103rd Infantry Regiment
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Fighting on the Nansemond.
SUFFOLK, Va. May 4.
At nine o'clock yesterday morning Gen. Peck sent a large force of infantry, cavalry and artillery across the Nansemond river to make a reconnoissance. They advanced cautiously up the old Petersburg turnpike, and when two miles out encountered the enemy's riffle pits which were thoroughly manned. The 89th New York, and 13th New Hampshire regiments made a spirited charge on the rebel works, and carried them after a severe resistance, when the enemy retreated and fell back out of range leaving their dead and wounded on the field.
During this time the Drawbridge battery and our army gunboat, the Smith Briggs, Capt. Lee, were playing upon the enemy, doing good execution among the sharpshooters, who were secreted in the woods.
In the afternoon our troops came upon a masked battery, situated 2 1/2 miles north of Suffolk, and at 4 o'clock Davis' Massachusetts battery and the gunboat commenced shelling it out. After thirty minutes the Rebels returned the fire, which was kept up on both sides until sundown, when the enemy's battery was silenced.
Col. Ringold, of the 103d New York, was shot while leading his regiment in front, and died during the night. The chaplain of the 25th New Jersey was wounded. Dr. Smith of the 103d New York, was shot by an insane officer yesterday, while the above skirmishing was in progress. Gen. Getty crossed the Nansemond, four miles below Suffolk, and met the enemy, and it was rumored and believed that he captured a rebel battery and eight guns and a large number of prisoners. This report needs confirmation.
Scouts were sent out from Suffolk yesterday on the Summerton and Eatonton roads, but found no traces of the enemy, and after going about six miles, they returned.
The enemy's rifle pits on the South Quay road and in our front were vacated yesterday afternoon, and the troops left in haste, taking their baggage with them, evidently having more important business elsewhere.
THE 103D ALBANY REGIMENT.
This regiment arrived in Jersey City at half past three o'clock yesterday, and proceeded, after a short delay, by the cars to Washington. The regiment numbers 960 strong, and were all raised in a week. They are fine, hearty-looking young men, fully armed and equipped.
ARRIVAL OF THE SIXTEENTH MAINE REGIMENT.
The Sixteenth regiment Maine Volunteers arrived at Jersey City yesterday afternoon from Boston, and departed for Washington in a special train at four o'clock P.M. The regiment numbered one thousand and forty men, rank and file, and presented a fine, soldierly appearance. The men, who hail chiefly from Augusta, were armed with Enfield rifles of the very best description, and were well provided for in the way of blankets, canteens, knapsacks, &c. The following is a list of the officers:—
Colonel--A. W. Wilder.
Lieutenant Colonel—Charles W. Tilden.
Major—Augustus B. Farnham.
Adjutant—A. R. Small.
Captains—Co. A, Charles A. Williams; Co. B, Charles K.
Hutchings; Co. C, Daniel Marston; Co. D, M. W. Rand; Co.
E, A. D. Leavitt; Co. F. T. E. Wentworth; Co. G, S. C.
Belcher; Co. H, John Ayre; Co. I, W. H. Waldron; Co. E,
S. C. Whitehouse.
The Lieutenant Colonel and Major formerly belonged to the Second Maine, and did excellent service on the Peninsula.
THE FIFTEENTH REGIMENT NEW YORK ENGINEERS.
A recruiting office for the above regiment has been opened at No. 88 Spring street. Colonel J. McLeod Murphy has been in command of this corps, which has rendered efficient service in the present campaign. By a special act of Congress, recruits for this regiment are paid $17 bounty money. Lieutenant F. Lubey is the recruiting officer.
PERSONAL.—It is stated that Captain Joseph Morrison, of this city, late of the 89th N. Y., has been appointed Major in the 103d New York, now at Hilton Head. He will leave immediately for that place and join his command. He will, no doubt, succeed in the position to which he has been called, as he is admirably....
PERSONAL.—Major Morrison, of the 103d N. Y. V., left last evening for his command. The 103d is called the "Seward Light Infantry," and was raised under the auspices of Secretary Seward. Major M. was formerly Captain in the 89th N. Y. V., and served through all the principal battle on the Peninsula, at Fredericksburg South Mountain and Antietam, until his command dwindled down to 15 men. He is an excellent officer and will acquit himself with credit.
Lieut. Patrick, U. S. A., who was wounded in the late riot in New York, arrived in town yesterday. He is still quite an invalid and is under the care of Dr. Pond. Lieut. P. will be remembered as the officer who shot four of the ruffians with his revolver, after he was knocked down and trampled upon. He is now receiving the best of attention, and we hope will soon recover.
MAJOR MORRISON COMPLIMENTED.
