New York Volunteer Infantry
Civil War Newspaper Clippings
PROMOTION OF MAJOR HIGGINS.—We are glad to announce that a commission
has been issued to Maj. B. L. Higgins, as Lieutenant-Colonel of his (the 86th)
regiment. This is a richly deserved promotion.
PROMOTIONS IN THE 86TH.—HIGGING has been promoted to the Colonelcy of
the 86th Regiment, vice BAILY resigned; J. H. LANSING,
Lieut. Col., and M. B. STAFFORD, Major, The friends of the two latter gentlemen
in this village will be much gratified to learn of their promotion.
*** Maj. J. H. LANSING, of the 86th N. Y. Reg't, arrived in town yesterday,
on a brief visit. He has been highly distinguished in the various battles in
which the 86th has taken part, and will doubtless soon be the Lt. Col. as Col.
BAILEY has been obliged by protracted illness, to resign.
*** Major J. H. LANSING of the 86th, has been appointed Lieut. Colonel, and
Lieut. MICHAEL B. STAFFORD has been appointed Major of said Regiment.
*** 86TH REGIMENT.—There is no doubt that this Regiment suffered much
in the recent battles. It was in Sickels' Corps in the right wing of Gen. Hooker's
Army. All will await with anxiety for further reports. The following are all
the particulars yet received.
KILLED—Lieut. Col. B. J. Chapin, of Dansville, Capt. D. S. Ellsworth,
WOUNDED.—Co. C.,—Capt. J. H. Lansing, of Corning. Also Privates
Wm. Waters and Geo. Jump, of Campbell.
Co. I.—Capt. Amos B. Sherwood, of Cooper's Plains; Lieut. Jackson A.
Woodward, Sol. B. Amidon.
Maj. Benjamin Higgins, of Syracuse.
How seriously the wounded are injured is not reported.
From the 86th Regt.
By a letter from our son CHARLES, dated May 25th, Camp near Falmouth, we learn
that the members of the regiment are in good health and excellent spirits.
He states that he saw a body of Cavalry passing up the Rappahannock, that
morning, towards the ford, and to give an idea of its magnitude, he says
it was between three and four hours in passing one point. He says "You
may expect to hear of another cavalry raid soon." The news of the prospects
of the success of GRANT at Vicksburg, is infusing life into the army of the
LIEUT. COL. HIGGINS WOUNDED.—Lieut.-Col. Benj. L. Higgins, of the 86th
N. Y. Volunteers, was shot in the shoulder at Gettysburg. His wound is not
It becomes our painful duty to record the death of Capt. Daniel S. Ellsworth,
of Co. D, 86th Regiment, N. Y. V. He fell in the battle of Sunday, the 3d
of May, at Chancellorsville, while bravely leading on his men.
A most painful mystery hangs over the fate of this lamented and brave young
man. That he was killed is certain, for his 2d Lieutenant Matthew Vincent,
saw him fall, and as but a few paces distant at the moment. He carefully noted
the nature and position of the wound, which was made by a ball passing through
his temples, and supposing him dead, the Lieutenant ordered the body carried
to the rear. This occurred early in the morning.—The soldiers, however,
who bore him off the field, saw evident signs of remaining life—"He
breathed and grasped his sabre." They placed him in a Hospital, and in
charge of a surgeon, who dressed his wounds. They were then directed to leave
him and return to duty.
Meanwhile, the battle raged fiercely. Not a man could be spared from the ranks,
as our forces were hard pressed, and the struggle was not only for victory,
but for life. The company had been ordered to fall back, and while supporting
a battery near the house where the body of ELLSWORTH lay, the house was filed
by the shells of the enemy. It was subsequently satisfactorily ascertained
that the dead and wounded had been all removed before the burning of the hospital,
and the description of the remains of one of the two Captains who were removed,
answered perfectly to that of Capt. ELLSWORTH—but where they were taken
could never be ascertained, though the most diligent search was made for several
Alas! that not even the remains of the brave and youthful soldier, stricken
down so early in the fight, while in the discharge of his duty to his country,
cannot be found. It would have been a melancholy satisfaction to have gazed
upon them, though pale and ghastly as they must have been, marred by such cruel
wounds. To have seen him once more, though silent and motionless in death,
at home; to know and recognize him; to have the opportunity to express that
sympathy and lore for one so long familiar to us, and endeared to us by so
many pleasant memories of the past, even though he were unconscious of the
presence of warm hearts by whom he was surrounded; to have paid the last tribute
of respect, and love, and honor which he had so richly won; to have given the
noble Patriot a soldier's obsequies and grave among us, here in Steuben—such
would have been our wish. But it was otherwise ordained, and he sleeps in a
nameless grave, in a strange land.
