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" Feeble and trembling poor Frank toed to write his nama. 
"Tha left hand foil upon the bed and he cou'd not a:ge the poor brave man t 
any more oKenion." 







i 8349 

Davenport, Alfred. 

Camp aiul field life of the Fifth Now York volunteer 
infantrv. (Durvoc zouaves.) Bv iMfred Davenport, 
New York, Dick and Fitzgerald, 1879. 

485 p. front (port.) pi. 19*"". 

another copy. 

1. U. S. — Hist. —Civil war — Recriment.-il histories — N, Y. inf. — >5th. 
2. New York infantry. Sth regt.. 1S61-1863. I. Title. 



Library of Congress ^n r> ' CAa3523.5.5th 


Copyright, 1879, 


LKxrERS y 




Fort Suintor— The Attack— The Evacuation— Tho President's Pmc- 
l:»ia:ition— Letter by thfi Secretary of War— Governor Morimn' 

Proclamatiou— Call of the Adjutant-General, State of New York. . 




Organization- Fort Schuyler— First Experiences— Our Quarters — 
The Men of the Eegiuiont— Sunday at the Fort -The First Gun 
from Fort Sclmyler- A Police Deserter— Tlie Ranks Filled— Tak- 
ing' tlie Oath— Fla^ Presentation— Color StTireant— Strildng onr 
Tents— Reception in New York — Moonlight Departure — Arrival 
at Fortress Monroe— Deserted Yillage—Our First Bivouac — Hamp- 
ton Bri.lge Burned 23 



Ki'ipi'.t rick's First Raid— An Alarm at Midn^irht— A Photograph of 
<':uiii. I-ife— Battalion Drill— Kilpatrick's First Adventure— Cap- 
tain llirani Duryea— Lieutenant Jacob Durvi'e- Several Expedi- 
tions— Sund-.y Servicc-Onr Clmplain— Lieutenant-Colonel \Yarren 
— Atijntant Hainblin— The Location— A Storm— Oil" Duty— Fox 
Hill Expedition — Lientenant-Colone) Warren's Report — Corre- 
Bpundiuce of the New York Ti>,its Si 

ClIAl'TFrx IV. 

VAC. Hr.TllEL. 

? in 1 .y Evening Orders— Our Conirailcr-A Loyal Nvgro— Captain 
ivilpi'riik's Ad\-ance — A Virginia Prisoner— A Fatal Mistake — 


'\.t !r'> 

4 Contents. 

Bi^ Bethel— A Wounded Comrade— A Soldier's Tribtite— Death 
of Lieutenant Grehle— Honorable Mention — A Naval Commander 
— Correspondence of the New York Tribune — Flag of Truce 40 



Fortress Monroe— Incidents of Camp Life — Drummed Oat — Any 
Port in a Storm — Serious Accident — How to Find a Horse — Con- 
traband Wit— A Graceful Digu:er— Mrs. Kilpatrick— Notes from 
the Journal— On Guard by Moonli<j;ht— lints in the Wood?- A 
"Fez" Stolen by Mosquitoes — A Comet — How 'wn Spent Inde- 
pendence Day — Our Postponed Celebration — A Fairj- Scene — Do- 
nations — Discharges and Recruits — A New Flag— Beautifying the 
Camp— Losing Blood— A Lost Sentiuel— Reports of the Battle of 
Bull Run— Embarking for Baltimore 74 



Arrival at Baltimore — Camp at Federal Hill— Zouavps at Large — 
Penalties for Pastimes — Making a Camp— Visitors— A Baltimore 
Journal Si^eaks — Running Guard — "Joe " Knott — CIranfres in the 
Regini.-^nt— A Revolt Subdued— The Guard-house and its Advent- 
ures—An Ilhiminatiim— A Cliargo— Fort-buildioii— Reliel Recruits 
Disapp<<inted— Our Bathing Ground— The Battle at (he Pump — 
Camp Ballads of the Fiftii— Colonel Duryee Promotod— An Un- 
successful Trip— Changes in the Regiment — Progress of the Fort 
— How the Days were Spent— Captain Hambliii's Departure — 
Regimental Dugs — A Loyal NewfoundLmd— Zouave Song by a 
DrumiiKT B«jy— Maggie Mitchell— Blowing Out the Lights— A 
Drum Major's Joke— An Expedition— Building the Barraets — 
Thanksgiving Day— An Elopeu ent 91 



The Eastern Shore— Objects of the Expedition— A Proclamation by 
General DiK — "Marching Along!" — A Surprised Zouave — Rebel 
Spirit and Rebel Spirits — A Soldiers' Reunion — Rebel Visitors 
Sin<riTi:r th.' Star S[ianirleil Bainicr— Return of the E-q^clition— 
Results— A Sociable I'aride - H.d)cl Fla- i:rvtr>rd— Rcci-uitin-— 
Oi<ei.hiir the Barnicks— "Fort Federal Hill "-Srcoud Vrar of the 
War— Our SurLceon — A Surgical Duelist— Kuiituiiir the Guard — 
"The Zouave House"- A Mtuieal Masked Battery— Flag Prescn- 



tation by the Ladies of South Baltiiuore — Address by Johu Willis, 
Esq.— Colonel Warren's Keiay— A Grand Ball at JleaJquarters— 
Fort Marshall— Washiuirtoii'.s Birthaay— An Indii,'nant Zouave- 
Grand City Ball— A Military Execution— Attack Threatened- The 
Merrimac— Change of Ba-e— Ho for Fortress Monroe I— Farewell 
to Baltimore -Our Farewell Entertaionieut— Relieved by the Third 
New York— Falling' into Line— March through Baltimore— Excit- 
ing- Scenes— Farewell Song 125 



The Trip to Virginia— Scene at Hampton Roads— Changes— Camp 
Misery— Beep at Big Bethel— Prime Ratiims for Six— New Yoik 
Tiinei Correspondent— General McClellan's Report— Canip Scott- 
Corduroy and Ditch -Hcadcjuarters- California Jack -The Fonrtli 
Michigan- Fir^t Death by Sickness— General McClellan's Head- 
quarters—An Officer's Letter— Letter from a Private— Fire and 
Fun in the Dark— A Strategic Pig— Siege Preparations— Battery 
No. 1— General Barry's Letter— Camp Warren— After tlie Battle- 
Camp Buchanan— A Promise of Battle— IStarch in the Shadows— 
:^lagniticer.t Spectacle— A Night View of the Camp at Panuinkey 
River— Skies and a Dripping Army— Review by Hon. 
Wm. H. Seward— Deserted Territory— Ne;iring the Whitollousc 
— Stragglers- "Dr." Warren and his "Pills"— The Sick List— 
The Colonel's Order and a Donkey's Reply , ]54 



Pamunkey Bridge— Crossing the Bridge— Killed at his Binhplace— 
The Rebels Retire— Rebel Communieation Broken— An Astonished 
Negro— A Descendant of Patrick Ilonry— i^eturn to Camp— Han- 
over Court-house— Captain Griirui's Brazen Pet— After the Battle 
—Burying the Dead— Result — A Raid and a Capture— A Recon- 
noissauce— Back to Old Church— What we Fought for at Hanover 
—The Chiekahomin.v— New Bridge— A Donation of Flour— A 
Speculati..n in Doughinits— Sal Eratus and what She Did-A Pair 
'-■f Shoes— Sk'cjuii.j: u.ulcr Arms— General McClellan's Address to 
the Army— (ieih 1 ;,1 S\ kes' Speech— Picket at New 15ridgc— Re\ lew 
by General Prim— Masking a Battery at Night— Stuart's Cavalrj-- 
Oil a Raid 


6 Contetits. 

■■■^' '''■-' \ '. ■• CHAPTER X. 


Battle of Gaines' J/7f?— Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Ilill— 
Then and No\y— Freedora asjainst Slavery— Sanit.iry Condition of 
the Regiment— Picket Duty— A Sabbath Journal— Death of Ser- 
geant Reynolds— Seven Days' Retreat— Fifth Corps Engaged- 
Battle of Gaines' Mill— Death of Captain Partriil<xe— Color Serireant 
Berrian— A Charge in the Woods— A Rebel Tric-k- The Field at 
Night— Losees— Testimony of the Otlicers — Otlicial Reports — Con- 
federate Report*— Incidents — William McDowell— " Dave " Burns 
— ^Walter S. Colby— Francis Spellman — Sad Separa,tions — Colonel 
Warreu's Report — General Sykes' Report 198 



White Oak Swamp — Charles City Cross-roads- General Kearney — 
Malvern Hill— A Desperate St rnggle— Rebel Repulse— Retreat 
from Malveni Hill— The Rain and the Rnads— An Incident— A 
Life Solved by a Stratagem — Report of Lieiitoi>ant-Coloncl H. Dur- 
yea — Letter from Surgeon Jo^^eph S. Smith— Harrison's Landing 
—The Camping-Grouud— Want of Water— A ReviLW hy IVesideut 
Lincoln — Moving our Camii — Reviewed by General JleClellan — 
Resignation of Captain Cambrelling— Changes— Health of the 
Anny — Hospital Grounds — A Death by Poison — Improved Diet — 
A Rebel Salute— Death in a Tent— Pine Woods Experience — 
Knapsacks Forwarded— A Niirht March — Crossing the Chieka- 
hominy— Xegro Messenger Shot— Soldier llor-i>itality Refused- 
Newport News— The March to Manassas Junction— On the Bat- 
Ue-field 240 

",, . . ;/ . CHAPTER XII. 


Tlie Field- Distribution of Forces— The Hcur>' Jlouse— Position of 
the Fifth— Generals Jackson and Lon^-street- Tlio Fifth EuLMcred 
—Fearful Slaughter— Allison, the Coh.r-Bearer, Killed- Annihila- 
tion of oarCoIorCompany— Bald Ridu-e— TheTcxan,'*— " Don't let 
them take my Hag!" — Over^jowering numbei-s -" Let there be 
no F'.It.-rincr in this Line!*'— A Zininve Tarj.vt'd--A Rmt— A 
TcrriMe Sc-ne— Tiie Ri-mnant of our Pa>giriiei,t-Aftcr liie R.tile 
— Coluuel Warren's Ri'port— (.enei-.i; Pope's Report— Personal 
Sketches and Incidents— SpcUman— Chambers— McDowell— Wil- 
fion — Ilager — Saphtr — llimianity — Stonewall Jjick^on — James 

Contents. 7 

Catboy. a Strange Coinciilence— A Rifle Shot- James Pattf rson— 
Pollurd's Testimony — Bullwinkle— Sturges?— Tyndall— Strachan 
—Huntsman— A Walk among the- Graves— Faulk's Lett'T— Con- 
federate Testimony— Mareh to Fairfax— McD.nvell's Brother- 
General McCIcllau'o Retiira to the Command— Near Frederick 
City..*. 269 



The Confederate Successes — Virginia verms Tl>e. Cotton States— The 
Battle of Antietani- Tlie Enemy Retires— General McClellan's Re- 
port—Crossing the Potomac— B-ittle of Shepardstown— Tenth 
New York Ivegiment Transferred — Scarcity of Supplies — A Mixed 
Unifi>rm — Penalties of Old Clothes — A Bread Speculation — A 
Whisky Smuggle— A Drill Challenge Accepted— Crossing at Har- 
per's Ferry — Colonel O'Bonrke, of the 140th New York- Snicker's 
Gap— Warreuton- A Scees.-ioni^t Town — Farewell Review hy Gen- 
eral McClellan— General Burnside in Command— Tlie l46th New 
York— Warrenton Junction- Spotted Tavern The Henry House 

• —Resignation of Colonel Hiram Duryea— Changes in the Rf,d- 
nient— Before the Battle 310 

-•• •••■ CHAPTER XIV. 


In Sight of Fredericksburg— The Pontoon— The Burning Citj-— The 
Position — Across the River— ^Marye's Hill— A Description by the 
Philadelphia T(//.'>— The Attack— Tli^ Enemy's Batteries— The 
Slaughter Path— French's Division— Hooker's Charge— Howard 
at the Front— Humphrej.s' Division— Sykes' Division— The Dead 
and Wounded- Warrei's Brigade- The Briuiule of Death— The 
Compte (le Paris— The Fifth in a Garden— Our Regulars Severely 
Placed— The Gloom Pall— Forlorn Hope — Strateey — Intreneh- 
ments at Night— Covering the Retreat— The T.ast Man Crossed- 
The Pontoon Lifted- lueidents — Henry House- General Sykes' 
Order 33S 



The New Tear— The Situation— Death of Captain C.irtwriirht— Mor- 

liiiry-Desertions-i'he Di-l-yal I^n-.-s ..f the .W.rth— The S,:l- 
'ii. !■-• S- nlimenl-AM Army of Water-Carrier-^ -'liie Mud Mare!i— 
lle-igiiation of General Burnside — Guueral Ho^iker in Command — 
Picketed in Ice— A Death in Hospital- A Suicide— General War- 

i .-/.,- 
' ^-•/':" 


Z Contents. 

ren Promoted — A Deserted Mansion— Provost Guard— Death of 
Nicholas Floyt— Better Sapplies— A Square Meal— Cavalrjr Skir- 
mish—St. Patrick's Day in the Ninth Massa-chusetts— Cavalry 
Fight— A Spy — A Smoky Chimney — A Crippled Shoemaker ou 
"Jeff" Davis— Annihilating the Men of the South— A Review — 
Hybernating under Ground- Ei.-ter — Review by President 'Lin- 
coln — The Two Tears' Men — Growling — Review by Generals Tog- 
liardi and Meade— An Exploded Shell— The Time Fixed— Kelly's 
Ford— Ely's Ford— Approaching Fredericksburg— Battle of Chau- 
cellorsville — Eighth Pennsylvania Cavahy — The Eueray Repulsed 
— Jackson's Attack ou Howard — Sickles — Slocura — Fieuch — Chan- 
cellor House Burnt — Woods on Fire — The Two Years' Men Re- 
lieved — Parting with Old Comrades — Aquia Creek — Hospitality of 
the '21st New York — Washington— Baltimore — Philadelithia — Jer- 
sey City — New York — Our Reception — New York Times — The 
Fourth Regiment— Mustered Out— In the Battle of Life 36L 


Cisxialtics .S99 

Statistics . . . .' 41 S 

Biographies of Officers 423 

Names of Otlicers 475 

Colonel Robert C. Buchanan, U. S. A 4S.5 

Lieutenant-Colouel William Chapman, U. S. A. 4So 




Orange, Dec. 5, 1S77. 
Alfred Davenport, Esq., New York : 

My Dear Sir : — Yours of the 4th is received. I am very glad 
to learn that you are engaged upon the histon,- of the 5th New 
York. The gallant services of that admirable regiment on so 
manv fields certainly merit being handed down, and form no un- 
important portion of the history of the war. The pride and in- 
terest I have always felt in the regiment, since it first came under 
my command, will make }our work dearly gratifying to me. 

' ' " In haste, very truly yours, 

■ Geo. B. McClellan. 

' '/^- ■■. - ' '' New York, y^jz/z/ary 26, 187S, 

Alfred Davenport, Esq. : 

Dear Sir: — I have received your note of the 14th inst. in- 
forming mc that you have undertaken the work of preserving the 
record of the 5th New York Infantr}', and am greatly pleased to 
U-arn of your undertaking. Though my connection with the 
regiment was brief, extending only from .April to July, 1S61, I 
\y.\w. always preserved the kindest memories of my friends and 
'■"r;-.radcs of the Fifth, and felt pride in knowing that I had been 
a Mv inbcr of so gallant and distinguished an organization. 

I know of no regiment that had a better record for courage, 
gallanir)'. discipline, and faithful service throughout the war, and 

10 Letters. 

the men and officers well desen-e to have a complete and correct 
record of their deeds presen'ed to their country. 

I shall await the publication of the work with great interest, 
and will much enjoy its perusal. 

Remain, etc., 

H. E. Davies, Jr., 
Late Maj. -Gen. U.S. Vols. 

Fort Brown, Texas, April 15, 1S78. 
Mr. a. Davenport, New York : 

Dear Sir: — An absence of more than two months from this 
Post must be my excuse for not having sooner answered vour 
letter. I am very sorry that 1 can not send you the " order " you 
wish. It should be among the records of the 2d Division, 5th 
Army Corps, but they, as you are aware, did not go VNith me 
when I succeeded General Meade in command of the corps. It 
is barely possible that General Warren, U. S. Engineer, now at 
Newport, Rhode Island, might furnish you with it. 

My opinion of the 5th New York Volunteers never changed. 
I doubt whether it had an equal, certainly no superior among all 
the regiments of the Army of the Potomac. Its death-roll and 
list of casualties will tell how and where it stood better than any 
words of its commanders. / have alu'ays tnavttained it to be 
the best volunteer organization J cjcr knew. 

Yours very respectfully, 
'-■*' •■' ' .- ■ . ■ -:■' George Sykes. 

In reply to a letter from the author to General Hooker, 
he speaks as follows : 

Garden City, L. I., N. Y., June 2, 187S. 
Mr. A. Davenport: 

.... May each and all long live to enjoy the fruit of 
their noble works. You tell me that General Sykes once had 


I )., 


Letters. \\ 

your regiment in his command, and that you have the testimony 
of that gifted soldier as to your discipline and conduct. This is 
proof, of the most satisfactory character, of the high claims of 
your regiment to its soldiership and noble bearing. You could 
furnish me with no higher authority in our armv, and this opinion 
is cherished, of that officer, by all his associates in arms, not only 
in our last war, but also that of the war in Mexico. 

Let me say, then, through you, to your regiment, that it is 
almost their duty to themselves and to their old commander to 
cherish and preserve everj- syllable he ever uttered in their com- 

General Sykes never was much of a blower for himself, but 
whenever heavy work had to be done he was a perfect whed-Jiorse 
in battle or out of it- . 

Sincerely yours, 

J. Hooker, MaJ.-Gen. 

The following communication, by George L. Catlin, Esq., 
United States Consul, La Rochelle, France, was addressed 
to the CoMPTE DE Paris : 


d'Amerique, 3 Rue Scribe, Paris, v 
le lo Mai, 1878 S 
Monseigneur le Compte de Paris : 

I have the honor to address you in compliance with the request 
of Mr. Davenport, of New York, who is engaged in the prepara- 
tion of a histoiy of the volunteer regiment from that city, known 
as the 5th New York Volunteers (Dur\-ee Zouaves), Both he 
i'nd I strved in that command, which, you may remember, was 
brig.uied with the regular troops under General Sykes ; and Mr. 
liavenport writes me that he is desirous of incorporating in his 
vvork a comojlimentary mention of that regiment which he under- 
st.THfls you have been somewhere kind enough to make in your 
••*'■'■. itni nniiniscences of the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia, 
iM c.i-,i: you recall any such mention, I shall esteem it a great 
l^avor if you will direct me to where a copy of it can be found. 

12 Letters. 

Should you, on the other hand, not recall it, I am requested by 
Mr. Daveni.ort, the author, to say that a brief note from yourself, 
expressive oi your favorable recollection of the 5th New York 
Zouaves wonki be received and published as a valuable addition 
to the interest '.-f his book. 

Feeling- in common with every Union soldier a gratitude for 
the service so honorably rendered us by your sympathy and your 
sword during the trying days of the Rebellion, 

I am, sir, with great respect, very truly yours, 

George L. Catlin. 

The C'jiiipte de Paris replied to the above note as fol- 
lows : 

Chateau D'Eu, Seine Inferieure, ) 
June 13, 1878. S 

Sir :— T do not think that I mentioned in any special manner 
the 5th Nlv.- York Zouaves in my History of the Civil War in 
America ; but this is only because, having so many events to re- 
count, I had not space enough to mention singly any organiza- 
tion under thai of the, brigade. I remember veh- well the 5th 
New York in the Peninsula just after the battle of Williamsburg, 
and the soldier-like appearance of this tine body of men. This 
appearance struck the best judges, for else the Zouaves would not 
have been i^rigaded under General Sykes with the regulars, who 
were justly considered as a model for the other troops. 

This fa\orabie opinion was fully justified when the regiment 
had to go tb.rough the ordeal of the battles on the Chickahominy, 
and I well remember, on the evening of the bloody day of Gaines' 
Mill, how few, but how proud, were the remnant of the 5th New 
York after holding so long their ground, on our right, against 
Jackson's attacks. 

Believe me, sir, yours truly, 

L. P. D'Orieans, 

_ ^, Comptc de Paris, 

ro Gro. L. Catlin, Esq., Paris. 

y.rr' ."■!■' I ;r . 


The period of American History commencing with the 
choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the 
United States, on the first Tuesday of November, i860, 
and the immediate adoption by the South Carolina Con- 
vention of a resolution repealing the act of admission to 
the American Union, and ending with the assassination of 
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, nnist 
ever possess a remarkable interest to the student of history ; 
and as the events of that period must necessarily leave 
influences and conditions, political and social, of an extra- 
ordinary character, they must have a greater or less interest 
to every citizen. The sword is sheathed, and the dilapidated 
fortresses and crumbnng earthworks are deserted and losing 
their outhnes, and peace has for many years blessed the 
nation that was rocked to its foundations by the upheaval 
of a civil war unparalleled in history. It may be expedient 
to "let the dead past bury its dead." But the past is jwt 
dead ; it lives in the hearts, the thoughts, the affections, the 
hopes, the jealousies, the taxations, and the sufferings of 
millions. It lives in the memory of the bereaved at the 
hearthstones of the people — it lives in the remembrance of 
the active men of the time who still animate, influence, or 
lead public policy — and it lives in the purposes of whole 
communities who, moreover, are resolved that the past shall 
'.'( ^ <lic. To the loyal heart which throbbed with devotion 
to the country in its peril — to the memories of the men wiio 
laid down their lives in its defense — to the survivors of the 



14 Preface. 

heroic dead — to the young men of the present, the voices 
of freedom and humanity utter the injunction, Let the 
Past live in the loyal heart forever ! 

This is the argument of the present vohune. The Fifth 
New York Infantry, known as the Durye'e Zouaves, heard 
the drum-beat, they responded to the appeal to arms, and 
in a i'ifi days were assigned to their post at the front, and 
held it for two years, during the whole time for which its 
members were enlisted. It has been deemed only an act 
of justice to place its record at the side of other similar 
contributions to the history of the war, and the effort has 
been made by the author to embody the events in which it 
took a part, in so complete a form that nothing material to 
its chronicles should be omitted. Many of the lesser inci- 
dents of camp and tield life are incorporated, as a faithful 
picturing of the varied phases of a soldier's life during the 

It was hoi)ed by the author, as well as by others, that the 
work would be undertaken by some one or more of the able 
officers of the regiment, but the active duties of civil life 
have prevented them from making even the attempt to col- 
lect the materials. Under these circumstances the author, 
albeit with great distrust of his ability to execute the work 
in a manner worthy of his subject, felt constrained to let no 
further time be lost in its preparation. He has availed 
himself of all the aids he could command, but is aware that 
many interesting incidents and facts are in the possession of 
officers and members of the regiment whom he has not been 
able to consult. The record, however, is so full as it is now 
presented, that no essential link in the nairative has been 

It is juoper to make acknowledf^nicnts to Lieutenants Sir.i- 
ucl Tiel)0!it, R. M. r.^'.'iK'y, and William H. rckclc ; Cap- 
tains \\"i;iia!n II. ChaMii>L'i>, James McConnclI, and Tho.iias 
R. Martin ; Adjutant A. S. Marvin, Jr. ; Sergeants C. V. G. 


Preface. i 15 

Forbes, Robert Strachan, E. AT. Law, and George A. 
Mitchell; Corporals James H. Franklin, James R. Murra}-, 
and Miron W'inslovv ; Benjamin F. Finley, Joseph Stilwell, 
Daniel J. Meagher, James \V. Webb, Mrs. H. C. Vail and 
family, Afrs. James H. Lounsberry, Alonzo Ameli ; and 
especially to Hons. S. S. Cox, Fernando Wood, ami Lucius 
N. Robinson, Mrs. Gordon Winslow, and others, for in- 
teresting information. 

In the preparation of the work the writer has consulted 
and is indebted to L. P. D' Orleans, Compfe de Paris, 
" History of the Civil War in America," "Swinton's Army 
of the Potomac," A. H. Guernsey, LL.D., " Lossing's His- 
tory," Rev. J. S. C. Abbott, "Pollard's Southern History 
of the War," Prince de Joinville, Hon. John T. Headley, 
Colonel W. Estvan' (Confederate Army), " General McClel- 
lan's Reports and Campaigns," "Pope's Reports," "The 
Rebellion Record," "Reports of the Committee on the 
Conduct of the War," " General W. F. Barry's Report," 
"Joel Cook's Siege of Richmond," the files of the Soldier's 
Friend, conducted by William Oland Bourne, and the War 
Correspondence of the various journals of the time. 

The work is committed to the press in the somewhat 
confident hoi)e that whatever may be its imperfections, the 
officers and members of the regiment, as well as the public 
who may be interested in its narrative, will accept it with 
the indulgence which they may kindly accord to the tribute 
oflcred by an ex-private to the honor of the regiment in 
^vhich he served. A, D. 

i\s.r > 

- - .,-._. CHAPTER I. . .-'. -^ , 

- . '■;.-' , THE DRUM-BEAT. . ' '■ . 

Fort Sumter— Tut- Attack— The Evacua-hon-— The President's Proclama- 
tion—Letter BY 1 HE Secretary of War— Gov. Morgan's Proclamation 
—Call of the Adjltant-General, State of Nrw York. 

Friday, the twelfth day of April, i86r, must forever re- 
main memorable in the history of the American Union. 
On that day a force of ten thousand men, after long prepa- 
ration, and with well-built and well-appointed batteries, 
under the command of Gen. Beauregard, opened their fire 
upon Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, and con- 
tinued the bombardment of that fort, defended by a heroic 
band of seventy men under Major Robert -Anderson, until, 
after thirty-si.\ hours of almost uninterrupted attack, the com- 
mander deemed it no longer prudent to maintain the un- 
equal contest, and was permitted to retire his force without 
the loss of a single man, and bearing with him the t^ag of 
honor and renown. 

The event had been for some time expected, and the 
delay of the Government at Washington to take the initiative 
in offensive measures was regarded by many as evidence of 
a hesitating and vacillating policy, lint the result proved 
tlie contrary. The responsibility of a deliberate, long-medi- 
tated, and treasonable attack upon the property, the peace, 
and the existence of the Republic, by the act of the twelfth 
of April, fell, in all the weight of its momentous consequences, 
upon those who assumed it. The eyes of the whole nation 
were turned to this point. 

i'-fore the peo[)le of the Union there stood a boasting 
•iiKl e.xcitcd army, exasperated at the cool and defiant hero- 
i^uj of the little band of loyal men who refused to lower 


i8 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

their flag or shrink from their post of duty, ambitious of the 
distinction so long coveted of destroying the Union. Only a 
few events in the military history of the world present such a 
contrast. Every hour the interest of the nation was intensified. 

The suspense as to the decision of Major Anderson be- 
came painfully deep as the hours tlew by, and when at last 
the enemy became convinced that ihey had no other alter- 
native, the hand of Edmund Riffin, of Virginia, who 
begged the privilege and the honor, fired the first gun in 
the actual inauguration of a bloody war. That gun boomed 
with accumulating thunder over the nation. The flash of its 
fire blazed through the electric wires, and the hearts of 
millions bounded with an awakened spirit of loyalty as each 
successive bomb and shell beat against the slowly crumbling 
walls of Sumter. The die was cast. The deep, devoted 
loyally of the j)eople was with the Government and the flag, 
and when on the second day the heroic band left the shat- 
tered ruin, it was only as the advance guard of the millions 
who rallied to the honor and the glory of the Republic. 

Two days afterward the President of the United States 
issued the following proclamation : 



Whereas, the laws of the United States have been for some 
time past, and now are, opposed, and the execution thereof ob- 
structed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, 
Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too 
powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial pro- 
ceeding, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law ; 

Now. therefore, L Abraham Linci^ln, President of the LTnited 
States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution 
and the Laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hnchy do call 
forth, the milira of the several States of ;he L'liion, to iho aggre- 
gate number df SfVen;y-five thousand, in (irder to sup[)ress said 
combinations, and to cause the Laws to be duly executed. 

' ::;-i«;,iVj;:'. ^ • r< 
i .--J 3*1; .P&- '1 ' // 

. -.■•.'. TJie Dnim-Bcat. ... 19 

The details for this object will be immediately communicated 
to the State authouties through the War Department. 

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this 
effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of 
our National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, 
and to redress wrongs already long enough endured. 

I deem it proper to say that the tirst service assigned to the 
forces hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, 
places, and property which have been seized from the Union ; and 
in every event the utmost care will be obser\'ed consistently with 
the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction 
of or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful 
citizens in any part of the countrv. 

And I hereby command the persons composing the combina- 
tions aforesaid to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respect- 
ive abodes, within twenty days from this date. 

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents 
an extraordinar}- occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in 
me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. 
Senators and Representatives are, therefore, summoned to as- 
semble at their respective chambers, at twelve o'clock, noon, on 
Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider 
and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public 
b.ifety and interest may seem to demand. 

In witness whereof, I have, hereunto set my hand, and caused 
the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

Done at the city of Washington, this fifteenth day of April, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, 
and the Independence of the United Stales the eighty-fifth. 

Abraham Lixcolx. 

Hy the President : - . . 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

.At the same time the calls were made upon the several 
■-'.'■e-, and the Clo\-einor of New \"ork. Hon. I'"iv.viN I), 
•i''. (^AN", received the fallowing conmuniication from the 
^^ xc Department : 

20 Fifth Nciu York Vchiutcer Infantry. 

■ ■■ ,•■- [■':'-:" War DrrAVT:>.'L.\T, Washtngton, ) 

•' '■ "" ■ April II, iS6i. \ 

Sir: — Under the Act of Conrics.. " for calling- I'onh the militia 
to execute the laws of the L'i;;o;/, suppress insurrccliuns, repel 
invasions," etc., approved Fthrunry 20, 1795, I have the honor to 
request your Excellency to c.tusc ii) be immediately detached 
from the militia of your State l!-,.' quota designated in the table 
below, to serve as infantry or r;'.le;aen for the period of three 
months, unless sooner dischargT.d. 

Your Excellency will please t o.-iauunicate to me the time at or 
about which your quota will be expected at its rendezvous, as it 
will be met as so'MI as practi. able by an officer or officers to 
muster it into the service and jxiy ^A t!ie United Stales. At die 
same time the oath of fidelity to the United States will be ad- 
ministered to every officer ana man. 

The mustering officer will i.e ii;^tructed to receive no man 
under the rank of cornmission< cI t. irir. r v.ho is in years apparently 
over forty-five or under eighteen, .n- who is not in physical 
strength and vigor. 

The rendezvous for your Sta;.- will be at New York, Albany, 
and Elmira. 

■ 4ik; I have the honyr to be, \ery respectfully,' 

. , Your obedient scrviat, 

S\yi01^ Q.A-\\V.\u:)V., Secretary of War. 

To his Excellency, Edwin D. Morgan, . " ,, :. 

Gai'ernor of Neur Yorlc. :• •' :-••,':•■ 

The quota for New York S;:ite was seventeen regiments, 
with an aggregate total of, olVio m- and men, 13,280. 

April 16, 1861, the Senate and Assembly of the State 
being then in session i)assed an Act, "To authorize the eni- 
bn,!\ing and etiaipnient of a vi'.!pi;u;cr rnilitia, and to [>ro- 
\ide fur the public defense," ciiid !iu: following i.uoclaination, 
by Governor Morgan, was issued : 

The Drum-Beat. 21. 

Proclamation by Edwin D. Morgan, 
Gcniertior of the State of Nc7u York. 

The President of the United States, by proclamation, and 
through the Secretary of War, by formal requisition, has called 
upon this State for a quota of seventeen regiments of seven 
hundred and eighty men each, to be immediately detached from 
the militia of this State, to serve as infantry or riflemen, for a 
period of three months, unless sooner discharged. Now, in con- 
formity with the aforesaid demand, and by virtue of the Act of 
the Legislature of this State, passed on the i6th day of April, 
instant, entitled " An Act to authorize the embodying and equip- 
ment of a volunteer militia, and to provide for the public defense." 
and the power vested in me by the Constitution and Laws, I do 
call for the aforesaid quota, consisting of six hundred and forty- 
nine officers and twelve thousand six hundred and thirty-one men, 
forming an aggregate of thirteen thousand two hundred and eighty. 

The organization of this force to be in conformity with article 
eleven, section two, of the Constitution of this State, and with 
the rules and regulations embraced in general orders, number 
thirteen, promulgated this day. The rendezvous for this State 
will be at New York, Albany, and Elmira, headquarters at 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed 
the privy seal of the State, at the city of Albany, this 
[L.S.] eighteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-one. 

Edwin D. Morgan. 
By the Governor : 

Lock woe D L, Doty, Private Secretary. 

The Adjutant-General of the State, J- Meredith Read, 
Jr., issued a General Order, No. 13, under date of the iSth 
<!ay of April, specifying the number of regiments to be raised, 
directions for the election of officers, etc., and declaring that 
tile furce voUuiteering uuticr ti:e ])rovisions of the Act, would 
h<" cnrullcd for the term of ireo years, unless sooner dis- 



Organization — Fort Schu\xer — First Experiences — Olr Qi-arters — The 
>rEN OF THE Regiment— Slnday at the Fort— The First Gin from Fort 
Schuyler- A Police Deserter- The Ranks Filled — Taking the Oath- 
Flag Presentation— Color Sergeant— Stkiking oi-r Tents— Reception 
IN New York— Moonlight Departure— Arrival at Fortress Monroe — 
Deserted Village— Ol'r First Bivolac— Hampton Bridge Burned. 

This regiment was organized under the Proclamation of 
the President of the United States, issued April 15, 1861, 
calling u\)on the several Governors of the loyal States for 
seventy-tive thousand men. 

On Thursday, the iSth day of April, 1S61, J. ^^. Read, 
Jr., Adjutant-General of the State of New York, issued a 
general order for the organization of seventeen regiments 
of volunteers, the quota called for from this State ; and on 
the following day, the fgth, some of the best material in the 
city and its suburbs began to enlist under the banner of 
Colonel Abram Dcryke. This ofticer was well known to 
the citizens of New York, and had a wide reputation beyond 
its limits, having been in command of the Seventh Regi- 
ment, N. G. S. N. Y,, with which he had been connected 
for a period of twenty-one years, and which was universally 
acknowledged to be the best drilled and mo:st efficient 
militia organization in the United States. "The Seventh 
Regiment is to the National Guard what West Point is to 
the Regular Army," On Tuesday, the 23d, four days after 
the recruiting commenced, so irreat was the zeal and ambi- 
tion to serve under this jjopular iciuLT. that c!!oni;h jiicked 
men were enrolled to make uj) e!L;ht companies of about 
fifty men each ; and accordingly, on the evening of this dav, 

From N'c'zu York to Virginia. 2J 

A. B, C, D, E, F, G, and K, were inspected and mustered 
i:i!u the State service, at their rooms in Canal Street, a little of Broadway. Companies I and H subsequently joined 
at Fort Schuyler. A guard was stationed at the doors to 
prevent the men from leaving at night, notwithstanding 
wliicii many of them found opportunity to make their parting 
visits to the city, from which they were so soon to be exiled. 
The organization was called, at this time, " The First Regi- 
ment, Advance Guard." 

The next day each man was giveri a blanket, and marched 
by lours front, down to the foot of Canal Street, North 
River ; embarked on a steam-tug, and after a pleasant sail 
around the Battery and up the East River, arrived at Fort 
Schuyler about 6 p.m., nothing of importance having oc- 
curred on the trip. Immediately on arriving, they com- 
menced their active duties by carrying lumber, barrels of 
provisions, etc., to their respective places of storage at the 
f'irt. At about lo p.m. supper was served, and the regi- 
ment made their first acquaintance with the biscuit which 
afterward became so proverbially known as "hard-tack." 

Thursday, Aj>ri/ 25.^— Thti men, in good spirits and humor, 
v\i?re turned out at 5 a.m. A wash at the pump was the 
tir>t jireparation for a drill, which lasted until breakfast, at 
7-.>o. We were then at liberty until 10.30 a.m., when we 
W'-re again assembled for drill, which lasted until noon. 
I*:iiner was served at i, after which we were oft" dutv 
until 4.30, when we were again drilled until 6 p..m., the 
^•>ir for supiier, after which we were again at liberty. At 
'J P.M. all lights were extinguished, and silence deep and 
p'-'found fell upon us, until roused by the reveille. 

/■'n'/,n, April 2(i. — Colonel Durye'e, in full dress, inspected 

I' •' rci^iment in the evening, and their moveuK^nts pleased 

' '■' •'» l"ii;^ii!y tliat he complimented theui on their rapid 

i ' ' 'H-.^s, and, accomininied by ladies, inspected the quarters. 

iie barracks were very comfortable, about forty-five men 

24 Fifth Nezv York Voliuttar Infantry. 

being assigned to each of the compartments, which are a 
part of the fort. The structure is of stone, with large, 
roomy fire-places, in which bright wood-tires were kept 
burning at night. Around these fires the men congregated 
to smoke their pipes and hold their councils. Outside of 
the fort were tents, which were a part of those used by the 
French army in the Crimea. The cook of General Can- 
robcrt, the French General, was catering for the regiment. 
The men quartered in these tents christened them by such 
names as the " Bower of Beauty," " Schuyler Cottage," and 
others equally suggestive of sentiment or war, as their fancy 
dictated.. There was one mess at least who lived on the fat 
of the land and water. They had built a small brick fur- 
nace, but where they obtained the material was a mystery. 
They always had something extra, fried clams, fish, beef- 
steak, etc., w-hich was equally a mystery. There was evidently 
a latent talent for foraging, which became subsequently more 
generally developed under very different circumstances. 

The location of the fort is a very healthy one. The con- 
stant breeze from the Sound gave to its inmates a supi)ly of 
fresh air, and there was no impediment to the use of the salt 
water in which to bathe. The surgeons had nothing to do 
except in the case of one of the men who had broken an 
ankle wrestling with a comrade. The steamboat from the 
city touched every afternoon at the Government wharf and 
unloaded the stores, wiiich were carried up to the fort by de- 
tails of men from the different companies. In the afternoon 
the men mounted the ramparts and saluted the Sound steam- 
ers, and were saluted in turn by them. A short time after 
the regiment arrived at the fort a large flag-statT was erected 
above the rami)arts, which was climbed by one of the men 
for the puriu)se of adjusting the halsards. The "Star 
Spangled Hinner" was hoisted for the first time, and there 
being DO ordnance to salute the colors, three hearty ciicers 
were given tVom several hundied i)atriotic throats. 

!.v -';,- 

. From New York to Virginia. 25 

There were men among us who could respond to any duty — 
representatives from all the trades, with a sprinkling of law- 
yers, book-keepers, sailors, and members of the Volunteer 
Fire Department, many of the latter belonging to Company G. 
There were also veteran soldiers who had served in the British 
army of the Crimea, and elsewhere ; Italians who had fought 
under Garibaldi ; Frenchmen who had served in the ai mies 
o{ la belle France ; Teutons from the Prussian army; and 
soujc of the fighting sons of Ireland, ever ready for the 
fray ; others who had fought in the Mexican war, and ex- 
regulars of the United States. Notwithstanding which, about 
eighty per cent, of the regiment were natives of the soil, 
among whom was Havens, a nephew of '•'■ Benny Havens, 
>h ! " of West Point memory ; the Van Warts from Tarr\- 
town, descendants of "the Van Wart" of Revolutionary 
memory, and many others of grand old lineage. Although 
this was a volunteer citizen regiment, there were many vet- 
eran warriors who composed, with the educated officers, 
accomplished in military affairs, a nucleus around which to 
form one of the best disciplined and most reliable bodies of 
men that ever left the city of New York, or rallied under any 
odier name, for the seat of war. 

On Sunday a service was regularly held in the forenoon, to 
which all were invited, but the attendance was not compul- 
sory. In addition to the service the " Articles of War" were 
read. It was the great day for visitors from the city, who 
came by boat and private conveyance, bringing the news- 
papers to their friends, and sometimes the remembrances 
from home which are not found in a soldier's bill of fare. A 
party made a visit to the fort fiom a private yacht, one of 
their friends being enlisted in the regiment. They desired 
permission from the Colonel to give their friend a sail, but 
ti'io indulgence was not to be tb.ought of. They were so wroth 
at ihc refusal, that upon setting sail for their departure, they 
showed their d'.*nance by bombarding the fort with a revolver. 


26 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

On Tuesday, April 30th, our first gun was fired, and it was 
also the first gun that ever had sent its diunders over the 
waters from the ramparts of Fort Scluiyler. It was a brass 
piece hoisted into its place by the men. 

On the following day, May 1st, we had a different enter- 
tainment. Two men, one of them a Metropolitan Police 
officer, who had come up and enlisted in his imiform, ran 
the guard. They were overtaken by Capt, Dumont, and 
put under arrest in the guard -house, and at evening parade 
were drummed out. Tuesday, May 7th, the men being nearly 
all supplied with their uniforms, made a fine appearance on 
drill or dress parade, especially as they were becoming very 
proficient. They had been kept hard at work drilling by 
companies, and exercising in the simple battalion movements 
on the glacis outside the fort. The rapid increase in our 
numbers made strict government imperative, and the disci- 
pline was more severe and exacting after Lieut.-Col. Warren 
entered upon his duties. 

There had been some severe storms of wind and rain, which 
those on guard were obliged to endure, besides some work 
with the spade draining the parade-ground under the direc- 
tion of the Lieut.-Colonel, which began to impress upon the 
minds of the thoughtless that the life of a soldier was not 
that of a sinecurist. In addition to this there was some 
grumbling because rifles were not substituted for Springfield 
muskets, as was promised on enlisting. 

On Thursday, the 9th of May, tne men were examined 
by Dr. Alexander B. Mott, and a few were rejected ; the 
ranks were full, and he said that a finer body of men could 
not be found in Christendom. 

We were sworn into the United States service by Capt. T. 
Seymour, 1st U. S. Artillery, who was in Fort Sumter at the 
time of the bombardment by the rebels. We took the oath to 
serve for two years, unless sooner discharged, and the men now 
reali^icil that tliey were in fact soldiers of the United States. 

From New York to Virginia. 27 

At evening parade, on Saturday, May nth, a handsome 
stand of colors were presented to the regiment, the gift of 
Gkorge Kemp, Esq., of the firm of Lanman & Kemp. 
Adjutant Hambhn read the following letter of presentation: 

Everett House, May 7, 1861. 


Advance Guard, N. V. Vols., Ft. Schuyler : 

Sir : — Having been a member of the 7th M. for many years, 
during the greater part of which time the corps was under your 
command, I have noticed with the utmost interest your gallant 
and successful eftbrts to raise a regiment of volunteers in aid of 
oar beloved countrj' in her present unhappy difficulties. No one 
who is acquainted with your patriotism can be surprised at this 
manifestation of your active and most honorable zeal. 

All who know your military ability must rejoice that you are 
in the field in defense of the National Banner. It is, indeed, a 
consolation, at this period of trouble, to feel that if the noble 
heritage, bequeathed to us by our fathers, is menaced by treachery 
and rebellion. Providence has blessed the land with true hearts 
and strong arms ready for the emergency, and has caused to rise 
up among us noble and worthy leaders, among whom few are to 
be named before our old commander of the National Guard, 
Colonel Duryee. 

I now take leave, sir, to present to you, for the Advance Guard 
of New York Volunteers, a flag of the United States, emblem of 
our dear country's prosperity, might, and happiness — not less, I 
sincerely believe, in the future than in the past. This color will 
Ik? presented to you, on my behalf, by Mr. Thomas \V. Cart- 
wright, Jr., and Mr. John Gillen, both young men of irreproach- 
able character and steady habits, who, for the purpose of en- 
listing in your regiment, have just suspended their labor of several 
>< ars in my employment — to return to it (I trust wiih honor and 
'n health) after the triumph of law, order, public faith, a:id of the 
Ciiiisiiiutinnal Government of our country shall havecnaMed you 
;•> release them from the service which they are now entering 
'•vith the most unbounded confidence in their gallant leader. 

28 FiftJ', iVezu York Volnntecr Infantry. 

May God preserve you, sir, and be favoraljle to the righteous 
cause to which, like a true soldier, you have devoted yourself. 

Pray accept this flag which I now offer. I know you too well 
to doubt that the men who are so fortunate as to serve under you 
will bring it back again to this city with honor and in glory. 

I have the honor to be, sir, 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient sen^ant, 

George Kemp. 

The colors were handed to Color-Sergeant Charles E. 
Mather, of the IJroadway Sc[uad of Police. He was one of 
the tallest men in the regiment, being 6 feet 4 inches, and 
handsomely proportioned. 

The routine of our camp was enlivened a few days after- 
ward by the arrival of our band of musicians, which added 
a new interest to our dress parades. A Maine regiment, 
brought by a steamer, disembarked on Willett's Point, 
opposite Fort Schuyler, where they went into camp. Some 
of the men paid the Fifth a visit. 

Rumors were current in regard to an early departure of the 
regiment, and the men were anxious to get into active service. 
Every day added to their impatience, as tiiey were willing 
to go anywhere to meet the enemy. 

On the morning of Wednesday, the 32d, the regiment was 
fully armed and equipped, the tents had been struck, and we 
were under marching orders. Knapsacks were packed, and 
officers and men ready to move when called. 

One of tlie daily journals of Xew York gave the following 
narrative of our movements to its readers : 

" The orders to leave the fort reached the regiment on 
Wednesday last, and the prospect of active employment being so 
near at hand, delighted the men greatly. 

" The greatest activity at once became visible througiiout the 
entire encainpiiuiit. llie tents were struck and ev(r\iliing put in 


From Neiv York to Virginia. 29 

order for immediate evacuation, \vhen, to the chagrin and dis- 
appointment of all hands, orders arrived countermanding those 
previously given, and the regiment was doomed to a new and, 
what at first appeared, a more acute disappointment. Fortu- 
nately the obstacle (whatever it might have been) to their im- 
mediate movement was of but brief duration, as the orders post- 
poned their march for only one day. Short as it was, however, 
there was no disgxiising the fact that both officers and men were 
considerably put out of temper by what seemed to be a most ex- 
traordinary' course of proceeding. The tents having been struck, 
and the regiment placed in readiness to march, all the materials 
of comfort and convenience were out of immediate reach, so that 
when sleeping-time came on Wednesday evening the men were 
left to select the softest grass on which to make their beds. Still 
there was no complaint of any kind ; everything was taken as it 
turned up, and both officers and men endeavored to accommo- 
date themselves to circumstances with the best grace. In this 
they altogether succeeded. 

" The bivouac of Wednesday night was one of the most 
picturesque and delightful that can possibly be imagined. Out 
in that lone fort, on the soft, green sward, over eight hundred 
men lay down to repose. There was no covering at all above 
them save the cerulean .sky, but there, wrapped in their blankets, 
they all lay down, and perhaps slept sweeter and sounder for 
their devotion to their country' and to their duty, than many 
who are enabled to stretch themselves on beds of down. Some 
of the officers' tents had not yet been struck, and these were 
certainly centers of attraction during the night. Camp fires were 
liglited at short distances from each other all along the encamp- 
ment, and the watchful sentinel having been placed on his nightly 
guard, the whole garrison went safely and quietly to rest. The 
scene at the midnight hour, when so many stalwart men were 
slce[)ing as calmly as children, was far different from that of the 
same aftemoon when the roll was called for the last drill within 
the fortification prior to the departure of the regiinent. Over a 
thousand citizens from New York, Brooklyn, and adjacent places 
Were present to witness what was really a sight worth seeing. 
The whole regiment was uniformed in ihe full Zouave costume. 

11 ji i 

30 FiftJi New York Volunteer Infantry. 

and armed and accoutred in splendid sU'le, they presented a gal- 
lant and unbroken front. The drill of the past month was 
certainly not lost upon the men, for their evolutions were as 
regular and as perfect as if they had always made the science of 
arms their profession. The spectators were delighted with them, 
and expressed their pleasure by frequently applauding. 

" The tlnal preparations for departure were made early in the 
morning. The few tents which had remained standing were 
struck, and the baggage of the regiment packed for transmission 
to the city. The steamboats chartered to remove the troops 
were at the dock at an early hour of the morning, and everybody 
was prepared to start." 

Thursday, May 2T^. — \\^ left Fort Schuyler at one o'clock 
in the afternoon, and embarked on three tugs — the Satellite, 
Only Son, and C. P. Smith — the baggage and tents occupy- 
ing a fourth. 

We were indeed on our way at last. It was an exciting 
and exhilarating scene. As the tugs moved off, the fort saluted 
each respectively with one gun, and the men on board gave 
three hearty cheers for Fort Schuyler, in response to the salute. 
The officers and men were all in the highest spirits, and as 
we passed the revenue cutter Vixen, near Throg's Neck, each 
of the steamers were again saluted. 

At Riker's Island, where the Hawkins Zouaves were en- 
camped, as the steamboats approached, the men were drawn 
up in line on the brow of a hill overlooking the river, in honor 
of the Zouaves Three guns were then fired from the fort, 
and the men gave three cheers for Hawkins' Zouaves. The 
enthusiasm was very great, and cheer after cheer rent the air. 

Along the piers as we a})pioached the city, there were 
crowds of people who saluted us with clieers and waving of 

The bolts landed at the foot of East Fifteenth Street 
about four p.m., and upon disembarking, the regiment 7)ro- 
ceeded to Fourteenth Street, and after forming in order. 

From New York to Virginia. 31 

marched through that street to Broadway. The sidewalks 
and windows of the houses were thronged with people, and 
from every building floated the national flag. 

It was a splendid sight, and one that will not soon be for- 
gotten by those who witnessed it. The regiment, eight 
hundred and forty-eight strong, fully drilled and disciplined, 
marched with their long, steady stride in solid ranks, and 
eyes to the front, amid the cheers and plaudits of thousands 
of spectators. 

It was a proud day for the Fifth. Their faces were bronzed 
by exposure, and every man of them felt and looked like a 
soldier ; but on the other hand, how many a silent tear was 
dro|)ped, or a murmured prayer offered by a mother, sister, 
or wife for the safe return of the well-beloved one who was 
so proudly marching to do battle to preserve a nation, and 
die, if need be, under the flag that was waving above him 
with its stars and stripes, the emblem of the States, one and 
inseparable. The regiment marched to City Hall Park, 
which it reached about half-past five o'clock, where they 
were reviewed by Mayor Wood, Judge Edmonds, Judge 
Davies, Aldermen Brady and Henry, and others of the 
Common Council. Superintendent Kennedy and Inspect- 
or Carpenter, with a squad of twenty-six of the Eleventh 
Precinct Police, were in attendance. A large number of 
I.idies and gentlemen occupied the balcony of the Hall, 
among whom were General Nye, Dr. A. B. Mott, Conli oiler 
Haws, and a number of the officers of Colonel Blenker's 
re;4iinent. After going tiirough a parade drill, the Zouaves 
marched up Broadway through White and North Moore 
Streets to the pier, receiving an ovation at every step. Fi- 
nally, a little before sundown, they were all embarked on the 
1'>f:^(\ Steamship ALibiVJuu Cai^ain Sclicnck, and bound for 
l-ojtrcss Monroe. Kiiul ftieiuis and well-wishers had not 
fors.iken ihcm yet. and a> long as the steamer could he 
reached, they were showered with fruits. In the meantime 

32 Fifth Neiv York Vohcntccr Infantry. 

the rigging and sifles of the vessel were swarming uith 
Zouaves, some of them climbing even to the trucl->, and 
waving their fez cajis in the air. As the steamer drew off 
into the stream, the air was rent witli cheers. 

The vessel made a short stop in tlie bay, and ihen de- 
parted on her seaward path. It was a beautiful mooi:Iight 
night, the reflection of the moon's rays on the water making it 
look like molten silver. The ship was too much crowded 
for comfort, but as it was not a pleasure excursion, ihc men 
did not murmur, but made themselves as comfortable as 
their new circumstances would permit. Some, unused to 
the sea, soon became unpleasantly conscious of the change ; 
the ship rolled when it reached the swell of the Adantic ; but 
the majority of the men enjoyed the novelty of the situation. 
About seventy-five miles out, the steamer was saluttd with 
a prize in tow, which was shortly afterward followeil by an- 
other. On Friday, the 24th, as we were steaming along, the 
cry suddenly resounded through the ship, " Man overboard ! '' 
The ship was quickly hove to, and the officers and guard 
kept the men in their places. In a few moments some of 
the sailors were seen carrying one of their shipmates below, 
wet and dripping. The result showed that he was se\ere!y 

On Saturday, the 25th, we were in sight of Fortress Mon- 
roe and the men-of-war in the offing, the crews of which 
manned the rigging, and loudly cheered us— a compliment 
M-liich we returned with loyal vigor. ^Ve were landed at the 
(lovernment wharf by the steam-tug Yankee, near the 
Hvgeia Hotel, and were surrounded by swarms of soldiers, 
wlio asked all manner of questions, and said that they had 
but ju-,t cleared out the little village, the Newport of Virginia. 

It was not many minutes before every cottage was looked 
■•■•"•■:-:!i. and ail sorts of odd traps w :rc fjund, bat of little 
■•■■:•:. Oni; uf thi bo)s appeared dressed in a complete 
iuilui.1 uniform of tlie ancient style. This amusement did 

J to 

From New York to Virginia. 33 

not last long, a vigilant guard under orders having brought 
the men to a halt. It was saddening to see a deserted 
village ; one old negro and a few stray dogs and cats were 
its only remaining inhabitants. 

The regiment was soon formed and marched about two 
miles, and encamped, or rather bivouacked, the main body 
being located in a wheat-field, the outward post. 
* The Colonel took possession of the Segar mansion, which 
was delightfully situated near the waters of the bay, and 
Company G, Captain Denike, was encamped in a beautiful 
orchard near by, as his guard of honor. 

This was a splendid location for a camp, with good water 
and plenty of oysters, fish, etc., close at hand. A short dis- 
tance from this place the largest female seminary in Virginia 
was located, but now, of course, deserted, except by the 
family in charge, with a itw slaves. The town of Hampton 
is about one and a half miles distant, on the other side of 
Hampton Creek. The bridge connecting with the town 
was burned the day of the landing of the Zouaves, by the 
Confederate, Afajor, Carey, and some of our men, skirmish- 
ing on their own account, crept near enough to see the rebels 
in the act. The Zouaves were complimented by the Con- 
federates, at this time, with the name of " Red Devils," which 
they retained during the war. 

.r. M u. -. ,M 

••/; ... ■■•' IM 

Our First Camp in Virginia. 35 

The regiment bivouacked for the night, having as yet no 
tents. Guards were estabhshed on the outskirts of the 
camp, and soon all were slumbering, except those on post. 

About midnight two shots were heard, and instantly there 
was a tremendous sensation. The drums sounded the long 
roll ; it was taken up in the other camps, and excited men 
were rushing to arms. Some who were not yet supplied 
with muskets formed in line with the rest, with dirk-knives 
and revolvers in hand, ready to fight for their lives. But it 
was soon learned that one of the sentries had mistaken a 
sentry of another regiment for a Confederate, and blazed 
away, and was fired at in turn by him. Happily no blood 
was shed, and we passed the night without being scalped, 
after having one other false alarm. These incidents served 
at least the purpose of good exercise in an important part 
of a soldier's life. 

The events occurring in the regiment were described by a 
correspondent of the New York Timfs (Friday, May 31), in 
the following; letter : 


" Camp Butler, near Hampton, Va., 1 

Tuesday, May 28, 1S61. \ 

"The New York Fifth, Colonel Duryee, and Second. Colonel 
Carr's, regiment, are still encamped between Fortress Monroe 
and the old village of Hampton, one of the first settled in Vir- 
ginia. The advent of the Zouaves seems to have produced a 
panic throughout the surrounding country. The inhabitants 
have all fled, with the exception of a frw who adhere to tlie 
cause of the Union. 'Red Devils' is the complimentary appe! 
lation which the Secessionists have bestowed upon the follow- 
ers of Colonel Dur>ee, 

" On Sunday night. Captain Waugh, with his entire company, 
occupied the Female Seminnrv, a large building, on an elevated 
site near the camp, which had given shelter to the enemy. The 
American flag now waves over it, and can be seen for miles 
around. The same day Captain Kilpatrick made a reconnois- 




36 FiftJi New York Volunteer Infantry. 

sance, bringing back valuable information concerning- the forces 
of the foe. Major-General Butler, on Monday, reviewed the 
Zouaves, and expressed to Colonel Dur^'ce and his officers his 
delight with the excellent discipline of the corps, and his appre- 
ciation of the abilities of the commandant." 

A Confederate of the enemy had been using the cupola 
on the top of the Seniinary, as a lookout, and from his lofty 
position, from which the country could be seen for miles 
around, had been in the habit of signaling information of 
anything occurring in the neighborhood of the fortress. 
Colonel Duryee therefore took possession of the building, 
and, placing the band on the roof, they played the " Star 
Si)angled Banner," while he raised the stars and stripes to 
the flag-staff, amid the cheers of his men. 

General Butler issued the following proclamation, appoint- 
ing Colonel Durye'e to the command of all the forces at Old 
Point Comfort : 

Fortress Monroe, Va., ) 
May 27, 1 86 1. f 

Special Orders, No. 5. 

Colonel A. Duryee, Fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, 
will at once assume command of the camp of the two New York 
regirnents, Segar's farm, and issue such orders and make such 
regulations, consistent with the Articles of War, as will insure 
good order and a thorough system of instruction and discipline ; 
he will see that a proper guard is posted each night over the 
well, and on and near the bridge leading toward the tort,- in such 
manner that there can be no danger of harm to them. .-\ny 
depredations committed on the property of citizens, or any un- 
necessary inconvenience imposed upon them by any member of 
the conmiand, must be promptly noticed, and reported in writing 
to the Major-General commanding the Department. 
By command of 

Major-Ccneral BUTLF.R. 
Grh-.r Tai-.madgp:, 
Acting As:ista}it Ai^j'-i-f^Jif-Ctiternl. 

Our First Camp in Virginia. 37 

Proclamation by Colonel Duryee. 
To the Inhabitants of Hampton and vicinity : 

Having been placed, by order of Major-General Butler, in 
command of the troops in this vicinity, outside of the walls of 
Fortress Monroe, I hereby notify all, that their rights of person 
and property \vill be entirely respected ; that their co-operaiion 
in maintaining law and order is expected, both by reporting every 
violation of them when committed by any one attached to the 
camp, and by preserving local order and restraining such of their 
fellow-citizens as may entertain perverted intentions. 

You can rely that ail offenses against you will be severely 
punished ; that no effort will be spared to detect the guilty ; and 
that you, as a community, will also be held responsible for every 
act committed by any one of your number where the particular 
offender is not surrendered. Be assured that we are here in no 
war against you, your liberty, your property, or even your local 
customs ; but to keep on high that flag of which your own great 
son was the bearer ; to sustain those institutions and those laws 
made by our ancestors and defended by their common blood. 

Remember all these things, and if there be those among you 
who, maddened by party feeling, misled by willful falsehoods or 
a mistaken sense of duty, have thought to obliterate the national 
existence, let them at least pause till they learn the true value of 
what they have imperilled, and the nature of that into which they 
are asked to plunge. We have all confidence that in Virginians 
in arms against us we have honorable foes, whom we hope yet to 
make our friends. 

Colonel A. Duryee, 

Acting Brigadier-Gftieral. 

The Times correspondent, a few days later, photographed 
the Fifth as follows : 

Camp Butler, near Hampton, Va., / 
Sunday, June 1, 1861. S 
The friends of Coknel Dur\i'e's Zouaves, who greeted with so 
i-i;c}i enthusiasm their first public parade in New York, would 
have been gratified beyond measure had they been here yesterday 

38 Fifth Nexv York Volunteer hifantry. 

to witness the battalion-drill in the morning-, conducted by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Warren, and the brigade evolutions, under the 
direction of Acting- Brigadier-General Duryt'-e, in the afternoon. 
A command composed as this is, constantly under military dis- 
cipline, in camp, makes wonderful progress in the course of a 
single week. They are something more than holiday soldiers, 
who know how to make a brilliant dress parade, on State occa- 
sions, over Russ pavement. If you could see them maneuvering 
on rough, plowed ground, covered with dust, forming- in line of 
battle, springing into column, compressed into close column 
by division, deploying into hollow square, charging bayonet as 
one man, firing by file, by company, and by wing — performing 
with precision all the evolutions which make war wonderful and 
soldiering a science — you would imagine that they were veterans 
of ver)' long standing, rather than hewers of wood, and drawers 
of drafts, and drivers of quills, who have left their trades, their 
banking-houses, or their professions, to fight for the old flag that 
traitors have dared to dishonor. 

We have, as \et, had no collision with the enemy, but it has not 
been because no opportunity has been afforded the secessionists 
for coming in daily contact with the things they loathe. 

On Tuesday, May 28th, Captain Judson Kilpatrick, an officer 
educated at West Point, in command of Company H, who knows 
no fear — except the fear that he shall not speedily have an oppor- 
tunity of paying his compliments to the foe — left camp with forty 
men, and proceeded to the bridge at Hampton, which had been 
burned by the enemy, designing to repair it. He found it so 
much injured tliat with the implements at hand he could not re- 
construct it. He built two docks, took possession of about thirty 
boats, opened a safe and easy communication with the village, 
crossed, took possession, and after posting a strong guard at the 
bridge-head, scoured the country for miles. After leaving the 
village, he received information that about one thousand seces- 
sionists were at hand. Nothing daunted, the intrepid Captain, 
throwing out scouts in advance, rapidly passed up the nxui 
toward Vorkunvn, and arrived at Newmarket Bridge just m time 
to 3ce a small force of the enemy pass over, taking up the planks 
as they left. On his return he dispersed a body of twenty-five 

Our First Camp in Virginia. 39 

men, who had fired on Mr. Isaac Case, agent of Messrs. Wheeler 
& Wilson, of sewing-machine celebrity, who accompanied the 
regiinent to take care of a charger, worth $600, presented to 
Major J. Mansfield Davies by that firm. He caijtured one horse, 
three mules, four drums, harness, several hundred bushels of 
grain, arms and military stores. Leaving these in charge of a 
small guard, commanded by Lieutenant Carlisle Boyd* — one of 
those quiet, gentlemanly men, who at the post of danger generally 
give a better account of themselves than the blusterers — he re- 
turned to Hampton, where he caused to be published to the as- 
sembled citizens the proclamation of General Duryee. Again 
crossing the stream, he raised the Stars and Stripes on the build- 
ing but recently occupied by Colonel Mallor\', of the Contederate 
army. His men stood around him while the ceremony was per- 
forming and greeted the flag with rousing cheers. The Captain 
made them a stirring little speech, to which they responded 
heartily. And then, after a day well spent, marched back to 
camp, bearing many trophies with him. 

The next day, ?vLay29th, Capt. Hiram Duryea, of E Company, 
marched far back into the country, meeting armed men who fled 
like deer at his approach. His men were " sp'ilin' for a fight," 
and bitterly denounced " the chivalry " for the retiring manners 
for which they are becoming noted in these parts. He brought 
back large quantities of provisions and tools. 

The same day Lieut. Jacob Dun,-ce, of Company G, son of the 
Colonel, raised the flag of our Union over ex-President Tvler's 
summer residence, " Marguerite Villa," at Hampton. It was an 
offset to the performance of Mr. Tyler's daughter, who a short 
time since, it wUl be remembered, hoisted a secession flag at a 
village somewhere at the South. On Thursday, May 30th, Capt. 
Robert S. Dumont, of Company B, went on a scouting exptfdition. 
in the course of which he met many armed men in uniform, who 
uniformly carried themselves back into the interior of old Vir- 
ginia at a quadruple quickstep. Lieut. Dumont, with a few men, 
<' a superior ftirce into the woods, and returned with a ven,- 
lir^e feather in iiis cap. Capt. LHmiont brought back itifi.mia- 
(ion of so much importance concerning the position of the oj)- 

* Captain U. S. A. (1878^ 

40 FiftlL Xc7i' York Volioitcrr Infantry 

[ posing- forces, that it was communicated to Gen. Butler in a writ- 

1 ten report. Capt. Denike, of Company G, and Capt. Swartwout. 

f of Company F, have made similar armed excursions with equally 

j important results. Col. Dur}-ee himself, with a small force, a 

I few days ago returned into camp from Hampton, bearing with 

[ him the first secession flag that has been captured.* and a quan- 

j tity of arms, odd portions of uniforms, etc.. which had belonged 

\ to the secessionists. This morning the men attended divine serv- 

I ice on the lawn in front of the Colonel's quarters. Rev. Dr. 

IWinslow, the Chaplain, conducted the exercises and preached a 
very eloquent sermon. Dr. Winslow is a parson of the old Revo- 
lutionary- school, and, on the Colonel's staff, will be as serviceable 

1 in the field as he is in the pulpit. Yesterday, under his direction, 

I a bridge was built over a little stream which divides one of the 

f outposts from the camp. 

I Thus the week has passed, not without its excitements. 

\ Rumors were constantly brought into camp that the enemv was 

\ advancing in force, and the men have slept on their arms nightly. 

[ They evince an excellent militar)' spirit. 

i The appointment of Col. Duryee to the post of Acting Briga- 

l dier-General leaves Lieut.-Col, Warren in command of the Zou- 

i aves. Col. Warren has been many years in the regular ser\'icc, 

t is an accomplished officer, and an excellent disciplinarian. A 

I few nights ag-o, when scouts rushed in out of breath, reporting 

I that the enemy was advancing in a large body to cut off the 

r picket guard at Hampton Bridge, Col. Warren, without alarming- 

I the camp, proceeded with only three men to take command of tlic 

[ ^:s.xi\, and remained all night with it. It was not rashness on 

\ his part, by any means, for he knew well how to post his little 

I force so that the enemy could not get the best of him. 

The Adjutant of the regiment. Joseph E. Hamblin, has been 

offered the position of Adjutant-General, but has declined it. He 

** fully deserved the compliment, and the whole regiment was 

•This flat:, which still hnd a threaded needle sticl^iii;; in it, wa^ presented by 
Col. Dury.'^ to the New V,.rk Histnric.U .Society. The first Cnfcder ite Mn,' tal<en 
in the fi.rhl ..WIS captured in .Vlexundri.i, Va., on May 23d, by t»„ U:ii..n men 
named William McSpe Ion, of New York Cily, and Samuel Smith, of (Juecns 
County, N. Y. On May 24th Col. Ellsworth captured the Confeder.-ite flas, and 
lost his life, at Alexandria, Va. 


Our First Cavip in Virginia. 41 

pleased with it. But the whole regiment would have united in a 
I'lutcst ag-ainst his leaving the command ; and his reason for 
(Ifclinmg the promotion was that he was so much attached to the 
regiment that he could not endure to be detached. No man in 
ti.o regiment has performed multifarious and arduous duties bet- 
ter, and is more respected by his brother ofticers and beloved by 
tiic men th;m Adjutant Hamblin. 

There are now four regiments encamped here — Col. Allen's, 
Col. Carr's, Col. Bartlett's. and the Zouaves. The laws protect- 
ing the property of private citizens are strictly enforced by the 
Brigadier, and those of the people that remain are on excellent 
terms with the soldiers, while families that at first fled are begin- 
ning to return. As soon as it becomes generally known that they 
will nowhere be safer from insult, violence, and lawlessness than 
within our lines, the deserted villages in this delightful neighbor- 
hood will again be populated. 

We have experienced as yet but few comparatively of the hard- 
ships of a soldier's life. We are particularly fortunate in being 
sent to this delightful Old Point Comfort. It is one of the healthi- 
est places in the world, and no point could have been selected at 
which an army may be concentrated, provisioned, and kept in 
good sanitary condition, that is superior to this. And nature's 
great bath-tub lies at our feet. We may go further and fare worse. 

G. C. 

On Tuesday, the 4th, only two com])ar.ies were left in 
camp ; the rest v/ere sent on a scout to Fox Hill, about five 
Fniles distant. They were accompanied by the Troy regi- 
ment and others, and expected to have a fight. The night 
before had been a trying one ; the regiment was out on 
parade, when a storm, which had been tlireatening to break 
at any moment, burst u])on them in all its fury. The men 
were dismissed to their tents, but before reaching them were 
tompletely drenched. The tents were small, and not being 
^^•'tci-j>roof, the rain soaked through so much that the inmates 
:'nd tile contents were thoroughly wet. The earth floors 
'"au;4ht the drii)[>ings, and were soon turned into muddy 

42 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

beds. The men passed a sleepless and disagreeable night ; 
the whole camp was flooded, and the next day blankets, 
overcoats, Bibles, and Prayer-books were spread out to dry, 
and the men waited patiently for their clothing to dry on 
their backs. 

The provisions were scant at times, and the officers were 
disposed to be cross — a feature which did not make matters 
any more cheerfu'. 

Much of the spare time of the men when off duty was oc- 
cupied in cleaning their arms and accoutrements, and it was 
required of them that they be kept in prime order, or the 
guard-house or extra duty awaited the delinquent ; and as 
nothing was allowed to rub them with, the men were com- 
pelled to use earth and old pieces of rags, if they could be 
procured. But all, both otticcrs and privates, were held to 
a strict account in their various spheres of duty, and the 
discipline was very severe. It may have been rigorous, but 
it was the only way to make good soldiers of such a diver- 
sified body of men as composed this regiment. 

• On Wednesday, June 5th, Sergeant I) , of Company 

G, resigned as a non-commissioned officer, on account of 

being reproved by Captain D , of Co. B, the officer of the 

day, for not compelling six men who had been with others 
on a scout of fifteen miles that day, to leave their supper 
immediately, and take seme prisoners down to Fortress 
^ronroe. The Captain himself had been lying in camp nil 
day. Exposure and hard service were beginning to show 
their effect on the men, and there were a number on the 
sick-list, several being sent to the hospital. In the morning 
the sound of heavy cannonading was heard in the distance. 
It was probably some of the men-of-war bombarding Con- 
federate batteries near Norfolk. 

Captain Winslow, Lieutenant Hoyt. and Lieutenant Fer- 
guson, with Company K, and a company of the Second Troy 
Regiment, made a nocturnal expedition into the interii^r, 

Ojir First Camp in Virginia. 43 

capturing two men, a secession flag, uniforms, and other 

According to the following extract from the New York 
Ddily Times, the flag was presented to the Union Defense 
Committee of New York : 

" Oiiartermaster Bailey INIyers arrived yesterday from Fortress 
Monroe, bringing the secession flag which was captured by Colo- 
nel Duryee's " Red Devils," the Zouaves, at Hampton. The trophy 
was sent by Major-General Butler through C2uartermaster Myers 
to the Union Defense Committee, with a letter highly compli- 
menting Colonel Duryee and his command. The flag is made of 
a coarse red and white flannel, with a blue field of the same 
material, the stars, eight in number, being made of white cloth ; 
the ends are somewhat whipped out by the wind. It is at the 
rooms of the Committee." 

The Fox Hill expedition having returned, I can not do 
better than give the full report of Lieutenant-Colonel War- 
ren, who was in command : 

Camp Butler, June ^, 1861. 

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of an ex- 
pedition in front of our lines, on the 3d and 4th instants. About 
4 P.M. on the 3d instant I was handed a communication from 
Colonel Allen, addressed to Colonel Duryee, commanding the 
brigade, which was as follows : 

Camp Dix, June 3, 1S61. 
Colonel Duryee: 

Sir: — I am directed by General Butler to call upon you for a 
detachment of men to accompany three companies of my regi- 
m"nt to ascertain the correctness of the reported capture of 126 
f'tiicrrs and men of the regiment, this morning, at Fox Hill, and, 
if so, to recapture them, or if not, to conduct them in. 

In haste, yours, 

W. H. Allev, 
Colonel First Rtginier.t. 

And, at the same time, I was directed to have ready a detach- 

44 Fifth Ncii' York Volunteer Infantry. 

ment for the purpose. Orders were right away given by me to 
Captain Hull, Captain Kilpatrick, Captain Wiiislow, and Captain 
Bartlett, to have their companies in readiness, with canteens, 
haversacks containing one day's rations, and fifteen rounds of 
ammunition in their cartridge-boxes. This was promptly com- 
plied with, and at 5 P.M. we received the order to march, cross 
the river at Hampton, and interrupt any parties returning toward 
Yorktown or Williamsburgh from the neighborhood of Fox Hill. 
Owing to sickness and the number of men detailed for guard, 
the aggregate force of the four companies was only eight officers 
and 200 men. As Captain Kilpatrick's company were drilled in 
the duty of skirmishers, it was thrown in advance after crossing 
over to Hampton, and seized the cross-road about a mile beyond, 
at which point any land expedition returning from Fox Hill would 
be compelled to pass. The main body passed through Hampton, 
but being overtaken by a violent rain-storm, took shelter in an 
abandoned house, and waited there till dawn of day. Numbers 
of colored persons were examined, and all agreed that no force 
had passed in the direction of Fox Hill, nor could any rumor of 
the capture of Colonel Allen's men be discovered. 

I determined, however, to advance in the direction of YorktowTi 
sufficiently far to show forces at that place that they could not 
conduct small expeditions with impunity so near to us, and be- 
sides to assure the citizens that all our authorized expeditions 
would respect peaceable persons and property. With these ob- 
jects 1 concluded to go to a place called the County .Bridge, 
about nine miles from Hampton, where there was said to be a 
batter)- of several cannon, and capture it if practicable. About 
two and a half miles beyond Hampton we came to Newmarket 
Bridge, which spans a branch of Bark River. This was partially 
destroyed by fire, hut not so much so that we did not succeed in 
making it passable in a few minutes. 

About two miles further on the scouts in advance met a wagon 
containing two or three men, who at once turned around and 
fled. Several shots were fired over them to induce them to stop, 
but without rUVct. that tir.v; on we frcqurntl'/ saw men 
on our flanks in the wdods, ami heard shots, giving warning of 
our advance. At one house, where there were several women. 

Our First Camp in Virginia. 45 

our passing by caused great terror, and their lamentations were 
piteous. Their cries, " Oh, my dear father ; oh, my dear brother," 
and entreated us to go back and spare the shedding of blood, 
fell painfully on our ears. The presence of Rev. Dr. Winslow 
and Ur. Gilbert, however, soon quieted them. Some of my men 
filled their canteens at the well as we passed on. We reached 
the County Bridge at 9 A.M. The stream is a branch of the Bark 
River, and is easily forded, and the bridge is uninjured. There 
is a frame building church on the other side, in rather a dilapi- 
dated condition. No human being was in the vicinity, nor did it 
give evidence of having been occupied, except by a few persons, 
since the rain.* Trees cut down near the bridge indicated that 
arrangements had been made to dispute its passage. There 
were no breastworks other than an old pit. which had prol>ably 
been a cellar, which would have effectually sheltered about fifty 
men. The floor of the church was strewn with corn-cobs, and 
had been, probably, occupied as a stable. 

We were told that horsemen, to the number of forty, came 
here every night, and that the guns were removed last Saturday, 
the 1st inst. Some letters, all of a private nature, picked up in 
the vicinity, indicated a speedy abandonment of the place. We 
regretted very much to find no enemy there, as the vicinity is 
ver\' favorable to infantry operations. We returned by a road 
about one mile to the east of the one by which we advanced, 
and which crosses the stream, the bridge of which we had re- 
paired in the morning, about one and a half miles lower down. 
The heat of the sun, on our return, was intense, but on reaching 
this stream again about 3 P.M., a violent shower came on us, and 
soon all were wet to the skin. The bridge at this point was 
entirely destroyed, so we concluded to ford it. Finding the 
water over the men's heads, the passage was accomplished by 
swimming. A few who could not swim were passed over on a 
little scow which was there. This filled once with water, with 
three men in it who could not swim, but these were all rescued 
at once bv those who could. It continued to rain, with slight. 

* ir.i^ Bct'u-li, " Rep-rt .^f Committee on the Cniidiict' of tlie," iVol. I. p 
"''■''..1 t General W.irren ^:lys : " I h^J liecn un the t;pnind six d.iyj previously. anJ 
h.«d rtconuoiiercd it, tliuivgh iiubuily then preiont knew that I done so." 

4.6 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

intermission, till our return to our camp, about 5i P.M. The 
expedition was out about twenty-four hours. The sleep the men 
got was while under arms in the house at Hampton, lying on 
the floor. Owing to inexperience and eagerness to set out, my 
directions for supplying theihselves with rations were imperfectly 
complied with, and they suftered severely for want of something 
to eat. Nothing, however, was taken from the people along the 
road but a little corn-bread and milk, which was paid for at more 
than twice its value. 

The cheerful manner in which most of the command bore their 
hard march under a broiling sun, and crossed a deep stream by 
swimming, and finished the last four miles of their march in 
their jaded condition, with wet clothes, over a muddy road, all 
show what they may accomplish in the future. And the respect 
paid to persons and property was, in my opinion, as great a 
triumph for our cause as would have been a victory over armed 

After describing the immense resources of the country, in 
wheat and corn, fowls and cattle, and tliat if he had been 
directed to do so he could have brought in large numbers of 
the latter, the report continues : 

The only thing taken was a horse, which was given to the 
Rev. Dr. Winslow to ride. It was in the possession of a negro 
boy, who said it belonged to a man (not his master) who had 
joined the secessionists. A fine Pointer dog followed us in from 
one of the deserted houses. The negroes we met were seem- 
inglv glad to see us. The poor whites seem to desire neutrality, 
though many of them are with the secessionists. On our return 
we met a young gentleman with two beautiful, well-dressed 
ladies — one of them very young — going in a buggy toward York- 
town. I begged them to stay at home and aid us in restoring 
peace to their country, and told them that I would insure them 
protection, and also requested the gentK-nian lo iiifurm others 
Iv. met in tlie place to uhicii lie was ropairin-- to the samecliect, 
He s.iid he would do so, but it would do no good ; they would 
not believe us. He said frankly that the procianiatiun of General 

Our First Cauip in Virginia. 47 

Hullcr had proved but a snare to those who trusted in it ; that 
his uncle, Mr. Sinclair, had seen all his chickens killed before his 
c-\'.s, not even the mother of a little brood was spared ; houses, 
tn.i, had been plundered of their furniture, and people would 
never return again while a Northern man remained on the soil 
of \'irginia. To one of the ladies, at her request, I gave the 
IcUcrs we picked up at the County Bridge, the only proof I could 
:s'ivc of my sincerity. It is in vain to attempt to pacify or render 
these people friendly, unless the greatest rigor is used, not 
Tji.TcIy toward those who are caught com.mitting depredations, 
which is difficult to do, but toward every one found beyond some 
'itablished line without authority. I would respectfully suggest 
that no more seizures of cattle or provisions shall be made, even 
sUu-n left behind by avowed secessionists. They will otherwise 
iMrr>- it off or destroy it. But if it remain unmolested by us, we 
uiil find abundance of means at hand to sustain us whenever we 
> house to advance in force. Small scouting parties in front of 
< ur lines keep up a needless alarm, and must fail in capturing 
<lflachments of the enemy, who, being well mounted and ac- 
<i-iainted with the country, fiee at our approach. Besides, these 
sc.iuting parties tend to demoralize the regiment, and prevent 
that attention to drill and discipline so essential to the real 
''pcrations of war. Let us remain quietly within our lines, pre- 
paring for the greater struggle ; let our foes even think we fear 
' them, if thereby their temerity may place them more within our 
^rr.isp ; and when we do move, let it be like the bound of the lion 
from his covert. 

Then after describing the character of the country for 
;nilitary operations, the report closed by saying : 

f celing that any compliment paid by me to the men under my 
command might be constr-ued as an indirect one to myself, I 
respectfully submit this report of their march without further 

Very respectfully, ynur obedient, 

G. K. Warren, 
Lit-ut.-Col. Com. Expedition. 
I'J Colonel A. DuRvi^.E, Com. -^th Regiment, X. Y. S. V. 


48 Fifth Nczu York VoliDitccr Infantry. 

The following narrative is by the correspondent of the 
New York Times : 

On the morning- of the 4th, at about I o'clock. Captain H. 
Dur\ea took a detachment of three companies and started for 
Fox Hill to rescue the men of Colonel Allen's regiment, who 
were reported to have been captured by the rebels. After a 
forced march of nine miles they arrived at a farm-house at Fox 
Hill, where it was reported that there was an intrenched enemy, 
but there was none to be found. 

They halted there a short time, and procuring a guide, started 
Tor Back River, a distance of five miles further on ; but on ar- 
riving there they were again doomed to disappointment — the 
enemy had gone. 

Lieutenant George Duryea took twenty men, and started up 
the river to secure boats. While on this duty he stopped at a 
farm-house owned by a Union man, who offered him and his 
men a bountiful breakfast, which was declined, though milk and 
corn-bread were furnished to the men. He secured a few boats, 
but soon after an aide from head(}uarters reported that Colonel 
Allen's regiment was safe, so the boats were not needed, and a 
return to camp was ordered, by a different route, however, the 
command passing through Hampton. While passing through 
the village. Lieutenant Burnett, with a flanking party in advance, 
was struck on the right breast by a spent ball, inflicting but a 
slight wound, the ball falling from his shirt to the ground. It 
did not keep him from pursuing the march. With this single 
exception, everybody arrived safely in camp after a march ot ten 
hours. On Saturday afternoon we had another general call to 
arms, by a report that two companies of the Troy regiment were 
being attacked at Hampton. The men sprang into the ranks ; 
some of the Troy regiment rushed down to Hampton, without 
waiting for the connnanJ ; aides were galloping along the road at 
full speed; and the Zouaves, with trfteen rounds of ammunition, 
left their camping-ground and halted at the main road. There 
were a few miiiutes of suspense, and then word came that it was 
a false alarm. The news was received wiili great disappv>int- 
ment, and the men marched downcast back to camp. 




patkick's Advanxe- a Virginia Prisoner— A Fat.\i. Mistake— Big Bethel 
—A Wounded Comrade— A Soldier's Tribute— Death of Lieutenant 
Gkeble— Honorable Mention— A Naval Commander— Correspondence 
OF the New York Tribune— Vi-ag of Truce. 

Sunday, the 9th of June, was spent in the usual duties as- 
signed to the day. The regiment was out on parade as 
u^^ual. After it was dismissed, the men were again assem- 
bled, and each man supi)hed with twenty rounds of cartridges 
m addition to what he had in his cartridge-box. Ail was bustle 
and activity. The men felt confident they were going out 
I'll an expedition somewhere, but in what direction was 
entirely unknown. 

Taps were sounded at the usual hour, and all not on spe- 
cial duty were ordered to their tents. A few minutes later 
ilic orderlies of the companies went to each tent, and in an 
imdertone notified the occupants that at half-past ten o'clock 
every man would be called to immediately equip without 
noise or hght, and fall in line in front of the tents ; each man 
was to be supplied with one day's rations and a canteen of 

They were to tie the white turban twice around the left 
arm, as a distinguishing mark, and the watchword " Boston " 
was given. Several able-bodied men were detailed to re- 
;"it t(i the surgeons, from which it was inferred that some- 
*'■'!.; in earnest was to be done. About 9.30 r..\i. a body 
<-'f iiiL-n marched away tVom the legiment ; they made ^o iit- 
I'O noise that it seemed a mystery where they came from. 

, ; /■ 


50 Fiftr .\vTt' York Volufitcer Infantry. 

They were Co:. litanies H and I, under the command of Cap- 
tains Kilpatiick and Bartlett respectively, and were to proceed 
in advance of the regiment as scouts and skirmishers, and 
also to stop all persons that might be going from Hampton 
toward the encinv, It was now understood that the regiment 
was to act in cor.cert with Colonel Eendix's 7th New York 
(Steuben Rilles) from Newport News, for the purpose of sur- 
prising and capnuiing at the point of the bayonet, if possible, 
a Confederate camp, at a place about eleven miles from 
Hampton, and known as Bk; ]U:thf,l. 

Two other regiments were to follow as supports in case 
they were required— Col. Carr's 2d New York (Troy regi- 
ment), and C<- uMitl Townsend's 3d New York (Albany regi- 
ment). Lieutenant Greble, of the 2d Artillery, with eleven 
regulars and one riiled six-pounder from the fortress, accom- 
panied the expedition. A negro named George Scott, who 
had been working on the Confederate earthworks, had run 
away, and giver. L-iich information to General Butler, that 
he determined to send a force against them, and hence the 
present movemeiit. 

The negro acrompanied the forces as a guide, being sup- 
plied at his request with a ritle and ammunition. At mid- 
night, the regiment being in line, 740 strong, and fully pre- 
pared to move, tlio order was given to march. They accord- 
ingly fded off on the road, and soon reached Hampton River, 
which was crossed in boats under the charge of the naval 
brigade. This occasioned some delay, but the march was 
soon resumed, the men stepping off briskly at route step and 
arms at will, 'i'he men were all in good spirits and sanguine 
of success. .Vfter coveting about six miles of ground, a halt 
was ordered 

Those on the ii^,'ht of the regiment, at head of column, saw 
a briglit light ijointing toward the enemy's position. It was 
a Confederate Further on another was seen, and 
again we came to a ^light halt. For the purpose of undei- 

Big Bethel. \ 5 1 

standing our position at this time, we will follow Captain 
Kilpatrick's movements. 

As already stated, he and Captain Bartlett, with their coni- 
paiiies, left camp two hours before the departure of the main 
l)ody of the regiment. He advanced cautiously after getting 
beyond Hampton, and established pickets one and a quarter 
and two and a half miles beyond that village, with the 
necessary reserves. 

The pickets fell in with the regiment as it came up to 
where they were posted. After reaching Newmarket Bridge, 
Captain Kilpatrick took twenty men with him, after the regi- 
ment came up to a sup[)orting distance, and advanced again, 
posting now and then a picket at important points. Aftei 
il)proaching to within a short march of New County 
Uridge, he saw through the trees what was supposed to be a 
camp fire. He halted his men and held a short consultation 
with his non-commissioned officers, among whom there was 
a diversity of opinion, some thinking that it was a Confeder- 
ate camp, and others that it was only a picket outpost. 

He determined to reconnoiter and ascertain to a certainty 
'I possible, and accordingly selected a squad of eight men 
tor the purpose : Sergeant Benjamin F. Onderdonk, Corporal 
Andrew B. Allison, Samuel Wilson, Andrew Whitehead, John 
Kuck, James S. Boyd, Fred. Bollet, and Edward Engel.* 
1 U'.-y crept carefully through the woods, when suddenly they 
*xTe brought to a halt by a challenge : " Who goes there ? " 
I iu-y did not answer. The challenge was repeated a second 
- d third time, when Kilpatrick immediately answered : "Who 
"taiids there ? " A prompt reply came : '' A Virginian." And 
•»' ihe same time they heard steps pattering on the road in re- 
''^'••\X, and also saw a horseman, who was not vet mounted. 

•■.ii:t ' ';ii.!iri!n:ik subiemiently was Colontl of ihc rst Mounted Ritlei, .-ind 
•^ ■ 'f '■fU.iu'; AUi-on uas killed :U second Hull Rmi. .i;- colcr-bearer 
■■•>: I Mix • It.^yd iu.;t his arm ; Bollet received four wounds ; and Enjjel was 
•••"Hi uouiiJcd in the same eni.iweniciit. 

52 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

making preparations to leave. Corporal Allison sprang in ad- 
vance, ordering him to halt, and supposing the enemy in 
force, the Captain gave his squad the order, "Fire and 
charge ;" which was instantly obeyed, the rest of his com- 
pany following them. The whole atfair was over in a mo- 
ment. Sam Wilson, putting his hand on the horseman's 
shoulder, who had not time to mount, ordered him to sur- 
render, at the same time disarming him of one of his revolv- 
ers, while another took the remaining one from his belt. 
On the prisoner instinctively feeling for them, he found they 
were gone, upon which he delivered his sword. It was an 
unusually long and sharp one. The prisoner proved to be 
a Captain Whiting, and the officer of the guard. He was a 
splendid-looking specimen of a Southerner, standing more 
than six feet in height, and a perfect gentleman. He was 
taken with an escort to the rear. 

The main body of the regiment had now come up on a 
double-quick on hearing the reports of the pieces. Soon after 
this occurred heavy firing was heard in the rear, in which the 
report of cannon could be distinguished, and supposing that 
the enemy had in some way come in contact with the New- 
port News regiment, the Fifth was right-abouted and marched 
double-quick about two miles back on the road by which 
it had just approached. Company K, Capt. Winslow, being 
thrown out on the right as skirmishers, advanced through 
thick woods and wet wheat-fields. It being now about day- 
light, upon coming up to where the firing had been heard, it 
was discovered that a most lamentable mistake had occurred. 
Col. Bendix, with his commind, the ^i\\ New Yotk, who 
marched from Newport News in comi^any with detachments 
of the sth Massachusetts and of Col. Phelps' Vermonc 
regiment, who were to meet and act in conj unction with the 
Zouaves, according to the i>lan dc\ iscd to surprise and cap- 
ture the Confederate camp at Dig liethel. discovered Col. 
Townsend's 3d New York, who were marching with twc 

■ ' • .'I'M-" 

.. , - •: Big Bethel. -;i - - 53 

twelve-pound howitzers, on the main road from Hampton, 
r.'.Iowing the Fifth at a proper supporting distance as a re- 
serve ; and in the uncertain light of the morning, supposing 
that they were an enemy, opened fire upon them, and before 
the mistake was discovered had killed and wounded eleven 
of Col. Townsend's men. It was saddening to see them lying 
at the little house just off the road, the victims of careless- 
ness or want of discretion, although prompted by patriotic 
zeal and courage. Half an hour after, the Zouaves, under 
orders, singing the " Star Spangled Banner " and other patri- 
otic songs, went hurrying back to the attack.* 

Before marching, however, a detail of five men was made 
from Company G — Benj. F. Finley, John Gillen, Ed. Hoff- 
man, James Martin, and E. AI. Law — to burn down a hand- 
some residence from which a shot had been fired at Surgeon 
Howe, of the rst New York, who took charge of the detail 
personally.t It was ascertained to a certainty that the shot 
was fired by the owner of this elegant place, a Mr. Whiting, 
who was also an officer of the Confederate army. He was 
seen escaping to the woods from the rear of the premises, 
and the negroes also confirmed the intelligence. It was 
handsomely furnished with all that a refined taste could sug- 
gest ; but before applying the torch, the former slaves of the 
owner were allowed to appropriate clothing and whatever 

■ • r.en. Warren, " Report of Coram"tte<; on the Conduct of the War," Vol. I., p. 383: 
" It was planned for a night attack with very new troops; some of them had never 
y^r-n tnught to even load and fire. It was planned to proceed from two different 
I«inii distant from each other six or seven miles. The ground between was un- 
known, and then the map wliich Gen. Rutler furnished was a wrong map, made in 
i4i1, and the roads were .ill laid down wrong. The specific p<^unts of instruction 
*erc that the troops at Newport News being some three miles nearer, should start 
•>!'■ ut an hour after the otheis. The true state of the case that they were 
■«'- "'. f iir mile-, nearer, and that brought on the collision which took place, and 
'•''■'. I .^ i'-.e\i!.i!i'ic. I think the two roi^iniciits, when they arrived on the croiind 
■ •:•■-• early nvjrniiii;, finding things not at a'.l as they bad been instructed, were in firins on each rither. I am satisfied of that." 

t < illen was subsequently wounded and crippled, and HolTman killed at second 
»3'iU Run, 

54 Fifth Ncii) York Volunteer Infaittry. 

their fancy dictated, while Hoft'man played the " Star Sj^an- 
gled Banner" and other airs on the elegant piano; after 
which, Col. Duryde having arrived at the scene, the torch 
was applied, and on the return march back to camp, there 
was nothing left of house or contents but the brick chimney 
and a heap of smouldering ruins. 

A consultation of officers was now held as to future move- 
ments. Col. Duryee was of the opinion that the object of 
the whole movement — a surprise of the Confederate camps 
— h.aving been defeated, it was not good judgment to ad- 
vanc ; any further, but he would advance if it was the wish 
of the majority. The latter course was soon decided upon, 
and Capt. Kilpatrick, wi:h his Company H, and Capt. Bart- 
lett, of Company I, again took the advance as scouts and 
skirmishers, ahead and on the flanks of the regiment. We 
soon reached Little Bethel, which the Colonel had particular 
instructions to destroy. It was a low wooden structure, and 
was a noted place of meeting for the secessionists of that 
part of the country, where they planned and matured their 
schemes of treason. In a few moments it was a mass of 
burning ruins. Further on, when a short halt was made, 
some of the Zouaves went into a house on the roadside, and 
soon appeared with a large earthen pot of honey. But they 
were not left to enjoy it alone, as they were surrounded in a 
moment and a score of hands were fighting to get a dip at 
that unheard-of luxury in camp life. Soon everybody had a 
fistful, and were licking their dripping fingers with keen rel- 
ish, when suddenly we heard the comtnand, " Fall in ! Shoul- 
der arms ! March ! " Here was a dilemma not anticipated, 
but it was the work of a moment to stoop down and grasp a 
handfiil of earth to remove the honey from the hand. After 
niarthing some distance we caine to a halt near a country 
school-house. In a tsvinklin.; it was fall of loyal visitors, of 
whom one played master mounted on the platform, and was 
trying to preserve order by pou'.iding the desk with a heavy 

-f ;;-.' 

■ 1 ; : It 

■■' . ' I 

■ -. Big Bethel. 55 

s'.ick, when he was assailed by such a cloud of books and 
fiatcs that he was glad to vacate. Some were at the black- 
board hanging Jeff Davis with a piece of chalk ; others writ- 
ing not very complimentary messages to " the secesh " in 
^•oneral, which must have provoked their ire if they were 
read after our departure. But this amusement was suddenly 
cut short by the appearance of an officer, who ordered them 
to immediately rejoin the command. 

At 8 A.M. Captain Kilpatrick met and drove in the enemy's 
picket guard. He then detached twenty men from his 
company, made a reconnoissance, and found the enemy about 
two or three thousand strong, who, as was afterward ascer- 
tained, were under the command of Colonel Magruder. 
'1 hey were posted on the opposite side of a stream, which 
was the north-west branch of the Back River, on ground 
shgluly elevated. The road passed down a hollow as it 
neared the approach to the bridge over the stream in front 
of their works, which widened out on each ilank into a mo- 
rass. They were behind two strong earthworks each side of 
the road, which commanded the bridge, and were intrenched 
along the bank of a wooded swamp on their right, and had 
niasked their battery, which, as was afterward ascertained 
<ltiring the course of the battle, mounted at least ten guns, 
some of them ritied. These completely raked the only road, 
in tront, which was the path by which our regiment was ap- 
proaching. Directly in front of the enemy's right was the 
niorass, impassable for man or beast, without artificial help, 
and in front of their left was the stream of water, running 
from the niorass or pond. Between their left and the Union 
tioops was comparatively open ground, partly planted with 
corn, which bordered on a piece of woods, adjoining which 
"^^^'-i an open plowed ficKl. About half a mile to lUc of 
I 'i> field was a, being on the riujlu of tiie road as 
f icing the enemy ; on the left of the road was the morass 
Liefortj mentioned, directly in front oi the enemy; th_-n a 

$6 FiftJi New York Volwiteer Infantry. 

small space of ground, with a rail fence, and rome old sheds ; 
a young pear!, orchard, soil very soft ; then a little narrow lane, 
that ran to llie left at right angles with the road, bordered 
with stonewalls ;;r.d a barn^ next to which was a corn-field. 
About this time Lieutenant-Colonel Warren came up, and 
taking comnianu of two companies, went forward as skir- 
mishers.* They advanced on the left and right of the road 
rapidly, supported by the rest of the regiment. Lieutenant 
Greble advanced along the road with the three guns. The 
long roll and the cries of the enemy to "turn out" could 
now be plainly heard. The regiment formed in line of battle 
in the corn-hcld on the left of the road, and soon after ad- 
vanced in fours by right flank up the road, and turned into 
the open, plowed held on its right, facing the woods, and 
formed in hne of battle. Colonel Townsend (3d New 
York) had now come up, and formed on the left of the road. 
Most of us experienced a strange sensation, as we were 
standing there, expecting every moment to receive a volley 
from the woods into our closed ranks. It was our first 
formal battle. Every i«an looked a shade paler, but it was 
the effect of stern determination and suppressed excitement. 
Colonel Duryee said the cavalry were coming out, but the 
result showed that he was mistaken. The Confederates had 
not the slightest intention of leaving their well-protected and 
intrenched position, unless it should be to the rear. At 
twenty minutes of ten o'clock the loud boom of a cannon 
was heard, and Captain Denike, of Company G., took out 
his watch, and s;iid, " Men, the ball has opened." This first 
sliot was fired by the brave Lieutenant Greble, a regular 
ofticer, who, with eleven regulars from the fort, aided by a 
few of the AIas>achusetts men, had charge of one rifled 
]:)ieee and two tv/elve-ptiun;! h.owit/.crs, and had placed them 

• " Report of CViumltlLc on the Conduct of the War" (p. jPj). General 
ren : '" I pushed up vviih two comp:iiiit.-s r\ho:id of the rctsiment, wittiin f.vo or three 
hundred y.\rds of llu oiiv.'iiy, and discovered that they had caiinun, etc." 

Big Bethel. • 57 

in the road side of the woods, within five hundred yards of 
the enemy's works, supported somewhat by three companies 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Warren. 

Ahnost instantaneously the first report was followed by 
another, and a shell came whizzing through the air, with its 
disagreeable shriek. Now they come thick and fast, and the 
regiment was ordered to charge through the wood. At the 
word of command, on they rushed, with a Zouave cheer, 
through the thick brush of the wood, which was raked by 
grape and canister, shell and solid shot. Soon the companies 
became mixed, and separated into detached squads, on ac- 
count of the thick undergrowth of the woods. It was impos- 
sible to preserve the line in breaking through the brush and 
dodging trees, or even to keep in view of one another. The 
wood resounded with cries of "This way, Company A," 
" This w^ay, Company G," mingled with various emphatic 
injunctions not necessary to be repeated. The firing now 
became very heavy, but on account of our being so near the 
rebel works, and their fire directed by inexperienced artil- 
lerists, their shots were aimed too high, and cut oft" the tree 
tops and boughs, which was more agreeable to the Zouaves 
tlian the loss of their own heads and limbs. The men were 
now ordered to lie down and keep covered as much as pos- 
sible, and await future developments. In the meantime some 
01 the boys, on their own responsibility, had crept to the 
unior edge of the woods nearest the enemy, the timber being 
Ij'^iinded by a rail fence, and thence kept up a fire on any 
< nnfeilerate that exposed himself above their works. It was 
•1 little to the right of this position that Major Winthrop was 
killed. Part of the Steuben RiHes had also crept up on tlie 
'^uht, and kept up a galling fire, while some of the Zouaves 
' -iiJied up the road. Captain Kitpatiick and live or .'~i>c 
•'■''■■IS were standing well to tlie iVoiit in the woods, with 
<- '^lonel l)uryee, who was about ten teet to tiie right, ti viiig 
tiJ ^et a view of the Confederate posuion, when a gra[)e-shot 

' ' ■■ ■ f< ' 


58 Fifth Nczv York Volunteer Infantry. 

cut tlirough the Cajitain's thigh and scraped the other leg, 
and went through the thigh of Tom Cartwright, of Company 
G, who was standing near him ; another shot, at the same 
moment, tore otTa portion of the rectangle on the left shoulder 
of Colonel A. Duryce. Captain Kilpatrick's inquiry on receiv- 
ing the wound, ''Are we going to stay here and be shot 
down, and do nothing ?" was answered by the order to foil 
back toward the edge of the woods, and to re-form, the Cap- 
tains and officers using the most strenuous exertions to get 
their companies together, with only partial success on ac- 
count of the undergrowth which separated them. There 
being no order for any general movement to outflank the 
enemy, or change ])Osition, from the Biigadier-General 
(Pierce). commanding, and the officers and men being eager 
to get at the enemy in some way, in the absence of direct 
orders, they were not acting in concert, but moie or less on 
their own responsibility. Colonel Duryee and officers were 
exerting themselves to get the men again into a battalion 
front and calm their excitement, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wirren called out that they would flank them on the left. 

The morass in front, which was impassable, prevented the 
Zouaves from forcing the batteries at the point of the bayonet, 
without orders, in which undertaking some of the officers 
would have gladly led. They were in earnest, and ready for 
any deed of daring. Captain Kilpatrick, in his written report 
of his part in the movement, says : " The whole command, 
officers and men, did themselves the greatest credit, and, I 
am satisfied, can conquer anything excejn impossibilities." 

At this stage of the contest, soM)e of the men charged up 
the road ; one of them lost a leg, which was cut off" close to 
his bodv, by a solid shot ; another an arm, and one was 
killed, and the undL-rtaking wjs t^nnid iiniiossiblc withcnit 
support, l.ii-ulcnant Jarob l)in\cc, of Company G, called 
out, "Who will follow me? I will charge the batteries," 
when he was iuniiediarely surrounded by all within the sound 

■ Big Bethel. •- 59 

of liis voice — about forty or fifty — among whom were most 
of the firemen of his own company, comprising members of 
Engine Company 12, Engine Company 7, Truck Company 
9, and of old Engine Company 46, which had been dis- 
banded on account of the fighting procHvities of its mem- 
bers. Away they rushed, followed by Captain Denike, Cap- 
lain Winslow, and Lieutenant York, and about 200 of the 
Zouaves, out of the woods across the road, joined by Kil- 
patrick, who went limping along with them, notwithstanding 
!)is wounds, and it is unnecessary to say that the giant form 
of Willian^ McDowell,* of Truck Company 9, was among 
them. They dashed toward the peach orchard, on the left 
of the road, falling fiat at each fiash of the rebel cannon, then 
up again and on, as fast as they could move, over the soft 
and yielding soil, the solid shot and canister shrieking over 
their heads. About the middle of the field, Kilpatrick's 
wounded leg gave out, and some of the men halted to assist 
him to the rear, but he requested them to advance. A num- 
ber of the men went no further. Robert Strachan, of Com- 
pany I, who was in the charge, seeing that he was nuicli ex- 
hausted, assisted him to the rear. Einally the little storm- 
ing party, now numbering only about fifty, reached the shelter 
of the old sheds, already mentioned, and just beyond was 
that impassable morass that prevented them from achieving 
a victory. Among that little band were men who had fought 
fire and tlame, and knew no fear, and whom nothing in the 
shape of man could terrify. This testimonial is to be found 
on the muster rolls of their company, where the names of 
the most of those who were in this the first real charge of the 
war, are to be found as killed or wounded, at Gaines' Mill 
or on Manassas Flains.f 

' !:;ilcdat ,ccoi.<l I'.uU Run. 

■f Ihi; mimbcr of members (if Coiiipnny G that bcloni^ed to the Volunteer Fire Pc- 
I Ttmcnt of New,- York City w,i= tw,enty-two, of wliom five were killed, ci;;ht 
•• uii.l.-il ami injured Ui\e of whom were discli.-.rged therefor), and three retunicu 



6o Fifth New York Volunteer Infa7itry. 

They approached within three hundred feet of the enemy's 
works, and kept up a vigorous fire from the cover of the 
sheds. Colonel Townsend, with the 3d New York, also 
came up with his regiment further to the left, in good order, 
the Colonel leading, and sitting erect on A white horse, the 
impersonation of a valiant soldier. It seemed a miracle that 
he was not killed, but such are the chances of war. Frequently 
the men who seem, by their actions, to almost court death 
are spared, while the fatal bullet strikes the skulking victim, 
far away to the rear. Private William H. Burnham, of Com- 
pany H, formerly in the regular army, had the credit of sav- 
ing the life of Colonel Townsend by shooting a rebel lodged 
in a tree, who had drawn his ritle on him. Burnham was 
presented with a gold medal by the Colonel. The Con- 
federates now abandoned the v.-orks on their right, but still 
the troops could not follow up the advantage on account of 
the nature of the obstructions described. Colonel Town- 
send, seeing two companies of his regiment who had become 
detached from his left in coming through the bushes to tiie 
open field, on his left flank, fell back, supposing them to be 
the enemy, as their uniform was very similar in color, and 
after holding the sheds for some tin)e, the Zouaves also fell 
back slowly, for there was no possible use of staying where 
they were, the troops being on the retreat, having been 
ordered to do so by General Pierce. 

