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Full text of "Life with the Forty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers"

Coi. W F BARTLETT 



WITH THE 



FORTY-NINTH MASSACHUSETTS 



VOLUNTEERS. 




HENRY T. JOHNS, 

LATE QUARTER-MASTER S CLERK FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLS. 



PITTSFIELD, MASS.: 
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR 

1864. 



Entered according to Act of Conirress, in the year 1S64, 
! .> II i:\KV T. 



In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
I>i>tiict of 



C. A. AI.VOKD. Ml .\:i."T\ I l.l . A 



TO 

THE MEMBERS 



THIS VOLUME 

IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED, 
BY THEIB COMRADE, 

HENRY T. JOHNS. 



M123162 



PEEFACE. 



" Forty-ninth Regiment Massachusetts 
Volunteers" sprang from Berkshire. This, their 
record, is written for Berkshire readers. If it 
shall, in after years, enable my comrades to recall 
the events and some of the emotions of our sol 
dier-life ; if it shall tend to unite us in sympa 
thy ; if it shall present to our friends a fuller 
view of our deeds and experiences, and bring 
out more vividly the merits of our " fallen brave," 
I shall be satisfied. 

Writing it has been to me a " labor of love." 
I have written fully and earnestly of the principles 
underlying this struggle ; otherwise, I have con 
fined my pen to pur regimental life as it came 
within niy observation and experience. It would 
be sad to believe those principles were no part 
of that life. 

My chief regret is, that fuller data did not 
enable me to do justice to all our dead. 

The engraving of Colonel Bartlett, one of the 
best evidences of the skill of the leading engraver 
of New York, A. W. Ritchie, needs this remark : 
On applying for a photograph, from which to 
obtain an engraving, the Colonel sent me several, 
taken in different styles, by different artists, at 
different times. I selected the one that was used 
because I deemed it the best one, and because it 



PKEFACE. 

Snggestjfo of the wound received at Port 
Hudson, a memorable part of the most memorable 
day in our history. 

The wood-cuts are the workmanship of S. J. 
Pinkney, New York. Even the uneducated eye 
will at once discern their artistic excellence. That 
the likenesses are not, "in every case, equal to the 
engraving thereof, results from two causes : defec- 
tiveness of some of the pictures furnished, and 
the impossibility of securing perfect likenesses, 
on so small a scale, from wood-cuts. 

I have written this " Life" in the form of " let 
ters," thus making it less didactic and stiff than 
had I observed the historic style. Necessarily 
the "first person" is much used, perchance so 
much as to render liable the charge of egotism. 
In describing our battles, I have dwelt at length 
on my own actions and feelings, believing the 
personalness thereof would convey to my readers 
a better idea of such scenes than merely general 
descriptions. What is a bait 1< \ but the aggregate 
of individual deeds and emotions? If pride, in 
being allowed to share in our honorable career, 
occasionally crops out, I can only say in extenua 
tion, "out of the abundance of the heart the 
mouth speaketh." 

Hoping this hurriedly-prepared volume will 
keep fresh the memories that gather round t!i<> 
" Forty-ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volun 
teers," and do something, however little, to incul 
cate those principles of which our military life 
was but an outgrowth, I send it forth to fulfil its 
mission. 

HENRY T. JOHNS. 

PITTSFIELD, MASS., May \st. 1864. 



LE TTEES. 



LETTER I. 

HINSDALE, MASS., August 10, 1862. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Like many others, I am almost decided to enlist. A 
large class, about the time of the bombardment of Sum- 
ter, forgetting their physical weakness, enlisted. In those 
grand days (and despite all our mismanagement and re 
pulses, the days have been growing grander ever since), 
when God seemed to be saying to our internal foe, " Thy 
days are numbered, and thy kingdom is taken from thee," 
tile weak felt strong, so that "one" almost imagined he 
" could chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to 
flight." Alas! they fill our hospitals,, or lie in lonely 
graves on the Peninsula. When victories, " like angel 
visits, few and far between," illumined the horizon, I 
have had no special promptings to join the army ; but 
there has never been a signal defeat, that I have not felt 
the old half yearning, half conviction, that so nearly led 
me to enlist in the spring of 1861. 

As we recede from the seven days fight before Rich 
mond, we get a clearer view thereof, and are compelled 
to call it a fearful reverse. True, there were splendid ex 
hibitions of Northern valor, and that is all we have gained. 
Had we so entirely forgotten our past, did we think we 
had so degenerated, that such battles, with their slain, 
were necessary to convince us and the world that valor 
was an heirloom of freemen ? Wisely has the President 



LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XIXTII 

called for three hundred thousand more men, and now 
his call for three hundred thousand more, looks so much 
* like being in earnest, that it calls out the hopeful earnest 
ness of the nation. The country needs the men, and I, 
for one, feel that no longer can I say " Go !" but " Come !" 

But a serious thought arises : " Have I a right to take 
human life ?" To be slain seems not half so fearful as to 
slay. Grant that war can be right and the matter is set 
tled, for never was war holy if this war be not holy. 
Fully have I considered the matter, and I am grounded 
in the conviction that, under certain circumstances, war 
is not only not wrong, but an imperative duty we owe to 
God and man. 

God commanded the Jews to go up to battle against 
the heathen nations that inhabited Canaan. That forever 
settles the fact that war is not inherently wrong, for 
though a holy God may allow sin, he never commands it 
to be done. To say that that was under the old dispen 
sation, does not affect me; for, no matter what the circum 
stances, God would never conummd or encourage that 
which is essentially wrong, that which is in opposition 
to His own nature. True, a thing not wrong in itself, 
may become wrong to us, if divinely prohibited. Though 
the genius of Religion is opposed to all violence, and will 
ultimately subdue the spirit of war, yet neither is there 
in the Old nor New Testament any direct or clearly im 
plied prohibition of War. When John the Baptist was 
asked by some Roman soldiers what they should do to 
inherit the kingdom of heaven, he did not say, " leave the 
army," but among other directions, " be content with 
your wages," wages received as soldiers. He knew full 
well that some of them were at times sent on unhallowed 
enterprises, but he doubtless considered the army, as the 
armed police of the empire, often unjustly employed, but 
a necessary part of that machinery which protects the 
good and weak from the assaults of the evil and strong. 
The Saviour and His disciples fellowshiped with soldiers, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 9 

and acknowledged them as Christians. True, war ushers 
many souls into eternity unprepared. God does this often 
in individual and collective cases, and we do not impugn 
Him. 

Nothing can be more certain than that God is a God 
of government. We believe that every thing material is 
bound by laws. Is man alone left to his own impulses 
and to anarchy ? The most ancient history, that of the 
Old Testament, teaches us -that the Creator established 
governments among men. His rulers had the right to 
use the sword under certain circumstances. The theoc 
racies of early days were followed by the institution of 
civil government, which has been declared to be "or 
dained of God." Now, the sword is necessary to uphold 
government. Sad it is, but it is true. Man is dealt with 
as he 25, not as we hope he will be. A man steals ; an 
officer tries to arrest him ; he resists that officer, who 
uses violence, even unto the death of the offender. Now, 
that is not a death punishment for theft, but for an at 
tempt to undermine government itself. Let him succeed, 
let a thousand others succeed unresisted, and where is the 
safety of property ? That safety once gone, and our very 
support depends on our brute strength; so might becomes 
triumphant, and for the weak there is nothing but injury 
and death. A man commits an assault, an ordinary as 
sault on another. Let him alone, let all such alone, and 
where is order ? where is society ? where is govern 
ment? All swallowed up in anarchy. Human life is val 
uable, but national life is yet more valuable. Human life 
may be sacrificed, perchance unjustly, with comparative 
ly little injury to society ; but the destruction of a na 
tion s life brings untold woe. If government, that di 
vinely ordained institution, cannot be maintained without 
sacrificing human life, then the axe must descend. Now 
right here, in the right to take the life of those who would 
overthrow society, lies the war-power. 

If individual life is worthy of defence, national life, oil 
1* 



10 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

which so much of the happiness of living depends, is 
more worthy. Thus it seems to me, that revelation ami 
Reason alike teach the duty of war. Neither is this in 
compatible with the idea of peace. Peace is not non- 
resistance to wrong, but rather the quiet enjoyment of 
our rights. Wherever a right is assailed, there is war, 
though never a gun or a soldier is called into service. 
That nation which tamely bears wrongs that maybe right 
ed, does not half as much for the cause of peace, as they 
who rise against oppression with the old war cry, u Re 
sistance to tyrants is obedience to God." 

These are some of the reflections leading me to believe 
I could eiigagi- in war with an untroubled e<>nsi-ience. I 
give you results, not processes of reasonings. If ever I 
go into battle, I may forget those processes ; but while I 
hold fast to the conclusion to which they have led me, my 
eye will not pity, nor my arm spare an armed rebel. 
Where men get in the way of human progress, I would 
remove them by gentle means ; if they resist and are ob 
durate, let the triumphal car go on, for the rejoicings of 
the saved will drown the groans of the lost. The rebels 
have got right in the path of God and freedom. They 
refuse to move ; let sword and cannon do their mission. 
Openly or blindly, every Union soldier is doing God s 
work. Let our foes succeed, and not only will we be 
draped in mourning, but the best part of humanity will 
be sharers of our sorrow and despair. The leaven of 
Protestantism, of liberty, and of education, will permeate 
the world if we succeed. Anti-slavery men may fight with 
an intense enthusiasm, if they believe that the end of this 
war will find our flag, stripes all hidden by stars, waving 
over never a master or a slave ; but he who takes a fuller 
view of the.dealings of Providence with this nation, and lias 
faith in the Divine mission imposed on it, will scarcely 
need the inspiration of that belief (and it is great) to con 
tinue the contest till victory or death. While African 
slavery is sure to go under the waves of this aroused 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLTJNTEEBS. 11 

ocean, future historians will scarcely recognize it as one 
of the blessed fruits of this war, so rich and full shall be 
the clusters of blessings that our success shall give to the 
world. That alone is worth a nation s blood and treas 
ure ; but* comprehensive must be the memory that can re 
call the "iirst fruits," when enjoying the full harvest. 
The world will meet to enjoy the "harvest home 1 pur 
chased by the blood and treasure of hundreds of thou 
sands of Americans. 



12 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 



LETTER II. 

HINSDALE, MASS., August 29, 18G2. 
MY DEAR L. : 

This evening I enlisted, thus deciding the contest of 
months. My health and strength may prove sufficient 
for the duties I have just taken on me. I enlisted under 
the call of August 4th, for volunteers for nine montlTs, 
deeming that wiser than to join a three years regiment. 

The whole county is absorbed in the raising of troops. 
The draft was postponed till August 15th, and then to 
September 3d. If the war continues, we must resort to 
the drafting system. It is the fairest and surest way of 
raising men. Conscription is the everlasting root of a 
nation. And, when party feeling is comparatively inac 
tive, a draft could be easily enforced ; but, if we wait till 
that feeling puts on some of its old activity (and even 
now there are signs thereof), draft and anti-draft will be 
come political tests. Then the strength of our govern 
ment may be put to Us severest test. The people quietly 
allow their property to be taken for the use of the nation ; 
if they will also submit to the forced seizure of their JH /- 
sons for the same end, none will dare say that there is not 
strength in a republican form of government. 

It is a pity that the last call of the President was not 
for three" years men. Out of New England, they are 
raising but few nine mouths regiments. I feel quite con 
fident that it will not work well. Nine months is too 
small a period to imbue men with a soldierly pride. Let 
a few months pass, and they will begin to say, " in four 
or six mouths our time will be out ;" and when that is the 
case, the longing for home will weaken their attach 
ment to the army. The sick, soon expecting to be dis- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 13 

charged, will not brace up against disease, as if they 
knew that they had to serve for nearly three years more. 
These regiments, unless placed in the Army of the Poto 
mac, will scarcely see any dangerous service till near the 
expiration of their nine months ; and it is but human na 
ture to take greater care of ourselves when we are about 
closing up a perilous business, than when the peril fills up 
years of our future. 

To stimulate volunteering, we have adopted the system 
of paying bounties to recruits on being mustered into the 
United States service. A town votes so much bounty to 
each recruit, expecting that the State will assume the debt 
as in the case of aid paid to families of soldiers. Those 
bounties range from $50 to $150, often increased largely 
by the selfishness or patriotism of private individuals. I 
suppose no intelligent man really admires this bounty sys 
tem, yet it has been started, and we must adopt it, or lo ! 
the draft ! It brings out a good deal of selfishness. Men 
come from towns where they oifer small bounties, and en 
list where they can secure larger ones. Some carefully 
conceal physical defects till they are mustered in and paid, 
and then are discharged for disability, while others desert 
as soon as they pocket their bounties. Few Would object 
seeing them receive the full penalty of the law death ! 
Strange as it may sound to you, afier the above, yet it is 
true, a better class of men are enlisting now than ever be 
fore. Go through the county, see the comfortable homes 
they are leaving, learn their position and reputation in 
community, and you must stultify your common sense be 
fore believing that greed of money influences them. Some 
of the best of the county have enlisted. Better remain 
not behind. If any selfishness alloyed their patriotism, 
it was dread of the draft, and to a proud-spirited man, 
the idea of being a conscript in a nation of volunteers, is 
repugnant to every feeling of self-respect. I believe we 
will raise the needed number. Surely it is a needed num 
ber, when President Lincoln formally refuses to -receive 



I 4 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

negroes as soldiers, and is laboring to colonize them. 
Strange what mad crotchets will sometimes invade the 
brain of sagacious men. Colonize four millions ! Remove 
four millions of laborers from a country that needs 
nothing as much as working men ! Refuse half a million 
of soldiers, and then make frantic appeals to men to hurry 
to the country s rescue ! Old Abe will see his mistake 
ere long. I believe he sees it now, but fears that public 
opinion is not ready for the correction of the error. 
Statesmen should lead, if necessary, drag public opinion 
up to the right. Still the negro can bide his time, lie 
has begged for the privilege of fighting; the time may 
come when, with large bounties in our hands, we may beg 
It ini to join our ranks. Too numerous ever to be re 
moved God will give them the opportunity to secure 
our respect and their rights. With no natioualty to full 
back on, with their own swords they must earn a share in 
that of ours. The innocent cause of this great rebellion, 
they will yet become potential in crushing alike it and its 
prolific parent their curse, slavery. 



Co. 




Capt. I. C. WBLLEH. 
Lieut. V. A. FRANCIS. Lieut. G. W. REED, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 15 

LETTER III. 

HINSDALE, MASS., September 8, 1862. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Though you are absent from old Berkshire, the home 
of your youth, and with the people of which you are so 
well acquainted, I know your new home has not dethron 
ed the old from your affections ; so I shall gratify you by 
writing at length concerning Berkshire men and events, 
only promising that nil I communicate will savor of war ; 
for, in common with us all, the war absorbs nearly all my 
thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

War meetings for the raising of troops are more nu 
merous than ever. The best of it is they are successes. 
We have filled up our quota of three years men. Week 
before last was a memorable one for Pittsfield. On 
Thursday thereof a monster meeting was held in the Park, 
and there, where our Revolutionary fathers gathered in 
the morning of this struggle, many of their sons volun 
teered to continue and close up the old contest between 
aristocratic usurpation and popular rights. How history 
repeats itself! how little there is new under the sun! 
Change dates and names, and you can imagine Cavaliers 
and Puritans to be the actors, instead of Yankees and 
Southrons. We fight no new battle. It is only another 
phase of the old contest, old as human governments. A 
truce to this digressing, which, though one of the privi 
leges of letter- writers, I will not further avail myself of 
now. At the Park were gathered the wealth, the bone, 
and sinew of the land. Messrs. Bowerman, Colt, Emer 
son, and others, spake burning words to the people. 
Many of our wealthy citizens came forward to do, by 
their purses, what they could not do or would not do by 



16 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

their right arms. They did not then fill up their quotas. 
On the following Saturday at noon, nearly all places 
of business were closed, and the work of volunteering 
went on with some success. Saturday night found them 
yet deficient. The draft was to commence the coming 
Wednesday ; our brothers, outnumbered on the Potomac, 
were loudly calling for help, and it was decided to con 
tinue the effort on the morrow, the Sabbath day. In the 
quiet of a New England Sabbath evening, they secured 
the requisite number of men. A holy day was appropri 
ated to a holy purpose. How foolish ! how wicked ! the 
remark, that moral character has nothing to do with the 
efficiency of the soldier. The solemn enthusiasm of that 
hour, carried into the battle-field, would render any army 
invincible. 

What fatality is opposed to our success ? We ask with 
our President, " Is it possible that God is on the side of 
the rebels ?" No ! He wants to be on our side, and will 
be openly when we are willing to make this a war of 
ideas. Though superior to the enemy in every thing, 
save knowledge of the country where the seat of war is 
located, we find that, after eighteen months of the most 
prodigal expenditure of men and means, we have made 
but litlle real progress. True, we have had some success in 
the radical West, but the nation, the world, looks-on the 
Army of the Potomac as the representative army. It is 
so. Say what we may, all valuable as are the services of 
the Western commands, the progress of the war is wrap 
ped up in the army, just scattered, if not beaten, near 
Washington. By it we judge ; by it we are judged. 
The two contending armies of the respective Capitals, 
must strike the decisive blow. I am aware that the im 
proved and enlarged facilities of travel have rendered 
obsolete the idea that London is England, that Paris is 
Frunce, that the Capital is the nation, yet none ever 
dreamed of calling them victors, whose seat of govern 
ment was assailed or endangered by an enemy. Why 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 17 

this comparative unsuccess ? Simply because we have 
not been possessed of any great inspiring idea. We have 
the fixed determination never to surrender our national 
unity, and " the Constitution and the Union" for a rally 
ing cry, but we need something more. Liberty, which 
is the life-blood of the Constitution, and the jewel en 
shrined in the Union, has been studiously kept out of 
sight. Bayonets think in these days, and they feel, if 
they cannot logically see the difference between appeals 
to the body and to the spirit. Love of a mere written 
instrument, or a civil organism, has but little influence in 
making men 


" Their Fatherland s befriender, 

By life and blood surrender." 

Yesterday, the Thirty-seventh left for Dixie. Under 
the old elm, Dr. Todd made a farewell prayer. Though 
he was heard by few, it was a solemn scene. We knew 
they were bound for the Potomac, and that the exigencies 
of the times were such that they might be rushed into 
battle before another Sabbath day. 

There are few more solemn, subduing scenes than the 
departure of a regiment for the seat of war. Many of the 
men assume a levity that poorly hides their own sadness, 
and as poorly comforts those who are to remain behind. 
Mothers, wives, children, were there to bid, to look, the 
last adieu. Many a mother then pressed her aching head 
into silence, and heroically struggled to fasten in her boy s 
heart the memory of a farewell smile. Kind, but vain 
mockery ! To many wives, the measured tread of that 
thousand men, marching from home and life, seemed to 
be over their own hearts. They felt they were nearing 
a day when there would be 

" A blush as of roses 
Where rose never grew;" 

and though they were not deficient in the spirit of self- 



38 LIFE WITH TOE FORTY-NINTH 

sacrifice, nor heedless of the glory of the strife, yet the 
farewell was with 

" Ah mo I This glory and this grief 
Agrees not well together." 

When the cars started, there was the usual cheering 
given by the soldiers as evidence of their cheerfulness, 
and taken up by those who had no very near friends leav 
ing. Those who had emptied hearts and homes for their 
country s sake, fearing it might be forever cheered 
not, but gazed on the receding train till out of sight, 
and then turned sorrowfully homeward, to bear alone the 
suspense of months, while their loved ones should enter 
into scenes whose novelty and excitement would lift up 
their sadness. Not all the brave go to war. Saving the 
physical privation, exposure, and suffering endured by 
soldiers who are really loved, their lot is enviable in com 
parison to that of the lone women of our land. 

"Heroic males the country bears, 

But daughters give up more than sons. 

Flags wave, drums beat, and unawares 

You iia.- li your souls out with the guns, 

And take your heaven at once. 
But ive, we empty heart and home 

Of life s life love ! We bear to think 
You re gone, to feel you may not come, 

To hear the door-latch stir and clink, 
Yet no more you, nor sink." 



Co. B. 




Capt. C. R, GARLICK. 
Lieut. C. W. KNIFFIN. Lieut. R. R. NOBLE. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 19 



LETTER IV. 

CAMP BRIGGS, MASS., September 15, 1862. 
MY DEAK L. : 

The first week of camp-life is over. Of course, you 
want to know all about it. The encampment is styled as 
above in honor of Brigadier-General Henry S. Briggs, son 
of the late ex-Governor, G. N". Briggs. Our homes are 
tents, called A or wedge-tents. They slope from, the 
ground to the ridge-pole, being five and a half feet high, six 
feet wide, and seven feet deep. Six form a family circle. 
Did you ever try sleeping with five full-grown men, with 
most of your clothes on, in a bed six feet wide ? If so, 
you know that involves lying " spoon fashion," and when 
one turns, all must turn, else some vigorous remarks will 
convince you that you are encroaching, not on the terri 
tory, but on the body of your neighbor. The weather 
must be very bad indeed, if we do not hail as a Godsend 
the detailing of one or more of our family to " stand 
guard. That has some draw-backs, for, when his two 
hours of guard-duty are over, and just when we are be 
ginning to enjoy the luxury of expansion, he returns, and 
a wet bed-fellow is sometimes the result : and if he over 
sleeps himself so as not to hear the guard-call, we have a 
visit from the corporal of the guard, who, after divers 
hallooings and shakings, succeeds in waking us all up, 
the right man last. 