There is no solace to our grief for poor ELLSWORTH, save the proud recollection
of his exalted courage, and his unimpeachable honesty and patriotism. He was
beloved by his companions in arms. His Lieutenant, VINCENT, writes—"I
could not have felt more had it been my own brother, but he fell while doing
his duty. He was boldly cheering on his men. At the time when the Captain fell,
we were hotly engaged with the Rebel infantry at a distance of about 15 rods.
The bullets flew like a shower of hail. The Captain was at his post." This
was not the first time he had been in battle, and evinced the highest qualities
of a soldier—sagacity, coolness, and courage, which won the admiration
of his men.—At Bull Run and at Fredericksburg he acted with equal bravery.
Only 27 years of age, he was cut off in the very morning of life. All who knew
him here, at home, can testify that he was a man of excellent capacity, of
good principles and of noble and generous impulses. As a clerk in the establishment
of E. G. Durfy, Esq., where he had been engaged in business for the 5 years
preceding his entering into the service, he was remarkable for his strict attention
to his duties, and the uniform kindness and courtesy of his demeanor to all.
He was fully master of the political questions of the times, and aware of the
critical condition of the country, and entered into this was with his whole
soul—not as an ambitious mercenary, but as an intelligent patriot, ready
and willing if need be, to lay down his life upon the altar of his country.
He was moved by a sense of duty which reflects the highest honor to his memory.
May the bereaved parents, mourning their lost and only son, be comforted by
the thought, that DANIEL S. ELLSWORTH belongs to that "noble army of martyrs," who
in this war, have fallen in defence of their country.
* * * Sergeant OSCAR T. JONES, CO. C, 86th Regiment, died of consumption on
Friday at the residence of his father, Mr. I. P. JONES, of this village, aged
He volunteered at the organization of the Co. by Capt. LANSING, and was chosen
corporal, and by his faithful discharge of his duties soon was promoted to
the office of Sergeant. He attended to his duties faithfully until after the
2d Battle of Bull Run, in August last, in which he took part and conducted
himself bravely—but the over-exertion and hardships induced severe illness,
and he was sent from one hospital to another until in December he was discharged
as his only chance for life.
He seemed to improve at first on his return home, but soon began to fail, and
for three months has been confined to the house. He endured sickness without
murmuring, and never expressed a regret that he had entered the service of
his country, which was about to cost him his life. A few weeks before his death
it is hoped that he made preparation for death and he died resigned and even
happy. His funeral was attended on Sunday at the M. E. Church. There was a
large attendance. SIMON
VAN ETTEN acted as Marshal, and there was a military escort under the direction
of Capt. Todd.
CORNING, N. Y.
THURSDAY, . . . . AUGUST 20, 1863.
ARCHA C. PALMER fell at Gettysburg, July 20th, 1863, nobly fighting in defence
of his country.
He was born in this county Feb. 18th, 1843, hence was not yet 21 years of age.
His parents reside on Mead's Creek a short distance above Cooper's Plains,
and he enlisted Oct. 18, 1861 in a company of the 86th under Capt. Sherwood.
He had been in the service but a few mouths when he was prostrated by a severe
attack of typhoid fever and sent to St. Elizabeth Hospital. He became so much
reduced that the authorities offered him an honorable discharge, supposing
him incapable of farther service. But in a letter to his parents he said: "I
would not accept it. I enlisted to put down this wicked rebellion, and if God
gives me strength I intend to manfully discharge my duty to my country. Till
then I cannot think of going home." His health recovered and he returned
to his Reg't, was in the second Bull Run battle where he narrowly escaped,
a ball having passed through his hat. After this he was prostrated beyond hope
of recovery, and was confined for months at Fairfax Seminary Hospital. But
recovering against hope, he rejoined his reg't Jan. '63, and was greatly rejoiced
to be once again with his companions in arms,& Especially to meet his cousin, John M. Blackman with whom he had tented , and
by whose side he had fought. Archa was naturally amiable and beloved by all
both at home and in his reg’t. He made a public profession of religion
about three years since, but did not become united with any church. During
the precious revival in the 86th last winter, woth others he confessed his
faith in Christ, by baptism. A few weeks since, in a letter to a younger brother
he said: “You must be a good boy and fill my place at home. I am called
to endure great hardships here, but God is our shield, in him put my trust
entirely. I may be called to lay down my life for my country, but This I am
willing to do. I feel ready through Christ to live, or to die, let us my brother,
in life prepare for death.
In this meek spirit of loyalty to the “Sovereign of nations,” he
nobly faced the foes of his country, and sealed the patriotism with his blood.