A short time since the 103d New York and 85th Massachusetts volunteers, under command of Major Morrison of the former regiment, were sent by the commander of the Department of the South from Folly Island to effect a landing on James Island, near the city of Charleston, and feel the strength of the enemy with a view of ascertaining whether or not rebel troops had been withdrawn to reinforce Lee in Virginia. Major Morrison will be remembered as a young member of the bar of this city who served thro' one term of service as Captain before receiving a Major's commission in the 103d. The manner in which he performed the duty to which he was assigned is best told in the following General Orders No. 21.
HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
FOLLY ISLAND, S. C., May 26, 1864.
The Colonel commanding the post expresses thanks to officers and men of his command who have participated in the engagements on the morning of the 22d May and the night before.
All orders have been carried out with the strongest determination.
The Colonel commanding feels it his duty to mention particularly the conduct of Major Morrison, of the 103d N. Y. S. V., and of the 55th Mass. V. under his command, and with pride he expresses his fullest satisfaction to all of them.
By order of
COL. LEOP VON GILSA,
Com. Post Port Wagner,
Capt. and A. A. A. Gen.
Office of the Provost Marshal General,
Port Royal, July 2, 1864.
FRIEND BROOKS:—For the past ten days preparations have been making for another expedition, when about an hour ago, as the result of their preparations, ten steamboats laden with troops and the necessary material for an attack, sailed in regular order out of the harbor for—somewhere.
Maj. Gen. Foster, Brig. Gen. Hatch and Paxton accompanied the expedition. There were Regiments of white troops, and some 6or 8 of colored. There is only a part of a Regiment left here, and only one each on Foley and Morris Islands. Everything seems staked on the result. The opinion prevails here that the attack is to be on Savannah.—Hot and bloody work must be anticipated, as I noticed there were a large number of surgeons, and also a large supply of medical stores, ambulances, stretchers, &c.
Probably we shall hear from it by Monday or Tuesday, and I will try and get a full account to send you by the Arago. While I write, considerable excitement prevails here from the fact that five prisoners have just escaped from the guard house, and will it is feared succeed in escaping accross our lines to the enemy. Mounted Patrol have gone out to scour the woods in search of them, but probably they have succeeded in making good their escape. It is to be hoped that they will not reach the enemy's lines in time to give them notice of the present movement.
Desertions have been quite frequent of late. A few weeks ago, four substitutes in the 41st New York deserted and three of them managed to reach the enemy's lines. The fourth was caught while making signals to the rebels to bring a boat and take him across. He was tried for desertion by court martial and sentenced to be shot, and on Sunday, in the presence of a large number of soldiers and citizens suffered the extreme penalty of the law. A negro belonging to a colored regiment, was shot on Folly Island at the same time, while still another is to be shot in Jacksonville in a few days for mutiny.
Hoping that by the 4th, we shall hear of the success of the Expidition, and that I can write you of the taking of Savannah, I will close for the present.
T. A. R.
This morning there has been a great display of bunting, firing of salutes, &c., in honor of the day, but the intelligence just reached here has changed the feeling. It is reported that Col. Hoyt, with two regiments of infantry, attacked Fort Johnson on James Island yesterday, and that the Col. was killed and about 200 of his men were killed, wounded and taken prisoner. The main body of the troops were fighting all day yesterday and during last night, but where and with what success we have not yet learned. Intense excitement prevails here. Col. Hoyt was in command of this post.
July 7 '64.
A navy tug has just reached here from Morris Island. Among the number who came on it, was Mr. W___ the correspondent of the N. Y. Times. I am well acquainted with him, and give you what he says in a hasty conversation we have just had.
" The Expidition is a d——d fizzle. It seems that our forces made a landing on James Island below Secessionville, while Gen. Garney with Col. Hoyt and a part of his command was to go around to the head of James and make an attack on Fort Johnson. Owing to some unaccountable and culpable delay on the part of Gen. Garney, all the forces did not land, only Col. Hoyt with about 200 men landed. They immediately attacked and captured Fort Simkins by surprise, and then if they had been supported by the main force could have taken Johnson and the whole of the Island; but the rebels soon rallied and returned and succeeded in killing or capturing them all. On the lower end of the island every attack but one was successful. Gen. Shemelpinning, with the 103d, N. Y., and two colored regts.; the 23d and 55th Mass, attacked a battery and gallantly stormed it. The 103d and the 33d finally broke under the severe fire and ran, while the 55th Mass. kept on and took the work with two guns. This was the only successful attack."
Mr. W—says Gen. Foster will probably return this afternoon, while the main force may remain a day or two longer for the purpose of drawing as many rebels to the place as possible. Our loss, he says has not been very heavy, including those at Fort Johnson, the loss he thinks will not foot up more than 350. The wounded will arrive here this afternoon in the Cosmopolitan.
The mail closes soon, and I will drop this into the office now.
Yours Truly, T. A. R.
Back to 103rd Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
April 6, 2006