154th Regiment, NY Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
Letter From Col. A. G. Rice.
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.
CAMP SEWARD, VA., October 6, 1862.
Please publish the enclosed list of sick and absent soldiers from the 154th Regiment, N. Y. Volunteers:
Absentees who cannot furnish a certificate of a regular physician, of their inability so to do, are required to join the Regiment at once. Those who were left on account of sickness, must join the Regiment as soon as able. Any neglect on the part of any soldier to join the Regiment as above required, will render him liable to be treated and punished as a deserter. Application for transportation has or can be made to Col. E. F. SHEPARD, Elmira, N.
Y., stating name, company and regiment.—Col. SHEPARD has a full list of the absentees.
Company C—Capt. L. D. WARNER— R. R. Eggleston, on special duty, in hospital at Jamestown.
Company D—Capt. H. CHENEY — B. J. Philip, Elias Day, Hiram Crowell, Covil Lael, George Hicks, William Gillman.
Company E—Captain Jos. B. FAY—Black_an D. Fitch, sick; Wm. H. Reynolds, sick.
Company F—Captain T. Donelly—Eugene _ haw, sick.
Company G—Captain M. B. CHENEY—John _ang, sick.
Company H—C a pt. J. F. NELSON—Thomas Malona, sick; Walter Gray, on special duty at hospital in Jamestown; Charles Darling, slightly sick.
Company I—Captain EDWARD S. MILLS—William Blue, sick.
The following persons deserted from the regiment after having received their advance pay, State and National bounties and their clothing. It is desirable that they should be caught and returned to the Regiment as soon as possible:
Charles Coon, Company A, enlisted at Little Valley, 23 years of age, 6 feet 2 inches in height, light-complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, and a Farmer—deserted September 26, 1862. Duane Clement, Company D, enlisted at Farmersville, and deserted September 29, 1862.—Richard Dilley, Company E, born in Ireland, 18 years of age, light complexion, light eyes and light hair, 6 feet 2 inches in height—deserted at Jamestown, September 29, 1862.—Edward Behan, Co. G, born in Ireland, 26 years of age, 5 feet 7 1-2 inches, light complexion, blue eyes, resides at Allegany—deserted September 27, 1862.
A. G. Rice, Col. Commanding,
154th Reg't. N.Y. S. V.
FROM THE 154 REGIMENT.
Partial List of Killed, Wounded and Missing.
Lieut. T. A. Allen, of the 154th, sends through a friend, to Hon. F. S. Martin, of this village, the following list of killed, wounded and missing in the Regiment, in the battles of the 1st, 2d, and 3d of May, at and near Fredericksburg. The list is not complete, as but few names are given from companies I and K. Lieut. Allen thinks the total loss in Co. I will be about 25. He gives no estimate of Co. K. The names we publish of Companies I and K, we obtain from another source, and is doubtless nearly correct.
LIST OF KILLED, WOUNDED AND MISSING IN 154TH REG'T
AT THE BATTLE OF CHANCELLORVILLE.
Co. A— Wounded.
N H Gray, wounded. W H H Campbell,
George P Brown, Wm Aker,
Geo W Helms, Wm Butts,
A Hitchcock, Wm Bigler,
F S Morrill, V W Burlingame,
J Price, C W Bryant,
C R Perry, Bryon Crooks,
John wood, Isaiah Gross,
O C Wolcott, J D Campbell,
Landen Wright, Geo R Gray
Walter Walworth, E Myers,
Boyd D Myers, Z Pengerton,
Geo W Baker, A L Perry,
James Randolph, Wm H Buck,
Geo P Southern, Orville Bishop,
William F Vinton, H J Kelly, in Div. Hosp.
Augustus Rodgers, at Brook's Station.
Serg't Jas H Rider, severely Geo Real, hip severely left
left on field. on field.
Corp B H Wood, in lower R Russell, shoulder severe
part of body severe. E Shannon, arm slight
Corp C W Hall, thigh Missing.
Cor Thos R Aldrich, thigh Sergt A A Shippi,
C F Allen, supposed " Corp Wm Garlock,
B M Carter, back severely. Geo B Tingew,
John M Childs, in leg slt'ly Geo W Burroughs,
Geo B Congdon, both arms L D Hunt
slightly. Charles O Morse
Nathan Gibbs, stunned by James E Locke,
shell. A B Goodrich,
M A Perkins, in head mis- Brigham Killburn,
sing. John S Stone,
Corp Seymour Sikes, Alexander Morton,
Willis M Guild, Wellman P Wickols.
Stephen Osgood, Eliseph D Godfrey,
Missing and Supposed to be Prisoners.
Sergt Stephen Welch, Erastus Wright,
R M Gunard, W R Nichols,
M V Champlain, Niles H Sherman,
Martin Hall, Peter Nichols,
Dennis Roberts, Hiram Strait.
Horatio E Andrews, Jerome J Turner, in the
Nathaniel S Brown, shoulder.
John Warner, O F Adams,
Dennis Brand, John Fitch,
Marvin G Day, James Coopland,
Lafayette Rich, Salmon J Clark.
Henry A Hill,
Lieut S T Jenkins, Francis C Clark,
Sergt C L Barnhart, J B Haywood,
Sergt Wm O Case, Jno Conont,
Sergt C L Scott, Wm Hayat,
Corp Wm Calhoun, Geo Aopkins.
C W Abell, C C Ereeman,
Geo Clifford, D E Isham,
Wm Covey, Geo Starkweather,
Benardus Fulton, A A Williams,
T Harper, jr., T Archer,
J Stone, Justice Crags,
Perry Wheelock, John Douglass,
J Strane, in foot, S R Green,
Wm Barder, in foot, D McBride,
Cor J Wilson, abdomen, R J Page,
Wm P Adams, A J Stone,
Wm Chambers, Wm Waters,
Edward Huntington, Isaac L Burley.
Lieut John C Griswold, Thos L Jones,
Moses Stephens, David Williams.
Sergt Monroe Young, Henry Munger,
Sergt Wm J Allen, Richard O'Neil,
Corp Milton D Scott, Harrison Cee,
Corp Jas P Skiff, Lewis L Jones,
Patrick Garvey, Robt M McKee,
Benj D Morgan, Eugene Travers,
William Scott, James Upton,
Albert Bemus, Wakeman Wilcox.
Corp Warren A Kingsley, Miles Tupper.
Corp Clark E Oyer, leg, Frank Hicks, hand,
Esly Croat, bowels, Conrad Ritz, shoulder,
Jeremiah Ohern, leg, Oscar F Wilson, leg.
Nelson H Fisk, hand,
Lieut Alonzo Castler, Wm Millhollen,
Sergt. Wm Conning, Thos Murry,
Daniel W Dolph,
Sergt A W Benson, side, Joel Kelley,
Samuel Bryant, Seth Covell.
Henry Ellis, Horatio Gardner.
J E Froey,
Capt Com P Vedder, H W Newberry,
Lieut W S Cameron, David Moore,
Corp Gilbert Rodgers, Oscar Lemon,
A J Fisher, Samuel Long.
Wm Kone, killed, Ashur Bliss, jr.,
Emory Noyes, killed, James Fruit,
Jos B Andrews, wounded, Richard Foley
Cor Geo H Aarrow " T J Moore,
Corp Jesse Green, " C E Whitney,
Corp Benj Spink, " Michael Walch.
Sergt S B Elsworth, killed, John Salmon,
L Betts, " C Hope,
B Merrill, " H Robinson,
John Hoagaboom, " Lt Wm F Chapman.
Edward Ross, wounded, Lt S W Beardsley,
Wm W Blair, "
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 29, 1863.
At the convalescent Camp 3 miles South West from this city, are the following parolee prisoners of war, recently returned from Richmond, Va. They were taken prisoners at Chancellorsville, Va., May 2d and 3d. As soon as exchanged they will be returned to the regiment.
Those marked * are at Annapolis, Md.; and those t are sick; those § left in Richmond sick.
PRISONERS OF WAR, 154TH REG'T N. Y. V.
Cor. B. D. Myers, Leon, John Wood, Coldspring,
" G. P. Brown, Coldspring Joseph Pierce, do
" G. W. Baker, Carrolton, Wm H Buck, do
" A. Rogers, Little Valley, James Randolph, do
Wm Bigler, Little Valley, Byron E Crooks, do
Wm Akers. Great Valley, W H H Campbell, do
Walter Walrath, do John D Campbell do
Geo R Grey, Napoli O Bishop, musi. Gowanda,
Abner L Perry, do W F Vinton, " Ellicottville,
O. C. Walcott, Carrolton, Colby M Bryant, do
Ziba Pinkerton, do *V M Burlingame, do
Alvin Hitchcock, Randolph
Ser't Augustus Shippy, Otto *Wm Garlock, East Otto,
G, B Tingue, New Albion, *Charles Allen, New Albion
J E Lock, Gowanda, *Benj Kilburn,
Leonard L Hunt, Dayton, *Nathan Gibbs, East Otto,
Charles O Morse, Otto, *M A Perkins, do
Serg't S Welch, Allegany, N H Sherman, Hinsdale,
M Hall. do W R Nichols, Dayton,
Alex Morton, jr., Olean, W P Nichols, Sharon Cen. Pa
H Straight, do Peter Nichols, do
E Wright, do *Zena Roberts, Allegany.
Cor. O. F. Adams, Lyndon, James Copeland, Machias,
S J Clark, Colden, Erie Co. Henry Hill, Lyndon,
D A Brand, Yorkshire,
COMPANY E, PORTLAND. N. Y.
Serg't Wm O Case. Ripley, John Douglas, do
Cor Wm Callahan, Westfield, Thos Harper, jr., do
S K Green, Portland, F C Calrk, do
Chas O Furman, do P Wheelock, do
J B Haywood, do Wm Covey, do
Wm P Haight, do Geo Starkweather, do
R J Page, do Bar Felton, do
A A Williams, do J Clemen's, Chautaugua,
D D McBride, Westfield, W P Adams, Ripley,
§Wm Chambers, do Geo Gifford, do
Charles Abel, do
COMPANY F, CHERRY CREEK.
Wm A Scott, Arkright, M Young, do
M D Scott, do H Coe, French Creek,
H A Munger, do Patrick Garvey, Jamestown,
W Wilcox, Chautauqua, R Lewis, Freedom, Catt Co.
J P Skiff, Charlotte, Benj D Morgan, do
E Travis, do Lewis L Jones, do
R M McKee, do *Thomas T Jones, do
Serg't Wm Carmine, Olean, *W W Dolph, Ellicottville,
Wm Millhollen, Ellicottville, *Chas Bradley, East Otto,
*Thos Murray, Olean, Nicholas Cook, (Not a pris-
*Ed F Tracy, Allegany, oner,) Ashford.
Serg't G Rogers, Randolph, O Lemon. Great Valley,
Samuel Bryant, do H Newberry, Little Valley,
Samuel Long. Salamanca, Seth Covell, South Valley,
Serg't J Baxter, Allegany, Sylvester V Dunbar, do
Charles Wilber, do Geo Phillips, Machias,
D Waters, (wounded,) do Fred Wiland, Great Valley,
Corp T Mason, Olean, Wm Graham, Hinsdale,
Color Corp Wm Traver, do Mathew Lippard, do
Peter Colivan, do t *H Baxter, Humphrey.
Benj Lee, Salamanca,
Ser J M Mathewson, Go'da, Marcus Hulett, do
" D G Wilkinson, Ver'iiles, H N Darley, do
Cor C D Strickland, Dayton, t§W J Hull, do
" Amos Keysor, Leon, Harvey Inman, do
*D S Jones, do C S Johnson, do
Horace Robinson, do Harvey Randall, do
W W Blair, Dayton, J B Hugaboom, Versailles.
I saw most of the above at the camp on Wednesday. They are generally well after their fatiguing march to, and light diet in, Richmond. J. M.
Letter from Maj. Warner—The 154th.
CAMP 154TH REGIMENT, July 10.
FRIEND GANO:—Since my last letter to the TIMES, events big with results, and with their bearing upon the great question at issue, have transpired. Of the course of these events and the general results arrived at, you are far better informed than myself. But many of your readers are especially interested in all that relates to the 154th, and for them I will continue my journal (though necessarily a brief one) from the time of my last letter.
On the 24th of June we again broke camp and marched to Edwards Ferry, distant about 7 miles. Edwards Ferry is at the mouth of Goose creek, and about 3 miles below Balls Bluff, memorable as the spot where the heroic Baker met a soldier's death, leaving a whole nation to mourn his untimely end.
June 25th. Crossed the Potomac on a bridge of 68 pontoon boats. The river
here is about 500 yards wide and is truly a beautiful stream. After crossing we marched in the direction of Poolsville, through which we passed, and without any incident worthy of note, except a heavy rain storm (which continued through the following night,) we encamped near the village of Jefferson, on the road from Harper's Ferry to Frederick. Distance marched, about 25 miles.
June 26th. Started on about 11 A. M. Passed through Middletown and advanced into the Bolivar Pass, through the South Mountain range. This Pass was supposed to be held by the Rebels, and great caution was used. The 154th formed the advance, and Companies C, H, and F, formed the advance guard.—No Rebels were there, however, and I was directed to establish a line of pickets and hold the Pass, which we did until June 27th, when myself and men were relieved. About 4 p. m., on the 28th, we were once more in motion. Marched to Frederick, about 14 miles.
June 29th. Marched to Emmettsburg, about 2 1/2 miles from State line.—
Distance marched, 20 miles.
June 30th. Remained in camp.
July 1st. I was detailed to lead a detachment on a reconnoisance into the mountains west along the State line.—Started at sun rise, marched to the village of Sybelliville, some ten miles and back. On returning found the Corps had moved in the fore part of the day in the direction of Gettysburg, Pa. My men were nearly exhausted, but we started on, and the men camped about 4 miles from Emmettsburg, while I continued on to find the regiment. Arrived at Gettysburg, (or near there) about 9 p. m., and found that a severe battle had been fought, in which the 1st Brigade had been engaged. After considerable time spent in search, I found the Corps commander and inquired for the 154th. Imagine my feelings on being answered, "that there was no such regiment. That it was used up." All the information I could obtain was vague and unsatisfactory. At length I found Col. Coster, commanding Brigade, who informed me that the Brigade had suffered severely. That all that were left of the 154th was 15 men and 3 officers. He directed me to return immediately and bring up my detachment, as he must have them in the morning. So I at once set out, found my men and arrived in camp about 8 a. m., July 2d. Upon looking around by daylight, found the 154th as follows: 2 officers and 50 men who were absent and not in the fight; 3 officers and 15 men who came out safe. Total, 5 officers, 65 men.
The particulars of Wednesday's adventures so far as our regiment was concerned were, as near as I can gather them, as follows. Pending the engagement of July 1st, in which the 1st and 11 Corps participated, our Brigade was ordered to take a position in front of the town of Gettysburg. They accordingly moved at double quick through the whole length of the town and out to the front, but were not in time to get the position intended.— Then, instead of falling back to a good position under shelter of the town, they were deployed into line behind a low hill, (the one they were to have occupied) where they could not see the enemy (who were advancing in force) until they were within a few rods and considerably above them. At the same time they greatly outflanked our Brigade, who were wholly unsupported, and only numbered about 100 guns. Under these disadvantageous circumstances our men stood their ground, returning the enemy's fire with interest, until ordered to fall back, which they could only do by a flank move to the left to get into the road leading into town. At this road they were met by the enemy in mass, and most of them made prisoners. Our loss in killed was, as near as can be ascertained, 7; wounded, 22; missing, 148.
As we did not recover this ground until the 4th, and as the dead were by that time under the intense heat, so swollen and disfigured that recognition was impossible, we cannot, until the return of the prisoners, make an accurate report.
Both our color bearers were severely wounded, and of course the colors were lost. (We have since recovered our State colors.) Company C lost as follows: Corp. J. M. Bouton, of Olean, is reported killed; wounded, 6. Sergeant Lewis Bishop, who carried the U. S. flag, was shot in both legs, one of which has since been taken off above the knee. Corporal G. M. Rykest, who carried the State colors, has had four inches of the bone taken out of his left arm near the shoulder. Corporal Lewis Winters and private Adison Shafer were wounded through the arm. R. Terry was wounded in the side, and A. L. Scott was slightly wounded by a sabre cut over the head, because when first ordered to surrender he could not "see the point." There are 18 missing in the company, probably prisoners, making total loss 25. In killed and wounded Company C's loss was 1/4 of the whole, which was probably owing to their proximity to the colors.