His genuine worth is unqualifiedly attested by a most excellent letter from
his Capt., to his father since his death. He says: “Your son fell at
Gettysburg, nobly discharging his duty. He was a brave and true soldier. He
had not contracted bad habits since he joined the army. He was beloved and
respected by his comrades, and was a general favorite in his company, none
stood higher in my estimation that Archa and his loss is a hard blow to us
all. Say to his mother that her boy was as good and as pure as when he left
her. That he was among the number on .....
the war and influences of the camp had produced no change."
This is a noble and a most honorable record of a true patriot, giving his life
to defend and preserve, and hand down to other generations, one of the best
and truest governments. Others will read of the deeds of these brave men, with
the same interest, and speak their names with as much veneration as we speak
the names of the fathers of the Republic.
It is hard to part with a son and a brother, but a noble death, is more endurable
than a miserable, degraded life.
No doubt Archa is at rest, and will await the coming to yon bright clime, of
the loved ones of earth. Till then may God give them the consolations of the
christian's hope, is the fervent hope of their sincere … Friend.
From the 86th Regiment.
We have received a letter from our son LEROY, dated While Sulpher Springs,
Va., Aug 12th. He "says the Regiment is camped some two or three miles
from here, down on the Rappahannock. We dont know how much longer we shall
stay here. It seems as if we had got over the summer campaign, only our cavalry
keeps bothering the rebs, and I hope they will continue to do so.
Charley and Ben are well. Ira Bennett and Frank Benedict have been sick a few
days. Ira looks quite thin. George Moreitz is tough and healthy. The weather
has been very hot here for the past two or three weeks. Our Regiment was on
picket along the River yesterday. I go with the Quarter Master almost every
day down to the Springs to get sulpher water. This is a beautiful country,
and before the war, was a fashionable place of resort. The hotel, which was
a fine structure 150 feet in length, was destroyed by the rebs last fall while
Gen. Pope was in this vicinity. Gen. Burney's head quarters are here, in a
house that was formerly occupied by private families while visiting at the
springs. When this watering place was in running order the streets were lighted
by gas, and opposite the hotel was a building 100 feet in length, devoted to
amusements, in the first story of which were a bowling alley and billiard rooms."
You need not send the paper which I directed you to send to Ely Vincent, of
the Sharpshooters any more, for they say he was wounded at Getysburg and went
to the hospital in Washington, where he was taken with the fever and died."
He closes by stating that he has been so busy in assisting the Quarter Master
for the past three weeks, in making out the monthly reports for the past four
months, that it has been with difficulty he has found time to visit the regiment.
After making out the ordnance report for the quarter which would occupy but
a few days longer, they anticipate a good time at the springs and visiting
certain other attractive places in Virginia.
For the Journal.
From The 86th Regiment.
GETTYSBURG, JULY 4TH, 1863.
FRIEND PRATT,—DEAR SIR.—Two months have elapsed since I have communicated
with you, they have been eventful months. On the
6th of June last our Brigade left camp at Falmouth and moved up the river about
23 miles to Beverly Ford, where on the 11th they encountered the enemy who
at that place attempted to cross the Rappahannock. Our Regiment was at that
time commanded by Major J. H. LANSING, he having assumed command on the memorable
field of Chancellorsville. Lieut. Col. Higgins had not sufficiently recovered
from the wound received at Chancellorsville to enable him to take the field,
but hearing that the army was in motion he hastened to join his command, which
he accomplished two days after the battle, and before he had fully recovered
from the effects of his wound.
The engagement at the Ford was mostly between cavalry, and it was a sharp and
severe contest. The loss in our Regiment was about thirty in killed and wounded.
The enemy was handsomely repulsed and driven back about five miles with considerable
loss. The officers and men of the 86th nobly sustained their well earned reputation
and added another proof of their courage, and their devotion to the cause of
our common country.
On the 14th of June the whole army was in motion. Our direction was northward,
but as it invariably is on such occasions, our destination was a mystery. Our
march for several days was over one continued battle-field, and here and there
one and another would point out the place where he received a wound or a comrade
fell. We passed Manassas, Bull Run, and Centerville. Oh! what associations
are connected with these names. How many homes have been darkened by the war
cloud that burst with such maddening fury on these memorable fields. How many
hearts have been wrung with anguish by the loss of fathers, brothers sons and
friends, who poured out their blood, and laid down their lives upon these huge
rock-built altars of their country. I could almost hear the rustling of the
spirits of departed ones as they flit past me in the gray dusk of evening.
