New York Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
FUNERAL CEREMONIES OF PETER
The funeral of Peter Knickerbocker, a private
soldier in Company E. 77th Regiment N.
Y. S. Volunteers was held on Tuesday of this
week from the Methodist Church. A meeting
was held at the Marvin House to make necessary
provisions for the burial—and a committee
was appointed for the purpose perfecting a
The solemn services of the church were performed
by Rev. Mr. Spaulding to a crowded
house, after which the line of procession was
formed and moved to the cemetery, where the
services closed with a short exhortation and
Much credit is due to the Committee of Arrangements
and to Marshall J. N. Case for the
perfect system with which the obsequies were
COLONEL McKEAN'S REGIMENT.
The Bemis Heights regiment, Colonel J. B. Mckean
commanding, will arrive in the city this morning. The
Sons of Saratoga resident in the city are requested to
meet the regiment at the foot of Fourteenth street, North
river, at nine o'clock, to join in escorting them to the park. The presentation
of colors will take place at one o'clock, in front of the City Hall. The Hon.
Hiram Ketchum will deliver the address. The regiment will leave the afternoon
THE 77TH.—We judge from a letter
received by Mr. R. H. Benedict, of this
village, from his son, that the 77th, to
which he belongs, was not in the battles
at Gettysburg. The regiment left Bristow,
Va., June 26th, crossed the Potomac
at Edwards Ferry, on the 28th, and
was at Westminster, twenty miles from
Gettysburg, on the 3d inst. (the day of
the last battle.) They may have taken
part in the subsequent operations against
Lee's army, on its retreat to the Potomac.
CAPT. HORTON of Co. B. 77th Regiment,
came home last week and was cordially
welcomed by his Ballston friends.— He is recovering from the effects of the
shell explosion that stuned him on the battle
field of Fredericksburgh, but will not
probably again enter the service.
Capt. Rugg, of the 77th arrived here
on Friday, on a short leave. He has
been detailed to the Elmira depot to take
charge of drafted men for his regiment,
and he procured his leave of absence
Capt. Rugg, of the 77th arrived here
on Friday, on a short leave. He has
been detailed to the Elmira depot to take
charge of drafted men for his regiment,
and he procured his leave of absence
At a meeting of the officers of the 77th
Regt., N. Y. S. V. convened at Headquarters
of the Regiment, on the 19th
day of May, 1863, the following preamble
and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS—It has pleased Providence
to remove from our midst our Senior
Captain, the brave, manly, and much esteemed,
Capt. Luther M. Wheeler, who
fell on the 3d of May last, while leading
his command through the enemies' works
which crown the Heights of Fredericksburgh;
therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That we deeply deplore and
mourn the loss of an officer who never
flinched from duty, who commanded the
entire respect of every member of the
Regiment, who was loved and willingly
obeyed in a manner seldom equalled and
never excelled! and we feel that in losing
the officer we have also lost a companion
and friend, whose affability, truthfulness,
social qualities, and mental attainments,
are seldom found equaled in one so young,
and by which he had so deeply endeared
himself to us.
RESOLVED, That inasmuch as he fell
while bravely fighting beneath his country's
flag, and as the true soldier only
wishes to die, he has won the proud distinction
of adding his name to the patriotic
heroes of history, and we feel that
though the tears of bitter grief bedew the
lustre of his crown, yet there is a lustre
emanating therefrom to his Regiment and
the army with which he so faithfully
Resolved, That we extend to the relatives
and friends of the deceased our
heartfelt sympathy in this their sudden
RESOLVED, That copies of these resolu -
tions be transmitted to the family of our
lamented brother officer, and to the several
newspapers published in Saratoga
Lieut. Col. W. B. French, Ch'mn
Capt. O. P. Rugg, Sec'y.
PRESENTIMENTS OF DEATH.
(From the Saratogian.)
Many remarkable cases are related of persons
who have correctly predicted their own deaths.
But we have rarely heard of any more surprising
than the case of Captain L. M. Wheeler, of this
place, who fell on Fredericksburg Heights. A
short time before the last battle at Fredericksburg,
Captain Wheeler remarked to Lieutenant
Thomas, "If we cross the river I shall be wounded
or killed." Thomas adds, "I had never seen
him appear so before."
Another of his brother soldiers writes, that
Captain Wheeler said to him three days before
the battle, "I shall be killed in the battle, of
Fredericksburg." Lieut. Vandemark says he
was depressed some time before the battle, and
said to him, "I know I shall be killed."
And when Lieut. V. started for the hospital,
after a week's illness in the care of Capt. W., he
said, "Captain, you had better go with me. for
you have not been well for a week, and the
Doctors says you are not fit for duty," "No,"
he answered, "I can go, and I do
not wish to have my men go
where I do not go myself. "Good-bye, Van,"
said he, "you will never see me again. I am
glad you are going to the hospital, for I think
you would be shot too if you went into the
OUR RETURNING HEROES.
ARRIVAL OF THE 77TH NEW YORK, 43D NEW YORK,
1ST MAINE AND 32D MASSACHUSETTS
The above-named regiments, numbering
in all about 1,700 men, arrived in this city at 4 1/2 o'clock
yesterday afternoon. They came through to Amboy
in a special train of 44 cars, and from thence were conveyed
to this city by steamboat, landing at Pier No. 1.
Immediately after disembarking, the two New York
regiments stacked arms on the Battery grounds, and
the 1st Maine and 32d Massachusetts Regiments
marched to the foot of Robinson st.
The Massachusetts regiments went on board the
boat, but the Maine Regiment being left behind together
with quite a number of Massachusetts man,
they returned to the Battery barracks and were provided
with supper.. Col. Howe was making efforts to
procure transportation in order to send them off by
special boat last night. The New York Regiments left
for Albany at 8 p. m. by steamboat.
THE 32D MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT.
This regiment represents the 9th, 12th, 13th, 18th,
32d, 33d and 39th Regiments, and returns with 773 men.
During the three and a half years they have been in the
field, 2,900 man have belonged to the organization. It
belonged to the Third Brigade, First division, and
belonged to the Third Brigade, First Division, and
Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac. The following is a
list of officers:
Field and Staff—Colonel, J. C. Edmonds; Lieut.-Col. Jas.
A. Cunningham; Major, Edward O. Shepard; Surgeon,
Fletcher; Quartermaster, Lieut. Jas. S. Wagner; Adjutant,
Capt. John A. Bowdlear.
Line Officers—Co. A, Capt. John E. Tidd; First-Lieut. A. E.
Drury; Co. B, Capt. A. Bancroft; First-Lieut. Jas. P. Robinson;
Second-Lieut. Wm. F. Tubbs; Co. C, Capt. T. McCartney;
First-Lieut. Geo. W. Batcheldor; Second-Lieut. Wm. F.
Tuttle; Co. D, First-Lieut. Loring Burrell; Co. E, First-
Lieut. Stephen C. Phinney; Co. F, Capt. J. A. Bowdlear;
First-Lieut. Thom. Cook; Co. G, Capt. Geo. W. Laurrat;
Second-Lieut. Chas. Bartlett; Co. H, Capt. Wm. E. Reed;
First-Lieut. August A. Coburn; Co. I, Capt. I. W. Smith;
Second-Lieut. Jas. W. King; Co. K, Capt. Geo. A. Hall; Co.
L, Capt. Jas. E. March; Lieut Geo. A. Ackerman; Co. M,
Capt. Chas H. Smith; First-Lieut. A. W. Kneeland; Second-
Lieut. ____ Jennis.
FIRST MAINE REGIMENT.
The 1st Maine Regiment, numbering 422 men and 28
officers, belonged to the Third Brigade, Second Division,
and Sixth Corps. The officers are as follows:
Colonel, Hyde; Lieutenant-Colonel, Fletcher; Major,
Witherell; Quartermaster, Glazier; Adjutant, Grenier; Surgeon,
Bucks; Assistant, Packard; Co. A, Lieut. Littlefield;
Co. B, Capt. Merrill; Co. C, Capt. Weber; Co. D, Lieut.
Greenleef; Co. E, Lieut. Phair; Co. F, Lieut. Phiney; Co.
G, Capt. Wade; Co. H, Capt. Jennings; Co. I, Lieut. Frazier;
Co. K, Capt. Ring.
SEVENTY-SEVENTH NEW-YORK BATTALION.
This Battalion, numbering 240 men, which was raised
in Saratoga County, and went out in November, in
1861, shows as good a record as that of any other regiment
connected with the Army of the Potomac.
During the time they have served, over 2,000 men have
been connected with the organization. The following
is a list of officers:
Field and Staff—Colonel T. J. C...; Surgeon, Dr. Thompson;
Adjutant, T. M. White; Quartermaster, Chas. Thurber;
Hospital Steward, Charles Waldron.
Line Officers—Co. A, Capt. J. D. Clapp; 1st lieut. Thomas
Hass; 2d Lieut. S. Fountain; Co. b, Capt. Geo. Ross; 1st
Lieut. Adam Flansburg; 2d Lieut. Wm. Caw; Co. C, Capt.
Charles Stevens; 1st lieut. Wm. Merrill; Co. D, Capt. Chas.
Davis; 1st lieut. Robert nelson; 2d Lieut. William Quackenbush;
Co. E, Capt. D. A. Thompson; 1st Lieut. James M. Monroe.
The regiment participated in all the battles of the
Peninsula; battle of Antietam; Gettysburg, first and
second Fredericksburg, Rappahannock Station, all
the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold
Harbor, Petersburg, from whence the brigade were
detached and sent to the defense of Washington, where
they charged on and drove the Rebels from Fort
Fisher; they next took part in the battles of Charleston,
Va., Ossequan, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek.
Returning to Petersburg, the Third Brigade were the
first to break through the Rebel lines at the time of the
This battalion numbering 200 men, belonging to the
Third Brigade, Second Division and Sixth Corps, went
into the field in 1861 and since that time have engaged
in every battle with the famous old Sixth. The list of
officers is as follows:
Brevet-Col., Charles A. Millikin; Surgeon, Henry H. Carpenter;
Adjutant, Thos. Lynch; Quartermaster, Miles W.
Goodyear; Co. A, Capt. E. B. Goodyear; Second--Lieut.
Hiram Van Buren; Co. B, First-Lieut., John Aherne; Co. C,
Capt. Wm. Russel; Co. D, Capt. Wm. H. Tyrrel; Second-
Lieut., Nicholas A. Swart; Co. E, Capt. Richard L. Annesley;
First-Lieut., Jas. McGraw; Second-Lieut., Frank Shubert.
Col. James B. McKean, who organized
the gallant 77th N. Y. Regiment, while a Member
of Congress, and commanded it in several
engagements, having lost his health in the service,
has been honorably discharged, at his
The Hon. James B. McKean was known in
this city for his usefullness as a legislator and
his amiable and social qualities as a gentleman.
GOING BACK.—Second Lieut. W. W.
Worden, of the 77th, who was wounded
in the battle of the Wilderness, starts on
his return to the regiment to-morrow.
His furlough has not yet expired; but
being in condition for duty, he is desirous
to share again, with his gallant comrades,
the perils of the campaign against
Wm. Kimpton, of Co, C, 77th regiment,
who was wounded in the arm
during one of the recent battles before
Richmond, and was taken prisoner,
died while undergoing amputation of
that wounded limb.
Dr. Stevens, Surgeon of the 77th
Regt., now with Sheridan, writes Col.
McKean, "The army votes for Lincoln—
I know it. In conversation yesterday
with a rebel Surgeon, a very social
gentlemanly man, he asked me how
your army would vote. I told him, and
then asked him in return how his army
would vote if it had a chance. "Oh!"
said he, "of course we would vote for
McClellan." "Why, of course?" said
I. "Because in spite of his letter we
believe him to be the peace candidate."
LIEUT. CARLOS ROWE, of Co. I. 77th N. Y.
who was taken prisoner during the battles of
the Wilderness, has escaped. He was taken
during the advance on the 10th of May, was
held as prisoner until the 16th, when he eluded
the vigilance of his guards, and after a
tramp of seven days, in the enemy's country,
arrived at Fredericksburgh on the 23d, all
right and ready for service again, though
minus his sword, coat &c.
In his letters home he gives a glowing
picture of the splendid fighting done by the
77th, at the time of the breaking of Shaler's
and Seymour's brigades. It maintained its
old reputation as the fighting 77th.
JOHN HAY has been heard from.
He is wounded and is in one of the hospitals
and doing well. The missing are
PETER A. BROWN, a volunteer from the
CATARACT office, J. H. En EARL and Lt.
BUCHANAN, of the 76th Reg't., neither of
whom have been heard from since the first
day's fight, GEORGE DIEHL, a member of
the 77th N. Y. Reg't., whose parents reside
in this village, was killed on the 5th of
May, in an engagement in the Wilderness.
He is spoken of as a brave soldier and
exemplary man, and his loss will be
sincerely mourned. Lieut, T. S. FOWLER,
also of the 77th, whose name we reported
last week as among the wounded, and
MARTIN Murphy mentioned above, have
arrived home and are doing as well as the
severity of their wounds will admit. Lieut.
Fowler will probably lose the use of his
SOLDIER's FUNERAL.—The funeral sermon
of David McNeal, Jr., of Wilton, a member of
the 77th who was killed on the 6th of May,
will be preached on Sunday, June 5, by the
Rev. J. S Hart, at the South Wilton Church.
In connection with the above notice of the
fall of an estimable young man, we are permitted
to make a few extracts from a letter to
a friend in this place, that was written just before
the battles. He says, "Shortly after
the battle of Mine Run, our chaplain drew up
a league for a Christian Society, to which
about thirty put their names—pledging their
faith that they would live before their fellow soldiers
as becomes Christians. I have always
believed that for a soldier to be able to discharge
his duty to his Country, he needs the
guidance of an unerring God. There is nothing
that will enable a man to go so soberly and
boldly into battle as the assurance in his own
heart that, whether he stands or falls, his eternal
good is secure. You may expect to hear of
a more terrific battle than has yet been fought,
and many a mother's heart made lone and desolate
thereby, and may God strengthen each for
ARRANGEMENTS TO RECEIVE THE BEMIS
HEIGHT'S REGIMENT (SEVENTY-SEVENTH
NEW YORK STATE VOLUNTEERS).
This fine regiment, raised in Saratoga county and commanded
by Col. McKean, is expected in this city in a few
days, on its way to the seat of war, and suitable preparations
are being made to give it a hearty reception. The
natives of Saratoga county resident in this city and the
vicinity held a meeting yesterday afternoon in room 20
Aster House, with the view to organising some plan of
proceeding. Mr. Gilbert M. Speir was chosen chairman
and Mr. Charles A. Davidson secretary, after which a
committee was appointed to make all the necessary arrangements,
and the meeting adjourned subject to call.
Nov. 16, 1861)
THE BEMIS HEIGHTS BATTALION.
Arrival and Departure of the Bemis
Heights Battalion or Seventy-seventh
Regiment of New York State Volunteers,
Col. James Bedell Mckean, Commanding—
Formation of the Regiment,
Sketches of the Officers, Historical Incidents,
The Bemis Heights battalion, Seventy-seventh regiment
of New York State Volunteers, Col. James Bedell
McKean, member of Congress from the Fifteenth (Saratoga)
district, commanding, arrived at the foot of Fourteenth
street, from Albany, early yesterday morning.
The formation of this regiment was initiated on the 21st
of August last by the publication of the following stirring
and patriotic circular, signed by Col. McKean:—
FELLOW CITIZENS OF
THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT:—
Traitors in arms seek to overthrow our constitution
and to seize our capital. Let us go and help to defend
them. Who will respond because we lost the battle at
Bull run? Our fathers lost the battle at Bunker Hill, but
it taught them how to gain the victory at Bemis Heights.
Let us learn wisdom from disaster, and send overwhelming
numbers into the field. Let farmers, mechanics,
merchants, and all classes, for the liberties of all are at
stake, aid in organising companies. I will cheerfully
assist in procuring the necessary papers. Do not misunderstand
me. I am not asking for an office at your
hands. If you who have most at. stake will go, I will
willingly go with you as a private soldier. I have assurances
from several officers who have seen service on
fields of battle that they will gladly join us. Let us organize
a Bemis Heights Battalion, and vie with each other
in serving our country, thus showing that we are inspired
by the holy memories of the Revolutionary battle fields
upon and near which we are living.
This appeal was not without its immediate effect, and
the progress of the regiment towards completion was
rapid and gratifying. Of the ten companies composing
the battalion seven entire companies were recruited from
Saratoga county, which has sent to the war altogether
upwards of 1,200 men; the remaining three, with few
exceptions, being from Essex and Fulton counties—two
from the former and one from the latter. The men are
taken from various pursuits, but mostly from agricultural,
mechanical and professional callings, a large proportion
of them being farmers' sons—a few have left college
classes, and not a few are lawyers, doctors, ministers and
school teachers. The regiment is a very strong one, in
both an intellectual and physical point of view, and appears
in New York eight hundred strong. It is named in
commemorative honor of Bemis Heights, a revolutionary
point of interest, situated about twelve miles east of Saratoga
village, where the trace of battles known as those of
Bemis Heights were fought on September 17 and October 7,
1777. Both of these memorable contests, which are now
popularly referred to under the different names of the
battle of Saratoga, Stillwater and Bemis Heights, is recorded
among "The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the
World," deciding as it did the fate of the Revolution by
preventing the junction of Burgoyne and Clinton. This
same struggle also determined the course France pursued
in the Seven Years' war.
SKETCH OF COLONEL M'KEAN.