Of the generalship displayed in sending our little Brigade out a mile from any support without knowing what they were to meet, it is not my province to judge, and this is more particularly the case, as being absent on duty, I have only hearsay evidence, but evidence taken upon the battle-ground after the Rebels evacuated. One thing is sure, it was no fault of the men that the regiment is thus almost annihilated. Since the battle several have returned who were prisoners, and we now number 74 guns, and have but six officers on duty. We had 2 officers wounded, who have each lost an arm; namely,
Lieuts. Winters and McDade. Lieut. Winters was formerly of Company C, and since May 2d has been in command of Company H.
During the great battles of July 2d and 3d, our Brigade was in front of the Cemetry [sic] in support of the batteries.—We were very much exposed, but lost but 2 men from the 154th. Since the battle we have been consolidated with the 134th, whose loss nearly equaled ours.
July 4th. Our Brigade once more led the advance into the town, which the Rebels evacuated the night previous. We were disposed at the principal entrances, and held the place until the 5th about 3 P. M., when we were once more on the march back toward Emmettsburg. We encamped after marching about 8 miles through rain and mud.
July 6th. Marched to Emmettsburg and encamped. As the main road was wanted for the artillery and trains, we marched full 10 miles this day to get about 4.
July 7th. Started early and marched to within 5 miles of Middletown.—
Distance marched, 24 miles.
July 8th. Our Brigade was detailed as rear guard to trains. Got under motion about 9 o'clock, with the rain pouring down in torrents. Crossed the mountain on as bad a road as can well be imagined, and passing through Middletown and Bolivar Gap in South Mountain, which place we left June 28th. We encamped on the west side of the mountains, overlooking the rich valley of Antietam.
July 9th. Remained in camp. The men here drew clothing, of which they stood in much need, especially of shoes and stockings. The incessant labors of the past 4 weeks have told hard upon the understandings of the boys, and many have marched from Gettysburg without shoes, and our loads are as bad for bare feet as can well be imagined. Nothing but an unflinching determination to reap the full fruit of the victory at Gettysburg would have nerved our boys to bear up under the tortures of marching 25 miles from day to day over sharp, stony and slippery roads.
To-day we broke camp once more, and marched through Boonsborough and to within 5 miles of Hagerstown, and have taken position to repel any advance the Rebels may make in this direction. It is 4 weeks to-day since we broke camp at Stafford Court House, and a harder month's work, I believe, seldom falls to the lot of soldiers.—Certainly the army of the Potomac has never before arrived at such a state of mobility as at present. Whole Corps with all their trains move from 20 to 30 miles per day, and that too over rough, mountainous roads. If, as I trust, we shall be able to finish up in a few days this campaign in a satisfactory manner, our army will surely have earned a few weeks rest from the fatigues of an active campaign. But until Lee's army is scattered, work is the password. Our army was never in better spirits, or more sanguine of success.—They all count hardships as nothing, if thereby they can arrive at the desired result. But I have made this letter too long already, and must close. It is written sitting on the ground with paper upon my knee, and in momentary expectation of being summoned to duty. If you wish you can publish all or such parts as in your judgment will pay. I would have preferred to have more carefully prepared the letter, but must send it as it is or not at all.
L. D. WARNER.
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 12, 1863.
THE 154TH N. Y. VOL.
Up to to-day, no news has been received here respecting the 154th N. Y. Vol. On the first day's battle, July 1, the 2nd Division [to which the 154th belonged] of the 11th corps, was held in reserve, and probably did not participate in the engagement.
THE 64TH N. Y. VOL.
On Thursday, J u l y 2, the 64th N. Y. Vol. was engaged throughout the day, fighting with their usual undaunted bravery. The loss in this regiment of heroes could not have been less than fifty per cent of their entire number in killed and wounded! Three officers were killed: Captain Henry V. Fuller [Little Valley], Co. F; 1st Lieut. Alfred H. Lewis, [Freedom or Rushford], Co. D, and Lieut. Willis G. Babcock, [Owego], Co. H. The wounded were Capt. R. R. Crowley, [Randolph], Co. B, Lieut and Adjutant James M. Pettit, [Versailles], Lieut. Meservy, Co. D, Lieut. Soule, Co. K, Lieut. Lincoln, Co. H. About 100 men of this regiment were killed or wounded. The details I have been unable to obtain. For some unaccountable reason no lists have been furnished for publication. So with most New York regiments. Commanding officers of companies and regiments ought to prepare and forward to the N. Y. City, and to the local, press, full lists of casualties, immediately after an engagement. The intense anxiety of communities, and especially of relatives, would thus be relieved.
Few regiments in the U. S. service have made such a record as the 64th N. Y., for bravery, for hard work, for unflinching heroism! Such a succession of battles as i t has participated in, and such fearful loss of life, and maimed persons, makes a page on the record of the history of the great Rebellion, at once enlisting the loftiest pride and the deepest anguish.
ASSISSTANT [sic] PROVOST MARSHALS.
On the personal application and recommendation of Hon. R. E. FENTON, the Provost Marshal General appointed, and the War Department has detailed Lieut. Col. ENOS C. BROOKS, of the 64th N. Y. Vol., of Cattaraugus Co., as Assisstant [sic] Provost Marshal at Elmira, with Col. Diven; and Lieut. BARGER of the 49th N. Y. Vol., of Chautauqua Co., to a similar position in New York City, under Col. Nugent. These are good selections, as well as deservedly meritorious. They were both severely wounded at Fredicksburg; the former losing the use of his left arm, and the latter losing his right hand.
We learn that nearly one hundred and forty applications have been made to the Military Board in this city for commissions in the colored regiments; that these applications have been carefully examined, and that a large number have been declined, some for lack of proper qualifications, and others on account of physical disability. The colored troops must be commanded by white men, and it is the determination of the Board to select for them the very best officers to be had. We are told that it is not uncommon for applicants to present themselves for examination who are totally disqualified for the positions desired. The Board have determined to accept none but competent men of unexceptionable habits.
DEATHS IN THE 154TH N. Y.
Capt. Vedder states that Edmund F. Tracy, Co. G., of Allegany, died at Annapolis, Md., of fever, May 24th; Wesley W. Dolph, Co. G, of Ellicottville, died at Annapolis, Md., May 20th, fever; Daniel Gardiner, Co. K. died at Guinea's Station, 12 miles south of Fredericksburg, Va., May 8, of wound in right shoulder; that Benjamin Spink, Co. I. of Castile, Issac Bryant, of Randolph, Joel Kelly, of Great Valley, Henry Ellis, of Little Valley, and David Moore, of South Valley, died on the battlefield at Chancellorsville, of wounds, May 3d, 1863. J. M.
Letter from Capt. C. P. Vedder.
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.
HEAD-QUARTERS PAROLED PRISONERS,
July 17th, 1863.
I wrote you about three weeks ago that I wanted to subscribe—that I did subscribe—for your paper, and that I wanted it sent to my wife in Springville, N. Y. She has never received it. If you don't immediately send her one every week until you have orders to the contrary, Ill draw up my forces in line, and charge upon you and our whole institution; or, what is worse, set "Shank." or "Sleepy Davy" on your track!
I have meager news for you from this place. The boys are well, and all hope soon to be exchanged. The authorities refuse to send me to my Regiment, saying that I must remain in charge of the prisoners, who number over 2,000. A letter was received from the 154th yesterday stating that all of the men were either killed, wounded, or taken prisoners save sixty, and all the officers except four--Allen, Warner, M. B. Cheney and A. Crosby. Lieut. Winton, than whom a nobler or braver soldier never, lived, had his arm blown off.
Is it true that Col. Jones has resigned? If so, it is with unfeigned regret and sorrow that I part from him. He is one of the best soldiers, and the most honorable and magnanimous man I ever met.
Yours, C. P. VEDDER.
[We will send the Freeman to your wife, Captain, certain! Col. JONES has not resigned, nor does he intend to.—[EDS. FREEMAN.
Letter from a Volunteer in 154th.
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.
CAMP CONVALESCENT, Va., July 18,1863.
More than one hundred of the 154th boys are here, paroled prisoners. The daily papers are brought into camp, so while we are prohibited by the claim which Jeff. Davis has on us from participating in the glorious struggle which is now being waged with such signal success to our cause, we have to content ourselves by knowing that the work, in which we have heretofore had the honor of acting a part, is being so well done. But while we are rejoiced at our successes over the rebels, which is fast dispelling the dark clouds which have so long hung over our country's horizon, we cannot but feel pained to know there is so much disloyalty North. Reading of the disgraceful riots in Northern cities, to prevent the draft suggested to me the idea of writing a line to your paper to tell the Copperheads, if there are any of that class who read the Freeman, that they have not much sympathy from those who have left their homes and friends, to help save our country.
Those who are styled Copperheads, are getting themselves a name which no one will envy, when the soldiers get home; for it is difficult to find a soldier, as far as my experience goes, but has a peculiar hatred to Copperheadism. Most all agree that if we are not now successful, it will be on account of that party North. Let the friends of the Jeff. Davis Government, those who are so anxious to bow down to his god, Slavery, go and live in his delightful kingdom, or in other words, "if God be God, serve Him, but if Baal, serve him." The South look at it in the same light. While a prisoner in their hands, I heard a distinguished rebel officer say that they had no sympathy with the peace party North. In fact all honorable men admit that this is a time when there can be no neutral ground. Whoever is not for sustaining the Government in the present conflict, is against it.
We have had some warm weather this summer in this part of Dixie, but I think not much warmer than we usually have in York State. We do not feel the heat as we would if we were with the army. In fact, we do not undergo any of the hardships which we would if we were with the Regiment.
We have heard how our Regiment suffered at Gettysburg. It seems many of our brave boys have fallen in defence of our beloved country, and we are all of us ready whenever exchanged, to again do battle in the same good cause, knowing we shall have the blessings of all except Copperheads, and we have not sufficient respect for that class, to look to them for assistance in any way. Yours, in favor of the right,
C. M. BRYANT,
Co. A, 154th Reg't N. Y. V.
The 154th New York.
Correspondence of the Cattaraugus Freeman.
GREAT VALLEY, July 19, 1863.
While at Gettysburgh [sic], where I was from the 8th to the 13th inst., I learned something of the 154th Regiment. There are about 130 to 150 members of the Regiment now prisoners. I have the names of quite a number which I obtained from our wounded men and others who had been released by the Rebels after the battle ended. I found, at the 11th Army Corps Hospital, three miles from town, the following named soldiers, most whom were badly wounded: J. F. Chase, Ischua, in the body; G. Rykert, Hinsdale, arm shattered; F. Strickland, Salamanca, right arm off; L. Bishop, Olean, right leg off, left leg shattered; J. A. Bush, Machias, right arm shattered; C. G. Pinney, breast; E. Heath, Chautauqua County, in the body; D. Ash, do., arm; Richard Kerr, Franklinville, slightly. John Paugh, Hinsdale, died on the 11th. A. Merich of Randolph, and T. Reynolds of Olean, died on the 12th. Lieut. G. L. Winton lost an arm. I did not see him. I did not search for graves, but as far as I could learn not many of the Regiment were killed. Joel M. Bouton and Byron Wigans of Olean, were seen dead on the field.
I saw Col. Bingham; his health is poor.—He escaped injury, but shows marks of the fight. His, as well as Col. Jones' Regiment, fought hard.
Yours, J. W. PHELPS.
Letter from Maj. Warner.
CAMP 154TH REGIMENT,
WARRENTON JUNCTION, July 26, 1863.
DEAR TIMES:—Again after an absence of twenty-five days (eventful ones in the history of this war) we once more press the sacred soil of the old Dominion, and are made aware that we are in Secesh, surrounded by those who wish us no good, but would gladly see us in a particularly warm place, which I need not name. What a change from the kindly greeting and expressions of welcome and God speed which every where cheered us on during our sojourn on the north side of the Potomac, to the frowns and inward cursings we receive from the few residents on this side. There, in passing through the many pleasant villages, the inabitants [sic] thronged the street, and with waving flags and handkerchiefs in fair hands in close proximity to smiling and pretty faces, bade us welcome, rendering our progress almost one continued ovation. Here when we enter a village, doors and windows are closed, and if the residents deign to look upon us, it is with an expression, which were it not disrespectful to the ladies, I would characterize as devilish. To say the least, they wish us in his Satanic majesty's dominions. This state of things is the rule, and to all rules there are exceptions. We met with frowns and extortions on the North, and with smiles of sincere welcome and examples of liberty on the South side. By extortions I mean the exorbitant prices frequently charged for provisions by the people of Maryland, even those of undoubted loyalty. They seemed to go on the principle that as they had suffered by the Rebels, they were justifiable in making up those losses as far as they could and by any means that offered.— They frequently charged our soldiers 50 cts. per loaf for wheat bread, when they could have been afforded it for 15 or 20 at the most. Perhaps it may be asked why purchase at such prices when the Government rations are sufficient. I would answer from personal experience, that after eating hard tack four or five weeks, the price of a loaf of soft bread is of no account, the only question is, can it be obtained at any price? But enough of this.
After various marchings and counter-marchings through Maryland, the result of which was that Lee got safe over Jordan, while the Potomac army was waiting in splendid position for an attack which, of course, was not made, we recrossed the river on the 19th, at the dirty little village of Berlin, about 8 miles below Harper's Ferry. The river here is about 600 yards wide and was spanned by two pontoon bridges of about seventy boats each. These boats are placed in the stream side by side, and about twenty-five feet apart, and secured both up and down stream by anchors, on these boats timbers are laid, firmly lashed together, and the whole "covered by plank, making a bridge about fourteen feet wide. Under the tread of a column of men the swaying of the structure is considerable, so much so, that unless a man was pretty sober he had better keep near the middle or he will be likely to mix more water with his commissary than is agreeable with his inclinations or habits.
After crossing the river our course lay up the valley formed by the Blue
Ridge on the right, and the Kittoctan range on our left. We passed this day through the villages of Lovetsville and Waterford, both pretty place, and in both the Union sentiment is strongly in the ascendant. In fact for the first twelve or fourteen miles after leaving the river, the whole valley is said to be strongly Union, and has suffered much in consequence from the hands of the
Rebel hordes who infest the country among these mountains. This night we encamped about four miles from Leesburg, on the road which crosses the valley toward Snicker's Gap, or on what is called the Winchester Pike.
July 20th. Started early and marched slowly. Whatever may have been the programme, we were in no hurry. We marched this day about twelve miles and encamped on the pike leading from Alexandria, through Aldie and Snicker's Gap to Winchester. Our encampment was about four miles from
Aldie, where the pike crosses Goose creek. Here we had a fine time divesting ourselves of the surplus dust and sweat, in the same stream (but some miles higher up) where we enjoyed the like luxury on our way North. A fine bridge was burned here about the time of our passing into Maryland.
July 21st and 22d. We did not march these days, but worked hard making out our muster and pay rolls, which should have been done the last of
June, but at that time we were engaged on more important business.
July 23d. We again got under motion in the direction of Warrenton.—Passed through Middleburg, as purely a Secesh hole as I have ever seen. As we passed through the street, the doors were closed as well as the windows, the people seeming to fear that if ever the passing shadow of a detestable Yankee should fall upon the threshold [sic], no water of purification could remove the stain. In passing one house, the shutters of which were left open, I did discover a forehead and pair of eyes just peering above the lower casement of the window. From the glance which I caught, it was evident that said eyes and forehead belonged to a young lady. (Of course all Southern women who have straight hair are ladies.) The view, however, was only momentary, for whether struck with blindness for thus indulging her curiosity, or with shame for her presumption, the head suddenly disappeared below the window and did not reappear, at any rate while I was in sight of the window.—The only signs of life seen in the streets were Negroes, generally young, and one or two Rebels who were wounded in the late cavalry fight in this vicinity. At White Plains on the Manassas Gap railroad, we halted for dinner and encamped for the night at New Baltimore, where we remained over the 24th and until 4 1/2 a. m. of the 25th, when we started for this place, reaching here soon after noon. How long we shall stay here we cannot easy guess. It is a pleasant place, but water is very scarce and poor. Lieut. Martin joined us here last night. While at New Baltimore, Lieut. Col. Allen, Capt, M. B. Cheney, Adjt. Crosby and 8 men left for New York State, to take charge of whatever drafted men are to be assigned to the 154th. We can make room for about 400 if we can get them. Col. Jones has not yet been exchanged, and is not yet with us, but is, I understand, in Washington. We are now, myself commanding, 7 or 8 Lieutenants and 80 men. Rather a small regiment. But if we get back our prisoners we shall have a good regiment once more. I am still unable to give correctly our loss at Gettysburg, (where the Freeman says "we were not) as we have had no word from our prisoners, and cannot tell how many or who they are. We have received no mails since we left Maryland, and no papers until yesterday, when we got the Baltimore Clipper. Yours in haste,
L. D. Warner.
THE GALLANT 154TH.
