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I 11 I 

i]Z CIVIL War. Pennsylvania 103rd Regiment In- 
fantry. History of. By Luther S. Dickey. Portraits, maps 
and illustrations. Royal 8° cloth. Chicago, 1910 


Asserting that iyro Confederate regiments which at- 
taclted Casey's Division at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, 
lost more men than any other Southern regiments in the 
Civil War with one exception, Corpl. L. S. Dickey, 
collaborating with Sergt. Samuel M. Evans, seeks to 
vindicate Casey's Division in a volume just from the 
press entitled, "A History of the 103d Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry." /in addition to a 
chronological historical narrative of the reginient, which 
covers all its activities during its/nearly four years' 
continuous service, a sketch of each company of the 
regiment, numerous personal sketches embracing several ' 
daring escapes from Confederate prisons, three compre- 
hensive articles appear in tUs volume, viz., "Casey's 
Division at Seven Pines," "The Battle of Plymouth" and 
"Life in Andersonvill^ and Florence Confederate Military 
Prisonsj" The comjiifation from the official records 
bearing on the events treated in these articles makes each' 
valuable as an authoritative reference work. Especially : 
is this true of the article on "Casey's Division at Seven' 
Pines." The author says that had it not been for the' 
valiant action of the weakest and "rawest" division of 
the Army, "led and ^encouraged by the white-haired- old 
Mexican War hero. General Casey, in advance of Seven 
Pines on May 31, 1862, the Army of the Potomac would 
have been disastrously defeated, and the commanding! 
generals responsible for the calumnies on Casey's Division 
utterly discredited . as inefficient commanders." General 
McClellan's despatch to the Secretary of War censuring 
Casey's Division lauded the conduct of all the other 
troops engaged in the battle. 

By producing the official reports Mr. Dickey has made 
it possible for the reader to judge of the conduct of the 
troops of the other divisions engaged, without himself 
reflecting on them. The despatches sent by General 
Heintzelman to General McClellan during and immediately 
following the battle caused him to censure Casey's troops, 
and the Jfaet that the left wing of the Army of the 
PotomacJi'^as,; driven back from its first two lines has been i 
generally: attributed to Casey's Division, which held the ! 
first line, in not making proper resistance. Ignoring 
the official reports of General Casey and his brigade 
generals eptirely, a careful reading oiE the official reports 
and testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee | 
on the conduct of the war of Generals Keyes and Heint- 
zelmah and the official reports of Generals Couch. Peck 
atid Kearny show, in the author's opinion, that Casey's 
Division held its position longer than Couch and Kearny, 
and, while it was the weakest division numerically, it 
sustained a greater loss than any other dvision engaged 
iU W.^^pn. In support of his contention as to Casey's 
^if^JBlOll,' Corporal Dickey quotes from a statement by 
the Confederate Gen. D. H. Hill, whose division attacked 
Casey. l'-U^,^, ,j ) -"-; ,,'"'- "^V - ''' ^j : '^ _ 

Battle-Torn B|nner, - 
to Be Presented Today 

'Flag With a War History to Be 

Placed in the Soldiers' 

Memorial Hall, 

. H*' 


\ The company flag of the One Hundred 
j and Third Regiment, Pennsylvania' Volun- 
i teers, that was carried through Anderson- 
I yille prison by Private Conrad Petsinger 
I of that regiment, will be presented to 
I the Memorial Hall Committee today at 
1 1:30 p. m. An opportunity will be given 
I the public to hear Raymond Bobins in 
[the Memorial Hall auditorium. 
I The committee of the regtaental "asso^ 
I ctation requests the presenc^'of the mem- 
i bers of the Grand Army of the liepublic, 
I the Union Veteran Legion ai^d afSjiated 

societies. An invitation i.? extended to 

the faculty and students of the University i 
I of Pittsburgh, of the Carnegie' Technical 
j and Margaret Morrison schools, liie 
I teachers and pupils-.of the public schools 
I generally and the public at large. The 
I program follows"; 
' Prayer. 

Preeentation ,Speech .[ ■ 

) ' Hon. Thomas Hays, Butler Pa.* 

UnveJllng of the Flag '. 

I Miss Carrie Petshiger, BJanddaughter "oi "con- 
' rad Petsinger. 

"Star Spangled Banner" 

I Forbes School Orchestra and pupils," led iiy 
I . Prof. McDerpiott. 

j PLeoeptlon of the flag' on behalf of the Sol- 
diers' Memorial Hall Committee....; 
I Comrade Charles O. Smith, Patriotic In- 
I' structor, G. A. R.. Department of Penn- 
1 sylvania. 

!YVI''= • Orchestra 

Address ., Raymond Robins 

Soloist .. Mrs. J. Sharp McDonald 

Amsrica Orchestra arid Audience 



Major W,.^|*»B(ly; 

Historic Banner Went Through Bat- 
tles and Andersonvile. 

On January 30 the Memorial HaU As- 


' Major Watson ^iXmikir. 69 years old, 
ia dead in hlg home. In Copelaud ave- 
nue, Bast End. "He had been injured 
in a .street car accident about a year 
<igo, from which he never fully recov- 
ered. He was a veteran of the Civil 
war, flavins been a mem'ber of the One 
Hundred and Third volunteer regiment. 
Before the close of the war he was aft- 
fvanccd to the rank of major. After the 
War he came; to Pittsburgh and devoted' 
his ;entlre tlnie to railroad construction 
woi-(it. He waSL chief engineer of the 
con.'ftruction woSk on the Pittsburgh & 
Western rallroa^) sifterwards becoming 
Its superintenden't I^ter he was en- 
gineer of cjnStrucnpn of the Pltiaburgi) 
Ballvvays Company. % He was a member 
Of the Union Veteran Legion. Major 
Mobley l8 survived By his widow, ■ Mrs. 
fifiSBabeth Parker Mobley; a son, B. V. 

(_Mi)bley, and two dausfhters, Mlnni*, at 
hopie, and Mrs, W. B. ^, Pearsall, of this 

Kflty. A' sister, Mrs. M'artha Frampton, 
of Tai'entum, and a brWher, J. P. D. 
i^i3bley, of Parker, Pa.," also survlV*. 


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Cornell University Library 
E527.5 103d .D55 
History of the 103d regiment, Pennsylvan 


EMLHNTON, Pa,, March 24. — (SP*- 
cla4.)— Isaac Sha^kely, a lone time and 
respected resident of Emlentqti, died at 
his home in this place at 1 o'clock "Wed- 
nesday morning. He was born in But- 
ler county, near Petrolia, August 21, 
1842. He oame to Bmlentpn In Ootoper, 
1865, and began woric at his trade, that 
of blacksmith, and had been a resident' 
of Bmlenton contlnuotiBly^ 
time. He was united In [ 
Miss Sarah ShouP, 
burg, February 14, 1867. ! 
ren wiere born to them, nine of 
surviy*, as follows: C. A. A. j^ 
of Oil Cltv. Mrs. R. .T. Todd and! 
P. ToAd; of New Bethlehem, Pa , Wa 
B., Waynesboro, Pa.; Clyde I., Savanah, 
G-a.; Fred M., Frafik, Z., Meade K. and 
iRuth N., at home. One sister, Mrm. S. 
J. Redd, of Butler, also survlv«B. 

At the outbreak of the Civjl war Mr. 
Shakely enlisted in Company B, One 
Hundred and Three t>. V. I., and served 
throughout the war. He was a member 
of thte celebrated Wessel's brigade and 
was a corporal from 1863 to 1865. Ha 
was one of the. unfortunates who were 
confined' In Andarsonville prison, nlns 
months of the war time being spent In^ 
that place. Disease contracted thera,,'( 
which would have killed a man of, less 
rpgged constitution, remained with him 
to the end of his dais. 

3 1924 030 914 471 
olin Overs 

Watson C. Mohley.Ay, 

' Walton C. ,Mobley, aged 69, a veteraR 
'of the Civil War, died at his home, 722 
Copeland street, Shadyside, late lasit 
night. Mr Mobley had never recovered 
from injuries' he ' received a year ago. 
He served through the Cival War in 
the One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania 
"Volunteers. Since the war he h^d de- 
voted himself princiipally , to railroad con- 
struction work. "He was the chief en- 
gineer in charge of the construction of 
ithe Pittsburgh & "W^estern Railroad and, 
(later became its superintendent. Latter- 
'ly he has been connected with the Pitts- 
burgh Railways Company. Mr. Mobley 
iwas a Mason and a member 'Of the Union 
Veteran Legion. He leaves a widow, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Parker Mobley; bne son, 
;E. P. Mobley, and two daughters. Miss 
Minnie C. Mobley at home and Mrs. "W". 
D. Pearsall. He also leaves one brothjH 
and one sister. -H 



Cornell University 

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. 



103d Regiment 

Pennsylvania Veteran 
Volunteer Infantry 



Corporal of Company C, 

With Sergeant Samuel M. Evans as Collaborator. 






Photo-engraving by 

Electro Light engraving Co 

New York. 

cojAt 100 


TN memory of the heroic dead 
of Casey's division who fell 
in advance of Seven Pines, and of 
the gallant comrades who suffered 
martyrdom in the Confederate 
Military Prisons of Andersonville 
and Florence to preserve the in- 
tegrity of the Union, this volume 
is most affectionately dedicated. 

Pittsburg, Pa., January 7, 1909. 

At a regularly called meeting of the One Hundred and Third 
Pennsylvania Regimental Association, held in Union Veteran Legion 
Hall, Pittsburg, Pa., January 4, 5 and 6, 1909, to consider the manu- 
script of the Regimental History in preparation under the auspices of 
the Association, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted : 

Whereas, the draft of manuscript of the Regimental History sub- 
mitted to the Regimental Association by Comrade L. S. Dickey, gives 
evidence of wide research and painstaking care in preparation, and 

Whereas, Comrade Dickey has demonstrated most satisfactorily 
by his work that he is thoroughly competent to prepare a trustworthy 
and authentic history of the Regiment, and that he also possesses the 
requisite zeal and enthusiasm in his work, essential to bring it to a 
successful completion, therefore be it 

Resolved, that the One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Regi- 
mental Association most heartily approves the manuscript as presented, 
and does hereby authorize and instruct L. S. Dickey to complete and 
publish the Regimental History without further delay along the lines 
indicated by him, and be it further 

Resolved, that it is the sense of the Regimental Association, that 
every surviving member of the One Hundred and Third Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, and the friends and relatives of deceased 
members thereof, should co-operate and assist Comrade Dickey in his 
laudable efforts, to the end that a faithful record of the activities of 
the One Hundred and Third Regiment may be preserved to posterity. 
John A. Kelley, W. C. Mobley, 

Chairman. Secretary. 


When the writer accepted the honor as historian of his Regiment he had no 
reaHzation of the task involved. After more than forty years since the final 
events of the Civil War, he expected to use the compilations of others who had 
carefully examined everything bearing on the most important events in which 
his Regiment had participated. Instead, however, of receiving assistance from 
this source he found the task made doubly difficult by the fact that most of the 
writers on these events have accepted the gossip of the camps, evidently with- 
out confirmation or research, even when censuring their comrades in arms. At- 
tention is called to this at some length in numerous extracts from historical nar- 
ratives and in a personal sketch. 

In the preparation of this work an earnest endeavor has been made to pre- 
sent everything pertaining to the Regiment which would be of interest to surviv- 
ing members, and care has been exercised to avoid undue exaggeration. In pre- 
paring the regimental narrative constant reference has been made to the diary of 
Sergt. S. M. Evans, the "Army Experience" of Capt. John Donaghy, and the 
Official Reports of the War Department. Sergt. Evans kept a daily record 
of the events of the Regiment during the first three years of the war ; Capt. Don- 
aghy prepared his "Army Experiences" from his diary a few years subsequent 
to the war, and any additions made were when his memory of the most vivid inci- 
dents must have been clear. The well known character of both gives assurance 
to their surviving comrades that any positive statement by either can be regarded 
as trustworthy. 

For the early history of the Regiment the correspondence filed in the archives 
of the State of Pennsylvania from the promoters, organizers and officers of the 
Regiment to the state officials have been carefully examined. So far as the com- 
pany and individual records are incomplete the writer asks to be absolved from 
blame. He has spent much time both at the capital of the state and the capital of 
the nation examining the official records and has presented here everything per- 
tinent to which he had access at either place. He is under special obligations to 
the Auditor for the War Department, B. F. Harper, and to Comrade S. E. Faunce, 
Chief of Records Division, in the Auditor's office, and to Hon. Thos. J. Stewart, 
Adjutant General of Pennsylvania, and his clerk. Comrade J. B. Stauffer; to 
James C. Deininger, of the State Department; also to the Commissioners of Pen- 
sion, Hon. Vespasian Warner and Hon. J. L. Davenport, for valuable and cour- 
teous service in an endeavor to complete the individual records of the members 
of the Regiment. 

The writer is under obligations to so many for cheerful and helpful aid in 
the preparation of this work, that it may be unjust discrimination to make personal 
acknowledgment here without including all ; and yet not to mention some would be 
verging on ingratitude. Among those who have extended unusual courtesies and 
substantial assistance are Comrade Millard F. Bingham (12th New York Volun- 


teers) whose choice selection of war Hterature in his extensive and well selected 
library was freely proffered; Mr. Frank Pierce Hill, Chief Librarian, Brooklyn 
Public Library, who placed the Halliday Library at his disposal while being cata- 
logued ; to the Secretary of the Athenaeum Library, Boston ; to the Chicago Public 
Library; especially to Miss Caroline L. Elliott, Reference Librarian, and Mr. 
Charles A. Larson, Assistant Reference Librarian, the great assistance rendered 
by them being invaluable. More than ordinary courtesies have been extended 
by the Pratt Institute Library, Brooklyn; the Astor and Lenox Libraries, New 
York ; the Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia ; The Philadelphia Public 
Library ; the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh and Allegheny ; the State Library, 
Harrisburg ; the Cleveland Public Library ; the Case Library, Cleveland, and the 
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, and to the Century Company, New York. 
The writer is under especial obligations to Hon. Walter Clark, Chief Jus- 
tice of North Carolina; to the Adjutant General of Connecticut; to Comrade 
George Q. Whitney (i6th Conn. Vols.), Hartford; to two daughters of the Con- 
federacy, Drs. Florence Leigh-Jones and Elizabeth J. Hatton, Brooklyn, N. Y. ; 
both of whom suffered the privations of the Civil War in their childhood ; the 
former in Charleston during the bombardment, while her father was serving in 
a Palmetto regiment; the latter in Georgia, while her father, (who was a per- 
sonal friend of Dr. Isaiah White, Chief Surgeon of Andersonville Military 
Prison) was serving as a surgeon in a Georgia regiment. Substantial aid and 
cheerful assistance has also come from Mr. Charles H. IngersoU, South Orange, 
N. J. ; from Thomas Lynch, Esq., Greensburg, Pa. ; and from Comrades John A. 
Kelley, Baptist H. Scott, Thomas Hays and Norval D. Goe. 

With few exceptions no Pennsylvania regiments have records less complete 
than the One Hundred and Third. Its regimental and company records were twice 
completely lost in battle, and under circumstances that made it impossible to have 
them fully replaced. The writer has spared no pains to get authentic histories 
of the various companies of the Regiment by correspondence with surviving mem- 
bers, writing to every one whose address he had. 

In addition to the chronological narrative, the company histories, and the 
roster which embraces every name in the ten original companies, and also the 
eight unassigned companies which came to the Regiment a few weeks before it 
was mustered out, three comprehensive articles (one critical) are presented 
namely: "Casey's Division at the Battle of Seven Pines," "The Battle of Plym- 
outh," and "Life in Andersonville and Florence Confederate Military Prisons," 
It is necessary to cover these three events comprehensively to give a complete his- 
tory of the Regiment. The company sketches embrace some things already cov- 
ered in the regimental narrative, and some personal notes are made that may not 
be of general interest, except to surviving members and friends of that particu- 
lar company. The personal reminiscences that comrades have sent have been 
carefully read, and as nearly all of them were of a similar nature, and covered the 
same grounds, or the main features were already narrated in the regimental narra- 
tive, they have been used to amplify the company sketches. As Capt. Mackey 
was the only one of the original company commanders to retain that position, 
and to be constantly and continuously with the Regiment from the time it went 


to the front until it was captured, his daily record of events in Confederate prisons 
is published without amplification, elimination, or editorial revision. The fact 
that these events were not recorded for publication makes them the more inter- 
esting. It may be said that many little personal details in his diary might have 
been omitted ; this may be true ; but the writer thinks the reader can readily cull 
all the essential matter. 

The aspersion cast on Casey's division, in the first dispatch from the com- 
manding general to the Secretary of War, announcing the battle of Fair Oaks 
was finally shifted in his official report to two brigades of the division, especially 
robbing the Regiment's brigade of its heroic defense of the intrenchments, and 
giving the credit to a brigade commanded by a favorite of the commanding gen- 
eral. It is especially fitting that Casey's division be vindicated in the history of 
the One Hundred and Third Regiment, as this Regiment was an integral part of 
his division until it was separated into other commands. One of the principal 
reflections upon this division in the histories of the battle of Fair Oaks is that it 
was taken by surprise. This reflects especially upon its pickets and their supports. 
As it was the commanding officer of the pickets from the Regiment who apprised 
Gen. Casey of the presence of a large body of the enemy in front of the division, 
and as it was the Regiment that opened the battle, and was the first regiment of 
the division to be routed, it is especially appropriate and essential that the truth 
as to the whole matter should appear with a history of the Regiment. The dead 
and maimed of the Regiment who fell in the battle of Fair Oaks and also all those 
who did their full duty must be vindicated. 

In criticising those responsible for the injustice done to Casey's division no 
statement has been made that is not substantiated by the official records. The 
evidence presented is not one-sided, but an earnest effort has been made to pre- 
sent everything pertaining to the subject, and if possible find some extenuating 
circumstances for those culpable. Justice to the dead, who can only reply through 
the official records, made this obligatory. 

The capture of the Regiment at Plymouth makes it necessary to give a de- 
tailed account of the battle in order to show whether the Regiment was in any 
measure responsible for the capitulation of the garrison, or if the proper resist- 
ance was made even when there was no hope of succor. 

The long confinement of nine companies of the Regiment at Andersonville 
and Florence, and the terrible mortality in those pestilential spots make it im- 
perative to tell the repulsive story in this volume. The evidence presented here, 
is chiefly the official reports of the Confederate surgeons and inspector generals 
to the Confederate authorities. These reports give evidence of having been writ- 
ten by men of humane impulses, who had no motive for exaggerating the 
horrible conditions prevailing there. Reference is made to prison life with no 
intention to reflect on the Southern people or the Confederate authorities. It is 
necessarily a part of the story of the 103d Regiment, in order that posterity may 
know how much it is indebted to this organization for the heritage of a free Re- 
public. The evidence presented here proves beyond question that thei Federal 
authorities could have readily exchanged prisoners, when the suffering and mor- 
tality was the most appalling at Andersonville and Florence prisons, without 


relinquishing any just position they had been contending for, and without any 
further jeopardy to the officers and enlisted men of negro regiments ; the evidence 
proves conclusively that the exchange was not made, because an exchange at 
that time would have imperiled the safety of both armies, under Grant and Sher- 

Although severe criticisms have been made in this volume, and expressions 
made that may seem vituperative, they have been honestly made, and the writer 
believes, truthfully made. The "midnight oil" has burned many weeks in an 
earnest, sincere desire to find evidence in extenuation of the action of the men 
criticised. And although with a full knowledge of the grievous wrong done to 
his division and to the comrades who sealed their devotion to the Nation by giving 
their lives in advance of Seven Pines, not a line has been written in malice, or 
even with animus. What is written is now beyond recall. But, as the writer 
reviews his words, calmly and dispassionately, as they appear in print before 
him — the words in criticism of those who wronged his division and his dead 
comrades — he sees nothing to modify ; nothing to qualify ; nothing to retract. 
And these last words are written under the influence — the spell — of those won- 
derful sentences of the greatest character evolved by the Civil War, written and 
uttered, when the fate of the nation was yet trembling in the balance ; words that 
are imperishable, and that should forever silence those who would engender sec- 
tional strife, and those who take delight in continuously harping over the wrongs 
perpetrated by some of the people of the South during the days of the Civil War 

Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than 
let it [the Union] perish, and war came. Neither party expected the magnitude 
or duration which it has attained ; neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict 
might cease even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an 
easier triumph and a result less fundamental and astonishing. Both read the 
same Bible and prayed to the same God. Each invoked his aid against the other. 
It may seem strange that any man should dare to ask a just God's assistance in 
wringing bread from the sweat of any other men's faces ; but let us judge not, 
that we be not judged. The prayer of both should not be answered ; that of 
neither has been answered fully for the Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe 
unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offense come ; but 
woe unto that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose American 
slavery one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, 
but which, having continued through His appointed time. He now wills to re- 
move, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as was due to 
those by whom the offense came, shall we discern that there is any departure 
from those divine attributes which believers in the living God always ascribe to 
him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of 
war may speedily pass away ; yet if it be God's will that it continue until the 
wealth piled by bondsmen by two hundred and fifty years' unrequited toil shall be 
sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another 
drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must 
be said that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With 
malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives 
us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the 
nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his 
widow and orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting- 
peace among ourselves and with all nations. 



Camp Orr — Kittanning — The Organization of the Regiment 1 

(From August, 1861 to Febraury 24, 1862.) 


From Kittanning to Yorktown 6 

(From February 24, to May 4, 1862.) 


The Battle of Williamsburg 10 

(From May 4, to May 7, 1862.) 


The Battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks ! 13 

(From May 7, to June 7, 1862.) 


The Seven Days' Battles — From White Oak Swamp to Harrison's Landing 22 

(From June 4, to July 31, 1862.) 


From Harrison's Landing to Suffolk — Blackwater Reconnoissances 30 

(From July 31, to December 4, 1862.) 


From Suffolk to New Bern— Battles of Kinston, Whitehall and Goldsboro 34 

(From December 4, to December 28, 1862.) 


New Bern — Hyde County Raid 41 

(From December 28, 1862, to March 13, 1863.) 


New Bern — Spinola Expedition — Reconnaissance to Washington, N. C 45 

(From March 13, 1863, to May 2, 1863.) 


From New Bern to Plymouth — Reconnaissances to Jamesville, Williamston, Edenton, 

Windsor, etc 47 

(From May 2, 1863, to January 31, 1864.) 



Garrison Life at Plymouth as Seen by Capt. Donaghy and Corp. Rupert 52 

(From May 2, 1863, to April 17, 1864.) 


The Battle and Capture of Plymouth 59 

(From April 17, to April 20, 1864.) 


From Plymouth to Andersonville Military Prison 61 

(From April 20, to May 2, 1864.) 


From the Capture of the Regiment to the Final Discharge 64 

(From April 20, 1864, to July 13, 1865.) 


Field and StafT 67 

Company A 75 

Company B 77 

Company C 79 

Company D 85 

Company E 86 

Company F 88 

Company G 91 

Company H 92 

Company 1 94 

Sketch of Corp. John A. Kelly — The Youngest Member of Co. 1 101 

Company K 102 


By Private R. P. Black (Co. E.) 104 

By Corp. R. J. Thompson — Color-bearer of the Regiment 106 


Capt. Alvin H. Alexander and Lieut, Wm. H. H. Kiester 107 

Corp. Robert R. Reardon, Privates Peter Klingler, Samuel Rupert and Daniel Huddle- 
son (Co. H.), and Sergt. Daniel Krug (Co. K.) 108 

Norval D. Goe, John F. Rupert, Reed G. Beggs and James S. Cooper (Co. A.) 110 

Capt. John Donaghy, Lieut. David M. Spence and Lieut. Robert R. Bryson HI 

Lieutenants Alfred L. Fluke, John M. Laughlin and Capt. Donaghy 115 


Color-bearer Robert J. Thompson 118 

Hon. Thomas Hays 119 

The Most Daring Exploit of the War— Lieut. William Barker Gushing 120 

Diary of Marches of Wessells Brigade — Author Unknown 122 



Dedication of the Monument Erected by the State of Pennsylvania in the National 

Cemetery, Andersonville, Ga 130 


A Personal Sketch by the Author Touching on Events in Which He Was an Active 

Participant 131 


A Foreword 143 

Casey's Division at the Battle of Seven Pines 145 

Extracts from the Report and Testimony of Gen. McClellan 156 

Report and Testimony of Gen. Heintzelman 158 

Report and Testimony of Gen. Keyes 160 

Report and Testimony of Gen. Casey 168 

Report of Gen. Wessells 166 

Report of Maj. Gozzara 167 

Report of Gen. Naglee 167 

Report of Col. Davis (104th Penna. Regt.) 169 

Report of Col. Plaisted (11th Maine Regt.) 170 

Report of Gen. Palmer (Third Brigade) 170 

Report of Capt. Raulston (81st N. Y. Regt.) 171 

Report of Col. Belknap (85th N. Y. Regt.) 172 

Report of Lieut. Col Durkee (98th N. Y. Regt.) 172 

Report of Capt. Regan (7th N. Y. Battery) 172 

Reports of Couch's Division (Keyes' Corps) 173 

Reports of Kearny's Division (Heintzelraan's Corps) 175 

Reports of Gen. Hooker's Division (Heintzelman's Corps) 177 

Report and Testimony of Gen. Sumner 181 

Reports of Gen. Sedgwick's Division (Sumner's Corps) 182 

Reports of Gen. Richardson's Division (Sumner's Corps) 184 

Dispatches of Gen. McQellan 189 

Gen. Heintzelman 193 

Excerpts from Confederate Reports 202 

Major General Silas Casey 234 

Newspaper Comments on Casey's Division 286 

Criticisms in Histories 238 

Regimental Histories 244 

Favorable Comments 246 

Confederate Comments on the Battle of Seven Pines 248 


A Detailed Description of the Battle from the First Attack Until the Garrison 

Surrendered 255 

Lieutenant-Commander Charles W. Flusser 270 

Brigadier-General Henry W. Wessells 272 

Gen. Wessells' Report of the Battle 275 


The Point of View 280 

A Graphic Description of Conditions in Andersonville Prison 281 

Appeals Made to the Federal Authorities for an Ejcchange 284 


Why the Exchange Was Not Made 287 

Official Reports of Confederate Surgeons, Inspector-Generals, etc., of Conditions at 

Andersonville Prison 289 

Official Report of Interments in the National Cemetery at Andersonville 302 

Confederate Official Reports on Conditions at Florence Military Prison 303 

Appeal for an Exchange by Gen. Wessells and Others 307 


Reunion of the 101st and 103d Regimental Associations at Foxburg, Pa 308 

Address of Welcome by Joseph M. Fox 309 

Members Present 310 

Regimental Badge 313 


A Daily Record From Jan. 1. 1864, to March 14, 1865— Embracing More than 10 

Months of Life in Confederate Prisons 314 


Battle of Williamsburg 341 

Seven Days Battles 343 

Goldsboro Expedition 345 

Hyde County Raid 350 

Spinola Expedition 352 

Expeditions from Plymouth 356 

Regimental Roster 361 


Brig. Gen. H. W. Wessells Frontispiece 

Col. Theo. F. Lehmann, and Group of 15 Officers 1 

Lieut. Col. W. C. Maxwell, Maj. A. W. Gazzam, Quar. Mas. O. R. McNary, Capt. E. G. 

Cratty, Capt. T. A. Cochran, Lieut. Z. M. Cline and Sergt. Maj. W. C. Mobley 6 

Maj. J. F. Mackey, Adjt. Wm. H. Irwin, Capt. F. Smullin, Lieut. S. D. Burns and 

Lieut. W. B. Kroesen 10 

Capt. R. Laughlin, Capt. A. H. Alexander, Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester, Lieut. J. M. Laugh- 

lin, Lieut. O. McCall, Corp. John A. Kelley, Corp. Thos. Hays and Priv. S. Kelley. 13 
Capt. S. P. Townsend, Capt. A. Fahnestock, Lieut. B. H. Scott, 1st Sergt. W. S. Cochran, 

Sergt. R. M. Dunn, Sergt. S. M. Evans, Corp. G. W. Pifer and Corp. L. S. 

Dickey 22 

Capt. J. Donaghy, Lieut. J. H, Chambers, Capts. Donaghy and Fahnestock, Sergt. J. H. 

White, Priv. T. G. Sloan, Sutler A. Krebs and C. L. Straub 30 

Reunion Group — Companies A, F, D, and 1 34 

Reunion Group — Companies B, E, and K 41 

Reunion Group — Companies C and H 45 

Map of North Carolina Coast 47 

Map of Country West of Plymouth 52 

Map of Roanoke Island 64 

Pennsylvania Monument, National Cemetery, Andersonville, G'a., 1st Sergt. J. F. Shields, 

Corp. J. S. Cooper and Corp. G. W. K. Stover 75 

Company B's Flag, Mrs. Thomas Hays, and Conrad Petsinger 79 

Capt. John M. Cochran ; Privates Geo. W. Cochran, Wm. W. Cochran, L. H. Slagle and 

Corp. J. F. Rupert 82 

Sergt. J. S. Hodil, Sergt. J. S. Moorhead, Corp. R. J. Thompson; Privates John Adams, 

and J. D. Taggart 91 

Corp. John A. Kelley, Maj. John E. Kelley, Sergt. Maj. Norval D. Goe and Hon. 

Thomas Hays 101 

Donaghy, Spence and Bryson Escaping from Prison Ill 

Commander William Barker Gushing 120 

Barracks of Co. C, near Fort Reno, Roanoke Island; Sergt. J. A. Gwinn and Corp. 

Thomas J. McKee 124 

Pennsylvania Monument, Andersonville National Cemetery 130 

Capt. John Donaghy, Lieut. B. H. Scott, Sergt. S. M. Evans, and Corp. L. S. Dickey 135 

Group from War Photographs 142 

Major General Silas Casey 145 

Map of Seven Pines — Century War Series, No. 1 158 


Map of Seven Pines — Century War Series No. 2 166 

Map of Seven Pines, by Capt. John Donaghy 174 

Burying the Dead at the Twin Houses 182 

The Twin Farm Houses, two Views 190 

Map of Plymouth and Defenses 256 

Group of Confederate Officers 266 

Lieut. Com. C. W. Flusser — The Confederate ram "Albemarle" 270 

Plan of Andersonville Military Prison 280 

National Cemetery, Andersonville, Ga., View No. 1 288 

National Cemetery, Andersonville, View No. 2 292 

Providence Spring, Andersonville, Ga 300 

Reunion Group, Foxburg, Pa., Sept. 16, 1909 310 

Map of North Carolina Inside Back Cover 

Col. Theodore F. Lehmann. 

1. Lieut. J. M. Alexander (Co. H). 

2. Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester (Co. I). 

3. Lieut. G. K. M. Crawford (Co. II. 

4. Lieut. R. R. Bryson (Co. E). 
.1. Capt. John M. Cochran (Co. C). 
n. Capt. John Stuchell (Co. G). 

7. Lieut. A. L. Fluke (Co. D). 

S. Lieut. Col. W. C. Maxwell. 

9. Capt. Josiah Zink (Co. F). 

in. Capt. E. G. Cratty (Co. E). 

11. Capt. T. A. Cochran (Co. C). 

12. Surg. J. Q. A. Meredith. 

13. Capt. Jas. J. Morrow (Co. G). 

14. Lieut. G. W. Stoke (Co. D). 

15. Capt. D. L. Coe (Co. B). 

The One Hundred and Third Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. 

A Chronological Historical Narrative from tlie Organization of the Regi= 

ment in 1861 Until it was Mustered 

Out in 1865. 


Camp Orr — Kittanning — The Organization of the Regiment. 

(From August, 1861, to February 24, 1862.) 

The 103d Regiment, Penna. VoUinteer Infantry, was recruited from the 
counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Qarion, Indiana, Mercer, Venango and 
Westmoreland. Its rank and file were typical representatives of the citizenship 
of Western Penna. Seventy-five per cent of its membership, at least, were bom 
and reared in the counties from which they enlisted, although in every company 
there were some who were natives of Erin and Germany. They came from every 
walk of life, the farmer and mechanic, the common laborer and clerk, the teacher 
and pupil, all being represented. Many of them had lived in ignorance of the 
world outside of their home and adjoining counties, except as they had acquired 
knowledge from the weekly newspaper and books. Some of them, before their 
arrival at the rendezvous camp, had never seen a locomotive or train of cars. 
In age and physique the great body of the Regiment met all the requisites for mili- 
tary service. In every company there were a few representing the extremes in 
age — some old enough to be exempt from military duty, while at the other extreme 
there was a number of boys, varying in age from fourteen to eighteen — but, on 
the whole, the average age was about twenty-three years. Physically and morally 
they left their homes with all the qualities necessary to make ideal soldiers. They 
represented, at least, the average citizenship of the communities from which they 
came in intelligence, moral qualities and religious consecration. Every company 
had representatives of the Catholic Church, while the various Protestant denomina- 
tions of Western Penna. were represented by men who at the time of enlistment 
held official relations, such as elder, deacon, trustee, class leader or theological 
student. In the rendezvous camp, and for a time after the Regiment joined the 
Army of the Potomac, evening worship was conducted in some companies by men 
holding official relations with their churches at home. The Regiment was recruited 
during the autumn months of 1861, rendezvousing at Camp Orr, Kittanning, Arm- 
strong County, Penna. 

The recruiting of the 103d covered several months and was made under no 
formal call. Following the surrender of Fort Sumter, April 13, 1861, the patriot- 
ism of the loyal people was aroused to the highest pitch and an intensely warlike 
spirit was kindled aJl over the North. On April 15, President Lincoln issued a 
call for 75,000 men to serve three months, and such a universal desire to enter the 
service of the Government had been manifested that more offers of men were 
made than could be accepted. On May 3, 1861, the President made a call for 39 
regiments of infantry and one of cavalry for three years unless sooner discharged. 
Before July ist this call was more than filled, 71 regiments of volunteer infantry, 
one regiment of volunteer heavy artillery and ten batteries of volunteer light 


artillery having been accepted and mustered into the service. This call was 
legalized during the extra session of Congress convened July 4, 1861, and the 
President was authorized to accept the services of volunteers either as cavalry, 
infantry or artillery in such numbers, not exceeding 500,000 men, as he might 
deem necessary for the purpose of repelling invasion and suppressing insurrection, 
and directing that the volunteers thus accepted should serve for not exceeding 
three years nor less than six months. These acts of Congress were published in 
general orders from the Adjutant-General's office. The people responded so 
readily and enthusiastically to the appeals of Congress and the executive that no 
formal call was issued. It was under this act that the State of Pennsylvania was 
recruiting regiments by the authority of the War Department during the fall and 
winter of 1861. Very few of the enlistments to the 103d were made under the 
excitement of "Public War Meetings." It was an almost everyday occurrence 
at Camp Orr for men to enter the grounds alone or in groups of two or three, 
take a survey of the camp, make inquiries of the men and officers, and arrange 
for a furlough before enlisting in order to return home to harvest the crops or 
complete some other line of work. 

Through the efforts of J. B. Finlay, of Kittanning, the Secretary of War 
authorized the selection of a rendezvous camp at or near Kittanning. As the 
organization of the 103d Regiment, as it was constituted, was in a large measure 
due to the activity and enterprise of Mr. Finlay, a brief sketch of him will be of 
interestest as well as relevant here. 

Col. John Borland Finlay was bom in Moneyneagh, Ireland, Feby. 13, 1826. 
He was educated at the Classical Academy of Coleraine, Royal College of Belfast 
and the University of Leipzig, graduating from the latter place at the age of 20 
with the degrees of A. M. and Ph. D. He emigrated to the U. S. in 1847. I" 
1850 he was ordained as pastor in the Reformed Presbyterian church. On March 
20, 1856, he married the only daughter of James E. Brown, Esq., of Kittanning, 
and on the following June resigned his pastoral charge and on Oct. 15 was ad- 
mitted to the bar, and made his permanent residence at Kittanning. On motion 
of Hon. E. M. Stanton, in i860, he was admitted as an attorney of the Supreme 
Court of the U. S. Although Col. Finlay had the sanction of the Secretary of 
War and also of Gov. Curtin, in recruiting troops, there is no official record that 
he was commissioned, but the title of colonel was assumed by him and no one 
ever questioned his right to use it. Col. Finlay was not only a cultured gentleman 
and a forceful personality, but his alliance with James E. Brown at once gave him 
great prestige, for the latter was one of the wealthiest and most public spirited 
citizens of the State, and was held in the highest esteem by citizens of all classes. 
Mr. Brown was in thorough sympathy with Col. Finlay's patriotic work and per- 
mitted him to draw on his exchequer without limit. While Col. Finlay was an am- 
bitious personage and evidently aspired to military distinction he at no time gave 
evidence that he desired to take troops into the field. He was very active in re 
cruiting Capt. Beck's company, which joined the 62d and was also one of the most 
active spirits in recruiting and organizing the 78th Regiment, and responsible for 
having it rendezvous at Camp Orr. 

The site of the camp was then known as the Armstrong County Fair Grounds, 
situated about a mile north of the town limits, but now a residential part of the 
upper suburb of Kittanning. Several of the companies while recruiting rendez- 
voused at Camp Orr with the expectation of joining the 78th Regiment. The 
nucleus of the first company of the 103d to enter the rendezvous camp was Co. 
A, recruited by Capt. Reynolds Laughlin, who arrived at Camp Orr on Aug. 30 
with fifteen men, most of whom were enlisted at Callensburg, Clarion County, 
quickly followed by the nucleus of Companies B, C and D. The Pittsburgh 
Dispatch, Sept. 28, 1861, reports among the companies rendezvousing at Camp 
Orr the Constitution Guards, Reynolds Laughlin; Curry Rifles, G. W. Gillespie; 


Howe Cadets, A. H. Fahnestock; Finlay Rifles, Joseph K. Hamilton; McClellan 
Guards, John M. Cochran. At this time the ten companies comprising the 78th 
Penna., and the James E. Brown Dragoons, Capt. J. W. Steele, subsequently 
attached to the 2d Penna. Cavalry (Co. M), were in Camp Orr; the former 
leaving for the seat of war Oct. 14, 1861. Two days after the departure of the 
78th the officers of the 103d, then in camp, held a conference with Gov. J. B. 
Finlay, when it was agreed between the officers present and Col. Finlay, that the 
latter should have the right to nominate the colonel of the Regiment, subject, 
however, to confirmation by a majority vote of the officers of the Regiment. The 
lieutenant colonel and major were to be chosen from the other commissioned of- 
ficers of the Regiment and the other appointments were to be made in harmony 
with this agreement. Subsequently it was agreed upon between the officers of the 
Regiment and Col. Finlay to tender the colonelcy to Lieut. Col. Theodore F. Leh- 
mann, of the 62d Penn. Regiment, then in the Army of the Potomac. The tender 
was made as follows : 

Headquarters 103 Regiment, Penna. Vols., Camp Orr, 

Klttanning, Pa., 21 Oct., 1861. 
To Lieut. -Col. T. F. Lehmann, 62d Eeeiment, Pa. Vols. 

Dear Sir: — Tou are herewith tendered the colonelcy of the 103d Regriment now being 
recruited In Camp Orr under my care. It is not yet full, although sufficient companies are 
promised to fill it. The lieutenant colonel and major are to be selected by and from the other 
commissioned officers, the rest of the ofHcers are to be appointed. Pew appointments have been 
made — and whatever have been I would request you, on taking command, would confirm — and 
that all other appointments should be made after a mutual consultation between you and myself. 
If you deem it not too great a risk come on immediately and assume coramand. 

The regiment will increase if it is known 'that you are to drill its members. I have sent 
you a telegram and desire a reply. The regiment may or may not fill up to 1,000 men. This 
will much depend upon yourself. I believe Gov. Curiin will favor us and fill our number if 
required. Under all these circumstances judge for yourself. 

Very respectfully yours, 

J. B. FINLAY, Colonel. 

About the same date Col. Finlay wrote to the war department saying it was 
the wish of the officers of the Regiment that Lieut. Col. Lehmann be appointed 
colonel of the 103d. The War Dept. replied to his communication as follows : 

If Gov. Curtin will commission Lieut. Col. Lehmann as colonel, he will be mustered out 
of his old regiment to accept promotion in the 103d Regiment. 

In the communication to Gov. Curtin asking for the transfer of Lieut. Col. 
Lehmann, Col. Finlay says : 

Now, as Col. Lehmann is well known to many of our officers and greatly beloved by them, 
under him the regiment will grow to be a superior body of men. He is also my friend, having 
known him both in civil and military life to be a superior gentleman. Will you do me the honor 
of therefore granting him his commission as colonel of the 103d Regiment, Penna. Volunteers? 

Col. Lehmann severed his relations with the 62d Regiment and arrived at 
Camp Orr, Nov. 4. He received a hearty welcome from Col. Finlay and all the 
officers, and with the full sanction of all assumed command of the Regiment. In 
physique and deportment Col. Lehmann was superlatively the beau ideal of a 
military officer. With the prestige of not only having held a commission in the 
German army, but coming direct from the Army of the Potomac to assume com- 
mand, it was the unanimous opinion of both officers and men that the Regiment 
was peculiarly fortunate in the selection of its commanding officer. No officer 
assumed command of a regiment more propitiously than did Col. Lehmann when 
he took charge of the 103d. Whether he had a promise from Gov. Curtin that 
he would receive a commission as colonel of the 103d Regiment the record does 
not say. However, it is probable the terms of the tender of the command of the 
Regiment from Col. Finlay and the communication from the War Department, 
in which it was stipulated that his discharge from the 62d was conditioned on his 
receiving the promotion to the colonelcy of the 103d, made him feel it unnecessary 
to exact a promise from the Governor. When he assumed command of the 
Regiment he had received no commission but neither had the other officers of the 
Regiment. Col. Lehmann was by nature a dominating and arrogant spirit, and 
coming into supreme authority over a body of men, whose officers, with few 


exceptions, had little knowledge of military affairs, it was not long until these 
dominating traits became apparent. He made subordinate appointnients in an 
arbitrary manner without consulting Col. Finlay, from men outside of the 
Regiment, contrary to the terms in which the colonelcy of the Regiment had been 
tendered him. This naturally aroused the ire of Col. Finlay and some of the 
officers, and when a protest was made, he asserted his right to name whom he 
pleased without interference from any one, subject only to the approval of the 
Governor. On account of his military prestige many of the officers coincided with 
his views. This led to dissensions among the officers, and two factions were 
formed, one championing the cause of Col. Lehmann, and the other opposing him. 
led by Col. Finlay. 

Col. Finlay, not only assumed a fostering care over the Regiment after Col. 
Lehmann had taken command, but continued to sign his name as colonel com- 
manding, without protest from Col. Lehmann. During the second week of 
December the following articles appeared in a Kittanning paper : 


The 103d Regiment, now at Camp Orr, is filling its ranlts rapidly. Col. Finlay has 
obtained for the men 1,000 blankets, thus rendering them very comfortable. He has also 
secured their other clothing — having sent Capt. G. W. Gillespie with his requisition therefor 
to Philadelphia. Having now entire uniform and equipments, there is every inducement 
offered to young men to enlist, as all recruits on coming into camp will be properly clothed 
and cared for. Shall patriotism not therefore call many more of our young men to the 
standard of the 103d Regiment? Col. Lehmann, the acting commander of the cajnp, is a 
gentleman of kind and urbane manners, and will act the part of a father to all under his care. 
Come then, fellow citizens, obey your country's call — sink or swim, live or die, survive or 
perish, arise. Let us be for our country now and forever. 


Headquarters 103d Regiment, 9th Dec., 1861. 
All persons having furnished any article of subsistence, or wood, coal, lumber, medicines, 
medical aid, or any other necessary matter to, or having claims therefor against the 103d 
Regiment P. V., at Camp Orr, since the 14th of October, 1861, are hereby required to make 
out in duplicate a verified account thereof, stating the articles furnished, when furnished, and 
the true value of the same or the amount to be paid therefor, which must be filed for me 
with T. M. Laughlin, A. Q. M., of said regiment, on or before 3 o'clock P. M. of Thursday, the 
12th inst. And all other orders, by whomsoever issued, relative thereto, are hereby reversed 
and declared null and void. By order of J. B. Finlay, Colonel Commanding. 

On Dec. 14, Col. Finlay assumed control of the Regiment, notifying Col. 
Lehmann that he was a subordinate officer. On the following day a stormy 
meeting was held at headquarters in Camp Orr between the dual commanders in 
the presence of the line officers of the Regiment. From this time on these two 
men were implacable, irreconcilable foes. 

As if in anticipation of this rupture Col. Finlay wrote Gov. Curtin under 
date of Dec. 12, 1861, as follows : 

Having to assume the entire responsibility of subsisting; this regiment as well as to 
provide; and pay Its recruiting expenses — no other person being responsible for one dollar 
thereof, and no other having contributed therefor, I therefore respectfully request that the 
chief command of the regiment shall continue to remain and be vested in me until the 
regiment is fully organized and ordered from this encampment. 

On Dec. 16, Col. Lehmann dispatched Dr. Staveley, Regimental surgeon, to 
Harrisburg to explain matters to Gov. Curtin, sending with him a written com- 
munication in which he referred to Col. Finlay in the following terms : 

His presumption and arrogance have assumed a shape that cannot be tolerated, and I 
wish to know whether your excellency has given to Col. Finlay any, or what authority, to inter- 
fere with or control my actions, as he alleges you have. Not wishing to disobey your order, 
I respectfully request that such authority, if it ever existed, be withdrawn, as I cannot submit 
to the orders of a civilian or person not mustered into the service of the U. S. 

Immediately following this rupture Gov. Curtin was petitioned by the re- 
spective factions of officers, one faction claiming "We cannot submit to the tyranny 
and abuse of Col. Lehmann," and asking for his removal and the appointment of 
another in his place, while the other faction declared: 

We, officers and the soldiers, have learned to love Col. Lehmann as a commander, as a 
friend, and a true gentleman to such extent that we feel we could not be led into the field 
of active service by any other man. . . We would therefore most earnestly pray your 
excellency to commission Col. T. F. Lehmann, If possible, at once and have the regiment moved 
to the field of active service. 


The mission of Dr. Staveley resulted in a compromise by the Governor 
authorizing Col. Lehmann to command the Regiment and Col. Finlay to act as 
commander of Camp Orr ; all requisitions for subsistence of the Regiment were to 
be made by Col. Lehmann upon Col. Finlay as commander of the post. This 
settlement by the Governor, which in a measure, made Col. Lehmann subordinate 
to Col. Finlay, was galling to both, and while complying with the decisi'-jj of the 
Governor Col. Finlay, although the commander of the camp, refused to enter it, 
while Col. Lehmann remained with the Regiment. The latter, in order to become 
entirely free from the dominion of Col. Finlay, made strenuous efforts to have the 
Regiment moved to Camp Wright, in Allegheny County. The quarrel between 
Col. Finlay and Col. Lehmann had a most baneful effect on the Regiment, causing 
animosities that lasted until long after the Regiment had gone to the front. 

Notwithstanding Col. Finlay's statement in his letter of Dec. 12 to Gov. 
Curtin, saying, that he had to assume the entire responsibility of subsisting the 
Regiment and to provide for its recruiting expenses — "no other person being re- 
sponsible for one dollar thereof, and no other having contributed therefor," the 
entire financial burden of this work virtually devolved upon James E. Brown, 
Esq., of Kittanning, the father-in-law of Col. Finlay. In a subsequent letter to 
Gov. Curtin, under date of Jan. 24, 1861, Col. Finlay admits this, saying: 

If, after sacrificing much valuable time — a large amount of money — contributed more to- 
wards promoting the welfare of the country and the vigorous prosecution of the war than 
perhaps was or is known in any other part of the state, all my father-in-laws, in this noble 
cause and all my labors are to be overlooked, it will be rather a poor recompense, not that either 
of us desired any pecuniary reimbursement. . . 

This unostentatious patriotic action of James E. Brown is highly illustrative 
of his character. As the 103d Regiment was largely indebted to him a brief 
sketch of his career will not only be interesting to the surviving members, but 
also relevant here. 

James E. Brown was born May 5, 1799, in Canoe Township, Indiana County, 
Penna. When a child he moved with his parents to Kittanning, Penna., during 
the first decade of the 19th century and died there Nov. 27, 1880, on the fifteenth 
anniversary of his second marriage. He was one of the most enterprising, suc- 
cessful business men of Western Pennsylvania and was the most prominent 
financier of Kittanning and the senior member of Brown and Musgrove, proprie- 
tors of Pine Creek Iron Furnace. 

The treatment accorded Col. Finlay and his esteemed father-in-law, James E. 
Brown, the parties most responsible for recruiting and organizing the 103d Regi- 
ment at Kittanning, had a tendency to arouse a spirit of indifference, if not 
resentment, towards the Regiment among the citizens of Kittanning, and from the 
time it left Camp Orr for active service, no apparent interest in its welfare was 
ever exhibited by them. This was most unfortunate, for the Regiment had no 
influential friends at home, and those who would have delighted to have looked 
after its welfare were forced to regard it with more or less antipathy. Even after 
its return, the surviving members, having a filial affection for their military alma 
mater, held their first reunion at Kittanning and met with a chilling reception from 
the citizens, and while on a subsequent occasion the annual regimental reunion 
was held there as a convenient point to reach for many of the comrades, the 
citizens of Kittanning manifested not half as much interest as they would have 
accorded to a company of militia on parade day in ante bellum times. Other 
communities have vied with each other to have these anniversary reunions, at 
times extending free entertainment, yet no request or interest has been evinced 
by the citizens of the town which did the most to recruit the Regiment. This is 
not referred to here in a complaining spirit, but merely to show that the most loyal 
people of Kittanning bore resentment for the treatment accorded to two of its 
most influential citizens. And yet until they have read the foregoing account of 
Col. Finlay's activity and Mr. Brown's generous contribution towards maintaining 


the Regiment in its embryotic days, few, if any, of the enlisted men were aware 
of their patriotism or generosity. When the break came between Col. Finlay and 
Col. Lehmann, the general understanding in the ranks was that Col. Finlay desired 
to take the Regiment into the field, and for that reason endeavored to supplant 
Col. Lehmann. 

Camp Orr was inclosed by a high, tight board fence, and no one was per- 
mitted to leave, night or day, without a pass issued from Regimental headquarters. 
However, by collusion with the guards, it was very easy to get out after dark. 
The boys carried this to the extreme and a patrol was placed between the camp 
and town and many "daring experiences" occurred before confronting the enemy 
in the field. In one of these encounters the writer, much to his chagrin, was 
landed in the guard house, where he had to remain during the night, and listen 
to a serious lecture from his captain, when he was liberated before breakfast. 
None of the duties of camp were onerous, and the drill, guard mount, and dress 
parade served to break the monotony of camp life and "kill time," preventing the 
men from becoming dissatisfied through ennui. 

Before Col. Lehmann assumed command of the Regiment the daily routine 
of the men in camp was confined to squad and company drill, but under the new 
commander regimental drill and dress parade were added to the itinerary and 
both officers and men were of the opinion that they had an efficient drillmaster in 
the new commander. Uniforms were received early in December and the camp 
then assumed a martial appearance. 

On Saturday, Feb. 22d, the Regiment was marched to Kittanning and partici- 
pated in patriotic services, held in front of the Reynolds Hotel, in honor of the 
"Father of his Country." At this meeting arrangements were effected to add 
another company to the Regiment, which made its quota practically full. James 
F. Mackey, George W. Kelley and J. Milton Alexander, who had been actively 
engaged in recruiting a company in Clarion County for the 99th Penna. Regiment, 
were present, and being favorably impressed with the appearance of the 103d 
Regiment, decided to renounce allegiance to the 99th and cast their fortunes with 
a regiment already to proceed to the seat of war. An agreement was entered into 
between Messrs. Mackey, Kelley and Alexander and the officers of the 103d that 
the new company was to be assigned the position of Co. H, and would join the 
Regiment without delay. However, before they had time to get the company 
together, the nine companies in Camp Orr had started for Harrisburg, where 
Co. H, uniformed as zouaves (the uniform of the 99th Penna.), joined it at Camp 
Curtin a few days later. 


From Kittanning to Yorktown. 

(From February 24 to May 4, 1862.) 

At ten o'clock a. m., Monday, Feb. 24, 1862, the Regiment left Camp Orr, 
marching through Kittanning to the Allegheny Valley Railway (now River Divi- 
sion of the Pennsylvania) station, at that time the northern terminus of the road, 
boarded a train of freight cars and started for the seat of war via Pittsburgh. It 
was about four o'clock in the afternoon when the smoky city was reached. The 
Regiment marched to the old City Hall, where an excellent supper was served. 
From here the Regiment marched to the Penna. Railway station and boarded a 
train of passenger cars, which arrived at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, the next day. 
The first fatal accident of the Regiment occurred between Pittsburgh and Harris- 
burg ; Adam H. Marsh, private of Co. F, fell from the train and was killed. 

Here was first established that fraternity and comradeship between the loist 
and 103d Penna. Regiments, which was afterwards cemented on many a march 

Capt. T. A. Cochran 
(Co. C). 

(Commanded regiment for 
several months after the 
capitulation of Plymouth.) 

Capt. E. G. Cratty (Co. E). 
(Commanded regiment by 
virtue of seniority after ex- 
changed as prisoner of war.) 

1st Lieut. Zachariah M. 

Cline (Co. G). 
(Killed at battle of Ply- 


and battle field, in the prison pen, and camp fire. No preparation had been made 
for sheltering the regiment, and the loist boys, who had been on the ground for 
some time, generously divided their quarters and did what they could to make 
the new arrivals comfortable. The following day, Feb. 26, Sibley tents were 
received and after they were pitched the Regiment marched to the state capitol 
to receive its colors. Gov. Curtin made an inspiring presentation speech which 
called forth hearty cheers from the boys. 

A petition having been passed and almost unanimously signed by both officers 
and men, requesting Gov. Curtin to commission Capt. W. C. Maxwell, of Co. I, 
lieutenant colonel of the Regiment this was done. Audley W. Gazzan, of Pitts- 
burgh, was commissioned major, and Samuel B. Kennedy, also of Pittsburgh, was 
commissioned adjutant, and Oliver R. McNary, of Washington County, was 
commissioned quartermaster. These three commissions were granted on the 
recommendation of Col. Lehmann, the latter insisting that it was the prerogative 
of his position to name them. In lieu of waving this right as to the lieutenant 
colonelcy, he demanded the right to name the first lieutenant of Co. I, which was 
conceded, although not without arousing a feeling of resentment among the officers 
and men of the company. Wm. H. Macrum, of Pittsburgh, was commissioned, 
although he had done nothing towards recruiting the company or Regiment, and 
was an absolute stranger to every member of the company. Had Col. Lehmann's 
appointments been made from men in active service, who were more proficient in 
military training than men who had spent months recruiting and drilling the men, 
both officers and men would have accepted his exactions cheerfully, but when it 
soon became apparent that these appointments were made for other reasons than 
the possession of military requirements, and men that had worked to recruit and 
drill the Regiment had to take minor positions, officers who had championed the 
cause of Col. Lehmann in his controversy with Col. Finlay became his critics, thus 
interfering with that amity that is necessary for true comradeship and perfect 
military discipline. Gov. Curtin issued commissions to the officers on March i, 
dating those of the company officers to take effect at the date of the organization 
of the company. 

On Feb. 28, the Regiment was mustered for pay and on March 2, camp was 
broken and a train boarded, which arrived at Baltimore shortly after dark. The 
reception accorded the Regiment as it marched from the Penna. R. R. depot in 
Baltimore, to Camden Station, gave no evidence of disloyalty to the government, 
as it received a continuous ovation of flag waving and cheers. Before embarking 
for the Federal capital a bountiful repast was served to the men at quarters which 
were continuously prepared to entertain migrating troops. At dawn of the next 
day, March 3, the dome of the Capitol was the first object of interest to come to 
view. The Regiment landed at the B. and O. station and remained near there 
until eleven o'clock March 4, finding quarters and provisions in the "Soldiers' 
Rest," near the Capitol. From the latter place the Regiment marched past the 
Capitol and went into camp a little beyond where the Congressional Library now 
stands. Three days later, March 7, the Regiment was assigned to Casey's division 
of the Army of the Potomac, and moved to Camp Lloyd, on Meridian Hill, be- 
tween what is now 14th and i6th Streets, just north of W Street. As' the 
name would indicate, the site of Camp Lloyd, Meridian Hill, was on an elevation 
with natural drainage — ^an ideal location for a camp. Washington at that time 
was one vast camp. Every hillside was dotted with tents and on every field could 
be seen the movement of troops training for war. Wednesday P. M., March 12 
the Regiment marched to the Arsenal in the Navy Yard and was equipped with 
arms (Austrian rifles) and accoutrements. The commanding general of the army 
issued orders on March 13, to have Casey's division organized at once for the 
field. The Regiment was assigned to the Second Brigade of this division at its 
organization. Its first commander was Brig. Gen. William H. Keim, and it was 


known as Keim's brigade, until his death. It consisted of the following infantry- 
regiments: 8sth, loist and 103d Penna., and 96th New York. The brigade re- 
mained at Camp Lloyd, Meridian Hill, for three weeks. These were not idle days, 
as the men were kept busy at company, regimental and brigade drill. The first 
attempt at brigade drill was made March 21, many blunders being made by the 
officers. Drill was suspended for a time during the afternoon, and Gen. Casey 
reviewed the division. 

While the Regiment was encamped on Meridian Hill the men were vacci- 
nated, and on March 25, received their first pay from date of enlistment until 
March i, at the rate of $13.00 per month for privates; part of which was in 
specie, the only payment made during the war in which any gold or silver was re- 
ceived. After having been at drill during the forenoon, March 28, orders were 
received to break camp and pack up for a final leave-taking of the capital. The 
orders were obeyed with alacrity, for the men were anxious to get to the front. 
The entire division was in line shortly after two o'clock, but the camp wagons in 
which the surplus baggage was carried did not arrive until after four o'clock, 
and caused considerable delay in starting. A few minutes before five o'clock 
Keim's brigade began its first march, and although comprising the rawest troops 
of the Army of the Potomac, the severest military critic could not have distin- 
guished them from the troops longest in service at that time. The sidewalks on 
Fourteenth street were thronged with a mass of humanity, comprising all ages and 
sexes, to view the military pageant which these new regiments presented, with 
nearly a thousand men in each command. Notwithstanding the large number of 
boys under size in each company ejaculations were continuously heard along the 
entire route" through the city, such as, "What a fine body of men !" "Ain't those 
big fellows!" "Where do they grow such tall men?" etc. At the right of every 
company in the 103d Regiment there were a number of men, over six feet in 
height, and evidently these tall fellows so attracted the attention of the onlookers 
that the "little fellows" were overlooked, much to the gratification, however, of 
the latter. Although the men carried heavy knapsacks, several days' rations in 
their haversacks, cartridge boxes filled with ammunition, and the camp accumu- 
lations of several months, they were jubilant and light hearted as they marched 
through the capital to the acclaim of thousands. Long Bridge was crossed by 
"route step," which was continued until the end of the march. Alexandria, only 
eleven miles distant, was not reached until after midnight, owing to the congested 
condition of the road by the troops that preceded the Regiment. This, the first 
march of the brigade, was, perhaps, to many of the men, the roughest they ex- 
perienced during their term of service, and long before it was ended, the en- 
thusiasm of the first hour had gone. Many times afterward in forced marches, 
three times the distance was covered without causing as much distress to so many 
of the men. Gen. Casey in his testimony before the committee on the conduct 
of the war referred to this march in the following terms : 

"We did not start from here (Washington) until late in the afternoon. It 
took us until 12 or i o'clock at night to get down there, and the men were ex- 
posed to a severe snow storm. I considered that wrong to begin with. Had I 
been in command, I would not have done it, because one night's exposure to such 
weather will make many men sick. Many of the men were taken sick from ex- 
posure that night." 

The Regiment bivouacked about a mile and a half below Alexandria awaiting 
transportation to Fortress Monroe. On Sunday, March 30, orders were given 
to pack up and get ready to embark, but on going to the dock there were no 
transports and the men trudged back through the rain, snow and mud, and tried 
to make themselves as comfortable as possible under such unfavorable condi- 
tions. They were in a proper mood to resort to "desperate deeds," and here many. 


for the first time, assisted in raiding sutler's wagons. About noon, March 31, 
the Regiment embarked on the transport Hero, for the Peninsula. During the 
night the transport collided with a sailing vessel, sinking it and drowning one of 
the crew. 

On the morning of April 3, the Regiment landed at Fortress Monroe, where, 
after halting an hour, it marched about six miles, a little beyond Newport News, 
to Camp Casey, named after the general commanding the division. Difficulty in 
getting provisions landed caused an uneasiness in the stomachs of the boys which 
could not be alleviated, as in subsequent marches, by foraging. However, resort 
was made to the sutler for relief. 

In his statement before the committee on the conduct of the war. Gen. Casey 

"I encamped a few miles back of Newport News and it was ten or twelve 
days before we could get our division transportation, and for a part of that time 
my men had to pack their provisions themselves from the depot at that point." 

It was while at Camp Casey the first detail was made from the Regiment for 
picket duty. While not on picket or camp guard, the men were kept constantly 
at drill. On April 16 camp was broken and the division started on the march up 
the Peninsula. The Regiment left Camp Casey about nine o'clock and reached 
Young's Mill about dusk when, after a brief rest, it continued to march for two 
and a half miles farther where it bivouacked for the night, the first day of rapid 
marching the Regiment experienced, the men carrying heavy knapsacks, and extra 
clothing and blankets. 

At 2 P. M., the next day, April 17, march was resumed but after advancing 
a couple of miles, a halt was made, the Regiment bivouacking in a dense pine 
woods, within two miles of the enemy's fortifications, at a point called Lee's Mill. 
This camp was named Camp Winfield Scott. Here the men had orders to keep 
their arms at their sides, as an attack was probable at any moment. On Sunday 
night, April 20, the Regiment was hurriedly called out and formed in line of bat- 
tle, as were all the regiments of the division, but after a time the men were per- 
mitted to lie down till morning, although there was almost constant cannonading 
at the right in the vicinity of Yorktown. Casey's division was assigned to the 
Fourth Corps on its organization, commanded by Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes. 
This corps comprised the left wing of the Army of the Potomac as it invested 
Yorktown. While at Camp Winfield Scott the time was principally put in at 
camp guard and picket duty, the picket line being along the edge of a woods, 
with the enemy's fortifications in full view. One of the diversions of the pickets 
here was to form a small group out in the open field which was sure to draw the 
fire of the enemy. It was here the first flag of truce from the 103d Regiment 
met one from the enemy. Company C was on picket, First Lieut. Fahnestock 
being on the line with the pickets on duty. Private B. H. Scott saw something 
which he thought was a white flag borne by the enemy. He insisted that it was 
a flag of truce, and Lieut. Fahnestock accompanied by Scott and Private Samuel 
Murphy, (the men each bearing arras with fixed bayonets) sauntered forth 
towards the enemy's lines. Soon a white flag was seen approaching from the 
enemy, and when the two parties met, the Confederates (three officers) inquired 
the object of the interview. Lieut. Fahnestock replied that he came in response 
to their signal, which the latter disclaimed having made. The interview was of 
short duration, and as a result Lieut. Fahnestock was placed in arrest for a day or 
two for presuming to have intercourse with the enemy without permission. It 
was the general opinion about camp that the entire party, Scott, Murphy and 
Fahnestock, thought it would be a good joke to meet the enemy under such con- 
ditions, and had drawn upon their imagination when they saw a white flag. For 


a few days after the episode they were the most important personages in the 

On April 28, shelter tents were issued to the Regiment, the first received. 
In addition to guard duty while at Camp Casey, daily details were made for 
fatigue duty, the principal work being the construction of corduroy roads, made 
with small logs laid together transversely. The ground in this part of the Penin- 
sula being very low, level, and marshy at this time of year, made it imperative to 
have all the roads constructed in this manner in order to make them passable 
for supplies to the army. 

The Battle of Williamsburg. 
(From May 4, to May 7, 1862.) 

Early on Sunday morning. May 4, the Regiment received orders to fall in 
line with one day's rations, in light marching orders. As these orders implied 
strenuous work, not to exceed a day, nothing was taken but arms, accoutrements, 
ammunition, canteens and haversacks. 

After carefully and slowly advancing on the fortifications of the enemy, it 
was discovered that they had been evacuated. The enemy had buried torpedoes 
in the road leading to their works, one of which exploded, killing one and wound- 
ing six men of Casey's division. The Regiment halted for the night, after pass- 
ing the enemy's fortifications, bivouacking about seven miles from Camp Win- 
field Scott, without overcoats, blankets or shelter of any kind whatever. The 
men put in most of the night standing around fires trying to keep warm, a driz- 
zling rain falling steadily through the after part of the night. Before the con- 
gressional committee on the conduct of the war. Gen. Casey testified as follows : 

"On the morning of the 4th of May, when there was some evidence of the 
enemy evacuating their lines, I was ordered at a half hour's notice to go to the 
river and leave everything behind, tents, blankets, knapsacks and everything. 
When I got there the enemy had evacuated their works. I then intended to send 
back for the tents, blankets and knapsacks for my men. But I received peremp- 
tory orders from Gen. Sumner to push on after the enemy without waiting for 
anything. The consequence was that the men of my division — a great many of 
them — were without blankets and knapsacks for several weeks. It was raining 
terribly at the time and the consequence was that I lost a great many men from 
that exposure, as they were obliged to lie down in the mud, exposed to the rain, 
without any protection whatever. * * * At the time we could not get the 
medicine we actually needed. The men actually suffered for the want of quinine ; 
they could not get it when they wanted it. * * * I tried time and again to 
get it, for the men actually required it, but I could not. I never was in a more 
sickly country than that." 

On the morning of May 5, the Regiment resumed its march until about noon 
when it halted in a large field, formed line of battle, and after a halt of nearly 
two hours, was ordered forward. There had been moderate cannonading in front 
all morning, with some musketry firing, which gradually increased. The mias- 
matic conditions of the Peninsula had already shown its effect among both offi- 
cers and men, especially among the former. On this march Gen. Keim, com- 
mander of the brigade, and Col. Lehmann were left behind. 

The Regiment pursued its march through a tough and slippery mud, and a 
cold, drizzling rain, until about five o'clock, when it took position in a field sepa- 
rated from the firing line only by a few yards of woods. Here Gen. Keyes made 
a spirit-stirring address. The cheering of the boys in response drew the fire of 
the enemy, the batteries shelling the position occupied by the Regiment, however, 

Maj. James F. Mackey. 

Capt. Fletcher Smullin. 
(Co. D.) 

Lieut. S. D. Burns 
(Co. H.) 

Adjutant Wm. H. Irwin. 

Dr. W. B. Kroesen 
(2d Lieut. Co. K.) 


wounding only two men. Gen. Keim, who had remained in camp quite ill, also 
appeared and assumed command of the brigade. A little while before dark the 
Regiment was ordered to march to the point of action but the order was counter- 
manded. It had reached only part of the Regiment and for a time two com- 
panies of the right wing were separated from the left. A little later, however, 
they were again united and relieved a regiment of Peck's brigade, of Couch's di- 
vision, standing in line of battle within one hundred yards of the enemy until 
daylight — a night never to be forgotten by the men of the 103d. Exposed as 
they had been to rain all day with scarcely any food, marching and counter- 
marching, through mud and water, without either rubber or woolen blankets, 
drenched to the skin, standing in line of battle within a hundred yards of the enemy 
the chatter of their teeth could have been heard by the enemy had he not been 
busy getting ready to retreat. This was the first terrible experience of the Regi- 
ment, and could never be forgotten by any one who underwent the privation of 
that night. 

Capt. Donaghy refers to this night in his "Army Experience" as follows : 

"It rained hard all night and the air was cold and the men were without 
tents, blankets or overcoats. Tired and sleepy as they were, they could only stand 
and take the rain. They leaned against trees or crowded together in large groups 
to keep warm. When they stood thus for awhile some would fall asleep sup- 
ported on their feet by the others. When the majority of them were overcome 
by sleep the whole mass would lurch over and fall to the ground, only to gather 
themselves up and renew the process. The rebels in front were making a good 
deal of noise. We could hear the words of command and the clatter of arms 
and the sound of marching, but we could not tell whether they were being rein- 
forced or were preparing to leave. 

"Maj. Gazzam called me and asked me to see the general and ask to have 
the Regiment relieved. Then I found out how dark the night was. I groped 
my way to the left along the line, descended a hollow, and in going up the other 
side I got outside of our line. As I approached it from the front I heard the click 
of gunlocks and the challenge of a startled sentinel. I quickly answered 'Friend, 
with the countersign,' and over the points of several bayonets I had to explain 
who I was and where I was going. Gen. Devens was in command of that part of 
the line, and I found him lying at the foot of a tree. I explained to him our con- 
dition and gave him the major's request. I told him of the noise we had heard in 
the rebel camp. He said he could do nothing for the Regiment till morning, and 
he directed us to be vigilant just before daylight, for, if the enemy had been re- 
inforced, we might expect an attack. We got the men into pretty good order and 
stood ready for what the day might bring." 

As daylight approached Maj. Gazzam sent two men, B. H. Scott and W. S. 
Cochran of Co. C, forward to reconnoiter. They discovered an officer's horse, 
fully caparisoned, evidently only recently deserted by its rider, standing a short 
distance in front of Fort Magruder. While Cochran stood with his musket ready 
to fire Scott crept stealthily forward and captured the animal. This was the first 
Regimental trophy of the war and the captors were much elated over their prize, 
but later they felt some chagrin when the animal was confiscated by the quarter- 
master's department of the brigade. Had it not been for this animal, it is very 
probable that Scott and Cochran would have been the first Federal soldiers to 
enter Fort Magruder, for while their attention was centered on the horse and 
trappings, men of other regiments passed on into the fortfications. It was soon 
apparent that the enemy was in full retreat, and that the commands given by the 
Confederate officers during the night and plainly heard by the men of the Regi- 
ment were given with the intention to deceive, so they could retire unmolested. 
The Regiment remained in front of Fort Magruder until the middle of the after- 
noon, and here the men, for the first time, had an opportunity to realize one of 


the most horrible aspects of war— to gaze on the silent, ghastly, upturned faces 
of the dead— the blue and the gray— who the day before charged upon each oth- 
ers' ranks — their mute remains now intermingled on the battlefield. 

About 3:30 P. M., May 6, the Regiment left the Williamsburg battlefield 
and moved about two miles, bivouacking on the south bank of the York river. In 
Gen. Keyes official report of the battle of Williamsburg he says : 

"During an hour and a half Peck's brigade * * * continued to stand 
its ground alone against the furious onslaught of the enemy, inflicting great loss 
upon the rebels. * * * Toward night he was re-enforced by * * * three 
regiments, the 8sth Penna., Col. Howell; loist Penna., Col. Wilson, and 103d, 
Maj. Gazzam. * * * Qgn. Peck speaks well of the services of those regi- 
ments, and when the ammunition of his own men was exhausted, he relieved 
them with six of these fresh regiments, who held the position during' the night. 
* * * The troops met the enemy with perfect steadiness, and delivered their 
fire with an effect which the prisoners captured described as most deadly. But 
the courage and skill of the troops are much less to be wondered at than the 
good temper and fortitude with which they have borne hardships, exposure to 
mud, rain and hunger, during the battle, before and after it. These qualities, 
according to Napoleon, are more essential than courage itself." (O. R. Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, Part I, pp. 571-576.) 

Gen. Keim in his official report says: 

"The 103d Regiment Penna. Vols., Maj. Gazzam commanding, was also 
ordered to the front, to support Gen. Peck. * * * Taking into consideration 
that the men had only one day's rations since Sunday morning, no overcoats, 
woolen! or gum blankets, they evinced a spirit of endurance and heroic courage 
worthy of veterans, and the men and officers are entitled to praise for their 
arduous and successful efforts." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, Part I, pp. 561-562.) 

Gen. John J. Peck, one of whose regiments was relieved by the 103d in this 
battle (and who afterward succeeded Gen. Casey as commander of the division), 
refers to the 103d in his official report as follows : 

"Maj. Gazzam, of the 103d Penna. Vols., was very efficient and only needed 
a renewal of the action to exhibit the soldiership of the regiment." (O. R. Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, Part I, pp. 520-523.) 

As Maj. Gazzam received his appointment and commission as major of the 
Regiment, through the influence of Col. Lehmann, and had in no wise assisted 
in recruiting the Regiment, both officers and men were at first prejudiced against 
him. However, his evident desire to get the Regiment into close quarters with 
the enemy, did much to remove this prejudice, and his subsequent actions con- 
firmed the men in the belief that he was fearless in the presence of the enemy. 

On Tuesday morning, May 7, the Regiment was under arms at daylight, 
and soon was advancing towards the enemy, passing through Williamsburg early 
in the morning. As the Regiment passed through the village, a woman, who, 
evidently belonged to the "poor white trash," stood in front of the door of her 
home, and in a tantalizing manner, prophesied, that the, "Yankees would soon be 
getting back a d d sight faster than they were advancing." 

Williamsburg, although then only a village of perhaps a thousand inhabi- 
tants, is a historic place. For over one hundred years it was the capital of Vir- 
ginia. Jamestown, less than nine miles away, was burned in 1676. The capital 
was then moved over to what was called the Middle Plantation, which was sub- 
sequently named Williamsburg in honor of King William. It is the seat of the 
second oldest college in the United States, William and Mary College, chartered 
in 1693. Among the graduates of this college were Peyton Randolph, Edmund 
Randolph, John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Randolph, 
John Tyler and Gen. Winfield Scott. Here George Washington received his 
credentials which authorized him to survey, and here he made his headquarters 

1st Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester 
(Co. 1). 

Corp. John A. Kelley 
(Co. I). 

(Youngest member of the 
regiment, not 15 at enlist- 
ment, to do continuous ser- 
vice tliroughout tile war.) 

1st Sergt. Jackson McCoy 
(Co. f). 

Capt. A. H. Alexander 
(Co. A). 

Capt. Reynolds Laughlln 

(Co. A). 
(Brouglit tlie first detach- 
ment of tile regiment into 
camp, Aug. 20, 1861.) 

2d Lieut. Oliver McCall 
(Co. A). 

1st Lieut. J. IVI. Laughlln 
(Co. A). 

Corp. Thomas Hays (Co. B). 

Priv. Samuel Keliey 
(Co. I). 


during the Revolutionary War, at the home of George Wythe, a signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, during the Yorktown Campaign of 1781 ; it was 
here that the Raleigh Tavern was located where Thomas Jefferson and his fel- 
low students had such jolly times, frequent reference to which is made in Jeffer- 
son's diary. Williamsburg is the capital of James City County, 46 miles south- 
east of Richmond and about 12 miles from Yorktown, situated between the James 
and the York Rivers. 


The Battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks. 
(From May 7 to June 4, 1862.) 

During the march, May 7, considerable firing could be heard in advance, 
indicating that a battle was ' imminent, but nothing serious occurred and the 
Regiment continued its march until late in the afternoon, having advanced about 
twelve miles during the day. A halt was ordered until about three P. M., May 9, 
when a farther advance of about two miles was made. At seven o'clock the next 
morning. May 10, the Regiment started and marched slowly all day, with an oc- 
casional halt, bivouacking in a wheat field about dusk, advancing in all about ten 
miles. Col. Lehmann arrived and assumed command. 

No farther advance was made until the morning of the 13th, when, at 7:30, 
march was resumed, and continued, with occasional rests, until after midnight, 
when a halt was made at New Kent Court House. The brigade remained here, 
for four days, during which time the knapsacks left at Camp Casey were brought 
forward and were found in good condition. 

On the evening of the 17th, immediately after dress parade, an advance of 
eight or ten miles was made and, at about midnight, camp was pitched at White 
House. This was the home of Mrs. Martha Custis when she married George 
Washington, and at this time was owned and occupied by Mrs. Lee, the wife of 
Gen. Robert E. Lee. Mrs. (Mary Custis) Lee was the daughter of Mr. George 
Washington Parke Custis, of Arlington, the adopted son of George Washington, 
and was heir to the estates of Arlington and White House. She was married to 
Gen. Lee in the year 1832. Immediately after resigning his commission in the 
U. S. A., Gen. Lee moved his family from Arlington to the White House. On 
the approach of the Army of the Potomac, up the Peninsula, Mrs. Lee took refuge 
with her family with friends nearer Richmond. The plantation was an ideal 
place for a camp, but after a day's rest, the Regiment continued to advance up the 
Peninsula, moving about seven miles on the 19th, starting about 11 A. M., and 
marching until dark, making many tedious stops and finally encamping between 
three and four miles east of the Chickahominy River. During this march Col. 
Lehmann had a collision with a sutler's wagon, his horse being injured and he 
thrown to the ground. His injuries were such that he remained behind. The 
lieutenant colonel and major both being absent, and so many line officers sick 
Maj. Kelley of the 96th New York, was temporarily placed in command of the 
Regiment. However, Maj. Gazzam put in an appearance late in the afternoon 
and relieved him. On the 20th, during a reconnoissance by a detail from Casey's 
division, an artillery duel between a Confederate battery and two batteries of 
Casey's Artillery under Col. G. D. Bailey, Chief of Artillery of Casey's division, 
continued for about an hour, when the Confederates retired. 

On the 21 St, the brigade advanced three miles nearer Richmond, bivouacking 
on an elevated plateau overlooking the Chickahominy. On the 23d the famous 
Chickahominy river was crossed bringing the division, now the vanguard of the 
Army of the Potomac, in close proximity to the Confederate lines. 

In the advance up the Peninsula, whenever a day's halt was made, if it were 


not raining, and the condition of the ground permitted, regimental drill and 
dress parade were kept up, details made for camp guard, and every night, whether 
on the march or in camp, one or more companies of the Regiment was detailed 
for picket duty — duty that did not permit any one, except some of those on re- 
serve, to obtain any sleep. On the 24th the Regiment marched and counter- 
marched and finally went into camp about a mile from where it started, in a large 
field contiguous to a dense woods. 

Brig. Gen. Keim, who left a sick bed to be with his brigade at the battle of 
Williamsburg, suffered a relapse, due to the exposure incurred, and died at Har- 
risburg May 18. During his absence the command of the brigade devolved upon 
Col. J. B. Howell, of the 85th Penna., a very popular officer, not only with his 
own regiment, but also with the officers and men of the entire brigade. On May 
24, Gen. McClellan assigned Brig. Gen. H. W. Wessells to the command of the 

On Sunday, the 25th, an advance of another mile was made and four com- 
panies of the Regiment placed on picket. The Regiment was now in the vicinity 
of Seven Pines and shifted camp on May 26 and 27. It began raining in the 
middle of the afternoon of the 26th and continued without cessation all the next 
day. Here there was almost a constant exchange of shots between the pickets of 
the two armies, and occasionally the artillery would be engaged. Fully one-half 
of the Regiment was engaged either throwing up rifle pits, slashing timber or on 
picket duty, and while the commissary department found it difficult to provide 
ample rations it tried to make amends by furnishing) quinine diluted in whisky. 
At about the break of day on the 29th, in a heavy fog, an attack was made on the 
picket line immediately in front of the Regiment, and the entire division was kept 
in line of battle several hours anticipating a general attack, Maj. John E. Kelley, 
of the 96th New York Infantry, who was in command of the picket, was killed 
at the beginning of the attack. Capt. Geo. W. Gillespie of Co. B, who was next 
in rank, and who was on picket with his company, assumed command and drove 
the enemy back and maintained his position. Newton Joseph of Co. B, was killed 
in this action, on the picket post. It is evident he was killed at close range, as his 
skull was crushed in, probably from the butt of a musket in the hands of one of 
the enemy. In his official report of this skirmish Gen. Casey says: 

"At daylight this morning (May 29) the enemy attacked my advance picket 
on the Richmond road. They took advantage of the dense fog, and approached 
very near before being discovered. The pickets behaved nobly, and drove the 
rebels back in disorder. They left a wounded prisoner on the ground, who states 
that their force consisted of 300 men, of the 23d North Carolina Regiment. We 
lost, one officer and one private killed and two enlisted men wounded. 
Capt. George W. Gillespie, of the 103d Penna. Volunteers, who commanded the 
pickets after the death of Maj. Kelley, behaved very well." (O. R. Ser. I, Part I, 

PP- 745-746.) 

Private Newton Joseph of Co. B, killed in this skirmish, was the first man 
of the Regiment killed by the enemy. His remains were brought into camp and 
dire threats of vengeance were uttered by comrades as they took a view of his 
mutilated forehead. He had' two brothers in Co. I, both of whom died subse- 
quently in the service, one at Wilmington, N. C, just after being paroled from 
Confederate prison. 

Early in the forenoon of the 29th of May, the brigade advanced about three- 
fourths of a mile, the 103d Regiment encamping a few yards south of the Wil- 
liamsburg and Richmond wagon road, back of an immense wood pile ten or 
twelve feet high. South of the Regiment's camp, and within a few yards of it, 
were two houses, known as the "twin houses." The other regiments of the 
brigade were encamped in the rear of the 103d, south of the road. Before tents 


were pitched, large details were made from the various regiments of the brigade 
for fatigue duty, and men were immediately put to work building a redoubt, rifle 
pits, and slashing timber along the edge of a wood which bordered the western 
side of an open field in which the redoubt and rifle pits were located, nearly a 
half mile in advance, towards Richmond. The redoubt, known in the official re- 
ports as "Casey's Redoubt," was situated about fifty yards directly in front of the 
camp of the Regiment, the north side of which was fully fifty yards south of the 
Williamsburg and Richmond stage road, and nearly three-fourths of a mile south 
of Fair Oaks Station, on the Richmond and York River Railroad. About noon 
on the 30th of May, the pickets were driven in, the enemy advancing to the edge 
of the woods where details were engaged in slashing the timber into abatis. The 
division was hurriedly placed in line of battle, while the batteries of Casey's artil- 
lery thoroughly shelled the woods. The looth New York Regiment was sent 
forward, when the enemy soon retired and the picket line was re-established. 
While the division was still in line of battle a terrific thunder storm suddenly 
broke forth, accompanied by torrents of rain, which continued through most of 
the night. Just after the storm began Co. C, of the Regiment, was taken from 
the line of battle, and under the command of Lieut. Fahnestock, was hurried to 
the picket line, wading ankle deep through water in getting there. The right 
wing of the company relieved the pickets north of the Williamsburg road, be- 
ginning with the first post north of the road, extending north towards the rail- 
road two or three hundred yards. The left wing formed the reserve, and took 
shelter in a log cabin, about fifty yards in rear of the picket line. A blazing log 
fire was kept up all night, the men drying their clothing, cleaning their muskets, 
most of them drawing their loads and reloading, to make sure that the powder 
was dry. Towards morning most of them lay stretched upon the floor of the 
cabin sound asleep while a sentry stood guard at the door to give the alarm if an 
attack were made on the picket. Shortly after daylight, Sergt. J. M. Wilson, 
relieved the men posted on picket by the men on reserve, in order to give them an 
opportunity to dry their clothing and get some breakfast. 

The picket line was posted along the edge of a woods in front of which was 
an open field, which evidently had at one time been cultivated, but was now cov- 
ered with a dense undergrowth, with here and there a break, where no growth 
was perceptible. Clusters of scrubby oaks or dwarf pines were scattered over the 
field. The 103d pickets covered the line, beginning at the first post north of the 
Williamsburg and Richmond wagon road, and extending in a straight line 
towards the railroad, which at this point was about a mile north of the wagon 
road. The undergrowth in front of the pickets did not permit of an extended 
view, although at some points the wood at the western side of the open field, 
about 400 or 500 yards distant, was visible. A heavy fog prevailed during the 
early morning but by nine o'clock it had disappeared, although the atmosphere 
remained somewhat hazy. After the fog had vanished large bodies of the enemy 
were in full view of the pickets, on the opposite side of the field. In the mean- 
time Capt. S. P. Townsend of Co. C, who, being somewhat ill, had remained in 
camp during the night, had relieved Lieut. Fahnestock, and had taken charge of 
the pickets at this point, making his headquarters^ at the first post, north of the 
Williamsburg road. With the aid of Capt. Townsend's field glass the Confed- 
erate officers were readily distinguished from the enlisted men. The pickets had 
received strict orders not to fire upon the enemy unless attacked in force, and 
this order was rigidly obeyed during the forenoon of May 31, notwithstanding 
the many statements to the contrary. As the forenoon advanced it was plainly 
evident to the pickets north of the Williamsburg road that the enemy was mass- 
ing in front, with the intention of making an attack. Capt. Townsend was so 
certain of this that he repeatedly dispatched a courier into division headquarters 


with this information. About noon, the Confederate field officers mounted, and 
the men fell into ranks. The indications were so strongly in favor of an im- 
mediate attack that every man on picket was at a tension in anticipation of the 
advance of the enemy. A few minutes later three shots were fired in rapid suc- 
cession from a battery, masked from view, planted immediately north of the 
Williamsburg road, and about half way across the open field. The missiles from 
these shots went whizzing through the tree tops where the pickets stood and 
passed on over Casey's camp. While the official record does not state, these shots 
were evidently fired by the Jeff Davis Battery, from Alabama, commanded by 
Capt. J. W. Bondurant, attached to Garland's brigade, of Hill's division. These 
shots were the signal for the enemy to advance. As the smoke from the battery 
cleared away the enemy was seen to be advancing and immediately the pickets 
opened fire. Thomas J. McKee, of the 103d Regiment, firing the first shot, a 
picket on the Williamsburg road firing almost simultaneously. The pickets kept 
up a rapid fire, checking the skirmishers of the enemy, and forcing the regiments 
of the attacking brigade, which were moving by right flank, into line of battle. 
Immediately after the pickets opened fire. Gen. Casey ordered the 103d Regi- 
ment forward to support the pickets. Although the picket line was nearly three- 
fourths of a mile in advance of the camp of the Regiment, the pickets of the 
Regiment retained their position at the edge of the woods until after the arrival 
of the Regiment, which was formed in line of battle, about fifty yards in rear of 
the picket line. Companies B and G, south of the road, and Companies A, D, H,^ 
E and K, north of the road. Companies F and I did not accompany the Regi- 
ment, the former having been detailed for fatigue duty in the morning, and was 
engaged slashing timber north of the Williamsburg road when the attack was 
made, and did not reach camp until after the Regiment had departed to support 
the picket line. Co. I had been detailed to relieve the pickets, and remained in 
camp, expecting the attack to be of the same nature as that of the two previous 
days. The Regiment had not succeeded in making its alignment, which owing to 
the tangled brush and undergrowth in the woods, was a difficult task, before it 
received a terrific fire from the enemy, drawn from the latter in return for the 
fire from the pickets. The Regiment returned the fire, and continued to do so,, 
until it was flanked on the right, when it was ordered to fall back, making a stand 
on a road extending through the woods, almost at right angle to the Williams- 
burg road. However, only two or three volleys had been fired from this position 
when Capt. Laughlin, who commanded Co. A, on the right of the Regiment, no- 
ticed the enemy closing in on the right flank, and realizing that the capture of 
the Regiment was inevitable unless it fell back rapidly, called down the line for 
the men to get back as quickly as they could, Maj. Gazzam supplementing the 
order. The dense and tangled condition of the undergrowth prevented the Regi- 
ment from falling back in any kind of order, and before it emerged from the 
woods it was broken into fragments. As the men came out of the woods Capts. 
Gillespie, Laughlin and Mackey succeeded in rallying nearly a hundred men and 
were forming them along the east side of the abatis when they were ordered out 
of that by an officer of Spratt's battery which was in position north of the Wil- 
liamsburg road, about 400 yards in front of the rifle pits. This detachment of the 
Regiment then moved out of range of this battery, taking position to the left 
of a detachment of the nth Maine, where they did effective work until driven 
back by overwhelming numbers of the enemy. Of the eflfectiveness of this fire, 
which came from this detachment of the 103d and less than 100 men from the 
nth Maine, and eight companies of the 104th Penna. Regiment, the official re- 
ports of the Confederate officers give ample evidence. 

In retiring under the heavy fire of the enemy in the woods Maj. Gazzam 
was swept from his horse by a limb of a tree, and in the fall his head striking a 


log, was momentarily stunned. He remounted almost instantly and succeeded in 
reaching the Williamsburg road, to find the Regiment scattered into fragments, 
and the batteries of Casey's artillery shelling the woods from which it had fled. 
Seeing a number of the Regiment fleeing towards the intrenchments, he galloped 
ahead and halted them as they came up, succeeding in rallying less than a hun- 
dred men on the road, in rear of Spratt's battery. Gen. Casey having come for- 
ward to take a survey of his first line of battle directed Maj. Gazzam to fall back 
of the redoubt and rally the straggling men as they came in. The major formed 
the Regiment, or rather the remnant of it, north of the Williamsburg road, 
parallel to it, the right resting about fifty yards in rear of the rifle pits, along 
which the 85th Penna. Regiment was deployed. It was at this juncture when 
the acting color bearer, Sergt. W. N. Barr, of Co. C, came up with the colors. 
The celerity with which the Regiment moved in going to the support of the 
pickets, made it impracticable to unfurl the colors while rushing to the front, and 
before the Regiment had been properly aligned in the woods, the flag stafif was 
shot in two pieces, at the lower edge of the colors. Sergt. Barr held on to both 
pieces, but in falling back got separated from the main body of the Regiment and 
in coming in was directed by Gen. Casey where to find it. When the major saw 
Barr approach with the colors he took possession of them, and kept them for a 
time, unfurling and waving them, to halt the fleeing men from the front. A little 
later Major Gazzam received orders to drop back and picket the rear with his 
command and halt the stragglers from the front. 

As the Regiment was moving back a staff officer, from the rear, evidently 
of Gen. Keyes' staff, ordered Major Gazzam to take position in Couch's line, the 
major by, this time, having succeeded in getting about 150 men together. The 
men were put in the rifle pits south of the Williamsburg road, a regiment of 
Couch's division being in line of battle immediately in front. Twice after this 
the remnant of the R.egiment, under Major Gazzam, shifted position in com- 
pliance with orders given by staff officers and finally, it was sent to ihe rear 
and ordered to take position back of intrenchments near Savage Station. The 
men who rallied around Major Gazzam after the rout of the Regiment, remained 
with the colors of the Regiment throughout the day, and, although not in a posi- 
tion to again fire on the enemy, it was through no fault of the men or their 
commander. It is true, the experiences these men had undergone in the woods 
in front, almost surrounded by the enemy, and in the abatis, between the fires of 
both friend and foe, had had a demoralizing effect, and none of them was 
yearning keenly to charge upon the enemy, yet they were ready to obey orders, 
be what they would. 

Co. I, commanded by Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester, was detailed on Saturday 
morning for picket duty, and remained in camp when the Regiment went forward 
to support the pickets. Co. F, commanded by ist Lieut. Josiah Zink, was detailed 
early in the forenoon to slash timber in front of the advanced abatis, and had 
been at work north of the Williamsburg road during the forenoon. The men 
of this company were at luncheon when the attack was made, less than three 
hundred yards back of the picket line, but it was some time before thy realized 
that the advance of the enemy was more than a reconnoissance. Before they 
reached camp the Regiment was engaged with the enemy in advance of where 
they had been at work during the forenoon. Lieut. John Donaghy of Co. F, 
was officer of the camp guard, and when the firing gave evidence that the enemy 
was advancing in force, he transferred his command to Lieut. John M. Cochran 
of Co. C, who was ill in camp. Under direction of Gen. Wessells, Companies F, 
and I, and some men of other companies who were not present when the Regi- 
ment went forward, commanded by Lieuts. Zink, Kiester and Donaghy, formed 
on the left of the 96th New York Regiment, as it was moving to take position 


in the advanced line to the left of the Williamsburg road, in front of the rifle 
pits. While here, a portion of F, under the command of Lieut. Donaghy, de- 
ployed as skirmishers in front of the 96th, and as the enemy pressed forward on 
the left he received a spirited fire from this detachment before it fell back. 
The commander of the 96th, realizing the precarious situation of his regiment, 
ordered it, and Co. I, to retire to the rear of the rifle pits, and in doing so, Lieut. 
Donaghy's command became separated from it, and thenceforth acted independ- 
ently of it. Co. I remained with the 96th after it took position in rear of the 
rifle pits, until it was broken into fragments in falling back through the abatis. 

As the battle continued to rage Lieut. John M. Cochran of Co. C, who, 
although excused from duty because of illness, volunteered to relieve Lieut. 
Donaghy as officer of the camp guard, rallied a detachment of men of various 
companies, including those on camp guard, and formed them immediately south 
of the redoubt behind the rifle-pits, and remained there until after he was 
severely wounded and had to be assisted from the field. 

Although the 103rd Regiment had been scattered into fragments when it 
fell back into the first abatis, yet the various detachments rendered effective 
service against the enemy. Capts. Laughlin, Gillespie and Mackey, as before 
stated, forming their detachment tO' the right and in advance of Spratt's battery, 
and remaining there until completely overwhelmed. Driven back in a rout these 
men joined in with other commands at any point where a stand was made. 
Laughlin rallied a number as they passed the rifle pits and took position to the 
left of the loist and remained there until that regiment was forced back. After 
Wessell's brigade was driven back from the redoubt and rifle pits Col. Howell of 
the 85th Penna. rallied a portion of his regiment, along with men of other 
regiments, and formed them south of the Williamsburg road in the abatis in 
rear of Wessells' camp. Lieut. Donaghy, who had succeeded in keeping a 
group of the 103rd Regiment together, united with Col. Howell's command, 
and for a time acted as his adjutant. Of this phase of the battle Lieut. Donaghy 

''Col. Howell ordered the line forward, and we moved through the slashing 
until we came in view of our old camp, which was now in the possession of the 
enemy. * * * We began active skirmishing, firing right through our tents, 
which the rebels were using as screens to fire from, or were looking for plunder. 
We were under a pretty severe fire and a good many of our men were killed and 
wounded. This heterogeneous line was at last left alone; not a Union flag or 
soldier could be seen to the right or left of us. We were certainly the last of 
Casey's division on the field, and the enemy's forces were forming in masses 
just behind the wood pile and away to the right and left ; not firing, but forming 
for another move on our army. An aide from the force to our rear came up and 
ordered us back. * * * j jj^^j ggg^j Capt. Gillespie of our Regiment to the 
rear of our line, and he was with us as we moved back. The firing now ceased 
on both sides, but it was the lull before the storm. When we got back to the 
open space where we had rallied our force we saw a line of soldiers in the woods 
to the left of that position. They stood, in grim silence, and in good order, and 
as we had not expected to see an enemy there we thought they were our own 
men ; but noticing straw hats and gray uniforms among them, we were perplexed 
with doubts. I stood on a stump to have a better view, and halloed out to 
them, "show your colors." It was not a discreet thing to do, and I realized that 
when their guns came to an aim. I dropped quickly behind the stump, and 
their bullets splashed sand and water in my face. Our doubts were dispelled; 
it was now every man for himself with us. I crawled into a thicket towards the 
rear, and when I came out at the other side I saw Corp. Bostaph of my company 
staggering from a wound under his arm. Sergt. Rimer and I took hold of him 


and helped him along. A man of Co. D, told me that Gillespie had fallen. As 
we came in view of Couch's line men called to us to hurry back. * * * 
Within the lines I met again the colonel of the 96th New York, and he advised 
our party to seek our Regiments. By this time we had had enough fighting 
for one day, and so we took his advice and continued our course to the rear. 
We placed Bostaph in an ambulance. It was five o'clock when we found our 
regiment, a mile to the rear. * * * ]y[y company had one killed and eleven 
wounded, which was a large portion, considering that there were only about 
thirty-five of the men engaged." 

In Maj. Gazzam's official report of the battle he says : "The Regiment, when 
marched out, consisted of 430 men." As the Regiment was hurriedly formed 
and rushed out without a roll call or count it was impossible for him to give 
the exact number. As only seven companies were represented, the number given 
is greatly exaggerated, as the camp was full of the sick excused from duty among 
which were both officers and men. A fair estimate of the men fit for duty 
would not exceed fifty to a company, which would bring the number to about 
350 ; it certainly did not reach 400. At no period in the history of the Regiment, 
except when confined in Confederate military prisons, was the sickness so gen- 
eral among both officers and men as at this particular time. The colonel and 
lieutenant-colonel and several line officers were absent from the Regiment on 
account of sickness, and many of those present were excused from duty. Capt. 
Martin, of Co. E, was carried from his tent on a stretcher while the battle was 
raging and died from the disease a week later. Lieut. Irwin, of Co. G, was also 
ill in his tent, and did not leave his bed until the surgeon ordered him to the 
rear. He had to have assistance tO' get back. Within sixty days from the date 
of the battle the following officers had either been discharged on Surgeon's 
certificate, or resigned from the service owing to illness, Capt. S. P. Townsend, 
Co. C; Capt. Hamilton, and Lieutenant Meredith, Co. D; Capt. McDowell, Co. 
F; and Lieut. Kroesen of Co. K; the latter, however, leaving the service as 
the result of wounds received in the battle of Fair Oaks. The illness was largely 
due to exposure and impure drinking water, resulting in dysenteric illness. As 
a result of the losses in the battle of Fair Oaks and the sickness that prevailed 
at this tim.e, an assistant inspector general of the Army of the Potomac, N. PI. 
Davis, reported the average strength of the four regiments comprising Wessells' 
brigade on June 5, as 348, an average of less than 35 to a company. The official 
report of the killed of the 103rd Regiment in the battle of Fair Oaks (O. R. Se- 
ries I, Vol. XI, part I, page 762.) is given as i officer and 7 men. This table 
was compiled immediately after the battle, and before the missing had been ac- 
counted for. The total killed in the battle, or died of wounds received in action 
was 35 — 2 officers and 33 men, as follows : Capt. George W. Gillespie, Co. B ; 
2nd Lieut. George D. Schott, Co. A; Corp. Oliver C. Grandy, Privates, Jacob 
Barr, John R. Bowman, Co. A; Privates, John B. Bish, Barney Deany, Lorenzo 
Frantz, Newton Joseph, Robert McCleary, Henry C. Skakely, Co. B ; Pri- 
Thomas Meredith, Co. C; Sergt. James W. O'Donnell, Privates, Emanuel 
Bucher, Jacob Stultz, Co. D; Privates, Nathaniel Allison, Patrick Norris, Co. 
E; Corp. Colin Boyd, and Pri. Rankin W. Boyle, Co. F; Privates, Balser Graft, 
Elijah M. Shirer, Co. G; Privates, Hezekiah Irwin, Francis Judy, John Loll, 
Adam Turney, Co. H ; Privates, Elijah McDonald, Fowler Miller, Thomas L. 
Morris, Thomas O'Connor, Samuel Sylvies, Co. I ; William Justice, Thomas 
Knox, John McClung, John Price, John Allman, Co. K. 

It is interesting to note how the lapse of time clouds the memory and con- 
fuses incidents. Without any knowledge of what Capt. Donaghy, who resides at 
Deland, Florida, has written, John H. White of Tacoma, Washington, who was 
a Sergeant in Capt. Donaghy's company, writes as follows: 


"On the morning of the battle of Fair Oaks a detail from Co. F, under com- 
mand of Lieuts. Zink and Donag-hy were sent to the front to slash timber on the 
right of the Williamsburg road. When we stopped at noon for dinner some 
of us slipped out to the picket line and tried to pass out, but the pickets refused 
to let us pass and pointed to the rebel line of battle two or three hundred yards 
in advance, in the same field with the pickets. While talking with the pickets the 
signal for advance was fired from a battery but a short distance to our left. 
Almost immediately after the signal guns were fired the pickets opened the 
battle by a rapid and continuous fire. We started to camp with our tools but 
before we arrived there the battle was raging fiercely, and we knew now that 
a general engagement was on. When we arrived in camp we learned that the Regi- 
ment had been sent forward to support the picket line. Our detail was placed to 
the left of a regiment occupying the front line and was ordered to deploy as 
skirmishers in front of the regiment. The enemy were creeping through the 
abatis, but we were cautioned not to fire as our Regiment was supposed to be in 
our front supporting the pickets. When the enemy was within a hundred yards 
of us, I, feeling sure that it was not our boys, exclaimed to Lieut. Donaghy that 
I would fire. He again cautioned me not to fire until he took a survey of the 
position. To do so he jumped on a stump and called out: 'Show your colors!' 
the response was a galling fire." 

Sergt. White relates this incident as occurring at the advanced line, when 
Lieut. Donaghy's command was first engaged in the battle, while Capt. Donaghy 
places it at the last stand made by his command, just in front of Couch's line, 
about a mile in rear of where Sergt. White places it. While the two narratives 
seem to be conflicting, they are really corroborative of each other, so far as 
essentials are concerned. Of the death and burial of Capt. Gillespie Capt. 
Donaghy says : 

"On Monday I went over the ground where we had fought on Saturday. It 
was a scene of sickening horror that I will not attempt to describe. A number 
of my miscellaneous battalion was still there in their last sleep. Our quarter- 
master, who was in charge of a burying party, told me that Gillespie's body 
had not been found, and I conducted his party to the spot where I had stood 
on the stump and close by we found the captain's body. He had been shot 
through the breast ; his sword was gone, but the scabbard was there broken up. 
The shoulder straps and buttons had been taken from his coat, and his pockets 
were turned inside out. We carried him to our old camp and buried him in a 
long line that was forming there; their last muster. I marked his name on a 
piece of cracker box and put it at his head." 

The sensational newspaper correspondents who were not within a mile and 
a half of Casey's line of pickets, where the battle of Fair Oaks began, have had 
much to say in criticism of the pickets, and the 103rd Regiment which went 
to their support. As the adverse reports and criticisms reflecting on the conduct 
of the Regiment are quoted in another part of the volume it will be needless to 
repeat them here. Not all the newspaper correspondents followed the bark of 
Gens. McClellan and Heintzelman. Among these was the special correspondent 
of the Philadelphia Press, Joel Cook. From his correspondence he compiled a 
volume, which was published by George W. Childs, in 1862, entitled "The 
Siege of Richmond." Referring to the 103rd Regiment in the battle of Fair 
Oaks, he says: 

"The rebel skirmishers came through the woods just at noon, and on the 
instant the Federal pickets commenced firing. The vast body of advancing 
troops being hidden by the woods, the attack being mistaken for one of those 
skirmishes which had been constantly fought for three or four days previously, 
and but one regiment, the 103rd Penna., was ordered out to support the pickets. 


It marched quickly along the Williamsburg road to the edge of the wood, think- 
ing that a handful of skirmishers would be its only opponents, and almost 
stumbled upon the rebel troops advancing in line of battle. On the instant they 
fired a murderous volley from thousands of muskets at the surprised regiment, 
and one-fifth of its number fell killed and wounded. The remaining soldiers 
were unable to reply, the surprise was too great, and, despite all the efforts of its 
officers, the regiment broke shortly, and completely demoralized, retreated along 
the road it came, being joined on the way by a great many sick. The mass of 
stragglers, as they passed along through Gen. Casey's camp and to Gen. Couch's, 
in the rear, conveyed an exaggerated idea of surprise and defeat. The conduct 
of the 103rd Penna. has been much censured, and scarcely knowing the over- 
whelming disadvantages under which it fought, people at home have spoken 
harshly of it. This is unjust. No regiment in the army, under the circumstances, 
could have done better. Sent forward, as its soldiers supposed, to check the ad- 
vance of a few straggling skirmishers, thirty-two thousand rebels, whose line 
of battle extended far to the right and left, suddenly rush upon it, and, in the 
midst of the surprise, thousands of them fire a deadly volley at it. The rout was 
excusable. Upon such a surprise, veterans would have hastily retreated." 

In 1863, before the congressional committee on the conauct of the war. 
Gen. Casey testified as follows : 

'T desire to make one statement here in justice to the 103rd Regiment. In 
my report I did not do them justice. I am satisfied of that from facts which 
have since come to my knowledge. * * * -pj^g enemy say that the head of 
their strong column was really checked by that one regiment and the pickets it 
had been sent out to support." 

The above testimony of Gen. Casey was given early in 1863, long before it 
was possible for him to have seen the Confederate official reports. However, 
evidence came from many sources indicating that the Confederates found a 
great deal of amusement over Gen. McClellan's published dispatches censuring 
Casey's division and giving credit for valiant charges on the enemy, where no 
resistance was made. The official reports of Mkj. Gazzam and Gens. Wessells 
and Casey may be discredited by the historian, as they were by the commanding 
general of the army, because they were on the defensive, their troops having 
been the first routed in the battle, but evidence is available today that no fair- 
minded person can question — evidence which corroborates every essential feature 
of these discredited reports — the official reports of the commanders of the Con- 
federate troops who were eye witnesses, at close range, of the action of Casey's 
pickets and the 103rd Penna. Regiment. The first attack on the Federal pickets 
on May 31st was by Garland's brigade. Hill's division, Longstreet's corps. Gen. 
Garland, whose report is published elsewhere in this volume, says the firing of 
the pickets and their supports along his front was so hot that he was forced to 
bring his regiments (which had been ordered to march forward by the right 
flank) into line of battle to support his skirmishers. He says: "We drove the 
enemy out of the woods back into the abatis." The pickets and the 103rd Regi- 
ment were the only Federal troops in the woods in advance of the abatis. 

A brief recapitulation of the action of the 103rd Penna. Regiment in the 
battle of Fair Oaks will show that the Army of the Potomac, as well as the 
nation, owed it commendation rather than censure. Notwithstanding the pickets 
from the Regiment, and the Regiment itself were overwhelmingly attacked, they 
not only gave the alarm, but held the enemy in check until two lines of battle 
were formed by the regiments of the division; one along the intrenchments, 
and the other a quarter of a mile in advance, along the east side of the abatis ; 
that the stand the Regiment made in the woods against the enemy was sufficient 
to show that the attack of the enemy was formidable enough to have attracted the 


attention of all the troops of the Fourth Corps, if it did not that of Gens. Heintzel- 
man and McClellan. 

The Regiment bivouacked in rear of the intrenchments near Savage Station, 
during the night of May 31, remaining there, in line of battle, until the 
morning of June 4, when at four o'clock in the morning, it started towards the 
rear, through a heavy rain, causing the men to wade knee deep at times through 
pools of water. One stream was flowing so swiftly, that before the men could 
cross it, ropes had to be stretched on which to cling in fording it. 

On Sunday night, June i, while the Regiment lay back of the intrenchments 
near Savage Station, it experienced the incipient stage of an army night stam- 
pede. The Regiment was lying down in line of battle with muskets stacked at 
the feet of the men. Some animals had broken loose and trampling on some 
troops in front of the Regiment, men came rushing back on a run, upsetting 
gun stacks and trampling on the sleeping men. The bayonet of a musket coming 
in contact with a sleeping soldier, he called out, when he awakened, that he 
would surrender. As it was pitch dark it was bewildering in the extreme to 
know just what to do, and it was some time before the officers of the Regiment, 
although endeavoring in the darkness to get the men into line, knew what caused 
the excitement. Some of the men waking out of a sound sleep and finding men 
running to the rear started also, but soon came to their senses and groped their 
way back, although a few did not stop until they reached the Chickahominy. 
This little episode was of lasting benefit to all who experienced it, for it demon- 
strated beyond cavil, the importance of remaining with the standard of the 


The Seven Days' Battles — From White Oak Swamp to Harrison's 


(From June 4 to July 31, 1862.) 

