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Full text of "History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment in the war for the Union"

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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Cornell University Library 
E520.5 6th 



History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regim 



olin 




3 1924 030 907 814 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924030907814 



HISTORY 



OF THE 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT 



War for the Union 



CAPTAIN LYMAN JACKMAN, 

HISTORIAN 

AMOS HADLEY, Ph. D., 

BDITOB 



CONCORD, N. H. : 

Republican Pjkess Association, Railroad Square. 

1891. 



Copyright, 1891. 
By Lyman Jackman. 



PEEFACE. 



The historian of the Sixth Regiment, to whom was 
assigned by his comrades the duty of bringing out the 
regimental history in book form, now lays the work 
before them and the reading public. The history, the 
main text of which has been derived from the historian's 
diary, from the statements of comrades, and from other 
trustworthy sources of information, has been compiled 
with care, and with the hope that it may be found not 
devoid of value as a contribution to the story of the 
heroic doing, suffering, and dying of New Hampshire's 
sons in the war for the Union. The historian heartily 
thanks those comrades who have contributed facts to the 
compilation, while he regrets that many others, not- 
withstanding earnest and repeated solicitation, have not 
supplied such information lying within their own indi- 
vidual knowledge as was requisite to the most satisfac- 
tory completeness of the narrative. As it is, all the 
material for special mention — in brief, or in detail — of 
the individual experience of officers and men, living or 
dead, that could be reached, has been faithfully used, as 
most gladly more would have been could it have been 
obtained. Some deficiencies, however, are made up in 
the tabular record furnished by the adjutant-general of 
the state, and to obtain which the publication of the 
book has been somewhat delayed. 



IV PREFACE. 

The historian has employed the editorial services of 
Amos Hadley, Ph. D., to assist in putting the work into 
becoming literary form. By revision, by the addition 
of biographic sketches, and by annotation intended to 
connect in true relation and to due extent the special 
history of the regiment — so early and so long in the 
service, and so prominent in important movements and 
great battles — with the general history of the war, the 
editor has sought to give the work historic wholeness 
and consistency. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE. 

Enlistment and Organization — Rendezvous at Keene .... i 

CHAPTER II. 

Breaking Camp — Away to Washington — In Burnside's Expedi- 
tion io 

CHAPTER III. 
From Annapolis to Hatteras — In Camp on the Island .... 20 

CHAPTER IV. 
On Roanoke Island — Expedition to Elizabeth City 32 

CHAPTER V. 
Battle of Camden — At New Berne — To Virginia 42 

CHAPTER VI. 
In the Ninth Army Corps — With the Army of Virginia ... 59 

CHAPTER VII. 

Second Battle of Bull Run — Chantilly — Retreat to the Defences 

of Washington 77 

CHAPTER VIII. 
The Maryland Campaign — South Mountain — Antietam ... 98 

CHAPTER IX. 

In Pleasant Valley — The Southward March — Battle of Freder- 
icksburg 113 

CHAPTER X. 

Detached from the Army of the Potomac — Campaigning in Ken- 
tucky 131 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XI. 
To Vicksburg — The Mississippi Campaign 158 

CHAPTER XII. 

Second Campaign in Kentucky — Veteran Reenlistment and Fur- 
lough . 19S 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Return to the Front — Battle of the Wilderness -210 

CHAPTER XIV. 
First Movement by the Left Flank — Spottsylvania Court House . 233 

CHAPTER XV. 

Still Moving by the Left Flank — North Anna River — Tolopot- 

omoy Creek — Bethesda Church — Cold Harbor 266 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Across the Chickahominy and the James — Three Days' Fighting 

before Petersburg 288 

CHAPTER XVII. 
The Siege of Petersburg — Battle of the Mine 300 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

The Siege of Petersburg — Battles of Weldon Railroad, Poplar 

Spring Church, and Hatcher's Run ... .... 330 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Fall of Petersburg and Richmond 352 

CHAPTER XX. 
End of the War — Discharge from Service — Return Home . . 366 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Biographic Sketches — First Reunion 375 

Roster 403 

Regimental Register and Record 408 



POETEAITS. 



General Ambrose E. Burnside Frontispiece. 

Lieutenant Charles L. Fuller Facing Page 96 



Quartermaster Alonzo Nute 
Captain Thomas H. Dearborn 
Lieutenant Charles F. Winch . 
General Simon G. GrifHn .... 
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry H. Pearson 
Captain Thomas J. Carlton . .' . 
Captain Lyman Jackman .... 
Captain Robert H. Potter .... 
Lieutenant Alvah Heald .... 
Sergeant Osgood T. Hadley . 



no 

193 
230 

257 
283 
299 

325 
346 
363 
378 



HISTORY 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT. 



CHAPTER I. 

ENLISTMENT AND ORGANIZATION— RENDEZVOUS AT 
KEENE. 

The Sixth New Hampshire Regiment was enlisted 
and organized in the autumn of the year 1861. Its men 
answered their country's call to arms, sharing the ear- 
nest purpose with which the disaster of the "First Bull 
Run " had filled the heart of the North, to put down 
rebellion in the South at whatever cost. They had not 
the stimulus of high bounties : only that of ten dollars 
was then offered. Theirs was unselfish patriotism, to 
be further attested by a large reenlistment after three 
years' service, by a noble record on many a battle-field, 
and by a steadfast endurance, through great hardships 
and perils, to the end of the war. 

They came from all parts of the state, Company A 
being enlisted in Plymouth and Holderness ; B, in Ha- 
verhill, Enfield, and Littleton ; C, in Exeter, Hampton, 
and vicinity ; D, in Ossipee, Sandwich, Rochester, 
Wakefield, and adjoining towns ; E, in Keene, Peter- 
borough, and neighboring towns ; F, mainly in Swanzey 
and Chesterfield; G, in Croydon, Cornish, and adjoin- 
ing towns; H, mainly in Dover and Portsmouth; I, in 



2 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Concord, Canterbury, and vicinity ; K, in Rindge, New- 
Ipswich, Peterborough, and towns adjoining. Among 
them the "farmer boy" predominated. The regiment 
was raised in a very short time, most of the men having 
been enlisted in the months of October and November. 
It had rendezvous at Keene, and was mustered into the 
service on the 27th, 28th, and 30th of November, 1861. 
The writer well remembers the first blazing poster that 
met his eye at Haverhill, signed by Governor Berry and 
Adjutant-General Colby, calling for volunteers for the 
Sixth Regiment, and promising that each recruit should 
receive " $13 per month with rations," and a state bounty 
of $10. He also recalls the' fact that two years after- 
ward some of the towns were giving $1,000 bounty, with 
a cow thrown in for the "widow and children." The 
regiment was also promised Springfield rifled muskets 
with sabre bayonets. 

The companies, as fast as filled, were ordered to 
report at Camp Brooks, Keene. Company B was 
the first on the ground, reporting on the 9th day of 
November. On arriving at Keene, about four o'clock in 
the afternoon, over the Cheshire Railroad, we were met 
at the station by Colonel Nelson Converse, who marched 
us to Cheshire hall, where we stopped for the night, 
taking our rations at the Cheshire House, adjoining. 
The night spent in that hall is one to be remembered. 
Colonel Converse sent in a ton of straw, which the boys 
spread on the floor for beds. We had no blankets with 
us, as we expected to find everything ready for us. As 
the floor was pretty hard and the straw was very thin, 
the boys were quite noisy, not being able to adapt their 
bones to that kind of a bed, and they got scarcely any 
sleep till two o'clock in the morning. About four o'clock 



ENLISTMENT AND ORGANIZATION. 3 

a big six-footer by the name of Buzzell, who could not 
stand such hardship any longer, mounted a chair, and 
imitated a Shanghai to perfection. Of course, after this 
call of chanticleer, there was no more sleep. Captain 
Adams would fain have brained him on the spot, but the 
boys all took it in such good part that they laughed the 
captain out of the notion of beginning a battle so soon. 
We waked the hotel folks, and told them we wanted our 
breakfast immediately, so that we could go out to camp ; 
and the worthy landlord gave us our morning meal as 
soon as possible, for he was as anxious to get rid of us 
as we were to go. 

Colonel Converse came in soon after breakfast, and in- 
formed us that a squad of recruits — afterwards Company 
E — from Peterborough, then rendezvoused at Keene 
under command of Lieutenant John A. Cummings, 
would escort us out to Camp Brooks, about a mile 
and a half distant, on what was known as the Cheshire 
Fair Ground. We were one hundred strong, and as we 
marched out of the hall and through the streets, in two 
ranks, we made quite a show. On arriving at camp, we 
gave "three cheers and a tiger" for our escort, who 
returned to town, leaving Company B alone in Camp 
Brooks. In the afternoon Colonel Converse sent us 
three Sibley tents, which were soon pitched and supplied 
with straw, and we began to feel like old soldiers. 

The writer cannot describe his feelings during the first 
night under a tent — the beginning of his real soldier life. 
There was so much to look forward to, so much to look 
back upon ! Thoughts of separation from home and 
loved ones, never, perhaps, to be seen again, occupied 
the mind. All the hopes and ambitions of the young 
soldier were crowding through the brain, and ending in 



4 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

the one dearest wish to go speedily to the front. "To 
the front" was the recruit's Mecca. There was to be 
his school in his new duties. At the front, there was 
danger ; there were opportunities for the display of cour- 
age and for brave deeds ; there the foe to the old flag 
was to be met and overcome. 

Company A was the second on the ground, arriving 
November 12. Others continued to arrive, until, by 
November 27, all had appeared, and the camp presented 
a very lively appearance. Major Eastman, of the United 
States army, came on the 27th of November, and com- 
menced mustering in. Companies A, B, and C were 
mustered in on that day, and all the others by the 30th. 
Each company, when mustered, was marched to the 
quartermaster's barracks, and clothed with the "army 
blue." This made us look more military, and was one 
step towards making us real soldiers. 

On Thanksgiving Day a sumptuous dinner was given 
us by the good people of Keene, to whom we were 
indebted for many other kind attentions during our stay 
in that fine old Cheshire town. On the 1st of December 
leave of absence for one week was granted, that we 
might see home and friends once more before leaving 
for the seat of war. It was a permission of which all 
gladly availed themselves ; but to many the adieus then 
said to father and mother, brother and sister, wife and 
children, were their last. That one week was soon 
over, and the boys were back again in Camp Brooks, 
where company and regimental drills were the order of 
the day. 

Our camp-ground was altogether too small for man- 
ceuvering in battalion drill to any great extent. Our 
officers, with a few exceptions, had little military knowl- 



RENDEZVOUS AT KEENE. 5 

edge, and under them, with their " Scott's Tactics," the 
inexperienced men made some ridiculous movements 
and evolutions. Probably the Sixth had more old militia 
officers in it than any other regiment that went out from 
New Hampshire. These officers, who had held com- 
missions in the militia, thought that what they did not 
know about military matters was not worth knowing, 
and therefore they did not try to post themselves in the 
new tactics. This was a great disadvantage to the regi- 
ment, as it received no thorough drill or discipline until 
it arrived at Hatteras and Roanoke islands, and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Simon G. Griffin became its drill-master. 
It was principally through his efforts, aided by those of 
Captain Henry H. Pearson and a few other officers, that 
the regiment became one of the best drilled and disci- 
plined in the service. 

Among other things that somewhat annoyed the men 
was the fact that they had not received the promised 
" Springfield rifles with sabre bayonets." While at 
Keene, they thought it boyish to march, wheel, and 
countermarch, without a musket in their hands ; but 
when they came afterwards to drill half a day at a time 
with heavy muskets* they failed to see the fun. The 
boys thought, too, that they did not get rations enough, 
and that the quality was poor. A ration then consisted 
of one loaf of baker's white bread, brown bread, stewed 
beans or pease, fresh boiled beef, potatoes, beets, cab- 
bage, tea, and coffee. The coffee had milk in it, but 
there was grumbling because there was no white sugar 
for sweetening. But the boys were going to realize how 
unjust it was to complain of such rations. How gladly, 
while in Virginia, at Roanoke, or at Vicksburg, would 
they have exchanged their hard-tack and salt junk for 



6 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

such "poor rations" as they received at Keene ! But 
thinking the rations scant and poor, they must needs 
vent their spite on some one, and the poor sutler seemed 
to be the only man they could reach. So one dark 
night a plot was formed to clean out his shanty, and the 
cry was raised in camp, " Rally on the sutler ! Rally 
on the sutler ! " and it was done with a will. In a few 
minutes the air was full of articles in the eating line. 
At this juncture Colonel Converse put in an appearance, 
saying, "What is all this noise about?" Some one 
replied, " Bread or blood ! " At this remark, the colonel 
seized a barrel of cornballs and began throwing them 
into the crowd, to the great satisfaction of the raw 
recruits. This was our first glorious charge. No 
requisition was made for surgeons, ambulances, or 
stretcher-bearers. The result of the battle was a new 
stock of goods for the sutler the next day. 

The boys occasionally played sharp tricks to get their 
toddy. Officers of the guard were instructed to search 
all soldiers coming into camp from the town, and to seize 
all contraband goods. By these orders quite a number 
of the boys lost their grog. One of the sharp ones said 
one day, "I have a pass down town: let us patch up, 
and I will get two gallons of Medford rum." They 
laughed at him, and asked him how he would get past 
the guard. Said he, " Leave that to me." They 
" patched up," and he went to town with a pail, which 
he got filled with rum. Starting for camp, he filled a 
pint bottle with water, and put it down his boot-leg. 
When he arrived at the guard-house gate, he was met 
by the officer of the guard, who said, "I shall have to 
search you." The soldier, having his chum Bill there, 
by appointment, said, "Bill, take this pail of water to 



RENDEZVOUS AT KEENE. >J 

the cook, while I am searched," and then quietly sub- 
mitted. Of course, the officer found the bottle in his 
boot, and while removing it said, "You are very 
sharp, but not enough so for me." Comment is unnec- 
essary. 

The last week spent in Keene was very disagreeable, 
as the ground was frozen hard and the snow was about 
one foot deep. It was a severe experience for the boys — 
most of whom had come from good homes and warm 
beds — to take up their quarters in tents in the snow, and 
with but little fire. They will remember the under- 
ground furnaces which they made ; and how often they 
were called out in the still hours of night by the cry 
of fire when the straw ignited from the subterranean 
stoves, and how the call ofttimes elicited expressions 
more emphatic than pious. Another chapter might be 
filled with scenes and incidents of camp-life at Keene. 
It might be told how the officers wrangled as to who 
should have the right of the regiment, and who should 
have the colors, and whose company was drilled the 
best ; but our space will not allow further recital of these 
and other facts in this connection. 

In justice to the orderly sergeants — Winch, Sanborn, 
Dustin, Clay, Brown, Jackman, Greenleaf, Prescott, 
Crossfield, and Storer — it should be said that what little 
drill was received at Keene came mostly from these sub- 
ordinates. The school afterwards established by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Griffin was of the greatest advantage, for 
the sergeants soon became well versed in company and 
regimental movements, so that when they were promoted 
the regiment did not lack good disciplinarians. 



O SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

3nt\btntB— (gto$tap*Hc $Uti§. 

Of the Right Stuff. Daniel H. Reed writes,— " Our 
Company F being full, Sylvanus C. Waters and John H. 
Streeter, who had enlisted, would go in no other, as fifty 
of their intimate friends were in that company. They 
went with us, however, but were not mustered until 
some time in February, 1862, and remained in citizen's 
dress till we got to Roanoke. Waters had the measles 
at Hatteras, and could have gone home then, as he was 
not yet mustered ; but he was so full of patriotism that 
he would not do so, and served faithfully until he was 
killed at Antietam. I buried him alone, in the night, by 
the light of a candle, on a little hill, a few rods in front 
of the Keedy house. Streeter served three years ; was 
wounded in the Wilderness, returned home, and is still 
[in 1889] hale and hearty." 

Clark's Battery. Daniel H. Reed contributes the 
following item: "Clark's Battery E, 4th U. S. Artil- 
lery, was attached to our brigade from August, 1862, 
through Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antie- 
tam, Fredericksburg, and Mud March, till the Cavalry 
Corps was organized in March, 1863. More than 
twenty men were detached from the Sixth Regiment, 
and put with this battery, — myself, for one, serving the 
remaining twenty-six months of my three years under 
Kilpatrick, Custer, Merritt, and Sheridan. In the 
Cavalry Corps, the organization was ' Battery E, Horse 
Artillery.'" 



BIOGRAPHIC SKETCH. 9 

COLONEL NELSON CONVERSE. 

When, in the autumn of 1861, the Sixth Regiment 
was to be raised, Captain Mack, of the regular army, a 
native of Cheshire county, was appointed colonel, and 
Nelson Converse, of Marlborough, lieutenant-colonel — 
the latter to have charge of raising the regiment, and 
getting it ready for the field. But the War Department 
refusing to relieve Captain Mack from his position in the 
regular army, Lieutenant-Colonel Converse was pro- 
moted to colonel on the 26th of October. He was forty- 
four years of age, and had known long service in the 
state militia, and upon the military reorganization in 
i860, had been appointed Major-General of the Third 
Division. In raising the new regiment, Colonel Con- 
verse showed efficient activity, and success crowned his 
well directed efforts. He accompanied his regiment to 
North Carolina, remaining in its command until March 
8, 1862, when, in ill health, he resigned, and returned 
home. 



CHAPTER II. 

BREAKING CAMP— AWAY TO WASHINGTON— IN BURNSIDE'S 
EXPEDITION. 

About the 20th of December the regiment received 
orders to break camp, and proceed, by the way of 
Worcester, Norwich, New York, Philadelphia, and Bal- 
timore, to Washington. Now all was bustle and commo- 
tion. Colonel Peter Sanborn, state treasurer, came 
over to pay the boys for one month's service. We now 
received the $13 per month and $10 bounty promised in 
the glittering poster calling for volunteers. The colonel 
remarked, while making payment, " It will ruin the 
state if they keep on paying such bounties ! " Little was 
it then realized what the expense of the war was going 
to be. Within a short time the state and towns were 
glad to pay $1000 for men, and even for dead-beats. 
But it was not for a bounty that the loyal sons of New 
Hampshire went out in 1861 : they would have gone just 
as readily if they had not received one cent in that name. 
In their loyalty to their country and the old flag, most of 
them would have gone without receiving any pay what- 
ever, had it been necessary ; and it is sad to note the dis- 
reputable means resorted to, in 1863 and '64, to obtain 
recruits for filling up the thinned ranks of the old regi- 
ments. Then it was that sharpers went to work buying 
or stealing any and everything in the shape of men, and 
putting them in as recruits, while the state and towns 
paid very high bounties for the generally worthless 



BREAKING CAMP. II 

specimens of mankind; which bounties, however, went 
largely into the pockets of the heartless sharpers. But 
in justice it should be said that a few of these high- 
bounty recruits made good soldiers : one tenth, per- 
haps, of the whole number proved to be such. But the 
fact that some three or four hundred deserted from our 
regiment in one week's time is alone sufficient to con- 
demn the "bounty-bummer" system of recruiting that 
brought them in. 

After " Colonel Peter" had paid us off, orders were 
given to pack up, and this, at that time, meant a good 
deal, for every fellow had about a wagon-load of trump- 
ery to pack into his knapsack. What knapsacks we 
had ! They were each as big as a small bee-hive ; and 
one New York regiment characterized us as " those 
New Hampshire boys with bee-hives on their backs." 
When we began to pack, it became evident that we could 
not take over one half of our " calamities " along, and a 
good deal of scolding was done because the knapsacks 
were not big enough (though we found them sufficiently 
large, long before the war closed), and one would throw 
out this thing, and another that, till the down-flap could 
be strapped. As one fellow was trying to close his 
sack, a sweet-cake was seen inside, large enough to 
have been baked in a milk-pan. Possibly it was the 
last of the goodies cooked for him by a kind mother or 
a loving sister, that the poor fellow ever tasted ; for he 
may have been one of the first to fall in death. Then 
the boys had to write letters home. Their faces were 
thoughtful, and in some eyes were tears, as words to 
the dear ones were hastily penned, for now all felt 
that real soldiering had commenced, and that they had 
left their homes perhaps forever. However, in the noise 



1 2 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

and bustle of breaking camp there was little time for 
sad pondering. 

When the regiment was ready to start, the sight of us 
would have made an old soldier laugh. Every man 
had about three blankets besides his other trappings, 
and looked very like a Jew peddler. Fortunately we 
had but a short distance to march, or we should have 
been obliged to call for the ambulance corps to pick up 
stragglers. And now we were marching for the rail- 
road station at sound of drum ; but it was drumming, 
the like of which had probably never been heard 
before, nor, it is safe to say, has been since. Each 
drummer tried to make more noise than his mate ; and 
so it was all noise and no time, or, at best, such time as 
the boys could not keep step to at all. As we neared 
the town, how the officers strutted, in their new uniforms 
with bright buttons, swinging their new swords, and 
shouting, "Keep step there!" — while they themselves 
were out of step all the time ! When we reached town, 
all the people turned out, and cheered and waved hand- 
kerchiefs and said good words to us. Others came to 
the station, and made us small presents to remember 
them by ; while members of the Christian Commission 
were there to give a Testament to such as had none. It 
may be remarked, in passing, that one of those very 
books saved the life of a member of Company A in the 
battle of Bull Run. It was in his breast pocket, and a 
ball passed almost through it, striking with such force 
as to prostrate the soldier, but without doing him serious 
hurt. 

At last the regiment was "all aboard" the waiting 
cars, the two engines puffed and snorted, and we started 
upon our three years journey through Dixie. It was the 



AWAY TO WASHINGTON. 1 3 

25th of December — Christmas Day. As we rolled out of 
the station, the people gave us a parting cheer of en- 
couragement. Soon we began to see new sights, as we 
sped on among the Cheshire hills. The people of every 
manufacturing town through which we passed left 
their homes and workshops, and, lining the railread, 
cheered us with a good will. As we passed through 
such places as Fitzwilliam, Fitchburg, and Worcester, 
we were greeted with hearty cheers, and the shout was 
heard, "We will be out there soon!" We saw many 
Massachusetts recruits drilling at different points, and 
all were eager to know who we were and where we 
were going, while we were ready to let them know all 
about ourselves. We were happy now, and found this 
pleasant soldiering. 

We arrived at Norwich, or Allyn's Point, about 7 
p. m. It was dark and cold, and snow was on the 
ground. The boys began to shiver as they came out 
of the cars and stood in line waiting for orders. After 
some delay we moved, following our file leaders down 
to the steamer Connecticut. The boat was well packed, 
with 1,024 men ai) d camp equipage. About 10 p. m. 
she steamed out of the harbor, which was full of ice, 
into the broad sound. This boat-ride was a novelty to 
many of our farmer boys, who had scarcely been outside 
of their own counties among the granite hills. As we 
got up speed, it was amusing to hear the remarks of 
some of them when a large wave would strike the boat 
and make her tip a little. It being a still night, we got 
along well. Had the weather been rough, we should 
have had a very unpleasant trip, crowded as we were. 
All were good-natured and jovial, so that it was a late 
hour before any of us slept, — and many did not get an 



14 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

hour's sleep all night. We arrived in New York harbor 
about 10:30 a. m., December 26, and many of the boys 
then got their first sight of New York city. 

Our boat carried us to Amboy, N. J., where we dis- 
embarked, and taking cars for Camden arrived at Phila- 
delphia about 11 p. M. We were marched to the Soldiers' 
Home for supper prepared by the kind ladies of that city ; 
and a good supper it was, too. Many a time afterwards, 
while we were at the front, was heard the remark, " How 
I wish I could step into that Soldiers' Home at Phila- 
delphia, and have one of those good suppers!" Yes, 
all the New York and New England soldiers who passed 
through Philadelphia were royally fed by those kind 
people. Ladies of wealth and rank came to the " Cooper 
shop " to wait upon the soldier boys and give them en- 
couragement. Not half enough has been said, nor can 
be, in praise of their noble efforts in the good cause. A 
full history of that Soldiers' Home should be written, 
giving the number of men fed there, and the names of 
the noble men and women who founded it, and supported 
it till the last regiment that finally returned home that 
way was there hospitably entertained. Cooper, the patri- 
otic originator of that "Retreat," should have been pen- 
sioned by the government. 

At one o'clock p. m. on the 27th, we took cars for 
Baltimore. While we stopped thirty minutes at some 
station about 6 p. m., one Fowler (every veteran will 
remember him, the company forager) and several chums 
started on a voyage of discovery, and came to a house 
near by where the family were about sitting down to 
supper. By order of Fowler, the boys sat down at the 
table and helped themselves. After they got through, 
Fowler said to the head of the family, " If you prove 



AWAY TO WASHINGTON. 1 5 

loyal, we will pay for these rations some time." It had 
been intimated to the boys that this family had rebel 
sympathies. But "sympathies" did not have much 
weight with such rovers, a few of whom almost every 
regiment had, to the disadvantage, somewhat, of its dis- 
cipline. We arrived at Baltimore at midnight, and took 
refreshment at the "Soldiers' Rest." Here we had our 
first experience with the real rebel element. It being 
very dark as we marched from the " Rest" to the station, 
a few sticks and some mud were thrown at us, while 
remarks were heard about the " cussed Yanks," but as 
we had no guns, we thought it best to take no notice of 
the insult ; and so we moved quietly along to the station, 
where we took the train at 5 a. m. for Washington. 
We did not arrive there till 4 p. m. We saw many 
soldiers along the railroad all the way from Baltimore, 
and it began to look like business. 

We were glad that we had reached our journey's end 
for the present. We stayed at the Soldiers' Rest that 
night, and slept on the hard floors. The boys thought 
it hard indeed not to have so much as "one straw to 
cling to." Well, it was so for fellows just out of their 
mothers' soft feather beds, but in later days, when they 
had to lie down in the soft mud of Virginia, they would 
gladly have accepted in exchange a hard board, or even 
a fence rail. The next day the regiment marched out 
to Bladensburg, about two miles and a half on the Balti- 
more turnpike, and went into camp, reporting to Gen. 
Silas Casey, commanding unassigned troops around 
Washington. The ground was frozen hard, and here 
again the boys had no straw, nor anything else but rub- 
ber blankets, to put under them. When they awoke in 
the morning, they found little beds of mud under their 



1 6 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

blankets, as the heat of their bodies had melted the frozen 
ground, and thus many took cold. The second day the 
sick squad was pretty large, and some were quite ill. 
Dr. Tracy said that some had the measles, and in a few 
days there were about two hundred under the surgeon's 
care. It made it worse for the poor fellows who were 
sick, as well as for everybody else, that we had no con- 
venient hospital quarters. It seems strange that the offi- 
cers in command at Washington did not make better 
provision for the new regiments arriving there without 
any experience of camp life. Without doubt we lost one 
hundred of our best men from undue exposure at that 
inclement season of the year, with the measles prevalent, 
and without proper hospital accommodations. Besides, 
as regular army regulations were in full sway there, it 
was impossible to get anything for camp except through 
miles of red tape, even though the delay might, as it did, 
involve the loss of many precious lives. 

On Sunday, the last day of the year, some of us gladly 
availed ourselves of the permission to visit the city and 
see the sights. The brief respite from camp duty was 
enjoyable, the ten-mile tramp included. We found troops 
everywhere — at the Capitol, the Treasury Department, 
and other localities, as well as in the streets. We went 
to the White House, or to a position in the street in front 
of it, and were in luck, for we had been there but a few 
minutes when a beautiful carriage drove up, and soon 
President Lincoln, accompanied by two ladies, came out 
of the house and rode away. He did not have the care- 
worn look that he wore in 1864-65. We saw many 
sights that day, but the sight of Abraham Lincoln was 
worth more to us than all the rest. 

The next day, January 1, 1862, we received our first 



AWAY TO WASHINGTON. 1 7 

mail from home. How our hearts burned as we read 
those letters, full of " Happy New Year" greetings and 
cheerful words to encourage our hearts in the good 
cause ! Some members of the Second Regiment and of 
Berdan's Sharpshooters came over to see us, they being 
in camp about a mile west of us. The Sharpshooters 
showed us how effectively they could use their telescope 
rifles. One of them shot a rebel hen (supposed to be) 
on an adjoining farm, about half a mile away, and one 
of the Sixth boys (Chesley of Company I) went over 
and brought in the bird, and had a chicken stew for a 
rarity. 

We practised company drill for a few days, till the 
Sixth was ordered to Annapolis to join Burnside's expe- 
dition, 1 when we broke camp and marched to the city, 
stopping at the Soldiers' Rest. ' While there we received 
the long looked-for rifles. They were not, however, 

1 In August, 1861, as the result of operations conducted by General 
Butler and Flag-Officer Stringham, Hatteras Island on the coast of 
North Carolina had been captured and occupied by Union forces. 
Possession of ' ' the best sea entrance to the inland waters of North 
Carolina " was thus gained, while an important channel through which 
Confederate supplies could come was stopped. The Confederates held 
and fortified Roanoke Island, but their plan to recapture Hatteras 
Island was not carried out. In October, General Burnside proposed to 
the military authorities at Washington a plan for the formation of a 
coast division of from 12,000 to 15,000 men, and for fitting out a fleet 
of miscellaneous composition, whereby the division could be rapidly 
thrown at points on the Southern coast, to effect lodgments there, to 
penetrate into the interior, and to hold possession of the inland waters. 
The plan was adopted. The divison was formed, and had rendezvous 
at Annapolis. With some difficulty and consequent delay, the vessels 
for the division fleet were procured. The division, placed in command of 
General Burnside, was organized in three brigades, commanded by Gen- 
erals John G. Foster, Jesse L. Reno, and John G. Parke. The whole 
2 



1 8 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

"Springfield rifles," but Austrian. They were very 
light and pretty, with a bayonet as sharp as a needle. 
The boys were as pleased with them as a child is with 
a new toy. By the way, the attachment of a soldier to 
his rifle is sometimes surprisingly strong. One has been 
known to get "red-hot mad" at a comrade who had 
accidentally knocked down or spit upon his gun. 

Jncibenfe. 

A Stolen "Smile." A soldier writes, — "Many will 
remember the journey from New York to Baltimore, and 
the many stops we made the first night on the Camden 
& Amboy Railroad. During one of these stops, Captain 
Ela, of Company I, told two of the men, of whom one 
was myself, to go and see what we could find. We 
found ' a place where they 'had ' something to take,' 
namely, apple-whiskey and rum. It was my first taste 
of ' apple-jack,' and I didn't fancy it, so the bar-tender 
passed along other drinks till I found one that suited me. 
While the bar-tender's back was turned, I slipped one of 
the bottles under my old coat, and left my comrade 
drinking. When settlement came, the bar-tender told 
comrade that he had stolen one of the bottles. Comrade 
replied that it was the rascal who had gone out that had 
done it. But I was in the car giving the boys ' a smile,' 
while ' all hands ' were laughing at the comrade who 
was paying the bill." 

command numbered 12,000 strong. The second Brigade, commanded 
by General Reno, was composed of the Sixth New Hampshire, Ninth 
New Jersey, Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first New York, and 
Fifty-first Pennsylvania regiments of infantry. The destination of 
Burnside's expedition was " Hatteras Inlet, with a view to operations 
in the waters of North Carolina." Commodore Goldsborough accom- 
panied the expedition with a fleet of twenty vessels. — Editor. 



INCIDENTS. 19 

An Unceremonious Drink — [Contributed by Azroe A. 
Harriman]. "In going from Washington to Annapo- 
lis, we were side-tracked at Annapolis Junction for a 
train to pass. The doors were locked, and we were left 
with not an officer in sight. On the depot platform 
stood a solitary barrel on end. Some of the boys sur- 
mised whiskey, and, finally, one of them jumped from a 
window to investigate, and said it was whiskey. Then 
the boys poured out of the windows the whole length of 
the train, stove in the head of the barrel, and put their 
canteens and dippers to fast and furious use, till an offi- 
cer came in sight and with drawn sword rushed forward, 
but too late to save more than half of that barrel of whis- 
key. Many of the boys will remember what the result 
was till we got to Annapolis, and some time after." 

Taking in Supplies. A soldier tells the following 
story : "At Annapolis Junction, where we made a stop, a 
barrel of ginger-snaps was opened for sale. Being hun- 
gry, and wanting a change of food, but not having a 
cent of money, I thought of a plan by which to get some 
snaps, which worked well. I put my hat in for a dozen 
while trying to find my empty pocket-book, which came 
at last, as also did the snaps, which they passed out, and 
I, putting the empty pocket-book in my pocket, bid them 
good day. Now, on the platform stood a barrel of whis- 
key which the boys had knocked in the head. They were 
helping themselves, and it was my chance with the few to 
get a canteen full. Just then Captain Quarles, officer of 
the day, coming along, drew his sword, and, swinging 
it over our heads, told us to get into the cars, which we" 
did. But the most of us had a good supply of the ' world's 
goods 'for that time, and as the. cars moved on we were 
all singing 'John Brown's body is marching on !"' 



CHAPTER III. 

FROM ANNAPOLIS TO HATTERAS— IN CAMP ON THE 
ISLAND. 

The regiment arrived at Annapolis on the evening of 
January 7, 1862, and slept in the Naval School building 
that night. The next morning, Major Folsom, Pay- 
master U. S. A., gave us a call, and paid us for Decem- 
ber. We were glad to see him, for we were getting 
short of money. He paid us partly in gold and partly 
in greenbacks, it being the last time we were paid any 
gold while we were in the service. As soon as the pay- 
master came, the " hucksters," old women and young, 
flocked into camp as thick as flies in June bringing 
with them such stuff as they had to sell, including sweet- 
potato pies and other eatables. We noticed that they 
were very eager to get all the gold we had, but we did. 
not then know that it was at twenty-five per cent, pre- 
mium, though we soon learned the fact to our sorrow. 

We were soon off for Fortress Monroe. We were 
obliged, however, to leave at Annapolis a large number 
of our sick, including some of our best men. Many of 
these we never saw again, for some died and others were 
discharged. We went (January 8) on board the steamer 
Louisiana and the ship Martha Greenwood. The latter 
was laden with coal and other supplies, and, being lashed 
to the steamer, moved alongside. The fleet set sail on 
the 9th. It was foggy, and our progress was slow. 
While we were moving quietly along, about nine o'clock 



FROM ANNAPOLIS TO HATTER AS. 21 

in the evening, a shout was heard in the darkness, fol- 
lowed at once by a crash, then by other shouts with oaths 
intermingled, and by the sound of broken timbers fall- 
ing. We had run spank into a schooner's broadside. 
She was beating up the bay in the darkness, and did not 
see our vessel. The schooner was considerably dam- 
aged, and the weather was so thick that the captain of 
the boat decided to anchor till the fog rose. We lay 
to till about 3 a. m. (January 10), when we started 
again, and arriving at Fortress Monroe in the evening, 
■dropped anchor in the bay opposite the fort. 

So many vessels of all descriptions, with their lading 
of troops and supplies, and with lights streaming out 
over the water, made a stirring and beautiful sight. The 
noisy little tug and dispatch boats were busy all night, 
carrying orders, getting this and that vessel into place, 
and putting the fleet all in readiness to move onward, 
but whither we did not know, for we were sailing under 
sealed orders. 1 The morning of January n was bright 
and beautiful. The sun came out warm. The bands 
upon the boat decks vied with one another in strains 
of stirring music. Moreover, our hearts were made 
glad by receiving our second instalment of letters 
from home. We thought it pretty pleasant soldiering, 
little dreaming what was in store for us within the next 
forty-eight hours. It was a very busy day in the bay, 
with steamers coaling or otherwise loading with sup- 
plies, and with troops changing from one boat to another. 

J-Not a man in the fleet knew his destination, except myself, the brig- 
ade commanders, and two or three staff officers, yet there was no com- 
plaint or inquisitiveness, but all seemed ready for whatever duty was 
before them. — General Burnside, "Battles and Leaders of the Civil 
"War," Vol. I, p. 662. 



22 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

That part of the Sixth which came down on the Martha 
Greenwood was transferred to the steamer Louisiana, 
which became so crowded that it was almost impossible 
for one to move about. It seems strange that the com- 
manding officers of the fleet should have allowed so many 
men to be crowded upon such a slim craft. 

Towards evening, the flag-ships, with other vessels, 
got up steam, and started out to sea. Soon a dispatch 
boat came alongside, and gave orders for ours to 
follow. During the day we had a good chance to see 
General Burnside, as he steamed around the bay on his 
little propeller, 1 giving orders to this boat and that, and 
we all liked his looks very much. We followed the 
other boats, as ordered, and by 9 p. m. were well out 
from the bay, and, looking back, could just see the lights 
at Fortress Monroe. As the darkness came on, hun- 
dreds of lights shone out from the vessels, as far as the 
eye could reach, in front and rear, and on the left toward 
the sea. The writer sat upon the hurricane deck till a 
late hour, thinking of home and speculating on our des- 
tination, while the soft south breezes swept over the 
water. It was late when the men lay down to sleep, 
though many did not sleep at all, the noise of the ma- 
chinery and the novelty of the situation keeping them 
awake all night. 

At the first streak of dawn the writer was again on 
deck, to get the earliest glimpse of the sun as it came up 
out of the briny deep. That sunrise was a grand sight, 
as was also the ocean, dotted as far as the eye could 
reach with all kinds of sailing craft. The waves, how- 
ever, began to show their white caps, and some of the 
boys who had been reared on the coast said it looked as 

1 The propeller Picket, the smallest vessel in the fleet. — Editor. 



FROM ANNAPOLIS TO HATTERAS. 23 

if we were going to have a stiff breeze before night. A 
few of "Mother Carey's chickens," together with sea- 
gulls, passed us, giving indication of a storm. The 
signs did not fail, for by noon the storm was stiffening, 
and we could see that many of the smaller boats — some 
of which were only pilot-boats from New York harbor, 
— were laboring hard through the big waves. About 
2 p. m. (January 12), while we were off Hatteras 
Light, the storm struck us in all its fury, and the land- 
lubbers began to look white. In a few minutes one 
half of the men seemed vying with one another to see 
who would empty his stomach the quickest of the pies 
and things he had taken in from Annapolis down. They 
were sick fellows indeed ! The boat was pitching and 
ploughing through the waves as fast as she could. The 
captain and pilot were alarmed, and said that if we did 
not reach Hatteras Inlet before dark, they feared we 
should never get in ; so they put on all the steam they 
could, and made for the inlet. 

As we went down into those awful troughs and our 
bow struck the incoming wave, the boat was flooded even 
to the hurricane deck. Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin was 
in the wheel-house with the captain and pilot, who had 
all they could do to keep the boat on her course and pre- 
vent the waves from striking her on the broadside, and 
thus swamping her in a moment. The strain on the big 
braces that passed from stem to stern of the boat, up past 
the wheel-house, was fearful. The braces, with joints 
open half an inch or more, creaked and groaned as the 
boat rode the huge waves, and it was the opinion of the 
officers that if we had been out half an hour longer we 
should all have gone to the bottom together in the old 
river craft not intended for use out of smooth water. The 



24 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

boys were so sick that they kept quiet, and the captain 
said it was a fortunate thing, for if, being so many, they 
had been up and running around, it would have been 
hard to manage the boat at all. 

We entered Hatteras Inlet, and dropped anchor at 5 
p. M. It was quite dark, and if any men ever felt thank- 
ful to get into harbor, it was those on the old Louisiana 
that night. The vessels kept coming in until a late 
hour, that is, those that were not outside, or did not run 
upon the bar. We could hear guns and see signal lights 
thrown up outside, in the direction whence we had come, 
and knew that some had not been so fortunate as we. 
Several vessels were wrecked, four in sight of us. One 
of these was the fine large store-ship City of New York, 
which, laden with ammunition and other stores, ran upon 
the bar ; another was the steamer Pocahontas, carrying 
horses, hay, and grain, which went ashore at Cape Hat- 
teras, becoming a total wreck within twenty-four hours, 
with lading all lost save a few horses that swam to land. 

The next morning was clear, and the inlet was full of 
all kinds of floating debris, showing how fearful the 
storm had been. The sea was yet so rough that it was 
not practicable to land, and the wind began to blow 
again. As the tide went out, we found our boat tipping 
over as it rested on the sandy bottom. One of the boys 
remarked that he " felt safe so long as the old boat rested 
on the sand." When the tide came in, the boat would 
float again, bumping on sand fortunately, not rocks, 
since in the latter case we should soon have been com- 
pelled to swim ashore. 

The night after our arrival the storm was still so severe 
that there was great danger of collision with other ves- 
sels, and of the wrecking of the weaker ones by the 



IN CAMP ON THE ISLAND. 25 

violence of the waves. It was feared that the Louisiana, 
in particular, being only a river boat, would not be able 
to outride the storm. Accordingly Colonel Converse 
sent Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin to General Burnside's 
head-quarters to ask that some strong vessel might be 
ordered to lie near the Louisiana during the night, to 
render aid, if possible, in case of disaster. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Griffin, having been given a boat with two sail- 
ors and a coxswain, made the trip, delivered the mes- 
sage, and returned safely ; but it was a hazardous under- 
taking. Two officers of the Ninth New Jersey Regiment, 
in attempting to perform a similar duty, lost their lives 
by the swamping of the boat. 1 

Many of the men got so drenched in the storm that 
they became sick. A member of Company F died in 
the night of the 14th, being one of the sick who would 
not be left behind at Annapolis. The next day another 
died, and it began to look serious. Orders came on the 
17th to land on the sandy shores of Hatteras. The pros- 
pect was not inviting, but we were glad to go anywhere 
to get out of that old boat and stretch our legs a little. 
But it was no fool of a job to land all our camp equipage, 
so that it was late in the afternoon when we were all 
fairly ashore, with orders to move up the island to Camp 
Wool, about five miles distant. 

Just as we were ready to start, an officer of Colonel 
Hawkins's 2 Zouaves rode up, and told Colonel Converse 

1 These two men were the only ones lost from the whole military 
force during the "entire voyage and entrance into the inlet,'' though 
the storm was one of the worst ever known on that perilous coast; — Ed. 

2 Besides the Sixth New Hampshire, the Eleventh Connecticut Regi- 
ment and the Rhode Island Battery were landed on that day. These 
troops went into camp with the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, the Eighty- 



26 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

that we had better hurry, otherwise, as a cold storm was 
coming from the north, we should get badly wet. We 
could see a big black cloud rising in the north-west, and 
looking wet enough ; so we were ordered to move as fast 
as possible. But for us, with our loads of baggage, to 
make very rapid speed was impossible. It is safe to 
say that every man carried from fifty to one hundred and 
fifty pounds of traps, which included, it is likely enough 
in some cases, selections from the furnishings of the 
Louisiana, for it did not take long for some soldiers to 
learn to appropriate anything within reach to their own 
use. It was tedious trudging with our loads through 
sand ankle-deep. The boys did not feel strong, having 
fasted somewhat on the boat, and soon they began to 
straggle, to the great annoyance of the officers. It was 
the longest five miles they ever marched, and when they 
arrived at camp they were so tired that they could hardly 
move. The shower had struck us just before reaching 
camp, and we were wet through. It was quite late, and 
our fuel was green live-oak and willow, which would 
burn just as well as ice, so, without fire, we lay down 
wet and cold. Many a brave boy never saw a well day 
after that. Many took cold, and the malarial fever set- 
ting in, we lost sixty men in as many days. Much of 
sickness and death might have been avoided had better 
arrangements been made at the outset by General Will- 
iams, the officer in command. One company might have 
been sent ahead to pitch tents and make other prepara- 

ninth New York, and the New York Ninth (Hawkins's Zouaves) al- 
ready in occupation. Brigadier-General Thomas Williams was com- 
mander of the post. Colonel Rush C. Hawkins, of the Zouaves, had 
taken part in the capture of Hatteras the previous autumn, and had 
since been prominent in affairs there. — Editor. 



IN CAMP ON THE ISLAND. 2f 

tions, instead of moving the regiment by night in the 
rain, with neither fuel nor anything else provided. Then, 
again, the camp should not have been located in a 
swamp with marshes all around — a spot where even the 
water, which could be found anywhere by digging a foot 
in the sand, was unfit for man or mule to drink. The 
surgeons, too, should have protested at once against 
camping there, instead of higher up the island, where it 
was dry and sandy. 

After we had become better acquainted with General 
Williams, we did not wonder that he had shown so little 
care for the soldiers in this instance. He was a tyrant 
in every sense of the word, and all the troops on the 
island hated him. They would shoot at him as he rode 
through the bushes ; and when he was in his tent, they 
put the balls into his bedpost. But he escaped being 
shot at Hatteras, to be killed by his own troops in battle at 
Port Hudson or at Baton Rouge. This fact was learned 
from a surgeon of a Michigan regiment once stationed 
near New Orleans. This surgeon said that Williams 
would compel the sick men at the hospital to carry their 
wood a mile or more, when there were mule teams lying 
idle ; and that, when all the surgeons called on him and 
remonstrated against such cruelty, he told them he was 
" commander " and knew his business ; his treatment would 
"toughen the men and make them fit for hard service ! " 1 

The boys were coming down so fast with fever, that it 
was decided, on the 24th of January, to move about two 
miles farther up the island to Camp Winfield Scott, 

1 General Rush C. Hawkins, in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil 
War," Vol. I, p. 639, characterizes General Williams as "a man of 
many idiosyncrasies," who " outside of his staff was cordially disliked 
for his severe treatment of the men." — Editor. 



28 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

where the ground was not quite so low. But here, every 
time it rained, some of the tents were flooded, and the 
sickness Continued. Some of the boys cut poles, and 
made beds raised from the ground ; others lay on the 
damp sand. We did not have much time to "fix up," 
for Williams kept us drilling both forenoon and after- 
noon, and many a time compelled us, loaded down with 
all our equipments, and with knapsacks filled, to march 
at double-quick through the sand. This process of 
toughening us for service sent many a good soldier to an 
early grave. Had such unjust hardships been imposed 
upon the boys two years later, the man who imposed 
them would not have lived long. But enough of this sad 
story, for the present. 

Hatteras Island is, as the reader may already know, a 
low, narrow strip of sand, thirty or forty miles long, and 
not over a mile wide in any place below Cape Hatteras. 
Formerly, it was connected with what is now a separate 
island south of it. But years ago a heavy storm severed 
the connection, and cut, from the sea into Pamlico 
Sound, the narrow channel which is called Hatteras 
Inlet. About three miles of the lower part of the island 
is submerged at every storm, and many vessels are 
wrecked there every year ; not so many now, however, 
as formerly, when the coast was not so well known and 
the lighthouses were fewer. The natives said they had 
known as many as thirty vessels to come ashore in one 
storm. The few inhabitants of the island get most of 
their living from the wrecks. 

It will be remembered how the sand would fly when it 
had been dried by two or three days of sunshine. Being 
very fine, and largely composed of light sea-shells, it 
not only blew easily, but drifted like snow. When the 



IN CAMP ON THE ISLAND. 



2 9 



Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment once undertook to 
build a sod fort on the beach, the sand would drift in at 
night as fast as the boys could shovel it out by day. A 
hat or a knapsack, laid upon the beach, would in half a 
day be completely covered, and turned into a little sand 
cone or pyramid. Some of these cone-shaped drifts, 
piled upon a bunch of bushes or a heap of rubbish, were 
twenty feet high. As a natural result, sand-hills line 
the coast. At one point, the beach was seen strewn with 
wrecks of all descriptions. There were tons of cable 
and other old iron. One quartermaster of a New York 
regiment loaded a vessel with the material, and probably 
made a handsome thing of it. At another place was 
seen a large, long windrow of white bones lying high 
and dry on the beach. These were the skeletons of 
sharks, porpoises, and other large fish, washed ashore, 
with sea-shells intermingled in abundance. 

Such was the locality in which we were stationed. It 
was drill, drill, all the time, when it did not rain. The 
boys did not feel like doing much work, as they were 
weak from a severe diarrhoea, with which nearly all 
were troubled. But General Williams said they must 
drill. It was midwinter, but no snow came there, though 
we had cold north winds and much rain. We had, 
however, no fires in our tents, and it was pretty cold 
at night. 

By the 4th of February, Burnside's fleet had all got 
over the bar into Pamlico Sound, and the next day it 
steered with most of the troops for Roanoke Island. It 
had not been known till within a few days whether New 
Berne, or Roanoke, was to be the first point of attack. 1 

1 When General Burnside arrived at Hatteras, he had issued an order 
assuming command of the newly constituted Department of North Caro- 



30 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Most of the troops that had been stationed on Hatteras 
accompanied the expedition ; but the Sixth New Hamp- 
shire and Forty-eighth Pennsylvania regiments had so 
many sick, that they were held on the island as a reserve. 
On the 6th and 7th we could hear heavy firing in the 
direction of Roanoke, and knew that the battle had com- 
menced. On the 9th was received the glad news of the 
capture of that island. 1 The next day, official intelli- 
gence of the victory was read to us on parade, and a 
salute often guns was fired. 

3ni\btntB. 

Rude Burial. Writing of the sickness at Hatteras, a 
soldier says, — "The first comrade of Company I we 
buried was Ambrose D. Haynes, whose coffin we made 
out of hard-tack boxes, and whose grave was so shallow 
that a man got upon the coffin to sink it in the water so 
that it might be covered up. Charles Comstock and 
Charles Wallace died next. These three were all good 
boys, and were the first we lost, but not the last." 

lina. His instructions were to make Roanoke Island his first point of 
attack. Subsequent operations were to be directed upon New Berne, 
Beaufort, and Fort Macon. It had taken many days to get the naval 
vessels over the shallow ' « swash " between the inlet and Pamlico Sound ; 
but at last they were over, and General Burnside hastened to advance 
upon Roanoke. — Editor. 

!The result was "the capture of 2,675 officers and men of the 
Confederate army, and 5 forts, mounting 32 heavy guns." The Union 
loss was 37 killed, 214 wounded, 13 missing. The Confederates had 
23 killed, 58 wounded. Brigadier-General Henry A. Wise was in com- 
mand of the Confederate garrison, with Colonel H. M. Shaw as second. 
At the time of the action, General Wise not being on the island, Colo- 
nel Shaw had command. — Editor. 



INCIDENTS. 31 

The Rooster was Left. " The evening before the 

regiment was to leave Hatteras for Roanoke," writes a 

soldier, "two men of Company I, anxious as to what 

fresh meat they were going to have in their haversacks 

to eat on the voyage, bethought themselves of a flock of 

fowls which they had seen at a house where Captain 

Ela had been lying sick. Proceeding to forage in that 

direction, they succeeded in pulling down nine hens and 

an old rooster from a tree so close to the house, that from 

it they could see the inmates seated around the stove. 

Just as they were completing operations, the owner and 

the captain came to the door ; but all was quiet, and the 

captain was heard to remark, ' It will rain to-morrow, 

and the boys will have a wet time.' But the foragers 

were off" for camp, having left the old rooster, which was 

poor, on the graveyard fence. With plenty of good 

help, the fowls were duly stripped of feathers and cooked. 

The next morning, on the way to Roanoke, the captain, 

being on board, and knowing who were the foragers 

and what they had been about, signified his desire to eat 

of the captured fowls, and the desire was gratified. He 

reported that the owner, when he found his poultry gone, 

said he should have thought ' one old hen might have 

been left him ; ' adding that he ' found the old rooster on 

the graveyard fence, feeling bud.''" 



CHAPTER IV. 

ON ROANOKE ISLAND— EXPEDITION TO ELIZABETH CITY. 

On the 20th of February, camp rumor said that we 
were to move soon ; and on the 24th, orders came to pack 
up and march to the landing. We arrived there in the 
afternoon, and made ready to. go aboard the steamer 
Transport; but just as we reached the wharf, at 4 p. m., 
the weather being rough we were ordered not to embark, 
but to march back half a mile and camp down in the 
sand for the night. The next morning we embarked 
on the steamer Northerner, and passing into and along 
Pamlico Sound, anchored at night. On the following 
day we made our way slowly up the Sound, keeping a 
sharp lookout for sand-bars. It was quite rough sailing, 
and we anchored near Pamlico Light. The next day 
we reached Croatan Inlet, and got stuck in the mud. On 
the following day we passed into Croatan Sound, oppo- 
site Roanoke Island. 

We could see the marks of recent battle, — trees in 
splinters, gun-boats with shot-holes through their smoke- 
stacks, and steamers with their wheel-houses partly car- 
ried away by shot and shell. We also saw many of 
the wounded being conveyed on transports to Balti- 
more and Washington. The battle of Roanoke was a 
hard fought one, and its result, a grand Union victory. 
The rebels had at one point a masked battery, covering 
a bridge across a swamp, and the only way to get at it 
was over this bridge or through the swamp. The Eighth 



ON ROANOKE ISLAND. 33 

Connecticut and Twenty-first Massachusetts advanced 
through the water and mud up to their waists, under a 
hot fire ; while, at the right moment, the Ninth New 
York (Hawkins's Zouaves) charged across the bridge, 
and with heavy loss captured the battery. 

Having on the 1st of March been mustered for pay 
for the months of January and February — an agreeable 
event, foretelling the paymaster's speedy arrival — the 
regiment landed on the island the following day (March 
2), and bivouacked near the landing for the night. The 
next day we marched up the island about a mile, and 
went into camp in a pine grove on the shore of the Sound. 
The camp-ground was about twenty feet above the water, 
and very dry compared with that on Hatteras. It was 
a very pleasant location, with plenty of water for the 
boys to sport in. The natives used to bring in fresh shad 
and other fish, which were readily purchased. We 
were now informed that we were to remain here for 
some time, and perfect ourselves in drill. Though we 
had a beautiful camp and quite a healthful locality, yet 
sickness followed us from Hatteras, and our hospital had 
many fever and diarrhoea patients. None of the other 
regiments were so afflicted as was ours with these dis- 
eases. 

When we were fully located and our camp was fitted 
up in good shape, we resumed batallion drill. About 
this time Colonel Converse resigned, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Griffin (soon promoted to be colonel) took com- 
mand of the regiment. 1 He at once gave us to under- 
stand, in a very few words, that he intended to perfect 
us in batallion drill, so that we should not be ashamed to 

1 Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin was commissioned as colonel on the 
22d of April, 1862. 
3 



34 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

appear beside any other regiment in the service. To this 
end he established a school for the commissioned offi- 
cers at ten o'clock a. m., and for the first sergeants at 
ii A. M., of each day. The sergeants were very much 
pleased with this, but some of the old militia officers 
kicked against it, and said they would not go to school ; 
they had been colonels or brigadier-generals, and they 
guessed they knew as much as some others who had 
been out only three months. So they would not attend 
the school ; and the result was, that when they came out 
with their companies on batallion drill, they were as 
green as the greenest of their men, and were obliged to 
inquire of their orderly sergeants how the different move- 
ments were to be made. They were in a bad plight in 
being thus dependent on their sergeants for instruction. 
In a very short time (thanks to Colonel Griffin's excel- 
lent school) the sergeants could drill the companies as 
well as the captains, and in some cases better, so that 
some of these officers began to see that to have been a 
colonel, or even a general, in the militia, did not, of 
itself, amount to much in active service. Accordingly 
they thought it best to resign, and return to peaceful life 
in New Hampshire. Their departure gave the lieuten- 
ants and sergeants a chance for promotion, which Colo- 
nel Griffin was not long in accomplishing ; for he held 
that all vacancies should be filled by worthy enlisted 
men from the companies. In this way he encouraged 
the men to try to excel in all the duties of the soldier ; 
and in less than a month after he took command, the 
regiment began to show great improvement in drill and 
in general appearance. Each man would boast that he 
had the best looking gun and equipments in the regi- 
ment; and some would spend all their time, when off 



ON ROANOKE ISLAND. 35 

duty, in "shining up." We had a fine level parade- 
ground a short distance from the camp, where we 
improved most of the beautiful weather in drill and in 
the practice of company firing. This latter, the Zouaves 
(of the Ninth New York Regiment) used to say, we could 
do to perfection. But it was no easy work to drill two 
or three hours in the hot sun, with the thermometer 
standing at from seventy-five to ninety degrees. How- 
ever, we found considerable enjoyment in our camp life. 
On the 8th of March, six companies of the Sixth, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin, joined General John G. 
Foster's expedition to Columbia in search of a regiment 
of rebels said to be recruiting at that place. No enemy 
was found, but the public whipping-post was : this the 
boys demolished, to the delight of the colored people, 
and then returned to camp. On the 9th and nth of 
March, the fleet sailed with the force detailed for the 
attack of New Berne, leaving the Sixth New Hampshire 
and the Ninth and Eighty-ninth New York regiments 
on the island, with Colonel Rush C. Hawkins in com- 
mand of the post. 1 The warm breezes and the genial 

1 A new brigade had been formed, designated the Fourth, and com- 
posed of the Ninth and Eighty-ninth New York and Sixth New Hamp- 
shire regiments, which was to be left for duty and protection on Ro- 
anoke Island, under the command of Colonel Hawkins during the expe- 
dition to New Berne. That expedition was a brilliant success. On the 
14th of March, after a severe contest, the strongly fortified position, 
with its 9 forts mounting 41 heavy guns, and with its 2 miles of en- 
trenchments having 19 field-pieces in position, was taken. The cap- 
tures also comprised over 300 prisoners, 1 ,000 stand of small arms, tents 
and barracks for 10,000 men, and a large amount of army supplies and 
naval stores. The Union loss was 90 killed, 380 wounded, 1 missing. 
The Confederate loss in killed, wounded, missing, and prisoners, was 
578 ; of which number, 64 were killed and 101 wounded. Brigadier- 
General L. O'B. Branch was the Confederate commander. — Editor. 



2,6 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

sunshine had a good effect on the sick boys, and the 
" morning sick call" began to be slimly attended. Nat- 
ure began to smile, and put on her green mantle. Peach 
and plum trees came into full bloom, filling the air with 
fragrance, while the " healing breath of the pines " glad- 
dened the heart of many a sick one, and did more to 
bring him back to health than the medicine-chest of the 
hospital steward, or the services of the doctors. Boxes 
of "goodies" from dear New Hampshire homes began 
to arrive in abundance, including good old tea, white 
sugar, and other delicacies, with sometimes a little 
brandy, too, to "keep the water from hurting you," as 
said the kind letter which was rucked away in the box. 
How eager the boys were to have the mail or express 
boat come in ! They were on the lookout, and as soon 
as the smoke-stack of a boat coming through Croatan 
Inlet became visible, the shores would be lined with 
them, straining their eyes to discern whether the vessel 
was white or black. If white, it was pretty likely to be 
a mail or express boat ; but if black, a gunboat without 
letters, packages, or boxes from home. 

The boys of Company B will remember the night when 
one of their number, hailing from Grafton county, re- 
ceived a box from home (or somewhere else), mostly 
filled by a stone jug, sealed. It was at once hidden 
away, but Lieutenant Samuel G. Goodwin, whose smell- 
ers were keen for good drinks and other good things, soon 
smelled something, and started upon a tour of inspection 
through the tents. He soon found " Drew" and his jug, 
but the boy was up to the emergency, and asked him 
"to take something." The lieutenant pronounced it 
"good old Medford," and took two canteens full of it to 
his tent. Soon the officers of different companies were 



ON ROANOKE ISLAND. 37 

seen making for his tent, he having sent word to them 
that he had " important dispatches from the governor of 
New Hampshire." Judging from the laughter and the 
lateness of the hour when they broke up, we came to the 
conclusion that they had as good a time in their quarters 
as the boys in theirs. 

Lieutenants Goodwin, Sides, Fuller, Muchmore, and 
Dudley were the life of the regiment, and if any fun was 
on the docket, they were always ready to take a hand in 
it. They used to play their jokes upon a certain lieuten- 
ant, who was of the kid-glove kind, and very nice and 
particular in his words and ways. One night Lieuten- 
ants Fuller and Muchmore got him to watch Lieutenant 
Goodwin, who was going (as was alleged) to escort a 
4i colored lady " to her home near the hospital. Accord- 
ingly, in the bushes by the roadside our lieutenant 
watched the couple, and heard Goodwin's cooing words. 
He was disgusted, and could not refrain the next morn- 
ing from reporting such behavior to the colonel, declar- 
ing it a shame for an officer to be "doing such things 
with a colored girl." The colonel smiled, and suggested 
that the watchful lieutenant might have found, upon a 
little closer inspection, that the colored lady was none 
other than Lieutenant Dudley, rigged for the occasion, 
to fool the watcher. 1 

1 Many other anecdotes of the fun which the boys had while on Ro- 
anoke might be related did space permit. I remember the jokes played 
on the first day of April, and especially the one of which I was the vic- 
tim. Lieutenant Goodwin came to my tent early, all in a rush, while I 
was making my toilet, saying, — " You are wanted at head-quarters at 
once. Don't stop for anything: something is up." So I fixed up a 
little, and reported at head-quarters in due form. The colonel thought 
a. moment, and then, laughing, said he had not sent for me, and he 
guessed it was one of Lieutenant Goodwin's jokes, it being the first day 



38 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



On the 6th of April orders were given for Lieutenant- 
Colonel Griffin to take four companies of his own regi- 
ment, and two companies of the Ninth New York (Major 
Jardine commanding) , numbering in all about six hun- 
dred men, and move up the sound on the gunboats Vir- 
ginia, Ceres, General Putnam, Commodore Perry, and 
Stars and Strifes to Elizabeth City, where it was reported 
a Confederate camp was located for recruiting purposes. 
The expedition left Roanoke at night on the 7th, and 
reached its destination early the next morning. The 
two companies of the Ninth New York were disembarked 
near Elizabeth City, while the four companies of the 
Sixth New Hampshire proceeded up the river about three 
miles, to cut off the retreat of the enemy. The camp was 
surprised ; one man was killed, two were wounded, and 
seventy-four taken prisoners. The remainder escaped to 
the woods, leaving three hundred and fifty stands of arms 
and a quantity of ammunition and other public property 
in the hands of the victors. Having accomplished their 
purpose, the troops returned to Roanoke Island. 

Company I, as usual, did some foraging while on this 
expedition, and, among other things, secured a yellow 
puppy three months old, which grew to a large size, and 
became known as "the Sixth Regiment dog." He ac- 
companied the regiment in all its marches and battles for 
more than two years, but on the morning after the battle 
of Poplar Springs Church he failed to put in an appear- 
ance at roll-call, and it was always supposed that he 
was killed the day before, as he was seen in the hottest 
of the fight. Dogs generally fear firearms when dis- 
charged in volleys, but this one went fearlessly into bat- 

of April. On my return, as I passed Goodwin's tent, he put put his. 
smiling face and inquired, " Did you find the colonel in ?" — L. J. 



INCIDENTS. 



39 



tie, and stuck by to the end. The boys were much 
attached to him, because he showed so much courage 
and such true loyalty to the regiment, notwithstanding 
his "Southern birth." 

Stores S-wanvped — [Contributed by Azroe A. Harri- 
man] . " When we landed on Roanoke Island, all of the 
quartermaster's goods were piled on the low, sandy 
beach, to remain there till the next day, when we were 
to get teams and remove them to camp, somewhat more 
than a mile away and across a small creek. I was de- 
tailed as corporal, with three men, to go down and guard 
the goods. We pitched a small tent on the beach, and 
proceeded to enjoy life. A heavy wind sprang up from 
the sea, and the water began to rise. A wave soon 
struck the tent and nearly capsized it, but we thrust our 
bayonets through on the water side, and hustled to get 
our equipments. In the hurry the candle was put out, 
and it was as dark as tar. It now began to rain hard ; 
— the water rose fast, and we tried to save some of the 
goods by piling them up ; but the water drove us away, 
and we had to fall back, so that the next morning we 
were about two miles from there, and all the goods were 
some twenty feet under water. We could not get to 
camp, for the creek.was now a river. About three o'clock 
in the afternoon, Quartermaster-Sergeant G. L. Houston 
swam his horse across the creek and brought us some 
grub, and it was very acceptable. When the water went 
down, the goods were a sight to behold — barrels of beans 
burst open, boxes of crackers soaked, and great quanti- 
ties of ammunition spoiled. Taken altogether, it was a 



4° SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

sorry mess, and we were on short rations for some time 
in consequence. " 

' ' Skeete's " Exploded Goose. Captain Theodore Hans- 
com supplies the following incident : " While the regiment 
was at Roanoke, Company C was detached and sent 
to another part of the island to occupy an earthwork 
mounted with two guns, and also a portion of a battery 
taken from the rebels. The natives used to bring wild 
geese to the boys for twelve and a half cents each, so 
that there was plenty of goose in camp. One man, nick- 
named ' Skeete,' bought a bird, and carried it to the 
cook-house, but so many were waiting to be cooked that 
he concluded to ' cook his own goose.' He made a fire 
outside, and commenced operations. 'Mose' Knowles 
watched him, and, a good opportunity offering, he filled 
the body with powder, while the boys stood around at 
safe distance awaiting the result. ' Skeete ' patiently 
turned the bird, his mouth watering at the feast in pros- 
pect, when suddenly the powder ignited, and the goose 
was never seen again ! ' Skeete's ' face was a study. 
For some time he stared in utter astonishment at the 
place where his goose had been. Coming at last to 
his senses, he uttered with emphasis, 'D — n "Mose" 
Knowles ! ' " 

The Cleanest Man. " Lucius Whitcomb was a very 
neat man. Once, on Roanoke, the 'cleanest man and 
traps' could have a pass. Whitcomb brushed up and 
went on inspection, and, being designated as the neatest 
one in the regiment that day, was asked to come to 
Colonel Griffin's tent. Going there, he said, ' Colonel, 
you do n't want to see the cleanest man in such shoes, I 
know,' for his shoes were full of holes, though well 
blacked. The colonel opened his trunk and gave him a 



INCIDENTS. 41 

better pair. He was afterwards killed in the battle of 
Bull Run."— D. H. R. 

Capturing a Stove and Turkey. A soldier of Com- 
pany I, writing of the expedition to Elizabeth City, 
says, — "The captain and myself went into the city to 
see what we could find. We found in a good house a 
large stove, which was forthwith loaded upon a cart, 
which happened to be passing just then with an ox har- 
nessed to it and a negro driving, and was thus taken to 
the landing. The captain then told me to see what I 
could find to go with it. Hearing a turkey gobbling 
back of a house, I made for him, and having caught him, 
I tied his head under his wings with my old bandanna 
handkerchief. As I was leaving the premises, the owner 
came out and begged me not to take that turkey, as it was 
the only one he had. I replied that it was the only one 
I had, and hurrying away to the boat, went aboard, and 
put the turkey in the stove. Just then the captain com- 
ing along, and finding out what I had got and where it 
was, told me to get out of sight, as the man was at that 
time talking with the colonel about the turkey. I got 
out of the way, and kept so till the boat was ready to go 
and they were pulling in the gangway plank, when I 
stepped on board, safe and sound for that time." 

The First to Take a Rebel Prisoner. A soldier, writ- 
ing of the expedition to Elizabeth City, claims that Joseph 
Pope, Thomas Wilder, and James Hook were the first to 
take a prisoner. A rebel having ventured to show him- 
self after a portion of the troops had passed along, these 
three men, who were foraging somewhat in the rear, 
" came upon him, took him in, and landed him down 
on the gunboat." 



CHAPTER V. 

BATTLE OF CAMDEN— AT NEW BERNE— TO VIRGINIA. 

About April 14, camp rumor said we were soon to go 
upon another expedition "that would amount to some- 
thing." Extra provisions were ordered to be cooked, 
and thirty rounds of ammunition were given to each man. 
Orders came to get ready for a march, with blankets and 
overcoats, and on the 18th we went on board the trans- 
ports and gunboats. The expedition was escorted by 
the gunboats Commodore Perry, Delaware, Picket, 
Underwriter, Lockwood, General Putnam, Southfield, 
Whitehead, and Stars and Strides. The troops detailed 
for the expedition comprised the Twenty-first Massachu- 
setts, Lieutenant-Colonel Clark ; the Fifty-first Pennsyl- 
vania, Major Schall ; the Ninth New York, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Kimball ; the Eighty-ninth New York, Colonel 
H. S. Fairchild ; and the Sixth New Hampshire, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Griffin. The Ninth New York had two 
howitzers. There were also two small pieces of artillery, 
manned by marines under command of Colonel Howard, 
who, with the first two regiments mentioned, came from 
New Berne to assist in the movement, and constituted a 
brigade in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Bell, while 
Colonel Hawkins commanded the brigade from Roanoke 
Island. General Reno was chief commander of the 
expedition. 

We were bound for Camden, near the Albemarle & 
Chesapeake canal, and close to the Dismal Swamp, where 



BATTLE OF CAMDEN. 43 

it was learned there were rebel troops stationed. We 
arrived at a point some four miles below Elizabeth City 
about midnight, and began to disembark. The water 
being shallow, the boats could not get within ten rods of 
the shore, so that the boys had to wade, which was not 
a good preparation for marching, as they soon found 
out. 1 As soon as we were all ashore, we started in the 
dark, and dark indeed it was. We soon lost our way, 
and seemed to be marching in a circle. Colonel Haw- 
kins's instructions were to march his brigade to South 
Mills, where there was a bridge which the enemy would 
be obliged to cross in retreating. But his guide led him on 
a long, circuitous march through the country, but not into 
the enemy's rear. 2 At noon we came out upon the road 
on which General Reno was leading the remainder of 
his command, about twelve miles from the landing place, 
and the two columns united. This was not precisely 
according to General Reno's instructions, and somewhat 
disturbed his arrangements. The only thing to be done, 
however, was to push forward as rapidly as possible. 
The march had told very severely upon all the troops, 

1 The writer remembers seeing one of the officers going ashore " high 
and dry" on the shoulders of Sergeant L. N. Gordon. The boys 
joked the sergeant as to his fees for carrying such packages, and he re- 
marked that on this occasion he did not get so much as a "thank you," 
and the next time the officer would have to wade as the rest did. 

2 General Hawkins, in his account of this march, published in "Bat- 
tles and Leaders of the Civil War," Vol. I, p. 655, says, — "A light 
mulatto man for a guide came to me from one of the gunboats, and by 
a circuitous route took us far out of the way. . . . When it was 
discovered that the guide had led my brigade ten miles out of the way, 
he was quietly taken to a wood out of sight of the troops and shot. A 
few days after, we heard that he had been sent to us by the enemy, for 
the purpose of leading our troops astray." — Editor. 



44 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

but particularly upon Colonel Hawkins's brigade, which 
had marched most of the time on the double-quick. The 
day was very hot, and the roads were dry and dusty. 
The men had had little or no experience in marching, 
and no sleep the night previous, and felt more the debili- 
tating influence of the weather from being loaded down 
as they were with overcoats, blankets, ammunition, and 
rations. Many suffered from slight sunstrokes, and fell 
out of the line of march exhausted by the unaccustomed 
hardships. To relieve the weary soldiers, the surgeons 
and chaplains in the rear were obliged to impress wagons 
and other vehicles, with mules and horses, that were 
found in the barns along the road. 

About three o'clock in the afternoon, at a point near 
Camden, some twenty miles distant from the landing, the 
enemy's infantry and artillery, with a few cavalry, were 
discovered occupying a strong position behind earth- 
works, rail fences, and two or three old buildings. In 
front was a plain crossed by ditches and high rail fences, 
and having woods on the right and left. Our howitzers, 
which were in advance, first received the enemy's fire 
from his field-pieces. Colonel Howard returned the fire 
with spirit. The men were exhausted by the heat and 
their forced march ; but General Reno thought it best to 
fight at once, and proceeded to put his troops in posi- 
tion. He sent the Twenty-first Massachusetts and Fifty- 
first Pennsylvania through the woods on the enemy's left 
to attack his flank, deployed the Ninth and Eighty-ninth 
New York in the centre, and held the Sixth New Hamp- 
shire upon the left of our line. 

When the Sixth arrived in front of the enemy, there 
were but few men in the ranks. So rapid had been the 
long march on that hot day, that it was impossible for 



BATTLE OF CAMDEN. 45 

many of them, inexperienced as they were, to keep their 
places. The regiment was directed into a field on the 
left of the road, where it was to hold the ground and 
await further orders. This gave the men present a 
chance to lie down and rest, and for those behind to 
come up and join them. It took the other regiments two 
hours to move around by the right, get into position, and 
make their assault. The leading brigade slowly made 
its way by the right through the woods, while the troops 
in front, with the battery," occupied the attention of the 
enemy. The engagement became sharp and bloody. 
Our troops, though weary, stood well up to the work. 
General Reno rode over to the right to hasten the move- 
ment on that part of the line. Meanwhile, Colonel Haw- 
kins ordered the New York regiments to charge the 
enemy's line. The charge was gallant but ineffectual . 
With enthusiasm the men went across the broken plain, 
but the ditches and high rail fences, with the enemy's 
fire, seriously hindered their advance. Men fell, officers 
were unhorsed, Colonel Hawkins was wounded, and 
several were killed. The troops were broken and com- 
pelled to retire, but the regiments on the right had now 
entered vigorously into the action,' and the Sixth New 
Hampshire, which formed the left wing of our little 
army, was ordered to advance. Moving forward now 
with full ranks against the enemy's right, with a well 
formed line and colors flying, the regiment made a for- 
midable appearance, and soon drew the fire of the rebels. 
A cannon shot came tearing through the line near the 
colors, killing Curtis Flanders of Company I, wounding 
another, and throwing the regiment for a moment into 
some confusion. The line swung back in the centre, 
until it left Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin standing as far in 



46 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

the front as his place was in the rear. Watching 
an opportunity when he could be heard, he waved his 
sword and shouted, " Forward, Sixth New Hampshire !" 
Every man turned to the front, and the line came back 
to its place as coolly as if nothing had happened. The 
regiment having advanced until within easy musket 
range, the lieutenant-colonel halted the line, and gave 
the command, "Ready, aim, fire!" and the regiment 
poured in a volley with all the coolness and precision of 
the parade-ground, every musket discharging at the 
same instant. The enemy broke and fled without firing 
another shot. Colonel Hawkins, commanding our bri- 
gade, who was wounded and lying in the field hospital, 
roused up and exclaimed, "My God! who fired that 
volley? If that was the enemy, we are beaten." When 
told that it was the Sixth New Hampshire, he replied, 
" Good ! we are all right then. Bully for the Sixth New 
Hampshire ! " "That volley " was often spoken of after- 
wards by the men who heard it as something wonderful, 
both in precision and effect. 1 Our surgeons who attend- 
ed the wounded on the field reported that wounded pris- 
oners from the Third Georgia Regiment, which was 
directly within range of our fire, declared that "their 
men did n't care much for those red-legged Zouaves ; 
but when the regulars poured in that volley they thought 
it best to get out of that place." 2 

1 Even at a reunion of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Regiment, 
held at Ashburnham, in 1889, one of the regular toasts was, "The 
volley of the Sixth New Hampshire at Camden, North Carolina, April 
19th, 1862, put to flight the Third Georgia, one of the most gallant 
regiments in the Confederate service,' 1 to which response was made 
by General Griffin, who was present by invitation. — Editor. 

2 Statement of Dr. Marshall Brown, who was at that time Hospital 
Steward of the Sixth New Hampshire. 



BATTLE OF CAMDEN. 47 

As our troops, however, had two high rail fences to 
tear down or climb over, it was impossible to capture the 
flying enemy ; while, with our men so completely fatigued 
as they were, to pursue was impracticable, even had it 
been consistent with the plan of operations. After the 
battle, some criticism was indulged in, and many believed 
that had our left and centre been held back until the 
right had advanced farther on the enemy's left, the whole 
opposing force might have been captured and less loss 
sustained. But however this may be, the main object of 
the expedition seems to have been accomplished. Cer- 
tainly all the troops did their duty nobly, and the Sixth 
New Hampshire won proud distinction as a "fighting 
regiment," and received the hearty praise of the general 
in command for its fine behavior in this its first impor- 
tant battle. 1 

Our total loss in the battle of Camden was fourteen 
killed, ninety-six wounded, and two missing. The loss 
of the Sixth was one killed and two wounded. It was 
afterwards learned that the enemy had suffered more 
than we at first supposed. 2 Had General Reno's men 
been fresher, and had the design of the movement been 
to go farther towards Norfolk, the road was doubtless 
laid open by the enemy's hasty retreat. " He had even 
abandoned a formidable battery a few miles beyond the 
scene of the engagement, and had made the best of his 
way to the neighborhood of the defences of Norfolk." 

1 The congratulatory orders of General Burnside and Governor Berry, 
with some other matter pertaining to the battle of Camden, are printed 
at the end of the chapter. — Editor. 

2 The Confederate forces were the Third Georgia Regiment of infant- 
ry, some drafted militia, McComas's battery, and Gillet's company of 
cavalry, all in command of General Huger. The loss was six killed, 
nineteen wounded, and three captured. — Editor. 



48 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

It is believed that our expeditions to Elizabeth City 
and beyond caused the evacuation of Norfolk, for one 
of the captured rebels said it was thought at the Cam- 
den battle that the whole of Burnside's Expedition was 
coming. 

A storm that had been gathering during the fight burst 
forth just at its close, with flashes of lightning, peals of 
thunder, and torrents of rain which soaked us through 
and through. Soon after the fight numerous pigs were 
seen running across the battle-field with the boys in full 
chase, and for a time we were in about as much danger 
from the shots of our own men as we had been from 
those of the enemy. One of the pursuers forgot, in his 
haste and excitement, to take the tampion or stopper 
out of the muzzle of his gun, with the result of being laid 
out most beautifully in the dust, while the pig escaped 
unhurt. 

While the surgeons, chaplains, and a detail from each 
regiment were burying the dead and caring for the 
wounded, the boys were partaking of "roast pig" and 
coffee. We rested till night, when General Reno de- 
cided to return to the landing. The slightly wounded 
were put into extemporized ambulances, and the severely 
wounded were left in charge of Dr. Warren, assistant- 
surgeon of the Twenty-first Massachusetts, and under a 
flag of truce. About nine o'clock in the evening we 
took up our line of march, leaving the camp-fires burn- 
ing brightly. It was a dark and dismal night, with a 
little rain, which, with the late shower, made the roads 
very muddy. As we picked our way along in the dark 
we were not in a very cheerful mood, being both tired 
and wet, while the thought of the dead and wounded we 
had left behind did not tend to cheer our drooping spirits. 



OFF FOR NEW BERNE. 49 

A part of our way was through a swamp and over cor- 
duroy roads, and there was much splashing in mud- 
holes and stumbling over logs and other unseen obsta- 
cles. Many of the troops in front became so tired that 
they threw away their blankets and overcoats. That 
night's march in the mud and rain was one not to be for- 
gotten. We arrived at the landing about four o'clock in 
the morning, having marched about forty miles in a little 
over twenty-four hours, and fought a battle in the time — 
all without any sleep. Wearier men than we there never 
were, and as soon as we were aboard the boats every 
man dropped down upon the first place he found and 
went to sleep at once. We were so sore and stiff the 
next morning, that we could hardly crawl up to camp 
after the boats left us at Roanoke Landing. But these 
hardships helped fit us for the severe duties upon which 
we were about to enter, and so they were endured not 
altogether in vain. 

The regiment now rested a few days. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Griffin received his commission as colonel, Major 
Scott was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel, and Obed 
G. Dort, of Company E, selected by vote of the officers 
of the regiment, became major. Soon again it was drill, 
drill, all the time. Colonel Griffin said we never should 
have so good a chance again to perfect ourselves in the 
battalion movements ; and he was right, for we had only 
a few days at a time for drill after we left Roanoke 
Island. 

The warm sunshine, the beautiful weather, and other 
favorable conditions soon brought the boys out of the 
hospital, to which many had been driven by prevalent 
disease, so that when we received orders, June 18, to 
break camp and go aboard the transports for New Berne, 



So 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



we left only three sick men behind. 1 We had a pleasant 
trip across Croatan and Pamlico sounds, and arrived at 
New Berne late in the afternoon of the 19th in a heavy 
rain. 2 Marching to an old brick building which had 
been used for a depot, we stopped for the night. That 
evening an "extra ration" in the shape of a gill of whis- 
key was dealt to each man to keep the rain-water all on 
the outside. It was a good thing for some of the boys, but 
bad for others who could not take a little and be satisfied. 
So to some the whiskey ration was always an injury. 
As we had no way to dry our clothes, we were obliged to 
lie down with them wet and in wet blankets. When we 

1 The "black dysentery," which attacked the regiment upon its 
arrival at Roanoke, left for a time not more than three hundred men 
out of nine hundred and seventy fit for duty. Comparatively few cases, 
however, proved fatal. By judicious treatment and careful though con- 
stant exercise, health was restored, and a high degree of excellence in 
military drill and other soldierly accomplishments was acquired. — Ed. 

2 General Burnside, after adding to his successes at Roanoke and 
New Berne the capture t>f Beaufort and Fort Macon, was in April re- 
inforced by four regiments of infantry and two batteries of light artil- 
lery. The force thus augmented was formed into three divisions, com- 
manded by Generals Foster, Reno, and Parke. General Foster's divi- 
sion comprised two brigades, the second of which was under the com- 
mand of Colonel Thomas J. C. Amory, of the Seventeenth Massachusetts. 
General Burnside was impatient to follow up the advantages gained 
upon the coast by an advance into the interior, and for this the cavalry 
and means of transportation furnished in May had completed his ample 
preparation. He had, however, to await the result of McClellan's opera- 
tions in Virginia. At last, having faith that though the Peninsular 
campaign had dragged heavily it was about to terminate in triumphant 
success, he determined to march inland and strike at Goldsboro'. With 
this view he concentrated his forces at New Berne. In this concen- 
tration the Sixth New Hampshire was ordered from Roanoke to New 
Berne, and was assigned to Colonel Amory's brigade of General Fos- 
ter's division Editor. 



AT NEW BERNE. 5 1 

turned out in the morning, we were complete!}' "par- 
boiled," and one of the boys expressed the general feeling 
when he remarked that he "felt like a stewed chicken." 

After "coffee and hard tack," we marched out through 
the city, to the east of it about a quarter of a mile, and 
selected a camp-ground. The city looked old and for- 
saken, with few handsome residences to be seen, and we 
were disappointed at its appearance. The rebels in their 
retreat had burned the bridges over the Trent river, and 
also some of their warehouses on the wharves, filled with 
army stores and merchandise, but our troops followed 
them so closely that all their stores could not be destroyed, 
and a large amount was captured. The buildings were 
somewhat damaged by shot and shell, but not so badly 
as they would have been had not General Burnside given 
orders not to throw shell into the city, as he did not de- 
sire to destroy it. He wanted to convince the "Union" 
element in North Carolina that we had come "to restore 
order, and not to destroy," but there were so few Union 
men in the state that they did not dare to come out and 
take a bold stand. 

As our camp equipage had not come up, we could not 
cook very well, so one of the Massachusetts regiments, 
encamped near by, invited us to partake of its coffee and 
hard-tack — an invitation which we gladly accepted. The 
first evening we appeared on dress parade there, a crowd 
of other troops, with the general officers, gathered around 
to see the New Hampshire regiment go through the 
"manual of arms" and other exercises. Now we did 
not regret our persistent drill on Roanoke Island. We 
heard many exclamations in praise of our full ranks, fine 
appearance, and proficient skill in the manual of arms 
and in company movements. 