ELLICOTTVILLE, Nov. 26, 1863.
EDS. FREEMAN:—Allow me to make an acknowledgment of the following contributions to pay for bill of Clothing and provisions sent to Officers of the 154th Regiment, who are prisoners of war at Richmond, Va.:
Mrs Joseph B. Fay, - - 50,00
Lt Col. Dan. B Allen, - - 50,00
Rice & Scott. - - - 10,00
Methodist Episcopal Church, Ellicottville,
Thanksgiving Collection, 7,00
S. S. Spring, - - - 5,00
D. H. Bolles, - - - 5,00
E. S. Stewart, - - - 5,00
A. A. Gregory, - - - 5,00
T. A. E. Lyman, - - - 5,00
E. H. Southwick, - - - 5,00
W A. Bosworth, - - - 5,00
S. W. Johnson, - - - 5,00
D. E. Sill, - - - 5,00
T. J . Williams, - - - 5,00
Manley Crosby, - - - 1,00
The articles were sent about the first of November, and I have to make a suitable acknowledgment to JOHN MANLY, Esq., for selecting and dispatching the same.
A. G. Rice.
Washington, D. C., Dec. 21, 1863.
EDITOR OF THE TIMES:—The following letter I have just received from Capt. Casler. Its publication, with the list of prisoners-of-war, belonging to the 154th N. Y. V., will be of interest to many of your readers, whose kindred and neighbors are among those unfortunate but brave men. The contributions were made in cash by Mrs. Capt. FAY, Lieut. Col. D. B. ALLEN, and by citizens of Ellicottville and vicinity, through Col. A. G. RICE; and this affords me an opportunity of acknowledging Col. RICE'S liberality to the wounded of that gallant Regiment immediately after the battle of Chancellorsville, and other occasions, made through me. Indeed, while their sons and neighbors have been in the field to do duty in defense of their country, our people have been mindful of their sufferings and wants, and supplied with a generous hand. J. M.
LIBBY PRISON, Dec. 10, 1863.
MR. MANLEY—DEAR SIR:—The box of clothing and groceries you sent to us was received, and all in good order.—It makes our condition much more comfortable. We are very much obliged to you, and we hope it will not be long before we can meet you in Washington and pay you for your trouble. Our health is good. I send you a list of the names of enlisted men from our regiment who are now on Belle Island. I have just received the list. As there are a great many of their friends at home, please send this list to the county papers so that their friends may know they are well, and oblige,
B. G. CASLER,
Capt. Co. A, 154th Regt. N. Y. V.
List of Prisoners of War 154th Regt.,
N. Y. V., on Belle Island, Richmond, Va.
E. Baillet, P. Messenger,
T. P. York, D. Fairbanks,
W. J. Miller, P. Chamberlain,
G. P. Gardner, D. Price.
F. S. Goodrich, E. Myers,
E. V. Bacon, Wm. Hawkins,
A.Wright, B. Bishop.
C. L. Guild, J. Washburn.
D. Welch, E. H. Hitchcock,
C. H. Taylor, C. Crawford,
D. W. Travers, J. Shaffer.
G. Bennett, G. Shields,
J. Felch, G. Davidson,
O. E. Stringham, L. Phillips,
W. J. Headley, A. M. Keller,
J. Hoag, H. Smith.
J. Bacon, G. Ashworth,
J. G. Macumhers, G. Covey,
E. W. Skinner, N. Burch,
M. Slanson, E. L. Ely.
W. E. Jones, G. D. Walker,
G. A. Taylor, J. J. Williams.
G. W. Baily, F. M. Gault.
H. Earl, M. H. Whipple,
L. Litchfield, D. Shephard.
C. Chamberlain, J. N. Porter,
I. Haskness, O. J. Abby,
E. Sample, S. Simons.
___ Osterstuck, G. Mosher,
N. Fades, W. Cole,
J. Myers. T. J. Moore,
S. D. Woodford, F. Easterley.
E. L. Robins, D. Dosling,
H. Vincent, J. Smith.
G. W. Nucumb,
At a meeting of Co. E, 154th Regiment N. Y. S. V., held at Camp of 154th Regiment N. Y. S. V., Lookout Valley, Tenn., March 23, 1864, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, He who directs all human affairs, has removed private Elezar Swetland from our midst, therefore—
Resolved, That in the death of Elearar [sic] Swetland, this Company has lost one of its most faithful members, a true-hearted gentleman, a sincere patriot, and one who was beloved by us all.
Resolved, That we extend our warmest sympathies to the friends and relatives of the deceased, and especially to his youthful widow, so suddenly called upon to mourn the loss of an affectionate husband, and that we sincerely hope that she may be consoled by our Heavenly Father in this severe affliction.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be furnished to his worthy brother, one of our number; also to the family of the deceased; and that a copy be also forwarded to the Westfield Republican, Fredonia Censor, Fredonia Advertiser, and Mayville Sentinel, respectively, for publication.
C. L. BARNHART, 1st Lt. Com. Co.
Geo. SWETLAND, 1st Sergt.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
CAMP 154th REGT., LOOKOUT VALLEY,
Tennessee, March 26th, 1864.
FRIEND FAY:—Another week, and yet I have no change in the position of this part of the army to chronicle. And yet the week has not been barren of incidents, interesting to us soldiers at least. Finding that we were evincing no disposition to kick up a muss, the elements have taken the matter into their own hands, and given us a real down east snow storm; and none of your mere flurrys, but one that would do no discredit to Cattaraugus in midwinter.
Turning to my diary I find that on Monday evening, March 21st, I retired to rest at about 11 p. m., to join in that repose in which all nature seemed to participate, and the last I remembered was the image of the moon seen through the canvass, which forms the only covering to my house, and which acts, in our economy, the double part of keeping out the storm and wind, and letting in the light. There was at this time no very strong indications of an immediate storm. Besides, the season in which we might look for snow, was supposed to be passed, and I had seen no prediction of such an event among all the almanacs which had come under my notice. Judge then of my astonishment in awaking at 1a.m. of the 22d, to find the aforementioned canvass sagging under the weight of some burden which seemed to have been silently laid upon it, and on rising and looking out, to find that we were in the midst of a veritable snow storm, which had not only buried the earth to the depth of 9 inches beneath its pure robe of white, but was yet in full life and vigor. Indeed it showed no indication of stopping in its mad career, until nearly noon, when the snow lay upon the ground to the depth of something over 12 inches, to say nothing of what must have melted by coming in contact with the warm soil upon which it fell. Had our army been in bivouce [sic] in the field, we must have suffered considerably, but being yet in our winter camp, no great inconvenience resulted therefrom. After clearing the deposits from the roofs of their tents, they were all sound. Indeed so far from taking a gloomy view of the matter, it seemed a perfect holiday in camp. It was the first opportunity of the season to make a snow ball, and the boys determined to improve it, and they did. Formed in lines of battle or as skirmishers, if their charges and other evolutions were not directly in accordance with CASEY, they in no wise conflicted with real enjoyment and love of fun. This sort of balls are much safer to play with than those of lead and iron. They are more easily dodged, and less likely to prove fatal if true to their mark. Tuesday night it froze some, but Wednesday was quite warm, and the snow disappeared fast. Since then it has been wet and disagreeable until to-day, which is warm and pleasant again. A little snow can yet be seen in the ravines on the north side of Lookout, but elsewhere: it has disappeared and the ground is fast drying off. I think the peaches in these parts must prove a failure this season, in consequence of the cold weather since they (judging by the uninterrupted warm weather of February and first part of March, that Spring had gained a sure footing in these valleys,) dared to throw of their winter guise, open their blossoms, and robe themselves in the gaudy plumage, in which they are wont to delight the eye of the lover of the beautiful. Probably the rebels will lay it all to the war and the poisonous influence of the Yankees, whom they describe as a deadly poison, under whose withering influence even nature herself fades and shrinks aghast. Well, they say a Yankee is equal to anything which he may attempt, and who knows but some of these pranks of the weather may be due to his talismanic charms.
Col. Jones returned on the 12d from Philadelphia, where he has been on a visit to his family. He is looking somewhat better than when he left.
The 154th has served out half of its time, having been in the U. S. service just 18 months to-day. During this period it has, I think, seen as much hard work as any regiment in the field, and never, when bravery could be of any avail, has it retreated before the enemy. It now stands with less than half its original strength, but with an untarnished reputation, an unstained flag.—Entering Virginia with an aggregate of 963, we now number 410, and of these less than 300 are present within the regiment. And where are the 493 who were with us 18 months since. Something like one hundred are enduring that which is worse than death, in Richmond prisons. The balance have been killed in action, or died of wounds received there, died of disease caused by the hardships and exposures of camp, been discharged for disability, transferred to the Invalid Corps, or lastly, dishonorably deserted. Deserted. What eternal infamy is attached to that single word. And still it is too true; there are those, (but thank Heaven they are few) who have been guilty of this greatest of all crimes in the eyes of the true soldier. There is some prospect of our being filled up this spring, but we are not yet sure. Hoping this may happen, I remain,
L. D. WARNER.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
CAMP 154th REGIMENT,
Near Catlett Station, Aug. 14, 1863.
FRIEND GANO:—After a season of the hottest weather I ever experienced, it has cooled of a little, so much so that it can be called endurable, and under its cooling influence I venture upon the task of chronicling the few events that have come under my limited observation since the date of my last letter.—Speaking of the weather, since the first of the month until to-day, the heat has been excessive, and it is well for our men that we have been exposed but little, (we having been most of the time in camp,) for no set of men could endure marching with a soldier's load, under the midday sun of the past two weeks. In camp we have managed to survive, by selecting the shadiest side, and exercising as little as was consistent with proper digestion of our hard bread and coffee, (by the way we are now on a probation of soft bread, which I hope will continue until our teeth have time to grow.) What we miss more than any other one thing, is the luxury of cold, pure water, such as was our wont to enjoy among the hills of Cattaraugus. The water here is not only scarce, but of a very poor quality for drinking, especially with the entire absence of ice, a luxury of which one must be deprived and pass the hot season on the high and dry plains around Warrenton Junction, in order to appreciate. We are now encamped near Catlett Station, about three miles north of Warrenton Junction. Our business at present seems to be guarding the railroad, to prevent Mosby or White's cavalry cutting off our supply of Commissary stores, which might prove quite an inconvenience to our army. The doings of those mysterious freebooters, who whenever there is a chance for plunder, seem to spring into existence in a moment, and to disappear as suddenly, and of whom it may truly be said, we know not from whence they came or whence they go, constitutes about the only food for excitement or sensation at this time, and even this has hardly been able to withstand the heat of the past few days. In connection with the weather, Gen. Meade's late order respecting depredations along the line of the railroad, may have had the effect of cooling the ardour of these scions of Southern chivalry, who seem to take to the road as naturally and with as much address as the renowned and in comparison gentlemanly Dick Turpin or any of his associates. It is sincerely to be hoped that if these measures fail to put a stop to this species of land piracy, that the next order will be to rid the whole country between the Blue Ridge on the South, and the Potomac on the North, of every person, male or female, claiming citizenship therein. It is about time that the farce of protecting the persons and property, of these traitors, furnishing safeguards to protect their houses from visits by our men, visiting the soldiers who perchance takes a _ank, half-starved chicken, and wrings its neck to save its life, with severe punishment, while perchance the owner of said chicken is at the same moment engaged in the loyal and laudable enterprise of setting fire to some railroad bridge, tearing up or putting obstructions upon the track, firing into some, passing train, or in the more profitable one of making a dash upon the train of some Sutler possessed of daring enough to incur the risk of capture, confiscation and captivity, in view of the profits arising from a successful trip out to the front, should cease. It has already had a run of two years, and it is time a new policy was originated. I trust that one is already in rehersal [sic] which shall entirely change the aspect of affairs in this quarter. At present our cavalry, which arm of the service has secured for itself a well earned and deserved reputation for efficiency in the field and against the regularly organized forces of the enemy, seem to be completely at fault in managing these gentry, who are much like the Frenchman's flea, when you put your finger on him he ain't there. Like our city police, they generally arrive at the scene of the affray just after the assailants have left for parts unknown. Of course they at once start in pursuit, but these light-fingered and quick fisted gentlemen have a very mysterious way of making themselves invisible to Yankee eyes. Ten to one, at the first house at which the pursuers halt to enquire whether the rebels have passed that way, they will be met at the door by the loyal proprietor, who has but just had time to wipe the sweat from
his brow and change the habiliments of a Rebel officer or private for those of a peaceful, quiet citizen, and who, after directing them as to the probable whereabouts of the base marauders, will bid them good morning with the heartily expressed (and of course heart felt) wish that Mosby and his whole gang of thieves may speedily be caught and brought up with a round turn at the end of a rope.
But I must leave Mosby and his victims, the Sutlers, for the present. By the way, our regimental sutlers, Bavry and Lieut. Col. Loomis, made us the first visit of the season, a few days since, and after disposing of their load of tobacco, ginger bread, cheese, ready made clothing and other fancy articles too numerous to mention, left yesterday on their return to the city, from whence, (unless in the mean time they should make a side trip to Richmond on other account than their own,) we may expect them to return the fore part of next week, with another supply of such articles as soldiers most delight to purchase.
By the way what has become of those recruits we have been looking for so long and so anxiously. Tell C. S. C. to hurry up and get that wheel under motion, for we want the men here, and now is an excellent time to learn the mysteries of shoulder arms, eyes right, front, while we are lying idle and wait for cooler days before we advance South and finish up this little job yet on hand. So come on boys, there is room and to spare, your neighbors here who have borne the brunt of the campaign at Chancellorsville, at Gettysburg, on our long and fatiguing marches through heat and rain, mud and dust, and in Richmond prisons, are looking anxiously to you for help to finish what has been so well and so bravely commenced. Surely you will not, by withholding your aid at this critical moment, allow our country to lose the benefit of what has already been done. The rebellion is evidently tottering to its very foundation, and it now needs only one vigorous move on our part to complete the demolition of the fabric. Can it be that under these circumstances you can refuse to lend the helping hand, is the earnest appeal of fathers, sons and brothers to you, to be made in vain? I tell you that the cheer which will go up from the thousands whose eyes are turned to their native hills for the first distant glimpse of your coming, when they see your manly steps and hear the sound of your voices, "Be of good cheer, we are coming to your aid." I repeat it, that shout of gladness will send terror to our already trembling foes, and, as they hear the sound echoing among the hills of the Rappahannock, and dying away and again caught up and re-echoed from the deep recesses of the Alleganies [sic], they will be seized with sudden terror, and will cry to one another, "Let us flee, for the Lord is against us and on the side of our foes." I repeat it men of the North, now is the time to strike with strong arm and steady nerve for liberty and our country. Be true to yourselves and the country is safe. Be false, and it may be yours, while gazing in shame and remorse upon the ruins of our once blessed and happy land, to listen to the voice of conscience, "This is your work, you might have prevented it but you would not, behold the desolation you have caused." I am sure you will be saved from such a retrospect, you will cheerfully respond to this your kindred's and your country's call for aid. And our beloved land will rise from this fearful struggle, and like gold from the refined fire, will come out purer and more perfect than before, and while we acknowledge the power that directed the blow, we shall bless the rod that chastised us for our own good, for whomsoever he loveth he chastiseth.
We have as yet heard nothing from our men who were taken at Gettysburg, neither have our Chancellorsville prisohers [sic] been exchanged. We are in hopes that a few days will find the 154th once more a regiment respectable in point of numbers. It would indeed be gratifying to those who have been with the regiment from the first, to see her ranks once more full of brave and hardy sons of Cattaraugus, ready, if needs be, to again do battle for our Country and Constitution. And if those at home are not recreant to duty, we shall be gratified in this respect.
L. D. WARNER.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
CAMP 154th Regt., Manassas Junction, Aug. 19.