On June 4, Wessells' brigade was assigned to a position at Poplar Hill, com- 
manding the crossings of White Oak Swamp, relieving a brigade of Hooker's 
division. This was the extreme left of the Army of the Potomac, a position the 
brigade occupied until the army moved towards the James River. Large details 
were made daily for picket duty. The men were now literally living "out of 
doors." Having lost their knapsacks and all their clothing, except what they 
were wearing at the time of the battle of Fair Oaks, their camp equipage all 
gone, without blankets or tents, they were, indeed, in a pitiable condition. With- 
out a change of underclothing — in fact, he was fortunate who had any — every 
one, both officers and enlisted men, became infested with body lice. Owing to 
these conditions and the miasma from the swamp and impure drinking water, 
there was an epidemic of disease, and during most of the time the Regiment was 
stationed here a large percentage of both officers and men was unable for duty. 
This compelled those who kept in good health to be constantly busy performing 
the various functions of their respective ranks. The unjust strictures passed on 
Casey's troops subjected the division to constant drill when not on picket or 
fatigue duty. 

By order of Gen. McClellan, under date of June 7, Casey's division (O. R. 
Sec. I, Vol. XI, part 3, page 220) was consolidated into two brigades, Brig. 
Gen. H. M. Naglee commanding one, and Brig. Gen. H. W. Wessells the other 
This consolidation gave Wessells' brigade four additional regiments, making 
eight regiments in all, as follows: 

8ist New York, 85th New York, 92nd New York, 96th New York, 98th 
New York, 85th Pennsylvania, loist Pennsylvania, 103rd Pennsylvania. (O. 
R. Sec. I, Vol. XI, part 2, page 29.) 

Capt. S. P. Townsend 
(Co. C). 

(Commanded the pickets 
that opened the battle of 
Fair Oaks.) 

Sergt, R. M. Dunn 
(Co. C). 

2d Lieut. B. H. Scott 
(Co. C). 

1st Sergt. W. S. Cochran 
(Co. C). 

Capt. Albert Fahnestock 
(Co. C). 

Sergt. S. M. Evans 
(Co. C). 

Corp. Geo. W. Pifer 
(Co. C). 

Corp. L. S. Dickey 
(Co. C). 


On June 24, Brig. Gen. John J. Peck, who had commanded a brigade of 
Couch's division, relieved Gen. Casey of the command of the division. Im- 
mediately thereafter the activities of the men were increased ; digging rifle-pits, 
slashing timber, on camp or picket guard, and at drill. Heretofore the fortifica- 
tions had been planned to resist attack from the direction of the swamp. Early 
in the morning of June 27 the Regiment began digging rifle pits facing in the 
opposite direction. This was an enigma to the men and they manifested no zeal 
in the work. To build intrenchments to repel an attack from the direction of the 
position of their own amiy, regarded by them as invincible against any force the 
enemy could hurl against it, caused universal disgust and) general fault finding, 
and many attributed it to be a matter of discipline on the part of the new division 
commander. When the intrenchments were completed and the Regiment as- 
signed a position back of them, and the continuous heavy roar of musketry and 
artillery made it evident that the right wing of the army was heavily engaged 
with the enemy, even then it seemed a useless and unnecessary precaution. It 
was the prevailing opinion among the men that McClellan was assaulting the 
enemy's fortifications in front of Richmond, and so great was their confidence 
in his military skill and the invincibility of his army that when rumor came that 
his army was being driven back few gave credit to it, and when it became evident 
that the army was, in fact, moving away from the enemy, there were many who 
persisted that it was a coup de main of McClellan's and they predicted the fall 
of Richmond within a week. The intrenchments were hardly completed when a 
heavy detail was made from the Regiment and put to work building a road 
through White Oak Swamp. 

Early in the morning of June 28, Wessells' brigade broke camp and crossed 
White Oak Swamp in the direction of the James River. The crossing of the 
swamp was tedious and difficult, the road being in poor condition and had to be 
put in order so the artillery and commissary's and quartermaster's supplies could 
follow. Late that afternoon the brigade bivouacked on the Charles City road 
at a place known as the "Blacksmith Shop." Although it was late in the after- 
noon when a halt was made for the night, a distance of not to exceed five miles 
had been covered. An incident of the day is worthy of note to show one phase 
of soldier Hfe. Jesse Stephens, a private of Co. G, was ill and excused from duty. 
When orders were given to break camp he asked the Regimental surgeon for an 
ambulance as he said he was not able to march. His request was refused, and 
made the subject of jest, because Stephens was a man of good physique. His 
company was on picket duty at the time and did not accompany the Regiment on 
this march so that he was allowed to shift for himself during the day as best 
he could. Immediately after arms had been stacked for the night, and the de- 
tails for picket duty had been made, the writer started to take a survey of the 
neighborhood with the view of having a change of menu for supper. It may be 
proper to state here that irrespective of prohibitory orders, there were always 
some men in all companies, at the end of a day's march in a new country, if 
darkness did not interfere, who made it a rule to visit the surrounding farms 
and plantations, the chicken house being the principal objective point. The 
writer had gone but a few yards on an expedition of this kind, when his attention 
was attracted by a group of soldiers in the direction he was going, gazing at 
some object at the base of a tree. The writer paused to take a look at the object, 
which proved to be a soldier, and just as he did so one of the men who had 
been there before he arrived, lifted two old-fashioned copper cents from the 
eyelids, and the writer recognized the prostrate soldier as Jesse Stephens of Co. 
G, who had made his last march and lain down to sleep until the great reveille is 
sounded. Jesse Stephens had been recruited at Tarentum, Pa., by Lieut. Wm. H 
Irwin, and had a wife and several children. The venerable Mark Stephens of 
Tarentum, who is still living at this writing, is an elder brother. 


The next forenoon, June 29, a squadron of Confederate cavalry made a dash 
into Peck's camp, but preparations had been made for such a visit and they were 
welcomed by a salute from a battery of artillery charged with canister shot. 
Quite a number of the enemy were killed, including the major in command, and 
some 25 or 30 prisoners were taken, among whom was Capt. Ruffin, a member 
of the Confederate Congress. Not a man was either killed or wounded on the 
Federal side. The brigade lay in this position all day in readiness to repel an 
attack which seemed to have been anticipated by those in command. The men, 
however, were in constant expectation of receiving orders to advance towards 
Richmond. Later in the day, when the troops from other divisions passed 
towards the James River, conflicting opinions prevailed ; one that the army was 
in retreat, and the other that McClellan was executing a flank movement. The 
stories received from those who had participated in the engagement of the day 
before were also conflicting, some claiming that the enemy had been badly 
whipped, while others were very much depressed and said that the enemy had 
driven the right wing of the army from its position. About six o'clock in the 
evening the Regiment was ordered to move towards the James River by a cross 
road. The distance covered during the night did not exceed six or seven miles, 
yet the men were constantly on their feet. As the artillery, or commissary wagons, 
came up the men were kept in line on the roadside, and when the road was 
cleared of wagons and artillery, which occurred only at brief intervals, they 
would move, but no faster than the wagons ahead. A halt was made a little 
after daybreak, and after the wagons passed on out of the way a large portion 
of the Army of the Potomac passed the position the Regiment occupied, which 
was not far from Haxall's Landing on the James River. Late in the evening, 
June 30, Wessells' brigade changed position, crossing an open plain, and biv- 
ouacked at the edge of a woods, fronting towards the plain. Capt. John Donaghy's 
account of the movements of the army at this period will interest the survivors 
of the Regiment. He says : 

"On June 25, heavy firing off the right told us that a great battle was being 
fought. Our division was in line ready for action. In the evening we received 
orders to prepare three days' cooked rations. Uneasiness was felt in camp over 
a rumor that Jackson was in our rear. On the next day was fought the first 
great battle of the "Seven Days," away to the right of the army, miles from our 
position. We heard the roar of artillery, and that was all we knew of the action 
at the time. In the evening I was detailed with a working party, and being the 
senior officer commander, I reported at division headquarters and received my 
in.structions from Capt. Tyler of the general's staff. The work assigned us was 
felling trees in the swamp in front of our division! headquarters. Many of the 
trees were large and the labor required of the men was arduous, having to stand 
in the water as they chopped. While we were so engaged other details were 
digging rifle-pits and constructing abatis. These works were built to face the 
swamp as though the enemy was expected to approach from the west. At eleven 
o'clock I dismissed my men for two hours for dinner. They worked hard and 
well in the afternoon but were unable to complete the work assigned them. At 
four o'clock I called on Gen. Peck and asked to have the men relieved, but he 
said it was important that the trees should be felled, and so the men should be 
kept at work. He said they should have some whisky, and I went to the com- 
missary's tent to procure it, but he denied having any. I was allowed to dismiss 
my men at five o'clock, another detail having been called to finish the work. On 
the morning of the 27th the Regiment was ordered to form fully equipped and 
supplied with rations. It was marched to division headquarters, furnished with 
picks and shovels, and from there it went to a field to work at building a line of 
rifle pits. As one officer to a company could attend to that duty I left Lieut. 
Neely in charge while Lieut. Kelly, of Co. H, and I wandered about picking 


blackberries. While we were engaged in that peaceful occupation we could hear 
the booming of artillery to the right. The battle of Gaines Mill was then in 
progress. In the afternoon Sergt. Rimer and I went to bathe in a small stream, 
but came back to camp in a hurry on learning that the Regiment was forming; 
but it was only to resume work on the rifle pits. The colonel urged the men 
to put in "hard licks" while they were at it and worked them in reliefs of half 
an hour each. The work was hardly completed when the tools were taken 
away to be used at some other point. At the battle of White Oak Swamp, 
fought on June 28, those works were occupied by the enemy, while our forces 
were across the swamp where the rebels were expected to be; at least we were 
so informed, for we did not participate in that fight. 

"On Saturday, the 28th, we were aroused before daylight by the sound of 
heavy musketry and we got up prepared to "fall in," but as no orders to that 
effect came, we lay down again. At roll call we received marching orders, and 
after a hurried breakfast, formed and marched to near the bridge crossing the 
swamp over which troops were marching. The whole army seemed to be on the 
move, and it was hours before our turn came to cross. Then we marched a few 
miles and halted to the right of the Charles City road, where we watched the 
troops that were passing the whole day long. I spoke to many old friends and 
heard their stories of the hard fighting of the last few days ; among them was 
Dill, who had lost his regiment, or the regiment had lost him. We did much 
surmising as to the object of the move the Army was making, -some said we were 
flanking Richmond. Dill's account of the destruction of valuable stores at the 
camp of his division made the movement look very like a retreat, but still we 
hoped it would end in the capture of Richmond, where we could spend the 
Fourth of July in triumph. At one time during the day we heard sudden and 
rapid musketry, firing quite near our position. "Fall in," was heard on all sides 
and we rushed to arms. All was excitement for a while and it was supposed the 
enemy was advancing upon us. By the time the troops were formed and ready 
the firing had ceased and a detachment of our cavalry came in with some cap- 
tured horses, having encountered and scattered a small force of rebel cavalry. 
At another time an alarm was created by a runaway mule with a rickety wagon 
rattling at his heels. 

"We slept that night by the roadside, and in the morning found the road 
still full of marching troops. McClellan and staff passed along. They stopped 
at an officer's tent near us and I saw "Little Mac" "take something" ; it was not 
Richmond. He seemed to be in good spirits, and I took that as an indication 
that all was going well with the army. As his staff rode by one of his officers 
asked us what troops we were, and the major answered "Casey's Skedadlers, 
sir." He was thinking of the bad name McClellan had given the division. 

"A herd of cattle said to number 25,000 was drawn along, and where it was 
possible it moved in the fields alongside the road. We marched at sunset. Capt. 
Zink remained behind, sick. I was not well but did not think of stopping. The 
night was beautiful, but our march was very unsteady and painfully slow, 
consisting of short marches and long halts. I carried a rubber blanket, keeping 
it ready to throw down and rest upon when we halted, for my limbs were so sore 
that I could not stand without suffering. The soreness resulted, I suppose, from 
my using blue ointment against an enemy that was very common among us at that 
time. On these long halts the men would discuss the probable intention of our 
commander or growl at the slowness of our movement. Stories were told and 
songs were sung. A tune hummed by one would be taken up by others until 
nearly a whole company would be singing in concert. From singing there would 
be a change off to whistling; a music that is not to be despised. As the night 
wore on and the men became tired the music was given up, the fence comers 
and the roadsides were crowded by dark objects that you might take to be logs, 


until the colonel would call out "Attention, Battalion!" Quickly the men would 
be on their feet, the ranks would be formed and the column moving on. We went 
into camp after daylight in a grove of small pines, having marched not more than 
six miles during the night. We were not far away from a battle that was raging 
at the rear. The men lay down to rest and the sun came out very hot. It seems 
strange that when a battle was being waged so near "mustering for pay" would 
be thought of, but we went through the form, and I was kept busy for some 
time making the rolls of oi»r company. About 3 p. m. we marched towards the 
conflict, which was still in progress. We moved about considerably on the roads 
in the rear of the fighting, and were finally posted as a support to artillery held 
in reserve near the James River." 

During the forenoon of June 30, McClellan's headquarters were pitched 
near Wessells' brigade. Here the writer had an excellent opportunity to ob- 
serve the demeanor of the commanding general of the army in what must have 
been to him the most critical period in his military career. Several large tents 
were pitched in a shady nook, in which maps were spread on portable tables to 
which the general and staff were constantly referring. Aides and orderlies 
were arriving and departing as fast as horses could trot or gallop delivering mes- 
sages to and from subordinate commanders. These attended to. Gen. McClellan 
would again resume the interrupted conversation, or the examination of a map. 
The thunder of cannon and the incessant roar of musketry which had hardly 
ceased during daytime for nearly a week gave evidence that the enemy was 
pressing his rear guard, yet he manifested no anxiety or doubt as to the out- 
come. At times he was serious in manner and always constantly engaged, but 
during conversation with those surrounding him his countenance was frequently 
wreathed in smiles. To the on-looker there was no indication that the command- 
ing general had any doubt as to the result of the battle then raging but a few 
miles away. 

Wessells' brigade would have been sent into action on the 30th had Gen. 
McClellan's aide-de-camp, Maj. Hammerstein, been able to have found Gen. 
Peck. The next day Maj. Hammerstein called on Gen. Peck and handed him 
the following note : 

"An order for General Peck to move on the evening of June 30 one brigade 
up for action was in my possession but was not delivered because his position 
was not known to me. I could not look longer for him because I had to move 
other troops and knew that his other brigade was already in position." (O. R. 
Sec. I, Vol. XI, part 3, page 284). 

In the evening of June 30, the brigade moved across the open plain or field 
and bivouacked at the edge of a woods. On July i, the brigade again changed 
position, being placed in line of battle and for defense near the road to Har- 
rison's Landing, the line being formed so as to defend the several wagon trains 
of the army, which were parked back of our line of battle, and in support of the 
reserve artillery of the Army of the Potomac. This line was formed under the 
personal supervision of Gen. Keyes and Gen. McQellan and was the extreme right 
of the army. The artillery was placed back of a rail fence which was fringed on 
both sides with bushes of sufficient height to conceal both the artillery and its 
support, with an immense open plain extending some five or six hundred yards 
in front. To the rear of this line were parked all the wagon trains of all the 
other divisions of the army and a herd of cattle consisting of many thousand 
head. While in this position the men gazed with unusual delight at the mammoth 
sizzling missiles of destruction, whirling through the air from the gun boats on 
the James River. The brigade held this position until after the enemy had retired 
from the field of battle. Shortly after midnight, or just at the beginning of 
July 2, Wessells' brigade was formed in line of battle for defense across the 
road leading from Malvern Hill to Harrison's Landing and perpendicular to it 


— not across the road but on either side of it, for while the line was forming 
the road was full of artillery, infantry, or cavalry, already retreating from the 
battlefield of Malvern Hill to find a safer retreat some miles away at Harrison's 
Landing. The right of the 103rd rested near the road. While in this position 
the entire army, including wagon trains, passed Wessells' brigade of Casey's 
old division, now commanded by Gen. Peck. These men who had been made the 
butt of the entire army because of an unjust dispatch, had the safe-keeping of this 
same army in its hands from the assaults of a victorious foe. During the latter 
hours of the night, rain began to fall and continued for several hours. A little 
before noon, after all the troops, including even the cavalry, had passed the point 
occupied by Wessells' brigade, the latter took up its line of march as the rear 
guard of the Grand Army of the Potomac. Col. Wm. W. Averill of the 3rd 
Penna. Cavalry, who was the last to retire with his command, says, in his official 
report : 

"I found Brig. Gen. Wessells in excellent position with his brigade, and a mile 
further on Brig. Gen. Naglee, with a second line. Considering our rear perfectly 
secure, I passed through their lines with my wearied forces and came to this 
camp." (O. R. Sec. i, Vol. XI, part II p. 192.) 

After moving nearly two miles, the brigade passed Naglee's brigade of 
Peck's division, and formed in line of battle, a short distance in rear of it. Naglee 
then passed on, leaving Wessells' brigade, a battery of artillery and a small 
battalion of cavalry to bring up the rear. Owing to the muddy condition of 
the road, the wagon trains moved very slowly. Within one hundred yards of 
the western boundary of the position selected for the army, where the road from 
Malvern Hill passes to Harrison landing, was a deep ravine called Kimminger's 
Creek which became almost impassable by the morning of July 3, as only one 
wagon could cross at a time, with over a thousand wagons yet to cross, and the 
creek, instead of having running water, was a vast pool of tough mud, at least 
two feet in depth. A force of the enemy consisting of cavalry, artillery and 
infantry kept constantly in sight following closely. At one time it looked like the 
teamsters would be stampeded when the enemy began shelling the wagon train. 
The only thing that prevented a general stampede was the depth and toughness 
of the mud, which made it impossible for the teams to move any faster than 
they had been doing. The panic only caused a few of the drivers to desert their 
wagons, and an unnecessary beating of the horses. Wessells' line of march was 
not a great distance from the James River and the gun boats gave notice to the 
enemy that they were ready for action by throwing an occasional shell over it. 
It was some time after dark on the evening of July 3, when the last wagon crossed 
the ravine. In his official report of this event, Gen. Peck says : 

"The opinion is ventured that the history of military operations affords no 
instance where a train of like magnitude and value was moved so great a dis- 
tance in the presence of the enemy, and in the face of so many material obstacles, 
with so trifling a loss." (O. R. Sec. i. Vol. XI, part 2, p. 215.) 

Col. W. W. H. Davis in his history of the 104th Penna. says of the retreat 
from Malvern Hill: 

"The disordered army poured down in a living stream toward the river. 
The moment the retreat was resumed, organization, in a great measure, appeared 
to be at an end, and the troops swept over the country without regard to roads 
or order. They made short cuts across fields and through woods to the place 
of destination, and the incessant discharges of muskets and rifles resembled a 
fusilade with the enemy. There was a mingling of companies, regiments, 
brigades, and divisions. It began to rain in the morning and continued to pour 
down in torrents, at which time the rear guard stood in line or maneuvered 
to protect the retreat. The movement of so many thousand men and wagons 
over the roads and neighboring fields, after the rain had fallen, converted them 


into an almost impassable quagmire, and to march was to literally wade through 
the mud. * * * in the morning the 104th was sent to reinforce Gen. Wes- 
sells to whose brigade it was temporarily attached. Dufour says: 'In retreat the 
rear guard becomes the most important body and should be composed of the best 
troops, or those which have suffered least. No other service can give more fame 
to a body of troops, where it exposes itself to danger, privation and toil, less for 
itself than the remainder of the army.' " 

At dark on the evening of June 3, the entire army was in position on lines 
which the commanding general considered could soon be made impregnable, with 
the exception of the rear guard which now consisted of Wessells' brigade, re- 
inforced by two regiments, the 104th Penna. and the 56th N. Y., a battalion of the 
Eighth Penna. Cavalry and Battery E, First Penna. Light Artillery, commanded 
by Capt. Theo. Miller. As soon as the last wagon had crossed the ravine the 
battery of artillery followed and then the 56th and 8ist New York. As each 
regiment crossed it was assigned permanent position in the line of defense, along 
the blufl; east of the ravine. Absolute silence prevailed among the troops in falling 
back, all commands being given in whispers, the field officers passing along the 
line to the company officers, and they in turn to the men. The 92nd New York 
and 104th Penna. were the next regiments to retire, who, after the interval of 
nearly an hour, were followed by the 85th Penna., loist Penna., and 98th New 
York. These were followed by the 96th New York, the 85th New York and the 
103d Penna. Gen. Wessels in his report says: 

"It was now about ten o'clock p. m. The pickets were carefully withdrawn 
and the rear guard completed the crossing without the slightest accident at about 
II o'clock, and the whole brigade in line of battle facing the rear." 

It was some time after midnight when the 103d crossed the ravine. Two 
hours must have been consumed from the time the Regiment began to move to 
the rear before it got intO' position. For a time the way was blockaded by the 
regiment preceding it, and finally when it reached the ravine the men had to 
undergo the most exasperating experience of the war. The mud was more than 
knee deep and some of the men in order to extricate themselves had to throw 
away everything, knapsacks, guns and accouterments. It seemed that for minutes 
no progress was made. The night was dark as pitch, nothing being visible 
in the firmament or the horizon. There was a quietude that seemed ominous, and 
although the men had been repeatedly cautioned not to speak, cursing could be 
heard along the ranks in whispers. However, after once freed from this 
predicament, the Regiment was placed in position within a hundred yards from 
the quagmire which had held it for so long and here it remained until August 
16. Maj. Gen. Keyes in his official report (O. R. Sec. i, Vol. XI, part 2, pages 
192-195) says: 

"As the day advanced the continuous deluging rains rendered it next to im- 
possible to get forward the trains over Kimmingers Creek, which is the boundary 
of our present camp. It was found necessary to park some 1,200 wagons as they 
came up on the other side of the creek, and it was not until after dark of the 3d 
instant that by extraordinary exertions the last of the wagons was brought over. 
Brig. Gen. Wessells with his brigade, assisted by Miller's Battery and a party of 
Gregg's cavalry, remained to guard the wagons and to defend them against the 
enemy, approaching with cavalry and artillery. After firing a few shell the 
enemy left upon being saluted with a few 100 pounders from the gun boats. I 
do not think more vehicles or more public property was abandoned on the march 
from Turkey Bridge than would have been left in the same state of the roads if 
the army had been moving towards the enemy instead of away from him • and 
when it is understood that all the carriages and teams belonging to the army 
stretched out in one line would not extend far from 40 miles, the energy and 


caution necessary for their safe withdrawal from the presence of an enemy 
vastly superior in numbers will be appreciated." 

Maj. Gen. Peck in his official report says: 

"Gen. Wessells has labored most faithfully night and day since I joined 
the division, and displayed the greatest interest in the service under very critical 
circumstances. In the midst of difficulties and dangers his judgment seemed 
most reliable. * * * £qI Lehmann, 103d Penna., and Col. Howell, 85th 
Penna. are meritorious officers, who have rendered the country good service and 
exert a salutary influence upon their troops. * * * I desire to thank every 
officer and soldier in the command for the cheerful and faithful manner in which 
they have discharged duties incessant and arduous by day and by night. Chicka- 
hominy and White Oak Swamp will bear evidence of their industry for genera- 
tions. While the late severe service has not been so brilliant as that which fell to 
other troops, it will ever be deemed honor enough to have been a member of 
that division which held the troops of Jackson at bay across the Chickahominy 
* * * and covered the rear safely during the great strategic movement 
from Turkey Creek to Harrison's Point." (O. R. Sec. i, Vol. XI, part 2, pages 

On the morning of July 4 camp was marked out, and details made to slash 
timber in front and erect breastworks. While the men were engaged in preparing 
or eating dinner, they were quickly called into line and were reviewed by Gen. 
McClellan. The enthusiasm his appearance aroused among the troops was ample 
evidence that the results of the past week had not in the least diminished their 
confidence in the commanding general of the army. 

As soon as the fields became dry enough the division was kept constantly 
at drill under the supervision of Gen. Peck. With details for camp and picket 
guard, fatigue duty, daily drill, making the camp comfortable, digging wells, etc., 
there was little time for monotony. On July 8 the following circular was issued : 

"Headquarters Army of the Potomac : Camp near Harrison's Landing, July 
8, T862. 

His excellency, the President of the United States, will visit the troops of 
this army this afternoon, beginning at 5 o'clock, with Sumner's corps, followed 
by Keyes', Heintzelman's, Franklin's and Porter's Corps in order named. He will 
be received with appropriate honors. By command of Maj. Gen. McClellan. 
S. Williams, A. A. G." 

As President Lincoln passed along in front of the lines he was preceded 
by Gen. McClellan. He was dressed in the costume familiar to the people by 
his portraits, and his angular, attenuated figure seemed intensified by the high 
stovepipe hat he wore. The men had but a glimpse of his features as his horse 
was moving at a brisk trot, but the glimpse was sufficient to make a lasting im- 
pression, and although forty-seven years have elapsed since that summer day, yet 
the features of this most wonderful man remain in the memory of the writer as 
though the occurrence were a matter of a few days ago. The position of the 
Regiment was perhaps a half mile north of the James River, and until wells were 
sunk in the camp at a depth of 50 or 60 feet, water was carried from a spring 
about half way to the river. The James River afforded a good bathing point 
and the boys availed themselves of every opportunity to indulge in that pastime. 

On the night of July 31, the Confederate General French, with the Chief 
of Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia, planted 43 guns on the south 
bank of the James River and opened fire on the shipping in the river and in 
the camps of the Federal troops. While the cannonading was quite brisk for a 
couple of hours the loss on either side was insignificant. To prevent a repetition, 
on the following day a force was moved to the south bank of the James River. 



From Harrison's Landing to Suffolk — Blackwater Reconnoissances. 

(From July 31 to Dec. 4, 1862.) 

On July 25 and 26, Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, who had been appointed gen- 
eral-in-chief of the armies of the United States on July 11, visited Gen. Mcaellan 
at Harrison's Landing discussing the general situation with him. Halleck was 
satisfied then to have the James River continue to be the base of the Army 
of the Potomac, and left McClellan with that understanding. But not 
being able to satisfy the commander of the Army of the Potomac as to the num- 
ber of reinforcements, on August 3, ordered the removal of the army to Acquia 
Creek. On Sunday, Aug. 10, orders were given to pack knapsacks with every- 
thing superfluous to a forced march, and they were put on transports. This action 
was an indication that "something would be doing" soon and the prevailing idea 
among the men was that the army would soon be advancing on Richmond. Aug. 
14, the Regiment was ordered out as support to the picket line, and returned to 
camp on the afternoon of the 15th, to find great commotion in camp, as orders had 
been issued to the army to make preparations to move. Shortly after day break, 
Aug. 16, the Regiment marched out of the fortifications with the brigade, mov- 
ing with great caution as if anticipating an attack. The first day's march was 
not long, and over ground that had been but little traversed by either army, op- 
portunity for successful foraging was the best that the Peninsula had afforded. 
Vast fields of corn, eight or ten feet in height, lined either road side, and it was 
in that stage when "roasting ears" were most prolific and in their milkiest condi- 
tion. Irish potatoes were also abundant and clusters of peach trees, full of fruit 
beginning to ripen, were in the neighborhood of every farm house to tempt the 
forager to make some excuse to get out of ranks. At three o'clock, Aug. 17, the 
men were aroused and ordered to quickly breakfast and as soon as day began to 
break the march eastward was resumed at a much more rapid pace than on the 
previous day. Gen. McClellan and staff accompanied by a large body of cavalry 
passed the Regiment during the day. The general and his retinue were covered 
from head to foot with a thick coating of dust, making it impossible for the 
troops to recognize him until at close range. But when he was recognized he 
returned the enthusiastic greeting he received from the men as they stood by the 
roadside to let the cavalcade pass, with his pleasant smile. His demeanor indi- 
cated that the care of a large army sat lightly upon him, but in all probability the 
smiling countenance was but a mask to a heavy heart through chagrin and dis- 
appointment at being compelled to move his army from what he regarded as the 
best point from which to attack the capital of the Confederacy. It was in this 
garb of dust that the men of Casey's old division beheld for the last time the 
commanding general of the army who so bitterly wronged them. His frequent 
subsequent requests to have these same troops sent to his command in Maryland, 
is evidence that in his opinion they were not to be despised, even if they were the 
rawest troops in his army. Capt. Donaghy describes this march as follows: 

"That march presented many picturesque scenes ; one that I noticed was the 
horsemen dashing along the dusty road as though they were flying among clouds, 
for the dust shut out for a time all sight of the solid earth beneath. When the 
troops were halted in the road the scene was striking. The road was over shoe 
deep with a whitish dust, and the grass, the trees, and fences were all covered 
with the same tint; the troops were looking like millers. When a glimpse of 
distant fields was caught the bright green showed with telling contrast." 

During the afternoon, Aug. 17, the Regiment crossed the Chickahominy, not 
a great distance from its mouth, on a pontoon bridge, 2,000 feet in length, and 
after a march of twenty miles in all during the day, went into bivouac late in 

Capt John Donaghy 
(Co. F). 

1st Lieut. J. H. Chambers 
(Co. F). 

Sergt. John H. white 
(Co. F). 

Priv. Theodore G. Sloan 

(Co. F). 

Capts. Donaghy and 
(Reproduced from an am- 
brotype taken at Norfolk. 
Va,, fall of 1862, when regi- 
ment was en route to Suf- 

Sutler Adolph Krebs. 

Asst. Sutler C. L. Straub. 


the evening. The next morning, Aug. i8, the Regiment was on the march before 
daybreak, and passing through Williamsburg, bivouacked five miles east of it. 
The woman who had predicted the return of the Yanks faster than they ad- 
vanced was not in evidence, but had she been, she would, no doubt, have been 
jubilant over the literal fulfillment of her prophecy of less than four months 
before. A few minutes after six o'clock, Aug. 20, the Regiment was rapidly 
trudging towards Yorktown, passing through it, and halting a short distance 
east of the town, where it went into bivouac until Aug. 24. Nothing of moment 
occurred during the three days' stop here. The boys put in their leisure time about 
the York River, gathering oysters, clams, etc., having a respite from the arduous 
work that was their lot when advancing westward on the Peninsula. The Army 
of the Potomac had left the Peninsula, a portion of Keyes' Corps, being left to 
guard the approaches to Fortress Monroe. Early in the morning of Aug. 24, 
the Regiment started to Fort Monroe, passing Big Bethel, the scene of one of 
the first battles of the war. As the road was free from obstructions the march 
of 25 miles was made with comparative ease, and at four o'clock the men were 
busily engaged arranging their humble habitations, a short distance from the fort. 
The duty assigned the Regiment was the guarding of hospitals, bridges, com- 
missary and quartermaster supplies, etc. Numerous details were made daily 
from the Regiment as escorts to the dead, whose deaths occurred at the hospitals ; 
all of whom were buried with military honors. For such duty, the Regiment, both 
officers and men, were in a sorry plight. Their uniforms were ragged and 
frayed, and the men presented a vivid contrast from troops generally assigned 
to garrison duty. The men who had succeeded in getting new clothing at Har- 
rison's Landing, anticipating a rough time for a few days had packed their 
best clothing in their knapsacks, and these were entirely ruined in transit. In 
fact, it took a few days after the arrival of the Regiment here for some of 
the men to even act as though they were within the shades of civilization, as it 
was an ordinary event, immediately after the arrival of Wessells' brigade, to 
"hold up" wagons at any hour of the day, even with hospital supplies. The 
troops, however, guilty of this breach of discipline were not all from the 103d 
Regiment, but it furnished a fair quota the first day or two, but after details 
from the Regiment were made to suppress such depredations they immediately 
ceased. The men had a fine time when off duty, fishing for crabs and oysters and 
the sea food and sea air with plenty of fresh vegetables, soon told on the physique 
of the troops. Capt. Donaghy, referring to army life here, says : 

"We were pretty comfortably situated as we were. Our meals were im- 
proved by fine oysters and fresh fish, and we enjoyed the sea breezes at a season 
when they were most delightful. On one occasion we got too much of a breeze 
at one time, and it came so suddenly that it upset some of our wagons and sent 
Sibley and shelter tents flying in the air. Our own tent was blown down about 
our heads, and so was the colonel's, and he was held fast in the wreck until 
rescued. At the same time the rain came down in torrents ; no one was seriously 
hurt, but we looked well to our tent pins thereafter. Fort Monroe, near which 
we were camped, seemed to us at that time impregnable. It covered seventy 
acres. I had never seen a fort of that kind, and I was surprised to find that the 
interior was like a beautiful park; laid out with paths and lawns, and in the 
center was a graceful, spreading tree. Around about the sides of the enclosure 
were trees and comfortable looking quarters that almost hid the massive walls 
and grim engines of destruction that were ever ready for their work. Outside 
of the fort on the beach were mounted two of the great guns of the day. They 
were fifteen inch base and had been made in Pittsburgh. They were called 
the "Union," and the "Lincoln." The latter had been known as the "Floyd Gun," 
but for sufficient reasons had been rechristened." 

About noon on Sept. 18, the Regiment embarked on a transport at Fort Mon- 


roe for Norfolk, and after a brief stop in that city, boarded a train of cars for 
Suffolk, twenty-three miles distant from Petersburg, so long the theater of war, 
when Grant was in command of the army. 

Speaking of the Regiment's stop in Norfolk Capt. Donaghy says: 

"We halted in the street to await a train that would take us to our destina- 
tion, Suffolk. As we had some time to spare, Capt. Fahnestock and I strolled 
about seeing the town. Most of the business transacted in the place was caused 
by the presence of the troops and was carried on by Northern men. The street 
pavements, which once had been worn with traffic, were then so little used that 
grass was growing up between the stones." 

A reproduction of an ambrotype of Capts. Fahnestock and Donaghy, taken 
at Norfolk at this time, appears on another page. 

The Regiment arrived at Suffolk about dark on Sept. i8 and bivouacked for 
the night near the railroad station, some of the men taking shelter underneath 
the freight house, then used as a storehouse for commissary supplies. 

The day after its arrival at Suffolk, Sept. 19, the Regiment was assigned to 
a position not a great distance from the railroad station, remaining there until 
it was moved some distance farther out. On Sept. 26, large details were made 
from the Regiment for fatigue duty, slashing timber, throwing up breastworks, 
etc., a daily task for several weeks. This was a kind of work that the men 
went at reluctantly, and evaded in every possible way. The soldier who evaded 
duty on the march, or on the field of battle, was held in contempt, and derided 
by his comrades, but an evasion of fatigue, or police duty, was regarded as justi- 
fiable, unless in extreme emergency in close proximity to the enemy; although it 
was not regarded as so great an offense to shirk duty of this kind as what was 
looked upon as more strictly a soldier's duty. Another daily disagreeable feature 
of camp life at Suffolk, regarded as useless by the men, was being called in line 
of battle about four o'clock in the morning and remaining in that position until 

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the monotony of camp life was broken by the appear- 
ance of the paymaster. This event, which came only at long intervals, had a 
tendency to revive the spirits of the men. But before the paymaster had a chance 
to perform his duty an interruption came. When the men got into line they were 
ordered to take three days' rations, and without any explanation the Regiment 
was started on a hurried march in the direction of the enemy towards Peters- 
burg, commanded by Lieut. Col. Maxwell. A rapid march was kept up until 
three o'clock in the morning when a rest was made until daybreak. After a hur- 
ried breakfast the march was resumed until the advance guard came in contact 
with the enemy. A furious cannonade continued for an hour, when the enemy 
ceased his fire and fell back to a new position. Receiving reinforcements, among 
which were Graham's Petersburg battery, and a rocket battery, the enemy again 
opened fire with great vigor, throwing shot, shell, grape and rockets in great pro- 
fusion. The 13th Indiana was moved down to the bank of the Blackwaater and 
opened fire on the batteries of the enemy and he soon withdrew out of range 
and ceased firing. Gen. Peck, who was in command at Suffolk, was advised as to 
the situation and he ordered the troops to return to camp, inasmuch as the object 
of the expedition, (clearing of the country east of the Blackwater of the Con- 
federates) was accomplished. The Federal loss was two killed, five wounded and 
one missing. Among the wounded was Priv. Edward Rogers of Co. C, who had 
one of his legs shot off by a cannon ball, that ricocheted in front of the Regiment, 
causing quite a number of the men to drop as it passed through the ranks. Lieut. 
Col. Maxwell commanded the Regiment, and though it was his first time to be 
under fire with the Regiment he acted with coolness and rare judgment. From 
the very first Col. Maxwell had enjoyed the confidence and esteem of both offi- 
cers and men, but his conduct on this occasion proved beyond question that he 


was exceptionally well qualified as a regimental commander. Col. Max\yell ex- 
celled in keeping cool when others were excited, a most admirable trait, m a 
commanding officer. In the most trying circumstances he kept perfectly calm, 
always giving his orders in a low, but firm and distinct tone of voice. The ex- 
pedition was commanded by Col. S- P. Spear, nth Penna. Cavalry, and consisted 
of detachments from the nth Penna. Cavalry, 96th New York Vols., 13th In- 
diana Vol. Infantry, 103d Penna and a section of FoUett's artillery. 

In returning to Suffolk the expedition fell back about three miles from the 
position it held during the skirmish and halted there until 10 o'clock, when it re- 
sumed march towards camp again, stopping about 3 a. m. At 2 p. m. on the 4th 
it made its final march towards Suffolk and the Regiment reached camp about 
6 o'clock p. m. The men were called out the next morning about four o'clock, as. 
usual, and stood in line until daylight. However, the colonel gave out some news 
that put cheer in the hearts of the men to the effect that the paymaster would be 
around soon, and about 8 a. m. the men received four months pay. 

The usual camp routine was followed, and during this month substantial 
winter quarters were erected. On Oct. 31, the Regiment, commanded by Col. 
Lehmann, participated in another Blackwater reconnoissance, starting at 3 p. m. 
and with a brief halt, marched until about four o'clock the next morning, when 
the enemy was reached. After an artillery duel of about an hour, without any 
loss on the Federal side, the troops returned to Suffolk reaching camp about mid- 
night, Nov. I. Capt. Donaghy, who was on this reconnoissance says: 

"About an hour or so before daylight our Regiment, and the 8sth Penna. 
Vols., with a battery, were in the advance, the balance of the force having rested 
three miles back, and as we were tramping sleepily along we were roused sud- 
denly by the flash and crack of shots in the road in front of us. We had struck 
the rebel outposts, and we were near Blackwater. The battery got into position 
and opened fire with shell, and fired with great rapidity for about half an hour. 
The flash of fire from the guns, would for an instant, light up the scene around, 
showing the gunners at their work, and the lines of infantry supports, and then 
we would follow with our eyes the sizzling comet-like shell until they would burst 
in fiery fragments over the town, which we could not see, as a line of woods 
intervened, but we could hear the crash of the iron hail upon the buildings, 
and in the intervals between the shots we could hear the cries of women and 
children and the stern command of soldiers. When the firing ceased we marched 
back the way we had come, and the rebels fired a few shells over us, but did 
no harm. We were not at all satisfied with, nor proud of so one-sided an affair, 
but we regarded it as a necessary demonstration in favor of some other of our 
forces, as it doubtless was. Our expectations of resting when we got back to 
the reserve were not realized, but we had to continue our weary march until 
we were within twelve miles of Suffolk, making our march altogether thirty-six 
miles, without halting long enough to make a cup of coffee." 

During the month of November the brigade was kept at drill every suitable 
day. On the 13th a fire got considerable headway in the slashed timber and 
the Regiment was called out to extinguish it, which it succeeded in doing after 
a little while — long enough, however, to escape drill for the afternoon. 

At I p. m., Nov. 17, the Regiment started on its third reconnoissance to 
Blackwater, the expedition being commanded by Gen. Wessell's. On the 18th 
the Federal artillery shelled the enemy for a couple of hours, and met with al 
spirited reception but with a loss of only one wounded. The fourth and final 
expedition to Blackwater, in which the 103d participated, left Suffolk about the 
middle of the afternoon, Dec. i, and after a march of ten miles bivouacked' 
until 3 :30 a. m., when the march was resumed. A halt was made when within 
3 miles of Blackwater for breakfast. While the cavalry in the advance, were 
at breakfast, they were charged upon by the enemy; but they were in their 


saddles in time to meet it, and not only checked the enemy, but drove them: 
back in confusion, killing lo or 12 of the enemy and capturing twenty more, 
most of whom received saber cuts before they surrendered. The officers of the 
nth Cavalry most conspicuous in this charge were Maj. Stratton and Lieuts. 
Roper and Buttz. A section of the rocket battery, fourteen horses, seven saddles, 
42 rifles and 70 rockets, were captured. The expedition consisted of portions 
of the nth Penna. Cavalry, 39th Illinois, 62 Ohio, 130th N. Y., 6th Mass., 103d 
Penna., 2 Sections of Davis' battery, one Section of Howard's battery, amount- 
ing in all to 3,100 commanded by Col. Spear of the nth Penna. Cavalry. 
Lieut. Col. Maxwell commanded the Regiment on this reconnoissance. The 
Regiment returned to Camp through cold disagreeable rain, reaching quarters 
about 10 p. m., Dec. 3. 

While at Suffolk a quarrel occurred between Surg. Stavely and Col. Lehmann, 
the culmination of a long time friction between them. A house in the limits of 
the Regiment camp was used jointly by the Colonel, and as Regimental hospital. 
Surgeon Stavely forced the Colonel to vacate to make room for the sick. 
This action aroused the ire of the Colonel and he resented it by using some 
not very mild epithets to the Surgeon. The latter preferred charges, which were 
first sent to Gen. Wessells, who disapproved them because of the personal 
rancor, made obvious by the verbiage in which they were written. The Surgeon 
then sent them direct to division headquarters, and Gen. Peck relieved Col. 
Lehmann from duty pending an investigation. This accounts for Col. Lehmann 
not commanding the Regiment on the last Blackwater expedition. Surgeon 
Stavely resigned his position. Col. Lehmann was absent from the Regiment 
for three months, during which time the command of the Regiment devolved 
upon Lieut. Col. Maxwell. 


From Suffolk to New Bern — Battles of Kinstom, Whitehall and 


(From December 4 to December 28, 1862.) 

On Dec. 4, orders were given to pack knapsacks and store them. Three 
days rations were drawn. At four o'clock, December 5, the Regiment, with 
the rest of Wessells' brigade, left Suffolk via the Summerton road, and marched 
without making a halt until 3:30 p. m., having covered a distance of 23 miles. 
|At 5 o'clock the next morning the march was resumed. Early in the forenoon 
it began to rain and in a little while the roads became muddy, making it very 
difficult to march. A brief halt was made at Gatesville, but the Regiment went 
two miles beyond the town before bivouacking for the night. However, it 
cleared up in the evening and became quite cool. Resumed march next morning, 
Sunday, Dec. 7, at 9 o'clock, and after wading through mud and water for 
three miles, the brigade came to the Chowan river and boarded the transport 
Northerner and started down the Chowan river, reaching New Bern about 
ID p. m., Dec. 8. For some unexplained reason to the men, the Regiment did 
not debark until Tuesday morning, Dec. 9, about 10 o'clock ; using the transport, 
Port Royal, as a tender. Wessells' brigade bivouacked at the outskirts of 
New Bern until Tuesday, Dec. 11. 

Early in the morning of Dec. 11, the men were aroused from their slumbers, 
and after a hurried breakfast, the brigade moved westward towards Goldsboro, 
starting about seven o'clock, preceded by a squadron of the 3d New York Cavalry 
and the 9th New Jersey Infantry, followed by three other brigades, and 40 
pieces of artillery, the entire force aggregating about 11,000 men. Morrison's 
battery (Battery B, 3d N. Y. Artillery), having been assigned to Wessells' 
brigade, the 103d Regiment was assigned to its support. After an advance of 

1. Capt. A. H. Alexander, Co. A. 15. 

2. Private John C. Guiher, Co. A. 16. 

3. Private Jacob Guiher, Co. A. 17. 

4. Corp. C. G. W. Stover, Co. A. 18. 

5. Private Daniel Barnacle, Co. A. 19. 

6. Private Thomas J. Callen, Co. A. 20. 

7. Corp. Joseph Moyer, Co. A. 21. 

8. Private "William Taylor, Co. A. 22. 

9. Private Clarion J. Logue, Co A. 23 
10 24. 

11. Private Lemuel H. Slag-le, Co. F. 25. 

12. 1st Lieut. James H. Chambers, Co. F. 26, 

13. Sergt. John S. Moorhead, Co. F. 27. 

14. Capt. F. Smullin, Co. D. 

Private Jeremiah Wyant, Co. D. 
Private J. J. Anthony, Co. D. 
Private Levi Shreckengost, Co. T>. 
Private Samuel W. Hamilton, Co. D. 
Private Daniel Bowser, Co. D. 
Private James W. Richardson, 
Corp. John F. Rupert, Co. A. 
Private Calvin B. Alt, Co. A. 
Private Isaiah Reese, Co. A 
Private Helm J. McGill, Co. I. 
Private John D. Taggart, Co. : 
1st Sergt. Jackson McCoy, Co. 
Private Robert Hooks, Co. D. 

Co. A. 

h " 


about 14 miles had been made, the road was found to be obstructed by felled 
trees, for a distance of more than a half mile, and the Regiment was ordered to 
go into bivouac for the night. During the night the pioneers removed the 
obstructions and at day break of the 12th the Regiment was again on the 
march. After advancing about four miles the advance came in contact with the 
skirmishers of the enemy, which, for a time, seemed to indicate that the latter 
was in force, and intended to make a stand, but as his force was small, the advance 
troops soon routed him. The next day the enemy made a stand at South West 
Creek, where the main road from New Bern to Kinston crosses the creek. 
An earthwork constructed across the road, and the bridge partially destroyed, 
caused a halt. The enemy opening with a battery, and Morrison's battery, sup- 
ported by the 103d, was soon brought into action. As soon as the battery of the 
enemy was silenced the Regiment advanced, defiled to the left of the road, and 
crossed the creek on a mill dam, single file, double quick, forming in line on| 
the other side and charging on the position of the battery that had fired on the 
brigade. However, troops which had preceded it by another route, had taken 
possession of a piece of artillery abandoned by the enemy. Three of the enemy's 
dead, one a mere youth of 13 or 14 years, lay in the middle of the road. Before 
sundown the enemy made another stand, and again Morrison's battery, supported 
by the 103d, was called into action, and engaged the enemy until darkness. The 
Regiment went into bivouac in line of battle, large details having been made for 
picket duty. Sunday morning, Dec. 14, 1862, was an ideal morning for winter 
in Eastern North Carolina. The day broke bright and clear, and many of the 
young boys of the 103d would have much preferred the more frigid climate of 
the Keystone state on that particular morning. Before breakfast was ready 
musketry firing was already brisk and the Regiment was soon in motion, moving 
in the direction of the firing line. It was evident to every one that serioui 
work was ahead. This was made apparent by the litter of playing cards that) 
lined the road sides. However, notwithstanding the enemy's artillery, missiles 
were exploding overhead and the musketry firing giving evidence that a battle 
was raging in front, within three or four hundred yards, some abandoned com- 
missary supplies by the roadside caused a scramble from the boys, a sack of 
coflfee, roasted and ground, ready for steeping, being especially coveted. It was 
at this point the Regiment deployed in line of battle at the edge of the woods in 
which the infantry then engaging the enemy were in position. The Regiment 
took position at right angles to the main road, the left of the right wing resting 
near the right of the road, and the right of the left wing of the Regiment com- 
manded by Capt. Laughlin, resting near the left of the road. Two pieces oi 
Capt. Morrison's battery took position in the road in the gap between the twq 
wings of the regiment and opened on the enemy, firing with great rapidity. The 
92d New York of Wessells' brigade, having been in front of the right wing of 
the 103d engaging the enemy for about an hour. Col. Hunt, the commanding 
officer, for some reason becoming discouraged, ordered his Regiment to retreat. 
The enemy hearing the command given broke out in loud cheers. When Lieutenant 
John M. Cochran of Co. C. called on the 103d to respond, which was done with 
such vim as to attract and concentrate the fire of the enemy on the right wing 
of the Regiment. When Col. Hunt reached the point where Col. Maxwell was 
standing he requested him to exchange positions, the 103d to advance and engage 
the enemy and the 92d to support the battery. Col. Maxwell responded by saying 
he would cheerfully comply but he would have to receive orders from the proper 
source before leaving the battery. Capt. Andrew Stewart, Jr., assistant adjutant 
general to Gen. Wessells, having come forward to take observations addressed 
Col. Maxwell, saying, that he would assume the responsibility for ordering the 
103d forward. Instantly, Col. Maxwell gave the command for the Regiment to 
advance and the men started forward briskly until they came to a heavy under- 


growth and swamp with water varying from one to two feet in depth, and from 
50 to 100 yards in width. As the men emerged from the swamp the fire ofi 
the enemy gave evidence of the two Hnes being at close range and orders were 
given to lie down and engage the enemy. As the Regiment moved forward from 
the battery and entered the undergrowth and swamp the right and left wings 
diverged from each other, leaving the gap much wider than when separated by 
the section of Morrison's battery. Later this gap was filled by the 45th Mass., 
and loth Conn. ; the colors of the three regiments being closely grouped 
together at the left of the right wing of the 103d. For a time the fire of enemy 
was concentrated on the right wing of the Regiment, evidently due to the three 
stands of colors being so close together. The color bearer of the 103d, Sergt. 
Anthony Spangler, Co. D., received two mortal wounds, one near the brain, and 
the other near the heart. At a time when the firing seemed to be concentrated 
on the center, cheering was heard on both the right and left wings, followed 
almost instantly by a lull in the fire from the enemy, and the Regiment wasi 
ordered to charge, and as it advanced the firing entirely ceased. A large body 
(495 by official report) of the enemy, immediately in front of the Regiment, had 
hoisted a white flag. Col. Maxwell halted the Regiment to get it properly 
aligned, when he received orders to halt and await the arrival of the artillery. 
Smoke arising from the bridge gave evidence that the enemy had planned to 
destroy it and Col. Gray, with his regiment (96th New York), rushed to the 
bridge and was extinguishing the fire when the colonel was killed. The enemy 
had planted some loaded muskets across the bridge, forming a barricade, and by 
some it was supposed a bullet from one of these fired the fatal shot. It was 
more probable that the fatal bullet came from the enemy's skirmishers on thei 
opposite side of the river, who pluckily continued to fire, until the Federal batteries 
got into position. The loss of the Regiment in this action was 14 killed, and 58 
wounded, seven of the latter receiving mortal wounds, death following within a 
short time. The killed were Corp. Andrew M. Wilson and Privates Joseph P. 
Spangler (color bearer), and Priv. William Wheeler, Co. D. ; Sergt. William M. 
Austin (the latter receiving two. fatal shots) and Jacob Stiffey, Co. C; Sergt. An- 
thony Spangler (color bearer), and Priv. William Wheeler, Co. D ; Sergt. William 
M. McElhany, Priv. Michael Wenner, Co. F ; Privates Jackson Boyd, Hiram Reed, 
George H. Wetzel, Co. H. ; Privates James CoUingwood, George W. Griffin, 
Patrick Nolan, William Powers, Co. I. The following died of wounds received 
in action at Kinston: Priv. Edward W. Loughner, Co. A., died Dec. 18, 1862; 
Priv. William Sanford, Co. F., died Jan. 12, 1863 ; Priv. Calvin McCoy, Co. I., 
died Dec. 16, 1862 ; Priv. Milo Sankey, Co. I., died Jan. 7, 1863 ; ist Sergt. Joseph 
C. Mapes, Co. K., died Dec. 29; Priv. John Staugle, Co. K., Dec. 29, 1862. 
Lieut. Col. Maxwell, who was in command of the Regiment on this expedition, 
strengthened the good opinion that the officers and men had already formed of 
him by his coolness at the most critical time and by the promptness in moving 
the Regiment forward when the 92d New York fell back. The official reports 
do not give the exact facts as to how the 103d came to exchange i)ositions with 
the 92d New York. The writer heard the entire colloquy between Col. Hunt, 
Lieut. Col. Maxwell and Capt. Stewart. Capt. Stewart was conversing with 
Col. Maxwell at the right of the road, directly in rear of the left flank of thei 
right wing of the Regiment, when Col. Hunt came back very much excited and 
accosted Lieut. Col. Maxwell as follows: "Colonel, my men are badly cut up, 
and if you will relieve them I will support the battery." Col. Maxwell replied in 
his quiet manner, without the least evidence of excitement, as follows : "Colonel, 
I would like very much to comply with your request, but my orders require me to 
support this battery, and until I receive proper authority I cannot leave here." 
At this juncture Capt. Stewart interposed by saying: "Col. Maxwell, I will 
assume the responsibility for ordering your regiment forward." Instantly Col. 


Maxwell gave the command for the Regiment to advance, orders being sent to 
Capt. Laughlin to move simultaneously with the left wing. To those who 
witnessed the retreat of the gad, and heard Col. Hunt's remarks to Col. Maxwell, 
his account of the proceeding will be rather amusing, and will in a measure, 
account for his subsequent promotion as brigadier general of volunteers. In his 
official report he says : 

"My men were now completely exhausted with their two hours work in the 
swamp. We had tried to get a foothold to the front and on both flanks, but had 
failed for want of numbers. The enemy were reported to me by several as 
passing our right flank and I judged it best to draw back to the higher ground 
in our rear where I knew the 103d Penna. to have been posted. Here, I received, 
through yourself, authority from Gen. Wessells, to direct the movement of the 
several regiments in the neighborhood. Having had the opportunity of getting a 
good knowledge of the position and its requirements, I directed Lieut. Col. 
Maxwell, whose regiment (the 103d Penna.) was nearly twice as strong as mine, 
to advance through the swamp directly to the front, occupy the ditch, and, if 
possible, pass on beyond the fence. The men were fresh and went forward 
gallantly to the task before them, which I lightened as much as possible by sending 
forward the 85th Penna., Col. Howell, lying in the wood nearby, and pointed out 
the direction of attack. I presumed that my adjutant had returned to the right 
flank with the re-enforcements I had sent him for, and so, while my men were 
resting in support of a section of Morrison's battery and on ground previously 
occupied by the 103d, I sent forward four of my officers in different directions, 
toward the front with Gen. Wessells' order that every regiment should press' 
forward." (O. R. Sec. I, Vol. XVHI, p. 104.) 

Lieut. Col. Maxwell refers to the action of the Regiment as follows : "Sunday, 
Dec. 14, at 9 :40 a. m., I was ordered to move my regiment forward as a support 
to one section of Morrison's battery, having the right wing, rest on the right and 
the left wing on the left of said section, with orders to direct our movement with 
the battery. After advancing gradually for over 50 rods with said battery, we 
halted when the g2d New York Vols, moved past us and filed off in front of the 
right wing of the 103d. After remaining not more than one hour in advance, 
they fell back across the right Wing and reformed their line in the rear. Atf 
this time Capt. Stewart, assistant adjutant general, came up and ordered me 
to move my regiment forward in advance of the battery. We moved forward 
through a swamp of thick undergrowth and water from one to two feet deep and 
about twenty rods wide. Immediately after crossing said swamp we received 
a volley of musketry from the enemy's line, which we then learned was but a 
few rods in our advance. We delivered a volley, lay down under cover of a 
small knoll, reloaded and fixed bayonets, rose, delivered another volley and 
charged over the bank. At this time an order from the 85th Penna., which was 
moving up in the rear of the left, demanded us to cease firing, as 
we were firing into our own men. The enemy's fire in front of our 
left was immediately directed on our right, making, in connection 
with the fire from the strong line in front, a heavy cross fire. We were also 
in danger of a fire in the rear from the 45th Mass., whose line was immediately 
in rear of our right wing. Under this combined fire I gave the order to lie 
down, and from this position we again rose, charged after the enemy, some 
twenty rods, when their fire was completely silenced. We were then ordered to 
halt and await the arrival of the battery. During this time the 96th New York 
moved by the flank from our right and reached the bridge. From the time we 
first formed our line as a support to the battery until we reached the bridge was 
from 9 :40 a. m. to 2 p. m. Our loss during this time, out of 430 actually engaged, 
was 14 killed and 58 wounded, some of the latter mortally. During the whole 
of this time all of the officers and men of the Regiment behaved in an exemplary 


manner, showing entire coolness. I will mention that when we made our first 
charge, the loth Conn, overlapped our extreme right; from the second charge 
we moved past their line, passing their left." (O. R. Sec. I, Vol. XVIII, p. 104.) 

Col. Howell, in his official report of the action of the 85th Penna. refers to 
the 103d in the following terms: 

"I found a part of the left wing of the 103d Perma. Vols., directly in front 
of us. Our position was on the left of the battery and left of the road. Shortly 
afterward * * * I moved my regiment deployed in line of battle, forward, 
preceded by a part of the left wing of the 103d Penna. Vols. On coming out 
of the wood and swamp, we came to an open field in front of us, and there we 
received sharp, rapid and continuous fire from the enemy. I should think we 
were under fire there for an hour. We returned their fire as rapidly. The firing 
on our part was splendidly done. We then moved rapidly forward across tha 
field, driving the enemy from the wood in front of us and away from the church. 
We passed through the wood to a large open field lying between the wood and 
the river. The fire of the enemy during this time was very heavy, but the 
gallant officers and enlisted men of my Regiment and that part of the 103d Penna. 
Vols., which was left with us, dashed forward with a shout and with cheers, 
through the fire without flinching. When about midway over the field I dis- 
covered by ascending a slight elevation which we were approaching, that my 
own regiment and the 103d would be cut to pieces by pursuing that line, and 
that I could accomplish as much by moving to the right, which I did. We suc- 
ceeded, as I have before stated, in driving the enemy from our front and from 
their position in the church." (O. R. Sec. I, Vol. XVIII, p. 107.) 

The Regiment maintained its position on the battle field until after most of 
the troops had crossed the Neuse river. Before crossing, it marched back to the 
rear, where blankets, shelter tents, and extra material had been left before 
advancing on the enemy, and, as it crossed the bridge, met Gen. Foster returning 
from the Kinston side who, without halting, passed some complimentary remarlre 
on the action of the Regiment. 

The Regiment passed through Kinston, Company C remaining at the bridge 
on picket duty, on the north side of the Neuse river. Capt. Donaghy describes 
the battle of Kinston as follows : 

"We took position as support to a battery which had opened on the enemy. 
The shot and shell from the enemy were crashing among the tree tops above us, 
but as we were lying in a depression in the ground we were not in much danger. 
We would have been covered like the 'Babes in the woods,' if we had remained 
in that situation long, for we were under a shower of foliage and tree fragments 
that were cut ofl^ by the rebel shot. One tree trunk, ten inches in diameter, was 
cut off clean, and the top piece plunged down, crushing badly the arm of a man 
in Co. D. Troops back of us were marching toward the right flank and were 
exposed to the fire that passed over us, and I saw several men sink suddenly 
to the ground, killed or wounded. Infantry in advance of us were actively 
engaged with the enemy. One of the regiments came back for some reason, out 
of ammunition perhaps, and the right wing of our regiment advanced in its 
stead to the crest of higher ground. * * * The fire from the enemy was the 
severest we had been in. They were less than a hundred yards from us and in 
front of part of their lines stood a wooden church, and from its windows came 
many a shot. The building was set up on posts about two feet from the ground, 
and looking under it we could see the shiiffling feet and legs of the rebels; and 
indeed, about all we could see of the enemy on either side of the church was 
their lower extremities, for the smoke from their guns veiled their bodies, but 
our boys saw enough to know where to shoot. The lieutenant colonel, our 
regimental commander, was posted behind a large tree near where I was. He 
smiled at me and affectionately patted the trunk of the tree as if to say it was a 


friend indeed, and I nodded assent. After a while the forces that had gone to 
the flank were heard in the conflict and the enemy in our front fell back. We 
were ordered to charge, and we came upon the enemy on the left bank of the 
river, at the same time our force on their left flank was charging in upon them. 
By an abandoned cannon, among other dead, lay the body of a rebel major. 
A woman who lived in a house nearby said the major had told her that he 
expected to be killed in that fight. Our Regiment had suffered severely, its loss 
being 14 killed and 58 wounded. One of the latter, Charles Stewart, was struck 
ifour times; first a shot passing through his clothing and just scratching his 
breast ; another ball touched the back of his hand, and when he was loading his 
gun a bullet struck his bayonet, bending it and knocking it against his body. 
By this time he was thoroughly angry when a shot passed through the muscles 
of his arm and put him hors de combat. One man had the brass numbers 
picked from his cap by one bullet and was slightly wounded under the arm by 

Before noon, the entire force on the expedition, retraced its march subsequent 
to the battle of the previous day, recrossed the Neuse river on the bridge at the 
Kinston battle field and journeyed westward in the direction of Goldsboro, along 
the right bank of the Neuse river. Before leaving, however, the dead were 
buried and the wounded were taken care of on Taylor's plantation, not far fromE 
the Kinston battle ground. The captured prisoners were paroled. The Regiment 
continued to advance on the 15th until within four miles of Whitehall, where it 
went into bivouac late at night. Early the next day the Regiment resumed its 
march, passing Whitehall during the forenoon while the enemy was briskly 
engaged with other regiments, the Neuse river separating the combatants. 
A halt was made about dark, Dec. 16, eight miles east of Goldsboro, where the 
Regiment bivouacked for the night. On the morning of the 17th the brigade 
advanced to within two or three miles of Goldsboro, and formed in line of battle 
overlooking the railroad track. The batteries opened on the enemy, the principal 
part of the fire being directed at the railroad bridge. The enemy replied with 
artillery from the opposite side of the river. The 9th New Jersey advanced 
steadily towards the bridge and after engaging the enemy for about two hours, 
succeeded, after several attempts, in firing the bridge. Lieut. G. W. Graham, 24th 
New York Independent Battery, then acting as aide-de-camp to Col. Heckman, 
of the 9th New Jersey, applying the torch under a heavy fire. The railroad bridge 
and a large amount of the railroad track having been destroyed, the object of the 
expedition had been accomplished; and late in the afternoon the troops started 
eastward via the same route over which they had advanced, on their return to 
New Bern. Wessells' brigade had covered a couple of miles on the return trip 
when the enemy charged on the troops left to protect the rear. The brigade 
was ordered back on the double quick, moving by the left flank in order to lose 
no time. By the time the brigade reached the scene of action the enemy had fallen 
back and the batteries and their supports withdrew, leaving Wessells' brigade to 
bring up the rear. The Regiment bivouacked on the same ground it had occu- 
pied the night before. On the i8th the brigade bivouacked within 6 miles of 
Kinston, and the following day passed the battle ground of the previous Sunday, 
and arrived at New Bern at noon on Sunday, Dec. 21, and encamped east of the 
Trent river where it remained until Feb. 2, 1863. 

Capt. Donaghy describes the Whitehall-Goldsboro affair as follows : 
"On Tuesday we moved forward while the cannon were booming at the 
front. The firing increased in volume as the forenoon wore on. We began to 
see the wounded brought to the rear, and soon we heard cheering mingled with 
the other sounds of strife, and we heard the news that the rebels were being 
driven. At last we came in sight of the battle field as we moved along a hillside 
road to the left. On the bottom lands below we saw the enemy in retreat and 


the Blue Coats cheering after them. The rebels entered a wood and were lost 
to our view, and as the Union line neared the timber we saw one of the regimental 
flags drop down — that meant the death or injury of some brave fellow. It was 
up again in an instant and went forward with the cheering men. Our brigade 
was not called upon to participate in that fight, nor were we permitted to stay to 
witness more of it. We kept on our way and left the scene behind. The rebels 
retreated to the north side of the river. A gunboat in course of construction 
was destroyed by our forces. That action was known as the battle of Whitehall. 
As we moved along the road mentioned we were not out of range of the rebel 
sharp-shooters, who threw some lead among us, but so far as I know of, did no 
harm, unless it was to frighten and delay our colored camp followers, who were 
very late in coming up. I had to do my own foraging that night, but succeeded 
in getting a chicken, and Matthew turned up in time to broil it, on a sharp stick, 
held over a glowing fire, made from a farmer's fence rails. 

"Next day, Wednesday the 17th, we had a hurried march before breakfast, 
forward still. Then we halted, and built our fires for cooking. After that our 
march was slow and cautious. We halted again while our generals held a 
council. The firing in advance told of the presence of the enemy. We moved on, 
and at noon came in sight of our forces in line of battle, with the batteries 
actively firing. We were near the point where the railroad crossed the Neuse 
river and about two miles from Goldsboro. The ground was open, and the line 
was on a ridge, but we could not see the enemy. We marched to the left and' 
took position in the edge of a swampy wDod, and facing it, to guard the flank and 
rear. The conflict at the front raged loud and long; the rattle and roar of 
musketry was heard, and at last came shouts and cheers from our line that 
betokened victory. From where we were we could only hear the fight, so I 
climbed a tree to try to see it. I could see our men tearing up the railroad track, 
and soon a column of smoke from the burning railroad bridge, also the work of 
our men. That was the object of the expedition. The work was done, and the 
infantry began to move back on their return to New Bern. Our brigade, too, 
began its march. Suddenly our artillery belched forth with great rapidity, the 
'rebel yell' and the rattle of musketry was heard ; an aide galloped up to our gen- 
eral with the word that the rebels were attacking. We faced about and moved 
,at double quick towards the scene of conflict. The sun had gone down and the 
shades of night were falling. The firing ceased and we were not needed. The 
rebels had seen Morrison's battery isolated, the infantry supports having marched 
bajck, and they sought to capture it by a sudden dash by a brigade of infantry, 
but their approach was discovered in time, and the battery opened on them with 
grape and canister so efifectively that they were repulsed with great slaughter. 
The commander of that battery — Captain — afterwards General Morrison, is now 
a comrade of John A. Dix Post, G. A. R., to which I also have the honor to 
belong, and I have heard from him a graphic account of that exploit of his 

"Our brigade became rear guard and we remained on the ground until the 
other troops had gone. The woods had been set on fire, and the sky behind us 
was lurid as we marched away. We bivouacked on the same ground we had 
occupied the night before. On the following day we moved leisurely, undisturbed 
by the enemy. We foraged liberally to make our rations hold out. There was 
plenty of fresh pork to be had, and it was a common thing to see a slaughtered 
pig lying by the roadside, not hung up and dressed in the usual way, but shot or 
stabbed, and then a chunk of flesh cut from the body, without the trouble having 
been taken to remove the hide or hair. The piece thus cut out would usually 
be stuck on the soldier's bayonet, to carry on the march, and the balance of the 
carcass left for whoever wanted any of it. We came within six miles of Kinston 
that night. As we were sitting in camp we had a laugh at the expense of one of 

Reading- from left to right; Corp. Oliver P. Campbell, Co. K; Private Abram Adams, Co. 
B; I'd Lt. W. B. Kroesen, Co. K; Private Aaron W. Lang, Co, B; Private Uriah Sloan, Co, B; 
Private Plenry Montgomery', Co. B; Private Jaines Rankin, Co. B; Corp, Isaac Shakely, Co. 
B; Private John P. Erwin, Co. B; Private B. S. Rankin, Co. B; Corp, Thomas Hays, Co. B; 
Private Robert P. Black, Co. E; Private Valentine Whitener, Co, E; Private Cyrus 
Croup, Co, E; 1st Sergt. W. B. Sedwick, Co, E; Private George Bai-r, Co. E; Private Gabriel 
M, Duffy, Co, E, 


our regiments. The soldiers had stacked arms to encamp in a field where a crop 
of some kind of grain was still standing, and was quite dry. A spark from a 
camp fire ignited it and the breeze carried flames swiftly among the solidiers, who 
scampered about more widly than if the 'Black Horse Cavalry' had been among 
them. Luckily the grain crop was a light one and the flames so short-lived that 
they did no damage to the soldiers arms or equipments. 

"On Friday we were at Kinston again, and I took the opportunity of sketch- 
ing the church and surroundings from where we had stood in the fight. As an 
indication of the amount of lead that had been thrown about there I will mention 
seeing a sapling of but five feet in height which had been struck by seven bullets. 
We re-entered New Bern at noon on Sunday." 


New Bern — Hyde County Raid. 

(From December 28, 1862, to March 13, 1863.) 

On Dec. 28, Gen. Wessells was assigned to command the First Division of 
the i8th Army, comprising two brigades, the First Brigade (Wessells), consisting 
of the Ssth, 92d, 96th New York; 8sth, loist, 103d Penna., commanded by Brig. 
Gen. Lewis C. Hunt ; the Second Brigade consisting of the loth Conn. ; 24th, 44th 
Mass. ; 5th Rhode Island. Immediately after assuming command of the brigade, 
Gen. Hunt visited the Regiment and in a fulsome manner complimented it for its 
gallant action in relieving his regiment at Kinston. His remarks, however, did 
not evoke much enthusiasm from the Regiment, as his conduct at the battle of 
Kinston, while not exactly reprehensible, was in such marked contrast to that of 
Col. Maxwell, that the men felt that the latter was more deserving of promotion. 
However, it was generally understood that Col. Hunt's promotion was due to his 
military knowledge, he being a graduate of West Point Military Academy. On 
Feb. 2, the Regiment crossed the Trent river and took possession of a large 
wooden barrack on the western border of New Bern in advance of Fort Totten, 
and between it and the Neuse river. In due time the knapsacks which had been 
stored at Suffolk were forwarded, and the replenished wardrobes of both officers 
and men made quite a change in their appearance. The other troops stationed at 
New Bern were exceptionally well uniformed, the enlisted men being much more 
nobbier in appearance than the majority of the commissioned officers of Wessells' 
brigade. Capt. Donaghy refers to this as follows: 

"As it had been a long time since we had been paid off, our return to New 
Bern from the Goldsboro expedition found the officers out of money. When 
campaigning in the coiintry our needs were few, but when living in town our 
epicurean tastes were developed beyond the resources of the commissary depart- 
ment. Capt. Mackey of Co. H. was the man we looked up to in such an emer- 
gency. He was equal to the occasion and negotiated credit for us at a grocery in 
the town, and we immediately proceeded to live like lords. Our extra baggage 
had been left at Suffolk, and we looked very much like tramps, compared td 
the elegantly dressed troops who had long been garrisoning the place, and who 
'put on airs' over us, or we thought they did. We were not recognized as officers 
if we did not wear the insignia of our rank. I went about town one day in 
fatigue suit without shoulderstraps. I stopped in the sitting room of a hotel, but 
was politely notified to get out, as enlisted men were not allowed there. Luckily 
one of our 2d lieutenants was there with his shoulder-straps in place, and on 
vouching for me I was allowed to remain and drink at the bar. It was an offense 
to sell liquor to enlisted men." 

During the next three months the Regiment enjoyed as easy and pleasant a 
time as at any period of its nearly four years' service. Fish and oysters were 


plentiful and country produce of all kinds could be had at reasonable prices. Ccd. 
Lehmann returned and assumed command of the Regiment Feb. 13. The officers 
who were not antagonistic to him presented him with an elegant sword as evidence 
of their confidence and esteem. 

Camp routine was broken on Saturday, March 7; the Regiment embarking 
on the transport Northerner, debarking from it on Monday, March 9, near Swan 
Quarter, Hyde Co., N. C. The object of this expedition was in the nature of 
reprisal for the action of a number of citizens of this county who had formed a 
"home guard," and in an ambuscade had killed several of the 3d New York Cav- 
alry the previous week (March 4). The expedition starting from Swan Quarter on 
March 9, proceeded around Lake Mattamuskeet, and arriving at Swan Quarter 
about 6 p. m. on the nth, a distance of 52 miles via wag'on road. The route 
taken from Swan Quarter was to the west of the lake, thus keeping the latter to 
the right during the entire march. During this trip, from the time the Regiment 
debarked until it re-embarked at the landing, a half-mile from Swan Quarter, 
no attempt was made to maintain discipline. This was due largely to the influence 
Capt. Colin Richardson of the 3d New York Cavalry exerted over both officers 
and men. It was Capt. Richardson's company (F), which had suffered in the 
ambuscade, and it was at his request that the expedition was sent to Hyde Co. 
Before leaving Swan Quarter he addressed the men, without any protest from 
the commanding officer, and apparently with his sanction, in words that would 
encourage the men to commit excesses. Another reason for lack of discipline on 
the part of the 103d was the absence of its field officers, the Regiment apparently 
being commanded by an officer of another regiment. There is no doubt that this 
raid was the most discreditable affair in which the 103d Regiment participated 
during the nearly four years of its service. The caravan that entered Swan 
Quarter in the evening of March 11, 1863, must have caused amusement even 
to the pillaged citizens, who had an opportunity to view it as it passed by. Such 
a collection of animals and vehicles never before (or since) marched in procession 
on this continent. A true description of this multi-farious, incongruous collection 
of quadrapeds and conveyances which extended along the east shore of Lake 
Mattamuskeet, by a genius like Mark Twain would forever make Hyde County a 
historic place. The citizens of Hyde County, then, as well as now, were descend- 
ants of the first settlers of the county, who located there prior to and during the 
Revolutionary war, and certainly every style of vehicle that had been in vogue in 
that part of the country during the i8th and 19th centuries must have been 
brought into requisition on this raid. The caravan transported the bulk of what 
had been the contents of the meat houses and cellars along the route, the men 
had traveled. The expedition was commanded by Col. D. B. Morris, of the loist 
Penna. Regiment, who censured the 103d in his official report in the following 
terms : 

"I would also call attention to a lack of proper discipline among the line 
officers of the 103d Regiment Penna. Vols. They seem to have little or no control 
over their commands, and lack energy to enforce proper discipline. To this 
there are some exceptions, * * * As an instance of insubordination in the 103d 
* * *, while embarking on board the Northerner from the steamer Escort, the 
officers and men, contrary to repeated orders, rushed forward before the boat 
could be made fast to such an extent as to endanger life and to render it impossible 
for the officers of the boat to manage her. Having repeated the order for the 
men to remain in their places and await orders, and all to no effect, I seized a 
gun and fired down the side of the boat for the purpose of deterring the men, 
but with no intention of injuring anyone. At the moment of firing a man rushed 
forward and was slightly injured." (O. R. Sec. I, Vol. XVHI, p. 181.) 

As before stated there was an absence of discipline on this raid, but anyone 
reading the above paragraph from the official report of the commanding officer 


of the expedition can readily see where to place the blame. At no time during the 
three days' march around Lake Mattamuskeet did Col. Morris make any protest 
to the officers of the Regiment as to the conduct of the troops. There is no doubt 
the words of censure are due to the shooting episode on board the boat, to which 
he refers, to show the spirit of insubordination that prevailed in the ranks of the 
103d. But this very episode as told by himself is self-condemnatory, and shows 
very clearly that the lack of discipline was due to the commanding officer. The 
steamer Northerner was a heavy draught vessel and the Escort was used as a 
lighter, transporting the troops from the shore to the Northerner. After most 
of the troops had boarded the latter, the tendency was for most of the men to 
move to the side of the vessel where the Escort brought its load. This caused 
the Northerner to roll to the side next the lighter. The captain of the Northerner 
ordered the men back, but as they were slow to respond to his order, he made 
an appeal to Col. Morris who came hurriedly out of the cabin and ordered the 
men to the other side of the vessel. The men obeyed, but as soon as the lighter 
returned with another load there was a repetition of the offense, many of the men 
not being present at the former time. It was then that Col. Morris rushed out 
of the cabin, snatched a gun from the hands of an enlisted man, accidentally firing 
it, the shot taking effect on Private Isaac Shakely, of Co. B., who is still living at 
this writing, the proprietor of a blacksmith shop at Emlenton, Penna. Had. Col. 
Morris detailed a guard, which was the proper thing to do, there would have 
been no difficulty in preserving order. The writer witnessed the entire episode 
and would have regarded the matter too trivial for notice had the colonel's peculiar 
account of it not appeared in his official report. In fact, the "unpleasantness" 
was due to the fine vintage of Hyde County, free to both officers and men "with- 
out money and without price." Capt. Donaghy's account of this raid will be of 
interest to the survivors who participated in it. He says : 

"My company was detailed as a support to the artillery, which consisted of 
two howitzers from the gunboat Morris, and was drawn by sailors. They were 
soon relieved from that service by negroes who fell in with the column as we 
marched along. * * * Co. A * * * Commanded by Capt. Alexander, was in 
the advance, acting as skirmishers. We stepped out briskly, leaving the main 
body considerably behind, but reaching a point where the roads crossed we halted 
until those behind closed upon us. We improved the opportunity to fill up, 
reinforcing our rations with eggs, honey, etc., which I do not remember to have 
seen paid for. The whole force halted for dinner. The afternoon's march closed 
with our joining another detachment of our force that had marched by another 
road. Capt. Alexander and I slept that night on a farm house floor. A guerrilla 
was captured in the night by the pickets. I do not know what was done with 
him, but I recall a story that was told me by one of the cavalry after our return 
to New Bern. On the steamer that took the cavalry to New Bern, was a prisoner 
— one of the hated guerrillas, who lay bound hand and foot, on the lower deck. 
At night when the boat was steaming along the sound the poor fellow was 
deliberately pushed overboard by a cavalryman. I was horrified at the story, and 
ashamed to think that a Union soldier would do such a deed, but it was claimed 
that a guerrilla had no rights as a soldier. We resumed our march at daylight. 
After we had gone some miles I was ordered with my company to act as convoy 
to North Carolinians who were enlisted in the Union service and who desired to 
come within the lines. I marched two and a half miles from the route of the 
main column, and as I would have to return by the same road, I did not want to 
leave men enough by the way to organize a force against me; so I took into 
custody every man, we found, about a dozen in all. One was a rebel lieutenant 
with his arm in a sling. The others seemed like honest farmers, but I would 
not trust to appearances. We searched several houses on the way, looking for 
men. At one small house the soldiers were stopped at the door with the word 


that a woman in labor was within. I thought it might be a ruse to conceal some 
guerrillas, so I entered the house, and one glance within convinced me that the 
fair door guardian had told the truth, so with an apology for the intrusion X 
withdrew. We reached the residence of the people we were to move, and their 
household effects were loaded into a rickety cart with a sorry specimen of a 
horse to haul it. When we were about to start on our return a little boy of five 
or six years of age stood by weeping bitterly because he was being left behind. 
He was an orphan who had been living with the folks we were taking away, 
and they did not wish to take him along. None of the citizens present were( 
willing to care for the child, so I put him into the cart and ordered that he be 
taken along. The grateful look of the little fellow as he dried his tears was my 
reward. I next assembled my prisoners and asked them if they were willing to 
swear allegiance to the United States if I would set them free. I made an, 
exception in the case of the rebel officer who had been paroled by a Union com- 
mander. The citizens answered in the affirmative, and I caused them to hold up 
their right hands while I improvised an oath of allegiance, to which they all 
assented. It dawned on me as I proceeded that this was something of a farce. 
One of the party said he had sworn several times already. They seemed glad 
to get their liberty, and we started on our return. Our march was much ob- 
structed by the cart, that thumped and plunged over the inequalities of the 
unkempt road and stuck in the mud. The harness was rotten, and frequently 
halts were made to mend the breaks. Finally the old horse gave out and could 
go no farther. Luckily, one of our boys had captured a horse and that was) 
substituted. The locality was favorable for foraging, but not wishing to let the 
men stray off, I ordered a halt and detailed several of them to forage for all. 
They went out and returned with an ample supply of poultry and other stuff, 
and with great foresight, they brought also two large iron kettles to do the 
cooking in. Plundering seemed to have been extensively indulged in by the main 
force ahead of us, to judge from the debris we saw in the road as we followed 
after. Books, papers, wearing apparel and household articles were strewn about. 
We passed by the burning ruins of a family mansion, which we were told after- 
wards, had belonged to the captain of the guerrillas. From the devastation that 
was done I would not have wandered if a party of bushwhackers had assembled 
to waylay my little party, and try to wreak vengeance on it, so I kept my mefl 
prepared for such an emergency, but we were not molested. Before dark we 
came to the camp of the main body, and were pretty well used up by a march of 
about 35 miles during the day. The largest, and as good a chicken stew as I 
ever saw was made that evening in the captured kettles. Our march was on a road 
that encircled Lake Mattamuskeet, a body of water 15 miles long and 6 wide; and 
looking to the right as we marched we had occasional glimpses of its smooth 
surface, on which glided a few graceful swans. They were the only living beings 
we could see upon it. On the third day we completed its circuit and turned^ 
again towards the sound. We had started on this raid as foot soldiers, but by 
this time a majority of our force was riding, mounted upon horses, mules, 
donkeys, oxen, and even cows, or were drawn by them in vehicles of various kinds, 
with the family carriage with some pretensions to style to the home-made wagons 
with wheels constructed of boards nailed together crosswise. It was a grotesque 
and comical procession, and it amused me greatly, but there was such a lack ,of 
order and discipline, that from another view of it I was disgusted. The command 
was in a condition to be annihilated if attacked suddenly by an organized force 
of one-quarter the size of ours, but I 'did as the Romans did,' and rode part of 
the time myself on a horse belonging to the commissary. Once I mounted a 
diminutive donkey and rode along with my feet dangling close to the ground. 
The animal went along nicely for awhile, but becoming tired of my >.ompany, 
he suddenly rushed under a wagon and scraped me off his back. When we halted 

wy^^ n 

'■•■ .■■-^^*%. 

I Ui I 

■ ^ 


1 y . ^ 



Reading from left to right: Capt. Tliomas A. Cocliran, Co. C; Private Isaac StifCy, Co. C; 
Private William H. Shaffer, Co. C; Corp. Geo. W. Pifer, Co. C; Sergt. John A. Gwinn, Co. C; 
Lieut. Baptist H. Scott, Co. C; Corp. Luther S. Dickey, Co. C; Sergt. Samuel M. Evans, Co. C; 
Private Phillip Faust, Co. H; Musician John J. Ashbaugh, Co. H; Private Peter Klingler, Co. 
H; Corp. Samuel McCoy. Co. H; Private Samuel C. Burkholder. Co. H; Sergt. Samuel Rupert, 
Co H; Private Sebastian Niederriter. Co. H; Sergt. John Walters, Co. H; Private Joseph R. 
Landis, Co. H; Sergt. Jacob Rupert, Co. H. 


for dinner that day some of my boys found a roast of beef just prepared at a 
farm house and carried it away, and as a faithful chronicler, I must confess that 
I partook of it. We arrived at Swan Quarter in the evening, and bivouacked in 
the town. Capt. Alexander, as usual, found a good place for him and myself 
and some othei: officers. It was at a tavern kept by a Mrs. Lewis, and we slept 
on feather beds which she was kind enough to spread on the dining floor iot 
us, apologizing at the same time that officers should have to sleep on beds without 
sheets. The troops remained in that town all of the next day, and on Friday 
re-embarked to return to New Bern." 

This description by Capt. Donaghy, one of the strictest disciplinarians of the 
103d, is evidence of the "mad riot" which prevailed on this raid, which, perhaps, 
in the entire annals of the war, had no counterpart. The Regiment embarked 
on the 13th and returning reached New Bern that afternoon. During the day, 
while approaching the Neuse river, heavy cannonading could be heard which 
proved to be an attack on Fort Anderson, situated on the north bank of the 
Neuse, opposite New Bern, by the Confederates, this being the first anniversary 
of the capture of New Bern by Gen. Burnside. However, by the time the Regi- 
ment debarked the enemy had disappeared. 


New Bern — Spinola Expedition — Reconnoissance to Washington, A^. C. 

(From March 13, 1863, to May 2, 1863.) 

Sunday afternoon, April 5, 1863, the Regiment was hurriedly prepared for 
a march and rushed off to Foster's Wharf, New Bern, boarded a schooner, and 
after remaining there an hour, debarked and returned to the barrack. The next 
morning the Regiment was reviewed by Gen. I. N. Palmer, who was in command 
of the forces at New Bern in the absence of Gen. Foster, then at Washington, 
N. C, with the garrison besieged by the troops of Gen. D. H. Hill. Orders were 
given the men early in the morning of April 7 to be ready to march at a moment's 
notice. About the middle of the afternoon the Regiment again marched to 
Foster's Wharf, crossed the Neuse river, and after marching a mile, went into 
bivouac, remaining at this place until three o'clock the next day. During the 
afternoon and night of April 8, an advance of 14 miles towards the besieged gar- 
rison of Washington, was made, the Regiment going into bivouac about 10 
o'clock p. m. By seven o'clock the next morning the entire force was moving 
rapidly in the direction of the beleaguered town, and after covering 13 miles was 
suddenly brought to a halt as the advance had found the enemy heavily intrenched 
on the opposite side of a narrow stream called Blounts Creek. A dense woods 
between the creek and the road, on which the 103d Regiment had halted, hid the 
enemy from view although the right of the Regiment must have been within 
100 yards of the enemy's earthworks. As the advance approached the creek 
where it was intersected by the road the enemy opened fire with both musketry 
and artillery. Six gims were unlimbered and opened on the enemy at close 
range, at such a short distance that grape and canister was used instead of 
shells. The Federal battery having no protection whatever, maintained its posi- 
tion under a galling fire, for more than an hour when it retired. In a feW( 
minutes the troops, comprising Wessells' brigade, followed, moving by the left 
flank. For a time the men supposed a flank movement was being made, but it 
soon dawned upon them that the entire command was making a hurried retreat, 
no halt being made until ten miles had been covered. Early the next morning, 
March 10, the head of the column started toward New Bern, the 103d not moving 
until about 8 o'clock. About 2 o'clock p. m. the Regiment came to a halt about a 
mile from the Neuse river, opposite New Bern, and formed in line of battle, 


maintaining this position until the entire force had recrossed the river, when 
it followed, reaching the wharf at New Bern about 2 o'clock a. m., April. 11. 
This expedition was always spoken of by the boys as "Spinolas Fiasco," the 
expedition being commanded by Brig. Gen. F. B. Spinola, who was regarded as 
a political general, without military knowledge. Gen. Wessells was absent, and 
Gen. Palmer seemed to think it was his duty to remain at New Bern, so the 
expedition was entrusted to Gen. Spinola, although assumed by him with diffidence 
and misgiving, and the hasty retreat was no doubt due to his realization that he 
was utterly incompetent to contend against such a masterly military genius as 
Gen. D. H. Hill. Perhaps he deserves praise rather than censure for so deciding. 
In the judgment of the writer, he showed wisdom in retiring, not because of an 
inadequate force, but because of his lack of military science. Gen. Prince, his 
senior in rank, a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, with a quarter of a 
century's experience as a soldier, predicted the failure of the expedition to Gen. 
Spinola, and was averse to taking command of the forces. In his official report, 
Gen. Spinola says : 

"Gen. Prince, at this interview, also invited me to volunteer to take thei 
command of the expedition, which I declined, in the most positive and unmistak- 
able language. I was entirely willing to take my chance with the others of either 
falling upon the field or being taken prisoner, but my own good sense promptly told 
me that the size of the expedition and the importance of its trust forbade one of 
my limited military experience from assuming its command, except under positive 
orders from my superior officers, and then, in obedience to a willing heart, I could 
only promise to do the best I could to accomplish the object of the expedition. 
At about 10 a. m. on April 8, a messenger called at my room and told me that 
Gen. Palmer desired to see me at once. I immediately proceeded to his head- 
quarters, when he informed me that the command of the expedition would fall 
upon me. This was the first intimation I had received that this important trust 
would be placed under my charge. I expressed my astonishment at it, and 
told Gen. Palmer that I could not assume the command unless I received a written 
order to that effect." 

This certainly puts Gen. Spinola in a more favorable light, and the fact that 
he did not attempt to dislodge the enemy, and sacrifice the lives of his men, when 
he lacked confidence in his own ability, is very much to his credit. Gen. Spinola 
recruited the "Empire Brigade" in the fall of 1862, and was commissioned 
brigadier-general of the U. S. Volunteers in recognition of his services. His 
brigade in the spring of 1863 at New Bern was composed mostly of Pennsylvania 
troops: the 158th, 171st and 175th Regiments, and the is8th New York. 

At 4 p. m., April 17, the Regiment again left the barrack for Foster's Wharf, 
crossed the Neuse river and went into bivouac, until 7 o'clock the next morning, 
when it started at a rapid pace over the old road, and continued with one brief 
halt, until it reached Blount's Creek, to find the Confederate force gone. 
Bivouacking for the night on grounds previously occupied by the enemy, at 5 
o'clock the next morning, April 19, the brigade moved on toward Washington, 
bivouacking along the New Bern and Washington road, about three miles from 
the latter place. 

On April 21, the Regiment entered Washington, bivouacking on some vacant 
lots in the town until early the next morning, when it relieved the 44th Massa- 
chusetts, which had held possession of the main breastworks during the siege 
by the enemy. Remaining in this position, in bivouack, in rear of the breast- 
works, until Saturday, April 25, at 5 a. m., the Regiment boarded the steamer 
Escort, which arrived at New Bern about 5 p. m. Saturday. Next day, Sunday, 
after inspection, the men signed the pay roll, and at i p. m. the paymaster dis- 
bursed "greenbacks" to the boys. This trip to Washington practically ended the 
Regiment's reconnoissances and expeditions from New Bern, and with the excep- 


The above map embraces nearly all the points Wessells brigade covered in reconnoissancea 
during the last three years of the war. With but two or three exceptions every town indicated 
on this map was visited by detachments from Gen. Wessells command. It is reproduced here 
by courtesy of the Century Company. 


tion of inspection, camp guard, and regimental drill, the men had nothing to 
do during the remainder of their sojourn at this quiet town. 


From New Bern to Plymouth — Reconnoissances to Jamesville, William- 
STON, Edenton Windsor, etc. 

(From May 2, 1863, to January 31, 1864.) 

The Regiment left the barracks at New Bern, Saturday, May 2, 1863, and 
shortly after noon embarked on the steamer Thomas Collyer, bound for Plymouth, 
N. C, where it arrived the next day (Sunday, May 3) at noon, bivouacking at the 
southern border of the town near the Lee's Mills road. Under date of Sunday, 
May 3, 1863, in a diary before the writer the following notation was made : "Evi- 
dently Plymouth has been a delightful place, but is now chiefly ruins, no doubt the 
result of the war." The following day tents were issued and the men went to work 
with vim pitching them. They were A tents, large enough to comfortably ac- 
commodate four men. The camp was pitched in rear of unfinished breastworks 
bordering the southern limits of the town about a fourth of a mile from the 
Roanoke river. In the center of the intrenchment was a heavy earthwork called 
Fort Williams which was garrisoned by Co. A. The Regimental camp extended 
from near the main wagon road that entered the town from the southwest known 
as the Washington road, parallel with the intrenchments, some distance west of the 
Lee's Mills road. As soon as tents were pitched and the camp put in order large 
details were put to work to complete the breastworks, and slash timber, a half mile 
beyond, into abatis. The breastworks in front of the Regiment were completed 
on May 19. The following Sunday, May 24, Maj. Gen. Foster, commanding the 
Dept. of North Carolina, arrived at Plymouth and reviewed the troops and in- 
spected the fortifications. From Plymouth Gen. Foster went to Edenton, accom- 
panied by Gen. Wessells, a detail of 50 men from the 103d under command of 
Capt. John Donaghy and Lieut. D. M. Spence, acting as an escort. The party left 
Plymouth on the steamer Thomas Farran, and after a stop of two hours at Eden- 
ton Gen. Foster returned to New Bern on the Thomas Farran, and Gen. Wessells 
and escort returned to Plymouth on board the steamer Massasoit. Gen. Wessells 
again visited Edenton on Saturday, May 30, with an escort from the Regiment, the 
party arriving there at noon and taking their departure at 3 P. M. Nothing to 
disturb the monotony of camp life occurred until June 12 when a party of Con- 
federates consisting of three officers and seven enlisted men approached the picket 
line bearing a flag of truce. They bore a communication for Gen. Wessells which 
was sent to the General the party awaiting a reply, which, they received, without 
much delay and then took their departure. This being rather an unusual incident 
was a topic for discussion, but the purport of the visit was never disclosed to the 
enlisted men. Picket duty was enlivened by frequent raids of the enemy. On 
June 26 Lieut. Scammon, who was officer of the picket, and two cavalry videttes 
were captured. On June 22 fourteen deserters surrendered to the pickets, some of 
whom immediately enlisted in the ist North Carolina (Federal) Regiment. June 
27, 1863, Co. F left for Roanoke Island, Capt. Donaghy receiving orders from the 
district commander to assume command of the post there. From that date until 
Jan. 3, 1864, Co. F was detached from the Regiment. It was then relieved by Co. 
C, and returned to Plymouth. July 3, the enemy made an attack on the picket line 
fatally wounding a cavalry vidette and taking one prisoner. The Fourth of July 
was celebrated by the Regiment by the reading of the Declaration of Independence 
and a patriotic speech by Maj. Gazzam. At dress parade the following day, (July 
S) Lieut. Col. Maxwell notified the men to be ready to move at 7:30 P. M., at 
which time the Regiment marched to the river and boarded the gunboats South- 
field and Commodore Perry; Companies A, D, I, C and H embarking on the 


former and K, E, G and B on the Commodore Perry. Two other gunboats, the 
Whitehead and Valley City, accompanied the expedition, the naval squadron be- 
ing commanded by Lieut. Com. C. W. Flusser. The mihtary force was under the 
command of Col. D. B. Morris of the loist Penna. Regiment, and his regiment 
was also aboard the gunboats. Col. Lehmann, who was then commanding the 
brigade, left Plymouth the same evening with a land force co-operating with the 
water expedition. The Roanoke river being very high, the current was unusually 
swift, and the narrowness of the channel and tiie protruding branches from the 
trees which lined its banks on either side made progress up the river quite diffi- 
cult and slow ; especially so for the SouthAeld. Towards evening the fleet arrived 
at Williamston, 28 miles above Plymouth, the SouthHeld, however, not arriving 
until 7:30 P. M. When the first vessels arrived at the town several shots were 
fired, and then Maj. Gazzam, and Capt. Fumiss of the Valley City, bearing a flag 
of truce entered the town and demanded the surrender of the place, stipulating 
Jhat the Confederate troops evacuate it within one hour. This demand being re- 
fused, on the return of the officers, the town was shelled quite briskly for two or 
three hours, after which a desultory fire was continued until morning. Immediate- 
ly after the break of day the Regiment and the loist, debarked and deploying 
entered the town, passing a half mile beyond where the enemy was found to be in 
force. Being beyond the range of the gunboats, Col. Morris deemed discretion 
the better part of valor, and did not further molest the enemy. Within a couple 
of hours after entering Williamston, the Federal troops were re-embarldng on the 
gunboats and returned to Plymouth. 

The land force under the immediate command of Col. Lehmann, consisting 
of detachments from the 85th and 96th New York Regiments, with some cavalry 
and a section of artillery, came in contact with the enemy's pickets at Gardner's 
Bridge, about 6 A. M., July 6, and after reconnoitering the enemy's position the 
artillery shelled the enemy, expecting the force under Col. Morris to attack them 
in the rear. Hearing nothing from the latter, Col. Lehmann retired with his 
force, returning to Plymouth about 9 P. M. However, he was ordered to re- 
turn, and again started with the same force at 7 A. M. on June 7. When he 
reached Jamesville where he had been directed to halt until he had ascertained the 
position of Col. Morris and the naval force, he remained quiescent with his force 
until he learned the gunboats were returning, when he advanced with his force to 
the position occupied by the enemy on the previous day, to find it abandoned, the 
enemy evidently having fallen back to Williamston to unite with the forces there. 
After destroying the bridge, Col. Lehmann returned to Plymouth with his entire 
force, reaching camp again about 9 P. M. 

This expedition was expected to hem in the enemy between Williamston and 
Jamesville, but the slow movement of the gunboats and the timidity of both com- 
manding officers of the land forces made this impossible. However, the main 
object of the expedition was accomplished. A cavalry expedition was to leave 
New Bern at this time to destroy the railroad track on the Weldon Railroad. A 
movement from Plymouth was liable to disconcert the enemy, and divert forces 
that would otherwise be concentrated on the cavalry force. 

Frequent similar raids were made from time to time from Plymouth during 
the time the place was garrisoned by Gen. Wessells' command. A cavalry move- 
ment against the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad was made again during the 
last week of July and the garrison of Plymouth was again used to divert the 
enemy. The entire effective force of the First Brigade under the command of 
Col. Lehmann, left Plymouth Sunday forenoon, July 25, bivouacking at Jamesville 
Sunday night. This expedition advanced several miles beyond the former one 
and thoroughly alarmed the country by numerous cavalry dashes in different di- 
rections and frequent use of the two sections of the battery of artillery that ac- 
companied it. This expedition returned to Plymouth, through a furious rain and 


thunderstorm, second only to the great storm preceding the battle of Fair Oaks on 
May 30, 1862, reaching camp after dark, Tuesday, July 28. 

The following morning, July 29, Gen. Wessells took a small force of in- 
fantry aboard the steamer Massasoit and entered Williamston again very quietly. 
As the steamer neared Williamston orders were given to approach the town 
quietly ; the speed was slackened in order to reduce the noise made by the engines, 
and when within a half or three-fourths of a mile below the town, the steamer 
landed on the right bank, where a field of corn, which extended to within a few 
feet of the river, concealed it entirely from view. The troops were debarked rap- 
idly but quietly, and deployed as skirmishers and advanced quickly on the town, 
Gen. Wessells himself giving personal direction to the matter, although the entire 
command did not exceed three or four hundred men. In fact, he was among 
the very first to debark, and cautioning the men to keep quiet, assisted in align- 
ing them as they came off the boat. The force proceeded to advance swiftly on 
the town, the men keeping the deployed distance as nearly as possible, climbing 
fences, passing through yards. It was here the writer made his only exclusive 
capture, during his war experience. Just as he had succeeded in climbing a high 
fence and dropping into a back yard, a youth of fourteen or fifteen, came run- 
ning from the house in front, evidently with the intent of secluding himself in one 
of the outhouses in the rear. He obeyed the command to halt, and was marched 
out and turned over to an officer in the street, when the writer returned to his 
position in the line. What became of the boy, or what explanation he made never 
came to the knowledge of the writer, as this entire movement through the town 
was made with great celerity, and the skirmish line passed on through and beyond 
the town, and formed a picket line until late in the afternoon ; when the men were 
hurried from the picket line to the boat, and were soon passing down the Roan- 
oke river, reaching Plymouth, two or three hours after dark. 

During one of the early expeditions to Elizabeth City, N. C, a "wild cat" 
bank there was raided by the sailors. A large quantity of bank-notes, both signed 
and unsigned, were confiscated by the sailors and lavishly distributed to the sol- 
diers. These notes were finely executed both in design and engraving. It was 
an easy matter to palm them off on the illiterate, white and' black, in districts 
first invaded by the Federal troops. The garrison at Plymouth, for a time, found 
foraging made easier by using this spurious money. The parties robbed would 
catch their chickens for the "Yanks," while the latter stood quietly by. It is 
needless to say that the second visit to a place found no one willing to accept 
these new crisp bills in payment, and then downright foraging was resorted to. 
It is true, strict orders were issued against foraging, as most of the citizens pil- 
laged had taken the oath of allegiance, but very few of the officers enforced it, 
the enlistment men being careful not to be seen by an officer committing an overt 
act. Scarcely an expedition returning to Plymouth, but what brought a bounti- 
ful, supply of country produce from the district visited. 

Scarcely a week went by while the Regiment was stationed at Plymouth 
that the Regiment, or detachments from it, did not participate in one or more 
expeditions. When cavalry scouting parties would go out, they were usually 
supported 'by the infantry, the latter guarding cross roads, to prevent the enemy 
from cutting off a retreat. The waters tributary to the Albermarle Sound were 
constantly invaded and a constant draft was made on the Plymouth garrison to 
accompany naval expeditions. However, volunteers for such service were so 
numerous that no one need go unless so disposed. The swamps that surrounded 
Plymouth caused a malarial effiuvium that played havoc with the troops. He had 
a rare constitution who did not suffer with chills and fever among the enlisted 
men. A large percentage of the garrison was required to cover the picket line, 
and so depleted were the ranks for men effective for duty, during the latter sum- 
mer days of 1863, that those not excused from duty were almost constantly on 


camp or picket guard. It was a frequent occurrence for men who did not wish 
to be excused from duty to topple over at guard mount, or to become "flighty" 
while on picket or camp guard. On Aug. ii, a negro regiment (ist D. C.) ar- 
rived, and became for sometime, a part of the garrison. While it remained the 
pickets were detailed from it every third day. The "colored brethren" were 
very alert while on duty, and took no chances on letting the enemy go by. If 
they heard any suspicious noise they would immediately fire, and most every 
night that it came their turn for duty, shots were fired quite frequently. On one 
occasion the cavalry videttes reported that some Confederates had been seen enter- 
ing the woods in advance of the picket line between the Lee's Mills and Wash- 
ington roads. Lieut. Kiester was hurriedly sent out with a squad of twenty men 
from the Regiment. This small force, widely deployed, thoroughly scoured all 
the woods for a mile in advance of the picket line and could not see or hear any- 
thing that would indicate that the enemy had been in that vicinity. However, 
Lieut. Kiester kept the squad outside the picket line until nearly morning, dividing 
his little band into two squads, and placing them about 75 yards apart, on a road 
that connected the Lee's Mills and Washington roads about a quarter of a mile in 
advance of the picket line. It was expected that if a party of the enemy contem- 
plated a raid on the pickets that it would pass along the road, and after passing 
the point where either squad was posted, a signal was to be given and both squads 
were to close in on the enemy. Shortly after dusk the pickets began firing, all 
along the line, and continued to battle with imaginary foes, for several hours. 
Had the enemy contemplated a raid, it is possible that this fusilade caused him 
to change his plans. An amusing climax to Kiester's expedition was, that not- 
withstanding it was pitch dark when the little band was returning to camp by the 
Lee's Mills road, it marched up on the advanced sentinel without being halted or 
fired upon, and the officer of the guard, hurriedly got the reserve in line and pre- 
sented arms. The foregoing incident is not told as a reflection on the "colored 
brother." The same kind of action was likely to have occurred from g^een white 
troops. In this connection it might be proper to relate an occurrence on the picket 
line a few weeks previous to this. On the main approaches to Plymouth, such 
as the Columbia, Lee's Mills and Washington roads, it was customary to post a 
sentinel some distance in advance of the post, the picket reserve being at these 
main posts, where another sentinel was always on guard during the night time. 
The sentinels at these points were relieved every two hours, as on camp guard. 
On the occasion referred to the writer was the advance sentinel on the Lee's 
Mills road, on duty from 11 P. M. to i A. M. About midnight a shot was fired 
from a post about midway between the Lee's Mills road and the Washington road. 
This was followed a little later by other shots and before the writer was relieved 
twenty or thirty shots had been fired from the pickets between these two roads. 
Just as the writer returned to the main post where the reserves were standing 
ready for action, Maj. Gazzam, who was general officer of the day, came gallop- 
ing out to see what was wrong. He came unaccompanied by staff or orderly, 
and after hearing a report from the officer of the guard, Lieut. Kline, who was 
killed at the battle of Plymouth, the Major ordered him to take a man to ac- 
company him and the lieutenant to make an investigation. The writer was se- 
lected by Lieut. Kline to accompany them. It was a moonless night and the 
pickets were posted along a narrow opening cut through the woods. It was the 
duty of the enlisted man to go ahead and locate the picket posts, while Maj. Gaz- 
zam, who was mounted and the Lieutenant followed. Some of the pickets who 
had fired, at first denied it, putting the blame on the posts farther on. Finally a 
post was found where it was admitted that the firing began, and the reason for it 
was that some persons had passed through the lines and they had fired on them. 
In consequence of this report Maj. Gazzam went along the entire line that night, 
and had all the pickets on the alert watching both ways. The next morning it 


was discovered that some cattle had passed between the picket posts. The men 
who did the firing that night belonged to the 103d Regiment, and were not re- 
cruits. The fact is that the most fearless of men are at times easily affected, and 
allow imagination to deceive them. 

Aug. 4. A report came to Plymouth that the Government light-house near 
Elizabeth City had been burned. A detail from the Regiment, formed part of an 
expedition which boarded the gunboat Miami to intercept the guerrillas who com- 
mitted the depredation. At 10 A. M. the next day the expedition returned with 
seven prisoners captured near the location of the light-house. 

On Aug. 8, the Regiment received a new equipment of Springfield rifles 
to take the place of the Austrian rifles, with which the men had done all their 
previous service. New accoutrements were also drawn. On August 27, eighty 
men of the Regiment, commanded by Lieut. Kiester, with Lieuts. Fluke and (T. 
A.) Cochran, went on an expedition to Lee's Mills, returning about dark the fol- 
lowing day. The object of this excursion was to g^ard some cross roads, while 
a squadron of cavalry was covering the surrounding territory for some Confed- 
erate soldiers, said to be home on recruiting service. On Sept. 6, a raid was made 
on the pickets, resulting in one killed and six wounded, all cavalry videttes. On 
October 19, the writer, and Sergt. Evans, the collaborator of this volume, were 
both sent from Plymouth for the General Hospital, Beaufort, N. C, and did not 
return to the Regiment until 9 :30 A. M., Nov. 28. From the time the Regiment 
left Camp Orr, until October 19, the writer was continuously with the Regiment, 
participating in every march, reconnoissance, skirmish and battle in which it was 
engaged, except one Blackwater expedition, when he was on picket, and the ex- 
cursion from New Bern to Washington, N. C. Ths notation is made here merely 
to inform the reader that the writer, so far, has written of the activities of the 
Regiment with some knowledge. What follows must mostly come through 

On Jan. 2, 1864, at 5 P. M., Company C (the writer's Co.) boarded the 
Steamer Massasoit, and started for Roanoke Island, N. C, relieving Company F 
the following day, the latter returning to Plymouth on the Massasoit. During the 
latter part of 1863, under promise of a thirty days furlough, about two-thirds of 
the Regiment re-enlisted as veterans. The promise of the Government was that 
the furlough was to be issued prior to the expiration of the term of the first en- 
listment. The officers active in securing the re-enlistment represented to the men 
that a promise had been made by the proper authorities that the furlough would be 
granted- within sixty days from the date of the new muster. 

On Jan. 20, an expedition started from Plymouth under command of Lieut. 
Col. Maxwell for the purpose of capturing or destroying Confederate property 
which had been concentrated at Harrellsville, Hertford County, N. C. The expe- 
dition was highly successful ; a large amount of property was brought away, and 
for want of transportation many wagons, large quantities of salt and sugar, and 
i50,ooopoundsof pork were destroyed. This was accomplished with the loss of 
one killed. The enemy fled leaving i killed and 2 wounded. 

Again on Jan. 26, another force commanded by Lieut. Col. Maxwell was 
dispatched into Bertie County to destroy and capture Confederate property. On 
this excursion 200,000 pounds of pork were destroyed, also a large amount of 
Confederate property; tobacco, cotton, horses, mules, and wagons were brought 
away. Lieut. Col. Maxwell's success in these enterprises call forth a complimen- 
tary order from Maj. Gen. Peck, commanding the Army and District of North 
Carolina, in which he said : "The success of this enterprise is shown in the list 
of property taken or destroyed. * * * x^is example of Col. Maxwell will be 
appreciated and emulated by the whole command." 

