51st Regiment, New York Volunteers
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
THE NEW YORK CITY GUARD.
A regiment is about being organized in the First Senatorial district under
the above title, to be commanded by Colonel A M. Leichterkort, late lieutenant
colonel of the Fifty-first regiment, N. Y. S. V. The lieutenant colonel is
Major Olmstead, late of the Excelsior brigade. The headquarters of the regiment
are at No. 62 White street.
Many of the volunteers raised at Greene, for the Yates Rifles, have returned,
in consequence of the disbanding of the regiment.—Others have gone into
the Hancock Guards.
FIFTY-FIRST NEW YORK STATE VOLUNTEERS.
Colonel ……………………..Edward Ferrero.
Lieutenant Colonel …………Robert Potter.
Adjutant ……………………Augustus Dayton.
Quartermaster ………………Daniel W. Horton.
Surgeon ……………………..John L. Dodge.
Chaplain …………………….N.O. Benton.
Military Secretary....................Philip R. Roberts, Jr.
Sergeant Major ...................... George W. Whitman.
Drum Major ............................Joseph Randolph.
Band Leader ...........................J. S. Kellogg.
Commissary Sergeant ............Richard W. Fowler.
Quartermaster Sergeant….......Wm. Caldwell.
Hospital Steward .....................Burrett Birje.
Co. Captains. First Lieutenants. Second Lieutenants.
A Jno. G.Wright. J. J. Johnson. G.H. McKibben.
B S. W. Chase. D. T. Wright. F. W. Tryon.
C W. D. Campbell. J. M. Miller. A. W. McKee.
D Morris Hazard. H. W. Francis. J. B. Marsh.
E G. W. Merritt. Geo. A. Porter. J. T. Rapeljo.
F John Stuart. A. L. Fowler. ___ Coddington.
G S. H. Simms. Wm. Cuff. Wm. H. Barker.
H R.C. Mitchell. H. H. Holbrook. L. O. Goodridge.
I D.R. Johnson. G.D. Allen. W. H. Leonard.
K A. Phillips. W.W. Chapman. C. F. Springweiler.
This regiment is also mentioned as being engaged in the attack on the batteries
after the first landing of the troops.
SCOTT RIFLES. (June 28, 1861)
This popular regiment is progressing very rapidly to completion, there being
already enrolled five full companies of first class men. The munificent donation
of a revolving rifled cannon, presented to them, and the Enfield rifle sword
bayonet, which will constitute their armament, will render this the most
formidable corps as yet forwarded to the seat of war. Good men, having experience
in the use of the rifle, may apply immediately at the regimental headquarters,
19 Beekman street, and at the branch depots, 83 Prince street, 467 Broome
street, and at the recruiting office, Brooklyn.
FIFTY-FIRST REGIMENT, N.Y.S.V.
[Special Correspondence of the N. Y. Sunday Mercury.]
WINCHESTER, KY., April 19.
Change of Camp—Brig-Gen. Ferraro—Erroneous Report—
Searching for Guerrillas--Arrival of the Paymaster.
During the interval between my last letter and the present one, we have changed
our locality, a distance of seventeen miles from Mount Sterling. This place
is somewhat larger than Mt. Sterling, and has quite a neat appearance. On our
leaving the latter-named place, the inhabitants, and especially the female
portion, were quite loth to lose us. As it was, we left in
the shades of morning, on account, I suppose, of the parting between the ladies
and the members of the regiment being likely to cause delay, thereby not reaching
Winchester, Ky., in due time. The Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment was detached
from the brigade, and remained at Mt. Sterling.
It is with regret that we acknowledge the loss of our Brigadier-General, E.
Ferrero, who was mustered out of service the latter part of last week. He has
always been an efficient officer. Before leaving, he issued a .....
FIFTY-FIRST NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS.
Colonel Edward Ferraro is a native of New York city, and about thirty-one years
of age. He comes of a military family, his uncle, Colonel Lewis Ferrero,
having been in the Sardinian service, both in the Crimean and
in the Italian campaigns, attaining no little distinction on the battle fields
of those eventful epochs. The subject of the present sketch was six years a
staff and field officer of the New York State forces, and still holds the position
of Lieutenant Colonel of the Eleventh New York Militia, the resignation from
which Governor Morgan refused to accept. He is one of the best officers in
Lieutenant Colonel Robert B. Potter is a son of Bishop Alonzo Potter, of Pennsylvania,
and nephew of Bishop Foster, of New York. He is a native of Boston, graduated
at Union College, the President of which--the Rev.
Mr. Nott--is his grandfather, and, previous to the war, was practising law
in New York. He has acquired a good knowledge of soldierly duties from a long
connection for some time in the capacity of First Lieutenant of the
well drilled organization, the New York Rifles.
Major Charles Le Gendre is a Frenchman, and an engineer by profession. In this
capacity he was lately connected with some mining interests in Missouri.
Adjutant Aug. J. Dayton is an excellent officer, and saw service with the Brooklyn
Thirteenth regiment in the three months campaign.
The chaplain, Rev. Owen N. Benton, was lately pastor of the Presbyterian church
at Apalachin, Tioga county, N.Y. His influence and popularity in that congregation
have been the means of furnishing large quantities of comforts for the regiment,
in the way of donations of clothing, &c.
HEADQUARTERS, 51st N. Y. S. V., CAMP
NEAR LANCASTER, Ky., May, 18, 1863.
Mr. Mirror—You will undoubtedly think me very careless in being so long
in writing to you but as we were just about starting on a march when I received
it, I hope you will excuse me.—When I received your's, we were in Manchester,
and were ordered to be ready to march at daylight the following morning, which
we did. We marched five days, passing through Lexington, Nicholasviile, and
several other places, and finally pitched our camp near the village of Lancaster,
where we are at present.
During the five days march, we marched about 70 miles; and two days of that
time it rained very hard, causing the mud to be ankle deep in the roads, though
there was a good bottom to it. Not like the roads in Virginia, which are in
some places bottomless. The roads are so hard that it stiffens us like horses
walking on plank roads; and some of the boys had blisters on their feet as
large as hen's eggs. We often have had harder marches in Virginia, but I never
saw the boys so much fatigued as when we came to the end of our march. We are
lying here now, ready to march, if the enemy, who lies on the southern side
of the Cumberland, should attempt any further invasion of the State, which
(if the papers should be correct in reporting,) seems very probable that such
is their intention. It reports that they are concentrating
large numbers of cavalry on the Cumberland, and heavy forces of infantry in
Tennessee. Should they see fit to come, I think it will cost them more than
their invasion did last fall.—Burnside has quite a large army on the
Ohio, and it is now disposed in such a manner, that it is easy to concentrate
it, and at the same time foil the enemy in their attempt to out-manoeuvre us.—They
have already been repulsed on the Cumberland with heavy loss.
Hooker's grand summer campaign is an entire failure, and I think as a general,
he ought to.—My reasons are these: The movement of Hooker,
throwing his whole force on the left flank of the enemy, turning their flank,
thus rendering useless the strong fortifications of Lee's army, and in drawing
them out of their works, thus forcing them to be the attacking party, and consequently
expose themselves more than the party attacked. This plan adopted by Hooker,
originated with Gen. Burnside; and it was this plan that was being executed
by him when his army got stuck in the mud, and to which Hooker did so violently
object, almost, if not actually, refusing to move his army. And why, I ask?
Because General Hooker believed in the feasibility of the plan, and that, if
executed, could scarcely be otherwise than
successful. Consequently if the plan did succeed, the height of Gen. Hooker's
ambition would be greatly diminished; which was, the command of
the army of the Potomac. If Gen. Burnside had done as he had the right and
power to do, he would have sent Hooker to Washington under arrest, with the
charge of disobedience of orders! But General Burnside was too easy, and allowed
the movement to be stopped, principally by the cause of Hooker, who refused
to move at the last moment. Now, I ask you, if such a man deserves to succeed
in his plans?
As long as there are so many selfish people in command of the army, it cannot
prosper or achieve victory! So long as the army of the Potomac has been organized,
it has never yet gained a decisive battle, and I repeat it, it never will until
its commanders work with one will, and one intention: "The welfare of
the Country." Then we may expect something of it. Burnside and McClellan
were both men who worked solely for their Country, but their path was full
of enemies. Those whom they considered their friends, turned to be their worst
Our Regiment is at present doing duty in the town, which is very agreeable,
especially as there are plenty of ladies around, and who seemingly cannot do
enough for us. They think a good deal of the New York boys; so much so that
they are sending a petition to Gen. Burnside, requesting him to leave us here
to garrison the place. They say that of all the troops that passed through
this place, we have behaved the most gentlemanly of any of them. Quite a compliment.