EDITOR TIMES:—You see by the heading to this that we have again changed our base of operations and contracted our lines closer around Washington.—Erom [sic] the date of my last letter we remained in our shady retreat near Catlett Station, without any particular variation in our daily routine of camp and guard duties, until the 15th, when we received orders to be ready to march at a moment's notice, with three days rations in haversacks. Well, we remained under these marching orders until the afternoon of the 11th, when we, at fifteen minutes notice, started for this place. Perhaps you are not aware of the pleasant state of uncertainty attending these marching orders, which, by the way, differ very materially from orders to march. For instance, we sometimes get orders to be ready to march on short notice, sometimes one hour, and sometimes (as the last,) at a moment's notice. We may remain under these orders for one day or one week, and during its operation it is perilous to leave camp at any time, or for any purpose. You are liable at any moment to be ordered to tear down and pack up in the very shortest possible time, and if you are one minute behind, there are cross looks and perhaps a reprimand for tardiness. This makes it extremely pleasant for a Regimental commander, who is of course held responsible for all short comings in his command. On our last move for instance. The third day since we had been under these special orders, had nearly closed; in the opinion of the Brigade officers, there was no signs of a move, in fact every thing looked so quiet and so much like a stay, that I had caused on that day a large amount of policeing [sic] to be done in and about camp; about 3 p. m., I received orders to detail an officer for picket that night.— The earth seemed to revolve as usual, and we were congratulating ourselves upon the moral certainty that a shady camp and soft bread had become permanent fixtures, for since the order came, three days had elapsed, and all things remained as they were. The Sun had descended low in the Western horizon, the men were lazily preparing their evening meals, my servant, or I might better say, man of all works, had just gone to water my horse and would be absent at least 1/2 hour, the office clerk had gone on a like errand, when up came an Orderly all in a sweat, with a circular to the following import: The Regiments of this Brigade will march immediately towards Manassas Junction. Well after giving the order to the Company Commanders, and hearing from the men who were just getting ready to eat their suppers, a little grumbling, a very little swearing and a large amount of joking, particularly with regard to the extra amount of work bestowed upon the camp that day, I turned to my own affairs. Here was a pretty kettle of fish. My boy was gone with my horse, and my clerk was gone. The desk and other office furniture was to be packed and got ready for transportation. My own personal luggage, which I do not profess to keep very snug, was lying around loose, and must also be packed, and my wall-tent must be taken down and rolled up, and I had 15 minutes to do it in, and nobody but the Acting Adjutant to help me, and the boys of the regiment had all they could attend to of their own affairs. Besides, I had the prospect of going without my supper, not particularly pleasant, especially with a night's march of twelve miles in prospect. But I had worked at this business before, I and had my department in order on time, and my horse came back just in time and every thing was right, except that neither the horse or myself had our supper. It was sunset when we got fairly under way, the night was pleasant, being clear, and the men stood the march much better than they would have done under a midday sun. Our orders were to march to Manassas that night, and we should probably have done so, but on arriving at Bristol Station, where the railroad crosses Broad Run by a trestle work bridge about forty feet high, on which (in the absence of any other bridge,) the Infantry were obliged to cross, stepping from one tie to the next, the 27th Pa. Volunteers, who led the Brigade, refused to cross in the darkness, probably having no taste for a leap in the dark, and trying the realities of the rooky landing below. Well there was no alternative but to halt the Brigade and wait for daylight to make the path of duty more plain. So we rolled ourselves in our blankets and slept soundly until the unwelcome revalee [sic] roused us to the realization of the fact that our journey was not yet ended, our work not done. We were soon under motion, crossed the creek without accident, and about 8 A. M., found ourselves upon the classic ground, the famed plains of Manassas, where report, two years since said that fearful and deadly mines were in readiness to launch into eternity the invading Yankee hordes, if perchance they should succeed in forcing their way thus far into the heart of the old Dominion. Luckily, probably, for the Yankees, and certainly for the veracity of those who originated the report, our army stopped short of this place, and the Rebels withdrew the powder from the mines, and reserved it for its more legitimate use of hurling at Lincoln's hirelings the musket ball or shell, and with defiant yell, sending their foes pell mell to heaven or else to the north of Mason and Dixon's line. The country around the Junction seems to have been well selected as a place of defence, although there are no high hills in the vicinity. The whole country as far as the eye can reach is a high rolling table land, well adapted to the maneuvering of infantry, artillery or cavalry.— Standing upon the remains of one of the many fortifications near the Station, the eye takes in the whole country between the heights of Centreville on the North, and the Bull Run Mountains on the South and West. As you gaze upon the works of military defense and offensive (or rather upon these ruins,) which surround you on all sides, and then cast your eyes over the region around Bull Run, whose soil has been twice enriched with the blood of patriots and heroes, you feel that you are on sacred ground, and the mind and thoughts involuntarily carry you back to the 21st of July, 1861, and you witness in imagination the first great struggle of this bloody war. You behold the concussion of two great armies meeting in deadly strife, with a shock that causes the earth to tremble beneath your feet. You hear the cease-less roar of artillery, the rattle of musketry, the yells and shouts of defiance, the cheers of momentary success and advantage gained one moment to be lost the next. The groans of the wounded and dying, you see the death grapple of the hand to hand conflict for the possession of some battery, you feel the ground tremble beneath the cavalry charge, you behold the swaying to and fro of the masses; the advance and retreat as victory seems to rest first on one banner and then on the other, and finally as the Stars and Stripes seem to rise in triumph over the field, and you hear in the distance the exultant shout of McDowell's men, and distinguish the words, "they fly, the day is won." There comes from the West another sound, the shrill scream of the locomotive, you look and behold the gray uniforms and glistening bayonets of Johnston's men, and as the panting steed comes to a halt, you see the thousands of fresh troops spring from the long trains, and quickly forming in line of battle, advance at a double quick upon the Federal troops who, worn out and exhaust- ed with twelve hours marching and fighting beneath a July sun, are illy [sic] prepared to meet the furious onset of these troops, now advancing so unexpectedly upon their thinned and exhausted ranks. And as the sound of the conflict becomes fainter in the distance, and you are aware that the little band of federalists have give way a routed, disorganized mass, your mind turns to Patterson, who was to have prevented Johnston's uniting with Beauregard, but who, like Napoleon's Groncry, failed at the critical moment, and to the question, "Who is responsible for this day's disaster and disgrace to the Union arms?" the answer comes, "Thou art the man."
How long we shall stay here I have no means of guessing. We may march to-morrow, and we may stay for weeks. As to the whereabouts of our army, I know nothing outside of my own Division. The first brigade is here, the 2d at Bristol, further the deponent knoweth not. By the way I presume you in Cattaraugus are in a fever of excitement about these days, as I learn that this is the eventful week. Well I care little who draws the prizes, if they are only forth coming at the appointed time, so hurry up, for Uncle Sam is in want of men wore than of money. But I have spun this out about sufficient, and will stop, and as I go out on picket in the morning, and may fail to report at the appointed time at headquarters, I will bid you good bye before I go.
L. D. WARMER.
P. S. Corporal Bouton was said to have been killed on the 1st day of July, at Gettysburg, and as he has not been heard from among the prisoners, I think there is no doubt of his death. Lewis Bishop, Color Sergeant, who at Chancellorsville won general commendation for his courage and coolness, and who was wounded in both legs at Gettysburg while endeavoring to save the colors, has since died of the injuries there received. L. D. W.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
HEADQUARTERS 154TH REGIMENT,
BRIGDEPORT, ALA., Oct. 22, 1863.
FRIEND FAY:—After a week of such rain as only Dixie can manufacture, it seems to have set in for a wet spell.—To say that the roads are horrible, or abominable, is giving a wild description indeed. A new set of adjectives must be invented before one can hope to convey in words anything like a correct idea of the real condition of affairs here, as regards the condition of those roads which are used in hauling stores to the Army in this region. But it is getting no better fast. Indeed, I have fears that if this weather continues much longer, our friends up at Chattanooga will have to contend with a worse and more deadly foe than Gen. BRAGG has yet proved himself to be, for it will be some days yet before railroad communication can be opened above this point, as the bridge here is yet some ways from completion. A small steamer, intended to tow Barges, is, however, about ready to get up steam at this place, and as the rains are swelling the river, it is probable that supplies will be taken up by water in a very few days. I have full faith in Gen. GRANT that our brave boys will not be obliged to give up the advantages of their present position on account of the failure of hard bread and coffee. Still I think it is the cause of some anxiety at headquarters, for a soldier must eat if he would fight, and no matter how brave our army may be, and with how much skill they may be managed, they must finally yield to the persistent attacks of Gen. Starvation. It is a true saying that a soldier had better be without cartridges than without rations. There is a large force at work making Corduroy road over the worst places between here and our main army, but with the present weather and the immense amount of travel, it is next to impossible to get the road into anything like a passable condition. The eleventh Corps, which you are aware has won no very enviable reputation of late with the musket, would seem to be destined to seek its laurels beneath the Earths' surface, with such implements as the shovel and pick. Rather a humble instrument to be associated with the Crescent, which is looked for in a more elevated sphere.
Well, the Corps which could steal mit Blenker, fight mit Siegel, and run mit Howard, can dig, as the Dutchman says, "like ter tyvel," and if this sort of warfare is considered less honorable, and if the laurels won are less green and less enduring than those won by our brothers at Chattanooga, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we are laboring in the same great cause, and that our work is fully important as theirs, for if we did not help to feed them, all their bravery would come to nought, and that right speedily. And here let me say that our position is not without its perils, for there are bushwhackers here who are quite as well skilled in their profession as their brethren and co-workers in the Old Dominion. And let me say one word in regard to my own regiment. As it had the credit of acquitting itself well at Chancellorsville as well as at Gettysburg, with the musket, so here in Alabama with the axe, it stands A No. 1. In fact there is not another regiment in the Corps that stands as high as axemen, and we are generally detailed to use that instrument exclusively, while other regiments use the shovel and pick. This suits the boys, and they are emulous to retain the good opinion of those at headquarters. They are now specially detailed getting out railroad ties, building bridges, &c.
Our baggage has not yet arrived, although we have been here three weeks. It came by rail to Nashville but a few days behind us. From there the capacity of the road has been taxed to its utmost in forwarding to this point the necessary supplies for the army, and as the transportation teams and wagons for the fitting out of the Corps were brought from there over land, the regimental baggage was loaded upon the wagons to be hauled through. The distance by road is about 150 miles, and such is the condition of the roads that although already out 14 days, they will not be in under 2 or 3 days yet. As consequence of our traps being so far behind, we have suffered a great inconvenience for the want of tents, blankets, &c, to say nothing of clean underclothes. As for myself I was fortunate enough to borrow a shirt to wear while the one I wore from Alexandria was being washed and dried. It will be quite an important day (with our officers,) that heralds the arrival of our train, provided our luggage is not ruined (of which there is a good chance) in the transit. Our saddle horses came in three days since, but in a sorry plight. Crowded, bruised, and starved upon the cars for one week, and then ten days through Tennessee storms and mud, they were hardly recognizable as the same animals, which nearly four weeks since we left at Alexandria. Indeed, two of those belonging to our brigade, one the property of Surgeon Day of the 154th, the other of Lieut. Col. Jackson, 134th N. Y.. V., have already received their discharge from the service since their arrival, and more are in a fair way to follow. Your humble servant will be well pleased to hand over the sceptre and subside.
The worst feature in our change of locality is that we get no mails here as yet with any degree of certainty or regularity, I have received neither paper or letter from home since my arrival here, and am as ignorant of what has transpired there within the last four weeks, as any native of the South Sea Islands. The TIMES, that pleasant weekly visitant which made its appearance regularly in camp on the other side of the Alleganies [sic], has as yet failed to make its appearance here. I hope this state of things may not long continue, for give the soldier every other comfort compatible with his calling, and he is restless, discontented and uneasy, if deprived of his letters and papers from home. Give him these and he is cheerful even with half rations and constant fatigue duty. The first question on coming into camp at night is, "Has there any mail arrived to-day?" and when they receive a negative reply, their spirits fall beyond even the powers of bad Commissary, which fails to bring them up to the point of cheerful content. Respectfully yours,
L. D. WARNER.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
LOOKOUT VALLEY, NOV. 5th, 1863.
FRIEND FAY:—As you have doubtless, ere this, heard the Crescent has
been once more upon the move, and now rests beneath the shadow of Lookout Mountain, whose hoary head, bristling with Rebel cannon, seems to look down in astonishment upon us puny creatures who have thus impudently dared to take up our abode under his very feet. But to my journal.
Oct. 27th.—We broke camp at Bridgeport, and crossing the river, advanced along the railroad in this direction, the 1st Brigade taking the lead. The day was fine, and the roads not having been used during the late rains, were in good condition. Our first halt was at Shell Mound Station, about eight miles from Bridgeport. Near here is the entrance to one of the largest of the saltpeter caves to be found in the country, it having been explored some nine or ten miles from its mouth. A stream of pure water, sufficient to furnish the motive powers to quite an extensive grist mill, and which is said to be navigable for light skiffs some 4 miles, issues from the mouth of the cave. The earth in the bottom of the cave is strongly impregnated with saltpetre, which is obtained by leaching the earth and boiling the ley. The numerous leaches and remains of arches for boiling, show-that the manufacture of this important ingredient in the manufacture of gun-powder, has been extensively carried on of late. For the present, however, the manufacture is seriously interrupted.— After giving the boys a chance to take a peep into a real live cave and pick up a few shells to send home as relics, we continued our course. The country, which from Bridgeport here was comparatively level and productive, now became more rough and sterile [sic], and the roads much worse. About two miles from Shell Mound, the road enters a narrow pass between the river and mountain, where, for more than two miles the cliffs towered to a height that caused a diziness [sic] on looking up, and in many places overhung the road. At a height of about fifty feet above the road, the railroad winds along the side of the hill, the space for the track being most of the way obtained by blasting and throwing out the solid rock. The scenery was impressive, and the most boisterous were awed into silence. Think's I, what a spot this to cut off and destroy a train of wagons. Let them once get into this defile, then close up the two ends, and there is no escape for man or beast, unless by swimming the river, a feat which nothing less than the fear of a rebel bullet would cause me to attempt. At the termination of this defile, the road leaves the river, and ascending the valley of what is called Falling Water creek to its head, passes through a gap in the mountain and descends the Lookout creek valley, which opens upon the river about three miles below Chattanooga. I think no railroad was ever engineered through a rougher region than this. The road winds around the sides of the mountains in many places, hundreds of feet above the narrow valley, or rather gorge, into which the train would plunge were it thrown from the track. About fourteen miles from Chattanooga the railroad crosses the creek, the Bridge over which has been burned by the rebels, who, not satisfied with reducing to ashes all that was consumable, attempted to blow up the fine stone piers on which the bridge rested, some of which cannot be less than 150 feet in hight [sic]. I think Uncle Sam will hardly incur the expense of rebuilding this costly structure, at least not while supplies can be taken up by the river. About two miles from this bridge and twelve from Chattanooga, we came to a small valley, wide enough for an encampment, and here we halted for the night, having marched about twenty miles. After eating our supper, posting picket for the night, &c., we lay down to rest, and the last thing I remember was the squealing of an unfortunate litter of eight weeks pigs, who chanced to stray too near our camp for their own safety. The next morning, the 28th, we were aroused at four o'clock, and at six were once more on the move, our Brigade leading as yesterday. We now began to see the evidence of recent rebel occupation, and consequently moved with caution. No resistance, however was met with until about five miles from the month of Lookout Creek, when our advance begun to encounter the advance pickets of the rebels. They, however, fled after firing a few shots, and we continued to advance along the valley, with Lookout mountain on our right, from the summit of which, on the extreme point next the river, rebel cannon were sending shells in the direction of the river, and rebel flags were signalling [sic] our approach. When about three miles from the river, our advance encountered the rebels in some force, and a halt being made, the 73d Pa., and 154th N. Y., were deployed as skirmishers to clear the road for the main body of troops. This was the first time the 154th had been employed in this way, and the first chance to go in with a rush. And they did go in. The rebels were in force on the crest of a hill in front, which was covered with a dense growth of oak and hickory, which made it impossible to know their strength, or whether they were intrenched [sic]. But our boys did not stop to count noses. With such cheers as would have done credit to the lungs of three times their numbers, they charged boldly into the wood and up the hill, many who, a short time previous, were ready to fall out with fatigue, forgetting everything else in their eagerness to be first at the top.
The enemy, undoubtedly supposing from the noise that a large force was advancing to the charge, fled after firing a few shots, and our boys soon rested on the crest of the hill without any greater casualty than the loss of the little finger of one man, Hiram Strait of Co. C. No further resistance was offered by the rebel infantry, and we proceeded on our way down the valley. We now were to pass the batteries on the point of Lookout mountain, which gave us their undivided attention, as we passed within easy shelling range.