52 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

June 30 was a lively day in camp. Rumor had it that 
we were going to leave New Berne on some expedition. 
On July 1 we went on board a gunboat, which, with 
others, moved out into the stream and anchored. We 
remained there till the 3d, and then steamed down the 
river. About 4 p. m. a dispatch boat was met, which 
gave some intelligence that caused a halt, and we an- 
chored for the night. The next morning we turned, and 
steamed for New Berne again. It was reported that 
news of the capture of Richmond by McClellan had been 
received, and as we neared the city we heard the bells 
ringing and all the forts firing a salute. It seems that 
Colonel Hawkins had received at Roanoke the false 
news from Norfolk, by way of the Dismal Swamp canal, 
and dispatched a boat at once to New Berne to inform 
General Burnside. We landed, and went back to our 
recent camp-ground. On the 6th of July orders came to 
embark again, and we did so in company with the Second 
Maryland. This time it was understood that we were 
bound for Fortress Monroe, and that we were going to 
help McClellan, who had not taken Richmond, as re- 
ported, but was falling back. 1 On the 7th we passed 

1 On the 30th of June orders were issued to be ready to move at 
once. The objective point of this movement was Goldsboro 1 , but on 
the morning of July 1 General Burnside received an order to reinforce 
General McClellan without delay. The troops were accordingly em- 
barked for that purpose, and by the 3d of July were on their way. 
Upon receiving, however, the false intelligence that McClellan had 
taken Richmond, General Burnside countermanded the order to sail for 
Virginia, expecting to resume his inland movement. Forthwith came 
discouraging reports of the retreat and the "seven days' fight," and, 
"much to his sorrow," he was ordered " to go to the Peninsula to con- 
sult with General McClellan." Whereupon, on the 5th and 6th of July 
eight thousand troops sailed from New Berne for the James river. — Ed. 



INCIDENTS. 53 

Hatteras Island, where we had spent so many days of 
misery, and we rejoiced that we were not to land there 
again. Arriving at Fortress Monroe on the 8th, we lay 
just off the fort all the next day in the hot sun. About 
ii A. M. General Burnside came through the fleet in his 
dispatch boat, and wanted to know why the larger sails 
were not spread just above the deck to keep the hot sun 
off the men. The suggestion was at once complied with, 
much to the relief of all. One of the boys (Hiram 
Drowns) remarked, "General Burnside is a gentleman, 
and if I can ever do as much for him, I will gladly 
do it." Indeed, we all gratefully appreciated this evi- 
dence of the characteristic thoughtfulness of our com- 
mander for the comfort of his men. On the ioth we 
landed at Newport News. As we had neared the land- 
ing, we passed the gunboats Cumberland and Congress. — 
what was left of them — with the tops of their masts and 
spars standing out of the water, just as the rebel ram 
Merrimack had left them six months before. 

3nt\btnt8— ton$t&t\tl&tovy Otbtte, 

The Sixth at Camden. A war correspondent of the 
New York Tribune gave the following description of the 
closing scene of the battle of Camden : " The Sixth New 
Hampshire was ordered by General Reno to the woods 
on the left, to keep possession of the road that led to the 
west, and thus prevent the enemy's escape in that direc- 
tion. To secure this position, it would be obliged to 
come within musket range of the enemy's right wing, 
and also face his batteries but a few hundred yards in 
front of them. It was asking almost too much of little 
New Hampshire, and I must confess I had some mis- 



54 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

givings in regard to their ability to carry out an under- 
taking so perilous. The brave sons of New Hampshire 
reported themselves in readiness for the work, and said 
they would go wherever they were led. Off they started, 
with fixed bayonets, on a double-quick, up the road com- 
manded by the rebel batteries, which opened a rapid fire 
on them as they wheeled to the left to execute the order. 
Everything was in readiness, the signal given, and on 
sprang all of the regiments simultaneously to the charge, 
with deafening yells. The rebels now sprang up from 
their hiding-places with the intention of giving the 
Eighty-ninth New York, who were right in front, the 
same reception they gave the Zouaves. The Sixth New 
Hampshire, now close on the enemy's right, discovering 
this movement, suddenly halted, taking a deadly aim 
right oblique, and at the command, ' Fire,' sent a thou- 
sand well directed bullets into the rebel ranks, cutting 
them up in a most shocking manner, sending terror and 
consternation among the foe, who broke and fled in the 
wildest confusion from their intrenchments as our five 
regiments sprang in upon them. The day was ours. 
The victory was complete. The struggle was the most 
fearful and the best contested of the Burnside expedi- 
tion." 

Before, at, and after " Camden." A soldier of Com- 
pany I relates the following incidents: " It was on the 
march to the battle-ground of Camden that I got the 
puppy which grew to be a large blood-hound. We 
stopped at a farm-house to rest and get water, and there 
I saw under the house the mother and three pups. One 
of the latter I caught, but how to carry him was a puzzle. 
I had on a pair of boots which I wore from home ; these 
I took off, and tying the straps at the top put the puppy 



INCIDENTS. 55 

into one boot, and throwing the pair over my shoulders 
went thus into battle, and came out safe, puppy and all. 
There we lost our first man in battle. It was Curtis 
Flanders, of Penacook. He was No. 2, front rank, and 
I was No. 2, rear rank. I saw the ball strike in the 
sand ahead of us and fell flat on the ground, but he 
stood and took the ball, and as he fell, came down over 
me. After the battle, the captain and myself struck out 
in search of fresh meat. We soon came upon a large 
hog running at large, and as it was our business to 
help the owner catch him, we soon had him down, 
with his throat cut and a ham sliced out all ready 
to cook. But there was no frying-pan at hand, so I 
went to a house not far off, and asked the lady for 
one. She said she hadn't any, but as I looked behind 
the stove I saw what I wanted, took it, and called it 
mine ; and after helping myself to salt from the buttery, 
I returned. We went to a corn-crib which the rebels 
had set on fire, and cooked our meat. It was good, for 
we were hungry. We were soon upon our return march. 
It rained hard, and it was very dark. The mud was 
over the tops of our shoes, and it was hard to keep up 
after marching awhile. Finally Andrew Simonds, of 
Penacook, and myself fell out of the ranks, and went 
rambling to see what we could find. We went into a 
house where were men of the Ninth New York (Haw- 
kins's) Regiment, lying upon a bed with their muddy 
boots on, while the man and woman of the house 
stood dumbfounded at the scene. Passing on, we came 
to another house, and meeting an old darkey at the gate, 
we asked him to hitch up his master's horse and buggy, 
which he did with our help, and then went along with 
us. The negro, on being asked if he knew he was a 



56 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

freeman, replied, 'No, massa, shure I didn't.' After 
riding awhile, we began to think of chickens. Pulling 
up at a house, we found in an out-building some hoe-cake 
and candles, to which we helped ourselves, and lighting 
a candle went to the hen-coop. Securing a number of 
fowls, we stowed them away under the buggy-seat with 
the puppy. By and by, as we hastened along, it was 
daybreak, and it had stopped raining. We now came 
upon a Massachusetts boy who was ' played out,' and 
was glad to hire a ride for eighty-seven cents and a 
revolver. We had not gone much farther when we over- 
took Lieutenant Cheney, of our regiment, who was also 
' played out,' and must ride ; so that by this time we 
were pretty heavily loaded. But we brought up the 
rear in a top-buggy — four men, puppy, and live fowls — 
with nothing to mar our happiness till we neared the 
gunboats. Then we came to a ditch which the horse 
had to jump. He jumped it, and drew out safely the for- 
ward wheels, but the hind wheels did not come out so 
well, for they settled with their load into the ditch. The 
horse gave another pull, but the harness broke, and the 
animal was running free and wild, leaving the buggy 
and its contents in the ditch. With a big laugh, we 
picked up ourselves, our guns, and live stock, and 
tramped on. At last we reached the gunboat, having to 
wade in the water up to our necks to get on board. I 
crawled in on top of the sails in the sail-pen, all wet as I 
was, and soon fell .asleep, to wake and find the boat 
moored at the wharf on Roanoke Island." 

A Muddy Mishaf. Captain Alvah Heald writes, — 
" During the Camden expedition, I met with a laughable 
mishap. We were returning to our boats in the night, 
splashing along in the mud half way to our knees. 



CONGRATULATORY ORDERS. 57 

Espying what I supposed to be a path alongside the 
road, and thinking it would be better walking there, I 
tried to step into it. Down I went about five feet, into 
about two feet of Virginia mud and water, mixed in 
about equal parts. I was helped out by some of my 
comrades, who will remember how I looked at daylight 
the next morning, with pockets and musket loaded with 
mud." 

Didn't go off. "Just after the battle of Camden," 
writes Azroe A. Harriman, " a member of my company, 
talking of the fight, said he knew he had shot three rebs, 
because he had fired three times at them, and taken good 
aim every time. When, however, after getting back to 
Roanoke, he came to clean his gun, he found all three 
of the loads in it, they having failed to explode, quite 
unknown to him till he cleaned his gun." 



"CAMDEN" CONGRATULATORY ORDERS. 
General Burnside's Congratulatory Order. 

Head-Quarters, Department of North Carolina, 

New Berne, April 26, 1862. 

The general commanding desires to express high appreciation of the 
excellent conduct of the forces under the command of Brigadier General 
Reno, in the demonstration upon Norfolk. He congratulates them as 
well upon the manly fortitude with which they endured excessive heat 
and extraordinary fatigue on a forced march of forty miles in twenty- 
four hours, as upon the indomitable courage with which, notwithstand- 
ing their exhaustion, they attacked a large body of the enemy's best 
artillery, infantry, and cavalry, in their own chosen position, achieving 
a complete victory. 

It is therefore ordered, as a deserved tribute to the perseverance, 
discipline, and bravery exhibited by the officers and soldiers of the 



58 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first Pennsylvania, Ninth and Eighty- 
ninth New York, Sixth New Hampshire, and Marine Battery under 
Colonel Howard, on the 19th of April, a day already memorable in the 
history of our country, that the above regiments inscribe upon their 
respective colors, "Camden, April 19, 1862." 

The general commanding desires especially to express his approba- 
tion of General Reno's strict observance of his orders, when the tempta- 
tion to follow the retreating enemy was so great. 

By command of Major-General Burnside : 

[Signed] Lewis Richmond, 

Assistant Adjutant-General. 



Congratulatory Order of Governor Berry. 

State of New Hampshire, 
[l. s.] Executive Department, 

Concord, May 15, 1862. 

To the Officers and Soldiers of the Sixth Regiment of New Hampshire 
Volunteers : 

The account of your noble conduct, your courage and energy, dis- 
played in the recent struggle at Camden, North Carolina, has been 
received by your fellow-citizens in New Hampshire with great satisfac- 
tion. 

The noble Sixth has won for herself, her state, and the country 
imperishable honors. We lament the loss of those noble soldiers who 
left New Hampshire with you, who have fallen by disease and in bat- 
tle, and deeply sympathize with their bereaved friends. May this un- 
holy rebellion soon come to an end, and you be permitted to return to 
your homes, enjoying the consciousness of having nobly aided in restor- 
ing peace, union, and prosperity to our common country. We will 
insure to you on such return the heartfelt greetings of a grateful people. 

Nathaniel S. Berry, 

Governor. 



CHAPTER VI. 

IN THE NINTH ARMY CORPS— WITH THE ARMY OF 
VIRGINIA. 

The Sixth landed at Newport News, with the Forty- 
eighth Pennsylvania and Second Maryland regiments 
and other troops, and went into camp on a beautiful 
grassy plain. The three regiments were soon organized 
as the First Brigade of the Second Division of the Ninth 
Army Corps. 1 The brigade was commanded by Colonel 
James Nagle, of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, and the 
division by Major-General Jesse L. Reno. 

1 Under a recent act of congress, General Burnside, having received 
the requisite authority from the president, organized his command on 
the 22d of July, 1862, as the Ninth Army Corps. The corps consisted 
of three divisions, with Generals Jesse L. Reno, John G. Parke, and 
Isaac I. Stevens in command. General Stevens had been connected 
with the Port Royal expedition, and had recently arrived with reinforce- 
ments for the Army of the Potomac. General John G. Foster, who 
had held command of one of the divisions in the Burnside expedition, 
succeeded General Burnside as commander of the Department of North 
Carolina. General Reno's division was the second, and comprised two 
brigades, the first consisting of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, Second 
Maryland, and Sixth New Hampshire regiments ; the second, of the 
Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first New York, and Fifty-first Penn- 
sylvania regiments. General Stevens's division was the first ; General 
Parke's, the third. In the subsequent operations of Pope's campaign 
the first and second divisions took active part, but the third remained 
at Fredericksburg with General Burnside, corps commander, who was 
employed in forwarding McClellan's troops, returning from the Penin- 
sula, to their respective destinations. — Editor. 



60 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Here was a good opportunity to practise brigade and 
division drill, which was duly improved. Colonel Nagle 
once ordered his brigade to be ready to move at daylight, 
with one day's rations. We marched up the Peninsula 
as far as Warwick Court House, about twelve miles, 
where we encamped for the night. The next day we 
came back. Both days were intensely hot, and the hur- 
ried march under the burning sun sent many of our boys 
to the hospital, from which several never returned to the 
regiment. We afterwards learned that that foolish march 
was intended "to stretch the boys' legs," as Colonel 
Nagle expressed it, and it did stretch them to the death 
of some of the victims and to the permanent disability of 
others. 

Paymaster Folsom came July 30 to pay us for four 
months' service, and we forgot our hardships for a short 
time, greenbacks and sutlers' supplies taking our atten- 
tion. Forthwith orders came to pack up all surplus 
baggage, and get ready to start in light marching order. 
This we very well knew meant business. 1 We packed 

1 In June, General John Pope, a successful commander in the West, 
was, much against his inclination, appointed to the command of the 
jnited corps of Generals McDowell, Fremont, and Banks, which were 
scattered over the northern parts of Virginia. The consolidated force 
was called the Army of Virginia. The purpose at that time was, by 
iemonstrations towards Gordonsville and Charlotteville, to distract the 
ittention and reduce the force of the enemy in front of General Mc- 
Ilellan in the Peninsula. General Pope assumed command on the 27th 
)f June. On the night of that day began McClellan's march to the 
James river, the first step in his retreat, or "change of base." With 
McClellan at Harrison's Landing, the enemy, feeling that Richmond 
was safe for the present, began northward movements, threatening the 
discomfiture of Pope's army and the capture of Washington. Stone- 
wall Jackson's corps was by the 19th of July in Pope's front at Gor- 



IN THE NINTH ARMY CORPS. 6l 

our overcoats and other equipage that could not be car- 
ried in our hands or on our backs, and sent the sick to 
the hospital. Some, it must be said, were sent there, 
too, that were not sick, for it was easy for some fellows 
in each company to imagine themselves sick when there 
was a prospect of any severe work. How ludicrous some 
of them would look, when they came up in response to 
the sick-call, with woe-begone faces that could not but 
melt the stony heart of the surgeon ! And, what was 
worse, these "hospital bummers" kept many an honest 
soldier away from the hospital who ought to have been 
there, but who would rather suffer in his tent than seek 
hospital relief in such company. The surgeons, as a 
rule, were pretty sharp on these "bummers," but occa- 
sionally they were gulled by them. One rather extraor- 
dinary case of "gulling" is here recalled: A fellow in 
our state enlisted four or five times, and got a good 
bounty each time. He would not be in the service more 
than two months before getting discharged on account 
of " fits." As he never had "fits " after the war closed, 
he was once asked why he was not now troubled with 

donsville, and Stuart's division of cavalry was about that time on the 
lookout at or near Fredericksburg. The course of events rendered it 
necessary to bring the Union forces together. Those forces, when 
united, were to be under the command of General Pope. It was deter- 
mined by the authorities at Washington to move Burnside's force to 
Acquia Creek and Fredericksburg, and McClellan's Army of the Potomac, 
from the Peninsula to points within striking distance. On the 31st of 
July, General Burnside returned from Washington — where he had been 
in consultation — to Newport News, "prepared to carry out his part of 
the contemplated movements with all needful promptitude." Accord- 
ingly, his thirteen thousand men were at once put in readiness to sail 
for the destined point whence they were to cooperate with the Army of 
Virginia. — Editor . 



62 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

them. He replied that his "fits" were what might be 
called "will fits," since they came and went at will, with 
a little piece of hard soap in the mouth. Some one 
expressing a desire to witness an attack of that kind of 
"fits," the fellow proceeded "to have one," and thus 
show how to fool the doctors. Putting a small piece of 
hard soap into his mouth, he rolled up his eyes, stag- 
gered, fell, and went into terrible convulsions, frothing 
at the mouth all the time, till the spectators became 
frightened. Just then a country doctor came driving 
along, and seeing the crowd, reined up. Some one said 
to him, "We have a sick man here." Jumping out, he 
looked at the fellow a moment, and said, "He is in a 
fit ; get him into the house as soon as you can." But, 
before he could be lifted and removed, a " veteran," who 
had seen it all, hastily bringing a pail of cold water, 
dashed it into the fellow's face, frothy with soap suds, and 
never did one come out of a fit quicker than he. The 
physician, having heard the bummer's cool explanation, — 
' ' Doctor, that was one of those ' will fits ' we chaps used 
to have in the army," — rode away amid the laughing 
shouts of the crowd. As has been said, this fellow had 
played this four or five times on the examining surgeons, 
and got a good bounty on each trick. 

On the 2d of August we went aboard transports, and 
dropping down to Fortress Monroe, anchored for the 
night. Some said we were going up the James river ; 
others, that we were going up the Potomac. The next 
morning we steered northward, and proceeded up the 
Potomac as far as Washington's birthplace, where we 
anchored over night. On the next day (August 4), fate 
in the afternoon, we landed at Acquia Creek, and taking 
freight and'platform cars for Falmouth, arrived there late 



IN THE NINTH ARMY CORPS. 63 

at night, and bivouacked beside the railroad, near a very- 
large spring. It is said that Washington with his army 
bivouacked here, and drank of the sweet waters of the 
spring. 

Our division went into camp on a rise of ground oppo- 
site Fredericksburg, and near the railroad. It was a 
beautiful location for a camp. We remained here sev- 
eral days, enjoying the change very much. We could 
get all kinds of fruit and vegetables, chickens, eggs, 
etc., at moderate prices. Our pockets were well filled 
with bogus " Confederate currency," printed in Philadel- 
phia, new and crisp, and which was more readily taken 
by the natives (who were all Southern sympathizers) 
than gold and silver. They believed it to be genuine 
Confederate money, and, in fact, none but experts could 
detect the difference. With a plenty of this cheap money 
in their pockets, the boys could live high while the farm 
produce held out. One of the boys bought a span of 
mules and an old wagon with this bogus currency, but 
before we left, the seller got wind that the money was 
not "all right," and demanded his mules. He went to 
the general about them, and it is probable that he got 
them back, for our authorities at that time were not in- 
clined to take anything from the Southern people with- 
out paying in full. A year later they changed their 
minds somewhat in that respect. 1 

1 While in camp, the writer visited the city of Fredericksburg, and 
went upon the heights beyond it and into the cemetery where the 
mother of Washington was buried. The monument at her grave was 
considerably defaced, which vandalism was attributed to rebel cavalry 
that had encamped near there the winter before. Little did the writer 
then think that those heights and that cemetery would the next winter 
become one of the bloodiest battle-fields of the war, and the last resting- 
place of so many of the brave sons of the North. 



64 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

It may be added, that while we were in this camp, 
Rev. John A. Hamilton, of Keene, N. H., who had re- 
cently been appointed chaplain upon the recommenda- 
tion of Colonel Griffin, joined the regiment. He proved 
to be an excellent man for the place, and one of the most 
judicious and efficient chaplains in the army, always 
plucky, and present for duty on the battle-field caring 
for the wounded, and in the hospitals looking after the 
interests of the suffering ones. 

On the afternoon of August 12 we started, 1 in light 
marching order, for Bealeton Station, on the Alexandria 
& Gordonsville Railroad. 2 We marched till late at night, 

!The next day (August 13), late in the evening, the steamer West 
Point, carrying some two hundred and fifty of the sick and convalescent 
of the Ninth Army Corps from Newport News to Alexandria and Wash- 
ington, collided and sank, with the loss of nearly half of those on 
board. Among the passengers were some belonging to the Sixth New 
Hampshire, with their wives and children. The account of this disas- 
ter, given by Sergeant C. L. Parker, will be found at the end of this 
chapter. — Editor. 

2 General Reno's division was now on its way to join the Army of 
Virginia, which was attempting to hold the line of the Rappahannock 
against the Confederates feeling their way northward. On the 9th of 
August, a strong force under Stonewall Jackson had struck a portion 
of Pope's army, under the immediate command of General Banks, at 
Cedar Mountain, eight miles south of Culpeper. After that engage- 
ment, Jackson had withdrawn to a position south of the Rapidan, near 
Gordonsville, where he was joined on the 13th of August by General 
Lee, with other forces. Soon the northward movement was resumed, 
which compelled Pope to fall back from Culpeper over the Rappahan- 
nock. The " distant boom of cannon " and the "firing in the distance," 
mentioned in the text further on as having been heard by Reno's Divi- 
sion on its way to Culpeper, may have come from skirmishes that fol- 
lowed the battle of Cedar Mountain, or from Buford's pursuit, with cav- 
alry and artillery, when Jackson, about the 12th of August, withdrew 
over the Rapidan. — Editor. 



WITH THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA. 65 

and bivouacked beside the road. We posted pickets, 
and had just got nicely settled for a nap when bang went 
one of the pickets' muskets. Every man was on his feet 
in an instant, and orders to fall in were heard on all 
sides. The officers of the day went forward to learn the 
cause of the shot, and found that one of the pickets had 
accidentally discharged his rifle while fooling with it, 
and thus disturbed the whole division. Some of the boys 
said naughty words instead of their prayers, when they 
lay down again for a short nap. 

At early dawn of the 13th, after partaking of coffee 
and hard-tack, we were on the march again. We ar- 
rived at Bealeton Station about noon, and in the after- 
noon started, south for Culpeper. It was reported that 
General Pope was pushing the enemy hard just beyond 
Culpeper, and we made a forced march that night to 
reinforce him. We could hear the distant boom of can- 
non as we moved southward at a lively pace. As night 
drew near, the clouds thickened ; and by the time dark- 
ness had shut in, the rain came steadily down, and the 
clay roads of Virginia were soon like a mortar bed. 
Nothing will take the fun and vim out of a soldier 
quicker than rain and mud. The boys had been full of 
jokes, story-telling, and laughter before the rain came 
on, but within an hour or two afterwards their words 
were few and not altogether of the merry sort. About 
midnight our guides lost their way, and we halted in 
the woods, while the rain poured down and the mud was 
almost over our shoes. As we could not lie down in the 
deep mud, many of us leaned against the trees. The 
writer, however, took from a fence near by three of the 
straightest rails he could find, and, laying them side by 
side, used them for a bed. Captain Goodwin, who was 
5 



66 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

always on hand when anything good was to be had, 
coming along, planted his three hundred pounds on one 
end of the rail bed, with the result that it sank to a level 
with the mud. After all, however, it was somewhat bet- 
ter than a bed in the mud without rails. The boys soon 
started little fires ; then the fence-rails began to come in 
, faster, and the fires increased till it looked more cheerful. 
Pipes and tobacco were plenty, and many a soldier found 
solace therein. About 3 a. m. (August 14) our guides 
found their bearings, and the rain held up. Orders to 
fall in and move forward were given, and we marched 
on without stopping for breakfast, for it was reported that 
General Pope wanted our assistance just beyond Cul- 
peper, where he was engaged with the enemy. We could 
hear firing in the distance in the clear air of the morning. 

We arrived at Culpeper about seven o'clock A. m., 
and having halted and taken a hasty breakfast, moved 
on. Rumor said that Pope had been defeated at Cedar 
Mountain. Jackson's "Iron Brigade" had been encoun- 
tered there. We met some of the wounded coming back 
on stretchers and in ambulances. We made a rapid march 
to Cedar Hollow that day, and the next morning (August 
15) we moved to the left and east of Cedar Mountain, 
toward Kelly's Ford. 1 At night we could see in the 
south a rebel signal station on a high hill about two miles 
distant. Signalling with colored lights was going on. 
Early in the morning a few men were detailed to capture 
the station. On reaching it, they found only two men. 
These they brought in with the signal flag and lights. 

As the enemy began to crowd hard upon General 
Pope, he deemed it advisable to fall back behind the 
Rappahannock, north of Culpeper, and sent our brig- 

x On the Rappahannock, and the enemy's most available crossing place. 



WITH THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA. 67 

ade 1 east, to hinder the rebels from crossing at Kelly's 
Ford, and thus getting in the rear of our forces. 2 It soon 
became evident that the whole of General Lee's army 
was moving northward. Stationed on high ground, we 
could see, far to the south-west, clouds of dust rising all 
along every road, indicating the northward movement of 
large bodies of troops. We had some skirmishing with 
the enemy across the river, and some of our brigade 
while out on the front were captured, and several were 
killed or wounded. Our orders forbade all foraging 
while we were doing picket duty along the river. We 
were not allowed even to pick the green apples as we 
passed through the orchards. Some, however, had green- 
apple sauce, orders or no orders, and one of the boys of 
Company B (H. Moody) also captured a quarter of fresh 
beef from some remote corner, and sent a piece of it up 
to the colonel's tent, to be eaten, it is presumed, without 
superfluous questions as to whence it came. 

1 The subsequent marchings, prior to the battle of the 29th of August, 
as recorded in the text, are especially those of the first brigade of Reno's 
division, to which the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment belonged. The 
division operated in detachments. — Editor. 

2 This movement disconcerted Lee's plan, which was to cross the 
Rapidan so as to flank Pope's left, and thus get between him and the 
Potomac, while also striking him at Culpeper before he could be re- 
inforced by McClellan's army, now returning from the Peninsula. But 
when Lee, on the 20th of August, crossed the Rapidan in force, he 
found Pope strongly posted beyond the Rappahannock, with Beverly's 
and Kelly's fords, where he and Jackson would fain have crossed, amply 
guarded. The attempt to turn Pope's left was given up for the more 
successful one of turning his right, by sending Jackson off northward, 
far to the right and rear of the Union army, and letting Longstreet re- 
main in front with thirty thousand men to occupy Pope's attention and 
to engage him on occasion. Jackson's " raid around Pope" commenced 
August 25. — Editor. 



68 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

On the 23d 1 we were ordered to move up the river to 
Rappahannock Station, other troops having come from 
Falmouth to take our place at the ford. The enemy was 
pressing hard at the point to which we were ordered, 
and on the morning of the 24th he tried to cross the river, 
but our troops made a stubborn fight, held the ford, and 
burned the bridge. The enemy's loss was heavy for so 
short a fight, and as he could not effect a crossing there, he 
moved up the west bank of the river, while we marched 
along the east bank. The opposing forces often came 
in sight of each other, when straightway a fire of artil- 
lery and musketry would be opened. At every ford the 
enemy would try to cross, but he always found the 
Yankee there to dispute the passage. 

On the afternoon of the 25th we were struck in our 
northward march by a fearful thunder-storm. We halted 
for the shower to pass over, with the ambulances and the 
baggage and ammunition wagons all around us. The 
drivers, as usual, were sitting on the mules. Just as the 

1 At this time Pope's effective force, weakened as his army had been 
by fighting and forced marching, did not exceed 40,000 men. Reno's 
corps, including his own division and that of Stevens, of both of which 
he now had the chief command, had shrunk from 8,000 to 7,000. 
McClellan's troops returning from the Peninsula were discouragingly 
slow in coming to the help of Pope. The whole Confederate army was 
confronting him, and, overlapping him to the northward, was attempt- 
ing to cross the river beyond his right, while he, in obedience to the 
.orders of General Halleck, commander-in-chief, felt compelled to hold 
the line of the Rappahannock. On the 23d of August he massed his 
army in the neighborhood of Rappahannock Station, and, among other 
movements, ordered General Sigel to march his corps, supported by 
Banks and Reno, upon Sulphur Springs and beyond. Of the support- 
ing force was the first brigade of Reno's division containing the Sixth 
New Hampshire Regiment. — Editor. 



WITH THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA. 69 

rain began to hold up a little, there came a fearful flash 
of lightning, striking a negro who drove an ammunition 
wagon and knocking him and his mules all in a heap. 
The mules soon got upon their feet, shook themselves, 
and were all right again, but not so was it with the col- 
ored driver : he was found stone dead. Ever after that 
it was a saying with the boys, that "lightning could not 
kill a mule, for they had seen it tried." But had the bolt 
struck the ammunition wagon itself, few of us nearest 
that vehicle would have lived to joke about the mules. 
After the shower we moved on, and that night got lost. 
It was so dark that we could not see our file leaders, and 
we had to halt. The country was new to all the general 
officers and their aides, and it was late in the night be- 
fore we got started again. We had been kept all the 
time in readiness to move at a moment's notice, and so 
we got no rest. It was learned the next morning that 
we had come very near running spank into the enemy. 
We moved on to White Sulphur Springs, and there en- 
camped on the side of a hill overlooking the large hotel 
and its grounds. That evening the hotel from some 
unknown cause took fire, and afforded us a brilliant 
light by which to eat our supper. 

Early the next morning (August 27) we were again 
on our way, and marched through Warrenton city. 
About 11 a.m., a staff officer came riding after us at 
full speed, with orders to face about and march toward 
Warrenton Junction, for the enemy had made a raid in 
the night upon the railroad in that vicinity, capturing 
trains and doing other mischief. 1 While we were push- 

1 This was the work of Stonewall Jackson, who, on the 25th of 
August, had started upon his raid around the right of Pope's army as it 
faced westward. He had crossed the Rappahannock, passed the Bull 



70 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ing on in obedience to orders, the Second New Hamp- 
shire Regiment, with other troops of General Hooker's 
command, had a brush with the raiders in the afternoon. 
We were tired fellows when we reached the railroad 
that night, having marched double-quick most of the 
way, and under a very hot sun. 

The next day (August 28) we proceeded up the rail- 
road towards Manassas Junction and Centreville, and 
encamped at night in a field just west of the railroad. 

Run mountains, hastened to Gainesville, and thence to Bristoe station 
on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, where he arrived at evening twi- 
light of August 26. Without delay, Stuart, who had joined him with 
cavalry, was dispatched to Manassas Junction, which he captured at 
midnight, while Jackson remained to do what mischief he could at Bris- 
toe and in the vicinity. So unexpected was this formidable appearance 
of the enemy in the rear of Pope's army and between it and Washing- 
ton, that two trains came up the railroad to Bristoe all unconscious of 
danger, and were captured. But Jackson was aware of his own peril- 
ous position in being so far away from the remainder of the Confederate 
army, the van of which, under Longstreet, was still beyond the Bull 
Run mountains. The wary raider did not remain long in one place. 
He was soon off for Manassas Junction, leaving Ewell at or near Bris- 
toe. The latter, repulsed in the afternoon of the 27th in a sharp, 
engagement at Kettle Run with General Hooker's division — recently 
arrived from the Peninsula, and containing the Second New Hampshire 
Regiment — hastily retired to Manassas to join Jackson. Early on the 
morning of the 28th, Jackson's forces left Manassas, hastening by three 
northward routes, one of which was through Centreville, to reach a 
position favorable for junction with the remainder of the army, advanc- 
ing with Longstreet and Lee by way of Thoroughfare Gap. That posi- 
tion was found near the old battlefield of Bull Run. This unexpected 
raid rendered necessary a sudden change in Pope's plan of operations. 
He acted promptly in attempting to meet the emergency, rapidly mov- 
ing his forces eastward to close about the enemy, from Gainesville on 
the south-west to Centreville on the north-east, and wheeling them till 
they faced westward, confronting the foe in his chosen position. — Ed. 



WITH THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA. 7 1 

We had met the Second New Hampshire Regiment that 
day for the first time since we had come to the front, 
and had a pleasant chat with those we knew. That 
evening Colonel Griffin called the officers to his head- 
quarters, and informed them that it was expected we 
should have a general battle on the morrow, for the 
opposing armies were so situated that it was almost im- 
possible for Lee to move without bringing on an engage- 
ment, and the indications were that there would be a 
hard fight, and we must govern ourselves accordingly. 

Thus told the night before that we were on the mor- 
row to go into a hard battle, some of us talked it over 
with our "tent mates," and we speculated together about 
the result of the coming encounter. When we had lain 
down for the night, thoughts and feelings of tender so- 
lemnity came to us. We remembered the dear ones left 
at home, whom we, perhaps, were never to see again. 
The mind recurred to boyhood days, when we played 
with brothers and sisters, or went with them to school. 
In the frowning present, how smiling seemed the past ! 
But from that past, the sharp crack of the picket's rifle 
rudely brought us back to the present, — even to this our 
last night, for all we knew, of earthly life, since many a 
brave boy must fall to-morrow in his country's holy 
cause. 

It should, however, be said that all men were not 
affected alike in the prospect of an impending battle. 
While some became thoughtful and silent, others became 
jovial, and sometimes rough and boisterous, as if boiling 
over with animal spirits. But these peculiarities were 
not a sure indication of conduct in battle, for the silent 
boys, who might at the first shot, or in anticipation of it, 
turn pale and even tremble, were found, when the order 



72 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

"Forward" came, quite as readily stepping forth toward 
the enemy, as were their more cheerful and noisily defi- 
ant comrades, and, when fairly in the fight, proved 
themselves as brave as the bravest. Then, again, esti- 
mates of bravery, made when a company or regiment 
was formed, were often corrected by the test of the battle- 
field. Here, for instance, would be a big, boisterous 
six-footer, carrying a long dirk-knife, and bragging how 
he would like to go into a fight and " string the d — d 
rebels on his arm," who, at the very first shot from the 
enemy, would be found skulking behind a log or tree, 
or deserting in his first battle if not closely watched by 
his officers. There, again, would be a pale, slender, 
unassuming youth, whom the boys called "Mother's 
apron-strings," and of whom but little was expected, 
but who, when he got to the front, did not play sick or 
shirk in any other way, was always ready for picket-duty, 
and on the battle-field was steadfast in the thickest of the 
fight, and among the most reluctant to retreat. The 
writer will add in this connection, that he never, while 
in the service, saw more than one or two men who did 
not manifest more or less fear when in battle ; but this 
fear was not cowardice. The boys of Company B will 
remember one George Smith, whom they nicknamed 
"Satan." He did not fear "God, man, or the devil," 
and seemed to be in his element when in a fight. In the 
battle of Bull Run, while the Minie" bullets were shower- 
ing upon us like hail, he stopped firing, and shouted, 
" Say, you d — d rebels, can't you stop firing long enough 
for a fellow to take a chew of tobacco ? " At the same 
time, thrusting his hand into his pocket, he drew forth a 
plug, and, taking a big quid, went on firing as coolly as 
though he were hoeing corn. 



LOSS OF THE WEST POINT, 73 

Mobb of tfy TJ?«rf (point 

When the Ninth Army Corps left Newport News to 
go to the help of the Army of Virginia, all its sick were 
sent to the hospitals. It was soon decided to send them 
by boat up the Potomac to Alexandria and Washington. 
So on the 13th of August, all the sick and convalescent, 
about two hundred and fifty, were put upon the steamer 
West Point. Some members of the Sixth New Hamp- 
shire Regiment were of the number, among whom were 
Lieutenant-Colonel Scott and Sergeant C. L. Parker. 
The wives of Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, Major O. G. 
Dort, and Captain John A. Cummings, with the Major's 
little son, four or five years old, were also of the party. 
Sergeant (afterwards Lieutenant) Parker gives the fol- 
lowing account of the disaster which befell the West 
Point : 

" We left Newport News on that beautiful morning of 
August 13, 1862, and had a fine passage down the bay 
past Fortress Monroe and up into the Potomac, and 
were all anticipating a safe and pleasant trip. Many of 
the sick had retired early, and nearly all were in their 
state-rooms, when, all of a sudden, about nine o'clock in 
the evening we were startled by a fearful crash and 
shock. The men rushed from their state-rooms, and 
all was confusion. We had collided with the steamer 
George Peabody, a larger boat than ours, which was 
coming down the river with scarcely any lading, having 
been up with troops and supplies. Our boat had struck 
her just in front of her wheel-house, damaging her wheel 
so that she could not move ; she therefore floated help- 
lessly down the river, with a large hole in her side, but 
above the water-line, thanks to the light lading. 



74 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

"The scene which followed cannot be described. We 
found that our boat was fast filling with water, as the 
bow had been split quite open by the force of the colli- 
sion. We supposed at first that the West Point was not 
so badly damaged as the George Peabody ; but it proved 
otherwise, and we expected the captain of our boat 
would run her ashore, which was about half a mile 
distant, or at least ground her as near the shore as pos- 
sible. But our feelings can hardly be imagined when 
we saw the captain, pilot, and crew pulling from the 
steamer, safely seated in one of her two small boats, — 
the other being left for the rest of us, numbering more 
than two hundred ! Had this happened a little later in 
the war, there would have been a dead captain and pilot 
in that boat before they had got far from the steamer. 

"As we were now left wholly to our fate, we got the 
ladies and children upon the upper deck, and then tried 
to lower the remaining boat, in which to put them ; but in 
the haste and confusion the boat was lost, and escape 
seemed hopeless. Mrs. Dort, in great distress, had 
called me from the lower cabin to her berth, to help 
dress her little boy. I rendered the requested aid, and 
helped her and the child upon the hurricane deck. We 
were all the time floating down the river, and as the for- 
ward part of the boat was now under water, we all tried 
to get upon the hurricane deck. This broke down under 
such a weight, and nearly all were plunged into the 
water. Many floated off and sank ; others secured 
broken boards and pieces of the wreck, and floated as 
long as they could hold on. Some, however, drifted 
ashore, or were picked up by passing boats. When the 
deck broke down, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott was sepa- 
rated from the ladies, but before morning he was taken 



LOSS OF THE WEST POINT. 75 

from the wreck, having held to the iron rods connecting 
with the tops of the smoke-stack, which remained out of 
water after the boat sank. A surgeon of a Michigan 
regiment and myself got the ladies to the highest point 
of the broken deck, which was fast sinking. I heard 
the surgeon tell the ladies he would do his best to save 
them, and I think he did, for as he was drowned and 
was found two days later far down the river with one of 
the ladies holding fast to him, it is evident that he kept 
his promise. While trying to reach a higher point and 
assist the ladies to it, I was seized by a drowning com- 
rade, and went down into the deep water. When I got 
clear of him, I was at some distance from the boat and 
never saw the ladies or children again. I commenced 
swimming for the nearest shore, but as I was very weak 
from recent sickness, my strength soon failed, and I 
turned back in hopes of finding something to cling to, 
as the boat had made its last plunge and gone to the 
bottom. The water was full of struggling humanity, 
and such cries for help may I never hear again ! Those 
who could not swim, or who did not get something on 
which to float, soon disappeared beneath the water. 

" When I came up to the wreck, I found a few clinging 
to the smoke-stack and connecting rods. Having suc- 
ceeded in grasping one of the rods with one-hand, I held 
on with the rest till late_ in the night, when a schooner 
came along and took us all off. We were afterwards 
transferred to the George Peabody. Some escaped by 
the simplest means. One soldier, and a colored woman 
belonging to the boat, were saved by a water-pail turned 
bottom up, which they held to between them, thus keep- 
ing their heads above water. George Smith and Hiram 
Pool, of the Sixth, escaped by clinging to a door. 



*]6 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Others found like desperate chances fortunate ones. 
One hundred and twenty were drowned, including all 
the ladies and the major's little boy. And it is sad to be 
compelled to say that all this loss of life might have been 
saved, had the captain and pilot stayed by the boat and 
run her ashore, as they had ample time to do before she 
went down on that calm, clear night. It was the opinion 
of the boys that the captain and pilot were full-fledged 
rebels and that they ran against the other boat on pur- 
pose, for it was a perfectly clear evening, and. any one 
on deck could not have failed to see the other boat 
approaching, even if it had had no lights out; while the 
fact that they deserted at once the sinking boat not only 
proves criminal delinquency, but strongly tends to prove 
the basest disloyalty. A court of inquiry was held, but 
it was managed like most of such courts, and I am sorry 
to say that both the captain and pilot escaped punish- 
ment. Had Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, or somebody else, 
shot them on the instant they were seen deserting the 
disabled steamer, he would have served them right, and 
his country well." 



CHAPTER VII. 

SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN— CHANTILLY— RETREAT 
TO THE DEFENCES OF WASHINGTON. 

On the 29th of August, Pope's retreating army found 
itself confronted by the whole rebel force. 1 In the morn- 
ing the order came to "fall in," and we moved on 
toward the "Old Bull Run" battle-field. The hot sun 
and dusty roads made disagreeable marching. About 
nine o'clock we noticed that the firing' increased, and 
some two miles to the west we could see the smoke of 
battle. All the roads leading to the battle-field were full 
of troops, artillery, ammunition wagons, and ambulances. 

1 Stonewall Jackson had arranged his forces facing eastward, along 
and near the cut of an unfinished railroad, with thick woods at hand, 
affording shelter for the troops. His line of battle extended along this 
excavation, from the Warrenton turnpike northward nearly to Sudley 
Ford, the right resting near the former, the left near the latter. The 
first division of Jackson's corps, under the immediate command of 
General Starke, held the right; the third (Ewell's), the centre; the 
second (A. P. Hill's), the left. Longstreet's corps arrived in course 
of the day, and supported the right. The Union line, as it was formed 
by forces coming in from various points at different times, confronted 
the Confederate position. Sigel's corps was on its left and left-centre.; 
Kearney's division of Heintzelman's corps, on its right; Hooker's 
division of the same corps, with a portion of Reno's command — includ- 
ing the first and second brigades of the second division of the Ninth 
corps — on its right centre. The left was supported, during a part of 
the day, by Reynold's division and McDowell's corps. Sigel's corps, 
early in the morning, began the battle, which continued all day, and in 
which the other troops engaged as they came upon the field. — Editor. 



7 8 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

As we neared the battle-field the contest seemed to in- 
crease in fury, with only an occasional lull of a few 
minutes. Soon the wounded began to be brought back 
in large numbers. This sight is one of the saddest in 
war experience. It is not inspiriting to the soldier 
going into battle, to meet his fellows being carried to 
the rear, with forms torn by shot and shell, and often 
mangled in hideous and ghastly disfigurement. But 
this we were obliged to see as we moved on, knowing 
that soon some of us would be borne to the rear in a like 
condition. Such sights were enough to make the stout- 
est and bravest man look pale. 

We arrived on the field under the fire of the enemy 
about ii A. m., and filed up into a position at the right of 
the road, north-easterly of the "stone house," 1 and lay 
down on the grass to rest. The shot and shell came 
over and beyond us, and we could see a portion of the 
battle. The heaviest fighting seemed to be in the woods, 
over the hill, in our front. We expected to be called 
upon to go in at any moment ; and they were no pleas- 
ant thoughts that occupied our minds while we lay there 
nibbling hard-tack, watching the progress of the battle, 
and seeing the wounded carried to the rear. Regiment 
after regiment came up, and moved off to the south of 
us. Among the other troops were seen the New York 
Zouaves with their red, bag-like pantaloons, the Penn- 
sylvania Bucktails, and the Philadelphia Grays. From 
our position we could see all the movements of the 
troops till they went over the hill into the battle. 

*A prominent landmark in both battles of Bull Run, standing at the 
crossing of the Warrenton turnpike and the Sudley road. General 
Pope's head-quarters were not far from it, in a north-easterly direction. 

— Editor. 



SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN. 79 

While we lay there, Colonel Griffin came along, and 
said, "This is where we had our first Bull Run bat- 
tle." He and Captain Goodwin pointed out the posi- 
tion of some of our troops in that battle, and where 
the Blackhorse Cavalry charged the New York Zouaves, 
with which latter command the captain was then con- 
nected. 

About 1 :30 p. m., we received orders to fall in and 
move up nearer the front. We marched over the hill, 
or rise of ground, down towards the woods to the west, 
in which quarter had been most of the hard fighting. 
Here we were ordered to take off our knapsacks and to 
put them in piles by companies, leaving a few men to 
guard them. We knew this meant that our time was at 
hand to "go in," as the boys called it. We never saw 
our "trunks" again, for when our forces were defeated 
and driven back, the "Johnnies" occupied the ground 
and captured our valuables. Most of the boys had 
things of value packed away in their "beehives," and 
while they did not care a fig for the knapsacks, they did 
miss the contents very much. When we had "unslung 
knapsacks" and were in fighting trim, about 2:30 
o'clock, our brigade was formed in line, some fifteen or 
twenty rods from the woods, facing the west, with the 
Second Maryland Regiment on the right, the Forty- 
Eighth Pennsylvania on the left, and our regiment in 
the centre. 

The order was given by Colonel Nagle (after the bat- 
tle promoted to general) , # commanding the brigade, to 
"move forward and clear the woods of the rebels." It 
was not a very definite order; but we moved at the 
word, sending in advance a few skirmishers, upon 
whom, as they entered the woods, the rebels opened 



80 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

fire. They fell back into the ranks, and the firing be- 
came brisk. The enemy had wisely chosen their fight- 
ing ground. The bushes were thick, and as we were 
facing the west the rays of the afternoon sun, coming 
through the trees, shone directly into our faces, so that 
we could see but a short distance ahead, while the rebels 
had a good view of us and all our movements. But 
they fell back as we pressed forward, firing as fast as 
we could and as often as we could get a sight at the 
" gray-backs." We felt that we were driving them; 
but perhaps we hurried too much, and therefore did less 
execution than we should have done had we moved 
more slowly. Suddenly we received a terrific volley, 
which seemed to come from the ground just in front of 
us. The colonel ordered us to charge, which we did 
with a will, and came out upon the brink of a railroad 
cut, with a clearing and bushes beyond, in which the 
rebels had taken position, the embankment making a 
good breastwork for them. We poured into them such 
a volley that they got out of their hiding-place on the 
double-quick, and retreated to the clearing and woods 
beyond. 1 From the course of the railroad cut and that 
of our march the left of our regiment had struck the cut 
first. We moved into and across it, supposing that the 
Forty-eighth Pennsylvania was on our left all the time, 
but, to our surprise, that regiment was not to be seen. 
Soon the shots came thick from the bushes to the left, 
and some of the boys thought at first that the Forty- 

1 As the writer was at this moment wounded and helped to the rear 
by one of his men (I. E. Woodward), the further description of the 
fight will be given from facts furnished by those who remained in it to 
the close. What has thus far been described took place at the left of 
the regiment, where the writer's company was. 



SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN. 8l 

eighth was firing into us by mistake. Straightway, how- 
ever, they saw the "gray-backs" running through the 
bushes on the bank, and fell back across the track. As 
they could see a whole line of rebels coming down upon 
them from still further to the left, those of them who 
could moved northward along the cut through the bushes 
towards the right of the regiment. Adjutant Bixby and 
Lieutenant Emerson were captured here on the left, and 
Lieutenant Thomas Moore of Company I, and J. Pres- 
cott of Company D, were killed. 

It seems that as we advanced through the woods and 
got fully into the fight, and about the time our left 
went down into the railroad cut, the Forty-eighth Penn- 
sylvania fell back, and moving to the right and rear of 
our regiment, exposed our left to the enemy that was 
following up the Forty-eighth. This is one reason why 
our left suffered so much. Had that regiment held its 
ground with the Sixth New Hampshire, we should have 
lost no men as prisoners, and comparatively few in killed 
and wounded. As it was, however, before our left com- 
panies were aware of it, the rebels were in their rear 
pouring in a destructive fire, and they could do nothing 
better than to run or surrender. Few, however, were 
captured, but many were killed between the two fires. 
The dead and wounded lay thickest at this point, for the 
enemy had a fair, raking fire on us from the front and 
left. " 

While our left was thus being doubled up and broken, 
the right and centre were having a desperate fight, and 
were pushing the enemy over the railroad track. At last 
the shots began to come so fast from the left that Colonel 
Griffin supposed they came from the Forty-eighth Penn- 
sylvania, the bushes and smoke being so thick that one 
6 



82 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

could see but a few rods. So he took the flag, and, 
mounting the embankment, waved it. But he received 
a murderous volley that convinced him that the stars 
and stripes had no friends in that quarter. Knowing 
now that by some means the rebels were getting into his 
rear, he ordered the regiment to retreat to the right; 
whereupon every man not killed or wounded took to the 
woods and to the rear as fast as his legs would carry 
him. The enemy, quick to see the change, redoubled 
fire, and, closing in, would, but for the underbrush, have 
killed or captured the whole regiment. Our largest loss 
was on and near the brink of the railroad cut, and all our 
dead and wounded fell into the hands of the enemy. As 
the regiment, or what was left of it, retreated through 
the woods, it came out into the field to the north of the 
point whence it had gone in. As it came out and gath- 
ered around the flag, it was a sorry-looking handful of 
men. Eagerly they looked toward the woods, hoping 
that others had escaped and would join them, but only a 
few stragglers who had gone farther north came in. 1 

On calling the roll, it was found that of the four hun- 
dred and fifty who went into the fight two hundred and 
ten were to be counted as our loss — nearly one half 
our number ! The loss, in detail, was,— killed, fifty ; 
wounded, one hundred and thirty ; missing, thirty. 2 
Most of the missing were killed, or died of their wounds 
on the battle-field. But few of them ever reached the 
rebel prison-pens. Of the twenty officers who went into 
the fight, five were killed, six wounded, and two cap- 

1 Incidents of the battle, with other interesting matter, will be found 
at the end of the chapter. 

a The brigade's loss, as given in « • Battles and Leaders of the Civil War " 
(p. 499). was > — killed, 76; wounded, 259; missing, 183; — total, 518. 



SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN 83 

tured. Those killed were Lieutenants Ames, Moore, 
Prescott, and Muchmore ; the wounded were Captains 
Pearson and Ela, and Lieutenants Fuller (mortally), 
Hayes, Adams, Jackman, and Titcomb. Adjutant Bixby 
and Lieutenant Emerson were, as has already been men- 
tioned, taken prisoners. Lieutenant Adams was so se- 
verely wounded that he never returned to the regiment, 
and now sleeps in an honored grave among the Cheshire 
hills. 1 

That night what was left of the regiment moved back 
to a position very near that occupied at noon, and a little 
to the north and east of the place whence it had gone 
into the fight. There the Sixth lay, with orders to hold 
itself in readiness to move at call, and no sadder night 

1- rhe Second brigade of Reno's command was, during the bloody 
encounter, supporting a battery not far away, and saw the First march 
into and out of " the jaws of death." An officer in that brigade thus 
describes the scene : " For about an hour nothing more was attempted; 
then our brigade took position in support of twenty pieces of artillery 
on the ridge close by, and our first brigade (the Forty-eighth Pennsyl- 
vania, Second Maryland, and Sixth New Hampshire regiments) was 
taken to enter the shades of the woods in our front, now quiet as death. 
General Pope's staff officers were encouraging the men with, — ' Porter is 
in their rear ; you '11 hear his guns in a minute \ Fight sharp, boys, 
and you 've got 'em sure ! ' The brigade soon disappeared in the 
woods, under the command of General Reno, to assault in connection 
with some of General Hooker's men. Long minutes of anxious expec- 
tation followed, then a few scattered shots, and then a long, rolling 
volley, in which every man seemed to have taken his own time to aim 
after the order to fire was given. We knew by the sound that it came 
from the heavily charged rebel smooth-bores ; then our rifles came in, 
and confused shouts, yells, and musketry followed. Our noble boys 
are coming back broken and shattered, and, good God, how few of 
them are left ! " (History of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment, 
p. 143.) — Editor. 



84 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

did it ever pass than that of August 29, 1862. 1 This 
battle was the most disastrous to the regiment of any in 
which it ever participated. That participation was meas- 
ured by minutes, but the very brevity of the encounter 
attests its terrific and deadly intensity. Indeed, our regi- 
ment never fully recovered from the terrible loss suffered 
here. Although our ranks were afterwards partially 
filled, yet we had lost many of our best men, and their 
places could not easily be filled. We had, however, the 
proud consciousness of having done our duty well. We 
received, too, the gratifying commendation of Generals 
Reno and Burnside, both of whom made particular men- 
tion of the Sixth in this battle. 2 

1 That night, too, the Second New Hampshire Regiment rested on the 
very spot where its line had been formed more than a year before, in 
the first battle of Bull Run. In this, its second battle on the ill-omened 
field, it suffered heavily. Upon the arrival of Hooker's division in the 
forenoon, Grover's brigade, to which the regiment belonged, was tem- 
porarily assigned to Sigel's command. Later in the day the brigade, 
numbering 1,500, made a vigorous charge upon Jackson's centre over 
the railroad embankment, and lost in twenty minutes of gallant but 
finally ineffectual fighting 486 men. Its loss was more than one third 
of its number, and included among the killed or wounded ten of its 
twenty-one commissioned officers. — Editor. 

2 To illustrate the esteem in which the Sixth was held, it may here 
be added that the writer was told by a staff officer of General Reno that 
the latter declared he felt perfectly safe when the Sixth New Hampshire 
was in the front, for it would never retreat till it had done some smart 
fighting. When the writer was on General Nagle's staff, and we were 
in front of the enemy one night, the general was heard to ask, "What 
regiment is doing picket duty to-night? " and received from his adjutant- 
general the reply, — "The Sixth New Hampshire : we are all right, 
general." On another occasion, when we were going into battle with 
our brigade, an officer of another regiment, that had not been in the 
service so long as ours, was heard to say to his men, — " Do n't you run 



SECOND BATTLE OF BULL RUN. 85 

On the 30th of August 1 our" regiment and brigade did 
not do much fighting, but acted as a support to the second 

till you see the Sixth New Hampshire run ; but when you see that regi- 
ment retreating, you may do likewise." 

1 On the afternoon of August 29 the combined efforts of the forces of 
Kearny, Hooker, and Reno had driven back the enemy's left nearly a 
mile, doubling it upon the centre, and had those operations been sec- 
onded by Fitz-John Porter's corps against the enemy's right, as General 
Pope had ordered and expected, it seems probable that the result would 
have been a Confederate defeat. Whatever may have been the cause 
or motive of Porter's conduct, his inaction stands in striking contrast 
with the activity of Longstreet, who, arriving with reinforcements for 
Jackson, effectively helped to hinder Union success. As it was, how- 
ever, — as General Pope has said (in "Battles, and Leaders of the Civil 
War," p. 485), — "when the battle ceased on the 29th of August, we 
were in possession of the field on our right, and occupied on our left 
the position held early in the day." During the night the Confederates 
were reinforced, and, in making preparations to attack the Union left, 
withdrew from positions formerly occupied, thus creating the impression 
in the Union lines that they were retreating. General Pope says {Ibid. 
pp. 485, 486), — " On the morning of the 30th, our troops, who had been 
marching and fighting almost continuously for many days, were greatly 
exhausted. They had had little to eat for two days, and the artillery 
and cavalry horses had been in harness and under the saddle for ten 
days, and had been almost out of forage for the last two days. On the 
28th I had telegraphed General Halleck our condition . . . ; but 
about daylight on the 30th I received a note from General Franklin, 
written by direction of General McClellan, informing me that rations 
and forage would be loaded into the available wagons and cars at Alex- 
andria as soon as I should send back a cavalry escort to guard the 
trains. Such a letter, when we were fighting the enemy and when 
Alexandria was full of troops, needs no comment. . . . It was not 
until I received this letter that I began to be hopeless of any successful 
issue to our operations ; but I felt it to be my duty, notwithstanding 
the broken-down condition of the fbrces under my command, to hold 
my position. ... I determined again to give battle to the enemy, 
and delay as long as possible his farther advance toward Washington." 



86 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

brigade of the second division of our corps, and were 
double-quicked several times across the battle-field to 
support other troops. The men of the Ninth Corps did 
good service that day, and General Pope acknowledged 
that they saved the left wing of his army. Posted with 
Graham's battery on a hill, they did effective work in the 
afternoon. Three desperate charges were made upon 
their position, which were all repulsed with heavy loss 
to the assailants. 1 

The writer well remembers that afternoon, for, with 
hundreds of other wounded, he was lying on the ground, 
under some wide-spreading oaks, near Bull Run creek, 
where we had been brought the day before, and 
could now hear the battle as it raged in all its fury. 
About 3 p. m., a general's aide came riding up, and 
told the surgeons to get the wounded farther back, if 
possible, for they were within reach of the enemy's 
shells. No sooner, indeed, had he said this than the 

The Confederates carried out their plan of concentrating their efforts 
against the Union left, and there a fierce and bloody struggle went on 
during the day, with variations of fortune, but with the final result of 
Union repulse. During the ensuing night, General Pope withdrew his 
army "across Bull Run to the heights of Centreville." — Editor. 

1 Reno's second brigade, comprising the Twenty-first Massachusetts, 
Fifty-first Pennsylvania, and Fifty-first New York regiments, had been 
during the day upon the Union right, against which occasional Confed- 
erate demonstrations were made. But just before sunset it moved half 
a mile at double-quick to the rear of the left, and took position with 
Graham's Battery on Henry House hill, south of Warrenton turnpike, 
leading to Centreville. This position covered the turnpike crossing 
over Young's branch of the Bull Run, and the stubborn, successful de- 
fence of it against the massed forces of the enemy effectually checked 
the Confederate advance at that important point, and greatly facilitated 
the retreat of the Union army. — Editor. 



CHANTILLY. 87 

shells came screeching over our heads, and ploughing 
the ground just in our rear, so that every one who 
could crawl began to retire. There were not half 
ambulances enough for the most severely wounded, so 
that any one who had two whole legs was obliged to get 
along as best he could. 

The Ninth Corps covered the retreat of Pope's army 
to Centreville on the night of August 30. To make our 
march the more gloomy, a pouring rain came down 
before we reached Centreville, and, thoroughly drenched, 
tired, and hungry, we lay down on the wet ground, with 
sad thoughts and gloomy forebodings. Their last few 
days' experience had been such as to take much of the 
soldierly vim out of the men, but when the sun came out 
in the morning and they got a good cup of coffee with 
their hard-tack, new life was put into them. We 
remained here most of the day (Sunday, August 31) 
guarding the trains and helping protect the rear of the 
army. The next day (September 1) the rebels were 
found to be moving with a heavy force towards Fairfax 
Court House, hoping to get between our forces and 
Washington. General Pope had his army extended all 
along from Centreville to Fairfax Court House, and as 
our troops moved out on the different roads, the Ninth 
Corps encountered the enemy near Chantilly. 1 About 
6 p. m. a vigorous attack was made upon the corps, 
more particularly upon the first division commanded by 

iWhen the Union army had retreated upon Centreville, Lee dis- 
patched Jackson upon another flanking march, with the purpose of get- 
ting between the Union right and the defences of Washington. It was 
in consequence of this movement that the opposing forces came in con- 
tact near Chantilly, a post-office on the Little River turnpike, north- 
east of Centreville. — Editor. 



88 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

General Isaac I. Stevens. A heavy thunder-storm was 
raging at the same time, and the artillery of the skies, 
chiming with that of the contending lines, contributed to 
the terrors of the strife. 

The brigade which was first struck by the enemy was 
slowly driven back by a much larger force, and General 
Stevens sent back a request for more troops. As the 
Sixth New Hampshire Regiment was advancing over a 
ridge to support the troops already engaged, the Fiftieth 
Pennsylvania was met, just breaking for the rear ; but 
on seeing the Sixth advancing with flying colors, it re- 
formed on the right of us and went bravely forward to 
the attack. We repulsed the enemy, and held him in 
check at the edge of a large corn-field surrounded by a 
high rail fence. The corn-field was full of rebels, who 
kept up a steady fire through the shower, to which we 
replied as fast as we could. One of the boys (C. Show- 
ell) fired one hundred and sixty rounds of cartridges 
during this fight. When his rifle got so foul that he 
could use it no more, he took one belonging to a wounded 
comrade, and kept at his work. 1 When darkness came 
on the firing ceased, and the enemy withdrew. 

As already mentioned, General Stevens, finding his 
division hard pressed, had sent for more troops ; but 
before they reached him, his line began to waver. He 
seized the colors of his old regiment, the Seventy-ninth 
New York, and, as he led the charge upon the enemy, 
was shot through the head, and immediately fell and 
died without a groan. His son, adjutant-general 'of the 
division, who was with him, fell wounded about the same 
time. The whole corps mourned the loss of the brave 

i He was killed at the battle of Fredericksburg, a few months later, 
by a rebel bullet that broke his back. 



CHANTILLY. 89 

and faithful Stevens. All who knew him loved him. 
When he sent for help, General Philip Kearny said at 
once, " I will go and help Stevens ;" and he did. Near 
the close of the fight, he went out to make reconnoisance, 
and, coming within range of the enemy's picket, was 
shot dead. His body was recovered the next day. 

The writer, while lying wounded near Bull Run 
creek, on the 29th of August, saw General Kearny for 
the last time, as he came down among the wounded to 
look for several men ; and it is remembered how pleased 
the one-armed veteran was at finding one man who 
belonged to the Pennsylvania Bucktails, whom, as he 
tenderly remarked, he had feared he should never see 
alive again. When, two days later, the general himself 
fell at Chantilly, he was robbed of a diamond pin, gold 
watch, and other valuables ; and the body thus despoiled 
was brought to our lines. And in this connection, it 
may be said that many of the rebel officers would stoop 
so low as to rob a Union officer in ten minutes after he 
had fallen into their hands as a prisoner. Yes, " South- 
ern chivalry" would pick the prisoner's pocket of a knife, 
or strip his finger of a ring. Such an act of meanness 
was never done, it is believed, within the Union lines. 1 

After the battle of Chantilly, our army, during the 
night and the next day, fell back to the defences of 

1 In a careful computation given in ' ' Battles and Leaders of the Civil 
War," the following approximate results are reached as to the numbers 
of the effective forces on both sides in the Battle of Bull Run, August 
29 and 30, with the respective losses, — the latter, in the case of the 
Union army, embracing the casualties of the entire campaign from the 
Rappahannock to the Potomac : Union force, 63,000 ; Confederate, 
54,000. Union loss, — 1,747 killed, 8,452 wounded, 4,263 captured or 
missing — total, 14,462. Confederate loss, — 1,553 killed, 7,812 wounded. 
109 missing — total, 9,474. — Editor. 



go SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Washington. This campaign of four weeks under Gen- 
eral Pope was one of peculiar hardship and severity, 
and developed the pluck and endurance of the men. 
The troops were kept constantly on the alert, often 
spending the night in marching and countermarching 
and the day in skirmishing ; or if not actually engaged 
with the enemy, they were constantly expecting a fight 
— all causing a fearful strain on our physical systems. 

attribute of t%t gttonb (g&ttte of (gfuCC ($un. 

Brave fohn Stevens. Sergeant G. W. Craig, color- 
bearer, was killed early in the fight, and as he fell, one 
of the corporals of the color-guard seized the colors and 
carried them a few minutes, when he, too, was shot 
down. Then John Stevens, another corporal of the 
color-guard, took them, and having carried them a short 
distance, fell wounded. He was, however, up again in 
a moment, bearing them bravely forward till another 
shot laid him low. Even then he continued to hold up 
the " old flag," and would not let it go down, although 
he knew he had received his death-wound, and felt his 
young life to be fast ebbing away. Sergeant J. A. 
George then took the colors, and as we pressed on, Col- 
onel Griffin, on looking back, saw Corporal Stevens 
braced against a tree painfully loading his musket, and 
bound to give the rebels one more shot before he died. 
That was the last we ever saw of the brave and noble 
John Stevens. He belonged to Company E, and enlisted 
from Nelson. Like hundreds of other noble sons of New 
Hampshire, he sleeps in an unknown grave. At the 
close of the fight Colonel Griffin brought off the colors, 
or what was left of them, for they were badly riddled by 
shot.— L. J. 



INCIDENTS. 91 

Spitting out a Minii. As we were advancing in the 
woods under a heavy fire, I saw one of the men of Com- 
pany A fall a little in front and to the left of me, and 
heard the shot as it struck him. He fell forward upon 
his hands and knees, and, as he fell, I saw him spit out a 
Minie ball, and noticed that he was bleeding badly. I 
think his name was Beckwith, and that afterwards he 
was captured at the battle of Poplar Spring Church, and 
died in prison at Salisbury, North Carolina. — L. J. 

Firing to the End. Corporal M. W. Preston, of 
Company B, was wounded in the thigh, the ball cutting 
an artery. He knew that he must die, but he kept on 
loading and firing. Corporal Talbot tied a handkerchief 
about the limb so as to stop the flow of blood somewhat, 
but as the enemy had flanked our left, Talbot was obliged 
to leave the wounded man, as he was requested by him 
to do, and the last the boys saw of the plucky Preston, 
he was firing his last charge at the advancing foe. 
His comrade, Talbot, received his death-wound a few 
minutes afterwards. — L. J. 

Firing on his Knees. Another good soldier, Thomas 
Burns, of Company F, met his death with bravery equal 
to that exhibited by Preston. His captain, J. N. Jones, 
says he was shot through the leg in the hottest of the 
fight near the railroad, but instead of going to the rear 
he dropped on his knees, and continued to load and fire 
as though nothing had happened to him, till he was shot 
through the head and died with his rifle in his hands. 
He was one of the best specimens of the "Irish soldier," 
who did such good service in the war for the Union. 
-L.J. 

Carlton's Escape. About the time the enemy turned 
our left and the boys were obliged to fall back towards 



92 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

the centre, Sergeant Thomas J. Carlton (afterwards 
captain of Company F) was making double-quick time 
down the railroad cut, and as he jumped upon the bank 
a wounded rebel asked him for a drink. He gave him 
a sip out of his canteen, and they both started along the 
bank; for they were in great danger where they stood, 
since the shots came from all directions. Carlton saw 
Adjutant Bixby captured. A rebel was also making for 
himself, and his rebel companion was saying " He's all 
right," when Carlton saw a chance to get away which 
he improved as fast as his legs would carry him, the 
"Johnnies" giving him many shots to quicken his steps. 
He came out of the woods at a point near where Colonel 
Nagle, brigade commander, and his staff had hitched 
their horses on going into the fight. Seeing a man try- 
ing to unhitch the horses, he made for them, but was 
somewhat surprised to find the man a rebel. Carlton did 
not halt there long, but struck across the field toward 
our batteries. The rebels ordered him to halt, but he 
did not take orders from them, and so reached our lines 
in safety though somewhat out of wind. — L. J. 

A Bullets Freak — Closely Pursued. When near the 
railroad cut, Sergeant G. W. Currier was shot through 
the side, the ball cutting away a part of his leather belt 
and lodging in the right groin of the writer, who was 
standing just in the rear. Thus, by a singular freak, 
this one bullet disabled two men for the remainder of the 
battle. To show how closely the enemy followed us up, 
it may be added, that, as the writer was making his way 
to the rear as fast as he could with the assistance of 
comrade Woodward, the two were repeatedly shot at, 
and saw several of the wounded shot and killed while 
trying also to make their escape. Comrade Woodward 



INCIDENTS. 93 

had a dipper which was strapped to him cut away by a 
shot, and a part of his boot heel taken off in the same 
way. The enemy followed us through the woods and 
out into the field, but our batteries slaughtered many of 
them before they got back into shelter. — L. J. 

The Wounded left on the Battle-Field. The writer 
noticed, on coming out of the woods closely followed by 
the "Johnnies," that a regiment was stationed near a 
clump of bushes and a rail fence just to the left of where 
we went in, and that as the rebels came out in sight it 
opened on them and did good execution. It is thought 
the regiment was the Second New Hampshire, of Hook- 
er's command. Our batteries shelled the woods so thor- 
oughly that the enemy was glad to retreat, and some of 
our men ventured in to look after the dead and wounded. 
Sergeant J. A. George found Lieutenant Ames where 
he fell, shot through the body, as he was retreating. 
The large clasp on his sword-belt had stopped the ball 
after passing through his body, and had received a deep 
dent. Some of the wounded that had crawled back 
near the field were found ; those farther in towards the 
railroad cut could not be reached, as the enemy held the 
ground there. As the rebels had all they could do to 
attend to their own wounded, they did not give much 
attention, if any, to ours ; and the sufferings of these 
must have been terrible through that night and the next 
day. But how much they suffered we can never know, 
for most of them died. A few, however, were found 
and brought off on the third and fourth days after the 
battle. It is the one thing a soldier dreads most, thus to 
be left wounded on the battle-field, to linger perhaps for 
days, and then to die, with the pangs of hunger and 
thirst added to those of his neglected wounds. But 



94 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

many a brave soldier has thus died, the sole record of 
him being " missed in battle." — L. J. 

The Camf of the Dead and Wounded. While the 
writer was lying under the oak trees near Bull Run 
creek on the night of August 29, with the wounded and 
the dead scattered all around, sights were seen and 
sounds were heard, the remembrance of which makes 
him shudder even to this day. Such terrible wounds ! 
Though there was not so much shrieking or groaning 
among the hundreds of wounded men as might, perhaps, 
have been expected, yet there was enough to disturb 
fearfully the nerves of the hearer. The brave ones 
would shut their teeth, and try hard to smother their 
groans ; but some of the poor fellows were so terribly 
mutilated that they could not help crying out occasion- 
ally in their awful pain. Scarcely a wink of sleep was 
obtained that night by any one in or near the place 
where the wounded were lying. The surgeons and 
waiters labored diligently, trying to alleviate suffering. 
Towards morning the camp of the dead and wounded 
became more quiet, for many of the latter had been 
removed. The living sufferers were astonished in the 
morning to find what a large number had died during 
the night. Many whom the writer supposed to be asleep 
were dead. The two comrades lying nearest him, on 
his right and left, had died. — L. J. 

Remarkable Recovery. Captain Ela was lying near 
the writer, with his arm shattered below the elbow. 
Early in the evening he called attention to a man near 
by, who was acting strangely — getting up and lying 
down every few minutes, and behaving like one intox- 
icated. It was soon found out that he belonged to the 
Sixth Regiment. His head was swollen to a size one 



INCIDENTS. 95 

third larger than the natural, while his eyes were com- 
pletely closed, and he could hardly open his mouth. He 
kept mumbling something that could not be understood. 
One of the largest of Mini£ balls had made a fearful hole 
through his head just in rear of the eyes, and had 
passed so near the brain as to craze him. The surgeon 
was asked if something could not be done to relieve the 
poor fellow. "No," he replied, "he will not live more 
than three or four hours ; he has got his death wound." 
But when darkness settled down he was still alive. He 
was not noticed again till the afternoon of the next day, 
when the shell began to come over and around us. Cap- 
tain Ela then called the writer's attention to a man who 
was trying to put on his knapsack; and, sure enough, it 
was the same man that the doctor had said the day before 
could live only three or four hours. As there was a 
great stir among the wounded, with ambulance drivers 
shouting to their teams and shell screeching and burst- 
ing in the air, he seemed to know there was some move- 
ment afoot, and he was evidently trying to get ready to 
"fall in." Some of the attendants were called and told 
to get him into an ambulance, for a man with his pluck 
was worth saving. They did so, and that was the last 
the writer ever saw of him ; but he learned from his cap- 
tain that he was taken to a hospital in Washington, and 
in a few months was discharged from the service, with 
the loss of one eye. He was a veteran, having three 
red stripes on his coat sleeves denoting that he had 
served out three full enlistments. Many surgeons have 
declared this to be a remarkable case of recovery, 
considering how near the brain the ball had passed, and 
that the wound had not been dressed till the lapse of at 
least four days. — L. J. 



g6 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

A Mule Story. Here is a big, but true, mule story : 
As we came to the rear on the afternoon of August 29, 
we saw a mule by the side of the road nibbling grass, and 
with about all the top of his head shot away by a shell. 
He was unharnessed and turned out to die, but he had 
no notion of dying. The loss of his ears and the top of 
his head seemed to be of no account to him, except that 
it made him look a little less mulish. Possibly some 
one visiting the neighborhood of Bull Run, years after- 
ward, might have found a good old darkey ploughing 
his garden with that same earless mule. — L#. J. 

Good Luck in No Dinner. Captain J. N. Jones re- 
lates the following incident: "After we were out of the 
woods, I saw a small, thin, boyish soldier of the regi- 
ment examining his wound, which was a red streak 
across the bowels. He was scrutinizing it in a some- 
what comical way, so that even amid the terrible carnage 
I could not help smiling. I said to him, ' That was a 
close shave!' 'Yes,' he replied, 'it was lucky that I 
had no dinner, to-day.' The poor fellow was afterwards 
killed in battle, the only son of a widowed mother." 

QBio$vap{Jic ^fcicfyts. 

CHARLES L. FULLER. 

(by the editor.) 

Lieutenant Charles L. Fuller was born in Manchester, 
N. H., September 23, 1832, and was the son of Charles 
L. and Mary (Scott) Fuller, and grandson of Isaac and 
Huldah Fuller. He married Eliza S. Whittemore, of 
West Boylston, Mass., and removed to Peterborough, 
N. H., where he was engaged in business as a painter 
until the 13th of November, 1861. He then enlisted into 




LIEUTENANT CIIAELES L, FULLER. 



BIOGRAPHIC SKETCH. 97 

the military service of his country, becoming second 
lieutenant of Company K of the Sixth New Hampshire 
Regiment, and in this capacity he served until his death. 
He was mortally wounded in the second battle of Bull 
Run, August 29, 1862, and died on the 14th of the fol- 
lowing September, at the age of 30 years, 11 months, 22 
days. Besides a widow, he left two children, — a son, 
Charles C, living now (1891) in Worcester, Mass., and 
a daughter, Sophia S., who died at Providence, R. I., 
in 1880. 

TIMOTHY K. AMES. 

Lieutenant Timothy K. Ames was, on the eve of the 
Bull Run campaign, promoted from sergeant-major to 
lieutenant of Company G. His company was next to 
mine in that severe campaign, and I became well 
acquainted with him. He was an excellent officer, and 
a remarkably well read man. Had he lived, he would 
have risen to high rank. He died in the midst of the 
terrible conflict of Bull Run, in command of his com- 
pany. — Captain J. N. Jones. 
7 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN— SOUTH MOUNTAIN— 
ANTIETAM. 

Our regiment rested at Washington and in the vicinity 
till September 7, when, with the rest of the Ninth 
Corps, it moved up through Maryland towards Fred- 
erick City. 1 

Here, on the 12th, the corps had a smart skirmish 
with the enemy, who left Frederick on the double-quick. 
The people all along through Maryland cheered and 
welcomed our troops. Our forces pushed on as fast as 
they could, and on September 13 came up with the enemy 
at South Mountain. Here a stand was made, and on the 
14th (Sunday) a sharp battle was fought by our forces 

lAfter the retreat to the defences of Washington, General Pope hav- 
ing been relieved at his own request, General McClellan was entrusted 
with the command of the Union army. The enemy had disappeared 
from the front, and by the 7th of September had crossed the Potomac 
into Maryland "at fords in the vicinity of Point of Rocks." But Lee's 
movements had been known at Washington, and McClellan, having 
already thrown his army across the river north of that city, hastened 
on that day to the field. The First and Ninth Corps formed the right 
wing of his army, and were under the command of General Burnside, 
who had the advance. General Reno had the immediate command of 
the Ninth Corps, and General Hooker commanded the First. The 
second division of the Ninth, to which the Sixth New Hampshire Regi- 
ment belonged, was commanded by General Samuel D. Sturgis. The 
corps, also, as reorganized, consisted of four divisions instead of three, 
the fourth being known as the Kanawha Division, and commanded by 
General Jacob D. Cox. — Editor. 



SOUTH MOUNTAIN. 99 

under General Burnside, and those of the enemy under 
Generals D. H. Hill and Longstreet; but the latter were 
pressed steadily back at every point till late in the even- 
ing, when they fled, leaving the field in our possession, 
with about twenty-five hundred dead and wounded and 
fifteen hundred prisoners. This success, however, was 
not gained without the loss of about fifteen hundred men 
on our side. 1 The brave Jesse L. Reno, our corps com- 
mander that day, was shot in the forehead just at the 
close of the battle, and died in a few moments. 2 

The Ninth New Hampshire Regiment joined our brig- 
ade near Frederick, and was in the South Mountain fight, 
where it received its first "baptism of fire." 3 It stood 
well up to its work, and was gladly welcomed to our 
brigade. We fought side by side ever after that to the 
close of the war. It was composed of good and true 
men. 

The veterans of our brigade will remember some sin- 

1 The battle of South Mountain consisted of a series of fights, mainly 
at various gaps in the South Mountain ridge, west of Frederick. There 
the enemy undertook to resist the inconvenient pursuit of the Union 
army ; for Stonewall Jackson, with his own and other forces, had been 
detached to capture Harper's Ferry, a few miles to the southward, and 
Lee was anxious to keep the South Mountain ridge between himself and 
his foe, to prevent the thwarting of that and other movements. Har- 
per's Ferry was surrendered on the 15th of September, the day after 
the battle of South Mountain. In this battle, General Sturgis's Divi- 
sion, being used as a support, was but slightly engaged, and its losses 
were light. It "slept on its arms that night, occupying the ground 
won during the fight." — Editor. 

2 See brief notice of General Reno at end of chapter. 

8 Of the thirty-four wounded in the first brigade of Sturgis's Division 
(comprising its entire loss in the battle exclusive of seven missing) , 
twenty-five were of the Ninth New Hampshire Regiment. — Editor. 



IOO SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

gular sights among the dead and wounded at South 
Mountain. As our regiment rounded the crest of the 
hill in the field on the morning after the battle, it came 
upon a heap of the enemy's dead. Just beyond was a 
stone wall, and astride it sat a "Johnnie." Sergeant 
French of Company B thought he would go up and 
speak to him. Going near, he asked him what he wanted. 
Getting no reply, French moved up nearer, and Lieu- 
tenant Carlton called to him and asked what the "John- 
nie" said. By this time, however, French had got near 
enough to see that his man was dead. He had been 
killed while getting over the wall, and a stake by his 
side held him up in the position in which he was found. 
The boys used to joke French somewhat about his " try- 
ing to make a dead rebel talk." 

Just over this wall was a lane that led down the moun- 
tain. Our men will remember how thick the ground 
there was covered with the enemy's dead. The bodies 
were lying in all positions imaginable, and all were as 
black as a negro. We could never understand why the 
enemy's dead would turn black in less than twenty-four 
hours, while ours would not so change till the second or 
third day. Some of the surgeons found a reason in the 
scarcity of salt in the rebel army. A few minutes after 
we came up, a battery tore along the road and down this 
lane, to take position in front. Orders were urgent, and 
there was no stopping for dead rebels, so the battery was 
driven over them. It was a sickening sight after the last 
caisson had passed along, but less so than it would have 
been had the ground been covered with the wounded 
instead of the dead. 

On the 15th of September our regiment moved with 
the Ninth Corps towards Antietam, by the old Sharps- 



ANTIETAM. IOI 

burg road. The advance guard and cavalry had some 
skirmishing with the rear of the enemy's forces at Boons- 
borough, killing and wounding some and taking two 
hundred and fifty prisoners. We followed the retreating 
enemy as fast as we could, but without bringing him to a 
decisive engagement till the 17th of September. Lee did 
not wish to join battle till he could choose his ground, and 
when he had crossed Antietam creek and posted himself 
on the heights beyond, he thought it would do to make 
a stand and fight. The Ninth Corps on the morning of 
the 16th occupied the extreme left of the Union army, 
and stood close to the hills on the south-east side of the 
valley of the Antietam. This creek is not large, but 
owing to steep banks and deep water it is almost impos- 
sible to ford it at any point. Four bridges spanned it in 
a distance of six miles. Our corps was posted on the 
Sharpsburg road, at a short distance from the "stone 
bridge." 1 

1 Lee had selected a strong position upon commanding ground be- 
tween the Potomac and its tributary, Antietam creek. The Antietam 
has the general course of south-west, and flows into the Potomac 
three miles south of the village of Sharpsburg. Of the four bridges 
that spanned the stream, the three upper ones alone have any connec- 
tion with the story of the battle. The lowest of the three, called in 
the text the "stone bridge,'' and so named in some other histories, has 
more commonly received the name of " Burnside's bridge," which more 
clearly distinguishes it, for all the bridges were of stone. The road 
designated in the text as the " Sharpsburg road," branched off south- 
west from the Keedysville and Sharpsburg turnpike— sometimes called 
the " Boonsborough and Sharpsburg pike," — which crosses the An- 
tietam by the " Sharpsburg bridge.'' This bridge is the middle one of 
the three, and is more than a mile above "Burnside's bridge.'' 

During the 1 6th of September the opposing forces were getting into 
position. The Confederate army, beyond the Antietam and facing 
■eastward, had the general arrangement which it maintained the next 



102 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

On the morning of Wednesday, September 17, 1862, 
the troops were under arms at daybreak, and somewhat 
later the Ninth Corps began to advance. 2 The attempt 

day. Its left was held by Stonewall Jackson, who had returned from 
Harper's Ferry; its centre, by D. H. Hill; and its right, by Longstreet. 
In the arrangement of the Union line on the other side of the Antie- 
tam, General Burnside's command was divided, the First Corps (Hook- 
er's) being placed upon the extreme right of the line, while the Ninth 
Corps, now and since the death of General Reno under the immediate 
command of General J. D. Cox, was assigned to the extreme left, and 
moved forward to a position near Burnside's bridge. The other troops, 
were between these extremes, but upon the right centre, the plan being 
to mass upon the right. On the afternoon of the 16th, Hooker crossed 
the stream by the upper bridge and a ford, and there ensued sharp 
skirmishing and "a brisk cannonade which lasted till dark." The 
Twelfth Corps (Mansfield's) crossed in the night. Accordingly, on 
the morning of the 17th of September the Union army, "covering a 
front of about four miles,' 7 was in the following position : On the left 
stood the Ninth Corps, as already located ; on the right, in advanced 
position across the creek, were the corps of Hooker and Mansfield, 
with the Second (Sumner's) not yet across, but ready to support ; while 
off the centre, along the Boonsborough and Sharpsburg turnpike on the 
easterly side of the Antietam, lay the Fifth Corps (Fitz-John Porter's), 
with other troops, as a reserve. General Sumner commanded the right 
wing; General Burnside, the left. The cavalry was in reserve, and 
batteries were stationed upon the heights along the line on the easterly 
side of the creek. The three corps on the right were to be reinforced 
in course of the day by troops of the Sixth Corps (Franklin's) arriving 
from Crampton's Gap, where they had been operating for the relief of 
Harper's Ferry. The Confederate line, posted as already stated, was 
also to be reinforced on the 17th by troops returning from Harper's. 
Ferry — some supporting the centre and left, but those of A. P. Hill the 
right. Batteries were stationed on the left and centre, while Stuart's, 
cavalry and horse-artillery guarded the left. — Editor. 

2 Severe fighting began early in the morning on the right, between 
Hooker and Jackson ; a little later Mansfield came upon the field, and 
afterwards Sumner joined in the bloody encounter. " It was not until 



ANTIETAM. 



IO3 



carry the "stone bridge" having been unsuccessfully 
nade by the Eleventh Connecticut and other regiments, 1 
General Sturgis's Division was brought up, and ordered 
take the bridge at all hazards and seize the heights 
leyond. The regiments selected for this desperate 
mdertaking were the Sixth New Hampshire and the 
Second Maryland. The road occupied by our troops 
:ame down to the creek nearly three hundred yards 
lelow the bridge ; thence, turning at right angles, it ran 
ilong the bank, with only the narrow stream between it 
ind the enemy's position, and then turned again at right 
ingles to cross the bridge. The opposite bank was a 
teep, high bluff, covered on its top and sides with forest 
rees. Behind these trees, and behind barricades of 
tone and logs, the rebels were strongly posted, their 
ire covering every inch of ground over which our troops 
nust march to reach the bridge. 2 

even o'clock," says General J. D. Cox, commander of the Ninth Corps, 
' that orders came to advance toward the creek as far as could be done 
without exposing the men to unnecessary loss. Rodman [commander 
if the Third Division] was directed to acquaint himself with the situa- 
ion of the ford in front of him [below the bridge], and Sturgis, to 
eek the best means of approach to the 'stone bridge.' " — Editor. 

*At ten o'clock A. M. General Burnside received from General Mc- 
'lellan the order to cross the Antietam, and, by attacking the enemy 
m our left, to create a diversion in favor of our hard-pressed right. 
General Crook's brigade, of the Kanawha Division, stationed somewhat 
bove the bridge, was the first to try to effect the difficult passage by a 
lash straight down a hill nearly v opposite the south-east end of the 
iridge. This attempt was covered by the Eleventh Connecticut Regi- 
lent deployed as skirmishers, but it failed. What followed this at- 
empt is described in the text. — Editor. 