On Jan. 29, Lieut. Col. Tolles of the 15th Conn. Vols, commanded an ex- 
pedition in which a detachment of the Regiment, under Capt. Donaghy partici- 


pated. Lieut. Com. Flusser, with a party of seamen, participated in this expedi- 
tion also. A company of Georgia cavalry was located near Windsor, and the 
Confederates were gathering supplies from this section. Horses, mules, wagons, 
clothing, ammunition and two soldiers were captured. Several prominent citizens 
were brought away to be held as hostages for certain loyal persons incarcerated in 


Garrison Life at Plymouth as Seen by Capt. Donaghy and Corp. Rupert. 

(From May 2, 1863, to April 17, 1864.) 

The following excerpts from Capt. Donaghy's "Army Experience," and the 
diary of Corp. John F. Rupert will give the reader an idea of conditions pre- 
vailing at Plymouth during the months preceding the Regiment's departure from 
there. Capt. Donaghy says of Plymouth and the garrison : 

"Our brigade had received orders to garrison the post of Plymouth on the 
Roanoke River and we embarked for there on the 2d of May, our Regiment going 
on the steamer Robert Collyer. Plymouth when it was inhabited by its citizens 
might have contained about a thousand persons, but at the time of our arrival they 
did not number half of that. A line of our works not completed extended in a 
small semi-circle around the town from east to west ; from near the river below to 
the shore above the town. The river 'bounded the town on the north, and was 
defended by gunboats. In the center of the line of defences was a fine work called 
Fort Williams, mounting three thirty pounder guns. The troops holding it, whose 
term of service had expired, were relieved by Co. A of our Regiment, (Capt. Alex- 
ander) and the company of Ira B. Sampson of the 2d Mass. Heavy Artillery. 
My Co. was posted outside on the right with Co. D to my left. The balance of 
the Regiment was posted to. the left of the fort. We received new "A" tents — one 
for each four men, and with the aid of lumber we put the tents up two feet above 
the ground and about them planted sods. We paved the streets neatly with bricks 
taken from ruined buildings, and to protect us from the sun we erected arbors, 
and covered them with boughs. That work and the labor of completing the forti- 
fications, with the regular routine of picket and guard duty added, kept the men 
quite busy for a time. One day as the Co. was at work on the fortifications in 
front of its position Gen. Wessells rode along. He inspected the work we were 
engaged upon, and then called my attention to a mistake I had made. Where I 
had left an embrasure for a cannon I had the narrowest part of the opening at 
the rear of the embankment. The General got off his horse, and with a sharp 
stick made a drawing on the sand showing the narrowest part of the embrasure 
at the front instead of at the rear. He said that as I had built it the embrasure 
was like a funnel made to catch the cannon balls. I thanked him for the lesson 
and changed the work accordingly. On Sunday, May 24, Gen. Foster, our dis- 
trict commander, was at Plymouth on a tour of inspection, and from there he 
went to Edenton and I was detailed to accompany him in command of an escort 
of fifty men, consisting of my Co. and some men from another one. Lieut. 
Spence of Co. K was my assistant officer. We left Plymouth on the General's 
boat — the Thomas Farran — at 11 A. M. We had a pleasant trip down the river 
on the sound. Besides our district commander there were present on board Gen- 
erals (Edward A.) Wild and (Edward E.) Potter, and a number of staff officers 
and our own General, "Old Billy" Wessells, whose rough and ready appearance 
contrasted with the others. He wore Government brogans and trousers such as 
were worn by enlisted men of the cavalry. The rest of his uniform was in ac- 
cordance with his rank, but was worn and weather stained. 

"I had the honor of dining with the distinguished company on board, and 
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marie Sound, and is the county seat of Chowan County, N. C. It was not occu- 
pied by either the Confederate or Union forces. I landed my men and marched 
into town, and up the principal street several blocks, and then sent groups out 
in different directions to the outskirts as pickets ; while I kept a number in the 
street as a reserve. The people came out to look at us, but made no demonstra- 
tion of feeling for or against us. It was a beautiful town and we saw some 
beautiful women in it, but we were not on speaking terms. I visited some of my 
outposts and saw away across the fields groups of men in gray, who had retired 
from the town on our approach. They were rebel soldiers — citizens of the town, 
who had been home on leave. My instructions did not call for me to interfere 
with them, and I did not. My men at the reserve wished to make some coffee, 
but the peaceful appearing and orderly condition of the place made them hesitate 
to tear down the neat paling fences for fuel, so I asked leave of a lady to let the 
men use her kitchen. The request was granted and the coffee was made. About 
that time Gen. Wessells and Gen. Wild came along, and accepted my invitation 
to have a cup of coffee with the boys. They stood on the sidewalk and drank it. 
Gen. Wild intimated to me that the object of their visit was to gain information of 
the guerillas. After being about two hours in the town three blasts from the 
steamer's whistle gave us the signal to withdraw. The pickets returned to the 
reserve and we re-embarked for Plymouth on a steamer with Gen. Wessells, while 
Foster and his party departed for New Bern. 

"On another occasion I went to the same place in command of an escort to 
Gen. Wessells and other officers. We had a brass band with us, and my men 
were in their dress uniforms, (as they had been on our first visit) and we pre- 
sented a holiday appearance. The band entertained the citizens with some ex- 
cellent music, though the airs might not have been those they would have selected. 
My company's movements were a repetition of those of our first visit, but the band 
gave us more eclat as we moved in platoons down the principal street when re- 
tiring, to the tune of "The Captain With His Whiskers Took a Sly Glance at 
Me." As my whiskers were not formidable in appearance I did not take that 
selection of air as in any way referring to me, and sly glances would not have 
availed us in that town. 

"Scouting parties went out almost daily from our post, and occasional 
brushes with parties of the enemy occurred. The latter sometimes came close to 
our picket lines. On June 20, I went on duty in command of the pickets on the 
Washington and found no officers to relieve. The one who should have been there 
had strolled outside the lines and into the hands of the 'Johnnies.' When I ar- 
rived at the outposts the enemy were reported to be at a house on the left side of 
the road. I moved my men up to it and found the enemy had gone. The unfor- 
tunate officer that they had taken away with them was Lieut. Scammon, of an- 
other regiment of the garrison. I met him a year afterwards as a fellow prisoner 
of war. 

"Keeping the clothing and equipment of the men up to the required state of 
completeness, was a duty that took considerable attention on the part of the com- 
pany commanders. The regulations allowed each enlisted men $42 per year for 
clothing, and each article had a fixed price. What he drew in excess of that 
amount was charged against his pay, and if he drew less than the allowance he 
was paid the amount so saved. On the marches at the beginning of our service 
when the men were fatigued, many of them threw away their great coats, or such 
articles as they thought they could spare. Afterwards experience, or their com- 
pany commanders, forced them to replace the articles discarded. When it was 
the latter that exercised the compulsion, the man usually considered himself a 
victim of military tyranny. While at Plymouth it was ordered that dress hats 
be added to the equipment of the men. The hats arrived, and the men assembled 
at their respective company headquarters to be fitted and supplied. Private 


M of my company remained in his tent unwilling to receive a hat. I 

sent him a special invitation to come and be crowned, but he replied that he did 
not want to buy a hat, and that he did not believe that a free bom American citi- 
zen could be compelled to buy what he did not want. Barring his stubbornness 

M -was a good soldier, so I went to him and explained the necessity of 

his obedience, but it was of no avail. He flatly refused to take the hat. I ordered 
his arrest, and had him sent to jail in town. Next day he sent me word that he 
was sorry for his conduct and would take the hat. He was released." 

"On the evening of Jan. 29, there was a vocal and instrumental concert given 
by amateurs in the Plymouth Methodist Church, and the house was crowded. I 
was there with some of our officers, and the performance was not half over when 
we observed Gen. Wessells and Commander Flusser of the navy climb out of a 
window near the stage. Presently some one announced that the adjutants of our 
brigade were wanted and some more figures went out of the window. Our party 
surmised that "something was up." By and by word came to me that I was 
wanted in camp, and I displayed my coat tails going out the window. I learned 
that I was detailed to take a detachment of sixty men made up of squads from 
every company of our Regiment. Lieut. Kelly was to assist me ; we were to take 
two days' rations and were to report on the steamer Massasoit at 9:30 that even- 
ing. I had my company there on time, but others were not so prompt, and it was 
some hours before the steamer got away. The force was about 100 under the 
command of Lieut. Col. Falls of a regiment in our brigade. Lieut. Kelly and I 
slept on the floor of the cabin as the steamer went up the river. 

"About 3 o'clock in the morning we landed on the north shore and marched 
inland six miles to the town of Windsor, two companies of rebel cavalry en- 
camped near there being our objective. About daylight the advanced became 
engaged. My command was in a detachment that made a detour to the left at 
double quick to come in on the enemy's flank, but we had not reached our position 
before they 'skedaddled.' As we hurried up the road we saw some of the moimted 
rebels fleeing across a field to our left. My men were so eager to get a pop at the 
rebs that some of them began firing without orders, unmindful of a line of our 
skirmishers who were between us and them. It took some vigorous language on 
my part and some blows with the flat of my sword against their guns to make 
them cease firing. My own company would not have offered to fire, without con- 
sent, or orders, but a miscellaneous detachment, as that was, was hard to control. 
The enemy, except a few escaped, and all that we captured was their camp, with 
some arms, and the musical instruments of the band. Brass must have been 
scarce, for the horns were made of sheet iron. I did not have the pleasure of 
seeing the camp or the captured trophies, for my detachment was detailed for rear 
guard, and was stationed to watch a road north of the town. Commander Flus- 
ser's artillery squad practiced with their howitzers for a while shelling the coun- 
try in the direction the rebels had gone ; wasted some ammunition and then retired. 
My command consumed a few rails cooking their coffee, for the halt gave us the 
opportunity to eat breakfast. Across a hollow on our front was a wooded hill, 
and we heard there the neighing and stamping of horses, and after listening and 
watching for a while, I sent Lieut. Kelly with a squad of men to find out what it 
meant. He deployed them as skirmishers and moved into the woods, where he 
found several horses which the farmers had tied there to keep them out of our 
way. It was a lucky discovry for us, and Lieut. Kelly and I, and some of the boys, 
ceased to be foot soldiers for the time being. A saddle and bridle was found in a 
barn near by, and I borrowed them. 

"On our way back we passed through the town of Windsor. Kelly and I 
found riding a great improvement on walking, and Commander Flusser had a 
bottle with him, and we drank several times to his favorite toast, 'Confusion to 
the rebels, and damn the Roanoke Sheep.' By the sheep he meant the ram that 


the rebels were building up the river. We left the captured horses at the landing, 
without having any harrowing doubts but that their owners would find them. We 
were back in Plymouth by nine o'clock at night, with nobody hurt on the expedi- 

"At Plymouth we had no cares on account of our eating, for the machinery 
ran smoothly and our tri-daily meetings were very pleasant. We discussed the 
news — the great events of the war and their influence on our thoughts and 
actions, and watched them with interest and often with anxiety. For all that we 
laughed when we could ; and there were many opportunities. Laughter was en- 
couraged, and the author of a good joke was deemed a public benefactor, and on 
some ones suggestion a jaunty cap labeled 'wit' was made to be worn by the most 
deserving jester. The cap was being inspected at the table before any one had 
been elected to wear it, and the captain of E tried it on. Lieut. Burns of H re- 
marked, 'He has wit on his head, but none in it.' The laugh went around and 
Burns was the first to have the honor of the jester's crown. No record has been 
kept of the brilliant sallies that caused the cap to jump from head to head for 
weeks afterwards. Perhaps it is just as well in this day of 'Chestnut bells.' 

"It is not to be supposed that 'All Fools' day could be allowed to pass un- 
honored by such a crowd as we were. Before breakfast a soldier from another 
company called on me saying the Colonel wished to see me. I called on him and 
found that I was 'sold.' He had not sent for me. At breakfast I found my cof- 
fee salted. At dinner the cook aided me in my revenge by salting the pies. The 
first victim helped himself, and when he discovered the trick a nudge warned 
him to keep quiet. He gained time by putting milk on the pie and cutting it, pre- 
tending to prepare it for eating, while his neighbors followed the process he had 
gone through. Soon nearly all the company were fooling with their dessert wait- 
ing for the explosion which came when Capt. Mackey tried a mouthful of the pie. 

"Late in March there being a well grounded apprehension of an attack on 
our post, the officers' wives were ordered away. The grand guards were cau- 
tioned to be extra vigilant. The 'ram' up the river was known to be finished, 
and a formidable battery had been erected by the shore at the upper end of the 
town mounting a 200-pounder rifled g^n, which was especially intended to sink 
the iron monster. The gunboats Miami and Southiield were lashed together, that 
in case the ram should escape destruction by the shore battery they could rush 
upon it and drag it to the bottom with them if sink they must. Though all these 
maneuvers were deemed necessary the soldiers seemed to feel no uneasiness on 
account of the enemy. My old comrade Dill was ambitious to 'become a commis- 
sioned officer in the new colored regiments then forming at the North. I pro- 
cured for him recommendations from most of our officers, and he secured an 
order to appear at Washington for examination before Casey's board. He passed 
for the rank of captain and then returned to his company to await his commis- 
sion. It came in due time, and he was assigned to the 43d Regiment Colored 
Troops then forming in Philadelphia. He left Plymouth on the morning of April 
17, and it was lucky for him that he got off that day." 

As Corp. John F. Rupert, of Co. A, was one of the most staid and correct 
men in the Regiment, extracts from his diary have a historical value. It is the 
ordinary every day humdrum events of garrison life that makes history, and these 
extracts are given to amplify the meager account of life at Plymouth, already 

Saturday, May 2. This morning received orders to pack knapsacks and be 
in readiness to move. At 12 M., "fall in" with knapsacks and march to the New 
Bern wharf and embark on the transport Thomas Collyer bound for Plymouth, 
N. C. Sail tonight. 

Sunday, 3. This morning on the waters of Albemarle Sound; pass Eden- 
ton ; enter the Roanoke river at its mouth and after sailing 8 miles arrive at our 


destination. At 12 o'clock M., debark and march to an adjoining field inside iii- 
trenchments, and bivouac for the night. 

Monday, 4. Move to our encampment. The position assigned to Co.'s A 
and G, inside Fort Williams. 

May 15. A company of 3d N. Y. Cavalry arrives overland from Wash- 

May 23. Boys finish stockading Fort Williams. 

Sunday, May 24. Gen. Foster and staff, accompanied by Gen. Wessells, 
visits Fort Williams. 

May 29. Paved inside of Fort Williams today. 

Sunday, May 31. Inspection at 8 A. M. by M|aj. Gazzam. 

June I. Garrison flag at half mast yesterday and to-day in honor of Col. 
J. Richter Jones, 58th Penna. Regiment, killed at Bachelor's Creek Station in a 
skirmish on May 23. Flag kept at halfmast in his honor for three days. 

June 8. Sergt. J. M. Whitehill, Corp. J. S. Cooper, Wm. Davis, Dan 
Barnacle, David Frampton and three men of Co. G, go with a six-pounder, on an 
expedition to Columbia, N. C. ; starting in the evening. 

June 9. Expedition that left for Columbia yesterday evening returned this 
evening, meeting with no armed opposition. 

June II. Companies A and G practice on the 5 pieces in Fort Williams. 
After firing three shots, a bursted shell set the slashing in front on fire, which 
caused a cessation of target practice and large details hurried to extinguish the 

June 18. Finish sodding the fort. 

Sunday, June 21. Three regiments of the brigade are inspected by Col. 
Lehmann, acting Brigadier General. 

Saturday, June 27. Co. F Leaves to-day for Roanoke Island. Two com- 
panies of I2th N. Y. Cavalry arrive here to-day. The two companies that were 
here left for the Peninsula. 

Saturday, July 4. Form for parade at 7 A. M. The Declaration of Inde- 
pendence read by the acting adjutant, Lieut. Kelly of Co. H. ; patriotic speech 
by Maj. Gazzam. A national salute is fired by 24th N. Y. Battery, at 12 M., 
from in front of Fort Williams. 

Sunday, July 5. Inspection as usual; dress parade in the evening, after 
which 30 men of Co. A are ordered to prepare for a light march. After prepar- 
ing three days' rations the Regiment is marched to the river and embarks on the 
gunboats Valley City and SouthHeld. The gunboats on this expedition are the 
Whitehead, carrying five guns, one one-hundred-pounder ; the Valley City, six 
guns; one one-hundred-pounder, four 32-pounders and one boat howitzer; 
Commodore Perry and Southiield, each carrying a battery of seven guns — one 
lOO-pounder, five 9-inch Dahlgren, and one 12-pounder howitzer. 

July 6. Arrive at Jamesville, 12 miles from Plymouth, at day break. 
Troops stand with loaded guns in anticipation of an attack by the enemy's sharp- 
shooters from the river bluffs. Arrive at Williamston, 16 miles from Jamesville, 
in the evening, having left Plymouth at 8 130 P. M. the previous day. The enemy 
asks till 9 P. M. to remove women and children and declines to surrender. At 
9 P. M. the gunboats open fire on the town, continuing the fire throughout the 
night at intervals of five minutes. 

July 7. Our Regiment with the loist P. V., go ashore, form line and ad- 
vance on the town, it being three-fourths of a mile from the river. When we 
arrive at the town we find the enemy gone and the town vacated. We return to 
Plymouth arriving there at 3 P. M. , . , 

July 10. Flag at half mast and sixteen ?uns fired to-day m honor of the 
Christian Admiral Foote, who died June 26. Co. G moved outside the Fort. 

July 14. Co. G captures a rebel artilleryman on a foraging expedition 12 


miles from Plymouth. The captive was from Wilmington, visiting his parents 
in this vicinity. Firing on picket line to-night. 

Sunday, June 26. Regimental inspection as usual, after which each Co. 
is ordered to be in readiness for a light march. Co. A's orders were counter- 
manded and we remain in the Fort. Eight companies of the Regiment march 
at the appointed hour with the loist P. V., 85th and 96th N. Y. Vols. ; leaving 
Plymouth on the Long Acre Road, Col. Lehmann, commanding. 

July 28. Expedition returns at 2 o'clock; two men of the 12th N. Y. Cav- 
alry wounded. 

July 29. A detail of nine men from each Co. in Regiment (excepting Co. 
A) with a similar detail from the loist P. V. and 85th N. Y. Vols., embark on 
the Massasoit for Jamesville, N. C. 

July 31. A captain, two lieutenants, two corporals and six men embark at 
12 M. for Pittsburgh, Pa., to bring drafted militia to refill the Regiment. 

Aug. 4. A detail of 13 men from each Co. of the Regiment (excepting Co. 
A) embark on the gunboats on an expedition. 

Aug. 6. At one A. M. Lieut. J. M. Laughlin arouses seven "boys" of Co. 
A, to go with a 6-pound brass piece on an expedition. 

Aug. 8. Detailed for guard. The Co. (A) marches to the ordnance office 
at Plymouth and receives first class Springfield rifles and new equipments. Can- 
nonading to be heard towards Williamston. 

Aug. ID. Detailed for guard. Two corporals and 14 men present for duty. 

Aug. II. Relieved from guard. The ist D. C. Negro Regiment arrives 
by transport this evening. 

Aug. 12. Detailed for guard. Weather very warm ; a great many sick in 

Aug. 13. Relieved from guard duty at guard mount. Corp. C. G. W. 
Stover, David L. Vandyke and Gazzam Stewart having been with the expedi- 
tion that started on Thursday, 6th inst., returned this morning from Roanoke 
Island, sick. 

Aug. 14. The detachment with the piece of artillery that left on 6th inst. 
returned, having been on the Currituck Sound at the mouth of Alligator River, 
and Roanoke Island. 

Aug. 18. Negro pickets fire on the lines to-night. 

Aug. 20. Sergt. J. M. Whitehill, Daniel Barnacle, Oliver Colwell, Ab- 
solom S. Timms, William Wion and myself get ready to go on an expedition 
with 6-pounder. 

Aug. 21. Embark on transport Washington Irving, starting at 2 A. M. and 
anchor at 4 A. M. in the Scuppernong River, opposite Columbia. At 1 130 P. M. 
40 men of 8sth N. Y. Vols, go ashore with the Steamer Dolly, picket the town, 
while a small force marches up the river. 

Aug. 23. Set sail for Plymouth with flat load of captured sheep, at 4 
o'clock (Sunday) and arrive at Plymouth at i P. M. Sergt. J. M. Whitehill and 
Daniel Barnacle taken to hospital, having taken fever and chills while on the 
way to Columbia. Andrew Reece, who was along, also sick in quarters. 

Aug. 26. Sergt. W. C. Mbbley, Corp. J. S. Cooper and six men with 6- 
pounder go on an expedition with two days' rations. Expedition went to 

Aug. 27. In bunk greater part of the day, unwell. Rainy and cool. 

Aug. 28. Report at hospital this morning being unfit for duty; sickness, 
fever and ague. Slept but little last night, having a bad pain in the head and 
high fever. 

Aug. 20. Reported sick this morning ; excused from duty by Surg. A. P. 

Aug. 30. Reported sick; excused from duty; begin to shake with chills 


at 1 1 :30 A. M. and shake till i P. M., afterward have heavy fever — ^unable to 
be out of my bunk the remainder of the day. This is my first shake. 

Aug. 31. Reported sick; excused from duty by surgeon; no shake to-day; 
mustered for pay at 10 A. M., by Lieut. Col. Qarke, 8sth N. Y. 

Sept. I. Reported sick; excused from duty; shake from 11 A. M. till i 
P. M. ; high fever the remainder of the day. 

Sept. 7. Report at hospital ; marked, "returned to duty." 
Sept. II. Mount a 32-pounder on the first bastion of the Fort, making 
the armament of the Fort, four 32-pounders, and one 6-pound brass field piece. 
Sept. 19. Co. G. 3d N.Y. Cavalry arrive here today from New Bern, N. C. 
Sept. 26. Take a chill in the evening; have the fever the greater part of 
the night. 

Sept. 27. At 4 P. M. take another shake; have fever throughout the 

Sept. 28. Have a shake commencing at noon and lasting an hour and a 
half ; fever remaining part of the day. 

Sept. 29. Report at hospital for medicine; marked for duty; return from 
hospital and go on guard. Have a chill, commencing at i P. M., lasting an hour 
and a half. 

Sept. 30. Relieved from guard ; report at hospital ; Gen. Peck inspects the 
Fort and each detachment "falls in" at its piece as for action and so remain until 
after he leaves. 

Oct. 4. (Sunday). Inspection at 8 A. M. by Lieut. Col. Maxwell. At 10 
A. M. Co. A, with rations for one meal embark on the Massasoit, with a Co. 
from the loist P. V. to escort Gen. Wessells on a visit to Edenton, N. C. We 
set sail at 11 A. M. and arrive at Edenton at i P. M. After disembarking a 
picket is immediately posted on the various roads entering the tovra, part of Co. 
A held as a reserve in the town. Patrols, consisting of a corporal and three 
men, are sent through the town. Re-embark at 3 P. M. and are back at Plymouth 
at 5 P. M. 

Oct. 6. At drill in the evening at Gen. Wessells' headquarters the Regi- 
ment is formed as one company, commissioned and non-commissioned officers 
forming in the ranks. 

Oct. 7. Company memorials arrived to-day. 

Oct. 14. At an election held yesterday, the result is given as follows : A. 
G. Curtin, 225 ; Woodward, 25. Buried a member of Co. D, the first death in the 
Regiment since coming to Plymouth. 

Oct. 30. This evening when Co. was formed for drill Capt. Alexander 
asked all those who would re-enlist as veterans to signify it by shouldering arms ; 
not a single piece is shouldered. 

Nov. 22. Maj. Gen. Butler, accompanied by his staff, inspected Fort. 

Thursday, Nov. 26. National Thanksgiving day. At 11 A. M. a small 
number met at the church where Lieut. Col. Taylor, loist Penna. Vols., and ist 
Sergt. (Stoddard) of 24th N. Y. Battery, made addresses. 

Dec. 9. Embarked on board transport Charleston, with a detachment tak- 
ing a brass piece from the Fort. 

Dec. 6. Great excitement this evening in Co. barracks in regard to re- 
enlisting as veteran volunteers. Thirty-three sign their names to a paper agree- 
ing to re-enlist providing three-fourths of the Co. sign. 
Dec. 7. Two more sign the re-enlistment paper. 

Dec. 25. Christmas. Invited to hospital to take dinner with Norval D. 
Goe, accompanied by Joseph B. Stewart, James S. Cooper and Adam Myers. 

Dec. 28. At the hospital till 11 P. M. with Corp. J. B. Stewart, James S. 
Cooper, and Adam Myers assisting in decorating for New Years. Corp. Rupert 


in a memorandum in diary gives the prices for clothing in 1863, as follows : 
Great coat, $9.50; blanket, $3.60; dress coat, $3.60; blouse, $2.40; trousers, $3.55 ; 
drawers, 95; shirts, $1.30 and $1.46; socks, 32 cents; shoes, $2.05; cap, 56 cents; 
rubber blanket, $2.55; knapsack, $2.14; haversack, 56 cents; canteen, 44 cents. 


The Battle and Capture of Plymouth. 

(From April 17 to April 20, 1864.) 

During the summer of 1863 there were constant rumors that the enemy was 
constructing a formidable iron-clad boat, with which to clear the Roanoke river of 
the Federal gunboats. These rumors affected only the timid iii the command, as 
the men generally had such confidence in Gen. Wessells and Lieut. Com. Flusser 
that they beUeved they would be able to handle the boat, but also any force that 
the Confederacy could afford to send against it. The men who had re-enlisted 
as veteran volunteers were looking forward with great anticipations to the prom- 
ised furlough. On January 25, two regiments (15th and i6th Connecticut), 
arrived and the men were now sanguine that the furlough would soon be granted. 
Demonstrations by the enemy at other points in North Carolina, made the com- 
mander of the department timid, and the reinforcements were moved away early 
in February. On April 5, the paymaster made his appearance and disbursed quite 
a snug sum of money to the Veterans. They received $100 bounty due them 
from their first enlistment, one or two installments of the new bounty (each 
installment was $50), several months' pay that had been due them, and one 
month's pay in advance, which brought their pay up to the last of March. The 
men felt sure that now the Government had started to fulfil its pledges, and that 
the furlough would soon come. They had been drawing new clothing, in order 
to present as neat an appearance as possible, when they met their relatives and 
friends after more than two years' absence. 

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, April 17, 1864, about four o'clock, the cavalry 
videttes in advance of the infantry picket line on the Washington road were 
attacked and driven in. Capt. Douoghy says : 

"Then a company of cavalry was sent out to reconnoiter and we watched 
them as they rode gaily towards the woods nearly a mile away. Suddenly from 
the timber came a murderous volley, and some of the saddles were emptied. The 
squadron was momentarily thrown into confusion ; then they turned and galloped 
back to camp. It was now evident that the enemy had come in force. Companies of 
skirmishers were sent out and they engaged the enemy until dark. At night the 
camp fires of our foes lighted up the sky nearly all around our front. Prepara- 
tions were made for the morrow, which we knew would bring us serious work. 
Our mess kitchen and dining hall which stood outside the works were razed to 
clear the way for artillery fire. At three o'clock next morning we were in line 
at the works, but beyond picket firing there was no fighting. About eight o'clock 
I was ordered with my company to relieve that of Capt. Morrow [Co. G.], which 
was skirmishing on the Washington road." 

In addition to Capt. Douoghy's company, Lieut. S. D. Bums of Co. H., took 
out 50 men detailed from various companies of the Regiment, who were deployed 
east of the Lee's Mills road, along a pathway extending from the latter road 
around to a barricade where the bridge was destroyed on the Columbia road. In 
the afternoon, when the enemy pressed in on the pickets and the firing became 
brisk. Company H., commanded by Capt. James F. Mackey, was hurried out to 
the support of the skirmishers, forming south of the Lee's Mills road, confronted 
then by three companies of the 56th N. C. (Confederate) Regiment. The pickets, 
who were really advanced skirmishers, when pressed by the enemy, fell teck on 


the supports, Companies F. and H., in good order, and returned the fire of the 
enemy so effectively that he ceased to advance until nearly sundown, although 
keeping up a brisk fire all the time. About dusk the pressure of the enemy 
became so great and rapid that the skirmish line was forced to yield and retire 
rapidly to the intrenchments. 

As the battle of Plymouth is fully covered elsewhere in this volume only a 
brief reference to the action of the Regiment will be made here. A few days prior 
to the attack, Co. A. had been relieved from manning the guns in Fort Williams, 
by a detachment of the Second Mass. Heavy Artillery, and had taken a tem- 
porary position outside the fort, expecting daily to receive Veteran furloughs. 
When Gen. Wessells realized that the attack was formidable, Capt. Alexander 
and Co. were ordered back into the fort and co-operated with the detachment 
of the 2d Mass. commanded by Capt. Ira B. Sampson, until the fort was 
forced to surrender. Col. Lehmann was assigned to command the central line, 
the command of the Regiment devolving upon Col. Maxwell. 

During Sunday night the enemy kept comparatively quiet, but at break of 
day bombarded Fort Gray, which was isolated about a mile from the rest of the 
garrison above the town on the bank of the Roanoke. This fire was replied to 
vigorously and after a couple of hours the enemy became quiet. Incessant skir- 
mishing continued throughout the day, the enemy using some artillery southwest 
of the town in the direction of the 85th Redoubt. After the skirmishers had 
retired, about dark, the enemy opened a heavy fire upon the town from every 
direction, which was vigorously returned by Fort Williams, the 24th New York 
Battery, and the gunboats. Lieut. Zachariah M. Cline, of Co. G., was instantly 
killed, a fragment of shell striking him near the brain. During the night the 
enemy succeeded in carrying the 85th Redoubt, the garrison making a desperate 
resistance. On Tuesday morning, April 19, about 3 o'clock the enemy again 
opened a heavy fire on Fort Gray, during, which time, under cover of night and 
shadow of the trees on the left bank of the Roanoke river, the iron-clad ram 
Albermarle slipped by and succeeded in sinking the gunboat SoiithMd, and 
driving the other vessels out of the river. During the brief contest between the 
ram and the fleet the commander of the latter, Lieut. Com. C. W. Flusser, was 
killed. Instantly the situation was changed. The men of the garrison realized 
with the Albemarle in command of the Roanoke, with a force outnumbering them 
at least five to one, and perhaps double that, with no prospect of any re- 
enforcements, that the contest was hopeless. However, encouraged by their 
commander, preparations were made to hold out as long as possible. Bomb- 
proofs were hurriedly built ini the rear as a protection from the fire in that 
direction. At daylight on Wednesday morning, the enemy made a serious dem- 
onstration on the right and front, while advancing in great force on the left, and 
succeeded in carrying the line in that quarter, penetrating the town along the 
river, and capturing Battery Worth, with the 200-pounder rifle gun. Gen. Wes- 
sells ordered the Regiment to form in line at right angles from the breastworks 
toward the river in hopes of checking the advance. For a time this effort suc- 
ceeded, but the enemy had succeeded in getting in a position to fire from front 
and rear, as well as enfilade the little band, and concealed himself so from view 
that the contest became hopeless and the men were forced to retire into the bomb- 
proofs, where they continued to fire on the enemy, not wildly, but only when the 
enemy exposed himself to view. Gen. Hoke, the Confederate commander, 
realizing the futility of further defense, ceased firing and asked for a personal 
interview with Gen. Wessells, at which he demanded the surrender of the remaind- 
er of the garrison — two-thirds of it having already been captured. Gen. Wessells 
demurred. Gen. Hoke contended that further resistance was useless, as the position 
of Gen. Wessells was untenable, that there was no possibility of relief, and that the 
defense was all that ought to be expected of brave soldiers, and intimated that 


further resistance might lead to indiscriminate slaughter. This intimation was 
not intended as a threat; neither did Gen. Wessells construe it as such. The 
bearing of Gen. Hoke throughout the entire interview was most courteous and 
soldierlike. Both of them realized at this time that the little garrison could not 
hold out much longer. Gen. Wessells knew even better than the Confederate 
commander, that it was useless to contend against such odds. The little garrison 
was completely enveloped on every side, Fort Williams being the only point where 
there was the least hope of successfully resisting an assault. However, Gen. 
Wessells refused the demand and returned' to Fort Williams. For nearly an hour 
after his return the enemy slackened his fire, except the firing of sharpshooters, 
who were concealed in every available spot. If a head appeared above the parapet 
of Fort Williams, or from the bomb-proofs on either side of it, musket balls came 
from many directions. Before an hour had elapsed after the interview between 
the two generals a concentrated fire was opened upon the doomed part from four 
different directions. The sharpshooters of the enemy made it impossible to man 
the guns in the fort, and the shot and shell was poured into the fort without any 
reply being made, for no man could live at the guns. The breast height was 
struck by solid shot on every side, fragments of shells sought every interior angle 
of the work, the whole extent of the parapet was swept by musketry, and men were 
killed and wounded on the banquette slope. Gen. Wessells counselled with the 
officers present every one of whom urged him to surrender, and between lo and 
1 1 o'clock on Wednesday, April 20, 1864, the garrison became prisoners, which 
embraced the entire Regiment except Company C, detached at Roanoke Island, 
N. C, and the men of other companies on detached duties, sick in hospitals, etc., 
in all about 450 men. Gen. Wessells and staff were at once separated from the 
troops, and they were never again permitted to serve under him. He remained 
at Plymouth until Saturday, April 23, when he and staff, and some other offi- 
cers, among whom was Surgeon Frick of the 103d, left Plymouth by the Cotton 
plant, for Weldon. Here they took the train for Richmond, and on April 26, he 
was confined in Libby Prison at Richmond. On May 7, he was moved to Dan- 
ville where he remained until May 12, when he was taken to Macon, Ga., where 
he was confined until June 10. On that day he left for Charleston arriving there 
June 12. He remained in Charleston until Aug. 3, when he was exchanged, and 
arrived at New York on August 9, 1864. 


From Plymouth to Andersonville Military Prison. 

(From April 20 to May 2, 1864.) 

At noon, the Plymouth captives were tramping over ground made familiar 
by many a march, under very different conditions. On either side was a strong 
guard of Confederate soldiers, who, although natives of the state, with but few 
exceptions, were friendly disjwsed towards their defeated foes, and manifested 
no offensive exultation over their hard earned victory. The commissary and quar- 
termaster stores, the extra camp equipment, and the deserted houses of Plymouth 
had made it possible for the guards to supply themselves with many of the com- 
forts of civilization of which they had been deprived for the previous two or three 
years. Most of them were accoutred with a motley collection, embracing almost 
every line of chattels to be found in the town, and this, no doubt, was a good thing 
for fliose in their custody, as it removed the temptation to pilfer. Foster's Mills 
and Jamesville were passed during the afternoon. A halt was made after dark, 
four or five miles west of the latter place, and a corn field was selected by the 
captors as the place of bivouac. But the march of seventeen or eighteen miles, 
in a broiling Dixie April sun made any resting place welcome. The second day's 


march, Friday, April 22, was not so severe. Shortly after noon a halt was made 
near Williamston, a town which had felt the devastation of war more than once 
at the hands of many of those who were now captives in their midst. Here, as 
elsewhere, the entire community had turned out to gaze at the "Yankees." Con- 
sidering the treatment that at least one expedition from Plymouth had given 
this town, in which the writer was a participant, the reception accorded the cap- 
tives left no ground for complaint. The postmaster of the town was among the 
visitors, and proffered his services to get letters through to Northern friends. 
Attout the middle of the afternoon the march was resumed and continued until a 
little before dark, when a halt was made in a North Carolina meadow, the captors 
making no objection to the confiscation of the fence rails surrounding it, which 
were used to keep up fires to dry the feet made wet by fording numerous streams 
during the ten miles covered throughout the day. The site of this resting place 
was convenient to excellent water, the soldiers best beverage, when wearied from 
a fatiguing march. Both officers and men, comprising the guard, seemed desirous 
to accord their prisoners as good treatment as circumstances would permit, select- 
ing comfortable and convenient places of rest, and in no way, interfering where 
there was no occasion. Consideration was shown to the sick, and in every way 
that did not jeopardize the safety of those in their charge, the guards acted in a 
humane and Christian manner. Captivity could not long depress the wags and op- 
tomists and their badinage only caused friendly laughter from the guards as they 
trudged along together. At times during the march there was little evidence of 
captor and captive, as the "light hearts" among the latter, with wit and song, made 
all, for the time, oblivious to place or condition. The less than two thousand pris- 
oners represented four states of the North ; Connecticut, Massachusets, New York 
and Pennsylvania, while the guards, were all from the state invaded by the cap- 
tive : five states represented, each one of which had been part of that illustrious 
galaxy, the Thirteen original states which formed the compact the severance of 
which was now threatened. The representatives of each of these states comprised 
the best citizenship of their respective commonwealths, and each, captor and cap- 
tive, accepted the conditions in which the fortune of war had brought them, and 
acted towards each other as friends rather than foes. When the jovial spirits among 
the prisoners started on that most popular Yankee marching song "John Brown's 
Body Lies Mouldering in the Grave," "As We Go Marching on," no sign of pro- 
test was made. Even when that verse was reached that was most likely to arouse 
the passion of the Confederate soldier, "We'll hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree, 
as we go marching on," evoked only a smile. The men comprising the rank and 
file of the Thirty-fifth North Carolina Regiment were not braggarts, but had the 
qualities that make brave soldiers. Brig. Gen. Ransom, who commanded the right 
wing of the Confederate force, which assaulted and carried the Federal left at 
Plymouth, had been its colonel, and subsequent to the war, represented North 
Carolina for twenty-one years in the United States Senate and was also United 
States minister plenipotentiary to Mexico. For nearly two years it had for its 
adjutant the renowned jurist, Walter Clark, who for many years has been Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. 

Saturday, April 23, was the last day the Thirty-fifth guarded the Plymouth 
captives. An early start was made and during the forenoon the town of Hamilton 
was reached and a rest was made until noon the next day. Here the captives 
were regarded as safe from escape and the Thirty-fifth boys were relieved of 
guard duty and rushed off to the front. A new set of "Johnny Rebs" took charge, 
but while lacking in some of the finer qualities, of the men they had relieved, their 
treatment of the prisoners was fair and considerate. On Sunday, the 24th, the 
late Plymouth garrison, was regarded by the natives surrounding Hamilton as 
a "circus." Men, women and children for miles around came to see the captured 
"Yankees." About noon the prisoners were formed in line and a careful search 


was made for Buffaloes, who had formerly served in the Confederate army and 
deserted. A number were detected, and taken away, and met the fate, no doubt, 
which the laws of war, of all nations award to such. This search being over, a 
march of twelve miles from Hamilton was made on Sunday afternoon, and about 
dark a halt was made for the night, during which there was a light rain-fall ; 
however, the place of bivouac, a friendly pine woods, offered a slight protection, 
and further than dampening the blankets, the men received no ill effect from 
Jupiter Pluvius. 

On Monday, April 25, the bank of the Tar river was reached, after a ten mile 
march. A place to bivouac was assigned the captives near the Tarboro bridge, and 
here they remained until Friday morning, April 29. Tarboro was the most pre- 
tentious town on the Tar river and carried on considerable traffic with Washing- 
ton, before the Federal army took possession, the river being navigable between 
the two points. 

During the three days stay at Tarboro, "Yank" and "Reb" carried on a heavy 
traffic and the men who were fortunate enough to have the Elizabeth City bank 
money found ample opportunity to use it here with advantage. The citizens were 
veritable Shylocks and taking advantage of the necessities of the prisoners held 
every thing at an extortionate price. Before reaching Tarboro the limited rations 
issued by the captors had been entirely exhausted and the men were in a fam- 
ished condition, and in many cases submitted to the extortion to appease the crav- 
ings of the stomach. However, in time the representatives of the commissariat 
made a distribution to each man of a cup of meal, a cup of black peas, a tiny piece 
of bacon and a meager quantity of salt, with kettles and wood to aid in getting 
them into an edible condition. Tarboro being a railroad town, marching was now 
at an end, except to and from stations. The order to leave this place was anxious- 
ly awaited by all, although Tarboro itself, was a pretty town. To men prohibited 
from viewing its beauties there was little attraction, and as the temporary stopping 
place had no barracks or tents to shelter from the sun or rain life here soon be- 
come monotonous. No one had any regret when the order came early in the morn- 
ing of the 29th to fall in. During the forenoon, after a march through one of 
Tarboro's attractive streets, the depot was reached and box cars were boarded, 
and by ten o'clock the train was moving towards Rocky Mount, where the Tar- 
boro branch intersects the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line, in those days 
known as the Petersburg, Weldon and Wilmington Rail Road. A stop was made 
at Goldsboro, 56 miles distant from Tarboro by rail, where rations were issued, 
consisting of three hard crackers, and a small piece of bacon. Wilmington was 
reached during the night, but the prisoners were kept locked in the closed cars 
until after day light, when they alighted and marched to a ferry boat which was 
waiting to convey them across the Cape Fear river. A stop of several hours was 
made on the dock after leaving the ferry boat, when a small loaf of sour wheat 
bread and some bacon were distributed to each man. During the stop here the 
men heard the firing from Federal gunboats which prevented a blockade runner 
from passing out laden with Southern products for foreign ports. They had 
the pleasure of witnessing its return. The smouldering debris of a vast conflagra- 
tion, said to have had its inception through a Federal prisoner-of-war, who had 
deliberately placed a lighted pipe in a bale of cotton was a cause of joyous com- 
ment, rather than of deprecation. The loss was admitted to have been great, esti- 
mated at several millions of dollars in cotton and lumber alone. During the after- 
noon the captives took their departure from Wilmington for the metropolis of 
South Carolina, passing several train loads of Confederate soldiers en route to 
join the army in the direction of Petersburg and Richmond. 

A surprise was given the captives on their arrival in Charleston, Sunday 
morning, May i, a place universally regarded as the hot bed of treason, to find 
many evidences of loyalty to the stars and stripes, and numerous expressions of 


sympathy were in evidence, some even of a tangible nature. However, the stay 
here was limited to two or three hours, when platform cars were boarded, bound 
for Savannah, Georgia. The open cars, althoiigh offering no protection from the 
Southern sun, presented an uninterrupted view of the surrounding country, even 
permitting a hazy glimpse of Fort Sumpter from the bridge crossing the Ashley 
river. However, before the journey on these cars came to an end, the pleasures 
and enjoyment of the scenes witnessed, and the draughts of balmy southern air 
fragrant with the perfume of the magnolia blossom, were well paid for by a 
drenching rain. 

At Savannah a change of cars was made, the last change of this pilgrimage, 
for before another day had come the journey was at an end. Previous to reaching 
Macon a stop was made, rations issued, and the prisoners permitted the privilege 
of a good wash in running water. Another stop of a couple of hours was made 
at Macon and about six o'clock the journey was resumed, and in three or four 
hours, between nine and ten o'clock, Andersonville station was reached, and the 
final railroad journey of hundreds of the men who had so gallantly defended 
the town of Plymouth, two weeks before was forever at an end. As the men left 
the cars, a careful count was made, and after a short march an open field, with 
inviting fires, was reached, where a halt was made for the night. 

Early the next morning, Capt. Henry Wirz made his appearance, who 
with bluster and profanity, intermingled with sinister imprecations, introduced 
himself to the Plymouth captives by supervising their formation into detachments 
of 270 — subdivided into messes of 90, each detachment and subdivision being un- 
der the supervision of a sergeant captive, whose duty it was to draw and issue 
rations and call the roll, the latter being done under the supervision of Confeder- 
ate guards. Early in the forenoon, May 3, (Tuesday)' the enlisted men of the 
Regiment, approximating 400 in numbers, entered the Andersonville stockade. 

From the Capture of the Regiment to the Final Discharge. 
(From April 20, 1864, to July 13, 1865.) 

With the fall of Plymouth the headquarters of the Sub-District of the 
Albemarle was transferred to Roanoke Island. Lieut. Col. Will W. Clark, 85th 
New York Regiment, who had assumed command of Roanoke Island Post on 
April II, was superseded by Col. D. W. Wardrop, of the 99th New York Vol- 
unteers, as commanding officer of the Sub-District of the Albemarle, he retain- 
ing Lieut. Col. Clark on his staff as aide-de-camp. The command of the Regi- 
ment devolved upon Capt. Thomas A. Cochran of Co. C, who had been doing 
garrison duty with his company at Fort Reno, Roanoke Island, for several 
months. As soon as Capt. Cochran assumed command of the Regiment he made 
requisition on the Adjutant General's Office for a copy of the last muster roll of 
the field and staff and the nine companies captured at Plymouth. In due time 
they were received at regimental headquarters. As the army regulations re- 
quired, besides daily and quarterly returns, muster rolls of the field and staff, and 
of every company in the Regiment to be made bi-monthly, in which every man 
in the Regiment had to be accounted for under the head of remarks as these 
had to be made in quadruplicate, an endless task of clerical work devolved upon 
Capt. Cochran. Every man belonging to the absent companies, who was not 
otherwise accounted for on the copy of the muster rolls received was marked as 
"Captured at Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864." In addition to these muster rolls 
of the ten companies, and the field and staff, Capt. Cochran made out a muster 
roll of the detachment, which comprised members of the captured companies, who 
were absent from the Regiment at the time it was captured. At the first mus- 


(From the official records.) 

The plate from which the above map is printed is the property of the State of North 
Carolina and was prepared for "North Carolina Regiments." It Is used here by courtesy of 
the state. 

Roanoke Island was captured by Gen. Burnside Feb. 7, 1862. The Confederate names 
of the forts are given In the map. These were changed after its capture by the Federal 
commander in honor of the commanders of the three brigades participating in the capture: 
Brig. Gens. John G. Foster, Jesse L. Reno and John G. Parke. Ft. Bartow became Ft. Foster; 
Ft. Blanchard, Ft. Reno, and F^. Huger, Ft. Parke. 

After the capitulation of Plymouth, April 20, 1864, Roanoke Island became the head- 
quarters of the Sub-District of the Albemarle, and was garrisoned by fragments of the regi- 
ments captured at Plymouth until the war was practically ended. 


ter after the capture of the Regiment, April 30, 1864, there were four men on 
the muster roll of the detachment, viz: John Cupp (Co. E), George W. Dies 
(Co. G), Benjamin Graham and Lemuel Slagle (Co. F). Cupp had been granted 
a furlough for 30 days, October 6, 1863 ; was taken sick, and did not return until 
April 26 ; Dies was absent from the Regiment only a week prior to the capture 
of Plymouth on leave of absence granted by Gen. Wessells ; Graham was a re- 
cruit, arriving after the capture of the Regiment, and Slagle was sent from 
Plymouth hospital after the attack was made, he having been seriously wounded 
three months before. 

By August 31, the following had either arrived at Roanoke Island, or 
official notice had been received at regimental headquarters of their whereabouts : 
Capt. William Fielding (Co. I), ist Lieut. George W. Kelly (Co. H), 1st Sergt. 
John H. Brown (Co. D), ist Sergt. Watson C. Mobley (Co. A), Sergt. Thomas 
J. Walters (Co. K), Sergt. John Walters (Co. H), Corp. Thomas Craft (Co. 
K), Corp. Lewis Woolford (Co. E), Privates Augustus Abel (Co. B), John 
Cupp (Co. E), George W. Dies (Co. G), Daniel Greek (Co. G), William Hall- 
man (Co. H), Thomas Jewett (Co. G), Henry Kness (Co. F), George Mush- 
rush (Co. E), Joseph Shill (Co. H), Thomas A. Smith (Co. K), Andrew J. 
SalHards (Co. F), Lemuel Slagle (Co. F), Jethro Warner (Co. G), Samuel A. 
Walker (Co. I), Thomas Burns (Co. K), Helm J. McGill (Co. I), George W. 
Davidson (Co. D). Davidson had been honorably discharged by reason of dis- 
ability on Surgeon's certificate, August 29, 1862. He had lost his discharge, and 
was apprehended as a deserter and sent to the Regiment on May 20, 1864. There 
being no record of why he was dropped from the rolls he was kept on duty with 
the detachment until August 22, 1864, when notice of his discharge was received 
from the War Department. The July and August muster rolls show that 30 
recruits had arrived at the Regiment for the captured companies. The ram 
Albemarle, although secluded up the Roanoke River many miles from Roanoke 
Island, kept the commanding officer of the Sub-District of the Albemarle in con- 
stant dread of an attack from the enemy, much to the annoyance of the men on 
duty on the Island. The negro contrabands were furnished with arms and fre- 
quent orders were issued from headquarters cautioning the troops to be vigilant. 
Col. Lehmann returned to the Regiment in December, 1864, and was immediately 
assigned to the command of the Sub-District of the Albemarle. Capt. Cochran 
was superseded as commanding officer of the Regiment by Capt. Cratty, who 
was his senior in rank. During the early months of 1865, the officers and men, 
who had been prisoners of war, began to return to the Regiment in numbers, and 
by April more than a hundred had arrived. Owing to their long absence, and 
the privations they had suffered, they were allowed many liberties, and were 
practically exempt from duty. When their numbers had approximated a hundred 
they appeared at dress parade as a detachment one evening. It had been nearly 
a year since they had been on dress parade or had drill of any kind. Without 
any preliminary practice, whatever, they executed the manual of arms, as if it 
were done by one man. No company of the Regiment, at any time in its history, 
ever surpassed this detachment in the manipulation of arms, as it was executed 
on this occasion. The freedom given these ex-prisoners of war was not con- 
ducive to discipline, Roanoke Island afforded many opportunities for enjoyment, 
and Scuppernong wine was plentiful. All indications pointed to an early end- 
ing of the war. These men were having one continual holiday, and dances were 
frequently arranged by the Terpsichoreans and citizens on the Island. The 
latter were glad to assist in arranging these, as it gave them an opportunity to 
dispense at a fair profit the Island's principal beverage. In the meantime eight 
companies of new men, with a full complement of commissioned officers, had ar- 
rived to be consolidated with the Regiment. A similar number had come to the 
Island to be consolidated with the lOist Regiment. The officers of these new 

r'VlsA-P^ »■. _^ . __ 


troops had done service in other Regiments, and were ambitious to gain promo- 
tion. Complaints were frequently made during this period of depredations com- 
mitted on the Island, mostly from the negro contrabands. Hen roosts were 
robbed so boldly that the blame fell exclusively on the ex-prisoners of war. Col. 
Lehmann issued strict orders that the men should remain at quarters, night and 
day, unless given permission from headquarters to leave. The men paid little 
attention to such orders. The guards from Co. C, and from the detachment 
made up of those who had not been captured and new recruits, permitted the 
ex-prisoners of war to go and come at will, irrespective of orders issued. Col. 
Lehmann had the Island patrolled, day and night, by the new companies. At a 
dance, one night the house where it was held was surrounded, and 25 or 30 men 
were captured by one of these new companies. The prisoners were marched to 
headquarters and put in the guard house. It was a log house with a ground floor, 
with only one door which was locked on the outside by a pad-lock, and adjoin- 
ing it, was a room for the guard-quarters, where the sergeant of the guard, and 
the guard off duty rested. When the men were incarcerated Col. Lehmann was 
notified and he gave orders to have them securely guarded. Shortly after dawn 
the next day the Colonel made his appearance and asked the sergeant in charge 
to unlock the door, all the time expressing condemnation of the imprisoned men 
and threatenening them with punishment. During the time the sergeant was 
opening the door, Col. Lehmann had worked himself into a high state of ex- 
citement with his denunciations — interspersed with thundering expletives. The 
door was opened and the prison was found vacant. A tunnel had been dug and 
the prisoners had worked so stealthily that the guards had no suspicion of an 
attempt being made to escape. The Colonel was in a rage. It was not yet time 
for reveille, but he went immediately to the quarters, and had the men called out 
in line. He first informed the men he knew who the culprits were, and he wanted 
them to step to the front. Not a man stirred. Then he threatened to punish all, 
but the men remained stolid and calm, and acted as though his denunciations and 
threats fell on deaf ears. Orders were issued that day for the entire detachment 
to get ready to move to Coin Jock on the Dismal Swamp Canal. The Colonel 
had determined to isolate them again from civilization as punishment, but this 
made the innocent suffer as well as the guilty, and would also force the commis- 
sioned officers, who had been prisoners of war, into exile also. They protested 
most vigorously, but the Colonel remained obdurate. By sfood fortune this pun- 
ishment was interrupted by orders from department headquarters, however 
with no intent to thwart the Colonel in his purpose. The war was at an end and 
the Regiment was ordered to New Bern, N. C, to be mustered out of the service 
of the United States. This was delayed for some reason, proba:bly for lack of 
transportation, until June 25, 1865. This muster out did not give the men free 
rein to do as they pleased; they were still subject to the orders of the officers, 
and remained so until after they received the final pavment due them, which 
was given them simultaneously with their discharge, at Harrisburg, Penna., July 
13, 1865. Subsequent to the war no one laughed more heartily over the Roanoke 
Island tunnel escape than did Col. Lehmann, when meeting the men who were 
participants in it. 



Col. W. F. Fox, in his "Regimental Losses," perhaps the most trustworthy statistical 
work on regimental casualties in the Civil War published, says: "There are other reasons 
than money or patriotism which induce men to risk life and limb in war. There is the love 
of glory and the expectation of honorable recognition. But the private in the ranks ex- 
pects neither. His identity is merged in that of his regiment and its name is every thing. 
He does not expect to see his own name on the page of history, and is content with a proper 
recognition of the old command in which he fought. But he is jealous of the record of his 
regiment, and demands credit for every shot it fired and every grave it filled. The bloody 
laurels for which a regiment contends will always be awarded to the one with the longest 
roll of honor. Scars are the true evidence of wounds and the regimental scars can be seen 
only in the record of its casualties." 

Only seven Pennsylvania Regiments are credited in "Regimental Losses" with more 
deaths, during the war, than the 103d Regiment. From a casual examination of the rosters 
of the regiments whose losses are greater than that of the 103d, the writer believes a careful 
examination will show that a greater number of the original organization of the Regiment — 
slightly less than one thousand — died in the service, than that of any other regiment. While 
it is true the private, or rather enlisted man, is jealous of the record of his regiment, he 
also takes especial pride in the record of his company. As the company is the unit of the 
regimental organization, it seems to the writer, that a sketch of the companies should be an 
important feature of a regimental history. An earnest endeavor has been made to gather 
reliable data as to the organization and special work of the respective companies, Of some 
there have been no authentic data secured, and the references to those are necessarily brief, 
Those having the most extensive notices have caused the writer and his collaborator, less 
labor than those most meagerly mentioned. These company sketches embrace the essential 
features of all the personal reminiscences sent in. The latter chiefly referred to matters al- 
ready fully covered in detail in the narrative of the Regiment and were generally a repeti- 
tion of each other. The biographical notices incorporated into the field and staff and com- 
pany sketches, will be of interest to the surviving comrades, and would have been more 
numerous had the data been forthcoming. 


The discipline and efficiency of a regiment of volunteer troops depends solely on the 
proficiency in military knowledge and discipline of its commanding officers. A commander 
may be exceptionally brilliant in military science and yet lack the qualities that tend to 
discipline. At the beginning of the war few regiments possessed commanding officers with 
military training, except as acquired in the State militia. The 103d Regiment at its organi- 
zation was deemed most fortunate in possessing in its chief commanding officer a man of 
exceptional proficiency in military knowledge and a strict disciplinarian. Col. Lehmann 
not only had the early training of a German military school and the experience of several 
years as a commissioned officer in the German army, but he had been identified for several 
months as the second in command of one of the most noted regiments going out from the 
State, thereby acquiring a knowledge of incalculable benefit. As. Col. Lehmann was iden- 
tified with the Regiment at its organization and was mustered out with it after the war had 
ended, a biography of him will be of interest to all those who have followed the activities 
of the Regiment. 

Col. Theodore Frederick Lehmann was born in the town of Eystrup, Germany, in 
the year 1812. He attended the Gymnasium (a preparatory school), in the city of Olden- 
burg, and subsequently the military academy, from which he graduated a second lieutenant 
in 1829. He resigned from the army in 1833, and began the study of drawing and painting, 
for which he possessed great talent, at Ehisseldorf, on the Rhine. Later he went to Paris' 
in pursuit of his artistic studies, and from there to Nantes, where he became superintendent 
of the Academy of Fine Arts. Col. Lehmann married there, but shortly after, in 1837 con- 
cluded to try his fortune in America, and came to New York City. He had not resided 


there long before his eyesight began to give him much trouble, and the health of his young 
wife began to fail. Being offered a position as Civil Engineer in Texas, he went south, 
traveling all the way on horseback. 

In Texas he surveyed and laid out the land for several towns — besides designing 
the boundary lines of great estates. At that time General Houston was Governor of Texas, 
and a cordial friendship was formed between him and Col. Lehmann. 

His wife dying in 1839 Col. Lehmann moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, where he ac- 
cepted a professorship in a college near there, the most prominent college for girls in the 

While residing there Col. Lehmann met and married his second wife, Miss Catherine 
Blanton McMurtry, in 1844. He removed to Henderson, Ky., in 1852, where he established 
a fine school for girls, but shortly after, in 1855, superior inducements being offered in 
Morganfield, a nearby town, he removed his school there. Here, in 1856, his wife and son 
John died of cholera the same day. 

In 1858 Col. Lehmann married Miss Fannie Lloyd, a daughter of Capt. Lloyd, de- 
ceased, of the English army, and shortly after removed to Pittsburg, Pa., where he ac- 
cepted the position of superintendent of one of the public schools. 

The civil war breaking out in 1861 brought prominently into notice the military 
talents and training of Col. Lehmann, and he was commissioned Lieut. Colonel of the 
62d Regt., Penna. Vol. Infantry, at its organization in 1861. He was transferred from the 
62d Regiment to the command of the 103d Regiment, Oct. 80, 1861, assuming command 
of the Regiment Nov. 4, and was mustered out with it at New Bern, N. C., June 25, 
1865, retaining command of it until July 13, 1865, when it was finally discharged and dis- 
banded at Harrisburg. 

Col. Lehmann was a man of many talents. He was an artist and a musician, a 
chemist and a civil engineer, a linguist and an inventor. His eldest son, in a letter before 
the writer, says of his father: 

"The fly in the ointment" was his utter lack of all business ability. One night in New 
York City, among a party of gentlemen, he made a remark I have never forgotten. Said 
he, "The German scientist is nearly always like a blind hen : She scratches for her chick- 
ens, but cannot scratch for herself," and therein lay his own story. He lacked the element 
of business to turn his own work of chemical investigation and inventions to advantage 
and others reaped the benefit or they were lost." 

When his relations with the army were severed Col. Lehmann returned to Pittsburgh, 
and engaged in civil engineering. His wife died in 1891, and he removed to Washington, 
D. C, where he died on Friday, Dec. 6, 1894, aged 82 years. He was buried under the 
auspices of the G. A. R., Department of the Potomac, on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8, 1894. 

At the present writing (1910), the following children of Col. Lehmann still survive 
him : Chas. A. Lehmann, New Albany, Ind. ; Mrs. Fred. A. Lehmann (daughter-in-law) ; 
Mrs. Kate Zimmerman, Miss Lucy I. Lehmann, Washington, D. C. ; Mrs. J. Ed. Cowen, 
Ernest Lehmann, Mrs. Alice Gilbert, Pittsburgh, Penna. 


The Civil War demonstrated one important fact, that to preserve this Republic a 
large standing army is unnecessary. And while military training schools for officers may 
be necessary, yet even without them, situated as we are, we would have little to fear from 
outside nations. 

In its lieutenant-colonel the 103d Regiment selected a man without any military 
knowledge, and yet it is doubtful if any one who served with the Regiment from the be- 
ginning to the end would not concede that the Regiment made no mistake when it 
selected Wilson C. Maxwell as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment. Just how it came 
that this selection was made may never be made perfectly clear. The strong personality 
of Lieut.-Col. Maxwell was, no doubt, a dominating factor. There were three men in the 
Regiment more mature in years and who, for that time, were regarded as military men, 
who had been identified with the Regiment from its incipient organization, on either of 


whom, it would seem, this position should have gone in preference to this quiet, young 
man who lately came to the Regiment, viz : Captains Laughlin, Gillespie and Townsend. 
Perhaps it may have been the rivalry between these men for the position that made it 
possible for Lieut.-Col. Maxwell to assume the role of a "dark horse." In the archives of 
the State, there is preserved a petition, signed by fully three-fourths of the Regiment, re- 
questing Gov. Curtin to appoint Capt. Wilson C. Maxwell to the Lieutenant Colonelcy. 

Lieutenant Colonel Wilson C. Maxwell was born in 1840 on a farm near Clintonville, 
Venango County, Penna. He received his school education in the district schools of the 
County and at Jame's Union Academy, Clintonville. Before he had attained his majority 
he became a district school teacher and attained a high reputation in the neighborhood 
where he was reared as an instructor. His parents moving from Venango County to Har- 
risville, Butler County, a short time before the war, he was a resident of that place when 
the war began. However, on the discovery of oil in Venango County, he became identified 
with the oil business on Oil Creek, and first gave evidence of a predilection for military 
life while there. During the summer of 1861 he assisted in recruiting a cavalry company 
in Venango County, and was promised a lieutenancy in the company. After the company 
arrived at Harrisburg, or Philadelphia, there was a disagreement and Maxwell severed 
his relations with the cavalry. Before returning home he received authority from Gov. 
Curtin to recruit a company, and as soon as he arrived at Harrisville, he went to work 
with great enthusiasm at raising another company, the result of which is told in a sketch 
of Company I, in this volume. 

Lieut, Col. Maxwell's military career has already been told in the chronological nar- 
rative of the Regiment, and in the official reports. He commanded the Regiment, and was 
captured with it at Plymouth, N. C. During his imprisonment he contracted disease which 
baffled the best medical skill. He was paroled November 1, 1864, and discharged on ac- 
count of his health, December IS, 1864. He returned to his home at Harrisville, and al- 
though receiving the best of medical aid he gradually weakened until final dissolution came. 
A comrade who was at his bedside when the last summons came, J. W, Orr (since de- 
ceased), wrote: 

"The night of his death two comrades sat beside him to hear what he might say, 
John W. Shull, just returned from the 78th, and myself. His last words were, 'Turn me 
over a little again, boys.' Seeing the end fast approaching, we summoned the family, the 
goodbyes were said, and Col. Maxwell passed peacefully into the great beyond. The cort- 
ege of the funeral was large, the 'boys' who had returned from the war forming an escort 
on either side of the hearse, under command of Capt. Hugh A. Ayres of the 78th Regi- 
ment. He was buried in Prairie Cemetery, at Harrisville, Pa., along side the brother whose 
remains he had sent home from Yorktown in May, 1862." 

Lieut. Col. Wilson C. Maxwell was a representative of the highest and best citizen- 
ship of the young manhood of America, who responded to the call of Abraham Lincoln. 
He was in the highest sense a good man — he was a good soldier. 


Audley William Gazzam, Major of the 103d Regiment, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., 
May 8, 1836. He was the eldest son of Dr. Edward Despard Gazzam, also a native of 
Pittsburgh, having been born in that city in 1803. Maj. Gazzam's father was at one time 
postmaster of Pittsburgh, and had the distinction of having been the first Republican State 
Senator from Allegheny County, having been elected to that position in 1856. At an early 
age Maj. Gazzam was admitted to the Allegheny County bar. At the outbreak of the Civil 
War he was President of the Firemen's Association of Pittsburgh, from which body he 
recruited a company for the three months' service, known as the Fire Zouaves, of which 
he was captain. On March 1, 1862, he was appointed and mustered as Major of the 103d 
Penna. Regiment, his commission and muster dating from Nov. 1, 1861. 

Owing to the absence of the Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel the command of the Regi- 
ment devolved upon Maj. Gazzam during most of the Peninsula campaign. It was under 
his leadership that the Regiment received its baptism of fire at the battle of Williamsburg, 


and it was under his command that the Regiment checked the advance of Garland's 
Brigade of a half dozen regiments of Hill's Division, which led the attack of Casey's Di- 
vision at the battle of Fair Oaks. While leading the Regiment in the dense woods in front 
of the abatis in advance of Casey's position Maj. Gazzam was swept from his horse by the 
limb of a tree, and was momentarily stunned by his head striking a log in the fall. How- 
ever, he quickly regained his feet, remounted, and after the Regiment had been scattered 
into fragments by the overwhelming force of the enemy, and the almost impenetrable 
woods through which it had to retire, succeeded in rallying nearly two hundred of the 
men, and kept them together throughout the day. The immense strain of this campaign, 
and the continued exposure finally compelled Maj. Gazzam to succumb to disease, and 
after the Regiment arrived at Harrison's Landing, he was sent to the General Hospital at 
Fortress Monroe. Subsequently he returned to the Regiment at New Bern, N. C, and 
remained with it until the Autumn of 1863, when he was sent to Pennsylvania on recruiting 
service. His impaired physical condition caused him to be transferred to the Veteran Reserve 
Corps, and he remained in this department of the service until after the end of the war, 
when he resigned, his resignation being accepted in July, 1865. After severing his connec- 
tion with the army Maj. Gazzam removed to Utica, N. Y. ; subsequently moving to New 
York and later to Philadelphia, where he continued to reside until his death, which oc- 
curred after an illness of but a few hours, on Saturday, May 10, 1884. At the time of his 
death he was attorney general for the National Cremation Society, and he was the first 
member of that society to be cremated, the incineration taking place at the La Moytie Crema- 
tory, Washington, Penna., then the only crematory in the United States. The ashes were 
taken to Utica, N. Y., and buried in the family lot in Forest Hill Cemetery in conformity 
to the written desire of Maj. Gazzam. Maj. Gazzam was well known in Pittsburgh, Utica, 
New York City and Philadelphia as a lawyer of ability, making a specialty of bankruptcy 
cases. This branch of the law is indebted to him for several important works, among them 
being "Gazzam in Bankruptcy" and a "Digest of American and English Decisions in Bank- 

Maj. Gazzam was twice married: the first time at Pittsburgh, Pa., to Mary Elizabeth 
Van Deusen, daughter of Rev. Edwin M. Van Deusen, formerly rector of St. Peter's P. E. 
Church, Pittsburgh, and of Grace Church, Utica, N. Y. Mrs. Mary Gazzam died in Utica, 
N. Y., April 12, 1871. His second marriage, to Isabella Rogers, of New York, occurred in 
1876. Mrs. Gazzam is now (1909) residing at South Norwalk, Conn. 

Children of Maj. Gazzam and Mary Elizabeth Van Deusen Gazzam: Antoinette 
Elizabeth; married to John Stanley Frederick of Baltimore, Md. She is now (1909) re- 
siding at Miami, Florida. Mary Van Deusen; married to the Rev. George Abbott Hunt, 
of the P. E. Church; resides now (1909) at Narberth, Penna. Dr. Edwin Van Deusen 
Gazzam, who graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 1892, 
and who for ten years successfully practised medicine in New York City. Owing to serious 
injuries received in a cable car accident he was obliged to relinquish his profession for 
nearly a year, and then moved to his old home, at Utica, N. Y., where he is now (1907) 
in active practice. He was married to Miss Clara Margaret Griffith, of Utica, N. Y. Irene 
Gilbert; married to Edward Hagaman Hall, of New York City; Mr. and Mrs. Hall now 
(1907) reside at 12 West 103d street. New York city. Maria Florence, married (Jeorge W. 
Kosel, of Homestead, Florida, where they reside now (1907). 

Children of Major Gazzam and Isabelle Rogers Gazzam: Joseph Murphy Gazzam, 
Jr., Attorney at Law ; in 1903 married Miss May Perkins Lewis, of New London, Conn. ; 
address (1907) 44 Court street, Brooklyn, N. Y. ; residence 201 Qinton street, Brooklyn, 
N. Y. Lilabel Gazzam, present address (1907) South Norwalk, Conn., where she resides 
with her mother. 

In the first dispatches from the battle field of Fair Oaks, Major Gazzam was reported 
among the dead. His younger brother, the Hon. Joseph M. Gazzam, then residing at Pitts- 
burgh, at once started for the battle field for the remains of his brother, but much to his 
surprise and joy, among the very first persons to greet him on his arrival on the Peninsula 
was Maj. Gazzam. Hon. Joseph M. Gazzam now (1909) resides at Philadelphia, Penna. 



Major James F. Mackey was mustered into the service as Captain of Co. H, to date 
from Feb. 20, 1862. He was the most fortunate of all the original captains of the Regiment 
in retaining his health, and participated with the Regiment in all its campaigns, from the 
battle of Williamsburg until the final capitulation at Plymouth, N. C, Apr. 20, '64. Capt. 
Mackey was a man of the highest probity and was universally esteemed by the officers and 
men of the Regiment. The contents of his diary while a prisoner of war, which appears 
in this volume, will give the reader an index as to his character. The history of the Regi- 
ment tells his military career. Maj. Mackey was a good soldier, a conscientious officer, 
and exemplified in the highest degree a true disciple of the divine Master throughout his 
entire army career. 

Maj. Mackey was mustered out of the service as Captain of Company H on March 
12, 1865, on account of reduction of command. Subsequently he was, by order of the War 
Department, mustered as Major to date from December 15, 1864. After the war he en- 
gaged in the oil business, residing at Franklin, Penna. His death occurred at his residence 
at Franklin, Friday evening. May 11, 1883, in the 62d year of his age. 


Adjutant Samuel B. Kennedy was a protege of Col. Lehmann, and was among the 
very first appointments made by the Colonel after he assumed command of the Regiment. 
Lieut. Alvin H. Alexander had been acting as adjutant of the Regiment, and the advent 
of Kennedy, to supplant Alexander, without the concurrence of Col. Finlay, caused some 
friction between the Colonel and some of the Company officers. Adjutant Kennedy was 
suave and tactful, and soon gained the good will of both officers and men. He was acci- 
dentally wounded by a shot from a revolver in the hands of Capt. Laughlin, at Suffolk, 
Va., and as a result was discharged on Surgeon's certificate, Nov. 29, 1862. Adjutant Ken- 
nedy's father kept a gun store on 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., during and subsequent to 
the war, and for a time after he left the army the Adjutant was identified with the busi- 
ness, but seemed always as though he desired to keep aloof from his former comrades 
in arms. 


Adjutant William H. Irwin was mustered into service as First Lieutenant of Com- 
pany G, Jan. 10, 1862. Adjutant Irwin, while very quiet and reserved in manner, was 
very popular with both officers and men. He was with the Regiment in all its marches 
and engagements from the Peninsula campaign until it was captured at Plymouth, N. C, 
Apr. 20^ '64, and was paroled at Wilmington, N. C, March 1, 1865. The writer has before 
him several letters written from Confederate prisons by Adjutant Irwin to his father, 
then an eminent citizen of Allegheny City, Pa. These letters are published here because 
they will not only be of interest to all surviving members of the Regiment, but because 
they also give a different insight into Southern prison life from that generally published. 

C. S. Military Prison^ Charleston, S. C, Sept. 24, 1864. 

Dear Father : I wrote to mother by the last flag of truce communication and re- 
quested her to tell you to send me some money. For fear that she should not receive the 
letter I thought I would write to you. I wish you would please send me twenty dollars in 
gold, or Fifty dollars in U. S. currency (whichever is the most convenient) by Adams Ex- 
press to Hilton Head, care of Maj. Gen. Foster. I also need some clothing, which you can 
send the same way. One pair boots ; one pair pants ; two flannel shirts, two pr. drawers, 
three or four pr. socks, towels, brush and comb; one tin plate, knife, fork and spoon. A 
small quantity of coffee and sugar, and anything else you can send in a small box. My 
health is very good, and I am getting along very well. 

Affectionately, your son. Will. 

C. S. Military Prison, Columbia, S. C, Oct. 13, 1864. 

Dear Father : Your letter of the 16th ult. came to hand on the 4th inst. Glad to hear 
that you are all well at home. On the 5th inst we were removed from Charleston to Colum- 
bia and are now encamped about two miles from the city. We are not very comfortably sit- 
uated at present, but probably will be in a few days. I am glad to hear that you are going 


to send me a box. I trust I may get it soon. Capt. Robinson, Capt. Chalfant and Lieut. 
Spence are well. Capt. Robinson received a box from home last week, and Capt. Chalfant 
received one at Charleston. My health is good. Write soon and direct to Columbia. 

Affectionately, your son, 

Wm. H. Irwin. 
C. S. Military Prison, Columbia, S. C, Nov. 27, 1864. 
Dear Father : I thank you for the box you sent me. It came to hand in good order on 
the 23d inst. and the articles it contained were very acceptable. I received two letters yes- 
terday, one from Hannah and one from Jack. I wrote to you when I was at Charleston 
for some clothing that I required. If you received the letter I would like for you to send 
me the articles immediately as I expect to spend the winter in the Confederacy. I am very 
comfortably situated at present. Capt. Robinson and Lieut. Spence are well. Do not be 
anxious about me. I am "all right." Aff. your son, 

Wm. H. Irwin. 
C. S. Military Prison, Columbia, S. C, Dec. 9, 1864. 
Dear Father: Your letter dated Oct. 22, '64, came to hand this A. M. Glad to hear 
that you are all well at home. I have not received the money you sent me but I think I will 
get it sometime soon. Capt. Robinson and Col. Frasier are going to start for home this A. M. 
Capt. R. will call and see you, and tell you how I am getting along, etc. I rec'd the box you 
sent me in good order and it was very acceptable. I wrote to you acknowledging the receipt 
of it soon after I got it. My health is good, but I am very anxious to be exchanged. 

Affec. your son. Will H. Irwin. 

P. S. I rec'd a letter from mother this A. M., dated Oct. 28, 1864, and will answer it 
in a few days. Will. 

Officers' Hospital, Annapolis, Md., March 6, 1865. 
Dear Father: I arrived here last evening from Wilmington, N. C, where I was de- 
livered to our authorities on the 1st inst. I will have to remain here until I am paid and 
receive my leave of absence before I can start for home. I have very comfortable quarters, 
and it is possible that I will not get my leave for a week or ten days, therefore I would like 
to hear how you are all getting along at home. I am well, and hope to see you soon. 

Affectionately, your son, 

Wm. H. Irwin. 

After his return from the army Adjutant Irwin engaged in the foundry business, 
and for many years before his death was the successful proprietor of the Rosedale 
Foundry in Allegheny, Pa., now known as the Rosedale Foundry and Machine Works, 
and of which Adjutant Irwin's son, Henry T. Irwin, is manager. 


The Quarter Master of the Regiment, Oliver R. McNary, was mustered into the 
service March 1, 1862. Just what influence obtained him the position is not shown by the 
record and it is not known to the surviving members. As he took no part in recruiting the 
Regiment, and was not known to the oiBcers and men of the Regiment until after they had 
left the State, his selection was probably made by Col. Lehmann. He was an efficient 
officer, and was captured with the Regiment at Plymouth, and was for a long time a pris- 
oner of war, was finally paroled, but never returned to the Regiment. After his ex- 
change was effected he was on detached service, continuing so when the Regiment was 
mustered out. After the war he was quite active in the "Prisoners of War Association," 
and was appointed historian of the organization. 


Surgeon William R. Stavely was mustered into the service Nov. 21, 1861, and took 
an active part in the troubles that arose between Col. Finlay and Col. Lehmann. The lat- 
ter sent him to Harrisburg, to present his side of the controversy. Later, however, he 
and Col. Lehmann quarreled, and he resigned Nov. 19, 1862, lacking two days of one year 
in the service. 


Surgeon A. P. Frick was promoted to Surgeon of the Regiment on Nov. 24, 1862, com- 
ing from the 101st Regiment, in which he had been mustered as Assistant Surgeon 
October 15, 1861. Surgeon Frick remained with the Regiment until it was captured at 


Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864. He remained at Plymouth for three days after the sur- 
render attending to the wounded, and accompanied Gen. Wessells and staff to Libby 
Prison, at Richmond, Va. After a confinement there of only three or four day, he was 
unconditionally released as a non-combatant. After his reslease he was ordered to return 
to the Regiment, after a twenty days' leave of absence. En route to the Regiment, he 
was assigned to duty for several weeks at a hospital at Fortress Monroe, after which 
he was assigned to duty as Surgeon-in-chief of the Sub-District of the Albemarle, with 
headquarters at Roanoke Island, N. C. He was discharged from the service Jan. 25, 1865, 
and when last heard from, September 18, 1906, his residence was in the State of Texas. 

Surgeon John Q. A. Meredith was mustered into the service July 1, 1862, as As- 
sistant Surgeon of the Regiment. He was also captured at Plymouth, N. C., April 20, 
1864, with the Regiment. However, he was not so fortunate as Surgeon Frick, as he was 
forced to stay in the Confederate prisons for several months, with the officers, as if he 
were a combatant. He finally succeeded in getting unconditionally released and returned 
to the Regiment. He was promoted to Surgeon March 23, 1865, and was mustered out 
with the Regiment, June 25, 1865. 


Assistant Surgeon Theodore Jacobs was mustered into the service, Nov. 19, 1861, 
and resigned June 25, 1862. 

Assistant Surgeon David M. Marshall was mustered into the service August 6, 1862; 
and remained with the Regiment until Jan. 28, 1863, when he was promoted to Surgeon 
of the 167th Penna. Regiment. 

Assistant Surgeon John T. Walton was mustered into the service March 18, 1863. 
He was captured at Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864; was unconditionally released and 
returned to duty with the Regiment in October, 1864, and was promoted to Surgeon of 
the 78th Penna. Regiment June 19, 1865. 


The Regiment had three Chaplains during its term of service, and most of the time 
was without the service of any. 

Rev. David McCay was mustered into service as Chaplain of the Regiment Feb. 22, 
1862. At the outbreak of the war he was pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Callensburg, 
Clarion Co., Penna. During his pastorate at Callensburg, Rev. McCay was instrumental 
in establishing an academy at that place, in which many of the young men of Company 
A had been students. During the Peninsular campaign Chaplain McCay contracted typhoid 
fever. During his illness he resigned, his resignation taking effect May 17, 1862. When 
returning home from the army Chaplain McCay visited the scenes of his boyhood 
days at Lewistown, Penna., and while there succumbed to his illness, sometime during the 
month of June, 1862. His remains were taken to Callensburg for interment. 

Rev. McCay was born Feb. 17, 1816. He graduated from Jefferson College, June, 
1838, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1841. He went to Qarion County in 
1842, where he was pastor of three churches, remaining there until he entered on the 
duties as Chaplain of the Regiment. Chaplain McCay was an excellent singer and could 
lead the music in any assembly. He left four children, one of whom died in childhood. 
Three daughters are still living: Mrs. Thomas D. Davis, 261 Shady Ave., Pittsburgh, 
Pa. ; Mrs. John M. Pardee, 502 CoUins Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa. ; Hodessa J. McCay, Man- 
chester, Ky., the latter being engaged in missionary work. 

Chaplain McCay was well esteemed by both officers and men and it was with pro- 
found regret to the religious men of the Regiment that he was compelled to leave the 
service. On a memoranda page of a diary before the writer is the following notation : 
"Our Chaplain's parting words, 'This is in all human probability the last time I will meet 


with you. If I would have a parting word it would be "Trust in God." Carry on these 
meetings ; He, who is stronger than any human assistance, promises to be with you.' " 

Rev. Theodore Bird, the second Chaplain of the Regiment, was mustered into the 
service October 13, 1862, and resigned February 13, 1863. During his chaplaincy of four 
months the activities of the Regiment were such that comparatively few of the enlisted 
men of the Regiment made his acquaintance. 

Rev. John H. Rowling, the third and last Chaplain assigned to the Regiment, was 
mustered into the service December 26, 1863, and honorably discharged from the service 
May 31, 1864, as per Special Order, No. 192, War Dept., on account of physical disability. 
During the nearly four years' service of the Regiment, the aggregate service covered by 
the three Chaplains was less than a year. 


Henry H. Bell, the first Sergeant Major of the Regiment, was mustered into the 
service in Co. F. Dec. 7, 1861; transferred to Co. G. Jan. 10, 1862, and transferred to the 
Regimental staff on same date. Bell's health was poor and he did little service with the 
Regiment and was discharged early in 1862. 

During the absence of Sergt. Maj. Bell and for a time after his discharge. Private 
Samuel Murphy officiated, Samuel Murphy was promoted to Sergt. Major Sept. 1, 1862, 
from Co. C. and served as such until Jan. 1, 1863, when he was appointed acting second 
lieutenant of Co. K., but was carried on the rolls of Co. C. as sergeant 

James H. Chambers was promoted to Sergt. Major Jan. 1, 1863. He was one of 
the original sergeants of Co. C. and had been color bearer of the Regiment from the time 
it had received its colors. He was promoted to 1st Lieut. Co. F., July 4, 1863, having acted 
as such from May 1, 1863. 

John C. Applegate was promoted to Sergt. Major May 1, 1863. He was transferred 
to the field and staff from Co. I. and was discharged from the service Feb. 14, 1865. Watson 
C. Mobley was appointed sergeant major April 19, 1865, from first sergeant of Co. A. 
Mobley was absent on recruiting service when his company was captured, but returned to 
the Regiment early in the summer of 1864. He was mustered out with the Regiment June 
25, 1865, and finally discharged July 13, 1866. 

Joseph B. Pollock served as Quarter Master Sergeant of the Regiment from its 
organization until it was mustered out, except while absent as a prisoner of war. 

Charles C. Lang was appointed Hospital Steward at the organization of the Regi- 
ment. He was transferred from Co. C, in which he was mustered Sept. 16, 1861. He 
was captured at Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864, and paroled March 30, 1865. He was 
discharged May 30, 1865, more than eight months after his three years' term of enlistment 
had expired. Norval D. Goe was appointed to succeed Hosp. Stew, Lang May 31, 1865. 
He had been Assistant Hospital Steward before the Regiment was captured, and after 
his return from southern prisons assumed the full functions of the office, and was mustered 
out with the Field and Staff June 25, 1865, receiving his final discharge July 13, 1865, at 
Harrisburg, Pa. Thomas J. Laughlin was appointed Commissary Sergeant at the organ- 
ization of the Regiment. He was mustered into the service Sept. 7, 1861, in Co. A, from 
which he was transferred to Co. G, in order to credit that company with the position. He 
was captured at Plymouth, and died at Andersonville Nov. 4, 1864. He was succeeded by 
Private John R. Kron, of Co. G, who was mustered into the service in that company Jan. 
10, 1862, had re-enlisted as a veteran and had been a prisoner of war, paroled, and re- 
turned to the Regiment. Kron was mustered out with the Field and Staff June 25, 1865, 
receiving his final discharge at Harrisburg July 13, 1865, as Commissary Sergeant. 

Two Bien who were not mustered into the service, but who were identified with the 
Regiment from the time it engaged actively on duty until it was captured deserve recogni- 

Corp. James S. Cooper. 
(Co. A.) 

1st Sergt. Sam. F. Shields. 
(Co. A.) 

Corp. G. W. K. Stover. 
(Co. A.) 



tion in a history of the Regiment, viz: Sutler Adolph Krebs and his chief clerk CL 
Straub, the latter familiarly known to the boys as "Louie." No Sutler was held m higher 
esteem by the officers and men of the regiment to which he was attached than was Mr. 
Krebs. Absolutely honest and upright in all his dealings, his bills were never disputed and 
he was never censured for charging extortionate prices. Especially to the officers ot the 
Regiment was he a "friend in need," as he was always supplied with the sinews of war, 
even if the exigencies of the service prevented him from getting his store supplies. In emer- 
gencies the enlisted men did not hesitate to call on him for cash, and in a measure he was 
the banker of the Regiment. He was captured with the Regiment at Plymouth and suf- 
fered the privations of Andersonville, for nearly a year the same as if he had been an en- 
listed man. On his release he was so ill and emaciated that several months elapsed before 
he recovered his health. He conducted a lithographing establishment at Pittsburgh, which 
he relinquished to become Sutler. After the war he returned to his former vocation, 
establishing his business at Cincinnati, conducting it successfully until his death, which oc- 
curred some years ago. "Louie" Straub was a brother-in-law of Sutler Krebs, the latter 
being married to his sister. He was one of the "boys" of the Regiment, and frequently ac- 
companied them on expeditions, carrying a musket. He narrowly escaped capture on the 
Peninsula when Stuart made his raid in rear of the army. He was coming up with sup- 
plies and hearing the enemy was in the rear he secluded his wagon in a copse until after 
the raiders disappeared. He was at Plymouth when the attack was made but left to bring 
up some stores, but was prevented from returning by the success of the ram Albemarle. He 
has been identified with the insurance business at Pittsburgh since the war. 


Callensburg, Clarion County, furnished the first group of men to enter the rendezvous 
camp who were enrolled in the 103d Regiment. Capt. Reynolds Laughlin with fifteen men 
arrived at Camp Orr, Kittanning, on Aug. 30, 1861, all of whom came from Callensburg, 
or from the townships contiguous to it. A number of these had been students at the Cal- 
lensburg Academy, an institution established in 1858, largely through the instrumentality of 
Rev. David McCay, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Callensburg, and who became 
the first chaplain of the 103d Regiment. Capt. Laughlin was assisted in recruiting the com- 
pany by Alvin H. Alexander, Watson C. Mobley, Norval D. Goe, and George D. Schott. 
The village of Callensburg furnished in all 21 members of Co. A, viz : Reynolds Laughlin, 
Alvin H. Alexander, George D. Schott, Watson C. Mobley, Norval D. Goe, Reed Goe, David 
I. Wallace, David R. Frampton, William G. Davis, Reed Beggs, Robert C. Thorn, Joseph 
K. Vaughn, Simeon H. Kiester, Gazzam Stewart, John Williams, Peter M. Dunkle, Isaac 
Guiher, Justus George, John Williams, Thomas Dunkle, Matthew H. Dunkle and John M. 
Laughlin; all but the last two named were among the first enrolled. 

Co. A was not only the first company of the Regiment to be represented at the ren- 
dezvous camp, but it was the first company to have its maximum quota. In fact, before the 
Regiment left Camp Orr the enlistments to this company exceeded the maximum quota by 
18, the entire enrollment of the company while at the rendezvous camp being 121. Before 
the Regiment left Camp Orr the Co. was reduced to the maximum quota by transferring 
the excess to other companies of the Regiment, five being discharged on Surgeon's certificate 
of disability, and three, who failed to return to the company, were marked on the rolls 
as deserters; the latter were John Rider, Samuel Reedy and Jacob Barr, 2d. Those dis- 
charged on Surgeon's certificate at Camp Orr were Amos Highblower, George W. Reedy, 
Uriah Saxton, James Stanford, and William Whitman. The following were transferred 
to other companies: Lewis Barlett (Co. C), John Myers (Co. E), David Anderson, Sam- 
uel A. Mooney, and Milton Thompson (Co. F), Jacob Weaver, Thomas Moore, Thomas 
J. Laughlin, Albert M. Russell and George Shakely (Co. G). The following were killed 
in battle or died of wounds received in action: 2d Lieut. Geo. D. Schott, Corp. Alvin C. 
Grandy ; Privates Jacob Barr, 1st ; John R. Bowman, Corp. Elias Myers and Private Edward 
Loughner; the first four at the battle of Fair Oaks, and the two latter at the battle of 
Kinston. According to the last return prior to the battle of Plymouth, Co. A had 56 men 


present when the Regiment was captured at Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864. Of these 17 
died while prisoners of war, or immediately after being released. They were: William B. 
Cunningham (Camp Parole), George Echelberger (Charleston, S. C), Thomas M. George 
(Charleston, S. C), George Hahn (Camp Parole), Israel D. Hughes (Florence), John N. 
Kiester (Andersonville), Edward Kremp (Andersonville), John Loughner (Camp Parole), 
Sylvanus G. Rosansteel (Florence), Amaziah Saxton (Florence), Henry Schorman (Flor- 
ence), Corp. Joseph B. Stewart (Andersonville), David L. Vandyke (Andersonville), Jo- 
seph K. Vaughn (Andersonville), Sergt. James S. Wilhelm (Florence), William Wion 
(Florence). Fourteen others of Co. A died of disease while in the service. Of the original 
enrollment the following were mustered out with the Co. at New Bern, N. C, June 25, 1865, 
and received their final discharge at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865 : Capt. A. H. Alexander, 
1st Sergt. S. F. Shields, Sergt. W. Gaithers, Corp. J. S. Cooper, Corp. S. Judson, Corp. J. 
Moyer, Corp. C. G. W. Stover; Privates C. B. Alt, D. Barnacle, Reed G. Beggs, O. W. 
Colwell, P. M. Dtinkle, D. R. Frampton, Andrew Guiher, Clark Guiher, Sylvester McCall, 
Adam Myers, Walter R. Small, Patrick Smith, Gazzam Stewart, Absalom S. Tims, Jere- 
miah P. Wilson. Quite a number of others of the original enrollment of Co. A, who had 
been transferred to the field and staff and to other companies, were mustered out with the 
Regiment, viz: Sergt. Maj. W. C. Mobley, Quar. Mas. Sergt. Joseph B. Pollock, Hosp. 
Stew. Nerval D. Goe. Music. Lewis Barlett (Co, C), Private Albert M. Russell (Co. G). 
Patrick Smith was absent when the Co. was mustered out and did not receive his discharge 
until August 3, 1865, which was to date from June 25, 1865. Thirteen were discharged by 
General Orders of the War Department, after being released as prisoners of war, some of 
whom were sick or absent on furlough when the Co. was mustered out. 

The following were wounded in the battle of Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862: William 
B. Cunningham, Matthew H. Dunkle, Thomas Dunkle, Justus (ieorge, Ed. W. Loughner, 
Sylvester McCall, George W. Paup, Andrew Reese, William H. H. Thomas ; at the battle 
of Kinston, N, C, Dec. 14, 1862: Joseph Kremp (2d Lieut.), Oliver McCall, Elias Myers, 
George Echelberger, George Hahn, Ed. W. Loughner, Daniel N. Titus ; at battle of Ply- 
mouth : Jeremiah P. Wilson and Andrew Guiher. 

Lieut. George D. Schott, who was killed in the advance at Seven Pines, was from 
Calknsburg, Qarion Co., Pa. His final papers, in the Auditor's Office of the War Depart- 
ment, show that he was married to Caroline E. Glaze, Sept, 7, 1854. 

Shortly after the Goldsboro expedition, while the Regiment lay at New Bern, N. C, 
Capt, Laughlin tendered his resignation in the following terms : 

"Headquarters lOSd P. V., New Bern, N, C, Jan. 20, 1863. 
"To Col. Southard Hoffman, A. A. G, 18th Army Corps ; 

"Having served as a line officer in the 103d Penna. Vols, for over eighteen months, 
and having been exposed to all the vicissitudes of the campaign on the Peninsula, and 
being in my 56th year, my declining health admonishes me that to attempt to do the duties 
of a line officer any longer would be injustice to myself, as well as injurious to the service 
to which I have been so long attached; I, therefore, for the above, and many other reasons, 
do hereby tender to you my resignation of the office of Captain Co, A, 103d Reg't, Penna. 
Vols, R, Laughlin." 

Capt. Laughlin's departure from the Regiment was pretty generally regretted by the 
men and by most of the officers. He was a courageous man, brave even to rashness, and 
the men admired him most because of this quality. He had his enemies among the officers, 
chiefly due to his brusque, outspoken manner. Had he been called on by the commanding 
general of the 18th Army Corps to give the "many other reasons" for tendering his resigna- 
tion, he would have been delighted. 

Co. A was assigned to garrison the main fortification at Plymouth, N. C, Fort Will- 
iams, when the brigade moved to that place. It was the central fortification, mounting six 
guns — four 32-pounders — and two 6-pounders. A few days before the attack was made on 
that place the Co. was relieved by a Co. of the 2d Mass. Heavy Artillery, under Capt. Ira 
B. Sampson, but when Gen. Wessels realized the enemy's movement was formidable, he 
immediately sent orders to have Capt. Alexander return to the Fort with his Co., and it was 
among the last to surrender. Gen. Wessells making his headquarters in Fort Williams. 


On Wednesday morning, before the surrender of the garrison, an enlisted man lay 
wounded outside Fort Williams. Although it seemed like certain death to venture above 
the parapet of the Fort, "Jerry" Wilson of Co. A did not hesitate a moment, but jumped 
down over the parapet, grabbed the wounded man, and brought him in to the Fort by climb- 
ing up the parapet, however, receiving a severe wound in the thighs before reaching cover. 
Andrew Guiher, while manning a gun in Fort Williams, received a wound in the face, a 
musket ball striking him below the right eye and passing diagonally through the head with- 
out touching a vital spot. Although a prisoner of war for more than eight months, he re- 
covered, and was mustered out with the Co. "Jerry" Wilson also passed through the Con- 
federate prisons safely, and was mustered out with the Co. 

Among the few of the 103d Regiment who were prisoners of war, and who took the 
oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, was Philander Everett of Co, A. In the archives of 
the State of Pennsylvania is a letter from him which is a defense of his course. As Everett 
was a good soldier before his capture, and re-enlisted as a Veteran, he certainly is entitled 
to a hearing, and the letter is produced here in full. It is as follows : 

"Winnemucca, Nevada, Oct. 18, L*8.j. 
"Hon. Pressley N. Guthrie, Harrisburg, Pa. 

Dear sir : Having occasion to again address you, I take the liberty to do so. I have 
written to the Adjutant General of the U. S. Army at Washington three times for an 
honorable discharge. His reply to each is that I have no consideration in that ofBce ; that 
I appear on the rolls at his office as having enlisted in the Rebel army, and was recaptured 
in arms against the Government. As to the enlisting, I do not deny it. Under the cir- 
cumstances I feel justified. I had been a prisoner for nearly a year ; and that I did as 
many others did at the same time. After thinking the matter over I came to the con- 
clusion that it was the only thing we could do to save our lives. We had no shelter, food 
or clothing; was naked at the time of our pretended enlistment, and was at the time loyal 
to the Union, and that we gave ourselves up at the first opportunity. Having thrown away 
our arms without firing a shot. Believing that I am entitled to an honorable discharge, 
I appeal to you once more. At the present time I am an inmate of the County Hospital, 
and have not been able to earn my living for nearly a year, suffering from the effects 
of that terrible imprisonment. Anything that you can do in my favor will be thankfully 
accepted. I have the affidavits of my first Captain R. Laughlin, that I was an able-bodied 
young man and a faithful soldier whilst under him. I remain yours with respect, 

"Philander Everett, Late of Co. A, 103d Pa. Infy. Vols. 

"Winnemucca, Humboldt Co., Nevada." 

In "History of Clarion County" by A. J. Davis, published in 1887, a corrected roll of 
Co. A appears, the corrections being made by Captains Laughlin and Alexander. The fol- 
lowing footnote appears below the preface to the roster : 

Bates has James H. Lobaugh, of Co. A, 103 P. V., marked 'Deserted, date un- 
known.' This to the writer seems an unjust record. He received a discharge Jan. 20, 
1863. Having been examined three times to go to his regiment, and each time sent iaack 
to_ his quarters, Lobaugh was finally examined for a discharge by a Dr. Thompson, who 
said he ought to be sent home. Lobaugh went, as ordered, to the detail tent on the 20th 
and received his discharge from Charles Holden, the confidential clerk of Charles A Mc- 
Call, M. D.. the Surgeon in charge of Mt. Pleasant Hospital. On this discharge he was 
paid in full some ninety-odd dollars, and also received a special rate card for transporta- 
tion home. In 1884 the Adjutant General wrote Lobaugh that the paper purporting to be his 
discharge which he had presented to that office, was a forgery, perpetrated bv an employe 
of Mt. Pleasant Hospital; that it had been stamped and retained in that office' Forgery or 
not, it is the settled conviction of the writer that it was received by the soldier in good 
faith, and if a forgery, that he was not a party to it. The case implies bribery and that 
offense could not have been committed without money. Lobaugh always had been was 
then, and is now, a poor man. If he be the victim of a forgery, this record refuses to 
hold him as a deserter. It accepts the paper in question to be, as far as James H Lobaueh 
is concerned, an honorable discharge. * 


Co. B was recruited chiefly in the counties of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion and Venango 
by George W. Gillespie of Pittsburgh, and Joseph Rodgers and Daniel L. Coe, of Armstrong 
County, all of whom were subsequently captains of the Co. Capt. Rodgers recruited in Sugar 
Creek Township, many of his recruits coming from the district schools in that neighborhood 


From this section of the county, which lays some 12 or 15 miles northwest of Kittanning, 
some 26 or 30 were enrolled by Capt. Rodgers, among whom were Isaac Newton Swartz- 
lander, George W. Swartzlander, Thomas Hays, J. M. Hays, J. M. Carson, Cyrus K. McKee, 
Charles W. Rumbaugh, Thomas J. Devenney, Samuel Smith Sanderson, Thomas Hart, Isaac 
Barnhart, William Reese, John L. Hile, Simon Hile, James Brenneman, Louis A. Brenne- 
man, Ephraim Hankey, John B. Hankey, Abram Snyder, Charles M. Truby, James Shields, 
George Waterson, Reuben Burford, William Burford, Keziah Hayes, James Sweet, John 
M. Jones, Jacob Reese, Samuel J. Gibson, David Daubenspeck, Conrad Petsinger and David 
Ross. Capt. Coe, who then resided at Monterey, recruited a number from that neighbor- 
hood and elsewhere throughout the county and the bordering counties, among whom were 
Sherman M. Crisswell, George Shakely, William D. Woodruflf, Richard Kelley, Newton 
Joseph, Robert M. Crawford, John A. Crawford, James Harvey Crawford, Daniel L. 
Rankin, Benjamin Rankin, Benjamin F. Coe, Harrison W. Coe, Gideon W. Gibson, Samuel 
J. Gibson, William D. Keefer, Andrew Judson, Joshua A. Campbell, Uriah Sloan, Presley 
Sloan, Matthew J. McCay, Joseph McCay, A. J. Hilliard, Peter Hilliard, Lorenzo W. Frantz, 
Abram Adams, David W. Jordan, William Gray Pierce, Alexander C. Jackson, John P. 
Erwin, William Harrison, Harvey B. McClure, Thomas L. McClure, Nicholas Snow, Augus- 
tus Abel, Alfred Campbell, Hamilton Robb, and James Cumberland. The remainder of the 
company was chiefly recruited by Capt. Gillespie. 

When these squads arrived at Camp Orr they were soon merged into one company 
by a mutual agreement in which all the men concurred, with the understanding that the com- 
pany was to be officered as follows: George W. Gillespie, Captain; Joseph Rodgers, 1st 
Lieut. ; Daniel W. Coe, 2d Lieut. In addition to this it was understood the non-commis- 
sioned officers were to be apportioned from among the three squads. Co. B had a total 
enrollment of 123, eight of whom were killed in battle or died of wounds received in action; 
41 died of disease, 31 of whom either died while prisoners of war or within a short time 
after being released from prison; 22 were discharged by reason of disability on Surgeon's 
certificate; 2 deserted; 3 resigned; 8 were transferred; 3 were discharged on expiration of 
term of service; 17 were discharged by General Orders of War Department about the time the 
Co. was mustered out of the service, and twenty were mustered out with the Co., June 25, 
1865, receiving their final discharge and pay July 13, 1865, at Harrisburg, Pa. Ten only of 
the original enrollment were mustered out with the Co., viz : Harrison W. Coe (absent on 
furlough at the time), David Daubenspeck, John P. Erwin, G. W. Gibson, Thomas Hart 
(absent on furlough), William Penburthy, D. L. Rankin, A. W. Smith, James Sweet, Geo. 

Those killed in battle or died of wounds received in action were: Capt. George W. 
Gillespie ; Privates, John B. Bish, Barney Deany, Lorenzo Frantz, Samuel Granville, Newton 
Joseph, Robert McCleary, Henry C. Shakely. All the foregoing were killed at the battle 
of Fair Oaks, Va., except Samuel Granville, who was killed at the battle of Plymouth, N. C., 
April 20, 1864. Newton Joseph was killed on the picket line at Fair Oaks about daybreak 
May 29. He was the first man killed in action in the Regiment, and was evidently killed at 
close range, as his forehead was crushed in as if by a blow from a musket. The enemy 
attacked the picket line where Co. B was on duty at daybreak, under cover of a heavy 
fog. Maj. John E. Kelley (96th N. Y.), who was in command of the pickets, was killed at 
the first onslaught of the enemy. Capt. Gillespie assumed command of the pickets as soon 
as he learned that Maj. Kelley had fallen. At first the pickets were driven back but Capt. 
Giltespie rallied them and forced the enemy back, and the pickets maintained their position 
without being reinforced. Gen. Casey, in a dispatch to the commanding general of the 
corps, complimented the pickets as behaving nobly, mentioning Capt. Gillespie by name as 
behaving well. Two days later Capt. Gillespie was killed in the battle of Fair Oaks. 

When Maj. Gazzam rushed the Regiment to the support of the picket line after the 
attack was made, he placed Co.'s B and G south of the Williamsburg road and the re- 
mainder of the Regiment north of the road. The advance of the Confederates north of the 
road preceded by twenty minutes the attacking column south of the road. The Confederate 
reports bear testimony that Co.'s B and G were not idle, although not attacked in front. 



Who brouflht the Flag from Andersonville 


Who helped make the Flag. 


Gen. Garland, who led the advance north of the road, says in his report that Maj. Wilson, 

who was with the skirmishers (2d Miss. Regiment), near the Williamsburg road, reported 

that they were subjected to a fire from the south of the road. When the Regiment north 

■of the road was driven back Capt. Gillespie succeeded in keeping most of the men south 

of the road together, and formed them, with others under command of Captains Laughlin 

and Mackey, to the right of Spratt's battery, where they remained until the advance line 

was driven back. He, with the other two officers, rallied the men at the intrenchments, 

-where they remained until the entire force was driven back. Capt. Gillespie was iinally 

killed on the line where the last rally of Wessells' brigade was made in advance of Couch's 

division. Capt. Gillespie was one of the most popular officers of the Regiment, and yet 

after the war, there were none of his company who knew anything of his history, further 

than that he was from Pittsburgh, Pa., where he had been admitted to the bar. His father, 

William Gillespie, made application to recover all arrears of pay, etc., due Capt. Gillespie 

on Oct. 20, 1862. The father was then a resident of Peebles Township, Allegheny County, 

Pa., and 82 years old. He stated in his affidavit that Capt. Gillespie was unmarried, had no 

children, and that his last residence had been Pittsburgh, Penna. Capt. Gillespie had served 

as a non-commissioned officer in the "Three Months" service (12th Regiment) and was the 

most proficient officer in military tactics in the embryonic days of the Regiment at Camp Orr, 

and acted as instructor to the Regiment while in the rendezvous camp. 

The teacher of the Blaney School of Sugar Creek Township, Armstrong County, the 
year prior to the outbreak of the war was J. M. Carson of Sarversville, Butler County,' Pa. 
He enlisted in Co. B, and all the boys who had attended his school, who were old enough 
to be accepted, followed his action, among whom were Thomas Hays and his brother J. M. 
Hays, and Charles Rumbaugh. While the Co, was in Camp Orr the girls who were attend- 
ing the Blaney School made a flag for the Co., which has a unique history. The girls were 
three days in making the flag, doing all the sewing by hand. When it was completed, the 
entire school, accompanied by nearly all the residents for miles around, journeyed to Camp 
Orr in wagons and buggies to present it to the Co. The vehicles were filled with edibles 
and a sumptuous feast was prepared for the boys by the women accompanying the school 
The flag was duly presented, and it was entrusted to the care of the former teacher Tames 
M. Carson. Although the latter was a young man of rugged physique, he was not 'able to 
yithstand the privations of the Peninsula campaign, and fell a victim to typhoid fever his 
death taking place at White House Landing, Va., June 13, 1862, two weeks after the battle 
of Fair Oaks. On the death of Carson the flag was turned over to Conrad Petsinger for 
safe keeping. When the latter realized that the Regiment would be forced to canitulate 

1 r-""°t;''- ^- •'^T^'f '""^ ^'^ "^ "^^PP'"^ ■* "-"d his bodjlnderneaft hi 
clothing. When he arrived within the Andersonville stockade he buried it undernea h h 
habitation until he left, and as he was moved from place to place, he carried it with hi 
.ntil he was paroled Dec. 10, 1864, and then brought it home, retailing tn his possession 
He was honorably discharged from the service June 12, 1865 bv General nrT.r/?., 
War Department. Before his death he bequeath d the flag to hTs fon H W P / . 

Pittsburgh, who intends to have it preserved to posterity in AUerhenv c!^' t aT" ° 
Hall. Most of the school girls who assisted in making he flag are vet L'- - 

are Mrs. Thomas Hays, then Miss Kizzie J. Foster- Mrs ThomL Patton fh 'T'^ IT 
A. Foster; Mrs. Sarah Lewis of Butler County, Pa. then MU^sS A tH ^^ 

William Storey of Fairview, Butler County Pa hen Miss FH^A M \ TV ^"• 
ner, then Miss Sarah A. Templeton, and Mi^s ElirMcGarvev He.e. 7'^ "^ ^f"^ ^'^'"- 
the flag, and a portrait of Mrs. Hays, whj a^Sed t^k^gTetag Vnd' tf^tri 
Petsinger, who carried it through Andersonville, appear in this volume. ^'^ 


T ^\ ^,r' ^°''^^^ ^^ merging the nuclei of three companies recruited hv ?;m„. t, 
Townsend, Albert Fahnestock and John M. Cochran Townsend and rl\ ^ Simon P. 
their men in Armstrong County, the central recruit^g por* "bein"^^^^^^^^^ mT'*'"! 
Spring Church. They were assisted by Thomas A. Coc'hran Ind Sti^H.^^^tt '^h'^^^^ 


stock's recruits came chiefly from Pittsburgh, a group of them being school boys from the 
neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, then a suburb of the city. Fahnestock's Co. was known as 
the "Howe Cadets," the Armstrong County company as "McQellan's Guards." Fahnestock's 
and Cochran's recruits entered Camp Orr early in September, Townsend following shortly 
afterward. The merging of the three squads practically assured the maximum quota in a 
short time, although about a score more was needed. The organization of the Co. having 
been prearranged before the merging of the three groups, it was effected by the selection 
of the following officers: Simon P. Townsend, Capt. ; Albert Fahnestock, 1st Lieut.; John 
M. Cochran, 2d Lieut. ; Thomas A. Cochran, 1st Sergt. ; David Scarem, James H. Chambers, 
William T. Coleman, W. Nelson Barr, Sergts. ; William Leech, Robert M. Dunn, James 
Madison Wilson, William P. Courter, Andrew M. Wilson, John Low, Salem Crura, Andrew 
J. Scott, Corporals. 