Owing, however, to the great height of the mountain or the imperfection of rebel gunnery and projectiles, or both, no harm was done. They wasted their ammunition, frightened a few timid ones, and hurt nobody. It was, however, a grand review and salute, only for want of blank cartridges they fired loaded shell and solid shot, a great waste of material. After passing the batteries about one mile, we came in sight of the Stars and Stripes waving from the summits of a range of small hills along the river, and such cheers as our boys sent up were anything but lazy. Thus was our journey ended.—We had formed a junction with the army of Gen. Grant, and opened communication on this side of the river between Bridgeport and Chattanooga.—The sun was just setting behind the Western hills when we encamped at the base of one of the hills, well satisfied with ourselves and our day's work. After eating our supper we retired early to rest, expecting to enjoy a good night's sleep. Alas, how uncertain are human calculations, especially in the army. The night was scarcely half passed when we were aroused by the booming of cannon and the rattle of musketry, and were soon in line and ready for a moonlight fight, the cause of which I will explain as well as possible.
As I have before remarked, Lookout mountain is on our right as we come down the valley. Between the base of the mountain and the road is a range of hills, some four or five hundred feet in height. Behind these hills and along the base of the mountain, the enemy, comprising Hood's Division, Longstreet's Corps, were lying in force. The two divisions of the 11th corps had passed down the valley, and Geary's Division of the 12th Corps, was several miles in rear, advancing on the same road. He had encamped for the night some four or five miles from the river. All this was observed by the rebels from their crows nest among the clouds, and they at once conceived the plan of attacking Geary with a strong force, and at the same time occupy the hills spoken of with such a force as should prevent our moving to his rescue. Accordingly, about midnight they made a fierce attack upon the camp of General Geary, and when our Corps was moved to his support, they found the road covered by rebel infantry, who were strongly entrenched upon the aforesaid chain of hills, along the foot of which our men must pass. There was but one thing to be done, they must be dislodged, and as we had marched in the advance, our facing about brought the 2d brigade in front, and they were ordered to clear the hill, which they did in fine style, driving the rebels from their rifle pits and down the other side of the hill, but not without considerable loss to themselves. In the meantime Gen. Geary gave them a severe whipping, and about 2 a. m., the firing ceased, the enemy being repulsed at all points with a loss of some seven or eight hundred. The 1st brigade was not engaged, but remained in position until daylight, when we moved to a position between the hills, and directly in front of and under the guns of Lookout, where we remained two days, when we were relieved and moved into our present camp. We are now engaged in picket duty, making roads, &c., and the indications are that we shall remain for several days, but we may move any hour. Our achievements of the 28th and 29th of October are highly complimented at headquarters, and I think that whatever odium rested upon the crescent, has been removed, and it now shines with a lustre not surpassed by any star in the constellation military. The opening of communication with our base at Bridgeport, is an important event to the army of the Cumberland, as has been fully acknowledged in orders from headquarters. But I have made this letter too long already.
L. D. Warner.
LOOKOUT YAXLEY, NEAR CHATTANOOGA,
NOVEMBER 9th, 1863.
FRIEND FAY: The smoke of our late skirmishes having cleared away, and the earth continuing to revolve as of old, nowise disturbed by the clash of Arms, our little Army (the 11th and 12th Corps) has subsided into their usual quiet routine of camp, picket and fatigue duties. By fatigue, I mean fortifying and road building. Of the latter we are just now engaged on quite an extensive job, being nothing less than the building of a double track of corduroy the distance of six miles from Kelley's Ferry, the present head of Steamboat navigation on the Tennessee, to the place of our present encampment. The whole supplies for the Army of the Cumberland has to be hauled over this road. The supplies come to Bridgeport by rail, and are there transfered [sic] to barges, which are towed up to kelley's [sic] landing by steamboat.
Supplies are now being brought forward faster than they are consumed, and if no interruption occurs, the Army will soon be in a condition to warrant a forward move, provided Bragg can be moved out of the way. The rebels still hold their position on lookout mountain, and have a small infantry force on the side of and at the base fronting Lookout Valley. The 11th Corps holds the valley and our pickets are along the bank of the creek, which flows close to the base of the mountain. Their pickets are on the opposite bank, and so close that considerable conversation is carried on across the narrow stream. The rough handling the rebels recieved [sic] at the hands of our boys on the day and night of our arrival here, has had the effect of imbuing them with great respect for the fighting qualities of our boys. They don't seem clearly to understand how it was done. Those who have been taken prisoners, as well as those who have voluntarily come within our lines, have generally asked to be shown the boys who pitched into them in so unusual a manor. The rebel Batteries on the mountain still continue to salute us whenever they see a train of wagons, or a body of men passing through the vally [sic]. We have been here 12 days and they have probably sent us on an average 50 of their best complements daily. Although within easy range of their guns, the whole number of casualties to this time does not exceed 4 or 5. So much for this terrible position on Lookout. So harmless are they that even the mules, usually very susceptible of impressions of this sort, hardly deign to prick up their ears while passing under the range of thir [sic] fire. The fact is the knoll is decidedly to [sic] high for successful cannonading [sic]. They cannot safely depress their guns sufficiently to bear directly upon our positions, and must depend upon their shells bursting over the right spot, which very few are accomodating [sic] enough to do. Many burst almost as soon as they leave the mouth of the gun, and many do not burst at all. Under the circumstances, I think they evince a commendable degree of perseverence [sic], they still give us their daily attentions, and the puffs of smoke from the mountain's top and from the bursting shell followed in due time by the double reports, is evidence that they still are there. We have several large guns in position on a hill on the opposite side of the river, which occasionally reply to the enemy, throwing their shells over the crest of the mountain, but with what effect is of course only known to the rebs, unless indeed the man in the moon occasionally looks down from his elevated position, and takes a survey of the enemy's camp, but even if this is so, he is not supposed to be acquainted with our signal telegraphing, and so his knowledge is useless to us. With the exception of the sparring that is going on between lookout mountain and our batteries on the miniature at its foot, all seems to be quiet along the Tennessee. The rebs are daily coming into our lines, sometimes single, sometimes in squads of tens and twenties. They report their Army in great destitution, both as regards clothing and provisions, and their haggard and ragged appearance, as living evidence that in this respect they do not misrepresent the state of affairs. The people in this vicinity, as well as between Bridgeport and this place, are certainly the most forlorn set of beings I ever met with. I had read descriptions and looked upon drawings, of the poor whites of the South, but if this region is peopled by fair representations of the race, the most highly colored picture extant falls far below the reality. And a description of one person or one family will apply equally to all. In personal appearance, there is the same sallow complexion, the same expressionless countenance, the same evidence of the most abject poverty, and of an aimless life, with no aspiration above the mere qualification of physical desires, and the supplying of animal wants. There is little or no education or anything like refinement, to be met with. Their dwellings are almost universally of the most ancient style of backwoods architectures with this exception, they have not ambition enough to chink between the logs. There are several inhabited dwellings in this vicinity, in which the logs are on an average three inches apart without any filling whatever.
Of course windows are an unnecessary appendage, and are dispensed with entirely. Of their public buildings, the church of "John the Baptist," standing near the camp, is, I suppose, a fair specimen. The building is of logs, flatted on two sides, covered with the split oak shingle, the only kind I have seen in this country. There is one place of entrance, and here let me remark with regard to their liberality; that their church door or pulpit evidently never was closed against those who differed from them in some technical point, simply because there were neither to close! At each end there was left an aperture which one would suppose was intended for a window, did not a closer inspection reveal the fact that a window never was there. The warming of the edifice certainly shows an originality on the part of the designer, not often surpassed. In front of each aperture spoken of as left for windows, a square pile of stone is built up some six inches above the floor on which the fires were evidently built, the smoke escaping through the aforesaid apertures, or through the crevices in the roof. The seats are split-oak slabs, with legs inserted by the aid of an augur; these are also from an original design, but poorly designed to enjoy the luxury of sleeping through a long sermon.—Surely, those who listened to the divine command, "Servants, obey your Masters," as it fell from the lips of some eloquent disciple of the meek and lowly, attended from purely devotional motives. So much for their churches. Of school houses, there are none.
Their dress is as uniform as the expression of their countenance. The men are dressed in a butternut-colored home manufacture, and the women in a coarse, cotton fabric, of a dirty yellow. The children, of which there are no lack, are dressed in a similar fabric, according to sex. These have generally blue eyes, and universally, light hair, which has much the appearance of a mass of uncombed flax. These unfortunates, the victims of the peculiar institution, which, in their blind delusion, they are fighting to perpetuate, are now truly to be pitied. Stripped of everything they did possess, cows, hogs and corn, how they are to get through the coming winter, God only knows.—Utterly spiritless, they have neither the Utterly spiritless, they have neither the means or the ambition to get away and remain, ekeing out a scanty supply of corn meal, which, mixed with water, and baked without salt, is their sole living. Once seen, and the wonder ceases, that they are the dupes and willing tools of the Southern Chivalry, who, with the facility and ease with which the potter works his clay, shapes and moulds them, and excite their passions to the working out of their base designs, and to the ultimate ruin of these, their willing instruments. God hasten the day when their eyes shall be opened to their own best interests, and they redeemed from the worse than African bondage, which has so long crushed them beneath the wheel of this worse than Pagan car. Then, and not till then will their temperal condition be improved, and their intellects be aroused from the death-like torpor in which they have lain so long.
More Anon. L. D. WARNER.
154th Reg., N. Y. S. V., Grand Ecore, La., April 12, '64.
To relieve the anxiety of the friends of the 153d Regiment, N. Y. S. V., I herewith forward a list, accurate as can at present be ascertained, of our killed, wounded and missing, at the battle of Pleasant Hill, La., April 9th, 1864:
Private, Jacob E. Van Allen, co. B, shot through head.
Private, Andrew J. Van Alter, co, A, slight, flesh wound of elbow.
Private. A. O. Van Norstrand, co. A, fleash wound of thigh.
Sergt. Robert Hyrnan, co. A, very slight wound on shoulder.
Private, Henry Young, co. B. ball entered left cheek bone and passed out behind left ear, when last seen in dying condition.
Sergt. Charles S. Wood worth, co. B, serious, left side of face.
Private, Jerome B. Austin, co. B, slight, scalp wound left side of head.
Private, Henry Liitt, B, slight flesh wound in thigh.
Private, Brower Van Wie, co. B, wound and fracture of left thigh.
Sergt Wm. J. Munsell, co. C, very slight wound right shoulder.
Private, David Hugennie, co. C, slight wound on left side of cheek.
Private, James W. Peck, co. C, very slight wound on left arm.
Private, Nicholas Shoup, co. D, flesh wound, left thigh.
Private, William Nichloy, co. D, index finger, right hand.
Private, George Fisher, co. E, right hand.
Private, Wm. H. North, co. E, flesh wound calf of right leg.
Private, John C. Gravenstine, co. E, wound and fracture of right thigh.
Private, Peter Kirsh, co. B, wound in right ankle.
Private, James Lynch, co. E, flesh wound, calf of left leg.
Private, George Morey, co. E, flesh wound in right arm.
Private, Frederic Latter, co. F, wound and fracture of right leg above ankle.
Corporal Edwin Wert, co. H, wound and fracture of second finger, left hand.
Sergt. Albert A. Whetherwax, co. H, slight scalp wound, left side.
Private, Ransom Conklin, co. H, flesh wound of left thigh.
Private, John Ewing, co. I, wound and fracture of bone of left leg.
Private, John Jeru, co. I, slight wound above right eye.
Corporal John Brown, co. I, slight wound above right eye.
Corporal Herman Hessie, co. B.
Private John Meyers, co. D.
Private Wm. Duesen, co. D.
Corporal J. Thompson, co. G.
The regiment was complimented in the highest terms for its coolness and valor, during the battle, by Gen. Dwight, our Brigadier commander.
The following is a copy of the order issued by Gen. Emory to this Division.
Headquarters 1st. Div. Army Corps, Grand Ecore, April 12, 1864.
General Orders No. 13.
The General commanding thinks it is due to the officers and soldiers of this Division to express to them his high appreciation of their gallantry and their efficient services in checking the advance of the enemy on the evening of the 8th inst., and aiding in his defeat on the 9th.
By command of Brig. Gen. Emory.
(Signed) DUNCAN S. WALKER.
A. A. Gen.
Official, OLIVER MATTHEWS,
A. A. Gen'l.
Should you deem the above or any part of it worth a place in your columns you are at liberty to use it as you see fit. Most respectfully yours,
J. HENRY ENDERS,
Chaplain 153d Reg.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
CAMP NEAR CASSVILLE, GA.,
May 21, 1864.
FRIEND FAY:—After seventeen days constant marching or fighting, we have at length halted to take breath and recover our exhausted energies, preparatory to a fresh effort, to finish what has been so gloriously commenced, by driving the foe within the entrenchments of Atlanta, or compelling him to offer battle before he reaches that important stronghold. The 20th corps left Lookout Valley on the 4th of the present month, except Butterfield's division, which preceded the rest by several days. We moved to the right of the enemy's positions at Tunnel Hill, Dalton, &c. On the eve of the 7th, our division encamped about ten miles west of Dalton from which we were separated by high range of hills, (the same in which Buzzard Roost Gap is situated.) A road crosses these hills at a point about four miles south of the last named gap and the crest where the road crosses was in possession of the enemy. About 11 A. M. of the 8th we were ordered to march on a reconnoissance in the direction of this ridge, which here bears the local name of Rocky Faced Mountain. Arriving at about 1 1/2 miles from this point, we were halted, and our brigade was formed in line of battle, with skirmishers in front, and were ordered to advance and storm the hill, in front of which was two ranges of foot-hills steep and heavily wooded. The march over these hills in line of battle was very fatiguing to the men, and by the time they arrived at the foot of the main ridge they were well-nigh exhausted. The face of the hill is very steep and covered with loose rolling stones, none of them large enough to afford shelter to the men who toiled up its rugged sides. Along the crest runs a ledge of rocks with a perpendicular face of from five to ten feet, affording a most excellent shelter to the enemy, who, without exposing themselves, could deliberately fire upon our men as they ascended from the vale beneath. After resting for a few moments, the order to advance was given, and under a galling and deathly fire from the crest, our brave boys advanced (many of them never to return) to the charge, cheering lustily as they climbed the almost perpendicular ascent. As they neared the summit, the fire from above became more fatal, and the 27th Pa. halted and utterly refused to advance, the 73d Pa., which was on our left, (the 27th being on our right) did some better, but they could not be induced to advance to the foot of the ledge of rocks. The 154th, although losing men every moment, advanced steadily to the foot of the glacis, where they were partially protected from the fire of the foe, and halted for a moment to rest ere they made the desperate attempt to mount to the summit. I will here state that the failure of the 27th to come to time enabled the enemy to turn his whole attention to us, and the 154th was exposed to a deadly fire, not only from its front, but from the right flank, (which last was the more deadly of the two). This regiment claimed that their time had expired, and were bold in declaring that they would not fight. At length Col. Jones gave the command to rise up and forward, and what were left of 200 men mounted the ramparts, and our colors were planted on the mountain's crest! To maintain the position, unsupported as they were, was impossible. After a short conflict they were compelled by superior numbers to fall back, and retreat to the foot of the hill, with a loss of 14 killed and 42 wounded, making an aggregate of 56, besides many who were much injured by the loose rolling stones with which the face of the mountain was covered. Col. Jones, who had for several days been suffering from indisposition, but mounted the hill at the head of his regiment, was thrown from the rocks at the summit, and so severely injured that he was the next day obliged to return to Chattanooga for treatment. Our color-bearer, Geo. Bishop, (brother of Lewis Bishop, who lost his life in endeavoring to save our glorious banner at Gettysburg) was shot dead just as he had planted our flag fairly upon the crest, and three others were successively stricken down in the endeavor to bring them off, which was done by Corporal Alexander Williams, of Co. D. Thus ended the part taken by the 154th in this unsuccessful attack upon an almost impregnable position, defended by numbers, according to Rebel accounts, superior to the assailants. The attempt to carry the heights was made at other points, all were alike unsuccessful. The 154th was the only regiment which gained a footing upon the crest, and had they been properly supported, they would have maintained their position. The object of the demonstration seems to have been to draw the enemy's attention to this point, while McPherson passed through Snake Creek Gap, in the same range, nearly opposite Resaca, which he successfully accomplished, and thus gained a position in the enemy's rear. The whole loss sustained by our forces on the 8th, was something over 200, the 154th sustaining far the heaviest, being nearly30 per cent of our whole force. After dark we retired to the open ground near where we first formed our lines, near which place we remained until the 12th, when we marched for Snake Creek Gap, through which we passed, and until the Rebs evacuated we were engaged in the series of manoeuvres and fights which ended in Johnson's evacuation and our pursuit. Our boys are in good spirits, although they feel that they have been again sacrificed by being joined with troops on whom no reliance can be placed. The 27th Pa. should not have been ordered in where anything depended upon them, as they (never very reliable) are now very much disaffected, and will not stand under fire. We have now 140 guns, hardly enough to be called a regiment, but as good for our numbers as any in the army. Of the transactions around Resaca, so far as we are concerned, I will probably inform you as soon as I get a little rested, unless we should hear the advance (onward to Atlanta) sounded ere the opportunity occurs. They have had harder fighting in Virginia than here, although we have done something in that line, and should have done more, had Johnson not showed a good pair of heels, and been aided by the railroad in running off his stores. Our folks are putting the railroad in repair very rapidly, and last evening the trains ran into Kingston.