Swinton, in his " History of the Army of the Potomac " (pp. 
32-33), says : " Rut it happened that there was one man 
there who saw the course of action suited to the case. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Warren suggested that a regiment should be 
sent round on each side to take the position in Hank, and 

to liuty .iftiT recovering. Two were (fischnrKod on account of disease, one t.iVei 
prisoner, August 30, i86c, .nnd paroleJ, and the others were mustcieil out with th 
ct nipany, May 14, 1S63. Of tlic whole number <2i), one was an otVicer, two wcr. 
ist Sergeants, two Serjeants, and six were Corporals; one, ut the time of thi 
wriii;i^', is in the rc.;ular army. 

• - ■ Big Bethel. -'■ 61 

when these became engaged, those in front, lying in shelter 
in a wood, should attack. This operation, if carried out, 
would i^robably have been successful. But the regiment* 
that was to make the movement on the enemy's right, in- 
stead of being directed by a detour through the woods, was 
advanced right across an open field, in front of the position, 
whereby it became exposed to an artillery fire. It happened, 
ti)o, that the left company became separated from the rest 
of the regiment by a thicket ; and Col, Townsend, not being 
aware of this, and seeing the glistening of bayonets in the 
woods, concluded the enemy was outtlanking him, and so 
fell back to his first position. The regimentt that had gone 
round on the other flank found itself in a difficult situation, 
where, being exposed to pretty severe fire, it was found hard 
to bring the men up. Major Winthrop, aide to Gen. Butler, 
was killed while rallying the troops to the assault. Gen. 
Tierce ordered a retreat, and the regiments marched off as 
on parade. ":[ 

About midway of the orchard one of the Zouaves v/as ly- 
ing, shot through the chest ; Wm. McDowell, Davenport, 
and one other went to his assistance ; Lieut. York took his 
ritle, and the others carried him about thirty paces, but he 
begged so hard to be put down again, and knowing that he 
had a mortal wound, they placed him with his back against a 
tree, supplied him with water, and left him to die in peace. 

• Colonel Townsend's 3d New York. 
t 7ih New York, Col. Bendix. 

t " Report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War" (Vol. I., p. 3S3), Gen. 
\VaiTcn says : " Gen. Pierce called .1 meeting of the Colonels about what should be 
"ae, and news of some sort came from Gen. Butler by his aide. I am sorry to 
'ay Ihey all determined that we had belter retire. I opposed it myself." 

^*iTiton (p. 31;'). "'Col. \V:irren, who al>ine protested .ai;ainst the retreat, volun- 
' •: ■>■ r.:r.i.oi.eJ on the >;roi:nd, and toctther with Kov. Dr. \Vin>low. of his re^i- 
■'. tr-.ii-lil oft' the woujidcd. While he yet remained on the ground, the Con- 
f' !-raif. abandoned the position ; and the reason as'.ifijncd for this step by Col. D. 
". Iliil, who was in command of the ist North Carolina Regiment, is, that he 
' .titI rcinfircemeiits would be sent up from Fortress Monroe." 


^2 Fifth Nc-zv York Vohintccr Infantry. 

Lieut. John T. Greble, with the regulars and a few of the 
Massachusetts men, as before stated, held the most dangerous 
post, on the road, with the three guns. Tiie solid shot from 
the Confederate batteries plowed their way straight up the 
road, from which there was no cover, except that occasion- 
ally some of the men took shelter in the edge of the wood 
on the right of the road. Lieut. Greble would not deign to 
leave his post for an instant, but coolly sighted the guns him- 
self and watched the effect of every shot. Capt. Bartlett,* 
of the Zouaves, stood by his side for some time. When the 
troops left, he saw that he could not hold the position any 
longer, and was in the act of sighting or spiking his gun 
when a cannon ball struck hiui on the temple, cairying away 
half of his head. The ball passed through the body of a man 
standing near and took the leg otT of a third. He had only 
fi\e men left with him at this time. His Sergeant then spiked 
the gun. Four of the regulars were killed or wounded out 
of the eleven that came with him from the fort. 

Greble's body was laid over a caisson, and was dragged 
off under the superintendence of Lieut.-Colbnel Warren. 
Lieutenant Greble was the fust regular officer who fell 
in the war. By his bravery in standing by his guns, and 
keeping up a steady fire on the enemy's works, he prevented 
them from using their cannon as effectually as they could have 
done, in which case there would have been a very heavy loss 
of life on our side. The enemy's guns were under the per- 
sonal command of Major George W . Randoli^h, later the 
Confederate Secretary of War. 

A small number remained behind after the regiment 
nioved, among whom were Philip L. Wilson and George L. 
Guthrie, to rescue the wounded, but the special mission of 
thi.' fiuiiKT was to biing off Thomas Cartwrigln, already men- 
tioned :■-:, luvmg been shot through the thigh, and wlio was 
one of his messmates. 

• M.-ijor nth U. S. Infjiitry (iS;3). 

Big Bethel. '/ 63 

He asked the men guarding Greble's body to assist him, 
'Mit they refused He went into the woods and there met 
C'fUthrie, who was alone, and shouting for Tom, they were 
{'.nally overjoyed to hear him answer their call. They car- 
rifd him with much exertion to the edge of the wood by the 
r.Kid, and leaving Guthrie as companion Phil went to find a 
conveyance. He succeeded in obtaining a hand cart, and 
went back with it to the [ilace where Guthrie and Cartwright 
were waiting, having first handed the Lieut.-ColoncI his rifle, 
who told him to make haste or he would be taken prisoner. 
In this way Cartwright's life was probably saved on this oc- 
ra>ion. They stopped a few moments at a farm-house on the 
road, where they found other wounded men, among whom 
was Jan)es I.. Taylor, of Company B, who was conveyed 
tliere by his friend Corporal, afterward Colonel, Wm. Gilder, 
and who died there the same night. Chaplain Winslow, of the 
Zouaves, was waiting on them. 

They were obliged to hurry away, as they were closely fol- 
lowed by some of the enemy, who were mounted. This 
l)arty, which was a mer-e squad, and was the rear guard, was 
roinposed of a few of the Troy regiment, some of the "th 
Steuben, some of Townsend's regiment, a few of the 
7.otiaves, and many of the wounded, all under the com- 
mand of Lieut.-Col. Warren. 

At a cross-road they met two of tlie Troy regiment who 
were driving a wagon thev had seized. Tiiey got out and 
t':utwright was put in. A skirmish soon after ensued with 
the enemy, who were following, and was kejn up all the 
>*ay to Newmarket Bridge, Tom Cartwright also taking a 
hancj in from the wagon. At the bridge they met laeut.- 
Cul. Warren, who had left them a little while before, and 
;■: '■ •-■ forwaid to huir\- up tlic detail of the naval brigade, 
■'^noiji he tiail sent forward when he left camp with two guur;.* 

• ! I'lit -C'>1. Warren did not leave c.imp witli the cxpo'lition, but a report Iiav- 
" h re., hcd Cjinp Vl.imillon, occasioned by tlie iiiifurtuiiate night encounter of the 

64 Fifth Nciv York Vohintccr Infantry. 

The old sea-Jogs came ]nishing up the road, armed with 
clubs, dragging the cannon after them, crying out every now 
and then, " Heave hearty! Heave hearty, my Lads ! " All 
who were at Camp Hamilton will never forget the " sea- 
pirates." They were the wildest and most reckless set of 
men ever got together. 

The rear guaul, after crossing the bridge, pulled up the 
planks, and the enemy seeing the cannon, abandoned further 
pursuit. One of the latter was shot here by one of our men. 
The regiment, in the nieantime, kept on their weary march 
back to camp, tired and footsore. Their giant Adjutant, 
Hamblin,* at every short halt to rest, threw himself on the 
ground with the excUuDation, " How I like the mud ! " and 
when the men got up to resume the march, it was with con- 
siderable efibrt they could get their stiffened joints to obey 
their will. Finally they reached Hampton, and were rowed 
across the river by the naval brigade in Hat-bottomed scows, 
in one of which lay the body of the lamented George H. 
Tiebout, of Company A, who was shot through the heart by 
a canister ball, and was the first martyr of the 5th Regi- 
ment, in the first battle oi the war. Having arrived on the 
other side of the river, the march was resumed, and we ar- 
rived in camp about 8 p.m., all completely exhausted, at'ter 
a march of thirty miles since leaving cam]!, besides standing 
the brunt of the battle, which lasted two hours and forty 
minutes. The first gun was fired at twenty miiuites before 
10 o'clock, and the last at twenty minutes pa?t 12 o'clock. 

The men had been without sleep for thirty-six hours, with 
only slight halts to rest — such as are usual on a long march. 

two regiments, that an engagement was guing on, he procured two piins from the 
f. rt and \vciit forwrml witli s-.nie if I'le naval bri'.;adi;, wlio were dnidcing the 
pun-. Afiirr -CL-iri.:; thcni « .. ii thwir u.iy, he ).iit spurs to hii nuilc ujul cumc up 
jii-t bcf.rt; ih.j c:i-.;;;^tmi;nt. 

• Sibsequeiuly Brevet Major-Oeneral. 

I I.' ■ .1, 

.,; '--d 

1 1 1'^^-i 

•: ■ . . Big Bethel. » 65 

dl)tain Kilpcitrick was placed on a white mule after the 
(roups had commenced to retreat, by Captaui Winslow, his 
uouiid beginning to be painful ; and inflannnation having set 
in, he was unable to walk. He thus rode with the regiment 
li.ick to camp. He mentions in his report the bravery of 
Cai>tain Winslow, Lieutenants Hoyt and Ferguson, Sergeants 
Onderdonk, Agnus, and Chambers, Corporals Seymour and 
•Mlison, and Private Boyd and others. He further slates 
that private John Dunn, whose arm was shattered by a can- 
non ball, bore himself with the greatest bravery, and said to 
Surgeon Gilbert, before amputating his arm, that he could 
not have lost it in a nobler cause. Private John H. Con- 
way, Company K, is reported to have said, when shot in the 
leg, " I have yet one leg left, and will follow my Captain to 
the end of the charge." Private Joseph Knowles, of Com- 
pany E, said, " Avenge the loss of my arm." But one of 
the most affecting incidents was that of James L. Taylor, of 
Company B. When he heard it remarked that he had re- 
ceived a mortal wound, he said to his true friend, Corporal 
\V. H. Gilder, "That's,all right, ' Gilly ' — don' f bother about 
nie ; I can't live — take some one off the ground who can 
live, and fight again." It was terrible, said his devoted com- 
rade, who had succeeded, after great efforts, in securing for a 
second time transportation for his dying friend, to be com- 
pelled to remove him from the wagon to make room for 
another who could live, and be obliged to desert him at that 
njoment forever. But orders had to be obeyed. 

\\ hile the regiment was in the woods under a heavy fire, 
Ihe Color Sergeant, who was a man of extraordinary size, 
w as overcome with exhaustion from the long march, the heat, 
«>r some other cause, and fell down with them in his hand. 
* orporal Jose])h A. Vai!, of Company A, sprang over and 
•"Ilk thi-m from him, arul bore them aloft, uiuil ordered to 
give llieni up against his will to Sergeant Brouner. 

Charles i\[etca!f was taken pi isoner, and never again re- 

,tl-,, • :v >; 

J (V; J. ... A'. 

66 Fifth Ncio York Volunteer Infantry. 

turned, but jireforreJ to ca?t his lot with the traitors, and 
went to work in an iron foundry in Richmond. 

Captains Kilpatrick and Barllett, of Companies H and I, 
respectively, and their commands, won great credit for the 
extra duties they performed, having covered at least five 
miles more of ground than the rest of the companies, on ac- 
count of their skirmishing duties on the front and fanks of 
the regiment. Captain Denikc also stood bravely to his 
post, and being the oldest ofticer in the regiment, deserved 
equal honor for his courage during the long and tedious 
march, and facing unflinchingly the fire of the enemy. 

It is to be regretted that Colonel Durye'e or Lieutenant- 
Colonel Warren had not been intrusted with the command 
of the expedition, instead of General Pierce, who, as it ap- 
peared, had never been mustered into the United States 
service, and had at the time no claim to any command. 
Although General Pierce was much censured on account of 
the failure of the attack, he proved himself in after years of 
the war to be a brave and capable ofticer on many fields in 
Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. ' He enlisted 
as a private for three years, and by his bravery soon rose 
lo be Colonel of a regiment, and finally was disabled by hav- 
ing his arm torn oft" by a 32-pound ball in battle. 

The result showed that there was a series of mistakes 
from the start. And the primary cause of the failure of the 
expedition should rest where it belongs — on the shoulders 
of General Butler.* Colonel Di;rye'e, in his ofticial report, 

♦ " Report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War" (Vol. I., p. 383), General 
Warren says : " I suggested to General Pierce to send a ret;iment on each flan ' — 
" he gave orders to that effect"—" to the left abnut half a mile could have crossed 
the swamp, and been masked in the woods and got behind the batter^'— am certain 
of it." "If Colonel T,)«n>end had gine into the wond.;, the ent;my would have 
been L-jmpcKed, juiijinj of what I have since learned, to have left the ground at 
cnce, or run the ri>k of haviii'.; everything cautiircd. He would h.^ve been«td, 
and they would n.jt know where he wa^ until he hud taken the battery in the rear." 
"General Picrje, as I have learned since from proceedings of courl-marti.\l, was 
never mustered into the service of the United .States, and really had no right to com- 

I/.-'-; . !i. 

O ^:!J )'. V^ 

' Big Bethel. . 67 

r.nmcd the following officers as worthy of honorable men- 
tv.n : 

Lieutenant-Colonel Warren, for his aid in forming a 
ji!an of attack and remaining among the last to bring away 
!';ie body of a brother officer (Lieutenant Greble), and the 

Chaplain Winslow, for his kind attentions to the wound- 

Captains Bartlett, Kilpatrick, and Wixslow. for the 
c'lVctive manner in which they skirmished before the 
enemy's fire. 

Lieutenant Jacob Duryee, who led the charge with a 
handful of men to within three hundred' feet of the enemy's 

Lieutenants York and Cambrellino, for their brave con- 

Surgeon Gilbert for performing upon the field of battle 
successful amputations, and his unremitting care of the 

Colonel Duryde also -iiientions Lieutenant Gouv. Carr, 
in command of Company B ; Lieutenant George Duryea, 
of Company C ; Sergeants Agnus and Onderdonk, and 
^'i'r|)orals Allison and Brouner. 

!=jnd the Colonels there, and T think he felt it, though they did not know it." " I 
'••■Tii: the plan of the fight, which was got up beforehand, from the very beginning 
••••■- lv.-J a failure, so much so, that I ready to state that it was planned for a 
f-il'Jre, and must have been one except by great good luck.'" 

Report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War " (Vol. I, p. 333'). General 
" irrcn says: " Greble's gun was spiked by his men, as they could not draw It off. 
!■<•■: men of the ist New York brought away the limber and his body after all 
' ''• " Rev. Dr. Winslow and myself remained on the ground, I think an hour 
■"^ I .1 h.ilf. and broui;ht off the wounded we thoui;ht could live, every one of them ; 
•^ ' to dr.iw them off in hand-carts." " I think they left their works while we 
*•■" ■■\ ;he ground." "We saw no one." " We went up all through the wood 
' '• •»-.-e not fired at. I was Jrei.sed in this red Zou.ave unifo.m. I went down 

">. or seven men, about i P.M., .ind put Lieutenant Greble on the limber and 
""■' • r..;!)t down the road in pl.iin sight. There was no General then at tlie light 
*• ■" '- ' The troops marched off as on parade ; the regiment left to cover the re- 
"'"' *'■»' with them." " The 2d New York regiment brought off a gun." 



68 _ Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

The report says : " There was no flinching on the part of 
any officer or private, and I might mention many more wilii 
honor ; " and concludes as follows : " In closing, I can not 
but speak of Colonel Townsend, of the 3d New York, 
who, with his whole command, stood up nobly in my sup- 
port until compelled to retreat by the terrible fire. — Per 
order Colonel A. Durvee ; Lieutenant Mallory, A. D. C." 

An incident of an amusing character, that occurred while 
crossing Planipton Creek, is deemed worthy of mention. 
One of the Captains, with part of his command, had em- 
barked on one of the scows at Hampton, and seeing more 
men crowding in than he desired, turned to the old salt who 
appeared to have charge of it, and who was a member of 
the much-abused "naval brigade," and ordered him rather 
peremptorily to shove off. It was as good as a play to see 
the indignant air of insulted authority with which the son 
of Neptune turned and surveyed the officer. 

He straightened himself, as if he was a Commodore on 
his quarter-deck, and looking at the Captain from head to 
feet, and from feet to head, burst out with a- round sailor's 
oath, and said : " You ! Sergeant, or Corporal, or whatever 
you are ! If you don't like the management of this 'ere 
craft, just heave yourself ashore — quick ! I want you to 
understand that I am in command of this 'ere vessel ! " 

On 'I'uesday, June nth, the men had passed through so 
much labor and excitement, that they were thoroughly ex- 
hausted, and were allowed to rest at will, and were excused 
from drill the following day. General Butler paid a compli- 
ment to Colonel Duryee and his Zouaves for the conspicu- 
ous part they took in the encounter. 

The special correspondent of the New York Tribune 
furnished that journal with the following narrative of the 
sending in of a ll.ig of truce : 

Big Bethel. -ti . . 69 

Old Point Comfort, June 13, 1861. 

Yesterday Captain H. E. Davies, Jr.,* of Company C, in Colonel 
Puryre's regiment, made a visit with a flag of truce to York- 
tuvvn. Tuesday evening he received orders from General Butler 
:•) proceed with a flag of truce to the scene of the recent contlict, 
tu look after the dead, wounded, and missing. Lieutenant C. H. 
.v-.iman, of Company C, and Assistant -Surgeon Martin, were 
<;it. tiled to accompany him. Starting early Wednesday morn- 
1:;^'. they proceeded as far as Newmarket Bridge, which they 
lound partially destroyed, and which they repaired so as to pass 
< On arriving within a mile of Big Bethel, they were stopped 
h\ a guard commanded by Captain Early,! of the Virginia forces. 
On karning the object of the visit. Captain Davies was informed Colonel Magruder,}: commander of the Virginia forces, had 
left and gone back to Y'orktown, and that it would be necessar)' 
to see him there. Although he was informed that a number of 
our men were in that vicinity wounded. Captain D. was not per- 
mitted to see them, but was required to proceed at once to 
Vorktown, twenty miles further on. An escort of four men and 
.1 Sergeant was furnished, and the party immediately set out. 

They were not permitted to take the usual route ; but after 
pnxrceding along the Yorktown road for a mile they struck off 
into the woods by a by-path, which, at frequent intervals, was 
dt fended by barricades of fallen trees and other contrivances. 
I'ursuing this path three or four miles, they took the main road 
agam and proceeded to Yorktown. 

About half a mile outside of the fortifications at Yorktown, 
tlicy were halted at a cavalry camp, where they remained till 
\\'>ri.i was sent to Colonel Magruder of their arrival. 

This officer soon came to where they were, and received Cap- 
lain Davies and his party with politeness and consideration. 
Culnncl Magruder, on hearing that Captain D. purposed an 
exchange of prisoners, and that he desired an opportunity to see 
'he wounded, said that he would reply by letter to General 
''>!'''T, but refused to allow Captain D. to visit either the 
'"''iiifled or prisoners, saying that as they were within his hues 

• >iib,eiiii<:n!ly Major-l.^enenil cjf Cdvalrj'- 1 Subsequently General Early. 

X NuL,»c-,iueiUly General Ma-ruJer. 

70 FiftJi Neiu York Volunteer Infantry. 

information might be obtained prejudicial to his intended opera- 

Captain Davies remained nearly four hours at the quarters of 
Colonel Hill's* regiment, where he and his party were hospitably 

Leaving the camp at 4 P.^r., under an escort of Captain 
Phillips and two men, they were conducted by a different route 
through the woods to the vicinity of Big Bethel, and from thence 
by the regular route to Newmarket Bridge, which was the limit 
of the enemy's outposts. Captain Davies and his party then pro- 
ceeded to Hampton alone, and arrived in camp near midnight. 

The opinion of Captain Davies, in which those who accom- 
panied him coincide, is that the force of the enemy on the day 
of the battle at Big Bethel was at least three regiments ; that 
they were reinforced during the day ; that their batterv' was 
constructed with skill and deliberation ; and that the mmibcr 
of guns in posilion was at least ten, and that probably it was 
greater. All information concerning the killed and wounded on 
their side was studiously withheld from Captain Davies.1 

Capt. D. was informed that those of our men who had fallen 
into the hands of the enemy, wounded and dead, had been prop- 
erly cared for ; that the wounded, two of the Fifth, as he under- 
stood, were receiving proper attention, and that the dead, of 
whom there were two, had been properly buried. Among these 
was Major Winthrop, who fell gallantly charging on the enemv. 
Capt. D. was given the spurs, cap, and note-book of the deceased, 
which, with the watch of the deceased, will be forwarded by Gen. 
Butler to his friends. 

Capt. D.uies very properly alistains from giving any opinion 
of the strength of the enemy at Yorktown, based on what he saw 
and heard, as that might be deemed an abuse of the flag of truce. 

To-day a flag of truce came in from Col. Magruder, in response 
to the one sent out yesterday. The bearer was halted at the 

♦ Siihsequcntly f>,wr;,l D. H. Hill; he comm.inJtJ the i-t \orth CaruHna 
Ktv!rnc:,tat V.\^ Ktilu!. 

t In :» <onri..ry .-. (t.e cuy ..l" Riehmo„tl, V:,., oa a iitlie mou.ui, may be seen a 
pla.,. ,a:.lci .. u.„.|. ..„ wlu.l, ;, i., ,cr,l>c,l ; " Here l.c, ihe h.Jy of young Wyalt, 
Ihr. l,r,t Murtyr of the war. Killed ul Ui^- l!ethel, June io iSot ■' 


Big Bethel. « 71 

,■ r pickets at Hampton, and communicated with Gen. Butler 
. ! ttcr, who replied in the same way. 

I Ml Wednesday, the 12th of June, at sunset, our comrade, 
. :-e \\. Tiebout, of Company A, was buried. His body 
1-- l.ud in a cemetery near Hampton. Nearly the whole 
;.;iiiiLMit, with the officers, followed his remains to the grave, 
; .i paid the last tribute of respect to their departed com- 
uiion in arms. All were silent and mournful, and im- 
rc>sed with the services in which they were engaged. 

riie following e.xtract is from the last letter of the de- 
• to his friends, which was written on the eve of the 
i::le in which he laid down his young life. Long before it 
i.-> received by those to whom it was addressed, his brave 
.i.'ocr was ended, for he had been honorably " mustered 
•It of the service " in dying for his country. It is as fol- 

Camp Butler, Fortress Monroe, \ 
June, 9, 1 86 1. f 

^CiNn Friends : — I hope you will excuse my tardiness in not 
"riiinij before, as I have had but very little time to spare. Be- 
••'■'cn drilling and scouting, our time is pretty much taken up. 
' ■ ivf been quite well so far. Soon after we landed, I had a 
^ ' us attack, which lasted about forty-eight hours. I have been 
" two scouting expeditions, but saw very little of the enemy, 

'! none under arms This morning Col. Dur\-.'e went 

■' ;"i!;^rh the entire regiment to find all the sailors, or those who 
■ •''! pull an oar. It is reported that we are to move soon — we 
■"■'•- on Yorktown. Part go by water and part by land, so as to 
'•^> a junction and surround the "bridge-burners," and take 
" "'n by surprise. I see by the papers that there are a number of 
[ ' < reports about the food. So far, we have had plenty to eat ; 
': ' :;r f,,f„] consisting of pilot bread, salt beef. pork, beans, rice, 
■ ' ■^. tresh beef, bakers' bread (fresh tlirce- times a w.-Lki, 
•<e, with sugar in it. We hav>- two tenms to carrv our 
: ■■^. -iiul, in short, I think we are well provided for. There 
• 'I' thing: we have good officers, and they look out for their 


72 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

men, to see that they are as comfortable as circumstances will 
permit. We had divine ser%'ices to-day — preaching this morning 
and prayer-meeting this afternoon. They were very well at- 

Our regiment is called "the red-legged devils," and "the ter- 
ror of evil-doers." I think I have written quite a long letter for 
me, and no doubt you are getting tired of this scrawl. Remem- 
ber me to all the kind friends and tell them to write. Write 
soon, and believe me to be, as ever, your most obedient, 

Co}}ipatty A, ^tk Regiment. 

The following letter was written by a companion of the 
deceased : 

Camp Hamilton, June lo, 1861. 

Friend Sidney : — I would sooner drag a ball and chain for 
a month than to send this bad new^s to you. Before this will 
have reached you, you will read the account of our attacking a 
batter)', and the pluck our boys showed in the fight. Our regi- 
ment got their orders about seven o'clock last evening to attack 
a batter)' about fifteen miles from our camp. As bad luck would 
have it, there was about seventy of us left behind to guard the 
camp while the rest of the regiment were away. 

But now comes the painful part of my story. As our regiment 
was advancing to charge on the battei-y, they opened their fire 
on us and killed some of our boys. Among the killed was poor 
George Tiebout. He was shot through the heart by a canister 
ball as he was advancing on to the charge. The man that stood 
next to him, and heard his death-cry, said that he died like a 
man and a soldier, as he was. He was a favorite with his Cap- 
tain After the engagement the killed and wounded were 

brought back to camp in boats, landing opposite the Colonel's 
house. I was detailed, together with some of the guard, to 
carry the wounded and dead to the hospital. We had to pass 
thnxigh the Colont-l's house to get there. As wc were carrying 
the body of poor Gc-orge through, the Colonel happened to ^^'c 
him, and at the sight he shed tears. 

You must excuse my writing, as 1 am writing on a shoe-box. 

Big Bethel. 73 

by the light of a lantern. I have been on guard forty-eight 
h'jurs, and I am staying on twenty-lour hours longer, as our 
b..ys are all fagged out. If it be necessar>' we will remain on 
^uird twenty-four hours after that. Poor George was the first 
;n irtyr of our regiment, but he shall and will be avenged. Ac- 
cept this from one who will fight for the Union. 

Robert B. Talfor, 
Fortress Monroe, Co. F, ^tk Regimoit, N. Y. Vols. 

On the 13th the Adjutant reported the strength of the 
regiment as follows: Present, 792; absent, officers and 
men, 1 1 ; sick, including the wounded, 43. Total, 846. 

The regiment's loss was seven killed and sixteen wounded. 



Fortress Monroe — Inxidents of Camp Life — Drl-mmed Olt— Anv Port in a 
' Storm — Serious Accident— How to Find a Horse— Contraband Wit— A 
Gracefll Digger— Mrs. Kilpatrick— Notes from the Jol-rnal — On Guard 
BY Moonlight— Hlts in the Woods— A Fez Sti.'Len bv Mosqiitoes— A 
Comet— How We Spent Independence Day— Our Postponed Celebkation 
—A Fairy Scene — Donations— Discharges and Recruits— A New Flag- 
Beautifying the Camp— Losing Blood— A Lost Sentinel— Reports of the 
Battle of Bull Run— F.mbarking for Baltimore. 

The eventful months were rapidly moving on, while the 
active forces of the two great sections of the country were, 
with equal rapidity, determining the moral as well as the 
political attitude of the peo[)le, and their decision on the 
question of the fearful conflict that must follow, when the 
actual encounter of arms should take place. It became very 
evident that there was a division of sentiment in both sec- 
tions ; many of the people of the South were unalterably 
devoted to the Union, while a large proportion of the people 
of the North, governed by family relations, commercial inter- 
ests, or subserviency to their party leaders, were either 
hostile to the Union, or desired to see the overthrow of the 
constitutionally elected administration, and the substitution 
of a partisan and revolutionary administration in its place. 
Whatever were the motives that animated men, it was clearly 
evident that the time for reason, compromise, and peace 
was past, and that preparations were making for a collision 
whose duration could not be foreseen, wliose cost could not 
be computed, and whose consequences could only be unfuMcd 
by the actual re.sults of the future, \'ariou5 opinions wore 
entertained by men of the highest responsibility in the Gov- 

Life at Camp Hamilton. 75 

ctiiMK'iit. So astute and experienced a statesman as Senator 
\\\\. H. Seward, in December, 1S60, in a spirit of hope 
.iiid patriotic faith in the loyalty of the people of both sec- 
•luiis. had predicted that " it would be a ninety days' won- 
ilor." Gen. Winfield Scott, a Virginian, well acquainted 
with the animus and the plans of the Southern leaders, 

• luiotly, but mournfully said, " It will be a five years' war." 
'I'hc judgment of the latter was the prediction of many of 
tiic political leaders of the North who symjiathized with the 
movement; for it was the purpose of the Southern leaders 
cither to effect a revolution by the aid of Northern allies, and 
»)l»tain control of the Government by a short and successful 
war, or to prolong it through the whole four years of the ad- 
ministration which had been placed in power. 

The days and nights were now rapidly massing up the 
combatants, who were putting on their armor, and from the 
ii'.isy walks of commerce and industry, from the field and 
mountain sides of every State in the Union, already three- 
<|uarters of a million of men had responded to the call to 
•irms, and stood ready on either side of the great issue to 
'iccide the " irrepressible conflict " on the field of blood. 
1 lie country was waiting for the first momentous trial on the 

U'e were lying near the shore of Hamilton Roads, about 
<"'rie mile and a quarter from Fortress Monroe. It is a not- 
•I'le structure, and covers about seventy acres of ground. 
A', one enters the gates the impression is that he is in a 

• 'f-;e park. You see trees and brick houses at a distance. 
As you advance you find large dwelling-houses for the resi- 
*i'.-nces of the otficers, with gardens laid out, a post-oftice, 
Alaiiis Express office, etc. Mounting the parapets, the vis- 

■ 'r !).ul a commanding view of Hampton Roads, with its 

■KT.'us mcrcliantmen and nicn-of-war lying at anchor. 

'■••■ Kip-Raps lie in range of the guns, where another fort 

'^•''^ in course of erection by the Government. On the land 

^6 Fifth Nezu York Volunttcr Infantry. 

side the white tents of the various regiments lying at Camp 
Hamilton were spread out, looking like toys in the distance, 
additions to which were constantly made. The guns were 
placed so as to command the points in all directions, and 
were numbered in large figures by their side on the wall. 
The fortress was surrounded by a moat about eighty feet 
wide, crossed by a draw-bridge, and by pulling down a wooden 
bridge a short distance from the main entrance, could be ap- 
proached only by a narrow, low, sandy neck, about sixty feet 
wide, which was conmianded by guns at every angle. 

Camp life has its incidents as well as the march and the bat- 
tle-field, and some of those which broke up the monotony of 
guard duty, drills, and i)arades were noted at the time of 
their occurrence. Among them is an instance of the rigor 
with which the determination to respect the rights of prop- 
erty, and the homes of the people of Virginia, was enforced. 
The Government and the ofiScers of the army were equally 
animated with a desire to demonstrate to the peojjle in re- 
bellion that there was no design to do them wrong, either to 
their property or to their slaves, and thus exert the moral in- 
fluence of law and order as a pacificator, and thereby secure 
their return to their allegiance. How vainly this attempt 
was made, the subsequent events clearly proved. In this 
sj-iirit, however, on the 13th of June, the extreme penalty of 
disgrace was inflicted on two men belonging to a regiment 
from the northern part of the State, who were drummed out 
of camp, before the entire brigade, for committing depreda- 
tions in houses in the vicinity. They each had ropes about 
their necks, and large boards on their backs with the word 
"Thief" written upon them. It was a humiliating sight. 

In contrast with the severity of this occurrence there was 
more or less of the humorous and the comic to be enjoyed 
at times. 

One cvciiing after supper a drum and fife were heard 
playing the " Rogue's .Nfarch." .Ml hands turned out to see 

Life at Cavip Hajjiilton. yj 

*! waS the matter, when it was discovered that some of 
i;;c ij'iys had caught one of the colored servants, tied a rope 
.ir<niii<] his neck, on wliich' was a placard, and with charged 
• •.lyonets, were drumming him about camp. The men might 
iiso he heard at almost any hour of the day, singing dog- 
gerel verses of tlieir own composition, describing their mode 
i.f life, such as, " Oh ! here comes the cook along with his 
crai:ker scouse, etc., on old Virginia shore." 

'I'iio men soon recovered from the fatigue of the march to 
V'.z, iJethel, but naturally felt disappointed at the result, and 
wanted to try their fortunes over again. So far from being 
.afraid of the enemy, they had several skirmishes, in some 
cases almost single-handed, while out foraging beyond Hamp- 
ton, on their own responsibility. The Fifth was ra[ndly 
plowing in favor with the rest of the army collected around 
this point. The regulars at the fortress, since the aftair at 
Hig Ikthel, seemed to think there was nothing too good for 
our boys whenever any of them visited the fort. 

Wednesday^ June 19. — The experience of one of the men 
<.>!i guard at night may not be out of place, and as he was 
*>iie of the whole military family, the reader may sympathize 
Nuth him and the others of the detail, although the rest of 
tl.c regiment did not fare much better on that occasion. About 
t;io time of guard mount, a tempestuous rain-storm burst upon 
•i"!. The men not sent immediately on post hurried to the 
;;. sard-tent, which could hold only about one-half of them, 
1-t tiicm squeeze how they might. Our hero being left on 
t •'• outside, betliouglu himself of tlie prisoners' tent, and 
I'-nged through the rain to reach it, "any port in a storm" 
l"-ing as good a motto for a soldier as for a sailor. Some- 
t::iiLS. when the prisoners are amiable, they will allow an 

' ^.T slielter in an emergency-; but on this particular 

■ '' '.! were /,-('.'' ainiable, anci he had no sooner entered 

' 'in he was saluted with a shower of tin cups, plates, hanl- 

' " >^, [Meces of pork, and kicks, amid cries of "Bounce 

78 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

him!" "Take his life!" and similar cheerful greetings. 
Another old proverb — " of two evils choose the least " — was 
forced upon him. He was not long in coming to a decision, 
and escaping from his assailants, there was no alternative 
but to stand up and endure the storm. After being nearly 
washed away, it stopped raining, and soon after he was sent 
on post, came off in due time, an.d partially dried himself at 
a fire that had been built, and was fortunate enough to find 
a small space unoccupied in the guard-tent, where he spread 
his blanket and composed himself for a comfortable rest. 
He was just congratulating himself on his good fortune when 
it again commenced to rain in torrents ; the cap of the tent 
having blown off, the water began to come into the opening 
and fell on his head. Soon some of the guard began to get 
uneasy arid to twist and turn, while some stood up. It was 
as dark as Egypt, but when the lightning flashed he could 
see them occasionally, and congratulated himself on his 
comparative comfort. At last his feet began to feel very 
cold, then his legs, and then his back. He thought it was 
time to see what was the matter. Reaching out his hands, 
he found that a small river was running under him, when he 
got up on his feet, and in a little time the water ran over 
the top of his shoes. In all these difficulties a song was 
started, and they relieved their discomforts by a spirited 
chorus, in which could be distinguished something about 
"hanging Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree." Such was one 
of the e[)isodes in soldier life on " the sacred soil " of the 
Old Dominion. 

The following day, Thursday, June 20th, the weather was 
delightful, with a fresh breeze blowing, and it was cool and 
comfortable. One could look over Hampton Roads, as far 
as Scwall's Point to the south; north were the woods; and 
the t'oitr.'ss, \^■ith its great guns, was in plain view about a 
mile distant. Most of the men were in jiood health and 

Life at Camp Hamilton. 79 

spiiits, but grumbling somewhat about their rations — a 
natural thing for a soldier or sailor to do. 

A serious accident happened previous to the evening 
parade. A member of Company G was entering his tent 
widi his musket, which was loaded with one of the new 
cartridges. This cartridge consisted of three large buck- 
shot in addition to the ball. The hammer, which was down 
on the cap, caught on the side of the tent, and the charge 
inmiediately went ofi", passing between two men who were 
in the tent into the next company street, one of the buck 
passing through the head of Orderly-Sergeant Dunham, of 
Company B. He was taken up insensible, and was con- 
sidered to be mortally wounded, but recovered sufficiently to 
return to duty as Second Lieutenant some months afterward, 
but was ultimately obliged to resign, and received an honor- 
able discharge. A stack of muskets were standing in front 
of the Orderly's tent ; the buck cut through two straps, and 
one of them passed obliquely through the stock of one of 
the muskets. 

One of the Captains being ambitious of having a horse to 
ride, sent for J. G., one of the enlisted men of his company, 
and told him to take his servant Tommy, an intelligent con- 
traband, and go out into the country and find one for him. 
The Captain gave him particular instructions not to steal by 
any means, but to find one. Thus connnissioned, Jolm, in 
company with the faithful Tommy, being furnished with a 
|>ass, wended his way toward Hampton. On arriving there 
Tonuiiy saw a group of colored gentlemen gathered together, 
and thought it was a very good opportunity to enlighten his 
down-trodden brethren as to the course they should pursue, 
and accordingly opened his battery on them forthwith. In the 
course of his speech he told them that if they wished to bet- 
ter their condition in lite, they nuist make the lust eftbrc, and 
»'>t leave it to others. One of them remarked, " that they 
put their trust in the Lord, and He would help them." " Yes," 

8o Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

said Tommy, " but it is written in Shakespeare, that ' the Lord 
helps them that help themselves.' " This answer appeared 
to make a great impression upon the dusky audience, and 
they seemed to be overcome with his superior learning. Being 
put in mind of his errand by John, he wound up his discourse 
amid much applause, and they went to find that horse. 

After traveling about the country four or five miles, they 
spied a fine-looking animal grazing in a field. They had 
provided themselves with a halter, so that all that remained 
to be done was to catch him, which was done in fine style 
by Tommy — as John was given strict instructions not to 
steal one, which he obeyed. 

They arrived with him safely at Hampton, and across the 
creek, when John mounted hun, having been lucky enough 
to " find " an old saddle also, and made very fair time back 
to camp. He immediately reported to his Captain, who, 
when he saw the animal, was very much pleased at obtaining 
such a prize, and at such a low price. " But where is Tom- 
my?" asked the Captain, "Oh! he will be here in a few 
minutes ; he preferred to walk, and so I left him on the road." 
"Well, take the horse down to the Quartermaster's," said the 
Captain, "and tell him it belongs to me." "Yes, sir," said 
John, which he did, and went to his quarters. Soon after- 
ward a message was brought that the Captain wanted him. 
On reaching the Captain's quarters, the first thing he saw 
was Tommy in a sad plight, covered with nuid, having from 
his appearance evidently been in the hands of the Philistines. 
He said that as he was passing by the camp of the ist 
New York, some unruly members of that organization had 
fallen upon him, and given him a severe thumping for their 
own amusement, and as Tommy was a particular favorite of 
the Captain, John received a severe reprimand for deserting 
hu colored connade. The next mdruing the Captain went 
tu take another look at his stallion, and e.Kamine his fine 
points more closely, but great was his astonishment and 

.: ./I 

I ^.;,<..r 

Life at Camp Hamilton. 8 1 

cli.ii^rin to find that he had disappeared, and no one could 
toli how he got away, or ^\here he had gone to ; but it was 
M!-;»jcted that our great practical joker, the Adjutant, had 
s[>ccit"ic information of the merits of the case. 

Tonnny, who was an unusually shar[) specimen of his class, 
k;;-Klly offered to take care of the Captain's watch, which he 
l.ul always greatly admired. Just before the Big Bethel 
l'!.;ht, perhaps — we will not say for certain — it entered into 
liis head that possibly he might fall heir to it. One day the 
C.iptain threatened to strike him for some misdemeanor, 
wiicn he looked at him very innocently, and said, " Massa, 
you told me the other day that all men were brudders." 
" V'cs," replied the Captain, " but what if I did ? " " Nuffin," 
leplied Tommy, "only you wouldn't strike your brudder, 
would yer?" His wit saved him on that occasion at least. 

The weather was now very hot. Guard duty was assigned 
about twice every week to each man, and the regiments took 
their turn on picket duty, which the men enjoyed. The 
outpost was about six miles from camp. 

On the 2 2d of June, a part of the regiment \vere occupied 
in commencing the building of batctries near Hampton, 
wiiich did not indicate an early advance against the enemy. 
Tliis earthwork was the first one thrown up in the war, in 
tile path to Richmond on the Peninsula. It was the initiation 
to the months of labor subsequently expended during 
McClc-Uan's and Grant's campaigns. The following extract 
in rofurence to it, from the Brooklyn Daily Times, is of in- 
terest : 

Hampton, Va., Jimc 23, 1S61. 
After the plans were laid out, a squad of Duiyee's Zouaves 
tajiu- from camp to help dig the trenclvjs. The Zouaves were 
i -.Kcd m proper order, viz.: Four men wih shovels, forming a 
-("•""'■. and a man in the center with a pick. The first shovel- 
•'■1 i-1 earth was dug by the wile of Captain Kilpatrick, of 
l>uryfe's Zouaves, who distinguished himself at the battle of Big 



;(■ v:^i 

82 Fifth Nczo York Volunteer Infantry. 

Bethel ; after which the squad gave three hearty cheers by order 
of their Colonel, and went to work like good fellows. Colonel 
Dur)-ee's regiment are, without exception, the best set of tighting 
men stationed hereabouts. 

The notes made in the author's journal, for a short period, 
will give the reader a i)retty accurate view of our experi- 
ences and expectation while at Camp Hamilton. They are 
as follows : 

Sunday, June 23. — There is a rumor that the regiment 
will be ordered to Washington, but little faith is placed in it. 
Several men were sworn into the service yesterday, but 
there were eight who refused, having had enough of soldier- 
ing during the few days they were here. Such fellows are 
not wanted in the Fifth, and the sooner all that kind forsake 
us, the better will it be for us and them. 

The Home Defense Committee have sent two hundred 
ritles, and it is said all the regiment are to be supplied with 

At a meeting of officers, the Fiftli was assigned to the 
right of the brigade, Colonel Townsend's 3d New York 
next in line. 

Last night was magnificent — ^just such as a soldier loves. 
The moon was full, and it was almost as light as day. Per- 
fect silence prevailed ; in fact, so still was it, that one could 
hear the sentinels tread at a distance of four hundred feet, 
and the cry of 'V/// is i^'cll," on the vessels of the fleet, 
lying two miles away. It was the time for the sentry pacing 
his lonely beat, to commune with his own soul, to think of 
home and friends,, and all that were dear to him, or perhaps 
longing that some favorite and loved one could be by his 
side. And yet to so many these were the enchanted dreams 
oi tl;e ab.-ent. none of whom h;- ever saw again. Such a 
night — to many a true ar.d reverent h'-ro was the time \\\\c\\ 
he could look up to the placid moon and the radiant stars, 
and have his soul filled with glorious and holy thoughts of 

.^.ij 3(U lo '•\yi 

Life at Camp Hamilton. 83 

\\\c world beyond, where the conflict of earth would at 
Iciigtli be ended, and he should wear the conqueror's crown 

Thursday. June 27. — Regiment has been on picket about 
tA-o miles from camp, in the woods, the reserve being sta- 
tii)ned on a road. They constructed beautiful little huts with 
rails from the fences, and small trees and boughs, which formed 
very picturesque residences, and were hardly distinguishable 
from the forest surroundings. The round extended about 
one and a half miles in a thick forest of pine and oak. All 
was quiet except the different notes of the winged songsters, 
or the dropping of some small twig, which was duly noticed, 
the possibility that some lurking enemy might be near com- 
l^clling constant vigilance. Above our embowered huts, rose 
the giant pines, some of them eighty or ninety feet in height. 
The men were on post four hours, and eight off. 

When night came on it was somewhat dreary, but relieved 
by the mosquitoes, which were truly formidable. They 
swarmed in black clouds everywhere, and one of the boys 
that missed his fez cap in the morning, swore that the 
mosquitoes had taken it off, so that they could have more 
room to bite. 

Friday^ June 2S. — T-ast night another of our Virginia tor- 
rents visited the camp, and flooded all the tents as usual, in 
some places the water being a foot deep. 

Sunday, June 30. — A damp, disagreeable day ; regiment 
again on picket duty ; and Private Rouse, of Company G, 
accidentally shot himself through the hand. We lead a very 
active life, as we have done ever since the regiment was 
fust organized, and have little time to ourselves. It is com- 
pany, regimental, or brigade drills, inspections, dress parades, 
f'-'viows, ditching, iiolicoing cam]), picket and camp guard, 
^••■■■i.!'.' th^•^e activities, v.-jiich keep owv blood froin sMgnat- 
'i.j. we have some howitzers anti a brass piece, wiiich we 
liave been taught to handle, to which must be added the 

84 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

washing and mending of our clothes, and keej^ng our arms 
and cqui[)ments free from rust and tarnish. All these duties 
leave little time to play, but it is schooling a body of hardy, 
reliable, well-informed men, the stuft" that veterans are made 
of, into what will be the best-drilled and most perfectly dis- 
ciplined volunteer corps in the service. 

It is astonishing how so many men can live in such a small 
space. The tents are about eight by ten feet ; yet in these 
eight or nine men sleep, in addition to the stowing of knap- 
sacks, haversacks, canteens, and accoutrements, with accom- 
modations for an occasional visitor. Two Companies, I and 
E, have been presented with Shari)'s rifles and sabre bayonet, 
but they will be obliged to do most of the skirmishing. 
Yesterday the regiment was inspected by a United States 
officer, and nutstered in for two months' pay. 

Wednesday, fuly 3. — All quiet, and we see and hear of the enemy ; details of men are building batteries 
beyond Hampton, and near the Ladies' Seminary on the 
banks of James River. To-day another regiment left for 
Newport News, leaving only four here, beside the garrison 
at the fort. To-morrow being the anniversary of our Inde- 
pendence, we would like to have a holiday, but there is no 
such thing in the code ; in fact, we would hardly know when 
Sunday comes around, were it not from the inspection in the 
forenoon instead of a drill, and a dose of the Articles of War, 
which are read with due solemnity. The officers are more 
exacting every day, and the discipline is getting the men 
down to a "fuie point." 

Last night a large comet was in view. Toward morning 
it stretched half-way over the hea\-en3. The men hope it is 
a harbinger of success to our cause. Just as the Sergeants 
were ciTlling the roll, a bright liglit was seen on the bay. which 
proved to be the illumination i'loui the steamboat Catalinc, 
which was burned to the water's edge. 

A little incident will serve to show the dry humor of the 

■ '•. Life at Camp Hauiilton. 85 

Adjutant, from which may also be inferred some of the rea- 
sons why he is so well liked by the men. On an extremely 
warm day, the mercury being above the nineties, and the 
Hun's rays fiercely hot, the writer was guarding some prisoners 
who were clearing u;) the ground about the Adjutant's 
quarters. Suddenly he heard a nianly voice call out, " Young 
man, with auburn hau- ! come hither ! " My head-gear not 
answering that description, I naturally looked at the prison- 
ers to see if any of them had auburn hair, but not being able 
to discover any one, I turned in the direction whence the 
voice came, and saw the giant form of the Adjutant standing 
at the doorway of his tent. He was looking directly at mo, 
and also motioning with his hand ; seeing that he had at- 
tracted my attention, he gave the order, " Shoulder arms I 
March !" which I did, wondering what it all meant. "Right 
oblitiue! Halt!" and I found myself under the grateful 
^ha^le of a large tree. Now, sentry," said he, " your orders 
are to stay under that tree, and watch these prisoners, and 
mind you that my orders are strictly obeyed," and imme- 
diately vanished into his tent. 

Thursday, July 4. — Reveille just before sunrise, and a sa- 
lute of thirty-four guns from the brass pieces in honor of the 
day. Three bunches of fire-crackers were set off, with all due 
ceremony, by one of the men. Being Independence Day, the 
powers that be had the independence to order the regiment 
out on picket, and they went. The men were called up 
every fifteen minutes after midnight, an attack being ex- 
pected. They fell in with their ritles, the roll was called, 
^vhen they turned in again, being consequently cheated out 
of their sleep, which occasioned some quiet grumbling. 

Friday, July 5. — This morning we were relieved fjom 
jickct duty ami marched back to cain[). In the afternoon the 
uiiolc brigade, ir.citidirig Col. iJaker's Califorriia regiment. 
^^liich arrived yesterday, was reviewed by Secretary of W'ai 
Cameron, Adjt-Gen. Thomas, and Gen. Butler and staff. 

., :■: y:. • .r>:^» 

86 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

Professor Bartlett, of West Point, father of Capt. Bartlett, of 
Co. I, 5th New York, was present. 

On returning to can-.p, it was nightfall, and the postponed 
celebration of the Fourth commenced with an illumination 
of the company streets, by placing bits of candles and pine- 
knots in the trees transplanted from the woods and set out 
in front of the tents. This made it look like a fairy scene. 
And now and then the distant shouts of the men — for the 
camp extends about 500 feet — announced that everybody 
was participating in the enjoyment except the solitary senti- 
nels, who were pacing their lonely beats. On the color-line 
a fine display of fireworks, contributed by the munificence 
of the officers, fizzed away for an hour and added to the ef- 
fect of the scene. At the head of each company street, im- 
mense bonfires were built, around which the "red devils" 
danced, sung, and yelled like so many Comanche Indians, 
and in their red breeches, looked, in fact, like so many red 
devils in Pandemonium. But it was all the exuberance of 
pure animal spirit, for not a drop of liquor was tasted, nor 
could it be had if desired. The different companies vied 
with each other in getting up the greatest and tallest blaze, 
and the most indefatigable exertions were made in the way 
of sujiplying fuel to attain this object. The palm of victory 
was finally awarded to Company G, many members of 
which were of the New York Volunteer Fire Department, 
■who thus showed that they knew how to make " a big blaze," 
as well as to put one out. The scene defies description ; 
the victors were joined by men from other companies in their 
dance of triumph around the huge burning pile, and such 
was the wild enthusiasm that if any of the celebrated Indian 
chiefs, from Osceola to the famous Silting Bull himself, had 
been present, they v/ould have dropped their dignity and joined 
in the excitement. It was a scene long to be remcmliercd by 
tliose who shared in the festivities. Taps were delayed one 
hour, in order that the men might prolong their enjoyment. 

• ;■■ Life at Camp Hamilton. 8/ 

Later in the night the officers had tlieir own carnival. 
Thrt-c of the largest tents in camp were joined together, to 
t'jrni one marquee, in which were assembled the officers of 
the regiment, at the invitation of Col. Durye'e, and as in- 
vited guests, Col. Townsend, of the 3d New York, and 
orhers. Speeches and toasts were in order, and Col, Durye'e, 
.•\djt. Hamblin, Capt. Hull, and other orators were heard 
from. Capts. Catlin, Cooper, and Smitli, of the Third, made 
humoroas and patriotic speeches. The music, which was 
supi)lied by the band of the 3d New York, added to the 
pleasure of the occasion. A bountiful collation was pro- 
vided, and the festivities were prolonged until near morning. 
It lacked only one feature that would have completed the 
charm of the occasion — the presence of some of the far-dis- 
tant women who were dreaming of us at home. 

Saturday, July 20. — The Mechanics' and Traders' Fire In- 
surance Company have presented to Capt. Denike, of Co. 
G, $ioo, to be distributed among the men of his company, 
or for the purchase of any articles they might desire. A 
number of the men are obtaining their discharges on ac- 
count of sickness, wounds, etc., camp life beginning to tell 
already, even on comparatively strong constitutions. Capt. 
K.ilpatrick arrived to-day with a hundred new recruits, who 
look like a good body of men, although pale and sickly, 
alongside of those who are bronzed by service and ex- 
posure. The ladies of New York have kindly sent a supply 
of Havelocks for the whole regiment, which reminds the 
men that, although far away, they are not torgotten by the 
fair ones at home. 

Col. Durye'e, being Acting Brigadier and in command of 
this camp, the duty of drilling the battalion has devolved 
'!pon I,ieut.-C()l. \\'arren, who handles the regiment in a 
■ !-.'ntihc manner. In hold maneuvers tlie nu-n are tauglit 
iDovcments and tactics they never dreamed of bctbre, and 
were never performed by the militia at home. He is very 

.. \ 

88 Fiftli Niw York Vchintccr Infantry. 

rigid with the officers, and requires them to know their 
duties thoroiiglily, and make no mistakes. The non-com- 
missioned officers are also obHged to learn a lesson every 
day, and ai)pear before Capt. Kilpatrick and recite it. 

The regiment was reviewed on Monday by Mr. Russell, 
the famous war corresi)ondent of the London Times. The 
regiment has received a beautiful stand of colors, which was 
the gift of some admiring ladies of New York. The follow- 
ing account is from one of the New York journals : 

Presentation of a Stand of Colors to Colonel 
Durvee's Zouaves. 

"A beautiful stand of colors was presented on Tuesday, July i6, 
1861, at Clinton Hall, to the Fifth Regiment. New York State 
Volunteers, commonly known as Col. Duryee's Zouaves. 

" The Colonel being now stationed at Fortress Monroe, the flag 
was received by about 100 Zouaves recently recruited, who are 
about to join the regiment, and will have the distinction of present- 
ing it to their commanding ofncer. Thetlag is a very handsome 
American ensign, of the regulation size and pattern, but distin- 
guished by a scroll over the stars bearing the inscription, 'Above 
us or around us.' In lieu of the ordinary spear or eagle, the staff 
was surmounted with a fez surrounded by two folds of a turban 
(the regular head-dress of the Zouave), the latter in silver. The 
streamers (red and blue) were also inscribed with characteristic 
mottoes — the one, 'Fidcle a Poutrance ' — the other, from the song 
of the Zouave, 'lis posscdcnt u)ie baguette jJiagiquc' The while 
streamer bore the inscription, ' Presented to the Fifth Regiment, 
New York State \'oluntcers, through Company H, July 16, 
1861.' The Hag was presented on the part of tb.e ladies by Mr. 
Pyne, who alluded in a short address to the outrages our tlag 
had sustained in the Southern seceding States, and the possibility 
that it might be the privilege of the Zouaves to redress them. 
Cn/jt. Ki!p:uri(.k n-oi-ivcd the Hag on the part of Conipany H, 
and suhit_^^qu::utly presented it to .Major L\avies, as the represen- 
tative of the regiment. 'The Star Spangled Banner ' was then 
performed by the band, and the flag marched out into Astor 

Life at Ca^np Hamilton. 89 

Place, where the company awaited the appearance of the ladies, 
and lowered the flag as they passed, by way of salute." 

It is comparatively quiet in camp, but the men are not 
idle, being kept constantly employed at something when not 
on picket, camp guard, or drilling. They have much im- 
proved the appearance and comfort of the camp ; have dug 
down the spaces between the rows of tents, or company 
streets, to about a foot in depth, and rounded and graded 
them off, cutting ditches on each side, which leave the tents 
on an elevation, so that when the heavy rains occur, they 
are not flooded as formerly. The company streets are kept 
scrupulously clean, it being one of the first duties in the 
morning for a detail of men to sweep them thoroughly, with 
brooms improvised from branches of trees. Capt. Denike 
is sick. The men hope that he will not be obliged to leave 
them, as he is one of the most i)atriotic officers in the regi- 
ment. The men lately have had some furious night skir- 
mishes, and lost much blood, not, however, in fighting a 
human enemy, but (what is worse) in combating mosquitoes. 
It was reported the other night that they had carried off one 
of the men on guard, as he was not found for some time aft- 
erward. A search was made for him, expecting to find his 
bones clean picked, and his fez cap which they wanted to 
send home as a memento to his mother ; but the lost was 
found at last, with his head in his haversack and a tremend- 
ous branch of a tree in each hand, belaying right and left, as 
il lie was thrashing wheat. 

7utS(/ay, July 23. — An important movement, which was 
expected to have been made by all the troops here, has been 
prevented by die news of the disastrous battle of Bull Run. 

Thursday. July 25. — The rL-giinent ordered to be ready to 
■>■ '^e in heavy marching order, and the men all very anxious 
t^> know their destination, with all kinds of rumor:^ tloating 
.ibout camp. But diis uncertainty was solved b)- the orders 

go Fifth New York ]\^litntccr Infmitry. 

on tlie 26th to march to the (rovcrnment wharf at Fortress 
ATonroe, and embark on board of the steamer Adelaide for 
Baltimore, which was accomphshed by 11.30 p.m. 

Thus ended the first campaign of the Fifth in Virginia. 

To sum up : If their sojourn there has not resulted in any 
brilliant success of arms to the Union cause, it has been of 
vast benefit in hardening, discii)lining, and bringing the regi- 
ment up to such an efficient standard as to fit it eventually 
for greater and sterner trials. 

, . ' ^ ■ " CHAPTER VI. 


Arrival at Baltimore-Camp at Federal Hill— Zouaves at Large— Penal- 
ties FOR Pastimes— Making a Camp— Visitors— A Baltimore Joiknal 
Speaks— RtN-NiNG Glard— Joe Knott— Changes in the Regiment— A Re- 
volt Subdued— The Guard-house and its Adventures- An Illumina- 
TioN-A Charge-Fort-Buildinc— Rebel Recruits Disappointed-Our 
Bathing Grousd-The Battle at the Pump— Camp Ballads of the Fifth 
—Colonel Durvee Promotsd-An UNSucctssFUL Trip-Changes in the 
Regiment- Progress of the Fokt— How th^ Davs w:iRE Spent— Caitain 
Hamblin's Departure— Regimental Docs— A Loyal Newfoundlani>— 
Zouave Sono by a Drummer Bov— Maggie Mitchel— Blowing out the 
Lights— A Drum-Major's Joke— An Expedition— Building the Barr.\cks 
— Th.^nksgiving Day— An Elopement. 

We arrived at Baltimore about 4 o'clock in the afternoon 
of Saturday, the 27th day of July, after a very pleasant sail 
up Chesa[)eake Ba}', without anything of note occurring on 
the trip. 

We marched through the streets under the wondering gaze 
of the citizens. It was evidently a novel sight, for the uni- 
forms of the men were unlike anything they had ever before 
seen, and were stained and torn, from their previous camp 
life and service in the field. The regiment finally halted on 
Federal Hill, a commanding position within the suburbs of 
the city, and near the harbor around which the city is built. 
It completely commanded the city and vicinity, while the 
country beyond could be seen for a great distance, and the 
Peninsula on which Fort McHenry raises its time-honored 
walls was in plain sight. ^V'e could well understand from 
our position the emotions of the author of the " Star Span- 
pled Banner," when lie siw the old fiag Heating from its walls, 
after th.e fearful bonibrudmont of the preceding night. 

In fact, with artillery posted here, Baliiniore itself could 
be laid in ashes, should occasion require it. It is almost 

De easily detenaeci by a Douy ot aeterminea men. 

On the second day after our arrival, four comp 
ordered to march to the New York and Plilladelj 
to quell a riot. The mob dispersed before they 
the ground, having been informed of their approa 

The men were immediately employed in getl 
thing in order about the camp. It was at tirst 
that we should make a halt of only a few days, an; 
ceed to Washington and report to General McCk 
we were disappointed, for when the Colonel r^ 
General Dix, who had command of the distri( 
ordered to encamp the regiment at this place, c 
until further orders ; and, from all that was appare 
looked as if we should remain for some time. Tl 
was extremely warm ; there were neither trees noi 
shelter from tlie burning rays of the sun, except 
jjrotection of the tents. We felt it oppressivt 
times a refreshing sea breeze afforded great relit 
were given occasionally, so that men could visi 
but only for two hours ; and the men looked ! 
some of their uniforms being almost worthless, 
ashamed to make their appearance in a civilized c 

The first nigiit of our arrival some of tiie men 
the city, before a guard could be established. 
not' only anxious to see the city itself, but to h 
unbending from the seclusion and rigidity of 
Some of them soon found they were in " secesh 
and made themselves masters of the situation. 1 
not allow anybody to walk on the sidewalks e\ 
selves. The citizens eitlier had to turn back, tal 
die of the stroe'i, or be knocked down, and tlicv c 
one or two bar-rooms kept by bitter secos>i'V,! 
of them got into a famous secession hotel, mount 
and gave vent to his Union sentiments in a sp 

• Life at Baltimore. 93 

wondered be was not shot. Some came back in the morn- 
ing and were put in the guard-house ; others stayed away 
for two or three days, were arrested, put in the guard-house, 
broke out again, and were away, and for a tew days the 
camp was gteavly demorahzed ; but soon all was quiet 
again, and the men were kept as close as if they were pris- 
oners of war. Some were employed at hard labor, digging 
and making streets in the hot sun, and some of the most 
refractory were tied up for eight hours at a time, bound 
hand and foot, and suffered various punishments. 

In a short time the regiment completed a fine-looking camp. 
At the head of each company street, they worked out of sod 
and clay of different colors the Cxoddess of Liberty, spread 
eagles, flags, etc., which had a very fine effect, and were 
much admired by the many visitors who daily came to in- 
spect our camp. Our evening parades were usually witness- 
ed by large numbers of citizens. One of the Baltimore pa- 
pers spoke as follows : 

" The Evening Parade of the Duryee Zouaves.— There 
were not less than 2,000 ladies and gentlemen present on Satur- 
day afternoon to witness the usual parade and drill of Colonel 
Duryee's Zouave regiment. The regiment drilled on Warren 
and other streets, and iudging from the movements of the soldiers, 
they have paid strict attention to the lessons given thtm by their 
instructors. The drilling, as far as we could judge, was equal, 
if not superior, to any regiment which has pitched their tents 
near the city. The drilling for quelling riots was superb, and 
woe be to the seceshers, if they dare attempt another Pratt Street 
affair. Col. Duryee may well be proud of his gallant boys. 

" In a few days the soldiers will be supplied with new uniforms, 
and it would be a great treat for our citizens to sec the ZooZoos 
making- a full-dress parade through our streets. The masses then 
<""uld sec if we have been right or wrong in our conjectures con- 
coming the elTicicncy of the Zouaves. 

"We noticed, on Saturday last, that the Chaplain of the rcgi- 
nient, Rev. Dr. Winslow. was riding a splendid charger. We 

•5^ ,'7 I .- , f. 


94 FiftJi Ncxo York Volunteer Infantry. 

\vere informed that the animal was captured by four of the 
Zuuaves while at Fortress Monroe. The Zouaves had been out 
on a private scout, and obser\'ing- a rebel Captain seated upon the 
charger, the Zoo-Zoos surrounded him and made prisoners of 

The Zouaves soon became great favorites with the ladies, 
who found that the majority could conduct themselves with 
as much propriety as other gentlemen, anywhere ; and it was 
a common sight to see a well-dressed lady escorted through 
the camp by a Zouave, and conversing as if they had been 
old acquaintances. 

It was a common remark, that every woman who came 
into camp was perfectly beautiful ; but whether or no this 
be true, they must have appeared to be, for after seeing noth- 
ing but " colored ladies " for two months, the contrast was the 
more apparent. The officers were also becoming great fa- 
vorites, and their acquaintance was rapidly extended among 
the best society in the city. 

Whatever may have been the cause, a few weeks served 
to develop a great deal of dissatisfaction in the regiment. 
The discipline was rigid in camp, while outside of it lay a 
great city, with all its attractions and temptations, and the 
young men were free from the restraining presence of par- 
ents or relatives, or any one whose induence would be sen- 
sibly recognized, and it need not be a matter of surprise that 
some among them could not resist the opportunity to mingle 
in the social life of the city, even thougli they run the guard, or 
set authority at defiance. They liked the excitenient, and the 
greater the risk, the greater became the incentive to outwit 
the guard and its officers. Sometimes men went out in a 
blinding storm of rain, and canie in again, running the equal 
risk of ca|>ture in getting in as of going out, just for the ad- 
wnture. The officers excrci-^ed all their ingenuity to keep 
the men within the lines, but notwithstanding a strong guard 
of one hundred men, on duty night and day, besides the 

^. >.-*•■ . Z?y^ at Baltiiiwrc. 95 

provo5t guard, who patrolled the city, perhaps thirty or forty 
men would steal out at night after taps, and slip into camp 
again in the morning before reveille. By this course, as they 
did not miss a roll call, they escaped punishment, and no- 
body was the wiser. But the number of habitual guard-run- 
ners was comparatively few, compared to the whole number 
of men in the regiment. Of coarse all did not succeed with- 
out detection, and when any were discovered and arrested, 
their punishment was not light. Even the risk of being shot 
as a penalty did not seem to deter any of them when they 
had decided to go. The officers endeavored to discover 
where the weak places were by disguising themselves as pri- 
vates ; but the plan failed, for they wqxq received with the 
most energetic and decisive challenge, by the innocent sen- 
tries. They hid themselves and watched from obscure and 
dark places, but they saw no one prowling about, made no 
captures, were not enlightened, and were left at their wits' 

It is all over now, and having no fear of the guard- 
house before our eyes, or the contempt and execration of 
comrades, it will do no harm to e.xplain. There was a tie 
among the men which led them to assist each other, and 
stand together, in their sympathies and interests. There 
were many among them who would as soon think of cutting 
their right arm off as to run guard themselves, or to permit 
anybody else to do so while on their beat, from a strict sense 
of military duty. But what transpired on the next post was 
none of their concern. If one of them was questioned by 
an officer, he never saw or knew anything that transpired on. 
his neighbor's post. Very likely he did not; for if he sus- 
pected that anything irregular was going on, he promptly 
fiTMcd his back and intently looked another \va\'. Tlicn 
t'. •..!.; were others, and good men too, who, in an enemy's 
C(v.nitry, were always foremost at the post of dan<icr; on 
picket were alive and alert, and all that a sood soldier 


g6 Fifth Nczu York Vohmteer Infantry. 

should be, who, in such a camp as Federal Hill, would 
themselves run guard and also connive in the escape of 
others. In extreme cases, men passed out at the main sally- 
port of the fort, and in plain view of the officer of the day, 
by putting on a bold air, and giving the Sergeant at the gate- 
way a slip of paper that looked like a pass, which he would 
pretend to scrutinize very closely, and then let him pass 
out. This, however, as I have said, was an extreme case. 
But to describe all the devices to get out of camp, which 
were many, would overtax the interest of the reader. 

The men knew who they could trust, and some, who were 
a burden to the regiment, would be favored in their efibrts 
by only a few. These generally took rough chances to get 
out, and sometimes made a bold rush for their liberty, trust- 
ing to their tleetness of foot, and running the risk of being 
fired at by a sentry. In all the guard-running during the 
protracted stay of the regiment in Camp Federal Hill and 
Fort Marshall, there was but one case in which a nian was 
mean enough to betray a confederate. Out of all that suf- 
fered martyrdom in the guard-house, ball and chain, loss of 
pay, etc., by court-martial, only one proved treacherous to 
his comrades, and for the same offense he was himself 
thrust into confinement with ball and chain for thirty days. 
When he was released, he was shunned by all, and his life 
became so burdensome that he was actually driven to deser- 
tion. Above all things, soldiers despise a mean action among 
comrades. A regiment of men is like a large family — their 
interests are the same ; they rely each one on the honor of 
the other for eftectiveness and mutual protection ; their 
obligations are reciprocal, and the tie is therefore very strong 
between them. Tliey have no bolts and bars to lock up 
their slender etTects ; and when one happens to have a 
laij;._'r :-liare of worldly goods than .uiothcr, lie chcerfiiUy 
shares it with his mLSsinates or anybody else who needs liis 
help. They ail know the penalties of infringing a mili:ary 

'■.-_'-;.: Life at Baltimore. 97 

riiii-, and when ihey break one, do so with their eyes open, 
M\i\, if caught, are satisfied to suffer the penahy ; but they 
hate to be betrayed by One of their own number. 

Who that was in Fort Federal Hill does not remember 
Joe Knott ? He was on one of the favorite guard-runnin;^ 
l)oiiits one night when the officer of the guard was startled 
by hearing a shot, followed by a loud call for the Corporal 
of the Guard, No. — . The officer, Sergeant, and all that 
could be spared ruslied frantically to Joe's post, when they 
were accosted with, " There they go ! over in the shi[)- 
yard !" Down the declivity rushed the officer, sword in 
hand, followed by his men. They procured a lantern, and 
hunted and searched, but found no one. The truth of the 
matter was that Joe had let out about a dozen some ten 
minutes previously, when it occurred to him that he would 
have a sensation. He accordingly fired oft" his piece in the 
air and thus raised the alarm. He told the officer that while 
his back was toward camp, two men rushed by him like 
lightning, and he fired at them, and thought that he must 
have hit one of them, because he heard a voice cry out, 
"Oh !" The result of this vigilance on the part of Joe was 
different from what he expected ; for after that, until he was 
laid up in the hospital, nobody could have that post, when 
he was on guard, but the faithful Joe. 

It has already been mentioned that there was an under- 
lone of dissatisfaction among the men, kept up by certain 
turbulent spirits, such as abound in all organizations, and it 
looked as if a storm was coming. 

There was, in the first place, a slight misunderstanding 
between the two and tiiree years' men, and they all wanted 
their pay, three months or more being due. Some of their 
f i!nilics were suffering for the means to live, their only S'.;i)- 
I'Tt being taken from them. Aloreover. all of the reu'i- 
"leiUs lying in the neighborhood of the city had been paid 
10U10 weeks before, and the ruen were possessed with the 

98 Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

erroneous idea that their pay was kept back by design of 
their commanding officer. On the contrary, he was using 
his utmost endeavors and intiuence with Gen. Dix to have 
the men paid. The great majority of the men were anxious 
to get hold of it in order to spend it while in the city. Some 
of the Captains and Lieutenants had been promoted to 
higher grades in other regiments. Capt. Bartlett received 
an appointment in the regular service ; Major J. M, Davies, 
the Colonelcy of the 2d New York Cavalry ; Capt. Kil- 
patrick, Lieut. -Colonel ; Capt. H. E. Davies, Jr., Major in 
the same, and Capt. Swartwout had been appointed ist 
I,ieutenant in the 17th U. S. Infantry. Of course they left, 
being all first-class officers, and consequently the regiment 
was not in the best state of organization at the time. The 
imeasy feeling in the regiment at last culminated in an out- 
break, which, however, was as short-lived as it was violent. 
The Captain of Co. E, (W.), who resigned on the 9th inst., 
which company was on the left of the line, made a visit to 
his old company. He was somewhat under the influence 
of liquor, and not on the best of terms with the Colonel. 
He made some remarks to his old command, and was 
cheered by the men. The Colonel approached him and 
ordered him out of camp. There was a little scene, but he 
obeyed. In the evening the men began to make a great 
deal of noise. Suddenly some one cried out. ''Clot/us, 
money, or AVrc York:' It had an electrical effect, and the 
cry was taken up along the whole line throughout the camp. 
The officers looked distressed and anxious. The Colonel 
made some remarks, which the men listened to attentively, 
when the men of Co. E, and some others, cried out, "Three 
cheers for our old Captain," and "Three groans for his 
enemies." This made tlie excitement more intense. At 
this stage of the proceedings, Adjutant Hamblin, who was 
very much beloved by the whole regiment, and had not an 
enemy in the ranks, went throu-h the different comi^nies, 

Life at Baltimore. 99 

nut] said that the Paymaster had gone to New York to get 
,. ^ drafts cashed, as there were no Government funds in B:;l- 
tiiDure at the present time ; and that requisitions had been 
!.;,ulc for clothing, all of which they should have as soon as 
; M-sihlc. He pointed to his own uniform, and said that he 
;;coded a new one, but was willing to wait, as he knew the 
authorities were hard pressed with business, fitting out so 
many new regiments. This quieted the storm, and this 
>I^;ht unbending from tlie customary martinetism satisfied 
liie men, and they quietly dispersed to their respective quar- 
ters. This affair was one of those sudden outbursts that 
will sometimes occur, in even the best regulated assem- 
I'lages ; it was all on the surface, and not the etfect of a 
premeditated design ; and when the excitement had abated, 
the men were all heartily ashamed that they had allowed 
themselves to be betrayed into such an exhibition of their 

The next day the Paymaster opportunely arrived, and 
p.Vid the men up to July ist, with the i-)romise to pay again on 
."^■.•ptember 3d, or thereabouts. We had two drills daily, one 
sn the morning, company drill for three hours, and a bat- 
talion drill in the afternoon with knapsacks, which were 
packed with all our extra clothing ; overcoats, with blank- 
ets and ponchos rolled; after which we marched for an 
!"nir through the streets of the city, which were thronged 
^iih people, who showed a great deal of respect, either 
'••ruugh fear or patriotism. In some localities we were 
;:Jccied with cheers and the waving of hantlkerchiefs. 

I'altimore was all right as long as the Zouaves commanded 
•1 • Hill. At least this was the theory of the Unionist 
i" :rnals. It was divided into sections of Unionists and 
"^ • ^--ioiiists. In the latter localities the feeling was intense 
-' ! 'i^t the Government, and even the li'ttle chiUIren cried 
' '■ t-lierrs lor "Jeft". Davis" when a soldier hai)[)ened to 
l»-^ tiicm. The ladies drew their skirts closer for fear of 

TOO Fifth New York Vohintccr Infantry. 

being contaminated, by the mere touching of their dress by 
a Yankee. In other sections, where the people loved the 
old tiag, it was seen flying everywhere, and the Zouaves 
were often invited into handsome residences and oticred 
refreshment, and were cheered by words of sympathy for the 
Union cause. 

On August lyth, the regiment had been recruited up to 
1,046 men, and five of the ten Captains had resigned, which 
made opportunity for promotions. The regiment was now 
drilled in street-firing almost daily by Col. Durye'e, who 
had no superior in these tactics, and the men were very pro- 
ficient in the exercise. (Col. Durye'e was the author of 
several treatises on street-fighting. The latter was adopted by 
the New York State Legislature in the fall of 1857). 

On Wednesday, the 21st of August, the Fifth was reviewed 
and inspected by Gen. Dix, and marched through part of the 
city with him, presenting a fine and soldierly appearance. 
Preparations were going forward for building a strong fort on 
this hill, which would undoubtedly serve to keep the men 
from demoralization by the ennui of camp life. But the 
prime object of erecting a strong work on the hill was pru- 
dential, as it would serve to overawe the secessionists in the 
city, and prevent them from attempting an uprising in con- 
junction with any attack that might be made by the enemy, 
if our arms should meet with a reverse ; and also as a de- 
fense to the city itself in connection with the other forts. 

The officers are determined to keep the men from run- 
ning guard — the military vice of a city camp— or at least from 
staying out two or three days at a time. Handcufts and the 
chain and ball were resorted to, but the ofticers found they 
had an erratic set of men to handle. But the majority of 
the guard-runners proved to be among the most efficient, 
and amenable to (li<ci[)!iiie v.-lien in acti\e service in tl'.e 
field. One of them was asked by the Colur.el, \\\\)- he ran ir.e 
guard, to which he replied that he could not resist the temp- 

... «^ Life at Baltimore. lOI 

tations of the city while they were in plain view of it ; " He 
enlisted to fight the enemy, and not to be cooped up in a 

The guard-house was a long, low building, formerly used 
as a bowling-alley. It was situated on the northern part of 
the hill, or blufii' rather, for on this side it is almost perpen- 
dicular, more than one hundred feet. The other side is the 
parade-ground. The entrance was on the west end of the 
building, and there were windows in the side looking to the 
parade-ground and camp, which were barred with thick tim- 
ber. Sentries were also stationed along that side. Toward 
the bluff there were no openings in the building, and con- 
setpiently no sentries. On that side several men escaped 
who carried balls and chain, with the collusion of the other 
prisoners. They knocked a hole in the wall with the balls, 
while the others sung and talked loudly, .so that the noise of 
the pounding was not heard, filed their irons, crawled out, 
and in some way found a path down the steep bluff. 

The officer of the guard, and the guard reserve, had their 
quarters at the west end, and the prisoners generally har- 
bored at the opposite extremity, but roamed up and down at 
will, to within a certain boundary at the west end. One day 
tliey purloined a lot of candles that happened to be too near 
their boundary-line. The prize lay in a box for the use of 
the guard. They were cut up into halves and quarters ; and 
at night, when the officer in charge had gone to supper, 
o.ich prisoner having his post allotted to him, placed them in 
rows each side of the long alley, and on a given signal, wlien 
ti'.oy thought it was about time for the officer to return from 
"^'iplHT, tliey were simultaneously lighted. It is easy to 
iiii;i;.^ine the look of astonishment on the officer's counte- 
■ Vie as he entered and saw tlie illuiiiin.uion, while the pris- 
" -'-rs Were all sitting in a very orderly manner at the other 
' ■'' of tile building, singing, "Hail to the chief!" Some- 
times they sang so loudly, the Colonel threatened to fire into 

102 Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

them to make them desist. On one occasion the prisoners 
■watched their opportunity when the guard was laying off, 
except the sentry on duty at the entrance, and at the order, 
^'Charge" all rushed yelHng down the alley, as if to force 
their way out. The guard jumped up in a hurry, seized 
their muskets, and charged bayonets, when their leader 
called out, ''Retreat" and the reprobates scampered back 
to their quarters. 

We had one man who defied all restraint when he wanted 
to go. The boys gave him the name of " Jack Sheppard." 
The last time he escaped, he was ornamented with bracelets 
to the extent of two pairs of handcuffs ; a chain and ball 
were pendant from a leg, the chain being gracefully looped 
to the handcuffs. He told the officer of the guard that by 
lo o'clock at night he would be free, a prediction which was 
taken as braggadocio. But he kept his word— at the time 
specified he was gone. 

On Saturday, the 24th of August, active work was be- 
gun on the works to be built on the hill, under the superin- 
tendence of Col. 15rewerton, of the U. S. Engineers, assisted 
by Lieut.-Col. Warren. .\ren were also detailed from the 
regiment to make drawings and profiles. 

Captain Hiram Duryea, with a detail of forty men, had 
been sent out on duty on the 21st, and returned on the 24ih. 
They had been to Point Lookout, at the mouth of the Poto- 
mac, St. ^rary's County, where most of the inhabitants were 
bitter secessionists. It was learned that under pretense of 
having an excursion down the bay, some of the rebel element 
of Baltimore intended to carry down a body of recruits for the 
Confederate army, in the ste 3.tuho3.t Ilug/i fefiki/is ; and at 
the same time to deliver ihe steamer over to the Confeder- 
ates. The detail of the I'iuh wont aboaitl ju.>t before sh'-' 
sailed; after landing the [uissengers at Point Lookout, she 
steamed off the shore about one and a half miles and anchor- 
ed. During the night they were approached by several sus- 

Life at Baltimore. 103 

j>icious-Iooking boats, but they were ordered off; and a 
steamer, supposed to be the St. Nicholas^ wliich was seized 
!.)• the Confederates some time previously, came over from 
the Virginia shore and displayed signal-lights of a suspicious 
cluracter, but receiving no answer, put back. There could 
be no doubt that the rebel plans were thwarted in every way, 
in consequence of the presence of the Zouaves on board, 
and the reinforcement of the Confederate army was post- 
poned. The Hugh Jenkins had a large share of patriotic 
interest taken in her good management after that date. 

An agreeable change was made in the entire police guard 
regulations on the 28th, by which duty of the camp was to 
be performed by a single company in turn, instead of by de- 
tails from each, as had previously been the practice. 

Our regiment enjoyed a great advantage in having a very 
convenient and attractive bathing place, in the Patapsco, 
which was the source of much pleasure and delight to the 
n)en. The water was clear as crystal, flowing over a smooth 
sandy beach, and was the scene of uproarious mirth, as the 
dirterent groups, under charge of non-commissioned officers, 
disrobed and plunged' into the waves, llieir games and 
races on the beach were invigorating, while the physique of 
many of them reminded one of the gladiators of old. This 
Secluded spot was the scene of many a tough mill in the ring, 
fought according to the rules of the code, in a fair stand-up 
»'ght, to settle some rivalry or grudge that had been engen- 
dered in camp. A pass was never refused for such a pur- 
pose, but fighting about camp was strictly prohibited. 

On one occasion, however, Colonel Warren permitted a 
little brush. It happened in this way : One day as he was 
lJa;;sing by the pump, he saw two of the men wrangling as to 
\^ho was entitled to fill iiis pail first, and he stoiiped and told 
' i. ru. if they couldn't agree, to put down their pails and tight 
' '• i^iit. They accordingly, without any further words, clinched. 
■In the course of the fight, the larger one attempted to take 

in-' ; . 


■r •: i:-fiT 

I04 Fifth A't'io York Volunteer Infantry. 

an unfair advantage of his opponent, when the Colonel, 
as umpire, interfered, and put him into the guard-house. 
Such little incidents tended to make him popular with the 
men, notwithstanding the strict discipline he always main- 
tained in the path of duty, for as a body they liked fiiir play. 

While on this subject the memorable battle between 
"Butch" Myers and H. may be mentioned. The former, 
some of my readers will remember, was not a very heavy or 
large man, was always quiet, a good friend, and well liked ; 
H. was considerably taller and heavier, besides being a pro- 
fessed fighter. One day, by appointment with their seconds 
and a few friends, duly armed with passes, ostensibly to take 
a bath in the Patapsco, they sauntered out of camp, and 
near the beach, in a selected. spot, fought for an hour and a 
half, the battle resulting in a victory for "Butch." His op- 
ponent had the most science, but could not conquer over the 
indomitable game of " Butch," and was obliged to throw up 
the sponge. They were both terribly bruised, but the con- 
queror was punished the most ; his features were not recog- 
nizable to his most intimate associates, and he was obliged 
to lay up in " ordinary " for some days, by permission of the 

These and other similar incidents were only the by-play to 
the more earnest work of the pick and shovel, in which the 
men were obliged to take their part on the works which 
were being built. Each man's turn came every three days ; 
it was hard work, as the great majority were not accustomed 
to it. The hours were from 7 A.M. until a few minutes be- 
fore 6 P.M., omitting the usual dinner hour. After the day's 
work was over, tlie men were oblig-ed to clean \\\> and dress 
for evening parade. The clay soil was very hard and heavy 
to i\v^ in s<i;ii<.- pi;iccs, esprc-iilly as there had been cun^idci- 
aljle rain, and ihc laliviiing furecs were ohl;.;cd to stand ii^ 
mutl and water ankle deei). Nevertheless ihey took it good- 
naturedly, and considered it all in the line of duty. As the 


Life at Baltimore. ' 105 

diifcrent squads assembled to get their implements of labor, 
and before the word ''Attention " was given, they had a great 
deal of amusement among themselves, by giving absurd 
orders, such as, " Right shoulder shift — Arms I " " Fix — pick- 
axes ! " " Secure — spades ! " Others would inquire very 
soberly what ground there was for such grave proceedings, 
when some one would answer, that " it was owing to fort- 
uitous circumstances. When the different squads passed each 
other on their way to work, they would salute one another 
after the manner of the New York firemen, with a " Hi — hi — 
hi !" The author has been favored with the following note 
by MiRON WiNSLOW, of Company E : 

" The occupation of Baltimore by the Federal troops, in the 
years 1861-2, was not, for the 5th New York at least, a mere idle 
or unlaborious task — a mere dwelling in barrack with no duties 
but those of drill parade and guard duty, as is apt to be the 
case with soldiers in winter quarters. The regiment from nearly 
its first arrival was engaged in the work of throwing up fortifica- 
tions on Federal Hill, and it was some months before the soldier 
had any rest from the, to many of them, unaccustomed task of 
handling pick and shovel and spade from morning till night in 
•^'.^fairig the trenches, throwing up the ramparts, grading the 
glacis, forming the sally ports, the counterscarps, the bastions of 
that large and wcU-constructed fort, and mounting the hea\y 
g\ins on its barbettes and in its bastions. 

"It was the work thus performed by the soldiers, and the 
natural spirit of disinclination to that kind of labor, which was 
sometimes manifested by some of the men, which led to the com- 
J")sing of the two following parodies for amusement in the bar- 
racks after the hours of work, and though no mcrii is claimed 
for them on the ground of originality of thought or expression, 
tin'v are reproduced here simply as a part of the barrack-life of 
thr- Fiuh while quartered at Federal Hill." 


Fifth N'czi' York Volunteer Infantry. 

Work in the Trexch. 

A Parody on "-Mickey Frees Lament y 

Bad luck to this grading-. 
This picking and spading, 
While summer suns heat. 
And winter rains drench ; 
I'm not come for a digger, 
I'd as lieve be a nigger 
As spend all my days 
. At work in the trench. 

Then though we work well, 
The why 1 can't tell. 
The divil a farthing 
We've ever yet seen ; 
Some say if we wait, 
'Twill come soon or late — 
On my faith, I think 
They're confoundedly green. 

From 'reveille beat 
Till the welcome retreat, 
. . They keep us at work 

With our picks and our spades; 
Let us long as we may 
■ \'' ' To join in the fray, 

They give us no chance 
To tr)' our good blades. 

Once done with this work. 
And back in New York, 
I'll stick to my trade. 
Be; it field, bar, or bench. 
Not tlu? Indies nor Spain 
Could tempt me again 
To enlist for a solilicr 
And work in tho trench. 

Life at Baltiuiarc. 107 

Bad luck to this grading, 
This picking and spading. 
While summer suns heat, 
And winter rains drench — 
There, the drums are calling ! 
The sergeant's a-bawling ! 
Och ! the divil fly away 
With this work in the trench ! 

M. W. 

The Song of the Spade. 
A Parody on Hood's "Song of the Shirt." 

With limbs all weary and worn. 
His temples throbbing with pain, 

A soldier sat in unsoldierly mood 
Chanting a sad refrain — 
Work ! work ! work ! 

From morning till evening parade ; 

And still, with tones in which sorrows lurk. 

He sings the '' Song of the Spade ! " 

Work ! work ! work ! 
When the drums their reveille beat ! 

And work ! work ! work ! 
Till we hear the welcome retreat ! 
Oh, I'd as lieve be a slave 

Along with our Southern foe. 
Where one might at least find a grave, 
And an end to all his woe ! 

Work ! work ! work ! 
Till the brain begins to swim ; 

Work ! work ! work ! 
Till I ache in every limb I 



I08 Fifth Nezo York .Volunteer Infantry. 

Spade, and mattock, and pick, 
Pick, and mattock, and spade 
Till I sigh for the rest that Death would bring. 
And wish in my grave I was laid ! 

Oh, ye who rule the war ' 

Ye who have children and wives ! 
It is not the foe you're fighting against. 

But your brave soldiers' lives ! 
Work ! work ! work ! 

From morning till evening parade. 
We dig at once atrench and a grave, 

For here will our bones be laid. 

But why do I talk of death ? 

Can the thought any terror yield ? 
I would not fear his grizzly shape. 

If I meet him in the field — 

If I meet him in the field. 

For there is the soldier's grave ; 
O God ! that I should be prisoned here. 

To work like a galley slave ! • 

Work ! work ! work ! 

Our toil no resting knows ; 
And what are its wages? A paltry sum. 

Made up in curses and blows ; 
From one in authority dressed. 

With his epaulettes and sword, ■ . 

Strutting about behind the redout, 

As if creation's Lord. "^ 

Work! work! work! 

From morn till dewy night. 

Work ! work ! w ork ! 

Like a slave in its master's sight ! 

Pick, and nialtork, and spade. 

Spade, and niatt(jck, and [)ick. 

Till my limbs grow tired, and my arms are numbed, 

And my very heart grows sick. 

V^^</ ^:lA 

Life at Baltiviore. 109 

Work ! work ! work ! 
In the cold December day, 

And work ! work ! work ! 
In the sunlight's hottest ray, 
When the air is like an oven's breath, 

While the sun like fire glows. 
And as we bend to our toilsome task. 
We sigh for an hour's repose. 

Oh, but to breathe the air, 

And to taste the joys of home. 
To tread once more my native sod, 

Never again to roam ! 
To live as in days gone by, , . 

To be free as I once was free. 
To wander whither I would. 

In childhood's sportive glee ! 

Oh, for a single day, 

A furlough however brief ! 
Not time to spend in pleasure or love. 

But only a moment's relief ! 
A glimpse of home would ease rny heart — 

One hour of its peaceful rest 
Would remove a share of the leaden care 

That burdens my wearied breast. 

With limbs all weary and worn, ' '; 

His temples throbbing with pain, 
A soldier sat in unsoklierly mood, . ' ■'•. 

Chanting a sad refrain : 
Work I work ! work ! 

From morning till evening parade ! 
And still in a tone in which sorrows lurk, 

He sings the song of the spade. 

^r. w. 

One morning a party of laborers were refused admittance 
into camp because they were said to be of secessionist pro- 

I lo FiftJi Nezv York Volunteer hifantry. 

clivities. They hailed from a section in the Eighth Ward, 
called " Limerick," which was thoroughly rebel in spirit. 
On August 31st the few laborers employed at the fort, 
after they left for their homes in the evening, had a lively 
encounter with another party, just outside of the works. It 
was Secessionist and Unionist, but no one was seriously 

The Fifth was compelled to suffer a personal loss in the 
early part of September by tlie promotion of its commander 
to a higher duty. On the loth we learned that Col. Abram 
Durye'e, after whom this regiment was named, had been 
appointed a Brigadier-General of Volunteers. He therefore 
ceased his immediate connection with the regiment which he 
organized, and did so much to exalt in its efficiency, drill, 
and discipline. The country owes him a debt of gratitude 
for organizing in its service a body of men who rendered 
such service to the country during the war. He had the 
satisfaction of knowing that he could leave it without any 
anxiety as to its future career ; for, under the leadership and 
training of the well-known and accom[)lished officer of the 
regular army who succeeded him in command, and to whom 
he was so greatly indebted for the discipline and drill of the 
regiment, its good name already acquired could not be lost. 
It must ever be a source of proud satisfaction for him to re- 
member that Duryeds Zouaves were known throughout the 
Army of the Potomac as the best drilled volunteer regiment 
in the service ; and for efficiency and discii)line, was equaled 
by few and excelled by none. 

On Tuesday, the 10th, Capt. Partridge, of Company A, 
two Sergeants, two Corporals, one drummer, and thirty pri- 
vates were detailed to go to Rock Hall Landing, on board 
the steamer Pioneer, to arrest a company of secessionists, 
who were sui)[)Osed to bo diilliiig tliere, making an oUl 
school-liouse their place of rendezvous. The pilot, on ac- 
count of some misunderstanding, carried them about fifteen 

Life at Baltimore. Ill 

miles from the place, and those having charge of the boat 
-.ive them no reliable information. The Captain ordered 
the boat to be stopped, arrested the crew, and then dropped 
anchor and had the fires put out. At half-past four the next 
morning, the engineer and firemen were released and ordered 
to get up steam, which was done, and at half-past five the 
boat was on the way to Baltimore, where it arrived at lo 
A.M., and the party returned to camp. 

Lieut.-Col. Warren was appointed Colonel of the Fifth on 
Sc-pt. II, 1861, and also Captain in the corps of U. S. Engi- 
neers ; Capt. Denike, of Company G, resigned on the 6th. 
He was absent on furlough in New York, while all the re- 
cent changes and resignations of the officers were taking 
place, and being senior Captain, was entitled to either the 
I. ieut. -Colonelcy or Majorship, which were both vacant. 
lUit in the reorganization two younger ofiicers stepped into 
the vacancies. It was a new illustration of the old saying 
that " all is fair in war." The men of Company G were 
sorry to lose their Captain, who had proved himself to be 
liicir friend, a brave and good officer, and a Christian. Cap- 
tain Denike was presented with a handsome sword, which 
cost §roo, by the members of his former command, the 
presentation b ing made by a committee of six of the men. 

Lieut. York was tendered, and accepted, an appointment 
.IS Captain in the regular infantry. 

Captain Jacob Duryee, of Company G, son of our late 
Colonel, now General, was appointed Lieut. -Colonel of the 
-d .NLiryland regiment, recruited in Baltimore. By this ap- 
pointment we lost another brave officer. 

The regiment having received new uniforms, made a grand 
parade through the city on the 15th of Se[)tember, and 
\V'/re received with much enthusiasu). 

As a contrast to the promotions and compliments of this 
'iioiuh, we wore compelled on the iSth to witness the dis- 
iHjnor of the tlag by the dismissal of two of our men. The 

IT, ..-. ;r,.: , , ,., .!■ ■.••c ; 

112 Fifth Ncio York Volunteer Infantry. 

regiment was drawn up in line, and the culprits were 
drummed out of camp. One of them, James Nixon, was 
hung in the Tombs, New York city, a few years after the 
war, for shooting down a stevedore in Chatham Square in 
broad daylight. 

From the memoranda made under date of October loth, 
etc., the author copies a brief description of the fort as it 
stood at that date : 

" The hill on which it is built is a very admirable site for 
a fortification. When standing on the parapet the visitor 
can have but one opinion as to its commanding position ; 
and in the event of an attack, it could resist any force 
brought against it. It is an immense square fortification, 
occupying about two-thirds of the highest part of the hill, 
the space inside of the embankments being nearly four acres 
in extent The earthworks would be half a mile in length 
if extended in a single line, thus affording shelter for a large 
body of men, who could keep up a fearful fire of musketry 
in perfect security, while the columbiads and other siege 
guns, stationed at regular distances in the bastions and along 
the curtain, were admirably planted for dealing out death 
and destruction. The breastworks were splendid specimens 
of engineering art, averaging, at least, fifteen feet through 
at the base, and sloping upward to about six feet across at 
the top. The height of these formidable banks is about nine 
feet at the highest point of the hill, running out on a water- 
level to the lower side, where it varies from fifteen to eight- 
een feet. They are not loosely thrown up, for every shovelful 
of clay which forms the mass was beaten down compactly 
with heavy paviors' pounders, and the outer sides are shaved 
off as smooth as a parlor wall. In addition to these is a 
dilch in front of the bank about eight feet deep, making, at 
tl:c luoht exposed points, an escalade of at loa^t twenty feet 
fur a storming party to ascend. 

"There are three larsie bastions, the iiuns of which com- 

;.-:. (1' 

Life at Baltimore. I13 

jD.and tlic river above and below, and every part of the city 
bfvoiul ; and as they throw eight-inch shot or shell, it is not 
diltkiilt to imagine the havoc they will make if ever they are 
called into use. A lunette commands the approaches from 
the land side. The fort is entered upon its south-west face by 
a bridge and a huge gate, and the entrance is protected by a 
ditch. Within the fort is a well eighty feet deep, supplying 
excellent water in abundance." 

An abstract from the author's journal will serve to show 
how the time was employed at this period : 

"Reveille at 6 a.m. ; directly after, roll call, when every one 
must be present and answer in person ; if not, he is reported 
absent and unaccounted for, and subject to punishment ; 
then • Policeing Quarters,' which means to sweep out the 
tents, pick up the waste and rubbish lying about camp, even 
to the minutest bit of paper, and put everything in complete 

"Breakfast call at 6.15, when the men fall in and repair 
in single file to the respective company cooks, who are 
enlisted men detailed frpm the regiment. A tin pint cup of 
colTee is served with no milk, with a piece of very fat pork 
or bacon to each man, which is thankfully received if it hap- 
pens to be of good size. Then they repair to their respect- 
ive tents, the cup and plate beuig private property (but the 
latter he rarely has), and sits down on the ground and dis- 
cusses his meal. 

" Sick call at 6.30, when all who are indisposed, their 
'i.uues having previously been entered by the Orderly Ser- 
vant of each company in a book prepared for the puri)ose, 
rt'iuir to the surgeon's quarters (in charge of a Sergeant), 
w'H» examines each man as his name is called, marks oppo- 
^■'^ !;is name the Jiialady and the prescrip.tion, also a mark 
^■■•(-thcr to attend duty or be excused. Xo Captain or 
' "-utenant can excuse a man from duty, unless first passed 
»!p<^» by the surgeon. 

' . I'.. 

114 Fifi^'' ^e"'-^ York Volunteer Infantry- 

" Drill call at S.30. When we assemble in company 
quarters, roll again called ; tlien in charge of a commis- 
sioned officer, each company marches to some open fields 
about half a mile from camp, and go through the various 
evolutions, until 11.30, when the recall is sounded on the 

" Dinner call at noon, when the roll is again called. This 
meal consists, without variation, day after day, of either 
boiled cabbage, or pork, bean soup, beef stew, and a small 
loaf of bread ; the latter must last for three meals or go 
without. At 2.30 P.M., again fall in and roll called. Knap- 
sack drill in the same place as the morning's drill, but it is 
a 'battalion' instead of company drill. Are formed into 
line of battle, charge over fences, etc , which generally re- 
sults in some lofty tumbling and miscellaneous scratches, 
form squares, and march by either front — form column by 
division — drill in double-quick time, etc. At 4 o'clock or 
later, return to camp. Sometimes instead of the latter drill, 
we are formed in line on the parade-ground inside the fort. 
The dnim beats, and immediately each company, without 
further orders, repair at a double-quick to their places be- 
hind the intrenchments, go through the movements of load- 
ing and firing, aim, etc. At the order Charge, every man 
jumps upon the parapet, and rushes to the edge of it with 
a yell, his bayonet pointed downward, as if to thrust at an 
enemy trying to scale up the sides of the fort. 

"At 5, or 4.30 P.M., as the days are short, are assembled 
and roll called, and marched out for dress parade, which 
takes place outsitle the fort, if the weather is propitious, and 
is witnessed by hundreds of citizens, many of whom come 
in their carriages. After this performance, we have supper, 
which consists of a cup of tea or cotTce and a piece of 
bread off the loaf, given out at dinner-time. This diet is 
sometimes varied by a ration of rice and molasses, which is 
considered a rare treat. At S p.m., retreat, roll call : 8.^0, 


;v: ,■ 1., ^/v ) 

tp ,-«?; 



St' • 

f . 



1I ';:!;£' 

Life at Baltimore. ' 115 

ta[.s. 'Lights out,' cry the Orderly Sergeants, when every 
candle is extinguished except in the tents of the latter, and 
the (juarters of the officers and guard. After this no talking 
or noise is allowed under heavy penalties. Thus closes the 
duties of the day, and silence reigns supreme, except the 
tread of the sentinel who is pacing his beat, or his sharp 
challenge, and the cry of ' Corporal of the Guard,' when 
porliaps he has caught some unlucky straggler trying to steal 
in or out of camp. 

'■'Wtdnesday, October 16. — Captain Hamblin, of Com- 
pany I, and his command have been on an expedition, about 
50 miles from camp, and surprised a meeting of secession- 
ists, surrounding them and capturing 17 muskets and 40 
cartridge-boxes, and thoroughly dispersing the rebels. 

"•^ Monday, November 4. — The weather is now quite cold, 
and the sentinels exposed to it at night feel it keenly, notwith- 
standing their overcoats. We have had a very severe storm, 
the rain falling in torrents, and the wind blowing a fierce 
gale. It was impossible to drill, or rather, not necessary to 
expose the officers and men to such a storm, and conse- 
quently all not on necessary duty were housed in their tents 
most of the time for 30 hours, excepting at roll calls, meal 
times, and the never omitted evening parade, which was, 
liowever, in undress with overcoats. 

" There are quite a number on the sick list and in the 
hospital with rheumatism, etc., while some have been dis- 
charged as unfit for further service. The citizens say that 
in winter Federal Hill is the coldest spot near Baltimore, 
•ind the men begin to think that ' public opinion ' is quite 
rnrrect on this point." 

Captain Hamblin, the former Adjutant, and a great favor- 
i* -' wii'n both officers and men, has accepted a commission as 
-"^•l 'j'T in the 65th Xew York Regiment, U. S. (^liasseurs. 
Ail are very reluctant to part witli him. He was a man of 
•mo [ircsence, standing about six feet four inches, with a 

Ii6 FiftJi Xc"(.' York Volunteer Infantry. 

voice like thuncL'r ; and I can not better describe the elTect 
he produces on an evening parade than by quoting an 
extract from the Xew York Times, written by an officer of 
this regiment, which is as follows : 

" Captain Hamblin would be easily remembered in New York 
by all who witnessed our march down Broadway, if they were 
told that he was the tall and colossal officer who marched along 
at such a seven-league pace, his good-looking phiz all smiling 
and joyful. Captain Hamblin, 'The Adjutant,' as the boys still 
love to call him, is a feature in our regiment, and would be sorely 
missed. We felt bothered when we no longer had Col. Dur\"ee, 
but if in an evil hour we should lose ' The Adjutant,' God help 
the regiment, say I. You remember the description given by 
Kate Rocket, in the old comedy, of her fier)% blustering father — 
I forget the exact words — but still I never could hear little Miss 
Gannon describe his coming on parade with a stiff military air, 
frowning down the line, and pretending not to hear the ' God 
bless his old heart,' without tears starting in my eyes; and I 
never yet was on parade when 'The Adjutant' came thundering 
along the line without thinking of the similarity. He's a treasure 
to us. I could keep on all day telling you about his ways, 
although I have scarcely ever said a word to him in all my life, 
but I have no space ; besides, it is hardly fair, and so I stop by 
saying that he is one of the funniest men you ever saw. He has, 
for instance, a huge dog, about the size of a small rat, and 
his kennel is an empty box of David's ink, about as big as one 
of those boxes of honey one sees in New York, while over it is 
a fearful placard — ' Beware of the Dog ! ' " 

The men of the regiment subsequently made up the sum 
of $6co, which was appropriated to buy a stallion, which 
was presented to ^^ajo^ Hamblin, as a substantial token of 
their regard. 

In speaking of do:;'^. the writer before (junted from, says: 

"There are a grcit nunilier of dogs now belonging to the 
regiment, picked up at Hamptun among the deserted houses in 
that unfortunate villacrc These do'^s have a home in some 

•' - Life at Baltimore. 1 17 

company, but they seem to have each a separate duty to perform. 
One always mounts guard ; another gets in front of the drum 
corps at dress parade ; there he squats gTavely until the band 
has done playing ; then as the drums strike up, he barks away to 
the no small amusc;ment of the visitors; and, as at the instant 
the drum stops, the evening gun fires, over he goes in a back 
somersault, somewhat astonished, and not exactly understanding 
what makes the noise. This fellow is also detailed to go with 
the patrol that leaves every morning and evenmg fcr the city for 
the militar)' prisoners. 

" Another, a large black Newfoundland, better known as 
Bounce, the property of Co. G, but claimed by Lieutenant Jacob 
Duryee, used to attend all parades of the regiment until the 
Lieutenant was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 2d 
Marjland Regiment, when he was carried of. All hands of 
course supposed that Bounce' had forgotten his old corps in the 
enjoyment of his newly-acquired promotion. Bu' fidelity in a 
dog is stronger than some people imagine, for the other day 
Bounce made his appearance on dress parade, as if nothing 
had happened, and I suppose he will remain a fixture — a regular 
Union dog — and an example to all would-be deserters. 

"G. C." 

Another canine who became a favorite attached himself 
to the regiment at Camp Hamilton. He was a little Scotch 
terrier, whom the boys named Jack. He took up his quarters 
at the guard tent, where he could constantly be seen on 
duty, following after the dittcrent reliefs. He would always 
return with theui and remain until another relief was called 
out. The last that was seen of him was on the dock, the 
night the regiment embarked for Eialtimore, having followed 
after his friends. The men felt the loss of Jack almost as 
nuich as that of a cotnrade, for he was a true type of a faith- 
ful fiicnd. 

f>:Uy one of tiie Cr.plaiiis (Wiii-l^jw) who bcIcMiged to the 
I'giment at its organization, now reir.ainci! in that grade, and 
lie was ab-scnt on a visit to New York, having accidcntailv 

h-H r \ Oi V 

1 1 8 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

sent a pistol shot through his foot. Col. Warren was sick 
and confined to liis quarters at times for two months, but had 
recovered, and was also absent on a short furlough. The 
regiment was reviewed and inspected by Gen. R. B. Afarcy, 
father-in-law of Gen. George B. McClellan, and Inspector- 
General of the Army of tlie Potomac, and the following day 
we were mustered in for pay. 

We could now boast of a very fine band, under the leader- 
ship of Mr. Wallace, of New York. It was made up of pro- 
fessional musicians, and some very fine amateurs, who were 
detailed temporarily from the ranks. The drum corps, how- 
ever, was our pride, and was under the charge of that veteran 
knight of the drum-sticks, John M. Smith,* who maintained 
strict discipline among his large corps, and took them to a 
distance every day and drilled them until their arms ached. 
They were such masters of their art that on parade they were 
greeted with much applause. They made a splendid appear- 
ance, for they were a good-looking set of lads, and com- 
manded the admiration of all who saw them in their Zouave 

The following veties were written by one of our drummer- 
boys, which are worthy of preservation as one of the ballads 
of the time : 

To THE Fifth New York Zouaves. 