Colonel James Bedell McKean , commanding the regiment,
was born of Scotch descent in August, 1821, on the
actual scene of what is known as the Battle of Bennington,
which, as the boundaries now lie, was in Hoosac,
Rensselaer county, this State, instead of in Vermont.
Colonel Mckean is a self-cultured man, alternately going
to school for a short time, farming and teaching. At the
age of twenty-four years, having previously served
through all the militia gradations, he was elected and subsequently
commissioned by the late Silas Wright Colonel
of the 144th regiment New York State Militia, which body
of citizen soldiery he continued to command for several
years. At the proper age the Colonel
commenced the reading of law at Waterford, in this State,
under Judge Bullard, and was duly admitted to the bar.
In the year 1854 he was elected County Judge of Saratoga
county, the duties of which office he discharged for one
full term, immediately after which, in the fall of 1858,
he was chosen a representative in Congress for the Fifteenth
Congressional district; and having been re-elected
in the fail of last year (1860), he is a member of the
Congress that convenes on Tuesday next, but inasmuch
as his colonel's commission originates with Governor
Morgan, it is probable that he will continue to hold his
Congressional seat while doing his duly to his country as
colonel of his regiment. Politically Colonel McKean was
an old democrat till the repeal of the Missouri compromise,
and he is now a decided partisan of the present
administration, sustaining the cause of the Union in this
crisis with might and main. He is among the most popular
orators in Northern New York, being alike graceful
eloquent and persuasive; engaging in his manners, and
yet remarkable for his decisiveness on all subjects and
for political backbone, urgently favoring the adoption of
strong measures for the reduction of the rebellion, both
in the last Congress and at the late extra session.
As a commander he has the air, bearing and traits that
are desirable in a military officer, being prompt, ready
and self reliant, united to which he has a voice equal to
all the demands made on a field officer. All classes of the
people in the section of country from which his regiment
comes, and where he is best known, place the utmost reliance
upon his discretion and indomitable grit. In personal
appearance he is slightly above the medium height,
fair complexion, iron gray hair, slim]y built, and not of
a strong, though energetic physique. Though volunteering
as a private, Colonel McKean was unanimously called
to the command of the regiment.
THE LIEUTENANT COLONEL
of the regiment is Joseph C. Henderson, of Albany. Col.
Henderson is a hardware merchant, and has seen little of
military life, though he has been for some time attached
to the staff of Brigadier General Rathbone. He is a fine
appearing officer, and is represented as being an efficient,
industrious and attentive one. He commanded the regimental
post during the raising of the command.
Major Seldon Hetzel is a nephew of ex-Lieutenant
Governor Seldon; was raised in Monroe county, has had
the advantage of a partial training though sound training
at West Point, and is competent to the position he fills,
being regarded as a superior officer. He joined the regiment
SKETCH OF BENJ. F. JUDSON, SENIOR CAPTAIN OF
Captain Judson—senior line officer of the regiment,
ranking next to Major—was born in Warsaw, Rensselaer
county, in 1827, and after a little early schooling was
bred a printer, serving his time in the office of the Troy
Daily Whig, and is at present one of the proprietors of
the Saratogian, a spirited inland paper. Captain Judson
is alive in military matters, and his courage will be
heard from in the contest.
INTERESTING FLAG PRESENTATION AT SARATOGA.
Just previous to the departure of the regiment from
Saratoga, on Wednesday, a national flag was presented to
the regiment by the young ladies of Dr. Beecher's seminary,
which was marked by appropriate ceremonies and
speeches, &c. The flagstaff is surmounted by a blade or
esponton found on the field of the second battle of Bemis
Heights, and which belonged to a British flagstaff
attempted to be planted on the American intrenchments
on the Heights, which effort was gallantly foiled by American
The regiment was received and entertained in New
York by "The Sons of Saratoga," resident in the metropolis,
who yesterday presented them with a splendid
regimental flag, bearing devices emblematic of the name
of the regiment. On one side there is seen a representation
of the old colonial flag in use at the time the battles of
Saratoga were fought, consisting of thirteen stripes, alternate
white and red, the field being the same as that of the
British standard. The reverse side bears a representation
of the surrender of Burgoyne, with the thirteen
stripes and the thirteen stars in the field, the occasion of
that surrender being the first one on which the present
national symbol was used, the Stars and Stripes being
then unfurled; the law relative to the ensign of the republic
having been passed by Congress in the June preceding.
LIST OF THE FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS.
Colonel ...........................................James B. McKean.
Lieut. Colonel Joseph C. Henderson.
Major Seldon Hetzel.
Chaplain .......................Rev. David E. Tully.
Adjutant.............................Winsor B. French.
Quartermaster...............................Lucius E. Shurtleff.
Surgeon.......................................John L. Perry.
Assistant Surgeon ...................... George E. Stevens.
Quartermaster’s Sergeant..........Wendell Lansing.
LIST OF LINE OFFICERS.
Company A—Captain, Benj. F. Judson; First Lieutenant,
Luther M. Wheeler; Second Lieutenant, John Patterson.
Company B—Captain, Lewis Wood; First Lieutenant, Wm. B. Carpenter; Second
Lieutenant, Halsey Bowe.
Company C—Captain, Calvin A. Rice; First Lieutenant,
George S. Orr; Second Lieutenant, L. Shurtleff.
Company D-Captain, John Carr; First lieutenant, Winsor
B. French; Second Lieutenant, Chester H. Fodow.
Company E—Captain, Ruel W. Arnold; First Lieutenant, Wm. Douglass; Second
Lieutenant, James Farnsworth.
Company F—Captain, Judsen B. Andrews; First lieutenant,
Jesse White; Second Lieutenant, John J. Cameron.
Company G--Captain, A. F. Beach; First lieutenant, N.
H. Brown; Second Lieutenant, George D. Story.
Company H—Captain, Franklin Morton; First Lieutenant, Jacob F. Haywood;
Second Lieutenant, Martin Lemon.
Company I—Captain, ____ Babcock; First Lieutenant,
Haywood; Second Lieutenant, ,—— Cobb.
Company K—Captain, Clement C. Hill; First Lieutenant,
Noble P. Hammond; Second Lieutenant, Stephen S. Horton.
Immediately upon arriving in the city the regiment
was quartered at the Park Barracks where the men were
breakfasted, the officers breaking fast in a separate
apartment, where a welcome speech to the command was
delivered by a son of Saratoga, to which the commanding
colonel replied. After breakfast the regiment was supplied
with Enfield rifles, and forming in hollow square in
the Park, the presentation of the regimental standard already referred to,
was made in a speech by Hon. Hiram
Ketchum, forcible, earnest, and marked by revolutionary
references. Colonel McKean responded in a most feeling
and appropriate manner, concluding by giving the ensign
to a Sergeant named Bemis, a relative of the proprietor
of the land upon which the battles of Saratoga were
fought. The regiment left at five o'clock by boat for Amboy,
and thence took the cars to Washington.
Nov. 30, 1861)
WHAT THE 77TH DID.
GALLANTRY OF COLONEL McKEAN AND THE
BEMIS HEIGHT BOYS.
Correspondence of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mechanicsville, Saturday night, May 24.
This morning at daybreak the Rebels opened
upon the little band that had driven them
across the river at the New Bridge. The cavalry
and artillery were encamped across the
river, and the infantry close by upon the opposite
side, but in supporting distance. To our
right was a little village, called Mechanicsville.
In a grove this side, a battery of four guns
commenced to fire solid shot; before us was
an open field, and the fire was at once returned,
but no damage being done in half an hour,
the firing being unsatisfactory, Wheeler's Battery
of four pieces and Davidson's Brigade, in
the following order:—Seventy-seventh New
York, Col. J. B. McKean; Thirty-third New
York, Forty-ninth New York, Seventh Maine,
Col. Mason—were ordered to take the battery.
They at once marched up half a mile, when
the Rebel infantry were seen drawn up in line
of battle in front of the battery. Wheeler's
Battery at once halted and opened upon them,
dealing out a terrific fire of canister and shell.
It was returned, with but little loss on our side.
We could now see four squadrons of Rebel
cavalry and two regiments of grey coats.
After firing some time, the Seventy-seventh
New York and Thirty-third New York advanced
again, and, in marching up, received a
heavy volley of musketry and solid shot from
their 12-pounders. With a "charge bayonets," and one of the most terrific roars, that seemed
like the bursting of a huge cataract from its
barriers, on they rushed; first the cavalry fled,
and before the infantry got close enough to see
the whites of their eyes, their infantry broke
and ran in all directions through the woods.
Down went knapsacks, canteens and muskets.
The infantry pursued them cautiously, and
found one wounded man upon the field who
belonged to a Georgia regiment. Their killed
and wounded were taken away with them,
with this exception.
FROM THE 77TH.
CORRESPONDENCE OF THE SARATOGIAN.
Virginia, Nov. 12. 1863.
Messrs. Potter & Judson:—Knowing that you take an interest in matters
pertaining to our Army, and thinking
perhaps you would like to
know what has become of the 77th N.
Y. V., I take the liberty of writing a
few lines to you for publication (if you
see fit to do so.) I shall not attempt to
write a history of all our doings, marches,
& c., since leaving the Rapidan River,
but will give a few details of our doings
for the past few days and of the fight of
Rappahannock Station last Saturday,
the 7th. We broke up camp at Warrenton,
the morning of the 7th, and
marched at 8 o'clock for Rappahannock
Station, 12 miles, where we arrived at
or near two in the afternoon, none of us
hardly dreaming of a fight that day,
although we knee the rebels were
strongly fortified, and had quite a heavy
force on our side of the river.
We were drawn up in line of battle,
within about half a mile of the station,
at 2 o'clock, the first division ahead and
on our left; ours the 2d, next, in the
centre, and the third division on our left
and rear. Soon the cannonading commenced
on our left, and we knew by this
time that the first division were engaged
with the enemy. We (our brigade)
were then ordered in line of battle
a short distance, and halted, the 43d
N. Y. in the meantime were thrown
ahead as skirmishers, which duty they
nobly done, driving the Rebel Skirmishers
about half a mile to and across the
River. Soon the shells commenced
flying around, and bursting on all
sides of us. We did not lay in this
position long, for the rebels had a good
view and range of us, but were ordered
forward again about a quarter of a mile
to get under cover of a small hill or rise
of ground, for protection, and where we
could support one of our batteries which
was at work in good earnest, returning
the rebel compliments with shot and
shell. We started on the double quick
through brush, over ditches, &c., all the
while the Rebs doing their prettiest to
hit some of us with their shells as they
had a good range of us; but we gained
the cover of the hill, no one hurt. We
lay there for an hour, under a heavy
fire all the time, their shells bursting
all around us, but luckily they did no
damage of any account; they wounded
a few horses, but none of our men were
hurt. Still it was not a very pleasant
situation to be in, after all. At dark
we were ordered forward to relieve the
43d on the skirmish line. We took
their place until morning, expecting
that the fight would then be renewed,
but at daylight there was not a Reb to
be seen—all that had not been killed,
wounded, and taken prisoners, had made
good their retreat back towards Culpepper.
I will here say that our men,
throughout the fight, as far as we were
engaged, showed themselves brave and
true soldiers—all of us having the confidence
of our brave and worthy Col.
French, who as an officer in command
of a regiment can't be beat in our Corps
(and that is saying a good deal).
At daylight we fell back a short distance
from the River and the forepart
of the day (Sunday) was taken up in
burying our dead, and gathering up
guns, equipments, &c, that the rebels
had left behind, and when they were
taken prisoners. In the afternoon we
crossed the river and advanced on to
Brandy Station 4 miles, where we encamped
that night; the next day we
moved up some 2 miles further to the
right, where we are now camped in the
woods, near the residence of the Hon.
John Minor Betts, who, as no doubt you
know, was one of the strongest opponents
of secession, at the breaking out of the
rebellion. He has been confined in
prison at Richmond for some time, but
is now I am told at home here on his
old plantation. Of the particulates of
the fight you have no doubt been made
acquainted ere this, but 1 will give you
an account as far as I know. We lost
in our Corps, some 40 killed and 265
wounded, I do not know the exact
amount of killed and wounded of the
enemy; but according to Gen. Sedgwick's
report we took 4 pieces of artillery, 4
Caisons filled with ammunition , their
Pontoon Bridges, 8 battle flags, 1600
prisoners, including two brigade commanders
and 130 commissioned officers,
which I call doing pretty well for a
Says Gen. Sedgwick in his report, " the taking of the Heights on the right
by Neil's and Shaler's brigade of the
6th Corps under Gen, Howe, to obtain
position of the enemy's batteries, was
As regards future operations this fall,
of course we soldiers don't know anything;
but from indications going on
around us, I don't think we will remain
here any longer than until the Railroad
is repaired up to the river; then I think
Gen. Meade will push ahead. One thing
is certain, what fighting we do this fall
will have to be done soon, for we shall
soon begin to get the fall and winter
rains, and then it will be impossible to
move the army to any advantage. The
weather is getting cold, and it is very uncomfortable
sleeping out on the ground
these cold nights. The health of the
regiment is good, never better since it
was organized, and we are all in good
spirits. What men there are left now
of the 77th can stand anything, except
shell and balls.
Hoping that war will soon be ended
and that we can return to Old Saratoga
again to welcome our friends once more,
I will close this poorly written letter.
I am very respectfully, Yours &c.,
Sergt. J. E. Barnes,
77th N. Y. Vols., 3d Brig. 2d Div. 6th Corps
COL. M'KEAN'S FAREWELL ADDRESS TO THE
SOLDIERS OF THE 77TH.
Col. James B. McKean, who organized
the gallant 77th N. Y. Regiment, while a
Member of Congress, and commanded it in
several engagements, having lost his health
in the service, has been honorably discharged,
at his own request.
The following is his farewell address to
his Regiment :
Saratoga Springs, July 26, 1863.
To the 77th Regiment N. Y S. Volunteers:
Soldiers: When, returning from my seat
in the Federal Congress, in the summer of
1861, I called on my constituents to rise in
defence of our imperilled country, you rallied
at my call and demanded that I should
lead you. Yielding to your demand, and
to what seemed the voice of duty, I became
your Colonel. I cannot express, nor
need I, for you know how much you have
made me love you. Your cheerful obedience
to my every command, aye, to my every
request; your proficiency in drill & discipline;
your patriotic performance of every
duty, and patient endurance of every
hardship; your stern steadiness under fire,
your brilliant bayonet charges, have long
since commanded my admiration and affection.
But brothers, I must leave you.
Prostrated for the third time by chronic disease,
contracted in the field, I address you
from a bed of sickness, to say—what it is
hard to say farewell. You need no advice
now. You know well why yon have chosen
to he soldiers. You ask for no new
Declaration of Independence, but that the
truths of the old be recognized and enforced;
you ask for no new Constitution, but
for a just interpretation of the old; you ask
for no new Union, but for the old as its
founders designed it, not as its internal enemies
perverted it; that the Republic, founded
on justice, may exist, you ask that t h a t
class which claims to be above, and that
class which is claimed to be beneath the
reach of even-handed justice, shall cease to
exist. These holy hopes shall be realized.
To these glorious consummations you are
marching on; an inscrutible Providence orders
me to halt. Brothers of the 77th— Farewell.
Jas. B. Mckean,
Col. 77th Regt., N. Y. S. V.
FROM THE 77TH.
HEAD QUARTERS 77TH REG. N. Y. V.,
Camp near Brandy Station, Va.,
March 6th, 1864.
Editor Saratogian.—Sir—Since my last letter
the boys have been taking a walk, and although
nothing extraordinary occurred during
the promenade, still, a few details may be interesting
to your readers. On the evening of
the 26th of February orders were received, at
Regimental Head Quarters, to be ready to
march at 7 o'clock A. M. , the following morning.
A guard was to be left in camp, and some
few men, who were unable to stand the fatigues
of the march, were also allowed to remain
behind. At 3 o'clock, on the morning of
the 27th, the column moved forward in the direction of Culpepper, which point
about 11 o'clock, and at night they camped near
James City Court House,—having made about
seventeen miles. Early next morning the
march was resumed, and shortly after noon the
column halted near Madison Court House. It
being understood that they were going no farther,
the men went to work with all the zeal
and energy natural to a soldier, and soon a little
village of bush houses were erected, (the
tents having been left in camp,) where they
made themselves quite comfortable, as the
weather was mild and dry. In a short time
the brigade butchers killed and prepared fresh
meat for the troops, and the hides of the cattle
were taken by some for roofing to their
shantie, in case of rain. From this point,
and even from the camp at Brandy Station, the
artillery which accompanied Gen. Custer's cavalry,
could be heard in the front. The firing
lasted all day, and must have been at least
twenty-five miles from our present camp. At
night a heavy rain set in, with every prospect
of "a long spell of weather." In the morning
the rain had turned to snow, and the few deserted
houses in the neighborhood were soon
leased an very liberal terms, and became dance
houses and minstrel halls for the entertainment
of the "Yanks."
It was soon ascertained that some very nice
poultry was in the vicinity, and the soldiers,
fearing it might not be properly cared for, owing
to the destitution of the country, kindly
gathered it in, and, by so doing, were enabled
to give their masticators quite a surprise.—
Luckily the change of diet did them no harm,
though some hinted at "fowl" play being connected
with the affair.
On the morning of March 2d the Corps
started on the return trip, bringing in horses,
mules and innumerable contrabands. The
marching was somewhat harder then when
going out, as the recent storms had caused
an abundance of Virginia's great staple, and
consequently the soldiers' shoes weighed a
great many more ounces to the pound than
ordinarily. Notwithstanding the distance was
some twenty-three miles the regiment arrived
in camp at 4 o'clock p. m. of the same day.