From the Olean Times.
Heroism in the 154th Regiment.
We publish elsewhere a list of the casualties in the 154th Regiment, Col. P. H. Jones, commanding. Dr. Van Aernam, who kindly furnished us the list, gave us a thrilling account of the heroism of the men, particularly of the devotion to their colors, at the battle of Rocky Faced Ridge, Ga. George Bishop, of this village, where he leaves wife and two or three children, was regimental color bearer. He was ordered to plant the standard on the crest of a hill in view of the Rebel entrenchments. He had scarcely done so, when a Rebel sharp-shooter sent a bullet through him, killing him instantly. Sergt. Augustus Shippey, of Co. B, seeing the colors fall, scaled the ridge and replaced them. He had just accomplished this, when a Rebel bullet killed him! Corp. T. E. Aldrich, of the same Co., then sprang forward and replanted the colors, standing unmoved planted the colors, standing unmoved among the whistling messengers of death, for some moments. But a Rebel sharp-shooter finally brought him down and he died without a groan! Private Orzo C. Greeley—a distant relative of Horace Greeley, of the Tribune—then seized the colors, planting them firmly holding the staff in his right hand. He occupied his position for a few moments and fell dead at his post. Orderly Sergt. Ambrose F. Arnold, of Co. D, then rushed forward, seized the flag and waved it in defiance at the enemy, and continued to do so until ordered away by his superior officers. Dr. Van Aernam says a hundred bullets whizzed by Serg. Arnold while he stood there, not one of which took effect. His four dead comrades lay within four feet of him, but he neither flinched nor looked behind him, while daring and determination marked every feature of his countenance and action. This is heroism of the truest and purest character, and it is questionable which of these five braves —four dead and one living—displayed the most nobleness, daring and courage. It is easy, however, to decide which was the most fortunate. Is this incident of this terrible war paralleled anywhere? we think not.
Correspondence of the Censor.
FROM THE 154TH N. Y. VOL.
Camp of 154th N. Y. V., Atlanta, Ga.,
September 13, 1864.
Mr. Editor, and readers of the Censor:—To-day finds me seated by my table to write you a few lines, thinking, perhaps they may be very acceptable, especially as they come from a soldier from your own County. Well, we have at last succeeded in capturing the rebel stronghold "Atlanta," but it has been a hard road to travel. The saying is, "Jordan is a hard road to travel," but the road we have come to Atlanta is a harder one than Jordan, I believe, and there are more bullets whistling on the Atlanta road. We have seen some stormy times since we started. We have been in the battles of Stony Faced ridge, Resaca, Dallas, Pine Knob, Kenesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek and before Atlanta. We have only got about 100 guns in our regiment now; the 154th Regt. is but a mere shadow of what it was when we started for active service. Some have died, some have been discharged, some have deserted, some have fallen on the battle field by rebel bullets, and some are now in the hands of the Johnny Rebs as prisoners of war. So you can see they are scattered all around. Some are enjoying themselves in their homes, some in bondage, some gone to their eternal home, and some are suffering with wounds in the hospital; but they are honorable wounds, received in defending the old flag, the stars and stripes, our country's pride and hope. And now the old flag floats in triumph over Atlanta, where but a short time ago floated the ensign of treason and rebellion against a glorious Union. But that rebel ensign can never more wave in triumph or success where our gallant leader (Major General W. T Sherman) and his army go. This army knows nothing but Victory when Gen. Sherman is at the head of it. He has outgeneraled every opposing leader he has encountered yet. The rebel General Johnston could do nothing with him, and they put in Gen. Hood; but he had to get up and "dig out" of Atlanta, and I guess they had better put in a sun-bonnet next time instead of a Hood, and see what luck they will have. When we took Atlanta we got 22, 64lb. siege guns and several small cannon and ammunition. The Rebs burned two trains of cars loaded with ammunition to keep us from capturing it, and every mud and water hole was full of shells and powder. They spiked all the guns they left, so they would be of no use to us for a while. They burned the carriages to some of the big guns, and blew up their magazines before they left.
The city is a very fine city but it is badly torn in pieces by Yankee shells. The citizens say they had to lie low when we were shelling the city. Most of the citizens have got bomb proofs dug in their yards, to crawl into when the shells were visiting them. There is an order issued by Gen. Sherman that all the citizens here who have friends in the rebel army have got to go through the lines into the rebel territory, and the rest must go north. The citizens are feeling awfully over it. The Army is lying still now, getting recruited up and clothed and paid off; then it will be hurrah for Macon. The distance is 105 miles, and if Gen. Sherman undertakes to go there, he will go, in spite of the whole Confederacy. This army has lost 15,000 men on this campaign, and the 20th corps has lost 7,000; so you can see whether the 20th corps has seen any fighting or not. We had a General with us whom you could depend upon, and he would not ask his men to go where he would not go. This man is General Hooker. He was well liked by the whole corps and we disliked to part with him. He was a man who would never see his men go hungry as long as he could get anything. The 20th corps has had excellent living on the march. We have not wanted for anything to eat until Gen. Hooker left us; we have since been rather short, but get along very well. We have soft bread, coffee, sugar, fresh beef, bacon or pork, mixed vegetables, beans, soap, candles &c. So you can see what our living consists of. We have enough now, and live high here in Atlanta.
M. J. G.
Letter from Major L. D. Warner.
HEADQUARTERS 154TH REGIMENT,
BRIDGEPORT, Ala., Oct. 25, 1863.
EDITOR TIMES—Six days thumping, jolting, pounding upon the cars, rough boards, planed boards, cushioned seats, and no seats at all. Sleeping with body and limbs in every conceivable position and at every degree of elevation between the horizon and the zenith. Bless me ain't it pleasant this riding on a rail. On ordinary occasions I think it is, but a jaunt of twelve hundred miles, with such accommodations as are provided for the transportation of troops, is quite another thing. Well, all things have an end, and so has our journey for the present, and we now find ourselves at Bridgeport, on the Tennessee River, about thirty miles below Chattanooga, in northern Alabama.
As was shaddowed [sic] forth in my last, we embarked on Saturday, September 26th, on the railroad and started for this region, by way of the Washington and Baltimore road to the junction of the B. & O. road, thence to Wheeling, where we crossed the Ohio, thence to Zanesville, Columbus, Zinia and Dayton, Ohio, Richmond, Indianapolis and Jeffersonville, Indiana, at which last place we recrossed the Ohio to Louisville, thence by L. & W. railroad to Nashville, Tennessee, thence by Nashville and Chattanooga road to this place, which is at present the terminus of railroad travel in this direction, as the bridge over the river here has been nearly destroyed, and it will take some time to rebuild it.
No accident happened to the 154th during this long ride, and every man with which we left Alexandria is here with us. I think that few regiments who have come through here can boast of the same thing. All regiments of which I know anything, left more or less men on the road to be picked up and sent along with following troops. I do not know as our boys were any less ready than others to jump off whenever the cars stopped, but they always managed to be on board again when we started. The Government had taken possession of the roads on our line of travel, and arragements [sic] were made at proper distances for supplying the boys with bread and coffee as they came along. At several places butter, cheese and meat were added to this bill of fare. At Centreville, Indiana, the ladies met us with a repast of coffee, cakes, pies, cold meats, bread, biscuits, butter, cheese, fruits, and everything that could tempt a hungry man, and to which our buys did full justice, not forgetting to thank the fair donors of so acceptable a gift. As the cars moved off, three cheers for the ladies of Centreville was given with a will. In our transit at Louisville we had about three miles marching through heat and dust, which very forcibly reminded us of some of our last Summer's experience. During our short daylight ride through Kentucky we were repeatedly cheered as we passed along, but after we left Nashville I saw no demonstration of welcome or good feeling along the road. From what I have seen I am inclined to the belief that the picture of strong union sentiment in this region has been considerably overdrawn. At Murfreesborough I understand there were three Union votes cast at the last election. The country bears the same marks of the desolating effects of the war which are so painfully visible in every part of Eastern Virginia. Dearly have these States paid for their foolish policy of joining themselves and casting their lots with their country's enemies. It will take years of patient toil and self-denying economy to restore these States to the position they occupied little more than two short years since.
We are now in camp near the banks of the Tennessee river, at Bridgeport, where we shall probably remain until we can get organized and ready for the field. The 11th Corps is here and the 12th is now arriving as fast as the road can bring them in. Then must come the transportation, baggage, and all that goes to fit and furnish an army for active service. I do not think this can all be procured and got in running order in less than ten or twelve days.—When all is in readiness I presume there will be work done, as we are not sent here for nothing. I understand (though I cannot vouch for the truth of the statement,) that these two Corps are under or to be under the command of HOOKER. If so we shall undoubtedly fight, unless one or the other side runs. The country around here is very rough and mountainous and well adapted to guerrilla warfare, which the rebels are reported to be pretty extensively engaged in hereabouts.
To counteract these desperadoes requires continual watchfulness and activity. Our distance from the base of operations is so great that it would cause great inconvenience to have the single track destroyed between here and Nashville, which is distant from here 126 miles by rail. The river is decidedly too low to be depended on as a source of supplies.
Our Chancellorsville prisoners arrived here this morning, they having been exchanged just before we left Alexandria. The Gettysburg men are also exchanged, and will probably be here in a few days. If Col. JONES and the other officers come with them, I shall feel that we are all right. The direction to be placed upon letters or packages is the same as before, except that Army of the Cumberland instead of army of the Potomac, and Nashville is to be substituted for Washington.
L. D. WARNER.
Correspondence.—In another column will be found a communication from John Manly, Esq,, who is now in Washington, and a letter from Capt. Casler, dated Libby Prison, Richmond, which gives a perfect list of the men captured at Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, belonging to the 154th N. Y. Regiment, who are now confined with him in Richmond. We are tinder many obligations to Mr. Manley for this interesting matter, and we should be pleased to hear from him at another time. The soldiers from this County have received many benefits and favors at his hands, and he occupies a cherished spot in their hearts for his kind and benificent attention.
The Tribunepublishes a list of the Union prisoners in Richmond prisons, in which we notice the following names:
2d Lt. A. MCDADE, 154th N. Y., captured July 2d, at Gettysburg.
2d Lt. C. G. STEVENS, 15.4th N. Y., captured at the same time.
2d Lt. J. M. HENRY, 154th N. Y., captured at Gettysburg, July 1st.
Capt, J. G. WELD, 9th N. Y. Cavalry, captured Oct. 11th, at Brandy Station.
Capt, J. B. FAY, 154th N. Y., captured July 2d, at Gettysburg.
Capt. E. PORTER, 154th N. Y.
Capt, B. G. CASLER, 154th N. Y.
It is stated that the 154th Regiment, (Cattaraugus and Chautauqua) and the 100th Regiment (Buffalo and Chautauqua) have gone to re-enforce ROSECRANS at Chattanooga.
THE 154TH.—A letter from Lieut. WARNER, of the 154th, in the Olean Times, dated near Dallas, Ga., June 1, states that the total losses in the Regiment from the time of leaving Lookout Mountain, was 68, or 34 per cent of the whole force. About 30 more had given out from sickness. Col. Jones was daily expected to take command. There were but four officers for duty in the line. The men had been for six days constantly under fire.
Personal.—Capt. Leach of Dansville, 130th, Col. Gibbs' regiment, has returned _t place on leave of absence, suffering the effects of a sun stroke. Wadsworth and lady arrived at Congress last evening direct from Washington. The General is looking well, and apparently feels none the worse for his Pennsylvania campaign. He says that the authorities at Washington are ___ satisfied with the present position of military affairs. He says the soldiers never felt in better spirits or were more confident of success in defeating Lee's army than they are today. Gen. Wadsworth and family will leave in the morning for Geneseo.
At Gettysburg, Pa., on the 31st ult., of wounds received in the battle of July 1st, JAMES F. CHASE, of Co. D, 154th N. Y. V., only son of James and Milly Chase, of Lyndon, in this county, aged 27 years. He has left a wife and one child to mourn his loss. He ___ an affectionate son and brother, a kind and indul-__ husband and father, and a brave and faithful soldier.
REGIMENTS TO BE REPLENISHED BY THE CONSCRIPTION.—
The following infantry regiments are represented at the Elmira rendezvous, to take charge of the conscripts assigned to each respective regiment:
The 153d, 49th, 109th, 77th, 123d, 117th, 140th, 89th, 46th, 112th, 2d, 1st, 3d, 15th, 141st, 154th, 144th, 94th, 47th, 104th, 157th, 44th, 148th, 11th, 107th, 137th, 76th, _08th, 126th, 149th, 106th, 60th, 64th, 97th, 86th, 50th, _2d and 85th; from the 10th and 14th regular infantry, and 10th, 5th and 9th artillery.
Personal.—Col. P. H. Jones, of the 154th New York, who was severely wounded in the hip at the battle of Chancellorsville, arrived in this village on Friday evening last. We are glad to state that he has nearly recovered from the effects of his wound and appears to be in excellent health and spirits. He authorizes us to contradict the story of his intended resignation, and says that he entertains no such purpose. He is much attached to the gallant Regiment which he commands, and his men regard him as a brave and accomplished officer.
SERIOUS LOSS.—Mrs. HELEN N. PATTERSON received through the Post-office yesterday morning, a letter from her husband in the 154th Regiment. Not expecting a remittance she broke the seal, took the letter out and threw the envelope away without examining it. Upon reading the letter she found that it purported to contain $20, which was probably thrown away with the envelope. She is a worthy woman, quite poor has a family of children to support, and the loss of course is quite serious for her. We trust if any one is lucky enough to find the money they will return it at once. The envelope was thrown down on the sidewalk just north of Martin's store.
R. P. Edgerton writes us from the 154th, and says that, of Company E, of Westfield, Portland and Ripley, Capt. J. B. Fay, Lt. J. Jenkins, Orderly Sergt. D. S. Connelly, W. Ash, J. Bacon, McComber, McTaylor, I. N. Porter, T. St. John, B. Osterhaut, M. Slawson, G, Covey, N. Birch, G. Ashworth, E. Eley, D. Peck, were taken prisoners at Gettysburg; A. McDade, wounded, and left arm taken off; D. Ash wounded in the arm, Geo. Swetland in the side. He also states that 150 of the Regiment were taken prisoner; 22 wounded, and 7 killed. The Regiment fought bravely.—[Westfield Republican.
We get very few particulars from the 154th N. Y. Regiment, beyond the statement that most of the men and officers were taken prisoners at the battle of Fredericksburg. Captain FAY'S company, made up from the town of Portland, Westfield, and Ripley, were all taken prisoners with the exception of two. Several of the men from this town have written home, and say the privates of the company have been paroled. The officers will probably take a trip to Richmond, if the rebels can get them across the Potomac. George Swetland of Portland, of Capt. FAY'S company, was wounded in the side, and not taken prisoner. The name of the other member of his company not taken prisoner, we have been unable to learn. [Westfield Republican.
THE 154TH.—Col. JONES has sent to the Catt. Freemana report of the killed and wounded in the 154th Reg. at the battles near Golgotha Ga., June 15 and 16. The following are the casualties from the two companies from this County: Almon Crosby Capt. Co. F, side, severe; Homer A. Ames, Sergt. F, arm, slight; Marvin Skinner, F, thigh, severe; C. L. Barnhart, 1st Lieut. Co. E, thigh, slight; John Wilson, Sergt. E, foot, severe; Isaac N. Porter, Sergt. E, abdomen, severe; J. D. Quilliams, Corp. E, both ankles and thigh, severe, one foot amputated.
THE BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE.—We publish upon our outside, an interesting letter from Capt. CHENEY of the 154th N. Y. V. He gives a connected account of the fighting upon the field where he was stationed. The 154th was a part of the 11th corps. He is not very complimentary to the Germans. Per contra, while in Washington we heard a Major, who said he said he was near the 11th corps, say that the Germans were surprised, being engaged making coffee, when Stonewall Jackson bore down upon them with an overwhelming force. He blamed the officers in command of the corps.
