150th Regiment, NY Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
DESERVED PROMOTION.—We were agreeably surprised yesterday morning to receive a call from our friend William E. Foster, who left this city in October last as a private in the 150th regiment. He appears in very good health, but little worn by the toils of war, and what is far better, he brings evidence of his promotion, well earned, to the rank of first lieutenant in the first regiment of United States colored troops at Newbern, North Carolina, which he expects to join immediately. He reports the 150th in good condition, the boys generally in very good health and spirits, all being well provided.
Rev. T. E. Vassar, having resigned his post as Chaplain of the 150th Regiment. N. Y. S. V., has returned home, and will resume his labors among the people of his charge at this place. His health has somewhat improved since he left the camp, and it is hoped it will soon be entirely restored.
THE 150TH.—Rev. T. E. Vassar writes to the Amenia Times as follows in regard to the action of our County Regiment in the battle of Gettysburgh [sic], and the sepulture of those who fell in their country's defence:
The uniform testimony of those who witnessed the fight is that the Duchess regiment deported itself nobly—so nobly as to earn the warmest commendations from officers whose opinions are regarded as of the highest worth. Twice for more than two hours each time it stood without flinching under the hottest fire, and from the number of dead gathered up opposite that point on the following morning, there is reason to believe that they left their mark. Saturday night, at the request of our Brigadier-General, I superintended the burial of the dead of the 150th. Your readers doubtless know that we had seven killed. Close by the edge of the woods we dug their graves. The flicker of the dying camp fires streamed up amid the deep darkness as we wrapped around our heroes their blankets for a winding sheet, and silently laid back earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. It lacked not much of midnight when we rounded up the last mound, and as I turned away I thought of that coming hour when every sepulchre should restore its trust, and the slain of both armies again stand face to face.
Location of New York Regiments.—The One Hundred and Fiftieth New York regiment is at Monocacy Junction, Md. The Sixty-ninth, Eighth and Sixth New York Militia are doing duty in the Baltimore fortifications. The Seventh have detachments at Long Bridge, crossing the Patapsco, and at Locust Point; and a company is detailed each morning as provost guard in Baltimore.
The discipline which is exercised in the Seventh is marked by such discrimination and prompt punishment that the organization fully maintains its character. The regimental bulletin board at Fort Federal Hill yesterday contained the following notice:
"[Extract from General Order,]
"Private W. E. Kidder of Co. A, having violated his pledge to return on the expiration of his furlough, is hereby dishonorably dismissed from further duty, and will not be allowed to rejoin his company during their present term of service."
CASUALTIES AT GETTYSBURGH.—450 Officers and privates wounded in the late battle had arrived at Baltimore on the 6th. They are mostly but slightly injured. Among them we observe the following:
Edward Free, Co. I, 150th N. Y.
S. Vranderburgh and John H. Plair, Co. C., and A. W. Lamoreaux, Co, E., 124th N. Y., from Orange Co.
E. Meeker, Co. A., and Adolph Braw, Co. _., 20th N. Y., from Ulster Co.
A. E. Vandeman, Dan. D. Smith, and Lieut. J. Wilkinson, Co. C.; John U. Myer, Co. I., and E. D. Cline, Co. F., 120th N. Y., also from Ulster.
We also hear that the colonel and major of the 124th were killed, and the lieutenant colonel wounded.
THE 150TH.—We have perused a letter written by Capt. Cogswell, of the 150th, to his wife, residing in this city, and have published a portion of it on another page. The 150th has been called to take its part in the great struggle, and honorably has it performed the duties assigned to it. The losses in the regiment, we learn from Mr. Cogswell's letter, were 7 killed and about 20 wounded. The names of the killed are as follows: Co. A.—Charles Howgate, Poughkeepsie; John P. Wing, Poughkeepsie; Levi Rust, Poughkeepsie; Corp. John Van Alstyne, Amenia. Co. E.—Jed. Murphy, Dover, Co. G.—Barney Burnet. Co. I.— ____ Barnes.
A correspondent of the Eagle furnishes that paper with the following list of the wounded:
Comp, A.—Corpl George Wilson, slightly in the forehead; James L. Place, slightly in the hand.
Comp. B.—Valentine Jones, slightly in head; James M. Chambers, slightly in neck; Owen O'Neil, slightly, leg; Nelson P. Shafer, lost an eye; Cbarles Weaver, slightly, hand.
Comp. C.—Serg A. Seeley, slightly, head; Tallmadge Wood, mortally, in the chest;
Comp. D.—Corp. Richard Germond, slightly, head,
Comp. E.—Samuel Clement, very slightly, face.
Comp. F.—Stephen H. Rynders, hand.
Comp. H—Michael McGinn, severely, abdomen.
Comp. I—Edward Hart, severely, hip; Alexander Rodgers, lost a finger.
Comp. K—Corp. George W. Buckmaster, slightly, neck; Patrick Cane, reported wounded; L. E. Dutcher, leg; F. Potenhurgh, arm; James Lynch, leg; Thomas Way, arm; Alfred Woodin, hand.
TOTAL—Killed, 7; Wounded, 22.
PERSONEL.—We observed our friend Mr. Thompson, Adjt. of the 150th Regiment, in town yesterday. He has resigned his commission in consequence of ill health.
The Rev. Thomas E. Vassar, Chaplain of the Regiment, has also resigned on account of ill health. Mr. Vassar has not arrived yet. Mr. Thompson states that the regiment is now encamped near Warrenton Junction on a beautiful spot of ground. He represents the boys to be in first rate condition.
THE 150TH—The 150th (Dutchess County) Regiment, Col. Ketcham, was engaged in the complimented for the bravery exhibited. Not a man flinched, although it was the time they had been under fire.
Another correspondent writes:
BALTIMORE, July 8.
Editors Eagle.—I arrived here this morning hoping to do some good to our brave boys of the 150th, but it is doubtful if we can reach them. They are on the front, and likely to remain there for some days. Whatever may be the result of the present fight, (understood to be now in progress,) our regiment has covered itself with glory. As yet but seven are reported killed and twenty wounded, and not an officer hurt. This is little less than a miracle in their behalf. You may have seen a statement in the Herald that when the 151st and 3d Wisconsin broke, when the rebel charge was made upon our line, where they were stationed, a new regiment with clean equipments and shining guns, advanced from the second line to take the place just vacated. The new regiment was ours! And among the ... ..rge they stood like heroes, and with ... the fierce onset until the intruders .... Our noble Colonel and every ... what we have believed of them, viz. that they were no holiday soldiers, but when the time came for action, would be found brave and true, and that their men so well disciplined, would stand by them. If I can obtain other particulars I will forward immediately. G.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH.—Chaplain Vassar writes to The Amenia Times as follows in regard to the action of our county regiment in the battle of Gettysburgh [sic]:
"The uniform testimony of those who witnessed the fight is that the Dutchess regiment deported itself nobly—so nobly as to earn the warmest commendations from officers whose opinions are regarded as of the highest worth. Twice, for more than two hours each time, it stood, without flinching under the hottest fire, and from the number of dead gathered up opposite that point on the following morning, there is reason to believe that they left their mark. Saturday night, at the request of our Brigadier General, I superintended the burial of the dead of the One Hundred and Fiftieth. Your readers doubtless know that we had seven killed. Close by the edge of the woods we dug their graves. The flicker of the dying camp fires streamed up amid the deep darkness as we wrapped around our heroes, their blankets for a winding sheet, and silently laid back earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It lacked not much of midnight when we rounded up the last mound, and as I turned away I thought of that coming hour when every sepulchre should restore its trust, and ...ain of both armies again stand face to face.
PERSONAL.—Captain Gildersleeve and Lieutenant Mooney, of the one hundred and fiftieth regiment, arrived home by the Powell last evening.
Dr. Pine, who was sent by the committee for the relief of the soldiers, to look after the sick and wounded in the 150th regiment, reports that the government have the most perfect Hospital arrangements, and would not accept the services of any volunteer surgeons—having all that are wanted.
The Dr. found the sick and wounded of our regiment distributed as follows:
Sick in the Jarvis Hospital, Baltimore: George H. Jackson, Co. A.; Joshua Daniels, Montgomery Halkman, William Rogers, Co, F.; John Teator, Andrew Schelly, Co. H.; George Dunbar, Co. C.; William Mosher, Co. B.
These were all well cared for and all improving.
Wounded—In the Gettysburgh [sic] Hospital:
James Synah, Co.—leg; Tallmadge Wood, Co. I., left leg; James O'Neil, Co. B., thigh; Patrick Cane, Co. B., back.
All in good quarters and doing well.
James W. Gui, wounded in the abdomen, was last seen going towards Gettysburgh [sic].
In the West Philadelphia Hospital, Phila. Thomas Way, Co. K., elbow; Thomas Dutcher, Co. K., leg; Stephen H. Ranous, Co. F., hand; Frederick Potlenburgh, Co. K., arm; Alfred Wooden, Co. K., back and finger; Jas. M. Chambers, Co. B., neck; Charles Weaver, Co. B., hand; Charles W. Bockwart, Co. K., neck; Richard Gorman, Co. D., head; Valentine Jones, Co. B., head; Albert Waterman, Co. E., foot.
Wounded and have joined the Regiment—Jas. L. Place, Co. A., wounded in finger; Corp. Geo. S. Wilson, Co. A., wounded in forehead.
The men are not seriously wounded, and with care will soon be able to take their places in the regiment.
The Dr. says that everything is done that possibly can be for the wounded. He speaks in great praise of the surgical practice, and that he never saw better.
THE 150TH.—An incident is related in regard to the part that the 150th took in the recent great fight at Gettysburg. When the regiment was ordered into action, Col. Ketcham was approached by the Brigader [sic] General of the brigade to which his regiment was attached, and cautioned in regard to it being green and never having been under fire they might need support. Contrary to the expectations of the Brigadier General our boys fought like devils and shortly afterwards when he came around where they were he asked what regiment that was. Upon being told he exclaimed. "That is the green regiment is it? Well I wish to God they were all green."
THE 150th Regiment.—This Regiment, under Col. Ketchem, distinguished ltself at the battle of Gettysburg. They went into the fight with a cheer, and by a desperate charge gained a line of rifle-pits, which they held all day, and from which they kept up a continuous and very effective fire upon the rebels. They were highly complimented by experienced officers. Their loss was 7 killed and 22 wounded.
ORDERED TO BUFFALO.—The Niagara Falls Gazette says: Orderly Sergeant E. E. Russell, of Capt. Coleman's company, arrived here Saturday, and was warmly welcomed by his numerous friends. He, with others from the 151st and other regiments, are ordered to report at Buffalo for the purpose—as we learn—of taking charge of drafted men and escorting them to the commands to which they may be assigned. The 151st now belongs to the 3d Division of the 3d Army Corps and was below Warrenton when he left about a week ago.
DESERTER CAUGHT.—On Monday, officers Van Wagner and Ostrom of Poughkeepsie, came to this village, and proceeded to Matteawan, where they arrested CHARLES H. ODELL, a former employee in Rothery's file manufactory, on a charge of deserting from the 150th regiment. Odell joined Capt. Scofield's company, and deserted the day the regiment left Poughkeepsie, about a year ago, and has since eluded the vigilance of the officers. It is said that one or two other deserters are being looked after in this vicinity.
THE DRAFT.—Capt. H. A. Gildersleeve and Lieuts. Mooney and Paulding, of the one hundred and fiftieth regiment N. Y. S. V., together with a squad of men from the regiment, are in this city, having been detailed to take the drafted men to their respective regiments, according to the order of Provost-Marshal General J. B. Fry, directing three commissioned officers and twelve rank and file to go to the place where they were recruited, to take the conscript men from their district to fill their regiment.
SUPPLIES FOR THE SOLDIERS.—We find the following letter from Rev. Thos. E. Vassrr [sic], late chaplain of the 150th regiment, in the Poughkeepsian. It refers to the articles sent from here for the use of that regiment in July, which have at length reached their destination:
BALTIMORE, August 14, 1863.
MRS. THOMPSON—Madam: The day after my arrival in this city my uncle, John E. Vassar, came on direct from the One Hundred and Fiftieth with an order from Col. Ketcham to get and bring on, if possible, some of the hospital stores that were in Mr. Pudney's charge. Although scarce able to sit up I at once went down to the store and spent the whole day in unpacking and repacking the supplies lying there. All the bedding, clothing, bandages, lint, &c. were turned over to the Christian Commission, while everything eatable and drinkable that was in a condition to use I had put up for our boys. In order to insure their safe carriage I hired a man used to packing glass and china-ware to assist, and have a hope that unless too roughly handled they will reach the Rappahannock in pretty good order. Four barrels and eight boxes were thus filled, not an article being put in but what will add to the comfort of the men in their present condition, a hundred fold.
Your two boxes were all that were left unopened. I took it for granted that their contents were all right. I have paid all charges on them as far as Washington, from thence the New York Relief Association has promised to forward them to Rappahannock Station or Bealton, and at either of these two points our brigade wagons can get them. I do most devoutedly hope they will reach the regiment for they were a very choice lot and never could come at a more acceptable time. The goods leave Baltimore this morning and will reach their destination, I trust, early next week. Many a sick soldier will silently bless the friends who have provided them. My uncle will meet the things in Washington and from thence go on with them. I told him to get them through regardless of expense.
T. E, VASSAR.
150TH REGT. N. Y. S. V., BELGER BARRACKS,
BALTIMORE, Maryland, June 23d, 1863.
BRYAN & WEBB, Gents:—The haste with which I wrote my last precluded some important things being mentioned, and I think I will be justified in claiming the same excuse now to some particulars.
We have been marching and countermarching last week from place to place in order to keep every port and fort garrisoned until men arrive to permanently fill the demands for a full defence. The 150th remained two days at fort Marshall, located easterly from the city, upon "snake hill." It commands the city and harbor, fort Federal Hill and fort McHenry. I regard it as an important position. It has 32 guns, large and small, and two mortars, all in prime order, and capable of hurling an immense amount of shot, canister and shell. Fort Carrol lies still further down the bay, on an Island. It is said to be a strong fort. The defences of the city are being multiplied rapidly. New mud forts are being thrown up north of the city above the Park House; near Stewart's mansion and the Government cattle yard, north-east, commanding the Depot. To build these, all the negroes of the city and country, near, or on board of vessels at the docks, are pressed and compelled to work. City police go from hour to hour and gather up every sable male of serviceable age. It is often laughable to see the performances of the conscripts. Some laugh, others weep and another has a face long as a defeated candidate. Those having passes are left. All are paid well.
Yesterday I took a stroll through the city to see the Barricades. I found a large number shut up, some with vehicles of all grades, others with hogsheads of sand and stone, others with tobacco casks, &c. Washington monument among the rest. Truly, the city and vicinity looks warlike, and the foe that approaches, unless their number is Legion, will meet with an unpleasant reception, if I mistake not. We are throwing up such defences, as, with the force we have to man them, will defy a strong army. The work upon the defences is progressing night and day. The 150th is back again at Belger Barracks. Recruiting is going on rapidly here for the 10th Md. Infantry.
Last night the rebels still held Frederick, (so rumor says) 200 Cavalry. News of twenty- four cavalry sent out by Gen. Schenck last night. Only three have returned; the rest were captured.
It is generally believed that the enemy has strong proclivities to visit Baltimore and leave his mark. May they put it on secesh chickens. R. M. H.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH REGIMENT.—Chaplain Vassar communicates to The Eagle the following list of killed and wounded in this regiment during the recent battles:
KILLED—Corporal John Van Alstyne. Privates Charles Howgate, Levi Rust and John P. Wing.
WOUNDED—Corporal Geo. Wilson, slightly in the forehead. Private Jas. I. Place, slightly in the hand.
WOUNDED—Privates Valentine Jones, slightly in the head; James M. Chambers, slightly in the neck; Owen O'Neil, slightly in the leg; Nelson P. Shafer, lost an eye; Chas. Weaver, slightly in the hand.
WOUNDED—Sergeant A, Seely, slightly in the head. Private Tallmadge Wood, mortally, in the chest.
WOUNDED—Corp. Richard Germond, slightly in the hand.
KILLED—Private Judd Murphy.
WOUNDED—Samuel Clement, very slightly in the face.
WOUNDED—Private Stephen H. Rynders, in the hand.
KILLED—Private Barnard C. Burnett.
WOUNDED—Private Michael McGinn, severely in the abdomen.
KILLED—Private Henry Barnes.
WOUNDED—Edward Hart, severely in the hip; Alexander Rodgers, lost a finger.
WOUNDED—Corporal George W. Buckmaster, slightly in the neck. Privates Patrick Cane, reported wounded; L. E. Dutcher, in the leg; Thomas Way, in the arm; Alfred Woodin, in the hand.
TOTAL—Killed, 7; wounded, 22.
Another correspondent writes as follows under date of Baltimore, July 8:
"I arrived here this morning, hoping to do some good to our brave boys of the 150th, but it is doubtful if we can reach them. They are on the front, and likely to remain there for some days. Whatever may be the result of the present fight, (understood to be now in progress,) our regiment has covered itself with glory. As yet but seven are reported killed and twenty wounded, and not an officer hurt. This is little less than a miracle in their behalf. You may have seen a statement in The Herald that when the 15lst and 3d Wisconsin broke, when the rebel charge was made upon our line, where they were stationed, a new regiment with clean equipments and shining guns, advanced from the second line to take the place just vacated. That new regiment was ours! And against that terrible charge they stood like heroes, and with cold steel met the fierce onset until the intruders turned and fled. Our noble Colonel and every officer proved what we have believed of them, viz: that they were no holiday soldiers, but when the time came for action, would be found brave and true, and that their men, so well disciplined, would stand by them. If I can obtain other particulars I will forward immediately."
OUR CAMP CORRESPONDENCE.
Headquarters 150th Reg't N. Y. S. V.,
Belger Barracks, Baltimore, May 5th, 1863.
Friend Dutcher—Another of those great struggles the progress and result of which the nation is watching with such anxious heart-throbs is while I write you going on, and but little else is talked of—thought of here. The bulletin boards down town are besieged by eager, excited crowds, the loyal gather around the offices of the American and Clipper, read the brief telegrams, and speculate as to what will come next, while rebel sympathizers looking worried or chagrined hang around the Sun Buildings, to see if their organ will not throw out a crumb of comfort to keep hope alive.
I trust that next week's TIMES will be able to convey to its readers the intelligence waited for so long, that over the rebel Capitol the Stars and Stripes wave. Of one thing we all feel sure, Hooker will go into Richmond, or the Army of the Potomac will hardly have a fragment left.
I was on board of a gunboat yesterday, the Mahaska, that returned not long ago from service on the James River; her engineer said that she had laid within six miles of the city where Jeff. at present has his throne. She has been brought hither for repairs, having been pierced in numberless places by balls. Near by, another, the Eutaw, is being finished up. To know the strength of one of these craft, of which all read so much, it is necessary to see it on the stocks. In about two months it is expected that she will be ready to report for duty, but the Captain very confidently predicted that before that time the Southern Confederacy would entirely have collapsed. I wish that I felt a like assurance. That it must come to this, no one, unless blind, can for a moment doubt, but while the issue is certain the time cannot yet be accurately fixed. From the day the war began we have all again and again erred by setting its termination near. Let us restrain our impatience, we shall not have to wait forever.
The trouble along the line of the Baltimore road still keeps away a part of the forces that have been stationed here. Some five or six bridges up on the route have been destroyed, and portions of the track torn up, but the directors are out in a card this morning announcing that on Monday next trains will run as usual, all damages by that time being repaired. This company has frequently suffered from rebel raids, nor do I greatly pity it, for some largely interested in it have been strongly suspected of lending the enemy a helping hand, and indeed have been publicly accused of complicity with treasonable schemes.