2 General J. D. Cox says, — "The Confederate defence of the passage 
ras intrusted to D. R. Jones's division of four brigades, which was the 
ne Longstreet himself had disciplined and led till he was assigned to 



104 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



The two regiments were formed in a field below where 
the road came down to the creek, and some sixty or 
seventy rods below the bridge. Here they were directly 
under the fire of the concealed enemy. The remainder 
of the brigade lay still farther down the stream, under 
cover of fences and corn-fields, too far away to support 
promptly the attacking column composed of the two 
small regiments already mentioned, each numbering 
only about one hundred and fifty men. The order of 
General Sturgis was to charge at once, so the regiments 
formed in line by the flank, side by side. They fixed 
bayonets, and, moving at the double-quick, passed 
through a narrow opening in a strong chestnut fence — 
which there was no time to remove — and charged in the 
most gallant manner directly up the road toward the 
bridge. As the attacking party, led by Colonel Griffin, 
debouched from the field into the road, the rebels, from 
their intrenched position, redoubled the fury of their fire, 
sweeping the head of the column with murderous effect. 
Of the first hundred men who passed through the open- 
ing in the fence, at least nine tenths were either killed 
or wounded. Such sweeping destruction checked, of 
course, the advancing column, but the men sheltered 
themselves behind logs, fences, and whatever other cover 
they could find, and bravely held the ground already 
gained. 

a larger command. Toombs's brigade was placed in advance, occupy- 
ing the defences of the bridge itself and the wooded slopes above, while 
the other brigades supported him, covered by the ridges which looked 
down upon the valley. The division batteries were supplemented by 
others from the reserve, and the valley, the bridge, and the ford below 
were under the direct and powerful fire of shot and shell from the Con- 
federate cannon." "Battles and Leaders in the Civil War," Vol. II, 
p. 649. — Editor. 



ANTIETAM. 105 

Other troops were now brought up, with artillery, and 
placed in position behind a bluff, in front of the bridge, 
whence such a fire of musketry and shot and shell was 
poured upon the enemy that he began to abandon his 
position nearest the creek. The regiments specially 
detailed for the asSault and charge, after having helped 
by sharpshooting, and with fearful exposure and some 
loss, to quiet and dislodge the enemy near the bridge, 
rushed forward. The charge was successful, and the 
fearful passage was accomplished. At once there was a 
general advance of troops over the bridge, but, when 
over, they were exposed to the enemy's deadly fire from 
points a little more remote, and suffered considerable 
loss. Here the brave Lieutenant-Colonel Bell, of the 
Fifty-first Pennsylvania, was killed by a piece of shell, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Carruth, commanding the Thirty- 
fifth Massachusetts, was wounded. The Union loss in- 
curred in effecting the passage of the bridge was about 
five hundred killed and wounded. 1 

1 The accounts of this exploit are somewhat discrepant. As to the 
regiments directly engaged in the final assault and charge, some of 
them mention four, namely, the Fifty-first Pennsylvania (Colonel Hart- 
ranft), the Fifty-first New York (Colonel Robert B. Potter), the Twenty- 
first Massachusetts (Colonel Clark), and the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts 
(Lieutenant-Colonel Carruth) . Others name only the first three, while 
others still mention only the first two. The historian of the Twenty- 
first Massachusetts, who was himself a participant in the affair, says, — 
' ' We did not receive our just share of credit in the official reports of 
our brigade and corps commanders for our participation in the success- 
ful assault upon the bridge. General Ferrero, the brigade commander, 
with strange ignorance of the movements of the different regiments of 
his brigade, in his report dilutes our glory by adding the Thirty-fifth 
Massachusetts to the assaulting regiments ; while General Cox, the 
corps commander, robs us of our dearly bought fame by naming only the 
two Fifty-firsts as having done the glorious deed." The reports of Gen- 



106 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

As the regiments crossed the bridge they filed to the 
right and left, and drove the enemy back over the hills 
and from behind stone walls and fences. The Sixth 
advanced up the bluff opposite the bridge, and was the 
first to form in line on the crest of the ridge, where it 
received a storm of shot and shell frflm the enemy's bat- 
teries in the distance. All the while, from the time the 
first attempt was made to take the bridge until two o'clock 
in the afternoon, a steady fire of artillery and musketry had 
been kept up, and our forces had been most dangerously 
exposed while approaching the enemy. And now, after 
a considerable portion of the corps was over the creek, 
both at the bridge and the ford below a general forward 
movement was made. As our columns advanced over 

erals Bumside and McClellan follow the corps report in this respect. 
The same historian, after describing the movements and operations of 
his own and the two Pennsylvania regiments, in which the Twenty-first 
Massachusetts had lost more than twenty men, writes, — "Then came 
the order to charge. The color-bearers started on the run for the bridge 
(the colors of the Fifty-firsts side by side and a hundred yards nearer 
the bridge than ours), and the three regiments, with a fierce shout, 
crowded toward the narrow passage ; but before the colors of the two 
Fifty-firsts had touched the long disputed bridge, the panic-stricken 
rebels left their cover and fled. The two Fifty-firsts immediately 
passed over the bridge without further opposition, while the Twenty- 
first, who had nearly exhausted their ammunition, were halted for a 
few minutes to allow the men to collect cartridges from the boxes of 
our dead and wounded, and then we passed over the bridge which sev- 
eral thousand of our corps were now hurrying to cross. When over 
the bridge, the brigade, now joined by the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, 
took position in a ravine on the right of the road, which the rebels soon 
began to enfilade with artillery on high land at our right. A fragment 
of the first shell that I noticed pass down the ravine struck in the head 
and instantly killed the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Bell of the Fifty-first 
Pennsylvania." "History of Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment," 
pp. 201, 202. — Editor." 



ANTIETAM. lO'J 

the hills they were met by a terrible fire from the enemy, 
who had been getting ready for us, but our troops moved 
steadily on with cheers, driving the rebels before them. 
The Ninth New York (Hawkins's Zouaves) here made 
a brilliant charge, and took one of the enemy's most 
formidable batteries, but in doing so it lost nearly one 
half its men. The enemy was finally driven back to the 
village of Sharpsburg, but about this time the force in 
front of the Ninth Corps, having received reinforcements 
from Jackson's and A. P. Hill's commands, made a vig- 
orous attack. Being so hard pressed, General Burnside 
sent repeatedly to General McClellan for help, but the 
latter paid no attention to the request, with the result that 
the corps was gradually forced back to the bluffs nearer 
the creek. Our regiment had been active all day, and 
had behaved with a gallantry highly praised by General 
Burnside, and had lost in killed and wounded nearly one 
half its number present. When the battle ceased it was 
put upon picket duty in front, where it remained all 
night, expecting to fight again next day* 

When night came neither army could claim a complete 
victory. On the whole, probably, the battle of Antietam 
was the most evenly contested one of the war. Victory, 
if with either side, was with ours, for the enemy was cer- 
tainly compelled to retreat across the Potomac, doing so 
on the night of the 18th of September. It was expected 
by our troops that the battle would be renewed on that 
day, as we had received reinforcements during the night. 
General Burnside rode over to General McClellan's 
head-quarters and urged him to renew the fight, but 
McClellan was timid and did not dare risk making an 
attack. He preferred to wait and let Lee, if he liked, 
commence the battle. Lee was quite willing to remain 



io 8 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

quiet on the 18th, getting ready to retreat into Virginia. 
History shows that McClellan was urged by the War 
Department and the President to "fight and destroy 
Lee," and that he did decide to fight Lee on the morn- 
ing of the 19th. But when our troops advanced, they 
found no enemy in front, for he had moved across the 
Potomac "bag and baggage," leaving only the dead 
and the most severely wounded for the Union army to 
capture. 1 

Exchanging Shots. While our men were exchanging 
shots with the enemy, both parties being posted behind 
trees, logs, or anything else to cover their heads, Ser- 
geant Rand of Company K came along to W. W. 
French of Company B, who was behind a tree, loading 
and firing as fast as he could, and requested the latter to 
step back and load both rifles and let him do the firing 
awhile for both, as he considered himself a " good shot." 
French consented, and Rand took his stand at the tree. 
French passed the rifle up to Rand, who stepped to one 
side to get a better view of his man, but the "reb" was 
too quick for him, and shot him in the forehead, killing 
him almost instantly. He fell over upon French, and 

1 The Union army, in the Maryland campaign, numbered, according 
to McClellan's report, 87,164 ; that of the Confederates, as reached by 
comparing various accounts, about 60,000. But at Antietam, probably, 
only some 60,000 men on the Union side, and 45,000 on the Confed- 
erate, bore the brunt of the battle. The Union loss at Antietam was, 
approximately, 2,108 killed, 9,549 wounded, 753 captured or missing — 
total, 12,410: the Confederate, 1,512 killed, 7,816 wounded, 1,844 
captured or missing — total, 11,172. — Editor. 



JESSE L. RENO. 109 

both rolled partially down the hill. French, laying his 
dead comrade aside, took his place at the tree again, but 
was careful not to let the " Johnnies " get the first shot 
at him . There was something exciting in thus exchang- 
ing shots for an hour or so, with an enemy posted three 
or four hundred yards away, and where you could only 
now and then get a glimpse of him. This was some- 
times carried on by the pickets and sharpshooters for 
hours, till one or the other was shot, and then the fun 
was over. — L. J. 

Where He Was — [Contributed by Captain Theodore 
Hanscomj. "It was not deemed derogatory to the 
bravery of officers or men to protect themselves when 
under fire, but I shall never forget the information given 
by one of the boys of Company I, while we were at 
Antietam, before the charge on the bridge. A staff offi- 
cer, riding up, inquired for General Nagle, and received 
the answer, ' He 's back there quiled up under a stune.' " 



JESSE L. RENO. 
(by the editor.) 

Major-General Jesse L. Reno was born in Wheeling, 
West Virginia, June 20, 1823. He graduated at West 
Point in 1846, as a cadet from Pennsylvania. He served 
with honor in the Mexican war. He was engaged in 
varied military pursuits until the Rebellion. In the pre- 
ceding pages something has been told of his distin- 
guished services as a commander in the Ninth Army 
Corps. He was killed on South Mountain, near Fox's 
.Gap, at a spot known as "Wise's field." He was uni- 
versally beloved. General Pope has voiced the opinion 



IIO SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

of all who knew him, in saying, "His superior abilities 
were unquestioned, and if he lacked one single element 
that goes to make a perfect soldier, certainly it was not 
discovered before his death." 

ALONZO NUTE. 
(by the editor.) 

Quarter-Master Alonzo Nute was born in Milton, 
N. H., February 12, 1826. His ancestral line has been 
characterized as "noted for love of liberty, and for brav- 
ery in defence of it." His grandfather, Jotham Nute, 
served throughout the Revolutionary war. His dis- 
charge, signed by Washington, and now possessed by a 
member of the family, is a treasured memorial. 

The subject of this sketch received his education in 
the public schools, and at the age of sixteen, with a 
characteristic self-reliant spirit, set out to make his own 
way in active life. He went to Natick, Massachusetts, 
where he remained some six years, employed in the boot 
and shoe business. During two years of this time, he 
was in the employ of the late Vice-President Henry Wil- 
son, and was for a while a member of his family. 

In 1849 he went to reside in Farmington, N. H., and, 
in company with his brother, Jeremy O. Nute, commenced 
the manufacture of shoes. About this time, too, he was 
married to Mary, a daughter of Joseph Pearl, of Milton, 
N. H. After four years the brothers dissolved partner- 
ship, but Alonzo continued, in his own name, to conduct 
the business in the following years with eminent success. 

In the first year of the late war, Mr. Nute, regardless of 
his business interests, volunteered his services, and was 
made quarter-master of the Sixth New Hampshire Regi- 
ment. Soon after his arrival at the front, he was detached 



ALONZO NUTE. Ill 

from his regiment, and appointed upon the staff of Gen- 
eral Rush C. Hawkins of the Ninth New York Zouaves. 
Concerning his military service, General Simon G. Grif- 
fin, his old commander, bears the following testimony : 
"He was my quarter-master in the Sixth New Hamp- 
shire Veteran Volunteers, and the promptness, energy, 
and courtesy with which he performed the duties of his 
position won for him the respect and admiration of all 
who knew him. His superior abilities soon caused him 
to be selected for promotion successively to post, brigade, 
and division quarter-master. These positions brought 
him in contact with a large number of men and officers, 
and his genial manners and correct and efficient methods 
of transacting business made him one of the most popu- 
lar officers among us. Had he not broken down from 
sickness caused by overwork in the malarial swamps of 
North Carolina, which very nearly cost him his life, he 
would undoubtedly have risen to the highest staff position 
in the army. No officer of my acquaintance so com- 
pletely won the good-will of the 'boys.'" 

Since the war Mr. Nute has been engaged, in com- 
pany with his two sons, Eugene P. and Alonzo I., in the 
manufacture of shoes. But he has not been permitted to 
remain exclusively in the prosperous pursuit of private 
business : public confidence in his general capacity and 
political integrity has placed him in various official posi- 
tions. He served as a member of the house in the state 
legislature of 1866, and of the senate in 1867-68. He 
was a delegate to the National Republican Convention 
in 1876. He was elected in 1888 to the Fifty-first Con- 
gress, and served his term, making an honorable record 
for himself, despite ill health resulting from service in 
the war. 



112 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

It is the unanimous opinion of those who know Mr. 
Nute well, that " he is not only a business man of ability 
and the builder of his own fortune, but that he is also 
one of the most generous, public-spirited, and patriotic 
citizens of the Granite State. Charity he has always dis- 
pensed with an open hand, and his liberal, progressive, 
energetic spirit has left its impress upon the structures 
and institutions of his town." As has been seen, he has, 
as a soldier and legislator, given some of the best years 
of his life to the public service. His high military merits 
have been specially noticed in this sketch. Of him in 
his legislative capacity it remains to be said, that no 
man, in similar positions, ever labored more zealously 
for the interests of his constituency, his state, and his 
country. And it must also be added, that New Hamp- 
shire has not within her borders a more devoted friend 
to his old comrades in arms than Alonzo Nute. 



CHAPTER IX. 

IN PLEASANT VALLEY— THE SOUTHWARD MARCH— BATTLE 
OF FREDERICKSBURG. 

The second day after the battle of Antietam the Sixth 
Regiment advanced with its corps over the battle-field, 
and moved down to Antietam Iron Works, on the extreme 
left of the line, and encamped. A few days later the 
whole corps passed over Maryland Heights, and en- 
camped in Pleasant Valley, where it remained for several 
weeks. 1 Here the regiment had another opportunity for 
improvement in drill, while also obtaining supplies of 
clothing and other necessaries. Officers were dispatched 
to Washington and other points to bring forward the 
convalescents and all others belonging to the regiment 
who were fit for field service. We received also quite 

1 For several weeks the Union and Confederate armies rested on the 
opposite banks of the Potomac. The Confederate line on the Virginia 
side reached from Martinsburg to the Shenandoah, and "guarded the 
entrance of the valley." The Union line on the Maryland side had its 
right at Williamsport and its left in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, the 
position of the Ninth Corps in Pleasant Valley being some five miles 
north-easterly, of the latter point. During the stay of the corps here, 
the Kanawha division was detached for service elsewhere, and with it 
went General Cox; whereupon General Orlando B. Willcox, who had 
been in command of the First Division since the death of General 
Stevens, became corps commander. General W. W. Burns succeeded 
him in the command of the First Division, and General G. W. Getty 
took command of the Third Division in place of General Rodman, 
killed at Antietam. General Sturgis remained in command of the 
Second Division. — Editor. 
8 



114 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

an acquisition of recruits from New Hampshire, who 
helped strengthen our regiment a great deal, for they 
were good men and none of your ' ' high bounty substi- 
tutes." Among them was John S. Dore, afterwards 
chaplain of the regiment. 

The veterans will remember our good chaplain, and 
how he was treated when he first came among us as a 
private. About the first thing specially known of him, 
he was teaching the colored boys belonging to the regi- 
ment to read ; getting them into a covered wagon and 
trying to do them some good by reading the Bible to 
them. Some of our boys could not "stand such non- 
sense," and thought to put a stop to it. As the wagon 
was on a side-hill, some of the "wicked ones" put their 
heads together and decided that it would be a good joke 
to set the wagon, with its occupants, running down hill. 
The decision was no sooner reached than carried out. 
It was dark, so that no one knew who started the wagon, 
but it was started. The covering of the wagon was 
fastened down, so that the occupants could not get out; 
the colored boys screamed, but that was all the good it 
did. Away went the wagon down the hill, and was 
tipped over with a smash ; but fortune smiled on the occu- 
pants, and they escaped unhurt. The school was broken 
up for a while, but before long the boys began to appre- 
ciate their comrade Dore, and see in him a noble Chris- 
tian man. Soon the colonel's request to the governor of 
New Hampshire for Dore's appointment as chaplain of 
the regiment was complied with, and in less than six 
months the appointee was held in the highest esteem by 
all the regiment. He might teach "niggers," or do 
almost anything else, and the boys would stand by him. 
He never seemed to tire of helping the sick and wounded, 



IN PLEASANT VALLEY. 115 

and would work night and day for their comfort ; in fact, 
he knew his place as chaplain, and filled it to the letter. 
He was not like some other chaplains that we knew, 
who always wanted the best of the "sanitary stores," 
and thought it to be the duty of the soldiers to wait on 
them, rather than their own to minister to the wants of 
the sick and dying. Such chaplains were of no good 
whatever. The reader must bear in mind that the rude- 
ness of the boys to their comrade occurred in 1862, be- 
fore the soldiers had learned to respect duly the colored 
man's rights. A year later they had come to the conclu- 
sion that the colored men of the South were true friends 
to the " boys in blue," as had been proved on many 
occasions. 

On the 4th of October, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, who 
had been sick and absent since the departure from 
Newport News, resigned, and Captain Henry C. Pear- 
son was promoted to his place. Major Dort also hav- 
ing resigned, Adjutant Phin P. Bixby, who had been 
taken prisoner at Bull Run and exchanged, was pro- 
moted to major at the same time. While we were lying 
in camp, Colonel Griffin was called temporarily to the 
command of the brigade, and was strongly recommended 
by General Burnside for promotion to the rank of briga- 
dier-general. But, like many other true and brave 
colonels, he had to wait on the back seat till some of our 
congressmen had got a certain number of their civilian 
friends and some foreign flunkeys commissioned as brig- 
adiers. The veterans will remember that many noble 
and deserving men died in the thickest of the fight, with 
their commissions held back, simply because some civil- 
ian, a friend of so-and-so, had put in a claim for a com- 
mission. 



II 6 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

On the 27th of October the army moved from Pleasant 
Valley, and crossing the Potomac by pontoon bridges at 
Berlin, took up its line of march along the valley east of 
the Blue Ridge, with Richmond for its objective point. 1 
We remained at Wheatland two days. As the army was 
a little short of fresh rations, the boys did some foraging 
on the sly. Company K boys felt a longing for chickens, 
eggs, etc., so one night they quietly told Lieutenant 
Winch that some of them were going out to see if they 
could get a few chickens and potatoes. The lieutenant 
said he had better go along with them, as he had some 
money. So off they started when it was quite dark, and 
called at several farm-houses ; but no butter or potatoes 
could they find, for others had been there before them 
on the same mission. As they marched on in quest of 
game, they heard the clatter of cavalry coming — the 
provost guards ; so they were at once over the fence and 
into a ditch, where they huddled till the provost had 
passed, and then they struck across the country to some 
buildings that could be seen in the distance. As they 
approached, they heard the charming "squawk" of a 
hen, and one of the boys remarked, "That sounds good, 
but I guess somebody is ahead of us." Lieutenant 
Winch told them to keep quiet, and when they got near 
enough, they would arrest the plunderers, and get their 
share of the birds. So they crawled up nearer, and 
found one fellow up in a tree killing the chickens, while 
his comrades stood below and bagged them as they came 
down. The lieutenant gave the order to charge and 
arrest the thieves. The men under the tree, hearing the 
order, and seeing the officer and his squad of men, sup- 

1 The divisions of. Generals Sturgis and Burns, of the Ninth Corps, 
were in advance with Pleasonton's cavalry. — Editor. 



THE SOUTHWARD MARCH. 117 

posed them to be the provost guard, so they took to their 
heels, and making off as fast as they could, dropped the 
chickens, which the boys of Company K were not long 
in scooping up. The fellow in the tree saw the trick at 
a glance, and used some very pointed language about 
his cowardly comrades who had run away. Now that 
the birds had been secured, the next thing was to return 
to camp without getting snagged by the provost guards. 
The boys started across the country, and as they came 
to a belt of timber, the unwelcome challenge struck their 
ears, "Halt! who comes there?" The lieutenant re- 
plied, "Friends." "Advance one, and give the counter- 
sign," was the order that came back, and as the foragers 
had not the countersign, theirs was no pleasant position. 
Knowing it was useless to run, Lieutenant Winch ad- 
vanced to the picket, and was about to explain why he 
had not the countersign, when he saw, to his joy, that it 
was one of his own men. The remainder of his company 
had, in his absence, been put on picket duty, and so 
Company K was for once in luck. The boys found on 
counting up that they had three dozen fat chickens, 
which, after returning to camp, they proceeded to cook 
for breakfast. Captain Goodwin soon scented them, and 
coming round with a smile all over his face, remarked, 
"Chickens are nice for breakfast!" — a hint which 
Lieutenant Winch could not but take, and so asked him 
to join him in picking chicken bones. Of course the 
captain did not decline the invitation. 

In our march up the valley east of the Blue Ridge, 
nothing of importance occurred till we reached a point 
near Waterloo bridge, when the enemy appeared on our 
right flank. Sturgis's division was sent out to hold them 
in check. At Annisville a skirmish ensued, in which 



1 1 8 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

our regiment was engaged, but suffered no loss. At 
Warrenton Springs, also, the enemy appeared upon the 
heights on the opposite bank of the north fork of the 
Rappahannock, and Colonel Griffin was sent over with 
his regiment and a part of the Seventh Rhode Island, 
with one company of cavalry, to occupy the heights and 
protect the flank of the army. A superior force of the 
enemy with artillery came up and made some demon- 
strations, but the heights were held throughout the night, 
and until our troops were withdrawn for the purpose of 
resuming the line of march. As soon, however, as the 
detachment was withdrawn, the enemy occupied the 
heights, and opened with artillery on the rear of our col- 
umn, which was mostly composed of wagon trains. It 
was a lively scene for a while. The. army mules, as a 
rule, did not take to the music of screeching and burst- 
ing shells, and when these were dropping among them, 
it was more than the drivers could do to keep the animals 
in position. Brake or bit could not hold them. To see 
the teamsters in a bad fix always made the boys laugh, 
for they seemed to think the drivers were men who did 
not wish to go into battle, and so got positions as mule- 
drivers. Still, the drivers were in nearly as much dan- 
ger from the heels of their mules as the other boys were 
from shot and shell. On this occasion, several wagons 
were damaged, and drivers (one being C. Darling, of 
Company B) with some of the mules were wounded. 

The regiment having moved with the rest of the army 
to Falmouth in front of Fredericksburg, arrived there 
November 19, and encamped on high ground north of 
the Phillips house. On the nth of December com- 
menced the movement for the attack upon the enemy's 
position at Fredericksburg, and the regiment marched 



THE SOUTHWARD MARCH. 119 

out to a place near the Phillips house, but returned to 
camp that night. 1 The next day a part of the army 
crossed the river, and occupied the city. The Ninth 
Corps bivouacked in its streets at night. 

*At Warrenton, on the 9th of November, General Burnside assumed 
the command of the Army of the Potomac, General McClellan having 
been relieved thereof and ordered to report at Trenton, N. J. The 
new commander reluctantly accepted the difficult trust. General Lee, 
with Longstreet's Corps, was now in the vicinity of Culpeper, while 
Stonewall Jackson, with the rest of the Confederate army, was still 
somewhat remotely detached and located at various points beyond the 
Blue Ridge. General Burnside adopted the plan of demonstrating 
towards Culpeper, then rapidly marching upon Fredericksburg, crossing 
the Rappahannock upon pontoons, seizing the city and the heights, 
and establishing a base of supplies at Acquia creek. He had it also 
"in mind," says the historian of the Ninth Army Corps, "to push 
immediately on towards Richmond upon the roads leading through 
Spottsylvania Court House, Bowling Green, and the villages beyond ; 
have supplies in waiting at York river, then cross the Peninsula rapidly 
to the James river, and, with that for a base, march direct upon the 
city of his destination." This Fredericksburg route had been sug- 
gested by President Lincoln himself. But Burnside's plan was discon- 
certed at the outset by delay in supplying him with the pontoons requi- 
site to put his army across the Rappahannock, a delay that enabled the 
enemy to concentrate at Fredericksburg and take an almost impregna- 
ble position upon the heights in rear of the city. But though thus 
disappointed, Burnside concluded to attack, and to break at once, if 
possible, the "Confederate Army of North Virginia," the main-stay of 
the Rebellion. To this course his own sense of duty to his country's 
cause, as well as the pressure of public opinion in the North, impelled 
him. In the preparation for the hazardous movement the army was 
arranged in three grand divisions, — the right, the left, and the centre. 
The right was commanded by General Sumner ; the left, by General 
Franklin ; the centre, by General Hooker. Sumner's command, with 
which this history has special connection, comprised the Ninth Corps 
and the Second, the latter being under the command of General Couch. 

— Editor. 



120 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

When, after crossing the river, 1 it was ascertained that 
there was to be no general battle that day, the boys 
began to look around for something to eat and for some- 
thing to sleep on, for the hard sidewalks did not present 
a very inviting appearance. Captain Goodwin captured 
a nice feather-bed, and gave it to Sergeant French, tell- 
ing him not to lose it, for it might be needed the coming 
night, which was likely to be a bitterly cold one, and 
adding the remark, — "French, perhaps it will be our 
last chance to sleep on a feather-bed, for we shall have 
a hard fight to-morrow." The captain, who had a 
happy faculty of stumbling upon good things, also found 
some honey. One of his boys having found some buck- 
wheat, the captain hired a colored woman to make 
"slap-jacks," putting Corporal George Austin on guard 
to see that she made them right and to prevent other boys 
from stealing them. Then the captain had a table set 
upon the sidewalk, and the supper was eaten to the 
music of shot and shell, which came screaming down 
the streets and through the buildings, making the bricks 
and mortar fly in a manner more lively than agreeable. 

We did not get much rest that night, for the troops 
were crossing.the pontoon bridges all the time, and their 
constant tramp and the heavy rumble of the artillery 
made it impossible to sleep. The next morning, Satur- 

1 The tardy pontoons had at last been laid, so that the Union troops 
could cross the river on the 12th of December. The right of the ene- 
my's line was held by forces under the command of Stonewall Jackson, 
and the left, by those of Longstreet. Confronting these, Franklin's 
Grand Division took position upon the Union left, and Sumner's, 
upon the right. The Ninth Corps was near the centre of the line, 
Hooker's Grand Division being reserved to assist, by detachments, 
either wing as needed. — Editor. 



BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG. 121 

day, December 13, the lines of attack were formed, and 
just before noon the bloody assault began. 1 The streets 
were full of infantry and artillery, and as the attacking 
columns moved out of the city toward the heights the 

1 The historian of the Ninth Corps says, — "On the morning of the 
13th, General Willcox was directed to hold his corps in readiness to 
support the attacks to be made upon the left and right. He connected 
his own right with General Couch's line, and his left with General 
Franklin's. General Sturgis's Division was posted on the right, Gen- 
eral Getty's in the centre, and General Burns's on the left. The corps 
remained quietly in position until noon, when General Sturgis's Divi- 
sion was sent to the right to support General Couch. Dickinson's bat- 
tery was placed in good position to cover the advance. General Fer- 
rero's Brigade went gallantly forward, and succeeded in checking the 
enemy, who had repulsed General Couch's left and was following up his 
advantage. General Ferrero's men met the foe with their accustomed 
spirit, and quickly drove him back to the cover of his rifle-pits. Fer- 
rero's Brigade, suffering severely from the enemy's fire, was reinforced 
by General Nagle's Brigade, and soon afterwards by the Fifty-first New 
York, under Colonel Potter. 'All these troops,' says General Willcox 
in his report of the battle, ' behaved well, and marched under a heavy 
fire across the broken plain, pressed up to the field at the foot of the 
enemy's sloping crest, and maintained every inch of their ground with 
great obstinacy until after nightfall. But the position could not be 
carried.' " (Woodbury's "Ninth Army Corps," p. 223.) 

The operations mentioned here and in the text took place against 
the enemy's left, and mainly in front of Marye's hill, with its batteries, 
rifle-pits, "sunken road," and "stone wall," all making an impregna- 
ble position for the foe. In the fighting on the left, under Franklin, — 
which did not result, as Burnside had purposed, "in staggering the 
enemy and cutting their line in two," — no New Hampshire troops took 
part ; but in this on the right there were actively engaged, besides the 
Sixth Regiment, the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth of the 
Ninth Corps, and the Fifth of the Second, while the Second and 
Twelfth regiments were on reserve duty. This battle was their first 
for the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth regiments of New 
Hampshire. — Editor. 



122 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

rebels opened their batteries upon them. The street 
upon which our regiment was lying led directly toward 
those batteries, and the shot and shell came bounding 
through it, knocking the cobble-stone pavement into 
"pi," and filling the air with dirt, dust, and bricks 
from the sidewalks. The men hugged the buildings 
and alleys as closely as they could to keep out of range. 
It was by no means a pleasant situation, thus to stand 
and take the enemy's fire without a chance to reply, and 
the boys were heard to express the wish to be sent to the 
front, where they could return shot for shot. As we lay 
waiting for our turn to move forward, a battery came 
across the river and along the street, halting in front of 
us, but it had been there only a few minutes when a 
twenty-pound shot came tearing down the street and 
through the battery, breaking the legs of three of the 
horses and smashing one wheel into kindlings, but for- 
tunately not injuring any of the men. 

About one o'clock p. m. our brigade was ordered to 
the front, and entering the field to the right of the rail- 
road, moved steadily up the slope toward the enemy's 
works. That slope was completely swept by a murder- 
ous artillery and musketry fire, and in some places the 
ground was already covered with dead and wounded, 
yet nothing could exceed the coolness and gallantry with 
which the brigade advanced to the charge. As it neared 
the crest, the lines of troops were found sheltering them- 
selves as best they could from the destructive fire of the 
rebels. Repeated and desperate efforts were made to 
advance over the crest and attack the rebels in their 
works ; but the fire was so sharp, and the enemy had 
such perfect command of the ground, that it was found, 
at a terrible cost, to be an impossibility. Line after line 



BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG. 



123 



was brought up to the support of those already there, 
and though desperate attempts were made by each to 
penetrate that wall of fire, they ended but in failure. At 
one time three regiments immediately on the right of the 
Sixth broke and fled, leaving a large gap, yet not a man 
of the Sixth left his place or faltered for a moment. This 
perilous position was held until darkness set in, when 
the troops were withdrawn, leaving only a line of 
pickets. 1 

In this battle the regiment lost seventy-five killed and 
wounded, or about one third of the number that went 
into the action. 2 The battle and its sad result need not 
be discussed at much length here. In justice, however, 

1 Interesting incidents will be found at end of chapter. 

2 It is impossible to state with accuracy the numbers of the opposing 
armies actually engaged in the battle. On the morning of the 13th of 
December the Union army numbered about 113,000 men, of whom 
Franklin had 61,000, the rest being about equally divided between 
Hooker and Sumner. But probably less than half of these were brought 
into action. The Confederate army had "present for duty" on the 
10th of December 79,000 men in round numb'ers. How many par- 
ticipated in the battle of the 13th does not officially appear, though the 
number has been asserted to have been less than 20,000. With these 
figures even, though they are probably much too small, the security of 
the enemy's position, where the stress of battle fell, more than com- 
pensated for disparity of numbers. 

The Union loss was, — Killed, 1,284; wounded, 9, 600 ; captured or 
missing, 1,769; — total, 12,653. The Confederate loss was, — Killed, 
608; wounded, 4,116; captured or missing, 653; — total, 5,337. More 
than two thirds of the Confederate loss occurred on the right of the 
Confederate line, where the enemy had to repel the Union advance out- 
side of intrenchments ; while more than two thirds of the Union loss 
was suffered on the right of the Union line, where the attack had to be 
made upon the foe securely posted behind fortifications along and near 
Marye's hill. — Editor. 



124 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

to the noble commander of the army at that time, General 
Ambrose E. Burnside, it should be put on record that 
it was the belief of the troops commanded by General 
Franklin, that had the latter carried out the orders given 
him by General Burnside, we might have had success 
instead of failure in this battle, and that our defeat should 
not be charged to incompetency of the commanding 
general. 

The facts of the case are clearly stated by General 
S. G. Griffin, who says, — " Burnside's plan of the battle 
of Fredericksburg was without fault, and if it had been 
carried out as he intended, it could not have failed of 
success. The enemy held the strongly fortified position 
of Marye's hill, above the city, but his right and rear 
were comparatively unprotected. Having suffered from 
Hooker's jealousy at South Mountain, Burnside distrusted 
him, and gave a large number of his troops to Franklin, 
whom he had not yet proved. Franklin commanded the 
left wing, and had sixty-one thousand men under him 
that day, with three of the six pontoon bridges laid for 
the whole army. Burnside, with his right wing, assaulted 
the heights in his front to occupy Lee's attention and 
hold him there ; while Franklin was to make a powerful 
attack on Lee's right, get in his rear and prevent his 
escape, and capture or destroy his army. But, instead of 
attacking vigorously and with his whole force properly 
disposed, as he should have done, Franklin sent in one 
division under General Meade without supports or rein- 
forcements, and allowed that division to be repulsed and 
driven back, the remainder of his whole force of sixty- 
one thousand men scarcely firing a shot. Meade had 
excellent success, and carried all before him as far as 
his small division was able to go, and Lee, in conversa- 



BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG. 125 

tion with him after the war, acknowledged that if he 
(Meade) had been properly supported in that attack, 
the Confederate army would have been destroyed that 
day." 

The next morning — a bright and beautiful Sunday 
morning — word was passed along to the regimental 
commanders that the battle was to be renewed, and that 
the Ninth Corps was to storm the heights. This des- 
perate plan was, however, abandoned, and the two 
armies lay watching each other through the da'y, attend- 
ing to the wounded and burying the dead. At night the 
corps took position in front of the town to cover the 
retreat of the army, and the Sixth Regiment was one 
of the last to cross the bridge and retire to its former 
camp. 

In our regiment were a father and son. The former 
was detailed in the ambulance corps, the latter was in 
the ranks. The battle had raged fiercely till dark, and 
the dead and wounded lay on all parts of the field, so 
that the efforts of the ambulances and stretcher-bearers 
were taxed to the utmost. Imagine the anxiety of that 
father, separated from the son who was in the midst of 
the conflict! The father toiled all day and late into the 
night helping to carry out on the stretcher the wounded 
from the field, hearing no tidings of his son, though 
knowing that the "Sixth" had lost heavily. It was 
late at night, when, weary with toil and Oppressed with 
anxiety, he came upon the pale, upturned face of a dead 
soldier whose cap displayed the figure "6." Was that 
soldier his son? In the darkness he bends down and 
peers into the face of the dead. He cannot positively 
determine, but finally, with the advice of a comrade 
called to his side, he decides that it is his son. He 



I2 6 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

would fain carry the body from the field, but the 
orders are to remove none but the wounded, and so 
with sorrowful reluctance he leaves the dead one where 
found. The night passes on. In thoughtful silence he 
and his companions bear away their maimed and bleed- 
ing comrades, until at midnight the ambulance corps, 
having completed its work, moves across the river to 
the old camp. The army is retreating, and as the 
Sixth, now but a handful of heroes, reaches its old 
camping-ground early in the morning, the father, with 
hope akin to despair, scans the faces of the boys as 
they file into camp. Does he find the face of him 
whom he most desires to see? Yes, at last, to his 
great joy, he sees his son come marching along, 
begrimed with the dust and smoke of battle, but unhurt 
by the storm of shot and shell through which he has 
passed. 

Jncibfcnfe. 

Looked like New Hampshire. "While on the march 
from Pleasant Valley to Fredericksburg, I chummed 
vwith Hen. Ritchie, a great, brave, whole-souled fellow. 
We spread our blankets one night, and were soon asleep. 
During the night snow enough fell to cover the ground, 
and I was waked in the morning by Hen. shouting, 
' Get up — get up quick ! By George, we 're in old New 
Hampshire !' " — T. Hanscom. 

Anecdotes of the Bloody Field. As the Sixth Regi- 
ment filed out of Fredericksburg and moved across the 
field in line, the rebels seemed to increase their fire, and 
to centre it upon our brigade. Here we sustained our 
heaviest losses, going as we did across this open field in 
plain sight of the rebels, where they could rake every 



INCIDENTS. 127 

inch of the ground with their batteries and musketry. 
W. W. French, of Company B, received here a ball in 
the thigh, which was not extracted till 1870. He was 
the one with whom Captain Goodwin had joked the 
night before about its being his last chance to sleep on a 
feather bed. When he fell, the captain told one of the 
men to help him back to the rear, and to " find that 
feather bed for him." — L. J. 

When we were about half way across the field, a 
shell exploded right in the midst of Company K, kill- 
ing two men outright, wounding some, and knocking 
others out of line ; but as we were on the double-quick, 
no one stopped to attend to the dead or wounded. We 
moved on till we came to a little hollow where we could 
lie down out of sight of the enemy. There, if we lifted 
so much as a hand, it was sure to be hit. One of the 
men of Company K, who, as already mentioned had 
been struck, but only stunned, was a fellow of slight 
build, named Gibson. As the regiment lay in the hol- 
low, one of the boys of Company K, looking back across 
the field, saw little Gibson, all alone, with gun at his side, 
making his best speed across that field strewn with the 
dead and dying, in full view of the enemy, and under a 
continuous fire. The boys all shouted to him, "Come 
in, Gibson ! Come in ! " expecting every moment to see 
him killed. But Gibson was not born to be killed that 
day, and he reached his company in safety, amid the 
cheers of his comrades. It seems almost incredible that 
he should have escaped unhurt in that perilous race, 
through hundreds of rebel shots aimed at almost every 
foot of his somewhat lengthy course. — L. J. 

The boys hugged mother earth that afternoon the 
best they knew how. They could not turn over to fire 



128 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

without exposing themselves. Captain Crossfield, while 
turning over to change position, was shot in the neck, 
or rather in his blanket which was rolled up around his 
neck. The bullet was stopped by the blanket, but it 
came with such force that it knocked the captain insen- 
sible for the moment. Lieutenant Winch received a shot 
through the back of his head, which he lifted a little too 
high. Here the brave little Showell, of Company B, 
who had fired one hundred rounds of cartridges at Chan- 
tilly, got into a "tiff" with one of the boys of Company 
F, and as they were having a hand-to-hand fight, they 
carelessly exposed themselves to a shot which fatally 
wounded both. The last words of young Showell to 
Captain Goodwin were, " Tell my mother I died a brave 
soldier."— L. J. 

On the day of the battle, a detail, consisting of 
one man from each company of the several regiments 
of our brigade, had been made for service as sappers 
and miners. These carried picks, shovels, and axes, 
instead of guns, so that they could throw up breast- 
works, dig ditches, and do other work, as the regiments 
should want. Their position was in the rear of the regi- 
ments, and they were not expected to go into the fight. 
One of the men so detailed from our regiment was an 
Irishman named John Hamon — "Johnnie," the boys 
called him. He was full of the fun and wit of his nation- 
ality. When the regiment was formed in line in the 
streets of Fredericksburg, just before marching out into 
the open field to take part in the battle, one of the cap- 
tains, on looking his company over to see if the men 
were all in position, found Johnnie Hamon there, with his 
pick shouldered in ready marching order. The captain 
said to him: "Johnnie, I thought you were detailed as 



INCIDENTS. 129 

one of the sappers and miners. Your place is in the 
rear, Johnnie." Johnnie's Irish temper was up in a 
moment, at the thought of being sent to the rear — a dis- 
grace in his eyes, though most of the men would have 
been glad to be so honorably sent thither — and he 
replied, "I'm jist as good as inny other man, bedad ! " 
" Yes, Johnnie," replied the captain, "you are a brave 
soldier, but you have no gun to fight with : you can do 
no good with the pick — so go to the rear." " The divil 
a bit will I, be-jazez! I'll give thim the pick," was the 
plucky reply. At this the boys cheered Johnnie, and 
the result was that he marched out across the field of 
battle with the regiment, keeping his place in his com- 
pany, with the pick on his shoulder. Nor did he have 
to wait long for a gun ; for many were soon found 
scattered around, from which Johnnie supplied himself, 
and did good service through the day, and came off the 
field with both gun and pick. — L. J. 

"As we stopped at the brow of the hill nearest the 
enemy, at Fredericksburg, a drummer boy of the Irish 
brigade lay there mortally wounded. I shall never for- 
get how his eyes lighted up as he said, ' We shall whip 
them — do n't you think so ? ' He did not complain ; he 
had no thought of his own suffering ; his whole desire 
was the success of his comrades. Brave little hero ! he 
died before we fell back." — T. Hanscom. 

"The boys were quick to see anything funny, at 
any time or place. We had fired nearly all our car- 
tridges, and lay hugging the ground and watching 
brigade after brigade come in, when a stray mule 
loaded with blankets passed along. The Minims were 
flying, and one of them cut the rope which fastened the 
blankets, causing them to fall on the animal's heels. 
9 



130 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

He began to kick, and for a time the air was full of 
blankets and mule, while a shout went up from the boys 
that outsiders might have thought more appropriate for 
the camp-fire than the battle-field." — T. Hanscom. 



CHAPTER X. 

DETACHED FROM THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC— CAM- 
PAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 

We remained in camp at Falmouth about two months. 
During all that time very little improvement was made 
in drill and discipline on account of the inclemency of 
the weather, the prevalence of mud, the difficulty in 
obtaining fuel and clothing, with the consequent suffer- 
ing from cold, and the despondency which oppressed the 
whole army after the defeat at Fredericksburg. While 
here, Colonel Griffin was again temporarily in command 
of the brigade, and Lieutenant-Colonel Pearson com- 
manded the regiment. 1 

1 On the 26th of January, 1863, General Burnside transferred the 
command of the army of the Potomac to General Hooker. He had 
tendered his resignation, but that the President would not accept, pre- 
ferring to relieve him in Virginia, and to retain his useful services in 
another field of operations. That field was the Department of the 
Ohio, comprising the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and 
eastern Kentucky, with the prospective addition of East Tennessee. 
To that important department he was assigned on the 16th of March. 
Within about three months after the battle of Fredericksburg, the com- 
mand of the Ninth Corps changed hands three times. First, General 
John Sedgwick relieved General Willcox, who resumed command of 
the First Division, relieving General Burns ; then General William F. 
("Baldy") Smith succeeded Sedgwick, and was himself soon relieved 
by General John G. Parke. The corps itself was separated from the 
army of the Potomac and sent to Newport News. The Third Division 
(General Getty's) was transferred to Suffolk, then threatened by a 
siege, and never joined the corps again as a complete command. — Ed. 



132 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

On the 10th of February, 1863, the regiment was 
transferred, along with its corps, to Newport News. At 
this place the camping-ground was excellent, the water 
good and abundant, and the drill-ground ample. The 
camps were laid out and arranged with taste, and orna- 
mented with trees, the holly growing plentifully here. 
In a very short time the morale of the whole corps was 
wonderfully improved. An abundance of clothing and 
of camp and garrison equipage was supplied. The men 
were given "A" tents instead of " shelters ; " a thorough 
system of drill was adopted, from the school of the sol- 
dier to movements of line by brigade and division and, 
in a word, the condition of the troops was brought up 
to a high degree of perfection. The drill of the brig- 
ade was under the direction of Colonel Griffin, who was 
temporarily in command. While the regiment remained 
here, many of its absentees — wounded and sick — re- 
turned to their companies, among them, Captain Ela 
and Lieutenant Jackman. The latter was immediately 
appointed aide-de-camp on the staff of General James 
Nagle, commanding the brigade, and held that position 
till the general resigned in June, 1863, on account of 
poor health. 

On the 1 8th of March, a grand review of the whole 
corps was tendered to General Dix, commanding the 
department. The day was fine, and the display one of 
the most brilliant ever seen in the country. The appear- 
ance and movements of the troops were praised by Gen- 
eral Dix in the highest terms. We should have been 
glad to remain here much longer and enjoy our beauti- 
tiful camp and parade-ground, which was one of the best 
we ever had. But General Burnside had been assigned 
to the Department of the Ohio, and at his request the 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 



133 



Ninth Corps was ordered to report to him at Cincinnati. 1 
Accordingly, on the 20th of March, the Sixth Regiment, 
with its brigade, received orders to break camp and take 
transports for Baltimore, and thence to proceed by rail 
to its destination. We were all well pleased to learn 
that we were to follow General Burnside to Kentucky ; 
for we believed in him, and this move would give us a 
good chance to see the country. Having broken camp 
and packed up, we marched down to Newport News, 
with colors flying in the bright balmy atmosphere of 
southern Virginia, and bands playing inspiring national 
airs. Nothing of importance transpired on the way to 
Cincinnati, where we arrived all safe, and reported to 
General Burnside. As the central and southern parts of 
Kentucky were being overrun by the rebel generals 
Morgan and Pegram, who were harassing and plunder- 
ing the people, General Burnside decided early in April 
to send the Ninth Corps into that state. General Nagle's 
brigade, to which the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment 
belonged, was sent to Lexington, while General Ferre- 
ro's stopped, and moved to Mount Sterling. 

The men of the Ninth Corps will never forget the day 
they entered the beautiful ' ' blue-grass region " of Ken- 
tucky. The air was clear and balmy ; the sun shone 
bright ; the grass was as green as we were in the habit of 
seeing it in June, and the striking contrast to Virginia mud 

*As stated in the preceding note, the Ninth Corps now consisted of 
two divisions, the third having been detached /or other service. When 
the corps ijrent to the Department of the Ohio, General Willcox retained 
the command of the first division, but General Sturgis was relieved of 
that of the second, being succeeded by General Robert B. Potter, for- 
merly commander of the Fifty-first New York Regiirtent. It will be 
recollected that General John G. Parke now commanded the corps. 

— Editor. 



134 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



made it seem almost as if we had reached Paradise ; 
and we could but exclaim, This looks like God's country ! 
Who of the veterans will ever forget the beautiful camp- 
ground we had on the blue-grass, just out of the city 
of Lexington? Afterwards, when down in the Missis- 
sippi low-lands, the boys would sing, " Oh, send us back 
to old Kentucky, to our old Kentucky home." 

Though the presence of the Ninth Army Corps in 
Kentucky gave assurance of security to the harassed 
people of the state, yet the New England troops 
when they first went there were not cordially received. 
A strong prejudice against the Yankees, particularly 
those of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, existed 
among the people. The ill-feeling sometimes mani- 
fested itself even in open insult. "Kentucky does not 
want these abolitionists among her communities," said 
the people. But it was not long before the inhabitants 
were dispossessed of their prejudice. The thorough dis- 
cipline and general good conduct of the men, and the 
high intelligence and gentlemanly demeanor of the offi- 
cers, completely changed the popular feeling. The 
"blue-bellied Yankees," as we were tauntingly called 
when first entering the state, soon won their way into 
the respect and even the affection of those who had 
regarded them with aversion, so that when the troops 
were ordered away from the towns where they had been 
stationed the people actually petitioned General Burnside 
to let them remain, saying "they would rather have 
the men of his corps stationed with them than those of 
Kentucky or the West, since the former behaved so 
much better than the latter." 

Once some of the most prominent men of one of these 
towns came to the brigade head-quarters and said, "We 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 135 

were never so surprised and happily disappointed in our 
lives, for we had heard such stories about the Yankee 
troops that we expected we should lose all our poultry 
and fence-rails — in fact, everything we have which your 
soldiers might wish for — but we do not hear of their taking 
a thing without paying for it." One old man remarked, 
" Some of your men came out to my farm and wanted to 
buy some chickens and eggs, and when I went to the 
door they even took their hats off to me ; and they were 
dressed so well that I could not tell whether they were 
ofHcers or privates." Indeed, there was little need of 
stealing, for the boys, having just received four months' 
pay, were full of scrip, and could buy chickens for 
twenty-five or thirty cents each, eggs for fifteen cents a 
dozen, and other things at similar rates. 

While we were in camp at Lexington the ladies came 
several times to visit us, and on Sunday afternoon the 
whole city turned out to see us at dress-parade. We 
were glad to have them come, for we knew they had 
never seen better drilled soldiers than those of our brig- 
ade, and we felt assured by the remarks made that they 
thought none the less of New England the more ac- 
quainted with us they became. 

Among places of interest near Lexington was Ashland, 
the home of Henry Clay, with its beautiful grounds, on 
a rise of land decked with stately trees, and tastefully 
laid out with walks, drives, and beds of flowers. Many 
of our ofHcers and men visited this historic place. To 
the south-west, toward Georgetown, was the cemetery, 
about one mile distant, where rose the tall white shaft, 
surrounded by spruce, arbor-vitae, and other shrubs, 
that marks the spot where the ashes of the illustrious 
statesman repose. 



136 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

But we could not be permitted to remain long in this 
"Garden of Eden." By the time we had got our tents 
nicely regulated, orders came to move, and on the 8th of 
April we marched through the city out upon the Win- 
chester pik,e, bound for Winchester village, nineteen 
miles distant. The boys guessed we were going back 
to Virginia over the mountains, as we were facing in 
that direction. As we marched through the city the 
streets were lined with the inhabitants, of all ages and 
colors. Many fair ladies, even of "the upper ten," 
were out to see us off. It was encouraging to our men 
to see their good appearance and behavior kindly appre- 
ciated by the people. There was hearty cheering, and 
the friendly waving of handkerchiefs, as we passed by 
with our brigade band playing some of its sweetest 
music. The kindness thus far shown in Kentucky 
was like real sunshine to us who had been away from 
home so long and had scarcely seen a woman's smile 
since leaving our native state ; for all the women we had 
met in Virginia and North Carolina were of the rank 
rebel stamp, and would even spit upon us, if they could, 
as we passed their doors. 

It was a lovely spring day ; the birds were singing mer- 
rily, and we all were in the finest spirits. Such roads, 
hard and smooth as a floor, we had never seen before. 
They were the real Macadamized turnpikes, beautiful 
to ride upon ; but the boys found before night that as 
"Jordan is a hard road to travel," so were these turn- 
pikes hard to walk upon , making them fearfully foot-sore 
in a half day's march. When we got fairly out of the city 
the beautiful farms of the "blue-grass region" stretched 
away from either side of the road as far as the eye could 
see, covered with grain a few inches high, or with a soft 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 137 

carpet of grass. The slight rolling hills were well cov- 
ered with oak and locust trees, whose leaves were fast 
putting out, and as many of the early spring flowers 
were in bloom the country appeared very lovely. About 
noon we passed a farm of three thousand acres, with a 
large brick house standing about fifty rods back from the 
turnpike. A wide' lane led up to it, lined on each side 
by a hateful rail fence, which in the eyes of the New 
England boys spoiled the front view of the mansion. The 
owner did not come out to greet us, for he was a rebel, 
so the colored people said. These, however, came out 
in full force to welcome us with ' ' God bless Mass'r Lin- 
cun's men!" They were as happy as they could be, 
and said, " 'Pears like we neber so glad before." 

The boys were soon preparing for dinner, and some 
of them could be seen out in the fields picking up bits of 
wood, dead limbs of trees, etc., to cook with, the orders 
being not to burn fence rails in Kentucky, for there were 
too many Union people in that state to allow its being 
laid waste as "Old Virginia" had been. Indeed, the 
forbearance of our troops while in Kentucky in exercis- 
ing the war privilege of unceremoniously helping them- 
selves to whatever they needed did serve to strengthen 
somewhat the Union element there. After dining on hard- 
tack and coffee, the column moved on, now up a slight 
elevation, then down into a slight valley, where was a 
little crystal stream winding its way through the green 
fields on towards the big Kentucky river to the south. 
How refreshing such sparkling brooks appeared to the 
tired and dusty soldiers on their tramps through Ken- 
tucky ! How many and what beautiful springs of water 
we found there, too ! Every house also was supplied 
with good water, for one is never built in Kentucky 



138 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. , 

unless near a spring. This is why so many of the fine 
residences were so far from the main roads — a fact which 
at first seemed strange to us, since there were apparently 
better locations nearer the highways. One old gentle- 
man thus explained it : "You see, well-water is not good ; 
so we build our houses where there is good spring-water." 

About five o'clock in the afternoon we arrived in sight 
of the church spires of the village of Winchester. A 
halt was made for the men to close up and get into a 
little better shape before presenting themselves to the 
gaze of the good people of the town. When we had 
"dusted up" a little and closed in the stragglers, we 
went forward with the band playing the " Star Spangled 
Banner." To that inspiring air we marched into the 
little village, with the stars and stripes floating over our 
heads in the soft evening breeze, while our new uniform, 
and our bright muskets with bayonets glistening in the 
last rays of the setting sun, completed a beautiful picture. 
The main street through which we passed was lined 
with people, many of whom waved handkerchiefs and 
flags to welcome us. Such demonstrations the boys 
were not slow in cheering. But we could see now and 
then a sour-looking face, and we knew what was the 
matter with its owner. He had what was sometimes 
called "the rebel shivers." As usual, the colored peo- 
ple were out in full force, and as jubilant as ever at the 
sight of Uncle Sam's boys in blue. They covered the 
fences as thick as blackbirds in September. Here, too, 
we saw some of the " pretty yellow girls" we had heard 
so much about. Some of the best blood of Kentucky 
was running in their veins, and they were more intelli- 
gent-looking than many of the " poor whites." 

Passing through the village and out upon the Mount 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 



139 



Sterling pike, we filed short to the right, into a field as 
beautiful as the one we had left at Lexington, and went 
into camp about three fourths of a mile south-west of the 
village, near a grove of maple, elm, and locust trees. 
The boys were tired and footsore from their long march, 
but all were in excellent spirits. Bright fires were soon 
kindled with dry wood, an abundance of which was at 
hand, and that first supper at Winchester was one to be 
remembered. The boys as they came along had pro- 
cured chickens, ham, and eggs from the colored people, 
and their march gave a hearty relish to the good fare. 
It was late that night when sleep came to the camp. 
Hiram Drowns, as he lay down to rest on the soft blue- 
grass, remarked to his chum, "We are in God's coun- 
try yet, and have plenty to eat and something good to 
sleep on." 

When the reveille was beaten the next morning, some 
of the boys wished those ' ' confounded drummers " were 
back in New Hampshire, or in some worse place. As 
they came out of their tents to attend roll-call, they all 
looked tired and cross, and many were limping about 
with one shoe on. Blistered and swollen feet were 
numerous that morning. But when the bright April sun 
came up over the eastern hills, and the refreshing south 
wind fanned the faces of the boys, and they had bathed in 
the clear, cool stream near by, they became as chipper as 
ever. We did not pay much attention to our tents, for we 
knew that we were only sojourners in this beautiful land, 
and the luxurious grass was a sufficiently good bed for 
any one. We had our usual evening dress-parade, and 
spent the rest of the time in looking to our equipments — 
" shining up," as it was called — and exploring the neigh- 
borhood. 



140 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

On Sunday forenoon, April 12, many of us attended 
church in the village. At 5 p. m. we had our usual 
Sunday dress-parade, and the villagers turned out to 
take a good look at the first full-fledged Yankees that 
had ever come to their town. Some came out in car- 
riages, some on horseback, some afoot, and some on 
"critter-back." (None but Ninth Corps men are ex- 
pected to understand this last phrase.) It was a pro- 
miscuous crowd, high and low, black and white. From 
the looks of the people and the smiles of the fair ones, 
we concluded that they all felt well pleased. They lin- 
gered around after the parade was dismissed, and it was 
wonderful how readily some of the boys got acquainted 
with the village girls. Subsequently, prominent men of 
the place came to the officers' tents and talked over the 
country's affairs. They were always willing to give us 
what information they could in regard to the enemy's 
movements and the lay of the country through which we 
expected to pass. We spent pleasant and profitable 
hours with some of these gentlemen, both in our tents 
and at their homes, for they invited many of us to their 
houses in town ; but as our stay was shoft we did not get 
so well acquainted with the people here as with those in 
some other parts of Kentucky. 

Having been ordered to Richmond, we bade adieu, on 
the 16th of April, to the good friends in Winchester, and 
turned our faces southward. Starting about four o'clock 
in the afternoon, we soon came into a country broken by 
hills and high bluffs of limestone. We marched till late 
in the evening and until the head of the column struck 
the Kentucky river. Here, there being no bridges, and 
the river being too deep to ford, a halt was ordered, 
and we bivouacked for the night. The next morning 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 141 

the sun came up bright and beautiful. We could now 
see into what kind of a country we had come during the 
night. It was rough, with high ridges of limestone on 
every hand. The Kentucky river could be seen winding 
along between its limestone banks, which in some places 
are one hundred feet high or more. Every ford or cross- 
ing on a river in Kentucky has a name, and this one was 
called Boonesborough, for just above the ford was the 
site of a fort built by old Daniel Boone, the pioneer. 
We' were told how the Indians tried several times to 
drive " Uncle Dan " out of his stronghold, but he always 
" held the fort," for it was so protected by steep bluffs 
that it could be entered by only one way, and Boone 
had that well secured. As the redskins could not get 
him by storming his castle, they tried to undermine him 
by going down under the bank of the river and digging 
up through. But the old hunter, having noticed that the 
water on that side of the river was very muddy for a day 
or two, mistrusted what was going on ; so, taking some 
skins and old clothes, he made a second Boone, and at 
dark let it slide down over the bank by a leather string, 
making noise enough to attract the attention of his foes. 
As the effigy neared them, they were not slow in pounc- 
ing upon it, thinking they had got the old fellow at last ; 
but as they came out into full view to make sure of their 
prisoner, the crack of Daniel's trusty rifle was heard, 
and there was one redskin less for him to contend with. 
The next morning the waters of the Kentucky were run- 
ning clear, and Boone knew that the savages had left 
during the night. About half a mile down the stream 
was shown a bluff one hundred feet high where the 
Indians chased Boone into the river. They had got so 
close upon him that they felt sure of their prey, little 



142 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



thinking he would dare leap from the bluff. But the 
borderer had no notion of losing his scalp, so he plunged 
down into the river, and swimming to the opposite bank, 
escaped. 

As there was neither bridge nor boat here, a squad of 
men procured, from an old saw-mill not far away, lum- 
ber enough to build a raft for taking the men and bag- 
gage across the river. While the raft was being built, 
the band, posted on the high bluff, gave us cheering 
music. The sweet sounds echoed and reechoed up and 
down the river and from the limestone cliffs, till soon 
the country people came flocking to the banks, eager to 
learn whence came such delightful strains. It was late 
in the afternoon when we had got the last load across 
the river. We then marched on about two miles, and 
came to a Kentucky cross-road called Foxtown — about 
five miles from the village of Richmond — a place of half 
a dozen houses, where we halted, and bivouacked for 
the night in a large field. As the night was quite cool, 
we soon had bright fires burning, around which the boys 
gathered, telling stories and smoking Kentucky tobacco 
until a late hour. The natives for miles around had seen 
our camp-fires, and came in the next morning to find 
out what it all meant. But when they wanted to know 
"where you-uns are going to," we could not tell them 
much about it, for we ourselves did not know, nor did 
we care much if they would not send us back to Vir- 
ginia. Some of the country people, who had an eye to 
business, though a little shy at first, came around the 
camp in the morning, with eggs, etc., to sell. Their 
articles found a quick market, for the prices were below 
zero, — eggs, ten cents a dozen ; butter, twelve cents a 
pound ; and chickens, twelve cents apiece. None but 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 1 43 

the early birds, however, got any of the goodies, for 
there was not one eighth enough to go around. The 
vendors were astonished at the ready sales, for they 
knew little about Yankee " snap" when a good trade is 
offered. After our morning repast, we picked up, and, 
getting into line, moved on towards Richmond village. 

About three miles from there we struck the Richmond 
and Lexington pike, and as we neared the village we 
closed up, covered our file leaders, and kept perfect step 
to the music of our brigade band. It was a fine April 
day, and the whole village was astir and ready to receive 
us with smiles. The sidewalks were filled with people 
as we marched down the main street and halted. We 
noticed the Webster House, which had the stars and 
stripes waving over its main entrance ; and we were not 
long in finding out that it was kept by a New Hamp- 
shire man named Webster, and a native of Meredith. 
General Nagle and staff* made their head-quarters there 
for a few days, finding the proprietor and his lady very 
excellent people, " true Union," and much pleased to 
see the New Hampshire boys. 

The general decided to divide the brigade. The Sixth 
Regiment was given position in the south part of the 
town, where earth-works had been thrown up by Union 
troops in one of Morgan's raids a year before. The 
remainder of the brigade was marched out of the village 
about half a mile to the south-east, towards the hills, and 
went into camp in a field having a goodly number of 
large oak and locust trees, a "blue-grass carpet," and a 
small stream running through the grounds. The gen- 
eral had his head-quarters on one side of the brook, and 
the regiments were encamped on the other. Since good 
articles of food were to be had at a low figure, the boys 



i 4 4 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



did not draw very heavily on the commissary for hard- 
tack, liking the "hoe-cakes" and milk better. At the 
general's mess, we used to have a pint of cream for our 
coffee every morning, something we had not had since 
leaving New Hampshire. Hiram Drowns declared that 
he had gained one pound of flesh for each day he had 
been in Kentucky. 

As the Sixth was nearest the village, it was detailed 
as provost guard for the town, with Captain Goodwin as 
provost-marshal. The town, like all others in Kentucky, 
was fully supplied with Bourbon whiskey. Some of the 
boys occasionally drank too deeply and became noisy, 
so that the captain had to put them in jail to sober off. 
One Fowler and a chum of his had become too boister- 
ous, and the captain had taken them to jail and locked 
them into a cell. He then took a stroll around the 
square, and dropping into a saloon to get an "eye- 
opener " for himself, whom should he see at the bar but 
Fowler and his chum taking a drink? Fowler said, 
"Captain, won't you have something to take?'' The 
captain replied, "I thought I left you in jail." "You 
did," Fowler then remarked, "but it was awful dry 
there, and we came out to get something to drink, and 
are going directly back." It was found that the two fel- 
lows had broken the iron gratings of their window and 
escaped about as soon as the captain left them. Because 
some would get drunk, the general finally ordered the 
whiskey shops to be closed, and the execution of the 
order discommoded but few of our men. 

We soon found that the report of our good behavior at 
Lexington and Winchester had preceded us to Rich- 
mond. The good people, among whom were Mr. Hal- 
loway, Mr. Shackford, and Postmaster Ballard, received 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 1 45 

us with cordiality at their homes, and with the ready 
assistance of Mr. and Mrs. Webster, provided pleasant 
entertainments at the Webster House for the general, his 
staff, and other officers. In return, it was decided to 
make a little spread at the general's head-quarters, and 
accordingly, on the first day of May and upon our invi- 
tation, some fifty or sixty of the village people whom we 
had met came to camp to partake of " soldier fare." 
But we had, besides hard-tack and coffee, some Catawba 
wine and cake, brought from Lexington for the occasion, 
an extra not expected by our guests. They declared 
that our entertainment surpassed theirs — especially in the 
good music contributed by our brigade band. Then, for 
the first time, we heard the stirring song, " Rally round 
the flag, boys ! rally once again ! " While we were 
at Lexington, one of the loyal ladies of that city had 
presented to the leader of our band the music and words 
of this piece, which had been learned so as to be played 
for the first time at this entertainment. It has never 
sounded sweeter to us than it sounded then. 

On Saturday, the second day after our little entertain- 
ment, orders were received to be ready to move south- 
ward on the morrow to Paint Lick creek, twelve miles 
towards Lancaster. That night our guests gave a ball 
at the Webster House. After an enjoyable evening and 
just before separating, we told our kind friends that we 
had been ordered away. Mr. Halloway and other gen- 
tlemen, upon hearing this, called some of us aside, and 
said they could not express the sorrow they felt at our 
going away from them, for they had learned to love us. 
Mr. Halloway added that it now seemed incredible how 
deceived he had been about the New England Yankees. 
"Why," said he, "we have had Kentucky, Ohio, and 
10 



146 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



other Western troops stationed here, and we were glad 
when they were gone, but you and your men have 
treated us all with respect and kindness ; and if any of 
you are wounded in battle on Kentucky soil, be sure to 
let us know, and we will go to you and bring you back 
to our town, and care for you as best we can." With 
sadness we took our leave, and hastened back to camp 
to get a little sleep before starting upon our new march. 

Early on the pleasant Sunday morning our tents were 
struck, and by nine o'clock we were marching towards 
the village. As we neared it, we could see the people 
out in large numbers. Some had come in from the 
country to attend church, and as we marched through 
the town the streets were full. Many of our friends had 
gathered at the Webster House to wave us a kind good- 
bye, and to present to the general and each member of 
his staff a beautiful bouquet. Filing through the town, 
we turned sharp to the left, and marched due south over 
a rougher and more broken country. We passed, how- 
ever, some good farms on the way, and arrived at Paint 
Lick creek about 3 p. m., just as services were closing 
at the church, which stood at the four corners — one of 
Nasby's " cross-roads " — with only two or three houses 
in sight. The regiments were sent into the adjoining 
field, or pasture, near the creek, where there was water 
enough, while the general decided to make his head- 
quarters near the church. 

We had not been there long before the residents came 
around. Two very pretty young ladies soon rode up 
and informed us that their father, Deacon Wallace, had 
sent them with the church key, thinking that perhaps 
the general and staff might like to occupy the church, 
and would see that it be saved from harm. They 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 147 

also said that if some of the officers would come to 
their father's house and stay, they would be welcome. 
We declined with thanks the kind offer of their home 
for quarters, but sent a sergeant and guard instead, so 
that they might feel secure. The young ladies informed 
us that they were for the Union, and had a brother in 
the Union army. The deacon and his family showed us 
much kindness during our stay in that locality. 

About noon, on the 6th of May, we were surprised at 
seeing a line of carriages with streaming flags, coming 
down the pike. As the procession drew near we recog- 
nized our Richmond friends. Mr. Halloway said they 
thought we were near enough to be called neighbors, so 
the ladies had proposed to give us a surprise party. 
Such it was, indeed. Our visitors brought chicken, 
pickles, cake, and wines enough for a regiment. We 
surrendered to them, and they did the agreeable to per- 
fection. Tables were spread under the oaks, and after 
we had partaken of the bountiful repast, the services of 
the band were employed, and we had a dance on the 
green carpet of grass. We persuaded some of the 
younger ladies to stay till evening, and of course had to 
get a permit from the general to see them safe home to 
Richmond. We arrived there about midnight, and 
when we got back to head-quarters the morning light 
was streaming up in the east. At breakfast the general 
had his joke about " such late hours." 

The second day after this, we were surprised again at 
seeing crowds of people from the mountain regions com- 
ing in on the four roads centering here. We soon 
learned, however, that a Methodist protracted meeting 
was to commence that day at the church. The general 
evacuated the church, but he and many of his command 



148 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

attended the meeting. Many women were present, most 
of whom came on horseback. We judged that the 
preaching did not do much good, for they all seemed 
more taken up with the soldiers and the music of our 
band than with the preacher and his words. We also 
inferred from the preacher's behavior that he was a 
rebel, for he did not appear genial at all, and seemed to 
avoid us as much as possible. 

Having, on the 9th of May, received orders to go for- 
ward to Lancaster village, we early on the morning of 
the 10th moved across the creek to Lancaster pike. We 
soon came out into more of the rich blue-grass country, 
but the farther south we went the poorer the land was, 
and the less the Union element. We could always tell 
where the rebels lived. They closed their doors and 
blinds, and kept out of sight. But the Unionists always 
opened their doors and came out to the roadside, waving 
their handkerchiefs as we passed. Whenever any Union 
sentiment was manifested, the band would play the 
national airs to the delight of both whites and blacks. 
Many of these people, mounted on fine thoroughbred 
Kentucky horses, would follow us, and were always 
ready to tell us who was loyal and who was not. About 
noon we came in sight of the village of Lancaster. This 
was a town of about eight hundred inhabitants, and the 
county seat of Garrard county. Some of the best farms 
of the "blue-grass region" lay around the village, 
among which was the noted one of John Marrs, situated 
south-west of the town. 

Having arrived within a mile of the village, we filed 
to the right into a large field to the north-east. The 
land sloped towards the road, and when we had marched 
up the rise, we came upon a beautiful plateau of several 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 149 

acres, where we were ordered to establish our camp. 
The ground was large enough for the whole brigade to 
encamp on, but one regiment, the Ninth New Hamp- 
shire, was sent along the Crab Orchard pike to a point 
nearer the town. There could not be a finer ground for 
camp, parade, and drill than ours, while from its eleva- 
tion it gave a wide and charming prospect of the sur- 
rounding country. The colonel, taking advantage of 
the favorable situation, gave us each day a little exercise 
in battalion drill, which was good for the boys and kept 
them from getting rusty. Nearly all the people in this 
region being "Southern sympathizers," we received a 
less friendly welcome here than had hitherto been given 
us in Kentucky. We missed the kind presence of our 
Richmond friends. But they did not forget us, for we 
had been in camp here but a few days, when we received 
tokens of their remembrance, in the shape of goodies 
and bouquets, sent down by a gentleman coming from 
that region. 

While at Richmond, General Nagle had sent in his 
resignation on account of poor health. Having, while 
here at Lancaster, received notice of its acceptance, he 
on the 20th of May took an informal leave of the brig- 
ade, the officers calling on him and bidding him a kindly 
farewell. He went to his home at Pottsville, Penn., 
where he died a few years later. 1 Colonel Griffin of the 
Sixth New Hampshire, being the ranking officer, was 

1 General James Nagle was a native of Pennsylvania. He served in 
the Mexican War, and when he was mustered out in 1 848 he was pre- 
sented with a sword by the inhabitants of Schuylkill county. In 1861 
he organized the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, and in J862 he, 
with his command, joined the Ninth Corps. After returning to his 
home as mentioned in the text, he organized a regiment of militia, and 
commanded a brigade when Lee invaded Pennsylvania. The next 



ISO 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



ordered to assume command of the First Brigade, and 
did so on the following day, to the delight of the boys of 
his regiment who had the fullest confidence in their 
colonel. 1 

Having been ordered to move south-east to Crab 
Orchard, about twelve miles distant, we packed up 
early on the 23d, and marched to the village to the 
step of "Rally round the flag, boys." But few of the 
villagers came to see us, and those who did so were 
actuated more by idle curiosity than by friendly interest. 
Not a cheer or " God bless you !" did we hear, for the 
few Union people did not dare show their feelings, from 
fear of the trouble that might befall them after the sol- 
diers were gone. Entering the village square, we filed 
short to the left, and marched due south-east on the Crab 
Orchard pike. We soon left the "blue-grass region" 
behind. Red clay and gravelly soil now predominated ; 
the houses were poor and the fences still poorer. The 
hills, however, were covered with a heavy growth of 
timber, and on the creek-beds there was some good land 
for cotton and tobacco. 

About ten o'clock the writer, accompanied by Colonel 
Hartranft, was sent ahead to find a location with a suffi- 

year he organized a regiment for one hundred days' service, and com- 
manded the same in helping guard the approaches of Baltimore. He 
died in 1866, in the forty-fifth year of his age. — Editor. 

1 This was a permanent assignment of command. Though his brig- 
adier-general's commission was not received by Colonel Griffin till the 
next year, when it was won by gallant conduct at Spottsylvania, yet, as 
being appropriate from his real position in command, the title of Gen- 
eral will henceforth be given him in this history. His brigade, the first 
of the Second Division of the Ninth Corps, consisted of the Sixth and 
Ninth New Hampshire, Second Maryland, Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, 
and the Seventh and Twelfth Rhode Island regiments. — Editor. 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 15 1 

ciency of shade and water, where the brigade might halt 
for dinner and rest. An hour later the riders came in 
sight of a pretty two-story house, standing a few rods to the 
left of the pike, and the colonel, remarking that a good 
spring of water would probably be found not far away, 
suggested to the writer to make inquiry at the house. 
Riding up, the latter was about to dismount and ring the 
bell, when two red-headed women of doubtful age ap- 
peared, and asked what was wanted. Upon being told 
that we were looking for a good spring of water near 
which our brigade might halt for an hour or two, they 
fired up, saying that they would not have their premises 
occupied by Yankee soldiers. "The mean, dirty fel- 
lows, coming down here to fight we-uns," and much 
other loose talk, was dealt out. Without satisfaction or 
information, the writer returned to the pike and to the 
colonel, who, having heard all the talk, was quietly 
laughing, and who remarked, "That sounds like old 
Virginia." Though those red heads and fiery tongues 
could pretty effectively defend their castle, yet it would 
not be strange if some of the poultry was subsequently 
missing from the premises, for the boys took special 
delight in stealing from that class of natives. 

A little farther on the riders met an old colored man, 
who, upon inquiries made about the "female spitfires" 
just encountered, said, " Golly ! Massa, they's jist awful 
secesh, sar, and dair brudders are in the rebel army, sar." 
He also said that a good spring and running brook could 
be found a " right smart distance on." In answer to the 
question how far a "right smart distance " was, he " reck- 
oned "it was about "two looks." This was a sufficient 
answer, for we had been in Kentucky long enough to 
know that "two looks " meant to look ahead as far as you 



1^2 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

can, then upon going to the spot marking the limit of 
vision — it may be at the top of a hill on the road — and 
looking again, you can see the desired object. So, it 
being known that just beyond the next hill water would be 
found for the brigade, the writer rode back to meet the 
column and to inform the tired and thirsty men that there 
was water for them a mile and a half ahead. This infor- 
mation put new vim into the weary ones, and they moved 
on with quickened step. 

At high noon we came down into a little valley where 
there was a small stream wending its way over a gravelly 
bed and fed by several good springs issuing from the 
hill. Here we halted for an hour or more, and the boys 
rested in the shade of locust and oak, appeasing their 
hunger with hard-tack and Kentucky ham. Resuming 
our march, we arrived at Crab Orchard at about three 
o'clock in the afternoon. The country here being much 
broken, the regiments were scattered that they might 
find suitable spots for encamping. The Sixth took up 
its quarters near one of the famous Chalybeate Springs. 
These sulphur, iron, and salt springs were, before the 
war, much resorted to by Southern people. There were 
in the vicinity several large boarding-houses or hotels, a 
race-course, and two or three " groggeries." We had 
full sway here, and partook of the spring-waters at will, 
some thinking they derived benefit from drinking them. 
A few families lived in this locality ; but only very few 
white men — and they old — were to be seen. The colored 
people said the others had "gone south," and we knew 
what they meant. The ladies treated us civilly, owned 
up that their brothers were in the rebel army, but claimed 
that they themselves were Union, a claim steadily main- 
tained, at least while we stayed there. Our duties were 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 1 53 

light, as we only had to go on picket every other day. 
When off duty, we scoured the country for game to re- 
plenish our stock of provisions, for we did not want to 
come to hard-tack and salt junk till we were obliged 
to do so. 

We were expecting to be ordered forward any day 
over the mountains into East Tennessee. On the 2d of 
June the order came to send all surplus baggage back to 
Nicholasville and store it there, so that we might be in 
light marching trim. The writer having been dispatched 
on the 3d with an escort to make this disposal of the 
brigade's baggage, and having been ordered to return 
the same day as we were under marching orders, got 
back to camp at midnight, to find that the orders had 
been explained, and that we were to take back tracks 
for Lancaster, Nicholasville, Lexington, and Cincinnati. 1 

1 General Burnside had made arrangements to march with the Ninth 
Corps for the deliverance of East Tennessee. The movement was to 
be cooperative with that of General Rosecrans towards Chattanooga. 
The troops were concentrated at Crab Orchard and in the vicinity, in 
readiness for the expedition. On the 2d of June, General Burnside 
proceeded to Lexington to take the field. Just as he was leaving Cin- 
cinnati, he had received a dispatch from Washington inquiring if he 
could spare any troops to assist General Grant in the siege of Vicks- 
burg. To detach any of his army was seriously to disconcert his well 
laid plan of operation, but with characteristic unselfishness he stood 
ready to comply with the wishes of the Washington authorities. He 
prepared to meet any exigency, and he put his troops in light marching 
order by reducing the baggage of officers and men to the minimum. 
His command was ready to move at a moment's notice, whithersoever 
ordered. The order came from Washington on the 3d of June that 
General Grant be reinforced by eight thousand men, and on the 4th 
the Ninth Corps, with General Parke in command, started from Crab 
Orchard for Vicksburg. General Burnside desired to accompany his 
favorite corps to Mississippi, but his presence in his own department 



154 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

We hardly knew what to think of it. One report 
had it that we were going back to Virginia ; another, 
that we were to be sent down the river to help General 
Grant at Vicksburg. We soon found that the latter 
was true. 

We left Crab Orchard on the 4th of June, and setting 
our faces to the north-west, passed through Lancaster 
soon after noon. The people looked aghast, thinking 
that John Morgan or some one else was driving us back, 
for, though rebels at heart, they feared a rebel incursion 
more even than they disliked the presence of the Yan- 
kees. As we entered the "blue-grass region" again, 
conscious that we were now passing through it probably 
for the last time, we felt almost as if we were going away 
from home. That night we encamped in a grove about 
three miles from the Kentucky river, at what was called 
"Camp Dick Robinson," where some Union troops had 
wintered prior to our coming into the state. We had a 
heavy shower in the night, which soaked us through, but 
we did not care much, since the dust was laid, which 
was "just awful," as the ladies say, when it was dry. 

In the morning we were awakened by the songsters in 
the trees over our heads, and as the sun came out in full 
brightness the fields looked greener and the country more 
lovely, if possible, than ever before. For cooler march- 
ing, we started in the early morning, but as our faces 
were turned westward , the hot sun ere long smote fiercely 

was deemed too important to allow compliance with his wish. General 
T. Thomas Welsh was assigned to the command of the First Division 
of the corps, General Willcox being transferred to the District of 
Indiana. The Twelfth Rhode Island Regiment, of General Griffin's 
Brigade, being under a nine months enlistment, did not accompany 
the corps to Vicksburg. — Editor. 



CAMPAIGNING IN KENTUCKY. 1 55 

upon our backs, and it became evident that we must 
move at a very slow pace or the men could not keep 
their places in the column. A wagon had been provided 
for the brigade band, in which to carry all their traps, 
so that the members would be in light marching order 
and could give us music to cheer the weary march. 

We soon came in sight of the Kentucky river, at a 
little place called "Hickman bridge." Here the bluffs, 
or cliffs, were of pure limestone, and from sixty to a hun- 
dred feet high. Under these the pike wound like a huge 
snake, and the scenery was some of the finest in all Ken- 
tucky. While we passed down the cliffs along the zig- 
zag pike, the band played national airs, and the strains 
were echoed and reechoed till it almost seemed that forty 
bands were playing. All declared that they had never 
before heard such beautiful echoes. Some of the way 
the pike was cut into the solid limestone, and the gorge, 
or canon, was so narrow that a regiment could have held 
it against an army. This was the only place on the river 
where a crossing could be effected for several miles, 
either above or below. 

When the head of the column had gained the cliffs on 
the west side, the band took station there and played 
till the whole brigade was across, so that all could enjoy 
once more the beautiful vibrations and echoes of the 
music as it floated around the cliffs. To one standing on 
those heights and looking back across the river, the sight 
of several thousand troops in handsome uniform marching 
in soldierly order, and with bright muskets and bayonets 
flashing in the sun, was one never to be forgotten. When 
we had all crossed, we halted to rest at what was then 
the beginning of Camp Nelson. After this, we moved 
on to Nicholasville, which we reached about 3 p. m. 



156 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Taking the cars for Lexington somewhat late in the 
evening, we arrived there about midnight. 

When it was generally known that the Ninth Corps 
was about leaving Kentucky, both the white and colored 
people showed real sorrow at our departure. They not 
only liked us, but they felt secure in our presence from 
the dread guerrillas. The colored people manifested 
much uneasiness, and many of them were desirous of 
leaving the state with the troops, but when their masters 
claimed them we were obliged to give them up. Some, 
however, did get away as servants to the officers. The 
slaves in Kentucky were very intelligent as compared 
with those in the states farther south. Many could read 
and write, and they had many liberties that their breth- 
ren in other states did not enjoy. That Kentucky lay 
adjoining two free states partially accounted for this 
milder form of slavery. 



SAMUEL D. STURGIS. 
(by the editor.) 

General Samuel D. Sturgis, who commanded awhile 
the Second Division of the Ninth Army Corps, was born 
at Shippensburgh, Penn., June 11, 1822. Having gradu- 
ated from West Point in 1846, he served in the Mexican 
War. During subsequent service in California and New 
Mexico, he became captain. When the Rebellion broke 
out in 1861 he had command of Fort Smith in Arkansas, 
and when all his officers resigned to enter the rebel ser- 
vice he took the responsibility of evacuating the fort. 
By this noble act he " saved his command and the gov- 
ernment property." As major of cavalry, he was with 



SAMUEL D. STURGIS. 157 

General Lyon in Missouri, and when the latter fell at 
Wilson's creek, succeeded to the command. Having 
been made brigadier-general of volunteers, he served 
under various assignments, notably in 1862, when he 
had command of the fortifications around Washington. 
After his connection with the Ninth Corps ceased, he 
participated in cavalry operations in Kentucky, Ten- 
nessee, and Mississippi. After the war, he remained 
on duty with the regular cavalry until, in 1886, he was 
retired from long and honorable service. 



CHAPTER XI. 

TO VICKSBURG— THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 

On the 6th of June we took cars for Cincinnati, where 
we arrived in the evening, and stayed over night at the 
Soldiers' Home. The next morning we took passage on 
the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. Captain Jones, of Com- 
pany F, was well acquainted with the West and South- 
west along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and as soon 
as we were beyond the city limits he said, "I feel at 
home in this country, for I travelled over it many years 
ago when I was a poor boy. There," said he, pointing 
to a building, "is the log-cabin in which General Harri- 
son lived, and on the hill yonder you can see his tomb. 
I stopped in that historic house years ago, with only six 
cents in my pocket. The next morning before the sun 
rose I visited the resting-place of the ex-president, and 
in those woods I chopped cord-wood to earn money to 
carry me back to Chicago." 

As we sped along the Ohio we saw fine farms and 
acres of grape-vines, for our route lay through a region 
noted for wine-making, and the vineyards were laden 
with the green fruit, which would ripen to make glad the 
husbandman. Peach, pear, apple, and plum trees prom- 
ised an* abundant fruitage. As we looked upon the 
charming landscape smiling in the bright June sun, we 
could but exclaim, "What a beautiful country!" As 
we passed along the farmer would stop his team, and, 
swinging his hat high over his head, would cheer us on ; 



TO VICKSBURG. 159 

while the mother and daughter, from the door, would wave 
their handkerchiefs and sometimes a flag to the passing 
train. Soon we turned more to the westward, and enter- 
ing Indiana, crossed the state through extensive corn 
and wheat fields. The farms seemed pretty large to our 
New England boys. We crossed the Wabash river into 
Illinois, with her rich prairies stretching away to the 
south and west as far as the eye could see. Had these 
been clothed with the beautiful blue-grass of Ken- 
tucky, they would have been of unrivalled loveliness. 
All along the way the people seemed glad to see us, 
and cheered us on with kind words and wishes for our 
speedy and safe return. When we came upon the Illi- 
nois Central Railroad, Captain Jones remarked, "I feel 
at home, for I helped build this railroad." At Centralia 
many of his old friends came out of the railroad shops to 
greet him, and on our arrival at Cairo, he said, " I was 
here when but one house had been built, and before one 
rail had been laid on the banks of the Mississippi." The 
captain had boated on the river, and knew every town 
on its banks. 