Our march was a tedious one, but cheerfully performed. The men stood it beyond
all expectation; we crossed the Potomac at Edwards' Ferry on the 26th of June
and proceeded without delay to this place. Our Corps reached the battlefield
on the 1st day of July towards night On the 2d inst. the battle became general.
Our line extended about two miles. The third corps was on our left wing against
which the the enemy massed his forces and made a desperate charge for the purpose
of breaking it.
The contest was the most desperate and deadly of the war. Our victory is complete.
Lt. Col. Higgins manifested his accustomed coolness and courage, and clearly
demonstrated his ability to command. He received a wound in his side by a rifle
ball and was taken from the field. The wound although painful is not serious
and he is now with the Regiment. After he was wounded the command devolved
upon Major Lansing, who added another proof to his well-earned reputation for
coolness and courage. I will here mention an incident. While the 86th and the
124th N. Y. V., were making a charge upon the enemy, Gen. Ward sat on his horse
watching the movement, and as they fell back in perfect order after accomplishing
their object the General rode up to Major Lansing and asked if he was in command.
The Major replied in the affirmative.
The General then remarked "I never saw men behave better, Major, your
men have nobly won the red diamond, the Kearney badge." The Major replied, "we
feel proud of the blue badge, but if you wish it will adopt the red." The
blue badge was used by the 3d Division which is broken up but we still wear
The 124th N. Y. V., has been Brigaded with ours since the last Bull Run battle.
It was got up in Orange Co. It is as fine a Regiment as there is in the Array
of the Potomac. It was commanded by Col. Ellis. The Col., was killed in the
battle of Gettysburg on the 2d inst., and so was Maj. Cromwell of the same
Regiment. They were brave and able officers and their loss will be severely
felt by the Regiment and deplored by all who admire courage and patriotism.
The loss in our Regiment was severe.
Capt. J. N. Warner, Co. K., was killed instantly. He was a brave and able officer
and his loss is deeply regretted by us all. Lieut. Hammond, Co. A, lost a leg
; Lieut. Blanchard, Co. B. of Addison, was wounded in the hand; Lieut. Packer,
Co. E. was wounded in the hand; Lieut. Seeley, acting Adjutant was present
during the engagement and in the thickest of the fight, but afterwards went
on the field to look after the body of Capt. Warner, and he has not since been
heard from. Hopes are entertained however that he is safe. The following is
a list of the killed and wounded not heretofore mentioned:
COMPANY A.—Sergeant J. Boies, John
COMPANY B.—L. Piatt, J. Taylor.
COMPANY D.—Calvin L. Stearns.
COMPANY F.—Geo. Tremain, John Popple.
COMPANY H.—Jeremiah Everitt.
COMPANY I.—A. C. Palmer, J. M. Blackman.
COMPANY K.—Hyman Hazeltine.
COMPANY A.—Jeremiah Fisher, Francis
Keller, Gilbert Rogers, Corpl. R. Smith, W. S. Chaffee, James W. Chaffee.
COMPANY B.—Sergt. A. Shauger, Corpl. A. Amidon, J. W. Ross, C. L. Odell,
L. R. Root.
COMPANY C—J. Beard.
COMPANY D.— J. Bovier, G. Powell, W. E. Stewart.
COMPANY. E.—R. Washburn.
COMPANY F.—Allen W. Beeman, J. E. Brown, Sergt. S. Tremain.
COMPANY G.—E. E. Thompson, S. Hall, J. Hadley, Jr., L. Maddison, F. Greggory,
W. Thomas, Corpl. Y. Allison.
COMPANY H.—Sergt. James Moidy, Corpl. J. W. Olmstead, H. Dawley, Wm.
S. Miller, D. Pierce. H.Cook.
COMPANY I.—F. J. Horton, J. Smith, J. Carrigan, Sergt. J. A. Northrup.
COMPANY K.—Corpl. W. Owen, Corpl. N. W. Winship, (since died), J. B.
Fisk, (since died), Robert Laning, (since died), W. L. Stewart, A. Simons.
The battle was the most desperate of the war. The Union loss is heavy, but
nothing compared to that of the enemy. His dead are unburied and the ground
is literally covered. In places they lay in ridges. We see them in all positions
imaginable. I have passed over a portion of the field to day and it presents
a sight that can neither be described or imagined. It far exceeds anything
that I ever before saw, I never expect to witness the like again, for such
a battle-field is seldom seen more than once in the life time of a nation.
The tents of our Regiment are now pitched among the Rebel dead, and the stench
can hardly be endured. Our victory is complete, and the army is in the best
of spirits. The rumor now is that Lee's army is retreating, nothing definite
is known in regard to it, I do not think Lee can get away with any considerable
portion of his army.
This is our nation's birthday. Oh! What hallowed memories cluster around it.