Sixteen of these tents are used by the enlisted men of 
each company, being eight on each side of a street, some 
twenty feet wide. The streets are designated " A," " B," 
" C," after the names of the company occupying them. 
The first street to the right is occupied by Co. A, it hav- 



20 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

ing come into camp first, and named accordingly. The 
next by Co. B, and so on. We have placed evergreen 
bushes around our tents, giving quite a home-like, a syl 
van look to the encampment. Our streets are kept scru 
pulously clean. They run nearly east and west. To the 
rear is a line of cook-houses, to be used when we are fur 
nished with rations raw, instead of rations cooked as we 
now are. A trench five or six feet long, two wide, and one 
deep, with a crane made of green saplings, serves for the 
cook-stove of each company. Beyond these are sinks for 
depositing slops, rarely used, for our sh re \vd farmers, hav 
ing no Jewish aversion to pork, are on hand glad to pur 
chase all the refuse of the cook-houses. Often, milk 
graces the tables, the cooks having learned that alchemy 
that transmutes slops into good, rich milk. Yet further 
east are places, sometimes within and sometimes without 
the lines of sentinels, reserved for meditation. 

To the west of the company streets, and at right angles 
wi:h them, is the grand promenade of the camp. On the 
western side of this avenue are located the tents of the 
Line Officers, captains and lieutenants, opposite severally 
to their respective company s streets. Each captain is en 
titled to a tent, as also are two lieutenants. Unless unso 
ciable, they are generally placed so that one will be in the 
rear of the other, the front one being used for office, sitting- 
room, and parlor ; the other for bed-room. Do not im 
agine that the officers are doomed to the penalty of living 
in wedge-tents. They have wall tents, which are nearly 
seven feet square, running up at the sides about five 
feet, and thence to a ridge-pole some ten feet from the 
floor. So, you see, they can live, having room for com. 
fortable beds or berths, chairs and tables. Over these 
tents .are spread flies, increasing the protection from the 
rays of the sun, and from rain. To the rear of them a 
little to the north, is to be the sanctum sanctorum the 
tents of the Field and Staff Officers, or " Head-quarters," 
before which a succession of unlucky wights must sepa- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 21 

rately stand on guard, that there be no profanation of 
military dignity. 

Our regiment is to be known as the Forty-ninth Mas 
sachusetts Volunteer Militia. We hope to make the 
" Forty-ninth " a historic name worthy of the glorious 
old commonwealth. 

We have now three companies, -A, B, and C, in camp. 
With regard to lettering the companies, first come, first 
served. If lettering went in accordance with the dates 
of commission, " B," would be k C," and " C " would be 
" B." Co. A is called the " Allen Guards," for many of 
them once belonged to that organization. It was named 
after the Hon. Thomas Allen of this place, who has been 
a very liberal sponsor. From the Allen Guards have al 
ready issued several companies in different regiments, 
dating from the first war-cry to this last call. I know 
not how many privates have gone from it, but it has fur 
nished the service upward of twenty commissioned offi 
cers. I think Co. A will preserve unimpaired the honor 
of the name. They encamped in Burbank Hall from the 
3d to the 7th inst. When the Thirty-seventh had left, 
they marched into Camp Briggs, a pleasant contrast to 
the gloomy hall. They number all told one hundred 
men. Though not large, they are rugged and healthy, 
and will stand the wear and tear of army life better than 
the six feet giants who never bend till they break. Being 
so nearly the same size and partially uniformed, and. hav 
ing had some little drilling, they are our veterans. Some 
of our best young men, who know nothing of hardship 
and privation, are with them. Their average age is twen 
ty-two years, eight months, and eleven days. Their aver 
age height is five feet, seven and one-tenth inches. 

They are well officered. Israel C. Weller, of the firm 
of Isham & Weller, flour dealers, is captain. He will 
make a good one. He served as sergeant with the three 
months men under Captain (now General) Briggs, and at 
the time of his election was a lieutenant in the Allen 



22 LIFE AV1TI1 THE FORTY-NINTH 

Guards. lie is well posted in military matters, and hav 
ing a fondness therefor will make a superior officer. To 
his own men, he will always be, in thought, if not in words, 
/ . AVeller. I shall watch Capt. Weller s course with 
M lne curiosity. He has before him a much harder task 
than if his men were all strangers to him. They like 
him, and while he is free with them, they obey him very 
readily. I fancy he will continue the same cheery, lively 
spirit, but I mistake the man if he will ever allow famil 
iarity to degenerate into insolence or disobedience. He 
is twenty-two years of age. 

George W. Clark, a finisher in Pittsfield Woollen Mills, 
is the first lieutenant. He is a stranger to me, but he 
looks the officer, and is very highly spoken of. He is 
twenty-eight years of age. 

Frederick A. Francis, of Sternsville, aged twenty-seven, 
is the second lieutenant. You know him, and will read 
ily believe that he will make a popular and efficient offi 
cer. So gentlemanly, with such a winning voice, men 
will receive punishment at his hands more readily than 
favors from some others. Neat and tasty in dress, with 
pride of carriage, he makes an attractive appearance, and 
I prophesy a good report of him when comes the time to 
prove our soldierly qualities. By the by, the post of sec 
ond lieutenant is just the easiest and pleasantest in the 
regiment. lie has but little responsibility, and almost 
nothing to do with administering discipline. He can dis 
charge his whole duty and yet play the gentleman, win 
ning the good will of those who would curse him had he 
the sterner duties of a captain to fulfil. 

Co. A is very fortunate in having for its Orderly, 
George Reed, one of our three months men. He was a 
printer in the Berkshire Eagle office, and very highly re 
spected. The post of Orderly or first sergeant is almost 
as responsible as that of captain, with none of its privi 
leges or honors. He is the business man of the regiment. 
If a detail is to be made for police, guard, or any other 



Co. C. 




Capt. (J. R. Li- M;KNn-:i.riiR. 
Lieut. D. B. FOSTKR. T/u-nt. J. N. STBONG. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 23 

duty, he selects the men, and on him fall the anathemas 
of the shirkers and of those who may be really, though in 
nocently overtasked. If punishment is to be inflicted, he 
is the agent of that punishment. If the captain is cen 
sured for the uucleanliness of the men or quarters, he 
comes back on the orderly. Living with the soldiers, he 
must yet keep up the dignity of the officer, so that his nu 
merous commands will be obeyed without the interference 
of his superior. The neatness, discipline, general efficiency 
of a company depends as much on the first sergeant as 
on the commander. Give a company a good captain 
and orderly, and you may be sure they will be worthy 
of the service. I send you a copy of the company roll. 
As you run your eye over it, you will see there is excel 
lent material in it, warranting ine in saying that some of 
the best young men of the town are there. They start 
well, being all united. As four-fifths of the men are from 
Pittsfield, she has all the officers and none feel aggrieved 
thereat. 

Co. B came into camp on the 7th and 8th instant. It 
numbers one hundred and two stalwart men, among 
whom are the pride of many homes, and the respected 
of many communities. The morale of this company is 
very high. By reading over its roll, you will see the 
names of those who never left their homes and prospects 
save at the promptings of duty. Their average age is 
twenty-six years, three months and seven days, and height 
five feet, eight and nine-tenth inches. 

Charles R. Garlick, of Lanesboro, one of the firm of H. 
G. Davis & Co., dealers in dry goods, is captain. I have 
almost no acquaintance with him. He is very gentlemanly, 
dresses well, and is considered a prompt, active business 
man, of great value to his company. I think he will be 
an excellent disciplinarian and a reliable officer. He owns 
to twenty-six years of age. 

Charles W. Kniffin, aged twenty-six years, merchant of 
West Stockbridge, is first lieutenant, He is a man of 



24 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NIN HI 

i. n usual personal popularity, and certainly very much of 
the gentleman. In common with others, I am prepared 
to prophesy a brilliant career for Lieut. Kniffin. 

Robert R. Noble, agod twenty-two years, is second 
lieutenant. He is a son of R. Noble, Esq., of Williams- 
town, and was for six: months a sergeant in Second MUS-M- 
chusetts Volunteers, from which regiment he was dis 
charged on account of ill health. He was the first volun 
teer from Williamstown. He acted as drill-master to Co. 
E, of the Thirty-seventh Massachusetts, receiving the 
praise of Col. Edwards. He is a good type of Young 
America, active, intelligent, self-confident. He loves mili 
tary, and makes a fine drill-master, putting vim into the 
exercises, thus making them attractive to the men. Ag 
the other officers have had no military experience, Co. B 
has shown excellent judgment in raising young Noble from 
the position of a private to that of second lieutenant. 

Orton W. Jennings, of Beckett, is the first sergeant. 
His looks denote intelligence and promptness, indispen 
sable requisites for the orderly of a company. The men 
speak highly of him. I wish I was able to give you the 
names of those households from which two or more have 
gone forth to the war. Some have sent their all ; hus 
bands and sons, leaving none behind save the aged and 
the women. Abraham Rosseter, of Richmond, has three 
sons, his all, in this company. It is easy to write that 
sentence, but it is a wonderfully suggestive one. It 
speaks of an aged couple in their loneliness (perchance of 
lonely wives) following their boys in prayer and thought 
through all the temptations of the camp, and the dangers 
of the field, stopping awhile as in fancy they hear amid 
the groans of the dying, voices all too familiar to them. 
Who can tell their need of leaning upon the Great Father 
cf all for strength to sustain them in their weary waiting 
for them who may never return ! 

There wore sad hearts in a darken d home, 
When the brave had left their bower; 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 25 

But the strength of prayer and sacrifice 
Was with them in that hour. 

We turn from do. B, otherwise known as * Pomeroy 
Guards," in compliment to Robert Pomeroy, Esq., of this 
town, and introduce to your notice Co. " C," called " Berk 
shire Guards," to which I have the honor to belong. 

It consists of ninety-three men, some of whom are equal 
in morality and intelligence to any in the regiment. Their 
average age is twenty-six years, four months and twenty- 
six days. Their average height five feet, nine and five- 
seventh inches. For size, we will be apt to wear the 
palm. 

Charles T. Plunkett, son of Hon. T. F. Plunkett, is 
captain. He is a splendid specimen of the genus homo^ 
being six feet, six inches high. As he is but twenty-two 
years of age, he may have reached his height (it is to be 
hoped so) but not his full growth. He can hardly be 
called spare or stout, but every way a well-built man. 
Give him two or three years of war life, and you may hunt 
New-England over for a better specimen of a soldier. 
He was engaged in the manufacturing business, at South* 
Glastenbury, Connecticut, and was a member elect of the 
Connecticut legislature. Bright seemed the opening 
world to him, but leaving all the comforts and luxuries 
of wealth and of high social position, he has taken on 
himself the duties and hardships of a soldier. He steps 
in his new position with ease, and, if not suddenly stricken 
down by rebel bullets, which his commanding stature 
will invite, we believe he will do honor to the family 
name. He has a brother who went out with the 37th as 
a lieutenant. 

Daniel B. Foster, of Cheshire, is our first lieutenant 
He is thirty-four years of age, and has in him many of the 
qualities that make an efficient and popular officer. 

By a combination, not unusual at elections, Pittsfield 
has not only the captaincy of our company, but also the 
second lieutenancy in the person of William W. Wells. 
2 



26 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

He is thirty-five years of age, and possessed of consider 
able ambition and energy. 

John R. Camp holds the delicate and responsible po 
sition of first sergeant, which, we hope he will occupy to 
his honor and our benefit. You may not be aware that 
in these nine-months regiments, the men elect the com 
missioned officers, wh*o, in turn, appoint the non-commis 
sioned officers. Thus, a duty of no ordinary importance 
devolved on us. When we consider the power entrusted 
to officers, how that power may be abused, that our hap 
piness, almost our lives, are in their hands, it seems but 
right that we should have the privilege of choosing our 
own commanders. Yet I know not if it were not wiser 
to have them appointed by the Governor. True, with 
him, " kissing goes by favor ;" but he could choose as 
wisely as we could, seeing that we were called upon to 
vote for officers before going into camp and becoming ac 
quainted with the candidates: Could elections be deferred 
till after an active campaign, we might vote more wisely. 

If, under the present system, the men choose unwisely, 
they will have none to blame but themselves, toor sat 
isfaction, to write " fool" against your own name. 



Co. D. 



r 




Capt. S. .1. I ll VFKRR. 

Lieut. J. TIVKKR. J.irut. T. Siccixs. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEBS. 27 

LETTER V. 

CAMP BRIGGS, MASS., September 22, 1863. 
MY DEAK L. : 

On Monday last, the 15th inst., Co. D, raised mainly 
in Harrington, came into camp. It is not too much to say 
that a better company never joined any regiment. It has 
a large number of farmers and farmer s boys, and also an 
unusual number of intelligent business men. In every 
respect, it is an honor to Old JBarrington. It numbers 
ninety-eight men, averaging in age twenty-five years, five 
months and five days ; and in height, five feet, seven and 
one-fifth inches. 

Its captain is Samuel B. Sumner, a son of Hon. In 
crease Sumner, of Barrington. He is a man of thirty-two 
years of age, one of our rapidly rising- young lawyers, a 
graduate of Williams College, an ex-State Senator, and a 
poet and orator of no mean pretensions. I believe he has 
had considerable militia experience, and therefore is pre 
sumed to be competent to fill the duties of the major- 
ship of the regiment, for which position report has al 
ready nominated him. He is shrewd and politic, and 
will make few blunders. All will like him. 

Joseph Tucker, of Great Barrington, is first lieutenant. 
He was originally named for captain, but when the company 
roll was partially filled, Mr. Sumner enlisted, arid Lieuten 
ant Tucker assented to him as their captain, believing, as 
all do, that the promotion of Captain Sumner would soon 
make way for another commander of Co. D. Lieutenant 
Tucker is a son of George J. Tucker, Esq., Register of 
Deeds for this county, and also County Treasurer. He 
comes from a good family (not considered a despicable 
thing even in Democratic Massachusetts), and is counted 
a fine fellow and an estimable man. He is a lawyer by 
profession. 



28 LIFE WITH TIII: FOKI v- 

The second lieutenant is Samuel J. Chaffec, originally 
from Connecticut, but recently connected with some of 
the mills in Berkshire. He is active, intelligent, and very 
popular. He is a man of earnest convictions and great 
independence ; one, we may prophesy, who will do his 
duty, regardless of fear or favor. The orderly sergeant is 
James K. Parker, who, I believe, has been in the service 
before. Co. D is an able company, ably officered. 

Wednesday, September 17th, Co. E made its appear 
ance. The vert/ best of the young men of Southern Berk 
shire come with it. Among them are students from 
Harvard and Yale, besides ministers and embryo doc 
tors and lawyers. A nation is rich indeed that has s>t<-k 
sons to call to her defence ; richer still when those sons 
promptly answer her call, that the principles that have 
made her great and glorious may be maintained, and be 
come the heritage of the world. The material of Co. E is 
such that we can "Safely predict for it an honorable career. 
They number one hundred and two men, of an average 
age of twenty-six years, and height of five feet, eight and 
one-quarter inches. 

They are commanded by Horace D. Train, a physician 
of Sheffield. He is forty years of age, pleasant, and evi 
dently used to good society. He is considered a very 
good physician of the Homeopathic school. If our surgeons 
shall belong to the same school, we will have in him one 
more than the standard number ; if not, Dr., alias Cap 
tain Train, will have to practise on the sly. Then, com 
mend me to him rather than to the tender mercies of the 
heroic school. 

Robert T. Sherman, of Egremont, is first lieutenant. He 
is twenty-five years of age, an excellent machinist, and 
an impulsive son of Green Erin ; a splendid fellow to lead 
in a forlorn hope. He will make an efficient officer. 

H. Dwight Sissons, mechanic of New Marlboro, occu 
pies the position of second lieutenant. He is twenty-five 
years of age, unobtrusive, faithful, intelligent, and popu- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 29 

lar. He will wear well. You can count on him with but 
little fear of disappointment. Their first sergeant (we 
always call them orderlies), Moses H. Tattle, is a young 
man of twenty-two years, a graduate of Yale College, and 
comes from an excellent family. The men like him, and 
confide in him. Captain Train showed excellent judg 
ment in selecting so worthy an orderly to have the super 
vision of as worthy men as ever enlisted under any ban 
ner. You remember after the battle of Marathon, each 
officer was requested to state which of the officers was 
most deserving of praise. Each man wrote himself down 
as that worthy one, and Themistocles second. Ask the 
members of each company which are the two best compa 
nies in the regiment, and nearly every man would call his 
own company the best, and E the next best. By this, 
we really unanimously place E at the head of the list. 
The future will show if they realize the promise of the 
present. 

Co. F came into camp on Tuesday, September 16th. 
They number ninety-eight stalwart, respectable, steady 
men. I judge them mainly by their appearance and rep 
utation, for as yet I know but little concerning them. 
They average in age twenty-five years and seven months ; 
in height, five feet seven and one-half inches. 

O 

Benjamin A. Morey, druggist, of Lee, is captain. He 
is a man of forty years of age, stern in looks, but really ge 
nial in life, a generous friend, a decided foe. He was a lieu 
tenant in the Thirty-first Mass. Vols., and bears the name 
of a strict disciplinarian. Of course, that does not give 
him a popular start, but the experience of an active cam- 
ptiign will learn us how to appreciate the value of disci 
pline, though it may occasionally be irksome to us. 

Edson T. Dresser, of Stockbridge, holds the position of 
first lieutenant. A desire to aid in the quelling of this 
unholy rebellion drew him away from his class at Wil 
liams 1 College to enlist as a common soldier. He is wor 
thily popular, and having the benefit of the experience of 



30 LIFE WITU THE FORTY-NINTH 

his colleague, will make an efficient officer. He is twenty- 
two years of age. 

With the second lieutenant, George H. Sweet, aged 
twenty, farmer of Tyringhum, I am not acquainted. He 
is a gentlemanly looking young man, but rather too deli 
cate for the duties that lie before him. Will often sup 
plies the absence of muscle; it may with him. 

John Doolittle, merchant of Monterey, is the orderly of 
this company. He is twenty-six years of age, and will, I 
think, creditably perform the peculiar duties of his posi 
tion. No company starts more favorably than Co. F 
In a hundred little things, as well as in large things, will 
they see the benefit of commencing their military service 
under the command of one who has had some experience 
in soldier life. 

On Friday, the nineteenth instant, ninety-nine fine, ro 
bust men, forming Co. G, were added to our rapidly in 
creasing number. Mainly drawn from manufacturing 
communities, they may not have the steadiness of our 
farmer boys ; but what they lack in that trait, they make 
up in vivacity. Their average height is five feet eight 
inches ; their average age is twenty-three years, two 
months and two days. 

Their captain is Francis W. Parker, aged twenty- 
seven, printer by trade, and I believe, for awhile, con 
nected with the Adams Transcript. As they have but 
just entered our prolific family, I am able to give you but 
a brief account of him and his associate officers. 

Robert B. Harvie, of Williarnstown, is first lieutenant. 
He is a young man of twenty-one years, painter by trade, 
and has the appearance of having much energy and vim. 
He looks like the lamented Colonel Ellsworth, and is a 
splendid specimen of physical mankind. He will make a 
popular officer. 

The second lieutenant is Henry M. Lyons, a spinner 
in Phillips s Woollen Mill at South Adams. He is twen 
ty-three years of age, active and intelligent. He has a 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 31 

brother a sergeant in the same company. George South- 
wick, of Adams, is the orderly. 

On Thursday, the eighteenth, Co. A was mustered into 
service for three, months [he meant for nine months] by 
Captain H. G. Thomas of the llth Regulur Infantry. 
The process is the examination of the rolls, and then the 
mustering officer walks along the lines of men and exam 
ines them. At some he merely glances ; others he tries 
by running, and otherwise testing their wind and strength. 
There is no appeal from his decision ; and as he walks 
along there is a great expanding of chest and rising to 
the fullest height on the part of small men, while those 
who fear they have teeth not adequate to the eating of 
hard bread and the tearing of cartridges, need no injunc 
tion about talking in the ranks. After he has thus exam 
ined them, throwing out whom he pleases, with uplifted 
hands and uncovered heads, they si^scribe to the follow 
ing oath : 

" You do solemnly swear that you will bear true alle 
giance to the United States of America, and that you 
will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their 
enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey 
the orders of the President of the United States, and 
the orders of the officers appointed over you, accord 
ing to the rules and articles for the government of the 
armies of the United States, for the period of nine months, 
unless sooner discharged ; that you will receive the pay, 
rations, and such clothing as may from time to time be 
allowed. So help you God !" 