I took a little trip last week to Westminster, a quiet, old-fashioned place, the shiretown of Carroll Co., about thirty miles Northwest of Baltimore. At this point a detachment of our men, under Lieut. Bowman, are doing provost duty. Through that region and up along the Pennsylvania line a disloyal organization has sprung up, that humourously, satirically, or vulgarly is called wooden-horse men, but if the members that I saw were specimens of the fraternity, I think that by putting the word head in place of "horse" you would more nearly describe them. The special work of the guard just now, is to break up this interesting brotherhood. The oath taken at initiation pledges members to atrocities against Union men almost equal to those of the old Romanish Inquisition. Several arrests were made while I was there. The village (or rather city, for it goes by that name) has about twelve hundred inhabitants and just now as Summer is comming [sic] on, wears a pleasant face. You see no marks however, of that enterprise or thrift which characterizes such towns in the North or West. Very evidently Westminster is taking a Rip Van Winkle nap. It was taken by the rebs the week before the South Mountian [sic] fight but only held a single night. Burnside the next morning came dashing in with a band of cavalry, and succeeded in grabbing a few of the rear line, as the fugitives skedaddled at "double quick." There are some staunch Union men there, and I think some Union women too, for on the evening that the rebels were in the town a company of female loyalists stopped in front of their quarters and serenaded them with the "Star Spangled Banner," "Red, White and Blue," and other National airs. Cool, wasn't it?
Fast day was universally observed in this city, so far as a suspension of business was concerned, although I believe the market-men affirm that their sales were unusually large the night before. Perhaps the people celebrated it like those of whom we read—
"The monks of Melrose they made good kail
When they fasted on Friday."
Be this as it may, however, the streets wore a Sunday look, save that the cars ran, and every church was opened. I attended four services during the day, and heard eight or nine ministers; and while most of what was said was very true, there was more that was'nt [sic] said which would have been just as true. There was not an expression savoring of disloyalty, yet truth compels me to say, that the clergy of Baltimore, as represented by these bretheren [sic], does not yet come to the mark. With one person to whom I listened I was partly amused, partly disgusted, and partly mad. He was striving to show that the nation was suffering for its sins; a proposition undeniably true. He even went so far as to affirm that wickedness had been indorsed and made respectable by legislative enactments, and after a deal of pious eloquence, proved his point, by showing that our national legislators had sunk to such an awful depth of infamy as to authorize the carrying of government mail bags on Sunday!!! And was this all? All. No intimation that we had trampled upon Christ in the persons of his poor, and weak, and needy. No intimation that we had seen right fall into the hands of thieves and robbers, who had stripped and beaten it, and left it half dead, and passed by without lending help, like the lordly priest, or the indifferent Levite. No intimation that a large part of each session of Congress was consumed in devising means for propping up an institution founded in the most monstrous injustice and kept alive by enactments in quiet conflict with the laws of God; No intimation that we had been building a house upon a volcanoe's [sic] side, and that the convulsions of the times was but the fierce glowing of its pent up fires—Nothing of this kind. O no; the unpardonable sin of the American Republic in this nineteenth century is, that it has ordered the carrying on certain routes of a Sunday mail! And for this the Govenor [sic] of nations is passing us through such blood and slaughter. O labor of a mountain to bring forth a mouse. O straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. O wretched attempt to cover up with a minor sin a mighty crime. O impious endeavor this to misinterpret the divine judgments or misread the divine dealings. T. E. V.
From the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment.
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.
THURSDAY, 9 P. M., July 2.
At 2 o'clock this morning I heard the colonel asking for the drummers and ordering the reveille. We were ordered into line at once, and soon were marching away towards Gettysburg. We passed Gen. Meade's Headquarters and were taken off to the right into some woods where we halted in line of battle, and were ordered to rest. I enjoyed an hour's good sleep on the ground. Then we were ordered from that position and proceeded on our way to the front. We are now in line of battle behind a rail fence in a rocky piece of woods, an orchard in front. Away to the front about 1 1-2 miles on another ridge, our heavy cannon are thundering away at the enemy. This is the first particle of firing I have yet heard.
It is now 9 o'clock, a. m. We may not get in to-day, and then again we may. I saw Gen. Meade and Gen. Sykes this morning. I like Gen. Meade's looks very much. I also saw soldiers with wounded hands, feet, and an officer with a wound in the breast—he was leaning on a friend and walking to the room. I wondered which would be my fate!
JULY 4, 8.20 a. m., in the Rifle Pits about two miles from Gettysburg.
"Bless the Lord, Oh my soul!" I am safe and well! But oh! What a day was yesterday! July 3d will never be effaced from my memory. In the morning at 2 o'clock, we were called up from our bivouac which was in an open field. But I am ahead of my story. In the afternoon of Thursday we were holding a piece of woods, when an awful cannonading began on our left—both armies doing their best, and infantry also heavily engaged. At about 6.30 or 7 p. m. our Brigadier was sent for to rush to the left for reinforcements. We marched in very quick time, part of the time in double quick, and went through a shower of shell and solid shot a part of the way. Dead and wounded men, killed horses, broken guns, disabled cannon and caissons strewing the ground.
We formed line in rear of the 1st Maryland, and in a piece of rocky woods, and then rushed forward through the woods across a meadow and into another wood. But the enemy had skedaddled. Cos. B. and G. were detailed to bring off the cannon of one of our batteries that had had nearly every man and horse killed. After holding the position we came back to a wheat field near our former place and bivouacked for the night. I soon fell asleep till 2 a. m., when the stirring alarm came, "Attention Battalion!" "Fall in!" I was on my feet in an instant, and called out, "Fall in A"—a call that has never been responded to with reluctance! In a very short time we were all in and following the 1st Md. Our first business was to "support a battery," that is each regiment was drawn up on either side of a battery of six pieces, in line of battle. Ours was on the left, the 1st, Md. on the right. At 4 a. m. the whole battery opened on a piece of woods off to the left
But I am ahead again. Just before this our regiment was drawn up right in front of these woods, and my company was thrown out just in the edge of the woods as skirmishers. We all lay there about an hour, and I presume there were a hundred rebels within a hundred yards of us. The colonel sent for us to come in. A part of Co. G were with us. It was then we went to support the battery. I shall not try to describe the grandeur of this battery firing. It was perfectly thrilling. Every man at the guns was as cool as though it was merely common practice. How they did pour the shot and shell into those woods! It was one continual roar. After keeping it up a half an hour or so, word came to Gen. Lockwood to advance one of the regiments into the woods and leave one. Ours was left and the 1st Md. went in, and in twenty minutes they lost three officers killed and twenty men, and about 80 or 100 men wounded. The major had his horse shot under him. The Rebels were behind that old stone wall, and had our boys at an advantage. As soon as the 1st Md. came out, our regiment was ordered off to the front and into a piece of woods on the left of where our battery had shelled the Rebels.—Then we formed line of battle about 40 rods in rear of our rifle pits, which were on the brow of a hill and in the valley below. The Rebels were holding a position there and in rear of the place where they drove back our 1st Md.
The colonel gave us the word to go in with a cheer, and when we got the "Forward!" the 150th went in with a tremendous cheer and on a double quick. Not a man flinched, tho' only a few knew but that we were to storm the breastworks instead of relieving our own men who occupied them. I was entrusted with the direction, being on the right. I had not gone more than six rods when I stepped on a rolling stone, and tumbled "heels over head," and what was worst of all, lost my pistol. I was soon up with my men, and with a roar we went into the pits, which were so long that we only occupied a small portion of them. We were ordered to fire till relieved. The breastworks are made of logs, stones and dirt; and are about five feet high. The men load sitting and then rise and fire over. We could only pour our fire into the valley at random, as the leaves obscured our view. Only once in a great while could we see a Rebel. They had some sharpshooters in the tree tops, who could fire down into our pits, and were able to reach our men when they stood up. These minie balls do sing out clearly as they pass near enough to be heard. I shall not forget how they sound. Our boys all did work splendidly. Our colonel said that a regiment three years in service could not have done better. Ours was the first regiment that went in with a cheer. Such firing I never heard.
The boys used about one hundred rounds each before we were relieved, and then we fell back, giving place to another regiment. But then there is a sad, very sad thought connected with this success. Four of my own men were left dead on the ground in the pits, never, I suppose, knowing what hurt them. Charles Howgate, who lived in Bridge street, near Union, and whose family are there now, I suppose, was struck with a shell on the top of his head as he was replenishing his cartridge box. He breathed only a few gasps, and all was over. I spoke to him, but he knew nothing. The next man was Corporal John Van Alstyne, one of my best men. He was standing about six feet from me, and by the side of Lieutenant Gridley. There was a tree between he and I. Sergeant Tuttle turned and spoke to me, saying "John Van Alstyne has got it." I went at once to see, but he was dead! a ball had struck him in the face, and I suppose cut the spine. He was an excellent man, and from Amenia. In about two minutes, John P. Wing and Levi Rust, of Washington, were struck by the same ball, it going through John's breast and then striking Levi Rust. The latter fell at once. John looked up to me, I thought as much as to say "That came close," when he fell over on his hands and knees and settled down in death with only a groan. Geo. T. Willson, Color Corporal of my Co., was wounded in the forehead, not seriously, but is in the hospital. James L. Place, from Washington, lost his right hand forefinger. Hamilton Brannon was just grazed on one of his knuckles.
Of course there were many narrow escapes. The colonel had a ball very close to his head.
We went into the pits again but lost no men. Our fire was exceedingly effective. A great many were lying dead in the valley. About fifty came up to our pits with a flag of truce and surrendered themselves. Cos. G, E, and C each lost one man. There are about twenty wounded. We lay there till afternoon, not in the pits, but in the rear. We moved up to assist the left just before night, but were not needed. We got Longstreet and many prisoners, some say 10,000. We occupied our same bivouac last night, and came to these pits this morning.
SUNDAY MORNING, July 5, 1863,
About 1 1-2 miles South of Gettysburg.
We are bivouacking in an open field without tents, baggage or rations, and it has rained twelve hours. Our Regiment was in all day Friday. I lost four men killed instantly, and three of them within a very few feet of me. Three other companies lost five men each. I append a list. Our colors are shot in about twenty places, and both lances split.
Chas. Howgate, Co. A, Poughkeepsie; John P. Wing, Co. A, Poughkeepsie; Levi Rust, Co. A, Washington: Corporal John Van Alstyne, Co. A, Amenia; Jed. Murphy, Co. E, Dover; Barney Burnett, Co. G.; Barnes, Co. I. All of these were killed in the Rifle Pits.
George T. Wilson and Jonas L. Place of my Company, wounded slightly. How Gridley Mabbett escaped cannot be accounted for on the doctrine of chances. My company was most exposed. J. C.
Letter from Lieutenant Sleight, of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment.
EDITORS OF THE POUGHKEEPSIAN—Gentlemen: I send you an extract from a letter written in part upon the battle-field of Gettysburg by an officer of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment, to his friends in this vicinity. It may be interesting to your readers as part of the history of that regiment, many of the members of which are so well known to them.
Yours, &c., W.
HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH ARMY CORPS,
FIRST DIVISION, LOCKWOOD'S BRIGADE,
BATTLE-FIELD NEAR GETTYSBURG, PA.,
Sunday, July 5, 1863.
The battle on this part of the field seems to be over; at least it is quiet in front of us, though the firing still goes on to the left. To give you a little idea of what our regiment has been doing since I last wrote to you, I will state that we left Baltimore Thursday afternoon, June 25, for Monocacy, which we reached on Saturday night; lay there over Sunday. Monday morning fell in with the immense army then passing there, camping a short distance north of Frederick City that night; next day, marched in a north-easterly direction all day; next day (Wednesday) to within eight miles of Gettysburg, nearly east of it; the next morning at two, started for this place, where the battle was then going on, and where our brigade was held in reserve till just dark, when we were double-quicked for a couple of miles, to make a charge where the Rebels were making too much headway; but they retired on the appearance of fresh troops, without making any opposition to us. This closed the battle, at our end of the line, for that day. We lay on our arms that night, changing our position several times, and at daylight the great battle of July 3 commenced. The roar of artillery and musketry was beyond description, but I suppose you have the details more fully from the papers than I can give them. When I say that the line of battle was six or seven miles long, you can easily understand that I could observe but a little of it. Our position was on the extreme right of the Federal line, near the town of Gettysburg; and the fight was very severe; but we were, fortunately, protected by a slight breastwork of logs and stones, and our loss was small, though the Rebels suffered much. The bullets and bursting shells flew around like hail, but the loss in our regiment will not exceed ten dead, as yet, and twice as many wounded, more or less, severely. Private Barnes, of Co. I, was the first man to fall, shot through the head, close by my side. "ATTENTION BATTALION!" the Colonel is shouting, and I must close for the present.
Monday Morning, July 6.
Yesterday, after commencing my letter, we were marched to Littleton, about ten miles in a S. E. direction from the battlefield where we remained all night. This morning started at five, and marched three miles to the southward and halted, where I am now writing. We got away from the battle-ground in good time, for the stench had already began to be sickening. Most of the dead men had been buried before we left, but the dead horses and mules lay thickly about. It was shocking to see them, although you know my nerves are pretty strong. I always had a great desire to witness a great battle; I have now seen one, and am satisfied not to see another; not from fear, either—for, although I lay no great claim to courage, yet I felt an indifference to danger which I can hardly account for.
All the available houses and barns in the vicinity were used as hospitals, and were not enough at that, numbers of the wounded being without shelter and half-naked in the pouring rain. Their skins had become bleached and shrivelled [sic] from the exposure.
It has rained very hard most of the time for several days, which has added greatly to our discomfort, as we are destitute of blankets and tents, to say nothing of its making the roads almost impassable. Among other things, it has been difficult to get enough to eat for a week or two past, but we have plenty of hard tack now, which will support life if a man works faithfully at grinding it up.
I can give you but a faint idea of the battle and the scenes after it, but perhaps more than you care to know. It may be a relief to you to know the Rebel dead, so far as my observation extends, was three to one of the Federal. Our position in the battle was in a thick wood, behind a slight breastwork, and during the fight hardly a Rebel could be seen from the thickness of the foliage; but on going over the fields next day the slaughter among them was found to have been dreadful. In the heat of the contest a number of them threw down their arms and made a rush for our lines, waving white flags. The firing ceased, and two hundred came into our lines and gave themselves up, amid great cheers from our side.
The cannonading of the 3d of July, was said by old soldiers, to have been the most severe of any battle during the war. The enemy is now said to be making his way to Virginia, with all possible haste; has lost all his pontoons, and used up his ammunition. But you can hear more about that than I am able to tell you. Lee has certainly not made much by his invasion thus far.
Dick joined the regiment at Monocacy, and has been with us since. He is unhurt, as well as myself. Captain B. was taken sick on the road from Baltimore to Monocacy, and was left in the hospital at Frederick. He has since gone back to Baltimore, where he now is.—Our colors are riddled with bullets, and both staffs nearly shot off. They are no disgrace to us now. Though the privations and hardships we have experienced for two weeks past have been severe, yet I feel as well as when leaving Baltimore. I am very much in need of clean clothes, a clean face, a shave, and would enjoy a good night's rest in a dry bed, without the harness on. Still, I am not suffering, and make no claim for sympathy.—There are hundreds at Gettysburg who need it more. I do not know whether we are to follow Lee into Virginia or not.
From the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle.
Headquarters 150th Reg't N. Y. S. V.
Gettysburg, July 5, 1863.
EDITORS EAGLE.—I have the opportunity of sending by special messenger (all mail communication being suspended) a brief account of the desperate battle just fought here and the part borne by the One Hundred and Fiftieth in the same. After a fatiguing march we reached this place on Thursday morning, July 2d, and found heavy skirmishing going on. About the middle of the afternoon the general engagement came on, opening with a furious artillery charge. An hour or two before sunset our corps (the Twelfth) was called out. The Dutchess boys, though weary, responded at once, but by the time we reached the position assigned us dusk was coming on and the tremendous fire which had been for hours incessantly kept up was slacking down and soon after altogether ceased. We drove the enemy more than a mile, however, and recaptured and brought off three cannon which they had taken. While the regiment halted, awaiting farther orders, I strolled over the field, and fearful was the sight. All around the Union wounded lay thick, and pitiable were their cries for help. The ambulances soon arrived and commenced gathering them up. As it was too late for anything further that night, our brigade (General Lockwood's) was ordered to return to its camp. We rested upon our arms—At two o'clock the following morning we were again aroused and soon after formed in line of battle, the enemy having massed i n the woods upon our right. About six or seven o'clock the 150th marched up to face the foe with three rousing cheers. A breastwork of fallen trees afforded them partial protection and over this they poured upon the rebels a telling fire. Till nearly noon the entire line was one continuous sheet of flame. Experienced officers declared that our men fought admirably and commended them in the strongest terms. One distinguished general said: "If that is the fire of a new regiment, I wish all our regiments were new!" Not far from noon the rebels fell back, some fifty or sixty coming in and giving themselves up. This ended our fighting for the day. Our wounded were removed to a large stone barn near by, where they were attended to, and then transferred to the Twelfth Corps general hospital. Our regiment suffered less than almost any other of which I have heard, notwithstanding rebel sharpshooters posted in the trees picked away constantly. I append a list of killed and wounded, which I believe is correct:
Co. A.—Killed—Corp. John Van Alstyne. Privates, Charles Howgate, Levi Rust, John P. Wing. Wounded—Corp. George Wilson, slightly in the forehead. Private James L. Place, slightly, in the hand.
Co. B.—Wounded—Privates, Valentine Jones, slightly, head; James M. Chambers, slightly, neck; Owen O'Neil, slightly, leg; Nelson P. Shafer, lost an eye; Charles Weaver, slightly, hand.
Co. C.—Wounded—Sergeant A. Seely, slightly, head. Private Tallmadge Wood, mortally, in the chest.
Co. D.—Wounded—Corporal Richard ..mond, slightly, head.
Co. E.—Killed—Private Judd Murphy. Wounded—Samuel Clement, very slightly, face.
Co. F.—Wounded—Private Stephen H. Ryners, in the hand.
Co. G.—Killed—Private Barnard C. Burnett.
Co. H.—Wounded—Private Michael McGinn, severely, abdomen.
Co. I.—Killed—Private Henry Barnes. Wounded—Edward Hart, severely, in the hip; Alexander Rodgers, lost a finger.
Co. K.—Wounded—Corporal George W. Buck-master, slightly, neck. Privates, Patrick Cane, reported wounded; L. E. Dutcher, leg; F. Potenburgh, arm; James Lynch, leg; Thomas Way, arm; Alfred Woodin, hand.
Total—Killed, 7; Wounded, 22.
There was no fighting yesterday. A few of our men are missing, but it is supposed that they are straggling. None are known to have been taken prisoners. I gathered up our dead yesterday, and saw them interred. Yours respectfully, T. E. VASSAR, Chaplain.
Visit to the Army of the Potomac.
For the Amenia Times.
On Monday, the 6th of July, the writer in company with Messrs. Borden and WATTLES, with 1,800 lbs. of stores, started for Gettysburg, to administer to the wants of the 150th, who were engaged in that fearful struggle. On Tuesday we reached Baltimore, and made all possible enquiries concerning the regiment, but to no purpose. With Mr. W., we started for G., and proceded [sic] to Hanover Junction, 45 miles, where the road to Gettysburg intersects the Northern Central Road. Here, with hundreds, we encamped for the night; some in barns, some on the floor, and some in the open field. There we beheld for the first time the works of the enemy, in burnt bridges, cars, &c. The road had been repaired to G., a distance of 40 miles, and we expected at early dawn to be on the way; but red tape, or something worse, prevailed to detain us until 4 P. M. Previous to this, Mr. W. had determined to return to Baltimore, and go over to the front, which proved a wise arrangement. That night we reached Hanover, a large and beautiful village, where the cars stopped for the night. We were entertained at the house of a hospitable family, and for the first in life beheld a battle field—the cavalry fight with Stewart. There, said my host, fell two men dead at my door. There, on that eminence, a furious charge was made. Houses and fences bore the marks of the fight. At length, we mount the top of the cars and proceed through a fertile and beautiful valley to G., 18 miles. Never shall we forget that Thursday morning. All nature was smiling, as we neared the field of death. Nearer and nearer we approach. All eyes are strained to catch the sight. But it is reserved for another organ near the eye to first detect our proximity to the battle field. Nearing the village far away at our right, is the College and Seminary, and the scene of Wednesday's fight.