Thought travels back to the sanguinary fields of the Revolution where Liberty
perched upon the banner of the triumphant free. Here the enemy of the same
principle lies prostrate at her feet. This day is commemorated here by the
warm blood of slaughtered thousands, palpitating on the soil of our noble Keystone
State. I feel confident of ultimate success, I believe we shall triumph in
spite of anti-traitors in our front, or the cowardly army of "copperhead" traitors
in our rear. Trusting in God and the Right, I remain
Yours in the cause of Liberty.
D. F. BROWN, Quarter Master.
We have just learned that Lieut. JACKSON A. WOODARD of Co. I. (Cooper's Plains)
86th Regiment, who lost a leg in the battle of Chancellorsville about the 1st
of May, died some weeks since of his wound. He was a courageous and active
officer, and in every battle in which the 86th had been engaged, he had been
distinguished for efficiency and bravery. We regret that none of his friends
have furnished us with any particulars. We believe he was an orphan and unmarried.
His age we judge to have been about twenty-three years. We learn that he was
a brother of Mrs. E. Bannister of Hornby formerly of the Terrett House, Corning.
PERSONAL.—Dr. A. Mandeville, who has been till recently in the Army
of the Southwest, has been assigned as surgeon to the 86th N. Y. Regiment in
the Army of the Potomac, and was to leave for Washington last evening.
The Rev. J. Watts, of this city, was for a long time Chaplain of the same regiment,
which is one of the best in the volunteer service. Mr. Watts recently resigned
in consequence of ill health, and has returned to Rochester.
Captain Joseph Morrison, late of the 89th N. Y. Regiment has received the appointment
of Major of the 103d N. Y. Regiment, now stationed at Hilton Head. He will
leave the city in a few days to join his new command. The Major is a brave
and accomplished officer, and will fill the position to which he has been called
in a creditable manner.
The late Lt. Col. B. J. Chapin, of the 86th N. Y. Volunteers.
We copy from the Dansville Advertiser of the 14th of May the following in reference
to the funeral of this brave and lamented officer. And also from the Advertiser
of the 21st of May, letters to Mrs. C., from Quarter Master BROWN and Maj.
HIGGINS, in relation to the mournful event. Col. Chapin was worthy of these
eulogiums. As a man, a citizen, and an accomplished officer, he will long
be mourned and his memory cherished with pride and affection by all who knew
“HE SLEEPS HIS LAST SLEEP"
Another of our gallant citizen soldiers has fallen—has attested by a
glorious death that "it is sweet for one's country to die!" Enlivening
and true as are these words, breathing as they do the fervor of a lofty patriotism
and the elegance of a literature still more lofty, yet for the noble dead our
tears must flow. Envying as we must his glorious death, where burst the loudest
thunderbolt of war, still Nature, true to herself, will claim for him the tribute
of many tears, many voiceless thoughts which cannot speak, but weep. Tears
for him leave no selfish stain, and they are dear to gentle hearts, they are
the "balm of hurt minds," they come from those hidden recesses where
dwells the angel within us.
Such were the feelings of hundreds who on Tuesday last followed to their
last resting place all that was mortal of the late Lieut. Col. B. J. Chapin,
glorious death near Fredericksburg was briefly noticed last week.
His remains arrived in this village last Thursday, and had lain in state
at the residence of his father-in-law, Conrad Welch, Esq., up to Tuesday
last, when his funeral took place at 10 o'clock A. M.
The remains were clothed in Military and lain in a costly and beautiful casket,
which gave a full length view of the dead hero.
A large detachment of the Canaseragas together with the members of the Odd
Fellow's Lodge in this village, of which be was a member, accompanied the
procession from the house to St. Peter's Church.
The funeral service for the dead was read by Rev. Mr. Spaulding, Rector of
that Church and an eloquent and interesting sermon was delivered by Rev.
O. R. Howard of Bath. At the conclusion of the services at the church the
moved in the same order as above to the Cemetery where the services were
concluded, and the gallant soldier was left alone in his glory."
One of the saddest sights in all that vast procession, was the grief stricken
charger, a noble coal black stallion which was led by the groom who had always
attended him, and caparisoned as in time of battle.
Although at the time of his death, still a young man, being in his 39th year,
Col. Chapin had been for many years a high-minded and honored merchant of
our village. He possessed a clear and comprehensive understanding, and an
to principle from which no temptation could swerve, no flattery allure, no
bribe seduce and no fear intimidate. Delicately respectful of another's right,
yet, he was manly and resolute in vindicating his own. He was a gentleman
by native instinct as well as by cultivation. He had been for many years
of St. Peter's Church in this village, and was a humble and devoted soldier
of the cross.
