22nd Regiment Cavalry, NY Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Good Work for the 22d—Thrilling Episode of the War.
We to-day had the pleasure of a call from Sergeant Nellis, of the 22d, Cavalry,
and we learn from him the particulars of the capture by them of the notorious
guerrilla, Major Harry Gilmore, who, at the time of the Rebel advance on
Washington, captured a Baltimore train, and who has been the terror of the
people of Western Virginia ever since. He had an independent command like
Moseby, operating in the same manner. The 22d started last Thursday morning
with 158 men under command of Capt. Cadwell. Their orders were to surprise
and capture a Conscript Camp of 150 men in the vicinity of Moorfield, some
60 miles from Winchester.—They reached there on Thursday night, but
the Rebels had heard of their coming and decamped with the conscripts. On
their return they were attacked by Gilmore and his whole command.—The
Major found his match this time and was handsomely whipped, the 22d bringing
off the "Baltimore Guerrilla" and 20 of his men. They arrived in
camp with them on Friday night. It is hoped that this villain will meet his
just deserts this time.
Major Gilmore attacked Shepardstown last December for the purpose of capturing
Lamois, a scout of Sheridan's. He surrounded the house in which Lamois was
secreted, but was put on the wrong scent, and the scout left the house, mingled
with Gilmore's men and himself joined in the pursuit! When it became too hot
for him, Lamois undertook to leave the town, which was surrounded by Gilmore's
pickets.—He approached a picket and asked him who they were after. He
replied, "Lamois, the scout."—"Do you think they will
find him?" asked Lamois "Yes," was the reply, "he can't
escape us this time! But," he says, "who are you?"
Drawing his revolver and placing it in close proxity to Reb's head, he replied, "I
am Lamois, follow me!" He did so, and Lamois brought him a prisoner into
The Twenty-Second Cavalry—Letter from Lieut.-Col. Brown.
The following letter from Lieut.-Col. J. B. Brown, of the Twenty-second cavalry,
is published in the Rochester Union, and we give it place in justice to that
CAMP 22D REG'T N. Y. CAVALRY,
LIGHT House Point, Va., July 25th, 1864.
Editor of the Union and Advertiser:
In one of your late issues I notice the following letter from Lieut. Caldwell
to the Syracuse Journal:
This regiment is at present commanded by Maj. Moore, of the 8th N. Y. Cavalry,
Lieut.-Col. Brown being relieved from command as an inefficient officer. Col
Crooke was under arrest at the time he was taken prisoner. At Stony Creek he
formed a rear guard and held the rebs. in check two hours. He was highly complimented
by Col. Chapman, commanding our brigade.
Maj. McLennan was taken at the same time. Dr. Van Slyke was all over relieving
the suffering and was taken while doing his duty. Too much cannot be said of
the whole command,—every one doing his duty with a will."
The above is about as correct as most letters written from the army to the
press. Lieut. Caldwell is supposed to know all about the reason of Lieut.-Col.
Brown being relieved and Maj. Moore put in his place. The change is mutual,
and the best of feeling exists between all parties interested. I have this
day received an honorable discharge from the War Office, which is not easily
obtained by an incompetent officer.
In reference to the rearguard and Col. Crooks it is of the same piece, of course
wishing to do the Colonel good service, but to all who know something about
the matter, it makes the Colonel appear ridiculous in the extreme. I do not
think the Colonel will ever claim to commanding a rear guard at the time and
place spoken of. The writer—Lieut. Caldwell—was not on the raid,
but with his company near Prince George Court House, Va., doing picket duty,
(Captain French commanding,) and under arrest, and was not relieved until a
change of commanders.
By giving the above to your readers, and the Syracuse Journal in particular,
you will oblige a friend.
Yours, &c. J. B. BROWN.
Late Lieut.-Col. 22d N. Y. Cavalry.
FROM THE 22D CAVALRY.
Interesting Account of the Late Reconnoisance-A "Mixed Up"
Fight with the Rebels.
OFFICE REGIMENTAL Q. M.,
22D N. Y. Cav., Dec. 26th, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS EXPRESS: It is a little strange that so many important moves
in the Shenandoah Valley have been commenced on a certain date. The battle
of Winchester, or Opequan Creek, was fought on the 19th of September. On the
19th of October Sheridan whipped Early at Cedar Creek, taking what was left
of his artillery. The 19th of November, the Second Division Gen. Powell, fought
a battle near Front Royal, capturing six pieces of artillery, and a goodly
number of prisoners; and now the Third Division has just returned from a successful
reconnoissance, commenced on the 19th of December, in which the whole Cavalry
Corps took part. All three divisions have been successful, having taken prisoners,
or pieces of artillery. I have some memoranda of this last move, and as some
of the items connected with it may be of interest to you and the friends of
the 22d, I give them:
The Third Division broke camp at 5 A. M., on the 19th of December, moving by
the Winchester turnpike directly on Strasburg and Fisher's Hill. Meeting no
enemy, they kept on to Woodstock, where they went into camp for the night.