Enclosed I send you an advertisement for recruits for the Tennessee Battallion,
which our officers have been trying to raise to fill up our Regiment with.
They have just been gone a month and returned without a recruit.
Yours, &c., J. M.
…. appropriate "valedictory address", which was read to us
yesterday afternoon on dress parade.
I notice in one of the New York daily papers, that the Fifty-first Regiment,
N. Y. S. V., took a part in a disgraceful affair at Columbus, Ohio, with the
Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers. This was a surprise to the boys, as
none of us had been aware of such a fact—as our regiment arrived at Columbus
just at day-break, received our hot coffee (?), and went directly on. I say
this in order to relieve the minds of those interested in the welfare of the
regiment, and would wish that the author or reporter of the story
would, the next time, be more careful and not get names and numbers mixed—there
being two Fifty-firsts in the brigade, and only one of them a New York regiment,
as a matter of course.
A few days before our departure from Mount Sterling, we were ordered at midnight
to be ready to march in an hour. It was at one, A. M., when we started in the
direction of Sharpsley, some fifteen miles distant, arriving there by daylight,
a double quick the whole way. Here we expected to meet a formidable band of
guerrillas. Having surrounded the town, a rally was
made upon the seeming unoffending citizens. No guerrilla being present, nor
the appearance of any having been there for the last two weeks existing, it
was deemed necessary to "press" a number of horses in order to proceed
to a point some six or eight miles further, where it was reported the guerrillas
had secreted themselves. Nary guerrilla being found up to five o'clock, P.
M., it was deemed advisable to return to camp, where they arrived about ten
o'clock, rather the worst for the journey.
A number of citizens were arrested on suspicion of being sympathizers with
the Rebels. The horses which were pressed, were brought to camp. The citizens
were released, and the horses returned, excepting in one or two cases where
they were bought.
The cry for the Paymaster has ceased, as that worthy made his appearance yesterday,
giving us four months pay. Captain Whitman is ordered to Cincinnati to send
the boys money by express. GREENBACK.
THE YATES RIFLES.
Another new company for this regiment, Colonel L. Ayer, was yesterday mustered
into service, making five companies mustered during the past week. Their
encampment is at Staten Island. They have a recruiting-office in the City
This popular regiment is progressing very rapidly to completion, there being
already enrolled five full companies of first class men. The munificent donation
of a revolving rifled cannon, presented to them, and the Enfield rifle sword
bayonet, which will constitute their armament, will render this the most
formidable corps as yet forwarded to the seat of war. Good men, having experience
in the use of the rifle, may apply immediately at the regimental headquarters,
19 Beekman street, and at the branch depots, 83 Prince street, 467 Broome
street, and at the recruiting office, Brooklyn.
(June 28, 1861)
This regiment, which now numbers three hundred men, is encamped at a beautiful
and picturesque little spot at Silver Lake, Staten Island. Upon one side
is a grove of wood, and on the other the lake, from which the camp takes
its name and which affords excellent facilities for bathing. The men are
uniformed in a quaint and curious kind of dress - the demi-Zouave jacket
extending a little below the waist, and the lower part being slit up three
or four inches, at intervals, on its edge, and the whole trimmed with a profusion
of green tape. Recruits are numerous--twenty-five, more or less, being received
RAMSEY'S UNITED STATES VOLTIGEURS.
There was another accession to this regiment, forwarded to the camp of the
regiment, at Dobb's Ferry. The men thus far enlisted are choice men whose
physical appearance indicate capacity to endure the fatigues and hardships
incident to the soldier's life. Some of the companies were recruited in Vermont
and some in Pennsylvania. Colonel Zook, late a member of the Sixth Regiment
is in command of the Volti- ....
(July 17, 1861)
This regiment is getting along very well. Quarters have not yet been assigned,
but will be in a few days. The number of men that could be mustered is nearly
six hundred. An important acquisition to the regiment
is a present of two revolving rifle cannons, constructed after a patent by
De Brame, and generously donated by the inventor. This gun has been highly
spoken of by military officers, and received the approval of the Polytechnic
Association of the American Institute, at a late meeting. Each gun contains
a revolving portion with six barrels, throwing four pound balls at the rate
of one every few seconds without heating. Such an array of artillery will make
the regiment formidable, as the number of balls that can be thrown, and accurately
directed, will equal the powers of an ordinary park of artillery, 12 guns,
the number usually furnished to every eight regiments. At a meeting of the
officers of the Scott Rifle Regiment, the subject of uniform came under consideration,
and a neat form of Chasseur jacket, similar to that worn in
the French army, was adopted as the chief article of dress, the pantaloons
being the ordinary style. The Rifles will appear in green.
THE SCOTT RIFLES.
A despatch from Washington, received at the headquarters of this regiment yesterday,
announces their full acceptance by the government, and requisition for immediate
service. The regiment goes at once into camp, prior to its speedy departure
for the seat of war.
The regiment has been heretofore liberally assisted by patriotic citizens,
to whom the officers return their cordial thanks for their generous support.
It is gratifying to us to learn that so splendid and efficient a corps has
at length met with the success it merited from the government. These men, magnificently
equipped and thoroughly officered (mostly from members of the Seventh regiment)
will surely prove equal to the arduous duty expected of them. The officers
meet this morning at headquarters, No. 19 Beekman street, at nine o'clock,
where a full attendance is specially desired.
Two companies (B and C) attached to this regiment were on Monday mustered into
the service of the United States. Company B is commanded by Capt. John G.
Wright, late of the Seventh regiment, and Company C by
Capt. Henry L. Drew.
MILITARY REVOLT AT WILLETT'S POINT.
Trouble Among the New York Rifles—A Company Attempt to Desert En Masse--They
are Fired Upon by the Patrol--Two Men Shot Dead and Several Severely Wounded—Arrest
of Capt. Cresto—His Statement—The Coroner's Inquest—Col.
Legendre's Statement, &c.
A terrible affair occurred at Willett's Point on Monday night, near the encampment
of the New York Rifles, involving the killing of two soldiers and the serious
wounding of four or five others. During the earlier part of yesterday a number
of incorrect rumors were afloat in this city relative to the revolt, some of
which involved the entire regiment. These several statements all seemed to
implicate Capt. Seigel, of Company F, as the ringleader and prime mover of
the eneute. Subsequent and more correct information, however, enables us to
exonerate that officer from the more serious part of the charge, and to implicate
another. The following statement, drawn from various sources, seems to be the
correct version of this most lamentable affair:—
Captain Cresto, of Company B, is an Italian by birth, and says he served in
the French army under Napoleon, also in Sicily under Garibaldi. It seems that
he had some dispute with a lieutenant of his company, who claimed to have borne
the major part of the expenses incident to the enrolment of the company. In
consequence of this disagreement he was about to embrace an offer to leave
the regiment with his company, and to proceed to New York to join Colonel Fadella's
regiment. This arrangement happening to reach the ears of Col. Legendre, on
Monday night, when the desertion was to have
been effected, he stationed a guard of twenty-five or thirty men, with loaded
arms, to prevent the departure of the men from the camp.
Pursuant to the arrangement entered into, Captain Cresto left the camp at about
eleven o'clock at night, with some forty men, most of whom were members of
his company, while the rest belonged to other companies. Some of them were
just from guard duty, and, according to some accounts, they had been placed
on guard at the request of Captain Cresto himself, though it is scarcely probable
that if Colonel Legendre had received the information
concerning Cresto's intentions which induce him to take measures to prevent
their fulfilment, he would have yielded to the request of the Captain. Be this
as it may, it is asserted by these men that their muskets were not loaded,
and it is said that neither were any of the arms of the intended deserters.
They had succeded in leaving, and had arrived at a point in the road between
Roe's Hotel and Whitestone, when they were intercepted by the guard stationed
there, by order of Colonel Legendre, who stopped the men and ordered them back
to the camp. This they refused to do, Captain Cresto demanding the privilege
of passing, which the guard would not permit.