Co. C had a total enrollment of 128. Of these 4 were killed in battle; 3 were dis- 
charged by reason of wounds received in action ; 11 died of disease while in the service ; 8 
were transferred ; 26 were discharged on Surgeon's certificate ; 10 were either discharged or 
deserted from the rendezvous camp ; 3 are recorded as deserting after leavmg the State ; 2 
resigned; 1 was discharged by court martial; 19 were discharged at the expiration of the 
three years' term ; 5 were absent when the company was mustered out and 36 were mus- 
tered out with the company, at New Bern, N. C, June 25, 1865, and received their final dis- 
charges at Harrisburgh, Pa., July 13, 1865. Those killed in battle were : Thomas A. Mere- 
dith, Joseph Austin, Jacob Stiffey, and Corp. Andrew M. Wilson; the first, at the battle of 
Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862; the others at the battle of Kinston, N. C, Dec. 14, 1862. 
Those discharged by reasons of wounds received in action were : Alexander Fleming, 
Edward Rogers, and James Sutch; the latter was wounded and captured at the battle of 
Fair Oaks, subsequently exchanged, and discharged Oct. 1, 1862 ; Rogers was wounded on 
an expedition to the Blackwater, near Franklin, Va., Oct. 3, 1862, by a shell, which ricochet- 
ted in front of the company, striking him on a leg, which had to be amputated ; he was dis- 
charged March 12, 1863; Fleming was wounded at the battle of Kinston, N. C, Dec. 14, 

1862, and was discharged April 9, 1863. Two were transferred to the Veteran Reserve 
Corps, by reason of wounds received in action, viz : Samuel Elgin and William H. Shaffer ; 
the latter was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862, and was transferred to 
Co. A, 3d Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps, July 1, 1863, and served in it until Dec. 6, 1864, 
when he was honorably discharged ; Elgin was wounded at battle of Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862, 
and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, July 27, 1863; the other six transferred 
were Sergt. James H. Chambers, promoted to Sergt. Maj. of the Regiment; Charles C. 
Lang, promoted to Hosp. Stew, of the Regiment ; David A. Kennedy, transferred to Signal 
Corps, November 1, 1862, and Sergt. David Scarem, Corp. William Leech and Winfield S. 
Birch to the Veteran Reserve Corps on account of physical disability; Leech on Sept. 1, 

1863, and Scarem and Birch on Sept. 24, 1863. The 11 who died from disease were: William 
Altman, June 30, 1862, between White Oak Swamp and Malvern Hill, during the "Seven 
Days' Battles" ; Tomer Anthony, during the "Seven Days' Battles," near White Oak Swamp, 
Va. ; Corp. William P. Courter, at Rose Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., May 26, 1862, as a 
result of an accidental gun shot wound while at Camp Winfield Scott, near Yorktown, Va. ; 
Luther Cribbs, July 15, 1862, on board hospital ship ; Solomon A. Dentzell, June 20, 1862, at 
White Oak Swamp, Va. ; William J. Murdock, June 27, 1862, near White Oak Swamp, Va. ; 
John R. Smith, March 26, 1862, at Camp Lloyd, Meridian Hill, Washington, D. C. ; John 
Yount, May 29, 1862, near Savage Station, Va. ; William W. Cochran, Jan, 6, 1864, at 
Roanoke Island, N. C. ; Henry Pifer, August 14, 1864, at Roanoke Island, N. C. ; J. Hines, 
July 9, 1865, at St, James, General Hospital, Baltimore, Md. The only official connection 
Hines has with the company is through his "list of effects," on which he is credited with 
belonging to Co. C, 103d Penna. Regiment. It is barely possible that he may have been re- 
cruited for the company and his descriptive list lost in transit, but it is more probable that 
he belonged to some other regiment; William W. Cochran, enlisted June 10, 1863, and was 
therefore only with the company a few months before his death. He was a younger brother 
of Capt. John M. Cochran and George W. Cochran, both of whom had left the company 


before his death; his remains were buried on Roanoke Island, but subsequently were moved 
to the National Cemetery, New Bern, N. C„ and were interred in plot 7, grave number 1,205 ; 
Henry Pifer was also a recruit, and was with the company only a few months before his 
death; he was a younger brother of George W. Pifer, one of the original members of the 
company ; he was buried at Roanoke Island, but, subsequently, his remains were transferred 
to the National Cemetery, at New Bern, N. C, plot 7, grave 1,119. Ten left the company 
while yet in Camp Orr ; they were : George Couch, John Couch, Joseph McGuire, Hiram 
Price, who left camp the day before Christmas, 1861, and never returned; they are marked 
as deserters ; John Davis and William R. Stewart were discharged by the civil authorities, 
by Habeas Corpus writ, Feb. 21, 1861 ; William G. Risher was discharged on Surgeon's 
certificate, Jan. 21, 1862 ; Jacob Stockdill was discharged by order of Col. Lehmann, evi- 
dently at the request of his parents ; Adam Davis left camp during Feb., 1862, and never 
returned, and is therefore marked as a deserter ; David Altman was discharged on Surgeon's 
certificate, Feb. 17, 1862. Those recorded as deserting after the Regiment left the State 
were : Jacob Beighley, June 30, 1862 ; Jacob Gilby, Apr. 16, 1862, at Warwick Court House, 
Va. ; Isaac Stifley is recorded as, "Deserted Sept. 16, 1861." On the company's muster roll 
on which Private Stiff ey was dropped (January and February, 1863), is the following nota- 
tion, given as a reason for marking him a deserter : "Absent sick since Sept. 16, 1861 ; hear 
through reliable authority that he joined an artillery company." On the preceding muster 
roll (November and December, 1862) he is accounted for as follows: "Sick at Fort Monroe 
since Sept. 18, 1862." When the Regiment received orders to break camp in September, 1862, 
then between Fortress Monroe and Hampton Roads, Stiffey was lying seriously ill in camp. 
He was removed from his tent to a hospital near by, carried there by his brother, Jacob 
Stiffey, and Private Robert Bash. When he became convalescent he was sent to Governor's 
Island, N. Y. As he recuperated he was transferred to Fort Hamilton Hospital wliere he 
did light duty until he recovered. He was there transferred to Co. E, 5th Regiment of Ar- 
tillery, U. S. army, and served until a year and half after the war ended. The writer has 
before him two discharges of Comrade Stiffey's, giving him a record of which any soldier 
would be glad to possess. The first discharge reads, in part, as follows : "Know ye, that 
Isaac Stiffey, a Private of Captain Truman Seymour's Company (E) of the Fifth Regiment 
of Artillery, who was enlisted the Twenty-first day of January, one thousand eight hundred 
and Sixty-two, to serve unexpired period of three years, is hereby discharged from the Army 
of the United States in consequence of Re-enlisting, per G. O. No. 25, W. D. A. G. O. 
Wash., Jan. 18, 1864." Under the space for character, the record is marked, "Good." The 
second discharge is dated Jan. 29, 1867, and "Excellent" is the character given him. His 
last discharge is endorsed by Capt. Seymour as follows : 

"Private Isaac Stiffey has served with the Company in the following engagements 
viz.; Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Siege of Petersburg, Petersburg April 2d' 
1865, Sailor's Creek, Surrender Lee's Army." ' ' 

The date of enlistment given in the first discharge is obviously an error and should 
have been 1863, instead of 1862. Jacob Stiffey, instantly killed on the firing line Dec. 14, 
1862, was a younger brother of Isaac Stiffey. While the latter was with Co. C he did his 
duty faithfully and well. Both he and his brother were classed with the "boys" of the Co. 

In confirmation of the above the writer has before him the following communication 
from the War Department, dated March 21, 1910, over the signature of The Adjutant Gen- 
fnol- T,"^*^^ charge of desertion on the record of Isaac Stiffey as a member of Company C 
103d Pennsylvania Infantry, is erroneous. He was discharged the service as of that organ- 
ization January 20, 1863, by reason of enlistment on the following day in Battery E 5th 
United States Artillery." 

Those discharged on Surgeon's certificate after the company left Camp Orr were: 
Sergt. W. N. Barr. March 11, 1863; Corp. Salem Crum, May 13, 1862; Corp. Andrew J. 
Scott, June 20, 1863; Corp. Isaac Warner, June 20, 1863; Henry M. Ammendt, April 26, 
1863; James Beatty, March 28, 1863; James Canfield, Jan. 13, 1863; John Clark, April 1, 
1863; George W. Cochran, Dec. 4, 1863; Jackson Davis, June 20. 1863; David H. Dickasoni 
Sept. 1. 1S62; William Dougherty, March 28, 1863; Jeremiah George, Nov. 2, 1862; John 


Goudy, Sept. 16, 1863; Thomas Hammer, Feb. 5, 1863; William Harkleroad, Dec. 26, 1862; 
William Hays, March 9, 1864; Joseph B. Travice, March 26, 1863; Peter W. Hetrick, March 
3, 1863; Jacob Linsinbigler, March 23, 1863; Joseph Mclntire, Aug. 24, 1862; George Mos- 
baughel, Feb. 17, 1863; John Richards, March 28, 1863; Israel Sadler, June 19, 1862; Sharp 
W. Scott, Aug. 29, 1862 ; Samuel Thompson, Jan. 18, 1865. 

The following were honorably discharged, Sept. 16, 1864, by reason of the expiration 
of the three years' term of enlistment : Lieut. Baptist H. Scott, Sergt. William T. Coleman, 
Sergt. Robt. M. Dunn, Sergt. John Low, Corp. Thomas J. McKee, Drummer John C. Austin, 
Privates Philip Anthony, Adam Bargerstock, Thomas Connell, Dennis Connor, James 
Elgin, John Fleming, John L. Jones, James McCroskey, George W. McKee, Samuel Murphy, 
John F. Shoup, Matthew L. Teaff, and John Graden ; disch. Feb. 13, 1865. The following 
were absent sick when the company was mustered out : James E. Lafferty, David Kingmore, 
Woodward Carter, David Hetrick, Philip Smith; Hetrick and Smith belonged to the orig- 
inal enrollment; Kingmore and Carter were recruits, mustered into the service August 13, 
1864, and accredited to the company but never joined it; Lafferty joined the company July 
21, 1864, but no descriptive list was ever received. Taken sick, he was sent to the hospital 
and last report from him he was in Jarvis Hospital, Baltimore, Md. Capt. Simon P. 
Townsend, resigned July 7, 1862; Capt. Albert Fahnestock, who was promoted captain to 
date from July 7, 1862, resigned Jan. 14, 1863; Capt. John M. Cochran, who was promoted 
to 1st lieutenant July 7, 1862, and to captain January 14, 1863, was dismissed by court mar- 
tial June 16, 1863. As there is a stigma attached to a dismissal from the service, the writer 
thinks it is due to Capt. John M. Cochran that the facts leading up to the dismissal should 
appear in the Regimental History. The Regiment had no braver officer than he, and he 
was, perhaps, as strict a disciplinarian as was in the Regiment. He detested shams of any 
kind, and he had a blunt way of speaking his mind. He had no charity for any one who 
shirked duty. A copy of the muster roll made out by him is before the writer. On it eight 
men with the Co. are dropped as deserters. The reasons assigned for marking them de- 
serters were as follows : "Were taken sick and sent north ; have had no official notice of 
their whereabouts; have heard through others that they were at home and well." With 
one exception these men returned to the Co., but Capt. Cochran believed they were trying 
to evade duty. In this same group, marked deserters, was one who had been severely 
wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, and never returned to the Co. The 
reason noted on the muster roll for dropping him is, "Slightly wounded at the battle of 
Fair Oaks ; have never heard from Surgeons.'' Once in action one of the company was 
slightly but painfully wounded and hurriedly left the ranks, and was sent to a general hos- 
pital for a short time. On his return he was soundly berated by Capt. Cochran because he 
had left ranks. These instances are cited merely to show that an officer so severe in dis- 
clipine would have enemies in his ranks, and he had quite a number, but they were, as a 
general rule, men who shirked duty, more or less. Capt. Cochran was the most pugnacious 
officer in the Regiment, and he was second to none in courage. As the Regiment was sup- 
porting a battery in close range of the enemy, the commanding officer of the regiment en- 
gaged with the enemy in the immediate front got "rattled," and in a loud voice gave the 
command to retreat, repeating the command several times. This brought cheers from the 
enemy. Capt. Cochran immediately called the men of the Co. to respond in cheers, which 
was done quite heartily. 

Once in advancing on the enemy under a severe fire part of the Regiment passed 
over some men of another regiment who were "hugging" the ground to avoid the fire. 
Evidently some of the Regiment had boasted about this and it had come to the knowledge 
of the others. Shortly after this event the Regiment in changing quarters marched by the 
camp of the regiment referred to, and a group of its officers was by the road side viewing 
the passersby, and when they spied the colors of the Regiment, one of them exclaimed, in 
a sneering, ironical manner, "This is the regiment that marched over us." Capt. Cochran, 
hearing this, walked up to the group and replied by saying, "By ! we are the iden- 
tical boys who did walk over you." No other officer in the Regiment would have had the 
audacity and temerity to have done this. At the battle of Fair Oaks, although sick and 

Capt. John M. Cochran. Private George W. Cochran. Private Wm. W. Cochran. 


Private Lemuel H. Slagle. 
(Co. F.) 

John F. Rupert. 
(Corporal Co. A.) 


excused from duty, he rallied a number of men who were absent when the Regiment went 
to the support of the pickets, and formed them to the left of Casey's Redoubt. He re- 
mained there until he was so severely wounded that he had to be assisted from the field. 
He would not have been court-martialed had it not been for his pugnacity and stubborn- 
ness. His offense was intended only as a joke on a couple of brother officers, and with 
no intention of harming them. He and another officer of the Regiment called on some 
women who lived a short distance beyond the picket line and introduced themselves as 
Col. Maxwell and Capt. Mackey, two of the most staid and upright characters of the Regi- 
ment. One of Capt. Cochran's most implacable foes was on picket duty and got the story 
from the women shortly after the officers left, and the next day he reported it to Col. 
Maxwell, and when confronted with the charges the officers admitted the offense. Charges 
were preferred against the offending officers and the ultimatum given them to apologize 
and resign. Capt. Cochran's companion accepted the ultimatum and was honorably dis- 
charged, but the captain turned a deaf ear to the pleadings of his friends, refused to apolo- 
gize, and was court-martialed. The Regiment had no better or braver officer than Capt. 
John M. Cochran. 

Capt. Simon P. Townsend was one of the most substantial and influential farmers 
of Western Pennsylvania, and for that time, held a high reputation as a military man, 
serving in the State militia as brigade inspector of Armstrong County for two years prior 
to and at the beginning of the war. His paternal ancestor had participated in the Revo- 
lutionary War, and he had imbibed patriotic ideas, no doubt, through his paternal lineage. 
Capt. Townsend was born in 1823, at Salina, Armstrong County, Pa. His parents, Robert 
Townsend and Elizabeth Hine Townsend, moved to Westmoreland County shortly after 
his birth, residing there only a few years, when they settled on a farm at Olivet, Arm- 
strong County, about the year 1830. It was here he was reared and educated, in the dis- 
trict and subscriptions schools, living the ordinary life of the farmer's boy, early learning 
all the duties pertaining to farm life. In 1852 he joined fortune with five others, viz : John 
J. Scott, John Baxter, Alexander Wilson, and Samuel George. These six entered into a 
mutual agreement, which was duly signed by each one, that they would unite their for- 
tunes in making a quest for gold in California. In the compact entered into, each one 
agreed to help the others by all legitimate means to acquire a fortune, pledging himself 
to stand by the others to the extent of his ability. The trip was made by the Isthmus of 
Panama, during which they had a rough experience, at times knocked about by heavy 
storms, and again suffering from lack of wind, in which their vessel was completely be- 
calmed, prolonging the trip until they ran short of provisions, and were threatened with 
starvation. He returned to Olivet two or three years before the war. Capt. Townsend 
was an exceptionally pious man; was an elder of the Presbyterian Church, and while in 
the rendezvous camp, and until the Regiment went to the front, conducted worship in the 
company's quarters every night. 

At the time of the battle of Fair Oaks Capt. Townsend was suffering with the illness 
then so common among both officers and men, and did not accompany the men to the 
picket line on the evening before the battle. However, he relieved Lieut. Fahnestock early 
the next morning, and had the honor of commanding the advance troops of the Army of 
the Potomac, that opened the first great battle between that army and the Army of North- 
ern Virginia. Capt. Townsend arrived at the picket line before eight o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the first day's battle at Seven Pines. Half of his company was deployed as pickets 
along the edge of a woods, facing a field some four or five hundred yards wide, the other 
half being held as a reserve, a hundred yards to the rear. Shortly after the arrival of the 
Captain, the enemy was seen to arrive on the opposite side of the field and halt. The open- 
ing in front of the pickets was covered by a dense thicket, with clusters of small trees 
here and there, obstructing the view, except at points. Wherever it was possible to get a 
view of the ground on the opposite side, the enemy could be seen in large groups. Capt. 
Townsend had a field glass which was in constant use all morning. The Captain, as soon 
as he saw the enemy was massed in force, sent word to Gen. Casey by a vidette that an 
attack was impending. He kept passing along the picket line cautioning the men to be on 


the alert, but not to fire until the enemy advanced in force. The best view of the enemy 
could be had from the first picket post north of the Williamsburg road, and there Capt. 
Townsend made his headquarters. He was at this post when the enemy's guns were fired, as 
a signal to advance, and the missiles from these guns passed through the tree tops, 
near where he was standing. Gen. Casey says in his report of the battle that he received 
word twice by videttes that the enemy was preparing for an attack. This word was sent 
by Capt. Townsend. As soon as the smoke cleared away from the signal guns the enemy 
was seen advancing, and the pickets immediately opened fire. The fire at first was en- 
tirely from the pickets of Co. C, with the exception of a few posts to their right and one 
to their left. The pickets kept up a rapid fire and maintained their position along the edge 
of the woods until after the Regiment had arrived and formed in rear near the point at 
which the reserve part of the company was quartered. The fire of the picket had checked 
the enemy's skirmishers and forced the regiments of the attacking brigade, which were 
moving by the right flank at deploying distances, into line of battle. It was the steady and 
continuous fire of the pickets that drew the heavy fire, which struck the Regiment while 
it was being aligned in the woods. The fire of the pickets was so rapid and continuous 
that their gun barrels became uncomfortably hot, and the position at the edge of the woods 
was maintained, so far as Capt. Townsend's company extended, until the enemy's line of 
battle was within a few yards of the position, a portion of the pickets not retiring until 
they had received the heavy fire that struck the Regiment while its alignment was being 
made. In a dispatch to Secretary Stanton Gen. McClellan said: "On Saturday Casey's 
pickets rushed in without attempting a stand." As the writer views it now, Capt. Town- 
send's mistake was, that he did not order the pickets to fall back before the enemy had 
approached so closely. As it was the pickets were forced to get back rapidly, and before 
some of them succeeded in getting out of the woods their own batteries were shelling them. 
Although the privations of the trip up the Peninsula had impaired Capt. Townsend's 
rugged constitution, the excitement of the battle of Seven Pines seemed to have given him 
new vitaHty, and he remained in command of the company, but as the excitement was al- 
layed his physique became enervated and he resigned immediately after the Peninsula cam- 
paign had come to an end, July 7, 1862. 

Capt. Albert Fahnestock succeeded Capt. Townsend, but owing to impaired health he 
resigned January 14, 1863, much to the regret of the "boys" of the company. The majority 
of Fahnestock's recruits were young men and boys and if he had an opportunity to favor 
them in any way he always did it graciously. However, not through partiality, for he was 
considerate of all, and it is doubtful if, when he left the company, there was one who had 
any grudge or ill feeling towards him. 

The following were mustered out with the company at New Bern, N. C, June 25, 
1865, and received their final discharge July 13, 1865, at Harrisburg, Pa. : Capt. Thomas 
A. Cochran, 1st Lieut. James M. Wilson, 1st Sergt. Wilson S. Cochran, Sergt. Samuel M. 
Evans, Sergt. John A. Gwinn, Sergt. William McElfresh, Sergt. William J. Stoup, Corp. 
Francis M. Fleming, Corp. Luther S. Dickey, Corp. George Forward, Corp. Samuel A. 
Kier, Corp. George W. Pifer, Corp. Robert M. Watson, Fifer Lewis Barlett, Drummer 
Dallas B. Taylor ; Privates Robert Bash, Thomas M. C, Beer, David M. Dickey, Samuel 
Findley, 1st; Samuel Findley, 2d; Benjamin Franklin, John J. Gallagher, Martin Harkle- 
road, George D, Herick, Hezekiah Hilty, Emanuel Lore, William McKillip, John Noble, 
Crowder Pacien, George W. Pontious, Jeremiah Schreckengost, Reese Shay, John Shultz, 
John C. Speer, Patrick Welsh, Jesse B. Wilson. 

Capt, Thomas A. Cochran's military career has already been told in the Regimental 
narrative, and in the sketch of the company. From the first he was more intimately ac- 
quainted with the members of the company than anyone else, on account of his official posi- 
tion as orderly or first sergeant. But being with the company in official position from the 
time it was first organized, until it was disbanded at Harrisburg, July 13, 1865, holding 
the positions of first sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and finally captain, brought 
him closer to the men than any other of the officers. Even while he commanded the Regi- 
ment, he held the dual relation also, as commander of the company. It is no reflection on 



Co. D was formed by merging the r^uclei of '-° ^^^f ' ^VirFurnace in'the 
K. Hamilton in the neighborhood of Putneyvil.e Oak and and C weH Furnas, .n th^ 


Tf the men enrolled failed to appear, less than 50 men accompanymg the officers mto camp^ 
Th s inTerfered with the acceptance of the Co. in the 78th, much to the d.sappomtmen to 
the offers and men, as they were anxious to get to the front, and it was expected tha 
te ?8th would leav within a few days. After the arrival of the Co. m the rendezvou 
camp a spirited contest took place between the two squads for the 2d Lieutenancy, one 
favoring Fletcher Smullin, the other G. W. Stoke. The ballot resultmg m a tie, the captam 
refraining from voting when the ballot was taken, decided the result by casting his vote 
for Smullin, who became 2d lieutenant. The commissioned officers selected the non-com- 
missioned officers as follows: 1st Sergt.. James O'Donnell; 2d Sergt., A. Luther Fhike; 
3d Sergt Thomas Henry Gray; 4th Sergt., Levi Nolf; 5th Sergt., Samuel S. Hamilton; 
Corporals John H. Brown, John Humphries, John S. Moorehead, Daniel Stoke, George 
T Carrier, Samuel E. Hamilton, Adam Nolf, Anthony Spangler. The men were given 
furloughs home for the purpose of recruiting, and as there was considerable rivalry be- 
tween the two squads as to which could secure the greatest number the maximum quota of 
101 was soon secured. After the 78th Regiment left, and the men having neither uniforms 
nor muskets, with nothing to do but drill in squads or by company, which consisted in fac- 
ing and marching, began to express discontent, and the officers, to encourage them, made 
speeches assuring them they would soon get to the seat of war, making profuse promises 
of how they would stand by the men until the last. .One of the officers made use of a 
phrase the men never forgot, inasmuch as two of them had severed their relations with the 
company within a few months thereafter. He said, "Boys, if you will stay, we will stick 
to you as long as there is a button on our coats.'' However, at least one of them had good 
reasons for leaving. Capt. Hamilton resigned April 9, 1862, he having typhoid fever in a 
most malignant form, hovering between life and death for days after he reached his home. 
He had two sons, twins, in the Co., one of whom, Sergt. Samuel S. Hamilton, died June 
1, 1862, at Washington, D. C, while the other lay at death's door for several months, his 
illness occurring at the same time the other two were at the point of death. He was dis- 
charged for disability, and when he reached home he was merely a shadow of what he 
had been when entering the service. Meredith was promoted to Capt. and Smullin to 1st 
Lieut., to date April 10, 1862, and G. W. Stoke was appointed 2d Lieut, by Col. Lehmann at 
the same time. Meredith resigned July 15, 1862, and as Lieut. Smullin was absent in Phil- 
adelphia, Pa., with typhoid pneumonia, by reason of which he did not return to the Co. 
until the first week of the following November, the command of the Co., in the meantime, 
fell on Stoke, who had been appointed Capt. by Col. Lehmann. However, shortly after 
Smullin's return to the Co. he received his commission as Capt., dated July 15, 1862. While 
Stoke was acting as Capt., A. L. Fluke was appointed 2d Lieut, his commission dating April 
10, 1862. On the return of Smullin to the Co., Stoke returned to the ranks as a private, 
although he had been acting as Capt. for several months, satisfactorily to all the men. 
Subsequently he was commissioned 2d Lieut., and transferred to Co. B. Of original com- 
missioned officers Capt. Smullin was with the Co. when it was captured at Plymouth, and 
was a prisoner of war for over 11 months, receiving his parole March 26, 1865. In re- 
ferring to the "button promise," Smullin says: "I never made any button promise, but 
while I was in Confederate prison my coat became so badly worn that it would not hold a 


button, and had it riot been for Col. Maxwell's generosity when I was paroled I would 
have been coatless." 

Four days after Capt. SmuUin was paroled he was honorably discharged by Special 
Order of the War Department, No. 152, paragraph 69, by reason of reduced command. 

Of the original enrollment six were transferred, viz: W. B. Kroesen, George Smith, 
William Todd, to Co. K; James Ritchey, to Co. B; William Dailey, to 8th N. Y. Batt'y; 
George W. Stoke to Co. B. One deserted, viz : William Duncan. Two resigned, viz : 
Capts. Hamilton and Meredith. Thirty-three died while prisoners of war, or immediately 
after being paroled, viz: Benj. J. Ailer, James A. Beeham, Robert Cathcart, William H. 
Craig, Thomas H. Gray, Henry Gumbert, Peter Haller, Jeremiah Henry, Thomas J. Hooks, 
John Martin, Isaac S. Moorhead, William Oliver, James T. Parsons, Samuel Reese, Michael 
Pugh, Adam Shreckengost, James Smeltzer; all the foregoing named are known to have 
died at Andersonville ; Aaron F. Bowser, James F. Brown and William O. Pontious died at 
Charleston, S. C. ; David Myers and Jacob Myers died on board transport conveying them 
to Annapolis, Md., after being paroled ; William H. Kness and Levi Nolf died at Annapolis, 
Md., shortly after being paroled ; Eli Simmers died at Wilmington, as he was about to be 
paroled ; William N. Blake, Samuel Clark, Job Elder, Lewis Griffin, Levi Henry, Samuel 
E. Hamilton, Henry Spong, and John J. Stoke are reported by comrades as dying in prison 
but place not given ; most probably at Florence, or en route from one point to another. 
Six were killed in battle or died of wounds received in action, viz : Emanuel Bucher, James 
O'Donnell, Jacobs Stults ; in battle of Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862, Sergt. Anthony 
Spangler, and William H. Wheeler, at battle of Kinston, N. C, Dec. 14, 1862; Corp. Geo. 
T. Carrier, at Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864. Sergt. Spangler was color bearer at the 
time he was killed, and received two fatal bullets, almost simultaneously. Twenty-two were 
discharged on Surgeon's certificate ; 7 were transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, viz : 
Joshua Baughman, Thomas Shall, Thompson Simpson, George K. Slagle, George Smith, 
William Todd and Isaac Trolinger. In addition to the 6 killed in action and the 33 died 
who were prisoners of war, 13 died of disease, making the total mortality of the Co. 52. 
Those who died of disease were Chambers Armstrong, at Camp Orr; James Brooks, at 
Yorktown, Va. ; William Brown, at Yorktown, Va. ; James H. Crow, at Harrison's Land- 
ing, Va. ; William Galentine, Jr., at Philadelphia, Pa. ; Samuel S. Hamilton, Washington, 
D. C. ; Robert Hays, White Oak Swamp, Va. ; Barnhart Metzler, at Plymouth, N. C. ; 
James Porter, Philadelphia, Pa. ; Leonard Stein, Yorktown, Va. ; Z. C. Smullin, Harrison's 
Landing, Va. ; William Shall, Orrsville, Pa. ; Andrew Wolfe, New Bern, N. C. 

Capt. Madison Monroe Meredith was a brother of Hon. Jonathan Meredith, who has 
been Speaker of the Penna. House of Representatives. He was a native of Qarion County, 
and had attended school in Kittanning. He quit school when 16 years old to accompany a 
party of gold prospectors to California, but returned to Pennsylvania, and was engaged in 
mercantile business at Brookville, Pa., at the outbreak of the war. The campaign on the 
Peninsula undermined his constitution, and he was forced to resign, although he had been 
promoted to the captaincy of the Co. but three months before. He returned to Brookville 
after leaving the army, and became a practicing attorney there. In 1882 he was appointed 
Corporation Qerk in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. He was a mem- 
ber of the Dauphin Co. Bar and author of "Meredith's Corporation Laws of Pennsylvania." 
In 1888 he entered the legal department of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. After an illness 
covering several months Capt. Meredith died at the Grand View Sanitarium, Wernersville, 
Pa., April 19, 1904, in his 72d year. 


Co. E was composed entirely of Butler County boys and men, two townships alone. 
Clay and Cherry, contributing 25 of the original enrollment. A number of these had done 
service in the "Old 13th," during the early months of the war. Among these were Robert 
J. Thompson, W. S. Dickson, Wallace Frick, Chas. H. McQung, Eli G. Cratty, C. M. Otto, 
Peter Wisenstine. The recruits from Sunbury and the surrounding neighborhood were 
conveyed from West Sunbury to Butler in farm wagons, by courtesy of the farmers of 


the neighborhood. Groups of recruits from other parts of the county concentrated at Butler 
and all were transported to Camp Orr in wagons, reaching the rendezvous camp the latter 
part of November, 1861. After the arrival at Camp Orr the organization of the Co. was 
effected by the election of officers, which resulted as follows: Capt, Samuel Martin; 1st 
Lieut., C. M. Otto; 2d Lieut., E. G. Cratty; 1st Sergt., R. R. Bryson; Sergts., C. H. Mc- 
A. Wagner, Samuel Roth, Jefferson Burtner, H. C. Croup, W. N. Stevenson, J. H. Scott, 
J. M. Byers ; musicians, A. B. Hughes, drummer, John Myers, fifer ; the latter having been 
transferred from Co. A. 

The total enrollment of the company was 110, the maximum quota of 101 having been 
enrolled while at Camp Orr. Of the original enrollment the following were recruited from 
Cherry Township: James R. Allison, N. K. Allison, R P. Black, J. B. Campbell, Dickson 
Christy, S. B. McCandless, P. O. Morrow, Braden Porter, W. E. Stevenson, Samuel 
Thompson, Lewis Woolford. Later Cherry Township furnished three recruits to Co. E, 
viz : J. M. Black, Adam Grossman and Jonathan Hockenberry, making a total of 14 from 
that township. Clay Township furnished 14 also, as follows: William Beighly, W. S. 
Dickson, Gabriel Duffy, Thomas Eshenbaugh, Wallace Frick, Walter Gold, J. L. McCand- 
less, J. N. McCarrier, W. S. Mechling, William Miller, Solomon Moses, J. M. Webb, 
Richard Wick. Of the total enrollment of 110, fifty-one died while in the service; 30 of 
whom died while prisoners of war or immediately after being released; three were killed 
in battle, and 18 died of disease contracted while in camp or on the march, 16 of whom died 
during the first year of service, in 1862. Patrick Norris and Nathaniel Allison were killed 
in the battle of Fair Oaks, and Sergt. Samuel Logan was killed at the battle of Plymouth. 
The following died at Andersonville, Ga., while prisoners of war : Privates Edward Bark- 
man, William Beighly, John Burns, Moore M. Davis, Samuel Davis, Charles Lepley, James 
Martin, Thomas Mayer, Solomon Moser, Milton Myers, Richard Wick. 

The following died while prisoners of war at Florence, S. C. : 1st Sergt. Charles H. 

McClung, Sergt. Frederick A. Mondy, Corp. James H. Scott ; Privates William W. Davis, 

William S. Dickson, Joseph Goldinger, John Wilson. The following died at Charleston, 

S. C, while prisoners of war : Music. John Myers ; Privates Samuel B. McCandless, Perry 

O. Morrow, John Varley. The following died at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md., from 

disease contracted while prisoners of war: Corp. James M. Byers; Privates Thomas S. 

Byers, John B. Campbell, Dickson Christy, Weston Hall, Joshua H. Perkins, James e' 

Rolston. Private Martin W. Banker is reported by comrades as dying while a prisoner 

of war, with no record of date or place, but probably while en route from one point to 

another. Capt. Samuel Martin was carried from his tent in Regimental camp on a 

stretcher wh.le the battle of Fair Oaks was raging. He died a week later, June 8 1862 at 

White House, Va. Private Hamilton C. Kennedy was placed into an ambulance during 

the Seven Days' Battle," June 27, 1862, in a dying condition, and was never afterwards 

seen or heard from by any of his comrades. Private Hugh McElroy was also missing 

durmg the "Seven Days Battles," and has never since been seen or heard from Five vet 

erans, who were prisoners of war and were paroled, were honorably discharged ' by General 

Order of the War Department in the spring of 1865, when the war was practically ended 

Corp^ Jefferson Burtner; Privates R. P. Black, Emanuel Emminger, Thomas Eshenbaugh" 

and John Kennedy Corp. Burtner was severely wounded at the bat le of Plymouth NC 

by the fragment of a shell and had a leg amputated. He is still living and haTheld a hi^h 

offical pos,fon in the Auditor General's Office of the State of Pennsylvania for maS 

years. Seventeen were mustered out with the Co. at New Bern N C TVe 25 iLl7^ 

CaTEVo'' Crtf 1^7"^ t ?""'"^^' ^^- ^"'^ ''• ''''■ They're'!; Il^^s 
SrnV r T^n n ' \^- .^'y'°"- 1=* Sergt. W. B. Sedwick, Sergt. John N Mc 
earner, Corp. H. C Croup. Music. Aaron B. Hughes, Privates Adam Banner James M 
Bracken, George Barr, Gabriel Duffy, Harrison Pugh, James B Rutter Will^^ V 
Stevenson John M. Black, Henry J. Burns, Cyrus H.'croup, Jonathan Ho'kel; the 
ast four havmg jomed the Co. during the last year of the war. After Capt CraTt; re 
turned to the Regiment from being a prisoner of war, by virtue of seniority in rant h^ 


assumed commanH of the Regiment ; Col. Lehraann then being in command of the Sub- 
District of the Albemarle, and Lieut. Bryson commanded the Co. 


Co. F. was a Qarion County Regiment, as fully four-fifths of its number came from 
that county, and its nucleus was known as the "Clarion Tenth." It was recruited in the 
main by Matthew B. McDowell, Josiah Zink and David Rimer, from the neighborhood of 
Rimersburg. The Co. was organized at Camp Orr by the election of the following 
officers : M. B. McDowell, Capt. ; Josiah Zink, 1st Lieut. ; John Donaghy, 2d Lieut. ; 
David Rimer, 1st Sergt. The company was mustered into the service Dec. 7, 1861, and 
before the Regiment left Camp Orr it had the full maximum quota of 101. The total 
enrollment up to the end of its service was 114. Of these 7 were killed or died of wounds 
received in action, viz. : Sergt. Wm. McElhany, at Kinston ; Corp. Colin Boyd, at Fair 
Oaks; Corp. Benj. Mortimer, at Plymouth ; J. Rankin Boyle, died Aug. 17, '62, of wounds 
received at Fair Oaks; William Sanford, of wounds received at Kinston; Michael Wenner, 
Kinston ; Harmon Dunkle, of wounds received at Plymouth. Twenty-nine, captured at 
Plymouth, died while prisoners of war or immediately after being released at Camp 
Parole, from disease contracted while in Southern prisons ; of these 14 are known to 
have died at Andersonville, Ga. ; 1 at Charleston, S. C. ; 1 at Milledgville, Ga. ; 7 died at 
Camp Parole shortly after being released, and 6 have never been accounted for, but 
are supposed to have died en route, or at Florence, S. C. ; they are William Akins, Jacob 
Brock, J. S. Delp, Daniel Jones, J. Lowers and John Smuthers. Six were transferred, 
four to Co. G., one to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and one promoted to Captain U. S. 
Colored Troops. Three resigned : Captains McDowell and Zink, and Lieut. Neely. Two 
were discharged by reason of the expiration of 3 years term ; one was absent at muster 
out of Co., and one was not on muster out roll. Twenty-nine were discharged on Surgeon's 
certificate ; 12 were discharged by G. O. of the War Dept. shortly after being paroled as 
prisoners of war, by reason of the collapse of the Confederacy and five were mustered out 
with the Co., June 25, 1865, receiving their final discharge at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865. 
They were: 1st Sergt. Allen B. Cross; Privates William Boarts, Wilder M. Boyle; Benja- 
min Graham ; David Hartman. Those honorably discharged by G. O. of the War Depart- 
ment after being paroled or escaping from Southern prisons were : Capt. John Donaghy, 
who successfully escaped Nov. 20, 1864; was discharged Dec. 9, 1864; 1st Lieut. James 
H. Chambers, paroled, and discharged March 15, 1865 ; Sergt. John H. White, successfully 
escaped, April 22, 1865, discharged June 7, 1865 to date May 24, 1865; Corp. Samuel H. 
Stewart, was absent on furlough when the Co. was mustered out ; Music. William D. 
Keefer, paroled Feb. 26, I860, discharged June 12, 1865, to date May 15, 1865; Private 
Samuel W. Anderson, paroled April 21, 1865, discharged May 31, 1865, to date May 18, 
1865; John H. Friel, paroled Dec. 11, 1864; discharged May 7, 1865, to date June 25, 1865; 
William A. Fulton, discharged August 15, 1865, to date June 25, 1865; Alexander Keith, 
paroled Dec. 11, 1864; discharged June 19, 1865; William L. Reed, paroled Dec. 11, 1864, 
discharged March 24, 1865, to date December 17, 1864 ; Theodore G. Sloan, successfully 
escaped March 24, 1865 ; discharged June 7, 1865, to date May 24, 1865 ; Milton Thompson, 
paroled April 21, 1865, discharged June 2, 1865, to date May 18, 1865; William B. Watterson, 
paroled April 21, 1865, discharged June 2, 1865, to date May 18, 1865. 

Sergt. John H. White, who was with the Co. from the time it left Camp Orr until it 
was captured, and who successfully made his escape, referring to Andersonville prison, says : 

"James Burns was the first to die ; he was a good soldier ; never off duty in all his 
service. Sergt. Armagost, Sergt. Graham, Jacob Ruff, Sebastian Zirl, Reese Thompson, 
David Anderson, Robert McGarrah, all died in Andersonville. I was in the first detach- 
ment to leave the prison ; went to Savannah, and from there to Blackshear Station, where 
I was taken sick and then was moved to Thomasville, Ga., where I was put in an old 
church ; and from there I was taken back to Andersonville, where I arrived on New 
Year's day, 1865. Gill Sloan made his escape on the way back to Andersonville and got 
through to our lines, near the Dry Tortugas, Fla. He was twice recaptured en route, but 
finally succeeded in reaching our lines. I made my escape from Andersonville in April, 


1866, and after covering pretty nearly all of the State of Georgia, I finally struck Wilson's 
Cavalry and stayed with them until Lee's men commenced to come back. I succeeded 
in getting a Rebel uniform and flunked in with some returning Rebels, and played off as 
Reb. I drew rations at Kirby Smith's Camp, and finally reached Dalton, Ga., about a 
month after I made my escape." 

The following received severe wounds in action : At battle of Fair Oaks, Va., May 
31, 1862: Samuel H. Stuart, William Bostaph, Harmon Dunkle, Michael Kissinger, Michael 
McNanny, Theodore G. Sloan; at Plymouth: Capt. Donaghy, Lieut. Chambers, William L. 

Private Lemuel C. Slagle, who was wounded on Jan. 27, 1865, on an expedition from 
Plymouth, N. C, to Bertie County, N. C, and who was transferred to Co. A., 18th 
Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps, on account of his wounds, had a close call for his 
life. Slagel belonged to the rear guard and was mistaken for the enemy. The bullet struck 
him between the sixth and seventh ribs, within two inches of the spine. Surgeon Frick, 
referring to this wound says : 

"It was easily diagnosed as a penetrating wound of the chest, and as no exit wound 
existed, and the bullet could not be located, the inference was that it lodged, hopelessly 
within the cavity of the chest, and would be, necessarily, hopeless as to recovery. I had 
the patient made as comfortable as possible in the cabin of our Hdqrs. boat. We reached 
Plymouth at 12 o'clock that night, and finding the patient no worse, I returned to the 
hospital early next morning and re-examined the patient. I discovered a small nodule, 
not visible, but manifest to the touch, which then led to the diagnosis that the bullet had 
securely lodged between the 1st and 2d ribs in front. A careful incision revealed the cor- 
rectness of this diagnosis, and I succeeded in extracting it without its dropping back into 
the cavity of the chest. I then kept the entire chest enveloped with hot fomentations 
changed every few hours, after a method at that time recommended in the German med- 
ical schools, and published in our medical journals. I obtained a water-bed on which 
the patient rested with so much comfort that subsequently in his delirium he' would try 
to catch water-beds for the use of his comrades, imagining that he saw them floating in 
the air around him On the Sunday evening that Plymouth was attacked Slagle was 
among the patients that T sent with the steamer Massasoit to Roanoke Island' His wound 
was thoroughly convalescent. After my release from Confederate prison while on dutv 
at Chesapeake Hospital, near Fortress Monroe, I had the pleasure of a visit from Slade 
as he passed through on his way to join the Veteran Reserve Corps." -^"^K": 

Comrade Slagle was at the last Reunion of the Regiment, and was then hale and 
hearty. He resides at East Brady, where he has been engaged in business for many years 

Corp. William Bostaph, who was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks, and discharged 
from the service on account of being disabled as a resuh of the wounds, is Senior Vice 
Commander in Chief of the G A. R., having been elected to that position at the National 
Encampment at Salt Lake City in August, 1909. He is a resident of Ogden, Utah and L 
by profession a civil and hydraulic engineer. ' 

V, .-fi^r^ .!?""^^^^'' ,'"^<^.°""' °f *e organization of the Co., or rather how he became 
Identified with it, is told in his "Army Experience." He had served with tZ .,'"'"'"' 
Greys" (12th Regiment) in the three months' service and was assists in ?"""' 

company at Pittsburg before he went to Camp Orr. He says ^ """'""^ " 

of theTitt thHldett ctSny^rgam^ronl^VfJ^sbu^r^'"" '"^.^^^"^^^ S'"-'' ^o. A 
the company. Seven men were aH theThad enhst^d .nH^f ^^%«"deavoring to reorganize 
at Kittanning. I was not sworn in but consented tA J= • ^"' ^'°"! ^'* ^^'^ '° "mp 
men while the Captain and Lieutenant reSed in ti.??it'" "'"P.,?"^ take charge of the 
the required number. The men had not vet been nnifor^.J ^ recruiting the company up to 
settled in camp than T began to rlriirmvcnTu ""'^°™ed nor armed. We were no sooner 
which left me six me^a" mo t fo7drnr bTrr:^,^- ..°"' !"u'" \"^ ^^'^^^^'^ ^^^ <=ook. 
that so small a squad could perform I succeeded in^.H,,T *'l'L°"^'' ^"- ^^^ evolutions 
manders of other squads some of wJminT* t • '".attracting the attention of the com- 
«ke their recruis and themselves t^arHv fnVo^ ^^'^ ""'"'"J TP"'*"*^^ asked me To 
myself in command of me^eilrugh S'?o m'ar^rdrm irtrrchoor^ofll'- ' ^"^"^ *°""d 

tain; for they suspected that the man who had been their 1st choi«%or Zt"poSn^w^; 


about to sell out to some other person. Strange to say, my ambition was not then up to 
the Captain mark, and besides it seemed to me that the person who was expecting that 
office was acting fairly with his men, so I did not encourage them in their project. They 
were determined to have me with them. The man whom they expected to have for first 
lieutenant was popular with them, and he wanted that position whether the other man or I 
should be captain, so they decided that the man whom they had favored for second lieutenant 
should fall back to the position of first sergeant, that I might become second lieutenant. I 
consented to that arrangement and joined the company. An election the next day but con- 
firmed that disposition of the officers — viz.: Mathew B. McDowell, Captain; Josiah Zink, 
First Lieutenant; myself as Second Lieutenant, and David Rimer as First Sergeant. The 
company was from Rimersburg, Clarion County — a part of the state I had never been in, 
nor had I met any of the men before. Considering this, and the fact that I had not brought 
a recruit to the company nor paid a dollar towards its expenses, I thought it remarkable 
that I should inspire the men with such confidence. The company had eighty men enlisted. 
Most of them were granted furloughs during the Christmas holidays, and on their return 
they brought with them recruits enough to fill the company to the required number of 101 

Co. F was detached from the Regiment from June 27, 1863, until January 3, 1864. 
During this period it was stationed at Roanoke Island, N. C. In his "Army Experience," 
Capt. Donaghy describes life on the Island in the following terms : 

"I had with me my 1st lieutenant, James H. Chambers, and Lieut. Edgar Lee of Co. 
A [101st Regiment], whom I detailed as post adjutant. The island is about twelve miles 
long and three or four miles wide, and contained about a hundred white families, and a 
total of about 2,000 negroes who were settled on a reservation called Camp Foster. Each 
family was allowed a lot of about an acre of land, on which they built their log cabins. 

"On Monday morning I found a crowd awaiting me at headquarters. There were 
negroes by the hundred asking for orders for rations, and whites too, who were destitute. 
Some had come to the island in boats and asked permission to trade, or to buy supplies 
from the sutlers. One white couple who were dissatisfied with each other, wished to be 
divorced, and as I was the only governing authority on the island, I was asked to give a 
decree of separation. I granted most of the requests, but the latter was too much for me. 
I advised the couple to live for the present as they pleased, until the civil government should 
be restored, and then, if they were still of the same mind, they could apply to the proper 

"The post sutler sent to me, with his compliments, a supply of delicacies, which 
included several bottles of champagne. I was surprised at his generosity, but accepted his 
gifts with thanks, at the same time mentally resolving not to favor him by doing anything 
at variance with my duty ; but these good-will offerings did, no doubt, impress me favorably 
towards him. 

"On the second day [July 24, 1863] I heard of some schooners being seen in 
Currituck Sound, and I sent Lieut. Geissenhainer with a small force, on the tug North State, 
after them, and he captured one of the vessels — a sloop — with its crew and cargo of 
contraband goods. My successor, Capt. James Sheafer, was somethig of a sailor, and with 
him I enjoyed several cruises about the sound in the captured yacht. Co. A, 101st, was 
Capt. Sheafer's company, and he had been absent at the north. His commission was older 
than mine, so I was again relieved July 24, when he returned to duty. 

"On the 3d of August I was on board the stern-wheel tug and gunboat North State, 
as it steamed up the Little Alligator river towing some empty scows which were to be 
brought back to Plymouth, laden with lumber. I was in command, and our party consisted 
of Capt. Gallop of the steamer, and his crew, twelve soldiers, and 18 negro laborers, and 
besides these we had on board, returning to their homes, eight citizens of Tyrrell County 
who had fallen into Union hands in various ways. 

"During our absence our department commander. Gen. B. F. Butler, visited the island 
and inspected the troops and works. On the day of our return Col. Clarke, of the 85th 
New York, arrived with 100 men to reinforce us and to clear Currituck canal of guerrillas. 

"On Saturday, the 8th [August], a force went out, but could not find the enemy. 
Oark and Sheafer were with it, while I staid at headquarters making out permits for 
various things for the people. Next day, Sunday, I enjoyed my liberty by riding about 
the northeast part of the island, Lieuts. Chambers, Butts, Laughlin and Sergt. Hawn, the 
three latter belonging to Col. Clarke's force of 100, accompanying me. The principal event 
of the day was our visit to Fort Raleigh. Mr. Doe, a resident, led us to a secluded place 
in a wood and pointed out some inequalities in the ground as the remains of a star-shaped 
fort which was built by the colony established by Sir Wfelter Raleigh in 1587, and which 
was the scene of the massacre by the Indians, of the unfortunate colonists. 

"On the 19th I rode to headquarters and learned of a wreck on the ocean beach, and 
that the North State was about to take a party there. Lieut. Geissenhainer and I got 
permission to go along. A sail of three hours brought us to Oregon Inlet, south of Roanoke. 

Corp. Robert J. Thompson. 
(Co. E.) 

John Adams. 
(Private Co. G.) 

John D. Taggart. 
(Private Co. I.) 

Sergt. J. S. Hodyl. 
(Co. i.) 

John S. IVIoorhead. 
(Sergeant Co. D.) 



We dined with Gallop on the steamer. The vessel was the U. S. gunboat Crocus, lately 
from New York. At a dwelling near by we saw the crew, who were drying their clothes 
at bon-fires built for the purpose. We walked up the beach until we were opposite the 
wreck, which lay out among the breakers. The night was stormy when the vessel struck 
the bar. A line was thrown to the shore by means of a rocket ; by that line a hawser was 
drawn ashore by the people who were there, and by this means the crew had saved them- 
selves. When we were there the wind had abated, but the waves were ;ill pretty high. 

"Geissenhainer and I and some others donned improvised bathing suits and went out 
to the wreck, holding on with firm grip to the hawser while large waves dashed over us. 
Curiosity was our motive. 

"The North State brought the shipwrecked crew to Roanoke, but as the steamer 
was not ready to return as soon as Lieut. G. and I were, we came back with the sutler in 
his yacht, but we did not reach the island until midnight, for we were delayed by running 
upon a bar, and all hands had to get out into the water and push the boat over the bar. 
The sutler took care of us at his quarters till morning, and as he was a liberal entertainer, 
we were not allowed to go away dry or hungry." 

The surviving comrades of the Regiment will be glad to know that Capt. Donaghy is 
able to enjoy life in his latter years. The following notice is taken from a Florida paper, 
issued Feb. 10, 1909 : 

Some friends of Capt. Donaghy — Mr. Chas. Le Bihan and wife, also Mr. C. S. 
Schlomer and wife, of New York City, have come to Mrs. Spofford's at the north end of the 
lake to spend the winter months. Mr. Arthur Spofford has built for Captain Donaghy a 
good size rowboat of graceful lines, on which the captain intends to entertain his friends. 
An appropriate ceremony marked the launching of the boat. Among those who participated 
were the above named ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Sawyer and Mrs. White, the Hon. J. E. 
Alexander and others. The following lines written by the captain were recited by Mrs. Le 
Bihan, whose diction was greatly admired. 

The Baptisim of Violet. 

We meet beneath fair sunny skies 
To launch this boat; likewise baptize. 
In storm or gale may she keep afloat; 
Escape the fool who rocks the boat ; 
May serve the turn of angler keen. 
Or loving pair — ^with none between. 
May she prove useful on the wave, 
If need be means of life to save. 
To ailing frames who ply the oar 
May she the glow of health restore. 

From her rude deck of a moonlight night 
May tuneful voices give delight. 
Of course a boat lacks sense of taste 
To give her wine were wilful waste — 
A liquid made for human throttle — 
And yet; with her we'll break a bottle. 
So now, dear friends, we make it clear 
We wish for her a good career. 
So push her in : her bottom wet, 
For fair one, name her "Violet." 


Co. G. was chiefly recruited in Indiana and Allegheny Counties, by John Stuchell, 
James J. Morrow, of Indiana County, and William H. Irwin of Allegheny, Pa. The 
Allegheny County recruits came principally from the village of Tarentum and the adjoin- 
ing townships, who were enrolled by W. H. Irwin during the autumn months of 1861. The 
company was organized at Camp Orr during the winter of 1861-62 by merging the two 
squads, and the Co. was mustered into the service on Jan. 10, 1862 with John Stuchell, 
Capt. ; William H. Irwin, 1st Lieut. ; James J. Morrow, 2d Lieut. As Co. G. was among 
the last companies organized at Camp Orr it never had the maximum enrollment, in fact, 
the total enrollment during the war was only 96, there being only four additions to the 
Co. after it went to the front. The aggregate mortality was 36, eighteen deaths occurring 
in Southern prisons, or immediately after being released ; 14 by disease in camp or hospital, 
and three killed in battle, or died of wounds received in action. They were Lieut. Z. M. 
Cline, killed April 18, 1865, at battle of Plymouth; Balser Graft and Elijah Shierer, who 
died of wounds received in action at Fair Oaks, Va., May 31, 1862 ; Jacob Weaver, who 
was seriously wounded at battle of Fair Oaks, subsequently died as a result, but when and 
where is not recorded; Corp. Smith Kennedy, who was severely wounded in battle of 
Fair Oaks, was transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps as a result of his wounds, and 
never returned to the Co. Of those who died while prisoners of war the following are 
known to have died at Andersonville, Ga. : Peter Barr, Samuel Barr, William Oliver 
Black, James Evrit, George M. Feel, John Maynard, Caleb E. Moore, Samuel Oiler, George 
Shakely, Henry Wyant ; Sergt. John Clark and Private John T. Weaver are known to have 


died at Florence, S. C. ; John Adams and John Leslie died while en route to be paroled ; 
William C. McQuskey died at Charleston, S. C, while en route to Florence; S. Hagerty, 
and George Schell died after being released from disease incurred while prisoners of war. 
The first man of the Regiment to die at Andersonville, Ga., was John Maynard. He was 
captured while on a reconnoissance near Colerain, N. C., Jan. 22, 1864, and died of 
pneumonia, at Andersonville, March 27, 1864, nearly six weeks before his comrades arrived 
there. His grave number is 183, and the burial record credits him to the 105th Penna. 
Regt. Thirteen of the Co. were discharged by reason of disability incurred while in the 
service, on Surgeon's certificate ; eight were transferred, three of whom were promoted 
to field and staff ; twenty were mustered out with the Co. June 2.5, 1865, and received their 
final discharge at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865. Eighteen of these belonged to the original 

Among Lieut. Irwin's recruits from Tarentum and neighborhood were Sergt. John 
Clark, who died at Florence, S. C, Feb. 1, 1865, and William Oliver Black, who died at An- 
dersonville July 18, 1864; Smith Kennedy, who was transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps 
on account of wounds received at the battle of Fair Oaks ; John Adams, who died while a 
prisoner of war; Samuel Bagley, James Dunlap, Daniel Greek, Washington Hazlett ; Isaac 
L. Kuhn, who died at Beaufort (N. C.) Hospital, March 21, 1864; John Leslie, died while 
a prisoner of war ; Allison Mitchell, wounded in "Seven Days' Battles" and Jesse G. Stephens, 
who died, June 28, 1862, after marching across White Oak Swamp during the "Seven Days' 

When Adjutant Irwin was recruiting, the citizens of Tarentum called a meeting in 
the Tarentum school house to assist him, which was attended by nearly the entire male por- 
tion of the village. A practical joke was played on one of the citizens of the town who was 
given to boasting of bis prowess, the result of which was, that never after his experience 
of that night was he heard to express any desire for martial activity. 

The following were mustered out with the Co. at New Bern, N. C, June 25, 1865, re- 
ceiving their final discharge, at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865: Capt. J. J. Morrow, 1st 
Sergt. William C. Bell, Sergt. George Baker, Sergt. John Black, Sergt. Andrew Shankle, 
Sergt. Robert Whitacre, Corp. William McGeary, Musician Loy B. Young ; Privates George 
W. Bruner, William Carson, George W. Dies, James Dunlap, George M. Gourley, George 
W. Grubbs, Robert A. A. Patterson, James H. Roger, Albert M. Russell, Moses F. Steele, 
Andrew Whitacre. i\Iusician Saul A, Hagerty, who was a prisoner of war from Apr. 20, 
1864, until Feb. 24, 1865, was honorably discharged by General Orders of the War Depart- 
ment to date June 26, 1865. Private John Miller, who was captured at Plymouth, April 20, 
1864, and paroled April 1, 1865, was honorably discharged by General Orders of the War 
Department July 14, 1865. 

Lieut. Zachariah M. Cline, who was killed on Monday evening, April 18, the second 
day of the battle of Plymouth, N. C, by a fragment of a shell, was from Cowanshannock 
Township, Armstrong County, Pa., a son of John Cline. He was unmarried, and from the 
time the Regiment went from the State until his death he was continuously with the Co. 
and was well esteemed by both officers and men of the entire Regiment. 


Co. H was recruited principally in the western part of Clarion County, for the 99th 
Penna. Regiment. George W. Kelly, who had been a compositor on the Philadelphia 
Ledger, had succeeded in enrolling eight or ten recruits in the east, and found it difficult 
to get any additions came west and on reaching Clarion made the acquaintance of James F. 
Mackey and J. Milton Alexander and induced them to co-operate with him in recruiting 
a company, promising Mackey the captaincy and Alexander the 2d lieutenancy. Mackey at 
that time was conducting a carriage and blacksmith shop in Clarion, and Alexander was 
assisting his father conduct a hotel, of which the latter was proprietor. The three went to 
work with enthusiasm, Kelly securing zouave uniforms from the east for the men. The 
Co. was organized at Clarion according to the original program with James F. Mackey, 


Capt. ; George W. Kelly, 1st Lieut ; and J. M. Alexander, 2d Lieut. Having the required 
quota in February, Mackey, Alexander and Kelly went to Kittanning, the nearest point to a 
railroad, in order to arrange for transportation to Washington City, where the 99th was 
then stationed with eight companies. While in Kittanning they came in contact with the 
officers of the 103d, and were induced to change their former plans and cast their lot with 
the Regiment. This addition to the Regiment gave it the full complement of ten companies, 
seven of which had the maximum quota of men. The Regiment then had orders to leave 
for Harrisburg, expecting to secure the additional company at the State capital. It was 
arranged with the officers of Co. H that they should return to Clarion at once and follow 
the Regiment to Harrisburg. No better version can be given of Company H's departure 
from home, its arrival at the Regiment, and its first marches, than is found in the following 
letter, written by John Mackey, son of Capt. Mackey, to his mother, under date of April 30, 
1862. Young Mackey, who was then perhaps thirteen years old, accompanied his father in 
the capacity of servant, but really as a companion. He was not enlisted or mustered into 
service, but was with the Regiment during the first months of its service. 

"Dear Mother : Last night as I was going to bed I received your letter. We are 
now about 6 or 8 miles from Yorktown, and we have a very pleasant camp. One of the 
boys captured a mule the other day, and we were going to keep it, but he sold it. I will 
now give you a list of the tramps we have made since we left home : 

"Clarion Zouaves, Capt. James F. Mackey, Co. H, 103d Regiment, P. V., marched 
from Clarion, Feb. 27. 1862. Crossed the river at James Watterson's early in the morning, 
Feb. 28, and marched to Kittanning, where the men received woolen blankets in time to 
take 4 o'clock (P. M.) train for Pittsburg, where we arrived at 8 P. M. March 1, took 
the Lightning (Express) at 4 P. M., for Harrisburg; took supper at 2 A. M., at Tyrone, 
and arrived at Harrisburg at 3 :40 A. M., March 2, and marched out to Camp Curtin, where 
we joined the 103d Regiment, and some of the men received their overcoats, rations, and 
were mustered into the Regiment. Same day took cars for Baltimore at 4 o'clock (P. M.), 
where we arrived, and took supper at 12 o'clock, midnight. 

"After .supper we took the cars for Washington City, where we arrived about 8 
A. M., March 3, and quartered at the Soldiers' Rest, remaining there until March 5, when 
we marched to Camp Reynold, two miles east of Washington. March 10, marched to Camp 
Lloyd, Meridian Hill, two miles N. W. of Washington. March 28, marched to Camp Snow 
Hill, near Alexandria. March 30, marched to the wharf at Alexandria. March 31, went 
aboard the steamer Hero, bound for Fortress Monroe. April 2, our steamer ran into a 
schooner having five men on board, sinking it ; one man was drowned, but the other four 
got safely aboard our boat. April 3, landed at Fortress Monroe, disembarked and marched 
to Camp Casey, eight miles from Fortress Monroe and two miles from Newport News. 
April 15, marched towards Yorktown, sixteen miles, and laid in a field without tents, one- 
half mile from Warwick Court House. April 17, marched to Camp Winfield Scott, within 
four miles of Yorktown. This is the last of the story." 

Co. H had a total enrollment of 106, however seven of whom failed to accompany 
the Co. from Qarion, and are on the rolls of the Co. as deserters. The total mortuary list 
was 40, eight of whom were killed in battle or died of wounds received in action. They 
were: Hezekiah Irwin, Francis Judy, John Loll and Adam Turney, at Fair Oaks, Va., May 
31, 1862; Jackson Boyd, Hiram Reed, and George H. Wetzel, at Kinston, N. C, Dec. 14, 
1862; Sergt. William Johnston, at Plymouth, N. C, Apr. 20, 1864. Seventeen died while 
prisoners of war, or immediately after being released from disease incurred while in prison. 
They were : Sergt. Edwin Terwilliger, Corp. Andrew J. Maze ; Privates Thomas N. Fulton, 
Herman Girts, and Robert Reed, who died at Andersonville, Ga. ; Private William W. 
Sheets, David Thomas, William Stroup and Daniel Zimmerman, who died in Florence, 
S. C. ; Corp. John Wion ; Privates, Joseph C. K. Groce, Daniel Huddleson, Samuel Wads- 
worth, who died at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md. ; Private James L. Travis, at Charleston, 
S. C. ; Privates David W. Girts and John A. Redick, supposed to have died en route, as 
they were not seen by comrades after leaving Andersonville, Ga. 

Corp. William A. Jameson is recorded as buried at Andersonville, his grave number 
being 4,690. Evidently one of the North Carolina men who had deserted from the Con- 
federate army had been substituted for him. Jameson was absent sick when the Co. was 
captured, and the records show that he was admitted to the Haddington General Hospital, 
Philadelphia, Aug. 23. 1864, and was discharged March 15, 1865, by reason of expiration of 


term. William Hall, who also was absent when the Co. was captured, and according to 
oflBcial records was discharged on Surgeon's certificate May 31, 1864, is recorded as Vuried 
in grave 7,286, Andersonville Cemetery. 

Private Thomas Davis, who was confined at Andersonville, and is shown by the 
records to have been mustered out with the Co., is also recorded as buried in grave 3,798, 
Andersonville, National Cemetery. 

The following were mustered out with the Co., at New Bern, N. C, June .25, 1865, 
receiving their final discharges at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865 : 2d Lieut. S. D. Burns, 
1st Sergt. Sebastian Cook, Sergt. Jacob Rupert, Sergt. Samuel Rupert, Musician John 
J. Ashbaugh, Thomas Davis, William King, William Kleck, Theodore McPherson, Sebastian 
Neidderriter, Lester R. Warner and Eugene E. Widel. 

Capt. Mackey was continually with his Co. until it was captured ; was paroled March 
1, 1865, and was discharged on account of reduced command, March 12, 1865. Lieut. Geo. 
W. Kelly was absent on recruiting service when the Co. was captured. He was discharged 
by reason of expiration of term, Feb. 21, 1865. Lieut. J. Milton Alexander resigned Feb. 
13, 1863. He left the service because of a disagreement with Col. Lehmann, not on account 
of impaired health or dislike of the service. His departure was regretted by the entire Co. 


Company I was recruited from the Counties of Butler, Mercer and Venango. 
Wilson C. Maxwell, who was authorized by Governor Curtin to raise a company, took 
the initiative in recruiting the company. After securing the promise of a score or more, 
he called a meeting at the M. E. Church at Harrisville, Butler County, on Sept. 16, 1861, 
at which he succeeded in increasing the enrollment to nearly half the required quota of 
101, officers and men. Finding some difficulty in getting recruits, he made a deal with 
William Fielding and Wm. H. H. Kiester, promising Fielding the first lieutenancy and 
Kiester the second, if they assisted him in securing the required quota. They had re- 
cently returned from the three months' service which gave them the glamour of being 
veterans and being very democratic in manner and good mixers, they soon succeeded in 
getting the required quota. The Company left Harrisville for Camp Orr, Kittanning, 
Dec. 16, 1861, making the trip in country wagons, and arriving at its destination Dec. 19. 
Shortly after its arrival at Camp Orr, the formality of electing officers was carried out 
in compliance with a previous understanding, resulting as follows: Captain, Wilson C. 
Maxwell; First Lieutenant, William Fielding; Second Lieutenant, William H. H. Kiester; 
Orderly Sergeant, G. K. M. Crawford; Sergeants, Jackson McCoy, John C. Applegate, 
John S. Hodil, and James McKain. Corporals, William McBride, Andrew J. McCoy, John 
B. Porter, John McAnallon, James Harper, William Gorman, David McCoy, Alpheus 

Capt. Maxwell being promoted March 1, 1862, to the lieutenant colonelcy of the 
Regiment, Fielding succeeded him as captain. William C. McCrum, a protege of Col. 
Lehmann, was appointed first lieutenant. The latter came from the vicinity of Pittsburgh 
and was not known to any of the company, and in consequence was regarded by the men 
as an interloper, and not finding the place congenial, he resigned April 10, 1862. His 
brief connection with the company hardly gave the men an opportunity to form an esti- 
mate of his character. However, his demeanor was quiet and gentlemanly, and had he 
remained with the company, and possessed the requisites for his position, he would have 
soon overcome the prejudice of the men. The vacancy caused by McCrum's resignation 
was filled by Lieut. Kiester. An election for the second liteutenancy was held at White 
Oak Swamp about June 23, 1862, resulting in the election of First Sergt. G. K. M. Craw- 
ford, who was commissioned, to date June 30, 1862. Jackson McCoy was promoted to 
First. Sergt. and William McBride from Corporal to Sergeant. The original member- 
ship of the company was one hundred and five (105), four more than the requisite quota 
of officers and men. Of these, sixty-five (65) were from Butler County; twenty-four 
(24) from Venango County and sixteen (16) from Mercer County. Of the original mem- 
bership of Co. I, only eleven remained to be mustered out with the Co. Fourteen were 


Tcilled in battle, or died of wounds received in action; thirty died in Confederate prisons, 
or immediately after release, from disease incurred while prisoners of war and before 
they could reach their homes; eleven died of disease before the capture of the Co.; three 
were transferred; five were mustered out by order of the War Department; two deserted 
and thirty were discharged on Surgeon's certificate. Samuel A. Walker, who was on 
detached service at Fairfax Seminary when the Co. was captured, was discharged Feb. 
24, 1865, more than two months after the expiration of his term of service. John Mc- 
Guirk, who was a prisoner of war from April 20, 1864, until Dec. 10, 1864, was discharged 
April 13, 1865, to date Feb. 22, 1865. Sergt. William McBride, who was shot through 
the throat at the battle of Plymouth, and left on the field of battle, supposed to be mor- 
tally wounded, recovered and was sent to Andersonville, and was paroled at Savannah, 
Ga., Nov. 30, 1864; was discharged by General Order of the War Department, June 21, 
1865. Corp. Nathan E. Davis was mustered out in June, by order of the War Depart- 
ment, having been captured with the company and paroled, after confinement in Ander- 
sonville prison. The eleven men mustered out with the company re-enlisted as veterans, 
Jan. 1, 1864, and were prisoners of war. They were : First. Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester, 
Acting Second Lieut. Jackson McCoy, Sergt. Michael Duffy, Corp. John A. Kelley, Corp. 
Andrew J. McCoy, Drummer James N. Elliott; Privates, William P. Dunlap, William H. 
Gilmore, Joseph S. GriflSn, Robert McElphatrick and Thomas McCoy. Private William P. 
Dunlap, a veteran, was absent on furlough when Co. was mustered out. 

Killed in battle, or died of wounds received in action : At battle of Fair Oaks — Eli- 
jah H McDonald, Fowler Miller, Thomas O'Connor, Thomas L. Morris, Samuel Sylvies 
and Matthew McNees. At battle of Kinston — Patrick Nolan, James Collingwood, William 
Powers, George W. Griffin, Calvin McCoy, Milo A. Sankey, James K. McCleary. At battle 
of Plymouth — Samuel P. Range. 

Of the above, McDonald, Miller, Nolan, Collingwood, Griffin and Powers were 
killed instantly; Sylvies was left on the battle field of Fair Oaks, mortally wounded and 
was removed to Richmond, where he died, June 6, 1862 ; Morris was taken to Annapolis, 
Md., where he died June 24, 1862, and was buried in the Nat. Cem. there, his grave mark 
teing 1,799; McNees was also taken to Annapolis, where he died July 23, 1862, and was 
buried there in the Nat. Cem., grave 1,892 ; there is no record of how and where Thomas 
O'Connor died; McCoy lingered two days, expiring Dec. 16; Sankey died Jan. 7, 1863, 
and McCleary, Mar. 7, 1863; Samuel P. Range, who was mortally wounded at the battle 
of Plymouth, died there; his remains were subsequently interred in the National Ceme- 
tery at New Bern, N. C, grave 1,137, plot 7. 

Two others of Co. I were left on the battlefield of Plymouth, supposed to be mor- 
tally wounded, Sergt. McBride, already mentioned, and William Gilmore. The latter was 
shot in the side, the ball passing around the abdomen and coming out on the opposite 
side; however, he soon recovered and followed his comrades to Andersonville, was 
paroled, and is living at this writing, at Mechanicsville, Pa. 

The following died in prison or from the effects of the exposure incurred while 
there, while en route into our lines or in the hospital after returning, but before they 
reached their homes : Sergt. William Gorman, died at Andersonville, Nov. 23, 1864. Sergt. 
Jacob S. Kiester, died at Florence, S. C, Nov. 23, 1864. Corp. James Range, died at Flor- 
ence, S. C, Jan. 25, 1865. Corp. Hiram Donaldson, died at Florence, S. C, Jan. 25, 1864. 
James Harper, died at Annapolis, Md., Jan. 25, 1865 ; buried in Nat. Cem., Annapolis, grave 
356. Corp. Albert G. C. Johnston, died at Andersonville, Ga., July 4, 1864; buried in Nat. 
Cem., Andersonville, grave 2,889. Music. Oliver P. Harris, fifer, died at Charleston, S. C, 
Oct. 6, 1864. Joseph Blakely, died Apr. 11, 1865, at Annapolis, Md. ; buried in Nat. Cem., 
Annapolis, grave 1,264; Private Blakely was wounded and captured at Battle of Fair Oaks, 
and after recovery, paroled. Charles Cochran, died at Andersonville, Aug. 4, 1864, buried in 
Nat. Cem., Andersonville, grave 4,729. Arthur Crawford, last seen was at Florence, S. C, 
where it was reported that he had taken the Confederate oath of allegiance. William H. 
Croop, died at Andersonville, Aug. 3, 1864 ; buried in Nat. Cem., Andersonville, grave 4,682. 
Samuel H. Dunlap, died at Relay House, Md., Mar. 22, 1865, after being paroled. David 


M. Gallaher, died at Andersonville, Aug. 20, 1864; buried in Nat. Cem., Andersonville, 
grave 2,988, Oliver P. Hardy, died in Confederate prison, Sept. 15, 1864. Christopher 
Henderson, died at Annapolis, Mar. 16, 1865; buried in Nat. Cem. Annapolis, grave 910. 
Alexander Hilliard, died in Confederate prison, Jan. 30, 1865. John S. Joseph, died in 
hospital, Wilmington, N. C, Spring of 1865, after being paroled ; buried in Nat. Cem., Wil- 
mington, grave 990. (Burial record "L. R. Joseph"). Epaphroditus Kiester, died at Ander- 
sonville, July 20, 1864; buried in Nat. Cem., Andersonville, grave 3,634. James S. Lytle, 
was paroled Dec, 1864, and died soon afterwards, James McGhee, died at Andersonville, 
July 28, 1864; buried in Nat. Cem., Andersonville, grave 4,123. James McSorley, died in 
Andersonville prison (no record of date) ; he had served in the Mexican war. William 
Major, died at Andersonville, July 22, 1864 ; buried in Nat. Cem., Andersonville, grave 3,793. 
Francis Nutt, died at Florence, S. C, Nov. 9, 1864. Samuel P. Range, died of wounds re- 
ceived in the battle of Plymouth. Robert M. Seton, died July 8, 1864, at Andersonville, grave 
3,057 ; buried in Nat. Cem., Andersonville. David Stinedurf , capt. at Plymouth ; paroled, 
and died en route home. Paul L. Taylor, died in Confederate prison ; no further record, 
Hugh A. Weakley, died at Annapolis, Md,, Dec. 24, 1864. James Cowen and John W, Miller 
are on record as deserters, the latter Feb. 21, 1863 ; the former Feb. 24, 1863. 

The transferred were ; Capt. Maxwell, transferred as field officer ; Sergt. John 
C. Applegate, promoted to Sergt. Maj., May 1, 1863, and Sergt, John S. Hodil, discharged 
July 18, 1863, and mustered same day, as hospital steward, in the United States Army, 
from which he was discharged, Oct, 28, 1865. 

The following privates who enlisted with the company died of disease in 1862 : 
Thomas J. Day, typhoid fever, at Washington, D. C, April 15, 1862; buried in Military 
Asylum Cemetery, District of Columbia. James M. Maxwell, brother of Lieut. Col. Max- 
well ; tvphoid fever. May 5, 1862, at Camp Winfield Scott, near Yorktown, Va. James P. 
McLaughlin, typhoid fever. May 10, 1862, Washington, D. C. ; buried in Military Asylum 
Cemetery, D. C. Simon Duffy, May 10, 1862, Washington, D. C. ; buried in Military 
Asylum Cemetery. Washington. D, C, John Ghost, died of typhoid fever, June 17, 1862, at 
White Oak Swamp, Va. ; buried in Nat, Cem,, Seven Pines, Va. William Joseph, July 2, 

1862, Washington, D. C, ; buried in Mil. Asy. Cem,, D, C, Patrick McAnallon, July 5, 1862, 
at Harrison's Landing, Va. James Hamilton, July 16, 1862, Washington, D, C, ; buried in 
Cypress Hill Cemetery. D, C, Matthew McNees. died July 23, 1862, at Annapolis, Md. ; 
buried in Nat, Cem,, Annapolis, Md, ; grave 18,920. Henry Hobaugh, died at Suffolk, Va. 
Samuel Berringer, who enlisted at the organization of the company, died at Beaufort, N. C, 
Dec. 14, 1863, and was buried in the Nat. Cemetery, New Bern, N. C, plot 7, grave 1,228. 
Capt. William Fielding, Jan. 14, 1865 ; absent on recruiting service, when Co. was captured. 
First Lieut. William C. McCrum, April 10, 1862; resigned. Second Lieut, G, K, M, Craw- 
ford, July 17, 1863; resigned. The following were discharged on surgeon's certificate: 
Sergt, James McKain, at Baltimore, Md, ; do date, Corp. David McCoy, June 16, 1862 ; left 
company Mav 30. 1862. seriously ill with malarial fever, for hospital, Bottoms Bridge, Va. 
Corp. Alpheus Walker, April 27, 1863, at Providence, R. I. Corp. John McAnallon, Feb. 27, 

1863, at New Bern, N. C. Corp. David S. Ramsay, Sept. 17, 1862, at Harrisburg, Pa. Music. 
Daniel Albright, left Co., sick, Aug, 7, 1862, 

Privates: Patton Bell, Oct, 12, 1862; Major J. Davidson, June 24, 1862; David 
Eakin, Jan, 7, 1862; John Fielding, July 7, 1862; Thomas C. Hackett, Nov, 19, 1862, at 
Philadelphia; William Hamilton, Mar, 28, 1863, at New Bern, N. C; Samuel Kelley, Dec, 
27, 1862, at Baltimore, Md, ; Joseph Perry McAnallon, Mar. 28, 1863; David McElphat- 
rick, Nov, 4, 1862, at Governors Island, N, Y, ; Helm J, McGill, Aug, 11, 1864, Newark, 
N, J,; Samuel McNees, Aug, 3, 1862; Albert G. Mayberry; J. W. Orr, Ailg, 13, 1862, at 
Baltimore, Md, ; William Reid, Sept, 16, 1862, at Philadelphia, Pa,; James Shinar, Feb, 
7, 1863, at New Bern, N. C. ; Martin Stoff, Apr. 15, 1862, at Washington, D. C. ; William 
Stoff, July 18, 1863; John D. Taggart, Sept. 29, 1862, at New York City; John A. Thomp- 
son, May 15. 1862, Washington, D. C; John N. Thompson, May 10, 1862; Richard Walter, 
Jan. 12, 1863, at Fortress Monroe; Patton Bell, who was discharged Oct. 12, 1862, re- 
enlisted Feb. 29, 1864, and was mustered out with the Co. Helm J. McNeil, who was 


absent, sick at Hammond General Hospital, Beaufort, N. C, when the Co. was captured, 
and was discharged on Surgt. Cert. Aug. 11, 1864, is reported in Bates' History of Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers as having died at Andersonville, Sept. 11, 1864, grave 8,469; the offi- 
cial cemetery record gives the number as 8,409, This was due, without doubt, to his name 
having been assumed by one of the North Carolina troops, who had- deserted from, the 
Confederate Army. James W. Orr, who was discharged on Surg. Cert., at Baltimore, 
Md,, Aug. 1.3, 1862, is reported as a deserter, in Bates' History. The Legislature of Penn- 
sylvania, by a unanimous vote of both houses, ordered the record to be corrected. A 
detailed history of Co. I would reveal tragedy after tragedy. Joseph S. Griffin, who was 
mustered out with the Co. saw his brother George killed at the battle of Kinston, and 
was with his brother John when he succumbed to the exposures and hardships of Ander- 
sonville. John Joseph, who died at Wilmington, N. C, after he was paroled, was a 
brother to William Joseph, who died at Washington, D. C, July 2, 1862, and also of New- 
ton Joseph, of Company B, killed on the picket line at Fair Oaks. This one family gave 
three lives, just entering manhood, in defense of the nation. David M. Gallaher, who died 
in Andersonville prison, was wounded at battle of Fair Oaks and again at battle of 
Kinston. Robert M. Seeton, who died in Andersonville, was captured on the Peninsula by 
Stuart's Cavalry, taken to Richmond, and after a few weeks' imprisonment, exchanged. 
The records show that Co. I received but four recruits, in additional enrollment. They 
were Patton Bell, who was originally a member and discharged on Surgeon's Certificate; 
re-enlisted Feb. 15, 1865. Samuel Gibson enlisted April 9, 1864. Richard West, colored, 
enlisted as Co. cook. Mar. 31, 1864; not being in uniform, he was not sent to prison, and 
at the first opportunity returned to the Regiment and was mustered out with the Co. The 
other recruits did not reach the Co. in time to be captured; they joined the detachment 
at Roanoke Island and were mustered out with the Co. Co. I was paid off April 5, 1864, 
thirty members receipting for pay. Sergt. William McBride, O. P. Harris and R. M. Mc- 
Elphatrick, after signing the pay roll, erased their names, claiming they were charged 
too much for clothing; however, the matter was subsequently adjusted and they re- 
ceived their pay. Uriah Kiester left the Co., sick, July 1, 1862, and was carried on the 
rolls, for a long time, as a deserter, but returned to the company May 9, '65, and by order 
of the War Department, was honorably discharged. May 11, 1865. William Croop, de- 
serted at Plymouth, stopping with a farmer about three miles up the Roanoke river, above 
Plymouth ; the latter tried to get rid of him, for if either Federals or Confederates' found 
him on the premises, his position with either would be compromised, so he was forced 
to report Croop to the Federal authorities. First Sergeant McCoy took a file of men and 
brought him into camp; he was court-martialed and sentenced to the Dry Tortugas for 
the remainder of his term. It was only by the strenuous exertion of Lieut. Jack Laughlin 
of Co. A that he was not sentenced to be shot; Maj. Gazzam, who was president of the 
board that tried him, urged that an example should be made of him. He was still at 
Plymouth when the Confederate attack was made; a pardon was offered him if he would 
jom the Co. at the breastworks, but he was obstinate and refused, and remained in the 
Plymouth jail until the place was captured; he was sent to Andersonville and died there 
August 3, 1864, grave 4,682. 

Corp. John A. Kelley, one of the "boys" of Co. I-the youngest member of the Co.— 
has furnished the following interesting notes on his comrades : 

WilHam Fielding first lieutenant and subsequently captain, was a son of Zachariah 
fieldmg, a well-to-do farmer, livmg near CentreviUe, where the captain was born; his 
mother s family name was Carr. The Fielding family consisted of four sons and four 
daughters, the captain being the third son. He was a rollicking, good natured fellow and 
tairly popular with the company. He was unable to be on duty at the battle of Fair Oaks 
Demg quite lame at the time. However, he soon recovered and remained with the Co until 
he was detached on recruiting service in 1863, in consequence of which he escaped capture 
with the Co. He was discharged Jan. 14, 1865, nearly a month after his three years' term 
of service had expired. 

2d Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester was the son of Jesse Kiester, mother's name Sheafer 
ills father kept a country tavern at Slippery Rock. Butler County, Pa. He had a brother' 


Jacob S., who was sergeant in the Co. and who died at Florence, S. C. Kiester was prac- 
tically the officer of the Company, and was with it continually from Camp Orr until we 
Were discharged at Harrisburg. During all of this time, he was never absent from the Co. 
•a day, for any cause whatever; he enjoyed good health and was always ready for duty; he 
was a very strict disciplinarian, but always fair. He was discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 
1865, with ten other survivors of the Co. Orderly Sergeant G. K. M. Crawford was pro- 
moted second lieutenant, June 23, 1862. Crawford was somewhat older than any of the line 
officers and consequently had more business experience than any of them and had a great 
deal to do with the organization of the Co. He resigned July 17, 1863. 

Sergt. Jackson McCoy, promoted to first sergeant, June 23, 1862, at White Oak 
Swamp, but not commissioned second lieutenant owing to the Co. being much depleted; 
discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 1865, with the other nine surviving members of the Co. 
Jackson McCoy was the most useful man in the Co., to the Co. or to the Government. He 
enjoyed very good health and was always ready for duty; he was very kind in the exercise 
of his duties, particularly to the younger boys, who formed the majority of the Co. He was 
■a man of fine physique, being over six feet in height and built in proportion; he was of a 
very even temperament, but insisted on every one doing his duty. A musket ball which 
entered his belt, at Kinston, came out through the buckle and, strange to relate, it did not 
hurt either his body or clothing. In looking back, I consider that there was no truer or 
better soldier wore the blue than Jackson McCoy ; he was always willing and ready to aid 
or help his comrades, and particularly while they were prisoners. He had charge of a sec- 
tion at Andersonville and also at Florence and in that capacity, he was of great aid to the 
other members of the Co. I look upon Sergt. Jackson McCoy as a good soldier, a perfect 
gentleman and one of God's noblemen. Sergt. John L. Hodil left the Co., sick, either before 
or after the battle of Fair Oaks, and was sent to the hospital in New York harbor, and after 
his recovery, he was kept there on detached service and was discharged July 18, 1863, and 
mustered the same day, as hospital steward in the U. S. Army, from which he was dis- 
charged Oct. 28, 1865. Sergt. John C. Applegate was promoted sergeant major, May 1, 1863. 
He was not known to any members of the Co. before his enlistment. He walked into Camp 
Orr alone and enlisted with the Co. ; he was with Lieut. Col. Maxwell in the Fourth Cavalry, 
and enlisted in Co. I for three years, Dec, 1861, age 30. While on furlough in Dec, 1863, 
he was taken sick and did not return until June 1, 1864 ; had surgeon's certificate, which Col. 
Lehman endorsed as follows : "Owing to his uniform good character, willingness and 
promptness in performance of his duties as a soldier, it is quite evident that said absence 
without leave was unavoidable on his part" ; discharged Feb. 14, '65. Sergt. James McKain 
discharged at Baltimore, Md. He had also served in the three months' service. At the date 
of the organization, he was the best drilled man in the Co. and was made drill master of 
squad drills at Camp Orr, and on that account he was made a sergeant. 

Corp. William McBride was promoted sergeant, June 23, 1862. He was away on re- 
cruiting service for some time, but joined the Co. at Plymouth in time to re-enlist. He was 
shot through the throat at the battle of Plymouth and left on the field of battle, supposed 
to be mortally wounded, but he recovered and was sent to Andersonville, and was 
paroled at Savannah, Ga., Nov. 30, 1864, and was discharged by General Order of the War 
Department, as a veteran, June 21, 1865. Corp. Andrew J. McCoy was a cousin of Jackson 
McCoy, and was also of fine frame, like his cousin, and of an even disposition. He was 
with the Co. from its organization and never absent ; he was captured and lived to get home 
and was mustered out of service, June, 1865, by order of the War Department. He re- 
enlisted. Corp. McCoy had a peculiar experience while in Confederate prison. While con- 
fined at Florence he contracted typhoid fever. In February, 1865, he was carried out of the 
stockade and placed near the railroad to be sent to the point of parole. He was too weak to 
walk and was not able to get on to the train. The train pulled out, leaving him lying beside 
the railroad. From that time he became unconscious and remained so until June, 1865. He 
was then in the general hospital at Davis Island, New York. While at Florence his toes 
were so badly frozen that amputation became necessary. Corp. John B. Porter died of 
typhoid fever May 11, 1862, at Camp Winfield Scott. Va. Corp. John McAnallon was dis- 
charged on surgeon's certificate, Feb. 17, 1862, at New Bern, N. C. Corp. William Gorman 
promoted sergeant, Nov. 1, 1862; wounded at Kinston, re-enlisted, captured at Plymouth and 
died at Andersonville, Nov. 23, 1864. Sergt. Gorman was very intelligent and fairly well 
educated and was a fine specimen of young manhood. 

Corp. James Harper was detached brigade forage master, Jan. 20, 1863. He was born 
in England and had been a coal miner and local preacher. He was a good soldier, clean in 
manners and very kind to his comrades, particularly so in prison, where he did all he could 
to help the sick in the preparation of their food, when they were unable to do so them- 
selves. He died at Annapolis, Md., Jan. 25, 1865, and is buried in the National Cemetery at 
Annapolis, grave 356. Corp. David McCoy was discharged at Bottoms Bridge, June 16, 
1862, on surgeon's certificate. Corp. Alpheus Walker was discharged on surgeon's certificate 
at Providence, R. I., April 27, 1863. Daniel Albright, drummer, left Co., sick, Aug. 7, 1862, 
discharged on surgeon's certificate, Dec. 15, 1862. Oliver P. Harris, fifer, died at Charleston, 
S. C, Oct. 6, 1864. Samuel Berringer, who enlisted at the organization of the Co., died at 


Beaufort, N. C, Dec. 14, 1863, and was buried in National Cemetery, New Bern, N. C. ; 
grave 1223, plot 7. Joseph Blakely was wounded and taken prisoner at Fair Oaks, May 31, 
1862, captured at Plymouth and paroled; died Apr. 11, 1865, at Annapolis, Md. ; grave 1264. 
Solomon Blair discharged on surgeon's certificate, at New Bern, N. C., Mar. 23, 1863; 
wounded at battle of Kinston. Patton Bell discharged at Philadelphia, Oct. 12, 1862; re- 
enlisted Feb. 15, 1866. James Collingwood, killed at Kinston, Dec. 11, 1802. Arthur Craw- 
ford was one of the original members of the Co. and was with it all the time; re-enlisted 
and was captured at Plymouth. He took the Confederate oath of allegiance at Florence, 

Charles Cochran was one of the original members, and was always with the Co. ; re- 
enlisted; captured at Plymouth and died Aug. 4, 1864. Buried in National cemetery, Ander- 
sonville, grave 4729. He was a son of Squire Cochran, before whom a majority of the Co. 
were sworn into the service, at Harrisville, Pa. William H. Croop was one of the original 
members of the Co.; he died at Andersonville. James Cowan deserted Aug., 1863. Samuel 
A. Dunlap joined the Co. at Suffolk, Va., Sept. 22, 1862, and was with the Company from 
that date, captured at Plymouth and was through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence 
prisons. Paroled at Wilmington, N. C, Mar. 1, 1865, came to Annapolis, was furloughed and 
died on the way home, on board of train, at Relay House, Md., Mar. 22, 1865. Simon P. 
Duffy died at Washington, D. C, May 10, 1862, of measles. Michael Duffy, promoted Corp. 
Jan. 1, 1863, sergeant July 1, 1863 ; he was continuously with the Co. from the organization at 
Camp Orr; re-enlisted, and was one of the ten discharged at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865. 
He was captured at Plymouth and was a prisoner in Andersonville, Charleston and Florence. 
He was never absent from the Co. during the whole term of enlistment. He was a school 
teacher before enlistment and was the best educated man in the Co. Nathan E. Davis, was 
wounded at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862 ; re-enlisted Jan. 1, 1864, at Plymouth, captured there 
and served through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons. He was never absent 
from the Co. excepting about six weeks in the hospital, while recovering from a wound 
received at Fair Oaks. He was discharged by order of the War Department, June, 1865. 
James M. Davidson was discharged on surgeon's certificate, June 24, 1862. Hiram Donald- 
son was wounded at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862, promoted Corporal Aug. 25, 1863, re-enlisted 
Jan. 1, 1864, at Plymouth; captured at Plymouth and was in Andersonville, Charleston and 
Florence prisons ; died at Florence, S. C, Jan. 25, 1864. He was a student at the Harrisville 
Academy when he enlisted. Wilham P. Dunlap was one of the original members of the 
Co., re-enlisted Jan. 1, 1864; was captured at Plymouth, and served through Andersonville, 
Charleston and Florence prisons, and was one of the ten discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 
1865. He was never absent from the Co. ; he is still living, Thomas J. Day died of measles, 
at Washington, D. C, April 5, 1862. David Eakin was discharged at Fortress Monroe, Jan. 
7, 1863. Eakin was fifty-six years old when he enlisted, but passed in as forty-four ; he was 
well preserved for a man of his years, but early succumbed to the fatigues of a soldier's life. 
James N. Elliott, drummer, re-enlisted and was through Andersonville, Charleston and Flor- 
ence prisons and was one of the ten discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 1865. He died in 
1905, at Franklin, Pa, John Fielding was a brother of Capt. Fielding; he was discharged at 
Washmgton, D. C, July 7, 1862. William Gilmore was one of the original members of the 
Co.; he was on detached service near Hampton, from Sept., 1862, to latter part of 1863; he 
joined the Co. at Plymouth, re-enlisted, and was seriously wounded at the battle of Plymouth, 
being shot m the side, the ball coming out on the other side after passing around the 
abdomen, but he soon recovered and made his escape from Danville and was one of the ten 
discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 1865. He is still living at Mechanicsville, Pa. John 
Onfiin was one of the original members of the Company, re-enlisted at Plymouth was cap- 
tured and served through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons ; was paroled and 
was one of the ten discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 1865. He was always with the Co., 
trom the time of enlistment until discharged. George W. Griffin was a brother of John and 
Joseph ; he was killed at Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862. John Ghost died of typhoid fever at White 
Oak Swamp, Va., June 17, 1862. David M. Gallagher was wounded at Fair Oaks, May 31, 
•11 ' ^rl ?' K'"='°" I^«c. 14, 1862 ; re-enlisted and captured at Plymouth ; died at Anderson- 
ville, Christopher Henderson was one of the original members of the Co., re-enlisted ; was 
captured at Plymouth and served through the prisons and died at Annapolis, Mar. 16, 1865. 
Ihomas C. Hackett, discharged on surgeon's certificate, Philadelphia, Nov. 19, '62. William 
Hamilton was discharged on surgeon's certificate, New Bern, Mar. 28, '63. James Hamilton 
died at Philadelphia, July 16, 1862, of typhoid fever. Oliver P. Hardy was one of the 
original members of the Company, re-enlisted, captured at Plymouth, and died in Confed- 
erate prison, Sept. 15, '64. Alexander Hilliard was one of the original members of the Co. ; 
re-enlisted, captured; served in Andersonville, and died there Jan. 13, 1865. He was never 
absent from the Co. Philip B. Hovis. No remarks. Henry Hobaugh, died at Suffolk, Va. 
Dec. 14, 1862. ' ' 

John S. Joseph was one of the original members of the Co. ; re-enlisted ; captured at 
Plymouth; served through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons, paroled at Wil- 
mington, N. C, in company with Comrades Samuel A, Dunlap and Jno. A. Kelley; died in 
Wilmington, N, C, fifteen days afterward. He was a married man, and left a wife and 


three children. He served faithfully and was with the Co. from the date of his enlistment 
until death ; he was a perfect specimen of manhood and I do not think there was a better 
soldier in the army; at the time of his death he was about twenty-seven years of age; he had 
a brother, William, in the company, who died at Washington, July 2, 1862, of typhoid fever; 
he had also a brother, Newton, in Co. B, killed on picket duty, two days before the battle of 
Fair Oaks, May 29, 1862. A. C. C. Johnston was promoted corporal in 1862 ; transferred to 
ambulance corps; re-enlisted and was captured at Plymouth; died in Andersonville July 4, 
1864. Jacob S. Kiester was promoted corporal Sept. 1, 1862, sergeant Jan. 1, 1863; wounded 
Dec. 14, 1862, at Kinston ; re-enlisted and was captured, and served in Andersonville, Charles- 
ton and Florence prisons. Died in Florence, Dec. 23, 1864. He was a brother of Lieut. W. 
H. H. Kiester and his senior in age; he was a man of fair education and had taught school 
before he enlisted; he was an excellent soldier and was with the Company continuously from 
its organization until his death; he served a short time in the hospital, from wounds re- 
ceived at Kinston. Epaphroditus Kiester, was one of the original members of the Co. ; re- 
enlisted and was captured ; died at Andersonville, July 20, 1864. He was a cousin of the 
Lieutenant's, and, like him, was always with the Co. until time of his death. Uriah Kiester 
left the Company, sick, July 1, 1862, and was, for a long time, carried on the roll as a de- 
serter; he took advantage of the President's amnesty proclamation, allowing those who had 
been marked deserters to return to their companies and be reinstated; he returned to the Co. 
May 9, 1865, and was discharged by the War Department. John A. Kelley (see notes of 
author). Samuel Kelley was discharged on surgeon's certificate, Baltimore, Md., Dec. 27, 
1862. Patrick McAnallon died of typhoid fever at Harrison's Landing, July 15, '62. James 
Perry McAnallon, discharged on surgeon's certificate, New Bern, March 28, '63. Calvin 
McCoy, killed at Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862 ; he was a cousin of the other four McCoys in the 

Thomas J. McCoy was wounded at Fair Oaks; absent at hospital about six weeks 
while recovering from wound ; joined the Company after recovery, re-enlisted at Plymouth, 
captured, and served in Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons ; was paroled and 
one of the men discharged with the Company at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865. He was a 
brother of Jackson McCoy and a cousin of the other three of the same name, in the Com- 
pany. He was a fine, rugged soldier, always ready for duty and never known to be absent 
for any cause whatever, except when in hospital on account of wounds. Matthew McNess 
died at Annapolis, Md., July 23, 1862, of wounds received at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. Sam- 
uel McNees discharged on surgeon's certificate, Washington, July 30, '62. James K. Mc- 
Cleary died at New Bern, N. C, March T, 1863, of wounds received at Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862. 
John McGuirk was one of the original members of the Co.; did not re-enlist; captured at 
Plymouth and was through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons, and was dis- 
charged Apr. 13, 1865, to date Feb. 22, 1865. Francis P. McLaughlin died of typhoid fever 
at Washington, D. C, June 10, 1862. James McSorley was one of the original members of 
the Co., served in the Mexican war; he re-enlisted and was captured at Plymouth; he died 
in Andersonville prison; no record of date. He was a very good soldier, very punctilious, 
and took great pride in being a Mexican war veteran. James McGee re-enlisted, captured 
at Plymouth, died at Andersonville, July 28, 1864. Robert M. McElphatrick, re-enlisted ; was 
captured at Plymouth and went through Andersonville, Charleston, and Florence prisons; 
was paroled and was one of the ten discharged at Harrisburg, July 13, 1865. He was never 
known to be away from the Co. from the time of enlistment until discharged; he enjoyed 
good health and was always ready for duty. After the war he engaged in the drilling of 
oil wells and fell from a derrick, about twenty years ago, and was killed by the fall. David- 
son McElphatrick was discharged at New York, Nov. 5, 1862, on surgeon's certificate ; he 
was a brother of Robert M., and was also engaged in the drilling of oil wells and met with 
fair success. He died in the year 1907. Helm J. McGill was one of the original members of 
the Company; he did not re-enlist, and left Plymouth in the fall of 1863, and was absent 
sick, in the Hammond General Hospital, Beaufort, N. C, when the Company was captured; 
he was discharged on surgeon's certificate at Newark, N. J., Aug. 11, 1864. E. H. McDonald 
killed at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. John W. Miller went to hospital and never heard from 
afterward. Fowler Miller killed at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. James M. Maxwell died at 
Camp Winfield Scott, May 4, 1862 ; he was a brother of Lieut. Col. W. C. Maxwell. Will- 
iam Majors, re-enlisted and was captured at Plymouth ; died at Andersonville, July 22, 
1864 ; buried at Andersonville ; grave 3793. Thomas L. Morris died at Annapolis, Md., June 
24, 1862, from wounds received at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. Patrick Nolan, killed at 
Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862. Francis Nutt, re-enlisted, and was captured with Co., and served 
through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons ; died Nov. 9, 1864, in Florence. 
James W. Orr was discharged at Baltimore. Md., on surgeon's certificate, Aug. 13, '62 
Thomas O'Connor was killed at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. William Powers was killed at 
Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862. James Range was promoted corporal Jan. 1, 1863; re-enlisted; cap- 
tured and served through Andersonville, Charleston and Florence prisons ; died in Florence, 
Jan. 25, 1865. Samuel P. Range, re-enlisted; was mortally wounded at battle of Plymouth, 
and died there; his remains were subsequently interred in the National Cem., New Bern, 

(Corporal Co. 1.) 
(Youngest soldier in Regiment to do continuous 
service throughout the war.) 

(96th N. Y. Regt.) 
Killed IMay 29, 1862. on picket line in advance 
of Seven Pines. 

(Hospital Steward.) 

(Corporal Co. B.) 


N- C., plot 7, grave 1137. William Reid was discharged, surgeon's certificate, Sept. 16, 1862, 
?7 ,^^"^'^^'pl'^^- David Ramsey was promoted corporal ; discharged at Harrisburg, Sept. 
If, dJ. 

Robert M. Seton was captured by Stuart's Cavalry, and mounted on a mule and 
thrown by it; resulting in the fracture of several ribs; he remained a few weeks in prison 
at Richmond, was paroled and returned to the Co., but owing to wounds he was not placed 
on active duty until late in the fall, at Suffolk; he was examined then by a board of sur- 
geons for discharge, but failed to pass ; he was taken sick and remained at Suffolk, when the 
brigade went to reinforce Foster in North Carolina. He did not return to the Co. for some 
time after it was at Plymouth ; a few days before the capture of the Company he was de- 
tailed to build a fence around the Regimental Hospital, and while working at same he cut 
his foot vei-y severely and was taken into the hospital, where he was when the Co. was cap- 
tured. He died at Andersonville, July 8, 1864. All the time he was in the service he never 
fired a shot at the enemy, nor the enemy at him; he was upward of forty years of age when 
he entered the service, and it is the opinion of the writer that he should never have been 
accepted, for he was out of proportion, being very tall and poorly built. David Stinedurf, re- 
enlisted, and was captured at Plymouth; no further record. William Staff was dischagred 
on surgeon's certificate at Plymouth, N. C, July 23, '63. Martin Staff was discharged on 
surgeon's certificate at Washington, D. C, April IS, '62. Milo A. Sankey died Jan. 8, 1863, 
of wounds received at Kinston, Dec. 14, 1862. Samuel Sylves died July 6, 1862, from 
wounds received at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. James Shiner was discharged on surgeon's 
certificate. New Bern, N. C, Feb. 7, 1863. John A. Thompson was discharged on surgeon's 
certificate at Washington, D. C, May 10, 1862. John D. Taggart was discharged on sur- 
geon's certificate at New York, Dec. 29, 1862. Paul L. Taylor, re-enlisted, captured at 
Plymouth, died in Confederate prison. John W. Thompson discharged on surgeon's cer- 
tificate, Washington, D. C, May 16, '62. Samuel A. Walker was on detached service at 
Fairfax Seminary when Company was captured ; discharged Feb. 24, 1865, more than two 
months after the expiration of his term of service. Richard Walters was discharged on 
surgeon's certificate, Ft. Monroe, Jan. 12, 1863. Alex. H. Weakley was wounded at Fair 
Oaks; re-enlisted and was captured and served through Andersonville, Charleston and 
Florence prisons and died at Annapolis, Md., Dec. 24, 1864. 

At a critical period in the history of the Army of the Potomac, Company I was, 
for several days, separated from the Regiment. The day Jackson made his terrible on- 
slaught on McClellan's right wing at Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862, Co. I was sent to Charles 
City Cross Roads. The following day the Regiment was ordered across White Oak 
Swamp and the Co. did not reach it until July 1, during the battle of Malvern Hill. Co. 
I held its position at Charles City Cross Roads until it was threatened on both flanks, 
maintaining its position until the enemy had succeeding in crossing White Oak Swamp, 
both above and below its position. In all the other marches, reconnoissances, skirmishes 
and battles in which the Regiment was engaged, Co. I participated, and its principal activi- 
ties are fully described in the Regimental Narrative. 


At the close of this narrative of the activities of Co. I is a proper place to give a 
brief biographical sketch of its youngest member ; not because of his youth, but by reason 
of his meritorious record. John A. Kelley, of Company I, was not only the youngest 
member of his company, but no comrade of his Regiment had a better record for duty. 
When he enlisted, he lacked four months and thirteen days of being fifteen, and after 
three years, six months and twenty-seven days of continuous service, when he was hon- 
orably discharged from the service, with only ten others of his original company left, he 
was then only two months and fourteen days past eighteen, the minimum age required at 
time of enlistment. A few years before his death, Capt. William Fielding, in conversa- 
tion with his brother, Frank Fielding, an attorney at law, at Clearfield, Pa., said of Corp. 
Kelley: "John Kelley was the youngest soldier in the company. He never shirked a 
duty, never asked any favors, never asked to be relieved of any duties and never missed 
a battle in which the company or Regiment was engaged." 

Comrade Kelley received a flesh wound at battle of Fair Oaks, but did not leave 
the Regiment. He was promoted to Corporal August 25, 1863, when .he had only passed 
his sixteenth year by three or four months. He re-enlisted as a Veteran, Jan. 1, 1864, and 
was captured with the Regiment at Plymouth. He was a prisoner of war for ten months 
and eleven days; was confined in Andersonville Military prison five months and a week; 


in Charleston, S. C, race track three weeks, and over four months at Florence. He was 
paroled Mar. 1, 1865, after which he received a furlough for thirty days, his only absence 
from the company, except as a prisoner of war, during his term of service. To this fur- 
lough he was doubly entitled, by reason of being a paroled prisoner, and by virtue of his 
re-enlistment as a veteran. He was discharged at Harrisburg, Pa., July 13, 1865, with his 
company, there being only ten of the original 105 members remaining. There are many 
claimants for the honor of being the youngest soldier in the Federal Army, during the 
Civil War. In the judgment of the writer, if Comrade Kelley is not the youngest to bear 
arms continuously, from 1861, until the close of the war, no other soldier of his age can, 
at least, surpass his record for duty well performed. Comrade Kelley was born in County 
Donegal, Ireland, April 29, 1847. His father was James Kelley, his mother Katherine 
McFadden Kelley. He came to America when a mere child. When the war broke out 
he was employed in a country store in the little town of Murrinsville, Butler County, Pa. 
This small hamlet was then an important point for drovers and commercial men to meet 
farmers and people of the neighborhood. The war being the principal topic of conversa- 
tion, young Kelley took a lively interest in the discussions which he heard. In Dec, 1861, 
when Fielding and Kiester were around recruiting, they suggested to Kelley that he enlist. 
Encouraged thereby, he slipped out in advance of the other recruits and enlisted at Harris- 
ville, the next day. When he returned from the army in 1865, both his parents were dead. He 
took a short commercial course in Sheafer's Commercial Academy, at Pittsburgh, Pa., 
and in December, 1865, secured a position as commissary clerk with Charles McFadden, 
then a very prominent young railroad contractor, and was with him for some years. His 
rise was rapid from clerk to foreman and from foreman to superintendent and afterward 
a partner with his employer on some of his important contracts. He has continued in the 
contracting business entirely, ever since the close of the war and has been connected with 
some of the largest contracts in the East, with very successful results, in consequence of 
which he has amassed a comfortable fortune. He is looked upon by his business asso- 
ciates, as one of the best equipped all around contractors about Philadelphia. 

Comrade Kelley was married in February, 1876, to Katherine M. Sweazey, who was 
born in Hunterdon County, N. J. ; father Elias Sweazey, mother Charlotte Sweazey, nee 
Smith. Of this union there were four children, viz. : 

Agnes M.. now Mrs. Pedro M. Auza, of Santiago de Cuba; Katherine Fabiana now 
Mrs. Geoige A. Bohem, John A. Jr., Charles L., Philadelphia. 

His first wife died January, 1884. He was married again on November 23, 1886, 
to Martha Ambrosia McGevern, born at Port Qinton, Pa. ; father Edward McGevern, 
mother Mary McGevern, nee Keane. Of this union there were seven children, five of 
whom are living: Mary Martha, James (deceased), Francis A. (deceased), Joseph 
Francis, Helen Mary, Edwin J., Margaret. 

Comrade Kelley is now one of the substantial citizens of Philadelphia, and is still 
actively engaged in railroad building and in the execution of large building contracts. 
When a youth, for the three years preceding his enlistment into the army, he served as 
an altar boy (acolyte) at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church at Murrinsville, Butler 
County, Penna. In his Company were many members of the same faith, who died while 
confined in Andersonville prison, and young Kelley, zealous in the teachings inculcated in 
him in his youth, was active in seeing the last rites of the Church were given his dying 
comrades by seeking the faithful servant of the church who daily ministered to the 
suffering and dying in Andersonville prison. In his days of prosperity Comrade Kelley 
has beei faithful to his religious vows. For twenty-five years he has been a member of 
the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, of Philadelphia. The object of this society, which was 
organized in 1769, is for the relief of immigrants from Ireland. He has also been a 
member of the Catholic Club of Philadelphia for twenty years, and a life member of the 
American Catholic Historical Society for the same length of time. 


Co. K was organized in Camp Orr, chiefly from men transferred from other com- 


panies, after they had attained the maxirnum quota, and by men who came into camp tO' 
enlist, with a squad recruited by David M. Spence of Pittsburgh. It was organized with 
the following officers: Capt. James Adams, transferred from Co. B; 1st Lieut. David M. 
Spence; 2d Lieut. William B. Kroesen, transferred from Co. D. 

The total enrollment of Co. K, from the organization until it was mustered out, was 

97. When it left Camp Orr it had only 86 officers and men, one of its enrollment having 

been lost by Habeas Corpus writ, because of lack of age, and 2 had deserted. It lost in 

killed in battle, missing, and died of wounds received in action, 9, viz : John Allraan, 

William Justice, Thomas Knox, John McCIung, John Price, at battle of Fair Oaks ; 1st 

Sergt. Joseph C. Mapes, and John McClung, at battle of Kinston ; Dolphus Garrett and Titus 

Hardy at battle of Plymouth. The two latter were negro cooks, who were supposed to have 

been killed in an endeavor to escape. Quite a number of Co. K were wounded at the battle 

of Fair Oaks, among whom were Robert Sinclair, Patrick Sullivan, and Lieut. Kroesen, the 

latter leaving the service on account of being disabled by his wound. Seventeen died while 

prisoners of war or immediately after being released of disease incurred while confined in 

Southern prisons, viz : Privates, George B. Bowers, Samuel Calvin, Joseph Cox, Thomas 

Hogan, John Koch, Andrew Nelson, Hugh Richardson, Michael Sheridan, Samuel Shoop, 

William Todd, Edward W. White, who died at Andersonville, Ga. ; James A. Courtney and 

James M. Jones at Charleston, S. C. ; William Wragg, at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md., 

after being exchanged ; and Corp. Newton Stoughton, and Privates James Fitzgerald and 

Richard Riland, who were supposed to have died en route or at Florence, S. C, as they 

were never seen by comrades after leaving Andersonville. Sylvanus G. Rosansteel, who 

served with Co. K until Jan. 1, 1864, and who was transferred to Co. A, when he re-enlisted, 

died at Florence, S. C. Nine died of disease in camp or hospital and 18 were discharged 

by reasons of disability on Surgeon's certificate ; 13 were discharged by G. O. of W. D., and 

10 were mustered out with the Co. June 25, 1865, receiving their final discharge July 13, 1865, 

at Harrisburg, Pa. Those mustered out with the Co. were 1st Sergt. Daniel Krug, Sergt. 