A regiment once U-ft New York to gain themselves a name, 
Also to prove that they could fight and play the Yankee game. 
At old Fort Schuyler they began their duties with a will, 
And in a mouth they proved to all that they were some on drill. 

CirORUS — Oh, Secessia, what's the use of funning-, 

Don't you see the red breeches, look at them coming.' 
On, Zouaves, on ! 

* Siuiili li.ns been fur ycnrs the Dnim-M.ijor of the 7th Regiment, and aUo of the 
I'ri'jklyn 13th. One of his pupils (Jenks) acts in the same cap.icity fur the 7i?t; 
niij another (Striibe) for the 22J Regiment ; McKeever for a New Jersey Regiment. 

■.lb ', Life at Baltimore. 119 

To Fort Monroe by order sent, they quickly took their way, 
Tht-y left New York one pleasant night, arrived up there next 

day ; 
When the rebels heard that they had come, it grieved them very 

For they never thought the " Red Devils " could land upon their 

shore. Chorus. 

They did their duty faithfully, and " easy " slept at night. 
Till one fineday they got " good news ; " it was to go and fight ; 
On, on to Bethel, was the cry, nor did they ever tire. 
Though on the double-quick they went to meet the rebel fire. 

The Fifth drawn up in line, stood motionless and still. 
They met the fire manfully, returned it with a will ; 
But orders soon awake them, for *' Warren gave the word," 
And in advance, on double-quick, they went to meet the herd. 

Then next to Baltimore they went, another post to fill. 
And very' soon threw up a fort high on Federal Hill ; 
They placed a flag-staff on their fort, aided by some " tars," 
And hoisted up their country's flag, the glorious Stripes and Stars. 

They on an expedition went, down to old Accomac, 
And verj' soon the rebels found the red boys on their track ; 
So they took and pulled their tent-pins up, for they couldn't see 

the fun, 
And the Fifth got into Accomac, and the rebels into a run. 

They took some pretty trophies — cannon, muskets, swords, and 

Likewise some loadrd shell, which the rebels had forgot ; 
They took good care nothing to spare, but ever,thmg to bag, 
And in Northampton County they took a rebel flag. Chorus. 

1 lie Fifth once made a grand parade through the streets of 

And " Baltimoreans " said they never saw the like before ; 

I20 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

Their arms shone brig-ht as silver, their step was firm and true, 
While marching to the music of " Yankee Doodle Doo." 

The Fifth have got a Drum-Major, a gentleman of ease. 
He's a soldier, knows his business, believe me, if you please ; 
His pupils know his style, and obey him with a will. 
But if they neglect his orders, why, he gives them extra drill. 

The bully Zouave drum corps are some upon a stick, 
They understand their business, can go a double-quick; 
When they are on parade the girls look at them shy, 
And whisper to each other, How I'd like a " Drummer-boy." 

C horus. 
And now my ditty's ended, as you shall quickly see. 
And I've told you of the Fifth Zouaves, so ha jpy and so free ; 
Three cheers for their brave officers, the noble sons of Mars, 
Who swear to hve or die beneath the glorious Stripes and Stars. 


The drummer-boys, imitating their older companions, were 
continually hatching mischief and playing jokes. The band- 
master was a great admirer of Maggie Mitchell, the actress, 
who was a frequent visitor to the camp to witness the even- 
ing parades of the regiment, and as in duty bound, the offi- 
cers always showed her great attention. One night the band- 
master marched his band with the drummers out of the fort and 
into the city, finally halting them in front of the hotel of the 
actress, intending to give her an agreeable surprise by a 
serenade. The music was delightt'ul, and the affair was a suc- 
cess, but he had arranged that the drummers were to carry 
torches in order that his musicians could read their notes, and 
that it nn"glit be seen by the actress to whom she was indebt- 
ed for this compliment. They, on the other hand, had ar- 
ranged that when a certain one of their number counted one, 
two, where tlio number three came in, out should go the 
lights. T!k' bmul-mastcr was in the nu'dst of his most en- 
chanting piece, and he was [Performing his own part with the 

,V ^.\:-^ 

Life at Baltimore. I2i 

rest, his soul full of music and haj^piness with the thouoht 
that he was delighting the ear of tlic actress he so much ad- 
mired. When one, two, piitf. out went the lights, the music 
came to an abrupt termination, and the stillness was broken 
by three emphatic words not necessary to repeat, and his ears 
were saluted by the ringing laugh of the bewitching Maggie, 
who showed her appreciation of the joke by clapping her 
hands, and she probably enjoyed this episode which the mis- 
chievous drummer-boys had inserted in the performance, as 
much as she did the music. 

It may not be out of place to chronicle one of the Drum- 
Afajor's practical jokes, perpetrated at the expense of a 
member of his own craft. 

One day Adjutant Hamblin, Sergeant-^^ajor Jack Collins, 
and himself, were dining together in the tent of the latter, 
when a knock was heard from without, on the tent i)ole. 
Smith called out : '• Who is there ? " " Drum-Major of the 
4th Michigan," was the answer. " Come in ! Drum->rajor 
of the 4th Michigan;" and he went in. Of course he was 
invited to be seated and take dinner. After the meal was over, 
the conversation turned on the mysteries of the art of drum- 
ming. Fourth Michigan said that he had heard that Smith 
was a professor cf the art, and he had come over to see him, 
and hear a specimen of his accomplishments in that line. 
Smith told him that he \vas mistaken as to his being able to 
drum; all he did was to walk ahead and flourish his stick; 
he understood how to do that. " But," said he, " I can ap- 
preciate good drumming when I hear it, and if you have no 
objections I should be very much pleased to hear what you 
can do with the drum-sticks ! " " All right," replied Michi- 
gan, and he took the drum that was handed him, and putting 
tlie strap over his shoulders, he struck a position for business 
and asked what it should be. Smith said. - Let us have the 
h-ng roll!" not thinking of tlu' consequences. And now, 
tlioroughly interested, down came the sticks, and out canie 

122 FiftJL Nczu York I'oluif'ctr Infantry. 

the well-known alarm rattle. At. the first sound, out rushed 
Smith, Hamblin, and Collins, U-aviiiL; his astonished guest 
alone, and the startling conviction ila>hed on his n-)ind that 
he was badly sold, and had comiiu'ted a serious breach of 
military discipline. Some of the companies had jumped to 
arms, and the officer of the day rushed into the tent and 
caught the unhappy offender, " dead to rights," as the de- 
tectives say. He tried to explain, but it was of no use. He 
was sent to the guard-house. Smith was brought before tlie 
Colonel, and for some time matters looked serious. But it 
passed over, and at'ter some time spent in durance, the mu- 
[ sical interviewer from Michigan was released, and departed 

I for his camp, thankful that he was not to be court-martialed 

j and shot, 

( On Tuesday, the i.?th of November, six companies of the 

■ regiment, under the command of Colonel Warren, left on an 

[ expedition to the eastern shore of Virginia. They took bag- 

\ gage-wagons with th.em. It was understood that some five 

i thousand men were under orders iox this ser\'ice, and there 

[ was much disappointnient among tiiose who were left to 

i guard the fort. 

r The carpenters, with the assistance of men of that trade 

\ detailed from the regiment, commeiiccd work on the bar- 

: racks. In the meantime, the men built large camp-fires to 

ikeep themselves warm, ;ind around these they congregated 
when off duty, to talk and sing songs. Guard duty returned 
\ every four days while the other com]ianies were away, and 

f v.-c had the usual drill the otiier three days. Tlie fort was 

I under the command of Major Plnll, who kept the battalion 

'? under the usu:?.l discipline. I-arge .juaniities of cannon-balls 

! were received, and they grew into rc*gulation i)yramids ready 

j for use. There was no limit, apparently, to the numoer. 

i Suiuh-!}-^ Dec. I. — -T';i.>!ikigivi;g ! mv (rhur.>(iay) \\ as cel- 

ebrated by firing a grand salute of iliiity-roiu" guns with tiic 
ihirty-two-pounders, v/hich made th.c liill shake, while the 

,-.:■/■' Lift- at Baltimore. ' ' 123 

concussion broke all the windows of the houses in the vicin- 
ity of the fort. After the salute the band ])layed several na- 
tional airs. The surgeon supplied all the men with oysters 
as a present from himself, and the sutler gave out cigars, so 
all were happy. Saturday a Volunteer Union Company 
of thirty-five boys, dressed in Zouave uniform, visited camp, 
drilled and went through different maneuvers very creditably, 
and in the evening at dress parade drew up opposite the bat- 
talion, after which they marched away. 

A remarkable event of camp life which occurred just at 
this time, was described by a Baltimore journal as follows : 

An Elopement. 
Marriage of a Zouave — Exciting Affair. 

The greatest excitement of the season transpired in East 
Baltimore shortly after four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, the par- 
ticulars of which we will give in as brief a manner as possible : 
Connected with the 5th New York Zouave Regiment, encamped 
on Federal Hill, is a handsome and brave volunteer, who in a few 
weeks after visiting our city fell in love with a sweet young lady 
residing on the Hill, but whose father is secesh to the back-bone. 
The daughter, however, entertained different opinions, and boldly 
declared that if ever she became a wife, a bold soldier boy should 
be her husband. 

The Zouave, upon learning the sentiments of the old man, was 
s<'rely troubled, but nerved himself with the assurance tliat 
■■ Faint heart never won fair lady," and resolved to press his 
sviit and carry off the prize despite the threats of the enragtd 

For a while all went along smoothly, wlien red breeches learned 
t! the father of his loved one had issued a proclamation that 
hs daughter should wed a chap who was in heart as great a 
'■'VAard as ever lived, and in princi[)le so mean that a clock would 
r"'t tick while he was in the room. 

1 iK: young girl, like a true heroine, detested iiim, and inlonncil 
•' ■!■ Zouave beau how matters ^.tood. The latter m m.'.ged a 
stolen interview on Saturday morning, which resulted in the dear 

124 Pifth New York Vohintecr Infantry. 

girl givinc^ her hand to her sweetheart and agreeing- to an elope- 
ment. The time named was half-past three o'clock Sunday aft- 
ernoon at tb.e house of a friend. The time arrived, and so did 
our htro wiih a horse and buggy. In a twinkling the loving 
couple were rattling over the cobble-stones at a merry rate in 
search of a minister to tie the Gordian knot. Up one street and 
down another the horse sped until the comer of Lombard Street 
and Broadway was reached. At this point the Zouave jumped 
from his buggy and inquired of a gentleman where a minister 
could be found that would render happy at short notice a couple 
anxious to get married. The gentleman could not impart the 
desired information, when our hero again sprang into the buggy 
and drove to the corner of Pratt Street, where his beating heart 
was quieted by John Randolph, Esq., who informed the Zouave 
that the Rev. Mr. Thomas, pastor of the Broadway Baptist 
church, would perfonn the ceremony. To the church sped the 
party (including the horse and buggy), and in a short time the 
blushing damsel and her companion were closeted with the 

By this time it became noised about that an elopement was on 
hand, and such an outpouring of marriageable ladies was never 
before witnessed on Broadway. Young ladies crowded about 
the church doors in great numbers, while the windows of adja- 
cent dwellings were thronged with older persons, all anxious to 
catch a glimpse of the wedded pair as they emerged from the 
sacred cditke ; and when they did appear, many were the well 
wishes for their future welfare that greeted them on all sides. 
Forcing thi-ir way through the crowd, the happy couple seated 
themselves in the buggy and passed rapidly up Broadway. Vive 
la Zouave ! Vive la Elopement ! 



The E.\steiuj Shore— Odjects of the Expedition— A Proclamation by GE>f- 
ZRAi. Dix— " Marching Along ! "—A Surprised Zolave— Rebel Spirit and 
Rebel Spirits— A Soldiers' Reunion— Rebel Visitors Singing the Star 
Spangled Banner— Return of the Extedition— Results— A Sociable Pa- 
rade — Rebel Flag Reversed— Recriiting — Opening the Barracks — 
" Fort Feder.^l Hill" — Second Year of the War — Our Surgeon — A Sur- 
gical Duelist— Running the Guard— " The Zouave House "—A Mrsii al 
Masked Batterv — Flag Presentation by the Ladies of South Bal- 
riMORE — Address by John Willis, Esq. — Colonel Warren's Reply — A 
Grand Ball at Headquarters- Fort Marshall — Washington's Birthday 
— An Indignant Zouave — Grand City Ball — A Military Execution — 
Attack Threatened —The Merrimac— Change of Base — Ho for Fortress 
Monroe! — Farewell to Baliimore — Our Farewell Entertainment — 
Relieved by the Third New York — Falling into Line — March Through 
Baltimore— Exciting Scenls— Farewell Song. 

On Tuesday, the 12th day of November, 186 r, six com- 
panies, A, B, C, D, E, F, of the 5th Regiment, wlio were 
to act in concert with other troops, in all about five thousand 
men, left Baltimore on the steamer PocaJwntas^ for the 
puri)ose of invading Accomac and Northampton Counties, 
Virginia, the former Congressional district of Ex Governor 
^N'ise, his country seat being near Onancook, Accomac 

There were many Union people in the two counties, but 
they had been overawed by the secessionists, who were in 
the majority, and had been actively recruiting many young 
men from the ranks of the inhabitants for tlie Confederate 

The two cc>untics comprised about eight hundred s<]uare 
miles, with a population, including negroes, of about twenty 
lliousand. There were about three thousand militia, who 


■- :•; I'-'l .. ; 1.) 


126 Fifth New York l^ohintccr Infantry. 

had assembled together in a camp, under a Colonel Smith, 
of the Confederate army, and batteries were being built to 
resist any advance of Federal troops into this territory. It 
was the object of General Dix to send such a large force 
against them as to either cajnure this body of men, or to over- 
awe and disband them. Many of them were Unionists, but 
were compelled to enter the Confederate ranks by threats of 
personal danger and destruction of property ; and it was 
anticipated that if troops were sent to their aid, and a firm, 
yet conciliatory po icy was adopted, the secession element 
would become demoralized, and the Unionists would not 
only be protected, but would remain firm adherents to the 
loyal cause. The command of the expedition was intrusted 
to General Lockwood, of Delaware, and consisted of de- 
tachments of the 17th ATassachusetts, 5th New York, 21st 
Indiana, 6th Michigan, 4th Wisconsin, Nims' Battery, Troop 
of Cavalry, 2d Delaware Home Guards, and Purnell Legion. 

On Wednesday, the 13th, the steamer on which the Fifth 
had embarked entered Pocomoke Sound and River, and got 
aground. The men were taken off the next day at 9 o'clock, 
by the steamer Star, and at 10 a.m. landed at Newton, 
Worcester County, Md., just above the Virginia line, and 
encamped. From this place General Lockwood sent a 
messenger under a flag of truce across the line into Vir- 
ginia, and circulated a printed proclamation to the inhabit- 
ants, issued by General Dix, which called upon all in arms 
against the Government to lay down their arms and dis- 
perse, promising protection to the LTnionists, and the jienal- 
ties of the law against the disunionists if they continued in 
their treasonable acts, etc. 

Upon receiving the proclamation, the Union people were 
wild with delight, and the camp of the secessionists began 
to melt away. On Sunday, the 17th, the troops crossed the 
boundary line into Virginia, the cavalry in advance, tlie 5th 
New York leading the infantry, and encamped, after a march 


The Eastern Shore — Life at Baltimore. 127 

of twelve miles, at Oak Hall. During the march they en- 
countered many obstructions, designed to impede their 
advance ; bridges had been burned, and trees were thrown 
across the roads, some of which it was necessary to remove, 
and deserted earthworks were found at Oak Hall. 

Nove7nber r8. — The cavalry advanced by a forced march to 
Drummondtosvn, and raised the Stars and Stripes on the pole 
on which the day before the Confederate flag had been flying. 

N'ovember 20. — Marched to Knappsville, eight miles, and 

November 21. — Marched fifteen miles, to a point seven 
miles from Drummondtown, and encamped. Daring this 
march we discovered another battery, niounting eight guns, 
almost new, of which we took possession. During the 
night rain set in, and the companies remained in this camp 
until Sunday, the 24th. Up to this time nine guns and one 
hundred flint-lock muskets hod been seized. Colonel Smith, 
who commanded the troops at the earthworks, escaped ; but 
we made prisoners of one Captain and two Lieutenants. 

November 22. — During the night Captain Partridge, of 
Company A, and a squad of men, went in search of arms, 
and found a number of sabres and equipments which had 
been hidden in the woods, and Sergeant Pike captured a 
large Confederate flag. 

November 24. — We marched to Kastville and encamped, 
being seventy-seven miles from Newton, from which place 
the expedition had started. A number of the 21st Indiana 
were put under arrest for foraging and committing depre- 

General Lockwood, before the expedition started, had 
issued an order that any one caught out of camp should 
'h' put in irons ; but notwit!istan<ling the iniiiciative nature 
*'f \\\-i order, and liie severity of the thie.itened puiiishinent, 
some of the men of the various regiments could not resist 
the temptation to wander out of the lines. 

128 Fifth Ncrv York Volunteer Infantry. 

One night after the regiment had gone into camp, one 
of the Zouaves ventured on a private errand as provider. 
He went to a house near by, and, without ado, approached 
and knocked on the door. " Come in," cried a manly 
voice. He thought it an encouraging summons, and forth- 
with opened the door; but much to his astonishment, he saw 
Colonel Warren and Captain Partridge warming themselves 
over the fire. If he ever disobeyed an order of his com- 
manding officer during his two years' service, it was on this 
particular occasion. He not only refused to obey, but rudely 
closed the door and beat a hasty and disorderly retreat around 
the corner of the house. Seeing a cellar-door open, his first 
impulse was to disappear down that way ; but luckily for his 
second thought, he did better by tumbling head over heels 
into a pig-sty conveniently near, regardless of pigs or mire. 
Out rushed the officers, who saw the cellar-door open, and 
concluded that the rascal had gone below. The Captain 
rushed back to get a light, while the Colonel stood guard, 
saying that he would cut the scoundrel down if he attempted 
to dash by him. Soon tlie Captain appeared with the light, 
and while they were looking iiito the cellar, " Phil" got out 
of the other side of the sty and made extraordinary time 
back to camp, thanking his stars for his narrow escape. 
"Phil" is now one of the shining lights of the New York 

Two men, who afterward confessed that they had been 
officers in the Confederate army, after drinking freely, met 
some unarmed Zouaves out of camp, drew their pistols and 
pointed at them. They were arrested, and taken be- 
fore Colonel Warren, confined for the night in comfortable 
c^narters, and supplied with substantial iDeals frou) his own 
table ; blankets were also furnished, and a good fire made 
fur them. In the moming, when they were sober and pen- 
itent, and ashamed of their conduct, the Colonel explained 
to them the principles and the cause he was t^-hting for, and 

A -. : ■■ {'■.f .:mi 

The Eastern Shore — Life at Baltimore. 129 

the madness and fully of their own false position, serenaded 
them with the " Star Spangled Banner," and dismissed 

IVt'dfiesday, November 27. — Colonel Warren invited a 
number of gentlemen known to be bitter secessionist?, 
some of whom were formerly rebel officers, to witness a 
drill and parade of the Fifth, and afterward join him in a 
soldier's supper. At the appointed hour they came in fine 
equipages," for they belonged to the wealthy and influential 

The Zouaves were encami)ed in a dense pine forest near 
the village of Eastville, adjoining which was a large and 
level meadow, which made an admirable parade-ground. 
The movements were performed under the order of the 
Colonel, in a most successful manner, and the gentlenien 
were astonished, never having witnessed anything like it be- 
fore ; afterward they had a splendid supper around a roar- 
ing fire. They were stretched in a semicircle about it, sit- 
ting and reclining on red blankets laid upon pine boughs, 
from which they could see the Zouaves flitting about their 
camp-fires in the pine woods across the meadow. TliC 
scene in the dusk of evening was enchanting and like a 
vision of fairy-land. After the bountiful repast, the Colonel 
sent for so:ne fine singers of the regiment, and they were 
entertained for an hour by their performance. They then 
sung " The Red, White, and lilue," and the finale was the 
'• Star Spangled Banner," in which all joined with great 
effect. The secession visitors got e.xcited, and sang louder 
than any of them, swinging their hats in the air ; after which 
Ihey declared that, after all, they had an interest in the old 
flag — that one-half of it belonged to the South, and it was 
a shame to divide it. They wound u[) by iMoposin^, and 
joining in, cheers for tlic tlig, fur the 5th New York, and 
tur the Union. 

'I'attoo, with " Yankee Doodle," played with fife and tlruni, 

130 Fifth Neio York Vohcttccr Infantry. 

cut short the entertainment. This little incident did more 
to overcome the secessionists, in spite of themselves, than a 
hard battle would have done. 

Col. Warren invited Gen. Lockwood to witness a d-ill of 
the Fifth a {•iw days afterward, as iie did not seem to entertain 
very cordial feelings toward the Zouaves. But whether the 
question, "Who stole that goose?" which became prover- 
bial in the regiment, had anything to do with it, has never 
been determined. 

The regiment went through the movements with automatic 
precision in quick and double-quick time. The General was 
astonished, and said that he had never seen anything like it 
in the whole of ^'■Delaware,'' and that it could not be 

Monday, Dec. 2. — ^farched to widiin seven miles of Pona- 
teague, covering twenty-one miles, where more deserted in- 
trenchments and obstructed roads were discovered. 

Tuesday, Dec. 3. — Left the camping ground, and reached 
the steamer Star^ lying at Ponateagiie, on the Chesapeake 
Bay, about noon. 

Wednesday, Dec. 4. -^Started about 6 A.^r. on board the 
steamer Star, for Federal Hill, arriving at the fort on the 
morning of the 5th, after an absence of twenty-three days. 

The companies had marched on this expedition over 160 
miles, in heavy marching order, besides having severe drills 
while lying in camp. They found the majority of the peo- 
ple to be poor and ignorant, many of the women having 
neither shoes nor stockings, with tlieir dresses unfashionably 
short. The negroes were allowed one coaf, one pair of 
shoes, two siiirts, and one pair of trousers for the year, and 
some of their clothes were so much patched that the)- looked 
like beJ-q'.ii'r;. At first the ncL'rocs wcxc very nnirli alarm- 
ed, an.; kept aloof. biU having caii^lu one. and gi\-t'n l;ini a 
Union drill, by tossing liim in a blanket, they soon had their 
hands full. They said that their masters had told them that 

The Eastern Shore — Life at Baltimore. 131 

the Yankees would cut their arms and legs off. They were 
greatly surprised and gratified to find that instead of being 
treated in that way, they were welcomed with " Union 

To sum up, tlie expedition seized ten cannon, eight of 
which were new, a thousand stand of aims, flags, etc.. be- 
sides disbanding the drafted militia, restoring confidence to 
the Unionists, and demoralizing the secessionists. 

Colonel Warren was much oi)i)osed to the policy of delay 
pursued by General Lockwood at first, and offered to take 
his battalion and Xims' battery, and push through to the end 
of the Peninsula. Had he been allowed to do so, there can 
be little doubt that Colonel Smith, the Confederate leader, 
would have ueen captured. 

On the evening of Friday, Dec. 6th, the officers being 
again "at home," had a "sociable," in the Colonel's quar- 
ters, which were in a brick building, formerly used as a 
hotel, which was allowed to remain when the fort was built, 
and was situated inside the works, near the western embank- 
ment. The men also had an improvised concert, the band 
played at intervals, cheers were given for Colonel W.irren, 
and expressions not very complimentary to General Lock- 
wood or his military sagacity, were indulged. Altogether the 
entertainment was worthy of the occasion. 

The following day, the weather being propitiously beauti- 
ful, all of the command that could be spared, marched out 
for a parade through the city, bearing the Confederate flag 
that was seized on the late expedition, upside down. . 

It was publicly presented to General Dix, at his head- 
quarters in the city, after which the men gave three tre- 
mendous cheers for General Dix and the American Union. 
I>oubtless the rebels growled and gnashed their teeth at the 
«-i---rincc C'f ih<;ir riag. 

On Fridav, Dec. 13th, several of the officers and a few of 
the men were sent to New York to obtain recruits. 

I 132 FiftlL Nczv York Voluv.tar bifantry. 

I It may seem strange, that regiinei.ts in the service, when 

[ they have not lost many men in battle, are obliged to recruit 

f so often. The reasons are, that all comparatively new or- 

\ ganizations lose many men, who, when first enlisted, pass a 

jiiedical examination, but have not the stamina to endure the 
hardships and exposure to which they are subject. In addi- 
tion to this, many desert. It is a hard school, and puts to 
i the test all that there is in a man in the way of fortitude, pa- 

1 tience, endurance, and all the hardier qualities, as well as mor- 

j al courage. After the weaker ones are sifted out, there remains 

a body of strong, enduring soldiers, who can perform any 
duty, and submit to any hardship, who do the hard fighting in 
[ a battle, and are "mustered out" either by death on the 

I field of battle, or vv-ith honor at the end of their-tenn. 

[ The attendance at divine service on Sundays was small, 

[ seldom exceeding over twenty ; last Sunday quite a large 

I number assembled, on account of some remarks made by 

Colonel Warren on the subject, and the men were drawn 
together at his request. 

A few evenings since the men gave a concert, in one of 
\ the nearly finished barracks. A stage was erected at one 

I end, and decorated as tastefully as the means at their com- 

; mand would allow ; seats of plain boards were arranged for 

i the audience, with camp-stools, borrowed for the occasion, 

I to acconnnodate the officers. There were recitations and 

\ scenes from " Afacbeth," etc., which were acted out in the 

\ most tragic manner. The Drum-Major gave an exhibition 

i of his skill on the drum, and he made it speak in his hands. 

I The good voices selected from members of the regiment, 

j gave some very harmonious music, and the Colonel and 

• officers were very much entertained and gratitied. 

On Afondiiy, the ;,V'? t'^*- "'"-''i struck tents, and moved 

into the l).ir!\;r.k-. "TlK'y were largo and roomy, two stoiies 

! high, with double verandas, supported by blight piiLus, and 

facing inward toward the scpiare. They occupied tlnee 

The Easter }i Shore —Life at Baltimore. 133 

sides of the quadrilateral, within the high eiiibanktuents, and 
upon the fourth are situated a neat cottage of brick, com- 
monly called the Colonel's quarters ; a guard-house, and an 
unimposing building which alfords ample accommodation 
for the commissary and quartermaster's departments. 

" One building is occupied by the officers, and the others 
are divided into rooms ninety feet in length, each division 
furnishing ample accommodation for one hundred men. 
Three tiers of bunks occupy each side of the company 
quarters, and are arranged in the most convenient and ap- 
proved manner. Company kitchens also occupy the ends 
of the large center building, and there are rooms in the same 
building for the band and the sutler. The buildings inclose a 
large parade-ground, sufficient in extent for ordinary military 
purposes ; and the square is ornamented with native trees, 
which please the eye and afford an agreeable shade." 

The company rooms were each heated by two stoves, 
which stood at either end, and the comfort of these (inarters 
contrasted favorably with that of the cold and crowded tents. j 

The day before moving was dreary aixl rainy ; the wind j 

blew a gale, and the tents api)eared to lie in a morass of j 

nuid and water. It is needless to say that the change was j 

immensely for the advantage of the men for health as well \ 

as comfort. The boys enjoyed themselves extremely in j 

their new quarters, and after camping out so long, we felt j 

soniewhat domesticated in our new surroundings. 1 

Thursday, December 26. — Our works have been named \ 

and are to be made historical by the title of '• Furt l-'ederal j 

Hill." The armament of the fort is six 8-inch columbiads ; 
two lo-inch mortars ; two 8-inch S. C. howitzers ; twenty- | 

three 32-|)ound guns; five 24-pound howitzers (rlank de- 1 

f»'n^e). and several 6-pound brass pieces. Stored in the : 

"iiee magazines v/ere 10.000 pounds ot^ cannon pcjwder and '■. 

^coo hand grenades. \\\ addition there was in the fort 
over 4,000 solid shot, shell, grape and canister shot. 

~ I 

:/ .: V! 

134 Fifth Nc-iv York Volunteer Infantry. 

The Confederate flag captured in the late expedition to 
the eastern shore of Virginia, and presented to (General Dix, 
was sent by him to the Mayor of the city of New York. 
The following is from the New York Times of December 
27, 1861 : 

Mayor's Office, December 26, 1861, 


Gentlemen : — I have received a communic^ation from Major- 
General Dix (a copy of which is annexed), accompanying' a se- 
cession flag, captured in Virginia by the 5th Regiment of New 
York Volunteers (Duryee's Zouaves), under his command. 

In compliance with the desire of Major-General Dix, it be- 
comes my pleasant duty to transmit this trophy of a New York 
regiment to the appropriate custody of the municipal authorities 
of the city to which this gallant corps belongs. New York will 
preserve this relic with pious care, as a proof of the courage of 
her sons and their patriotic devotion to the cause of the Union. 
Let us receive it as an auspicious token, and as an earnest of the 
restoration of peace and the triumph of that Constitution which 
is the only safeguard of the true glory and happiness of our coun- 
try. I recommend that the Common Council, in receiving the 
flag, pass resolutions congratulating the regiment of New York 
Zouaves for their gallant spirit, and thanking General Dix for his 
kindly remembrance of the city. 

Fernando Wood, Mayor. 

On the receipt of the above message, the Common Coun- 
cil adojned a resolution returning the thanks of the city to 
the Fifth Regiment for the flag. 

Friday Jan. 3, 1862. — With the opening of the new year 
winter had fully set in, and in the morning the air was very 
keen. The season was cokl, and in addition we had the full 
force of the north winds on the elevated position we occu- 
pied. The surgeon, or "0[)iain Pills," as the men called hiui, 
whatever may have been his scicntihc attainments, was not 
fortunate as an ot'ficer or a humanitarian. lie was tyranni- 
cal and cruel. It was his custom when the sick came before 

•■•■^.'<.• Life at Baltimore. •■ 135 

him, to commence business by asking his steward to bring 
him '' some of those bitters," which was evidently nothing 
less than about five fingers of raw whisky. His loaded re- 
volver was laid on the table at his side, and for some imagi- 
nary provocation he would fly into a towering passion, bring 
his fist down on the table with an oath, upsetting the ink and 
everything else, and either kick some poor fellow out of the 
room, or seize his revolver and threaten to blow somebody's 
brains out. One of the officers, Quartermaster Wells, took 
him at his word one day, much to the joy of the men. 
There had been some trivial dispute between them, and the 
surgeon (V.) challenged the Quartermaster. But he found 
that he had a new patient to deal with, and not a list of sick 
})rivates who could not resist his brutality. The challenge 
was accepted, the Quartermaster being a dead shot, and ac- 
customed to making his fire tell, and the imperious surgeon 
was obliged to retire his challenge, and retire himself, by 
resigning his commission. 

Passes to the city are again restricted, only one for each 
company being allowed every twenty-four hours. In conse- 
quence some of the men resume their guard-running prac- 
tices, with the risk of being fired at by the sentries, besides 
being court-martialed when caught, or if they missed a roll 

No harm will come now to any one to tell where the run- 
aways often spent their time, and where the guard could 
have made a good capture not very far from the fort. The 
'• Zouave House " will never be forgotten by the Fifth. A 
convenient trap-door led down into a dark cellar, where the 
carousers found refiige when their pickets gave tlie alarm ; 
the trap was then covered over with the carpet, and a piano 
stood over the sjiut. It was a long time before tliis rcrer 
'•''■AS ,hu-ovcred and our musical masked battery was aban- 

lyolncsday, January 8.— To-day there are about fifty boys 

1 30 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

enjo\ ing tlieinselves omside tlie fort, coasting down the liill 
■with t!ieir sleds. Scr.,'cant F., feeling disposed to participate 
in the sport, borrowed a sled from one of the boys, and was 
soon going down the hill as fast as he conld desire ; but iin- 
fortin.atcly for him, when he was about half the distance, he 
and his conveyance puled company ; he slid about twenty 
■feet ill o\-\c direction and his sled in another, niaterially mar- 
ring the beauty of his countenance. The men standing on 
the parapets of the fort gave a shout at his mishap, and 
he ever after bore the name of " Hunkey Slide." 

The iDen had become very proficient in their drill, and 
were fa!!;iiiar with boiii the heavy and light infantry manual, 
bayonet exercise, heavy and light artillery, street firing, etc., 
and in addition oiie man was detailed daily from each com- 
pany to learn the art of making cartridges. They were 
again allowed their full complenient of passes to the city, 
and guard-running coiisequentiy decreased. 

On Tliursday, l'"ebiuary 6th, the regiment was compli- 
mented by the presentation of a beautiful garrison flag, pre- 
pared by the ladies of South Baltimore. Although the 
■weather wa? not very favorable, a large assembly was 
gathered within the fort, the ladies of South Baltimore, who 
manifested great interest and pride in the reginient that had 
built Fort Federal Hill, forming the principal part of the 
throng. The interior of tlie fort was placed in excellent 
order, and notwith.-tancling the alternate storms of rain and 
snow, afforded a fiir proiuenude-ground for our fair visitors. 

Tiie fallowing account of the presentation is from the 
Baltiinoye American of February 7, 1862 : 

"At half past two 'the assembly' was heat, and the regi- 
ment formed as for dress parade on tiiree sides of the parade- 
grour.u. Alter foniKi'LinM, the rcgiinent closed at iiaif-dis- 
tance in iioiit of the hi-;ui([uartL-rs, Colonel Warren in front of 
his cumniand, and the ceremonies of presentation commenced. 
The ll.i;^ was brought f irv.-ard by Messrs. Edward H. Price and 

• / Life at Baltimore. 137 

Joseph Brooks, the committee of arrangements on tlie part of 
the ladies. 

"John Willis, Esq.. was introduced, and delivered the fol- 
lowing presentation address : 

" To THE Officers and Soldiers of the Fifth New 
York Zouave Regiment:— I have been honored with the 
privilege, by patriotic ladies residing within the southern section 
of Baltimore, of presenting, in their name and on their behalf, 
to your regiment, the 5th New York Zouaves, this beautiful en- 
sign of our country's nationality. Soon as man emerges from 
barbarism toward civilization, even in its rudest form, we find 
him naturally seeking some congenial association. It is not 
meet that he should live alone, as the fair donors of this exquisite 
gift would willingly attest. 

" Combining thus for the better preservation of his own and 
his neighbors' rights ; looking also through the light of reason, 
and in the exercise of those attributes which distinguish him 
above all other animate beings, he seeks the enjoyment of con- 
solidated advantages vouchsafed in unity of purpose and of 

"Associations thus formed naturally adopt their insii^nia, 
their mottoes, their emblems of faith, until each representation 
becomes the reflective index of an embodied principle. Thus 
from the small beginning of a rude circle, allied in plighted faith, 
looking toward the grand ultimatum of human happiness, we 
behold traced out the progress of civilization, until mighty na- 
tions have sprung into being, mapping the great globe congenial 
to their desired nationality. 

" The revolutions of ages have brought us to the present mo- 
ni'-ntous epoch in the world's history. The whole habitable face 
ot our green earth is marked and countermarked with geograph- 
ical and national divisions. These seem to have been the natural 
and almost unavoidable results of maturing and matured ex- 
perience . 

" Having therefore risen to the high dignity of nations, each 
■•'•ih its intfgral th.nigh consolidated millions, lias, in some 
!o:-;a oi other, atlojited the ensign of its faith, not only to be 
''^•^|)eoted at home, but to command respect abroad. 

138 Fifth Nczo York Voliuitccr Infantry. 

" There are some, in an individual point of view, whose patriot- 
ism, I regret to infer, has been so mildewed as to divert their 
mental visions from a true perception and translation of the real 
sentiment embodied in such ensigns. 

" Looking, as they are prone to look, at our precious Star 
Spangled Banner under existing unfortunate circumstances, their 
frigid philosophy misleads them to pronounce it an unmeaning 
combination of colors and shreds. 

" We envy not the heart from whose cold recess has vanished 
the sacred memories of this our country's ever-glorious flag. 
Would that the gladsome period be not distant when all such 
sluggish pulsating organs may be enabled to throb afresh wiih 
renovated patriotism, and that the bright image of this starry 
emblem may again live there to flourish, and blossom and bloom 
as the rose in the wilderness. 

" The rainbow, with its tinted colors, in arching beauty spans 
the blue vault. We behold it with admiring eyes, are awe-stricken 
with its grandeur, and venerate Him who sprung it in the heav- 
ens. Nor this alone ; for faith points to it standing there as 
an everlasting pledge of fidelity from God to man. 

" It is not, then, the simple colors, so gorgeously blended, 
which fade, perchance, with the passing cloud, but our knowl- 
edge of their return to represent a sure pledge— a living- eternal 
principle — that enchains the beholder's admiration. 

"The golden-orbed sun i.,vites us to his sinking in the purple 
west, leaving earth overshadowed with darkness and gloom ; but 
hope points steadily to an auroral morn when he will arise again 
with the same promethean fire to assume meridian splendor. 
The moon and stars are hidden from visu i;ji-e, yet they anon 
come forth, fresh as when first created, to illumine Niobc's path- 
way across the spangled heavens. 

" It is the living embodiment of a sublime principle contained 
within the silken folds and clustering stars of this our nation's 
proud banner that wins our hearts and bids us reverence its 
holy memories. In youth we learned its history; in manhood's 
earlier vears, its name was as an huuschold w..rd ; in life's Indian 
summer, it gained deeper reverence; and as wintry age grows 
apace, the old heart becomes perennial in contemplating- its 

Life at Baltimore. 139 

plories. The Revolutionary patriot, and those who followed it 
throu_2[h dang-er to victory in later struggles, never forgot, and 
tinker can forget, so sacred a thing- as their country's flag-. 

"To us it is a legacy bequeathed from sire to son. It was 
baptized in the sacred blood of freedom, and still waves an em- 
blem of untainted liberty. 

" Almost a century has passed since our Revolutionary fathers 
proclaimed their independence and gave us this pledge of the 
wisdom, the power, and the grandeur of republican liberty. On 
land and sea, in storm and in sunshine, at home and abroad, in 
fcTtile valleys and on mountain tops, on lake and river, plain, 
Uland, or desert, we speak in reverence of Mount Vernon's holy 
shrine where Washington sleeps! Wherever ci\ilii:ation has 
planted this banner and fixed these stars, they are the faithful 
sentinels of human happiness. 

" Under them we have grown up from partial obscurity to in- 
comparable greatness, from seeming weakness to unconquerable 
strength ; so that this day, under this banner, in its true constitu- 
tional meaning, it is ours to hold the world in admiration and in 
awe. No such word as deleat ever stained its folds, and, if we 
prove true to ourselves, never can. 

" Pursuing the pathways of science in the light of its encour- 
aging spirit, we have taught kingdoms and empires of the Old 
World, grown g-ray in years before ours had an existence, lessons 
of practical wisdom. That all-pervading subtle principle of elec- 
tricity which tills the universe has been called from the thunder- 
cloud by American genius, and now speaks from these shores to 
our praise in all parts of the civilized globe. 

" We have placed steam upon the mighty dee[) to plow its 
trackless billows, and ^ven it locomotion on the outsiretchctl 
arms of our countless railways. Genius in innumerable forms, 
emanating from us in our steady progress toward greatnt-ss un- 
der the regis of this national ensign, has developed until we find 
'ts results stamped indelibly upon history's pag-e. 

" fs it, then, surprising, permit me to ask. that we, as Aineri- 
"" '•■'■■^. are proul of the standard our nation has adof-tcd ? 

" The true soldier whose spirit goes out amid the roar and car- 
n.ij^c of battle, can close his eyes in peace, if their last gaze be 

I40 Fift^! yt-'"--' ^''^'rk Volunteer Iiifautry. 

fixed upon thi^ hallowed <-i: .i:4-n. Its azure and its constellated 
stars are hut -xchanfjed tor the deeper blue and brighter gems 
that deck the brave warrior's celestial home. . 

" As the painter's brusli traivsters life to the canvas,, making 
even the dead speak, bri.tgir.g loved fonns and past generations 
into our very presence, so may we behold the sentiment, the vir- 
tues, the lite, and the pure intentions of Washington and his 
compatriots, speaking in rc-^istless eloquence from this sacred 

" Interwoven with life's crimson current, as it gushes out from 
the heart in warmest pulsation, is commingled the undying love of 
cherished friends. Faces and forms once familiar are forever mir- 
rored afresh in the vernal bloom of halcyon recollections. So it 
is with this banner. In early life and in maturer years it waved 
over us as a shield from \ m^tr. It has won our affections, and 
we would not, if we could, sever those ties. 

" If, in the providence of God, He should kindly send His an- 
gels of mercy and of pence to stay the red arm of civil war, and 
bring us again to fraternal unity as a nation, to friendship and 
happiness as a people, let the r-j/iole earth rejoiee ! 

"One of Maryland's gifted sons, whose spirit now, perchance, 
looks down from higher spbicres, has interwoven this standard 
with garlands of poes}', and given it inu~nortality in song. Pre- 
senting it, therefore, in bchaU' of our ' Monumental ' ladies, to the 
gallant officers and men of this regiment, in appreciation of their 
soldierly bearing and genilcmanly deportment, allow me to say, 
as I hope and b-lieve the author would now say, were he yet 
living amongst us, 

" ' The Star Spanj;lcd lianuer, O long may it wave 

O'er the land of tho free and the home of the brave ! ' 

No higher compliment can be desired than to know it has been 
bestowed bv fair hands and true hearts upon those who are ever 
ready to preserve and protect so priceless a gift. 

" Oh.edieut, therefore, to the pleasing trust conferred on me, it 
becomes nnhigh privilege to present your nubie regiment, in the 
name of the ladies of S.)utb. liallimore, with this our country's 

Life at Baltimore. 141 

"The address was received with applause, and followed by the 
' Star Spangled Banner,' by the regimental band. 


" Colonel Warren received the flag, and, transferring it to 
Major Hull, made the following brief and appropriate response : 

" Sir : — Allow me to return, through you, to our fair friends of 
the city of Baltimore, the heart-felt thanks of this regiment for the 
friendly interest they have shown in presenting it with a national 
flag, the work of their own hands. 

" It is impossible for us not to feel our patriotism glow afresh 
at this proof of their confidence. The unfortunate condition of 
our country brought us in your midst, and it is a source of unfail- 
ing gratification that in this gift they show that our true position 
is understood. We come as supporters of the American tlag, 
and the beloved Constitution of which it is the chosen emblem, 
and not as conquerors or oppressors. (Cheers). 

" We believe that the necessity which occasioned our presence 
here has now passed away, and trust that this fort, which we 
have aided in constructing, will hereafter be a safeguard against 
the future outbreaking of lawless violence. We hope soon to be 
called again to the active scenes of the now receding rebellion, 
and trust, as a part of the great Union army, to see this flag, 
endeared by the associations of to-day, waving in some place 
where our misguided brethren yet flaunt their rebellious banner. 
When that time comes, may the knowledge that this flag of our 
country was made by the ladies of a sister Southern State ht-lp 
to dispel the feelings of animosity engendered by the strife. 
Again I beg that you will present to the ladies our sincere 
thanks. (Applause). 

" Major Hull called for three cheers for the ladies of Balti r.ore, 
which were given by the regiment with a will, and a ' tiger.' 

" Major Hay-ward was then called on for a song, antl gave one 
of his own composition, creating much laughter and applause by 
its amusing hits. The regiment joined in the chorus with vim. 

"At the close of tlie presentation the regiment was di^mis--, -d 
for a short interval (which was well filled by the fine music of the 
band), and again assembled for drill in the bayonet e.vercise. 

.142 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry, 

The parade-ground not being large enough to drill the whole 
regiment at once, the right and left wings were brought on one 
after the other. The bayonet exercise resembles, in many re- 
spects, the exhibitions given by the Ellsworth Zouaves, but is put 
in a more serviceable form for practical use, and without the clap- 
trap additions which made those exhibitions more of a theatrical 
than a military' display'. The exercise, when participated in by 
four or five hundred well-drilled men, is a splendid sight, and im- 
presses even the unmilitar>' beholder with the conviction that the 
bayonet is the best offensive and defensive weapon in the world. 
A regiment drilled in its proper exercise would have over one 
not thus drilled, supposing the numbers and bravery- of both to 
be equal, an advantage that would enable it to deteat its oppo- 
nents with slight loss. 

" It is impossible to describe in words the exercise, but it may 
be said to make the soldier and his weapon one. It places him 
first in the best position for attack or defense, and by a series of 
movements, based on scientific principles, enables him to g^ard 
every exposed part— to throw off the lunge aimed at h&ad, breast, 
or thigh, and by a dexterous shortening of his own weapon give 
the deadly thrust before his rpponent recovers ; in close quarters 
it enables him to convert his gun into a club ; and again, by a 
series of rapid movements, to act in front or rear, to the right or 
left, and in retreat or advance. While it accomplishes all these 
purposes, the exercise develops the physique of the soldier, gives 
him suppleness and wind, and a confidence in himself and weap- 
on that in the fiekl would be of the greatest advantage. After 
the right wing had been drilled by Colonel Warren, the left wing 
was put through the exercise by T^Iajor Hull. Both did so well 
that it appeared to the unprofessional spectators that it would be 
impossible to decide with which the greater merit rested. A 
light artillery drill, with all the loadings, firing, changing posi- 
tions, etc., followed next, and had time and opportunity allowed, 
we might have had drill with the heavy guns, in the management 
of which the regiment have also been instructed. 

"After the dri'l. the. Comnuitee of Arrangements, a number of 
the laclics, and the fr;'-.nds of ihe ofuccis, were hospitably enter- 
tained in headquarters. • 

Life at Baltimore. HS 

" Not the least pleasant feature of the occasion was the fine 
music of the band. Under its present leader, Mr. Wallace, it has 
been brought up to a high degree of excellence. 

"As for the drum corps, it is the drum corps, and Drum-Major 
Mnith \^par excellence the DrumMajor. 

•• The display ended with the usual evening dress parade. 
Lieut.-Col. Hiram Dur\ea commanding. Capt. Winslow acted 
as Officer of the Day. ' 

On Sunday, the 9th, the resignations of Lieuts. C. "W. 
Wright and Dunham were read off as accepted. Col. War- 
ren was absent, and Lieut.-Col. Hiram Duryea was in com- 
mand. Miss Mitchell, the actress, visited the fort to witness 
the dress parade. 

On Friday, the 14th, a ball was given at the officers' 
tiuarters, which did not terminate till daybreak. It was a 
select affair ; all the guests came and went in carriages. The 
men during its progress were restricted to their own quarters. 
Immediately after breakfast, on Wednesday, the 19th, four 
coinpanies, B, E, G, and — , were ordered to be ready in heavy 
marching order, and in the afternoon they fell in line on 
the parade-ground, and were marched through a heavy rain- 
storm to Fort Marshall, which was about live miles by land 
from Fort Federal Hill. It was a similar structure, but did 
not cover as much ground, but. mounted thirty-three heavy 
uims. It was situated on a high, bare hill, about two hun- 
*!ied feet above the level of the sea. It was about half a 
mile from the limits of the city, on the side of the harbor 
'M'l^osite to F^ort McHenry, and commanded that post. 

The detachment arrived about dusk, wet through, covered 
^vith mud, hungry, and with nothing to eat. Cotiee, which 
■• our only supply, was served about 9 p.m. 

^.Uurday, Feb. 2 2d, being the anniversary of Washint.- 
• •■•'s r.iRTHD.vv, all the forts hrcd salutes in honor ol liie 
'•■•• In the afternoon a grand parade of the military was 
•■"^ lo through the city. The Fifth was the principal aiirac- 

1^14 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

tion, and their bayonet exercise was viewed by thousands of 
spectators. P>verybody seemed to observe the day in a vciy 
patriotic manner, except the secession element, of which there 
was a large representation yet in the city, plotting their 
schemes of rebellion in secret. They were no worse than 
the " copperheads " in the North, who, like the reptile they 
represent, were ready to sting their protectors behind their 
backs — the men who were risking their lives to defend 
their property, and to keep from coming true the prophecy 
of their South Q-xxoXxm. friends, " The grass will grow in the 
streets of New York." 

One evening two or three of the boys, while out in the 
city, were in a store where they found a brace of secession- 
ists, who were very open in their expressions against the 
Government and its hirelings. No notice was taken of them 
or their conversation for some time, but it was continued so 
long that one of the boys became impatient, and turning 
around, he suddenly caught the man nearest him by the neck, 
and run him out of the place, vigorously applying his boot 
lest he might think it was only a joke. Before he was really 
sensible of the igno'minious situation in which he was placed, 
he found himself lying in the street, when his companion con- 
cluded it was prudent to retire, and slunk out. Our boys 
waited some time, but they did not come back to wreak 
their vengeance on "Lincoln's hirelings." 

A grand ball was held on the evening of Monday, the 24th, 
in the city, at which were present the Mayor and Common 
Council, General Dix, and many distinguished people. I'V 
request, one of the events of the evening was an exhibition 
of the bayonet exercise by a detail from the Zouaves. 

The detachment from the Fifth sent to Fort Marshall under 
command of I. icut. -Colonel Duryea, who was a very sever • 
disoipliiKiriar^ w;;-; ke;n constantly at fatigue duty or on Jii!!- 

On Friday, .March jtli, the whole regiment was called out 
in compliance with the following General Order : 

■ . ■ Life at B alt iv tore. " 145 

: , Headquarters, Division, ) 

Baltimore, Md., March 5, 1862. S 

General Orders, No. 6. 

I. The several reg-iments and commands of this division in the 
vicinity of Baltimore, except those guarding the railroads, will be 
paraded at Fort McHenry' at I2i o'clock P.M., on Friday, the 
7th inst., for the purpose of witnessing the execution of Private 
Joseph Kuhns, 2d Maryland Volunteers, who was found guilty 
and sentenced to be hung by the neck until he be dead, by a 
general court-martial, for the capital crime of shooting to death, 
without provocation, his superior officer. Second Lieutenant J. 
Davis Whitson, 2d Maryland Volunteers 

By command of Major-General Dix. 

OjUHcial: D. T. Van Buren, 

Wilson Barstow, Assistant Adjutant-General. 


The detachment at Fort Marshall, excepting the camp 
guard, returned in heavy marching order to Federal Hill, 
and then the regiment marched to Fort Mc Henry, where 
was assembled the whole of General Dix's command. The 
troops \yere drawn up in a hollow square, in the center of 
which stood a gallows. In a ^^w moments a man walked 
up briskly and mounted the scaffold, and stood for five min- 
utes with a rope around his neck, apparently unmoved, be- 
fore he was launched into eternity. He was a private be- 
longing to the 2d jNIaryland Reginient. To avenge a grievous 
wrong that had been done to himself, and to one who was 
dear to him, he had sworn vengeance against a Lieutenant 
of the company to which he belonged. Accordingly, one 
evening when his regiment was drawn up on parade, he 
s't-'pped out of the ranks, leveled his lnu■^kct. and deliberately 
^'"'Oting the oiliccr, v.Iio fell dead on the spot, he threw 
down his piece and gave himself up, with the remark tliat he 
\^Ms satistied. 


146 Fiflii New York Volunteer Infantry. 

It was T!e< ossary, for the sake of military discipline, and 
as an exain])lc to others, that he should die. 

After tiic regiment retuvDed to Federal Hill it was obliged 
to supplement the execution with other disagreeable duty in 
the cases uf several of its own members. After being drawn 
up in line, six men who had been lying in irons in the guard- 
house for several months, were marched before them, having 
one side of their heads shaved, dressed in the most ragged 
and wretched suits of citizens' dress that could be obtained. 
It was a painful and degrading sight. Their heads hung 
down like felons, with the guard behind and before at charge 
and reversed bayonets respectively, and drum and fife play- 
ing the " Kogue's March." But this was not all ; some of 
them were to be sent to the ^Vashington Penitentiary to 
serve out terms varying from six to twelve months, and one 
of them to the Dry Tortugas. They also forfeited all pay 
and allowances due, or that would become due, to them. 
Several otlier^ were waiting similar penalties, who had been 
lying in irons for several months. These unfortunate men 
had violated the military laws so often, proved so incorrigible, 
that it became necessary to inllict the severest punishment 
known to the service. 

Just after dinner, on Sunda}-, the 9th of March, there was 
great actisit}- in the fort; men were ordered to fall in with 
spades and picks, and were juit at work strengthening the 
fort on tlie uater-side ; others were drilling at the heavy 
guns and tiio aiunnmition was inspected. Information had 
reached headjaarters that the Confederate ram Mcrrimac 
had run tlie blockade, in which event it was ex]>ectcd that 
the first ]'lace she would visit would be the flourishing city 
of Baltimore. At Fort Marshall the men worked all night 
strengthciMiig the banks and shifting all the heaviest guns 
from the land-side to the water-fronts of the frnt. It was 
laborious work, tr.c guns weighing four or five tons each ; 
ammunition was arriving all \wA\K and the next dav details 

Life at Baltimore. 147 

were employed in lilling shell, and oiling the wheels and 
>cre\v-levers of the guns and carriages. The men were as- 
'.igned their posts of ducy, to which they were to repair at 
tiic first alarm-roll of the dnim ; and Company K, from Fed- 
eral Hill, and several comi)anies of the 17th Massachusetts 
Regiment, were sent in as reinforcements. All kinds of 
rumors w^ere afloat — one to die effect that General Banks 
l.ui been defeated and the enemy were marching on Balti- 
more. It appeared certain, in any event, that something 
important had occurred, and all were rejoiced when the 
news came that the "Cheese-box" had defeated the Afer- 
/■.mac. But, on the other hand, they were disappointed 
^wien it was realized that they were not to try their guns on 
t!ie enemy. 

On Tuesday, the 25th, the regiment was reviewed by Gen- 
oral A. Durye'e, at his request, and he took leave of it, his 
! rigade having been ordered to Washington. A Baltimore 
journal of the 25th, announced the event as follows : 

" .\bout II o'clock this morning a large concourse of people 
•;>.L-nibled on Broadway near Baltimore Street, on what is known 
;^ ' Fairmount Hill,' to witness a dress parade of the 5th New 
\<v\<. Regiment, Colonel Warren (Duryee's Zouaves). A hollow 
-iu.irc was formed of pickets, when the regiment proceeded to exe- 
• 'i;c their peculiarly beautiful drill, which was gone through with in 
•> most creditable manner. The bayonet exercise elicited the warm- 
' "' ;ippkiuse from the spectators, and was certainly as near perfec- 
'• 'H .IS it can well be brought. The regiment has been stationed 

r s.vcral months at Federal Hill, and by their constant drill 

■ '"'ice, have obtained the reputation of being the best drill-'d 
■■..;'ment in the service, which they certainly merit. The evolu- 
' • :s in double-quick time this morning attracted great attention, 

•• whilst it was very exciting, it was novel and interesting. A 

■ ■" fiMTo of police was on hand, who kept down all excitement 

' ite days passed on in the usual manner, when a lunior was 

148 Fifth New York Vohintccr Infayitry. 

heard, at the close of the month, that the regiment had been 
ordered to Fortress Monroe, and all appearances indicated 
a move in some direction. Tlie detachment from Fort 
Marshall returned on the afternoon of Thursday, the 27th, 
and all were on the alert. The nimor was confirmed. It 
was announced officially that the regiment was destined for 
Fortress Monroe, to join General McClellan's army, now 
moving by vessels to Old Point Comfort. There was much 
joy and excitement occasioned by the tidings. 

All was bustle and confusion ; the men talked like bed- 
lamites, and a spectator would think, from the pleasure ex- 
pressed by their countenances, tliat they were ordered to 
New York, instead of to the front, to enter on an active cam- 
paign, where they could expect nothing but hard usage, 
privations, and dangers. Otficers and privates all felt a 
pride in their regiment, and were determined to keep up its 
good name in whatever position it might be placed. 

It was determined to give a farewell entertainment, to be 
held in the fort, the preparations for which had been in the 
hands of a committee for some time, in anticipation of a 
change of base. The progranmie was as follows : 

The Grand Farfavell Festival 




Fort Federal Hill, 
On Friday Evening, March 28, 1862. 



COMIC A N D S K N T 1 M E N T A L . 

C/ioicc Stlfc/l^'-s fnvii the Sfandart/ ijnd Local Drama — lo^'i 

Tragic a)id Comic, together i^w'th a variety 0/ Select 

and Instrumental Music by the 

.:.* ..; Life at Baltimore. 149 


The whole under the direction of 

Mr. Frederick Rouse, Company F. 

Stage Manager W. R. Baiky, Co. A. 

Scenic Artist Wm. Mcllvaine, Co. A. 

Musical Director E. N. Bull, Co. E. 

Treasurer. J. H. Pierce, Co. D. 



Grand Overture sik Regt. Band. 

Opening Chorus 5/// Regt. Glee Club. 

Comic Song / Bro7un, Co. F. 

Ballad Carroll, Co. E. 

Dance Tucker, Co. H. 

Song Bailey, Co. A. 

Scene from Toodles Dobbs, Co. H. 

Ballad .' Collins, Co. B. 

Dramatic Readings Southivick, Co. F. 

M" Song, with Imitations. . .Bull &^ Hern, Co. E. 

Comic Song Sapher, Co. B. 

Ballad Tiemey, Co. A. 

Gr(dund and Lofty Tumbling Leddy, Drwn Corps. 

Song Matthews, Co. D. 

rVvNCE Miophy, Co. F. 

Ballad Multigan, Co. I. 

part II. 

Operatic Selection 5/// Regt. Band. 

J-" wo rite Glee ith Regt. Glee Club. 

<-'■ 'MIC D( FT Carroll &^ Matluius, Co. E. 

'■■ "^ LI.AI) Verney, Drum Corps. 

Uhamatic Readings Smtthiuick 6^ Rouse, Co. F. 

r A / S' ; , : . >i 

150 FiftiL Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

Comic Song ' Baz'hy, Co. A. 

Ballad Williams, Dnun Corp>. 

Dance Clark, Drum Corp;. 

Comic Song Sapher, Co. B. 

Dramatic Readings Shcffrcy, Co. K. 

Comic Song, Co. F. 

Ballad • Tiei-my, Co. A. 

Comic Song Carroll, Co. E. 

Ballad Bull, Co. E. 

Comic Song Rouse, Co. F. 

Ballad . . . .* MtUligan, Co. I. 


During the intermission between the parts, by particular request, the 

Gladiatorial and Scientific Display of Muscle 

will be repeated. 

To conclude with the National Song and Chorus of the 


By the entire Company and Audience. 

The performance passed off with great eclat., notwithstand- 
ing some things occurred that were not down on the bills, 
but they rather added to tlie enjoyment instead of marring 
it. At one time, when one of the men was performing on a 
banjo, the floor of the staging gave way, but the performer 
was undisturbed, landed erect on his feet, and continued his 
playing amid the wreck, which elicited much applause and 
laughter, for the break-down was occasioned by the mis- 
chievous " Butch " Sapher, who had crawled under the stag- 
ing and upset one of the wooden horses on v.'hich it was 

Sunday, March 30th, the regiment: fell into line on tiio 
parade-ground inside of the fort. It was raining hard, ami 
every one looked sad. The men felt as if they were leaving 

Life at Baltimore. 151 

home, as they had made many acquaintances and won many 
friends in Baltimore. We were relieved by the 3d New 
York, who were to take the place of the Fifth, and to them 
we cheerfully surrendered our lofty position. Notwithstand- 
ing the rain, the fort was crowded with friends, ail looking 
very sorrowful, and some of them pressed the men to take 
money for future wants. Finally the order to march was 
i;iven, and the men stepped off. They had buckled on their 
armor, and were marching forth to Join that immense armed 
host which had been assembling and preparing for months 
to hurl themselves against the enemies who would disunite a 
free and happy people, and deluge our fair land in blood. 

As the Zouaves marched through Baltimore Street m. the 
ram, the band playing " The girl I left behind me," they 
received an ovation at every step ; the street was crowded 
with men, women, and children ; the windows of the houses 
were full, the men cheered, and the ladies waved handker- 
chiefs and flags. But the hearts of the men told them it 
was no holiday parade ; for many of them were bidding 
farewell not only to a friend, but to one where there was a 
stronger tie, for some had found partners for life among the 
f.iir sex ; and there were others to whom the plighted troth 
had been given, and they were leaving those they should, 
perchance, never see again. 

The scene was an impressive one ; the Zouaves ever and 
anon kissed their hand to some fair friend, or nodded adieu 
to some male acquaintance, who were recognized in the 
crowd of spectators, and were saluted in return ; the women 
\*ept, and the men cried, " Good-bye ! good-bye ! God bless 
you ! " Eight months before they had made their entrance 
among strangers, with the mailed hand, to stand guard at 
tlu-ir very doors ; ihev were p.ow taking their dci)arti!re as 
("'•"-■nds, bound with ties wliich sliould be suirendcrcJ only 
^- death. 

Thus they marched, about nine hundred strong, through 


152 FiftJi New York Volunteer Infantry. 

the crowded streets to the wharf, and embarked on the 
steamship 6". R. Spaiilding at 4 p.m., and bore away amid 
the applause of thousands ; the Zouaves mounted the rigging 
and highest spars, and waved their turbans with wild huzzas. 
The rain had ceased, and the sun shone brilliantly on the 
scene ; the piers were full of people, many of whom were 
ladies, who stood wherever they could obtain a foothold, 
waving their handkerchiefs, and there were countless num- 
bers of small boats, with their living freight, gliding about in 
the stream. The 3d New York, on Federal Hill, mounted 
the ramparts of the fort, and added their cheers to the 
general leave-taking. The sailors on the United States gun- 
boats and sloops of war in the harbor manned the rigging 
and united their cheers with the rest. As they steamed by 
Fort McHenry they received their last cheers from the 4th 
Regiment (Scott Life-Guard) and the regulars ; beyond lay 
the broad Chesapeake Bay. 

The following verses on the occasion were written by 
MiRON WiNsi.ow, of Company E : 


Farewell, Queenly City ! 

Before we depart, 
I would bid thee farewell 

From the depths of my heart ; 
With gratitude fervent. 

Our bosoms expand 
At thought of the kindness 

Received from thy hand. 

With our ardent desire 

To join in the strife, » * 

And our longing to live 
A more stiklierly life, 

Is blended the sadness 
That parting still lends ; 

Life at Baltimore. 153 

We came to thee strangers, 
You received us as friends. 

Our country is calling ; 

We eagerly go, 
To meet with new vigor 

The traitorous foe ; 
But where'er we may be, 

Whatever our lot, 
Thy kindness and friendship 

Shall ne'er be forgot. 

Farewell, Queenly City ! 

Thou'rt lost to our sight ; 
Thy dim shores are wrapped 

In the mantle of night ; 
But memon,' still 

Weaves its magical spell. 
And our hearts beat response 

As we bid thee farewell I 



The Trip to Virgint \— ?cene at Hamftun Roads— Changes— Camp Misf.rt 
— Peep at Big J.rTirrii,— Prime Ration.- for Six— ^V. V. Tinws Corre- 
spondent— Ge\. McC( rli-an's Repoht— Camp Scott— CoRnuRov and Ditch 
—Headquarters— CALiFonxiA Jack— The 4TH Michigan— First Death by 
Sickness— Gen. McClf-li-an's Hka'dqi- arters— An Officer's Letter- 
Letter FROM A PkivATE— Fire and Fcn in the Dark— A Strategic Pig 
— SiEGt Preparations— Katterv No. i— Gen. Barry's Letter — War- 
re^—After the BAriLE— Camp Buchanan— A Promise of Battle— 
^L^.RCH IN THE Shadows— Magnificent Spectacle— A Night View of 
THE Camp at Paminkhv River— D.^ooping Skies and a Dripping Army 
— Rf.view by Hon. Wm. TL Seward— De;krted Territory— Nearing the 
White House- SrKAGCLnKS— " Dr." Warren and his '• Pills "—The Sick- 
LiiT— The Colcnkl'.s Oklkr and a Don.-cey's Reply. 

Monday, March :^i, 1S62. — Oiil of AfaryLand and into 
the waters of the Old Dominion. The steamer was a 
staunch vessel, and saile_d well, anfl our passage was made in 
good time, and wonld have been much more pleasant 
but for the incon\cnionce to which men are subject in an 
overcrowded ship. We were closely packed in the holds 
and on deck, without sufficient room ; only a part could lie 
down, those who eiijoyed that luxury being obliged to use 
the decks, and s;uidwiching themselves between cordage and 
comrades, and remain in one position until they w-ere satis- 
fied. The darkn-s:, between decks added to the discomfort 
of the trip. 

As the ship sailed Hampton Roads the scene was en- 
livening in the exlKine; it seemrd to us that we were near- 
ing a large seaport. Tlie offing was crowded witii transports, 
thr..vagcd willi ;><jlu:ei>. horses, .-.tores, artiller)', and e\ery- that is rc.]',i;rcci for a laige army. The Monitor was 
pointed out, but one could scarcely believe that such an in- 

The Peninsular Cainpait^n — Yorktozvn. 155 

significant-looking affair— for vessel it could hardly be called 
— cansed the rebel nionster, tiie Mcrriinac, to skulk back 
into the port from \vhicl> she had sailed so defiantly. 

The regiment landed in the afternoon of Tuesday, April rst, 
and marched about two miles beyond Hampton and bivou- 
acked. It was almost imi)ossible to recognize this locality 
as the same which the command had left eight months be- 
fore. There was not a tree, fence, or landmark left, with 
the exception of the seminary, and stretching miles beyond 
was an immense camp. There appeared to be no limit to 
the artillery, cavalry, and infantry, moving day and night. 
We remained in this camp five days, bivouacking at night, 
not yet being supplied with tents. The men called this 
stopping-place "Camp Misery," for the reason that the ra- 
tions were very short, while a cold north-east rain-storm, 
which continued day and night, during the second, third, 
and fourth days, made it impossible to keep our clothing 
dry. The fires would not burn, and the smoke hung close to 
the ground like a thick cloud, affecting the eyes, and sur- 
rounding us with a suffocating atmosphere. ' On the fifth 
<.iay the sky cleared, and the air was warm, but the roads 
were in a very bad condition. 

We left camp at 6.30 a.m. on Tuesday, .\pril 6t]i. without 
any regret, and marched through nmd a distance of twenty 
'"lies toward Yorktown, passing through Big Bethel, which 
was an interesting spot to the old members of the regiment, 
as the various objects reminded them of their previous en- 
c ->unter with the enemy. We remained in " Camp Starva- 
tion " the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, living on one or two crackers 
a day. Heavy details were sent out every day to work on 
the roads, and help the wagons along the muddy highway. 

'Ihe sojourn here was very disagreeable, as it rained the 
:--;r<-'ater part of the time, and we had x\o shelter except snrh 
>'''' could be improvised fioin " jwuclios," or branches of 
<f«-*cs plastered over with mud. There were, however, about 

156 FiftJi Neiv York Volwiteer Infantry. 

Haifa dozen men, composing two messes, that had an abun- 
dance to eat and to spare ; one of each having dropped 
out from a fatigue party, and hidden in the woods until the 
coast was clear, and then went on a foraging expedition and 
struck a placer. They returned to the vicinity of the camp, 
and hid their spoils in the bushes until night, when they 
brought in to their starving messmates one pail of molasses, 
about two pounds of sugar, haversacks full of the best of pilot 
biscuit, half a pig, one sugar-cured ham, two pounds of the 
best smoking tobacco, some fresh beef, and a canteen of peach 
brandy ! It was a royal banquet ! How and where they 
made their levy it would take too long to relate ; suffice it 
to say that they came very near being ambushed by guerrillas 
and losing their lives. 

The regiment was singled out while in this camp from the 

\ rest of the volunteers, and attached to General Sykes' 

I brigade of regulars, with which corps they remained through 

\ their term of service. It may be of interest to the reader 

s to know how this was brought about. The Fifth not being en- 

I camped in a situation favorable for exercise in drill, Colonel 

1 Warren asked permission of General Sykes to give his regi- 

1 nient a drill on the field used by the regulars. The request 

t was granted, and they marched out and went through all the 

most complicated battalion movements in quick and double- 

.(luick with so much spirit and precision, that we soon had a 

large audience of the regulars, upon whom it made a very 

- favorable impression. General Sykes himself was viewing it 

t from his tent. Subsei^uently Colonel Warren's request to 

/-, move his camp nearer the regulars, which had been pre- 

V viously denied, was allowed, and we were permitted to draw 

rations from his Conmiissary. 

The Now York Tr,>us coriespondeut said : 

! "The jlh New York Rejjiment. Duryce's Zouaves, are con- 

sidered the finest drilled rcsjiintTit in the army of Yurktown, and 

The Peninsular Campaign — Yorktozvn. 157 

have been assigned the post of honor, being the only volunteer 
regiment with the regulars."* 

Another journal spoke as follows: 

" Constant drill at the artiller\% bayonet, and rifle, together 
with recitations for officers and soldiers in the regulations of the 
army tactics — both artillery and infantry — soon brought this 
body of soldiers to the highest state of perfection, so that on the 
30th day of March, 1862, when leaving Baltimore and joining the 
Army of the Potomac, on the Peninsula, the honor of being 
assigned to duty with the regulars was granted to this regiment, 
and the ' red legs," as they were called, were not slow in con- 
vincing the regular infantry that they were not to be outdone 
by them, either in drill, marching, or under fire. This reputa- 
tion gained has always been maintained by them while in the 

The Prince de Joinvi]le,t in his comments on the volun- 
teer organizations, makes special mention of the regiment 
as follows : 

"Thus, a young Lieutenant of Engineers, named Warren, was 
marvelously successful vvith the 5th New York 'Regiment, of 
which he was Colonel. This regiment served as engineers and 
artillerj- at the siege of Yorktown, and having again become infan- 
tr\-, conducted itself like the most veteran troops at the battk-s of 
the Chickahominy, where it lost half of its force. And yet these 

* " McCIellan"s Report and Campai-ns" (p 54). Regulars— " The advnntasic of 
»uch a bo jy of truops at a critical moment, especially in an army cnii-;ti!iited mainly 
o( new levies, imperfectly disciplined, lix-, been frequently illustrated i.i military hi>- 
t r>'- and was hrou-lu to the attention of the countr>- at the first battle of Manassa*. 
I have not been disappointed in the estimate formed of the value of these troops— I 
nave always found them to be relied on ; whenever they have been brought under 
l^re, they have shown the utmost ijallantry and tenacity. On the ^oth of -April, iS?'2, 
they numbered 4.603 men. On the 17th of May they were a-.sij;ncd to (}encrai 
l''jrter's corps for oiganization as a division, with the 5th Ke.^inient of New Vork 
VoI.;iitcers. which j. ined M.ny 4th, and the loth New Vnrk V,:Iuntcors. which 
j lined siibsoquei'tly. Ihey ren»al:icd from the commencement under the comm.ind 
<^'- Kfi^jJigr-General tleorinc bykes, M.ijor 3d Infantry, United States Army." 

+ " The .\rmy of the, its Organi/.ition, its Commander, and its t'ani- 
P'iirn.'" By the Prince de Joinville. Translated from the French, with Notes by 
William Henry tlurlbert. 

158 Fifth New York Volunteer Infa^itry. 

were volunteers, but they felt the knowledge and superiority of 
their chief." 

We left c;imp about lo a.m. on Friday, the nth of April, 
inarched three miles over very bad roads toward Yorktown, 
and went into bivouac at Camp Winfield Scott, within two 
miles and a half of that historical place. It is proper to 
give the reason why the army did not move faster after as- 
sembling at Old Point. The only road was in a very bad 
state, in consequence of the frequent rains, and the numer- 
ous ditches and pits, men sometimes being obliged to wade 
up to their knees in mud and water. It was necessary to re- 
pair and corduroy it in many places, to enable the miles of 
wagons, ambukmces, and artillery to pass over it. It should 
also be remembered that each man carried about fifty 
pounds weight in addition to the clothing they had on their 
persons, as they were in heavy marching order. Then, after 
a day's march, where were the means, not to say comforts, 
which would give a soldier the necessary rest and recupera- 
tion ? If not ordered otf on guard, a soldier will make his 
bed on the wet ground, his knapsack his pillow, and a 
blanket for his covering; his supjier is a hard cracker or 
two and a ])iece of fat salt pork, often eaten without being 
cooked, and thankful oftentimes to get that. If he needs a fire 
he must go to the woods and cut down the timber ; or, if al- 
readv cut, haul it for some distance over ditches and fields, to 
his stopping place. Then, after considerable perseverance, 
he may succeed in getting his fire to burn, when he can have 
a cup of coftee, which he boils himself in his tin cup ; after 
which he smokes his pipe and is as happy as the case will al- 
low. On such roads as those just passed over by the army, 
the p-rocession \i{ wagons, miles in length, could not make 
more than six or eight miles a day, and the men were obliged 
to lie by occasionally for thL-m to come up ; hence the delay. 
''Citizens" and "Home Guards" thought we ought to move 

The Fciii>isvJar Cai!tpaii^)i — Yorktoivn. 1 59 

f.ister, but the "citizens" who had become soldiers knew 
ihc reasons and the roads too well. 

On Saturday, the i2lh, we w-eie detached temporarily from 
the brigade under a special order, and reportetl to General 
W. F. Barry, Chief of Artillery. The officers and men were 
eiuployed in building siege-works, and some of the com- 
l)anies placed on duty in the batteries to work the heavy 
guns, and at the landing on York River, transporting and 
mounting the siege guns and mortars. This duty was all 
performed under the heavy fire of the enemy's artillery, and 
required nerve as well as experience to perfect the work. 

While staying in this camp we had liberal supplies, pleas- 
ant weather, and good tents. The troops built a good road 
to Shipping Point, the extremity of which was about eight 
miles from camp, where the stores were landed when brought 
up the York River from Old Point Comfort. The men had 
no idle time ; they were constantly employed on fatigue duty 
<'t some kind, making corduroy roads, etc., and gabions to 
till with earth for siege-batteries, A detail of the Fifth put 
up (ieneral McClellan's tents and laid out the grounds about 
tliciii, and a detail was made \x\^ every day for guard duty over 
his (luarters, which were near the regimental headquarters. 

A continual bombardaient was kept u^), and at almost any 
tune of the night or day, the shell of the enemy could be 
>'-eu bursting in the air, sometimes api)earing to be directly 
'^\"crhead. Pickets were shot hourly, and skirmishes between 
file outposts were continually occurring, by which additions 
wore made to the list of killed or wounded. At night it was 
f.raiHl to hear the roar of the heavy siege-guns, and listen to 
■'T- rushing shell as they died away in the distance, and 
'Mrricd destruction into the enemy's stronghold. California 
j ■'\ the famous sharp-shooter, who was out at the t'ront all 
' •'- time picking off the enemy's gunners, made a visit to 
' I'up, being out of ammunition. Cai)t. Winslow furnished 
li'n with a liberal sni)ply of cartridges for his Sharp's ritle, 

•i -■ .i:\:\^ 


i6o Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

two of the companies being armed with the same weapon. 
He thanked him and said he wouldn't waste them, '' you bet." 

On the night of the 17th, the infantry tiring was quite 
sharp. It appeared that the enemy came out and attacked 
one of the new intrenchments, and the 4th Michigan, one 
of the finest regiments in the service, drove them bacl; and 
took three hundred prisoners. The men were ordered to 
have their canteens filled with water every night, and always 
one day's rations on hand, so as to be ready at a moment's 

A private of Company E died of typhoid fever in the hos- 
pital. It was the first death from disease that has occurred 
in the regiment since its organization, which was remarkable, 
although many had been discharged for physical disability, 
some of whom had subsequentlj- died. 

The following is an extract from a letter written to, and 
published in, the New York Tunes by an ofiicer of the 5th 
Regiment : 

Camp WiSfield Scott, before Yorktown, Va, \ 
Monday, April i\,iZ6z. 1 
We are constantly occupied in military exercises, in studying 
the tactics, in enforcing or submitting to the discipline, and in 
performing the daily duties incident to our connection wiih the 
present movement ; and we see the officers and men of other 
regiments encamped near us engaged diligently in the same kind 
of labors. We hear the booming of cannon daily on our right 
and on our left ; we see bombs bursting in air, and varicolored 
rockets shooting across the sky; we see artillery, cav.ilry, in- 
fantry proceeding hither and thither ; we see aides-de-camp gal- 
loping by ; we see balloons ascend and descend ; we see baggage- 
wagons and ambulances on the road ; rumors come to us of a 
fight in this or that part of the lines, and beyond this we know 
nothing of the progrc^^s that is making. We lie down on tiie 
grmnid at niglu prL'[\"irrd to respond to the first summons. 
Sometimes we are awakened by the tluintlers of artillery and tlie 
ratllinir of small arms, and lie listeniner to the noises of a deadly 

The Peninsular Campaign — Yorktoivn. i6i 

contlict somewhere. We endeavor to conjecture what corps are 
tnj;aged, and picture to ourselves, as we follow with the ear, 
the fluctuations of the strife, " now high, now low, like the 
sound of music which the wind still alters," the scene and inci- 
.l.nts of the fray. Now there is a lull, and now the combat 
ihickens. For a while all is still as death ; doubtless our brave 
iVIlows are advancing to the charge, and we strain to catch 
the clash o*" steel. Suddenly again comes the roar of cannon ; 
the battle evidently now is fiercely raging. Now the discharges 
are less frequent ; a solitary shot is heard, and now all again is 
quiet. Which has won the nctory ? Who of our dearest 
friends has fallen ? We might not go forth to seek him if we 
knew he was gasping on the field. But we are warriors, not 
women. Let the dead be buried, and lead us against the foe I 
And so the soldier gathers his blanket around him, and in a 
moment is asleep again. And with all this disturbance in the 
distance, no alarm is sounded in the camps near by. No one 
thinks of obeying the impulse to rush forth and join in the fight. 
.Ml await orders, and when they come, the battalions that are 
called for quietly form in line and are marched to the point 
where one mind decides that they are needed. Such is the dis- 
cipline in the Army of the Potomac, attained by much training 
during the season of " inactivity," which they who knew not its 
value were inclined so much to complain of. 

The 5th New York Zouaves, whose friends at home will read 
this, are undergoing no unendurable hardships here, and are 
much happier just where they are than any individual of them 
c'uld possibly have been had he endeavored to content himself 
at home in a season in which his country called for his services 
i'> the field. And here we are, just where we want to be, with a 
' I'ler in whom we have confidence to conduct us against a toe 
'•'at lies immediately before us. We occupy a beautiful camp- 
"'•-[-ground near the marquee of the Commander-in-Chief. Our 
f'- /iment has been complimented by being brigaded with the 
r .Hilars — the only volunteer regiment so honored— and with 
' '11 it constitutes th-: rhosen c<.rps which (^..neral M<jCk'llan 
•* ■ '•i>s always with him. Brigadicr-Ciencrnl Sykes is its com- 
mander, llie same who, with 1,300 regulars, covered the retreat 

1 62 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer I?ifantry. 

of the army at the first Bull Run. Lieutenant J. Howard Wells, 
the Quartermaster of the Fifth, has been transferred to the regu- 
lar service. He now holds the position of United States Com- 
missary with the rank of Captain, and is. stationed at Baltimore. 
Lieutenant A. L. Thomas is his successor, and a veiy worthy 
one he is. 

We have had ver)' heavy rains here recently — such rains as in 
New York are entirely unknown. The roads are exceedingly heavy. 
Those who sjt at home carping at delay should be compelled to 
travel over them in a loaded baggage-wagon once. They would 
soon get an idea of the difficulty of moving large armies in a 
country like this, and in such a season. G. C. 

The following extract from a letter written home by the 
author, also tells part of the story : 

Camp Winfield Scott, near Yorktown, Va., \ 

5TH Regt., N. Y. v., Duryee's Zouaves, l 

Monday, April 21, 1S62. \ 

We still remain in camp, and are as comfortable, that is, for 
soldiers, as circumstances will admit. Our tents are of good ma- 
terial and keep out the rain, and tlie camp is situated on rather 
high ground, therefore the water runs off. To the south of our 
portion of the ground is a small ravine through which a small 
stream runs, supplied by pure springs, from which we get plenty 
of water or drinking and cooking purposes. In the stream it- 
self we wash our clothes and ourselves. On the banks above the 
ravine there was a thick wood of pine, with its ever-green foliage ; 
elm- trees, which were soon robbed of their bark to satisfy the chew- 
ing propensities of the men ; sassafras bushes, the roots of which 
are pleasant to eat, and are therefore pulled up without regard to 
quantity ; but the wood is now getting thinner every day, falling 
a sacritice to our axes, and used by the cooks to keep up their 
tires, and by us as a means to warm ourselves when it is neces- 
sary. We can see the Ijalloon make its ascensions everv dav, aiul 
often hear a report up in the air. We look up and src a 
ball of smoke, resembling a small cloud, which tells us that a shell 
has burst ; but it is of such frecjuent occurrence that often we do 

J* .V 

;?."■/*• < 

■ The Peninsular Campaign — Yorkfoivn. 163 

n >l notice it. A few shells have landed in camp, on^ of which 
kiilfd a mule ; another was filled with rice, so they say ; one 
f.rcd yesterday cut a man in half while he was in the woods ; but 
we are comparatively safe, all things considered. But about a 
mile further to the front the situation is different, as they have 
'^harp practice there on picket. Some of the companies are de- 
t.iiled in turn to drill on the mortars, and one of Company C was 
wounded in the head a fe.w days ago. We see very little of Col- 
onel Warren-; during most of his time he is with General Mc- 
Clellan and staff, by whom he is highly esteemed, making ob- 
ser\-atio-.s, etc. Many of the regulars know him, having seen 
him out West and in other places, before the war. They say that 
he understands his Ijusiness. We all like him as a man and a 
soldier; he is strict, but he knows all the wants of a soldier from 
experience, and seldom taxes our endurance too much. 

Our men are on details night and day. building batteries and 
roads in every direction ; one can not tell at what time of night 
he may be called up to shoulder his musket and march off on 
a detail. Saturday night, the 19th, I was on fatigue dutv; we 
marched about three miles to the mouth of Wormley's Creek, 
York River, where they are putting up a battery. 

I'art of the road has been built by our army, leading over a 
creek through which a solid road has been built. As we came 
out ot some woods at one point we could see a deserted rebel 
!"rt in the middle of a swamp to the right of the road. It was 
built square and in a substantial manner, with barracks inside of 
't, a ditch nine feet deep all around it, filled with water, and an 
aliatis, bushes, and stumps of trees. Near it was an inferior 
^vurk, partially masked ; the place could not have been stormed, 
further on we went through the camp of the ist Connecticut 
Heavy Artiller\', a regiment fourteen hundred strong. 

^^e were astonished to see the heavy guns that have been sent 
'o this point for the purposes of the siege. We next passed 
5nrough the most extensive corn-field that I ever saw. and came 
t'l .-t large peach-orchard, which was in full blossom. Emerging 
'^ in the latter, we rame upon the groun«ls of one ol the first 
'■niiilies, on which was built a fir.e large house, with a water 
Iri'iit on the York River. The battery we are building is a little 
\\^'iy from the house. 

164 Fifth Nczv York Volunteer Infantry. 

The owner of this large estate is said to be a Lieutenant in the 
Confederate army now at Yorktown, and owns five thousand 
acres of land hereabouts. This place is certainly the handsomest 
one I have .yet seen in Virginia. I, with others, was trotted off 
to the com-Jield, to await our time to be called upon to take our 
turn at the pick and shovel, which was to be in about four hours. 

We accordingly stacked our arms, and sat down on the soft 
and yielding soil, to take it easy. In company with some others, 
I lit my pipe^ and we sat there talking, trying to worry through 
the time, but it was not long before a stomi, that had been 
threatening for some time, burst upon us in all its fun,'. It was 
rough enough for us, notwithstanding the joke went around as 
usual, and all tried to be merry, but it was under aggravating 
circumstances. We were obliged to stand up at the side of our 
muskets and take it all. The urrows between the hills of corn 
were tilled with water, and we were ail soaked through, men 
and muskets. 

The latter is always a source of anxiety to a soldier, as he is 
aware that, with a wet, rusty weapon, he would stand a poor 
chance in case of an attack. Finally our turn came ; we fell in, 
and were soon hard at work in the mud and water, with very 
litUe light, so as not to attract the attention of Johnny Reb. We 
worked about three hours, and were relieved, when I, with some 
others, succeeded in getting into a sort of kitchen of the man- 
sion ; we tbund a roaring fire in an old-fashioned fire-place, but 
every spot that a human being could squeeze into was occupied. 
The boys were stowed away on shelves not o\'er six inches wide, 
snoring away as if they had not a trouble in the world : some 
were sitting on barrels, asleep in the cellar, which led olT from 
the room ; others on the window-sill, and I saw one fellow trying 
to crawl under a refrigerator ; in fact, it would have taken a New 
York detective to have ferreted them all nut. In one corner of 
the room sat H., looking full of mischief; he is one of the lead- 
ing spirits. Butch, the " head devil," was not to be seen ; he 
was (hiubtlcss stowed somewhere in a comf.irtable place, if there 
was such a thing to be fouiul. Fuel beromin.;- short, and the 
boys JKuiiig burnt up several cot bedsteads, H. said, " t^,oorgc, 
just put that mantcl-jjiece on the fire ; there are some more of 
them up-stairs, I will bring them down." No sooner said than 

The Peninsular Cani/^ai^n — Yorktozvn. 165 

done ; the mantel-piece threw out its cheerful blaze on the 
s'\-ne. Just then a crowd of officers of all yradcs filled the door- 
way, with alarm depicted on their countenances, saying- that the 
chimney was on fire. The boys looked at one another, as if to 
sav, " We have done it this time." We did not care whether 
the whole house was burned to ashes or not, as far as its loss 
was concerned ; but, in truth, it was a dangerous accident, for the 
rebels, guided by the light, could have shelled us easily to our 
great loss. The chimney, however, was soon bumt out, and 
everything fortunately went on without interruption. 

A little while before this, the innocent H. and the missing 
"Butch" had been "scouting" on their own account to see if 
anything could be made. They found a pig-sty with a squad of 
the boys asleep in it, but no genuine pigs. They soon afier dis- 
covered the pigs running about at large. They ran one down ; 
H. seized it, and " Butch " drew his knife across his throat 
in the dark. H. loosened his hold, saying, " He is a dead 
pig," when the bristly quadruped made off on the " double- 
quick." " Butch " discovered that, in the hurry and darkness, 
he must have used the back of his knife. They turned back to 
find the others, but they were all missing. 

Trotting along, not in very good humor at the loss of fresh 
meat, "Butch" spied a blind horse in a field. Determined to 
have a sensation at least, he drove him into a barn where a lot 
of the boys were sleeping in the stalls and on the floor. Roused 
by the new-comer, and half frightened out of their senses, it was 
some time before they could believe that the enemy were not 
upon them, and that they were not all prisoners. This is the 
Nv.iy in which some of the " red devils" amuse themselves at 
every opportunity that is presented either for frolic or mischief. 

The battery we were working on is one of great importance ; 
it is supported by gabions, and will mount two two-hundred and 
five one-hundred-pound Parrotts. It was commenced and put up 
\\ilhin two or three days, and was masked. The gans are 
brought up at night by a large truck drawn by from fifty to one 
hundn-d horses, and will be mounted hv to-morrow. .-Mtiiough it 
''.IS stormed a rolcl north-caster, with rain for two cla^s, the woik 
''•IS carried on unceasiiigly, and, in fact, cverjbody is busy 
doing somcthiiig, etc. D. 

Soon after the arrival of the regiment in front of York- 
town, John G'. and two others slii-ped out of camp. a:ul 
went on a foraging expedition on their own account. In' 
their rambles they discovered a barn, under which a half-grown 
hog had taken refuge; they tried all their artfid and win- 
ning ways to induce him to come out, but he was evidently 
a shrewd pig, as all their allurements failed, and only 
elicited a knowing grunt. Finally, a bright idea occurred to 
John, who was a famous forager. He went o% and soon re- 
turned with half a dozen ears of corn, one of which he 
l)laced about two feet from the barn, and several more at 
intervals of a few feet further away. The trio, armed with 
clubs, John having a stout whiffletree in one hand antl a 
dirk-knife in the other, took up strategic positions around 
the corners of the barn, and waited patiently for further de- 
i velopments. 

Presently the pig was heard approaching the nearest ear 
of corn, with grunts of satisfaction, and cautiously advancing, 
seized it, and retreated, having soon devoured it. He came 
from his covert the next time with more contulence, and 
munched on the other ear further from his base of retreat ; 
and not seeing an} thing alarming in the situation, tinaily 
went for the others. At t!ie proper moment the trio made 
a grand charge to cut off the porcine retreat, but he was on 
i the alert, and retired on a run. They threw their clubs at 

1 him, John throwing his witii more energy than skill, whicii 

r. sent him sprawling on the ground, his club doing more harm 

[ to the side of the barn than to the pig-; but he scrambled 

I along on all-fours, and succeeded in catching his victim by 

'! the hind leg, and in his anxiety to secure him, commenced 

|. stabbing him in the only part of the animal that was i)re- 

sented to his \iew. but which did not liapiicn to be a very 
I vital one. This uuiiignilicd procecdin- called forfli fi oni 

tlie pig a luotest sliiill enough to wake the (K-mI. P.ut rein- 
forcements were at hanil, and the pig was dispatched. He 

The Peninsular Campaign — Yorktoivn. 167 

was cut up, skinned and divided, and Joiin made for camp 
with liis share of fresh jiork ; but, unluckily for him, he ran 
.'.cross an officer of the provost-guard. He was halted, and 
.i>ked where he got his meat. " Bought it ; where do you 
tiiiiik I should get it?" That was "too thin." and John 
was put under arrest ; but soon after he saw S. going 
hy, who had been out on a little forage for himself, but was 
returning empty-handed, not having met with any luck. He 
c.iUed to him, and at the same time threw his meat toward 
hiMi ; the officer called to S., and said that if he took 
tiie meat he would arrest him also. But S. took chances, 
grabbed the perk, and legged it. John was put under guard 
in a tent ; but after half an hours detention, seeing an op- 
]'->rtunity, he crawled out under the rear of the tent, and 
uiade his way back to camp. He did not eat any army 
i.uions that day or the ne.\t, but ate pork-choi)s morning, 
r.ooii, and night, to repletion, and thought that it was the 
■Mveelest meat that he had ever eaten, because, as he said, 
"it was corn-fed." 

Tuesday, April 22. — The siege operations were some- 
^'•!ut delayed by the frequent and heavy rains, but the prep- 
■ir.itions proceeded with unwearying inihistry, rain or shine, 
'■'>^\\\. and day, without cessation. The battery No. i, which 
' ■•-• Fifth and ist Connecticut erected on the bank of ^'ork 
^-^vcr at the i\iouth of Wormley Creek, in front of the 
' .'.irnholt House, was the heaviest mounted of thetn all. It 
'":nujinded the water-front of Yorktown and (jloucester 
I'oirit, and the extreme left of the enemy's massive wor.ks. 
1? distant 5,000 yards from Gloucester; 4.S00 from 
' "iktown wharf ; 4,000 from the center of Yorktown, and 
^.^30 from the enemy's "big gun." It was garrisoned 
• -1 detail from the ist Connecticut Artiller_\-. under the 
•' u:'nd of C;ii)tain lUuke and Major Kellogg. Thi.-^ regi- 
'■'■ uas under the conuuand of CoU)nel T_\ler, and was justly 
' ^iMdercd one of the tinest ors-aiii/ations in the service. 


l6S Fiftii Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

We were visited by a north-east storm which lasted tvvo 
days, and directly afterward by a south-easter, which floodc'l 
the country and made our camping-ground a large pond part 
of the time ; but it was well ditched immediately aftersvard, 
and made comfortable. All of the companies that could be 
spared were detailed to corduroy the road to Shipping Poiin, 
as it was full of deep holes, in some of which the mules sunk 
breast deep. 

On Thursday, the 24th, some of the companies were de- 
tailed to make gabions. The weather was cold and the sky 
overcast, and appearances indicated the approach of one of 
the usual hard rains. We were also short of rations, and had 
only one cracker apiece, a cup of coftee and a small piece 
of bacon for breakfast, with small prospect of having any 
hard-tack for dinner or supper. 

On Tuesday, the 29th, four companies of the ist Connect- 
icut were relieved from the duties of unloading shot, shell, 
and n)ortars at the landing by two companies of the 5th New 
York ; battery No. 10 was garrisoned by two companies of 
the Fifth, under command of Cai)tain Winslow. This work 
was situated in the middle of the first parallel, between 
"Right Branch" and York River. It was distant from the 
fort 2,550 yards ; from right redoubt, 2,150 yards ; from high 
redoubt, 1,500 yards. Its armament was three loo-pounder 
Parrotts ; one 30-pounder do. ; and seven /our and a halt 
inch rifled siege guns. One conijiany of the Fifth garrisoned 
battery No. 11, and were employed in getting out timber 
and hewing the same for sea-coast mortar-platforms. It was 
situated at the head of a ravine, distant from Gloucester 
4,700 yards ; from Yorktown wharf, 3,650 yards ; from the 
fort, 2,600 yards ; fVom exterior works, 2,400 \ ards ; from 
^Vynn's Mills, 3.300 yards. Its armament was to consist ot 
fonr lo-iiicli sea-roast mortar^. 

On Wednesday, the 30th, at 2 p.m., battery No. i opened 
for the fust time, and thundered its eloquent protests against 

The Pcnhisular Campaign — Yorktozi'n. 169 

iiL-ason with a power worthy of the cause in which it s[)oke, 
\''.-.c lire was first directed at the wliaif at Yoiktown, wliere 
:i-.e enemy were busily engaged in discharging six or seven 
^chooners ; the vessels were soon driven oft". In all, thirty- 
■.me shots were fired, which were replied to by the eneni\', 
twenty-three of whose guns coidd be brought to bear on this 
work ; but such was the engineering skill expended in its 
(instruction, that the fire of the enemy produced no effect 
of a damaging nature. One shot per hour was fired during 
ilie night, and morning of May ist, to prevent the enemy's 
transports, which had been driven away, from landing. 
Coni[)anies G and F were ordered to [)roceed to Chees- 
Mian's Landing, about three miles from camp, and assist the 
('tiler two companies there in unloading shell and mortars 
from the vessels, for- the purposes of the siege. One com- 
pany was onlered to garrison battery No. 12. It was situ- 
.'.tcd on Peninsular plateau, behind "Secession Huts," and was 
distant from exterior earthworks 2,000 yards; from fort, 
J, 600 yards; from burnt house, 925 yards. Its armament 
<-'ul;^isted of five lo-inch and five 8-inch siege mortars. The 
•.•nemy kept up a continuous fire on the men in the trenches 
•It tile front. 

On Friday, the 2d, battery Xo. 13 was garrisoned by two 
'"oinpanies of the Fifth, under the command of Captain Cam- 
I'rciling. It was situated right of Boyau, in front of Moore's 
IxHise, and was distant from Gloucester Point 3,000 yards ; 
-"oni exterior works. 2,400 yards; from tort, 1,300 yards, 
''•i armament was six 3o-pou!uler Parrotts. Sixty shots 
«t--re fired during the day from battery Xo. i with eftect. 
1 lie largest gun in the enenn's works, a ritled sixty-eight, 
' ^i'loded on its twenty-eightii discli.\r_L;e. 

■"^ '.Uu\la\-, the 2>*-^, tlamd the nv.-n .-till har^.l at work at their 

. -'^ of dul}'; they were lum-^r)- and rations were scam. 

'■'•■ity four shots were firctl fiuui Xo. i ; two of the shells, 

^^•"ich were badly directed, droppei.! into battery Xo. 10, one 


170 Fifth Nczu York Volunteer Infa7itry. 

of which exploded, fortunately without ir.jury to any one. 
During the night the enemy kept up a heavy fire of artillery, 
and at the same time were evacuating their works, which 
were occupied at daylight, on Sunday, the 4th, by the Union 
troops. Some of the Fifth who were detailed in battery No. 
13, at the front, were among the first in the Confederate 
works, not by orders, but on their ov/n responsibility, while 
the rear guard of the enemy were discharging shell into the 
evacuated works. " Brockey," of Com])any E, had hold of 
the halyards that hoisted the Stars and Stripes on the statf, 
where a few hours before had floated the rebel ensign. 

General Magruder had under his command at Yorktown, 
fifty-three thousand men. 

The enemy left fifty-three heavy guns, all of which they 
had spiked, besides several that had burst ; also a large 
quantity of cotton, tobacco, flour, beans, and other stores. 
Torpedoes that had been planted in the ground exploded, 
killing and wounding a number of the soldiers. 

The 6th day of May, at daylight, was the time that had 
been appointed to open a general bombardment of the 
enemy's works from all the fourteen batteries, and it was 
the opinion of the experienced ofticers of the engineer and 
artillery corps that the works would have been untenable in 
twelve hours thereafter. 

On Mondiy, the 5th, the scattered companies of the 
Fifth were united once more, and the regiment received two 
jnonths' pay from Major Hoops, the Paymaster, and their 
clothing account was settled. 

Brigadier-Cleneral W. F. Barry, Chief of Artillery, says in 
his report : 

"The difficulties attending tne placing in position the un- 
usually hea\y machinen,' us<_'d in this sic^e were ver}' much in- 
creased by the pecuharitirs of the soil, and by the continuance 
of heavy rains during tlio greater portion of tiro operations. 
Oftentimes the heavier guns, in their transportation of three 

The Pt7iinsular Campaign — Yorktoivn. 171 

n.ilcs from the landing- to the batteries, would sink in the quick- 
> ;n(!s to the axletrees of their traveling carriages. 

'• The efforts of the best trained and heaviest of the horses of 
;hf artillery reserve were of no avail in the attempts to extricate 
t'lcm, and it became necessary to haul this heavy metal by hand, 
liic cannoneers working knee deep in mud and water. In these 
i.i:).)rs the officers and men of the ist Connecticut Artillery and 
the 5th New York Volunteers exhibited extraordinary perse- 
verance, alacrity, and cheerfulness. It finally became necessary 
to construct a heavy corduroy road, wide enough for teams to 
piss each other, the whole distance from the landing to the 

" In conclusion, I beg to present the names of Colonel Tyler, 
Majors Kellogg, Hemmingway, and Trumbull, and Captains 
I'crkins and Burke, ist Connecticut Artiller)^ ; Major Alexander 
Doull, 2d New York Artiller}- ; Colonel Warren, Lieutenant- 
Colonel H. Duryea, Major Hull, and Captain Winslow, 5th New 
York V^olunteers, as conspicuous for intelligence, energ}-, and 
•r;ix)d conduct under fire," 

The following letter was read off at evening parade : 

Office Chief of Artillery, Army of Potomac, ) 
Camp Winfield Scott, before Yorktown, \'a., >• 

May 5, 1862. ) 

Colonel G. K. Warren, Commanding Ne^v York ^th Rtgz- 

ment I ^olunteers : 

Colonel : — In transmitting to you the enclosed copy of Spe- 

> Order No. 135, Headquarters Army of Potomac, relieving 

;'ur regiment from its temporary service with the siege train 

^■'M<:r my command, it gives me«gTeat pleasure to state that the 

'•'■itifs which have devolved upon it, in landing, transporting, and 

;•• H-ing in position the extremely heavy material to be employed 

!"'thc siege of Yorktown, Itave been performed with cheerfulness, 

' rity, and intelligence. The highest praise is due to yourself, 

'■ •! o'lficers, and enlisted men, for the very creditable manrcr 

''■■ >Ai:ich your very arduous (and at one or two points hazardous) 

•■ Hjps have been performed. 

17- Fifth Ncio York Volunteer Infantry. 

Should circumstances again render siege operations neces- 
sary, I shall be much gratified to have your regiment again placed 
under my orders. 

I am, Colonel, very respectfully, 
.' , . ; - Your obedient servant, 

William F. Barrv, 
Brig.-Ccn., Chnf of Artillery. 

We received orders at tattoo to march at i a.m., with four 
days' rations. A battle was raging, and heavy and con- 
tinuous firing was heard in the direction of Williamsburg. 
We marched at about midnight. It was raining, and was 
so dark that one could not see the man in front. After pro- 
ceeding a short distance, sliding and sli[)ping about in the 
n)ud and water, the order to march was countermanded, 
and v/e returned to camp. 

At 3 o'clock on the morning of Friday, the 9th, the rev- 
eille was sounded, and we marched at seven. We passed 
by tliree separate burying-grounds, where some four or five 
hundred pine slabs denoted the resting-places of as many 
soldiers. While marching through Yorktown-, the men were 
surprised at the extent, strength, and beauty of the enemy's 
fortifications. The weather was very sultry, and the roads 
were dry and dusty, and as the men carried about sixty 
pounds weight on their backs, their sufferings were great. 
The hot sun beat down on their heads, and quite a number 
of them were sun-struck. On the march we passed the dif- 
ferent fields where skirmibhing had taken place on the pre- 
ceding days. The action at Williamsburg was very seven.', 
the place being strongly fortifi*ed, and many a gallant fellow 
was cut down before the enemy was dislodged. The trees 
on the outskirts of the open plain in which the enemy luul 
built their works, and which partially protected our forces, 
were coiap'crcl}- iiJ,'.i!cd witli bullets, and the small saitlin^s 
were cut d(jwn cntircl}-. The hosintals and cluuclics of Wil- 
liamsburg were still filled with the wounded and dyinc The 

»• The Peninsular Cmnpaigii. 173 

regiment marched through the latter place in com]:)any front, 
and the men were much amused at the looks of disgust which 
were portrayed on the faces of many of the inhabitants. 

There were also some sad sights. A lady dressed in 
mourning, and holding a little child by the hand, stood view- 
ing the troops from a balcony, as they passed by, and was 
weeping ; she had probably lost a husband or some near 
relative in the late battle. 

The conunand was halted for the night about four miles 
beyond the city, having marched twenty-two miles. After 
spreading their ponchos on the ground, and wrapping them- 
selves in their blankets, all, except the pickets and camp 
guard, were soon fast asleep. 

Saturday, May loth, we turned out at sunrise, wet and cold 
from the heavy dew, and somewhat stiff from the previous 
day's exertions ; marched at S a.m., at rather a dragging step 
at first, and halted at 2 p.m., after traveling about eight miles, 
and went into bivouac at Camp Warren. A squad of men 
were detailed for guard at General Sykes' headquarters. 

Sunday, May ii. — The wagons arrived last night, and for 
the first time in three days we were blessed with the sight ot 
coffee. At i p.m. we slung knapsacks, marched about four 
miles and bivouacked at Camp Buchanan, six miles from 
West Pomt. The men made their coffee in their tin cups, 
feasted on hard- tack, smoked their pipes and chatted, and 
tlion spread themselves on the ground and went to sleep. 

Monday, May 12.— There was a heavy dew during the pre- 
vious night, which wet the blankets and chilled the men. 
Tiiey made coffee and awaited orders. The reveille awoke 
the regiment at 3 .\.m. on the 13th, and we marched at six. 
In the afternoon we fell into the wrong road, were halted 
i^'.iiidenly, and t)rdcrcd to unsling knai^sacks. w'.iich were left 
i;^ t'le woods ; after wliich we wore ordered oft" down a road 
fir ^ome distance on a donble-qnick, and into an open Held 
to the left, where the regiment was quickly drawn up in line 

174 FiftJi ^^t-zu York Volunteer Infarttry. 

of battle, facing a wood, to support the cavalry who had en- 
countered the enemy, and dejiloyed skirmishers. We re- 
mained under arms in readiness for two hours, our interest 
stimulated by squads of cavalrymen who kept filing in from 
the front, each and all agreeing that the enemy were in force. 
At dark we were relieved by some infantry and artillery, and 
countermarched to get the knapsacks. Our gait was consid- 
erably accelerated by the sight of dense clouds of smoke 
which arose from the vicinity of the spot where they had 
been placed, and alarmed for their safety, as it was soon 
discovered that the woods were on fire. Fortunately, the 
knapsacks had been cared for by some of the drum corps, 
drummers Jenks and Verney being complimented by Colonel 
Warren for their efforts in saving them. 

The regiment resumed the march, and after a tedious 
stretch of thirteen miles, running well into die nigiit, we sud- 
denly struck the camp at Cumberland, on the banks of the 
Pamunkey River. It was a magnificent sight as it burst upon 
the view of the weary men. 

Below them, stretched over an immense plain, were en- 
camped an army of eighty thousand men. Innumerable 
camp-fires could be seen in every direction, which became 
smaller as the eye scanned them in the distance, until at the 
outline they seemed like mere star points of light. We ar- 
rived in camp about ii p.m., and immediately went into 
bivouac. A storm which lasted two days came upon us, 
which made the men extremely uncomfortable, as they were 
without shelter. On the r5th, all the troops were drawn up 
in an immense square, and reviewed by Secretary Seward. 
It was a splendid spectacle, notwithstanding the rain. 