Gen. Howe, who had been our Division commander
for a long time, has recently been removed
and given a command in Washington,
and Gen. Russel, formerly of the 1st Division,
is now in command of ours.
The health of Col. French is rapidly improving,
though since my last letter he has
suffered a relapse in his malady, caused mainly,
by his anxiety to be up and doing sooner
than the feeble state of his health would allow.
On the 6th we deceived a small squad of recruits,
which looks encouraging. May they
continue to arrive, and none, who link their
destinies with the 77th, will ever have cause
to regret the choice.
The election returns in last week's Saratogian
show a good account of the people at
home; and if you will but give us a chance
to vote in the field, we will swell the Union
majorities to a much higher figure. W.
FROM THE 77TH.
HEADQUARTERS 77TH REGT. N. Y. S. V.
Camp near Brandy Station, Va.,
March 31, 1864.
Editor Saratogian:—Sir—After a silence of
two weeks, during most of which time I have
been unwell, I will once more resume my duties
of correspondent, though very little of interest
has transpired in the regiment since my
During this month, so far, we have been the
recipients of the worst kind of March weather.
On the 21st we were visited by a snowstorm,
accompanied by high winds, which drifted our
chilly visitor into all imaginable shapes, and
caused him in some instances to penetrate even
the sacred domiciles of "Abe's Police," Thus
replacing the warmth and comfort hereditary
to the sunny (?) south. The depth of the hibernal
carpet varied from two inches to two
feet. On the 22d the sun came out warm and
soon reduced the snow to a suitable consistency
for snow-balling, when a silent bombardment
was commenced by our boys on the camp of
the sixty-first Penn. Vols. This was a signal
for the "Pittsburghers" to turn out en mass,
and the air was soon filled with hostile, though
non-explosive projectiles. Officers and men
pitched in, and in a short time the seventy-seventh
boys were in possession of the camp of
ye shadbellies." During the melee several
prisoners had been captured by each party;
these were soon exchanged, and all affairs between
the contending parties satisfactorily adjusted.
Lt. Gen. Grant is now with us, and has
established his Headquarters at Culpepper C.
H. Since his arrival the first and third Army
Corps have been disorganized, and the troops
that composed them, distributed among the
three remaining Corps. Gen. Prince's division
of the Third Corps joins Gen. Sedgewick.
We are all expecting lively times this summer,
and as there are a great many persons yet
in Saratoga of the fighting age, who have failed
to take an active part in the great tragedy, let
them embrace the present opportunity, and be
in at the death of the Confederacy. Even the " Cops: should not hesitate to step forward at
this time, as they can act in the capacity of
mourners at the funeral obsequies.
We are now enjoying a course of literary
lectures in our little chapel; they are delivered
every Wednesday evening, on which occasion
the little structure is always crowded, showing
that the men take a lively interest in this
mode of pastime so well adapted to their mutual
gratification and benefit.
The ground is now very unsettled, so much
so that in all probability we shall remain inactive
during the greater part of April.
I shall not attempt to describe the pride and
gratification with which the boys received the
news of the late "Amendment of the Constitution," allowing us to vote. Suffice it to say
that we fully appreciate the favor and also the
party with whom it originated, a proof of
which will be furnished by us in November
FROM THE 77TH.
HEADQUARTERS, 77TH REG., N. Y. S. V.
Near Brandy Station, Va.
April 23d, 1864.
Editor Saratogian, Sir:
Since my last letter we have been busily
engaged in making preparations for the coming
campaign, which from present indications
promises to be a successful one. Our army
has gained greatly in numbers during the past
winter, and every train that arrives from
Washington comes freighted with recruits,
eager to join the ranks under the "Hero of the
The men express the utmost confidence in
Lieut. Gen. Grant, and expect to take Richmond
the coming season. Some very hard
fighting will of course be necessary, but none
harder than the army of the Potomac has done
and stand ready, willing and anxious to do
again, if the subjection of the rebel army of
Virginia is to be the fruit of their efforts.
We had the pleasure of seeing Lieut. Gen.
Grant a few days ago, on the occasion of a
Corps Review. He is a very plain looking
personage indeed, and unless he is very hard
to please, our appearance must have left in
his mind a favorable impression, for the corps
never appeared to better advantage than on
The weather is now quite pleasant; we have
had but very little rain for the past ten days,
and the ground is fast becoming settled, the
air is warm, and no fires are used except for
On the l6th all the sutlers were ordered out
of the lines, and will probably not be allowed
to return this season, unless we should halt
for a rest during the heat of the Summer.
All the surplus property of the regiment, except
the "real estate" on shoe leather, has
been shipped to Alexandria for storage, while
active operations are going on, in order that
the troops may move as light as possible.
The past winter has been spent very pleasantly
indeed for this out-of-the-way place, our
Chapel being by no means the smallest item of
interest, serving as it does for church and reading
room. Our course of lectures, of which six
have already been delivered, have proved very
beneficial. During the past week we have
had the pleasure of a visit from the Rev. Dr.
Buddington of Brooklyn, one of the projectors
of the Sanitary Fair of that city. He addressed
the men of our Brigade twice during
his brief stay, and seemed quite pleased to see
divine service so well attended by the soldiery.
Target practice has formed a part of our
duty, as well as pastime, of late, and "plain
and fancy" shooting is indulged in by the regiment
at large. The Seventy-seventh can boast
of some splendid shots, some who would make
it quite unhealthy for a "Greyback" at from
three to five hundred yards.
Indications of a sudden movement are more
apparent this afternoon than ever of late; and
orders to he ready to move at a moment's notice
are now being promulgated—marching
rations being already in the hands of the
A rumor is rife here that the mails will be
stopped between the army and Washington,
though very little credit is given it. As long
as the route is open, I shall he happy to instruct
your readers of our doings.
THE 77TH REGIMENT.
Wearer indebted to Mr. Lansing for a
copy of the following letter, in advance of its
publication by him. It will be seen that the
77th has suffered severely in the contest.
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE, VA.,
Monday. May 11, 11 A.M., 1864.
W. Lansing, Editor Plattsburgh Sentinel:
Knowing the friends of the members of the
77th Regiment in your region will be anxious
to hear tidings from them, I write this line,
hoping to have an opportunity to send it
This is the 7th day of fighting. Our regiment
has lost up to this time as follows:
Killed 14, one of whom is Capt. Carpenter.
99 wounded among whom are Capt. Deyoe,
one eye shot away. Lieut. Frank Thomas,
shot thro' chest, Lt. Fowler severely wounded
in arm, Capts. Smith and Winnie, Lts. Howland
and Werden, slightly—53 are missing.
The casualties among the men from your
region are as follows:
Corp. Wm. Walton, St. Armand, fell dead
pierced with three bullets.
1st Serg. Wm. E. Merrill, Franklin, flesh
wound in both thighs.
Geo. F. Wills, Franklin, left eye shot out.
John Jackson, Keene, shoulder slight.
Peter Savage, Black Brook, arm slight.
L. B. Hawkins, Franklin, arm,
George Kent, Keene, slight.
Corp. Stillman Daby, Jay, slight.
Lieut. Rowe, Chesterfield, Corp. Henry
Duval, Black Brook; Thomas Morrison,
Keene, and Samuel Barton, Franklin, are
I think this list is complete as regards the
men from your section. Hoping that it will
be a relief to friends at home to learn that
it is no worse. I remain, very respectfully,
Your most ob't Serv't.
NORMAN POX, Champlain 77th.
FROM THE 77TH.
HEADQUARTERS 77TH REGT., N. Y. V.,
Near Cold Harbor, Va., June 9, 1864.
Editor Saratogian—Sir: With many apologies
for my protracted silence, I will once
more address your many readers in behalf of
the regiment which Saratoga has sent to represent
her in the field, and of whose doings she
may this day be proud.
We marched from camp, near Brandy Station,
on the morning of the 4th of May, in the direction
of Rapidan river, which we crossed the
same afternoon. The following morning the
march was resumed in the direction of the "
Wilderness," where skirmishing had already
commenced with the enemy. Our regiment
was soon deployed on the skirmish line and immediately
commenced exchanging shots with
the troops of Ewell's Corps, then on our front.
In this engagement no artillery was used by
our forces on account of the dense woods.— The enemy made use of some; but the roar of
musketry was terrible. The loss in our regiment,
up to the 8th, was 88 men, killed,
wounded, and prisoners.
Up to this time the 6th Corps had acted
heroically whenever engaged, stubbornly holding
their position in a most murderous fire of
musketry; when, on the afternoon of the 8th,
the rebels commenced cheering just in front of
our brigade. All attention was at once turned
in the direction of the sound, every one expecting
they would charge our line at that point.
The men stood in their places firm and immovable
as the forest trees around them, resolved
to repulse the foe whatever might be the
cost. In less time than it takes to tell it, the
enemy came on, but not on the 3d brigade,
their attack was made on the 3d division of our
corps, (formerly a portion of the 3d Corps)
which made but a slight resistance, thus allowing
the enemy to turn our right flank, and
pour a withering volley of musketry in our
rear. The boys fixed bayonets and made a
dash for the road where they reformed and put
a stop to what might have terminated in a
stampede. Since then our invincible Second
has relied but little on the imported Third division.
From the "Wilderness" we marched to
Spotsylvania C. H., and here again the 6th
Corps was seen in the van, and where the 2d
division fought, there the slain lay thickest.
On the 9th we lost our highly esteemed corps
commander, Maj. Gen. Sedgwick. His death
cast a gloom over the whole army, but more
especially the 6th Corps, who had learned to
honor and obey him for his unassuming manner
in the camp, and intrepidity on the field of
battle. His loss at this time is a severe blow
to the army and to the country.
On the 10th our regiment suffered severely
in a charge on the enemy's works, our loss
being about seventy-five killed, wounded and
missing; and notwithstanding this fearful
slaughter, we drove the enemy from the first
line of works at the point of the bayonet, and
pursuing, did not allow him to halt until the
third line had been reached.
In this fierce encounter the enemy lost very
heavily, the ground being literally strewn with
his dead and wounded.
On the 13th our regiment was again engaged
behind a rebel earthwork which had been
turned for our own use. They kept up an almost
ceaseless fire of musketry from 7 A. M.
till 4 P. M.
On the 12th the regiment was ordered to the
extreme left, near the Po river. Here we
were joined by the Colonel who had been
anxiously expected for some days. He was
received amid cheers and congratulations from
all sides, and by his presence seemed to infuse
a spirit of safety in the minds of the men.
On the 18th our brigade in supporting the
Vermonters was subjected to a very heavy artillery
fire, in which the 77th lost 13 killed
On the night of the 21st the flank movement
was made, which brought us, after thirty
hours marching, on the north bank of the
North Anna, and near Jericho Ford.
On the morning of the 24th we crossed the
stream on canvass pontoons and took a position
one mile beyond, near the line of the Virginia
Central R. R. At night the regiment
moved into the rifle-pits, where we lay unmolested
until the following day, when we moved
on toward the South Anna, halting on Little
river. Our whole division here entrenched
themselves strongly, and occupied their works
until the night of the 26th, when another flank
movement was made in the direction of the
Pamunkey river, which we crossed near Hanover
town on the 28th. After a brief rest our
brigade marched about two miles up the road
to Hanover C. H., and having thrown up a
small breastwork remained until Monday morning
From here we marched up the Hanover C.
H. road until within two miles of that point,
when we filed to the left, and finally halted on
the old Porter battle field; from this place we
marched to our present position on the 1st of
Fighting has been going on continually since
our arrival here, in which the rebels have been
the greatest sufferers. Our lines are well
protected by strong earthworks, and every
night the pioneers are engaged in strengthening
old and building new fortifications.
From the 4th of June to the present time we
have lost six men killed and wounded, making
in all since the opening of the campaign, 24 killed, 118 wounded, and 35 missing--total
Thus you see the 77th has borne her part in
this important struggle, and the small remnant
left stands to-day in the front rank of our
Casualties since May 18th.
The following is a list of killed and wounded
in the 77th on and after May 18th:
Co. A.—Wounded: Frank Hubbard, Chas.
Co. B.—Killed: Sergt, Geo. Bolton, William
Hill, Lewis Lakley. Wounded: Charles Andrews.
Co. C.—Killed: Aaron B. Quivey.
Co. D.—Wounded: Corp, Charles Stewart,
Michael S. Briggs, seriously.
Co. F.—Killed: John Allen, Henry Frank.
Co. G—Wounded: Henry C. Darrow, seriously;
Corp. Charles Van Kleek, seriously.
Co. H.—Killed: William L. Cole.
This embraces all since the 12th, when Capt.
Rugg was killed. T. M. W.
The following is a complete list of the
casualties in the two companies from Essex
County, in the 77th N. Y. from May 4th to
June 10th inclusive.
Wm. F. Lyon, 2d Lieut, left on the field May
Chas. Davis, 1st Sergt., hand. May 6
Sylvenus Morse, Corp., head. " 10
Charles Pierce, Priv. hand. " 5
Theodore Hermance, " arm. " 6
Dennis Thomas " leg. " 6
Wm. F. Gregory, '' face. " 6
James Edmonds, " foot. " 6
George Brazier, '' hand. " 10
Jas. A. Myres, " mortally in side. 10
F. Hubbard, " hand. " 13
Chas. Blanchard, " thigh. June 4
George Allen, Corp'l missing May 10
John W. Whitmarth, Private missing " 6
Lewis Ward, Private missing " 10
Wm. Walton, corporal May 10
Wm. E. Merrill, 1st Sergt. " 10
Thos. F. Outing, Sergt. " 10
Oscar Tefft, Sergt. " 12
George F. Wells, Corp, " 6
Henry Duval, " " 6
Geo Kent, " " 6
J. Daly, " " 10
Willis Wilcox, " " 10
Wm. Damond, Private, " 6
L. B Hawkins, " " 6
Peter Savage, " " 6
John Jackson, " " 10
Thos. Morrison, " " 10
B. F. Stillwill, " " 10
Geo. Smith, " " 10
Andrew McEllwain, " " 12
John H. Dowen, " " 12
Patrick Gilroy, Sergt. " 10
Samuel Barton, Private, " 6
Jas. E. Davison, do " 10
Carlos Rowe, 2d Lieut. " 10
The Battle at Fort Stevens.
The only fighting of any account, which
took place near Washington, during the
late rebel raid, occurred at Fort Stevens,
about five miles north of the city. Here
Early's rebel column was met by a portion
of the veteran 6th corps, which had
come on from Grant's army to save the
Capitol. The fighting commenced on
Tuesday evening, the 12th inst., just before
dark, the rebels showing themselves
about 6 1-2 o'clock coming down a declivity
on both sides of the Seventh street
Road (Brookville Turnpike), into
a little valley running across the road,
about a mile north of the fort, and calculated
to protect them from its guns.
Upon this demonstration being made
by the Rebels, the guns of the fort and
of two neighboring ones were opened on
the valley and the cleared declivity beyond
(dotted with Rebels), and heavy
lines of skirmishers were sent forward
to help dislodge the incumbents of the
valley. The troops thus sent forward
were parts of the 1st and 3d Brigades of
the 2d Division, embracing parts of the
61st Pennsylvania, 43d, 49th, 77th, and
122d New York, 7th Maine, 23d, 89th
102d, and 139th Pennsylvania, 10th
Vermont, and 37th Massachusetts Regiments.
Gen. Frank Wheaton commanding
the 1st Brigade, and Brigadier-
Gen. Grant the 3d.
About dark the skirmishing between
the opposing lines arose to the importance
of a severe engagement, and terminated
in our troops securely holding
an advanced position on the brow of the
valley above mentioned. Our loss was
estimated at from three to four hundred.
From the 77th.
HEAD QUARTERS 77TH REG.
N. Y. Vols. June 25th, 1864.
Friend Boynton:—Presuming that a few
words from the 77th may be interesting to
some of you at home, I take this opportunity
( the first I have had since the commencement
of this campaign,) to give you some account
of our doings since the 4th of May.
Abler pens than mine have written the
record of the 6th corps to which the 77th belongs.
When I say that we have participated
in all the engagements of that corps you will
know what we have had to do.
Of course we have lost heavily, though we
have been far more fortunate than many other
regiments. We left camp with 364 muskets.
I think 200 will cover our losses in officers
and men. Many of those who were slightly
wounded will soon return to us; others alas,
we shall see no more.
Our loss in officers has been very heavy, in
proportion to the number of men. Out of
twenty-three we lost fifteen killed and wounded.
Capt. Carpenter fell on the 10th of May,
in a charge upon the enemy's line, in which
the 2nd division went within twenty rods of
Gen. Lee's headquarters. Not being supported
they were obliged to give up the advantage
gained, and with it many of our best men.
Lieut. Lyon of Westport was that night left
wounded in the hands of the enemy. Capt.
Rugg was killed the 12th of the same month.
The loss of such officers is most deeply felt
by the whole regiment. Their places are
vacant, and can never be filled. They were
brave men, and their deaths were such a
brave men desire.
I am unable to give the names of all the
killed and wounded. I believe a list of those
from your section has already been furnished
The men (what are left) are in very good
health, and spirit. Hard fighting, hard
marching and all the fatigues of the campaign
have not been able to quench that fire of
patriotism which burns as steady and bright
amid the terrible storm of battle, or the long
weary march, as when they were lying comfortably
in winter quarters, or enjoying the
comforts of home which they visited last
The feeling throughout the army, as far as
I can judge, is one of firm determination to
conquer this rebellion, no matter what the
sacrifice is. Such a determination, with the
head of a Grant to direct their energies must
soon tell upon the strength of the rebel army.