The antagonistic parties were drawn up across the road, facing each other,
and remained in that position for some time in altercation, when, unfortunately,
a pistol belonging to Sergeant Thompson, one of Captain Cresto's party, went
off, as the Sergeant says, by accident. On this, it is said, Lieutenant Georgie,
in command of the guard, gave the word to fire, when a volley was discharged,
killing Ferdinand Markoe and Dominick Sassi, two of the deserters, on the spot,
and wounding four—namely: Henry Thompson, the Sergeant whose pistol went
off, in the thigh; Alexander Sloane, who was shot through his left shoulder;
Ami Randine in the head, and Lewis Germani in the ribs, the ball penetrating
his bowels; he was not expected to recover. Late yesterday afternoon it was
said that one of the wounded men was in a dying condition. It is probably Germani,
but his name could, not be ascertained to a certainty. Two physicians from
Flushing dressed the wounds of the men, and all were doing well but Germani.
It does not appear whether any arrests were made that night. At all events,
Captain Cresto succeeded in making his escape for the time. The intelligence
soon spread abroad and the excitement was most intense. The most exaggerated
rumors were soon afloat, and the utmost alarm prevailed within several miles
of the camp. Guards were stationed immediately at the several steamboat landings
to prevent desertions from the regiment.
It seems that Captain Cresto, on effecting his escape after the fusilade, made
his way to Flushing, and at about three o'clock yesterday morning he called
at the house of a Mr. Harrison, and asked for lodgings, which were refused.
At daylight he was perceived by Sergeant Brush, completely enveloped in a blanket,
walking up and down before a hotel, accompanied by one of his men. The Sergeant
advanced, and ordered him to halt, upon which the Captain drew back, and made
a movement with his hand under the blanket, as if he were grasping a weapon.
On perceiving this the Sergeant presented
his pistol, and commanded him to surrender. The private, who accompanied Captain
Cresto, on hearing this, surrendered his musket, which he had with him, to
the Sergeant's guard, which was near by, when the Captain, throwing off his
blanket and disclosing his uniform, said, "I am an officer, you have no
right to arrest me; I am Captain Cresto, of the New York Rifles." To
this address Sergeant Brush replied, "You are the very man I want." The
Sergeant then stepped forward, with his finger on the trigger, upon which Captain
Cresto surrendered, delivering his arms to the Sergeant, and, together with
the private, was conveyed to Flushing jail. On examining his revolver, five
of the barrels out of the six were found to be loaded. Two other men, belonging
to Captain Cresto's company, have been arrested. Their names are W. H. Magee
and James Dyer. It is said that fifteen men of Company B, and twenty belonging
to Company F, Captain Seigel's company, have made their escape from the camp
at Willett's Point. Captain
Robinson, of the Hamilton Light Infantry, has stationed guards at the railroad
depot and steamboat landing at Flushing, as well as at Strattonport, with orders
to arrest every soldier coming from the camp at Willett's Point.
The Coroner of Queens county, Dr. Trunk, called together a jury of inquest
at Willett's Point, yesterday afternoon, to sit upon the bodies of the deceased
soldiers. The jury is composed as follows:—
Edward A. Lawrence, foreman; Isaac Edwards, William Turner, Patrick Clark,
John Maher, Thos. L. Frame, H. G. Barton, Charles Row, Joseph Thaler, J. M.
Steubenauh, Charles Miller, James Keefe.
The jury examined the bodies, viewed the ground, and made sundry informal inquiries
in regard to the details of camp life; and, after preparing a list of witnesses,
adjourned to meet at two o'clock to-day at Edwards' Hotel, in Flushing, to
commence their inquiries. It is probable that several days will be consumed
before a verdict is reached. From appearances yesterday it seems that public
opinion in the vicinity of Flushing is favorable to Capt.
Cresto, and it is probable that the verdict of the jury will shadow forth that
phase of public sentiment. From conversation with a member of Company C, who
was in the affray, it appears clear to us that the men of the company
fired without an order, but not until the shot from Sergeant Thompson struck
Lieut. Georgie, and then the motive seemed to be one of self-preservation purely.
CAPTAIN CRESTO'S STATEMENT.
On being visited yesterday, Captain Cresto appeared to be laboring under considerable
excitement, but he became sufficiently calm to make a statement of the terrible
affair in which he is involved. The following are the
principal points, as gathered from his broken English:—
He says that when the enrolment of the regiment was commenced he associated
himself with another Italian named Barbetta, to whom he awarded the First Lieutenantcy.
About a week ago Barbetta left the camp at
Willett's Point on pretence of coming to the city on private business, but
really for examination before the Military Board, where he succeeded in being
passed as Captain. He then called upon Colonel Fadella, at the
Havana Hotel, and offered to transfer his company to the Colonel. But, secretly
as Barbetta thought he was proceeding, the matter leaked out, and reached the
ears of Cresto, through his orderly and other members of the company whom Barbetta
was endeavoring to induce to leave. One of these men told him that, in the
event of Barbetta obtaining the command, he would have to go into the ranks
as a private, upon which he said that as he was a
poor man, and had a family, he could not afford to fight as a private, and
that if he lost the company he would have to leave the regiment. Subsequently
Captain Cresto went to Colonel Fadella and entered into arrangements
with him, the Colonel agreeing to take the whole company, consisting of forty-four
men on condition of his reimbursing Barbetta $35 for expenses incurred by him
in organizing the company. He solemnly protests that he intended to make nothing
by the transaction, except to retain the captaincy. Matters being thus arranged,
Monday night was determined on for the desertion to take place. At his request
his company were placed on
guard, and pickets were stationed near Roe's tavern; but before the time appointed
Col. Legendre heard of the plan, and ordered Capt. Gossamer and Lieut. Georgie
to take charge of the camp. These officers sent a patrol out, and before the
disaffected men had time to leave the camp the loyal patrol posted themselves
on the way, and ordered every man back to his quarters.
Cresto requested the officer in command to show him his authority; upon which
the officer called out, "The first man who passes we shoot;" and
hardly were the words uttered, when a volley was fired, and the men were weltering
in their blood. Cresto's men then charged bayonets; and were in turn charged
upon by the patrol. He then set off for Flushing, travelling all night through
the woods; and yesterday morning was arrested by Sergeant Brush, of the Hamilton
Artillery, as he was passing down the main street of the village. He was taken
to the jail, but as there was no charge against him known to the civil authorities,
the justice of the peace refused to commit him, and turned him over to Capt.
Robinson, who holds him under an order from Col. Legendre. Capt. Cresto further
says his men had cartridges, but that they did not load their pieces, and not
one of them fired.
Yesterday the command was mustered into the service, which, it is expected,
will put an end to further difficulties. It is said that Capt. Seigel, late
of Company F, who has left the regiment, has been also endeavoring to induce
the men lately under his command to leave for another regiment.
The above was written when the following dispatch was received last night:—
TO THE EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK HERALD.
NEWARK, Sept. 10, 1861.
I resigned Monday. I had nothing to do with the affair at Willett's Point;
was not arrested, and will report myself to Gen. Yates. SEIGEL.
Colonel Legendre feels deeply the misfortune which has befallen his regiment,
and it must be said that he did all in his power to avert the calamity. He
is certainly not to blame for what has occurred. The regiment of New York Rifles
had but about 175 men in camp at the time of the revolt.
THE NINTH ARMY CORPS.
Authority having been given to the undersigned to recruit the Ninth Army Corps
to fifty thousand men, for special service (to be hereafter designated by
the War Department), he earnestly appeals to the citizens of New York to
assist in filling up the following veteran regiments of this corps, belonging
to this State: the Forty-Sixth and Fifty-first New York.
He calls upon all having the good of the country and the triumph of our arms
at heart to use every effort to help on this work, by voting large bounties
from their respective towns and counties, by procuring recruits, assisting
recruiting officers, and by each other means as their ardent patriotism may
suggest. In no place can volunteers be so useful to the cause and so soon
become good soldiers as in the ranks of veteran organizations, under experienced
The undersigned has every hope that the loyal people of New York will soon
send these regiments back to the field with full ranks to bear a proud part
in the closing scenes of this glorious war.
Col. Charles W. Le Gendre, Fifty-first New York Volunteers, is appointed Chief
of the Recruiting Service of the Ninth Army Corps for New York, temporarily,
with headquarters at No. 598 Broadway.
All communications relating to that service will be addressed to him. Recruiting
stations have been established in the various sections of the State. Recruits
will be received at them or by any Provost-Marshal.
(Signed,) A. E. BURNSIDE,
A. W. McKEE,
Adjt. Fifty-First N. Y. V.
FIFTY-FIRST N. Y. VOLUNTEERS.—-This regiment of veterans, from the South-west,
on the way to New York City, reached here at noon, took dinner at the Globe,
the St. Charles and Sherman House, and have proceeded on their way. They number
over two hundred men, all of whom have reenlisted.