The country in this locality is infested with Guerillas, and an incident which
occurred here will show of what benefit presence of mind and a determined spirit
is to the soldier on picket: In the 2d Squadron, Capt. Bruton, commanding,
a volunteer was called for to take six men and picket a certain locality, making
two posts.—John March, a soldier of Co. G, steps forward and offers his
services, which were accepted, and the men moved out under his guidance, and
are posted by him, the reserve in rear twenty-five rods, and one-fourth of
a mile from the main reserve, consisting of some forty men, under the above
mentioned officer. While returning to report to the Captain the disposition
of his men, he was suddenly confronted by a man, who leveled his revolver at
him, demanding his surrender. Our volunteer, supposing it to be one of our
own men, told him he must be a fool to stop him in that way, adding, " I
am here by the Captain's orders." "Surrender!" says Mr. Bushwhacker, " or
I'll blow your d—d brains out." Our soldier still thought it was
a mistake, but gave up his carbine-sling, when his captor told him to go forward
into the woods. March now saw that he had caught a Tartar, and wondered how
he could escape him. He had not given up his revolver, and now he began to
feel for it. His captor, who was vigilant, noticed the move, and advancing
his own pistol, ordered him to hand over, or he'd fire. Take it, then, says
John; and thrusting it out with a firm hand, he pulled the trigger, and put
his ball through the rebel's neck; which, however, did not unhorse him. In
the meantime he had returned the fire, just grazing March's cheek.—There
was no time to be lost, for more persons were approaching, and they might be
of the same class, and he tries his next barrel, putting his bullet square
through the chest, and his adversary falls heavily to the ground. Riding quickly
back to the men on post, he told them to stand fast, while he went to the reserve.
Taking a party, they went to the spot, and found the rebel's hat and the carbine
just captured from him, but nothing further. Two days after, when returning,
we learned from a rebel surgeon that the man was wounded mortally, and was
then in a house close by, at the point of death, having a wound through the
lungs, which alone would have caused his death. He was a notorious character,
and had been a terror to Union families in the neighborhood. Next morning the
Division moved early from camp, the 22d in good spirits and ready for anything,
and hoping, if we may judge from sly conversation, to have a brush with the
enemy, that they might try the pluck of the new commander, Colonel Reed. That
officer was as closely watched by those veterans of many a fight as a rebel
would have been, had there been one in the column. Will he fight? that's the
question, say they. Can he handle the regiment as well and act as coolly under
fire as Maj. Moore? Various were the opinions expressed, and usually settled
by the rejoinder that "time would determine." At Newmarket they found
that the telegraph had been in operation that day, but that the operators had
skedaddled. The regiment went into camp that night about 4, O. K. without having
encountered any obstacles or enacting any scenes worthy of mention; but next
morning just at break of day, and about the time the different squadrons were
leading into line, sharp firing was heard on our left flank, and a few moments
later the ground was trembling under our feet, and the thunder and rush of
cavalry in force in a galloping charge greeted our ears. Thank God! we were
ready. Mount the command! says Col. Reed to Major Brown. Scarce was the order
given when "mount!" from the Major came clear and strong, and the
regiment was in line. The Johnnies had broken through the ambulance train,
taking Lieut. Yates, 3d division ambulance officer, prisoner, and cutting out
some horses. They had also broken through the 15th N. Y., and thrown the 8th
into some confusion, but coming upon the 22d in line, they turned off by the
flank and took past on a hill. It was scarcely light enough to distinguish
between friends and enemies, and indeed it would have been very difficult at
anytime, as they were very many of them dressed like ourselves, in blue overcoats.
Owing to this there were some very strange mistakes made. Some of the rebs
paid dearly for these mistakes. Several of them rode up in front of Gen. Custar's
headquarters, asking for Gen. Payne, (rebel.)—"Where is Gen. Payne?" they
say. It is currently reported here, and with much semblance of truth, that
Gen. C., and staff got out of that "mighty fast," and turned their
individual attention to the lines of the 1st brigade, which was drawn up waiting
for orders. When they got there they made short work in checking the advance.
Some twelve or fifteen dead rebs lay on the ground where the general headquarters
were. Col. Reed marched out to meet the enemy, but as he advanced they got
back and we had no fight. It now became evident from certain movements on the
part of the enemy, that they intended to destroy a bridge over a branch of
the Shenandoah river, and that a column had already started for that place. "Will
you push forward, get possession and hold the bridge, Col. Reed?" says
Gen. Chapman, "I will, sir." The regiment was immediately put in
motion Capt. Lusk leading. Trot! march! gallop! was the order of things, and
away they went. The road was slippery, and the horses smooth shod; but such
small matters were of no weight whatever.
The bridge was the object and we must get possession as speedily as possible,
or the rebels, who were moving parallel with us and on our flank, would beat
us and destroy it. It was a race, or rather a skate, a slip and a slide. Talk
of skating on your parks in the North, you pleasure-seekers. All mere child's
play to the cipher cutting of the 22d in that race of fifteen miles. There
was no stopping for the unhorsed to mount. If his pins would not hold him,
he must tumble down. About four miles from the turning point, or rather the
point of return,
Capt. Lusk, who was in advance, was ordered to charge a squadron of rebs who
were just in advance, which he did in fine style, driving them before him,
although they sent the bullets whizzing about his cars. All this was very exciting.
Col. Reed had been at the head of the column, but the scene was too exciting;
he could not remain there longer and see others in advance driving the enemy
and shouting their fierce challenges after them, and away goes the Colonel,
the best and most genteel cipher cutter of the party, his noble horse pushing
out to the right and left like, any experienced skaker, but keeping his balance
admirably. The Colonel is a heavy man, weighing two hundred and over, and when
once under way it was hard stopping. Right on over the hill they went, Johnnies
and Yanks, until our gallants were suddenly confronted by the column which
was sent forward to get possession of the bridge before our lads should be
able to do the same. Everything was perfectly plain now; either we must beat
them or they would us. Brisk firing was going on around us, and things looked
shaky. Forward was the command, and forward it was.—How well the boys
behaved. How satisfied were the officers that everything was in such good shape.