We arrived at Cairo on the 8th, and the next day we 
went aboard the steamer General Anderson. Troops 
came pouring into Cairo from the North till the levee 
was blocked with them. All this array of soldiers and 
of war material told that there was stern work on hand 
down the river. Numerous boats of all kinds and sizes 
were anchored at this "mud-hole" of a town. There 
were gunboats, mortar-boats, palace river-boats, and last, 
but not least, the tug-boats so indispensable in moving 
larger vessels from one spot to another in the river. 
Among the boats that had come here to take the Ninth 
Corps down to Vicksburg, were the Alice Deane, Imfe- 



l6o SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

rial, Silver Moon, Josephine, General Anderson, and 
Armada, — on which last General Griffin and staff were 
quartered. The Silver Moon had a steam calliope, 
which gave us music, but of a kind hardly rivalling that 
of our brigade band. 

When all the troops were aboard, the flag-ship Impe- 
rial led the way down the river, and all the other boats 
fell into line, each in its place. The boys were in good 
spirits, and sang "We are floating down the river," 
"Down the old Mississippi we are going," and other 
stirring songs. The Ninth Corps had become noted for 
its travels, which before the present trip to Vicksburg, 
had carried it down to North Carolina, back to Virginia, 
up into Maryland, down to Fredericksburg and Newport 
News, and to Kentucky, — in all several thousand miles. 1 
The first night (June 9th) we anchored at Plum Point. 
It was dangerous to run nights on account of low water, 
and because the rebels had batteries at some points on 
the Arkansas and Tennessee shores. At daylight of the 
next morning, we were again on the move toward Mem- 
phis where we arrived at noon. We were paid off on 
the boat by Major Schofield, one of the most genial of 
paymasters. Some of the men employed in that branch 
of the service were as sour as a crab-apple, and acted as 
if they were doing all the hard work of the army, besides 
carrying the whole government on their shoulders. But 
Major Schofield was not of that class : he had a kind 
word for the boys, and said, "Take good care of your 
money, for you are going far down the river and will 
need it." He also gave any of them his check for 
the amount they wanted to send home to their friends, 

1 A song composed by one of the chaplains on the trip from Cairo to 
Vicksburg will be found at end of chapter. — Editor. 



TO VICKSBURG. l6l 

thus saving them much in express charges, but giving 
him much extra work, for which he got nothing but 
thanks. He was the right man in the right place. 

We remained in Memphis during the nth, thus hav- 
ing quite opportunity enough to see the dirtiest city this 
side of Jerusalem — so travellers say — as well as to spend 
some of our money. We also, however, had time to 
write letters to friends at home, and this we improved. 
The city showed us scarcely a pleasing feature. It is a 
wonder that yellow-fever did not appear sooner than 
it did, for its streets were full of filth of all kinds, and 
but for the hogs and buzzards, which acted as scaven- 
gers, to live there would seem to have been next to 
impossible. 

Early on the morning of the 12th we left Memphis, 
with our bands playing "John Brown's soul is marching 
on." And indeed those words did seem verified when 
we saw little bands of colored people gathered on the 
banks of the river in many places, waiting for some boat 
to call up to the shore and take them off into safety 
within the Union lines. It was a beautiful morning, and 
as we steamed along with the current, in the bright sun- 
light, with the air laden with the fragrance of flowers 
and filled with the music of birds singing in the trees 
that lined the shores, it almost seemed to us that we were 
upon a holiday excursion, instead of an errand of war 
and death. The dense, wax-like foliage of the trees 
glistening in the morning dew, and the festoons of hang- 
ing moss made a picture long to be remembered. The 
river was so crooked in some parts of its course that we 
could look across a narrow neck of land and see the 
boats that had preceded us steaming in a direction just 
opposite to ours. They were several miles ahead of us, 
11 



i6z 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



and still not one half mile from us in a straight line 
across the sand-bar. As the captain of the boat said, 
' ' We sailed every point of the compass in going down 
the river." About dark we reached the mouth of the 
White river, and tied up to the shore, not daring to run 
in the night. 

At four o'clock the next morning (June 13th) we 
started again. We were now getting into the enemy's 
country. Rebel guerillas infested both sides of the river, 
and made it one of their pastimes to trouble passing boats 
with masked batteries and rifle shots. Sometimes we 
would run within a few rods of the shore into easy 
range of the rebel rifles, while the guerillas would be 
posted out of reach, behind trees or logs. Many a pilot 
or captain had been shot by these "bush-whackers," 
and all our boats had their pilot-houses protected by 
boiler iron, so that the occupants might be as safe as 
possible. The captain of the boat said that we should 
probably hear from the guerillas before night, so Gen- 
eral Griffin had one of the twelve-pound guns of a bat- 
tery we had on board loaded and manned on the side of 
the boat next to the Mississippi shore, and a detail of 
infantry standing ready for action at a moment's notice. 
As we glided down the stream, with the sun growing 
hotter and hotter, the captain, about nine o'clock in the 
morning, informed us that we were coming to the worst 
part of the river for guerillas. He got out his eighteen- 
shot repeating Henry rifle, and we all, in fact, made 
some preparation for the expected shower of lead or 
rotten iron. We did not have to wait long, for as we 
rounded a bend very near the Mississippi shore, suddenly 
two puffs of smoke were seen to rise from behind the 
trees, and straightway two shots reached the boat. One 



TO VICKSBURG. 163 

of these passed through the " cookery," and the other 
through the upper saloon, lodging in the opposite side 
of the boat. The paymaster had a narrow escape, and 
came upon his feet pretty suddenly, to the amusement of 
the boys, while the cook left the kitchen on the double- 
quick. The moment the puffs of smoke were seen, the 
gunner fired "his cannon, and the shell burst among the 
trees with a crash. This prompt response probably 
frightened the guerillas away, for we did not see or hear 
anything more of them, nor were any of the boats in our 
rear troubled by them. The boys wanted the captain to 
run ashore, so that they might go into the woods and 
skirmish with the lurking marksmen, but the order 
was, " On to Vicksburg ! " 

About 3 p. m. we passed Lake Providence. 1 The land 
began to be low and swampy, and no tree but the cotton- 
wood was to be seen on the shores. At 8 p. m. we 
arrived at Milliken's Bend, in sight of Vicksburg, and 
as the mortar fleet was actively at work, we could see 
the 200-pound shells circling through the air and descend- 
ing upon the doomed city, there to blow out impassable 
cavities in its streets and to dash its buildings into shape- 
less ruins. That night of the 13th we remained on the 
boat, which was anchored to trees on the shore. The 
boom, boom, of the mortar fleet every two minutes, 
the splash of the water against the sides of the boat, 
and the shrill saw-file notes of the myriads of insects 
on the shores kept one's eyes and ears open, so that 
sleep was almost impossible. The writer, with some 
others, sat on the bow of the boat till a late hour 
watching the shells as they fell into Vicksburg. We 

1 In Louisiana, on the westerly side of the Mississippi, about seventy 
miles (by the river) above Vicksburg. — Editor. 



164 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



timed the shells as they left the mortars on their aerial 
flight, and found that it took about eighteen seconds for 
them to land in the city. Bombs do not pass so rapidly 
through the air as do shot or shell from cannon. The 
shell from the mortar passed at a considerable elevation 
— sometimes at an angle of forty-five degrees — making 
a curve like that of a rocket, and could be traced by the 
fire of the fuse till it exploded or dropped to the ground. 
When it did not explode in the air, it was easily dodged 
by an experienced veteran. When such a one saw the 
shell coming, he could tell very readily whether it was 
going to the right or to the left, provided it did not explode 
before reaching the ground ; but almost any one would 
shake a little in his boots while the fiery monster was 
passing through the air above him. Such moments were 
anxious ones for those in range of the shells. There 
was but little danger, comparatively, from them when 
they burrowed deeply in the ground, but when they ex- 
ploded overhead it was very well known that somebody 
was sure to be hurt ; nor did it take long to find out who 
the unlucky one was, for in a second the shower of rot- 
ten iron was falling upon the defenceless heads of all 
within range. 

Most of the inhabitants of Vicksburg lived under 
ground during the siege, for the city being situated on 
bluffs of hard clay, comfortable rooms could be quite 
readily excavated. On a visit to the city after its sur- 
render, the writer went into several of these subterranean 
rooms, and found them fitted up with the best furniture, 
removed from the houses, where nothing had been safe. 
Being between two fires — that of Grant's siege guns on 
the north and east, and that of the mortar fleet in front — 
the inhabitants stood a poor chance of saving anything. 



TO VICKSBURG. 165 

Several houses were seen, clear through which the 200- 
pound shells had gone without exploding, but they made 
a fearful mark whether they exploded or not. 

On Sunday, June 14, the troops disembarked, and put 
up their shelter tents on the levee among the "cotton- 
woods." We landed a few rods from the famous canal 
dug by General Williams, 1 to turn the river so that 
Vicksburg might be left high and dry and our boats pass 
unmolested. But the canal proved a failure. The dews 
were heavy on the lowlands of the Louisiana shore, and 
as the June sun came up in fiery might a cloud of vapor 
ascended from the earth full of malaria. Hiram Drowns 
said he could "taste the darned stuff every time he 
opened his mouth." One of the boys of Company I told 
him to hold a little whiskey in his mouth and he would 
not taste the malaria. Drowns replied that it was impos- 
sible for him to hold "commissary" in his mouth, for it 
was sure to leak down his throat. We had nothing to 
do that day but try to keep cool, and that was pretty 
hard work, so the next best thing to do was to keep 
quiet. Most of the boys, however, availed themselves of 
the opportunity to write to their friends far away among 
the New Hampshire hills, who we thought must begin 
to feel somewhat anxious about us, since they only 
knew that we had gone somewhere down the Mississippi 
river. 

The next day our brigade was ordered to march. We 
moved out south-west, across "Young's Point," through 
swamps, on a corduroy road, and reached the Mississippi 
river eight or ten miles below Vicksburg. It was said 
that we were to cross here to a village called Warren- 

1 Brigadier-General Thomas Williams, who was formerly in command 
at Hatteras, as mentioned in Chapter III. — Editor. 



1 66 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ton, but in the afternoon we were ordered back to the 
place from which we came. We were glad to go any- 
where, if we might only get out of the Louisiana low- 
lands where we could not get one breath of good air ; but 
as for mosquitoes, them could " no man number ! " Had 
the Southern soldiers fought as persistently as these tor- 
mentors, we should all have been annihilated the first 
year of the war. How the sun came down upon us 
through the canes and cotton-woods, while the air was so 
close that we could hardly draw breath ! We were glad 
when we got back to the landing and found that we were 
to go aboard the boats again, for on them we could get 
a good breeze from the water. We steamed across the 
river, a little nearer Vicksburg, to the mouth of the 
Yazoo, and anchored for the night. 

The next morning we pushed on up the Yazoo river 
as far as Haines's Bluff, in the vicinity of which General 
Sherman had been defeated the winter before. 1 As "Ya- 
zoo " means " river of death," it is a name rightly applied 

1 Reference is made to the battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, fought Decem- 
ber 29, 1862. General Sherman moved down from Memphis upon 
Vicksburg, which place the Confederate General Pemberton got into 
ahead of him. General Sherman attacked the enemy at Chickasaw 
Bluffs, and was somewhat severely repulsed. General Grant, in his 
"Personal Memoirs" (Vol. I. p. 437), says of the locality and the 
operations there, — "The rebel positions were on a bluff on the Yazoo 
river, some miles above its mouth. The waters were high, so that the 
bottoms were generally overflowed, leaving only narrow causeways of 
dry land between the points of debarkation and the high bluffs. These 
were fortified and defended at all points. The rebel position was 
impregnable against any force that could be brought against its front. 
Sherman could not use one fourth of his force. His efforts to capture 
the city, or the high ground north of it, were necessarily unavailing. 1 ' 

— Editor. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 167 

in this case, for of all streams that move at all, this is 
the most sluggish. At that time its waters were thick 
with green slime, and the "death malaria" could be 
seen arising from it in the hot sun. It was the fit home 
of alligators and catfish. After we went into camp, the 
boys used to fish in it, and they had some sport in pull- 
ing out the huge catfish weighing from twenty-five to 
one hundred pounds each. The writer saw one that 
must have weighed more than a hundred pounds. It 
took two of the boys to carry this "big fish" on a pole 
run through its gills, and with the pole supported on the 
boys' shoulders the tail of the fish dragged on the 
ground. 

We landed about 9 a. m. A few Western troops were 
stationed on the bluffs, and as we filed up the road past 
them, they hooted us with "Bull Run!" "Fredericks- 
burg!" and other insulting cries. Our boys, having 
come down there to help the Western army out of a 
tight place, were much surprised at such treatment, and 
they were not only surprised, but so indignant, too, that 
there would have been a fight of no small dimensions if 
our officers had not hurried the troops off to Milldale, a 
few miles distant. It was a fact that the Western troops 
did not want the Eastern men to help them take Vicks- 
burg, and thus share the glory of that achievement. It 
is well known, however, what timely aid we rendered ; 
for General Johnston was coming up in Grant's rear with 
a large army, and would have made it hot for him had 
not the Ninth Corps come to his assistance and helped 
keep Johnston from crossing the Big Black river. Our 
boys did feel that they had received "scaly" treat- 
ment from those Western fellows, but before the close of 
the Mississippi campaign the latter came to the conclu- 



1 68 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE 

sion that the Eastern troops could fight as well and march 
as long as they could, and acknowledged the same to us 
after we returned from the Jackson expedition. Indeed, 
we were on the very best terms with the Western men 
when we finally left Mississippi. 

At Milldale our brigade went into camp on the bluffs, 
for it was death to encamp on the lowlands. There was 
a small creek here, formed from springs that came out 
of the hard-pan or clay of the bluffs farther towards 
Vicksburg. Without these springs, some of which were 
very large, it would have been impossible for an army 
to have lived there one week. We remained at Milldale 
from the 17th to the 22d, and built some fortifications on 
the bluffs to the north and east, as a protection against 
the approach of Johnston's army. It was easy to fortify 
here, there being so many deep ravines and bluffs, and 
such heavy timber on the north and east of Vicksburg. 
It was thought that Johnston might attack us at any 
time, but he was cautious, and did not like to cross the 
Big Black river as there was no available bridge, and 
had he been defeated he would have been in a bad 
plight, since the stream was several rods wide and 
very deep. And, again, he probably overestimated the 
strength of the Ninth Army Corps as it stood in his 
front, with, in fact, but a little over one half of its origi- 
nal numbers present. 

On the 22d of June we broke camp, and at 5 p. m. 
started upon an eastward march, encamping that night 
at Benton cross-roads. It looked as if our generals 
had decided to go out and fight Johnston if he would 
not come and fight us. On the 23d we moved along 
the Benton road a few miles, to a Mrs. Campbell's plan- 
tation, and bivouacked for the night. We rested here 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 169 

the next day. On the 25th, our brigade, consisting of 
the Sixth and Ninth New Hampshire, Second Maryland, 
Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, and Seventh Rhode Island 
regiments, and commanded by General Griffin, moved 
on toward the north-east, in the neighborhood of the Big 
Black river, and crossing Bear creek, came upon some 
of the outposts of the enemy, who retreated on our 
approach. Only a little skirmishing occurred. This 
reconnoissance satisfied our generals that Johnston had 
but few of his men across the Big Black. As we had 
accomplished what we were sent out for, we returned to 
our camp the same evening. 1 We rested here for a few 
days, doing only picket duty, and on the 30th we 
received our first mail since leaving Kentucky. Per- 
haps the reader can imagine with what eagerness we 
seized the little missives as they were thrown to us by 
the regimental postmaster. But sad indeed were those 
boys who, when all the letters were distributed, had 
received none ! 

On July 1st we moved a little to the south-west to Oak 
Ridge, near Mr. Nealey's plantation. Here we had a 
good shade in a heavy forest of oak, beech, gum, white- 
wood, magnolia, and other varieties of trees. Some of 
the oaks were very large — three feet through at the 
ground, straight as a candle, and with not a limb for 
fifty or sixty feet. But for beauty, the magnolia was the 
queen of the forest, with its cream-colored flowers as 

1 While we were halting at Bear creek, the writer went down under 
the bridge, and there found, beneath one of the abutments, a large 
Spanish dictionary, in good condition although it had evidently lain 
there several months. It was probably put there by some of the rebel 
soldiers, as it had the names of several Virginians on the fly-leaf. It 
has always been retained as a valuable war relic. 



170 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

large as a man's hat, whose fragrance filled the air for a 
long distance. Drowns said he could smell them farther 
than he could see them, and that was saying a good deal, 
for the large white blossoms could be seen more than a 
mile. It was some time before the boys found out what 
those great white-looking patches were, which could be 
seen on the distant trees as we steamed up the Yazoo. 
One of the colored boys heard them speculating upon 
the subject, and said, " Dem, massas, is de magdeola, 
sah." On the 2d of July each regiment drew a " full 
ration " of sharp axes, and we were ordered to cut all 
the timber on the north and east of the camp. Such a 
slashing as was made there on that and the succeeding 
day was never seen before in all Mississippi. Acres 
and acres were laid low ; trees were felled in all direc- 
tions ; and the wonder is that half of the men were not 
killed. Some did cut their feet, and others were injured 
by falling trees. 

On the evening of the 3d, camp rumor said that Pem- 
berton was going to surrender Vicksburg, but we did 
not take much stock in the report. We could not, think 
that the rebel general, with his thirty-three thousand 
troops, would give up quite so soon. During the night, 
however, news came to General Griffin's head-quarters 
which convinced us that there was truth in the rumor. 
The boys noticed, too, that the firing had nearly ceased 
around Vicksburg, and that by the morning of the 4th of 
July it had ceased altogether. We knew this meant 
something, and early in the morning a dispatch notified 
General Griffin that the surrender of Vicksburg was to 
be made at 9 a. m., and that our brigade must be ready 
to march at a moment's notice. It was said that Pem- 
berton intended to make surrender on the 3d of July, but 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 171 

Grant preferred that it be made on our national holiday. 1 
We hoped that we were to go directly back to Kentucky, 
but our hopes were dashed to shivers, when, later in the 
day, we received orders to move towards Jackson. 

It did not take us more than ten minutes to get ready 
for a march. All we had to do was to roll up our blankets 
and shelter tent, sling them over the left shoulder with 
our haversack, take our rifle in hand, and we were pre- 
pared to obey the words, "Forward, March !" At half 
past three in the afternoon of July 4, we moved out to 
Bear creek, and halted for the night by the side of 
the road. 2 We were in Sherman's front line, facing 
Johnston. That night General Sherman came to General 
Griffin's tent, and the two, sitting down on the ground, 
spread out their maps and looked them over by the light 
of two candles. Then they mounted, and each taking 
one orderly rode out by the light of a small moon right 
into the teeth of the enemy to look out the roads and 

iGeneral Grant, in his "Personal Memoirs," Vol. I, p. 564, says, — 
' ' I have no doubt that Pemberton commenced his correspondence on 
the third with a two-fold purpose : first, to avoid an assault, which he 
knew would be successful ; and second, to ■ prevent the capture taking 
place on the great national holiday, the anniversary of the Declaration 
of American Independence. Holding out for better terms as he did, 
he defeated his aim in the latter particular." — Editor. 

2 On the 3d of July, when negotiations concerning the surrender of 
Vicksburg had commenced, General Grant, as he tells us in his ' ' Per- 
sonal Memoirs,'' "notified Sherman, and directed him to be ready to 
take the offensive against Johnston, drive him out of the state, and de- 
stroy his army if he could." The prompt movement of the Ninth Corps 
on the 4th of July was made in accordance with this direction. As 
soon as Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg, his superior in command, 
General Joseph E. Johnston, who had been threatening Grant's rear, 
began to fall back from his position on the Big Black river, eastward 
toward Jackson, the capital of Mississippi. — Editor. 



1^2 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

examine the country. They went nearly to the Big Black, 
and were gone two or three hours, liable at any moment 
to be gobbled up. But Sherman was one of those com- 
manders who, unlike McClellan, took off their coats and 
went into the work to accomplish something ; and they 
were the ones, too, who brought the war to a successful 
termination. 

The next morning (Sunday) we were up early, so 
as to march in the cool of the day. Drowns said that 
when he was at home he did "not have to get up so 
early Sunday mornings." This shows how the boys' 
minds would run back to the old New Hampshire homes 
and days of rest; but we knew no Sundays here. We 
did not, however, march far that day. It was very hot, 
and the roads were so dusty that one could not see more 
than two or three rods ahead. That night we bivouacked 
in the oak woods, about two miles from the Big Black. 
The sun went down red and fiery, a sure indication that 
we were to have it hotter on the morrow, and as there 
had not been a drop of rain since we landed in Missis- 
sippi, one can judge how dry it was getting to be. The 
soft south breeze fanned our brows that night as we lay 
under the wide-spreading oaks, while the moon tried to 
smile on us through the air thickly laden with dust, and 
the mosquitoes kept up their ceaseless hum, present- 
ing their bills as often as one's face or hands were 
uncovered. 

The next morning (July 6) it was eight o'clock before 
the sun could be seen, so thick was the air with smoke 
and dust. We had marched but a short distance when 
we came in sight of the bottom-lands of the Big Black 
river. Here was a cotton plantation of many acres, with 
a good-sized cotton gin and various buildings upon it. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 173 

It was about a mile and a half across the lowlands to the 
river, and as we came down into these under the full noon- 
day sun, it seemed like going into an oven. The men 
began to fall out by the wayside with sunstroke. The 
officers wore anxious looks, for they feared this heat 
more than a battle. They tried to encourage the men 
onward across the plain to the woods that skirted the 
river, but many a poor fellow strove in vain to keep up 
in column. Several died of the heat that day, and many 
more were taken to the rear in ambulances, never to 
return to their regiments. As we passed the buildings 
and cotton gin in the midst of the plain, we would have 
liked to halt in their shade, but those that had gone 
before us had taken possession of them, and all the 
shady nooks were filled with tired soldiers. So we 
plodded on to the river's bank, where we found shade,, 
but it did seem as if there was no air left for us to- 
breathe. Some plunged into the water to cool off; 
others, when the order to halt reached their ears, dropped 
down where they stood ; and as there was no bridge or 
ferry here, we could do nothing but halt. 

Upon consultation, the engineers decided that a bridge 
could be built if the timber from the buildings on the 
plain could be obtained. Accordingly, a detachment 
was sent back late in the afternoon and demolished the 
buildings, while the teams hauled the lumber to the 
river, and the building of the bridge was commenced at 
Messenger's ferry. But as the water was about twenty- 
four feet deep and the current was strong, it was no 
easy task to build a bridge out of short timbers, with no 
boat, and only a temporary raft on which to work. 

About 3 p. m. of the 7th the bridge was completed,, 
and one or two regiments crossed upon it, with some of 



Ijq, SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

the teams and Captain Roemer's Battery. We noticed 
that the bridge settled on one side as the heavy teams 
crossed it, but so long as it held together the cross- 
ing was continued. As the caisson, heavily loaded with 
ammunition, was about midway of the river, the bridge 
gave a lurch and went down, with horses, riders, caisson 
and all. The riders swam out, but the heavy caisson 
took the horses to the bottom with it, where we could 
see them struggling to get free ; but as the harnesses 
were strong their struggles were unavailing. For the 
rest of us, the prospect of getting across the river that 
night seemed very slim. 1 

Adjutant-General J. D. Bertolette was put across the 
river on a raft, with instructions to find General Potter 
and inquire of him if there was not a ferry farther down 
the river which could be used. Taking an orderly's 
horse that had crossed before the bridge gave way, he 
rode on to find General Potter's head-quarters. Soon 
after Captain Bertolette started, it was noticed that the 
sky in the west had a peculiar look, and soon there was 
evidence of a coming storm. It grew suddenly dark; 
soon we heard the distant thunder, and were glad to 
know that there was rain in the heavens, although we 
might get soaked to the skin. The men put their shelter 
tents together to make protection enough to keep their 
ammunition and hard-tack dry if possible. A few were 
left at the crossing, where they built a fire, so that when 

1 The movements here described in the text were exclusively those of 
General Griffin's Brigade and Roemer's Battery. A part of this force 
got across at Messenger's ferry on the afternoon of the 7th ; the re- 
mainder, early the next morning, as will be seen further on. The rest 
of the Ninth Corps crossed on the 7th, by a bridge constructed at Bird- 
song's ferry. — Editor. 



HHE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 175 

Captain Bertolette came back they might assist him 
across the river. But when the storm struck them, their 
fire went out, for the rain came down like a deluge. It 
rained as no New Hampshire boy had ever seen it rain 
before. How the thunder did rattle, peal after peal in 
quick succession, while the lightning was blinding and 
incessant, and the wind blew in tornado gusts, so that 
it did seem as if we were all to be destroyed at once ! 
One of the batteries was stationed out on the plain, and 
we could see the lightning play around the guns and 
carriages. There was no little danger from explosion, 
for the lightning might dart into an ammunition wagon 
at any moment. Nobody thought of sleeping in such a 
storm. All one could do was to hold a rubber blanket 
or shelter-tent over his head, and sit down Turkish 
fashion and let it rain. 

While the shower was in full force, Captain Bertolette 
came back to the river and shouted again and again for 
the boys on the other side to come over and take him 
across, but the noise of the storm drowned his voice. 
There he had to stand all alone in the pitchy darkness 
and raging storm, without one particle of shelter, and 
with snakes and lizards all around him. He was not in 
a very amiable state of mind, when the shower held up 
and he could make himself heard across the river. The 
boys replied to him, but pretended not to know who was 
there. Some of the captain's impatient words, which 
had a "d — n" among them, set them agoing, and they 
asked what old fool was over there and what he wanted. 
The reply came, "I'll fool you when I get over there! 
I am John D. Bertolette, adjutant-general, you d — d 
idiots!" This was "nuts" for the boys, who were of 
Companies C and I, Fowler being one of them ; so 



176 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

they replied, "Go to h — , Captain John D. Bertolette, 
adjutant-general ! " Now Captain John believed that 
any disrespect shown to a superior officer should be 
punished to the extreme, and some of the boys did not 
love him any too well although he was really one of the 
best fellows in the army. He plainly told his tormentors 
that as soon as he got over there he would have them 
arrested, court-martialed, etc., and they as plainly told 
him to wait till he got over before he had them shot, etc. 
But soon they came to the conclusion that the joke had 
been carried far enough, and that it would be as well for 
them not to be found out. So they left the river, and 
scattering among their companions sent another fellow 
up to General Griffin's head-quarters to say that there 
was somebody across the river who wanted to communi- 
cate with him. The writer was sent down to see who it 
was. It was past midnight, and dark as dark could be, 
but a shout across the stream, inquiring who was there, 
brought a reply in the well known voice of Captain Ber- 
tolette. In reply to the inquiry how long he had been 
there, he said, "All night, and I am about frozen to 
death ! " The last remark was somewhat laughable, for 
a man seldom freezes in Mississippi in the month of July. 
The raft was got out, and a lantern having been found 
at the battery, the captain was brought over, all the 
while swearing vengeance on the men who had insulted 
him and would not come to his rescue. Warmed up 
with some hot whiskey, he crawled into an ambulance, 
and when seen the next day he was in a better frame of 
mind ; but he never found out who the boys were that 
had so tormented him. 

General Potter had sent back word that there was a 
flat-boat ferry about two miles farther down the river, at 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 177 

which the rest of our brigade could cross, and General 
Griffin ordered the writer to go down the river and find 
it, and to report as soon as possible. At this time a second 
shower came up, and it "just poured " and lightened. As 
the writer knew nothing of the country, he had to pick his 
way by the flashes, and it was the only time he was ever 
actually afraid of lightning. It seemed to be all around 
him, and his horse was more frightened than the rider. 
But the two plodded on as best they could, over logs, 
through underbrush, and across creeks swollen to twice 
their usual size. After a two-hours ride, the ferry, or 
what was supposed to be it, was reached, where a large 
cable was stretched across the river, though no boat 
could be found, it being on the other side. His repeated 
calls having brought no answer, the writer returned 
towards camp, where he arrived just at daybreak. He 
was quite as wet as Captain Bertolette, but not half so 
cold, for the excitement had kept him warm. All the 
horses and teams were sent down to the ferry to cross ; 
but a second raft having been made, the men were put 
across, eight at a time, at Messenger's ford, where the 
bridge had gone down. 

After getting over the river, we had to hurry to catch 
up with the rest of the corps that had got a good start of 
us the night before. But it was hard marching, for the 
roads were all mud and mire and the men's clothes 
were soaking wet. After we had gone a few miles, 
however, we came out into the clearing and upon higher 
ground, where the' roads were drier, and the hot sun soon 
dried our clothing. By forced marching we caught up 
with the rest of the troops about noon, and that night 
(July 8) we halted at Dr. Emanuel's plantation. We 
had not seen a drop of water since striking the high 
12 



178 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

ground, except what we had taken in our canteens. At 
this plantation we found a good cistern partly full. The 
men were so thirsty that they lost control of. themselves 
and became almost frantic when they knew there was 
good cool water within reach. They wildly scrambled 
for it, and spilled half of it before it reached the canteens. 

On the 9th we marched to Clinton cross-roads where 
we made a halt. We had passed the fine plantation of 
Jefferson Davis's brother Joseph. The mansion had 
already been entered by men ahead of us, and a some- 
what unceremonious examination had been made, in 
course of which certain interesting papers, among other 
things, belonging to the Confederate president, were 
found. That the premises might not be recklessly 
injured to the unnecessary disrepute of the Union army, 
General Griffin stationed a guard upon them during the 
passage of the column. But soon after the guard had 
been withdrawn and his command had passed on, the 
buildings were fired by some unknown hand and 
destroyed. 

While we now rested in the shady grove near a large 
mansion, an old white-headed negro was seen coming 
down the pike, with his hat off, bowing to the soldiers 
on the right and left, and stopping every few rods to 
speak to the boys, who were chaffing him with all sorts 
of questions. As he came near where General Griffin 
and staff were resting, he replied to one of the orderlies, 
who asked if he was looking for any one, "Yes, massa, 
I'se lookin' for de boss." The orderly directed him to 
General Griffin, to whom he came, hat in hand, saying 
" Ole missus hab sent dis yere to you," while he handed 
him a dainty little missive. The officers laughed, and 
told the general he was " sent for" sure, and so he was, 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 1 79 

for the note contained a very polite invitation for him and 
his staff to make the house their head-quarters as long as 
they stayed in the place. But the general never liked 
to make his head-quarters at a rebel house, preferring to 
remain in his tent. So the writer was dispatched to the 
house to present the general's compliments to the lady, 
and to decline her polite invitation, as he preferred to 
remain in the cool shade of the trees. Two ladies, 
mother and daughter, with the old colored man, were 
found to be the sole occupants of the mansion. The 
ladies said they were " a little afraid," but should " feel 
perfectly safe " if the general would ' ' only be so kind " 
as to comply with their request. The mother remarked 
that they most feared ' ' the stragglers " and the ' ' West- 
ern troops," who they knew "had burned a good many 
houses," but they had no fear of any harm from " Burn- 
side's soldiers." Whence she got this favorable idea of 
our corps is not known unless our good name had 
travelled before us from Kentucky to Mississippi. 

The writer reported to the general, who finally called 
upon the ladies and told them that as we should remain 
there but a few hours, it would not be best to think of 
taking quarters with them. The mother, whose hus- 
band, we learned, was an engineer in the Confederate 
service, pleaded so earnestly for some of us to stay that 
the general promised to leave three or four men there as 
a guard till all the troops had passed. Accordingly, 
when we were ordered to resume our march, the writer 
was directed to detail some of the sick men to remain at 
the house over night. These, when rested, were to come 
on and overtake the army. We did not expect to see 
them again, — though the thankful ladies said that if any 
Confederate soldiers came along, they would hide our 



l8o SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

boys so that they could not be found, — but we thought 
we might as well leave them there as by the side of the 
road a few miles farther on, for some of them were so 
exhausted by the heat that they could, at best, march 
but a short distance more. 

About dark we advanced, the Sixth Regiment acting 
as rear-guard for our brigade, which was itself the rear- 
guard for the part of the army marching on that road. 
We arrived the next forenoon (July 10) at Coveton 
cross-roads, some four miles from Jackson, and there 
remained over the nth. Our brigade was on the left, or 
northerly wing of the army. Sherman's men were on 
the right, and near Jackson. 1 We could hear the fighting 
in that quarter, where Sherman was pushing the enemy 
back into the intrenchments around Jackson on the south 
and west ; and we had some smart skirmishing on the 
nth, as our corps pressed down upon the enemy's line 
on the north and west. 

The ioth, nth, and 12th days of July were among 
the very hottest ever experienced in the service. It 
really seemed at times that we must give up. Many of 
the best horses were suddenly taken sick. Some were 
attacked while carrying their riders ; others, while rest- 
ing in the shade. All of a sudden they would begin to 
tremble as if with cold or fright, and would settle back 
on their haunches till they actually sat on the ground ; 
then they would fall on their sides, never to get up 
again, shrilly neighing all the time in their distress. 
They were totally blind from the moment of attack. 

1 The Ninth Corps, with General Smith's division of the Sixteenth, 
was on the left or northerly wing of the line of advance upon Jackson, 
while "Sherman's men,'' that is, his own corps (the Fifteenth) and 
some other troops, were on the right wing. — Editor-. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. l8l 

For three or four days no remedy could be found to save 
them. At last, a battery horse that had bled freely from 
a wound, accidentally inflicted by a knife used in cutting 
the harness during the poor animal's writhings, was 
found completely cured. After that, horses or mules 
taken with the "shivers" were bled at once and thus 
invariably saved. The surgeons imputed this distemper 
to the extreme heat and bad water. 

On the 12th some pretty sharp fighting occurred, and 
our corps pressed the enemy back into his inner intrench- 
ments around Jackson on the north, and next to the 
Pearl river. Sherman's men, on our right, 1 invested 
Jackson on the south to the same river. Thus the line 
of the whole army formed about two thirds of a circum- 
ference. Moving towards the city on the morning of the 
1 2th, we came out upon a high ridge where was situated 
the State Lunatic Asylum. We passed directly through 
its grounds, filled with many kinds of well laden fruit 
trees. The peaches and apples the boys gathered, and 
had them stewed to go with their hard-tack. Our corps 
hospital was established a short distance in the rear of 
the asylum, and it had enough to do, for the firing was 
kept up quite briskly all day by both infantry and artil- 
lery. The enemy's strong defensive line of works occu- 
pied a naturally strong position, and rendered difficult 
any attempt to dislodge him. Opposite the right of our 
line were two well defended forts, one an earth-work, 
the other constructed of cotton bales. "In front of our 
centre was a six-gun fort, the artillery of which was 
well manned and strongly supported. Opposite our left 
was an earth-work mounted with field artillery. All the 
works were connected by a line of rifle-pits, and a large 
1 See preceding note. 



l82 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

number of troops could be seen behind them." We 
used the cupola of the asylum for a signal station, but 
the rebels, not liking that at all, trained their guns upon 
the building, and sent a few shot into and through it. 
Our generals, seeing that the lives of the helpless and 
innocent were thus endangered, vacated the asylum. 
The few patients then in the institution were made wild 
by the roar of battle, and there was quite a bedlam 
while we were there. 

On the 1 2th and 13th we advanced to within five hun- 
dred feet of the enemy's lines. The boys dug rifle-pits 
and threw up slight breast- works. One half would 
work with picks and spades, while the rest would pop 
away at the rebels, to keep them down behind their 
works. Once in a while, when our firing was a little 
slack, the enemy would rise and give us a volley that 
would put us on our mettle. As part of our line extended 
through an open field where there was not a particle of 
shelter, the men suffered fearfully from the heat, which 
came down upon them without mercy from a cloudless 
sky, and several were sunstruck. The picket firing was 
kept up very briskly all along the line, and we lost some 
in killed and wounded. 

While our regiment held the front line, Company I 
(Captain Ela's) which was on the extreme left, in. a sort 
of gully, was much annoyed by one particular rebel, 
who kept up a constant popping at the boys every time 
they moved. He seemed to be higher up than they 
were, as the shots would strike all around them in the 
rifle-pits, and some of the boys were badly wounded by 
him. They all kept a sharp lookout to ascertain just 
where on the line he was located. After constantly 
watching for a time, they detected a puff of smoke issu- 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 183 

ing from the rear of a large oak tree, around which 
some smaller trees grew, concealing the body of the oak 
and making a good hiding-place for a sharpshooter. 
The boys decided that their troublesome enemy was 
about that tree, and probably had a ladder set up against 
it in the rear, on which he stood and fired at his leisure. 
The captain told them to stand ready with rifles cocked, 
and to fire all together at the tree the moment the next 
shot came from that direction. They had to wait but a 
few minutes. The instant they saw the puff of blue 
smoke, they all pulled trigger as one man and sent a 
shower of lead into the top of the trees around the oak. 
The air in that vicinity was full of green leaves and oak 
bark for a few minutes, and as the boys were troubled 
no more from that quarter, they concluded that the 
"Johnnie"' was killed by their volley. 

The Seventh Rhode Island Regiment, which was 
posted nearly opposite one of the enemy's batteries, lost 
in a few hours fifteen men killed and wounded. Two 
officers, also, who were very near the enemy's works, 
were captured, the rebels making a sudden dash upon 
them and firing a volley at the same time. The writer 
met one of them (Lieutenant Sullivan) eighteen months 
afterwards in Danville prison, who said that Johnston 
had begun to evacuate the city as early as the 13th, by 
sending off supplies, etc., but that the city was full of 
troops when he passed through. 

Early on the morning of the 13th the enemy made a 
sudden sortie, hoping to break our lines. General Grif- 
fin, who was at the time in command at the trenches, 
quickly made disposition of his forces to meet the foe. 
The enemy was received with so destructive a fire that 
he quickly retraced his steps in a disastrous repulse, as 



184 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

the only result of his reckless attempt. Captain Roe- 
mer's Battery with its twelve-pound brass guns, and 
Captain Benjamin's with its twenty-pound rifled Par- 
rots, had position on the high ground in rear of the 
asylum. About the time the enemy made the sortie the 
batteries opened on the city and the rebel works. Our 
boys gave a long, loud cheer when they heard their 
"pet dogs of war "speak. After shelling the enemy's 
works awhile, Benjamin trained his guns upon the state- 
house, some three or four miles away, and those who 
watched the shots saw the slate fly in all directions. 
The building was completely riddled, as we found after 
capturing the city. For some reason Roemer's shells 
would prematurely explode within our lines, wounding 
some of the men and causing so much confusion that the 
guns were ordered to cease firing. But Benjamin kept 
pounding away at the city all day. We afterwards 
learned that the enemy's loss was heavy there. The 
troops were quite exposed in the streets, and as the shots 
came thick and fast from our army on three sides, the 
pent-up rebels thought that the whole of Grant's force 
was about them. 

On the morning of the 14th we were relieved by the 
Second Brigade, and went back to higher ground in the 
rear of the batteries, where we were out of reach of most 
of the rifle shots. The enemy, however, sent thirty- 
pound shot and shell over among us to remind us that 
they still "held the fort." 

In a reconnoissance ordered by General Sherman on 
the 16th, General Potter's Division, in a gallant move- 
ment, discovered the enemy in strong position and force 
behind his intrench ments, and suffered some casualties. 
General Smith's Division, advancing at the same time in 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 185 

fine style, was met by a destructive fire. The troops 
were withdrawn after ascertaining the enemy's strength, 
and preparations were made for a general assault to take 
place the next morning. At nine o'clock in the evening, 
however, a report was brought to General Ferrero, who 
was in command in the trenches, that artillery and in- 
fantry could be heard moving in an easterly direction 
through the town. This intelligence was communicated 
by the general to his superior officers, but the darkness 
prevented any movement. 

At early daylight, however, on the 17th, advanced 
skirmishers from General Ferrero 's Brigade found, in- 
stead of an opposing force, a white flag waving from the 
earthworks. It soon becoming clear that the enemy had 
evacuated the city, General Ferrero brought up his com- 
mand, and at six o'clock entered Jackson. Guards were 
placed over the public property, and men were sent out 
to pick up the stragglers from the ranks of the retreating 
rebels. One thirty-two-pound cannon, about a thousand 
stand of arms, and a large quantity of ammunition were 
secured, and one officer and one hundred thirty-seven 
men were captured ; but General Johnston had escaped 
across the Pearl river, leaving the city of Jackson in 
our hands. "The railroad depot and a few build- 
ings containing the enemy's property were destroyed. 
The town itself and the public property of the state of 
Mississippi were guarded, and preserved from harm." 

During the 17th and 18th of July our army was 
engaged in destroying the Mississippi Central & New 
Orleans Railroad north and south of Jackson for fifteen 
miles. The boys tore up the rails and ties, and piling 
up the latter, set them on fire ; then they piled on the 
rails, so that these when they became hot might lop 



1 86 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

down and crook, and thus be spoiled for future use. 
Captain Jones, of Company F, said, "Boys, you are 
destroying my work, for ten years ago I helped build 
this road, and little thought then that I should be one to 
help destroy it." He knew the country and the people 
well. He had seen slavery in its worst forms, and was 
fully convinced that there could be no permanent peace 
as long as that institution existed. He was right. 

Our corps had the satisfaction of being the first to dis- 
cover that Johnston was retreating, and also of being the 
first by several hours to enter the .city. Sherman's men 
felt this a little, so we heard, for they wanted the credit 
of what was done in Mississippi. General Grant, how- 
ever, duly acknowledged our valuable services. Con- 
siderable plunder was taken from the city into the camps. 
Feather-beds, quilts, mattresses, china-ware, clocks, and 
pictures were among the spoils thus carried away ; but 
when we marched back to Milldale most of these things 
had to be left behind either at starting or not long after. 
The road was strewn with articles of plunder for miles 
the first day out from Jackson. 1 

At four o'clock on the morning of the 20th our corps 
started upon the return march to Oak Ridge and Mill- 
dale. We had received with joy the order to return ; but 
as on that July morning we filed upon the pike and set 
our faces westward, our gladness was tempered by the 
sad thought that we must leave so many of our brave 
comrades in a strange land, and in what would soon 

The writer picked up by the side of the road three of the largest 
photographs ever made. They were about 24x30 inches, and entitled 
" The Ruins of Rome" and "The Coliseum." As they were too val- 
uable to be trampled in the dirt, they were put in the writer's mess 
chest and brought home. 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 187 

be unknown graves, for we very well knew that the rude 
head-boards we had erected would ere long be demol- 
ished by ruthless hands. 

It was hot and dusty, and whoever had the head of the 
column that day must have tried to see how fast they 
could march, for we had all we could do to keep up, 
being several regiments to the rear of the right of the 
column. Some said we were running a race with Sher- 
man's army, which was on the southern road, to see 
which could get back to Oak Ridge the soonest. At 
any rate, there seems to have been no valid reason, save 
possibly a scarcity of water, why the men should have 
been so cruelly marched on their return. We made six- 
teen miles that day, and bivouacked near Brownsville, 
as dusty and tired fellows as ever marched. The green 
corn was just beginning to be fit to roast, and there 
was plenty of it, for the people had obeyed Jeff. Davis's 
proclamation, "Plant more corn and less cotton.' 
Much sickness was caused by eating freely of roasted 
corn and stewed peaches and apples during the forced 
march. 

The next morning the regiments that had been in the 
rear the day before, taking the dust and doing the run- 
ning, were put in front, and they felt like paying off the 
other fellows, so the continuous dog-trot of the first day 
was repeated on the second. We came back by a some- 
what different route from that by which we went out, and 
found a better supply of water. We halted at night in 
an immense cornfield near the Big Black river. Men 
and horses feasted to their hearts' content on corn. Oak 
rails were plenty, and as they made the best of fires by 
which to roast the corn, the boys were not slow in so 
using them. We had a laughable scare about midnight. 



1 88 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

We were all asleep — pickets not excepted, probably — 
when all of a sudden came an unearthly screech and 
yell, starting from the rear or left of our brigade, and 
passing all along down our lines. The men sprang to 
their feet, and the officers shouted, "Fall in! fall in, 
men ! " No one knew what the matter was, but all 
thought that the rebel cavalry had made a charge. On 
investigation, it was found that a frightened hog or mule 
had run down from the left between the rows of corn 
where the boys were asleep, and stepping on these, 
caused the first outcry. The animal, taking new fright 
from the outcry, kept straight on down the whole line, 
knocking over stacks of guns and upsetting men as they 
got up. Each one yelled when hit, and thus helped 
increase the hubbub. Captain Goodwin said his first 
thought was that the rebel cavalry was upon him ; so, 
throwing his blanket over his head to keep it from being 
split open with a sabre, he started to run with all his 
speed. It being as dark as Egypt, he could see nothing, 
and so ran his head plump against a mule hitched to one 
of the wagons and was knocked flat upon the ground. 
Probably the mule, too, thought himself struck by a 
thirty-pound shot, for no light-weight had hit him. The 
captain confessed that he had never been so thoroughly 
frightened before in his life. Our sudden and be- 
wildered awakening from sound sleep accounts for the 
scare. 

The next day we crossed the Big Black and marched 
for Oak Ridge. Soon after entering the timber near 
there, another terrific thunder-storm struck us, coming 
down so heavily that we halted. The lightning crashed 
down through two large oaks only a few rods from us, 
and we could see it playing around the muskets in the 



THE MISSISSIPPI CAMPAIGN. 189 

hands of the men. After the shower, we moved on to 
McCall's plantation, where we rested for the night. On 
the following day (July 23), at 4 p. m., we arrived at 
Milldale, where we were glad to rest for a short time 
before returning to the North. 

"This campaign in the Mississippi," says the corps 
historian, "was especially severe in its effects upon the 
officers and men of the Ninth Corps. The excessive 
heat, the malaria that settled like a pall of death around 
the camps upon the Yazoo river, the scarcity of water 
and its bad quality, and the forced marches told fear- 
fully upon the men. All the accounts of the movement 
agree in their statements respecting the amount of dis- 
ease and mortality that accompanied it. The hard- 
ships which all were obliged to endure were excessive. 
Water which the horses refused to drink, the men were 
obliged to use in making their coffee. Fevers, conges- 
tive chills, diarrhoea, and other diseases attacked the 
troops. Many sank down upon the roadside and died 
from sunstroke and sheer exhaustion." 1 

This chapter of our regiment's experience finds its fit- 
ting close in the following words of General Grant, 
thanking the corps, in general orders dated July 31, 
1863 : "In returning the Ninth Corps to its former com- 
mand, it is with pleasure that the general commanding 
acknowledges its valuable services in the campaign just, 
closed. Arriving at Vicksburg opportunely, taking a 
position to hold at bay Johnston's army, then threatening 
the forces investing the city, it was ready and eager to 
assume the offensive at any moment. After the fall of 

1 Lieutenant Eli Wentworth, regimental quarter-master, was one of 
the victims, he having died at Milldale on the 18th of July, while the 
regiment was absent on the Jackson expedition. — Editor. 



19° SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Vicksburg, it formed a part of the army which drove 
Johnston from his position near the Big Black river into 
his intrenchments at Jackson, and, after a siege of eight 
days, compelled him to fly in disorder from the Missis- 
sippi valley. The endurance, valor, and general good 
conduct of the Ninth Corps are admired by all ; and its 
valuable cooperation in achieving the final triumph of 
the campaign is gratefully acknowledged by the Army 
of the Tennessee. Major-General Parke will cause the 
different regiments and batteries of his command to 
inscribe upon their banners and guidons, 'Vicksburg' 
and 'Jackson.' " 

Jncfttnfe, &c— Qj3to£rap$ ic $Utc§. 

SONG OF THE NINTH ARMY CORPS. 

COMPOSED BY CHAPLAIN HARRIS HOWARD. 

A fleet of splendid steamers, 

Floating in their pride, 
With music swelling over 

The Mississippi's tide, 
Speed a band of soldiers 

To the battle-scene below : 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

Our steamer is the Anderson — 

The gallant hero's name 
Whose banner waved o'er Sumter, 

The first in treason's flame. 
'Twas there the rebel war began: 

To finish it we go ; — 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 



INCIDENTS. 191 

We left our noble Burnside 

And the beauties of Kentucky, 
To go down to Mississippi 

To General Grant, the plucky. 
Our cause, and our commanders 

True, lead patriots to go : 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

From this "father of the waters," 

To the Father of us all, 
As we go to fight the traitors, 

For assistance we will call. 
Our father's God may help us 

To strike the final blow : 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 

All the brave will live in story 

For the gallant part they bore 
To save our nation's glory, 

In the old Ninth Army Corps. 
O ye winds and waters, speed us, 

As steaming on we go : 
On the way to Vicksburg, 

We sail from Ca-i-ro. 



Tyranny Resisted. ' ' Company I had a man named 
Jones, but nicknamed ' General.' He must have been 
sixty years old, but he was tough and did his duty well. 
When we were at Jackson, Mississippi, and dared not 
show our heads above the breastworks, the rebel sharp- 
shooters being busy, the ' general,' who wore a tall 
grenadier hat, getting tired of stooping, at last straight- 
ened up — when zip ! went a bullet through his hat. He 
was ' mad all through,' and indulged in ' tall swear- 



192 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ing ' over the damage which the tall hat had sustained. 
To some one saying, ' General, you must keep down 
or they will kill you!' he replied, 'To h — 1 with such 
tyranny ! Do they think a man wants to be doubled up 
all day like a jack-knife?'"— J. E. S. 

" Phull" and His Prisoner — [Contributed by Captain 
T. H. Dearborn]. "On the march to Jackson, Miss., 
after the capture of Vicksburg, Sewall B. Fowler, famil- 
iarly known as ' Phull,' suffered a partial sunstroke as 
we were passing through a piece of timber. The boys 
helped him into the shade, did what they could for him, 
and left him with the belief that he had confiscated his 
last chicken and bee-hive. He fell asleep, but after 
resting a few hours, roused up, and as he was getting 
ready to follow the troops, a rebel came out of the brush 
a few steps from him. But 'Phull' was equal to the 
emergency. He proposed that they throw away one 
gun, and ' strike out.' If they reached the rebel lines 
first, he was to be the prisoner and 'Johnny Reb ' the cap- 
tor ; vice versa, if the Union lines should first be reached. 
Three or four days after the regiment reached Jackson, 
who should come marching into camp but ' Phull ' with 
his prisoner ! They had been tramping through a rebel 
country, and whenever they came to a house that showed 
signs of plenty, 'Johnny Reb ' took the gun, and ' Phull Y 
represented his prisoner ! Of course the ladies thought 
that so brave a soldier should be given the best the 
house afforded, and so the fellows had fared sumptu- 
ously. But 'Phull,' after all, had captured only a rebel 
deserter. I have forgotten his name, but he enlisted in 
our regiment, and was with us in all our engagements 
until he was killed in front of Petersburg. When his 
death occurred, I was in charge of the picket-line. It 




CAPTAIN THOMAS II. DEARBORN. 



THOMAS H. DEARBORN. 193 

was the hardest place I was in during the service. We 
were sent out after dark, and when daylight came, found 
that we could not get away. It was one of the hottest 
days of the season, and the boys suffered much from 
thirst. "Johnnie Reb" insisted upon going out to get 
water. He thought he could do it by running from one 
pit to another, as the pits were only twelve or sixteen 
feet apart. He had successfully made the run of two or 
three of them when he reached mine. I protested 
against his going farther, but he insisted upon going, 
and as he was making the jump for the next pit, a bullet 
struck him in the head, and he was instantly killed. 



THOMAS H. DEARBORN. 
(by the editor.) 

Captain Thomas H. Dearborn was born in Hampton, 
N. H., March 18, 1842, being the youngest of seven 
children — six boys and one girl. Three of the boys 
served three years each in the late war. His great- 
great-grandfather and great-great-uncle were officers in 
the Revolutionary War, the latter being Henry Dear- 
born, who, years after his eminent services rendered in 
that struggle, was secretary of war in Jefferson's admin- 
istration, and commander-in-chief of the United States 
army early in the War of 181 2. 

The subject of this sketch was left an orphan at an 
early age, having, when two years old, lost his mother, 
and when ten, his father. After his father's death, until 
he was sixteen, his home was with his sister, Mrs. John 
N. Brown, of Seabrook, N. H. In the spring of 1858 
he took employment in a provision store in Boston. 
Upon the call for troops in 1861, he joined the Second 
13 



194 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Company of Boston Fusileers, and also entered a school 
for military instruction conducted by French officers. 
But seeing no indications of the company's going to the 
front, and learning that a company was being formed at 
Exeter, under Captain Henry H. Pearson, he left Boston, 
and enlisted at Seabrook in August, 1861. He was mus- 
tered into the United States service at Keene, Novem- 
ber 27th of the same year, as second sergeant of Com- 
pany C, Sixth New Hampshire Regiment. He was 
promoted to second lieutenant, September, 1862 ; to first 
lieutenant Company A, October, 1863 ; to captain of 
same company, December, 1863. He was never away 
from his regiment during active service up to the time of 
his "muster out," July 17, 1865. He received a gun- 
shot wound in the left shoulder at Chantilly. 

After the war, Captain Dearborn was in business at 
Seabrook, N. H., from the spring of '65 to '67, when he 
went West, and settled in Red Oak, Iowa, where for the 
past eighteen years he has been engaged in the coal and 
ice business. 



CHAPTER XII. 

SECOND CAMPAIGN IN KENTUCKY— VETERAN REENLIST- 
MENT AND FURLOUGH. 

Our corps remained at Milldale till the 8th of August, 
waiting for transportation. Such was the deficiency of 
transports, that those on which we finally embarked 
were badly crowded, and the corps, in different detach- 
ments, was upon the river two weeks, in making the 
voyage to Cairo. The men suffered terribly from dis- 
ease brought on by malarial exposure in the recent cam- 
paign, and aggravated by the crowded condition of the 
boats. Many died on the passage, and were buried on 
the river bank. " Nearly every night," writes the histo- 
rian of the Ninth Corps, " as the boats lay up on account 
of low water and the consequent danger of the naviga- 
tion, the twinkling light of the lanterns on shore betok- 
ened the movements of the burial parties, as they con- 
signed the remains of some unfortunate comrade to the 
earth. When the troops reached Cairo, the men were 
scarcely able to march through the streets. They 
dropped in the ranks ; and even at the market-house, 
where the good citizens had provided an abundant and 
comfortable meal for the worn-out soldiers, they fell 
beside the tables, and were carried away to the hospital. 
More than half of the command were rendered unfit for 
duty. There were not able men enough belonging to 
the batteries to water and groom the horses. In such 
circumstances, instances of brave, even of heroic, endur- 



196 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



ance were not rare, and the soldiers deserved the com- 
mendation which their officers freely bestowed. The 
diseases which the campaign engendered continued to 
affect their subjects long after the close of the operations. 
Many of the officers and men are suffering to this day 
from the effects of their unwonted exposure." 

It was not until the 15th that the last of the troops 
reached Cairo. We were received with every kindness 
and attention, and after a short stay we proceeded to 
Cincinnati, where we arrived on the 20th of August. 
We were soon transferred to Kentucky, the regiment 
crossing the river to Covington and encamping in a field 
just east of the city. The boys were glad to be once 
again on " Old Kentucky soil," but we were so sick 
with chills and other diseases that we could not enjoy 
ourselves as we did in the spring. While we were in 
Mississippi, General John Morgan had made his famous 
raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Though 
the raid had been met and "brought to nought" by 
General Burnside's well concerted movements, effectively 
aided by the governors of Ohio and Indiana, and though 
the leader and his officers were in captivity, yet the peo- 
ple of that region had not quite recovered from their 
fright, and those of Kentucky were heartily glad to see 
us back again. 1 

1 On the 2d of July, Morgan had crossed the Cumberland river into 
Kentucky, at the head of three or four thousand men, and, with some 
fighting on the way, had passed across the state and the Ohio river 
into Indiana. Thence he had hurried through the river tier of counties 
of that state and of Ohio, towards West Virginia, whence he hoped to 
escape. He was so hotly pursued that he could not do all the mischief 
intended. His forces were broken by defeat and surrender, till finally, 
on the 27th of July, his raid came to an inglorious end, when the parti- 
san leader himself was captured, and subsequently, by order of General 



SECOND KENTUCKY CAMPAIGN. 1 97 

On the 23d of August we took cars for Nicholasville, 
and having arrived there, went into camp in a fine grove 
of oak, a few miies from the village and near Camp Nel- 
son. The nights were cold, and increased the chills and 
fever which prevailed among the men. During our stay 
here, some of our old friends from Richmond called to 
see us. We were also mustered for four months' pay, 
which we received from Paymaster Scoville on the 4th 
of September. This made our hearts glad again, for we 
could now get some of the good things of the village, 
with which to tempt our appetites. We remained here 
until the 9th of September, when the brigade was divided, 
so that a part of the troops might be sent over the Cum- 
berland Mountains to join General Burnside in East Ten- 
nessee, while our regiment, still suffering severely from 
the effects of the recent campaign, with others in the same 
condition, was to be left in. Kentucky to recuperate. 1 
General Griffin, temporarily commanding the second 
division, soon proceeded with his troops to East Tennes- 
see. 2 

Halleck, was, with some of his companions, committed to the Ohio 
penitentiary at Columbus. — Editor. 

1 The Ninth New Hampshire Regiment was retained in Kentucky for 
the same reason. — Editor. 

2 General Burnside had gone over the Cumberland Mountains into 
East Tennessee in August, with eighteen thousand men, and reached 
Knoxville September 3. He was soon ordered by the Washington 
authorities to concentrate in East Tennessee all the available forces of 
his department, that, if possible, he might hold his own position, and 
assist General Rosecrans at Chattanooga. Accordingly, the Ninth 
Corps, recently returned to the Department of the Ohio, was ordered 
to Burnside's present field of operations. Only six thousand of the 
corps were fit for duty ; these were soon upon the march, and reached 
Knoxville about the 24th of September. General Parke having been 
made chief of staff of the army of the Ohio, General Robert B. Potter 



1^8 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Having received orders to move to Frankfort by way 
of Lexington, we took the cars at Nicholasville, Septem- 
ber 9, and arrived at our destination the same evening. 
The next day we relieved the Second Maryland, which 
had been on duty there. Major Bixby took command of 
the post — Lieutenant-Colonel Pearson being absent on 
leave for a short time — and the writer was appointed 
post-adjutant and inspector. The regiment had a pleas- 
ant situation at Frankfort. One company was kept in 
the city, and the others were posted just outside on the 
high ground. The men, getting fresh air, and the fruits 
of the season in abundance, fast recovered their health 
and strength. The people received us kindly, but not 
with the genuine cordiality manifested at Winchester 
and Richmond. We met here, however, several gentle- 
men of the old Kentucky school, among whom were 
General Leslie Coombs and General Dudley, both over 
seventy-five years old. Major Bixby and the writer 
spent many pleasant hours at General Dudley's fine 
plantation. General Coombs made his home at the Cap- 
itol hotel, where we boarded, and he often entertained 
us with the interesting history of Kentucky, as he had 
known it for seventy years. One lady, Mrs. Runyon, 
gave us a most cordial welcome. She was a native of 
the Granite State, being a sister-in-law of General Daniel 
E. Colby, late of New London, who was Adjutant-Gen- 
eral of New Hampshire in the first three years of the war. 
She had been in Kentucky some twenty years, and her 
husband was a merchant in Frankfort. She was very 
much pleased to see us, and said she was proud of the 
New Hampshire soldiers, who had behaved so well since 

was transferred from the command of the second division to that of the 
corps, leaving General Griffin in command of the division. — Editor. 



SECOND KENTUCKY CAMPAIGN. 1 99 

coming into the state. " We heard," said she, " all about 
you at Lexington, Winchester, and Richmond, and the 
people speak in the highest terms of you." Some of us 
dined at her house several times, and greatly enjoyed 
seeing a bright, whole-hearted Yankee woman again. 

When we had been located in our new home about 
two weeks, reports came that the guerillas were making 
sad work in the southern part of the state near Russell- 
ville. Accordingly, General Boyle, stationed at Louis- 
ville, and commanding that district, ordered the Sixth 
Regiment to move at once to Russellville by way of 
Louisville. This was unpleasant to us, for we were 
not yet fairly recruited from our Mississippi campaign, 
but we must obey orders. So we packed up ready to 
move. The people petitioned General Boyle to let us 
remain at Frankfort ; but no, the guerillas must be 
attended to. So, after going the rounds, and bidding 
our new-made friends a hasty farewell, we took the cars 
on the 24th of September for Louisville. 

We arrived there at midnight, and, remaining around 
the station until the next morning, took passage on the 
Louisville & Nashville Railroad for Russellville, which 
we reached late in the afternoon. It was a dirty little 
village, with a court-house and a few business blocks 
and residences. Colonel Pearson, having returned to 
the regiment, assumed command of the post. There 
was here, besides our regiment, an Illinois battery of 
four twelve-pound guns. The different companies were 
stationed on the several roads leading out of the town, 
and kept in readiness for an attack at any moment. Our 
duties were not hard, as we had nothing but picket duty 
to do. The guerillas made several raids from Tennessee 
into the south-western towns of the state, but as they did 



200 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

not come within twenty or thirty miles of us, we had no 
chance to right them. 

On the 28th of September the report was brought by 
our scouts that the guerrillas were to make a raid on 
Adairville and Keysburgh, some thirty miles south of us. 
Colonel Pearson mounted about fifty men of the regi- 
ment, together with some of the artillery men, in all 
about seventy-five, who started at 8 o'clock p. M., with 
a scout for guide. About midnight we came to Clark's 
river, where we were to meet another scout who would 
give us information as to the movements of the enemy. 
He was there, but he said that the guerillas had not 
crossed the line. 1 So we kept on in the dark, with two 
or three riding ahead as skirmishers, but met no enemy. 
We arrived at Adairville about 3 a. m., and astonished 
the natives by charging into town with a yell. They 
thought the rebels were upon them sure. Resting awhile 
for the horses to eat, we returned by another road, and 
did not reach camp until 6 p. m., tired by our sixty-mile 
ride, having been in the saddle all the twenty-four hours, 
except while baiting our horses. These scouting expe- 
ditions were quite enjoyable for those engaged in them, 
giving healthy exercise and a good opportunity to see 
the country. 

On the 5th of October we received orders to be ready 
to march at a moment's notice, with three days' cooked 
rations. We were ready in a short time, thinking that 
we were surely going for the "Johnnies" now; but we 
waited and waited, and no move being made, we settled 
down again to every-day camp duty. On the 21st, how- 

J The State line between Kentucky and Tennessee. Adairville and 
other places mentioned in connection with it, in the text, are in Logan 
county, which lies along that line. — Editor. 



SECOND KENTUCKY CAMPAIGN. 201 

ever, a large party of guerillas came over the line to Gor- 
donsville, a village about twenty-five miles to the south- 
west of us. We received word from there the same night. 
A party was made up at once, composed of the men of 
the Sixth and some cavalry that had arrived a few days 
before, and started across the country to cut off the 
marauders before they could get back into the mountains 
of Tennessee. We were in luck this time, for just as 
our party came upon the pike near Adairville the guer- 
rillas were seen coming down the same road. Each 
party saw the other about the same time, and a charge 
was made. The rebels put their horses to their best 
speed, but they had so many dry goods and other arti- 
cles taken by them from Gordonsville — for they had 
come to plunder, not to fight — that they could not get 
over the ground so fast as they wished, till they had 
unloaded, and lined the road- with all kinds of merchan- 
dise. Our horses were completely tired out, having been 
ridden all night, so that we could not keep up with the 
thieves after they had unloaded ; but we had a running 
fight with them for about two miles, with the result that 
six of them were killed, and twenty of their horses, with 
a large quantity of merchandise, taken. Our men re- 
turned at their leisure, well pleased with the result of 
the expedition, no one of their number having been 
killed, and but few wounded. Several horses, however, 
were used up in the race. This was our last brush with 
the thieving guerrillas, for they did not show themselves 
again while we remained at Russellville. 

While here the boys had much enjoyment in hunting, 
and in making excursions into the country to exchange 
coffee and sugar for eggs, chickens, and other eatables. 
As the colored people were eager to make the exchange, 



202 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

and the boys were not slow to see a good trade, we had 
no lack of wholesome food. The whole colored popula- 
tion were in their "kingdom come" while we were here, 
and they took some liberties they would not have dared to 
take under ordinary circumstances. In the basement of 
the hotel in which we had our head-quarters was a large 
unoccupied room in which some of the ' ' colored gentry " 
proposed to have a dance, but the proprietor would not 
allow it. Thereupon some of the boys asked Colonel 
Pearson if the room might not be used for a dance. The 
colonel, not liking the proprietor, who was a rebel, 
replied, "Yes, and dance all you want to ; and if the hotel 
man makes any fuss, send him to me." So the boys 
and girls had a jolly time that night, and kept it up until 
a late hour. The "yellow girls," or octoroons, for 
whom this part of the state is famous, were out in their 
silks. Some of them were whiter than many called 
"white folks," and were very handsome as well as very 
well educated. During the stay in Russellville, some 
of the officers, who were so fortunate as to be married 
but could not get leave of absence, sent to New Hamp- 
shire for their wives to visit them. Among those who 
came were the wives of Captains Jones and Greenleaf 
and Dr. Cooper. It was pleasant to see these worthy 
ladies right from home, and delightful evenings were 
spent at the rooms of their fortunate husbands. Their 
visit was short, however, for we were ordered on the 23d 
of October to be ready to move again. 

We received orders on the 25th to return to Louisville. 
The next day we took cars for that city, to the sorrow of 
the few Union people of Russellville, but to the joy of the 
stronger rebel element of the town. We arrived at Lex- 
ington on the 27th, and having proceeded by rail to 



SECOND KENTUCKY CAMPAIGN. 203 

Nicholasville, marched thence about four miles, to Camp 
Nelson. Here was collected a large amount of quarter- 
master's stores to supply the army of East Tennessee. 
The Sixth Regiment was put on guard over the camp, 
and remained on that duty for two months or more. 
General Griffin was in command of the post. As senior 
officer present for duty in the division — General Potter 
being in command of the corps — he had, as before men- 
tioned, marched at the head of the division, across the 
mountains, by way of Cumberland Gap, to Knoxville. 
Soon after his arrival there with his command, General 
Burnside, feeling the need of more troops to resist the 
expected advance of a part of Bragg's army, in case of 
his success at Chickamauga, gave General Griffin an 
order to return to Kentucky, and collecting the regiments 
belonging to the Ninth Corps, to bring them forward to 
his assistance. He accordingly returned, and directed 
all the troops of the Ninth Corps in Kentucky to rendez- 
vous at Camp Nelson. But before they started upon the 
march to Knoxville, Rosecrans had been defeated by 
Bragg, and the Confederates were threatening western 
Tennessee and Kentucky. General Griffin was there- 
fore ordered to remain at Camp Nelson with his troops 
and defend that important depot of supplies, of which he 
was appointed commander, with a force, all told, of 
about nine thousand men, some of whom were refugees 
from East Tennessee, organizing into regiments. 

Our camp here was near an oak grove, insight of the 
Kentucky river, back a little way from the high bluff, 
and almost over Daniel Boone's cave, where the bold, 
shrewd borderer took refuge from the Indians, and 
where the redskins ineffectually tried to smoke him out. 
Many of the Sixth visited the cave, although it was not 



204 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

easy of access, and considerable crawling had to be 
done in getting in and out of it. The boys would have 
their fun with the natives occasionally. Some of Com- 
pany C were out on picket duty one night near a log 
cabin occupied by a colored family, one member of which 
was a very pretty daughter. As a young chap had been 
noticed hanging around the premises, the boys thought 
that after dark they would investigate a little, and see what 
they could see. The cabin had the regular low chimney 
built upon one end of it, in the old Kentucky style. A 
bright fire was burning in the little fire-place, and before 
it sat a pair of happy lovers — and brunette, decidedly. 
Though it was hardly the proper thing for the boys to 
do, they crept up quietly to the cabin, and peering in at 
the openings between the logs, listened to the affection- 
ate conversation. It was too bad to disturb the interest- 
ing scene ! But the chimney was so low, and there 
were so many surplus cartridges on hand, that the temp- 
tation to fun overcame the boys, and they could not help 
dropping a handful into the fire-place ! The explosion 
that ensued right in the faces of our lovers, and filled the 
little apartment with smoke and ashes, was like a young 
volcano, and came very near unroofing the cabin and 
blowing its occupants out at the back door. When these 
finally recovered from the shock and came outside to see 
what was up, the boys were not there, and probably the 
affectionate pair never knew the real cause of the disturb- 
ance that night. 

Some of the officers were detailed on special duty. 
Captain Jackman was made Inspector-General of the 
Northern-Central district of Kentucky, commanded by 
General Fry, and Surgeon Cooper was appointed Medi- 
cal Director for the post. The appointees thought they 



VETERAN REENLISTMENT. ' 20$ 

had a "soft thing" — as the boys called it — for the win- 
ter; but the fates of war are uncertain, and orders were 
soon received to be ready to march at short notice. 
However, it was not thought advisable to move the regi- 
ment just then, especially since the government had 
offered some strong inducements to the men of the old 
regiments to enlist for another three years' service. The 
officers zealously set about the work of reenlisting, each 
commander of a company becoming a recruiting officer, 
with his lieutenants as assistants. The promise of large 
bounties and a thirty days' furlough did not take with the 
men at first. In a few days, however, they began to put 
down their names in good earnest. This reenlistment 
for " three. years or during the war" attested the sincer- 
ity of their motives, and that hearty devotion to their 
country's cause which they had always and everywhere 
exhibited. Moreover, in reenlisting, our regiment 
accomplished what few others in the service did : the 
men enrolled themselves in such numbers as secured a 
veteran organization of ten companies — a regiment; 
while most of the old regiments could reenlist only men 
enough for battalions of two or more companies. The 
Sixth was also the first New Hampshire regiment thus 
to reenlist. 

When it was found that the regiment was reenlisting 
so readily, the governor of New Hampshire sent out 
several hundred recruits to help fill up the ranks. Some 
of these were good men, and did excellent service in the 
campaigns of '64 and '65 , but a large majority of them 
were worthless. These "substitutes" (already spoken 
of in an earlier chapter) were an insult to the veterans 
of the regiment, and a disgrace to the state that fur- 
nished them at the expense of such exorbitant bounties. 



2o6 ' SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

They represented six or eight nationalities. Some were 
blind, some deaf, and others so lame that they could 
scarcely march at all ; and many of them could not 
speak or understand a word of English. This scum of 
other nations was sent out to us to represent the Old 
Granite State in the army of the Union, while her own 
sons who were drafted stayed at home, taking their com- 
fort, and — some of them — getting rich out of fat gov- 
ernment contracts. Three or four hundred recruits 
were sent us, from December, 1863, to March, 1864, 
and one half of them deserted before they left Kentucky 
in March. They would be put on guard at night, and, 
when the regular rounds were made, would be missing. 
Sometimes they would take their muskets with them ; 
sometimes they would leave them with bayonets sticking 
in the ground and accoutrements lying near by. They 
deserted on their way to the regiment ; they deserted all 
along through the campaign of 1864. As they could not 
be trusted on the picket line, the veterans frequently had 
to do double duty ; for the number of " able-bodied" men - 
on the rolls had to be reported, and the details made up 
from such report, — whence came the rub, since there was 
a much smaller number of trustworthy than of " able- 
bodied" men. It makes an old veteran "fire up" to 
think of those shoddy fellows that were palmed off upon 
us under the name of recruits. It will be a pleasure, 
however, to speak, somewhat further on, of a few of the 
" subs" that were true as steel, and always loyal to duty 
and the old flag. 

On the 16th of January, 1864, the regiment left Camp 
Nelson for New Hampshire to enjoy the furlough of 
thirty days granted by the terms of enlistment, leaving 
the recruits, and those unable to reenlist, under the com- 



A FURLOUGH. 207 

mand of Captain Goodwin, assisted by Captains Cross- 
field and Jackman, Adjutant Smith, Assistant-Surgeon 
Noyes, and Chaplain Dore. At Covington some days 
were spent in making out the reenlistment papers, and 
on January 20, two hundred and eighty-eight enlisted 
men, or more than three fourths of the whole number 
who had served the required length of time, were re- 
mustered into the United States service as veterans. 
Proceeding by rail by way of Cumberland, Buffalo, 
Saratoga, and Rutland, the regiment arrived at Keene, 
the place of its original rendezvous, on the 28th, where 
it was honored with a public reception, and provided 
with a bounteous supper and with quarters in the town 
hall. 'The next day it proceeded to Concord, where it 
received another splendid ovation, including a procession 
and a dinner inPhenix Hall. 1 The men were furloughed 
with all possible dispatch, and allowed to go at once to 
their homes. The sobriety and excellent deportment of 
the war-worn veterans were remarked all along the 
route, scarcely an instance of intoxication or ungentle- 
manly conduct occurring. 

Their furlough having expired, the veterans reassem- 
bled at Concord on the 29th of February, but were 
immediately re-furloughed for ten days, by order of the 
Secretary of War. On the 10th of March they again 
assembled at Concord under orders to return to the 
Department of the Ohio, and took cars for the West. 
Upon their arrival at Manchester, however, a telegraphic 
dispatch from the Secretary of War reached General 
Griffin, ordering them back to camp to await further 
orders. The boys made much of the fifty days' furlough, 

1 An account of the reception at Concord is given at the end of this 
chapter . — Editor . 



208 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

and had much enjoyment in visiting friends among the 
Granite Hills. They had, however, some sad scenes, in 
meeting the friends of their fallen comrades. The wist- 
ful looks of bereaved parents sometimes haunted them 
for days, and almost spoiled their pleasure. It was hard 
for the bereaved ones to see the sons of others come 
home, while theirs were left on the Southern battle-fields, 
or, worse still, in the Southern prison-pens. But this fur- 
lough was the last ever enjoyed by most of the orig- 
inal veterans, for but few of them ever returned to their 
homes again. 

"RECEPTION OF THE SIXTH N. H. REGIMENT." 
[From "The Independent Democrat" (Concord, N. H.), February 4, 1864.] 

" On Friday afternoon, 29th ult., the reenlisting vet- 
erans of the brave Sixth arrived in this city. They left 
Camp Nelson, Ky., on the 16th, and came home by way 
of Cleveland, Buffalo, Rutland, and Keene, reaching 
the last mentioned place on Thursday. There they 
received a hearty welcome. Upon their arrival in Con- 
cord they were received by a dense crowd of citizens 
and friends at the station, and escorted, to the music of 
the Concord Brigade Band, to Phenix hall, where a 
bountiful collation had been provided by the state and 
city authorities. Mayor Gale presided, and briefly wel- 
comed the honored guests. 

"After repast, Governor Gilmore, ex-Governor Berry, 
and Hon. Oliver Pillsbury of the Executive Council, 
addressed the veterans in appropriate and well received 
speeches. Mr. Pillsbury, in the course of his remarks, 
said, — ' To you belongs the honor of being the first New 
Hampshire regiment to reenlist for three years, and we 



INCIDENT. 



209 



delight to-day to honor you for the noble act. Your love 
of adventure must be exhausted ; the novelty of war must 
have long ago passed away amid the stern realities you 
have encountered. We can therefore accord to you no 
other motive for this act but pure patriotism. When you 
return again to the field of strife, we trust it will be with 
your thinned ranks replenished, and cheered with the 
bright prospect that before your term of enlistment shall 
expire, the work shall be accomplished. We hope then 
again to welcome you, and all our other regiments, who, 
we are proud to say, are making for themselves reputa- 
tions similar to your own and doing honor to their 
native state.' 

" Colonel Griffin, commanding the Sixth, responded in 
fit remarks. Hon. Thomas M. Edwards, of Keene, and 
General E. W. Hinks also made short and acceptable 
speeches. The ceremonies of reception over, the vet- 
erans were quartered for the night in the City Hall, and 
the next day were furloughed to their several homes." 



Colonel Pearson releases a Slave. Captain J. N. Jones 
supplies the following incident : ' ' When the regiment 
was at Russellville, Ky., Colonel Pearson was in com- 
mand of the post, and I was provost-marshal. A slave- 
woman was in jail there as a runaway. Slave property 
was protected in Kentucky, but this woman's master was 
in the rebel service. The colonel gave me an order, full 
of loyal, liberty-loving sentiments, to go to the jail and 
release her, and send her to the government hospital at 
Nashville, where she had formerly been. The order 
was executed, very much to the chagrin of the jailor." 
14 



CHAPTER XIII. 

RETURN TO THE FRONT— BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 

On the 18th of March, the regiment proceeded, in 
compliance with orders, to join the Ninth Corps, which 
was then reassembling at Annapolis, Maryland. There 
a neat and regular camp was established ; the recruits 
were brought forward from Camp Nelson, and assigned 
to companies with the veterans. A strict and thorough 
system of drill and discipline was instituted, and new 
arms and clothing were furnished. The regiment was 
brought up to a high standard, both as to numbers and 
effectiveness. Upon the reorganization of the corps for 
the campaign of 1864, General Griffin was assigned to 
the command of the Second Brigade of the Second Divi- 
sion, composed of the Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh New 
Hampshire, Thirty-first and Thirty-second Maine, and 
Seventeenth Vermont regiments, the Sixth coming again 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Pearson. 1 

1 After the successful defence of Knoxville against Longstreet's siege, 
and the consequent effectual deliverance of East Tennessee from rebel 
clutch, General Burnside had, on the 1 1 th of December, formally trans- 
ferred the command of the Department of the Ohio to his successor, 
General John G. Foster, and soon after returned to the East. The 
North was fully aroused to the determination to supply the armies of 
the Union with the men and means requisite for the decisive struggle 
with Rebellion, and its complete and final discomfiture. On the 7th 
of January, General Burnside was again assigned to the command of 
the Ninth Army Corps, with authority to recruit its depleted ranks, and 
otherwise to increase its numbers. In addition to other means of 



RETURN TO THE FRONT. 211 

We received orders, April 22, to be ready to march on 
the morrow for Washington. Our A and wall tents were 
exchanged for shelter ones, or " dog" tents as the boys 
called them, and we overhauled our knapsacks to see 
what we could dispose of so as to make them as light as 
possible. It was astonishing to see the amount of ' ' truck " 
some of the boys took along with them, but by the time 
they reached the Rapidan river, on the border of the 
Wilderness, they had distributed most of it by the way- 
side. About every morning before the march corn- 
increase and enlargement, he was permitted by the War Department to 
annex to the corps a division of colored soldiers. His recruiting efforts 
were successful. On the 8th of March, Annapolis, Maryland, was des- 
ignated by the Secretary of War as the rendezvous of the corps, which 
by the 20th of April numbered twenty-five thousand men. It was now 
formed in four divisions. The First was to be commanded by General 
Thomas G. Stevenson; the Second, by General Potter; the Third, by 
General Willcox ; and the Fourth, composed of colored troops, by Gen- 
eral Ferrero. General Parke was made chief of staff. The brigade to 
which the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment belonged remained the 
Second of the Second Division, and to its command General Griffin 
was assigned. The Ninth Corps was an organization, or army, entirely 
distinct from the Army of the Potomac, and so continued to, be till the 
25th of May, when, for convenience, it was incorporated with the latter. 
General Burnside had hoped that' his army might be employed in a 
cooperative movement in North Carolina. But Grant, now Lieutenant- 
General, had, on the 17th of March, assumed "command of the armies 
of the United States,'' with "head-quarters in the field and with the 
army of the Potomac." This army had, after the battle of Gettysburg, 
marched to the Rapidan, and there remained, with Lee's repulsed 
■"Army of North Virginia" between it and Richmond. But now Grant 
had determined to initiate a movement in advance towards the Confed- 
erate capital — a movement of giant, bloody, and victorious endeavor, 
in which the Ninth Corps must directly and effectively participate, and 
in Virginia find its last field of heroic operations in the last year of 
the war. — Editor. 



212 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

menced, they might be seen going through their knap- 
sacks, and throwing out such articles as they thought 
they could best get along without, and by the time we 
got well into the Wilderness campaign, few had any 
knapsacks at all. Each was contented with a canteen, 
haversack, blanket, and one piece of shelter tent. 

During our stay at Annapolis, General Grant had been 
down from Washington and reviewed the corps. We 
left the place on the morning of April 23, and, march- 
ing about twelve miles, bivouacked for the night near 
Annapolis Junction. The next day (Sunday) we pro- 
ceeded about eighteen miles to Bladensburgh, near our 
old camp-ground of January, 1862. The hot weather 
and dusty roads affected the men considerably, so that 
the weak-kneed fellows had a good opportunity to play 
sick and get into hospital at Washington, thus avoiding 
the anticipated hardships and dangers of the coming 
campaign. We did not get started very early the next 
morning (April 25), as we were ordered to brush up a 
little and look our best, for we were to be reviewed by 
President Lincoln as we passed through Washington. 
When we were within the city, we were halted, to close 
up and get into good shape to be looked at. We were 
reviewed as we passed down Eleventh street, past Wil- 
lard's hotel. The president and other officials were on 
the balcony, whence they had a good view of us in our 
new uniform and with our bright muskets — all so soon 
to be begrimed by the dust and smoke and blood of bat- 
tle. Thousands of spectators witnessed, with admiration, 
the soldierly march and bearing of the corps, and the 
president uttered many kind words of hearty praise. 
Passing over Long Bridge, we encamped about one mile 
beyond. We remained here two days to obtain trans- 



RETURN TO THE FRONT. 



213 



portation wagons, quartermaster's supplies, ammunition, 
and other necessaries. 

On the 27th of April we marched to Fairfax Court 
House, and the next day we came to the vicinity of 
Manassas Junction, where we went into camp. On the 
30th, we were mustered for pay for the months of March 
and April. We remained here till the morning of the 
4th of May, when we set our faces southward again, 
and marched about twenty miles to Bealeton station. 
We were tired fellows that night, as we stretched our- 
selves upon the hard ground. As some of us lay awake 
looking at the stars, our thoughts turned homeward, 
while we knew full well that we were on the eve of a 
battle ; for the enemy was only one day's march from us, 
and the head of Grant's army was already at the Rapi- 
dan, crossing, or about to cross, with the rebels likely to 
dispute its advance. We were awakened early on the 
morning of the 5th, and ordered to move on at once. 1 

1 " Soon after midnight, May 3-4, the Army of the Potomac moved 
out from its position north of the Rapidan." It was composed of three 
infantry and one cavalry corps, commanded respectively by Generals 
W. S. Hancock, G. K. Warren, John Sedgwick, and P. H. Sheridan. 
The artillery was commanded by General Henry J. Hunt. Major-Gen- 
eral George G. Meade was, under Lieutenant-General Grant, in com- 
mand of the army. Hancock's command was the Second Army Corps ; 
Warren's, the Fifth ; Sedgwick's, the Sixth. Warren, followed 
immediately by Sedgwick, marched for Germania Ford, and Hancock 
for Ely's ; and by six o'clock in the morning of the 4th, the enemy's 
pickets at those fords were driven in, and pontoons laid for the cross- 
ing of the troops. As they crossed, Warren, followed by Sedgwick, 
advanced to the Wilderness tavern ; Hancock, farther to the east, 
towards Chancellorsville. The movement was a surprise to Lee, whose 
head-quarters were at Orange Court House, and it was therefore unop- 
posed. But he made haste to meet the bold advance by preparing to 
strike Grant's army on the flank, as it marched southward through the 



214 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

We could not even stop to make a little coffee. We 
knew this meant business, and we had not gone far 
before we could hear the distant boom of cannon, telling 
us that the great struggle had begun which was to decide 
whether we could go "on to Richmond " or not. The 
advance upon the rebel capital had been tried so many 
times and failed, that we did not know what to think of 
this move of Grant's, but every one who expressed an 
opinion seemed to think that the new commander would 
do better than his predecessors had done. We hurried 
on at a dog-trot, in the dust and under a burning sun, 
halting only a few minutes at a time for the men to 
close up, or for some battery or ammunition train to get 
out of the way, and having but little chance to eat or 
drink. As we neared the Rapidan, we could hear the 
battle raging in all its fury, and soon we met the 
wounded as they were borne to the rear. We reached 
the river about sundown, and, crossing at Geririania ford, 
bivouacked on the field in the rear of Sedgwick's Corps, 
which had been engaged in the struggle of the day. 1 

Wilderness. He ordered Hill, Ewell, and Longstreet to hasten for- 
ward with their respective corps. Ewell being nearest, reached the 
field first, — on the evening of the 4th. Hill soon came up, but Long- 
street, who was at Gordonsville, twenty miles away, could not arrive 
until a day later. " Burnside, with the 9th Corps," says General Grant 
in his "Personal Memoirs,'' "was left back at Warrenton, guarding 
the railroad train from Bull Run forward, to preserve control of it in 
case our crossing the Rapidan should be long delayed. He was 
instructed, however, to advance at once on receiving notice that the 
army had crossed, and a dispatch was sent to him a little after 1 p. m., 
giving the information that our crossing had been successful." — Ed. 