Alex. Duncan, Musician Clarence B. Gelston, Hugh Campbell, James Denning, William 

Gardner, John W. C. McCurdy, Aaron Penny, Patrick Shea, George Stidam. Corp. Oliver 

P. Campbell, Patrick Dignan and Edward Keyser were absent on veteran furlough when 

Co. was mustered out and they were subsequently discharged to date June 25, 1865. Five 

drafted men were sent to Co. K before the capture of the Regiment, four of whom died in 

Andersonville prison. 

Lieut. David M. Spence of Co. K was one of the most popular officers of the Regi- 
ment. He was quiet in manner, without the least ostentation, and never got "rattled," when 
others were liable to give way to excitement. He was commissioned captain to date March 
24, 1864, but was not mustered as such when he was discharged, owing to the reduced com- 
mand. He was discharged by General Order of the War Department March 30, 1865. He 
was in the "Three Months" service, having been second sergeant of Co. A, 12th Regiment. 

Corp. Thomas Craft was absent sick at the time his company was captured. He had 
evidently left Plymouth when the fever and ague was so bad in the autumn of 1863. The 
records show that he was honorably discharged at the expiration of his three years' term. 
He was one of the "boys'' of Co. K, and fearing his mother would have him discharged he 
enlisted under an assumed name. His correct name was Thomas A. Strahorn. 

He was in the service some time before his mother knew of his whereabouts, when 
he acknowledged to Capt. Adams that he assumed the name of Craft to hide his identity, 
knowing that his mother would endeavor to secure his discharge, as he was under military 
age. Several letters were received from Capt. Adams, in which he was highly spoken of 
regarding his conduct as a soldier. He was never disciplined and performed the duties of 
a soldier uncomplainingly. The last heard of him was by a letter received by his mother, 
dated New Bern, N. C, in which he stated he was in the hospital, and that he intended to 
re-enlist, and then return home on furlough. 

Although time and again effort has been made to ascertain what became of Craft 
(Strahorn). no trace of him has been made known by his comrades-in-arms or the authori- 


ties at Washington. If any one knows anything of this soldier, dead or alive, they will 
receive the heartfelt gratitude of an aged mother, who suffered heavy loss in sacrifice dur- 
ing the Civil War. 

It would cheer his aged mother to hear from any of his comrades who knew him in- 
timately. Her address is Mrs. C. A. Strahorn, Carmichaels, Greene County, Penna. The 
writer remembers Craft very well, having been on duty with him frequently, but he never 
intimated that he was serving under a false name. There was one trait he had to a marked 
degree, and that was his tidiness. In manner he was very effeminate and reticent. How- 
ever, he was a good soldier. 


The suffering in Andersonville and Florence military prisons is told in the official 
reports of the surgeons and inspector-generals of the Confederate army who witnessed it, 
and these appear in this volume. However, it will not be amiss to give a brief glimpse into 
life there as seen by comrades of the Regiment. Corp. R. J. Thompson, the standard- 
bearer of the Regiment, and Private R. P. Black, both of Company E, have sent the follow- 
ing brief sketches : Comrade Black says : 

We arrived at Andersonville, Ga., on the night of May 2, 1864, and were taken off the 
cars and in the direction of the prison to about on-half way towards what was to be to 
many of us our final home on this mundane sphere. We were surrounded by guards and 
allowed to make ourselves as comfortable as we could. Next morning we were up by day- 
light and after getting something to eat we were placed in line and counted off into what 
they termed detachments, which consisted of 270 men each. These were sub-divided into 
thirds of 90 each, called, first 90, second 90, and third 90 of each detachment ; and these were 
again sub-divided into 30s and again into tens. My own particular sub-division was first 
ten, second thirty and first ninety of the 145th detachment. We were then taken into the 
prison where we afterwards learned that our detachments and sub-divisions were for the 
purpose of drawing rations. 

We were given a position not far from the brook and about two-thirds of the dis- 
tance from the west side on what was known as the South Side of the prison, and left to 
shift for ourselves as best we could with whatever we chanced to have that would make 
tents, beds or other accommodations. I succeeded in buying three sticks about as thick as 
my thumb, and about four or five feet long for twenty-five cents each, and with these as a 
framework we constructed a tent, with the addition of our blankets and one piece of shelter 
tent. This was my habitation during our entire stay in this inhospitable prison pen. Others 
who had no blankets had to get in with those who had, or lie and sit on the cold ground. 
The soil was a coarse greyish sand, nearly ankle deep, and plentifully mixed with lice of all 
sizes, kinds, sexes and conditions; and if one only stopped for a minute or two, he would 
have them crawling over his feet. 

The timber had all been removed long before we came, although the place had only 
been occupied as a prison a little over two months before we arrived, and wherever a tree 
stump, or root, remained, some of the old prisoners had pre-empted the spot and spent much 
time digging out any remaining parts to serve as fuel' to cook the scanty rations with, or to 
sell to some one else for the same purpose. 

The sick were placed in the southeast corner of the grounds, this particular section 
being designated as "The Hospital." Any advantage gained by being an inmate, appeared 
to be only imaginary ; and often not even that, as there were no nurses, and there were few 
chances of friends being around in case of urgent need. At the southwest corner, above the 
south gate, members of the Masonic order were quartered where they were favored with 
a barracks, with a fair board roof, with bunks for beds, supplied with straw and some 
blankets. The Odd Fellows' fraternity were also favored with better quarters than were 
allowed the common herd of humanity there, but not so favorable as the Masonic fraternity; 
but still so much better than that accorded to the prisoners generally, as to make life in An- 
dersonville bearable, at least. These were the only fraternal orders that seemed to receive 
any attention from the prison authorities. 

The brook which flowed through from west to east, and which carried on its surface 
all the refuse from the cook-house ran near to our side of the swamp or flat, and on the 
other side, between the brook and foot of the hill, on the north side, was the open privy for 
all who were able to get to it, and the excrement, filth and maggots accumulated there made 
it anything but a pleasant place for us, who had to put up with the sights and smell, daily 
and nightly, almost under our very noses. The north side bank raised rather abruptly from 
the swamp at an angle of perhaps 60 degrees, while our side sloped back gently, at perhaps 
not more than a ten degree angle, and the soil on the north side was a kind of hard red- 


pan or clay of rather a greasy nature, and while very hard to dig tunnels through, stood 
up remarkably well for that purpose as we afterwards discovered. 

On entering the prison our rations consisted of about one-fourth pound of corn pone, 
or its equivalent in cow peas, and from one to two ounces of pork or beef. 

We were required to get into ranks at 8 o'clock every morning to be counted by a 
Confederate sergeant. The ranks were mostly four deep and every man had either to be 
present or satisfactorily accounted for or his rations were stopped. We were not required 
to do any duty whatever, only eat what little they gave us, and sleep and visit inside the 
stockade and deadline wherever we wished. The stockade was made by digging a ditch six 
feet deep all around the ground; then pine logs, hewed slightly, some square and others on 
two sides, and set on end in the ditch as close together as they could be placed, the logs being 
about twenty- feet long, fourteen feet projected above the ground, the dirt on both sides being 
tightly tamped. Twenty feet inside of the stockade a row of posts were driven with a strip 
of wood nailed on too ; this was the famous "dead line.'' to cross, or attempt to cross, was 
sure death if the guard near to it felt like shooting a "Yank." 

As to government inside the prison, there was no pretense. "Might made right," and 
every one did about as he pleased, if some one stronger than he did not object at the time, 
and as neither law nor gospel prevailed, all kinds of excesses were committed, and pillage 
and robbery were committed in open daylight, and with faint chances of redress. Conditions 
grew worse rapidh- until no one was safe except he was accompanied with personal friends. 
Everyone went armed with a stout club, which was kept in a convenient place, ready for use 
even when asleep, night or day. Depredations became so common that a public meeting was 
called to form an organization to preserve order and punish culprits, commonly called 
raiders. Capt. Wirz was asked to lend his authority and assistance, which he did, by agree- 
ing to furnish guards to keep arrested criminals safe and to furnish an extra ration to those 
appointed inside the prison as police to preserve order and arrest offenders. A police force 
with a chief was selected and all known to be "raiders," especially those charged with mur- 
der, were soon arrested, and were kept under guard by Wirz, until a court, comprised of non- 
commissioned officers in prison, was convened. Proceedings were conducted in accordance 
with U. S. laws and six of these men were convicted of murder and were hanged inside 
the prison. The execution took place July 11, 1864, and was carried out by prisoners se- 
lected for that purpose in full view of the vast concourse of prison inhabitants. This sum- 
mary punishment had a wholesome effect, and the police maintained excellent order for a 
time. However, they soon began to abuse the authority given them, and in the end were 
little better than the raiders ; at least this was the condition when I left Sept. 10, 1864. 

Our rations gradually grew worse in quality and less in quantity, until they merely 
sustained life in those with fair digestive organs, while those who were sick or with weak 
stomachs regarded them with loathing and disgust. 

Tunneling was constantly resorted to as a way of escape, but only a very few suc- 
ceeded in getting beyond the stockade, and most of these were soon brought back as man 
hunters and dogs were kept read}' to follow them as soon as their escape became known. 
These attempts at escape, although preeminently the right and duty of a prisoner-of-war, 
were generally followed by severe punishment, although this depended largely on the humor 
of the captain or officer in charge. On one or two occasions men discovered at work digging 
a tunnel were rewarded with extra rations, and told to start another tunnel, but as a rule, 
men caught in the act also met v.'ith some severe punishment. 

The bodies of those who died between 8 o'clock and the same hour the following day 
were carried by the prisoners to the south gate and laid inside the "dead line," with their 
heads towards the stockade. These bodies were kept here until 7 o'clock the next day when 
they were carried to the "dead house" near by, outside the stockade. The dead were piled 
into the wagon as though they were so much wood with legs, arms or heads protruding. 
It was a common sight to see these dead bodies covered with fly blows and maggots. Be- 
fore being carried from the habitation in prison the dead bodies were stripped of every 
vestige of clothing that could be utilized by other prisoners. These articles were imme- 
diately put to use without any cleaning or washing, except possibly to remove some of the 
living vermin. Generally a piece of paper was pinned on the breast of the dead body, giving 
his name, company and regiment, and sometimes the date of his death, 

Corp. Thompson says : 

"For year.s T abstained from making any reference to my experiences in the military 
prisons of the South. This course I deemed necessary; for if I allowed myself to talk of 
my prison life during the day, I was sure to wake up at night with drops of sweat starting 
out at every pore, and if possible, feeling worse than when the dreamed-of incidents were 
a reality; and had I not forgotten them, I verily believe that I would have gone entirely 
crazy. By this process I have succeeded in forgetting a great many things, but some things 
won't down and I will relate them. 

We entered the military prison at Andersonville, Ga., May 3, 1864. We were formed 
into divisions and subdivisions for the purpose of keeping us numbered, in order to know 
what number of rations to issue, and to detect escapes. Of course, to keep anything like a 
correct tab on the number of inmates the counting of the various divisions or detachments 


had to be conducted simultaneously. If any one was found missing, rations would be with- 
held during the day, or until the missing one was accounted for. 

"Life was very insecure when we went into prison, from what were called 'raiders.' 
These were cut-throats, murderers, etc., who to escape the gallows had enlisted in the 
service, and then to escape fighting allowed themselves to be captured. In prison they 
banded together, took life, money, clothes or other valuables by virtue of their organization, 
and not that there was any great number of them. The 'Plymouth Pilgrims,' as our post 
was called, offered them great inducements, as we, by arrangement of our general when 
we were captured, were allowed to retain our money and clothes, and we had both, as we 
had just been paid four months' pay but a few days before we were captured. But by the 
kindness of old Capt. Wirz, a guard was placed over them, 12 intelligent prisoners as jurors, 
heard evidence in their cases, and on the 12th day of July, 1864, six of the raiders were 
hung. From that day on we had comparative peace in prison. The days had now got fear- 
fully hot and the lice fairly swarmed on the ground and on us. My shirt only gave them 
harbor, so I discarded it. The swamp, as we called it, was alive with maggots, and at night 
they crawled over the faces of the prisoners near it. Richard Wick and Joseph Stewart,, 
known to most of you, Tommy Byers and many others of our regiment had succumbed 
to this cruel treatment. The 'rebs' told us a general exchange of prisoners had been agreed 
upon, and that our transports lay off Charleston harbor to take us North, but they could not 
spare the transportation at that time for us, but would be able to do so within a few days. 
This story, with variations, was reported by the sergeant who counted us off each morning. 
I could see no 'nigger in the woodpile,' but together with the great majority of the prisoners,- 
believed their story implicitly and that the 'day of jubilee' had really come. Comrade John 
Eshenbaugh of this post did not believe it and jumped off the cars the first night out of 
Andersonville. The bloodhounds interviewed him and he joined the crowd at Charleston, 
S. C. 

"We had bid adieu to Andersonville on the 10th day of September, firmly believing 
we were going to 'God's country' (as all spoke of the North). To our surprise we occu- 
pied the stockade of the fair ground or race-track at Charleston and we were guarded as 
strictly as we had been at Andersonville. Again we found Union men and women at 
Charleston and sympathy, and that, too, in a substantial form, something to eat or wear 
was given us at every opportunity. One Sister of Charity gave me a lady's broad-brimmed 
hat. I had lost my hat on the road from Andersonville, and my shirt I had thrown away on 
account of vermin, and, all in all, I suppose she thought my appeal prompted by necessity, 
and not by any dudish aspirations. I thanked her then and I bless her still. 

"I could truthfully relate instances of cruelty at Andersonville, Charleston and 
Florence, but do not wish to call them to mind. All my recollections are far-away and 
misty, and I wish them to remain so. A soldier dying in prison with maggots crawling in 
his wounds, his ears and in his nose, is not a pleasant recollection of Andersonville, and yet 
it is a fact. He was a New York artilleryman and lay near the south gate. Recollections of 
this kind cannot be forgotten, and yet, terrible as it is, there were numerous incidents and 
occurrences almost as revolting, but I will relate no more. 

"On October 2, 1864, they moved us to Florence, S. C, where a new stockade, very 
similar to that at Andersonville, awaited us. It had been heavily timbered land and lately 
chopped off and the large timber taken for the stockade. We, being the first prisoners in 
this stockade, had the first call on the timber on top and the roots beneath. All in all, 
Florence prison was an improvement on Andersonville, and yet we lost many more in 
Florence than in Andersonville. Perhaps we had arrived at the dying point about the time 
of the change. I will relate a little incident that occurred with me while in Florence, as it 
will illustrate to what straits we were put for food. This prison, like Andersonville, was 
two-sided, separated by a swamp. Along the edges swamp water oozed out and in order 
to get it clear I had gone down about daylight in the morning. Joy of joys! I found a little 
crab f?) about the size of a small sauce dish. I thought my fortune made and forthwith 
repaired to my stopping place on the hill and prepared a fire of the few roots I had dug 
out of the ground to cook it. I was too hungry to wait more than warm it through and I 
ate it, claws, shell, and all, and it was good. 

"Among my comrades who died in Florence prison was Will Dickson, who passed 
to the great beyond about December 1, 1864. He was a good soldier and man, and had he 
lived he would in all probability have donned the armor of his father in the ministry, to 
which he would have been a worthy successor. 

"My entire mess having died and Comrade John McCarrier's having met the same 
fate, he and I joined forces and occupied the same 'dugout,' or hole in the ground, until 
December 27, when I was paroled. Comrade G. M. Duffy was paroled at the same' time, 
and being in somewhat better physical condition than I assisted me to reach our lines. I 
was so weak and enfeebled that I could not get on or off the cars without assistance. When 
I boarded the Confederate vessel at Charleston, which was to convey us to one waving the 
Stars and Stripes, I had to be assisted by Comrade Duffy, but when the moment came that I 
was again free to step under the flag, which had become doubly dear to us through our 


long separation from it, I needed no assistance. For the moment I was transformed and 
felt as though I could fly. Very many of my comrades were so debilitated they were unable 
to walk, and yet when we passed Fort Sumter and saw our vessels, with the old Star 
Spangled Banner waving over them, three as loud cheers as hearty men ever gave greeted 
the old flag. It was the last cheer for some of them. When the reaction came over the 
joy and excitement of once more being free had passed they quietly passed beyond pain and 
suffering, and their emaciated bodies were consigned to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean." 


In August, 1864, most of the officers who were prisoners of war were moved to 
Charleston, S. C, at that time being bombarded by Maj. Gen. Foster. Among them were 
most of the officers of the 103d Regiment. October 5, a train load was moved from there, 
the destination being Columbia, S. C. When the train was within ten miles of Columbia, and 
running at a speed of about twelve miles an hour, Capt. Alvin H. Alexander of Co. A and 
1st Lieut. W. H. H. Kiester of Co. I dropped from the cars and for a time made their 

They had as a companion Capt. Bascom, 5th Iowa. As they were sitting in the door- 
way of the box car with their legs hanging down, they dropped one after the other, falling 
twenty or thirty feet apart and falling in close to the ties of the railroad. It was dark and 
they would have been unobserved had it not been for a white haversack carried by Capt. 
Alexander. The guard on the rear platform of the caboose saw the haversack and fired 
at Alexander, who lay close to the ground. The bullet came so close to him as to fill his 
eyes with dirt from the point it struck the earth. Alexander and his companions remained 
prostrate until the train passed out of sight. The guard reported that he had killed a man 
with a white haversack. As soon as the train had disappeared the party started in the 
opposite direction, leaving the railroad at the first crossroad and traveled as rapidly as they 
could until daybreak. Finding a secluded spot they kept themselves concealed during the 
day, sleeping most of the time. They started at dark and unexpectedly ran up against a 
Confederate picket at the outskirts of Columbia. Although very much startled by the 
challenge, Capt. Alexander, as if by instinct, replied, "Friends, with the countersign." Or- 
dered to advance the Captain started forward without the remotest idea of what he would 
say. As he neared the sentinel the word "Atlanta" flashed into his mind, and as he uttered 
it with no little trepidation, the guard responded, "All right, pass on." They did not stop 
to discuss current topics but traveled at a fast gait and did not slacken it until they had 
covered five or six miles. They endeavored to find a thick woods about daybreak and re- 
mained concealed during the day, subsisting on green corn and sweet potatoes, both of which 
they were compelled to eat raw. This mode of existing lasted for some days, resting 
through the day and traveling at night. Coming to a river one night they kept secluded 
near by the ferry until they thought everybody had gone to rest for the night. They had 
boarded the ferry boat when much to their surprise they were accosted by a negro who 
asked them if they wanted to cross the river. Receiving an affirmative answer, the negro 
said he would take them across. "I know youse Yankees running away ; I've taken too 
many across here not to know 'em when I see 'em." He furthermore gave them some advice 
which was worth heeding ; the substance of which was that they could always trust the field 
hands but would be betrayed by the house servants. A negro woman crossed in the same 
boat with them and their colored benefactor, learning that the party were sufifering from 
hunger, interceded with the colored woman to get them plenty to eat, her home being near 
by. While she was preparing them a meal she invited them to rest and the three of them 
had no hesitation in lying down on a downy bed of feathers, and almost instantly all three 
were sound asleep — a rest they enjoyed until aroused to eat their supper. Besides giving 
them all they could of the best the humble cabin could aflford she filled their haversacks. 
There was no higgling over prices, no compensation asked, but the woman was well paid 
in Confederate money. A few nights after this Alexander and Kiester discovering a negro 
cabin near the roadside, stopped to get some food for their haversacks, Bascom continuing 
on the journey. After getting some food they followed until thew came to a cross-road, 
and there being no mark to indicate which direction Bascom had taken, they decided to con- 
tinue in the direction they had been traveling, but they failed to overtake their former 


companion. After traveling in this manner for over 200 miles Alexander and Kiester were 
finally recaptured on Sunday evening, October 16, 1864, at Rutherford, N. C. They ran 
into a picket post, and claimed to be Confederates and the guard was almost induced to let 
them go, but they had received strict orders to bring any suspiciously appearing person to 
the commanding officer ; they were forced to go into his presence, who proved to be a major, 
who had seen service in the Army of Northern Virginia, and had been seriously wounded 
at the battle of Fair Oaks. When presented to the major, they put on a bold front, claim- 
ing to be Confederates. He said in reply to them, "You tell a pretty straight story, but you 
don't exactly talk like Southern men. We will get a light and take a look at you." When 
the light was brought, he found them in full Yank uniform, all but the shoulder straps, 
which they carried in their pockets. When the major learned that they had been pitted 
against him at Seven Pines, where he had been seriously wounded ifi the lungs, he gave 
them credit for his wound, but instead of showing hatred, he assumed the friendliest of 
attitudes, had the guards put them in the Masonic Hall, with orders to treat them well. He 
sent them supper and breakfast from his own table. These were the first "Yanks" in the 
town and the ladies of the town turned out en masse to see them. They saw pretty good 
looking fellows, for both Alexander and Kiester were fine looking men; in fact Alexander 
was the handsomest man in the Regiment, and Kiester wasn't a bad second. Both were 
tidy in dress and good disciplinarians and gentlemanly in demeanor. Certainly the ladies of 
Rutherford must have decided that the Yankees weren't bad looking, at least. The follow- 
ing day three old gray headed men constituted a guard to escort them to Morgantown, 
N. C, perhaps forty miles distant, where there was a railroad station. From Morgantown 
they were taken to Salisbury, where they remained only till the following day, when they 
were moved to Danville, Va. Here they were confined in an old tobacco warehouse for 
the winter, suffering intensely from cold weather. In February they were moved to Libby 
prison, Richmond, Va. ; were paroled on Feb. 21, 1865, arriving at Annapolis, Md., Feb. 22. 
At the World's Fair at Chicago in 1893, Capt. Alexander and Capt. Bascom met again, 
twenty-eight years after the war, and exchanged stories. Bascom was recaptured at Ashe- 
ville, N. C, but succeeded in eluding the guard and reaching the Federal lines. 


The daily monotony of life in Andersonville and Florence prisons, coupled with the 
privations of those places, inspired a large percentage of those confined there to invent 
means of escape. The Plymouth group furnished its full share towards assisting in all the 
large enterprises which had for their purpose a general escape, but small groups of the 
various Regiments captured at Plymouth were constantly planning to in some way get their 
freedom. Comrade Robert R. Reardon of Co. H, familiarly known by the comrades of the 
Regiment as "Bob" Reardon, was one of the most active, and he finally succeeded in get- 
ting outside, only to have the humiliation to be recaptured by dogs. His story is interesting, 
especially will it he to his comrades who knew him, for anything "Bob" says, they know, 
is not exaggerated. He was one of the "boys" of Co. H. 

"Immediately after our incarceration in the Andersonville stockade we began to plan 
means of escape, and I assisted in digging several tunnels. The first attempt resulted in a 
complete failure. We had succeeded in reaching about twenty feet from our starting point 
when a heavy rain caused it to cave in, catching two men who were then at work in the 
tunnel. About July 1, nineteen of us embarked in an enterprise which we thought gave 
promise of success. In this party, besides myself, were Neiderriter and Rodgers of Co. H. 
The osensible purpose of the undertaking was the sinking of a well for drinking water. The 
site selected was about one hundred feet from the north gate. At a depth of eighteen feet 
we started a tunnel, doing the work at night; the only utensil used in doing the work was 
the half of a canteen. Tlie diameter of the tunnel was only large enough to permit one 
man to crawl to and fro, with here and there places wide enough for two to pass. These 
passing places were necessary, as all the excavation had to be removed by meal sacks, and 
while the dirt was being brought back another comrade could be utilizing the time filling his 
sack. The tunnel was ventilated by the one waiting at the passing place using the visor of 
his cap in fanning, thus starting a current of air. Total darkness prevailing in the tunnel it 
was impossible to continue it in a straight line, and it took a left oblique course passing 
under the road between the inner and outer gates. The entire length of the tunnel when 


completed was 148 feet, which gradually inclined from the starting point in the well, giving 
a down grade to haul back the sacks of dirt. Five weeks were required in completing this 
work. When everything was ready for the dash for liberty only those who could be abso- 
lutely trusted among the friends of those who did the work were informed of the project. 

"When the time for the break came an eager and anxious throng were awaiting their 
turn to enter, but much to their chagrin and disappointment those who had last entered the 
tunnel came hurrying back. The first man to emerge from the outer opening of the tunnel 
was captured by the patrol guard and the signal was hurriedly given to retreat. Of course 
it did not take the Confederate officials long to discover the inner terminal of the tunnel 
but they never discovered the owners. 

"Only a few days subsequent to this failure I assisted in digging a mammoth tunnel 
near the south gate for the purpose of undermining the stockade and making a wholesale 
liberation. At this time the double stockade only existed north of the ravine ; subsequently 
it was completed to the fort south of the south gate. After having the tunnel almost com- 
pleted and all the plans perfected for an attack on the stockade a traitor in our number in- 
formed the Confederate authorities of our project, and again we were doomed to disappoint- 

"By this time Atlanta had fallen and it was almost a daily event to remove prisoners 
from Andersonville to other points in the Confederacy. When a group was taken from 
Andersonville it was generally supposed it was taken out for exchange and all sorts of 
schemes and ruses were resorted to to go with these favored yarties. I succeeded in getting 
out with one of these groups, but alas, ere long I discovered my hope of freedom was doomed 
to disappointment. The race course at Charleston, S. C, was our destination. However, 
the change was beneficial and the music of the bursting mammoth shells from Yankee guns 
did not alarm us, but inspired us with hope and courage. We were kept here for several 
weeks, when we were removed to Florence, S. C, in almost a nude condition. 

"We immediately began to devise ways and means of escape, but soon found that the 
enemy was too alert to permit of success through tunneling. Bribery of the guards was 
the only hope. I owned a good watch and getting an excellent opportunity to become ac- 
quainted with one of the guards I arranged with him to give him the watch if he would 
permit a party of us to pass out at his beat, he to furnish a rope ladder so we could make 
our exit rapidly. The fact that he furnished the ladder was evidence that he meant to keep 
faith. As many as it was safe to let into the project were informed, and four others of my 
Regiment were among the number to scale the stockade between one and two o'clock on that 
cold dark wet night. Of our own boys Sergt. Daniel Krug of Co. K, Peter Klingler, Samuel 
Rupert and Daniel Huddleson of Co. H were of the party; also John Hilbert of Co. L, 
11th Penna. Cavalry. Krugg, Klingler and Rupert decided to make for the mountains of 
Tennessee, while Hilbert, Huddleson and I decided that we would make for the Atlantic 
coast, hoping to reach North Carolina. Expecting to gain some distance from the place 
of confinement, we kept moving until daylight, when we found we were marching straight 
to the prison from which we had escaped, it being in full view. We hastily about faced and 
traveled as rapidly as we could for about three miles, when we came to a deep creek. As 
we were planning to effect a crossing over this stream we were horror-stricken by the ap- 
pearance of a bloodhound. However, we felt some relief when we discovered that he was 
not trailing. We kept close under the bank of the stream until the hound had passed. 
Closely following the dog was a man armed with a musket. He_was taken by surprise and 
captured and proved to be a deserter from the 21st S, C. and after a satisfactory explana- 
tion we paroled him, allowing him to retain all of his equipment. However, he divided his 
provisions among us, equipped us with flint and tinder so we could start fires, and gave us 
information as to the various routes to take, and cautioning us against vigilance commit- 
tees, Johnston's army, etc. We moved cautiously until night, when we used the roads and 
kept moving rapidly until day approached, when we would find a secluded place and watch 
for an opportunity to interview the negroes, whom we always found anxious to remder us 
assistance and food. 

"The fourth day out we were sighted just after dark. Bloodhounds were put on our 
track. We turned southward for the Great Pedee river, which we had crossed early that 
morning, and succeeded in reaching it before the hounds got on our trail. We swam this 
river, the current taking us down several miles. We kept concealed in the canebrakes that 
night and next day. After emerging from the swamp and canebrakes we made our way 
northward but had scarcely gained an inhabited region until we were discovered and re- 
captured by a party of nine men and fifteen dogs. The dogs were well trained and sur- 
rounded us, but kept far enough distant to avoid being struck by our clubs. Being unarmed 
we knew resistance was useless. The first man to come up threatened to shoot if a move 
was made and became very brave when he found his captives were unarmed. After we had 
surrendered the dogs were allowed to attack us, I suffering the most, one dog catching me 
in the flesh on one side, pulling me on all fours, when another brute fastened his teeth in 
my rectum, causing me to suffer tortures. I pleaded with them to kill me and make an end 
of it, and finally they called off the brutes. Huddleson and Hilbert, although older and 


larger than I, did not suffer so much, the enmity of both dogs and men apparently being 
centered on me. This was not lessened any when they found in my possession a crudely 
drawn plan of the country, on which they upbraided me in an ironic manner by saying, 
'You were no doubt enticed into the army and these men gave you the map to shield them- 
selves.' After consulting among themselves I was taken aside and told that they were 
going to shoot the other two men but if I would take the oath of allegiance to the Confed- 
eracy T would be spared. I refused their proffer in an emphatic manner. I was then told 
that I must die with the others. Immediately after we were captured a blazing fire had been 
started and while the leader of the party, whose name was Johnston, was parleying with me, 
he and two of his companions had taken me off to one side, the others remaining around the 

"In my absence the other two had been foretold of their impending doom, and when 
we returned, Hilbert was chatting to his captors, regaling them with his exploits, entirely 
unconcerned, while Huddleson, in whose veins coursed Indian blood, sat sullen and defiant. 
When told to get ready to die Hilbert continued talking and Huddleson remained mute and 
stoical. No truer or braver soldiers ever lived than these two men, although widely differ- 
ent in disposition. Hoping to gain time, and break the monotony of the situation, I asked 
Johnston to give me two days' time to consider his proposition. He said, 'Then you would 
want two weeks; you shall have just fifteen minutes.' Hilbert continued talking, giving 
no evidence of any concern as to the consequences, while Huddleson never changed his 
demeanor. I pleaded for an opportunity to write a parting word to my mother and exacted 
a promise from Johnston to send it to her at the first opportunity. Paper and pencil were 
furnished me and a limited time given to scrawl a final message to my mother, on reading 
which Johnston remarked, 'That is a hard message to send to a mother.' However, this 
gained time, which resulted favorably. Hilbert was chosen as the first victim. Thompson 
addressed him as follows : 

"I suppose you can stand and be shot without being blindfolded?" 

"Yes ; I have faced better and braver men than you are and I am not a particle afraid 
of you, but I have one request, use a rifle and aim at my heart; don't use a shot-gun, or 
shoot at my head." 

Hilbert was placed about one hundred feet, between them and the light of the fire. 
Our captors had taken aim, while Hilbert stood as calmly and unexcited as though rehears- 
ing for a drama on the stage. At this juncture a wounded Confederate officer, at home on 
furlough, attracted by the fire and the commotion thereabout, appeared on the -scene and 
the execution was suspended. The officer inquired as to the offense of the captives and 
was told that it was an attempt to escape. He told Johnston and' companions it was our 
privilege to escape and our duty as good soldiers to avail ourselves of every opportunity 
to do so. He ordered Johnston to send us back to prison. We were taken to his home 
and given a sumptuous breakfast with plenty of fresh sweet milk to drink. On our way 
back to Florence we met Norval D. Goe, who had made his escape and had been recaptured. 
T remained in Florence until January, 1865, when I was taken first to Greensboro, N. C, 
thence to Danville, Va., being almost frozen to death at the former place. I was exchanged 
some time in February, on the James river, Va., but never again reached the Regiment." 


Corp. John F, Rupert of Co. A. describes an escape and recapture in an interesting 
sketch, as follows : 

"On Friday, Oct, 7, 1864, about 10 p. m., five of our Regiment, viz., N. D. Goe, R. G. 
Beggs, James Cooper, and myself of Co. A., and George Shaffer of Co. H., succeeded in 
making our escape from the Florence military prison by bribing a guard by giving him a 
watch. The guard's acquaintance was made by frequent talks when no one else was about. 
Goe asked him if he would let five of us out. Of course, he wanted to know what there 
would be in it for him. Goe told h/n he could give him a valuable gold watch. Crooks 
Thorn of Co. A., had an old brass watch that he had offered for sale at $12, in Confederate 
money, which Goe lost no time in securing. The guard and Goe had it arranged that we 
were to come the first rainy night that he would be on duty. When we first went into the 
Florence stockade there were a great many trees, which were immediately preempted by the 
first men to be incarcerated there, each man claiming one, which was soon felled, cut up 
and piled away and stored on his habitation. From one of these woodpiles Goe secured a 
long forked stick by which he reached the watch to the guard, when the next guard was 
walking in another direction. 

"As soon as the guard got the watch, according to previous arrangements, he walked 
quickly to the other guard and held him there while we were getting over. Goe was the 
first to reach the top of the stockade, and by his assistance from there the rest of us were 
on the outside in less time than it takes to tell it. To get away from the stockade we were 
compelled to wade through mud and water at some places waist deep, for nearly a mile. 
We finally reached the edge of the swamp, and lay down at the root of some cypress trees 
and rested there until 9 p. m., Oct. 8, when we continued in the same direction we had 

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teen traveling. We felt ourselves fortunate for we soon came to a road which by following, 
kept us in the direction we were traveling. But this was only a part of our good luck, for 
just as we struck the road, a negro, who had been working on the Florence stockade, met 
us, and directed us to a negro cabin, where we got a supper consisting of fried pork and 
sweet potatoes. We did not wait to eat in the negro cabin, but found a secluded place 
in a wood near by, where our supper was brought to us, a.s we were informed the enemy 
had a patrol scouring that neighborhood, and was likely to look into the cabin at any 
moment. The negro gave us directions how to avoid a picket guard of the enemy at a 
cross-road about a half mile distant, and I gave him the last of my belongings (a pocket 
book) for his services in accompanying us around this guard. 

"After traveling four or five miles we came to a swamp which we found difficult to 
cross, and coming to the root of a large cypress tree, which afforded us sufficient space to 
rest, we remained there until the sun made its appearance. We did not wait long after 
daylight until we continued on our journey. About noon we came to the Great Pedee river, 
striking it about three miles below the railroad. After a vain search for material to build 
a raft on which to cross the river, we discovered a plantation with quite a group of negro 
houses not far from where we were hiding. We rested until darkness came. Not long 
after dusk we espied a negro passing, who was very much frightened when we hailed him, 
and we had some difficulty in holding as he was inclined to run away from us. But we 
succeeded in getting him to listen to our story, and he convinced us at once that he was 
our friend and could be trusted to the limit. He informed us the plantation was owned by 
Elison Brown, and after the stock was fed, there would be no white person on the premises, 
as the proprietor lived some distance away and would leave as soon as the feeding was 
over. At an agreed signal we went to the negro cabins, and met a large number of negroes 
of both sexes. They gave us a cordial reception and furnished us with an abundance of hoe 
cake and baked sweet potatoes, and we then dried our clothes. When we had finished our 
supper and had made ourselves comfortable by the aid of the fires in the cabins, the negro 
guided us to the river where a canoe was hidden from view in a thicket, and ferried us 
across. We here found another three-mile swamp which we decided it would not be wise 
to attempt to cross in the darkness, so we waited until daylight. 

"Monday, Oct. 10, at daylight, we started on our journey. In crossing the three- 
mile swamp we were forced to hold up our arms to keep them out of the water. It was 
about noon before we got out of the swamp, but finding the country open we secluded our- 
selves in a thicket until darkness came. Before darkness came a negro passed by, and we 
"halted him long enough to get his promise to assist us after dark, which was promptly kept, 
and he guided us to some negro houses where we got our supper, and another guide. We 
traveled about eight miles that night, the guide accompanying us about five miles. We 
found a safe place to stop at the edge of a swamp near a church, and as the place was 
secluded, we built a fire and dried our clothes. 

"We rested on Oct. 11 until dusk, and without securing a guide or supper we started 
on our journey traveling in a northeasterly direction. Coming to a swamp, near a planta- 
tion which we learned belonged to a man by the name of Edward Collins. We rested till 
nearly daylight and then crossed the swamp, which brought us on Collins' plantation, but we 
did not stop until we had passed it. Finding a negro cabin and while we are waiting until 
breakfast is prepared, a man by the name of Jack Harl who had got wind of us, brought 
some Confederate cavalry and dogs and surrounded us, and there was nothing left for us 
to do but to gracefully accept the situation and again become prisoners of war. Our captors 
took us to Harl's house, where a big fire was built in the yard, so we could dry our wet 
clothes — wet from wading through the swamp. Breakfast was also given us, after which 
we were escorted to Marion, S. C, nine miles distant by Sergt. Edward Collins (4th S. C. 
Cavalry), with a squad of cavalry. When we reached Marion at 1 p. m., we were placed 
in jail and kept there until after dark, when we were taken to the depot, and put on cars 
and were soon traveling rapidly towards the stockade from which we had flown. We 
arrived at Florence during the night, and were taken to the provost guard house where we 
remained until morning, with our hands pinioned behind our backs with handcuffs. 

"On the morning of O'ct. 13, we were taken to the provost marshal's headquarters, 
and from there to the stockade. When we arrived at the old prison the handcuffs were 
taken off, but we were deprived of rations for several days. My shoes were worn out, 
I had no money, but through the generosity of Nerval D, Goe, I was kept from suffering. 
Goe furnished me with money to get shoes and food. When we were finally exchanged 
and T received my pay from the government, Goe refused to accept a penny of the money 
he advanced me. I think this generous action should be recorded in the annals of the 


At Macon we were marched into an enclosure called Camp Oglethorp, which con- 
tained about two and a half acres, and was surrounded by two fences. The outer one was 
."built of boards and was about ten feet high, and there was a platform about three feet from 


the top on the outside, and extending around its whole length, for the sentinels to walk 
upon. Inside of that fence and about ten feet distant from it was a paling fence known as 
the "Dead Line." All that the title implied was meant in earnest, and if a prisoner should 
be so thoughtless as to even touch the fence the guard would be ready and willing to shoot 
him down. * * * Our rations were better than we expected, and consisted of corn 
bread, bacon, rice, beans and vinegar. The supply for our mess was received in bulk, and 
we took turns of a day each to serve as cook. We were not furnished with cooking utensils, 
but were allowed to buy them. Our mess purchased a cofifee pot, some tin cups and plates, 
knives and forks and a "spider," which is a skillet with legs and lid. Our table was the 
floor; our fire place was out of doors. Sometimes we got meal instead of bread, and then 
we baked pones in the spider. One day we indulged in a blackberry pudding, We pur- 
chased the berries and some flour to mix with our meal. Though our cooking was done 
under difficulties, it was no hardship compared to our washing. Every one did his own — if 
it was done at all. I had never imagined washing was such hard work, and I made a 
resolution that if I should ever have a wife I would not ask her to do our washing. How 
I have or have not kept that resolution has nothing to do with this narrative. * * * 

As the subject of escape was uppermost in our minds, and as many plans of stealing 
out had failed, it was only natural that the idea of combining our strength and forcing our 
way by a coup de main should suggest itself. I was told that a secret league was formed 
for that purpose, and I was invited to join it. I consented and was taken to a secluded place 
and sworn in. I bound myself to obey the officers appointed by the league without regard 
to their army rank, even to the taking the life of a comrade, should such an act be necessary 
for the general welfare. The latter clause in the obligation was made because of the belief 
that traitors in our midst had betrayed former efforts at escape. I was given the "grip" and 
other signals of recognition, but no plans of operation were disclosed. * * * xhe mess 
we formed when entering the prison was gradually broken up until Burke and I were all 
that were left. Chambers, being sick, had gone to the hospital outside the prison. I de- 
sired to be among the officers of our own regiment, so joined them in one of the shanties. 
Burke was not feeling very well when I left him, but to prove to him that I was not de- 
serting him on that account, I loaned him $30, half of the money I possessed, and came back 
from time to time to assist him with his cooking. He repaid me the money years after- 
ward. * * ♦ Late in July it was rumored that our cavalry were attempting to release the 
Andersonville prisoners, and on the 24th we could hear the distant booming of cannon, 
which told us that our forces were not far away. On the 28th "Fresh Fish" reported that 
some of our cavalry had been at Greensburg on the Augusta railroad — a little over fifty 
miles from us. That was too near to suit our custodians, so we got orders to prepare to 
move. A division of the prisoners left that evening for Charleston by way of Savannah. I 
was anxious to be with it, for the leaders of our league were in it and it was believed that a 
revolt would be attempted on the way. * * * j went with the second division. We were 
called up at 1 o'clock in the morning, Friday, the 29th, and before daylight we were on the 
cars on the way to Savannah. We stopped for awhile at Gordon station, about twenty 
miles out from Macon. We started again just fifteen minutes too soon, for in that brief 
space of time after we left Gen. Stoneman with his raiders struck the road, tore up the 
tracks and burned the station buildings. * * * 

When my turn as cook came around I had occupation for the day. We received fresh 
beef every morning, and the other supplies were pretty good, and so the cook had material 
to work with. I invented a combination pone which became popular with our mess. It 
consisted of cornmeal and boiled rice, and was baked in a "spider" with a fire kept burning 
under it as well as on top of the lid. We never got any coffee from the rebel commissary, 
so we made a substitute out of browned rice, but it was a disappointing imitation of the 
lamented original. One day we received some of the genuine stuff from Capt. Mackey, who 
had obtained a package from home; and that was a red letter day for our mess. Of the 
many packages put up by the relatives and kind friends of the prisoners and sent within the 
Confederate line by flag of truce but a small proportion reached those for whom they were 
intended. Money letters were rarely dehvered. In my whole term of captivity I never re- 
ceived a package, money or letters, though all had been sent me from home. Letters sent by 
me reached their destination. 

On the 2d of September the chaplains and surgeons who were held with us were 
taken away to be sent through the lines to liberty. They were a happy lot of fellows, and 
they took with them many messages for the relatives of those they left behind. They were 
not allowed to take letters through the lines, so they simply took addresses and made 
memoranda. One of the surgeons had become demented through his captivity. A few days 
before his release I sav^ him sitting cross-legged for hours with his ration of fresh meat 
hanging across one of his feet. Doc. Meredith of our regiment, one of the fortunate, gave 
away his extra clothes, among them a pair of pantaloons, and the man who received them 
basely exposed to derision Doc's claim that he had no occasion to scratch. There was proof 
that he had suffered in secret like the Spartan youth who had stolen the fox. * * * On 
the 12th of September we received orders to prepare to move, and on the next morning our 


whole body of 600 marched out of the enclosure on our way to the cars for Charleston, 
South Carolina. * * * Our train was on the way at nine A. M. and we enjoyed the 
autumn scenery as we sped along to the worst place we had yet been in. We arrived in the 
besieged city in the afternoon, and marched about a mile along streets that were evidently 
of the poorer portion of the city. The buildings were in a wretched state of dilapidation, 
and the people we saw there were mostly negroes. One jolly wench halloed out to us, 
"Can't I get a husban' in dat party?" We brought up at the city jail, and were turned into 
the yard. There were tents there to shelter about one-third of our number, but as our 
mess did not get in until they were all taken, we had to settle on the dusty ground without 
any shelter whatever. I met there Private Cross of my company, who was one of a party 
of about a dozen enlisted men lately from Andersonville. He was suffering from scurvey, 
and his companions were in a terrible condition, very scantily clothed in filthy rags, emaciated, 
scurvey eaten and their skins burned brown as negroes. I learned the sad news of the 
death of ten of my brave boys : Sergeants Armagost and Graham and Privates McPherson, 
Burns, Pence, Springer, D. Anderson, Zierl and Rueff. Ten out of thirty-three in less than 
five months. I talked with Cross about the treatment they had at Andersonville, and was 
convinced that all the horrors told of that prison were true. Adjoining the jail was the 
work-house building, and through one of its barred windows I conversed with Lieut. 
Chamber, from whom I had parted at Macon. He was well. * * * 

Having no shelter or comfort of any kind, having only a certain place on the dusty 

ground to live on made life seem hardly worth living, and it affected the spirits of us all, 

more or less. Lieut. Fluke in particular sat for hours at a time, with a dirty face and his 

chin resting on his clenched hands, heeding not the smoke or dust or the raillery of those 

of us who undertook to cheer him up. Supplies came irregularly and were insufficient ; 

sometimes we were without wood with which to cook and sometimes without any food to 

cook. On the third day of our stay Lieut. Bryson lost his pocket book containing $75 in 

greenbacks and $96 in Confederate money. This was a misfortune for the whole mess, for 

Bryson was unselfish in the use of his money. * * * "We had laid down to rest on the 

night of Oct. 4, when we were ordered to be ready to move at 4 o'clock next morning. 

Our principal preparation consisted of baking some corn griddle cakes. We were moved 

at the time fixed, and our style of traveling was, as usual, in freight cars, with 50 men 

crowded into each car. Our destination was Columbia, which we reached at midnight after 

a very uncomfortable ride. Our number amounted to about 1,500. Upwards of 100 slipped 

from the cars during the night, but most of them were recaptured within the next week. I 

saw no good chance to get away. We left the cars early in the morning and remained 

by the tracks near the depot, where we ate our breakfast, such as it was. Our mess boiled 

scrne rice, which was the only food we had. The batter cakes that we had baked at 

Charleston had been spoiled by becoming mixed with spilled ink and lard. Some of the 

prisoners discovered shoulders of bacon stowed in one of the railroad buildings, and by 

means of a long pole with a nail near the end of it had fished out several pieces of the 

meat before the guards discovered the trick. The .stolen meat was not recovered. 

The prospect of a winter in prison was anything but cheering, and 
we were more than ever spurred on to thinking of escape. Bryson talked to a 
rebel soldier — a Tennesseean — who declared that he and some of his friends were going to 
desert to their homes, and he promised to connive at the escape of our mess and take us 
with them. That gave us hope for awhile, but nothing came of it. One night during a 
heavy fog a few prisoners succeeded in stealing out between the sentinels, but we were 
such sound sleepers in our party that we did not know of the opportunity until it was gone. 
We lost some sleep the next night watching for a fog that did not come. That morning 
we were all formed in line at the side of the camp to answer the roll call, and then was 
disclosed an opportunity to revolt that, had it been expected, might have been used ; the 
rebels had their guns stacked within thirty paces of us, and the guns of the battery stood 
unprotected. They could all have been seized. During the day our seniors held a council 
on the subject, but the attempt was not ordered. Even if we had succeeded in getting the 
arms the undertaking would have been extremely hazardous, being so far within the enemy's 
country. At roll call the next day the situation was not so tempting. On the night of the 
13th several prisoners got out by bribing the guard. Capt. Mackey had a scheme of that 
kind well under way, and invited Bryson and I to join him, but Mackey deferred the move 
because the day was Friday and was "unlucky." That delay was fatal to the scheme. I 
might mention a remarkable experience I had that day. An officer to whom I had loaned 
$5 at Macon repaid me and besides insisted on my accepting a loan of $10. I was unable 
to resist. Lieut. Munday was the man who thus made Friday a lucky day for me. 

Recaptured prisoners were brought in from time to time ; Capt. Burke was one of 
them. He said it was worth while to go out for a change, even if one did not get through 
the lines. Capt. Cratty, too, came back. He became exhausted and surrendered. * * * f^ 
the woods ten miles south of Columbia. I became tired of waiting for our friendly 
rebel, and yesterday I determined to make a desperate effort to escape. I told the com- 
rades of our mess my plan. It was to run the guard. I argued that the risk we would 


take in rushing out between the sentinels was no greater than we had often taken in going 
into battle. Capt. Spence and Lieuts. Bryson and StnuUen agreed to join me in the effort, 
so after dark we took position on the south side of the camp in a hut or shelter built of 
pine tops. We were within fifteen feet of the "dead line" and about that distance beyond 
it was the line of sentinels, posted about twenty feet apart. We watched them walk back 
and forth, dimly relieved against a background of darkness. It was an anxious moment as 
I watched to see the nearest two face from each other. When they did so it was for so 
brief a time that it was of no advantage to us, but for all that I determined to proceed, 
and gave the word, "Now," and we rtished forward, but before we reached the "dead line" 
the word "Halt !" rang out. We did not halt, rather tried to run the faster, and we 
crossed the sentinel's line before a gun was fired. Then the shots came thick and fast and 
the whizzing balls seemed quite close. The ground we had to pass over was pretty full of 
stumps, from which a small growth of pines had been cut away. About one hundred yards 
in front of us was a wood. I tripped and fell, and so did Bryson, but we scrambled up 
and resumed running. Spence reached the woods first, but we were not far behind him. 
Smullen did not come, and we do not know if he is killed or not. Near the end of our 
exciting run my haversack fell off, and realizing that I should now be without my supplies, 
I crawled back and recovered it. By that time there was a terrible uproar in the rebel 
camp. The companies were called to "fall in" and we heard the order "Bring out the dogs." 
We hurried through the swampy woods, Bryson leading, with the stars for his guide. Be- 
fore leaving camp we bedaubed our shoes with human excrement, which is said to be 
effectual in throwing the bloodhounds off the scent. * * * 

Bryson is slightly disabled by his fall last night. He had another fall that amused 
me. We were tramping through a low, marshy place and Bryson was leading. Suddenly 
he stopped, and called out, "Here is a ditch, but I think I can jump it," and making a 
mighty effort, he leaped with such force that he fell down in the grass when he lighted. 
He is six feet three in height and there was a good deal of him to go down. It was like a 
tree falling, but he got up and pronounced himself "all right." I then essayed to try my 
luck as a jumper, and moved cautiously, feeling for the edge of the ditch, but could not 
find it, and was surprised to find myself standing beside Bryson, having walked all the 
way. We forgot our caution and laughed aloud, for Bryson had gone to all that trouble 
to leap over a cow path. * * * Last night was one of difficulties. Our plan of guiding 
by the stars and avoiding the roads has proved a failure. We started last evening at dark, 
traveling northwest. At the end of two miles we came to a swamp, through which we 
attempted to pass, but almost exhausted ourselves in the effort, and then undertook to go 
back to the solid ground. That was no easy task, for we were lost. We got on hard 
ground again and then tried to go around the swamp, but the swamp was seemingly all 
around us, and we on an island within it. We were forced to await the risng of the moon, 
so lay down and slept. We got up about midnight, shivering with cold. Bryson was so 
lame he could hardly walk, and Spence was suffering with thirst. Again we missed Smullen, 
who owns a canteen, and we have none. We found our way out of the swamp, but 
wandered back and forth in search of a crossing. At last we were in despair of finding 
one, and were standing still, considering what to do, when we heard, faintly, the sound of 
trickling water; we followed it and came to an old mill dam and a bridge, over which we 
crossed to solid ground. Spence got a drink and we found a road leading in the desired 
direction ; we also found a sweet potato patch and helped ourselves. About three A. M. we 
made a fire in the swamp and roasted our sweet potatoes and parched some corn, being 
■enabled to do the latter by our having with us a half of a canteen which serves as a frying 
pan or plate. At daylight we selected a good hidng place for the day. We are in a thicket 
near a stream, and only about five miles from last night's bivouac. 

We resumed our tramping shortly after dark last night. We followed a road leading 
west. We saw many houses by the way and surmised that we were in the town of Lees- 
ville. We saw some negroes on the road, but did not speak to them, believing that the 
better policy until we really needed assistance. We can steal enough to eat. After awhile 
we got on a road in our proper direction, N. W. Bryson suffered with a blistered heel, and 
took off one boot and walked several miles in that uncomfortable condition, then cut slits 
in the boot and wore it. The country becomes more hilly as we proceed. About two o'clock 
we passed through the town of Mount Willing, which is beautifully situated on the summit 
of a hill. We aroused a few dogs, but saw no persons. We went beyond the town about 
two miles and entered a pine forest, where we cooked our regular supply of sweet potatoes. 
At daylight we sought a place to hide, but the wood was destitue of underbrush, so we left 
it and followed a small brook which was but scantily shaded with trees. For want of a 
better place we are hiding among the branches and leaves of a lately fallen tree. Fields are 
on either side of us. We can hear cocks crowing and dogs barking. (Hang the dogs! 
On every raid in the future my war cry will surely be "Death to dog!") We can hear 
people talking with clearness that under the circumstances is unpleasant. I was opposed to 
stopping here, but my comrades thought we could do no better by going further, so I 
acquiesced. We are now 45 miles from Columbia and 13 miles from Chappell's Ferry on 


the Saluda River, just the route we laid out in our imperfect map (one made by myself) 
and Bryson has proven himself a good guide. 5 :30 P. M. We have had a pleasant day. 
Have not been molested. Will start again in about on hour. 

A little further on a negro came into the road and crossed it behind us, coughed re- 
peatedly as if to attract our attention, but we. thinking he did not know who or what we 
were, passed on without speaking. Then a negro on horseback met us and when he had 
passed, wheeled his horse, stopped and looked after us. Seeing so many people made me 
feel decidedly uneasy; I had a premonition of danger. We came to a large residence that 
stood near the road, and while we were hurrying past we were hailed by a white man in 
military garb, who advanced toward us accompanied by some negroes. He asked us who 
we were and where we were going, and knowing disguise was useless, I told him. He said 
he was a soldier and it was his duty to arrest us. Resistance would not avail; if we acted 
like gentlemen he would treat us as such; but go with him we must. He was armed and 
we were not, and we had learned from the experience of others that to be seen by white 
people was equivalent to capture, so I told him we would accept his hospitality, but under 
the circumstances we could hardly say we were glad to meet him, We accompanied him to 
his house, where he introduced us to his wife and daughter. A Col. Denny came in with i 
squad of rustic "home guards." Variety in their equipment seemed to have been aimed at, 
and hit, for they had sabres, pistols, show guns and what not. The Colonel expressed re- 
gret that we had not given them the fun of chasing us with the hounds. Our kind and 
lady-like hostess asked us if we had supped, and I told her we had eaten what we had 
been forced to consider our supper, but we could eat another one. A bed was made for us 
on the floor of the parlor. I was the first to lie down, and as I did so one of the guards 
laughed heartily, and said my way of going to bed was the funniest he had ever seen. What 
excited his merriment was the practice of a habit formed in prison. I usually slept on the 
flank of our mess of six as we "spooned" together under one set of blankets; and when 
going to bed, instead of turning down the covers from the head of the bed, and thereby dis- 
turbing my comrades, I would fold back longitudinally just my portion of the covers, and 
that was what J did there on the parlor floor. * * * 

"We reached Newberry at noon ; the wagon was stopped in the public square, and the 
live 'Yanks' exhibited to the citizens. Trying to have a little fun out of our adverse circum- 
stances, I inquired of a young man in the crowd, 'What hotels have you here?' as though we 
would be allowed to select one for a stopping place, and he was innocently giving me a list 
of them when a stout, jolly fellow shook a bunch of keys at me and said 'I'll take care of 
you.' He was the town jailer. * * * When we entered the jail a crowd filled the outer 
hall and looked through the bars at us. The only inmates here besides ourselves are two 
counterfeiters who say they could he released at any time if they would enter the rebel 
army, but they prefer staying where they are. They say they have keys that enable them to 
get out and roam about at night, but they dare not help us to get out. They have a number 
of genuine passes made by rebel commanders, which they have got from soldiers traveling 
on leave and who have stopped in the jail over night. These smart thieves had copied the 
passes, kept them, and gave the copies to the soldiers. I have seen a paper which reports 
Early whipped again in the valley. 

"Oct. 29, 11 A. M. Again at Camp Sorghum. Our jailer at Newberry was not a bad 
fellow, but no doubt he thinks we were ungrateful to steal the blankets he loaned us on 
Tuesday night. We wrapped them around our bodies under our clothes, and took them with 
us as we went forth to go on the cars at Columbia. At the depot our squad was again an 
object of public curiosity. I must mention hearing a remark, which it appears was a com- 
mon one for Southerners to make. A woman after staring at us for a while turned to a 
companion and said, 'They look just like we do.' Some of the women spoke to us, ex- 
pressing their sorrow at our going back to prison, and wishing us success when next we at- 
tempted to escape. Our next hotel was the Columbia jail, where we stopped and slept 
Wednesday night. Next morning we arrived here in time to breakfast with our old mess. 
Smullen is safe, having shrunk from the fiery ordeal. Our running out had caused great 
excitement among the guards, who thought for awhile that a general revolt was intended. 
Men with torches had searched the ground over which we had run, looking for our bodies. 
Then the hounds were brought out, and an attempt was made to put them on our trail. Since 
then others have run out on our plan. 

"Nov. 1. Good weather since last report. 'Yesterday a large mail was received and 
distributed. Of our mess Fluke alone received a letter. On Sunday night Capt. Adams and 
Lieut. Pierson of the 85th New York ran the guard and escaped. Last night an officer was 
shot while attempting to crawl out past the sentinels. His wound is not considered mortal. 
(I learned afterward that he died from his wound.) A few succeeded in getting out, among 
them was Lieut. Burroughs, whom long captivity has made crazy. Capt. Cratty has made 
arrangements with a sentinel to let six of us out tonigjht. The party will consist of Cratty, 
Spence, Bryson and I, and two others not yet determined upon. We are making prepara- 
tions for the journey. We worked hard today carrying wood, the guard lines having been 
extended to take in part of the forest. * * * Friday, Nov. 4, 3 P. M. In the woods 


again. At liberty but not in safety. We are about a mile from the prison camp. Yesterday 
a number of prisoners were allowed to go beyond the lines to cut wood for fuel. To secure 
that privilege they signed a parole of honor not to attempt to escape. They were permitted 
to go back and forth until they were supplied. As the guards could not remember all of 
them, about 100 who were not paroled, escaped from the camp. It was feared that the 
escape of so many would cause more stringent measures to be taken for guarding us, so a 
Yankee trick was practiced on the 'Rebs' this morning to conceal the loss. 'Roll call' con- 
sisted in forming all the prisoners in one long line, and then counting them from right to 
left. As the officer in counting passed along the men were allowed to drop out, and 100 of 
them who had been counted on the right, managed to fall in on the left and be counted again. 
Another party was paroled this morning, and Spence, Bryson and I were on the alert 
for another opportunity, but the men were not permitted to pass in and out as before. Noon 
came, and with it thoughts of dinner, and it being my turn to serve as cook, I entered upon 
my duties, and while so engaged was told that the paroled men were bringing in their wood. 
I hastily wrapped my blanket around my body under my coat, stufifed some food in my pock- 
ets, rubbed soil on my clothing and hands, that I might appear to have been working, and 
walked straight out of camp. The nearest sentinel stopped me, but I looked at him with 
affected surprise, and told him I wanted to get the balance of my wood. "Where is it?" 
asked he. "Out there," said I, moving forward as though I did not expect to be stopped ; nor 
was I, but the guard muttered something about his "orders" while I walked out to the woods, 
where I found three others who had escaped, — ^Capt. Hobart of the 7th Wisconsin, and 
Lieuts. Fluke and Laughlin of our mess and regiment. I had been unable to see Spence and 
Bryson before I started out, but had left word for them to follow me, for I was anxious to 
have them with me. We watched and waited for them, but they did not come, and I con- 
cluded to go back into camp and tell them how to get out. I explained my purpose to a 
wood-chopping prisoner, and offered to carry a stick of wood into camp for him, and with it 
on my shoulder I approached the sentinel I had passed on my way out, but he would not let 
me pass in, and directed me to pile ray wood near him, that it might be all taken at once, so 
I promised to comply. I saw ray two friends looking wistfully towards me, and I made a 
slight gesture as a parting salute, and walked back to the woods, where I rejoined the others, 
and we made our way to the banks of the Saluda River. There we held a council ; Capt. 
Hobart and I favored going to Tennessee, but Fluke and Laughlin were almost without shoes, 
and we could not hope to walk so far; their only chance, it seemed, was to float down the 
river to the coast. We were about to separate, but I did not like the idea of deserting my 
mess mates and comrades of the same regiment, so I concluded to go with them. As Hobart 
was still determined to go West, we shook hands and parted. We then found a secluded spot 
among some huge rocks, where we are awaiting night. This time our prospects seems less 
favorable than on my first venture. We have but few matches ; we have no canteen, and 
worst of all, no map of the country through which we will have to travel. Last night som.e 
prisoners escaped, among them were Capt, Bowers and Lieut. Brown, 101st Penna., and Lieut. 
McCall of our regiment. Today's paper reports the ram Albemarle sunk, and Plymouth re- 
captured, also that 10,000 rebel prisoners are at Savannah for exchange. The tunnel men- 
tioned on Tuesday caved in during the late rains. Today the weather is clear. 

"Nov. 5. On the banks of the Congaree. We crept out from our hiding shortly after 
dark last night and cautiously approached the Columbia road, near the Congaree. We saw 
some pickets at the bridge, but succeeded in getting across the road unobserved, and contin- 
ued our way eastward, with the river to our left. As the night was cloudy and dark we made 
but little progress. It was so difficult to see where we were going that I walked over a bluff 
bank and rolled down about twelve feet. Luckily I was not hurt. We were soon disgusted 
with such traveling and gave it up about 10 o'clock. Then Laughlin discovered that he had 
lost the cape of his overcoat, and as he could ill afford the loss, and also because it might 
give a clue to pursuers, if we had any, he and I went back half a mile, and were fortunate 
enough to find it. We rejoined Fluke, and were soon all huddled together on a bed of leaves. 
It was our plan to travel only by night, but this morning we found it possible to walk along 
under the trees that fringe the river bank, and it is such a wild, lonely place there seems 
but little chance of meeting any one. Laughlin's shoes, which were made of cloth, were 
torn from his feet by last night's march, and he tried this morning to travel bare footed, 
but the briars so cut his feet that we had to stop. To make a substitute for shoes he tore 
up his vest, and we aided him in wrapping the pieces about his feet, tying them with 
strings made from the binding of his overcoat. While we were thus engaged we heard 
persons approaching and lost no time in hiding ourselves among some bushes. Presently 
we saw two men following the path we had come, and I recognized them as late fellow 
prisoners at Camp Sorghum. I called out to them "Surrender, Yanks." Of course they 
were startled, and not wishing to keep them in suspense, we showed ourselves, shook hands 
and became acquainted all around. They are Lieutenants Boyd and Whittemore of the 5th 
New York Cavalry, and were captured on "Wilson's Raid." They escaped from Sorghum 
yesterday. We will join fortunes. 

"Sunday, Nov. 13, four P. M. After another nap yesterday afternoon we started on 


a daylight ride. We came in sight of a large plantation, and landed. While we were 
lurking about near the planter's we saw a young negress coming along a lane toward us. 
One sight of me was enough, she stopped; I beckoned to her, but she turned and fled 
toward the house. Considering the appearance I presented, it was no wonder, for, having 
no cap, I wore on my head, turban fashion, one sleeve of my bed tick shirt, which from 
much wearing had dropped off from the main body. My dress coat is burst and ripped, 
my vest almost buttonless, my pantaloons worn without supporters, full of patches and 
holes, and caked with mud. My overcoat has holes sewed up with white thread and holes 
not sewed at all, the cords were torn off for shoe strings, and the hning has been taken 
out to use for socks. My shoes, for which I had paid fifty dollars, Confederate, are negro 
style, strong and large. Thinking the woman would give the alarm, we hurried toward the 
river. On the way we met a small colored boy, who said that his father was the planter's 
cook and that his master and another white man were in the house. My companion ad- 
vised that we should send word for the boy's father to come to us, but cautioned him not 
to mention us to any other person. While we were waiting for him, a negro in a wood 
car came up from the river and we talked to him, but he was so dumb we could not make 
him understand. By this time we all agreed we were in danger, having spoken to so many 
people, so without knowing whether we were fleeing friends or foes, we hurried to the 
river and embarked. Before it was quite dark we tied up and went on another hunt for 
food. Two miles from the river we saw a house, and making a detour came to negro 
quarters. I crept up to one of the buildings just as a woman came out with a blazing torch 
in her hand. Not wishing to stand in its bright glare, I walked into the house before I 
spoke to her. She turned and surveyed me with a look of distrust till I uttered the magic 
words, 'I am a Yankee.' Her manner changed at once, and pushing an old arm chair before 
the fire, said, 'Sit down, Massa; you shall have the best in the house.' She went out, promis- 
ing to soon return, and I brought in my companions. While we were waiting for her we 
could not help thinking she might betray us, but she returned, bringing with her men, 
women and children, and their friendly manner banished all doubt. They gave us a 
supper of sweet potatoes and hoe cake, and I saw from the manner of baking the latter 
evidence of the origin of its name. The dough was placed on the blade of a hoe and set 
on the hearth by the wood fire to bake. Their way of roasting peanuts, which they brought 
fresh from the ground, still clinging to the roots of the plant, was to put them into an 
iron pot along with some hot coals from the fire and shake them all together for a time, 
when the contents of the pot were emptied on the hearth and the nuts picked out. 

"We were enjoying some of these nuts as a dessert and talking to our friends of 
"Massa Lincoln," when we heard a heavy step, and a white man clothed in gray came in. 
We eyed each other for a while, then he extended his hand, saying, "It's all right, Yanks ; 
but I tell you what, you fellows talk too loud." He introduced himself as Capt. Merrill, 
Fourth Kentucky Mounted Infantry, and called in a companion, Lieut. Swope of the same 
regiment. They were the two officers who refused to meet us a few nights ago, because 
they thought we were disguised rebels trying to capture them. * * * By chance they came 
to the same house where we were, and hearing our voices had peeped through the cracks in 
the wall and recognized us as late fellow prisoners at "Sorghum," whence they had escaped 
a week before we did. * * * Nov. 19, Noon. On Cedar Island. * * * We were 
about to start afoot to explore the island when two colored men suddenly appeared within 
speaking distance. 

"On Friday morning [Nov. 18] we looked from the upper windows of the mill and 
saw our goal — the ocean. We found some lettering in the mill which told us we were on 
'Murphy's Island.' We were about to start on foot to explore the island when two colored 
men suddenly appeared within speaking distance without our having noticed their ap- 
proach. * * * They directed us to Cedar Island, where they said we could signal the 
union vessels, and promised to feed us until we could be rescued. We laid in a supply 
of potatoes, entered our boat and paddled for the island, which was about two miles 
distant. We reached it without difficulty, and found on it several wooden cottages which 
have evidently been the summer resorts of some of the aristocracy. * * * 

"Saturday, Nov. 20 [1864], 3 P. M. Thank God! we are once more under the 'Old 
Flag.' After breakfast this morning we saw a small sail near the large ship, but the mist 
on the water became so dense that we lost sight of both vessels. An hour or so later Capt. 
Merrill reported a sail approaching: the island. We ran to the beach, rekindled our fire 
and the smoke curled upwards. I tied a rag to the end of a fishing pole and from the top 
of a high stump waved it vigorously. The vessel drew gradually nearer and our hearts 
beat with hope and fear. She headed for the inlet to the north of the island. Swope and 
Boyd ran up the beach to hail her. We could now see the ensign at the top of her sail, but 
could not make it out. She tacked and shifted about for some time, and finally anchored in 
the stream. We gathered up such articles as we desired to take with us and ran along the 
shore toward the vessel. I cannot describe my feelings when I recognized the 'Stars and 
Stripes.' The tears ran down my cheeks ; I tried to cheer, but could not make a sound. 
As we came up we saw that Boyd and Swope had been taken aboard. A sailor with a 


canoe ferried the rest of us to the vessel, which proved to be the sloop Anna, commanded 
by Ensign Willard, and is used as a scouting boat for the sloop of war Canandaigua — the 
ship we had seen. I could hardly realize that I was at liberty once more and safe under 
the 'old flag' ; there was a lingering suspicion in my mind that our rescuers might be 
rebels in disguise. I looked closely at their uniforms, scanned the devices on their buttons, 
but when the hospitable board was spread for us, and we were furnished with salt 
mackerel, pork, hard tack and a 'clincher' in the way of genuine coflee, my doubts were 
all dispelled. Our iirst inquiry was as to the result of the presidential election. * * « 
We were given complete new suits of sailor clothes and we doffed our rags and threw them 
with their tenants — our late traveling companions — into the sea. 

"We messed with the officers and our treatment was all that could be desired or 
expected. On the 23d we were sent in the sloop on our way to Charleston harbor, where 
we arrived about midnight. * * * On the Canandaigua we saw the record of a party 
of eight that preceded us; among them was my friend Capt. Burke of the 16th Connecticut. 
After daylight the sloop ran inside the bar at Charleston and we were taken aboard the 
man of war John Adams, where we breakfasted with the officers. * * * Next day we 
embarked on the steamer Pontiac for Port Royal. While there we were taken aboard the 
flagship and presented to Admiral Dahlgren, who listened to our story and questioned us 
as to any word we might have heard regarding Sherman. * * * We went north on the 
steamer Fulton, arriving at New York December 30. 

"Lieuts. Fluke and Laughlin, with whom we parted on the Congaree, were unfor- 
tunate. Their raft went to pieces and had to be abandoned. They got possession of a 
boat, and when they were passing under one of the railroad bridges, were seen by the 
guard and fired upon, a bullet slightly wounding Fluke on the nose. Laughlin, thinking that 
his friend was more seriously hurt, turned the boat to shore and surrendered. The bridge 
guards kept them in their custody several days, not having an opportunity to send them 
to prison. One night the whole guard squad got drunk and their prisoners escaped, and 
were at large for about a week, when they fell into the hands of another party of the 
enemy, and, as they had no insignia or proof of their rank as officers, were sent to prison 
for enlisted men at Florence, S. C, where they remained all winter. 

"And now comes the saddest item in all my story. Of the 33 enlisted men of my 
company who were captured at Plymouth — the men who had stood all the service of our 
three years and to whom I had become attached as though they were of my own family — 
but nine of them lived to reach their homes. The others left their bones at Andersonville." 


Corp. Robert J. Thompson of Co. E, who was the color bearer of the Regiment from 
December 14, 1S62 (when Sergt. Spangler was killed bearing the colors aloft), until the 
Regiment was captured, is deserving of special mention in the annals of the Regiment. 
When the standard of the Regiment dropped as Sergt. Spangler fell, another of the color 
guard picked it up, but finding it a magnet for the missiles of the enemy he dropped it and 
again took his musket. Thompson, who was one of the color guard, immediately grasped 
the standard and kept it waving at a point where the fire of the enemy was most concen- 
trated. From that time on he bore the colors, until they were sent north in the spring of 
1864 to have the names of battles lettered on it. Corp. Thompson was born Oct. 9, 1843, in 
West Sunbury and received his education in the public schools and the West Sunbury Acad- 
emy. The colors being away Thompson made good use of a musket at the battle of 
Plymouth, He was captured with the Regiment at Plymouth, N. C, April 20, 1864, and was 
a prisoner of war at Andersonville and Florence until Dec. 10, 1864. He was discharged 
from the service April 14, 1865, to date Dec. 17, 1864. 

On his return home from the army he attended the West Sunbury Academy one year, 
taught school two years, married and went to Iowa, where he taught school one year, and 
for a time was a student of law under W. G. Thompson, now for several terms judge. He 
returned to his native State and engaged in the oil business of Greece City, remaining there 
until 1888, when he returned to West Sunbury. During Harrison's administration he served 
as postmaster of West Sunbury. In 1896 he was elected prothonotary of Butler County 
and served three years. Comrade Thompson resides at 323 Elm St., Butler. He has six 
children living: Angeline (Mrs. E. J. Roberts, Spokane, Wash.); Earl D. Thompson, 
Spokane, Wash.; Marion (Mrs. J. R. Eberhardt, Green River, Wyoming) ; Harriet J. (Mrs. 
H. L. Moore, Lima, O.) ; Carl S. Thompson, Butler, Pa. ; Alice (Mrs. Charles Amy, Butler, 


Corp. Thompson had the honor of bearing the colors on the Fourth day of July, 1866, 


in the City of Philadelphia, where they were returned to the custody of the State. While 
a permanent invalid at this writing (1910), Comrade Thompson is exceptionally clear in 
memory, his intellect seemingly but slightly affected by his ailment. The writer can attest 
with knowledge of the facts that "Bob" Thompson was a good soldier. 


Hon. Thomas Hays was born in Sugar Creek Township, Armstrong County, Penna., 
Jan. 19, 1840. His school education was attained in the public schools of his native State, 
which he attended until the year before he enlisted. In the fall of 1861 he had engaged 
to teach at Van Buren, Washington Township, Armstrong County. He had secured a 
boarding place for the winter and was returning home when he ran across Capt. Joseph 
Rodgers, then on a recruiting tour, and was induced to enroll in Rodgers' Company. 
Com. Hays was thoughtful enough to send his resignation as teacher to the school di- 
rectors; but inadvertently neglected to cancel his boarding engagement. Forty-seven 
years later he was a candidate for the nomination of State Senator on the Republican 
ticket, his district embracing the Van Buren school district. During his canvass for votes 
for the Senatorial nomination Hays, when he entered the neighborhood where he in- 
tended making his debut as a pedagogue, remembered that he had engaged boarding, and 
decided that it would be good politics for him to call and tender his apology for not keep- 
ing his engagement. He learned from the lady of the house, who was still living there, 
that her children, consisting of several grown sons, were scattered in various parts of 
the county. Carefully securing the addresses of all, he called on each one, told the 
story of engaging board and its sequel. This was a chncher, for he not only had the 
votes of these men on primary day but each one was an enthusiastic worker, notwith- 
standing Hays is a resident of another county and his chief antagonist for the nomina- 
tion was a citizen of Armstrong County. This little incident, and the politic manner in 
which it was manipulated by Comrade Hays, was no little factor in deciding the nomination in his 

Comrade Hays participated with the Regiment in all its engagements and recon- 
noissances on the Peninsula. While the Regiment lay at Suffolk, in November, 1862, he 
was transferred to Battery L, Fourth U. S. Artillery, and served with it until the ex- 
piration of his term of enlistment, and was honorably discharged from the service Nov. 
13, 1864. While on duty with the battery he was called upon to do strenuous service at 
the siege of Suffolk, at Yorktown, Petersburg, Cold Harbor and before Richmond. 

Comrade Hays married Miss Kizzie J. Foster, a former schoolmate, on Dec. 21, 
1865. They resided on a farm in Fairview Township from 1867 to 1877, when they 
moved to Fairview, Butler County. Since 1895 they have resided in Butler, retaining 
their Fairview home as a summer residence. As a business man Comrade Hays has been 
quite successful. He is one of the original stockholders and directors of the Farmers' 
National Bank of Butler, owns several farms, the Waverly Hotel of Butler, and is iden- 
tified with numerous other business enterprises, being actively engaged in the oil business 
for the past ten years. 

Since his return from the army Comrade Hays has taken an active part in Re- 
publican politics. In 1902 he was elected to the State Legislature, and re-elected in 1904. 
After a two years' rest he was elected to the State Senate from the 41st Senatorial Dis- 
trict, embracing the Counties of Armstrong and Butler. As this is a four years' term 
he has a couple of years yet to serve. 

Comrade Hays has not only been active in politics, but he has always been promi- 
nently identified with civic and religious affairs. He is an elder in the Presbyterian 
Church and can always be counted on to throw his influence on the side of righteousness. 

As a school girl Mrs. Hays assisted in making a fiag which was presented to Co. B, 
and which was carried through Andersonville prison. The unique history of this flag, 
which will be preserved in Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh, Pa., is told at another place in this 
volume. A reproduction of the flag and a portrait of Mrs. Hays also appears on another 
page of this volume. Of six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hays, four are living: Mrs. 


Jennie L. Thomas, Evans City, Pa. ; Christopher I. Hays, near Chicora, Pa. ; Robert N. 
Hays, near Karns City, Pa., and Mrs. Maude B. Cowden, Butler, Pa. 


Sergt. S. M. Evans, collaborator in compiling this volume, was personally acquainted 
with the most heroic figure of the war — Lieut. William Barker Cushing, of the United 
States Navy. He, in a small way, had a part in Lieut. Cushing's enterprise, which again 
gave the Federal army control of the eastern counties of North Carolina. While the navy 
recaptured Plymouth, the 103d Regiment was the first representatives of the array to reach 
Plymouth, a detachment under Sergt. John A. Gwinn, of Co. C, being the first to get ashore, 
with the first expedition of soldiers to arrive at Plymouth, after it had been abandoned by 
the enemy. The writer, in his youthful days, was wont to boast because he was the first 
soldier to land at Plymouth, after its recapture, and the first to board the sunken ram 
Albemarle. The fact that he refers to it here, is evidence that he has a lingering pride in 
such a trivial event, but that is due to the fact that it was connected with one event of the 
war that will never be forgotten — the heroism displayed in the destruction of the Albe- 
marle. Sergt. Evans supplements a personal reference to Lieut. Cushing, by a concise 
account of this heroic event in the following terms : 

"My recollections at or about the time the Regiment was captured, and during the 
'time Plymouth was held by the enemy, was of an interesting character, because of my 
official relations with the large number of refugees from the captured town, both white 
and colored, some of them the families of men in the navy, natives of North Carolina. 
Shortly after Company C arrived at Roanoke Island, January 3, 1864, I was detailed for 
■duty at headquarterSj and assigned to the quartermaster's department. My duties at first 
were limited to looking after some wood choppers and some lumbermen taking out tim- 
•bers for an extension to the pier, which, owing to the shallowness of the water, extended 
-quite a distance into Croatan Sound. However, I was soon put in charge of the store room, 
having practically full control of all unissued camp and garrison equipage, and a small 
army of colored employes, such as carpenters, blacksmiths, harness-makers, stevedores, 
common laborers, etc. The entire industrial machinery of the Island was centered in the 
quartermaster's department. T was given a free hand to recommend for assistants such 
men as I needed and at the quartermaster's request they were immediately detailed and re- 
ported to me for duty. In a little while I had affairs systematized so that 1 had great 
freedom and considerable leisure. To conduct the business of the Island required a large 
number of teams, and among the animals were some very fine riding horses. These were 
all under ray direction, even the quarterraaster, when wanting a horse coraing to rae for it. 
No one was permitted, by his orders, to take anything from my department without con- 
sulting me. As he was under a heavy bond for the proper care of this property, his 
authority was suprerae, and as he had clothed me with the care of it, he gave himself no 
further trouble looking after my department. 

"When an officer, army or naval, wished to take a ride or drive over the Island, the 
quartermaster would send hira to rae, always making a polite request, 'if it were possible,' 
to accomraodate the applicant. Although only an enlisted raan, ray position soon put rae on 
a very friendly footing with the officers, not only those connected with the array, but also 
with the naval officers belonging to the fleet operating in the waters in eastern North 
Carolina. In this way I forraed the acquaintance of one, whora I regard as the most 
heroic figure of the war, Lieut. W. B. Cushing. This volume has related in detail the 
battle and fall of Plymouth, and described the part the iron-clad ram Albermarle played in 
capturing the field and staff, and nine companies of the Regiment. Without the aid of this 
vessel the position at Plymouth would have been impregnable against the force under Gen. 
Hoke. Therefore, the lives of two hundred of the Regiment were ended by the success of 
this armored vessel. This alone, if for no other reason, makes it fitting and proper to 
tell how it was destroyed in the annals of the Regiment. 

"Besides making it possible for the Confederate land forces to compel the Federal 
garrison to surrender on April 20. 1864, the ram was a perpetual menace to the fleet, and 
to the other garrisons in eastern North Carolina. Two weeks and a day after the down- 
fall of Plymouth, the Albemarle, accompanied by two small steamers, the Cotton Plant and 
Bombshell (the latter having been sunk and captured at the battle of Plymouth) made its 
appearance in Albemarle Sound, steaming slowly down the sound in the direction of the 
fleet, then consisting of eight gunboats, as follows : Miami, Ceres, Commodore Hull, Sey- 
mour, Mattabesett, Sassacus, Wyalusing and Whitehead. The engagement began at 4:40 
P. M., the Albemarle firing the first gun, the first shot destroying the launch of the Malta- 



besett and wounding several men. The engagement continued until about 7 :30, the ram 
retiring up the Roanoke river, the fleet capturing the Bombshell and crew. 

"In the report of this engagement, the Commander of the fleet described the Albe- 
marle as follows: 'The ram is certainly very formidable. He is fast for that class of 
vessel, making from 6 to 7 knots, turns quickly, and is armed with heavy guns, as is proved 
by the 100-pounder Brooke projectile that entered and lodged in the Mattabeseti, and 100- 
pounded Whitworth shot received by the Wyalusing, while the shot fired at him were seen 
to strike fire upon the casemates and hull, flying upward and falling in the water without 
having any perceptible effect upon the vessel.' 

"While the ram was forced to retire, the damage done to the fleet was considerable, 
and apprehensions were general that as soon as repairs were made and defects remedied 
on the ram, that it would attempt to clean out the eastern waters of North Carolina of all 
wooden gunboats. These apprehensions were not allayed as time passed and the ram 
remained apparently quiet. As Roanoke Island was the first Federal post the ram would 
meet and the armament of the forts insignificant and old-fashioned, the approach of the 
ram was regarded with more or less dread. The garrison would have anticipated with 
pleasure a visit, if the equipment of the forts had been modern and heavy. As it was, 
the smooth-bore 32-pounders with which the forts were equipped, would have been of little 
more use than pop-guns against such a formidable battleship. 

"It was not long after the encoimter between the ram and the fleet, that on going 
out on the pier one afternoon I ran across Lieut. Gushing, although I did not recognize him 
until I came very close to him, he was so changed in appearance to what I had been accus- 
tomed to see him; in fact, he looked "tough," as though he had been on a prolonged spree 
and was just recuperating. His clothes were torn and muddy, and I ejaculated, as he 
spoke to me :, 'Lieutenant, you look like you had been in the woods !' He replied, lacon- 
ically, 'That's where I've been ;' but volunteered nothing further. Later, I learned that 
he had been in the woods and swamps opposite Plymouth for nearly two weeks, getting 
the position of the ram, and the conditions generally surrounding it, and the defenses 
on the Roanoke river. During the last week of October, 1864, Isaac M. Quinn of the 16th 
Connecticut, then on duty in the quartermaster's department, came hurriedly into my office 
exclaiming in a gleeful manner, "The ram will be sunk sure now !' I asked him to explain 
himself. The only reply he gave me was 'Lieut. Gushing is out on the pier.' I immediately 
started out to see what caused Quinn so much merriment. On my way out I met Gapt. 
Cooke, the quarter-master, who informed me that Lieut. Gushing was there and wanted a 
torpedo pole. I went on to the end of the pier and saw the Lieutenant, his little boat lying 
alongside. The launch, as I remember it, was open, no part of it being decked, but with 
a canvas awning stretched from either end to serve as a protection from the sun's rays, 
the little engine entirely exposed. I had not the remotest suspicion of the mission of the 
boat, surmising it was intended for picket duty. I returned to my office, and gave instruc- 
tions to have a torpedo pole (a small straight pine tree trimmed of its branches) sent out 
to the pier. On going to the store room I found Lieut. Gushing inquiring for some ar- 
ticles which had come some days previously in care of the quartermaster's department. 
Among these were two small sheet iron tanks or drums, about 12 inches in diameter and 
36 inches in length. In less than 48 hours the astounding and gladdening news came to the 
Island that Gushing, with his little vessel and a volunteer crew from the fleet, had sunk 
the Alhemnrle. As this was the most hazardous feat accomplished during the Civil War, 
and its intimate connection with my own Regiment, I think a brief account of Lieut. Gush- 
ing's perilous, but successful enterprise should be given space in the annals of the Regi- 
ment. Especially so, as it was by his daring enterprise, with a force of twenty men, Ply- 
mouth, which had cost the Confederates so much to gain, was recaptured. 

"On July 9, 1864, Lieut. Gushing wrote to Acting Rear Admiral Lee, then commanding 
the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, that he deemed the capture or destruction of the 
ram Albemarle feasible, that he was acquainted with the waters held by her, and that he 
was willing to undertake the task, and if detailed for the work he would like to superin- 
tend the outfit of the boats. In submitting Cushing's proposition to the Secretary of the 
Navy, Admiral Lee commended him highly for his gallantry, and he was given authority 
to superintend the necessary outfit for the destruction of the Albemarle, which was done 
at the Brooklyn navy yard. In preparing for his hazardous enterprise Lieut. Gushing 
selected two boats. They were open launches, about thirty feet in length, with small engines, 
propelled by a screw. A 12-pound howitzer was fitted to the bow of each. One of these 
boats was lost en route from New York to Norfolk. When Lieut. Gushing reached the 
naval fleet anchored about fifty miles from Roanoke Island he completed his crew by vol- 
unteers from the various vessels, but without informing of the object of the expedition, 
further than that it would be a perilous one. He had his choice of the sailors, as practically 
all volunteered to go. With a total crew, including the commanding officer and his subal- 
terns, of fourteen, accompanied by the second cutter of the gunboat Shamrock, with a crew 
of two officers and eleven men, towed by the launch Cushing, ascended the Roanoke River 
on the night of October 27, 1864, a dark, rainy night. A mile below Plymouth lay the 


sunken Soiithfield with a channel only 25 or 30 yards wide between it and the shore on the 
Plymouth side. He succeeded in passing the pickets and even the Southfield, on which there 
was a picket post, and was not discovered until he came within hailing distance of the Albe- 
marle. The latter was surrounded by a boom of logs, about 30 feet distant from her sides. 
Gushing from the first had some hopes of catching the crew of the ram by surprise, board- 
ing and capturing it ; but when the alarm was given, he ordered the cutter to return. The 
enemy opened fire on the launch after repeatedly hailing it and getting no answer. As 
Gushing got his launch ready to dash over the boom of logs fairly, the enemy keeping up 
a steady fire on him, which was returned by grape and canister from the 12-pounder on the 
launch, he called out, "Leave the ram, or I'll blow you to pieces !" Putting on full steam, 
and having gone back far enough to get sufficient headway to jump the log boom, he suc- 
cessfully went forward, the torpedo boom was lowered, and Gushing himself exploded, but 
none too soon, for almost simultaneously with its explosion, a shot from the ram went 
crashing through the launch, completely knocking it out of service. 

"Twice the enemy demanded his surrender, when within fifteen feet range of the 
ram. but he refused; but removing his coat and shoes, he jumped into the water, swam to 
the middle of the river, and finally succeeded in landing on the Plymouth side, so completely 
exhausted that, when he reached the shore, he attempted to rise ; but at the first step forward, 
fell and remained lying half in mud and water unable even to crawl on hands and knees. 
When he became able to realize where he was he found himself in close proximity to the 
enemy's intrenchments, and he hastily secluded himself in some rushes that were at the 
edge of a swamp below the town. Below the town he discovered a flat-bottom boat fastened 
to the root of a cypress tree. On the bank within a few feet of the boat was a picket squad 
of seven men. Lying in a position where he could observe their movements, he waited until 
they moved back to eat, when he slipped into the stream, swam quietly to the boat, unfastened 
it, and floated with it, until out of danger of being seen, when he got in and paddled to the 
mouth of the Roanoke, and after paddling for two hours in the sound he discovered the 
picket-boat Valley City. As he hailed her, with his 'Ship ahoy !' he fell powerless to the 
bottom of his boat, and lay there until he was picked up by a boat from the Valley City. 
Three days later Plymouth was evacuated by the Gonfederates, a feeble resistance only being 
made to the fire of the gunboats. The navy took possession of the town November 1, 1864." 

Diary of Marches of Wessells' ' Brigade. Published During the War. 

Author Unknown. 
(From March 28, 1862, to December 31, 1863.) 

The following diary giving in chronological order the marches and principal events 
in which Wessells' brigade participated during the first two years of its service was the 
property of Conrad Petsinger, Go. B, lOBd Penna. Regiment, and before his death, was 
handed to his son, H. W. Petsinger, of Pittsburgh, Pa., along with a flag that possesses an 
unique history. 

A large detachment of Co. B, 103d Regiment, came from Sugar Greek Township, 
Armstrong County, and among this group were the teacher, James M. Carson, and several 
pupils of the Blaney School, situated about 12 miles northwest of Kittanning. Shortly 
after this detachment reached the rendezvous camp (Camp Orr, Kittanning, Pa.), the 
young ladies of the school made a flag and presented it to Co. B. This flag was made by 
hand, and when the flag was presented to the Company, the pupils of the school and their 
parents brought their wagons and buggies loaded with eatables and served the company 
with an excellent dinner. The flag was put in the care of the former teacher, Corp. J. M. 
Carson, who died in Andersonville prison. When Plymouth was captured, Corp. Carson 
concealed the flag around his body and carried it to Andersonville, where it was buried for 
safekeeping. Before his death, Carson entrusted it to Conrad Petzinger, who, when paroled, 
concealed it around his body and brought it to his home. A cut of the flag appears in this 

The author of the diary is unknown. It was published in pamphlet form, and the 
copy in the possession of Petsinger was minus the front cover, which evidently gave the 
name of the author. It is reproduced here exactly as it appeared in the pamphlet, without 
any elimination, addition or editorial change. 
March, 1862. 


28. Left Washington City, and marched to Alexandria, Va., a distance of ten miles. 

29th. Marched about two miles from Alexandria and pitch our tents. 

30th. March back to the city, and went on board steam boats for the night. 

31st. Started for Fort Monroe on board the boats. 

April 1st. Passed the Mount Vernon estate, on the banks of the Potomac; arrived 
in the Chesapeake Bay. 

2d. Landed at Fortress Monroe, and encamped at some Cavalry barracks for the 
night. Part of the Brigade landed at Newport News, on the James River. 

3d. Marched through Hampton city, which was burnt by the Rebels at the com- 
mencement of the war; only a few houses were standing. Arrived at Newport News about 
5 p. m. and encamped. 

16th. Left Newport News and marched towards Yorktown and passed by Warwick 
Court House, which is quite a small place containing about half a dozen houses. The court 
house is a very small building and one of the oldest in the U. S. The weather was very 
warm and a large number of overcoats, blankets, etc., were thrown away on this march, of 
about 20 miles, and encamped at night with another part of the army in some pine woods. 

17th. Marched to camp Winfield Scott a short distance from Yorktown, could hear 
the firing there quite plain ; this camp was situated among some young pines, was very 
marshy and wet, and a large number of the troops suffered from sickness. We remained 
here until the 3d of May, during which time we were chiefly employed at road making, for 
the land on the Peninsula is most all sand and swamp with here and there a mud hole for 
variety. We improved these roads by falling pine logs across them and thus making them 
corduroy roads, but the ground was so sandy and wet, and all the provisions for the army 
being transported over them, they were soon invisible in places. There was scarcely a stone 
to be seen here or on the whole Peninsula and the water we had to drink was very much 
the same as that in swamps, and sometimes had to drink the swamp water itself, almost 
as black as ink. During the time we were at this camp we were called up in line of battle 
once or twice every night, in expectation of being attacked from Yorktown, for at night 
the most firing seemed to be done. 

May 3d. The Rebels evacuated Yorktown. 

4th. The Brigade was ordered with one day's rations in pursuit and marched to a 
large fort of the Rebels, near Yorktown ; halted a short time, then marched forward about 
8 miles and encamped for the night. We had brought no clothing except what we chanced 
to have on, as we expected to return again night, so we built fires and lay down by them 
till morning, when it began to rain. 

5th. Was wet from morning till night. The roads were cut up and muddy beyond 
description, for during the past 24 hours the whole Rebel army and most of our own had 
passed over them. Commenced marching early in the morning and soon heard the roar of 
cannon in advance, occasionally passed a broken-down army wagon, a dead horse, or a 
cannon or two stuck fast in the mud which was about knee deep. About 3 o'clock p. m. we 
went into a large field near Williamsburg and had the satisfaction of being shelled by the 
rebels till dark without a chance of returning the compliment, for so many of our own men 
were in our front that we could not fire without danger to them. As night fell firing ceased 
on both sides and a more miserable night than the one succeeding the battle of Williamsburg 
was not spent by us during the whole campaign, for we were wet through, had lived three 
days on one day's rations, had no blankets or overcoats to keep us warm, and dare not light 
a fire for fear of being shelled. After remaining in this position about two hours orders 
were given to light fires and shortly after beef was issued to the troops — it was some we 
had captured that day from the rebels, but it tasted of garlic bad enough to poison a French- 
man, and although we were hungry enough to eat a roasted dog we could not eat this, so 
there was nothing to do but wait till morning. To sleep was impossible, as it rained con- 

6th. Remained near the battle field all day while men were sent back to bring rations 
for the army on the pack mules, the roads being impassable for wagons, and never were 
"hard tacks" more thankfully received; they had been selling the night before at "two for 
5 cents" and this morning could not be had at any price. 

7th. Marched through the battle-field and saw men and horses lying dead in all 
directions, nearly all appeared to have been killed by rifle shots as very little artillery was 
used on account of the difficulty of bringing heavy guns into position. Our cavalry brought 
in several prisoners and a large number of contrabrands. The latter seemed very much 
pleased at being among the "yankees" but were rather astonished that we had no horns on 
our heads, as "massa" had told them. 

10th. Left Williamsburg and marched 9 miles, the roads still very muddy, and passed 
several cannon that were spiked and left behind by the rebels. The part of country we 
encamped in at night seemed more fertile than any we had yet seen on the Peninsula, and 
Gen. Casey's Division seems to have been the first that marched that road as the negroes 
said we were the first soldiers they had seen. We remained at this camp until the 13th, 
when we were marched 12 miles and encamped near New Kent Court-house. We were 


seventeen hours on this march on account of the bad condition of the roads, and passed 
several spiked cannons and broken down rebel army wagons. 

Next day, the 14th, we were sent on picket near New Kent and remained till the 17th, 
during which time it rained almost continually. The land around here was the same fiat, 
sandy, swampy, sickly, muddy looking country that we had seen since landing at Ft. Monroe. 

17th. Marched 9 miles in direction of Chickahomany River. In these marches we 
sometimes passed by a fine looking house and plantation, but for one of these we saw twenty 
little huts belonging to the poor whites. These huts would be in the pine woods where the 
owner had cleared from 1 to 3 acres of land planted with corn and sweet potatoes, and 
looked as we passed, with his family around him, the picture of misery and ragedness. This 
night we encamped at a placed called the White House, the residence of Gen. Lee, then in 
the rebel army but not the Commander-in-Chief. We encamped here until the 19th, during 
which time most of us received our knapsacks which had been left at Yorktown. Until now 
we had been standing the weather without any shelter. 

19th. After marching 13 miles we encamped in a place unto which I believe no name 
was ever given, and did picket duty until the 21st, and then marched to within a short 
distance of the Chickahomany River. 

22d. Gen. Casey's Division crossed the Chickahomany and encamped at Fair Oaks, 
and went at throwing up breastworks and forts and slashing timber in our front. Our camp 
was situated in a clearing of several hundred acres surrounded by pine woods (with a road 
running through to Richmond) in which our pickets and the rebels were stationed a short 
distance from each other. Each of Gen. Casey's Brigades erected their own fortifications, 
and were commanded by Brigadier-Generals Negley, Wessells, and Palmer. Gen. Wessels 
had been lately appointed commander of the 2d Brigade in place of Gen. Keim. 

On Saturday, the 31st, Casey's Division fought the battle of Fair Oaks, and as every 
soldier sees the battle different from the next, owing to the place he stood, and is confident 
that the way he saw it is right, I shall leave each to tell his own story and have his opinion. 
Each of Gen. Wessells' Regiments lost about 100 men, killed and wounded, and the loss of 
the Division was 1,500. The battle continued nearly 3 hours. The rebels were commanded 
by Gen. Longstreet, and estimated to be from 30,000 to 40,000 strong while Gen. Casey had 
not 6,000 men fit for duty when the engagement commenced. The night after the battle 
marched back about 2 miles, and having lost all our camp baggage and clothing (except 
what we wore in battle) had to try to sleep as best we could without them, in the rain. All 
night troops marched past us towards Fair Oaks. 

Next morning, June 1st, the cannons began to roar in the direction of our old battle 
ground and were succeeded by musketry as the troops got to close quarters. The engage- 
ment lasted all morning and ended by the rebels being driven back to the front of Richmond, 
with a loss, in the 2 days' fighting, of 10,000 men killed and wounded, according to their 

Although our former position was now unoccupied by the enemy we never more 
encamped there, but remained at Savage station until the 5th, when we marched back to 
White Oak Swamp, but owing to the several days' rain the roads were almost knee deep 
with mud, and having to wade through three streams of water more than 3 feet deep we 
arrived at the place we were to encamp wet through, had to blankets or tents, and not one 
in twenty had a change of clothing. Our camp was situated in the pine woods where we 
remained, in the same condition in which we arrived, until the 10th, when we received a 
new supply, but very many of the men had died from exposure and many more were sick. 
We worked most every day at slashing timber, throwing up breastworks or doing picket 

25th. The seven days' battles commenced today, and were fought as follows : 25th, 
Mechanicsville ; 26th, Peach Orchard; 27th, Savage Station; 28th, Aliens Field; 29th, White 
Oak Swamp; 30th, Glen Dale; 1st, Malvern Hill. 

28th. Evacuated White Oak Swamp and crossing a branch of the Chickahomany 
encamped 3 miles from it. 

29th. Commenced our march towards James River, while out of each regiment one 
or more companies accompanied by a squad of cavalry and some artillery were sent on 
picket to guard the different fords in direction of Long Bridge and had several skirmishes 
with the enemy. One company of the 96th N. Y. was surrounded and taken prisoners, while 
the others after severe marching joined their regiments at Malvern Hill, where the whole 
"Army of the Potomac" was stationed; Gen. McClellan's headquarters being at a farm 
house on the James River. 

July 1st. About noon the battle of Malvern Hill commenced, and ended at dark by 
the enemy being driven back with heavy loss, while the gunboats threw shells after them 
at intervals through the night. After the battle we marched towards Harrison's Landing 
but the mud was very deep and the roads much cut up by wagons and artillery. Remained 
on picket all night as we expected the rebels to advance but all was quiet. 

2d. We marched nearer to the Landing, the roads still very muddy, and went on 
picket at night. 

Corp. Thomas J. McKee. Sergt. John A. Gwinn. 

Co. C. (Co. C.) 

(Fired the first shot on Union side at battle of (The best natured man in the Regiment, and a 
Fair Oaks.) good soldier.) 


Capt. Cochran's headquarters on the right. Flag in the background in Fort Foster. 


3d. Remained on picket till dark and then marched into Harrison'? Landing. Such 
a scene as the roads and fields presented from about a mile to the Landing is but seldom 
seen, even in war; wagons stuck fast in the mud and set on fire, barrels of beef, pork, rice, 
coffee, etc., cut up and the contents strewed around, while everywhere there seemed to be 
dead mules and horses (some had drowned in the mud and those that stuck fast had been 
killed), and every kind of army tent had been thrown upon the road and tramped into the 
mud until they were invisible. 

4th. Today was our first at Harrison's Landing and we were inspected by Gen. 
McClellan, but what he saw of us except mud is hard to say. Each regiment cheered him 
loudly, as he came to them, for (in spite of the late retreat) he was the most popular general 
in the army with the soldiers. 

8th. We were inspected by President Lincoln. 

Harrison's Landing was a natural fortification, being an elevated tract of land about 
7 miles in circumference and surrounded by swamps on the land side and the James River on 
the other. We fortified the place till it was considered impregnable on the land side, and 
the gun boats protected the other. 

14th. The whole army was paid at the same time, for two months, and the Sutlers 
had a fine time at money-making as the following was about their prices : Butter 60 cents, 
cheese 40c, eggs 75c, lib. loaf bread 25c, and everything in proportion, and Sutlers' tents were 
crowded from morning till night, Sundays not excepted. 

The weather was now very warm and we drilled each day, often had division drill. 
Gen. Peck being our Division Commander (in place of Gen. Casey who resigned shortly 
after the battle of Fair Oaks) would drill us on the double-quick on the very hottest days, 
and in every drill several men would fall down exhausted, and by the time the drill was 
over the others were but little better. It was very easy for an oificer on horseback to give 
the order to double-quick, but for the men to do it with tight belts and heavy guns was a 
different affair. While here we went on picket, threw up breastworks, and drilled nearly 
every day, and in this way passed the long summer days while on the Peninsula. 

August 16th. Our knapsacks being put on board a boat we started in light marching 
order towards Fort Monroe, a distance of about 60 miles, and march 17, near the bank of 
the James River. The weather was fine but too hot for marching, as a great dust is always 
raised by an army in motion. Though everything was carefully guarded when we advanced, 
now scarcely anything was, and everything in the shape of fruit, vegetables, etc., was con- 
sidered public property. The corn was just getting ripe and when we came to a field of it 
there was a general "pitch in" for roasting ears, which we would cook at our next halting 
place. The field we encamped in this night was about 100 acres of corn and by morning 
was worthless to its owner, the ears having been roasted and the stalks cut down to sleep 
upon, and such was generally the fate of cornfields on that march. 

17th. Commenced marching at daylight, passed through Charles City, and crossed the 
Chickahomany on pontoon bridges. This river is a mere stream 10 miles from its mouth, 
but the swamps it ran through made it difficult to cross. Water was very scarce on this 
march and dust very plentiful (almost suffocating), and hung on the trees and bushes by 
the roadside not far unlike snow. Gen. McClellan and staff passed us today. Me marched 
26 miles, and were 13 hours on the road. 

18th. Passed through Williamsburg, which before the war had a population of 1,600 
or 1,800, but most of the citizens had taken their "black jewels" and fled before we took 
possession. We passed over the old battle ground, and a few trees cut by the shells (and 
scattered graves over which the grass had grown) was all that remained of the great 
struggle. Having marched today 16 miles we encamped, and remained the next day. 

20th. Passed through Yorktown, on the banks of the York River, which contained 
only a few houses and they very old. The land around is broken and irregular, affording 
splendid fortifications for besieged forces. In the town is a small stone monument upon 
the spot where Cornwallis surrendered his sword to Washington, and some of the fortifica- 
tions thrown up at that time are yet in existence. We marched a short distance from the 
town and encamped for a few days. 

24th. Left Yorktown and marched to Fort Monroe, to arrive at which after living 
4 months on the Peninsula seemed like coming out of a wilderness into a second land of 
Canaan. While on the Peninsula there was nothing but government rations and such things 
as the sutlers carried with them, and many had not tasted a loaf of bread from leaving till 
returning to this place. It was pork, coffee and crackers; crackers, coffee and pork, the 
whole time, and we were well tired of it. 

Fort Monroe is a great market for all kinds of fruit, etc., and provisions are as 
cheap as at Washington city. Our knapsacks which we had placed on the boat were sunk 
in the James River and were the third ones for some of us to lose, and though lost by no 
fault of ours were changed to our account and cost some of us four months' wages. Re- 
mained here nearly a month and were allowed to recruit up some, as we were pretty well 
worn out when we arrived. We drilled often enough, but as Gen. Peck's headquarters were 
at Yorktown, and he could not operate upon us personally, we were drilled reasonably. 


September 18th. Left Fort Monroe by water and went to Norfolk, and from there 
by cars to Suffolk. The land between the latter two places is chiefly swamp — the Dismal 
Swamp. Upon our arrival we found ourselves again under command of Gen. Peck, and 
were at once put to drill, and to dig rifle pits and forts. 

23d. Started at 5 p. m., with three days' rations, on a reconnoissance to Blackwater, 
and marched all night. The roads were very sandy, and we occasionally came to a mud 
hole which we had to cross in single file on a board or fallen tree, which delayed us very 
much. By daylight we were at a church two miles beyond Carrsville (19 miles from 
Suffolk), where we ate our breakfast and then marched to the banks of the Blackwater, 
opposite Franklin. The enemy's pickets retreated before us and crossed the river, artillery 
firing was kept up nearly two hours ; then we fell back a short distance, made a flank move- 
ment to the left, and attempted to cross at another point. The rebels had sharpshooters on 
the opposite bank and several of our men were wounded — our artillery was then brought 
up and fired for some time. We then marched back to Carrsville, early next morning 
threw a few more shells at them, and returned to Suffolk, which we reached on the 26th. 
On this march everything in the shape of poultry, etc., was considered as belonging to the 
first to catch them, and the way in which our boys hunted up drinkables would have done 
credit to a detective police officer. Our time here was spent much in this manner: Went 
on picket at 9 a, m., would be relieved next day at that hour, and would return to camp, 
clean our guns, and do what we pleased for the remainder of the day unless Brigade or 
Division drill was ordered; and next morning there would be fatigue or camp guard, and 
a fellow was considered lucky if he was not put on one of these. Picket duty was the 
hardest of any, as the picket line was situated in a thick pine wood and we had no shelter 
to go under if it rained or to sleep in at night, nor were fires allowed to be kept burning 
after dark as it showed the enemy our position and guerrillas could creep up and shoot us 
by the light. Generally four men were stationed at a post with orders for two to stand 
guard while the others slept, and relieve each other during the night; to keep a bright look 
out for the "officer of the day," salute him if he came in the day, but if at night to make him 
"dismount, advance and give the countersign." Instructions were to shoot everything of a 
suspicious looking character, outside the line, and this order was the cause of "sudden 
death" to many sheep, hogs and steers, of the Southern Confederacy, that were enjoying a 
night ramble ; and converted them into steak. 

We had to form a line of battle every morning before daybreak and stand so an 
hour or more, till our hands were nearly froze to the guns. We could never see the use of 
doing thus, and the opinions expressed about it (and about a certain man, then high in 
command), were very amusing, especially if the morning was extra cold. 

During the month of October we went to Blackwater twice, with a few regiments, 
and upon returning others would be in motion for the same place; and though some of 
these expeditions had heavy skirmishing and others did nothing the object of causing the 
"rebs" to keep a large force there was accomplished. 

Nov. 7th. Snow fell a few inches deep, remaining but a short time, and the only 
snow we saw this winter. 

17th. At 4 p. m. Gen. Wessells' Brigade, and most of the other troops, started on 
an expedition to Blackwater, taking along two pontoon bridges to cross the river on ; and, 
march all night, came in sight of the river on the morning of the 18th, when we commenced 
shelling the rebels from its banks, and part of the forces were sent lower down to throw 
the pontoons across and move over, but only ^ few crossed before the bridge broke and (the 
other pontoon being too short) we were compelled to return to Suffolk without doing any- 
thing more, and this was our last visit to Blackwater. 

Dec. 5th. Our brigade left for North Carolina, but it rained all day and the mud 
was about knee deep ; the country was low and sandy, and we were very tired at night — 
having marched 23 miles. 

6th. Was as muddy as its predecessor (if possible, a little more), but there was 
nothing to do but march through it, and enquire of every darkey how far it was to Gates- 
ville? and their answer invariably was "Right smart of a distance, sah!" whether 20 miles 
or 2. In the afternoon we arrived at Gatesville, quite a small village, and encamped for 
the night. 

7th. Marched 2% miles and went on board boats on the Chowan River, proceeded 
down Albemarle Sound, past Roanoke Island, up Neuse River and landed at Newbern on 
the 10th, but had scarcely got on shore when we were ordered to cook three days' rations 
and prepare for marching. 

11th. Began to march, towards Kinston, through turpentine farms, and sometimes 
passed cleared farms, but they, "like angel's visits," were "few and far between.'' The dis- 
tance marched today estimated at 16 miles. 

12th. On the march all day, but as we went first in one direction and then in another 
the distance accomplished was not ascertained. The 3d N. Y. Cavalry brought in about 
a dozen prisoners. 