The Eleventh Army Corps and the Late
Battle. CAMP NEAR STAFFORD, C. H., VA.,
May 30, 1863.
EDITORS COMMERCIAL: AS there has been much said about the eleventh corps, Army of the Potomac, concerning their conduct in the battle of Chancellorsville, Va., May 2d, and as part of said corps are from Western New York. I thought it no harm, but on the contrary, that it would throw some light upon the case, and show to our friends at home that we did not come here to play the part of cowards, but in defense of our country, to send you a letter which one of our Generals wrote.
Respectfully, your servant, S. M. R.
Co. C., 154th N. Y. S. V., Busbeck's Brigade.
ADJ'T SAMUEL C. Noyes, JR.—The Cattaraugus papers announce the death of Adjutant NOYES, of the 154th Regiment, who was reported wounded and a prisoner. This announcement will pain many who knew Adjutant NOYES during the stay of the Cattaraugus troops at this rendezvous. We knew him as a faithful, efficient officer, and a genuine gentleman. His abilities and remarkable executive talent gave great promise of future usefulness, and his early and untimely death is a loss to the country. He was a noble man and a brave soldier.—Jamestown Journal.
DEATH OFLIEUT. JOHN C. GRISWOLD—In the list of killed in the late bloody battle at Fredericksburg, we a re pained to notice the name of 1st Lieut. JOHN G. GRISWOLD, of Co. F, 154th N. Y. V. Lieut. GRISWOLD was an old resident of t he town of Arkwright, in which he had held important positions as a town officer, having been for many years a Justice of the Peace, and three times elected Supervisor, which position he held at the time of entering the service of his country. He was an upright and worthy citizen, and his death will be deeply felt in t he community where he lived. His age was about 42. He leaves a family to mourn his loss.
DEATH OF EBENEZER HEATH.—Mr. HEATH was a member of the 154th N. Y. S. V. He formerly lived in Ellery, but at the time of his enlistment resided in Panama. He was wounded at Gettysburg on the 3d July, but lingered in hospital until the 27th July, when he died. His body was embalmed and brought home. The funeral services were held on Sunday last at the Presbyterian House—The sermon was by Rev. N. G. LUKE. The latter portion of the sermon containing a biographical sketch of the deceased, and some remarks upon the cause for which he had offered up his life, were in manuscript and we hope to present them next week to the readers of the DEMOCRAT.
PERSONAL.—Col. P. H. JONES, of the 154th New York, who was severely wounded in the hip a t the battle of Chancellorsville, arrived n this village on Friday evening last.—We are glad to state that he has nearly recovered from the effects of his wound, and appears to be in excellent health and spirits. He authorizes us to contradict the story of his intended resignation, and says that he entertains no such purpose. He is much attached to the gallant Regiment which he commands, and his …
THE 154TH REG.—The Olean Timescontains a letter from Maj. WARNER, commanding the 154th Regiment in the absence of Col. JONES. At the date of the letter, Oct. 22, the Regiment was at Bridgeport, Ala., detailed as axe men while the rest of the 11th Corps were working industriously with the shovel and pick, to keep the roads in passable condition. The regimental baggage had not arrived, owing to the horrible condition of the roads, although it left Nashville, 150 miles distant, 14 days before. The mails were also very irregular.
IN REBEL PRISONS.—A correspondent of the Olean Advertiser gives the following as the list of officers of the 154th Regiment now in Libby
Capt. J. B. Fay, Co. E, Portland
do B. G. Casler, Co. A, Coldspring.
do Ed. Porter, Co. I, Olean.
do S. V. Pool, Co. B, Springville.
Lieut. John Henry, Co. I, Gowanda.
do Stevens, Co. D. Fredonia.
do McDade, Co. E. Portland.
The following men of Companies in the 154th from this county are on Belle Island:
Co. E.—J. Bacon, J. G. Macombcr, E. W. Skinner, M. Slawson, G. Ashworth, G. Coenry, N. Burch, E. L. Ely.
Co. F—W. E. Jones, G. A. Taylor, G. D. Walker, J. J. Williams.
154th--it is stated that the 154th Regt., when it started for Tenn., numbered only 161 effective men. It will be remembered that nearly all this regiment were taken prisoners at Gettysburg.
Captain FAY, of Portland, Co. E, 154th Regiment, is reported dead, He was a prisoner at Richmond; Orderly Sergt. Connelly, of his company, who was also a prisoner at Richmond, is reported dead. [Westfield Republican.
The friends of Captain FAY, of Co. E, 154th N. Y. V. Regiment have received a letter from him stating that he was at Richmond in Libby prison. He also states that Lieut ISAAC JENKINS, of the same Company, and taken prisoner with him, was taken with the fever on the 15th of July and died on the 28th in Libby Prison. The rebels had allowed Capt FAY to take charge of the effects of Lieut. JENKINS to keep for his friends.—[Westfieid Republican.
"THE CHILDREN OF THE BATTLE-FIELD" is the title of Mr. James G. Clark's latest production in poetry and music, recently published and now meeting with a wide sale. The basis of the song was the touching incident of the dead soldier found on the Gettysburg battle-field, clasping in his hand an ambrotype of his three little children. The unknown soldier was subsequently ascertained to be Amos Humiston, of Alleghany county sergeant in the 154th N. Y. Volunteers. In response to a premium offered by the American Presbyterian,Mr. Clark composed this simple, sweet and heart-touching lyrical version of the incident and since he has set the words to music. The song and music are sold to aid the support and education of the Humiston orphans. To be had at Hough & Mortons'.
At a meeting of Co. E, 154th Regiment N. Y. Vol., held at Camp. 154th Regiment N. Y. Vol., Lookout Valley, Tenn., April 13, 1864, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, We are again called upon to mourn the loss of another member of our Company; therefore,
Resolved,That while we humbly bow to the will of our Father who art in Heaven, we yet feel deeply the less of one so youthful, so animated, and so patriotic as Freeman A. St. John.
Resolved,That in his death we have lost a valuable member of our Company; an obedient and trustworthy soldier, and a highly esteemed brother-in-arms.
Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the friends and relatives of our youthful brother in their heart-touching affliction, and hope that they may be consoled by our Heavenly Father.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the nearest relatives of the deceased; and also to the Fredonia Censor, Fredonia Advertiser, and Westfield Republican for publication.
C. L. BARNHART, 1st Lt. Com. Co.
GEO. SWETLAND, 1st Sergt.
A TOUCHING INCIDENT.—Our readers may have heard, ere this of the brave Sergeant Humiston, who was found dead on the battle field of Gettysburg, and identified by means of an ambrotype of his three children which was found clasped in his hands, when his body was discovered. His family which resides in Portville, Catt. Co., was recently visited by Dr. Bourn of Philadelphia, who conveyed to them the precious relic stained with blood. Photographs of this picture had been procured by the Dr., and at a meeting of Rev. Mr. Ogden's church in that village, of which Mrs. Humiston is a member, held on the following Sunday, over $50 worth of these photographs were sold for the benefit of the family, who are said to be in needy circumstances. Rev. Mr. Ogden gives in the Olean Timesan extended account of this highly interesting and praiseworthy occasion, and says that these photographs of the three Humiston children will soon be supplied to all who would aid the family by their circulation.
The friends of Captain FAY, of Co. E, 154th N. Y. V. Regiment have received a letter from him stating that he was at Richmond in Libby Prison. He also states that Lieut ISAAC JENKINS, of the same Company, and taken prisoner with him, was taken with the fever on the 15th of July and died on the 28th in Libby Prison. The rebels had allowed Capt FAY to take charge of the effects of Lieut JENKINS to keep for his friends.—[Westfield Republican.
THE BRAVE SOLDIER.
WRITTEN IN CAMP JAMES M. BROWN, BY ANDREW G. PARK, OF Co. "B." 154TH, REGIMENT, N. Y. S. V.
Now my dear friends, I am going away
To fight for my country, how long shall I stay.
How long shall I stay? Why, I've no feelings of dread?
I'll stay till rebellion is crushed out and dead
And I will assure you, that it will not be long,
If our Generals are true, for our army is strong
Our arms they are mighty, and able to save
This Union forever, and dig traitors a grave.
We have enlisted for a term of three years,
To go boldly forth to victory, with cheers;
To rush on the foeman, wherever they are,
To drive, take and slaughter, and give utter dispair.
For t'is true that no mercy by rebels is shown,
And now we will pay them in coin of their own.
It will not be in darkies, whom they call their slaves,
But in digging and filling the confederate graves.
When this is accomplished and rebellion put down,
Then I will haste back to my friends and sweet home;
You'll hear the steps of a Soldier, in the yard or front door,
And a cheer for the Union and close of the war.
September 23d, 1862.
J. C. KNAPP.
Insurance Agent, Randolph, N. Y.
OF THE ESCAPE OF TWO OFFICERS OF THE 154TH REGT. N. Y. S. VOL. FROM THE HANDS OF THE REBELS.
[Adjt. Allison Crosby, one of the officers who escaped, was at one time a student in Alex. Sheldon's law office in this place.]
ELMIRA, Feb. 28, 1864.
MY DEAR FRIEND:—Your letter requesting me to write you the circumstances connected with my capture by the Rebels at Gettysburg, and subsequent escape from "durance vile," is received. If it will afford you the smallest degree of pleasure to know the particulars of those scenes, which are to me so interesting, I shall be happy to state them.
To render the statement complete, it ought to contain an account of the terrific engagement which resulted in the capture of so many of the officers and men of the 154th. But I fear my letter would be so long, your patience would become entirely exhausted in reading it. I will therefore confine my narrative chiefly to events that transpired after finding myself within the rebel lines.
It was on the first day of July, and the first of those three days of terrible carnage, that the 154th Regt., together with two others, the 27th Pa., and the 134th New York, was ordered to take position to the extreme right of the Union line, to check a flank movement already begun by a heavy force of the enemy. Without waiting to rest a moment, after a rapid march of fifteen miles that day, they sprang forward at a double quick, through a torrent of shot and shell, until the designated position was attained. Before they got into line, a murderous fire was poured into their ranks from a rebel Brigade concealed in a wheat field close at hand. Nothing daunted, they formed in line, advanced, and opened the battle with great energy. The enemy advanced in splendid style, and swung their left wing, which extended far beyond our right, gradually around, until we were handsomely flanked. Not a man flinched or gave an inch to the overwhelming force opposed to them. There they stood, firm as the Pyramids, fighting with the desperation of a forlorn hope, a murderous fire all the time raking them in front and flank. The enemy was gradually closing in upon us, and to remain longer was certain capture. The order to fall back was given. We had no supports or reserves. On looking around we discovered for the first time that the whole line on our left had fallen back, and were being hotly persued [sic] by the exultant rebels. We were hemmed in on both flanks.
The only avenue of retreat lay through a road, along which a rebel column was dashing, in persuit [sic] of our troops that had fallen back on the left of us. We entered the road, and a fierce hand to hand conflict ensued. The opposing forces were mingled in promiscous [sic] confusion. Four color-bearers in the 154th were shot down in rapid succession. 'The only resource left was to cut through the enemy's ranks. The bayonet was used, but alas, what could a mere handful of men do against the thousands that surrounded us on all sides? A. few in the confusion escaped, but the majority were either killed, wounded or captured. Of the later, out of the 154th, were twelve commissioned officers and a hundred and fifty men. We were hurried off to the rear, over the battle ground strewn with the dead and wounded of both armies. During the two following days of the battle, we were kept under guard a little in rear of the rebel line. With mind and senses wrought up to intense activity we watched the progress of the battle. Our hearts sank within us as we detected by the sound of the conflict on the left of the line, that it was being pushed back. You can perhaps imagine the dispair [sic] that filled our breasts, when at night, after the second day's conflict was over, the rebels told us that Longstreet had doubled back our left wing and driven it seven miles. That they only ceased the persuit [sic] on account of the darkness, and would make quick work of the Army of the Potomac in the morning.
But as a Union prisoner was brought in, fresh from the field of conflict, and we gathered eagerly around him to learn the real condition of affairs, what a burden of anxiety and distress was lifted from our hearts on being told that our left wing had been driven back about a mile and a half, but the opportune arrival of the 6th Corps had checked the exultant enemy and repulsed him with immense slaughter. "Our line is re-established, and secure," he said, "and the men are eager for a renewal of the fight in the morning, confident of a crowning victory." We laid down on the grass that night and slept sweetly, with a newborn hope in our bosoms.
The early part of the day was occupied by Gen. Lee in preparation for the last desperate struggle to break the Union lines. Every cannon and every available man was put in position for the final assault. If this effort failed, retreat was inevitable to the boasted and invincible Army of the Confederacy.
Orders were promulgated at the head of every regiment, appealing to their heroism and courage, in the most extravagant terms of mingled adulation and entreaty. Victory or utter route and perhaps annihilation awaited them.
At length the similtaneous [sic] crash of two hundred rebel cannon opened the ball. An equal number responded from the opposite hill where our artillery was posted. The earth trembled and shook for miles around with the terrible concussion. The air groaned and shrieked with flying missles [sic], bursting and flying in all directions and lighting up, with a sullen and lurid glare, the dark sulphur clouds that hung over the field. The opposite crests were wrapped in flames, and dense clouds of smoke rolled over the valley, darkening the heavens with gloom. Great trees were shattered into thousands of fragments—branches were torn from others and tossed into the darkened air or hurled into the deep shade below. Caisons [sic] were on fire and exploding at rapid intervals. Horses were running with wild fright over the field, or floundering, bleeding and mangled, on the ground. It was the most awful, grand and terribly sublime spectacle I ever witnessed.
For an hour the terrible cannonade was kept up without intermission. The enemy then formed two strong lines of battle and advanced to assault the Union position along the entire line. The Union artillery ceased firing, and as the rebel army swept down the opposite slope, in compact lines—with banners flying and drums beating, it was a magnificent sight. Steadily and silently they advanced within short range of our artillery, when suddenly a sheet of flame burst from the creast [sic] of the hill—a deafening crash—a dense white cloud—and two hundred cannon hurled a merciless storm of grape and cannister [sic] into their ranks; another long roll of smoke further down the hill—another deafening shout, and fifty thousand rifles sent their deadly messengers into the staggering line. The first line was gone. Nothing daunted, the second, with an insanity that sought death, steadily advanced. Another simultaneous discharge of artillery and musketry—and when the smoke rose from the scene, the rebel army, the vaunted chivalry of the American Continent, was floundering with confusion in the valley. So pitless [sic] was the whirlwind of grape and canister [sic], and rifle balls which swept its files, that hundreds of the terror stricken enemy fell on their hands and knees and crawled up to our lines to save their lives.
Thus ended the battle of Gettysburg. General Lee collected his scattered force and made no more effort to carry the Union position.
That night no oppressive doubts and fears disturbed us, and we slept soundly. The morning dawned clear and pleasant [sic]. It was the 4th of July, and feeling jubilant over the result of the great struggle, we determined to celebrate the occasion with becoming exercises, as far as our limited circumstances would admit of it. We had no big gun to fire off. No Declaration of Independence to read. No orator to electrify us with soul-stirring recitals of the "scenes and times that tried men's souls," when our ancestors were "Rebels." But we had a few hundred Union prisoners, with hearts brimful [sic] of joy for the glorious result of Gettysburg!! * * * * *
About noon a terrific thunder-storm commenced, and we were started on our long journey toward Richmond. The storm finally settled down to a cold, steady rain. At night we were turned into a corn-field, to sleep in the open storm or not sleep at all. Exhausted with fatigue and hunger, (for we had had nothing to eat since our capture, except what we could buy of our guards with our pocket-knives and other trinkets we happened to have with us, we soon fell asleep on the wet grass, to forget our troubles until morning.
The next day we were marched up the mountain and encamped on the summit of the Blue Ridge, at Montery Springs. In the morning we received flour, rations and cooked our breakfast, which consisted of a hard cake, manufactured after this fashion: A little flour mixed up with water, and rolled out into a thin, round mass, and set up before the fire on a chip or flat stone to bake. My experience in the culinary art being quite limited, it was not surprising, perhaps, that my biscuits were a little hard and heavy. At all events the result of my effort convinced me that my talent for brick making is better than bread making.
On the morning of the sixth of July, we started from Montery Springs, and marched across the State of Maryland, without stopping to eat or sleep. Arrived at Williamsport, on the Potomac, about two o'clock, P. M., on the 7th day of July, when, after baking some of our unique biscuits, and surprising our stomachs with a little food, we laid down in utter exhaustion, and slept until the next morning. Although the rain fell in torrents we heard it not. Nature was restoring itself, and we slept as soundly and sweetly as if we had been in our own comfortable houses of which we dreamed.
