A Statement of the Movement of the 36th Regt. N.Y.V.
Transcribed by Micheal Mueller
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July 12, 1861
Left Rikers Island
Arrived in Washington.
Encamped on Meridian Hill.
Moved camp to Brightwood, this place is about 5 ½ miles north of Washington. Here we were assigned to the Brigade, commanded by Genl. Couuch. Here we remained until March 11th, 1862, when the whole of Genl. Keyes' Division took up their line of march for Prospect Hill, (distance 15 miles) which place we reached that night, and encamped. Remained here until the 14th, when we returned to the Chain Bridge at 2 PM of that day, here we were under arms until 8 ½ PM, when it commenced to rain in torrents, and we were left to grope our way through the darkness and rain, the best we could, every man for himself, to the camp, a distance of 5 ½ miles. Some of our men did not get into camp until the next day. Remained at this camp until the 25th when we made a start for Fortress Monroe, but on account of not having transportation, we had to return to our camp at Washington. Made another start on the 26th, and got off that night, laid to at Alyans for the night, and started on the morning of the 27th and arrived at Fortress Monroe about 10 AM of the 28th. We got disembarked about 5 PM of the 28th; we then marched about 5 miles and encamped at a place called Salt Creek, a few miles from Newport News, some called it Camp Smith. Here was the first that I knew that Genl. Couch was our Division General, he had been our Brigade General. Took up our line of march from this place April 2nd, arrived at Young's Mills April 3rd with but little to oppose us. This place was where Genl. Magruder quartered some 4000 of his troops the winter before, and had good quarters.
1862, April 6
Arrived at Warwick Court House and encamped. Genl. Smith in advance of Couch, and Couch in advance of Genl. Casey, as Casey remained at Young's Mill.
Genl. Smith made an attack on the enemy's works wit the Vermont troops at Lee's Mills, and was driven back with some loss, Genl. Couch was ordered to his support and to the front. Encamped about one mile from the enemy's works.
Casey was ordered to relieve Couch, and Couch posted the 7th and 10th [Mass] at Warwick Court House, and the 36th N.Y. And 2nd Rhode Island at Young's Mills to force the enemy across the Warwick River. Here it was that I was detailed to take charge of our line of pickets along the Warwick River, and afterwards relieved by Col. Frank Weiting of the 2nd Rd. Island. We had no trouble here only from the Gunboat Teazer that would come down the James River. Pickets would exchange shots but not with much effect. I have lost the date of the battle of WmsBurgh, that you can get at this battle, a portion of Couch's division was engaged, also the 7th and 10th [Mass] but the 36th N.Y. + 2nd R.I were not, they were there three days after the battle, the 36th was ordered to join the Division, and encamped the [1st] day of March at WmsBurgh. The next day we joined our division at [Rofs'] Church where Keye's whole Corps was massed.
The whole Corps now moves, the enemy only two hours in advance of us, they now cross Bottom's Bridge and destroy it. I was detailed by Gen'. Couch to superintend the rebuilding of it, and did so. You will please find out the date that Keye's Corps crossed as I have it not. Couch now takes the advance of Casey, the first day we came to Savage's Station, encamped for the night, the next day Casey takes the advance. Capt Regan becomes engaged, the enemy still fall back, we advance to within 1 ½ miles of 7 Pines, here I am detailed to throw up redoubts. I an a few we advance to 7 Pines, Casey stil has the advance, Couch to his support, skirmishing every moment.
The enemy makes the attack, Casey's centre gives way, Couch;s centre gives way, the drive us through our camp, we fell back 1 ½ miles to the redoubts, here they stopped, but we lost all we had.
Genl. Heintzelman came up and drove the enemy back to our old lines.
Our Brigade was ordered forward under the command of Genl. Palmer, (as our Genl. Devins had got hit in the late battle) to relieve Genl. Hooker's Brigade of picket duty, this was about 10 AM, but did not take position till dark for the enemy was in force in front our our Brigade, and took position about 8 PM. It was very dark, and there was no general Officer to direct them on the ground, and as it was in the woods, and very dark, they got to firing into each other, and there was a general skeedaddle. I came into command of the 36th.
A portion of Couch' Division was sent to the right of our lines. Gaines Mill, 36th N.Y., the10th [Mass]. On the morning of the 28th, came back to Savage's Station, continued the retreat to White Oak Swamp, crossed the swamp the night of the 29th; that is Couch's Division arrived the next morning on the Charles City Road. On the last day of June, Hooker engaged the enemy on Malvern Hill, drove the enemy 2 ½ miles, Couch relieved him at 2 A.M.
July [1st], 4 A.M.
Ordered to fall back to Malvern Hill, where he formed his line of battle. The 36th N.Y. of which I was in command, became engaged at 4 P.M., they were the support of the 1[st] N.Y. Battery, met the 14th North Carolina , drove them, captured their colors, and took 65 prisoners on the first charge. We on our regiment got our of ammunition at dusk and were relieved. The battle raged till 9 P.M. Couch's division held its own ground throughout the day.
July 2, 2 A.M.
The whole army retreated to Harrison's Landing
Removed from the Landing a little ways back.
I was shot by a drunken soldier while on duty in the woods, I came away on the 7th, and returned on the 26th August.
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
April 6, 2011