The country through which the regiment marched to this 
camp was desolate and descried. Not a cow, horse, or cart 
were to be seen on the farms, nor indeed a livhig animal ot 
any kind. Many of the houses were dismantled and deserted, 
and the few that were occupied were inhabited by old men, 

' •' The Peninsular Campaign. 175 

women, or invalids, who hung out a white rag for protection ; 
but not an able-bodied man or a grown boy was to be seen. 
'J'hey were all in the Confederate army. Very few negroes 
wore found, nearly all having been driven into the interior 
by their owners. While staying in this camp, considerable 
traffic was kept \.\\i by a few soldiers of trading dispositions. 
'1 hey obtained passes to the landing on the river, and laid 
out their money in cakes, cheese, and butter, and on their 
return disposed of tl-.eir commodities to their comrades at a 
l)rofit of five hundred per cent. So eager were the men to 
buy, at any price, that they fought, pushed, and shoved their 
way through the crowd, with their money in their fists, and 
exchanged it for the coveted luxuries without regard to long 
or short measure. Their princii)al an.xiety was to get some- 
thing, reckless of cost. One of the men managed to buy a 
barrel of cider, on which he cleared about fifty dollars when 
it was only two-thirds gone. A raid was made upon it by 
some of the "red devils," who tumbled him, with the cider 
and all of his customers, into a promiscuous heap, and in 
consequence none of the raiders got enough to wet their 
lips with. 

On Saturday, the 17th, we marched five miles, and bivou- 
acked near the White House. General Sykes' division of 
regulars, including the Fifth, were assigned to the Fifth Army 
Corps, under command of General Fitz John Porter. Seven 
\\agoners were killed by guerrillas between New Kent and 

Who were the guerrillas ? When the army was marching 
along a road, occasionally an old, grizzly-bearded man might 
be seen hoeing away at a patch of ground near his cabin, ap- 
I'arently so much absorbed in his work as to scarcely notice 
•anything else; nor did he attract any attention in return, 
^•iit the main luiving iias>etl along, were t"oi!o\\-od by 
I'le stragglers, at fiisl inuneruiis, but gradually decreasing in 
numbers until now and then only one perhaps miiiht be seen 


FiftJi Xciv York Volujitcer Infantry. 

at considerable intervals. Xow, that apparently harmless 
old man has dropped his hoe for his ritie, perhaps the same 
that his grandfather used in the Revolutionary struggle for in- 
dependence. He is lying in wait, behind some stone wall or 
convenient clump of bush, or perhaps near his barn, where 
some belated or sick soldier may seek rest for the night. 

At the company roll call in camp next morning a man is 
reported missing. He is never heard of again by comrades, 
family, or friends. He is on the army records as a " deserter." 
That is all that will ever be known of him on this earth ; but 
that old man could solve the mystery if he would. 

One morning, just before the regiment started on its day's 
march. Colonel Warren said he had a remark to make to the 
men, which was about as follows: He had noticed on the 
previous- day a great deal of straggling, and it must not oc- 
cur again. " Now, to-day," said he, " I intend to act as 
doctor, and for such as are disposed to lag behind, I have 
some pills which are a sure cure," and he tapped his revolver 
significantly as he said ir. It is needless to say that there 
Avere very {qw sick men that day, and it was astonishing how 
well the regiment kept together. 

To those who have never, been in the army, and may 
chance to read this, it may be said that on a march there are 
many who drop out from choice as well as from exhaustion. 
The surgeons and some of the field officers always follow in 
the rear of a regiment, brigade, or division ; the former ex- 
amine those who are sick, and if, in their judgment, they are 
not good enough for a few ^tcps further, they are pui in ambu- 
lances and brought along. Hut there are some men of strong 
wills who would not give in even when dangerously ill, until 
compelled to do so by a surgeon. The camp guard are also 
in the rcnr. aiul they drive tiic stra-Jers along ; if they es- 
cape them. tlicyareliiLlc tn be puked up by the bri-adc. 
divi^ion, or corps provosts; and last of all come, the'pro- 
vost-Cencral of the army, with at least a re-iiuent of re-- 

The Peninsular Campaign. 177 

tilar infantry and a squadron of cavalry, who scour both sides 
of the road, looking mto farm-houses, barns, etc. In an en- 
g.igeiuent, all of the provost guards pick up the men who 
fall to the rear, and form them into l)attalions, and they are 
inarched again to the front and assigned a position, often the 
very worst that can be found. 

Reveille started us from our slumbers at 2 a.m., on ^^on- 
day, the 19th. After bolting some coffee and hard- tack, we 
started off on our march, and at the end of two nnles we 
halted to await the construction of a bridge. While patiently 
tarrying for this purpose, we were visited by a heavy shower 
of rain. After several hours spent like chickens under the 
bushes to keep as much sheltered as possible, we resumed 
the march, and at night halted in a swamp near Tunstall's 
Station, about five miles distant fron) our starting-^place. 
The men built slight shanties and sle]it on the muddy ground, 
but endeavored to convince themselves that they were com- 
fortable. This effort required too vivid an imagination, and 
they finally gave uji in disgust and fell back on their fortitude. 

On Tuesday, the 20th, we remained in camp, and dined 
luxuriously on boiled beans, not overdone. At dusk we were 
favored with the usual music of heavy tiring in the distance. 
On the 2ist we marched seven miles and bivouacked for 
ilie night. On the 2 2d we marched six miles and bivouacked 
at Cold Harbor. It was reported that General Sykes' negro 
^'--rvant was shot dead by guerrillas while watering a liorse. 
Tlie latter Avandcred back without its rider, and two cavalry- 
Jiion, who went to see what had become of him, were fired 
•"^t. It occurred about half a mile from camp. On Saturday, 
th'.- 24th, it commenced to rain, and the men built shanties, 
but had scarcely coiniMcted thorn when they received orders 
t" pack knapsacks, whicii was C\o\\c in the midst: of a iKWting 
'^tonn. We marcheil five miles through the mud and water, 
ami halted at Old Church, where a cavalry skirmish had 
'-Tk-:n place during the previous night. 

1/3 Fifth N'fzu York Volunteer Infantry. 

The men are beginning to feel severely the effects of 
sleeping on the ground without any covering except a blanket 
or overcoat, exposed to the mists and heavy dews. There 
are about one hundred sick in the regiment, a few cises 
being sun-strokes, but the majority are suftering from malarial 

During the march lately the regiment passed some beauti- 
ful residences and tlourishing farms, all seemingly abandoned 
and deserted except by a few negroes. It is a well-wooded 
country, and most of the marches have been made over 
roads through the woods. There was no scarcity of water, 
the country abounding in fine 5i)rings ; but, on the other hand, 
the bill of fare clearly showed that there was no danger of 
being overfed. Sometimes " Yankee Doodle " was served 
for breakfast, "The Red, Wliite, and Blue" for dinner, and 
'* Hail Columbia" for su[)pcr. The roll calls took the place 
of sandwiches to fill up with, all day long while in camp, and 
a general inspection of arms every night at 6 p.m. 

Colonel Warren was now in command of a provisional 
brigade, consisting of the 5th New York, the ist Connecticut 
Heavy Artillery (at the tune acting as infantry, about 1,000 
strong), the i5th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Rusli's Lancers), and 
Weeden's R. I. Battery. In all the marches of the Fifth, 
either before or after this period, the ist Connecticut was 
the only regiment, besides the regulars, that put their endur- 
ance to a test, and between them and our boys it was a close 

On the 25tli, Colonel Warren rode into camp in great 
haste, and the brigade was put in readiness to march ; but 
after lying on their a.-ins a couple of hours, three com[)anie.s 
of the I'lfth Were ordered on picket, and the rest of the 
troojis were di.-.nii.-ied. 

The poaitiun which Warren's brigade now occu[)ied was 
on the right and rear of the armv, to guard against guerrillas 
and detaclunents of the enemy houi cutting otf cui'ply trains. 

TIw Peninsular Campaign. 179 

We were obliged to be very vigilant to avoid a surprise or 
to be ready if attacked, and pickets were detailed in all 

On one of the recent marches during the night, the Col- 
onel gave strict orders for the men to make as little noise as 
possible, on account of the nearness of the enemy ; but he 
had hardly ceased speaking when a jackass, on which the 
band-master was riding, having scented water sotiiewhere, 
set up a discordant " he-haw." It is needless to say that 
the Colonel was excited ! in fact, that word would not do 
justice to his feelings ; and he did not stop to place the few 
words which escai)cd from his lii)3 in the most studied and 
graceful language. To make matters worse, " Saxey '' and 
another of the drummer-boys, who could not resist the 
opportunity for a frolic, managed to apply some horse- 
chestnut burs to the flanks of the brute, who made a jump 
for the woods, and threw his rider into the brush, from wliich 
he emerged with his face and hands much scratched and 
clothing torn, besides losing his rosinante. 


THE PENINSULAR QA'SiVAlG^— {Continued). 

Pamunkey Bridge— Crossing the Bridge— Killed at his Birthplace— The 
Rebels Retire— Rebel Comju'nication Broken— An Astonished Negfo— 
A Descendant of Patrick Henry— Return to Camp— H.\-\over Covrt 
house— Captain Griffin's Brazen Pet— After the Battle— Burying the 
Dead— Result— A Raid and a Capture— A Reconnoissance— Back to Old 
Church— What we Fought for at Hanover— The Chick.'^hominv— Xenv 
Bridge— A Donatihn of Flour — A Spkci-lation in Doughnuts — Sal 
Eratus and \vhat She Did— A Pair of Shoes— Sleeping under Arms- 
General McClellan's Address to the Army— General Sykes" Speech- 
Picket at New Bridge — Review by General Pki.m — M.askinga Battery ai 
Night— Stuart's Cavalry on a Raid — What thev Did 

Monday, Mny 26, 1862. — Four companies of the Fifth, 
A, G, H, and — , in company with a squadron of Rush's Lan- 
cers and a section of artillery, under the command of Col- 
onel Warren, marched early in the morning from camp near 
Old Church to a place called Pipping Trees, Pamunkey 
River, a distance of nine miles. As the I>ancers approached 
the river they were discovered by the enemy, who were a 
detachment of the 4th Virginia Cavalry guarding the bridge 
at this point. A skirmish inmiediately ensued, in which two 
of the enemy were wounded. Tlie detachment of the Fif(h 
hurried forward and drew up in line of battle on the high 
ground overlooking the bridge. The enemy commenced 
tiring on them, but with defective aim. 

Company II, under the leadershi[) of Lieutenant-Colonel 
H. Duryea, was ordered to charge the bridge. They ai>- 
proached as near as possible under cover of the woods, and 
then made a dash for it on the doulV.c qui* k. The ei-ieni\'s 
cavalry on the bridgj, who were disimninti-d and acting as 
infantry, retreated to their reserve on the other side of the 
river. One of them halted at about the center and took 

The Peninsular Campaign. i8i 

deliberate aim, but before he could discharge his piece there 
were half a dozen shots tired at him almost simultaneously, 
and he fell shot through the body, mortally wounded. He 
was picked up and carried to a farm-house that stood near 
the approach to the bridge, which proved to be the same in 
which himself and his father were born. He died like a 
brave man, fighting for what he probably thought the right, 
and literally in defense of home and fireside. 

Private Woodfall, of Company H, was wounded by a shot 
at about the same instant that this man received his death 
wound. The company, foUow-ed by the cavalry, kept on 
over the bridge, and the latter deployed in battle array for a 
charge. The rebel cavalry in the meantime kept up a run- 
ning fire, and were tlying like the wind on splendidly 
mounted horses; the Lancers followed, but were left far 
behind in the rear. 

After a portion of the battalion were stationed as pickets 
to avoid a sur[5iise, and as a guard over the stacked arms, 
the rest of the men commenced the destruction of the 
bridge. It was substantially built of oak and pine timber, 
and was of great benefit to the Confederates, as it con- 
necteil the great highway used f(jr the transportation of 
supplies to Richmond from that part oi the country. 

Colonel Warren directed the men how to pull it down in 
a scientific manner, and under his instructions there was 
soon nothing left of it but the fallen trestles and supports, 
lloating in the rajnd cuirent. Fires were built on each shore 
to burn portions of the timbers. An old slave stood look- 
ing on in wonderment, rubbing his hands together, in evi- 
tlent glee, when finally he si)oke up and said, that the 
"Squires were ten years in argufying abt ut, and buildin' 
dat dar sucumstructure, but yuse niassa T.incunis' sniurs IkuI 
du!i gone and si)iled it in ten minits.'' When its destruction 
was completed and the battalion were making preparations 
to march again, it was discovered that James R. Murray, of 

l82 FiftJi NrtV York Volunteer Infantry. 

Company A, was left on the other shore, but kickily he was 
able to work his way over by jumping from one piece of 
floating timber to another. 

The men had captured some half a dozen citizens of the 
upper class, at various houses on the march, to avoid intelli- 
gence of the nmvement being made known to the enemy. 
One of them, a Doctor Henry, who wore a high silk hat and 
a black frock coal, was a fine old Virginia gentleman. He 
was questioned by the Adjutant as to the whereabouts of the 
enemy and other matters that might have afforded valuable 
information ; but he was self-possessed and secretive to the 
utmost. Finally he was informed that he would be shot if 
he did not answer. He drew himself uj), and raising his hat, 
said : " I am an old, gray-haired man of sixty years. My 
name is Henry, a direct descendant of Patrick: Hexrv, of 
Roanoke. I was born and reared near this spot, where the 
illustrious patriot spent his youth and manhood ; and 1 will 
say, that I have never been guilty of doing a dishonorable 
act in my life, nor can you compel me, with all the force at 
your command, to do so at the present time." He was 
taken to Colonel Warren, who treated him in a noble and 
generous manner, and soon put him at his ease. The object 
of the e.xpedition having been accomplished, the detail re- 
turned back to camp, having marched about eighteen miles. 

Several of the companies were sent out on picket at dark, 
one of which was Company F, The latter constructed shan- 
ties while the rain fell heavily. At midnight the outposts 
were ordered to fall back on the reserve. The night was so 
dark it was impossible to see a yard ahead ; the mud was 
knee deep, and they floinidered back, slipping, sliding, growl- 
ing, and cursing. They had no shelter from the heavy rain, 
bat nevertheless managed to catch a little wretched sleep, 
Mtting with tlicir backs against the trees. In tlie morning 
they tlounderetl back to camp in a miserable condition, and 

The Peninsular Campaign. 1 83 

had coft'ee made, but had scarcely touched it, when they 
were ordered to duty with the rest of the command. 

Early on the morning of Tuesday, the 27th, the regiment 
was ordered to fall in, in light marching order, which was 
significant to them of prospective fighting, and they felt at 
this time that a brush with the enemy would be a great relief 
to their unquiet temper, for they were not in the most ami- 
able mood. They moved from camp near Old Church, 
through a heavy rain, and over bad roads, on a route leading 
to Hanover Courthouse, parallel to the Pamunkey River. 
After marching some miles. Colonel Warren took the Lan- 
cers and pushed on some distance to the northward, and 
destroyed some bridges leading over the Pamunkey, and 
captured a number of prisoners and rejomed tlie command. 

The force kept on their march to join General Porter and 
a portion of the Fifth Corps. On arriving at a large field, 
we were halted and ordered to load, and the cavalry were 
sent forward to reconnoiter. They had scarcely returned 
when, at a little distance, the booming of cannon was heard. 
They built a bridge over a creek, crossed, and moved at a 
quick step in the direction from which the sound came. But 
for the inevitable delay occasioned by building the bridge, 
the brigade would have been among the first to engage in the 
battle of Hanover Court-house. 

General Emory, with the 5th and 6th U. S. Cavalry, Ben- 
son's 2d U. S. Artillery, and General Butterfield's brigade, 
had come ujjon the enemy, who were composed of North 
Carolina and Georgia regiments, under the command of 
General Branch, at a point about two miles from the 
Court-house, where the road forked to Ashland. General 
Emory was joined by the 25th iVew York and P.erdan's 
Shar[)-shooters. Tiiesc regiments deployed wiih a section oi 
the battery, and advanceil slowly toward the enemy until re- 
inforced by General Butterfield, with four regiments, when 

1 84 FiftJi NciiJ York ]"ohivtecr Infa7itry. 

tfie enemy was charged and routed, the 17th New York cap- 
turing one gun of Latham's New Orleans battery, which had 
become disabled by the fire of Benson's battery. The firing 
here lasted one hour. The cavalry and battery were ordered 
in pursuit, followed by ^^orel^s infantry and artillery, with 
the exception of Martindale's brigade.* 

At this stage of the battle, the 5th New York came up, 
and followed on after Aforell's division in the direction of the 
firing, over an immense field of wheat about one and a half 
miles in width. A wooden farm-house stood at about the 
center of this field, which had been the scene of a severe 
struggle. They advanced as far as Hanover Court-house. 
Suddenly aides, on horseback, came flying by, and the trooi)s 
were ordered to return. General Porter and staff passed 
by, and ordered us to quick-march. A ATajor of the staff 
informed our Lieutenant-Colonel, H. Duryea, acting in com- 
mand of the regiment, that we were outflanked by the enemy 
in force. 

The Fifth fac^ about and hurried back again to the wheat- 
field. They were immediately formed in line of battle, fac- 
ing toward the south-west, and advanced by the double-quick. 

The sun had come out in the meantime wit.ii scorching 
heat, and the men were exhausted by their fifteen-mile march 
in the morning, over execrable roads in the rain, and a few 
fell down in the field from sun-stroke. It appears that Con- 
federate troops had come up nn cars from Richmond as rein- 
forcements, and were formed in line of battle near Peake's 
Station, on the Virginia Central Railroad, and on the Ash- 
land road, near the scene of the first engagement, and were 
in the rear of the troops following the enemy. 

It is not my pur|iose to describe all the movements of 
Generol Porter's roiniiiaiid. but he immediately ordered all 
the troops in the pursuit to face about and retrace their steps. 

S;e General ^fcCleIIaIl's Report (pp. 206-7.) 

The Peninsular Campaign. 185 

'rhc enemy attacked General Martindale, who had with him 
!iic 2d Maine, 25th and 44th New York, with a section of 
Martin's battery, on the New Bridge road facing his own posi- 
tion of the morning, and who held his ground against large 
Pilds until reinforced by the 13th and 14th New York and 
(Iiithn's battery. 

The " Fighting 9th" iVIassachusetts, and the 62d Pennsyl- 
v.mia, of McQiiade's brigade, pushed through woods on the 
right (our original left) on the liank of the enemy. Butter- 
t'lcld, with the 83d Pennsylvania and the i6lh Michigan, ad- 
vancing by the railroad and through the woods, further to 
t!ie right, completed the rout of the enemy. 

When the 5th New York arrived near the scene, it had be- 
come quite exciting ; batteries dashed along the roads on a 
iluxrp run, and the infantry were going at a double-quick 
through the fields, and they were surprised to see so many 
troops, and wondered where they had all come from, not 
knowing when they started from camp in the morning where 
liiey were going or what was required of them. All was ex- 
citL-ment and activity; diey were moving on in quick time to 
attack the enemy, who had just shown themselves on the 
edge of the woods that skirted the field to the southward. 
I'resently the music cOtnmenced, with the prolonged rattling 
tJiat continuous musketry-fire produces. The artillery had 
I'ol yet got to work, nor was it needed until the enemy had got 
on the retreat. General Butterfield came dashing uj) in 
li"nt of the I'ifth as they were going on the double-quick in 
*:''e of battle, battalion front, for the woods. He took oti'his 
<il' and waved it above his head, and said : "Go in, boys ! 
^'id I II see you supj^oi ted ! '' 

\\\ a few moments they had reached the wood, which was 
fntncd with a Zouave cheer. The sul[iinuous smoke hung 
" ' 'liiik tii.xt it was almost impossible to see any distance. 
' ■''•y relieved the 25th ami 44th New York, who had stootl 
'iie brunt of the engagement, and had sulfered severely. 

1 86 Fifth Nciv York Volntiteer Infantry. 

The last regiment (Ellsworth's Avengers) was one of the 
finest bodies of picked men in the service, morally as well 
as physically. The men advanced through the woods, step- 
ping over the Union and Confederate dead and wounded, 
who lay thick, and out of the woods to the Ashland road ; 
down the road to the railroad ciU, and after some difficulty 
climbed up the bank and advanced over an open field. The 
enemy had reached the cover of a wood the other side of 
the field in full retreat, and the men could not get at them. 
Night coming on, they were recalled, and marched back, 
very much disappointed at losing the opportunity to grapple 
with the enemy as compensation for their long and laborious 
tramp. As the regiment passed the men who had been in 
the thick of the fight in the woods, just in advance of the 
Zouaves, some of them said that as soon as the enemy saw 
our red breeches coming through they beat a hasty retreat, 
and a Confederate officer who was taken prisoner also stated 
that when they saw the Zouaves charging in a steady, un- 
broken front toward them, they thought there was too much 
steel for them. The sight no doubt hastened their move- 

As the men passed down the Ashland road after coming 
out of the wood, they saw Captain (afterward General) Grif- 
fin, of the 5th United States Artillery, sighting his guns per- 
sonally, and was patting one of them on its side, which had 
just blown up one of the enemy's caissons, and killed several 
horses at the same time. He exclaimed, " \ good shot ! now 
another like that." in the wood and at the side of a fence 
on the border of the road by which the enemy retreated, the 
dead and wounded were very numerous. Some of them had 
ghastly wounds and were still struggling with death. Others 
lay dead without the sign of a mark on tlicni. with faces up- 
turned, their stony eyes glaiing ai liie sky. A father and his 
son were found 1\ ing side by side, wounded and lilceding 
freely ; the old man was crying, while the son endeavored to 

'. TJie Peninsular Cainpaign. 187 

console him. In another place two or three were found 
dead, whose appearance led one to think they had died talk- 
ing to one another ; others reclined against the fence, among 
whom was a powerful fellow, with a portion of iiis forehead 
torn away and his brains exposed, who was still breathing. 
A splendid bay horse lay rigid in the road ; he had cleared 
his last fence. All night long we could hear the groans of 
the wounded and dying at the temporary hospital in a house 
near by. That night we bivouacked on the field, and as the 
men were without ponchos or blankets, and the ground 
damp and cold from the heavy dew, we passed a wretched 

On the morning of the 28th. when the men awoke, some 
of them found that they were lying among the dead : it was 
at"ter dark when they laid down the ])revious night, and what 
they supposed were soldiers sleeping with blankets over them, 
were dead men. Details were made from some of the 
regiments, including the Fifth, to bury the dead. Trenches 
were dug large enough to hold twenty-five. The detail from 
the Fifth buried twenty-five Confederates as decently as 
their circumstances would allow. They were all jilaced in a 
single trench with an Orderly Sergeant at their head, the post 
he occui)ied when alive; at each corner of the plot they 
placed stakes, and at one end of it, cut on the trunk cf a tree, 
" 25 N. C. X killed." 

The result of the battle was two hundred of the enemy 
buried on the field ; about eight hundred prisoners captured ; 
one twelve-pound howitzer and caisson, a great number ot 
small aruis, and two railroad trains loaded with a largo 
amount of tobacco, were captured and destroyed. The Union 
loss was less than four hundred in killed and wounded. One 
^ving of tlu' l"it";h and tiie T^anctT? wt-ut about four miies anil 
(^:ipturcd an entire company of the enemy, brsides paroling 
niany wounded who were in houses on their route. The 
next day, Thursday, the 29th, Colonel Warren, with the Fifth, 

IV , ;':-..f ,1^ rn,- 

1 88 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

1st Comiecticut, the Lancers, a section of Weeden's battery, 
and other detachments, went on a reconnoissance on the 
Ashland road, about seven miles. It was the same path by 
which the enemy retreated. We found knapsacks and cloth- 
ing strewn along the road. The advance was cautiously 
made, with skirmishers deployed ahead and on the Hanks, as 
we might come upon the enemy at any time, or run into an 
ambush. At one time we laid in line of battle. 

Colonel Warren, with the cavalry, finally pushed forward 
and entered Ashland, the birthplace of Henry Clay, captur- 
ing some prisoners, and obtaining information of General 
McDowell's advance. We then marched back to camp, and 
after resting two hours, we were again on our way to Old 
Church, which we reached about midnight, having marched 
fifty miles since we left it on the 27th. The men suffered 
greatly for the want of food, and straggled, limping along the 
road toward camp. By some mismanagement of the Com- 
missariat the men had received no rations since leaving camp. 
In the railroad trains captured on the battle-field there was a 
large quantity of tobacco, from which the men filled all tliC 
available pocket-room they could command. They impro- 
vised the art of cigar-making, and produced some prize 
specimens of mammoth size. 

The object of the battle of Hanover Court-house was to 
clear away the enemy from the right and rear of the army, 
and to leave no obstacle in the way to the junction of Gen. 
McDowell's First Corps, which was lying south of Freder- 
icksburg, with the right of General McClellan's army be- 
sieging Richmond. If he had been allowed to advance, the 
march could have been easily accomplished in two days, and 
in all likelihood the seven days' retreat, a month later, would 
never hav.- occmrcil, aixl General McC'lcll.m would have 
been proiiipli\' in Kicliiuor.d. At all events, was the 
belief of all in the Fifth Cori)s, and of the Confederates 

■- . ■ Tlie PiiiinsjLlar Campaign. 189 

The smooth-bore rifles, heretofore in use by eight com- 
panies of the regiment, were exchanged on the 30th for 
Springfield ritles. The command expected to march the 
same day at 4 p.m., but a terrible thunder-storm coming up, 
it was delayed. The thunder and lightning were grand in 
the extreme, and at times truly terrific ; it rained in torrents, 
and continued until late in the night. It seemed ominous 
of the storm of battle which was about to open about Rich- 

The next morning, reveille roused us at two o'clock and at 
five o'clock we marched four miles, the roads all under water 
and muddy, and were ordered back again ; and finally, after 
covering six or seven miles, encamped upon an evacuated 
cam[vground near Cold Harbor, joining the rest of the divis- 

In the afternoon an engagement took place on the other 
side of the Chickahominy. There was a constant roar of 
artillery, and the roll of the musketry was incessant. The 
division was held under arms, and all ready to move 
when wanted. The engagement alluded to was the battle 
of Fair Oaks, and the division would have been sent across 
the river, and probably engaged, had not the bridges been 
carried away by the unprecedentedly high tlow of the waters, 
occasioned by the recent heavy storm of rain already men- 

Sunday, June 1. — The conflict commenced again at day- 
light, but in a few hours appeared to recede in the distance. 
Our forces drove the enemy antl approached to within five 
miles of Richmond. The aggregate losses on both sides in 
killed and wounded was 12,500 men. \\'e marched at 4 p.m. 
;ibout two miles, and encamped in a dense pine wood near 
^'ew Hridge, whicli was an admirable spot for a camp. The 
'■:i;igon the other ^idc of the nvcr led the men to expect 
t".U ihcy would be called uiion at any moment to take part 
;le which aj^peared to them would i)erhaps 

190 Fifth A'czo York Volunteer Infantry. 

decide the fate of one of the two great armies. We were 
■io near the enemy that no drum or bugle call was allowed 
to be sounded. 

On the 2d the weather was very warm, and the sound of 
battle was almost entirely subdued, very little firing being 
heard during the day. A sniall detail was made up and em- 
ployed in digging about the camp. Colonel Warren sup- 
plied the men with a quantity of flour, and bread-baking 
was the order of the day. Those who had tin plates were 
the favored ones ; the rest were obliged to wait and borrow 
them from their comrades. The flour was simi)ly mixed 
with water and made into unleavened cakes and baked ; but 
the men relished them with great satisfaction, as it was an 
acceptable change in the diet to which they had been ac- 
customed ; and at times was heard from some epicure who 
could not restrain from giving vent to his satisfaction, the 
expressive, but not very elegant remark, '"Aint this bully." 

I'wo of the boys (of Eastern Shore celebrity in mischief) 
procured about a bushel of flour, and some sugar and sale- 
ratus, borrowed a sheet-iron kettle of one of the officers' serv- 
ants, obtained a lot of fat salt pork, and went into business. 
They first washed all the salt from the pork, tried it out, 
mixed their flour with sugar and saleratus, let it rise, and 
then made some of the finest doughnuts, as they supposed, 
that were ever served up ; at all events they were "done 
brown." When they had made a great pile of them, they 
opened sho|), and never before was there such a rush to 
procure some of those elegant doughnuts. The pile was 
soon gone at five for twenty-five cents, and the demand far 
exceeded the supply. Occasionally a n^an was found who 
had the temerity to express the opinion that they were 
rather tough, and were good sjiecimens of home-made Indii. 
rubber ; but he wai iinmctliatcly frowned down as a bar- 
barian, and a man de\oid of epicurean tastes. 'I'l'ie sale 
ke[)t U[) so briskly that bv night the batter was almost 

The Peninsular Campaign. 191 

exhausted, and the firm closed up their business for the day, 
.-tiiiiated their protits, and talked over their plans for the 
f'lture. But they were in a quandary. The batter was 
nearly gone, and no more flour could be obtained within 
r.uige of their guns. Suddenly the contracted brow of H. 
relaxed from its thoughtful aspect, and his face lit up with a 
ccnial smile. He had struck an idea, and was like a gold- 
ininer when he pans out a rich lot of " ])ay-dust." " Eureka ! " 
\\z exclaimed, quoting Archimedes. They had still on hand 
a fjuantity of saleratus, which up to this time was looked upon 
as dead stock, but now it was worth its weight in gold. 
•• What idea have you struck, pards ?" asked H.'s colleague. 
•' Wliy, you noodle-head, its very plain — put in more sale- 
r.ilus ! " " That's the cheese. Why didn't you think of that 
iiefore?" The saleratus was added hi generous quantity, 
nnd tliey turned in and went to sleep, [)robably dreannng of 
light doughnuts for the million — so light, in fact, that a piece 
t f dough the size of a walnut would turn into a doughnut 
the size of a puuipkin. At all events, they must have 
<ireauied on promiscuous subjects, for they had partaken 
iihcrally of their own stock in trade to show their faith in 
iiome manufactures. I am not positive that this was the 
KJentical night that the whole camj) was aroused by fearful 
<ioains, and the men grasped their rifles, and the otificers 
r'.;shed out of their tents clad in Georgia costuuie, swords 
.^!ul revolvers in hand, supjiosing at first that the enemy had 
< M'^iired the camp and were bayoneting the men in their 
I'-nts, until it was discovered that a sonmambulist of Coui- 
I'^ny F had jumped up in a nightmare and was trying to 
« limb a tree before he was awakened, having dreamed that 
■'Me nf Hood's Texan Rangers was trying to scalp him. At 
' '-vt-nts this was the camp where this identical thing hap- 

'■•■•d. and tliis naturally ought to have been the night, for 
•■ vir bftore were the men's stomachs so fidl. 

lii tlie morninLT tiie firm were roused fro!n their dreams of 

192 Fifth Nciu York Volunteer Infantry. 

wealth by tlie icveille, and jumped up in a hurry. But what 
a sight met their eyes ! Dough, dough, dough everywhere ! 
The fact 01" it was, their stock had risen about one hundred 
and fifty per cent, above par, and kept on rising. The floor of 
their tent, blankets, ritles, cartridge-boxes, and everything else. 
were covered with a layer of dough, and they could be traced 
out to the line for roll call by a string of dough. This was 
soiiiething that had not entered into their calculations. They, 
however, did well in business that day, and added saleratus, 
as their batter decreased, until the compound was so sour 
that all the sugar they could beg, borrow, or steal was nut 
sufficient to sweeten it enough to suit the most depraveil 
taste. Accordingly one night, after a very dull day's trade, 
they buried what remained of their stock in a hole outside 
of their tent, in the company street. But their astonishmeiU 
was great in the morning at finding that the stuff refused to 
stay buried, and had burst through the crust of earth over 
it, and, like a fountain, was sending out its streams, where- 
upon they were obliged to heap several bushels of dirt over 
the spot to prevent its resurrection. The next morning they 
looked out of their tent with anything but confidence, ex- 
pecting to see a new eruption. They were agreeably disap- 
pointed, and thus ends the long, but true story of the 
"Zouave" doughnuts. 

As the regiment was about to assemble for evening parade, 
one of the drummer-boys made his appearance in his accus- 
tomed ])lace barefoot, his shoes having mysteriously disai'- 
peared. The Drum-Major dismissed him with the admoni- 
tion to present himself in just one minute and a half decently 
shod, or suffer the consequences. He hurried off in gre;U 
anxiety as to what he should do ; for, being a small boy, h<-^ 
had great doubt in his mind about bemg able to borrow .1 
jiair from any of the men off duty that would be an> wheie 
near a fit. But time was precious, and seeing a contraban-l, 
one of the otlicers' servants, who wore niunber foui teens, ht-' 

The Peninsular Cmnpaign. 193 

prevailed upon him. witli tears in his eyes, to lend him his 
brogans. He made his appearance in the niche of lime, and 
as he shuffled down the line with the drum corps, for he could 
not raise his feet for fear of losing his shoes, trying to put on an 
unconscious air, as if there was nothing extraordinary in his 
appearance, it was as much as all could do, from the Colonel 
down, to keep a straight face. Such enormous feet were 
never seen before on a small boy, outside of a negro min- 
strel show, and I venture to say that had he been shot, he 
would have died upright, for nothing short of an earthquake 
could have destroyed his equilibrium, with such a broad and 
lengthy foundation. 

At night we slept under arms, and during the following 
day, the 3d, the division was drawn up on parade, and Gen- 
eral McClellan's battle speech was read. It was, in substance, 
that the army was about to go into battle, and that when it 
maiched, knapsacks, baggage, and wagons were to be left on side of the Chickahominy. All that the men were to 
carry would be their arms and accoutrements, haversack, 
with three days' rations, and canteen of water. He said the 
enemy were now at bay before their citadel, and that he 
would be with his men in the hour of battle. General S3ke3 
said that he could add but little ; but that little was said to the 
point. He spoke about as tbllows : "Soldiers of Connecti- 
cut and New York ! We are about to go into battle, and 
if there is any hard work to do, ice Jiave got to do it. ^Ve 
must stick by our General, and march by his side into Rich- 
n)ond." Cheers then rent the air, and the troo\)s were 
marched back to their respective camping grounds. 

The rain fell in tonents at night, and continued to do so 
the whole of the next day. The Chickahominy had risen to 
an unnreced .-nted height, and ovei flowed the swampy ground 
•■n i:s borders, and it ua-^ feared that tlie ilood nii-ht en- 
<'!ngcr the comnnujication.-. between the right and left wiiigs 
of ihe army. Blankets and overcoats were wet through ; for. 

194 PiP^^ ^'"^^ "^^^^ Voluntctr Infantry. 

having no tents, the only shelter the men had, was one of 
the most temporary khid. They were troubled with dianhcea 
and malaria ; there were about forty new cases of fevers in the 
regiment ; many of the officers were absent sick, and others 
had sent in their resignations. Whisky and quinine were 
given out night and morning as a tonic. There were about 
650 men present for duty. 

The regiment went out on picket on the mornmg of 
Thursday, the 5th, on the Chickahominy, -at New Dndgc. 
The enemy opened with their batteries, and it was not long 
before three of our batteries were replying ; the artillery duel 
continued for two hours, which made the position of the men 
on picket and the reserve anything but agreeable. They 
were obliged frequently to shift their positions from the road 
leading to the bridge, as the guns of the enemy comj^letely 
commanded it, and nothing could live there a moment. 
Finally the Confederate guns were silenced. They wounded 
some of our men, killed three horses, and did other damage.^ 
Two Confederates who were on jncket deserted their post 
and came over and delivered themselves up to George Finley, 
of Comi^any H. They were fired at by their comrades, but 
escaped injury. The Confederate and Union pickets were 
quite close, being in plain view of each other, and >ometimes 
made an agreement not to fire on one another. It an otticer 
made his appearance the men jumped for cover, as they were 
not included in the armistice, and a general fusilade follows 
from both sides. One shot breaks the truce, and this may 
continue for some days, until they renew the agreement. 

The ne.xt morning we were relieved from this duty, and 
several of the pickets that relieved the I'ifdi, were shot by 
the rebels, who received similar compliments in return. On 
the 7th three men died in the camp hospital, oi fevpr. \\ e 

•General McCUlbn's Report, (p. 2z^^■. - Ni w Ukidw^, 'June 5, .36. .-Kn- 
emy opened widi several baaeries on our bridge, near here tins morn.,i- ; our bat- 
terio seem to have prctly mueh .ilei.ced them, though some fivln- is stdl up. 

The Pcniyisular Ca?npaig?i. 195 

were joined by the loth New York, from Fortress Monroe. 
On Sunday, the 8th, after the usual inspection, the men oc- 
cupied themselves in mending and washing their clothes. 

On the 9th, the division was reviewed by General Prim, 
of Spain, the Count of Reus and Castillejos, accompanied 
!>y Oeneral McClellan and staff. General Prim paused be- 
fore the Fifth, and appeared to be highly delighted. He was 
astonished to see a regiment uniformed exactly like the 2d 
Regiment of French Zouaves. He inquired respecting their 
organization, and complimented Colonel Warren personally 
on their appearance, offering him his hand in acknowledg- 
in.'ntof his gratification. After the review the Zouaves went 
through a drill, bayonet exercise, etc. General Prim atten- 
tively watched the unity and precision of their movements. 
He clapped his hands enthusiastically, and the men felt 
highly complimented. 

Orders were sent us on Thursday, the 12th, to be ready at 
a moment's notice in light marching order. We left camp at 
7 P..M. and marched to the Chickahominy with other troops, 
numbering in all about r.500 men. Arms were loaded and 
ambulances in attendance. After posting strong pickets and 
reserves, the remainder were set to work throwing up an 
earthwork to protect a battery, which they also masked ; it 
was finished just before daylight, and we marched back to 
camp. If the enemy had been aware of what we were doing, 
they certainly would have attacked us. 

On the following day, about 5 p.m., the regiment fell into 
line, loaded rifles, and stepped off in light marching order, 
without waiting for rations or evening coffee, after Stuart's 
•:avalry, about 1,500 strong, with four guns, who made a dash 
by the right flank of the army and got in its rear. They at- 
' !' '.cd two squadrons oi the 5lh T. >. Cav.iliy, m^.'cr the 
'■JiiiiiKind of Captain Ru}all, near lIaiiov:i U\i ClauJi. ar.d. 
overpowered theui. Tiie first squadron \\as siiri'iiscd and 
li'Spersed ; the second charged vigorously, without regard to 

196 FiftJi. New York Volunteer Infantry. 

the enemy's numbers. Capt. Royall killed the commander 
of the first squadron of the enemy with his own hand, and 
was himself wounded in several places a moment after. It 
was feared the enemy might damage the railroad by whicii 
the supplies for the army were transi)orted from White-hous 
Landing. We bivouacked near Old Church, after a forced 
march of thirteen miles. A detail from the regiment, who 
were stationed as an outpost, and guard of protection over 
Mrs. Robert Lee, her daughter-in-law, the wife of Colonel Lee, 
and two nieces, who were living in Rufrin's house, saw all 
the enemy's cavalry pass along on the other side of the river 
a few hours before the regiment came up. This was the 
residence of Edmund Ruftin, the Virginian who went to 
Charleston and begged the honor of firing the first gun at the 
opening of the attack on Fort Sumter. A few weeks after 
the close of the war, with that insane hatred of the Union and 
the flag which animated so many at the time, and determined 
that he would never again live under the Stars and Stripes, 
he deliberately loaded his pistol and fired a bullet into his 
head, falling dead on the spot. It was the last tragic act ni 
the Rebellion. 

When the troops first arrived in this part of Virginia, about 
May 24th, a squad of the Fifth, under an officer, were de- 
tailed to search Ruffin's house, under the supposition that 
papers containing valuable information for tlie Union cause 
might be discovered. The search was submitted to with an 
ill grace by Mrs. Lee, and as the officer was about to deinirt, 
the following note was placed in liis charge, addressed to the 
General in conmiand of the division : 

Sir: — I have patiently and humbly submitted to a search I'f 
my house by men under your command, who are satisfied that 
there is nothiiii^ h. re that they want, all the plate and otl:< i' 
valuables luniiii,^ long sinee been removed t^j Richmond, and .ne 
now beyond the reach of any Northern marauders who may v.i^'i 
lor their possession. yy^^^^ OP Robert Lee, 

Ccnrral C. S. . t. 

The Peninsular Campaign. 197 

Instead of not noticing her insulting and impudent com- 
munication, a guard was established over the house and 
grounds for the i)rotection of the property as well as for her- 
self and family. 

After two hours' sleep we continued the march, and ar- 
rived at I P.M. on the X4th, at Tunstall's Station, about 
five miles from the White House, having marched eleven 
miles under a scorching sun. The enemy turned oft" from 
this point, and fmally crossed the Chickahominy by Long 
Bridge, having made the entire circuit of the army, thus ex- 
posing the weakness of Gen. AfcClellan's right. They killed 
several teamsters and cavalrymen, and a sutler ; burned 
fourteen army wagons and their contents, and two schoon- 
ers laden with forage ; cut the telegraph, and commenced 
pulling up the railroad track. They also tired into a train of 
our sick and wounded. This was about the whole of the 
damage done by Stuart in his celebrated raid, beside expos- 
ing the weakness of our right wing. 

After a short rest, the regiment started back to camp, the 
lame and laggard left to follow at will, as if was a forced 
march throughout. Notwithstanding this, we were left in the 
rear of the enemy as witnesses of the burning wagons they left 
in their path. We halted at three o'clock^n the morning, 
cooked some coff'ee, and continued the march, arriving in 
can)p at forty minutes past 7 a.m. of Sunday, the I'sth, 
havmg marched about forty-six miles in thirty-six hours. The 
niornmg was a beautiful one ; the moon rose about mid- 
'";;hi, and there was a cool, refreshing breeze. The troops 
on this tramp, besides the Fifth, were the loth New York, 
1st Connecticut, Rush's Lancers, and four pieces of Weedcn's 
Hhode Island battery. 

/,..;. Ji; ■ :i. 



Anniversary of the Battle of Bl'nker Hill; Thfn and Now — Frf.edom 


A Sabbath Journal — Death of Sergeant Reynolds— Seven Days' Rf- 
TREAT— Fifth Corps Engagkd — Battle of Gaines' Mill— Death of Capt. 
Partridge— Color-Sekceant Berrian — A Charge in the Woods— A Rkuel 
Trick— The Field at Night— Losses— Testimony of the Officers— Of- 
Fici.Ai Reports — Confederate Reports— Incidents— Wm. McDowell — 
"Dave" Blrns — Walter S. Colby — Francis Sphllman — Sad Sepaf-v- 
TiONS — Colonel Warren's Rei'ort- General Svkes' Report. 

Tuesday^ June 17, 1862. — The anniversary of the battle of 
Bunker Hill was, to our regiment, one of comparative inac- 
tivity, nothing having occurred to give special significance or 
importance to the day distinguished in the history of the 
Union for a conflict which gave so much of character and 
impress to the impending struggle for independence and 
liberty. Yet no one of all the great army was an inditTerent 
observer of the day. 'i'he American soldier remembered the 
story of Warren and his heroes, and the soldier of forei^-n 
birth, who was fighting for his adopted home, learned, if he 
had not before, the nuMning oi the event, and felt stronger 
for the struggle before him. The century was nearing its 
close, and the feeble colonies of that day had grown up into 
a nation of independent States, whose power, grandeur, aiul 
civilization rivaled that of the oldest nations of the world, 
and commanded the un.iniinous homage of mankind. 

All around us and covering die adjacent plain for miies 
was an immense camp. There were assembled here scores 


The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 199 

of thousands of brave men waiting and watching another 
army of equally brave men, in about equal numbers, and 
jircparing for some great encounter which might decide the 
issue of the momentous question which had brought them 
from homes and firesides, and from the progress and splendid 
ilevelopments of peace to the cruel and barbarous arbitration 
of war and blood. There were assembled in other camps, 
and on other fields in various parts of the Union, vast num- 
bers of men not less brave and not less determined, and the 
armies who thus were flashing their blades in the sunlight 
were more in number than all the able-bodied men in the 
colonies who rejoiced over the achievements of Bunker Hill. 
Hut the issue of to-day was not less vital than that of the four- 
score years passed away, and the people of the next century 
will no less honor the men who surrendered their all on the 
altar of their country. The interests of slavery that in- 
S[iired the war were compelled to surrender to the grander 
behests of freedom ; and while hundreds of thousands of 
brave men died in obedience to the imperialism of their 
leaders in behalf of slavery, it can never be forgotten that 
slavery made the attack, and in the contest perished. The 
system, which was itself a perpetual war against humanity, 
fell in its attack upon the free institutions under which it 
ViX<\ grown into such colossal strength. Although we were 
idle for the day in camp, amid its routine the sound of di^- thunder, borne by the winds, told us that the struggle 
^vas continued by some otiier portion of our wide-spread 
irmy of freedom. 

On Wedncsdav, the iSth, some of our companies returned 
from picket. They were posted on the Richmond side of 
•'le Chickahominy, within eighty yards of the enemy's jiick- 
<^>-^. -\s soon as they were p')r;ted, the enemy o[>cned uom 
'■■f^c!-nt ]H_i:r,l~;. but tiie men kcjit thcinselvcs slieiteied bc- 
'' ""id old trees and log>, some of them being up to iheir 
*vaist3 in water, but none of them were struck, though the 

200 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

balls whistled very close, often striking within a few feet. 
The firing was continued by both sides during the day, and 
toward evening an additional interest was given to the 
scene by an artillery duel, which took place to the right. 
The firing was continued all night at intervals, and until 
they were relieved in the morning. While passing over the 
brow of a hill on their return to camp they were made a 
target for the enemy's shell, but none were injured. 

The sanitary condition of the regiment continued about 
the same as usual. Some of the officers were absent on the 
sick-list, and a number of the men were in the hospitals. 
The locality in which we were placed, and the want of 
shelter, day or night, with the continuous e.xposure to the 
heavy rains alternating with scorching heat, and the dense 
malarial atmosphere, made an ordinary sanitary condition 
an impossibility. 

On Thursday, the 19th, we were blessed with a supjily of 
shelter tents, giving room for two men in each, but o]:>en 
front and rear. From the time the regiment landed on the 
Peninsula, with the exception of the three weeks spent in 
front of Yorktown, they had been destitute of shelter, except 
such as could be improvised from the branches of trees 
lashed together and plastered with nuid for mortar, or by 
spreading their ponchos over low branches of trees and lying 
under them. 

Picket duty for nearly the whole of the regiment was or- 
dered on Friday, the 20th. Seven companies went into the 
swamps for twenty-four hours. In this service the artillery 
had a part, and a duel between the opposing batteries was al- 
most always inevitable. The armies were very close, and a 
general engagement might ensue at any moment, and great 
vigilance was necessary to guard against a surprise. Six 
hhell dropped into our cani[), whicli was hidden from t!ic 
view of t';ic enemy by the woods, but their fire may have 
been guided by the smoke of our camp fires rising above the 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 201 

trees. The first shell went directly over the camp, and 
passed so close that some of the men dropped down, ex- 
pecting it to burst. It killetl a regular. Another siiell burst 
in the ist Connecticut camp, lying near the Fifth, and killed 
one of their men. About 7 p..\i. Companies G and H were 
ordered to move in light marching order, with details from 
other regiments to build a battery for the |)rotection of the 
artillery on picket. The rifles were loaded as usual, and 
ambulances iii attendance, as they were liable to a sudden 
attack at any time. They succeeded partially without acci- 
dent or discovery, but the day dawned before it was quite 
completed, and obliged them to discontinue their labors, to 
avoid being discovered by the enemy and shelled. After 
masking it with small trees and boughs, they retired. 

Sunday, the 22d, gave us rest from the bloody work of 
war. There was very little picket firing, and the day was 
imusually quiet. The regunent was very much reduced in 
nimibers, and had not over five hundred men fit for duty out 
of the nine hundied who left Haltimore to enter on the cam- 
paign. ^^any were mere shadows flitting about camp. Pri- 
vate Hunter, of Company A, died in the morning, of ty[ihoid 
fever, and the funeral, which look place in the evening, was 
largely attended. General Sykes and staff, Colonel Warren, 
and other officers were present. His deatli was scon fol- 
lowed by that of our color-bearer. Sergeant Wm. T. Reynolds, 
of Company K, wlio died on Mt)nday, the 2jd. His re- 
niains were sent to his friends in New York, who were wealthy. 
At I A..M, on the 24th, a feaihd thunder-stoini burst over 
the camp, by which everything was thoroughly dienched, and 
soon at'terward the men were called out and ordered to hold 
fliemselves in readiness, under arms, to repel an attack 
threatened to be D-.ade by the enemy at daylight, but which not occur, althougli firing was heard in the direction < \ 
iMechanicsville. The canq) remained quietly listening to the 
rej^orts of the distant guns that were occasionally heard, until 

202 Fifth Neiv York Volnntecr bifantry. 

the 25th, on which day we were favored with a strong breeze, 
which made the atmosphere cool and refreshing. About 
noon we were ordered to fall in, in light marching order. 
We stacked our arms, and felt assured that there was earnest 
work before us. 

On the morning of Thursday, the 26th, the clear sky and 
refreshing breeze were a pleasant prelude to its duties. We 
received orders to pack knapsacks and be ready to move with 
three days' rations. Various orders were received during the 
day, showing a state of uncertainty as to the movements to 
be made. There was very heavy firing in the afternoon 
about 3 P.M., which lasted until 9 p.m., on the extreme right, 
where an engagement was going on. S\kes' division was at 
length ordered to march. We let't camp and went in the 
direction of the firing, which was at ?\[echanicsville, carrying 
overcoats, but leaving knapsacks in camp, under the charge 
of the provost guard, and laid in a corn-field under arms 
until about 4 a.m. of the 27th, in supi)ort of our forces en- 
gaged. In the early evening the firing was very heavy. 
The night was beautiful, a full moon casting its beams over 
the field, which was to many gathered there the scene of 
their last hours on earth. On the morrow, at the same hour, 
that s.ime calm, peaceful moon, if not hidden by the passing 
clouds, would probably shine on thousands of the ghastly 
dead and the mangled forms of the wounded. As the niglit ad- 
vanced, the din of battle at a short distance ceased, and all was 
quietness and seeming peace. But it was only the prelude 
of the storm which was to follow on the morrow, and hurl 
all its power and fierceness on the Fifth Corps. Many of 
the 5th Regiment, who were lying there that night, full of life, 
health, and strength, at the same hour on the morrow's eve 
were lying in the sleep of death, to wake not agajn until the 
last reveille. Some of them had a incmoiiition of their fate. 
Captain Partridge appeared to be in an unusually serene frame 
of mind; he would exclaim at times to Lieutenant McCon- 

The Stvt-n Days Retreat— Gaines Mill. 203 

lu'll, as he lay gazing at the moonlit scene, " Oh ! is not this 
beautiful! Is not this a glorious night!" Fie had given 
directions as to the disposition of his body in the event of 
iiis falling on the held, and remarked that he would not live 
to fight in many battles. 

The morning of Friday, the 27th day of June, 1862, broke 
hot and sultry, and found Generals Porter and AfcCall (the 
latter of whom and been fighting the day before) stripped and 
ready for the fight. The wagons and heavy siege-guns had 
nearly all been removed to the other side of the Chickahominy 
during the previous night, and it now remained for General 
Porter to select his ground and place his troops in line for 
the deadly aflfray. The position selected was a strong one. 
A small, curving stream (Powhite Creek) empties into the 
Chickahominy, the banks of which are, in most places, 
bordered with a fringe of swamp, but in otliers rise stee})]}-, 
the bed of the stream forming a ravine. East of this the 
ground rises in a gradual slope, crossed by gullies, and 
sjiieads into an undulating plain, with patches of woodland 
and clearings. The line of battle was formed on the higher 
ground, on the left bank of the stream, and was in the shajie 
ot the arc of a circle, covering the api)roaches to Wood- 
Iji'ry's* and Alexanders Bridge, which connected the right 
wing of the army with the troops on the opi)osite, or Rich- 
«nond, side of the Chickahominy. Butterfield held the 
txtreme left of die line extending to tlie swamp of the 
Cliirkahominy, which was swept by our artillery on both 
Sides of the river ; then came Martindale, occupying the 
^^■tlge of the Powhite wood ; then Griffin, deployed across 
the forest ; all these belonging to Morell's division. On the 
f'ght of them was Sykes' division, which, partly in woods 

_ •^^'..-d'.ury'. Bn\I-e. nar.iej after Colonel D. T. Woodbury, of the 4th Mithi-nn 
-.■^not, w;u; the mo<;: exten-sivc structure of the kind built during' the =iege. It 
1^ '-.u.ih its approaches, a mile long, and in width fifteen feet ; and was constructed 
-> i'l^ regiment in six da> s, durin- three of which it r.xiued in torrents. 

204 FiftJi New York Volunteer hifatitry. 

and partly in open ground, extended in rear of Cold 
Harbor. It was composed of Warren's brigade (the 5th 
and 10th New York) on the left, and next to (hiftin, next 
to whom were the two brigades of regulars ; this composed 
the first line. Behind this was McCall's division of Peiin- 
sylvania troops, composed of Meade's brigade on the left, 
with Reynolds' on the right, observing the road that led from 
Cold Harbor and Dispatch Station to Sumner's Bridge; 
Seymour's brigade on the right and rear in reserve to the 
second line ; General P. St. G. Cooke, with five com]mnies 
of the 5lh Regular Cavalry and two squadrons of the Penn- 
sylvania Lancers, were posted behind a hill in the rear near 
the Chickahominy to aid in watching the left flank and de- 
fending the slope to the river. Sixty pieces of artillery were 
advantageously posted in the intervals between the divisions 
and brigades ui)on the surrounding eminences, in addition to 
Tidball's Horse Battery, which was posted on the right of 
Sykes, and Robertson's on the extreme left of the line in the 
valley of the Chickahominy. The line of battle extended 
for more than two miles, and Porter had in all under his 
command at this time, including infantry, artillery, and 
cavafry, about 27,000 men. " It was, in fact, 27,000 against 
60,000, an overweight of opposition that lent to the task 
assigned to Porter almost the character of a forlorn hope."* 
The Confederates marched to the attack in three heavy 
columns, Longstreet's and A. P. Hill's divisions, numbering 
24,000 men, parallel with and near tlie Chickahominy River, 
Hill in advance. D. H. Hill's division, io,ooo strong, about 
a mile further inland, bore toward the Confederate left to 
join Jackson, and formed a junction with the latter at Be- 
thesda Church ; while Jackson, 30,000 strong, moved directly 
toward Cold Harbor. In adtlition there were about 2,000 
cavalry, under Stuart, making in all, according to Confeder- 
ate reports, nearly 70,000 men. 

* Swinton (p. 14?.). 

The Seven Days Retreat— Gained Mill. -05 

About 2 P.M., A. r. Hill's division, 14,000 strong, a'lvar.ccd 
to the attack. 

The Fifth Regiment was ordered back to canip in the 
woods, at daylight on the morning ot" the 27th; slung their 
knapsacks, and about 7 a.m. turned otT on the road which led 
inward Cold Harbor, passing over familiar ground. The men 
did not know the reason for this change, but supposed that 
the enemy were making a movement to get in the rear of the 

After marching and countermarching about four miles, and 
making several halts, they reached a piece of high ground, 
where a large number of troops were getting into jiosition. 
Colonel Warren, in command of the 5th and loth New 
York regiments, which composed the Third biigade of Gen. 
Sykes' division, Lieutenant-Colonel H. Duryea, acting in 
command of the Fifth, took up a position well to the front 
of the regulars, facing the line of the enemy's ai^proach, the 
Tenth being on the left of the Fifth. The 3d, 4th, 12th, and 
14th regiments of United States infantry, First brigade, un- 
der the command of lientenant-Culonel Ikichanan, formed a 
second line of batde on the slope of the high ground to the 
right and rear. The 14th infantry were posted in an or- 
chard to the extreme right ; the Twelfth to their left fiont, and 
the 5th Zouaves to the left froiU of the Twelt'lh, antl nearest 
to the enemy, and consequently were the first to be at- 
tacked. Between the 5th and 12th regiments there was a 
large interval. 

Colonel ^Varren selected his position with great care, plac- 
ing his brigade just bektw the brow of a slight eminence in 
open ground, there being a small depression in the rear of 
'lis line, through which ran a stream of water bordered by 
marshy ground. The rifles wore sighted to reach a jiine 
'^"<ul in front at an easy killing distance. 'I'he jMovo^t 
i-'ianl, which was under the command of Lieutenant Whitney, 
\^ho had been left behind for the purpose of burning the otTi- 

2o6 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

cers' and sutlers' tents, and any property that could not be 
removed, joined the regiment, and reported that the enemy 
shelled the cainp before they left. The sick turned out in a 
hurry and were obliged to hobble to the rear as best they 
could ; some of them, however, were able to make excellent 
time. We were now certain that a battle was iinnii'.ient. 
All the fighting men on any detail joined their companies 
voluntarily, among whom was James Tuits (the butcher), 
from the Quartermaster's Department, with his Sharp's ritL- ; 
Sergeant Joe Vail and Jack Whigam, of the Provost, who 
determined to take their full share of honor in the victory, or 
suifer their share in any disaster that might happen ; and 
Luke Gilligan, from the hospital tent, who was recovering 
from typhoid fever. His body was weak, but his spirit 
strong, but ere night it had fled, and his lifeless body was 
lying on the battle-field. 

On the right of the pine wood was a clump of evergreens, 
and beyond them and in the woods was a ravine. I'eyond 
the evergreens, and stretching back about four hundred 
yards, was an open field, bordered on its further side by woods, 
and at some distance from our extreme right were thick 
woods running perpendicular to our line, and to the rear 
toward the position of some regular battalions. 

Company E, under the command of Lieutenant John 
Collins, were deployed as skirmishers, and went out into 
the evergreens and wood on the right, and before long the 
sound of their ritle-shots fell on the ears of the men. Com- 
pany I, commanded by Ca[Uain Partridge, occupied the pine 
woods directly in front of our position. 

After waiting in line of battle a short time, a Confederate 
officer and staff were seen to ride to the edge of the further 
woods beyond the open field, and directly after them a bat- 
tery* daslied u[), unlimbv-rcd, ;uui a jiurf of smoke was t'ol- 

vhich was roujjhly haiidit; 1 during the engagement. 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaii:cs j\IilL 207 

lowed by the rushing sound of a shell. In the meantime the 
skirmishers of the regiment had encountered the enemy in 
force lying behind a ridge, who opened fire upon them, 
which was returned. Lieutenant Collins ordered them to 
fall back on the regiment, but in endeavoring to do so he 
lost his way, and was conducting his company toward his 
right, where they Avould all have been taken prisoners had 
it not been their good fortune to meet Lieutenant Porter, 
in command of the skirmish line of the regulars, who had 
just been wounded by a shot from the enemy posted in the 
direction that Collins was leading his men. Being warned 
in time, they turned to the left through the woods, and struck 
a narrow road, which they took, and passed around the left 
flank and rear of the regiment, and took their proper place 
in the line on the right. 

The correspondent of the New York Tunes, in speaking 
of the battle, stated that " the Duryee Zouaves were the 
first attacked." 

A. P. Hill, commanding twenty-six regiments and six bat- 
teries, distributed in six brigades, says in his report : 

" I had delayed the attack until I could hear from Longstreet, 
and this now occurring, the order was given. This was about 
half-past 2 P.M. Gregg, then Branch, then Anderson, succes- 
sively became engaged. Branch being hard pressed, Pender was 
sent to his relief. Field and Archer were also directed to do 

their part in this murderous contest Gregg having before 

him (what he pleases to mention as) the vaunted Zouaves anri 
Sykes regulars General Maxcy Gregg's brigade in ad- 
vance, made the handsomest charge I have seen during tiie 
whole war." 

It was composed wholly of South Carolina regiments, vi/.: 
the r.L Rifles, Coronel J. Foster Marshall, about 5,57 m-r, ; 
1st r^-gimenr. Colonel D. H. HaniiUon ; 12th, Cohniol D. 
Lames; 13th, Colonel O. E. Edwards; 14th, Colonel S. 

2o8 FiftJi Ntzv York Volunteer Infantry. 

McGowan. The ist Rifles had St killed and 234 wounded, 
nearly all their officers being among the number. The ist 
Volunteers were badly cut up, after fighting bravely, and 
obliged to rciire. All of liieir color-guard having fallen, the 
brave Colonel Hamilton bore the colors himself; their Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, Smith, was mortally wounded. The Twelfth 
was routed after severe loss, and Colonel Ilarnes severely 
wounded in the thigh. The Thirteenth, in suppoit, also suf- 
fered heavily, and the F'ourteenth, which came up in the 
thick, of the battle, reported a loss received here and subi,e- 
quently of 200, their Colonel, McGowan, receiving a wound 
from which he died, and their Major and many ofi'icers were 
killed and wounued. The loss in the brigade was over 900 
in killed and wounded. 

The shot and shell now began to fly in rather dangerous 
proximity, and the rushing sound they made was anything 
but agreeable music. The men were ordered to lie down, 
which ihey did, in an effort to make themselves as diminu- 
tive as possible. There was not a man in the line that could 
complain of being too thin at this jiarticular time. A section 
(2 guns) of Captain Edwards' 3d U. S. battery of lo-pound 
Parrotts moved U[) close to the right of the line and oi^ened 
in return, but they were too much e.xposed, and were ordered 
to withdraw to their original position on the hill in the rear. 
Colonel Warren ordered the men of Company E to try and 
pick off the enemy's artillerists ; as they were armed with 
Sharp's ritles, their fire ajijjcared to have some effect. The 
men placed their kuai)sacks in front, hoping the\- might be 
of some slight proiecti<jn from the pieces of tlying shell. The 
solid shot, shell, grape, and canister plowed up the ground 
around them, throwing the dirt and sand into their faces; 
while shell, bursting in the marshy ditch in the rear, threw 
the mud thirty feet in tne air. A number of the men wei'c 
killed and wounded, ar.d many hail narrow escapes. A sol:d 
shot struck the stock of the rillc of Sergeant Chambers, da^^.- 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 209 

ing it to pieces, and tuinbling him and Lieutenant Eichler over 
one another, covering them with dirt, but. strangely enough, 
without any injury to either. About the same time Lieuten- 
ant Agnus received a severe wound from a piece of shell, 
and commenced rolling over like a barrel toward the regulars 
in the rear. The men watched him occasionally with much 
interest until they saw him get into their lines, where he was 
taken care of. One of the men had a favorite dog that had 
followed him from camp, who amused himself by chasing after 
the solid shot, but he was wounded and retired from the field. 
During this time, Edwards', Weed's, Martin's, and other 
batteries opened on the enemy's guns and infantry, some of 
them firing very close over the heads of the men of the 
Fifth. The shrieks of the balls through the air were contin- 
uous, but the men kei)t cool, for they knew there was no re- 
course but to lie still and obey orders. The enemy ad- 
vanced at one time toward our right, but a vigorous fire by 
companies, and then by file, drove them back. They did 
not seem inclined to advance and begin the long-expected 
attack at close quarters,,; but some of them hadcrei)t up into 
the woods on the right, and were jncking otT the men. Ser- 
geant S. B. Parker had received a severe wound ; Sodcn, of 
Company E, a mortal wound from a piece of shell; Lieutenant 
Collins had- also been struck, and Winslow's arm fell jxiwer- 
less by his side, yet he made a strong etTort to again load his 
piece, but it was out of his power. The Confederate hat- 
ti-Ty was doing so much execution that Colonel Warren or- 
dered the command to march by the left tlank through the 
depression in the ground in the rear to a cut in a road lliat 
le.l along at right angles to the former i^CNition. Tlu-re was 
iiut room for the whole regiment to lay in line and keep 
covered in this cut, so one wing was doubled bclviiul t!ie 
t'liier. Oi\ t()[) of the baiik was a brush fence, through 
\'hich they could watch any movement of the enemy if they 
c-^nici out into the open ground. 

2IO Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

Martin's Massachusetts battery of Napoleon guns was 
posted on the bank to the rear of the new position, and 
were firing over the heads of the men, who were repeatedly 
admonished to keep their heads down ; but several of them, 
not heeding the advice, were placed hors du combat by the 
canister shot from these guns. One of the Captains went lo 
Colonel Warren, who was sitting on his horse to the left of 
the regiment, on the top of the bank, and told him that their 
own battery was killing the men. A remonstrance was made 
to the Captain of the battery, about which tliere are so many 
versions, that I decline to state any of them. In a little 
while a column * of the enemy were seen marching by the 
flank in formation of fours, through the strip of woods on the 
other side of the field that ran along toward the position of 
the regulars. Captain B. reported it to Colonel Warren, 
who replied, " Yes, Capt. 15., I am very much obliged to you 
for the information, but have I not eyes as well as you?" 
The Captain returned to his company, and at the same in- 
stant the guns poured their grape and canister shot into the 
flank of the enemy's column, and they beat a hasty retreat, 
where they were out of range of the fire. 

Soon after, Lieut. -Colonel Hiram Durvea, acting in com- 
mand of the regiuient, said that the enemy we had already 
faced were coming out of the woods, and were in the open 
field where he wanted them ; but it was only a line of skir- 
mishers. They were, however, followed up closely by their 
first line of bnttle, who made their appearance advancing at 
double-quick out of the wood and over the open grouml. 
The men watched them through the brush fence. After 
they were well out in the field, Colonel Duryee cried, ''Now. 
men, your time has come ; get up and do your duty ! " The 
regiment jumped uj) as one man. and down went the feiic'- 
on the bank in front, and llie order w:is ^iven to left wheel. 
On account of one wing being doubled behind the other in 

♦ Eii;Iit companies oi the lath Soulh Carolina. 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 2 1 1 

the road, the order was given for one wing to march double- 
quick by the flank and form on the other, to make one Une 
of battle, which was performed in good order in the face of 
the enemy, who were within about five hundred feet. In the 
meantime, Company I, on the left, charged over the field in 
advance of the main body to the other side of the ditch or 
gully, along the borders of which were bushes, to draw their 
fire ; they waited until the enemy had got quite close to them, 
and then, by order of Captain Partridge, they picked out 
their men from right to left and poured in a murderous volley 
from their Sharp's rifles, which cut large gai)s in their ranks 
and made them come to a sudden halt. They immediately 
fell flat on the ground, but suftercd severely in turn, from the 
enemy's fire, but then loaded again quickly and jumped up 
and gave them another volley; this was repeated four or 
five times, the enemy closing up and then made a charge on 
Company I. Captain Partridge, before this, had given them 
orders when they fell back, to join the regiment according to 
their best judgment if they got scattered, either on the left or 
the right of it, whichever was the nearest point. He had just 
given the order, " Skirmishers, retreat !" when Sergeant Stra- 
chan saw him lift his hand to his side ; he jumped for him, but 
the Captain fell, oj^ening his mouth as if to speak, out of which 
rushed a stream of blood ; he was shot through the heart. 

Hannon had seen a Confederate, wearing a long beard, 
taking aim at the Captain, but could not cap his piece in 
time to fire at him before the fatal bullet sped on its errand 
of death. As the Captain fell, Straclian antl ten others 
turned instinctively and fired at the Confederate, and he fell 
dead ; and it was afterward ascertained that his breast was 
I'i'-'rcetl by eight balls. The Captain's death was avenged. 
His body was afterward taken charge of by Lieutenmt Mc- 
* ">'!ir,Lll and carried to the rear, \xm\ dcli\cicd to (Jiiaitcr- 
"i:i-,tcr I'homas. On his person were t'ouiui some iniiiortanl 
l'a[)ers, which were placed in the hands of Colonel \\'arren. 

212 FiftJi iVciv Yo7-k Volunteer Infantry. 

While C(>mi).-niy I was so nobly acting its part, the regi- 
ment had formed in line of battle, and the order rung out to 
charge with tlie bayonet, when the men made for the Con- 
federate line at a double-quick to come to close quarters. 
I'he ditch broke up the order of the line somewhat, but the 
regiment quickly formed again under the fire of the enemy, 
and after deliverin.o; a destructive fire, the order was given, 
" Advance Lhe colors I advance the colors ! Charge ! " The 
men rushed forward with a yell, and the enemy appeared to 
be paralyzed ; they evidently had not come out of the woods 
to be driven back, but to make a charge themselves. They 
stood for a moment, but the boys not wavering under their 
fire, and showing that they were determined to bayonet theui. 
the remnant commenced to waver and break, and finally ran 
for the cover of the woods, completely demoralized and in a 
panic. Some of them stood until the Fifth were within thirty 
yards of them, firing steadily, and with good aim. They were 
nearly all shot down, as many of the men had reserved their 
fire; moreover their right wing received tiie fire of a portion 
of tiie loth Regiment, on our left ; they already had suffered 
severely, especially in officers, from the fire of artillery and 
.sliarp-shooters. in iheir advance over open ground, before 
they reached the cover of the pine wood. This regiment wis 
the ist South Carolina Rifies, and were armed with Knfields. 

It appears, from Confederate reports, that Col. Marshall, 
wlio commanded tiie ist Rifles, was ordered to charge the 
battery we were supporting. He says : 

" Before giving the order to advance, I called upon the regi- 
nu lU to renienihcr tlic State from whence they came, to put their 
trust in God, ;in<l acc|uit themselves like men. At this awful mo- 
ment there was not a quiver or a pallid cheek There was 

a calmness, a setllcd dctcrniinatiun on the part of cverv man to 
do or die in th.- attempt. I g.ivc the con.mand, ' Double-quid^. 
i-.arch ! • and, as soon as we had gained the old field, ' Charge 
l)a\onets,' at the saTue time deploying six companies to the left, 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 213 

supporting the entire line of skirnr.ishers. As soon as we emerged 
from the pines, we were met by a most destructive fire from the 
enemy in front and on our left, and as soon as we had cleared 
about 100 yards of the old field, two hea\y batteries, on our left, 
about 600 yards off, poured into our ranks a deadly fire of grape 
and canister. Here it \\>as that my Adjutant, J. B. Sloan, was 
shot down by my side, while gallantly aiding me and urging on 
the charge of the regiment. Here, also, fell Capt. R. A. Haw- 
thorne, gallantly leading his company. A few paces further fell 
Capt. Henagen, another noble spirit, leading his company ; close 
by his side fell his gallant Lieutenant (Brown), and farther fell 
the gallant and patriotic Lieut. Samuel McFall, and near him fell 
Scrgt.-Major McGhee. nobly cheering the men on to the charge. 
My men, although now under three cross-fires, and falling thick 
and fast from one end of the line to the other, never once fal- 
tered. Finding no battery, they dashed on to the woods in front," 
etc. " Here my men got the first chance to exchange shots." etc. 

" While this successful movement was going on, the left wing 
of my regiment was about being outflanked by about 500 New 
York Zouaves, who came down upon my left in a desperate 

" I ordered my regiment to fall back .... to the tAg^ of the 
wood, where we entered, and then filing to the right, conducted 
thern in safety down a road, where I forrred the remnant under 
cover of the hill in front of the Zouaves. Just as I was forming, 
a North Carolina regiment came up, and assisted us in giving a 
complete check to any further movement to the enemy in tiiis 
quarter. Thus ended one of the most desperate charges 1 ever 
witnessed ; and I feel thankful to a kind Providence that so many 
of us escaped to witness the most complete triumph of our arms 
in the hardest contested battle before Richmond, and the one 
which decided the fate of the Yankee army." 

Among the losses Colonel Marshall mention?, in addition 
to those already noticed, Major J. W . Livingston, wounded 
ill the side severely ; Captains J. J. N'orton and 1''. J'". Har- 
^;l^on, wounded ; Cai)tain Miller, wountleil, and ihiiteen men 
of his coniinxny killed ; Captain C. W. Cox, wounded, and 


214 FiftJk Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

sixteen men killed ; Lieutenants William C. Davis and \.x\\. 
mer, wounded, the latter mortally. 

The Fifth now occupied the ground beyond, where the nu- 
merous dead and wounded Confederates lay, facing and near 
the wood. It was now their turn to suffer severely ; they 
received a volley t'rom the second and stronger lini of the 
enemy, who were drawn up in the ^AgQ of the wood. The 
whole regiment was actively engaged, firing very rapidly, and 
aiming low, two of the companies, I and E, being armed with 
Sharp's rifles, the others using a patent cartridge, which did 
not require to be torn open by the teeth, as usual, hence sa\ cii 
time, consequendy their fire was continuous and rapid. IJut 
the fire from the enemy was also incessant and well sustained. 
and the battle raged fiercely, but the men of the Fifth 
obstinately held their own and fought desperately. At times 
they were forced back and obliged to give ground, but it 
would be for only a moment, as they immediately re-formed 
and charged forward again and recovered their former posi- 
tion at the point of the bayonet, which tended to demoralize 
their opponents, and saved loss to themselves. But fiesh 
and blood could not stand such a fire much longer without 
one side or the other giving way. Yet the Fifth had no idea 
of being tne first, as long as there was anybody left to fire a 
shot. They, however, beheld, with dismay, the long line oi 
their own killed and wounded, and their rapidly decreasiiiij 
nimibers, while there was no slackening of the heavy fire 
from the pines, which seemed to increase instead of diminisii, 
and there were no signs of any direct relief coming. It war; 
a critical moment, when Sergt. John H. Heriian, who carried 
the regimental colors, strode firmly thirty paces in front of 
the regiment, planted the staff in the ground, and looked de- 
fiantly about liim/'^ He was immediately joined by Seigt. 
Aiii.-,on, wiio bore the I'liited States iLij: 

• John H. BLrriaii en 

isteil ai a private May o. 

1861, and rnse to be Cclor-Scr:; 

in charge ot'tlic rcgimoi 

lalculor^. In the sever 

e .action of Oaines- Mill, he si;. 

I ;i 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 215 

The Colonel and officers shouted to them to conie back, 
fearnig that tlie enemy might make a sudden onslaught from 
the wood, and capture the tlags ; but they were idle fears ; 
ihey could only have been taken over the bodies of scores 
of brave men, who would have fought with the bayonet to the 
last to preserve them. When the men of the Fifth saw the 
bravery of this action, they gave a terrific yell — " a yell never 
heard off the battle-field, so demoniac and horrid that men 
in peaceful times can not imitate it " — and without orders, of 
one accord rushed like demons into the wood with the 
bayonet, and never paused until they saw the enemy's line 
coujpletely broken and shattered, and flying to the rear, 
some of them being bayoneted in the retreat, their officers 
trying in vain to rally their commands. Some of them had 
even thrown away their arms, and our men made the best of 
their time in picking them off as fast as they could. On our 
right the 12th regular infantry had become engaged, and the 
Sixth moved up to our support, and were placed in position 
by Colonel Warren. 

It was now after 4 p.m. ; the recall was sounded, but some 
of the ?"ifth did not come out of the wood for some time. 
The enemy, in the meantime, had taken retuge in and be- 
yond the ravine. A long line of the Pennsylvania Reserves 
were advancing in line of battle, and had nearl\- reached the 
wood, and were about to o[ien fire, when the Zouaves that 
remained behind were obliged to go through their lines to 
get to the rear. As they returned through the wood and 

5uch coolness and br.-iveiy. that he received acommiision as Second Lieutenant, but 
beini; stricken with the malarial fever, he reluctantly sent in his re.-ij;nation. at the 
eimest solicitation of his parents, who had two other sons in the regiment, one of 
w hom was killed in action, and the ot'ici- subsequently enlisted .-igain in the Second 
battalion, and was also killed. Lieutenant Rcrrinn (the survivor), for thirteen years 
h - be-;n a f.i:thti;l irjanllan of the peace, and f-.r some y;ars :,as been sjcrially 
■ tni-tcd to w.itch overa:'.d ga.ird the of a very !.u\,-j Savings, a:id 
fr-m his distiMi^uished record as a scklier, it is needless to s:\y thai those whv^e 
tre.isures he watches over could not have selected a better or more faithful guardian 
of such a trust. 

2i6 Fifth Ncvo York VoluntCir Infantry. 

ov'er the open fieltl, they were surprised at the carnage, for it 
had been an obstinate fight on both sides, ot" over two liour-; 
a long row of red uniforms marked the place where they tlr^; 
charged, besides little knots of them lying here and tliei •. 
while just beycind in groups, and in the wood, lay the dchiil- 
ed, h\\\. gallant sons of the South. 

I'he correspondent of the CincinnUi ConDnercial tliv,> 
describes the conflict on this portion of the line : 

"Again he gathered his columns, supported them by frc^ii 
troops, again advanced, extending his lines as if to flank our 
right, and renewed the attack with greater ferocity than ever, to 
h ■ ;ig;un repulsed with terrible slaughter. Sykes' Regulars ni.'i 
\V:irren's brigade, in which are the Dur^ee Zouaves and Bendi.\'> 
loth New York regiment, played a brilliant part in this porii' a 
of the engagement, the Zouaves especially fighting with a dis- 
peiation and tenacity only to be expected from such superior 

* Compte de Paris (2.1 V., p. gfi) : " Hill was repulsed by the right of Morell's t!> 
visicii, and by the brigade of the young ard valiant Warren." 

C. J. Lossing (ist V., p. 421) : " A. P. Hill attacked at 2 p.m. The brunt of l' >• 
attack fell first upon Sykes' division, who threw the assailants back in great confn- 
.siuJi and heavy loss." 

A. H. (juernsey : "It was past 2 p.m. when Hill was directed to bep;in the as- 
satih. For two hours the battle raged with equal obstinacy on both sides. 'I'l ■• 
P'..-di; troops gained ground, and from being as-ailed became the assailants. Hill 
was defe.ited, crushed, ;ind almost routed. S )me of his regiments stood thcr 
gr .u:id ; others threw themselves flat on the earth to escape; others rushed ffm 
t!ie fi!;ld in disorder." He says: " 1 he defeat at this point is fully shown in i''^ 
CoiifeJi-rate report," as follows : 

" l.ce (Report 8), and Hill {ibid. 176), affirms it in generl terms." 

" Archer (ibid. 256), says : ' .\Iy troops fell b.ick bcf >re the irresistible fire of .ir- 
lillery and rifles. Had they not fallen back, I would myself have ordered it.' 

" Pender says {ibid. 253) : " My men were rallied and pushed forward a:r.>in, bi't 
did not advance far before they fell back. The enemy were continually bringi"- 
up fresh troops, and succeeded in driving us from the road.' 

" W biting, of Jackson's command, who came to the relief cf these troops, s.i> - 
{■bid. 154): 'Men were leaving the field in every direction, and in great disordtr; 
l:\o regiments, one from South Carolina and cue from Louisiana, were actu.l'v 
inr.rohin.g back from (he fire,' etc. ' t!io cre-t in front of us, and lying iij.>: • 
.(ppi .ircd the fragments of a brigade,' etc. 'Still further on our extreme ri^ht, • nf 
Uiop^ appeared to be filling back. The troops on our immediate left I do uv t 
kn..w, .-Old I am glad I don't,' etc., etc." 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gai/us Mill. 217 

The now thinned ranks of the Fifth marched a short distance 
to the rear, and rested after their long fight, in the meantime 
supporting a twenty-pound battery, the fire of which was doing 
great execution in the ranks of the ene'ny, and there seemed 
to be a slight lull in the din of battle, but it soon commenced 
again and raged as fierce as ever. The spent balls flying around 
them thickly, many of the men received stinging blows from 
them. Ail the troops were now engaged. The Confederates 
generally advanced in three lines, the first firing a volley and 
dropping flat, the next line firing over their heads, while the first 
line reloaded. "The din and noise of the contei'.ding tbrces was 
terrific, and amid the roar of one hundred and twenty guns, and 
the crash of ninety thousand muskets, could be heard the shouts 
of the Union forces min""led with the rebel veil."* 

Guernsey says : *' Whiting does great injustice to the troops of Hill. They were 
indeed defeated and broken, but it was after two hoi:rs of desperate fighting under 
every disadvantage of position, against a force quite equal to them, as the record 
of their losses shows. Thus, the regiment frnm South Carolina which was actually 
marching back under fire, must have been the ist Rifles, South Carolina Volunteers. 
Of this regiment its Colonel, Marshall, reports (ihiJ. 502) : ' In that charge we 
sustained a loss of 76 killed, 221 wounded, and 58 missing. Early on the morning 
after the battle, I made a detail from each company to bur\' their dead, and so se- 
vere was the work of death in some of the companies that it took tlu.- detail all day 
to bury their dead, and of those missing in the morning, all but four rejoined their 

" Hill, after acknowledging the repulse, says iibui. 176): ' ^^y division en- 
gaged full two hours before assistance was received. We filled to carry the enemy's 
lines, but we paved the way for the successful attack afterward, and in which attack 
it was necessary to employ the whole of our army that side of the Chickahominy. 
About 4 P.M. reinforcements came up on my right from General Longstreet, and 
later, Jackson's men on my left and center, and my di\ ision was relieved of the 
weight of the contest.' "• 

* Guernsey says: "Jackson now arrived upon the scene, D. H. Hill on the ex- 
treme Union right. Ewell and Whiting on his left, with I.awiou (4,000) a little in the 
rear, and a general advance was ordered. Porter's line was so severely pres.ed at 
every point, that he was obliged to divide Slocum's division (j,oo<j), which arrived 
about half-past four o'clock, sending parts of it, even single regiments, to the points 
niost threatened." 

General McClcUan's Report (p. 248) : " On the left the content was for t!ic strip 
of woods running almost at right angles to the Chickahominy in front of Adams' 
House, orbetwet 1 that and Claines' Hou-e. The enemy several limes charge'.! up 
t. this wo,.,i, but were each time driven baci; with heavy loss. The reg.d.irs .f 
^^vkcs' diviNiiii, 01 the right, also repulsed several strong attacks." 

" The enemy attacked ,-igain in force at <j P.M., but failed to break our lines, 
llioiigli our lo5-> was ven.' heavy." 

2iS Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

Soon the sound of the musketry aijproached nearer and 
nearer, and the men Icnew that our forces were being 
driven. The regiment had not rested long apparently 
(for in a battle it is difficult to judge of the flight of time), the 
men t very moment expecting further orders, when Colonel 
Warren came dashing up, and cried out : " Fall in, men ! 
Fall in ! " " Fall in ! " was repeated by Lieutenant-Colonel 
K. Dm yea and the other officers ; the men jumped up with 
alacrity, and were hurriedly marched off by the flank to the 
right, through volleys of canister shot that raked the field, 
after some minor movements, and the regiment " told oti",'' 
and the companies equalized under a heavy fire, faced in line 
of battle, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hiram Duryea gave the 
order, ''Forward, guide center, march!" In a moment the 
regiment found themselves on a ridge of ground facing a long 
line of the advancing enemy. They opened a vigorous fire 
by file upon them, and brought them to a halt. Upon re- 
ceiving our fire the enemy called out, "Don't fire on your 
own men ; " at the same time they did not return the fire, but 
waved what resembled, as seen through the smoke, the 
"American colors." At this admonition from sup[)osed 
friends, the majority ceased their fire, thinking that possibly 
they might ha friends. Ikit it was only a Confederate trick. 
Just thtn Colonel Warren dashed up, and cried out : " Bla/e 
away ! blaze away, men ! If they are our men, they have no 
business there." At the same time a terrible volley, fired by 
our supposed friend.--, swept over and through the ranks, 
dealuig out death and wounds. Again our rifles flashed, and 
the Confederate colors fell. A battery of six Napoleon guns 
(Piatt's United States), concealed behind the ridge, and 
which was unobserved by the enemy, oi)ened with double- 
shotted guns on iheir column, now ad\anciiig again on a 
cliaige, ;uh1 they were reimlsed with great slaughter. 
. The si^iit from the ri jge was appalling : the view extended 
over the hard-fought field, which was envelo[K\l in smoke ; 

The Seven Days Ret real — Gaines Mill. 219 

oil the far left the troops were falling doggedly back, fjght- 
\\\<y for every foot of ground, pressed back by overwhehning 
numbers of fresh Confederates, and there were no reserves 
on the Union side to i)ut against them ; every available man 
h.Kl been, or was, fighting, and the trying hour had come in 
which the steadiness and discipline of Sykes' division, now 
uuich reduced in numbers, but the most reliable in the 
bcrvice/was to be taxed to its utmost. The salvation of our 
shattered army on the left bank of the Chickahominy de- 
pended upon its efforts, until reinforcements or night should 
come to their relief, to stay the advance of the Confederate 
columns which were pressing on to drive our forces into the 
>wamps of the river. 

The battalions of regulars had been, and were, fighting 
ilL'>perately to the right, as had also the Eleventh in- 
f.intry on our left, lliey stood as firm as a rock, meeting 
and foiling the desperate onsets of Ewell's, D. H. Hill's, 
And Jackson's troops to outflank and crush the right. 

A battery of Parrott guns on the right of our line near 
McGee's house, had been creating terrible havoc in the 
enemy's ranks ; two regiments charged and took it, one of 
them, the 20th North Carolina, losing their Colonel and 
I.icutenant-Colonel and more than one-half of their men in 
lae attempt ; but it was retaken again. 

Up to this time the Confederates on this part of the line 
wore held at bay. Lawton now a])peared on the scene, and 
ITfssed forward tlirough the broken ranks of the Confeder- 
ates in one continuous line of 3,500 men, armed with Knfield 
fitles. General Ewell seeing this strong body of fresh troops 
'"■'niing to his assistance, waved his sword over his head 
•i.'l cried out, '-Hurrah for Georgia!" The temporary 
■ I'p-^S^ of the fire of the bitterv on the right was laken 
.ii.tage of, ai.d General Winder [.Messed forward with 
ti ••.en regiments, the Hampton Legion, ist Maryland, i^lh 
Alabama, 52d \'irginia, 38th Georgia, and the 2il 5th, ^^^•}.y 

220 Fifth New York Volunteer bifaiitry. 

27th, 14th Virginia, with tlni J^i^I1 batlalion, and attacked the 
regulars on their flank and rear ; and I'p.ey were compelled 
to fall back. When the Confederates approached to 
within two hundred feet, the battery was withdrawn, leaving 
two of the guns in the han'ls of the eneniy, the horses being 
all shot down. The regulars fell back about three hundred 
yards, fighting for ever}' foot of ground. Colonel Allen and 
Major Jone;?, of the 2d \ nginia Confederate regiment, both 
fell mortally wounded. While this was transpiring on the 
right, the Fifth was to tlie right of the left of the division 
supporting Piatt's battery.* 

Men separated from their regiments, lost, stragglers, and 
wounded, were continually passing to the rear ; there was 
nothing left in front but Stonewall Jackson's legions, every 
available man of them pressing on w-ith the bayonet to be in 
at the death. The masses of our broken organizations were 
thronging toward the bridges that crossed tlie Chickahominy 
in the rear. Officers drew swords and revolvers and placed 
themselves in front of their retreating troops and soon 
rallied them. The n)en of tlie Fit'th intelligently made the 
most of their position, v/!i;ch was an advantageous one, or 
otherwise they would soon have been too much decimated by 
the Hying bullets to maintain it. Some of them lay down 

* Guernsey says : " It was waw h.ilf-im^t six, an hour before sunset. The whole 
Confederate force on this side of \.\\-: (.,'hickahominy was brought into action. Jack- 
son, Loiig^trcft, and the tv.-o tlilN,«ltl\ the of Kemper's brigade of 
' 1,433 muskets,' of Longstrect's Jivisiuu, which was lielJ in reserve ; opposed to 
them was only Torter's (two divisions), and McCall and Slocum's divisions. 
Making allowances for losses on each side up to this lime, the Confederate force on 
the field numbered about 56,oo-j ; Union, 33,00^." [This estimate does not allow 
for straggkis on both sides, which were numerous. — A. D.] 

Lossing: "At six o'clock, Lrijiidu afltr brig;.dc bui led .ai;ainst the line in r:ipid 
succession, hoping to break it. i'or a long time it stood firm, but weakened by car- 
nage," etc., etc. 

Swinton (p. 152): '>The riuht hell its -round v.irh uiurh nubbornnes-. r-.-prls- 
ini; every attack. '1 he left, toa, fc\:-ht stoutly, but was al lcn>;th broken by a 
determined charge lej. l)y Hood's I'.j.van troops." (They captured fourlecii guns ; 
the horses all being shot, they could not be removed in time, but Hood, according 
to his own accounts, lo t i.oxt nicir, kilkd and wounded, in ihc charge]. 

The Sroen Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 221 

behind the licige, others were partially shielded behind trees^ 
and were firing at the enemy with steady aim and deadly 
effect, some of them making the colors of the regiments the 
focus of their fire. During this part of the engagement 
three times the Confederate colors were seen to fall. There 
were only about two hundred of the Fifth together at this 
time supporting the battery, which was doing its best. A 
few of the loth New York were also there under the com- 
mand of Colonel Bendix. The Confederates were advanc- 
ing, as seen indistinctly through the smoke, in line 
after line, but their fire was not very destructive, as, 
according to their own reports, many of their reginients 
were out of ammunition, and their heavy force was pressing 
on with the bayonet ; some of our men who had faced the 
worst up to this time drew out. The majority of the Zou- 
aves had stripped off their knapsacks, expecting a hand to 
hand conflict, to save the battery, or to keep from a rebel 
prison — a fate worse than death. There were some there 
who were determined never to be taken prisoners, unless too 
much disabled to defend themselves ; a fact which can be 
verified by men now living. 

The double-shotted guns of Piatt's and Gritfin's batteries 
were pouring deadly discharges of canister into the masses 
of the enemy : the regulars and the i6th New York, of 
Slocum's division, were delivering terrible volleys to check 
their onsets, and the remnants of the Fifth and Tenth added. 
their fire. Sykes' division was indeed doing its hard work. 
and its war-worn and indomitable chief was with it, cool and 
steadfast in its time of peril, standing like a lion at bay.* 
The Commander-in-Chief of all our forces on that blocily 
day, General l-itz John Porter, was there. It was during 

• r.eneral Syk.-; jrad.ialsd from t!-e fnlt-jvl States >\' .\.;.uleniy. W.--t 
P'liit, nnU wa~ C'nimi>>i' ii»-'J j;ro\et Second Lieutenant In the rcL;iiUir :irm,v Jn'v i, 
'''■»•!. He served with distinction in the Mexican war, and ha^ on active dnty 
ever ^ince. General Sykei is a man of few words, but when hard work is required 
tc is Jhe man t'j do it. 


222 Fiftli New York Volunteer Infantry. 

their charters ow this part of the battle-field that so nianv 
Confederate officers fell while animating their exhausted 
men and bearing the colors of their regiments in their 

We vete now passing ihrougli some awful moments ; sud- 
denly we lieard the shouts of men in the distance toward 
the rear, which at first threw us into a fearful state of excite- 
ment, bat was somewhat allayed when it was ascertained 
that instead of an enemy, the shouts came from friends. 
We answered iheni lustily, and knew that relief was com- 
ing, but it was yet far away, and the minutes were test- 
ing our ability to stand until succor should arrive. The 
Duke of ^Vellington did not long for Blucher to appear, with 
more agony, than did those present on that ridge for the 
coming up of French, and Meagher with his fighting sons 
of Irelaiid. Colonel \Varren moved about regardless of 
the missiles of death ; word came to him that the ammuni- 
tion of the battery was nearly expended, and on'y two or 
three rouinbs remained; he answered, " ihe:n fire all 
they have ; I will stand by them." It seemed at this moment 
as if the sun stood still, but he was slowly cree; ing below 
the horizon, A'eiled by thick clouds of sulphurous smoke ; 
the gloiies of his crimson hues were paled, as if he shrank, 
with averted face, from the sight of the gory field. 

Coloiiel Hiram Duryea stood by our little band, cool, but 
anxious; said he, "I wish to Cod we hail help !" and it was 
time. In a few moments, if we did not fall back, we niust 
either cross bayonets with o\-erwhelming numbers, or be 
surren;Je;e>l as prisoners of war. 

It was ncuv sundown, and the battery fired its last round, 
and, as current rumor has it, raminers and all, almost into 
the i"aces (>f Uie Conf..\lerat'-s. and moved oiV down tl'.e 
ridge w'vM tvcry gun. Tiie Fifth, worn and tired, filed oii" 
by the llanl; in its rear, missing many a familiar face, lust 
as they p:i scd down the road a rebel farewell, in the shape 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 223 

of a shell, came hissing over iheir heads, and burst in tlie 
side of a barn, not twenty feet away, tearing a great gap in 
its side ; and as we marched and disappeared in the gloom 
of the woods, in the fading twilight, the air was rent with 
the shrill rebel yells as they swarmed over tlie vacated 

" No battery was lost, or any part of it near our regiment 
{5th New York) at Gaines' Mill, nor did the enemy break 
our line (Sykes' division) from where we were on the left of 
it to the right of it. We were on the field till dark, and then 
were withdrawn without molestation by the enemy."t 

It was now quite dark ; after marching a short distance, 
the Irish brigade were met, which, with that of French's, 
came up on a double-quick, and cheering loudly. These 
fresh troops charged the skirt of the field, and their opportune 
arrival had the moral effect of checking the further advance 
of the enemy, who were much exhausted by the long con- 

D. H. Hill says : 

"It was now fairly dark, and hearing loud cheers from the 
Yankees in our immediate front, some 200 yards distant, I or- 
dfred our whole advance to halt, and wait the expected attack of 
the enemy. Brig. -Gen. Winder, occupying the road to Grape- 
vine Bridge, immediately halted, and the whole advanced columns 
were halted also. The cheering, as we afterward Icarnrd, was 

* Compte de Paris (p. loo) : "At 6 p.m. Jnckson attacked wirh 40,000 men. 
F.nell atta-cked the regulars, who made it a point of honor never to yield before 
volunteers, whatever may be their niimhers." (p. 102'): "Attacked in front and 
menaced in flank, Sykes ftU back defending tlic ground foot by foot. The re^uI.Trs 
do not allow Hill to push his success along the road le.ading from Cold Harbur to 
I'iip.itch Station, by which he could have cut off the retreat of the enemy. 

" Fearfully reduced a<; they are, they care less for the losses they have su-^taincd 
»^an for the mortification of yieldinji to volunteers."— (p. 1-3): "Stuart, near 
* 'M Harbor, does not know how to make his excellent troops play the part wliich 
•^M..Tt..ins to Civalry or. th^ eve if a victory ; ho aU...v.s himself t-. oc l.eKl h:,.-k by 
'!ie resolute stand of the re^^ulan, and some few hundred men bearing the ll.'.gs of 
^Varren's brigade." 

+ General C. K. W.irren. 

224 Fifth Nciu York Volunteer Infantry. 

caused by the appearance of the Irish brigade, which was sent 
forward to cover the retreat. A vigorous attack upon it might 
have resulted in the total rout of the Yankee army and the cap- 
ture of thousands of prisoners. Ikit I was unwilling to leave the 
elevated plateau around McGee's house to advance in the dark 
along an unknown road, skirted by dense woods in the possession 
of the Yankee troops." 

The sanguinary battle of Gaines' Mill was over; a few scat- 
tering shots were heard up to 9 o'clock, when quietness jire- 
vailed ; both sides were about exhausted by the terrible ordenl 
through which they had passed. The regiment was formed 
in line and counted by th.e Adjutant, and numbered seventy- 
three files, or 146 men. Besides those killed or disabled, 
there were some who fell out from exhaustion ; others had 
assisted their wounded comrades to the rear and fiiiled to re- 
turn, and a detail under Lieutenant Eichlcr were guarding a 
number of Confederate prisoners. The number whose hearts 
failed them were comparatively few, and these managed to 
elude the officers and file-closers, and retire to the rear. 

Through the blackness of night little lights- could be seen 
dancing about in the distance, looking like twinkling stars. 
They were borne by the good Samaritans, and those who had 
been transformed from demons into angels of mercy, and 
were seeking and succoring the wounded of Union and Con- 
federate alike, who lay together like one great t'.unily. As 
soon as the ranks were dismissed, the men dropped down on 
the bare ground without covering, and were soon in deep 
slumber, with their riiles by tlieir sides, ready to clutch at 
the first alarm. F.ut many a soldier misses his mate, who 
may be lying wounded in the hands of tlie Confederates, or 
being jolted over a rough road in an ambulance to the rear, 
or mayhap lying on the battie-licM, wearing the laurels of the 
brave, tliough his spirit has tied in :;lury from its eanlily t^-n- 
ement, and taken winged tlight to Him who gave it. 

The orders had been obeyed. Cencral Porter had held t'.ic 

The Seven Days' Retreat— Gaines Mill. 225 

left bank of the river till night. Notwithstanding their 
desperate efforts, the tiower of the Confederate army, com- 
prising, at least, 130 regiments of infantry, and 84 guns, 
under command of the two Hills, I.ongstreet, Ewell, and 
Jackson, all under the i)ersonal supervision of General Lee 
himself, and also encouraged by the presence of Jeff". Davis, 
had driven the Union troops only about one mile. They 
had reaped a barren victory. 

General Fitz John Porter fought this battle with 51 regi- 
ments of infantry, besides his batteries, which was all his force. 
He commanded in i)erson throughout, and directed all the 
general movements ; and the obstinacy with which the troojis 
held their ground, and the masterly manner in which he di- 
rected their movements, foiled the well-laid plans of the Con- 
federate Generals, and withstood till night the furious onsets 
of the enemy.* This delay gave General ^^cClellan twenty- 
four hours' start in which to forward his miles of wagons, con- 
taining armv stores, ammunition, etc., and his heavy siege 
guns, to the new base on the James River. 

•The field officers of the Fifth acted their parts with the 
greatest heroism and braver)-, and throughout the battle re- 
mained mounted, and were at every jioint where their serv- 
ices were most required ; and how they escaped serious 
wounds or death is miraculous. Colonel Warren received a 
contusion from a s[)ent ball, and his horse was wour.dcd. 
He was everywhere conspicuous on the field, and not or.iv 
directed the movements of his own brigade, wliic h he hanul d 
with consummate skill, and placed in the most advantacjcons 
positions, where they could produce the most eft'ect on the 
enemy, but directed the movements of other regiments. 

Lieutenant-Colonel H. Duryea, acting in connnand o'i tl.e 
regiment, rose fronj a sick couch to take part in the action 

•Comptedc Paris fp. \o\\ : "Had fought with creat visor, .^nd it wxs no di;- 
BT3<.i: 'o Porter's soldiers tlmt they had to succumb in such an unequal strug.;le.'' 

226 Fifth Nezo York Vohintcer hifantry. 

when his services were most required, and did not make his 
bodily aihiients an excuse, as some others did. to shirk 
danger and responsibility and win glory without earning it. 
He set a good example to the men by his bravery, coolness, 
and gallantry. Captain W'inslow i>layed a noble j^art as a 
field-officer. Surgeon Doolittle was wounded in the course 
of the action, and his horse was killed under him. The 
other officers, with a few exceptions, won honor by their cool 
behavior and fidelity. Of the men, an officer high in com- 
mand said that every man who stood supporting that battery 
at dusk deserved a comuMssion. Another (a General) officer 
said the next day as the regiment passed by \\\\w on the 
march, in reply to the remark of an officer who stood by his 
side, " Did well ! why, I could hug every man of them." 

The New York Herald o{ July i, 1862, says: " l)ur\ e'e's 
Zouaves fought, as did all the, under General Sykes, 
in whose brigade they are attached, with undaunted courage." 

In concluding his narrative of the battle, the correspond- 
ent of the Cincinnati Commercial says : 

" The conduct of the entire force that day was admirable. 
The regulars, who had previously complained of restraiiU, had 
full scope, and they re-established their ancient fame. Dunce's 
Zouaves, clad in crimson breeches and red skull-caps, emulated 
their regular comrades, winning the admiration of the army. But 
volunteers and regulars alike won glory on that bloody field." 

Extract from General George ?>. McClellan's rei^ort to the 
Secretary of War, Hon. Edwin M. Stanton . 

Hf.\dquarters Army of Potomac, Savage SxATinx, )^ 
/////f 28, 1862— 12.20 A.. M. ^ 
On the left bank our men did all that men could do, all that 
soklicrs cnu'.d acooniplisii, hut tht-y were iivcrwlu hncd by vastly 
supcriur numliers soun after I had l)rtiught my last reserves 
into action. The loss on both sides is terrible. I believe it will 
prove to be the must ilesberate battle of the war. The sad rem- 

The Sfvcn Days' Retreat — Gaines' Mill. 227 

nants of my men behave as men ; those battalions who fought 
most bravely, and suffered most, are still in the best order. My 
regulars zvere superb ; and I count upon what are left to turn 
another battle in company with their gallant coj?iradcs 0/ the vol- 

Abbott speaks of this battle as follows : 

" It was now night — a night of awful gloom. The second day's 
battle — the battle of Gaines' Mill — had ended, and silence suc- 
ceeded the thunders of war, which all the day had shaken the hills. 
Even the darkness could not conceal the harrowing spectacle of 
death's ravages. The dead lay upon the tield in extended wind- 
rows. The wounded were to be counted by thousands. Their 
heart-rending cries and groans were audible on all sides." 

Colonel B. Estvan, of the Confederate army, says : 

" In by-gone days I had been on many a battle-field in Italy 
and Hungary-, but ,1 confess that I never witnessed so hideous a 
picture of human slaughter and horrible suffering." 

General McClellan, in his report (p. 249), says : 

" Our loss in this battle, in killed, wounded, and missing, was 
very heavv, especially in officers, many of whom were killt-d, 
wounded, or taken prisoners while gallantly leading on th-ir men. 
or rallying them to renewed exertions. It is impossible to arrive 
at the exact numbers lost in this rt^i/j'/^cn?/,;' engagement, owing to 
the series of battles which followed each other in quick succes- 
sion, and in which the whole army was engaged. No 
returns were made until after we had arrived at Harrison's Lnntl- 
ing, when the losses for the whole seven days were estimated to- 

The Compte dc Taris. of General McCldlan's st.iff. \\ii'' 
distirgnisheil hiin^elf in this engagement, informs us in 1: s 
History, lluit out of the 35.000 engaged, tlie h)ss was nearly 
7,000, and that the assailants suffered still nior-.'. 

228 , Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

The Confederate losses from their own estimates (iuernsey 
places at 9,500. "Jackson's loss alone was 3,284, and the 
other corps in the same proportion would make the Con- 
federate loss about 10,000." 

The Fifth Regiment lost more than one-tinrd of its officers 
and n)en, killed and wounded, including nearly all of the 
color-guard. Out of the 450 men engaged, 56 were killed 
or died of their wounds; 3 were missing, no severely 
wounded, making the total casualties among the officers and 
men 169. Besides tlie above, there were about 50 who re- 
ceived contusions in the course of the engagement, which, 
although in most cases paintul, were not of such a serious 
! nature as to be classed in this regiment as wounds, or to in- 

i capacitate the recipients for duty. 

j The Tenth lost 114, in killed, wounded, and missing, out 

I of 575 nien engaged; among whom were Lieutenants James 

j R. Smith and George Y. Tate, wounded. 

I As an instance of the different effects of gun-shots produced 

[. in battle, the losses in two instances may be mentioned. 

I Company H had twenty-one severely wounded, some of them 

\ having several wounds, but none of the wounds proved mor- 

I tal. Company K had nineteen hit, out of whom eleven were 

\ killed or died of their wounds. 


I After the regiment was relieved by fresh troops, and after the 

I latter had become engaged, William McDowell, the Orderly 

k: Sergeant of Company G, remained on the field wholly re- 

I gardlcss of tiying bullets, aiid eini>loved himself in picking up 

I - rifles and throwing them into the ditch. He also took off 

' his shoes and stockings and bathed his feet, and then rejoined 

t!io main L'x'y of th^' re^iiU'.'iit, who u-.-re re.-tir:^:, as already 

nicntiuned, lu:icLd down with the riiles lie iuul collected. If 

others had been as thoughtful, the enemy uuiild have gleaneil 

less booty in the matter of abandoned arms. 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 229 

When the men lay in the cut of the road. Sergeants Forbes, 
Law, Tiebout, and a few others crept out under lire to the 
o\>t\\ field and secured their knapsacks, which had been left 
wuh those of the majority of the regiment. The others 
socured theirs afterward, but most of the men supportmg the 
battery, the second time they went in, which was late in the 
afternoon, were compelled to lose them. 