For many years Col. Chapin served with distinction as a Lieut. in that justly
celebrated corps of citizen soldiers, the Canaseragas. Soon after the breaking
out of the war, he was appointed Lieut. Col. of the 86th N. Y. Vols. Owing
to the ill health of Col. Bailey, its Commandant, he has been acting Col.
most of the time since his appointment, and the arduous duties of this position
he discharged fully at all times. At the late Battle near Fredericksburg
regiment was attached to the division of Gen. Sickles' and he fell with a
terrible wound in his forehead, while gloriously leading his regiment in
one of the
terrible bayonet charges made by that gallant division on Sunday the 3d inst.
He did not wait to follow his men, but he led them into the thickest of the
fight, and so near was he to the enemy at the time of his fall, that his
face was blackened and burned with the powder that sent the fatal missile.
He now "sleeps his last sleep," in our beautiful and quiet Greenwood,
where he shall rest until God's grand reveille calls him to the ranks which
are marshalled around the Eternal throne.
The following letter to Mrs. Chapin, from the Quartermaster of the 86th N.
Y. coming as it does from one who was in daily companionship with the lamented
Colonel, is a higher testimonial to his character as a man and a soldier
than can be written by any one in civil life.
IN THE FIELD NEAR FREDERICKSBURG, VA.,
May 3, 1863.
MRS. B. J. CHAPIN—Dear Madam:—Before this meets your eye you will
doubtless have heard of the sad death of your husband. He was killed instantly
about 11 o'clock last Sunday morning. A rifle ball struck him in his forehead
while he was at the head of his men leading them forward to the most deadly
conflict of this protracted battle. We feel deeply the loss of our beloved
Lieut. Colonel. The entire Regiment had become strongly attached to him, and
his death has cast a gloom over the minds of the whole Regiment.
Lieut. Col. Chapin had been in command during most of the time since Sept.
last, and by his kindness, his prompt attention to the wants of his men, the
justice that governed all of his executive duties as commanding officer, won
for him the esteem of his entire command
In behalf of the 86th Regiment I tender to you our heart felt sympathy in your
sad bereavement. While yon have lost a kind and amiable companion, we have
lost a true friend and companion in arms, a brave leader and an able commander.
My acquaintance with the deceased commenced in September last while our Reg't
was at Ft. Corcoran, and from that time up to the time of his sad death I was
in almost daily intercourse with him. During the whole time I never saw an
act or heard a word from him that was in any way derogatory to a man or an
officer. I ever found him kind and just in the discharge of his duties; dignified
in his manners; chaste in his conversation; companionable; a brave soldier,
a warm patriot, and an able commander. I feel greatly to deplore the death
of one to whom I was accustomed to look for counsel and advice; and I feel
that among the dead that now cover the battle field or among the brave who
have fallen since the breaking out of this rebellion (and there have been many)
there can be found no truer patriot or braver defender of our country's cause
than was our lamented Col. Chapin.
Please accept my kind regards and good wishes that God will by His grace and
mercy sustain you in this hour of your deep affliction, and believe me,
D. P. BROWN.
Q. M. 86th Reg't N. Y. V.
[We make the following extracts from a letter written by the Major of the Regiment
in which the Providential receipt of Mrs. Chapin's letter on the eve of battle
is noted, in consequence of which the happy perfection of arrangements to fulfil
her wishes was carried out, as if they were a foreshadowing of the fatal events
of Sunday. What a consolation were the results of that request. Mrs. Chapin
had received a letter from her husband on the Friday preceding the Tuesday
when the stunning news came, in which he announced the fact that they had received
orders to cross the river, and expressed his disappointment that he should
not be able to see her again—but the tone of the letter was cheerful
and he undoubtedly went into battle with a hopeful as well as undaunted heart.