And, it is already beginning to tell upon its
strength. When our army first crossed the
Rapidan, Lee attacked us when the chances
of success were nearly equal. He was not
then afraid to move out of his entrenchments
to fight us. The repeated, terrible blows
which Grant dealt him in forcing him back to
Richmond, so weakened him that when we
moved off from his front at Cold Harbor, he
dare not move out of his works to fight us,
when the chances were ten to one in his favor.
Those who have watched the policy of General
Lee will know that nothing but extreme
weakness would induce him to allow such a
golden opportunity for dealing us a staggering
blow to escape him.
Grant changed his base from White House
to James river without losing as much as a
box of crackers. We all remember the same
movement as executed by one whose name
will long be remembered for that, if for nothing
else. The reason of their not attacking
us, is very evident. Their strength is gone,
at least their strength to meet us in open
battle. They may and doubtless will battle
us for some time yet, for they are in a position
strong by nature and rendered doubly so being
artificial works. Petersburgh or Richmond
might, doubtless, be taken by assault, but it
would only be a great sacrifice of life to obtain
that which a few weeks patient labor
will bring us. The fate of Richmond is certain.
Nothing but extraordinary poor generalship
on our part will save it from capture,
and when Richmond falls the rebellion is
crushed. At least we may reasonably conclude
so, from the fact that the whole armed power
of the rebellion is being concentrated here.
We may look for the capture of Richmond
at any day, and it may be months before it
falls. It is a stupendous work and we must
patiently await the coming of the happy day.
Each day shows some gain. Our lines are
gradually drawing nearer and nearer to the
fatal city, while troops more remote from it,
are actively engaged in destroying railroads
and depots of supplies.
We are now in possession of nearly all the
lines of communication between Richmond
and the south and west, so that soon they
must feel the effects of famine as well as the
sword unless they have a very large supply.
This has been a very hard campaign; the
hardest the army has ever seen. For about
fifty days the army has not had a single days
rear rest. There has been no time when they
could lay aside the soldiers harness, with
full security that they would not within the
hour, be compelled to close it again to meet
the enemy. Night and day it has been almost
incessant fatigue. It seems almost incredible
that men could endure as much hardship as
some of our troops have been obliged to.
Grant knows neither night nor day. There
are twenty-four hours in a day, and if necessary,
his army must work the whole time.
Rest with him is a mere consideration.
The weather most of the time has been
very hot, and the roads so dusty that any
movement of troops is the most arduous work
we have. A long march, over a dusty road, in
a hot day, is one of the trials that it wouldn't
have been safe to subject Job to.
Before closing I wish to say that the large
number of wounded even here with us are
receiving care that few would suppose men
could receive in the field. Government and
the Sanitary and Christian Commission, those
blessings of the soldiers, are laboring unceasingly
to render the burden of war as light as
possible. All the delicacies a sick man would
crave are furnished to this army. Choice
wines, lemons, preserved meats, and fruits &c
in fact everything that can in any way alleviate
the suffering of a sick, or wounded man is
found in abundance with us.
The regiment is under command of Colonel
French, who has been with us long enough so
that every officer and man has the most perfect
confidence in him. He has been tried in
the fire of many battles and found true as
steel. Dr. Stevens, also, in his line, is acquiring
a reputation which will class him among
the first surgeons of the country. During
all the fighting at Spottsylvania he was in
charge of the wounded of the entire 6th corps.
Since then he has been with the division and
many a sufferer has thanked him for the
timely aid rendered by his indefatigable hand.
Though of a slender constitution he never
allows himself rest as long as a wounded man
requires attention. Others might be mentioned,
but my time or space will not admit.
Very Respf'y. Yours,
THE 77TH—LIST OF KILLED AND WOUNDED.
The 77th suffered severely in the recent engagement
beyond the Rapidan—reports which
have reached us put the number at 150. The
regiment numbered a little over 400 effective
men, and went into the fight under the lead of
Capt. Wm. B. Carpenter, of Co. E., is the
only commissioned officer thus far reported
killed. It is supposed that he fell in the action
of Thursday last at Spottsylvania Court House.
He was from the town of Providence, in this
county, and was a fine young man and an excellent
officer. Capts. Winnie, smith and
Deyoe, are among the wounded, and also Lieutenants
ROWLAND, Fowler, Thomas and Worden. Capt. Winnie has returned home, and
was in this village on Tuesday last. He was
struck by a Minnie ball just above the forehead,
the scalp being laid open to the skull for
about two inches. He was wounded on the
morning of the second day's battle (Friday,)
and was therefore unable to furnish particulars
of the losses of the regiment in the severe engagements
which followed. We give below a
list of the killed, wounded and missing, so far
as received, specifying the nature of the injuries
sustained in every case where it is possible
to do so.—
Co. A.—Wounded: Lt. Lyon, leg, severely,
and in enemy's hands; Jas. Edmonds, foot,
slightly; Ord. Sergt. Chas. Davis, hand, slightly;
Wm. Gregory, badly, jaw fractured, and
teeth broken; Chas. Pierce, hand, slightly; T.
Hermans, arm; Dennis Thomas; Corp. S. Morse,
head, slightly; J. A. Myers, abdomen, probably mortal; Geo. Brazier, hand.
Co. B--Killed: M. McWilliams, color bearer.
Wounded: Capt. Fred. Smith, in the abdomen,
not dangerous; T. Grey, leg; A. Phillips, hip;
Isaac Boyce, John Southwaite, Wm. Arnold.
Co. C--Killed: Chas. Burnham, by a shell.
Wounded: Ord. Sergt. David Pangburn, slightly,
in abdomen; H. Bradt, severe scalp wound,
and also wound in arm, from a shell; H. Bowers,
badly wounded, in abdomen; John G.
Ketchenor, in shoulder; A. J. Sterritt, slightly,
in face; Chas. Palmateer, in arm; Corp. Augustus
Walker, in leg, slightly; Amasa J. Shippee,
in leg; Wm. G. Watson, shoulder, severely;
John B. Darrow, leg and wrist; Jas. Austin,
Orville R. Pike; Jesse B. Thorn, severely; Corp.
W. Britton, arm; Sergt. A. Flansburgh, foot;
Benj. Harrington, A. Lapham, W. C. Kimpton,
Co. D.—Killed: Walter Dwyer, Sergt. Wm.
Saxton, and George Deal—all by. the explosion
of one shell. Wounded: Capt. Seth Deyoe,
lost one eye; James Scott, both legs amputated,
one above and the other below the knee,
struck by a shell; Jesse Thorn, in abdomen,
slightly; James Nolan, hand; Corp. Wm.
Finch, hand; Sergt, A. H. Ott; Alfred See,
both legs, and a prisoner.
Co. E.--Killed: Capt. Wm. B. Carpenter,
Ord. Sergt. S. Craig, Jas. Emperor, Lewis
Smith, Corp. McNeil. Wounded: 1st Lieut.
H. Rowland, slightly, in side; C. H. Ruggles,
leg amputated; L. B. Hawkins, — Trumball
and Baker, slightly; Sergt. John Bryant, leg;
Co. F.—Killed: Michael Lamy, Wm. Van
Salisbury. Wounded: Capt. B. W. Winnie, in
head; 2d Lieut. T. S. Fowler, arm broken;
Sergt. Wm. H. Wright, arm; Ed. M. Bailey,
arm; J. B. Johnson, foot; Barton De Weitte;
J. B. Barker, side; Sergt. J. F. Monroe, shoulder;
H. Abbott, eye; A. Snyder, arm; E. Holland,
hand; A. Sutliff, hand; Harry Munn,
Co. G.—Wounded: Geo. Brown, leg; D.
Hammond, through lungs, severely; James
Brisbin, leg; Corp. Isaac Wilson, arm; J. H.
Case, leg; Color-bearer H.M. Myers, hand;
W. C. Hall, foot; Frank Hall, shoulder.
Co. H.—Wounded: 1st Lieut. Frank Thomas,
flesh wound in side; Corp, Root; Color-corp.
Jennings, thigh, Francis Love.
Co. I.—Killed: Corp. Walton. Wounded:
Fred. Will, head, severely; John H. Dowen,
not stated; Wm. Diamond, hand off; ____ Savage;
____ Hawkins; T. F. Outing, arm and
shoulder; W. B. Hardy, breast; Sergt. W. E.
Merrill, legs; John Jackson, arm; B. F, Stillwell,
Co. K.—Killed: Corp. H. Davenport.— Wounded: 2d Lieut, Wm. Worden, thigh; E.
Dwyer, arm; Sergt. H. Harrington, hip; Geo.
ADDITIONAL NAMES OF WOUNDED,—Job Safford,
Sergt. Maj.; Frank Stilwell, severely;
Corp. Jas. Knights; H. Fowler, eye out; Thos.
Annear; A. Coonrodt; Corp. N. Munn, cheek,
slight; Corp. Squires, breast, slight; John Convers,
leg; J. H. Downs, arm.
Lieuts. Cromac, Ross and Stebbins.
L. Sicard, Jas. H. Weatherwax, E.
Corp. Geo. Allen, Wm. Francisco, and Lewis
Ward, of Co. A.
Sergts. Leroy, Hoyt and M. H. Allen, Thos.
Delaney, Leonard Inman, H.
Wm. Downs; Andy Abbs, known to be
wounded; Sergt. P. Gilroy, Sergt. M. V. Norton,
known to be wounded; I. Tripp, L. Strong,
Jas. Fogg, Alex, Morrison, B.
Sergt. W. Sherman, Corp. Oliver Shaw, J.
H, Carr, Charles Wheeler, J. C. Vandenbergh,
Corp. David S. Barton, I.
Jas. Davison, Thos, Monson and Hiram Ferrill,
Corp. Fuller, G.
Sergt. H. B. Shreeves, C.
Burton Delbitt, F.
Later.--Capt. O. P. Rugg, of Co, G, was
wounded in the severe fight of Thursday last,
and is reported to have died since. Capt.
Rugg rose from the position of Orderly Sergt.,
and had proved himself an intrepid and capable
officer. Of the young men who have gone
out from this village to the war, he stands
among the first in private worth and patriotic
zeal, and his fall will be sincerely mourned by
the whole community.
More Casualties in the 77th.
We have received the following additional
casualties in the 77th, which occurred between
the 19th and 22d of September:
Col. W. B. French, wounded in chin, slight.
Isaac Tripp, Jr., killed, Co. A.
Wm. Skem, Corp. wounded, slight, A.
Jacob Douglas, wounded, severe, A.
Patrick Sheehan, Corp., wounded, slight, A.
Wm. R. Rogers, wounded, slight, C.
Benj. Van Steenburgh, Corp., wounded, E.
Isaac Hodges, wounded, E.
Kimner Wilcox, " slight, F.
Samuel Osborn, " " F.
George Hoyt, missing F.
James Thompson, missing, F.
J. H. Wilson, Sergt., wounded, severe in
left arm, G.
A. M. Barrows, wounded, severe in leg, G.
William Ireland, " slight, H.
Henry Morgan, " severe in leg, H.
P. P. Conrodt, " slight, H.
Michael Fitzgerald, " severe in side, I.
List of Casualties in 77th Regt.,
From May 5 to Aug. 26, 1864.
Lieut.-Col. W. B. French, wounded,
(did not leave the field.) July 12
Wm. Lyon, 2d Lieut., wounded, left
on the field, May 10
Charles Davis, 1st Sergt., wounded " 6
Sylvanus Morse, Corp., " " 10
Charles Pierce, " " 5
Theodore Hermance, " " 6
Dennis Thomas, " " 6
Wm. T. Gregory, " " 6
James Edmonds, " " 6
George Brazier, " " 10
James A. Myers, " " 10
Frank Hubbard, " " 18
Charles Blanchard, " June 4
George Allan, Corp., missing, May 10
John W. Whitmarsh, " " 6
Lewis Ward, " " 10
James E. Barns, Sergt., wounded, leg
amputated. June 21
Moses Tatro, '' " 21
James G Allen, " " 21
James A. Lawrence, " " 21
John Hall, " " 23
Jacob Slater, " July 12
George Bolton, Sergt., killed, June 4
Michael McWilliams, Corp.. killed, May 6
William F. Hall, " " 18
Louis Lakley, " . " 18
Fred. Smith, Capt., wounded, May 6
Wm. Arnold, Corp., " " 6
Adna Abbs, " " " 10
Fred. Keenholts, Corp., " " 12
Isaac Boyce, " " 6
John Luthwaite, " " 6
Alexander Morrison, missing, " 6
Archer Phillips, wounded, " 10
Terrance Gray, " " 10
Charles Andrews, " " 18
Sidney O. Cromack, 1st Lieut., missing. " 6
Ira Tripp, Sergt., missing, " 6
James Fogg, " " 6
Legar Strong, " " 10
Ephraim Tripp, " " 10
William Eastham, Corp., wounded, July 12
Charles K. Burnham, Corp., killed, May 6
A. B. Quivey, killed, " 21
David Pangburn, 1st Sergt., wounded, " 5
Amasa Shippee, Sergt., " " 5
John G. Kitchner, Sergt., " " 6
Adam Flansburgh, " " " 10
Augustus R. Walker, Corp., " " 6
William R. Britton, " " " 10
Benj. E. Harrington, " " " 10
Hermanus Bowers, " " 5
Andrew Sterrett, " " 5
William G. Watson, " " 5
Henry Brodt, " " 6
Charles Palmateer, " " 6
Abram Lapham, " " 9
John B. Darrow, wounded, since dead, " 10
Allan McLain, " " 11
Wm. C. Kimpton, missing, since dead, " 11
Henry B. Shreeves, Sergt., prisoner, , " 6
Daniel Smith, prisoner, " 11
Stephen H. Pierce, Corp., wounded, July 12
Wm. H. Sexton, Sergt., killed, May 6
George Deal, " " 6
Walter Dwyer, " " 6
Seth W. Deyoe, Capt., wounded, " 12
Martin V. Norton, Sergeant, missing,
supposed dead, " 12
W. W. Finch, Corp., wounded, " 12
James Nolan, " " 6
Jesse B. Thorn, " " 5
James G. Scott, both legs amputated, " 6
Albert M. See, wounded, since dead, " 6
George E. Deyoe, missing, " 12
Gardner Perry, wounded, arm amput'd " 12
Hiram Terrell, missing, " 12
Jeremiah Sebbins, 2d Lieut., prisoner, " 12
Wm.H. Yale, Corp., wounded, July 12
Michael S. Briggs, wounded, since dead, " 8
C. A. Stewart, Corp., " May 12
Wm. H. Brown, missing, " 16
Hubbard M. Moss, wounded, since dead, July 18
Wm. B. Carpenter, Capt., killed, May 10
Samuel S. Craig, 1st Sergt.," " 6
David McNeil, Corp., " " 6
James Emperror, " " 6
Louis Smith, " " 6
James Dorley, " " 12
Hiram C. Rowland, 1st Lieut. wounded, " 6
John Bryant, Sergt., wounded, " 10
George Gick, Corp., " " 6
Geo. N. Peacock, Sergt., " June 6
Jeremiah Baker, " May 6
Chas. H. Ruggles, wounded, since dead, " 6
Gustavus Tack, " " " 6
S. Trumbull, " " 12
A. A. Wetherwax, " " 6
Joseph Wetherwax, " " 6
Louis Sicard, prisoner, " 10
George H. Seidmore, wounded, June 21
Edwin W. Winnie, Capt., wounded, May 6
Michael Lamey, Corp., killed, " 5
Wm. Van Salsbury, " " 6
Jacob Fry " " 12
John Allen, " " 18
Henry Frank, " " 16
Thos. S. Fowler, 2d Lieut., wounded, " 10
Wm. H. Wright, Sergt., " " 6
Jas. A. Monroe, 1st Sergt., " " 10
Harlon A. Thomas, Corp., " June 5
Edward Bailey, " May 5
Edward Evans, " " 10
Edward Sutleff, " " 10
Henry Munn, " " 10
Matthew Mulligan, " " 10
Edward Holland, " " 10
John C. Barker, wounded, since dead, " 10
Wm. Hawley, " " 10
Albert Snyder, " " 10
James B. Johnson, " " 10
Harlan Abbott, " " 5
Michael Casey, " " 12
George Hoyt, " June 1
Alvarado Morey, killed, July 12
Levi A. Brooks, Corp., wounded, " 12
Oliver Sutliff, " " 12
Oren F. Rugg, Captain, killed, May 12
George Ross, 1st Lieut., wounded, " 12
Isaac H. Wilson, Corp., " " 6
Henry M. Myers, " " " 10
Edward H. Phillips, Corp., wounded,
since dead, " 12
Oliver Shaw, Corp., missing, " 10
James Brisbin, wounded, " 6
George Brown, " " 6
James H. Carr, " " 10
Geo. De Long, " " 12
Warren C. Hall, " " 10
Frank Hall, " " 10
Patrick Savage, " " 10
Deloss Hammond, wounded, " 6
Henry C. Darrow, " since dead, " 18
Chas. H. Van Kleek, Corp., wounded, June 5
James C. Vandenburgh, missing, May 10
Charles Wheeler, " " 10
Thos. S. Fuller, Corp., wounded and a
prisoner, " 6
Ambrose Matott, Corp, killed, July 12
William Lattimore, wounded, " 12
Peter Murphy, " " 12
Washington Sherman, 1st Sergt., wounded,
since died, May 10
Thomas Hackett, wounded, Aug. 21
William E. Cole, killed, June 3
Frank Thomas, 1st Lieut., wounded, May 10
Leroy Hoyt, 1st Sergt., missing, " 10
William Can, Sergeant, wounded, " 18
. Chas. E. Jennings, Corp., " " 10
James Knights, " " " 10
Seth B. Root, " " " 10
Herman H. Fowler, wounded, since dead, " 10
Frank Tone, wounded, pris'r., " " 10
Andrew Hassett, wounded, " 10
James Bortel, " " June 4
Bryant H. Carr, Sergt., missing, May 10
Merritt B. Allen, Corp., wounded, pris'r. " 10
Thomas Armor, missing, " 10
Abram Coonradt, " " 10
Thomas Delaney, " " 10
William Divine, " " 10
Andrew Manning, killed, July 12
Andrew J. Dowen, " " 12
Matthew Love, wounded, since dead, " 12
William Walton, Corp., killed, May 10
Wm. E. Merrill, 1st Sergt., wounded, " 10
Thos. F. Outing, Sergt, " " 10
Oscar Tefft, " " " 12
George F. Wills, Corp., " " 6
Henry Duval, " missing, " 6
George Kent, " wounded, " 6
Stillman Daby, " " " 10
Wallace Wilcox, " " " 10
William Diamond, " " 6
Lemuel B. Hawkins, " " 6
Peter Savage, " " 6
John Jackson, " " 10
Thomas Morrison, " " 10
B. Frank Stillwell, " since dead, " 10
George Smith, " " 10
Andrew McElwain, " " 12
John H. Dowen, " " 12
Carlos Rowe, 2d Lieut., missing, since
returned, " 10
Patrick Gilroy, Sergt., missing, " 10
Samuel Barton, missing, since returned, " 6
James E. Davison, missing, " 10
Stillman Daby, Corp., wounded, July 12
Tuffield Shumway, " " 12
Benjamin Bennett, missing, " 12
CASUALTIES IN THE 77TH.