Dave Burns, of the Fifth, had a long argument while the 
battle was raging with a wounded Confederate, who, it ap- 
pears, was an Irishman. His attention was attracted to him, 
by seeing that he had a revolver in his hand. He asked him 
what he was doing with " that," and was answered, it was for 
protection from being bajoneted. Burns waxed wroth at the 
idea of one of the Fifth doing anything so cowardly, and be- 
rated him soundly ; getting warmed up, he wished that the 
Confederate was a well man, and he would knock all the 
secesh blood out of him ; that he was a disgrace to the Irish 
people for figliting against the tiag, etc. Finally, he took the 
revolver away from him, and removed the caps, but the man 
begged so hard for it, as it was a present from one of his 
officers, he gave it back to him, and also a drink of 
water, and went at the fighting again, a? if he had merely 
stopped work for a few moments to have an argument with 
a friend. 

In the battle, Walter S. Colby, a native of New Hamp- 
i>hire, and a member of Company G, received a wound which 
shattered his leg, and he fell. He supported himself as well 
as ne could, pulled his caji oft" his head, waved it in the air, 
•'ind gave three cheers for the Union and the American flag, 
and iiiW down again. Several of the men went to his assist- 
'ince and offered their aid, but he declined it, saying that 
"^lt• would have to luse his leg, aiid that meant, in his p',>';r 
•i^-aiti), his lifo ; that ihcy could testify that he died in a g.-od 
f^iuse and died 'game.' " He told them to look after them- 
selves and let him lav. 


230 Fifth New York Volunteer Infa}itry. 

No other information of him has ever been obtained from 
any source, and the only inference is that he died Hke a hero 
in the hands of the enemy, and sleeps in an unknown grave. 
He was troubled with a racking cough in Baltimore; and 
when the regiment left Federal Hill, he was left in the hos- 
pital. He was offered his discharge, but refused it. After 
the regiment was on the march up the Peninsula, beyond 
Yorktown, the men of his company were surprised to see 
Colby appear among them, knapsack and all, fully equipped ; 
he looked thin and emaciated. One of the boys said : " Why, 
Colby, we never expected to see you again." He replied : 
"You didn't! Well, I expected to see you again ; and I 
mean to go home with the regiment, or go home in a box," 
and there was not a man in the company but knew that Walt 
Colby meant what he said. He had an iron will, and his de- 
cision once made, as they knew from exi^erience, was un- 
alterable. The writer had him for a messmate on the march 
up to near Richmond, and was often kept awake by his vio- 
lent coughing. One night, being very tired and sleepy, after 
a long march, a rather petulant remark was made, which 
the writer has ever since regretted. The poor skeleton, for 
that was all there was of hnn in the tlesh, flared up with, 
"I'll live to stamp on your grave," and bounced out of the 
shelter that I had rigged ; nor could any persuasion on my 
part induce him to come back that night, but he laid outside 
on the ground, without any covering, in a drizzly rain. As 
long as he liverl, no matter how long or hard the march, be 
it rain or shine, there was Colby at its end, with what was 
left of the regiment. While strong men were strewed all 
along far in the rear, he was never known to dro[i out, and 
his limbs were wasted away to skin and bone. He did 
not aspire to any higher position than that uf a private, 
although evidently of good social rank, and had seen much 
of the world. When he enlisted he was handsomely dressed. 
He once told the writer that when he enlisted he was only 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines Mill. 231 

on a visit to New York, and had dined with a friend at the 
St. Nicholas Hotel, and bid him good-bye, the friend to go 
South for the purpose of joining the Confederates. He him- 
self strolled otf, went into the quarters in Canal Street, and 
entered the Fifth. He always had plenty of money to spend 
or to lend, but who he was or who his friends were, he would 
never divulge. And this invincible hero, unknown to his 
comrades, further than is narrated above, sleeps in an un- 
known grave in Virginia. He deserves a better tribute than 
mine to the decision and character of a soldier who had no 
superior for loyalty and heroism in the army, 

Snittin, of Company B, was one of the first men killed in the 
first charge. He was one of the comical characters of the 
regiment. Skipping out over the turf, he said : "Johnny on 
the green ! here comes a ball from Brooklyn," then, " Here is 
one from Coney Island;" but one came from a Confeder- 
ate, as if in mockery, and poor Snifiin dropped dead. 

One of the color-guard, Spellman, was overcome by the 
lieat during the height of the action, and fell as if dead ; he 
was carried to the house used as a hospital, on- the hill to the 
rear. His "chum" found time to run over and see how he 
fared, after the regiment was relieved the tirst time, and dis- 
covered him lying unconscious. He asked a surgeon to i\o 
something for him, who said it was of no use, as he was as 
good as a dead man. Finally, another surgeon was induced 
to e.vamine him, but he also gave him up, and said that he 
must use his time on tliose he could save. When the ene- 
my shelled the hospital building, the crash of the shell i)ar- 
tially aroused Spellman, and his comrade raised him up and 
half dragged him from the building. All those who could 
niove were crawling off, and a great many stragglers were 
dicing to the rear. Spellman oi)cned his eyes, and glared 
• 'b'mt hiia tor an in-tant, as if his consciousness was return- 
ing. "What does this niean ? " he asked. He was an- 
swered that the battle was going all right ; those are the 

232 Fifth Neii> York Volunteer Infantry. 

stragglers. " Cowards ! " exclaimed Spellman, and again he 
went off in a swoon. His friend succeeded in getting liiui 
into an ambulance, never expecting to see iiim again, and 
rejoined the regiment. On the march to Malvern Hill, tl.o 
men were surprised to see Spellman coming over the fields 
to join them. We will see what a " dead man " was maiic 
of on a future occasion. 

We rested as well as it was possible to rest, after the san- 
guinary struggle of the day, and early in the morning of 
Saturday, tiie 28th, before daylight, the men were ordered 
from their slumbers, and crossed the Chickahominy, over 
Woodbury Bridge, to the Richmond side of the river, and 
took a position on Trent Hill, which overlooked the stream. 
The regulars crossed about 6 o'clock, and blew up the bridge 
behind them. We remained here, with the rest of Syke^' 
division and the reserve artillery, serving also on picket 
along the river till 6 p.m. We then started about dusk and 
marched to Savage's Station, and destroyed by fire a large 
])ile of knai)sacks and other property, to prevent them from 
falling into the hands of the enemy. 

At this i)lace there were about 6,000 wounded and sick, 
about 2,500 of whom, the last troops that left on the suc- 
ceeding night, were compelled to leave from inexorable ne- 
cessity, as there was not sufficient means of conveyance to 
remove them all. The army marched on its way, accom- 
panied with the thousands of disabled and afflicted com- 
rades upon whom the blow of war had fallen, but with heavy 
hearts that so many were left behind to take the hospitalities 
or the revenge of the enemy, at whose hands they had re- 
ceived their wounds. 

Rev. J. J. Marks, D.D., in the "Peninsular Campaign in 
Virginia," p, 24 ;, dL'scribi.s the scene on the evening of the 
291!), in the following language: 

"I beheld a long, scattered line of the patients staggering 

The Seven Days Retreat— Gaines Mill. 233 

away, some canning their guns and supporting a companion on 
an arm, others tottering feebly over a staff which they appeared 
to have scarcely strength to lift up. One was borne on 
the shoulders of two of his companions, in the hope that when 
he had gone a little distance he might be able to walk. One had 
already sat down, fainting from the exertion of a few steps. Some 
had risen from the first rest, staggered forward a few steps, and 
ftU in the road ; but after a few moments in the open air, and 
stimulated by the fear of the enemy, they could walk more 
strongly. Never have 1 beheld a spectacle more touching or ' 
more sad." 

Also an eye-witness* of this painful episode in the events 
of the campaign, tells his observations as follows : 

" A very affecting scene was now witnessed as the troops bade 
adieu to their sick and wounded friends, whom they were com- 
pelled to leave behind, to abandon as prisoners to the rebels. 

'• Up to this time the disabled had not known that they were 
to be left behind ; and when it became manifest, the scene could 
not be pictured by human language. I heard one man cry out, 
* O my God ! is this the reward I deserve for all the sacrifices I 
have made, the battles I have fought, and the agony I have en- 
dured from my wounds?' Some of the younger soldiers wept 
like children ; others turned pale, and some fainted. Poor fellows ! 
they thought this was the last drop in the cup of bitterness, but 
there were many yet to be added." 

Report of Colonel G. K. Warren, 

Sd Brigade, 2d Division, '^th Corps, of the Battle of Gaines 


Headquarters 31) Brigade, Sykes' Division. ) 
Porter's Corps, July a, 1S63. ^ 
Sir t—I have the honor to report the opcnitions of this brig ule 
from June 2(><^^ to July 31I. iSio. 

The brigade consistetl, on the 26th ultimo, of the 5ih New 

• Rev. John S. C. Abbott's " Change of Base." 

■! ^:: „MilX| 

234 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

York Volunteers, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Dun,ea, numberint^ 
about 450 effective men for duty, and of the loth New York Vol- 
unteers, commanded by Col. Bendix, numbering about 575 men 
for duty. The ist Connecticut, Col. Tyler, had been relieved from 
my command for duty with the heavy artillen,-. 

The conflict having- begun on the right of our army, at Mc- 
chanicsville, on the afternoon of the 26th ultimo, we were ordered 
out with the rest of the division, and remained in line of battle all 
night. At 2.30 A.M. on the 27th, we marched back, as directed. 
and took up our line so as to defend the crossing of Gaines' Creek 
while the trains and artillery effected a passage. This having 
been accomplished, we again marched forward to a new position, 
about half a mile from the last, where it had been determined to 
prevent the further advance of the enemy. 

The line assigned to my brigade, forming the left of the division, 
had its left resting upon a forest, which, I was informed, was held 
by Griffin's brigade, and our line of battle was in an open, plowed 
field, along a gentle slope, in a measure hiding us from the obser- 
vation of the enemy, though affording but little shelter from dis- 
tant curved firing. In front of us, distant from 200 to 300 yards. 
was a belt of woods, growing in a ravine, through openings rf 
which a view could be had of an extensive, open held beyond. 
These woods I occupied with a company of the 5th New York 
Volunteers as skirmishers. From 300 to 400 yards to the right 
of my line was another forest bordering the open field, and run- 
ning nearly in a direction perpendicular to our line. This I 
guarded by a company of the 5th New York Volunteers, deployed 
as skirmishers. Major Clitz's battalion of the 12th Regular In- 
fantry' was on my right, on a line nearly perpendicular to mine, 
with a large inter\-al between us. Our artillery was posted to the 
rear and to the left of my line. 

About \o\ o'clock a.m. these arrangements were complete, 
and we waited the approach of the enemy. The weather was 
ver}'- warm. 

About \2\ P.M. the enemy forced the passage of G;iines' Creek 

near the mill, and cheering as they came, apn;:!rcd in force at a 

distance in the oi)en field beyond the wooded ravine in my front. 

About I o'clock P.M. they advanced in several lines, and at my 

The Seven Days" Retreat— Gaines Mill. 235 

request, Captain Edwards brought up a section of liis battery- on 
my right, and opened on them, and a tierce tire was carried on 
between them over our heads, in which we suffered considerably. 
Captain Edwards steadily kept up his tire, though opposed by sev- 
( batteries, till the enemy having driven in our line of skir- 
mishers, I advised him to retire. The enemy now advanced sharp- 
shooters to the edge of the woods to pick off our artillerymen, 
posted behind us, but our ritle-firing compelled them to retire. 

One of our batteries .having opened with shrapnel, the prema- 
ture e.xplosion of these shells behind us caused so much loss that 
1 was compelled to change my line by throwing the right to the 
rear along the road, and the left more toward the enemy, and 
along the woods to our left. 

The enemy's fire ceasing for a time, our artillen,- also ceased, 
.Tnd there was a lull, so that we began to think the enemy had 
rt-iired. But under the shelter of the woods he had formed a 
column to attack the position occupied by Major Clitz, to the 
right of my first position, and as soon as it appeared, the rapid 
firing of our artillery dispersed it in a few moments. Again 
there was a lull, but this time he had planned his attack on the 
jvisition occupied by myself, and where our artillery could not be 
UM.d without endangering us. 

I should think it was now nearly 3 o'clock P.M. Suddenly a 
regiment burst from the woods with loud yells, advancing at 
double-quick upon us. The 5th New York Volunteers, which 
had been drawn back to be out of the lire of our own artiller}-, 
rapidly re-formed to meet them on our tirst position. The enemy 
received a portion of the fire of the loth New York Volunteers 
as he came rapidly on, and when he neared the 5th New York 
N'olunteers we charged back, turning his charge into a liight. 
*■ ilip.g and wounding nearly all of those who tied. This charge 
of the enemy had also been accompanied by a vigorous attack on 
'•■•';r position in the woods, and as we advanced we received a 
hr.ivy lire from the enemy stationed in them. Our men, nothing 
'I'lntju, continued to advance, and drove them from it. The 
'•i/ade w.'Ls re-formed (as well as the confusion [)riidiiced by this 
' -i U'.re would allow) in its first position, and again it successfully 
'■''IHilsed the advance of the enemy, driving him back to the wooils 
'••• Iront. up to which point the colors of the 5th New York were 

236 Fifth Ncik' York Volunteer Infantry. 

twice rarried. Dun'nc,'' this part of the fight, the artillery on both 
sides was silent. Tiie enemy continued to threw forward frr,i, 
troops. The gallant and lamented Major Clitz engaged them on 
the right. 

The 6th Regular infantry came to reinforce me, and I placed 
them in position. General Reynolds also came up now with his 
brigade, and I withdrew my shattered regiments. Besides tlu- 
exhaustion of the men from their efforts, and the bad condition 
of the arms from the fu-ing we had done, about one hundred and 
forty of the 5th New ^'ork Volunteers, and about fifty of the 
loth New York Volunteers, were killed and wounded. 

The battle had now become general all along our lines, and 
the artillery had resumed its fire. I took up a position support- 
ing a twenty-pounder battery, just to the rear of the first position, 
and maintained it, though suffering continually from the enemy's 
fire, which now reached all parts of the field. To our left was 
the iiih U. S. Infantry, also supporting batteries. Toward 
evenmg the enemy succeeded in forcing back the division 
on our left, when the batteries we supported were withdrawn. 
we throwing in all llu- fire our diminished numbers would per- 
mit. We here witnessed the firm stand of the nth U. S. Intantr)- 
on our left, and the charge of the 2d U. S. Infantry on our right. 
The advance of the enemy on our front was thus effectually 
checl:ed. We then took up a position supporting one of the bat- 
teries under Captain Piatt, which position we maintained till 
darkness i)ut an end to the firing, and the battery was v.itl-.- 

We were much concerned as to the cause of the cheering 
which tock place in our rear, by the regiments of French's and 
Meagher's brigades, fearing they were a rebel force that had suc- 
ceeded in getting in our rear. From the beg-nning of the battle, 
till niglu brought it to a close, we were almost constantly under 
fire, of which fact I be'ieve the Genera! was a witness. 

.... Among the killed was Captain Wi!li;mi T. Partridge, 
who fc'l nol)Iy It-ading on his men to the cliarg-;. Among thi' 
wom-.d' d v,\re Captain George Pairyea, Lieutenant Th W. 
Cartvvriglit. jr., Lieuten:mt Felix Agnus, and Lieutenant Ra!]>!i 
E. IVime. Lieutenant-Cnlonel Hiram Duryea was everywhen- 
conspiruous in the fight, mnimted on his horse, and inspired 

TJic Sei'en Days Retrtai — Gaines Mill. 237 

every- one by his g-allantr\-. Major Hull's horse was shot in the 
first charge. Captain Winslow was acting as field-officer, and 
mounted. Both acted most bravely. Colonel Duryea speaks of 
the gallant conduct of the following-named ofticers. to which I 
can also add my own testimony : Major H. D. Hull. Captain 
C. Winslow, Captain William T. Partridge. Captain George 
Uuryea. Captain H. H. Burnett, Captain C. J. Cambrelling, Cap- 
tain W. F. Lewis, Captain C. Boyd, Lieutenants C. J. Mont- 
gomery, G. O. Hager, H. G. O. Eichler, J. McConnell, J. IL 
Lounsbery, Charles Sergeant, T. W. Cartwright, Jr., R. E. 
Prime, F. Agnus, S. W. Wheeler. I refer you to the list of 
meritorious non-commissioned olTicers and privates in Colonel 
Dur\-ea's report submitted herewith, and also to it for the names 
of the killed and wounded. 

Three of the officers of the 5th New York Volunteers left the 
field, it is believed unnecessarily, from the effects of contusions 
made by spent balls. Their conduct will be made th& subject of 
official investigation. I received a bruise on my knee by a spent 
ball which gave rise to the report of my being wounded, and my 
horse received two balls in his neck, but he carried me all through 
the fight. 

.... Colonel Bendix has not furnished any.rei)ort of those 
distinguished tor meritorious conduct. I have only to say that 
the Colonel himself behaved in the most cool and efficient man- 
ner, always at his post, always ready to execute my orders with 
l)romptness, and always with his regiment under fire. I must 
:-lso mention the gallant conduct of Surgeon Doolittle, whose 
horse was killed under him and himself bruised, but who has 
been constantly with the command to this day. 

Ver)- respectfully, your obedient serwint, 
(Signed), G. K. Warrex, 

Col. ^th N. V. Vols., com. yi Brigade. 
Lieutenant Samuel A. Foster, 

Aide-dc-cavip^ and 

Act. Asst. Adjt.-Gcn., Sykcs Difishm. 
{Ofjlcial Cof'y\ 

R. C. Drum, Asst. Adjt.-Gemral. 
A. G. Of FiCE, October 29, 1S78. 

238 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

The following extract from the ofiicial report of General 
Sykes was furnished for publication in these pages through 
the courtesy of the Hon. George W. McCrary, Secretary of 
War : 

Headquarters Sykes' Division, i 

Camp near Harrison's Landing, (. 

. July 7, 1862. j 

Sir :— The events taking- place since the 26th ultimo have fol- 
lowed each other so rapidly that they may well be included in 
one general summary, which I have the honor herewith to sub- 
mit : . . . . 

About II A.M. (June 27th) the enemy appeared in some force 
beyond the ravine in front, and with his artillery endeavored to 
shake the center of my line of battle. From this hour till 2 p.m., 
his battalions being constantly strengthened, he made repeated 
attempts on the flanks and center of my line, and was as often 
driven back to his lair. 

At noon Tidball's Battery of Horse Artillery reported to me, 
and taking position on the right of Weed, these two batteries 
broke up every attack of the enemy on our right flank, and tinail;/ 
sent him scampering to his main body on our left. Matters now 
remained quiet for an hour. It was only the lull that precedes a 

At 3 P.M. I directed Colonel Warren to throw for\vard his 
skirmishers and feel the enemy in the ravine. Desultor\- tiring 
began, which soon deepened into a continuous roar, unvarying 
and unceasing, until darkness set m and the conflict ceased. 

In this interval, between 2 and 3 P.M., the enemy had brought 
up his reser\es, replenished his ammunition, and, under cover of 
the forest heretofore mentioned, marshaled his legions for a 
grand attack. It was not one, but many, each of which was met 
and repulsed with a steady valor that could not be surpassed. 

In these attacks the 5/>^ Nnu York Volunteers, under I.ieu- 
tenant-Colonel Duryea, and 2d, 6th, 12th, and 14th U. S. Infantry 
were especially conspicuous. The 5//: Xe::' Yur': \'jlui:tecrs 
were the peers of any troops on that hard-fought field. 

The 1 2th and 14th U. S. Infantry, under Major Clitz and Cap- 
tain O'Connell, advanced in the most perfect order in line, hero- 

.V-. 'i '■ ■■ { 

The Seven Days Retreat — Gaines' Mill. 239 

ically aiding Warren's brigade (5th and lotii New York Volun- 
teers), drove the enemy from our left and center far into the 
woods beyond. 

In connection with this movement the 3d U. S. Infantry-, under 
Major Rossell, was thrown from its orisrinal position to the right 
ind rear of the 12th and 14th, and while in this exposed situa- 
tion, boldly resisting the foe, the gallant Major lost his life 


George Sykes, 
Brt::adicr-General Commanding Division. 

Adjutant-General's Office, ) 
Washington, Nov. 27, 1878. f 

R. C. Drum, Assistant Adjutant-General. 



White Oak Sw.-iMP— Cha':i.;.s Citv Ckoss-Roads— C;en':r al Kearney — Mal\ i k-; 
Hill— A D'^'^perate STra-GCi.t^— Rebel Repu! se—Rl treat from M.alvl ■■• 
Hill— The Kais and ike Roads— An Incident— A Life Saved by a Stu.u- 
AOE.M— Report of Lieu i::s an; -Colonel H. Ul-kvea— Letter from Su. ck'.n 
Joseph S. Smith— Hakiusii-'s Landing— The Ca.mping-Grolnd— Want if 
Water— A Review ev PiiE-iur.NT Lincoln— Moving «;.r Camp— Revikv rd 
BY Gener \l McClellan — KrSiGNvnoN OF Captain Cambrelling— CHAsnti 
— Health or tub Army- Lif'sriTAL Grounds— A Di.ath by Poison— I >i- 
PROVED Diet — A Rebel Salltk — Death in a Ten r — Pine Woods Evit;- 
RiENXE- Knapsacks Foi'v.a' u';i— A Night ^L■\RCll--CKO^SING THEClIICic^- 
HOMiNY— Negro Mi,--k.(Ei; Shot— Soldiers' Hosr;TALiTY Refised— 
Newport News— Thk '.! -.Krii to Mana^^sas Jlnchon— On the Batti.e- 


We marched during :\ik- viightj leaving behind us the blooi'- 
stained field, the silcnl .,raves of our de',).iilc(' comrades, and 
the multitudes of the .-ici: and woum'.ed, "lul at length fouiul 
a brief repose on the ro.ul through White Oak Swamp, 'liii-" 
next day, Sunday, the ^oiii of June, we completed our p;'s 
sage through tliis p.irt of tlie exodus. It was a teriihtv 
dreary pilgrimage. The heat was in5Ui)portable , 
there was not a bi\ .Uii nf air, and we si.ffered intensely I'lr 
tlie want of water, of v iiic'i none could be but the black, 
stagnant water of tlie svwVinp through which sse were wading. 
Having again stepjped ui nn firm grtjund, we formed in line 
of battle at Charh.--, City Cioss-Roads, pulled down tbe 
fences in frr>nr. and sont o'-it yiickets. The s;hots of skirmi-h- 
ers wen^ he.ird i?i flic 'vicinity. We rem.Wned here, guarilu.j; 
this invf-ortat t poir.*. uvsVA ( m neral Kearney arrived with hi-- 
division to relieve Genci il Sykes. General Kearney looked 

The Seven Days Retreat— Malvern Hill. 241 

like a Knight errant of old ; his face was bronzed by ex- 
posure, ^nd as he sat on his horse, straight as an arrow, 
with his strongly-marked and stern countenance, holding -the 
reins in his teeth, he was a perfect picture of a soldier. 

At 10 A.M. Sumner's corps were attacked by the enemy 
at Allen's field, but were repulsed. At 4 p.m. Sumner's and 
Franklin's corps were attacked near Savage's Station, and 
fought until 9 P.^t., when the enemy retired. 

We continued our march on Monday, the 30th, to Turkey 
Bend Creek, near Malvern Hill. At this point we were 
formed in line of battle, sent out pickets and skirmishers, 
advanced through a wood, and the skirmishers reached an 
immense corn-field on level ground, outside of the wood. 
Sergeant William Hoffman about 5 p.m. discovered the 
enemy in force over a corner of the corn-field, in the edge 
of a wood, with artillery in position. Colonel Warren was 
immediately notified, who ordered Lieutenant Dumont, of 
the Fifth, on detached service with the signal cor[)S, to 
signal the g\.\n-ho:^\.s /acob Bell, Galena, and Aroostook, which 
opened over the heads of the Fifth, where they rested on 
their arms in the wood, and created great havoc in the 
rebel ranks, thereby preventing them from advancing.* 
Sergeants Forbes, Wilson, Jack Taylor, and Hoffman, and 
some others were stationed in the corn-field and elsewhere, 
to signal where the shell struck, so as to regulate the aim of 
tile gunners. Some batteries and infantry also opened from 
the Hill, and drove the enemy back, leaving two guns of 
(•raham's battery, with their caissons, in the hands of Colonel 
Warren. The guns were subsequently spiked, and the 
spokes of the wheels cut with axes, leaving them entirely 
unserviceable. About half a barrel of whisky and a quan- 

• While enp.igoJ in this duty, Licutcn:int Dumont u as stationed on the c^-i of 
* I-irge house .sitaated on Malvern Hill, .^lld wa, much exposed to the fire cf the 
enemy's batteries. He was highly commended for his good conduct. 


242 Fifth Neiv York Voluiitecr Infantry. 

tity of prime pork were also seized, the latter being distril>- 
uted among the men.* 

When the hundred-pound shell from the gun-boats came 
rushing over our heads, they conveyed the impression that 
flour barrels were flying through the air, and tt required con- 
siderable nerve to listen to their roar without being moved, 
especially as a mistaken signal or a short fuse would bring a 
shell in our midst. The discharges from one gun especially 
were rather unreliable, and it was with a sigh of relief that 
we heard its shell go beyond us. The crash, as they burst 
in the woods among the enemy, was terrible. During the 
night the Fifth and Tenth were in lii^e of battle in the 
wood, expecting an attack. Some cattle were slaughtered, 
and small pieces of tough meat were distributed, but as there 
were no means of cooking, fires not being allowed, it was of 
no benefit to us whatever. 

The enemy attempted to follow the army across White 
Oak Swamp, and attacked General Franklin's corps about 
I P.M., but were repulsed. At night, after a desperate en- 
gagement of five hours near the Charles City Cross-Road.s 
and after driving McCall's division, the enemy were again 
repulsed by Generals Hooker and Kearney, aided by Gen- 
eral Sumner's corps. These continual encounters iiad kept 
the army in unceasing activity, and the month of July opened 
wearisomely upon us, for the men had passed the previous 
twenty-foar hours without sleep. 

Remaining in position. Porter's corps held the left of the 
line with many batteries ; Sykes' division on the left, witli 

* McClellan's Report (p. 268) : " At about this time, 4 p M.. the enemy 
began to appear in General Porter's front, and at 5 o'clock advanced in Ur,'" 
force against \wi left flank, posting artil'.erj- under cover of a skirt of timber, «ith 
a view to engage our force on Malvern Hill, while with his inf;<ntr}' and sonic ..r- 
tniery, he .Ut.ickcd (>!,uel W.irrcn's bri-a-'.e. A concentr-ued fire cf al-iut 
thirty guns \va>. brought to bear on the enemy, which with the infantry tire -f 
Colonel Warren's command compelled him to retreat, leaving two guns in the 
hands of Colonel Warren." 

The Seven Days Retreat — Malvern Hill. 243 

Warren's brigade on the extreme left on low ground, which 
was swept by the fire of the gun-boats. It was a vital jioint, 
for if the enemy could force their way in here, they would be 
enabled to cut off the line of retreat to the James River, hence 
their desv>erate efibrts during the battle to tbrce back the left 
tlank. About 9 A.M. the enemy commenced the attack 
with their artillery, the batteries on the hill rei)lying. In the 
afternoon, the Fifth and Tenth were advanced to the edge of 
the wood facing the corn-field, the Fifth on the extreme left, 
the Tenth on their right, which rested on the Richmond road, 
running along by the " Hill," and the regulars on their 

The men were ordered to build barricades of logs and 
stones from the fence, and whatever other material they 
could make available, and two men were placed together 
about fifteen feet apart behind each barricade. Their orders 
were to hold their posts to the last man. About noon the 
enemy made a demonstration on our left, as if they intended 
to attack us, but the fire of our battery and from the gun- 
boats drove ihem to cover. 

About 3 P.M. a heavy artillery fire was opened by the 
enemy on Kearney's division, and their infantry advanced 
against Couch's division on the right of General Porter, but 
they reserved their fire and drove the enemy back in dis- 
ord-^r. Shortly after 4 p.m. the firing ceased along thu wliule 
line, but it was only the calm that precedes the storm. At 
P.M. the enemy suddenly oj^ened with the whole of their 
artillery, soon after which brigade after brigade started on a 
run from the cover of the woods, and across the open ground 

• General McClellan's Report (p. 26u) : " From the position of the enemy, hii 
"■.nst obvious lines of attack wou'.J come from the directions of Richmond and W hitc 
•V.V: Swnrap. and ftOLill almo'^t of ncc-s-ity strike lis upon our left win;;. Kcro, 
'! tr,:!'.,re, the lines were streti^tViti.od by ma>-in<; the irnops and c^'Ilecti k; I'lc 
;-'in;^..d p.uiof the amllery. Porf-r's orp- held the left of iho line (Sykes' di^ is- 
«■ i-.l Oil the l.-ft (p. 2;o). One bri;,'.idc of Porter's was thrown to the left i.n the low 
6"ound, to protect the flank from any movement direct from the Richmond road." 

244 Fifth New York Volunteer Infayitry. 

to storm the batteries stationed on the left, supi^orted by 
Porter's and Couch's commands ; but they were met by such 
a withering fire of grape and canister shot, that they were 
mowed down in heaps. Still did these brave men sweep on, 
when the infantry, who had reserved their fire, opened with 
such terrible volleys, that their columns broke, and the rem- 
nants went back reeling and tottering like drunken men. In 
the meantime the terrible shell from the gun-boats fell among 
them as they were gathering in the edge of the wood for 
their reckless and desperate charges, which were without a 
parallel almost in history. General Porter had sent to Gen- 
eral Sumner about 6 p.m., who was the chief in command, 
for reinforcements, who sent to him Meagher's, Richartlson's, 
Sickles', and Patterson's brigades, who relieved such of the 
troops as were out of ammunition. By the stead}', cool fire 
of the infantry, aided by the batteries, the enemy were driven 
back to the cover of the woods, leaving the ground in front 
heaped with their slain. The loss of the Union side was 
comparatively small as compared to that of the Confederate?. 
The enemy in large force at one time advanced against 
Warren's brigade on the extreme left ; Pollard says : 
" Holmes' division were frustrated from cutting the enemy 
off from the river by the severe fire of the gun-boats." Wo 
could plainly see the flashing of their bayonets on the opi)o- 
site side of the corn-field. The continual roar of artillery 
and musketry during the battle was like long rolls of thunder, 
and did not slacken until 9 p.m. 

The men remained in their positions in the barricades all 
night, and were worn out and almost dead for want of sleep. 
They felt as if they had heavy weights fastened to their 
eyelids, but they were kept awake by the consciousness of 
the great responsibilities resting upon them ; knowing al^o 
that the penalty of sleeping on their i)osts in such a posi-ion 
was death. Moreover, one-half of the regiment, who were 
on reserve, went tb.e grand rounds, under command of Major 

I -■ ■' I ;/: . ■I'll'.', 

Tfie Seven Days Retreat— Malvern Hill. 245 

Hull or Captain Winslow, every half hour. The enemy ap- 
peared to be desperate enough to undeitake any movement 
to destroy the Union army, and it was probable they might 
attempt to accomplish, under the cover of darkness, what 
they had failed to do by day. Besides, as was currently re- 
ported, they had been plied with whisky, and could be led 
into the jaws of death itself, and it was necessary to be 

On the right of the Richmond road was stationed James 
W. Webb, of Company F, a trusty and reliable soldier, and 
on the left of it was William Higgins, of the same company. 
The clatter of a horse's hoofs were heard coming frou) the 
direction of the enemy, and soon the form of an officer on 
horseback loomed up over a slight hill on the road. He 
discovered Webb at the same time he was sighted, and im- 
mediately pulled rein and came to a sudden halt. He called 
cut and inquired where General Whiting's headquarters 
were situated ; Webb pulled his cap off and said, " Come 
forward, they are a short distance in the rear." But un- 
fortunately at this moment Sergeant F., who was a few feet 
in the rear of the picket, jumped into the road and said, 
" You are my prisoner." The officer turned his horse about 
in almost a second of time, and disappeared over the brow 
of the hill. Webb and Higgins fired their rifles at him as 
quick as they could, but he did not fall from his horse. 
Thus, by the want of forethought on the part of the Sergeant, 
the capture of an officer with, in all probability, important 
dispatches, was frustrated. 

After the battle the army commenced to retreat again, 
and wagons, troops, artillery, and ambulances were leaving 
all night as their convenience dictated. The covering of 
the retreat was let't, as usual, to Sykes' 'division. On thi» 
morning of Wednesday, the 2(1, about 4 o'clock, a hravy 
storm of rain began, which continued the entire day. The 
balance of the troops were retreating from the hill in a dis- 

246 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

organized mass, fleeing from a beaten and demoralized foe. 
They became blocked up on the road among the ambulances 
and wagons; many of the sick, weak, and wounded were 
knocked down and trampled upon, notwithstanding tlieir 
cries of anguish. When Lieutenant-Colonel Hiram Duryea 
saw this, his soul revolted at the sight. He also knew that 
if he marched his regiment into such a disorganized mass 
of moving humanity it would be impossible for them to 
keep their formation, and he would lose all control of their 
movements ; he therefore ordered a halt, and remarked that 
"before he would take his command into such a mob, he 
would face the whole Southern Confederacy." An aide 
soon came to him with orders to move, but he took the 
responsibility of acting on his own better judgment; an 
aide came a second time with orders to move, followed in 
a few moments by Colonel Warren. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Duryea explained, in a few brief words, the situation of 
affairs, and pointed to a train of wagons on the hill, ap- 
parently abandoned by their guard, that should be moved 
off. Colonel Warren took in the situation at a glance, and 
looking toward the retreating crowd, exclaimed, "This is 
disgraceful ! " He called the officers together, and, after a 
brief consultation, turned and surveyed his men for a mo- 
ment, when he called out, '• Unfurl your colors ; " "About 
face! Forward, march !" and the regiment moved down the 
Richmond road, toward tho enemy, formed in line of battle 
on the hill, antl there they stood alone awaiting orders. 
Colonel U'arren sent an aide to order up a batteiy. In a 
few moments a tuie battery of artiller) came up, the horses 
on a run, unlimbered. and the men stood by their guns, jire- 
pared for action. In the meantime some of the regiment 
were djtaik'd to gather together a lot of abandoned shell 
and aninnmition v.Iiuh wa^^ lying, and throw it into a 
ditch, that it nn^ht be of no service to the enemy, ^\'hcn 
tlie regiment was readv to move the first time. Colonel 


The- Seven Days Retreat — Malvern Hill. 247 

Warren ordered Lieutenant to see to it personally that 

all the men on picket were called in. As the regiment was 
about to march, the Colonel discovered a Zouave (Corporal 
James R. Murray, of Company A) standing a good dis- 
tance off alone, who had not been relieved, but, like the 
Roman centurion of old, would not forsake his post without 
orders. He dashed up to the Lieutenant, and asked him if 
he had obeyed his orders in reference to the men on picket, 
to which the officer answered in the affirmative. " Then,'' 
said the Colonel, " what is that man doing out there ; is that 
the way you forsake my men ? is that the way you obey 
orders? Draw your sword and defend yourself," at the 
same time he half unsheathed his own sword, for he was 
very much vexed. 

The regiment remained in this position, the Tenth not 
having halted, until the road was clear, in the meantime 
manitesting much interest in the skirmishing of the cavalry 
with the enemy in the edge of the woods on the other side 
of the plateau. Finally they were ordered to march, and 
when they came to a little bridge that led over the creek, tiiey 
found that its sui)porting timbers were nearly cut through, as 
well as the trees each side of the road near it, and men with 
axes in hand stood ready to put the tinishing strokes as soon 
as the rear guard had passed over. There were no troops 
lel't behind at this time but Colonel Buchanan's brigade of 
regulars, a batler\', antl Colonel Averill with the 3d Pennsyl- 
vania Cavalry. This was nearly 7 a.m. These trooiis weie 
the last to leave. " Sykes' division could have held the hill 
if ordered to do so." 

The men experienced this daj' the hardest marching they 
had ever endured. They had been without sleep for forry- 
ei:^ht hours ; a cold noith-cast storm had set in, and it wns 
"iiiiiig in torrents. The road was cut up by the wheel-, so as 
t*> be almost impassable. The men fonled iniumierable small 
streams and ditclies, often nearly waist deep. At the nu- 

248 Fifth New York Valunteer Infantry. 

merous halts, the road and fields being blocked very often, 
they could not sit down without being content to rest in mud 
a foot deep ; the fields on either side of the road were all 
underwater, and the men were continually slipping and flill- 
ing down. They were very much weakened in their condi- 
tion, for, be it remembered, this was the seventh day in which 
they had been deprived of their sleep, except the few hours 
now and then snatched at intervals ; they had nothing to eat 
except a little hard-tack, and were almost starved and thor- 
oughly reduced. Moreover, they were obliged' to form in 
line of battle after every mile's march, and wait for the 
wagons to pass on. 

Beside all these trials of endurance, the continual excite- 
ment of battle and suspense night and day, and the never- 
ceasing rattle of musketry and thunder of artillery, of which 
there seemed to be no end, there was added the doubt as to 
where they would come to rest. Such was the indifference 
on this day, that a colored man who had been run over, and 
was lying in the road, was left to his fate, no one taking the 
trouble to pull the body out of the way ; wagons and ar- 
tillery passed over it, as if it were nothing but a dead dog. 
Finally, at night, we reached Harrison's Landing, with an 
unbroken organization as a regiment, one of the very few, 
outside of Sykes' division, of which the same is recorded, in 
the Slh corps. A large ration of whisky was given to each 
man, and the whole army were soon vigorously recounting 
their experiences ; but they laid down in the mud and 
water and, notwithstanding the rain, which continued all 
night and until noon of next day, slept soundly. We had 
no covering but the sky, for nearly all in the regiment 
had lost their knapsacks, and all they possessed was on 
their backs. 

The loss during the seven days, in Morell's, Sykes', Mc- 
Call's and Slocum's divisions, the same that fought the battle 
of Gaines' Mill, was 8,500 in killed and wounded alone. If 

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The Seven Days' Retreat — Malvern Hill. 249 

all the divisions in the army had lost in the same proportion, 
it would show a total loss of over 25,000 men. 

One instance, out of many, will serve to show the straits 
to which the men were reduced on the retreat. 

One of the drummers saw Drum-Major John M. Smith, of 
the Fifth, sitting on a log at the side of the road, completely 
worn out and not able to go any further. He told the 
drummer that he was starving, not having eaten a mouthful 
in three days. The latter was possessed of a few crackers, 
and gave him two or three, and told him not to move a foot 
from where he was, and he would get him some meat. The 
drummer started off with not the slightest idea where he was 
to obtain it ; but fortunately he saw a colored man toast^ig 
a piece of bacon over a fire. He immediately accosted, 
and asked him whose servant he was ; to which the negro 
re[)lied, giving the name of a well-known General. J., 
nothing abashed, said that he was a cousin of General Mc- 
Clellan. "Shuah?" said the cook. "Shuah," said J., " and 
I would be very much obliged to you if you will till my can- 
teen with water, as I am wounded in the leg, and it is hard 
work to move ; in the meantime, I will toast your bacon." 
Off went the innocent on his errand to do a favor for the 
cousin of the Cieneral of the army, and, of course, as soon as 
he was out of sight, off went J. with the bacon. Smith ate 
the whole of it, and it probably saved his life. 

The following is the report of Colonel Duryea on the 
service of the regiment-from June 26th to July 2d : 

Report of Lieutexant-Coi.onel Hikam Dlrvea, 

Command in i^ tJie '^tli Hegiment — Seven Days' Retreat. 
Headquarters 5TH Reoimen-t, N. Y. \., 1 
Camp near Harrison's Landing, - 
July \, iSo:. I 

Sir: — I have the honor to respectfully sulMiiit the rollowing re- 
port of tlic movements of this regiment from June 26th to July 
2iJ, inclusive. 


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250 Fifth Ncio York Volunteer Infantry. 

Thursday at 4 P.M. moved out of ramp to the support of McCall's 
division on the Mechanicsville road, bivouacked that night in line 
of battle in an open field, where we remained until about half-past 
four on Friday morning-, when we returned to our camp, slung 
knapsacks, and moved on the road toward Coal Harbor. About 
daybreak formed a line of battle on the skirt of a wood in rear 
of Gaines' Mill, where we remained for about two hours, then 
moved.forward in the direction and to the left of Coal Harbor, 
where we formed line of battle in an open field about half-past 
10 A.M. Here we rested until about noon, when, in accordance 
with your order, we changed our position forward, our line resting 
under the crest of a hill about two hundred yards from a piece of 
woods, where, after remaining al^out half an hour, the enemy aj)- 
peared in force opposite our right, advancing in successive lines 
of battle. Shortly after making their appearance they posted a 
battery on our right and opened fire through an opening in the 
woods, throwing shrapnel, shell, grape, and canister with ac- 
curacy and effect. Company E was then ordered to the front 
as skirmishers, to pick off the gunners from the batteries, which 
was done with considerable effect ; they were driven in by an ad- 
vance of the enemy in force, which was met by a fire by com- 
panies along the whole regiment, followed by fire by file, which 
had the effect to check the enemy and drive them back into the 
woods. They did not appear again for about an hour ; the bat- 
teries meanwhile continued to play upon us, thinning our ranks 
perceptibly. Agreeable with your orders, we again changed po- 
sition, forming line of battle in the road. Shortly after the enemy 
emerged in force from the woods on our left, and we then resumed 
our former position on the crest of the hill. Of the charge which 
the regiment then made, in which Colonel Warren and all the 
field officers, mounted, took a part in leading, it is unnecessan.' 
for me to report. Suffice it that the enemy were driven in con- 
fusion from the field, and the fugitives were neariy annihilated by 
our fire. The enemy with fresh troops now opened with musketry 
from the woods ; the most deadly fire being earned on bv ln;l!i 
sides, they several times appearing on the field in force. They 
fought bravely and contested the ground with great stubbornness ; 
our line was several times forced to yield, which it did in good 
order, before a greatly superior force, but as often advanced and 

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Report of Lieut. -Col. H. Diiryea. 251 

regained the ground at the point of the bayonet. We occupied 
the ground till reinforcements came to our support and held it : 
when we were relieved and ordered to support batteries of field 
artillery on our right, which we did until 8 '2 P.M., delivering an 
effective fire whenever the enemy approached, and suffering con- 
siderably. Night having set in. and firing having ceased, the 
batteries were withdrawn, and we retired from the field. We 
were in the engagement about eight and a half hours, the greater 
part of the time under a very severe fire. 

Colonel Warren having charge of the brigade, left but two 
field officers to the regiment, and Captain Cleveland Winslow, of 
Company E, was detailed to act as Major. During the action 
the following changes took place in the commands of companies : 

Lieutenant C. S. Montgomery, of Company C, was assigned to 
the command of Company B. The two remaining officers of 
Company C being subsequently wounded. Lieutenant Eichlcr, of 
Company H, was assigned to the command of that company ; 
Lieutenant Lounsberr\', of Company K, was assigned to the 
command of Company E. 

I wish to mention the gallant conduct of the following officers : 
Major Hull, Captain Winslow, Captain Partridge,' Captain 
Duryea, Captain Burnett, Captain Cambrelling, Captain Lewis, 
Captain Boyd, First Lieutenant Montgomery-, Lieutenant Sargent. 
Lieutenant Hager, Lieutenant Cartwright, First Lieutenant 
Eichler, Lieutenant McConnell, Lieutenant Lounsberr>', Second 
Lieutenant Prime, Second Lieutenant Wheeler. Second Lieuten- 
ant Agnus. Their coolness was particularly shown in preparing 
for the last charge, just previous to which, the regiment being 
very much thinned, the ranks were closed and told off with great 
coolness under a most terrific fire. 

Captain Wm. T. Partridge, of Company \, behaved with great 
bravery and coolness, commanding the admiration of the entire 
regiment. He was nearly the whole day advanced with his com- 
pany as skirmishers in a very e.vposed position, and was killed 
while gallantly leading his company in a charge. 

I must als.) call attention to the following non-commissioned 
officers and privates whose meritorious acts come under tlie 
notice of myself and officers : 

Color-Sergeant Andrew B. Allison, who bore the National 

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252 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

Flag, which was pierced by eight balls, one of which nearly 
severed the staff. 

Color-Sergeant John H. Berrian, who bore the Regimental 
Standard, which was pierced by eleven balls, one of which entered 
the staff. Color-Corporal George L. Guthrie, Company D. Or- 
derly Sergeants Patrick Gilligan, Company A ; John H. Reilly, 
Company D ; John Frie, Company E. Sergeant Thomas R. 
Martin, Company D. Corporals John McKenna, Company D , 
Jos. H. Pierce, Company D. Sergeant John S. Raymond, Com- 
pany E. Orderly Sergeants Andrew Whitehead, Company H ; 
Wm. McDowell, Company G. Sergeant Wm. H. Chambers, 
Company H. Privates Wm. H. Manderville, Company F ; James 
E. McBeth, Company H ; John McGeehan Company E ; Drum- 
mer-boy Robert Daly, Company D. 
We went into action about 450 strong. 
[For list of killed, wounded, and missing, see Appendix]. 
You will obsen^e that our loss amounts to thirty-six per cent. 
of the number that we took into the field. Dr. Owen Munson. 
Assistant Surgeon, remained with the sick and wounded at 
Savage Station, and no doubt fell into the hands of the enemy. 
He is the officer reported missing. 

Of the missing enlisted men, some are supposed to have been 
wounded and left on the field, and all are supposed to have been 
taken prisoners. After leaving the battle-field, we proceeded to 
near Woodbur}''s Bridge, where we bivouacked and remained 
until three o'clock Saturday morning, 28th, when we crossed the 
Chickahominy and remained supporting the artillery, defending 
tlie passage of the stream till about 5 p.m. We then pro- 
ceeded in the direction of Savage Station, marching all night, 
crossing the White Oak Swamp on the morning of the 29th, 
halting on the Charles City Cross-Roads in the direction of Rich- 
mond. Monday morning took up the march and halted about 
noon at Turkey Creek, near James River. Here we took a 
position on the Richmond road along the river. About 3 o'clock 
P.M. the enemy appeared in force of infantry, cavalrj', antl 
artillery. The latter opening fire upon us, we prepared to give 
them battle, advancing our skirmishers along the etige of the 
woods ; when tiie enemy being fired upon by the gun-boats 
and artillery on our right, he retired. 

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' •■ Report of Liatt.-Col. H. Dnryca. 253 

We remained on the ground that nijht, and in the morning 
were reinforced by a section of artillery. About noon the enemy, 
force of cavalr>- and infantry, again made tlieir appearance ad- 
vancing along the Richmond road. We opened fire on them 
from our battery, and succeeded in driving them back ; they 
afteavard appeared several times during the day, but were as 
often driven back. In this position we were very much exposed, 
shell often falling inside our lines. The entire regiment re- 
mained on picket till I o'clock Wednesday morning, July 2d. 
Marched through a cold and drenching rain to near Harrison's 
Bar, where we arrived and bivouacked about 5 P.M. 

During all these tr}-ing scenes the men under my command 
have maintained a spirit of cheerfulness and determination, yield- 
ing none of their discipline or soldierly pride. 
Very respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 


Lieritenant-Colonel CouimMiding ^i/i N. Y. Vols. 

To Lieutenant A. S, Marvin, Jr., 
Assistant Adjutant- General, 

■^d Brigade, Sykes' Divisioti. 

The following letter from Surgeon Jos. S. Smith speaks 
for itself : 

Headquarters, Army of Potomac, ) 
July^Z, 1 86 2. \ 
Colonel G. K. Warren : 

Z)t-ar 5//-;— While within the Confederate lines I was much 
gratified at often hearing the highest praise bestowed upon your 
gallant regiment by the enemy. 

From their Generals down through all grades they all coin- 
cided that they never had seen the superiors of the " red legs '' 
for unflinching courage and coolness. 

Yours, with respect, 

Jos. S. Smith, 
Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A. 

Jtdy 29, 1S62. 
The above was sent to me by Colonel Warren, then Acting 

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254 Fiftii New York Volunteer Infantry. 

Brigadier-General, I being in command of the regiment in the 
actions referred to. 

Lieut.-Col. Comma}tding ^th N. Y. Vol. Infantry. 

' ' Harrison's landing. 

Wednesday, July 3. — In the morning we were saluted 
soon after reveille by the report of cannon, and some shell 
dropped into camp. The regiment was ordered out into line 
of battle, and after advancing and standing under arms for 
some time, the firing ceased. The battery was charged and 
captured by the 5th Maine, and was found to consist of two 
rifled pieces. The cannoneers and an officer were taken 

The next day, the 4th, a salute was fired in honor of the 
day at sunrise, and in the afternoon we were reviewed by 
General McClcUan and stall, and a Major-General's salute 
fired by the artillery in each corps. His addres.-., which was 
very eloquent and patriotic, was read to the men. 

Some of the companies in the Fifth were in command of 
non-commissioned officers and Second Lieiitenants, most of 
the officers having resigned, or were on the list of sick and 
wounded. This loss of officers made room for manv proii:o- 
tions. ^^any of the officers and men had contracted the 
fever peculiar to the swamps of the Chickahominy, which 
made a large portion of them invalids for life. Three of the 
former were under arrest, and awaiting trial by court-martial, 
for their unsoldierly conduct in the late retreat. The regi- 
ment numbered in Baltimore, when in the height of its organ- 
ization, 1,000 ; only about two months previous. We mus- 
tered on the 4th for duty only 350 men. 

Harrison's Landing was favorably situated for a large 
camp, easily defended, and supplied with the necessary ])ro- 
visions and forage by way of the James River. The Fiftli 
was encam[)ed about two miles back from the river, on the 

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••■'^^' ■!'»^■. Harrisons Landing. 255 

borders of a narrow strip of timber, through which flowed 
Herring Creek, a narrow stream which emptied into the 
James River, suitable for bathing and washing clothes, if the 
men had any to wash. But there was one great deticiency: 
the cause of constant delay, trouble, and vexation — the ab- 
sence of pure water for consumption. Much of the time 
was spent in waiting turn on the line at the only spring in 
the camp. Most of the men had lost their knapsacks in the 
recent *' change of base," and were obliged to bivouac with 
star-rays for mantles, and pillows of turf from the sacred 
soil. Requisitions for knapsacks, clothing, etc., were made, 
but some time elapsed before their arrival. ATany of the 
men had scarcely anything left of their uniform but rags, and 
there were very few who did not carry these fluttering badges 
of their late hardshii)s. All they had was in daily use, and 
if they wanted to wash a shirt or pair of socks, they were 
obliged to go without until they dried ; or, if ordered on 
duty, put them on wet and let them dry on their persons. 
They had, however, already become accustomed to these 
laundry eccentricities. 

The enemy was 1iow at some distance, and the remnants 
of the bands played at times, and the drum was heard for 
the first time since the evacuation of Yorktown. 

General McClellan complimented Colonel Warren, and 
said that men never fought better than his regiment did, and 
that they did their share toward saving the right wing of 
the army at Gaines' Mill. General McClellan's address was 
read at parade on Sunday evening. It was eloquent and true. 
But eloquence and eulogy were swallowed up in the stern 
realities of the dead and dying, the wounded on the road, 
the sick and wounded left behind to be made prisoner?, the 
unknown and unremembered graves, and the individual sul'ter- 
in^f of every survivor. Kach iiran had an cxpviiciice uf l.'.s 
own. and the battle of a life-time is epitomized in a sliort ten 
days of such experience. 

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256 Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

But such is a soldier's life ; he accepts it as a part of the 
inevitable experience that he must pass through sooner or 
later; and he can say with R. H. Dana, Jr., from his expe- 
rience of two years of sailor life, and his view of it, will 
apply in one sense to that of a soldier's life in the field, viz. : 
" It is at best but a mixture of a little good with much evil, 
and a little pleasure with much pain. The beautiful is 
linked with the revolting, the sublime with the common- 
place, and the solenm with the ludicrou.s." 

The regiment dragged out the weary hours of camp life, 
one-third on the sick-list, and the rest half sick, while faith 
and hope kept them up, and that is about all that could be 
said, for there was no enjoyment in the mode of living at 
that time. The ringing laugh was seldom heard, but men 
slowly paced along with sad and care-worn faces, with noth- 
ing to do but to kill time, answer roll calls, or occasionally 
do a little fatigue duty, each man doing as little as possible. 
The weather was intolerably hot and water was difficult to 

The men all had great confidence in General McClellan, 
and would fight to the last and die under him if necessary, but 
they knew that the army needed strengthening by new re- 
cruits, and that Richmond would never be taken unless we 
were reinforced. The Confederates fought desperately, and 
were on their own ground, and had an extensive territory to 
maneuver in. The union forces were compelled to go 
through a country where every man, woman, and child was 
opposed to them, and as they advanced they grev.- weaker 
and their opponents stronger. They were obliged to look 
well to their communications for the army supplies, and this 
necessity demanded the care of a large fighting force. . 

On Friday, July i2tli, the whole army was reviewed by 
President Ar.RAHAM Lixcoi.x, who made us a brief visit. 
The men were all glad to see iiim, and noticed that he was 
a keen observer, and asked a great many questions of the 

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••■ Harrison" s La7tding. 257 

officers in his escort. He left a good impression with the 
rank and file, and convinced them that the " powers that be" 
took some interest in their welfare. 

The regiment had a thorough inspection to-day by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel H. Duryea. The sick were also inspected. 
We went out at 9 a.m. and the work lasted till noon. The 
sun was very hot, but the men considered only three hours' 
standing nothing at all. The weather continued very hot. 
The time was occupied quietly with comv)any drill in the 
early morning, and then continual details. Knapsacks and 
uniforms in part, with a change of underclothes, were dis- 
tributed on the 2ist, making nearly a month since we had 
a change of underwear. 

We had moved our camp the day before about one hun- 
dred yards, to a better location, and were hard at work all 
day, grading and ditching, to keep the camp dry as possible 
when a rain-storm set in. There were two companies in 
line which were called a division, and between them and 
the next line of two companies was a space, to assemble 
for roll call or other duty. We built temporary arbors over 
each division to screen the shelter tents from the sun, which 
gave the camp a pleasant and inviting appearance. In fact, 
not to be outdone by other regiments in this respect, under 
the superintendence of Colonel W^arrcn, we succeeded in 
making our camping-ground, all things considered, tlie most 
inviting of any in the army, with one exception. 

On Saturday, the 2 7tli, the division passed in review be- 
fore General McClellan, and the following day the whole 
corps was reviewed. Captain Cambrelling resigned on ac- 
count of ill health. He was much beloved by all, and tlie 
men felt that they had lost a good friend. 

Flc had not an enemy in the regiment, and that fact is a 
In^h testimony to his condnct as an ofticor antl a gentleman. 
At this date there was only one of the origmal Ca[>taiiis, 
witli the exception of our Lieutenant-Colonel, who entered 

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258 Fifth N'eic York Volunteer Infantry. 

at the organization of tlie regiment — Captain Winslow, and 
only two or three of the original Lieutenants. The healih 
of the army i:i;proved somewhat in the new encampment, 
as we were not living in the miasmas of the swamps ; but 
there were funerals every day, and the three rounds of 
musketry told that the last ceremony was performed, and 
another soldier had been mustered out of the service of his 

Lieutenant Fowler resigned, having been sick for some 
time. Lieutenant-Colonel Duryea was on the sick-list, not 
having been able to be on duty for several days, and Cap- 
tain Winslow was in acting command of the regiment. 

During one of the heaviest thunder-storms that we ever 
witnessed, one of the regimental hospital tents blew down ; 
in it were patients suffering with typhoid fever and other 
complaints, who were too weak to help themselves, and 
they were obliged to lie still until the tent could be ])ut up 
again. There was great mortality in the hospital, and the 
tents under the personal superintendence of ColonelWarren 
were removed to higher ground further to the rear of the 
camp, where the sick were in good condition and com- 

A lamentable mistake occurred in the loth Regiment. 
A bottle containing sugar of lead and whisky, used as a 
prescription by a member of the regiment to- bathe his 
limbs, was left exposed. It caught the eye of three of the 
men, who drank out of it, and one oi them died in conse- 
quence. A new spring was discovered on the banks of the 
creek, and a cracker-box was sunk, as a basin, to hold the 
water. It was of service only during low tide, as it was 
flooded when the water rose. The loathsome insects which 
dropped down into the sj^riii--, front the bank above it, at 
low water, were scooped away from the surface. 

The general health of the men slowly improved with rest 
and better diet. They fared well for soldiers, occasionally 

,v.,\ ^... ./'. i . ■ ; .-;a ■■ N\ • ?.iL 

/i V- 

.. •>' ^ .' i:^;! . ' ■ ■■ :; X. '■:■■■■ '■: ;< ■ ' ' •-■, •■ .' viui. .--r^l 

Harrison s Landing. 259 

having a stew made from fresh beef, potatoes, and onions ; 
sometimes cabbage, beets, and vinegar. For breakfast and 
supper we had nothing but "hard-tack" and coftee ; occa- 
sionally rice or stewed dried apples were served for supper. 
These variations in our bill of fare were very gratifying to 
the " Koys in Blue" as well as to the " IJoys in Red" in our 

The whole army was aroused at midnight on the ist of 
August, by the thunder of very heavy cannonading in the 
direction of the James River. At first it was supposed that 
the Confederate rams had come down from Richmond and 
attacked the gun-boats. For about an hour there was a 
tremendous noise. The fire of the Union gun-boats could 
be easily distinguished, by their loud reports dying away in 
the distance with a long roll, like thunder. The reserve 
artillery lying by the river also opened, and the enen)y's bat- 
teries soon ceased their work. They had posted forty-one 
guns under the command of Colonel W. N. Pendleton, at 
Coggins' Point, on the other side of the river, and their fire 
killed ten men and wounded fifteen, besides killing some 
horses. The shell looked very grand going through the air, 
as the night was extremely dark ; but the spectators would 
have been just as well satisfied if they had not opened the 
performance, as they did not know but that with the morn- 
ing's light an attack would be made in front. 

At this time two Corporals of Comixany T were retiuned 
to duty from the hosjiital ; but the officer in command of 
tlie company was convinced that they were not strong 
enough to drill. On the second day thereafter, which was 
the 25th of July, when their company came in from evening 
parade, they found one of them lying dead in his tcin ; \\c 
ii-ul breathed his last while they were out on i-arailf. 

Oiie of tiie men saw an appaiitiun in the wood-> nuiving 
along toward the crock, and not being suj)erstitious. ho 
went over to make an investigation, and discovered one of 

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26o Fifth Nczv York Volunteer Infimtry. 

the hospital patients, who was deHrious with fever, making 
his way to the water to drown himself. Besides the patients 
in the catnp hospital, there were two hundred and tifty ab- 
sent, sick and wounded. This left only a small number 
able to perform the necessary duties, but it was noticeable 
that at dinner-time there was a pretty large muster. 

" Sunday, August lo. — The weather is now opjiressive, 
and the steady heat, day after day, without rain or clouds, is 
very trying in its effects on the troops. 

" On Friday last several companies were detailed to cross 
over to the south side of the James River to cut down trees 
and work on the batteries. Men have been sent over every 
day since the rebel bombardment of the shipping. After a 
pleasant sail across the river on the steamer Z^//^^ Branch — 
which reminded several of the men of a sail on this san)c 
steamer in former years on a more auspicious occasion — 
they set about their work, but could not continue it more 
than three hours in the pine woods. The temperature was 
over one hundred degrees, and some of them fainted. We 
arrived at camp about 7 p.m., having suffered more from the 
heat than at any time or place in all our experience." 

On Monday, the nth, our knapsacks were sent away, 
which was premonitory to us of an early movement. This 
took place on Thursday, August 14th, when we left Harri- 
son's Landing at 9 p.m., in our accoutrements, with a blanket 
looped, tied at the ends and thrown over the shoulder ; we 
did not see our knapsacks again for ten weeks. We marched 
till midnight, and after resting about two hours at Charles 
City Court-house, we resumed the march, crossing the Chick- 
ahominy at Barrett's Ferry, near its mouth, over a pontoon 
bridge nearly 1,000 feet in length. We limped into a biv- 
ouac in the woods two nuics beyond the river, at the side 
of the road, at 3 o'clock in tlie afternoon of the i;th. Th's 
was one of the most trying marches the regiment had at one 
stretch, being about thirty miles. The men tried to sing and 

1 ,'/ 


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'< . • ■ On the March to Manassas. 261 

be cheerful, but toward the latter part of the march, the 
fiitigue and strain had a very marked effect upon their tem- 
pers, as they had not yet mounted their marching legs. On a 
long march, when the men get tired out, they will move 
along for half an hour, or longer, at times in perfect silence, 
but let one of a company happen to stumble and only touch 
the man next to him, then it seems as if bedlam is let loose. 
He is asked if he is too lazy to hold himself up, and if he 
wants to ride on somebody's back ? This brings a retort, and 
in five minutes the whole company are likely to be engaged 
in a " war of words," the formulae of which are not usually 
found in dictionaries or works on military tactics. 

While bivouacking here the men were startled by a shot, 
just back of the spot where they were lying, and a cry of 
*'Oh ! I'm shot !" but hearing notliing further, they went to 
sleep again. The following morning, the i6th, we ascer- 
tained that Corporal Frank Hyatt, of Company G, was 
called by one of the pickets. He went to him and took 
charge of a negro, who had been stoi)ped in an effort to pass 
through the lines in the direction of Richmond. He was 
bringing him in to the guard, when the negro shied off into 
the woods. He was called back and warned not to try it 
again ; but the messenger was determined to accomplish his 
errand if possible, and a second time darted off on his way, 
when Hyatt shot him dead. He had a carpet-bag contairw- 
ing papers, which were delivered over to Colonel Warren. 
It was supposed that he was conveying important informa- 
tion to the enemy. 

Marched at 6 a.m., and having reached a point about two 
miles beyond Williamsburg, we bivouacked twelve miles dis- 
tant from our resting-place the night previous. While pass- 
ing through the town, a young woman called out that we were 
going the wrong way. One of the men answered, he guessed 
not. " Oh, yes, you are ! " " Why, what makes you think 
so?" " I5ecause that aint the way to Richmond !" was the 

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262 Fifth New York Vuluntccr Infafitry. 

reply. He had to acknowledge that the young lady was 

Sunday, August 17th, about 6 a.-m. we renewed our march ; 
passed through Yorktown, and bivouacked about eight miles 
beyond at Smith's Mills, having traveled twenty miles. The 
8th New York militia garrisoning the works at Y'orktown 
had dinner and coftee prepared for the regiment, but Colonel 
Warren refused to stop ; probably on account of orders to 
reach a certain point. This refusal to accept the hospitality 
of friends, after a long march under a burning sun, and over 
dusty roads, provoked the ire of the men, and brought out 
curses not loud, but deep. Monday, the i8th, we started at 
5 A.M., and passed through Big Bethel to Newport News and 
bivouacked, after a march of sixteen miles. We spent two 
days at Newport News, where we saw the hulk of the frigate 
Cumberland^ sunk by the Confederate ram Merrimac. \Ve 
enjoyed the luxury of salt-water bathing in the James River, 
and were joined by about 100 recruits. We left Newport 
News on Wednesday, the 20th, about 6 p.m., on the steamer 
Cahawba, for Aquia Creek. It rained all day on the 21st, 
notwithstanding which everybody was cheeiful. After a 
much crowded voyage, there being two regiments, the 5ih 
and loth New York, packed on the steamer for forty- 
two hours, we arrived on the 2 2d off Aquia Creek, and 
were finally landed by a steam-tug in detachments. While 
being ferried to the dock by the tug, some of the men found 
their way to the storehouse and helped themselves, and were 
supplied with sugar-cured ham enough to last a week. At 
Aquia Creek we were put in baggage and on [)latform cars, 
like so many cattle, some of the men sitting with their legs 
dangling over the sides, there being no railings, while the 
CL-ntcr of the platforms was crowded with men. 

We reached l''almouth Statioii abvuit 11 f.m. on tlie 22J, 
after a trip of an hour and a half, and the regiment went into 
bivouac. While woitinc here a " Union " man came around 

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'"' On tJtc March to Manassas. 263 

with a wagon and a barrel of cider, which he was selling to 
the rnen at five centjacup. Some iniscliievoiis fellows look 
out the pin that fastened the front axle to the body of the 
wagon, and on his starting, the fore wheels moved out, and 
down came wagon, cider, and man, to the astonishment of the 

On the 23d we inarched two miles, and halted near Fal- 
njouth ; Sunday, the 24th, we started at 4 a.m. to Deep 
Run, and bivouacked under arms after a inarch of ten miles ; 
the 25th we reached Ellis Ford (four miles), and bivouacked 
under arms; the 26th, left at 6 a.m., and after a march of 
about ten miles, we joined the division about six miles trom 
Bealton, and bivouacked under arms. 

On Wednesday, the 27th, we moved at 4.30 a.m., and 
niarched to Catlett's Station, twelve miles, and bivouacked 
under arms. We resumed our march at 4 a.m. on Thurs- 
day, the 28th, eleven miles to Bristoe Station, and bivouacked 
under arms. As we approached this place, we saw numerous 
ambulances, and wounded men were lying near a house un- 
der the care of surgeons. Details were burying the dead 
slain in an encounter between Hooker's division and 
Ewell's forces that had taken place the day previous. Some 
Confederates were lying dead alongside of the railroad 
track in their gore ; also a number of their wounded were 
lying about in the sun, and Colonel Warren ordered some of 
the men to place boughs over them to shield them from its 
burning rays. Two locomotives, their trains, and ihe bru];^'cs 
had been destroyed by the enemy. We fell in line aiul 
inarched at 7 a.m. on Friday, the 29th, and after moviPL; as 
expeditiously as possible, halted at Afanassas Junction. The 
destruction of property at this point was enormous ; large 
numbers of locomotives wore ruined, and long trains of cars 
\'>crc burnt, and daniagcd stores for tiie army wcrj !} iny 
about in promiscuous heaps. x\fter marching and couuler- 
uiarclung all the afternoon up and down a narrow road, lead- 

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264 Fifth New York Volunteer Infa?itry. 

ing through woods, looking for a fight — the men in a bad 
humor at what to them looked like useless exercise — the regi- 
ment drew up in line of battle in the afternoon on an ele- 
vated position, from which the country could be seen at 
intervals for a long distance. In front of us the ground 
sloped off into a Uttle valley, and was cleared of timber. 
The opposite heights were covered with dense woods. Gen- 
eral Porter was observed at one time pacing backward and 
forward over a little clearing a few yards from the road. A 
battery stationed within a few yards of us fired about a dozen 
shell into the distant timber, but there was no response ; 
although from the reports of stray skirmishers the woods we're 
supposed to mask an enemy ; if so, it would have been very 
poor judgment for them to expose their position, as any 
force marching to or through the woods could have been 
taken at a great disadvantage. We heard heavy firing late in 
the afternoon, apparently a few miles to our right, and it was 
the general impression among the rank and file at the time that 
an engagement was going on ; but as to the firing heard, it 
was nothing unusual, as we had been accustomed to hearing 
it in various directions for several days, and the common talk 
had been that Jackson was in a bag, and all that remained to 
to be done was to pull the string and secure him. Finally, after 
having traveled over about twelve miles of ground since morn- 
ing, we laid down at night on the side of the road and slept 
under arms. There was no movement of the regiment during 
the afternoon that could be misconstrued as a retreat. 

The following will show the position of tiie forces under 
General Longstrect at this time, as described by his own 
pen : 

New Orleans, L.\., Jii/y 30, 1870. 
General F. J. Lippitt, Boston, Mass. : 

The head of my column reached the field of the second Ma- 
nassas about 1 1 o'clock A.M. on the 29th of August. The forces 
wtre advanced and deployed as rapidly as possible, and I think 

I J <c;. |(ji 

. ■ , v. 

7 r.i u 

.'■.J. On tJic March to Manassas. 265 

that I was fully prepared for battle by i o'clock P.M There 

were twelve brig-ades, Anderson's division of three brigades 
coming up after dark on the 29th.* 

Extract from a letter to the Philadelphia Weekly Times oi 
Feb. 27^, 1S78, written by General Longstreet : 

" . . . . When the head of my column reached that field it was 
about 12 o'clock on the 2Qth. As we approached the field we 
heard sounds of a heavy battle, which proved to be General Jack- 
son very severely engaged uilh the enemy. As my column de- 
ployed on the field, the enemy at once withdrew in good order, 
however, and took up a strong position a little in the rear of where 
the heaviest fighting had been going on. During the lull that 
succeeded, General Lee rode up to where I was and told me that 
he had deteniiined to attack the position taken by the enemy, and 
indicated his purpose to have me open the fight. Aly men were 
then arranged for battle, but I asked General Lee to withhold the 
order for attack until I had made a careful reconnoissance and de- 
termined exactly how the troops had best be handled. He con- 
sented, of course, to this, and I went forward to make the recon- 
noissance. After a careful examination of the ground I rode l>ack 
to General Lee, and reported that the position was very strong 
and the prospects hardly such as to warrant the heavy sacrifice 
of life that a serious attack would involve. General Lee was not 
satisfied, however, but seemed disposed to insist upon an attack. 
He began to suggest moves by which an advantageous assault 
might be made. Before the question was at all decided a dis- 
patch was received from General Stuart, giving us notice that a 
very strong column was moving up against my right. General 
Lee ordered me at once to reinforce that part of my line and bo 
ready to repel the attack. I ordered the reinforcing column to 
the march, and rode out rapidly in advance that I might see pre- 
cisely what was needed. The threatening column proved to '•■■ 
O !r:ral Filz J^i':n Forfar's coiniiuvtd. Afier spring it 1 report- d 

AtLinilc M.'nthly for September. 1S7S. Tope's "Vlr-liiia C.impai..;i; 
ter"s psrt in it, by Francis J. I.iiniitt. Letter from (jcneral Lon«;street. 


•f; rrn /l-si' '■' rl if I 

266 Fifth Nczv York Volunteer Lifantry. 

back to General Lee that it was too lig^ht a column, in my opinion, 
to mean a real attack. This presumption was correct, and the 
advance soon halted, and then withdrew. General Lee then re- 
called the question of an immediate attack u[)on the main [)osi- 
tion of the Federals. I was thoroughly convinced that the position 
was too strong to be taken without \er\' severe loss, and I sug- 
gested to General Lee that the attack be postponed, and that 
we make a forced reconnoissance just at nightfall, and that we 
could then prepare to attack at daylight, if it seemed advisable, 
after thorough investigation, to make the attack at all. He con- 
sented very readily to this, and I left him to prepare for the forced 
reconnoissance. The reconnoissance was successfully made at 
nightfall. During the night several of my Brigadiers came in, 
and they all agreed in reporting the position ver>- strong. At about 
midnight Generals Hood and Evans, and possibly one or tv.o 
others, came to my headquarters and made similar reports, ex- 
pressing apprehensions as to the result of the attack. Evervthing 
developed by this closer reconnoissa'-.ce v/ent to confirm the im- 
pression made upon me by my reconnoissance during the day. 1 
therefore determined not to make the attack, and ordered my 
troops back to the original line of battle." 

On the other hand, in referring to General Porter's con- 
duct on the 29th, General Pope says, in his official report, 
dated at New York, January 27, 1S63 : 

" .... I do not hesitate to say that if he had discharged lii^ 
duty as became a soldier under the circumstances, and had nu'.'li' 
a vigorous attack on the enemy, as he was expected and clirccttd 
to do, at any time up to S o'clock that night, wc should have ut- 
terly crushed or captured the larger portion of Jackson's force bi- 
fore he could have bet:n, by any possibility, sufficiently reinforoiu 
to have made any effective resistance. 

". . . . I believe — in fact, I am positive — that at 5 o'clock in 
the afternoon of the 29th, General Porter Imd in his front no f^n- 
siderable body of the enemy. 

" I believed then, as I am very sure now, that it was ea>i'y 
practicable for him to have turned the right tiank of Jackson, arui 

i:,V\^ '"'''• 

' ^. ;' -...'I jH 1: i(:f!j VI..; r.t -'irji . ' ■:;).... 


On the March to Manassas. 267 

to have fallen upon his rear ; that if he had done so. we should 
have g-ained a decisive victory over the army under Jackscn 
before he could have been joined by any of the forces of Long- 
street " 

It is an undoubted fact that General Pope was unaware 
that Lcngstreet had arrived on the field, and expected Gen- 
eral Porter to advance and attack Jackson, who was opposed 
to himself, on his right and rear. Jackson's right was within 
a few miles of Porter at tliis time, and it is alleged that the 
latter did not receive General Pope's order to make the at- 
tack until it was too late in the day to obey it. Also we 
have seen by the testimony of General Longstreet himself, 
that if Porter had advanced, he would have encountered his 
overwhelming forces, which had made a junction with Jack- 
son's right, and as he (Longstreet) testifies before the board 
of officers appointed for the rehearing of the court-martial 
proceedings against General Porter : " In view of the impen- 
etrable woods, it would have been very hazardous for 
General Porter to take his command around the road to 
Groveton, and if he had attempted it his force woukl have 
been broken up. General Porter's position checked the 
forces of the witness till it was too late ; if General Porter 
had attacked that day any time after 13 o'clock, the forces 
of witness would have annihilated him, for the Federal lines 
were then too much e.xtended and disjointed." 

General Porter's infantry force this day and the following 
one consisted of but twenty-four skeleton regiments. Griffin's 
l-rigade not being present. These regiments, although nom- 
•nally composing five brigades, only made in reality, as com- 
pared to the enemy's similar organizations, four and one- 
^ilf; as Warren'^: brigade of two rcginicnt>=; was >nial!cr by 
'■!'C-half than any brigade in ihe Confederate army. On th.; 
t*tlier hand, General I..ongsticet's infantry force thai he men- 
tions as being present on the at"ternoon of the 29th, was 

■..cil Ij:j/1 ^j.'.'r. lO 'P ;'( i^i-) -liJ 

• ■..ty,. 

268 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

twelve brigades, to which were added, by the arrival of An- 
derson's division during the night, three more, making in all 
an infantry force of sixty-five regiments. Jackson had uiuk-r 
him at this time only about fifty regiments, while, on th'j 
other hand, General Pope had in hand, exclusive of Porter, 
about one hundred. 



The Field— Distribution of ForcES— The Henry House— Position- of thr 
Fifth — Generals Jackson and Longstreet — The Fifth Engaged — 
Fearfcl Slaughter— Allison, the Color-Bearer, Killed— Annihilation 
OF our O.lor Compawy— Bald Ridgk- The Tfxans-" Don't let them 
take my Flag !"— Overpowering Numbers— " Let there be no Falter- 
ing IN this Line ' "—A Zouave Targeted- A Roi-t- A Terrible 
—The Remnant of our Regiment after the Battle— Colonel War- 
ren's Report— General Pope's Revort— Personal SKETcnts and Inci- 
dents — Spellman — Chambers — ^rcDo^vELL— Wilson— Hager — Sapher— 
Humanity— Stonewall Jackson— Jamf^ Cathev— A Str.\ngk Coincidence 
—a Rifle Shot— James Patterson— Pollard's TESTnioNV- Bullwinkle 
—Sturgess—Tyndall—Strachan— Huntsman-— A Walk among the Graves 
-Faulk's Letter — Confederate Testimony — March to Fairfax- 
McDowell's Bkothek— General McClellan's Return to the Command 
—Near Frederick City. 

Ox the morning of Saturday, August 30th, the men of the 
Fifth arose from their bivouac and took up- their Hne of 
march to the rear and right, 7-ia. the Gainesville and Sudley 
Springs roads, to the scene of the previous day's engagement 
of General Pope's forces, which took place near \ranassas 
Plains, and known by the name of the battle of Groveton. 
As the regiment marched toward the front, they passed by a 
large number of troops who had bivouacked in the fields each 
side of the roads (among whom was rccogni/ed Km^'s 
division), many of whom cheered our regiment as they 
niarched by them ; and they noticed that the cannon wore 
begrimed with powder, as if they had been recentl)- in use, 
\vhile the soldiers wore that general look of weariness and 
ias>uude which is tiie hal)itual and natural reaction fro;ii the 
CAcUement oi baltic. As they neared tiie hunt, they met 
many details of men carrying off the wouniled and tlead ui 
the previous day's fight. Among them were recognized the 


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270 Fiftli Nczu York Vohmtccr Infantry. 

uniform of the Brooklyn 14th, some of whom were lying on 
a hill in sight at the front. Our brigade (the 5th and loth 
New York) took a position well to the front, on the borders 
of a hill running up in front of them. The Warrenton turn- 
pike, at the point where the engagement took place, known 
as the Second Bull Run, or Afanassas Plains, intersected the 
Union lines at their center, and ran in a westerly direction. 
It was the great highway, in this immediate vicinity, by wliich 
the army must advance, or, if defeated, retreat, as it led in 
their rear over Bull Run Creek across a stone bridge, the 
river being difficult to ford, and die banks on each side quite 
steep, "As the road approaches the battlf-field. going west, 
it goes up the valley of a little rivulet of Young's Branch, 
and through the battle-field is mostly close to the stream. 
The ground rises from the stream on both sides ; in souie 
places, quite into hills. The Sudley Springs road, in cross- 
ing the spring at right angles, passes directly over one of 
these hills, just south of the Warrenton pike, and this hill 
has on it a detached road, with fields stretching back away 
from it some hundreds of yards to the forest. This is the 
hill on which the Henry House stood," which was the key 
to the Union position, particularly in case of a retreat. 
If the enemy could gain possession of it, the result would 
be disastrous to the Union forces, as it would drive them 
from access to the turnpike. To the west of this hill was the 
Bald Hill, so called ; between the two hills was a suiali 
stream, a tributary of Young's Branch. 

The Confederate line of battle was in the shape of an 
'•obtuse crescent," at least five miles long, the apex of the 
crescent con\'exity toward the west. Jackson was on tiif 
Confederate left, his extreme right about one-fourth of a 
mile from th,- W'arrcnt.'ii turnpike; l.un^strcel s comma;:':- 
fifteen brigades, extended I'rom a point north of the tumi'ikc 
near Jackson's right, far to the right beyond the line of M;^- 
nassas Gap Railroad. In the interval, to the rear, between 

CJi ? 

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{.•<.•: ^:.m;|_ .U j-ft '' ;iv.7/f:! 

Second Battle of Bull Run 271 

Jackson's right and I,ongstreet's left, the Confederate artil- 
lery was placed, eight batteries, on coninianding elevations 
behind a ridge ; front of it was open ground between two 
forests, which stretched on each side of tiie Warrenton turn- 
pike, the s[)ace between opening like the letter V, and about 
half a mile between theni. At the apex facing the open 
ground the Confederate artillery was placed. 

General Pope's army, comprising, besides batteries, at 
least one hundred and forty skeleton regiments of infantry, 
was in the following position : 

General Heintzelaian (3d cori^s) was on the extreme right 
of the Union forces; General AfcDowell (1st corps) on the 
extreme left ; Fitz John Porter, Sigel's corps, and a divibion 
of Burnside's corps (Reno's) were placed in the center north 
of the pike. Porter's corp.s, composed of less than two di- 
visions, Morell's (Griffin's brigade not being present) was 
on the left center, pushed forward in the concave crescent, 
facing west, and on the north side of the pike, with two 
brigades (Sykes' regulars), their left resting on the Warren- 
ton i)ike ; Morell's tvvo brigades, Butterfield's and Martin- 
dale's, were on the right of the regulars ; Warren's brigade 
was held in reserve, with the batteries of \Veed, Smead, and 
RandolL Reynolds' division of Pennsylvania reserves was 
on the left, or south of the pike. 

As Warren's brigade remaiiied in this position, batteries 
posted on the left and the right of them were throwing their 
shot and shell in the direction of the enemy. They returned 
the fire, and their shot and shell came whi/zing about us, 
sometimes compelling the men to lie down. While this was 
transpiring they made their little fires and boiled coffee \w 
their tin cups, which was their nourishment during 
fix-ir long and tedious marches. Alter Iviiig in this position 
>^'inc time, they were advanced to the top of the hill in fiont, 
s>"Pportirrg a battery wliich still kept up a raj)id fire on ihe 

:up .'lag.-' 

S.i / , l";C'i -U-fyi 

2/2 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

enemy. The regulars were now further to the right, sup- 
porting batteries. 

General l*oiter having received orders from General Pope 
to attack Jackson, on the supposition that he was retreating 
from his position, ordered General Butterfield to attack. Wiiile 
ht: was n^aking his preparations to do so, General Reynolds, 
who held the left of the line, withdrew, by orders, two of his 
brigades (Meade's and Seymour's) to a ppsition in the rear, 
nearer the pike. It was. at this juncture that Warren, seeing 
the wide gap on the left tlank of Porter, leaving tlie ap- 
proaches to the turnpike open and exposed, advanced his 
little brigade, about one thousand strong, to occupy the po- 
sition, and also to protect Hazlitt's battery, whicli had been 
ordered to the left and was without support. The brigade, 
accordingly, was marched to a hill on the left, and in ad- 
vance of the former jiosition.* 

While marching up the slope of this hill they met a stray 
skirmisher, belonging to Reynolds' division, who was una- 
ware that his division had moved ; he came from the wood 
in front, and as he passed on to the rear, he reported that 
the enemy were advancing in force. A battery was posted 

* General Sykcs* Report, " Pope's Campciij^ " (No. 35, p. 146^ : " The rennsyl- 
vania reser\'f'^, under Genenl Reynoids, Jind been posted on my left, south of the 
Warrenton pike. Just previous to the attack these troops were withdrawn, leaving 
my left flank entirely iinovered, and the Warrenton rond open. Colonel Warron, 
5th New York Volunteers, commandinij my 3d briij.ide, seeing the paramount ne- 
cessity of holdin;; this point, threw himself there with his britjade, the remnants if 
two regiments, and endeavored to fill the gap crettcdby the remo.alof Reynolds " 

Swintoii (p. i9ot : "General Reynolds' division was detached from the left of 
Porter by McDowell, and. with a portion of Rickctt's division. pK-jcod sc as to clieck 
a flank maneuver that menaced to seize the Warrenton turnpike, which wa-. the 
line cf retreat of the whole army. Some other troops shotdd have been taken 
rather than remove Reynold, from that position. Rut the detachment of Reynolds 
from Porter's lo.''t fur that purpose, had an unfortunate result ; for it exposed the 
key-point of Porter's line. 

"Colonel O. K. Warren, whi5 thci^r.dod one of I'ortcr's br:^.-ides. 
the imniii-.c:ice of '.be d,in.;cr, at oii.:c, and without waiting fi;r orders, moved i- .'- 
ward \wlh his, but brave brig;idc of about one thousand men, and otcuiM'-d 
the important position abandoned by Reynolds," etc. 

-1.'. <^_/'-' ^li J.' .V.T-TO 
■■A -XM^'l ■_■ ((■■:^'i 

I : 'ii ;w;k ,1.' •: 

(Kru-.,;' :„i .. 

Sc ond Battle of Bull Run. 273 

on the right of the brigade, and a Httle to the rear, and con- 
tinued its fire o\cr the open s[)ace, between tlie woods be- 
fore mentioned, on the enemy's batteries beyond. 

This new move of Warren's placed the brigade on the 
south side of the turnpike, which was on his right, and some 
distance from it, to the extreme left of our assauhing col- 
umns. On a hill to the rear, commonly called Bald Hill 
or Ridge, about twelve hundred feet away, was CoUiiel 
Mcl.ean, commanding a brigade, consisting of four regi- 
ments and a battery of four guns, and in his viciniiv was 
Colonel Anderson, in command of Jackson's brigade, Rey- 
nolds' division, composed of four regiments and a battery. 

The 5th Regiment was drawn up facing a wood which 
ran down near their position to a distance of from thiitv to 
ten feet, and again to the rear on the left ran along at nearly 
right angles. . Company I, on the lel't, were mostl\ in the 
wood ; a little to the right of the regiment was the boimdary 
of the timber land, and then came the ojien space stretcliing 
back some distance, and also across to the wood on the 
north side of the pike. 

Directly to the rear was an open field, which. sloped down 
to a brook, the banks of which were quite steep. The 
water varied in depth from one to six or eight feet, and 
was skirted by some light timber on the other side of the 
stream ; then came Bald Hill or Rulge, on the slopes of 
which was scattered a scant growth of bushes. 

Six companies of the loth New York were posted in tlie 
woods, in front of the left wing of the regiment. The re- 
njaining four companies were sent out as skii nii:,hcrs. 
About this lime Butterfield, on the north side of the pike. 
having made his arrangements, moved toward the eiiemv 
with his own .uid .Martindale's brigade, uf .Mniell's <iivi-.j.,.i;. 
and attacked them wi'h great >i.iiit, supi'Drted by.->\ke>' 
regulars ; but instead of being on the retreat, the enemv 
were strongly posted in an old railroad cut, which shielded 
I 2 '•- 

'.■ .^ri;::."i.: 

;IT /[■yj)i -.iiiip oi:>v/ ;!ui!./ 'o i-Av^C -nv' o'O J --J 

2/4 Fifth Neiu York Volunteer Infantry. 

them to a great extent from his fire ; and although he main- 
tained himself with great gallantry for some time, aided bv 
the regulars, and made three assaults, lie was finally obliged 
to retire, suftering a loss of one-third of his command. At 
the most critical moment of this attack, the Confederates 
on the left, under Longstreet, who had been 'masked, biding 
their time, opened a heavy fire of shot and shell from a bat- 
tery posted on a commanding eminence, which enfiladed his 
line, and which decided the contest, so far as his attack was 

As we have seen, nearly all of Longstreet's command, 
lying in concealment, was south of the pike, facing the left 
wing and tlank of the Union troojjs ; and, according to Con- 
federate reports, the general disposition of their troops was 
as follows: Law's brigade, of Hood's command, four regi- 
ments, was on the north side of the pike, his right resting 
on the pike. During the subsequent charge it crossed over 
to the south of the pike and joined Hood's Own brigade. 
Hood's Own, composed of the ist, 4th, and 5th Texas, iSth 
Qeorgia, and the Hampton Legion, was lying south of the 
pike, its left a short distance from it ; and Plans' brigade, 
under the command of Colonel P. F. Stevens, was a little in 
the rear, with the left resting on the pike and in support of 
Hood. These three brigades were closely supported bv 
Anderson's division of three brigades. On the right of 
Hood were the divisions of Kemper and Jones, three brig- 
ades each. The remaining three brigades were advantage- 
ously placed, and also took 'part in the action. 

At the decisive moment of the repulse of the attack by 
Porter's troops on Jackson's right and center, Longstreet's 
phalanx counnenced its terrible charge, under cover of a 

* rolbrJ's History (p. 463) : " TIio liir,iiury .ittacUcd J^ickson, who^e men were 
coiicciletl behind .\n excavation on the railroad, two crack corps of the 
army, Svke>' and!l's, but it wx^ not in h.iman nature to -tand unfli.iciiumly 
before tJKit h.iirric.ine of firo." 

;Hi ,>,;/•, r 

Second Battle of Bull Run. 275 

heavy fire from all his batteries posted on the comnmndin:; 
ridges on his right and rear, and which played over the heads 
of the charging columns. This charge was only checked at 
night, after nearly all our whole army, and many batteries, 
had been engaged. The first to meet it was Warren's little 
brigade, which happened, by the exigencies of war, to be oc- 
cupying the position of a forlorn hope* being pitted against 
overwhelming numbers, and obliged to hold on to the last to 
enable the rest of Porter's corps to withdraw from Jackson's 

The enemy had kept so quiet on the left, that it struck the 
men that either some mischief was brewing, or that they were 
retreating. A few riile-balls had struck the ground a little 
while previous, pretty well spent. It looked njysterious, as 
not a Confederate was to be seen. It was not long before 
some shots were heard close in front, fired rapidly. A body 
of the Tenth came in all in a huddle, excited and somewhat 
demoralized, breaking through the lines of the Fifth, on their 
left, and cried out that the et^emy had come out of the 
ground, as it were, and were coming on in heavy force, and 
were right on top of them and on the llank. An order was 
given by Colonel Warren to change position, but the thoughts 
of the men were so intensely engrossed on the movements 
of the enemy, that their principal anxiety was for the 'i'enth 
to get out of their way as soon as possible, so that they couM 
make tlieir fire tell, and get to close quarters ; they pretended 
not to hear any orders, or did not wish to com[)rehend them. 

The balls began to lly like hail from the woods, and the 
Texans ware yelling like fiends ; their fire directly increasing 
into one unceasing rattle, the air was full of deadly missiles ; 

• Poll.ird (p. 4^.) : " la the pi?autime, J.ickson's left hail ni'.vanc-J r.iorc r ,t ■ ilv 
ll>.m the rig'ct, rmd wen; pressing tlie federals back toward the turnpike. It "..i? 
now the opportunity fur Loiigstrect to attack the exposed left Hank of tlie enemy ia 
front of it." 

I^c's R'-port : " Iluod'i two brlgudcs, followed by Evans, led the attack." 

A l\xv<\ \- ^\-Av-n \uw-,Z 

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1 -■'.:;;'' ,i .. . ■ > ' :-f(r;i /;n<l " inV/' 

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.OJ f.; :, ■ X: -y ■>'A:.h-j 1 r .■., ':, -r -v, •: 

• ,if;3' ' ' '> 


2/6 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

it was a continual hiss and slack, the last sound telling that 
the bullet had gone into some man's body. On account of 
the companies of the Tenth who were in front of the left 
wing, and who had not all got away from their front, the 
Fifth returned the fire with difficulty, and that only by 
obliquing their aim, but Company I, on the extreme left, with 
their Sharp's rifles, and G Company, were doing well, and 
could not fail to bring their man every time, they were so 

The Tenth having thus been surprised by overwhelming 
numbers, without any warning, were forced to fall back to 
save themselves from annihilation or capture. Themajority 
of them passed through the right and center of the Fifth 5 
but before they could extricate themselves from their perilous 
position they suffered a loss in a few short minutes, killed, 
wounded, and missing, of one hundred and fifteen. Owing 
to the very heavy fire, and being somewhat scattered in 
breaking out of the woods, it was impossible for them to 
rally and re-form on that ij^rt of the field. But no blame 
should be attached to them for retiring, as no regiment in 
the service would have hesitated to do the same, under sim- 
ilar circumstances ; moreover, they would have received the 
fire of the Fifth if they had not fallen back. 

But notwithstanding the desperate situation, which was 
enough to deinoralize almost any regiment, particularly un- 
der the heavy tire they were receiving, and their own men 
falling like autumn leaves, not an able man- in the Fifth left 
the raiiks, and the regiment stood as firm as a stone wall. 
In fact, they had so much i>ride in their organization, and 
were so well disciplined, that they did not require any offi- 
cers to urge them on. 

About tins time Sergeant Andrew 1'. Allison, formerly a 
soldier of the IJritish army, who carried the United States 
flag, received a ball through his wrist, and gave the Hag to 
one of the color Corporals, but immediately took it again. 

,-■'.'■>'•■ ■>"',^\ ■' ^^■, V.O. " '' 'A^U ^y,'tf, -MyyX 

1 -r 

!.. '■,; \ii.; ton hi,; o 

:■. .'»>. : .K -^rl 

Second Battle of Bull Run. 277 

and fell shot through the heart, the colors falHng with him.* 
They were immediately raised again, and how many took them 
during the seven minutes that the regiment stood alone, to be 
t^laughtered, and before they were brouglit off the field, will 
never be known. Lucien B. Swain, of Company K, was the 
brave hero who brought them oft", holding them on high, but 
was wounded in the attempt, and went to the hospital, where 
he remained until mustered out. The Hag came to the regi- 
ment the next day. Around the colors nearly all were cut 
down ; it looked like a slaughter pen. Four of the color 
guard besides Allison were lying dead ; two others of the 
eight were wounded, and the color Company K was almost 
wiped out ; the men kept closing up toward them, trying to 
fill up the gaps, but it was in vain ; they were swept down as 
if mown by a scythe. Sergeant Francis Si)ellman, of Com- 
pany G, who carried the reginiental flag, was bleeding at 
every pore, yet regardless of pain or his own life, still clung 
to his tlag. 

All along the line the fire was murderous ; the enemy were 
on the front and flanks, and were pouring in a terrible cross 
fire on the men, and were endeavoring to surround and take 
prisoners the remnant of the regiment. Captain Winslow. in 
command of the regiment, who v.-as acting nobly, fell wiili 
his horse, which had received seven v.ounds, but fortunately 
the brave Winslow was spared. Cai)tain Lewis, of Company 
D, acting as field officer, who a few moments b<iore had 
been begged by his men to dismount, fell from his horse. 
dead, while one foot was still in the stirrup, and his liotly was 
being dragged over the field. Lieutenant Wright, of tlie same 
company, its only remaining officer, had rcceivctl his moit.d 
wound. Adjutant Fred Sovereign and Captain H.ig^T, of 
Company F", and its only remaining olhccr. were botii eUad. 

* It is to be reiircttecl thut a likcnes-i of Ser^ Allison could nut have luen 
preserved in this work, as he was equally deserving as Spellman. lUit .ill elTorts 
I'j olitain his photograph were futile. 


.r. Ir. 


cc- ilVVS- 

Jl., M*wU. 1» 

i.;;;;iiivi (It 

2/8 Fifth A'fz:' York Volunteer Infantry. 

Lieutrnitit Martin, of Company G, and its only officer, was 
wounded in the leij, but scorned to leave his coniaiand. 
Lieutenant Raymond, of Company H, wounded, and with 
Captain McConnell, the remaining officer, soon to become 
prisiMKTS. Captain }5oyd, of Company A, wounded, and 
soon to become a prisoner. Lieutenant Keyser, the re- 
maining officer of the company, wounded and left the field. 
Captain Montgomery, of Company I, also soon to become 
a prisoner, and Lieutenant Hoffinan, the remaining officer 
of the company, suffering from three wounds. The forego- 
ing include, with Colonel Warren and one other officer, all 
the officers that were present with the regiment. Colonel 
Warren still stood by the regiment which he had cherished 
with so much care, and was not the man to forsake his troops 
in tlie liour of need, although he would have been justified 
in doing so, as he was only exposing his life to no purpose, 
before as murderous a fire as ever fell to the lot of soldiers 
to endure. It was not in his power to aid them, and he was 
forced to look on and see the flower of his regiment swept 
away. Nearly all of -the new recruits who had just joined 
had fallen, and the remainder broke out to the rear. Some 
of the non-commissioned officers at first attempted to shove 
them in again, until Sergeant Forbes sung out: '• Let theni 
go ! let them go ! " and the men were receiving deadly vol- 
leys frnni an unseen enemy on -their left and rear, at close 
quarters, as well as on their front, into their faces, from 
Hood's brave, but ragged, barefooted, half-starved Texans, 
who now swarmed in their front within twenty paces, yelling 
like hrnd-^. Had the l-'ifth not been overwhelmed by such 
vastly disi)roporti()nate numbers, they would have -hown 
them a tiick with the bayonet which they did not uiider- 
s\xn I. 0,ir men \\m\ siieh confidrnce in themselves tVoni 
Ih.e ii-id training in the jiractical use of the I.ayonet, first in- 
troduced, b) Colunel Warren, and such pride in the honor oi 

Second Battle of Bull Run. 279 

their regiment, that it never entered into their heads that 
any force could drive them, nor could they have been forced. 
except under the circumstances in which they were placed. 
Here was a regiment of 490 men standing alone, without sup- 
port, against two choice brigades of Confederate troops, meet- 
ing the tirst onset of Longstreet's famous charge, that drove 
several divisions of our army before it was finally checked 
on Henry House Hill by Sykes' regulars, who were the bul- 
wark of the army on many a field. They belonged to the 
Fifth corps, General Fitz John Porter, who had saved the 
Army of the Potomac by his skill and obstinacy in fighting 
at the battle of Gaines' Mill. His military sagacity had 
saved his corps from useless slaughter, and perhaps annihi- 
lation, on the afternoon of the 29th, only to be ordered for- 
ward the next day, without support, to be slaughtered, while 
the efforts of the innocent victims were treated by those re- 
sponsible with slight and dis[)aragement. If General Porter 
committed a fault on the 29-th, who was responsible for the 
disaster of the 30th, when a small force was ordered to attack 
an enemy supposed to be retreating, while an immense re- 
serve was held back in the rear at a safe distance ? 

It now became apparent that the only hope of saving a 
man was to tly and run the gauntlet, for in three minutes 
more there would not have been a man standing. The only 
alternative was to tly or to surrender. Put the men of the 
Fifth did not understand the latter movement ; they had 
never been taught it by their officers. All hope having van- 
ished, and being without officers, the remnant of the once 
proud regiment broke and ran for their lives. They were 
nearly annihilated, but not conquered or disgraced, and boie 
away with them all of their fiags, and many of their wountictl. 
'I'ii>:ir heroic stand had- not been in vain. Hut tei field on th ■ 
ri^nt had been enabled to withdraw, as well as ila/hn's 
battery, which the regiment was supporting. '"'The latter 

Vv ■^\\\<!.'i\ V.u-sv.?. 

':,< i . .1.!.:? ;^ ■■ -: 


28o Fifth N'eiu York Volunteer Infantry. 

had greatly impeded the enemy's movements on our right 
by an enfilading fire."* 

As soon as Colonel W^irren saw that his men were tiyin^' 
to save themselves, wliich he had ordered them to do before, 
he put spurs to his horse and escaped by dashing down tlie 
slope and jumi^ing him over tlie brook at the foot of the hiil, 
but turned again as soon as over to meet his men. 

When the remnant of the regiment turned toward the rear, 
the enemy were coming on in a long line without a break, 
and were not over twenty feet distant, witli others pouring 
out of the woods that ran along on the left and rear of their 
position. It was ascertained afterward from wounded men 
left on the field, and who subsequently returned to the 
regiment, that they were followed closely by a second and 
third line. On the right toward the turnpike was another 
long line of Confederates, led on by their officers. But here 
and there were some of the Fifth who scorned to turn their 
backs or to surrender, and fought to the last. They were 
all shot down. 

The Confederates came charging on, a division snong. 
with yells and cheers for Jelf. Davis and the Soiuiicrii 
Confederacy, and giving vent to all kinds of proflane and ob- 
scene epithets. x\.ll this time they were ])ouring in their 
deadly fire at short range, picking out their victims as they 
ran down the slope to the brook ; men were tailing on ail 
sides, canteens were struck and tiying to pieces, haversacks 
cut off, rifles knocked to pieces, and still the enemy came on 
and swept everything before them. 

Alluding to General }5utterfield's attack, General Sykes 
says : 

"The enemy seeing its failure, and that our weak point lay oii 
my left in front of Warren, !)oured upon his liule conunaivi. 

« A. H, G.i-;rus'-y ;,iy-, in " Hnrper's Pictonal History of the " : " WnrriiN 
desperate st.-ind had not, however, been unavailing. To all seeminj:, it saxfi i"= 
defeat fruni bccomiiiir a rout. ' 

.ytiui;* riOierlviI) /; c; . ■^ ■ . -.••■ --M 

•i;')^DL f.' 

Second Battle of Bull Run. 281 

under cover of the forest, a mass of infantry that enveloped — 
almost destroyed — him, and completely pierced our line."* 

Captain Smead, a regular officer and a graduate of West 
Point, who commanded one of the batteries, was killed. 
Hazlitt's battery, which the regiment was supporting, and 
which the enemy expected to capture, was saved while our 
men were standing, receiving their fire ; but the artillerists 
suffered severely. 

There were about ten men of Company H who were 
among the last to fall back, among whom was Sergeant Wil- 
liam H. Chambers, formerly a soldier of the British army and 
of the Crimean war. He saw Color-Sergeant Spellman (Regi- 
mental), while coming off th' field, very badly hurt, with one 
of his hands pressed to his side, his body turned half around, 
with his face looking toward the rapidly-approaching enemy, 
who, with vile epithets, were calling upon him to surrender. 
With the other hand he was holding up his flag, and lo(jking 
the very picture of distress. When Spellman saw him. he 
called out, " Chambers / For GocT s scke don't let them take 
"lyjlagl" and to use the words of Ch.ambers himself (who, 

* Sw-inton (p. igi) : " Warren occupying the important point he had sei/ed, held 
on stoutly and against a fearful loss till all the rest of Porter's tro.>ps had been roiircJ, 
and only withdrew when the enemy had advanced so close as to fire in the very faces 
of his men." 

Compte de Paris (p. 2^7): "There remained only about i,oco men. Warren's 
brigade, to form the left. The youn^ chief of thi> bri.:.ide, with that war instinct 
for which he was always distinguished, had not waited fororder-. to place himself it 
the most important point of the line, which Reynolds had stripped by nuAin;: 
toviard Bald Hill. In this position when Porter made his great attack, Warren liad 
stuhb'vrnly covered the left tlaak of his chief. I!ut the reverse sust.iii'.cd by the 
tatter I billed him to fdl back with the remainder of the corps." 

Pollard (,p. 461): " Hood's bri;4.-ide charged ne.\t the turnpike. In its tr.ick it nut 
Sickles' Kxcelsior brigade, aud almost annihilated it. The ground was piled with 
thcshdn."*— [* He is i:i error; it wa-. Warren's brigad.-. SIc'kIcs" 'Drigrle 
composed of five regiments — in Hooker's division of Heintzelinan's corps. wlifcU 
h'-ld i!-,e extreme rij;ht at leiut two miles from Warren, who was fn the cxtrciU'j loft. 
>-c Pope's Campiugris, Utint/clman's Report (p. 56) : " General Hooker's divisKii 
now advanced into the woods near our right, and drove the enemy back a short 
dial ince," etc.] 


''-') '•'•■rfiii.'f ?Tv(.: ■■'. ; > li'J':l> '.« ?ri; y..!! j) i i/, " *•• ^/.^'(^w^ 

282 Fifth New York ]' luriteer In fa,! try. 

as all of the oKl mc^1bel^ of ihe Fiftli know, was a brave 
man and couli] appicciiite a brave deed), he replied: "/ 
7i'on!t if lean J'clp it." and l>r(iu'j;lit it off safe, but, as he says, 
" It was the narrowest escape 1 ever ha/; in my life." He 
had been a soldier all liis life ; wlien he enlisted his i^rofession 
was recorded as that of a ^ol.iier. Chambois yet bears the 
scars on his face and bod\' where he was scratched by the 
bullets of the enemy. Fla\e Carr was the only Color-Cor- 
poral that came off the hel.'. After the loen crossed the 
brook they saw a few regiments in a kneeling position, and 
farther back a battery, but tliey were, from appearances, 
beginning to receive a dericiiy fre/"' 

In fact, there was little io stop Longstreet. who was per- 
forming one of those flank movements for whicli the Con- 
federates were ever famous, aiicl had force enough to walk 
over the few troops that were ready to oppose him.t 

The men of the Fit'th l;ept on after they got across the 
brook, but the bullets fo' :i3 they went. Many of them 

• "Pope's Campaigns " (Report No. 13, p. 101) : " Coljnel N-. C. McLean, com- 
manding 2d brigade, i^t division, corps, four rcijiiaeiits of infanlry and a 
battery, occupied the Bald Hill. ' I c<ukl, by this time, see the enemy advancing 

on ray front and a little to the right, diivin.^ before them a re,:;imc; it of Zouaves 

They came on rapidly, when som^ tfji.i- advanced to meet ihei:! from behind a hill 
on my right ; the-.o tr j>ops were also d::-.-en back in CMiifii^ion,' etc. After fighting 
hard a short time, the enemy were on bis flanks and rear, and he was compelled to 
fall back.- 

Colonel Andcr;on. commanding Jac'.on's brigade of Reynold-.' division, four 
regiments, and a battery of four gun^, ij tb.e right and in advance of McLean, 
overwhelmed, and lost hi.s batter^-. S.-vr,-,: other regiments were also driven. 

tMcDoweir^ kcpirt (Xo. ?, p. -.1 : '•'i'Sie attack ..n the \'.A,\ Mid^'c line h.aJ 
been too severe f-r the tmnps to' it in;.: under the b'>'. fire the enemy main- 
tained upon it. Jackson's brigade, or Reynolds' division ; McLean's, ofSchenck'-.. 
and Towers' two brigades, of Rick-jc's division, were, after heavy Ifjsscs, little by 
litiie compelled to yield it. Genera! ^ '.icn.k and Tower receiving scserc wounds." 