13th. Cautiously moved forward, had a skirmish, artillery fired almost continually, 
and encamped at night near enough to the rebels to hear them speaking to each other. Our 
pickets and theirs were but a short distance apart, and we expected a battle at daybreak. 

14th. Battle of Kinston took place, and was the greatest battle ever fought in North 
Carolina. With the exception of Wessells' Brigade the troops most engaged were Massa- 
chusetts Regiments ; the 9th N. J. and 10th Conn, also taking an active part. Of the brigade 
the regiment most engaged was the 103d Penna. They charged upon the enemy and drove 
them back at several points, but lost upwards of 80 men killed and wounded. The 85th, 
92d and 96th N. Y., and the 85th and 101st Penna. Regiments were also engaged, but their 
loss was not so heavy. The entire loss of the brigade was 140 killed and wounded. The 
enemy was driven back at all points, and lost 600 prisoners and a large quantity of stores. 
In the afternoon we entered Kinston, a very pretty town, and by the appearance of things 
we were very unexpected visitors. Quite many of the citizens were still there but the 
majority had fled; many of the stores seemed as if just deserted, everything being left 
behind even to the money in the drawers; tobacco was here in great quantities, and was 
appropriated by the boys without much question as to its former owner; and a large lot 
of clothing for the rebel army was also captured here. 

We this day lost Colonel Gray, of the 96th N. Y. V. His regiment was the first to 
arrive at the bridge which the rebels had crossed and set on fire. Several old muskets were 
left to burn with it, and one of them exploding shot him dead ; he was quite a young officer 
and very much respected by the whole brigade. 

15th. Recrossed the Neuse, burnt the bridge, and marched towards Goldsboro. De- 
pending chiefly upon the country through which we passed for our supplies, men were sent 
out to capture all the hogs, sheep and cattle they could find within five miles of us. 

16th. Battle of Whitehall was fought; commencing early in the morning it was 
continued till evening, when the enemy was driven back with much loss to Goldsboro. 

17th. Battle of Goldsboro, in which the enemy were again defeated, and driven across 
the Neuse River into the town. We then burnt the bridge and tore up the railroad track. 
Towards evening their forces, under Gen. Pettigrew, come out to attack us again, but, after 
a sharp engagement, were driven back with heavy loss. The object of the expedition being 
accomplished we marched back 8 miles, which with the 8 we advanced in the morning made 
for the day a total of 16 miles. 

]8th. Having marched 20 miles we encamped, at nearly midnight, in a cornfield near 

19th. Passed Kinston and encamped 6 miles from it on a different road frorH that 
we advanced on. 

20th. Arrived within 14 miles of Newbern. 

21st. Returned to Newbern, crossed the Trent River, and encamped. Newbern is 
situated upon the confluence of Neuse and Trent Rivers, and before the war exported large 
quantities of turpentine, rosin, etc., and contained about 7,000 inhabitants, very few of whom 
now remain (their "secesh" proclivities having procured them a conveyance beyond our 
lines). It is one of the most ancient towns in the state, but has but few fine buildings, and 
the Gaston House is the only hotel. 

February 7, 1863, was pay-day in camp and "Uncle Sam" professed to pay four 
months' pay of the seven due, but upon stepping up to receive our "greenbacks" we were 
informed that the knapsacks lost (at the battle of Fair Oaks and White Oak Swamp and 
by Government transportation from Harrison's Landing) must be paid for by us, and 
amounted to about $45 each man, which left us, on the average, $7 for four months' wages. 

March 7th. An expedition (consisting of the 101st and 103 Penna. Vols, and a Com- 
pany of the 3d N. Y. Cav.) was sent into Hyde county, to break up a band of guerrillas. We 
landed on the 9th at Swan Quarter, a small village near the coast, marched 14 miles on the 
north side of Mattimaskeet Lake, burnt up the guerrilla captain's house, and took all the 
horses that were of any value to serve in our cavalry instead of in that of the rebels. The 
country was the richest we had yet seen in the southern states, and, considering that most 
of the work was done by slaves, was very well cultivated. We encamped at night opposite 
some deserted breastworks of the rebels, and having captured large quantities of hams, 
chickens, etc., during the day, began cooking them. All the pots, pans and kettles of the 
neighborhood were pressed into service, and many who lost their chickens were obliged to 
lend their utensils to cook them in, which must have been very pleasant to the feelings of 
the "Chivalry." 

We were aroused about midnight by firing at the picket line, but it turned out to be 
caused by an old one-eyed man whom we took prisoner and carried to Newbern. 

His story was that he and his son had been out to shoot bears, that they knew nothing 
of our being there, until they were fired into by our pickets, and that his son had got "right 
smart of scared" and had "skiddaddled," leaving his gun behind; this might all be true, 
but it is most likely that the "bear" they were after was one of Uncle Sam's "two-legged 

10th. Early in the morning we cooked and eat the remainder of our chickens and 


then continued our onward march. Every man and horse we found was taken along — the 
horse for his usefulness, and the man to keep him out of mischief. We captured about 50 
prisoners today, and a more boney, lank, lantern-jawed set could scarcely be found, and 
we took so many horses, mules, oxen, carts, carriages, etc., that we were almost all mounted 
Infantry. Negroes, with all the goods they could collect, left "ole massa" to come with us; 
sometimes in whole families, with the "picaninnies" strapped to their backs, and most of 
the captured ox-carts were given to the women and children to ride in. It rained all day 
and the roads were very muddy, but this was a slight annoyance for we were wet through 
and muddy as possible, so we splashed along without any regard to either, knowing we were 
as bad off as we could be — a kind of philosophy soldiers are often brought to believe in. 
Distance marched today was 15 miles. 

11th. Onward still, and a better country than this for forage could not be found, and 
certainly none of the "starvation of the South" was known here, for this was a "land of 
milk and honey," though there was no way for us to get the latter but by lifting the hive 
and taking it out with the bayonet, and the way the bees came out and stung made the 
"darkies" turn up the whites of their eyes, for they were often put to the work. 

We passed the plantation of Judge Donald, one of the largest slave owners in that 
section. He formerly owned 600, and had 400 at this time but a large number followed 
us, and many carts and oxen were pressed into service from this place. At night we reached 
Swan Quarter, with about 80 prisoners and 150 horses and oxen which we had taken, having 
marched 26 miles, and remained till the 13th. 

13th. Our prisoners had to either take the oath to Uncle Sam or go to Newbern as 
prisoners ; most of them took it and were turned loose, but the most suspicious were taken 
to Newbern, with the one-eyed man already mentioned. We now embarked on the boat, 
and took along the most valuable of our captured property. 

14th. Arrived at Newbern and went to our old camp. 

April 4th. Went on an expedition towards Little Washington, for the purpose of 
breaking the blockade and relieving Gen. Foster, who, with a small force, was hemmed in 
by the rebels. 

5th. Arriving in Pamlico River towards night we saw a rebel battery on the left 
bank, our gun-boats opened fire upon it which was immediately returned and kept up for 
about two hours when the battery ceased firing, some of our men then landed and found 
it deserted ; other batteries were further down the river but our force was too small to 
proceed so we put back for Newbern, where we arrived on the 7th. 

During our absence the rebels attacked Fort Anderson with a determination to take 
it, but the garrison within, the 92d N. Y. Vols., were fully determined to hold it. The tents 
inside were riddled and the fort sustained considerable damage, so the rebels ceased to 
fire and sent in for a surrender but the Colonel was too old a soldier to see it in that light 
and sent word to that effect. The rebels again opened fire, but soon bursting their biggest 
gun gave up the attempt. 

7th. After dark we were taken across the Neuse, to attempt to reach Little Wash- 
ington by land; our force consisting of 15 regiments of infantry, 3d N. Y. Cavalry and a 
battery or two of artillery. 

8th. Began to move early in the morning. Gen. Spinola commanding, through a tur- 
pentine farm country. These seem to be the most miserable kind of farms in the world, 
for the pine woods are dark and gloomy, the houses are miserable buildings and in places 
miles away from other dwellings, and very few of the people can read or write. The roads 
were bad as usual and after marching over them 14 miles, through mud-holes, etc., we 
encamped for the night. 

9th. Before any order was given to get up, or cook breakfast, we heard "fall in !" 
and in we fell and marched forward. It was a pretty general opinion throughout the 
brigade, the day before, that Gen. S. knew but very little and today the boys concluded that 
he knew nothing at all. About noon we came upon the enemy's pickets near Swift (or 
Blount) Creek, and drove them back. Artillery firing was kept up on both sides for about 
and hour and we had several men killed and wounded, and we expected the order to advance 
but "Retreat !" was what we heard. When marching back we passed our "Leader" in the 
same place where we left him when we advanced, which was about a mile back of the 
position where the firing took place. We have had some hard marches since joining the 
army but, in point of time, this beat all, as we marched 9 miles in two hours and the mud 
in some places was knee deep. We had not been allowed time to cook either breakfast or 
dinner and the report was that the rebels were following close in our rear, but in spite of 
this and all orders to keep in ranks some of the boys would fall out to make a cup of 
coffee. The fires they made would spread and ignite the rosin and turpentine on the pines, 
the flames running quickly to the highest branches, and from these to other trees till the 
whole forest seemed on fire, and sometimes the burning trees would fall with a crash upon 
the road we had just passed over. We were very tired when we halted at night, having 
marched 30 miles and not eat anything. So much for the generalship of Gen. S, 


10th. Passed New Hope school house and arrived at Newbern, having marched 11 

18th. Again on the road, for Little Washington, under command of Gen. Wessells. 
We marched from Fort Anderson shortly after daybreak, and finding upon our arrival at 
Swift Creek that the enemy had abandoned their position here we encamped for the night, 
25 miles from Newbern. 

19th. Captured some half a dozen prisoners and encamped at night near Wash- 

20th. Marched through Washington, a pretty little town, built on some rising land 
near Tar River. The siege had caused some suffering, from want of provisions, and the 
niggers came to us begging for hard tack. 

We stopped around the town till next day, when we went into Fort Washington 
and remained until the 26th and then started on our return to Newbern. During our stay 
at Washington all citizens had to take the oath to the United States or go over the lines 
to "Jeff." 

27th. Returned to Newbern and remained 8 days. 
May 5th. Left on board steamboats. 

6th. Arrived in Plymouth, N. C. It was taken possession of by our troops nearly 
at the commencement of the war, but on the morning of the 10th of December, 1862, the 
rebels drove in our pickets and came into the town with infantry, artillery, and cavalry, 
occupied the place long enough to burn and destroy the largest and finest portion of the 
town and then evacuated it. Its former population was about 2,000 white and black. It is 
situated near the mouth of the Roanoke river and was a place of some importance, but 
now its glory has departed. Plymouth is one of the most sickly places in which we have 
yet encamped, — scarcely a man in the whole Brigade escaped the fever and ague during 
the summer and fall of 1863, and though abated at this time still it finds a victim occasionally. 
July 5th. Four regiments of the brigade went on an expedition to Williamston ; two- 
by way of Gardner's bridge, and two by way of the river on the gun-boats. After working 
our way up the Roanoke all night we were but 12 miles from Plymouth by morning and 
had 20 rnore to go. This river is the crookedest to be met with, and we were constantly 
running into the banks in attempting to turn the bends. The land along the river is mostly- 
low and swampy, and owing to a freshet was then covered with water. About once in. 
4 miles was as often as we saw a habitation of any kind, but passed one large plantation 
where the negroes came to the river bank clapping their hands and singing, while the 
juvenile darkies stood upon their heads. Most of these slaves seemed to be women and 
children, the men having probably escaped into our lines or been sent into the interior for 

6th. In the evening we came in sight of Williamston on the left of the river, and 
It seemed to be a pretty village. Some few rebel soldiers were visible and shells 'were 
thrown at them, but they soon got out of sight. 

Time was given for the citizens to remove out of the bombardment and at 9 n m 
the gunboats opened their fire upon the town, and we saw the shells go crashing and 
bursting through the houses, which were soon on fire; still the boats poured in their shells 
firing about 15 guns every 6 minutes. We expected the "rebs" to return the fire but thev 
did not and it soon became evident that the Chivalry had fled. One gun every 5 minutes 
was fired till morning, when we landed and marched up to the town but found no enemy 
7th. Returned to Plymouth. ^"tmjr. 

26th. Marched to Gardner's Bridge. 

night. 'very weTday'' '° ^°''"'' """''' ''"™' *'"" ^"^ '''"'""^'^ '' '" ^' J^'"«'°" -» 
too pkntHul.^'*"""^ *° Plytnouth, but as it rained continually mud and water was rather 

Small expeditions have since been sent out, containino- detailpH m,.„ f .u ■ 

regiment, which would be neither useful nor interesting to recofd ""^ "'"'" 

September 20th. A small expedition went to Currituck countv rlfstr,^,,.^ ,. . 

salt-works, and returned on the 24th. county, destroyed some rebel 

October 3d. The brigade was paid 4 mouths' wages 
December 17th. We were agai^n paid, by Maj. Crane, for 2 months 
29th. An expedition went to Nixenton, on Little river anH r^u.^^^A xi. o, 
1864.-January 7th. An expedition went to near Winton on he'rh " *^' ^^''• 
returned on the 8th. vvinton, on the Chowan river, and 

enlistef '• ^"°*" "'"' '° *' ""' ^'''' ^"'^ *°°'^ °" board 50 negroes, all of whom 
20th. An expedition went up the Chowan river 
21st. Landed and marched to Harrellsville, 4 miles from th^ .; 
large quantities of pork, horses, mules, etc. The rebels fireH ur.r.1 ' •^"'^ captured 

returned and kept up till morning, and we had one man killed and another" wound'ed' Ab'^ut 


1,000 rounds of ammunition was fired, and we took one prisoner and killed one "reb," and 
most of the town was burnt. Col. Maxwell, of the 103d P. V., was in command, and the 
expedition then returned to Plymouth. 

23d. Expedition went to Lake Phelps, and returned on the 26th. 

Several other expeditions have since been made from this place, to Windsor, Edenton, 
and other parts, but none of any great importance; and so ends our campaigning for the 

Three-fourths of the Brigade have re-enlisted, for 3 years, and we hope that our 
next expedition will be to the Northern States where we are promised a furlough for 30 
days, and when that expires we desire to make a raid to Richmond to bring in Jeff himself, 
— his dearly beloved darkies we have got already. 


Dedication or the Monument Erected by the State of Pennsylvania as a MEiiORLivL to 
THE Soldiers of the State Who Died in Southern Prisons and are Interred in 
THE National Cemetery at Andersonville, Ga. 

The following surviving members of the 103d Regiment, who were prisoners of 
war, and confined at Andersonville prison, attended the dedication of the Monument 
erected by the State of Pennsylvania in the National Cemetery at Andersonville, Ga., 
December 7, 1905: 

Calvin B. Alt (A), Tylersburg, Pa. Samuel McCoy (H), Shippenville, Pa. 

Jacob J. Anthony (D), Climax, Pa. John S. Moorhead (D), Deanville, Pa. 

Alvin H. Alexander (A), Clarion, Pa. Joseph Moyer (A), Letonia, Ohio. 

John J. Ashbaugh (H), St. Petersburg, Pa. Sebastian Neiderriter (H), Marble, Pa. 

R. P. Black (E), Chicora, Pa. James W. Richardson (A), Shippensville, Pa. 

Adam Banner (E), Bedford Stair Cross'g, Pa, Daniel L. Rankin (B), Butler, Pa. 

George W. Bruner (G), Pittsburg, Pa. Robert R. Reardon (H). 

Daniel Bowser (D), Parkers Landing, Pa. Samuel Rupert (H), West Freedom, Pa. 

William Boarts (F), Union City, Pa. William B. Sedwick (E), Foxbury, Pa. 

James S. Cooper (A), Pittsburgh, Pa. Andrew Shankle (G), Derry Sta., Pa. 

Oliver P. Campbell (K), West Sunbury, Pa. Isaac Shakely (B), Emlenton, Pa. 

Gabriel Duffy (E), Petrolia, Pa. Uriah Sloan (B), Emlenton, Pa. 

James Dunlap, Franklin, Pa. Fletcher Smullin (D), Putneyville, Pa. 

Charles C. Gray (D), Dubois, Pa. George W. Stoke (B), Reynoldsville, Pa. 

Clarence B. Gelston (K), Derry, Pa. Walter R. Small (A), East Hickory, Pa. 

John C. Guiher (A), Grampion, Pa. Moses T. Steele (G), Elkins, Pa. 

George M. Gourley (G), Big Run, Pa. William A. Smith (B), Vernon, Pa. 

John Gould (D), Kittanning, Pa. Levi Schreckengost (D), Putneyville, Pa. 

Samuel W. Hamilton (D), Vandergrift, Pa. George Troutman (E), Butler, Pa. 

Peter Klingler (H), St. Petersburg, Pa. Jeremiah Wyant (D), Adrian, Pa. 

William Kleck (H), Lucinda, Pa. John M, Webb (E), Branchton, Pa. 

Aaron W. Lang (B), Marion Center, Pa. John Walters (H), Wilkinsburg, Pa. 

John Lower (H), Marble, Pa. Lester R. Warner (H), Redclyflfe, Pa. 

Others who had received orders from the State for transportation from a point 
near their homes to Andersonville and return to attend the dedication of the Monument, 
through illness and other reasons could not attend. Among those of the Regiment who 
returned the orders were : 

Samuel C. Burkholder (H), Butler Plank Hiram Irwin (H), North Pine Grove, Pa, 

Road, Pa. William D. Keefer (B), West Monterey, Pa. 

Henry C, Croup (E), Butler, Pa, Jackson McCoy (I), Slippery Rock, Pa. 

William P. Dunlap (I), North Hope, Pa. Andrew J. Reese (A), Shippenville, Pa, 

Emanuel Emminger (E), Brookville, Pa. Robert J. Thompson (E), Butler, Pa. 

William E. Gray (H), Franklin, Pa. Cornelius G. W. Stover (A), Callensburg, Pa 



My collaborator has insisted that I shall write a personal sketch. As it is chiefly 
through his individual effort, enthusiasm, encouragement and assistance that this com- 
pilation has been made, I feel that, in a measure, I should comply with his desire. He 
has suggested several reasons for this, but I shall mention only one or two. The principal 
reason for acceding to this request is that the reader who may be interested to know why, 
after nearly a half century has elapsed, an obscure enlisted man should presume to 
criticise the official reports of trained military men, heretofore accepted by the historians 
of established reputation as authoritative and final. In my quest for the truth on all 
mooted questions I found myself interested in the personality of those who professed to 
speak with personal knowledge, in so far as they had participated in the events described. 
Early in my search, in a regimental history, my attention was especially aroused by a 
description of the conduct of Casey's division at Fair Oaks, and a detailed delineation of 
the personal qualities and appearance of Gen. Casey. As I could see no motive for the 
misrepresentations in the volume, I carried my investigation far enough to learn by a 
personal sketch of the author, published in the same volume, that during the entire Pen- 
insular campaign he lay sick with typhoid fever in a hospital at Washington, D. C, and 
did not reach the Army of the Potomac until it had been for some days at Harrison's 
Landing. The writer referred to had accepted the gossips of the camps and the imaginary 
stories of the enterprising newspaper correspondents as truth, and I have no doubt that 
he was perfectly sincere in what he wrote. In the preparation of this volume I have 
received several communications containing descriptions of the battle of Seven Pines, 
from comrades who are absolutely truthful, that are at variance with the truth. Their 
impressions were formed from the gossip they heard at the time, which they accepted 
as true, but of which they had no personal knowledge. Those who covered the battle 
in detail invariably stated that the Federal troops regained Casey's camps and intrench- 
raents on Sunday forenoon, completely routing the Confederates and driving them pell- 
mell into Richmond. However, it is possible that they may have refreshened their 
memories by reading the official reports and letters of Gen. McClellan. 

Another reason for a personal sketch is that I am only known to a comparatively 
few of the surviving members of the Regiment ; not having met them since the war. It is 
possible that some members of my own company remember me only as the "worst boy" 
in the company. As an indication of this, the following incident is given : Some thirty 
years after the war Lieut. Scott of my company drove me to the home of Capt. Town- 
send, the first captain of my company. We had not seen each other since the summer 
of 1862. By prearrangement Scott remained in the background, and I entered the Town- 
send home as an entire stranger, ostensibly to make inquiry concerning certain neighbors 
of the Captain whose names had been given me by Scott. The information was vouchsafed 
and as I was apparently about to take my departure, a casual question from me caused 
Capt. Townsend to inform me of his army connection. As if in doubt, I told him I thought 
I had some friends in that regiment, naming four members of his company, my name 
among them. To all he gave most excellent characters, but myself ; I was the "worst boy" 
in the company. I had some difficulty to convince him that I was the "worst boy," and 
had merely called to see him, and I think he was not fully persuaded until Scott came 
in and vouched for me. Capt. Townsend's recollections of me were confined to the first 
year of the service. 

In the spring of 1866 I had a chance meeting with Maj. Mackey at Oil City, Pa. In 
introducing me to a friend, the major said I had caused him more trouble than his entire 
company. As Maj. Mackey was with the Regiment during its entire service after leaving 
the State until it was captured, it would seem the reputation given me by Capt. Townsend 
as to my conduct during the first year of service, was a fair index to my career during 
the entire term. Maj. Mackey's vivid recollections of my conduct, however, was confined 
practically to the first year's service also. He being at the right of his company and I 
at the left of mine, the color-guard only intervening, threw me in closer contact with 


hiin on our forced marches than with the officers of my own company. My escapades 
which irritated and aggravated him practically ended after the Peninsular and Goldsboro 
campaigns. There was no special reason why my conduct after the arrival of the Regi- 
ment at Plymouth should have been impressed on his memory. I remember very few 
incidents, except vaguely, in which the major was a participant after the Peninsular cam- 
paign ; but during our early marches in 1862 incident after incident comes to mind in 
which he was prominent. One that had entirely escaped my memory has been recalled 
by my collaborator. One chilly night going up the Peninsula, when we were without 
overcoats and rubber or woolen blankets, and we were compelled to stand and sit around 
wood fires, shifting positions occasionally to get away from the smoke, in order to exist. I 
decided to seek cover under Maj. Mackey's blanket. As he was sleeping soundly no 
protest was made until after I had awakened him by monopolizing more than a fair share. 
However, he then only accused me of being selfish and permitted me to share its cover 
until morning. At no time can I recall that either Capt. Townsend or Maj. Mackey ever 
gave evidence that they had any personal dislike to me, although I was constantly doing 
things, with no other purpose than to irritate and aggravate them. In fact, as my mind 
reverts to those happy days in the army, I can not recall that any commissioned officer of 
the Regiment ever gave evidence of mistreating me. For a long time I was bitterly hated 
by some of the non-commissioned officers of my Co., but in the end those who disliked 
me most turned to be my warmest friends. Perhaps the worst enemy I had, and one 
who had power to make me most uncomfortable at times, was Lieut. Wilson when he 
was orderly sergeant. His dislike began at Camp Orr when he was only a corporal. 
However, it was not only he that was bitterly prejudiced against me, but a group of the 
non-commissioned officers. At a period in the recruitment of the Regiment at the ren- 
dezvous camp there was a great influx of large robust men, many of whom preferred to 
enlist in our company in preference to those whose quota was yet deficient. A movement 
was started among a group of non-commissioned to have the "little fellows'' trans- 
ferred to Co. K, in order to accept the fine looking men. It so happened that one of the 
non-commissioned officers was my particular friend, and he protested against my transfer, 
but as I was the smallest boy in the company, it seemed this coterie was determined to get 
rid of me. My friend kept me informed of their plans and we (the boys) soon put a 
quietus to the transfer. However, I held a grudge against the men who had endeavored 
to get rid of me, and at every opportunity did what I could to intensify their dislike of 
me, resenting all overtures towards amity and comradeship. While all the commissioned 
officers of the company treated me with consideration, every peccadillo of mine was 
reported to them. My enemies in the Co. were not confined alone to the group of non- 
commissioned officers. Nearly all the "big'' men, during the first months of the service, 
had a strong dislike to me. Co. C. had a practical joker, who was my "evil genius." 
Private Edward Rogers was past forty, and during the period of his service with the Co. 
devoted his talents in concocting mischief, and found in me a willing helper. He used 
me to divert suspicion from himself. 

Although I had the reputation of being the "worst boy'' in the company, which appel- 
lation was given to me for my conduct during the first year of my service, I have been 
unable to recall any really reprehensible act of mine during that time, except once. While 
we lay at Meridian Hill, while a huckster's attention was diverted, I purloined two pies 
from his stand. Speedy retribution came, however. I was so pie hungry I did not wait 
to divide with my mess-mates, but gorged the pies into my stomach until the latter re- 
belled. A large dose of ipecac, supplemented with plenty of tepid water, could not have 
acted more promptly as an emetic. I neither bought or purloined pies from the Meridian 
Hill hucksters thereafter. I do not revert to the mean things I did while in the army to 
boast about them. I refer to them because of my sobriquet as "worst boy" in the company. 
The most reprehensible act of mine during the service was done after I had attained a 
high degree* of respectability among all my comrades. It was a detestable act, and while 
I pride myself that I would not participate in the spoils of the transaction, it has always 
been a matter of humiliation to me that I had not the moral courage to denounce the act 


at the time. A comrade who had been on detached service-a harum-scarum sort of a 
devil-induced me to go foraging with him, when on an expedition. Commg to a n°"se 
where there were two or three women in evidence he suggested that I stand guard while he 
entered the house. I readily assented, thinking he wanted to chat with the women. After 
we had gone some distance from the house he proffered me some silver pieces. I think 
it was less than a dollar, which he had found stowed away with some clothing. He had 
represented to the women that he was an officer searching for fire-arms. I refused his 
proffer by making the excuse it was too insignificant to divide— the real reason was that 
my conscience revolted at the transaction, but I lacked the moral courage to tell him so. 
However, I never afterwards participated in any further schemes of his; I preferred to 
do my foraging alone. During my entire service I have no recollection of foraging any- 
thing but eatables. And I have no recollection of ever taking anything from inside of a 
residence that I did not pay for. I had no scruples against confiscating eatables found 
in the cook houses, generally separated some distance from the main residence. I can 
recall only one incident of this kind. Gen. Wessells made his headquarters at a mansion 
while we halted for our noonday meal. As the negro cooks were lifting the dinner I 
boldly walked in, helped myself to two corn dumplings which had been cooked with meat 
and vegetables. The negroes made no protest, but they evidently were not pleased. The 
dumplings were steaming hot and I had to keep them jumping in my hands as I hurried 
to my mess-mates. One of my peccadilloes that caused Capt. Townsend consternation 
occurred when the Army of the Potomac lay in front of Yorktown. Our Co. was on 
picket and at that time, during the day, the pickets on post were relieved every two hours. 
While I was on post some cattle strayed out from the enemy's lines some distance to the 
right, and some Confederates were creeping out stealthily to flank them just as I was 
relieved. I was very anxious to see how the affair would result, so I determined to 
return to the picket line. When we got back to the reserve I discarded my accoutre- 
ments and blouse, the weather being extremely hot, and instead of starting directly to 
the picket line, went the other direction in the woods, and then flanked the reserve, and 
hurried back to the picket line. The picket posts being in sight of each other I had no 
difficulty in passing on to the right, chatting with the pickets from time to time as I 
passed along. No one questioned my right to be there. However, before I had gotten 
opposite to the point from which the enemy had emerged he and the cattle had vanished 
out of sight. Realizing that I was some distance from my Co. and that I should make 
haste to get back I started through the woods in rear of the pickets, walking as rapidly 
as I could. I had only gone a short distance when I met a general and his staff and 
attendants, the party forming quite a cavalcade. As we met we both halted. "Who in the 

hell are you," asked the general. "I'm a picket," I replied. "You're a d d nice looking 

picket ! Are you a Yank or a Reb ?" "I'm a Yank,'" I responded, not the least bit abashed. 

"You look a d d sight more like a Reb than a Yank; where do you belong?" I told 

him. He said he had a notion to send me into camp, interjecting his remarks with con- 
siderable profanity. As I recall the incident I think I must have been a queer-looking 
picket. The first trousers we drew were a dark blue — so dark as to readily pass for black ; 
our dress hats had been transformed into low slouches, and I was wearing a black and 
red flannel shirt which I had brought from home. There wasn't a shred of clothing 
on me that would indicate that I was an enlisted man. Finally, the general requested a 
captain of his staff to accompany me to the reserve, and told him to have me sent to 
camp if I did not belong there. As we reached the opening in the woods where my Co. 
lay in reserve Capt. Townsend spied the officer bringing me to the reserve. He hurried 
out to meet us, exclaiming, "I told him not to go away," at which I immediately took 
issue. But my escort had taken a kindly interest in me and told the Captain that he 
merely wanted to know if I belonged there. He said nothing about the General having 
seen me. Who the General was I never knew. The incident occurred about the time 
Gen. Naglee took command of the First Brigade of Casey's division, and it is possible 
that it may have been him ; at any rate, he could swear as fluently as Gen. Naglee. 

The boys of Co. C had many ways of irritating their enemies, and even their friends. 


When bivouacking in proximity to the enemy it was customary to stack arms as they stood 
in line of battle, and for the men to retain positions, close to their guns as they rested 
during the night. When everything was quiet one of us boys would single out some 
individual who could hear us, and make him the object of our remarks, acting as though 
we supposed he were asleep. Of course we either manufactured tales, or exaggerated 
incidents in which the object of our gibes had been implicated. I have a vivid recollection 
of engaging in this kind of sport the night after the battle of Seven Pines at the expense 
of Capt. Townsend and Corp. Leech of our Co., and Capt. Mackey. I had overheard 
the two former expressing something like abhorrence of war, and so tales were invented 
and whispered so they could be heard beyond the limits of the Co. Capt. Mackey was 
also guyed that night by the boys of Co. C. Among the things invented on him that 
night was that he had exclaimed when the enemy opened fire on the Regiment in the 
woods, "Boys, do your duty; I have a wife and family at home." This would be fol- 
lowed by some one telling of seeing the Captain in some ludicrous position to escape the 
enemy's fire ; by another who saw him fleeing rapidly to the rear ; &c., &c. ; perhaps a 
half-dozen or more describing various ridiculous predicaments in which they had seen 
him ; at times, some one would strike such a happy remark that everyone in hearing 
joined in laughter. This badinage was confined exclusively to the boys of the Co., and 
I think I was the main instigator. My enemies in the Co. received frequent verbal castiga- 
tions in this way. During my entire term of service I was in the guard house three times; 
once at the rendezvous camp ; at New Bern, and at Fort Reno, Roanoke Island. At New 
Bern the entire Co. was in one large room, the non-commissioned officers having a section 
partly partitioned off from the privates. W. S. Birch and I and two other comrades were 
playing cards on an upper bunk near the non-commissioned officers' apartments. The 
boys were making an unusual racket on the floor. First Sergt. Wilson had ordered them 
to keep quiet, but as soon as he returned to his apartment they broke loose into a perfect 
pandemonium. When he came out the second time he asked me who was making the 
noise. I replied that if he wanted to know he had better stay out and see. He then 
asked Birch and received an insolent reply. He ordered us to come down and go to the 
guard house. We refused until he detailed a corporal and two men. We were taken to 
the guard house and remained until breakfast time, when Capt. John M. Cochran came 
after us. Only two or three weeks previous to this the orderly sergeant and I had an 
altercation which subsequently culminated our enmity towards each other. We were en- 
camped east of the Trent river at New Bern. One of the company had been on a drunk 
and had emitted the contents of his stomach on the street of our camp. Meeting the 
orderly at this point the next morning he ordered me to "clean it up." I declined. A 
little later he returned and said that he would give me "fifteen minutes to clean it up." 
I emphatically told him I would under no consideration "clean it up." He ordered me 
to get my gun and accoutrements ; I obeyed and was taken to guard quarters and re- 
lieved Geo. Forward, who was then on post. I stood guard in Forward's place that day. 
When the time came for court-martial boards to convene Capt. John Cochran sent for 
me. He told me that he was very sorry, but serious charges had been preferred against 
me. After lecturing me at length, he asked me to apologize to Sergt. Wilson and he 
would have the charges withdrawn. I refused. He argued with me, calling attention 
to the disgrace attached, &c. I stood firm and told him that I could go to "Fort Totten 
for six months and wear a ball and chain, but I could not say that I was sorry for 
refusing to clean up the dirt of a drunken shirker who evaded duty all the time." I told 
him that every man in the Co. knew who had committed the nuisance, but Sergt. Wilson 
merely wanted to humiliate me. I then recounted incident after incident in which I had 
gone on picket duty after a hard day's march through rain and mud out of my turn, when 
my mess-mates asked me to come to him and protest. As I talked to Capt. Cochran the 
tears rolled down his cheeks, but when I left him he said that he would have to forward 
the charges. "All right, captain, I can stand it if you can," I replied, and left him. I was 
not court-martialed and from that time on I never again had an acrimonious word with 
Sergt. Wilson. From that time he became one of my staunchest friends. 

Luther S. Dickey. 
(Corporal Co. C.) 

Samuel M. Evans. 
(Sergeant Co. C.) 

Baptist H. Scott. 
(2d Lieut. Co. C.) 

John Donaghy. 
(Captain Co. F.) 


From the day I was mustered into the service of the United States until I was 
finally discharged from the service the incidents I witnessed of one day are more vividly 
impressed on my memory than that of any other day in my life. Not that I remember 
clearly everything that transpired that day of which I was a witness, but certain things 
which have a bearing on the most important events recorded elsewhere in this volume. It 
is to the incidents of that particular day, so indelibly and clearly stamped in my memory, 
that caused me to prepare this compilation. As long as my memory remains normal certain 
incidents that came under my observation on May 31, 1862, cannot be obscured. Of the 
particular events preceding those of May 31, my memory is somewhat hazy. Had I 
written from memory alone and had no authentic data to refer to, I should have insisted 
that Casey's division had advanced to the "twin houses" three days prior to the battle of 
Seven Pines, and that the pickets had been driven into the abatis in front of Casey's 
redoubt on May 28, 29 and 30. My impression was that "Newt" Joseph of Co. B had been 
killed on May 28, instead of May 29. To relate the incidents of May 31, I shall briefly refer 
to the action of my company the preceding day. Somewhere about the noon hour, or per- 
haps a little after, the attack was made on the picket line just north of the Williamsburg 
road. The entire division was hurriedly formed in line of battle, the 103d Regiment south 
of the Williamsburg road, and in advance of'the rifle pits. The artillery of Casey's division 
thoroughly shelled the woods in advance of the abatis at which large details from the divi- 
sion had been working before the enemy had made his attack. The 100th New York Regi- 
ment was then sent forward and the enemy retired without attempting to hold the position 
from which he had driven the pickets. After the enemy had fallen back a battery of Casey's 
artillery continued throwing shells over the picket line, the division still formed in line of 
battle awaiting a general advance of the Confederate army. Late in the afternoon, it may 
have been as early as four o'clock, and it may have been after five o'clock, it was some- 
where between four and six o'clock, Co. C. was taken from the line of battle and hurried out 
to the picket line. A little while before the Co. left the line of battle a torrential rain and 
thunder storm broke forth, which surpassed, in the volume of water falling and the terror of 
the lightning and thunder, anything of the kind I have ever witnessed before or since. Dur- 
ing the heaviest part of this storm my Co. waded out to the picket line and relieved the 
pickets directly north of the Williamsburg road. Just what pickets were relieved the record 
nowhere indicates, but I am inclined to think they were from Co. C, 101st Regiment. My 
belief for so thinking is formed from conversations I have had with Private George P. 
Craig, of that Co. He is firmly of the opinion that his Co. was on picket May 31, in the 
position occupied by Co. C, 103d. His description of the position and the location of the log 
cabin in which the picket reserve was quartered, is so clear, that in my judgment, he is con- 
fused as to the date only, on which he was on duty. H there is anything of which I have 
positive knowledge, it is that Co. C, 103d Regiment, was on the picket line, immediately 
north of the Williamsburg road during the night of May 30-31, and during the forenoon of 
May 81, 1862. Lieut. Fahnestock was the only commissioned officer to accompany the Co. to the 
picket line, both Capt. Townsend and 2d Lieut. Cochran being ill in camp. The right wing 
of the Co. relieved the pickets deployed along the picket line, the left wing being held in 
reserve, taking refuge in a log cabin perhaps a hundred yards in rear of the picket line and 
a short distance back of the road. A blazing log fire was kept going all night and most of 
the men on reserve took off their clothing, thoroughly wrung the water out of them, and 
dried them before the fire. When I got my clothes in order, I drew the load from my gun, 
and thoroughly cleaned it, but did not reload, as the rain was still coming down in torrents. 
As I remember the events of that night at the log cabin no one had any apprehensions of 
an attack by the enemy. A guard was kept posted outside to give the alarm, but the men 
inside chatted and joked with each other, as they would have done had the enemy been a 
hundred miles away. During the after part of the night most of the men lay stretched on 
the floor of the cabin soundly asleep. Shortly after daybreak as I was getting my break- 
fast ready, which consisted only of coffee and sugar. Sergt. Wilson ordered the reserve to 
"fall in,'' saying that we must relieve the men on picket so they could dry their clothes, 
At this I demurred, saying that we ought to have time to make and drink our coffee. Dur- 


ing our advance up the Peninsula, after leaving Yorktown, vvhen the Co. was detailed for 
picket duty, the left wing had been invariably posted on picket duty and the right wing held 
on reserve. I called attention to this fact, and furthermore that the left wing had never 
been relieved by the right wing. However, the sergeant paid no attention to my bickerings 
until the men were all about ready to start, when he came to me as I stood by the fire 
outside the cabin watching my coffee simmer, about ready to reach the boiling stage, and 
said, "Dick, now I want you to get your gun and fall in at once." He said it in a manner 
that meant "business'' ; thereupon I gave my tin cup of boiling coffee a kick, which sent it 
flying several yards, got my gun, picked up my tincup, and fell in to the left of the reserve, 
which was only awaiting my presence to start. We began the relief of the men on duty at 
the first post next to the Williamsburg road, and moved north from there. When we came 
to the last post of our company's pickets there were three of us on the left who were not 
needed to make up the full complement required to relieve those who had been on duty 
during the night. Without giving the matter any thought Sergt. Wilson told us to distribute 
ourselves along the picket line at such posts as we desired to stop at, and left us. The first 
thing we did was to strike a fire and make coffee. After drinking our coffee we gathered 
some green huckle-berries which grew in abundance in the woods back of the picket line. 
Having filled our havelocks with these we started along the picket line. The enemy was 
already in force several hundred yards in front of the picket line. We found the men on 
post, behind trees all on the alert, expecting the enemy to advance. The picket line at this 
point was along the edge of a woods, west of which was an open space, perhaps 400 to 500 
yards in width, covered with bushes and briers, and clusters of scrubby oaks and pines, 
which interfered with the view in front. The atmosphere was heavy and tended to obscure 
the view. But by shifting positions the enemy could be seen in great numbers on the oppo- 
site side of the opening. I continued shifting from post to post endeavoring to get the best 
possible view of the enemy, until I finally came to the first post north of the Williamsburg 
road. From this point by far the best view was obtained, and added to this there was a 
field glass, by the aid of which we could distinguish the officers from the enlisted men. By 
this time Capt. Townsend had come out from camp and relieved Lieut. Fahnestock, the 
latter having gone to camp to change his clothes and get some breakfast. As this post, 
next to the Williamsburg road, offered the best view, Capt. Townsend made it his head- 
quarters. The field glass referred to belonged to the Captain, and by the time I had reached 
this post it was not in very much demand, so that I had the uninterrupted use of it. There 
were four men on this post, three of whom I remember; the fourth I cannot place. Those 
that I distinctly remember were William Dougherty, Thomas J. McKee, known as "Tom," 
and George W. McKee, the two latter being brothers. The fourth I have beeen informed 
was William (or "Bill") Hays. Although Capt. Townsend made this post his headquarters 
he kept constantly moving along the line, cautioning the men to be on the alert and warning 
them not to fire until the enemy advanced in force. In his official report Gen. Casey men- 
tions having received information twice through vedettes from the picket line that the 
enemy was advancing in force. It was Capt. Townsend who sent the vedettes in to the 
division commander, and I am sure he went back at least a half dozen times with the inten- 
tion of sending information to Gen. Casey, or to the general officer of the day. As I was 
a supernumerary at this post, no one paid any attention to my movements and I was per- 
mitted to have undisputed use of the Captain's field glass. The other men on the post each 
had a tree from behind which they kept peering as though expecting to see the enemy ad- 
vance at any moment. From where they stood they could not see the enemy in the distance, 
but they were scanning intently all the vistas through which the enemy would be compelled 
to pass in making his advance. With so many on the alert I kept shifting from one point 
to another in an endeavor to get a better view of the enemy. From behind a cluster of 
bushes surrounding three or four saplings, a little in advance of the picket post, and north 
of it, I found an excellent diagonal view, which gave me a glimpse of what appeared to be 
several regiments. While intently watching these through the glass the officers mounted and 
the men, who had been lying or sitting down, or standing around apparently in groups, came 
to attention, and I realized that the advance would soon be made. I hurried back to the 


post and putting down the field glass picked up my gun. As I did this I remarked, "that I 
had better load niy gun, as the 'Johnnies' were getting ready to come." George McKee, who 
overheard my remark, responded by saying, "You are a hell of a nice picket out here in 
front of the enemy without your gun loaded." To this I made what I thought was an appro- 
priate response, when Capt. Townsend came upon the scene, and hearing the colloquy be- 
tween McKee and I, inquired in an agitated manner as to what was the trouble, when 
McKee said, "Dick is out here in front of the enemy with his gun unloaded." The Captain 
then turned his attention to me, coming close by my side, exclaiming, "Why haven't .vou 
your gun loaded?" repeating the question before I had time to reply. Before the interrup- 
tion by the Captain, I had broken my cartridge and was about to pour the powder in my 
musket barrel, but when he broke in I stopped and as soon as he gave me an opportunity I 
responded in an insolent manner, "Because I had no orders to load my gun." At this the 
Captain whipped out his sword, and drawing it up, as though he were about to slash me in 
two, exclaimed, in an excited and loud voice, "I command you to load your gun !" Before 
he had completed, his command, bang! bang! bang! went the signal guns of the enemy, fired 
from a battery masked directly in our front, not more than 200 yards distant. The missiles 
from these gims went whizzing through the tree tops near where we stood, and the Captain 
lost no time in seeking the cover of a tree, from which he commanded me to "Get behind a 
tree." There being no tree convenient to the post which afforded any shelter except those 
already occupied, I hurried out to the point from which I had the best view of the enemy. 
The smoke from the signal guns did not rise, but moved northward, obscuring momentarily 
the vista I had enjoyed with the glass, but as it passed I saw the enemy advancing; not the 
skirmishers, but the regiments in rear of them, moving by the flank. I immediately called 
out to Tom McKee : "Tom, they're coming." He responded, "Why don't you fire ?" As he 
did so he fired his gun and almost simultaneously with his fire, the post on the Williamsburg 
road fired and I then fired. My shot was the third fired on our side. 

There has been great discrepancy in the reports as to the time when the battle of 
Fair Oaks or Seven Pines began. Gen, Longstreet says : "The forward movement began 
about two o'clock, and our skirmishers soon became engaged with those of the enemy." 
Gen. Keyes says : "At about 12 :30 P. M. it became suddenly apparent that the attack was 
real and in great force." Before this he says: "The firing was becoming brisk, but there 
was yet no certainty of a great attack," In the preceding paragraph of his report he says : 
"At about 10 o'clock A. M. it was announced to me that an aid-de-camp of [the] * * * 
C. S. Army had been captured. * * * While speaking with the young gentleman, at the 
moment of sending him away, a couple of shots fired in front of Casey's headquarters pro- 
duced in him very evident emotion. * * * j concluded therefore, in spite of the shots, 
that if attacked that day the attack would come from the right. Having sent orders for 
the troops to be under arms precisely at 11 o'clock A. M., I mounted my horse and rode 
along the Nine Mile road to Fair Oaks Station." This would indicate that the signal guns, 
according to Gen. Keyes, were fired before eleven o'clock. I am positive that no shots were 
fired in front of Casey's headquarters during the forenoon of May 31, until the signal guns 
from Bondu rant's battery were fired. Just what the exact time was no one apparently 
knows. However, it could not have been many minutes after 12 o'clock. Private Samuel 
Murphy of Co. C was acting commissary of the Company. He drew our rations early in 
the forenoon of May 31, and had some beans cooked as soon as possible, and brought out 
two full mess pans, a little before the noon hour. They were cooked even dryer than baked 
beans of the present day, and were evenly distributed among the men, which amounted to 
about a tablespoonful to each man. That was all we had for dinner that day and our 
breakfast consisted exclusively of coffee. I remember being called from my advanced posi- 
tion to partake of the beans, and I also remember I was very much disappointed at the 
modicum that was reserved for me and expressed indignation, as though I had not been 
allotted my share. "Murph" assured me that I fared as well as the rest, and that he had 
brought all that he could carry. This occurred only a few minutes before the incident 
related as to loading my gun. The impression formed in my mind at the time, and which 
I have seen no reason to modify since I have thoroughly examined all the official reports 


was, that the signal guns were fired a few minutes after 12 o'clock. It certainly was not 
later than 12 :30. No musket shot was fired from either side at the point where the attack 
was made on May 31, until after the three shots were fired from the battery north of the 
Williamsburg road, which evidently was the Jeff Davis Battery, from Alabama, commanded 
by Capt. J. W. Bondurant. 

Before I had fired my second shot Tom McKee was by my side, having come in order 
to get a view of the enemy. He and I remained together firing as rapidly as we could, 
making no attempt to sight at any one. As it appears to me now several minutes elapsed 
before the skirmishers of the enemy returned our fire and then Tom suggested we fall back 
to where there were a couple of good sized trees, which we did. Soon afterwards we 
heard Maj. Gazzam giving commands in our rear and shots began to come closer to us from 
the rear than from the enemy. Finally Tom McKee said, "Dick, we must get out of this, 
or we will get shot by our own men." I needed no persuasion, and we started to the rear, 
I ahead. In bringing my gun to a trail I realized my gun barrel was uncomfortably hot, 
the first experience I had of this kind ; it had never occurred to me that rapid firing would 
heat a musket, as the charge of powder seemed so insignificant. We were at this time 
equipped with Austrian rifles, which were short with a large bore. When they were clean 
they could be loaded without the use of a ramrod. In loading, the cartridge was broken in 
two, separating the bullet from the powder; the latter was poured from a paper cup, and 
the bullet, which was well greased, would readily drop to the powder when the bore of the 
musket was dry and clean. I have heard Maj. Gazzam criticised by some of our own men 
because he hurried the Regiment to the front without taking the precaution to have them 
load. To me this criticism has always seemed trivial. It is always easy to find fault, and 
point out where mistakes have been made after events have occurred. Maj. Gazzam re- 
ceived orders to move his Regiment quickly, and he did so. Had Gen. Casey known how 
formidable the advance of the enemy was he would not have sent the Regiment forward, 
but the fact that he did send it forward was a wise precaution, because the brief time it 
held the enemy in check not only apprised him and all the troops of the division that the 
attack was a formidable one, but it also gave him time to make a proper disposition of his 

As McKee and I moved back we crossed the Williamsburg road, but none too soon, 
as the enemy opened a terrific fire north of the road. The force of this fire fell upon our 
Regiment, which was then making its alignment in the woods. To me the battle had then 
opened in earnest. McKee and I were moving as rapidly as possible, through the tangled 
underbrush, supposing we were moving to the rear. The musketry north of the road con- 
tinued without cessation, although at times much heavier than others. I was holding the 
lead, McKee following closely. I was suddenly brought to a halt by an exclamation from 
my companion calling on me to halt. As I did so I raised ray head and beheld the enemy's 
line of battle not more than ten feet from me, advancing toward us. Instinctively I turned 
and ran away from them. If they made any demand on us to halt I did not hear them; 
neither did they fire at us. 

While compiling this volume my collaborator and I have not only written to all the 
surviving comrades whose addresses we had, but I have personally visited some who were 
with the Regiment when it received the fire of the enemy near the picket line. Three 
years ago I called on Comrade Tom McKee at his home in Allegheny, Pa. In the presence 
of Mrs McKee and a grown daughter I had him relate his recollections of the 31st of May. 
He remembered having fired the first shot, but had no recollection of seeing me. Two. 
things he related with apparent pride; one was having fired the first shot, and the other was 
that he was captured by the enemy and broke away from them under a heavy fire. Now, 
to me Tom McKee was an ideal soldier, and I know he was absolutely sincere in the belief 
that he had been captured and made his escape. I can understand that he experienced the 
sensation of having made his escape, but as I was with him from the time the finng began 
until we reached the fragment of our Regiment rallied by Maj. Gazzam m rear of the Ime 
of intrenchments, and as his actions were such during this time as to make h.m a hero m 
my estimation, I shall relate them here. 



Before McKee and I had emerged from the woods our batteries were shelling the 
woods in which we had been lost. During this time the Regiment had been driven back 
completely routed. We emerged from the woods about fifty yards south of the Williams- 
burg road and as we came out we spied our acting color bearer, Sergt. "Nets" Barr of our 
Co., sitting on a stump, apparently exhausted, holding the colors, which were furled, in one 
hand and the lower part of the flagstaff in the other. The flagstaff had been shot in two> 
pieces, the bullet striking it squarely in the center at the lower edge of the colors. As 
McKee noticed Sergt. Barr he exclaimed, "Nels, you must get out of this; the Johnnies 
are right on us." Barr replied that he was "played out," and could go no farther. There- 
upon McKee reached for the colors to take them, but Barr pulled them away, saying that 
he would not part with them. McKee insisted that he must have the colors or Barr should 
get back with them. For a moment we hesitated whether we should attempt to go back 
through the abatis, on the opposite side of which our infantry was formed, or move north 
to the" road. There was a lull in the firing north of the road, but Col. Bailey's artillery was 
shelling the woods both north and south of the road and frequently the shells would ex- 
plode short, making it as dangerous for us as for the enemy. It did not take Barr and 
McKee long to decide, I acting entirely passive in the matter. We ran along the edge 
of the woods until we reached the road, Barr taking the lead. McKee would not budge 
until he did so. Just as we turned on the road the enemy opened a terrific fire and McKee 
called to me to drop, which I did; I lay so close to the ground that McKee asked me if 
I had been hit. The balls struck the ground all around us, one going underneath me, 
making two holes in my blouse, but neither of us received a scratch. When Tom gave the 
order I arose and we were both moving rapidly to the rear, when .McKee spied one of our 
Regiment lying in the ditch south of the road, and finding that he was wounded in the 
thigh and unable to walk, he told me to take his gun, and he assisted this wounded mam 
back to camp, and then fell in with Maj. Gazzam's rallied fragment of the Regiment. As 
we came in we passed Gen. Casey, who sat on his gray horse, only a short distance in rear 
of Spratt's battery, in position north of the road, perhaps 400 yards in advance of the in- 
trenched line. Gen. Wessells was also in advance of the intrenched line south of the road, 
quietly observing the enemy, who was then engaged with the advanced line at the abatis. 
Maj. Gazzam had taken position with his small group along the roadside north of the road, 
facing towards our camp, so that he could hail any stragglers coming from the front. 
Realizing that we might lose our camp I went over to ray shelter tent and had just opened 
my knapsack to take out some home souvenirs when a ball struck the framework with 
such force as to cause the tent to collapse. I decided the situation was too serious to 
care for souvenirs. As I emerged from my tent I was accosted by Private Jones of our 
company, who asked me to come and see Sergt. Scarem, who, he said, was dying from a 
wound, in his tent. I stepped over to Scarem's tent and took only a momentary glance as 
he lay apparently breathing his last. His bosom was bared and there was an abrasion of 
the skin, which had the appearance of having been made by a bullet penetrating thei 
abdomen, T was very much .surprised that night to find Scarem with the Regiment. The 
ball, instead of entering the abdomen, had merely broken the skin near the pit of the> 
stomach, and made him deathly sick. I have criticised Gen. Naglee severely in this volume, 
and justly so, I think. However, it has been done without animus or prejudice. In fact, 
until I made the investigation bearing on the battle of Seven Pines I never spoke of him 
except in the highest commendation. Always when looking at the imaginary picture of 
Sheridan's ride at Winchester I was reminded of Gen. Naglee's approach to the battle field 
of Seven Pines. When the attack was made and until the musketry firing became frequent, 
he was some distance to the right of Fair Oaks Station observing the construction of a 
breastwork facing the Old Tavern. In his report he says that when he regarded the move- 
ment of the enemy to be serious, "I hastened in the direction indicated by the fire and soon 
arrived upon the ground, on the Williamsburg road." To one with a proper comprehen- 
sion of the points where the battle was then raging, and the position of the breastwork 
fronting on the Old Tavern, he would infer that Gen. Naglee went in direct line from the 
Nine Miles' road position to the scene of the conflict, a distance of not to exceed a mile 


and a half. This has strong corroboration by Col. Davis of the 104th Penna. Regiment, 
not in his official report, however, but in the history of his regiment, published in 1866, in 
which he says : "He [Naglee] came dashing toward us through field and wood to be with 
his brigade. In the warmest of the contest he dashed by the regiment, cap in hand, the 
men giving him three hearty cheers, and passed toward the left." The context from which 
this quotation is made clearly indicates that Col. Davis' statement was based on Gen. 
Naglee's own description of how he arrived on the battle field. Gen. Naglee did not 
approach the point of contest from the Nine Miles' road "through field and wood"; from 
the breastworks in front of the Old Tavern he followed the Nine Miles' road to Seven 
Pines where it intersected the Williamsburg and Richmond road and came out the latter 
road to where Gen. Casey was directing the movement of the troops. Just the length of 
time that had intervened between the firing of the signal guns and his arrival at the front 
can be positively stated by no one. The writer's impression has always been that morel 
than an hour had elapsed, and his investigations have confirmed this impression. Naglee's 
ofiicial report clearly implies that the firing of the signal guns, the fusilade of the pickets, 
and the stand of the 103d Regiment in the woods caused him no concern. He probably 
was of the same opinion held by Gen. Keyes that if an attack was made it would be on 
the right, and he may have regarded the firing at the Williamsburg road as a feint. In 
his testimony before the congressional committee Gen. Keyes says, "I did not consider the 
battle serious until the shot began to fall about me where I stood, and until I could see the 
masses of the enemy bursting through the woods in front of Casey's line." Of all the 
exciting incidents of which I bore witness on the 31st of May, 1862, two episodes were 
more vividly impressed on my memory than any others in my lifetime. The first was the 
colloquy between George McKee, my captain and myself, which occurred just preceding and 
at the time the signal guns of the enemy were fired. I remember clearly every word uttered 
then by all three; I can clearly recall the attitude of each one at the time. The other was 
the approach and manner of Gen. Naglee as he came out the Williamsburg road. From 
the point on the Nine Miles' road where the breastworks were being erected to the in- 
trenchments at the Williamsburg road was about two and a half miles distant by the route 
covered by Gen. Naglee. All the incidents I have already related in this sketch had oc- 
curred and I was crossing the road from my tent to the fragment of the Regiment when 
I noticed a rider coming out the road as rapidly as his horse could gallop. From the time 
I first beheld him I kept my eyes upon him until he passed beyond the intrenchments. The 
furious haste in which he approached riveted ray attention, notwithstanding the terror of 
the situation which confronted us. The horses belonging to the batteries of Casey's 
artillery were falling rapidly and their rearing and pitching when suffering from wounds 
and in the throes of death was a most horrible spectacle. The collapse of my tent, with 
men and horses dropping all around me, caused me to feel that the world was coming 
to an end ; and yet the sight of this horse and rider dashing with such haste as if they were 
anxious to enter the gates of hell, made me for the time oblivious to the terror of the sit- 
uation. The little fragment of my Regiment was gradually augmented until it now must 
have approximated 150, Maj. Gazzam sat on his horse at the roadside with the colors in 
his hands, furled and sheathed as they had been during the entire day. The flagstaff hav- 
ing been shot in two had made it unwieldy to unfurl them and as men came from the front 
Maj. Gazzam called for the 103d men to rally on their colors. As Gen. Naglee spied the 
Major waving the sheathed colors and the little band of men aligned back of him, he pulled 
the reins on his horse, bringing him to his haunches, and inquired, "What regiment is that?" 
Maj. Gazzam replied in an excited manner, "It's the 103d Pennsylvania, and it's all cut to 
pieces!" The Major's words were followed by a burst of profanity from Gen. Naglee, 
ending with "Unfurl your colors!" The dash and fearlessness of Naglee had an electrical 
effect upon me, and I then formed such a favorable impression of him that I have been 
loath to arraign him for being guilty of injustice to Gen. Casey, or to the troops of his 
division outside of his own brigade. As to Maj. Gazzam's excitement, one must take mto 
consideration the events in which he had participated for an hour or more previous to this. 
During the fire from the enemy in the woods he had been swept from his horse by the limb 


of a tree, his head striking a log where he fell, and when he recovered himself and re- 
mounted and reached the abatis he found his command scattered into fragments. Galloping 
down the road to head off his fleeing men he was ordered by Gen. Casey to take a position 
in the rear to catch the men as they came in from the front. The condition of the flagstaff 
made it unwieldy and the experiences that Maj. Gazzam had undergone during the preced- 
ing hour would have caused the most phlegmatic commander to become somewhat unnerved and 
excited. It should be remembered that such veterans as Kearny and Peck retired by a 
secret road from before the enemy without commands a few hours later ; and in a letter written 
a day or two subsequent to the battle the former said, "It is most infecting to be sent for 
to restore a fight and see hordes of others panic stricken, disobedient, craven and down- 
cast. Anywhere it is a disagreeable sight to see the wounded being carried off the field of 
battle, even from a victorious one." The position we occupied at this time was even more 
trying on the nerves than had we been on the firing line, for from our position we had the 
most advantageous location to witness all the horror and terror of a battle without any 
activity to divert the mind from self-consciousness. In a subsequent battle I heard a 
"West-Pointer," the colonel of a regiment, use the identical words of Maj. Gazzam, under 
conditions which were not to be compared with the position of the 103d Regiment and its 
commander, and within a very brief period this same officer was promoted to brigadier- 
general, for his gallantry in that same action. As I have related this incident in detail, 
which, by the thoughtless, will be construed as a reflection on the valor of Maj. Gazzam, I 
wish to accompany it with the statement that, so far as I had opportunity to witness the 
actions of the Major during his entire career with the Regiment and from all the criticisms 
I have heard from both his friends and foes, no action of his ever gave evidence that he 
lacked courage in the presence of the enemy. 

The last time I was put in the guard house, I think I really deserved punishment. 
Lieut. Scott (when orderly sergeant) and I had a dispute as to the issue of rations. I 
denounced him as a cheat, and while he and I were engaged in a heated verbal altercation, 
the Captain (T. A. Cochran) came upon the scene and tried to pacify us. Neither of us 
was in a proper mental attitude to listen to reason and the captain ordered me to report 
to Sergt. Low and tell him I was to be put in arrest. The next day Capt. Cochran, who 
was then in command of the Regiment, installed me into office as Regimental Clerk. Two 
or three days later Scott and I, without either making any apologies to the other, renewed 
our former pleasant relations, and these were never after broken during or since the war. 
Our difficulty was due to a desire on my part to take advantage of an insignificant flaw I 
had noticed in Scott's distribution of the rations and I would have been very much dis- 
appointed had he corrected his error, before I had an opportunity to denounce him as 
dishonest. After Col. Lehmann assumed command of the Sub-District of the Albemarle I 
was detailed as chief clerk to his acting assistant adjutant general. All the clerical work 
of the office devolved upon me, even to affixing the assistant adjutant general's signature to 
the official papers. I had control of the countersign and issued it daily. The commissioned 
officers could not purchase liquor without an order from the adjutant general's office, and 
this function devolved upon me. When the new companies came to the 101st and 103d 
Regiments, many of the commissioned officers approached me with diffidence and trepidation 
when wanting an order for whiskey, saluting me as if I were a ranking ofiftcer. Lieut. 
Edgar Lee of the 101st Regiment was acting as assistant adjutant general when I first 
entered the office. He was succeeded by Lieut. G. W. Stoke of the 103d. Both gave me 
full authority to conduct the affairs of the office as I deemed proper, and neither ever 
had occasion to criticise any action of mine. My collaborator, who was my mess-mate, 
having in charge all the horses in the quarter master's department, I had my choice of 
animals when I wished to take a ride. 

After Lieut. Lee had returned to his Regiment he prevailed upon one of the new 
companies to give me some clerical work, which netted me nearly $50. This, compelled me 
to visit the quarters of the company, two miles distant from headquarters. The morning 
returns from some of the commands had been returned for correction, and I was com- 
pelled to transact my business before I could make out my daily return. During my ab- 
sence a dispatch boat had arrived from New Bern and a request was made from depart- 
ment headquarters for a detailed report of all the troops in the Sub-District of the Albe- 
marle. Col. Lehmann was very much agitated when he discovered the morning report had 
not been made and wanted to know where I was. Lieut. Stoke informed him that I had 


gone for a ride. The Colonel's orderly came after me as fast as his horse could travel and 
found me just as my mission was completed. When I reached the office Lieut. Stoke told 
me that the colonel had left word for me to go to his quarters on my arrival. Before 
doing so I made out the daily return, the corrected reports having been returned in my 
absence. When I met the colonel he opened on me with a tirade for neglect of duty. I 
endeavored to explain, but he was in no mood to listen to me. Knowing that I had him 
at a vantage I called him by requesting him to send me back to my Regiment. As soon 
as I did this his attitude changed, and never after did he in the faintest manner chide 
me, and never refused any request I made of him, 

I wonder if any of my comrades ever witnessed Col. Lehmann crying; I did, and 
there were other witnesses, but who they were I cannot now recall. It was on the 15th 
day of April, 1865. I was all alone at my work in my office. It was a bright sunny day 
scarcely a cloud in the sky. As I sat at my desk I heard the puff from a boat and as 
I looked out the window I saw a small steamer rapidly approaching the dock. I hastened 
out and arrived at the end of the dock just as the boat reached it. It did not stop; a 
man stood, holding at arm's length, not an envelope, but a loose hand-bill, and as I grasped 
it, he called to me with tears streaming down his cheeks, "The President is dead — mur- 
dered!" The boat sped on towards New Bern as though it were in a race. I glanced at 
the hand-bill which had been printed at Norfolk, and receiving it from a Government 
dispatch boat accepted it as official. It merely announced the time of death of President 
Lincoln, with a brief reference to his assassination. There was no signature attached. I 
consulted the Army Regulations and wrote the appropriate orders. I ran to the stable 
taking the first horse I could find and started on a wild gallop to deliver the tragic news. 
As I was flying on a narrow road bordered on either side by a dense wood I ran into the 
colonel and an accompanying cavalcade. Before I could get my voice he started to upbraid 
me for frightening his horse which was rearing and plunging from the shock I had given 
it by almost colliding my horse with it. "President Lincoln is dead" was all that I could 
utter. The Colonel raved and swore, and then cried like a child. 

I think the most pathetic memory I have of the Civil War was one of its final inci- 
dents. First Sergt. W. S. Cochran of my Co., my collaborator and I visited the Kinston 
battle-field a few days before our muster out in June, 1865. The bones of three of my boy 
comrades were still lying there, "Col." Wilson, Jake Stiffey and Joe Austin. The latter 
was several months younger than I when he was killed, and he had always been my par- 
ticular friend. He was by far the brightest boy in the Co., but lacked the proper physique 
for an enlisted man He was by my side when he was killed and spoke to me a few 
moments before he received the fatal bullet in his brain. After my companions and I had 
visited the scene of the conflict we visited the town of Kmston, perhaps a little over a 
mile distant We were at the railroad depot when a train arrived bringing a number of 
Confederate soldiers. Some were expected and had friends there to greet them. But 
there was one who especially attracted our attention. He had lost one of his legs and 
walked with crutches. When he stepped from the train he hesitated for a few moments 
scanning the faces of those near him but no one extended any greetmg to him. He started 
in the direction of the bridge below the town, the scene of the battle of Dec. 14, 1862. We 
leisurely followed him some distance in the rear. As he went through the town he was 
accosted by no one. He exchanged no words with any one. He crossed the trj^ge a 
little in advance of us and when we got to the other side of the river, near by the 
church where the Confederate line was formed on that December Sunday m 1862, he was 
sitting down with some negro soldiers stationed there, eating supper with them. It was the 
most pathetic incident I witnessed during my entire term of service. 

If I am remembered by my comrades as the "worst boy," I beg to remind them that 
T was associated most intimately with one of the best boys of the Co. from the beginnmg 
of the service until the close. To mess with a comrade for nearly four years, m such an 
environr^ent as is described in this volume, gave an opportunity to test the character. 
TtWs final paragraph written for this volume I wish to bear this testimony as to the 
chaacter o my collaborator. We not only drank from the same canteen, slept under 
the same blanket, shared our food under all circumstances, but so far as I can recall 
neither ever denied the other any request made by his messmate. Chided as I was by 
him alwlys deservedly so, it was done in an effective manner, and was always kindly 
revived During the nearly four years of our intimate comradeship, I "^ver saw Ser^ 
Evans under the influence of liquor; I never heard him utter a profane word; I never 
knew him to be ^ilty of any petty meanness. Neither did he affect piety; nor was he 
ever giiilty of shirking duty; he was an ideal soldier and a true comrade. 


KtiW^ ^r'^WF" ^^rjv--if ';^;'^' Ca|.u-»)^n.^^- s„..>,,t^-,:i^^ 

/,iui:f?.^6:.v- 4-Js«^'|jt^^'^'-'^' iiaj^Di'i^- i;.Joiiv,to- 




"We have had a desperate battle. * * * Casey's division, which was in first line, 
gave way unaccountably and discreditably. This caused a temporary confusion, during 
which some guns and baggage were lost, but Heintzelman and Kearney most gallantly 
brought up their troops which checked the enemy. * * * With the exception of Casey's 
division our men behaved splendidly." — Gen. McClellan. 

"An officer informed me that after we had driven the enemy beyond our first intrench- 
ments he visited Gen. Casey's camp and found more men bayoneted and shot within their 
shelter tents than outside of them." — Gen. Heintzelman. 

The above aspersions on Casey's division, and on the gallant dead who fell on the 
firing line at the battle of Seven Pines, repelling the assault of an overwhelming force of 
the enemy, appear in the official archives in the War Record Office of the Nation. Against 
ihese calumnies the commanding general of the division earnestly protested but "without 
avail. With this exception, so far as the records show, they have been practically unchal- 
lenged, and will probably remain a standing and continuous slander on brave men who gave 
their lives to defend the integrity of the Nation. This compilation is made in refutation, 
and as a protest to these slanders. 

The story of Casey's Division at Seven Pines, as presented in this volume, has in- 
volved many months of arduous research. None who may assume the role of critic can 
have a more perfect knowledge of the imperfections of the compilation than has the com- 
piler. In his effort to get at the truth everything else has been subordinated and no pre- 
tension has been made to follow the conventional war history. When the writer started on 
this work his first effort was made to find some histories from which he could cull the 
various parts of the story and thus save time and labor, and in doing this follow some 
writer of exceptional literary ability, which would make the work curry favor with the 
pedantic reader. His preliminary research resulted in showing him the absolute untrust- 
worthiness of all histories that he examined which touched upon matters of which he had 
positive knowledge. This conclusion was not arrived at by reading two or three volumes 
but by a careful investigation of everything written on those points pertaining to the battle 
of Seven Pines on which the writer was conversant. The further his research was carried 
the more convinced he became of the utter untrustworthiness of the war histories published, 
as to giving the true facts. But this preliminary quest did something more ; it convinced 
the writer that in their indifference as to the truth, most writers were absolutely reckless 
as to the reputation they gave to the men who were giving, or had given, their all in de- 
fense of the Union. This was especially noticeable in the histories written by comrades-in- 
arms. As one who had done service with Casey's division, second to no one, from its 
organization until it disintegrated, he was quick to see how the first dispatch of the com- 
manding general of the Army of the Potomac to the Secretary of War announcing the first 
great battle between his army and the Army of Northern Virginia had absolutely discredited 
this division in the eyes of the historians. This dispatch, absolutely false and misleading 
in all essentials, from beginning to end, indelibly discredited the "raw troops," who had 
stood the brunt of the battle and saved the Army of the Potomac from irretrievable disaster. 
So prone is the human mind to follow first impressions that come from "high au- 
thority" that the slander on as brave men as ever faced an overwhelming foe, will last 
during the lifetime of all those who participated in this great contest in front of the Con- 
federate capital. Realizing this, the writer believed it would be a waste of time for him 
to merely refute the aspersions cast on Casey's troops by a brief summary and a general 
denial. Hence the comprehensive compilation bringing together all the slanders and mis- 
representations made and published which he was able to find in the libraries of the princi- 
pal cities of the country and elsewhere. A careful reading of this compilation, without 
reference to any comment from the writer, of itself presents a complete vindication of the 
troops held up to obloquy, and reflects unfavorably on all those who followed the bark of 
those who, to hide their own culpability, for the first day's disaster, threw the blame on 
the general and the men who should have had the most credit for defeating the plans of 
the enemy. 

The great mass of those who think they comprise the "patriots," and love to do honor 
to the patriotic dead on Memorial Day, when their ostentation can be witnessed by the 
multitude, will waste no time delving into the compilation which follows. Even among the 


comrades who love to listen to fulsome praise on Memorial occasions from orators, who, 
in impassioned oratory, lavish praise on them by calling attention to how much the nation 
is indebted to them for their sacrifices when the Nation was in peril; even among these, 
there will be those who will pooh-pooh this defense of the calumniated dead as too pre- 
tentious, and if they deign to give it passing notice, will take delight in calling attention 
to the crude manner in which the compilation is made, the defects in syntax, 
and diction and lack of literary merit, rather than to honestly follow the 
investigation closely and acknowledge the injustice done to brave comrades. 
But this compilation is not made alone for this generation. The writer has an 
abiding faith that his labors will be recognized by the historian who is yet to write the 
true story of the Civil War. It will not only tend to bring out the full truth as to the 
action of all the troops engaged in the battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, but will assist 
the historian of the future by calling to his attention the fallibility of the men in high com- 
mand, and the importance of scrutinizing and verifying their reports with those of their 
subordinates who, by virtue of their position, were the most competent to speak. 

The investigation and research made by the writer in vindication of the comrades of 
his division has shattered some of his boyish idols. And this result was brought about with 
no spirit of the iconoclast. It has been no pleasant task to impeach the ability or integrity 
of men whom he idolized in his boyhood army days. But the injustice done to the men 
who for three hours held in check an overwhelming force of the enemy, many of whom 
sleep in unknown graves in the National Cemetery at Seven Pines and elsewhere, coupled 
with a pardonable pride in having the record of his own command freed from an unjust 
blemish, has impelled the writer to this vindication. And the vindication is complete and 
unassailable. No one who belonged to Casey's division need ever feel ashamed for the 
action of the division in the battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks. Not that all did their 
duty; not that the division was as well disciplined as other divisions in the army; or that 
the regimental and company officers were as competent, perhaps, as in the other divisions; 
but for the fact that this division held the enemy in check long enough to allow Sumner to 
cross the Chickahominy under adverse conditions, travel several miles, and form line of 
battle in a most advantageous postition in time to resist the onslaught of the enemy. 

In this investigation the writer has come to the firm conviction that had it not been 
for the valiant action of the weakest and "rawest" division of the army, led and encouraged 
by the white-haired old Mexican War hero, Gen. Casey, in advance of Seven Pines on 
Saturday afternoon, May 31, 1862, the Army of the Potomac would have been disastrously 
defeated, and the commanding generals responsible for the calumnies on Casey's division 
utterly discredited as inefficient commanders ; and that the battle of Fair Oaks was the first 
(not the greatest) of the decisive contests fought during the Civil War. 

Today the State of Pennsylvania is doing special honor to her sons who had the 
privilege of battling with the enemy on Pennsylvania soil. This action on the part of the 
Commonwealth is fitting and proper; but her sons who served in the 52d, 85th, 101st, and 
103d Regiments are as justly entitled to her assistance in removing the unjust blot on their 
record and especially to have that foul blot expunged from the official records of the War 
Department of the Nation, aspersing the heroic dead of these regiments: for had it not 
been for the devotion of the men comprising these regiments, along with their comrades 
from the Empire State and the little band from Maine, in advance of Seven Pines, there 
might have been no battle of Gettysburg. In the preparation of this work there has been 
an impelling motive, without which it would have been difficult to have brought it to com- 
pletion To keep faith with the dead who fell in advance of Seven Pines, made it incum- 
bent on the writer to complete this vindication of the brutal aspersion cast upon them and 
printed in the official records of the War Department. The writer has endeavored to put 
himself in the place of a boy comrade of his company, Tom Meredith, who fell on the 
picket line more than a mile in advance of Seven Pines, and of whose burial place it can 
be said, as it is recorded of a noted man in the history of the world, "but no man knoweth 
of his sepulchre unto this day" 


Casey's Division at the Battle of Fair 
Oalis or Seven Pines. 

A Critical Analysis of the Official Reports and Dispatches Censuring 
Casey's Division for Discreditable Conduct at the Battle 
of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines, May 31, 1862. 

No large body of troops engaged in the Civil War was treated with greater injustice 
than Casey's division of the Fourth Army Corps, attached to the Army of the Potomac 
during the Peninsular campaign under Gen. McCIellan. As the published official records 
of the War Department stand today, no amend has been made for the wrong done to the 
division. No battle of the CivU War has been more misrepresented than the battle of Fair 
Oaks. After the lapse of nearly a half century it is still designated by two names. Fair 
Oaks and Seven Pines. The transitory historian has treated it lightly, regarding it at 
though 't were but a skirmish, preceding the Seven Days' Battles around Richmond, and 
yet, when the final word is written of the battles between the North and the South, the 
battle of Fair Oaks, which occurred May 31 and June 1, 1862, will head the list of the 
decisive contests of the Civil War, and the division which was made the scapegoat for the 
first day's disaster will receive credit for doing more to frustrate the plans of the Con- 
federate commander than any other division engaged in the battle. 

The battle of Fair Oaks was the first great contest between the Army of the Potomac 
and the Army of Northern Virginia. No other battle of the war was fought so close to 
the capital of the Confederacy; no battle of the war was better planned for the success of 
the offensive army, and had the plans been executed as originally designed, the defeat of 
the Army of the Potomac would have been overwhelming and complete, and yet what has 
been regarded as the chief factor in endangering the safety of the Army of the Potomac 
was what really saved it from irretrievable disaster, the unprecedented rainstorm of May 
30, 1862. Had it not been for this storm there is little doubt that both Casey's and 
Couch's divisions would have been gobbled up without an opportunity to show much if any 
resistance, and the remainder of the army whipped in detail by the very impulsion of the 
victorious army. 

It is said of the Duke of Wellington, when asked for correct information as to the 
battle of Waterloo, by one who was about to write its history, that he replied, in substance, 
as follov/s: 

"No man is more incapable of giving you the required aid than myself. Of that battle 
I only saw what came within the limited range of my own vision, the remainder I heard 
from others. Take all the official reports and the descriptive writings on both sides and, 
with the best judgment you possess, seek for the truth. You will more certainly find it by 
that method than by any other." 

Whether the incident above referred to is true or not, the official report of the 
commanding general of the Army of the Potomac, so far as it relates to the battle of 
Fair Oaks, gives evidence that he was utterly incapable of giving correct information as to 
the action of any of the troops under his command in this battle. Even with the aid of 
all the official reports of his subordinate commanding officers who participated in the 
battle, the report of the congressional committee on the conduct of the war, and the innum- 
erable descriptive writings written by his special newspaper friends, his report demon- 
strates conclusively that he had no proper conception of how the battle began, how it was 


conducted and how it terminated. If the historian who writes the final word as to the 
battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, should accept the report of Gen. McClellan as authori- 
tative, posterity will never know the true story of that bloody conflict. The fact that 
such a proficient military man as Gen. McClellan was unable to get a proper grasp of the 
battle of Fair Oaks is an indication of the stupendous task that confronts the historian 
who writes the true story of the first great contest between the Army of the Potomac 
and the Army of Northern Virginia. 

It is not the purpose of the writer to assume the prerogatives of the historian in 
reference to the battle of Fair Oaks. His chief concern is to the part played in this battle 
by Case/s division, and even here the place he would take is not that of historian, but 
rather that of an assistant or guide to him who shall write the final word on the battle. 
He would point out from the chaos of discrepant official reports and imaginary descriptive 
writings of the battle, obvious errors, omissions, and misstatements, and endeavor to recon- 
cile discrepancies honestly made, which will confuse anyone who attempts elucidation, unless 
he has some knowledge of the lay of the grounds and of the conditions under which the 
battle was fought. 

There are two wagon roads approaching Richmond from the east, leading from the 
battle-field of Fair Oaks, one known as the Nine-miles road, but usually designated in 
the official report as the "Nine-Mile," and sometimes as the New Bridge road; the other 
as the Williamsburg road, sometimes referred to as the Richmond road, and the main 
road. "I he Nine-miles road enters the city through the northeast suburb, while the Williams- 
burg road enters through the southeast suburb. These two roads intersect each other at 
Seven Pines, seven miles east of Richmond on the Williamsburg road and nine miles via 
the Nine-miles road. Approaching Richmond from the east is a railroad (Richmond and 
York River, now known as the Southern), which is intersected by the Nine-miles road a 
scant mile from Seven Pines. This intersection is designated as Fair Oaks, or Fair Oaks 
Station, and is also distant from Richmond seven miles via the railroad. The Williams- 
burg road crosses the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge, almost fourteen miles east of 
Richmond. The railroad crosses the river about three-fourths of a mile north of the road, 
and these two roads converge and diverge to and from each other from a fourth of a 
mile to a mile until they pass beyond the battle-ground of Fair Oaks, being a little over 
a half mile distant at Seven Pines on a straight line north and south. 

The country south and west of the Chickahominy is low and flat. Extending from 
the Chickahominy river south of Bottom's Bridge to within five or six miles of Richmond 
was a deep, heavily wooded morass known as White Oak Swamp, affording a natural pro- 
tection from the south. The northern border of White Oak Swamp varied in distance 
from the Williamsburg road from five or six miles to less than a mile, being about a mile 
distant at Seven Pines, veering slightly to the north for the next mile. 

Casey's division crossed the Chickahominy river at Bottom's Bridge May 23, 1862, 
then being the vanguard of the left wing of the Army of the Potomac. On Saturday, May 

24, the advance picket line was established at Seven Pines, and on the following day, May 

25, the line was pushed forward on the Williamsburg road a mile and a half in advance 
of Seven Pines. 

On the 26th and 27th the picket line was gradually extended to the right until it 
reached the Chickahominy river. The picket line of the left wing of the Army of the 
Potomac now extended along the northern border of White Oak Swamp until within six 
miles of Richmond, when it gradually curved to the right, crossing the Williamsburg road, 
perpendicular to it, five and a half miles east of Richmond, extending north to the rail- 
road, crossing it about a mile west of Fair Oaks Station, thence to the Nine-miles road to 
a point where it was intersected by a private road leading to the Garnett farm house, thence 
along this road for a quarter of a mile, whence it slightly veered to the right until it 
reached the Chickahominy river. This picket line, between four and five miles in length, 
was covered by Casey's division until May 30, when the line from the Williamsburg road 
south was entrusted to Couch's division, Casey's pickets taking care of the line north of 
the road to the Chickahominy, about three miles in extent. 


Early in the morning of May 29 Casey's division was advanced five-eighths of a mile 
west on the Williamsburg road, the order directing the advance indicating' the position to 
be occupied as follows : "By a large wood-pile and two houses, about three-fourths of a 
mile beyond Seven Pines.'' 

The two houses referred to were situated 135 yards south of the Williamsburg road, 
in line with each other, facing north towards the road, and in the same yard, only a few 
feet apart, and in the oiScial reports and descriptive writings are frequently referred to as 
the "twin houses." The wood-pile referred to was situated a short distance west of the 
two houses. It was about ten or twelve feet high and more than 100 feet long, extending 
north and south, the north end being about 75 yards south of the road, and it consisted of 
four foot cordwood. The land surrounding the two houses had been under cultivation, and 
there v.-as an open space west of the wood pile, extending towards Richmond about a third 
of a mile, and which extended about a fourth of a mile both north and south of the Williams- 
burg road. The grounds immediately north of the Williamsburg road in front of the two 
houses had evidently been under cultivation some years before, but at this time were covered 
by undergrowth for 150 yards north of the road, when the growth became heavier, at first 
being mostly saplings, while farther north they assumed the proportions of trees, but appar- 
ently of recent growth. These woods continued more or less dense and heavy until they 
reached the railroad, nearly three-fourths of a mile distant. About 200 yards north of the 
road the woods gradually curved to the west, and the borders were fringed with 
undergrowth and saplings. The western border of the open space between Richmond and 
the position assigned to Casey's division was a heavy forest filled with undergrowth, at 
places matted and tangled with briers making them impenetrable. This forest, both north 
and south of the Williamsburg road, gradually curved to the east, making both the northern 
and southern extremities semi-circular, and a continuous forest on the north for more 
than a fourth of a mile south of the railroad, east to and beyond the Nine-miles road and 
south to the undergrowth north of the road in front of the two houses. On the south 
the forest extended to White Oak Swamp and gradually curved east and north until it 
reached within 100 yards east of the two houses, the woods between White Oak Swamp, in 
rear of Casey's position, being continuous from White Oak Swamp to the railroad. The 
woods between Richmond and the open space in front of Casey's position extended west 
about a quarter of a mile on both sides of the Williamsburg road, west of which was an 
open space about a fourth of a mile in width, covered by a dense undergrowth. The Federal 
picket line was posted along the western edge of these woods, while the Confederate pickets 
were posted about a hundred yards west of the woods, well concealed by clusters of small 
trees and undergrowth. 

When Casey's division advanced on the 29th, Naglee's brigade was assigned to a 
position north of the Williamsburg road; with Wessells' brigade directly south of the road, 
between the road and the two houses, and immediately east of the wood-pile, and Palmer's 
brigade south of the two houses. As soon as the respective regiments reached the positions 
assigned them, on the morning of the 29th, large details were made for fatigue duty and 
work was begun at once intrenching the position. 

The erection of a pentangular redoubt, rifle-pits, and the slashing of timber, the 
location of which had been directed by Gen. J. G. Barnard, Chief of Engineers of the 
Army of the Potomac, on the 28th, was begun under the supervision of Lieut. M. D. 
McAlester, of the Engineer Corps, As this redoubt was the pivotal point in the battle of 
Fair Oaks, so far as Casey's division is concerned, it is very essential to know its location 
to understand the position of Casey's troops during the battle. It was located fully fifty 
yards south of the Williamsburg road and about the same distance in advance of the 
wood-pile. It was over a half mile in advance of Seven Pines and nearly three-fourths of 
a mile from Fair Oaks Station, and about the same distance from White Oak Swamp. 
With the site of the Casey redoubt clearly in mind, and its relative position to other points, 
certain discrepancies in the official reports can be better understood, and errors of statement 
be corrected. This is very essential to do justice to Wessells' and Palmer's brigades. In 
none of the official reports of the battle is the location of the redoubt given; but Gen. 


Wessells, in giving the position of the troops of his brigade, properly places it south of 
the Williamsburg road, which he terms the Richmond road. . 

At daylight on the morning of the 29th, the enemy attacked Casey's pickets, imme- 
diately north of the Williamsburg road, driving them back through the woods, killing the 
commanding officer of the picket, Maj. John E. Kelley, 96th New York Regiment, and 
Private Newton Joseph, Company B, 103d Penna. Regiment. Capt. George W. Gillespie, 
103d Regiment, being on picket with his company (B), assumed command of the pickets 
when Maj. Kelley fell, drove the enemy back, and reestablished the picket line. ; 

Gen. Casey reported the affair as follows : 

"At daylight this morning the enemy attacked my advanced picket on the Richmond 
road. They took advantage of the dense fog, and approached very near before being dis- 
covered. The pickets behaved nobly, and drove the rebels back in disorder. They left 
a wounded prisoner on the ground, who states that their force consisted of 300 men, 
of the Twenty-third North Carolina Regiment. We lost 1 officer and 1 private killed, and 
2 enlisted men wounded. The officer killed (Maj. John E. Kelley, of the Ninety-sixth New 
York Volunteers, who commanded the pickets) is a great loss to the service. I knew him 
well when orderly-sergeant of the Second Infantry. I have inclosed a list of the killed and 
wounded. Capt. George W. Gillespie, of the One Hundred and Third Penna. Volunteers, 
who commanded the pickets after the death of Maj. Kelley, behaved very well" CO R 
Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 745-746). 

Evidently this reconnoissance proved a failure due, no doubt, to the heavy fog that 
prevailed and also to the spirited resistance made by the pickets; for about noon 
on May 30 the enemy again attacked the pickets at the same point, driving them back through 
the woods to where the men on fatigue duty were slashing timber, and enabling him to get 
a view of the line of intrenchments then being constructed. This attack seeming to be 
formidable, the entire division was kept in line of battle most of the afternoon, and the 
batteries of the division opened fire on the woods and continued the fire for some time, 
thoroughly shelling the woods. The 100th New York Regiment was sent forward to the 
support of the pickets and succeeded in reestablishing the picket line. The Confederate attack 
was led by Col. D. H. Christie, 23d North Carolina Regiment, who says in his official report 
of the affair: 

"The enemy is in large force in our immediate front and intrenching. The evidence 
before me is sufficient to enable me to say that 4 or 5 of the enemy were killed and 10 
to 15 wounded; 1 prisoner. I regret to announce the loss of Capt. J. F. Scarborough 
* + * and Private Redfearn." (O. R. Ser. I. Vol. XI, part II, page 646.) 

In the history of the 23d North Carolina in North Carolina Regiments the writer says: 

"In this sortie down the Williamsburg road 30 May, several men were wounded and 
Capt. Ambrose Scarborough, of Co. C, in command of the four companies reconnoitering, 
was killed. In the person of this gallant officer the regiment lost its first man from a 
hostile bullet. Capt. Frank Bennet commanded the advance line of sharpshooters, who 
really developed the enemy's strength was severely wounded, being disabled for months " 
(N. C. Regiments, Vol. II, pp. 208-204.) 

The only official report of the affair from the Federal side is made by Gen. Casey in 
his official report of the battle of Fair Oaks. He says : 

"In the attack of the 30th I ordered the 100th New York Volunteers to move to the 
support of the pickets. With the assistance of this regiment, under command of Col. 
Brown, they succeeded in repelling the attack, the enemy leaving 6 of his dead upon the 
ground." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, page 914.) 

No reference is made to any loss on the Federal side by Gen. Casey. 

On May 31, 1862, Casey's division was composed of 13 regiments of infantry in 
three brigades, and four batteries of artillery, aggregating 22 guns. The First Brigade, 
commanded by Brig. -Gen. Henry M. Naglee, consisted of the following regiments : 104th 
Penna., commanded by Col. William W. H. Davis; 52d Penna., commanded by Col. John 
C. Dodge, Jr. ; 56th New York, commanded by Lieut.-Col. James Jourdan ; 100th New York, 
commanded by Col. James M. Brown; 11th Maine, commanded by CoL Harris M. Plaisted. 

The Second Brigade, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Henry W. Wessells, consisted of the 
following regiments : 85th Penna., commanded by Col. Joshua B. Howell ; 101st Penna., com- 


mandeJ by Col. David B. Morris; 103d Penna., commanded by Maj. Audley W. Gazzam; 
96th New York, commanded by Col. James Fairman. 

The Third Brigade, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Innis N. Palmer, consisted of the fol- 
lowing regiments : 81st New York, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Jacob J. De Forest; 85th New 
York, commanded by Col. Jonathan S. Belknap ; 92d New York, commanded by Col. Lewis 
C. Hunt; 98th New York, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Charles Durkee. 

The artillery was commanded by Col. Guilford D. Bailey, and was composed of the 
following batteries: Company A, 1st New York, commanded by Lieut. George P. Hart; 
Company H, 1st New York, commanded by Capt. Joseph Spratt; 7th New York Independent 
Battery, commanded by Capt. Peter C. Regan; 8th New York Independent Battery, com- 
manded by Capt. Butler Fitch. 

In order to show how unjust and uncalled for the treatment accorded to Casey's 
division was in the battle of Fair Oaks, it will be necessary to refer to the other troops 
which participated in the battle. At this time the Army of the Potomac consisted of five 
corps, as follows: Second, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Edwin V. Sumner; Third, by Brig.- 
Gen. S. P. Heintzelman; Fourth, by Brig.-Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes; Fifth, by Brig.-Gen. 
Fitzjohn Porter; Sixth, by Brig.-Gen. William B. Franklin. The Second Corps (Sumner's) 
consisted of two divisions: First Division, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Israel D. Richardson; 
Second Division, commanded by Brig.-Gen. John Sedgwick. The Third Corps (Heintzel- 
man's) consisted of two divisions: Second Division, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Joseph 
Hooker; Third Division, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Philip Kearny. The Fourth Corps 
(Keyes") consisted of two divisions ; First Division, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Darius N. 
Couch ; Second Division, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Silas Casey. As the corps of Porter and 
Franklin did not participate in the battle of Fair Oaks, the only notice of them relevant in 
this narrative is to state that they comprised the right wing of the Army of the Potomac 
and were encamped on the north and east bank of the Chickahominy river, and after the 
Sumner bridges became submerged on May 31, were practically isolated from the left wing 
of the army. 

Richardson's division of Sumner's corps consisted of three brigades, as follows : 
First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. O. O. Howard; comprising the following regiments: 5th New 
Hampshire, Lieut.-Col. Samuel G. Langley; 61st New York, Col. Francis C. Barlow; 64th 
New York, Col. T. J. Parker; 81st Penna., Col. James Miller. 

Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Thomas F. Meagher: 63d New York, Col. John Burke; 
69th New York, Col. Robert Nugent; 88th New York, Lieut.-Col. Patrick Kelly. 

Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. William H. French: 52d New York, Col. Paul Frank; 
57th New York, Col. Samuel K. Zook; 66th New York, Col. Joseph C. Pinckney; 53d 
Penna., Col. John R. Brooke; Artillery, Capt. G. W. Hazzard: B 1st New York, Capt. 
Rufus D. Petit; G, 1st New York, Capt. John D. Frank; A and C, 4th U. S., Capt. G. W. 

Second Division, Brig.-Gen. John Sedgwick. 

First Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Willis A. Gorman ; 15th Mass., Lieut.-Col. John W. Kimball ; 
1st Minn., Col. Alfred Sully; 34th New York, Col. James A. Suiter; 82d New York, Lieut.- 
Col. Henry W. Hudson ; 1st Company Mass. Sharpshooters, Capt. John Saunders ; 2d Com- 
pany Minn. Sharpshooters, Capt. William F. Russell. 

Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. William W. Burns : 69th Penna., Col. Joshua T. Owen ; 
71st Penna., Maj. Charles W. Smith; 72d Penna., Col. DeWitt C. Baxter; 106th Penna., 
Col. Turner G. Morehead. 

Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. N. J. T. Dana: 19th Mass., Col. Edward W. Hinks; 20th 
Mass., Col. W. Raymond Lee ; 7th Mich., Col. Ira R. Grosvenor ; 42d New York, Col. E. C. 
Charles ; Artillery, Col. Charles H. Tompkins : A, 1st Rhode Island, Capt. John A. Tompkins ; 
B, 1st R. I., Capt. Walter O. Bartlett; G, 1st R. I., Capt. Charies D. Owen; I, 1st U. S., 
Lieut. Edmund Kirby; Cavalry: 6th New York, Capt. Riley Johnson. 

The Third Corps, commanded by Brig.-Gen. S. P. Heintzelman, consisted of two 
divisions, commanded by Gens. Joseph Hooker and Philip Kearney. Hooker's division 
embraced the following troops: First Brigade, commanded by Brig.-Gen. Cuvier Grover, 


consisting of the 1st Mass., Col. Robert Cowden; 11th Mass., Col. William Blaisdell; 2d 
New Hampshire, Col. Gilman Marston; 26th Penna., Col. William F. Small. Second 
Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Daniel E. Sickles: 70th New York (1st Excelsior), Maj. Thomas Holt; 
71st New York (2d Excelsior), Col. George B. Hall; 72d New York (3d Excelsior), Col. 
Nelson Taylor; 73d New York (4th Excelsior), Maj. John D. Moriarity; 74th New York 
(5th Excelsior), Col. Charles K. Graham. Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Francis E. Patterson: 
6th New Jersey, Col. Samuel H. Starr; 6th New Jersey, Col. Gresham Mott; 7th New 
Jersey, Maj. Frank Price, Jr. ; 8th New Jersey, Lieut.-Col. Joseph Trawin. 

Kearny's division was composed of the following troops: First Brigade, commanded 
by Brig.-Gen. Charles D. Jameson; 78th New York, Col. Stephen A. Dodge; 57th Penna., 
Col. Charles T. Campbell; 63d Penna.. Col. Alexander Hays; 105th Penna., Col. Amor A. 
McKnight. Second Brigade, Brig.-Gen. David B. Birney : 3d Maine, Col. Henry G. Staples ; 
4th Maine, Col. Elijah Walker; 38th New York, Col. J. H. H. Ward; 40th New York, 
Lieut. Col. Thomas W. Egan. Third Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Hiram G. Berry : 2d Mich., Col. 
Orlando M. Poe; 3d Mich., Col. S. G. Champlin; 5th Mich., Col. Henry D. Terry; 37th 
New York, Col. Samuel B. Hayman; Artillery, commanded by Maj. Charles S. Wainwright: 
D, 1st New York, Capt. Walter M. Bramhall. 

Couch's division of Keyes' corps consisted of three brigades, commanded respectively 
by Brig.-Gens. John J. Peck, John J. Abercrombie and Charles Devens, Jr. Peck's brigade 
was composed of the following regiments : 55th New York, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Louis 
Thourot; 62d New York, Col. J. LaFayette Riker; 93d New York, Col. J. M. McCarter; 
102d Penna., Col. Thomas A. Rowley. Abercrombie's brigade was composed as follows: 
65th New York (1st U. S. Chasseurs), Col. John Cochrane; 67th New York (1st Long 
Island), Col. Julius W. Adams; 23d Penna., Col. Thmas H. Neill; 31st Penna., Col. David 
H. Williams; 61st Penna., Col. Oliver H. Rippey. Devens' brigade: 7th Mass., Col. David 
A. Russell ; 10th Mass., Col. Henry S. Briggs ; 36th New York, Col. Charles H. Innes. The 
2d Rhode Island, of this brigade, was absent on detached service and did not participate in 
the battle. 

The artillery of Couch's division consisted of four batteries of the 1st Penna. Light 
Artillery, commanded by Maj. Robert M. West; Battery C, commanded by Capt. Jeremiah 
McCarthy; Battery D, by Capt. Edward H. Flood; Battery E, by Capt. Theodore Miller; 
Battery H, by Capt. James Brady. 

Both divisions of Sumner's corps were encamped at noon, May 31, on the north bank 
of the Chickahominy, some five or six miles distant from Casey's position, Gen. Richardson 
near what is known as Sumner's lower bridge, and Gen. Sedgwick near the upper bridge. 

Hooker's division was encamped along the northern border of White Oak Swamp, 
south and east of Savage Station, guarding the approaches through the swamp. 

Kearny's division was in camp near the Williamsburg road, a mile or two east of 
Bottom's Bridge; two brigades, Birney's and Berry's, were advanced to a point near Savage 
Station, bivouacking there about noon on Saturday, Jameson's brigade remaining near 
Bottom's Bridge until after the battle of Fair Oaks had been raging for more than an hour. 

Cjuch's division was encamped along the Nine-miles road, a little west of it, from 
east of Fair Oaks Station to the Williamsburg road, and thence south towards White Oak 
Swamp; Abercrombie's brigade as follows: 67th New York (1st L. I. Vols.) in rear of the 
rifle-piis, near the intersection of the Williamsburg and Nine-miles road, but to the right 
of the former road; 23d Penna. and 65th New York (1st U. S. Chasseurs) along the 
Nine-miles road, almost in rear of the 67th N. Y. ; the 31st Penna. north of Fair Oaks 
Station, on the Nine-miles road, between the railroad and Richmond; the 61st Penna. north 
of the railroad, between Fair Oaks Station and the Chickahominy river. The special duty 
assigned to the 31st and 61st Penna. regiments was to guard the crossing at Fair Oaks 

Devens' brigade was encamped a short distance east of the Nine-miles road near the 
Williamsburg road, and Peck's brigade south of the Williamsburg road, between that road 
and White Oak Swamp. Brady's battery was in position at Fair Oaks Station, with the 


31st and 61st Penna. regiments, while the other three batteries of the division were parked 
east of the junction of the Williamsburg and Nine-miles roads with Devens' brigade. 

From the time Casey's division had crossed the Chickahominy river on May 23 large 
details from every regiment were kept constantly at work slashing timber into abatis, 
building breastworks, rifle-pits and redoubts, and repairing the roads. The heavy rain on 
the afternoon and night of May 30 had made it impracticable to work on the rifle-pits on 
the 31st, but a large force was put to work slashing timber north of the Williamsburg road, 
on the edge of the wood, in front of the intrenchments. An abatis had been formed south 
of the WilUamsburg road, from 50 to 75 yards in width, extending about 200 yards south; 
while north of the road it did not exceed 100 yards in length, and was not more than 40 or 
50 yards in width. The woods in rear of Wessell's camp, and also for a short distance 
north of the Williamsburg road, had been slashed into abatis. 

On Saturday forenoon. May 31, the commissary department of Casey's division 
received and issued supplies, and the men in Camp were anticipating a full repast 
after more or less fasting for two or three days. A few minutes after 12 o'clock, while 
some of the men were already enjoying their dinner, and others were anxiously awaiting 
theirs, three cannon balls came whizzing over Casey's camp, in rapid succession, passing 
on to Couch's camp, three-fourths of a mile to the rear. As these shots were immediately 
followed by musketry fire on the picket line, Gen. Casey ordered Gen. Wessells to send 
forward the 103d Penna. Regiment to support the pickets. As the firing soon indicated a 
formidable advance of the enemy, the division was ordered under arms, orders issued to 
have the men at work on the rifle-pits and abatis recalled to their regiments, the artillery 
harnessed, and lines of battle formed, which was done under the direction of Gen. Casey 
and Gen. Wessells, as follows : 

The 101st Penna. Regiment was placed on the right of the Williamsburg road, perpen- 
dicular to it, the right flank of the battalion extending into the woods and in rear of the 
newly constructed rifle-pits, the extreme right of the battalion being about 400 yards north 
of the Williamsburg road; the 85th Penna. Regiment in rear of the rifle-pits, extended 
from the redoubt across the Williamsburg road, the right flank almost to the left of the 
101st ; the 96th New York Regiment, and Companies F and I, of the 103d Penna., were 
placed in advance of the rifle-pits and to the left of the redoubt; the 85th New York Regi- 
ment m rear of the rifle-pits, to the left of the redoubt; Capt. Bates' battery. Company A, 
1st New York Artillery, commanded by Lieut. George P. Hart, six guns, light brass twelve- 
pounders, was placed in the redoubt; Capt. Peter C. Regan's battery, 7th New York, Inde- 
pendent, north of the Williamsburg road, in rear of the 101st Regiment; Capt. Butler 
Fitch's 8th New York Independent Battery was placed in rear of the rifle-pits, two guns 
south and four guns north of the redoubt. This is what is known as Casey's intrenched 
line, although the rifle-pits did not extend either north or south of the Williamsburg road 
more than 300 yards. 

Capt. Joseph Spratt's battery. Company H, 1st New York Artillery, consisting of 
four ten-pounders, was advanced about 400 yards in advance of the rifle-pits, and unlim- 
bered for action immediately north of the Williamsburg road. This battery was supported 
on the right by the 104th Penna. and three companies of the 11th Maine; and later by a 
fragment of the 103d Penna.; on the left by the 100th New York and the 92d New York, 
the right flank of the 100th resting a few yards south of the Williamsburg road. The 81st 
New York was deployed on the extreme left of the advanced line to protect the left flank, 
and the 98th New York was deployed a short distance to the right of the 81st and the 
96th New York, and two companies of the 103d Penna. were advanced to guard the gap 
between the 92d and 98th New York Regiments. The 52d Penna., 56th New York and 
seven companies of the 11th Maine were isolated from the main body of the division, and 
did not come under the direction of Gen. Casey at any time during the battle. Two com- 
panies of the 52d Penna. were on fatigue duty with the pioneers of the division at the 
Chickahominy river, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Hoyt of that regiment, and the 
remainder of the regiment was either on picket, or supporting the picket line between the 
Nine-miles road and the Chickahominy. Seven companies of the 11th Maine were on picket 


duty, four companies near the railroad, and three companies on the extreme right, extending 
to the Chickahominy river. The 56th New York, in rear of the picket line, 200 yards south 
of the railroad. 

The 100th and 92d New York Regiments, south of the road, moved up to the eastern 
border of the abatis, some little distance in advance of the position of Spratt's guns. The 
104th Penna. at first took position along the edge of the woods, in rear and north of 
Spratt's guns, but was moved forward in advance of the battery, but some distance to the 
right; the three companies of the 11th Maine and fragment of the 103d Penna. deploying 
on its left. 

The picket line where it crossed the Williamsburg road was three-fourths of a mile 
in advance of the redoubt, and about a half mile in advance of Casey's first line of battle. 
By the time Maj. Gazzam, who was in command of the 103d Penna. Regiment, received the 
command to take his regiment to the support of the pickets, the firing had become quite 
brisk, and no time was lost in rushing the men forward in double quick order. The regi- 
ment was hurriedly placed in line about fifty yards in rear of the picket line, immediately 
north of the Williamsburg road, with two companies, B and G, under command of Capt. 
G. W. Gillespie, south of the road, to protect the left flank. The pickets having had strict 
orders to maintain their position, unless attacked by an overwhelming force, still retained 
their advanced posts, firing with great rapidity, checking the advance of the enemy's skirmish 
until the regiments of the attacking brigade were brought into line of battle to support them. 
Before Maj. Gazzam had succeeded in properly aligning his regiment, which, owing to the 
heavy undergrowth and briers in the woods, was a difficult task, the enemy opened a terrific 
fire on the pickets, the full eflfect of which fell upon the 103d. This was immediately 
returned, the regiment maintaining its position until flanked on the right, when it was 
ordered to fall back slowly, again making a stand on a road through the woods, which 
was nearly perpendicular to the Williamsburg road. However, only two or three volleys 
had been fired from this position, when Capt. Laughlin, who commanded Company A, 
noticed the enemy closing in on the right flank; he called down the line for the men to 
fall back as rapidly as they could, Maj. Gazzam repeating the command. The dense and 
tangled condition of the undergrowth prevented the regiment from falling back in any 
kind of order, and before it emerged from the woods it was broken into fragments. How- 
ever, Capts. Gillespie, Mackey and Laughlin succeeded in rallying about one hundred men 
and formed them on the left flank of the 11th Maine, immediately to the right of Spratt's 
battery, where they remained until the first line was driven back. 

The attack on Casey's division was made by Longstreet's command of ten brigades, 
the division of Gen. D. H. Hill leading, consisting of four brigades. Garland's brigade, 
which led the advance north of the Williamsburg road, comprised the following regiments: 
2d Florida, 2d Miss. Battalion, 5th North Carolina, 23d North Carolina, 24th Virginia, and 
38th Virginia. Attached to this brigade was the Jeff Davis Battery of Artillery, from 
Alabama, commanded by Capt. J. W. Bondurant. (It was evidently this battery that fired 
the sig-nal guns.) Garland's brigade was closely followed by Featherstone's brigade, com- 
manded by Col. George B. Anderson, of the 4th North Carolina regiment, which consisted 
of the following regiments: 27th and 28th Georgia, 4th North Carolina, and 49th Virginia. 
South of the road the advance attack was made by Rodes' brigade, which embraced the 
following regiments : 5th, 6th, and 12th Alabama ; 12th Miss., and 4th Virginia Battalion. 
Attached to this brigade was Carter's Battery of Artillery. Closely following Rodes' 
brigade was Rains' brigade, consisting of four regiments, as follows: 13th and 26th Ala- 
bama, and 6th and 23d Georgia. 

Garland's brigade was the first to receive the fire of the pickets, and it was this 
brigade that was closing in on the right flank of the 103d Penna. in the woods, and which 
succeeded in driving it back and finally routing it. When it reached the edge of the woods, 
it met a terrific fire from Spratt's battery, from the guns in Casey's redoubt, and from the 
infantry supporting Spratt's battery, and it was forced to a halt until Anderson's brigade 
reen forced it. South of the road, Rodes' brigade of four regiments and a battalion, soon 
reenforced by Rain's brigade of four regiments, made its appearance and formed in line 


along the western side of the abatis, returning the fire it was receiving from Casey's men 
on the east side of the abatis. The Confederates on both sides of the road sought the 
protection of the fallen trees and stumps of the abatis, and were gradually penetrating it, 
when Gen. Casey gave an order for the regiments supporting the advance battery to charge, 
which was done, but at such a terrific sacrifice that the line both north and south of the 
road was soon thereafter overpowered and routed. Before leaving this position, however, 
four line officers of the 92d New York were wounded, three line offiQers of the 98th New 
York were disabled and two line officers of the 100th New York were killed and three 
wounded; these casualties occurred south of the Williamsburg road. North of the road, 
the 103d Penna. had one line officer killed; the 11th Maine (only three companies present, 
aggregating 93 men) had one line officer kille'd and three wounded; the 104th Penna. had 
one line officer killed, and the two field officers present, disabled, the major, John M. Gries, 
mortally wounded, dying a few days subsequently; the colonel, W. W. H. Davis, wounded 
m the left elbow and left breast, and four line officers wounded. Capt. Spratt and Lieut. 
John H. Howell, of Company H, 1st New York Artillery, were wounded early in the 
action, the command of the battery devolving upon First Lieut. C. E. Mink, assisted by 
Second Lieut. E. H. Clark. The regiments engaged in Casey's first line of battle, which 
was nearly a mile in advance of Gen. Couch's line, lost 8 officers killed, 28 wounded; and 
91 men killed, 479 wounded, and 243 captured or missing; yet this line of battle is entirely 
ignored in Gen. Keyes' official report, and also in the official report of Gen. McClellan. 
Owing to the horses being killed, and the miry condition of the ground, making it im- 
possible for the men to haul it, one gun of Spratt's battery had to be abandoned to the 
enemy. From the beginning of the attack on Casey's first line, the six guns in the redoubt. 
Company A, 1st New York Artillery, commanded by Lieut. Hart, and Capt. Fitch's 8th 
New York Independent Battery were in continuous action, firing with rapidity and pre- 
cision, under the personal supervision of Col. Bailey, Chief of Artillery of Casey's division. 
These batteries opened fire on the woods in advance of the abatis as soon as the 103d 
Penna. emerged from the woods, and when the enemy came in sight, playd havoc with 
his ranks. 

When the advanced line was driven back, the 96th New York and Companies F and 
I of the 103d Penna. formed in rear of the rifle-pits south of the redoubt, between a detach- 
ment of the 103d Penna. and the 85th New York; the 98th New York took position behind 
the rifle-pits, to the left of the 85th New York; the 81st New York took position in the 
woods south of Palmer's camp. 