High at our left, south of the village, is the Cemetery. The streets are full of people. Far as we can look, it is one moving mass, assembled from every Northern State. Parents are there for their sons, in painful anxiety respecting their fate. Wives have come to search for their husbands, brother for brother, and friend for friend. Ministers of the Gospel, too, in large numbers, to minister to those whom they love. We salute each other with the freedom of old acquaintance. Tell me, says one, where is the hospital of the 1st Army Corps, where the 2d, 3d ? &c. For ourselves, where is the 12th? Procuring a guide, we proceed near 4 miles, part of the way over the battle ground covered with the debris of the army, when on an eminence, near a farm house, is the hospital we seek. What emotions are awakened, as we enquire from tent to tent, for those we know. We cry at the door of each, "The 150th," but no answer. At length, a voice, and then another. And these are all. Thank God, the 150th are safe, and with the army. Nor did we learn to the contrary until our return. Of the numbers and condition of the wounded on that tented field, much has been written yet how faintly realized. Conceive of 30,000, including the rebels, laid mostly on the cold earth, with no covering but of cloth, to screen them from the storm. Nine surgeons and assistants, with a few boys as nurses, detailed to care for the 1,200 in our charge. Brought from the field covered with rags and mud and blood, they are a piteous sight.
As yet, few hospital stores have arrived. The work of amputation, extracting balls, &c., goes on. And those terrible wounds from Minnie balls! And yet, how strange, that men shot through and through survive. For eleven long days and nights, we sat in the tents of those suffering man--nurse, letter writer, anything and everything which we could turn our hand. And such cheerfulness and patience! No complaints, no murmurings, save against traitors and copperheads. The common sentiment was, we have got these wounds in a good cause, and are not ashamed. The gratitude for favors and regard for each other, is very marked. Said a bright and amiable youth, to whom we presented a cup of lemonade, 'give it to that man, he needs it more." Both of these were carried to the grave. Among the most affecting sights, was that of parents searching for their sons, and would not be comforted because they were not. In one tent is seen a daughter fanning her dying father; in another, a mother weeping over a dying son. Of those fallen and buried on the battle-field, we speak not, and of the anxious search of friends to recognize their dead, we know but little. The work of embalming went on; but for ourselves, we felt to say with a lady from Massachusetts, "Let them rest in peace." She had come to visit her son, but to find him among the killed. When asked if she would have him embalmed and removed, "No," was her reply. "I believe in the resurrection of the great day, and that my son will rise as surely and sweetly from the field of G., as from my own loved cemetery at home." The large proportion of deaths was in the night, with none but Jesus to comfort them, as they went down into the dark valley. To lead men to him was our chief work, and never did we speak to such open ears and willing hearts. No scepticism there. But little indifference. Many instances of a most affecting nature we saw and heard from others, which we cannot now relate.
After a few days, supplies came in in great abundance. The Dutchmen with their immense lumber teams, brought straw, and the large army wagons in great numbers hauled up the stores. The Christian and Sanitary Commission vied with each other in the good work. Of the former, we have more knowledge. In addition to providing medical and hospital stores this commission has done a great work in furnishing books and christian men to labor with the soldiers. Of late, they have made arrangements with the Government, whereby they may transmit all stores that may be furnished by individuals, or societies, without coat to those for whom intended. And for the information of those who contributed for the 150th, I turned over those stores to the Ch. Com., they engaging to forward them to the regiment, and do farther engage to transmit and account for all what money or stores, that may be sent. Money they prefer, as they can best procure what is needful. Now, friends, is the time to do good with your substance. Let not one soldier suffer for lack of what we can spare. No private charities through individuals can reach the army; but sent through the commission they will be forwarded without delay.
Address George H. Stewart, No. 13 Bank Street Philadelphia, and you need have no further concern.
OUR ARMY CORRESPONDENCE.
On the march through Boonsboro Valley,
July 9th, 1863.
Friend Butcher—A partial suspension of mail communication and pressing duties of other kinds will account for my tardiness in keeping the readers of the TIMES acquainted with the movements and achievements of the regiment in which many of them feel an interest so deep. When one is on the march from dawn to darkness he feels decidedly more inclined to slumber than to write, but now while we are halting on a hillside for dinner, I place a sheet upon my knee to jot down some incidents of the eventful two weeks past, persuaded that though they may come a little behind time to some they will be welcome still. On Thursday, June 25th, our final marching orders came, and about four o'clock in the afternoon we turned away from Belger Barracks—a place endeared to us by a thousand pleasant memories. Ten miles of tramping brought us to Ellicott's Mills, a small manufacturing village on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio road, where we rested for the night. Rested I say, though stopped would be a more appropriate term, for soon after lying down rain set in and our bed and its coverings soon became slightly damp, disturbing rest. Through rain and mud we journied [sic] the next day to Poplar Springs, seventeen miles beyond, and camped in a grove which Stuart's rebel cavalry pitched in twenty-four hours after we left. Saturday evening we brought up at Monooacy Junction and spent the Sabbath there. Very unlike a Sabbeth it seemed, however. All day long the army of the Potomac went tramping by as it had been doing for the previous forty-eight hours. At night the scene was perfectly magnificent. Every hill top in the region was a camp, and thousands of lights, with here and there a blazing camp fire gleamed like a city's illuminated streets. Monday morning early orders came attaching us to the 12th army corps, and bidding us go on to join it. A few hours after we caught up, and on Thursday morning came in sight of Gettysburgh [sic]. Again and again while on the route I wished that those at home who complain of the slowness with which the army moves could look on and see what moving the army really means. Not one person in a thousand at the north has the slightest conception of the magnitude of the work. Ambulances, provision trains, artillery, caissons, ammunition wagons, horses, men, all to be pushed along together, is an undertaking of no ordinary kind. Of course the highways will not give space sufficient for this moving throng, and roads are speedily made through meadows and fields of wheat and corn along which the hosts surge.
But let us come to Gettysburg. It is a pleasant little village of eight thousand inhabitants, lying among Pennsylvania hills. Approaching it from the south there is quite an elevation to ascend. Off to the north, the east, and west, stretch heavy pieces of timber, in which the rebels at the time of our arrival chiefly laid. The northern part of the town they also held, while the other side we yet kept. We found pretty heavy skirmishing going on, but the general engagement for that day had not begun. The corps of which the 150th is a part was ordered to hold itself as a reserve. From the cemetery at the top of the hill I witnessed the skirmishing for two hours, till the balls of the rebel sharpshooters commencing to fly unpleasantly thick there, I returned to our camp. Toward the latter part of the afternoon the corps was called out to reinforce Gen. Sedgwick on the left of the line, a most furious engagement having there set in. The response was prompt. It was sundown, however, by the time our line of battle was formed. A perfect shower of shells fell all around as through the twilight woods our regiment pushed up. Steadily they advanced, the rebels faltered and fell back. For a mile we drove the fugitives, and then it being too late further to continue the chase, one of our companies laid hold upon four guns which had been captured from us during the day, and brought them off. None that night were hurt. As I went over the dusky, blood-stained field, sad was the sight and sadder still the sounds. Again and again I was stopped by men writhing in their last great agony, and besought in God's name to do something for them if it was only to bring a draught of water. But even dying men I was compeled [sic] to turn away from, only able to promise that ambulances would soon be brought. Our wearied men having regained their camp slept upon their arms. At two o'-clock we were aroused. The rebels had massed in the woods upon the left. Soon after daylight we were called to support a battery for two hours, and after this ordered into the rifle pits. I went down with the men. In the edge of a heavy piece of woods breastworks built of fallen trees had been thrown up for more than a mile, and in front of these the Confederate forces laid with sharpshooters posted in the thick trees. To the place assigned them our men marched with three rousing cheers. Minnie balls buzzed around us like a swarm of bees. Soon after the commencement of the firing I retired, conscious that my services would be needed elsewhere, and in a large stone barn near the field which was used as a temporary hospital waited the bringing of the wounded in. The uniform testimony of those who witnessed the fight is that the Dutchess regiment deported itself nobly—so nobly as to earn the warmest commendations from officers whose opinions are regarded as of the highest worth. Twice for more than two hours each time it stood without flinching under the hottest fire, and from the number of dead gathered up opposite that point on the following morning, there is reason to believe that they left their mark. It was not long before the services of the attending surgeons were in demand. Our band had been detailed as an ambulance corps and upon stretchers soon began to bring the victims in—some rebels, some Union boys. After being temporarily attended to, they were placed in ambulances and carried to the hospitals of the different corps. Soon after noon the rebels began to shell the rifle pits where our men laid, and the batteries nearer to the left. Two of the batteries were near the barn where we were receiving the wounded, and of course the missies of death fell round us a perfect storm. Two burst within six or eight feet of me. Language is powerless to describe the fury of this cannonade. One hundred pieces were playing without intermission for hours till the solid earth seemed to shake. But vain were the rebels most desperate attempts. Nowhere could they break our lines, and by night they had fallen back at every point, thousands being taken prisoners, among them a small detachment which surrendered to our own boys. The rebel wounded with whom I had anything to do all admitted heavy losses. Several of them were officers, gentlemanly in their manners, and very grateful for every attention shown.
On Saturday morning I went over the battlefield gathering up and labeling the dead of our own regiment, and looking at the same time upon the slain on the other side. Few if any of their dead had been removed, and at points it would hardly be exaggerating to say that the ground was covered. That portion of the field over which I passed certainly had five rebel dead to one of our own. The scene was too sickening to describe— its memory will remain with me forever. Enough to say that bodies mangled, swollen, discolored and horribly offensive littered that beautiful forest from end to end. Saturday night, at the request of our Brigadier-General, I superintended the burial of the dead of the 150th. Your readers doubt-less know that we had seven killed. Close by the edge of the woods we dug their graves. The flicker of the dying camp fires streamed up amid the deep darkness as we wrapped around our heroes their blankets for a winding sheet, and silently laid back earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and. dust to dust. It lacked not much of midnight when we rounded up the last mound, and as I turned away I thought of that coming hour when every sepulchre should restore its trust, and the slain of both armies again stand face to face.
Sunday morning I had commenced looking up the wounded at the general hospital, when I received orders to rejoin the regiment at once, as it was about to leave. All however, I ascertained were doing well. Since then we have constantly been upon the march, attempting to intercept lee, and are now said to be within six or eight miles of a portion of hi army. Our men, though tired, are in good spirits, and ready again to meet the enemy at five minutes notice. Our tramp has taken us through the most beautiful sections of Maryland—what a calamity that such a region should be laid waste by the march and the onset of contending hosts.
O, if this impending battle might but be the final blow, what thanksgivings would go up from the land—aye, and from the hearts of homesick, weary soldiers too. While the army is willing to keep at its work till that work is done, I suspect there are few in it but would leap up for gladness could they hear their country say, "you are no longer needed, strife is over, soldier, go home."
God speed the time. T. E. V.
In the Battle at Gettysburgh [sic]. We are permitted to publish the following liberal extracts of an interesting letter from Capt. J. H. COGSWELL to a friend in this place, giving a naration [sic] of the recent operations of the 150th regiment N. Y S. V., or, more particular of company A, the members of which are mostly from this town.—ED. TIMES.
PROT. UNION INFIRMARY, BALTIMORE,
Sunday, July 12, 1863.
We left Camp Belger June 25, 3 P. M., for where? none of us scarcely knew. It came out after a time that Monocacy Junction was our goal. We marched in dust and heat to Ellicott's Mills, (12 miles,) a station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and then we bivouaced under our shelter tents. Our knapsacks had been left behind to come on by cars. The 1st Md. Potomac Home Brigade, Col. Maulsby, joined us on the way, and we were under command of Brig. Gen. Lockwood, from Delaware. 'Twas the longest march our feet had ever made at one pull, and many complained. In the night we were greeted with a soaking rain, which was by no means welcome to those who neglected to put up their tents. The rain had not ceased at sunrise nor yet at 8 o'clock, our starting hour. The slight mud was better than dust; the rain slackened and visited us by showers through the day. We made a seventeen mile march, Friday, halting at "Popple Springs," towards night. Many a one sought the ambulance that day, and blistered feet was the rule and not the exception. Those who had long, heavy boots suffered most. For my part, a pair of high-laced English walking shoes, with broad soles and low heels, kept me from any soreness, and I feel slight fatigue. I think the officers complained as much as the men. We got a small piece of fresh beef for each company that night. The rain did not fail us, and as we did not know how essential to our success a rise in the Potomac might be, could not see the use of quite so much of the article at the time. At 8 A. M. Saturday, we moved ...
...it not a wiser lot of men. "If ever I start out on a march again, I'll know what to wear on my feet," was an oft-heard expression. We were promised a seventeen mile march again, but it was nearly if not quite twenty. We got to Monocacy Junction about sundown, and at once pitched our tents on a hill lately chopped of its timber, leaving the brush and stumps for our use. Our camp overlooked a large district, and nearly the whole was filled with the "Army of the Potomac." Commissary wagons, Quartermaster's wagons, Ammunition wagons and Headquarters wagons were packed by hundreds, or strung out by miles. And the Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry filled nearly all the space not devoted to wagons. To such neophytes as the 150th, this was a grand and imposing sight. And at night the thousands of camp fires made a rare and beautiful spectacle, and worth all our march to see. On Sunday we rested—of this I cannot be mistaken. Most all were willing to obey the keeping the Sabbath in this respect. The captains had to make out their muster-rolls. We fancied we would remain and guard the large bridge at this place, but at 4 A. M. Monday, the drum called us up, and we found we had orders to report to the Commander of the 12th Corps, Gen. Slocum. (I presume you know him—he was in the House when the Col. was in the Senate. Our way lay through Frederick City, but before we reached it we halted for about six or eight hours, to let three or four Army Corps pass us. Our regiment got much ridicule for having never been out before, and were advised to lighten their loads, which they did to a great extent, giving away blankets, overcoats and extra clothing. By the way, the rain kept up its visits. Our Quartermaster, with a few who had been kept back, joined us Sunday, and brought on the knapsacks. Our long detention gave us a short march, and we went into camp just the other side of Frederick about 3 P. M. Here we had more rain, and an early start the next morning. Rations began to be in demand and our supply was limited. Tuesday, June 30th we made about eighteen miles, halting at 4 P. M. Many were out of shoes, and a great many were sore footed, but all were good natured. Bruceville was the name the store, shop and bridge rejoiced in; it certainly wasn't Spruceville. The country we passed through this day was equal to Western New York. The people made our extremity their harvest. One charged and got from me 75 cts for a loaf of bread! The next day we started "early in the morning," on our way. We reached the "land of brotherly love," and headed towards Gettysburgh [sic], halting in a woods about seven miles south of that place. We got the news of that day's fight, of the death of Reynolds, of our being driven back, and made up our minds we were in for a fight. At 2 A. M. July 2d, the reveille started a weary lot of men from their needed rest. The cup of coffee was ... made, the hard-tack cracked, and our line was formed. The general informed us that we must leave our knapsacks for the wagons to bring up—that a forced march of nine miles was to be made in three hours, and we prepared for it. Our course lay due north, and to the right of Gettysburgh [sic]. We passed Gen. Meade's Headquarters, and held on our march till we arrived to the front—the extreme right. The 12th Corps held this position. Our line was formed, and we rested. We had nothing to do all day but listen to the roar of cannon to the left, and watch movements generally. About 6 1/2 or 7 P. M. an order came for our two regiments to hasten to help the center, and we were off, marching by the flank right into it. Shells cracked around us soon,—dead men and defunct horses and mules, broken wagons, caissons, and the debris of battle strewed the way. Arriving near our place we deployed into line of battle, and pushed ahead, beyond the line the rebs. held, they falling back and offering us no sight of their gray backs, for the distance. This position we held some time, and then were ordered back to our camping ground of the day. Cos. B and G dragged off from an adjacent field three brass 12 pounders of one of our batteries which the rebs had once that day. I think it was ten P. M. when we got back again. We lay on our arms all night in line of battle. Friday, 2 A. M., we were up again and advanced. Gen. Ewell was in front of us, and the day before had gained a slight advantage; and made his boasts that he would have our portion, a certain hill, if it cost him every man he had. His men were not eighty rods from us, and were occupying a position of our rifle pits. We advanced towards the woods, in line, and halted, and my company and afterwards a part of Co. G were ordered to hold the edge of the woods as skirmishers, which we did; the boys obeying well. A little before 4 A. M., the Col. sent us word to return to the lines with my company. Meanwhile Bess' Battery, (regular) of six light brass, 15 pounders, had been stationed on a hill to the left, and our two regiments were ordered up to support it. Then, at just 4 A. M. they opened, shelling the woods terribly for a half hour. Then one Maryland regiment was ordered into these woods to drive the rebs out. As soon as they were well in, a rattling fire of musketry began, and in twenty minutes our friends came out minus three officers, twenty killed and one hundred wounded. The enemy had posted themselves behind a strong stone wall, and had our folks nicely. We formed again in front of the woods, but they did not come out. About 6 o'clock we were ordered around to the left of our position and into some rifle pits, on the brow of a hill looking down into a valley that run out towards where our first line had been. These pits were very long, and five or six regiments could be in them at once. Our boys did not know where they were going, but forming line of battle, with our colors flying, we rushed on with such a cheer as would have done your heart good to hear. Our orders were to fire till relieved, and we did. The men averaged 100 rounds in the two hours and forty minutes they were in. About all the firing was at random, as the rebs were in the valley below or on the slope beyond, hidden by the trees and foliage, but they were there; and so incessant was our fire that they could not form for a charge. The valley was literally covered with dead rebs. Some of their sharp-shooters, by climbing trees, could get at us in the pits, and sad to tell, we lost seven (7) good men, and twenty-two wounded. Co. A lost Corporal Van Alstyne and Wing, Rust and Howgate. They were all killed instantly. I have written to Van Alstyne's parents today. Our men all behaved nobly. I am proud of Co. A. Lieutenant Gridley was standing at the side of John when he fell. Rust and Wing were three feet from me. When we were relieved we fell back out of range, and then went in again towards noon, resting after two hour's work. At 2 P. M. "the great cannonading" of the war began, and we were under a storm of shot and shell, yet none of us were hurt. At four we were drawn off towards the center as reserves, but were not called. The field had been won by hard fighting along the whole line. July 4th we waited for orders in a dampening rain. July 5th, do., till sundown, when we marched nine miles to Littlestown, and camped. Here we got sight of our wagons, and got out shelter tents. July 6th, we marched about two miles, and rested for the day. July 7th, at 2 1/2 A. M, we were called, formed line at 3, and marched to within five miles of Frederick City, twenty-seven miles, over the worst of roads, and in a heavy rain. I was attacked with Diarrhoea at noon, and at night felt used up—got no supper. July 8th, marched 6 1/2 miles in the mud and rain, and then I had to give up. I was completely exhausted, and was ordered to Frederick; but there being no place in Hospital or Hotel for a man to stay, I was sent to Baltimore. I am better, and hope to be back soon. When I left the regiment they were on their way west from Frederick City, chasing up Lee. Quite a number of the boys gave out from exhaustion, at Frederick. Sergeant Borden for one, Geo. Willson, Color Corporal of my company, was struck in the forehead by a ball, but only slightly injured. Corp. W. C. Willson was left behind, sick in hospital here.
I believe I have now given you a correct "log" of our operations. If it is worth reading, peruse it. It is well to give such advice on the last line.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. COGSWELL,
Capt. Co. A, 150th N. Y. S. V.
OUR ARMY CORRESPONDENCE.
HEADQUARTERS 150TH Reg't N. Y. S. V.,
Sandy Hook, July 17th, 1863.