After swearing in the men, or in other words constitu 
ting a company, the officers are mustered in. Companies 
B, C, D, E, and F were mustered in on the nineteenth, and 
G on Sunday the twenty-first. At these musterings, a few 
were rejected, and some of them for seemingly insuffi 
cient reasons. It was a cause of mortification and sorrow 
to them. Some, already tired of soldiering, refused to 
take the oath. They were put under arrest, but soon re- 



32 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

leased. They could not legally be held, for the enlistment 
papers they signed, read, " we promise to serve for nine 
months fi\nn thi time of beimj muxhrcd into the sir 
of the United States" Law will not comj>el a man to 
take an oath ; and until he is sworn, he cannot be mus 
tered into the service. 

We are no longer a body without a head. On Satur 
day, Captain William F. Bartlett assumed command of 
this post. He belongs to the Twentieth Massachusetts 
Volunteers, and last April lost a leg at the siege of York- 
town. His appearance denotes much of intelligent ener 
gy, and his gentlemanly manner, his soldierly bearing 
(lor he looks the soldier even on crutches), and our sympa 
thy with him in his great loss, have made him at once a 
universal favorite. We cannot afford to despise these 
sudden likings. Soldiers, having their individuality ab 
sorbed in the mass, flfceir independence in submission, are 
somewhat like children, and reach conclusions, not by de 
ductions of logic, but by their surer intuitions. 

Lieutenant Francis has been appointed as acting quar 
termaster. Lieutenant Noble is our acting or post adju 
tant, and an excellent one he makes too. He takes pride 
and pleasure in his duties, and any one can see that he 
enjoys his position. If these prove permanent appoint 
ments, it will be promotion for them, as adjutants and 
quartermasters have the rank of first lieutenants. The 
adjutant is the business officer of the regiment, having 
supervision, under the commandant, of all affairs save 
those belonging to the quartermaster s and medical de 
partments. 

Thus you see we are getting into running order. At 
present, every thing runs smoothly. Pomeroy and Spring- 
stein feed us. It is said that they get forty cents a day 
for each man. If so, they certainly have a lucrative job. 
Our living is good, but we are so recently from home, 
that we find fault with it. It seems strange to us to 
have butter but once or twice a week, and to be con- 



Co. 



r 




Capt. H. D. Tn A ix. 
Lieut. R. T. SHERMAN. Lieut. H. D. Sissoxs. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 33 

fined to what we have always considered the merest 
necessaries. Happy soldiers ! if this does not prove the 
buttered side of o ur living. Tolerably flushed with money, 
we supplement our meals at the sutler s stand, which, 
is placed so conveniently near the tables as to lead to 
the conclusion that the profits of the former are in an 
inverse ratio to the superfluities of the latter. We march 
to the tables in military order there, order ceases ; our 
tin cups and plates make excellent table bells to attract 
the attention of the waiters. When any luxury (?) such 
as butter, cheese, or cake, makes its appearance, it is 
greeted with three cheers and a tiger, and honest criti 
cism leads to groans when we notice any great deficiency. 
Men are detailed each day to help in the culinary depart 
ment. It is not conducive to a vigorous appetite to watch 
the minutiae of that department ; but one thing is certain, 
the detail of cooks always come back with clean hands. 
The officers have a mess of their own, where, at five dol 
lars per week, they find that position does not merely 
mean honor, but increased comfort also. 

The drum calls us up about sunrise, that most witching 
time for sleep. No parleying, up we get, springing from our 
planks like Minerva from Jupiter, ready armed and 
clothed. Our hasty ablutions over, we attend roll-call, 
and generally drill an hour before breakfast. After 
breakfast, our streets are cleaned up, and at 8 A. M. we 
have guard mountings. The guards appointed the previ 
ous morning are substituted by fresh ones, who are divid 
ed into three parts, called reliefs. Each relief serves two 
hours on duty, and have four hours for rest, or as we call 
it, " two hours on and four hours off." We are furnished 
with rusty fire-locks, and a true soldier never allows his 
gun to touch the ground. There are few such among us 
yet; and you might observe some of the sentinels lying 
down several feet from their guns, which, supported by 
the bayonets, gracefully present their butts to the sky. 
We mean to be obedient, but soldiering here seems so 
2* 



34 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

much like playing, that we cannot make serious work 
of it. 

Under no circumstance must a sentinel give up his gun 
but to an officer of the guard. Some officers find no little 
sport in getting guns away from verdant, confiding ones, 
and walking oif with them, leaving the poor sentinel, who 
must not leave his beat, weaponless to discharge his duty 
and meet the relief guard. It is a quick way of learning 
them a part of their work. Daily, an officer, called " offi 
cer of the day," is appointed to have supervision of the 
camp. Among his duties, he visits all the sentinels at 
midnight. He is saluted by each sentinel as " Grand 
Rounds." A few evenings ago (the night was very dark) 
this officer was making his midnight tour, and came 
across an Irish sentry, who understood little about 
" Grand Rounds," but much about the pleasure of being 
relieved from duty. The sentry hailed him, " Who goes 
there ?" to which the officer responded, " Grand Rounds !" 

Pat broke out, "To with your Grand Hounds ! I 

thought it was the relafe guard." We have had many a 
hearty laugh at this little incident. The guard-posts are 
placed about ten rods apart, and if necessity requires the 
men to leave, they summon the corporal of the guard to 
take their place by crying out, " Corporal of the Guard, 
post 6," according to their number ; and if their case be 
urgent, add, " double quick." Living as we do, mainly 
in the open air, and under different dietetic rules, the post 
of " corporal of the guard" is not entirely one of honor ; 
not a mere sinecure. Working by day, or resting by 
night, these summonses enable us to form some idea of 
the health of the regiment. 

For two Sabbaths I have been on guard, and I enjoyed 
it, especially at night. A man has so few chances to be 
alone while in camp, that I could but hail with pleas 
ure my night-watches. After the bustle of the d;iy, 
there was something very soothing in the quietness. To 
be in the midst of a thousand sleeping men, hearing 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 35 

nothing save the measured tread of your fellow-sentries, 
is like the solemnity of a large city in the small wee 
hours of the night, or that silence which at times falls 
on a crowd. It is a capital place for reflecting on what 
we are leaving, what we are leaving for, what future we 
are marching into. Sentinels, not only over a camp, but 
over a nation s life ! Enduring hardness for a night, that 
a brilliant morning may dawn to all our land ! Treading 
the measured path of duty, that a country may grow 
strong to step up to the right and the just ! Accepting 
a subordinate s life, that equality may be the birthright 
of all ! 

After guard-mount, the detailed cooks go to their 
work ; the police force attend to the cleaning and puri 
fication of the camp ; the orderlies make their report to 
the adjutant, and he to the commandant, while the sol 
diers lounge around, spending the time as they see fit till 
about ten o clock, when those who were not on guard 
the preceding day, drill for an hour or an hour and a 
half. About noon we dine ; then, at two o clock, comes 
another season of drilling ; and at five, " Dress Parade." 
This is the grand event of the day. In two ranks deep 
the whole regiment is drawn up, and go through motions 
to resemble the manual of arms, so that we may be more 
handy when we receive our arms. Here the first ser 
geants report the presence or account for the absence of 
the men of their respective companies ; then the ad 
jutant reads the orders, and announces the details of offi 
cers for the following day. " Dress Parade" implies that 
every man should have on his best uniform. On fatigue 
duty, carelessness and comfort are the rules, but woe to 
that unlucky wight who manifests a greater love of ease 
and comfort than harmonizes with the commandant s 
idea of military propriety and carriage ! A sharp rebuke, 
an extra term of guard duty, or an appropriation of the 
lock-up to his special use, convinces him, that in becoming 
.a soldier for the common benefit, he has resigned many of 



36 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XINTH 

the common rights and conveniences of life. Our boys 
look more like Falstaff s soldiers than the pride of Berk 
shire. Uncle Sam having furnished us no uniforms, and 
we having a regard to economy, appear not only in garbs 
of every color, shape, and fashion, but of every quality 
from indifferent to shabby. If " dress" has reference to 
beauty and harmony with the occasion, ours is hardly a 
" dress" parade ; but if that word implies an infinite 
variety i we can challenge the nation to produce our su 
perior. Dress parade is followed by supper, and after that 
we fill up these lovely September twilights and evenings 
as we see fit, with singing circles, negro melodies, dances, 
and occasionally a prayer-meeting, till the drums beat for 
evening roll-call, which* is soon followed by " taps," when 
lights disappear from all save officers tents, and quiet 
rules over the camp. 

The citizens of the different towns are remembering 
the officers by presenting them more or less of their out 
fit. Last Saturday evening, Captain We Her was present 
ed with a sword, belt, and sash, the gift of many friends. 
The employes of the Pittsfield Woollen Mills have made 
a similar presnr t<> Lieutenant Clark of the same com 
pany, while the inhabitants of Sternsville, not to be be 
hind, have, as a token of respect, presented Lieutenant 
Francis with a handsome sword, belt, sash, and revolver. 
The presentation speech was made by Rev. Dr. Porter, 
and handsomely responded to by the gratified recipient. 
The services closed with prayer and singing, " My 
country ! tis of thee ; sweet land of Liberty." O ! as 
the land of Liberty, tis noble, tis grand to draw the 
sword for her ; for her, it is even sw r eet to die. I hope 
these swords may aid in cutting a path for Freedom. 

Report is beginning to nominate our field and staff 
officers. The former, colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and ma 
jor, are oho vn by the line officers; the latter, adjutant, 
[iiartormaster, surgeon, and assistant-surgeon, are ap 
pointed by the colonel, while the chaplain is appointed 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 37 

by the colonel on the vote of the commanders of com 
panies. Captain Thomas is spoken of by some as colonel. 
I doubt if our Berkshire officers would vote for him. 
He did not favorably impress us. He has had to do 
with that class of soldiers who enlisted before this war 
commenced. Some of them, were pretty rough. .While 
here he seemed to forget that this contest has called out 
a higher class, many of whom, in their own estimation, 
and in that of others, are every whit his equal; Graham 
H. Root, Esq., our very popular high sheriff, could 
doubtless have the post, but he says he is not a military 
man, and don t want it. "We all wish it might be our 
lot to serve under him, for we would then have a colonel 
to whom obedience would be a pleasure. Captain Sum- 
ner is spoken of as major, lieutenant-colonel, or colonel ; 
and from all I hear, he can have his choice, but he thinks 
the prosperity of the regiment would be better promoted 
by choosing a .commander from outside. He is more 
than half right there. L. H. Gamwell, Esq., of Pittsfield, 
is mentioned in the same connection. If he has the re 
quisite military qualifications, Berkshire would feel safe 
in intrusting her sons to his care. After all, the material 
for a colonel may be found in our own camp. Two legs 
are very valuable, but great battles have been won by 
those who could boast of but one. 



38 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH. 

LETTER VI. 

CAMP BRIGGS, MASS., September 29, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

We are here yet, and no talk about our leaving. We 
are waiting to fill up the regiment. The Eighth company 
(H) came into camp Monday, September 22, from the 
southern part of the county, and has in it men of ster 
ling worth, some of the best of their respective towns. 
Its roll shows ninety-one men, averaging in age twenty- 
three years, ten months and five days ; and in height, five 
feet seven and one-sixth inches. 

The captain is A. V. Shannon, of Lee, aged twenty- 
six years. His profession is that of teacher. He is a 
gentleman of many accomplishments, and has had the 
benefit of some experience in the rebel service. The be 
ginning of the rebellion found him teaching music in 
Texas. That business failing him, he obtained a position 
as clerk on board of a vessel afterwards engaged in the 
rebel blockade. Fortunately for him, it was captured by 
one of our blockading squadron, and with the crew 
brought to New York, where, establishing his loyalty 
to our flag, he was set free. Active, energetic, resolute, 
I think he will make an excellent officer. 

The first lieutenant is Burton D. Deming, of Sandis- 
field. He is one of our most reliable farmers, aged*- 
thirty-one years. He is a quiet, unobtrusive man, but 
of the firmest principles. As a matter of Christian duty, 
he leaves wife and home for the toils and dangers of the 
army. An early death may be his ; but let it come when 
it may, by disease or bullet, I feel sure that it will be the 
death of a true soldier of Freedom. He is of the stuff 
that enters not into the making of shirkers and cowards. 

Dr. Witt S. Smith, of Lee, is the second lieutenant. 




Lieut. E. T. DRESSER. 



Capt. B. A. MOREY. 



Lie at. J. Doo LITTLE. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 39 

He is an active, intelligent young man of twenty-two 
years of age, a book-keeper at home, and will make a 
good officer. 

Joseph B. Wolcott, of Sandisfield, is the orderly of the 
company. He is a young man, twenty-four years old, of 
unblemished character. The intimate friend of Lieuten 
ant Deming, he is of the same type of character, and we 
can confidently predict for him an honorable career. 

The papers of the past week inform us that the Presi 
dent has again refused to receive negro soldiers, though 
pressed on his acceptance by the conservative Governor 
Sprague, of Rhode Island, and that he has issued a pro 
clamation, dated September 22d, 1863, declaring free 
dom to all slaves of rebel masters, who shall live in dis 
tricts that do not, as an evidence of their loyalty, send 
representatives to Congress by the first of January, 1863. 
Well, old Abe is a strange man. Offering a bribe for the 
return of rebels to their allegiance, may make the refusal 
of negro soldiers necessary, and I think the President, in 
his heart, says, " Look here ! rebels ! I give you one 
more chance to repent. I dislike slavery, but I dislike 
disunion and war more. Now, I have offered to buy your 
slaves, so that you might come back to your loyalty full- 
handed. I have refused to increase your causeless irri 
tation, by enlisting the negroes ; but, mark me, if you 
are not in the Union by the first of next January, I am 
done with offers of mercy, and I will not only declare 
your slaves free, but I will put arms into the hands of 
every one willing to use them, be he white, red, black, 
or cream-colored, free or bond." If this be his meaning, 
I am willing to wait and trust him. Notwithstanding 
the anomalousness of the wliole proceeding, I am far 
from looking at it as a mere brutum fiilmen. It is the 
President s lingering farewell to the conservatives, and 
his " All hail radicals !" If he be sustained in the com 
ing elections, all right ; but if he be not sustained, and 
the rebels do not return to their allegiance by the first 



40 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

of January (and of course they will not, if the elections 
show a ilir nlcd North), what then ? His word is pledged 
will he recant ? Has he ever forfeited that word ? ever 
taken any Backward steps ? Never! and I try to believe 
that he will bo faithful in this grand hour. If Mr. Lin 
coln sfto dil violate his promise, Europe would see as 
much, if not more, hope for the slave in the success of 
the South than in our success, and a speedy recognition 
of the Confederacy would be the result. Recant ! and 
the South can readily enlist, by sympathy and by arms, 
the services of the negroes. Emancipation must come. 
Certainly, the first of January will see no representatives 
of rebeldom in our congressional halls. The President 
has taken the decisive step ; every bridge is burned be 
hind him. Truly, his war-cry must be "Liberty, or 
Death !" Our pilot is stepping up to the great principles 
involved in this struggle, and we will find that God will 
clothe us with more earnestness, as each man puts to 
himself this question : 

"If Heaven should lose, and Hell should win, 
On whom shall lie the mortal sin ?" 

Ah ! that is the question. Give us men who feel, to 
the very core of their natures, that the issue is between 
heaven losing, and hell winning, and not Cromwell s 
Ironsides will equal us. It is an issue between Right and 
Wrong, between Good and Evil, God and Satan. The 
moral power is what we want. Then our hardships will 
t>e sweet, and our death-beds, though on the gory sod, 
be more enviable, more precious, than ever vouchsafed to 
warriors. Through shameful blunders, through seas of 
wasted blood, God will yet bring the nation, to whom 
He has showed such long-suffering, where the breezes of 
Freedom refresh every* soul. Then, we may look back- 
to the dreary days of 1862, to the irrave-crowded Penin 
sula, and thank Him for deferring success till success 
meant not only the preservation of the Union, but of the 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 41 

divine Spirit living in and animating that Union. In view 
of this, I greet our martyred dead, counting not their 
seemingly wasted lives a loss, or too great a price for the 
assurance that Freedom is always safe in the Union. To 
make this an eternal verity, I am full willing to swell 
the number of the slaughtered dead. In " hopes nursed 
in tears," I sing : 

" Sail on 1 Union, strong and great I 
Humanity, with all its fears, 
"With all the hopes of future years, 
Is hanging breathless on thy fate. 
In spite of rock and tempest s roar, 
In spite of false lights on the shore, 
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea : 
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, 
Our faith triumphant o er our fears, 
Are all with thee, are all with thee." 

To return. Mr. Peter Springstein, of the United States 
Hotel, will go with us as sutler. It may be a lucrative po 
sition, but not a pleasant one. In order to make it pay, 
he must sell his goods at a large profit. An inroad of 
the enemy, a capture of a sutler s vessel, may swallow up 
the profits of months. Men forget the risks, the losses, 
and only remember the big holes sutlers goods at sut 
lers prices make in their thirteen dollars a month. Mr. 
Springstein is a gentlemanly and generous man, and I 
wish him success as sutler to the Forty-ninth. 

Dr. J. H. Manning, of Pittsfield, is acting as regimental 
surgeon. Perchance he may go with us. He is a kind 
man, and would sympathize with the sick. Sometimes 
sympathy is worth more than drugs. Dr. K. C. Stiles 
has the general medical superintendence of the post. He 
is my beau ideal of an army surgeon. 

Well, we have now a quartermaster s department. G. 
E. Howard, of Lanesboro, is acting quartermaster ser 
geant. He is a sergeant in Co. A, and a very fine pen 
man. Finding there was no military aptitude in me, I 



42 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XINTH 

have entered this department as commissary sergeant. 
H. H. Northup, of Cheshire, a corporal in Co. C, one of 
the soldiers of Wilson s Creek, Missouri, G. E. Callen- 
der, Co. E, a faithful boy of nineteen, and D. C. Patter 
son, also of Co. E, our butcher, a sui yeneris, make up 
the number, who, under Lieutenant Francis, run this 
machine. 

Army blankets, coarse, gray, and, we hope, woollen, 
have been given to the men. They are not entirely 
guiltless of shoddy, and if they last us nine months, we 
will speak better of them then than we do now. If you lie 
down on them, your clothes look as if you had been 
sleeping with a dozen cats. 

We now receive our subsistence directly from the United 
States and cook it ourselves. Each company has a cook 
and an assistant cook, who are relieved from all other du 
ties. They are generally assisted by a daily detail of 
two men. In addition to these there is one styled the 
commissary of the company. It is his duty to see that 
the company gets its prescribed rations, to sell what they 
do not use, placing the proceeds in the hands of the cap 
tain as treasurer of the company s fund. He is relieved 
from guard duty and from all other duties which would 
embarrass him in his work as commissary. Massachu 
setts gives each man a tin plate, cup, spoon, and a knife 
and fork. In the regular service and from most other 
states, the soldiers have to furnish themselves with these 
necessaries. Some companies serve out the cooked ra 
tions to each man separately, while others place them on 
tables for common use. Each soldier keeps his own eat 
ing utensils clean, or by a small monthly gratuity to the 
cook, reWeves himself of that unpleasant task. We live 
well. Government gives us plenty of food and some of 
our cooks are real experts. Come and dine at Hotel B 
or D or E, and you will get a meal that needs not the 
novelty of camp life to make it relish. It is wonderful 
how much the boys eat. Living out doors sharpens the 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 43 

appetite. Butter, pies, cakes, pickles, and many other 
luxuries not furnished by our kind Uncle Sam, grace 
our tables. Our friends bring or send so many home 
comforts that we must needs get away from Berkshire 
before we can learn any of the privations of soldiers life. 
Companies D and E are the most favored in that re 
spect. Beef, fresh or corned, and fine beef it is, furnished 
by D. and W. Sprague, is dealt out five days in the week. 
The other two days we fall back on the soldiers friend 
salt pork. Mr. H. B. Brews,ter brings each man daily a 
loaf of fresh bread. 

The government ration is as follows. Bear in mind a 

O 

ration is one day s food for one man. One and a quarter 
pound of fresh or salt beef, or three quarters of a pound 
of pork, twenty-two ounces of soft bread or flour, or six 
teen ounces of hard bread, or one and a quarter pound 
corn meal, eight quarts of beans to one hundred men, 
ten pounds of rice, eight pounds of roasted coffee or a 
pound a half of tea, fifteen pounds of sugar, one and one- 
fourth pound of adamantine candles, four pounds of soap, 
two quarts of salt, three pecks of potatoes, and a quart 
of molasses. Suppose a family of four men feeding at 
this rate, and they would use in a year eighteen hundred 
and twenty pounds of beef or one thousand and ninety- 
six pounds of pork, three bushels and twenty quarts of 
beans, one hundred and fifty-five pounds of rice, one 
hundred and seventeen pounds of coffee or twenty-two 
pounds of tea, two hundred and nineteen pounds of su 
gar, fourteen and a half pounds of adamantine candles, fif 
ty-eight pounds of soap, twenty-nine quarts of salt, ten 
and a half bushels of potatoes, four gallons of molasses, 
besides two thousand and seven pounds. (over ten barrels) 
of bread or flour. Can the men eat all their rations ? 
Used, as they would be at home, No ; as they are in our 
camp, No ; as they are in active service, Yes. Soldiers 
cannot save as soldiers 1 wives could. Waste, there will 
be. The government provides for that waste. The ra- 



44 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

tions a company does not see fit to draw are credited to 
them and they receive money in lieu thereof. I know of 
companies that have added one hundred dollars a month by 
these savings to their company fund. Do they really get 
these rations ? If they do not, it is the fault of their com 
missaries. Any intelligent man can, without scales, soon 
learn the amount due his company. When before the ene 
my, I do not suppose they get half this variety, but, by 
proper management, they caij get money in lieu of the de 
ficiency. 