The writer of the following was himself wounded and is now at Syracuse:]
* * * I think the last letter your husband received from you contained a request
that if possible in case of his death, his body should be recovered and sent
to you, and also his horse Jack. It was on a rainy evening on the banks of
the Rappahannock, when we were momentarily expecting to cross, a small mail
reached our regiment. We crawled under our little shelter tent to peruse a
letter which each of us had received. My own being but a short business letter,
was soon finished. I noticed his was of much interest to him. He soon refolded
it and held it in his hand. I was about to spread my blanket and endeavor to
obtain a little rest, when bespoke saying, "Major I want to read you a
few lines from my wife," which being done, we mutually agreed in case
of either of our deaths the other should spare no expense in securing the body
and sending it to our home. A number of the stoutest and most reliable men
in the regiment were spoken to as the ones to convey either or both of us from
the field should we be so unfortunate as to require their services. When your
husband fell he was immediately removed to the rear by men thus selected. They
carried his body fourteen miles wrapped in a blanket, and on a broken stretcher,
to Falmouth arriving there at 8 o'clock P.M. he having been killed about 9
o'clock A. M., May 3d, Sunday. The body arrived there about one hour after
myself. I caused it to be immediately embalmed, and started with it and the
horse, in company with his servant and hostler, on Monday morning for Washington,
and sent it immediately home, and the horse and other articles the next day
by John Wheelock—where I hope all have safely arrived. His things in
the regimental wagon did not arrive until last Saturday, which together with
the watch and field glass were sent by express:
[Mrs. Chapin has shown us the hat which the Col. wore on that fatal day, and
it gives terrible evidence of the wound which was underneath it. There are
two ragged holes in the front of the hat a little to the left and just above
the rim, while one of the balls of the cord was shot away. The case of the
splendid field glass which the Colonel wore suspended to his neck was stained
with his blood.]
The 86th N. Y. Vols. have re-enlisted, and have a furlough of 35 days, which
they are now enjoying with their families and friends.
CASUALTIES IN COL. HIGGINS' FORMER COMPANY.—
The following are the casualties in Co. A, 86th N. Y. V., raised here Col.
(then Captain) B. L. Higgins, and which takes part in Grant's grand advance:
First Lieutenant Jerry Ryan, head, slightly, not bad enough to leave, still
with the regiment.
Sergeant Samuel G. Ingham, bayonet wound in he arm, slightly.
Sergeant Gilbert M. Haynes, leg and shoulder, died from the effects of his
wounds, May 17th, in the hospital at Fredericksburg, Va.
Corporal James Mazerva, thigh, died from the effects of his wounds on the field.
Slightly wounded—John Triestner, Armond Zimmerman, Daniel Palmer, George
Tawson, John Brown, Wm. W. Fuller, James White.
A dispatch has been received from FRANK COPLEY, at Washington, stating that
his brother, Capt. J. G. COPLEY, of the 86th Regt., was wounded in the leg
and arm, and was not killed, as reported in the New York Herald.
Lieutenant Colonel Jacob H. Lansing, of the Eighty-Sixth New York Volunteers,
formerly of this city, who was wounded on the 24th of May, is now at his home
in Corning. By a letter received from him yesterday, he states that he will
be able to take charge of his command in a few days. This regiment is from
Steuben county, and has seen active service during the war. Major Mike Stafford,
another old Albanian, is in temporary command.
*** Last week we copied an account of the cavalry fight on the Rappahannock,
which stated that Lt. Col. IRVINE of this village was slain. In the correspondence
of the N. Y., daily papers he was reported killed or mortally wounded, his
body falling into the hands of the rebels. Lieut. A. S. Baker of the 86th,
Assistant Provost Marshal of Washington, wrote to John Maynard Esq., of this
village that after dilligent enquiry he could only learn that Col. IRVINE was
shot in the breast and taken prisoner. On Tuesday we received a letter signed
Co. H., stating that Col. I., while leading a charge was shot in the shoulder
and taken prisoner. Yesterday a letter was received from a soldier of the Regiment,
now at Camp Parole, Annapolis, stating that he was taken prisoner with Col.
IRVINE, and taken to Richmond. That the latter was not wounded, and was then
in Libby Prison. The rebels paroled the men, but retained the officers captured.
The writer says that two balls struck the scabbard of the sword of Col. I.,
and a ball passed through his handkerchief in the breast pocket of his coat.
THE COMMAND OF THE EIGHTY-SIXTH N. Y. VOLUNTEERS.—The Corning Journal
Col. B. L. Higgins, of the Eighty-sixth N. Y. Regiment, has been mustered out
in consequence of disability from wounds received last November on the Rapidan.
He had previously been severely wounded and has a noble record for services
in the field. Many will regret that this brave and accomplished officer can
no longer render service in the army, but the severity of his wounds has permanently
disabled him. He went in as Captain of the Syracuse Company, and his promotion
to the command of the regiment developed more fully his bravery and qualifications
Lieut. Col, Lansing, who has nearly recovered from the wound in his arm, has
just been commissioned as Colonel of the 86th. He demonstrated his capacity
to lead the regiment during the terrible battles of the Wilderness and well
deserves the honor.
THE 86TH REGIMENT OF N. Y. VOLUNTEERS arrived here last evening about 5 P.