1 General Grant had ordered an early advance on the 5th. Warren 
was to move to Parker's store on the Orange plank road, with Sedg- 
wick following and closing in on his right. Hancock was to move 



BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 21 5 

At two o'clock in the morning of the 6th of May the 
troops of our corps were astir, and our brigade moved 
against the enemy's lines in the direction of Parker's 
store. At daylight the brigade being formed to attack, 
the Sixth Regiment was deployed as skirmishers, and 
advanced through the pine woods, over hills and through 
fields, where the Union troops had fought the day 
before. 1 We met everywhere the evidences of a fierce 

south-westward to join Warren on the left. Before reaching his desti- 
nation, Warren met a part of Ewell's force, that had come up the night 
before on the Orange turnpike ; this pike being north of the plank road 
on which Hill's Corps approached the battle-field, and running nearly 
parallel with it. Fighting ensued, which was kept up at different points 
by different troops, from nine in the morning till eight in the evening. 
It was a bloody preliminary to the greater struggle of the morrow. On 
one side, Longstreefs Corps had not come up ; on the other, Burnside's 
Corps, though by promptly moving at Grant's dispatch received on the 
afternoon of the 4th, and by forced marching it had been reaching and 
crossing the Rapidan at different hours of the day, could not participate 
in the battle of the 5th. But its three divisions — the colored Fourth 
being detached to guard bridges, roads, and wagon-trains — were at 
hand ready for the next day's work. General Grant, in his official 
report, speaking of the march of the Ninth Corps to the help of the 
Army of the Potomac, says, — "By six o'clock of the morning of the 
6th, he [Burnside] was leading his corps into action near the Wilder- 
ness tavern, some of his troops having marched a distance of thirty 
miles [since receiving the dispatch on the afternoon of the 4th] , cross- 
ing both the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers. Considering that a 
large proportion, probably two thirds, of his command, was composed 
f new troops, unaccustomed to marches and carrying the accoutre- 
ments of a soldier, this was a remarkable march." — Editor. 

1 Burnside's Second and Third divisions were ordered to a position 
having Hancock's Corps on the left, and Warren's next on the right ; 
Sedgwick's being beyond Warren's, and on the extreme right of the 
Union line. The First Division was divided, one brigade being placed 
upon Hancock's extreme left, the other upon his extreme right. Con- 



2 1 6 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

battle — broken muskets and accoutrements scattered 
around, shattered trees, the ground ploughed up by shot 
and shell, and a few of the dead yet unburied. We 
advanced about one mile, the enemy's pickets falling 
back as fast as we went forward. As the rebels made 
no decided stand, it looked as if they were drawing us 
into a trap, and the officer in charge of the skirmish line 
informed the general of his suspicions. We were ordered 
to fall back gradually, and see if the enemy would not 
attack us. We retired into an open field upon a rise of 
ground, and halted in line of battle. Our foes, however, 
made no advance, but contented themselves with shell- 
ing us quite vigorously for a while, to our great discom- 
fort. 

Meanwhile the battle was going on more vigorously 
on our right, with the partial intent of making the enemy 
believe that it was intended to fight the battle on yester- 
day's ground, while Grant was getting his troops into 
position farther on the left so as to turn the rebel right. 
Colonel Pearson was ordered, about this time, to take 
a detachment of the brigade and advance on the old road 
to the south-east, in the direction whence the shot and 

fronting the position of the Second and Third divisions in the Union 
left centre, as they faced south-westward, were portions of both Hill's 
and Longstreet's forces. Hancock had been ordered to attack the 
enemy's right at 5 a. m. of the 6th. Lee, apprehensive of Grant's 
purpose to strike heavily that part of his line, and not wishing to have 
a battle there till Longstreet should arrive, thought to thwart his antag- 
onist's well planned movement by ordering an early attack upon the 
Union right. This was made half an hour earlier than the time 
assigned for the assault upon the Confederate right. Hancock's attack, 
however, was promptly made, and with a success that threatened to 
sweep the field, and compelled Lee to give "orders to get his wagon 
trains ready for the movement in retreat." — Editor. 



BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 21 7 

shell came, while the rest of the Sixth Regiment fol- 
lowed slowly as a support. He moved up through the 
woods, and came to an open field, having a set of build- 
ings about eighty rods distant from the place where 
his detachment was, while in the rear of these buildings 
was another piece of woods. Our boys came out upon 
the clearing and continued their advance ; but they had 
not gone half way across the field before the rebels 
opened upon them with so sharp a fire that it was 
thought best to fall back to the woods for shelter. At the 
same time the enemy came out on the right with a bat- 
tery, to the lively music of which the boys kept step in a 
brisk retreat. Some of the enemy's cavalry, too, appeared 
on the left near the buildings, and rushing upon such of 
the boys as had got over the fences into the yard before 
the retreat was sounded, took most of them prisoners. 
Among these were Walter W. Smith, Albert O. Cutter, 
and Charles A. Wright, of Company K, who were taken 
to Andersonville prison. 1 Seven were killed or wounded ; 
the others, who were good runners, got away and joined 
their comrades in the woods, where the tree-tops were 
being cut off by the shot, shell, and grape sent from the 
battery a few rods away. 2 

As the orders to Colonel Pearson to find out the 
enemy's strength had been fulfilled, we gradually fell 
back to the field in our rear, where we were kept busy 
dodging the rebel shells as they fell among us. One 
somewhat amusing incident had occurred. As we lay 
in the woods ready to support Colonel Pearson and his 
skirmishers, an adjutant-general was sent up the road 

1 Upon their exchange, the vessel upon which Smith was homeward 
bound was sunk, and he was drowned. — Editor. 
2 See Lieutenant Osgood's statement at end of chapter. — Editor. 



2l8 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

past us with instructions to report what progress was 
being made. He arrived at the opening about the 
time the battery wheeled into position, and opened on 
the regiment. The moment the first shot was fired 
he turned his horse, and came tearing down the road 
where the support was lying, shouting "The rebels 
are coming ! Colonel Pearson and his men are all 
gobbled up ! " and never stopping a moment to an- 
swer any questions. As he passed General Griffin, 
who was a little to the rear, the latter called to him to 
stop, but he was under such headway that he could not 
halt till he reached the open field. The boys laughed, 
and shouted to him, " Go it, or the rebs will have you !" 
They lost all faith in him from that hour, for they saw 
he had no real courage. He soon left the brigade. 

About eleven o'clock we were ordered, with our bri- 
gade, to move farther towards the left, to assist other 
brigades of our corps, which were hard pressed. 1 The 

J Thus far, Burnside's two divisions had been operating along the 
"Parker's store road," and between the positions held by the Second 
and Fifth Corps. General Potter, with General Willcox in support, 
had been demonstrating upon Parker's store on the Orange plank road. 
As mentioned in a preceding note, Hancock had achieved success on 
the Confederate right. But upon the arrival of Longstreet's reinforce- 
ments the tide of battle turned, and the Union left had to be strength- 
ened. Describing the operations of Burnside's two divisions, before 
and after going to the help of the left, Woodbury, in the ' ' History of 
the Ninth Army Corps," says, — " Colonel Griffin's Brigade in advance 
gained considerable ground, and was steadily pushing the enemy back, 
when an order arrived from General Grant to move all the available 
forces to the left, with the view of attacking the enemy in that quarter, 
in order to relieve General Hancock who was then hard pressed. Gen- 
eral Potter's division was accordingly sent to the point of attack, and 
slowly but surely made its way through the dense undergrowth to the 
assigned position. General Willcox held the ground already occupied. 



BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 2 1 9 

movement was made with great difficulty through a 
dense thicket. The sun shone as hot as in midsum- 
mer and the woods were on fire, so that the heat and 
smoke were almost unendurable. Coming out into a 
heavy growth of hard wood, we halted in the shade for 
a short time, while other troops were getting into posi- 
tion. The massing of forces at this point told that an 
advance was soon to be made, and that hot work would 
ensue. Soon the three lines in front of us began to 
advance, and we to follow. The lines were four or five 
rods apart, the interval being less than it would have 
been in an open field. But though we were in the rear, 
we were not out of exposure to the enemy's fire. Most 
of the readers of this history, who never participated in 
a battle, might naturally think that troops in the third or 
fourth line would have stood a better chance of escaping 
injury than would those in front of them, but such was 

General Potter' upon coming in contact with the enemy charged, and 
carried a portion of the opposing lines. Three times did the brave 
men of the Second Division advance upon the enemy's intrenchments, 
and though they gained considerable advantage, they were not able to 
carry the position." After describing the operations of General Will- 
cox in assistance of General Potter, the historian proceeds, — "An 
attack, made by the two divisions in connection with the Second Corps , 
was contemplated at six o'clock. The enemy, ascertaining the arrange- 
ment, opened fire upon our troops, necessitating an earlier assault. 
The troops advanced about half past five o'clock, made a singularly gal- 
lant charge upon the enemy, drove him into his works, and even broke 
a portion of his line. But the obstinate resistance which he made, 
and the strong position which he held, prevented a complete success. 
The two divisions held their ground in front of the enemy, and when 
the sun set upon the second day's engagement, and the two armies 
rested on their respective lines, the advantage was clearly with our 
men." Other details and incidents of the fierce encounter thus suc- 
cinctly described, are supplied by the text. — Editor. 



220 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

not always the fact. Sometimes the second or third line 
lost more men than the first, for in the heat of battle the 
firing quite often ranged over the first line, and hit the 
others, if the ground permitted. And again, the shot 
and shell that passed through the front line were quite 
likely to do mischief in the rear ones. But for the fact 
that the first line had to receive the first shock or volley 
of battle, most soldiers would have preferred to be put 
there, and thus enabled to return the enemy's fire, with 
the consequent and stimulating satisfaction of knowing, 
that they were giving shot for shot. Those in the rear 
lines had to stand or lie, as the case might require, and 
take the shots as they came, without being able to return 
the fire for fear of hitting their own men in the front. 
Nothing is more disheartening to a soldier than thus to be 
compelled to stand and be shot at without making reply. 
Men in such a position, with their comrades falling all 
around them, have often been heard to say, in substance, 
" Give us the order to charge, that we may measure 
strength with the enemy, rather than stand here and be 
shot down like dogs." 

It was not long before the skirmishers of the opposing 
lines met, and the fight began. The rebel skirmishers 
fell back to their supporting line, stationed behind rifle- 
pits and breastworks. Our front line was soon receiving 
a heavy fire that told upon it severely. By a little before 
two o'clock in the afternoon, General Griffin had got all 
the regiments of his brigade in position, and a good line 
formed in rear of three other brigades that were holding 
the ground and lying down to avoid the shot. As the 
battle became brisk, General Burnside, who was at hand, 
seeing our fine, fresh brigade, gave the order to General 
Potter, "Let Griffin attack." We were then formed in 



BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 221 

the open wood, whence we could see nearly the whole 
length of the line. General Griffin gave the command, 
"Forward!" and the brigade advanced promptly with a 
perfect formation. The uniforms were new, the colors 
bright, and the muskets glistening ; indeed, in all 
respects, the brigade's advance was a magnificent sight, 
one of the finest seen during the whole war. So inspir- 
ing was it that as we passed over one after another of 
the brigades lying down, the men rose to their feet with 
hearty cheering, and began to press forward, wild with 
excitement and enthusiasm, without waiting to receive 
orders or to form their lines, so that General Griffin soon 
had a mob of troops about him that seriously interfered 
with his control over his own brigade. 

The front line had given way, and our advance was 
just in time to meet its broken ranks as they came back 
in confusion, followed by the rebels and a volley of shot 
and shell. Our men wavered for a moment when they 
saw the front line thus broken, but Colonel Pearson, 
seizing one of the flags, rushed in front of the line, and 
shouted, " Come on, Sixth New Hampshire ! Forward ! '* 
The boys gave a cheer and rushed on, firing as they 
went. The rebels were surprised by this gallant charge 
and tried to fall back, but we were too quick for them. 
The officers shouted, "Forward ! Give it to them ! " and 
we followed them up, dashed in upon and took their first 
intrenched line, and captured a goodly number of prison- 
ers. Our regiment was credited with capturing one 
hundred six men and seven officers, and could have 
had credit for many more, if it had stopped to collect 
prisoners instead of pushing on after the fleeing rebels. 
As it was, the regiment in our rear was credited with 
some of our captures. In fact, we should not have been 



222 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

credited with any, had not Lieutenant C. F. Winch col- 
lected the prisoners, and, taking them to the rear with a 
guard, delivered them to the provost-guards at General 
Warren's head-quarters. 1 The lieutenant himself capt- 
ured a rebel officer and two men, and taking the officer's 
sword, used it afterwards. The advance had been suc- 
cessful all along our corps front, and we had swept the 
rebels before us, but the movement was not properly 
supported. 

Colonel Pearson, now that the* rebels were in "good 
running order," would have the regiment follow them up. 
So the Sixth, supposing itself supported from the rear 
and left, continued the pursuit till it got far in advance 
of all other troops on either hand. Much to our surprise, 
on looking back, after having followed the retreating 
enemy for some distance beyond the first line which we 
had just taken, we saw no supporting column. Colonel 
Pearson was so eager to push the " Johnnies," that he 
did not look back at all, but when some of the other 
officers saw in what condition we were, they told him 
that we had no support and should surely be capt- 
ured if we kept on. But his blood was up, and he said, 
" No, we will not fall back, but go on till the rest of the 
troops come up to support us." Some one went back to 
the line we had taken, and returned to say that no sup- 
port could be seen. Then the officers urged Colonel 
Pearson to retreat, for we were liable to be flanked and 
surrounded at any moment. He replied, — "Just as you 
say, gentlemen. If most of you think it best to fall back 
we will do so, but it is a pity to lose the ground we have 
fought over so well." We all felt that to retreat was 

1 See Captain Winch's statement as to delivery of prisoners, at end of 
chapter. — Editor. 



BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 223 

indeed a pity, though a necessity, and were indignant 
that we had not been supported in the gallant advance. 
Captain Jones, in great excitement, threw his revolver 
on the ground, exclaiming, "This is the meanest thing 
I have seen since the war commenced. If our support 
had followed us up, we could have captured everything 
in our front, but, as it is, we have got to fall back, and 
fight this same ground over again before night ;" and as 
he spoke, tears ran down his face. Major Bixby after- 
wards used jocosely to compare the earnest captain with 
" Alexander the Great, who cried because there was 
not another world to conquer." 

We fell back about half a mile before we found any 
supporting columns. It seems that when the front line 
broke and came back through our regiment, just as we 
charged, and the firing was brisk, the regiments in our 
rear, thinking the whole front was giving way, had fallen 
back with the rest to a ravine, while we were all the time 
pushing the enemy in retreat. It was reported at the 
rear that the Sixth New Hampshire had been " gobbled 
up " by the rebels. General Griffin's horse was shot 
under him, and Captain A. S. Edgerly and Lieutenant 
A. E. Hutchins, acting aides-de-camp on the general's 
staff, were killed. The general was thus left in a bad 
condition from want of messengers to carry his orders to 
different regiments. We formed again in rear of our 
division, and rested. The other regiments of the brigade 
were got into position as soon as possible, to be ready to 
advance again, or to reply to the rebels if they should 
make an attack, for we had no doubt they would follow 
us up as soon as they knew that we had really fallen 
back. 

We had to wait but a few minutes before they com- 



224 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

menced shelling the woods again along our extreme 
front. This we knew was preliminary to the attack, 
which they soon made in three solid lines ; but our whole 
division stood up nobly to the work, and held its ground. 
Some of the regiments made heroic charges, among 
them the Eleventh New Hampshire. Though the troops 
to the left of our brigade did not advance with us, — 
which fact the rebels had soon discovered, and bringing 
up reinforcements had swept around and enveloped our 
left flank, — yet we, though thus compelled to retire to 
our original position, held this secure against all attacks. 
There was desperate fighting that afternoon all along 
the line of seven miles. We were about in the centre, 
with the Fifth Corps (Warren's) on our right, and the 
Second Corps (Hancock's) on our left. It was one con- 
tinuous roar of musketry and artillery. When the fire 
slackened in our front, we could hear the ceaseless noise 
of battle on our right and left. Sometimes the volleys 
of musketry were discharged so rapidly as to drown the 
deep roar of the batteries. We could hear the shouts 
and cheers of our comrades, and also the peculiar screech 
of the rebels far away on our right and left. We could 
tell how the battle was going, on either side of us, only 
by the firing and the shouts of the men, for the woods 
were so thick that we could see but a short distance. 
When the noise of battle advanced, we knew that our 
boys were driving the enemy. We would hear several 
volleys fired in rapid succession, then a cheer, and we 
knew that the boys were making a charge. So it was 
all along that battle front from noon to six in the after- 
noon. Never did armies fight with more determin- 
ation than did those pitted against each other in the Wil- 
derness. Every officer and man on our side felt that if we 



BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. 225 

lost that battle under our new leader, the result might be 
next to ruin to our army and our cause ; but that if we 
could hold our own and turn Lee's right, it would dis- 
courage the enemy, and be virtually a Union victory. 

"For two days," as another 1 has said, "a stubborn 
and bloody battle raged, with fearful losses on both sides. 
Among the trees, in the underbrush, along the forest 
paths the armies grappled with each other, mostly in 
detached brigades and divisions. But little artillery was 
used except in the roads, and the ground was unfavor- 
able for the movement of cavalry. It was almost entirely 
an infantry fight, and illustrated by many individual 
instances of heroic daring." 2 

The loss of the regiment in this battle was one officer 
killed and forty-five men killed and wounded. The 
men of the Sixth felt satisfied with what they had done 
for the good cause that day. We were complimented by 
General Burnside for our gallant charge, in which so 
many prisoners were secured, — more than were captured 
by any other regiment in our division. We felt more 
than satisfied with the general result, for we had fought 
Lee two days on his own ground, and we knew that he 
had been punished as severely as we. The fact, too, 
that our new commander showed no signs of retreating 
gave us hope and confidence. It assured us that Grant 
knew what he was about; that, indeed, he was "the 
right man in the right place." 3 

1 Woodbury, in "History of the Ninth Army Corps," p. 372. 

2 That there was no lack of such " instances" among New Hampshire 
men has already been seen. Others will be found among incidents 
printed at the end of the chapter. — Editor. 

8 1 1 When the Wilderness campaign commenced, the Army of the 
Potomac, including Burnside's Corps, . . . numbered about 
15 



226 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

3ncibente.— (gio$tap§4c $Uti§ . 

Finding the Enemy. Lieutenant George W. Osgood, 
of Company K, contributes the following account of a 
reconnoissance, earlier described in this chapter: "On 
the morning of May 6, 1864, from seventy-five to one 
hundred men were detailed from our brigade to go, 
under command of Lieutenant-Colonel H. H. Pearson, 
* to the front and find the enemy.' So far as I remem- 
ber, Lieutenant C. F. Winch, of Company K, and my- 
self, were the only other officers present from the Sixth 
Regiment. Leaving the main body of the brigade, we 
proceeded in a southerly direction about a mile, over 
undulating ground and through a heavily wooded ravine 
with thick undergrowth, up a sharp rise, where we 
entered an open, oblong field, on the three sides of 
which were woods. Near the woods, and perhaps 
twenty-five rods distant from where we entered the field, 
was a small house. A solitary horseman in citizen's 
dress was seen riding slowly away from the cabin, on a 
road leading south-east, and into the woods on that 
side of the field. We halted near the cabin and waited. 
Soon a body of troops came moving in column by the 

116,000 men. . . . Estimated in the same manner as ours, Lee 
had not less than 80,000 men at the start. . . . All circumstances 
considered, we did not have any advantage in numbers. . . . Our 
losses in the Wilderness were very severe. Those of the Confederates 
must have been even more so ; but I have no means of speaking with 
accuracy upon this point." — Grant's " Personal Memoirs." 

Of the Confederate loss in the Battle of the Wilderness no full report 
was ever made. The Union loss was 2,246 killed, 12,037 wounded, 
3,383 captured or missing, — total, 17,666. The Second and Third 
Divisions of the Ninth Corps lost 985, killed, wounded, and missing. 

— Editor. 



INCIDENTS. 227 

right flank down the road to the house. As the morn- 
ing sun then shone full in our faces, we could not tell 
whether they were friends or foes. Colonel Pearson put 
his glass to his eyes, and in a moment said, ' Boys, they 
are rebs ! ' and, as they came nearer, gave the command 
to fire, which was obeyed. The rebels did not imme- 
diately return the fire, but after some four hundred men 
were in sight, they faced by the rear rank and came 
towards us in line of battle, forming as they advanced. 
They were on higher ground than we, and, I think, we 
lost no men till they were quite near. Colonel Pearson 
had ordered some of our men to hold the house, and 
privates Albert O. Cutter, Walter W.. Smith, and Charles 
A. Wright, all of Company K of the Sixth, and, I think, 
some others, entered the house, and were captured' by 
the rebels. When the ' Johnnies ' were about a dozen rods 
off, Colonel Pearson gave the order to retreat, and before 
we could regain the woods, where one third of our force 
had been posted in reserve, we lost quite a number of 
men. The enemy shelled the woods with six pieces of 
artillery, and captured Henry N. Farnum of Company 
F, and some others, while Joseph Cross of the same 
company was never heard of afterwards. Those of us 
who had the good fortune to get back rejoined the brig- 
ade about nine o'clock in the morning." 

Brave "Suds." As we advanced to the assault in the 
afternoon, some of the men were so eager to be first that 
they would get ahead of their companies. Here the 
recruits, or " subs.," had a chance to show what kind of 
metal they were made of, and it is pleasant to record 
that many of them did show bravery equal to that of the 
veterans. One of these, T. Bradley of Company B, at 
sight of the rebels, rushed some distance ahead, while 



228 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

the boys shouted to him to get back into line or he would 
be shot by our own men. When we made the charge, 
he was one of the first inside the enemy's lines, and 
helped capture some of the 'Johnnies.' At Spottsylvania 
he showed equal courage, and at Cold Harbor received 
a wound in the head from which he died soon after going 
to the hospital. Two others, Thomas Dickey and Otis 
Reister of the same company, with many in other com- 
panies, behaved- with uncommon bravery in this their 
first battle. Several were soon after promoted to cor- 
porals and sergeants, for the officers were disposed to 
give the recruits an equal chance with the others if they 
proved good soldiers. — L. J. 

Capturing his Cantors. I remember seeing at my 
left, in Company D, an Irishman — the same "Johnnie" 
Hamon, I think, who at Fredericksburg "went for the 
rebels" with his pick, — who, getting ahead of his com- 
pany on the charge, was taken prisoner by two rebels 
where the line gave way a little under a terrific volley of 
the enemy. Just then the company rallied and charged 
on. Our Irishman, seeing that we were close upon 
them, shouted to his captors, " Halt ! ye divils ! Bejazes, 
ye 're my prisoners now ! " At the same time he seized 
one of their guns, and as the rest of the company came 
up in a moment, the "Johnnies" surrendered at once, and 
the brave fellow was allowed to take his prisoners to the 
rear and lodge them there with the others. There was 
no prouder fellow in the whole army than he that after- 
noon. — L. J. 

Fearful Wounds. Some of the boys got fearful 
wounds in this battle. A stout fellow of Company I 
was shot in the mouth, the shot coming out through the 
back of his neck, and cutting his tongue so badly that 



INCIDENTS. 229 

he could hardly speak. Some one offered to help him 
to the rear, but he said no, he could go alone, and he 
started, gun in hand, bound to hold on to his musket to 
the last. But he had gone only a few steps before 
another shot passed directly through the palm of his left 
hand. He made, however, no outcry about it, and kept 
on to the rear and to the hospital ; but after several days 
of suffering, gangrene got into the wound in his mouth, 
and the brave fellow had not vitality enough, after so 
much loss of blood, to overcome it. — L. J. 

Crying for Mercy. As we charged over the breast- 
works and captured the enemy's first line, I remember 
seeing a big, fat "Johnnie" lying on his back, with many 
others, wounded or dead. When we came over, among 
them, yelling like so many Blackfoot Indians, this old 
fellow shouted at the top of his voice, " Don't kill me ! 
I am wounded — do n't kill me ! " just as if our boys were 
in the habit of shooting the wounded on the battle-field ! 
Probably this very fellow who now cried so loudly for 
mercy was one of the many in the rebel ranks who made 
a practice of shooting our wounded men. He made so 
much noise that one of the boys — Hiram Pool, I think — 
told him to " dry up," or he would finish him then and 
there, at which the old fellow shut up and went to the 
rear with the other prisoners. — L. J. 

As many Guards as Prisoners. Lieutenant Charles 
F. Winch makes the following statement respecting pris- 
oners taken in the Wilderness, as already mentioned : 
" When I started with the prisoners, I selected a suffi- 
cient number of my men to guard them. On our way 
out we crossed a little stream, where we halted, and the 
men filled their canteens. When we resumed our 
march, a large number of straggling troops fell in as 



230 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



self-appointed guards. These I immediately ordered to 
go to their respective regiments, as they were not needed 
where they now were. They did not obey, however, 
but kept on as a portion of the guard. When we arrived 
at General Warren's head-quarters, and I was about to 
turn the prisoners over to the provost-marshal, the . gen- 
eral himself coming along, said to me, 'What are these 
men doing here, — guarding these prisoners? Here are 
as many, or nearly as many, for guards as there are pris- 
oners.' I replied, ' General, I have but four or five men 
who are guards under my orders ; the rest of these men 
have fallen in of their own accord, and I have told them 
several times that they were not needed, and ordered 
them tp their respective regiments.' He then said to 
me, 'Place those men of yours who are actually guards 
two paces to the front.' I obeyed, and he then ordered 
the provost-marshal to place the others under guard and 
send them to the extreme front line. He afterwards 
remarked, 'I'll let them know that there is the place for 
them : not out here.' " 



CHARLES F. WINCH. 
(by the editor.) 

Lieutenant Charles F. Winch was born in Hancock, 
N. H., August 14, 1832. His educational advantages 
were somewhat limited. He early manifested military 
tastes, belonging at the age of twelve to a boys' com- 
pany, and at sixteen to the Hancock Artillery. When 
the war broke out, in 1861, he was residing in Peter- 
borough, and was the second man in town to enroll his 
name for the First Regiment ; but before those enlisted 




LIEUTENANT CHARLES F. WINCH. 



CHARLES F. WINCH. 



231 



in Peterborough were ordered to Concord, that regiment 
was full. 

Enlisting for other regiments then began. Charles L. 
Fuller and the subject of this sketch proceeded to enlist 
for the Sixth. They rode nights and raised a squad 
of twenty-five or twenty-eight men, Winch going in as 
a private with the rest. He had charge of the men when 
ordered into camp at Keene. When that squad and 
those from New Ipswich and Rindge were mustered in 
together as Company K, he was made first sergeant, 
and left the state as such. While at Roanoke, N. C, 
he was promoted to sergeant-major. Having held that 
position about a month, he was promoted to second 
lieutenant, and assigned to his old company. After a 
month's service in this grade, he was promoted to first 
lieutenant, and under this commission served in Com- 
pany K until his discharge, acting, however, a large 
part of the time as captain. 

He was with the regiment in all its marches and oper- 
ations until just after its arrival at Falmouth, Va., in 
1862, when he was taken sick, and was left behind while 
his regiment advanced to join Pope's army. Later he 
was sent to Washington, and, upon getting better, he 
rejoined the regiment in Pleasant Valley, Md. He 
remained in continuous service until May 12, 1863, 
when he was left, sick with typhoid fever, at Lancaster, 
Ky., whence he was sent to the hospital at Lexington, 
same state. He joined the regiment again at Cincinnati, 
O., August 20, 1863, and remained with it in all its 
movements and battles until his honorable discharge, 
June 27, 1864, in front of Petersburg. 

Lieutenant Winch was in the following engagements : 
Camden, Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, 



232 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

May 12, Spottsylvania, May 18, North Anna, Tolo- 
potomoy, Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, and the 
actions before Petersburg, up to the battle of the Mine. 
Sickness was the sole cause of his absence at any time 
from duty, which he efficiently performed when present, 
for his heart was in the cause and his spirit was willing 
and brave. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

FIRST MOVEMENT BY THE LEFT FLANK— SPOTTSYLVANIA 
COURT HOUSE. 

At night, after the battle, we took a position a little 
farther to the rear, where we remained until the after- 
noon of the next day, ready to move at a moment's 
notice. The men did not even lay off their accoutre- 
ments, and they kept their trusty muskets within reach. 
There was but little fighting on the 7th of May, both 
armies having about all they could do to look after their 
own shattered columns, care for the wounded, and bury 
the dead. In the afternoon we were withdrawn to the 
Lacy House, while the Fifth Corps, which was on our 
right, fell back in rear of us, and in the evening passed 
to the left and east over the Fredericksburg plank 
road. 1 

1 General Grant had determined to push forward, around the Confed- 
erate right, to Spottsylvania, fifteen miles south-east of the Wilderness 
battlefield, and between Lee's army and Richmond. On the 7th, Sher- 
idan's Cavalry, with some fighting, cleared the way on the most direct 
route, the Brock road ; and Wilson's Division even advanced to 
Spottsylvania and seized it. Lee thought that Grant's movement was 
a " semi-retreat to. Fredericksburg." Accordingly, with the intent of 
holding Spottsylvania on Grant's flank, he ordered Longstreet's 
Corps, now commanded by Anderson (Longstreet having been severely 
wounded the day before), to be drawn out of battle line and encamped, 
ready to march for the desired position on the morning of the 8th. 
But the "woods being still on fire,'' Anderson could not conveniently 
bivouac, but marched straight on that night for Spottsylvania, and took 



234 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Neither men nor officers could quite understand this 
flank movement which Grant had commenced. It was 
something entirely new. Some of the croakers said it 
was a retreat to Fredericksburg; others thought Lee 
was trying to turn our left, and that on the morrow we 
should have a fiercer battle than we had had yesterday. 
Just at dark, on the 7th, we were ordered into line, and 
moved to the left a short distance. We were then told 
that we were to have a night march, and must not leave 
our ranks, but keep well closed up. We stood there in 
line for an hour or so, and were then told that we should 
move in a minute, and that the men must be kept in 
place so as to be ready for any emergency. 

So we stood another hour or more, and all the time 
we could hear the tramp, tramp of troops passing to our 
rear and left, and the accompanying rumble of moving 
wagons and artillery. But the men were so tired that 
finally they could stand up no longer, and one by one 
they dropped down, and many fell asleep the moment 
they touched the ground. There they could be seen 
reclining in the various, sometimes comical, positions 
into which they had happened to fall, as they suddenly 
dropped asleep, gun in hand. One stout, fat fellow was 

it, Wilson's Cavalry Division not being able, of course, to hold it 
against a Confederate corps. Thus by accident, Spottsylvania, well 
adapted in situation and surroundings for defensive operations, was in 
Confederate possession before the van of Grant's army, the Fifth 
Corps, could arrive on the 8th of May. In the march of the Union 
army from the Wilderness, the Second Corps (Hancock's) remained 
where it was until the Fifth (Warren's) had passed it to the left, and 
then it followed on the Brock road. The Sixth (Sedgwick's) took the 
Fredericksburg pike. The Ninth brought up the rear, following the 
Sixth towards Chancellorsville, and thence proceeding to its destina- 
tion. — Editor. 



FIRST MOVEMENT BY THE LEFT FLANK. 235 

seen lying with his haversack under his head, while two 
comrades on his right and left were using him for a pil- 
low, as he, all unconscious, slept as only the tired soldier 
can sleep. 

Thus we lay until daybreak of Sunday, the 8th, when 
we were ordered to fall in, 1 but it took the men some 
time to get the "kinks" out of their legs so that they 
could stand erect. Lying there all night in the cold 
dew made one feel fifty years older than he did when he 
lay down. Hiram Drowns said it was "darned" strange 
they could not have told a fellow he was to stay there all 
night, so that he could have picked out a softer sleeping 
place, for on waking he found two large pine knots 
under him, which had made " dents" in him big enough 
to run his fist into, and it would take a week to get him- 
self into shape again. 

About sunrise we got started out on the Fredericksburg 
pike towards the old battle-field of Chancellorsville, 
where, a little over one year before, General Hooker 
had been defeated, and where so many brave men laid 
down their lives for the old flag. 

As we came out upon the battle-field, about noon, the 
sun was shining as hot as in midsummer, while the heat 
and smoke of burning woods added to our discomfort. 
We remained three or four hours on the field, where 
could be seen many evidences of the fierce battle of the 
year before, — trees literally torn to pieces by musket 
shots, or shattered by cannon shot and shell, and little 
mounds scattered all around, now trodden upon and 
almost obliterated by the feet of a great army. We all 

1 The Ninth Corps did not "gain the road until daybreak of the 8th, 
on account of its occupancy by the Sixth and its trains:" hence the 
delay mentioned in the text. — Editor. 



236 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

knew what was in each of those mounds, and when we 
stopped to think, it made our hearts sad to know that the 
graves of those men would soon be unknown. We found 
numerous skeletons in the woods, for many a man had 
lain as he had fallen, and without burial. There was 
no trouble in finding a complete skeleton there. Some 
of the boys having found an enormously large skull, they 
fell to speculating about whom it had belonged to, and 
whether to a "Johnnie" or a "Union." Caps were tried 
upon it, and not one in the regiment was found large 
enough to cover it. The surgeons said that so large 
and well shaped a skull was seldom seen. A furrow 
ploughed across the top and just cutting through to the 
brain showed the fatal work of a Minie" ball. 

We started again about 3 p. m., and moving through 
Chancellorsville, went into bivouac. Our corps had 
several skirmishes as it advanced down the Freder- 
icksburg road towards Spottsylvania Court House. 
Meanwhile Warren, with the Fifth Corps, had, after 
severe fighting, gained a "position immediately in the 
enemy's front at Spottsylvania." Subsequently, how- 
ever, though helped by a part of Sedgwick's Sixth 
Corps, he had failed in an assault upon the enemy's 4 
lines. 

On the 9th, General Willcox, having been directed to 
move his division to the crossing of the Ny river, on the 
Fredericksburg and Spottsylvania road, was early on 
the march, and about a mile from the river his advance 
came upon the enemy's pickets. These he quickly drove 
to and across the river, and seized the bridge. " Colonel 
Christ's Brigade, with Roemer's and Twitchell's batteries 
of artillery, were immediately thrown across and posted 
on a little eminence about a quarter of a mile beyond." 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 237 

The position was held against repeated assaults. To 
win this success cost the loss of nearly two hundred men. 
The Second Division was brought up too late to take part 
in the affair, and our regiment, acting as support, did 
not get a shot at the enemy all day. In the morning the 
Sixth Corps lost its noble commander, General Sedg- 
wick, who fell near his intrenchments before the deadly 
aim of a rebel sharpshooter. He was succeeded in com- 
mand by General Horatio G. Wright. 

By this time "General Lee, having the shorter lines, 
had moved his army from the field of battle in the Wil- 
derness to the defensive points around Spottsylvania 
Court House, and immediately crowned them with forti- 
fications." General Grant accepted the situation, and 
proceeded to a trial of strength with an intrenched foe, 
who would not himself attack, but would resolutely " dis- 
pute every inch of ground." The enemy's "lines 
extended around Spottsylvania Court House, between 
the Po and Ny rivers, in a position well supported by 
breastworks and protected by forests and marshy land." 
The Ninth Corps held "the extreme left of our confront- 
ing lines ; General Willcox's Division resting on the Ny, 
at the point which Colonel Christ had won." 1 

iGeneral Grant, in his " Personal Memoirs," says, — "The Mattapony 
river is formed by the junction of the Mat, the Ta, the Po, and the Ny 
rivers, the last being the northernmost of the four. It takes its rise 
about a mile south and a little east of the Wilderness tavern. The 
Po rises south-west of the same place, but farther away. Spottsylvania 
is on the ridge dividing these two streams, and where they are but a 
few miles apart. . . . The Po and the Ny are narrow little streams, 
but deep, with abrupt banks, and bordered by heavily wooded and 
marshy bottoms at the time we were there, and difficult to cross except 
where bridged. The country about was generally heavily timbered, but 
with occasional clearings. . . . Lee occupied a semi-circle, facing 



238 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

On the morning of the 10th our corps suffered the loss 
of General Thomas J. Stevenson, the excellent and 
beloved commander of the First Division, who fell by 
the bullet of a rebel sharpshooter, as Sedgwick had 
fallen the day before. General Thomas L. Crittenden 
succeeded to the command of the division. On the after- 
noon of the same day an attack was made upon the ene- 
my's position by the Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Corps, with 
the cooperation of the Second, and resulted in bringing 
the Union lines nearer the Confederate. The fighting 
on the right was heavy, and involved the loss of more 
than six thousand men of the three corps engaged. The 
Ninth Corps met with less resistance on the left, and 
General Potter's Division reached an advantageous posi- 
tion close up to Spottsylvania Court House. This it 
held till night, when it was ordered by General Grant to 
retire nearly a mile. The withdrawal was a mistake 
for which General Burnside was not responsible, and 
was made not without his remonstrance. 1 

north, north-west, and north-east, inclosing the town. Anderson was 
on his left, extending to the Po, Ewell came next, then Early." In 
the general arrangement of the Union line, confronting the Confeder- 
ate, the Second, with the Fifth, was on the right; the Sixth, to the 

left of the Fifth ; the Ninth, on the extreme left Editor. 

1 Burnside had ' ' completely turned Lee's right and got up within a 
few hundred yards of Spottsylvania Court House." This was an "ad- 
vantage " the ' ' importance " of which General Grant, — as he has told 
us in his "Personal Memoirs," — "being with the troops where the 
heavy fighting was, did not know of at the time. . . . Burnside's 
position now separated him widely from Wright's Corps, the corps 
nearest to him. At night he was ordered to join on to this. This 
brought him back about a mile, and lost to us an important advantage." 
" I," adds the general, " attach no blame to Burnside for this, but I do 
to myself, for not having had a staff officer with him to report to me 
his position." — Editor. 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 239 

The nth was a rainy day, and we spent it in throw- 
ing up breastworks, digging rifle-pits, and otherwise 
preparing for a possible attack from the enemy. But he 
preferred to let our side make the attacks, while he stood 
on the defensive. It was wonderful how soon the boys 
would throw up a good breastwork, after halting in the 
woods, or anywhere else, in line of battle. They com- 
menced doing this in the battle of the 6th, and kept it up 
through the whole campaign. Each company had a cer- 
tain number of axes, picks, and shovels issued to it, and 
the men would as soon have thrown away their rifles as 
those implements. On this occasion we had, by evening, 
thrown up some very strong works, and felt safe. 

It was rumored that we were to make an attack just 
at night, and we lay there expecting every moment to 
receive the word "Forward!" but no such word came. 
Hancock's Corps, or a part of it, had come around to 
join us on our right, and as it moved forward in the 
darkness to straighten its line a lively skirmish ensued, 
but no serious fighting. 1 - The weary soldiers had had 
but little rest during the past "week of toil and blood." 
Such incessant fighting and marching and watching as 
theirs had severely tested the endurance of the stoutest 
men, so that when the armies slept that night they slept 
soundly. 2 

1 At 3 p. m. on the nth, Grant had ordered Meade, commanding the 
Army of the Potomac, to "move three divisions of the Second Corps 
by the rear of the Fifth and Sixth corps, under cover of night, so as to 
join the Ninth Corps in a vigorous assault on the enemy at four o'clock 
A. M. to-morrow." — EDITOR. 

2 On the morning of the 1 1 th of May, General Grant, in a letter to 
General Halleck, had written, — "We have now ended the sixth day of 
very hard fighting. The result up to this time is much in our favor, 
but our losses have been heavy as well as those of the enemy. We 



24O SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

About ten o'clock on that evening of the nth, we 
received word that there was to be a general advance all 
along the line at four o'clock the next morning, and that 
Hancock's Corps would lead off promptly at that hour. 
Our corps was to move at the same time, and, upon 
hearing the firing on its right, was to advance as fast, 
and push the enemy as hard, as it could. 1 So we knew 
that within six hours we were to file out over our own 
fortifications in the dark, and, not knowing anything at 
all of our way twenty rods ahead, were to go down into 
swamps, thick woods, and underbrush, in the face of a 
vigilant and deadly foe. Certainly the prospect was 

have lost, to this time, eleven general officers killed, wounded, and miss- 
ing, and probably twenty thousand men. I think the loss of the enemy 
must be greater, we having taken over four thousand prisoners in 
battle, whilst he has taken from us but few except stragglers. I 
am now sending back to Belle Plain all my wagons for a fresh supply 
of provisions and ammunition, and purpose to fight it out on this line 
if it takes all summer." — Editor. 

1 A reconnoissance on the nth discovered "a salient of field works" 
at the enemy's centre. This V-shaped stronghold was the key to the 
Confederate position, and at some points, as described by a writer in 
"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War," Vol. IV, p. 174, was "elaborately 
constructed of heavy timber, banked with earth to the height of about 
four feet ; above this was placed what is known as a head-log, raised 
just high enough to enable a musket to be inserted between it and the 
lower work. Pointed pine and pin-oak formed an abatis, in front of 
which was a deep ditch." E well's Corps held that part of the Confed- 
erate line, General Edward Johnson's Division occupying the apex of 
the salient. It was upon this point, afterwards known as the "Bloody 
Angle," that the assault of Hancock and Burnside, supported by 
Wright and Warren, was to be made at daylight on the morning of the 
1 2th; there was to be fought the great battle of Spottsylvania Court 
House. Accordingly, on the night of the nth, Hancock had moved 
into a position north of the point of attack, while Burnside was in an 
easterly direction from it, on Hancock's left. — Editor. 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 24I 

one to render thoughtful the bravest soldier, and that the 
anticipation had its element of dread was no evidence of 
the lack of true courage. Yet, though it was anticipated 
that the morrow would be a day of blood, the men were 
so tired that most of those who were not on picket got 
some sleep, which was so much needed to brace them 
up for the terrible work laid out for them. 

The writer, being on picket duty, remembers well the 
incidents of that night of watching and suspense. Among 
these he recalls the incessant notes of the whippoorwill, 
which produced no very inspiriting effect upon his feel- 
ings. It was "Whip-poor-will !" "Whip-poor-will 1" all 
night long, with nothing else to disturb the stillness, for 
there was no picket firing. Hiram Drowns said, "Cap- 
tain, I wish those pesky birds would stop their crying ; I 
don't like to hear them." But Thomas Bradley, an old 
sailor, remarked, "I like to hear them, for they keep 
saying ' Whip-you-will,' which means that we shall whip 
the 'Johnnies' to-morrow sure." 

At four o'clock on the dark foggy morning of May 12, 
every man was ready to start at the word " Forward !" 
We leaped over our works into a small opening, and 
passing down into a ravine, forced our way across it as 
best we could, over logs and through brush. A small 
stream, soon to be reddened with the blood of brave men, 
ran through the ravine. This some of the men jumped 
clear across, while others not so good at jumping went 
into it, and scrambled up the opposite bank. Company 
E, thrown forward as skirmishers, immediately drew fire 
from the enemy's pickets, and returned it. The corps 
was moving to the right in column by brigade, with Grif- 
fin's Brigade leading at the right, and the Sixth Regi- 
ment occupying its left centre. Griffin, guided by the 
16 



242 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



sound of Hancock's guns, swung his line constantly to the 
left to conform with that of the Second Corps. We ad- 
vanced on the double-quick, under a sharp fire, into and 
through the pine woods which lay between our line and 
that of the rebels, driving back, in the foggy darkness, 
the enemy's skirmishers. The musketry firing on our right, 
which we first heard on entering the woods, dinned our 
ears, volley after volley, till it was one continuous roar. 

A portion of Hancock's Corps, which had advanced 
towards the enemy's line at about the same time as the 
Ninth, but on a more direct course, had already reached 
and carried by surprise the works on the right centre, 
capturing and sending to the rear General Johnson with 
more than three thousand men of his command, besides 
taking twenty or more guns, several thousand stand of 
arms, much ammunition, and many colors. The victo- 
rious captors, pressing forward in bold advance within 
the rebel lines, were soon checked, but the captured 
works were never — thanks to the help of other corps, 
including the Ninth — to be retaken by the baffled foe. 

Our brigade, now emerging from the woods, and 
receiving a cheer from the left of the Second Corps, the 
men of which were glad to see reinforcements, swung 
into line, and took a favorable position, looking out par- 
tially upon an open field toward the enemy's works, and 
very near them. As we moved down the intervening 
slope, the smoke of battle together with the fog of the 
morning settled over us like a pall, so that it was only 
by the rapidly successive flashes of musketry that we 
could see our line beyond a few rods right or left, and 
only by the same means could we tell where the enemy 
was, though he was close up in our front. 

Just at this time, masses of the enemy were seen 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 243 

emerging from an opposite wood at a double-quick, in a 
furious charge upon the left of Hancock's Corps, which 
had become somewhat disorganized in consequence of 
its recent successful attack. Our brigade could, by a 
bold and timely movement, repel this formidable counter- 
assault. That movement its skilful commander was not 
slow to make, and the brigade, taking the whole column 
of rebels in front and flank, received their terrible onset 
with indomitable obstinacy, hurling them back in confu- 
sion, and strewing the ground with dead and wounded. 
In this brilliant movement, in which Colonel Griffin won 
his star, and which without doubt saved Hancock's 
Corps from being routed, 1 the Sixth and Ninth Regiments 
bore a conspicuous part, seizing an advanced position 
and holding out stubbornly when others were disposed 
to quail. The position taken by the brigade was held, 
not only through that day with its five or more hours of 
dreadful fire, incessant and murderous, but until the 
army withdrew six days later. 2 Some idea of the terrific 

1 "In the successful result of that attack General Hancock's com- 
mand became somewhat disturbed, and was in turn the object of 
assault. Colonel Griffin's position enabled him at this moment to be 
of effectual service, the enemy was handsomely met, and Hancock was 
saved. So prominent had been the gallantry of the brigade commander 
upon this and former occasions, that General Burnside recommended 
him for instant promotion." — Woodbury's "History of the Ninth 
Army Corps," p. 384. 

" In the Ninth Corps, Colonel Griffin of the Sixth New Hampshire, 
and Colonel Hartranft of the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, in command of 
brigades, won promotion by their gallant and distinguished services 
upon the bloody field." — Walcott's " History of the Twenty-first Mas- 
sachusetts Regiment," p. 321. 

2 As related in the text, a successful assault was made in the early 
morning upon the salient of the enemy's works by a portion of Han- 
cock's Corps, immediately and effectively supported by the right of Pot- 



244 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



fire on that day may be gained from the statement of the 
fact that an oak tree two feet through, which stood about 
halfway between the contending lines, was literally cut 
off by musket shots alone, so that it fell over. Its stump, 
it may be added, was taken to Washington after the war, 
and was subsequently exhibited with other war relics at 
the Centennial Exposition, held in Philadelphia in 1876. 
Our regiment lost in this battle of the 12th, sixty-eight 
killed and wounded, among whom were several of its 
best men. 1 One of the wounded was Lieutenant Frank 
L. Gray, whose jaw bone was broken and tongue cut in 
a fearful manner, so that he could not eat for days and 
came near starving to death. Lieutenant John Curtin 
became insane in the battle, in consequence of the con- 
stant strain under which he had been for more than a 
week, and was sent to the rear under guard. Several 
of the boys had very "close calls," as they called them. 
A shot passed through the hat of George Goodwin of 
Company F, cutting off some of his hair. Lieutenant 
Frank Pierce, having congratulated him on having so 

ter's division of Burnside's Corps. The remainder of Potter's command 
also did good service farther along the left. "Burnside, on the left," 
says General Grant, ' • had advanced up east of the salient to the very 
parapet of the enemy. Potter, commanding one of his divisions, got 
over, but was not able to remain there. However, he inflicted a heavy 
loss upon the enemy, but not without loss in return." Lee tried hard 
all day to regain his lost position, and the fighting lasted until three 
o'clock the next morning. Finally, he retired to a newly intrenched 
position in rear of his former one. This new Confederate line may be 
roughly described as the base of a triangle, extending east and west, 
the other two irregular sides being those of the salient, and converging 
northerly to the apex, or "Bloody Angle," left in Union possession. 

— Editor. 
2 The total Union loss on the 12th of May was morejthan 8000 men. 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 245 

tall a hat for the "Johnnies " to shoot at, he replied, " A 
miss is as good as a mile, any time." The writer had 
been lying in the rear of a sapling pine about six inches 
through, and feeling rather uncomfortable as the shots 
came thick as hail, he moved a few feet to the left and 
front, when private Thomas Dick, a recruit and "sub," 
but a good soldier, crawled up and took the vacant place. 
No sooner had he been warned to keep his head behind 
the tree as much as possible, than he was struck in the 
right temple by a side shot and never moved again. 

We all felt very restive as our comrades were thus 
picked off by the shots of an enemy that we could not 
see for the smoke and fog. Besides, we could not tell 
whether we were hitting anybody or not, since we knew 
nothing of the " lay of the land" in our front, while the 
rebels knew our exact position and how high to shoot to 
reach us. The writer having again moved a few feet 
and lain down, a soldier of the Forty-eighth Pennsyl- 
vania, coming up with a shovel and pick — he being one 
of the sappers and miners — took the place just vacated. 
Within a few minutes he was fast asleep, his chin rest- 
ing on his folded arms, and while the writer was looking 
at him, and thinking how weary he must be to go to 
sleep in such a dangerous place, a Minie ball struck the 
sleeper just above the right temple, his life blood streamed 
out upon the grass, and without opening his eyes or mov- 
ing hand or foot, he was dead. These were, indeed, two 
"close calls," for had the writer remained quiet in either 
place three minutes longer, he would have received his 
death-shot. 

As we lay in the wet grass and brush in a drizzling 
rain, about 9 o'clock a. m., under an incessant fire from 
the rebels in our front, while from our right, shot and 



246 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

shell raked the regiment lengthwise, it was thought that 
the raking fire must come from one of Hancock's bat- 
teries that might have advanced or swung around on the 
extreme right. So Colonel Pearson directed Captain 
Rowell to go up through the woods and tell the com- 
mander of the battery that he was firing into our own 
men. The captain went upon his errand, with the smoke 
and fog so thick that he could not see three rods ahead. 
Much to his surprise, when getting near the battery, he 
discovered that the men were dressed in the Confederate 
gray. It was so dark, however, that he was not seen, 
and he came back and reported to the colonel, who sent 
him to one of our batteries in the rear to give informa- 
tion as to the position of the enemy's guns. Soon some 
Union guns came up within close range, and opening 
fire on the rebel battery, caused the "Johnnies" to 
"limber up" and go to the rear on the double-quick. 

About 11 a. m. we began gradually to cease firing, 
so that the enemy, thus led to think we had withdrawn, 
might cease firing also. As we slackened fire the rebels 
did the same, so that in the course of half an hour it 
became rather quiet all along the lines. We then moved 
forward a few rods, and, straightening our lines a little, 
began to throw up breastworks as quietly as possible. 
The boys went at it with a will, although they had not 
had anything to eat since starting for the battle seven 
hours before. Some cut down the small pines, while 
others dug with pick and spade, not knowing how soon 
the enemy might charge upon them. It was, however, 
known full well that five men behind breastworks could 
do more to repulse the enemy than ten could in the open 
field, and so we worked like beavers. Toward noon the 
fog and smoke lifted, and for the first time we had a 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 247 

view of the situation. We were on the edge of a clear- 
ing that became considerably lower than the ground 
where we were stationed, and across which, as we looked, 
we could see the "Johnnies" behind breastworks and 
rifle-pits, watching to get a squint at us. As soon as the 
lifting fog permitted them to see what we were doing 
they opened fire again, and the battle simmered down to 
sharpshooting. As the opposing lines were within easy 
rifle shot of each other, it took more than the skill of an 
old soldier always to dodge the shots while we were 
building our breastworks. Each company's record shows 
that many were killed or wounded while working here 
under the fire of the enemy. 

About half the men of each company were on the look- 
out with rifles at the face, ready to fire whenever a rebel 
showed his head, while the rest threw up the "sacred 
soil" of Virginia and strengthened the works as best 
they could. We put as large a log as we could find 
along the top of the work, and cut notches on the under 
side of this at intervals of two or three feet, as loop- 
holes through which the men could watch and shoot. 
Here we were to lie for six days, as it proved, firing by 
day and watching by night. We ate nothing the first 
day except some dry hard-tack, for we could not stop 
to eat, and, besides, our cooks were too far in the rear 
to be found. The next day, just before light, our com- 
pany cooks, who had not dared to come before, brought 
us up hot coffee which they had made far in the rear ; 
and never did coffee taste better. But how Captain 
Goodwin did scold the cooks for not coming up with it 
the night before, threatening to " shoot them as sure as 
death " if they did not hereafter bring up coffee three 
times a day ! 



248 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

While lying there those six days, the boys had what 
they called "fun." Each would pick out his man on 
the rebel side, and watching for him as a cat for a 
mouse, would, upon the slightest exposure of the person, 
send him a leaden messenger. The officers took a hand 
at this sharpshooting, — to rest the boys. Lieutenant 
Winch had a "Johnnie" whom he was looking after, and 
who, behind a large log, was looking after him quite as 
closely. They had kept up this game for a long time, 
when Colonel Pearson coming along asked Winch what 
he was doing. The lieutenant replied, " Trying to see 
how close I can cut that fellow's hair over there ; " at the 
same time telling the colonel to watch at the next loop- 
hole, and see how close the shot came to the game at the 
next fire. Just then the "Johnnie" raised his head, and 
Winch fired. The colonel remarked, " It was a good 
range, but a little too low; you made the bark fly all 
over him : let me try a shot at him." The rifle was 
loaded and handed to the colonel, who watched for the 
"Johnnie," while Winch watched to see where the shot 
would strike. The colonel, getting impatient for his 
game to show up, took a peep over the works to see 
what had become of his man, when Winch cried out, 
" Down !" — a word all old soldiers understood — and the 
colonel ducked his head at once. At the same moment, 
a bullet from the "Johnnie's" rifle just grazed the colo- 
nel's hat. The lieutenant had seen the puff of smoke 
just in time to say "Down," and thus save the colonel's 
life. The latter remarked, " Well done, Winch ! guess 
I had better let you attend to this business, as you appear 
to understand it better than I do," and then walked away 
to another part of the line. 

Lieutenant Rowell, considering himself a good shot, 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 249 

tried his hand with a "reb." Each understood that he 
was the other's man by the time twenty shots or more 
had been exchanged without any damage on either side 
except a hole in Rowell's hat, and perhaps the same 
mark in the "Johnnie's." One of Berdan's sharpshoot- 
ers, coming along, said, "Having a little fun, I see." 
Rowell said, "Yes, exchanging compliments with a 
'Johnnie' over there." The sharpshooter, with the 
remark, " Possibly I can help you," took position behind 
a tree, and when the "Johnnie" peeped out after Rowell 
had fired, drew a bead on him with his telescope rifle. 
There was a puff of smoke, then the report — and all 
was still. The next day when we charged over, we 
found a tall Kentucky sharpshooter with that fatal hole 
in the forehead which told the tale. 

On the 14th General Griffin's Brigade was ordered to 
make an advance to feel the enemy's position, and learn 
if he was in force in our immediate front. The brigade 
advanced over its works about 11 o'clock a. m., but no 
sooner did the line expose itself than it was met by a ter- 
rific fire, which showed that a large force still confronted 
us. Accordingly the retreat was sounded, and the brig- 
ade returned to its position with slight loss. On the 
morning of the 17th, some of the pickets outside of the 
works reported that they heard moanings, as of a 
wounded man, down in the brush of the ravine in our 
front and a little to the right of our regiment. We 
could see many dead men lying in the ravine, and the 
stench, borne by the wind from that quarter, was almost 
unendurable, for the bodies had lain there five days in 
the sun and rain. It was sure death to make any search 
in the daytime, but at night some of the men volunteered 
to work their way down into the ravine, and see if they 



250 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

could find any one alive there. The result was that sev- 
eral badly wounded men of Hancock's command were 
found and brought out. They were not only suffering 
from their undressed wounds, but were almost starved to 
death, having had nothing but a little hard-tack to eat for 
those five days. They could not have survived, if it had 
not rained almost every day and thus their thirst been 
somewhat allayed. Doubtless others perished there from 
thirst, starvation, and neglect. 

Word was received on the morning of the 18th that 
there was to be a general advance all along the line. 1 
We felt that it was almost sure death to go down into and 
across the field before us and up the slope on the oppo- 
site side, but we were there to fight, and so when the 
order to advance came, the men leaped over the works 

1 There was no fighting to speak of on the 1 3th. Grant was ' ' afraid," 
as he has said, "that Lee might be moving," and he " did not want 
him to go without his knowing it ;" hence, to ascertain where the enemy 
was, he felt his position at sundry times. On the night of the 13th, 
"Wright and Warren were moved by the rear to the left of Burnside," 
and thus the Union line was brought "east of the court house, and 
running north and south, and facing west." On the 14th there was but 
little fighting, and on the night of that day ' ' Lee moved to cover the 
new front, while Hancock, thus left "without an enemy confronting 
him," marched to the rear of the new Union centre, to help wherever 
he might be wanted. The 15th and 16th were quiet days. The long 
continued rains had made the roads so bad ' ' that nothing was done on 
the 17th." At night, however, Hancock and Wright moved back to 
their former positions, to participate in an assault upon the old Con- 
federate lines early the next morning. The assault was made on the 
1 8th, as described further on in the text, but, inasmuch as Lee got 
his troops back in time to repel it, was unsuccessful. General Grant, 
in his report of the Wilderness campaign, says summarily, that the six 
days from May 13 to May 18 "were consumed in manceuvering and 
awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from Washington." — Editor. 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 251 

as cheerfully as they did on the morning of the first bat- 
tle. The moment we moved, the rebels opened upon us 
with shot, shell, and musketry. They let go their big 
"war dogs" from a fort hidden in the woods a little to 
our left, and the cold lead and iron was slung around us 
fearfully. We advanced very rapidly, the column on 
our right swinging around to the left. The rebels, when 
they saw us coming in force, fell back to their second 
line of strong works, well protected by abatis. 

As we came down into the open plain a most sickening 
sight presented itself. Here were the enemy's dead, both 
men and horses, of the battle of the 12th, lying thick in 
all directions, and loathsomely swollen and disfigured. 
They were rapidly decomposing, having lain here six 
days in the warm sun and rain. We were obliged to 
pass directly over them, and we did so as quickly as 
possible, for it was impossible to breathe in that locality. 
The rebels were all the while shelling us as hard as they 
could, and just as we were passing the loathsome spot 
two or three shells struck and exploded among the dead 
bodies, and sent their fragments flying in all directions. 
We learned from a prisoner that a brigade of North 
Carolina troops, belonging to Gen. A. P. Hill's Corps, was 
encamped in that field on the night of the nth, and not 
having got up when struck in the assault early the next 
morning, had mostly been killed, wounded, or captured. 

When we had got across the field and ravine and 
begun to ascend the slope beyond, the enemy opened 
upon us with renewed energy, and it seemed as if the 
shot and shell came nearly as thick and fast as the Minie' 
balls. There was heavy ordnance in a fort in front of our 
brigade, and it did sad havoc as its deadly missiles came 
tearing through the intervening heavy growth of timber. 



252 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

The Ninth Regiment joined us on our right, and suffered 
severe loss, especially from the explosion of shells. 1 

As we moved forward, and, swinging around to the 
left, got fairly into the woods, we came into the rear of 
a regiment that had advanced on our left, and, conse- 
quently, we could not fire a shot. The colonel halted 
us, telling us to protect ourselves as best we could. The 
regiment in our front advanced a few rods nearer the 
enemy's line, when the rebels opened upon it with grape 
and canister and a volley of musketry, cutting the men 
down like grass before the mower's scythe. The regi- 
ment, seeing that it was useless to try to advance, fell 
back in confusion, over and through our brigade. 2 As 
the men rushed back, with the screeching "Johnnies" 
pouring volley after volley into them, some of our boys 
rose up to retreat; but the officers all crying out, 
"Steady, men! Hold your ground!" not one gave 
way, but all poured a volley into the rebels, checking 
them, and compelling them to retire within their works, 
which were in plain sight. 

Our boys "kept popping away" whenever a rebel 
showed himself among the trees, or over the breast- 
works. A messenger was sent to General Griffin, who 
was a few rods in the rear, to explain the situation and 
ask for further orders. During the few minutes of the 
messenger's absence, while Captain Goodwin and the 
writer were lying flat on the ground beside each other, 
they both fell asleep. A cry from one of the boys 

1 Here Captain Stone, then in command of the Ninth, was mortally 
wounded. — Editor. 

2 It was the Excelsior Brigade of Hancock's Corps that, having failed 
in its assault upon the enemy's works, thus rushed back through the 
ranks of the supporting regiments. — Editor. 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 253 

who was hit awoke them. The captain laughed as he 
opened his eyes, and upon being asked by the writer 
what he was so' pleased about, replied, — "I have had 
a pleasant dream. I was at my home in Littleton, and 
met my only sister. I notice you have been asleep 
too." "Yes," responded the writer, "and I dreamed that 
I was at the old homestead in New Hampshire, and shook 
hands with father and mother." The captain said with 
a smile, " I wish it were all real." This going to sleep 
under a smart fire from an enemy only a few rods a'way 
may seem incredible to some readers, but it will not 
seem so to the veterans, who will remember that we 
were so completely worn out by toil, watching, and 
anxiety — not having had a good night's sleep since 
May 4 — that the moment we stopped and lay down we 
went to sleep in spite of every effort to keep awake. 

But our messenger had now returned with orders from 
General Griffin to advance a little and show a bold front, 
and, if the enemy made an attack, to hold our ground if 
possible. Having advanced a few rods, and straight- 
ened our line somewhat, we began at once to dig like 
beavers, rolling up old logs, cutting down small trees, 
adding brush and earth, and in less than an hour had 
breastworks three feet high to protect our heads from the 
rebel shot. All this time the enemy's sharpshooters were 
busy picking off* our men, as these became exposed. 
Some of our men stood with guns in hand to cover the 
enemy's riflemen — only six or eight rods distant — when- 
ever these showed themselves. Major Quarles, 1 espying 
one of these fellows behind a stump, seized a rifle, drew 
a bead on the "reb," and fired. The "reb" fired at 
the same moment, and his shot striking the major's rifle- 

1 See biographic notice at end of chapter. 



254 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

barrel and glancing, split a large piece out of the stock, 
took off two of the major's fingers, cut his face fearfully, 
and broke the jawbone. He was at once helped to the 
rear, where his wounds, severe but not fatal, were 
dressed. The major always claimed that he brought 
down his antagonist at the same time. 

A rebel sharpshooter in front of Company H gave the 
boys much trouble, and Captain Carlton said to one A. F. 
Drew, " See if you can't shoot that fellow out there, or 
he will have you next." Drew peeped over the works 
to get a good view of his man, when "zip" came the 
unerring shot and struck him in the forehead. He fell 
over, never spoke, and died in a few moments. The 
captain then said to one John Garrity, an Irishman, 
"Johnnie, see if you can't do better than that." John 
replied, "Be jabbers, I'll try. An' sure, an' cap'n, 
would ye be after helpin' me a jiffy?" The captain 
having assured him that he would help him all he 
could, John loaded his gun carefully, then taking off 
his old hat and putting it on his ramrod, he said to Carl- 
ton, "Now cap'n, you jist take that, and whin I'm ready, 
jist raise 'em up slow and aisy." He got ready, and then 
said, "Now raise 'em aisy, cap'n," and as the old hat 
rose above the breastworks " zip'' went a ball through it, 
and at the same moment bang went John's rifle, while 
he said, ' ' Take that, you mother's son of a varmint ! 
My name is John Garrity ! " Some of the boys who were 
watching saw the rebel throw up his arms, and as no 
more shots came from that quarter they felt sure that 
Garrity's shot had done its intended work. 

We held our position, 1 giving the enemy shot for shot 

1 This was on a slight eminence, within a few rods of the enemy's 
line. — Editor. 



SPOTTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE. 255 

till dark, when orders came for us to fall back as quietly 
as possible. We buried our dead, and then began to 
retire, one company at a time — the others keeping up a 
straggling fire to deceive the enemy — till at ten o'clock 
in the evening the last company was withdrawn. We 
all breathed more freely when we were back again in 
our old works across the clearing. 

"The action of the 18th at one time threatened to be a 
very bloody battle. At least one half of the army was 
engaged ; but the only advantage gained over the enemy 
was in forcing him back a little from his most advanced 
positions, and occupying points which commanded a 
portion of his lines." The result proved that no advan- 
tage commensurate with the sacrifice incurred could be 
secured by such operations. Our brigade lost in this 
action about fifty officers and men. 

On the 19th we were ordered to pick up all the super- 
fluous muskets, accoutrements, and army supplies we 
could find, and bury them ; for, being short of means of 
transportation, we could not remove them, and we did not 
want them to fall into the enemy's hands. So the boys 
buried them in graves which they dug, putting up rough 
head-boards, and marking them "John Jones," "John 
Smith," and so on, with the letters of the different com- 
panies of such and such regiments. The numbers of 
regiments were given quite at random ; for instance, 
one head-board was marked "110th New Hampshire," 
and the rebels, when they saw it, must have been aston- 
ished to learn that our little state had sent so many regi- 
ments to the war. Probably, too, the Government Cem- 
etery Corps, upon going there to remove the dead from 
the field to the National cemetery, felt some surprise at 
finding so many of those graves containing the muskets, 



256 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

instead of the bones, of Union soldiers. Late that night 
the corps moved three or four miles to the extreme left 
of the Union line, having Wright's Corps (the Sixth) 
next it on the right. Here it remained over the 20th, 
and most of the 21st, without any fighting. 1 

3ni\btnt&— QE>io$rap#ic $Utcfy. 

Devoted to Duty. While the battle of the 12th was 
going on, a private of the Ninth New Hampshire came 
to Captain Jones of Company F, saying that he had lost 
his regiment — he having been out on picket the night 
before — and asked if he could join the captain's com- 
pany in the fight, remarking that perhaps he could do 
as much good there as anywhere else. The captain told 
him there was room enough, and he wished he had a 
hundred just such men to fill up his shattered ranks. 
The stray soldier fought bravely all day with the com- 
pany. This private, when he could not find his regi- 
ment, might easily have gone to the rear, and thus 
skulked danger, as some others did. But he was in the 
war to fight, not to skulk. It is regretted that his name, 
being unknown, cannot be here recorded. — L. J. 

The Examfle of the Sixth. When, during the fight 
of the 18th, the line in our front was repulsed and came 
back over our brigade, some of the Ninth boys, who 
joined us on the right, made a move as if to give way a 
little, when one of the officers was heard to say, "Don't 
give way an inch unless the Sixth Regiment retreats." 

1 The Union loss at Spottsylvania has been estimated in the follow- 
ing figures: Killed, 2,725; wounded, 13,416; captured or missing, 
2,258, — total, 18,399. — Editor. 











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SIMON G. GRIFFIN. 257 

Indeed, the Ninth behaved admirably in the battles of 
the 12th and 18th. — L. J. 

Tripped up. In the stampede of the regiment in our 
front, back over us, one of its officers pushed right over 
the writer, who, provoked to a little mischief at seeing 
him going to the rear in so headlong a fashion, put up 
his foot, thus catching the toe of the fugitive and laying 
him out his whole length in the dirt and brush. An 
angrier fellow than he was is rarely seen. He stopped, 
however, but a moment to give vent to his wrath, for he 
was anxious to get farther to the rear, out of the reach 
of the shot and shell which were pouring upon us like 
hail.— L. J. 

Perilous Bush-cutting: "During the battle of the 
1 2th, the colonel asked for volunteers to go out in front 
and cut some bushes that were in range of the sharp- 
shooters, and ought to be out of the way. It was a risky 
job, and no one stepped out ' right quick' to undertake 
it. However, Albert Smith, William H. Muzzey, and 
Prescott Hall, all of Company I, volunteered to cut the 
bushes, and did it." — Albert Smith. 



SIMON G. GRIFFIN. 

(by the editor.) 

Brevet Major-General Simon G. Griffin, son of Nathan 
and Sally (Wright) Griffin, was born in Nelson, N. H., 
August 9, 1824. His grandfathers, Samuel Griffin and 
Nehemiah Wright, served in the Revolutionary War, 
and were present at the battle of Bunker Hill. Samuel 
Griffin, coming from Methuen, Mass., soon after that 
war, to Packersfield, now Nelson, N. H., married a 
17 



258 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

daughter of Rev. Jacob Foster, the settled minister of the 
town, and took up his residence there. He held the 
highest offices of the town, and represented it for many 
years in the state legislature. His son Nathan, the 
father of the subject of this sketch, though gifted "with 
the strength of intellect and force of character" 1 shown 
all along the ancestral lines, early lost his health, in con- 
sequence of which the care of a family of seven children 
fell mainly upon the mother, "one of the loveliest of her 
sex, both in person and character" and who, fulfilling 
well her trust, attained the age of ninety-four years 
"with eye undimmed and mind unclouded." 

In consequence of his father's ill health, the son Simon, 
from the age of six, lived some years with his uncle, 
General Samuel Griffin, of Roxbury, N. H. The latter 
was a successful farmer, energetic and frugal. He had, 
too, decided military talent, and "was prominent in the 
state militia." He used to repeat from his extended read- 
ings of military history ' ' descriptions of battles and cam- 
paigns," which made "a deep and lasting impression on 
the mind of the boy." The latter, "after he was seven 
years old," could not "be spared from the farm to attend 
school in summer;" — thus all the "schooling" ever 
enjoyed by him consisted in attending the district school 
ten or twelve weeks each winter. But he gratified his 
strong desire for knowledge by spending his ' ' leisure 
hours in reading and study," and to such advantage that, 
in spite of educational deprivation, he was competent, at 
the age of eighteen, to engage in teaching "with marked 
success." His historical reading was quite extensive, 
and with " the lives of the great military chieftains of 

1 The quotations in this sketch are from one written by Rev. A. B. 
Crawford, and published in the '-Granite Monthly," January, 1882. 



SIMON C. GRIFFIN. 259 

ancient and modern times " he became familiar. Thus, 
" by inheritance and early training and reading, he" was 
becoming "unconsciously fitted" for a successful career 
in the military service of his country. Teaching in win- 
ter and farming in summer, he continued his studies, 
mastering ' ' the higher English branches usually taught 
in college, besides making good attainment in Latin and 
French, and going through a large amount of miscella- 
neous reading." 

"In 1850, he married Ursula J., daughter of Jason 
Harris, Esq., of Nelson, but soon after the birth of a son 
both mother and child died. After this affliction he 
returned to his former occupation of teaching, and began 
the study of law. While thus engaged, he represented 
his native town two years in the legislature, serving the 
second term as chairman of the committee on education. 

"Pursuing his study of law at Exeter, and afterwards 
at Concord, he was admitted to the bar in Merrimack 
county, in i860, and had just entered upon the practice 
of his profession at Concord, when the war broke out. 
Throwing aside his law books, he took up the study of 
military tactics, and joined a company of young men 
then forming in Concord under the first call of President 
Lincoln for seventy-five thousand men. He volunteered 
as a private, as did each member ; but when it came to 
organization, he was chosen captain of the company, and 
finding that the quota of New Hampshire was full under 
the first call, immediately volunteered with a large num- 
ber of his men for three years or during the war, under 
the second call. 

"The company was the celebrated Goodwin Rifles, 
Company B, Second N. H. Volunteers, armed with 
Sharpe's rifles by the exertions of Captain Griffin and 



260 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

his friends — the only company sent from the state armed 
with breech-loaders. He recruited his company to the 
maximum, joined the Second Regiment at Portsmouth, 
and was mustered into the United States service on the 
4th of June, 1861. At the first battle of Bull Run he 
commanded his company, and handled it with remark- 
able coolness and bravery although it was under a sharp 
fire, and lost twelve men, killed and wounded. 

"After that battle, his regiment was brigaded with 
others at Bladensburg under General Joseph Hooker. 
Finding Company B, with its Sharpe's rifles, very effec- 
tive, General Hooker obtained for Captain Griffin a leave 
of absence, and gave him letters of recommendation to 
the governor of New Hampshire, with a view to having 
him raise a regiment or battalion armed with similar 
weapons ; but the state authorities, like those at Wash- 
ington, and many of the officers of the regular army, were 
not up to the advanced ideas of the times. They refused 
to sanction the step on the ground of the great expense, 
and Captain Griffin returned to his company." 

On the 26th of October, 1861, he was promoted to be 
lieutenant- colonel of the Sixth New Hampshire Volun- 
teers, and soon joined his regiment at its rendezvous in 
Keene. He accompanied his command to North Caro- 
lina, where it landed at Hatteras Island in January, 
1862, and, on the 2d of March, was transferred to Ro- 
anoke. On the eighth of that month he was sent with 
six companies to aid General J. G. Foster in an expedi- 
tion to Columbia, and, upon his return to camp, found 
"himself in command of the regiment, the colonel hav- 
ing resigned." He received his commission as colonel 
on the 22d of April, 1862. Of the expedition to Eliz- 
abeth City which he led, and the battle of Camden in 



SIMON G. GRIFFIN. 261 

which he and his regiment bore a conspicuous part, full 
accounts are given elsewhere in this history. Nor need 
here be repeated the story of Bull Run, Chantilly, South 
Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Jack- 
son, and the campaigns in Kentucky and Tennessee, in 
which, after Fredericksburg, he commanded a brigade. 

In the fall of 1863, after the Mississippi campaign, 
" Colonel Griffin, in command, by seniority, of the Sec- 
ond Division of the Ninth Corps, marched from Kentucky, 
over the mountains, through Cumberland Gap, into East 
Tennessee, and joined General Burnside at Knoxville." 
Returning to Kentucky, he was placed in command of 
Camp Nelson, which '.'was at that time one of the largest 
and most important depots of supplies in the country, 
and the rendezvous for refugees and recruits from East 
Tennessee who were there organized into regiments," 
and where he had " about nine thousand men under his 
command. While there, his regiment reenlisted for 
three years or during the war, and by the terms of 
enlistment became entitled to a furlough of thirty days." 

On the 14th of January, 1864, he received orders to 
proceed with his regiment to Covington, to be remustered 
into the service of the United States, and from there 
accompanied it to New Hampshire. "While enjoying 
his furlough, he was ordered to report to the governor of 
New Hampshire for duty, and was sent to Virginia and 
North Carolina to superintend the reenlistment of New 
Hampshire veterans in that department." 

In the spring of 1864, the Ninth Corps reassembled at 
Annapolis, Md., and reorganized under its former com- 
mander, General Burnside, with Colonel Griffin in com- 
mand of the Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh New Hampshire, 
Thirty-first and Thirty-second Maine, and Seventeenth 



262 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Vermont regiments, constituting the Second Brigade of 
the Second Division. The record of the subsequent move- 
ments, operations, and battles of Grant's army during the 
last year of the war, in which he gallantly led his brigade, 
may be found upon other pages of this history. It is 
the record of the Wilderness ; of Spottsylvania Court 
House, where he "won his star:" of North Anna river, 
Tolopotomoy creek, Bethesda church, and Cold Harbor ; 
of the early demonstrations before Petersburg, including 
the brilliant attack of June 15, 1864, led by him; of the 
Mine, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Springs church, Hatch- 
er's Run, and the final assault of April 2, 1865, before 
Petersburg, which found its glorious sequence at Appo- 
mattox only a week later. 

Brevetted a major-general of volunteers for gallantry 
in that assault, and coming to the command of the divi- 
sion as the successor of General Potter, wounded, "he 
joined in the pursuit of the rebel forces, and his division 
formed a part of the cordon militaire that encompassed 
Lee and compelled his surrender." This command he 
"retained till the close of the war, with the exception of a 
short time while he was president of an examining board 
of officers sitting in Washington. Returning with the 
army, he led his division in the grand review at Wash- 
ington on the 23d of May ; and in July following, when 
the last regiment of his command had been mustered 
out — the Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers — he returned 
to his home in Keene to await further orders ; and on 
the 24th of August, 1865, in company with many other 
general officers, he was mustered out of the service of 
the United States. 

" That service had been a most honorable one. Brave, 
able, of sound judgment, patriotic, he was always in 



SIMON G. GRIFFIN. 263 

demand at the front, and his service was of the most 
active and arduous kind. His troops were never under 
fire, or made a march of any importance, except with 
him to lead them. He took an active part in twenty-two 
great battles, besides being under fire numberless times in 
skirmishes and smaller fights. For nine weeks, in front 
of Petersburg, he held the ground covering the spot 
where the 'Mine' was in process of excavation, and so 
sharp and constant was the picket-firing, both day and 
night, that the brigade lost five per cent, of its members 
each week. Not for a moment were officers or men safe 
from deadly missiles, unless under cover of intrenchments, 
and it was particularly perilous for officers in command, 
who had to pass frequently along the lines. Yet he 
seemed to lead a charmed life. He never received a 
scratch, although he had seven ball holes in his clothes 
and had two horses killed and five wounded under him 
in action. He never lost a day's duty from sickness, 
owing, no doubt, largely to his temperate habits. At 
the second battle of Bull Run he had one half of his men 
either killed or wounded ; at Fredericksburg, one third ; 
atAntietam, one fifth, — and so on; and he was equally 
exposed with them. In Grant's severe campaign of 
1864, he left Alexandria with six regiments, reporting 
twenty-seven hundred fighting men. At the close of the 
campaign, he had lost three thousand men, killed and 
wounded, — three hundred more than his whole original 
number, new regiments having been assigned him until 
he had eleven in his brigade, while the old ones had 
been kept up by recruits. 

"Upon the reorganization of the regular army at the 
close of the war, the government offered him a position 
as field officer in one of the regiments, and sent him his 



264 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

appointment ; but he had no desire for the life of a soldier 
when his country no longer needed his services, and he 
declined the offer. In 1866, '67, and '68, he represented 
Keene in the New Hampshire legislature, serving the 
last two years as speaker of the house. He filled that 
place with marked ability, showing rare talent as a pre- 
siding officer, and carrying forward the business with 
precision and dispatch. In January, 1867, he presided 
over the Republican State Convention. In 1871 he 
received the Republican nomination for congress in the 
third district ; but in the election the opposition carried 
the state, and General Griffin, though making a good 
run, was defeated by a few votes. He was renominated 
in 1873, but was again defeated by a small majority. 

"At the close of the war, experience in the field hav- 
ing proved that active, out-door life was conducive to his 
health, he gave up his profession, and engaged in man- 
ufacturing with Harris & Company at Harrisville, but 
in the financial crash of 1873 they closed their mills, 
and the general retired from business. Recently he has 
been much in the South on more pacific errands than 
formerly. He has become engaged in extensive landed 
and railroad interests in Texas, a state vast enough to 
take in the Republic of France, with the New England 
states tucked in around the edges. The state is filling 
up rapidly and developing wonderfully, and there is 
courteous and hearty welcome for all who go thither 
seeking sincerely to cast in their lot with the growing 
state, to build up their homes, and to develop the 
resources of that vast territory. And so it seems that 
iron in one shape is to heal the mischief done by iron in 
another ; that T rail, engine shaft, and plow are to heal 
the disaster made by musket and bayonet. 



SIMON G. GRIFFIN. 265 

" The habits of study, so diligently cultivated by Gen- 
eral Griffin in youth and early manhood, have never 
fallen into abeyance. He has ever been faithful, dili- 
gent, and constant in several lines of study, such as His- 
tory, Political Economy, International Law, English and 
French Literature. In 1867, Dartmouth college con- 
ferred on him the honorar)'- degree of Master of Arts." 
He is often called upon to deliver orations and addresses. 
His efforts are marked by directness and strength, and 
evince orderly thought and thorough preparation. He 
speaks " not for mere speaking's sake, but for the sake 
of doing work." His address, delivered at Keene by 
the request of the city government, in memory of Presi- 
dent Garfield, was one of the few selected, from many 
similar productions, for preservation in the supplement 
of the volume of "Garfield's Speeches," the editor of 
which was an entire stranger to the author of the elo- 
quent tribute. 

Soon after the battle of Fredericksburg, the general 
returned to New Hampshire on a leave of absence, and 
was married to Miss Margaret R. Lamson, of Keene. 
To them two sons have been born. In his home, blessed 
with the comfort and refinement of competence and cult- 
ure, and graced with "a thoughtful and courteous hos- 
pitality," the honored citizen and soldier finds a happy, 
congenial retreat. 



CHAPTER XV- 

STILL MOVING BY THE LEFT FLANK— NORTH ANNA RIVER— 
TOLOPOTOMOY CREEK— BETHESDA CHURCH- 
COLD HARBOR. 

General Grant's second flank movement by the left 
commenced on the night of the 20th, but we did not start 
till late in the afternoon of the 21st. 1 We marched all 

1 General Grant's original plan was to commence the second flank 
movement on the night of the 19th of May, but General Lee had dis- 
turbed it by attacking, with Ewell's Corps, the Union right flank, 
which was left exposed by Hancock's withdrawal. This movement of 
the enemy had to be attended to, and was, Ewell being "whirled back 
speedily and with heavy loss." "On the 20th," says General Grant in 
his "Personal Memoirs," "orders were renewed for the flank move- 
ment to commence after night. . . . Our course was south, and 
we took all roads leading in that direction which would not separate 
the army too widely. Hancock, who had the lead, marched easterly 
to Guiney's station on the Fredericksburg Railroad, thence southerly to 
Bowling Green and Milford. He was at Milford by the night of the 21st. 
. . . Warren followed on the morning of the 21st, and reached 
Guiney's station that night without molestation. Burnside and Wright 
were retained at Spottsylvania to keep up the appearance of an intended 
assault, and to hold Lee, if possible, while Hancock and Warren should 
get start enough to interpose between him and Richmond. . . . 
The evening of the 21st, Burnside, Ninth Corps, moved out, followed 
by Wright, Sixth Corps. Burnside was to take the Telegraph road, 
but finding Stannard's ford over the Po fortified and guarded, he turned 
east to the road taken by Hancock and Warren. . . . There was a 
slight attack on Burnside's and Wright's corps as they moved out of their 
lines, but it was easily repulsed. . . . By the morning of the 2 2d, 
Burnside and Wright were at Guiney's station, . . . and Burnside 
was sent to New Bethel church. . . . Warren's Corps was moved 
[on the 23d] to Jericho ford, . . . and effected a crossing. . . . 



MOVING BY THE LEFT FLANK. lb*J 

night. Halting in the morning, we had our coffee, and 
rested in the pines till noon ; after which we moved on 

The line formed was almost perpendicular to the course of the river. 

. Lee was found intrenched along the front of their line. The 
whole of Hill's Corps was sent against Warren's right before it had got 
in position, . . . but . . . was driven back, . . . with 
heavy loss. . . . On the 23d, Hancock's Corps was moved to the 
wooden Chesterfield bridge, which spans the North Anna river just 
west of where the Fredericksburg Railroad crosses. . . . They 
found the bridge guarded with troops intrenched on the north side. 