Who shall be our colonel is a question much discussed 
among officers and men. If Captain Bartlett can be 
weaned from his old regiment (I understand he can have 
the command of that if he desires it), he will be our col 
onel. Report says he is Captain Sumner s choice, and, 
as he has virtually declined a nomination to that office, 
/i iff choice will be apt to be the choice of all. I learn 
that Captain Bartlett has no idea of abandoning the pro 
fession of arms, but will return to the field as soon as he 
is able to use an artificial leg. The following article, 
written by one prominent in civil and military life, as 
originally published in the Boston Courier, is now read 
by us with great interest : 

" In the month of April, 1861, soon after Fort Sumter 
had fallen, and Colonel Jones s regiment had been attacked 
in the streets of Baltimore, the Fourth Battalion of In 
fantry was called upon to garrison Fort Independence in 
Boston harbor. On Thursday, the 25th of April, the 
battalion left their armory, and marched through crowd 
ed streets, and under countless flags, to the boat which 
was to take them to the fort. In the janks marched a 
young man named Bartlett, a member of the Junior class 
in Harvard College. During the month passed by the 
battalion at the fort, his rapid progress in learning, and 
his promptness and fidelity in practising the duties of a 
soldier, his carriage under arms, and the manly character 
he displayed, attracted the attention of the officers. A 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 45 

few weeks after the battalion had returned from the fort, 
Massachusetts was answering the call of the General Gov 
ernment for volunteers, and the command of a regiment 
was offered to Colonel Wm. Raymond Lee. He accepted 
the office, and was permitted to nominate officers to raise 
two companies to complete his regiment. Such was the 
impression that Bartlett, the young Cambridge student, 
the private in the ranks of the Fourth Battalion, had pro 
duced, that Colonel Lee was advised to nominate him for 
one of the two vacant captaincies. He did so, and the 
nomination was approved, and Captain Bartlett, with the 
assistance of Lieutenant, now Captain Macy, and Lieu 
tenant Abbott, raised a company. The regiment, since 
known as the Twentieth, marched into camp at Read- 
ville, on the 10th of July, and there remained till the 
4th of September, when it started for the seat of war. 
The officers commissions were dated on the same day, 
and, shortly before leaving Readville, their regimental 
rank was assigned by Colonel Lee, after consultation with 
his field and staff officers. Their estimate of the merits 
of Captain Bartlett, was shown by the fact that he was 
named senior captain, and his company, therefore, took 
the right flank of the regiment. 

" For six weeks after the regiment reached the seat of 
war, there was little of interest in its history. One day 
was much like another. Captain Bartlett s discharge of 
all the duties of his position was thorough, his care of his 
men was scrupulous and devoted. Neither he nor any 
other officer of the regiment, had any opportunity to dis 
tinguish himself. 

" On the 21st of October, he commanded his company 
in the affair of Ball s Bluff. There are plenty of witness 
es to the gallantry and coolness with which he led his 
men in that trying day. There are many who know that 
when the field seemed lost beyond redemption, when few 
of our troops were left on the field, and none in order, 
Captain Bartlett, hoping against hope, rallied men enough 



46 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

for one more effort, and charged with them upon the 
enemy s line, till, in the twilight of smoke and the shadow 
of trees, they could see the color of the clothes of their 
opponents, and were driven back by the blasting fire of 
those well-ordered troops. 

" When the twilight was deepening, and the fire of the 
enemy from the heights and the dread of the rushing river 
were^ combined to drive to despair the beaten few who 
were collected on the shore, Captain Bartlett and Captain 
Tremlett, and Lieutenant Whittier and Lieutenant Ab 
bott, all of the Twentieth, collected about eighty men, 
only twenty of whom belonged to their own regiment, 
and led them up the river and along its banks. At about 
a mile from the battle ground, in the race of a flour mill, 
they found a crazy sunken boat. They caused this to be 
bailed out, and found it would hold five. Captain Trem 
lett and one lieutenant put the men into an old barn near 
by, and kept them quiet there. Captain Bartlett sent 
the other lieutenant across with the first load, to take 
charge of the men as they arrived, and stood alone upon 
the bank to superintend the tedious transportation, The 
rapid current delayed the clumsy, heavy boat, the dark 
ness of /he night increased the difficulty of bringing it back 
to the point from which it started. Not less than six 
teen trips were made before those gallant officers crossed 
themselves, in the last trip it made. Let it be remem 
bered that these officers, wearied by the sleepless night 
of Sunday, the alternate suspense and fighting of Mon 
day, distressed by defeat, and the belief that their friends 
and comrades were dead or prisoners, waited, within 
sound of the enemy s musketry, expecting every moment 
the swoop of cavalry, waited for hours, till a boat that 
was little better than water-logged and oarless, had made 
many trips, and they had saved eighty men, of whom 
three-quarters were utter strangers to them and to their 
regiment. 
"Colonel Lee and Major Revere were taken prisoners on 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 47 

the eveDing of that day. When Captain Bartlett awoke 
the next morning, he found himself in command of the 
camp, his only superior officer having been ordered across 
the river, with all his disposable effective force, by General 
Lander. He remained in command during the whole of 
the 22d and 23d, and part of the 24th, when he was re 
lieved by the return of the lieutenant-colonel of the re 
giment. His action during this interval was wise and 
salutary. It showed thoughtfulness beyond his years. 
Besides the many wounded who were brought in, unhurt 
officers and men arrived by onee, twos, and threes, and 
two whole companies returned, which had not been en 
gaged. By a partial resumption of the usual routine of 
the camp, with a just allowance for the mental and phys 
ical fatigue of the men, and judicious employment of the 
band, Captain Bartlett changed, in a measure, the cur 
rent of the thoughts of the men ; he broke up any ten 
dency to depression of spirits, and introduced a cheerful 
tone, of which he himself set a signal example. 

" The assistance rendered by Captain Bartlett to the 
commanding officer from that time, was of the very high 
est value, and was recognized as such by him and by the 
regiment. He possessed a singular natural aptitude for 
the profession of arms, and the fidelity with which he ap 
plied himself, made him rapidly master of all the knowl 
edge that was necessary in his position, and of much for 
which there would have been occasion in a much higher 
one. His power of imparting knowledge was equal to 
his power of acquiring it, and he was alike remarkable 
for his accuracy in details, and for the ease with which 
he grasped general principles, and the readiness with 
which he applied them. His services to the 20th regi 
ment, as an instructor and as an example, are such as it 
is impossible to estimate too highly. 

" On Thursday, April 24th, 1862, one year from the day 
when the 4th battalion went to Fort Independence, the 
20th Massachusetts Volunteers relieved another regiment 



48 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

in guarding a portion of the lines before Yorktown. 
AYhile visiting the advanced posts, Captain Bartlett was 
shot in the left knee, and the knee-joint and a portion of 
the bone of the lower leg was shattered and destroyed. 
Ills leg was presently amputated, and he was sent north 
ward to be under the care of his friends. 

" One year from the day when this gallant soldier first 
bore arms, saw his military career suddenly checked. 
With the attachment and admiration that are felt for 
him in his regiment, the public has little to do ; nor need 
wo dwell upon the peculiar sadness of such a misfor 
tune to one who was so conspicuous for the beauty of the 
tall, straight figure, which was gaining strength and ful- 
ne-s every day. It is his comrades who miss the glance 
of the clear blue eye, the sweet smile, the erect carriage, 
the voice, cheery in talk, powerful and full of dignity 
in giving the word of command. But it is right that 
the public should know that the officer who, with the 
rank of Captahi, not in battle, not even in a skirmish, has 
been maimed for life in the siege of Yorktown, was a 
soldier of the most brilliant promise a man w T ho, before 
his classmates had taken their degrees at Cambridge, has 
served his country nearly a year ; has led men gallantly, 
and saved men nobly on the darkest day the war has 
brought ; and w r ho, in all the time of his bearing arms, 
and in a regiment that has suffered more than any other 
in the Army of the Potomac, has set to every one around 
him a shining example of every soldierly excellence. 

Perchance some of the above should be ascribed to the 
blindness of affection, and some to the tenderness that is 
always felt for a great affliction. Grant that, and yet 
there remains much for a foundation of our confidence in 
Captain Bartlett. Fresh from Harvard University, en 
tering the service as a private, raised in Boston where 
he has influential friends, these may have led to his ap 
pointment as Captain in the Twentieth Massachusetts 
Volunteers ; but a wise man like Colonel Wm. Raymond 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 49 

Lee, having command of a crack regiment, and a mili 
tary reputation to establish, would not have selected and 
appointed him senior captain, unless convinced that he 
was worthy of the position. That alone would warrant 
his election to the colonelcy of the Forty-ninth. That he 
has a natural aptitude for military life, every obsewer 
would declare. As few men, he looks the soldier. 
Though quiet, there is an air of command about him 
that would make obedience to his orders almost involun 
tary. His college associates say that he surpassed them 
all in military studies. True, he is young, only twenty- 
two years of age, but age is not always wisdom, nor 
youth always folly. We have made up our minds to fol 
low our leader, whomsoever he may be, wise in us, see 
ing that we cannot do otherwise, but Colonel Bartlett 
we could follow with an enthusiastic pride. 

We are all happy in camp. Our duties are so novel, 
that they are performed with pleasure, and the magnifi 
cent weather, the presence of our friends and of hosts 
of visitors, conspire to make the days glide away as a 
pleasant dream. O ! how yearningly will we recall 
these days when meeting the sufferings and dangers of 
real war. 



50 LIFE WITI1 THE K KTV-MNTll 



LETTER VII. 

CAMP BRIQGS, MASS., October 6, 1862. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Yesterday, the gifted Major W. I). Sedg \vick, of Len 
ox, was buried. He fell in the ruinous victory at Antic- 
tarn. Amid the surges of battle, with his dying strength, 
lie wrote in his memorandum book, "I have tried to do 
my duty." The army has lost a brave and skilful sol 
dier, the nation an earnest patriot, and the Forty-ninth an 
excellent colonel ; for, had he lived, there is no doubt 
that he would have been chosen to fill that position. Co. 
A acted as the guard of honor at the burial, while Cap 
tains Sumner, Weller, Garlick, Plimkott, and Lieutenants 
Francis, Kniffin, Wells, Tucker, Smith, officiated as pall 
bearers. They buried him at close of day. The sun was 
setting, and the moon just rising. It was a solemn scene, 
one long to be remembered. There was the dead hero, 
and there the Forty-ninth going forth as he had gone, 
some of them perchance to be brought back like him. 

We have now a chapel of our own. It is half chapel, 
half guard-house. As the guard is required to be about 
the guard-house the whole of their respective twenty-four 
hours, not spent on their beats, it has added much to 
their comfort, but proved a comparative failure for devo 
tional purposes. I have heard of religious services in 
prisons and theatres ; this is our prison (in one end there 
is a lock-up) and theatre ; and surely here, those services 
are not impressive. Scarce a month of camp life has 
rolled away, and I fancy I can see some signs of moral 
deterioration. Prudery is not a camp vice ; things are 
called by their plainest names, and the giving up of that 
delicacy and refinement of speech, observed, more or less, 



Co. 




Capt. F. AV. PARKKR. 



Lieut. R, B. 



Lieut IT. M. T.VONS. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 51 

by all at home, is preparing the way for obscenity and 
profanity. 

The past week has been enlivenec^by a number of pre 
sentations to officers. On the evening of September 30th 
there was quite a gathering at the office of Colt and Pin- 
v gree, when Mr. Pingree, in behalf of the donors, present 
ed to Captain Garlick a handsome sword, sash, belt, re 
volver, and a pair of richly gilded shoulder-straps, on re 
ceiving which the captain made an appropriate speech. 
At the instance of Messrs. Rathbun, Lieutenant Wells 
of Co. C was presented with sword, sash, belt and pis 
tol. Messrs. L. H. Gamwell, and W. R. Plunkett, spoke 
at the presentation. The people of Stockbridge showed 
their appreciation of Lieutenant Dresser of Co. F, by 
similar presents, as also did the good people of Egre- 
mont and Mill River to Lieutenants Sherman and Sissons 
of Co. E. 

We have a theory that soldier life implies hardship and 
privation. To have more than a theory Captain Bartlett 
will have to exclude the numerous crinolined sutlers that 
throng the camp, invade our tents, and who ask no rec 
ompense but a hearty devouring of the home delicacies 
they bring. Lift up certain boards in our tent floors, 
and you will find that we are quite independent of the 
recognized sutler, and of our bountiful friend, Uncle 
Sam. We cannot say much of the order reigning in our 
pantries, for superabundance renders that impracticable ; 
but from their depths, we bring pies, cake, cheese, but 
ter, milk, pickles, preserves, and other comforts that 
make soldiering in this delightful weather one of the 
brightest episodes in our lives. At breakfast and sup 
per, milk peddlers visit us, and if it be true that " that 
man cannot be wholly evil who is fond of milk," we show 
our primitive innocence and purity, by sending the ped 
dlers home with empty cans and full purses. One of our 
officers, to all these things, says : " Away ! I ll have none 
of them. I ll harden myself against the day of hardness." 



52 LIFE WITH TUP: FORTY-NINTH 

And we say, " let him harden." " Sufficient to the day is 
the evil thereof." I never knew a man ln-iier prepared for 
abstinence at dinner, by rejecting his breakfast. Success^ 
to him, but I fear his converts will be few until we bid a 
long adieu to mothers and sisters and sweethearts, and to 
the lowing kine of Berkshire. 

Though Lieutenant Francis is the acting quartermaster 
of the regiment, yet much of the work is done by Mr. 
Henry B. Brewster, of Pittsfield, who expects to accom 
pany t lie regiment in that capacity. I hope he may, for 
he is reputed a good business man, and honest. It will 
be pleasant for our friends at home to know we have a 
quartermaster who will not enrich himself, at the expense 
of our health and comfort. 

We are getting our hospital in running order, though 
fortunately we have but little need of it. The surgeons 
buy for the use of the sick, all the delicacies they need. 
The quartermaster credits them with a ration for each 
man in hospital, and charges {hem with what food they 
actually draw. The value of the remainder forms a hos 
pital fund, for the purchasing of articles of food not fur 
nished by the government. Properly managed, there is 
always a sufficiency of funds to insure the sick whatever 
they may need or crave. The deficiency, if any, will be 
in preparing the food. In active service, the siek may 
sutler from the impossibility of purchasing needed luxu 
ries. Every man who has not had the small-pox, or been 
vaccinated, is being vaccinated. We. are providing for 
our safety. 



Co. IT. 



- 




Capt. A. Y. SHANNON. 
Lieut. B. D. DEMiNft. Sergeant WOLCOTT. Lieut. D. S. SMITH. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 53 



LETTER VIII. 

CAMP BRIGGS, MASS., October 8, 1862. 
My DEAR, L. : 

The ninth company, I, came into camp on Wednesday, 
October 8th, making it pretty nearly certain that the 
Forty-ninth will not be consolidated with some other nu 
cleus of a regiment, but will have an individual existence 
and a separate history. Its roll shows eighty-eight men, 
average twenty-seven years of age, and five feet eight 
and one-half inches in height. 

Zenas C. Rennie, of Pittsfield, is captain. His age is 
twenty-six years. If he shows as much energy and per 
severance in commanding as he has in raising his com 
pany, he will be one of our very best officers. 

Le Roy S. Kellogg, farmer, of Lee, aged thirty-one 
years, and William Nichols, car-maker, of Williamstown, 
aged twenty-four years, are respectively first and second 
lieutenant. As I have never met either of these officers? 
I am unable to introduce them to you. Its orderly is 
James McKenna, of Pittsfield. 

On Tuesday, the fourteenth instant, Co. K filed into 
the tenth street. Captains Rennie and Weston have not 
only saved the Forty-ninth from being smothered in the 
birth, but they have also saved the county the unpleas 
antness and dishonor of a draft. We welcome this tenth 
company, insuring, as it does, our regimental life, with 
more joy than any other company. It is worthy of it. 
Born out of due time, raised from what seemed a thor 
oughly gleaned county, in twelve days, it is not, as one 
might suppose, the refuse, but rather the cream, of the 
county. For size, general appearance, intelligence and 
character, it is not surpassed by any company in the regi- 



54 LIFE WITH Till-: 

mcnt. Need I, can I, say more ? It is composed of 
ninety-one men, averaging twenty-seven years five 
months and twenty-five days in age, and in height five 
feet eight and one-fourth inches. 

Byron Weston, nged thirty-one years, is captain. He 
occupied a prominent position in the paper house of 
Platner and Smith, Lee, and is very much of a gentle 
man ; so quiet and easy in his manners, as to lead one to 
suppose that his forte lies outside the military life ; but 
the great energy he manifested in raising his company 
with no help from the selectmen of the different towns, 
shows that there is in him the real grit of the soldier. 

Roscoe C. Taft, aged twenty-six years, merchant, of 
Sheffield, is the first lieutenant. He is a pleasant, active 
officer ; and the large number of recruits raised for Ids 
company from Sheffield, which had sent so many before, 
attests his energy and popularity. 

The second lieutenant is Isaac E. Judd, clerk, from 
Egremont. He is but twenty-two years of age, but the 
first glance convinces you he is a born soldier. Some 
men never seem at home in their regimentals; the "hay 
seeds stick to their collars." Not so Lieutenant Judd. 
He wears uniform and sword as if he were born with 
them. Though the prince of good fellows, and full of 
animal spirits, yet, on duty, without swaggering, he 
maintains the dignity of his office, lie was a very pop 
ular teacher in one of the schools at Harrington, and is a 
superior penman and accountant. He entered the regi 
ment as a sergeant in Co. E. 

Company K is also fortunate in the selection of San- 
ford B. Gleason for orderly or first sergeant. He is a 
printer from Vermont, shrewd and active, and will look 
out well for his company and for himself. Thus officered 
and thus composed, Co. K starts well. Their mechanical 
ingenuity was brought into play at once, in the erection 
of barracks, for we could obtain no tents for them. And 
comfortable barracks they are. As the north-westers 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 55 

sweep down on us these frosty nights, we would willing 
ly exchange our tents for company K s barracks. 

Well, we are no longer a pie-bald set, each one wear 
ing his own uniform, but we are clothed in United States 
garments. We are allowed three and one-half dollars 
per month for clothing in addition to our regular pay. 
We can furnish our own clothing if we choose (of course 
it must be uniform with that provided by the Govern 
ment), and be credited with what we do not draw. If 
we draw more than the regulated allowance, the excess 
is deducted from our pay. With the exception of our 
overcoats, we are well clothed, each one having over, 
coat, dress-coat, and blouse, hat [great high-crowned felt 
hat] and cap, two pairs of flannel shirts, drawers, and 
stockings, one pair of shoes, one pair of trowsers, and a 
rubber blanket. It is an amusing and perplexing busi r 
ness, that of fitting the boys. We give to each captain 
so many of each article of clothing, and he distributes 
them according to the men s sizes and the marks on the 
clothes. It not unfrequently happens that " ones" are 
marked " four," and fours " one." To exchange with the 
quartermaster is their fancied relief. Sometimes a little 
fellow will come with dress-coat too large for an over 
coat for him, and with pantaloons so long one way as to 
render a vest unnecessary, and the other way presenting 
a double thickness almost to his knees. Again, some 
giant clothed in Lilliputian raiment, will make his ap 
pearance, the sleeves of his coat near his elbows, while 
his pantaloons look as if the defunct short-clothes of our 
fathers had had a resurrection. Motion with him is 
scarce possible, while the manual of arms or the " double- 
quick" would be sure to result in an extravagant expendi 
ture of Uncle Sam s toggery. The dwarf and the giant 
exchange clothes to their mutual comfort and improve 
ment. 

Instead of light-blue pants, we are furnished with dark- 
blues ; so with our black overcoats, and big black hats, 



56 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

we look on " Dress-parade as prepared for the solemni 
ties of an execution or a funeral. Chromwefl g Ironsides 
did not present a more demure appearance. If some one 
had but started a hymn of Dr. Watts in the true Yankee 
intxiil tone, the illusion would have been complete. We are 
charged for dress-coats six dollars and seventy-one cents ; 
for flannel shirts, eighty-eight cents ; for drawers, fifty 
cents ; for pants, three dollars and three cents. As the 
materials are good, and contractors will make money, 
God pity the poor who have made them. Truly, " it is 
not linen we re wearing out, it is huma?) creatures lives." 
How much we need to get slavery out of the way, that 
we may grapple with the great questions of Social Re 
form. Its aggressions and the nation s consequent dan 
ger have absorbed all our thoughts and energies. Evil 
itself, it prevents us attacking other and greater evils. 
To remove it, the land may well " sweat blood, and vom 
it llame." 