HOSPITAL AT WINCHESTER, Va.,)
Sept. 22, 1864.
Messrs, Potter and Judson:—I cannot give
you a full list of the killed and wounded now,
but thinking the friends of those whom I know
to be killed or wounded will be anxious to
hear, I send you the following list:
Lieut, Gillis, Co. G, wounded, but not dangerous.
Ross, " "
" Van Derwerker, Co, D, wounded.
" Worden, Co. K, wounded, slight.
Wm. Miller, killed, Co. C.
H. Thomas, " F.
John Briggs wounded, C.
J. Britton, " arm ampt'd, C.
A. V. Leonard, wounded, K.
F. Cooney. " K.
James Fairchilds, " K.
E. Connors, " K.
J. Hudson, . " E.
S. McGowan, " G.
G. Gick, " E.
B. B. Steenburgh, " E.
Isaac H. Wilson, " G.
Ambrose Milliman, " D.
Wm. Milliman, " D.
H. H. Weaver, " K.
G. Bowers, " B.
J. H. Huested, " F.
G. Fuller, " F.
J. Brisbin, " G.
W. Ireland, " H.
J. Dorvee, " D.
G. Fry, " F.
R. Wilcox, " F.
T. Putnam, " G.
W. Craig, " since dead, B.
E. Dunson, Sergt., " F.
Nathan Brown, " B.
J. H. Weatherwax, " seriously, E.
E. La Morey, " A.
There are more wounded, and may be killed,
whose names I will send you as soon as possible.
It is generally believed that the wounded
will be sent to Harper's Ferry tomorrow;
from there to hospitals North. Many will get
furloughs and go home.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1864.
FROM THE 77TH.
The Late Battles in the Shenandoah.
Correspondence of The Saratogian.
Hdqrs. 77th Regt., N. Y. S. V.,
Sept. 28, 1864.
Messrs. Potter & Judson:--We have been
marching all night, chasing the flying enemy
and have halted to rest and draw rations. I
am not in condition to write you a letter for
publication, but I should be unjust to the many
friends of the Seventy-Seventh did I not, at
least, let you know of the splendid success of
this army, and the part our regiment took in
During my three years in the military service
I have never seen such splendid fighting, and
with such signal success. Let me give a brief
account. Monday morning, at half past one
we broke camp and took the pike through
Berryville, across the Occoquan Creek toward
Winchester; the cavalry leading, and the 3d
Brigade (ours) leading the whole infantry force.
We crossed the Creek at sunrise, and pushed
rapidly forward and took position on a hill,
where a few cavalrymen were fighting and
holding the position with some difficulty. The
enemy tried very hard to shell us out, and we
suffered much from the sharpshooters. Here
it was Lieuts. Ross, Gillis, VanDerwerker and
Worden, were wounded, all slightly, or at
least not dangerously. Being the advance of
the army, of course it was a long time before
the line could go forward in concert, as it requires
much time to put troops in position. I
dreaded to advance, for our front was a wide-open
field, with no protection whatever, and
across which in the skirt of a wood the enemy
were in line, and their artillery fire was very
severe. At length the order to advance and
attack the enemy was given, and the whole
line went forward in most splendid style. I
had three companies deployed as skirmishers,
and followed them closely with my line.—
There is no grander sight in the world than an
infantry charge in line. Our batteries were in
position, and the engagement at once became
very hot; but still we went steadily forward.
The enemy, posted on the hills in front of the
town, did sad execution with their artillery.—
One brigade of the 19th Corps broke, leaving
the right flank of our Corps, which was held
by the 2d Division, exposed, and it was
obliged to fall back, thereby compelling the 1st
and 3d Brigades of our Division to retire, owing
to the conformation of the ground and the
line. The 3d Brigade held its ground, at
least 900 yards in front of the original position.
Soon, however, the 1st Division, Gen.
Russell, which had been held in reserve, came
up in magnificent style, the old General leading,
and the enemy were forced back and our
line gained, and held securely the position from
which they were just before driven. Here we
rested for two hours, I should think, when
heavy firing commenced away on our right,
and amid the loudest cheering the whole line
advanced. At the same time Wilson's Division
of Cavalry made a charge on our left, and in a
short time after Torbet did the same on our
right. The sequel is soon told; the enemy ran
in the wildest disorder, horses were riderless,
pack horses galloping, strewing the ground
with officers' mess stuff, tents, kettles, baggage,
& c. Men threw away their arms, artillerists
cut their horses loose, and rode them off
at the wildest speed; in short, it was a complete
Darkness put an end to pursuit and the rebs
escaped—only to be again trapped. As I advanced
my line the right rested near a grave-yard,
upon one of the tomb stones of which was inscribed
the name of Major General Daniel Morgan,
died in 1802, &e. I could not help but
think of Saratoga, the Bemis Height battle
ground, when the then Colonel did such noble
service for his country, and how his sharpshooters
made the red coats run. And I wondered
if his spirit did not hover over this battle-
field, fighting to uphold the cause he fought
to establish, and to continue the Government
he fought to inaugurate. Surely the God of
battles must aid our just cause.
At 6 A. M., the 20th, we gave chase, and
marched to Strasburg, 18 miles, where we arrived
at 3 P. M. Nothing more was done on
that day. I was detailed Corps officer of the
day, and established the line. At noon, the
21st, the order was given to commanders of
Corps and Divisions to take designated positions
in front of Fisher's Hill, and for me to
advance my line and secure a good position to
protect the movement. The army got into
position and immediately commenced to entrench,
as is customary. One would have
thought we expected an attack; but the military
genius of Phil. Sheridan comprehended the
position, and was determined to drive the enemy
from his stronghold.
Fisher's Hill is one of the ugliest positions
I ever saw, strongly fortified with batteries,
bearing upon every avenue of approach. One
would think, to look at it, that no body of men
could take it, flanked on either side as it is by
mountains—the Shenandoah, or north branch
thereof, being also in front of the left portion
of the hill. The North and South Mountains,
spurs, or rather independent short ranges, divide
the Alleghany and Blue Ridge ranges, respectively
flanked the otherwise naturally strong
position. At about 5 o'clock Maj. Gen Crook
had worked his force along the side of North
Mountain, completely flanking the positions
which everybody supposed couldn't be flanked
and commenced driving the enemy. This was
a signal for the 6th Corps to advance, which
it did, dashing through the woods, over hills,
into hollows, across gulleys, over walls, fences,
and every conceivable obstruction, and the enemy
at the same time pouring upon us all his
fiery vengeance, in the shape of shot and shell.
Soon as the line was sufficiently swung round
a Division of the 19th Corps charged, and then
the roar of artillery and musketry was terrific;
but amid it all the cheers of our advancing columns
rang out into the troubled air. Sheridan
came along the lines almost unattended, seeming
to appear at every place where there was
the least wavering—and such enthusiasm I
never saw. The men rushed almost wildly
forward, regardless of lines of battle, each
striving to outdo the other in noble daring.— Oh, if there is anything that will stir the deepest
feelings of man's nature, making ready and
willing to die for our country, it is a battle. Its
horrors and awful grandeur no one who has not
seen one can imagine. On, on, went this blue
mass of living men, and back rolled the Rebel
horde, shattered, frightened and demoralized,
too cowardly to make a good fight even behind
earthworks. The hights are taken, and with
them sixteen pieces of artillery, and battle flags
and prisoners, I do not know how many.
The enemy fell back in disorder, without the
least formation—just one mass of gray backs
scattered over the plain, moving back like a
vast mob, all running for dear life, and our
men chasing them with but little better formation.
Truly it was a soldier's fight, and the
charge being under way, the hights would
have been taken without an officer save our
noble chief. So the battle of Strasburg was
fought and won, and this valley, one of the
finest in the world, reclaimed from rebel rule.
I am led to inquire what Rebel soldiery will
fight, if Early's army will not. They are certainly
the finest body of men I ever saw bearing
arms,—strong, healthy, intelligent fellows
the very best troops in the Confederate service.
The old Brigade, Division and Corps of
Stonewall Jackson—of which we have so long
stood in terror—is almost, and I trust will be
Our army is in the highest spirits, and finest
state of discipline. The result of this last
fight is so much the more glorious from the
fact that our loss was comparatively nothing.
How it was possible to accomplish so much
with so little loss I cannot conceive. God be
praised for this glorious victory. We are continually
saying, what an effect this will have
upon our people at home. Will they now
clamor for "Peace at any price," and a "cessation
of hostilities?" Is it possible that after
so much blood, that our people will be deceived
into a delusive hope? Tell the citizen
population of your town and county that we
who are fighting to sustain our country's
honor and republican institutions will look
back with sorrow upon any compromise with
traitors. Rebels with swords must be conquered
by the sword.
Have we not taken the planks out of the
Chicago Platform within the past four days?—
Let them all be taken out, they are rotten and
deceptive. McClellan can not have the suffrage
of the true soldiers. He has many personal
friends in the army—those who knew
him in the army before the war, and on the
Peninsula. His friends have killed him,
politically speaking. "God bless our noble
President and our country," I heard a private
soldier say last night, after he had exhausted
all his eulogies on Phil. Sheridan.
We are to move on. I cannot write more.
The confusion is ill adapted to letter writing.
I am, very truly,
Your obedient servant,
W. B. French,
Col. 77th N. Y.
RECEPTION OF THE 77TH.
Pursuant to call a meeting to make
preparations to give a proper reception
to the 77th N. Y. Vols., on their return
home, was held at the American Hotel,
in this village, on the evening of the
17th inst. Hon. W. A. Sackett was
called to the chair, and W. M. Potter
was appointed Secretary.
On motion, a Committee of Arrangements
was appointed, consisting of the
Chas. S. Lester, J. M. Marvin, John
R. Putnam, W. M. Searing, B. F. Judson,
John S. Leake, H. H. Hathorn, R.
H. Benedict, A. Pond, J. T. Carr, J.
C. Hulbert, A. A. Patterson, S. F. Terwilliger,
L. F. Beecher, S. B. Thorn, C.
E. Benedict, W. H. McCaffrey, J. Pitney,
Hugh T. White, W. A. Sackett,
Jas. N. Case and W. M. Potter.
On motion, five were designated as a
quorum for the transaction of business.
W. A. SACKETT, Chairman.
W. M. POTTER, Sec'y.
Meeting of Committee of Arrangements.
Friday EVENING, Nov. 18.
The Committee met pursuant to invitation,
C. S. LESTER, Esq., in the chair,
and W. M. Potter, acting as Secretary.
On motion, Resolved, That Col. J. B,
McKean be invited to make the address
on the reception of the regiment at St.
On motion, the following sub-committees
On Procession and Order of Exercises—Messrs Carr and Pond.
To procure Band—Messrs. Patterson
To receive the Regiment at Albany— Mr. Lester.
On Finance—Messrs. Pitney and Terwilliger.
On Dinner—Messrs. Hathorn, Leake
On Toasts—Messrs, Sackett, Potter
ARRIVAL OF THE REGIMENT AT ALBANY.
The 77th arrived at Albany, on the
Hendrick Hudson, at 8 o'clock a. m. on
Wednesday, after the freight train had
left for Saratoga. On being apprised of
the fact, and that it was very desirable
that the regiment should proceed at
once on its journey, S. M> Cramer, Esq.,
the gentlemanly Deputy Superintendent
of the Northern road, immediately
ordered out a special train to overtake
the Troy freight at the Junction. For
this generous act, alike creditable to his
patriotism and courtesy, the thanks of
the people of Saratoga and the regiment,
are due to Supt. Cramer. The effort
was successful, the train arriving on
At Mechanicville, the regiment was
joined by the Stillwater Band, under
the lead of John Drew, whose services
had been engaged for the reception.
At Ballston, Rev. D. E. Tully, the
first Chaplain of the 77th, and others,
embraced the opportunity to join in the
ARRIVAL AT SARATOGA.
Enthusiastic Reception at St.
The Dinner, Toasts and Speeches.
The train arrived here shortly before
two o'clock. An immense crowd had
assembled at the Depot, to receive the
The train was received with three
hearty cheers. On debarking, the procession
was formed, under the direction
of Col. George S. Batcheller, Marshal,
as follows: The Stillwater Band,
the Committee of Arrangements, the
Clergy, the Firemen, led by Chief Engineer
Case, the Regiment, with Col.
W. B. French at their head, and Citizens.
It then passed through Clinton
and Church streets, and Broadway to St.
Nicholas Hall, which was soon packed
to its utmost capacity.
Exercises at the Hall.
John S. Leake, Esq., President of the
village, presided, who, addressing the regiment
remarked that it was his pleasing duty to
express, in behalf of the citizens of Saratoga
Springs, their grateful acknowledgments for
the noble services it had rendered the country.
We are, he said, proud to claim you as our
special representatives in the great struggle
for the preservation of the Union, and as such
we cordially welcome you home.
Rev. D. E. Tully then addressed the
throne of grace in a feeling and eloquent prayer.
Rev. Dr. BEECHER read the following Ode
of welcome, written for the occasion by Mrs.
Addressed to the 77th Regiment, on their return
from the war, Saratoga, Nov. 23, 1864.
Brave soldiers, welcome, we hasten to greet you,
All fresh from the battle-field, weary and worn;
Come back to your homes where your loved ones
And weep for your presence, as night weeps for morn.
Ah: well we remember the day when you left us,
With numbers so full, and with spirits so bright;
All panting to win back the rights then bereft us,
And felt, for our country, the burden was light.
We gave you the flag, and you vowed you would keep it,
From the proud Rebel's scorn and dishonor, and shame;
That no traitor hand in the dust should e'er trail it,
But maintain, all unsullied, its glorious fame.
How faithful and t r u e to that sacred pledge given,
Your deeds on our Country's bright records shall tell;
How, in the stern conflict, by shot and shell riven,
You raised that proud banner, Heaven's breezes to
Oh glorious flag! might mine eyes but behold thee,
Baptized in the blood of the noble and true;
One star only left; to my arms I'd enfold thee,
Bright emblem of hope, set in heaven's own blue.
Alas! for the brave boys who went forth to battle,
Who lie 'neath the sod in Virginia's soil;
The death booming-cannon, and war's thundering
Shall wake them no more to the warrior’s toil.
Some in Chickahominy's valley are sleeping.
And some make their bed on Potomac's bright shore;
And others on banks where broad ocean is sweeping,
And in vale of Antietam the earth drinks their gore.
Ah! say, did the souls of our heroes, when winging,
Their flight from this earth to their spirit's abode,
Hear the music of heaven, and sweet angels singing,
Their glad welcome home to the bosom of God?
When the last notes of victory fell on the dying,
There were some of God's cherished ones caught the
And echoed it back on sweet zephyrs sighing,
We fought, and have conquered, through the Lamb that was slain.
God pity the mourners, who weep for their loved ones,
The widows, and orphans, how dreary their lot;
The light has gone out from their desolate hearthstones.
Rachael weeps for her children, because they are not,
The father has gone; and the light of the dwelling,
Went out with the bright-eyed, and sunny-haired boy;
Those patriot hearts with high hopes were swelling,
The loving wife's pride, and the fond mother's joy.
They list for the footsteps, which never shall greet them,
They wait the embrace of fond hearts in the tomb;
Great God, throw thy loving arms gently around
And guard them, and guide them through earth's
Oh, war! dreadful war! must our children be pres- sing,
Through fiery ordeals to Moloch's dread shrine?
Great God, with thy chastisement, send down thy
And on darkened spirits let heaven's light shine.
May Liberty, Justice and Truth bless our nation.
And let not the blood of our sons flow in vain ;
Let us give to our Maker the heart's true oblation,
Break the yoke of oppression, and loose every chain.
Then the palm-branch of peace will once more wave
And Ceres return with all blessings in store,
And the corn, and the wine, and the oil shall not fail us,
And the homes of our land be deserted no more.
All hail, to the Chief who kind heaven has given,
To guide our affairs with the light of God's eye;
To lead up this nation, distracted and riven,
To the Canaan of promise, which looms up so nigh.
And now give three cheers for our heroes returning,
The brave Seventy-Seventh, crowned with laurels of
All covered with glory, their loyal hearts burning,
Let us shout long and loud a joyous hurrah.