Friend Dutcher—I wrote you last from the field of Gettysburgh [sic], or its vicinity. We left there on Sunday morning after the fight, and on the following Saturday came up with Lee's army in the neighborhood of Williamsport. Though weary, there was on the part of the Union forces a universal desire for a fight, with a confident expectation of being able to finish up, on the banks of the Potomac, what had been begun ten days previously among the hills of Pennsylvania. All day the different corps kept coming in, and by Sunday morning a crescent-shaped line ran round the rebel fugitives. Anxiously we waited orders for the attack to begin. Toward night, however, instead of moving upon the foe, the command was given to commence throwing up breastworks; and all day Monday the great army was kept thus engaged. Magnificent pieces of timber were cleared off, fences torn down, and fortifications reared mile after mile in the rear of a retreating foe. Soldiers could see no reason for this, but supposed that their officers could, and so of course pushed the job along; and, while thus employed, Lee quietly moved his frightened men safely across the river, the last going over as the light of Tuesday morning dawned. By noon the report became generally that the prey, which seemed within our grasp had effected an escape. Soon the rumors turned into a settled fact. Never have I witnessed manifestations of deeper disappointment or burning rage. After all that long, wearisome march borne with such patient endurance, was vain. That army which had so often defeated, baffled or eluded us, but of whose destruction we had been all but sure, had again slipped away when its overthrow seemed ordained. Is it surprising that curses, loud and bitter, upon those whose timidity or dilatoriness had brought about such a result, should have been denounced. Wednesday morning we started upon the track of the runaways. Terrible was the trail which they had left. In the barns lay unburied putrefying dead. By the road side used up horses were scattered all along. Growing crops were trampled flat, fences stripped away, houses pillaged, stables and stalls and poultry yards left empty—ruin on every side.
Yesterday we reached Maryland Heights, opposite Harpers Ferry, and afterward moved a mile lower down, where we pitched our camp for the night, and are lying still. This morning a drenching rain is falling, but the pontoon bridges are being laid, and probably by to-morrow the army will again be crossing over to Virginia soil. What the next move in the programme is to be, or would be hard to tell. Somehow or other, somewhere or other, and at sometime or other, Lee and his army are to be destroyed, nothing more definite can hardly be predicted just now.
From every other quarter the tidings are full of cheer. For the last month the horizon has brightened up all around. May it soon be a perfect day. Of the utter desolation that war leaves in its wake, one can form no adequate conception till he has been himself upon the ground. There are many farmers, who, between the two armies, have lost their all. The sections of Maryland through which we have been passing are the choicest of the State. About four or five miles west of Frederick City, we journied [sic] through one of the most beautiful valleys upon which I ever looked. The entire region is specially adapted to growing wheat, and the crops waving upon the fields would gladden the hearts of many a one at home. Stern seemed the necessity which devoted such harvests to destruction, yet many hundreds of acres were threshed out by tramping hosts, and many more were run over that it will hardly be worth the gathering in. The great majority of the people are intensely Union and bear up under their losses most nobly. Two summers in succession has such a visitation come upon the dwellers in these valleys and on these hills; let us hope that this is to be the last. At one place where I stopped yesterday, the lady of the house told me that she begged with tears that the rebels would leave her pet riding horse, and take whatever else they would, but they disregarded her plea.
On our way hither I passed over the old Antietam field. Many marks of that bloody struggle still remain. Harvests are indeed ripening where the strife went on, but the old brick church, of which we read so much at the time, still stands as on that September day when the conflict closed. Graves line the edges of the fields, the trees in the woods are scarred, in one trench seven hundred rebels lie; and in a beautiful little enclosure, rest those who died in the hospital after the battle closed. In the center stands a neat monument, with the words; "I am the resurrection and the life," &c., and around it some two or three hundred mounds. What interest will hang around these places a generation hence? T. E. V.
Report Respecting the 150th Reg.
Messrs. C. W. Swift, J. H. Weeks, and others, Committee on Donations for Sick and Wounded Soldiers:
Concerning the carrying out the objects of the mission with which I was entrusted, in behalf of those who have recently been engaged in battle, and of others suffering from disease, in Pennsylvania and Maryland, I have the honor to report:
That without any needless delay I proceeded to the city of Baltimore, accompanied by Docts. Pine and Hasbrouck, who had kindly volunteered their services to the committee. Upon arriving in that city, we made inquiries concerning the condition of those in whom our citizens were immediately interested—the members of the 150th Regiment—and learned that at the battle of Gettysburgh [sic] seven had been slain and that their remains had been decently interred by their comrades near the battle-field. A number were wounded, but only one seriously so. Docts. Pine and Hasbrouck proceeded to that point to tender such aid as might be necessary, while I, hearing that the army had moved toward Frederick City, went on toward that place, where I was so fortunate as to meet our friends of the 150th. Although greatly fatigued by the long and rapid marches which bad been required of them, and suffering somewhat from the want of good and sufficient food, to which they had become accustomed, the necessary result of the rapid movements of a large army, yet it was gratifying to find them in the best of spirits, and enduring with patience the privations incident to their situation.
As they marched past, with drums beating and their colors thrown to the breeze, a portion of the grand army of the Potomac, I had the opportunity of taking numbers of them by the hand, and in the name of the People of Dutchess county, thanking them for the valor and courage they had exhibited on the battle-field, and of assuring them of the pride with which all classes of our citizens regarded them—and they were sensibly effected and exceedingly gratified at the kindness and liberality of their friends at home, who had made me the bearer of so many comforts and delicacies for their use in their hour of need, and my reception was every way most gratifying.
I followed them to the field, where for a number of days they were formed in battle array in front of the enemy, where, during the entire time, they rested on their arms by night and by day, momentarily expecting to be called into action.
A large portion of them were without overcoats or blankets, and their only protection from the severe rains which constantly prevailed were shelter-tents, which afforded a very slight barrier against the weather; yet they were at all times cheerful and happy and anxious for still another opportunity of proving to their friends that they were not mere holiday soldiers, but men who had gone forth for a purpose which remained to be accomplished.
It was impossible for me to transport the stores entrusted to me to any locality where they could be of immediate use to the Regiment, although in case they had become absolutely necessary, means would have been found to have placed them where they were needed, and the kind intentions of the contributors realized.
From the representations made in relation to the condition of the wounded remaining at Gettysburgh [sic], and the necessity of hospital stores there, I was induced to forward a case to that point. I also sent one case to each of four hospitals in Baltimore, viz., Camden, Jarvis, Newton University, and West's Warehouse. Soldiers from our Regiment are constantly receiving care and attention at one or the other of these institutions, and it is not unlikely that many more of them will, ere the war is finally ended, be recipients of their attentions. The citizens of Baltimore, and especially the ladies, are unwearying in their efforts to relieve the sick and wounded from all sections of the country, and deserve the warmest thanks of all who delight in kind deeds, and I was happy in being enabled to contribute in ever so small a manner to their many wants. Two boxes yet remaining on hand, together with other stores sent forward by Mrs. John Thompson, and also a considerable quantity contributed by the citizens of Amenia and other towns in the eastern part of the county, and left in charge of Mr. Thompson and myself, were placed at the disposal of Mrs. Ketcham and Mrs. Broas to be distributed as necessities may require. A portion will be retained on hand for the possible use of our regiment.
Your ob't. servant,
G. R. GAYLORD.
Poughkeepsie, July 20, 1863.
OUR ARMY CORRESPONDENCE.
HEADQUARTERS 150TH REG'T N. Y. S. V., 12TH Corps,
Warrenton Junction, Va., July 27th, 1863.
Friend Dutcher:—We are resting for a day, and I use its leisure moments to acquaint you with our movements, and some of the incidents transpiring by the way. We left Sandy Hook on Sunday, the 19lh, crossed the Potomac and the Shenandoah at Harpers Ferry, and commenced our march southward skirting the edge of the Blue Ridge as we tramped along. This section of Virginia has suffered less by the rebels than almost any other portion of the old dominion, the rebels having never passed through it in force, and our own troops having on all previous visits showed a general respect for private property. This time, however, the memory of Lee's recent raid into Pennsylvania was too fresh, and it, coupled with the fact that attempts were made to capture one of our wagon trains by the way, made the men less careful, and excited them to acts of retaliation. Strict orders, however, were issued against pillaging, and most of the property thereafter taken was by officers duly authorized. Loudon County grows fine grass and grain, and shows some well cultivated farms, but the tokens of thrift lessen as one gets more and more into Dixie, and by the time Manassas Gap is neared even houses are, many of them, utterly destitute, or only their ruins found. Every foot of soil hereabout is historic. Upon this ground the armies of lee, Jackson, Fremont, Shield's. Banks, Sigel, McDowell have all lain. Remains of old camps dot every piece of woods, and the few springs and creeks in the region have hardly yet recovered from the drain made on them by the soldiers, and horses, and cattle that from time to time have halted here. Warrenton Junction, near which the army of the Potomac is centering again, is but a pile of rubbish, not a single building being left. Trains between here and Washington are constantly moving to and fro, freighted with forage and provision for the hungry "hordes"—as the cavalry would call us—that are here making a temporary stand. You can hardly imagine how much good it did us to hear the whistle of a locomotive once more. Every one at once thought that he could now get news from home. Since leaving Baltimore our own regiment has never received a regular mail. To-day we hope to send out and get one in. The Papers, too, will now be coming in. The last dailies received are now a week old. On the day after getting them the newsboy attempted to bring on the Baltimore Clipper and American, but was seized between the Potomac and our lines by rebel guerrillas, his papers taken away, fifty dollars in cash demanded, and he then paroled. No effort has since been made to get news in.
Lee is supposed to by lying not far hence. The prevalent impression seems to be that we shall not at present make an attack, but simply attempt to hold the rebels in their present position, and prepare for a forward movement after the conscripts now being drafted shall have arrived, to bring the numbers in our depleted regiments up. This, however, may be a mere camp rumor, having no foundation in fact.
The few inhabitants that we find in this section are thoroughly rebel, and will not yet believe that Gettysburgh [sic] was a Union victory, or that Vicksburg is ours. How hard to credit that which it is to our interest to disbelieve. T. E. V.
OUR ARMY CORRESPONDENCE.
BALTIMORE, Aug. 12th, 1868.
Friend Dutcher—I hardly know when or where I wrote you last, for days and places get strangely jumbled up when one is constantly upon the march. Weeks have no Sabbaths to give them a distinct bound, but run in to each other like waves coming from opposite ways. As I write you, Belger Barracks lie in full view, and many other points familiar by a nine months acquaintance rise before me recalling most vividly the past. A severe attack of a disease prevalent in the army at this season of the year has compelled me to leave my post a little before the leave of absence granted me by my people expires, and after taking a few days to recover from weakness and weariness I am expecting to turn again toward home.
The 150th came in sight of the Rappahannock on the evening of July 31st, and on the following morning crossed it upon a pontoon bridge which had been laid at Kelly's Ford. Just on the opposite bank we pitched our tents and there remained till the next night, when it was decided to recross and locate our camp upon a higher piece of ground a short distance back from the stream. By the change we got a decidedly better location, and there I left the brigade lying on Saturday, August 7th. It is not thought that the Army of the Potomac will move much further just now. This last campaign has been one of their severest, and the men need rest. A march of four hundred miles straight along under a July sun, a heavy battle, and divers skirmishes, will leave their mark upon the most robust men. Conscripts, moreover, are beginning to come in who will need drilling, so it is not thought probable that there will be any immediate advance. The rebel pickets and our own have at some points come within speaking distance, and instead of saluting each other from the rifle's mouth have in some instances indulged in a social chat. Once or twice, however, since lying in our present position desperate attempts have been made by the enemy to force their way across the river at points where we had accumulated large commissary stores. The attempts were utter failures, for the boys have no idea of giving their rations up. Since getting near the railroad once more the supplies furnished the men have been more abundant and of a greater variety. Twice a week soft bread now takes the place of hard tack, and dessicated vegetables for making soup were being added to the stereotyped bill of fare. The water in the vicinity of Kelly's Ford is the most objectionable feature. The supply is very limited and the quality far from fine, though better than what we found at Warrenton Junction. I suspect it would go very hard for our friends at home to swallow what we daily drank. It is no unusual thing to go a mile in search of it, and barrels are eagerly sunk at every point where there is any indication of a spring. The river is scarcely fit to wash in, being so turbid that you can not see bottom where it is two inches deep. Some of our boys while bathing in it found the bottom thickly strewed with shot and shell, some of which evidently had been turned out from the manufactory of our friends Hotchkiss & Co. I suspect they were thrown in a year or so ago to keep them from the enemy.
A very desolate looking region of country this is. Between the two armies it has been ground like grain between the upper and nether mill stones. A large part of the houses have been destroyed, and those that have not are mostly tenantless, not a growing crop is seen, rarely a conveyance of any sort met by the way. Guerrillas lie thick in the woods and have found employment recently in grabbing sutler's wagons on the road from Washington down, robbing the agents of the Christian Commission of their stores, firing into trains as they passed along, and other outrages of the kind. In consequence of such proceedings Gen. Meade has issued an order holding the inhabitants for ten miles on each side of the track responsible, and under that order quite a number were arrested a few days since and sent to the Federal Capital. It is the intention of the Government to make these men repair all damages to roads and bridges; and in case any obstructions are put in the way of trains, treat them as the offenders. This may seem a stern code but there is no other way of stopping such lawlessness. On my way hither I stopped in Washington far a day or two. There was not quite the usual number of shoulder straps at Willard's or along the avenues. This to me was a hopeful indication. It seemed to show that while officers in the field are being so closely confined to their duties the hangers on at the Capital were being pushed out to their posts. Everywhere the public pulse beats confidently—all wavering or doubting with reference to the issue of our great struggle seems to have passed; many appear certain that the fall campaign will wind the rebellion up. I wish it might be according to their faith.
Baltimore hardly wears the same look as when we left it. All traces of alarm have disappeared, the barricades have been removed from the streets, and business flows on in its usual channels.
Belger Barracks are now the headquarters of a negro regiment. Last evening I witnessed their dress parade. The regiment is more than half full and its appearance very creditable. On Monday a flag was presented them, and from the throngs of sable-hued ones that went out, I judge that all colordom was there. What would Baltimoreans hare thought of such things a year ago? How this war has educated the people. I am glad that the African race is thus being put into the field. This war is to bring them freedom--it can never stop short of that) and never ought, and they will prize it more highly from having helped with their own blood to procure it.
All day yesterday I worked unpacking and repacking the generous supply of stores forwarded for our regiment from Amenia and Poughkeepsie, right after the battle of Gettysburg, but which had to be left at Baltimore for want of transportation. The clothing, lint, bandages and bedding of all kinds, I turned over to the Christian Commission for distribution among the hospitals, and then filled eight boxes and four barrels with wines, jellies, brandies, dried fruit, condensed milk and coffee, and preserved fruits, which I intend to start for Washington to-day or to-morrow, having the promise that the N. Y. Relief Association will there take charge of them, and see that they are taken to the railroad station nearest the 150th. From thence, a friend of the regiment will see to their farther transportation and delivery. Though no longer standing in any official relation to the regiment, yet I cannot forbear in their name, returning the most cordial thanks to the noble friends at home for these practical and acceptable tokens of their kind remembrance. Never were they more needed than just now, not even after the late battle, for there is quite a large number on the list of sick, and all that government pretends to furnish is what is absolutely necessary—delicacies it cannot undertake to supply. Many a sick soldier will silently bless their benefactors, while being helped from out their stores.
And now having kept the readers of the TIMES for ten months, posted with reference to the movements of the Dutchess county boys—their glad hours and sad ones, their easy times and their hardships, their undertakings and achievements, leave them to win other victories, enhancing their reputation already gained, and lay down my pen as your Army Correspondent.
T. E. V.
Of Rev. T. E. VASSAR, at a Union Prayer Meeting, held by the Christian Commission on the night of the National Fast, April 30, 1863, in Light-street M. E. Church, Baltimore. After prayers and singing and remarks by the Chairman, Mr. G. S. GRIFFITH, Rev. Dr. Dickson, and Rev. T. Sewall, the Chairman introduced Rev. T. E. Vassar, of the Baptist Church, Chaplain of the 150th Regt. N. Y. S. V., who said:
It is said that when Ethelred, the Saxon King of Northumberland, invaded Wales, he saw at a distance a body of unarmed men, apparently upon their knees, and upon inquiring who they were, and at what engaged, was told that they were monks of Bangor praying for the success of their countrymen. Then, said the far seeing monarch, attack them first, for they have begun the fight against us. Heathen though the sovereign and warrior was, he had sagacity enough to recognize in earnest prayer a downright, sturdy, positive power; a vital agency; a real, effective force. It might be well for some of us to go back and sit at the pagan's feet, and in this particular be learners, for I suspect that just here lies the defect in much of the piety of the present day. We have too little faith in prayer, because we have too little faith in God.
We believe in the God of the Bible; the God of our fathers, and the God of ages ago, but very rarely do we find a man who thoroughly believes that God now is on the right side in all affairs of time; that he stands between falsehood and truth between justice and unrighteousness, between corrupt principles and a holy cause, and hears the pleadings of his people, and interferes in their behalf as really as centuries ago, when prayer sealed up the heavens through months and years and then as readily opened them, drew back the bolts on an apo... prison doors, called forth from the tomb a ... Lazarus, and brought down upon a waiting church the visitation of Pentecost.
It is a great calamity, when, in times of national conflict or peril, a people come to lose confidence in themselves, or their properly constituted authorities; but it is a calamity vastly greater when, to the slightest extent, there is any faltering of faith in God. It is well just now to have great confidence in armies and navies, in bullets and bayonets, but not unless that confidence is based on and buttressed up by an unshaken trust in God. It is well to regard the administration with its powerful military arm as the tower of our strength, but back of it, over all councils and cabinets, we want to see the Governor of Worlds calmly sitting, ordering all events, and in the collisions and discord and convulsions of time we need devoutly to recognize the liftings of the treadle and the clank of the loom by which the Most High is weaving the fabric of earth's history.
Once upon a time, in ancient Israel, a conspiracy was formed to wrest away the government from its divinely appointed head, and what was saddest of all we hear the gray haired king say "Behold my son that came forth of my bowel seeketh my life," and it was even so. A youth who had grown up at court becomes the leader of the rebel band, and sets up his rival government in Hebron. By blandishments and plausible representations many are seduced into allegiance to the usurper, and the powers that be dealing meanwhile too leniently, the whole land is soon turned upside down.
A length necessity drives the sovereign to do something for the retention of his kingdom and his crown. With the rebels is a sagacious counselor named Ahithophel, whose sound advice if heeded by Absalom will be likely to result in David's complete overthrow. The first effort of the dethroned king therefore is to destroy the influence of this veteran at court, and shrewdly he works for the accomplishment of that end. But does he rest here? Nay, verily. He looks now to that Almighty One who has been his helper from the sheep fold up. Weeping bitterly, with covered head and unsandaled feet the fugitive goes by the way, and this is his cry, "O Lord I beseech thee turn the counsels of Ahithophel into foolishness." These efforts backed up by such a petition prevail; Absalom spurns with contempt the old man's counsels; as a consequence the rebel host in action is utterly routed, thousands are slain, and the leading traitor without the help of hangman or haltar [sic] swings from the branches of an oak by the way. These later times have multiplied candidates for a like distinction, and other oaks may yet bear such fruit. There are many lessons for us here, but this one chief—the importance of coupling earnest effort with believing prayer. It is not good that either should stand alone; and so while our government is acting with vigorous hand, I am glad that from the capital of the land such a call has sounded out as that which has summoned thousands to the courts of the Lord today. I have seemed, while these hours have rolled, to see the answer to the prayer offered recently by a brother minister not far hence, "O that God would bring this nation to its knees." And we have had enough to bring us there since this struggle commenced. Have not days and months dragged wearily away with a sickening record, made up largely of delays, drawn battles, or defeats? Have not troubles thickened upon us, and trooped in from unexpected quarters? Have not disasters unlooked for frustrated the most prudent schemes, and rendered useless the most laborious and expensive preparations? Have not faint hearted friends unmasked themselves? Has not sympathy that had been relied upon all been thrown the other way? Have not enemies abroad taken courage to do what in other circumstances they would not have dared, and insultingly smitten us in the face, when, in the hour of sore trial, we looked for an approving smile? Have not our wisest counselors and wariest chieftains been utterly at loss what to recommend or do? And yet we can say with Paul ''we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed." Dull of apprehension that man must be who, as he remembers the ordeal through which the Eternal has passed us, does not behold the indications of a purpose on the Almighty's part to do these two things, first, effectually to chasten the nation and at the same time keep it alive. Happy for us if under the visitation we feel to respond as Luther when in his personal experience smitten by the rod, "Strike Lord, strike, but don't forsake me."