The next morning we crossed the Potomac in a ferry-boat, the Pontoon Bridge having been destroyed a few days before by Kilpatrick's cavalry. The ferry-boat could carry only about forty at a time, and the progress of crossing was slow. About four thousand prisoners had to cross in that way. That night we slept on the "Sacred Soil" of the Old Dominion, near the river.
The next day we were put in motion and marched until about midnight, when we were encamped on the margin of a large pond, called Big Spring, between Martinsburg and Winchester. After crossing the Potomac, all hopes of escape were abandoned. Before that time, we had indulged some hope that our cavalry might rescue us, but now we were in the enemy's country, and Lee's army and the swollen Potomac between us and any assistance.
The next morning, the 10th of July and of our capture, dawned bright and beautiful. The dark clouds that had hung over us so many days had gone, and the scenery of the Shenandoah Valley looked unusually fresh and lovely, from the recent rain. Everything around wore a cheerful and inviting aspect. The birds that sung in the orchard trees over our heads, and skimming over the pond at our feet, seemed to mock at our calamity and looked upon our captivity as complacently as if it was a misfortune peculiar to men, and a matter in which birds had no lot or interest.
The happy, exhilarating influences of that morning, and the joyous freedom of the birds, as I gazed upon the prospect, every where around, roused a sudden and irrepressible desire for liberty, and I determined to attempt an escape from "durance vile, at whatever hazard.
The thought of a weary march over the burning roads to Richmond at that sultry time of year, and imprisonment in a filthy tobacco warehouse, perhaps, for months, with nothing but adamantine biscuits for food—strengthened my resolution and stamped it with a seal of fate.
I hastily put away my half-consumed loaf, and imparted my determination to, my comrades [sic], asking some one of them to embark with me in the enterprise. No one could be induced to attempt it, except Lieut. John Mitchell, Co. D., 164th, a bold and brave soul, as reckless of danger, as he is fond of excitement.
No time was to be lost. Breakfast was over and a few moments would see us marching "On to Richmand [sic]." The pond I have mentioned was two or three rods from our camp. Two lines of guards had been placed down to the water, so as to form an avenue through which the prisoners could go down to wash. Pulling out our pocket handkerchiefs, (which had been used as flour sacks to carry our rations in,) we started for the pond carrying them extended at arm's length so the guard could see we were going to wash them.
Fortunately there was a steep bank of eight or ten feet in height, decending [sic] to the water's edge, a little to our right, which was covered with short thick bushes and vines.
The plan was to watch an opportunity when the guard did not see us, and plunge into the thicket and lie concealed until the column moved off. No chance was afforded, and as time was precious, I sat down on the bank and engaged the guard in conversation, until Lieutenant Mitchell stealthily crawled into the bushes out of sight. I was in a great dilemma how I could get into the thicket also. The order to fall in was given, and the guard stepped upon the bank and commenced rolling his blanket. I pulled out my handkerchief and commenced washing it again, and when his eye was withdrawn stealthily crept into the bushes with the Lieutenant, The foliage was very dense and it was impossible to discover a person unless the leaves were parted. We lay close on the ground in breathless silence, when the sentinel came past our hiding place, at the foot of the bank, looking for us. Fortunately he did not see us and went back. He probably thought we had joined the others while he was rolling his blanket and preparing to march.
The next thing to be done was to get away from our hiding place and find refuge in the woods. This was a hazardous undertaking, for we lay within a few rods of the pike on which the rebel ammunition train was continually passing. The road was also filled with stragglers, wounded men, and detachments of cavalry passing to and fro. If we should leave our hiding place in the bushes and attempt to get into the woods, we would have to expose ourselves in full view of the road for fifty rods. But something must be done. It was early in the morning, and to lie on that perpendicular bank until dark, was next to impossible. So we crawled out of the bushes and deliberately walked off across the field, expecting every step to hear a challenge to halt or a rebel bullet whistling past us. But no challenge or bullet came, and we succeeded in reaching a fence, over which we climbed, and getting down on the ground went about fifteen rods "snake fashion," until a small hill concealed us from the pike. Hardly had we regained our feet and started for the woods, ere we discovered a few rods ahead two rebel soldiers, coming from the opposite way by the side of the fence towards us. Instantly we threw ourselves upon the ground and the soldiers passed us. We then hurried into the woods and determined to await the approach of night.
As we sat under the shadow of the tree in the edge of the woods, discussing our future plans, having become a little careless and unwary in our fancied security, a little circumstance occurred which nearly cost us all our efforts in vain. We heard a sound like some person jumping on the ground, and looking around, discovered two rebel soldiers who had just jumped over a fence, and were coming almost directly toward us. It was too late to conceal ourselves, and fortunately we had presence of mind enough to sit perfectly still. They passed within forty feet of us, although we were sitting in plain view.—After that escape we crawled under some bushes at the corner of the fence and lay concealed until the weary hours of that long day wore away, and the sun disappeared behind the western mountains. After darkness had settled down over the valley, we bent our steps towards the mountains on the west side of the Shenandoah.
We had neither chart nor compass, and the only guide to direct us through that strange country in the darkness of the night was the North Star. Our plan was to cross the valley and get into the mountains of the Allegany range by daylight, where we supposed we could travel in the daytime without danger. We intended to strike the Potomac at the point where it breaks through the Blue Ridge, and by that means get around Lee's army to the west war, which still lay at Williamsport, Maryland. So we kept our little astral guide to our right, and went in a direction a little north of west. The first difficulty was to cross the pike which lay between us and our westward journey. The rebel train was continually moving on this pike. But we crept up to the fence and watched an opportunity when a slight brake in the train occurred, and slipped through between the wagons. Then on we went, groping our way through corn fields, wheat fields and forests, with nothing to light us but the feeble stars which gradually grew fainter as the fog rose until nearly every tiny ray was obscured. I shall never forget that night's ramble, over hill and thro' valleys, across streams and morasses, and through brambles and forests. About 3 o'clock in the morning we came to an old straw stack in a field, and being utterly exhausted with fatigue and hunger determined to take an hour's sleep and then pursue our journey. We sank down upon the pile, wet with dew and chilled with the cold, damp fog, with the heavens our only covering, and the stars our sentinels.
An hour's sleep refreshed us very much and we went forward with renewed energies. The wheat fields through which we passed being wet with dew, we were soon drenched to the skin. Gradually the eastern horizen [sic] began to indicate the approach of dawn. We resolved to enter a house, if we could find one on our route, sufficiently isolated to warrant us in venturing in. We soon came to a modest little dwelling, in the field, and after reconnoitering until satisfied there was no "Greybacks" around, we went in and called for breakfast. There were two persons in the house; an elderly lady, and her daughter, about eighteen. The daughter was quite handsome and appeared intelligent, so of course our conversation was chiefly with her. She was shrewd enough to know that our questions tended to elict [sic] any information about rebels, and the probability of meeting scouts or pickets in that vicinity. But she very frankly told us, after a while, that she was "Unconditionally for the Union." This we doubted, for the old lady seemed very anxious to create a different impression. They were evidently in a quandary what to say. They thot' we were rebel spies, in disguise, trying to hunt up subjects for conscription, and see whether any of the inhabitants were tainted with Unionism. The young lady was so vehement in her loyalty we were at length constrained to believe her sincere, and told her who we were. She would not believe it. "I have seen rebel officers before," said she "with the Union uniform, going through the country for the same purpose you are, but you will not find anyone here to force into your army."—She then spoke of our getting defeated at Gettysburg and said that she was glad of it. She said hundreds of wounded rebels had been along there for the last two or three days, and the country was filled with them. We told her she was mistaken about our being rebels, and convinced her by exhibiting letters we had received from the north, directed to us in the 154th regt. N. Y. Vols. She was delighted to learn that we really were Union officers, and told us that the whole family were loyal. "But we have to be very careful with our sentiments here," said she, "for we are the only union family in the neighborhood and it would not do for us to talk much." They got us an excellent breakfast to which we did ample justice, and offered to pay them. "No, they were not taking pay form Union soldiers." We consulted a map, and I drew a hasty sketch of our route into a pocket diary I had with me, which helped us very much in our subsequent journey. They filled our pockets with provisions, gave us a canteen of milk and sent us on our way with a fervent hope that we might succeed in our undertaking.
We were now very near the mountains, and before the fog cleared away were traveling up their rough and rocky sides. We reached the summit and followed it northward toward the Potomac, intending to cross by swimming as soon as we reached it. There was a flat level space on the top of the ridge, about ten feet wide, running the whole length of the mountain. As we reached the summit, and gazed down upon the valley below where we had toiled so long and severely through the previous night, and saw the whole scene spread out like a vast panorama before us, and thought our danger was passed, and in a few hours more we would again tread the soil and breath the air of a loyal state, we were almost wild with delight. From that lofty rostrum of nature, we delivered a very enthusiastic valedictory to Jeff Davis and the "Confederacy," and resumed our journey. An unwise sense of
security relaxed our vigilance, and came verynear securing our recapture. Imagine our consternation when a little way ahead of us, coming on the top of the ridge, we discovered two rebel soldiers! As quick as thot' we leaped over the edge of some large rocks and hid ourselves behind them. Fortunately the rebels did not see us, but passed by, almost over our heads, and went on.
We were now almost to Hedgesville, a little village built in the gap of the mountain. As we were descending the slope towards the town we heard children's voices at play, ahead of us, and carefully advanced toward them. Having discovered that they were young children—two white little boys, and two "contrabands" —we approached them and inquired if there were any soldiers in the village.—
“O, yes, sir," said one of them, "right smart lot of them." "Are they Rebel or Union soldiers?" "Rebels, sir," said the boy. "Are there any pickets around here?' "Oh, yes, sir," said he, there's one right down there," pointing down the slope.—"Is he a cavalry picket?" "Yes, sir, and there are some more up above the village." "How far beyond the village do the pickets extend?" I inquired. "Not but a little bit, I reckon," he replied.
We were going almost directly towards the picket at the foot of the mountains, and had got within a few rods of him when we encountered these little boys.—This was escape number four, under remarkable circumstances, and we begun to think that perhaps Providence was not entirely neutral in the matter. Had it not been for those children our northward journey would have terminated at Hedgesville. Retracing our steps up the mountain, we did some "forced marching" until the summit was reached again. Calling a Council of War, we decided to go around the village by making a wide detour, and strike the Potomac higher up, where we hoped the pickets would not molest us.
On we traveled, over mountains and across ravines, until nearly sunset. At length, as we were following the crest of a high mountain, we were suddenly brought to a halt, and then, down hundreds of feet beneath us, rolled the majestic Potomac! I can never forget the emotions that filled my breast as I gazed upon that mighty river, rolling in sullen majesty through the gulf below. The water was dark and turbid, and the river swollen to its maximum height by the recent heavy rains. At a time when our minds were less wrought up with anxiety for escape, the thought of plunging into its boiling and whirling current would have been madness. But the Maryland shore looked inviting, and the hardships and dangers we had incurred, inspired us with a confidence bordering on the most reckless temerity.
We followed the precipice down to the foot of the mountain, and approached the water. To take off our clothing, roll it up in a bundle and fasten it to our backs, was the work of a moment. One look across the rolling flood—a short pause—not so long as Caesar made upon the banks of the Rubicon—a plunge, and we were buffeting with the angry flood, "and stemming it with lusty sinews." About six rods above us, the current was broken up by a ledge of rocks, and thrown into a foaming and seething torrent. Where we were struggling below, it was full of whirlpools and eddies through which it was next to impossible to swim. Gradually we became more and more exhausted, as the bundle of clothes upon our backs became saturated with water, and bore us down so the waves washed over our heads at almost, every stroke we took. It was evident we could not reach the opposite shore without the interposition of a miracle. I looked back to see if it would be possible to return to our starting point. We were far out in the stream near the centre. It would be useless to turn back. A wide sea of whirling waters encompassed us. I tried to touch the bottom, but in vain. We were fast failing. Our strokes were growing feebler and slower. Our position was nearly vertical in the current, with nothing but the face above the water. Imagine my horror at seeing Lieut. Mitchell sink beneath the waves. I supposed he was gone, and that I should follow him in a few minutes I had not the least doubt. He rose again and struggled on. Death stared us in the face with all its ghastly horrors, and we were rapidly sinking into his insatiable jaws. Hope died within us; and a sullen despair, a sort of stolid indifference, came over us. The terror of our situation vanished, and a flood of recollections flashed through our minds. It seemed as if the memories of a life-time were crowded into one moment.
Suddenly my foot rested upon a rock at the bottom of the river, and quick as thought I clung to it with the desperation of a new-born hope. The current bore me down rapidly, and I momentarily expected to be swept off into the deep water again, when gaining a foothold, I braced with all my might against the flood, and stopped. Lieut. Mitchell was near at hand, and I called to him to reach the point where I stood if possible. With the utmost difficulty he did so, and there we stood in the rushing torrent up to our shoulders, rocking back and forth in a fierce struggle to maintain our position. The bundles on our backs must go, or we would soon go with them to a watery grave, that was certain Hitherto we could not get them off, but now was an opportunity. They went tumbling along on the rough current—boots, coat, unmentionables, waistcoats, underclothing and all. Hats had danced down stream long before. Disengaged from these burdens, we started on with new vigor. The current near this shore was less rapid and rough, and not being weighed down with clothing, we succeeded in reaching the bank, exhausted, faint and sick. The only wardrobe we had left consisted of a "finger ring." In that unique and scanty costume we crawled, for we could not walk, out of the water and up the bank. We were in "Maryland, my Maryland" once more, having swam half a mile.
Seeing a "contraband" cutting wheat in a field near by, we shouted to him to go and get us something to put on. He looked at us a moment and started off in the direction of a house situated on an eminence a little beyond. We supposed he had gone to do our bidding, and feeling elated with our success, laid down upon the grass and patiently awaited his return. After a long time, several men rode up to where we were "encamped," and we intimated that a little clothing would be thankfully received.
An old man, who seemed to be the organ of the party, very emphatically gave us to understand that we could not be furnished with clothes, and expressed his opinion in terms more forcible than elegant, that we did not deserve any. He then continued to berate us in the most passionate manner, calling us "infernal rebels" come over to rob, and steal, and plunder, and said it was a wonder and a pity we did not drown in the river. At length, when his passion had reached its climax, he ordered us to get up and go with him to Gen. Mulligan's headquarters, at Clear Spring, three miles from there, where he hoped justice would be done to us speedily. Much as we desired to go to Gen. Mulligan's quarters, we had some doubts about our toilet being exactly a la mode for a visit to the hero of Lexington, and we told him so. Thereupon he tried to ride his horse over us in his rage to think we dare disobey his commands. We grasped some stones that lay on the ground, and informed the old gentleman that such a demonstration must not be repeated. He probably recalled the tragic fate of ancient Goliah, and cooled down a little. Being convinced that the old man was loyal, we told who we were, and how we happened to be in such a pitiable plight. If his rage had been terrible a few minutes before, his surprise and chagrin was now unbounded. He could not find language to express the apologies he would make for the treatment he had bestowed upon us. Tears glistened in his eyes as he turned to the negro (who had come back with the rest), and told him to go and get some pants for us. Another one went for shirts, and soon we were clad in old blue overalls, patched and mended with different cloth, until they represented all the colors of Joseph's coat. Then mounting behind them on a couple of horses, we rode to the old man's house, without hat, boots or coat.
He said we must stay with him over night, which we did gladly. He told us Lee's army had not got over the river yet but lay at Williamsport, about ten miles below. There might be rebel scouts and foraging parties up there again, as there had been that day, but he would pass us off as his sons if they came. We were perfectly at ease, for looking as we did nobody would have dreamed that we had seen an army in our lives.
Next morning he gave us some old chip hats that looked as if they had descended to that family from an antique ancestry. He gave Lieut. Mitchell a pair of old shoes that seemed to be laughing at their own ludicrous appearance, and one of my feet was graced with an old canvas gaiter, while the other foot was thrust into an old boot with the leg cut off.
Often have the eventful scenes of those first fifteen days of July recurred to me, and when I have thought of the privation and hardships we endured, the obstacles and dangers we encountered, I have felt deeply grateful to Him whose kind Providence rescued us from all our perils, and restored us to that noble army, whose onward march was destined to sweep every vestige of treason from the land, and open up to our cherished country a broader freedom and more exalted civilization.
Back to 154th Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
February 5, 2009