M. C. B.
The Ode was heartily applauded at its close.
Col. J. B. McKean then addressed the regiment
in an eloquent and feeling speech, in
which he alluded to its formation, under his
own auspices, three years ago; to its earlier
services, and later glories; to his own illness
and forced resignation of his command; to the
battle-fields on which it had fought; to the
courage and gallantry it had exhibited; and to
the memory of its heroic dead. Its losses he
said were marked by the few who were present,
and the nature of the service they had passed
through, by the bronzed faces of those who sat
before him. An allusion to SHERIDAN brought
the regiment to their feet with three rousing
cheers. In concluding he would give them
their old commander's last command: "Attention,
battalion"; the regiment promptly rose.
Salute," which was as promptly obeyed,
when the Colonel retired.
Col. W. B. FRENCH then took the stand, and
spoke for over an hour, giving & brief but
graphic history of the regiment since it left
Saratoga three years ago Thanksgiving Day.
We have not the space to follow out the detail
of this interesting and gratifying statement.
The principal battles were spoken of, and the
part borne in them by the 77th pointed out,
particularly Fredericksburg, Chancellorville,
Spottsylvania, Fort Stevens, and Sheridan's
great campaign in the Shenandoah, The Col.
was enthusiastic in praise of Sheridan as a
commander. The battle of Cedar Creek he
pronounced a marvel of generalship. The
Sixth corps, to which the 77th belonged,
figured largely in all these battles, and the
77th sustained its part.
Col. French's address was very entertaining
and was frequently interrupted by applause.
At its conclusion the meeting adjourned, and
the regiment, with many citizens, repaired to
the American Hotel to partake of the complimentary.
Dinner to the 77th.
CHARLES E. LESTER, Esq., Chairman of
the Committee of Arrangements, presided at
the principal table, assisted by W. A. SACKETT
and J. S. Leake, Esq., Vice Presidents,
at two others. The room was densely crowded,
nearly 150 sitting down, about 70 of whom
belonged to the regiment. The table was well
supplied with good things, and the dinner was
enjoyed by all. R. McMichael, Esq., "mine
host" of the American, deserves great credit
for the sumptuous repast served up on such
When the table had been cleared, the President,
C. S. Lester, Esq., rose and remarked
that it had been deemed appropriate to welcome
the gallant officers and soldiers of the
77th Regiment by public rejoicings, as a testimonial
of our gratitude for the deeds of the
living, and the tender respect in which we hold
the memory of the heroic dead. While giving
this welcome, we look forward with hope and
confidence to the period of greater rejoicing
when the rebellion shall be extinguished—
when "the land shall have rest from war," and the soldiers of a thousand regiments shall
return to gladden a million of homes.
The time will come when the soldiers of
this war will enjoy the same reverence and
regard bestowed on the soldiers of the revolution;
like them, on each recurring 4th of July
the post of honor will be assigned them at national
feasts and rejoicings.
Mr. L. here paid an eloquent tribute to the
men of '76, who founded the republic, "the
corner-stone of which was laid in the blood of
martyrs, and the superstructure erected by the
wisdom of sages." Their sons, our fathers,
preserved and increased their inheritance, until
in every land, and on every sea, the starry
emblem of our country was beheld with honor
and pride. In our day the land has increased
in prosperity and greatness, new towns and
cities dotting the hitherto uninhabited prairies
of the west. But as Lucifer rebelled in Heaven,
so Davis and his Confederates rebelled
against our beneficent Government, and sought
the overthrow of civil liberty. To resist this
attempt, the glorious 77th regiment marched
from among us three years ago, one thousand
strong. Three years, and what changes!
Then the Mississippi was closed, the Potomac
blockaded, and the National Capital beleaguered.
Now, by our brave soldiers, the tide of
war has been rolled southward, and the rebellion
is well-nigh crushed.
Mr. L., in again returning to the 77th,
alluded to a young Lieutenant, who went out
as Adjutant. He had just graduated in his legal
studies; he had a father who was proud of
him; sisters who were fond of him; social
companions who esteemed him. He broke
away from all these influences, exchanged the
pen for the sword, and having perilled life on
many a hard-fought field, now returns the
commander of his noble regiment. He would
propose as the first regular toast of the evening:
The surviving officers and soldiers of the 77th
Regiment.—May you long live to enjoy the
blessings of that glorious government you have
defended with your valor, and soon enjoy the
successful termination of the struggle in which
you have been engaged. Welcome home!
thrice welcome to you all.
The gallant dead of the 77th--Heroes of the
tomb. They died in the holy cause of liberty
and country. Though dead, they still live in
the undying affliction of their countrymen.
" Green be the willow bough
Above the rising mound,
Where sleep the heroes now,
In consecrated ground.
Their monument their fame endears,
Their epitaph a nation's tears."
Rev. Norman Fox, Chaplain of the regiment
responded in an eloquent speech, full of beauty
and pathos. He alluded to the history of the
regiment, the battles it had fought, the glorious
deed it had performed, and paid a most feeling
tribute to the three hundred heroes who had
fallen in defence of its flag. While he spoke
the tears stood in may eyes, and all were
spell-bound by his eloquent words.
The Rebellion--A revolt without excuse,
born of a shameless system of human bondage,
it has filled our fair land with agony and tears.
Its authors will reap a harvest of infamy,
while the Union they seek to destroy shall
stand, a beacon light to the oppressed, and the
home of Freedom and the Free.
Hon. W. A. Sackett responded. He said:
This rebellion grew out of a system of human
bondage, which, from small beginnings, had
grown up until it had brought into existence a
controlling influence inconsistent in its ruling
ideas with the principles upon which the Government
This rebellion is, indeed, without a cause.
But it has a distinct and positive purpose. Its
object is to re-establish on this continent despotic
power, a power by which human bondage
shall prevail, and by which the right of
man to govern himself shall cease.
Our fathers fought to secure liberty, equality,
self-government, free institutions. They
fought against arbitrary power. Our triumphant
success as a nation is a glorious vindication
of the objects for which they fought.
It is against the purposes for which they
struggled that this rebellion is waged. It is
the freedom their triumphs secured that this
rebellion would destroy. On the issue of this
contest hangs the question of liberty or despotism
as the ruling power on this continent.
To preserve the liberties our fathers established,
and which we enjoy, these brave men,
whom we now honor, have perilled their lives
on many a well-fought field, and to them we
bow with profound respect and reverence.
Welcome to the brave! To perpetuate freedom
they have nobly fought, and we welcome
The Heroes of the Revolution, and the Heroes
of the Present War: The former fought to establish,
and the latter fight to preserve, civil
liberty for all mankind. One to create, and
the other to perpetuate, a Nationality, securing
liberty and equality to the latest ages. Honor
alike to the heroes of the past and the present.
While we cherish feelings of profound veneration
and gratitude to the former, we will continue
in the future, as in the past, to give to
the latter our unfaltering support, until the
banners they bear shall wave in triumph over
the land and over the sea, in the north and in
the south, in the east and in the west, symbolizing,
wherever they float, nought but liberty
and union, one and inseparable.
A. Pond, Esq., responded. He said that the
sentiment given appropriately associates the
heroes of two wars. The War of the Revolution
made us a nation, and the present war,
on our part, is to preserve what was thus established.
When the first begun, few contemplated
absolute independence; so when this
commenced, few anticipated any result except
the crushing of the rebellion, and the
restoration of the authority of the government
in the rebellious States. But the stern logic
of events has indicated that the extirpation of
Slavery, and the enjoyment of freedom for all
throughout the land, must come before we can
expect a lasting peace. God grant this consummation,
so devoutly wished and prayed
for, and which has been justified by the acts
of the rebels themselves, maybe realized. Mr.
P. alluded to the fact that the Stars and Stripes
were first unfurled in the battle of Saratoga.
This same banner, consecrated to liberty in the
Revolution, now floats proudly in the present
contest, and has been gallantly defended by the
sons of Saratoga.
The Empire State.—Her motto is "Excelsior."
Her greatness and power, and her history,
is a glorious vindication of the device of
her escutcheon. She has risen higher and
higher in peace, and now, in the hour of our
national trial, her patriotism is still "Excelsior."
Gen. JAMES M. COOK responded, remarking
that he presumed that his position as a Senator
had suggested the call that had been made
upon him. He was proud of being a citizen
of the Empire State. Her canals, railroads,
and institutions were evidence that the motto
on their escutcheon was prophetic when adopted,
and truthful now in her hour of greatness.
Her attitude and deeds since rebellion aimed a
deadly blow at the national life, proves the
justness of her clam to the title of Empire
State. Two hundred thousand of her sons
have bared their breasts to the storm of battle
to uphold the Stars and Stripes, Gen. C. spoke
in feeling terms of the 77th regiment, whose
proud bearing he witnessed as it marched out
of the City Hall Park, New York, on the way
to the seat of war. They had done honor to
Saratoga County, and to the Empire State,
and with such sons to defend her liberties, and
illustrate her greatness, her motto would prove
true in the future as in the past.
The Press—One of the chief bulwarks of
American liberty. Its agency in thwarting
the designs of traitors has established its
claims to the lasting gratitude of the people.
W. M. Potter responded, and expressed
his gratitude for the compliment paid to the
editorial profession. The press was a great, if
not the greatest, agent in civilization. It is to
the world of ideas what the arteries are to the
human system, the medium of life—the channel
through which ideas are disseminated
through all the ranks of society. The press
is the natural foe of tyrants—where it is free,
despotism is impossible—where it is fettered,
the people are slaves. Had the press been free
in the South rebellion would have been impossible— even South Carolina could not have been
pushed down the deep, dark abyss of Secession.
But if a muzzled press hail aided rebellion, the
loyal press had helped to thwart it. It sounded
the alarm -- it told the people that the loss of
the Union would cost us nationality and freedom;
it incited to deeds of arms; and the
alacrity with which two millions of men rallied
to the defence of the Stars and Stripes,
the contempt of death, and the rallying cry of
the onset to the charge, were largely inspired
by a loyal, liberty loving press. Hereafter,
there will be a free press in the South as well
as in the North. The bands of Slavery are
bursting; and the Southern Sampson, escaping
from his toils, will pull down the pillows of
the Confederate edifice, and bury the traitor
Philistines amid the ruins of their unsightly
temple. Then, with free labor, free thought
and a free press, the Union will be rebuilt on
an enduring basis, never more to be rent by
The Old Flag of the 77th.—A gift from the
beautiful to the brave. May Bravery ever
give protection to Beauty under its shadow;
and may Bravery ever find its way to Beauty,
guided by the light of its stars.
Responded to by Dr. L. F. Beecher, of
Temple Grove Institute, by whom the flag was
presented to the regiment three years ago.— His remarks were very interesting and appropriate.
The President of the United States--May he
wisely guide our National counsels in this day
of our National trial. The people over whose
destiny he presides are the hope of freedom
throughout the world. May that hope rise
higher and higher, and that freedom be made
surer and surer, by his wisdom, his vigor, and
The Battlefields of the 77th.—Mechanicville,
Antietam, Fredericksburgh, Chancellorville,
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Winchester, Fisher's
Hill, Cedar Creek, and others. A galaxy
of stars, brighter and more numerous than ever
circled the brow of Caesars legions, A Chaplet
of Honor which the Nation will keep green
while Liberty survives.
Our Brave Generals: No soldiers ever followed
better officers, and no officers ever commanded
braver men. Together they have
fought, and together we honor them.
B. F. Badgley responded in an eloquent
and deserved tribute to the gallant commanders
of our armies, in which the splendid deeds of
Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and others, were
ably set forth. Gen. Grant was pictured as
high up the ladder of Fame—the favorite of
Volunteer toast by Hon. Jas. M. Marvin:
Our Revolutionary struggle established a
Nationality based upon the idea of liberty, and
the right of man to self-government. The rebellion
seeks to subvert it and the principles
upon which it was founded. Upon this issue
patriotism points in but one direction. This
government must not perish. Every citizen,
and every department of government, are
bound to sustain it at every hazard.
A toast to "the Ladies," (which the reporter
failed to obtain) was read by Dr.
Beecher, and called out humorous remarks
from Col. French, and others. Also, a toast
to Dr. G. T. Stevens, Surgeon of the Regiment
, offered by Chaplain Fox, and which he
preceded with remarks complimentary to the
skill and faithfulness of Dr. Stevens. No
Surgeon connected with the army stood higher.
His labors had been most arduous during the
great campaign of the present year, and he
had performed them with consummate ability.
The company then rose, after a most agreeable
session of two hours, and the very successful
oblation to the 77th was st an end.
77th Attention!—Col. W. B. French
has issued the following order in regard to
" mustering out:"
HEADQRS. 77th regt. N. Y. S. V.
Saratoga springs, N. Y.
November 29th, 1864.
Special Order, No. —.
All officers and men of this regiment,
whose term of service expired on the 23d
inst., are required to be present at this place
on Tuesday, the 13th day of December, 18-
64, for the purpose of being mustered out
of the military service of the United States.
By command of W. B. French.
W. M. Worden, Adjt.
The New Flag of the 77th.
Headquarters 77TH N. Y, VOLS.
Nov. 27th, 1864.
Messrs. Potter & Judson:—On the
fourth day of July last, while the Regiment
was lying in front of Petersburg,
Va., a beautiful silken color—the National
Flag—was presented to them—a
gift from the ladies of Saratoga Springs.
I enclose a copy of the presentation letter,
which was read in presence of the
whole regiment on parade.
The severity of the campaign through
which we have passed, and t h e arduous
and manifold duties I have been obliged
personally to perform, is my only excuse
for this long delay in acknowledging
the receipt of so munificent a gift.
The flag was first baptized in blood
at the battle of Fort Stevens, in front of
Washington, D. C., on the 12th day of
July, where it was used as a signal to
show that the line, of which the 77th
held the right, was ready to make the
charge which drove the Rebels from
the gates of our National capital, scattering
them in confusion, capturing
many prisoners, and covering the
ground they had so desecrated with
their dead bodies. At Winchester,
Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, indeed
through the whole of General Sheridan's
brilliant campaign, the flag has
been borne in the front of battle and
thickest of the fight. At Cedar Creek
the color Sergeant, Alonzo Briggs, was
shot down and borne from the field seriously
wounded. Color Corporal, Henry
Clayton, Co. E., then took the colors,
but soon fell, severely wounded. Adjt,
Gilbert Thomas, then seized and
waved them over his head, crying, "
Forward, men, forward!" and fell
dead, shot through the head, the colors
dropping over him. Color Corporal,
Harvey Reed, then took them and carried
them from the field.
Thus the noblest blood of the land
has been shed in the defence of that
flag. It is the richest and most beautiful
in the service; the stars and lettering
are embroidered with silk, and
could the ladies who gave it have heard
the hearty cheers given for them when
it was received, and behold the smiles
of gratitude which lighted up the war worn
visages of those brave boys, they
would not, as they do not, ask any richer
reward for the beautiful token of their
regard for the Seventy-Seventh. They
recognize in this gift not only the sympathy
of the givers with them in their
dangers and hardships, but also, what
is better, a deep interest in the Cause
for which they are fighting. They do
not forget the spirit which prompted the
gift, nor that which must defend it.
Unlike all other testimonials of regard,
this carries with it a sacredness which
must be defended by the life-blood of
those who accept it. It is a symbol of
all that makes American greatness and
National honor. Coming from the ladies
of Saratoga Springs, the place
where the regiment was organized, it is
peculiarly dear to them.
There are four hundred and twenty-two
men left in the field. They have
yet much service before them, and
doubtless many battles, and I could not
deprive those brave men of the colors
which they had defended with their lifeblood.
Consequently the flag was left
with the battalion now in the service,
as a distinct organization. Commanded
by Lieut.-Colonel D. J. Caw,
and knowing the metal of that battalion
as I do, I can confidently assure
the ladies that the colors they gave to
the Seventy-Seventh Regiment will never
be disgraced in the hands of the Battalion
of the Seventy-Seventh. They
will bear it back to its donors, without
a stain of dishonor on its battle-stained
folds; and the ladies will have the satisfaction
of knowing that their generosity,
patriotism and handiwork furnished
a National emblem, more dear
to the American soldier than all else,
and around which they will rally in the
day of battle and danger to our country's
honor and our country's hopes.
I am, very truly yours,
COL. W. B. French.
Letter of Presentation.
COL. W. B. French:— The Ladies of the
village of Saratoga Springs, feeling a deep interest
in the career of the Seventy-Seventh
Regiment, which was recruited in this county
and bears the name of that historic battle-field
of which they, as residents of Saratoga, are
justly proud, are desirous of expressing their
admiration of the steady patriotic valor which
has animated that regiment through two long
years of toil and hardship. They have therefore
prepared a silken regimental banner, to
take the place of the worn flag deposited in the
They desire, in presenting this Flag to the
Regiment, to assure you of their warmest
sympathy in the cause in which, as patriotic
soldiers, you are engaged. They venture to
hope that this emblem of our nation's hope and
our nation's honor, will derive additional value
from the fact that it has been prepared and
presented by those who will watch with interest
the future career of the Seventy-Seventh;
and while sympathizing with the privations
and suffering the regiment may be compelled
to undergo, will contemplate with pride and
pleasure every distinction it may by its valor
obtain. Will you, Colonel, please present the
flag to your regiment, with these suggestions,
on behalf of the ladies presenting the same.
Mrs. W. A. Sackett,
Mrs. C. S. Lester,
77th Regt. N. Y. S. V.
Saratoga Springs, Dec. 20, 1864.