On went the column, slipping and skating, but making better time than the rebs
on the flanks, who stopped to fire their pieces. Time wholly lost. The bridge
was the goal. "How far is it to the bridge?" “Three miles,
sir." This gave new spirit to all, and down the hill they go. The bridge
is in sight. Hark! There is the clatter of horses' feet upon it and the jingling
of sabres; the rebs are already there. "Forward, my men! charge the bridge." The
rebs dashed on over it, and a moment after our advance were on it and we had
possession.—"Capt. Fisher, dismount your squadron, take possession
of the bridge and hold it." Capt. Lusk, deploy your men and drive those
rooks off that hill. Lieut. Sherwood, take ten men and charge those fellows
off to the right.'' All these commands were speedily and well executed. The
firing was pretty brisk and well sustained on the part of all the regiment.—Everything
worked well. We reached the place two hours in advance of the main column.
Gen. Custar was well pleased with the day's operations, and the end accomplished
was of essential importance. The next day was very cold, and the men, and indeed
all, suffered exceedingly.—The division went into camp near Winchester,
hoping soon to be in Winter quarters.
Yours, &c., GEO. SPERRY.
A. Q. M. 22d N. Y. Cav.
DAILY UNION & ADVERTISER.
WEDNESDAY EVENING, FEB. 15, 1865.
The Charges Against Col. R. F. Taylor—Answer from the Officers of the
First Veteran Cavalry.
The following communication from the officers of the 1st Veteran Cavalry needs
no introduction, as it explains itself. It is written in refutation of the
reflections upon Col. Taylor which have appeared in print in Western New York.
HEADQUARTERS 1ST N. Y. VETERAN CAV.,
CAMP PIATT, WEST VIRGINIA,
January 22d, 1865.
EDITOR UNION AND ADVERTISER—Sir: It is a source of no little regret that
a cause should exist which would necessitate a reply from us under existing
circumstances, and particularly when the charges, of which we shall speak hereafter,
were so unwarrantable and unjustifiable, as those brought under our notice.
Those to which we refer were found in the columns of the Seneca Falls Reveille
of a recent date, and, as would appear, were from the pen of some nameless
or unknown personage, which, however, reflected very materially on the character
and soldierly qualities of our late Colonel, R. F. Taylor, injustice to whom
we have presented this article for the information of the public generally,
and for the assurance of that public that the charges thus implied existed
alone in the breast of him who penned the article in question. To say the least
for that which was said against Col. Taylor, would pronounce the whole a falsehood—a
lie; and that would but too truly stamp the author as a coward, which he is,
otherwise he would have appended his name, thereby leaving room for redress
to the accused.
He, to whom we refer, says in reference to Col. Taylor: "Destitute of
every principle of honor, illiterate, corrupt and tyrannical, it is inconceivably
strange, to say the least, that he should have been permitted to retain his
command so long." He further says, "We congratulate the brave boys
of the Veteran Cavalry that they are no longer to be plundered and domineered
over by Robert F. Taylor." To say the least of the foregoing, the congratulations
therein expressed, are untimely and uncalled for, because as the author would
have it, "they are no longer to be plundered and domineered over." Robert
F. Taylor will soon be back, honorably acquitted and restored to duty, there
being no charges substantiated against him: then again, congratulations to
the "brave boys of the veteran Cavalry" would poorly become them,
while he, to whom the existence of the regiment is due, both in character and
discipline, is branded with dishonor, corruption and tyranny. Is there any
honor due the regiment all will share it alike, for all are of the opinion
that whatever steps Col. Taylor has taken in the regiment, has been for its
good, in his honest opinion; and while we many times differ materially from
his views, on the whole, we are well satisfied both with his government in
camp and his bravery and leadership in the field. Again, the ''Unknown" appears
before the public, and in a vain attempt to be sarcastical, quotes and comments
upon the language of a correspondent of the Rochester Union, speaking of Col.
Taylor's dismissal: If this correspondent means to say that the Colonel was "gallant
and heroic during these particular engagements," (meaning Yorktown, Williamsburg,
Mechanicsville, Fair Oaks, Gaines' Hill, Savage Station, and many other well
contested fields,) in his diarrhoea attack there are many of the old 33d boys
that will entirely agree with him."
'Tis true that Colonel Taylor, like many others, suffered severed from diarrhoea
on the Peninsula; but 'tis equally true, that at no time did his enfeebled
condition prevent him from directing the movements of his regiment, save at
White Oak Swamp, when nature became exhausted, after three days hard fighting
and nights marching, together with a sunstroke received the day before at Savage
Station, shortly after that received by Gen. Davidson, and while the latter
quitted the field, (no man dare call his bravery into doubt), Col. Taylor assumed
command of the Brigade and directed its movements until we reached White Oak
Swamp, when no longer able to sit on his horse, he was conveyed in an ambulance
to Harrison Landing. These are facts beyond doubt or contradiction.
At Yorktown, Williamsburg, Mechanicsville, Fair Oaks, Gaines Hill, (rather "Golden's
Farm"), and Savage Station, Col. Taylor had charge of his regiment or
brigade, as his superior officers saw fit to assign him, and under his direction,
both did service which will be borne in life-long remembrance by those against
whom the regiment and brigade fought, particularly the 7th and 8th Ga., and
2d La., which were so nicely whipped at Golden's Farm, and driven to the winds
by the valor of both officers and men. Dare the writer say that Col. Taylor
was not there? Yes, there he was, as we found him before and afterwards on
the well contested fields of the Peninsula; Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville,
who can say that Colonel did not occupy the post of honor in the charge on "Marye's
Height"? And who can say that Col. Taylor faltered or kept back in his
place in rear of the line of battle? No one who was there could deny the fact,
that like a true soldier, and a brave officer he led the charge, away in advance
of his men and at every step cheering them on to victory, regardless of his
own safety, nor did he stop after the first charge; but quickly reforming his
men, in soldier like style, pressed on and captured the next redoubt with two
pieces of cannon. Next day, the memorable 4th of May, 1863, finds Col. Taylor
at his post leading charge after charge on the advancing foemen, and when death
was dealt so "thick and fast" that his color bearers were shot down
one after the other, Col. Taylor grasps the old flag and with words and deeds
that were alike worthy the cause and man pressed forward to the contest with
Here, let us say, that these, like others, are facts beyond the fear of contradiction.