The citizens of North Adams have presented Captain 
Parker with sword, sash, belt, and pistol ; and the people 
of Williamstown have done a similar favor to Lieutenant 
Ilarvie, lacking only the pistol, which lack was supplied 
by the members of his company (G), through Sergeant 
Nordaby. Lieutenant Lyon s real merit has not been 
preciate.d. His former associates in Phillip s Woolen 
Mill, South Adams, and other friends, have bestowed on 
him a handsome sword, sash, belt, pistol, shoulder-straps, 
and steel vest. Thus, you see they have had an eye not 
only to his adornment and effectiveness, but to his safe 
return. 



Co. I. 




Oapl. Z. C. RESXIE. 
Lieut. L. S. KELLoao. Liout. "\V. A. NICHOLS. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 57 



LETTER IX. 

CAMP BRIGGS, MASS., October 30, 1862. 
MY DEAK L. : 

On Tuesday, the 28th instant, companies H, I, and K, 
were duly mustered into the United States service. I 
had not a single man rejected. A final caucus was held 
on Monday evening for the nomination of field officers. 
Though it was an informal election, it is understood to 
be binding, and that the formal election will but ratify the 
informal. This is proper ; for not knowing how soon 
we may leave, the newly chosen field officers should have 
an opportunity to equip themselves as the law directs. 
Captain Bartlett, and it is now declared he will accept, 
was chosen colonel ; Captain Sumner, lieutenant-colonel; 
and Captain Morey, major. I am glad that Captain 
Plunkett does not leave Co. C. That company can illy 
spare him. He devotes himself to study, and is making 
rapid progress. Take him away, and much of the incen 
tive to study would bo lost, for the positions of lieutenant- 
colonel and major are mere sinecures when the colonel is 
present. Remove him from Co. C, and another election 
would be necessary. Be assured, that election, result as 
it may, will only weaken and demoralize the company. 
Captain Plunkett s own merit, his social position, his 
family standing, all tend to make a united company of 
that which, remove him, will be the least united of any in 
the regiment. Major Morey owes his success to his cred 
itable manner of handling the regiment at a recent bat 
talion drill. He is a fine officer, and has done much for 
Co. F. We, in the quartermaster s department, know 
that no other officer watches so closely over the interests 
of his men. No other has had his experience. Firm 
3* 



58 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

seemingly stern, but kind, he will make an excellent 
major. I believe, that when the men come to know him, 
he will have an inthience over them, second only to Colo 
nel Bartlett. Lieutenant-Colonel Sumner has never been 
deemed devoid of ambition ; so, his refusal of the Colonel 
cy shows that ambition in him coexists with patriot 
ism, modesty, and good sense, otherwise he would sacri 
fice the welfare of the regiment to his own interest. Say 
what you will, a lieutenant-colonel is doomed to an in 
ferior part, unless the colonel is absent or removed ; 
then he is virtually commander. For my part, I would 
prefer to be at the head of a company. Rank is rank, I 
know, but it seems to me that an ambitious man would 
rather fill a subordinate position with which there is an 
exercise of junrcr, than to have merely a higher rank, 
with almost no power. Of course, these remarks apply 
equally to the position of major. 

Not only are the men drilled daily, and are improv 
ing rapidly, but the officers also show the benefits of 
their daily drilling by Captain Bartlett. It is a treat to 
see that man go through the manual of arms. He puts 
such a finish, sucii a vim to every motion. For two 
hours at a time, he will stand on that remaining leg, till 
half of us believe he never had any need of the one buried 
at Yorktown, but it was only a superfluous member or 
mere ornament. Sometimes we try to see how long ice 
can stand on one leg ; a few short minutes, and we re 
quire the use of both, or find ourselves reeling aboutMike 
decapitated hens. If the colonel (I will call him such) 
needs rest, he takes it as a part of the exercise, so we can 
not tell which is manual of arms and which rest. The 
cords of that right leg must stand out like great whip lashes. 
There is ??/// about all this. It is this quiet, intense de 
termination, this fixedness of will, that makes us desire 
Colonel Bartlett, with but one leg, for our commander, 
over any other man with the full complement of limbs. 
Somehow or other, we cannot tell v/hy, we in-Hove that 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 59 

he will not be the mere buffet of circumstances, but 
will ride over, and lead us over all difficulties. Every 
man salutes him, and he always salutes in return. In 
saluting, the back of the right hand is brought up to the 
visor of the cap, then the arm is fully extended, and 
brought down to the side. You can see it is no easy 
thing to be done walking on two crutches, but the Colo 
nel does it, not halting to do it, but, while walking on 
and in the most approved military manner. This may 
seem to you a small matter, but to us it indicates the born 
soldier, the man who will do the duties he has assumed. 
The other day, while riding in his carriage, he put the 
regiment through battalion drill. What a noble voice 
he has, a deep bass, yet as clear and distinct as any tenor. 
It is full of command. He don t have to put in any ex 
pletives to insure attention and prompt obedience. They 
are all in the mere voice. Over, or rather under all noise, 
with apparently no effort, that voice carries his orders to 
the remotest soldier. Take him all and in all, I have yet 
to meet one who so fully embodies my conceptions of a 
commander as Colonel Bartlett. I kno\v but little of him 
as a man, yet one thing laid the foundation of trust and re 
spect. It is necessary for the commandant of the post to 
examine and sign many of our returns. The formula is : 
" I certify, on honor, that I have carefully examined the 
above return, and find it to be correct." I expected that 
the signing of it would be a rapid and formal matter, but 
not so ; Colonel Bartlett pledges his honor to the accu 
racy of the paper, and so, he does " carefully examine it." 
Last Tuesday, Co. D, and some of Co. E, visited Bar- 
rington. A sumptuous dinner awaited them, after which 
swords, sashes, belts, were presented to the officers of 
Co. D, by the citizens, through Rev. H. Winslow. Each 
of the favored, responded in a suitable speech, making 
the day one often to be pleasantly remembered amid stern 
er scenes. I believe Mr. Parley A. Russell was the main 
mover in getting up the presented articles. John H. 



60 LIFE WITH TIM-: i NTII 

Coifing, Esq., placed one hundred dollars in the hands of 
Lieutenant Tuck- und lor ; -ick 

of Co. D. Such tender exhibitions oi patriotism streu- 
en soldiers in thei Nation to do their duty. Many 

yet thank the considerate heart of Mr. 
Coffing. The citizens of West Stoekbridge havi- pre- 

, d Lieutenant Kniilin with an outiit. He merits it, 
being uf the most worthy and popular of all our offn 
Lieutenant Noble, of Co. B, received sword, sash and 
belt from the members of that company : a delicate ap 
preciation oi i is merit and services. Co. K has also been 
the recipients of similar favors. II. C. and M. Ilulbert, 
of New York, presented them with a silken flag, while 
their captain received a brace of revolvers, one from his 
friends in Lee, the other from Major F. Weston, of Dai- 
ton. The exercises look place at camp, speeches being 
made by Messrs. Branning and G. II. Phelps, of Lee, fol 
lowed by the enthusiastic ! ihe company. Some 
unknown one of Pittsiield sent them a drum, while the 
members of the company presented Captain Weston with 
sword and trimmings. Lieutenants Judd and Taft, each 
received a sword, sash and belt, from their friends. 

Our days |>: .ntly on, but with nothing of 

marked interest. Fully clothed, the regiment has several 
times marched into town, creating quite a sensation. 
N <\v, that they are uniformed, their remarkable j 
attracts mu-h attention. They arc certainly a noble-look 
ing body of men. War is based on the physical, and 
while uniform hides individuality, it brings the physical 
into bold relief. I doubt if Ma^. a ever before 

gathered so fine a looking regiment. 

Qu last Sunday afternoon, Dr. Todd presented us with 
neat pocket editions of the Xew Testament, in behalf of 
the Berkshire County Bible Society. His remarks were 
pertinent, characterized by that practic- -.1 good si 

aing so large and valuable a part of his mental nature. 
The Testaments were gratefully received, and will, I be- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLTJNTEEES. 61 

lieve, be generally preserved and read. Destitute of 
reading matter, having much unemployed time on our 
Lands, very ennui will lead us to peruse them. It will be 
handling a sharp, two-edged sword, that may unwittingly 
wound us to our eternal cure. I got some tracts, papers, 
magazines, whicli I distributed among the boys. They 
were eagerly seized, tracts included. A reading regi 
ment, how much mental stagnation is before us, if we can 
judge the future by the few past weeks. Much is being 
done to relieve this stagnation, much more will be done, 
but after all, it will be impossible to keep our army fully 
supplied. That would require a large library, the trans 
portation of which would very often be impossible. 

We are allowed to go in squads, under the charge of 
officers or sergeants, to churches, lectures, concerts. A 
large number of us took the opportunity to hear Charles 
Simmer speak, and the Hutchinsons sing. Did you 
ever hear them sing the J olm Brown song ? As they sing 
it, it is wondrously inspiriting. While listening to them, 
I almost loathed General McClellan. When they went 
to the Army of the Potomac, singing to the soldiers with 
out charge, he ejected them from his lines. Why ? 
simply because they sang the songs of freedom. Noth 
ing that he ever did made me believe that his heart was 
rotten with love for the South, so much as that. Depri 
ving his soldiers, wearied with the inactivity of camp- 
life, of such a treat why ? God only knows. Is freedom 
to him a hated word ? Was he fearful that the glad cheers 
of his men would tell the foe that the old key-note had 
been struck ? That they were rising, in defiance of Gen 
eral McClellan, to a true appreciation of the issues in 
volved ? That they were receiving an inspiration which 
would lead them to downright victory, a victory that 
would leave of slavery nothing but its scars, and shame, 
and putrid corpse. 



02 LIKE WITH THE FOETY-^IM II 



LETTER X. 

CAMP BRIGGS, MASS., November 6, 1862. 
MY DEAR L. : 

We have received orders to report at Worcester. Full 
time to leave these tents, through which the winds sweep 
bleak and cold. We expected to get oft* to-day, but did 
not, of course. How we will get through the night, I 
know not, for most of our bedding has been forwarded 
with our stores, to Worcester. The officers are in the 
same fix. 

On the thirteenth, Governor Andrew reviewed our regi 
ment. He is a short, pursy man, and looks as if he en 
joyed being governor. His eye, light gray or blue, is 
iv. illy an eye eloquent, capable of expressing tenderness, 
scorn, anger, all the emotions. Though corpulent, he 
shows that he has an intense soul. Massachusetts was 
fortunate in having her gubernatorial chair filled by such 
a man as John A. Andrew. lie was equal to the crisis. 
lie walked in front and rear of the regiment, closely scan 
ning the men and their apparel, and then briefly ad 
dressed the officers. All I heard wag, " Gentlemen, by 
a good fortune and the votes of your men, you are now 
officers. Be firm, but kind. Remember that each one of 
those soldiers is a man and a Massachusetts citizen." God 
bless him, the large-minded, warm-hearted, patriot ruler, 
ami the soldier s untiring friend. 

Captain Rennic was presented with a sword, sash and 
belt, by the family of the Hon. Z. M. Crane (whose name 
he bears), of Dalton. Hon. James B. Crane made the 
presentation speech, and added his own token of respect, 
in the shape of a handsome Smith and Wesson s revolver. 
H. B. Brewster, of whose appointment as quartermaster. 



Co. TV. 




Lieut. J. E. JUDD. Capt. BYRON WESTON. Lieut. R. f!. TAKT. 
Lieut. S. B. G LEA SON. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 63 

there is now no doubt, received sword and equipments 
from the Housatonic engine company, of which he has 
been an active member. At the .mess-table to-day, Lieu 
tenant Tucker presented Lieutenant Deming, Co. II, a 
handsome sword, sash and belt, in behalf of his confiding 
friends of Sandisfield. 

On Saturday evening, John Mason, Company I, stabbed 
Henry Harmon, a respectable farmer of Coltsville, caus 
ing his death. It was an unprovoked assault. It seems 
he is a deserter from an Albany regiment. So much for 
the. bounty system. In large cities, where n)wdies are 
so numerous, this system sweeps them into the ranks. 
Bounty and then desertion is their creed. Death to every 
such deserter should be the unvarying sentence. Talk 
about the tyranny of the government it has not reached 
wholesome severity yet. The death-penalty is the only 
proper punishment and remedy for desertion. It should 
be applied to all captured deserters, whether they desert 
here, immediately after receiving the bounty, or when 
before the enemy. A small appropriation of powder and 
ball, would check the growing disease. 

Well, we are about to leave Camp Briggs, which some 
gentlemen have purchased for a pleasure park. While 
life is spared us, Camp Briggs will be a pleasant remem 
brance. In the sultry South, perchance in crowded fever 
wards, we will think of its surrounding mountains, its bra 
cing air, and deliriously seek its pure, abundant water. We 
leave it to practise the lessons, there learned, against re 
bellion ; to use our acquired powers for the destruction of 
our rebelling brothers. As the time of our departure is at 
hand, the camp is crowded with visitors. Partings are 
spoken that may be forever. Eyes meet eyes that will 
meet no more till " every eye shall see Him" the pierced 
one, battles all over, and enduring crowns given to life s 
victors. How many of us, soldiers of the Forty-Ninth, 
will then find that we have truly " fought a good fight ?" 



64 TJFE WITH TITE FORTV-XTXTTI 



LETTER XI. 

CAMP WOOL, WORCESTER, MASS., November 14, 1862. 

Mr DKAR L. : 

Here we arc at our new home. My last letter left you 
at Camp Briggs, with the regiment under marching or 
ders. Well, tliey almost mutinied that night, and no 
<kv. Blankets gone, wood gone, coffee gone, nearly 
, com!<rt -one, they were not in an enviable plight. 
Fences suffered, an old soap-house came down, all for 
fucl. Mr. Brewster bought them some caudles and cof- 
Imt most of the rang; and cooking utensils, were on 
their way to Worcester. The cold night was followed 
by a chilly morning. They got off from Pittsfield about 
A. M., and reached Worcester Junction about 4 p. M. 
They were saluted at Dal ton and Becket, and at Spring 
field found coffee for some and cannon for all. From- 
Worcester Junction to the camp, a mile, the boys walked 
through a snow storm that would have done credit to 
January. A colder, fiercer storm, I never experienced. 
We began to think leaving Berkshire meant an intro- 
ducl.i<.n to hardships. Hot coffee, the soldier s panacea, 
bre..;!, beef, and good barracks, renewed our comfort and 
cheerfulness. Alas! for the poor guards, who had to 
brave that night with no protection but those flimsy, 
shoddy overcoats. 

The morning came, bringing a bracing air and a clear 
sky, and we were all out early surveying the premises. 
Albeit we missed the cheerful appearance of white tents, 
and the unpainted barracks looked gloomy and forbid 
ding, our survey impressed us that the .removal was for 
our good. 

As you see by the heading of this letter, our home is 





Lieut.-Col. S. B. SUMNEB. 
Major C. T. PLUXKETT. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 65 

named " Camp Wool." Colonel G. H. Ward, is com 
mandant of the post, now consist-ing of the Forty-ninth 
and Fifty-first Massachusetts Volunteers. Like our own 
colonel, he has given a piece of one leg to the service, but 
Palmer has supplied him with so good a substitute that 
you might think him slightly troubled with the rheumatism, 
but would hardly suppose he was the possessor of a cork 
leg. The Fifty-first occupies for barracks, an old pistol 
factory, while, more fortunate, we take possession of bar 
racks that are barracks, a separate one for each company. 
Here, the men can stand erect, and walk about under a 
roof, or sit by a cosy fire. The berths are admirably ar 
ranged, each accommodating two persons, and are two or 
three feet from the floor, obviating the necessity of ma 
king our bed-clothes by night, shoe-rugs by day. The 
barracks are new ; some of them have never been occu 
pied. Two frame buildings serve for the line officers 
quarters, while in rear of them are head-quarf ers, the pres 
ent home of the field and staff. Back of the barracks 
we have a fine parade ground. 

On Monday, the tenth instant, there was a formal elec 
tion of field officers. For colonel, Captain Bartlett re 
ceived all the votes cast : for lieutenant-colonel, Captain 
Simmer received twenty-seven votes, and Captain Plun- 
kett, three ; for major, Captain Plunkett got thirteen, 
and Captain Morey, twelve votes. So Co. C loses its 
captain, and Captain Morey loses the majorship. A feel 
ing prevailed in the regiment, that he was too severe a 
disciplinarian, and hence his defeat. There was no wire 
pulling, no chicanery on the part of Major Plunkett. All 
was manly and above board. H. B. Brewster is quarter 
master, with the rank of first lieutenant. B. C. Mifflin, 
of Boston, is adjutant. He also ranks ns first lieutenant. 
He is a personal friend and college associate of Colonel 
Bartlett. He is quite young, only twenty-two years of 
age, and fresh from Harvard. Though a member of the 
Boston Rifles, he has not had much military experience. 



66 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

The colonel told the officers before election, that, if elect- 
c 1. he would select his adjutant from out of Berkshire. 
Lieutenant Noble goes back to Co. B. He made a capi 
tal adjutant. His successor will need to be wide a wake 
if he prove himself his superior. Dr. F. Winsor, from 
Raiiisford Island Hospital, is our surgeon. He is a quiet, 
reserved man, very much of a gentleman, and highly spo 
ken of. His rank and pay are that of a major. The as 
sistant surgeon is Dr. A. R. Rice, of Springfield. He 
went out with the First Massachusetts in the same ca 
pacity. He is young, but twenty-two years of age, and 
young in his ways, but is regarded, as I believe truly, 
judging phrenologically, as a very superior disciple of 
Esculapius. With rare modesty, he refused the position 
of chief surgeon. He ranks as first lieutenant. The sur 
geons are appointed by the governor on recommendation 
of the surgeon-general. 

The non-commissioned staff are, and rank as follows : 
Hospital steward, A. J. Morey, of Co. F, (son of Captain 
Morey) ; sergeant major, H. J. Wylie, of Co. A ; quarter 
master sergeant, G. E. Howard, of Co. A, commissary 
sergeant, II. H. Northup, of Co. C ; drum major, E. N. 
Merry, of the same company ; while A. M. Brainerd, of 
Co. D, and myself, respectively fill the post of adjutant, 
and quartermaster s clerk. 

We brought from Camp Brings, nine hundred and six 
ty-two men. Our average height is five feet eight in 
ches ; our average age twenty-five years, four months and 
eighteen days. The men enlisted are credited to the fol 
lowing towns : 

Pittsfield 1-10 West Stockbridge 22 

Barrington 82 Savoy. 18 

Sheffield 75 Windsor 17 

Adams 74 Tyrintrham 16 

Lee 55 Washington 15 

New Marlboro 41 Dalton 14 

Sandisfield . , 40 Florida 12 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 67 

Lenox 87 Richmond 12 

Stockbridge 34 Hancock 10 

Cheshire 32 Clarksburgh 9 

Lanesboro 31 Mount Washington 9 

Egremont 29 Alford 8 

Williamstown 27 Peru 6 

Hinsdale 25 New Ashford 4 

Becket 24 Chicopee 2 

Otis 23 "Worcester 1 

Monterey 23 

The average bounty paid by the towns is one hundred 
dollars. In our ranks we have four hundred and seventy- 
three farmers. 



68 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 



LETTER XII. 

CAMP WOOL, WORCESTER, MASS. (Tfianksgiving Day,) ) 
November 28, 1862. J 

MY DEAR L. : 

It seems decided now that we join Banks s expedition, 
wherefor, we know not. That is one war-secret that has 
been kept. We, Massachusetts men, are glad to go with 
Massachusetts favorite, willing to "go it blind" with 
him above any other general. People smiled when the 
call for seventy-five thousand men was made in April 
1861, because Banks declared it should have been for 
half a million. While governor of this state, he foresaw 
this rebellion, and prepared Massachusetts to meet it by 
reorganizing its militia system. So far-seeing a man will 
lead us safely on to victory. Last Tuesday, guns and 
equipments came. They are Enfield rifle-muskets, fresh 
from England, having never been inspected since their 
arrival. Since thus armed, the men enjoy drilling more, 
and also find a great addition to their labor, for it is no 
light task to keep a gun in perfect order. Proudly we 
carry them now, and proudly we hope ever to carry them ; 
but often, O how wearily. 

Our shoddy black overcoats have given place to sub 
stantial light blues, in which the ladies of Worcester are 
putting pockets, thus adding to our comfort, and enliven 
ing us by their presence. The people of Worcester do all 
they can to make us feel at home. The Messrs. Goddard, 
with the pecuniary help of some of our field officers, fur 
nished us with chickens, turkeys, and other appendages 
of a Thanksgiving dinner, to many of us a well-timed 
kindness, and one appreciated even by those whose 
thoughtful friends at home had anticipated their wants. 




Asst. Surgeon, Surgeon, Adjutant, 

A. R. RICE. F. WINSOR. BENJ. C. MIFFLIX. 

H. B. BREVVSTER, Quartermaster. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 69 

The field and staff were duly mustered in on the 19th 
instant, and- there is some talk of mustering us as a 
regiment to serve nine months from the date of their 
muster. I hope not, for difficulty will surely spring from 
it. Some declare they will not leave the State until paid 
off. 