Editor Saratogian:~ The Seventy-
Seventh Regiment New York State Volunteers
closed its military career, and
was mustered out of service, on Tuesday
the 13th inst. The men were
called together, received their pay and
bounty, and quietly betook themselves
to their homes, apparently well pleased
to be out from under military authority.
In the evening a social gathering took
place at the Columbian Hotel. Among
the guests were Gen. W. H. Penrose,
commanding Jersey Brigade in the 6th
Corps, now home by reason of wounds;
M. W. Cook, Esq., of Rochester; Capt.
Butler, mustering officer, and Maj. Pomeroy,
paymaster, and others. The festivities
of the occasion, were of a high
character, creditable alike to "mine
host," Mr. Benedict, and the literary
and social character of those assembled.
During the giving of toasts Chaplain
Fox made some touching remarks, alluding
to the scenes through which we had
passed, the number of our former comrades
now lying beneath the soil of Virginia,
and exhorting us not to forget the
brave dead as we went from the camp
into civil life. He concluded by offering
the following resolutions:
Resolved, That in returning to civil life we
cherish with tenderest affections, and deepest
reverence, the memory of our brave comrades
who have fallen in battle, or who, after passing
unharmed through the perils of the field,
have become victims of diseases incident to the
service; and while we ourselves can never forget
these noble men with whom we have associated
in the various scenes of joy and gloom
which make up a soldier's life, we deem it
proper that some fitting memorial should speak
to the world of their heroic bravery and lofty
Resolved, That a committee be appointed at
this time to take suitable steps for the formation
of a Seventy-Seventh Monument Association.
Appropriate remarks were offered
and the resolutions unanimously adopted.
A committee was chosen, consisting
of Col. W. B. French, Lt. Col.
N. S. Babcock and Chaplain Norman
General Penrose, after making a few
remarks, moved that a copy of these
resolutions be sent to each brigade in
the 6th Army Corps. for their action,
which was also adopted. It was stated
that the officers and men present with
the regiment at the time of its departure
from the field, had voted unanimously
that the regimental fund, consisting
of about $200, and all the company
funds to that date, should be
appropriated to the erection of some fit -
ting memorial to the dead of the Seventy-
Seventh. There was no doubt, also,
that the citizens of Saratoga, and other
counties where companies of the regiment
were organized, would gladly give
for the furtherance of so noble an object.
A granite or marble monument
might be erected, here or elsewhere,
such as would do honor to the living
and the dead.
The hour being late all joined hands
and sung the "Star Spangled Banner"
and "Auld Lang Syne." Here the festivities
ended, and also the intimate
association of the officers of the 77th
regiment. But though they may be
scattered far and wide over the land,
they will always entertain towards each
other feelings, which time cannot efface;
or any force of circumstance obliterate.
Men who have stood shoulder to
shoulder, and faced and fought a wicked
enemy, who have been companions in
arms for three years in the front of battle,
will always be friends.
In accordance with a request which
has frequently been made, I append the
following statement taken from the regimental
The regiment started fir the seat of
war with 38 officers and 820 men.—
During the fall and winter of '61 about
50 recruits were added. In the fall of
'62 companies F and K were consolidated,
and called F, and a new company,
organized in Schuylerville, called K,
and consisting of 89 men, was added.—
A company organized in this village,
consisting of about 75 men, was united
with companies E and F. Also, about
245 men were recruited by officers sent
from the field, and about 50 have joined
during the last year. Fourteen officers
have been appointed from civil life, and
the number of officers who have belonged
to the regiment is 52; the number
of enlisted men, 1384; aggregate of
officers and men, 1463—who are accounted
for, as follows :
MUSTERED OUT ON EXPIRATION OF TERM OF
Colonel, W. B. French; Lt. Colonel, N. S.
Babcock; Surgeon, Geo. T. Stevens, Assistant
Surgeon, Justice G. Thompson; Quarter Master,
Jacob F. Haywood; Adjutant, Wm. W.
Worden; Chaplain, Norman Fox.
Captains—Geo. S. Orr; Jos. H. Loveland— served two years.
1st Lieutenants—Henry C. Rowland, Lewis T. Vanderwerker.
2nd Lieutenants--George H. Gillis, David
Lyon, Carlos Rowe.—Total 14.
Colonel, Jas. B. Mckean; Lt. Colonel, J. C.
Henderson; Surgeon, J. L. Perry; Surgeon,
Augustus Campbell; Adjutant, Wm. H. Fursman;
Adjutant, Lawrence Van Demark;
Quarter master, L. E. Shurtliff; Chaplain,
David E. Tully.
Captains—R. W. Arnold, C. C. Hill, B. F.
Judson, John Carr, (died while returning home)
J. B. Andrews, A. F. Beach, N. Hollister
Brown, Frank Norton, (transferred to 123d)
N. Y. V., as Lt. Col., and killed at Chancellorville,)
J. R. Rockwell.
1st Lieutenants--Wm. Douglas, N. P.
Hammond, Stephen S. Hastings, John Patterson,
Jesse White, G. D. Story, E. S. Armstrong,
John W. McGregor, Philander A. Cobb.
2nd Lieutenants—Jas. H. Farnsworth, E.
M. McGunigle, Charles H. Fodow, Emmet J.
Patterson, Wm. K. Young, Cyrus F. Rich.—
Transferred to Battalion of 77th N. Y.
Now in the Field.
Captains--David J. Caw, J. D. Clapp, C. E.
1st Lieutenants--D. A. Thompson, George Ross, Robt. E. Nelson, Alonzo Howland.
Assistant Surgeon, Wm. A. Delong.
DISCHARGED BECAUSE OF WOUNDS.
Captains—S. W. Deyoe, Stephen S. Horton.
1st Lieutenant—Frank Thomas.
2nd Lieutenants--Robt. H. K. Skinner, Thos.
S. Fowler. —
DIED OF DISEASE.
2d Lieut. John J. Cameron. — Total, 1.
DIED OF WOUNDS.
2d Lieutenants—Halsey Bowe (accidentally
shot,) Ansil Dennison..— Total, 2.
MISSING IN ACTION.
1st Lieut. S. O. Cromax, prisoner of war.
2d Lieutenants—Jeremiah Stebbins, prisoner
of war; Wm. F. Lyon, supposed to be killed.
Aggregate number of officers, 79; original
number, 28 -- 14 appointed from civilian since
the organization, and 27 promoted from the ranks.
Of the enlisted men, there have been
mustered out by reason of expiration
of service, 105
Discharged on account of physical
Discharged on account of wounds 38
Veterans transferred to Bata...
77th N. Y.., in the field
Joined since organization, do., do.
Transferred to other commands, 73
Died of disease, 148
Died of wounds, 40
Killed in action, 73
Missing in action, 25
Promoted to commissioned officers, 27
Of those discharged for disability
about 150 were discharged on the Peninsula
during the season of '62, from
disease contracted there; and fifty at
least have been discharged at the city
of Albany. Of those who have died of
disease at least 100 died on the Peninsula,
and of disease contracted there.
Very Respectfully Yours,
Col. W. B. FRENCH.
THE 77TH BATTALION.
HEADQ'RS BATTALION 77TH N. Y. V.,
On PETERSBURG LINE, Jan. 10, '65.
EDITOR SARATOGIAN:—Sir—Lest the remnant
of the 77th should be forgotten in the
minds of those at home, allow me a short
space in your columns to show your many
readers that we are yet in the field and still
hold our own.
On the 23d of November, 1864, we became
a Battalion, owing to the departure for home
of that portion of the original members of the
Regiment who had not re-enlisted. We were
re-organized into four companies, under command
of Capt. (now Lt. Colonel) Caw. The
re-organization took place near Kearnstown,
in the Valley, which place we left on the 9th
of December last, en route for City Point, Va.
We marched to Steven's Depot, and there
took the cars for Washington, where we arrived
on the night of the 10th. Embarking on the
steamer City of Albany, we were soon on our
way, and on the afternoon of the 14th took up
our present position on the Davis Farm, two
miles west of the Weldon R. R.
The weather since our arrival here has been
of that varied sort so "chronic" in this region,
the beautiful Southern sun being occasionally
relieved by a cloudy sky and a shower of a
week's duration. I think we are doomed to
enjoy one of those delightful spells now, as it
has rained incessantly for the last twenty four
On the 8th inst., our faces were gladdened
by the arrival among us of a brace of peaceful
citizens from your village, and at about four
o'clock on the morning of the 9th, as if for the
amusement (?) of our guests, the Johnnies made
an attack on our pickets, capturing three boys
of this Battalion, namely; Henry Boyce, Co. "
A," and Samuel Phillips and William Jones,
Our guests having visited the picket line,
where the wild rebs were plainly visible, and
being satisfied with their view of the elephant
in his largest dimensions, started on their return
trip last evening, heavily freighted with
news for friends and relatives of those here, and
fully repaid for their trouble in visiting the " Grand Army."
The health of our Battalion is now excellent,
the Surgeon's call being very thinly attended.
Your paper finds its way to us every
week, and affords us great assistance in passing
away the long, lonesome hours which we
are serving willingly, though in excess of what
a great many expected.
We are this winter blessed with more neat
and comfortable quarters than ever before, all
being logged up four feet high, to procure the
timber for which, we had the use of the brigade
train. The camp consists of five company
streets well laid out with sewers at the foot
of each. Our winter privileges could not be
better as we have five good wells within the
Hoping that all friends at home may pass
the winter as happily as we expect to, I remain
T. M. W.
FROM THE 77TH.
FIELD HOSPITAL NEAR SPOTTSYLVANIA.
Friday, May 13, 1864.
Editor Journal — Dear Sir: Knowing
that the friends of the regiment in Ballston
and vicinity will be anxious to hear from it,
I drop you a line containing some important
returns. For nine days the battle has
been raging, and our corps has been a
principal part. Our brigade has suffered
severely. Our regiment has had thirteen
killed, among them Captains Carpenter and
Rugg. Something upward of a hundred
have been wounded among them are Captains
Smith, Orr, Deyoe and Winne. Lieuts.
Worden, Rowland, Ross, F. Thomas, Taber,
Fowler and Lyon. Some fifty are missing,
among whom are Lieuts. Stebbins, Cromac,
Rowe and Lyon--All but a dozen or twenty
of the wounds are mere flesh wounds or
slight injuries. The casualties among the
men from Ballston and vicinity are as follows:
Corp. M. <McWilliams, killed; Corp.
Fred Keenholts, mortally wounded; John
Southwaite, wound in shoulder; I. Boyce,
arm, severely; Wm. Arnold, leg set; Andy
Abbs, wounded and missing; Arch. Phillips
and Terrence Grey, both slightly wounded;
Sergt. Ira Tripp, Ephraim Tripp, Alex.
Monson, L. Strong, missing; J. Fagg, of
Galway, missing. I believe that completes
the list at present, from Capt. Smith's company.
The casualties from Co. H. are as
follows: Sergt. Hoyt, of Charlton, missing;
Sergt. Carr, of Milton, missing; Corp. M.
B. Allen, Galway, missing; Corp. Knights,
of Amsterdam, wounded; Corp. Jennings
of Charlton, fatal wound in thigh; Corp.
Root, of Galway, slight scalp wound; H.
Fowler, of Milton, eye out; A. Hapet of
Milton, slight wound in hand; Francis Love
of Milton, wounded in stomach and missing;
Thomas Amer, Galway, A. Coonradt, Charlton,
Wm. Dwine, West Troy, and Thomas
Delaney, of Saratoga, are all missing. I
think all the others from your section are
safe up to the present time. Hoping that
it will be a relief to friends to know that it
is no worse, I remain, Yours, &c.,
Norman Fox, Chaplain 77th N. Y.
CAMP OF 77TH REGT., N. Y. S. V.
Near Culpepper, Va., Oct. 2.
A gala-day in the 77lh was Wednesday
last. A few days ago Lieut. Col. French
was promoted to the Colonelcy, and the
gratification of the officers and men at the
deserved tribute to one who had so long
been their commander, resolved itself into
a formal recognition of his services. A parade
and review of the whole division by
Gen. Howe in the forenoon, left the men
indisposed for the battalion drill in the afternoon
and prepared their minds to enjoy
something aside from the usual routine.—
About three o'clock, in accordance with invitation
previously sent round, the officers
of the different regiments of the brigade began
to assemble, and the camp of the 77th
assumed a brilliant and festive appearance.
The Brigade Band, one of the finest in the
army, gave its best selections. Those who
had charge of the ceremonies hurried thither
and thither and the scene of preparation
was heightened by the "bobbin' around" of juvenile contrabands. When the guests
had all assembled, Col. French who was entirely
ignorant of the intent of these preparations
was waited on in his tent by a delegation
of the line-officers, and his presence
requested in the open space in front of headquarters.
He was here addressed by Capt.
Orr, who, with a few well-chosen and very
impressive remarks, presented him on behalf
of the line officers of the regiment with
a must splendid sword, sash and belt. The
surprise was complete, for but two or three
in the regiment, aside from the line officers,
themselves knew that such an affair was
meditated till the guests began to assemble.
The Colonel responded gracefully and with
deep feeling acknowledging the present as
a pledge of the confidence of his officers,
and engaging himself to be still worthy of
it. Refreshments and further sociabilities
closed an afternoon of pleasure to all.
The sword itself was truly an elegant affair.
The hilt is of solid silver and the
blade of the finest texture. The scabbard
is in silver, the bands and tip ring in gold.
On the side of the scabbard is the insertion, "
Presented to Col. Winsor B. French, 77th
N. Y. V., by the line officers of the Regiment,
Fredericksburgh, December 13th, 1862,
and May 3d, and 4th '63, Gettysburgh,
July 3d, 1863," and lower down an appropriate
motto in Greek. The whole is most
richly and elegantly chased. Few of the
swords presented to our Generals excel
this. It was manufactured by Tiffany of
New York and cost according to rumor
something upwards of two hundred dollars.
The day wound up with a very pleasant
incident not laid down in the general programme.
Late in the evening the Seventh
Maine Regiment with their band came in
torch-light procession and gave our Colonel
a serenade. A congratulatory speech was
made by Col. Mason, of the 7th...[portions missing]
ALBANY EVENING JOURNAL
MONDAY EVENING, JULY 3, 1865.
The Seventy-Seventh Regiment came up in
the same boat with the Forty-third (the Huguenot.)
It was recruited mainly in Saratoga, and
was mustered in November 23d, 1861, at Saratoga
Springs with 830 men. Some 1,400 men have been
added since and it returns with 280. None are
left in the field. It was engaged in the battles of
Lee's Mills, Williamsburgh, Yorktown, Mechanicsville,
Golden's Farm, White Oak Swamp,
Savage Station, Crampton Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg,
first and second , Gettysburg, Rappahannock
Station, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania,
Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens,
Oqequan, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Petersburg,
April 2d. It will thus be seen that it has followed
the entire fortunes of the Army of the Potomac,
having been with it at its organization, and present
at its disbandment.
In the charge of the 2d of April, the brigade in
which the Seventy-seventh and Forty-third formed
a part, the former had the first colors on the
The following is a list of the officers:—
Lieutenant Colonel commanding—David J. Caw; went out as First Sergeant.
Surgeon--Justin D. Thompson.
Adjutant—Thomas M. White; went out as private.
Quartermaster—Charles D. Thurber.
Company A—Captain, J. D. Clapp. First Lieutenant,
Thomas Harris. Second Lieutenant, Soriel
Fountain; all went out as privates.
Company B—Captain, George Ross; went out
as Sergeant. First Lieutenant, Adam Flansburg;
went as a Corporal. Second Lieutenant, William
Caw; went out as private.
Company C—Captains, Charles E. Stevens,
went out as first Sergeant. First Lieutenant,
William E. Merrill; went out as private.
Company D—Captain, Charles H. Davis; went
out as Sergeant. First Lieutenant, Robert E.
Nelson; went out as Sergeant. Second Lieutenant,
William H. Quackenbush; went out as private.
Company E—Captain, David A. Thompson;
went out as first Sergeant. First Lieutenant, Jas.
A. Monroe; went out as Sergeant.
The regiment will be mustered out here.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOURTH arrived
about 10 o'clock A. M. Saturday on board the John
M. Brooks. It was raised in Delaware county,
and originally consisted of nine hundred and fifty-six
men, who were recruited in a little over a
fortnight's time, in the Summer of 1862. They
were first sent to the defences of Washington, and
remained there until the Spring of 1863, when they
were sent to Suffolk, and remained there until
Longstreet's siege failed. They were afterwards
in General Gordon's command, aided in Keyes
demonstration against Richmond, and subsequently
served in the Army of the Potomac. They
arrived in this department in August, 1863, and
were on Morris Island during the latter portion of
General Gilmore's siege of Charleston. Subsequently
the regiment was in Florida, for a time
in active service. In June and July, 1864, it took
part in the demonstration on John's Island. In
November it was in Porter's brigade of General
Hatch's coast division, in General Foster's celebrated
movement in aid of Sherman against the
Savannah and Charleston Railroad. That campaign
embraced a severe battle at Henry Hill known
to Southerners as the battle of Grahamsville;
several sharp fights at Deveaux Neck, one at
Coosawhatchie, and several lesser fights and
Their original Colonel was R. S. Hughston;
then they were commanded by Colonel D. E.
Gregory; then Captain Wm. J. Slidell, a nephew
of John, of Rebel notoriety, was made Colonel,
but resigned; and then Lieutenant Colonel James
Lewis was made Colonel, and Major C. A. Rice
Lieutenant-Colonel. Both are efficient officers.
Lieutenant Colonel Rice has for a long time been
Chief of Staff to General Littlefield, and filled
many important positions. Surgeon Leal was for
several months Chief Medical Officer of the District,
and Assistant Surgeon Bundy Post Surgeon.