While this struggle must be regarded as a scourge, I believe it will prove a blessing too. Terribly affrighted were the disciples during that night storm of Galilee, when their frail boat, no longer manageable, becomes the sport of surly winds and angry waves, but when Christ strode from billow to billow, finding solid footing, and the surging waves crouched down and smoothed out at his bidding they doubtless looked back thankful even for that tempest since it had brought the Saviour near, and furnished then new proof of his almighty power.
And so dear Christian friends we may yet recur to these agitated stormy times, when the clouds shall have been lifted up. Sorrows, sufferings, losses, pains, can hardly be accounted for as misfortunes if they only bring us toward immortal purity. No grief that strengthens holier aspirations, and develops a nobler life are calamities. Falling tears and wounded affections are blessed if through them we are only led to clasp in our weakness the unwasting, unwearying hand. Happy the people that even at such a cost is brought nearer to its God.
This anxious night of watching, waiting, hoping, will tick itself away, and in the light of that morning whose glimmers even now streak the dusky skies we shall see that the discipline employed by our Heavenly Father was to the nation only a refining fire, and from the saintly inheritance on a head we shall remember with gratitude and gladness that the lowering clouds of war were to us, individually, big with mercy, and broke with blessings on our heads.
OUR CAMP CORRESPONDENCE.
HEADQUARTERS 150th REG'T N. Y. S. V.,
Belger Barracks, Baltimore, June 1st, 1863.
Friend Dutcher—Fortress Monroe, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Gosport Navy Yard are all names that during the two past eventful years have been made perfectly familiar to every reader of the TIMES. To some, however, it may be the name only that has become familiar, the places they may never have looked upon, and possibly never have seen described. Let such imagine themselves included in the little company that has just returned from a trip in those regions, and perhaps they will get an idea of the locality tolerably distinct or clear. Our "passes" having been procured, we step on board the steamer Adelaide—a very comfortable craft—and two hours before the sundown of a charming day in May, cables are slipped loose, and we go drifting out toward the bay. At the mouth of the harbor sufficiently elevated to sweep for miles around, Forts Marshall and Federal Hill—one on the east side of the Patapsco, and the other on the west—loom up, showing their ugly looking sets of teeth, teeth that would chew up the city and everything approaching it terribly quick should such an order be given. Both have been built since the present war began, and would interpose a stubborn obstacle to further progress by water, even should vessels succeed in running up so far. A mile or two further down, as the river widens, we sail past Fort McHenry, erected at a time when foes without, rather than within, disturbed the country's peace. It suffered bombardment during the war of 1812—15, and the visitor passing through it now will be shown balls that were thrown in during the siege. It is not impossible that they may yet be returned to their original owner with interest. It was during this engagement, as you doubtless remember, that Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner,"—a melody never more popular than now. Three miles further down, "Fort Carroll" is beginning to rise up from the surrounding waste of waters. It was commenced by Government about four years ago, and will probably take half that length of time longer to complete it. It has already cost considerably more than a million of dollars, as an artificial island had first to be constructed, and this alone is no small undertaking where it is necessary to fill in to such a depth. A little further on, and we glide out into the bay. Do you see that projecting point to the left with the light-house on it? Well, that is "North Point," where, one September day in 1814, British and American blood flowed together till that sandy beach was red. In front of Barnum's Hotel, on Calvert St., a fine monument has been reared to commemorate the event, covered over with the names of the heroes that in their country's service at that time fell. Dusk is now creeping over the waters, and the moonlight as it strikes them gives a violet hue that deepens as night comes on more fully, to an inky black, save where the vessel leaves in its wake a luminous trail. But sight seeing is the order of the day for to morrow, so lovely as it is on deck, we seek our state rooms and turn in.
At four o'clock we are astir, and find ourselves at about the widest point in the bay, the Chesapeake here stretching some fifteen miles across. On either side you see a faint dusky line of land, but when the sun comes up it looks like a rich red globe of fire emerging direct from the waters. Soon after, Fortress Monroe heaves in sight. We dispatch an early breakfast, and by six o'clock are alongside the wharf, ready to go ashore.
Fortress Monroe is built upon a neck of land which is washed upon one side by the waves of the Chesapeake, and on the other by the Elizabeth and James Rivers, which empty here together, and through a common channel flow into the deep. On the parapet and in the casemates it will mount about eight hundred guns, more than two hundred of which are now in place. As we approach the walls in passing up from the landing, they appear much higher than when seen from the boat. Around them stretches a moat with a bridge at the main entrance. This moat is perhaps twenty feet across, and from six to twelve feet deep. The walls are faced with stone, and rise probably about fifteen feet above the water in the moat. They are thirty feet deep, or thereabouts, but not solid, as the officers have their quarters here.
The space inclosed I can only estimate by the length of time consumed in walking round upon the parapet. Although we stepped by no means slow, between twenty-five and thirty minutes were consumed in making a circuit of the walls; from which I infer that the distance is from a mile and a half to two miles around. Entering through the sallyport into the Fort, we find ourselves at once in a small village, looking as though it had been set down right in some old orchard. The grounds are covered with trees of a species that we grow in our green-houses at the North, but never in the open air. Under the cool shade seats are ranged, on which we will take a moment's rest while waiting for the "guard mount," that takes place at eight o'clock. The band discourses stirring music, and roses opening in profusion all around scent the morning air. Near the headquarters of Gen. Dix there is mounted upon the parapet the monster "Union gun," that throws a ball of four hundred pounds. Think of being struck by one of them! Now look over to the right across that little arm of water which sets in. There stood Hampton, which old drunken Magruder burned. That fine building—about the only one remaining—with a cupola upon it, was once a noted Female Seminary, but is known as the "Chesapeake General Hospital." That odd looking pile of stone rising from the waters a mile or two out bears a name terrible to the ears of evil doers in our army—the "Rip Raps"—a sort of Sing Sing to the disorderly. But we cannot linger here all day, passed have been procured for Norfolk, and at ten o'clock we start on the Croton for that place. Keep your eyes open now, for every mile is full of interest. That bend to the right, where the James river comes in, is Newport News; and here occurred the famous engagement between the Monitorand Merrimac.Look in near the shore and you will discover the tips of several spars rising from the waters, these are vestiges of the sunken Cumberland. On the other side, where the Elizabeth river finds an outlet, you notice a long line of water batteries thrown up, that is Sewall's Point, where the rebels lay intrenched so long; and these are fortifications which they built. Further along is Craney Island, over which the Stars and Stripes once more float, and just below, a bit of an old mast with a small flag attached, marks the spot where the Merrimac, after her heyday career, went down. But while looking at all these objects of interest, we have run our fifteen miles up the Elizabeth, and are putting in to Norfolk. Landing, we find the city wears a deserted look. Before the breaking out of the rebellion it contained from fifteen to twenty thousand inhabitants, but a large part of the males are in the Southern army, and many of the familes [sic] have deserted their homes since the occupancy of the place by the Federal troops. Everything wears a Sunday look. A sprinkling of the blue coated boys and negroes redeemed the streets from utter lonliness [sic]. At the first glance, you would have thought that the houses were all unoccupied, or else, that death had entered them, for nearly every window was darkened, and scarce a face at any one of them appeared. The city is bitterly, intensely, rebel, perhaps more entirely so than any other point of territory in Secessiondom that we hold. The sun is streaming down with mid-day glare, and being weary we will step into the "Atlantic House" and rest. The National flag floats over it, and once doubtless it was a popular resort, being built in very good style, and almost new. But its reading-room is empty now; its billiard and barrooms quiet as a graveyard vault, and its parlors look as though they did not open often for a guest. While dinner is preparing we stroll out around the markets, to get some strawberries for carrying home. Our baskets are soon filled, and while part of the company goes back to the hotel, declaring that they have seen enough, two or three others of us, whose curiosity overcomes weariness, step on board the ferry, and after a sail of about a mile, land at Portsmouth, on the other side. The place is hardly as large as Norfolk, yet from some cause or other there seems more life. There is a larger military force here, which perhaps may account for it. But all that we are particularly anxious to see here, is the Gosport Navy Yard, in the outskirts of the city; and toward that we steer. A mile or less brings us there, but what a scene of desolation! Here stand the bare blackened walls of from thirty to fifty splendid buildings, many of which are two hundred feet long. If standing in a continuous row, they would reach probably from one to two miles. The harbor is full of sunken hulks; the splendid stone piers are cracked and splintered by the fire, and alongside the wharf lies the wreck of the old line of battle ship, the United States, charred down to the water's edge. Ten millions of Government property was here sacrificed in a single night; and that when there was no occasion for it whatsoever. judge that there is a little more of loyal feeling here, as I saw posted notices for several Union meetings, and we were not followed by the ... lent stares and insulting looks that were very common on the other side. I asked the shrewd negro woman in the market, of whom we purchased our berries, whether greenbacks were readily taken in the stores there, "yes, yes, massa"—was her reply—"dey like de greenbacks well enough, but not de greenback men." They need such a man as Gen. Schenck here, whom the Express and World characterize as a tyrant, a despot, arbitrary and cruel. Honest words and pleasant smiles are not the remedies for rebellion.
Returning to Fortress Monroe, we take the, evening boat for Baltimore, after a day spent amid scenes that stamped themselves ineffaceably upon the mind, as they in the future will upon the page of history.
T. E. V.
At a Meeting of Company F. 150th Regt. N. Y. S. V. held in the field near Marietta, Georgia, June 17th, the following resolutions were adopted:
Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to take from us Henry Sigler and Cornelius Sparks, it is
Resolved, That while we bow in humble submission to this expression of the Divine will, we will ever remember the genial and manly characters that made our comrades more than friends, and their memories shall urge us on to a more careful and more earnest performance of our various duties.
Resolved, That while we cannot make this bereavement any less sad by our words, we cheerfully tender our warmest sympathies to the relatives and friends of the departed, and we sincerely trust that they may find some consolation in the fact that our deceased brothers died in defense of their country, their government and their homes.
Resolved, That as this is the only opportunity allowed us in the field of evincing our respect for the departed, that a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the families of the departed, and published in the county papers.
J.S.Green, Capt. Co. F.
Charles E. Barlow, 2d Leut. Co. E.
John M. Gill, Acting Orderly.
Personal.—Capt. Joseph H. Cogswell, of the 150th N. Y.V., arrived here yesterday from the Southwest. He leaves to-day for Poughkeepsie, upon recruiting service for his regiment, which is now stationed at Normandy.
Major Starks of the 140th Regiment, Adjutant Van Dusen of the 8th Cavalry, and Captain Ellerbeck of the 22d Cavalry, are at home on leave of absence.
Jeremiah Cutler, Deputy County Clerk, is reported to be seriously ill.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH REGIMENT—The following facts regarding the One Hundred and Fiftieth regiment we learn from
Rev. E. O. Bartlett, of this city, who has just returned from a visit to Colonel Ketcham's regiment. The regiment is now encamped (or was on Monday last) near Kelly's Ford on the Rappahannock. Their camp is located on
a hill overlooking the whole division. It occupies a knoll in front of woods, by the side of a spring of pure water. The officers’ tents are handsomely decorated with evergreens, and the whole camp presents a fine appearance.
The regiment is attached to the First brigade, First division, Twelfth army corps, the brigade under the command of General Williams, and the corps under General Slocum. The regiment numbers over five hundred men on duty. Twenty convalescents returned to it last week. The general health is better than that of any other regiment in the brigade. This is accounted for by the healthy location of the camp, and the efforts of Surgeon Campbell. The surgeon is a great favorite, and the sick speak in the highest terms of praise of his kindness and endeavors to alleviate their sufferings.
During Saturday night and Sunday two orders were received for the regiment to hold itself in readiness to march at a moment's notice. Kilpatrick's cavalry passed the encampment on Saturday night, and on Sunday crossed Kelly's Ford, which was guarded by the pickets of the One Hundred and Fiftieth. The guard saw the cavalry capture three rebel pickets. During divine service on Sunday the cannonading on the opposite side of the river was distinctly heard, the sound indicating that our forces were driving the enemy.
On Monday our informant saw a large number of rebel prisoners passing over the railroad from the front. They belonged mostly to a Baltimore battery. They numbered some four hundred, had no coats, and the rest of their clothing was very ragged. Many of the men were from Baltimore, and expressed their determination to fight against us as long as the war lasts. He also saw five car-loads of wounded union soldiers. These were, with a few exceptions, in good spirits, and enthusiastic in their praises of General Kilpatrick, remarking that they would go anywhere "Old Kil." would lead them.
The One Hundred and Fiftieth has a regimental band, the only one in the brigade. It is composed of members of the regiment, the instruments having been furnished by the officers at a cost of one thousand dollars. The band played during religious service on Sundays and discoursed very eloquent music.—The appearance of the regiment on dress parade was remarkably fine, and for discipline and soldierly bearing it is surpassed by no regiment in its division. Colonel Ketcham is a strict disciplinarian, and takes a commendable pride in having his command appear well. The moral character of the regiment is also highly spoken of by Mr. Bartlett, little or no profanity being heard in camp. John Vassar, the colporteur, has been laboring in the regiment, and has accomplished much good. The men are very well, having fresh bread, fresh meat and vegetables daily.
Major Smith had been sick but has recovered, and is in the best of health and spirits. His enthusiasm makes him a good and efficient officer.
Captains Wickes and Thorn were on duty as members of a court martial.
Sergeant James Wickes, until recently orderly in Captain E. Wickes' company, has been promoted to a captaincy in a Maryland colored regiment. This is a well-deserved recognition of the fine abilities and soldierly qualities of a rising young man, which cannot fail to be gratifying to his family and many friends in this city.
Colonel Ketcham, while in conversation with our informant, remarked that it was the general opinion in the army that the war would not last longer than thre or six months more. He thinks, and justly too, that conscripts ought to join their home regiment. As they have a choice in the matter, he advises them by all means to attach themselves to the veteran "Dutchess Legion," than which there is no better regiment in service.
From Mr. Bartlett we also obtain the following items:
Captain John R. Leslie, of the Twentieth regiment, is provost-marshal at Bealton, the last station on the railroad running from Alexandria to the army. He has the appointment of major in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth regiment, commanded by Colonel E. Livingston Price. Doctor Robert K. Tuthill, surgeon of the Twentieth regiment, has been appointed brigade-surgeon. A well-deserved promotion.
Colonel George D. Ruggles is assistant-adjutant general in the war department at Washington, and is highly spoken of by competent military critics as an officer of rare military genius.
From the 150th.
NEAR DALLAS, GA.,
Friday, May 27, 1864.
To the Editor of The Poughkeepsian:
We are having a severe battle in this vicinity. It is raging fiercely this morning (27th), the third day of the fight, but we are driving the enemy. The 150th has suffered severely, charging gallantly upon the enemy's breastworks. I send the names of the killed, wounded and missing.
Company A—A Dutcher, wounded; Corp J Palmer, wounded, foot; W Chamberlain, missing.
Company B—Corp Osborn, (W); Private Welch, (W); T C and A Jones, (W), slight; Phillips, (M).
Company C—Lieut Mabbet, (W), slight; Sergt P Story, killed; J Hicks, (W), hand; N J Whitely, (W); Perlie Hoag, (W), slight; H Williams, (M); A Wagner, (M); O Husted, (M).
Company D—Corp Bell, (W); M Clum, (W); McManus, (M); Hermance, (M).
Company E—Jas. Elliot, killed; Sergeant Blauvelt, (W), mortally; Corp Myers, killed; Thomas Burns, (W); A Sherman, (W); Cosgrove,(W); W Hening, (W); George Brown (M); D Myers, (M).
Company F—D Huff, (W), slight; V Group, (M); McGowen, (M); Corp I Smith, (W); T Kalihan, (W), slight.
Company G—Provost, (W); Private Wiel, (M).
Company H—J Grade; killed; C Cummings, (W); J German, (M).
Company I—Corp Levi King, (W), severe; Chas Leclair, (W); Thos Nestor, (W), slight; Wm Pottenger, (M); Max Leibeler, (M); Wm Palmatier, (W), foot; Sergt John Miller, (M); E Houghtaling, (M).
This includes all up to this morning. Lieut. Mabbett was the only officer hit. Some of the missing are probably killed.
E. O. BARTLETT, Chaplain 150th N. Y. V.
[A correspondent of the Poughkeepsie Eagle under date of June 23, after giving a glowing account of the operations of the 150th during the severe fighting of several days, concludes his article thus:—
I wish we could stop here, and add nothing more to this line of victory. Success has again crowned our old storm riddled flag, but when the evening
Roll Call was heard, one name was followed by that solemn silence which we too well knew meant death, and every lip quivered, and every eye was moist, as the report went through the ranks that Lieut. Henry Gridley was killed. After the action commenced, I saw him standing just behind his company, urging the men to work lively, and pointing out where they could get the best range, and, as the rebel line advanced he asked John Gaulenbeek, of Company A, to try a large color-bearer; Gaulenbeck fired, the color bearer fell, and Lieut. Gridley clapped his hands, complimenting the man for his good shot—and just then a bullet struck him in the heart; he staggered back, fell into Lieut. Wattles' arms, and was dead before he struck the ground. Quiet and reserved, but at all times so pleasant in his intercourse with the people he met, and brave as a lion he was respected by every man in the 150th, and loved as a brother by those who were fortunate in being his intimate friends. With excellent natural abilities, perfected by a liberal education, it is seldom one finds a more thorough scholar than he was; and while he was associated with me last winter at Tullahoma on a court-marshal, I had a good opportunity to see what a strong, vigorous mind he was blessed with, and how carefully he had improved every advantage.
Just upon the threshold of manhood, with everything bright before him, he has fallen another victim upon his country's altar. Just as his feet were turning from the dreams of youth to the realities of life, the poor boy laid his bleeding heart upon his country's flag, and sank down with those
The fame of whose endeavor,
Time and change shall not dissever,
From the nation's heart forever!
The following is a list of casualties [sic]:
Company A—First Lieut. Henry Gridley, killed; Sergt. W. A. Bartlet, wounded in the hand.
Company B—T. C. Jones, wounded in the hand.
Company D—Sergt. W. B. Hayes, wounded in the hand; James Todd, wounded in the leg; H. M. Ackert, slightly wounded.
Company E.—Sergt. J. P. Sweetman, mortally wounded; J. C. Davidson, severely wounded.
Company F.—J. Simmons, wounded severely.
Company G.—Corp. B. A. Harp, severely wounded.
Company I.—Corp. P. C. Curtis, slightly wounded; Corp. J. W. Holdon, severely wounded; Patrick Towhey, slightly wounded, slightly wounded.
While we were building breastworks on Saturday, June 11th, a shell exploded in front of Company A, killing Corporal Stone, of New York city, and severely wounding Henry Winans.
On Wednesday, June 15th, while my Company was on the skirmish line, privates Daniel Glaucey, James E. Myers, and Patrick McManus, were wounded. Glancy died the same night, and the next night privates Henry Snyder and Cornelius Sparks were killed on the same line.
150TH REG. CORRESPONDENCE.
CAMP 150TH N. Y., in Atlanta, Georgia,
September 3d, 1864.