The colonel has returned from Boston with a fiery little 
horse and a wooden leg, on which (the leg I mean) he 
walks rather unsteadily. His appearance before the 
troops on horseback, seemingly a whole man, drew forth 
hearty spontaneous cheers, not ungrateful to any man 
who knows that the confidence of his men is a sure guar 
anty of success. The lieutenant-colonel and our tall 
major, on appearing in their handsome uniforms, were 
also received with cheers. We have now, not only a 
"tall major," the major, and Major Winsor, the surgeon, 
and a sergeant-major, and a drum-major, but we have 
also a " little major." A boy about seven years of age, 
friendless and homeless, came into camp, and has been 
adopted by Co. A as "the child of the regiment." 

In consequence of the promotion of Captain Sunnier, 
another election was held on the 17th for officers of Co. 
D. Second Lieutenant Chaffee received forty-seven votes, 
and First Lieutenant Tucker, thirty-two. This result ma 
king a vacancy in the post of second lieutenant, H. C. 
Morey was elected to fill that vacancy, he receiving 
forty-seven votes, Sergeant Siggins twenty-eight, and 
R. More six. Lieutenant Morey is active, young, and 
popular ; but, until men have been in service, they will 
elect the most popular rather than the most efficient. 
C. Hebner, Esq., of Lee, has given Lieutenant Smith, Co. 
H, one hundred dollars in trust for the benefit of the mem 
bers of that company. This unostentatious act Is its 
own reward. 

Last Sunday night, we had an evidence that there is a 
mixture of fiendishness in our regiment. J. D. Snooks, 
of Co. G, who was blessed, or cursed, as it seemed, with 



70 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

a five dollar note, visited " the grove," and while there, 
hearing approaching footsteps, turned round only to be 
knocked down with a heavy stick, which was followed 
by a stab, penetrating to his breast-bone, evidently inten 
ded to be a deathly blow, to prevent detection. When the 
poor fellow, maimed and bleeding, returned to his barrack, 
he found that he had been robbed of his money in tho 
unconsciousness following the assault. The same note 
was later in the evening offered to the sutler to be chang 
ed, yet we have not been able to discover the villain. 

We have an addition to our mess. A. N. Cowles, of 
Co. E, who is to have charge of Ordnance and Ordnance 
stores. The addition is an improvement, for a rare, 
quaint, shrewd, intelligent, laughter-provoking fellow is 
he. The members of his company have presented their 
orderly, M. H. Tuttle, with a sword and sash, thus show 
ing their intelligent appreciation of merit. 

This, I suppose, is our last day in Massachusetts for a 
season, perchance for ever. We will not all come back. 
Some will never leave. Death has commenced his in 
roads. Allen H. Wheeler, of Co. B, from West Stock- 
bridge, died at home of fever, on the 15th instant. 
Taken sick at Camp Briggs, his military career was 
short. Cut down in early manhood, being only twenty- 
three years of age, the farmer boy has closed the battle- 
life and gained, I hope, the victor s crown. I knew him 
not, but he is spoken of as a nice, steady man. Yester 
day, Wells B. Morgan, also of Co. B, from Richmond, 
died of fever. His wife came here to minister to him, 
and he was privileged to die at home, surrounded by 
wife and children. He was a farmer, thirty-five years of 
age, and being a good soldier, we can illy spare him ; 
but the Lord of Hosts has signed his discharge, and we 
must submit. On the same day, at his home in Lenox, 
died John Godson, of Co. D. Consumption cut him 
down in his twenty-second year, leaving a young widow 
to mourn him, without the solace of that glory that gath- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 71 

ers round the dead who fall on victorious battle-fields. 
His Irish life was offered for his adopted land, but the 
greedy monster, Death, too impatient to wait for the 
hour of conflict, laid him low before he had an opportuni 
ty to prove on the well-fought field his right to the proud 
appellation of American citizen. So, in the graves, they 
fraternize, and we now go forth, armed and equipped, 
not knowing what awaiteth us, but convinced, alas ! too 
well, that the recurring thanksgiving will show many a 
desolate home in Berkshire. 



72 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 



LETTER XIII. 

FRANKLIN STREET BARRACKS, NEW YORK, ) 
December 4, ISGii. [ 

MY DEAK L. : 

Here we are in the Western Babylon. On Friday, 
about 2 P. M., we left Worcester for New York, via 
railroad to Norwich, Conn., and steamer Commodore to 
this city, which we reached on Saturday, 4 A. M., having 
spent the night on the boat. All along the road from 
Worcester to Norwich, the people greeted us enthusias 
tically, making us feel we were indeed of some import 
ance to them. We marched up to the Park, where we re 
lieved ourselves of our traps, and under the guidance of 
Colonel Frank Howe, proceeded to partake of a comfort 
able breakfast. Now, that I can compare our boys with 
those of other regiments, I am proud of them. Physi 
cally, so Colonel Howe says, we have never been surpass 
ed by any regiment he had seen, and never equalled save 
by a regiment from Maine. Until I got into the work 
of comparison, I was not aware that there were so very 
many fine faces among us. In all our thousand, you can 
see few evidences of dissipation, and none of real rowdy 
ism. Never, never can we be grateful enough to sol 
diers. Here are men loving homes, wives and children, 
going forth to do what ? If need be, to die for a country s 
weal, for a world s hope. They go to meet privation, 
sickness, suffering, mutilation, death, as our representa 
tives, bearing in their own bodies wounds that must 
otherwise fall on us and our nation s life ; making their 
breasts a barrier to the wave of fire that threatens to 
sweep over the whole land, a wave that will ingulf many 
of them, winning for them nameless graves and places 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 73 

among the " unnamed demi-gods" of earth. War ! battle ! 
how grand they are ! How they ring sonorously through 
the chambers of the soul mingling with the symphony of 
angels, for it is only through wars men are made angels ; 
and though guns are in our hands, and bayonets at 
our sides, we can yet say, " the weapons of our warfare 
are not carnal, but spiritual, mighty through God to the 
pulling down of the strongholds of iniquity." No longer 
does brute force fight ; this is a war of ideas, in which 
carnal weapons only impress or obliterate great moral 
truths, the noble battling for which makes men heroes, 
and sinners angels. 

Our colonel, on his new black horse, with crutch at his 
back, is, of course, an object of great interest. I send 
you an article written by one who has ever manifested an 
affectionate concern for our regiment. 

CORRESPONDENCE OF THE SUN. 

" NEW YORK, November 29, 1862. 
" To the Editor of the Pittsfield Sun : 

" At an early hour this morning, I heard that the last of 
our Berkshire regiments, the Forty-ninth, had just arriv 
ed from Worcester, and were waiting in the City Hall 
Park till their quarters should be assigned to them. 
Hurrying thither, I soon found the familiar faces which 
I had so often greeted at Camp Briggs, and in all of 
whom I had learned to feel a personal interest. Our at 
tention was first arrested by a crowd of persons gathered 
round a carriage, which, on approaching it more nearly, 
we found to contain, as its centre of attraction, the youth 
ful form and face of Col. Bartlett. Anon a deep-toned 
voice rang out clear and sonorous above the din of Broad 
way, giving the word of command for the regiment to 
march, and almost like magic the line was formed, and 
the measured tread of nearly a thousand men kept time 
as they proceeded to their temporary quarters at the 
4 



74 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Franklin Street Barracks. We kept our station till the 
last of the blue coats had inarched by us, and an ambu 
lance with a few sick men had gone to the Hospital near 
by, where woman s hand and woman s tact would care 
tenderly for them, while such care should be needed. As 
we passed out of the Park after the regiment, we heard 
many a word of compliment given, with great apparent 
sincerity and warmth, for the healthy and cheerful look 
ing men, for the officers generally, and for the tall Ma 
jor* in particular. One only of the regiment deserved no 
compliment, and would have heeded little, if he had re 
ceived one. Stretched in a somewhat dilapidated hired 
carriage, and its only occupant, but so spread out as to 
take uj) all its room, was the one drunken man amongst 
the soldiers. 

" We followed the troops up Broadway, till they halted 
at the corner of Franklin Street, and a portion of them 
turned down it and began to enter the building prepared 
for their reception a large warehouse capable of accom 
modating fifteen hundred to two thousand men. Draw 
ing up in our carriage at the curb, till they had all safely 
passed, I could not but feel proud of the bearing of the 
men ; though the rain was now falling heavily, and had 
done so for an hour or more, there were no sullen or dis 
contented faces amongst them, but jokes and laughter 
passed -from one to another on every side. Brave I 
know these men to be I know it after having watched 
and read their faces, and seen the determination and sin 
cerity written there ; and while these elements remain, 
who shall dare to doubt the final issue of this conflict, in 
spite of blunders and mismanagement in high places ? 

" It is not yet known how long the regiment will remain 
in New York, but their departure will not probably be 
delayed beyond next week, and then farewell to the last 
of our Berkshire regiments till we hear of them again 
amid the din of battle and where and when will that be ? 

" So pass ye on, brave and gallant Forty-ninth, strong 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 75 

reapers for the harvest-field of war. So pass ye to your 
work. And oh ! may God speed the return to your tri 
umphant harvest home ; but ere that time shall come, 
how many of your number, now gone forth in the flush 
of youth and strength, shall themselves be gathered into 
the already overflowing granaries of Death ? Who shall 
tell ? In the mystery of the future let it rest. In faith ye 
have gone forth in faith we wait your return. 

" S. A. M." 

Our " tall major" attracts much attention. Some of the 
papers grow merry over his size, and ludicrously detail 
his proportions, while the Express, true to its nature, 
makes game of our colonel s loss. More patriotism lies 
in that grave near Yorktown where rests that shat 
tered leg, than ever was felt by the whole editorial corps 
of the Express. The crutch of our colonel is mightier 
than the eloquence of a whole regiment of Brookses. 
Lieutenant Tucker, of Co. D, leaves us to take a position 
on General Andrew s staff. 

Our barracks are roomy and gloomy, and our food 
scarce equal to our desires, but we are tolerably well con 
tented, expecting to stay here but a few days ere leaving 
for Dixie. In squads, under the charge of officers, we 
wander round the city, attend churches, and visit places 
of amusements. A great treat this to many who were 
never before in this heart of the western world, a treat 
rather provoking, considering that the non-arrival of the 
paymaster puts it out of the power of many to treat 
themselves. It seems almost like starving before a full 
table, to see the appetizing delicacies of ISTew York, and yet 
be compelled to dine in that dark cellar on army rations. 
Bad for us, we may think, but good for our families, we 
all say. Empty pockets enable us to be proof against 
all the snares of Sodom. Having often said the Lord s 
Prayer, we no\v find it answered in that, He "gives us 
our daily bread ; leads us not in temptation, and delivers 
us from evil." 



76 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

The other afternoon, rich in all their arms and in full 
dress, our regiment marched up Broadway. "Eyes 
front," requiring each man to look neither to the right nor 
to the left, we recognized then as a tl custom more honor 
ed in the breach than in the observance." We certainly 
presented a creditable appearance. Wealth was all 
around us, but how trifling it seemed in comparison 
with the wealth of sinews and of patriotic hopes embodied 
in that small portion of a nation s guard. I send you an 
extract from the Home Journal as a part of our history : 

"A COLONEL AKMED WITH A CRUTCH. 

" The sight of the afternoon, for the youthful * Fash 
ion, beau and belle, who were in promenade, was a Mas 
sachusetts regiment, which, in its transit through the 
city, on its way to the war, had taken occasion to make 
a parade march through the expanding length of this our 
Avenue of wealth. Our own chief object of interest, 
however, was the colonel in command, armed, as we 
above mentioned, with the very unaccustomed weapon 
of a crutch ! 

" The colonel (whose name was FRANK BARTLETT, if we 
were rightly informed) was mounted on a Vermont horse 
with shaggy brown mane and fetlocks, an animal that 
looked as sensible in the face as he was lithe of limb a 
most capital friend for a soldier to take with him to the 
wars. The equipments, as well as the limbs of the rider, 
were apparently all complete, each long boot with its 
spur riding gracefully in its stirrup. Pistols and sword 
were in their places. At the horseman s back, however, 
poised like the long spear at the back of the lancer 
swung the strange implement which told the story, a 
long crutch with velvet handle, betraying the wooden 
leg for which it stood ready to do service. The limb 
was lost (we were told) at the battle of Bull Run ; and, 
with the wounds of his amputation healed, the heroic sol 
dier was now returning to active duty, leading his regi- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 77 

merit to the field with an alacrity that was little like a 
cripple ! He rode up and down the line, in fact, with the 
confidence and ease of a fine horseman the wooden leg 
having, at any rate, no limp in its equitation ! 

" We were pleased with the physiognomy of the wound 
ed colonel. His head was well sot upon an unusually 
slight frame, and his features were of the most intellect 
ual cast, pale and thin. He had the sandy hair and blue 
eye of New England, and, under the slouched hat of the 
cavalry officer, he was a picturesque type of the intelli 
gent energy which the sculptor would strive to express in 
modelling the Yankee. To him and his brother offi 
cers (an uncommonly fine-looking set of fellows !) we would 
insure a bright welcome, if they should come this way 
in returning from the war. 

" On the regiment itself, as they stood in long line, with 
their winter accoutrement of blue great-coat and slouched 
hat, knapsack, and weapon on their Massachusetts faces, 
that is to say we looked with great interest ! We saw 
the qualities of which we knew well the depth and mettle. 
They looked hardy and honest, quiet and cool. For en 
durance in the campaign of hardship that is before them 
for the weariness and deprivation as well as for the 
fighting when it comes they are the stuff! We gave 
them, with a njoist eye, the God bless you ! of a broth 
er countryman, as they went from us to their forward 
march. " 



78 LIFE WITH THE FOETY-NINTII 



LETTER XIV. 

CAMP BANKS, Loxo ISLAND, N. Y., December 22, 1862. 
My DEAR L. : 

Instead of turning up amid the orange groves of Loui 
siana as expected, we find ourselves encamped on an old 
race- course, and a precious, long-to-be-remembered time 
\ve have had of it. On the fourth instant, we march.--! 
round Broadway to Peck Slip, there crossed East River, 
and on foot wended our way, ten miles in all, through 
the mud to this delectable place. Cold and hungry, we 
reached here at nightfall, and fell to work building our 
little village, which accomplished, we adjourned to a cele 
brated New York restaurant for supper. Ye Gods ! such 
a supper for hungry men ! The gentlemanly proprietors 
promised our kind Uncle Samuel that they would take 
care of each man for the munificent sum of twenty-one 
cents per day, providing all known and unknown luxu 
ries, waiters, cooks, <fcc., &c. Fresh from the comforts 
of home, and in the very heart of plenty, we bore it 
awhile, but finding being kept at twenty-one cents a day, 
meant a mere keeping from starvation, some grumbling 
arose, and as the cold and discomfort increased, the grum 
bling began to sound like threats and curses, and no one 
could well tell what would have happened had not the con 
tractors promised us a good hash and boiled breakfast for 
Sunday morning. Hope carried us through the Saturday 
night, when waking early at the bidding of Jack Frost, 
not waiting for Baker, of Co. II, our chief bugler, to sound 
the reveille, with cup, plate, and knife in hand, we re 
paired to the cook shop. There was some delay there, 
but, knowing an extra meal was in preparation, we wait- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 79 

ed patiently till the welcome signal came. Into the half- 
dark shop we went. There was the smoking hash the 
savory vegetables, and the steaming coffee, a pleasing pros 
pect for cold and hungry patriots. Rapidly the hash dis 
appeared, the boiled vegetables followed, till some one 
sooner satiated than the rest, began to analyze the sump, 
tuous feast. As the light increased, others joined in the 
analysis. " Chat s the matter, Jim ?" " What s the 
matter ? look here !" and lo ! a turnip and then a potatoe 
each having a hole in it, showing how contractors make 
candle-sticks. " Eugh ! let me out, I can t stand this," 
and Frank not being able to get out, made a speedy de 
posit of the rich food on the floor and surroundings. 
"Frank, what in thunder ails you ?" "Rats !" was the 
faint ejaculation, as Frank gave up, rather ungratefully, 
the remainder of his breakfast. And rats it was, or rath 
er had been, for our hash-tub had been uncovered over 
night, and the rats had left unmistakable evidences that 
they had eaten more than they could conveniently carry 
away, and so dropped a little to season what remained. 
Well, there was an uproar that seemed to postpone the 
observance of the Sabbath, to " a more convenient sea 
son." Still, hungry men came rushing in from other 
regiments, who, on hearing of their ^breakfast, fell to de 
molishing every thing that could be demolished, seeking 
for the contractors to demolish them. Fortunately they 
saved their hash. Lynch law is but the primitive admin 
istration of justice, or the grappling with an emergency 
or atrocity not within the ken of the statute. Ministers 
of vengeance we are by the call of our country, then we 
only anticipated our time. Ye dear stay-at-home patriots 
rising from warm beds to partake of healthy inviting food, 
don t make any long prayers to stay the fearful spread of 
army-demoralization, if we did " gut the cook-shop." 
Bastile, when taken, was destroyed and the world ap 
plauded ; so applaud ye that your sons will not endure 
shameful oppression, w T hether in New York or Louisiana. 



80 LIFE WITH THE FOKTY-MVHI 

The fire started, it did not burn out without extending 
its ravages. Sleeping in shelter tents, tents five feet long, 
four high, and without ends, the Fifty-third were rife for 
fun or riot, and fancying that their sutler had aggrieved 
them, they made short work with his shanty, and appropri 
ated his goods without stopping to inquire their respec 
tive prices. In connection Avith others, they then visited 
the shop of our sutler, who had not aggrieved them, and 
injured him to the tune of a thousand dollars, more or 
less. This was not righteous indignation, but robbeiy. 
A building, containing a large quantity of powder, was 
partially destroyed, and the boards carried off for fuel. 
I don t blame them for t/urt. Put soldiers, half starved, 
among loyal citizens, in canvas tents, give them each 
one shoddy blanket, add a fierce wind with the mercury 
near zero, and you have all the ingredients of a riot. Such 
was our condition on Saturday and Sunday, the sixth and 
seventh of December, 1862. I contend we had a right 
to run the government in debt for all the loose boards 
we could find. That it was a wild, high, wanning frolic, 
instead of a riot, proclaims the praise of Massachusetts 
soldiers. General Andrew sent an officer down to our 
camp that Sunday morning, but could find few of our offi 
cers about, and, though it may have shown a laxity in 
discipline, Major Flunkett, who was in command, acted 
as a man of humanity, in giving furloughs to nearly all 
till sundown, that we might care for ourselves. We were 
no better off, having taken up our quarters in a deserted 
horse-shed, and because there were eight tons of powder 
in the adjoining shed, we were not allowed to have a 
fire. Making up our minds that it were pleasantef to be 
blown up than to freeze, fire we had, in defiance of orders 
to the contrary. In the horse-shed we are still existing, 
while the boys still endure their tents. As we now sub 
sist them, they do not complain of their food, and having 
erected large cook-houses, they can occasional ly get 
warmed through. Why we were ever removed from 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 81 

Worcester to this hole, we know not. Governor An 
drew did all he could to keep us in the state till we should 
start South. 

One of our men was murdered since I last wrote you. 
His name was William Stelfax, of Co. C, from Pittsfield. 
He was an Englishman by birth, twenty-five years of age, 
and leaves a family. Though wild, he was a good sol 
dier and added much to our amusement. On that bitter 
ly cold Sunday, .December 7th, he went to one of the 
camps near East New York, and on his return, stopped 
at a saloon kept by a German named Sehellein. On leav 
ing, Stelfax bought and paid for a pint of whiskey, which, 
on being put into his canteen, he asserted was only half 
a pint. Sehellein gave him the lie and knocked him down. 
Several Germans were in the shop, who sided with the 
landlord, and who with slung shots again knocked Stelfax 
down and also his comrade McDonald, of Co. C. They 
left, but Stelfax returned and kicked the door, when four 
muskets were fired, on3 discharge entering Stelfax s back, 
causing his death in a few minutes. When this murder 
became known at the surrounding camps, the soldiers 
came, sacked the house, placed a rope to a tree intending 
to hang Sehellein if they found him, but not finding him 
set the building on fire, burning it to the ground. I am 
happy to say, that the Forty-ninth had no part in burn 
ing either the cook shops or this house. Major Plun- 
kett was there and searched the house for the murderer, 
and finding he could not prevent its destruction, ordered 
his men to leave, and they did so, though, if human, they 
did not look on the fire with much disapprobation. On 
that same Sunday, John Mallally, of Co. C, lost a leg by 
being run over by the cars. 

Near two hundred of our regiment, with many officers, 
are doing provost duty in New York, or, in other words, 
arresting deserters. In doing this work, they meet inter 
est and danger, and having good quarters, they prefer it 
to the discomforts and monotony of camp. Lieutenant 
4* 



82 Lin: WITH THE FOTCTY-XIXTII 

Kniffin of Co. B, : nt provost-marshal. Of course 

he does well in that position. Doing well with hi 
the rule, not the exception. On the Cth instant, Co. C 
held an election, and Lieutenant Foster was chosen cap 
tain, and Second Lieutenant Wells, first lieutenant, and 
Fourth Sergeant George R. Lingenfelter, second lieuten 
ant. 