Pollard (p. ^fy2\ : '" Hood has alrea!;,' ad-, anced his division nearly half amilc at a 
doa'.'le-in'.ick. the Te.vans, tleor-i^:'-;, ,ind Hampton's L-./; .m lo.T.iinc; and firing as 
they run. yelling all the while lik- in:x.!:r.:n." 

'• The dill W.1S do.Uoning, the I.tavy notes of the arlilkry, at first deliberate, 
but gradually increasing in their rapidity, mingled witli the sh up treble uf the sm.ill 
arms, give one an idea of some concert in which all the furies of licll were 
at work." 

.; ■..: -. 

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*• ■ Second Battle of Bull Run. 283 

now endeavored to assist their wounded comrades who had 
succeeded in getting thus far. 

The remnant of the regiment rallied on Buchanan's brig- 
ade, in the rear of the plateau of Henry House Hill, where 
they found their regimental flag, the staff of which was planted 
in the ground by Chambers, who was standing on guard at 
its side, with Colonel Warren, who was dismounted, his horse 
having been disabled from wounds. The Colonel formed the 
men in line as they came up, but there were only about si.vty 
of them that got together. The renjainder were mostly en- 
gaged in assisting the wounded to the rear. They were joined 
by lost members of other organizations, and Colonel Warren 
took command of them again, saying every {^\v moments, as 
the shell and bullets came over their heads, " Don't dodge, 
men ! don't dodge ! " They were glad to see their colors 
safe, with the remnant of stout Iiearts yet left, rallying 
around them. There were a few of the Tenth wliom Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Marshall was exhorting and encouraging, 
with tears in his eyes, to be brave and resolute, come what 

This stand was made on one of the camp-grounds, and as 
a proof of the rapid advance made by the enemy, tlie cam[)- 
kettles were boiling over the tires. Lest the meat therein 
nu'ght be wasted, a {<t\s of the Zouaves picked out pieces and 
stowed them in their haversacks, not meaning to star\ e to 
death, whatever else might hai>pen, notwidistanding the 
bullets were continually flying around and overhead. 
Among these provident men was "Jake " Lowns, oi Com- 
pany G, at present in the regular army, wliere he has been 
for eight years or more, who tilled the writer's haversack 
witii the meat, his own having been sliot away. 

.\t this time the wounded came Hmping along in s.pi.uL, 
covered witii bio xj. s.):ne being a^>i>tcd by^ and 
others carried in blankets, a man hulduig each corner, and 
^iH intensjlv e.xciled 

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284 Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

The field everywhere presented to us, at least, one of tlie 
worst pictures of the chances of war. The wounded reeled 
about from one place to anotlier, some of them groaning 
with pain ; infantry and artillery tlying, the horses galloping 
as if they were mad, with drivers bewildered ; ofticers with 
drawn swords and revolvers, shouting, cursing, threatening 
in the confusion, striving in vain to rally their comtnands ; 
bullets were tlying and shells bursting ; the rattle of musketry 
and the roar of artillery made a fearful din, while everything 
was enveloped in smoke, and aides and orderlies rode back 
and forth in wild confusion, or endeavoring to convey the 
orders of their chiefs. This was, in fl\ct, what is called a 
" rout." All this commotion was as sudden as a storm at 
sea after a calm. We stood here excitedly looking on all 
this scene, in an agony of suspense as to the fate of our 
army, and what the effect would be on our cause. The little 
band stood with but one will, to obey orders ; /'/// winidcs 
were ages. Finall)', they saw General McDowell, with some 
other officers, ride along the front anu'd the storm of bullets. 
After making some motions with his hand, he dashed away 
again. Soon a long line of men were seen through the 
smoke advancing rapidly along the ridge in front. The men 
went onward at double-quick, and with a cheer ; at the end 
of the line was one of the Fifth going with them, although 
he had no business ihrre. It was never ascertained who he 
was, and he probably left his body on the field, and his name 
is on the rolls as missing in action, or, mayhap, among the 
names of the deserters, as many anotiior man who lost his 
life in the service of his country stands to-day. This line of 
troops was a brigade of Sykes' regulars, who were sent to 
the rescue. The fate of the army, and, for all we then knew, 
perhaps that of the Union, depended upon their success in 
.-staving the onward rush of the eiieiu}'.'"' 

* I'ald Rkl^e liaviiij,' been c.irried by the enemy, they were making .in attempt 
to capture Henry Ilnuse Hill, the key to the Union position. I.ieuieniint-Colunc. 


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'•■ ' Second Battle of Bull Run. 285 

A general officer's voice rang out clear and loud above the 
din, "Zf/ there be no f Littering in this tine ! " Iinmediatclv 
after, a fearful rolling crash, as the whole brigade poured in 
their volley, succeeded by a fierce yell, told that the brigade 
had commenced the work of death ; at the same time sev- 
eral batteries stationed on the hills opened with grape and 
canister on the Confederate hordes. But darkness was fast 
spreading her mantle over the scene, and the army was 
saved. The regiment now only a company, witli the rest of 

Chapman, commandinc; the 2d brigade, regulars, and a volunteer brip;ade nnd bat- 
tery, held that vital point for three-fourths of an hour; Sigel's corps and other 
troops were also engaged at this time on other parts of the field. The rc-ulru<; 
were deserted by some of the volunteer troops and the battery, but they succeeded in 
keeping the enemy from flanking the position and in checking their onward career. 
Meade's and Seymour's brigades al5o came up and did valiant service ; but the lat- 
ter, being hard pressed, about six o'clock Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan's ist brig- 
ade of regulars was ordered forward, 

Swinton (p. 191): " Longstreet kept on and carried the ' P.ald Hill," held by 
Reynolds and Ricketts ; and it then became doubtful whether even the ' Henry 
House Hill ' could be maintained so as to cover the retreat of the army over Hull 
Run, for Longstreet had thrown aruund his right so as to menace that po>iti'>n. 
The regulars saved it, until relieved by the brigades of Meade and Seymour and 
other troops, that maintained the position and permitted, the withdraw.d of the 
army across Bull Run by the stone bridge." 

Compte de Paris (p. 29S) : "Hill, crowned by the Henry House, checked by 
Buchanan's brigade of regular infantr>% whose unfaltering stand under a terrific 
fire, vindicated the reputation of the troops d'e'.iie. of which it was comp.isc.!. 
They were afterward reinforced by Tower's brigade of Ricketts' division, Mcadc s 
and Seymour's brigades of Reynolds' division, forming a nucleus around \\:ii<ti 
grouped regiments and batteries that had preserved their organization amid the 
disorder" (p. 299) : " In checking the offensive-movement of Long?trect, the \;..I- 
l.ant defenders of the Henry House had saved the Federal army from a terrible 
disaster. They held their ground until night." 

Lieutenant-Colonel Buchanan (Report No. 37, p. 153); " I can not omit l-:>!IIh4 
the attention of the Ilrigadicr-Goneral commanding to the firm and gallant manner 
in which my brigade held the enemy in c'neck on the extreme left for such a length 
of time, and finally prevented his turning our flank." 

"Pope's Campaigns" (,Xo. 50, p. 175). E.\tract from a letter of 
Colonel Buchanan to Geaeral McDowell : " I did not luse one inch of gnuind .ifter 
I got my brigade together, which I did inimediattly by moving this latter porti"n 
to the loft, hut held the enemy at bay for an h.nir ; and, in-tead of bci:ig ' fir^-Ld 
back,' I maintained my p '~iti ^n until ordered to f.dl b.ick. In the scn.e <\ llei.o.-. 1 
.Milroy's report, he would have obtained pos.,es-.ion of the stjiu- bridge ; and w!>at 
would h.-xve been the reside ? Yoii are well aware, our defeat would have been di;^ 

-■Kit no :-j::ut3^'j 


286 riftJi Nezu York Volunteer Infantry. 

the army, under the cover ol" night coninienced their re- 

From the time the first shot was fired at the regiment, to 
their getting oft" the field, it was not over fifteen minutes. It 
stood in line receiving the murderous fire only about seven 
minutes, yet in that short space of time one hundred and 
thirteen were killed or mortally wounded ; four missing, who 
were never heard of, and one hundred and eighty wounded ; 
a total of two hundred and ninety-seven, out of the four 
hundred and ninety engaged. Many of the wounded were 
struck more than once, and of those who escaped the 
tempest of bullets the majority could show scratches, and 
bullet holes through their clothing, some having no less than 
seven. No other regiment suffered an equal loss in so short 
a space of time, on the Union side during the war. The 
Fifteenth Massachusetts, mentioned in Pollard's "Southern 
History of the War," nearly equals it. They lost at the battle 
of Antietam in twenty minutes, eighty men dead on the 
field, and two hundred and twenty-four wounded, out of a 
total of five hundred and fifty-six men engaged. 

The following report by Colonel Warren is from General 
Pope's report (No, 36, p. 149) : 

Headquarters Third Brigade, \ 
Sykes' Division, Sept. 6, 1S63. ^ 

Sir : — I take leave to present herewith a sketch of the field of 
action ot the 30th August, as it appeared to me, with an account 
of what 1 witrussed and the part sustained ]>y my brigade, con- 
sisting- of the 5th New York Volunteers, about 490 strong, and 
the loth New York Volunteers, about 510 strong. (Diagram) 

Smead's and RandoU's batteries in the road near me. 

Hazlitt's titled battery was executing an order from General 
Porter to take up a position at where Reynolds had been. 
(lia/litl's baiter) wis wiUiout support, and our whole left flank 
was uncoveretl). J uumcdiatcly assumed the responsibility of oc- 

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: •■'^, Second Battle of Bull Run. 2S7 

cupying- the pLace Reynolds' division had vacated, and make all 
the bhow of force I could. 

For this purpose I deployed three-fifths of the loth New York 
Volunteers to hold the edge of the woods toward the enemy on 
our left, and keeping the 5th New York Volunteers in reserve, 
out of view of the enemy's battery. 

Notice of this movement of mine I immediately sent, by an 
officer, to General Sykes or General Porter. He found the latter, 
who directed me to hold on, and sent me mounted orderlies to 
keep him informed. He was, I believe, near where Weed's bat- 
tery was placed. From the point where Hazlitt's battery was 
placed, I probably had the best view of what followed that the 
battle-field presented. As soon as General Butterfield's brigade 
advanced up the bill, there was great commotion among the 
rebel forces, and the whole side of the hill and edges of the 
woods swarmed with men before unseen. The effect was not 
unlike flushing a covey of quails. The enemy fell back to the 
side of the railroad, and took shelter on the railroad cut and be- 
hind the embankment, and lined the edges of the woods beyond. 
Butterfield's advance beyond the brow of the hill was impossible, 
and taking his position, his troops opened fire on the enemy in 
front, who, from his sheltered position, returned it vigorously, 
while, at the same time, a battery, somewhere in the prolonga- 
tion of the line, E, B, opend a most destructive enfilading 
fire with spherical case shot. It became evident to me that 
without heavy rei -tbrcements. General Butterfield's troops must 
fail back or be slaughtered, the only assistance he received being 
from Hazlitt's batter)-, which I was supporting, and Weed's, 
(near N). 

After making a most desperate and hopeless fight. General 
butterfield's troops fell hark, anil the enemy immediately fornucl 
and advanced. Ha/lit.'s battery now did good execution on 
them, and forced one column that advanced beyond the point of 
llie woods at (A), to fall back into it. Unwilling to retire from 
the position I held, which involved the withdrawal of this tf- 
" -"nt batteiy and I'k- f\pn-;ur>' iA t'ae flanks of our rrtrcjiiiig 
' '■ ts, I Ih-I.l on, liopi:ig lli;vt HTbh tr<>oi)s wouid h<- tlirow.i 
^^ ''d to meet the enemy now advancing in the o[)en lickls ; will 

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288 Fifth Ncxv York Volunteer Infantry. 

knowing, however, that my position was one from which I could 
not retreat in the face of a superior force. Reynolds' division, on 
my left, probably aware of the superior force of the enemy gath- 
ering- in his front, fell back from I toward P. The enemy advanced 
with rapidity upon my position, with the evident intention of cap- 
turing Hazlitt's batter}'. The loth New York was compelled to 
fall back, scarcely arriving at the position held by th? 5th New 
York, " before " the enemy ; and in such a manner as to almost 
completely prevent the Fifth from fi.-mg upon them. While I 
was endeavoring to clear them from the front, the enemy, in 
force, opened tire from the woods on the rear and left flank of 
the Fifth with most fearful effect. I then gave the order to face 
about and march down the hill; so as to bring the enemy all on 
our front ; but in the roar of musketry I could only be heard a 
short distance. Captain Boyd, near me, repeated the command, 
but his men only partially obeyed it. Thty were unwiiltn^ to 
viakc a backziuird moziemcnt. He was wounded while trying to 
txecute it. Adjutant Sovereign carried the order along the lin^' 
to Captain Winslow, com.manding the regiment, and to the other 
Captains, but was killed in the act. Captain Winslow's horse 
was shot; Captain Lewis, acting tield officer, was killed; Captain 
Hager was killed ; Capiains McConnell and ATontgomery were 
down with wounds, and Lieutenants Raymond, Hoffman, 
Keyser, and Wright were wounded. Both color-bearers were 
shot down, and all but four of the Sergeants were killed or 

Before the colors and the remnant of the regiment could be ex- 
tricated, 293 men of the Fifth, and 133 of the loth New York 
were killed or wounded.* In the loth New York, Lieutenant 
Heddenwas killed, and Captain Dimmick, Lieutenant Deweyick. 
Lieutenant Mosscross, and Lieutenant Cuthane wounded. 

We assisted from the tield 77 wounded of the Fifth and t> ot 
the Tenth. The remainder fell into the hands of the enemy. 
Among these were Captains Boyd, McConnell, and Montgomer>'. 
and Lieutenants Wright and Raymond of the Fifth. 

Braver men than those who fought- and fell that day could nui 

A later roi..^rt slates the loss in the loth New York as 115. 

10 l>l.i. 

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^"' « Second Battle of Bull Run. 2S9 

be found. It was inipossible for us to do more, and as is well 
known, all the efforts of our army barely checked this advance. 
Very respectfully your obedient serv^ant, 
G. K. Warren, 
".",., .,■ , Colonel ^th Nezu York Volunteers, 

Com)na?tding TJiird Brigade. 
Lieutenant Heyward Cutting, 
Acting Aide-de-Ca>np aJtd Acting Assistant Adjutant- 
General, General Sykes' Division. 

General Sykes, in his report (" Poi>e's Campaign," p. 148), 
makes the following statement of the occurrences on the 
field : 

" I desire to call the attention of the Maior-General command- 
ing to the services of Colonels Warren, Buchanan*, and Chap- 
man,! United States Army, commanding brigades of my division. 
Their coolness, courage, and example were conspicuous. Their 
claim to promotion has been earned on fields of battle long prior 
to that of the 30th of August, 1862." " Had the efforts of these 
otllcers, those of Generals Reynolds, Reno, and Butterfiekl, been 
properly sustained, it is doubtful if the day had gone against us." 
" Warren's command was sacrificed by the withdrawal of Rey- 
nolds' troops from my left, and their non-replacement by others. 
The enemy masked and concealed his brigades in the forests south 
of the Warrenton pike. His presence was unseen and unknown 
until he appeared in sufficient strength to overpower the infantry 
opposed to him." 

Many of the old and experienced members of the regi- 
ment ran zig-zag when escaping from the enemy, to distract 
their aim, who were picking their men at close range. A 
number of new recruits were on the way to join the Fifth, 
but little could they imagine what their trials and troubles 
^ve^e to be. Second Lieutenant Thomas R. Martin, in com- 
mand of Company G, v.hich lest 34 men killed and wounded 

• i-ec Appendix. t See Appendix. 

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290 FiftJi Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

out of 50, stood at his post to the last encouraging his men, 
although himself wounded in the leg, ably assisted by Ser- 
geants Forbes, Law, Jack Taylor, and Wilson. They, and 
the remnant of the company, which was next in line to the 
left company, did not leave until the enemy were within a 
few feet of them, and all hope had fled of making any effect- 
ive resistance. There were present with the regiment after 
this engagement only about eighty privates of the two years' 
men who were at Fort Schuyler when the regiment was first 
organized ; the rest had been killed or wounded, sick in 
hospital, dibcharged or deserted. Had this little remnant 
been so unfortunate as to become engaged in another simi- 
lar struggle, it would have been wii)ed out as a thing of the 
past. It was a fearful conflict, and seemed to be one of ex- 
termination. The Confederates fought hard and with the 
greatest determination, and the prisoners taken seemed to 
be confident of success in the end. They persisted that the 
South would never yield. One of the Texans drawled out, 
in a conversation with Jack Whigam (whose brother was killed 
in this battle), one of the men detailed with the flag of truce 
to bury the dead and look after the wounded: " \V'e will 
foute you until we are all dead, Yanks ! and 1 reckon the 
women will foute you after that." The people of the Nortli 
were too nuich disposed to underrate them. Afany of them 
did not seem to reflect that the Southerners were fighting for 
what they were brought up to believe was their right, and 
for their homes and firesides, and were of the same flesh and 
blood as themselves; and I venture to say that the proi-'or- 
tion oi native born was much larger than in the army oy- 
posed to them. They were the descenthmts of the men 
who, under Generals Greene, Sumter, Marion, .Morgan, and 
the inur.ortal Washington himself, fought and suffered in tin- 
struggle tor mdependence against the power of Great Ikitain, 
and in the wars in wluch the country had since then been 


fiTt'.K 3l'1 'lc> ■ (/j-Mfj 'u!" " 1 ,'i) T.,' 

Second Battle of Bull Riui. 291 


Sergeant Francis Spellman the writer had every opportu- 
nity to know well, as he was one of his messmates for some 
tinie in Baltimore. Afterward, when there was a vacancy 
in tlie color-sergeantcy, he conversed about it ; he was very 
quiet and calm when he spoke, and with a resigned air, as if 
he should never think of refusing any duty that might be im- 
posed upon him as a soldier. He said: "Several of the 
men have been talked of tor the vacancy on the colors, and 
I am one of them. I don't care for the honor, but I -won't 
refuser That sentence was the utterance of his nobility 
and courage ; for he knew that the position entailed, besides 
the honor, almost sure death, sooner or later. In all his 
associations, in the mess or out of it, he never had a.quarrcl 
or a cross word with any one. He was no ordinary man ; 
being quiet and retlective, spending his leisure hours in read- 
mg or discussing military questions from Hardee's " Tactics," 
and was ^Qxy quick to see through their complications ; and 
if he had lived, his merit and ability to command would have 
been discovered by such an observant officer as Colonel 
Warren. He was always gentlemanly, and there was nothing 
vulgar in his composition ; extraordinarily neat, his rit^e al- 
ways shone like silver, and he was one of the most perfectly 
drilled men in the regiment. But beneath his outward and 
even-toned temiierainent, one could see in the deep blue eve 
that lighted his face the truest kind of courage. When he 
was discovered in a hospital in Washington (by what means 
lie was conveyed there was never learned), his right arm had 
been taken off near the shoulder. He was shot through the 
side in several places, and had a ghastly wound through the 
"eck, his throat being so much swollen that he could only 
"i-ike a humming noise. The following letter wa. written 
1 ;« a tnend and former messmate of Spellman, AIoii.-:o Ameli, 
of Company G, and addressed to his brother ; and was copied 
from the original by the author : 

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ntrfl rit.- 

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292 Fifth Ncnj York Volunteer Infantry. 

Baltimore, Jan. 30, 1863. 
Last week I received a letter from the Rev. W. W. Winches- 
ter, who attended Frank Spellman in his last moments, and 
he said that being- interested in him, he strove to learn his name, 
and mentioned over several names to him, to all of which Frank 
shook his head ; then taking his memorandum book he held it 
up, and feeble and trembling poor Frank tried to write his name 
upon it. When he got through he said, " Francis } " and he 
nodded yes ; then he wrote again, and the minister said " Spell- 
raan ? " receiving an al'firmative nod. .He said he tried to find 
out where he lived, but the left hand fell upon the bed, and he said 
he could not urge the poor, brave man to any more exertion. Then 
he prayed with him, and when he left, Frank was humming a tune 
very faintly, which he says was a hymn. In a few hours he called 
again, and he found him sinking rapidly from his severe wounds, 
but he was happy, and soon after died. Noble Frank ! He was 
indeed a true friend, a cheerful companion, and a brave soldier. 
I have copied his name just as he wrote it upon tht; leaf of the 
memorandum book. 

Spellnian died a few days after the battle, and sleeps in a 
soldier's grave, near Washington, among an army of others 
who died under the old Hag, for the honor of which they gave 
up their lives. He had not a relative or a friend in this 
country outside of his army comrades, and there was no one 
at home to watch his career, or who would feel proud of his 
honorable deeds, and from whom he could expect paens of 
praise, or who would mourn over him if he should fall. All 
the honor he could expect would be that from his comrades 
in arms and his officers, and the consciousness that he was 
performing his duty. His actions proved that his whole 
thought was nobly fixed on the trust he had accepted, when 
he singled out from those around him a comrade whom he 
knew to be a brave man and a soIOIlt. and who would ac- 
C:'[)t the flag he was no longer able lo UL'fcnd. And in his 
agony of mind, far above iiis bodily pain, he called out : 
"Chambers! for Gff//'s sake, don't let them take my jhii; .'" 


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Secotid Battle of Bull Run. 293 

A nioniiiiient should be erected to his memory, and no 
more fitting words could be inscribed upon it, than the dying 
words of the hero, as an example to future generations. 


William H. Chambers enlisted, when he was only seven- 
teen }e3rs old, in the English army, and in the course of his 
service was in the Crimean war. He came to this country 
a short time before the breaking out of the Rebellion, ami 
immediately enlisted in the 5th Regiment as a private, and 
was mustered out with it as a Major by brevet. May 14, 1S63, 
having never been absent from sickness or serious wounds — an 
honor accorded only to one other Captain. Re-enlisted with 
the 5th Veterans as a private,'commanded by Colonel Wins- 
low. He was promoted on the field for bravery, and served 
till the end of the war, and was again breveted Afajor. He 
was offered the position of Orderly Sergeant in the regular 
army, with the i)romise that he should be promoted to a 
commission at the first opportunity, but he declined to accept 
anything but a commission. 

I omitted to state that the first officer he met after cross- 
ing the brook with the llag he had saved, was Lieutenant 
Hoffman, who was wounded ; the next was Colonel Warren. 


Among those who lay dead on the battle-field, was William 
McDowell, the Orderly Sergeant of Company (/, to wliich 
jiosition he was appointed from the ranks, thus stepiiing 
over all the intermediate Corporals and Sergeants, and no 
man better deserved it. He had been offered, and re- 
fused to accept, .\\\ inf'-tior appointment. He was a. 
nicni!)t.r of A\'ashini;ton Truck Coinpan}-. No. 9. \\<lnr.!err 
I'ire Department, New York City, wiien he enli>ted, iu 
April, 1 86 1. (Three members of this fire company were 


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294 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

killed in this battle). He belonged to a family noted for their 
fine physique, and stood six feet two and a half inches in 
height, and was well-proportioned. He was as brave in the 
hour of need as he was kind and gentle in his social relations 
among his comrades and friends. A large party of members 
of the Volunteer Fire Department enlisted together, one of 
whom was Wm. McDowell, and it was their fortune to serve 
together in Company G. When he became Orderly, it soon 
began to be understood among his former associates that 
they must not presume on old acquaintanceship to shirk any 
duty, or expect any partiality, even among his own messmates, 
in the line of duty. When a man's turn came to go on a 
detail of any kind, go he must, no matter who or what he 
was ; and often when a man tried to evade it by managing 
to be in some other than his own quarters, I have seen ]V[c- 
Dowell take a spade or pick in his hand and stand in the 
shirker's place until he could be hunted up, rather than put 
a man to duty outside of his regular turn. When the delin- 
quent was found, he would quietly remind him of his duty in 
such a way as to mak^ him thoroughly ashamed, and the 
men of the company soon began to dread, a lecture from 
" Billy," or " Pop," as he was sometimes called, more than 
they did the guard-house. He very seldom reported any one, 
because under his management it was not necessary. When 
off duty it was just the opposite; anything that he possessed 
he would share with the men, but the majority respected 
him too much to attempt to take any undue liberti*.'s with 
him, and those who were wanting in the latter quality, did 
not care to rouse his lion nature, as he was known to pos- 
sess great physical power and undaunted courage. He had 
a tine sense of honor, and would never run guard himself nor 
allov.- any one to pas'^ him svlieii he wa^^ a i rivatc on post. 

At the second battle of Bull Run, McDowell was one of 
the number that would not run or surrender. It was seen 
that he was wounded in the body, and had f:illen back a few 

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Second Battle of Bid I Run. 295 

paces, and was facing the enemy when they came out of tlie 
wood. After the most of the remainder of the regiment had 
made for the rear, a ball struck him in the forehead, and he 
fell dead, with his feet to the foe, and in this position he was 
found and buried by Jack Whigam, of the same fire company, ' 
who went with the detail under tiag of truce. Thus died as 
brave and noble-hearted a man as ever lived. The men of 
his company felt his loss keenly, and mourned for him, as 
they looked up to him as their father. They could have 
another Orderly, but there was only one Sergeant McDowell. 
The following tribute to the memory of Sergeajit AfcDowell 
appeared in the New York Leader : 


" We notice that in the battle of Bull Run, at the head of his 
company, Wm. McDowell, First Sergeant of Company G, Dur- 
yt-e's Zouaves, fell, nobly leading his command. He was one of 
nature's noblemen, well known in the Department, standing over 
six feet two inches high, of heroic courage, [assessing an innate 
modesty and kindness of heart that made each one love the fnan. 
A native of this city, he^ possessed the conlidence of his employ- 
ers, and the highest esteem of his brother firemen as a member 
of Washington Truck Company, No. 9. 

"His towering frame might have been seen in the front rank 
of the Dur^ce Zouaves on leaving New York, one of the very 
first to go forward to guard the emblem of our country, and to 
put down the traitors to his beloved flag and the institutions he 

" His company was in many battles. He was forem'^st in en- 
couraging his comrades, offered promotion tor his gallantn-, but 
ever declining. He died like the brave ever like to die, and he 
now fills a patriot's grave, leaving an aged mother to mourn the 
loss of an affectionate and brave son. God protect and con- 
sole the widowed mother! His companions deeply mourn his 
luis, and will ever h.olj his memory in grateful remembrance." 

Another of tho>e who would not leave the held, was Ser- 
geant Philip L. Wilson, oi Company C>. He was a direct 

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296 Fifth Nt-c York V-hmlrcr Infantry. 

contrast to McD. i'^ b:.:c, social oi :>iiion, and education. Coin- 
ing from the hij^lier v-alks oflife, ii:}u though still suffering from 
his wounds, is at jnesei:!t a lawyer of standing in N. Y. City. 
He stood to the last, and had rect-ivid two scratches, and as 
'the enemy were to inng from the wcod;, fired at one of them, 
and saw him clip '>:.s hands on hi:, abdomen and fall. He 
went about forty iMces further to i'.i- rear, at the same tiuie 
endeavoring to \o'\C\ IiIs rille, and the charge was partially 
down in the barrel, vrhen he heard a Confederate officer give 
vent to an opprobrious epithet, r.ijd t-xclaim : " My children, 
kill every Yankee you can hrd.' Tl,is stirred Wilson's 
blood, and he turned reward thiNn, at the same time endeav- 
oring to ran) home t!ie charge, for he was determined to kill 
that officer if possible, when his right leg was knocked from 
under him, and he tcil with an ugly wound, which perma- 
nently crijjpled 

Before the regi' went on tlie field of battle they came 
to a Iialt and rested on the banks of a beautiful stream of 
water. Many of the men availed themselves of the op[)ar- 
tunity to wash tiienr ••jvcs, among whon; was Captain Hager, 
of Company F, wlio v.-as tlie only commissioned officer in the 
regiment at the time who wore tlic full Zouave uniform. 
After he had washed and completed his y^reparations. he said 
to tlie company, " Ivoys, how do I look?" "You look 
nobby," said one ; " You look bully," said another. " Well," 
replied the Captain, •■ cion't you think I'd make a fine-look- 
ing corpse?" A s'.cMt time afterward ho was lying dead on 
the battle-field. lij was a favorite wiih his company, and a 
brave, cool soldier. He enlisted in tlie regiiiient as a private. 
The irrej-.ressi !■!•.• '• !;i:lch" Saplier was in the serious 
difficulty of his w!: ,!.• service, and he was awaiting sentence 
of court-martial f r ^"ik;:;:: an f ir.rrr ;u Harrison's Landing, 
and the probabiiitW s u^re, that iiotwitii.sianding his many 
good o.ualities .as a [.rave and cool-hoa.led soldier, and the 
life of the regimenf, l^;,•.^ t-e would be shot. Notwilhstand- 

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V.-.- Second Battle of Bull Run. 297 

ing his dliemtna he must have lis amusement. He had on 
an old white-felt hat he had picked up somewhere, with 
the crown torn out, his hair, or •' scalp lock " rather — for that 
was all he would allow to grow — was standing up above it, 
and over his shoulder was a stick, with a bundle tied to tiic 
end of it ; this was just before the battle, and he had " come 
up to take a hand in." A shell came bouncing along, and 
struck close by him ; he did not budge a hair, but taking off 
his apology for a hat, he bowed very gracefully, saying, 
"Good-morning; may you all strike in the same spot," 
which made a laugh all about him, among the officers as well 
as the men. For two or three days after the battle nothing 
was seen of " Butch," and it was supposed that he had either 
been killed or had disai)peared to avoid the sentence of tlie 
court-martial. When the regiment arrived at Hail's Hill, a 
strange character was seen approaching at a distance, but on 
getting closer, it was perceived that it was our missing " Butcli .' 
mounted on a mule, with three or four ritles strapped to liis 
back, together with a surgeon's knapsack of n)edicines. He 
had taken them from a cowardly hospital steward who ii:ul 
run away, and been captured by "Butch," who stri[iped 
of the stores, and it appears he had been rendering iiivalu- 
able services to the surgeons and among the wounded. The 
first words he said were, " Come here, all you that are sick, 
and I will give you physic." Nothing more was heard of the 
court-martial. He was a very powerful man, and had served 
an apprenticeship in the navy, before the war, and was 
marked in India ink with the usual devices of anchors, shiiis, 
etc. He could hold a fifty-poiind shot at arm's length, with 
ease, in either hand, and was always full of fun and mischief; 
could sing comic and sentimental songs, etc., and was a great 
favorite with officers and men. 

One of tlie wounded who was l\ing on the field st:Urd 
afterward that the Confederate General, " Stonesvali" Jai k- 
soii, came over the ground where the regiment had been 

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298 FiftJi Nciv York VohiUtecr Infantry. 

engaged, and he heard him say to the Confederates, " Be 
careful not to hurt any of the enemy's wounded, as they must 
be regarded as our friends." 

Charles Taylor, of Company G, was lying badly wounded 
near the brook, and he asked one of the Fifth, who laid 
down under the enemy's fire and became a prisoner, to fill 
his canteen with water from the brook a few feet off. He 
replied that he was afraid that the enemy would shoot him. 
A Confederate came along, and not only tilled his canteen, 
but bathed his wounds himself. 

Among the recruits who joined the regiment at Newport 
News, twelve days before the battle, was James Cathey, a 
young man of high spirit and strong principle. The last 
words he said were to Patterson, who stood near him in the 
line, and who knew him and his tamily in New York, before 
they went into the tield. They were these : " Look out for 
Siss." He was killed. 

A prominent member of the Afasonic fraternity, who is 
irietor of a well-known house of refreshment in the 
: er part of New York City, and was also well acquainted 
with Cathey, told the writer that the day he left for the front, 
he came into his house in full uniform, and bade him and 
some friends good-bye. Before he went, he took out a 
copper cent from his pocket, and cutting a nick in it, said, 
" Keep this until I come back." The barkeeper stuck it 
up on the wall behind the bar. On the day of the battle, 
and at the precise hour, as was afterward ascertained, that 
young Cathey's spirit had fled, a few friends were talking 
about the war and the absent ones ; among them were men- 
tioned the many good qualities of Cathey. They were com- 
menting on the circumstance of his leaving the penny when 
he went away, whicli was still sticking on the wail,, 
wiiliout any apparent cause, it dropped to the tloor. They 
thought it was ominous of evil at the time, and in a few 
days their forebodings were verified. Cathey was dead. 

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"■'•■ Second Baitle of Bull Run. 299 

A ball passed tlirough the canteen, haversack, a blank 
book (three-fourths of an inch thick), a tin plate, and a 
large piece of pork, and embedded itself in the hip of First 
Sergeant Geo. A. Afitchell, of Conii)any F, occasioning a 
painful, but not dangerous wound. This circumstance, tri- 
fling as it may appear, shows at what close quarters the men 
received the fire of the enemy. 

James Patterson, of Company G, was lying with four 
wounds made by one ball, and perfectly helpless. A Con- 
federate cavalryman came along, and was robbing the dead, 
and not even sparing the wounded. He said to Patterson, 
" You won't live anyhow, and I guess PU take what you 
have got." He took his shoes off and two dollars in money. 
The wounded man begged him to till his canteen with water, 
but he refused, and said that he didn't need any water, as he 
could not live anyway, for he was all shot to pieces. As he 
left, the rebel told him that Jackson was in Washington, and 
waving the bill in his face, said, " I am going there too, and 
will not fail to drink your health with this note when I get 

Pollard in his histor)' says : 

" The scenes of the battle-field were rendered ghastly by an 
extraordinary circumstance. There was not a dead Yankee in 
all that broad field who had not been stripped of his shoes and 
stockings — and in numerous cases, been left as naked as the hour 
be was born. Our barefooted and ragged men had not hesitated 
to supply their necessities even from the garments and equip- 
ments of the dead. So numerous were the wounded Yankees, 
that in four days' 3,000 had not been attended to." 

The following is from a narrative by a Confederate Lieu- 
tenant : 

" The fight was by far the most horrible and deadly that I 
have seen." "Their dead (Union) on the field were left in such 
numbers as to sicken even the veterans of Richmond and the 

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30O F'iftJi Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

Shenand <i>h S^-iUey;" "they left 2,000 dead, rotting clay, and 
almost iur. iiu'j'-.ible wounded." '"Their discipline and night 
saved th> m rr.nii a rout." 

The Confederate losses, by their own reports, were 1,090 
killed, (^',134 vounded, in the one hundred and fourteen 
veginients of infantry, and among their artillery battalion, 
engaged. The greatest loss appears in the brigades that 
first charged, especially among the officers ; the 5th Texas 
lost 239 in killed and wounded, among whom were all of 
their field and acting field officers, and after the battle the 
regiineiU was imder the command of a Captain. The loss 
in Porter's twenty-four regiments in killed, wounded, and 
missing, was 2,164, about one-fourth of the number of his 
forces engaged. 

The dead of the Fifth Regiment had not generally been 
stripped, as their uniform was not of any use to the Confed- 
erates, but th.ey took their shoes and stockings in most in- 
stances, and in many cases their fez caps, and of course 
whatever money or valuables any of them chanced to have 
on their persons. The badly wounded lay on the tield for 
two or three days, among the festering corpses, before they 
were removed by their comrades, who were sent to their re- 
lief under a Hag of truce. The latter buried 79 of the 
Fifth, and there were others who could not be recogniztd on 
account of the loss of their uniforms, or who had crawled 
into the woods and died there, whou) they could not reach, 
as they were restricted by a Confederate guard to a certain 
boundary. But the immber killed and wounded that I have 
heretofore stated— 297, the names of whom appear in the 
Appendix — have been taken from the company rolls, and 
no pains have been spared to have them veritied by comrades. 
It IS geiier.ill}- sujijiosed that the loss was even greater, as 
some names appear on the rolls as dropped lor desertion 
trom the dale of the battle, who have never been seen since 
by any of their comrades or friends. - 

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■/ ,;iii fi: 

Second Battle of Bull Run. 301 

Sergeant Henry Bulhvinkle, one of the original nicnibers 
of the regiment, and who served all through witli it, was as 
cool as he was brave, as all those that served with him can 
testify. He was one of the last to leave the field on the 
left, as the enemy came out of the woods. He had received 
one bullet through his fez cap, grazing the side of his head. 
As he fell back, he took deliberate aim at a color-bearer, 
and saw him fall. As he was running ott", he received a shot 
through his pantaloons, grazing his thigh ; another cut 
through a leather leggin grazing the bone, and tlie balls 
whistled lively about his ears. Something struck his blanket, 
which was rolled up and hanging over his shoulders, [xW of 
the men were carrying their blankets in this manner, having 
left their knapsacks at Harrison's Landing). He could liear 
the cursing and abuse of the enemy. He fell on the ground 
and they stopped their fire, but he juinped to his feet again 
and succeeded by great agility in crossing the brook at the 
foot of the hill. He halted in the bushes on the otiier side. 
and reloaded his piece, when seeing a group of mounted 
officers he took steady aini and fired, and had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing one of the officers fall from his saddle. He 
then ran toward a battery of four guns on a hill, the men 
of which were making frantic gestures for him to get out of 
the way, as they were about to fire. He succeeded in 
reaching it and going by it, and the battery immediately 
oiJened on the enemy, who were now at close range. 

Reuben P. Sturgess, a young man, only eighteen years nf 
age, and one of the first to enlist in the regiment, picked up 
Colonel Warren's ca^), which had fallen to the ground, and 
handed it to him. This was about the time of the crisis of 
tl:e onslaught of the enemy, and the men liad been ordered 
to fill back, but they woidd not leave. Colonel Win en 
a^ked him his name, and what company he bcloii-red to. 
He replied, "Company C." "Well; you get to the rear ; 
this is no place for Company C ; " instead of retreating he 

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/•■ .■'! i;: {cfi-j 

;■! -'!'[ !>.)<:•.; 

302 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

fired a shot at the enemy, and stood, and again re-loaded his 
piece. The remnant of the regiment were now trying to 
save themselves by falling back. The next day, Colonel 
Warren inquired for young Sturgess. " Missing," was the 
answer. " Then," said the Colonel, '• tliat brave young man 
is dead or wounded." It was too true — he had received a 
mortal wound. 

Joseph H. Tyndall, of Company D, finding himself sur- 
rounded by the enemy and unable to escape, threw down 
his rifle at the feet of a Confederate, who was charging upon 
him with the bayonet, in token of submission. The latter, 
however, contrary to the rules of civilized warfare and the 
common instincts of humanity, was about to run him through, 
when Tyndall by a quick movement eluded the thrust, seized 
the weapon, and by a powerful movement wrenched it from 
his grasp, amid the jeers and gibes of the Confederate's 

Sergeant Robert Strachan, of Company I, supi)orted 
James Cochrane, who was bleeding from four wounds, to 
the rear, and endeavored to halt one of the ambulances on 
the road, which were all full and moving off at a rapid 
pace. But none of the drivers would take any notice of 
his urgent appeals. Finally, one of them dashed rai)idly by 
him, drawn by four horses. He called to the driver to stop ; 
but the only response he received was a curse. Strachan 
was a determined man, and feeling that he must adopt a 
decided course of action, knowing that there was no time 
to spare, as the enemy were coming on, he leveled hii. 
Sharp's ritle at the head of the driver, and said, '• Halt ! o.' 
I vvill drive a bullet through your skull." This mandate was 
obeyed, and he lifted "Jim" by mam strength and th.rew 
liiin into the wagon on tO[) of the wounded, and the aini'ii- tlaslicd olt". l!y liiis means Cochrane was saved fiDiu 
being left to fall into the hands of the enemy, and probably 
owes iiis life to Strachan's decision. 

AV ••.•i^-^^^l^O; iv'? . 


^ Second Battle of Bull Run. 303 

Corporal George Huntsman, a young cf great prom- 
ise, who was receiving an acatlemic education before liis 
enlistment, left his pleasant home at Flushing, Long Island, 
and .went alone to Baltimore and enlisted in the 5tii Regi- 
ment, October 19, iS6r, to serve for three years, or during 
the war. He was promoted Corporal for good behavior 
and soldierly conduct, May 11, 1S62, and was in active 
service with his company up to the engagement of Second 
Bull Run, August 30, 1862. In this battle he received a 
mortal wound, and died four days thereafter in the Wolf 
Street Hospital, Alexandria, Va. His remains were trans- 
ported to his parents' residence at Flushin .,^ and the funeral 
took place on September nth. 

This young patriot, an only son, whose life was thus sac- 
rificed at his post of duty at the early age of nineteen, was 
beloved and respected by all his comrades. Sergeant E. L. 
Pierce said : " He was one who shared with nie the perils 
of campaign life, and who by his pleasant and brotherly 
manner, endeared himself to me and made it much easier 
to bear." 

On a beautiful monument erected in the town park by 
the citizens of Flushing, in memory of those who fell fot 
their country's sake in the war of the Rebellion, may be 
seen engraved with eighty-six others, the name of Corporal 
George Huntsman. 

He was a son of Professor George Washington Hunts- 
man, of the College of the City of New York. His great- 
grandfather on his father's side fought in the war of the 
Revolution, to estabhsh the Independence of the States 
^igainst the unjust exactions of Great Britain ; two of his 
uncles were in the war of i8t2 ; and his cousins on both 
;id<-> were in our late war. His ukuIut"? giamlfalher wa-; 
'■^'.'Diiel Xeilson, one uf the ntjble Irish patriots \s\\o \vas 
hnprisoned and exiled during the closing years of tiic la-^t 
centur\- by the British Government, the truths they maui- 

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304 Fifth Nt'zu York Vohinteer bifantry. 

tained not being agreeable to the power that strove to annex 
Ireland to its empire. 

George Huntsman Post, No. 50, Grand Army of the Re- 
public, of the town of Flushing, vvas named to honor the 
memory of our deceased comrade. 

Let us look at this field one year later through the eyes 
of one of the three years' members of the old Fifth, who was 
transferred to the 146th New York Volunteers to serve out 
the remainder of his time. The letter from which the fol- 
lowing extract is made was addressed to the writer under 
its date : 

Camp near New Baltimore, Va., } 
. ..• . October 22, 1863. S 

Dear D When we arrived at Centreville we struck off 

again and marched (you would hardly guess where) to the old 
Bull Run battle-field, about three hundred yards from where our 
regiment had the fight last year. As soon as I had my supper I 
started over, and in five minutes I stood by the graves of our de- 
parted comrades. Graves, did I say ? it would be a disgrace to 
call them such ! Graves! if a few handfuls of dirt strewn over 
skeletons can be called such ; but 1 don't. I tell you, D., it was 
a heart-rending sight, to see their skulls kicked in everv direc- 
tion, and the feet and bones of the dead sticking above the 
ground. There was one grave this side of the creek which took 
my attention. The rain had washed the earth away from where 
one of his knees must have stuck out, and covering this joint was 
part of his red breeches ; there was quite a crowd around the 
grave, and they almost all took a piece of what was left ol th- 
cloth. While one of the men was looking around, he overtunml 
one of his jacket sleeves ; it had on a Sergeant's gold stripes : al 
first I thought it was Billy McDowell's body ; we looked again, 
but could not find any diamond, so we all came to the conclusion 
that it must be Sergeant Allison, the color-sergeant. We wire 
going to make out a detail the next morning to prnperlv bury t! ■-' 
remains, but we marched a^;ain at 2 a.m. 

John Murray. 

The remains of those who were buried on this held, as 

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Second Battle of Bull Run. 305 

well as those in other fields, were all collected and removed 
to cemeteries established by the Government authorities 
soon after the close of tlie war. 

"On Fame's eternal camping-ground 
Their silent tents are spread, 
And memory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 

An admirable description of the battle was published in 
The Soldier's Friend, August, 1866. It was written by Patd 
K. Faulk, one of the "Left-armed Corps," late of the ritli 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, Hartsutf's brigade, which was 
badly cut up in the Second Bull Run engagement. He very 
justly places the Zouaves in the front — where they fought — 
in the following e.xtract : 

"During many a lonely hour visions of that bloody day have 
trooped up from the dim mist of the dreamy past, and mingling 
in the imaginary fray, I have passed again througli the gor,- 

drama and fought the battle over anew Three thousand 

bayonets gleamed in the sultiy rays of the sun ; a grim determi- 
nation compressed the muscles on the dustj-bronzed faces of the 
toil-worn brigade ; the starry tlags fluttered proudly and defiantly ; 
and amid the wreathing smoke, and shaken by the deafening 
thunders of muslcetry and artillery in the tier)' front, the devoted 
battalion pressed forward into the valley of death. No martial 
music cheers the weary ranks ; only the wild excitement of bat- 
tle sustains the half-wavering column, as the rebel batteries vomit 
forth their deadly iron hail, and the terrible zip, zip, of the niinie 
bail is quenched in blood. Streams of stragglers pour from the 
smoke-curtained front, and the wounded pass on to the r-'ar, 
filtering and bleeding at every step. A great many ot them 
"^^ovft \}\c red I'rciX lies 0/ the Zouaves." .... 


Charles F. 15allou, formerly a member of the 44th Xew 
York Volunteers, who was wounded, and lay on the field of 

-.^•:; !'^; y?o(3 arlJ -5:..i'^r; 

• ' ')»', ,1, J '5 /is:: 

w v;j J.' ■ Jf 

3o6 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

battle, told the writer that while conversing with a Con- 
federate soldier, the latter made the remark that there was 
one Yankee regiment that would stand a bayonet charge ; he 
knew it because he had fought against them at Gaines' Mill ; 
and they wouldn't budge. Ballon asked him what regiment 
it was ; he replied, " Tliem Zouaves." 

An officer of high standing thus" expressed himself in re- 
gard to this battle : 

"The 5th army corps were treated on that A2c^,\>yiihoiver 
"jvas responsible, in a way that should be his everlasting disgrace, 
for they were made to assault twice their numbers in a good 
position, under the false idea that they were in retreat, and while 
they went up to be butchered, the rest of the army at a safe dis- 
tance were mere spectators." 

After dark, on the day of the battle, what remained of the 
regiment fell back to Cencreville ; a wearisome march, es- 
pecially so after the trying ordeal through which they had 
passed on that day. The road was blockaded with wagons, 
ambulances, stragglers, etc., and many of the commands 
were mixed up. But the men kept together, notwithstanding 
nearly all the companies, or rather squads, were under the 
conmiand of Sergeants and Corporals, preserving their forma- 
tion perfectly, the same as they did through the seven days' 
retreat, and could have formed a small line of battle of about 
ICO men at any moment. They showed a marked contrast, 
in this respect, to many of the other organizations on the 
march that had not suffered near as much loss, thus reaping 
the benefit of the severe training they had received from the 
first under Colonel Warren, assisted by such severe disciplin- 
arians as Colonel Hiram Duryea, Winslow, and others. 

Colonel Warren, from his long e\i)crience, was thorouLili 
master of the details of military service in all its branches, 
and of the science of war. He was severe, but just, to the 
men as well as to the officers, and held all alike in their dif- 

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Second Battle of Bull Run. 307 

ferent spheres to a strict attention to their duties. We 
finally arrived at Centreville and bivouacked outside of the 

The Fifth numbered, on the morning after the battle at 
Centreville, less than 100; Companies F and D, mustering 
17 men, were under the command of First Sergeant George 
A. ^[itchell, of F; Sergeant William H. Chambers took the 
command of H and B ; Sergeant Forbes held Company G ; 
Sergeant Brogan, Comj^any I ; and the other comjianies were 
under the command of Lieutenant Gedney, and Lieutenants 
Whitney and Chase, who had not been in the engagement ; 
and remained about the same until they reached Hall's Hi!', 
where the few stragglers rejoined us, and we were increased 
by the addition of some new recruits. 

Sunday, August 31. — We went inside of the works and 
sent out a detail, under a Hag of truce, to bury the dead and 
look after the wounded. They suffered greatly for the want 
of food while performing their sad duties, as the scanty suj)- 
plies they were able to procure were given to the wounded. 

We left Centreville' September 2d, about i a.m., and 
marched to Fairfax Court-House, rested until 3 i-.m., and 
then resumed the march, and bivouacked at Ball's Cross- 

\\'hile on the road near Fairfax during a brief halt, a regi- 
Juent came marching by, and an unusually tall and well-pro- 
portioned man stepped from the ranks; it was noticed that 
he carried the colors. He inquired for Company G an:l 
\\'itliam ^^cDowell, and was answered that he was lying 
doad on the battle-field. The tears started to his eyes, and 
^'»r a moment he was quite overcome, until suddenly bccciu- 
"ig conscious that men were lociking at him, ho dished hi> 
•'■Mvl across his cvc>, and joined his regiment, whieii wis t!ie 
•\i '!(.TS')!T Zouaves. He was the brother <jf our own l.i- 
""■ntcd Sergeant. 

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308 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

side of the road, some of the men discovered General Mc- 
Clellan, with three orderlies and an aide, riding up towaid 
us. He was on his way to the front from Washington, hav- 
ing been reinstated in the command of the army, now that 
Washington was in danger. It was after dark, but the men 
recognized him at once, and turned out and gave him three 
rousing cheers. He stopped, and asked if they had suffered 
much in the late engagement, and seemed sorry at the reply, 
as he held the regiment in high esteem, and always put it 
forward before distinguished visitors to the army. 

During the march from Centreville, the enemy were run- 
ning a race on roads parallel to the route of the Union army 
for Washington, and did get in the rear, on the line of re- 
treat at Chantilly, where the lamented Generals K.earney 
and Stevens lost their lives in the battle that ensued to dis- 
lodge them. When General Jackson, the Confederate leader, 
saw the body of the former, he uncovered his head, as did 
those about him, and said : '' You have killed the bravest 
officer in the Union army ; this is General Philip Kearney, 
who lost his arm at the gates of the City of Mexico." 1 1 
was a tribute of respect paid by one brave soldier to another, 
although an antagonist. The men could see the reflection 
of the sun on the enemy's bayonets at times as they marched, 
and skirmishers were out on the flank of the column. A 
diminutive Lieutenant of the regular army had charge of 
those detailed from the Fifth, and the boys worried the pour 
man's life out, hunting them out of farm-houses on the route 
where they were trying to find a square meal. 

The movements for about ten days may be stated voiy 
brietiy as follows : 

We marched at about 6 a.m., on Wednesdav, the 3d, some 
five niilcs. and (>cciii/icd Hall's Hill. \\\^ were joined i'v x 
Luge number of recruits, sent on from Xcw York. Tivj ai - 
pearancc of the men did not tend to raise their 5i)irits miuii. 
as we were all in mgs and dirt. On the 41)1 and 5th wc re- 

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Second Battle of Bull Run. 309 

mained at Hall's Hill, and were visited by citizens from 
Washington. 6th, marched at 9 p.m., and crossed the chain- 
bridge over the Potomac, and bivouacked near Tenallytown, 
having marched nine miles; and on the 7th we transferred 
our camp to the other side of the road. Sth, started at 
7 P.M., moved six miles and joined the division near Rock- 
ville, 9th, marched at 7 a.m., passing dirough Rockville, 
and bivouacked, nth, marched at 9 A.>r, eight miles and 
bivouacked near Seneca Creek. 12th, marched at 10 a..\i. 
eleven miles to Hyattsviile, and bivouacked outside of the 
town. 13th, marched at 6 a.m., thirteen miles, crossing the 
Monocacy, and bivouacked two miles from Frederick City. 

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i\cc>:^4 ..v../: 




The Confederate Successes — Virginia versus the Cotton States — The 
Battle of Antietam — The Enemy Retires — Gener,al McClei.lan's Re- 
port — Crossing the Potomac — Battle of Shepardstown— Tenth Xew 
York Regiment Transferred— Scarcity of Sippi.ies— A Mixed Uniform- 
Penalties OF Old Clothes— a Bread Speculation— A Whisky Smuggle— 
A Drill Challenge Accepted — Crossing at Harper's Ferrv— Colt-.el 
O'RoL'RKE OF the 140TH New Yokk— Snicker's Gap — Warrenton — A Se- 
cessionist Town — Farewell Review by General McClellan— General 
Burnside in Command— The 146TH New York— Warrenton Junction- 
Spotted Tavern— The Henry House— Resignation of Colonel Hi.'^'iM 
DuRYEA — Changes in the Regiment — Before the Battle. 

Thus far the prestige of sucxess on the Peninsula ap- 
peared to rest with the Confederate army. The commanding 
officer, the miUtary chief of the RebelUon, was a Virginian, 
and many of his most effective Generals were proud of the 
same distinction. They were not only in deep sympathy 
with the objects of the^ war against the Union, but they were 
thoroughly familiar with the country which was made the great 
arena of this stubborn conflict. They were Virginians, and 
the State pride which corrupted all the politics of the Soutli, 
and which gave to the Union a secondary place, intensified 
their determination to carry the war to the extremity almost 
of extinction rather than surrender to the armies which con- 
tended for our national life. They were thus, in one respect, 
n^asters of the situation. They were fighting on their own 
soil, for their own heritage, in a latitude and under a chmate 
where the Northern troops suffered great losses by sickness and 
death ; the latter were decimated in localities and in an atmos- 
phere wliich to tlieir antagonists were healthful and invigorat- 
ing. The immense disadvantages of the Xorthorn troops, who, 
under other circunjstances, would have achieved a succes- 

-.1 i^fi'n^'l ^r.' 'in ^ :jj:j j. 


• .^ Battle of Antictam. 311 

sion of victories, gave to tlie Confederates the substantial 
fruits of triumph, and of repeated disaster to the loyal arms ; 
and whi e these events did not dampen the ardor of the lat- 
ter, they inspired the Confederates with greater confidence 
and determination. Their purpose was to annihilate the 
Army of the Potomac, and this accomplished, either the pos- 
session of the national capital, or their own terms of separa- 
tion, they assumed to be a certain event. 

One special feature of the contest was always apparent. 
Whatever amount of zeal and bravery were shown by Viri^in- 
ian and North Carolina regiments on the tield, they were 
fully equaled by the impetuous, wild, and determined da>h 
and tenacity of the troops from the South and South-west. 
The regiments from South Carolina and the States whose 
shores were washed by the Gulf, showed an ardor and a 
stubbornness of will together with a bitterness of hatred 
that made them difficult foes to meet in the field. They had 
a motive kindred to that of the Virginians, but it was one of 
supreme selfishness. 

The leaders of " the South," the cotton-growing States, 
were resolved that the fate of the Confederacy should be de- 
cided on the battle-fields of the Border States. 

Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri were to be 
tlie camp-grounds and the arenas where the question should 
be determined, and while the men of the Border States 
fought for their own soil, the Cotton States men fought that 
the battle should not be transferred to theirs. 

Virginia especially was to be made the great theater ui war, 
and by massing all the power of the Confederacy on lu;r soil, 
the rest, and especially the more remote States, could '' con- 
tinue to grow cotton in peace." The Old Dominion was 
tile victim of a -bloody stratagem of stat(>sinanshii), wlien {he. 
<'aiMtal of the Confcdcrac)- was transferred from Montgomery 
to Richmond. 

The resolve to 1,'reak the power of the Union, and to die- 

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312 Fifth Nezu York Volunteer Infantry. 

tate terms of separation, at the doors of the national capital, 
for the sake of preserving the rest of the Confedc^racy from 
the ruin and waste of war, gave to the Penins-ular canij^aign 
the extraordinary fury and the sanguinary and fearful disasters 
of that dark period in our history. 

How high the price that was paid for these hopes, and 
how disastrously they were ultimately defeated, was written 
in the broad and bloody seal of death, and the heaps of slain 
who gave up the bounding life-blood of their heroic hearts, and 
laid down to die on the field or the hi,hwa\-, to be intrenched 
in the numberless graves, dug in a momentary pause by other 
thousands who were rushing on to fall into kindred cemeteries 
on other fields. If nations and governments have nioral re- 
sponsibilities, where does the responsibility rest for these ? 

Each day's march found us further from the scenes of Bull 
Run, and brought us nearer to the impend ng struggle, in 
which, at least, the tide of success of the Confederate arms 
was to be tested and turned. 

On Sunday, the 14th of September, we took up our line of 
march at 8 a.m., proceeding eight miles, passing through 
Middletown, and bivouacked. On the march the battle of 
South Mountain was raging, and we could see the snioke as 
it floated into the blue sky over the field, while the diapason 
of the booming guns was heard a few miles in advance on 
the road. We passed General McClellan on the march, 
who was enjoying a cigar, and observing the troops as tlu-v 
filed by. He said to us : " Boys ! we are pressing tiic 
enemy back, and will keep doing so." 

P'arly on the morning of the 15th we resunied our march 
4hrough Turner's Gap, South Mountain, where the Con- 
federate dead of D. H. Hill's division lay behind a stone 
wall which ran along on the top of the mountain, at rigii'i 
angles with and commanding the ro.ul. They also were 
lying on the main road on the other side of the pass. Tlu-v 
were piled in heaps, lying three or fjiir deep at the intersec- 

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Battle of Antietaj)i. 313 

tion of the road and turnpike. It was an impressive re- 
minder of the words of Longfellow — 

" Art is long and time is fleeting. 

And our hearts, though stout and brave. 
Still like muftled drums are beating 
Funeral marches to the grave" — 

and we could not help the consciousness, that in all proba- 
bility before another setting sun many of us would be lying 
on the bosom of mother earth in the silent companionship 
of the dead. 

After marching about nine miles, the division deployed on 
the left of the Sharpsburg turnpike, near Antietam Creek, 
being on the left of Richardson's division, which was the first 
to arrive in advance.* 

The Fifth deployed as skirmishers, and advanced through 
woods on the left. The enemy had opened with their artil- 
lery, and were throwing shell, some of which fell among us, 
but fortunately did not burst. Tidball's 2d United States 
and Petits' ist New York artillery returned the fire. The 
enemy were posted "in a strong position on the high ground 
on the opposite side of the creek, front of and to the right 
and left of Sharpsburg, which town was in the rear of tiieir 
center ; their tlanks and rear being protected by the Po- 
tomac River and Antietam Creek, it being naturally a strong 

On Tuesday, the i6th, we changed position, and were un- 
der arms all day. The army was all up and massed eaeh 
side of the Sharpsburg turnpike. The mass of the enemy's 
infantry was concealed behind the oi)posite heights. 

General Lee's army of invasion comprised about one hun- 

* C;eneral McCIelL^n's Report (p. 3-'4l : " Tlic division of Rlc).ar.!->n, 
r IliTAin- cl.i^c rn tl\e heels of the retrealinj; foe, IialleJ .uid ilei.Ioye^! Ar.'.let.'ni 
Kiier. on ihe ri^ht of the Sharpsburg roai). (".eneral Sykc; leaJini; or. the di\i-i n 
of regulars on the oKl Sharpsburg road, came up and deployed to the left of General 
Richards )n, on the left of the road." 


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314 Fifth N'nv York Volii?ifecr Infant ry. 

dred and seventy-seven regiments of infimtry, besides cavalry 
and artillery, including General A. P. Hill's division, which 
was temporarily detached for the purpose of making an at- 
tack upon Harper's Ferry. After this post was surrendered 
to General Hill, he, by a forced march, came up late in the 
afternoon of the 17th on Lee's right, in time to repel the 
hitherto successful advance of General Burnside's 'corps, 
and which had been delayed too long.* 

The regulars were posted near bridge No. 2, and in the 
center with the reserve artillery. General Burnside's corps 
(of four divisions), comprising the left, took position on the 
left of Warren's brigade, their right covering stone bridge 
No. 3. The day was spent principally in maneuvering for 
positions, skirmishing, and artillery engagements. 

The following day, Wednesday, September 17th, was ren- 
dered memorable in our annals by the engagement at An- 
tietam. The action was commenced at daylight by the 
skirmishers of the Pennsylvania reserves on the right, and the 
whole of General Hooker's corps soon became engaged, 
and drove the enemy. Soon afterward the 12th corps en- 
gaged, and General ^^ansfield, its commander, was killed. 
General Hartsuff, of Hooker's, was badly wounded. General 
Williams took command of the 12th corps. The battle 
raged furiously for two hours. General Crawford, connnand- 
ing the ist division. T2th corps, was wounded and left the 
field. General Sedgwick's division of Sumner's corps en- 
gaged, and Generals Sedgwick and Dana were wounded. 

• Colonel Ford, commanding Maryland Heights, an impregnable position, gar- 
risoned by 3,975 men, gave orders to spike and dismount the heavy guns, and to fall 
back upon Harper's Ferr>'. 

Dy the cowardly evacuation of this stronghold, which commanded our works at 
Harper's Ferry, Colonel D. S. Miles, who was in command of the latter post, was 
ait.icked on all -ijcj by the Confederates, and wa5 himself mortally wounded. On 
I'.o 15th. the po-l with all it- gnus, store-;, and :i;nmunition, and force uf9,'joo men, 
was surrendered to tlie enemy. 

After an examination by a cuurt of inquiry, Colonel Ford was dismissed from llie 
service of the United States. 

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^. r, ;' • Battle of Antictain. • "• ' 315 

General Hooker was also wounded and obliged to leave the 
field. The divisions of Generals French and Richardson, 
which completed all of Sumner's corps, were engaged. Gen- 
eral Meagher was disabled, and General Richardson was 
mortally wounded. At i p.m. a part of General Franklin's 
corps engaged. General Porter's 5th corps, consisting of 
Morell's and Sykes' divisions, Humphrey's division not yet 
having arrived, and all of the reserve artillery, were directly 
opposite the center of the enemy's line. " It was necessary 
to watch this part of the line with the utmost vigilance, lest 
the enemy should take an advantage to assault and pierce 
the line, which would be fatal." 

All the supply trains were in the rear of this corps, and 
here were the headquarters of General McClellan and start. 
In case of a retreat or last resort, Sykes' division would 
have been obliged to do their best. Toward the middle of 
the afternoon, two brigades of iMorell's were ordered to rein- 
force the right. Six battalions of Sykes' regulars had been 
thrown across Antietam bridge on the main road, to attack 
and drive back the enemy's sharp-shooters, w.ho were an- 
noying Pleasonton's batteries in advance of the bridge. 
Warren's brigade was detached to hold a position on Burn- 
side's right and rear, so that Porter was left at one time with 
only a portion of Sykes' division, and one small brigade of 
Morell's, numbering but a little over three thousand men, to 
hold the center. 

Sykes' division had been in position since the 15th, ex- 
posed to the tire of the enemy's artillery and sharp-shooters. 
The 2d and loth regulars comiielled the cannoneers of one 
of the enemy's batteries to abandon their guns ; but being 
few in number and unsupi)orted, were not able to bring 
them off. General Burnside passed by the regiment several 
ti:iies, and the men expected to be urtlered to chaige the 
stoi5e bridge No. 3 and get wiped out. 

General Burnside attacked at 3 p.m., and fought until 

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3i6 Fifth Nov York Volunteer Infantry. 

dark, reaching the outskirts of Sharpsburg, where General 
Rodman was mortally wounded. 

After General Biirnside's forces advanced across the river, 
several companies of the Fifth were stationed in turn as 
look-outs near stone bridge No. 3, which was thickly strewn 
with the dead of the 5rst New York and the 51st Pennsyl- 
vania, who first successfully charged across it. Its passage 
•had been defended with great obstinacy by the 2d and 20th 
Georgia regiments, under the command of General Toombs, 
who were posted on a wooded height that commanded it, 
aided by the batteries of General Jones. We obtained a 
fine view of the engagement, and watched the progress of 
the 9th New York, Hawkins' Zouaves, with an exciting in- 
terest, and were sorry to see that gallant body of men sutler 
so severely on the field where they played so noble a 
part. They captured a battery on the outskirts of Sharps- 
burg, but not being properly supported, were forced to aban- 
don It, after suffering a fearful loss. Late in the afternoon, the 
brigade was employed in collecting stragglers from the im- 
mediate front and forming them into battalions. 

Darkness finally put' an end to this hard-fought and scien- 
tific engagement, in which 140,000 men and 500 pieces of 
artillery had been enijiloyed since daylight, and in which 
about 25,000 were killed, wounded, and missing. The tired 
Union troops slept on their arms conquerors.* 

About 2,700 of the enemy's dead were, under the direc- 
tion of Atajor Davis, Assistant Inspector-General, counted 

• General McClellan's Report (p. 393) : " Night closed the long and desperately 
contested battle of the irth- Nearly 2i»,coo men and 300 pieces of artiller>- were 
for fourteen hours en^.i,-cd in this memorable battle. We had attacked the enemy 
in a position selected by the experienced engineer, then in person directing their 
operations. We driven them from their line on one (lank, and securing a foot- 
ing within it on the other. The .Vrmy of the Potomac, notwiths andln^ the moral 
etijct incident to [.revlviiN reverses, had .achieved a victory over an adversary in- 
vested with the prcui-e uf recent success. Our soldiers slept ni^ht c M.q.icr- 
ors, on a field won by their valor, .ind covered with the dead and wounded of the 

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• ■ ■ - • Battle of A ntictaui. 3 1 7 

and buried upon the field of Antietam. A portion of their 
dead had previously been buried by the enemy, 13 guns, 
39 colors, 15,000 stand of small arms, and more than 6,000 
prisoners were the trophies of South Mountain, Crampton's 
Gap, and Antietam. Not a single gun was lost on the Union 

The Confederate force engaged in this battle comprised 
136 regiments, besides the division of D. H. Hill and Rodes' 
brigade, and the artillery. Their reports show a loss in every 
regiment of from one to 253. 

We remained in position on Thursday, the 18th, the enemy 
requesting an armistice, under a flag of truce, to look after 
their wounded and bury their dead, which was granted, and 
of which they took advantage and retreated by night across 
the Potomac. 

On Friday, the 19th, we marched at 9 a.m., passing through 
Sharpsburg. Along the route the dead were strewn in every 
direction and in all conceivable positions. One was caught 
in the crotch of a tree in falling, and held in an upright posi- 
tion ; one young lad, of not more than fifteen years of a^e, 
was lying among some others, with his thighs terribly mangled. 
His long curls fell down over his shoulders, and his face bore 
a heavenly smile ; his lii)s slightly parted disclosed a set of 
teeth of remarkable beauty, while his features were the hand- 
somest, and bore the happiest expression, of any corpse that 
I have ever seen. Ho was a young Southerner, probably the 
pride of some aristocratic family, who had sent him willingly 
to the war. 

After marching through the town and nearing the ford on 
the Potomac, skirmishers were deployed, and a battery with 
us opened on the enemy across the river. The fire was re- 
turned by them, and the shell flew thick and fast. One of the 
shot killed Colonel AVarron's orderly, but the men found 
partial shelter under a hill. Two brigades of the corps crossed 
the Potomac about dark and captured four of the enemy's 

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3i8 Fifth NrtV York Volunteer Infantry. 

guns. "Warren's brigade took position on the higli ground 
near the river, and opened on the enemy on the other side, 
which obliged them to crawl out of the bushes and run for 
the cover of a wood further to their rear. We advanced 
and took position on the tow-path of the canal on the banks 
of the river, and kept up a scattering fire on the enemy op- 
posite, remaining on picket all night and the next forenoon. 

In the afternoon of the 20th, a large force crossed the 
river on the right, and the 5th Regiment were ordered to 
ford the river to cover their left flank. Before crossing, the 
regiment, which numbered less than 400 men, two-thirds of 
whom were comparatively new men, being drawn up in line 
on the tow-path of the canal, alongside the river, Colonel 
Warren said, " Men, we are about to cross the river," and 
drawing out his revolver, added, that "if any man did not 
want to cross, let him step out." 

We took off our body -belts, slung our cartridge-boxes over 
our shoulders, and waded into the river. It was difticult and 
tiresome work to ford a stream. 200 yards wide, up to the 
waist, with a rather strong current, the bottom being covered 
with slippery stones. Some of the men lost their balance, 
and had an involuntary bath, and to "get otT the line of the 
ford," meant to go down overhead in the water. After 
reaching the opposite bank, the men climbed an almost per- 
pendicular bluff, eighty feet high, covered with bushes and 
trees, and were obliged to employ both hands and feet to ac 
complish the task. Skirmishers were deployed a short dis- 
tance, when suddenly the enemy opened in heavy force from 
the wood beyond the open ground in front. The skirmishers 
were called in, and the men ordered to keep covered below 
the bank of the bluff, which they were perfectly willing to do, 
for the fire was very heavy, and tlicy occupied a critical i)osi 
tion, with the river in their rear. But several battcri-js 
opened from the high ground on the opposite side of the river, 
over the heads of the men, which covered their retreat across, 

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. - :. Battle of Atitietam. ■ 319 

which was accomplished in safety. Captain Whitney, in 
command of Coniuany I, was ordered to remain with his 
company, and keep u;) a fire on the enemy to make them 
think that the bank was still occupied, and to prevent any 
of their sharp-shooters from creeping to the edge of the bluff 
and shooting the men as they forded tlie river on their return. 
He misunderstood the order, so he said, and did not carry it 
out, but fortunately the batteries prevented the enemy from 
advancing. Colonel Warren was much provoked with 
him, and threatened to shoot him on the spot. The Colonel 
took command in person, and waded the stream, on foot, 
with the rest,, and on the return stood in the center, and con- 
tinually warned the men not to get off the line of the ford. 

This was the battle of Shepardstown, in which the troops 
on the right had a severe engagement with Gregg's, Pender's, 
and Archer's brigades, and lest some Soo in killed, wounded, 
and prisoners. The enemy's loss was 261. After recrossing 
the river we took up a position on tlie canal and remained 
on picket on the banks of the river, exchanging shots with 
the enemy during the 21st and 22d. While reuiaining on 
this post one afternoon, Colonel Warren gave the regiment 
a drill on the tow-path of the canal, while the enemy's pick- 
ets amused themselves by tiring at the men and officers. He 
also sent a squad of the drummers across the river, for pun- 
ishment for being timid under fire, under command of Lieu- 
tenant Guthrie, to bring over a twelve-pound brass piece left 
by the enemy in their late retreat. The Lieutenant armed 
himself with a ramrod to give the boys a gentle reminder 
once in a while if it was necessary. The boys came back 
in good order, dragging the cannon after them, and reported 
that they saw some of the enemy. Subsequently, Sergeant 
Crowley, of Coaipar.y K, with a --quad of Iiis company, was 
sent over to a burnt mill, to bring i.vor a caisson, wliile the 
regiment in the meantime drew up on the bank to cover 
them. They had no sooner landed on the other side than 

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320 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

some shots were fired at them, and a brisk skirmish ensued 
around the mill, in which the Sergeant received a bad wound 
in the leg, but his men succeeded in recrossing, carrying him 
with them. 

On Tuesday, the 23d, we were relieved by the regulars, 
after three days and nights of not very pleasant duty, during 
which it rained part of the time. We went into camp, with- 
out tents or shelter of any kind, near Sharpsburg, about 
three-fourths of a mile from the Potomac. General McClel- 
lan had his headquarters about a mile from Sharpsburg, and, 
as usual, Sykes' division lay in the immediate vicinity. 

After the battle of Antietan-» a recruit, one of those who 
had joined the regiment about a week previous, wandered 
off to see what he could discover that was new. In his 
rambles he came to a large house, and seeing an open win- 
dow, he approached it to gratify his curiosity as to what was 
inside of it, when, as his head raised above the sill, the gory 
stump of a man's arm was thrust in his flice, with the re- 
mark, "Young man, take this away and bury it." That 
recruit returned to the. regiment a sick man. ' He had ran 
across one of the hospitals where the wounded were being 
attended to. 

On Wednesday, the 24th, at evening parade, the following 
list of promotions was read to the regiment : f ^"-vic-,*. f.. 

Headquarters Fifth Army Corps, \ 
Camp near Sharpsburg, Md., \ 
September 23, 1S62. ) 

{Special Ortirfs, A'o. 150.] 

The following-named persons are hereby appointed to fill the 
vacancies existing in the Filth Regiment, New York Volunteers, 
occasiont-d hy losses in battle, resignations, promotions, etc. 
These appointments are made for gallant and meritorious con- 
duct on the fitld of battle. These officers will be obeyed and 
respected accordingly: 

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: Camp near SJiarpsburg. 321 

Captain Cleveland Winslow to be Major, vice H. D. Hull, 

First Lieutenant James H. Lounsberry to be Captain, vice G. 
Carr, promoted. 

First Lieutenant H. G. O. Eichler to be Captain, vice Winslow, 

First Lieutenant T. W. Cartwright to be Captain, vice Lewis, 
killed in battle August 30. 

First Lieutenant R. E. Prime to be Captain, vice Hager, killed 
in battle August 30. 

Second Lieutenant Henry Keyser to be Adjutant, vice Sovereign, 
killed in battle August 30. 

Second Lieutenant A. S. Chase to be First Lieutenant, vice 
Lounsberry, promoted. 

Second Lieutenant T. R. Martin to be First Lieutenant, vice 
Eichler, promoted. 

Second Lieutenant R. M. Gedney to be First Lieutenant, vice 
Cartwright, promoted. 

Second Lieutenant \Vm. HofTman to be First Lieutenant, vice 
Prime, promoted. 

Sergeant G. W. Wannemacher to be Second Lieutenant, vice 
Dumont. resigned. 

Sergeant George Guthrie to be Second Lieutenant, vice Keyser, 

Sergeant \Vm. H. Chambers to be Second Lieutenant, vice 
Chase, promoted. 

Sergeant Philip L. Wilson to be Second Lieutenant, vice 
Martin, promoted. 

Private Gordon Winslow, Jr., to be Second Lieutenant, vice 
Gedney, promoted. 

By command of 

FiTZ John Porter. 
Fred. T. Locke, .\rajor-Gc7ieraL 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 

On Thursday, September -5th, the loth New York Regi- 
ment was transferred to .Max Weber's brigade. During 
the time they had been in coniiiany with die Fifth we had 
always harmonized and worked well together. We had 

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322 Fifth New York Vohuiteer Infantry. 

passed through some pleasant as well as some very hard 
experiences, and the men heartily wished their late comrade^ 

Colonel Warren left on a flying visit to New York via. 
Washington. Lieutenant-Colonel H. Duryea had just 
returned from his furlough, having been dangerously ill. 
We were glad to see him in command again, notwithstanding 
the strict discipline he always maintained, as we knew it was 
for the common good ; but especially so, as we were relieved 
from a number of impracticable orders that were issued by 
the Major. These were : calls every half hour through the day, 
which made the men feel that they were treated worse than 
a lot of convicts, and without cause. For instance, in order 
to wash ourselves, we were obliged to procure an order to 
pass to the spring, signed by the officer in command of the 
company, and countersigned by the Adjutant, or Major. 
The consequence was, that it 0[)erated as a prohibition to 
wash at all. Water-calls were sounded several times a day. 
When those who wished to fill their canteens or the iron 
pails, holding several gallons, for cooking purposes, they 
were obliged to fiiU in line, and march single file, under com- 
mand of an officer, keeping step down to the sj^ring and 
back again ; to obtain wood, we were obliged to go through 
the same form, and he was actually driving men to desert 
every day, to escape this petty and unwarranted tyranny. 
Discipline should be enforced ; but these acts were crushing 
out all the self-respect and manhood of an intelligent an<l 
educated body of men, who felt that they were treated like 

Since leaving Harrison's Landing, August r4th, when the 

» The Tenth sub'-ectuently foiij;ht br.ivcly at Frederick^nircr, and when tlicv 
\vcre mu-itercd out after tw,) yt ir-!," >cr^ice, six cnitip.inics u<-rc rocruiied to scr\e it 
threr year.-;, or diiriii- the wrir. and, under Colonel floyipcr, ao.iuin.-d .in exceUent svnr 
record, and served till the collapse of the Rebellion. Colonel Hopper served all 
through tlie war, and was the only otTicer of the old organization who was mustered 
out with the three years' battalion at the end of the war. 

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* Camp near SJuirpsburg. 323 

knapsacks were sent away on a vessel, the men had been 
without a change of clothing. All they possessed was on 
their backs. They were destitute of soap for about a month, 
and sometimes had nothing to eat. Only a tew had shelter 
tents, and consequently they passed the nights miserably, as 
the temperature after the sun went down was chilly, accom- 
panied with heavy dews ; and in addition to all these dis- 
comforts, they had not received any pay for five months. 
The men all being in rags, presented a very grotesque ap- 
pearance. Their own clothing being worn out, they were 
dressed up in the cast-off clothing of other regiments ; some 
were dressed in dark-blue and others in light-blue pants ; some 
in jackets, some had long-tailed coats and blouses, and others 
boasted of noticing but a few rags to cover their under-clothes. 
We mustered, all told, including recruits, 350, of which only 
93 were original two years' men. There were several hun- 
dreds on the rolls, but they were lying in hospitals, detailed, 
etc. They ])elonged to that army, all in good condition, ac- 
cording to General Halleck (who was comfortably seated in 
Washington, planning campaigns on paper), who were ready 
and eager to march immediately on a winter's campaign and 
take Richmond, from the vicinity of which they had been re- 
called, probably by his advice, some two months previous, 
when they were in better condition and spirit to fight than 
they were at this time. 

On Friday, the 26lh, we were reviewed by the President. 
Abraham Lincoln. He looked care-worn. He was in 
company with General iMcClellan, who was smoking a cigar. 
The men had overcoats on, which had been distributed a few 
days previous, to hide the rags. The President expressed 
his approbation to the commanding officers at the rajjidity 
with which the different movements were executed. The 
bayonet drill p.irticularly engrossed his attention. 

Our camp at Sharpsburg remained quiet for some time, 
and the men wore in fair spirits. We drilled for five hours a 


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324 Fifth Neiu York Volunteer Infantry. 

day, for which we had to thank the recruits. About the 5th 
of October we received a piece of soaj), but its size was an 
aggravation — it was half an inch thick, cut from an ordinary 
bar, two bars having been allowed to a company. The offi- 
cers and men anxiously expected the Paymaster, and the 
sutlers scented him afar oft', and were plenty, but still there 
was no money to buy with, and no credit. Every few hours 
some one varied the decorum of our situation by raising a 
false alarm, and shouted, "Here comes the Paymaster!" 
Forthwith there was a rush out of holes and burrows, only to 
find it a good-humored joke. Those who used tobacco — 
which was the case with nearly ail the regiment — were sufter- 
ing for the want of it, and no change of clothing having yet 
come to our relief, our condition was getting to be juore 
than ever a serious matter. 

The "status" of the men under this state of things, trom 
the long-continued use of their garments without change, is 
more appropriate for the recollection of the sufferer, than for 
description by the historian. It is enough to say that part 
of the daily employment of the men, in the retirement of the 
Avoods, stripped of their clothing and hunting for vermin, was 
more picturesque than poetic, and is left to the imagination 
of the reader. 

On Saturday, Oct. 4th, an order came to discharge all 
who were physically disqualified for effective service ; a few 
of the original men of our regiment were of this class, and 
some of the latest recruits. An order had also been jjro- 
mulgated from the \Var Department, directing that all who 
had not been accounted for during the past sixty days, be 
dropped from the rolls as deserters. This placed the word 
" deserter " against the name of many brave men who lost their 
lives in battle. There may have been a " military neces- 
sity" for sucli an order, but it worked a great injustice lo 
many who died alone and unknown in by-places where tb.ey 
lingered out weary hours, perhaps days, of pain before their 

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^\ Camp near Sharpsbtirg. 325 

eyes were closed in death, beyond the relief that never came 
— and others who died unrecognized in the hospitals or the 
prisons of the enemy. It is past now. God grant tliat no such 
"necessity" may ever again overshadow the republic. An 
order to shoot deserters and cashier absentee othcers would 
have strengthened the army materially, and saved money as 
well as many valuable lives. 

Near our camp was a farm-house, whose occupant was 
supposed to be a good Union man. The enemy had cleared 
out all his horses, cattle, wagons, etc., and the Union troops 
burnt his rail fences for fuel ; so that between the two armies, 
he was a heavy sufferer. Near this house was a spring which 
supplied the regiment, and one day a dilapidated-looking turn- 
out, driven by a countryman, made its appearance. Some of the 
boys were there tilling their canteens from the spring, when they 
asked him what he had in the wagon ; for, being a covered 
one, they could not see into it. He stopped and said that 
he and the old woman had concluded to go into a bread spec- 
ulation, and he had his wagon full to sell to the " sojurs." 
Bread being a great luxury compared with the hard-tack, 
two or three of the boys got around him and asked the price. 
" Let's see the size of the loaves ? is it fresh ? " said one of 
them, as he bit off a large piece from a loaf. Just then the 
old man's attention was drawn to the rear of his cart, by see- 
ing about a dozen hands, each clutching a loaf of bread. He 
skipped around, when the boys in front made a levy, ami 
so it was kept up, until in sheer desperation he sj^rang into 
his wagon and drove oflf down the road at his best speed. 
One of the boys called out: " Here, mister ! aint you going 
to stop for your money ? " But he only went the faster, and 
one called out : " Well, if you aint got time to wait, just 
send in your bill to Company J, it's all the same." 

The decline of the year was bringing the aulunuKil chaiigc 
in the season. The weather was becoming colder, and we 
were visited Sunday, Oct. 12th, by a rain-storm, which add- 

■i^■At■>^,^^^'■,> •■H^•^V< ^MtO 

326 Fifth Nc-.o York Volmitccr Infantry. 

ed nolhiiig to the comforts of the camp. The regiment was 
under arms, and the men ordered not to leave their company 
strectr-,. as Stuart's cavalry were in the rear of the army. 

Oil 'J'hursday, the i6[h, we marched at i p.m. to Black- 
hu-.n'^ Ford, on the rotomac, for picket duty. Detachments 
from the corps made a reconnoissance on the other side of 
the river. It rained hard during the night, and the men 
passed a disagreeable tour of guard duty. The following 
day we were relieved from picket at 6 p.m., after being on 
duty for thirty hours, and we returned to camp. 

A detail from the regiment went on picket again on Sun- 
da\-, the 19th. The Lieutenant-Colonel was absent again 
sick, and Major Winslow was in connnand. The men were 
happy, having received a supply of clothing, and confidently 
^vent through a general inspection. Captain Burnett, senior 
Captain, and Lieutenant Agnus, had resigned, the latter to 
accei)t a Captaincy in the 165th ^&\v York, 2d battalion of 
Duryce's Zouaves. Adjutant Marvin was on a visit to New 
York to recruit himself and the regiment. 

On Friday, the 24th, we were visited by a severe storm of 
rain, v>i,ich lasted for two days, but the men were all in fine 
spirits notwithstanding, as they had received four months' 
pay, .md could purchase some luxuries (so-called) from the 
sutlers, who had been patiently waiting to relieve them of 
their spare cash. 

Tiiirteen men deserted on the capital they had obtained, 
having money enough to pay their way. Monday, the 27th, 
was cKar and cold, after the storm, blowing hard, and nearly 
ail tiie men were full of spirits. During the night, the officers 
were s'.irpnised to hear an unusual noise in the usually quiet 
camp, and the officer of the day, as well as the guard, were 
astoundcl It was very evident that the men had procured 
whi4:y somewhere, :ind in large quantity. Tlie sutlers weic 
not allowed to sell it, and the men had not been out of 
camp ; there had not been any suspicious persons about, and 

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Camp near Skarpslmrg. 327 

•where did they get the whisky ? Such a complete demoral- 
ization had never happened before, not even in Baltimore, 
where the facilities of a large city afforded every opportunity 
for a debauch. Fighting, singing, and general uproar i)re- 
vailed, even " taps " being almost entirely unheeded. The 
next morning empty quart bottles were lying about in pro- 
fusion. The officers never knew the secret of it ; but a partv, 
being no other than the well-known " Nicaragua Riley," had 
been around a little while before with a wagon-load of bread, 
and a part of the loaves had been cut open and examined, 
but nothing had been found inside of them. Yet this was the 
man who had supplied the liquor used the night before. Two 
barrels containing quart bottles of whisky were sold for two 
dollars a bottle in that very camp. It had cost him thirty- 
five cents a gallon, and he had come around to get liis 
money "in a lump," as much as to sell his bread; it was 
handed to him by an Orderly Sergeant. 

The clear and bracing morning of Tuesday, the 28th, found 
us under marching orders. We had been drilling hard every 
day under Major Winslow, who followed in -the steps of his 
predecessors. But the exercise kept the men warm, and 
they liked it on that account. 

While staying in this camp one of the regiments in our 
corps, and, moreover, one of the best fighting regiments in tiie 
service, between whom and our own great respect was recip- 
rocated, came over to drill on a tield next to that which the 
Fifth used for the same purpose. They were doing their best. 
Our Major looked upon the proceeding as a challenge — the 
men certainly did. Accordingly the drill-call was souiuled. 
and after forming, we were marched out, and were soon going 
through the movements like clock-work. It was not five 
niinutes before the commanding officer of the otlurr regiment 
was so much interested in the movements of the I'lUh that he 
ordered his men to a rest, and thuy remained spectators, ai;d 
drilled no more. At the guard-mount of the Fifth there was 

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328 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

always a concourse of officers from different regiments to 
witness it. 

The benevolent party who sold the bread to the men came 
around again to sell pies, which, however, were in a greatly 
demoralized condition, having sutifered fearfully by the trans- 
portation ; the materials were there, but somewhat mixed. 
It was dealt out at twenty-five cents for a handful of the 
luush, which consisted of about a dozen different kinds of 
pastry, and there was great jiushing and scrambling to pur- 
chase it. He was closely watched, but that did not prevent 
the necessary arrangements trom being n)ade for another 
smuggle of whisky, under the cover of darkness. 

It was clear and pleasant the next day, the 29th. The 
officers and men were light-headed. We had company drill 
in the morning, and battalion drill in the afternoon, to straight- 
en up. A great deal of drunkenness was noticed in camp the 
previous night, the underground railroad having evidently 
been running its train again. But the engineer made no 
money by this venture. When he came around for it, having 
nothing to sell, he was told by the orderly, who had acted on 
the previous occasion, that the stuff had been seized, and 
that he was suspected and ordered to be arrested. On 
hearing this, he left in a very disrespectful and hasty man- 
ner, without waiting to hear any further explanations. He 
had tasted military justice before, on at least one occasion, 
and wanted no more of it. The orderly quietly pocketed 
the money, and went into his tent to take a drink. 

We left camp on Tiuirsday, the 30th, at 4 p.m., at the close 
of a warm and cloudy day, marched until 2 a.m. of the 31st, 
and bivouacked in Pleasant Valley, near Brownsville, after 
a .slow and tedious march of nine miles over the mountains. 
The night was cold and disagreeable, but the morning was 
clear and warm. We started again, moving at 6 a.m. about 
three-quarters of a mile, when we haltetl four hours on the 
road. Orders to advance being given, we again fell in, and 

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Snicker s Gap. 329 

after marching about eight miles, passing through Brownsville, 
we bivouacked near Weverton, Md. We had a bayonet drill 
on dress parade. We were mustered in for two months' pay, 
and Captain Prime's resignation was announced, to enable 
him to accept a Lieutenant-Colonelcy in another organiza- 

Saturday, November ist, found us in marching order at 
7 A.M. ; wc crossed the Potomac on a pontoon bridge at 
Harper's P'erry, where we stopped, and were supplied with 
knapsacks, which we had not seen since leaving Harrison's 
Landing, two and a half months before ; we picked up the 
genial "Butch" and some others, who had been sent from 
the former camp to labor on the public works, to \)ay for a 
" frolic." We resumed our march and crossed the Shenan- 
doah, and after tramping eight miles through Loudoun Val- 
ley, bivouacked on the Leesburg turnpike, near Neversville. 
We were joined by the 140th New York, Colonel O'Rourke, 
a. regular officer and a graduate of West Point. He was a 
fine officer, and was subsequently killed at tlie battle of 
Gettysburg, in the terrible hand to hand conflict with Hood's 
Texans on the summit of Little Bald Top. They were a fine 
body of men generally, but new to the service ; they were 
enlisted from the northern part of the State, and were at tliis 
time about 850 strong. Sunday, November 2d, marched at 
7 A.M., passing through Hillsborougii and Snickersvile, ami 
relieved Sumner's corps at Snicker's Gap, arriving there 
about II P.M., after a tedious stretch of sixteen miles. We 
bivouacked in line of battle behind stacked arms, on top 
of the mountain. It was a very cold, windy nigl.t. Sykcs' 
division was ordered to hold the pass over the Illuc Ridge 
through the Gap. The roads over which we hail marciied 
were rough and :,tony, water was scarce, anci the List two 
miles being on the ascent all tiie way, was very tirc>iinie 
work after a full day's marching. At one time before reacli- 
ing the loot of the mountain we were deployed in line of 

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330 FiftJi New York Volunteer Infantry. 

baUle, expecting a skirmish with the enemy who were in the 
viciiiity. Three men tlropped out on the last two miles to 
make their coffee, after which they kej;t on. An officer on 
horseback hailed them by a sudden challenge, and asked 
them where they v/ere going and what regiment they belonged 
to. It was so dark he could not see their uniform. When 
tne}' answered him, he told them they would soon be in the 
hands of the enemy on that road, and gave them jiroper di- 
rections. He had been placing pickets. They lost their way 
iii the darkness, and lay down by a stone wall to rest. While 
dozing into sleep, one of the pickets close by made a chal- 
lenge, and receiving no answer, fired his piece. Thev heard 
a cry, '• I am shut ! " and " Corporal of the Guard ! " A 
straggling soldier who failed to answer the challenge had 
been fatally shot. Our boys found they had made a narrow 
escape. The 3d was a cold, blustering day, and we were 
still in line of battle, with strong pickets posted, expecting an 
attack. The men killed a lot of sheep found running at 
large about the mountain tops, and had plenty of mutton for 
the first time in eighteen months. Boxes of crackers were 
ccrried three-fourths of a mile by details of men on their 
backs from the wagons, as they could not ascend any further. 
One of the companies went down the mountain toward the 
Shenandoah River, and liad a brush with the eneniy's pickets 
wlio were on the other side of it. 

'i'biC following morning broke clear and we had a pleasant 
day. The enemy was in sight in the valley, and heavy firing 
was heard in the east in the direction of Warrenton. A 
rcconnoissance was made down the mountain, under the 
connnand of Colonel Sargent, of General Porter's statT, to 
Castk-mau's Ford, Slienandoah River. He had with him a 
p>ii;av]ron of th'- isi M.i.-saclutsetts cavalry (Caprain I'rattV 
t'.\o battalions ui" iho i4ih, and batlahous of the 6lh and 
7tl; U. S. Infantry. When they had i>roceeded about two 
miles they were fired on by a masked battery of ten guns 

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Snicker s Gap, ' 331 

posted on the other side of the river. After some prelim- 
inary skirmishing, Captain Pratt was shot through the heart, 
a Lieutenant of the 14th Infantry was wounded, and about 
forty of the men were killed or wounded ; but they ad- 
vanced to the river. The Fifth were ordered under arms at 
the first firing, but their services were not required. 

The regiment was on picket duty on the 5th, and we could 
see the enemy, and were obliged to be extremely vigilant. 
Very heavy firing was heard in the direction of Ashby's Gaji, 
south of us. In the expectation of a night attack, double 
pickets were posted. The night fell on us cold and cloudy. 
Notwithstanding the apparent preparations for an attack, 
everything remained quiet during the night, and at 7 a.m. 
on Thursday, the 6th, we commenced a march of about 
eighteen miles, passing through Middleburgh, and bivouacked 
about one mile distant in the woods. While passing through 
the town, which was thoroughly secessionist, an old lady 
stood at her door leaning on a cane, and called out very 
earnestly, in a cracked voice, and shaking her head, that " it 
was no use to go that way, you will all come back again." 

No males were seen in the town except cripples, paroled 
and wounded prisoners, in Confederate uniform, awaiting 
exchange. All the other male inhabitants were in the Con- 
federate army. 

We marched the next morning at seven o'clock. It com- 
menced snowing at nine, and continued through the day. 
We marched about eight miles, and, after the usual insiicc- 
tion of arms, encamj^ed near White Plains. Company -V 
was sent on picket to the rear, to guard against a surprise 
by Mosby anil his men. The night was bitterly cold, from 
which the men suffered severely, but they kindled largo 
fires, antl, uitii the addition of ha)' from -omc ;-'.K-ks 
by. made themselves as comfuitablc as clrculll^tanccs would 

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332 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

accustomed to the grindstone, made a foray on a sutler's 
wagon which happened to be near General Warren's quarters 
on the road. He sprang among them and whacked them well 
with his sword, much to their astonishment. They became 
well toned down, after a little training, like the rest of us. 

On Saturday, the 8th, the reveille woke us at 4.30 a.m. 
We marched at eight o'clock, advancing nine miles over bad 
roads through White Plains, and bivouacked near New Balti- 
more. The next day, Sunday, the 9th, we marched at 8 A.>r., 
about two miles through Thoroughfare Gap, and bivouacked 
within one mile of Warrenton, and in sight of the spires of 
that strong secessionist town. The weather was tine, but 
clear and cold. We were drawn up in line on the beautiful 
morning of the loth, but our hearts were sad. We had a 
farewell review from General McClellan. The men received 
him with nine hearty cheers, as he always had their entire 
confidence, and all were sad at parting with him. 

At evening parade the farewell address of our beloved 
Commander-in-Cliief was read off, which vvas as follows : 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, \ 

Camp near Rectortown. November 7, 1862. S 
Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac : 
— An order of the President devolves upon Major-General 
Burnside the command of this army. In parting from you I can 
not express the love and gratitude I bear you. As an army, you 
have grown up in my care. In you I have never found doubt or 
coldness. The battles you have fought under my command will 
proudly live in our nation's history. The glory you have achieved, 
our mutual perils and fatigues, the graves of our comrades fallen 
in battle and by disease, the broken forms of those whom wounds 
and sickness have disabled — the strongest associations which can 
fxist among men — unite us still by an indissoluble tie. We shall 
ever be conir.icics in supporting the Constitution of our country 
and the nationality of its people. 

G. B. McClellax, 

Major-General U. S. Arwy. 

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■ * On the March to Fredericksburg. 333 

The regiment did not expect to make a halt so soon, but 
were not sorry to have a litte rest. A supply of straw had 
been appropriated by the men, which they were fortunate 
enough to discover, thereby adding much to their comfort. 
The wind was blowing a gale from the north, and the sky 
was overcast with clouds, giving promise of another snow- 

The men endured the weather very well, but the horses 
suffered severely. The nth was a clear, pleasant day; 
another review was held, and General Fitz John Porter took 
leave of his command. He looked pale, and evidently was 
anxious and ill at ease. The men gave him nine hearty 
cheers, and the common remark among them was, "Another 
good General gone." 

On Wednesday, November 12th, General Ambrose E. 
Burnside took command of the army. On the 13th, the 
146th Regiment, New York Volunteers, under the command 
of Colonel Garrard, a regular officer, joined the brigade. It 
was a fine body of men, enlisted from the Western and 
Central portion of the State, and about 850 strong. This 
regiment made for itself, by its active service with the Army 
of the Potomac, to the close of the war, a splendid war 
record. Their long list of killed and wounded tells tlie story 
of the hard fighting they did at Gettysburg and during 
Grant's great campaign, which closed with the ca[)ture of 

On Saturday, the 15th, the Fifth was visited about dark 
by General A. Duryee and aides. As soon as he was rec- 
ognized by tlie men, they turned out and gave him a fitting 
reception, to which he responded by a short and appropriate 

On Sunday, the i6th. Colonel Iliram Duryea left us on 
account of prolonged ill liealth. 

The 17th we left camp in a cold rain-storm, and after a 
march of twelve miles, passing through Warrenton, went into 

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334 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

bivouac about lo p.m. at Warrenton Junction. The roads 
were in a very bad condition, which occasioned much delay, 
but when the wagons and artillery got on clear ground, we 
were obliged to make up the distance on a half run, which 
was more fatiguing than a steady, uniform step. At dusk 
there was no sign of going into camp, and at the halts the 
men sat down in the mud of the road to rest. Finally we 
were ordered into a field to camp. The prospect was dreary 
enough. It was cold and raining hard ; wood was at a dis- 
tance, which we were obliged to feel out in the dark. The 
men rigged up shelters as best they could, fastening them to 
the rifles for want of better supports, and slept on the cold, 
wet ground. 

About four o'clock a.m. the men were aroused from their 
restless slumbers by the blast of the bugle ; the sky was 
cloudy and the sun not visible. We fell in line and marched 
about eight o'clock across fields, swamps, guUeys, up hill 
and down, through bushes, woods, and streams, crossing the 
same stream of water no less than four times, the fording of 
which did not make one's feet and legs feel any more com- 
fortable, and this march certainly had no attraction. It was 
raining all the time, and we tramped on in this manner until 
dark, when the patience of the men was about exhausted, 
and there was plenty of grumbling, cursing, and groans. 

Finally we were turned into a field to rest, after sixteen 
miles of marching ; the ground was rough and uneven, and 
so thickly ornamented with stones and lumjis as to make 
one feel as if he was lying on a picket fence. This place 
was Spotted Tavern. One of the men remarked that it 
ought to be named " Devil's Rest." 

On Wednesday, the 19th, marched at daylight through the 
rain five miles, and bivouacked near Hartwood Church. 

The two succeeding days we remained in camp. It rained 
continually, and the men's clothing was soaking wet day 
and night; some of them laid with the water running under 

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On the March to Fredericksburg. 335 

them, and had a complete, if not satisfactory, experience of 
that delightful sensation. We started on the march, but 
encountered an endless train of wagons blockaded in the 
muddy roads, and were ordered to camp again. The tribu- 
lations of the men thus far had not served to increase their 
joy at the prospect of a " winter campaign." 

On Saturday, the 2 2d, we left camp about 3 a.m., went 
nearly four miles, and bivouacked near Stafford Court- 
House. On Sunday, the 23d, marched at 2 p.m. about three 
miles and encaniped near Henry House, in the vicinity of 
General Hooker's quarters. The night was very cold, and 
the men were obliged to get up frequently to warm their 
feet ; the water froze in their canteens. 

Thursday, November 27th, Thanksgiving day, the men 
dined on salt pork and hard-tack. For recreation they hatl 
a drill in the afternoon to aid digestion. 28th, the division 
was reviewed by General Sykes, and had a brigade drill un- 
der General Warren. 29th, the corps was reviewed by Gen- 
eral Hooker, commander of the center grand division of the 
army. New uniforms were issued, being the first time since 
l-'ebruary, 1S62. On Sunday, the 30th, we i)assed for inspec- 
tion in heavy marching order before General Hooker's quar- 
ters, the regiment displaying their new uniforms. 

On ?vIonday, December ist. Colonel Hiram Duryea's res- 
ignation was read otT on dress parade, the regiment thereby 
losing a brave and accomplished otficer, whose absence was 
keenly felt during the remainder of their term of service. 
He was a very strict disciplinarian, and no holiday soldier, 
and it was greatly owing to this fact that the excellent state 
of discipline and perfection in drill, to which we had been 
brought by Colonel Warren, was maintained. 

December 3d, a detail from the regiment went on picket 
\- ill) two days' rations. Saturday, December 6lh, w is a clear, 
(-1! dav, widi snow on the ground five inches deep. 'I'lie 
regiment was prepared for a review by General Bulterfield, 

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336 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

acting in command of the corps. But the order was coun- 

On Saturday, December 6th, a detail was ordered from the 
regiment for picket duty, in heavy marching order and two 
days' rations. After considerable delay in making up the 
details from the different regiments, they marched over 
nuserable roads and two or three streams about three miles 
from camp, and about 3 p.m. were in the position assigned 
them in the rear of the army. The prospect at first was 
gloomy. The fields and trees \\ere covered with snow, and 
not a green thing was to je seen ; but they were agreeably 
surprised when they reached their position. A Corporal 
and si.v men were assigned to each post, where they found 
generous fires in front of rude shelters made of rails and 
boughs of trees, built by the 4th ^Michigan boys, whom they 
relieved, and all they had to do was to take their place and 
keep the fires going. The reserve was posted further to the 
rear in a hollow of the pine woods, and made themselves 
comfortable. A man was posted from each squad of six 
men further to the front in the woods, for two hours at a 
time. Of course, it was a severe task to stand quietly on 
duty in the snow, peering around on the watch. But on the 
other hand, it was a pleasure for the solitary sentinel to oc- 
casionally cast a glance to the rear at the gleaming of the 
picket fires in the woods, and to enjoy in anticipation the 
comfort that was in store for his chilled body when he 
should be relieved from his vigil. The weather was very 
cold, and water froze in the canteens a few feet from the 
fires. The blankets and overcoats were frozen stiff from 
previous dampness. Sunday, the 7th, and the succeeding 
day continued clear and cold, and the snow was still on the 
ground. The picket was relieved on the evening of the 8th. 

Major Wiublow was read off on evening parade as Colonel 
of the Fifth, and Ensign Winslow, his bi other, as First Lieu- 
tenant ; John S. Raymond was promoted to a Captaincy, 

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Ot'K.-i ,1'>,,.-j f( 

On the March to Fredericksburg. 337 

and assigned to Company G ; A. S, Chase to Captain of 
Company D ; Sergeant Kitson to Ensign of Company C ; 
Sergeant T. £. Fish to Ensign, and Commissary E. M. Earle, 
appointed Quartermaster, vice A. L. Thomas, promoted to 
Brigade Quartermaster. 

These were the preliminaries and the preparation for the 
impending struggle, which we were in ardent hope would 
see the duration of war cease, and that the Union with its 
benedictions of peace would once more be restored. But 
our hopes as to the issuoof the coming conflict were to be 
dashed to the ground, and it wis destined to form a dark 
event in the history of the Union cause. 




In Sight .of Fredericksburg — The Pontoon — The Burning City — The Posi- 
tion—Across THE River— Marye's Hill — A Dcscription by the Philadel- 
phia Times— Thb Attack — The Enemy's Batteries — The Slaughter Path 
— French's Division— Hooker's Charge— Howard at the Front— Hum- 
phrey's Division— Sykes' Division— The Dead .\nd- Wounded — Warren's 
Brigade — The Brigade of Death — The Compte de Paris — The Fifth in a 
Garden — Our Regulars Severely Placed — The Gloom Pall— Forlorn 
' Hope — Strategy — Lstrenchments at Night — Covering the Retreat — 
The L.\st Man Crossed— The Pontoon Lifted— Incidents— Henry House 
— <}enerai. Svkes' General Order. 

At half-past 2 o'clock on the morning of Thursday, the 
nth day of Deceiuber, 1S62, the reguiient was aroused from 
its shuiibers, by the sound of the bugle ringing out the 
reveille on the clear, cold air. The men immediately turned 
out and formed in line for roll call. .'Vfter answering to their 
names, they commenced their slight preparations for the 
march. They formed in line and at about six o'clock took 
the road, already blocked up, as far as the eye could scan, 
with moving troops, artillery, and ambulances. The sound 
of a heavy gun in the distance announced that the hat for 
battle had gone forth, which, ere it closed, was to send weep- 
ing and mourning into many a happy Northern home, and 
throw a mantle of gloom over every patriot heart throughout 
the land. Soon other guns sent forth their deep-toned notes, 
and the roar of artillery became incessant. After many 
halts, and a march of about three miles, the division was 
turned into a wood to await further orders. Thoy were 
linally niarched from the wood to a position behind sonic 
earthworks on high ground, near the banks of the Rapi'a- 
hannock, from which they could distinctly see the ill-fated 


»r;":i-;i-;:i:. .1-:]H1 --i' 


Battle of Fredericksburg. 339 

city of Fredericksburg, lying about two miles to their left, 
on the other side of the river, and along on their side of the 
river, and stretching far off in the distance, huge balls of 
smoke arose from the guns which were playing on the 
opposite bank. 

The men of the 50th New York Regiment, Engineer 
Corps, were engaged all day in trying to lay the pontoon 
bridge across the river, but were prevented by the enemy's 
riflemen, who were posted in the houses along the street's 
adjacent to the river. This compelled the General com- 
manding to order the guns to be turned upon the city and 
shell the place. Soon thirty-tive batteries, numbering one 
hundred and seventy-nine guns, were hurling their shell into 
the cUy ; they continued the bombardment for an hour, each 
piece discharging about fifty shots ; the reverberations of the 
guns were like long rolls of thunder, and soon the hij^'ii 
banks of the river were enveloped in smoke. The city was 
set on fire by the shell in several places, and continued to 
burn all day and through the succeeding night. It was a 
splendid spectacle in the darkness, as the flames burst fortli 
from the burning houses. On Friday, the 12th, detachments 
of the 7th Michigan, followed by the 19th and 20th Massa- 
chusetts, about four hundred men in all, dashed across the 
river in pontoon boats and routed the enemy's ritlemen, 
lying behind the brick walls of the ruined houses along the 
river front, but they suffered some loss in their heroic enter- 

The engineers were now able to lay their bridges without 
uiolestation. The enemy's works on tiie heights to the 
of the city could be plainly seen, as they were built on 
steep hills ninety and one hundred feet in height; concern- 
ing which, wrote the London llnics corresiiondent after t!ie 
I'lttle : '-This crest of hills constitutes one of the strongc-t 
l)ositions in the world — impregnable to any attack in the 
front." The Confederates scarcely deigned to rei)ly to the 

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340 FiftJi Nc-iv York Vohintccr Infantry. 

fire of the batteries, and it looked oniinous ; it seemed as if 
they were saving their ammunition and biding their time, 
being sure of their prey when the troops crossed over into 
the city. 