The 104th Penna. and 11th Maine retired on the right and made a halt at their 
camp, while the 92d and 100th New York Regiments were so broken up and scattered that 
only small fragments were rallied at the intrenched line. 

Spratt's battery and the advanced line gone, the enemy now concentrated his fire and 
attention to the insignificant earthworks. Twice the enemy charged on the redoubt and 
was forced to fall back to the abatis for protection, once approaching within 30 or 40 
yards. After repeated assaults on the 85th and 101st Penna. Regiments, on the right of 
the redoubt, the enemy moved on the right fiank, when Companies A and F were quickly 
deployed by Lieut. SheafFer, of Company A, parallel with the Williamsburg road, checking 
the advance of the enemy from that direction, until he was heavily reenforced, when his 
enfilading fire became too heavy, and the regiment was compelled to retire, but not until 
after the commanding officer, Lieut.-Col. D. B. Morris, had been borne from the field 
severely wounded. The enemy advancing on the left flank and in front at the same time, 
the entire intrenched line was compelled to give way. At this juncture Col. Bailey was 
killed by a rifle ball piercing his brain as he was directing the guns in the redoubt to be 
spiked; the horses of the battery having been killed or disabled. 

Some commotion prevailed when Wessells' brigade retired from the intrenchraents. 
However, Gens. Casey and Wessells assisted the officers in rallying the men, forming a 
line south of the road in the abatis, east of Wessells' camp, from which point they delivered 
a murderous fire on the enemy until they were flanked and overwhelmed, when they were 
again compelled to retire through the abatis. In falling back through the abatis great 


confusion ensued, and the various commands intermingled, so that it was difficult to preserve 
the identity of the respective regiments. However, Col. Howell, of the 85th Penna., rallied 
quite a force, and charged through the camp of the brigade, forcing the enemy to retire 
from the rifle-pits, but was soon driven back by overwhelming numbers. 

After Col. Bailey fell, Maj. Van Valkenburgh assumed command of the artillery. 
With great difficulty, owing to its horses being killed and disabled by the enem/s fire, the 
six gurs of the 8th New York Independent Battery and three guns of Spratt's battery 
were taken to the rear, after having done as effective and heroic work as was performed 
by any batteries during the war. The same statement will apply with equal force to Battery 
A, the guns of which later fell into the hands of the enemy. 

The 7th New York Independent Battery was in position on the right of the road, in 
rear of the 101st Penna., which compelled its guns to remain silent. Although not per- 
mitted 10 fire during the first two or three hours of the battle, it was compelled to remain 
under a severe fire, losing both men and horses. When it became evident that the troops 
along the intrenchments would give way, Maj. Van Valkenburgh ordered the battery to fall 
back and take a position commanding the Williamsburg road. Two guns were placed in 
the road and four in the field north of the road, and a rapid fire was kept up until the 
enemy was within a few yards of the battery. Shortly after giving an order for the four 
guns in the field to limber up, Maj. Van Valkenburgh was killed, while between the two 
guns in action on the road. The two guns on the road remained in action until the pieces 
in the field were extricated and removed, the wheels of the carriages having become so 
mired in the soft ground in the field that these four guns were saved with great difficulty. 
One of the pieces on the road fired, retiring by prolonge, while the other five were going 
to the rear. In retiring with this piece, Capt. Regan, now the- senior officer of Casey's artil- 
lery, and in command, acted as gunner. None of the guns of this battery was lost, but two 
caissons, the battery wagon and forge were abandoned, owing to the horses being killed; 
however, with the exception of one caisson limber, all were recovered. Considering the 
enormous loss of horses in Casey's artillery, the miry condition of the ground, and the 
overwhelming force of the enemy, it was a remarkable feat to save fifteen of the twenty-two 
guns of the division. Capt. Fitch's battery, 8th New York Independent, went into action 
in rear of Couch's line and did effective service before Couch's troops gave way. The 
final action of the division in the action of May 31 can be best described in the words 
of the commanding general of the division : 

"On my arrival at the second line, I succeeded in rallying a small portion of my 
division, and with the assistance of Gen. Kearny, who had just arrived at the head of one 
of the brigades of his division, attempted to regain possession of my works, but it was 
found impracticable." 

According to the official reports of the three brigade commanders, the actual icrce of 
the division in action was less than 4,253 men. The official reports show the casualties to 
be: Officers killed, 14; wounded, 55; captured or missing, 9; total casualties among the 
officers, 78 ; enlisted men killed, 163 ; wounded, 872 ; captured or missing, 316 ; total casualties 
among the enlisted men, 1,351; aggregate loss, 1,429. 

It may appear on the face of the returns that the captured and missing percentage is 
inordinately large in proportion to the number killed. It should be remembered that these 
reports were made immediately after the battle, when all the records were lost, and were, 
at best, imperfect; that the battle was fought over a large area of ground, a great part of 
it wooded, and that the enemy had possession of the field for two days; and that many 
of those marked captured or missing were killed or left on the field mortally wounded. 
The record of one regiment, the 103d Penna., will illustrate this point. The official report 
of the casualties at the battle of Fair Oaks gives the aggregate loss of this regiment as 93, 
as follows: Rilled, 1 officer and 7 men; wounded, 2 officers and 67 men; captured or 
missing, 1 officer and 15 men. The final papers in the auditor-general's office of the War 
Department show that 2 officers and 33 enlisted men of this regiment were killed in action 
or died of wounds received in the battle of Fair Oaks. This indicates that 37.6 per cent 
of the casualties of the regiment were fatal, instead of 8.6 per cent, as shown by the 


official report. If the mortality of casualties of the division was as great in proportion as 
in this regiment, it would be 773. However, the conditions surrounding this regiment 
were different from the other regiments. It first received the fire of the enemy a half 
mile in advance of the first line of battle, (and yet more than two-thirds of Casey's division 
were nearly a mile in advance, and the other third over half a mile in advance of the 
second line of battle) and the wounded who were left on the advanced battle-ground were 
in the hands of the enemy for practically two full days. The official report made by the 
commanding officer of the 103d Penna. was made on June 2, before the advance battle- 
ground had been explored, and there is not much doubt that the casualty reports from 
every regiment of Casey's division was made before there had been any return from the 
battle-field of Saturday. It is, therefore, safe to estimate the mortality at least at 50 per 
cent of what careful investigation shows the increased mortality to be over that at first 
reported. On this basis the total mortality of Casey's division at the battle of Fair Oaks 
would be 330. The brigade commanders estimate the number of officers and men in action 
on the 31st of May as about 4,250. This makes the mortality more than 7% per cent of 
those engaged, the aggregate casualties being over 33% per cent. 

In an address by Maj.-Gen. D. H. Hill, whose division routed Casey's troops at Fair 
Oaks, at the reunion of the Virginia Division, Army of the Northern Virginia Association, 
in the State Capitol of Virginia, on the 22d day of October, 1885, he said: 

"The battle of Seven Pines was a fine illustration of the prowess of untrained, 
untutored and undisciplined soldiers. The great battles of Europe, in which veterans vvere 
engaged, show a loss of from one-tenth to one-fourth of those engaged. At Seven Pines 
our raw troops lost one-third of their number without flinching, moving steadily on to 
victory. The true test of the loss in battle is the number of casualties before shouts of 
triumph rend the sky; for it has often happened that the chief loss of the defeated has been 
from the murderous fire upon their disorganized, unresisting and huddled together masses. 
This has always been so when the defeat has been the result of a flank movement, or when 
a brilliant cavalrv charge has followed up the rout." (Southern Historical Society Papers, 
Vol. 1.3, page 266.) 

There has been a wonderful diversity of statements as to when the battle of Fair 
Oaks began. Some of these differences are due as to when the firing assumed the pro- 
portion; of a battle. Gen. Keyes speaks with some positiveness on this point, as he repeats 
the statement in his official report, saying : "At about 12 :30 P. M. it became suddenly 
apparent that the attack was real and in great force." In another paragraph he says : 
"Casey's division, holding the front line, was first seriously attacked at about 12 :30 P. M." 
Prior to this, in his report, he says : "Having sent orders for the troops to be under arms 
precisely at 11 o'clock A. M., I mounted my horse and rode along the Nine-miles road to Fair 
Oaks Station. * * * Finding nothing unusual at Fair Oaks, I gave some orders to the 
troops, and returned quickly to Seven Pines. The firing was becoming brisk, but there was 
yet no certainty of a great attack." The writer has knowledge which convinces him that Gen. 
Keyes was somewhat confused as to his statements as to how the firing began and will refer 
to it at another place. However, his statement as to the beginning of the battle is approxi- 
mately correct. In another paragraph of his report he says ; "Casey's division held its line 
of battle for more than three hours, and the execution done upon the enemy was shown 
by the number of rebel dead left upon the field after the enemy had held possession of that 
part of it for upward of twenty-four hours." He also says that Gen. Heintzelman arrived 
on the field about 3 P. M. The latter says in his report that on reaching the front he 
found Casey's position was lost, but he makes no statement as to the time of day it was 
when he arrived, but he infers that the arrival of Kearny's troops v,ras simultaneous with 
his. That would clearly indicate the time at about 4 o'clock. Gen. Keyes, in his book, 
"Fifty Years' Observation of Men and Events," published in 1884, admits he made an error 
in stating the time of Gen. Heintzelman's arrival, and places the time at 4 o'clock, not five 
minutes either vray from that hour. Whatever the hour of the attack, it was fully three 
hours later when the enemy captured the redoubt. Gen. Hill was approximately correct 
when he said "the works were captured at 3 o'clock." Casey's troops fought for some 
time after falling back from the intrenchments, before retiring to Couch's line; that is, a 



portion of them did. There is abundant evidence to substantiate this paragraph from Gen. 
Wessells' report: 

"u\ ?^* (Penna.) and 96th (New York) having fallen back, were again formed 
on the left of the road in rear of the camp in the fallen timber and delivered 
their fire with great effect, but being again flanked and overwhelmed, were compelled again 
to retire. The right wing of the 101st (Penna.), after retiring deployed to the left, and 
passing the left wing, opened its fire, and for some time maintained its position, but at 
length was compelled to fall back." CO. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 927). 

It is not the purpose of this article to give a detailed account of the battle of Fair 
Oaks or Seven Pines. However, to fully answer the aspersions cast upon Casey's division 
It will be necessary to call attention to the conduct of the troops comprising the other di- 
visions participating in the battle. It should be remembered that in the commanding gen- 
eral's dispatch censuring Casey's division, unstinted praise was given to all the other troops 
engaged m the battle. With but very few exceptions, the newspaper accounts sent from 
the Army of the Potomac, while exaggerating all the camp gossip detrimental to Casey's 
troops, were silent as to any questionable conduct of the troops belonging to the other 
divisions. This is practically true of most of the histories and sketches written of the bat- 
tle. The excerpts from the official reports and documents submitted here are not garbled 
and cover all the essential features of the battle. The writer does not intend to reflect 
upon the conduct of the troops of other divisions engaged in the battle; the official reports 
can tel! the story: 

From report of Gen. McClellan : 

"On the 28th Gen. Keyes was ordered to advance Casey's division to Fair Oaks, on 
the Williamsburg road, some three-quarters of a mile in front of the Seven Pines, leaving 
Gen. Couch's division at the line of rifle-pits. A new line of rifle-pits and a small redoubt 
for six field guns were commenced, and much of the timber in front of this line was 
felled on the two days following. ********** Xhe picket line was 
established, reachin(j from the Chickahominy to White Oak Swamp. On the 30th, Gen. 
Hemtzelman * * ♦ advanced two brigades of Kearny's division about the fourth of a 
** '* V?"' '^^ Savage Station * * * within supporting distance of Casey's division 
On the 30th the troops on the south side of the Chickahominy were in position 
as follows: Casey's division on the right of the Williamsburg road, at right angles to it; 
the center at Fair Oaks; Couch's division at the Seven Pines; Kearny's division on the 
railroad from near Savage Station toward the bridge; Hooker's division on the borders of 
White Oak Swamp. * * * The enemy * * * threw an overwhelming force (grand 
divisions of Gens. D. H. Hill, Huger, Longstreet, and G. W. Smith) upon the position 
occupied by Casey's division. * * * Between 11 and 12 o'clock it was reported to Gen. 
Casey that the enemy were approaching in considerable force on the Williamsburg road. 
At this time Casey's division was disposed as follows: Naglee's brigade extending from 
the Williamsburg road to the Garnett field, having one regiment across the railroad; Gen. 
Wessells' brigade in the rifle-pits, and Gen. Palmers' in the rear of Gen. Wessells' ; one bat- 
tery of artillerv in advance with Gen. Naglee; one battery in rear of rifle-pits to liie 
right of the redoubt; one battery in rear of the redoubt, and another battery unharnessed, 
in the redoubt. Gen. Couch's division, holding the second line, had Gen. Abercrombie's 
brigade on the right along the Nine-mile road, with two regiments and one battery across 
the railroad near Fair O^s Station; Gen. Peck's brigade on the right, and Gen. Deven's 
in the center. On the approach of the enemy, Gen. Casey sent forward one of Gen. Palmer's 
regiments to support the picket line, but the regiment gave way without making much, if 
any, resistance. Heavy firing at once commenced and the pickets were driven in. Gem. 
Keyes ordered Gen. Couch to move Gen. Peck's brigade to occupy the ground on the 
left of the Williamsburg road, which had not before been occupied by our forces, and 
thus to support Gen. Casey's left where tlie first attack was the most severe. The 
enemy now came on in heavy force, attacking Gen. Casey simultaneously in 
front and both flanks. Gen. Keyes sent to Gen. Hdntzelman for reenforce- 
ments, but the messenger was delayed, so that orders were not sent to Gens. 
Kearny and Hooker until nearly 3 o'clock, and it was nearly S P. M. when 
Gens. Jameson and Berry's brigades, of Gen. Kearny's division, arrived on the field. * * * 
In the meantime Gen. Naglee's brigade, with the batteries of Gen. Casey's division, which 
Gen. Naglee directed, struggled gallantly to maintain the redoubt and rifle-pits against 
the overwhelming masses of the enemy. They were reenforced by a regiment from Gen. 
Peck's brigade. The artillery, under command of Col. G. D. Bailey, 1st New York Artillery, 
and afterward of Gen. Naglee, did good execution on the advancing column. The left of 
this position was, however, soon turned, and a sharp cross-fire opened upon the gunners 



and men in the rifle pits. Col. Bailey, Maj. Van Valkenburgh, and Adjt. Runjsey, of the 
same regiment, were killed ; some of the guns in the redoubt were taken, and the whoJe 
line was driven back upon the position occupied by Gen. Couch. The brigades ot uens. 
Wessells and Palmer, with the reenforcements which had been sent them from (jei^ 
Couch, had also been driven from the field with heavy loss, and the whole position occupied 
by Gen. Casey's division was taken by the enemy. Previous to this time Gen. K-eyes 
ordered Gen. Couch to advance two regiments to relieve the pressure upon Gen. Case/s 
right flank. * * * This was followed up by a bayonet charge, led by Gen t<rencn 
in person * * * which turned the confusion of the enemy into precipitate flight. One 
gun captured the previous day was retaken. Our troops pushed forward as far as the 
lines held by them on the 31st, before the attack. On the battle-field there were found 
many of our own and the Confederate wounded, arms, caissons, wagons, subsistence 
stores, and forage abandoned by the enemy in his rout. The state of the roads and im- 
possibiUty of maneuvering artillery prevented further pursuit. On the next morning a 
reconnoissance was sent forward, which pressed back the pickets of the enemy to within 
5 miles of Richmond; but again the impossibility of forcing even a few batteries forward 
precluded our holding permanently this position. The lines held previous to the battle 
were therefore resumed. * * * Our loss was in Gen. Sumner's corps, 1,223; Gen. 
Heintzelman's corps, 1,394; Gen. Keyes' corps, 3,120; total, 5,737. 

Previous to the arrival of Gen. Sumner on the field of battle, on the 31st of 
May, Gen. Heintzelman, the senior corps commander present, was in the immedi- 
ate command of the forces engaged. The first information I received that the battle was 
in progress was a dispatch from him stating that Casey's division had given way. During 
the night of the 31st I received a dispatch from him, dated 8 :45 P. M., in which he says : 
T am just in. When I got to the front the most of Gen. Casey's division had dispersed. 
* * * jjjg J.QU). of Qgp Casey's men had a most dispiriting effect on the troops as 
they came up. I saw no reason why we should have been driven back.' This official state- 
ment, together with other accounts received previous to my arrival upon the battle-field, 
to the effect that Casey's division had given way without making proper resistance, caused 
me to state in a telegram to the Secretary of War on the 1st, that this division 'gave way 
unaccountably and discreditably.' Subsequent investigations, however, greatly modified the 
impressions first received, and I accordingly advised the Secretary of War of this in a dis- 
patch on the 5th of June. The official reports of Gen. Keyes, Casey, and Naglee show 
that a very considerable portion of this division fought well, and that the brigade of Gen. 
Naglee is entitled to credit for its gallantry. This division, among the regiments of which 
were eight of comparatively new troops, was attacked by superior numbers; yet, accord- 
ing to the reports alluded to, it stood the attack 'for three hours before it was reenforced.' 
A portion of the division was thrown into great confusion upon the first onslaught of the 
enemy, but the personal efforts of Gea Naglee, Col. Bailey, and other officers, who boldly 
went to the front and encouraged the men by their presence and example at this critical 
juncture rallied a great part of the division, and thereby enabled it to act a prominent 
part in this severely contested battle. It therefore affords me great satisfaction to with- 
draw the expression contained in my first dispatch, and I cordially give my indorsement to 
the conclusion of the division commander, 'that those parts of his command which behaved 
discreditably were exceptional cases.'" (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 38-48.) 

From Gen. McCIellan's testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee on the 
Conduct of the War, March 2, 1863 : 

"The battle occurred, I think, on the last of May and the first of June. At the begin- 
ning of the battle Gen. Keyes' corps was encamped in the vicinity of Seven Pines ; Casey's 
division was in front; Couch's division a short distance in the rear, on the main road to 
Bottom's Bridge; Heintzelman's corps was on the same side of the Chickahominy, in the 
general vicinity of Savage's Station; Sumner's corps was on the left bank, about half way 
between Bottom's Bridge and New Bridge ; the corps of Franklin and Porter were also on 
theleft bank of the Chickahominy, near New Bridge. The attack commenced on Casey's 
division, I think, about one o'clock. I was at the time confined to my bed by illness, and the 
first intimation I received of the affair was the sound of the musketry. Without waiting 
to hear from Gen. Keyes or Gen. Heintzelman, I sent instructions to Gen. Sumner to hold 
his corps in readiness to move to the scene of action. I did not hear anything for a long 
time from the field. I think the first I heard was from Gen. Heintzelman, who reported 
that Casey's division had been completely broken and was in full retreat. I ordered Sumner 
over as soon as I learned that his services were needed and the affair serious. The main part 
of his force crossed at the bridge near Dr. Trent's farm, and moved by the shortest route 
upon Fair Oaks, near which point he came in contact with the enemy's left, and drove them 
some little distance, thus relieving the pressure upon the right of Heintzelman, who had 
moved up to support Keyes. The enemy renewed the attack on Sunday morning but with 
much less vigor than the day before. Question. 'What was the strength of the'left win-' 
of your army— that part of the army which was on the right bank of the Chickahominy at 


that time?' Answer. 'Without the returns I could merely guess at it. There were four 
divisions— one a very weak one. I should think the four divisions must have had 30,000 
men, perhaps.' " (Report Conduct of the War, part I, pp. 432-433.) 

From Gen. Heintzelman's report (comdg. Third Corps; also all the troops south of 
the Chickahominy, May 31) : 

"About 1 P. M. I first heard firing, more than there had been for several days. 

* At 2 P. M. I received a note from Lieut. Jackson, of Gen. Keyes' staff, informing 
me that the enemy were pressing them very hard, especially on the railroad, and asking 
me to send two brigades. * * * On this I sent orders for a brigade to advance up the 
railroad as a support. The one selected by Gen. Kearny was Gen. Birney's brigade. 
Previous to this I had received instructions from the commanding general to hold the 
Seven Pines at all hazards, but not to move the troops guarding the approaches of Bot- 
tom's Bridge and crossing of the White Oak Swamp, unless it became absolutely necessary 
to hold the position in front at the Seven Pines. Believing the position in front of the 
Seven Pines to be a critical one, and not having entire confidence in the raw troops com- 
prising the division of Gen. Casey, I sought and obtained permission on Friday afternoon 
to advance a portion of my corps from its position near Bottom's Bridge. The order was 
to^ make such disposition of the troops of my corps as I saw fit. * * * 
Lieuls. Hunt and Johnson returned about 2:30 P. M., having seen Gen. Keyes, by whom 
they were directed to report that his front line, which was held by Case/s division, was 
being driven in. The road from the front was at this time filled with fugitives. I mounted 
my horse and rode briskly to the front. ♦ * + j had already given orders for all the 
available troops to advance, * * * On reaching the front, I met our troops fiercely 
engaged * * * near the Seven Pines, having lost the first position, three-fourths of a 
mile in advance. * * * Our reenforcements now began to arrive. * * * This brought 
the time to about 5 o'clock, at which hour the enemy received a reenforcement of a division, 
and began to drive our troops out of the woods on the right of the road. The fire had 
increased so much that I went to the left to order two * * * regiments to support 
this line. I met them coming. * * * They went into the woods, but, together with the 
troops already there, were driven out by the overwhelming masses of the enemy. Gen. 
Jameson rode across to rally them, but was met by a volley from the enemy. ♦ * * 
Their exertions, however, partially rallied the retiring regiments, and they fell back 
fighting. This brought us into a narrow strip of wood along the main road. With the 
assistance of my staff and other officers, we succeeded in rallying fragments of regiments 
to the number of about 1,800 men. * * * ^ ^^y, [jne was formed in some unfinished 
rifle-pits about one-half mile in rear, and occupied by the troops of Gens. Couch's and 
Kearny's divisions, and such troops of Gen. Casey as could be collected. When the troops 
on the right of the road near the Seven Pines gave way the enemy pushed several regi- 
ments across the main road, placing them between Gen. Berry's brigade, part of Jameson's, 
and the portion of our troops who gave way from the right of the road. * * * The 
defensive works of Gen. Casey's position, in consequence of the increasing rains and the 
short time allowed him for labor with trenching tools, were in a very unfinished state, 
and could oppose but a feeble resistance to the overwhelming mass thrown upon them. 
The artillery was well served, and some of the regiments fought gallantly until over- 
whelmed by numbers. After they were once broken they could not be rallied. The road 
was filled with fugitives (not all from this division) as far as Bottom's Bridge. * * ♦ 
A guard placed at Bottom's Bridge stopped over 1,000 men. An officer informed me that 
after we had driven the enemy beyond our first intrenchments he visited Gen. Casey's 
camp and found more men bayoneted and shot within their shelter tents than outside 
of them. As Gen. Casey in his report has not designated tjie regiments who did not 
behave well. I do not feel called upon to mention them. The 104th Penna., 100th and 
92d New York, and 11th Maine, Gen. Casey says, made a charge on the enemy under 
his eye and by his express orders that would have honored veteran troops. The 101st 
Penna. and 86th (evidently 85th) New York fought well. There is one statement in 
Gen. Palmer's report which it is necessary to notice. No portion of Gen. Hooker's division 
was engaged on Saturday. * * * The heavy loss in Gen. Kearny's division will attest 
how much his division felt the enemy. After Gen. Kearny's division arrived on the field 
our forces did not fall back a third of a mile before they checked the enemy. The next 
day they drove them back, and before night a portion of Sickles' brigade * * * occupied 
at least a portion of Gen. Casey's camps. * * * Couch's, Casey's and Kearny's divisions 
on the field numbered but 18,500 men. Deducting from this force Casey's division, 5,000 
dispersed when I came on the field, and Birney's 2,300 not engaged, we, with less than 
11,000 men, after a struggle of three and a half hours, checked the enemy's heavy masses. 
When I arrived on the field, I met Samuel Wilkeson, Esq., the chief correspondent of the 
New York Tribune. I accepted his services as volunteer aid, and I wish to bear testimony 
to his gallantry and coolness during the battle. When the rebel reenforcements arrived, 
about 5 o'clock P. M., and our troops commenced to give way, he was conspicuous in the 

SCftVt ov w\v,ts 



Map sTtoy/m^Fositiojis preltmi-nary to Seven Tines orFair Oaks,MtLy 31 if June 1 7362 

The above map, which gives the position of the troops of both armies prior to the battle 
of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks, appeared in the "Century War Series," and in "Battles and 
Leaders of the Civil War." By courtesy of the Century Company this and other sketches 
bearing on this battle are reproduced in this volume. 


throng aiding in rallying the men. * * * The greatest distance the enemy, with their 
overwhelming numbers, claim to have driven us back is but a mile and a half. The 
distance was less. * * ♦ In every instance in which our troops used the bayonet our 
loss was comparatively light, and the enemy was driven back, suffering heavily. Our troops 
pushed as far forward as the battle-field of the previous day. * * * On the next morn- 
ing I sent forward Gen. Hooker * * * to make a reconnaissance, which he did in a 
most gallant manner far beyond the position we had on Saturday. In the after- 
noon our troops fell back and occupied the positions we held before the battle. Our loss 
on the first day was seven pieces of artillery from Gen. Casey's division and one * * * 
from Gen. Couch's. As the enemy + ♦ * was driven bacK with immense loss, * * * 
we may well claim a victory, and such it certainly was." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, 
pp. 813-818.) 

From Gen. Heintzelman's testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee on the 
Conduct of the War: 

"Saturday, the 31st of May, was the first day of the battle of Seven Pines. During 
the week before I had felt that the troops were too much scattered; but as I had positive 
orders to keep a certain number of them at and around Bottom's Bridge, and watching 
White Oak Swamp, I did not venture to move them without authority from Gen. McClellan. 
After repeated efforts, I got authority on Friday afternoon to dispose of the troops as I 
saw fit. I immediately ordered them all forward with the exception of half of Hooker's 
division. I was ordered to leave one brigade there to hold those positions. 

"The next day, the 31st of May, about i o'clock, there was considerable heavy firing of 
artillery and musketry. As we had it before, it did not cause me much uneasiness, until I 
found it was continued. * * * A few minutes after they left I got a note from Gen. 
Keyes, informing me that the enemy had attacked him in considerable force, and asking me 
to send a brigade or two up the railroad to assist him. In a few minutes more ray staff 
officers returned and informed me that the enemy had driven back some of our troops. 
I at once rode forward. Before I had got a mile, at the edge of the cleared ground in front, 
I met the fugitives from Casey's division retreating. I rode to the front, saw Gen. Keyes, 
and got all the information I could from him. Before this, however, I had ordered the 
troops forward, and as they came up I placed them in position. We had then lost our 
advanced position. All the troops had been driven back, and Gen. Casey had lost several 
pieces of artillery. When the troops I had ordered up came into position, they checked the 
enemy. In a little while, however, they attacked us again with an overwhelming force on 
our right flank and that began to give way. They drove us back from a half to three- 
quarters of a mile, when we finally checked them. About this time Gen. Sumner's corps 
had crossed the Chickahominy, and came in on our right, and aided us in repulsing the 
enemy. As soon as I had found the attack was serious I had sent an officer over to 
inform Gen. Sumner and Gen. McClellan. * * * There was one brigade of Gen. Casey's 
division, under Gen. Naglee, on our extreme right, that held its position pretty well. The 
center gave way and fell back some distance. We succeeded in rallying them, and repulsed 
the enemy. My right held the ground until some time after dark, when it fell back and 
joined us in the field-works we had thrown up a little west of the Chickahominy. In the 
night I got a telegram from Gen. McClellan, that he wanted to see me at the railroad station 
on the other side of the Chickahominy. I got on a locomotive and went down there and 
saw him. I told him what had occurred and what we could do. He said that he relied upon 
my holding the position we then occupied and that he would spend the night with Gen. 
Sum.ner, or come over the next morning, to keep rank off me, as he said. Gen. Sumner 
ranked me. When I got back I got a note from Gen. Sumner, saying that from all he 
could learn, he expected to be attacked by an overwhelming force in the morning and wanted 
me to assist him. I replied that any aid I could give him he should have. 

"In the morning I went to the front and had not been there long before I heard firing 
in the direction of Gen. Sumner's forces. I had the half of Gen. Hooker's division there; 
the other half was at Bottom's Bridge. I immediately sent that half division forward in 
the direction of the firing. They soon met the enemy, who were repulsed by Gen. Sumner's 
troops and mine. The whole affair was over in a very short time. 

"That day after the enemy gave way I gave orders to pursue them. Casey's division 
was utterly broken up. Some of the regiments behaved very gallantly, but after they gave 
way, none of them could be rallied ; and Couch's division was a little shaky. When Kearny 
found out that I had ordered the troops to advance, he came to me and begged me to stop. 
He asked me where my supports were and I pointed to them. He asked me if I had con- 
fidence in them. I said no. He said I had better let well enough alone ; that Gen. McClellan 
would order a general advance in two or three days. I then countermanded the order. 
The next morning I learned the enemy had retreated in very great confusion and on Sunday 
we gained nearly all the ground we had lost the day before. I sent Gen. Hooker's half 
division forward, and sent an officer to Gen. Richardson, who commanded one of Gen. 
Sumner's divisions, and asked him to co-operate with us, and find out what the enemy were 


doing He saw Gen. Sumner but he said he could make no reconnoissance without orders 
from Gen. McClellan. I sent my troops forward and they got within four miles of Rich- 
mond. They sent word back how far they had got, and I sent word to Gen. McClellan. He 
ordered me to stop and fall back to the old lines. From information we got from the 
rebels, I had no doubt but we might have gone right into Richmond." (Report on the 
Conduct of the War, pp. 351-352.) 

From report of Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes (comdg. Fourth Corps). 

'The Fourth Corps, being in the advance, crossed the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge 
the 23rd of May, and encamped 2 miles beyond. Two days later I received orders to ad- 
vance on the Williamsburg road and take up and fortify the nearest strong position to 
a fork of roads called the Seven Pines. The camp I selected, and which was the next day 
approved_ by Maj.-G'en. McClellan, stretches across the Williamsburg road between Bot- 
tom's Bridge and the Seven Pines, and is distant about a mile from the latter. I caused 
that camp to be fortified with rifle pits and breastworks extending to the left about 1,000 
yards and terminating in a crotchet to the rear. Similar works about 800 yards farther in 
advance, were constructed on the right, extending toward the Richmond and West Point 

"Having been ordered by Gen. McClellan to hold the Seven Pines strongly, I designed to 
throw forward to that neighborhood two brigades of Casey's division, and to establish 
my picket line considerably in advance and far to the right. The lines described above are 
those where the main body of the troops engaged near the Seven Pines spent the night of 
the 31st, after the battle. Examinations having been made by several engineers, I was 
ordered on the 28th of May to advance Casey's division to a point indicated by a large 
wood pile and two houses, about three-fourths of a mile beyond the Seven Pines * * 
and to establish Couch's division at the Seven Pines. Accordingly Casey's division bivou- 
acked ori the right and left of Williamsburg road and wood pile, and Couch established 
his division at the Seven Pines and along the Nine-mile road. Both divisions set to work 
with the few intrenching tools at hand to slash the forests and to dig a few rifle pits. Casey 
erected a small pent-angular redoubt and placed within it six pieces of artillery. The 
countrjr is mostly wooded and greatly intersected with marshes. The Nine-mile road 
branching to the right from the Seven Pines slants forward, and at the distance of a 
mile crosses the railroad at Fair Oaks. A mile beyond it reaches an open field, where the 
enemy was seen in line of battle on the 29th and 30th days of May. 

"Casey's pickets were only about 1,000 yards in advance of his line of battle, and I de- 
cided, after a personal inspection with him, that they could go no farther, as they were 
stopped by the enemy in force on the opposite side of an opening at that point. * * * 

When the battle commenced Casey's division was in front of the abatis; Naglee's brigade 
on the right, having two regiments beyond the railroad ; Palmer's brigade on the left, and 
Wessells' brigade in the center. Couch's division was on the right and left of the Williams- 
burg road, near the forks, and along the Nine-mile road. Peck's brigade was on the left, 
Devens' brigade in the center, and Abercrombie's on the right, having two regiments 
and Brady's battery across the railroad, near Fair Oaks, thus forming two lines of battle. 

Through all the night of the 30th of May there was raging a storm the like of which 
I cannot remember. Torrents of rain drenched the earth, the thunderbolts rolled and fell 
without intermission, and the heavens flashed with a perpetual blaze of lightning, From 
their beds of mud and the peltings of this storm the Fourth Corps rose to fight the battle 
of the 31st of May, 1862. At about 10 o'clock A. M., it was announced to me that an aide- 
de-camp of Maj. Gen. J. E. Johnston, C. S. Army, had been captured by our pickets on the 
edge of the field referred to above, beyond Fair Oaks Station. While speaking with the 
young gentleman, at the moment of sending him away, a couple of shots fired in front of 
Casey's headquarters produced in him a very evident emotion. I was perplexed, because 
having seen the enemy in force on the right where the aide was captured, I supposed his 
chief must be there. Furthermore, the country was more open in that direction and the 
road in front of Casey's position was bad for artillery. I concluded, therefore, in spite of 
the shots, that if attacked that day the attack would come from the right. Having sent 
orders for the troops to be under arms precisely at 11 o'clock A. M., I mounted my horse 
and rode along the Nine-mile road to Fair Oaks Station. On my way I met Col. Bailey, 
chief of artillery of Casey's division, and directed him to proceed and prepare his artillery 
for action Finding nothing unusual at Fair Oaks, I gave some orders to the troops there, 
and returned quickly to Seven Pines. The firing was becoming brisk, but there was yet 
no certainty of a great attack. As a precaution to support Casey's left flank, I ordered Gen. 
Couch to advance Peck's brigade in that direction. This was promptly done, and the 93rd 
Pennsylvania, Col. McCarter, was advanced considerably beyond the balance of that brigade. 
At about 12:30 P. M. it became suddenly apparent that the attack was real and in great 
force All niy corps was under arms and in position. I sent immediately to Gen. Heintzel- 
man for re-enforcements, and requested him to order one brigade up the railroad. My 
messenger was unaccountably delayed, and my dispatch appears not to have reached its 
destination till much later than it should have done. Gen. Hemtzelman arrived on the 


field at about 3 P. M., and the two brigades of his corps, Berry's and Jameson's, of Kear- 
ny's division, which took part in the battle of the 31st, arrived, successively, but the exact 
times of their arrival in the presence of the enemy I am unable to fix with certainty; and 
in this report I am not always able to fix times with exactness, but they are nearly exact. 

"Casey's division, holding the front line, was first seriously attacked at about 12 ;30 P. 
M. The 103d Penna Vols., sent forward to support the pickets, broke shortly and re- 
treated, joined by a great many sick. The numbers as they passed down the road as strag- 
glers conveyed an exaggerated idea of surprise and defeat. There was no surprise how- 
ever. All the effective men of that division were under arms, and all the batteries were in 
position, with their horses harnessed (except some belonging to the guns in the redoubt), 
and ready to fight as soon as the enemy's forces came into view. Their numbers were 
vastly disproportionate to the mighty host which assailed them in front and on both flanks. 

"As remarked above, the picket line being only about 1,000 yards in advance of the 
line of battle and the country covered with forests, the Confederates, arriving fresh and 
confident, formed their lines and masses under the shelter of woods, and burst upon us 
with great suddenness, and had not our regiments been under arms they would have swept 
through our lines and routed us completely. As it was, however, Casey's division held its 
line of battle for more than three hours, and the execution done upon the enemy was shown 
by the number of rebel dead left upon the field after the enemy had held possession of that 
part of it for upward of twenty-four hours. 

"For the details of the conflict with Casey's line I must refer to his report, and to the 
reports of Brig.-Gens. Naglee, Palmer, and Wessells, whose activity I had many opportuni- 
ties to witness. When applied to for them, I sent re-enforcements to sustain Casey's line 
until the numbers were so much reduced in the second line that no more could be spared. 
I then refused, though applied to for further aid. 

"I shall now proceed to describe the operations of the second line, which received my 
uninterrupted supervision, composed principally of Couch's division, second line. As the 
pressure on Casey's division became greater he applied to me for re-enforcements. I con- 
tinued to send them as long as I had troops to spare. Col. McCarter, with the 93d Penna. 
Peck's Brigade, engaged the enemy on the left, and maintained his ground above two hours, 
until overwhelming numbers forced him to retire, which he did in good order. 

"At about 2 o'clock P. M. I ordered the 55th New York * * * to "save the guns," 
meaning some of Casey's. The regiment moved up the Williamsburg road at double-quick, 
conducted by Gen. Naglee, where it beat off the enemy, on the point of seizing some guns, 
and held its position more than an hour. * * * At a little past 2 o'clock I ordered NeiU's 
23d and Rippey's 61st Penna. Regiments to move to the support of Casey's right. Neill 
attacked the enemy twice with great gallantry. In the first attack the enemy were driven 
back. In the second attack, and under the immediate command of Gen. Couch, these two 
regiments assailed a vastly superior force of the enemy and fought with extraordinary 
bravery, though compelled at last to retire. They brought in 35 prisoners. Both regiments 
were badly cut up. Col. Rippey, of the 61st, and his adjutant, were killed. The lieutenant- 
colonel and major were wounded and are missing. The casualties in the 61st amount to 263, 
and are heavier than in any other regiment in Couch's division. After this attack the 23rd 
took part in the hard fighting which closed the day near the Seven Pines. The 61st with- 
drew in detachments, some of which came again into action near my headquarters. 

"Almost immediately after ordering the 23d and 61st to support the right, and as soon 
as they could be reached, I sent the 7th Mass., and 62d New York, to re-enforce them. The 
overpowering advance of the enemy obliged these regiments to proceed to Fair Oaks, where 
they fought under the immediate orders of Gens. Couch and Abercrombie. There they 
joined the 1st U. S. Chasseurs, previously ordered to that point, and the 31st Penna. on 
duty there when the action commenced. 

"At the time when the enemy was concentrating troops from the right, left and front 
upon the redoubt and other works in the front of Casey's headquarters and near the Wil- 
liamsburg road the danger became imminent that he would overcome the resistance there 
and advance down the road and through the abatis. * * * After seeing the 10th Mass. 
and the adjoining line well at work under a murderous fire I observed that that portion 
of the line 150 yards to my left was crumbling away, some falling and others retiring. I 
perceived also that the artillery had withdrawn, and that large bodies of broken troops 
were leaving the center and moving down the Williamsburg road to the rear. Assisted by 
Capt. Suydam, Capt. de Villarceau, and Lieuts. Jackson and Smith, of my staff, * tried in 
vain to check the retreating current. 

"Passing through to the opening of our intrenched camps of the 2%th ultimo, I found 
Gen. Heintzelman and other officers engaged in rallying the men, and in a very short time 
a large number were induced to face about. * * * The last line, formed of portions of 
Couch's and Casey's divisions and a portion of Kearny's division, checked the advance of 
the enemy and finally repulsed him, and this was the beginning of the victory which on 
the following day was so gloriously completed. 

"The reports of divisions and brigade commanders I trust will be published with this 
immediately. I ask their publication as an act of simple justice to the Fourth Corps, 


against which many groundless aspersions and incorrect statements have been circulated in 
the newspapers since the battle. These reports are made by men who observed the con- 
flict while under fire, and if they are not in the main true, the truth will never be known." 
(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 872-878.) 

From Gen. Keyes' testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct 
of the War, May 28, 1863 : 

"On the 28lh of May I received this communication: Camp 2 miles from Bottom's 
Bridge, May 28, 1862. General: The brigadier-general desires you to order Brig.-Gen. 
Casey to move forward .his division to the clearing by two houses and a woodpile, about 
three-quarters of a mile in advance of his present position, and to fortify it. He also 
desires you to move Gen. Couch's division forward to the Seven Pines. These movements 
to be made at 6 a. m. tomorrow morning. He wishes you to direct Gen. Casey to complete 
the approaches to the bridge he is building over the Chickahominy river." * * * It is 
signed by Chauncey McKeever as chief of staff to Gen. Heintzelman. I thought the arrange- 
ment thus ordered a very bad one, and I expressed my objections several times and I 
received this note from Gen. Heintzelman: 'Head-Quars. Left Wing, etc., May 29, 1862. 
General : The brigadier-general commanding instructs me to say that he moves forward 
a brigade of Gen. Kearny's division this morning to a position not over two miles from 
the Seven Pines. In case of an attack Gen. Kearny's division could reenforce you in half 
an hour. * * * The position occupied by your corps was selected by Gen. Barnard and 
Lieut. Comstock, of the engineers, and instructions to occupy it came from Maj.-Gen. 
McClellan. The major-general commanding has also directed that the Third Corps shall 
not be moved forward, unless to prevent yours from being driven back. * * * Chauncey 
McKeever, Chief of Staff.' 

"I had understood that the engineers had examined the position to be occupied by 
me in force. I objected to the position strongly and repeatedly. * * * I did not move 
forward with my force to the position at Seven Pines and the woodpile in force until the 
morning of the 29th of May. The weather generally was very unfavorable about that time 
and the roads very muddy. The men of my corps having been continually in the front, 
were very much fatigued. But I ordered them immediately to set all the disposable force 
to work to fortify the position. As there was a great deal of scouting to be done and a 
great deal of picket and guard duty required of the men, the amount of labor they were 
able to perform was comparatively small. The whole time they had was the part of the 29th 
left, after moving their positions, and the 30th to work on their intrenchments, which con- 
sisted of rifle-pits and a small pentangular redoubt, and some slashings that were cut. 
* * '' On the 29th of May I wrote to Gen. McClellan, of which the following is an 
e.xtract : 'Inasmuch as my position is so far advanced, I should like to know what force, 
in an emergency, I could call upon, with its position.' On the same day I wrote to Gen. 
Marcy that I had seen the enemy in line of battle on that day and the day before on my 
right. The following is an extract from that note : 'The position now held by my corps 
is far advanced. I think I can hold it. At the same time I confess the difficulty of so 
doing, if attacked by a large force, would be much greater than that of defending the posi- 
tion left by Couch this morning. It is my opinion that other troops should be advanced 
nearer to me than any I know of now, as the roads are in the most wretched condition.' 
On the 30th of May at 2 p. m. I wrote to Gen. Heintzelman : 'I am just in from an exam- 
ination of the road leading to the front of my position. In the front the enemy is astir. 
He drove in Casey's outer line of pickets, killing and wounding some of our people, and 
leaving some dead. We drove back the enemy, 400 strong, and now occupy our position 
of last night. As Casey's left flank is threatened, I have ordered Couch to send a brigade 
to support the left. / regard this as a matter of pickets, but shall be glad when I learn that 
Gen. Sumner is across so as to strengthen my right.' * * * j wrote again to Gen. 
Marcy on the morning of the 31st * * * and I stated * * * everything indicates an 
attack on my position, which is only tolerable strong, and my forces too weak to defend it 
properly. * * * The position which was occupied by Gen. Casey's line, which was the 
first line, was so near the enemy, and the country was so thickly wooded, that there was 
no moment in which we might not have been attacked by masses of the enemy, who could 
have reached our lines in about fifteen minutes from the time they first showed themselves. 
On the day of the battle, however, the firing commenced gradually, and all the troops of 
both my divisions were under arms, and all the artillery harnessed, except those belonging 
to the battery which was inside a little fort, built by Gen. Casey. I was on horseback an 
hour and a half, riding along my lines, before I considered the action serious. I did not 
send word to Gen. Heintzelman to send forward reenforcements until, I think, about one 
o'clock. I became aware that it was a serious attack, an attack in force, about half past 
twelve o'clock. I have reason to believe that my messenger was delayed, and that he did 
not deliver my message as quickly by a great deal as he ought to have done. As to the 
battle itself, I refer to my report of it, which is better than anything else I could now state. 
The only point in my report which I wish to change is, that I think instead of Gen. Heintzel- 
man arriving on the field about 3 o'clock, he arrived there at nearer 4 o'clock than 8 o'clock. 


I saw some of his troops before I saw him. I did not consider the battle serious until the 
shot began to fall about me where I stood, and until I could see the masses of the enemy 
bursting through the woods in front of Casey's line. Question: "What was the strength 
of your corps at the time of the battle of Seven Pines? Answer: "I have before me the 
returns of my corps on the 25th of May, in which Casey's division is put down at 6,932 and 
Couch's division at 8,746. Between the 26th and the day of the battle quite a number of the 
men were taken sick, and my picket-line was so long, and the detachments so numerous, 
that I am willing to state my impression that I had not more than 12,000 men actually 
engaged on the 31st of May.' * * * Gen. Hooker told me that he had passed some little 
distance beyond the line that had been occupied by Casey's pickets before the battle, but 
when I visited Gen. Hooker's front, two or three days after the battle, I found that his 
picket line was not so far advanced by some two hundred yards as mine had been." (Report 
Conduct of the War, part 1, pp. 597-614.) 

From report of Brig. Gen. Silas Casey, commanding Second Division, Fourth Corps. 

"I occupied with my division the advanced position of the army, about three-fourths of 
a mile from the cross-roads at the Seven Pines, where I caused rifle pits and a redoubt to 
be thrown up ; also an abatis to be commenced about one-third of a mile in front of the 
pits, and parties were employed upon these works on the morning of the 31st. Previously 
to occupying my last position I had occupied the cross roads, and had there also caused an 
abatis to be cut and earthworks to be commenced. 

"On the 29th, the day on which I moved my camp forward, and also on the 30th, my 
advanced pickets had been attacked by bodies of the enemy; on the former day by a force 
of 300, and on the next by one of 400 in number. The pickets on the first day succeeded 
in driving the enemy back in confusion, killing and wounding a number, with a loss on my 
part of but 2 killed and 2 wounded. Major Kelley, of the 96th Regiment New York Vols., 
was one of my killed. The major was in command of the pickets at this point, and by his 
gallant conduct animated the men to the firm resistance offered. 

"In the attack of the 30th I ordered the 100th New York Vols, to move to the support 
of the pickets. With the assistance of this regiment, under command of Col. Brown, they 
succeeded in repelling the attack, the enemy leaving 6 of his dead upon the ground. 

"On the morning of the 31st my pickets toward the right of my line succeeded in cap- 
turing Lieutenant Washington, an aide of Gen. Johnston, of the rebel service. This cir- 
cumstance, in connection with the fact that Col. Hunt, my general officer of the day, had re- 
ported to me that his outer pickets had heard cars running nearly all night on the Rich- 
mond end of the railroad, led me to exercise increased vigilance. Between 11 and 12 o'clock 
a mounted vedette was sent in from the advanced pickets to report that a body of the 
enemy was in sight, approaching the Richmond road. I immediately ordered the 103d Regi- 
ment Penna. Vols, to advance to the front, for the purpose of supporting the pickets. It 
was soon afterward reported to me by a mounted vedette that the enemy were advancing in 
force, and about the same time two shells were thrown over my camp. I was led to be- 
lieve that a serious attack was contemplated, and immediately ordered the division under 
arms, the men at work on the rifle pits and abatis to be recalled and to join their regi- 
ments, the artillery to be harnessed up at once, and made my dispositions to repel the enemy. 
While these were in progress the pickets commenced firing. 

"I directed Spratt's battery of four pieces 3-inch rifled guns to advance in front of the 
rifle pits about one-fourth of a mile, in order to reply with advantage to the enemy's artil- 
lery, which I knew was in battery in front of my picket line, and also to shell the enemy as 
soon as the withdrawal of the pickets and their supports should permit. I supported this 
battery by the 104th Regiment Penna. Vols., the 11th Regiment Maine Vols., and the 100th 
Regiment New York Vols., of the First Brigade, and the 92d Regiment New York Vols., of 
the Third Brigade. I placed Capt. Bates' battery, commanded by Lieutenant Hart, in a re- 
doubt; Captain Regan's battery in rear and on the right of the rifle pits, and Capt. Fitch's 
battery in rear of the redoubt. The 85th Regiment New York Vols, occupied the rifle 
pits on the left and the 85th Regiment Penna. Vols, those on the right. The 101st Regiment 
Penna. Vols, were posted on the right of these regiments, and the 81st, 98th, and 96th Regi- 
ment New York Vols, were advanced to cover the left flank. For several days the 5i?d Regi- 
ment Penna. Vols, had occupied a position on the Nine-mile road as a support to my ad- 
vanced pickets on my right flank, and the 56th Regiment New York Vols, had held a position 
on the railroad. I made no change in the positions of these last two regiments. About fif- 
teen minutes after these dispositions had been completed I directed the advanced battery to 
open on the artillery and advancing columns of the enemy. In a short time after the 103d 
Regiment Penna. Vols., which at the first alarm had been ordered to the support of the 
pickets, came down the road in some confusion, having suffered considerable loss from the 
fire of the rebel advance. The enemy now attacked me in large force on the center and 
both wings, and a brisk fire of musketry commenced along the two opposing lines, my ar- 
tillery in the meantime throwing canister into their ranks with great effect. Perceiving 
at length that the enemy were threatening me upon both wings, for want of re-inforcements, 
which had been repeatedly asked for, and that his column still pressed on, I then, in order to 


save my artillery, ordered a charge of bayonets by the four supporting regimerits at the 
center, which was executed in a most gallant and successful manner under the immediate 
direction of Brig. -Gen. Naglee, commanding First Brigade, the enemy being driven back. 
When the charge had ceased, but not until the troops had reached the edge of the wood, 
the most terrible fire of musketry commenced that I have ever witnessed. The enemy again 
advanced in force, and the flanks being again severely threatened, a retreat to the works be- 
came necessary. 

"To be brief, the rifle pits were retained until they were almost enveloped by the 
enemy, the troops with some exceptions fighting with spirit and gallantry. The troops then 
retreated to the second line, in possession of Gen. Couch's division. Two pieces of artillery 
were placed in the road between the two lines, which did good execution upon the advancing 

"On my arrival at the second line I succeeded in rallying a small portion of my division, 
and with the assistance of Gen. Kearny, who had just arrived at the head of one of the 
brigades of his division, attempted to regain possession of my works, but it was found 
impracticable. The troops of Gen. Couch's division were driven back, although re-enforced 
by the corps of Gen. Heintzelman. 

"The corps of Gens. Keyes and Heintzelman having retired to the third line by direction 
of Gen. Heintzelman, I there collected together what remained of my division. 

"The 52d Regiment Penna. Vols, and the 56th Regiment New York Vols, were under 
the particular direction of Brigadier-General Naglee, and I refer to his report for further 
mention of them. 

"Gen. Naglee behaved with distinguished gallantry through the engagement, having a 
horse killed under him and receiving four contused wounds from musket balls. Gens. 
Palmer and Wessells encouraged by their example their men to do their duty on the field. 
Gen. Wessells had a horse shot under him and himself received a wound in the shoulder. 

"Lieuts, West and Foster, my aides-de-camp, were active through the day, affording me 
much service and behaving gallantly. Captain Davis, of the Provost guard of my division, 
acted as my aide a portion of the time, rendering much assistance and conducting himself 
in a gallant manner. I also feel much indebted to my medical director, Dr. Crosby, for the 
energy he evinced in collecting the wounded and his promptness and skill in providing for 

"I have enclosed a list of the killed, wounded, and missing, as also the reports of the 
commanders of brigades, to which I refer. 

"I cannot forbear mention of the severe misfortune suffered by the division and the 
service in the loss of Col. G. D. Bailey, my chief of artillery, who fell in the attempt to 
spike the pieces in my redoubt, which were necessarily abandoned. Col. Bailey was an officer 
of thorough military education; of clear and accurate mind; cool, determined, and in- 
trepid in the discharge of his duty, and promising with riper years to honor still more the 
profession to which he was devoted. About the same time, also, fell Maj. Van Valken- 
burgh, of the First Regiment New York Artillery, a brave, discreet, and energetic officer. 

"Under the circumstances, I think it my duty to add a few remarks with regard to my 
division. On leaving Washington eight of the regiments were composed of raw troops. It 
has been the misfortune of the division in marching through the Peninsula to be subjected 
to an ordeal which would have severely tried veteran troops. Furnished with scanty trans- 
portation, occupying sickly positions, exposed to the inclemency of the weather at times, 
without tents or blankets, and illy supplied with rations and medical stores, the loss from 
sickness has been great, especially with the officers ; yet a party from my division took pos- 
session of the railroad bridge across the Chickahominy, driving the enemy from it, and my 
division took the advance on the 23d of May and by an energetic reconnaissance drove the 
enemy beyond the Seven Pines. 

"Notwithstanding all these drawbacks, and the fact that there were not 5,000 men in 
line of battle, they withstood for three hours the attack of an overwhelming force of the 
enemy without the re-enforcement of a single man at my first line. The 55th Regiment 
New York Vols, reached my second line just before it was evacuated. 

"If a portion of the division did not behave so well as could have been wished, it must 
be remembered to what a terrible ordeal they were subjected. Still, those that behaved dis- 
creditably were exceptional cases. It is true that the division after being nearly surrounded 
by the enemy and losing one-third of the number actually engaged, retreated to the second 
line. They would all have been prisoners of war had they delayed their retreat a few 
minutes longer. 

"In my humble opinion, from what I witnessed on the 31st, I am convinced that the 
stubborn and desperate resistance of my division saved the army on the right bank of the 
Chickahominy from a severe repulse, which might have resulted in a disastrous defeat. The 
blood of the gallant dead would cry to me from the ground on which they fell fighting for 
their country had I not said what I have to vindicate them from the unmerited aspersion 
which has been cast upon them." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 913-916.) 


Under date of June 18, Gen. Casey made an additional report as follows : 

"I wish to add to my report of the operations of my division the following : The 
number of men actually in line (including artillery) was 4,300. Killed, officers 12, enlisted 
men, 165; total, 177; wounded, officers, 51; enlisted men, 883; total, 934; missmg, officers, 
10; enlisted men, 312; total, officers, 73; enlisted men, 1,360; total 1,433. Many of the 
missing are supposed to be killed. (O. R. Ser. I. Vol. XI, part I, p. 917.) 

From Gen. Casey's testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee on the Con- 
duct of the War : 

"We went forward to the Seven Pines, driving the enemy, and took up our position. 
I there commenced establishing myself, making rifle-pits and cutting abatis. Soon after I 
got established I was ordered (contrary to my advice and opinion) three-quarters of a mile 
to the front, within six miles of Richmond, my pickets extending to within five miles of 
that city. My division composed of raw troops, with no support on their right or left, 
were pushed like a wedge right up in the presence of a strong force of the enemy, my 
troops having suffered severely in coming up the Peninsula. However, that was the order, 
and I obeyed, and went to work with all my energy to dig rifle-pits, make abatis, etc. For 
two nights the enemy attacked my pickets in force, but were repulsed with loss. 
My pickets frequently killed the enemy 700 or 800 yards off from my line. * * •' They 
attacked me on the morning of the 31st of May. The preceding night was one of the worst 
I ever saw. I never before heard such a thunderstorm as there was on that night. * * * 
About 11 o'clock my pickets took prisoner one of Gen. Johnston's aides. That matter vvas 
managed exceedingly well. The sergeant in charge ordered the men not to fire upon him, 
but let him come on, when they captured him, with a number of important documents. 
When he was brought in I began to suppose that something serious was contemplated. I 
took this aide, Lieut. Washington, and also my general officer of the day, Col. Hunt, over 
to Gen. Keyes, and reported to him all the circumstances. About 11 o'clock the pickets 
reported by a mounted vedette, that the enemy were approaching, evidently in force. 
* * * I fought that battle in two lines, by which means I think I saved an hour; that 
is, I kept the enemy back for an hour by fighting them in two lines. I put a force in the 
rifle pits and then went out and established a line about one-third of a mile in advance, five 
or six regiments and four pieces of artillery. Soon after another vedette came in and re- 
ported that the enemy were coming in force. I had my artillery all harnessed, and my 
division was in line about a quarter of an hour before the enemy arrived. The enemy 
attacked me twenty minutes of one o'clock. I had sent out the 103d Penna. Regiment 
for the purpose of sustaining the pickets, some time before this. The enemy soon crowded 
upon me, and attacked me in front and on both wings, in force * * *. Question. How 
large a force was your division? Answer. Only 4,380 men. We fought them there on 
that front line. We had four pieces of artillery which were very effective. The enemy 
pressed upon me so hard that in order to save my artillery, I ordered a charge of four 
regiments of infantry and I never saw a handsomer thing in my life than that charge was. 
They drove the enemy away back into the woods; but he still came on in force, crowded 
upon me in superior numbers, and we were obliged to fall back from our front line to the 
rifle pits. We there fought them until we were almost surrounded. * * * Gen. Keyes 
said that he would send me Abercrombie's brigade, and I selected the position to which I 
would assign it; but it did not come. A regiment came up just before we were compelled 
to retreat from our second line. * * * The enemy came down on Gen. Keyes' second 
line and completely swept it away. And although Gen. Heintzelman came up with one 
division — Kearny's— we could not take back our lines again. Couch's line was swept away, 
and in about an hour we were driven back. Gen. Keyes' corps, reenforced by Gen. Heint- 
zelman, were driven back about two miles from my first line. All that saved our army from 
a disastrous defeat, in my opinion, was Gen. Sumner coming over about six o'clock. I 
have always claimed that my division by its obstinate resistance, saved that army, for it 
enabled Sumner's division to come over in time. Col. Sweitzer, of Gen. McClellan's staff, 
who went to the enemy's line on a flag of truce, had a conference with Maj.-Gen. Hill, who 
commanded a division of that battle. The colonel, after some conversation with the gen- 
eral, asked him the following question, to which he requested a reply: Question. 'There 
has been considerable discussion and disagreement about the conduct of Casey's division. 
What is your candid opinion of it?' Gen. Hill replied: T know it has been animadverted 
and censured. We are very much surprised at it. The division fought as well as I ever 
want to see men fight; and after it gave way we did not find anything else to fight. Any 
censure of Gen. Casey would be very unjust.' Col. Simpson of the New Jersey Vols, and 
an officer of the topographical engineers, who was a prisoner in Richmond, informed me 
that the Confederate officers expressed much surprise that any censure had been cast on 
my division; that it fought with more obstinacy than any other fighting on that day, and 
that the determined resistance saved the army of the right bank of the Chickahoming from 
a disastrous defeat.' 

"Gen. Heintzelman, in his report of that battle makes a statement that has no founda- 


tion in fact. He states that an officer reported to him that more men were killed in their 
tents than were killed outside. I do not think there was a man bayoneted in his tent. I saw 
this morning Brigade Surgeon Smith, who was there, and he informed me that he examined 
into that matter particularly, and that he did not find a man who was killed in that way. 
The truth of the matter is just this: My division was placed in an entirely false position, 
and unjust aspersions were cast upon it; whether designedly or not, those who did it know 
best themselves. The enemy retained possession of my works until Monday morning, and 
then evacuated them and retreated. No one drove them out. Gen. McClellan was not on 
the field of battle until after the enemy evacuated. Gen. Heintzelman did not get up until 
nearly four o'clock on Saturday, and the enemy attacked me at 20 minutes to one o'clock. 

"I desire to make one statement here in justice to the 103d (Penna.) Regiment. _ In 
my report I did not do them justice. I am satisfied of that from the facts which have since 
come to my knowledge. * * * The enemy say that the head of their strong column was 
really checked by that one regiment and the pickets it had been sent out to support." 
(Report Conduct of the War, part 1, pp. 441-447.) 

From report of Gen. H. W. Wessells (comd'g Second Brigade, Casey's division) : 

"Between 12 and 1 o'clock p. m. our pickets posted in front were attacked by the 
enemy. I at once, pursuant to instructions from the brigadier-general commanding the 
division, sent forward the 103d Penna. Vols., Maj. Gazzam, to their support. As the 
firing soon indicated a formidable advance of the enemy, I at once ordered the brigade 
under arms and formed the line of battle in accordance with the instructions of the division 
commander. The 101st Penna. Vols., Lieut.-Col. Morris, was placed on the right of the 
Richmond road, perpendicular to it, the right flank of the battalion extending into the woods 
and in rear of the newly constructed rifle pits. The 85th Penna. Vols., Col. Howell, in rear 
of the rifle pits, extended from the redoubt across the Richmond road, to near the left of 
the 101st. "The 96th New York Vols., Col. Fairman, was placed in advance of the rifle pits 
and to the left of the 85th. The battalions being thus disposed, I took my position in rear 
of the 101st and in such manner as to observe the 85th. The 103d being too far to the 
front for my immediate supervision, its movements were left to the judgment of its com- 
mander, whose report is herewith enclosed. 

"The increase of musketry soon told that the 103d was engaged. Driven from its 
position, it fell back firing and again made a stand. Assailed by overwhelming numbers 
from the front and flank, it again fell back to a new position. Here the enemy approached 
from the right, and, exposed to a terrific fire from the front and both flanks, its flagstaff 
shot away, the regiment again fell back, followed by the enemy, who was seen to emerge 
from the woods in front and advance toward the 101st. The enemy's fire was directed with 
great precision and effect on this regiment, which, however, stood fast and returned the 
fire with coolness and rapidity. Hoping the 101st would be able to maintain its position, 
I crossed to the road in the rear of the 85th, which was now occupying the rifle pits, amid 
a terrific fire from the front, and which was constantly and effectually returned. The 96th 
New York Vols., which up to this time had gallantly maintained its position, was forced 
to fall back to the line of the left of the rifle pits, where it again opened fire and continued 
with great effect until again forced back by a terrific fire from the front and flank, enfilading 
completely the rifle pits occupied by the 85th and 101st. Lieut.-Col. Morris, 101st, in order 
to protect his right, which was assailed by a terrible fire from that flank, caused the right 
wing of his battalion to change front to that direction, and for some time succeeded in 
holding the enemy in check, until he fell severely wounded and was borne from the field, 
when the regiment, assailed by overwhelming numbers, was forced to fall back. 

"The 85th and 96th, having fallen back, were again formed on the left of the road, 
in rear of the camp in the fallen timber, and delivered their fire with great effect, but being 
again flanked and overwhelmed, were compelled again to retire. The right wing of the 
101st, after retiring, deployed to the left, and, passing the left wing, opened its fire, and for 
some time maintained its position, but was at length compelled to fall back. Considerable 
disorder here ensued, the fallen timber and irregularity of the ground preventing the com- 
panies and battalions from preserving their alignment. Different regiments were inter- 
mingled and the line put in confusion. Col. Howell gallantly rallied a part of his regiment 
and regained the rifle pits, but was again driven back. The troops fell back slowly, but with 
some disorder, carrying with them their arms. They were rallied, however, by the efforts 
of Capt. Jeffries, assistant adjutant-general of this brigade, and marched all in good order 
(except the sick, numbering over 300, who abandoned the camp at the commencement of 
the action and fled in the direction of the Chickahominy River in great disorder) to a suit- 
able camping ground, where the line was formed, ammunition sent for across the river, and 
information sent to Gens. Heintzelman, Keyes and Casey of the position of the troops. 

"After the brigade had retired I reported to Brig.-Gen. Keyes, by whom I was directed 
to re-form the line on the right of Devens' rifle pits, and having been driven from that 
position in the same manner as before, with my horse killed under me and a severe con- 
tusion in the shoulder from a musket ball, I fell back near sunset with retreating fragments 
of other brigades and halted at this camp. 


"The casualties are as follows : 34 killed (as shown elsewhere in this article, the fatal 
casualties of one regiment of this brigade, 103d Penna., was 35) ; 271 wounded; 65 missing. 
A correct list of the names is herewith enclosed. 

"The actual effective strength of the brigade, as appears from the morning reports, 
was 2,061. Of these, 200 comprised the working party on the fortifications; a like number 
was detailed on picket, which, with the usual details and extra duty men, made our actual 
strength in action less than 1,500 men. 

"During the engagement I was ably assisted by Capt. Jeffries, assistant adjutant- 
general; Lieuts. Williams and Dawson, acting aides-de-camp, who were with me in the 
thickest of the fight. 

"I desire also to notice the conduct of Dr. Rush, acting brigade surgeon, who nobly 
discharged his duty from first to last." (0. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part 1, pp. 926-927.) 

From report of Maj. Audley W. Gazzam, commanding 103rd Penna. Vols. 

"At about 1 o'clock P. M. of the 31st day of May, 1862, under orders from Brigadier- 
General Wessells, I marched my regiment out and formed it immediately in rear of the 
picket reserves and about half a mile from our camp, throwing out two companies, B. & G., 
under command of Captain George W. Gillespie, on the left of the road, to protect that flank, 
the right of the regiment resting on a piece of marshy ground. When the pickets were 
fired on and driven in I ordered the reserve to take their place in the regiment. 

"The enemy now opened a heavy fire on the left and center, which was returned by my 
whole line. The enemy's fire now opened along the whole line, and we v^ere also subjected 
to a very heavy cross fire from both flanks. When I saw that we could no longer hold our 
ground, unsupported as we were, I ordered my men to fall back slowly, which they did, and 
formed on a road running nearly at right angles to the one on which we had entered the 

"The overwhelming force of the enemy, which now almost surrounded us, compelled me 
again to retire, to prevent being entirely cut off. Owing to the nature of the ground, which 
was marshy and covered with underwood and fallen timber, it was impossible to retire in 

"The regiment when marched out consisted of 430 men. The remainder of the com- 
mand was detailed on fatigue and picket duty, and one company of 50 men was detained in 
camp to relieve the pickets then on duty. The loss in killed, wounded and missing, of which 
a detailed report has been made, amounts to 95 men. We encamped for the night in the 
woods back of Savage Station, on the railroad." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part 1, p. 928.) 

From report of Gen. H. M. Naglee (comd'g First Brigade, Casey's division) : 

"This was the line of our advance on Saturday, the 31st of May, at 12 M., when two 
shells thrown into our camp first announced the hostile intentions of the enemy. ♦ * * 
No alarm was felt by any one, for it was seldom that twenty-four hours passed that we did 
not exchange similar salutations. Soon thereafter it was reported that an attack was im- 
pending. The usual orders were issued, and within half an hour the troops moved to posi- 
tions that were assigned to them by Gen. Casey. Being at this time on the Nine-mile road, 
near a breastwork fronting the Old Tavern, then under construction, and judging from the 
discharges of musketry becoming frequent that something serious was intended, I hastened 
in the direction indicated by the fire and soon arrived upon the ground, on the Williamsburg 
road * * * where I found Gen. Casey, who had placed the 100th New York * * * on 
the left of the road. * * * On the right of the same road was placed Capt. Spratt's * * * 
battery * * *. On the right of this were three companies of the 11th Maine * * * and 
on the right of the 11th Maine were eight companies of the 104th Penna. Four companies 
of the 11th Maine were on picket duty, but being driven in, formed with the 56th New 
York * * * at his encampment, 800 yards in rear of picket line, 200 yards to the left of 
the railroad. Col. Dodge's 52d Penna., supporting the picket line on the extreme right, 
formed at his encampment on the Nine-Miles road, three-quarters of a mile in rear of the 
large Garnett field. The remaining companies of the 104th Penna. and the 11th Maine were 
on picket duty * * * in the direction of the Chickahominy. * * * Soon after my 
arrival upon the ground, about 1 o'clock P. M., the fire then being frequent and from the 
direction of the main Richmond stage road, Gen. Casey gave an order to the 100th New 
York, 104th Penna., and 11th Maine to charge, when, as reported by Col. Davis — 

"'The regiments sprang forward toward the enemy with a tremendous yell. In our 
way was a high worm fence, which cut our former line of battle, but the boys sprang over 
it into the same enclosure with the enemy, where we formed and renewed the fight. The 
battle now raged with great fury and the firing was much hotter than before. Spratt's bat- 
tery during this time had kept up a lively fire in the same direction. At about 3 P M the 
enemy being largely reenforced, pressed us in front and flank, and seeing that we could not 
hold our position much longer unless reenforced, I dispatched an officer to Gen Casey for 
that purpose. The colonel of the 100th New York being killed, the colonel of the 104th 
being severely wounded; the major mortally wounded; the lieutenant colonel being absent- 
half of our men having fallen killed or wounded; the enemy ten times our number being 


within a few feet of us, one of them striking Sergt. Porter, the left guide of the 104th, oyer 
the neck with his musket; several of the 11th Maine being bayonetted; receiving no reen- 
forcements, we were ordered with Spratt's battery to retire, but unfortunatly, the horses 
of one of the pieces being killed, we were compelled to abandon that piece.' 

"The enemy endeavored to follow up this success, and was advancing in closed 
columns, when, our troops being sufficiently withdrawn, Col. Bailey, * * * at my 
request, directed the fire of the batteries of Fitch and Bates * * * to be concentrated 
upon the advancing mass. * * * Congratulating Col. Bailey upon his gallant conduct 
* * * and suggesting that, in the event of being compelled to abandon another piece, he 
should instruct his gunners to spike before leaving it, he went into the redoubt to give these 
orders when he was shot * * * and died a few minutes after * * * Soon after this 
Maj. Van Valkenburgh was killed by a rifle ball whilst actively engaged in working these 
batteries, and but a little while after Lieut. Rumsey, *'"''' in the same manner. All 
the field and staff officers being killed I assumed the direction of the batteries composing 
the 1st New York Artillery. No reenforcements having been sent to us * * * about 
•3 :30 P. M. I rode to the rear and led up the 55th New York, and placed it in line perpendicu- 
lar to the Williamsburg road, about 50 yards in advance of the redoubt, the left resting a short 
distance from the road. * * * Leaving the 55th my attention was directed toward the 
right where I found the 56th New York with the 11th Maine, who after four hours' contest 
had fallen back about 400 yards, and were again placed by me at 4:10 o'clock in a depression 
in the ground about midway between the Williamsburg road and the railroad and about 300 
yards in front of the Nine-Mile road. Near by I found the 52d Penna,. which had been 
ordered from the right, and I placed them in echelon to the right and front of the 56th, 
with the right resting on a large pond. At this time the fire here had considerably slackened, 
but was increasing on the left. Returning in about an hour to the left I found the 55th 
engaged to their utmost extent, and ascertained * * ♦ that there were none of our 
troops between the White Oak Swamp and a line parallel with and but 200 yards from 
the Williamsburg road. He had more than an hour before discovered this, and with 
sharpshooters concealed in the woods to the left and rear of the redoubt and rifle pits they 
had killed many of our most valuable officers, had picked off the cannoneers, and had killed 
from three to four horses out of every team attached to the 1st New York Artillery, and 
at the time of my return had driven our men from the rifle-pits. No time was to be lost. 
Fitch's battery was ordered to the rear. The battery under Lieut. Hart was next ordered 
to retire, but it was soon found that but one limber could be moved. I ordered the pieces 
to be spiked, but after spiking the pieces in the redoubt those on the outside of it were in 
the possession of the enemy. By way of precaution I had ordered the prolonges to be fixed 
to the sections of Regan's battery still firing up the Williamsburg road, and ordered it to 
retire firing until in the abattis that crosses the road, and I then withdrew the 55th under 
the protection of its fire. This regiment had fought most gallantly, suffered severely, and 
contributed much in the end toward saving Regan's battery from falling into the hands 
of the enemy; and then, the entire field in front of and including the redoubt being in pos- 
session of the enemy, who had pressed to within a few yards of us, it being necessary to 
support many of the wounded horses to keep them from falling in the traces, at 5 :15 P. M. 
we brought the last sections of Bailey's New York artillery from the field, the air being at 
this time literally filled with iron and lead. Returning rapidly to my 56th New York, 11th 
Maine, and 52d Penna., my anticipations here were realized. Being successful in turning 
our left Hank, the enemy had opened a most destructive cross-fire upon them from the 
pieces near the redoubt that had not been spiked, and this, with the fire from their imme- 
diate front, was no longer to be endured, and they were withdrawn and marched down the 
Nine-mile road, and placed in position in rear of this road about 300 yards from Seven 
Pines, when soon their services were required. In the meanwhile Col. Neill, of the 23d 
Penna., had come upon the ground occupied by Col. Dodge, and induced him to advance 
in front and to the right of the position that had been assigned to him, whilst he (Col. 
Neill) occupied that which the 52d Penna. vacated; but these dispositions were scarcely 
made before the masses of the enemy broke through, and a few minutes sufficed to leave 
the half of Dodge's command upon the ground and to force Neill precipitately from the 
position. The remaining portion of the 52d — for it was now reduced to a little over a 
hundred men — were conducted along the Nine-mile road to the Seven Pines, when, finding 
the rifle pits occupied, they took possession of a fence and some outhouses, and did most 
effective service. Afterward they crossed to the left of Couch's position, and advanced 200 
yards into and along the woods tO' the left and in front of the Seven Pines, where they 
remained actively employed until nearly dark, when the enemy, advancing rapidly, in 
masses to the rear of the Nine-mile road, inclined toward the Williamsburg road, sweep- 
ing everything to the rear, which did not stop until all had arrived at the line of defense 
1 mile in that direction. The 52d, having their retreat cut off, escaped by passing through 
the woods to the left and rear to the saw-mill at the White Oak Swamp and thence to die 
line above referred to, where they rejoined their comrades of the First Brigade. Following 
down the Nine-mile road, after Dodge was compelled to retreat about 500 yards from the 
outer section at the Seven Pines, I found Col, J. W. Adams, commanding the 1st Long 


Island, which was placed across the road, a portion °f t^^ . r'&>^' ^T^dams of 'the rLid 

with the left flank extending to the front and left. Advising Col Adams of the rapm 

approach of the enemy, of the direction he was coming, and of t^^P°t'!'°"f the Nine mHe 

104th on his left, he withdrew the left flank of the Long Island to the rear of the ^'"^ miie 

road, making a continuous line with the above, and the men were, ordered to -e down 

fhat they shSuld escape the murderous fire that was incessantly pouring in /''om the front. 

Scarcely was this done when the 87th New York, Col. Stephen A. Dodge of Keamy s dm- 

^on Heintzelman's corps, came along the Nine-mile road with rapid step, cheering most 

vocTfefouriv oassed the llth Maine, 104th Penna., and the 1st Long Island about 50 yards, 

rece ved a voUey^b^^^^^^ passed the whole of them, running over the backs of hose 

IvTnTdov^ the atter remaining undisturbed, until ordered to rise and meet the accumu- 

la ed for^ that was bearing all before it. Volley after volley was given and received An 

order was given to chargeT but 100 yards brought us into such close proximity with the 

pnemvThatI sheet of firi was blazing in our faces. The ranks on both sides were rapidly 

thSg but s ill the great disparity in our number continued. So close were the contending 

force^'ha" our men in many instances whilst at a charge Pf^^d^heir fire into the brea^ 

of the enemy within a few feet from the points of their bayonets. This dreadtul contest 

°asted until neariy dark. My 56th and 104th suffered dreadfully test the greater part of the r 

oSs and men; and were compelled to give way carrying their wounded with them. It 

was then in the language of Lieut. Haney, of the 104th : ,.^ .^ ,- „. 

" 'That I (Lieut Haney) and Lieut. Ashenf eher and others led Capt. Corcoran, t^pt. 

Swartzlander, and Lieut. Hendrie off the field. It was getting dark ; it was about half an 

hour before dark. We went down the Nine-mile road and along the Williamsburg road. 

The fighting was nearly over; our troops were all returning; we saw the enemy not oyer 

75 yards in our rear, and no troops between us and them. All of our forces were moving 

back little regard being paid to brigade, regimental, or even company organization. Kearny s 

troops came, but did not stay long. Capt. Corcoran becoming continually weaker, we were 

compelled to carry him.' 

"* * * I have shown in the history of the battle of the Seven Pines the conduct 
of every one of the regiments of the First Brigade from the time the first volley was 
fired at noon until the enemy, having driven our troops from the ground near dark, cut off 
the retreat of the 52d by the Williamsburg road, and were still annoyed by their deadly fire. 
* * * For three and a half hours we contested every inch of ground with the enemy, 
and did not yield in that time the half of 1 mile. We fought from 12 M. until 3 :30 P. M. 
with but little assistance, and until dark with our comrades of other regiments and of other 
divisions whenever we could be of service, and when at dark the enemy swept all before 
him, we were the last to leave the field. Since the battle of Seven Pines, now nearly three 
weeks, a force ten times that of Casey and Couch have not been able to regain the line of 
outposts established by the First Brigade on the 26th of May, our present hne being half 
a mile in rear thereof. * * * Conduct such as this, if not worthy of commendation, 
should not call forth censure, for censure undeserved chills the ardor and daring of the 
soldier and dishonors both the living and the dead." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, Part I. pp. 921- 

From Col. W. W. H. Davis' report (comd'g 104th Penna., Naglee's brigade) : 

"About 12 :30 o'clock noon an aide-de-camp of Gen. Casey came to my quarters on the 
Nine-mile road and ordered me to get my regiment under arms immediately. In a few 
minutes afterward it was formed on the color line cut in the bushes. I had but eight 
companies in line, the other two being on picket. My effective strength was a little less 
than 400 men. Shortly after we formed another aide came to my quarters with orders to 
move the regiment out by the left flank to a clearing between the Nine-mile and Williams- 
burg roads to support Spratt's battery of 10 pounders. We marched along a path I had 
caused to be cut through the bushes a few days before, and formed line in the edge of 
the timber a little to the right and rear of the battery. I had hardly dressed my line when 
I was ordered to advance my regiment into the clearing in front, which was done as 
quickly as possible. To attain this position we had to cross the abatis formed to prevent the 
approach of the enemy, and my line was a considerable distance in front of the battery I 
was sent to support. The right of the regiment rested on the timber which flank in on 
that side. Skirmishing had been going on before we arrived on the field, and soon after- 
ward the skirmishers came running in, pressed back by the enemy. The enemy's bullets 
fell in my ranks while the line was being formed. Nevertheless, the regiment was dressed 
with the precision of a dress parade. We opened with a general volley, the first fired that 
day, which announced the action commenced in earnest, and until it was concluded there 
was a perfect rattle of musketry and roar of artillery. The men began to fall, killed or 
wounded, but there was no faltering. Every officer and man stool up to his work. Seeing 
a movement of the enemy on our right as though about to flank us in that direction. Com- 
panies A and D were pushed into the timber to prevent it. The enemy now came out of 
the timber and pressed down upon us in overwhelming numbers. Their fire was withering. 
We had now been under fire about an hour and a half, and our ranks were much thinner. 


The enemy was now pressing me hard in front and on the right flank, and their fire had 
approached so near as to endanger the battery. Under these circumstances I ordered a 
charge, the regiment at the word springing forward and advancing with a loud huzzah 
toward the enemy. It had the effect of gaining time and enabled us to hold the enemy 
longer in check. Seeing I must relinquish my ground unless reenforced, I sent Lieut. 
Ashenfelter to Gen. Casey on the Williamsburg road with the request that he would send 
me a regiment to support the 104th. He passed twice between the two armies unharmed. 
He sent word that if I could hold my position a few minutes longer he would reenforce 
me. The fight had now raged two hours with great fierceness, and almost one-half my 
regiment had fallen. In this part of the field the 104th was contending single handed 
with overwhelming numbers. We could hold our ground no longer, and the superior num- 
bers of the enemy and the want of the promised support, compelled us to retire. The 
men left the ground slowly and sullenly and retired down the Nine-mile road to near 
where it joins the Williamsburg road, where they halted and later in the day fell into 
line to resist the approach of the enemy. Company F came in from the picket-line during 
the afternoon and took part in the action toward the close of the day. Company E was 
less fortunate. It was surrounded by the enemy on the picket-line, and Lieut. CroU and 
about sixty men were captured. Among our wounded was Maj. John M. Gries, who was 
mortally shot in the hip while attempting to rescue the colors, which were brought off in 
safety. He died a few days afterward in Philadelphia. Lieut. McDowell was killed on 
the field, and his body fell into the hands of the enemy. In addition I had 9 officers 
wounded, 166 non-commissioned officers and privates, and 62 taken prisoners. Both offi- 
cers and men are particularly noticeable for their good conduct ; and among others. Chaplain 
Gries made himself very useful in attending upon the wounded. I received a rifle bullet in 
my left elbow and was hit by a spent ball on my left breast, and am now at home recover- 
ing from my wounds." (O. R. Series I, Vol. LI, Part I, page 99.) 

From Col. H. M. Plaisted's report (comd'g 11th Maine Regiment, Naglee's brigade) : 

"I was on the picket line near the Williamsburg road about noon of the 31st, being 
general officer of the day, when our pickets were attacked by the enemy and driven in. 
I met Gen. Casey soon after emerging from the woods. He immdiately ordered out the 
11th Maine and the 100th New York. Returning to my camp, opposite Gen. Casey's head- 
quarters, I met three companies of the regiment, under the command of Maj. Campbell. 
* * * The balance of the regiment (7 companies) were on picket. Taking command 
of the battalion, I moved it up the Williamsburg road a short distance, halted and loaded 
under a scattering fire * * *. Orders then came to move my regiment up and support 
Capt. Spratt's battery, then hotly engaged on the right of the road, about 200 yards in 
advance. I moved to post my companies on the right of the battery, as it was supported 
on the left by the 100th New York. To avoid shots directed to silence the battery, I filed 
to the right across the road to the woods about 150 yards, and, under cover of the woods, 
advanced in line of battle to the front until opposite the right of the battery, then by the 
left flank to my position — about 30 yards from the right of the battery * * *. I ordered 
my men to lie down behind a ridge that protected them, and reserve their fire until the 
rebels emerged from the woods. Soon after. Gen. Naglee rode in front of my line amidst a 
shower of bullets, and ordered me to charge. With the greatest enthusiasm the order was 
obeyed. With the 104th Penna. on my right, we advanced across the open space two or 
three hundred yards to the fence, and not more than 50 yards from the woods, where 
we opened fire. We maintained our fire and our position until two-thirds of ray commis- 
sioned officers and one-half my battalion were either killed or wounded, my flag per- 
forated by eleven bullets, flagstaff shot away, and the supports upon my right had left. 
Then reluctantly I gave the order, 'Retreat!' I retreated to my old camp-ground with the 
remains of my three companies, and after a little while retired to the Nine-mile road, 100 
yards to the rear, where I supposed the rally would be made. Twice the shattered flag 
was raised to rally the fugitives of other regiments, but only those who stood by it before 
would stand by it now. In good order we retired to near Savage Station." 

From Gen. Palmer's report (comd'g Third Brigade, Casey's division) : 

"My command, consisting of the 81st, 92d, 85th, and 98th New York Vols., numbered in 
the aggregate about 1,200. Of this number 400 of the effective officers and men were at 
the commencement of the engagement on picket guard or on duty with working parties. A 
great portion of these did not join their regiments, as they should have done, but were 
permitted by the officers in charge of them to ramble about, and of course doing but little 
service. The sick, or those reputed sick, in the brigade numbered some hundreds, and in 
some companies there were no commissioned officers — in the most of them not more than 
one — and I estimate the whole fighting force on the ground at less than 1,000 officers and 
men. For this condition of my command I hold myself in no way responsible; but this 
matter will be the subject of a special report. It is fair to presume that with this force 
it was not expected to do much more than hold in check the enemy, who advanced so 
rapidly that while the men were in the rifle pits they were raked by a fire from both flanks. 


The disposition of the regiments was made by the order of the commanding general of 
the division and was as follows: The 81st was deployed in the field to the extreme left of 
our line and in front of the woods through which the enemy made the flank movement. The 
85th occupied the left rifle pits, while the 92d and 98th were ordered to the front and to 
the support of the batteries. A very short time after the 81st was placed in position by 
myself, and while I was passing toward the right, the enemy appeared suddenly in front 
of them and delivered a deadly fire. The commanding officer, Lieut. Col. De Forest, was 
wounded, supposed mortally; the major, McAmbly, one captain, Kingman, and several 
men were killed, and many officers and men wounded. The enemy's fire was returned, 
but the force in front was too great for new troops and they retired, leaving many of 
their number on the field, to the woods only a few rods to the rear. The 85th stood their 
ground well in the rifle pits, and I am convinced did good execution. My regiments were 
so situated and the smoke was so dense on the field that it was impossible for me to see 
more than one regiment at a time. While passing along the line I discovered that our 
whole position was gradually becoming enveloped, and that unless re-enforcements should 
soon arrive it must be abandoned. An unfortunate affair occurred about the time of the 
closing in of the enemy on the flanks. A shell thrown from one of our own batteries burst 
just over the rifle pits, killing and wounding several of the 85th, which up to this time 
had stood its ground well. About the same time Col. Hunt of the 92d, who was encour- 
aging his men to hold their position, was shot in the thigh, and he was compelled to leave 
the field. This occurred about 3 o'clock. I believed that it would not be possible to make 
the men stand much longer unless re-enforced, and I went to Gen. Keyes to beg for some 
of Couch's division, which had just arrived. His reply was that he had formed a new 
line to the rear. Shortly after this the divisions of Kearny and Hooker arrived, but 
not until the enemy had possession of the position where the engagement commenced, and 
which they continued to possess until they chose to retire, which was on Monday morning, 
more than thirty hours after the battle. I only mention this fact to show the injustice of 
attaching blame to any one for retiring with a meager force from a position which was 
held by the enemy in spite of the large re-enforcements in Kearny's, Hooker's, and 
Couch's divisions. It was my misfortune to see a portion of the re-enforcements greater 
than my whole command retire from the field before they had scarcely felt the enemy. 
As it was useless to attempt to reform the brigade when the regiments were so widely 
scattered, the work of collecting the men generally was commenced about sundown, and 
on the- next morning they took up their position, by the order of the commandinig general 
of the division, at the position in front of Savage Station. I inclose a list of casualties in 
each regiment, and you will perceive that the killed and wounded alone will amount to 
nearly one-fourth of my whole command, and adding the missing, many of whom I 
suspect are wounded and prisoners, the total loss is considerably more than one-third my 
force. This is sufficient to induce me to think that while the men did not, perhaps act 
like veteran troops, they did as well as could be expected. For the disasters of the' day 
those v;ho placed a small force of the rawest troops in the army in a position where they 
would of necessity bear the brunt of any attack on the left must bear the blame I take 
none of it myself." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 929-930.) 

From report Capt. William C. Raulston comd'g. 81st New York, Palmer's brigade: 
"We were ordered into line at 12 :30 P. M. ; formed immediately, and were ordered to 
take a position m a narrow road between the woods and an inclosure of 250 yards in 
breadth. We remained in this position for half an hour, during which time there was a 
brisk fire on our right. When the firing became general we were ordered to pull down 
the fence and advance mto the field about 40 yards, when the enemy immediately ad- 
vanced to the edge of the woods and opened fire on our whole front. At the same time 
a volley came from the woods on our left. We returned their fire briskly and after 
holding our position for some time it became evident, from the destructive fire on our left 
that they were endeavoring to flank us. As we could gain nothing from the position which 

firin^witr^SnH ' JT^'f-f '° *^' '°^" -"^ '^^ ^°°^=' ^here we retained^ur position, 
firing with good effect until our ammumtion was nearly exhausted and we found our- 
selves again being flanked on our left. We then moved to the right into a clearing 

reT.'jL nfTh"^' ^"^ '^°^ ^ ^°f'°'' ^^T^^^l ^"^^y- ^t this poin! there was a slight 
cessation of the enemy s fire and we judged that they were being re-enforced It was 

carriedlrom'thlTewV.// **"" Heutenant-colonel commanding (J. J. De Forest) had been 
nf th^P .rri^n T K^fit -^ wounded, and the major having been shot in the early part 
?Lt ^''^'°\^ ''«"e senior captain, was in command of the regiment. I immediately 

*°°H '=°Tr'^'K ^!"^ "°' ''^'"^- ^^^ P°''t^°n ^^ tl^^n °<='="Pie<l (*e enemy havTng pos- 
sess on of the battery on our right, were shelling our position, while we had no melns of 
retaliating) I ordered them to the rear of the camp of the 98th Regiment In this posi- 
tion we did some good execution but our batteries in front having been captured by the 
enemy and as we were in some danger of sharing the same fate, I ordered the men into 
the nfle pits on the right and in rear of the slashing in front of Couch's headuaarters 
from which we were afterwards driven by the overpowering numbers of the enemy 


Our loss. * * * is killed, 26; wounded, 90; missing, 22; total, 138." (O. R. Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, part I, pp. 930-931.) 

From report of Col. Jonathan S. Belknap, (comd'g 85th New York, Palmer's brigade) : 

"According to an order received from you the regiment was placed in the rifle pits at 
the left of the redoubt, near Gen. Casey's headquarters. Our fire was reserved until the 
regiments of this brigade sent out to the slashing in front of us had been driven back and 
three rebel regiments (afterward known to be Rode's brigade) had advanced into the 
open field in front of us. We then delivered a continuous and deadly fire until they halted, 
wavered, and fell back. Their color bearer was several times shot down, and when they 
retreated to the slashing they left their colors, with their dead and wounded. Up to this 
point our loss was small and the men in the best of spirits and perfectly cool. If our 
flank had been properly protected we could have held our position. About this time it 
became evident that the design of the enemy was to mass his forces on both our flanks 
and turn them. I dispatched a messenger to your headquarters to see what the rebel force 
in that direction was. He reported that the 81st New York was being driven back by 
two regiments of the enemy, who were advancing toward your headquarters. The same 
messenger also reported that the rebel flag was planted on the rifle pits on the right of the 
redoubt, near the Richmond road. The guns at the redoubt had been abandoned for 
fifteen minutes. We were thus completely flanked and could hope for no support, for 
there was not a regiment of our troops in sight. Under these circumstances I ordered 
my regiment to fall back to the road in front of our encampment. Being still desirous 
of holding our position as long as possible, and seeing the danger of being surrounded 
was not so great as I had supposed, I ordered the men into the rifle pits again. They 
obeyed with alacrity. We held our position fifteen minutes longer, and retired only under 
imminent danger of being surrounded. The rebel flag was then floating over your head- 
quarters; also in the immediate vicinity of Gen. Casey's headquarters, on our right. The 
heads of the flanking columns of the rebels having thus enveloped our lines, and being 
exposed to a very heavy cross-fire, I deemed it best to have the men to fall back under the 
best cover they could find. A large portion of the regiment rallied in the first piece of 
woods in rear of our camp, under command of Capt. Oark, and formed on the left of the 
81st. Deeming the position insecure, Capt. Clark ordered the men to fall back to the 
first slashing and form near the rifle pits in front of Couch's division." (O. R. Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, part I, pp. 931-932.) 

From the report of Lieut. Col. Charles Durkee (comd'g 98th New York Vols., Palm- 
er's brigade) : 

"The regiment was placed in advance of the fort, and maintained its ground until 
flanked by the enemy on both sides by a superior force, when we were compelled to 
retire. We immediately formed behind the rifle pits and remained there until our whole 
force gave way, when we retired to the woods and formed again, but suddenly finding 
ourselves again outflanked on the left, we fell back through the woods, formed again, 
and advanced in line of battle toward the hottest of the fight. Our friends being in 
front of us, and the brush being so thick we could not distinguish between friend and 
foe, we did not prove so effective as desired. After remaining in that position about 
thirty minutes we retired from the field. Our loss in killed, wounded and missing is 70." 
(O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 933.) 

From Capt. P. C. Regan's report (7th N. Y. Battery), Acting Chief of Artillery, 
Casey's division, after Maj. Van Valkenburgh was killed : 

"The 7th New York Independent Battery, under my command, remained in position 
on the right of the Nine-mile road (he meant the Williamsburg road — Ed.), directly in 
front of headquarters, awaiting the signal to commence firing. Our own troops (101st 
Penna. Regiment — Ed.) were in our immediate front in the undergrowth of pines, which 
compelled us to reserve our fire for fear of killing our own men, and were compelled to 
remain under a galling fire, which wounded one man and killed and wounded several of 
my horses, without the satisfaction of replying. At a signal from Maj. Van Valkenburgh, 
we limbered our pieces and moved to the left, and took our position in battery, with one 
section in the road and the other two in the field to the right of the road, and opened on 
their advancing column and for a time held them at bay. * * * Maj. Van Valkenburgh 
gave the order to Umber up the four pieces in the field. As the ground was soft and the 
guns had settled nearly up to their axles, with difficulty we got the guns out and sent 
them to the rear, while we still worked the section in the road. /* was at this time the 
major received his fatal shot and fell lifeless from his saddle. At this time all the batteries 
had left the field and all the infantry in our immediate vicinity had been driven back, A 
part of the First Brigade, the 56th New York, were still disputing the ground with the 
enemy on our extreme right. Gen. Naglee ordered me to fix prolonges and fire retiring, 
which was done with one piece. The Garde Lafayette (55th Regiment, New York Volun- 
teers) came up about this time and made a gallant charge, but unfortunately got in front 


of our pieces and prevented us from firing when we were able to do so. With two officers 
and one corporal as cannoneers and no lanyard or friction primers, * * * we retired, 
and shortly after received orders from you (Gen. Casey— Ed.) to collect the batteries and 
place them in position where they now are.' 

"The colonel (Bailey) was killed in the redoubt in front of your headquarters by a 
rifle ball passing through his brain while giving an order to spike the guns of Co. A, 
* * * when the redoubt was no longer tenable and the large number of horses killed 
prevented the withdrawal of the guns. The major (Van Valkenburgh) was killed in the 
road between two of my guns while in action and while setting an example to the men of 
cool, self-possessed courage under a galling and terrible fire. I have received no report 
from Co. A, * * * and can only report to you the fact that their battery of six light 
12-pounders were captured by the enemy. Battery H * * * was ordered into battery 
to the left of the Nine-mile (Williamsburg) road, in advance of division headquarters, and 
opened fire on the enemy. Capt. Spratt was wounded in the shoulder early in the action, 
as was also Lieut. Howell, and the command of the battery devolved on 1st Lieut. C. E. 
Mink, who fought the battery, assisted by 2d Lieut. E. H. Clark, with spirit and bravery 
until compelled to retire by the repulse of his supports and the near advance of the enemy, 
but not until the safety of his battery compelled his retreat, with the loss of one of his 
pieces * * *. The 8th New York Independent Battery, Capt. Fitch, commenced firing 
about 1 o'clock, and fired with rapidity and effect on the advancing lines of the enemy until 
compelled to retire, which was done in good order * * *. 

The adjutant of the artillery, Lieut. William Rumsey, was wounded while executing 
the orders of our chief. I had orders about two hours before the battle commenced to 
harness up one section of my battery, but before 1 had barely time to give the order the 
order was changed, and the whole battery was ordered to be harnessed, together with all the 
batteries in the division. I could have saved my battery wagon and forge by sending them 
to the rear sooner, but did not feel justified in assuming by that proceeding that it was 
possible for the division to retreat. Two caissons were abandoned in consequence of the 
horses being killed. The battery wagon, forge, and caissons have been since recovered, with 
the exception of one limber of the caisson, which was taken by the rebels." (O. R, Ser I 
Vol. XI, part I, pp. 918-919.) 

From Gen. Couch's report (comdg. First Brigade, Fourth Corps) : 

"About 2 P. M. I advanced with Neill's and Rippey's regiments through a close 
wood, moving by the flank. Directing Neill where to move, and pushing on with Rippey, 
we at once came upon a large column of the enemy in reserve, but apparently moving 
toward Fair Oaks. Rippey's regiment was therefore posted perpendicularly to Neill's line, 
m the edge of the woods, facing to the front. They immediately engaged but were finally 
compelled to retire, bringing in 35 prisoners. Here Col. Rippey and all' his field officers 
fell, and in twenty minutes the enemy had passed over the road leading to my center 
cutting off the advance at Fair Oaks, now reenforced by the 7th Mass. ♦ ♦ * and 62d 
New York. * * * After making demonstrations to cut through and rejoin the main 
body, it was abandoned as suicidal. At the same time large masses of the enemy were 
moving across the railroad to the front and right, with the intention of inclosing us 
Therefore with Gen. Abercrombie, four regiments, the battery, and prisoners we moved 
off toward the Grapevine Bridge for half a mile, and took a position facing Fair Oaks 
boon Capt. Van Ness brought me word that Gen. Sumner was at hand * * ♦ jhis 
noble soldier came on rapidly vdth Sedgwick's division. * * * This was about 4-30 

Lfi, M- ^^"""^ "3^!fn^°L*''^ '■^''/'' appeared at Fair Oaks, while large numbers 
from the Nine-miles road filled the woods. Desperate attempts were made to carrv the 
batteries and center but the destructrveness of the artillery, and the close, steady fire of 
and ott. ^^?'q h"*^ -^^J Chasseurs * * * with the firm advance of Gorman^s brigade 
and others of Sedgvnck's division, drove back the enemy with great slaughter * * * It 
was night, and the troops lay down in the line of battle order, generals and privates where 
the fightmg ceased.. * * * The force of my division engag^ near Seven Pines dM not 
number over 5,000 infantry and three batteries. For two hSu?s it maintained itself withSSt 

nnH t^',?Tl' ""^T^ * ^■1'^*°"°"? ^"^"^y S^^^tly ^"P"i°^ i" numbers and on y mired 
and that slowly, under positive orders, to a new position jointly with the troops of Gen 
Heintzelman's corps that had advanced to our suonort Thp Ut T nni ToiI.^^ u • : 
held its ground until outflanked." (O. R.! Ser I, vTxi, Jart I pp Ssissi ) ^'^™'"* 

From Gen. Peck's report (comdg. First Brigade, Couch's division) : 
"At 4:3() P M. Gens. Heintzelman and Keyes informed me that the enemy was 
assa. ing our right flank in great force, and urged me to push forward the regiments it I 
double-quick for its support I moved oflf at the head of the 102d Penna., * * ♦ followed 
by the 93d Penna * * * across the open field, under the concentrated fire of nurner^us 
batteries and of heavy musketry from the right. These regiments came into line hind- 


somely, pressed forward on the enemy, and contributed their best energies to sustain their 
comrades so gallantly contesting, inch by inch, the advancing foe. For about the space of 
half an hour our lines swayed forward and back repeatedly, and at last, unable to withstand 
the pressure from successive reenforcements of the enemy, was compelled to fall back to 
the woods across the main road. Having remained near the main road * + * until the 
troops had passed out of view, I pushed on in the direction of the road leading to the 
saw-mill. Coming up with numerous detachments of various regiments and a portion of 
the 102d Penna., * * * j rallied these men and was conducting them back toward the 
Richmond road, when I met Gen. Kearny, who advised me to withdraw these troops by 
way of the saw-mill to the intrenched camp at this place. I stated I did not feel at 
liberty to do so, unless by his order, which he gave. I arrived at this camp about 6:30 
P. M., in company with Gen. Kearny. Finding nearly all the forces here, I took position 
in the rifle-pit with Gen. Berry's brigade. * * * At daylight on the 1st of June I was 
placed in command of the intrenchments. The force at hand was not far from 10,000 
men, with a large supply of artillery. Small detachments and stragglers were collected 
and sent to their respective regiments. * * * Heavy working parties, relieved at intervals 
of two hours, were employed until the morning of the 2d extending and strengthening 
the whole line of works. * * * it gives me great pleasure to say that Maj.-Gen. 
McClellan and Gens. Heintzelman and Keyes rode twice along the entire lines in the 
afternoon of this day, to the great gratification of the troops, who received them with 
unbounded enthusiasm." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 888-889.) 

From Gen. Abercrombie's report (comdg. Second Brigade, Couch's division) : 

"At 12 o'clock M., May 31, I received notice to warn the men to fall in at a moment's 
notice. The position of the different regiments was at the time as follows : 1st Long Island 
Vols. (67th N. Y.), Col. Adams, in rear of the rifle pits near Seven Pines, on the Richmond 
road; 23d Penna, Vols., Col. Neill, and 1st U. S. Chasseurs (65th N. Y.), Col. Cochrane, 
on the road leading from Seven Pines to Fair Oaks Station and nearly in rear of the 1st 
Long Island Regiment; 31st Penna. Vols., Col. Williams, near the railroad, on the road 
leading from the station to Richmond; 61st Penna. Vols., Col. Rippey, near the railroad, 
on the road leading from the depot to the Chickahominy — Trent's. The duty assigned to 
the last two regiments was to guard the crossing at the depot. I received orders at 1 
o'clock to take position with the 1st Chasseurs, 31st and 61st Penna. Vols., and Brady's 
battery of 1st Penna Artillery, near the camp of the 31st Penna., to prevent the enemy from 
turning our right flank. Shortly afterward the 61st Penna. Vols, was placed in position near 
the 23d Penna. Vols., then already engaged. I was, by the falling back of Casey's division, 
entirely cut off from the regiments of my brigade engaged in the center, and have to refer 
to the reports of the regimental commanders. * * * Th cavalry outposts * * * 
reporting that the enemy was approaching, and being cut off entirely from Keyes' army corps. 
I, with the sanction of Gen. Couch, * * * sent an ofl5cer of my staff * * * to 
inform Gen. Sumner of the state of affairs. 

"Finding my position untenable, I fell back on the road from the depot to Trent's 
house as far as (Zourtney's house, about half a mile, and there formed line of battle, the 
31st Penna. * * * nearest the house, behind a low rail fence, in the rear of a piece of 
woods. Two companies of the 61st Penna. * * * ^^^ ]^st U. S. Chasseurs were posted 
on the right of the 31st Penna. * * *. The other troops on the ground at the time were 
62d New York and 7th Mass. * * * and a section of Brady's battery, formed on the 
left of the road. The other section of Brady's battery was placed on the right of my com- 
mand, near the 1st Minn., as soon as that regiment * * * arrived on the ground. 
* * ''' In retiring from my original position, the Courtney house, a few hundred yards 
to the right and a little in the rear, the column moved in perfect order * * * and 
remained until after the close of the action." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 897-898.) 

From Gen. Devens' report (comdg. Third Brigade, Couch's division; subsequently 
attorney-general. President Hayes' cabinet) : 

"At about 4 P. M., the line of Gen. Casey then having been driven back in front 
and an ineffectual attempt to recover some portion of the ground having been made by 
the 55th New York, an order was received from Gen. Keyes that the 10th Mass. should 
advance up the Richmond road through the felled trees and endeavor to hold the ground 
in front. Col. Briggs moved accordingly up the road by the flank, and deploying, as soon 
as the ground permitted, across the road, so as to move forward by the front, found 
himself immediately assailed on the left flank and rear by heavy volleys of musketry, 
showing the enemy to have outflanked in considerable force the position occupied by him! 
Col. Briggs gallantly struggled, by changing fronts with a portion of the left wing of 
the regiment, to present a front to the enemy which should at least enable him to maintain 
his position. From the nature of the ground, entirely covered with fallen timber it was 

The above map was sketched by Capt. John Donaghy, of the 103d Penna. Regiment. It 
shows approximately the positions of the respective regiments and batteries of Casey's division 
at the beginmng of the battle of Seven Pines between 12 and 1 o'cloclt, May 31, 1862. While 
following closely the offlcial reports of the battle, Capt. Donaghy has added some features of 
which he had personal Knowledge. A comparison of this map with the large "Century" map, 
which appears on another page, will show some differences, although Capt. Donaghy had 
the "Century" map before him. and followed it wliere it harmonized with the official reports 
or of those competent to speak with authority. In the "Century" map Regan's battery is placed 
in front of Casey's intrenchments to harmonize with Gen. Naglee's erroneous statement. Gen, 
Casey and Capt. Regan leave no doubt as to the position of this battery, at least so far as 
to whether it was in advance or in rear of Casey's line of battle at the intrenchments. The 
pecond position of this battery is indicated by the letter C. No. 18, omitted in the key of 
the map, indicates the location of the camp of the 104th Penna. No. 19, also omitted in key. 
indicates the location of the camp of the 56th New York; No. 15 in key gives the position of 
the 52d Penna.; this is an error; it is the position of the 56th New York; the Penna. regiment 
was iuUy a half mile farther to the right, supporting the pickets on the extreme right. The 
"Century" map places the redoubt too far south of the Williamsburg road and indicates no 
abatis south of the road. The abatis was much wider south of the road than it was north, 
and the timber comprising it was also heavier. The "Centurj-" map indicates the supports to 
Spratt's battery in rear of the guns; the IDOth and 92d New York regiments were sotitli of 
the road some distance in advance of the battery, while a fragment of the 103d Penna., three 
companies of the 11th Maine, and the 104th Penna. were on the right, fully 50 yards farther 
west than the position of the guns. 

Capt. Donaghy, an artist by profession, was officer of the camp guard at the beginning 
of the battle. When the firing on the picket line became brisk he mounted the pile of cord- 
wood immediately in rear of Casey's intrenchments and began a. sketch of the scene in front, 
while the respective regiments were hurrying to their positions in front. Wlien the musket 
balls of the enemy began to lodge in the woodpile he realized the attacls was to be more than 
a skirmish, and transferred his guard assignment to Lieut. Jolm M. Cochran of his regiment, 
who was ill in camp, and accompanied his company (which came from fatigue duty after 
the regiment had gone to the support of the pickets) into action with the 96th New Y'ork. 


not possible for him to effect this, and the left wing was soon thrown into much con- 
fusion from the heavy fire of the enemy, thus advantageously posted in regard to it. I 
had * * * sent word to Gen. Keyes of the position of the enemy on the left of this 
regiment, but, my aide returning without being able to find that officer, and the left wing 
of the regiment being much broken, I directed Col. Briggs to fall back and reform the 
regiment at the rifle-pits before occupied by him. So much confusion had been created by 
the iire on the rear of the regiment that it was not possible for him to effect this in 
good order, but at a short distance behind the Fair Oaks road Col. Briggs rallied his regi- 
ment successfully and led it forward in good order to the position indicated. Reenforce- 
ments arrived in a short time and were thrown forward to the left and front of the 36th 
New York and 10th Mass., and the fire being now heavy on the right, supposing the 7th 
Mass. to be engaged, I moved in that direction. * * * Finding the attack very severe 
upon the brigade at my right, and that the 7th Mass. was not there, * * * j returned 
toward my two regiments on the Richmond road; but the enemy had now broken through 
our line between the position occupied by these regiments and Fair Oaks Station and 
threatened seriously to cut them off. The 10th Mass. * * * had during my absence 
been moved toward the right * * * ajjd was, after the regiments to its right had been 
compelled to retreat, forced back in some disorder. * * * The 36th New York * * * 
maintamed its position until the regiments on its right and left gave way, when it retreated 
in good order, moving by the left flank up the Saw-mill road to the rifle-pits on Allen's 
farm." » * * (0. R., Ser.-I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 906-907.) 