M., from the front line of the Army of the Potomac near Brandy Station, having
been on picket duty for some past, along the Rapidan and Blue Ridge Mountains,
the Union lines having been advanced recently about twenty miles. It will be
remembered that for some time after leaving Elmira they did guard duty, in
Washington. Just before the second battle of Bull Run, they were transfered
to the Army of Virginia and took part in the second battle of Bull Bun, were
afterwards at Fredericksburgh, Chancellorsville, Gettysburgh and Mead's late
advance, being in the 3d Corps & Birney's division, who took a chief part
in the fighting, They number about two hundred and forty-one men.—The
entire Regiment have re-enlisted. They return here to re-organize and recruit.
Col. Lansing is in command. Only one half reached here by the first train.
By an accident to the Engine, when just out of Williamsport, the train was
returned to that station, and a fresh engine was procured and the train started
before a large number who had left the cars were aware of the fact, and consequently
were left behind. They arrived later in the evening. Up De Graff's Band escorted
the Regiment from the Depot to the Arnot Store House. The return of our decimated
Veteran Regiments brings directly home the fearful and terrible lessons of
suffering and death taught by our war.—At the expense of blood and treasure,
do we maintain the freedom which our forefathers bequeathed us. But the loss,
the sacrifices, however fearful, are the Union, one and undivided, firm and
NEW YORK STATE AGENCY,
181 Pennsylvania Avenue,
WASHINGTON, June 1.
Messrs. Comstock & Cassidy:
GENT.:—The enclosed letter from Daniel Bryan to me, is forwarded for
your use, should you deem it of any value as an item for your paper. Truly
NEW YORK STATE AGENCY,
ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 31.
Samuel North, Esq., New York State Agent, Washington, D. C.;
Colonel J. H. Lansing; Eighty-sixth N. Y. Volunteers, has handed me the following
list of officers of his regiment that have been wounded in the late battles.
Injustice having been done to a gallant officer of this regiment and the State,
the truth should be known.
Capt. S. F. Stone, killed May 10th.
Capt. Vincent, wounded May 10th.
Capt. Barton, wounded May 6th, Wilderness.
Capt. Lucern Todd was struck on the 18th
May by a shell, and lay for four hours on the field, supposed to be dead, was
sent to Washington, and on the 22d inst. was sent back to the field as a skulker
and a deserter. The officers testify that a braver man cannot be found in the
Capt. J. G. Coply. wounded,
Capt. Baker, wounded.
Capt. John Finney, wounded.
Lieut. H. G. Thurber, wounded twice, on the 5th and 10th of May, is back again
with his regiment.
Lieut. W. H. Card, wounded May 6th.
Lieut. E. S. Jones, wounded May 5th.
Lieut. James Cheney, wounded, badly, May 5th.
Death of Lieut. Geo. E. Thompson.
We regret to be compelled to announce the death of Lieut. GEO. E. THOMPSON,
(eldest son of Mr. Peter Thompson, of this village,) who expired at Watertown,
on Wednesday, the 1st inst., in the twenty-fifth year of his age.
During the past year, we have published in our columns, a number of letters
written by the deceased, who wielded the pen of a ready writer, being a young
man of more than ordinary talents, and who was beloved by all who knew him.
The service has never lost a more promising young officer, and his death is
deeply deplored by his numerous friends here, as well as by the associates
with whom he has been connected in the army.
The N. Y. Daily Reformer, of the 2d inst., published at Watertown, N. Y., thus
refers to the death of Lieut. THOMPSON:—
FOUGHT HIS LAST FIGHT.—Leut. GEO. E. THOMPSON of the 86th Regt. N. Y.
Volunteers, died yesterday about noon, at the residence of his brother-in-law,
Mr. Pitt Hoard, on Ten Eyck street. Lieut. THOMPSON was taken away by a disease
induced by the fatigue and hardships of a soldier's life. He enlisted in California,
in the cavalry service, and came in one of the "100" detachments
sent from that State to take part in our struggle to sustain the Government
and perpetuate Republican Institutions. He served his country well as a soldier,
and many a weary day and restless night has he been in the saddle, making sudden
cavalry dashes on the rebels in Virginia. He was with the force which made
the celebrated raid last summer, in which Gen. Fitz Hugh Lee was taken prisoner.
Not long ago, as a reward for his gallantry, he received a Lieutenant's Commission
in the 86th Regt. N. Y. Vol. Infantry, but ill health prevented him joining
his command. He was here on leave of absence, hoping to recruit his health,
but he could not escape.
"The inevitable doom."
He was a bright, intelligent young man, had traveled over nearly every foreign
land; and had led a life full of danger and adventure.
The remains of Lieut. THOMPSON reached this village, on Friday morning last,
and, after the usual funeral services, were interred in the cemetery in this
Back to 86th Regiment During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
February 1, 2007