The following is a complete list of the offices:—
Lieutenant-Colonel—Calvin A. Rice.
Adjutant—George R. Cannon.
Regimental Quartermaster--S. S. Gregory.
Surgeon—John R. Leal.
Assistant Surgeons--Wm. M. Brice, Oliver T.
Company A—Captain, John D. Pent; First
Lieutenant, Charles S. Bradford; Second Lieutenant,
W. M. Murray.
Company B—Captain, M. W. Marvin; First
Lieutenant, George A. Colton; Second Lieutenant,
Company C— Captain, Matthew C. Lewis; First
Lieutenant, Francis Heifer.
Company D—Captain, Edward A. Griffith; First
Lieutenant, Nathaniel H. Hubbard; Second Lieutenant,
Company E—Captain, John Clark; First Lieutenant,
James S. Adie; Second Lieutenant, John
Company F— First Lieutenant, Wm. B. Lewis;
Second Lieutenant, Henry F. Miles.
Company G—Captain, Frank B. Hart; First
Lieutenant, Hamilton S. Preston; Second Lieutenant,
Company H—Captain, Charles C. Saver; First
Lieutenant, Horace E. Bailey; Second Lieutenant,
J. Harvey McKee.
Company I—Captain, George W. St. John;
First Lieutenant, Edward McQueen; Second
Lieutenant, William J. Clark.
Company K—Captain, John Rich; First Lieutenant,
Charles M. Hathaway; Second Lieutenant,
FROM THE 77TH -- LETTER FROM THE
NEAR Falmouth, May 6, 1863.
COL. McKean:—Dear sir—Knowing that
you would be anxious to hear from the regiment,
I drop a line by private hand to Washington.
The Sixth corps all crossed the river about
two miles below Fredericksburg, on Saturday
night. At daylight the next morning, they
advanced before the Heights. After an hour
or two of cannonading, our division advanced
to storm the heights. The 77th led the charge
and have received the highest praise for their
gallant bearing. They carried the heights,
took two or three pieces of cannon, several
prisoners, some horses and a stand of colors.
Good work for one regiment. Capt. Wheeler
was struck in the stomach with a musket ball,
and died that night. Captain Horton was
stunned with a shell, and carried off the field,
but will be ready for duty in a few days. Corporal
Hendricks, Co. E, was killed. Corporal
Wm. H. Deyoe, Co. E, killed. Another man
was torn in pieces with a shell. Dennis Sheenan,
Co. A, killed. Peter Knickerbacker, Co.
E, leg amputated; died on Monday afternoon.
Simon Carey, Co, E, wounded in leg. Ed Fuller,
of Saratoga, in neck, slightly. I don't
recall any other from your village. I telegraphed
you regarding Capt. Wheeler's death.
I had the body embalmed and sent home by
After the corps had taken the heights they
chased the rebels beyond. Had a severe fight
on Sunday afternoon, in which Brook's division
principally acted, and were badly cutup. Severe
fight again on Monday afternoon. The
rebels on Monday morning came between our
corps and Fredericksburg, occupying the
old works. The corps swung around up the river
and came back over Banks' Ford yesterday. I
came down from the regiment yesterday afternoon.
There are besides the above mentioned
killed, some forty wounded, including
slight hurts. Forty or so are still missing, the
most of whom are probably in the hands of
the rebels, but some of them are no doubt
Capt. Winne got separated from the regiment,
and we had apprehensions for him, but
he came in yesterday afternoon. The regiment
is still (those who remain) some 300 and
upwards, in good condition and not discouraged
at all by their great labors of the last
two or three days. At the station here among
the wounded I found my brother, Major W. F.
Fox, of the 107th, slightly wounded in the leg.
As to the status of Hooker's battle, we know
nothing. We are now having a very heavy
Yours with respect,
NORMAN FOX, Jr.
N. B.—Col. McKean did not receive the telegram
FURTHER FROM THE 77TH.
Extracts from a fetter from Lt. Col, French
to Col. McKean.
HEADQUARTERS 77th Regiment,
In The FIELD, May 6th, 1863.
DEAR COLONEL:— * * We crossed the river
with our division on Saturday night, moved
to Fredericksburg at 4 A. M., Sunday, and at
once, or soon, the firing commenced. The
light division were ahead in the village. We
halted this side. Two regiments of the light
division charged, but were driven back. I was
ordered to deploy my regiment across an open
field at the foot of the high hills at the left of
Fredericksburg. upon which were earth works
and abattis. So we got a terrible fire. Still
we pushed out and the rebels ran. There we
lay till about 12 o'clock, I should think, when
Hooker ordered the heights carried, and to
have us push on, cutting our way through the
enemy, and join him at Shelbyville. We
stormed the works. I at once deployed my
regiment as skirmishers, and advanced. Oh,
how they did pour into us shell, grape, &c.
Many a brave boy fall on the way; still I
urged them on. The details must be told by
others. We charged up the heights, and Captain
Wheeler fell while urging on his men.—
We took one stand of colors from the 18th
Mississippi, and nearly 100 men, a Lieut. Col.,
Captains, &c. The 33d Regiment New York,
followed on the right, and of course did their
work well. The 26th N. J., assisted them, but
in great disorder. On the left I had no support,
so I rallied the men on the colors, and
charged up the hill alone. Oh, how nobly the
boys moved up. I rushed on with them and
captured two brass cannon, a pair of horses
caissons, &c., and about 20 prisoners. General
Howe rode up while I had my foot on the cannon
and said; "Noble boys—the 77th has
covered itself with glory," * * * * We
pushed on towards Shelbyville, Brooks ahead.
He soon ran against Wilcox, with 15,000 fresh
troops. The flower of the rebel army was
posted in the woods. He pushed on, but was
repulsed with loss. Some of the regiments
were almost annihilated. We awoke yesterday
morning, and found Jackson on the heights
we had taken and abandoned, throwing shell on
our flank and rear. We lay all day skirmishing.
At about 6 P. M., they massed their
forces and charged on us. Our brigade stood
the brunt of battle. Oh, it was awful! My
regiment were located on a little height at the
left, and were attacked only on the flank. I fell
back with the brigade, and lost only a few.
We returned across the river at Banks' Ford,
and here we are, in good spirits, but slightly
demoralized, having lost only eight or ten killed,
50 or 60 wounded, and 40 or 50 missing.
Oh, my good and true Captain Wheeler
is gone. He was a noble man, and I challenge
the service to furnish his equal. Sympathize
with his family, and tell them that I shed tears
on the battle field for my brave companion and
friend in arms. I shall write them if I live
and have an opportunity. He died nobly, and
perhaps only a day before us. I want no
nobler record with which to end my life, than
his coolness, bravery and manliness. * * *
God protect our country and cause. I will
advise you often.
From the 77th.
HEADQUARTERS 77TH REGT., N.Y.V.,
3d Brigade, 2d Division, 6th Corps,
May 11, 1863.
Friend POTTER:—Knowing that most of
your readers have a special interest in the 77th,
and believing that they would be glad to know
what part they performed in the great drama
which has been enacted here within the last
two weeks, I improve a little time after the
fatigue of battle to give you a brief sketch of
On Tuesday, the 28th of April, we received
orders to break camp, and to be ready to march
at a moment's warning. Eight days rations
had been provided for the men, who were in
the highest spirits, ready and ever anxious for
an encounter with the enemy. The regiment,
since its organization, was never in such capital
condition and so willing to fight. The few
sick had been sent to General Hospital, and
every man left was able to walk in the ranks.
A storm of rain, of some violence commenced
in the morning, which rendered the marching
difficult. At 12 o'clock, the order came to "
fall in," and in five minutes the regiment was
on its way, with the rest of the division, to
take its place in the line of battle. A march
of about six miles brought us to the rear of
Falmouth station, a little distance from the
river. Here we bivouacked for the night, and
were awakened at 4 o'clock in the morning, by
the roar of musketry and artillery, a little way
off. At sunrise the division filed down to the
river, and took position on the bank. Our
horses cropped the green blades which had
sprung from the grain scattered on the ground
for their food, just four months before. It was
the very spot where the regiment lay before at
the first battle of Fredericksburg.
The 1st Division of our Corps (Brooks') was
on the other side of the river, holding the plain
for some distance. Their pickets formed the
half of a circle of about three-fourths of a mile
in diameter, the centre being at the pontoon
bridge, where some earthworks were t h r o w n j
up. Just at our left was the 1st Corps, one
division of which also held part of the plain
on the further side of the river. There was
pretty brisk artillery practice between the 1st
Corps and the enemy for a time, but it ceased
toward night. We bivouacked where we had
stood during the day. The morning of the
30th was lowry, but the clouds dispersed as the
day advanced. About noon the troops of the
brigade were massed and a congratulatory order
from Gen. Hooker was read to them, which
was received with tremendous cheers. Next
afternoon the 1st Corps became engaged with
the enemy in a fierce artillery duel, in which a
large number of their men were killed and
wounded. At sunset, all the forces of the two
Corps were drawn up in line of battle to make
a demonstration—one of our bands, near the
enemy, playing "Dixie." The rebels hearing
the strains, set up a great shout, which was
returned by our boys in the most tremendous
yells imaginable. One point was established— we beat them badly at shouting. As darkness
gathered around us, we retired to our bivouacs.
All day the earth had been shaken by
the tremendous firing of artillery, on the right,
and it seemed only more fierce as the night advanced.
The spirits of the boys rose, as the battle on
the right progressed, and there seemed to be
indications of work for them. Groups might
be seen, at any time that we were not standing
in line of battle, telling yarns, playing cards,
singing songs, playing ball and pitching quoits.
Saturday morning, May 2d, the 1st Corps
was withdrawn from its position and sent to
the right. The 77th was sent to do picket
duty on the ground this side of the river, occupied
by them (1st Corps) last night. Our "
reserve" was posted a little way from the
river in a pleasant field. Just in front of us
was a lovely spot, the residence of Dr. Morson,
for fifteen years a Surgeon in the U. S.
Navy. The place was in remarkable order;
the gardens in full bloom; the mocking birds
building their nests, and the greenlets warbling
sweetly. We strolled along the banks
gathering flowers and glancing at our "Secesh" friends across the river, only a few yards distant.
Strange! we lay in the shade of our tents
enjoying the charms of a lovely May day,
while the terrible din of battle shook the
ground beneath us, and we knew that ere the
sun set, thousands of our brave comrades must
As evening drew near, a few of us stood upon
a slight eminence, in rear of our "reserve,"
and saw our skirmishers of the "Light Division"
drive back the skirmishers of the enemy.
It was a gallant feat and finely executed. It
made our hearts leap with joy to watch our
brave fellows as they advanced as though they
were on drill, firing rapidly as they pressed
the enemy, on "double quick." They did not
halt until they had reached the base of the
hills. Immediately our regiment was ordered
to leave the picket line and join our brigade.
We crossed the river and took our position in
front of the Vermont brigade. The 33d N. Y.,
of our brigade, went forward as picket in front
of the hills. We remained in line all night,
sometimes throwing ourselves upon the ground
to get a few minutes sleep, then roused in the
expectancy of an advance.
At 4 o'clock we did advance. Straight
across the plain we went until we came to the
base of the Heights, where lay thousands of
the enemy, then filed to the right and proceeded
to the rear of Fredericksburg:—The 77th in
front, 21st New Jersey, 49th N. Y., 20th N.
Y., 7th Maine and 33d N. Y., forming our
brigade, following in the order mentioned.—
Then came the Vermont brigade, commanded
by Col. Grant. These two brigades composed
Howe's (2d) Division of the 6th Corps. As we
gained the rear of the eastern part of the town
the batteries of the enemy opened upon us, and
swarms of infantry rose in our front, and
poured vollies of bullets into us. Gen. Howe
instantly formed his troops in line of battle—
the 77th being deployed in front of the division
as skirmishers. In the mean time some heavy
guns from the heights opposite Fredericksburgh,
were throwing huge shells into the
works of the enemy. It was a moment of contending
emotions of pride, hope and sadness,
when our gallant boys stood face to face with
the enemy. Our line was perfect. Our men
could not have made a more orderly appearance
had they been on drill. Col. French, riding
quietly and composedly along his lines, inspired
by his own intrepid behavior, the utmost
confidence and bravery in the men. They
took the thing as coolly as a dress parade. Just
in rear of the division were three batteries of
Parrot guns, playing finely into the works of
the enemy above. A more grand spectacle cannot
be imagined. There were the hills, enough
to fatigue any man to climb them without a
load and with no one to oppose. At the foot
of the hill were thousands of the enemy pouring
in vollies of musketry, and on the heights
were their lines of earthworks with their artillery
from which grape, canister and shell
poured in a frightful storm. But the boys
pushed nobly on, steadily along, the rebels
steadily retreating, the 77th holding the front,
the division coming up in splendid style.— Gens. Howe and Neil, and Col. Grant directing
the movements and cheering on the men. Our
men were falling in every direction, but the
lines were immediately closed and on they
pressed. Those regiments which advanced in
closed lines, some of them, suffered more than
the skirmishers in front, for as they presented
compact bodies of men as marks for the enemy,
they received more of the fire than the regiment
which was deployed. But the 77th lost
some noble men on that plain. At one time a
single shell passed through the colors and hit
three of our men.
Steadily, slowly, they gained the very base
of the hills, and then with a yell that drowned
the roar of musketry, they mounted the heights.
The heights were gained. Our boys took a
stand of colors belonging t o a Mississippi
regiment, some heavy guns, and a large number
of prisoners. To Corporal Michael Lumee,
of Co. F., belongs the honor of seizing the
rebel flag. The Vermonters came up nobly to
the work. The 33d N. Y., and 2d Vermont
lost heavily. The 20th N. Y., the finest drilled
regiment in the service, broke and ran disgracefully,
thus repeating their disgrace at White
Oak Swamp. The 7th Maine, which was
nearly destroyed at Antietam, went into the
fight with nearly 270 men, and came out with
Gen. Neil who was everywhere in the thickest
of the fight encouraging the men, had his
horse killed under him. The General was badly
bruised by the fall, and was obliged to be
carried from the field, leaving Col. Taylor, of
the 33d, in command of the brigade. Two of
the General's aids had horses shot under them.
Lt. Col. Corning, of the 33d also had his horse
killed. Co1. VanHoughton, of the 21st N. J.,
was mortally wounded.
The 77th, while it lost some of its noblest
men, was less unfortunate than some of the
others. The wounded men behaved with the
greatest heroism—one of them, Erskine Branch,
of Co. D., when his leg was torn into shreds
by a shell, hobbled off on the sound one, singing
" The Star Spangled Banner!"
Nearly all the wounded up to this time were
taken to Fredericksburg, where they received
the care of the Surgeons. About three thousand
wounded were thus cared for.
Now commenced the disaster of the battle.
The Corps which had so nobly gained the
heights, was ordered to press on toward Hooker
on the right. The heights were left behind.
Longstreet, with an immense force from the
vicinity of Richmond, came in and quietly
possessed them. Early in the morning of Monday,
one of the 32 pound guns from opposite
the town, sent some shells whistling across to
the heights, giving the alarm to those in the
town and those who had lately left it. The
Surgeons immediately made preparations to
send the wounded across the river, but supposing
it would be impossible to accomplish
the whole before the rebel force would occupy
the town, sent their horses across the river
and made arrangements for being themselves
taken prisoners. Why they were not taken
prisoners remains a mystery. In their possession
were instruments and medical stores which
would have been of immense value to the enemy.
The 6th Corps was now in a most critical
position—its communications entirely cut off,
rebels in front of them, rebels in rear of them,
rebels to the right of them, only Banks' Ford,
six miles to the left of them, by which they
could save themselves.
Now commenced a desperate struggle for existence.
The rebel lines would close in upon
ours from three sides, when suddenly the most
murderous vollies of grape and shells would
pour upon them from our artillery, causing
frightful carnage; their lines would stagger
and fall back. Then our infantry would pour
a storm of bullets into them, at the same time
falling back in good order. Again the rebels
would rally and rush upon our forces. Then
another terrific volley of artillery and another
staggering of the enemy, and more terrible
musketry. So the Corps fell back, fighting
constantly day and night against an immensely
superior force, until it reached Banks' Ford,
where it crossed on pontoon bridges not without
great difficulty, one bridge being destroyed
by the rebel artillery, and others barely saved
from destruction long enough to allow the
troops to pass over.
The Corps has passed through a severe trial
and has shown itself to be made of heroic material.
No two more brilliant feats have been
performed in the history of the war, than the
storming of the Heights of Fredericksburg, and
the splendid resistance when surrounded and
attacked by an overwhelming force. The responsibility
of leaving the heights does not belong
with the Corps.
I have not spoken of the operation of the 1st
Division, the 3d, or the "Light Division," after
Saturday night, as their position was such
that we could not observe them.
The men of the Corps have come out of the
fight in an excellent moral condition. There
is not a man who is not ready to storm those
heights again as he was last Sunday morning.
The 77th has lost some of its noblest men.—
Captain Wheeler died as he lived—a hero. He
was universally beloved, and the regiment
feel that they have lost one of their bravest
and most efficient officers.
Many a poor fellow who fortunately came
out with his life, has been obliged to part with
a leg or an arm, but not a word of complaint
has been uttered by them.
We are now encamped in a pleasant locality,
near our old camp. The men are setting out
evergreens about their tents, and our camp has
the appearance of a pleasant grove. One may
pass through our camp as often as he pleases,
and he will not hear one word of grumbling
or despondency from a man. All they ask is,
to be led to victory—not to defeat. G. T. S.
Back to 77th Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military
March 27, 2006