On Saturday, the 13th, by two o'clock in the afternoon, 
the troops were all across the river, with the exception of 
Sykes' division, which was held as a reserve, being com- 
posed of two brigades of regulars and Warren's brigade, 
consisting at that time of the Fifth, 140th, and 146th New 
York, the Fifth being regarded the same in point of steadi- 
ness and discipline as the regulars. The two other regiments 
had not yet been under fire, having been recently recruited. 
Since noon the rattle of nuisketry intermingled with the 
roar of artillery had been incessant, and told the story of the 
fierce conflict raging. 

We will now halt for a moment and see what is going on 
in front of Marye's Hill, through the eyes of one who must 
have been present, or he could not have described the scene 
so faithfully or so well. 

The following was.^ published in the New York SnnJay 
Sun of August 5, 1 87 7, credited to the Philadelphia Times, 
and its perusal will bring home to the thoughts of all those 
who were present on that bloody field, the truthfulness of 
the scenes described : 

" Man-e's Hill was the focus of the strife. It rises in the rear 
of Fredericksburg, a stone's throw beyond the canal which runs 
along the western border of the city. The ascent is not vep,- ab- 
rupt. A brick house stands on the hillside, whence you may 
overlook Fredericksburg and all the circumjacent country. The 
Orange plank-road ascends the hill on the right-hand side of the 
house, the telegraph road on the left. Above Mar>'e's Hill is an 
elc\'atcd plateau whicli commands it. The hill is part of a long, 
bold ridgo on \\hk\\ the declivity leans, str.'lching from Falnwuih 
to Massoponax Creek, six miles. Its summit was shaggy and rough 
with the earthworks uf the Confederates, and was crowned by 
their attiller)-. The stone wall on Marye's Height was their 

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V ■ Battle of Frcdcrickslmrg. 341 

'coign of vantage,' held by the brigades of Cobb and Kershaw, 
of McLaw's division. On the semicircular crest above, and 
sti-etchiiigfar on either hand, was Longstreet's corps, forming the 
left of the Confederate line. His advance position was the stone 
wall and rifle trenches along the telegraph road above the housf. 
The guns of the enemy commanded and swept the streets which 
led out to the heights. Sometimes you might see a regiment 
marching down those streets in single tile, keeping close to the 
houses, one tile on the right-hand side, another on the left. 

" Between a canal and the foot of the ridge was a level plat of 
flat, even ground, a few hundred yards in width. This restricted 
space afforded what opportunity there was to form in order of 
battle. A division massed on this narrow plain was a target 
for Lee's artillery, which cut tearful swaths in the dense and 
compact ranks. 

" Below and to the right were fences which impeded the ad- 
vance of the charging lines. Whatever division was assigned the 
task of carrying Marye's Hill, debouched from the town, crossed 
the canal, traversed the narrow level and formed under cover of 
a sharp rise of ground at the foot of the heights. 

" At the word, suddenly ascending this bank, they pressed for- 
ward up the hill for the stone wall and the crest beyond, into tiu 
jaws of death. 

" From noon to dark Bumside continued to hurl one division 
after another against that volcano-like eminence, belching forth 
fire and smoke and iron hail. French's division was the tirst to 
rush to the assault. When it emerged from cover and burst out 
on the open, in full view of the enemy, it was greeted with a 
frightful fiery reception from all his batteries on the circling 

" The ridge concentrated upon it the convergent fire of all its 
enginery of war. Vou might see at a mile the lanes made by the 
cannon balls in the ranks. You might see a bursting shell throw 
up into the air a cloud of earth and dust, mingled with the limbs 
of mr-n. The battiTi( s in front of the d^'voted division lhiind« rcil 
against it. To the right, to the left, cannon were answering to 
each other in a tremendous deafening battle chorus, the burden 
of which was : 

"' Welcome to these Ki.-xdmen about to die.' 

.• . jf. 1 ■. 



342 FijftJi Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

" The advancing column was a focus, the point of concentration 
of an arc — almost a semicircle — of destruction. It was a center 
of attraction of all deadly missiles. At that moment that single 
division was going up alone in battle against the Southern Con- 
federacy, and was being pounded to pieces. It continued to go 
up, nevertheless, toward the stone wall, toward the crest above. 
With lips more finnly pressed together, the men closed up their 
ranks and pushed forward. The storm of battle increased its 
fur)' upon them ; the crash of musketry mingled with the roar of 
ordnance from the peaks. The stone wall and the rifle-pits 
added their terrible treble to the deep base of the bellowing 
ridge. The rapid discharge of small arms poured a continuous 
rain of bullets in their faces ; they fell down by tens, by scores, 
by hundreds. 

" When they had gained a large part of the distance, the storm 
developed into a hurricane of ruin. The division was blown back 
as if by a breath of hell's door suddenly opened, shattered, dis- 
ordered, pell-mell, down the declivities, amid the shouts and 
yells of the enemy, which made the horrid din demoniac. Until 
then the division seemed to be contending with the WTath of brute 
and material forces bent on its annihilation. 

"This shout recalled the human agency in all the turbulence 
and fury of the scene. The division of French fell back ; that is 
to say, one-half of it. It suffered a loss of near half its numbers. 
Hancock immediately charged with five thousand men, veteran 
regiments, led by tried commanders. They saw w^hat had hap- 
pened ; they knew what would befall them. They advanced up 
the hill ; the bravest were found dead within twenty-five paces 
of the stonewall ; it was slaughter, havoc, carnage. In fifteen 
minutes they were thrown back with a loss of two thousand — 
unprecedented seventy of loss. Hancock and French, repulsed 
from the stone wall, would not quit the hill altogether. Their 
divisions, lying down on the earth, literally clung to the ground 
they had won. Thtse valiant men, who could not go forw;'rd, 
would not go bnck. All the while the hatterit s on the heights 
raged rmd stiirrm-d at t'i<an. 

" How.'jrd's divisi<iii came to their aid. Two di\ isions of the 
9th coq)s to their k-ft attacked repeatedly in their support. 

" It was then that Uurnside rode from the Phillips House, on 

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- ■ Battle of Fredt-ricksburg. 343 

the other side of the Rappahannock, and standing on the bluff at 
the nver, staring at those formidable heights, exclaimed : ' That 
crest must be carried to-night,' Hooker remonstrated, begged, 
obeyed. In the army to hear is to obey. He prepared to charge 
with Humphrey's division ; he brought up every available battery 
in the city. 'I proceeded,' he said, 'against their barriers as I 
would against a fortification, and endeavored to breach a hole 
sufficiently large for a forlorn hope to enter/ He continued the 
cannonading on the selected spot until sunset. He made no im- 
pression upon their works, ' no more than you could make upon 
the side of a mountain of rock. ' 

*' Humphrey's division formed under shelter of the rise, in col- 
umn, for assault. They were directed to make the attack with 
empty muskets ; there was no time then to load and fire. The 
officers were put in front to lead. At the command they moved 
forward with great impetuosity ; they charged at a rim, hurrah- 
ing. The foremost of them advanced to within fifteen or twenty 
yards of the stone wall. Hooker afterward said : ' No campaign 
in the w^orld ever saw a more gallant advance than Humphrey's 
men made there. But they were to do a work that no men could 
do.' In a moment they were hurled back with enormous loss. 
It was. now just dark ; the attack was suspended. Three times 
from noon to dark the cannon on the crest, the musketr\' at the 
stone wall, had prostrated division after division on Mange's 
Hill. And now the sun had set ; twilight had stolen out of the 
west and spread her veil of dusk ; the town, the fiat, the hill, the 
ridge, lay under the ' circling canopy of night's extended shade.' 
Darkness and- gloom had settled down upon the Phillips House, 
over on the Stafford Heights, where Bumside would after a while 
hold his council of war." 

About three o'clock Sykes' division was ordered to move 
toward the bridge leading direct to the city ; it being one of 
five built of pontoons by the engineers, the other four lying to the left, three of which led to the oiK'n country. 
As they ainuoaclied in its vicinity, they met the enemy's 
shell, who was aiming his guns so as to reach the slope of 
the hill running down to the foot of the bridge and the plains 

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344 Fifth Nezv York Vohniteer Infantry. 

beyond. They saw numerous sights that reminded them of 
what was going on in the front ; pale-looking men limping 
to the rear, and long lines of ambulances carrying their bur- 
dens of suffering humanity, and here and there a surgeon 
and assistants, with implements in hand performing their 
duties, with the wounded and the dying lying about them ; 
terrified-looking stragglers skulking behind trees, where they 
thought themselves safe from flying shell. 

Before crossing the river they met General Burnside, who 
appeared to look anxious and not well satisfied as to how the 
battle was progressing. Who could realize the fearful re- 
sponsibility then resting on him alone? His last troops 
were going into action ; the desperate assaults against an 
impregnable position had been disastrous failures, and this 
was the decisive moment. The division crossed the bridge 
and hurried through a business street, where whole blocks of 
stores had been destroyed by fire ; desolation and destruc- 
tion were visible on all sides. They turned into Caroline 
Street, which was lined by the residences of the wealthy, and 
as they passed up this street on a run, they saw many corpses 
lying about in the street and on the sidewalks, and met 
wounded men coming from the battle, reeling like drunken 
men. Once in a while one of them would fall from weak- 
ness occasioned by loss of blood. Two soldiers came out 
of a drug-store with ashy pale countenances, having been 
poisoned in their search for whisky. 

The din of battle was now terrifying, as nearly all of Gen- 
eral Hooker's command, the 3d and 5th corps, were en- 
gaged, and for two miles along the font it was one sheet 
of thune, but the result was uncertain. On the outside of 
the city was a plain about one-third of a mile in width, op 
the other side of which were the enemy, covered by a stone 
wall, which was banked with earth, ritle-pits, and batteries 
on the heights, with another line of earthworks on high 
ground to the rear of thetn ; all these nmst be overcome at 


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Battle of Fredericksburg. 345 

that point, to insure a victory. The division continued up 
the street on a double-quitk, the regulars being in advance ; 
they came to the end of it, which debouched on the out- 
skirts of the city, on the border of the open plain before 
mentioned, and thi "regulars" went into the battle now 
raging fiercely, relieving Humphrey's division. The Con- 
federates knew who were facing them at the first volley. 
Warren's brigade formed a second line in their rear. It was 
now dark, and the heavy firing ceased ; occasional volleys 
from companies or battalions lit up the darkness for a mo- 
ment, but it soon dropped off to a heavy picket firing. 

The assaulting troops, as we have seen, had succeeded in 
getting near the stone wall, but they were met with such a 
withering fire from the Confederates, who were repeatedly 
reinforced, and from the nature of their defenses could 
mass their men four files deep and fire, that our forces were 
so decin\ated tliey could advance no further, and were 
obliged to fall back. 

The position of the Fifth happened to be in a garden, the 
soil being wet and muddy, from the heat of the sun dur- 
ing the day, which had melted tb.e frost in the ground. 15iit 
there they were compelled to wait, being the next in turn 
for the trying ordeal. The men pulled down a i)icket fence 
and portioned what there was of it among themselves to lie 
on, and keep part of their bodies from the damp, cold earth, 
each man's share consisting of a space about two and one- 
half feet long by one and a half broad, and ciulcd t'nein- 
selves up to keep warm, 'I'he bullets whiz/ed o\er their 
heads from the firing just in front of them, and some o{ them 
were hit ; occasionally the shrieking of shell was hc.ud, a 
httle over their heads. Few there were that closed then- eyes 
tliat long December night, which seenieil as if it wonKi never 
end. As thc-y l.iy, they thought ol tiie n)oiro\v— hosv many 
of them would live to come out of the conllict— of home — 
ot eternity. 


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34^ Fifth Nezu York Volunteer Infantry. 

But worse than all wore the cries of the wounded, lying 
helpless between the lines and on that bloody slope, without 
any one to help them. They could hear theui cry, "Water ! 
water ! water ! O God ! help ! " Some of them called out 
their names and regiment, and sometimes a chorus of shrieks 
and groans went up on the chill midnight air, telling of 
human agony beyond the power of endurance. But to 
quote again from the same writer : 

" The dead would not remain unnoticed. The dying cried out 
in the darkness, and demanded succor of the world. Was there 
nothing in the universe to save ? Tens of thousands within ear- 
shot, and no footstep of friend or foe drew near during all the 
hours. Sometimes they drew near and passed by, which was an 
aggravation of the agony. The subdued sound of wheels rolling 
slowly along, and ever and anon stopping; the murmur of voices 
and a cry of pain told of the ambulance on its mission. It went 
off in another direction. The cries were borne through the 
haze. Now a single lament ; again voices intermingled and as if 
in chorus ; from ever\' direction, in front, behind, to right, to left, 
some near, some distant and faint. Some, doubtless, were faint 
and were not distant — the departing breath of one about to ex- 
pire. They expressed ever}' degree and shade of suffering, of 
pain, of agony ; a sigh, a groan, a piteous appeal, a shriek, a 
succession of shrieks, a call of despair, a prayer to God, a demand 
for water, for the ambulance, a death-rattle, a horrid scream, a 
voice as of the body when the soul tore itself away and alian- 
doned it to the enemy, to the night, and to dissolution. The 
voices were various. This the tongue of a German ; that wail 
in the Celtic brogue of a poor Irishman. The accent of New- 
England was distinguishable in the cry of that boy. From a 
different quarter came utterances in the dialect of a far-eft 
Western State. The appeals of the Irish were the most pathetic. 
They put them into ever)- form — denunciation, remonstrance, a 
pitiful prayt-r, a perempton.- demand. The German more 
]iati(nt, less denionstr.itive, withdraw i:^g iiito himself. One m.m 
raised his body on his left arm, and extending his right aim up- 
ward, cried out to the heavens and fell back. Most of them lay 
moaning, with the fitful movement of unrest and pain. 


:«:, .-n VA 

Battle of Fredericksburg. 347 

" It was on the ground over which the successive charges had 
been made that there appeared to be a thin line of soldiers sleep- 
ing on the ground. They seemed to make a sort of row or rank ; 
they were perfectly motionless ; their sleep was profound. Not 
one of them awoke and got up. They were not relieved either. 
Had the fatigue of the day completely overpowered all of them, 
officers and privates alike } They were nearest the enemy, 
within call of him. They were the advance line of the Union 
army. Was it thus that they kept their watch, on which the 
safety of the whole army depended, pent up between the ridge 
and the river? The enemy might come within ten steps of 
them without being seen. The fog was a veil. No one knew 
what lay, or moved, or crept, a little distance off. Still they did 
not waken. If you looked closely at the face of any of them, in 
the mist and dimness, it was pallid, the eyes closed, the mouth 
open, the hair was disheveled ; besides, the attitude was often 
painful. There were blood-marks also. These men were all 

Thus the night wore through. Toward morning a thick 
mist hung over the ground, which made the situation more 
gloomy, if possible, than ever. The men fully expcctotl to 
face the Confederate hosts in battle array as soon as day- 
light should appear. Each man felt as if he was passing his 
last niiydit on earth ; but each brave heart had inwardl;.' 
resolved to obey orders unflinchingly, and preserve the 
reputation of their regunent in whatever jiosition it rni'^ht 
be placed ; and if it was the fortune of war that they wore to 
die, they would meet their fate like men. 

"In the meantime the troops that had been in the front we.e 
withdrawn into the streets of the town, and rested on their arms. 
Some sat on the curbstones, meditating, looking gloomily at the 
ground ; others lay on the pavement, tr}ing to forget the events 
of the day in sleep. There was little said ; deep d.jeclion bur- 
dened the spirits oiali. The incidniis .if the !)attle were r.i.t r<- 
hearsed except now and then. .Vl\\ays when anyone 
was of a slain comrade — of his virtues or of tlie manner ot his 
death ; or of one missing, with many conjectures respecting him. 



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348 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

Some of them, it was said, had premonitions, and went into the 
battle not expecting to survive the day. Thus they lay or sat. 
The conversation was with bowed head, and in a low manner, 
ending in a sigh. 

" It was December, and cold. There was no camp-tire. But 
no one mentioned the cold ; it was not noticed. Steadily the 
wounded were carried by to the hospitals near the river. The 
hospitals were a harrowing sight ; full, crowded, nevertheless 
patients were brought in constantly. Down-stairs, up-stairs, 
every room full. Surgeons, with their coats off and sleeves rolled 
up above their elbows, S3wed off limbs or administered anaes- 
thetics. They took off a leg or an arm in a twinkling, after brief 
consultation. It seemed to be, in case of doubt — off with his 
limb. But the sights and scenes in a field-hospital are not to b2 

The Conipte de Paris says, in his " History of the Civil War 
in America" (pp. 596-7) : 

"This night of December I3th-I4th was probably the most 
painful ever experienced by the Army of the Potomac during its 
whole existence ; its losses amounted to 12,500 killed and wound- 
ed, and over 2,000 prisoners, sacrinced uselessly to carr}^ out an 
idea ; 6,300 lay killed or wounded on the slope of Marye's Hill, 
but there was not a soldier in the ranks who did not believe that 
their blood had been shed entirely in vain. 

" The Confederates, secure in their Gibraltar, had only lost at 
this point 952 in killed and wounded, and in all parts of the field 
less than one-half of the Union losses." 

At daylight the men were ordered to fall in ; they had no 
sooner done so than the enemy opened on them from their 
rifle-pits. The bullets flew around them thick, and began to 
tell ; one long line of flashes told where the Confederates 
were posted, for it was yet quite tkirk. The regiment was 
hurried off, and went up the same street they had come down 
the night before, ami closed \\\^ en masse in a garden partially 
covered bv a dwelling-house and fences, which somewhat 

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, ' • • ' Battle of Fredericksburg. 349 

screened them from observation ; but they wore still under 
easy rifle range. Some of the Fifth were wounded, and a 
piece of a shell broke the leg of a member of the 146th New- 
York, after crushing the wheel of a caisson. Three men of 
the 140th New York were also wounded. The regiment had 
not been long in this spot before some of the wild spirits, 
whom nothing seemed to tame or overawe, strayed otf througli 
the fence toward the enemy, although the bullets were 
whistling about them. They soon returned with \-arious 
articles of luxurious diet and clothing. It was a ludicrous 
profanation of the terrible drama to witness the grotesque 
appearance of some of the men. But this by-i)lay soon came 
to an abrupt termination by the interference of the officers. 

It was sad to reflect how desolate these happy and com- 
fortable homes were made through the terrible consequences 
of a war brought about by the treasonable acts of a few am- 
bitious leaders, the majority of whom did not care to hazard 
their own lives on the battle-field, but were willing that their 
deluded followers should stand as a bulwark between them 
and physical danger_ and hardships. It was surely not 
strange th'at it was so difficult to conquer such people, when 
they were willing to sacrifice everything, the houses and 
homes in which they were born and brought ui), and per- 
chance their parents before them, rather than surrender them 
willingly and ask protection of a forgiving invader, who had 
been forced to lay aside the arts of peace, to take u[) arms 
to preserve the unity of the States, under one confederation 
and one flag. 

In the afternoon the regiment was marched down the street 
a short distance toward the river, and turned into a yard in 
the rear of a large brick mansion, one of several others, with 
piazzas, gas-fixtures, and water-pipes, the supjily to the lat- 
ter having been cut off by the Confederates. Tlic kitchen, a 
small brick house, was connected with the main building by 
a covered way. Behind the kitchen were rows of neat huts for 

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350 Fifth Nczu York Volunteer Infa7itry. 

the colored servants. Everything gave evidence of the wealth 
and rank of the owners. A bell hung out at the rear of the 
house to waken the "people" in the morning. The officers 
occupied one of these mansions as their headquarters, from 
which was heard occasionally some favorite air played on 
the piano. The men made a fire in the large kitchen stove, 
and made some unleavened cakes, prepared from flour and 
water, a barrel of the former having been unearthed. This 
proved to be a God-send, for the bacon distributed to them 
the succeeding night, either by accident or design was utter- 
ly unfit for consumption. The regiment stayed in this posi- 
tion two days and a night, all of the time under fire of the 
guns of the enem}% and under great suspense, not knowing 
at what moment they would receive orders to advance to the 
front, to battle, and they knew well that such an order meant 
practical, if not total annihilation. 

The regulars were obliged to hold the position assigned to 
them on the night of the 13th, which was discovered in tlie 
morning to be a slight hollow. It was a doleful jilace. 
They were obliged to hug the ground, lying on their backs 
or stomachs ; they could not move ; when one turned, he 
was sure to be hit in the shoulder, and the wounded were 
obliged to lie and sutter. Many who attempted, by permis- 
sion, to run to the rear, were immediately pierced by minie 
balls and fell lifeless. In this desperate position they laid all 
day until it was dark, in the same place they occupied all 
of the previous weary night, amid the scenes already de- 
scribed. They were comiiletely at the mercy of the Con- 
federates, who were apparently secure in their eartiiworks. 
They were out of water, anil suftered terribly. At night, 
when they were able to creep away under the veil of dark- 
ness, they left 97 of their number stark and stitT. This is 
the position that Warren's brigade escaped being placed in, 
by a mere chance, as the order of march was right in front ; 
A\'arren's brigade held the left of the division. 

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Battle of Fredericksburg. 351 

On the third day, Monday, the 15111, the condition of 
aftairs looked ominous of evil, as the enemy were advancing 
their rifle-pits nearer the city every night, and the troops were 
being hemmed within its limits; the bullets were continually 
flying up the streets of the city ; there was no commanding 
position for the artillery, and in "the front" death stared them 
in the face, and the wide Rappahannock flowed in their rear 
between them and a place of refuge. If the enemy, regard- 
less of the many women and children who remained in the 
city hiding in the cellars of the houses, should shell the i^lace 
from the fortified heights commanding it, on which were 
posted two hundred pieces of artillery, a panic would prob- 
ably ensue among the troops massed in the city, which in- 
cluded the greater part of Burnside's forces, and the army 
would be lost, and possibly the cause for which they were 

It is now a matter of history that Stonewall Jackson pro- 
posed to General Lee to bonibard the city at night, and then 
in the midst of the confusion that would naturally ensue, to 
steal down and attack with he bayonet. 

General Franklin gained a mile on the left the fuat day, 
but was then checked, and could not advance any further. 
It was rumored that General Burnside pro[)osed to storm the 
works en masse with the 9th army corps in advance, but 
was overruled by the other officers. It miglit possibly have 
resulted in a temi)orary success at a terrible sacrifice of men. 
but what would follow ? A great many charges had beei: 
made the first day, but to no puri)ose e\re[)t to sacrifice men. 
The dead strewed the heUl ; a whole brigade of them in num- 
ber could be seen lying on the slopes of the hills ; it was 
sure destruction to face the Confederate batteries, aiul man\- 
of the wounded were left to die a lin-eiing death \<-\\y- en 
die lines, the enemy shooting any wlio ventured to br;i-.g 
them oft". No truce was asked or granted. 

At this time every man's heart had fiiled ; otiicers and 

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352 Fifth Nezu York Volunteer Infantry. 

men felt alike ; they tried to laugh and joke and cheer each 
other as usual, but it was plain to be seen that they all felt 
the serious position in which they were placed, and the men 
looked at one another with compressed li[)s, but spoke not ; 
f the language of the soul was impressive ; in their counte- 

[ nances was written "forlorn hope." 

I It was ai)parent to the most simple that General Buin- 

i side's army had been drawn into a death-trap ; they all knew 

and felt it, and wondered why they were idly kept there 

without an effort being made to escape or to change the 

I mode of attack. The suspense was worse than death itself; 

: it was lingering torture ; and all felt as a man can be im- 

I agined to feel the night before his execution. The army had 

:* been driven to the sacrifice to satisfy the demands of the 

j Northern press to "do something." It had been robbed of 

its experienced commanders by political advisers and cliques 

i in Washington, and here was the natural result — disastrous 

I failure. The General should not be blamed, as the com- 

j mand of the army was forced upon him, and he did the best 

j he could with it under the circumstances. That which had 

!been looked upon by the people of the North as so much 
gasconade in the Richmond papers, was being fulfilled to tiie 
letter. This was the sentiment of the soldiers at the time, 
I and it has not been changed by any subsequent develop- 

[. nients. 

I On the night of the 15th the regiment fell in very myste- 

I" riously, and was marched toward the front, down a street 

i leading by the outskirts of the city. After some delay they 

i were finally marched into a large grave-yard, with orders to 

1 kee^) vciy (luiet ; all the orders were given in an utuK'rtone. 

\ Here the men laid down for two hours among rhe graves ot 

f the departed ; pieces of pork and hartl-tack were lying alunii 

■ on the grave-stones, and all those wiio were hungry iiad .1 

chance to satisfy their appetites. But no one was very hun- 
gry at that time ; in fact, quail on toast would have been 

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Battle of Fredericksburg. 353 

no indnceaient whatever, everything looked so mysterious. 
One of the men came to the conckision that they were on a 
hunt for the bones of ^Vashington. It was an aristocratic- 
looking grave-yard. 

They were then marched into another grave-yard nearer 
the front. The men looked at one another and then at the 
Colonel, tapped their foreheads and nodded at each other 
knowingly. Finally they were marched directly to the front 
— all the orders being given in a whisper— and halted near 
the borders of the canal. A part of the Fifth and the 140th 
Regiments, aided by the regulars, dug ritle-pits and built bar- 
ricades across the streets of the city, so that the enemy's ar- 
tillery could not follow in their final retreat in the morning. 
They were very near the enemy, worked with a will, and 
succeeded in throwing up a line of intrenchments along 
their whole front, which it appears completely deceived the 
enemy in the morning as to the jjlans of General Burnside 
and the movements of the army during the night. General 
Warren, who had command at the front, worked indefatiga- 
bly all night, both mentally and physically, as he always did, 
and it seemed as if he was at all points at the same time ; 
everything, even the slightest details, came under his eye 
and supervision. Company A, under the command of Cap- 
tain Whitney, was sent across the canal as an outer i)ickct, 
and crept out to an old tannery very close to the enemy, 
who were also digging. They could hear them talking, and 
some of their pickets were on the other side of the tlnnciy ; 
one of them was heard to say he believed tl.e "Yanks" were 
near. The wind was blowing quite a gale from the south 
and west, and therefore the enemy could be heard, but or.r 
men were not ; and as the night was dark and cloud)-, boili 
sides were shielded from observation. 

Company I, under the command of Captain Montgomery, 
was also sent out to the front, further to the left, near the 
enemy;- (hey dug "fox holes" to cover themselves. Tlie 

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354 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

positions of these two companies were very dangerous ; they 
talked in whispers when it was necessary to speak, and their 
eyes and ears were strained to the closest attention, so that 
not a footfall should escape detection. They were so close 
to the enemy that they could hear their conversation. Their 
orders were not to be taken ])risoners or sur})rised on any 
account. As soon as the work on the trenches was finished 
they were occupied by eight companies of the Fifth. An 
earthwork to cover a battery of artillery was thrown up in 
the rear of them. Toward morning the men were ordered, 
in an undertone, by companies, to sling knapsacks ; an oc- 
casional twang was heard, accompanied by a tiash, which 
was followed by the sound of a rifle-ball hissing near, which 
told the men that the Confederates were wide awake. The 
battery in the rear moved otf with nuiffled wheels, and it now 
flashed upon the minds of the knowing ones for the first time 
that the army was retreating across the river, and that the 
regiment were to cover the retreat and would be the last to 

At this time it commenced to rain in torrents, which filled 
the rifle-pits ; and the men stood in mud and icy water up 
to their knees.; the water ran down their backs and chilled 
them through and made their teeth chatter. The gray light 
of the morning was straggling upon them, and before long 
they would be discovered, and the fire of the enemy's heavy 
guns and riflemen would be concentrated upon them. Offi- 
cers and men would have given all they possessed to bo out 
of that position, but there was no escape until further orders, 
and they knew it. They would have fought to the last man. 
In times of danger the brief and stern orders were the more 

Their salvation depcMided on keeping up a bold .md 
steady front. It was much more trying than an active 
engagement with the enemy. They knew that all the army 
had fallen back to the other side of the river, and that their 

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Battle of Fredcricks'hurg. 355 

small regiment stocd alone out on the plain, facing, at close 
quarters, the whole Confederate host, with the batteries on 
the heights frowning down upon them, and that if they were 
attacked they could expect no succor excepting from the 
i5t brigade of regulars under Colonel Buchanan, who were 
drawn up near the pontoon bridge, when all would have 
been obliged to sell their lives as dearly as possible. It was 
fully expected, from the very nature of the undertaking, that 
a number were to be sacrificed ; and who of the number was 
it to be ? 

About an hour and a half before daylight, the companies 
on picket crept back and joined the regiment. They were 
moments of terrible suspense. They could now see the Con- 
federate works looming up on the heights in the distance, 
and a company at a time were ordered to crawl away to the 
cover of a large store-Iiouse, about two hundred yards 
nearer the city. At this point, almost all the regiment were 
soon assembled ; the enemy's bullets were whizzing about, 
one of which struck the brick wall, grazing the head of Col- 
onel Winslow. Two companies, A and E, were left behind 
in the pits to keep u]) a fire as if they were fully occujiied. 
It was now light, and the enemy were firing at the men in 
the pits, who returned the fire. 

The regiment was drawn u)) in line behind the wall of a 
grave-yard, and across the end of a street that led into the 
city. They were joined by the few men left behind in the 
]Mts, at a few niinutes past seven a.m. The two other regi- 
ments of the brigade had been sent across the river two 
hours before, and the old 5th New York Volunteers was the 
last to leave the front. A few battalions of regulars luul 
been drawn up on the edge of the city, further to the right, 
lo m.'ii^e a sliow of force to the enemy ; but tiiey had brcn 
oruoretl to rctiic and rej.-iii the ist brlgaiic \w.v: Uw x\\\:\\ 

'I he officers and men were becoming anxious fui Ceneial 
Warren, who was sitting on his horse, perfectly cool and cul- 

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356 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

lected, on the right of the regiment to give the signal to 
move off. The Confederate officers could be plainly seen 
riding from one fort to another, as if making observations as 
to the situation of affairs. Lines of troops were beginning 
to form, and their skirmishers were advancing. The suspense 
was now very great ; but still Warren sat on his horse and 
gave no sign. At length iVdjutant Marvin approached, and 
in a moment the welcome order was heard — " By the right 
flank ; forward ! march ! " 

Never was order obeyed with more alacrity. Though the 
danger was not yet over, the spell was broken ; the regiment 
was moving, and the men would soon know their fate, and 
were ready to meet it. They expected that the enemy 
would be upon them like wolves after their prey, and they 
would be obliged to fight their way through the city and 
across the river, and that most of them would probably be 

They were marching briskly along, being saluted by the 
gibes of some women, from a house, when they met Major 
Cutting, of General Sykes' staff, who had been' sent to see 
why the regiment did not make its appearance at the 
bridge. As soon as they crossed over a little hill in the 
street, which hid them from the sight of the enemy, the order 
was given, "Double-quick." They passed by the ist 
brigade, drawn up in a street, who immediately followed on 
in the rear, and the head of the cohnnn soon reached tlie 
only pontoon bridge remaining, which was covered with 
earth and straw to prevent the tramping of the retreating 
troops, during the previous night, being heard by the enemy, 
and crossed over it as quickly as possible. General Sykes 
sat on his horbc at tJie approach to the bridge, looking as 
calm as if on p.irado. 'V\\c. cn_L;inccr co: ps -.v./re .'■(.iiion.-d 
al intervals u!i t!io poiuooiis. ready to c.xst them loose, wiiicii 
was done as the last man stepped on the other sitle ot liie 
river. This was about half-past seven o'clock on the morn- 

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Battle of Fredericksburg. 357 

ing of Tuesday, the i6th. The enemy had now opened with 
tlieir artillery, and the sliell began to fly ; but the Confeder- 
ates had been outwitted. The men shook hands with a 
feeling of relief and exhilaration at their safe escape. 

Under the circumstances, the retreat, in all its details, was 
one of the most adroit and successt'ul military events that 
had occurred during the war, and the credit is due to General 
Warren. Officers and men were very well satistied that they 
had been delivered from the terrible ordeal that threatened 
the remainder of the army. 

The regiment went into bivouac near Falmouth, on the 
same ground that they had occupied seven days before; and 
here was this much-abused army again at rest, hav ng gained 
nothing and lost about eleven thousand men in killed, 
wounded, and missing. While, on the other hand, the Con- 
federates, in a late report, stated their loss to be four hun- 
dred and fifty-eight in killed, and three thousand seven hun- 
dred and forty-three wounded; but among the killed were 
recorded the names of Cenerals Howell Cobb and Maxcy 
Gregg, the latter our opponent at Gaines' Mill. 

The last act of the drama remained to be performed — to 
bury the dead. A detachment was sent over the river for 
this purpose under a fiag of truce. On the battle-field was 
an immense building, used to store ice : in this structure 
were placed nine hundred bodies found in the vicinity of 
the stone wall and sunken road. Over them were packed 
tons of ice, and they were let't to dissolution in one immense 
tomb. They had died together, and were not separated in 
their last sleep. The dead found in the other parts of the 
field were buried where they fell. Only two incidents ot 
the vast number of interesting facts of this remarkable siege 
are here mentioned. 

Cli.iilcs II. Wilson, a member o\ Cunii>;'my G. \-cry 
badly wiinr.ded ; a ball went through his nioutii, da^iung out 
all his double teeth, and disfiguring him for hfe ; he was 

vil-^f. r>:^"-l U: 

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358 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

conveyed to a hospital, and given np as a hopeless case by 
the surgeon. He heard him give directions to one of the 
attendants to lay him aside for dissection, but strange to say 
he recovered. He was only nineteen years of age ; a 
younger brother enlisted with him in the regiment, and yet 
another was in the service and badly wounded in the knee 
at Antietam. 

The two. wounded brothers, when they were able to be 
moved, were taken to the home of a widowed mother and 
kindly cared for. These young patriots had been her main 
support, and left good situations to serve their country. 

A soldier of the regular infantry, whose third term of service 
(five years each) was about to expire, had permission, as is 
customary, to remain in the rear with the wagon-train ; but 
when he saw his brigade moving toward the scene of the 
battle he dashed off and joined them, making the remark to 
his comrades that he would have another "shy" at them, 
meaning the enemy. It was his last battle ; this true soldier 
■was honorably mustered out of the service by death on the 

On Wednesday, the 17th, the regiment marched three 
miles, and encamped near Henry House, on our old camp- 
ground. Tiie 1 8th was a clear, cold day, but the weather 
moderated, and on the 19th was warm and pleasant. In 
the morning we had a brigade ins[)ection ; in the afternoon 
a drill. At evening parade the general order of our com- 
mander was read off. The precise facts as to the covering 
of the retreat at Fredericksburg have never been published 
within the knowledge of the writer. The credit was given 
by one correspondent to 15utterfield's brigade, and several 
regiments that left the city an hour or niore before the 
movement of the regulars and tlic Fifth have claimed the 
honor. The official ortler of General Sykes should remove 
all doubt on this point. It was as follows : 

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•■" * Battle of Fredericksburg. 359 


Camp near Henry House, Va., v 

Deconber 18, 1S62. ) 
General Orper, No. 49. 

The General commanding desires to express his thanks to the 
officers and enlisted men of the division for the cheerfulness, 
endurance, and valor they have exhibited in the recent operations 
"^ around the city of Fredericksburg. Though not called on to 
share in the direct assault upon the enemy's intrenchments, the 
position assigned them was one of equal peril, and was held un- 
der circumstances that tax the best qualities of a soldier — pa- 
tience, discipline, and courage. The 1st brigade and the ^ih 
New York Vo.'untet'rs (3d brigade) had the honor to co\er the 
withdrawal of the troops from Fredericksburg. This manfxuvre 
was accomplished without loss or disaster of any kind, and with 
skill, celerity, and boldness. The General trusts and believes 
that the soldiers he has the honor to command will be character- 
ized always by the same devotion to duty, and the same earnest 
desire to preserve the reputation they have so justly acquired 
while belonging to the Army of the Potomac. 

By command of 
Dec. 18, 1862. Brigadier-General Sykes. 

Official : George Ryan, 

A. S. Marvin, Jr., A. A. G. 

A. A. General. 

The following niagnaniinous avowal and noble tribute to 
the army of the living and the dead is exi)ressed in General 
Burnsidc's report : 

"To the brave officers and soldiers who accomplished the feat 
of thus recrossing the river in the face of the enemy, I owe 

" For the failure in the attack I am responsible, as the extreme 
gallantry, courage, and endurance shown bv them wa.i m vi r ex- 
ceeded, and would have carried the jioints had it been i)>^.-^:l/!<'. 

"To tile families and tVirnds of the dead 1 can only ofu r niy 
III artfcit sympathies, but for the wounded I can offer my earnest 
prayers for their comfortable and final recovery." 


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360 Fifth Nczu York Volunteer Infantry. 

Thursday, December 25th, Christmas Day, divine serv- 
ice was held in (he open air. Six days' rations were dis- 
tributed, and the men were treated to a dinner of boiled 
beans and pork ; an allowance of whisky was distributed. 
A brigade provost was established, to have their quarters 
near General Warren's tent. Lieutenant Aleldrum, of the 
Fifth, was assigned to the command. 

On Monday, the 29th, the brigade was formed in line of 
battle at to a.m., and laid under arms for an hour. ^Ve 
heard heavy firing at the front, but the command were not 
wanted. It was ascertained that Stuart's cavalry had made 
a dash on our pickets. 

am' n 

■ {VVvVA C:^? 

.<U:.,-..U iuo f;n flrci /. 



The New Yeak— The Situation— Death of Captain Cart\vricht— Mortality 
— Desertions — The Disloyal Press'of the North — The Soldier's Sknti- 
ment— An Army of Water-Carriers— The Mud March — Resignation op 
General Blrnside — General Hooker in Command — Picketed in h e— 
A Death in Hospital — A Si icide— General Warren PKriMOTFD — A Dk- 
serted Mansion — Provost Guard — Death of Nicholas Hoyt— Better 
Supplies — A Square Meal— Cavalry Skirmish— St. Patrick's Day in the 
Ninth Massachusetts — Cavalry Fight — A Spy— A Smoky Chimney — A 
Crippled Shoemaker on Jeff Davis — Annihilating the Men of the 
South — A Review — Hybkrnating Under Ground — Easthr — Review dv 
President Lincoln— The Two Years' Men — Growling— Review by Gens. 
Togliardi and Meade — An Exiloded Shell — The Time Fixed — Kelly's 
Ford — Ely's Ford— Approaching Fredericksburg — Battle of Chancel- 
LORSvn.LE— EiGHTii PENNSYLVANIA Cavalry— The Knemy Repulsed— Jac;:- 
son's Attack on Howard— Sickles— Slocum — French— Chancellor Housb 
Burnt— Woods on Fire— The Two Years' Mcn Relieved— Parting with 
Old Comrades — Aquia Creek — Hospitality of the 2ist New Vokk — 
Washington — BALTnioRE—PHiLADELrHiA— Jersey City — New York— Glr 
Reception— New York Ti;r:es— The Fourth Regiment— Mustered Olt— 
In THE Battle of Life. 

The year 1862 passed into the shadows, " with the years 
beyond the tlood," with a decimated army waiting for reor- 
ganization, and its thousands of invaUded and wounded men 
lying ill hospitals, some with shattered constitutions, some 
mangled or dismembered, some to recover and rejoin their 
comrades, and many to lie down in a soil rendered " sacred " 
by the blood of tens of thousands of freemen, poured out 
in a contest for power by the advocates of the demoniac 
system of American Slavery. The masses of tlie Sonthein 
l^eople, the industrial and tiie non-slavchcKling wliitcs, who 
Were trained in an atmosphere of political doctiiiics whica 
fur a generation had been antagonistic to the Lhiion, and 
16 (361) 

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362 Fifth Nezo York Volunteer Infantry. 

whose means of information were limited to the local press 
or the local partisan, were in heart and sympathy attached 
to the Union. But their feelings had become bitterly 
aroused against the North by the falsehoods of their leaders, 
who, with a sublime hypocrisy, professed to be the only true 
exponents of democratic ideas, governed and owned in fee 
simple " the Democratic Party," and led the great body of 
the working classes both North and South in their political 

The commercial and political value of slavery, as a factor in 
the public and private interests of these men, the " aristoc- 
racy " of the slave-whip, and the oligarchs of social and 
political circles, made these classes supreme, and the majority 
had no alternative but to submit. Majorities were tolerable 
to these imperialists so long as they were convertible to their 
ends. But when majorities differed with them, they scorned 
" Democracy," revolted against the Union, whose rule they 
had so long boasted, and sought to crush Union and genuine 
Democracy in blood. 

One of their severest blov/s had just been struck at the 
power of free institutions to maintain themselves by the de- 
votion of the volunteers on behalf of freedom, and we were 
just crossing the bloody ford of another year of war ; our 
I pontoon was lifted behind us, and although scarred and 

I mutilated, before us was the future, and we knew that in the 

I blaze of the nineteenth century, our country would not give 

llie lie to the hoi)cs of the world in its aspirations after liberty. 
It was a contest for the coming centuries and for generations 
unborn. Let the armor be girded on anew. 
•! The sentiment which, amid all the disasters, underlaid the 

I loyal heart, was well expressed by one of our patriotic writers 

j. a short time before in the closing stanza of a poem cn- 

1 titled "The Rcnii[>lic" : '= 

• William Ol.^nd Bcurne, Editor of The Soldier's Friend. 

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Cavip near Henry House. 363 

"O toiling millions on tlie Old World's shore ! 

Look up, rejoicing, for she is not dead ! 
The soul is living as it lived before, 

When sainted heroes spurned the tyrant's tread ; 
The strife is earnest and the day wears on, 

And ages tremble with the mighty blow- 
Beyond the conflict is a glorious dawn, 

A rapturous birth of Freedom out of woe ! 
The clouds may gather, and the storm be long. 

And lightnings leap across the darkened sky, 
But Freedom lives to triumph over wrong ! 

It still will live, for Truth can never die ! " 

Thus opened the year 1S63 with the Army of the Potomac. . 
There was nothing but the calendar to mark the first day of the 
new year. It was calm, clear, and warm, but the day was dull, 
uninteresthig, and without events. No cooked dinner was 
provided, and the recruits had a drill as an appetizer for sup- 
per. A day or two before a few of the men had received boxes 
from their friends at home with some special remembrances of 
the day, but the loyal thousands who had come out of one 
of the greatest ordeals of death and slaughter known to his- 
tory, in defense of their country, submissively took their ra- 
tions and their rest, and having tendered their friends at home 
the gift of their lives, wished them all "a Happy New Year," 
in the hope that the return would find the wish realized in 
the enjoyment of peace. 

Intelligence had just been received of the death of Captain 
Cartwright, who died in Washington from his wounds received 
at Gaines' Afill. He had been previously severely wounded 
at IJig P)ethel, when serving as a private, but recovered and 
returned to duty, until he received the double wound from 
which he died. He was a \'oung man o{ great promise, and 
i member of ih-e .MolluHr.-i I'liiscopal Church. At the brcik- 
■■■- i>ut of the war. lie v.a.-, in the emi-loy of Messrs. l.anman 

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364 Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 

esteemed. He enlisted as a private, but rose by good 
conduct and attention to his duties through the ditYercnt 
grades to a Captaincy. When he was an Orderly Sergeant, 
and mustered his company, which at the time numbered over 
ninety members, he called the roll from memory, taking no 
notes whatever at the time, but was never known to omit a 
name or fail to report an absentee. Had he lived he would 
no doubt have attained an honorable distinction. His father 
was Adjutant in the Irish Brigade, and several of his imme- 
diate kin were officers in different regiments ; one was a 
Colonel of a Massachusetts regiment ; another was a member 
of the Fifth, and was honorably discharged on account of 
wounds. Captain Thomas W. Cartwright, Jr., of Company 
G, died for his country's sake in his twenty-second year. 

There was more or less mortality in some of the regiments ; 
the 146th New York had a daily average of one hundred on 
the sick-list. They laid at the side of the Fifth, yet we had 
not lost one man by sickness in this camp, and but few were 
sent to the hospital. Captain McConnell, acting Major of 
the Fifth, resigned his commission on account of ill health, 
and retired to civil life. 

The class of Northern journals known at the time by the 
political soubriciuet of "Copperhead," and their sympaduz- 
ers, were doing much to demoralize the army and encourage 
desertion. It was an important, but despicable, element in 
the political history of the time, and the loj-al men at the 
front were compelled to feel the power of the malign inlhi- 
ence thus exerted. The intolerance of the Southern leaders 
allowed no symi>tom of disloyalty to their cause to be mani- 
fested, and no word to be spoken in opposition, while in the 
North the most intense antagonism to the loyal cause and to 
the I I'lion Itself was continually outs-poken, and went oiu :o 
the CMuntiy m milliuns of sheets of euiier d lily or weekly 
issue. In one excei)tional case the i)ubli>her of the mo-t 
disloyal sheet north of the Oiiio or Potomac achieved sucli 

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.'i-^;[ 111 "lu .U:i(0 ■'.;. n.j r..A^?.ittilAc: 

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v; ■ " i^/?/<^ March. 365 

fame and popularity that he transferred his chief publishini,' 
bureau to the city of New York. These agents of disloyalty 
were stinging the men who were fighting to protect their 
property and preserve the Union. They were desjMsed by 
the soldiers in the army, and nmre than despised by the Con- 
federates, who looked upon them with utter contempt. A 
soldier could respect a brave, open enemy ; but men who, in 
the hour of peril, proved themselves so recreant as these, were 
worthy only of the scorn of all loyal men, and were unworthy 
of the protection they dishonored and defied. 

On Sunday, the 4th, the regiment was inspected by the. 
Division Ins[)ector. The 8th, the 5th army corps "Avas re-' 
viewed by General Burnside. 

The late defeat had somewhat demoralized the new troops 
(the old ones were used to them), and there were many de- 
sertions. About the 15th of January a circular was issued 
' from headquarters to the commandants of regiments, caution- 
ing them to keep a strict watch on their commands, as*the 
number of desertions had become alarming. General Hooker 
said that 10,000 had deserted since the battle of Fredericks- 
burg, At the last review of the 5th corps there were prob- 
ably not more than 12,000 in line, and about as many more 
in hospitals and in convalescent and paroled camps, or 
absent without leave. 

On Tuesday, the 20th, in obedience to orders, we struck 
tents at 11 A.^r., under threatening weather, with a chilly 
wind blowing from the east. At 3 p.m. we marched about 
two miles, and bivouacked in the woods. The road was so 
blocked with wagons, artillery, and troops, that it was impos- 
sible to proceed fiirther. It commenced raining about 5 r.M., 
and continued all night, to our great discomfort, for we were 
r.'u (jiily cold, but wet and driiij/ing. In this coiulition llu^ 
i'-V('i!lc roused us at 4 a.m. on ^, the 2isr, while tlie 
r.un was still falling. Our blankets and clothing being soaked, 
the load on the backs of the men was very butdcnsonie. 

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366 Fifth Neiv York Vohintccr Itifantry. 

The exact amount of avoirdupois we never ascertained, by 
comparing the weight of a dry and a well-soaked outfit ; but if 
the whole army shared the burdens as lue felt them, we had 
the whole Confederacy on our backs in more than the mili- 
tary metaphor. At daylight we again took the road — if such 
it could be called, for it was a sea of mud, and impassable 
for wagons or artillery. After marching about five miles we 
encamped, at 2.30 p.m., on the right of the road, in a cedar 
wood, near the Rappahannock. The distance traveled was 
short, but the march was a trying one, and about one-half of 
the men were straggling behind. Only about two full com- 
panies of the 146th New York came to camp in time. During 
the night four of the three years' men deserted from the Fifth. 
In the One Hundred and Forty-sixth about thirty were 
missing. We had rain all the next day (2 2d), and the roads 
were in a worse condition than before. Large fires of logs 
were built, but the wind, which was strong, blew the smoke 
in all directions, nearly suffocating every one, and as only 
half a man could be dried at a time, the other side was wet 
through again during the operation. liut the men bore their 
discomforts cheerfully, and were enlivened by ballads of the 
sea, sung by Jack \Vhigam, who had served an apprentice- 
shiji in the navy, and was at the bombardment of Vera Cruz ; 
"Butch" and others also contributed their share to the en- 
tertainment. Our storm continued through the night, and 
all of the 23d, the army being imbedded in mud, which, by 
some means, seemed to cover every object, animate or in- 
animate, in the army. The artillery and wagons could not 
move a foot ; boxes of hard-tack were, of necessity, carried 
for a mile or more, on aching shoulders, from the wagons to 
camp, each box wcigliing about fifty pounds. Onlv six 
crackers were allowed to each man, to last t\vcnt\--foar liour?. 

The pontoons wore all upset and lying buried in the mud 
along the roads, while the drivers were absent, trying to make 
themselves comfortable. Every man that coukl be spareil 

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; ' "' Mtid MarcJi. 367 

was sent out to corduroy the roads back to the old camp 
and help drag the cannon out of the sloughs ; they were 
buried to their muzzles, and ten horses or mules were hitched 
to each gi'.n and caisson to draw them. The Confederates 
across the river knew the state of affairs, and their pickets 
good-naturedly called to the Union pickets, and asked them 
if they wanted any help. Having had such an ample sup- 
ply of water, our officers, on the morning of Saturday, the 
24th, kindly issued us a ration of whisky, for which we were 
duly grateful, and at S a.m. the command started back for 
their old camping-ground, arriving there about noon, after a 
march of seven miles. This move was known as the " mud 
march." " Man proposes and God disposes." General 
Burnside could not control the elements. 

On Sunday, January 25th, General Burnside resigned the 
command of the Army of the Potomac. 

Wednesday, the sSth, General Hooker took command of 
the army ; General Meade, of the center grand division, 
composed of the 3d and 5th coq^s, and General Sykes in 
command of the 5th corps. The men received two months' 
pay. The next day we awoke to find the country wearing 
a dreary aspect, with about a foot of snow on the ground. 

On Tuesday, the 3d of February, our regiment, with tb.e 
brigade, went on picket duty, carrying three days' rations. 
On Friday, the 6th, they returned at midnight, their clotliing 
covered with ice. They had a rough tour of duty dvuing 
the four days they were absent from camp. It rained, froze, 
snowed, and the wind blew a gale nearly the wliole time. 
One of the men was sent back to camp sick, and reported 
to tlie surgeon. He had been told that he was "a i)eat," 
and playing sick. He went into the hospital tent and laid 
dou-n. In the morning, it was the old story — ht; wa^ iK'.i.d. 

Tlie next day a sliot was heard just outside of the regi- 
mental cami>. The provost guard repaired to the spot and 
found a soldier lying v/ith the side of his head blown o!l'. 

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363 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

They dug a hole a foot deep and buried hiru forthwith, and 
took his rifle and belt to their quarters. About an ho\ir 
afterward a Sergeant of the regulars came to them and saitl 
that one of their i)rovost guard was missing, and asked for 
a description of the man they had buried, which was given ; 
he proved to be the missing man. It was a case of deliber- 
ate suicide. He had hxed a strap so as to discharge his 
rifle with his foot, after placing it at the side of his head. 
They opened the grave, lifted the body, and buried their 
late comrade in the division burying-ground on the hill. 

On Tuesday, the loth, the regiment was thoroughly in- 
spected by Lieutenant-Colonel Webb, Assistant Inspector- 
General, and pronounced to be in the highest condition. 
Thursday, the 12th, we learned that General Warren had 
been appointed Chief of Topographical Engineers, on Gen- 
eral Hooker's staff. Colonel Garrard, of the 146th New York, 
a regular officer, was placed in command of the brigade. 

"While the provost guard were making a tour on the 14th, 
they stopjied at what had once been an elegant mansion, 
but at this time was dismantJed of almost everything. A 
Corj)oral and two men were stationed at the house per- 
manently to preserve it from further destruction, their orders 
being to prohibit any one from taking away even a brick. 
Their duties were also to arrest any soldier they found out of 
camp without leave. Accordingly they were in the habit oi 
hiding and watching for stragglers, and as the land was 
cleared of trees for many acres in extent around their covert, 
they seized many a luckless victim. When the Sergeant and 
his squad came up to the house, he found the Corporal and 
his two men in an altercation with a Captain from one of 
the regiments, who had several men and a wagon, which 
tl)ey were loading ui:h bricks. Sergeant lack 'I'a^lor, v ho 
was in command of the detail of the laovost, and was one 
of the best duty-men in the regiment, oidered the Captain 
to stop his work and unload his wagon. The Caiitam 

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Camp near Henry House. 369 

refused with an oath, and the Sergeant was about to arrest 
him, by force, if necessary, when an officer rode up on horse- 
back, alone and unobserved until quite near. He halted, 
and it being discovered at a glance that he was Major- 
General Meade, Taylor had his squad in line in a moment, 
right dressed, etc., with as much ceremony as if he was in 
command of a battalion, and presented arms. " What is the 
trouble here, Sergeant?" inquired the General. The Sergeant 
informed him, and also explained the orders under which he 
was acting, when General Meade turned to the Captam with 
a severe frown and reprimanded him. He asked his name 
and regiment, and told him that an officer that presumed, by 
reason of his superior rank, to browbeat those who were not 
his equal into disobeying their own orders, was not fit to be 
an officer, informing him that he could return to his regiment 
and report. The officer left, evidently feeling very tnuch 
mortified. He then connnended Taylor and his squad for 
doing their duty, and rode on. 

At another time Sigel's nth corps encamped about the 
house overnight when on a raid. The demolition would 
have been immediate had not the Corporal of the provost 
(Powell) gone to General Sigel and told him what his orders 
were ; wiien he promptly sent an order for a guard to be sta- 
tioned around the house. In the uiorning they had disai)- 
l)eared as suddenly as they came ; but when Sergeant Taylor 
arrived there in die afternoon on his rounds, he found a coui)le 
of German soldiers sitting comfortably by a fire they had 
made in one of the fire-places in the lower story of the house, 
engrosseil in a game of cards, with a corp;e lying near tied 
up in a blanket. They were detailed to carry their deceased 
comrade back to their old cam}), as the raid would last 
only a few days, and they were glad to have the opportunity 
to (K) so, and thus avoid a long tramp and juMii.q.s a \\:}.\l. 
Tlic Sergeant, on being informed of the tacts b}- the Corporal, 
notified the intruders that he would be compelled to arrest 

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I 370 Fifth Nezv York Volunteer Infantry. 


I them, corpse and all, if they did not move. They thereupon 

i collected their traps, gruniblingly shouldered their burden, 

I and left. These incidents illustrate the duties of the provost, 

I who were, in fact, the police of the army. 

L " On Aronday, the i6th, a heavy detail from the regiment 

I were employed in throwing up earthworks to protect the rail- 

i road bridge across Potomac Creek. The 17th it snowed all 

• day, reaching a depth of four inches, and the next day it 

I rained. The working detail returned at night, wet, tired, and 

\ miserable. Nicholas Hoyt, a Sergeant of Company C, was 

I buried on the 19th. He was a sailor before he entered the 

i army, and was one of the old Fort Schuyler men, a man of 

I the true stamp. He remained faithful to the last. For 

I months he had been wasting away from a troublesome com- 

plaint, which only a change of diet and rest could cure ; but 
he would not yield, doing duty day after day, until he became 
so weak that he could not stand, and was carried from his 
own to the hospital tent, where he died a few days afterward. 
His funeral was attended by Colonel Winslow, Lieutenant- 
Colonel George Duryea, and the greater part of the officers 
and men. 

The men found the climate at this time as changeable as 
the people of that section of the country. The condition of 
i the army was improved, for with temporary rest and more 

i liberal supplies they had enough to eat. The cry of the 

i soldier cooks was heard occasionally, " Fall in for your ex- 

j tras," on which summons the men rushed out, each one try- 

j ing to be first on the line, with tin cup in hand, scrambling 

1 and pushing to the infinite diversion of the crowd, some 

! of whom were draining what remained in their cups to make 

I room for the fresh supi)ly. The old hands at one time played 

I tricks on the new one?, when thoy were not up to ilie •• ways 
I that wore so childlike and bland." WIilmi tlicre was a stew 

I for dinner, at the given signal every one rushed out as usual 

I with cup in hand. The " old ones," although api)arently in 

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-■".v. Camp near Henry House. 371 

a great hurry, took good care to be on the end of the line ; the 
cook being a two years' man, and consequently sympathizing 
with the rest of us, would be careful not to dive very deep 
with his ladle into the kettle when serving the recruits, and 
the " old ones " coming last, had the substantial part of the 
stew. The law of gravitation was not suspended in camp- 
kettles even in Virginia, and the solid parts, consisting of 
chunks of meat and potatoes, obediently sank to the bottom, 
and "last come, last served" found us well contented with 
our share. 

A soldier is never supposed to have enough, but an excep- 
tion was found one day in the ca'se of a man who, after dis- 
posing of a couple of quarts of stew and six hard-tack, to 
make himself, as he said, "a solid man," actually admitted that 
he had enjoyed "a good square meal." 

Sunday, February 2 2d (Washington's birthday), it stormed 
without cessation, and by nightfall the snow in some places 
was two or three feet deep. A number of convalescents 
from hospitals reported for duty. Salutes were fired in honor 
of the day. 

On \Vednesday, the 25th, the cavalry pickets had a skir- 
mish with three brigades of the enemy's cavalry, resulting 
in some loss on .both sides. Reinforcements and artillery 
were sent out. The fight occurred about two miles to the 
front of the infantry pickets, and the cavalry came flying in 
through their lines, some of them without their arms and 
bareheaded ; the men expected that they would have a 
brush with the enemy. The reserves were in arms, but the 
enemy did not approach us. About tifty of our men were 
taken prisoners. The brigade returned from picket on the 
evening of the 27th, where they had been doing duty for four 
days. It stormed nearly all the time, and they passed through 
many disagreeable hours. The brigade was again on picket 
duty during the r4th, 15th, and i6th of March, and were re- 
lieved on the morning of Tuesday, the 1 7th, St. Patrick's Day. 

I 3/2 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

%. The day was celebrated in the 9th Massachusetts (the Irish 

\ ()\\\). They had a greased pole, twenty-four feet high, on 

1 top of which was a furlough and a canteen of whisky. They 

I also tried to catch the greased ))ig. There was a horse-race 

i for 'i'lite a large wager, but the horses came into collision, 

I killing both of theni, and the drivers were picked up insen- 

; sible. An amateur pri/.e-fight was also witnessed. Heavy 

i f'iiDg was heard all the afternoon, and it was supposed that 

t tli'j L:r.-alry had encountered the eneniy. On the 18th the 

I cav ihy returned and marched by the camp. They had at- 

t tackcu Fitz Hugh near Culpepper, and after quite a 

I. spirited fight had routed him and taken fifty-five prisoners, 
t witl'i their horses in addition, killing and wounding many 

\ otlioi.-.. The loss on the Union side was about twenty. 
One of our men asked a fine-looking prisoner, who had on 
a good overcoat, how he would swop, when he was answered 
that his "was not the right color." 

Tile provost guard, on their rounds, arrested a suspicious 
cliLiracter, in citizen's dress, prowling about a deserted house. 
He -A-as questioned, and acknowledged that he came from 
the Soa':!i, and was once in the rebel arn7y ; he was taken to 
camp and ]>ut under guard, and afterward turned over to 
tin- Provost-General, as it was suspected that he was a spy- 
One day the guard halted at a log cabin occupied by 
some poor whites (three women), the husband and brothers 
being in the Confederate army. They saw the women 
sl.inJing outside ol the cabin with arms resting on their 
hip.-, ga/.ing at their chimney, from which and the doorway 
• came liiick volumes of smoke. The Sergeant thouglU at 
first tlie house was on fire, but soon ascertained from the 

mother that tlie chimney only smoked ; "it was the 

thinuicy she ever seed," and she "wished that the man that 
b;ii!t; ;L was lying dead, stiff, stark and naked on the battle- 


T])o mother was not very strongly secessionist, and wa^ 

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Camp near Henry House. 373 

only anxious that the war was over, so that her "old man" 
could come home. The young women, however, were the 
strongest kind of rebels ; one of them was very pretty antl 
smart, and the provost often stopped to stir up her rebel 

Another house the provost occasionally visiteci, was occu- 
pied by a poor crii)ple and his family. He was a shoemaker 
by trade, and appeared to be quite an intelligent man, and 
opposed to Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy. He said 
that he had escaped conscription so far, on account of his 
lameness, but he did not doubt when our army moved away 
from the neighborhood that the Confederates would make 
him go into their army anyhow, as they were in want of re- 
cruits badly. He also said that Jetf Davis would rather have 
a man die in the army, whether he was of any service or 
not, than let him remain at home. He said that the poor 
whites were worse otT than negroes, and were not allowed 
to own any good land, as that was all monopolized by the 
rich slave-owners, and they were obliged to cultivate sonic 
barren patch, from which they could barely raise enough to 
exist ; therefore it was of no advantage for them to fight fur 
the rich man's negroes, but they were compelled to do so. 
This was an epitome of the whole of the controversy, and 
of the facts of the war in its most practical form by one of 
the sutterers. Southern orators, ex-rebel chieftains, aiul 
statesmen of the "State Rights" school may protest now 
that the war on the part of the South was a struggle for 
"constitutional liberty and the social rights transmitted by 
our Revolutionary fathers," but the underlying fact will re- 
main on the pages of history that they attempted to destroy 
the Union in the interests of slavery, and it peri>hed in the 
attempt. When the bitterness of the disaster to ti'.e South 
sb.all have passed away, and the author^ of the wir -h,;ll 
have all laid down in the grave, it is to be iiuped that t'.icn, 
if not before, we shall have a moral reunion all the grander 

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374 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

and greater, that our land is unciirsed by the tread of the 

On Friday, Afarch 27th, which was a very pleasant day, 
one of the few which had favored the army for weeks, the 
division was reviewed by General Sykes — an occurrence which 
put the men in good spirits, reviews under fair skies having 
been for some time quite rare. One of the correspondents 
for the press reported it as follows : 

"March 28, 1863. — On our way to the race-ground we en- 
countered the division of Major-General Sykes, out for a review 
and inspection. Sykes' division looked well, and will evidently 
give a good account of itself in the coming struggle. The 5th 
New York Volunteers elicited the admiration of all, and, widi 
due deference to the regulars, it must be admitted that this regi- 
l ment has a military standing not exceeded in the army. Its 

I present commander is evidently following the excellent example 

I and instruction of its former Colonel (now Brigadier-General), 

f Warren." 

General Hooker, at this date, was in command of a fine 
\ army, in good condition and discipline ; the cami)s were 

i never cleaner, or the food better; the introduction of soft 

bread was a beneficial and humane act. Nevertheless, 
j about one luindred men in the division had died since wc 

f had encaniped on this ground. It was evidence that death 

I' by the bullet was not all that the soldier had to contend 

\ with. 

• The month of April opened with a driving gale, cold and 

! fretful. A great mania sprung up among the men for the 

'[ manufacture of laurel-root pi[)es, and some of them succeed- 

[ ed in carving and finishing numerous specimens in an elegant 

I and artistic manni'r. Tlicv were wrought out entirely \>\ the 

f pcnkniK- ; an offer of >-"::5 was refused for one of them. 

The weather v.-as almost trving enough to drive an aimy 
mad, situated as the men were in shelter-tents, wb.icii were 


1; i<k V ;)io'/ V -j/l 

'. Camp near Henry House. 375 

of such limited proportions th;U when taking refuge in them 
they must either he clown or sit up with their blankets over 
them all day long in stormy weather, it they wanted to keep 
from freezing. They were not over four feet high. Some 
of the men dug pits from four to six feet deep, and covered 
them over with their shelters ; they also built fire-places in 
them with a chimney leading out to the ground above. Much 
ingenuity was displayed in making them comfortable, althougli 
their materials and tools were very limited. 

Whatever they made was from wood, earth, and mud, their 
tools consisting of one axe to a company, their jackknives, 
and a borrowed spade. Nevertheless, many a happy hour wis 
spent in these burrows, increased by the certainty that there 
were neither rent or taxes to pay to the collector. 

Sunday, April 5th, the snow was six inches deep in 
drifts, and the wind blew a hurricane. During the montli of 
March there had been only one really pleasant day, and the 
men looked forward to April, hoping for a change. The 
roads were all sloughs, and it was impracticable ibr the army 
to move until they dried and hardened. Thus far the change 
had not come, and having lost their patience, they arrived 
at the conclusion that the sunny South was a myth. The 
day being f'.aster Sunday, and the boys not having any egg>, 
were obliged to put up with bean soup, and were very thank- 
ful to get it, although the cook failed to give us a very good 
exhibition of his skill in its preparation. The cooking, of 
course, was done in the open air; and sometimes when the 
wind blew strong, the kettles would be hanging three or four 
feet from the heat and Hame, although supposed to be hang- 
ing directly over where the fire ought to be. Some of the 
nien occasionally stood in a row. to keep the wind from the 
fire as much as possible, being rewarded with, to thoni, 
the rich aroma that arose to tlicir gratitiotl UL'stnls fidn tiie 
boiling bean soup. 

On Tuesday, April 7th, President Lincoln, in company 

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3/6 Fifth New York Vohinteer Infantry. 

with General Hooker and staff, General Meade and staff, 
General Humiihreys and staff, and a large number of distin- 
guished officers in train, reviewed the different corps of the 
army. The Zouaves were called out alone, and put through 
some movements, in ordinary and quick time, before the 
President and company, after which they closed with the 
manual of arms and bayonet exercise. The distinguished 
company seemed to be highly gratified by the very rapid 
movements, changes of position, and the uniformity and ex- 
actness with which all the orders were executed. Through 
Colonel Winslow, the highest com])liments were paid the 
regiment upon their proficiency and soldierly appearance. 
One of the provost guard who was on the detail to keep 
guard near the cavalcade, heard the President make the re- 
mark that it was a "gallus" regiment, and General Griffin, 
who was near by, responded, " Yes ! and they can f-^ht as 
well as they can drill." 

Colonel Winslow gave the regiment a drill in the after- 
noon. Their time in the service was drawing so near to its 
close, that some of them were inclined to be careless ; but 
short as it was, each day seemed a long one to the old 

On Tuesday, the 14th, the brigade returned to camp at'ter 
spending three days on picket duty. Eight days' rations and 
sixty rounds of ammunition were issued to each man ; ninety 
rounds per man were to be carried in the wagons when 
the army moved, which might occur at any moment. The 
next day a general muster was held to ascertain the full 
strength of the regiment. The division was reviewed by the 
Swiss General, Togliardi, in company with General Meade, 
on Saturday, the 18th. The l''iuh, after returning to their 
cami)ing-gruund, liy re'piest gave a drill for tl-.c enrertain- 
ment of tli- visiting (}eneial. The iiospital tent and bread 
ovens were removed on the same day, whicli was an indica- 
tion to us of an earlv movement. 

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Camp near Henry House. -^yy 

The Tpth fell on Sunday, which was a warm, pleasant day, 
and, withal, there was nuich excitement in camp. The Ser- 
geants and men reported their time out. The Colonel went 
over to headquarters to see what was to be done with the 
regiment. General Hooker went to Washington to consult 
about the two years' men in the army. On his return Col- 
onel Winslow formed the regiment in a square and made a 
speech, hoping that for the good name they had earned for 
themselves, that tliey would continue to do their duty wil- 
lingly until they heard from the War Department. The men 
had all determined to do no duty after the 23d of April. 

An accident happened in the forenoon to some of the 
members of a battery, which was encamped op[)Osite the 
Fifth, on the other side of the road. It was being inspected 
by the officers, when a shell in one of the caissons exploded 
from some carelessness and badly injured and burned three 
men ; their hair and whiskers were all singed off, and their 
faces were burned black by the powder. The exjilosion tlirew 
a large piece of the caisson over into the camp of the I'ifth, 
and if all the shell had burst, the loss of life would have 
been fearful. Some of the Fifth who were playing ball, ran 
over to see what had occurred, and two of them for some 
reason became engaged in a fight on the spot just after the 
injured men had been carried away; others were j)itching 
their quoits, and did not have curiosity enough to stop even 
to inquire into the cause of the excitement. It wa^ a cu- 
rious illustration of the intiuence of war in making men 
thoughtless of life or death. 

At the morning's inspection the Colonel as^kcd the Oixlcrly 
of Company I how many days' rations he had on hand. 
He replied, "Five days'." To the question what the men 
would do if tlicy marched, he replied, that '' thi'v dul not 
expect to march only to Aquia Crci-k, on tb.cir way to Xow 
York." Under the expectation of nun ing at any hour, the 
order was to have eight days' rations in haversack or knap- 

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37$ Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

sack all the time. The officers' tents were removed, the 
small slielter tents substituted in their place, and their bag- 
gage was curtailed. We had been under marching orders 
for a week. The question which had disturbed the regiment 
for some days was determined on the 21st. An order from 
headquarters was read out to the regiment, notifying them 
that their term of enlistment would exinre two years' fro 11 
the date on which they were sworn into the United States 
service. The three years' men contended tliat they were 
enlisted under false pretenses, as they were promised their 
discharge with the regiment. Orders Nos. 44 and 85 were 
read oft" about re-enlisting. 

On Thursday, the 23d, the t\vo years' men were in a great 
state of excitement. The Colonel arrived from headquar- 
ters and assembled the regiment in a square, and read out 
special orders, that the Government would hold them until 
the 9th day of May. He made some remarks and hoped 
that they would do their duty without coercion until that day. 
They all knew the consequences of insubordination, and 
that their time would soon be up. The excitement subsided, 
as the men were too intelligent, and understood their duty 
too well to make any further resistance, and there was no 
more trouble. The provost arrested two men for declaring 
that they would do no more duty. They ran the risk of a 
trial for mutiny. 

The long-expected orders to move came at last, and on 
Monda\', the 27th. the regiment struck tents and marched, 
about ID .\.M., to Ellis Ford, a distance of about eight miles, 
the roads being dry and dusty, and we went into bivouac. 
The men were a little ftilf on account of having laid in camp 
for so long a time. 'J'hcre was much dissatisfaction in the 
regimeiit among the liwce years' hkh, who expected to be 
mustered out with the rec,iment, and some of them dro|iped 
out on the road and eluded the guard. Some of these men 
had cause to feel dissatisfied and acr^rieved, as it had been 

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'■ Battle of CJiaiiccUorsvilh'. 379 

represented to them when they enlisted that they would cer- 
tainly be discharged with the regiment. One hundred men 
were detailed to guard the wagons and trains. The non- 
commissioned officers, which included the greater part of the 
two years' men, were kept with the main body. The next 
afternoon we left at 4 o'clock, and advanced nine miles in 
the rain over muddy roads, broken by water-runs, and halted 
at 10 P.M. to bivouac. Tsventy rities were left in this camp 
in the morning belonging to as many three-year men, who 
had taken the opportunity of darkness to forsake us rather 
than be consolidated with the 146th New York, to serve out 
the remainder of their term. On Wednesday, the 29th, Ave 
fell in at 8 a.m., crossed the pontoons at Kelly's Ford, and 
passed through the flourishing town of Kellysville, consisting 
of bi.x dwellings and a grist-mill, which was constantly used 
by tlie enemy. We pressed on and forded Mountain Run, 
a wide stream, which soaked our clothing to our waists. 
After all had crossed we resumed the march, and finally 
reached Ely's Ford on the Rapidan. The river was wide 
and very rapid ; the water above the waist, arid the bottom 
rocky. It was with great difficulty that the men could keep 
their feet. Most of the men went in in full uniform; '-but 
some comical scenes were presented by the men taking otT 
their pants, or starting on the voyage as they came into the 
world, with the exception of their having baggage with them." 
Cartridge-boxes were hung about the neck or put on top of 
the knapsacks to keep the " powder dry." "\N'e resumed our 
journey, and after going two miles beyond the river, went 
into bivouac, ha\ing advanced about twenty miles. 'I'nis 
march was a very trying one, and the roads were strewn 
with knajisacks and superfluous clothing accuuuilated dur- 
ing tiie winter months, which were thrown av.ay by the uk'h, 
not being any longer required. CanntMi.nling wa.^ b.cud 
during the day in the direction of Fretliicksburg. Our 
march, on the morning of the 30th, brought us within hall a 

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380 Fiftli Nciv York VoIii7itccr Infantry. 

mile of the United States Ford. The weather was cloudy, 
with at times a drizzling rain. We rested half an hour and 
advanced toward the rear of the enemy's position at Freder- 
icksburg, and the division took up a position under arms tor 
the night, it being in the advance. We had marched fifty- 
six miles in four days. 

The following extract from the New York Daily Times of 
^fay 4, 1863, gives a general account of the movements of 
Sykes' division on Friday, .May rst : • 

"The division marched, about 9 a.m., to the left on the turn- 
pike, toward Fredericksburg, to make an attack and compel the 
enemy to develop his strength at that point. They moved 
promptly into position, with Weed's former regular batter}- (but 
now Watson's). The enemy fired the first gun at 12 o'clock. 
The 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry skirmished in the very front for 
some time, and sustained a galling fire from the enemy's infantry, 
I but behaved with great intrepidity. They charged and~re-clfarged 

1 upon the infantr)-, only to be in turn driven back. General Sykes 

I then threw forward two companies of infantry, without knapsacks, 

I on the double-quick, who supported the cavalry and checked flie 

further pursuit of the enemy. The action now became quite 
general between the two forces, each seeming to be of about 
equal strength. [The enemy's force thus engaged was ? lahone's 
brigade, supported by McLaw's]. The enemy contested th-* 
ground vigorously, giving way only when pressed very hard. Our 
i troops fought for fully an hour with great spirit, and drove the 

! enemy from two successive and strong positions upon ridges of 

: land which run parallel with the Rappahannock. The distance 

\ thus gained wns nearly one mile nearer Fredericksburg, and 

j some fifty prisoners, mostly belonging to Virginia regiments, 

! were captured. 

j " About half-past i o'clock, just as Colonel Chapman, com- 

manding the 2d brigade of regulars, had expressed a desire to 
' take another ridge,' an order was received by General Sykes 
from General Ho<.!;.t to suspend the attack and retire: nr.irly to 
his former posiiidu."''- "At 2 p.m. General Hooker remarked, 

; • Cenenil Warren, ;it this time Chief of Topo^nphio.-il EnKineer*, " whn bire 

I the orJ?r, had vainly urf;ed that it should not be sent." Generals C-niuh an-l Han- 

^ ' ... •.:., ■ i— . J '■•,7 


'■- . Battle of ChanccUorsville. 3S1 

•I think I can make them come out and fight me on my own 
ground.' In t\to hours the assertion was proven. The enemy 
mistook our voluntar\- retirement for a check, and followed us 
rapidly as we fell back. 

"The division had taken their old position, and pickets were 
thrown out, when the enemy again appeared in force on the 
ridge, at the foot of which we lay. Our men had stacked arms 
and were at rest. The whole division, save the Dur>-ce Zouaves, 
were lying, at nearly right-angles wir.h the road. The Zouaves 
were parallel with the road. Quick as thought General Sykes 
brought his men into line, the Zouaves on the left half wheeling 
into line of battle like a machine. 

" The enemy paused a moment on the top of the ridge, and, as 
if to nerve them for the onset, gave one of their proverbial de- 
mo-.iac yells, and came down on the double-quick, shooting, caj)- 
turing, and literally running over the pickets, w'ho scrambled 
behind all sorts of obstructions." [Some of the Fifth, who were 
on picket, came in the next day ; one of them, a Sergeant, brought 
in f've rebel prisoners.] *' But in an instant more a terrible crash 
resounded from the Zouave end of the line, and down the colunm 
rolled a deafening roar of musketry. It did not last, apparently, 
two minutes, but its work was effective. The firing at once 
brought General Hooker .into the saddle. This onslaught by tiie 
enemy was for the purpose of re-taking the cross-roads ; a very 
important point. The first thing done after this was the massing 
of artillery near the roads, and in fifteen minutes twenty-two 
gims were sending shell into the woods, and the roar of artillery 
became ten times more deafening than that of the musketry had 
been. The work w-as soon done. The contest lasted three- 
quarters of an hour at this point, and the enemy ignominiou.-ly 

The loss in the division was light, amounting to about one 
hundred in killed and wounded. Ca[)tain Marsh, of the 17th 
Infantry, was killed. Captain Overton, of General Svkes' 
staff, was wounded: laeutenant \\ clU, 14111 Ini'.ir.try, 
wounded. In the Fifth only about half a du/;en were 

cock, advancing on prirallel roaJs to Sykc;, on either flank, also protested a,;ain»t 
it. " ll.incock thou-ht lti.\l they shoulJ ad\aiiLe in^te-ad of retrcalii-g." 

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382 Fifth Neiij York Volunteer Infantry. 

wounded. They being on the left, were able to pour an 
effective lire into the Hank of the enemy, and were shielded 
somewhat themselves behind an embankment. During the 
night the men were engaged in digging ritie-pits. The 
enemy's fires burned unusually bright, and extended along 
the heights for several miles. A battle was regarded as in- 

Fifty men, five from each company, were sent out under 
the command of Lieutenant Gedney, to act as pickets ; they 
went about half a mile, and took a position in the cut of a 
road, keeping well covered, and a few of them were sent for- 
ward and deployed in the woods as an outpost, so as to keep 
a sharp lookout. It was a bright moonlight night, and there 
was not much danger of a surprise, but it was a dangerous 
post, as the enemy would make their first advance in that 
direction from Fredericksburg. About midnight their ears 
detected a slight rustling of the leaves scattered over the 
ground in the woods front of them, and soon it became more 
distinct, and the tramp of men was heard. The Lieutenant 
cautioned his men to keep quiet, and not to fire until he gave 
the order. They soon saw a long line of the enemy ap- 
proaching in the woods, being, as well as they could judge, 
some five or six companies, and the i^w men on outpost 
duty fell back to the reserve. The enemy must have dis- 
covered them, for they heard an officer say, "Steady, men ; 
they are nothing but pickets, and we will walk right over 
them." At this moment Gedney gave the order, ''Fire;' 
and the flash of fifty ritlcs told that the order was obeyed. 
They immediately received a volley in return, most of which 
went over their heads, as they were lying behind the em- 
bankment at the side of the road, but it wounded two of 
them. A bullet also struck the scabbard of the Lieutenant's 
^-.vord. buiulin- it. Th^-y i;rui:ed;.Uely loaded again and hied, 
but the enemy retreated in confusion, supposing that they had 
come into contact with a large force, their object evidently 

,XH\V) » '^'A^W 'irz/i 


IJ -li ^-Jrii./b 

b J 

. Battle of Chancellorsville. 383 

being only to feel the lines to ascertain the position of the 
Union troops. ■ From the groaning in the woods during the 
remainder of the night, they judged that their fire had done 
good execution. A regular officer with some troops came up 
on a double-quick in a few moments, and after ascertaining the 
cause of the firing, told the Lieutenant that Ixe had done 
well. Toward morning they were again approached, but 
drove the enemy back. After daylight an officer of the reg- 
ulars rode up and ordered them to march on a double-quick, 
and rejoin the command, which they tbund had moved. 

When the morning of the 2d broke, it found both sides 
well intrenched. The division remained in line of battle dur- 
ing the day, and the enemy spent their time in feeling the 
lines of the army further to the right. They opened a bat- 
tery on the ammunition wagons ; one of ours promptly re- 
sponded, and blew up two of their caissons, which obliged 
them to withdraw. 

About 5 P.M. Jackson, Mith 40,000 men, made a terrific 
onslaught on the nth cor[is, under General Howard, on the 
right, surprising them completely. General Berry, in com- 
mand of a division of General Sickles' 3d corps, Avas sent to 
the rescue on double-quick after dark, and checked the 
enemy, aided by General Birney's division of the same 
corps ; and Best's batteries (36 guns), under the command 
of Lieutenant Franklin B. Crosby, which were ordered tiiere 
by General Warren. Lieutenant Cro.sby was killeil. The 
Confederates withdrew to the line of breastworks just vaca- 
ted by the nth corps. The regulars were sent after the fu- 
gitives who were Hying in a panic toward United States 
Ford. They lost twelve pieces of artillery besides many 
prisoners, and General Howard was wounded while trying to 
rally them, Bushbeck's, with Schimmclfennig's brigade, and 
tlie Sjd Illinois, and 157th Xcw V>)rk with Pil-cr's b.Utcry, 
however, fought until they were ovcriiowered by juiinbers. 
1 he disaster to this corps foiled a maneuver attempted by 

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384 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

Sickles, who pressed the enemy's center, and would ha/e 
gained a splendid victory by cutting the Confederate a,riiiy 
in two. 

In the niglit an attack was made on the right to restore 
the Union lines. The moon shone bright, and the firing 
was very heavy ; the roar and reverberation of Captain 
Best's artillery, posted on a ridge, was past ail conception. 
The enemy were driven half a mile, and a portion of the 
artillery lost was recaiJtured by Ceneral Hobart Ward. 

About 6 P.M. the 5th corps (Sykes' division included) was 
ordered to the right, and remained in line of battle all night, 
and was also engaged in digging intrencliments to strengthen 
their position. The i ith corps was reorganized and placed on 
the extreme left behind the strong intrenchments built by the 
5th corps, where it was probable there would be little or no 
fighting. Thus closed the second day of this memorable 

On Sunday, the 3d, the division was placed at the apex of 
the lines, to the right of the Chancellor House, near the cen- 
ter, Avhere all the reserve artillery was massed, with only room 
enough between the guns to work them. The lines of the army 
were in the form of two sides of a triangle, the right longer than 
the left. l"he 1st corps, under General Reynolds, held the e.\- 
treme right of the line ; the 5th cor[)s, Meade's, was on their 
left. At sjz A.M. the enemy attacked General 15erry's division 
of the 3d corps, with the design of recovering the plank-road. 
The rest of the corps, and a part of the Twelfth (Slocum's), 
were soon engaged in his supi)ort. French's divibion, of the 2d 
corps, was sent in on the right at 7 a.m., and crushed that 
portion of the enemy's line. The crashes of nmsketry were 
terrific, and the roar of the battle was incessant. Sickles' 
3d ciups foiiL'ht p.irts of five divisions of the enemy at dittVr- 
cnt limes, and tock 2.000 piisoners; but being liard presseii, 
Hancock's <l!vi>ion, of the 2d c<3r[)s, was sent to his reliet'. 
Cieneral Humphrey's division, of the 5th corjis, were also en- 


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Eatile of Cliancellorsville. 3S5 

gaged on the left flank of the enemy, and fought vah.intly. 
Most of the fighting was in a thick wood, and the carnage 
was frightful; the dead and wounded of the enemy lay in 
heaps, and they fought as if they were utterly regardless of 
their lives. Many desperate charges were made by the 
Union troops ; Mott's brigade captured seven stand of 
colors and many prisoners. The engagement lasted, 
without the slightest intermission, from 5'< a.m. until 
S.45 A.M., when a temporary cessation occurred on our 
side by the troops getting out of ammunition. They 
were ordered to fall back after holding tjie position in the 
woods for an hour at the point of the bayonet, to the vicinity 
of the Chancellor House. Here the. contest was maintained 
for an hour or more, with great havoc to the enemy and con- 
siderable loss to the Union forces. This house was the head- 
quarters of General Hooker, and was now the focus of the 
fight. It was set on fire by the enemy's shell, and was soon 
in ruins. The new line, which had been suDervised bv (len- 
eral Warren, was now established, and the forces withdrawn 
to it on that front, at half-past eleven the musketry fire 
ceased. The engagement had lasted six hours, and had 
been one of the most terrific of the war. 

While the battle was raging, General Hooker ordered that 
the bands should play, to inspirit the men. One of them 
was blowing away at the "Star Spangled Banner," when a 
shell made a close flight over their center. This uninvited 
companion "took the wind" out of some of tlie player?, 
and they got somewhat mixed. T/nder the circumstances, 
the way in which our national air was murdered would have 
driven a professor of music to suicide. 

The enemy were now no longer in the rear, but had been 
shoved dtuvn directly in our froiit. and between the f<Ki-es 
f'f Gcr.cral Sedgwick that had cai^turcd I'letierickr^burg 
Heights, ten miles awav to the left, anil (Jeneral Hooker's 
main army. General Sykes*' division had been under fire, 


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386 Fifth Nc'dJ York Volunteer Infantry. 

and there was a considerable loss among the regulars, espe- 
cially among the artillerists ; Captain Temple, Second In- 
fantry, was killed ; Captain ^ forehead, Seventeenth, and Cap- 
tain Amies, were wounded. The Fourth United States, bat- 
tery K, lost heavily, forty-eight being killed or wounded, be- 
sides many of their horses. The forces of the enemy en- 
gaged were the divisions of Ai:iderson, Hood, A. P. Hill, D. 
H. Hill's old division, and Rhodes. 

In the afternoon the enemy made several desperate at- 
tempts to force the lines near the Chancellor House, and 
charged, at one time on the massed batteries, being formed 
in the shape of a wedge, but they were cut down before they 
could get far, as they were obliged to charge over the only 
clearing there was on the whole field of battle, which was 
about a mile in length by half a mile in breadth. Nothing 
could live in front of the batteries. The position of the 
Fifth was near these guns. General Hooker rode up at one 
time and called out, "Is that the Fifth New York?" 
"Yes!" was the reply. "All right!" he exclaimed, and 
rode off. The shell from these guns set the brush in the 
woods on fire, where were lying hundreds of the wounded 
of the enemy, as wellas some of our own. The terrible 
sufterings of the wounded and dying, under the double hor- 
ror of being burned to death, made this contest more tragic 
in this respect than any of its predecessors, 
i The regiment held the same position that had been as- 

|- signed to it the day before, when the order came from 

? General Sykcs to turn over the three-year men to the 146th 

\ New York, Colonel Garrard, who was also acting in com- 

"^ mand of the brigade, formerly Warren's, and for the two 

i years' men to retire. In fact, they were released from their 

duties, and their trials in the army were about to cca?e. 
They could scarcely reali/e it, and were utterly hesvildcioil 
j with the intelligence. The reaction from" their teelings o\. 

I intense an.\iety and suspense as to wliether they were to be 

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Battle of Chancellor sville. 387 

killed, perhaps an hour before the order for their relief 
should come, and they should never see their loved ones 
at home again, can not be described. If they had had 
another year to serve, it would have been a matter of in- 
difference ps to where they were; but under the circum- 
stances they could be compared to mariners who had passed 
through a long and tempestuous voyage, and at last were in 
sight of their homes, when another storm had reached them 
and they knew not but that they might be engulfed before 
they should reach a friendly port. 

The regiment, as an organization, terminated its service 
amid the reverberations of artillery, the crash of arms, the 
smoke of the battle-field, the funereal pall of the smoke in 
^e burning woods, consuming hundreds of brave men im- 
molated in unrecognizable masses. 

*' And now four days the sun had seen our woes, ■ ■ - 
Four nights the moon beheld the incessant fire." 

The rest of the story of this engagement belongs to the 
records of others, to whom we gratefully pay our tribute of 
praise and honor. 

The regiment was drawn up in line, and the following 
order was read off: 

Headquarters, 2d Division, 5TH Corps. ) t 
ILLE, Va., 
:7/aj'4, 1S63. 

Cajip near Chancellorsville, Va., r 

S63. ) 

General Order. No. 99. 

The term of service of a portion of the 5th Regiment being 
about to expire, the Major-General commanding- desires the 
officers and men to know that he parts from them with very 
f<reat regret, a regret which he is confident is sharefl v^ith the 
v.holc division. I'hc regiment has been distinguislud in -ill tiie 
<';;craii(ins of his command, csncciailv at (i^iines' Mill ainl the 
b.itile of Manassas Tlains. Its ranks, tliinncd and scarred by 
baiile, are tlie best and proudest witness of the fact. Tiie 

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388 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

General hopes to see again the brave men who have served un- 
der him. Many of their comrades still have to hold in trust the 
respect of the old regiment, and the General has no fears but 
that it will be sacredly guarded and preserved. The officers and 
men who are to leave this army will proceed to New York on 
the 5th. Colonel Winslow will turn in to the proper department, 
at Aquia Creek, all ordnance stores, and all supplies or properly 
not needed for the men who remain. 

II. The three-year men of the 5th Regiment New York \'ol- 
unteers are transferred to the 146th New York Volunteers; the 
proper officers will see the necessary papers are furnished to that 

By command of 

General Sykes, 
.;. '■■ . ,, . ~ G. Ryan, 

■ Captain^ A. A. General. 

The question whether the three-year members of the Fiftli 
who were transferred to the 146th New York Volunteers did 
their duty and upheld the good name of the old 5th Regi- 
ment, the following letter received from Brevet Brigadier- 
General Grindlay, Colonel of the 146th New' York Volun- 
teers, will sufficiently answer : 

BooNEViLLE, N. Y., Fdb. 14, 187S. 
Alfred Davexport, Esq. : 

Dear Sir : — In answer to your inquiry, I would say that at 
the battle of Chancellorsville, some 237 enlisted men of the old 
5th New York Volunteers were transferred to the 146th Nev; 
York Volunteers to serve out the unexpired term of their 

I considered the " Dun,-ee Zouaves " the best drilled and disci- 
plined regiment in the corps, if not in the army. They reaclnfd 
that great slate of proficiency by having, as you well know, among 
their corps of instructors, such soldiers as Major-General G. K. 
V.'anon. afttrw.ird our beloved coqis commander, than whom no 
abler or h-.:i;t r man served in the Union army. Thr lU' n transter- 
red to us were worthy representatives of their regiment, and while 
cherishing a strong love for their old command, tlicy became, crc 

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.r ParUng with Old Comrades. 389 

they left, as strongly attached to their new regiment. We shortly 
afterward adopted the " Zouave Uniform " in our brigade, and 
their pride in the "Zouave Brigade" equaled' that for their first 
love. Several were promoted for gallantry in battle and soldierly 
conduct. Among the number I remember Peter Froeligh to be 
First Lieutenant, afterward killed at the Wilderness ; Hugh Chal- 
mers to be Second Lieutenant, afterward killed at Cold Harbor, 
both gallant soldiers. The witty and adventurous Lawrence Fitz- 
patrick to Captain. He served through the war, was captured and 
escaped several times, always spoke proudly of the Old Fifth, and 
ever did his duty. Henry G. Taylor and John McGeehan to be 
First Lieutenants, and several others whom I do not now recall. 
They were all good soldiers, and by their bearing and conduct set 
an example to their new comrades worthy of all emulation. The 
members of the 5th New York Volunteers have every reason to 
be proud of their gallant regiment. 

I am, my dear sir, 

Very respectfully yours, 

Jas. G. Grixdlay, 
Brevet Brig. -Gen. and Colonel 146/// //. Y. Vol. Infantry. 

Now came a sad as well as a joyous scene. The three 
years' men felt that they were parting with their old com- 
rades Avith whom they had lived and fougiit, to be thrown 
into companionship with comparative strangers, and had the 
ground been about to open and swallow them, they could 
scarcely have felt more deeply. The two years' men, on the 
other hand, were about to turn their faces homeward, many 
of them for the first time since they had enlisted, two years 
before, and their feelings were e.xuberant and -beyond ex- 
pression. They were elated to the highest degree, but nev- 
ertheless the parting was a sad one even to them. The tic 
becomes very strong between those who have sufl'ered liard- 
ships and dangers in common, and as the men wrung each 
\ other by the hand, many a tear was brushed away ; hastily 

written notes were taken in charge, and hurried messages 
were delivered to carry to mothers, fathers, brothers, and 


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390 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

sisters at home, and to the loving fair one waiting the return 
of her soldier pride. F>ut the scene was soon over, and com- 
rades grasped each other's hands for the last time ; alas ! in 
many instances forever. 

Among the men who remained, there were many who sub- 
sequently fell in the battle of Gettysburg, or in Grant's 
great campaign against Richmond. The departing company 
marched toward United States Ford, and after crossing the 
pontoon bridge, the remainder of the two years' men who 
were guarding the wagons were taken up, and all marched 
briskly for Stoneinan's Switch. The full regiment numbered 
about two hundred men. This large increase in numbers 
was caused by a number of convalescents and detailed men, 
who had rejoined the command during the previous few 
months. After marching nearly all night, the atmosphere 
being intolerably close, the men were halted and went into 
bivouac ; the firing on Fredericksburg Heights was plainly 
distinguishable, and the men were harassed with doubts as to 
whetlier they v.-ould not be again ordered to the front. A 
little before daylight the regiment was suddenly aroused and 
fell into line, a report bting brought that a body of the enemy's 
cavalry were in the vicinity. We again marched, and halted 
near a clear stream of water, when the men immediately strip- 
ped and gave themselves a good scouring, and put on clean 
under-clothing, which they had been saving for their home 
trip, with as much care as does the bride her wedding 
trousseau. After their bath, the men felt much refreshed. 

On Tuesday, the 5th, we entered the freight cars at 
Stoneman's Switch, and soon arrived at Aquia Creek. The 
2ist New York Volunteers, lying there guarding the army 
stores, entertained the men with great hospitality, and gave 
them coffee, fresh bread, and bacon, which were heartily rel- 
ished. The regiment was lying on the oide of a steep hill 
in the afternoon, cliatting and smoking their pipes, when a 
very violent thunder-storm, which had been threatening for 

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WasJdngtoJi— Baltimore— PkiladelpJiia. 391 

some time, burst upon them, accompanied with hail, some 
of which was of the size of a walnut. The men stood it tor 
some time, some of them jokingly calling it Bull Run Xo. 
3, when they were ordered to take refuge in some barracks 
near the landing, but their clothing had been completely 
soaked through. In the barracks they were much crowded for 
want of room, but did well enough under the circumstances. 
The rain continued all night, accompanied with a cold north- 
east wind. 

The morning of Wednesday, the 6th, broke cold and 
rainy. We embarked on board the transport John A. 
Warner, and sailed for ^V'ashington, where we arrived in the 
afternoon, and were marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, past 
the Capitol, through a heavy rain, and halted at the Soldiers' 
Retreat, near the depot. Supper was served, and the men 
found ways and means to fill their canteens with son)ething 
stronger than coffee, notwithstanding the guard that was 
placed on tlie doorways. Finally, we were ordered into 
some iron baggage cars, without seats of any kind, penned 
up in them like any other live stock, but all was joy and 
hilarity from one end of the train to the other. The men 
sung and shouted, but among their songs it was noticed that 
they did not sing anything about "hanging Jeff Davis on a 
sour apple tree." That was omitted. They had been trying 
to catch him for two years, and had seen a number of sour 
apple trees suitable for the purpose, but never had caught 
sight of "Jeff." The regiment arrived in Baltimore a!.>o;it 
midnight, and while marching through the city to the I'hiLi- 
delphia depot, awoke the good citizens with tlieir songs. .\ 
large number of the convalescent wounded bL-Kjnging to liie 
regiment were taken from the hospital. ; and hnaliy ail 
were pat into b.i-gage cars, with planks [ox scats, and tl;c 
train started R.r riuladcli.hia. It ^eenK•d to ii'.e ni..n ih.U 
never did a train move so slow. Jack Whigam, who could 
run a locomotive, went forward to take charge himself, but 

\0l ,i^\'•■v^nVA^■'\^ 

392 FiftJi New York Volunteer Infantry. 

of course the engineers had their time-tables, and would not 
deviate from them. W'q arrived in Plnladelphia about ii 
A.M. on the the 7th. and had a plain, but to us luxurious 
lunch at the hospitable retreat conducted by the patriotic 
ladies of that cit}', and known as the Coo])er Retreat. After 
spending an hour very agreeably among the visitors who 
came to see us, and becoming more impressed with the at- 
mosphere of home, we crossed the ferry to Camden and 
took the cars for Jersey City, where we arrived in the after- 
noon, and were dismissed to report in the morning. 

Friday, the 8th, we assembled at Jersey City and crossed 
the river, landing at Cortland Street, and made a grand 
parade through the city. The regiment was the first to 
come home with their arms, in accordance with the new 
order of the War Department. 

It was noticed that some men who had done little or no 
fighting or service in the regiment were very anxious to 
show themselves in the front rank; but perhaps they had 
lost their cunning, and were not aware that their bright uni- 
forms and store-made shoes betrayed them. They were like 
the "Jackass in the l.ion's skin." I'his comparison, of 
course, is not intended to apply to any member of the regi- 
ment who had been compelled to be absent from duty on 
account of sickness or wounds. 

The men Avho had lived through the Jiard zvork of the 
camp and field, who had pressed to the front in the hour of 
danger, cared little where they were placed in the proces- 
sion ; they were worn and scarred ; they carried with them 
the consciousness that v/ould remain with them as they jour- 
neyed through life — that lliey had earned the honorable <X\t- 
charge to which they liad looked forward as their star of 
hope, through many an hour of ]iarcl:^hlp or of the severest 
duty ami c'anqor. Among the number t'onuing the re;;imont 
that marched up lUoadway, only about eighty had served 
the whole term for which they had enlisted, and had not 

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Our Reception. 393 

been absent at any time by furlough, or from wounds or 

The following report of the reception, published by the 
New York Daily Times, gives a faithful narrative of this 
event, not less interesting to the men who had done the hard 
work of the camp and field so long, than to those who so 
kindly tendered the expression of their regard and approba- 
tion : 


" Reception of the Regiment — Triumphal March up Broadivay 

— Ba7iquet at the City Assembly Rooms. 

"The gallant Fifth Regiment met yesterday with such a 
reception as they had a ri^ht to look for. The regiment has 
been an especial favorite here ever since its organization. Its 
achievements have been regarded with especial interest and 
pride by the people of this city and State, and, as might have 
been expected, its return was signalized by a demonstration, the 
like of which has been accorded to no other regiment 

" The streets through which the Fifth had to pass were thronged 
by enthusiastic crowds all through the afternoon, and a fleeting 
ray of the spontaneous excitement, which anything connected 
with the war was wont to produce, once more shone fordi in 
more than pristine brilliancy. 

" About half-past three o'clock the Fifth left Jersey City on 
board the feny-boat Xeiu Jersey, landing on the New York side 
within tive minutes. JNlorching thence into Broadway, they were 
received by the Tenth Yolunteers (Bendix's Zouaves), wlio had 
generously turned out for the occasion, and by the Thirty- 
seventh and the Seventy-tlrst Regiments of State National Guartl. 
As the war-worn and battle-stained heroes tiled along the line 
they were vociferously cheered. Never was a more hearty meed 
of admiration and respect paid to brave, devoted soldiers since 
first the world learned to worship military glory. Presently the 
line of procession was formed. In the front came the Tentli, Ictl 
by their intrepid Colonel (Acting Brigadier-General Bendix); 
fullowing came the Thirty-seventh and the Seventy-first, and 
then the " red-legged devils," marching in close Zouave order, 

r'^r-uow fii'w' 

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■.^iV\N'V-/A. " 

394 Fifth Nezo York Volunteer Infa^itry. 

and giving those who saw them a better idea of the effect of 
two years' service than could ever be learned from the perusal of 
the most glowing newspaper correspondence that ever was writ- 
ten. The men were brown and rugged ; their colors were 
weather-stained and bullet-torn ; their uniforms were tattered 
and stained with Virginia mud and the smoke of hard-fought 
con'ilicts. They looked magnificent. Officers and men were the 
speaking t\-pes of rough, hard service. They bore no holiday 
asi)ect, but seemed what they were — the veterans of this terrible 
war, who had toiled and suffered in the cause of their beloved 
countr)'. They had won the reward prepared for them. 

" For once a Republic was not ungrateful. To descend to 
details. The order of the line was thus arranged : 

" The loth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel W. 
Marshall, 250 men. 

" The 37th New York S. M., Colonel Roome, 300 men. 
" The 71st New York S. M., Colonel Traftord, 275 men. 
" Hook and Ladder Company, No. 9, and Hose Company, 
No. 61. 

*• Interspersed were the Seventh Regiment Band, Helmsmuller's 
Bind, Dodworth's Band, and several others of musical popu- 
larity. Bringing up the rear were the ex-members of the Fifth 
v.ho had been discharged, wounded and diseased, but who were 
now recovered, and, in carriages, the wounded who were too 
much hurt to walk. It was a prodigiously effective procession, 
and drew forth acclamations of applause as genuine as ever 
greeted those who deserve well of their compatriots for sacrifices 
made in a common cause and for the common weal. 

" The procession marched in review through the Park before 
the Mayor and Common Council, and then up-town to Union 
.'-^(juare and round by Fifth Avenue, down-town again to the City 
Assembly Rooms. There, at eight o'clock, the men and officers 
of the Fifth, the officers of the escort, and many invited guests 
s.U down to a plentiful, if not a very elaborate, banquet. 

" Toasts were given and speeches made, and cheers were 
! '• ruiful and vociferous. General Duryce, Hiram Waihriclge. 
■ . i Culi.ncl Winslow were the principal speakers. The occasion 
V ..■^ one long to be remembered by all who participated in the 
C' kbnition," 

/ v,r,Y. -X^-XVvV 

.T'fii ;^c ,Lvf,;" > i-i< ^k>.) ..}/ .c s'{ v/t.' :c.\\ suT " 

• ■ In the Battle of Life. 395 

But there is a time to rejoice, and a time to mourn ; and 
it is the lot of many to mourn while others have their re- 
joicings. Among the thousands who greeted the Fifth on 
their march up Broadway, what a multitude must there have 
been scattered through the gay and thoughtless throng, who 
scanned with silent grief the faces in the ranks, as if they 
expected to see a husband, son, or brother — a dear friend 
or relative, who they already knew could not be there ; and 
as they gazed with tearful eyes, endeavored to picture the 
lost one as he appeared when he so proudly waved a last 
farewell, two years before, when he marched away to battle 
to save his country. All honor to our dead ! Let their 
names be engraved on the tablet of our memories, and may 
those to whom they were near by the ties of relation^h![), 
find consolation in the thought that their sufterings and 
death were a part of that inestimable price which was paid 
to secure the national life for the present and for the future. 

On Monday, the nth, the members of the regiment pa- 
raded in uniform and with arms, to receive the 4th Regiment, 
New York Volunteers, Scott Life Guard, and were glad to 
welcome their comrades home again. They were reviewed 
by General Winfield Scott, at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, 

Thursday, May 14, 1S63, the men were mustered out 
by companies and paid off, all who were entitled receiving 
an honorable discharge, which they had endured so much to 
obtain. Many of the officers and men again re-enlisted in 
the Fifth Veterans, under their last Colonel, Winslow, ant 
in other organizations, and rose to various grades as oliiccrs 
Many of them were either killed or wounded in their sub 
sequent service. Others went into the regular army a; 
officers or privates, where those who survive still remain 
The rest returned to their various callings in civil life, sonic 
to the profe.i.-ion of the law; some are in the mini-,try, c\\. 
are engaged in mercantile and industrial pursuits, cr ii 
positions of honor and trust, while some others are atloat 

w!5 uM 



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39^ Fifth Nezo York Volunteer Infantry. 

under the flag on the trackless sea. Several members of the 
regiment have represented their constituents in the State 
Legislature. One is United States Consul to La Rochelle, 
France, another the second in command of the Franklin 
Search Expedition. Some have made fortunes, others have 
risen to distinction in their professions, and there are many 
others who still suffer from their wounds, or move about 
under the disadvantage that a loss of limb occasions. Some 
are shattered by diseases engendered in the swamps of the 
Chickahominy. Some are " floating on a waveless tide." 
But among them all, be they rich or poor, be they huuible 
or mighty, there are none but are proud to say that they 
served in the 5th New York Zouaves. 

I ^\Tiatever may be the fortune of each in the vicissitudes 
of their life-battle, may the final struggle with " the last 
enemy '" bring to them the crown of the conqueror in the 
blissful fields of immortality. 

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Died of wounds received at Gaines' Mill June 27, 1862. 

1; ^^' '^'^ '' (fought under Garibaldi.) 