Are such deeds as these characteristic of a coward, and a tyrant? Let the public
judge. We have done our duty. We have cast the lie at the feet of the author
of the charges referred to, and have proven beyond doubt how groundless are
his charges and how truthful and applicable the name given to the unknown "Liar."
Rochester Democrat and Express, and Seneca Falls Revelle will please copy.
E. D. Comstock, Major, 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
J. E. Williams, Major, 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
C. W. Pringle, Capt., 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
A. Vanderboget, Capt., 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
A. H. Nash, Adjutant, 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
E. M. Cooley, Capt., 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
John J. Carter, Capt., 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
John W. Alexander, 1st Lieut. and R. Q. M. 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
Frank A. White, 1st. Lieut., Co. C, 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
J. T. Clague, 1st Lieut., Co. L., 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
Joseph H. Hitchcox, 2d Lieut., Co. D, 1st N. Y. Vet. Cav.
Jno. Rippey, Asst. Surgeon, 1st. N. Y. Vet. Cav.
H. K. Kedway, Capt., 1st. N. Y. Vet. Cav.
EVENING, MARCH 27, 18..
PRESENTATION OF FLAGS TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT.
Gallantry of the 8th and 22d N. Y. Cavalry.
THEY ARE COMPLIMENTED BY SEC'Y STANTON.
[From the Washington Chronicle, March 22d.]
The seventeen battle-flags noted in our issue of the 20th inst., as captured
from the rebels by the 3d cavalry division of Maj.-Gen. Sheridan's command
in the action of Waynesboro, Virginia, on the 3d inst., were yesterday presented
to the War Department by Major H. B.
Compson, of the 8th New York cavalry, who had been detailed by Gen. Sheridan
to perform that duty. The 3d cavalry division is commanded by Maj.-Gen. Custar,
whose exploits have made his name so familiar to the country. Among those who
witnessed the interesting proceedings were the beautiful and accomplished wife
of that gallant young officer, and the Hon. Ira Harris, a Senator from New
York, to whom each captor was introduced by the Secretary of War as he presented
his trophy. The cordial and graceful manner in which Mrs. Custar took each
officer and soldier by the hand, and the manly bearing of these sun-burnt heroes
of many battles, will long be remembered by those who had the good fortune
to be witnesses of the presentation.
Major H. B. Compson, of the 8th New York cavalry, delivered to the Secretary
a flag captured by himself, which he said prisoner's informed him belonged
to Gen. Early's headquarters. The place of residence of the Major is Seneca
Falls, Seneca county, New York.
Captain Christopher C. Bruton, of company C, 22d New York cavalry, an aide-de-camp
of General Custar, presented a Confederate national
Standard, also used as General Early's headquarters flag. Captain Bruton stated
that the flag had been presented to General Early the morning of its capture;
that he saw it passing over the mountains, and followed it nearly three miles
before he was able to secure it. He believed that Major Compson either captured
or killed the bearer. The captain is a resident of Rochester, Monroe county,
Second Lieutenant A. Kuder, of the 8th New York cavalry, whose home is in Livingston
county, New York, stated that he captured the flag he held in his hand, and
also another standard which would be presented by a sergeant. They pursued
the fleeing rebels so closely that they compelled them to drop these flags,
and he, being nearer than the sergeant, got them both, but he considered the
sergeant entitled to one of them by his services in aiding in their capture.
The Secretary.—You all set yourselves on capturing flags.
Lieutenant Kuder.—We did, sir.
Lieutenant Robert Niven, of the 8th New York cavalry, was the bearer of two
rebel flags, which he captured at Rock Fish Gap, about four miles from Waynesboro.
Lieutenant Niven resides at Rochester, New York.
Sergeant James Congdon, of company E, 8th New York cavalry, and who lives at
Lockport, in that State, recaptured General Crook's headquarters flag.
Corporal H. H. Bickford, company E, 8th New York cavalry, recaptured a flag
similar to the last mentioned. He stated that his home was at Johnson's Creek,
Niagara county, New York, that he had been in service nearly four years, and
thought he would "see the war out."
Corporal Harry Harvey, of Company A. 22d N. Y. cavalry, transferred to the
custody of the War Department a rebel battle-flag. He said he took it from
a sergeant, who had it hid under his coat, and who, with other rebels, was
running away. "I rushed after him," said the sergeant, "put
my carbine to his head, and told him to surrender. As he did so, he dropped
the flag. I asked two prisoners near me what it was. They said it was a flag.
I make the sergeant go back, pick it up, and hand it to me, I took him back
with two others. They were all eager to follow back." Sergeant Harvey
is from Syracuse, N. Y.
Private M. Crowley, Company A, 22d N. Y. cavalry, of Rochester, N. Y., in explaining
the circumstances attending the capture of the rebel battle-flag in his possession,
said that he had been in the army sixteen months, and that at the battle of
Waynesboro he saw a rebel running away with these colors, and pursued him,
the rebel on one side of the fence and he on the other. "Passing through
the bars," he remarked, "I came across the fellow, ordered him to
halt and surrender, which he did, handing me the flag."
Sergeant C. A. Goheen, Company G, 8th New York cavalry, living in Geneseo,
Livingston county, in that State, was the captor of a plain blue flag. He remarked
that some said it was the, "bonnie blue flag," while others declared
it was intended as a black flag.