Editors Poughkeepsie Eagle:
Gentlemen:—The oriental afternoon dreams, the romantic twilight musings, and the fascinating piscatorial pursuits, in which the 150th were indulging by the waters of the low murmuring Chattahoochie, were slightly interfered with yesterday, as the Brigade had marching orders at three o'clock; and, in half an hour afterwards, the 3d Wisconsin and the 150th N. Y. were approaching the defences of Atlanta on a gentle dog-trot, "terrible as an army with banners," but as jolly as so many festive aldermen starting for a Long Island clam bake. The day was terribly warm, and the dust, rising in regular clouds, whitened every capillary attraction, (I refer to heads,) clouded every blue uniform an inch thick, and darkened every Eagle eye; but the boys marched fast from the start, and kept steadily at it, over our old breastworks, beyond which no intruding foot had pressed, beyond the rebel forts from which so many showers of merciless lead had fallen around patriotic breastworks, through seven lines of formidable earthworks comfortably supplied with strong abattis, into Atlanta, and through the town. We went, drums beating, colors flying, and the Brigade Band playing the Federal Doodle, until the place was completely filled with Yankee Doodle, Star-Spangled Banner, Hail Columbia, and Abraham Lincoln! Taking possession in the name of the great flanker, Gen. Sherman, and by the authority of a Government which has not been recognized "to any considerable extent," (as Col. Maltsby, an old friend of ours on the Gettysburgh [sic] campaign would profoundly remark,) for some time past in these parts, we gracefully received the welcomes of the citizens who swarmed to greet us, (and very probably were just as fast to damn us two days before,) crossed the railroad wreck at the lower end of the town, and encamped in the earthworks crested by enthusiastic Johnnies, slaughter pens for "mudsills," but which, in the mutations of this changeable existence, have been turned into dirt monuments of secession failures, and clay warnings to all future traitors:
The Richmond Examiner of August 21st contains an elaborate article upon Atlanta, in which it is clearly foreseen that if Sherman captures the place he will not be able to hold it; it will ruin him by extending his communications; and if he does not succeed in capturing the place, Hood will so ruin his army, while peripatetic guerrillas cut into his rear, that nothing but a disastrous retreat will follow. In either case you notice the result is rather rough upon Mr. Sherman, and not at all hard upon Mr. Hood. The "Southern Confederacy," published in Atlanta, September 1st, copies these remarks from the Richmond paper, and makes the following comment: "The whole of the foregoing is the most arrant Fustian and boast. Who does not know that the capture of Atlanta would be the making of Sherman? His ruin, indeed! II WOULD PROSTRATE THE PEACE MEN; it would counterbalance Grant's losses; and it would continue the war indefinitely. As to holding Atlanta, there is no doubt of it! Haven't they held Nashville with a long line of railway through Kentucky, and a river channel only in the winter? Haven't they held Chattanooga with a long line through Tennessee? Haven't they held their position outside here two months? And yet this Richmond writer, (who doubtless has penned many an article headed "No Cause for despondency,") would cheer up the country by insulting the common sense, by whispering the fall of Atlanta down the wind as a trifling matter after all, the very worst luck which could befall Sherman.—if this is really so gen. Hood had better give it up to him at once. Let us loose Atlanta, and the bottom falls from our hope, and we shall look for the re-election of Lincoln, and another four years of blood! Only, we don't expect to loose Atlanta! The soldiers out in the trenches assure us daily that they appreciate fully the heavy responsibility pressing upon them, and that they will stand by Hood to the death, in the defense of the city. We have Sherman confused. We have forced him to change front, and alter his base. The next order he issues will be one involving a right about face, and a double-quick towards the classic boys of Dalton."
I have been thus lengthy in my quotation, to let you see how rebel eyes viewed the matter, and how liable they are to be mistaken. Before the ink on that paper of Thursday was dry, Sherman had cut Hood's army in two; the rebels skedaddled out of the city, burning eighty car loads of ammunition, and an arsenal which is still smoking, and General Slocum's advance was within sight of the city. If this is the way the Johnnies intend "to confuse Sherman," and if this is the way he gives the order "to right-about-face for the classic boys of Dalton," I have only to remark that Sherman is a peculiarly "hunkey boy," and I trust he will keep up this style of doing things until Fall, and by that time the confederacy will have him so completely "confused," and so ever-lastingly right-about-faced, that there will not be a single rebel foot-hold in the South-West, and we can return to the bosoms of our families because "there is nothing more to do!"
Atlanta is a very pleasant city, built upon two hills, with the Railroad running between them, and from the appearance of the stores in the business portion of the place must have enjoyed a large trade before the war broke out. The outskirts are well supplied with cosy [sic] cottages, and imposing mansions generally of the approved north river style, and the drives about the town prove that the Atlantains were sound upon the horse question. Colonel Ketcham has his Head-Quarters in one of the coolest and neatest little houses we have seen upon the campaign. Brigade Head-Quarters are in a "corner house" with a stucco front—Division Head-Quarters are in a mansion that would do credit to Washington-Heights, and Gen. Slocum's flag waves in front of the most fashionable residence in the city. Where the former dwellers in these home-castles are now it is impossible to state, but the supposition is that they have skedaddled with the rebel army, and in the deep bosom of the south are now agitatingly awaiting the next movement of the "confused" Yankees. One very pretty cottage, with a beautiful lawn in front, was evidently at one time the property of a Government contractor, in as much as we find upon the walls the following remarks written with a lead pencil: "as yeu mad the muny with wich yew bilt this ere vent on the Guvernment, I am jest glad yew had tew leve it durn your ize," therefore you perceive that the great army of Government leeches at the north has a close parallel in the south, and the shoddy of New York have shoddy relations in Georgia. Judging from the effect of the rebel batteries upon us, we did not suppose that our cannonading had injured the city very much, but a ride through the place this morning tells a terrible story of life here since our guns opened. But very few houses have escaped, and in Marietta street every house has been hit several times, and nearly all of the public buildings have a ragged hole to show where a solid shot had been traveling. Those citizens who remained constructed bomb-proofs in their yards, and even these in a few instances failed to protect them. Over one hundred citizens have been wounded, and over twenty killed by our shells, and the city has been in a blaze a dozen times, but the well organized Fire Department comprised of "Exempts" have managed to put the fire out after each accident.
We have heard but once from the main army since leaving the Chattahoochee, and this was good news. Hood was badly whipped near Jonesboro on the 2d, and our forces were following up the victory as rapidly as possible.
In view of the foregoing facts it strikes us that matters in this department are succeeding as well as the most exacting patriot can ask, and we feel rather proud to be able to tell our friends at home that the 150th was with the first body of troops entering the stronghold which the rebels swore should never be polluted by a Yankee foot. If Dutchess County appreciates our labors and is satisfied with the regiment, let her show it by sending on all the recruits possible. I do not wish to cast any reflections upon new regiments, but every military man will tell you that a recruit in an old regiment is worth three recruits in s new one, for the reason that in an old regiment the new man learns much sooner and much more easily how to provide for himself; he acquires the drill more rapidly, and he has right at his elbow the experience of old soldiers to assist him in every emergency. New regiments very often go into the field and behave splendidly, but before they learn the sanitary principles common among veterans, many a good man is lost and the service is so much the poorer. We have plenty of room for more representatives from old Dutchess, and if they will put in an appearance we promise to give them a hearty welcome, and as good fare as we can possibly procure. Recruits certainly cannot find a better corps than the twentieth or a better Commander than Major-General Slocum. Can they find a better regiment than the 150th N. Y.? I blush for a reply! Yours Modestly,
W. R. W.
Colonel Ketcham and His Soldiers.
"Camp 150th N. Y. State Volunteers,
Atlanta, Ga., September, 26, 1864.
"To the Editors of the Evening Post:
"I take the liberty of forwarding the enclosed resolutions to you for publication, and if you will be kind enough to give them a place in your paper it will confer a favor upon all of the officers in the regiment.
"We have followed Colonel Ketcham for two years in the old Army of the Potomac and in the military division of the Mississippi, and we are very anxious that he should represent Dutchess and Columbia counties in the next Congress, because we believe that much of the good accomplished through suffering and death in the field has been made of little account by men in high places, who have no more love for the Union than the rebels. If the people will but do their duty at the polls you will not be compelled to endure another draft, for Grant in the East and Sherman in the West are pushing the Confederacy rather hard.
"The news from Sheridan is very cheering, the new recruits are daily coming in, and are really excellent men; this army, from its rest, is again in splendid condition, and as Sherman promises 'a fine winter campaign,' we hope, sooner or later, to give you an account of, our doings, as full of victories as the history of our advance from, Chattanooga to Atlanta.
"Very respectfully yours,
"Wm. R. WOODIN,
"Captain Co. D, 150th New York."
"At a meeting of the officers of the One Hundred and
Fiftieth Regiment, New York state volunteers, held in Atlanta, Georgia, September 24, 1864, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, That, as far as the suppression of the rebellion is concerned, as much depends upon the loyalty and firmness of the patriot citizen in the coming elections as upon the devotion and endurance of the patriot soldier in the field, and that if honest and capable men are elected to places of trust and responsibility, we believe that an honorable and enduring peace can readily be achieved by Union arms.
"Resolved, That in the nomination of Colonel John H. Ketcham for Congress, both citizens and soldiers, animated by a common sentiment, and aiming at a common object, to sustain the government in quelling the rebellion and in bringing traitors to punishment, by their votes have the opportunity of placing a responsible man in a responsible position, and one who has been tried by years of service at home and in the field, and has not yet been found wanting.
"Resolved, That to our congratulations upon this well-deserved honor we respectfully add our appreciation of the services we have seen Colonel Ketcham render his country and his government; of the earnest loyalty with which he has remained at his post through the past two years of suffering and danger, and of the kindness and constant care which has characterized his relations with every officer and man in the regiment.
"Resolved, That while we heartily approve and applaud the nomination of one who has tested his patriotism, as well as his ability, upon so many fields, we call upon our friends at home to give their warmest support to Colonel Ketcham, believing that inasmuch as he has deemed no exertions unnecessary for the comfort and welfare of his command, and no sacrifice too great in behalf of the Union, the constitution and the enforcement of the laws, the same spirit will follow him to Congressional halls, and render him even more useful and beneficial to the common cause.
"Resolved, That as evidence of our unanimity of feeling, and as testimony of our affection and respect for the man who has led us successfully through so many trying scenes, that each of us, comprising all of the officers present with the regiment, attach our names to these resolutions, and improve this opportunity of expressing how willingly, and how, cheerfully, we pledge to him our unqualified support.
"Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be given to Colonel Ketcham, with our kindest wishes for his success, and that copies be forwarded to the Dutchess and Columbia county papers for publication.
"A. B. Smith, Major One Hundred and Fiftieth New York Volunteers; C. N. Campbell, Surgeon do.; E. O. Bartlett, Chaplain do,; S. G. Cook, Assistant-Surgeon do.; H. C. Smith, Lieutenant and Quartermaster do.; W. Wattles, Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant do.; Captains—J. H. Cogswell, Company A; R. McDonnell, Co. B; H. A. Gildersleeve, Co. C; W. R. Woodin, Co. D; O.Wheeler, Co. E; John L. Green, Co. F; E. A. Wickes, Co. G; P. M. Thorne, Co. H; R. Titus, Co. I; J. S. Scofield, Co. K. First Lieutenants—R. C. Tripp, Co. B; J. P. Mabbett, Co. C; P. W. Chapman, Co. E; D. C. Underwood, Co. G; D. B. Sleight, Co. I; W. H. Sleenburgh, Co. K. Second Lieutenants—A. J. Osborn, Co. B; J. B. Fury, Co. C; Frank Mallory, Co. D; C. P. Barlow, Co. E; S. H. Paulding, Co. F; John Fitzgerald, Co. H; S. Humiston, Co. I.
"J. S. SCOFIELD, Capt. Co. K, 150th N. Y., Chairman
"H. A. GILDERSLEEVE, Capt. Co. C, 150th N. Y., Sec."
New York Soldiers in Georgia.
Col. J. H. Ketcham, and his Dutchess County (150th) Regiment are doing glorious service for the Union cause under Genl. Sherman in Georgia. The Poughkeepsie Eagle publishes an army letter giving the following account of the part taken by this regiment in one of the recent battles with the Rebels under Johnson:
"We were advanced in Sunday's fight until we were almost upon the rebel works, and then halted. Colonel Ketcham at once suggested breastworks to General Ruger, and the order was immediately given to build them, and the way we flew around after rails, and the way the rails went up in front of us was a caution. The slight protection was scarcely up before our skirmishers were driven in, and the storm commenced, and for three-quarters of an hour the rebs made such fierce assaults upon us, as we were the extreme left, that the troops not engaged supposed we were completely demolished. At almost the first volley Lieutenant S. V. R. Cruger, our Adjutant, fell, shot through the chest; and a braver soldier, a more efficient officer, and a better boy, never dropped in front of an enemy. It seemed as if the One Hundred and Fiftieth were paralysed [sic] for a few moments, for Cruger was respected and loved by every officer and man to such an extent that we could hardly stand the thought of having him wounded, but as he painfully crawled back to the surgeon the boys went in like devils, as if to avenge poor Cruger's wound, and such fighting has not been seen by the western army lately. The rebels knew that unless they turned our left they could not stand before us long, and they moved regiments after regiments and sent them upon our line, only to fall back in disorder, until the Twenty-seventh Indiana on our right charged, captured the Colonel of the Thirty-eighth Alabama and the regimental colors, and the rebels ran like small streaks of greased lightning.
"Adjutant Cruger at the last account was considered out of danger. The other wounded men are but slightly hurt, and I have not time to find out their names because this is the first chance I have had to write; and I would not have had this but the column is delayed while the troops are crossing the Coosawatie River. We expect to find the 'Johnnies' between here and Atlanta, and have more glorious news to send. The reports from Virginia make the boys anxious to do likewise in this Department.
For the Press.
Of the late Lieutenant E. P. Welling.
CAMP NEW KELLY'S FORD, VA.,
September 12th, 1863.
Things about Kelly's Ford are very much the same as one week ago. Nothing of particular note having occurred. Sunday was a beautiful day. My duties were principally confined in looking after Co. C. At nine in the morning had an inspection of the company; found a decided improvement in the company in almost every respect; the men by a little encouragement on my part have taken great pains in presenting a better appearance. Indeed the whole regiment is much improved in this respect. It is almost surprising to see how well men can keep themselves looking while in the field. More surprising when one looks about a camp, down here in the Army of the Potomac, to observe how comfortable the different regiments make themselves with a few pieces of muslin, some poles and boughs. The men, many of them, are very industrious and quite ingenious in devising ways to provide for deficiencies. Every part of a camp is also kept with the utmost neatness. It makes no difference whether a regiment stays in camp two days or two months, you will generally find things in the same way.
On Monday went on picket at the Ford. Found little change across the Rappahannock among the rebels pickets. A few more, however, were visible, and these were bolder than I was accustomed to see them. The barbarous practice of picket firing being done away with, pickets, as posts of observation, no longer conceal themselves from view, nor evince any fear of approaching each other's lines. Quite a contrast presents itself between the men of the opposing armies. Our men, with their dark blue apparel, which at a distance looks almost black; the rebels, with their grey and butternut, which is scarcely distinguishable among the trunks of trees, bogs and fences. In this respect, I think, the rebels have the advantage, especially in the line of sharp-shooting. Our pickets are now within easy rifle range of the rebel pickets. No picket is allowed to point a gun toward the rebel lines, or in any way give indication of a belligerent character. Picket duty in nice weather is rather pleasant,—there is nothing hard about it. We leave camp about nine in the morning, and relieve the picket guard at the post, and throw out a relief to relieve that on sentinel posts; the picket on post then return to camp. There is always kept at a small distance behind the line of sentinels (the pickets on post) a reserve ready for every emergency. One half of these are allowed to sleep, eat, &c., at a time, the others must be ready to spring to arms at a moment's notice. The officer of picket has a mounted orderly at hand to send to headquarters with news of anything important which may occur, and with the utmost dispatch. When things are considered a little dubious, an extra reserve is added at night. The day passes generally without anything exciting. At night, however, are many quite laughable occurrences. Some men of active imaginations, see many things to excite suspicions. Passing along my line of pickets one of the sentinels beckoned me to come to his post. I could not perceive whether each particular hair did stand on end like a fretful porcupine or not, but his voice was like "a little breath." Says he: "Do you see that bush?" "Yes," said I. "Is there not a man by it?" "None that I can see," I replied. At that instant a dark object moved very low down, as a man on his hands and knees. The thing grew very interesting. It moved from the bush, came out in the moonlight, and Mr. Kelly's or somebody else's big black dog developed his proportions, trotted down to the water's edge, took a drink, and trotted back as any dog would have done. The sentinel did not wish to hear any more about dogs that night. Occasionally one hears of men who wear even first lieutenant's straps becoming somewhat nervous at a few cattle or horses roving among the bushes on the other side of the river, but perhaps it is better so, but as yet I have seen nothing while on picket to disturb me. At night, the men not on duty for the time being, wrapt themselves in their blankets, and sleep much more soundly than many citizens at home, and in their beds do, while the wheel of conscription continues to roll. The officer of the picket is expected to be constantly on the alert. Everything depends on him; he must have much discretion to do his duty properly; he must not let the enemy steal a march on him, nor must he unecessarily [sic] alarm a camp. Tuesday morning, came off picket; found everything quiet in camp; spent the day in writing up company matters; doing company business, drilling, and other camp duty.
Wednesday morning refused duty for the first time since joining the regiment at place; was quite indisposed from diarrhea; towards noon grew better and went on duty. In the afternoon we had a review of our brigade, consisting of three regiments. A review of this kind I had only once before seen; that at Camp Millerton. It passed off well. Immediately after the review of our brigade, the First Division of our Corp, consisting of six regiments, was reviewed. Some of the regiments had received their quota of conscripts, consequently they made a very good show in point of numbers. The line was at least three-quarters of a mile in extent. In these reviews I find that the 150th compares very favorably in point of drill.
Thursday morning went on as regimental officer of the day. At one o'clock the regiment was in line ready to join its brigade and division for another division review, being officer of the day, of course I was excused. The review is said to have passed off to the satisfaction of all concerned. At its close, the surrender of Fort Wagner was announced to the division. The announcement was received with three hearty cheers. Good war news are quite as favorably received among us as among the most patriotic at the north. That night our regiment was visited by some staff officers of the division, all much intoxicated, and they were more so before they departed. One of them, a quartermaster, ranking as captain, rode his horse into a sink. The horse fell and threw his ride, breaking his arm, and bruising him somewhat. When the quartermaster came to and found his arm broken, he said, "Well, by G-d, I've broken my arm over the fall of Wagner; I shall break my neck over the fall of Charleston!" Good patriotism, but the question arises whether such men are calculated to take a place like Charleston? But these fellows felt jubilent [sic] at the fall of Wagner, and
get drunk over the news.
Friday passed with nothing worth noting. Battallion [sic] drill from 5 o'clock until dark. In the morning cannonading could be heard plainly on our right somewhere in the region of Rappahannock Station; since learned it was a reconnoisance of our forces on the other side of the river.
Saturday opened fair and beautiful, very warm at noon day. About 2 o'clock, rising far above the sleepy Blue Ridge, could be seen a dark mass. We inhabitants of cloth houses, looked somewhat apprehensively towards it. It rose higher and higher; grew darker and darker, until it overspread the whole sky, and then came a deluge of wind and rain. And our cloth house and piney arbors? Alas! they proved to be founded upon sand. I felt my tent going. Instantly wrapping a rubber blanket about my books and papers. I bade the tempest to do its worst. And it did. Down came poles, tent and all, completely enveloping me; the rain poured in torrents, the folds of the tent seemed to carry the water right upon me, until I was completely wet through. The wind and rain abated, crawling out from under my prostrate tent, a most laughable scene presented itself. Officers and men on all sides were creeping out from under the enveloping folds of fallen and saturated tents. Wet through, hats off, many of them swearing, and all laughing at each others laughable plight. Scarcely an officer's tent was left standing, and they were all more or less wet themselves. The sun came out beautifully bright, and was welcomed with much better grace then for the past few days. Tents were soon up, everything dry, and in one hour little indication of the scene described was visible. Just before sundown General Kilpatrick rode through our camp to join his command just under the hill. This looks like some movement in the neighborhood, for several days the indications have been that something is on foot.
My health during the week has not been very good. Have had quite a diarrhea. It still clings to me with but little abatement. Very few escape it when first coming into Virginia. If not too severe and persistent, one is benefitted [sic] by it. It often prevents fevers.
For the Telegraph.
Of the Late Lieut. E. P. Welling.
WEEK COMMENCING Aug. 30, 1863.
Received orders from the Col. early Sunday morning to have Co. C ready to strike tents at 10 A. M. as he had been ordered to move camp. The object of the removal being to take a more healthy position. At ten we were ready and the whole regiment took up its line of march and proceeded something above a mile farther back upon a hill. Here we laid out our new camp, and in short order the top of the hill was whitened with tents.