Freedom, Trust and Right"--Relief for the Fifty- First New York Regiment.--Mr.
Carl Heinemann has just composed a new grand march, dedicated to the Fifty-first
regiment New York State Volunteers., Colonel Edward Ferrero, and to be sold
for the benefit of the relief fund of that regiment. The music is admirably
brought out, having a splendid frontispiece, representing the beautiful flag
lately presented to that regiment. The march is called "Freedom, Truth
and Victory," and several thousand copied are for sale at Tiffany's, in
LIST OF WOUNDED NEW YORK OFFICERS ARRIVED AT WASHINGTON.
Col. Legendre, 51st; Col. A. Funk, 39th; Lieut. Col. F. Connor, 44th; Lieut.
Col. Eahan 7th; Lieut. Col. J. G. Hughes, 39th; Major J. B. Knox, 44th; Capt.
H. G. Rogers, 43d; Capt. F. W. Winning, 77th; Capt. F. Smith, 77th; Capt.
H. M. B. Jennings, 95th; Capt G. W. Platt, 122d; Capt. F. W. Simon, 73d;
Capt. McKinney, 70th; Capt. A. P. Seely, 111th; Lieut. A. A. Green, 111th;
Lieut. J. H. Hurlbert, 126th; Lieut. W. H. Babcock, 125th; Lieut. W. B. Shaffer,
2d cavalry; Lieut, H. G. Crowland, 77th; Lieut. S. B. Howard, 108th; W.D.
Wilaier, 49th; Lieut. S. Cart, 10th, ear; Lieut. C. L. Buckingham, 146th;
FUNERAL OF CAPTAIN SIMS.
The remains of Captain Samuel Harris Sims, late of the Fifty-first New York
Volunteers, who was killed while gallantly charging with his regiment on
the fortifications of Petersburg, were conveyed to their last resting place,
in Greenwood Cemetery, yesterday afternoon, followed by a large funeral cortege.
The deceased was a native of Brooklyn, and at the time of his death was only
thirty-four years of age. He was engaged actively in the war from its commencement
to the time of his death, having during that time participated in no less
than twenty-six battles, and never having spent a day in hospital.
The funeral services took place in the Elm Place Congregational church, where
the body arrived about two P. M., escorted by Company B, of the Thirteenth
regiment, as a guard of honor, and the following officers acting as
pallbearers—Captain Shepard, Fifty-first New York; Clarkson N. Potter,
brother of General Potter; Captain Dodge, Thirteenth regiment; Captain Roran,
Thirteenth regiment; Captain Stuart, Fifty-first regiment; Captain
McVubben, Fifty first regiment; Lieut. F. B. McCready, Fifty-first regiment.
The remains were enclosed in a handsome rosewood coffin, which bore the following
CAPTAIN SAMUEL HARRIS SIMS,
Captain of Company G, Fifty-first N.Y.S.V.
Killed before Petersburg July 30, 1864.
Aged 34 years.
The Rev. Mr. Strickland conducted the funeral services, which were of a very
impressive character, after which Colonel Elliot F. Shepard, of the Fifty-first
regiment, delivered an eloquent eulogium on the character of the deceased,
and the funeral cortege was then formed and departed for Greenwood Cemetery.
A large number of military officers were present during the ceremonies, and
the Order of Freemasons was represented by Hill Grove Lodge, No. 540.
FIFTY-FIRST NEW YORK CITY VETERANS.
OUR OLD COMPANIONS—THREE YEARS OF ....INE SERVICE--TWELVE THOUSAND MILES
TRAVELLED, FIFTEEN STATES MARCHED OVER —BATTLES EVERYWHERE—ROANOKE,
NEW- BERN, BULL RUN, CHANTILLY, SOUTH MOUNTAIN, ANTIETAM, FREDERICKBURGH, VICKSBURG,
JACKSON, WILDERNESS, SPOTTSYLVANIA, COLD HARBOR AND PETERSBURGH.
This war-worn old city regiment, whose first three years have expired, is now
just entering a new term, under peculiar circumstances, with most of its command
in captivity, and the remnant in camp south of Petersburgh, near Poplar Grove
Church. Our readers will remember that the main body of the Fifty-first, officers
and men, had the misfortune to be taken by the rebels, Sept. 30, on the extreme
left, on or near the very ground we now hold. Casual mention has been made
of them in the correspondence from the front the last few days; but their career
has been too marked a one, and must be run over from the beginning.
The Fifty-first New York Volunteers are a part of the Second Division of the
Ninth Corps, were recruiting in New-York and Brooklyn cities in the summer
of 1861; were known as the "Shephard Rifles," (from Elliott F. Shepard,
a valued friend of the regiment,) and started from here in October '61, under
Colonel, now Gen. Ferrero, as part of Burnside's North Carolina expedition.
After a dangerous sea voyage, they were first under fire at Roanoke, February,
1862; fought with spirit and coolness from the first, and the next month were
in the battle of Newbern; in these engagements losing, in killed and wounded,
some twelve officers and one hundred and fifty men. (The Fifty-first has always
lost heavily in officers.)
Ordered north in July, the regiment (we skip rapidly over many of its journeys,
stoppages, and even some of its fights, as space forbids describing them,)
took active part in the second Bull Run. In the battle the second day, Aug.
30, they rendered important service in defending our artillery and trains on
the retreat, and saving them. The regiment lost ninety two men in this fight.
Col. Ferrero having been promoted, Lieut.-Col. R. B. Potter was now commissioned
Pretty soon followed the battle of Chantilly, which was fought in a heavy rain.
Soon again the night engagement at South Mountain. In these they lost
35 men. A few days subsequently found them in the thickest at Antietam, (Sept.
17, 1862,) charging the well-known and hard-contested stone bridge. Several
efforts to get the bridge had proved futile, when at 1 o'clock, according to
orders, Col. Potter led the attack, with the cry of "Charge the bridge." It
was taken after a sharp conflict. The regiment lost 100 men here. The Fifty-first
Pennsylvania, same brigade, deserve equal mention in taking the bridge. Their
campaign in all the latter of this Summer, (1862,) and during the Fall and
early Winter, made the regiment hardened soldiers. They were on the march,
fighting, advancing or retreating, for nearly four months, with seldom any
intermission. It was life on the bivouac in earnest, sleeping on the ground
where night overtook them, and up and on again the next day, with battle or
pursuit every week, and often men falling by the road from utter exhaustion.
Thus they promenaded by rapid marches amid heat, dust, rain or snow, crossing
mountains, fording rivers, &c., often without food to eat or water to drink,
all those parts of Stafford, Culpepper, Prince William, Fairfax, Fauquier,
Loudon, and the other counties in Virginia; and of Frederick and Washington
Counties in Northwestern Maryland, which formed the field of the eventful contest
of that period.
Bringing up again on the Rappahannock, near Falmouth, next follows the sanguinary
engagement of first Fredericksburgh, (Dec. 13, 1862) where the
regiment lost heavily. By this time, indeed, their 1,100 to 1,200 men, (counting
recruits since they came out,) had been pretty well exhausted; only about 150
to 200 remaining for duty. Breaking camp on the Rappahannock during the Winter,
the latter part of February, 1863, found the regiment camped at Newport News,
and the next month moving by way of Baltimore, and thence to Pittsburgh, Penn.,
(where the ladies gave them a first-rate dinner,) and so through Columbus,
Cincinnati, &c., down into Kentucky, which at that time and during April
and May, 1863, was threatened by
June and July, 1863, found the Fifty-first in the forces under Gen. Grant,
operating against Vicksburgh. On the fall of that stronghold they were
pushed off under Sherman as part of a small army toward Jackson, the capital
of Mississippi. This was a tough little campaign. The drouth and excessive
heat, the dust everywhere two or three inches thick, fine as flour, rising
in heavy clouds day after day as they marched, obscuring everything and making
it difficult to breathe, will long be remembered. The Fifty-first was the second
regiment entering Jackson at its capture, July 17, 1863.
Following this they were in active service in Kentucky and Tennessee, (we still
omit, on account of space, many movements and operations,) till the
regiment, what there was left of it, quite altogether reenlisting, returned
to New-York on thirty days' furlough. Rendezvousing after this (March, 1664.)
at Annapolis, and now filled up with new men to about their original complement,
they again saw the Southwest as far as Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, &c.,
whence they were rapidly retired to join the rest of the Ninth Corps, and make
junction toward Brandy Station and Culpepper with the Army of the Potomac.