Private W. Carman, Company H, 1st New York cavalry of Waterloo, Seneca county
New York, in reply to an enquiry of the Secretary of War, said that he had
been in service about six months. "Well," remarked the Secretary, "you
have done very well for the time you have been in." Carman stated that
in a charge he "took after one squad of six or eight rebels, and told
them to surrender. They throw down their arms, and among those who surrendered
was the rebel who bore this flag; I took it from him, and took them all to
Private C. Anderson, Company A, 1st New York cavalry, explained that he charged
the rebel who had the flag he now bore, through the gap into the mountains,
and added: "I shot at him, and he dropped the flag, but I could'nt catch
him." Private Anderson is from the city of New York, as is also
Private Peter O'Brien, of the same company and regiment. "After the 8th
New York charged down the road," said he, "we were sent in support
of them, passing General Custar on the road. I came across an officer of the
7th Virginia cavalry, took him prisoner, with his horse and equipments, and
sent him to the rear. His revolver I gave to my lieutenant. Captain Zeke, I
think he told me his name was. This is a regimental flag, I believe.
Private G. Ladd, company H, 22d New York cavalry, of Syracuse, New York, captured
a standard bearer, his flag, horse, and equipments. He has seen sixteen months'
Private John Miller, company H, 8th New York cavalry, handed in a flag, which
he captured with the bearer and some twenty other rebels. He stated that he
was a German by birth, and had lived in this country some five years, his home
being in the city of Philadelphia.
Sergeant Daniel Kelly, company G, 8th New York cavalry, of Groveland, Livingston
county, New York, said: "As three rebels were crossing a log over a creek,
the flag they carried arrested my eye. I took out after it; hailed the rascals
before they got across, and fired at them. They went back, and were going to
throw the flag into the river. I told the bearer I would certainly give him
lead if he did that and he came back and handed me the flag."
Sergeant Richard Boury, company C, 1st Virginia cavalry, was the captor of
a rebel battle flag at Charlottesville, Va., March 5. He informed the Secretary
that he entered the army in the three months service in 1861; had been a soldier
ever since, and lived at Parkersburg,
Wood county, Va.
The Secretary.—I saw some of your boys on parade at Ord's headquarters
the other day.—They made a splendid appearance.
Sergeant Boury.—We have some good looking boys, sir.
The Secretary.--No men in the United States army have done better service than
the West Virginia boys.
Sergeant Boury. We have done some service and are willing to do more.
The Secretary. We are fighting for one Union, one country, and all belong to
the same nation. How did you capture that flag?
Sergeant Boury. This flag was captured from some of the enemy retreating from
Waynesboro. We heard that there was a squad in the mountains, supposed to be
about fifty in number. A squadron of my regiment was immediately sent in pursuit
We came on the enemy and charged them, and I got this flag and three prisoners
The Secretary then spoke as follows:
Officers and soldiers: In the name of the President and of the people of the
United States, it is my pleasant duty to return you thanks for the gallantry
and courage that have, from the commencement, been displayed by yourselves
and the command to which you are attached. This, I believe, is the fourth time
that I have had the pleasure of receiving flags taken in battle by General
Sheridan's command; and on no occasion has more signal service been rendered
to the Government than on that which brought about the capture of these flags.
To you and your brave comrades in arms I again, in the name of the President
and of the people, return thanks. The request of your general, that leaves
and furloughs be given to you, and that you be paid the amount now due you,
will, be granted, and you will each be awarded a medal of honor, voted by Congress
for gallant and meritorious services in this war. I wish that you may all safely
reach your homes; that you may have a pleasant time with your mothers, wives,
and sweethearts; and that you may return to your comrades in renewed strength,
and that you may be spared to witness the final overthrow of the enemy you
have fought on so many fields, and the re-establishment in perpetuity of the
union of the States.
Great applause succeeded this neat and pertinent address.
The Secretary, then turning to Senator Howard, who had entered the Department
during the proceedings, said:
I beg to introduce to you the Hon. Mr. Howard, a Senator from the State of
Michigan, the present home of Gen. Custar. The Senator feels and shares with
you the honor and glory of the occasion.
Senator Howard, in acknowledging the introduction tendered to the officers
and soldiers present the most sincere thanks of the people of his State, who,
he observed, were the immediate fellow-citizens of Gen. Custar.
The Secretary next introduced the Hon. Ira Harris, a Senator from the State
of New York, who spoke as follows:
This, gentlemen, is a proud day for me. I feel more proud than ever that I
can represent a body of men, such as you are representing here today. It is
one of the proudest days of any life to know that New York can send to the
field, in defence, of our country, brave men like you and your comrades, who
can present such evidences of gallantry, courage, and service to the country.
I thank you, gentlemen, all of you, for what you have done for the country
and for our native State.
The Adjutant General was then directed to take charge of the captured colors,
and to issue the necessary orders as to medals, pay, and furloughs.
FURTHER FROM SHERIDAN.
Particulars of the Great Raid and the Participation of Monroe County Regiments.
From our Own Correspondent.
OFFICE ASSISTANT REGIMENTAL Q. M.,
22D N. Y. CAV , March 16, 1865,
CAMP RUSSELL, VA.