The shelter tents are put up in this manner: Four crotches are driven into the ground so that they are about eighteen inches high, in these are placed two poles of the length of the piece of tent. Two other crotches about six feet high are driven into the ground midway between each two of the short ones, and a pole laid across from one to the other, two pieces of shelter tent are then buttoned together and thrown over this pole and fastened at the sides to the poles placed there, this forms a complete roof. Across the lower poles other poles are laid, for a bed, being thus raised some 18 or 20 inches from the ground. Upon these pine and cedar boughs are laid, and over them an india rubber blanket, thus a very comfortable bed is made. A shelter tent is about six feet square made of very light canvass. Some of the men regardful of their comfort thatch up one end of their tents with cedar boughs. Some build little arbors in front of their tents to shut out the sunbeams. In this way our little camp was soon made to present quite a grotesque and at the same time comfortable appearance.
Our location is a delightful one, the hill upon which we are encamped is crowned by a piece of wood, this lies just back of our camp, in fact part of the camp, (the hospital department, the band and the horses and hostlers,) is in the wood. The hill slopes to the northwest, below it is the valley of the Rappahannock with its meadows and pasture fields, pieces of corn and woods. Far off in the hazy distance are the Blue Ridge mountains, so quiet and grand that one never tires of looking at them. I sometimes forget myself as I look across the country towards these mountains and think that I am again in old Duchess with the Catskill in view, but the sound of drum and bugle, the hundreds of tents dotting the valley below and the desolate appearance of the country quickly remind me that I am on belligerant [sic] soil and in the old Dominion.
To our left is Kelly's Ford at a distance of a mile and a half, to our right is Bealton station some five miles distant. In that direction there are more signs of civil existence, even some farm houses may be seen which keep about them an air of comfortable life—their very sight is quite refreshing. In one of them Gen. Slocum, (the commander of our corps) makes his headquarters. By Sunday night we were very comfortably quartered for troops of the army of the Potomac.
Monday was the day to muster for pay. The muster took place at ten A. M. and occupied the larger portion of the day. Everything passed off as well as could be expected under the circumstances. At night, much fatigued and feeling a little rheumatism I turned in, with an india rubber coat for covering and slept soundly.
TUESDAY, about 8 o'clock P. M. received order to go on picket with Capt. Green and some 76 men and the necessary complement of non-commissioned officers. Marched to Brigade Headquarters, and received instructions to proceed to Kelly's Ford and hold ourselves behind the breastworks as a reserve to the forces already there, the Rebels having strengthened their picket force and thrown it nearly down to the bank of the river. Arriving at the place, we found everything quiet so we stacked our arms, and leaving three men to guard them, with instructions to wake us, in case of undue stir on the other side we wrapped ourselves in our blankets and slept the night away, nothing transpiring to disturb our slumbers except the dampness and chill of the night air.
Wednesday morning, found everything quiet; I noticed a few more Rebel pickets than when I was on duty before and that their lines extended farther down to the water, nothing however of a decidedly belligerent [sic] character evincing itself, at 8 o'clock we started for camp. Arrived there at nine. Lieut. Marshall was just starting for Washington, very sick with typhoid fever, bade him good bye and saw him safely started in an ambulance.
Nothing of importance, in a military point of view, has transpired during this week, ordinary camp duty being the only thing on the ..pis, no Brigade drills and few Battallion [sic].
The weather some part of the time has been quite cool, especially nights.
My health during this week has not been as good as on previous weeks, owing to change of weather probably.
Saturday closes in once more, but there is little to indicate that tomorrow is the day set apart for universal rest.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THINGS AS I SAW THEM.
I found the regiment of which I had been in search in my former two letters, on the 17th of October, 1863, at Tullahoma, Tenn. I had been absent a few days more then two months and a half, during which time there has been many changes. A few had resigned, others had been promoted, and other—some were dead. Of these last, thank Heaven! There were but comparatively few.
I need not remind the people of Dutchess county, that we left them on the 11th day of October, 1862, for if I mistake not, it was a day long to be remembered by the thousands who had assembled in Poughkeepsie to witness our departure; and although they cheered us on with handkerchiefs and loud voices, I knew that many of those handkerchiefs would be wet with tears not long afterwards, and the voices that the strong will had controlled until our departure, would tremble in low hushed tones before we had got to New Hamburgh. From that time until the 25th of June, 1863, we certainly were one of the most fortunate of regiments. It did not seem like going to war, but like one prolonged pic-nic. Do any of you, my dear friends, remember to have heard any expressions of dislike, up there in Dutchess county, because we had met with such good luck? Do you remember having heard expressions in querulous tones like these: Why do they remain in Baltimore? Why do they not go to the front and do something? We have paid them large bounties, and expected they were going to fight, and not play soldier, &c. Such things were said, but I suppose they were generally said by those who had forgotten that we were regularly mustered in the United States service, and consequently subject to the orders of those outside of our regiment, and if they thought it necessary for some regiments to remain in Baltimore, and chose ours as one of them, we had no other alternative. But I hope that the most churlish of these fault finders are satisfied at last. On the 25th of June, came our marching orders, and we were to report to General Hooker at Monocacy, a distance of 50 miles, on the second day from that. It seemed like a huge thing, but it was accomplished, and we were part of the Army of the Potomac, chasing Gen. Lee. The life of comparative ease, if nor luxury, the good food and warm, sheltered lodging places, had been but poorly calculated to make us successful rivals with those veterans of the Potomac army, and in that long, forced march from Monocacy to Gettysburg, we suffered beyond description. But an impudent foe had dared to invade a sister State, and we were anxious to join issue with them on the field of battle. It was a long, tiresome march, and we were weary, hungry, and footsore, day after day, but not a word of complaint reached us, as we kept our places by the side of those veterans who had been inured to these marches, and accustomed to lie on the ground and make their three meals a day, or two, or one, or none, as it chanced to be, on hard-tack and bacon. Don't know what hard-tack is? Then I will tell you. It is the worst way that ever a flour was abused. It is taken, mixed with lime water, pressed into the shape and about the size of a soda cracker, put into an oven and baked,—or "set," as it comes out more like cement, than like anything else I ever knew baked except bricks. No living man can bite a piece off one of them. I have seen men lift a barrel of flour with their teeth, and go through the farce of biting a nail in two. They can bite a hard-tack in the same way, and in no other; that is, put it between their teeth and break it. Army bacon is something that has been pork, but has been put through a process that makes it as near like salted and smoked lamp oil set away to cool, as one pea is like another. This was new eating for us, and on the start we did not relish it very highly, but it was all that Uncle Sam could or would furnish us on a march. Then came the battle of Gettsburg [sic], and we were often glad to get even that, for several days many of us getting but what we could pick up on the ground, or forage from some dead soldier's haversack. Immediately followed the return march to the Potomac, when we marched every day as many as twenty miles and on one or two occasions over thirty, it raining every day, and of a consequence the roads were very muddy and our clothes very wet. We were not permitted to fight at Williamsport as we so much wanted to, but were hurried right on into Virginia, making our first halt on the north bank of Rappahannock. If you have closely followed my detail, you will now begin to appreciate in what desperately bad condition we were in, to be thrown into such a climate as Virginia in midsummer, with its intensely hot days, cool nights, and miserable water. The result was a typho-malarious fever that attacked more than one-half the regiment. I will give you an instance of what fever was doing, among our enervated worn out troops. The 12th Corps at that time numbered somewhere about 10,000 men,—our regiment about 500. The sick list for the whole Corps amounted to 209, and of these our regiment furnished 157, nearly three-fourths of the whole. It was at this time that the wisdom of the war committee was manifested, which nominated our worthy and efficient surgeon. Both of his assistants were either at home or in hospital, prostrated with fever, and himself far from being entirely well, yet with a noble perseverance and exemplary fortitude did he apply himself to the work before him, and thanks to his skill and indefatiguable industry, succeeded in bringing nearly all through the storm, which had burst with such fury upon our regiment, and threatened its utter destruction.
I find I have written much, when I intended to write but little of the past history of the regiment. As I said in the beginning, I found the regiment and its changes, on the 17th ult. On the 22nd we were ordered to the front, to help drive the rebels from Lookout Mountain. We marched three days, and on the third came the order for us to return arid guard the line of railroad, as during the three days we had been absent, the road had been broken twice and communication entirely stopped. Be it known that upon this single line of road, the whole Army of the Cumberland depends for its supplies. For many days there came back to us the fearful words: "They are starving down in the front," but Gen. Hooker has succeeded in driving the rebels from Lookout mountain, and we have succeeded in keeping the road open. They have plenty at Chattanooga now and so long as we can keep the road from being broken, there will be plenty. During our march we crossed and recrossed the Cumberland mountains by a road ten times worse than anything I ever imagined. I know Dutchess county pretty well, and you may pick out ten miles of the worst roads therein, then simmer it down to one, and the road over Cumberland mountain will beat it by fifty percent. We are now stationed at Normandy, sixty-two miles by rail, south of Nashville, where we guard seven miles of the road, from here "up south." The inhabitants (of whom I will have something to say in my next), all call it up south, which is literally true, as the streams all run towards the north, as we would, were "this cruel war over."
150th Regt. N. Y. V.
Normandy, Tenn. Nov. 11th, 1863.
THINGS AS I SAW THEM.
Two or three times in the last two or three weeks, I have attempted to redeem my promise of writing to you every week, but they have proved useless endeavors—the ink haying frozen in my pen, and fingers having found enough to do to keep warm, and let correspondence alone. The fact is that we have just closed one of the coldest spells of weather that has been known here in the South for a great many years—"not within the memory of the oldest inhabitants.” Not that the cold here has reached the extreme as it has in many or any of the places further North, but it has been so much colder than we expected to find or were prepared to receive, that it has pinched us very badly, altho' none of us have been frozen to death, as has been reported of the soldiers at Bridgeport, Alabama, about 70 miles south us, neither has there been a frozen toe or finger. The exact severity of the cold, I am unable to give as I have not seen a thermometer in several months, but there is a physician living within a mile or two of here who is said to have one, and his is said to have been down to eight degrees below zero, the coldest morning. Some of the boys say if this is a specimen of the "sunny south." they want to go home as soon as possible, while others think the sooner we go on to the Gulf of Mexico, the better they will be pleased.
Since my last letter was written, we have had quite an accession to our regiment from men formerly belonging to the 145th N. Y. V.,—they having been disbanded, on account of being short of commissioned officers; said officers having been weighed in a military balance in the shape of a court martial, and found wanting. By the way, I believe that the action of the court martial was forestalled by the President, who having heard of their shortcomings, discharged them sans ceremonie. The gravest charge against them, as I understand it, was that when the 11th and 12th Corps were ordered on here from Virginia, that they left their regiment and allowed them to come on by themselves. The regiment was raised in New York city, and it may be fairly supposed that their standard of morality is not any higher than the ordinary run of soldiers. The consequence of their being thus left without a head was a continual scene of drunkenness, depredation of private property, robbery and confusion. Such a state of things could not well be winked at by the authorities, and as soon as it reached the ears of Gen. Hooker, he immediately ordered them under arrest, the result of which has been the dishonorable dismissal of the officers, and the division of the men among the other New York regiments in the same corps. About 100 of them were apportioned to our regiment. This has served to increase the number of men in our regiment sufficiently to have a few more commissioned officers mustered in. It may not be generally known that for nearly a year past, we have not been allowed to have any more commissioned officers in our regiment until it numbered eight hundred men, or the maximum number necessary for each company. There have been several who have had there commissions for along time, but could not be mustered in on account of this general order, but this new batch has served a glorious purpose with these caudate officers, and they are now supporting their yellow bars, which have been by some one, compared to great yellow worms eating down into the heart of the nation. Among these fortunate ones are the Sergeant Major, and the Orderlies of Companies B, D, and J and H, named respectively W. Wattles, A. J. Ostrom, S. Humeston, and J. Fitzpatrick. Ostrom has not been mustered in yet as 2d Lieutenant, as he has been absent, sick, for some time past, and has not yet rejoined his regiment. I am very sorry to hear fears expressed of his never being able to be with us again.
While speaking of the weather, I should have added that it has now tamed down so much it resembles more the ordinary weather of the latter part of March in the State of New York. Last night it did not freeze at all.
Mud is very abundant. We have had a little snow, covering the ground to about one inch in depth. Previous to the first day of January, 1864, I did not see a snow flake,—the first December that I have ever lived without seeing abundance of them. Of course, this cold weather has made lots of ice, and it is amusing to see the young F. F. T.'s attempt to slide on it. The word skate, is Hebrew to them, there being no such word tolerated in their vocabularies. But as far as my observation extends, I cannot see but that the whole population here, men, women and children, including the negroes, stand the cold as well as we of more northern climes. I was much surprised at this, especially of the negro, for it is generally supposed that his capacity for enduring heat was much greater and for cold much less than the white man, but I am beginning to think that both propositions are wrong. This war is going to correct a great many erroneous opinions and prejudices of both sections of the country, and it may be not the least important among them, that it establishes the fact, that white men can endure the extreme heat as well as the black man. Why not? What is there about the black man physically, that will enable him to endure more of anything than the white man? Some may say he is acclimated! Very well, and are not the white race acclimated also? Show me a spot on the globe too hot or too cold, or too malarious for an Anglo-Saxon to live a month, and I will show you a spot where a negro cannot live 29 days. But for fear I should step on forbidden ground if I went further, I will close with, Yours truly,
FRED FULTON, 150th N. Y. V.
Normandy, January 14th, 1864.
For the Daily Press.
THINGS AS I SAW THEM.
The "expedition" of which I made mention in my last letter, was brought to a close day before yesterday, and yesterday morning Col. Ketcham and his command started to return, making Tullahoma their encamping ground for the night. From the time of starting, until every dollar of the tax had been collected, nothing had transpired of unusual import excepting that several of the small parties that had been sent out to collect forage and taxes of different individuals, narrowly escaped attack from guerilla bands, who infest every part of this state. On Sunday last, as Lieut. Bowman was returning from one of these minor expeditions, with fifteen mounted men under his command, he was informed that Capt. Broadway, with about thirty of his company of guerrillas were on his trail and very close to him. Instantly, ordering his men to dismount and concealing their horses, he placed his men in position and awaited their approach. Soon on they came and when within about two hundred yards, Bowman gave the command to "FIRE." Their leader, Captain Broadway, bit the dust—four others were wounded—and the rest fled in utter confusion. Bully for Bowman! Captain Cogswell and a little band under his command also escaped very narrowly, from a band who were on their trail, and probably only escaped them, by their being put on the wrong track, intentionally or otherwise, by a contraband. But yesterday, as they were on their way home, and within five or six miles of Tullahoma, there occurred in the party, what can only be called
A COLD-BLOODED MURDER.
The command had halted for dinner, all but two, who doubtless thought the distance so small to Tullahoma, they would ride there before getting their dinners. They had not proceeded more than one quarter of a mile, which took them just around a little curve in the road, when the report of firearms was heard. The whole command instantly started and on arriving at the place found the bodies of their two companions, both entirely dead. Their names are GEORGE LOVELACE, Company C, and JOHN ODELL, Company F.
The bushwhackers who had done the damnable deed, had rifled their pockets, taken their horses and left. From all appearances they had been surprised and surrounded. From the appearance of the wound, George Lovelace had been shot while still upon his horse, the gun having been held so close, that the powder burned his coat. He was shot in the back, on the right side of the back bone, the bullet entering the right lung, and not coming out. He seemed to have died without a struggle. John Odell, it appears, made as desperate a struggle for his life as he could. By some means he had got away from them, leaped a fence and had run about a hundred yards, when the guerrillas overtook and shot him. His death was witnessed by a woman in a house not far from where the murders were committed. The shot that killed Odell, entered his left lung.
On coming up to the place, Col. Ketcham immediately gave the order for pursuit and led the way himself. One party struck the trail and followed them eight miles, when they came in sight of them, cooking their supper. Although every effort was made to surprise them, it failed—the pursuing party not being able to get nearer than three or four hundred yards before they were discovered, when they sprang to their horses, and were dashing off, when the command to Fire, was given and our boys poured out one volley towards them, but they were so far off, that but one man was wounded and he escaped. The guerrillas were mounted on excellent horses, while those ridden by our men, were very poor and nearly jaded out. Had the case been reversed, they would doubtless all have been captured. The band was under the command of one Dr. Childs—Bennet Childs, and it is presumed had followed them all the from Mulberry, (the place they started from in the morning,) and had been watching their opportunity to strike and run.
The two men are now here, having arrived this afternoon in an ambulance. As we have not got any materials for embalming them, nor can get any, (having tried,) and as the road will not allow a body sent over it, unless embalmed, we shall have to bury them here.
I regret to add, that, although not strictly disobeying orders, yet their leaving the main body of the men was contrary to the advice of the Colonel in command, and several times during the day, they had been cautioned by others, against doing it,—but the advice was not heeded, and the result has been as I have written i . Each of them leaves a family up there in Dutchess County, to mourn their loss.
What action the authorities will take in the matter is not yet known, but it is hoped that the $30,000 collected, will be now divided among five instead of three families, as was originally intended. A strong effort will be made by Col. Ketcham to have this done. In my next, I will have more to say of this guerrilla warfare as it is carried on here.
FRED FULTON, 150th Reg. N. Y. S. V.
Normandy, Feb. 12, 1864.
For the Telegraph.
THINGS AS I SAW THEM.
The record of my last letter closed on the night of May 14, and like most of stories that are "to be continued," left off just in the most interesting part. You will recollect that we were up on the extreme left of a long line of battle, some twelve or fifteen miles in length, where we had repulsed a charge made by the rebels to capture one of our batteries. In this the 150th were not engaged, but held as a reserve, just back on a hill, in case they should be needed. That night we encamped on the scene of action, and during the night there occurred several rather amusing mistakes on the part of straggling rebels. One came into our lines inquiring for the 17th Alabama? "Yes," said three or four men, stepping up and seizing both him and his gun; we can tell you just where you are. "You are in the wrong pew. This is the 2d Massachusetts." "Oh! come boys, none of your fooling," says reb. "I want to get by roll call." A light from a neighboring fire just then blazed up revealing the blue uniforms around him. He gave one wild look as though he would break away, then giving vent to a long whistle, gave himself up muttering, "the wrong pew sure enough." There were several such incidents during the night. The next morning, unlike the past six or eight, there was no rattle of musketry to be heard—no roar of artillery—no moving of infantry; all was as quiet and serene as a Sabbath morning should be. About 9 a. m. it began to be evident that the different corps commanders were in consultation and had selected a little grove just by our camp for the place of consultation. I forget now, how many generals we saw there, but with their several staffs and body guards there was several acres of them; perhaps acres would be a better way to judge of them. First, and I believe the greatest general of them all, was Joe Hooker. Then came two riding side by side with but two arms and two legs between them, General Sickles with but one leg, and General Howard with but one arm, and following came Generals Thomas, Schofield, McPherson, Butterfield, Logan and Sherman.—These are all the major generals I remember now, but there were a host more of brigadier generals, in fact, "too numerous to mention." I am sorry to say that after looking fairly into the faces of each of them, I am obliged to say that but two of them come up to my idea of an active, determined military general. I know and daily realize that I am not much of a military man, but always form my idea of men as they pass before me. General Joe Hooker, the commander of the 20th corps (ours) and Brig.-Gen. Geary, the commander of the 2d division of this, the 20th corps. And here allow me to remark, without meaning any offence to any of the parties mentioned, that the first sight of General Hooker forcibly reminded me of Hon. Wm. Kelly, and General Grant reminding me as forcibly of Sheriff Swift. The pictures I have seen in the illustrated papers resemble them about as much as any other general and no more. Well, the consultation broke up about 11 a. m., and the different generals and their followers whirled away, leaving us again "alone in our glory." I got into the shade of an accommodating persimmon tree, fell asleep, and about 1 p. m. awoke to see the last of the 150th piling over a hill about eighty rods away. I hastened after, saw them enter a dense wood and still hasten on. I had got but a little way into the wood when the ball opened, and you would have thought there was a hail storm going on, to have heard the bullets rattling about in the leaves and branches of the trees. The first division to which the 150th regiment belongs, had filed off to the left after entering the woods and I had followed up in the wake of the third division. I soon discovered my mistake and lost no time in getting once more on the trail of the 150th, finding them about two miles to the left. Our brigade being the last brigade on the left wing of the army, and our regiment being on the extreme left of our brigade.—Those who understand the importance of a flank movement, will readily understand that this was not a position without its danger, and not without its honor also, to those who are fighting for that article. It did not of right belong to our regiment, but to the oldest regiment in the brigade—but it showed pretty plainly the confidence our brigade and division commanders had in Colonel Ketcham and his regiment. Our line of battle was so arranged that the 150th took possession of a small eminence, the right wing of it fronting on a piece of woods and the left wing fronting an open field.