There must have been nearly thirty thousand troops 
here on Long Island when we came here. Measles arc 
making sad work with the Maine boys, and we have for 
ty-seven on our sick list, but no dangerous cases. Col 
onel Bartlett is now commandant of the post. Our offi 
cial title is "Banks s remainder expedition." Expedi 
tion to where, we can only guess at Texas, we all say, 
and hope. Some of our neighbors have already sailed 
with Banks, and we would be glad to follow them to 
morrow. General Wool expresses his determination to 
keep us here as provost-guards, saying he can rely on ?<x. 
If so, here will mean Troy, Albany, all over his depart 
ment. While this is complimentary to us, we hope Gen 
eral Andrew will come off conqueror, and take us with 
him to Dixie as his body-guard, as he says he will do. So, 
the two generals must light it out. 

Quito a number of us have been to hear Beechcr. Of 
course we were interested, lie is greater in the pulpit 
than on the platform. Perchance, because in the former 
he is less cramped by notes. He is a provoking charac 
ter. You have to call him an orator, though he violates 
nearly all the rules of oratory. His gesticulations are 
wild, and scarcely ever in harmony with his subject. 
Something there must be defective in his oratory. A 
truly eloquent man will not always make ineloquent ges 
ture. The fact is, Beecher is not eloquent. There is 
much vehemence about him, and but little intensity ; 
much fine word-painting, much arousing speech, but little 
awakening the passions of the human heart. lie is sin 
gularly devoid of pathos. He can move his audience lo 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 83 

tears of exultation or indignation, but he rarely touches 
the deeper emotions of their souls. I say he is greater 
in the pulpit than on the platform ; but in the former he is 
not the great preacher, only the greater, because less re 
strained, lecturer. He is more esthetic than emotional. 
He defends the right, however unpopular, because it is 
right ; and his nature is so healthy, that he detects wrong 
with a fine instinct, and is so enamored of moral beauty, 
that he sees its opposite only to shrink from it. Though 
he believes in the grand doctrines of Christianity, he ap 
pears to me more the moral than the Christian reformer. 
He does not rush into the arena dealing his heavy blows 
against sin, shouting, " The love of Christ constraineth 
me," but leaves the impression that he is champion of 
Humanitarian ism rather than of Christianity. A great, 
benevolent, useful man, I imagine his inner life would show 
a strange conflict between orthodoxy and heterodoxy ; a 
holding to Christ as a beautiful, lovable character, an in 
troducer of men into the purer activities of heaven, rather 
than as, primarily, the Saviour of sinners from the damna 
tion of hell. A bold man is Beecher, but he lacks the 
courage to tell the world that because slavery and in 
temperance are peopling the pit of woe, he throws him 
self against them. I did not intend an analysis of the 
foremost preacher in the land, but let it go. Hearing 
him was quite an event in our war life, and has furnished 
us with something to talk over. Crowds of -soldiers were 
there, and if you want to appreciate in some degree the 
honor of a soldier s position, just put on an army over 
coat and cap, and go to Plymouth Church. You will be 
treated as one of the defenders of a free gospel. At the 
close of the evening service, Mr. Beecher married an offi 
cer of a Maine regiment to the lady of his choice. His 
remarks were very appropriate ; and to us soldiers, the 
whole affair was very solemn and impressive. She has, 
at least, secured, if not a husband s care, a right to bear 
his name and to mourn for him ; and, if sorrow too great 



84 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

for concealment should visit her, the privileges of a re 
spected grief. 

Companies used to range in alphabetical order, but now 
they stand according to the rank of their respective com 
manders. Captain Weller holds the right, the post of 
honor, as senior captain. Captain Garlick the left, as 
second in honor, and Captain Train the centre, as third in 
rank. His is the color company. Rank and honor seem 
to go according to priority of commissions. Commencing 
at the right, we thus stand : A, H, F, D, E, I, G, C, K, 
B, the number of the company corresponding with its 
position in the battalion, while the number of the captain 
accords with the date of his commission. 

Perchance you would like to know the grades of pay, 
as well as the grades of rank ; the following table Avill 
give you all needed information. It may be well to ad 
vise you, that while the government supplies " enlisted 
men" with food, clothing, and medical attendance in ad 
dition to their pay, the officers are obliged to feed, clothe, 
and equip themselves. If sick, they have a right to the 
attendance of the surgeon, but not to a place in the hos 
pital without pay. They are usually charged seventy-five 
cents per day, but, I apprehend, charging is the excep 
tion, not the rule. Considering that the government al 
lows each of them one dollar and twenty cents per day 
for subsistence, this is not a hard rule. 

Captains or commanders of companies are allowed $10 
per month each for the responsibility of clothing, arms, 
and accoutrements. 

It is presumed, that where officers have no servants or 
horses, they do not draw pay for them. Facts show this 
to be a very violent presumption. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 



85 



OFFICERS OF INFANTRY. 


1 

a 
(2 


<4- -O 

fell 
*2 ^ 

c ~ 

~ 


| | g 

B " 
3 


sj 

I? 
Ij 


!a = 

IP 


! 

II 
^ - 


ill 

1=1 
S 3 
S 


3 

a 

f i 
1 

H 

$ CtB. 

222 00 

198 00 
179 00 
1S9 00 
120 50 
11(1 r>() 
105 50 

18 00 

26 00 

121 83 


Colonel 


$ cts. 

95 00 
80 00 
70 00 
80 00 
60 00 
50 00 
45 00 

10 00 

10 00 
53 33 
30 00 
21 00 
21 00 
21 00 
20 00 
17 00 
13 00 
13 00 
21 00 
13 00 


G 
5 
4 
4 
4 
4 
4 


$ cts. 

54 00 
45 00 
36 00 
36 00 
86 00 
36 00 
36 00 


3 
3 
3 
3 


$ cts. 

24 00 
24 00 
24 00 
24 00 


2 
2 
2 
2 
1 
1 
1 

1 

1 
1 


$ cts. 

49 00 
49 00 
49 00 
49 00 
24 50 
24 50 
24 50 

24 50 

24 50 
24 50 


Lieutenant-Colonel 




Captain 




Second Lieutenant 


1 

2 
1 


8 00 

16 00 
8 00 


Adjutant, in addition to pay, etc., 
of Lieutenant 


Quartermaster, in addition to 
pay, etc., of Lieutenant 


4 


36 66 


Hospital Steward 












Quartermaster Serireant 
















Commissary Sergeant . 
















First Sergeant 
















Sergeant . . 






























Private 
















Principal Musician 















































86 LIFE WITH THE FOKTY-XINTII 



LETTER XV. 

LONG ISLAND, N. T., January 0, 1SG3. 
MY DEAK L. : 

Here we are at Snedeker s barracks, which are noth 
ing more than stables and barns fitted up for soldiers. 
They are a decided improvement on the canvas tents in 
which we shivered from December 4th to 23d. True, 
we have but about two hundred feet square we can call 
our own, which, in this rainy weather, is a mud puddle, 
and our bed-rooms are stalls, and fires are not allowed, 
yet we are quite cosy. We can keep warm, for our sta 
bles are tight and we have plenty of good straw, and if 
vermin visit us, why the extra scratching will render 
flesh-brushes superfluous. The barracks were cleansed 
before we took possession, but our predecessors, thinking 
they could find a new stock on ship-board, left that, 
which we could have dispensed with, having some of our 
own on hand lice. Fine combs, frequent washing s and 
unguentum, preserve to us a doubtful victory. Our vic 
tories might be permanent, had we not some comrades 
who never raise the cry of extermination. Thicker cu 
ticles or the force of old habits prevent them seeing that 
" cleanliness is next to godliness." T/tix is one of the 
drawbacks to the pleasure of soldiering. Hunting reb 
els and traitors through forests and swamps, /,//////;/ them 
for the sake of humanity, has something poetic and inspi 
ring about it, but hunting seams and hems of garments 
for " crummies" and showing them no quarter, is an oc 
cupation, that the concentrated genius of all the poets 
from Homer down to Tennyson cannot invest with tlie 
beautiful. Some say, all animal life will have a renewed 
and glorified existence in Heaven. If so, u I pray thce 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 87 

have me excused." Our boys generally keep clean, but 
there are enough lovers of dirt among us to secure 
us an unbroken succession of vermin. You know how 
brief your ablutions in a cold room, and washing in win 
ter time at the out-door pump is not apt to result in per 
fect cleanliness. Did you ever wash a woolen shirt in 
cold water, while standing in the cold ? If so, enough s 
said; you can understand why some soldiers do not 
change their under-clothes more than once a month. 
Do not imagine that filthiness is one of our vices. Far 
from it. Though not as clean as we would be at home, 
yet, as a regiment, we are " Excelsior." Dr. Winsor is 
active and conscientious in the discharge of his duties, 
and sees, to it that we keep ourselves in passable order, 
and every man must appear at dress parade neat and 
clean, yet after all, there will be some who, keeping the 
outside of the platter clean, leave the inside corrupt and 
denied. Compared with sickness, wounds, death, this 
familiarity with dirt is a small thing, but judge ye (and 
there are many men in this regiment who have been nur 
tured more delicately than yourself) by it some of the 
minor sacrifices of a soldier s life. And that life is full 
of such minor sacrifices, rendered bearable only by con 
sidering them as necessary to a nation s preservation. 
We must go to bed and rise at stated hours ; we may 
not know the luxury of a stool, to say nothing of an arm 
chair, with the accompaniments of a pipe, a book, a bla 
zing fire, a shaded lamp, and a congenial companion, 
whose silence is more eloquent and sympathetic than the 
words of many men. To live " cribbed, cabined, con 
fined," not able to leave our pen without soliciting per 
mission from, a temporary superior ; to eat food poorly 
cooked, with beans, meat, rice, molasses, potatoes, all on 
the same plate, making us half believe our friends at home 
"have sent us here as a punishment for the over particu- 
larness of the past ; to obey unansweringly men, some 
of whom we know are our inferiors in everviliinG: but 



88 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

rank ; to hear, with no chance of escape, profanity and 
obscenity; to lie on straw in a close, unventilated stall, 
(soldiers are sv.orn enemies to ventilation, especially 
those from the country) ; to find to-day s duties so simi 
lar to those of yesterday that it is difficult to recall the 
day of the week ; to realize that you are mentally stag 
nating, with scarce a book to stir up the pool of thought ; 
to find ambition and energy dying before monotony and 
ennui ; these and a hundred other things are the un 
known, unappreciated sacrifices, every intelligent sol<I-r 
is called on to make. More strictly do these remarks ap 
ply to troops in winter quarters. Save a short morning 
drill and dress parade, we have no exercise. Is it any 
wonder that our muscles become flabby, and with appe 
tites unnaturally keen, our digestion is impaired, so that 
the soldier s foe, Diarrhcra, even now visits us ? Our 
mental natures being in abeyance, the physical becomes 
more arrogant, so that even our meals are the great epi 
sodes of the day. You would be surprised at our appe 
tites, and seeing us drink from two to three quarts of coffee 
or tea daily, would wonder that we are not all on the 
sick list. Do not think we complain. No, we receive 
these things as a necessary prelude to the sacred duties 
of battle, yet wish it otherwise, believing that the prelude 
weakens us. Troops would learn the tactics of war soon 
er, would carry with them more enthusiasm, could they 
go at once from their rendezvous into active service. Two 
weeks of drilling near an enemy would have advanced 
us as much as we havo advanced in all these months, and 
added greatly to our enthusiasm. We are mental, if ma 
chines, and the dry routine of barrack-life is using the 
machines without any oil. 

A friend of J. E., Sergeant of Co. F, has presented us 
with an army library of one hundred volumes. The 
books are such as are published by the American Tract 
Society, Boston, the reading of which will tend to keep 
fresh the solemn earnestness that moved many of us to 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 89 

enlist. I used to denounce card playing, not as a sin 
per se, but as a foolish wasting of time, and as leading to 
many vices. I do not denounce it now, and can only 
wish it was never more abused than by our boys. 
Give a man friends, books, to make pleasant and profit 
able his leisure hours, and card playing is only less silly 
than dancing. What shall our poor fellows do ? Al 
most nothing to do or to read, how shall they spend their 
time ? Tf John Wesley was right in declaring it- not ex 
pedient to converse on religious subjects more than an 
hour at a time, how can we expect a crowd of men, many 
of whom are irreligious, to spend their hours profitably 
in conversation ? Soldiers are really overgrown children, 
and need playthings, amusements. Certes, I have never 
had the heart to deny them the pleasure, the mental ex 
citement of cards. Very seldom do you see any card 
playing on Sundays, though in the absence of religious 
services, and of the usual drill, it is the longest day of the 
week. Colonel Bartlett has occasionally read in our 
presence the Episcopal service, but as he has been for 
some time engaged in New York as acting Brigadier- 
General, those occasions have been very rare. I am 
pained to confess that profanity is increasing among us. 
It does not seem to result from increased wickedness so 
much as from forgetfulness of God. I have asked some 
of the most recklessly profane, if they were in the habit 
of swearing at home. Most of them said they were not. 
It is a fungus of camp soil. The colonel has endeavored 
to put a stop to it, and had the army regulations relative 
to it, read on dress parade. For each oath, an officer is 
fined one dollar, and cashiering is the threatened penalty 
of continued profanity; while one-sixth of a dollar is for 
feited by a private for each offence, and some kind of cor 
poreal punishment for a continuation of the habit. We 
were all sworn into the service, and if these penalties 
should be enforced, a good many would swear them 
selves out, and go home penniless. I am glad that the 



90 LIFE WITH THE FORTV-MNTFI 

army regulations read as they do it is something to be 
right, though in naught but books but how to enforce 
1 lu in is du question. A profane officer will not bring 
charges, ami an unenviable life that private would have 
who should assume to be the Mentor of the regiment. Cer 
tainly, he would require to be put on detached and extra 
duty too, and if he should receive a moiety of the lines, 
would iind his position the most lucrative in the service. 
Hiring men to play the spy, the informer, will not rectify 
this evil. Nothing but religious truth pressed upon the 
heart, backed by the example of officers, will remove this 
fearful, vengeance-inviting reproach. If you imagine that 
profanity is the general rule, you will wrong both officers 
and men. Many have not yet forgotten the teachings of 
earlier days. Quite a party of us were talking on this sub 
ject the other evening, and we counted up the officers who 
were not known to be profane. Quite a respectable majori 
ty appeared on the side of morality. The colonel was the 
recipient of some oaths at Worcester. After "taps" he 
was making his nightly perambulation, and on hearing 
some noise in one of the barracks, he opened the door 
thereof and commanded quiet. Not recognizing his 
voice, but recognizing the gust of cold air, they ordered 
him to shut the door, and begone, in language stronger 
than contemplated in the army regulations. When they 
found out who the intruder was, there was a noiseless 
creeping to bunks, and a great calm, only broken by the 
loud snoring of those who had so suddenly abandoned 
the practice of swearing. Like a sensible man, as he is, 
the colonel went on his way, if not rejoicing, at least 
amused. 

Though, since his election, we have seen comparatively 
but little of him, that little has only increased our confi 
dence. Daily, he draws the reins of discipline tighter, 
but with such judgment, that we are learning subordina 
tion without complaining. He would have to draw them 
very tight indeed before \vc would rear or kick. JSingu- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 91 

lar, what command he has over men. He is a born com 
mander. Quiet, reserved, yet there is not a man or offi 
cer in the regiment who does not feel that obedience to 
him is half involuntary. While no one more than him 
self is a stickler for military etiquette and for a proper 
respect paid to superior rank, yet no one is less assuming 
or dictatorial. Emphatically, he treats a private as well 
as an officer. I have known when he has, as he afterwards 
ascertained, wrongly rebuked a common soldier, send 
for him and frankly apologize. You can imagine nothing 
that would so strongly bind to him the hearts of a proud 
soldiery, who, but yesterday, were the peers, if not supe 
riors of many of their officers. He might visit the men 
in their quarters, or in the hospital, and speak jocular or 
sympathetic words, and they would call him a jolly or 
fine fellow ; he might buy them holiday luxuries and in 
stitute games for their amusement, and they would praise 
him, but all that would not awaken such reverence for, 
and confidence in him as that simple apology, recogniz 
ing, as it does, that each soldier is a man, and presuming 
he has the feelings of a gentleman, which even a colonel 
is bound to respect. To awaken affection by the arts of 
the demagogue, is not in him. He could not do so if he 
were to try. Naturally he is the exclusive, the aristocrat. 
The adjutant, his former college mate, lives with him as 
a brother. I know not how great is his intimacy with 
the field officers, but he is not intimate with the line offi 
cers, (captains and lieutenants are called line officers, the 
others are called field and staff officers.) A recognition 
of the distinction . of rank may have something to do with 
this, but natural reserve, and perchance some diffidence 
underlies it all. Our democratic love of equality was 
somewhat startled by the reading of an order on dress 
parade to this effect : that soldiers will not sit down in 
officers tents unless invited, and on entering them will 
remove their hats. We were unnecessarily startled, for 
it was merely stating that an officer s tent is his private 



92 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

dwelling, and in it we should observe the proprieties duo 
from one gentleman to another. Some of us, with foolish 
pride, iind it hard to cheerfully recognize superiority of 
rank. Saluting a superior does not imply any inherent 
inferiority in us ; we salute the rank, not the man ///////./.". 
Prouder, really, are we who salute, than they who rec- 
and return it, for by the very act, we evidence a more 
sacrificing patriotism. Though Captain Chaffee told the 
colonel that there were men in his company (D) who 
would grace the saddle (field officers, you know, are al 
lowed horses), and so there are, yet he and all were not 
unwilling to have their tents secured to themselves. I 
have seen many an officer s tent crowded with loungers. 
That order has made those same tents so much more com 
modious, that I shrewdly suspect that the colonel was 
only its adopted father. No order has ever been necessa 
ry to secure to him the same respect he claimed for his 
brother officers. We have a noble set of officers. They 
" bear their blushing honors meekly." You scarcely ever 
see any of them presuming on their rank. They know, 
that by the free choice of their men, they are what they 
are, and act as become those who will, if spared, soon re 
sume their former equality. In the necessary exercise of 
discipline, they must needs offend. It may anger us 
now; we will see it in a truer light hereafter. The army 
is a good school in which to learn subordination, yet I 
would not fancy being too long a student therein. I see 
how military despots are created. Get in the habit of 
rendering unquestioned obedience to another for a few 
years, and you almost lose your capacity of resisting his 
will. Though older than most of our officers, it will be 
some time after our return to private life, before I can 
be as familiar with them as if I had never been their mili 
tary inferior. 

We have had a change in our roster. Lieutenant 
Clark, Co. A, has been honorably discharged. Sickne-^ 
prevented his being with us save a few weeks at Camp 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 93 

Briggs. Second Lieutenant Francis was unanimously 
elected to be his successor ; and Orderly Sergeant George 
Reed unanimously elected second lieutenant. This places 
A. Howe in the position of Orderly. As his predecessor, 
he was one of the three months men, and is worthy of a 
similar promotion. Co. A is a happy company, none being 
more united, as witness the above unanimous elections. 
Freer with their officers, perchance, than are the men of 
any other company, yet no other company is under better 
control. They are worthy of the right, the post of honor. 

On the same day, December 31st, 1862, Orderly John 
Doolittle, merchant, of Monterey, was unanimously chosen 
second lieutenant, Co. F, to supply the vacancy arising 
from the resignation of Lieutenant Sweet, who is prevent 
ed from going with us by severe and continued illness. 
If health be spared him, Lieutenant Doolittle will credit 
ably fulfil the duties of his position. The promotion of a 
first sergeant by the unanimous votes of his company, is 
a good guaranty of popularity. 

On the twenty-third instant we had another election in 
Co. C, the governor having refused to commission Lieuten 
ant Foster, who was previously elected to that position. 
Fourth Sergeant George R. Lingenfelter, of Pittsfield, was 
duly chosen, having received nearly all the votes polled. 
He is a blacksmith, twenty-eight years of age, and in his six 
feet one and a half inches, looks a proper successor of the 
" tall major." Though belonging to that company, I am 
but little acquainted with him ; but as he was a good 
fireman at home, is well drilled, and has always faithfully 
discharged his duties, I hope the squabbles of Co. C are 
ended in the election of a good commander. 