Thence through the past Summer, all through the sanguinary, resolute and most
glorious campaign of Grant from the Rapidan to the James, and so to the Weldon
Railroad region, the Fifty-first have been active participants. In the mortal
contests of the Wilderness and of Spottsylvania, in May, they lost
heavily. In one of the former, Col. Le Gendre was wounded, the bones of the
face broken and an eye destroyed. (R. B. Potter, former Colonel, was now division
General.) At Cold Harbor they came near being flanked and taken, but got off
by bold movements and fighting, with the loss of sixteen men. In brief, almost
every week this pending campaign has seen a funeral in New-York or Brooklyn
of some officer or man of the Fifty-first, their bodies being forwarded to
friends. Not an original officer remains. Most of the officers have been promoted
from the ranks. The regiment has, indeed, had some three or four crops of officers.
In the advance at the mine explosion before Petersburgh, July 30, the Fifty-first
lost, among others, Capt. Samuel H. Sims, Acting Lieutenant-Colonel, a much-beloved
officer, killed instantly. A day or two afterward, Lieut. Charles Bunker was
killed. The fight of July 30 was a hard one, the enemy enfilading our men and
placing the Fifty-first in great danger. Maj. J. G. Wright, commanding, was
injured by a solid shot and taken to the rear. During the rest of the engagement
the command devolved upon Capt. George W. Whitman, who was subsequently specially
mentioned in the official report of the affair for this and a long previous
career of skill and courage as a soldier.
Finally in an engagement (the papers have called it battle of Poplar Grove,)
on the extreme left, toward the evening of the 30th of September, the
Fifty-first had the bad luck to be captured almost entire. Our men, in considerable
strength, (two divisions Ninth Corps, and two Fifth Corps, with
some cavalry,) stretched out in the forenoon from the left, intending an endeavor
toward the southerly of the two railroads running from the enemy's region directly
west to Burkesville. We met with some success at first at Peeble's farm, but
about five o'clock in the afternoon the Second Division Ninth Corps in advance,
encountered strong rebel works on an acclivity, up which they attempted to
press, but were repulsed. The secesh troops being reinforced and sallying down
in turn attacked us. Their charge was vehement, and caused that part of our
force on the right of the Fifty-first to give way, whereupon the enemy rapidly
throwing a powerful flanking column through the gap thus made, competed the
disaster by cutting off the Fifty-first and some other troops, who formed the
extreme left, and after a sharp tussel capturing them, under circumstances
honorable to the regiment. There were ten companies captured, of from 30 to
40 men each, and the following officers: Maj. John G. Wright, Acting Colonel;
Capt. George W. Whitman, Acting Lieutenant-Colonel; Lieut. Frank Butler, wounded;
Lieuts. S.M. Fooley, W. T. Ackerson, J. Carberry, H. Greenomeyer, F. E. Waldron,
W. Caldwell, J. Loghran, Martin Witbeck, C. W. Hoyme, P. H. Sims, and Acting
Adjutant S. J. Murden. Thomas Farmer, Acting Lieutenant, wounded, was taken
but was exchanged. About half the Lieutenants named above were acting officers,
not commissioned. There is a remnant of the Fifty-first still in the field,
in camp near Poplar Grove Church, though but a small number, and what officers
are left we do not know, except Lieut. Wm. E. Babcock and also Lieut. F.B.
McReady, wounded badly at Wilderness, partially
recovered, but preferring to return to service. Capt. C. W. Walton, we hear,
escaped capture. Daniel Delamy, Acting Sergeant-Major, was captured.
We have, of course, only given a broken outline of the regiment, its history,
officers and men, with many missions. Col. Le Gendre (disabled May 5, and
lingering long with his wounds,) has lately resigned. Capt. Wright, served
three years, has just been mustered out of service. As we compile this account,
it is just three years since the regiment originally left New-York. We should
mention that the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania suffered badly at the fight of Sept.
30; also the Twenty-first Massachusetts (an old and brave comrade regiment
with the Fifty-first, and to whom most all the foregoing account of marches
will apply,) also the Seventh Rhode Island. Capt. Whitman has been heard from
since by his relatives in Brooklyn, by letter written in a rebel prison at
Petersburgh him a few days after the capture. He was well and Lieut. Pooley
was with him. Thus the first three years of the Fifty-first are up. During
that time they have sailed the Atlantic through the heaviest storms, (lost
several of their men at sea) trod the sands of the Southern Coast and fought
over the entire seat of war in the Northwestern land and Eastern Virginia,
campaigned in of Kentucky and Tennessee, been up and down fifteen States, active
participants in more than twenty general engagements and seiges of strongholds,
and twice that number of fights, skirmishes and expeditions of the second or
third class, traveled over twelve thousand miles, been under Burnside, Pope,
McClellan, McDowell, Meade, Sherman and Grant, and made good honest expenditure
in the war of some two thousand men, counting the men and officers now in captivity.
All honor and reverence to these, and to all our old campaigners! They are
not forgotten, whether in captivity or in camp, or whatever has befallen them.
Thousands, aye millions, of hearts are ...ing to them night and day wherever
A WHOLE NEW YORK REGIMENT CAPTURED BY THE REBELS.
A Tribune correspondent in the field before Petersburg, Oct. 4th, writes:
" The 51st Regiment New York Volunteers, (Shepard Rifles) belonging to the Ninth
Army Corps, were among the list of prisoners taken by the enemy during the
action of the 30th ult. on the left of the Weldon Road. The regiment went into
the action numbering over five hundred men, and save a few stragglers, was
captured entire. The regiment is reported to have acted with its usual bravery
and dash. The officers when last seen were at the head of the regiment leading
and urging the men to the charge. The fault of the capture does not fall to
them, as they were carrying out their orders bravely. The troops on the right
and left gave back before the charge of the enemy in great confusion, when
the Rebels closed in on their flanks and rear, completely hemming them in.
The casualties, as near as I can learn, are not
very severe. Lieut. Frank Butler was seen to fall, mortally wounded, the ball
entering his groin. The following is a list of the officers reported captured:
Major James G. Wright, commanding; Capt. Wright, Co. E; Lieut. F. Butler,
Lieut. G. Ackerson, Lieut. H. Gronmeyer, Lieut. Samuel Pooley, Lieut. Waldren.
THE NEW-YORK TIMES
NEW-YORK, MONDAY, OCT. 24, 1864.
List of Prisoners Captured Sept. 30, 1864, Belonging to the Fifty-first N.
Y. S. Vols., Infantry, and Now Confined in Richmond.
Maj. John G. Wright. 1st Lieut. F.E. Woldron, Co. H.
Adjt. Schuyler J Murden. 2d Lieut. J Loghran, Co H.
2d Lieut. J Carbery, Co A. 1st Lieut. W Caldwell, Co I.
Lieut. H Groenomeyer, Co B. Lieut. Martin Witbeck, Co I.
1st Lieut. S M Pooley, Co D. Capt. G W Whitmore, Co K.
1st Lieut. WTAckerson, Co F. Lieut. C W Hoyme, Co K.
lst Lieut. P H Sims, Co G. Thos L Farmer—wounded. COMPANY A
Sergt James S Snook. Victor Guddo.
Corp. Thomas Mullen. John Nicholas.
William Cole. John Ryan.
Edward Dalton. Thomas Short.
John Dunn. Anson Schocan.
James McDonald. Martin Stapleton.
John Hays. Frederick Wiper.
Martin Highland. Henry Wurtz.
Wm. Jackson. Patrick Walsh.
Wm. Jewett. Jacob Zune.
Matthew Kennedy. John Henry.
John Kennedy. Joseph Farrell.
Thomas Kelly. Asa Aldridge.
Frederick Genewick. John Thompson.
Corp Patrick Rafferty. John S Downing.
Corp Elanson K Feed. Owen Finnegan.
Corp David A Butterfield. Peter Faimer.
Corp Edwin Diefendorf. Jacob Haver.
Corp Wm Willaner. Peter Niesen.
Conrad Floyd. Joseph Liepe.
Albert J Conroy. John H Polhamus.
James H Caughey. Charles W Smith.
Abraham Bruss. Wm Wheeler.
Francis Cotec. Samuel Winn.
Sergt. Thomas Glenn. James Lynch.
Sergt.Thomas O'Brien. James Leonard.
Sergt. Daniel Delaney. James Martin.
Corp. John Higgins. Patrick Evoy.
Corp John Norman. John McGuire.
Corp James McDermott. Austin Moore.
Corp Geo Degan-wounded. Dennis McEilear.
Potter Burton. John C. Hickey.
Julius Granger. Clark Royal.
Michael Grady. Charles H. Vanderburgh.