. The bridge was carried quickly. . . . The hour was so> 
late that Hancock did not cross until next morning. . . . Burn- 
side's Corps was moved by a middle road, . . . which strikes the 
North Anna at Ox ford. . . . The hour of its arrival was too late 
to cross that night. On the 24th, Hancock's Corps crossed to the 
south side of the river, . . . and formed line facing nearly west. 
It was found, however, that Burnside could not cross at Ox ford. Lee 
had taken a position with his centre on the river at this point, with the 
two wings thrown back, his line making an acute angle where it over- 
looked the river. ... A third ford [Quarles's] was found between 
Ox ford and Jericho. Burnside was directed to cross a division over 
this ford, and send one division to Hancock. Crittenden [First Divi- 
sion] crossed by this newly discovered ford, and formed up the 
river with Crawford's left [of Warren's Corps] . Potter [Second Divi- 
sion] joined Hancock by way of the wooden bridge. Crittenden had a 
severe engagement with some of Hill's Corps on his crossing the river, 
and lost heavily. . . . Burnside, Willcox's Third Division, still 
guarded Ox ford from the north side." To the foregoing statements of 
General Grant it may be added that the Confederate army, on leaving 
Spottsylvania, took the Telegraph road, which was the direct route, 
while the Union army "had to swing round on the arc of a circle of 
which this was the chord." Lee, thus having "the inside track," 
reached the North Anna ahead of Grant, and, on the night of the 23d, 
lay on the south side of the river. The North Anna is a confluent of 
the Pamunkey, with a general south-east course. The position taken 
by the opposing armies was about twenty miles south-east of Spottsyl- 
vania, and some twenty-five miles north of Richmond. — Editor. 



268 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

to the vicinity of Falls church. 1 The next morning (the 
23d) we marched towards the North Anna river, and 
reached it in the afternoon. Our regiment, however, 
did not cross till the afternoon of the 24th, and then it 
did so at Chesterfield bridge. 2 We were in plain sight 
of the enemy as we crossed, and they amused themselves 
by sending shell down among us from a battery just 
above the bridge, where the river made a sharp curve 
to the right. We lay in support of the Fifty-sixth Mas- 
sachusetts, and took the shot and shell with as much 
grace as we could, since we were not in a position to 
reply to our tormentors. We held the same position on 
the 25th. 

On the 26th we were put in the front line. The 
enemy being disposed to be troublesome, General Potter, 
our division commander, decided to advance his line and 
give the "Johnnies" something to do. The advance 
was made in the afternoon under a hot fire, the rebels 
falling back to their heavy works. One incident, with a 
laughable side to it, comes in here. Captain Goodwin 
was, with others, lying on the ground under some pines, 
when a shot struck a limb of one of the trees a few rods 
in front, and, glancing downward, hit the captain just 
below the hip. Thereupon he cried out, "I am shot! 
I am shot ! " and took on as though he were nearly 
killed. Some of us caught hold of him, and proceed- 
ing to investigate, found no blood, but a black and blue 
spot as large as a cracker. On the ground where he 
was lying was found a ball, which, having been flattened 

1 Sometimes called Little Bethel church. 

2 Called "the wooden bridge 1 ' by General Grant. It was about a 
mile and a half to the left, or easterly, of Ox ford, where Burnside's 
Corps first reached the river. — Editor. 



NORTH ANNA RIVER. 269. 

by striking the dead limb of the tree, had hit him flat 
side down, not breaking the skin, but causing very 
severe pain. It was several days before he got over it, 
but he felt a little cheap to think he had made so much 
noise about it, though all felt certain that he had not 
exaggerated the painfulness of his hurt. 

Our losses were not heavy in numbers, but they 
included our lieutenant-colonel, Henry H. Pearson,, 
commanding the regiment, who fell about four o'clock 
in the afternoon, while looking through a field-glass at 
the enemy's works. Lieutenant Upton, who had been 
using the glass, remarked, "They are putting in a bat- 
tery over there." Colonel Pearson, stepping upon a 
stump so as to look over our works, had just put the 
glass to his eye, when a sharpshooter's bullet struck him 
very near the right temple, and passed through his head* 
He fell backwards, and was caught in the arms of the 
lieutenant and the writer, and laid upon the ground. The 
western sun had shone full in his face as he was taking 
that last look at the foe he had so bravely fought, and 
possibly the rays reflected by the glass had helped the 
marksman's aim. A stretcher was procured at once, and 
he was taken to the field hospital in the rear, but we all 
knew as soon as we saw the wound that he was beyond 
help, for the ball had passed directly through the brain. 
He never spoke, and was unconscious till he died at 
eight o'clock in the evening. It was a sad night for the 
Sixth Regiment, and we all felt that it would indeed be 
hard to find another to fill our lost commander's place. 
Major Bixby was quite overcome, and with misgivings 
succeeded as ranking officer to the command. He soon 
found accorded to himself the confidence and affection that 
had been so lavishly bestowed upon his predecessor. 



270 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

In describing the gallant demonstration of General 
Potter's Division at the North Anna, the historian of the 
Ninth Army Corps pays the following fit tribute to the 
memory of our lost commander: "In this operation, 
however, he [General Potter] had the misfortune to lose 
one of the best officers of his division, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Pearson, commanding the Sixth New Hampshire. This 
excellent soldier had manifested his bravery on many a 
well fought field, and was considered by all who knew 
him as one of the most promising among the volunteer 
officers in the army. General Potter spoke of him in 
terms of high commendation ; and to the officers and 
men of his own regiment he was greatly endeared. He 
had entered the service in the early days of the war, and 
won his way through the several grades of office by 
faithful service and distinguished gallantry. His manly 
and honorable qualities of character attracted the respect 
of his brother officers, and his bright and genial dispo- 
sition made him at all times a welcome and agreeable 
companion." 

The lamented lieutenant-colonel was especially dear 
to the boys of Company C, whom he had led to the war 
as captain, and they have never ceased to speak of him 
in words of love and praise. At ten o'clock of the night 
of the 26th, he was hastily buried by Captain Jones and 
Chaplain Dore, who consigned the remains, encased in 
a rude coffin, to a shallow grave on the easterly bank of 
the North Anna ; for as we were obliged to move that 
night, again by the left, towards Tolopotomoy creek and 
Cold Harbor, it was impossible to send his body to his 
friends. 1 

In this movement by the left, we recrossed, after ten 
1 See biographic sketch at end of chapter. 



NORTH ANNA RIVER. 27 1 

o'clock on the night of the 26th, 1 to the north side of the 
river, over the bridge strewed with leafy brush so that 

1 General Grant has said of the relative position of the opposing 
armies along the North Anna, and of the purpose he had formed in 
consequence, — " Our lines covered his [Lee's] front, with the six miles 
separating the two wings guarded by but a single division [Willcox's] . 
To get from one wing to the other the river would have to be crossed 
twice. Lee could reinforce any part of his line from all points of it in a 
very short march, or could concentrate the whole of it wherever he 
might choose to assault. We were, for the time, practically two armies 
besieging. . . . We could do nothing where we were, unless Lee 
would assume the offensive. I determined, therefore, to draw out of 
our present position and make one more effort to get between him and 
Richmond. I had no expectation now, however, of succeeding in this ; 
but I did expect to hold him far enough west to enable me to reach the 
James river high up.' 1 

To carry out his purpose, General Grant proceeded to turn again the 
enemy's right by crossing the Pamunkey — as the river formed by the 
confluence of the North Anna, the Little, and the South Anna is called — 
at or near Hanover Town, twenty miles north-east of Richmond. The 
base of supplies was changed from Port Royal on the Rappahannock, 
where it had been since the move to Spottsylvania, to White House on 
the Pamunkey. The delicate task of withdrawing his two wings to the 
left bank of the North Anna, in the face of the enemy, was skilfully done 
during the 25th and 26th, and the army then moved southward down 
along the river toward the destined place of crossing at Hanover Town. 
"Two roads," says General Grant, "were traversed by the troops in 
this move. The one nearest to and north of the North Anna and 
Pamunkey was taken by Wright, followed by Hancock. Warren, fol- 
lowed by Burnside, moved by a road farther north, and longer." The 
three divisions of Burnside's Corps, which had been separated during 
the stay on the North Anna, were now reunited. From considerations 
of convenience, however, in conducting the campaign, an order had 
been issued on the 25th, at General Burnside's suggestion, incorporat- 
ing the Ninth Corps — hitherto a distinct organization, or army— with ' 
the Army of the Potomac. By noon of the 28th all the army had 
crossed the Pamunkey except Burnside's Corps. This, having been 



272 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHTRE. 

the rebels might not hear. Marching till midnight, we 
reached the vicinity of Mt. Carmel church, where we 

"left on the north side temporarily to guard the large wagon train," 
crossed on the night of the 28th. 

Lee, finding on the morning of the 27th that Grant's army had 
entirely disappeared from his front, made haste, upon the inside track, 
to get position between his flanking foe and Richmond. On the 28th, 
Sheridan met and beat the rebel cavalry at Hawes's shop, north of Tolo- 
potomoy creek, an easterly flowing branch of the Pamunkey. A Union 
line had already been formed, extending south from the Pamunkey, and 
facing westward, with Wright's Corps on the right, Hancock's in the 
centre, and Warren's on the left. A reconnoissance and advance were 
made on the 29th, with Burnside's Corps in reserve. On the 30th the 
enemy was found strongly intrenched south of the Tolopotomoy, on a 
north-west, south-east line. The Union line was made to confront 
this from both sides of the creek, and Burnside's Corps, having been 
brought forward across the Tolopotomoy, was placed on the left of 
Hancock's. On the 31st, Grant, with some fighting, got his lines close 
up to those of the enemy, but he had concluded not to attempt to force 
directly Lee's strong position, but to turn it again on the right by way 
of Cold Harbor, cross the Chickahominy, and advance to the James 
river. "Cold Harbor," he says, "was important to us, because while 
there we both covered the roads back to White House (where our 
supplies came from) and the roads south-east over which we would 
have to pass to get to James river below the Richmond defences." 

Sheridan, on the 31st, took Cold Harbor, and at night Wright's 
Corps marched thither from the right, in rear of the rest of the army, 
to help hold it. The Eighteenth Corps (with the exception of one 
division) under command of General William F. Smith, sent up by 
General B. F. Butler from Bermuda Hundred on the James, arrived at 
Cold Harbor on the afternoon of June 1, and later on that day an 
assault was made by Wright and Smith upon the enemy, who had 
made a new disposition of forces and had intrenched at some distance 
west of Cold Harbor. The assault was well made, and resulted in 
carrying and holding the enemy's first line of works, but was attended 
with heavy Union loss. Among the participants in this gallant affair 
were the first and second brigades of Brooke's Division of the Eigh- 



TOLOPOTOMOY CREEK. 273 

halted and got a few hours' sleep. On the 27th we 
marched southward toward the crossing of the Pamunkey 
river at Hanover Town, and at ten o'clock on the night 
of the 28th our Second Division of the Ninth Corps 
crossed to the south-west side of the river. We spent 
the 29th in supporting the troops in front, building breast- 
works, relieving the front line, and doing picket duty at 
night. On the 30th our corps moved across Tolopotomoy 
creek, and sharp skirmishing occurred all along ; but 
we forced the rebels back, and on the 31st, pushing them 
again, got our own lines close up to their main line. On 
the latter day the regiment advanced with its brigade 
across a deep ravine, and drove the enemy from the 
heights beyond. From the 26th to the 31st we had three 
officers and thirteen men wounded. 

As the enemy's works seemed too strong to be carried 
by storm, General Grant proceeded to swing around 
again — this time to Cold Harbor — leaving our corps, on 
the night of June 1, on the extreme right. Early in the 
morning of the 2d we had orders to fall back as quietly 

teenth Corps, the former commanded by General Gilman Marston, of 
New Hampshire, and the latter (General Hiram Burnham's) containing 
the Tenth and Thirteenth New Hampshire regiments. 

Meanwhile attacks were made upon Hancock, Burnside, and War- 
ren — particularly heavy upon the last — but which were all repulsed, 
with disadvantage to the enemy. Further changes were made in the 
arrangement of the Union line. Hancock had by early morning of the 
2d moved from the extreme right to the extreme left. Burnside was 
then left on the extreme right, and the general order of position from 
right to left was Burnside, Warren, Smith, Wright, Hancock. Dur- 
ing the 2d, the line was compacted : Warren was moved to the left to 
connect with Smith, and Burnside to Bethesda church, in reserve. 
While Burnside and Warren were making these changes they were sev- 
eral times attacked. One of the attacks is described in the text. — Ed. 
18 



274 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

as possible and move to the left. We did so, expecting 
to find troops in our rear, but none were to be seen. 
They had all passed to the left during the night, leaving 
our brigade alone at the front without support. We 
moved on leisurely in the hot sun towards Bethesda 
church, and about noon came upon the rear of the mov- 
ing army. We rested an hour for hard-tack and coffee, 
and then advanced again till about 3 p. m., when we 
struck a large field having many peach and other fruit- 
trees. Several regiments or brigades, with batteries and 
ammunition wagons, were there before us. We had 
heard distant thunder for some time, and knew there was 
a smart shower coming. Just as we got into the field 
the shower struck us, and we could do nothing but stop 
and throw our shelter tents over our heads to keep our- 
selves as dry as possible. The men covered their rifles 
as best they could, knowing that they might need them 
at any moment. The rain came down in torrents for 
about ten minutes, and then it ceased, or only drizzled. 

Just then three rebel batteries opened upon us at a 
short distance to the right and rear, and two divisions of 
Longstreet's and Ewell's corps came down upon us like 
a hawk upon a chicken. We were not prepared to 
receive them, as we were in the field without any par- 
ticular formation, but the officers in command were equal 
to the occasion. They gave their orders in rapid suc- 
cession, and a more skilful movement of troops was never 
executed. They were all on the move at once, as if by 
magic — one regiment to the right, another to the left ; a 
battery this way, and a battery that. Two of our bat- 
teries were in position in a trice, hurling shot and shell 
into the advancing lines of gray. In less than five min- 
utes the field was cleared, and then we charged upon the 



BETHESDA CHURCH. 275 

enemy's lines, beating them back with heavy loss. It 
was a sharp struggle for half an hour or more, and the 
losses were heavy on both sides for so short an engage- 
ment. The Fifty-sixth and Fifty-eighth Massachusetts 
regiments lost heavily, as they were nearest the enemy 
when we were first struck. As darkness came on, the 
firing ceased ; and we lay on our arms that night ready 
to meet 'or to make an attack early in the morning. 

Before it was fairly light on the 3d of June, an advance 
was made upon the intrenched enemy. 1 It was met by a 

1 During the night of the 2d of June, Lee had "moved his left up to 
make his line correspond" to Grant's. The line extended from the 
Tolopotomoy to Cold Harbor ; Grant's, from Bethesda church to the 
Chickahominy, with a division of cavalry guarding the right. The order 
of position of the troops in the Union line, eight miles long, has been 
given in the preceding note. The order of. the Confederate line, be- 
ginning at the left, was Early's (Ewell's) Corps, Anderson's (Long- 
street's), A. P. Hill's, Breckenridge's command. "An assault," says 
General Grant, "was ordered for the 3d, to be made mainly by the 
corps of Hancock, Wright, and Smith ; but Warren and Burnside were 
to support it by threatening Lee's left, and to attack with great earnest- 
ness, if he should either reinforce more threatened points by drawing 
from that quarter, or if a favorable opportunity should present itself. 
. . . The move was to commence at half past four in the morning.'' 
Having spoken of the operations of Hancock, Wright, and Smith, by 
which advanced positions had been gained, but without effectual dis- 
lodgment of the enemy, General Grant continues, — "Warren and 
Burnside also advanced and gained ground, which brought the whole 
army on one line. This assault cost us heavily, and probably without 
benefit to compensate ; but the enemy was not cheered by the occur- 
rence sufficiently to induce him to take the offensive. . . . Fight- 
ing was substantially over by half-past seven in the morning. At 
eleven o'clock I started to visit all the corps commanders to see for 
myself the different positions gained, and to get their opinion of the 
practicability of doing anything more in their respective fronts." 

The result of the visit was an order issued to General Meade at half- 



276 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

sharp fire, both from batteries and musketry at short 
range, but our division pushed the rebels back through 
the woods and across a field, without being able, how- 
ever, to dislodge them from the woods beyond. Our 
regiment supported the Nineteenth New York Battery, 
which did some fine work, — dropping several shells into 
the enemy's battery, blowing up two caissons, dismount- 
ing guns, and inflicting other loss. Our brigade was on 
the extreme right of the line of our army, near Bethesda 
church, that right, however, being guarded by Wilson's 

past twelve, "that all offensive action should cease," but adding: 
"Hold our most advanced positions, and strengthen them. . . . 
To aid the expedition under General Hunter, it is necessary that we 
should detain all the army now with Lee until the former gets well on 
his way to Lynchburg. To do this effectually, it will be better to keep 
the enemy out of the intrenchments of Richmond than to have them go 
back there." 

In commenting on the battle of June 3, General Grant, with rare but 
characteristic candor, declares : "I have always regretted that the last 
assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. . . . No advantage what- 
ever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." Of 
the terrible carnage on the left, it has been said (Greeley's "American 
Conflict," Vol. II, p. 582), "Twenty minutes after the first shot was 
fired, fully 10,000 of our men were stretched writhing on the sod, or 
still and calm in death." The Confederate General Law, a participant 
in the bloody encounter, adds the following testimony ("Battles and 
Leaders of the Civil War," Vol. IV, p. 141) : "I had seen the dread- 
ful carnage in front of Marye's hill at Fredericksburg, and on the ' old 
railroad cut ' which Jackson's men held at the second Manassas, but I 
had seen nothing to exceed this. It was not war; it was murder." It 
should be added that the Fifth New Hampshire Regiment, just returned 
from the North, was among the foremost in the charge made by Bar- 
low, of Hancock's Corps ; and that the Tenth and Thirteenth New 
Hampshire regiments, and Marston's Brigade of Smith's Corps, re- 
peated, in the assault of this day, the gallant doing of the 1st of June. 

— Editor. 



COLD HARBOR. 277 

division of cavalry. Our regiment was near the right of 
the brigade, which, as it came up in support and held 
the right flank of the corps, faced to the rear in the direc- 
tion by which it had come the day before. 

The Ninth Corps had not been able to get into position 
to advance upon the enemy quite simultaneously with 
the troops on the Union left, where the main blow was to 
be delivered, and where a gallant assault was made in 
early morning in front of the Second, Sixth, and Eigh- 
teenth corps, speedily resulting in bloody failure. 1 
Shortly afterward, however, the Second and Third 
divisions of our Ninth Corps (the first being held in 
reserve) had attacked the rebel left, as just mentioned. 

About 7 o'clock in the morning, skirmishers were 
deployed, and we all advanced across the field into the 
woods beyond, the enemy falling back. About 3 p. m., 
we advanced again, passing over a little rise in plain 
sight of the rebels, into a road where we lay for the 
remainder of the day within thirty rods of their lines, 
and under an incessant and furious fire, to which our 
boys were not slow in replying. It had been intended 
that we should charge across the field in front and 
assault the strong works, but the desperate intention was 
abandoned, for which we felt thankful. 2 It had been a 
fight at short range. The loss of the regiment in this 
battle of Cold Harbor was four enlisted men killed, and 
three officers and twenty-two men wounded. Other reg- 
iments in our division lost several hundred ; the whole 

1 See preceding note. 

2 " The opinion of corps commanders not being sanguine of success 
in case an assault is ordered, you may direct a suspension of further 
advance for the present." — General Grant's order to General Meade, 
June 3, 12 130 P. m. 



278 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

corps, more than one thousand. Our regiment being in 
a comparatively protected position was able to pour in an 
effective fire with less loss than that of some other regi- 
ments more exposed. 

The rebels having ceased firing soon after dark, it 
was thought they had retreated, so at daybreak of the 4th 
we advanced across the field and found their works 
deserted, 1 while all appearances denoted that their losses 
had been quite as heavy as ours. We counted thirty 
dead horses belonging to the batteries and officers and 
staff. They must have been killed in the morning attack, 
which did not allow time to take them to the rear. On 
that afternoon, we moved again by the left to Cold Har- 
bor, 2 and joined our left to the Eighteenth Corps. We 
were brought up within easy rifle shot of the enemy, and 
part of us went to digging and throwing up works, while 
others kept an eye on the rebels, and gave them shot for 
shot. Soon after dark one half of the regiment was 
ordered to advance over our works about ten rods, to 
act as outer pickets for preventing a surprise in the night. 
Being within easy musket range of the enemy, we could 
not show our heads without receiving a warning note 
from the "Johnnies" in the shape of a Minie - ball, and 
every few minutes they would send over some of their 
twelve and twenty-four pound shells to remind us that 
they were there, and had the tools to work with. 

1 ' ' During the night the enemy quitted our right front, abandoning 
some of their wounded, and without burying their dead." — Gen- 
eral Grant's "Personal Memoirs," Vol. II, p. 273. 

2 General Grant had directed that "whilst on the defensive" the 
Union line might "be contracted from the right." In the ensuing con- 
traction, Burnside's Corps was brought down three or four miles, from 
Bethesda Church to Cold Harbor. — Editor. 



COLD HARBOR. 279 

The next day (the 5th) about 9 A. m., we saw, across 
the field at our right, a large number of men dodging 
around in the woods. Some said they were "Johnnies " 
getting ready to attack us, while others remarked that 
they "had on blue uniforms." We raised a flag, and 
when they saw it, they came out into the field and over 
to our lines. They proved to be Fifth Corps pickets, 
who had been left on the front line the night before, 
while the main body moved away to the left and rear of 
us without notifying them. Accordingly when daylight 
came, and they had waited a long time to be relieved, 
they sent back one of their number to see what the mat- 
ter was. Only a veteran can imagine the feelings of 
those picket guards when their messenger returned to 
say that the corps had moved, he knew not whither. 
Giving the enemy a few parting shots, they quietly fell 
back, and marched to the left, hoping to overtake their 
corps. When they came in sight of our brigade, they 
did not know whether we were friends or enemies, till 
they saw the "old flag " which we held up. They were 
between our lines and those of the enemy, and would 
soon have been captured had we not discovered them 
and called them in, for the rebels were following them 
up, and succeeded in shooting some of them before they 
reached our lines. They said some very hard things 
about their commanders for leaving them out on the 
picket line and not notifying them that the corps was 
going to withdraw during the night, — and it was about as 
mean a trick as could have been played on them. There 
was no excuse for it, for the pickets would have remained 
at their post as long as they were ordered to do so, and 
there was no need of their remaining after daylight. 

Rebel sharpshooters occupied a house in our imme- 



280 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

diate front, and gave us a great deal of trouble. We 
could not show our heads without being shot at. The 
second day we lay there, Major J. St. Clair Morton, 
chief engineer of the Ninth Corps, came to our lines to 
make a survey of the works. He had a compass and 
other instruments in his hands. The writer said to him, 
"Major, keep your head down, or you will get hit." 
With a disdainful look, he muttered something about 
knowing his business, and placed his compass on the 
breastworks to get their line. Hiram Drowns remarked, 
"That fool will get killed." Just then a Minie ball came 
over " zip," and striking a little pine bush beside which 
the engineer was standing, threw the bark into his face. 
At this, he jumped, and hastily gathering up his kit, 
stepped to the rear, with another shot whizzing after him 
which made him duck his head, while the boys were all 
laughing to see him " get out" so quick. Sometimes 
those staff-officers who came up to the front line, with so 
wise a look of " we-know-it-all," and who did not like to 
have any one caution them, incurred for their arrogance 
a heavier penalty than ridicule. This same Major Mor- 
ton was killed in front of Petersburg, while unneces- 
sarily exposing himself to the enemy. He was brave 
enough, but lacked proper discretion. 

On the 6th we were ordered from the front, and went 
to the rear, or second line of works, where we had a little 
rest. We were in an open field, skirted by woods on 
the north and west. As we lay there in the shade, on 
the afternoon of the 7th, the enemy came around to the 
right of our front line in strong force with several bat- 
teries, and all of a sudden opened upon us a furious fire. 
The shots came from both the front and the right. The 
men fell into line without orders, ready to move to the 



COLD HARBOR. 28 1 

front at the word. Such a movement, however, did not 
become necessary. Here a singular and amusing inci- 
dent occurred, which many of the veterans will remem- 
ber. As Lieutenant-Colonel Bixby and the writer were 
standing side by side, with back to the enemy on our 
right, and a few feet in rear of the regiment, talking 
about the fusilade, the former turned suddenly to the right 
and moved back his right foot, when, a moment later 
a twelve-pound shot struck the ground where his foot had 
been a moment before, throwing the dirt all over the two 
men. Passing on a few rods farther, it struck the ground 
again, and again ricochetted. It happened that a colored 
cook of our brigade, having two camp kettles in his 
hands, was running in the same direction the shot was 
going, and in a bee line with it. He was hurrying for 
dear life, as the shots were coming from all directions. 
After the ball had struck the ground the third time and 
bounded into the air, it hit the cook plump on the back 
of the head, knocking him over and sending the camp 
kettles flying several feet ahead of him. The boys 
shouted, " There 's a dead nigger !" for it all happened 
in full sight of our brigade. But to the surprise of the 
lookers-on, he got up as quickly as he had gone down, 
and ran like a deer across the field towards a house 
where General Potter had his head-quarters. Such a 
shout as went up from the boys was never heard before 
on that line. Hiram Pool remarked, "Who says a dar- 
key's head can't stop a solid shot ! " The cook would 
doubtless have been killed outright, but for the fact that 
he was going almost as fast and in the same direction as 
the shot, which had lost the greater part of its force and 
velocity by striking the ground three or four times. As 
it was, it would probably have killed a white man on the 



282 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

spot, and it can readily be believed that the colored one 
had a headache the rest of the day. When, subsequently, 
the writer was in Libby prison, he heard a New Hampshire 
soldier relate the same incident, but the boys shook their 
heads, and said they could not take such a big dose as 
that. When, however, several others came forward and 
declared that they saw it all, the doubters had to give in 
and accept it as the truth. 

We remained at Cold Harbor till the evening of the 
1 2th of June, being under a pretty constant fire, and 
engaged in picket duty and sharpshooting. Our losses, 
from the 4th to the 12th, comprised Lieutenant J. M. 
Shepard killed, Captain S. G. Goodwin and Lieutenant 
Orange B. Otis wounded, and about forty enlisted men 
killed and wounded. 1 

1 The Union losses, after Spottsylvania, are given as follows : At 
North Anna and Tolopotomoy — killed,59i ; wounded, 2,734; captured 
or missing, 661 — total, 3,986. At Bethesda Church and Cold Harbor 
— killed, 1,844; wounded, 9,077; captured or missing, 1,8 1 6 — total, 
12,737. The aggregate of Union losses, from May 5 to June 15, or 
from the Wilderness to the James, reckoning two expeditions of Sher- 
idan, was, — 7,620 killed; 38,342 wounded; 8,967 captured or missing; 
making the total of 54,929. The above figures do not include the 
losses of Butler's army on the James during the same period, which 
were 634 killed, 3,903 wounded, and 1,678 captured or missing; mak- 
ing a total of 6,215. During the " campaign of six weeks' nearly con- 
stant fighting or skirmishing," as General Grant has characterized it, 
and which he had opened with about 118,000 men, he had received 
about 40,000 reinforcements, so that his army, although diminished, 
not only by the losses already specified, but by expiring enlistments 
and by half of the artillery sent back to Washington, numbered 1 15,000 
at the crossing of the James on the 14th and 15th of June. — Editor. 




LIEITENANT-COLONEL HENRY H. PEARSON. 



HENRY H. PEARSON. 283 

Dodging- the Big Ones. A soldier writes, — "Once, 
when our regiment was going into battle, and the boys 
were somewhat inclined to dodge, as the shot and shell 
flew thick and fast over their heads, Colonel Pearson said, 
' Never mind them, boys ; they are nothing but humming 
birds.' But pretty soon a shell came screeching right 
over the colonel's head, and he dodged — a thing he did 
not often do. ' Well, boys,' said he, ' I guess you had 
better dodge the big ones.' " 

All Ready to Go. At Bethesda Church, General 
Griffin, in command of the brigade, came to his old regi- 
ment for two companies to form a skirmish line. Almost 
every man in the regiment stepped forward, and he had 
to pick his men himself. He did so, saying, " I will not 
ask you to go any farther than I will go with you." 
The men selected went cheerfully to their dangerous 
duty, and the general was true to his word. 



HENRY H. PEARSON. 

(by the editor.) 

Lieutenant-Colonel Henry H. Pearson was born on 
the 26th of February, 1840, on a farm ten miles from 
Waukegan, Illinois. His father was a pioneer in the 
West, having removed from Haverhill, New Hampshire, 
and settled in Lake county, Illinois, in the year 1834, 
when there was but one other white man nearer than the 
occupants of the then small village of Chicago, some 
forty miles distant. Henry's early educational advan- 



284 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

tages were limited to those of a log school-house, but in 
the year 1854 ^ s father removed to Bloomington, Illi- 
nois, where his son had better school advantages. 
Henry worked hard during the day, and studied dili- 
gently at night, saving every dollar for books and educa- 
tion. At eighteen he had a good library of useful books, 
and money enough to begin a three years course of study 
at Phillips academy, Exeter, which he entered in i860. 

When the Rebellion came in the spring of 1861, 
though there was no military organization which he 
could conveniently join, yet so eager was he to meet the 
enemies of his country and to help defend its imperilled 
capital, that on hearing of the assault made upon the 
Sixth Massachusetts Regiment in Baltimore on the 19th 
of April, he at once left the academy, where he had 
already distinguished himself as a bright student and a 
manly man, and started for the front. Arriving in Balti- 
more, he found railroad communication with Washington 
cut off, whereupon he set out on foot for the capital. At 
Annapolis Junction he found a train just arrived with 
Rhode Island troops, under command of Colonel, after- 
wards General, Burnside. He attempted to get aboard 
the train, but was ordered off by Colonel Burnside. 
Pearson, being in citizen's dress, might be, for aught 
Burnside then knew of him, a spy or a tramp, so he was 
obliged to resume his walk, which he continued all the 
way to Washington. 

Having arrived there, he met in the street a member 
of Company C — the Lowell Phalanx — commanded by 
Captain Follansby, and belonging to the Sixth Massa- 
chusetts Regiment. In accordance with his desire to vol- 
unteer at once his services as a soldier, he was escorted 
to the senate chamber in the capitol, where he enlisted, 



HENRY H. PEARSON. 285 

so that when the Massachusetts Sixth was, on the 22d of 
April, mustered into the service of the United States for 
three months, Pearson was one of its most zealous mem- 
bers. He served his term in that regiment, devoting his 
whole time to drill, guard duty, and the study of tactics. 

Captain J. N. Jones, subsequently of the Sixth New 
Hampshire, who served with Pearson at that time, 
writes, — " Encamped at the Relay House, Maryland, we 
did not know at what time, either day or night, we might 
be attacked, and we were always obliged to sleep with 
equipments on, and scarcely a night passed without an 
alarm of some kind to call us up. One night Pearson 
was in the detail for picket guard, and during the post- 
ing he heard the corporal say to a man who was about 
to be put upon a post, ' This is a very dangerous place.' 
Instantly Pearson sprang forward from his place in the 
ranks, saying, ' Put me in the dangerous place.' No 
objection being made, he was put where he hoped he 
might meet an enemy of the country he loved so well. 
The incident was related in camp the next day, and he 
was ever afterwards called by the men of his company, 
' Dangerous Place.' While the battle of Bull Run was 
going on, and we were not permitted to participate in it, 
he was like a chained tiger, so anxious was he to be in 
the fray. The regiment's time expired the next day 
after the battle, but in the prevalent demoralization 
around Washington, we were asked to volunteer to stay 
until the government could relieve us. When, however, 
a few men in the regiment voted to go home, Pearson's 
indignation knew no bounds. He would have whipped 
them all on the spot if he had been permitted to do so." 

Returning to New Hampshire, Pearson raised a com- 
pany of volunteers in the autumn of 1861, in doing which 



286 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

he effectively addressed war-meetings, appointed by him- 
self, in the vicinity of Exeter. It is recorded of him that 
he was ' ' at the same time reading the best histories he 
could obtain of the campaigns of Napoleon, and making 
plans of his great battles. He was most delighted with 
the movements on the field of Waterloo, and drew dia- 
grams of them. The war reports of McClellan, Morde- 
cai, and Delafield were read by him with great interest, 
and digested and remembered." Commissioned as cap- 
tain, he led his enlisted volunteers to Keene on the 22d 
of November, 1861, where they took their place as Com- 
pany C of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment. Before 
leaving the state, Captain Pearson was presented by the 
people of Exeter with a sword and other testimonials of 
high esteem. 

Thenceforward, rising by well earned promotion from 
the grade of captain to that of lieutenant-colonel, he 
shared the fortunes of his regiment, and was in every 
battle in which it was engaged, until his death. Promi- 
nent facts of his brilliant career, which found its untimely 
end on the 26th of May, 1864, have already been 
recorded in their proper place in this history. The fol- 
lowing description of the young hero's burial on the 
bank of the North Anna, given by his intimate friend, 
Captain J. N.Jones; will fitly end this biographic sketch : 
" When Lieutenant-Colonel Pearson was shot, I was 
ordered by Major Bixby to go to the rear and* see if 
means could not be found for transporting the body to 
Washington, whence it might be sent home to his friends. 
Finding no such means, I was obliged to order the men, 
who brought the body to the rear, to dig a grave. A 
box, taken from the out-buildings of an abandoned resi- 
dence, was made a rude coffin. The grave was dug just 



HENRY H. PEARSON. 287 

deep enough to admit the box, and, as it was raining and 
the rear of the army had just passed us in changing its 
base, I ordered the men to hurry away and join the 
regiment. The chaplain and myself, who had horses, 
remained and covered the grave. Putting up a piece of 
a hard-bread box as a head-board, with the dead hero's 
name and that of his regiment inscribed thereon, we ' left 
him alone in his glory.' I am satisfied that from the 
outset he did not expect to survive the campaign, nor is 
it probable that he would have done so, for his daring 
spirit would have made him a target a hundred times 
during the siege of Petersburg." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

ACROSS THE CHICKAHOMINY AND THE JAMES— THREE 
DAYS' FIGHTING BEFORE PETERSBURG.; 

About dark on the evening of Sunday, the 12th of 
June, we received orders to be ready to move at any 
moment eastward toward White House Landing. There 
was to be another grand flank movement — this time 
across the James River to the front of Petersburg ; but 
we did not know it then. Our regiment, with others, 
was ordered to furnish details for the outer picket, which 
was to hold the front line while the rest of the troops 
retired to the left. It was not a pleasant position to be 
left in ; for if the enemy should discern that the army 
had gone, it was sure death or prison for the pickets. 
Colonel Bixby summoned Captain Thomas J. Carlton, 
and asked him if he wanted to go to Richmond. The 
captain said, ' ' I have been trying to get there for a long 
while, and I don't know but that I would as soon go to- 
night as any other time." The colonel then informed 
him that our regiment must furnish an officer and thirty 
men for outer pickets to keep the enemy busy while the 
rest of the brigade retired to the left, and that he had 
been detailed for that duty. He instructed him that he 
must not fall back till after midnight : but that then he 
might retreat, and overtake the rest of the army if pos- 
sible ; should, however, the rebels advance, he must 
fight them the best he could. Carlton remarked that he 
guessed he should go to Richmond fast enough, but he 



ACROSS THE CHICKAHOMINY AND THE JAMES. 289 

would willingly stay, if he could have good men for the 
picket. The detail was made, and at about eight o'clock 
went out on the front line and relieved the guards. The 
main body of the regiment, brigade, and corps, holding 
the extreme right, retired in a south-easterly direction, 
and after marching all night the distance of eighteen 
miles, reached Tunstall's station on the Richmond & 
York River Railroad, at six o'clock in the morning of 
the 13th. Through some mistake the army trains were 
blocking the way of the marching columns, causing a 
delay, which the men improved by taking a little needed 
rest along the roadside. 

While we were thus resting, Captain Carlton's squad 
of guards, tired and dusty, came up the road through 
the hot sand, and their plucky commander reported to 
Colonel Bixby, cheerily saying, " I changed my mind, 
concluding not to go to Richmond this morning, and so 
gave the 'Johnnies' the slip." As soon as the way was 
cleared, the corps again moved, and, marching by way 
of Baltimore Cross Roads and Olive Church, gained a 
point three fourths of a mile from Jones's crossing on the 
Chickahominy, at about night-fall. As the Sixth Corps 
was then crossing the river by a pontoon bridge, our 
corps went into bivouac for the night. At an early 
hour the next morning (June 14) we crossed the Chicka- 
hominy, and, marching by way of Varden's, Clopton's, 
and Tyler's mills, reached the James river in the even- 
ing, taking position on the right of the Sixth Corps. De- 
layed by the non-arrival of pontoons, we remained there 
till the evening of the 15th, when we crossed the James 
above Fort Powhatan. We immediately pushed on 
toward Petersburg, marching till late at night, with 
the intent of cooperating with Generals Smith and Han- 
19 



290 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

cock. 1 Our march was unmolested by the enemy. 
General Willcox's Division led the column, and ours 

lAfter the assault at Cold Harbor on the 3d of June, General Grant 
proceeded to make preparations to carry his army south of the James. 
In a letter to General Halleck, written on the 5th, he said, — " My idea 
from the start has been to beat Lee's army, if possible, north of Rich- 
mond ; then, after destroying his lines of communication on the north 
side of the James river, to transfer the army to the south side, and 
besiege Lee in Richmond, or follow him south if he should retreat." 
Accordingly, having found that the enemy would persist in acting 
" purely on the defensive behind breastworks," and that all that was 
designed could not be accomplished without too great "a sacrifice of 
human life," Grant had held, substantially, his position, and on the 7th 
had sent Sheridan west to destroy twenty-five or thirty miles of the 
Virginia Central Railroad, so that when the army was once on the south 
side of the James the enemy might be cut off from all supplies, save 
those furnished by way of the James river canal, which, it was hoped, 
might also be destroyed. On the 7th he also ordered the iron of the 
York River Railroad, connecting Richmond with White House, to be 
taken up and put on boats in readiness to be moved by water to City 
Point on the James, which was to be the future base of supplies. By 
the evening of the 12th the arrangements were perfected for the 
"hazardous move 1 ' of withdrawing the army, and transferring it more 
than fifty miles, across two rivers, and from the face and by the flank 
of an enemy close at hand. The move was made, and some of its par- 
ticulars are described in the text. Smith's Corps (the 18th) marched 
to White House, where, unincumbered by wagons or artillery, it took 
boats for City Point. On the evening of the 12th, some of Wilson's 
cavalry got over the Chickahominy at Long bridge — the highest point 
practicable for crossing — and laid a pontoon, by which the vfhole of 
Warren's Corps had crossed by the morning of the 13th, and " marched 
out to hold, with the cavalry, the roads from Richmond while the army 
passed." Hancock followed Warren over Long bridge, and, by the 
evening of the 13th, was at Charles City Court House on the James. 
A pontoon having been laid, he crossed at Wilcox's landing on the 
night of the 14th, "using both the bridge and the boats." The next 
day (the 15 th) Hancock was on his way to Petersburg to join Smith, 



FIGHTING BEFORE PETERSBURG. 291 

(General Potter's) brought up the rear. Before one 
o'clock in the afternoon of the 16th, the whole corps had 
arrived at the Union lines before Petersburg, and at that 
hour was placed in position upon the extreme left. An 
attack was made at six o'clock, by General Barlow's 
Division of the Second Corps, in which our brigade, 
reporting to General Barlow, participated. Night came 
amid severe skirmishing, and the attack did not accom- 
plish much. General Griffin's Brigade, however, suc- 
ceeded in securing a few rifle-pits. In this affair our 
regiment suffered but little loss. 

During the night of the 16th, orders were issued to 
assault the enemy's defences again at an early hour 
the next morning. " General Potter's division," says the 
historian of the Ninth Army Corps, "was selected for the 

who, having arrived before, had been dispatched on a movement 
against that place. Burnside and Wright, having taken a route farther 
east and longer, crossed the Chickahominy at Jones's bridge, below 
Long, in course of the night of the 13th and the morning of the 14th, 
and passing on — as described in the text — reached the James: This 
they got over on the evening of the 15th, at a point below where Han- 
cock had crossed, and proceeded at once towards Petersburg. General 
Ferrero's Division of colored troops (the 4th of Burnside's Corps) 
' ' moved with the wagon train, farther east by Window Shades and 
Cole's ferry," and safely reached its destination in due time. The 
withdrawal of the army on the night of the 12th completely outwitted 
the enemy. For at least an hour after the departure of the Ninth Corps, 
the rebels continued to expend shot and shell upon its vacant earth- 
works. Lee was. for several days, completely mystified by Grant's 
movement, and could not be made to believe, until the 18th — as Gen- 
eral Beauregard testifies — that the army of the Potomac was really 
across the James, though the Union troops had been assaulting the 
defences of Petersburg three days. Up to that time he was fully im- 
pressed with the idea that Grant would still attack Richmond from the 
north-east. — Editor. 



292 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

assaulting column. General Ledlie 1 was to support the 
attack with the First Division. To General Griffin's 
Brigade was assigned the post of honor and danger, 
and to General Griffin himself was given the duty of 
planning and executing the immediate attack ; Colonel 
Curtin's Brigade was to support. General Griffin 
arranged the movement with great daring and skill. 
Under cover of the night he led his troops over difficult 
ground and through slashed timber to a ravine within a 
hundred yards of the enemy's position, and there formed 
his column of attack — his own brigade in two lines, the 
17th Vermont, nth New Hampshire, and 32d Maine in 
front, and the 6th and 9th New Hampshire, 31st Maine, 
and 2d Maryland in support. Colonel Curtin formed his 
brigade with the 45th and 48th Pennsylvania and 36th 
Massachusetts in front, supported by the 7th Rhode 
Island, 2d New York Rifles, and 58th Massachusetts. 
The enemy occupied an estate at the head of the ravine 
belonging to a Mr. Shand, with head-quarters in the 
house, and his artillery commanding the approaches. 
So near were the enemy's lines that only in whispers 
could the necessary orders be communicated. General 
Griffin enjoined the strictest silence upon his men, and 
ordered them, when advancing, not to fire a shot, but to 
depend on the bayonet for clearing the works. Even the 
canteens were placed inside the haversacks to prevent 
their rattling. 

"At the first blush of the morning, the word ' Forward !' 
was passed quietly along the column. The men sprang 
to their feet, and noiselessly, rapidly, vigorously, moved 

1 Soon after the final battle of Cold Harbor, General Crittenden was 
at his own request relieved from the command of the First Division of 
Burnside's Corps, and General Ledlie became his successor. — Editor. 



FIGHTING BEFORE PETERSBURG. 293 

upon the enemy — Griffin to the right, Curtin to the left. 
They burst upon him with the fury of a tornado. They 
took him completely by surprise. They swept his 
lines for a mile, gathering up arms, flags, cannon, and 
prisoners all along their victorious pathway. A stand of 
colors, four pieces of artillery with their caissons and 
horses, fifteen hundred stands of small arms, a quantity 
of ammunition, and about one thousand prisoners, were 
the fruits of this splendid charge. A wide breach was 
made in the enemy's lines, and it seemed as though the 
defences of Petersburg were within our grasp. But the 
energetic movement of General Griffin was not followed 
up. Colonel Curtin had most gallantly done his part, 
and General Potter was promptly on the ground to direct 
the assault. But where were the supports? General 
Ledlie was not at hand with his division. Fallen timber 
and other obstructions lay across the way, and the men, 
stumbling over them in the darkness, made but slow 
progress. When the junction was finally made, it was 
too late to do any more than to secure the advantage al- 
ready gained. Had the supporting division been present 
at that time, a very brilliant and decisive victory would 
undoubtedly have been the result. As it was, General 
Potter could only maintain his position, pushing up his 
pickets and skirmishers close to the new line upon which 
the enemy had retired."' It may be added that General 
Griffin was doubtless right in his opinion, when he re- 
ported that if the attacking force were doubled, we could 
go into Petersburg; for it was afterwards proved that 
the enemy had but a small force there on the morning of 
the 17th of June. 

Early in the afternoon, General Hartranft's Brigade of 
Willcox's Division made a vigorous attack, and its left 



294 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

reached the enemy's main line of rifle-pits. But be- 
coming exposed, by mischance of movement, to a wither- 
ing fire of musketry and artillery, the brigade was losing 
so heavily that it had to be withdrawn. Colonel Christ's 
Brigade gained a point midway between its first position 
and that of the enemy, and held it. General Ledlie 
attacked with the First Division, taking a few prisoners 
and* carrying a number of rifle-pits. Late at night, how- 
ever, the enemy pressed so hard upon the division, 
whose ammunition had been spent, that it was compelled 
to retire from the line it had gallantly carried, to its 
former position. The Ninth Corps, assisted by the 
Second and Fifth, did fierce and bloody fighting on the 
17th, with a loss of four thousand men ; and the Sec- 
ond Division of the Ninth won and held the foremost 
position in the Union lines before Petersburg. 1 

A general assault had been ordered to be made at 
four o'clock in the morning of the 18th ; but during the 
night the rebels fell back about a mile to a new line 
previously selected, where they proceeded to intrench 
themselves. When our skirmish line moved up to the 
works which had been carried and lost before, and now 
found them deserted, new combinations, made necessary 
by the change of the rebel position, deferred the general 
assault till afternoon. In the morning, Captain Jones 
of our regiment, as brigade officer of the day, was 
ordered to advance the pickets, and in doing so, found 
that the rebels had left their works. Making a connec- 

1 ' ' The fighting was very severe, and the losses heavy ; and at night 
our troops occupied about the same position they had occupied in the 
morning, except that they held a redan which had been captured by 
Potter during the day." — Gen. Grant's "Personal Memoirs," Vol. II, 
p. 296. 



FIGHTING BEFORE PETERSBURG. 295 

tion of his hundred men with the skirmishers of the Fifth 
Corps, he advanced to within sixty rods of the enemy's 
new rifle-pits, and in a severe skirmish lost two killed 
and ten wounded. At ten o'clock a. m. he was ordered 
to fall back. 1 General Willcox was successful in the 
morning in pushing the enemy back along the Norfolk 
& Petersburg Railroad, with its deep cut and ravine. 
But the grand attack made in the afternoon on the right 
by the Second Corps assisted by the Ninth, and on 
the left by the Fifth — though gallant, was unsuccessful. 
Willcox, however, helped by Curtin's Brigade, followed 
up — but with heavy loss — the advantage of the morning, 
and extended his line across the railroad to ' ' within one 
hundred twenty-five yards of the enemy's salient work," 
afterwards known as the "Mine." The position thus 
gained became the salient of our own lines during the 
ensuing siege. Thus, in the operations of the 18th of 
June, the Ninth Corps, under the immediate direction of 
General Parke, not only took a prominent part, but won 
what success was won ; and General Burnside declared 
in his report, — "No better fighting has been done dur- 
ing the war than was done by the divisions of Generals 
Potter and Willcox during this attack." That night 
General Potter's Division made connection with the Sec- 
ond Corps on the right and the Fifth on the left, and 
held the advance as an intrenched skirmish line. Within 
a few days the line in the immediate rear of the railroad 
was intrenched, and strengthened with traverses, abatis, 
and covered ways. Subsequently two or three field- 
works were constructed and equipped. The skirmish 
line itself was, in the course of a week or two, so firmly 
strengthened and so well manned as to become in 
1 See Captain Jones's account of the affair at end of chapter. 



296 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

effect a part of the main line. Direct attacks upon the 
enemy's intrenched position ceased with that of June 
18th, and the siege of Petersburg was begun. 1 

1 When General Smith was sent to Petersburg on the 15th of June, 
Grant believed that the place could be easily taken, — as, indeed, he 
always afterward believed it might have been, — it having only ' ' about 
2500 men in the defences, besides some irregular troops consisting of 
citizens and employes in the city who took up arms in case of emer- 
gency." Petersburg, on the south side of the Appomattox, an easterly 
flowing affluent of the James, though twenty-two miles south of Rich- 
mond, was the key to the rebel capital, commanding, as it did, its 
southern and western communications. Its line of defences forme'd a 
semicircle of about eight miles, resting upon the Appomattox at each 
extremity. "The enemy's line," says General Grant, "consisted of 
redans occupying commanding positions, with rifle-pits connecting 
them. To the east side of Petersburg from the Appomattox back, 
there were thirteen of these redans, extending a distance of several 
miles, probably three." On the 15th of June, these were thinly 
manned, — " one man to four and a half yards," as says General Beau- 
regard, then in command south of Richmond. General Smith assaulted 
on the evening of that day with the colored troops of his corps, and 
took five of the redans with their rifle-pits and artillery. ' ' Strange to 
say," remarks General Beauregard (see "Battles and Leaders of the 
Civil War," Vol. IV, p. 541), "General Smith contented himself with 
breaking into our lines, and attempted nothing further that night. 
Petersburg, at that hour, was clearly at the mercy of the Federal com- 
mander, who had all but captured it, and only failed of final success 
because he could not realize the fact of the unparalleled disparity 
between the contending forces." At this time the troops needed to 
man the works were away to the north and east of Richmond with 
Lee, who was expecting an attack from Grant north of the James ; and 
there most of the rebel army was held till the 17th and 18th, Lee being 
incredulous of the fact that the Army of the Potomac was across the 
James and seriously threatening Petersburg, notwithstanding Beau- 
regard's repeated assurances and his urgent calls for reinforcements. 
It was General Grant's intention that the Second Corps should be at 
Petersburg early on the 15th; but by some mistake his order to that 



INCIDENTS. 297 

3ni\btnt*— (giograp$ic $Uti§. 

ADVANCING THE PICKETS. 

BY CAPT. J. N. JONES. 

We struck the outer works of Petersburg, June 16th. 
On the 17th the battery was taken, and we lay all day 
in that line where the battery was. Just in front of our 
line was a growth of pine woods. I was brigade officer 
of the day, and had command of about one hundred men 
from the eight regiments in the brigade, who were 
posted fifty or sixty yards in front of the main line. 
About daylight of the 18th, I was making my way 
along the picket line, and, following a ravine which ran 
diagonally with it, I went through the line, and suddenly 
found myself about fifty yards in front of it. As I was 
between the lines, and it was not light enough for our 
men to see who or what I was, they thought I was a 
" Reb," and one was about to shoot, when his compan- 
ion stopped him with the remark, " Let him come in." 
It was an interesting walk for me back to the line, 
expecting every moment to be fired upon by the rebels, 

effect did not reach Hancock, and the first intimation the latter had of 
what was wanted of him was given in a note received later in the day 
from General Smith, asking him to "come on." Hastening to comply, 
Hancock came up at evening, and, having proposed "to take any part 
assigned him,'' was requested by Smith "to relieve his men who were 
in the trenches." Thus the nick of time for taking Petersburg easily 
had been missed — a miss entailing the three days' fight described in 
the text and the long ensuing siege. 

An official report makes the Union loss, from the 15th to the 18th 
of June, inclusive, 10,586 men, — of whom 1,298 were killed, 7,474 
wounded, and 1,814 missing. — Editor. 



298 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

if not by our own men ; for these, I knew, could not 
make me out until I came very close to them. 

But the main intention of the present writing is to 
relate what happened subsequently on that day. About 
seven o'clock I went back to the main line to get a 
little coffee and. hard-tack. General Griffin was close 
by me, when General Potter rode up and spoke to him. 
General Griffin called to me, and, when I had gone up 
to where they both were, he said, — " Captain Jones, you 
advance the picket line : we think the enemy has left 
the woods in our front." I immediately went to the 
picket-line, and, walking the whole length of it, told the 
officers and men that we were about to advance, and 
impressed it upon them to keep in line. We moved for- 
ward into the woods and then through them, without 
seeing any foe. Having halted and taken a survey, we 
went to the edge of an oat-field, partially covered by 
rising ground, and from there we could see, at a little 
distance in front, burning buildings, which the enemy 
had just fired. We continued our advance ; and, having 
moved through the oat-field and struck the high ground, 
we were met by a hot fire. I ordered the men forward, 
and we went across the field, and took position behind a 
fence which ran along by the burning buildings. We 
opened fire, and kept it up for some time, upon the 
rebels, who were ten to our one. I stood at first behind 
a small apple-tree ; but the rebels saw me, and made it 
so hot that I changed my position to one about five rods 
in front of the line, behind a large tree, where I could 
see the enemy's lines. The rebels were at work like 
beavers on the fort which we afterwards blew up. Find- 
ing that I could not advance any farther, I decided to 
hold on where I was. It was not long before the Fifth 




CAPTAIN THOMAS J. CABLTON. 



THOMAS J. CARLTON. 299 

Corps came up in force on the left and rear. Soon an 
aide of General Griffin's came to order us back to the 
main body of the brigade, and wanted to know what I 
was doing up there, as the Fifth Corps should have done 
the work I had been doing. Having returned with my 
command, I reported to Generals Griffin and Potter, 
who were together. When they were almost disposed 
at first to reprimand me for going too far, I told them 
that I was ordered to advance my line, and I should 
have kept on to Petersburg, unless checked by the 
enemy or ordered to halt. The explanation seemed to 
have been sufficient, as I heard no more about the mat- 
ter. Two men were killed in this movement, and ten 
wounded. About ten men of the Sixth New Hampshire 
Regiment were in it. 



. THOMAS J.. CARLTON. 

(by the editor.) 

Captain Thomas J. Carlton, son of Jonathan and 
Eliza (Shattuck) Carlton, was born in Canaan, N. H., 
November 9, 1837. His father was a native of Canaan, 
born Oct. 23, 1800; his mother was of Pepperell, Mass., 
born March 25, 1798. The subject of this sketch lived 
at home till he was nineteen years of age, and then 
found employment, as a mechanic, in the bedstead-shop 
in his native town. He continued this pursuit until the 
war, and for ten years afterwards. He subsequently 
engaged in farming, which continues to be his princi- 
pal occupation. His war record is an honorable one, 
and a proud legacy for his children. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG— BATTLE OF THE MINE. 

General Grant having concluded to reduce Petersburg 
by siege, assigned to the Army of the James, under 
command of General Butler, the holding of Bermuda 
Hundred and all the ground in Union possession north 
of the James river, reaching to Deep Bottom twelve 
miles below Richmond ; while to the Army of the Poto- 
mac, commanded by General Meade, he gave the invest- 
ment of Petersburg along its eastern front, in a line 
extending, for the present, from the Appomattox river 
on the right, to the Jerusalem plank road south-west of 
the Norfolk & Petersburg Railroad on the left- The 
lines of Butler and Meade had, at the commencement of 
the siege, a front of ten miles. In front of Petersburg, 
where the Ninth Corps was stationed with the Fifth at 
its left, regular intrenchments, with parallels, traverses, 
covered trenches, and earthworks, were speedily con- 
structed, facing those of the enemy, and from one hun- 
dred twenty-five to five hundred yards distant from his 
main line. Along the line of the Ninth Corps were two 
batteries of two guns each, one of four, one of six, two 
of eight, and, at the centre, one of fourteen. There were 
also three mortar batteries. 

In a piece of pitch-pine woods covering several acres, 
our division and brigade had their " retreat," as the boys 
called it, or first line of works, to which we retired after 
doing duty for forty-eight hours out on the picket or front 



THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG. 301 

line, which was only about sixteen rods from the rebel 
position and rather too close for comfort or safety. This 
line, which was distant about half a mile from our "re- 
treat," was reached by going through an exposed oat-field, 
thence down a hill into a ravine across the Norfolk & 
Petersburg Railroad, and beyond this over a bog upon 
which a corduroy bridge had been built by us in full 
sight of the enemy, and with the loss~ of life or limb of 
many a brave fellow. Beyond this "bridge the ground 
was uneven and continued to rise towards Cemetery hill, 
in the outskirts of Petersburg. On this side-hill, in the 
blazing sun of June 18th, our advanced pickets estab- 
lished the front line by digging rifle-pits. When night 
came on these were strengthened, and in the course of 
two or three days they became very good breastworks. 

Our division's front line was by several rods nearer 
the enemy's works than was the position of any other 
portion of the besieging force. In fact, it was so far in 
advance of the others on our right that it curved in 
almost a half circle, so that the enemy could from that 
direction shoot lengthwise of it and do us much harm 
till traverses were built to screen us. The first week we 
were obliged, in going to the front or back to the rear, to 
pass in plain sight of the enemy. It was only after 
dark, and from urgent necessity, that the attempt was 
made thus to pass ; and then some of our men were 
killed or wounded every night in the continuous fire 
kept up across the whole space between our front and 
rear lines. The second week a ditch, or covered way, 
about seven feet deep and eight feet wide, was com- 
menced in the woods at our "retreat," and extended 
across the oat-field down over the side-hill in a zig-zag 
line, so that we could pass to and from the front out of 



302 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

sight of the enemy, except while crossing the bog on the 
bridge. Here the rebels would pelt us whenever they got a 
glimpse of us. Our brigade (the Second) would go out 
after dark to the front line, and relieve the First. Having 
remained there forty-eight hours, we would, in turn, be 
relieved by the First Brigade, and go back to the " retreat" 
in the woods, where we rested from that constant watch- 
ing to which we were subjected when up in front. From 
the 18th of June t© the 15th of August we were not for 
a moment out of danger, even when we were at the 
rear. Rifle shots and the shells from batteries, forts, 
and mortars came over among us continually, night and 
day, and we were constantly , losing our brave men. 
Some were killed while asleep ; some, while forming in 
line at roll-call; some, while eating their "grub." A 
member of Company E had just finished making out the 
company's pay-roll, when a Minie ball, coming through 
his shelter tent, struck him in his side and killed him 
almost instantly. His life-blood flowed over the pay- 
roll, which was forwarded to Washington as issued, with 
the remark on the margin opposite the dead soldier's 
name, " Killed while making out this roll, which is 
sealed by his blood." The especially severe and persist- 
ent firing kept up by the enemy along the front line of 
our corps had one reason in the fact that, on the 18th of 
June, the Fourth (Colored) Division, commanded by 
General Ferrero, and hitherto detached to guard the 
army trains, had joined us ; whereupon the rebels 
vented, in an incessant galling and somewhat deadly 
fire, the bitter spite they felt against both negro soldiers 
and white ones beside whom they fought. In front of 
other corps not having the colored element in their 
organization there was little firing, and the outposts of 



THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG. 303 

both sides "were even disposed to be friendly;" but 
General Potter reported the losses of our division, while 
occupying the front line, to average " some fourteen or 
fifteen officers and men killed and wounded per diem." 
In our "retreat "we constructed breastworks to pro- 
tect, among other things, head-quarters and the quarter- 
master and medical departments. We also built booths 
of limbs and trees, to help keep off the burning rays of 
the sun. While in these we could not see the bomb- 
shells as they came over among us, but could hear them 
as they came tumbling through the air with their " quit, 
quit, quit." When this was heard, all would look as 
wise as possible, and try to determine where the dan- 
gerous visitor was going to land. We could not, how- 
ever, tell much about its alighting-place till it got pretty 
near ; then there would be a hustling to the right or left 
to get out of its range. How the boys would jump out 
of their blankets, when awakened from sound sleep, at 
the cry, "She is coming!" or, "Cover yourselves!" 
The writer had his bough-house at the foot of a small 
pine tree. As Captain Goodwin and himself lay there, 
one hot afternoon, upon the sun-burned clay levelled off 
and spread with blankets, the peculiar "quit, quit" of 
a shell down close by interrupted their conversation. 
The captain, exclaiming "She is on us!" jumped 
through the bough-house in one direction, while the 
writer went through in another, just in time to let the 
shell take possession of the tenement. It struck the solid 
clay, bounded up, and rolled down the hill into the 
bushes, but fortunately did not explode. The captain, 
remarking that he never saw the writer so spry before, 
suggested that it would be safe to try the bed again, as 
lightning never strikes twice in the same place. 



304 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

One night the writer, being at the front, lay looking at 
the stars and watching the shells as they passed over 
and dropped in the rear. All of a sudden the rebels 
changed the elevation of their mortars, so that the shells 
would fall on the front line. By the fire of the fuse 
they could be seen high in the air, and it could be read- 
ily told whether they were going to our right or left. If 
they seemed to be on a line with one, he had to look out 
sharp for them. At last the writer saw one coming 
directly towards his resting-place, which he vacated on 
the double-quick. The shell struck the bed of hard clay, 
smoothly levelled off and covered with a rubber blanket, 
and at once exploded, tearing the blanket into shreds, 
making a deep hole in the bed, and sadly shattering the 
sleeping apartment. One of the men soon came along 
with a shovel, and repaired the tenement somewhat, so 
that the writer could occupy it till another aerial traveller 
alighted there. 

One afternoon, about sundown, four of the men sat 
around a smoothed-off plat of clay, playing cards, which 
they threw into the centre of the ring. As the enemy 
had been shelling us but little that afternoon, the boys 
were off their guard. They were busy at play, with 
several sitting and standing around watching the game, 
when suddenly a shell dropped down into the circle 
upon the cards and exploded at the same moment, 
wounding the four players, — Moses B. Knowles, Will- 
iam Bowlen, William A. Eaton, and Stephen White, all 
of Company C. The wounded were taken to the hospi- 
tal, where Bowlen died soon after. A few feet to the 
left of the boys who were playing cards stood an old 
man of Company G. When the shell exploded, he was 
stooping over his knapsack, arranging his traps. A 



THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG. 305 

shovel lying near was struck, and hurled into the air ; as 
it came down, it hit the old man's head) at which he 
straightened up, mad all through, and called out, 
' ' Who the devil throw'd that shovel at me ? " Of course 
the boys had to laugh at this, although their comrades 
were lying wounded around them. Seeing the blood 
running down the veteran's face, the writer went to him 
and explained that it was the work of the shell. The 
blade of the shovel had indeed made a bad scalp-wound. 
With this temporarily dressed, the man was sent to the 
rear and to the hospital. He died within a few days, 
gangrene having entered the wound and carried him off. 
Thus that one shell wounded five men, two of whom 
died soon after. 

On the 4th of July our officers had gathered in a 
bough-house around an oak tree that stood close to the 
line. A few days before, some of the boys had captured 
an ice-house a little to the left and rear. They had to 
run the gauntlet to get to it, for it was in full view of the 
enemy ; but there were dare-devils who were ready to go 
out and get the ice to sell to others who thought it safer 
to stay away. As we had ice and it was the "glorious 
Fourth," the proposition was made to get some lemons 
and sugar of the sutler and have some lemonade. The 
proposition was no sooner made than it was carried out, 
and the lemonade was prepared. Some wanted a "stick" 
in theirs. It happened that about the time we com- 
menced on the lemonade, the "Johnnies" commenced giv- 
ing us a double dose of shells : perhaps they smelled the 
"stick." To save our heads and not spill our drinks, 
we kept one outside the booth to watch for the bombs, 
and let the rest know if they were likely to fall among 
us. Some of us had tasted the good cool drink, and 
20 



306 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Captain Jones was outside on the lookout, when we 
heard a bomb coming, but supposed it was going over 
us. Just then Captain Jones cried out, "The-r-e sh-e 
is ! " At the same moment, the shell, coming slantwise 
through our booth, buried itself in the soft dirt which 
had been thrown up in digging the trench, and exploded, 
completely covering us all with red dust, so that we 
looked more like Indians than white men. Soon was 
heard the cool remark of Captain Jones, "Is the lemon- 
ade spilled ? I have not had my drink yet ! " At this we 
all laughed heartily, and when the dust settled, we 
found that no one was hurt. Captain Goodwin was sit- 
ting just where he was before the shell exploded, holding 
his canteen of " commissar}'' " with both hands, and as 
soon as the dust would let him, he exclaimed, "That is 
the meanest thing I ever knew the rebels to do ! " We 
finished our drinks without further molestation. 

On the 15th of July, while we were working on a fort 
between the lines, Colonel Bixby was struck by a sharp- 
shooter's bullet, which passed through his shoulder just 
under the collar bone. The wound was a singular one, 
the flesh not being torn at all. It was as smooth as 
though it had been burned with hot iron. It must have 
been made by one of the famous Southern sporting rifles. 
The colonel had indeed a narrow escape, for had the 
bullet gone one inch to the right or left, it would have 
cut an artery, and he would have bled to death. He 
went home, and Captain Robert L. Ela took command 
of the regiment. We had come that morning to relieve 
the Second Maryland Regiment, that had been at work 
on the fort during the latter part of the night. As Cap- 
tain Goodwin and the writer were sitting on some apple- 
trees that had been dug up, and as the Second Maryland 



THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG. 307 

was filing out and our boys were coming in, all in plain 
sight of the rebels in our front and at our right, a gun of 
one of the enemy's batteries opened fire. A puff of smoke 
was seen, and a shell struck an embankment three or 
four rods in front of our position, the rebels having 
aimed too low. The captain had hardly time to say 
" Look out for the next one !" when there was another 
puff of smoke, and a shot was distinctly seen as it came 
skimming over the oat-field. This just grazed the em- 
bankment, and, passing between the captain and the 
writer, who were not more than six feet apart, went on 
through the ranks of the Second Maryland, wounding 
two of its number, — one man's hand being taken off just 
above the wrist with a cut as clean as one made with a 
saw. Captain Goodwin remarked, " I saw that shot just 
as plain as day as it came over the field, and it was the 
rirst cannon shot I ever saw while it was going through 
the air." It is a fact that a shot can thus be seen, if the 
observer is nearly in a direct line with it and the sun is 
shining in the right direction. Only once after this did 
the writer see a shell as it passed through the air, and 
that was on the day (July 30th) when the Mine was ex- 
ploded. 

As we were forming in line about nine o'clock one 
July evening, to go out to the front, Joseph Schaffer, of 
Company K, turned around to speak to Captain Good- 
win and the writer, standing a few feet from him, when a 
stray shot struck him in the neck, cutting the jugular 
vein. He fell into Captain Goodwin's arms, covering 
him with blood, and died in a few minutes. The next 
day, while we were on the front line, Sergeant A. Raw- 
son, of Company G, one of the brightest boys of our reg- 
iment, and beloved by all, in a little playful scuffle with 



308 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Captain Goodwin, having accidentally exposed himself 
to the ever watchful eyes of the rebel sharpshooters, was 
struck by a bullet in the head. In a few minutes he lay 
dead in Captain Goodwin's arms, having uttered only the 
words, "I am shot." Such scenes as these were wit- 
nessed almost every day. In looking over his, diary, the 
writer finds such items as these, — "July 4th. Lost four 
men. July 5th. On picket on front line — two killed and 
four wounded." And so it was for more than fifty days, 
our losses being from three to six daily, while we lay 
there doing only guard or picket duty. 

About the 1st of July we had been mustered for four 
months' pay, and when the paymaster came we found 
he had a trunk as big as a small bank, full of scrip, of 
denominations from five to fifty cents. The scrip was 
in sheets about fifteen inches square, not cut apart. It 
was the first the boys had seen, and they had much fun 
with it. They would come out of the pay-tent with their 
arms full of it, for it took a large heap to make a hundred 
dollars. Some of the boys said it was just what they 
wanted to play poker with, they having been obliged 
before to use beans. One of the boys papered his tent 
all around with these sheets of scrip, using pins instead 
of paste. It was quite a pretty sight. Some men will 
get fun and enjoyment out of almost anything ; and it was 
well that we had some of these fun-loving and fun-mak- 
ing fellows with us in the army to help keep up the 
spirits of the others. 

The course of narration has now reached the affair of 
the Mine. Opposite the position occupied by the Ninth 
Corps, the enemy had a strong redoubt situated a few 
hundred yards below the crest of Cemetery Hill. "In 
the rear of the redoubt, a ridge ran back nearly at right 



THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG. 309 

angles with the enemy's line on the hill." If this impor- 
tant position could be carried, the enemy's lines would be 
seriously threatened, if not entirely broken. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Henry Pleasants, of the Forty-eighth Pennsyl- 
vania Regiment, largely composed of Schuylkill miners, 
and belonging to Potter's Division, thought the redoubt 
might be destroyed by running a mine under the inter- 
vening space of about five hundred feet between the line 
of the Ninth Corps and that of the enemy. He was a 
skilful mining engineer, and, after the matter had been 
laid before the proper authorities and by them consid- 
ered, was directed, in the last week of June, to commence 
the work. General Meade, however, was not favorably 
disposed towards the undertaking, while other regular- 
army officers derisively scouted the idea, declaring that 
it was an impossibility to dig the mine with the imple- 
ments at hand. The enlisted men said that Meade was 
jealous of Burnside, who favored the experiment, and 
that he was afraid that if the mine proved a success it 
"would take a few plumes out of his hat." 

The digging of the tunnel commenced in a little ravine, 
about three rods in rear of which our regiment was do- 
ing picket duty. A constant picket firing was kept up 
day and night to help drown the noise of excavation. 
"Lieutenant-Colonel Pleasants and men," says the histo- 
rian of the Ninth Corps, " wrought with such earnestness 
and perseverance, that by the 23d of July a main gallery 
five hundred ten and eight-tenths feet in length was con- 
structed, with two lateral galleries at the further end, — 
one of thirty-seven and the other of thirty-eight feet in 
length. Agreeably to General Burnside's plan, four 
magazines were to be placed in each of these lateral 
galleries at intervals equidistant from each other, — 



310 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

two upon each side of the gallery, — and charged with 
about one half or three fifths of a ton of powder each. 
The magazines were to be connected by troughs of pow- 
der with each other and with the main gallery ; five or 
six fuses and two wires were to be run out of the mouth 
of the mine, there to be fired — the fuses in the ordinary 
way, the wires to be charged by a galvanic battery. 
After some delay, the powder for furnishing the maga- 
zines — about eight thousand pounds — was forwarded, and 
the ten days following the 18th were occupied in strength- 
ening the mine and charging the magazines. The pow- 
der was put into the magazines on the 27th of July, three 
lines of fuses were laid for a distance of ninety-eight feet, 
and the mine was tamped during the night of the 27th 
and through the day on the 28th, — the work ending at six 
o'clock in the afternoon." The powder had been brought 
in bags on the shoulders of men, for a mile or more from 
its landing-place, across the field to the mine, and under 
exposure to the enemy's shot and shell that dropped 
among the intrepid carriers. Of course there was no 
little danger in thus transporting the eight thousand 
pounds of powder out to the front line, but there were 
men enough ready to volunteer in doing the risky work. 
All the excavated material, about eighteen thousand 
cubic feet, had been carried out in hard-tack boxes, and 
the tunnel being only about four feet high, this was no 
boys' play. The writer went the whole length of the 
tunnel, and could hear the "Johnnies" digging and driving 
nails overhead, little dreaming what was going on 
beneath them. Under the fort a layer of beautiful pot- 
ters' clay was struck, from which the boys fashioned 
pipes, which, when burned, became almost as hard as 
stone. Marbles also were made of this clay ; and the 



THE BATTLE OF THE MINE. 31 1 

writer has specimens of it to-day, as hard and smooth as 
when rolled together on the picket line so many years 
ago. 

On the evening of July 29th 1 we received orders to be 
ready to move out to the front line at three o'clock the 
next morning. We all knew what it meant. It was an 
anxious night, and but few closed their eyes at all. Of- 
ficers and men, gathered here and there in little groups, 
talked over what was to be on the morrow, for the mine 

1 When the mine was finished and made ready to receive the powder, 
the result was reported at the head-quarters of General Meade, where 
nothing but distrust and ridicule of the undertaking had been manifest- 
ed. General Burnside, as requested, immediately presented his plan of 
the attack to follow the explosion. That plan was, in substance, that 
two columns should charge through, or rather along, the breach caused 
by the explosion, and sweep along the enemy's lines right and left, 
clearing away artillery and infantry, while other columns should make 
for the crest of Cemetery Hill, — all this to be done with the remainder 
of the army cooperating. In this plan, the Colored Division was to 
lead the assault. Not supposing that any objection would be made to 
thus employing the colored troops, Burnside had caused them to be 
drilled with especial reference to the assault, in which they were eager 
to lead. But to his sad disappointment, Meade refused to have the 
colored men assigned to that duty, and got General Grant's concurrence 
in the refusal. The latter, however, frankly declared afterwards, — 
"General Burnside wanted to put his Colored Division in front, and I 
believe if he had done so it would have been a success." Meade also 
refused to approve ' ' the order of the formation of the attacking column," 
and insisted that " the troops should move directly to the crest without 
attempting side movements." Thus Burnside found his well matured 
plan frustrated. He let the commanders of his First, Second, and Third 
divisions draw lots as to who should lead the assault, the lot falling 
unfortunately to General Ledlie of the First Division, as mentioned fur- 
ther on in the text. Disappointed and anxious, the commander of the 
Ninth Army Corps awaited at the fourteen-gun battery in front, on the 
night of the 29th, what the morrow would bring forth. — Editor. 



312 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

was to be exploded at 3 115 in the morning, and we all 
knew that a deadly struggle would ensue. Some had 
presentiments of sure death, and tried all honorable 
means to keep out of the coming battle. Captain Cross- 
field went to Captain Ela, commanding the regiment, 
and asked if there was any possible way for him to be 
excused. The captain said that he might be excused if 
he was sick. Crossfield replied that he was not sick, but 
that he dreaded the coming battle more than he had all 
the others in which the regiment had been engaged, 
though he did not know why. As we lay there thinking 
and talking, we became nervously anxious for the ap- 
pointed hour to come. At last it came. At a quarter 
past three o'clock in the morning of July 30th, the fuses 
were fired. Our troops lay upon their arms, and silent- 
ly awaited the result. But an hour passed, and there was 
no explosion. The imperfect splicing of the fuses had 
let in dampness which prevented the powder from burn- 
ing. Then it was that Lieutenant Jacob Douty and Ser- 
geant Henry Rees, of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, 
bravely volunteering their services, entered the mine, 
put the fuses in order, and relighted them. At sixteen 
minutes before five o'clock the explosion ensued. The 
ground trembled as in an earthquake, and there was a 
"sound like the noise of great thunders." Then, in a 
moment, the fort with "cannon, caissons, camp equi- 
page, and human bodies," together with several rods of 
earth around it, shot up into the air some one hundred 
fifty or two hundred feet. A cloud of dust arose, looking 
like a volcano as pictured in the school geographies. 
As the mass arose it spread out, so that some of its falling 
debris landed many rods from the crater. The hard- 
baked clay held together, and lumps of it as large as 



THE BATTLE OF THE MINE. 313 

small cottages were rolled out. It was a grand and aw- 
ful sight. As another has said, — "All that was left of a 
six-gun battery and its garrison of two hundred men or 
more was a great crater two hundred feet long, fifty feet 
wide, and twenty-five deep, with the debris of the mate- 
rial of what had been one of the strongest of the enemy's 
works." 1 The explosion struck terror into the rebels for 
a long distance to the right and left. We could see them 
running their cannon out of another fort situated about 
fifty rods south of the one destroyed. They were much 
demoralized, and had the advance of our troops not been 
delayed, we could have carried everything before us. 

For several days previous to the explosion of the 
mine, General Burnside would call together his divi- 
sion commanders, — Willcox, Potter, and Ledlie, — and 
they would talk over the details of the plan of attack. 
In these interviews General Burnside discovered that 
there was an ill feeling among those officers as to which 
division should have the lead in the assault. Instead of 
saying to his best commander, — who would have the best 
troops, as a matter of course, — "You take your division, 
and do you go through there at all hazards," he said to 
them, " Gentlemen, if you are going to quarrel over this 
matter, you shall draw lots." They drew lots, " and the 
lot fell upon Judas, " or, in other words, upon Ledlie, 
the most inefficient of the three. 

The corps was to be formed in the shape of a triangle 
or wedge, with Ledlie's Division leading at the point of 
the wedge ; and this was to go through the crater and 
push directly for Cemetery Hill. Potter's Division was 
to form to the right of Ledlie's, completing the line down 
to the base of the triangle, or right-hand side of the wedge, 
1 Woodbury's History of Ninth Army Corps. 



314 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

protecting Ledlie's right flank and wiping up the ene- 
my's exposed lines on that side, and pushing also for 
Cemetery Hill ; while Willcox's Division was to take the 
corresponding place on the left. When the mine ex- 
ploded, Ledlie's division moved forward and plunged into 
the crater. The rebels were not so much demoralized as 
might be supposed, and, after the first shock was over, 
understood the case perfectly, and, the point being a 
high one, visible from nearly all their line, they saw at once 
that the movement was an attack, and turned all their 
fire, both artillery and musketry, upon that point. Had 
Ledlie's Division pushed through without halting, all 
would have been well ; but the first fifteen minutes being 
lost, all was lost. 

The crater was packed with men as thick as they could 
stand, and it was impossible for other troops to get through 
that mass. About seventy-five feet of the enemy's line 
had been blown out ; the remainder on both sides still 
bristled with abatis, bayonets, and musketry, and was as 
strong and as difficult to carry as ever. Gen. Griffin's 
Brigade pushed through and over the abatis, and en- 
countered the enemy in a hand-to-hand struggle in their 
intrenched lines and traverses, and gained considerable 
ground. But the latter had every advantage ; and, by 
reason of the incessant fire from a distance, as well as the 
stubborn fighting in their lines, it was impossible to drive 
them beyond where they held Ledlie's troops. They 
trained their distant mortars on us, and their fire was so 
accurate that the shells fell directly among us and ex- 
ploded with terrible effect. 

General Potter remained in the rear, — where was his 
place, — directing his division ; while General Griffin, being 
the second in command, led the column with his brigade, 



THE BATTLE OF THE MINE. 315 

as it was his duty to do, — the other brigade supporting, or 
trying to support him. Receiving orders from Burnside 
through Potter to take command of the advance and push 
a column to Cemetery Hill, General Griffin forced his 
way through the mass of disorganized troops in the 
crater, climbed to the parapet on the farther side, and 
called upon the men to come forward and form, and follow 
him in that movement. But the fire was then so hot from 
all directions that no troops could live there. The few 
who sprang up bravely to the parapet to join him were 
nearly every one of them shot down. He was himself 
twice hit while standing there, but not to draw blood. 
Finally, finding it impossible to induce those men to come 
out of the crater in such a destructive fire, he was com- 
pelled to abandon the attempt. The Colored Division then 
came up, and made a brave attempt to push through the 
enemy's lines at our right, but was repulsed as the white 
troops had been. 1 Finding the assault a failure, General 
Grant sent orders to the officers in the crater to withdraw 
their men. But the enemy had a terribly destructive cross- 
fire on the field which must be passed in getting back to 
the Union lines. Generals Hartranft, Bartlett, 2 and 
Griffin consulted together, and drew up a request in 
writing, which all signed, asking that the artillery might 
be directed to open all along our lines, to draw the en- 
emy's fire and attention, while retreat was made. 

1 The crest and Cemetery Hill could not be gained. The rebel forces 
were concentrated. Bushrod Johnson's Division, with two brigades of 
Mahone's, had drawn around the crater, and Beauregard and Lee were 
upon the ground. — Editor. 

2 General William F. Bartlett, commanding a brigade in Ledlie's Di- 
vision. He had lost a leg early in the war, which had been replaced 
by one of cork. This last, too, was shattered while he was standing in 
the crater. He was taken prisoner. — Editor. 



316 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

"The day," says General Griffin, "was excessively 
hot, and while we lay there in the burning sand awaiting 
the action asked for, it was sickening to see the suffering 
of the wounded and the destruction caused by the enemy's 
incessant fire. Many of the wounded had crawled up under 
cover of the mounds of earth thrown up by the explosion, 
to avoid the shot ; and the ground was completely covered 
with the dead and wounded, together with the troops 
massed there for the attack. The enemy's bombs con- 
tinued to fall among us, exploding, and tearing the men 
to pieces in a most frightful manner. The thirst was 
almost unendurable, even for the well men, while the 
wounded suffered agonies from the want of water. Men 
would come to me and ask permission to go to the rear 
for water, and the reply would be, "Yes : take as many, 
canteens as you can well carry, and go, and bring back 
water for these wounded men ; " for I was glad of an 
excuse to give them a chance to run for their lives, not 
expecting human nature to be equal to the ordeal of 
passing twice through the almost certain death of that 
terrible cross-fire for the sake of alleviating the suffer- 
ings of comrades. Soldier after soldier came with the 
same request, and, receiving the same answer, would 
speed away across that field of death, — some to pass safely 
over, and some to fall by the way. In due time one of 
them came over the parapet of our works below, and 
making his way toward us with all the speed his heavy 
load would allow, succeeded in reaching us, minus two 
canteens punched by bullets, and all the water let out. 
What cheers greeted him as he came in ! What blessings 
were called down upon him by those wounded men for 
that cooling water ! Then another of those brave fellows 
came over the parapet and started to join us ; but when 



THE BATTLE OF THE MINE. 317 

about half-way across, he threw up his arms and went 
down with the unmistakable thud of death. Quick as 
thought a young soldier darted out from among us, and, 
running to him, gathered up his canteens ; but, on his 
return, he was struck down before he had made a dozen 
yards. In a moment, however, he was up again, and, 
only slightly wounded, came in with the water. And 
the cheers were loud for the gallant exploit. Then 
another came over the parapet and succeeded in reach- 
ing us, while another was shot down on the way ; and so 
it went on, till, I believe, every one of those noble fellows 
returned with his gallons of water, or perished in the at- 
tempt. It was one of the noblest and bravest acts I saw 
during the whole war. Two of those gallant boys 
belonged to Company H of the Sixth New Hampshire, — 
James Sandow (the Adjutant-General's Report has it 
Sanders) from Gonic, still living at Hyde Park, Massa- 
chusetts, and Washington Davis from Lee, reported 
killed in action. I regret that I did not get the names of 
the others, but they were strangers from other regiments. 
"In this position we had the experience of 'dodging 
bombs.' We soon learned to note the explosion of the 
mortars trained on us, and then we would look into the 
sky directly over our heads. Presently we would dis- 
cover a small black spot at the instant the bomb reached 
its height, and keeping our eyes on it, we could follow it 
in its descent, discover its direction, and guess, within a 
few feet, where it would strike. Sometimes men dodged 
just in time to save their lives ; sometimes they would be 
hit in spite of themselves, or in dodging the wrong way 
through inaccurate calculation, while the wounded or 
those not watching would often be torn to pieces in the 
most horrible manner. Some of the bombs would bury 



318 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

themselves in the ground and fail to explode, while 
others would explode in that position, covering us with 
dirt and debris, and killing and wounding the men 
around it. 

"Along in the middle of the afternoon our artillery got 
the order to open fire for our benefit. This was done, 
and made it lively for the rebels all along the line, draw- 
ing their attention away from us, so that we made the 
retreat to our lines without serious loss while crossing 
the field." 

It remains to relate some of the special experiences of 
the Sixth New Hampshire on that disastrous day. When 
the mine exploded, we were a short distance in rear of 
the front line, where we had been doing picket duty so 
long. At once, upon the explosion, we advanced to the 
front line, while those that had been there advanced to 
the enemy's lines. We rested here a short time, the 
enemy shelling us with all fury from, a heavy battery on 
our right, whence they could rake us at their pleasure, 
while we were obliged to stand and take it without 
returning a shot, since our own boys were in front of us. 
We sent word to General Griffin, who was up in the 
crater, how we were situated, and asked if we could not 
advance to where he was, so that we might take a hand 
in the fight. We received the reply, that there were too 
many men there already. So we had to remain where we 
were. Flour barrels, set up on end and filled with dirt, 
served as flankers to stop the rifle shots, but shells made 
havoc with them. As the writer and Col. Zenas Bliss, 
of the Seventh Rhode Island, were sitting there with 
barrels at their backs, a shell came over, and, just 
hitting the top of the frail barricade, knocked some of 
the dirt over them. The colonel, remarking that he did 



THE BATTLE OF THE MINE. 319 

not like that, got up and went down over the hill a few 
rods to the rear, while the writer moved a few feet to the 
left. Four men of our regiment at once took the place 
thus vacated, thinking it a good cover from the storm of 
shot and shell ; but they had scarcely taken shelter there 
before a shell struck the barrels and exploded, killing 
two of the men outright, cutting one almost in two, and 
wounding the other two very severely. 