From Gen. Kearny's report (comdg. Third Division, Third Corps) ; 

"On arriving at the field of battle we found certain zigzag rifle pits sheltering crowds 
of men and the enemy firing from abatis and timber in their front. Gen. Casey remarked 
to me on coming up, 'If you will regain our late camp the day will still be ours.' I had but 
the 3d Mich, up, but they moved forward with alacrity, dashing into the felled timber, and 
commenced a desperate but determined contest. * * * The next regiment that came up, 
the 5th Mich., again won laurels. * * * i directed Gen. Berry with this regiment to 
turn the slashings * * * and gain the open ground on the enemy's right flank. This 
was perfectly accomplished. The 37th New York was arranged in column to support the 
attack. * * * In the meanwhile my remaining brigade, the 105th and 63d Penna., came 
up, under Gen. Jameson, the other two regiments having been diverted, one to Birney and 
^^rt-}°c^- * '^ * Of these regiments the 105th was placed in the slashings. * * * 
While S companies of the 63d Penna. * * * were pushed through the abatis, * * ♦ 
and nobly repelled a strong body of the enemy ***.*** This was perhaps near 6 
o clock, when our center and right, defended by troops of the other divisions, with all their 
wilhngness, could no longer resist the enemy's right central flank attacks, pushed on with 
determmed disciphne and with the impulsion of numerous concentrated masses Once broken 
our troops fled incontinently, and a dense body of the enemy pursuing rapidly, yet in order 
occupied the Williamsburg road, the entire open ground, and penetrating deep into the 
woods on either side soon interposed between my division and my line of retreat It was 
valor' ot°'t?fq?tiM' ^^^^^ST"^^" ="* f' and relying on the high discipline and determined 
^hl crrnnnH flh , 7 ^^^l^.y^^' \ ^^ced them to the rear against the enemy, and held 
^,..foc i' ^'though so critically placed, and despite the masses that gathered on and 
had passed us, checked the enemy in his intent of cutting us off against the White Oak 
Swamp. This enabled the advanced regiments, averted by orders and th contest in their 
Zfl' * *''"'" ^'■.T.J''""' ^'^^"^° ^ic'?r'°«s career, and to retire by a remaining wood 
h^H Ipf, . """V'^^y °"« '?°'-?/"iY?d at and remanned the impregnable posifion^ 
had left at noon at our own fortified division camp. * * * It is oerhaos withTn tie 
limits of my report to mention Gen. Peck * * *. On the discomfiture nftLr.V^f 1a 
them"from^S"to"the'fidrt" TT' I'^'l'' oP^h^^uSfand wlstm^g'w'Sh 

I. fj *^ general-in-chief that, masters of the lost camp and victorious and in full career" 
^rle^^di ULrtrtht:^^^d°"by V^r.^^%^1/^%^ ^ ^ pf | 

r^^n^^LSM^^^'e^S^^-i -"trtH^ ^c^^l^S: 

very night from pushing forward Maj. DilTmL and 200 ST^a^marks^n'to th? .f"' 

From Gen. Jameson's report (comdg. First Brigade, Kearny's division) • 

* * '^Gen nSelma" '*' *"*' o°rdere'^" ^ ^"^^ '^''''^ *<? ^^P°^' *° Gen. Kearny 
support of Gen.^?lfk'Td to bring ^^e^^Tini^r^o^ ^IS^l^J^^^^^lZ 


where he was then standing * * * * ♦ * j ordered the 87th New York * * *, 
to report to Gen. Peck. With * * * the 63d * * * and 105th Penna. I filed off 
through the woods to the left of the Richmond road. I there met Gen. Kearny, who 
ordered me to advance up the road to the abatis and deploy the 63d Penna. * * * to 
the right and left of that road in the abatis, and to move the 105th Penna. * * * to 
the left on to the Richmond road to the abatis, and to deploy the same to the right and 
left of said road. The two regiments having been disposed of as above I ordered them 
to clear the abatis of the enemy, * * * which they succeeded in accomplishing after a 
very sharp engagement of about one and a half hours. Soon after my regiments had 
engaged the enemy in the abatis I perceived by the heavy firing upon our right that the 
enemy were pressing hard upon that point. As soon as our line began to waver on the 
right the men occupying the rifle pits in rear of the abatis broke and ran from the field. 
I do not know what regiments were occupying those pits. * * * As soon as I per- 
ceived the men abandoning the rifle pits I galloped to the front of them, and used every 
exertion in my power to prevail upon them to return, and hold the pits, but to no avail. 
The enemy had by that time succeeded in turning our right and our troops on the right 
were all running from the field. * * * It was with great difficulty that I succeeded in 
returning to my command, the enemy having entered the open field in rear of the abatis. 
Upon my return I found my regiments were charging the enemy through the camp in 
front of the abatis. I immediately ordered them to fall back and to the left as soon as 
possible, which they succeeded in doing with great difficulty. * * * j moved back 
through the woods to a road leading to a steam saw-mill, which road I followed to said 
mill, thence to the position now occupied by my brigade. In retreating as hastily as I 
was obliged to under the circumstances the men became more or less scattered. I com- 
menced immediately to reorganize my regiments, * * *i succeeded in rallying between 
1,100 and 1,200 men that evening, which I placed in line on the north side of the Richmond 
road, * * * the line extending * * * to the left of the 1st Long Island * * * 
the right of said regiment resting on the railroad. The troops still occupy that line.'' (O. 
R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 843.) 

From Gen. Birney's report (comdg. Second Brigade, Kearny's division) : 

"At 3 o'clock P. M. I received an order from Gen. Kearny to move my brigade up 
the railroad * * *. Ten minutes after 3 o'clock P. M. my column was in motion 

* * *. Before I had reached the railroad, at fifteen minutes past 3 o'clock. Gen. Kearny 
rode up to me and ordered me to return to the Williamsburg * * * road and man the 
line of rifle pits * * *. At 5 o'clock P. M. Lieut. Hunt of Gen. Heintzelman's staff, 

* * * ordered me to advance up the railroad to the support of Keyes' corps. * * * 
After advancing a mile * * * the firing became heavy upon my left * * *. Finding 
that the firing on the left was getting more to the rear, I led into the woods the S7th 

* * * Penna. and 40th New York, and succeeded * * * in driving back the enemy 
''' * * Capt. Brady * * * now rode up to me and said that he came from Gen. 
Couch * * *. At this time (about 6 o'clock) Capt. Suydam, of Gen. Keyes' staff, rode 
up to me and told me that Gen. Heintzelman ordered me to advance still up the railroad. 
I asked him if Gen. Heintzelman knew where I was * * *. He replied that Gens. Keyes 
and Heintzelman were some 2 miles in the rear. I at once made disposition to move 
forward, throwing out skirmishers and withdrawing the 40th New York * * * The 
57th Penna. * * * were thrown into too much confusion in the woods to withdraw. 
When my lines reached the woods near Fair Oaks Station an oblique artillery fire from 
the right across my front commenced. To advance would have subjected me to this fire 

* * * * * * Gen. Sumner sent the 7th Mass. to report to me * * *. At this 
time Capt. Hassler rode up to me from Gen. Kearny and ordered me to return at once 
to the position assigned by him to me at 3 o'clock. Before obeying this order I sent my 
aide * * * to state that if I withdrew there would be a gap of half a mile between 
his right and Sumner's left, * * *. He still ordered me to return, i * * * pre- 
ceding my column, went to Gen. Kearny's tent, and explained '* * * the position of 
my brigade. He * * * ordered me to return. I did so, and at 10 * * * P. M. 
had my connection perfect with Gen. French. I found the railroad embankment afforded 
natural rifle pits, and posted my brigade behind them * * *." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, 
part I, pp. 852-853.) 

From Col. Ward's report (Col. Ward succeeded Gen. Birney in command of the 
Second Brigade during the battle) : 

"Up to this time. 7 A. M., Gen. Birney was in command. * * * Considerable 
skirmishing took place in front * * *. About 8 A. M. Gen. Hooker with his division 
appeared in my front and * * * skirted the woods between my skirmishers and main 
body. As Gen. Hooker's command disappeared in the woods to the front and left the 
heavy firing to the left of the railroad and in advance, which had been continued for the 
last half hour, now suddenly ceased, and a new fire was opened in the woods to my right 


and diagonally to my front. I immediately changed front, * * * and as the enemy 
advanced * * * i gave the order to fire and * * * to charge. This movement was 
most brilliantly performed, driving the terrified enemy before them. * * ♦ The rout 
was complete. An attempt was made- by the enemy to rally a short time afterward, but 
it resulted in a complete failure." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 856.) 

From Capt. Pitcher's report (comdg. 4th Maine, Birney's brigade, Kearny's division) : 

"Here we remained at rest till 7:30 A. M., when, while engaged in distributing the 
morning rations * * * we were startled by a sudden and terrific volley of musketry in 
front, which caused several companies on the left of Howard's brigade to retreat precipi- 
tately from the woods, passing by us and down the railroad. I immediately formed my 
line on the railroad, at the same time endeavoring to rally the retreating companies to 
make a stand with us. Failing in this I advanced * * * and opened fire." (O. R., Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, part I, p. 861.) 

From Gen. Berry's report (comdg. Third Brigade, Kearny's division) : 
"We were at this time in the woods extending from the edge of the slashings below 
up the woods and on the left of the camping ground of Gen. Casey's division, completely 
commanding his old camp and the earthworks with our rifles. * * * We held the 
enemy in check, and could have driven them back farther had the center and right of our 
line been able to have held their position. About 5 :30 P. M. I discovered the 37th New 
York moving to the rear. * * * I then gave orders to the other regiments to fall back 
also, some portions of which did not get the order in consequence of the thick woods, but 
all did make good their movement to the rear and came into camp in order." (O. R., 
Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 865.) 

From Gen. Hooker's report (comdg. Second Division. Third Corps) : 
* * * "My command was prevented from participating in the engagement of the 
31st ultimo, as it was sundown when the advance arrived in sight of the field in which the 
conflict on that day terminated. As this was a convenient post, we bivouacked for the 
night, to be in readiness on the following morning. This was Sunday, and its stillness 
was suddenly broken a little before 7 o'clock by an impulsive musketry fire of considerable 
volume, which at once discovered the position and designs of the enemy. They had chosen 
to renew the conflict on the right of where it had ended the night before, and my com- 
mand * * * immediately advanced in that direction * * *. On the route arid near 
by the enemy I passed on my right a brigade of Kearny's division, under Col. Ward, 
standing in line of battle. * * * From the beginning of the action our advance on the 
rebels along the whole line was slow, but I could feel that it was positive and unyielding. 
'* * * After an interchange of musketry of this character for more than an hour direc- 
tions were given to advance with the bayonet, when the enemy were thrown into wild 
confusion * * *. Pursuit was hopeless. This being ended, and no other fire heard on 
any part of the field the troops were ordered to return to their respective camps. The 
engagement lasted upward of two hours, and almost all our loss occurred prior to the 
bayonet charge. * * * While these events were developing on the right * * * Gen 
Sickles was actively engaged with the enemy to the left. When I joined I found them in 
possession of the forest in our front and a portion of the camps occupied by our trooos the 
day previous." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 819.) f y ut troops rne 

From Gen. Hooker's dispatch to Gen. Heintzelman's headquarters, June 2d : 

..I.- T,"-^T.i'^"^f ?^ '^°",°r *.° "■^P'^^'t *at I returned from my reconnoissance about 5 o'clock 
this R M. I found skirting the swamp in front of Casey's camp, on the Richmond road, 
two roads; one leading to the railroad, the other branching toward the James River and to 
the south of Richmond. These were traversed for some distance— the former to the rail- 
road-without important discoveries. In advance of these roads the enemy appeared to 
have a regiment of cavalry and three of nfantry, but as the latter were mostly concealed 
0„rn ;S' T' "°i ^''"/'"' *u f^^'^7"'"^ «''"> ««^ber; it may have been much greater 
Our pickets exchanged a few shots. On my return my command encamped in fear of 
Casey s camp, ,t not being possible to occupy that ground from the stench a?fsing from the 
bodies of dead animals, and unless early steps are taken I shall be compelled to quh the 
camp now occupied by my commajid. I intend to make my headquarters there tomorrow 
morning. Kearny informs me that he has moved on to the railroad." (0. R, Ser I VoT 
) psrr -I- J- J- J p. u\}\f. J ' ' 

From Gen. Hooker's testimony before Committee on Conduct of the War : 

+1, .>!7^V^^'y^ T^^ ''i'"^ "?°" Sumner's command, which was occupying the railroad at 
the tftne. I made towards the heaviest fire, and came up in rear of the enfmy and in haH 
an hour after my men became engaged. The enemy was utterly routed, throwing awavthtv 
arms, clothing and haversacks, and broke for the woods in the direr-tinn nf V^ I I 

* * * That was the end of the fighting of that bat^ A pVt'oftyToSps°oc?SThe 


camp that had been occupied the day before by Gen. Keyes' corps, and the ground that he 
had lost that day. On Monday * * * I received orders — the directions were very vague 
— to make a reconnoissance in force through the camp and beyond it. I did so without 
any resistance, except a little picket firing, and proceeded to perhaps within three and a half 
or four miles of Richmond on the Williamsburg road. I was then recalled and directed 
to establish my command on the ground that Casey's division had occupied on the first day 
of the fight at Fair Oaks." (Report Conduct of the War, part I, pp. S75-582.) 

From Gen. Sickle's report (comdg. Second Brigade, Hooker's division) : 
''At about 7 A. M. * * * we were ordered * * f along the stage road to the 
front * * *. The column * * * moved forward a few hundred yards, when I was 
directed by Gen. Heintzelman, * * * to form in line on the right of the road in a large 
field with thick oak undergrowth in front, forming part of Snead's plantation. * * * 
Col. Hall was * * * directed to take position on the left of the road, his right resting 
on the road, supported by Col. Taylor on the left. The 4th, 1st and 5th Regiments were 
already in line on the right. These dispositions were made under an annoying fire from 
the enemy's skirmishers * * * Skirmishers were thrown forward, * * * and the 
line moved forward briskly on both sides of the road under a heavy fire * * *. After 
one or two volleys these regiments were pushed forward across the field at double-quick, 
and with a loud cheer charged into the timber, the enemy flying before them. * * * On 
the right the 1st * * * and 5th * * * were advanced * * * found the enemy 
'* * * drove him back at the point of the bayonet across the clearing, where he disap- 
peared in the woods beyond. * * * The enemy having retired, I was ordered by Gen. 
Heintzelman to send two regiments to support Gen. Richardson, who was hotly engaged 
farther on the right * * *. Lt.-Col. Potter, with six companies of the 2d Regiment, 
was then pushed forward to establish outposts and advance to the Seven Pines, being a 
portion of the battle ground of Saturday. * * * I respectfully refer to Lieut. 
Col. Potter's report * * * for the details of his service in command of the 
outposts, which was gallantly and efficiently performed until night, when he 
was ordered to bring in his detachment. * * * ^ ijj,g pf pickets was thrown out at a 
dusk, and we remained in position, resting on our arms all night. During the night the 
enemy fell back a mile or more on Richmond, moving their artillery and wagon train 
along a road leading from the left of Casey's camp. The dashing charge of the 2d and 4th 
Regiments, the cool and steady advance of the 3d, occurred under my immediate observa- 
tion, and could not have been surpassed. The bold and vigorous movement of the 5th 
and 1st to the right was in the main concealed from my view by the heavy timber through 
which they passed. The best evidence that these regiments sustained their reputation is 
found in the fact that they drove the enemy from his position by their sustained fire and 
with the unfailing bayonet. My particular acknowledgments are due to Lieut. Tremain, 4th 
Regiment, aide-de-camp and acting assistant adjutant-general, upon whom I relied for 
nearly all the staff duty in the field throughout the day. His arduous duties were performed 
with courage, zeal and ability. * * * The fields were strewn with Enfield rifles, marked 
"Tower, 1862," and muskets marked "'Virginia," thrown away by the enemy in his hurried 
retreat. In the camp occupied by Gen. Casey and Gen. Couch on Saturday, before the bat- 
tle of the Seven Pines, we found rebel caissons filled with ammunition, a large number of 
small arms, and several baggage wagons, besides two barns filled with subsistence and for- 
age. The most conclusive proof of his flight is the abandonment of six or seven sacks of 
salt, which we found in one of the outbuildings at Fair Oaks on the left of the Redoubt." 
(O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part 1, pp. 823-824.) 

From Col. Hall's report (71st New York, Sickle's brigade) : 

"I marched my command on the morning of the 1st inst. in advance of the brigade 
* * *. Not being familiar with the names of the localities * "^ * I am only able tcv 
state that we continued our advance on the left of the Richmond turnpike, under the ob- 
servation and direct orders of Gen. Sickles, until exposed to a severe fire from the enemy,, 
consisting of about four regiments, concealed in the woods directly in our front. 

"My regiment charged upon them at double-quick time, driving them from the woods 
with considerable loss. At this time I received orders to halt my command. Holding that 
position, I advanced my skirmishers about 300 yards, and then being supported by the Third 
Regiment * * * on my left and the Fourth Regiment on my right I continued to ad- 
vance them about 400 yards farther, where they remained (about 300 yards from the en- 
emy) until they were ordered by Gen. Sickles to join the regiment. Resting on our arms 
that night in the position above named, the regiment under command of Lieut. Col. Potter, 
next morning (Second inst.) proceeded on the reconnoissance ordered from division head- 
quarters to within about four miles of Richmond, and upon its return the regiment occu- 
pied the woods for the night about 400 yards in advance of our position on Sunday night. 
On the following morning, in obedience to orders, I advanced my regiment with the brigade 
to the earthworks in front, where we remained until relieved this morning. During all this 
time my regiment had supplied large details for picket duty, continually under the fire of 


the enemy's advance; also heavy details for burying the dead and carrying the wounded 
both of Gen. Casey's division and such of the enemy as were left upon the field after the 
battle of Saturday, 31st ult. * * *."(0. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 826.) 

From Maj. Holt's report (comdg. 70th New York — 1st Excelsior) : 
"At 6 P. M. we encamped for the night, and on the next morning followed the 5th 
Regiment into the field. * * * Pqj. nearly two rniles we advanced through the dense 
woods * * *. Emerging therefrom, we formed the line of battle * * *. In a few 
moments the enemy was discovered lurking on our extreme left, and before we could open 
on them poured a flanking fire along the left of our regiment. Our men, rising and rapidly 
rallying from the sudden attack with quick fire, soon drove the enemy from his position. 
After this we were ordered to the left to form a connection with the 4th Regiment, which 
we could nowhere find; hence we rested in an open field near the hospital depot of the 5th 
Maine Regiment, where we received orders to move to the right along the railroad for the 
support of a battery * * *. After the lapse of nearly two hours we marched back * * * 
to the ground near the brigade headquarters, where we encamped last night. This morning 
(June 3) at 8 o'clock we took up our line of march, following the 3d Regiment, and 
marched over the ground lately occupied by Gen. Casey's division, extending about two miles 
from our last position. Forming a line of battle, we marched through the swamp, having 
previously thrown out pickets and skirmishers into an open field to a point within 5 miles 
of Richmond. This afternoon at 2 o'clock I, with four companies from the right of our 
regiment, and two companies of the 8th Penna. Cavalry, reconnoitered the ground up to 
the open field near which our pickets were posted, and found no enemy. I was then ordered 
to reform my regiment and return to the point from which it was started, and encamp for 
the night in the woods to the rear of the 4th Regiment." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, 
p. 825.) 

From Lieut. Col. Henry L. Potter's report (comd. 71st New York, 2d Excelsior) r 
"After passing through the swamp in rear of the field lately occupied by Gen. Casey's- 
command we found the enemy drawn up in large force in line of battle at right angles with 
the mam road, crossmg the road on a line with the house near which Gen. Casey's head- 
quarters were recently established. I posted three companies (A, B, C) as a reserve in line 
on the end of the field near the swamp, extending from the road to the left and advanced 
with the other three companies (E, F, H) as far as the road that breaks to the left from 
the mam road, called the sawmill road. This road crosses the fields about half way be- 
tween the swamp where the enemy were drawn up in line of battle, and within long range 
nln ?/ ^ f\ °",*'^ '■°^'^ ^ P°'*^<^ *^° companies (E, H), and with Co. F, Capt. 
hn?..1n°"'r,H K *Ti^- '^^ "^"^f *° *>' ^"i* °^ "^^ fi^ld ^"d advanced the companv to a 
"T^^ -1^" rH?"'^i^'t '='7"'^" '■°^'^' ^"'^ °" th^ "Sht flank of the rebels there posted. 
and reTcnnv fim"f'^^^'''f .^,; ^""^ ^' ^ ^^' '?'^"^i H^^^^ command of five companies, 
and reoccupy the position of the evening previous. * * * After finding their cositioi^ 

tfJ'tik n\ taking Company A, * * * advanced with it to tlieredoSbtanS 

r» fiJ/ • 7°/''' °'=^"Pi.^^ ^y the enemy the evening previous. * * * Scattered over 
tne nelds m tents, in the houses, and under sheds were large numbers of wounded men, both 
01 tlie rebel army and our own, in the most distressing condition, many havin? been since 

rear L^ nnf I" ^^^^ *i?^* morning cominencing the retreat about midnight, and that their 
nf L,,i, ,' ''•^"Z" ^°V ^P"^ t ■ A^te"" advancing all my command to the line 

of earthworks m front of where Gen. Casey's headquarters had * * * been * * * 

HaC"i'V° ^''^'"f.. * *. rr^ °"^ '""^ » fr°nt °f the earthwork"' • * * 
mitmg in the edge of the wood looking out on an open field for nearly half a mile in 
wnnS T 2°"!'* \^^ '" the far front of the field some persons moving in the skfrt™ the 
wood. * * * After watching the long field for nearly half an hou? without seeing anv 
movemen whatever, was surprised to hear a bugle sounding the advance followfdhv 
cavalry filing into the far front of the field. I spefdily returnfd to the line of ear^works 
de,L,r J ^'"^ ^""' the Excelsior brigade had taken position * * * Gen Ser 
cav^Irv ^Th h ^"°™P^"y him to the front of the swamp to point out where the ?ebe^ 
cavalry had been seen. Just as we were returning a party of rebel skirmUhers * * * 
fired upon the general, killing one of the horses of his cavalry escort ""™"''"' 
* * /"" returning to the lines, about 9 o'clock a. m., June 2, the 2d Regiment 
thrnnoi, .11^^ ordered, under my command, to deploy as skirmishers on the' right of the road 
through the swamp. The regiment was advanced through the swamp, the right halted and 
posted upon a large field .of "slashing," in front of which passes a road eltendfng from 
fnJ'^\°^ l^%'°"u2 ^?'^ •" ^^^'ii °* ^^^ =^amp to the right Arough the timber to the rT 
road in front of he pickets of Gen. Sumner's command on the rlilroad The eft of ?i,. 
regiment deployed down this road to the edge of the long field in front of the swamn 
above mentioned about one-third of the field to the front. Across the extreme front n f Xi = 
field was. a rebel regiment .drawn up in line of battle, their colors be'ng^stinctry ?Lble 
Both regiments continued in this position until 'retreat,' when by ordir of Gen Sickles 


the 2d Excelsior was withdrawn within the lines and rested on their arms during the 
night." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 827-830.) 

From Col. Nelson Taylor's report (comdg. 72d New York, 3d Excelsior) : 

"Ahout 8 o'clock P. M. (May 31), I arrived at a cross-road said to be 8 miles from 
Richmond, and receiving orders, bivouacked, * * *. On Sunday morning, June 1, the 
line was formed at 7 A. M. I was ordered to march, taking the road toward Richmond. 
After proceeding about 100 rods I received an order from Gen. Heintzelman to form line 
and advance to a piece of wood to the left of the road and hold that position, which was 
accordingly done. I deployed two companies to the front to act as skirmishers, and remained 
in this position until 7 o'clock on Monday morning. About 12 M. of Sunday the enemy 
opened upon us from a field battery, throwing shell and shot into the woods to the front ; 
also in rear into the field, evidently trying to ascertain or drive us from our position. This 
firing was kept up at short intervals for about an hour, when it ceased entirely. About 10 
P. M. Sunday night the long roll was beat to our rear, and at the same time a noise was 
heard as if a body of troops were moving past our front toward our left. The line was 
preserved during the night, the men lying upon their arms, and with this exception nothing 
occurred during the night. About daylight, Monday, June 2, I received orders to hold my 
command in readiness to march. About 7 A. M. I received orders to follow immediately 
in rear of a battery of Maj. Wainwright's artillery. In accordance with these orders I 
moved forward about 8 A. M., and proceeded to the camp lately occupied by Casey's division. 
In obedience to orders I placed my command in the trenches as a support to the battery, 
remaining here until 3 P. M., when being ordered I returned in rear of the battery, and 
bivouacked in the woods lately occupied as a camp by a part of Couch's division. About 
8 o'clock P. M. I received orders to do picket duty with my command, to which was added 
two companies of the 5th New Jersey * * * jn front and on the flanks of our position. 
In accordance with these orders I directed Maj. Wm. O. Stevens to take six companies of 
rny command and proceed to the works lately occupied by Casey's division, and make such 
disposition of them as in his judgment seemed most judicious. * * * The report of Maj. 
Stevens is herewith forwarded and made a part of this report." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, 
part I, pp. 830-831.) 

From Maj. Stevens' report: 

"In obedience to instructions from you I started from camp at 9 :30 o'clock last evening 
(June 2) to do picket duty in front of the lines of this corps * * *. j found the redoubt 
and rifle pits which were formerly occupied by Gen. Casey's division unoccupied. The fol- 
lowing disposition of the force under my command was made for the night : Capt. Bliss 
occupied the rifle pit upon the right of the turnpike with one-half of his company and threw 
out the other half as outlying pickets upon his front and right flank, the left of these 
pickets resting upon the turnpike. Co. E, Capt. Toomey, occupied the rifle pit upon the left 
of the turnpike. Co. D was all thrown out as outlying pickets, the right resting on the 
turnpike and the left reaching 800 yards to the left of the turnpike; 1 sergeant and 2 men 
were thrown forward upon the turnpike 150 yards in advance of the right of the pickets 
of this company. Co. F, Capt. Leonard, and H, Capt. Doyle, were posted in the redoubt, 
each occupying a face looking to the front. Co. I, Lieut. Fogarty, was posted one-half in 
the rifle pit on the right side of the road, which runs in rear of the redoubt at right angles 
with the turnpike and in the direction of the James River ; the other half as outlying pickets, 
the left resting on this last road and the right stretching to a point near the woods in front 
of the redoubt ; three men from this company were posted one-eighth of a mile forward 
upon this road. All the outlying pickets posted 200 yards in advance of the supports 
were placed in pairs, the men lying flat on the ground, with instructions not to fire unless 
a superior force approached, and in a menacing manner. * * * At the first break of 
dawn our outlying pickets fell back upon their supports in the rifle pits, and Co. D was then 
posted in the rifle pit on the extreme left. At sunrise we discovered pickets from the 19th 
Mass. * * * half a mile in advance of our right wing and coming up to the old log 
house on the right of the turnpike. At this time I reported to you that nearly all might 
* ■" * be withdrawn, and by your direction I withdrew all but Co. E, Capt. Toomey, who 
was instructed to post 2 men in advance at the log house on the turnpike, 6 men on the 
road leading toward the James River and half a mile forward, and to hold the balance of his 
command in the redoubt. At 8 o'clock Co. E was relieved by two companies of the 2d 
Regiment * * *." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XL part I, pp. 832-833.) 

From Capt. Chas. B. Elliott's report (comdg. 73d New York — 4th Excelsior) : 

"The regiment marched on Sunday A. M., the 1st inst. * * * second in line in 
marching on the Richmond turnpike, the 2d Regiment being in advance. They charged the 
enemy on the left of the road, this regiment doing the same and keeping on a line with 
them on the riglit of the road through a wood, and being engaged under heavy fire with the 
enemy, who were concealed in the woods. We continued to advance, firing continually, 


until the left of our line came up to that of the 2d Regiment, who were then engaged. A 
line was formed, skirmishers were immediately thrown out, who continued to advance on a 
line with the skirmishers of other regiments until ordered by Gen. Sickles to return. We 
remained in that position until next morning, when the regiment joined the reconnoitering 
column under command of the general commanding the division. Returning, went into 
camp in the woods on the left of the road a few hundred yards in front of our position of 
Sunday night, where we remained until next morning. On the 3d inst., under orders from 
Gen. Sickles, we marched to the earthworks in advance, and remained there until relieved 
on the morning of the 4th inst." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 833-834.) 

From Col. Chas. K. Graham's report (comdg. 74th New York — 5th Excelsior) : 

"On the 2d instant, at 9 A. M., the regiment left camp and marched to intrenchraents 
in front of the camps recently abandoned. There it received orders to proceed by a road 
to the left, deploy through the woods up to a small abatis which it was supposed that the 
rebels had recently placed to impede the progress of our forces. After advancing half a 
mile it reached a large abatis constructed by our forces before the position was abandoned, 
commanding the road to Richmond, which was occupied by the regiment, and a company 
commanded by Capt. Harrison and accompanied by myself was thrown forward and recon- 
noitered a distance of a mile without discovering any signs of the rebels. During the day 
two other reconnoissances were made, one in company with a squadron of cavalry. One of 
these parties exchanged shots with the rebel pickets. On the 3d instant, in the forenoon, 
the regiment occupied the position of the day before. At 3 P. M., sent out a party of 
skirmishers under command of Lieut. Benard and accompanied by Lieut.-Col. Burtis, which 
fell in with the reserve of the enemy's pickets within half a mile of our post. Two volleys 
were exchanged, in which several of our men were wounded. Shortly afterward we could 
hear the enemy in considerable force preparing to advance. About 5 P. M. a volley was 
poured into the right flank of the abatis by the enemy without occasioning any loss. About 
6 A. M. we could hear their men distinctly advancing in double-quick. At this time I 
directed the abatis to be abandoned and the regiment to form in line of battle on the left 
flank, in order to allow our artillery to sweep in front of our position if the enemy attempted 
to advance. Here we stood on arms for three hours, the enemy no doubt abandoning his 
intention on account of realizing the object of our movement. At 11 P. M. we were relieved 
by a New Jersey Detachment." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 835.) 

From Col. Starr's report (comdg. Third Brigade, Hooker's division. Gen. Patterson 
being ill) : 

"At 7 A. M. on the 1st inst. the 5th and 6th New Jersey marched forward and were 
actively engaged from about 7 :15 A. M. to 9 :45 A. M., * * *. The 5th and 6th Regi- 
ments have been for four days and nights under arms, in battle, reconnoissance, and in 
holding the most advanced position on this flank of the army. They are still under arms, 
and see no prospect of an hour's rest for days to come. They have been exposed night and 
day to deluges of rain, and have suffered every species of privation incident to an army 
in an enemy's country; but among the greatest of their sufferings may be ranked the 
intolerable stench to which they have been and are exposed, arising from the unburied dead 
bodies of men and horses that were and are thickly scattered over the ground for hundreds 
of acres around. I have caused to be buried all my men's strength and time enabled them 
to burv, but I suffer many to lie unburied (June 4), not many hundred yards distant." 
(0. R." Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 836.) 

From Gen. Sumner's report (comdg. Second Corps) : 

"At 2:80 o'clock P. M. I received the order to cross the river and support Heintzel- 
man. The columns immediately moved over the river and marched rapidly to the field of 
battle by two roads. Sedgwick's route being the shortest he reached the field first, Kirbys 
battery coming up at the same time. On arriving on the field I found Gen. Couch with 
four regiments and two companies of infantry and Brady's battery. These troops were 
drawn up in line near Adams' house and there was a pause in the battle. The leading regi- 
ment (Sully's) was ordered to the right to protect our right flank, and the remainder of 
Sedgwick's division was formed in line of battle as speedily as possible, with Kirby's bat- 
tery on the right. One of Couch's regiments was sent to open communication with Kearny's 
division on my left, and the remainder of his command was placed on the left of Sully, and 
these troops all did great execution in the firing. These arrangements were hardly com- 
pleted when the enemy advanced upon us in great force and opened fire. Our men received 
it with remarkable coolness and returned it rapidly. * * * After firing for some time 
I ordered the following regiments, 82d New York, 34th New York, 15th Mass., 20th Mass., 
and 7th Mich., to move to the front and charge bayonets. There were two fences between 
us and the enemy, but our men gallantly rushed over them and the enemy broke and fled, 
and this closed the battle on Saturday. On Sunday morning, June 1, at 6:30 o'clock, the 
enemy attacked us again in great fury, and this time the brunt of the battle was borne by 


Richardson's division. This division was placed on Saturday night parallel with the rail- 
road, and the enemy advanced across the railroad to make the attack. This was a most 
obstinate contest, continuing for four hours, in which our troops showed the greatest 
gallantry and determination, and drove the enemy from the field. * * * Gen. McClellan 
came upon the field on Sunday before the battle closed, and after looking about expressed 
himself satisfied with my arrangements." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 764-765.) 

From Gen. Sumner's testimony before Committee on the Conduct of the War : 
"About half-past seven o'clock on Sunday morning the troops became engaged on the 
railroad. It is not exactly certain which party fired first. A very severe fight continued 
there for the space of three or four hours, in which I lost many valuable officers and men. 
The enemy were then entirely routed and fled. There was fighting on the same day on my 
left by a portion of Gen. Heintzelman's troops, but that was at such a distance that I have 
myself no knowledge of the circumstances. There was no communication at that time 
between us. * * * On Sunday afternoon I received information from Gen. Marcy * * * 
that they had made the discovery from their balloon that a very large force of the enemy 
was moving down upon me from Richmond. This, however, proved to be a mistake, for 
they made no other attack on that day. * * * The battle which I commanded on Satur- 
day and Sunday was at Fair Oaks. The battle of Seven Pines was a separate battle, some 
miles from Fair Oaks. Gen. Heintzelman was in command at Seven Pines. * * * It 
so happened that the troops that I fought with on Saturday I did not bring into the figlit 
at all on Sunday; they merely held their position." (Report Conduct of the War, part I, 
pp. 359-370.) 

From Gen. Sedgwick's report (comdg. Second Division, Second Corps) : 

"Upon debouching into the open field near Adams' house we found Abercrombie's 
brigade * * * sustaining a severe attack and hard pushed by the enemy. The 1st 
Minnesota * * * promptly formed into line of battle under a very sharp fire, and 
posted on the right of Abercrombie's brigade. Col. Sully's disposition of his regiment 

* * * covered two sides of Courtney's house * * *. The remainder of Gorman's 
brigade (34th and 82d New York and 15th Mass.) formed on the left of Abercrombie's 
brigade, where they became almost instantly and hotly engaged; and after sustaining, 
without wavering, repeated and furious charges of the enemy, finally charged him in turn 
with the bayonet with such impetuosity as to rout and drive him from his position. * * * 
Lieut. Kirby brought his battery into action in a most gallant and spirited manner. His 
pieces, in charge of Lieuts. Woodruff and French, were run up and unlimbered under a 
very galling discharge of musketry within less than 100 yards of the enemy, and opened a 
terrific fire with canister and spherical case, which contributed in a very high degree to 
break and finally scatter his forces. * * * Gen. Dana with * * * two regiments 
(20th Mass. and 7th Mich.) went * * * into action on the left of Gorman's brigade, 
sustaining a strong attack and participating in the brilliant and decisive charge of the 34th 
and 82d New York * * * driving the enemy from point to point for a very consid- 
erable distance. Gen. Burns with two regiments took post on the right of Col. Sully, 
holding his other two in reserve. It was not the fortune of any of the regiments in this 
brigade to meet the enemy at close quarters * * *. The 106th and 72d Penna., held in 
reserve, were several times moved from their positions to different portions of the field at 
double-quick * * *. The 69th Penna. * * * was thrown to the right toward evenmg, 
and held that position during the night and following morning. * * * On the following 
'•' * * morning the enemy renewed the attack with great fury immediately on my left 
and in front of Gen. Richardson's line. Parts of Gorman's and Dana's brigades and one 
section of Bartlett's battery were engaged with determined bravery. * * * After the 
close of the engagement on Saturday evening, the enemy having been driven from his 
position and the firing ceased. Gen. Burns was ordered to * * * protect our right and 
rear. Capts. Tompkins and Bartlett * * * arrived upon the field with their guns 
between 7 and 8 P. M. Capt. Owen arrived at daybreak on Sunday." (O. R., Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, part I, pp. 791-793.) 

From Col. Tompkins' report (comdg. artillery, Sedgwick's division) : 

"Kirby's battery * * * arrived upon the field of battle in time to participate in 
the action. * * * Capt. Tompkins * * * arrived upon the field of action just at 
the close of the engagement. Capt. Bartlett also succeeded in getting one piece across 

* ♦ * arriving upon the field immediately after Capt. Tompkins. * * * By early 
dawn of the 1st inst. all the remaining artillery, with the exception of two pieces of Owen's 
battery, was upon the field, and at 7 A. M. the remaining section of Owen's battery arrived." 

From Capt. Bartlett's report (comdg. Battery B, 1st R. I. Artillery, Sedgwick's 
division) : 

"Soon after daylight of the 1st I was ordered by Gen. Sumner to place two guns on 
the road near Gen. Dana's brigade. One other was ordered there soon after by Gen. 

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Richardson, who ordered them to shell the point of woods across the wheat field, about 900 
yards distant, where the bayonets of the enemy could be plainly seen. These were the 
first guns fired on that morning. During the day 56 shell were fired at that point and 
down the road across the railroad. The third piece was brought up about 9 A. M. to the 
point; the howitzers were placed in position in front of the 1st Minn, and fired into the 
woods on the left in the afternoon. * * * -pj^jg morning (June 3) seven spherical case 
were fired into the woods at 1,500 yards by order of Gen. Sedgwick. All the guns remain 
in the same position tonight. The ammunition expended is as follows : 61 spherical case, 
4 shell, and 6 cartridges from Parrotts, and spherical case and 1 shell from howitzers." 
(0. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 797.) 

From Gen. Gorman's report (comdg. First Brigade, Sedgwick's division) : 

"I was ordered to form my brigade by regiments in rear of each other in line of 
battle, while just previous to this the 1st Minn. * * *^ having arrived first, was ordered 
to take up a position on the right, its right resting upon a farm house and its left upon a 
wood, m order to prevent the enemy from flanking us on the right, as he appeared there 
in great force. My other three regiments, the 34th New York * * *, 15th Mass., 

* * * and 82d New York * * *, being formed upon the left of a portion of Gen. 
Couch's division and Kirby's battery, occupied the road immediately at the angle of the 
woods, commanding all approaches from the right, left and center. We had not remained 
longer than ten minutes in position before heavy columns of the enemy dashed furiously 
upon us, evidently attempting to take Kirby's battery; whereupon I was ordered to throw 
three regiments of my brigade upon the enemy's flank and front, then showing themselves 
in the open field, i * * * ordered the 82d New York ♦ * * to ■* * * the left 
of Kirby's battery and engage the enemy as quickly as possible, which they did with great 
promptness * * ♦ j ^^g ordered * * * ^q move * * * thg 3441, New York 

* * * upon the left of the 82d * * *^ which was promptly executed, and upon coming 
into position * * * opened a most deadly fire upon the enemy and received one in 
return not less so. I * * * ordered up the 15th Mass. * * * to the support of the 
left of the 82d New York and the right of the 34th New York, when the engagement 
became general from one end of our line to the other, the enemy pushing forward with the 
most wonderful determination while I steadily advanced the brigade from time to time 
until we came to a distance of 50 yards, when Gen. Sumner * * * directed me to charge 
the enemy with the bayonet, and gave the order to the 34th New York in person * * *. 
Muskets were promptly brought down to a charge, and the men threw themselves at double- 
quick headlong upon the enemy, the 34th New York somewhat in the advance on the left 
and in perfect line, the 82d New York on the right, the 15th Mass. supporting the center. 
The enemy on the right and center gave way, but a South Carolina regiment, before the 
34th New York, brought their bayonets to a charge, and stood until that regiment was 
within 10 or 15 paces of them. I halted the 82d New York and 15th Mass. a little before 
they entered the woods, but the 34th New York plunged into the thicket some 50 paces 
before I could halt them. A farther advance would have imperiled their left flank. * * * 
This bayonet charge was made with a yell * * *. The enemy were driven from the 
field m the greatest confusion * * * From 5 o'clock until 7:30 o'clock P. M. my 
brigade was engaged giving and receiving as severe a fire of musketry as ever was wit- 
nessed or heard * * * by the oldest officers of the army * * *. After the enemy 
had been driven from their position the brigade advanced into the woods and occupied 
during the night the ground previously held by the enemy till daylight, when they pressed 
farther on and took position, the left resting near the railroad, and the right reaching 
toward the Chickahoming. This engagement having ended at dark, left us in complete 
possession of the field * * *. About 7:30 A. M. Sunday * * * the enemy advanced 
in greatly increased numbers * * * and opened fire upon the line upon the left, com- 
posed chiefly of Gen. Richardson's division. I was ordered * * * to * * '* take 
two * * * regiments to the assistance of Richardson's division. * * * No sooner 
had they come within 120 yards of the enemy than they became engaged in a most deadly 
conflict, while the whole line along the railroad for nearly a mile seemed to have become 
one continuous blaze of musketry — the fighting being frequently at no greater distance 
than 50 yards, between heavy lines of infantry. * * * Never before have I seen more 
distinguished courage displayed, nor more determination to conquer or fall on the field 
than was shown by all our troops without distinction. The 82d New York * * * sus- 
tained by the 34th New York, and finally, in conjunction with the Irish Brigade and others 
of Richardson's division, had the satisfaction of seeing the enemy abandon the field and 
precipitately retire upon Richmond * * *. And here the battle ended, leaving us in 
possession of the field * * *." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 798-801.) 

From Col. Sully's report (comdg. 1st Minn., Gorman's brigade) : 

"We * * * reached the battle-field near the railroad station at Fair Oaks about 
4:30 P. M., my regiment leading the column, i * * * formed my regiment in line of 


battle, wheeled them to the right, and, charging across the field, took my position in an 
oblique direction, my right resting on a farm house, my left on the edge of a woods. 

* * * Soon after the 1st Chasseurs formed on my left, and a battery on their left. 
The position we have still kept." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 803.) 

From Gen. Burns' report (comdg. Second Brigade, Sedgwick's division) : 

"Arriving at Adams' farm, the leading brigade (Gen. Gorman) was formed in the 
first line of deployed battalions. My brigade formed the second line of battalions in mass. 
Before my brigade had completely formed, the enemy opened on the right of the first line. 
I received an order from Gen. Sedgwick to throw two of my regiments, perpendicularly to 
the right, to prevent the enemy from turning our right flank and getting to our line of 
communications. I * * * deployed * * * 72d * * * and 69th Penna. to the 
right, m the woods, and advanced in line of battle through the swamp entanglement about 
300 yards. Gen. Sedgwick assuming command of * * * the 71st * * * and 106th 
Penna. * * * continuing them in support of the first line. After getting my line estab- 
lished I went back to the road for more definite instructions and met Capt. Sedgwick, 
A. A. G., who told me to join the left of my line to Col. Sully's right, he forming the 
right of the first line. I * * * sent my aide to find Col. Sully's rig;ht, and directed the 
left of Col. Baxter's to join him. Supposing this accomplished, I again went back to the 
road to see what changes were taking place in the order of battle. Being unable to see 
anything in the woods, I met Capt. Sedgwick again, who informed me that my left had not 
found Col. Sully's right. I immediately rode up the road, and found that the first line had 
changed front during the battle and was in an open field nearly parallel to my new position. 
Bringing my line to the open space. Col. Baxter's left overlapped Col. Sully's right. Col. 
Owen was on his right and rear, covering the right of the road which leads from Court- 
ney's to Golding's house. Then, night approaching and the enemy being driven back, the 
battle ceased. * * ♦ About 12 o'clock at night I was directed * * * to take the 
71st Penna. back toward the bridge crossing Chickahoming. and with it the 19th Mass. 

* * * 42d, and 63d New York * * *^ hold our line of communication, protecting the 
artillery and ammunition, nearly all of which was mixed in the bottom on this side. ♦ * * 
1st of June * * * arrived at the close of the battle * * *." O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, 
part I, pp. 806-807.) 

From Gen. Dana's report (comdg. Third Brigade, Sedgwick's division) : 

"On reaching the field I received an order * * * to form my command in col- 
umns of divisions in rear of Kirb/s battery to support the first line of battle, which was 
then engaged warmly with the enemy, who were posted in a wood in front. * * ♦ I 
received * * ♦ an order to prolong the first line of battle * * * by extending on 
the left of it, and * * * to engage the enemy. * * * Before the movement was 
fully executed received a withering volley from the enemy's right at short range with 
steadiness. No sooner was my position taken in line than I discovered the rebel force in 
a slight valley in front, where he found a little cover, extending his right to outflank our 
force, and my arrival was not a moment too early. After replying to his first volley I 

* * * advanced at double-quick, dislodging him and compelling him to take cover of 
woods about 150 yards in his rear. Halting a moment to reform my line I advanced again 
to force him through the woods with the bayonet. We received only a scattering fire from 
him till we came within 50 yards of the wood (it being then dark), when we were again 
met with a full volley. At this time I compelled the 7th Mich., which was on the left, to 
cease its fire, changed its front a little to meet a corresponding change of the enemy, and 
then ordered a fire by company, which was well executed in volleys. This closed the action 
for the day, and we lay on our arms, where we stood for the night. About daybreak 

* * * the enemy left the wood in front of my position and renewed his attack, by turning 
our left and attempting to pierce through our lines between this corps and the one next on 
the left. Through the bloody operations of the day this brigade held its place on the extreme 
right of our position, holding the enemy in check. This brigade acquitted itself well and 
gallantly * * *. I regret to report the loss of 16 killed and 113 wounded, including 4 
commissioned officers." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 808-809.) 

From Gen. Richardson's report (comdg. First Division, Sumner's corps) : 

"Nothing was seen of the enemy until about 5 in the morning. * * * At the time 
mentioned the enemy's pickets were deployed * * * and moving toward us. The head 
of a column was also seen just in the edge of the woods * * *. Capt. Petit's battery 

* * * now opened fire * * *. The skirmishers and cavalry broke and retired * * *. 
No movement of the enemy in that direction after our firing ceased could be seen during 
the remainder of the day. * * ♦ ^t 6:30 o'clock A. M., * * * along the whole of 
our front line the enemy opened a heavy rolling fire of musketry within 50 yards. * * * 
Our men returned the fire with vivacity and spirit, and it soon became the heaviest mus- 
ketry firing that I had ever experienced during an hour and a half * * *. The action 


had continued in this way about an hour. * * * i now ordered in Gen. Howard to 
reenforce the first line with his brigade * * *. Soon after this the * * * enemy fell 
back for the first time, * * * and for a half hour the iiring ceased on both sides. 
• * * I ordered forward the 5th New Hamp. and 69th and 88th New York to take their 
positions in the front line of battle to relieve the 52d New York, 53d Penna., and 61st New 
York. * * * The enemy * * * now returned to the attack. The whole of my 
division was very warmly engaged. The action lasted about one hour longer. Our line 
toward the last poured in its fire and repulsed the enemy with a general charge, assisted 
and followed up promptly by a bayonet charge on the left and rear of the enemy's line by 
two regiments of Gen. French's brigade, the S7th and 66th New York, led by the general 
in person. At the same time their retreat was precipitated by the fire of four pieces of 
Petit's battery * * * The number of my division engaged was about 7,000." (O. R., 
Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 765-766.) 

From Capt. Hazzard's report (Chief of Artillery, Richardson's division) : 

"Petit's battery (B. 1st New York * * *), arrived on the battle-field of Fair Oaks 
about 4:30 o'clock Sunday morning, and was placed * * * along the road which runs 
north from the railroad station. In this position this battery completely defended the only 
open ground by which the enemy could approach our position, namely, some cleared and 
level fields extending west and southwest from 900 to 1,500 yards and bounded north and 
south by dense woods. Frank's battery (G. 1st New York) was placed 200 yards in rear 
and at right angles to Petit's battery, so as to drive back the enemy should he attempt to 
emerge from the woods which line the southern side of the railroad. My own battery 
(C. 4th Artillery) was at first placed in reserve, but subsequently four pieces (12-pounders) 
were moved south to the railroad, to shell the abandoned camps of Gens. Casey and Couch, 
which the enemy had occupied. About 6 o'clock A. M., June 1, a body of the enemy's cavalry 
and infantry showed themselves in the edge of the woods and fields to the west and south- 
west of our position, but a discharge of shells and spherical case from Petit's battery drove 
them at once out of view. Very soon afterward a most violent infantry attack was made 
on our left flank, with the obvious intention of penetrating between our division and that 
of Gen. Kearny. The attack was continued by the enemy with the utmost pertinacity for 
nearly four hours, and every regiment in the division was sent into the woods and engaged 
the foe before he relinquished his purpose. Toward the close of this attack I was directed 

* * * to move four of Petit's pieces to the left, and one of the infantry regiments being 
withdrawn * * * from the woods, a well directed fire of shells and shrapnel being 
discharged through this opening in our line, no doubt contributed materially to our success 
in repelling this obstinate effort of the enemy to separate the two wings of our army. 
Very soon after the cheers of our men indicated the retreat of the foe." (O. R., Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, part I, pp. 767-768.) 

From Gen. Howard's report (comdg. First Brigade, Richardson's division) : 

* * * "At 4 A. M., my command was deployed in column of battalions in mass 

* * ■*. I formed the second line. Gen. French being in front. At about 5 A. M. the 
action commenced * * *. J * * * was directed to detach the 81st Penna., Col. 
Miller, to prolong the line of Gen. French to the left, then formed on the railroad. * * * 
Very soon after I was advised that the enemy was moving to the left * * *. Almost 
immediately a sharp musketry fire was opened upon the left of the line. * * * I was 
directed to send the 61st New York and the 64th New York to the support of Gen. French. 
I took these regiments up the railroad, forming them in deployed line on this road in rear 
of Gen. French's left. Here I learned that Col. Miller, 81st Penna. Vols., was killed at the 
first fire of the enemy, * * * and that one wing was without a field ofiScer. I directed 
Lieut. Miles (Nelson A. Miles, subsequently Lieut. Gen. U. S. A.), my aide-de-camp, to 
collect the companies of that wing and to make the best disposition of it he could. He 
continued with it during the day in the open field on the right of the railroad, and checked 
the advance of the enemy in that direction. I immediately moved forward into the woods 
with the 61st and 64th New York. * * * I led the regiments forward, pressing back 
the enemy to and across the old road into the camp which Gen. Casey's division had 
occupied on the Saturday previous. He was in force here and I advanced to within 30 
yards of his line. At this time my horse's leg was broken, and on dismounting I received 
a second wound in my right arm, which shattered the bone, disabling me. I then directed 
Col. Barlow * * * to assume command * * *. Lieut. Miles * * * commanded 
the left wing of the 81st Penna. in a manner to my entire satisfaction and approval. He 
was wounded in the foot." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 768-769-770.) 

From Col. Parker's report (comdg. Howard's brigade after the latter was wounded) : 

"After the comn>and of the brigade was turned over to me, which was about 10 
A. M., previous to that time having command of the 64th New York Regiment, * * * 
The forces were then disposed as follows: The 5th New Hamp., * * * held the rail- 


road on the left of the 69th New York * * * ; the 81st Penna., under command of Capt. 
Nelson A. Miles, * * * on the south side of the railroad in the open field opposite the 
head of the enemy's column, and on the extreme left of the line; the 61st * * * New 
York * * * on the line of woods, in rear of the railroad, and the 64th New York 
* * * to support Capt. Petit's battery * * *. The brigade fought with the greatest 
courage * * * making two successful bayonet charges, driving the enemy from the 
field in perfect disorder." (O. R., Series I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 770.) 

From Col. Barlow's report (comdg. the 61st New York) : 

"At about 7 A. M. we were moved to the railroad and formed in line of battle thereon, 
facing the south, with our right resting about one-quarter of a mile east of the station. 
Immediately to our left was the 64th New York Vols. The two other regiments of this 
brigade were not in sight. * * * After advancing some 150 yards we came upon the 
53d * * ♦ Penna. Vols., Col. Brooke, formed in line and briskly engaging the enemy. 
I requested Col. Brooke to cease firing that we might pass in front and relieve him. This 
was done, and we at once advanced upon the enemy, who were drawn up in line before us 
and who kept up a heavy firing. After advancing some 25 yards beyond Col. Brooke's 
regiment I halted the regiment and fired one or two rounds. The enemy fell back, firing, 
out of sight among the thick undergrowth. We then moved forward in excellent order 
some 180 yards, meeting with a heavy fire, but not seeing the enemy with sufficient distinct- 
ness to warrant * * * our halting and renewing the fire.' 

"On arriving upon the crest of a hill within some 20 yards of the road running parallel 
to the railroad and directly opposite the camp of Casey's division, which the enemy had 
occupied, the battalion was halted, the enemy being plainly in sight by the roadside, and at 
once opened fire, receiving a very heavy one in return. This continued for a considerable 
time, and it was there that our principal loss occurred. We drove the enemy back, and he 
ceased firing. When we could no longer see the enemy and his fire had become slackened 
we ceased firing, and I directed my men to sit down and rest. I considered it unwise to 
advance farther, as there were no regiments on our flanks and we were considerably in 
advance of the line in our rear, and were liable to be taken in rear or outflanked by the 
enemy coming up the road if we passed beyond it. We renewed fire several times, until we 
could see that the woods and camp in our front were clear of the enemy for a considerable 
distance, when we finally ceased, and they did not again appear in our front. Finding that 
our flanks were not supported, I sent to ask Col. Brooke to bring up his regiment upon our 
Hne, which he did. Scarcely any firing was done after his arrival, but lines were rectified 
and the men rested. A tremendous fire was soon opened upon us from the rear, which 
would have been murderous had we not avoided the balls by lying down. * * * \Ye 
refrained from firing to the rear in return, although it had been reported to me that the 
enemy were there, a report for which I could find no foundation. * * * On the return 
of Lieut. Gregory, with orders * * * for us to retire, we marched off in perfect order 
by the road leading to our right and returned to the field whence we started. We were not 
again engaged. Just before we started on our return from the front I plainly saw a body of 
the enemy advancing obliquely upon our right on the other side of this road, but we had 
cleared the woods before they reached our position. Our wounded who were left on the 
ground state that the position was occupied by the enemy immediately after we left it." 
(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 772-773.) 

From Lieut.-Col. Johnson's report (comdg. 81st Penna.) : 

"The regiment took up its position early in the morning on the left of French's 
brigade, on the south side of the railroad. * * * In an instant a murderous fire was 
poured into the regiment at a distance of about 100 feet. The right wing fell back, returning 
the fire. Almost simultaneously the left flank was attacked by a large force * * *. They 
fell back, disputing the way, firing as they retired. The right wing fell back, and was 
formed by their officers in an open field on the north of the railroad. A portion of the 
left wing, being separated from the regiment, took up a position on the railroad, and 
continued firing until all their ammunition was expended. The regiment being formed, I 
took up a position on the edge of the woods, supporting the party on the railroad. I 
reported to headquarters for orders, and was ordered by Gen. Sumner to remain in the 
position I then held until further orders, which I did until I received orders from Gen. Rich- 
ardson to move to our present position on the north side of the railroad, supporting the 
line which is on the railroad." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 775.) 

In his official report of the Seven Days' Battles, Gen. Heintzelman says : 

"A few days after the battle of Fair Oaks our pickets were withdrawn from the 
position they occupied after the battle. This was in consequence of the difficult character 
of the swamp and the thick undergrowth. Our pickets being so near, necessitated keeping 
the troops more on the alert than would have been necessary had they been out the usual 
distance, thus depriving them of necessary rest. All our efforts to extend our pickets were 


opposed by the rebels in the most determined manner, occasioning a daily loss on both 
sides." (O. R., Ser, I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 96.) 

From Gen. Meagher's report (comdg. Second Brigade — Irish Brigade — Richardson's 
division) : 

"On Saturday ♦ * * we * * * heard considerable firing in front. The firing 
continuing to increase in rapidity and loudness. * * * About 1 o'clock P. M. I took the 
liberty of ordering the several regiments of my command to place themselves under arms 
iramediatelv, anticipating that an order would at any moment reach me * * * directing 
me to proceed * * * to the scene of action. * « * it was between 9 and 10 P. M. 
when the head of our brigade entered on the scene of * * * conflict. * * * I 
received orders to throw the * * * 69th New York * * * upon the railroad 

* * *, This order was executed promptly and dashingly, a pretty brisk fire opening on 
the regiment * * *. The 88th New York * * * was ordered to occupy the railroad 
on the left of the 5th New Hamp., which regiment prolonged * * * on the left of the 
69th New York * * * j regard the conduct of the 88th, * '* * as being especially 
effective and entitled to distinctive commendation. Had the 88th winced from this position; 
had they faltered or been thrown into confusion when proceeding on the railroad; had the 
two companies of this regiment, which were for some minutes isolated, not sustained the 
fire of the enemy, I believe the issue of the day adversely to the Army of the Potomac 
would have been materially influenced. The conduct of the 69th was incomparably cool. 
The officers and men of the regiment stood and received the fire of the enemy whilst they 
delivered their own with an intelligent steadiness and composure which might have done 
credit to, and might perhaps have been looked for in, the mature troops of more than one 
campaign. The creditable and memorable conduct of the 69th on this occasion was, in my 
opinion, owing in a great measure to the soldierly bearing and fearless tone and spirit of 
Col. Nugent, who, standing close to the colors of his regiment, over and over again 
repeated the order to fire on the enemy. The fire of the two regiments, in a word, was so 
telling, that the enemy, although in considerable force and evidently bent on a desperate 
advance, were compelled to retire, leaving their dead and wounded piled in the woods and 
swampy ground in front of our line of battle. * * * in making this report I find but 
one circumstance which diminishes the pleasure I feel in speaking so laudably of those 
whom I have the honor to command, and this circumstance is the withdrawal of the 63d 
New York Vols., commanded by Col. John Burke, which regiment * * * was ordered 
to fall back and defend the batteries of the division * * *. These orders were executed 

* * * with promptness and full efficiency * * *. I am happy to inform you that in 
killed and wounded the brigade has lost only 2 officers * * * and something less than 
50 men." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 775-780.) 

From Lieut.-Col. Kelly's report (comdg. 88th New York— Irish Brigade) : 

"By order of Gen. Richardson * * * I took the regiment across a belt of wood 
for the purpose of reenforcing * * * the 81st Penna. Vols. * * *. On emerging 
from the wood I found I had only two companies, * * * i^ with the two companies, 
continued forward to the open space now occupied by Hazzard's battery, and advanced them 
in line of battle toward the railroad under a heavy fire. Shortly after the rest of the 
regiment came up * * * where they were much needed." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part 
I, p. 781.) 

From Gen. French's report (comdg. Third Brigade, Richardson's division) : 

"As Gen. Richardson had impressed upon me the importance of communicating 
during the night with Brig.-Gen. Birney on my left, this was continually done, and he was 
kept informed of our relative positions. * * * At 5 o'clock A. M. I was authorized by 
Gen. Richardson to move the length of the front of three regiments to the left. This 
movement covered the front of the attack. In a few moments after * * * the enemy 
made an attack upon my whole front. My troops (with the exception of the 66th New 
York), to form the line of battle, had to cross the railroad through a dense thicket and 
swamp, which covered the approach of the enemy, who opened his first fire at about 50 
yards distance. * * * The first attack was at once repulsed. After a few moments' 
pause the heads of several columns of the enemy threw themselves upon the intervals of 
the regiments on the right and left of the 52d New York. For some time the most des- 
perate efforts were made to break our line. The left of the 63d Penna., consisting of seven 
companies, led on by the gallant Col. Brooke, repulsed them again, and again, * * ♦. I 
called on Brig.-Gen. Howard, who, with the 61st New York, was awaiting impatiently on 
the railroad in rear to pass my lines. * * * Taking advantage of the temporary cessa- 
tion of our fire the enemy threw upon the advancing supports all their remaining fresh 
troops. * * * Joining himself to the 61st New York, Col. Brooke, of the 53d Penna., 
instead of retiring to the second line, continued to charge the enemy. It was now that 

* * * Brig.-Gen. Howard was twice wounded, and the brave Major Yeager, of the 53d 


Penna., was killed * * *. » * * About two hours had elapsed * * * I moved 
the 66th and 57th New York * * * to feel the left and rear of the enemy's flank. After 
penetrating the swamps and thicket about three-fourths of a mile the skirmishers of the 
66th encountered the 41st Virginia. A heavy fire being opened upon them the enemy broke 
and precipitately fled, when my brigade, occupying the ground thus conquered, * * * 
remained upon the field unbroken and exultant. Upon the 52d New York, Col. Paul Frank, 
and the 53d Penna., Col. Brooke, devolved the honor of holding that position of my line 
most seriously attacked, under fearful odds, against the best troops of the enemy * * *." 
(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 782-783.) 

From Col. Brooke's report (comdg. 53d Penna., subsequently Brig.-Gen. U. S. A.) : 

"About this time I met Gen. French in rear of the left wing of my regiment. After 
standing with him some time he asked me if my ammunition was nearly gone. I told him 
it was, from the upper of the boxes. He told me to stand fast until he returned, and passed 
back toward the railroad. In a few moments he returned, leading the Sixty-first New York, 
when he ordered me to have my men lie down and let the Sixty-first New York pass my 
line, which was accordingly done. The men were then ordered to fill the upper parts of 
their boxes from the box magazine, when the general immediately ordered us forward to 
the right, where we continued fighting until the fire of the enemy had ceased, when we held 
the position we then occupied until an order came to Col. Barlow of the Sixty-first New 
York to move out of the woods by the right flank, said orders coming from Gen. Richard- 
son, to communicate them to me also. I then followed the Sixty-first New York out of the 
woods into the field occupied by the brigade the night previous, where I again met Gen. 
French, who ordered me to the position I now occupy. 

"The firing during the engagement was very heavy. The time during which we were 
under fire was nearly four hours. The regiments opposed to us during this action were 
the 41st Virginia, 3d Alabama, 53d Virginia, and a regiment supposed to be the 23d Ala- 
bama. Also a regiment with black slouch hats supposed to be Mississippians. My loss is 
as follows: Killed 13, wounded 64, missing 17; making a total of 94." (O. R., Ser. I, 
Vol. XI, part I, p. 790.) 

The Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War say : 

"On the 31st of May and the 1st of June the battles of Seven Pines and Fair Oaks 
were fought. As there has been so much controversy in regard to the conduct of some of 
the troops engaged in that battle, your committee will refer more particularly to the testi- 
mony of Gen. Casey, who commanded the advanced division, upon which the attack was 
first made. Gen. Casey states that, when the campaign of the Peninsula commenced, his 
division consisted principally of raw and inexperienced troops. They had suffered greatly 
from the labors and exposures incident upon the siege of Yorktown and the advance of 
the troops up the Peninsula. Some of them had been for weeks without shelter, being 
compelled to leave their camp equipage behind when ordered on the pursuit of the enemy 
after the evacuation of Yorktown. That division took the lead across the Chickahorainy, 
taking up a position at Seven Pines, where it established itself by throwing up intrench- 
ments and cutting abatis. 

"A few days before the battle of Seven Pines, contrary to the advice and opinion of 
Gen. Keyes and Gen. Casey, the division was ordered three-quarters of a mile to the front, 
within six miles of Richmond, the pickets extending to within five miles. They had no 
support on their right or their left, the remainder of the corps to which they belonged 
(Keyes') being in their rear. They at once commenced digging rifle pits and cutting abatis, 
the pickets at night being attacked by the enemy, who were repulsed. About 11 o'clock on 
the morning of the 81st the pickets reported the enemy approaching, and an aide of Gen. 
Johnston was captured and brought in with important papers upon him. Gen. Casey, with 
his aide and his general officer of the day, went to Gen. Keyes and reported the circum- 
stances to him. Gen. Keyes testifies that for some days before the attack he sent to Gen. 
McClellan reports of his condition, the threatening attitude of the enemy in his immediate 
vicinity, and urged that Gen. Sumner be sent across to his support. This was not done, 
however, until after the attack commenced. Reports continued to come in of the approach 
of the enemy. The division was called out and formed, the working men called in, and 
preparations made to meet the coming attack. Two lines of battle were formed — one in the 
rifle pits, and another, composed of five or six regiments and four pieces of artillery, about 
one-third of a mile in advance. A regiment had previously been sent out to support the 
pickets. About 20 minutes to one o'clock the enemy commenced the attack in force, sup- 
posed to amount to about 35,000 men, attacking in front and on both flanks. After fighting 
for some time, the enemy continuing to come on in force, the forces in front fell back to 
the rifle pits, and fought there until nearly surrounded. Reenforcements had been promised, 
and Gen. Casey had selected the position to which they were to be assigned; but no 
reenforcements came up to his position until just before he was forced to fall back from 
his second line, when a single regiment arrived, After about three hours' fighting the division 


fell back from its second line with a loss of 1,433 in killed, wounded and missing. In the 
course of an hour after Casey's division had been driven back, the remainder of our forces 
were swept back from a mile and a half to two miles from Casey's first line, when the 
enemy were checked, and the fighting ceased for the day." (Report Conduct of the War, 
part I, pp. 20-22.) 

The return of casualties at the battle of Fair Oaks, May 31 and June 1, compiled from 
nominal lists of casualties, returns, etc., and published in the Ofiicial Records of the War 
Department (Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 757-761), give the aggregate Federal loss at 5,031. 
The Second (Sumner's) Corps lost 1,185; Third (Heintzelman's), 1,245; Fourth (Keyes'), 
2,597. Richardson's division (Sumner's corps) lost 838— killed, 32; wounded, 188; captured 
or missing, 22. Sedgwick's division (Sumner's corps) lost 347 — killed, 62; wounded, 282; 
captured or missing, 8. Hooker's division (Heintzelman's corps) lost 154 — killed, 16; 
wounded, 129; captured or missing, 9. Kearny's division (Heintzelman's corps) lost 1,091 — 
killed, 193; wounded, 816; captured or missing, 82. Couch's division (Keyes' corps) lost 
1,164 — ^killed, 207; wounded, 818; captured or missing, 139. Casey's division (Keyes' corps) 
lost 1,429 — killed, 177 ; wounded, 927 ; captured or missing, 325. 

A summary of the foregoing extracts from the official reports of the battle show that 
Casey's division was attacked by an overwhelming foe between 12 and 1 o'clock P. M. and 
was not driven from its position until between 3 and 4 P. M., three hours after the attack; 
that Couch's division, reenforced by Kearny's division, was driven back, and had taken 
refuge behind intrenchments two miles in rear of Couch's line (intrenchments thrown up 
by Casey's division the previous week) before 6:30 P. M. ; that the right of Couch's division 
in position at Fair Oaks, reenforced by two other regiments of that division, had become 
isolated from the main part of the division and driven a half mile back from Fair Oaks 
and would have been annihilated had not succor come by the timely arrival of Sedgwick's 
division of Sumner's corps; that on the following day spasmodic attacks were made by the 
enemy, continuing not to exceed four hours, the brunt of which fell on Richardson's division 
of Sumner's corps, but which were discontinued when Hooker's division and one brigade 
of Kearny's division advanced on the battle-field of the day before ; that the Confederate 
forces were permitted to retain Casey's line of intrenchments unmolested until they saw fit to 
retire, which was at least half a day after they had fallen back from their last attack; that 
the casualties in Casey's division, although the weakest division in the army, were 265 greater 
than in Couch's division, 338 greater than in Kearny's division, and 90 more than in the 
three other divisions of the army engaged in the battle on May 31 and June 1. The official 
reports of the Federal commanders hastily and imperfectly made within a few hours or 
days after the conflict ceased not only make this showing, but a careful analysis of all sub- 
sequent reports and the official reports of the Confederate commanders verify it beyond 
question. This being so, why should the real hero of this battle, who had won eminent 
distinction for valor on the battle-fields of Mexico, and who was in the forefront of the 
battle from the beginning until it ceased on May 31, be forced to finish his official report 
by these pathetic words : 

"In my humble opinion from what I witnessed, on the sist, I am convinced that 
the stubborn and desperate resistance of my division saved the army on the right bank of 
the Chickahominy from a severe repulse, which might have resulted in a disastrous defeat. 
The blood of the gallant dead would cry to me from the ground on which they fell fighting 
for their country had not I said what I have to vindicate them from the unmerited asper- 
sion which has been cast upon them." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, Part II, p. 916.) 

According to the official report of Gen. Sumner, Gen. McClellan must have been on 
the battle-field before 10:30 A. M., Sunday; he also inspected the lines of the divisions that 
were driven back the day before in the afternoon. In the interim, however, he sent the 
following account of the battle to the Secretary of War : 

"Field of Battle, June 1, 1862—12 o'clock M. 
"We have had a desperate battle, in which the corps of Sumner, Heintzelman and 
Keyes have been engaged against greatly superior numbers. Yesterday, at 1 P. M., the 
enemy, taking advantage of a terrible storm which had flooded the valley of the Chicka- 
hominy, attacked our troops on the right bank of that river. Casey's division, which was 


in first line, gave way unaccountably and disunitedly (discreditably). This caused a tem- 
porary confusion, during which some guns and baggage were lost, but Heintzelman and 
Kearny most gallantly brought up their troops, which checked the enemy; at the same 
time, however, (Gen. Sumner) succeeded by great exertion in bringing across Sedgwick's 
and Richardson's divisions, who drove back the enemy at the point of the bayonet, covering 
the ground with his dead. This morning the enemy attempted to renew the conflict but 
was everywhere repulsed. We have taken many prisoners, among whom is Gen. Pettigrew 
and Col. Long. Our loss is heavy, but that of the enemy must be enormous. With the 
exception of Casey's division {our) men behaved splendidly. Several fine bayonet charges 
have been made. The Second Excelsior Regiment made two to-day." (O. R.., Ser. I, Vol. 
XI, pp. 749-751.) 

Twenty-four hours later he sent another dispatch to Sec. Stanton, in which he said: 

"The attack was a sudden one by the enemy in large force on Casey. On Saturday 
Casey's pickets rushed in without attemptinig a stand, and the camp was carried by the 
enemy. Heintzelman moved up at once with Kearny's division and checked the enemy. 
* * * As soon as informed of the state of affairs, I ordered Gen. Sumner across the 
Chickahominy. * * * The result is that our left is now within four miles of Richmond." 
(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, Part I, p. 749.) 

Gen. McClellan's first dispatch to the Secretary of War censuring Casey's division 
was published in all the leading daily papers of the country on June 2, the first announce- 
ment the public had of the battle. As soon as Gen. Casey's attention was called to it he 
protested in the following letter addressed to Gen. McClellan's chief of staff : 

"Camp at Poplar Hill, Va., June 5, 1862. 
"In the New York papers of the 2d inst. I see that Gen. McClellan reported to the 
Secretary of War that my division, in some unaccountable manner, was driven back, losing 
artillery and baggage. This statement certainly does great injustice to my division, which 
I doubt not was unintentional. Some of my regiments undoubtedly wavered, but the truth 
is, I stood with my division of about 5,000 men the attack of the enemy for about one hour 
under a most galling fire and without a man being sent as reenforcement. The division was 
not driven from its line until it was turned on both flanks, losing the six pieces of artillery 
which were in the redoubt, and one piece on account of the horses being shot down. We 
did not retire from the first line until Gen. Heintzelman, with a portion of Gen. Kearny's 
division, had come up to the second line. I managed to rally a small portion of my men at 
the second line, but most of the division retired to the third line. The second line could 
not be maintained by the troops belonging to the line, together with the reenforcements 
brought up by Gen. Kearny, and the troops retired to the third line by order of Gen. 
Heintzelman. From an examination afterward of my field of battle, from the number of 
graves, and the number of killed and wounded still on the ground, I am of opinion that 
no division that day or the next killed and wounded more of the enemy than mine. You 
can well imagine that I feel much aggrieved by the remarks of the general commanding, 
but have that belief in his sense of justice which cannot conceive that he will fail to correct 
an error." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 752.) 

On the receipt of this letter Gen. McClellan's assistant adjutant-general (A. V. 
Colburn) sent the following letter to Gen. Sumner : 

"Headquarters Army of the Potomac^ June 4, 1862. 
"Gen. McClellan directs me to say that it is difficult for him to decide what was the 
exact conduct of Casey's division during the fight. The report of the corps commander differs 
from the information the general had before received. The general desires that you give 
him as soon as possible, in a few words, the position and condition of Casey's troops when 
you came onto the field, mentioning any that you believe to have acted creditably and those 
who did not. It is the general's impression that that division should be broken up, and 
such portions of it as are not completely demoralized transferred to other divisions. Before 
doing this, however, he wishes for your statements in the case, to enable him to do justice 
to all concerned. Your statements will be considered purely confidential, and will only be 
used to assist the general in deciding what to do, so that no one shall be treated unjustly." 
(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, p. 750.) 

The official reports do not give Gen. Sumner's reply to this communication, but he 
evidently informed Gen. McClellan that he was at no time within a mile of Casey's line 
of battle, nor had any opportunity to see any of his troops, except the pickets who were 
on duty from two to three miles away from the battle began. To have gone to such 
a source for information as to the position and condition of Casey's troops is evidence that 
the commanding general had no correct comprehension of the lines of battle, or the position 
of Casey's troops. His official report, dated fourteen months later, gives evidence that he 

CASEY'S REDOUBT (seen indis- 
tinctly on the left). 

The upper picture looks toward Rich- 
mond; the grove stands between the Wil- 
liamsburg' stage road and the houses, 
which front squarely on the road, per- 
haps 300 feet away. Four hundred dead 
of the battle of Seven Pines were buried 
in the foreground (behind the houses), 
where also stood a part of Casey's camp. 

The foreground of the low^er picture 
shows either a corner of Casey's redoubt 
or the works between it and the Wil- 
liamsburg road. 

On the Official Map of the Campaign of 
1864 the twin houses are named "Kuhn." 
In 1886 only one of them remained. A 
persimmon tree stood at that time on the 
site of Casey's redoubt, and there were 
slight traces of the old earthworks that 
for the most part were erected after the 
battle of Seven Pines. 



(From a photograph.) 

The above cuts and, text are from the "Century War Series." and appear in "Battles 
and Leaders of the Civil War." By courtesy of the Century (Ilompany duplicate plates were 
secured for this volume. To the right of the foreground of the upper picture was the site of 
Palmer's camp, the western edge of which almost reached to the ground shown here. 

Between the foreground of the lower picture and trees in front of the houses was the 
woodpile, consisting of four-foot cordwood, over a hundred feet long and twelve feet high. 
In 1907 between the foreground of the lower picture and the trees, and extending west of 
the foreground, was an apple orchard, which seemed to be dying of old age or through lack 
of care. Wild blackberry bushes covered the site of Casey's redoubt. The distance between 
the front of the "twin houses" in the lower picture and the Williamsburg road is 400 feet. 
-•^ his was the site of Wessells' camp, the western edge of which was only a few yards east 
01 the woodpile, extending east along the southern side of the road. The eastern house (at 
the right of the upper picture) was still standing and occupied during the summer of 1907. 


never knew where the fiercest part of the battle was fought, notwithstanding he gets credit 
for being present before the battle ended. Even Gen. Sumner, who is credited with being 
the hero of the battle, had a peculiar conception of the battle-field of Fair Oaks or Seven 
Pines. When testifying before the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the 
War in 1863, he was asked the following question by one of the committee: 

"Who had command at the battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines? They are the same 
thing under two names, I understand?" To this he replied: "No, sir; they were two 
distinct places. The battle which I commanded on Saturday and Sunday was at Fair Oaks. 
The battle of Seven Pines was a separate battle, some miles from Fair Oaks. Gen. Heint- 
zelman was in command at Seven Pines." (Report Conduct of War, part I, p. 362.) 

It is relevant here to call attention to a different statement made by Gen. Sumner 
in his testimony from the closing paragraph of the official report he furnished to the com- 
manding general. In the report he said: "Gen. McClellan came upon the field on Sunday 
before the battle closed." In his testimony he said : "Gen. McClellan came over to me at 
Fair Oaks about 12 o'clock on Sunday. The action of Sunday had then ceased." 

On June 4, Gen. Naglee, commanding the First Brigade of Casey's divisioin, sent the 
following communication to Brig.-Gen. S. Williams, assistant adjutant general of the Army 
of the Potomac: 

"I would respectfully request that the commanding general shall appoint a proper 
board of officers to investigate and report upon certain charges made against Casey's 
division, that the truth may be known concerning their conduct and that of others engaged 
in the affair at the Seven Pines, on May 31 and June 1 and 2." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol, XI, 
part I, p. 750.) 

This communication was forwarded to army headquarters through the proper channel. 
Gen. Casey indorsing it as follows : 

"I feel confident that the general commanding could not have been possessed of the 
whole truth with regard to the affair of the 31st ult., or he would not have made the remark 
he did about my division. I feel that injustice has been done." 

Gen. Keyes in his indorsement approved the application requesting that a board of 
officers be named. On June 5, Gen. Williams replied to this communication, addressing it 
to General Keyes, as follows : 

"* * * I am directed by the commanding general to say that he is fully disposed 
to render entire justice to Casey's division, and will be glad to embrace any opportunity to 
manifest this disposition. A board of officers of high rank cannot conveniently be sum- 
moned now to 'investigate and report' as requested. As soon as the exigencies of the 
service permit, however, it shall be done. Meanwhile an inspector general will be directed 
to proceed and make a preliminary investigation. I am to assure you that it will afford the 
general commanding sincere pleasure should the facts prove such as to require a change of 
his expressed views, founded upon his official statements, in regard to the conduct of Casey's 
division on the 31st ult." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. X'l, part I, p. 752.) 

However, Gen. McClellan, late that same night, sent the following dispatch to the 
Secretary of War : 

"My dispatch of the 1st instant, stating that Gen. Casey's division, which was with 
first line, gave way unaccountably and discreditably, was based upon official statements 
made to me before I arrived upon the battle-field, and while I was there by superior com- 
manders. From statements made to me subsequently by Gens. Casey and Naglee I am 
induced to believe that portions of the division behaved well and made a most gallant stand 
against superior numbers, but at present the accounts are too conflicting to enable me to 
discriminate with certainty. When the facts are clearly ascertained the exceptional good 
conduct will be properly acknowledged." (O. R. Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 754.) 

In Gen. Williams' reply to Gen. Naglee's request for an investigation he said : "Mean- 
while an inspector general will be directed to proceed and make a preliminary investigation." 
The inspector general made the investigation the same day he was 'directed to proceed' 
to make it and submitted the following report :" 

"Inspector General's Dept., Army of the Potomac, 

Camp Near New Bridge, Va., June 5, 1862. 
General R. B. Marcy, Chief of Staff. 

General: I have the honor to report that I have made the examination directed in 
Casey's division and report thereof as follows : Strength present accounted for averages 


in — First Brigade, 340 per reg't and 5 regiments, 1,700; Second Brigade, 348 per reg't and 
4 regiments, 1,392; Third Brigade, 345 per reg't and 4 regiments, 1,380. Making a total in 
this division of 4,472. The numbers in Third Brigade I did not get, and those of Second 
Brigade are given, as reported, approximately correct. I expect a detailed report from 
Second and Third brigades soon. Reported loss in this division, 1,845; in First Brigade 
521 and Second Brigade 553, total 1,074, which leaves for the loss of Third Brigade 771. 
Several who were reported missing in first reports have since reported to their regiments. 
From information gained from a variety of sources, within and without the division, it 
appears there was exhibited both gallant and bad conduct in this division in its recent 
engagement with the enemy at the battle of Fair Oaks, and although attacked by an over- 
whelming force, it poured a most destructive fire upon the enemy, as shown by the large 
number of his dead left on the field, and checked his advance. The first line of rifle pits 
were not left until flanked by the enemy's fire, but were then left in disorder. At the second 
line of rifle pits or trenches the men of this division rallied in part and again caused the 
enemy to suffer by their fire. The actual loss of killed a id wounded in this division proves 
conclusively that it was exposed to a heavy fire. As reported, the men did not run when 
jailing to the rear, but walked and were in disorder and generally had their arms, but they 
could not be rallied by their officers in their original organizations. Regimental line officers 
in some cases set their men the example of breaking to the rear. Of the number at first 
reported missing several have since joined; others are said to be about in the woods. Many 
were supposed to have gone toward the White House. In this division there are many 
worthy of praise for good conduct who suffer for the bad conduct of others. 

"Remarks. — Casey's division at the recent battle of Fair Oaks was not surprised 
according to reports made to me, but defective disposition of picket forces and inefficiency 
of officers, together with bad discipline, account for its conduct, in my opinion, in this 
battle. As a division I do not think it could be trusted by itself in another engagement 
with the enemy soon, believing the shock and repulse it received in the last action has too 
much demoralized the men and officers to safely count upon their making a firm stand. 
The best disposition to make of the troops of this division under existing circumstances is 
to consolidate regiments, weeding out inefficient officers, and to combine them with other 
troops, in my opinion. I would break up the division organization, but not the brigade 
altogether. Efficient officers, associated with good troops and proper encouragement wilU 
I think, work great changes for the better of this command. * * * 

"N. (Nelson) H. Davis, Asst. Inspector Gen'l U. S. A." 

(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, pp. 753-764.) 

Surely the fates had decreed that Casey's division should suffer ignomy! It was 
not enough that this dispatch of the commanding general of the army pillorying this division 
for poltroonery should go the rounds of the press of the country once, but it must be 
repeated a few days later, and even in worse form. The hero of the battle, Gen. Sumner, 
had not received sufficient notice ; owing to a bungle somewhere in transmission of the 
dispatch his name had been omitted in a paragraph. Gen, McClellan hastened to apologize 
for this seeming neglect by sending the following message to Gen. Sumner: 

"My telegraphic dispatch to Secretary of War in regard to battle of Fair Oaks is 
incorrectly printed in the Herald in several particulars. I am there made to say that we 
succeeded by great exertions in bringing across Gens. Sedgwick's and Richardson's division. 
I merely wrote that Gen. Sumner succeeded, etc. I then appreciated what you had done, 
and wished to have it known as soon as possible. I will send you copy of my dispatch as 
written and sent. By some strange chance most of my dispatches in these days are changed 
and mutilated before publication." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part 1, p. 750.) 

Gen. Sumner was not satisfied with a copy; he wanted the country to know how he 
had served it, and he replied in these curt words •. 

"Gen. McClellan — Sir: Will you please do me the justice to have your dispatch about 
the battle of Fair Oaks puUished as it was written?" (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 657.) 

On the same day the following dispatch was sent to Secretary Stanton by Gen. 
McClellan : 

"My telegraphic dispatch of June 1 in regard to battle of Fair Oaks was incorrectly 
published in newspapers. I send with this a correct copy, which I request may be published 
at once. I am the more anxious about this since my dispatch, as published, would seem to 
ignore the services of Gen. Sumner, which were too valuable and brilliant to be overlooked, 
both in the difficult passage of the stream and the subsequent combat. The mistake seems 
to have occurred in transmittal of the dispatch by the telegraph." 

The corrected dispatch read as follows : "We have had a desperate battle, in which 
the corps of Sumner, Heintzelman and Keyes have been engaged agamst greatly superior 
numbers. Yesterday at 1, the enemy, taking advantage of a terrible storm, which had 


flooded the Valley of the Chickahominy, attacked our troops on the right bank of that river. 
Casey's division, which was the first line, gave way unaccountably and discreditably. This 
caused a temporary confusion, during which some guns and baggage were lost, but Heint- 
zelman and Kearny most gallantly brought up their troops, which checked the enemy. 
At the same time, however, Gen. Sumner succeeded by great exertions in bringing across 
Sedgwick's and Richardson's divisions, who drove back the enemy at the point of the 
bayonet, covering the ground with his dead. This morning the enemy attempted to renew 
the conflict but was everywhere repulsed. We have taken many prisoners, among whom 
are Gen. Pettigrew and Col. Long. Our loss is heavy, but that of the enemy must be 
enormous. With the exception of Casey's division our men have behaved splendidly. 
Several fine bayonet charges have been made. The Second Excelsior made two to-day " 
(O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 761.) 

On June 17 Gen. Naglee sent the following communication to Gen. Williams : "The 

action of Gen. McClellan in regard to my communication to you of the 4th instant was not 
communicated to me until the 14th. I would respectfully request you send me at your 
earliest convenience a copy of the dispatches sent by Gen. Heintzelman and others to Gen. 
McClellan upon which he based his dispatch to the Secretary of War on the 1st of June 
respecting the battle of Fair Oaks, that I may place on record in your office a statement 
of facts in direct refutation of the same." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 755.) 

This called forth the following reply from Gen. Williams, dated June 20, 1862 : 

''Your letter of the 17th instant, applying to be furnished with a copy of the dispatches sent 
by Gen. Heintzelman and others to Gen. McClellan upon which he based his dispatch to the 
Secretary of War of the 1st of June respecting the battle of Fair Oaks, has been received. 
In advance of the rendition of the official reports to the War Department the general com- 
manding does not deem it proper to furnish copies of papers on file pertaining to the opera- 
tions of the campaign. His dispatch of the 1st of June was, however, published by the 
War Department, and its contents are known to you. It is not thought that Gen. Heintzel- 
man's dispatches will be of any material value to you in preparing a statement of facts in 
refutation of matter in the general's telegram objectionable to yourself. You are aware 
that a subsequent dispatch to the War Department from the general commanding sus- 
pended the judgment of the behavior of Casey's division, on the 31st of May, conveyed in 
his dispatch of June 1, until further investigation shall enable him to do justice to the good 
conduct which was displayed by portions of the divisions on that day. The general com- 
manding would be glad to receive any statement throwing light upon the occurrences of the 
31st ultimo as far as Casey's division is concerned. His only desire in the premises can be 
to do full justice to any portion of the troops engaged." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, 
p. 756.) 

In the wide search the writer has made he has found no dispatches from Gen. 
Heintzelman to Gen. McClellan of the afternoon of May 31 or the whole of the next 
day, except those pubUshed in the official records. That Gen. McQellan based his 
censorious message on these dispatches is evident, although in his official report he says 
he received information previous to his arrival on the battle-field, to the effect that Casey's 
division had given way without making proper resistance, and that this influenced him in 
shaping his telegram. This information was evidently acquired in a similar manner to that 
of Gen. Heintzelman's from persons who were a mile or more in the rear of where Casey's 
troops were holding an overwhelming force of the enemy in check. There is little doubt 
that the accusations against Casey's troops were honestly made. The scene to one a 
mile or more in the rear, after the battle had been raging a half hour or more, must have 
had the appearance of a rout. To this phase of the situation the writer will refer again. 
The following dispatches from Gen. Heintzelman or his headquarters to Gen. McClellan 
or to the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac during the battle and a day or two 
afterwards, will in a measure indicate whether the commanding general of the army was 
justified in censuring the rawest troops in his army in so conspicuous a manner. They 
are given in full : 

At the Front, May 31, 1862, 6 p. m. 

Gen. McClellan: Our troops on the road have given way. Birney is advancing on 
the railroad. Our left still holds its own. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 646.] 


Headquarters Army of the Potomac, May 31, 1863, 6 :20 p. m. 
Col. Colburn : Gen. Casey's division is being rallied by Lieuts. McAlester, Hunt and 
Johnson, of the general's staff. Gen. Casey is reported dead. Lieut. McAlester reports that 


Gen. Kearny is at the Seven Pines, driving tlie enemy back slowly. Gen. Sumner's column 
is just arriving on the ground. Gen. Hooker's about half a mile in rear of these headquar- 
ters. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 646.] 

C. McKEEVER, Chief of Staff. 

Head Qrs. Army of the Potomac, May 31, 1862. 

Col. Colburn : Gen. Casey's division is entirely demoralized. Gens. Casey and Palmer 
are reported killed and Gen. Naglee wounded. I have been able to find but one colonel, and 
he says the men have nothing to eat. C. McKEEVER, Chief of Staff. 

P. S. — It is reported that some of the regiments of Gen. Peck's brigade have broken 
and dispersed. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 647.] C. McK 

Head Qrs. 3rd Corps, Savages, May 31, 1862, 8 :45 p. m. 
Gen. Marcy, Chief of Staff: I am just in. When I got to the front the most of 
Gen. Casey's division had dispersed, and our fortified position was lost. I ordered up all 
Kearny's and the most of Hooker's division. We checked the enemy and was outflanking 
him on his right, when our center gave way and eventually our left had to follow. A num- 
ber of pieces of artillery were lost before I arrived; how many I am not able to say. I 
ordered up a brigade on the railroad, but it advanced so slowly that it arrived too late to 
prevent the disaster to our center. We have fallen back to the rifle-pits first constructed 
by Gen. Casey, and now hold them. I have no idea of our loss. The rout of Gen. Casey's 
men had a most dispiriting effect on the troops as they came up. I saw no reason why we 
should have been driven back. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 645]. 


Head Qrs. Third Corps, Savage's, May 31, 1862, 9:15 p. m. 
Gen. McClellan : I returned here half an hour since. I got information of the 
attack about 2 p. m., and sent reenforcements at once, at the same time going to the front. 
I soon met the fugitives of Gen. Case/s division, and learned that the most of them had 
given way. When I got forward I found the enemy had possession of our front lines. 
When the reenforcements came up I put them into the woods on the left to turn the 
rebel flank and capture their artillery. Another portion advanced in the center and a 
brigade was ordered up on the railroad. The firing soon became tolerably heavy and the 
center gave way, necessitating the left to fall back. Had the brigade I ordered up on the 
railroad advanced promptly, this disaster to our center might have been repaired, if not 
prevented. We had fallen back to some unfinished rifle-pits less than a mile in front of 
this position. How much artillery we have lost I am unable to tell, as it was lost before 
I got up. Our loss in killed and wounded is considerable. I have ordered up ammunition 
and intrenching tools. The stragglers of Gen. Casey's division had a most dispiriting 
effect, and our troops did not fight well. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 646.] 


Head Qrs. Third Corps, May 31, 1862, 10 p. m. 
Gen. McClellan : I have sent across Bottom's Bridge for our ammunition, and it 
will be up before daylight. My corps is supplied with three days' rations. Gen. Keyes 
thinks that Gen. Couch's is supplied till tomorrow night. They are now issuing to Gen. 
Casey's. Gen. Casey's division cannot, however, be relied upon for any purpose whatever. 
The intrenching tools must be left at this place. We are much in want of them. [O. R., 
Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 647.] S. P. HEINTZELMAN. 

RiFLE-PiTS, June 1, 1862, 8:30 a. m. 
Gen. McClellan : We are driving the enemy back. The Second Excelsior drove the 
enemy back with the bayonet. They are falling back on the right and left on the railroad. 
[O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 649.] S. P. HEINTZELMAN. 

At Rifle-Pits, June 1, 1862, 9 a. im. 
Gen. McClellan : We have driven the enemy in front. I have a report that they 
are trying to outflank us on our left with 6,000 or 8,000 men. I need reenforcements, as 
Casey's division is not of any use, and the other division not very effective. [O. R., Ser. 
I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 649.] S. P. HEINTZELMAN. 

Head Qrs. Third Corps, Savage's, June 2, 1862, 6 a. m. 
Gen. R. B. Marcy: An officer went out at daylight; has just returned. The enemy 
has fallen back from our front, where they were in strong force last evening with artillery 
and infantry. They retreated on the Williamsburg Road. Our pickets are half a mile 
beyond Gen. Casey's old camp. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 653.] 


Head Qrs. Left of Line, June 2, 1862, 11 :45 a. m. 
Gen. Marcy : Gen. Hooker reports that he is two miles in advance of Casey's Camp 
and about four miles from Richmond, with seven regiments of infantry and one 
regiment of cavalry (Gregg's 8th Penna.). The rebel pickets fell back as he advanced. 


He has seen no large body of the enemy. The roads are impassable for artillery. What 
order shall I give Gen. Hooker for tonight? He is advancing with great caution. [O. R., 
Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 654.] S. P. HEINTZELMAN. 

Head Qrs. Third Corps, Savage's, June 3, 1862. 
Gen. R. B. Marcy : The condition of Casey's old camp is such from the large num- 
ber of dead horses lying around that it is impossible for any troops to occupy it 
or its immediate vicinity. I propose to have Gen. Hooker's division, the portion that is 
in advance, occupy the fields in front of the lines we occupied on Sunday. Our pickets, 
with a sufficient support, can remain in front of this line (Casey's). No troops, rebel or 
ours, can occupy the space of nearly a mile from Casey's position toward the rear. The 
swamp in front, but in rear of our pickets, is filled with abandoned rebel wagons with 
provisions. Gen. Hooker is of the opinion that the enemy is out in force in our immediate 
front. [O. R., Ser. I, Vol. LI, part I, p. 655.] S. P. HEINTZELMAN. 

Although the constant iteration of the delinquencies of Casey's division 
in these messages may have justified the commanding general in calling the 
attention of the country to the shortcomings of this division in so conspicuous 
a manner, ought not a careful reading of the dispatches have caused him to withhold the 
emphasis he gave to it in concluding his telegram? But had Gen. Heintzelman sufficient 
reasons for such constant hammering of the division which had been doing the heaviest 
work of the part of the Army of the Potomac under his command? What was the 
motive for his persistency in discrediting the troops of this division? Such questions 
naturally arise in the minds of those who know the treatment was unjust. Col. Davis 
states in the history of his regiment (104th Penna.) that Heintzelman had the reputation 
of being the enemy of Gen. Casey. This cannot be the reason, although it may have been 
contributory. Certainly a kindly feeling for his classmate at West Point and also as a 
brother officer of years' standing in the same regiment of the regular army should have 
restrained him from his persistency in discrediting the troops of this comrade in arms. 
So far as the writer can find, there is no evidence of animosity or ill feeling between these 
two generals, more than has been made manifest in Gen. Heintzelman's official dispatches 
and report. The fact that Gen. Casey succeeded in obtaining first merit for distinguished 
services in the Mexican war may have been a motive for jealousy, or there may have been 
personal friction because of continued service in the same regiment, but that would rather 
have tended to restrain than to incite undue criticism. These were not the reasons. One 
need not look far, however, for an impelling motive for Gen. Heintzelman to make a 
scapegoat of the division first routed in the battle. The rout of the Federal troops on 
May 31, so far as it has been attributed to lack of generalship, has been imputed to Gen. 
Casey; and most of the writers that have absolved him have shown undue animus against 
Gen, McClellan and attributed the disaster to him. That Gen. Casey was in no sense 
responsible is apparent by a perusal of the record. As he and his comrades have long 
since passed beyond the vale of calumny and invective, reason must take the place of 
passion. The official reports and the testimony before the committee on the conduct of 
the war of Gens. Heintzelman, Keyes, and Casey establishes beyond dispute three impor- 
tant facts, which, when duly considered, will give a reason why Gen. Heintzelman threw 
the responsibihty of the rout of his command on the "raw" troops of Casey's division. 
First : The position occupied by Casey's troops was precarious and could not be defended 
against an overwhelming attack without reenforcements. Second : Casey's division, although 
considered by the corps commander "as a matter of pickets," not only gave sufficient alarm 
of a formidable attack, but also held the enemy in check long enough for the reenforce- 
ments to have reached the intrenched line in front of Seven Pines. Third: Gen. Heintzel- 
man did not send forward reenforcements promptly, even after hearing heavy firing of 
artillery and musketry, because "we had it before." 

Neither in his official report nor in his testimony before the congressional committee 
does Gen. Heintzelman give the time of his arrival on the battle-field, but he does make it 
clear that he did not arrive until after Casey's division had been driven back on to Couch's 
line. Gen Keyes modifies his official report and takes it about 4 P. M. In his official report 
Gen. Heintzelman says : 

"Believing the position in front of the Seven Pines to be a critical one, and not hav- 


ing entire confidence in the raw troops comprising the division of Gen. Casey, I sought and 
obtained permission on Friday afternoon to advance a portion .of my corps from its position 
near Bottom's Bridge. The order was to make such disposition of the troops as I saw fit. 
I immediately ordered two brigades of Kearny's division to move forward on the Wil- 
liamsburg stage road and encamp about three-quarters of a mile in advance of Savage 
Station." (O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XI, part I, p. 813.) 

The above, fully confirming his testimony before the congressional committee, places 
the full responsibility for the movement of the troops on the south bank of the railroad 
upon Gen. Heintzelman. Although regarding the position of Gen. Casey to be a critical 
one and lacking confidence in his troops, he permitted these raw, undisciplined men to 
withstand the assault of an overwhelming force at least two hours without growing 
uneasy and yet he had felt that the troops had been too much scattered. He says: 
"About 1 o'clock, there was considerable heavy firing of artillery and musketry. As we had 
it before, it did not cause me much uneasiness, until I found it was continued." If the 
general to whom the welfare and command of the army had been entrusted, and who 
regarded the position of his advance division as critical, felt no uneasiness when the infantry 
and artillery were both heavily and continuously engaged with the enemy, should not some 
charity have been shown the raw, undisciplined troops for loitering away from their camps 
after the firing began ? Had they not stood in line of battle for hours the two previous days 
expecting an enemy who only drove in the pickets? Why should they rush to their camp 
because the pickets were firing? In this statement of Gen. Heintzelman is an admission 
which places the responsibility of the disaster to Casey's troops on the general commanding 
the left wing of the army. Gen. Keyes says that he sent for reenforcements to Gen. 
Heintzelman about one o'clock, but for some reason his messenger was unaccountably 
delayed. It would seem that after two weeks (his report is dated June 13, 1862) his 
messenger should have been able to explain the delay. Gen. Heintzelman says that he 
received a note at 2 P. M. from a staff officer of Gen. Keyes, asking for two brigades. If 
this were so, why did an hour elapse before Gen. . Kearny received the order to advance 
his first brigade? Is it not possible that either or both Gens. Sumner and Kearny may 
have been absent from their commands at the time, inasmuch as the commanding general of 
the left wing had no apprehension of a battle even after it had been waged an hour or 
more? There is evidence, not in the official report however, that Gen. Kearny was not 
with his command during the first hour of the battle. Brev.-Brig. Gen. Francis W. Palfrey, 
in a critical paper, prepared for the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, and 
read at a meeting of the society and subsequently published with other military papers on 
McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, entitled "After the Fall of Yorktown," says: 

"As for Kearny, I saw him myself that day, as I returned from dining with Gen. 
Sumner near Tyler's house. I think I saw him as late as two o'clock; and as he was 
riding east, away from the river, * * * and so was late in getting his men forward." 

The Tyler house 'wag on the east bank of the Chickahominy river, midway between 
the positions of Richardson's and Sedgwick's divisions before they moved on May 31. But 
even if Gen. Heintzelman was derelict in duty that is no excuse for discreditable action on 
the part of Casey's troops. Volumes have been written as to the discreditable rout of 
Casey's division, and yet the writer has been unable in all his researches, in the libraries of 
the principal cities of the country, to find that any one of the writers was within a mile 
of where Casey's first line held the enemy in check for over an hour, or virithin three-fourths 
of a mile of his intrenched line which the enemy did not reach for nearly three full hours 
after the attack was made. That there were many of Casey's troops panic-stricken early in 
the fight it is useless to deny. Every regiment had its quota at some stage of the battle. 
But the officer or enlisted man of the regiments of the two other divisions that participated 
south of the railroad on Saturday who will deny the same condition did not obtain in his 
own regiment more or less, will discredit himself with any one conversant with the true 
condition of affairs that afternoon. The entire left wing of the Army of the Potomac was 
bordering on a panic, and had not the shadow of evening come when it did, notwithstanding 
the arrival of Sumner and Hooker, there is little doubt that the two corps south of the rail- 
road would have been driven pellmell into the Chickahominy. Even as it was, with night 


intervening, with Sumner's entire corps across the river, with the Confederate general who 
planned the battle wounded and hors de combat, no attempt was made to retake the posi- 
tion Casey had occupied until the enemy had retired. This is history. It was not the 
arrival of Sumner that saved the day. It was the God of Battles, who had decreed that 
human slavery on this continent should end, and that this grand army, which as yet was 
fighting for the Union with chattel slavery, needed chastening. Night came on and 
checked the forward rush of the victorious enemy, who then had the Federal army on 
the south bank of the Chickahominy practically cut in .twain, and these two fragments 
of the left wing completely isolated from the right wing. Before dawn the Confederates 
had an opportunity to count the cost of the first day's victory. The result was appalling. 
Their commander was gone and the ground for a mile and a half square was literally 
covered with their dead and wounded. Even in advance of where the "raw'' troops had 
broken "unaccountably and discreditably," havoc had been made in their ranks. One 
entire brigade (Garland's) was practically annihilated and the identity of its regimental 
organizations lost. Another brigade, (Rains') with a loss of one-seventh of its ranks, 
in turning the left flank of the "raw" division, satisfied to go no farther. Two regiments 
(6th Alabama, Rodes' brigade and 4th North Carolina, G. B. Anderson's brigade) which 
led the front attack on the "rawest" troops of the Army of the Potomac, sustaining the 
largest numerical loss of all the Confederate regiments during the entire period of the 
Civil War save one (26th North Carolina) ; the first with an aggregate loss of 373, out 
of about 632 engaged; 91 killed, 277 wounded and 5 missing; the other with an aggregate 
loss of 369, out of 678 engaged ; 77 killed, 286 wounded and 6 missing ; 46 of the dead 
lying within an area of an acre, in front of Casey's intrenchments, defended only by the 
"rawest" troops of the army. During the afternoon of June 2, the writer counted 13 
Confederate dead within an area of ten feet square on the western border of the abatis 
in rear of Wessells' camp, immediately south of the WiUiamsburg road. Such tremendous 
losses after the flush of victory had subsided, had a tendency to depress and dispirit the 
Confederate troops. The day before some of the commands had shown an utter defiance 
of danger. Many of the fainthearted became bold and rash when they saw the routed 
Federals fleeing, and vied with their most courageous comrades in pushing forward. The 
changed condition obtained not only in the ranks but to a limited degree it affected 
the officers of high rank in command, especially those who had participated in the battle 
of Saturday. Gen. G. W. Smith, who by reason of seniority of rank, succeeded Gen. 
Johnston in command of the Confederate army, says in his book ("Battle of Seven Pines," 
p. 129), that Longstreet, who commanded the right wing, showed no disposition to renew 
the attack and had to receive positive orders before doing so. There is little doubt in the 
mind of the writer that had night been two hours later in coming the army on the right 
bank of the Chickahominy would have been disastrously defeated, notwithstanding the 
heroic action of Sumner's troops. Men in the first flush of victory become imbued with 
a spirit of invincibility, while sudden and unexpected defeat, that becomes a rout, pro- 
duces a radically different morale among the best disciplined and most courageous troops. 
According to the testimony of Gen. Heintzelman the esprit de corps of most of his com- 
mand was at so low an ebb, that gallant Phil. Kearny begged him to let the enemy go 
in peace. No one can read the official reports of Gens. Heintzelman, Kearny and Peck 
without seeing that Casey's' division was not the only one routed on Saturday afternoon. 
Why, then, did the commanding-general of the left wing of the army continue criticizing 
.the weakest and rawest division in his command? 

"When I got to the front the most of Casey's division had dispersed !" "The rout of 
Gen. Casey's men had a most dispiriting eflfect on the troops as they came up !" "Gen. 
Casey's division is entirely demoralized." "Gen. Casey's division cannot be relied upon for 
any purpose whatever!" "The stragglers of Gen. Casey's division had a most dispiriting 
effect I" etc. 

This constant iteration of the shortcomings of Casey's division would indicate that 
Gen. Heintzelman was not in a judicial state of mind. His own report and his testimony 
before the congressional committee make it clear that the full responsibility of holding the 
position in advance of Seven Pines devolved upon him. On May 29 he sent a note to Gen. 


Keyes that he was moving a brigade of Kearny's division to a position where in case of an 
attack it could reenforce Keyes in half an hour. On the afternoon of May 30 Gen. Keyes 
informed him of the dangerous condition in which Casey's troops were placed, indicating 
great apprehension of disaster in case of an attack and intimating that he regarded 
Casey's division as a picket guard for the army. With such expressions from his chief 
subordinate officer, intimating that an attack was impending and that the position of the 
advanced line was precarious, his delay in sending forward reenforcements places the culpa- 
bility for the rout of Casey's division on him beyond question. In an endeavor, apparently, 
to distract attention from his own dereliction he allowed vituperation to sway him against 
the "'raw'' troops of his command. He seems to have let his mind run riot in accusation 
against the division that first gave way. He could not stop at reviling the living but 
resorted to a wanton characterization of the men who did not fall back, but resisted to 
the death a half mile in advance of where the troops of no other division of the Federal 
army dared go on the afternoon of May 31, or at any time during June 1. In his official 
report, dated June 7, he says : 

"An officer informed me that after we had driven the enemy beyond our first intrench- 
ments he visited Gen. Casey's camp, and found more men bayoneted and shot within their 
shelter tents than outside of them." 

The context, both preceding and succeeding this sentence, makes it an asper- 
sion of the dead. It unquestionably implies that they had played the part of 
poltroons and lay cowering in their tents, making no resistance while the enemy bayoneted 
and shot them at will. Passing by the false claim that the enemy were driven beyond the 
intrenchments the report of the first commanding officer to reach the fortifications in front 
of Casey's camp, Lieut.-Col. H. L. Potter, Second Excelsior Regiment (71st New York), 
has already told the story. However, one sentence is worth reproducing: 

"Scattered over the fields in tents, in the houses, and under sheds were large nurnbers 
of wounded men, both of the rebel army and our own, in the most distressing condition, 
many having been since Saturday, May 31, without any food or attention." 

Col. S. H. Starr (comdg. Third Brigade, Hooker's division) reported the following 
condition in front of Casey's camp : 

"The 5th and 6th Regiments have been for four days and nights * * * holding the 
most advanced position on this flank of the army, * =* * but among the greatest of their 
sufferings may be ranked the intolerable stench to which they have been and are exposed, 
arising from the unburied dead bodies of men and horses that were and are thickly scattered 
over the ground for hundreds of acres around. I have caused to be buried all my men's 
strength and time enabled them to bury, but I suffer many to lie unburied not many hundred 
yards distant." 

This was dated June 4, four days after the battle had occurred on this part of the 
field. Col. Starr was in command of Patterson's brigade of Hooker's division. Two 
regiments of this brigade (5th and 6th New Jersey) were then in the most advanced 
troops. From noon May 31, until June 2, no Federal troops were near this position except 
the "raw" troops of Casey's division. "The unburied dead bodies of men * * * thai 
were and are thickly scattered over the ground for hundreds of acres around," corroborates 
with emphasis the official reports of the Confederate commanders. Lieut. Col. Potter, 
who modestly made no claim of driving "the enemy beyond our first intrenchments," 
refutes the story of the officer who informed Gen. Heintzelman that "we had driven the 
enemy beyond our first intrenchments," and then visited Gen. Casey's camp and found 
more men bayoneted and shot within their shelter tents than outside of them. 

There is an adage that "Where there is much smoke there must be some fire," and 
where so much has been said to the discredit of Casey's division there must have been 
some basis for it ; and there was. There is another adage to the effect that "Appearances 
are at times deceptive," and certainly the appearances to the rear of Casey's division as 
soon as the attack had assumed a serious aspect did have the appearance of a rout. But 
what were the conditions surrounding Casey's division at this time? The report of the Joint 
Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War tells it in part, chiefly gathered 
from the sworn testimony of Gen. Casey, as follows: 

"When the campaign of the Peninsula commenced, his division consisted principally 



of raw and inexperienced troops. They had suffered greatly from the labors and exposures 
incident upon the siege of Yorktown and the advance of the troops up the Peninsula. Some 
of them had been for weeks without shelter, being compelled to leave their camp equipage 
behind when ordered on the pursuit of the enemy after the evacuation of Yorktown. That 
division took the lead across the Chickahominy, taking up a position at Seven Pines, where 
it established itself by throwing up intrenchments and cutting abatis." 

This is only part of the story. Nothing is said about the heavy details building roads, 
bridges, etc.; of the rifle-pits, breastworks and abatis constructed near Savage Station, 
behind which the routed left wing of the army took refuge on the evening of May 31; no 
reference is made to the letter to Gen. Casey, from the headquarters of the Army of the 
Potomac, under date of May 23, 1862, desiring "An explanation in detail of the extra- 
ordinary falling off in the effective strength of Casey's division since March 30, 1862." The 
daily returns had shown an extraordinary falling off, but these men had not gone to their 
homes, they had not even been sent to the rear