EDS. EXPRESS:—I said in my note to you under date March 12th, I would
give you Sheridan's raid as far as Rock Fish Gap, as also a description of
the return trip of a detachment under command of Col. Thompson, First New Hampshire,
I shall not particularize as to numbers or composition of the expedition, save
only to say that Gen. Sheridan was in command of the whole.—Gens. Merritt
and Custar were each in their proper places, Merritt in command of the corps,
as Gen. Torbet was away on leave when the expedition left. You may rest assured
that all felt certain of success with such redoubtable warriors to lead us—Sheridan,
who never yet lost a battle, but who has wrenched victory from almost certain
defeat, whose single presence on the field of strife is of more worth for victory
than the battle cry of legions. I know nothing of the fortunes of the expedition
beyond Greenwood, at the foot of Rock Fish Gap, on the south side. Up to that
time I was an eye witness, and hence can vouch for my statements.—On
the third night out the army camped at Defiance Mills, and the advance next
morning fell upon the 22d. We had, as yet, met no opposition to speak of, unless,
perhaps, the attempt of the enemy to burn a covered bridge across one of the
tributaries of the Shenandoah, but failed, owing to the celerity of our movements,
their position being flanked by a column crossing below the bridge, and coming
up in the rear of some temporary works they had constructed to cover the approaches
to it. Everything was very wet, and the fire was easily subdued. I might as
well say here that that five companies of the 1st New Hampshire had been consolidated
with our regiment, and all placed under command of Col. Thompson, of the 1st
New Hampshire, a man possessing every requisite of success, as a commander,
cool, calculating and brave, and good tactitian in the field, as Gen. Rosser
should be willing to acknowledge. As the advance of the army in an enemy's
country, and so far away from our original lines, it was but reasonable to
suppose that there would be some work to do. The first squadron, Capt. Lusk,
was thrown forward as advance guard; but few of the enemy were seen, and they
showed no disposition to await a contest even with the advance, until they
had reached a stream which the recent rains had rendered turbid and swolen,
and now had reached the magnitude of a river of no small proportions. Upon
the opposite bank they made a stand, but were easily dislodged by the intrepid
troopers of Capt. L's, twelve of whom he detached under command of Lieut. Orren
Emmit, of the 22d —into the stream, a foaming torrent, and up to the
horse's sides, Lieut. Emmet leading, they dashed in, driving before them a
score of courriers, who fled firing only half a dozen shots, and they wide
of the mark.
This was after we had left Staunton behind us and made near by half the distance
between that place and Waynesboro. Lieut. Corkins' command of twelve men followed
close after, driving them from every position they took, and finally succeeded
in capturing a Lieutenant, who had command of the detachment, and who belonged
to Rosser's division of cavalry. The column moved on as fast as the state of
the roads would admit, which was simply awful, the horses sinking to the knee
in mud at every step. In due time, however, we arrived in front of the enemy's
works, a line of fortifications perpendicular to the road and at an elevation
considerably above any point upon which we could take position. Col. Thompson's
command was immediately placed in line of squadrons with regimental front.
I speak particularly of their position because, with exception of the 8th New
York which, as usual, did splendidly, Col. Thompson's command was all the mounted
command which participated in the fight. The enemy showed a bold front and
occupied a strong position, provided their left flank was properly secured.
It was as yet doubtful whether they had artillery or not. A section of one
of our batteries had just wheeled into position, Gen. Custar and staff had
arrived, and the 2d Brigade, Col. Wells commanding, was being put in shape,
when a puff of smoke from the enemy's works gave us warning that a compliment
was coming to us in the shape of a ten pound Parrott shell. A moment after
it struck, bursting just in front of the 2d Squadron, Lieut. Collister commanding,
and scarce ten feet from Commissary Tower and myself. We had been watching
their movements and speculating as to the prospect of their having artillery.
All farther speculation being unnecessary by this startling development, we
immediately acknowledged to the compliment by getting out of range as quickly
as possible. By orders from the Brigade Commander the command of Col. Thompson
was thrown forward as skirmishers on right and left of road, and 8th New York
drawn up in line on right of road ready for operations when occasion should
require. At same time two regiments of 1st Brigade, 3d Division, (Gen. Custar)
were dismounted and sent around (under cover of timber) on extreme right in
flank and rear of enemy's left. Everything being now ready, the 22d Brigade
bugle sounded the charge, and the whole line advanced rapidly firing as they
went. Simultaneously with this move of mounted men, the dismounted poured in
a volley, and advanced in rear and flank; cheering, until all the wood rang
with their shouts, and the 300 dismounted men were magnified by the thoroughly
demoralized Johnnies to as many thousands. It was entirely too much, and they
fled, many of them throwing away their arms as they ran. It was all in vain
that their officers tried to rally them. The Yankee cavalry were upon them,
and the gleaming sabers and smoking carbines greatly assisted in softening
their fiery valor. Hundreds were scooped up on the spot. The officers of the
charging battalions cared little for ought but commissioned officers and battle
flags, that the enemy could give. "It was said Early is here;" "I
hope you'll get old Jube;" "I wouldn't care if you had taken Jubal;" "Where
is Jubal?" We all heard these exclamations from those already overtaken,
and each man strained every nerve in his power to capture him. We learned he
had taken the road to Rock Fish Gap, with a few of his staff. Away they went,
commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers, toward Rock Fish, as fast
as their horses could go. As usual in such eases, the best horse was the best
man, if the rider was plucky enough to go forward. The three regiments were
well represented. Majors Brown of the 22d and Kempson of the 8th, Captains
McVean, Stone and Lloyd, 2d Brig. staff; as also Captains Lusk, Bruton and
Newman, of 22d, Wiant of 1st New Hampshire; also Lieuts. Collister, Van Courtland,
Brown, Talman, Corkins, Emmet and Tileston, of 22d, &c., &c. Each had
his game in view, and each pushed forward as though the stake was but for one
to win. I think it may safely be said the "Two Two's" were not behind
in this fight. The regiment captured four out of nine battle flags, and one
of these was presented to Early on the morning of the light, and was christened
the "flag of the 'Army of the Valley.' " This flag was captured by
Capt. Bruton, of 22d. Of the 3 others captured, one was taken in Co. H, by
Private Geo. Ladd, two in Co. A, of the 22d, one by Corp. Harvey, and one by
Private Crowly. The 8th captured five flags.