John Knein. Adolph Worker.
Joseph Klein. George Wilson.
Sergt Henry Baker. Henry Hencke.
Sergt Ichiel Dubois. Henry Hearns.
Sergt John Lasserzelles- Michael Joyce.
wounded. John McGuire.
Corp Wm Trahey. Mitchell Monnay.
Andrew Anderson. William Murphy.
Andrew Benoyt. James Neary.
John Douns. Vincent Potturrino.
John Dougherty. Batila Renfan.
John Eldred. Frank Thompson-wound-
John Folen. ed.
John Finnegan. Joseph Wonsk.
Barney Currey. ___ Welsh—wounded.
Corp Edward J Ownes. George White.
Joseph Legan James Prior.
Thomas Curley. Carl Burger.
Martin Brentley. Oscar Latour.
Sylvester Jacobi. Martin Snyder.
George H. Aviland. Edmund Miner.
Daniel Desmond. Nelson T. Fuller.
John Hart. Charles E. Newcomb.
Christian Batterman. John Roach.
Michael Wallace. Wm. P. English.
Serg Henry T Darley. John Everling.
Serg John B Franklin. Valentine Fisher.
Corp John F ColIins. Leopold Friedfurara.
Corp Wm H Nodine. James Gill.
Corp Charles Miller. Eugene Herrick.
Corp George Greim. Michael King.
Henry Echbohl. George McKillop.
James Bremer. John McCormac.
Herman Bornbush. Edward Masterson.
Jacob Brichterfer. Frederick Steiner.
Jonas C Butler. George Sinser.
John Bois (wounded.) Philip C. Sheridan.
Edward Callahan. Daniel Slatery.
Joseph Coughlin. Samuel Santopierre.
George Cole. Adam Spent.
Patrick Conley. Charles Wezelin.
Wm Drayton. Andrew Wood.
Francis Day. John Weber.
Corp Adelbert Troman. Robert Hipson.
Corp Robert H Walpole. James Kiliday.
Corp Francis Helpenny. Philip McKeon.
Corp Stephen Kennoth. Patrick O'Neil.
Corp Thos Carroll. Henry Playford.
George Bennett. Theodore Rose.
Alex Campbell. Simon J. Smith.
Christopher Coffee. Henry Smith.
Wm Donaldson. Thos. Shaughessy.
John Dieckman. James Thomas.
Wm Dick. Albert Walpole.
Henry Gallagher. Jerry Wiggins.
Sergt John F Gibbs. Pierre Marria.
Corp John Fitzgerald. John Mara.
Corp Patrick English. Jas McClelland.
Corp Peter Hughes. David Nethercoat.
Corp John Gregg. Nicholas Marsh.
James Burns. Marcus Meyunes.
Henry Blowick. Nicholas Goodman.
Wm Emerson. Owen Farley.
Asa E Hayward. Barton Sullivan.
Joseph Trouillia. Denis Driscoll.
Joseph Ryal. Wm. McDonald.
Joseph Caldwell. D C McDonald--wounded.
Joseph Lyons. James Davis.
Charles Hall. Thos A Decker.
Serg Henry Fowlett. John Johnston.
Serg Albert J Davey. John Limmerick.
Corp John Scheitner. John Milton.
Corp Henry Chamberlain. David Middleton.
Corp John S Fabor. ___ McKinley.
Corp Jeremiah M Davis. Wm K.Murray.
Samuel Butterworth. Geo N Hayes.
Michael Burns. Rodney Fresho.
James Buchanan. John Smith.
Wm Coakley. John Stevens.
Fernando D Curtis. Addison W Vandervoort.
Joseph Clark. Reiley M Vandervoort.
James Emerson. Latton Washburne.
Charles Gray John Brown.
Benj E Hawkins.
Corp Charles Voppel. Joseph H Clark.
Corp Cornelius Dixon. Samuel Vexean.
John Roney--wounded. Peter McCarty.
Horace Pitcher. Frank McCarty.
Henry Bremer. James Nolan.
Ferdinand Hoelder. Thomoas Welsh.
Wm Anderson. George Machold.
Henry Schneider. Andrew Gunther.
Richard Coleman. John Regan.
John Comec. John Quinn.
Joseph Hanschel. Daniel O'Connell.
Charles Bustian. James Cassin.
Wm Dunn. Hanson Thompson-wounded.
John McBride. John McManagle-wounded.
RETURNING REGIMENTS.—The coldness and neglect with which the returning
regiments, who with thinned and shattered ranks, are daily arriving in New
York, to recruit, are treated by the public authorities and the people generally
is exciting very unfavorable comment. Yesterday the Fifty-first New York Regiment
arrived here with less than three hundred men out of over nine hundred, who
went forth under its flag. The fate of the missing "six hundred" is
accounted for by the fact that the regiment participated in nearly all of the
great battles of the war. One of the companies of the regiment belonged to
this city and the only escort which the gallant fellows had in their dreary
march up Broadway was a few straggling members of the 13th and 14th regiments
of this city, who had gone over to do honor to the Brooklyn company. When a
blatherskite like Kossuth, an effeminate Scion of royalty, or a filthy crowd
of barbarians from the antipodes favor us with a
visit, New York spends money like water to do them honor, and the entire militia
are ordered out to make a show, but to the brave defenders of the soil, she
gives the cold shoulder. As they march comfortless and unnoticed through the
streets, and contrast the evidences of prosperity around them with their own
condition, have they not reason to feel that republics are ungrateful indeed?
THE HOMEWARD MARCH.
Arrival of the Fifty-first New-York—Arrival and Departure of the Sixth
Seventh Connecticut Regiments—History of the Fifty-first New-York.
The only regiments arriving yesterday were the Fifty-first New-York, and the
Sixth and Seventh Connecticut regiments. The Fifty-first is now at the
rooms of the New-York State Agency, where they will remain until Monday, as
a grand reception, review, and dinner will be accorded them by their numerous
friends. The Seventh Connecticut passed through the city hurriedly on their
way to New-Haven yesterday morning. The Seventh is now at the Battery Barracks,
and will leave during the day for New-Haven.
Col. Almy provided a large quantity of peaches for the Connecticut regiments,
and Col. Colyer made a most appetizing spread for the New-York boys. We subjoin
a history of the regiment:
THE FIFTY-FIRST NEW-YORK VETERAN VOLUNTEERS, is a city regiment, having been
recruited at Palace Garden in 1861, and the command has greatly distinguished
itself during the war. The first Colonel of the Fifty-first was Edward Ferrero,
now Brevet Major-General, who was succeeded by Robt. B. Potter, (nephew to
Bishop Potter) now Brevet Major-General. The third Colonel of the regiment
was Caas. W. Le Gendre, who was severely wounded at Newbern, and again at the
Wilderness, and rendered unfit for service. The officer now in command is Col.
John G. Wright, a brave and dashing soldier. Another of their former officers
is now a Brevet Brigadier-General—G. H. McKibben--who is now in command
near Petersburgh, Va. The regiment was organized by the consolidation of
the "Shepard Rifles" and the "Scott Rifles," the field
officers at that time being Col. Edward Ferrero, Lieut.-Col. Robert B. Potter
and Major Charles
W. Le Gendre. Being assigned, on its entry into the United States service,
to the famous Burnside Expedition in North Carolina, the Fifty-first performed
good service, and claims the honor of having been the first to enter the enemy's
works at Roanoke Island, (which feat has also been claimed by Hawkins' Zouaves;)
the regiment at that time being a part of the brigade commanded by the heroic
Reno, (who was afterward killed at Chantilly, in 1862.) At Newbern the regiment
also distinguished itself, carrying the key to the rebel position, losing in
the encounter the Regimental Chaplain, Rev. E. A. Benton, two other officers,
two color bearers, and about twenty-five men killed, while Lieut.-Col. Potter,
Major Le Gendre and some sixty men were wounded. In 1862 the regiment served
with Pope, in his Virginia
Valley Campaign, and at the battle of Cedar Mountain, Aug. 9. Reno's Division
acted as the rearguard, for the retirement of the army from that
field, Gen. Ferrero being in command of the division. Col. Ferrero acted as
Brigadier, and Lieut.-Col. Potter had command of the Fifty-first during the
whole of that campaign. The rear-guard had almost daily encounters with the
enemy's advanced columns all through the Virginia Valley, from Culpepper to
the Rappahannock, and so on to the terrible field of Manassas Plains, Aug.