Again General Griffin was asked if there was room for us 
on the front line. The reply came from him in the crater, 
that we might move out into the open field half-way 
between the two lines, so as to be ready to advance at 
once when the other line should move on. We ad- 
vanced into the open field and lay down ; but we soon 
found that we had ' ' jumped from the frying-pan into the 
fire," for we were here in view of the enemy on both the 
right and the left, who soon brought their guns to bear 
on us and gave us shell and solid shot from both direc- 
tions. There were hard-pine woods on our right 
between us and the enemy's batteries, and some of the 
shells, striking the large trees and passing through 
them, made the kindling-wood fly in a lively manner 
around us. Several men were wounded by these splin- 
ters. It was the only time in the experience of the 
writer when shot and shell came so near him that he 
could feel the wind from them as they passed over. As 
never before, he wished he was as thin as a pressed cod- 
fish, while he hugged mother earth as never at any other 
time. The rebels shot lengthwise of our regiment, and 
the writer's company, bearing the colors, was in the 
middle of the line. The reader can judge how close the 
shot and shell came to us when told that the shots from 
the right would hit the boys who were lying flat near the 



320 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

left of the regiment, not five rods distant from the color 
company, though we were on level ground. In one 
case a shell just grazed the cartridge-box flap of a man 
in the company on the writer's immediate left, and 
struck the fourth man from the one first mentioned, 
mangling him fearfully. The shots which passed over 
us would frequently strike the ground at a distance of 
not more than one rod in our rear. Here, for the 
second time in his experience, the writer saw shells as 
they passed through the air ; here, too, he was in a 
direct line with them, and they came within a foot of his 
head. This experience, and that at Cold Harbor, — when 
the shot passed between him and Colonel Bixby, they 
not being more than three feet apart, — together with that 
of a few days before, when Captain Goodwin and him- 
self had so narrow an escape at the fort, convinced the 
writer of the falsity of the assertions made by some 
writers and "old vets" (who never saw a battle), that 
the wind from a cannon ball or shell passing within six 
feet of a man would knock him over. There is no truth 
in these "yarns." In all three of the cases just men- 
tioned, no more wind was felt by the writer than there 
would have been had a large fowl flown by. Then, 
again, the shell that passed through the ranks of the 
Second Maryland, in the case last mentioned, did not 
affect any of the men in the least, except the two that it 
struck. 

We lay there in that open field, in the hot sun, with 
the thermometer standing as high as 105 degrees, from 
about ten o'clock in the morning till four in the after- 
noon, and without a drop of water save what we had in 
our canteens, and that almost spoiled by the heat. The 
boys tried to make the best of their situation — being 



THE BATTLE OF THE MINE. 321 

under three fires, from front, right, and left, — by digging 
with their bayonets into the hard-baked clay and throw- 
ing it out with their tin cups, so as to get enough thrown 
up to protect their heads. Never did men work harder 
than we did there to save ourselves from the destructive 
fire which we could not return. Some were uneasy, and 
could not remain in position. Captain Crossfield came 
out several times from his company near the left to 
where Captains Ela, Jones, and the writer were lying. 
Ela advised him to keep as still as possible, as he 
would be less liable to be hit. Crossfield, remarking 
that he was " all right," went back to his company and 
lay down. Just then a shell struck his right hip, cutting 
him almost in two, and at the same time rolling him over 
on the ground. Raising his head, he said "Good-bye, 
boys," — and was dead ! Ela had' said, as the captain 
started to creep back to his company, "Crossfield acts 
strangely to-day : I don't see what troubles him." That 
fatal shell explained it all. He had one of those unac- 
countable presentiments that so many men have had 
just before death. Captain Crossfield was brave and 
efficient, and one of the most soldierly and best drilled 
officers in the regiment. In less than thirty minutes 
after he was killed Lieutenant G. E. Upton, of Company 
F, received a wound in the head, of which he died the 
next day. He had told the writer the night before that 
he felt that he should not survive the coming battle. He 
was, to use the words of his captain, " a brave and true 
soldier and a good Christian." The Grand Army Post 
at Derry is appropriately named in honor of him. 
Before 4 p. m., Captain Ela, commanding the regiment, 
Captain M. N. Greenleaf, Adjutant J. S. Smith, and 
Lieutenant J. W. Hanscom were numbered among the 
21 



322 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

wounded, with a score of the rank and file. Sergeant- 
Major Cohn, afterwards adjutant, who was sent up to 
the crater with dispatches from Grant and Burnside for 
Generals Griffin, Bartlett, and Hartranft, received a 
severe wound under the shoulder-blade, while Captain 
J. S. Rowell, sent on a like errand, escaped unhurt, to 
be badly wounded in a later battle. 

About 4 p. m., it was decided, as has already been 
said, to make the best retreat possible. Those in front 
of us came back in squads, running the cross-fire, and 
some being killed on the way. Generals Griffin, Bart- 
lett, and Hartranft were the only officers of their grade 
out on the advanced line ; and when it was decided to 
abandon that position, Bartlett, remarking that it was 
impossible for him to get back to the Union lines, as he 
had only one good leg, gave Griffin a message to his 
family and friends, and the latter came out over the 
debris of the crater. The writer will always remember 
how he looked at that time. He stopped for a moment, 
took a survey of the surroundings, then stepped off 
briskly toward our lines. We expected to see him fall, 
for the eyes of the enemy were upon him and hostile 
guns were levelled at him. But he came off in safety, 
to the thankful joy of us all, for General Griffin was the 
favorite with the men of the Sixth. Our regiment was 
brought off by companies, and soon got back again into 
its old works in the woods, but few being wounded in 
the movement. Our hearts were all very sad that night 
at the loss of so many brave fellows, with so little to show 
for the heavy cost. 1 

1 The loss of the Ninth Corps was 50 officers and 423 men killed, 
124 officers and 1,522 men wounded, and 79 officers and -1,277 men 
captured or missing, making in all 3,475. The total loss in the 



INCIDENTS. 323 

3nt\btnte.— {g\o$vtyfyic fbtetcQ. 

Foolhardiness. While, on the 19th of July, we were 
lying in the middle line of the afterwards abandoned 
works on the brow of the hill leading down to the rail- 
road, Captain McKibbin, of General Potter's staff, rode 
out to the line and right up to the low breastworks, over 
which he tried to urge his horse. The shots were com- 
ing pretty thick, and, as his horse began to climb the 

action, including that of Turner's Division of the Tenth Corps, which 
" made an attempt on the right of the crater just as the colored troops 
broke up," was 3,798. The Confederate General Mahone says that 
i,ioi prisoners were taken. 

The affair of the Mine became the subject of investigation. Meade 
showed much ill-will towards Burnside, and tried to persuade General 
Grant to order a court-martial, but did not succeed in this malicious 
attempt. He himself then ordered a court of inquiry. Against the 
constitution and composition of this tribunal Burnside with good 
reason remonstrated, for it was but a packed jury. Meade's testimony 
before it was a mass of glaring inconsistency, while the finding of the 
court did not follow at all from the main body of testimony given, and 
cannot be accepted as true in most of its details. On the contrary, the 
Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, after a fairer and 
more thorough investigation, placed the responsibility where it belonged, 
in the following decisive terms : ' ' The cause of the disastrous result 
of the assault of the 30th of July last is mainly attributable to the fact 
that the plans and suggestions of the general who had devoted his 
attention for so long a time to the subject, who had carried out to so 
successful completion the project of mining the enemy's works and 
who had carefully selected and drilled his troops for the purpose of 
securing whatever advantages might be attainable from the explosion of 
the mine, should have been so entirely disregarded by a general who 
had evinced no faith in the successful prosecution of that work, had 
aided it by no countenance or open approval, and had assumed the entire 
direction and control only when it was completed and the time had 
come for reaping any advantage that might be derived from it." — Ed. 



324 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

works, Hiram Drowns said, "That fool acts as if he 
was drunk to-day, and I don't care if he does get shot." 
As the captain went over the works, some of the boys 
reminded him of his danger, as the enemy were in plain 
sight. Scornfully meeting the reminder with the reply 
that he could take care of himself, he rode down the 
slope a few paces, when the rebels saw him and fired. 
A ball passed through his face, making an ugly wound 
and breaking the jaw. His horse turned quickly, and 
came back over the works with a bound. Hiram Pool 
remarked, "That horse knows ten times as much as 
his rider." It wqs a foolhardy act for which there was 
no occasion, and which nearly cost the captain his life. 
But he was known as a brave officer, and after several 
months returned to duty. Before the war closed he was 
brevetted as brigadier-general. — L. J. 

Getting a Ticket. Pretty early in the action of the 
Mine, we saw a man who belonged to one of the regi- 
ments of our brigade coming back across the field to our 
lines. He was holding on to his left arm, while a grin 
was playing over his face. To some of the boys who 
knew him, and asked, "Got a ticket, Bob?" he replied, 
holding up his shattered hand, — " There's a ninety days 
furlough for a fellow ! Don't you wish you had it?" One 
of the boys remarked, " I will give fifty dollars for your 
chance, comrade." — L. J. 

Irving W. Rand — [By Capt. J. N. Jones]. "Irving 
W. Rand, of Portsmouth, was one of the most fearless 
of men. When under fire, and when almost every one 
else was trying to make himself as short as possible, he 
would stand in his place in the line of file-closers as 
erect as if on dress-parade. He died of wounds received 
at the battle of the Mine." 




CAPTAIN I.YMAN .IACKMAX. 



LYMAN JACKMAN. 

(BY THE EDITOR. ) 

Captain Lyman Jackman, son of Royal and Lucretia 
Jackman, was born in Woodstock, N. H., August 15, 
1837, being the youngest of four boys, and next to the 
youngest of the family of twelve children. He comes of 
good old military stock, his grandfather on his father's 
side having served in the Revolutionary War, and two of 
his paternal uncles and his father in the War of 181 2. 
His father, Major Royal Jackman, who enlisted from 
Thetford, Vt., first for three months, and then at the 
expiration of that term for five years or during the war, 
served in the Fifteenth Regiment, and participated in 
several battles, among which were Niagara, Chateaugay 
Woods, French Mills, and Plattsburg. In the last men- 
tioned battle he led the charge upon the enemy's bat- 
teries, and captured three cannon. He was wounded, 
and for his gallantry was recommended for promotion, 
on the field. 

The subject of this sketch was a farmer and lumber- 
man before the late war. Being in Concord when the 
company of "Goodwin Rifles," or Company B of the 
Second Regiment, was forming, he and Thomas E. Bar- 
ker, — afterwards colonel of the Twelfth Regiment, — went 
one evening to the court-house where the recruits were 
drilling, both having the intention of enlisting in that 
organization. Barker did enlist ; but Jackman, for some 
reason — what, he hardly knows himself — did not. Soon 
after, however, on the first day of September, 1861, he 
went to Haverhill, N. H., where Samuel P. Adams, who 
had been a general in the state militia, and who after- 
wards became captain of Company B of the Sixth Regi- 



326 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ment, was enlisting a company, and immediately added 
his name to the list of recruits. At the suggestion of 
Captain Adams he repaired to Concord, and, obtaining 
the necessary papers from Governor Berry, returned to 
Grafton county, where he enlisted some twelve or fifteen 
good and true men, who were mustered into Company B 
at Keene. 

When the regiment was organized, Jackman was ap- 
pointed first sergeant of Company B, and was mustered 
into the United States service November 27, 1861. He 
served as first sergeant of the company until May 16, 
1862, when he was promoted to be its second lieutenant. 
He was with the regiment in all its marches and battles 
during Burnside's expedition in North Carolina, and 
Pope's campaign in Virginia. In the Second Battle of 
Bull Run he was wounded, and was taken thence to the 
hospital in Washington. Before he had fully recovered 
from the effects of his wound he applied to the War 
Department for permission to rejoin his regiment, and 
was sent to Camp Distribution near Alexandria, which 
was in command of Major Newbey of the Third U. S. 
Cavalry. Lieutenant Jackman, having been immediately 
detailed as post adjutant, instead of being returned to his 
regiment as he desired, was detained there a few months, 
till, at his request, he was released by general orders 
from the War Department, and in February, 1863, re- 
joined his regiment, then encamped at Newport News, 
Virginia. On his arrival in camp he was immediately 
detailed by General James Nagle, brigade commander, as 
aide-de-camp on his staff with the rank of first lieutenant, 
he having received from Governor Berry commission as 
such, to date from January 1, 1863. He held the position 
of aide-de-camp, and at times of acting quartermaster and 



LYMAN JACKMAN. 327 

commissary of the brigade, till General Nagle resigned 
during the ensuing campaign in Kentucky. General 
Griffin, succeeding to the command of the brigade, re- 
tained Lieutenant Jackman as aide-de-camp on his staff. 
This position he held through the Kentucky and Missis- 
sippi campaigns, taking an active part in the sieges of 
Vicksburg and Jackson. After the return of the regiment 
with its corps, from Mississippi to Kentucky, he was ap- 
pointed inspector-general of the northern and central 
division of the latter state, and held the place under 
Generals Frye, Boile, and Gibson, until April, 1864. 

The Ninth Corps having been transferred to Annap- 
olis, Maryland, to act in conjunction with the Army of 
Virginia under General Grant, Lieutenant Jackman 
at his own request was released from duty in Kentucky, 
and, having rejoined his regiment, took command of 
Company B, Captain Goodwin being absent on the sick 
list. He had command of this company at the Battle of 
the Wilderness, May 5 and 6, 1864, and at Spottsylvania, 
May 12. He was with the company through the battles 
of North Anna river, Tolopotomoy creek, Bethesda 
church, Cold Harbor, and those before Petersburg. He 
was promoted to captain of Company C, August 1, 1864, 
and while in that command was captured, with nearly 
two thirds of the brigade, on the front line, at the battle 
of Poplar Spring church, September 30, 1864. He was 
taken with other prisoners to Petersburg and Richmond, 
thence to Salisbury, North Carolina, and from there back 
to Danville, Virginia. Having been detained here a few 
months, he was finally sent to Libby Prison at Richmond. 
Soon afterwards, on the 22d of February, 1865, he was 
paroled with other prisoners, and taken to Annapolis. He 
was then granted a thirty days leave of absence, that he 



328 SIXTH JVE W HAMPSHIRE. 

might visit his native state, and there recuperate. Dur- 
ing his captivity he suffered all the hardships of prison 
life in rebel pens, and in consequence partially lost the 
sight of the left eye. At the end of his thirty days fur- 
lough he rejoined his regiment, which was in camp at 
City Point near Petersburg, and continued with it until 
its return to New Hampshire, upon being mustered out 
July 17, 1865. 

General Griffin has said of Captain Jackman, — "He 
was esteemed one of the most efficient and trustworthy 
officers of the regiment and brigade. He could be relied 
upon at all times, and was always found at his post, ready 
for regular or extraordinary duty. The several important 
positions held by him, as aide-de-camp, quartermaster, 
and inspector-general, on the staffs of different generals, 
prove that his excellent military qualities were duly ap- 
preciated by competent judges." 

Upon being mustered out of military service, Captain 
Jackman was employed for a year in the machine-shop 
at Lowell, Massachusetts. He then came to Concord, 
New Hampshire, where he has since resided, carrying 
on an insurance business in which he has been very suc- 
cessful. In 1885-86 he organized three insurance com- 
panies, and was elected secretary of two of them and 
president of the third, which positions he now (1891). 
holds and fills to the acceptance, of his stockholders. 

Captain Jackman was married at Milford, N. H., 
December 25, 1866, to Miss Sarah T. Tilton, daughter 
of the eminent Baptist clergj^man, Rev. J. D. Tilton. He 
has two sons. He is a member of the Grand Army of the 
Republic, E. E. Sturtevant Post, No. 2, Concord, N. H., 
of Benevolent Lodge of Masons, Milford, N. H., and of 
Rumford Lodge of Odd Fellows in the city of his res- 



LYMAN JACKMAN. 329 

idence. In 1885 he was elected to a seat in the legis- 
lature of New Hampshire, — his fellow-citizens thus appro- 
priately attesting, in his case, their respect for one always 
alive to whatever, social, moral, or religious, makes for 
the good of the community in which he lives. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG— BATTLES OF WELDON RAIL- 
ROAD, POPLAR SPRING CHURCH, AND HATCHER'S RUN. 

After the battle of the Mine we settled down to the old 
routine of picket duty on the front line, alternating with 
rest in our "retreat," — each for forty-eight hours. For 
a while the rebels were more spiteful towards our part of 
the line than ever before, because the colored troops had 
been put in against them in the recent action. They 
galled us with an incessant fire, which we duly returned, 
doing them probably as much damage as they did us. 
On Sunday, August i,by orders from our head-quarters, 
a flag of truce was hoisted to ascertain if the enemy 
would allow us to go out and bury the dead. The offer 
of truce was accepted, and we went out upon the field of 
battle. It was a sad sight. We could hardly recog- 
nize any of the bodies, so much had they changed within 
the two days they had lain there between the lines. A 
long ditch was dug, in which they were placed side by 
side. It was a beautiful Sabbath morning. Not a shot 
was heard all along the line. Officers and men of both 
armies mingled there, where we were caring for the dead, 
or sat upon the breastworks on our left and right engaged 
in friendly conversation. The "Johnnies" brought 
our dead who lay within their lines over to us so that 
we might bury all in one grave. It was past noon when 
the last body was covered, and our detail, shouldering 
picks and shovels, returned to our lines. We let the 



THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG. 331 

white flag float over our earthworks till after sundown, 
and then both sides seemed loth to begin the death-work 
again. We let the enemy commence, and then we did 
not reply very often. We felt depressed over our fail- 
ure, and we could not help thinking of our dead that lay 
but a few rods in front of us — brave boys, with whom 
we had marched and fought side by side, cooking at the 
same fire and drinking " from the same canteen." With 
such thoughts we lay there the third night after the 
battle. 

Captain Ela having been wounded in the battle, and 
Captain Goodwin, who was ranking officer, being sick, 
Captain J. N. Jones took command of the regiment on 
the 6th of August. On the 13th, General Burnside was 
granted leave of absence, and went to his home in Rhode 
Island. He was not again in active service during the 
continuance of the war, though President Lincoln, whose 
confidence he ever retained, would not " accept his res- 
ignation, awaiting some opportunity for sending him 
again into the field." His worthy successor in the com- 
mand of the Ninth Corps was General Parke, 1 always 
his trusty friend, and an excellent officer. General Grif- 
fin justly says of General Burnside, — " He was one of 
the noblest and best of men. No other general in the 
Union army so completely won the deep and sincere 
love and admiration of the men under his immediate 
command. Those who knew him best loved him most. 
There was scarcely an officer or man in the old Ninth 
Corps who did not regard him with the warmest esteem 
and affection. His patriotism, his integrity, and his 
unselfishness placed him far above the jealousies and 

1 Brief biographic sketches of Generals Burnside and Parke appear at 
end of chapter. 



332 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

double-dealing that were so common among the officers 
of the Army of the Potomac under McClellan, and 
proved such a curse to that army. Even his mistakes 
and failures were caused by his large-heartedness, his 
lack of self-appreciation, and his over-confidence in 
others whom he believed to be as honest as himself." 

On the 14th of August our three white divisions were 
ordered to be ready to move at once. 1 We were glad to 
get out of the place where we were. We lay around till 

1 During July important operations had been going on elsewhere. 
Lee had detached Early to meet Hunter at Lynchburgh, and the latter, 
from want of ammunition, had retired northward, while Early pushed 
up the Shenandoah valley and moved towards Washington, which was 
uncovered. Impeded by General Lew Wallace in an engagement near 
the Monocacy, Early did not appear before Washington until the nth 
of July, intending to attack the next day; but Grant, aware of the 
movement, had sent forward the Sixth Corps, which, with the Nine- 
teenth just arrived from Louisiana, appeared on the nth, and Early 
found the intrenchments around the Capital so well manned that he 
retired to the Shenandoah valley. Having got possession of Win- 
chester, he sent off a detachment northward, which burned Chambers- 
burgh, a defenceless town of Pennsylvania, on the 30th of July, — the 
day of the Mine ; but Sheridan, having early in August been appointed 
to the chief command in that region, within two months completely 
defeated Early, and so laid waste the valley which had been the most 
fruitful source of supplies to the rebel army, that, as Grant expressed 
it, ' ' the enemy would have to bring his provisions with him if he 
again entered it." Meanwhile, Grant had been conducting movements 
around Petersburg and Richmond to keep Lee from reinforcing Early, 
and to gain what immedate advantage might be gained promotive of 
the siege. Hence, near the middle of August, Hancock's Corps, with 
other troops, threatened Richmond on the north of the James ; and 
that movement was followed by others against the Weldon Railroad, 
an important thoroughfare of supplies for the enemy, running south 
from Petersburg. To maintain possession of this the enemy fought 
desperately, as is related in the text. — Editor. 



BATTLE OF WELDON RAILROAD. 333 

after midnight, waiting for the word "Forward !" This 
came about one o'clock in the morning of the 15th, and 
we moved southward to the rear of the Fifth Corps, 
which had been ordered farther south. This corps hav- 
ing moved out early on the 18th, we came into the line 
of works it had vacated, our regiment occupying Fort 
Sedgwick — generally called "Fort Hell" — opposite the 
rebel Fort Mahone. The Eighteenth Corps took the 
position formerly held by the Ninth. The Fifth Corps 
marched to the Weldon Railroad, three miles south-west 
of the extreme left of the original Union line. The 
advance struck the railroad at Six-Mile station about 
eight o'clock in the morning. One division remained 
there, and proceeded to destroy the track, while General 
Warren led the two others northward about a mile, 
along the road towards Petersburg, and, finding the reb- 
els in line of battle, halted. Advancing again early in 
the afternoon, he was sharply attacked, and a part of his 
command was routed with considerable loss. Warren, 
however, still held the railroad, and proceeded to in- 
trench. During the night and following day he strength- 
ened his line, but the enemy made such threatening 
demonstrations that the Ninth Corps was called upon to 
reinforce. Accordingly, on the 20th, General Willcox, 
being nearest, first appeared, and took position on the 
right. The rebels under General A. P. Hill charged 
furiously in the afternoon. General Willcox success- 
fully repelled the attack upon his position, but General 
Warren's troops were not succeeding so well, for "the 
rebels had turned their right flank and were sweeping 
down their line, having already captured twenty-five 
hundred prisoners." 1 Then it was, that, after a weari- 
1 History of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment, p. 353. 



334 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

some march, the divisions of Generals White 1 and Pot- 
ter, comprising less than two thousand men, charged 
upon the almost victorious enemy, hurled him back in 
confusion, capturing two hundred prisoners and one 
flag, and saved the day. During the night the position 
was more securely strengthened. The Ninth Corps 
occupied the line extending eastward from the Fifth on 
the Weldon Railroad to the left of the Second in the old 
position of the Fifth near the Jerusalem plank road. 
On the 2 1 st the enemy made a desperate attack upon the 
troops in position across the railroad, which was brill- 
iantly repulsed. In this action General Potter's Division 
did efficient service. Our corps lost, in the fighting of 
these two days, about five hundred in killed, wounded, 
and missing. The loss of the regiment was one killed 
and several wounded. The Union line now extended 
across the Weldon Railroad, and the Union hold upon 
that important thoroughfare was never to be broken. 

During the most of September we had some oppor- 
tunity to rest, though engaged in strengthening our 
positions. In this work efficient aid was rendered by 
our Colored Division, which, having been left at first in 
the old lines, had joined the command the last week in 
August. In slashing timber, constructing redoubts, and 
in other labors of fortifying, the colored soldiers did 
excellent service. It having been determined to prolong 
our lines westward, or to the left, our First and Second 
divisions 2 were massed on the 28th in preparation for 

1 General Julius White, commander of the First Division in place of 
Ledlie, relieved immediately after the battle of the Mine. — Editor. 

2 At this time the corps comprised only three divisions. The First 
had become so reduced in numbers by the casualties of war and the 
expiration of enlistments, that on the 2d of September it was broken 
up, and its skeleton regiments were distributed to the Second and 



BATTLE OF POPLAR SPRING CHURCH. 335 

the movement. The advance was made in the forenoon 
of the 30th, the Fifth Corps taking the lead, arid the 
Ninth supporting. The line of march was towards Pop- 
lar Spring church, near the intersection of the Squirrel 
Level and Poplar Spring roads. About noon the van of 
the Fifth Corps came upon some of the enemy's advance 
works, and carried them by assault, but the rebels had 
their main entrenched position upon an acclivity more 
than half a mile in the rear, and to the left of the cap- 
tured works. To this they could and did retire. This, 
too, they had every opportunity to keep fully manned. 
The two divisions of the Ninth Corps having come up on 
the left of the Fifth, a movement was made by them upon 
this position, the second being in advance, with its Sec- 
ond Brigade (Griffin's) on the lead. Our Sixth Regi- 
ment was at the centre of the brigade line, with the 
Ninth and Eleventh New Hampshire and Seventeenth 
Vermont on its right, the Second Maryland, the Thirty- 
first and Thirty-second Maine, and other portions of our 
corps, on its left, and with the Second New York 
Mounted Rifles (Major Mapes) deployed as skirmishers. 
We moved forward over an open field, by the Pegram 
farm-house, through cornfields, across some low ground, 
and into a piece of pine woods, exchanging shots all the 
while with the retiring enemy, and wheeling partially to 
to the right as we advanced, to keep our connection with 
the Fifth Corps, or, rather, with an intervening swamp, 
which immediately protected our right flank. 

Along the further side of the pine woods was a fence, 
and beyond the fence another farm, with a large white 

Third. In this reorganization the former Third (Willcox's) became 
the First; the former Second (Potter's) retained its number; the 
former Fourth (Ferrero's) became the Third. — Editor. 



336 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

house and extensive out-buildings, yards, and cornfields, 
the ground falling off considerably from the woods down 
to the house. As already mentioned, other brigades of 
our corps were advancing on the left, and ours was in 
line of battle. Owing to the broken ground and other 
obstructions to the view, the men at the centre of the 
column could only guess by the firing how fast those on 
the right and left were advancing, and thus might and 
did get ahead of the rest of the line. On reaching the 
fence beyond the woods the Sixth New Hampshire 
leaped over it, and, rushing forward, seized the position 
of the large white house with its surrounding buildings 
and fences. The regiment was now a little in advance 
of all other troops in our line, so that neither flank was 
protected. There was a high board fence around the 
house and out-buildings, so compactly built that the men 
could not climb over it. Through a gate, however, 
which Captain Carlton opened, two or three companies 
entered the enclosure and passed down through the 
"negro quarters" into a court: but neither the men 
within this enclosure nor those without saw a strong line 
of the enemy which was advancing upon the same posi- 
tion under cover of a bushy ravine, and which, within a 
few minutes, was upon them. The regiment, finding 
itself in a tight place, got out of it as best it could by a 
hasty retreat. It suffered some loss, however, in pris- 
oners. Those within the enclosure had heard a terrible 
screech on their left and front, and seen the rebels 
swarming in upon them over another fence, while Cap- 
tain Jones, making his appearance at the gate, shouted, 
" Retreat with those colors as fast as you can ! We 
are being surrounded ! " Thereupon Color-Sergeant 
George Austin, of Company B, had rushed to the rear 



BATTLE OF POPLAR SPRING CHURCH. 337 

as fast as he could, with the rebels yelling " Capture their 
flags ! " and, sticking to the colors while he ran like a deer, 
had saved them. But some of the men, among whom 
was the writer, penned up and surrounded by swarms of 
yelling rebels, had surrendered, and those of them not 
shot after surrender had been taken to the rebel rear. 

While the right of our line held its ground for the time 
being, that strong rebel force, a part of which had struck 
the Sixth, advanced also upon our corps farther to the 
left, enveloped its left flank, and swept everything before 
it. Finally our whole line was compelled to give way 
and to retire to the Pegram farm, where the rebel 
advance was checked and the ground was held in per- 
manent Union grasp. That night men of the Sixth, 
with others, did picket duty near a rail-fence. It was a 
rainy, dismal night. Just at daybreak the enemy 
wheeled a battery into position on a hill in our front, and 
opened furiously on the picket line, making the rail- 
fence into kindling-wood in a manner more lively than 
agreeable. Some of the picket line retreated as soon as 
the firing commenced ; others would not do so without 
orders, and the "Johnnies," pouncing upon them, took 
most of them prisoners. Our corps lost in the action of 
the 30th of .September, known as the Battle of Poplar 
Spring church, Poplar Grove church, or Pegram 
farm, about 2,000 men, of whom above 1,500 were 
missing, mostly prisoners, — a large part of the entire loss 
falling upon Potter's Division. The loss of our regiment 
in killed, wounded, and missing was 4 officers and 87 
men. Of the officers, Captain A. K. Tilton was killed, 
and Captains J. S. Rowell and T.J. Carlton and Ser- 
geant (afterwards Captain) R. H. Potter were more or 
less severely wounded. 
22 



338 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Captain Tilton was an efficient, fearless officer, always 
ready for duty. It is not a certainty that his lifeless 
body was ever found, though some of the men of the 
Eleventh Regiment buried one resembling it ; for the 
much talked-of " Southern honor," exemplified in this 
battle as well as others in robbing the dead of clothing, 
destroyed an important means of identification. 1 Ser- 
geant Potter could not get off the field, but crawled back 
just within our picket lines. The next morning, when 
the enemy charged those lines, Captain Carlton with 
some others retreated through a small piece of woods on 
the double-quick, and as he passed a clump of bushes 
heard some one cry out "Don't leave me here, Tom!" 
Looking down, he saw Sergeant Potter lying there, 
wounded through the lungs. Carlton, seizing him, 
partly carried and partly dragged him within our lines, 
before reaching which Potter fainted from pain and loss 
of blood. He revived and lived, having, moreover, 
escaped captivity down in Dixie through Captain Carl- 
ton's timely lift. 

Among those of our best men killed, or so badly 
wounded that they soon died, was the fine fellow, Ser- 
geant Hiram Drowns of Company B. He went out with 
the regiment in 1861, and had been with it in all its 
marches and battles, having hitherto escaped with slight 
wounds. He told Captain Carlton before the battle that 
he felt that something was going to happen to him, and 
that he should not get through the day. Late in the 
afternoon he was shot through the bowels. One of his 
tent-mates, George W. Currier, helped him to the rear, 
and left him in the hands of the surgeons. He died the 

1 See notice of Captain Tilton at end of chapter ; also biographic 
sketch of Sergeant (Captain) Potter. 



BATTLE OF POPLAR SPRING CHURCH. 339 

next day. He had always been full of life and fun, and 
had done much to keep up the spirits of the other men 
when they were becoming discouraged. He was sadly 
missed by all. 

Laughable incidents, too, occurred in this battle, as in 
all others. The writer had in his company a Dutchman, 
one of the recruits. He was a good soldier, but a little 
peculiar, and bore the name of Lewis Schuttemeyer. 
When he went into the fight he had his rubber blanket 
rolled up and hung over his left shoulder, with the ends 
tied together at his right side. As we were passing 
through the woods a rebel got his eye on Lewis and 
fired at him. Lewis fell with the cry, "Mein Gott! I 
am shot ! Mein Gott ! I am shot ! " putting at the same 
time his hand to his neck. The writer hurried to his 
side to see how badly he was hurt, and, as no blood 
could be seen, assured him he would not die. On closer 
inspection it was found that the ball had struck the rub- 
ber blanket, where it lay against his neck and was rolled 
hard together. The ball had made nearly fifty holes 
through his blanket, and a large swelling on his neck, 
but by thus spending its force had spared his life. When 
told how slightly he was wounded, he said, "Mein Gott ! 
I tought I was kilt for sure dis time ! " He served to 
the end of the war unhurt. 

Those having the chief command in the operations of 
the 30th of September made a mistake in pressing the 
movement upon the enemy's strongly manned position 
in rear of that carried by our troops in the morning. 
The enemy might have attacked us, but we could have 
handled them with ease on the defensive. General Grif- 
fin, who was at the front, suggested to the division com- 
mander that the rebels "were in such force in our imme- 



340 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

diate front that it seemed useless to charge with so small 
a number of men, and that, in his opinion, we would 
better hold the ground we then had and throw up breast- 
works." But the suggestion was not heeded. Had it 
been heeded, the permanent extension of the Union line 
three miles westward of the Wei don Railroad — which 
was the result attained — would have been accomplished 
without the loss and failure of the second movement. 
Of the Union line thus prolonged, the Ninth Corps occu- 
pied the extreme left on the Peebles and Pegram farms, 
having the Fifth on its right, and its own left " refused" 
so as to cover the Squirrel Level road. The Colored 
Division now again joined its command, and assisted in 
fortifying, for the position was to be held till Petersburg 
was captured. Until near the end of October no serious 
operations were undertaken against the enemy, who held 
a strong position to the westward along the Boydton 
plank road, about half-way between our lines and the 
Southside Railroad — the latter being three or four miles 
distant — and also along Hatcher's Run to the south-west. 
General Grant determined to make an effort before win- 
ter to get possession of the Southside Railroad, now the 
enemy's main reliance for supplies. Hancock's Corps 
across Hatcher's Run, assisted by Warren's, was to turn 
the rebel right, while the Ninth Corps should engage the 
attention of the enemy on the hither side of the stream. 
Accordingly, on the 26th of October, we received orders 
to march at a moment's notice. Six days' rations and 
one hundred rounds of ammunition were issued to each 
man of our brigade. Though we were kept awake all 
night, expecting momentarily to move, we did not start 
till five o'clock in the morning of the 27th, when the en- 
tire corps marched quickly down the Squirrel Level road. 



BATTLE OF HATCHER'S RUN. 



34 1 



The plan was to surprise the enemy covering the Boyd- 
ton road, but it failed. Then, again, the enemy's position 
along Hatcher's Run was so strongly intrenched that 
little could be done save to intrench our position, and 
thus hold the foe where„he was, while the Second and 
Fifth Corps operated around his right. But Hancock 
found strong opposition, and could not carry out the plan 
of flanking the enemy's right and reaching the railroad. 
There was severe fighting, but it resulted in no decisive 
advantage to either side. Our troops held their positions 
during the night of the 27th, but on the morning of the 
28th orders were received from General Meade to with- 
draw to our former lines. By six o'clock in the evening 
the Ninth Corps, though followed by the enemy, had 
successfully done this without material loss. Our regi- 
ment suffered no loss in this action of Hatcher's Run. 
The. corps lost eight killed, twenty-seven wounded, and 
fourteen missing. 1 

This was the last operation on the left in which our 
regiment or its division was engaged. The regiment, 
however, remained here on the extreme left till the first 
of December, being on the front line most of the time 
and doing picket duty. Captain Samuel D. Quarles, 
severely wounded in the battle of Spottsylvania, returned 
October 19th, and was mustered as major. On the 8th 
of November occurred the memorable "Soldiers' Elec- 
tion," in which the army voted for president. General 
McClellan being the candidate on the Democratic side, 
some fears were felt at the North that the soldiers might 
be inclined to throw a strong vote for their old com- 

!The entire Union loss, including that of the Second and Fifth 
Corps, was 156 killed, 1,047 wounded, 6 99 missing, — total, 1,892. The 
Confederate loss was reported to be 1,000. — Editor. 



342 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

mander ; while we at the front knew but little how they 
would vote, for we had no time for canvassing or " elec- 
tioneering." Every one could vote just as he pleased, 
and the result showed that, however much some of them 
were attached to McClellan as.their old commander, the 
great majority were bound to stick by " Old Abe," as, 
with a kind of affectionate brevity, they used to call 
President Lincoln. Captain Jones, of our regiment, 
having been in Washington a few days before the 
election, procured a quantity of McClellan tickets and 
brought them down to the front, so that every Demo- 
cratic soldier might have a chance to vote for his party's 
candidate, if he chose to do so. Some of the officers 
censured him for doing this, but he replied, — "I am a 
strong Lincoln man myself, but I do not wish to see any 
' bulldozing ' on the front line ; for if any man is entitled 
to vote as he pleases, it is the soldier who has fought 
three years for the old flag." So, on the morning of the 
election, Lincoln and McClellan tickets were put upon 
the table, and the soldiers were told to take their 
choice and vote as they pleased. Our regiment cast one 
hundred votes for Lincoln and only eighteen for Mc- 
Clellan. The majority for Lincoln throughout the army 
was very large. 

Items relating to the Battle of Poplar Spring Church. 
" I wish," writes Captain J. N. Jones, " to make a state- 
ment in regard to the battle of Poplar Spring church, in 
which I had command of the regiment. We moved in 
line with the rest of the brigade, in the best order, and 
when we arrived at the farm buildings the left of the reg- 



INCIDENTS. 



343 



iment struck an out-building, and obliquing to the right, 
went to the lower end of it. The regiment on our left, — 
which, I think, was the Second Maryland, — did not, it 
seems, go any farther. I supposed, however, that our flank 
was all right, till a soldier cried out to me that the " rebs" 
were right upon us from the other side of the build- 
ing. I then called to the men to retreat, for we should 
all be taken prisoners if we did not. I succeeded in 
getting the greater part of them out, and then went 
myself. We had a considerable distance to go to reach 
the edge of the woods, where we halted, formed, and 
held the enemy in check. We then slowly retired 
through the woods, firing as we retreated, and finally 
reached a position behind a rail-fence, where we formed 
and lay all night. 

' ' In this connection I wish to say a word about the 
color-bearer, Sergeant O. T. Hadley, of Company E, 
for he deserves especial mention. On the retreat across 
the field and through the woods he never left me for a 
moment and never fell back a step, save when ordered 
or when he saw me do so. The flag had seven bullet 
holes put through it that day, but he escaped unharmed. 
A nobler man was never entrusted with the duty of car- 
rying the colors than was Sergeant Hadley, who still 
lives. 

"It was in this retreat that Captain A. K. Tilton, of 
whom I have spoken elsewhere, was killed. 

"When we retreated across the field to the edge of the 
woods I noticed General Potter sitting on his horse, as 
calm as a man could possibly be. He kept in our line 
all the way back through the woods. I saw a bullet 
strike his saddle, but without disturbing him at all. He 
was a remarkably brave man, and very cool in danger." 



344 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Caftain Tilton. Captain J. N. Jones writes as fol- 
lows : "I wish to notice Captain A. K. Tilton, who was 
killed, September 30, in the battle of Poplar Spring 
church, as being one of the most fearless men I ever 
saw in the army. I honestly think the man had no 
fear in his composition, for in all my experience with 
him I never saw him exhibit the least sign of any. I 
remember that when we withdrew from Bethesda church 
and had reached the breastworks at Cold Harbor, behind 
which we were to take position, he mounted them, and, 
as the regiment halted, turning to Major Bixby, he 
said, 'Major, are we not going to charge the rebels?' 
and was very much annoyed when informed that we 
were to occupy the works in which we then were. I am 
glad that the Post at Tilton has been named in his honor, 
for it could bear the name of no better man." 

The Soldiers' Election — [By Captain J. N. Jones]. 
' ' About ten days before the presidential election I was in 
Washington, and stopped at the Waverly House, kept by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Langley, formerly of the Fifth New 
Hampshire. He desired to send to the New Hampshire 
regiments in the field some Democratic ballots. I 
offered to take them down and distribute them, so far as I 
could, and did so. Before election day we were also 
supplied with Republican ballots. On the morning of 
that day, at roll-call, I told the men of my company that 
there would be no drill, and that at nine o'clock a. m. 
opportunity to vote would be given all of them who were 
legal voters in New Hampshire. The law made the 
three ranking officers in each company judges of elec- 
tion. Having no lieutenant, I invited two sergeants to 
assist me. My tent was about six feet by seven, and 
sunk into the ground twelve or fifteen inches for greater 



INCIDENTS. 345 

security against bullets that might come straying around 
at any time. It was noticed, however, that on that day 
the rebels were unusually quiet, firing scarcely a shot. 
A cigar box answered for a ballot box. The state fur- 
nished blanks for recording each voter's name, together 
with that of the town he claimed to be his residence, and 
for whom he voted. In case, therefore, a man voted 
who had no right to do so, his vote could be thrown out. 
The polls having been declared open, and both Demo- 
cratic and Republican votes placed upon the table, the 
men came up, were registered, voted, and retired. 
There was one man, a good specimen of the New 
Hampshire voter who goes to town-meeting and makes a 
day of it. He seemed in no hurry to vote, and I invited 
him to take a seat on a hard-bread box at the mouth of 
the tent. He had served almost three years ; had been 
with the regiment in its every battle ; had been slightly 
wounded several times — was, indeed, a good soldier. 
At last he said, — ' Say, captain, what do you think of 
the election?' To my reply, 'I guess it is all right,' 
he responded, * Well, what do you think of voting? I 
have always been a Democrat, and never voted anything 
but the Democratic ticket in *ny life.' 'All right,' said 
I, 'there are Democratic ballots — vote just as you please. 
If you can't do so after having gone through what you 
have, we had better all go home. I shall vote for Lincoln, 
but do you vote just as you choose.' ' Well,' said he, ' I 
have been thinking about voting for Lincoln. I believe 
he is a pretty good man.' Then taking a Republican 
ballot in one hand and a Democratic ballot in the other, 
he rested his elbows on his knees and scanned the tickets 
in silence. Seeing his dilemma, I read aloud and as 
impressively as I could, the following lines of poetry 



346 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

printed on the back of the Republican ticket, while he 
listened attentively : 

' What ! hoist the while flag when our triumph is nigh ! 
What ! crouch before treason — make freedom a lie ! 
What ! spike all our guns when the foe is at bay, 
With his flags and black banners fast dropping away ! ' 

I added the response, 'Not much!' and he, without 
saying a word, put the Lincoln ballot into the box, had 
his name recorded, and walked away. Company F 
voted solid for Lincoln, of free choice and without undue 
influence. And it is gratifying to record the fact that 
the soldiers' election was likewise a fair one throughout 
the army." 

ROBERT H. POTTER. 
(by the editor.) 

Captain Robert H. Potter was born in Concord, N. H., 
February 8, 1844. Both of his grandfathers were sol- 
diers in the Revolutionary War, and one of them subse- 
quently rose to the rank of general. Also four of his 
uncles served in the War of 1812. 

The subject of this sketch was, at the breaking out of 
the Rebellion, living on his farm in Concord. Within 
the first few months of the ensuing struggle, he, impelled 
by patriotic desire, started at midnight, with four others, 
and walked four miles to the residence of Lieutenant 
Thomas T. Moore, with the purpose of enlisting. He, 
however, was the only one of the five who then enlisted, 
his companions for some reason declining to do so. 
Joining Company I of the Sixth Regiment, he was mus- 
tered into the United States service, December 7, 1861. 




CAPTAIN BOBEET II. POTTER. 



ROBERT H. POTTER. 347 

He accompanied his regiment from its rendezvous at 
Keene to Washington, and thence to Annapolis and 
North Carolina. It was during the stay on Roanoke Is- 
land, where the regiment was under strict military disci- 
pline, drilling from four to six hours a day, that he began 
to manifest his excellent soldierly qualities. He became 
one of the drill-masters; and, while doing good service 
in that capacity, was always among the first to volunteer 
for duty involving hardship and danger, such as raiding, 
or breaking up rebel camps. His first hard battle was 
at Camden, April 19, 1862, where, after a long and te- 
dious march through mud, the men of New Hampshire, 
with tired limbs and blistered feet, played a strong hand 
in winning a complete victory. 

When, after the failure of McClellan's Peninsular cam- 
paign, his regiment, with its corps, was transferred to 
Virginia, and despatched to the assistance of Pope, he 
was left at Newport News, sick with bilious fever. As 
soon as he was able to be about, he was detailed as ward- 
master in the McClellan hospital at Hampton, remaining 
there until he rejoined his regiment at Falmouth, soon 
after the battle of Fredericksburg. 

He was in the Kentucky and Mississippi campaigns, 
from which he returned a victim of malarial fever con- 
tracted on the banks of the deadly Yazoo. While recu- 
perating in Kentucky, he, undeterred by peril, hardship, 
and suffering, reenlisted for three years more. During 
the thirty days' furlough to which his reenlistment enti- 
tled him, he received appointment as second sergeant of 
Company I ; but on returning to service he assumed the 
duties of first sergeant. He shared the fortunes of his 
regiment in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania 
Court House, North Anna river, Tolopotomoy creek, 



348 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Bethesda church, and Cold Harbor, and in those before 
Petersburg. 

In the battle of Poplar Spring church, September 30, 
1864, he was severely wounded through the left lung, 
and carried from the field to the hospital. The surgeon, 
seeing his condition on his being taken from the ambu- 
lance, ordered him to be carried to the dead-house, say- 
ing that it was " a question of only a few moments with 
him." Having thus been refused admission to the hos- 
pital, he lay in the dead-house until the chaplain of his 
regiment, coming around at two o'clock in the morning to 
see who were to be buried the ensuing day, found him 
lying in a pool of water, with the rain still pouring down. 
Turning him over to see who he was, the chaplain found 
that he was yet breathing faintly. Dragging him out of 
the water, he called an attendant who helped remove 
him to a hospital tent. A surgeon was notified, who, on 
hearing that the wounded man still lived, said he would 
dress his wound, and did so. Sergeant Potter lay un- 
conscious for seven days ; after which he began to show 
more signs of recovery, and the chaplain, who had been 
with him most of the time, day and night, cheerily said, 
" While there is life, there is hope." A few days later 
it became necessary to change the location of the hospi- 
tal, but it was thought that he could not survive removal. 
He insisted, however, upon having the attempt made, 
and so was taken along. He continued to gain slowly 
for a few weeks, and when from the crowded condition 
of the hospitals some of the sick and wounded were sent 
North, he was one of the number. This removal he had 
urgently requested, notwithstanding the remonstrance of 
the surgeons, who feared that he would die on the jour- 
ney. Having however, reached his destination — Bever- 



AMBROSE E. BURNS IDE. 



349 



ly, New Jersey — without injury, he remained there until 
the first of March. 

Finding himself better, he desired to rejoin his regi- 
ment, but the surgeon said that he was not fit to go, and 
ought to be discharged. Finally, however, upon infor- 
mation that a first lieutenant's commission was awaiting 
him at the front, he was allowed to go to his regiment. 
Having been mustered in under his new commission, he 
took command of his company, the captain being tempo- 
rarily absent. Soon came the general and final assault, 
April 2, 1865, upon the enemy's lines before Petersburg,, 
in which Lieutenant Potter's company was ordered to 
take a three-gun battery, which it did, and turned effec- 
tively the guns upon the hastily retreating foe. After 
Lee's surrender, and while guarding rebel prisoners 
awaiting parole, Lieutenant Potter received commission 
as captain, under which he served until, with his regi- 
ment, he was finally discharged, in July, 1865. This 
and his previous promotions Captain Potter had richly 
earned by bravery and meritorious conduct in camp, in 
march, and on the battlefield. 

AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE. 

(BY THE EDITOR.) 

Major-General Ambrose E. Burnside was born in 
Liberty, Indiana, May 23, 1824. At the age of 17 he 
was indentured to a merchant tailor, and, after learning 
the trade, began business in his native town. But his 
intelligence and military tastes led to his appointment as 
a cadet at West Point, where he graduated in 1847. He 
saw some service in Mexico, and subsequently upon the 
frontier. 



350 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

In 1852 he married Mary Richmond Bishop, of Prov- 
idence, R. I., and the same year he resigned his com- 
mission in order to superintend the manufacture of a 
breech-loading rifle which he had invented. The enter- 
prise not proving successful, and involving him in bank- 
ruptcy, he engaged in railroad operations, and in i860 
became treasurer of the Illinois Central, with office in 
New York city, having before his removal from Chicago 
paid every obligation of former indebtedness. 

During a visit to New Orleans, in the autumn of that 
year, he became convinced that secession would be 
attempted, and was prepared to enter at once upon ser- 
vice in defence of the Union. On the 15th of April he 
accepted the invitation of Gov. Sprague to take command 
of the 1st detached regiment of Rhode Island militia, 
which reached Washington on the 26th of April. Colonel 
Burnside commanded a brigade in the first battle of Bull 
Run, and was soon commissioned a brigadier-general of 
volunteers. Of his subsequent career in the war for the 
Union, the account has already been given in this 
history. 

Upon the acceptance of his resignation in 1865, Gen- 
eral Burnside returned to civil life, and engaged in rail- 
road construction and management. He was governor 
of Rhode Island in the years 1866, '67, and '68, but 
declined a fourth nomination. Devoting himself success- 
fully to railroad enterprises, he made a business visit to 
Europe during the Franco-Prussian war, and in course of 
it, witnessed the siege operations around Paris. His 
services as an envoy between the belligerents were 
sought, and they were so rendered as to secure the re- 
spect and confidence of both sides. In 1875 he was 
elected to the United States Senate from Rhode Island, 



JOHN G. PARKE. 35 1 

and in 1880 was reelected. His position in that body- 
was a leading one, his service faithful, efficient, patri- 
otic — the fit rounding of noble life-career. His death 
occurred suddenly at Bristol, R. I., September 3, 1881, 
in the 58th year of his age. 

JOHN G. PARKE. 
(by the editor.) 

Major-General John G. Parke was born in Chester 
county, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1827. He grad- 
uated from West Point in 1849, second in his class of 
forty -three, and was assigned to the corps of topograph- 
ical engineers. His service comprised exploring expedi- 
tions and boundary surveys, and his published maps — 
some of which appear in the Pacific Railroad reports — 
are the best of their kind. He was captain of his corps 
when Burnside's Expedition was organized in 1861, which 
he joined as a brigadier-general of volunteers. He served 
with the Ninth Corps from its organization to the end of 
the war, receiving promotion to major-general of vol- 
unteers in 1862. When, in 1864, he became the successor 
of his friend Burnside, his "pure, noble, and unselfish 
disposition" — to use the words of the corps historian — 
" had made him profoundly beloved by all the officers 
and men of the Ninth Corps, and his assignment to the 
command was hailed with sentiments of undisguised ap- 
probation and joy." For repelling the enemy's assault on 
Fort Steadman, he was brevetted a major-general of the 
United States army. After the war he resumed service 
in the corps of engineers, and in 1887 was appointed 
superintendent of the military academy at West Point. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

FALL OF PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND. 

Early in December the Ninth Corps returned to posi- 
tion in front of Petersburg, — this position being nearly 
the same as that occupied by it in the summer. It held 
the right of the investing line reaching from the Appo- 
mattox river to Battery Twenty-five. The First Division 
(Willcox's) occupied the right ; the Second (Potter's) 
stood next, — the Second Brigade 1 (Griffin's) holding the 
extreme left, which included Forts Sedgwick, Davis, 
Hays, and Batteries Twenty-four and Twenty-five. The 
three years men who had not reenlisted had been 
recently mustered out. 2 A change, too, was made about 
this time in the organization of the Corps. The Third 
(Colored) Division was detached, and made part of a 
new corps, numbered the Twenty-fifth, which was put in 
charge of the defences of Bermuda Hundred. Six regi- 
ments of Pennsylvania infantry, enlisted for one year, 
were formed into a division under command of General 
Hartranft, and became the Third of the Ninth Corps. 
This division was stationed in rear of the First and 
Second, and held in reserve. 

1 The brigade was composed, at this time, of the following regiments r 
The 6th, 9th, and nth New Hampshire, the 2d Maryland, 17th 
Vermont, 31st and 32d Maine, 56th Massachusetts, and the 179th 
and 1 86th New York. Till recently it had also had the 2d New 
York Mounted Rifles. — Editor. 

2 See statement at end of chapter. 



THE CLOSING CAMPAIGN. 353 

The Ninth Corps held this position during the winter, 
sparing now and then a division or a brigade to assist 
other corps in their operations. Thus, on the 6th of 
December the Fifth Corps made an expedition down the 
Weldon Railroad, — sometimes called "the expedition to 
Nottoway Court House," — and destroyed the track as far 
as Hicksford, more than thirty miles south of Petersburg. 
A portion of Potter's Division, including our regiment and 
some others of the Second Brigade, was sent to reinforce 
the corps and assist its re'turn. Both the troops originally 
engaged in the expedition, and those going to their help, 
suffered much in marching and bivouacking in snow and 
mud, with the wintry storms beating upon them. The 
junction of forces was made at Nottoway river on the 
afternoon of the nth, and the weary men of the Fifth 
Corps were glad to see us. The next day we all returned 
to our positions, through mud and "slosh;" and wearier 
or dirtier men were never seen before or after in our 
campaigning. We were so completely "used up," that 
our regiment, for the first and only time during its service, 
was reported unfit for duty. 1 

At last the winter was over, and the campaign could 
commence which General Grant "thoroughly believed 
would close the war." He had good reasons for his be- 
lief. Confederate commissioners had in the last days of 
January come within the Union lines, and sought and ob- 
tained an interview with President Lincoln — an act con- 
fessing Confederate weakness. Heavy desertions from 
the rebel army had for some time been going on, fearfully 
weakening the foe and clearly denoting loss of hope in 
the Confederate cause. Fort Fisher on the North Carolina 
coast, and with it Wilmington, had fallen, whereby amain 

1 Incidents of camp life will be found at end of chapter. 
23 



354 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

avenue for foreign supplies through blockade-running 
was closed. Thomas had dealt the rebel Army of the 
West its death-blow at Nashville. Sherman hadmarched 
from Atlanta to the sea, and turning northward had ad- 
vanced into North Carolina, where he was safely con- 
fronting Johnston. Sheridan had finished his brilliant 
campaign in the Shenandoah valley and his effective raid 
along the north of Richmond, destroying means of rebel 
communication and supply in that direction, and he now 
stood ready, with his ten thousand invincible cavalry, to 
help deal what he too believed was to be the final stroke 
of the war. Finally, the beleaguering armies of the 
Potomac and the James were fully prepared this time to 
make victorious advance against the last desperate resist- 
ance of their stubborn foe, and, in a mighty "charge all 
along the line, to help sweep away rebellion as in a whirl- 
wind. 

General Grant, on the 24th of March, 1865, issued a 
general order to Generals Meade, Ord, 1 and Sheridan, 
prescribing their respective duties in the grand movement 
forthwith to be made. General Lee, realizing that he 
was fast losing his hold upon Petersburg, the key to 
Richmond, was planning to withdraw his army, but he 
still kept a bold face along the front, and stood ready to 
take any advantage he might of the relentiess foe that 
threatened his destruction. Hence, on the 25th, was made 
the dash on Fort Stedman on our right — not a very 
strong work, and one of those nearest the enemy's line. 
A little after four o'clock in the morning of that day, 
squads of Confederates, — taking advantage of the per- 
mission that had been given rebel deserters" during the 

1 In command of the Army of the James, in place of General B. F. 
Butler, relieved. — Editor. 



BATTLE OF FORT STEDMAN. 355 

winter to come with arms within our lines, — advanced 
quietly over to our side under the guise of desertion, sur- 
prised the pickets, and taking them prisoners held their 
posts. Gordon's Corps and Bushrod Johnson's Division — 
numbering together from fifteen to twenty thousand — 
now pressed up, and took Fort Stedman and three batteries 
after spirited resistance. But General Parke was equal 
to the stern emergency. He made a rapid and skilful 
disposition of his forces so as to hedge in the exultant 
enemy. In this he was ably seconded by General 
Hartranft, who was in immediate command of the 
troops engaged. The latter led the counter attack, and 
by eight o'clock in the morning Fort Stedman was 
recaptured, and our lost position entirely regained. A 
large portion of the rebel storming column, unable to 
retreat through the cross-fires of our batteries, surrender- 
ed. Twenty-five hundred of the enemy were killed and 
wounded. The prisoners numbered almost two thousand, 
of whom seventy-one were officers. Nine stands of 
colors, and a large number of small arms, were also 
taken. The entire Union loss was about two thousand 
killed, wounded, and missing. Our regiment, acting 
only in support, sustained no loss in this battle, of which, 
however, it had a fair view. What had threatened to 
be a serious disaster to our arms was thus turned into 
brilliant success. Ruse was to be of no avail to the 
enemy hereafter. We guarded our lines more vigilantly 
than ever before, and eagerly awaited the decisive 
movement which we all felt must soon come. 

As it was evident that Lee would ere long retire 
from his present position, Grant made haste to crush 
the rebel army where it was. According to his orders 
the Sixth and Ninth corps stood on the alert in the 



35& 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



lines before Petersburg. General Ord, on the night of 
the 27th moved from the north side of the James to 
"take his place on our extreme left, thirty milea 
away," leaving "General Weitzel, with the rest of the 
Army of the James, to hold Bermuda Hundred and the 
north of the James river." When Ord got into place 
the Second and Fifth corps crossing Hatcher's Run 
extended out toward Five Forks, — a crossing of five 
roads at the enemy's extreme right, — so as to get a 
position from which the Southside Railroad, and ultimately 
the Danville, could be struck. In taking these new 
positions, the battle of White Oak road was fought 
with considerable Union loss. 

On the 30th of March, Sheridan was sent toward 
Five Forks by way of Dinwiddie Court House, and 
the next day he encountered the enemy in an inde- 
cisive engagement, — Lee having hurried off troops to 
meet the alarming movements against his right. With 
the assistance of the Fifth Corps, Sheridan on the first 
of April fought and won the important battle of Five 
Forks. "Our success," says he, " was unqualified ; we 
had overthrown Pickett, taken six guns, thirteen battle- 
flags, and nearly six thousand prisoners." 1 

All was now ready for the assault by Parke and 
Wright on the left and centre, .while Ord and Hum- 
phreys 2 were " to take any advantage that could be taken 
from weakening in their front." Accordingly, General 
Grant, as soon as he was informed of the capture of Five 
Forks, being apprehensive that a desperate and concen- 

1 " Personal Memoirs of Philip H. Sheridan, " Vol. II, p. 165. 

2 In command of the Second Corps. General Hancock had been re- 
lieved in November, and had gone to Washington, where he was raising 
and organizing a veteran corps. — Editor. 



THE LAST STRUGGLE. 357 

trated attempt would be made to regain possession of a 
place so important to the enemy, ordered the grand 
assault along the line to be made at once, but the corps 
commanders reported that it was too dark to make it then. 
A heavy artillery fire, however, was opened about ten 
o'clock, " along the whole line, including that north of 
the James," and was kept up "until it was light enough 
to move " the next morning — the morning of the eventful 
Sunday, April 2, 1865. 

Some time in February, General Griffin had sent word to 
General Grant, through division and corps head-quarters, 
that he thought we could break through the enemy's lines 
on the Jerusalem plank road, and soon afterward engineer 
officers were sent to examine the ground. A lookout was 
prepared in the top of a tall pine tree near Fort Davis, 
from which we had a good view of the enemy's lines for 
some distance each way. In the day-time we would 
climb to that perch and get views, and the engineers 
would take drawings, and in the night we would creep 
up as close as possible and examine their lines in that 
way, — sometimes with the aid of moonlight. This went 
on for some weeks, and several times orders were issued 
to be prepared to make the assault at a. given time ; and 
then the attack would be postponed. 

Finally, on the 1st of April, orders were received for 
our division to assault the enemy's lines the next morning 
at four o'clock, in connection with General Hartranft's 
Division on our right. About ten o'clock at night, Gen- 
eral Griffin received orders to attack the enemy's picket 
lines to the left of Fort Davis at once, and supposed that 
the attack was to be instead of the assault at four o'clock 
the next morning, as there would hardly be time for 
both. He immediately led several of his regiments to the 



35^ SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

front in the darkness, and attacked and carried the 
enemy's picket line for a mile in extent, capturing and 
sending to the rear eight officers and two hundred forty- 
one men. Scarcely had this been accomplished, when up 
came an aide with the information from division head- 
quarters that the assault at daylight had not been post- 
poned or abandoned, as had been supposed, but was to 
be made as ordered. It was then near three o'clock in the 
morning. The night was pitchy dark ; we were a mile 
from the spot selected for the formation, and the ground 
over which we must pass was of the roughest kind, — 
some of it covered with slashed timber. " A cold sweat 
came over me," General Griffin has said, " for I thought 
it was a very serious 'April fool' for me. It seemed 
impossible that I should get my brigade in position and 
formed for the assault in time, and it was not improbable 
that I should be cashiered for failure to obey orders at so 
critical a time. But we sprang to the work, and by the 
most strenuous efforts arrived barely in time." 

The brigade, which was composed of nine regiments, 
was formed under General Griffin's personal supervision 
on the Jerusalem plank road, just at the left of Fort 
Sedgwick, and only about two hundred yards from the 
enemy's lines. The formation was in column by regi- 
ments — seven regiments deep — with our Sixth near the 
head. The Ninth and Eleventh New Hampshire regi- 
ments were left in reserve to hold our fortified works in. 
case of disaster. A corps of pioneers with axes, under 
Captain Henry J. Griffin of the Sixth, led the column to' 
cut away the abatis. Curtin's brigade supported ours,, 
and Hartranft's Division was on our right. 

A. furious cannonade had been kept up for hours. The 
air was filled with rockets, bombs, shot, and exploding. 



FALL OF PETERSBURG AND RICHMOND. 359 

shells, and the rebels were on the qui vive to receive us. 
This cannonade manifestly caused a very heavy increase 
of our loss, as it kept the enemy wide-awake and ready 
to receive us with a destructive fire. Finally, at just four 
o'clock and a little before daylight, the signal gun was 
fired from our lines, the command " Forward !" given, 
and the column advanced with the greatest alacrity and 
without firing a shot. Passing the ditches, the pioneers 
tore away the abatis to the right and left, and the column 
swept over the parapet, driving the rebels out of their 
works at the point of the bayonet, seizing the guns, and 
turning them upon the enemy. The Sixth New Hamp- 
shire dashed upon a small fort or battery near Fort 
Mahone, and turned its four captured guns upon the foe. 
Then it was, that while Captains Hardy, Key, Pinkham, 
Rowell, and others were helping get the pieces in place, 
Hardy raised a laugh by saying, "Bill Key, give me a 
match, or your cigar, a pipe or something, so I can touch 
this darned thing off!" for as there were no fuses, the 
guns had to be touched off in the way suggested by our 
captain, so that the firing, though quite effective, was 
a little slow. Hartranft's division advanced along with us, 
and swept over the enemy's line in the same gallant 
style. The One Hundred Seventy-ninth New York, 
which was near the rear of the column, retained a good 
formation, and advanced beyond the enemy's line to capt- 
ure some batteries in its rear. But the lines had not 
given way except where we had dashed through, and 
General Griffin, fearing for the safety of the regiment and 
having no aide with him at the time, went for it himself 
on foot, and brought it back to our lines. 

While we were out there beyond the lines, an aide 
from division head-quarters came to report that General 



360 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Potter, remaining in Fort Sedgwick, had been severely 
wounded early in the action ; whereupon General Griffin 
assumed command of the division, which he held to the 
end of the war : while, having also received a major- 
generalship by brevet for good conduct on this day, he 
was the only volunteer from New Hampshire who rose to 
be full brigadier and brevet major-general during the war 
for the Union. Curtin's Brigade attacked Fort Mahone, 
gaining only partial possession, but holding the ground 
gained. No other advance was made along our corps 
front, while the murderous slaughter inflicted upon our 
two divisions, and their consequent disorganization, made 
it imprudent to attempt any further advance without 
additional troops, and we simply held what we had 
gained. In the afternoon General Collis reported to 
General Griffin with a brigade from City Point, and went 
in and made some demonstration ; but the enemy was 
still stubborn, and we were ordered to hold our position till 
morning. In this, its last battle, our regiment lost six 
killed and twenty-five wounded. The fight had been 
a terrible one, our division having lost seven hundred 
twenty-five men, killed and wounded, in less than thirty 
minutes. 

By full daylight, four hundred yards of the enemy's 
lines on each side of the Jerusalem plank road, including 
forts and redans, were in the hands of our troops. Farther 
to the left, too, the Second and Sixth corps, with por- 
tions of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth, had carried a 
part of the lines in their front, the rebels making stren- 
uous resistance and losing their commander, A. P. Hill. 
Before the day was over, the Sixth Corps reached the 
Appomattox on the south-west side of Petersburg, and 
the doomed city was completely invested. At eleven 



INCIDENTS. 361 

o'clock in the morning, Jefferson Davis while at church 
in Richmond had received Lee's message of despair, — 
" My lines are broken in three places. Richmond must 
be evacuated this evening." During the night the 
enemy withdrew from our front, and the next morning 
at daybreak, our forces entered Petersburg without 
opposition. 

Jnctbtftte.— $3to$rap§ic ^Utifyts. 

Watch-Meeting. Doubtless some of the veterans 
remember the watch-meeting, when we saw the old 
year out and the new year in, and how lively Cap- 
tain Ela's tent was on that occasion, and what an act- 
ive part Captains Key, Pinkham, Hardy, Higgins, 
Getchell, and " Bub" Cate took in the frolic. It would 
be pleasant if we could all meet again and rehearse 
this and other incidents in our camp life while we lay 
in front of Petersburg. But that can never be, for 
most of the brave boys have gone the long journey, 
from which no traveller returns. — L. J. 

Criticising the Cook. Some fun and sunshine could 
be gotten out of almost any position in which we were 
placed. Every company had its wit and wag. "Mose" 
Knowles was the wag of Company C. He was a 
brave soldier and a genuinely good fellow, and whether 
in camp or on the march, he was jovial and up to 
witty pranks, while constantly cracking his dry jokes, 
that never failed to make the most sober laugh. Quite 
often we had short rations, and oftener they were poorly 
cooked. A good many of the boys would grumble, 
and curse the cook. "Mose," however, seldom found 
fault, but would joke about it till the men became good- 



362 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

natured. One day the new cook burned the beans, 
and the mishap caused the usual amount of grumbling. 
"Mose" contented himself with the remark, — "That 
cook doesn't know anything; he couldn't boil water 
without burning it on to the kettle." — L. J. 

Blowing uf a Recruit. The wag mentioned in the 
preceding incident sometimes enjoyed giving timid re- 
cruits a fright by telling them that we had just received 
orders to charge the enemy's works the next morning, 
or by concocting some other story to make them tremble 
in their shoes. There was a substitute recruit in Com- 
pany G, who stood in the greatest fear of shells, and 
nothing amused "Mose" more than to see him watch 
for and dodge them. The recruit was very near- 
sighted and somewhat deaf, being one of those fellows 
that went out on a $1,500 bounty to fill the place of 
somebody who likely enough was getting rich out of 
the war, and thought a deaf and blind man as good 
as any to fight his country's battles. One day as 
"Mr. Recruit" was sitting on a hard-tack box en- 
gaged in inspecting his underwear in search of what 
the boys called "graybacks," "Mose," whose tent was 
close by, crept up behind him, and, placing several 
cartridges under the box, laid a train of powder thence 
back to his own tent. When "Mose" had fallen back 
in good order and was out of sight in his tent, he ap- 
plied a match to the train, and in one flash up went 
hard-tack box, "Mr. Recruit," and the whole con- 
cern, — but with no loss of life or limb. Supposing 
that a shell had exploded at his side, and that he was 
"a dead man sure," the fellow set up such a bellow- 
ing that the whole regiment turned out to see what 
was up. Of course "Mose" was as innocent as any 




LIEUTENANT ALVAH HEAI-D. 



ALVAH HEALD. 363 

of us ; but the secret was too good to keep, and it soon 
leaked out who perpetrated this practical joke, — the 
like of which were often played on the recruits and 
timid ones. — L. J. 

Discharge of Non-reenlisted Men. When the men 
of the regiment who had not reenlisted were mustered 
out, on the 28th of November, 1864, Captain Jones, 
being the senior officer then mustered out, had com- 
mand of them. Instead of taking the men to Concord,, 
he got them paid off in Washington, giving them their 
mileage, which was quite an advantage, and each went 
home in his own way. 

A Narro-w Escape. Lieutenant Alvah Heald writes, — 
"Of narrow escapes, one was at Fort Hell in a night 
attack by the rebels. The regiment was ordered to 
another part of the line, and I, being a little behind 
time, thought I would catch up with the regiment, by 
a short cut over the top of the breastworks. Being 
partly up a tree about eight inches through, by which 
I was climbing to the top of the works, I saw the flash 
of a rebel gun, and judged that the shot would come 
close to me. I jumped to the ground, assisted by a 
splinter from the tree as large as a man's arm, which 
knocked me several feet away, while the tree itself came 
down beside me with a crash. Surgeon Noyes plastered 
up the bruises in the morning, and I went to duty as 
usual." 

ALVAH HEALD. 
(by the editor.) 

Lieutenant Alvah Heald, son of Eli B. and Susan 
Heald, was born in Temple, N. H., May 30, 1842. His 



364 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ancestors came to this country as early as 1635, ant ^ 
some of them served in the French and Indian wars. 

In the month of October, 1861, while the subject of 
this sketch was attending school in Peterborough, N. H., 
the teacher was invited to take command of a company 
of volunteers in his town. The school voted that he 
might accept and go to the war. The patriotism of some 
of the boys was thus stimulated, and several of them 
volunteered, among whom was young Heald, who enlist- 
ed October 28, 1861, at Peterborough, and was assign- 
ed to Company E, Sixth New Hampshire Regiment. 
Having reenlisted January 4, 1864, he served till the 
close of the war, being with his regiment most of the 
entire time, and in most of the battles in which it was 
engaged. He became a corporal, January 1, 1864; was 
promoted to sergeant, March 14, 1865 ; to first sergeant, 
April 1, 1865 ; to second lieutenant of Company A, June 
1,1865. He was finally discharged, July 29, 1865, at 
Concord, N. H., with an honorable record for faithful 
service. 

Lieutenant Heald was a farmer boy when he went 
to the war, and since his return from it has been a 
piano-maker. He resides in Leominster, Massachusetts. 

ROBERT B. POTTER. 

(By THE EDITOR.) 

Major-General Robert B. Potter was born in Sche- 
nectady, N. Y., July 16, 1829. He was a son of Bishop 
Alonzo Potter. Having been a student at Union Col- 
lege, but without graduating, he became a lawyer, and 
was in the successful practice of his profession in New 
York city when the civil war began. He soon left 



ROBERT B. POTTER. 365 

the office for the camp. Rising from the grade of major, 
he was early in command of the 51st New York Vol- 
unteers, and won distinction as an officer of superior 
merit. He received his commission as brigadier-gen- 
eral of volunteers in the spring of 1863. No specific 
mention need here be made of his distinguished ser- 
vice in the Ninth Army Corps as commander of the 
Second Division. He was brevetted major-general of 
volunteers in June, 1864. He was wounded several 
times during the war, but most seriously in the final 
assault upon Petersburg, April 2, 1865, when he was 
succeeded in command by General S. G. Griffin. Im- 
mediately after the war he was commissioned as full 
major-general of volunteers, and "was assigned to the 
command of the Connecticut and Rhode Island district 
of the Department of the East." But early in 1866 
he was mustered out of the military service, and for 
some years was receiver for the Atlantic and Great 
Western Railroad. Subsequently, being in poor health, 
he was for some time in England, but his last days 
were spent in Newport, R. I., where he died February 
19, 1887. 



CHAPTER XX. 

END OF THE WAR— DISCHARGE FROM SERVICE— RETURN 

HOME. 

From Petersburg the Sixth Regiment marched with its 
division in pursuit of the retreating enemy, and formed a 
part of the line which surrounded Lee and forced his 
surrender at Appomattox on the 9th of April, 1865. Our 
division was, however, at some distance from the scene 
of the final surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. 
" The intelligence," as another has said, 1 "was received 
with the most joyful acclamations. The soldiers were 
glad to know that their work of carnage and death was 
finished. Visions of homes and friends rose before their 
minds. They now awaited the coming of the day when 
they could lay aside the weapons of war and resume the 
implements of peace. A citizen soldiery, unaccustomed 
to scenes of deadly conflict, had learned to face death in 
its most frightful forms with calmness, and by heroic 
deeds and sublime sacrifices had saved the republic. The 
men who had composed the Ninth Corps, drawn from 
fourteen different states, were faithful representatives of 
the best portions of our volunteer army." Of such just 
encomium the Sixth New Hampshire can rightfully ap- 
propriate an important share. 

Our regiment remained near Burkeville till the 20th of 
April, deeply saddened, meanwhile, by the death of 
President Lincoln, in whom our corps had always found 

1 Woodbury's History of Ninth Army Corps, p. 487. 



END OF THE WAR. 367 

an appreciative friend, and whose administrative policy 
had nowhere firmer supporters than among its officers 
and men. Having on the 20th taken up our homeward 
line of march, we reached City Point on the 23d, and 
thence sailed for Alexandria, where we arrived on the 
27th of April. We went into camp about one mile south- 
west of Alexandria, in a beautiful location on high 
ground, where we were to enjoy ourselves the best we 
could for two months. The weather was fine, and we 
had plenty of time to visit old comrades in other corps 
stationed all along up and down the Potomac. The camp 
was full of rumors. Sometimes it was said that we were 
to be sent West on the frontier, sometimes that we were 
going to Texas to put down such of the rebels there as 
had not surrendered. While awaiting " the tide of 
events," our brigade on the 17th of May made a pilgrim- 
age to Mount Vernon, the resting-place of the " Father 
of his country," four miles from camp. We spent the 
day there in the shade of the old historic trees, holding a 
sort of picnic, which we all enjoyed much. 

On the 23d of May the regiment marched with its bri- 
gade and division in the grand review which took place 
in Washington on that and the subsequent day. In that 
review — one of the grandest military pageants ever wit- 
nessed — the whole army passed before the President, 
the members of the Cabinet, Generals Grant and Sher- 
man, and other distinguished commanders, — the army of 
the Potomac occupying the first day, and Sherman's army, 
just arrived from its march to the sea, the second. Our 
former colonel, now Brevet Major-General S. G. Griffin, 
commanded the division and rode at its head, and like 
many other commanders who had distinguished them- 
selves, he was, not only himself but his horse also, cov- 



368 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ered with wreaths and garlands of flowers presented by- 
ladies and other admiring friends. 

But now orders began to be received to muster out the 
regiments, and we fully realized that the war was over 
and that we should soon go home. On the 1st of June, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Bixby was promoted to colonel, and 
on the 16th Major Quarles became lieutenant-colonel, 
and Captain Robert L. Ela, major. A few weeks were 
spent in adjusting accounts with the government. This 
was "no fool of a job," as we had to account for every- 
thing each company had had, even to a screw or a gun- 
lock. We managed however, to get over some of the 
"missing" things pretty easily. The entry, "Lost in 
battle," made in our final accounts, covered many a 
shortage in guns, accoutrements, and other items. We 
had been in so many battles the past year, that we could 
account for any amount of army stores lost, and get 
sworn vouchers in proof. 

In the closing days of our military service the usual 
strictness of camp life was somewhat relaxed, and the 
disposition for amusement was quite fully gratified. The 
Fourth of July was satisfactorily celebrated in our bri- 
gade, with prizes awarded for the fastest running, highest 
jumping, and other athletic feats, while a greased pig 
and a greased pole, with sack and hurdle races, closed 
the sports of the day. Sometimes, too, during those days, 
mischievous tricks would be played, one of which may 
here have brief description. In our camp there were 
several 100-pound shells lying around unexploded, hav- 
ing been thrown there in target practice by guns at the 
forts farther to the north. One warm day, when most of 
the officers and men were in their tents to be out of the 
hot sun, some of the boys thinking they would have a 



DISCHARGE FROM SERVICE. 369 

little fun and make a stir in camp, buried one of these 
shells in the ground, and laying a train of powder to it, 
made it a " sure go." The train was fired, and in a mo- 
ment off went the shell with a noise that roused the whole 
camp. All rushed out to see what was up, but all that 
could be seen was a smoking hole in the ground about 
large enough to take in a small cottage. The affair was 
a mystery, but some said a shell had dropped into camp, 
and exploded as it struck the ground. The pieces had 
fallen all around, but luckily had done no damage, save 
breaking a horse's leg and two or three stacked muskets. 
It was some time before it leaked out that possibly Com- 
pany I had a leading hand in the trick. However, as no 
one was killed and the war was over, no arrests were 
made, and the matter was treated as a joke. 

It will be remembered how the peddlers and hucksters 
swarmed out from Alexandria to get the soldiers' money, 
and that when they sold articles at a right figure they 
got along well ; but when they tried to beat the boys, they 
came off second best every time, and some of them receiv- 
ed rough handling. The night when we had a parting 
visit from the officers of the Ninth Regiment cannot but 
be remembered also. That was the night, too, when a 
drummer and a darkey took "a drop too much," and, 
when they awoke the next morning, found themselves 
tied close together outside the tent. (Query — Did Cap- 
tains Row ell and Carlton know anything about this?) 
The drummer began to scold because he was so close to 
a darkey, and the darkey found fault because the drum- 
mer's " breff smelled like sour-krout." 

As regiment after regiment left for home, we of the 
Sixth became anxious to return to New Hampshire. On 
the 7th of July, orders came from the War Department 
24 



3?0 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

to make up the muster-out papers. Within ten days these 
were ready, and on the morning of the 17th of July, 1865, 
our Sixth — being the last regiment of the Second Division 
of the Ninth Corps to be mustered out — was formally dis- 
charged from the military service of the United States, 
and we, almost in the twinkling of an eye, were changed 
from soldiers to civilians. At nine o'clock in the morn- 
ing of the next day we started for Washington, after 
making the surrounding hills echo with three rousing 
cheers. As we turned our backs upon our old camping- 
grounds and the "sacred soil of Virginia" where we 
had suffered so much, the only thought that saddened 
our hearts was that we were leaving so many brave com- 
rades behind in their graves. One comrade could be 
heard saying to another, "I wish Bill and Jack were 
here to go home with us." Surely the old soldier had 
not lost his tender feeling in the four years of battle and 
hardship through which he had passed. 

We remained in Washington till the afternoon of the 
19th, waiting for transportation, and then took cars for 
Baltimore and Philadelphia. We arrived at the latter 
place early in the morning of the 20th, and took break- 
fast at the " old Cooper shop retreat," a place already 
mentioned in an early chapter, and ever to be gratefully 
remembered for its generous hospitality to our Eastern 
troops as they passed through Philadelphia. Leaving for 
New York early in the afternoon, we arrived there in the 
evening, and found quarters at the Battery barracks. Going 
on board the steamer New London in the afternoon of the 
21st, we passed down the harbor, — the band, the while, 
delighting the passengers with sweet music. General 
Burnside had met us in New York as we were passing 
through the streets, and the meeting, though casual, 



RETURN HOME. 37 1 

was a pleasant one. Having reached New London at 
one o'clock in the morning of July 23d, we took cars for 
Concord, N. H., and arrived there at one in the after- 
noon of the same day. Marching to the state-house, we 
were received in due form by Governor Smyth and his 
council. Speeches were made by the governor, General 
Griffin, and others, after which we were served with a 
good dinner at the Eagle and Phenix hotels. We were 
then marched to the old camp-ground at the " South 
End " of the city, where the men were to occupy the old 
barracks till the paymaster, Major McFarland, could get 
ready to pay off, and the officers could turn over the 
ordnance stores and camp equipage to the adjutant-gen- 
eral of the state. Payment being delayed for a week, the 
men became somewhat impatient and many left tempo- 
rarily, but all were present on the 29th of July, when they 
were paid off, and each man went his way to his home. 

It was sad to part from those with whom we had stood 
shoulder to shoulder for four years through all the perils 
and trials of army life, and tears glistened in the eyes of 
many a veteran as he took leave of his comrades at the 
station on that lovely July day. The writer felt as if he 
were separating from his family, when he took each of 
his men by the hand and said the brief good-bye. 
Yes, those faces seem to come up before him now as he 
recalls that parting — faces of scar-worn veterans, noble 
men, brave and true, who had left all in 1861 and gone 
forth with the highest motives, to battle for the "old 
flag " and for the right. Such men as then went to the 
front could be relied upon at all times, whether in the 
field as soldiers or at home as citizens. The writer would 
fain do justice to those who thus went out, sound and 
vigorous, and came back shattered and debilitated, and 



372 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

to those brave ones, too, who fell and now are sleeping 
where they fell, — many of them in unknown graves. 
The spirit which actuated our heroic men, whether they 
perished or survived, was expressed by the noble boy 
who was heard to say, when told by the surgeon that he 
could not live, — " I could die content, if I knew for a cer- 
tainty that our army would be successful in crushing out 
the rebellion and restoring the old flag to its place in 
every state." Such was the spirit of the noble army of 
the Union dead, the memory of whom, it is to be hoped, 
will be kept alive from generation to generation, and the 
high purpose with which they fought forever cherished ; 
for the same spirit and purpose with which the great 
struggle was waged to the final triumph of the right, are 
requisite to the permanent retaining of the precious ad- 
vantages secured at unparalleled cost of toil and hard- 
ship, tears and blood. 

That our regiment was a "fighting" one, the following 
list of its twenty-three battles attests : 

Camden, North Carolina April 19. 1862. 

Second Bull Run, Virginia August 29, 1862. 

Chantilly, Virginia September 1, 1862. 

South Mountain, Maryland September 13, 1862. 

Antietam, Maryland September 17, 1862. 

Fredericksburg, Virginia .... December 13, 1862. 

Vicksburg, Mississippi July, 1863. 

Jackson, Mississippi July, 1863. 

Wilderness, Virginia May 6, 1864. 

Spottsylvania, Virginia May 12, 1864. 

Spottsylvania, Virginia May 18, 1864. 

North Anna, Virginia May 24, 1864. 

Tolopotomoy Creek, Virginia May 31, 1864. 

Bethesda Church, Virginia June 2, 1864. 

Cold Harbor, Virginia June 3, 1864. 



THE RECORD OF THE REGIMENT. 373 

Petersburg, Virginia June 16, 1864 

Petersburg, Virginia June 17, 1864 

Petersburg, Virginia. . June 18, 1864 

The Mine, Virginia July 30, 1864 

Weldon Railroad, Virginia August 20, 1864 

Poplar Spring Church, Virginia . . . September 30, 1864 

Hatcher's Run, Virginia October 27, 1864 

Petersburg, Virginia April 2, 1865 

The regiment participated, moreover, in numerous 
reconnoissances and skirmishes in which the loss was 
small. For many days during the Wilderness campaign, 
and for nine weeks before Petersburg, it was constantly 
under fire, suffering almost daily loss which made a 
large aggregate. The Sixth was oftener sent forward to 
skirmish than any other regiment, almost always doing 
that duty for its brigade, and often for its division. Com- 
pany C usually skirmished for the regiment. The men of 
the Sixth were particularly well drilled for this service, — 
having, while at Roanoke and Hatteras islands, prac- 
tised every day for three months as sharpshooters, — 
and were esteemed the best shots in the Ninth Army 
Corps. The regiment, too, during its term of service, 
marched or travelled more than twenty thousand miles, 
and served in seventeen different states ; meeting all the 
requisitions of duty, however onerous or perilous, with 
ready and cheerful efficiency. Indeed, gallant conduct 
was so universal in its ranks, that its officers, when called 
upon at various times to recommend those to whom 
medals should be awarded, generally felt constrained to 
report that " almost every one of their men might be 
recommended, but that it would be invidious to name a 
few." While the boastful assertion shall not be made that 
the Sixth was "the best regiment sent out from New 



374 SIXTH NE W HAMPSHIRE. 

Hampshire," the claim must be asserted, and can be 
maintained, that there was no better, — that it was equal to 
the best. Its record of heroic doing, attested in the life- 
blood of two thirds of its original members, has added a 
brilliant chapter to the history of New Hampshire's 
always glorious achievement in war, and it may well be 
felt to be a proud distinction for him of whom it can be 
said, " He was a worthy member of the Sixth New Hamp- 
shire Regiment in the First and Second brigades of the 
Second Division of the Ninth Army Corps." 



CHAPTER XXI. 

BIOGRAPHIC SKETCHES— FIRST REUNION. 

Some biographic sketches are given in previous chap- 
ters ; others find a convenient and appropriate place in 
this. More of them would have been welcome, and had 
such sketches, or the data requisite to their preparation, 
been supplied as solicited, more would have appeared 
somewhere on the pages of this history. 