After looking the position over carefully, Colonel Ketcham ordered his regiment to go to building breastworks, and we fell to with a will, pausing not until every rail, log, hog trough, bee hive, etc., (we were right in front of a large dwelling) was used, and we had a very respectable shelter behind which to shield us from the storm which was so soon to burst upon us. Other regiments on our right took the hint from us and also fell to to build breastworks, but most of them too tardily, for the storm burst upon them before they were completed.
We had but nicely completed our breastworks when a rattling fire in the woods in our front told us that their advance had met our skirmishers and soon out of the woods came the skirmishers literally running for their lives. It reminded me very much of the times when I had seen a lot of boys steal up and thrust a stick into a hornet's nest, and then run with all their might. I did not know whether it was best to laugh or tremble. They were certainly in no enviable position, for the rebels were firing at them from the rear, and besides they were in imminent danger of being shot by our own men, as the rebels were pushing right on after them, emerging from the woods very close to the last of them. But Colonel Ketcham very wisely gave the order for the men to reserve their fire. Oh! it was a grand sight to see them pour out of the woods, form in double column and advance at a quick step towards our unsupported left. When they first emerged from the woods they were not more than a hundred and fifty yards distant and they were allowed to leave nearly half that distance behind them before the order came to "fire," and as one report, five hundred muskets roared and five hundred bullets went screaming into the ranks of our enemies.—They first faltered, fell back a few steps, then rallied and poured at us an unmerciful fire from guns that outnumbered us four or five to one. Then came our colonel's order, load and fire at will," and they did it with a vengeance.
Be it known that I am not one of those fortunate one who "load and fire" or who at such times command men who do "load and fire," but it was worth the sufferings and privations of our three years service, to have seen that fight of three quarters of an hour, escape unharmed, and at the same time to have taken a gun and looking deliberately over its sights, single out your man and fire it, and then repeat. Just think of it. The privilege of shooting your enemy and no law to trouble you after!
Was I frightened? Most assuredly I was, and would have run just as fast as my legs would have carried me, had it not been for pride. Pride would not let me, for there was the eyes of all the boys in the regiment to see me if I did run, and what would they say to me afterward? Judging by myself, (a conceited judgment it is said) I should say that it was pride which made a man face a storm of bullets oftener than courage. I frankly own it was so in my case, but then, I was never noted for courage. The fact is, I had no particular business up at the front, my duties being further in the rear, but was caught in the front by accident, mingled with curiosity, and pride and curiosity led me to remain. But it is not an enviable position, and when they get me into another such an one, unless by accident, it will be after Atlanta is taken.
Well the three fourths of an hour before spoken of passed away, and with it the enemy from before us, and "lucky 150th" was the shout from every lip, for we had had none killed, and but seven wounded. And yet how unlucky, for of this number was our loved adjutant, S. V. R. Cruger, severely if not fatally wounded, he having been shot in the upper part of the left lung. I saw him as he reeled out, spitting great mouthful of bright arterial blood, caught him in my arms and supported him to s position where his wound could be temporarily dressed, started him to the ambulances on a stretcher with the bullets dropping around us all the time like hail; and then turned my attention to the others as they came out. I give you a list of their names but suppose that it has already been published in your paper, as I have been too busy since the fight to write as I would have liked. Besides Adjutant Cruger, the next came Corp. George Stage, Co. E, struck just below the left eye with a ball that must have been nearly spent, as otherwise it would have passed through his head. As it was it entered about an inch, compromising life somewhat and his sight considerably. Benj. Watts, Co. E, struck with a bullet in the back of the neck, the ball being cut out below the shoulder blade. The wound is serious but probably not compromising life. Tolson Richardson, Co. B, stuck in the shoulder, breaking the bone badly, making a very serious wound. Thos. Wright, Co. G, escaped with a slight wound on the top of his head.—Benj. Harp, Co. G, also a very slight wound on the side of his head. Americus Mosher, Co. K, was slightly wounded in the breast.—There were a number of hair-breadth escapes, several with holes through their clothes, hats, etc. Well, my letter is getting as long as my time will permit. That night, Sunday, May 15, they commenced skedaddling, and the next morning we were after them pell-mell. They have fought us inch by inch or mile by mile to this place. We have laid here since Thursday night, May 19, but start on again in the morning with the understanding that we are to have another real fight with them at Altoona mountains, about ten miles from here. I do not intend these letters to be "regular correspondence" for all such have been ordered from this army by General Sherman, but just a little sketch of "Thing as I saw them," that I relate to my friends through the medium of THE TELEGRAPH. Expecting to start at 4 a. m. to-morrow morning, it now being almost too dark to write, I close with, yours truly,
FRED FULTON, 150th N. Y. S. V.
Cassville, May 22, 1864.
For the first time since we left Tullahoma, we are permitted to rest a day,--if indeed we are allowed to do so to-day, for it is not noon yet, and an orderly may be around at any time, with orders from headquarters for us to march immediately. I wrote you last, a few miles south of Chattanooga, where we were encamped on the east side of Lookout Mountain. The next morning at eight o'clock, we took up our line of march again, in a southerly direction. We had not gone far before we began to see evidences of strife, and all day, we passed, slowly, over the old battle field of Chickamauga, our course taking us over that part of it where Gen. Thomas held them in check, with the body of men under his command, while the wings of this body under command of Generals McCook and Crittenden, had been driven back in disorder. It used to be a fallacy of mine, and it may be of others, when reading of a battle field, to select in imagination some large field containing perhaps an hundred--perhaps two hundred acres, and then, follow the writer in this field as accurately as I could. If any of the readers of the Telegraph should have the same fallacy, let them dismiss it at once, for such an one would give scant room to manoeuvre a brigade much less an army. As large a town as there is in Duchess County would not be large enough for such a fight as that of Chickahomany, which I did not see, or Gettysburg, which I did see, and when, hereafter they read a description of a large battle, do not allow them to fix in their minds a "field" of less size than a large town.
But some may be curious to know what we saw in passing over Chickamauga battle field. Well, I will try and tell them. In the first place they must understand that there is but very little cleared land, it being nearly all covered with a moderate growth of trees, many, and I think, the majority of them being Yellow Pine, and the rest White and Black Oak. For ten miles I think, along the road we passed these trees are torn and marred by, cannon balls, shells, grape and cannister shot and minnie bullets. Some places there would be an interval of half a mile or even a mile, where we would see but few of these marks on the trees, and we would think we were nearly past the scene of conflict, but a few rods further on, and evidences of the most terrible carnage would present themselves to our view. I say carnage, because in the place of trees, I imagined men, for I know that living men stood there in and around and among those trees. Some of these same trees must have been struck by at least an hundred bullets, while others a foot and a half in diameter were cut entirely off by cannon balls, while the dead branches hanging everywhere, told how violent the storm of leaden and iron hail must have raged through here. But there were other things we saw. What was once a field of battle is now a field of graves. On either side of the road as we moved on, yes, and in the road, were graves innumerable. A few were marked, but many more that were not. On one little enclosure about six feet long and five wide, we read, "Here was the line of battle of the __ Indiana, and here lies buried Capt. ___ and Lieuts. ___ and ___ and 17 privates of Co. D." I have forgotten the names of the Captain and his Lieutenants, but there they and their seventeen men fell and lie buried, all in one little grave. And this was but one company out of ten of that Indiana regiment. The nine others may not have suffered so badly, or they may have suffered worse. We had not time to trace out the line of battle to see. In other places we saw bodies, lying but a little way from the roadside, that were only partially buried. In one place we would see but a hand thrust out through the earth, another a head uncovered, another a foot, while some were scarce covered at all. Yet wild verbenas grow by the side of these graves as beautifully as I ever saw them in Greenwood. We saw no means of judging whether these were rebel or union dead, but as our forces were compelled to make a "masterly retreat" and in something of a hurry, after a few days of hard fighting, it is fair to presume, that the dead they left behind them, were not as properly cared for, as they would have been had the other side made a "draw game" of it. It will also be remembered that until quite recently the Union troops have not had much opportunity of examining and improving the looks of things, on this celebrated battle field. Three or four miles south of there we passed some women washing, by the roadside, and they told us "You ens am the first Union sogers we ens have seed go by yer." Perhaps some of my readers will think that these were black women that talked in this way, but they were not. In times past, when some of you have listened to Niggerisms as carricatured [sic] by Geo. Christy, or Dan Bryant, you have thought, probably, as I have done, that it was all well enough to laugh at, but was by far too exaggerated, to be anything like a true picture of the Southern negro, and it may have been and probably was, so far as wit, fun and hilarity was concerned, for the slave as I have seen him, has been as meek, patient and enduring as an ox, with about as much life and hilarity. They all sing when they think no one is listening, but it is ever some mournful or plaintive ditty or Hymn. How they act when congregated by themselves, I cannot tell, as I have never so seen them. But for a ludicrous use of big words,—for malformation of sentences, and coarseness of dialect, the northern negro minstrel typifies the southern negro very correctly, and between the negro and the ninety and nine of the whites, I can see no difference in dialect or habit. It is this fruit of slavery, of which I complain. Instead of elevating the negro to a level of the white race, it has degraded the ninety and nine of the white race to a level with the negro.
But of Chickamauga, I was not quite done. You remember to have heard or read of some atrocities committed by the rebel troops upon some of the slain "Yankees." among the rest was the report of their cutting off the heads and setting them on poles by the wayside. I remember reading such an account, but tho't it gotten up by some sensationist, for effect; but our march day before yesterday, satisfied us that such reports were correct, for we found several of them still in their places. I did not see but two on poles, but numerous other poles, sharpened in the same manner and of about the same height, led me to believe they had once borne the same kind of load as the two whose burdens were still remaining. Besides this cluster of sharpened poles and their two grinning heads, we saw five or six others set about upon stumps and logs.
Yesterday morning, we got started at half past six, but marched very slow all day from necessity. News of our approach had induced the rebels to go to falling trees across our road, and as these had to be removed before the teams could pass, and as it is always a relief to infantry to have the artillery near and vice versa, we traveled very slowly until about 3 P. M., when we came to a halt on the west side of a large long hill or young mountain, called by some Pea Ridge--by others Taylor's Ridge, where we formed in line of battle, pitched our tents and have been encamped since. Our pickets occupy the summit of said ridge, and it is very currently reported that the enemy are on the other side. But I do not credit the report, for if they thought of making a stand in this vicinity, they would have taken this ridge and fortified it, from which they could have blown us into the air as we came up. From the best information I have been able to gather, we must have a very large army down here, more than an hundred thousand men. Gen. Hooker's Corps (the 20th,) occupies the extreme right of the line, and as we belong to the 1st Division of the 20th Corps, we must be on the right of the Corps. At Tunnel Hill or Tunnel Gap as some call it, some three or four miles above here, there was a force of rebels stationed, but it is said they were driven out yesterday by Gen. Butterfield, commanding 3d Division 20th Corps. Before this reaches you I presume the telegraph will have informed you of ... Ringgold ... ...ntly our ... ticipate ... write.
For the Telegraph.
THINGS AS I SAW THEM.
Thirty-one consecutive days under fire, and lulled to sleep (when sleep was possible) by the sound of booming cannon, for forty seven consecutive nights! Do you doubt our being tired of it? Tired, does not express the feeling. It is more than that. We are getting prostrated. So long have our nervous systems been drawn up to their fullest tension, that the tone is being slowly but as surely destroyed as the strings of a violin, kept continually on the stretch. The feeling of anxiety with us for so many days has worn off, and in its place has come a feeling, not of despair, but of desperation. The morning dawns--"Well boys, there is a prospect of a bloody day before us!" Not a nerve trembles—not a heart pulsates quicker, but a look ran over the countenances of the men, which seems to say, "Let it come, it will be the sooner over." Soon an orderly comes tearing up and says, (in effect) "Gen. Ruger's compliments, and the 150th will march to the right, immediately. Right or left, it is all one to us. On we go, not perhaps with the sprightly, elastic step of new recruits, but with the stolid, heavy tramp of veterans. After a march of two or three miles, sometimes more, sometimes less, comes the order to “halt," "Front," "Dress of the right," "Give way to the left," "Order arms," "Fix bayonets," "Stack arms." This is all done as cooly [sic] as though there were no enemy's breastworks and a deadly foe not more than two hundred yards in front of us. Skirmishers are immediately deployed to feel the enemy's line, and if found too strong to make a charge on them practicable, we commence throwing up breastworks.—Sometimes we are allowed to finish them without disturbance, and we set quietly down to see how far we can gaze into the mouth of rebel cannon, wondering whether they are charged with shot, shell or grape. At other times, when we do not attempt to drive them, they try to drive us from our position, at which game each side seems to meet with about the same success. On Wednesday, May 25, we attempted to drive them from their strongly fortified position and failed, with a heavy loss, meeting with a reception not agreeable. On Wednesday, June 22, we advanced our line a mile or two through the woods over hills and thro' valleys, halting on the edge of a cleared field, and commenced throwing up breastworks.— Before they were half done they made a charge on us, and we had an opportunity of repaying them for the 25th ult., principal and interest compounded. They came out of the woods on the opposite side of the little field in front of our slender breastworks in heavy force, anticipating, so their prisoners say, an easy thing of it, to either capture us, or get up a "big skedaddle." The fight lasted at near as I can judge, for two hours, with the greatest violence at the end of which time they thought it best to retire, but not so far that it was safe to venture on the field that night. We could hear their wagons running all night carrying off their wounded, besides many of their dead. A captured rebel officer admits their loss in this affair to be five hundred killed and wounded in the immediate front of the 150th New York and the 13th New Jersey, the only two regiments of our brigade that were engaged. Thus in four weeks to an hour, we paid the debt we owed them, and are nor ready to open a new account. Of the bravery of our men, or the rapidity and effectiveness of their fire, of the impetuosity of the charge, of the grand repulse and the general details of this and other fights, let others write who are more familiar with military terms, while I continue to give my inside views of war and warriors.
I here give you a list of the casualties in our regiment since my last writing, to wit.: Patrick McManus, Co. D, shot in the skirmish line June 15, right breast, not fatal; James Myers, Co. D, shot on the skirmish line, June 16, not dangerous; Wm. K. Phelps, Co. I, shot by a sharpshooter while lying with his regiment in reserve June 16, instantly killed. Henry Sigler and Cornelius Sparks, Co. F , both shot on the skirmish line by the same shell, the night of June 16th, both killed; Peter Maillard, Co. E, shot on skirmish line June 17, flesh wound, not dangerous; Obed Rosell, Co. A, shot on skirmish line June 19, left thumb, not dangerous; Daniel Glancy, Co. D, shot on skirmish line June 16, cutting off right leg and killing him almost instantly. June 22, Co. A, Henry Gridley, 1st Lieutenant, minnie ball entering left breast, cutting the aorta, and passing out under right shoulder blade, killing him instantly; Wm. Bartlett, Sergeant, ball wounding right hand slightly and battering itself against his breast plate. Co. E, John Sweetman, Sergeant, wounded in the head, probably fatal, although at this date symptoms are favorable; James E. Davidson, musket ball shattering right hand badly. Co. D, James Todd, flesh wound of thigh. Co. F, John Simmons of the band, left knee badly. Co. G,
Benj. Harp, right shoulder, badly. Co. I, Platt Curtiss, Corporal, head, scalp wound; George W. Holden, thigh, flesh wound; Patrick Twohey, middle finger left hand shot off. Co. A, John Hart, killed on the skirmish line, June 24.
Thus runs the record up to this date, and one day differeth but little from another. In my last letter I think I wrote you that we were gradually sliding around to the left. Since then a change has come over the programme and our corps has been gradually sliding to the right and drawing gradually in upon the enemy, until we now shoot north, towards Marietta instead of shooting south, towards it, as we did fifteen ago. It seems to us here that we have Joe Johnson and his army in a trap, but it may be that Joe has us in the trap which would not be so nice for us. You will probably know before this reaches you, it does not seem possible that this thing can continue many days longer. I notice that the letters of other correspondents are continually brimming over with exuberant patriotism that longs to be led to death or victory, but I believe that the true feeling is something very different—a feeling that craves rest and quiet, out of the range of shot and shell—a feeling that would barter almost anything for that kind of rest that would relieve the strain upon the nervous system for one week and allow it to regain once more its native vigor.
All the finer attributes of the mind have become so paralized [sic] that we see with a feeling of almost indifference, our warmest friends, our most respected companions, shot down in battle, killed or maimed, and then turn away to wonder what corps is engaged on the left, and which side is getting the best of it.
On one of the battle fields we have come over, we came where there were three dead rebels which a wounded rebel officer informed us were a chaplain, his son and son in law.—They lay just in front of the line of battle of this regiment. The chaplain was an old man with locks as white as wool. He had heard of the death of his sons and in coming to their rescue had himself been shot. Some one in search of trophies had turned all their pockets and by the side of one I found a letter, addressed to "Lieut. J. Beard, 17th Georgia," in which the writer expressed her feelings very much as a young wife would under the circumstances, and wrapped in another piece of paper a lock of hair and on the paper the following words:
"I love you—'tis the simplest way
The thing I feel to tell
And if I told you all the day,
You ne'er could guess how well.
You are my comfort and my life—
My very life you seem,
I think of you all day—all night—
‘Tis but of you I dream.”
I do not remember to have ever seen the words before, but whether old or original, taken in connection with the circumstances, they tell a tale of anguish and suffering that needs no further comment of mine; and If I may be allowed to judge by some of the private letters that it has been my misfortune to see, and from personal observation, I should say that the greatest amount of suffering endured since this war commenced, has not been on the battle field, or on the march, or with the army at all, but with those the army have left at home.—"Only for the wrong we're righting"—well, well, I must take care or I shall get to writing "treason" again, and while I think of it, allow me to abruptly change the subject and come to
Thy birth day—my daughter—thy sixth birthday,
Ant thy father away from home;
He dreameth of thee 'mid the smoke dim fray—
'mid the strife and the roar and the gloom.
The rattle of rifles along the line
And the depth of the cannon's roar,
Are heard, but not feared, for my thoughts combine
To assure me I am home once more.
Perchance, where thou art, there is music and song,
And thy little companions are there,
To help the gay, festival scene along,
And pluck the May roses to wear.
The prattle of childish gossip flies quick,
While the little tea-table is spread—
That old broken leaf is proped [sic] up with a stick,
While the Birdie sings wildly overhead.
I would I were there, and of right 'tis mine
There to be, in thy glee to share—
To lay me this hand on that head of thine,
'Mid the curls of thy glossy hair.
And shout as we dance in the mild spring night,
Till the echo its own voice scorns,
That thy path way shall bear no thorns.
But vain is my dream, for the dread shell screams
As it cleareth the air overhead—
While the grape and canister pass by in streams,
Arouse me 'mid the wounded and dead,
Next year, when another birthday is there,
May there be in the land no war.
The sun, on no scenes of grim carnage shine—
At thy right hand—no empty chair.
Before closing this letter allow me to relate a little incident that occurred at the First Division Twentieth corps hospital, a few days ago, which has afforded not a little amusement at that place. Doubtless most of you, like myself, will remember just enough of your early study of anatomy, to know that Patella means the knee pan—the clavicle, the collarbone—the sternum, the breast bone. Well, one of the surgeons of this brigade, in going through his ward in the evening, came to a patient who complained of a pain in his chest, indicative of Pneumonia. So after writing the patients name in his book and the usual prescription, added,"emplastrum cantharides 4x5 place on sternum," The next morning on visiting the patient, he found him much better, and when on asking to see the blister, imagine his horror to find it had been placed on the patient where it would render it very painful for that soldier to sit down for several days to come. Dr. Cooper can you beat that? If you can I will try again. FRED FULTON,
150th N. Y.
Between Marietta and Atlanta, Ga., (C. S. A.)
June 24, 1864.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
August 1, 2011