30, covering altogether a period of some nineteen days. Fighting with POPE
at Manassas Plains, and being under fire for two whole days, the Fifty-first
followed the General to Chantilly, where the gallant Reno met
a hero's death. When McClellan assumed command of the armies then gathered
up within the defences of Washington, and threw himself into Maryland, the
Fifty-first formed part of the army. At South Mountain and at Antietam the
Fifty-first bore its full share of the heat and peril of battle. At this latter
field the Fifty-first distinguished itself, in conjunction with the Fifty-first
Pennsylvania, in the celebrated exploit of carrying the famous "Stone
Bridge" of Antietam. This charge—known sometimes as that of "the
two Fifty-first's"—was a most brilliant achievement, and Lieut.-Col.
Potter is entitled to the credit of having been the first field officer who
the bridge at the time of its capture. The struggle at this bridge has generally
been considered as one of the fiercest and most hotly-contested fights of the
war, and our troops charged over the bridge under a terrific and galling fire.
It was here that Ferrero received his star as Brigadier, and Potter the eagles.
In the campaign of Gen. Burnside, during the Fall and Winter of 1862, commonly
known as the Fredericksburgh Campaign, the Ninth Corps, in which was serving
the Fifty-first New-York, was especially conspicuous, and at the battle of
Fredericksburgh, Dec. 13, the Fifty-first was engaged in the assault on Lee's
Heights, being under fire almost continuously for three days. After Hooker
assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, the Ninth Corps, under Burnside,
was transferred to the West, thus changing materially the field of active service
for the Fifty-first. The Ninth Corps' arduous campaigns in Tennessee, Kentucky
and before Vicksburgh, in Mississippi, form one of the most exciting and interesting
chapters in the history of the war. The history of the Ninth Corps in the West
is the history of the Fifty-first New-York. At the siege of Knoxville and the
seige of Vicksburgh, the subject of our sketch won fresh honors. After the
siege of Vicksburgh came to an end by the capitulation of the garrison, the
Fifty-first went with the corps to Jackson, Miss., under Gen. Sherman, and
at that place the Fifty-first was the second regiment to enter the city (the
first being the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, the command of which had been temporarily
assigned to Lieut.-Col. Mitchell, of the Fifty-first.) From Jackson the most
arduous duty of the war was performed. The heat was intense, and the malarial
influences almost overpowering to the strongest constitutions.
But no garrison duty and no rest. The Ninth Corps was ordered back to Kentucky,
where it assisted in keeping open communication between Gen.
Burnside, at Knoxville, and his base. The term on enlistment having expired
while the regiment was the second time in Kentucky, it reenlisted and came
home on a furlough of 30 days; and the officers and most of the men, instead
of taking a holiday, recruited its ranks to nearly the maximum number. Ordered
again to the field, the gallant Fifty-first joined the Ninth Corps at Annapolis,
where it was reorganizing to enter once more the Army of the
Potomac. The Ninth Corps joined the army under Grant the 1st day of May, and
with it went through the terrific overland campaign of 1864, against Richmond.
Col. Potter, having been promoted to a Brigadier-General, was assigned to the
command of the Second Division of the Ninth Corps, of which the old regiment
he had so often and so gallantly led, formed a part.
In front of Petersburgh the Fifty-first took an active share in the siege operations,
being the greater part of the time placed near the Jerusalem Plank road, directly
in front of the "Crater," or Cemetery Hill. During the siege it was
engaged in all of the engagements that took place from time to time along our
front. At the "Mine," or Cemetery Hill assault, on July 30, 1864,
the regiment suffered heavily, like all the commands engaged on that fearful
day. In the advance upon the South-side Railroad, Maj. John G. Wright, commanding--Lieut.-Col.
Mitchell being Inspector-General of the corps, under Parke—the greater
part of the regiment, numbering 280 men, was captured, with most of the brigade,
in a desperate assault upon the enemy's works, having advanced far into his
lines—the "supports" failing, because repulsed by overwhelming
numbers. Nine months they languished in prison, and but eighty men returned.
While in prison, Maj. Wright headed two desperate but unsuccessful attacks
upon the rebel guards—one at Danville, the other at Andersonville. The
officers and men were exchanged in time to participate in the crowning victory
at Petersburgh. Mitchell having been honorably discharged in November, 1864,
Wright was promoted Colonel,
and returns in command. The regiment has been engaged in many general battles,
beside innumerable actions and skirmishes. It left New-York 890
strong, and this number has been increased, from time to time, to over 3,050
men, as its rolls will show. It returns with about 95 of its own men, and 250
veterans," which have been assigned to it from other regiments. It has
given to the service two Major-Generals—Ferrero and Potter—and
General, McKibben, who was breveted, upon Gen. Potter's recommendation, from
a Captaincy. But two of the original officers return with it, the rest
having been either promoted, killed, or honorably discharged for disability.
Its present officers, however, excepting Col. Wright and Lieut-Col. Marsh—
who were originally Captain and Second Lieutenant—have been promoted
from the ranks. The regiment has fought in six States--North Carolina, Virginia,
Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Maryland—on mountain tops, through
gorges, in miry marshes and over pestilential bayous. It only remains to be
stated that this gallant regiment was officered originally from
the Seventh Regiment (New-York) and Fourteenth (Brooklyn) National Guard.
The following is the battle record:
1862—Roanoke, N. C., Feb. 8; Newbern, N. C., March 14; Manassas Plains,
Va., Aug. 30; Cedar Mountain, Va., Aug. 9; Chantilly, Va., Sept. 1; South Mountain,
Md., Sept 14; Antietam, Md., Sept. 17; White Sulphur Springs, Nov. 11; Fredericksburgh,
Va., Dec. 13.
1863—Siege of Vicksburgh, Miss., July 4; Jackson, Miss., July 17; Blue
Spring, Tenn., Oct. 10; Campbell's Station, Tenn., Nov. 16; Siege of Knoxville,
Tenn., Nov. 17, Dec. 5.
1864—Spottsylvania, Va., May 7-8; Totopotomy Creek, Va., May 20; North
Anna, Va., May 22; Cold Harbor, Va., June 1-3; Bethesda Church, Va., June 7;
Siege of Petersburgh, Va., Cemetery Hill, Va., July 30; Weldon Railroad, Aug.
21; Poplar Grove Church, Va., Sept. 29-30; First Hatcher's Run, Va., Oct. 27.
1865—Siege of Petersburgh, January to April; Second Hatcher's Run, Feb.
4; assault upon the enemy's works, (usually known as Fort Steadman,) March
25; Grand Assault on Petersburgh, April 1; Capture of Petersburgh, Va., April
3; Surrender of Lee, April 9.
The following is the roster of the officers:
Field and Staff—Colonel, John G. Wright; Lieutenant-Colonel, T. B. Marshy;
Major, Geo. W. Whitman; Surgeon, Lyman W. Bliss.
Captains— Samuel M. Pooley, Wm. Cauldwell, John Loughran, F. B. McReady,
F. E. Waldron, J. H. Carberry, H. Groenemeyer, C. W. Hoyrue, and W. M. Hatch.
Lieutenants—S. J. Menden, J. C. Brown, A. Smith, L. W. Reed, C, W. Waldron,
W, E. Meserole, D. C. Flagler, J. E. Gibbs, W. Weaver, Geo. Bush, Henry Follet
and P. H. Sims.
THE HOMEWARD MARCH
IN THE AFTERNOON
the Fifty-first New-York Veteran Volunteers (Shepard Rifles,) paraded at 3
o'clock, marching from the State Agency at Centre Market, escorted by the Thirteenth
New-York State National Guard, of Brooklyn, Col. Woodward commanding; third
company Seventh Regiment; and Capt. McLeod's company Eighty-fourth Regiment.,
National Guard. They marched down Grand street to Bowery, down Chatham to City
Hall Park, up Broadway to the Union League Club House, receiving a grand reception
all along the
line of march. The cortege started from Centre Market precisely at 3 P. M.,
Thirteenth Brooklyn Regiment, Col. Woodward.
Third Company Seventh Regiment National Guard,
Company of the Eighty-fourth New-York S. N. G., Capt. McLeod.
Carriage containing Gen. Ferrero, Col. Shepard, Col. Colyer, and Capt. Gardiner.
Fifty-first New-York Veteran Volunteers, (Shepard Rifles,) Col. John G. Wright.
The people in the streets had been greatly exercised by the successful parade
of the morning, and received the gallant Fifty-first with unbounded cheers.
The ladies in Broadway were lavish with their smiles, and every window was
fluttering with handkerchiefs. All along the line of march a good display of
flags was made in honor of the veterans and heroes of the day.