Sergeant Lord, of Co. E, 22d, took and turned over to the Provost Marshal,
Capt. Lee, seventy men and one captain. Maj. Brown, of the 22d, was close upon
Early himself, and would have captured him had not Early's excessive plainness
in dress deceived him. His prisoner proved to be Dr. McGuire, Medical Director
on Early's staff. The Major supposed he had the redoubtable Jubal himself.
Col. Harman was killed in fight, while rallying his men. The scene when Gen.
Custar rode through the streets with his staff and captured flags, beggars
all description. The Band was playing the "Star-Spangled Banner,"
Gen. Custar rode in advance, with his hat off, his long locks thrown back and
playing the breeze, while cheer upon cheer woke the echoes of the town which
in all probability never before listened to the hearty and soul inspiring patriotic
cheers of Phil. Sheridan's Cavalry.
After Gen. C. had returned up the street, carrying as he thought, the great
heart of the army with him, the Band struck up another air, "Lo, the Conquering
Hero Comes," and again the air is rent with wild hurrahs and shoutings,
such as only the soldier can give, announcing another personage, and Sheridan, "Glorious
Sheridan," the "Pride of the Army of the Shenandoah!" upon his
steed, as black as the shades of night, and followed by Custar, the "second
beloved," moved on through the crowd, with the same pageant of captured
flags. Such shouting, such cheering, I never heard before, and do not expect
to again, until the shoutings are that we are again, and in truth a Union forever,
Our captures that day were 1,340 prisoners, nine pieces of artillery, 100 wagons
complete, six cars, besides much of the paraphernalia of a camp in winter.
I will give you the return with prisoners to Winchester, in a few days. It
was a big thing to capture the elephant, but a bigger one to keep him after
A. R. Q. M., 22d N. Y. Cav.
Died in Prison.
The following has been received from Capt. McPherson 16th N. Y. Cavalry:
VIENNA, March 24, 1865.
Died in prison at Danville, Va., December last, Frederick Warner, Co., G. 16th
N. Y. Cav.
He was captured 6th August last when out on a reconnoisance with Lieut. Jones
and ten men, they were attacked by fifty of Kinchelois' guerrillas. Young Warner
and three others were captured after making a good fight. He was a good soldier—well
beloved by his comrades, and his friends have the sympathy of the officers
and men who knew him. He enlisted in Buffalo March 15, 1864. His relatives
are supposed to reside near Rochester, N. Y.
EDITORS EXPRESS:—Please insert for information of his friends as we do
not know their address. JAMES MCPHERSON,
Capt. 16th N. Y. Cav.
Buffalo papers please copy.
DAILY UNION & ADVERTISER.
WEDNESDAY EVENING, MARCH 22, 1865.
From the 22d Cavalry.
One of our compositors has just received a letter from a member of this regiment,
formerly employed in this office, dated March 13th, from which we are permitted
to make the following extract:
* * * So we started on a raid up the Valley, and travelled for four days before
we came across the Johnnies. Our regiment was on the lead at the time, and
we had a splendid opportunity of showing Gen. Custar what the "two two's" of
New York was made of. The enemy was strongly entrenched at Waynesboro, and
we lay in a piece of woods and let them shell us for an hour. Gen. Custar then
dismounted two regiments and sent them on the right flank. He then sounded
the bugle for the 22d to "charge," and charge we did, with a yell
that completely astonished the rebs. We were inside their breast works before
they were aware, and they never fired a shot. Our regiment captured over 900
of them—took two pieces of artillery and four battle flags. There was
captured all-together 1,340 men, 8 cannon and 6 flags. We were ordered next
day to escort the prisoners back to Winchester, and we had more fighting on
the road back than we had at Waynesboro. The d--d guerrillas kept firing into
our rear guard, and every night would try to get up a surprise somehow. The
remainder of the cavalry went on to Lynchburg, and we have not heard anything
from them yet. At Waynesboro ten of us ran a race with a locomotive for over
a mile. We were trying to get to a bend in the road to run the "machine" off
the track, as we understood that Gen. Early was on board. But the "machine" beat
us by a "head and neck." Old Early, however, took to the mountains
and got away. I captured one of his headquarter wagons, and got a full rig
of reb officer's uniform, which was never worn, and a splendid pair of cavalry
boots, a revolver and three bottles of sherry. By all accounts the Confederacy
is about "played out." Deserters are continually coming in."
From the 22d Cavalry.
CAMP 22D N. Y. CAVALRY,
NEAR WINCHESTER, Va., July 15, 1865.
MESSRS. EDS.: Your correspondent is again "in the field," or rather "in
the woods," and at this late hour (midnight), by the light of a "sperm," will
endeavor to give you a few "notes by the way" of the grand "closing-out
scenes" of the late gigantic, attempt to overthrow a Nation. Since my
return nothing is talked of among the soldiers but "mustering out" and
returning home. Every day some new rumor is circulated, having a tendency toward
this desirable end. But Madame Rumor to the contrary, notwithstanding, no order
has yet been issued for the muster out of the "Two Two's," although
the Rochester Democrat announces that Major Lee has orders to prepare to receive
them. Other troops are leaving for their homes every day, and but few remain,
The 5th N. Y. Cavalry and the 12th Pa. Cavalry leave on Tuesday, and our boys
think their turn will surely come next. But so far, everything looks more like
sojourning with our misguided neighbors for an indefinite period than it did
two weeks since. The 22d is the only volunteer cavalry regiment now in this
section, and it is being distributed around the Valley in every direction.
One squadron is at Upperville, one at Snickersville, one company at Rood's
Hill, near Staunton, one at Harper's Ferry, and the balance in and about Winchester.