PHIN P. BIXBY. 
(by the editor.) 

Colonel Phin P. Bixby was a native of Piermont, N. 
H., and was, when he entered the military service in 
1861, thirty-two years of age. He was then a resident 
of Concord, where he was in trade. He was com- 
missioned Adjutant of the Sixth Regiment, November 
30, 1 86 1. While serving faithfully and acceptably in 
this capacity, he was wounded and taken prisoner in the 
Second Battle of Bull Run, August 29, 1862. Having 
been detained some weeks in Libby Prison he was ex- 
changed on the 3d of October, and, rejoining his regi- 
ment, was on the 15th of that month commissioned major 
to succeed O. G. Dort, resigned. He had command of 
the regiment for some time after the death of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Pearson at North Anna on the 26th of May, 1864. 
In the operations before Petersburg he was twice wound- 
ed, the second time so severely that he was detained from 



376 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

duty nearly three months. During his absence, however, 
he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. After his return, 
he was for most of the time in command of the regiment, 
and on the 21st of February, 1865, was appointed colonel. 
On the 2d of April, General Griffin having succeeded 
General Potter in the command of the division, Colonel 
Bixby came to the command of the brigade, and held it 
until the surrender at Appomattox. He was mustered 
out with his regiment September 17, 1865. He also re- 
ceived the brevet appointment of "Colonel of United 
States Volunteers, for gallant and highly meritorious con- 
duct in the assault before Petersburg, Va., to date from 
April 2, 1865." 

After leaving the military service, in which he had so 
highly distinguished himself in his country's cause, he 
returned to his home and business in Concord. He died 
January 16, 1877. 



SAMUEL D. QUARLES. 

(by the editor.) 

Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel D. Quarles, son of Sam- 
uel and Sarah (Dalton) Quarles, was born in Ossipee 
January 16, 1833. He received education at several 
academies and at Michigan University. He was a suc- 
cessful teacher, and held the office of county school com- 
missioner for two years. Having read law with Luther 
D. Sawyer in his native town, he was admitted to practice 
in October, 1861. He raised a company for the Fourth 
New Hampshire Regiment, but could not accompany it 
by reason of severe illness. Upon his recovery he raised 
another company, which was mustered into service in the 



SAMUEL D. QUARLES. 377 

Sixth Regiment as Company D, of which he was com- 
missioned captain. He proved faithful and efficient, 
and, having passed unharmed through many sanguinary 
battles, was severely wounded on the 18th of May, 1864, 
at Spottsylvania, and, as the result, could not rejoin his 
regiment till October 20, 1864. He had received com- 
mission as major the previous July, and, entering upon 
the duties of his new position, won new honor' in their 
performance, and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel "for 
gallant and meritorious service in front of Petersburg, 
April 2, 1865." 

Returning to Ossipee after the war, he married S. 
Augusta, daughter of Moses P. Brown, and entered up- 
on the successful practice of the law. In this he con- 
tinued until his death, which occurred November 22, 1889. 

His friend, Captain J. N. Jones, has written of him, — 
"I wish to give my testimony to his many good qualities ; 
for he had his faults, and was imperfectly understood by 
many of .his acquaintances. He was the soul of honor : 
you could depend upon whatever he told you. I would 
have trusted him with untold money. He would have 
scorned to take advantage of a friend, and would stand by 
one even unto death. He and I recruited a company to- 
gether, and I had the opportunity to test him in business 
matters. He was grand in his patriotism, and never lost 
faith in the government in its darkest hour. His sympa- 
thies were as broad as humanity : he believed thoroughly 
in the equality of mankind and the unity of the republic. 
As a soldier, he was fearless in battle, and loved the tented 
field better than a palace. He thoroughly enjoyed the 
hardships of a soldier's life ; his perseverance was in- 
domitable ; he 'knew no such word as fail.' As a 
company commander, he was most exact and thorough 



378 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

in every detail. His account was kept with the utmost 
exactness ; when proper blanks were not furnished, he 
would rule his carefully, and fill them properly. His 
muster-rolls were models of accuracy, and every man 
got his pay exactly in every case. I was first lieutenant 
under him for eight months, and we never had an 
unpleasant word, while it may be added that we re- 
mained fast friends to the day of his death. He was 
affectionate, and loved his mother to devotion ; and I 
was under pledge for three years to send her his body in 
the event of his death." 



OSGOOD T. HADLEY. 
(by the editor.) 

Sergeant Osgood Towns Hadley, son of Joel and 
Mary George (Towns) Hadley, was born in Nashua, N. 
H., January 19, 1838. He enlisted August 3, 1861, 
under John A. Cummings at Peterborough, in a squad 
of twenty-four men primarily raised for the Fifth Regi- 
ment, but which was assigned to Company E of the 
Sixth, in command of Captain O. G. Dort. Going to 
the front and serving as a private and corporal with his 
regiment until reenlistment, he was, in January, 1864, 
while at Covington, Ky., detailed as a color guard, and 
served as such until the Battle of the Wilderness. In 
that battle the color-bearer, J. H. Smith, having fallen, 
Hadley brought the colors from the field. Colonel 
Pearson having on the field appointed him color-bearer, 
he served in that capacity to the end of the war. In the 
battle of Poplar Spring church, September 30, 1864, he 
lost all his color guard, and retreated alone with the 




SEUGKANT IISCIKIII T. ITADI.EY. 



OSGOOD T. HADLEY. 379 

colors until he came to the main body of his regiment 
half a mile in the rear. 1 

He was wounded seven times in action, — slightly by a 
Minie ball in the right leg, in the second charge on the 
bridge at Antietam ; rather severely by a piece of shell 
in the head, at Fredericksburg, entailing confinement in 
hospital for six weeks ; in the Wilderness, in the hand, 
the thumb being split open by a splinter from his gun 
stock struck by a Minie ball; at Cold Harbor, in the 
heel, by the explosion of a shell ; severely in the arm, in 
the first battle before Petersburg, but without being com- 
pelled to leave on account of it ; slightly in the thigh by 
a Minie ball, in a skirmish before Petersburg ; slightly 
in the back, at the Mine, by the explosion of a shrapnel 
shell. The wounds in the head and arm have troubled 
him ever since. Indeed, he said in 1890, " I have never 
seen a day of geod health, or an hour free from pain, 
sinpe the war." 

He refused a lieutenant's commission that he might 
bring the colors home. This he did, and delivered them 
to the governor of New Hampshire at Concord, in July, 
1865 . 2 " That," he has said, " was the proudest day of 
my life." It may be added that he and two comrades, 
Harlan P. Knight, of Hancock, and Martin White, of 
Peterborough, were recommended to the War Depart- 
ment as deserving medals for bravery in action. 

For a year after the war poor health hindered the 

1 In explanation of any apparent discrepancy between this statement 
and that on page 336, respecting the exploit of Sergeant Austin, it may 
be stated that reference is had in one case to the United States colors, 
and in the other to the New Hampshire, both of which were borne by 
the regiment. 

2 See note p. 384. 



380 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

brave veteran from work, but having recovered his 
strength somewhat, he found employment with A. Childs, 
of Peterborough, in the basket business, for most of the 
time from 1866 to 1871. He then took the position of 
locomotive fireman on the Boston & Albany Railroad, 
and in 1878 was promoted to locomotive engineer, which 
place he has since held. 

Sergeant Hadley had two brothers in the war, — 
George W., who served in Company E, Sixth Regi- 
ment, and, wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, 
died soon after in Hampton hospital ; and Edgar J., who 
served in the New England Cavalry as bugler for two 
years, and was then discharged for disability from 
disease contracted in the service. 

SAMUEL G. GOODWIN. 
(by a. s. batchellor.) 

Brevet Major Samuel Graves Goodwin was a native of 
Littleton, born June 2, 1835. His parents were Samuel 
and Martha (Nourse) Goodwin, who were well-to-do 
farmers in the Mann's Hill district of that town. His 
maternal grandfather was ensign of the first company of 
militia ever organized in Littleton. Samuel G. Good- 
win, at the outbreak of the war, was a sturdy young 
man with marked facility in leadership. He was em- 
ployed in the fire department of the city of New York, 
and enlisted on the 20th of April, 1861, in the regiment 
of First Zouaves, raised and commanded by the gallant 
Ellsworth. With this organization he took part in the 
battle of Bull Run. Returning home soon after, he 
obtained authority to recruit for the Sixth Regiment, and 
in a short time raised a detachment of nineteen men, 



MOSES P. BEMIS. 38 1 

principally from Bethlehem and Littleton, all of whom, 
however, were credited on the quota of Littleton. Good- 
win was made second lieutenant of Company B, Novem- 
ber 27, 1861 ; first lieutenant, May 16, 1862; captain, 
August 1, 1862; and brevetted major for gallant and 
meritorious conduct before Petersburg, April 2, 1865. 

Physically, Major Goodwin was a man of remarkable 
strength and endurance. His weight, however, was so 
great that it was a severe burden to him in the service, 
and but for his superb constitution it would have inca- 
pacitated him utterly from a great part of the undertak- 
ings which devolved upon him as a soldier. He was 
seriously wounded June 3, 1864, at Cold Harbor, and 
suffered several other injuries. He was with his regiment 
in most of its varied peregrinations over the whole seat of 
war. He performed satisfactorily, also, his share of 
details on courts-martial, provost duties, and other auxil- 
iary work. He was mustered out with the regiment as 
captain, July 17, 1865. 

After this he returned to his home at Littleton, and 
was employed as postal mail agent for some time on the 
line from Boston to Littleton. At times, also, he was 
employed and resided at Manchester in his last years. 
He never married. His death occurred unexpectedly at 
that place April 24, 1875. The earthly remains of this 
brave man now fill a soldier's grave at Glenwood ceme- 
tery in his natiye town. 

MOSES P. BEMIS. 

(BY A. S. BATCHELLOR.) 

Lieutenant Moses P. Bemis was a resident of Bethle- 
hem at the time of his enlistment, but he was one of the 



382 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

men who entered the service with Captain Goodwin at 
Littleton and was credited to the quota of that town. 
He was born in Lisbon, August 2, 1841, his parents 
being Lyman and Ann Bemis. From 1847 to 1859 tne 
family had resided in Littleton. Lieutenant Bemis 
served faithfully with the- regiment during its entire 
term, including reenlistment in 1864. He participated 
in no less than twelve hard battles, including the sieges 
of Vicksburg and Petersburg. He was wounded in the 
head by a fragment of shell at the explosion of the mine 
in 1864. 

He settled permanently in the business of farming at 
East Haverhill, where he has since resided. He has a 
family consisting of a wife, son, and daughter. He is a 
citizen of excellent character, and enjoys the respect and 
confidence of the community. 

AZROE A. HARRIMAN. 
(by the editor.) 

Corporal Azroe A. Harriman was born in Eaton, N. 
H., in 1843. He enlisted in 1861, and was a corporal in 
Company D. He was with the regiment all the time 
until the autumn of 1862, when he was taken sick, and 
was necessarily left near Falmouth Station with only such 
sustenance as he could accidentally pick up after the regi- 
ment had gone. He finally got to Washington, where 
he was in the hospital a while. Thence he was sent to 
David's island, New York, but was finally discharged 
in the spring of 1863. In the fall of that year he went 
to Minnesota, where he married in 1867. The next 
year he removed to Iowa, where he has since resided. 



LORENZO F. TOLMAN. 383 

JOHN B. SANDERS. 
(by the editor.) 

Captain John B. Sanders was born at Effingham, N. 
H., August, 1 817. Educated in the district schools of 
that town, he started out in early life to struggle for him- 
self. When the war broke out and the call came for 
three hundred thousand men, he was a travelling sales- 
man with a good salary ; but, fired with love for his 
country, he at once enlisted sixty men, and received 
from Governor Berry a captain's commission. His com- 
mand constituted Company H of the Sixth Regiment. 

During the hardships of the Burnside expedition his 
health became impaired, but after a while he rallied and 
resumed duty. But finally, at Newport News, the last 
of July, 1862, he received a sunstroke, which, with other 
disabilities caused by the exposure of camp life, ren- 
dered his condition so critical that he was obliged to 
resign his commission and return North to save his life. 

Through the subsequent years up to the present time 
Captain Sanders has suffered much from disease con- 
tracted while in the service in the South. He resides at 
Dover, N. H., and, as far as his poor health will permit, 
is in active unison with the G. A. R. boys. 

LORENZO F. TOLMAN. 

(by the editor.) 

Sergeant Lorenzo F. Tolman was born in Fitchburg, 
Mass., September 19, 1843. He was a member of 
Company F, first enlisting in 1861, reenlisting in 1864, 
and discharged July, 1865. He was in the battles of 
Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Jackson, the Wilderness, 



384 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Peters- 
burg. He received a bad wound in the foot at Milldale, 
Mississippi. In the Wilderness he crept up to a rebel 
picket post, and captured two of the three men on duty 
there, and while he was making off with them the other 
one shot at him from behind a tree, just missing his right 
ear. Having got back to his regiment with the cap- 
tives, he was put in charge of a squad of prisoners and 
sent to the rear by General Burnside, who happened to be 
by as he came out with the "Johnnies." He served as 
color-guard the last year of the war, and had a man shot 
on each side of him ; one at Fredericksburg, and the other 
in a charge upon a fort led by Captain Quarles. He was 
promoted to sergeant, and brought the old flag-staff and 
what was left of the flag back to Concord. 1 He was 
badly wounded before Petersburg in June, 1864. Cap- 
tain J. N. Jones, writing of the fact, says, — "He [Tol- 
man] was struck in the breast by a Minie ball, which 
passed entirely through him. But the heroic fellow was, 
within four months, back for duty." Sergeant Tolman 
is now (1890) a dentist in Athol, Massachusetts. 

EDWARD F. ADAMS. 

(by the editor.) 

Captain Edward F. Adams was born in Jaffrey, N. 
H., May 25, 1825. He was mustered into service in 
Company E, at Keene, November 28, 1861, and rose 
through the grades of corporal, sergeant, and lieutenant 
to captain, this last commission dating from April, 1864. 
He was mustered out January 6, 1865, having been with 

'This statement refers to the "old" original colors; that on page. 
379, to those in possession of the regiment. 



JOSIAff N, JONES. 385 

the regiment in all its battles up to that time. He is a 
carpenter, and resides in Troy, N. H. 

FRANK PIERCE. 

(BY CAPT. J. N. JONES.) 

Frank Pierce, private and sergeant of Company F, and 
lieutenant of Company B, was less than eighteen years 
old when he enlisted. He used to say that he enlisted for 
the purpose of going to Washington to see the capitol. If 
that was so, he paid dear for his fare. Everybody in the 
regiment knew him ; for he was everywhere present, and 
had something, in fact, a good deal, to say. He was a 
tough, hardy boy, and always prompt to duty. He was 
brave but not rash, and did not believe in throwing away 
life foolishly. When we were under fire and nothing could 
be done by the men but wait, he would hug the ground 
as closely as any one, but when the order came to open fire 
or advance he was one of the first to spring to his feet, 
and no place was then too dangerous for him. He was 
in every engagement we had, and was slightly wounded 
several times. He was full of fun, and had his joke on 
all occasions, no matter how thick the Minies flew. He 
now lives, an exemplary and honored citizen, in Hudson, 
Massachusetts. 

JOSIAH N. JONES. 

(by the editor.) 

Captain Josiah N. Jones was born in Wakefield, N. 
H., April 6, 1835. His father, who was a native of 
Lebanon, Maine, settled in Wakefield, in 1825. He had 
served in the War of 1812. His wife, whose maiden name 
was Witham, was a native of Milton, N. H. Until a year 
25 



386 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

before the birth of Josiah the father was a prosperous 
farmer, but he then met with an accident from the effects 
of which he remained an invalid until his death in 1843. 
The mother was left with a family of eight children, 
seven of whom are now (1891) living. 

Josiah's childhood was one of hardship and depriv- 
ation. Hard work on a farm was his lot. His educational 
privileges were only those of a district school a mile and 
a quarter distant from his home, in attendance upon 
which, however, the boy, eager for knowledge, rarely 
ever missed a day. In offset to much of disadvantage is 
to be placed the blessing of an uncommonly strong consti- 
tution, which, fortified by good habits, has never failed 
him in the varied phases of a busy life. At the age of 
fifteen he found employment for one summer in a store in 
Boston, returning home in the winter to attend school. 
Having a taste for mechanics, he went to work the next 
year in the repair shops of the . Eastern Railroad at East 
Boston as an apprentice in the trade of machine black- 
smith, with pay barely sufficient to board and clothe him. 
He worked there two years without losing a day, but, 
thinking that proper advantages for improvement through 
due advancement were not afforded him, he decided to 
leave at the end of that time and go West. 

Leaving Boston for Chicago on the first day of May, 
1853, he started upon a fifteen months trip, during which, 
going or returning, he never saw a person that he had 
seen before taking the journey. He found employment 
in Chicago and other places in Illinois till autumn, and 
then went down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Upon 
his arrival at that city his baggage was stolen, and as he 
had paid the expenses of a companion for most of the 
way down the river, he found himself nearly out of 



JOSIAH N. JONES. 387 

money and with nothing to do at his trade. In company 
with three other men, all moneyless, he decided to go to 
work on the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern 
Railway, which was then in process of construction out 
beyond Lake Pontchartrain. Having crossed the lake in 
a steamer, the four men were landed in a cypress swamp 
full of alligators, where to step off the felled logs was to 
sink into mud and water up to one's hips. They found a 
hundred employes at work there, one half of whom were 
slaves, and the other half white men trying to raise 
money enough to get to " God's country " up North. The 
foiir worked there only ten days, with salt meat, hard 
bread, and potatoes to eat, and tea, swamp water, and 
whiskey to drink, — the last, even Jones, teetotaler though 
he was and has ever been, being compelled to use to a cer- 
tain extent to neutralize the efFects of the poisonous water. 
While employed in laying that railroad track, he little 
thought that ten years later he should help tear up the 
rails on the same line of road, as he was destined to do 
in the vicinity of Jackson, Mississippi, in the Vicksburg 
campaign. When Jones and his three companions asked 
to be paid, they were informed that pay could only be 
had at New Orleans. But New Orleans was forty miles 
away with a lake intervening, and no boat running except 
the company's, and that would not carry them. They 
left, however, under the bitter abuse of the overseer, and 
reached Baton Rouge in three days, having tramped 
through pine-forests and swamps, waded creeks and 
bayous up to their necks, been ferried across the Amite 
river for twenty cents, — paid by Jones, and being the only 
money in the party, — and had nothing but hard bread to 
eat any of the time, and the last day only sugar-cane. 
Having worked on a turnpike to earn money enough 



388 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

to carry him up river as a deck passenger, Jones finally 
reached Cincinnati in midwinter, but could get nothing 
to do. He then shipped as a fireman and deck-hand on 
a steamboat bound for New Orleans, and made a round 
trip of about a month, seeing, in the company of the rude 
boatmen of the Mississippi, life in one of its roughest 
aspects. He left boating, and went to chopping wood at 
North Bend, Ohio, in sight of " Old Tippecanoe's log 
cabin." He remained there long enough to get the means 
for going to Chicago, whither after an absence of five 
months he returned, with no small store of useful experi- 
ence. He had, moreover, seen slavery in such horrible 
shapes that thenceforth he was its uncompromising foe. 
He remained in Chicago till the cholera broke out, and 
then returned to the East. 

He lived in Lawrence, Mass., until 1857, working at 
his trade, and then went West again, this time with a view 
to permanent residence. While staying in Rockford, Il- 
linois, he joined the first military company to which he 
ever belonged, and which was drilled for some time by 
Colonel Ellsworth. Many of its members he afterwards 
met at Vicksburg, where some of them fell during the 
siege. Business being dull, he concluded to go to Kan- 
sas, intending to give the Free State men such help as he 
could, and then, if possible, join an expedition fitting out 
for Utah. On his way to Kansas, he stayed a little while 
at St. Louis at the request of an acquaintance, and had 
charge of a shop. Proceeding thence, he walked 150 
miles to Fort Riley, where he made the acquaintance of 
men who within a few years became famous. Among 
these were Generals Sumner, Fitz John Porter, and Sack- 
et. The last was inspector-general of the United States 
army, and but for his good advice Jones would have en- 



JOSIAH N. JONES. 389 

listed into the regular army, so eager was he to join the 
Utah expedition. Remaining in Kansas, he took up a 
claim, rafted logs, hunted buffalo, and indulged now and 
then in a set-to with a pro-slavery man. He finally, how- 
ever, went back to Illinois, where he arrived in time to 
take part in the Lincoln-Douglas campaign, and where 
he resided until the fall of 1859, when he was compelled 
by the fever and ague to return East. 

He now went to work in Lawrence, Mass., and there 
too, he joined Company F of the old Sixth Regiment of 
Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. He heartily supported 
Lincoln for the presidency, though, from his acquaintance 
with the Southern people, he was sure that war would 
come in the event of Lincoln's election ; but for one, he 
rather welcomed the issue than shrank from it. He had 
seen the workings of the accursed Southern " institution ;" 
he had for years read the speeches of its supporters and 
felt their insults, and when they fired upon Sumter he 
said, 

"* * * * * * lay on, Macduff; 

And damned be he that first cries, ' Hold, enough ! '" 

Accordingly, when on the 15th of April, 1861, the 
President's call for seventy-five thousand men was issued, 
Jones waited about the telegraph office until four o'clock 
in the afternoon of that day, and when the order came 
calling out his regiment, he rushed to the armory and 
within half an hour was uniformed and all ready to march, 
being probably the first volunteer in the whole country to 
put on his uniform in response to that first call for troops. 

He served in the Sixth Massachusetts three months and 
seventeen days. Upon his return from the front, he vis- 
ited his old home in New Hampshire, and enlisted for 



390 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

another term of service. With Captain Quarles he raised 
eighty men, and became first lieutenant of Company D 
of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment. He was pro- 
moted to be captain of Company F, August 4, 1862. Of 
his highly honorable three years service some record is 
made on other pages of this history. It is to be added, 
that in October, 1863, he was provost-marshal atRussell- 
ville, Kentucky ; that on the 24th of August, 1864, he 
was detailed by General Griffin to command the Thirty- 
second Maine Regiment, and served in that capacity 
about four weeks, and that later in the same year he com- 
manded his own regiment for nearly three months. His 
three years having expired, he returned North, and was 
raising a company in Ballardvale, Mass., when the Re- 
bellion collapsed in Lee's surrender. 1 

Captain Jones has been engaged in mechanical pursuits 
ever since his early youth, with the exception of some 
four years spent in the army and three in trade. He has 
secured half a dozen patents, and is now (1891) foreman 
with a good salary in one of the departments of the Put- 
nam Nail Company. He has been commander of G. A. R. 
Post 10, of Worcester, is a member of the I. O. O. F., 
and of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and has 
been recently appointed historian of the old Sixth Massa- 
chusetts V. M., in which, as has been seen, he formerly 
served. The captain's legal residence is Waterborough, 
Maine, where he has a pleasant home blessed with the 
presence of a worthy wife, the granddaughter of a Rev- 

2 The captain's brother, Hiram Jones, who has always lived on the 
home place in Wakefield, N. H., was also in the war, being a corporal 
in Company D of the Sixth Regiment. He enlisted without bounty and 
left his farm, hiring a man to take care of it while he was away in the 
military service of his country. 



THE FIRST REUNION. 



39 1 



olutionary soldier. Twice during the war she visited her 
husband in camp — once in Russellville, Kentucky, in 
1863, travelling thither all alone, one hundred and fifty 
miles through disputed territory — thus manifesting the 
nerve and spirit becoming the wife of a brave soldier. 

THE FIRST REUNION. 
(by the editor.) 

The veterans of the Sixth N. H. Regiment held their 
first reunion at Keene on Wednesday, August 7, 1889. 
The city had liberally provided for their entertainment. 
At 7 p. m. they were marshalled in Cheshire Hall by 
General S. G. Griffin, and marched thence to City Hall. 
The column was led by General Griffin and Mayor Viall, 
with Congressman Nute, Colonel Converse, Captain 
Adams, Captain Hanscom, Captain Jackman, Amos 
Hadley, Ph. D. (editor of regimental history), Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Scott, Captain Jones, Lieutenant Winch, 
Captain Carlton, and Lieutenant Osgood immediately 
following. As the line descended the Cheshire House 
steps through a crowd of citizens, it was greeted with 
hearty applause. Upon the arrival of the procession at 
City Hall, a brilliant scene presented itself, and it was 
evident that the arrangements for the banquet had been 
effectively carried out. Four long tables had been set, 
at which the veterans, as they entered, took places, while 
the Keene brass band from the stage played a lively 
march. The brilliantly lighted hall was handsomely 
adorned with flowers, national flags, and other decora- 
tions, this work having been done under the supervision 
of Captain Shedd. 

The tables were spread with a sumptuous repast, includ- 



39 2 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

ing fruits, salads, and other delicacies, laid by Messrs. 
Lettenmayer & Thayer, and were elegantly ornamented 
with flowers, while beautiful young ladies were in wait- 
ing attendance. To the right and left of the presiding 
officer were vases of lilies, the contribution of Mrs. E. M. 
Bullard. In the centre and on each side of the stage 
were potted plants, the gift of the Woman's Relief 
Corps. The galleries were filled with ladies, and the 
floor outside the tables and in the rear was crowded with 
spectators. The number of persons present was probably 
about two thousand. As the veterans sat down, a cornet 
sounded an old familiar bugle call, eliciting enthusiastic 
applause, and the band struck up a patriotic air. Mem- 
bers of the city government occupied seats upon the 
stage. The newspaper press was represented by Mr. 
Cornelius E. Clifford of the Boston Journal, Mr. Julius 
N. Morse of the Cheshire Republican, Mr. Kelsey of the 
New England Observer, and Mr. Huntington of the 
Keene Daily Tribune. 

The guests at the banquet tables were, — Gen. Simon 
G. Griffin, Mayor Viall, Hon. Alonzo Nute, Capt. Josiah 
N. Jones, Lieut. Charles F. Winch, Capt. Thomas J. 
Carlton, Lieut. George W. Osgood, Col. Nelson Con- 
verse, Lieut. Col. Charles Scott, Amos Hadley, Ph. D., 
Capt. Lyman Jackman, Capt. Theodore Hanscom, 
Capt. Edward F. Adams, Sergt. John Averill, Sergt. 
Albert A. Batchelder, William H. H. Putnam, Sergt. 
Lorenzo F. Tolman, Edmund P. Buss, John W. Hil- 
dreth, Albert L. Murphy, Charles F. Gibson, Henry H. 
Davis, John Hecker, Sergt. Nathan T. Brown, Samuel 
O. Bailey, John H. Streeter, William Gage, Sergt. 
Charles L. Clark, Herman L. Lincoln, Daniel H. Reed, 
Sergt. Amos E. Cummings, Albert Smith, Henry E. 



THE FIRST REUNION. 393 

Chapman, Charles A. Field, Oliver L. Nash, Gardner 
Wheeler, Robert A. Wheeler, Sergt. David N. Ladd, 
H. Kelsey, J. N. Morse, Alfred Heald, James W. Rus- 
sel, Edward A. Kingsbury, Elisha A. Kingsbury, James 
Dodwell, Lieut. Alvah Heald, Thomas Christie, N. D. 
Safford, Edward P. Sebastian, William B. Frissell, 
Sergt. James E. Sanborn, William L. Whitney, Otis 
Reister, Albert O. Cutter, James M. Hook, Sergt. Hosea 
Towne, George M. Cram, George H. Smith, William 
H. Hardy, Color-Sergt. Osgood T. Hadley, J. Ran- 
som Black, Jonathan Smith, Sergt. Frank L. Gray, 
George H. Wiggin, Leslie K. Osborne, George Tilden, 
Henry P. Read, George W. Wilson, Philo Applin, 
Almon Allard, John French, Sergt. Joseph A. Roby, 
Lieut. Frank Pierce, Sergt. David A. Dearborn, Augus- 
tus A. Chamberlain, Leonard P. Wellington, Capt. 
Ebenezer H. Converse, Sergt. Morton E. Converse, 
Asst. Surg. Marshall L. Brown, Lieut. Henry P. Whit- 
aker, Lieut. John A. George, Lieut. John A. Platts, 
Sergt. Elijah T. Platts, John Burke, Eben Munsey, 
Lieut. Charles C. Chesley, Lieut. Russel Taylor, Duane 
F. Perkins, Calvin A. Lewis, Edward J. Knee, William 
H. Horner, John Osgood, George W. Currier, Sergt. 
Curtis L. Parker, Lieut. Moses P. Bemis, James H. 
Smith, Israel G. Gibson, Gordon B. Wilson, Wilbur A. 
Young, Amos Thompson, Thomas S. Whitney, Charles 
F. Nims, Capt. Robert H. Potter, Martin Potter, Charles 
J. Hinds, Francis Gleason, Charles Bodwell, C. J. 
Brown. 

After repast, General Griffin, the regiment's old com- 
mander, called to order, and introduced Mayor Viall 
who in behalf of the city of Keene extended welcome to 
the veterans. He hoped that the liberal hospitality of the 



394 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

city would help make the occasion not only a pleasant 
but a memorable one. New Hampshire should ever be 
proud of the part she performed in saving the Union. In 
the battles fought to save the nation's life, her soldiers 
distinguished themselves on many a field, and the mem- 
bers of the Sixth Regiment were always at the front, 
making a record of praise seldom equalled and never 
excelled. 

After the mayor's well received speech of welcome, 
General Griffin introduced the regiment's first command- 
er, Colonel Nelson Converse, of Marlborough, paying a 
warm tribute to his bravery and worth. As Colonel 
Converse rose to respond, the veterans sprang to their 
feet and gave three rousing cheers supplemented by a 
"tiger." The colonel was deeply affected by the kind 
reception, and with quavering voice said he had no 
disposition to make extended remarks, and preferred that 
the veterans should listen to others. He could only say 
that his gladness in being present was greater than he 
could express. 

General Griffin then delivered his address of welcome 
as former commander of the regiment and presiding offi- 
cer at the banquet. He said, — 

" Comrades, Veterans of the old Sixth New 
Hampshire : Here in the city of your rendezvous, 
where you rallied twenty-eight years ago, a thousand 
strong, to defend and preserve the nation, I greet you, the 
noble remnant that survives after all that service and 
after all these years, as your old commander who knows 
your services and appreciates your worth ; and also in 
behalf of the citizens of Keene, whose guests you are 
to-night, I greet you with a hearty and a cordial wel- 
come. 



THE FIRST REUNION. 395 

"If ever men deserved well of their country for danger 
braved, for hardship endured, and for glorious work tri- 
umphantly done, they are those who sprang to arms from 
the purest and most unselfish motives, to save the nation 
when a great and powerful Rebellion arose to destroy it ; 
and no regiment in all that grand old Union army was 
made up of better or braver men, or of those who volun- 
teered and persevered to the end with a truer patriotism, 
or who saw harder service or made a prouder record, 
than the gallant Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers. 

"You enlisted for three years, and you served out your 
full term ; and then you reenlisted for the war, if it took 
a score of years, and you served faithfully through almost 
incredible hardships, till the Rebellion was crushed out, 
till the work was all done, the nation saved, and peace 
smiled once more upon our land. 

"And what a glorious work it was your good fortune to 
aid in accomplishing ! The veterans of that old Union 
army have a right to be proud of their work, and of the 
results that have followed. It is right, and it is a beau- 
tiful custom, to strew flowers on the graves of those who 
fell in that war, or whose lives, broken and shortened by 
that terrible service, have ended in peaceful graves at 
home. We cannot honor them too much. As that brave 
soldier and gallant commander, Gen. John A. Logan, 
once said, ' this nation owes them a debt of honor and of 
gratitude that can never be paid.' 

"Look for a moment at the results of that war. We en- 
tered it a divided nation of thirty millions of people, — the 
dark stain of human slavery covering almost one half its 
territory, and an organized Rebellion of eight millions out 
of those thirty millions (covering the identical territory 
with that slavery) determined to divide and destroy the 



396 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE 

nation ; the little navy the government had, scattered to 
the four corners of the earth ; its meagre army of a hand- 
ful of men also scattered to distant parts of the country, 
mostly in the states in rebellion ; a large proportion of the 
military and naval officers it had educated at its own ex- 
pense gone over to that Rebellion ; its munitions of war 
nil, its treasury empty, its credit at low ebb, and treason 
lurking in its capital and among its officials, or rearing its 
brazen face with unblushing effrontery. To-day this 
great nation is one united body politic, standing on the 
broad and solid foundation of the patriotic tone of all its 
people, with not a domestic enemy or a foreign foe, the 
dark blot of slavery wiped out forever, its prosperity un- 
exampled, its treasury overflowing, its credit the best in 
the world, its government so strong that it dares to trust 
the men who fought to destroy it to make, execute, and 
administer its laws, and they do not dare or desire to vio- 
late that trust ; it has more than doubled its population 
and nearly tripled its wealth since that Rebellion, and its 
growth is more rapid now than ever before ; a nation 
richer in resources, and more enterprising in developing 
those resources, than any other on the globe, — the most 
powerful and the most peaceful, the grandest nation on 
the face of the earth. And you, my comrades, have the 
proud satisfaction of knowing that you gave some of the 
best years of your lives to the work of bringing all this to 
pass." 

The speaker then passed, in extended review, the reg- 
iment's career during the war, from the time it left the 
old camp-ground in Keene to the final grand review of 
the troops in Washington. He .brought out startling facts 
as to the severe and important services rendered by the 
regiment. At the second battle of Bull Run alone, thir- 



THE FIRST REUNION. 39/ 

teen out of twenty officers were killed or wounded, and 
the loss of men was very heavy. He gave some inter 1 
esting facts pertaining to the inner history of the Army 
of the Potomac, and expressed his belief, based upon ab- 
solute knowledge, that General Fitz John Porter was 
guilty of the offences for which he was condemned by 
court-martial, and that others also were implicated. He 
also scored McClellan severely, as he thought that dila- 
tory officer deserved, and with these and former remarks 
of condemnation his audience seemed in full accord. In 
conclusion, he referred to the medals given soldiers by the 
government after the war, saying that the officers of the- 
Sixth Regiment, when requested to designate certain men 
to be thus decorated on account of personal bravery, had 
replied that every man in the regiment had proved him- 
self such a hero that no single instance of brave conduct 
would thus be properly commemorated among a body of 
fighters, every one of whom deserved the highest honors. 

At the close of the speech the veterans arose and gave 
the general three rousing cheers. Mr. Will Griffin then 
rendered in excellent voice the solo of "The Battle Cry of 
Freedom," and the whole assembly, soldiers and citizens 
alike, accompanied by the full band, swelled the chorus. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, of Peterborough, was intro- 
duced, and, after welcoming applause, said that there were 
occasions when, though one might desire to say what is 
in his heart yet the emotions made him too full for utter- 
ance ; and this for him was such an occasion. He could 
not fitly express the thoughts that crowded upon him 
when he looked into the faces of those about him whom 
he had not seen for more than twenty years. He was 
impressed by recollections of old citizens of Keene who 
are no longer with us, but whose places are filled by a 



398 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

new generation. He wanted to ask the young people 
whom he saw present, Do you love your homes? Look 
then upon this floor, and, in these veterans gathered here, 
see the saviours of our common country. 

After Lieutenant-Colonel Scott's acceptable remarks, 
and when the band had played "The Red, White, and 
Blue," which the assembly joined in singing, General 
Griffin read a telegram from Chaplain Hamilton, stating 
that he could not be present on account of a severe cold. 
" Please assure the comrades of my great disappointment," 
said the dispatch. Chaplain Hamilton's name was cor- 
dially applauded, and his inability to be present was the 
cause of much regret. 

General Griffin said that there was one present who 
had shared the honors of war with the Sixth Regiment, 
and who was now partaking of the honors of peace, hav- 
ing been elected to one of the highest offices in the gift of 
the people, Hon. Alonzo Nute, Member of Congress 
from the First New Hampshire District. 

Mr. Nute thanked his comrades for the generous recep- 
tion they had given him, and wished that he could give 
fitting expression to his emotions. He had come to the 
reunion regardless of many business and other important 
considerations. He was glad to meet the ex-soldiers. He 
paid an eloquent tribute to General Griffin, whose emi- 
nent services to his country he detailed in the most com- 
plimentary terms. "This quiet citizen whom you meet 
in your streets," said Mr. Nute, "has faced dangers and 
witnessed scenes as thrilling as any ever witnessed by 
Napoleon's marshals. It was of him that the boys used 
to say that he would not turn on his heel to save his life, 
when his blood was up and his stern jaws closed like a 
trap." It was well to hold such reunions as this, made 



THE FIRST REUNION. 399 

sacred by the memory of those who had perished on the 
field. Never in the world's history did men live in 
grander times than those in which we lived who lived 
during the war. Those were the days of heroes, when 
God's man, Abraham Lincoln, stood at the helm of state. 
The speaker alluded eloquently, and amid hearty ap- 
plause, to Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and other generals. 
The Union army was the best and most intelligent one 
known in history. Those at home, however, should share 
with the soldiers in the field the honor of the victories 
won, for without their sustaining arms the cause would 
have been lost. The speaker would say to the veterans 
present, that though they may be poor or personally ob- 
scure, they will live in history as having played a great 
part in a grand struggle. All had made their mark. 
Napoleon once said to his soldiers, " Behave yourselves 
to-morrow so that your descendants will say, ' Such a 
one was under the walls of Moscow.' " So posterity will 
say of the record of those who were members of the Old 
Sixth Regiment. 

" Marching through Georgia" having been sung, Gen- 
eral Griffin said that Napoleon had one general whom 
he termed the bravest of the brave. The Sixth Regi- 
ment had none such, because its members were all heroes, 
but among them all there was no braver officer than Cap- 
tain Josiah N. Jones, whom he now introduced. 

Captain Jones felt that he was among friends, and he 
desired to recall the memory of one who was a friend to 
all present, Henry H. Pearson, the gallant soldier who 
gave his life for his country. Then there was Thomas 
Burns, who, when shot in the leg during an engagement, 
dropped on one knee, and crawled onward with the troops 
until he received a bullet through his head. He was a 



400 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

brave Irishman, and a true American. There was also 
Captain William K. Crossfield, of Keene, who had both 
legs torn off while bravely venturing in a dangerous place. 
The speaker was near him, when he turned over on the 
ground and said, "Good-bye, boys; I'm gone." The 
Sixth Regiment was made up of steady and reliable men. 
They meant business, were in the field to do their duty, 
and did it. 

Mr. Will Griffin having sung the solo, " Tramp, tramp, 
tramp, the boys are marching," with all joining in the 
chorus, General Griffin then said that he had the pleasure 
of introducing to the company one of the bravest and best 
officers of the regiment, Captain Lyman Jackman, of Con- 
cord. 

Captain Jackman did not wish to make a speech, but 
would call the attention of the veterans to the history of 
the regiment he had been instrumental in preparing. The 
work was now turned over to Mr. Hadley, who might 
have something to say in regard to it. Every veteran 
should do his utmost to make the history complete, and 
should send to the historian incidents of personal experi- 
ence in the war. 

Mr. Hadley, on being introduced, said that it was a 
great pleasure for him to meet the veterans who had 
fought and suffered in the war for the Union. This war 
was one of the two which John Bright said were the 
only justifiable wars in history since the advent of the 
Saviour, the other being the American Revolution. Re- 
unions such as this are pleasant occasions ; for in them 
we recognize the truth of a declaration made by an an- 
cient hero, that " these woes it will delight you some time 
to remember," such remembrance transmuting as it does 
the pain of the past into the joy of the present. Then, 



THE FIRST REUNION. 



4OI 



too, in them the flame of friendship is made to glow 
again, and the fire of patriotism is rekindled. The speaker 
was highly gratified to become a member of the Old 
Sixth by a kind of brevet courtesy. Referring to his 
work on the history of the regiment, Mr. Hadley said 
that he had been with the veterans for months past, fight- 
ing their battles and sharing their hardships, their joys, 
and their sorrows. We would not speak boastfully or in- 
vidiously by saying that the Sixth was the best regiment 
from New Hampshire, but it should be said that there 
was none better. It had a remarkable and an interesting 
history. To have been a worthy member of it was in- 
deed a proud distinction. 

After the song and chorus, "Tenting to-night," had 
been sung, a unanimous vote of thanks was extended to 
the citizens of Keene, to the mayor and city government, 
to John Sedgwick Post, No. 4, to the Woman's Relief 
Corps, and to the Keene Light Guard Battalion. The 
vote was taken standing, and was emphasized by three 
cheers and a hearty "tiger." Three cheers also were 
given for the ladies who had kindly volunteered their ser- 
vices for the occasion. 

At this point, Captain Jones, in behalf of the regiment, 
presented General Griffin with a handsome gold-headed 
ebony cane. The recipient was much affected by the 
presentation and the kind words that accompanied it, and 
there was a tremor in his voice when he accepted the gift 
in a few remarks. 

Three cheers were given with a will for General Grif- 
fin, "Old John Brown" was sung, and the formal exer- 
cises of the first reunion of the Sixth Regiment came 
to an end. 

The next morning the veterans visited their old camp- 
26 



402 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



ground, being taken there in carriages. Their brief stay 
was most interesting and agreeable, recalling, as it did, 
their earliest experience as soldiers. With sweet impres- 
siveness, indeed, rung out on the morning air of that 
bright summer day the voices of the veterans as they 
sang there in " good-bye" the plaintive strains of "Tent- 
ing on the Old Camp-Ground." 



EOSTEE. 



For convenient reference, this abridged roster is here 
given. The complete one will be found in the Regi- 
mental Register and Record, which, as furnished by the 
Adjutant-General of the State, follows this. 

FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS. 

COLONELS. 

Nelson Converse, of Marlborough (Captain Mack, of the regular 
army, was first appointed colonel, but was not permitted by the War 
Department to accept the command) ; Simon G. Griffin, of Concord ; 
Phin P. Bixby, of Concord. 

LIEUTENANT-COLONELS. 

Nelson Converse ; Simon G. Griffin ; Charles Scott, of Peterbor- 
ough; Henry H. Pearson, of Exeter; Phin P. Bixby ; i Samuel D. 
Quarks, of Ossipee. 

MAJORS. 

Charles Scott; Obed G, Dort, of Keene; Phin P. Bixby; Samuel 
D. Quarles ; Robert L. Ela, of Concord. 

ADJUTANTS. 

Don H. Woodward, of Keene; Phin P. Bixby; John S. Smith, of 
Peterborough. 

QUARTERMASTERS. 

Alonzo Nute, of Farmington; Eli Wentworth, of Milton; Gilmore 
McL. Houston, of Plymouth. 

SURGEONS. 

William A. Tracy, of Nashua; Sherman Cooper, of Claremont; 
James H. Noyes, of Nashua. 



4°4 



SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



ASSISTANT-SURGEONS . 



Sherman Cooper ; James H. Noyes ; James P. Walker, of Manches- 
ter ; Elihu P. Pierce, of Winchester. 

CHAPLAINS. 

Robert Stinson, of Croydon; John A. Hamilton, of Keene; John S. 
Dore, of Waterville, Me. 

SERGEANT-MAJORS . 

Timothy K. Ames, of Peterborough; Charles F. Winch, of Peter- 
borough; John M. Dodd, of Peterborough ; Abraham Cohn, of New 
York city. 

QUARTERMASTER-SERGEANTS. 

Alvah M. Kimball, of Rochester; Gilmore McL. Houston; OmarW. 
Cate, of Holderness ; Elijah T. Platts, of Fitzwilliam. 

COMMISSARY-SERGEANTS . 

John H. Varney, of Milton; Samuel R. Dickerman, of Nashua; 
John A. Platts, of Fitzwilliam ; William Delano, of Newport. 

HOSPITAL STEWARDS. 

James H. Noyes, of Nashua; Levi P. Dodge, of New London; 
Marshall L. Brown, of Keene ; Charles Gerberg, of Stark. 

PRINCIPAL MUSICIANS. 

Shubael White, of Keene; John Currier, of Langdon; Wallace Scott, 
of Peterborough ; John G. Mason, of Tamworth ; Prescott D. Coburn, 
of Swanzey. 

COMPANY OFFICERS. 

COMPANY A CAPTAINS. 

Joseph Clark, of Plymouth ; Oliver H. P. Craig, of Holderness ; 
Thomas H. Dearborn, of Seabrook; John S. Rowell, of Brentwood. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

Oliver H. P. Craig; Thomas P. Cheney, of Holderness ; Thomas 
H. Dearborn; John S. Rowell; OmarW. Cate, of Holderness. 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

Thomas P. Cheney; Alfred L. Smith, of Plymouth ; Frederick P. 
Hardy, of Groton ; Alvah Heald, of Temple. 



ROSTER. 



4°5 



COMPANY B — CAPTAINS. 

Samuel P. Adams, of Haverhill ; Samuel G. Goodwin, of Littleton. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

Andrew J. Roberts, of Enfield; Samuel G. Goodwin; Lyman Jack- 
man, of Woodstock; Thomas J. Carlton, of Enfield; Frank Pierce, of 
Troy. 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

Samuel G. Goodwin; Lyman Jackman; John M. Dodd, of Peter- 
borough. 

COMPANY C — CAPTAINS. 

Henry H. Pearson, of Exeter; William K. Crossfield, of Keene; 
Lyman Jackman, of Woodstock. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

David A. Titcomb, of Seabrook; James P. Brooks, of Newmarket; 
John H. Varney, of Milton ; Abraham Cohn. 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

James P. Brooks, of Newmarket; Matthew N. Greenleaf, of Exeter; 
Thomas H. Dearborn, of Seabrook; Henry J. GrifiSn, of Concord; 
Henry E. Badger, of Peterborough. 

COMPANY D — CAPTAINS. 

Samuel D. Quarles, of Ossipee; John W. Hanscom, of Farmington. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

Josiah N.Jones, of Wakefield; Albert W. Hayes, of Farmington; 
Orange B. Otis, of Rochester; Charles W. Thurston, of Stoddard. 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

Albert W. Hayes ; Josiah Prescott, of Sandwich ; Robert T. Brown, 
of Tamworth ; John W. Hanscom. 

COMPANY E — CAPTAINS. 

Obed G. Dort, of Keene ; John A. Cummings, of Peterborough ; 
Edward F. Adams, of Marlborough ; William H. Keay, of Dover. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

John A. Cummings ; George H. Muchmore, of Keene ; Matthew N. 
Greenleaf, of Exeter ; Edward F. Adams ; John Curtin, of Keene ; 
Sidney B. Higgins, of Chesterfield. 



406 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 



George H. Muchmore; William K. Crossfield, of Keene; John S. 
Smith, of Peterborough ; John Curtin ; Frank L. Gray, of Hancock ; 
James 0. Smith, of Holderness. 



COMPANY F CAPTAINS. 



George C. Starkweather, of Keene; Amos D. Combs, of Swanzey; 
Josiah N. Jones, of Wakefield ; Thomas J. Carlton, of Enfield; John 
H. Pinkham, of Dover. 



FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 



Amos D. Combs ; John L. Adams, of Alstead ; George E. Upton, 
of Derry ; Charles L. Clarke, of Wolfeborough. 



SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 



John L. Adams ; Isaiah A. Dustin, of Derry ; Cyrus G. McClure, of 
Stoddard ; Charles C. Chesley, of Concord. 



COMPANY G CAPTAINS. 



John W. Putnam, of Croydon ; Albert W. Hayes, of Farmington ; 
Isaiah A. Dustin; Adams K. Tilton, of Canterbury ; Henry J. Griffin, 
of Concord. 



FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 



E. Darwin Comings, of Croydon; Timothy K. Ames, of Peter- 
borough; Isaiah A. Dustin; Adams K. Tilton; Henry J. Griffin; 
Russell Tyler, of Cornish. 



SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 



Cornelius Y. Gardner, of Sunapee ; Edward M. Emerson ; John A. 
George, of Newport ; Sebastian L. Getchell, of Wentworth ; Moses P. 
Bemis, of Littleton. 



COMPANY H CAPTAINS. 



John B. Sanders, of Durham; E. Darwin Comings, of Croydon; 
Matthew N. Greenleaf, of Exeter. 



FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 



Andrew J. Sides, of Portsmouth ; Eli Wentworth, of Milton; Theo- 
dore Hanscom, of Jaffrey; William H. Keay, of Dover; John H. 
Pinkham, of Dover. 



ROSTER. 407 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

Eli Wentworth ; Hosea C. Clay, of Rochester ; Theodore Hanscom ; 
Thomas J. Carlton, of Enfield. 

COMPANY I — CAPTAINS. 

Robert L. Ela, of Concord ; Robert H. Potter, of Concord. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

Thomas T. Moore, of Concord; Charles J. Brown, of Epsom; 
Robert H. Potter. 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

Hubbard T. Dudley, of Concord; Charles J. Brown; Adam K. 
Tilton; Joseph M. Shepard, of Gilmanton; Prescott Hall, of Canter- 
bury; Henry K. Whitaker, of Goshen. 

COMPANY K — CAPTAINS. 

Ebenezer H. Converse, of Rindge ; David A. Titcomb, of Sea- 
brook; Theodore Hanscom ; Frederick P. Hardy, of Groton. 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS. 

Jonas Nutting, of New Ipswich ; Charles L. Fuller, of Peterborough ; 
Charles F. Winch, of Peterborough ; John A. Platts, of Fitzwilliam. 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS. 

Charles L. Fuller ; Timothy K. Ames, of Peterborough ; Charles F. 
Winch ; Charles H. Hull, of New Ipswich ; John H. Varney, of Mil- 
Ion; George W. Osgood, of Nelson; Addison G. Harmon, of Madi- 
son. 



REGIMENTAL REGISTER AND RECORD. 



The following Register and Record of the officers and 
men of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment was pre- 
pared in the office of the Adjutant-General of the State. 
It has been derived from all available official sources of 
information to be found either at Concord or Washington, 
and no effort has been spared by General Ayling and his 
assistant, Mr. Harry P. Hammond, to give completeness 
and ensure accuracy. Its intention is, while presenting 
other pertinent facts and figures, to epitomize briefly and 
truthfully the military life of each officer and man in the 
regiment. Thus prepared, the Register and Record has 
been placed in the hands of the historian, who hopes and 
trusts that it will answer its intention, and that its errors, 
if any, will be found few and unimportant; while for 
any which may occur he must disavow responsibility, as 
present verification by him is practically impossible. 

Certain recruits, who, from the muster and descriptive 
rolls, appear to have been assigned to the regiment, but 
who never reached it — their names not being found on 
company or muster-out rolls, and no final payment ever 
having been made to them by the United States Govern- 
ment — probably deserted en route to the regiment, and 
are not registered in the following lists. 



ABBREVIATIONS. 



A. C. 


Army Corps. 




Adjt. 


Adjutant. 




A. G. 0. 


Adjutant-General's Office. 




App. 


Appointed. 




Art. 


Artillery. 




Asst. 


Assistant. 




Battl. 


Battalion. 




Brig. 


Brigade, Brigadier. 




Bvt. 


Brevet. 




Capd. 


Captured. 




Capt. 


Captain. 




Cav. 


Cavalry. 




Co. 


Company. 




Col. 


Colonel. 




Com. 


Commissary, Commission. 




Corp. 


Corporal. 




C. S. 


Commissary of Subsistence. 




Dept. 


Department. 




Des. 


Deserted. 




Dis. 


Disease. 




Disab. 


Disability. 




Disch. 


Discharged. 




Dishon. 


Dishonorably. 




Div. 


Division. 




Enl. 


Enlisted. 




Exch. 


Exchanged. 




G. C. M. 


General Court-Martial. 




Gd. from mis. 


Gained from missing. 




Gen. 


General. 




G. H. 


General Hospital. 




Hosp. 


Hospital. 




I. C. 


Invalid Corps. 






(Name changed to V. R. C. Mch. I 


8, 1864.) 



410 SIXTH NEW HAMPSHIRE. 



Inf. 


Infantry. 


Lt. 


Lieutenant. 


Maj. 


Major. 


Mis. 


Missing. 


M. o. 


Mustered-out. 


M. o. r. 


Muster-out roll. 


Muse. 


Musician. 


Must. 


Mustered. 


N. f. r. A. G. O. 


No further record, Adjutant-General's Office, Wash- 




ington, D. C. 


Par. 


Paroled. 


P. 0. ad. 


Post-office address. 


Prin. 


Principal. 


Pvt. 


Private. 


Q. M. 


Quarter-master. 


Re-enl. 


Ree'nlisted. 


Regt. 


Regiment. 


Sergt. 


Sergeant. 


Sev. 


Severely. 


Surg. 


Surgeon. 


Tm. ex. 


Term expired. 


Tr. 


Transferred. 


U. S. A. 


United States Army. 


U. S. C. T. 


United States Colored Troops. 


U. S. Sig. Corps. 


United States Signal Corps. 


Vols. 


Volunteers. 


V. R. C. 


Veteran Reserve Corps. 


(Organized as 


Invalid Corps in pursuance of Gen. Orders No. 105, 


dated War Dept. 


A. G. O., Apr. 28, '63. Name changed to V. R. C. 


Mch. 1 8, '64.) 




Wd. 


Wounded. 


Wds. 


Wounds. 



Regimental Register and Record. 



FIELD AND STAFF. 



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App. Sergt. Mch. 1, '63; Q. M. Sergt. 
Jan. 4, '64. Re-enl. and must, in 
Jan. 4, '64. App. 1st Lt. Co. A, 
June 1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Served in Co. I, 1st N. H. V. 
P. 0. address, Chicago, 111. 

Wd. Aug. 18, '64. Disch. disab. 
Mch. 16, '65, Concord, N. H. 

Capd. Sept. 30, '64, Poplar Springs 
Church, Va. Died dis. and starva- 
tion Jan. 25, '65, Salisbury, N. C. 

Des. Jan. 24, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 

Des. Jan. 24, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 

Wd. June 3, '64, Bethesda Church, 
Va. ; Sept. 30, '64, Poplar Springs 
Church, Va. App. Corp. Wd. 
Apr. 2, '65, Petersburg, Va. Re- 
duced to ranks. Des. May 23, '65, 
Washington, D. C. 

Wd. May 12, '64, Spottsylvania, Va. 
Tr. from Co. A, 9th N. H. V., June 
1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65, 


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CO 


Enlisted, 
Drafted, or 
Appointed. 


Oct. 11, 1861. 

" 16, " 

July 21, 1862. 
Dec. 29, 1863. 

Jan. 1, 1864. 

It u u 

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Dec. 17, 1868. 


Residence 

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accredited to. 


Holdemess 
Holdemess 

New Hampton 
Milton 

Swanzey 

Rindge 

Londonderry 

Orford 


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Campton 
Boston, Mass. 

Delaware 
New Jersey 
Ireland 

New York 


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Craig, George W. . . 

Cate, Omar W. ... 

;kett, Sanborn M. . 
)man, Samuel . . 

avan, Frank . . . 
ningham, Hugh . . 
tin, John .... 

ifield, Stone . . . 



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Tr. from Co. A, 9th N. H. V., June 
1, '65. Disch. to date July 17, '65. 

Tr. from Co. A, 11th N. H. V., June 
1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65. 

Tr. from Co. A, 11th N. H. V., June 
1, '65. Disch. June 22, '65. 

Died dis. Apr. 9, '62, Roanoke IsL, 
N. C. 

Killed July 6, '64, Petersburg, Va. 

App. Corp. Nov. 30,' 61. Mis. Aug. 
29, '62, Bull Run. Va. Gd. from 
mis. Dec. 19, '62. App. Sergt. 
Re-enl. and must, in Dec. 21, '63. 
App. 1st Sergt. Wd. Sept. 30, 
'64, Poplar Springs. Church, Va, 
Disch. June 6, '65, White Hall, Pa 
P. 0. ad., New Hampton, N. H. 

Mis. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va 
Gd. from mis. Died dis. Oct. 2 
'62, Washington, D. C. 

Disch. disab. Apr. 3, '63. 

Wd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va 
Died wds. Sept. 1, '62, Centre 
ville, Va. 


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July 13, 1864. 

Feb. 3, " 

Mch. 28, 1865. 

Oct. 21, 1861. 

June 3, 1864. 
Oct. 14, 1861. 

" 22, " 

" 25, " 
" 26, " 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Ellsworth 

Albany 

Lyme 

Rumney 

Gilford 

New Hampton 

Rumney 

Hebron 
Campton 


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Canada 

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England 
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Salem, Mass. 

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Dorway, John .... 

Doyle, James .... 

umont, Joseph . . . 

llis, William H. . . . 

manuel, Victor . . . 
landers, Frank N. . . 

oss, Ephraim A. . . 

airbanks, William R. . 
armer, William W. 



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Capd. June 2, '64, Cold Harbor, Va. 
Paroled Nov. 22, '64. Tr. from 
Co. A, 11th N. H. V., June 1, '65. 
App. Corp. July 1, '65. Must, out 
July 17, '65. 

Tr. to 1st Co. , 2d Battl. I. C. , June 24, 
'63; to Co. B, 10th I. C, Oct. 12, '63. 
Des. June 24, '64. Returned Nov. 
16, '65. Disch. Nov. 18, '65, Wash- 
ington, D. C. P. 0. address, Ash- 
land, N. H. 

App. Corp. Nov. 30, '61; Sergt. Feb. 
11, '62; 1st Sergt. Jan. 28. '63. Re- 
enl. and must, in Jan. 4, '64. 
App. 2d Lt. to date Jan. 2, '64. 
Capt. Co. K, Jan. 8, '65. Must, 
out July 17, '65. 

Died dis. Jan. 19, '62, Annapolis, 
Md. 

Wd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. 
Died wds. Oct. 10, '62, Washing- 
ton, D. C. 

Must, out Nov. 28, '64. P. O, address, 
Ashland, N. H. 


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derness, N. H. 

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Disch. disab. Oct. 25, '62, Phil- 
adelphia, Pa. P. 0. address, Ash- 
land, N. H. 

Wd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. 
Disch. Dec. 4, '63. 

Drowned by foundering of steamer 
"West Point" in Potomac River, 
Aug. 13, '62. 

Wd. Dec. 13, '62, Fredericksburg, 
Va. Died Apr. 1, '63, Coving- 
ton, Ky. 

Des. Mch. 20, '64, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Des. Apr. 23, '64, Annapolis, Md. 

Wd. May 12, '64, Spottsylvania, Va. 
Des. Oct. 31, '64, Baltimore, Md. 

Tr. from Co. A, 9th N. H. V., June 
1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65. P. 

0. address, Auburn, N. H. 

Tr. from Co. A, 11th N. H. V., June 

1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65, 


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July 22, 1864. 


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July 22, 1862. 

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Dec. 10, 1863. 
July 22, 1864. 


Residence 

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Peaslee, Thomas . . . 

Pierce, Benjamin F. . . 
Plaistead, Samuel S. 

Plaisted, Ai T. ... 

Perkins, George . . . 
Pierre, Reuben . . . 
Preston, James R. . . 

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Tr.to Co. F, Feb. 1, '62. Disch. disab. 
Aug. 7, '62, New Berne, N. C. Served 
in Co. D, 17th Vt. Inf. P. 0. ad- 
dress, Marshfleld, Vt. 

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mouth to Culpeper, Va. 

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James River, Va., to Petersburg, Va. 

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July 17, '65. P. 0. ad., Milton, N. H 

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May 24, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 

Must, out July 17, '65. 

Disch. disab. May 24, '65, Concord 
N. H. P. O. ad., Week's Mills, Me. 

Wd. Nov. 15, '62, White Sulphu 
Springs, Va. Disch. disab. Fel 
17, '63. P. O. address, Charlestowi 
Mass. 


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Dec. 31, 1863. 
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" 12, " 

Sept. 23, 1861. 


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Randall, Andrew J. . . 

Musicians. 
itchell, Andrew J. . . 

orse, Lewis P. . . . 

ayes, William . . . 

rench, Charles H. . . 

lidden, John C. . . . 

atimer, Robert . . . 
amsby, George W. . . 

Wagoner. 
arling, Charles R. . . 






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ness, Va. Disch. disab. Aug. 19, '64, 
P. 0. address, Prescott, Arizona. 

Des. Camp Nelson, Ky. Apprehended 
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to 5 yrs. imprisonment with loss of 
all pay. N. f . r. A. G. O. 

Capd.Oct. 1, 64, Poplar Springs Church, 
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Wd. May 12, '64, Spottsylvania, Va. 
Mis. Sept. 30, '64, Poplar Springs 
Church, Va. Gd. from mis. Tr. 
from Co. B, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 
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wds. Sept. 11, '62, Washington, D. C, 

App. Sergt. Re-enl. and must, in froir 
Haverhill Jan. 3, '64. Wd. July 30 
'64, Mine Explosion Petersburg, Va.: 
Sept. 30, '64, Poplar Springs Church 
Va. Died wds. Oct. 12, '64, Wash 
ington, D. C. 


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Dec. 5, 1863. 

Jan. 4, 1864. 

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Dec, 12, 1863. 

Oct. 3, 1861. 
Nov. 9, 1861. 


Residence. 

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Acworth 

Hopkinton 

Goshen 
Westmoreland 

Piermont 
Piermont 


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New York 

Ireland 

Canada 
Ireland 

Newport 
Sutton, Vt. 




Privates. 
Curtin, John .... 

Minor, Edwin .... 

lifford, Charles . . . 

adot, Azarie .... 
oyne, Joseph .... 

lodge, Hamilton . . . 
irown, Hiram .... 




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Died dis. June 20, '62, Roanoke Island, 
N. G. 

Disch. disab. Sept. 13, '62, Concord,- 
N. H. Died Jan. 27, '88, Los Ange- 
les Gal 

Wd. Aug.' 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Died 
wds. Sept. 16, '62, Washington, D. C. 

Disch. disab. July 19, '62, New Berne, 
N. C. 

Died dis. March 27, '62, Roanoke Is- 
land, N. C. 

Disch. disab. Nov. 12, '62, Concord, 
N. H. P. O. ad., Bethlehem, N. H. 

Disch. disab. March 17, '63, Provi- 
dence, R. I. 

Died dis. Oct. 11, '62, Washington 
D. C. 

App. Corp. July 1, '65. Must, ou 
July 17, '65. 

See Co. K. 

Des. Apr. 29, 64, Brandy Station, Va 
Returned Aug. 19, '64. Tr. from Co 
B, 9th N. H. V., June 1, '65. Musi 
out July 17, '65. 


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Nov. 4, 1861. 
" 6, " 

Oct. 23, " 
Sept. 16, " 

" 23, " 
Oct. 26, " 

" 8, " 
Nov. 21, " 
Dec. 31, 1863. 

" 21, " 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Enfield 
Littleton 

Littleton 

Haverhill 

Woodstock 

Bethlehem 

Bethlehem 

Enfield 

Freedom 

Nashua 


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Enfield 
Compton, Can. 

Kirby, Vt. 

Haverhill 

Lyman 

Bethlehem 

Bethlehem 

Enfield 

Berks Co., Pa. 

Switzerland 


S 
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Privates. 
Heath, William . . . 

Hicks, Stephen L. . . 

:ill, Guy W 

[olmes, Edwin C. . . 

[unt, Hollis .... 

[untoon, Caleb, Jr. . . 

[untoon, John . , . 

[use, John 

[ambert, William D. . 

lardy William H. . . 
liltpald, Rudolph . . 



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Capd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Re- 
leased, re-enl., and must, in Jan. 3, 
'64. App. Corp. July 1, '65. Must, 
out July 17, '65. 

Re-enl. and must, in Jan. 2, '64. App. 
Corp. July 1, '65. Must, out July 
17, '65. Died March 21, '66, Lynn, 
Mass. 

Capd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Re- 
leased Dec, '62. Re-enl. and must, 
in from Plainfleld Jan. 3, '64. Wd. 
May 18, '64, Spottsylvania, Va. App. 
Corp. July 1, '65. Must, out July 
17, '65. 

App. Corp. Killed Aug. 29, '62, Bull 
Run, Va. 

App. Corp. Disch. June 4, '65, neai 
Alexandria, Va. 

Died dis. Dec. 3, '64, City Point, Va 

Des. Feb. 17, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 

M. o. roll, dated July 17, '65, report 
absent, sick, since Apr. 30, '64. N 
f. r. A. G. 0. 

Des. Feb. 1, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky, 


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Aug. 30, 1862. 

Dec. 25, 1863. 
Jan. 2, 1864. 

4, " 


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CO 


Enlisted, 
Drafted, or 
Appointed. 


Sept. 16, 1861. 
Nov. 9, " 
Oct. 10, " 

Oct. 26, " 

Aug. 6, 1862. 

Dec. 25, 1863. 
Jan. 2, 1864. 

a it tt 

4, " 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Ilaverliill 
Haverhill 
Littleton 

Enfleld 

Lebanon 

Whitefield 

Portsmouth 

Hancock 

Wakefield 


•aSy 


-M CO <N i-t <M ^J< <N <N CM 


■3 

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Bucksport, Me. 

Ilaverliill 

.St. Johnsbury, Vt. 

Tunbridgc, Vt. 

Vermont 
Germany 
Canada 

Ireland 




Privates. 
Patten, Charles P. . . 

oole, Hiram H. . . . 

owers, James G. . . 

'reston, Martin W. . . 

'reston, Nelson S. . . 

'ierce, Eli P 

'apendorf, Julius . . 
'ell, Franklin .... 

'arker, Thomas . . . 



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Tr. from Co. B, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 

'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Died dis. Jan. 17, '62, Annapolis, Md. 
Disch. disab. Oct. 15, '62, Concord, 

N. H. Served in Co. H, Sth N. H. V. 
Killed Dec. 13, '62, Fredericksburg, Va. 
Re-enl. and must, in Jan. 4, '64. Wd. 

May 6, '64, Wilderness, Va. App. 

Sergt. July 1, '65. Must, out July 

17, '65. 
Disch. disab. Oct. 15, '62. Alexan- 
dria, Va. Served in Co. B, 9th 

N. H. V. 
Wd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Virginia. 

Tr. to Co. I, 13th I. C, Oct. 7, '63. 

Disch. disab. Feb. 2, '64, Portsmouth 

Grove, R. I. 
Died dis. Apr. 16, '62, Roanoke Island, 

N. C. 
Disch. disab. Sept. 11, '62, Concord, 

N. H. 
Tr. to Co. G, Dec. 1, '61. App. Corp. 

Dec. 1, '61. Died dis. March 14, '62 

Hatteras Inlet, N, C. 


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Dec. 24, 1863. 

Nov. 4, 1861. 
Oct. 9, " 

" 30, " 
Nov. 9, "• 

Oct. 5, " 
" 25, " 

Sept. 19, " 
Oct. 1, " 
Nov. 5, " 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Salisbury 

Enfield 
Bethlehem 

Haverhill 
Haverhill 

Littleton 
Bath 

Haverhill 
Haverhill 
Claremont 


•aSy 


a <Nt- 0000 <N CO CO rt cs 
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Scotland 

Thetford, Vt. 
Lyman 

Warren 
Haverhill 

Lyman 
Lyman 

Hyde Park, Vt. 

Haverhill 

Claremont 


I 


Privates. 
Robinson, John . . . 

Seabring, Luther . . . 
Sherman, Phineas E. . 

lerwell, Charles W. . 
oith, George H. . . 

nith, Jason .... 
juires, Joseph M. . . 

tory, Edward E. . . . 



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Tr. from Co. C, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 
'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 

Tr. from Co. C, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 
'65. Disch. June 23, '65, Washington, 
D. C. P. 0. ad., Moscow, Vt. 

Tr. from Co. C, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 
'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 

Mis. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Gd. 
from Mis. Dec. 19, '62. Re-enl. and 
must, into Co. I, Dec. 23, '63. App 
Corp. Capd. Sept. 30, '64, Pophu 
Springs Church, Va. Paroled. Disch 
May 23, '65, Annapolis, Md. 

Disch. disab. Dec. 16, '62, Boston, Mass 

App. Wagoner. Re-enl. and must, ii 
in Dec. 30, '63. Disch. to date Jul; 
17, '65. P. O. ad., Merrimacporl 
Mass. 

Re-enl. and must, into Co. I Dec. 25 
'63. Capd. Sept. 30, '64, Popla 
Springs Church, Va. Paroled. Disci 
May 23, '65, Concord, N. H. P. ( 
ad., Seabrook, N. H. 

See John Averill. 


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July 12, 1864. 
Sept. 9, " 

Aug. 25, " 
Nov. 27, 18(11. 

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July 12, 1864. 
Sept. 9, " 

Aug. 25, " 
Nov. 7, 1861. 

Oct. 7, " 
Nov. 18, " 

14, " 


Residence 

or Place 

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Winchester 
Orford 

Lisbon 
Exeter 

Haverhill, Mass. 
South Hampton 

Seabrook 


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Birthplace. 


England 
Waterbury, Vt. 

Canada 
Portsmouth 

Boston, Mass. 
Amesbury, Mass. 

Seabrook 




Private*. 
Bridges, John . . 

town, Orrin E. . . . 

Iervin, Frederick . . 
.'orcoran, Frank . . . 

Jadmus, Willard B. . . 
furrier, Otis S. . . . 

Jollins, Robert F. . . 
Cleaves, John .... 



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Killed Aug. 29, '62, Bull Eun, Va. 

Disch. disab. Jan. 9, '63, Providence, 
R. I. P. 0. ad., Seabrook, N. H. 

App. Sergt. Re-enl. and must, in Dec. 
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from mis. Disch. disab. Mch. 16, '63, 
Philadelphia, Pa. 

Mis. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Gd. 
from mis. Des. Nov. 25, '62, Annap- 
olis, Md. 

Mis. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Gd. 
from mis. Dec. 19, '62. Wd. July 
30, '64, Mine Explosion, Petersburg, 
Va. Disch. Dec. 2, '64, Concord, 
N. H. Tm. ex. 

Des. Jan. 29, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 

Des. en route to Regt. 

Des. en route to Regt. 

Tr. from Co. C, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 
'65. M. o. roll reports absent, N, 
f. r. A. G. O. 


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Enlisted, 
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Nov. 1, 1861. 
Oct. 19, " 

" 18, " 

14, " 
Nov. 4, " 
Sept. 28, " 

Dec. 26, 1863. 
June 10, 1864. 

July 8, 1864. 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Seabrook 
Seabrook 

South Hampton 

Exeter 
Exeter 
Exeter 

Derry 
Stratford 
Grafton 
Winchester 


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Seabrook 

Haverhill, Mass. 

Ireland 
Ireland 
North Otisficld, Me. 

Boston, Mass. 
Ireland 
Canada 
Canada 




Privates. 
Dow, Melvin .... 
Dow, John M 

Delaware, Joseph F. 

Doody, John . . 
Doody, William . . . 
Davis, Andrew J. . . 

Drew, Daniel .... 
Davis, Charles . . . 
Donovan, Hugh . . . 
Duchaud, John B. . . 



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Wd. May 11, '64, Spottsylvania, Va.; 
July 2, '64, and Apr. 2, '65, Peters- 
burg, Va. App. Corp. June 15, '65. 
Must, out July 17, '65. 

Wd. May 12, '64, Spottsylvania, Va- 
Des. Aug. 11, '64, Petersburg, Va. 

Des. Feb. 28, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 

Des. Dec. 31, '64, Fairfax Seminary, 
G. H., Va. 

Tr. from Co. C, 9th N. H. V., June 1 
'65. Disch. June 5, '65, Cincinnati, O 

App. Corp. May 1, '65. Tr. from Co 
C, 11th N. H. V., June 1, '65. Must 
out July 17, '65. 

Wd. Apr. 1, '65. Tr. from Co. K, lit] 
N. H. V., June 1, '65. Disch. disat 
July 10, '65, near Alexandria, Va. 

Killed Dec. 13, '62, Fredericksburf 
Va. Served in Co. K, 1st N. H. V. 

Wd. May 6, '64, Wilderness, Va.; Ap 
2, '65, Petersburg, Va. App. Con 
June 1,'65; Sergt. June 10, '65. Mus 
out July 17, '65. 


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7, " 
June 4, " 

Dec. 29, 1863. 
June 25, 1864. 

July 20, " 

Nov. 27, 1861. 
Jan. 5, 1864. 


•pa^sipia 
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CO 


Enlisted, 
Drafted, or 
Appointed. 


Jan. 5, 1864. 

it Ct ft 

7, " 
June 4, " 

Dec. 29, 1863. 
June 25, 1864. 

July 20, " 

Sept. 16, 1861. 
Jan. 5, 1864. 


Residence 

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accredited to. 


Unity 

Portsmouth 

Conway 
Walpole 

Greenfield 
Hill 

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Fremont 
Hanover 


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Limington, Me. 

Hebron 
New York 


fc 


Privates. 
Manchester, Rufus R. . 

[illey, James .... 

[urray, Thomas . . . 
Money, John . . . 

filler, John .... 
IcCrow, Joseph . . . 

ililley, Charles H. . . 

Heal, William L. . . . 
Sash, James D. . . . 



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Wd. June 6, '64, Cold Harbor, Va. 

Tr. from Co. K, 11th N. H. V., June 

1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
App. Corp. Disch. June 4, '65, nea 

Alexandria, Va. Killed Sept. 14, '8 

by passing train, Salem, Mass. 
Wd. Sept. 30, '64, Poplar Sprinf 

Church, Va. Tr. from Co. C, 9th I 

H. V., June 1, '65. Must, out Ju 

17, '65. P. 0. ad., Dover, N. H. 
Tr. from Co. K, 11th N. H. V., June 

'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Tr. from Co. C, 11th N. H. V., June 

'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Des. July 12, '62, Newport News, Va. 
Re-enl. and must, in Dec. 20, '63. Dc 

Dec. 13, '64, while on furlough. 
Re-enl. and must, into Co. I, Dec. 23, '1 

Capd. May 28, '64. Died Aug. 14, N 

Andersonville, Ga. 
Re-enl. and must, in Dec. 26, '63. A] 

Corp. Des. Feb. 10, '65, while on fi 

lough. 
Died May 14, '64, Annapolis, Md. 


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Dec. 19, 1861. 
Sept. 3, 1862. 
Dec. 7, 1863. 

July 28, 1864. 
Dec. 22, 1863. 
Nov. 27, 1861. 

ll It tl 

a it u 
• • tt (t 

Dec. 16, 1863. 


•pa:>sr[U9 
qonjjd joj auiix 


>, - - s :: s s s ° s ^ 

CO 


Enlisted, 
Drafted, or 
Appointed. 


Dec. 19, 1861. 
Aug. 25, 1862. 
Dec. 7, 1868. 

July 28, 1864. 

Dec. 22, 1868. 

Oct. 31, 1861. 
Sept. 27, " 

Nov. 19, " 
9, " 
Dec. 16, 1863. 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Canterbury 
South Hampton 
RoUinsford 

Chesterfield 

Wakefield 

Exeter 
New Market 

East Kingston 

Exeter 

Orford 


•gSy 


t— <» rH CO »H © IN ""# »0 L~ 
IN IN IN IN IN INCN CO IN <N 


"ft 


New York city 
Newburyport, Mass. 
Somersworth 

Canada 

Naples, Italy 

New Hampshire 
RoUinsford 

Kingston 
Canada 
Nova Scotia 




Privates. 
Sanford, William . . . 

Tenney, Cyrus W. . . 

Tibbetts, Enoch . . . 

Tapner, William . . . 

Tomas, Antonio . . . 

Weeks, Joshua . . . 
Wentworth, Jacob . . 

Webster, John A. . . 
White, Stephen . . . 
Wilson, Joseph . . . 



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d. sev. May 18, '64, Spottsylvania, 
Va. App. Maj. July 28, '64; Lt. Col. 
June 1, '65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
App. Lt. Col. IT. S. Vol. by brev. for 
gallant and meritorious conduct be- 
fore Petersburg, Va. to date from 


CO 

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pee, JN. H. 
:e Company G. 

pp. Capt. Co. F. Aug. 4, '62. Must, 
out Nov. 28, '64. Served in Co. F, 
6th Mass. Vol. Militia. P. 0. ad- 
dress, Waterborough. Me. 
se Company K. 


pp. 1st Lt. Aug. 4, '62. Wd. Aug. 29 
'62, Bull Run,Va. App. Capt. Co. G 
Oct. 24, '62. Res'dOct. 14, '63. Servec 
in I. C. P. 0. ad., Rochester, N. H. 
pp. 2d Lt. Aug. 4, '62. Killed Aug 
29. '62. Bull Run. Va. 


is. Aug. 29, '62. Gd. from mis. Dec 
19, '62. App. 2d Lt. to date Dec. 1 
'62. Dismissed Nov. 18, '63. 




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Tr. from Co. D, 11th N. H. V., June 1, 
'05. Must, out July 17, '65. 

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'05. Must, out July 17, '65. 

Killed, Aug. 29, '02, Bull Run, Va. 

Mis. Aug. 29, '02, Bull Run, Va. Gd. 
from mis. Des. Nov. '62, near An- 
napolis, Md. N. f. r. A. G. O. 

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timore, Md. Tm. ex. 

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'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 

Wd. June 3, '64, Bethesda Church, Va. 
Dishon. disch. to date Sept. 15, '64. 

Must, out July 17, '65. P. O. ad., Alex- 
andria, N. H. 

Disch. Aug. 7, '65, Washington, D. C. 


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July 19, " 

June 25, " 

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Sept. 28, " 

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Dec. 4, 1863. 

" 31, " 
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disab. June 19, '65, near Alexandria 
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28, '64, Indianapolis, Ind. Tm. ex. 

App. Corp. Nov. 28, '61; Sergt. Dec. 1,'62 
1st Sergt. Jan. 1, '63; 1st. Lt. Oct. 3 
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'65. P. O. ad., Troy, N. H. 

Tr. from Co. E, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 'ft 
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Died dis. Jan. 14, '62, Annapolis, Md. 

Killed Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. 

Disch. disab. March 30, '63, Phil 
delphia, Pa. 


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tersburg, Va. Disch. Dec. 14, '64, 
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P. O. ad., St. Louis, Mo. 

Disch. May 12, '65, Concord, N. H. 

Killed Sept. 30, '64, Poplar Springs 
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Cheney, Clinton G. 

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Clement, Benjamin F. . 
Crossfield, William K. . 

Cram, David A. . . . 
Curtin, Patrick H. . . 

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Des. June 23, '64. 

App. Corp. Nov. 28, '61; Sergt. July 1, 

'62; 2d Lt. Co. H, Nov. 4, '62; 1st Lt. 

July 2, '63; Capt. Co. K, Nov. 2, '63 

Disch. disab. to date Nov. 1, '64 

P. O. ad., Glenwood, Mass. 
Re-enl. and must, in Jan. 3, '64. Wd 

July 20, '64, Petersburg, Va. App 

Sergt. July 1, '65 Must, out Jub 

17, '65. 
App. Corp. Nov. 28, '61; Sergt. Re-en] 

and must, in Dec. 24, '63. Wd. se\ 

Oct. 1, '64, Poplar Springs Churcl 

Va. App. 1st Sergt. Jan, 1, '65; 1st LI 

Mch. 6, '65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
App. Corp. Nov. 28, '61. Disch. disal 

Aug. 9, '62, Concord, N. H. P. 0. ad 

Walpole, N. H. 
Disch. disab. Aug. 24, '62, Newpoi 

News, Va. 
Wd. Dec. 13, '62, Fredericksburg, V: 

Died dis. March 31, '63, Newpo: 

News, Va. 
Disch. disab. Sept. 29,' 62, Antietam, M 


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June 2, 1864. 
Oct. 12, 1861. 

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Oct. 18, " 

" 22, " 

Sept. 23, " 
Oct. 7, " 

" 18, " 


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Hinsdale 
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Walpole 
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Griffin, Michael . . . 
Hanscom, Theodore 

Henderson, Eugene . . 
Siggins, Sydney B. . . 

Houghton, John L. . . 

Howe, Allison G. . . . 
Hadley, George W. . . 

Hildreth, John W. . . 



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Des. Oct. 15, '64, near Pegram House, 

Va. Gd. from. des. M. o. roll dated 

July 17, '65, reports absent without 

leave since July 4, '65. N. f. r. 

A. G. 0. 
Wd. Apr. 2, '65, Petersburg, Va. Must. 

out July 17, '65. 
See Martin Leonard. 
Tr. from Co. E, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 

'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Tr. from Co. E, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 

'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Wd. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run, Va. Disch. 

disab. Jan. 21, '63, Alexandria, Va. 
App. Corp. Nov. 28, '61. Disch. disab. 

Dec. 30, '62, Washington, D. C. 
Must, out Nov. 28, '64. 
Must, out Nov. 28, '64. P. 0. address, 

Alstead, N. H. 
Des. Dec. 2, '64, while on furlough. 
App. Muse. Nov. 28, '61. Ranked as 

Priv. Jan. 1, '62. Killed Aug. 29, '62 

Bull Run, Va. 


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June 2, 1864. 

July 15, " 

June 28, " 

Oct. 12, 1801. 

2, " 

Sept. 24, " 
" 25, " 

Jan. 5, 1804. 
Oct. 7, 1861. 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Newton 

Chesterfield 

Claremont 

Northumberland 

Rindge 

Mason 

Hancock 
Westmoreland 

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McNulty, John . . . 

Murphy, Daniel . . 

Martin, Leonard . . . 
Mills, George . . . 

McDonnell, John . . . 

Nutting, Almond F. . . 

Nutting, Romanzo L. . 

Nutting, Willis A. . 
Osborne, Leslie K. . . 

Osgood, ITial A. 

Pike, Charles W. . . 






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Disch. disab. Mar. 4, '62, Roanoke Isl., 

N. C. 
Des. Feb. 5, '64, Camp Nelson, Ky. 
Wd. Oct. 1, '64, Poplar Springs Church, 

Va. Disch. disab. Dec. 26, '64, near 

Hancock Station, Va. 
Des. April 15, '64, Annapolis, Md. 
Des. Apprehended. Escaped from 

jail Alexandria, Va., Sept. 1, '64. 

N. f. r. A. G. 0. 
Tr. May 12, '65, from G. H., Beverly, 

N. J., to White Hall, Pa. N. f. r. 

A. G. 0. 
See John Johnson. 
Tr. from Co. G, 9th N. H. V., June 1, 

'65. Disch. June 5, '65, Cincinnati, 0. 
Tr, from Co. G, 11th N. H. V., June 1, 

'65. Must, out July 17, '65. 
Wd. May 12, '64, Spottsylvania, ya. 

Must, out Nov. 28, '64. 
Wd. and mis. Aug. 29, '62, Bull Run.ya. 

Gd. from mis. Died dis. Sept. 16, '62, 

Washington, D. C. 
Died dis. Nov. 15, '64, City Point, Va, 


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Dec. 16, 1863. 
Jan. 2, 1864. 

May 25, " 
June 11, " 

Dec. 10, 1863. 
July 25, 1864. 
Nov. 28, 1861. 


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Sept. 21, 1861. 

Dec. 16, 1863. 
Jan. 2, 1864. 

May 25, " 
June 11, " 

Dec. 10, 1863. 
July 25, 1864. 
Oct. 7, 1861. 
Nov. 6, " 

Oct. 2, " 


Residence 

or Place 

accredited to. 


Earmington 

Lyman 
Tamworth 

Portsmouth 
So. New Market 

Landaff 

Chesterfield 
Keene 
Ossipee 
Springfield 

Springfield 


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England 
Ireland 

Ireland 
Ireland 

Denmark 

Canada 
Ireland 
Ireland 
Danville, yt. 

West Minot, Me. 


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Privates. 
Giles, Orren P. ... 

Gallagher, James . . . 
Geary, Thomas . . . 

Gillen, Barney .... 
Grimes, Nugent . . . 

Grant, Charles .... 

Gerron, John .... 
Gordon, Francis . . . 

Gray, William .... 

Hamon, John .... 

Heath, Oliver M. . . . 

Hilborn, Lewis G. . . 



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