AT THE CLUB-HOUSE.
As soon as the troops reached Union-square, the same arrangement was made,
and the stand was crowded by a distinguished group of gentlemen.
Contrary to general expectation, neither Gen. Hooker nor Gen. Burnside were
present, the first being confined by official duties, and the other having
left town. When the troops had formed in line, the Colonel of the Fifty-first
New-York proposed three cheers for the first Colonel of the regiment, Major-Gen.
Ferero, his men responding to the call with a will. The General
quietly acknowledged the compliment, when he introduced to his old regiment,
Col. Colyer. The indefatigable State Agent came forward and spoke to the regiment
SPEECH OF COL. COLYER.
OFFICERS AND VETERANS OF THE FIFTY-FIRST: I am
commissioned by His Excellency the Governor of the State, and by the loyal
people of this city, and by the Union League Club, to give you welcome and
to entertain you. Soldiers, the government and the people give you the glory,
for your stout hands and hearts have given us the peace we now enjoy. The people
have always stood by you, through all your trials, your victories and your
marches. I trust that, now you have come home, you will make as good citizens
as you have already proved yourselves soldiers. In conclusion, I can only say
that I welcome you in behalf of the State to your homes, trusting that you
may long enjoy the peace now happily upon us. I wish to introduce to you Col.
Elliot F. Shepard, who has always proved himself the especial friend of your
noble regiment. I propose three cheers for him. The cheers were given with
heartiness, and Col. Shepard, in return, made the following remarks;
COL. SHEPARD'S SPEECH.
Col. WRIGHT, OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE FIFTY-FIRST NEW-YORK: Although I
was not in New-York to bid you God speed on your departure from this city four
years ago, as I was then absent on the field of duty, yet I am happy to-day
to be among the first to welcome you home. You return with a renowned history
illuminated by the glory of your own deeds. Your country, your State, your
fellow-citizens are justly proud of you. Changes have gone on in your regiment
during these four years. Not many of you are of the old stock to whom I had
the honor of presenting the original, now become the old—battle-flag
at Palace Garden, and yet you are the same regiment. Your history divides itself
into two parts as we stand here, to-day, enjoying the presence of men whose
glory vindicates the same. The light of the past comes stealing up to our feet.
You have freely given your martyrs. Let us build them up together as a memorial
to themselves in our memories, not like that at Cologne, composed of the bald
and revolting bones of virgins, but as an edifice of polished stones, clothed
with the beauty and grandeur of their own immortality. There is that great
name Capt. Samuel H. Sims, who rises from the ruined fort at Petersburgh, he
shall be the corner-stone, Capt. Johnson and Chaplain Benton, who rise from
Newbern, Adjt. Fowler, who rises at Antietam, Capt. Jenkins, who rises at the
Wilderness, Lieut. Butler, Sergt. Pappe, and many others, who rise from distant
fields in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, each and all are sacred columns
in the memorial chapel. Let us try to preserve their virtues by continuing
to be what they were. Thus shall we best honor them and not be guilty of shedding
fruitless tears, "over the graves where our heroes are buried." We
turn to the present, and we find that your regiment has been a father of soldiers.
There is your first Colonel, Edward Ferrero, wearing his two stars, won by
his valor. [Applause.] He who had the glory of admitting to the service of
their country a class of citizens heretofore proscribed, and of proving that
they would make good soldiers. In common with all Major-Generals who have served
their country well, Gen. Ferrero will share the love and admiration of all
his white fellow-citizens, but he will have the advantage of those who have
not commanded black troops, for besides the white population, he will have
an addition of four million admirers. [Applause.] There is your second Colonel,
Robert B. Potter, also wearing his two stars. [Applause.] He who had the honor
of striking the first blow of that campaign which ended in the Capture of Petersburgh
and Richmond, the surrender of Lee and the collapse of the rebellion. He was
in command of that part of our lines where they approached nearest to those
of the rebels, where our Fort Sedgwick and their Fort Mahone frowned upon each
other. Making an irresistible attack, he captured Fort Mahone. Once, and again,
and thrice, the rebel leader essayed to dislodge him. Once, and again, and
thrice, Gen. Potter's veterans of whom you were part, were too much for him,
and when night left the fort in our possession, Lee, disheartened, (seeing
his impending doom,) telegraphed to Jeff. Davis: "My lines have been pierced,
I shall evacuate Petersburgh and Richmond." That is the celebrated dispatch
that was handed to Jeff. Davis at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning in church, and
it tells Gen. Potter's glory better than gazettes and trumpets. [Cheers.] There
is your third Colonel, Charles W. LeGendre; a Frenchman, not even an adopted
citizen, who offered his sword, like his great countryman La Fayette, to fight
for liberty and the right. [Applause.] Twice has he been wounded for us; and
he makes in his own person another tie between the French and American people,
between whom there is a hereditary and passionate attachment which no temporary
ruler of France can ever dissolve. [Applause.] There are your old Lieutenant-Colonel,
R. Charlton Mitchell, and Capt. Henry H. Holbrook, whose rank, if it had equaled
their deserts, would have been General, as that of Capt. Gilbert H. McGiffen
is; [Applause.] Capt. McIlvaine, transferred to the regulars; Capts. Clifford
Codington, David T. Wright, and others, who can tell you tales of many a hard-fought
battle-field; all these are yours. [Applause.] Once of the regiment, always
of the regiment. [Applause.] When we turn to the present officers, you need
me to tell you nothing. There is Col. Wright [cheers] who is the Wright man,
in the right place, worthy commander of the finest of regiments! shot at by
the rebels from all quarters, bullets in his hat and in his coat, temporarily
paralyzed by a solid shot passing between his arm and his side, just as he
raised his sword to lead on his men at Petersburgh, he has most remarkably
escaped without losing a drop of blood. He was starved for five long months
by the rebels and when they got through, he came back to us as lively as ever
[laughter and applause] and in this captivity and torture he had for companions,
Maj. George W. Whitman, the dauntless peer of Sims. [Applause.] Capts. Poorley,
Waldron and others, officers and privates who have scored their reckoning with
the rebels on the battle-field. There is Lieut.-Col. Thomas B. Marsh, who has
been in more fights away from you on detached service than with you, of whom
you do not need me to speak. Your wars are over; you are soon to be distributed
through the body politic, and to take your places as civilians; keep your record
as bright there as it has been in the field. As a rule for your political conduct,
always take the General's side, for that is the side of right, and will always
win in the end in our free country. Remember that you have fought for the whole
country and have rights of citizenship in the whole of it, in South Carolina
as well as New-York, in Maine, Mississippi and California. Often meditate upon
your whole country, its interests and its destiny. Be good and you will be
The men then stacked arms and were furnished with a collation of sandwiches,
peaches, melons and cigars. The officers of the regiment and numerous other
officers of the Army of the Potomac, were invited into the club-rooms to partake
of a sumptuous collation. The members of the club made every exertion to do
honor to the guests of the day, and everything
connected with the entire reception passed off remarkably well.
At 6 P. M. the Fifty-first New-York were formed in line, and marched to the
rooms of the State Agency, where they will remain until this afternoon, when
the command proceeds to Hart's Island for payment.
(N.Y. Times, Aug. 1, 1864)
THE FIFTY-FIRST NEW-YORK VETERAN VOLUNTEERS,
Is a city regiment, having been recruited at Palace Garden in 1861, and the
command has greatly distinguished itself during the war. The first Colonel
of the Fifty-first was Edward Ferrero, now Brev. Major-General, who was succeeded
by Robt. B. Potter, (nephew to Bishop Potter) now Brev. Major-
General. The third Colonel of the regiment was Chas. w. Le Gendre, who was
severely wounded at Newbern, and again at the Wilderness, and rendered unfit
for service. The officer now in command is Col. John G. Wright, a brave and
dashing soldier. Another of their former officers is now a Brev. Brigadier-General—G.
H. McKibbin—who is now in command near Petersburgh, Va. The regiment
participated in the first victory of the war, that of Roanoke Island, being
the first to plant their colors on the captured ramparts. They also participated
in the last victory of the war, the surrender of Gen. Lee. The command has
marched over 25,000 miles! have fought in eight States, and on the Atlantic
and the Mississippi. They, with the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, took the famous
stone bridge at Antietam, their commanding officer--Lieut.-Col. Potter being
the first field officer across the bridge. All through the campaigns of Gen.
Grant against Richmond Fifty-first was on active duty.
(N.Y. Times, July 22, 1865)
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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
March 27, 2006