We have now remaining in camp about 100 men, with headquarters. These men are
used for guarding trains up the Valley, and for duty at Winchester, at headquarters,
provost marshal, &c. It is possible they may be relieved by other cavalry
and return home, but it doesn't look much like it at present writing. Gen.
Torbert has with him at Jourdan Springs the 2d Regulars. He is to move back
to Winchester next week, and the balance of our regiment is to move camp near
town. Gen. Torbert still remains, but we understand is soon to leave us. Gen.
Eagen is in command at Harper's Ferry.
The civil authorities are at work, but are un- willing to have all the troops
leave them till they are firmly established in power. They feel hardly strong
enough yet to be left alone with the "chivalry,"—although the
latter are very anxious to have the Yankees withdraw from their conquered State.
They affirm that they are sufficiently subjugated, and are henceforth capable
of taking care of themselves. They have a horror of blue-coats, and say, "There
is no more need for them, now the war is over."
The Union people, on the contrary, urge that there is more need for them now
than ever—that the rebels arc anxious for the troops to leave in order
that they may regain their lost power, and again commence their persecutions.
The Unionists are right. The rebels are rebels still, and should be treated
as such, till they lay aside their hatred to the Union, and resolve to be law-abiding
citizens. Military force must be kept in Virginia, to keep in check the roving
bands of rebel soldiers and guerrillas who, now their occupation is gone, get
a living by robbing and horse-stealing. Two of these gentry were shot at Rood's
Hill, last week. One was a captain and the other a sergeant in the rebel army.
They were caught, and immediately led out and shot, without court-martial,
by Company H, which is stationed at that place. This is the way they are to
be dealt with. Horses and mules are stolen in this neighborhood every night.
The only way to keep them is to watch them. I have some mules and horses, and
tonight is my turn to watch. I promise any scoundrel who attempts to penetrate
my stronghold in these woods for the purpose of laying violent hands upon my
stock, that I shall deal harshly with him. A few ounces of cold lead may convince
him of the error of his ways.
There are yet no signs of the Paymaster. His appearance at this time would
give the greatest satisfaction. Officers and men are without money and their
families must be next door to starvation. The government is doing our soldiers
great injustice by keeping them out of their money so long. There is now nearly
seven months' pay due them. When Uncle Sam wants soldiers again, they will
remember how they have been treated, and think twice before offering their
services. When the government makes a contract with a party to furnish materials
of war by a certain length of time, it compels him to live up to the contract
or forfeit his pay. A soldier makes a contract to fight on condition that he
is paid every two months. The contract is fulfilled by the soldier, but broken
by the government. Is this right? It should be the first duty of the government
to see that the soldier is paid regularly. Nothing is so demoralizing to a
soldier as to be kept out of his small earnings an undue length of time.
The following notice appeared in front of the Sutler's tent this morning:
INFORMATION WANTED!— Of the whereabouts of the Paymaster of the 22nd
N. Y. Cavalry, who disappeared from camp, near Winchester,
Va., on or about the 2nd of February, 1865, and has not since been heard from.
He was traced as far as Washington, where it is supposed he took refuge in
the Treasury Building. He had on, when he left, a major's uniform, and was
known to have but little money about him. A large reward will be paid upon
his recovery or information leading to his arrest. U. S. BLUE COAT.
P. S.—He has in his possession certain papers "and promises to pay," of
no value except to the owner. U.S.B.
The little town of Winchester is beginning prick up under Yankee rule. A weekly
paper is published, called the News, and a theatre has just been started. A
large hotel is also opened, where entertainment is provided for man and beast.
A first class livery stable is opened with the following sign: Horses and Carages
to let and Tened Too on short Notice."—The horses are mules, and
Carriages are Mulish! Niggers are plenty, No Market for them.
The census of the able-bodied negroes over 21 years of age was taken the other
day, and number 322. Nearly all of them find something to do, and are more
industrious than the whites. The latter occupy their time in sitting around
stores and saloons, smoking and drinking.
A Southern lady remarked to me the other day that one Yankee was worth a dozen
Southern men. They feel very bad that their niggers are taken from them, and
they have no one to support them in idleness. But they will have to go to work
or starve, unless Uncle Sam continues his liberality in furnishing the rations.
The farmers are more industrious, but do not know how to work their farms.
A Northern farmer will make more off from 50 acres than they will from 1000.
The only thing they do know how to raise is corn, of which they have an abundance.
I will except niggers. They know how to raise them, from present appearances.
This is a splendid farming country, all that is wanted is a wholesale immigration
of energetic Yankees to make it one of the most prosperous and flourishing
States in the Union. A very different opinion is had now in regard to the Yankees
to that they formerly held, they begin to acknowledge them equal if not superior
to the chivalry. When the war broke out they drove from this place a Northern
teacher who had a school called the Academy, where every one of means sent
his children to be educated. He was put into prison, and finally escaped. They
have just succeeded in getting him back again, and he is soon to open his school.
He took no part in the war, and his only crime was that he was a Northern man.
There is not one person, male or female, in Winchester, capable of teaching
the English language properly, had it not been for Northern teachers they would
be still more ignorant than they are now. The wealthy could send their children
to the North for education—the poor could do without, as did the negro,
and was thought no more of. But thanks to God the tables are now turned and
all are "free and equal," and entitled to equal rights under the
Starry Flag that floats proudly over every foot of soil in our great American
Union. C. S. B.
By the above it will be seen that the Regiment is not in Elmira, as has been
reported nor do they expect to be there for some time to come.
Intelligence has been received of the death of John Stone, of the 22d cavalry,
at Winchester, Va. His age was thirty-three years. The deceased was formerly
a member of the 94th N. Y. Volunteers. [EDS. Ex.
Back to 22nd Cavalry during the
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
June 26, 2006