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Died of wounds received at Gaines' Mill June 27, i86a. 
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In round numbers, the total number of officers and men in the 
regiment who were sworn into the United States service, was : 

For two years, about 900 

" three " " 600 


Of the above there were — 

Killed in action, died of wounds or disease 202 

Missing in action 7 

Discharged on account of wounds, disease en- 
gendered in the service, commissioned in other 
regiments, dishonorably discharged, deserted or 
unaccounted for and dropped from the rolls, 
under Gen. Order, No. 92 754 

Loss in two years' ser\-ice 963 

' Three years' men transferred to 146th New York, 
■ May 4th, 1S63, to serve the balance of their un- 
expired term '237 

\ Two years' men mustered out May 14, 1S63, 273 

I " officers 27 

I 300 

* 1,500 

■.; Of the two years' men who came home with the regiment, 

I about 100 bore the scars of wounds, and had been in hospital on 

J account thereof, for periods of from four to ten months. There 
\ were only about So men out of the 900 who were in ever)- engage- 
ment, and had not been absent from the regiment on .account of 
sickness (irw luiids during the two years' service. All of these, 
with ver\- few (■xcti)lions, had received from one to seven balls 
through their clothing, or ii.ul received shaves, not, however, seri- 
ous enough to be classed as wounds. 



'jzr.inih v> abauo*- 'o 

il.VR.' .(.'J..> iJirflM 



A number of the two years' men re-enlisted, or sened a-, 
officers in the 5th Veterans, or in other organizations, many 
of whom were killed, died, or were disabled from wounds or 

There were three regiments organized by the officers of the old 
Fifth, besides the parent organization, viz. : The 5th Veterans ; 
the 165th New York; and the 2d New York, Harris' Light Cav- 
alry, Of the 237 men transferred to the 146th New York, a large 
proportion of them were killed or wounded in their after service, 
in various campaigns of the Army of the Potomac — Gettysburg, 
the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, or front of Petersburg, 

On the 6th day of July, 1 861, twenty-six men enlisted in the 
Fifth for three years. When the regiment left the front, those who 
remained of these men, were transferred, with others, to the T46th 
Regiment, to serve out the remainder of their time. On tht- 6th 
day of July, 1864, only one of the 26 remained in the senice to 
be mustered out. His n.ame was James W. Webb, formerly of 
Company F, 5th Isew York. His companion who remained of 
the twenty-six. Christian Neuber, was wounded the day before, 
in front of Petersburg. 

The average age of the men enlisted in the Fifth was not quite 
twenty-three years ; of the officers, about twenty-seven. 



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Colonel Abram DuryeE, late commander of the Seventh 
Regiment, National Guard, was born in the city of New York in 
1815. He descended from a French Huguenot family, who came 
to America on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis 
XIV. of France, in 16S5. 

He engaged in mercantile business in New York, in which 
pursuit he met with honorable success and realized a fortune. 

He commenced his military' career, at the early age of eighteen 
years, as a private in the One Hundred and Forty-second Miiitia, 
and subsequently served in the ranks of one of the companies of the 
National Guard — then Twenty-seventh Regiment — September, 
1838; and after passing through all the different grades of the 
non-commissioned officers with distinction, he obtauied a Second 
Lieutenant's commission on the 21st of February, 1840, and was 
promoted on the 4th of October, 1841, to the First Lieutenancy, 
and on January 16, 1S44, he was elected to the post of Captain. 
On the 22d of September, 1845, he was elected a field ofticer, 
with the rank of NLajor. On November 24th of the same year he 
was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and on January 
29, 1849, he succeeded to the command of the regiment, the 
rank of Colonel. 

Like many eminent men, he has achieved distinction by his 
skill, perseverance, untiring energy, and strict attention to his 
duties, until he ascended from the lowest to a higii rank as a 
militar>- commander, an 1 the acknoukdged chief of the hrst 
volunteer regiment in tlie countiy. 

The present enviable reputation of the National Guard is 
owing, in a great degree, to his ability and exertion as an officer. 


J 1 :\/i '.. ..ij 


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■424 FiftJi Nczi) York Volwitcr LifarJry. 

He determined to place the regiment in tlie front rank from the 
moment he was placed in command. While stern and exacting 
as a disciplinarian, he was affable, modest, and kind-hearted in 
his social intercourse. At the head of his regiment, he was always 
the soldier, but never forgetting the relative position and standing 
of the men under his command. The possession of these traits 
of character secured the attachment of the members of his regi- 
ment. The proof of his decision of character, and to what extent 
he possessed ■ the affection of the men, was illustrated in that 
unfortunate and ever-to-be-remembered bloody riot at the Astor 
Place Opera House, on the occasion of Mr. Macready's appear- 
ance. When the turmoil was at its height, missiles were thrown 
at his command, and his men fell wounded in all directions 
around him. A shout was raised by the law-and-order party for 
them to fire, as it would be impossible for the military to retain 
their position longer unless something of a determined and defen- 
sive character was done. But the authorities held back, in the 
hope of being able to restore peace and quiet without bloodshed. 
The Colonel, knowing that he had no authority to act in the 
premises without orders from his superiors in command (Generals 
Sandford and Hall), was observed walking up and down in front 
of his regiment, encouraging his men ; and while domg so, he 
was struck twice in quick succession, by stones thrown from the 
crowd. His men, observing the imminent danger he was in, 
shouted to him to fall in the rear of his regiment ; but, insteatl 
of this, he renewed his efforts of encouraging his command to be 
patient, until he was compelled to fall in the rear by the order 
given by the sheriff to fire. This forbearance on the part of 
himself and his men was very praiseworthy, and will never be 
forgotten by timse who witnessed the exciting scene on that 
remarkable night. He had been on duty in all the riots for the 
twenty years last preceding the great civil war, and was particu- 
larly instrumental in subduing the police and " Dead Rabbit " 
riots of July, 1S57. He also commanded his regiment on two 
expeditions to Boston, and drilled on the Common of that city 
with great su.-.css, in presence of a large number of clisiiiigui>lu'd 
persons, and tiiousands of its inhabitants. He was also the coi:- 
manding officer at Camp Trumbull, New Haven ; Camp Worth, 

;\^u^^«,i * :^ { ViV.A ^^\\>A 

i!/ Ji 


■ .■.".' '■ Personal Sketches. 425^- 

Kingston, besides quartering his regiment one week at Newport, 
R. I., to which is to be added the escort expedition to Richmond, 
Washington, Mount Vernon, and Baltimore. 

The Seventh Regiment bears the nam;, and desen,-edly too, 
of being a pattern to its associates in arms ; and they have exem- 
phficd the truth, that the best citisens are the best soldiers, and 
that it is no mark of courage, or indication of prowess, to cast 
aside the courtesies or amenities of life. 

To Colonel Duryee we may not invidiously ascribe the main- 
tenance of that high discipline and gallant bearing which so dis- 
tinguishes the Seventh Regiment above its compeers ; and this 
may be said without detracting, in the slightest degree, from the 
merits of any officer and soldier of his command. The superior 
in all cases gives the general tone to his subordinates. 

He is the author of Rules and Regulations for the governmt-nt 
of the regiment in the field or in quarters ; also, several treatises 
on street-fighting. The latter was adopted by the New York 
State Legislature in the fall of 1S57, after a committee of army 
and militia officers witnessed the admirable performance of the 
Seventh Regiment on the Fifth Avenue, in the summer of that 

Colonel Dur\-ee adopted Colonel Hardee's beautiful light infantry 
tactics in the year 1855, and his was the first military body 
that went through any of the exercises contained in that work ; 
but the laws for the government of the army and militia of the 
United States then in force, prevented his adopting it until it 
was recognized and approved by the War Department. 

In the autumn of 1S57 he adopted the system in full, and, after 
a thorough course of drill throughout the winter, he invited the 
author to witness its performance bv the 7th Regiment at a 
battalion drill at the City Arsenal. Friday evening, March 19, 
1 8 58. The room was crowded with a large number of ladies 
and g.-ntlemen, among whom were seen the beautiful uniforms 
of our army and navy officers, and the familiar tares of somt- of 
our most distinguished citizens. .Aiter tin- marclMPg w is over, 
the Coloiu-I onk-red his regiment to pre])arf for re\ iiw. Cuior.el 
Hardee, accompanied by other officers and staff of the regiment, 
made a thorough inspection, after which Colonel Hardee took up 

A-.i? . -.t.v 



V 7 ''/ ->rij 7<1 UJq' 


\ 426 F//t/i New York Volunteer Infantry. 

5 his position at the side of Colonel Durj-ee, and the latter went 

through the manual. 

The precision with which the regiment made the different 
movements of loading and firing, and the steadiness of the men, 
drew forth tremendous applause from the spectators present. 
Colonel Hardee was much surprised, and expressed astonishment 
at the result. He said never had he witnessed a performance 
by any military body, in or out of the army, which surpassed it. 
At the conclusion, the regiment was greeted with a storm ot 

After being connected with the Seventh for a period of twenty- 
one years, Colonel Duryee resigned his command, in the latter 
part of the year 1859; being succeeded by the late lamented 
Colonel xMarshall Lefferts. 

On the breaking out of the civil war. Colonel Duryee immedi- 
ately responded to the call for troops by Governor Morgan, and 
tendered his services to the country. His offer was gladly ac- 
cepted, and he was granted authority to raise a regiment oi 
infantry, and received a commission as Colonel of Volunteers. 

As the result of his efforts, the 5th Regiment New York Vol- 
unteers, otherwise known as Durj-ee's Zouaves, was organized. 
This regiment he brought up to a thorough state of discipline, 
and in drill it was e.xctllcd by none. It was destined to continue 
the hard drills after the command devolved on Colonel Vv'arren 
and other officers, and, as it became older in the sen'ice, arrived 
at a still greater state of proticiencv, especially in field tactics 
and bayonet exercise ; so that when it became a part of the Army 
of the Potomac, it was generally acknowledged to be the most 
perfect volunteer regiment in general drill in the 5th corps, and 
probaljly in the whole army ; but in bayonet exercise it was 
without a rival. 

On May 27, 1S61, Colonel Duryee was placed by General 
Butler in command of Camp Hamilton, as acting Brigadier- 
General— his brigade consisting of the ist, 2d, 3d, 5th, and loth 
Regiments Xi w York \'oluntters. General Pierce, of Massa- 
chusetts, luiviiig arrived at Fortress Monroe, Colonel Duryee v>-as 
superseded by lliat otf.cer, June 4th, v.hen he again assumed 
command of his regiment. 

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Per Sony. I SketcJies. 427 

On the loth of June he took part with his regiment in the at- 
tack on Big Bethel, where he exposed himself, without flinching, 
to the enemy's fire. 

General Pierce having been relieved, Colonel Dur\-ee again 
assumed command of the brigade, with the addition of Colonel 
Baker's California regiment and the 20th New York. On the 
31st of August, Colonel Dur)Oe was com.missioned a Brigadier- 
General of Volunteers by the President, and ordered to report to 
General Dix ; and he was assigned to the command of the 17th 
and 2ist Massachusetts, 7th and loth Maine, 21st Indiana, S/th 
and I nth Pennsylvania, 2d, 3d, and 5th Maryland, and the 5th 
New York — the latter being assigned to the right of the brigade. 

When General McClellan made his advance on Richmond via 
the Peninsula, General Dur) ce, with part of the troops under his 
command in Baltimore, was ordered to Washington, where he 
arrived and reported to General McDowell, and his command 
was assigned to General Ricketts' division of the ist corps. 

General Duryce served under General Pope in his campaign 
of 1863, and was engaged in the battles of Cedar Mountain. 
Rappahannock Station, Thoroughfare Gap, Groveton, Second 
Bull Run, arid Chantilly. 

The following are extracts from the official report of General 
Pope's Virginia campaign. 

General Pope says : " General Dury.'^e commanded his brigade, 
in the various operations of this campaign, with ability and zeal." 

General McDowell, in his report, says: "General Ricketts, 
who, at Cedar Mountain and at Rappahannock Station, was 
under my immediate command, and rendered valuable service 
with the division, speaks in high terms of the gallantry of Gen- 
erals Duryee and Tower, both at Thorougiifare Gap and the bat- 
tle of the 30th, in which the former was slightly and the latter 
severely wounded." — Exec. Doc. No. 81, ^d Sess. y]fh Co>ii:^rcss. 

In General Ricketts' report of the second battle of Bull Run, 
we find the following : 

"At sunrise on the 30th, ordered hv vou to send two hrig:i(les 
to report to General Kearney, and conducted the ist brigade, 
Gcncr.d Duryce; 4th brigade. Colonel Thorburn ; wiiich reliev- 
ed a portion of General Kearney's division. General Duryee's 

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428 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

brig-ade advanced into the woods, driving the enemy along- the old 
railroad excavation until directly under their guns. While occupy- 
ing this ground General Dur^'ce was subjected to a heavy fire of 
artillery and infantry, in which he received a slight wound and a 
severe contusion by a shell, but remained at his post animating 
his men, who behaved admirably. On recapitulating the services 
of brigade commanders, I would make particular mention of 
Brigadier-General Duryie for his noble conduct at Thoroughfare 
Gap, and his indomitable courage displayed at Bull Run while 
holding a tr\'ing position." — (Gen. Ricketts' Report, p. 70). 

"General McClellan again assuming command of the army, 
General Dury-ee served under him in the campaign in Maryland. 
He reinforced General Meade and fought under that officer at 
South Mountain, driving the enemy to the sanguinary field on 
Antietam, where he fought in the famous corn-field, where he 
was wounded and his horse shot under him ; a psortion of the 
time he commanded the division, owing to the wounding of Gen- 
eral Hooker, who was compelled to retire from the field."— 


General Meade's report of the battle of South Mountain speaks 
highly of the promptness of General Duryee in ascending the 
mountain in support of the Penn Reserves, which resulted in the 
def(;at of the enemy. 

General Ricketts says in his report of the battle of Antietam : 

'• I commend the general good conduct of the division, and 
would mention i)articularly Brigadier-General Duryee, Colon -Is 
Coulter and Lyk-, and Captains Matthews and Thompson of the 
artillery; indeed, both officers and men displayed courage under a 
severe fire." 

General Dury'-e resigned his commission in the early part of 
1863, and again retired to private life. He was breveted Major- 
Gcneral of Volunteers hy the President, March 13, 1865. Gov- 
ernor Fenton, in forwarding tlie commission, says: "Conferred 
by the President, in recognition of your faithful and distinguisiicd 
services in tiie late war." And added : " In behalf of the State, 
allow me to thank you for the gallantry and devotion whirli 
induced this conspicuous mention by the General Government." 

From the New York Times, i865: 

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-i.'I I)Mn!:i2vi 

Personal Sketches. 429 

"At a meeting- of the field officers of the seven reg-iments com- 
posing the \\.\\ brigade, 1st di\iiion, N'. G. S. N. V., held pursuant 
to orders from General Headquan^ rs, State of New York, at the 
armory of the 22d Regiment, X. ■",. S. N. Y., General Abram 
Dur\-ee was unanimously elected Brigadier-General of the brigade, 
vice General John Ewen, resigned. 

" The General's many years experience as Colonel of the 7th 
Regiment, National Guard, afterward Colonel of the famous 5th 
Regiment, New York Volunteers (Dur\-ee's Zouaves), which has 
given a Warren, Kilpatrick, and Winslow to the army, and final- 
ly as Brigadier-General of Volunteers, eminently qualify him for 
the command." 

In 1073 General Duryee was appointed Police Commissioner 
by the Hon. W. F. Havemever, and during his term of service 
devoted himself to the discipline and etticiency of the department. 
On the 13th of January, 1S74, the formidable assemblage of Com- 
munists at Tompkins Square took place. General Dur^ce, with 
a small body of police, attacked the vast crowd with impetuosity, 
capturing their blood-red Hags, destroying their inflammatory 
banners, and drove them in utter confusion from the park. 


GouvKRXF.UR K. W.VRREN was bom in Co'd Spring, State 
of New York, January S, 1S30. He graduated second in a class 
of forty-five at the early age of twenty, from the L'nited States 
-Military Academy at West Point. Breveted Second Lieutenant 
in the Engineer Corps, he was employed in the survey of the 
.Mississippi Dt-Itn, under the present General Humphreys. He 
remained here for three years, and then took th.e place of Robert 
E. Lee, subsequently the military' chief of th : Rebellion, who had 
charge of the rapids of the Mississippi at Rock Island and Des 
Moines ; and Joseph E. Johnston, whose fame is linked with the 
I'listory of t'le attempt to desMov the Uni n-., succeeded liim. !n 
i>j54 he was employed und r j-ff r?rn D.ivis in tiie .M- -..-iissijipi 
railroad office. " In 1S55 he served under Harney in an expedition 

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J [i'i-'nu'i 'y>S}j 


430 Fifth NrtV York Volunteer Lifantry. 

against the Sioux Indians, and had two engagements with them, 
in which many were killed. In 1856 and '57 he explored Ne- 
braska Territor)-. The Smithsonian Institute published his re- 
port of Geological Explorations." 

" Afterward he was transferred to West Point, and in 1859 and 
'60 he was Assistant Professor of Mathematics. In 1S54 he was 
promoted to the rank of a full Second Lieutenant, and First 
Lieutenant in July, 1856." 

When the war broke out, he asked leave of absence to serve 
in the Volunteer Army,*and in April, i86i, was appointed Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel of the 5th New York Regiment. He was pro- 
moted Colonel, September 11, 1861, and to the grade of Cai>- 
tain in the regular army. On September 27, 1862, he was 
commissioned Brigadier-General, and breveted Lieutenant-Col- 
onel of the regular army. 

When Hooker took command of the army, February, 1863, 
General Warren was made Chief Topographical Engineer, and 
rendered efficient service at the battle of Chancellorsville, and 
was appointed Topographical Engineer-in-Ch.ief. During the 
battle of (^lettysburg, while under a heavy fire, a bullet cut his 
chin undcrm-ath. inflicting a slight wound. In speaking of that 
battle, Swinton^= says: " Sickles' line of battle was drawn up on 
the low ground front of Round Top, his left covering that point. 
Little Round Top was a commanding spur of Round Top Moun- 
tain, a rugged and wild spot, covered with huge boulders. 
Warren, while moving about in the performance of his duties as 
Engineer, on the morning of the second day visited this spur, on 
which some of the signal corps were stationed, and found that 
they were gathering their flags together preparatory to vacate. 
He discovered a body of the enemy, who were Hood's Texans, 
that had got around Sickles' left flank, and were advancing to 
occupy this important point. He immediately saw the strategic 
position with the eye of an engineer, and ordering the men to 
continue waving their lings boldly, to deceive the enemy into 
the belief that it occupied by a force of troops, dashed otT 
to bring troops to occupy it. He met Banies' division of Sykes' 

• " Army of Potomac," p. 346. 

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I i (. 

Pcrso7ial Skclc/ics. 


corps, which was marching to the relief of Sickles, who was 
hard pressed, and on his own responsibility detached Colonel 
Vincent's brigade, composed of the i6th Michigan, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Welsh ; 44th New York, Colonel R:ce ; 83d Pennsyl- 
vania, Captain Woodward ; 20th Maine, Colonel Chamberlain, 
and Haziitt's battery; the 140th New York, Colonel O'Rourke, 
accompanied the latter, which by great labor was dragged and 
lifted up the hill. As the troops rushed up the height. Hood's 
Texans were coming up on the opposite side without skirmish- 
ers ; they met face to face, and a terrible conflict ensued ; they 
fought hand to hand with the bayonet, officers grasped ritles 
from the hands of the fallen, and after half an hour's desperate 
struggle, the Union forces secured the position, until reinforced 
by Weed's brigade of Ayres' division. Lateral night, three regi- 
ments occupied Round Top proper. The loss was a fearful one ; 
among the ledges of the rocks lay many hundred of the Union 
soldiers. General Weed, a regular officer, was killed, and Hazlitt 
fell dead over his body, while trying to catch his last words; 
Colonels Vincent and O'Rourke, the latter a regular officer, 
were killed. This was the key of the position, as it enfiladed 
Cemetery Hill, and if Warren had not acted as promptly as he did, 
Gettysburg might have been one of those fields that decide the 
issues of war." 

Warren was made Major-General of Volunteers August 8, 
1863. and received the brevet of Colonel in the Regular Army to 
date from Gettysburg, and given the co:r.mand of the Second 

"When in the following October, Meade lay along the Rapi- 
dan, Warren was accustomed to put on a private's uniform, ;ind 
reconnoiter the enemy's position. In this garb he could ap- 
proach very near the enemy's lines, and gained much valuable 

"When Lee suddenly outflanked Meade, compelling him to 
retreat in great haste, Warren commanded the rear guard. 
Near Bristoe Station the enemy made a sudden and heavy onset 
upon him. and at first, having all their hatterits plante.l, pos- 
sessed greatly the advantage. But Warren, who now for the tirst 
time had an opportunity to display his great abilities as a strate- 

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432 FiftJi Neiv York VoliDitecr Infantry. 

gist, soon reversed this state of thing's ; and the manner in which 
he chose his position, handled his troops, and planted his bat- 
teries, and for five hours repelled every effort of the enemy to 
advance, and finally drove him to cover, showed him to be per- 
fect master cf the art of war, and called forth a congratulatory 
order from General Meade. He captured in this engagement 
five guns, two colors, and four hundred and fifty prisoners. The 
precision, promptitude, and sagacity he exhibited on this his first 
field, on which he commanded separately, made him at once a 
conspicuous man in the army. Dash and daring do not go so 
far with militar\- men as with the public, and a battle so com- 
pletely planned and perfectly fought as this, could not escape the 
observation of such men as Meade and Grant."* 

Swinton,t in his sketch of the ]Mine Run move, says that 
Warren, who was in command of the Second corps, and two 
di\ isions of French's, was to attack the enemy on their right. 

" Looking at the position with the critical eye of an engineer, 
but not without those lofty inspirations of courage that overleap 
the cold dictates of mathematical calculation, Warren saw that 
the task was hopeless ; and so seeing, he resolved to sacrifice him- 
self rather than his command. He assumed the responsibility of 
suspending the attack. 

"His verdict was that of his soldiers — a verdict pronounced not 
in spoken words, but in a circumstance more potent than words, 
and full of a touching pathos. 

" The time has not been seen when the Army of the Totomac 
shrank from any call of duty. Recognizing that the task now 
before them was of the character of a forlorn hope ; knowing well 
that no man could here count on escaping death, the soldiers, 
without sign of shrinking from the sacrifice, were seen pinning on 
the breasts of their blouses of blue, slips of paper on which each 
had written his name." 

" That this judgment of General Warren, and of his troops, 
was correct, General Meade himself became convinced, on riding 
over to the left and viewing the position." " It was. in fact, even 

* " Cr.uU uiii, lluir <.':iiiipai^ns and Gencr.iU."— J. T. Hkadlev. 
t "Army of Potomac," pp. 396-'7. 


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• Personal Sketches. 433 

more formidable than the line of the Rapidan, which it had been 
considered impracticable to assail by a front attack." 

When the army began its great campaign against Richmond 
the next spring, Warren, at the head of the Fifth Corps, held the 
center, one of the three grand divisions of the army as reorgan- 
ized under Grant. 

Swinton says : " Warren, young in the command of a corps, 
owed his promotion to the signal ability, proofs of which he had 
given, first, as a Brigadier, then as Chief Engineer of the Army, 
and, latterly, as the temporary commander of the Second Corps.' 
Of a subtle, analytic intellect, endowed with an eminent talent tor 
details, the clearest military coief> d'ceil, and a fiery, concentrated 
energy, he promised to take the first rank as a commander." 

" In the teiTible battle of the Wilderness,* his command acted 
a conspicuous part. The second day, in reinforcing the hard 
pressed wings, he reduced his corps to two divisions, yet with 
these he firmly maintained his position. At Spottsylvania, Rob- 
inson's division of the Fifth Corps was terribly cut up, and tht-ir 
leader having fallen, were breaking in disorder; when this intel- 
ligence reached Warren, he put spurs to his horse, and dashing 
forward, seized the colors and planted them amid the rebel fire! 
and by his voice and gallant bearing, rallied the-division, but in 
the daring act had his horse shot under him. In the flank move- 
ment at the North Anna, and in the severe fight that followed, 
he handled his troops with such skill and success, and punished 
the enemy so severely, that Meade complimented him publiclv. 
All through that terrible advance, until the army sat down before 
Petersburg, he exhibited a tactical skill and fighting power unsur- 
passed by the oldest General in the field, and equaled bv few. 

" In the fore part of December, with his own corps and a part 
of the Second, he moved out of his camps and destroyed twenty 
miles of the Weldon Railroad, besides station-houses and bridges. 
On his return he burned Sussex Court-house, in retaliation for 
brutal treatment and murder of some of our stragglers ; and was 
back in his old quarters before the enemy had fliiriy waked up to 
see what a terrible blow had been struck them. 

' Grant and Sherman, their Campaigns and Generals."— J. T. Hii.\DLEV. 


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434 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry 

f "In the final movement of the campaign of Grant, when Gen- 

\ eral Sheridan took the advance on the extreme left of Dinwidtiie 

i Court-house, he came upon the enemy a few miles beyond, at 

i ' Five Forks,' and was defeated and compelled to fall back to 

I Dinwiddle. =^ Warren's corps was at once sent to his relief. It 

I had been fighting all day (one division, Griffin's, had been en- 

(^' g^ged also the day before, and the corps had suffered a loss of 

eighteen hundred in killed and wounded), yet he sent a portion 
t of it forward immediately, which marched all night, reaching 

i: Sheridan ne.xt morning. The rest of his corps rapidly followed, 

|; and Warren, as ordered, reported to Sheridan on his arrival, who 

I assumed entire command. Sheridan now being strong, advanced 

f against the enemy, and at ' Five Forks ' found them at bay, 

I strongly intrenched. Warren was ncnv directed to move with 

I his whole corps on the enemy's left flank while the cavalry 

(: attacked in front. With his usual skill and promptitude, he 

I advanced on the strong position in three lines of battle, and 

r sweeping steadily down, carried everything before him, capturing 

\ the rebel artiller)-, which was attempting to move north, and 

\ many prisoners. Finding the Confedenite front still holding its 

i|: ground against Sheridan's cavalr}-, he, without waiting to re-form, 

\ swept down on the hostile line, breaking it to fragments, and 

I g^'^'in? the cavalry a chance to dash in and finish the work. 

I Warren in this last movement rode with his staff in the front, 

\ and was still there just at dusk, his men shouting the victorv, 

when he received Sheridan's order relieving him of command, 
and directing him to report to General Grant. Before doing so, 
he sought a personal inten'iew, and asked the reason oi his being 
relieved. With strange discourtesy and injustice, the latter 
refused to give him anv." 
; How Grant viewed this proceeding may be inferred from tlic 

^ fact that he immediately ])laced Warren in command of the 

defenses of City Point and Bermuda Hundred. 

In May he was assi.gned to the command of the Mississippi 
Department, but he did not retain it long, and offered his resig- 

« Extract frtm iii<iu!L:h—Gener;il SheriJan to Gen-.-ral Grnnt, March 31, li''; : 
"This force is toj .str-jiitj for us. I will hold out at Diiiwkidie Court-house until I 
am compelled to leave." 

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3,;; "Jo bc/;^; 

Personal Sketches. 


nation as Major-General of Volunteers, but retaining his rank in 
the Engineer Corps. 

He asked for an investigation, but Grant replied that it was 
impossible, in the disturbed state of affairs, to assennble a court 
of inquir>' at the time, and so the matter dropped. 

" Although this was unjust to Warren, perhaps it was quite as 
well it should rest so. The war was over, the coantn- jubilant 
and filled with praises of Sheridan, who had fought nobly, and 
contributed largely to the capture of Lee. A court of inquiry 
would, of course, have been compelled to censure him — an un- 
gracious task just then ; while his condemnation would have 
changed the opinion of scarcely any one in or out of the army. 
The people felt that it was an act of injustice, born of sudden 
impatience and excitement, such as he has often committed, and 
were sorr>- that he had been guilty of it, but preferred to forget it 
in consideration of his gallant services ; while among military 
men, if it had any effect at all, it only raised Warren higher in 
their estimation. A court of inquiry-, therefore, would have had 
no effect on his reputation, though, as an act of justice, it was 
demanded. He could much better afford to let it pass than 
Sheridan can. A sudden act of injustice may be pardoned ; per- 
sisting in it constitutes its chief criminality." 

"Warren at this time' was about thirty-five vears of age. By 
those most qualified to judge, he was considered one f)f the best, 
if not the best, tacticians in the army. With a nervous, quick 
temperament, balanced by strong reflective powers, and perfect 
knowledge of his profession, he combines all the qualities of a 
great General." 

The author is indebted to Headley's work for manv of the 
facts above given, with which he has incorporated his own notes 
and the statements of other writers. F'or a detailed account of 
the " Battle of Five Forks," and all the movements of Genenil 
Warren with the Fifth Corps, with maps and copies of his orders, 
see " Warren's Defense." published by D. Van Nostrand (iS66). 

General Warren was breveted Major-General in the Regular 
Army, March 13, 1S65. 

In speaking of Warren's attack, S\vint(;n says in his History: 
" After the first success, the men halted. Seeing this hesitation. 

iV :■ rroi; 


.''yi,\'i .r.;nviui f . "j /•; < . 



ijff.r. /yt.ii 5 a 

436 Fifth Neiv York Volunteer Infantry. 

Warren dashed forward, calling- to those near him to follow, 
Inspiied by his example, the color-bearers and officers all along 
the front sprang- out, and, without more firing, the men charged 
at the pLis de course, capturing all that remained of the enemy. 
The historj' of the war presents no equally splendid illustration 
of personal magnetism. Warren led the van of the rushing lines ; 
his horse was fatally shot within a few feet of the breastworks, 
an orderly was killed by his side, and he himself was in imminent 
peril, when a gallant officer. Colonel Richardson, of the Seventh 
Wisconsin, sprang between him and the enemy, receiving a se- 
vere wound, but shielding froin hurt the person of his loved com- 

" A charge of cavalry completed the rout ; there were captured 
many colors and guns and about 5,000 prisoners ; the Fifth 
Corps capturing of these, 3,244 men, with their arms, eleven regi- 
mental colors, and one four-gun batteiy, with its caissons. The 
cavalry- loss was a few hundred, that of the Fifth Corps, 634 
killed and wounded," 

General Warren says in his " Defense " — " General Sherirlan 
says: 'I therefore relieved him from the command of the Fifth 
Corps, authority for this action having been sent to me before the 
battle, unsolicited.' 

" From the time that authority reached him, he, apparently, 
sought occasion to use it. I say this with regret ; but the tone 
of the report toward me, and his hasty action, indicate that it 
was so. If a victory- won by my command, under my direction, 
could not gain me credit, where the plans made were, as he says, 
' success/ u/ty executed,' and where my efforts and directions were 
known to almost every- one, then nothing could." 

An incident that occurred at the re-union of several of the 
Army Corps will indicate the opinion of the soldiers, as well as 
of the highest officers in the land, in their estimate of Warren's 
services, even in the presence of Sheridan himself The Asso- 
ciated Press ^ve the following report of the occurrences : 


" H.\RRI?RfRn, Penn., May 12, 1874.— This morning, the 
2d, 5th, and 6th corps met respectively in the House of Repre- 

:I.:':^\'^ ' Jv" 

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.■ ;>'•■/ 

I.-."..- i.\ ■,;,.,-•>■: v!. -r; I. 

■ • ■ Personal Sketches. 437 

sentativcs, State Libran-, and Senate Chamber. The 5th corps 
convened in the State Library', General Sweitzer in the chair. 
General Warren, the gallant commander of the old 5th corps, 
was called upon to address the meeting-, which he did. 

" The 6th corps meeting was held in the Senate Chamber — 
General Taylor in the chair. The attendance was fair. At 1 1 
o'clock a grand procession was formed in front of the Capitol, 
with Generals Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, Doubleday, Scho- 
field, and " McDowel. Governor Hartranft, Senator Canvron. 
Auditor-General Allen, Supervisor-General Heath, and (ilhcr 
distinguished soldiers and civilians in carriages. Amic! the 
thunder of cannon the line was formed, and the march to the 
Gr;ind Opera-House commenced. The Masonic building was 
gayly decorated with the national colors and the army flags and 
devices of the different corps of the Army of the Potomac. Upon 
the spacious stage were Generals Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, 
Schofield, Doubleday, Burnside, and a host of others. 

" As the presence of General Warren was announced from the 
platform, loud cries for the veteran commander of the old jtli 
corps went up from hundreds of throats. As nothing else could 
restore order, the General, who wa3 in the audience, arose and 
came forward, amid deafening applause. There were two 
thousand persons in the house, and at least three times that 
number surging outside." 

This episode shows conclusively that the great military r.hility 
and services of General Warren, from the tirst battle of the war 
to the last, were acknowledged, in a conspicuous manner, by 
those most competent to judge ; and that the imputations of one 
man, though a successful and great General, were wiped out by 
the verdict of thousands. 

General Warren says, in a communication to the Xew York 
Htrald, dated at Newport, R. I., July 26. 1S78: " .\t th.; 
battle of Five Forks I was not relieved till after the battle ha. I 
ceased. Thousands of soldiers in the 5th army corps, c'.nd n-.any 
in the ranks ui our foes, can testify that 1 led the final .ittack 
that con.pleted that vietory. There was wo ciuse to n,c 
away from any misconduct, antl General Grant would n-.:\:r 
allow me a court of inquiry, because thereby I could have shown 
there was no cause. I claim the honors of that day are mine." 

A.v?. \\vV<f\'.-\rV 

■■•■ :''>-d 


4:v> Fifth Ycr.' Yorh Vohiufecr Infantry. 

Dunng the tiiiu- that General Warren was connected with the 
Sih New Yoi k, which covered its full term of service, with the 
exception of about four months, he was either in command or 
ha-1 it under his eye \\\ his brigade, where it held the post of 
honor. The -11 f-'-. I'laced implicit confidence in him as a leader, 
and were aKva\s ready to obey his orders unflinching-ly. They 
wrn: sure that Iv- >'.ou!d never shrink from any duty, and always 
set an examj-le hy leading the way. In action, it seemed to the 
men that he v. as e\ c;-\-Avhere at the same moment, and he al- 
ways appearnd \y> la- perfectly indifferent to bullets or shell, and 
must have borne a charmed life, from the manner in which he 
exposed himse!!". He attended to the slightest details person- 
ally, and many a time has he seized a spade or pick out of the 
hands of a la?)- soldier to show him how to dig-. From the first 
day General Warren made his appearance in the regiment, to 
t!)c last, tb.e c-n-.-ct of his superior practical knowledge, in all 
matters appertaMiing to the school of the soldier, was apjiarent 
in the discipliDO. drill, and efficiency of the regiment. The men 
often wondered whether he passed any time in sleep. General 
Warren disliked hc,i-n]i,ist, and was not in the habit of speaking 

I of his own deeds, hut preferred to let the results of his actions 

shew for tiiemselves. 

j The army and thr Tiatiun have a common interest in the record 

and the life of such a soldier. 


J. ^TAXSFI^:^l> Dwir.s was a son of Professor Davies, for- 
merly instructor ol mathematics at the West Point MiHtar\' 
Academy, and rr.cived his education at Kinsley's Military 
School. West Point. He resigned from the 5th Regiment .•\u- 
gii t 17, is6i, having been commissioned Colonel of the 2d 
New York, Harris Light Cavalry ; from which regiment he re- 
ceived an honorjh'r. discharge Decemhc" 6, 1.S62. on account 
of ill-hcaltli, engeiid-T.-d from exposure in the field. Throu-h 
his exertions he itid-d greatly in the organization of the 5th 
Regin\ent New Yoik Volunteers, and was much respected by 
th-. \!r)le comnMii I. 

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Personal SketchiS. 439 


The Rev. Gordon Winslow, the Chaplain of the 5th Re;:^;- 
ment, was a man somewhat advanced in years when the war 
broke out, his age being- about sixty. At that time he was st- itlt^d 
over a parish at Staten Island, as an Episcopalian minister. He 
u^s a type oi'the old Revolutionary stock, possessing an iron consti- 
tution, capable of enduring any amount of hardship, with an act- 
ive, untiring, energetic disposition, and having a strong love for 
his country, he was among the first to volunteer his services when 
the authority of the Government was set at defiance. He was a 
man that knew no fear, and always was to be found on the ad- 
vance line, even ahead of the skirmishers, and he 
never thought of danger or spared himself when he could be of 
any benefit to the wounded. He obtained the appointment of 
Chaplain to the 5th New York Volunteers, but the performance 
of the duties that rightfullv belonged to the position was only a 
small part of the responsibilities that he assumed. He ser\'ed all 
through with the regiment, and was mustered out with it. May 
14, 1863. One of his sons was a Lieutenant in the Fifth ; another, 
Cleveland Winslow, Col. of the Fifth, organized a new regiment 
of Zouaves, called the 5th Veterans, and on his being ordered to 
the front w ith his command, his father accompanied it as Chap- 
lain, but he was soon after made Sanitary Inspector of the Army 
of the Potomac, and in this position his services were invaluable. 
There are thousands of the sick and wounded, who, if living to- 
day, can testily to his kindness and untiring zeal in their behalf 
night and day. Hundreds of soldiers, could they wake from the 
dead, would tell how he ministered unto them in their dying 
hours, and received their last message or memento for the 
friends at home. The fate of many a fallen hero would never 
have been known to sur\-i\ing relatives had it not been fur his 
fidelity and sympathy. The perusal of his daily journal awakens 
surprise that a man of his advanced years could perform all the 
duties whiih he undertook. Me visited camps and insp-'ctcd tlic 
sick of the various regiments dav after <l;)y and night a!trr iii-iil, 
traveling wiih his favoritJ horse, " Caplivv-," over tin- m(l-^t diiii- 
cult roads, in storm or calm, often under fire, and partaking- of 


:■*■'■ no i>c;u". 

440 Fifth New York Vohinteer Infantry. 

such hospitality as a camp affords. A few hours were spent in 
sleep here and there on the ground, and then his tireless rounds 
were resumed, looking- after ambulances and the sick and wounded. 
who were always demanding his attention ; he inspected the med- 
ical stores, examined and weighed blankets to see ihat they came 
up to the standard, and performed a thousand other duties of the 
long detail of a sanitary officer. 

On May 3, 1S64, when General Grant's great army commenced 
their move on Richmond, he was on General Warren's staff. 
From his journal, the author quotes, under date of May 3d, 
Tuesday : 

" Left at night for Culpepper to join General Warren ; moved 
at 12/4 A.M." "Fourth, Wednesday, a.m., moved the entire 
army to Germania Ford ; General Warren and myself arrived at 
the Ford at S,!/ a.m., before the pontoons were completed ; went 
over and saw them completed." etc. Thus he continued from 
day to day, leading a most active and useful life. Occasionally 
on his rounds, he visited his son, the Colonel. Finally. Wednes- 
day, June ist, after describing the movements of the troops, and 
\ an engagement then taking place, he says : 

I " General Ayrcs, of the regulars, received the old 5th New 

I , York Veteran Volunteers, who were at once put into the fight, 
t and acquitted themselves well.' On the 2d, after giving- a de- 
1 tailed account of more fighting-, and his own movements, he 
I closes his account for the day with " Clc-oc teas li'cnotded." 
I Friday, June 3d : "Went over to find 'Cleve ;' found him in a 
if cellar of a house, which was being shelled, on our right." And 
\ then continues with a general description of a hea\y engage- 
;j ment, and—" Rode all day to the several hospitals ; " " brought 
!| Cleve to the 6th corps hospital and stayed with him overnight." 
y "Wound in the left shoulder, minie ball, making exit from the 
\) back." etc. " Thr wound was much inflamed by his return to 
' the field, after being dressed, lie passed the night comfortably. 
•^' I slept on tlio ground under the same fly." 

Two brave hearts, faher and son ! Th.c wounded Colonel, 
a month after was laid in his grave. The father who watched 
over him, in three days after his son's wound, was drowned in the 
I Potomac. 

.•<■•/.,', '■,.\\ ■\^,'%\..;::^-i ".Vvi ' ■■•, ^i 

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,fO t 

Personal Sketches. 


The last entry in the journal, June 5th, White House, appears to 
be a copy of a note sent : 

"Sunday Evg. 

" Dear Gen. : — I have hardly time to say we arrived on Sat- 
urday, and expect to go out to-morrow at 3 o'clock." " lunc 
6th." (A loving hand has written, as if the dead Divine was con- 
tinuing his journal). jHne-]th, Tuesday morning. " At Home 
IN THE Paradise of God." Also. " Dr. Winslow was spared 
the agony of knowing the extent of his son's wound— a gun-shot 
fracture of the left shoulder— which resulted in the death of the 
Colonel on the 7th of July, 1864, at the Mansion Hguse Hospital, 
Alexandria, V'a." 


" Our boats were being filled with special cases of wnundt-d 
ones ; among whom was Colonel Winslow. a son of the lamcnttd 
Dr. Winslow, so long and so favorably known in connection with 
the United States Sanitary Commission. He was brought from 
the front to the boat by his father, whose tenderness fur nis child 
equaled that of a mother," etc., etc. 

Dr. Winslow was drowned from this boat, while in the act of 
drawing a bucket of w;ater from the side of the vessel while sail- 
ing up the Potomac, being in the sixty-fifth year of his age. (Hio 
body was never reco\'ered). 

The following extracts from some of the letters written bv Dr. 
Winslow during the earlier part of the war, will be read witli 
interest by all members of the Fifth, not only as mementoes of 
our much respected Chaplain, but as a part of the historv of the 
regiment. It is to be very much regretted that the journal which 
he kept during the two years' service of the Fifth, was lost from 
one of the wagons, at Aquia Creek, during our homcwatd march : 

" Camp Butler, May 27, iS6r. 
" We are well settled at our camp life— the staff occupying 
quarters with the Colonel in an old mansion, on a plantation of 
great beauty directly upon the bay. This carries us quite out 
•beyond all the others, and gives us the right 10 our titie of the 
' Advance Guard.' The Secession arms glistening in our sight. 

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r-i'SJjC .'.i J 

4.p Fifth Nezi' York Volunteer Infantry. 

But they begin to realize the dangerous proximity of our Zouaves. 
Every day we push out somewhat, and eveiy night a scout or an 
attacking party is on llie move, and thus far without hloodsiiecl. 
Last night a company was detailed on a secret expedition to 
attack a large building, called a college, declared to be dangerous, 
being well stored with Secessionists. I was detailed to accom- 
pany the expedition, which opportunity I was glad to improve. 
We started at eleven o'clock, with muskets, and ten rounds of ball 
cartridge, revolvers, etc. Our passage lay up the banks of a stream 
for some two miles, then crossing over and passing down upon 
the other bank some two and a half miles, much of the time upon 
our knees or in a stooping position quite to the ground, listening 
at every few steps till within a few hundred yards, when we 
divided into separate parts and surrounded the college and several 
villas, and closed in gradually till near the spot of attack, when 
the Captain, with two or three, went forward and demanded a 
surrender unconditionally. The thing was done without resist- 
ance, and we took possession, and passed the night in guarding 
the grounds about from outward or inward attack. Several 
shots were fired from across the stream and arm of the bay, on 
either side, during the night, but nobody was hurt." 

After giving an account of an encounter with a patrol t'rom 
camp, who were mistaken for an enemy, as they did not have the 
countersign, and in which he tired his first shot, he says : 

"At sunrise we raised the flag of our Union on top of the 
dome, and gave the whole into the hands of a relief guard and 
returned to camp. It was considered a successful enterprise. 
Last night Captain Winslow was detailed on a similar enterprise 
with his company. lie reported a complete success, having taken 
the place occupied by some Secession spies. Captain Winslow 
returned with his prisoners at about three o'clock A.M. The 
prisoners have just been called before a court of inquiry, and 
turned over to General Butler for judgment." 

Extract of a ktier dated Washington. July 29, 1861 : 
" I am getting to be ([uite a business man, which agrees with 
me much. 1 should like to be General for about one month, to 
tr>- my hand at it."—" I have no wish to leave the Chaplaincy, 

A •■.■.^^ 


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. ■ Pirsonal Sketches. 443 

but I am determined to stick to the war to the last, and do it like 
a man ; and if they cut me off in one direction, I shall turn their 
flank in another, and carry the day." 

Doctor Winslow had a former slave as his servant, who was 
brought on with him from Camp Hamilton, but not without some 
trouble, as the following- goes to show : 

"Camp Fr.nERAL Ilii.L, Baltimore^ / 
' August 9, 1S61. ) 

"Jim is with me. He is a regular specimen of an old aristo- 
cratic slave. The Dutch soldiers at Hampton were about to hang 
him as a spy when I arrived from Washington. When I demanded 
his release, he was brought to Colonel Webber's quarters, and on 
seeing me, nearly fainted. When revived, he cried : ' Lord God 
Almighty ! I'd rather see ole massa than my fader and niodder 
raisin' out ob der graves — Oh, golly ! whew?' If he continues 
faithful, I shall be sorr>' to part with him." 

In speaking of his horse, which was captured by some of the 
Zouaves, back of Hampton, while on a scout, he says : 

" Captive is well, and quite the admiration of all. I had quite 
a time in getting him from the Provt)st Marshal The Regulars 
called it stonning Gibraltar, and thought it could not be taken. 
But they lived to see it was taken, and by a reg"ular process, and 
so effectually that no question can hereafter be raised on the 
subject of rightful ownership." 

Camp Federal Hill, August 11, 1S61. \ 
Sunr'aj, 10 P.M. ^ 
It is almost impossible to keep up with time when anything 
extra is expected. Ever)- hour has its allotted work. A thou- 
sand visitors at least have been in camp to-day. At 7 a.m. wc 
had a battalion inspection and review on the- street in the cilv ; . 
then came inspection of hospital ; then msncciion of camp and 
quarters, which brought us near to 11 o'clock; then divine serv- 
ice, which held till dinner at i P.M ; then general lounging and 
ref>ose from two to three; then mustering of delinquents and 
sijuads for evening parade, which calls for sjiccial it.speciion 
from the officers of the several companies. In the meantime I 
look after the sick in hospitals and the ailing in camp, which 

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i: V(v, ••'. j.nH .i.'.};3o:i ■{ ■'..■a':> 

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■ , i_ ■'■ . ; > ■ i./x, .(■ Ji> 

444 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

bring-s us to time for dress parade and general drill ; after which 
the general orders are published, which this evening were very 
lengthy, and among which I am personally interested, viz. : the 
one which confirms my commission and rank as that of cavalry 
Captain in the army, defining the duties, responsibilities, etc. 
("I have a call from two officers"). It is now eleven as I re- 
sume. The subject of conversation wiih the officers was peculiar. 
It related to the possibility of our being blown up. The fact is, 
the hill on which our camp is situated is completely undennined. 
For many years it has been the resort for white sand tor making 
glass, etc., until immense caves running in all directions and near- 
ly through the whole extent have been excavated, and probably 
owing to this fact, it has been suggested that a few barrels of 
powder placed beneath our camp would, if ignited, give us an 
uncomfortable ascent to unexplored parts. We have come to the 
wise conclusion that thii must be looked after. I have not yet 
been out into the city to any extent except to give " Captive" 
a little airing on two occasions. We generally are hailed with 
" cheers for Jeft" Davis and the Southern Confederacy," which is 
indicative that the cat is only scotched, not killt-d, in these parts. 
We never retort, and probably in time they will find that it don't 
pay to cheer us. We had the long roll last night, or rather this 
morning, about 2 o'clock. The camp was all alive and every 
man under arms in about five minutes. It was a false alarm, 
but it shows the discipline of the regiment. It is raining and 
very dark, with prospect of a wet time. etc. I have been so ac- 
customed to sleep on a board that a bed would now appear 
strange, etc. 

The i)oor fellows on guard to-night will have a moist time of 
it. One man yesterday fell off the bank and injured his back — 
and one man was sun-struck to-day on guard while we were at 
service, etc. My eyes begin to ask for sleep, so I will add a line 
in the morning. 

Monn'Hi^. — It rains and has done so nearly all night, yet the 
gun fires and the reveille beats as regularly as under clear skies, 
etc. G. W. 

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Personal Sketches. 44.5 

Camp Federal Hill, Baltimore. 

Since I last wrote I have been like a shuttle-cock, to and from 
Washington and Fortress Monroe, with dispatches, which has 
brought me in contact with all the heads of departments and 
with the different Generals. I found General McDowell at Ar- 
lington Heights, in sadness at his discomfiture. He said, the 
victory^ was ours at Bull Run up to the opening of a masked 
battery on the flank, near where an array of spectators, editors. 
Congressmen, women, etc., were assembled to see the battle, and 
who at once took to flight ; this alarmed the teamsters, and 
finally the retreat, or rather stampede, was irresistible. At this 
moment large reserves of the enemy came up and changed the 
whole fate of the day. It was a bad affair, but I have no doubt 
it will do good by bringing up our officers and men to the true 
idea that we are warring with men of prowess and determina- 
tion, with the best materials of warfare, in positions of strength 
and where strategic movements are greatly facilitated by a 
familiar acquaintance with the topography of the country. We 
have much more to do than has been imagined, and I think that 
General Scott was decidedly right in his judgment and plans, 
which unfortunately were overruled by the host of politicians. 
Congressmen, editors. President, and all. The feet is, they wished 
to see a battle, supposing of course we must whip the Southern- 
ers. I hope hereafter all civilians found on the battle-field from 
curiosity 'Zi'/// be shot, by order of court-martial : and all womL-n 
found there will be obliged to carr)' a pack and arms. It is no 
place for idle spectators or curiosity-mongers, etc. We have 
had a grand review by Major-General Dix, who seems much 
pleased with the regiment. Our desire was to be placed on the 
advance of the army, but Scott and Dix regard this as the most 
important position at this moment to be occupied. There is, it 
is believed, a deep plot to cross from Harper's Ferry and join 
the secret enemies in this city. This requires the utmost dis- 
cretion, forbearance, and soldierlv bearing, to know all that tran- 
spires without provoking resistance, and y(;t he able to ciucll 
them at a moment's notice, etc. We have a great number of 
applicants for officers from our regiment. I think no less than 

■■■:'.' ■■^' ^ ■: > i, '' -ill! tr -.hi ti'.rj '\c. ■5,n^fro!,q(-jj-'.:;,l'j;d & *3^,v) 
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■ 44^ Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infantry. 

\ ten Captains and twice as many Lieutenants have been taken 

I from us. But still we can stand it. Half of our men are capa- 

; b!e of making orilccrs better than we often find. 

■ ISr.ijor-General Dix also desired me as military secretary, which 
: would rank me as Major, but it would be too inactive. I would 
• rather be a sohli'-r on constant drill than be idle. You will be- 
' lif^ve this from what vou know of my habit, etc. G. \V. 


i The correspondent of a New York journal, in speaking of the 

. wounded at Gett\sburg, reported as follows : 

[, " The Sanitary Commission are still supplying the wounded at 

i Gettysburg with delicacies. The patients are reported to be im- 

I proving slowly. The good work is in charge of the Rev. Mr. 

Gordon Winslow, chaplain of Duryt-e's Zouaves, 5th New York 

'; Rep^iment, who is unremitting in his attention to the sufferers 

under his care," etc. 

; After the battle of Big Bethel, Dr. Winslow remained in the 

! rear of the retreating troops, looking after and caring for the 

; wounded. He was at one time cut off from the main body by a 

J p;u iy of mounted Confederates, and remained hid in the brush for 

■ Several hours. He saw the enemy pass by his hiding-place 
i several times, and a Confederate sentinel was posted within 
! t:i,-^b.ty feet of him. At camp he was thought to have been 
i surely taken prisoner by the enemy, but he eluded them and 
I made his way back, arriving at camp about midnight. 


Joseph E. Hamdlix was a man of giant proportions, stand- 
ing six feet four inches in height, and was a universal favorite 
with the officers and men. He had been through some nvlitary 
experience before the brraking out of the war of the Rebellion. 
I!e was conspicuous in the Kansas bonier troubles, and was in 
the expcditioTi to Moni-omery, and on General Frost's staff. At 
the breaking out of the war he was a member of the 7th Regt. 

':-\>ruA\iL\ r:'•^vu<t^v, :i vj.-^r\ t 

K.I ;J-..-,y w.y 


.; Personal Sketches. 447 

N. G. S. New York, and received a commission as Second Lieu- 
tenant in the 5th New York Volunteers. 

The followin;^ is from the Xew York Times of March, 1S67 : 

" In General Order No. 3, under date of March 7, Major- 
General Alexander Shaler announces, among other officers ap- 
pointed to his staff, the name of Joseph E. Hamblin, Division 
Inspector, with the rank of Colonel. 

" Colonel and Brevet iVlajor-General Joseph E. Hamblin was 
for several years a member of the 7th Rej^ment, having served 
as Orderly Sergeant in one of the companies of that command. 

"When the Rebellion broke out in 1861. Hamblin was appoint- 
ed by Colonel (afterward Brigadier-General) Abram Uurvt-'e, as 
Adjutant of the Zouave Regiment (5th New York Volunteers), 
which was organi 1 g for two years or the war. In this capacity 
he served in the summer of 1 861, at Old Point Comfort, under 
General Benjamin F. Butler, and was present at Big Bethel, the 
first battle of the war. 

"The Fifth was transferred to Baltimore in July, 1861. and 
Hamblin was commissioned a Captain August 27th. He was 
subsequently commissioned Major in the 65th New York \'olun- 
teers (United States Chasseurs), dated from November 3, 1861. 
After the Peninsula campaign, Hamblin, with rank from July zo, 
1862, became Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment." 

" This promotion he had won by hard service before Yorktown, 
at Williamsburgh, Fair Oaks, Glendale, and Malvern Hill." 

As Lieutenant-Colonel, he participated in the battles of An- 
tietam, Frerlericksburg, first and second ; in the storming ot 
Marye's Heights in the morning, and the defense of Salem 
Heights in the afternoon— both on the left of that line of en- 
gagements known as Chancellorsville. Colonel Shaler having 
received his Brigadier's commission for gallant conduct at the 
capture of Marye's Heights, Hamblin became Colonel of the 
Chasseurs, with rank from May 26, 1863, and as such (in the 
6th Corps), was at Rappahannock Station, Gettysburg, and 
Mine Run under Meade ; in the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and 
Cold Harbor, under Grant; and at WinclKStcr, Fisher's Iliil, 
and Cedar Creek, under Slieridan, when he was made Brevet 
Brigadier-General " for gallant and meritorious conduct al the 

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448 Fifth Ncio York Volunteer Infantry. 

battle of Cedar Crtck," at which battle he was desperately 
wounded in the thigh. On liis return to the Army of the Poto- 

! mac in front of Peterbluiry, General Hamblin assumed command 

\ of a bri<?ade in Wheaton's (ist division) of the Sixth Corps, where 

I he participated in the iccoiid battle of Hatcher's Run, Va., and 

[ finally at Sailor's Creek, commissioned as Brigadier-General of 

[ Volunteers, with rank from May 19, 1865. Hamblin was made 

> Brevet Major-Gencnd, wiiii rank from April 5, 1865, for " con- 

t spicuous gallantry in Slieridan's great victory of Sailor's Creek," 

\ and with that rank was mustered out of the United States 

i service. 

The following obituary tribute to General Hamblin appeared 

I in the New York Times, July 5, 1870: 

? "Major-General Joseph E. Hamblin, a brief announcement of 

j whose death appeared in these columns yesterday, was cne of 

I the most gallant soldiers that fought tor the Union in the late 

I war, and a gentleman v.iiose character was without a blemish. 

[ He was born in Massachusetts, in 1828. In April, 1861, he was 

\ appointed Adjutant in the famous 5th New York Volunteers — 

t better known as Duryee's Zouaves. [The sketch of his military 

{ career is omitted]. He siieathed bi.5 sword at the end of tlie 

i war, when his country hid no further need of lu's "scnices, and 

! has since resided in this city ; and, at the time of his death, 

I which occurred in the forty-third year of his age, he held the 

[ responsible position of Superintendent of Agencies for the Com- 

! monweallh Fire Insurance Company. General Hamlilin's genial 

1 and generous qualities endeared him to a host of friends." 

i ,-., . ■ . - ■ ■ r, -, 

I ■' ". Headquarters 7TH Regiment, 1 

. , National Guard S. N. Y., V 

. ' New York, July 4, 1S70. ) 

"1 The Commandant with regret announces to this command 

I the death of Brevet Mnjor-Gencral Joseph E. Hamblin. 

I General Hamblin was for many years a prominent member 

; of this re'.;^iment, and st rved with great distinction in the army 

during tl^e recent Kebel'iion. As a tokin of respect to h's 
I memory, the members of tliis regiment are requested to act as 


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Personal Sketches. 449 

mourners, and will assemble in full uniform (gray pants), at the 
Armor)', on Tuesday, 5th inst., at i o'clock P.M. 
By order of 

Colonel Emmons Clark. 
Louis Fitzgerald, 

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and Adjutant. 

*■ ' ' Headquarters ist Division, \ 

National Guard S. N. Y., •- 
New York, July 4. 1S70. ) 
General Orders, No. 5. 

I. It is with the deepest regret that the General coinmandint^ 
announces to the division that Brevet Major-Gcneral Joseph E. 
Hamblin, late Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff of 
the 1st division, who served with such well-known distinction in 
the late war for the Union, died at his residence yesterday, the 
3d inst. 

II. The following detail is ordered as an escort to his remains : 
The 9th Regiment Infantry : the troop of Washington Grays, 
Cavalry ; and the Separate Troop Cavalry, Captain Klein com- 
manding ; two sections of Battery K, Artiller)-. 

III. The escort will be commanded by Brigadier-General 
Postley, and will report to him in Madison Avenue, l)etween 
Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Streets, at 1.30 o'clock p.m. on 
the 5th inst. 

IV. The General commanding feels that this information will 
be received with the profoundest sorrow by the officers and men 
of the division, and is assured that all who have known the late 
General Hamblin, either in his military or social character, v.iil 
readily accord the last respects due one who has been so well 
known and so well-beloved. The officers of the division who 
desire to take part in the ceremonies are invited to attend his 
funeral, at his late residence, No. 136 Lexington Avenue, in uni- 
form, and will assemble at the Apollo Rooms, corner of Tw\-nty- 
eighth Street and l^nxidway, :it 1.30 P.M. 

\'. The folkiwing officers have been requested by the friends of 
the fiinily to act as pall-bearers, and will meet, in uniform. 

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4^0 FiftJi New York Vohinteer Infantry. 

mounted, at the residence of the General commanding, No. 346 
West Twenty-eighth Street, at 1.30 o'clock p.m. : 

Major-Gen. Alex. Shalcr, Brig.-Gen. J. H. Libeneau, 

" C. K. Graham, " G. W. Palmer, 

" M. T. McMahon, " L. Burger, 

" A. Dur\ee, Colonel John Fowler, Jr., 

Brig.-Gen. Thomas H. Neill, " Wm. H. Chesebrough. 

" H. E. Tremain, Lieut.-Colonel Geo. T. Haws. 

By order of 

Major-General Alex. Shaler. 
Wm. H. Chesebrough, 
Colonel ami Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff. 

Headquarters 9TH Regiment Infantry, 1 
• National Guard S. N. Y., |- 

New York, July 4, 1870. ) 
General Orders, No. 13. 

This regiment having been detailed as funeral escort to the 
late Brevet Major-General Joseph E. Hamblin, late A. A. G. 
and Chief of Staff, ist division N. G. S. N. Y., the several com- 
panies of this command will assemble at the Armory on Tuesday, 
July 5, at 12 o'clock M., in full-dress uniform, white cross and 
body belts (white gloves). Officers will wear the usual badge of 

By command of 

Colonel James Fisk, Jr. 

Edgar S. Allien, Adjutant. 

The members of Kane Lodge, No. 454, F. and A. M., and the 
Veterans of the 7th Regiment N. G., under the command of 
Colonel Marshall Lcfferts, were also in attendance at the funeral. 

John 1Iowaiu> ^\'ELLS was a member of the 7th Regiment 
N. G. S. N. Y. He was an executive and competent oflicer, pos- 
sessed of superior business qualifications. He resigned his com- 

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Personal Sketches. 451 

mission Februar}- 25, 1862. to accept the appointment of Com- 
missary, with the rank of Captain in the United States army. 
He served to the end of the war, and resigned his commission 
May 19, 1865. 


Dr. Gilbert was promoted to the rank of Major August 3, 
1861, and transferred to the regular service, where he continued 
to the end of the war, the regiment thereby losing the services of 
a skillful surgeon and an accomplished gentleman. Dr. Gilbert 
is the well-known projector of the Gilbert Elevated Railroad. 


Dr. Martix rendered eflkient aid in the care of the wounded 
on the field at Big Bethel, June 10, 1861, and was mentioned in 
general orders. He resigned his commission February 11, 1862. 


Har.MOX D. Hull was an officer of the 7th Regiment N. G. S. 
N. Y., commissioned Captain May 9, 1861, in the 5th Regiment. 
New York X'olunteers : ^L'ljor, Septeml)er 7th of the same year; 
Lieutenant-Colonel, October 29, 1S62. He was a dashing officer, 
and distinguished himself at the battle of Gaines" Mill, June 27, 
1S62. He resigned his commission in October. 1862, and subse- 
quently organized the 165th Regiment, New York Volunteers, of 
nhich corps he was commissioned Colonel, and was ordered with 
his command to the Department of the Mississippi, where he did 
much active service, but was obliged on account of ill-health to 
resign the command January 22, 1863, and retire to private life. 

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452 Fifth Nezv York Vohintccr Infaiitry. 


Captain Dumont was a member of the 7th Re^ment N. G. 
S. N. Y., raised the first company for the 5th Reijiment, New 
York Volunteers, and after seeing soiue active service during the 
earlier months of the war, was obliged to resign October i, ifc)6i, 
on account of ill-health, the effect of a sun-stroke. Subsequently 
he was appointed Secretary to Rear-Admiral Bell, commanding 
Pacific Squadron, December 11, 1861, with the rank of Lieuten- 
ant in the Na\7. Was appointed Judge Advocate General of 
Squadron May 9, 1863. Resigned his commission on account of 
continual ill-health, March i, 1864, and died a few years afterward. 


Henry E. Davies, Jr., son of Judge Davies, for many years 
Chief-Justice of the Court of Appeals, and a nephew of Professor 
Davies, Instructor of Mathematics at the United States Military 
Academy, West Point. He was a strict disciplinarian and a 
brave and dashing officer. He was mustered into the service 
April 33. 1861, as a Captain in the 5th Regiment, and went with 
it to Fortress Monroe ; took an active part in several scouting ex- 
peditions, and in the battle of Big Bethel, where he greatly dis- 
tinguished himself by his coolness and bravery under firo. Two 
days after the battle he visited Yorktown under a tlag of truce, 
to look after the wounded, and to obtain the body of .Major Win- 
throp, aide to General Butler, who was killed in the engagement. 
When the rogimcnt was ordered to Baltimore, Captain Davies 
went with it, and shared in the arduous duties of building Fort 
Federal Hill, which work was performed during the hot summer 
months. He was commissioned Major of the 2d New York Cav- 
alry (Harris' Ligiit) August 27, 1S61, and went to Washington, 
where the Regiment was being concentrated. Took command 
of the ist l.'.i't.ilion there in camp, and from tliat time until the 
dose of tlu- remained with the Army of ih • Pcto>:uic. Wis 
commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel 2d New York Cavaln,-, De- 
cember 30, 1862 ; Colonel, January 24, 1863 ; appointed and aft- 

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.1 ' Personal Sketches. 453 

erward commissioned r.s Brigadier-General, United States Vol- 
unteers, September 16, 1863, and ass-gned to command of the 
1st brigade, 3d division, cavalr>- corps, Army of Potomac ; April 
25, 1S64, was assigned to tlie com.mand of the ist brigade, 2d 
division, cavalry corps ; received Brevet of Major-General United 
States Volunteers October i, 1864, for gallant and meritorious 
conduct, and was commissioned Major-Gcneral United States 
Volunteers June 9^ 1S65. with rank from April 6, 1865, which 
appointment was confirmed by the Senate. At the close oi the 
war General Davies was assigned to duty in the middle district 
of the Department of Alabama, where he remained until Decem- 
ber, 1S65, when he resigned his position in the army and re- 
turned to civil life. General Davies was engaged in nearly all 
of the battles and raids of the cavalr)' corps of the Armv of the 
Potomac, in which he was especially distinguished, and was al- 
ways found at the post of danger, serving in company with such 
distinguished officers as Custer, Kilpatrick, Buford, Gregg, Mer- 
ritt, Devin, and others, and was considered to be one of the most 
able and eftective leaders of cavalry- in the service. He was par- 
ticularly distinguished in the severe engagement at B v ndy 
Station, one of the hardest fought, cavalry fights of the war. In 
one of these engageinents. he and a few others were entirely sur- 
rounded, and they literally hewed their way through the ranks 
of the enemy, and escaped capture. He also served under Gen- 
eral Sheridan, by whom he was highly prized. Pie always 
promptly and successfully executed the orders of that distinguish- 
ed soldier, and was with him in the final movements at Five Forks. 
To enumerate all the b .ttles, raids, and skirmishes in which he 
was engaged would be equivalent to summarizing the history of 
the Army of the Potomac, but whoever reads the histor> of that 
army, will notice that the name of Major-General Henry E. 
Davies, Jr., occupies a prominent place. 

The following sketch from the New York ifr -,;•///>/;'- Post, No- 
vember 15. 1S66, narrates in a condensed form the seiTJc^.-s of 
General Davies : 

" In inaking arrangements preparatory to the new army organi- 
zation. General Grant recently applied to Genera! Sheridan for 

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454 Fifth Neiv York Vohinieer InfcDitry. 

the names of ihe twelve most distinguished officers who had 
served under him in the ca\alr)- during- tlie war, it being General 
Grant's wish to appoint them as field officers in the new organi- 
zation. General Sheridan immediately wrote to General Davies, 
saying that he had selected him as one of the twelve, and re- 
quested him, if willing to accept such appointment, to signify his 
purpose by letter to General Grant. General Davies, however, 
had already resigned his commission, and resolved to devote 
himself to the practice of law, which he abandoned on the break- 
ing out of the war ; and he therefore wrote to General Sheridan 
gratefully declining the proposed honor. 

"The young gentleman to whom this high compliment was 
paid has a remarkable record. He entered the army in April, 
1 86 1, as a Captain in the Duryee Zouaves. His tirst battle was 
at Dig Bethel, in which he was actively engaged. He was soon 
after transferred to the Harris Light Cavaln,-, by order of Presi- 
dent Lincoln, with the commission of ^L'ljor. He was thence 
successively promoted to the office of Lieutenant-Colonel and 
Colonel, and in the autumn of 1863 he was appointed Brigadier- 
General. He was subsequently breveted Major-General for his 
gallantry in the fight at Hatcher's Run, in October, 1864. His 
greatest single exploit was his attack on a body of 1,500 Confed- 
erate troops intrenched at Sailor's Creek. He Hterally led this 
attack, in having been the first man to leap the intrenchments. 
and although his numbers were inferior to the enemy, he captur- 
ed the entire force, with four pieces of artillerv' and twelve stand 
of colors. For this victor)' he received a Major -General's 

General Davies was engaged in more than forty battles, and had 
no less than fitteen horses shot under him, but by man-elous good 
fortune he was not once wounded to the extent of drawing blood, 
a tew bruises being the sum total of injuries that he received. 

James L. Waugii was a Captain in the 7th Regiment N. G. 
S. N. Y., and Drill Officer to the Metropolitan Police. He 

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Personal Sketches. 455 

brought his company up to an efficient state of discipline and 
drill in the manual of amis and field tactics. He took an active 
part in the first campaign of the regiment at Old Point Comfort. 
Receiving a commission in another regiment as Major, he resigned 
from the Fifth August 9, 1861. 


Hiram Duryea had received a thorough militar\' education 
before the war, and was also for eight years Adjutant of the 4Sth 
Regiment N. G. S. N. Y. (the Oswego regiment). He was com- 
missioned Captain in the Fifth May 9, 1861 ; Lieutenant-Colonel 
September 7th; Colonel October 29, 1S62, being the third Colo- 
nel of the Fifth. He was acting in command of the regiment 
during the greater part of the Peninsular campaign, Colonel 
Warren being in command of the brigade. He was a very strict 
disciplinarian, and in the line of duty was impartial alike to both 
officers and men, requiring of all in their different spheres a strict 
attention to their duties. In personal intercourse he was always 
to be met as the accomplished gentleman. He greatly distin- 
guished hmiself during the seven days' retreat, although he was 
ill and suffering from a malarial disease, contracted by constant 
exposure at the siege of Yorktown, where he was obliged to be 
on duty night and day, parts of the regiment being detailed 
at widely separated points, in different batteries and on working 
details, incidental to the siege. At the desperate engagement at 
Gaines' Mill June 27, 1863, he disdained to dismount from his 
horse during the hottest part of the fight, and stood the fire 
unfiinchingly, keeping close to his men in the several charges that 
^vc■re made, and animating them by his voice and e.\ample. I lis 
liealth continuing to fail, and becoming conscious that he could 
not continue in command of the regiment during a winter cam- 
jiaign and do it justice, as well as to prolong his own life, he re- 
luctantly resigned November 12, 1S62, after eighteen months' ar- 
'•M'Ais service. The regiment thus lost the services of a skillful, 
'■U've, and coura^eoiis officer. Who, had he been able to remain 
m the ser\'ice, would undoubtedly have risen to a high rank. 

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456 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. / 

He received the brevet of Brigadier-General for his distinguished 
services in the field. 


Headquarters sth Regiment, N. Y. V., j 

Camp near Falmouih, Va., v 

• " December 5, 1S62. ) 

At a meeting of the officers of the 5th Re:4iment, New York 
Volunteer Infantry, held at their camp near Falmouth, Virginia, 
the following preamble and resolutions were adopted : 

Whereas, It became necessary for Colonel Hiram Duryea to 
tender his resignation owing to a protracted sickness, contracted 
during the arduous campaigns on the Peninsula and in Maryland, 

Resolved, That while regretting the loss of so valuable an 
officer we feel that, knowing his inability from physical prostra- 
tion to do h's duty longer to his regiment and countr\', and his 
high sense of honor as an oSicer and a gentleman, have led him 
to take this step. 

Resolved, That in the loss of Colonel Hiram Dur\ea the 
countr)' loses the services of a brave, but not rash, a prudent, 
but fearless officer; the regim.ent a true friend and soldier. May 
his future be as honorable as his past, and may he soon be 
restored to health to finish the career of his soldier life so credit- 
ably begun. 

G. K. Warren, Brigadier-General Volunteers, formerly Colonel 

5th New York Volunteers. 
A. S. Marvin, Jr , Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General. 
Gordon Winslow, Chaplain 5th N. Y. V. 
A. L. Thomas, Captain, A. Q. .M. 
Cleveland WinsK)w, Major Commanding 5th N. Y. V. 
George Durjea, Captain 5th N. Y. V. 
A. Sidney Chase, Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant. 
Charles S. .Montgomery, Captain Comi)any C. 
James McCunni.-ll, Captain Company H. 
James H. Lounsberry, Captain Company K. 

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J. Henry Whitney, Captain Company A. 
Stephen \V. Wheeler, Captain Company F. 
John S. Raymond, ist Lieutenant Company E. 
Thomas R. Martin, ist Lieutenant Company G. 
Roderick ^L Gedney, ist Lieutenant Company K. 
WilHam Hoffman, ist Lieutenant Company B. 
George L. Guthrie, ist Lieutenant Company A. 
William H. Chambers, ist Lieutenant Company D. 
George \V. Wannemacher, ist Lieutenant Company B. 
Gordon Winslow, Jr., 2d Lieutenant Company F. 
William H. Uckele, 2d Lieutenant Company H. 
Albert R. Meldrum, 2d Lieutenant Company L 



Henry A. Svvartwout received his education at a Military 
Academy in Marjiand, where he was for three years command- 
ant of battalion. He was an able, cool, and reliable officer. 
Receiving a commission as First Lieutenant in the 17th Infantry, 
U. S. A., he resigned from the Fifth, August 12, 1861. He sub- 
sequently rose to the rank of Captain and Brevet Major, August 
1st, 1864, and was assigned to the Department of Texas, as 
Acting Assistant Inspector-General. He died at his post of 
duty, at Galveston, Texas, October 8, 1S67. He was born in 
Louisiana, in the year 1834. 


ABRAHA.\r Denike was a member of the 27th and subse- 
quently of the 7th Regiment N, G. for thirty years, and was 
a Captain in the latter. At the time of the breaking out of 
hostilities between the North and South, he had retired from 
active busine-^s, being possessed of a fortune, accumulated by 
years spent in industry. He iinmediately offered his scr\ ii-s to 
his country from purely patriotic motives. 

Mrs. Denike was much opposed to his going to the war, and 

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458 Fijth New York W^huiiecr Infantry. 

intimated to him that his first duty was to his family. He 
replied that his first duty \.:is to his God ; secondly, to his 
country ; and last, to his faa:ily. He received a commission 
April 20, 1861, as Captai:', thus making- him the senior line 
officer in rank, and his Company was assigned to the right 
of the line. He was a bravf^ and spirited officer, and was 
respected and beloved by his command, who looked up to 
him as their father. He was a true soldier under fire, and 
never faltered on the long marches. Having been outranked 
in the Majorshij) by a younger officer, he resigned his com- 
mission, Septemb'-r 6, 1861. The men of his Company pre- 
sented him with a sword ihat cost Sioo, as a token of their 
esteem. He was subsequently commissioned as Lieutenant- 
Colonel, and raised the 153d Regim.ent New York Volunteers. 
Colonel Denike is at present a member of the 7th Regiment 


JUDSON KiLPATRiCK. was born in the Valley of the Clove, 
Northern New Jersey, in 1&3S. At the age of seventeen he took 
such an interest in politics tiial h(=- was chosen a delegate to the 
Stale Convention. He entered the West Point Military Academy 
June 20, 1856. While there, he whipped a cadet much larger 
than himself, v.ho, for some trivial cause, had attacked him. The 
batiie lasted thrt- '-quarters of an hour, and he suffered severely; 
but the event made Kiipatrick vtiy popular. He was chosen to 
i deliver the vaiedicton,' of his class, in which he graduated fif- 

\ teenth. He immediately reci-ivd a commission as Captain of 

! Volunteers, and was assigned to the command of Cornpany H, 

i 5th New York \'oiunteers. Ho took a very active part in the 

» battle of Big lUttu'l, in winch aJTair he greatly dislin;;"uished 

\ himself. He was severely woundetl, and did not recover suffi- 

\ ciently to take the field again until Sciitcmber. He v>as r.ow 

j made Lieutenant-Coion.-l of the TIanis la'glit Cavalry, and pro- 

moted to Fu-at Lieutuiant o! tiee fa^t Artillery, regular army. 
i He was made a n.omber of the Examining Board for examining 

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- - Personal Sketches. 459 

cavalry officers of the volunteer service, and Inspector-General 
of McDowell's division. 

In March, 1862, when the army moved on Manassas, his 
regiment led the advance. When Pope assumed command of 
the armv, Kilpatrick broke up the railroad running from Gor- 
donsville to Richmond, thus severing Lee's communications. He 
marched eighty miles in thirty hours, spreading ruin and con- 
sternation along his path. He was continually making dashes 
against the enemy, and fighting them at every opportunity. At 
one time he rode seventy-four miles in twenly-four hours, be- 
sides having several fights with the Confederates, in which he 
had several hair-breadth escapes. On another occasion, I.e 
found a paper in the enemy's camp, stating that General Stuart 
was building a bridge over the North Anna ; so he left a note for 
him, telling him he need not trouble himself farther about the 
bridge, as he would give him all he could attend to on the other 
side. In the disastrous campaign of Pope he did efficient serv- 
ice, under Bayard, who commanded the whole cavalrv force, 
and was employed chiefly in protecting the Rapidan and cover- 
ing the retreat of the anny. 

When Hooker, in command of the army, commenced his move 
on Chancellorsvill^, Kilpatrick commanded a brigade of cavalry, 
and General Stoneman sent him, with about four hundred jnd 
fifty men, to bum the railroad and bridges over the Chicka- 
hominy, five miles from Rich.mond. He rode rapidlv lbr\v;'ril, 
avoiding the large bodies of the enemy, and atto.cking thrse 
whom he Avas able to cone with, until he had come within t\\ o 
miles of the rebel capital. Here he captured Lieutenant Broun, 
aide to General Winder, and eleven men, within the fortifications. 
Then he passed down to Meadow Bridge, on the ChickahonMny, 
which he burned, and ran a train of cars into the river, checked 
a party of cavalry sent in pursuit of him, burned a train of thirty 
wagons loaded with bacon, and captured some prisoners. He 
resumed his march down the Peninsula at one o'clock the next 
morning, and surprised a force of three hundred of the e.uir.y, 
raoturing two otl'.cers and thirty-three men, l)urnecl r;;iy->;\: 
Wigons and tiie depot, containing 20 coo barrels of c >x\\ .•.;.! 
V, heat, quantities of clothing and stores, and crossed the Matla- 

■"<.(•' \\:\\\x- 'V<\ 

li-!' i'V.:-,„jfl i,f t • 

460 FiftJi New York Volunteer Infantry. 

pony, destroying the ferry just in time to escape the Confederate 
cavalry in pursuit. He destroyed a third wagon-train and depot, 
and made a forced march of twenty miles, followed by fheencmv. 
He kept on his way, and finally found safety within the Union 
lines, at Gloucester Point. He had made a march around the 
Confederate army of nearly two hundred miles in less than five 
days, having captured and paroled upwards of eight hundred 
prisoners, with a loss of only one. officer and thirty-seven men. 

When Lee,, following up Hooker's defeat at Chancellorsville, 

commenced his great movement around Washington into Marv"- 

land, the cavalr>' was again brought into active service. The 

enemy's cavaliy being massed near Beverly Ford, Pleasonton, in 

command of the Federal cavalry, moved out"'to make a recon- 

noissance, and came upon the enemy at Brandy Station, where 

:! the severest cavalry fight of the war, thus far, took place. De- 

; termined charges were made on both sides, hour after hour. 

\ Gregg came very near being overborne, when Kilpatrick made 

i one of his gallant charges. He flung out his battle-flag, and 

'^ with the Harris Light, loth New York, and ist Maine, came 

I thundering down — tl\e loth New York in advance. It fell with 

\ a shout agamst the enemy's squadrons, but rebounded from the 

L'low and swung otT. The Harris Light repeated the charge, 

but was also borne back. Stung into madness at the sight of 

his own regiment repulsed and shattered, he flung himself at the 

1 head of the ist Maine, still further in the rear, and, moving for- 

I ward on a walk, shouted : '• .Men of Maine, you must save the 

I day ! Follow me." 

'^ Closing up, the regiment marched off behind its leader, who 

I 'Girded to the right till he got on the flank of the enemy, when 

I he ordered the bugles to sound the charge, and, coming down 

I on a wild gallop, struck the enemy, forcing back his hitherto 

' steady line. As they swept past the other two shattered xif^- 

\ inents, Kilpatrick shouted out over the tumult, in his clear, ring- 

\ ing tones : " Back, the Harris Light ! Back, the loth New York ! 

I Re-form your squadron'^, and charge!" 

% The fii-ld u-as won ; hut a heavy body of infantr}- coming uji, 

i rie.^sonton witiulrcw across the Rappahannock. 

Kilpatrick was now made Brigadier, and in the fight at Aluie, 


. ' » -liM h->if^«p: »-..H !':''i .t^ J ] :.. /'Z : HC //)i*i 

1 ' ' \,:<^. Cif'; ll, , T' i: iji u)i:; ;'i,j)r; •.■-.(.M' -MTlC/i ■.►«:. i. ill A jLlfJ 

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:/. :i\ j:i..i: ••<■) <■• ! ;ii, .yj;t>' j<iH -'l* 

■V ■ Personal Sketches. 461 

again met Lee. Securing a strong position, he resisted every at- 
tempt of the enemy to dislodge him, although charge after charge 
was made. 

Later in the day, when his squadrons were borne back, he 
again put himself at the head of the ist Maine, as at Brandy 
Station, and leading it in person, charged with such desperation 
that the enemy broke and tied. His horse was killed under him in 
the onset ; but mounting another, he ordered the whole line to ad- 
vance, and drove Lee in flight, until night put an end to the pur- 
suit. The next m.orning he made a sabre charge into the town 
of Upper\-ille, driving the enemy out. 

When Meade was put in command of the army, Kilpatrick was 
placeil in command of a division of cavaln,', numbering 5,000 men. 
He was in constant and active service. He captured Ewell's 
long train of wagons, and the guard, consisting of four regiments, 
and up to the end of the campaign, after the battle of Gettysburg, 
his division had captured some 4,500 prisoners, nine guns, and 
eleven battle flags. 

On the last day of February, 1864, Kilpatrick, in command of 
4,000 men, started on his daring raid on Richmond for the pur- 
pose of releasing the Union prisoners confined there, and which 
created such consternation and dismay in the Confederate strong- 
hold. In this expedition the lamented Dahlgren was killed. 

General Kilpatrick was now transferred to the West to co- 
operate with General Sherman in his campaign against Atlanta. 
At Rcsaca he had a severe bnttle, but held this important point 
until the infantry came up, but he was severely wounded by a 
ritle ball, which barely escaped a vital point, and passed out at 
his hip. Before he was again able to take the saddle, he ascer- 
tained that Shrnnan was in front of Atlanta, and that the place 
must fall in a few days. Determined not to lose the gioiy of par- 
taking in the final movements for its overthrow, he took the 
next train and rude night and day till he reached his command 
at Cartersville. Still unable to sit on his horse he rode forward in 
a carriage fi:t--'d up fur him, ?^wi\ i^int-d Sherman bcfure .Atlanta. 

Daring She;man's gi\ at march to the sea, ha\ing reCeUed a 
rnnimission as Major-General of Volunteers, he conuiianded 
the cavalry corps, and performed all the duties of the advance. 

•no J' ■..IS.) 

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A J 


462 Fiftl; Nczv Yorh Volunteer Infantry. 

skirmishing", etc., and in coverinr;: the flanks of the infantry in 
that j^reat march, fii^^hting-, burning-, and laying- waste the coun- 
tiywhen the onposition of the eneniymade it necessary. He also 
performed the siunc duties on a 'Subsequent march through the 
Caiolinas. Ntnr A\ <jr}-sboro he luid a severe battle with the 
Confederate infantry, and held a vital point until the infantry of 
General Slocum' , column came up. 

This was the last, battle in which Kiliiatrick's cavalry took an 
active part, and hen- he rested on his laurels. He issued an ad- 
dress to his troops, closing with the following words: "Soldiers, 
be proud ! of all the brave nifn of this great armv, \ou have a 
right to be. You have won tlie admiration of our infantiy, fight- 
ing on foot an*! nv untcd, and \()u will receive the outspoken 
words of praise iroin the great Shciman himself. He appreciates 
and will reward your patient endurance of hardships, gallant 
deeds, and valualjle services. With the old laurels of Georgia 
entwine those won in the Carolinas, and proudly wear them. 
G^jwral Sheriihir Is satisfied i^'ith hfs cavalry." J. T. Headley,* 
from wiiom the av.ib.or chiefly compiles the foregoing sketch, re- 
marks : "Tl-iOUL;h but a you'h, >!ill Kilpatrick has won a world- 
v.itle w putation. lie is in every respect fitted for a cavalry com- 
mander, for he ha^- all the dash necessary to success, and that 
chivalrous daring uhiich wins the admiration and love of the 
common soldier." 


j: Charles G. Par ilhtt is a son of Professor Bartlett, of the 

f West Point Militaiy Acadeniy, and had received a military edu- 

r cation. At the C'/nr,nenccmcnt of hostilities he was a member 

\ of the Seventh Iviginic nt, National Guard, and was cummissioned 

f as Captain in the 5111 New York \'olunteers. Courteous and kind, 

j: he endeared hiuis.-Ii" to both otViccrs and men. He was con- 

i. spicuous at Big I'etlie! for the part he took with his conijiriny in 

'•■ skirniisiiing in l!i<- ad'.inri; \\\\\\ ili.- cnL-niy, ami for his coolness 
and nijnch.danc- \'. hilc under tire. He remained by the side of 

\ • "Gmnt and Shrrinan, their C.-impaigiis ami Generals." 

■'. _ ---;;.. ' ( . ■> . :■:.'. ' .1) -AAA All.) 

-H .. -ir 

■■ t — * ■; Personal Sketches. ' 463 

the lamented Lieutenant Greble for a long time during the action 
while the latter officer was sighting his guns in the most exposed 
part of the field of battle. He continued with the regiment until 
he received a commission in the United States Army, when he 
resigned from the Fifth, September 11, 1861. He was subse- 
quently Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and is now (1878) Major 
and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel i iih United States Infantry. 


Cleveland Winslow was born May 26, 1836, in Medford, 
Mass. He received a collegiate education, and in 1861 was a 
member of the 71st Regt. National Guard, in which organization 
he had served seven years. He was possessed of a robust consti- 
tution, and was not troubled with any serious sickness during all 
his arduous campaigning ser\'ices, up to the time he received the 
wound which caused his death. He entered the 5th Regiment 
as one of its original Captains, the eighth in rank ; commanded 
Company K ns skirmishers at Big Bethel, and was mentioned in 
orders on file in the War Department ; commanded as Captain, 
four companies of infantry, one light battery and a squadron of 
lancers at Hanover Court-house. He was on the reser\'e with 
his regiment at Mechanicsville ; acting Major at the battle of 
Gaines' Mill, where he distinguished himself in all the qualities 
that make a good soldier ; at Charles City Cross-roads, and Mal- 
vern Hill, where he was in command of the brigade skirmishers, 
and a section of light twelves ; two days and nights in command 
of the regiment as Captain, at the battle of Manassas Plains, 
where his horse was killed by seven gim-shot wounds ; com- 
manded the regiment as Major at the battle of Antictam ; 
commanded as the fourth and last Colonel of the Fiuh at 
Frrdcricksburg. and had command of the trenches on tlie night 
of the rc-crussiiig ol t'.ie ii\er. At Chanceilors\illr he c.m- 
manded the skinnishers of Sykes.' division of regulars, civ.;.igcd 
four times with the enemy, was surrounded, and cut his way 



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i 464 Fi/f/i iVczu York Vohmteer Infantry. 

j, through and rejoined the command. He was several times 

\ mentioned in General Orders for bravery, etc., all on file with 

\ reg'mental papers. Commanded at different times, the 3d 

^ brigade, 2d division, 5th army corps ; and also at times, the 2d 

[ division (Sykes') in the absence of the General. 

'• Colonel Winslow sen'ed during the Draft Riots in New York. 

fc The daily press published full reports of those riots, in the sup- 

I pression of which Colonel Winslow took a very active and prom- 

i- inent part. Colonel Winslow was engaged with the rioters at 

I the comer of 19th Street and ist Avenue. 

\ His command consisted entirely of citizens, although the 

\ majority of them had seen service in the army. They enrolled 

V themselves for the purpose of aiding in preser\'ing the peace of 

|; the city. 

I They did not exceed one hundred in number, and were com- 

t. manded by ex-otTicers of the 5th New York. The men had 

\ been enrolled only a short time, and had little or no drill. They 

I were accompanied by two howitzers. The resistance, he said, 

I was very severe, and the rebellious citizens fought with great de- 

[ termination. Four citizen soldiers were killed, and a number of 

\ officers and citizens wounded, among whom was Captain Uck'^le, 

^ formerly a ist Lieutenant of the old 5th New York. The in- 

\ jured citizens were carried into a house between 19th and 20th 

I Streets. Colonel Jardine, form.erly of the Hawkins Zouaves, was 

! very badly wounded in the thigh ; Dr. White, the surgeon of the 

i Hawkins Zouaves, volunteered his ser\nces to remain with him. 

\ After this. Colonel Winslow went to Colonel Brown and ob- 

l taincd a reinforcement of 150 regulars and one rifled gun, under 

P command of Captains Shelby and Putnam, and proceeded tc the 

f scene of action and brought off all their wounded to the 7th 

\ Regiment Armory. 

h During the action, nine rounds of canister were fired into the 

I crowd. Colonel Winslow gives great credit to the officers who 

% were on the ground, for the steadiness with which they stood to 

\: their guns under tiu- ir-dling fire widi which they were assaik-d on 

'^ all sides. 

; About eight o'clock a croud of four or five thou.sand assem- 
bled in the neighborhood of 8th Avenue and 32d Street. They 

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nvn ni !t-iil'nt);l -lt; ;■ .r >: > j,.n Mh /sfCi.' 


• ■ " ■ Personal Sketches. 465 

beat and kicked one colored man almost to death and hung him 
to a lamp-post, and then commenced an indiscriminate onslaught 
on all the negroes they could find, and were about to burn the 
block of houses chiefiy occupitd by the colored people, when 
Colonel Winslow made his appearance on the scene with a 
strong detachment of infantry and one twelve-pound howitzer. 
The howitzer was unlimbered and poured a deadly charge of 
canister into the crowd. Signs of resistance were evinced, and 
an evident determination to wrest the gun from the hands of the 

The infantry received the order to fire, and again a shower of 
bullets thinned the crowd. No symptoms were evinced of their 
retiring, and the howitzer again thundered forth a deadly dis- 
charge of canister. The fire was by this time too hot to with- 
stand, and with shrieks and yells they commenced to scatter in 
all directions. During the whole time, the military had been 
under a strong fire of stones, missiles, pistols, and gun-shots, not 
only from the crowd in their front, but from the house-tops. The 
crowd dispersing, orders were given to return. After cutting 
dovn the body of the negro, the military commenced to f.dl 
slowly back. 

The crowd at once reassembled, and closed up in their rear. 
Four separate times, before the crowd would desist from the 
pursuit, was the order given to fire. After considerable difficulty, 
Colonel Winslow and his command returned to the Arsenal, hav- 
ing successfully carried out the orders they had received. It was 
impossible to ascertain anything like a definite or reliable ac- 
count of the casualties among the people, as those shot were 
hastily removed by their friends. A number of the military 
were badly hurt. 


"Trov, N. Y., July 29, 1863. 
"Sir: — For your communication of the 25th inst., received 
the 27th, containing a detailed account of your services, as W( 11 
as of other officers and citizens, in quelling the recent rioi in the 
City of New York, I tender you my thanks. 

" For your gallant conduct, and all who took part with vou in 

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466 FiftJi Neio York Volunteer Infantry. 

their efforts to quell the riot, you are entitled to the thanks and 
gratitude of your fellow-citizens, and especially the wounded, 
among whom was Colonel Jardine, who was seriously inju'-ed. 

" Being all citizens, who in a few hours were organized, under 
your command, at the Arsenal, Seventh Avenue, where they 
were stationed three days and nights, patrolling the avenue and 
dispersing the mob at such places as they had collected, your 
services will no less be remembered than appreciated by a grate- 

{ ful people. 

I. "I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

I "John E. Wool, Major-General. 

\ "To Cleveland Winslow, Colon-.l ^th N. V. Volunteers'' 

j The following is a letter from General A. A. Humplireys, 

! U. S. A., who commanded a division of volunteers, subsequently 

1 General Grant's Chief of Staff, and. after the resignation of 

I General Hancock, succeeded the latter in command of the 2d 

! army corps. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, 

U. S. A., and Chief of the Corps of Engineers — the post occupied 

by him at the present time (1878) : 

1 "Camp near Falmouth, Va., \ 

1 " June 10, 1S63. S 

I " Dear Colonel : — I learn that you are endeavoring or dc- 

! sire to raise a brigade of infantry, the skeleton of which is to be 

I formed of the remnants of the splendid regiment you recently 

t commanded — the 5th New York. I trust you may be successful 

in your efforts ; for, having had the opportunity of knowing you 

and your regiment for more than a year, during the latter half 

from almost daily observation of it, in the severe service the 

Army of the Potomac has passed through, I know what fine, 

"* well-prepared material you will have out of which to give form 

\ and instruction to a brigade ; and I know well, too, how admira- 

!. bly qualified you are to cummand such a hri,i';ade. Under such 

; auspices, I sliould expect to I'md the reputation of the ijrigado 

i emulating that of the regiment, which was equaled by few in 

i the service — certainly surpassed by none. I do not know how I 

;( !„ 


;i:,-i , ,•_, .1 ,-"■■■■'1 '.:!.. rj'f': ';•(' 'to rJ^i 

■'. . Personal SkttcJu's. 467 

can aid you in carr>'ing out your wishes. I would gladly do any- 
thing in my power in that way. 

"Wishing you every possible success, 

" I am, very truly, yours, 


" Brigadier-General Fols." 

Colonel Wiaslow organized a regiment called the 5lh Veter- 
ans, composed of men who had been mustered out with the dis- 
banded two years' regiments, and as a number of the old Fifth 
re-enlisted in this new organization, either as privates or served 
as officers, the following notes from the New York Bai(y lizzies 
are deemed worthy of preservation : 

" One battalion of this well-known regiment is again ready 
for the tield, and will leave to-day, the 23d inst., under its old 
commander, Colonel Cleveland Winslow. All the ofucers are 
gentlemen who have had two years' experience in the field ; con- 
sequently, the same discipline and efficiency will continue, cmd 
the good reputation enjoyed by the okl regiment will be per- 
petuated in its successor. The ranks have been filled by the 
consolidation of the 31st, 37th, and part of the 38th and 9th 
Regiments New York Volunteers, and the men are. with few 
exceptions, re-enlisted men. On arriving in the field, the bat- 
talion will be attached to the 2d corps, Major-General G. K. 
Warren, under whom the regiment has long been commanded. 
The former duty done by this regiment is too well known to re- 
quire recapitulation ; and there is every reason to believe that, 
under Colonel Winslow and his officers, many brave deeds will 
be added to the record this regiment has already placed in the 
liistory of the war." 

Headquarters sth Army Corps, \ 

Bethesda Church, \'a., |- 

yt/fte 2, 1864, 9 A.^r. j 

the durvke zouaves. 
The 5th New York Zouaves, Colonel Winslow, deserve special 
mention for the part they took in yesterday's engagements. With 

•; AV^vvAt: \M«<itrA. 

ifU !!.•■ 

468 FiftJi Neiu York Volunteer Infantry. 

other reinforcements they had just arrived from Port Royal, Va. 
Travel weary and begrimed with dust from their long- day's 
march, General Ayres' regulars, to whose brigade they had been 
assigned, proposed to let them rest. 

" We came here to fight, not to rest," said the Colonel. 

" If your boys want to fight I sha'n't hinder them," replied the 

" Do you want to go into the ilght or not ? " the Colonel asked 
his men, after explaining his interview with General Ayres. They 
chose fighting, and they fought as this regiment used to fight — 
heads cool, arms steady, aim sure. T/ie Old Fifth iVrrf York 
Zouaves have a reputation as lasting as the Army of the Potomac. 
The new regiment shows a purpose to maintain the brilliant 
reputation of the founders of its name and imperishable glor\-. 
Colonel Wipslow was wounded in the first assault ; but after the 
wound was dressed, resumed his place at the head of his regi- 
ment. He is that sort of man who will stick to his regiment and 
to fighting as long as he holds a sword and can sit upon a horse. 

" Colonel Winslow, wounded during the recent campaign (at 
Chapin's Ford), is reported from Washington to be much worse, 
with but little hope of his final recover)-. The ball passed 
through his shoulder-blade, causing a very serious injur)-." — 
TVdW Vor/: Times, L. A. Hendricks' Dispatch. 

Colonel Winslow died from the eftects of his wound July 7, 1S64, 
and his country thus lost the services of a very valuable officer. 


William T. Partridge rose to be Captain of Company I, 
and was killed in action at the battle of Gaines' Mill, June ^~, 
1862. He was brave to rashness, and a strict disciplinarian. 
Captain Partridge had a presentiment that he woultl lose his lile 
in battle, and gave directions as to the disposition to be made ot 
his body if he should fall. He was a very strong abolitionist, and 
made the remark to a gentleman in New York during the organi- 

v.\ -v. >'•.;^^i^'>■ 1 ^To't -iv/. \\v\y^. 

.51 ;...;.; i.i 1. 

•fT'-,;-;r,' "i,-, ni.:! •.'; ■■■> A ■ T T 

Personal Sketches. 469 

zation of the regiment, that " he could see the image of John 
Brown with outstretched arms ready to receive him." 


GouvERNEUR Carr rose to the rank of Captain in the regi- 
ment, but resigned September 24, 1862, having been commissioned 
as Major of the 2d battalion, 165th Regiment, New York Volun- 
teers, which he subsequently commanded as Lieutenant-Colonel, 
until it was mustered out, September, 1865. He was wounded se- 
verely at the siege of Port Hudson on the Mississippi, May 27, 
1863, and also wounded at Sabine Cross-Roads, La., and was 
breveted Colonel for meritorious services. 


Lieutenant Evans was a member of the 7th Regiment 
N. G. S. N. Y. He was a quiet, steady, and brave otficer. He 
rose to a Captaincy in the regiment, but resigned his commission 
April 26, 1S62, on account of ill-health contracted in the service. 


Lieutenant Lewis became acting Major in the regiment, 
and was killed in the action of Second Bull Run, August 30, 
1862. He was a brave and efFicient othcer ; he refused to dis- 
mount from his horse at the engagement m whiirh he lost his 
life, notwithstanding the earnest entrc.itifS of the men. He h;i'! 
two brothers in the regime iit, one of whom wa;. killed in action, 
and the other badly wounded. 

'!" V 

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o. ler, !•,.■;. ]• 



<'n/' 'Ji'j lii !j-:>}:.G';:)0:. .'i»l .-J 

I •^^.J?^■i 

470 Fifth Nciv York Volunteer Infa7itry. 


Lieutenant Duryea was a member of the 4Sth Regiment 
N. G. S. N. Y. He served actively with the 5th Regiment until 
[ receiving a very severe wound at the battle of Gaines' Mill, June 
\ 27, 1862, while in command of a company as Captain. Upon his 
recover}- he returned to duty again with the regiment, and was 
promoted successively Major and Lieutenant-Colonel, and was 
mustered out with the reg-iment on its expiration of term of serv- 
ice, May 14, 1863. as Brevet Colonel, being one of the five origi- 
nal officers, including the Chaplain, that returned with the 


Lieutenant Wetmore was a gentleman of education, hav- 
ing graduated with high honors from Columbia College, and was 
a Professor in the College of the City of New York. He was a 
member of the 7th Regt. N. G. S. N. Y. He served v\-ith 
the regiment until June, 1862, when his health yielded to the ex- 
posure in the Peninsula campaign, and he applied for a discharge, 
which was granted June 30, 1862. He was subsequently com- 
missioned as Major in the 13th Regt. New York Heavy Artillery. 
He died in Washington after the close of the war. 



I Lieutenant DuRvf.E, son of General Abram Duryee, was a 

, member of the 7th Regt. N. G. S. N. Y. He greatly dis- 

• tinguished himself at the battle of Big Bethel, June 10, 1S61, 

^ where he le<l a charge with a handful of men against the enemy's 

works. He was made a Captain in thL' Fiftli, and in September, 

1862, was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the 2d Maryland, 

in which he served under General Bumsidc in North Carolina, 



■ff :^v • " ;,i A' 

f( M. 

Personal Skctclics. 471 

and under General Pope in Virginia ; was under General Mc- 
ClcUan during- his Mar}land campaign, at South Mountain, and 
Antietam, where he commanded the regiment. He was subse- 
quently breveted Brigadier-General of Volunteers. 


Lieutenant CA^^RRELLING, son of Judge Cambrelling, was 
a member of the 7th Regt. N. G. He was in the engagements at 
Big Bethel, Hanover Court-house, and Gaines' Mill, etc., where 
he was distinguished for his braver}'. He was promoted to a 
Captaincy in the regiment September 3, 1S61. Owing to the 
hardships of the Peninsula campaign, his health became im- 
paired, and he was obliged to apply for a discharge, wliicii was 
granted July 23, 1S62. He was a fine officer, and much esteemed 
by both officers and privates for his personal qualities and char- 
acter. He was subsequently commissioned as Major in the loth 
Senatorial District Resjiment. 


Lieutenant York had received a military training, and was 
promoted to a Captaincy in the Fifth. He took a leading part in 
the charge on the enemy's works at Big Bethel, in which he was 
wounded. He served with the regiment until August. 29, 1861, 
when having received a commission as Captain in the 15th U. S. 
Infantry, here-signed his command. Subsequently he died in the 
performance of his duties in the regiilar service, after the war. 


Lieutenant Hovt was a gentlemanly officer, and a great 
favorite with the men. He behaved well under tire, and was as 

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472 Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry. 

self-possessed as he was brave. He resigned his commission in 



Theodore S. Dumont was a member of the 7th Regt. N. G. 
He was in the engagement at Big Bethel, and served in the Pe- 
ninsula campaign, during which he was transferred to the Signal 
Qorps ; he rendered efficient service in the corps during the battle 
of Malvern Hill, where he retained his position under fire and 
signaled the gun- boats to direct their aim. He was compli- 
mented for this service in General Orders. He resigned his 
commission, having been promoted to ist Lieutenant .A.ugust 13, 


Lieutenant Seaman received his education in a military 
school. He resigned his commission June 2, 1861. 


I Lieutenant Cochrane was a member of the 71st Regi- 

' ment. National Guard. He was a good soldier and strict dis- 
ciplinarian, and passed through considerable service with the 
regiment. He was promoted to First Lieutenant, and resigned 
1 his commission on account of ill-health December 29, 1S62. 


Lieutenant Burnett was an admirable ofiicei-, and well 
liked by the members of the regiment, particularly by the en- 

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Personal SkctcJies. 473 

listed men, to whom he was a faithful friend. He was promoted 
to a Captaincy, and served actively with the regiment up to tlie 
time of his resignation, October 16, 1862 ; which event was 
much regretted by the men. 


Carlisle Boyd rose to a Captaincy, and commanded a com- 
pany at the Second Bull Run engagement, where he was wounded 
and taken prisoner. He served the full term with the regiment, 
was promoted Major, and mustered out as such with the rtgi- 
ment. May 14, 1863. He was subsequently commissioned as 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and served in the Invalid Corps until he re- 
ceived a commission in the regular army, July 28, 1866, where 
he is serving at present (1S78) as Captain of the 17th Intantn,-. 
He was breveted Lieutenant-Colonel U. S. Army March 2, 1867. 


Lieutenant Bradley was educated at a military academy. 
He was advanced to the Captaincy, was slightly wounded at 
Gaines' Mill July 30, 1862, and went into another regiment as 
Chaplain. * 


LlEUTEXiVNT Miller was a member of the 7th Regiment, 
National Guard, and enlisted as a private in the Fifth, t\\W\\ 20, 
1861. Promoted Second Lieutenant May 9. 1S61. \V;i5 de- 
tailed by General Butler as Drill-Master to the Union 
Guard July 15th, rclitvi-d August 13th, and rejoined the regi- 
ment at Baltimore. [Ic was promoted First Lieuten;ir.t. an(i 
rcsig-ned his commission September 6. 1S61, on account of dis- 
ease contracted in the line of his duty. 

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\ 474 F'//A Nezv York Volunteer Infantrv. 



LlEUTKXAXT Fr.RGUSON WMS a gentlemanly officer, and was 
much estecmcti by the men. He was mentioned in Colonel 
Duryee's report of the battle of }3ig Bethel, and was subse- 
quently promoted to a First Lieutenancy. On account of ill- 
health he resigned his commission October 12, 1862. He after- 
ward received a new commission, and recruited a company for 
the 5th Veterans. 

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Personal Sketches. 485 

Colonel Robert C. Buchanan, formerly in command of 
the 1st brigade, Sykes' division, 5th army corps, died in Washing'- 
ton, D. C, November 29, 1 87S, of apoplexy. He graduated from the 
West Point Military Academy in 1830, and served in the " Black 
Hawk War," and in the war against the Seminoles in 1841-2. 
Served actively in the field all through the war with Mexico, and 
during the great Rebellion. He was breveted Major-General 
U. S. A. March 13, 1865, and retired from active service Decem- 
ber 31, 1870. 

Lieutenant-Colonel William Chapman, formerly in 
command of the 2d brigade, Sykes' division, graduated from 
West Point July 31, 1831, and served in the Mexican war, and 
in various campaigns against the Indians. He was breveted 
Colonel U. S. A. August 30, 1862, and placed on the retired list 
August 26, 1863.