the 12th Pennsylvania
cavalry, is spoken of in the most flattering terms
by Captain Jones for his gallantry and coolness,
and skill displayed in handling his men during
the engagement. Both captains Jones and Bailey
and Lieutenant Irwin are acknowledged universally
to be a noble trio. No more gallant and
efficient officers ever wielded a sabre in their
country's defense than they.
Our causalities were three wounded, two of
the Twelfth Pennsylvania, and one of the New
York cavalry. The loss of the enemy in killed
and wounded is not known. We captured ten
prisoners with horses and equipments, including
Colonel Allen on Mr. Winthrop's Death
at the Battle of Great Bethel.
NEW YORK, June 18, 1863..
To the Editors of the New York Express :
Noticing the article in your issue of the
19th, from a Captain in the army to the Boston
Transcript, relative to Private, not Major,
Winthrop, killed at the battle of Great Bethel,
I quite agree with you that the entire story is
a sheer fabrication.
The rebel battery was on a hill covered by
a dense woods. At the foot of the hill ran a
wide and deep creek, beyond which a long-range
of rifle-pits extended. These were occupied
by the 7th Regiment North Carolina
Regulars, so-called. About 400 yards from,
and parallel with them, ran a private road or
lane, flanked on the right by heavy timber.
At the end of this road, joining the woods,
Lieutenant Grebbel's battery was in position,
and in the road, lying down, was my regiment
as a support to it. All the space in front; was
open and clear.
The Boston papers, and others, state that
Mr. Winthrop was killed leading a charge,& c. This is all nonsense. He had no connection
with the service at the time, simply
acting as a volunteer Secretary in General
Butler's office at Fortress Monroe. His ardor
impelled him to shoulder his own rifle and go
into action as an amateur, and while picking
off men wherever visible, from behind a tree
in the woods before mentioned, on our right,
and about half-way between the two batteries
he was finally killed by a rifleman of the left
flank company of the 7th North Carolina.
These are simply the facts concerning the
death of this gentleman.
Late Colonel 1st Regiment N. Y. V.
Back to 1st Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
September 27, 2006