On going into the yard or camp the other morning, I saw 
a man standing on a barrel. A gag was in his mouth, 
his hands were tied behind him, and on his breast was a 
card on winch was written, " a liar." His captain had 
placed him there because he denied knowing the where 
abouts of his brother who had absented himself without 



94 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

leave. A crowd gathered round, and, of course, sympa 
thized with the victim. Some one proposed three groans 
for the captain, and if he had not speedily released the 
man, there would have been a small mutiny. I don t 
know when I felt more indignation. Guilty or not 
guilty, no officer has a right to punish unless a court-mar 
tial condemns the accused ; yet this is not infrequently 
done. The punishment of flogging is abolished in the 
army, and every commander has to devise some substi 
tutes. It is a pity that men cannot be punished without 
degrading them, without crushing their self-respect. It 
is well all have not as wild blood in them as I felt in me 
while ga/ing on that poor man. It seemed then to me 
that, unless I was full of grace, such an indignity would 
awaken "vengeance blood alone could quell." Certainly 
I am not alone in such feelings. If so, such punishments, 
drying up self-respect and substituting a vengeful malice, 
are not consistent with an officer s future safety. Such 
a withering insult to pride would make fiends of many. 
Some form of punishment is necessary what shall it be? 
Fining the sinner will not do, for frequent offences 
would consume all his wages, and, if married, beggar his 
family. Confinement on bread and water, standing on 
barrels before head-quarters (now near the public road), 
carrying ball or log and chain attached to the ankle, 
sf(.i/t<?i/if/ with a heavily-loaded knapsack, increased guard- 
duty, are the usual penalties of disobedience. The offences 
are not of a flagrant nature; simply running-guard, stay 
ing beyond the allotted time, and occasionally intemper 
ance and theft. The other evening, while the regiment 
was drawn up for dress-parade, we witnessed an amusing 
scene. One of the boys had imbibed too much of the ar 
dent, and feeling valorous, made a charge on some poul 
try. The enemy fled, save an ancient goose, which was 
made prisoner. The conquering hero was bearing away 
his trophy, when he discovered that the foe had received 
a re-enforcement in the shape of a stalwart Dutch (they 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 95 

are nearly all Dutch here) dame. Knowing that "hell 
hath no fury like a \voman scorned," he concluded that 
the "double-quick" was the best way to keep his blood 
warm, and to save his Christmas dinner. So, off he ran, 
and the dame after him. The ardent played havoc Avith 
the " double-quick," which then had more " time" and 
"motions" than are laid down in Hardee. The dame 
drew nearer, and just as he reached the road where the 
regiment was drawn up, she grasped him, and secured 
the coveted property. Perchance the cackling of geese 
saved old Rome, but it did not save our hero from con 
dign punishment. The night s rest sobered him, and 
when morning came, he took his stand upon a barrel 
where he could overlook the scene of his discomfiture. 
A crowd gathered round him, and pointing to the letters 
" U. S." on his belt, he wanted to know what they stood 
for. Some said " United States," and some " Uncle Sam, n 
and others "Union Savers." "No! no! they stand for 
Unfortunate Soldier" Pretty good that ; wasn t it ? 
Standing on a barrel from reveille to taps, that is from 7 
A. M. to 9 P. M., searched by a northwester, perchance 
for three consecutive days, is no light punishment. Endur 
ing it, I have known men s legs to swell so that the sur 
geon demanded their removal. Truly, this is a mortify 
ing fact, and more so, because the punished have really 
deserved some punishment. 

There is a company here belonging to the Third New 
York Merchants Brigade. We call them " mackerels." 
They are a disgrace to the merchants of the metropolis, 
for they seem to be the refuse of Five Points. Many of 
them are not fifteen years old. They are wretchedly 
clothed and fed, and under the charge of a sergeant-ma 
jor, who knows no more about governing than a Hot 
tentot about preaching. They are now under Colonel 
Bartlett s care. Reckless and abused, punishment is 
their general rule. If these are a specimen of New York 
soldiers, no wonder that the New Yorkers looked upon 



96 LIFT: WITH TMI: FORTY-NINTH 

?f.* as prodigies of strength, neatness and propriety. Go 
into their yard, ami you will see the "mackerels" stand 
ing on barrels, or with barrels on their heads, or lugging 
about a ball and chain, or bucked. Say you, what is 
"bucking?" The hands are tied together in front of the 
knees, beneath which a stick is put, resting on the inside 
of the elbows, thus cramping the poor victim, so that he 
has the sharpest angle imaginable to sit on, and if he does 
not sit still, over he rolls as helpless as a log. It may not 
be very painful, but it is certainly unpleasant, degrading, 
and wondrously amusing to spectators. S. H. Rossiter, 
of Company B, was corporal of the guard over the mack 
erels. He is a Christian gentleman, educated and refined, 
than whom no cause or country ever boasted a purer sol 
dier. He was ordered to a buck" them. Half amused, 
half indignant, he hesitated ; then went to his captain and 
asked him if it was his duty to do that. On being told 
that it was, he calmly did the disagreeable work. There 
was the true Puritan soldier. " Though duty be ever so 
unpleasant, so apparently revolting, I ll doit." I watched 
him, and felt assured t/t< r< was a man who would never 
flinch, no matter how fierce the conflict. We have many 
such. O sacred indeed should be that cause claiming the 
sacrifice of such lives. 

The cause is sacred indeed, worthy of myriad of heca- 
toinbs of the best and purest. We hoped so always ; we 
kmno it now. The Proclamation of Emancipation, dated 
January 1st, 1863, sw r eeps from our minds all doubts. 
The country claims our all. We offer it freely. Lincoln 
was not unfaithful. The words have gone forth to be 
sounded in every slave cabin through the South. "I, 
Abraham Lincoln, solemnly declare near three millions 
of slaves free, and will maintain that freedom with all the 
power of the government." Grand ! never to be forgot 
ten words ! words that will grow grander through all 
the ages ; words that will lift up the name of Abraham 
Lincoln above common names ; aye, above the name of 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLTHSTTEEES. 97 

Washington. Lincoln has had more need of moral cour 
age than had Washington. When the latter lived, Free 
dom was, to all, a sacred word. Lincoln s Proclamation 
finds it almost a tabooed word, fit for fanatics, but hardly 
consistent with the respectability and conservatism of the 
gentleman. Washington stood up for a liberty that had 
primary reference to a noble, white Anglo-Saxon race ; 
Lincoln links his name with the choicest earthly hopes of 
the degraded blacks. An already prepared nation vindi 
cated Washington. Lincoln s freedom finds degenerate 
sons of liberty-loving sires ready to crush it under their 
scorn. Brave words ! brave President ! In the White 
House he holds the same views that he rang out on the 
prairies of the west. Among other things, for which I 
devoutly thank God, is Abraham Lincoln. I recall many 
of my words. His leisure is faster than my haste ; his 
folly wiser than my wisdom. Like a child, feeling for a 
father s hand in the night, so have I put out my hand, 
hoping to lay hold of something that would sustain me. 
I find that hand inclosed in the warm grasp of the Presi 
dent ; his kind eyes are upon me, and he says, " I send 
you forth to do battle for God and Freedom Go !" and I 
go, blessing God that I have strength to go ; not count 
ing my life dear unto myself, that I may do something, 
however little, to bring permanent victory to the banner 
of Liberty. Now, I can imagine a man going into the 
valley of hell, when earth and air are crowded with death- 
dealing missiles, with a sweeter, wilder joy than into the 
marriage chamber. Wedded to death for Freedom s 
sake, clasping Liberty in a dying embrace, breathing out 
his life on her lips, shouting : 

" "Whether on the gallows high, 

Or in the battle s van, 
The noblest place for man to die, 
Is where he dies for man." 

I thank God I live ; I see the sun of Freedom rising 
5 



98 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTII 

full-orbed ; and as it flashes on the old flag, the dear old 
flag, stripes seem all hidden with stars that reflect the 
glory of God. The jubilant hours of April, 1861, have re 
turned, save tha*t their animating hopes are now fruition. 
If it were necessary to clamber up to the height of this 
day, that the Peninsula should grow rank with northern 
blood, I hail the martyred dead as having gloriously died. 
I can now unreservedly give myself, all of myself, body, 
brains, heart, to my country. Her cause is now God s 
cause. Humanity is on our side. What though that 
Proclamation is to be indorsed with the blood of tens of 
thousands ! 

" Life is thought, not breaths ; deeds, not years ; 
And he lives longest who best fulfils life s great ends." 

" It is not all of life to live." In one single hour, in 
some forlorn hope, a man may throw his life against a 
giant wrong, and in that hour win for truth high vantage 
ground, and do more for the best interests of the race 
than by a whole century of peaceful existence. 

The words have gone forth. To all, our Flag now 
means Freedom. Those words can never be recalled. 
The die is cast. We recognize that our nation s life is to 
be saved by justice and righteousness. Intervention dies 
as those truly American words fall on the hearts of 
Europe s millions. There is no despot, however power 
ful, however much he may desire the abandonment of our 
principles, and the death of our institutions, but knows 
that any crusade against American Liberty, will be at the 
peril of his crown and life. If never before, Christendom 
will read " equal rights for all" on our flag. Reading it, 
their expanding souls will loosen their shackles, and our 
land will hasten to fulfil its mission ; the civil and reli 
gious enfranchisement of the world. 

Ere long, men made free by this Proclamation will 
have the privilege of fighting to sustain it. Six months 
will not roll away before we have many a corps de Af- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 99 

rique. Let them come ; with their own red right-hands let 
them come out for themselves, honor, freedom, and na 
tionality. Radicals and conservatives may struggle on. 
The nation s heart can now rest. Under God, our future 
is safe. .ZVb to, we will have victories indeed, as well as 
in name. Mu rfreesboro strikes the key-note of the war. 
The pride of the South then went down before the power 
of the Free West. Dark hands will see to it that that 
pride shall no more vaunt itself against the " flag of the 
free." Rivers of blood are yet to be shed, but looking 
into the future over countless graves, I forget present 
sorrow, and exultingly press on, crying, " This war pays, 
this war pays." As nothing but some unforeseen provi 
dence shall confine me to my safe position in the quarter 
master s department, when comes the call to arms ; hav 
ing fully resolved to share all dangers as well as glory; 
and so knowing that I may never again visit home and 
loved ones; yet, I say, "This war pays! The victory, 
now sure to come, will be worth vastly more than all it 
will cost ! We are recovering our Union, completing 
our liberty. We are obtaining security that the precious 
blood of our slain shall not have been shed in vain. 

I am sometimes awed as I recognize the wonderful 
dealings of God with this nation. Suppose Breckinridge 
had been elected President in 1860, what would have 
been our condition? or Douglas? Secession and war 
would have followed, and as death had already been fas 
tened upon him, Johnson, of Georgia, now in the rebel 
service, would be our pilot. Had the war commenced 
ten years sooner, how illy we would have been prepared 
for it, materially and morally. Says the eloquent Bishop 
Simpson, " God has been preparing us for the conflict 
during many years. He has raised up among us the genius 
of invention. The railway has been laid down, the harbors 
of the ocean crowded, the sickle displaced by machinery, 
in order that men might be spared to fight in this war. 
So, too, when perfidious England sent out her war ships 



100 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XT VTI! 

to prey on our commerce, the American people were 
prepared to send them bread. The sewing machine had 
been rendered subservient in like manner to the wants of 
the soldier, and God sent the invention in readiness for 
the struggle. The conversion of the soldiers was pre 
pared for too by that wonderful outpouring of prayer 
wliich visited the Christian world a year or two since. 
God was on our side, and would yet give us the generals 
and ability to close up the war." 

The holidays are over, and though we missed the lux 
uries and friends of home, we kept up some of the festiv 
ities of the season. The ladies of Sternsville sent Co. 
A, freight paid, a box of comforts and luxuries, weighing 
six hundred pounds. Co. E was also generously remem 
bered. Pontoosuc and Hancock did not forget their sol 
diers. Many individuals received tokens of home affec 
tion, so we became quite familiar with the sight of ex 
press-wagons. Mr. Brewster supplied the members of 
his department with a Christmas dinner, equal to what 
we were wont to have at that season at home. Captain 
Garlick and Lieutenant Dresser treated their respective 
companies ; and on the afternoon of Xew Year s Day, 
Colonel Sumner drew up the regiment in line, and amid 
the cheers of the men, distributed a liberal supply of 
crackers, cheese, apples, and ale, the gift of Mrs. J. R. 
More wood, of Pittsfield, who also favored us at Christ 
mas with a liberal supply of cake. And so passed pleas 
antly away our holidays at camp. 

We will not carry all who were " mustered in" with us 
to Dixie. The surgeon has been weeding out the incompe 
tent. How some passed the first surgeon s examination 
is a mystery. With many of the discharged, the spirit 
may have been willing, but the flesh was certainly too 
weak. Better send them home than freight our hospi 
tals, only to be relieved by their early burials. As we 
are going to the most unhealthy part of the South, tho 
grave-yard of the Southwest, where many of us will find 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLtTNTEEKS. Ib I 

graves even if we never see an armed TebpVit; is well v to 
carry no already superannuates with us. Since I wrote 
you, we have lost Henry W. Cain (K), a farmer from 
Adams, who died at home of consumption, on the twenty- 
second of December. He was a good man, but his strength 
was not equal to his patriotism. As camp exposure has 
tened his death, we record him among our " fallen brave." 
Four months have passed away and no pay. This de 
lay works out real suifering to soldiers families, espe 
cially in those States that do not provide State aid to the 
families of volunteers. Bless Old Massachusetts ! Her 
provident legislation assures us that our families are not 
entirely destitute. We need money, if for nothing else, to 
buy tobacco. You may preach anti-tobacco with some 
hope of gaining a few converts anywhere save in camps. 
Give a man very many unemployed hours, and tobacco, 
if not a necessity, is a wonderful solace. The pipe, the 
fine cut makes up the deficiency in quantity or quality of 
food, and is a positive, indescribable luxury. The sutler 
trusts each soldier to goods amounting to two dollars per 
month, but as most of them have exhausted that credit, 
the prospect of going south without money is any thing 
but pleasant. 



102 LIFE WITH THE FOKTY-XIXTII 



LETTER XVI. 

LONG ISLAND, NBW YORK, January 23, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

I sit down to write you my last letter from this camp, 
as we have orders to report on ship-board. Though 
anxious to face the realities of soldier life, we leave Sned- 
eker s barn-yard with a good deal of regret. Our stay 
here has, on the whole, been pleasant to all. A great 
many of the soldiers wives have visited us this month, 
putting us in mind of the bright days of Camp Briggs. 

We have had fine quarters here. The officers of Co. 
F, and Sergeant-Major Wylie, have barracked with us, 
and many a jolly, cheery hour have we spent together. 
Getting the right side of the butcher and baker, we have 
been supplied with army luxuries, and given to hospital 
ity, have often feted officers and their ladies. We will 
not soon forget the old barn-yard, with its festive scenes, 
its mock court-martials, and its joyous associations. In 
sundering partnership with Co. F, we retain in our de 
partment as wagon-master and as a souvenir of those 
happy days, Orrin Hulet, one of those men whom you 
can always count on, and implicitly trust ; an old soldier 
and consistent Christian, who only needs the absence of 
his employer to do nearly double the work that that em 
ployer would have required at his hands. 

On a recent visit to Pittsfield, his fellow-members of 
Housatonic Engine Company, presented Captain Lingen- 
felter with a sword and trimmings, through T. Clapp, 
Esq. 

The high honor of bearing the colors falls on Thomas 
Bach, sergeant in company F. He is a noble looking fel 
low, and a soldier of the Florida war. II. R. Fowler, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 103 

corporal (D), carrries the white flag of Massachusetts, 
while Corporals T. Biety (A), E. W. Pierce (B), E. E. 
Ensign (E), a college-mate of the colonel, and an educa 
ted gentleman, A. J. French (F), H. A. Glazier (G), E. 
W. Bliss (H), and T. Carey (K), form the color guard. 
Their main duty is to defend the flag. Proud and dan 
gerous post ! Battles have been lost and won by the 
" color guard." You know not what an inspiration the 
" colors" bear with them. Let them be but advanced, and 
a shrinking regiment grows proud and strong. Invoca 
tions to them, though trite, will always find an answering 
response in fhe hearts of true soldiers. Misses A. and 
S. Learned, of Pittsfield, presented us with two small but 
handsome silk flags, on which are marked name of regi 
ment. E. Ende and J. Bryce (A) bear these flags, and 
are called markers. D. Dalzell (K) remains behind as 
orderly to General Wool. T. M. Judd (F), and A. A. 
Loop (D), are detached as clerks at head-quarters, posi 
tions, the importance of which cannot be estimated mere 
ly by the extra pay of forty cents per day. There are no 
pleasanter posts in the army. They can live like gentle 
men, and have access to many important secrets. They 
are both well worthy of their promotion. H. D. Adams 
(E) is ward-master ; we all say, " the right man in the 
right place." E. W. Steadman (F), noted for his profi 
ciency in that part of drumming called " rolling," is now 
Drum-major. 

We have been very busy lately in getting our writing 
done up. You have no idea what a vast amount of writ 
ing is necessary to keep a regiment in proper order. The 
fifth sergeant of each company acts as captain s clerk, and 
you may depend on it his oifice is no sinecure. . Most 
of them are superior business men, who could command 
large salaries at home, yet, for seventeen dollars per 
month, they leave all at duty s call. 

Who will look after deserters in New York since 
the provost guards of the Forty-ninth have been ordered 



104 LIFE WITTI THE FORTY-NrNTII 

to join their regiment ? Our boys gained for their regi 
ment an enviable name while discharging their delicate 
and often dangerous duties. From ten to two at night 
they would search grog shops, dance houses, and dens of 
prostitution for deserters. While thus employed, they 
arrested and returned to their regiments twelve hundred. 
Sergeant E. H. Murray, of Company D, won for himself 
much credit for prudence and courage while in command 
of his provost squad of twenty-two men. Several times 
his life was in almost as great peril as it would be in 
battle, but unflinchingly he did his work. Men that can 
be bribed with liquor or seduced by dissolute women, 
would make but poor provost guards. Few things pro 
claim more loudly the praise and merit of our regiment 
than General WooPs persistent effort to keep us in the 
provost work. Strange hiding places deserters some 
times found. On more than one occasion Sergeant Mur 
ray found a frail sister standing in the corner of a room to 
receive him with greater respect, but, as a married man, 
and so supposed to be a judge of crinoline, he could not 
but fancy she was possessed of a wonderful amplitude. 
Perchance desirous of the honor of introducing a new 
fashion to the consideration of his lady friends on his re 
turn to Berkshire, he ventured to make some observa 
tions, and so tried to view the marvel on all sides, when, 
to his surprise he discovered that the lady wore high-top 
boots, and suspicious pantaletts. Curiosity being stronger 
than gallantry, he led the blushing damsel aside, and lo ! 
the crinoline was delivered of a full-grown man a deser 
ter. What will not woman do when she loves "not 
wisely, but too well ?" 

Adieu to New York, to the North. 

On leaving, I send you 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 105 



WAR SONG, 

WBITTEN FOR THE FORTY-NINTH REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS 
VOLUNTEERS. 

AIR. " Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean." 

Old Berkshire, from hill and from valley, 

Her pride and her glory sends forth ; 
Her brave sons unitedly rally, 

"With the legions that pour from the North, 
"With firm will and manly endeavor, 

The Star-spangled Flag to uphold ; 
Oh give us old Berkshire for ever, 

And her own FORTY-NINTH, brave and bold ! 

(Chorus) And her own Forty-Ninth, brave and bold, 
And her own Forty-Ninth, brave and bold, 
Oh give us old Berkshire for ever, 
And her own Forty-Ninth, brave and bold. 

"We leave home and friends far behind us, 

And the scenes we have cherished so dear, 
The ties that no longer must bind us, 

We sunder them all with a tear. 
Ourselves from our kindred we sever, 

Till war and its perils are past ; 
For the Flag of our Union for ever, 

We swear to defend to the last I 

(Chorus) We swear to defend to the last, &c. 

By our Colonel, well skilled in commanding, 

Into battle we wait to be led ; 
On a single sound leg he is standing, 

But he s sound in his heart and his head. 
At his bidding we re going to follow, 

O er the fields of the South far awa , 
And we ll vanquish the rebels all hollow, 

Three cheers for our Colonel I Hurra I 
(Chorus) Three cheers, &c. 

Our Lieutenant-Colonel and Major 

We know they are faithful and true ; 
And victory s certain presager, 

We hail in their ardor to do. 
5* 



106 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

At their load, in right soldierly manner, 

The base rebel foe we ll pursue ; 
And we ll tear down the secession banner, 

And fling out the red, white and blue I 
(Chorus) And fling out, &c. 

Our Captains are prompt to their duty, 

Lieutenants alert to each call ; 
Our Staff boasts of valor and beauty, 

And in fact, we are fine fellows all. 
In Pittsfield, where we came together, 

In Worcester s generous town ; 
And even in Long Island weather, 

The old FORTY-NINTH takes em down ! 
(Chorus) The old Forty-Ninth, &c. 

Farewell to the homes we are leaving ; 

Farewell to the friends whom we know ; 
Farewell to the lasses now grieving ; 

We ll think of them all as we go. 
For all these our bosoms are yearning, 

While duty is beck uiug afar ; 
And we ll give, till God speeds our returning, 
Three cheers for " sweet home ;" Ilip ! Hurra ! 
(Chorus) Three cheers for sweet home ; Hip I Hurra ! 
Three cheers or sweet homo ; Hip 1 Hurra ! 
And we ll give, till God speeds our returning, 
Three cheers for sweet home ; Hip 1 Hurra ! 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 107 



LETTER XVII. 

;WICK, before 
February 7, 1863. 



STEAMSHIP NEW BRUNSWICK, before New Orleans, ) 



MY DEAR L. : 

As I may have an opportunity to mail you a letter soon, 
I will get one in readiness. On Friday, the 23d ult., 
the regiment embarked. By some mismanagement the 
sick who were to go with us, spent the night at Brooklyn 
in a cold car. We leave some of our number to recruit 
in the New York hospitals before going South. Our 
ocean camp, the steamship Illinois, was comfortable, be 
ing a staunch California steamer, but we were unduly 
crowded, having on board, our own regiment, some com 
panies of the Twenty-first Maine, and representatives of 
several other regiments, in all thirteen hundred men. The 
berths were so arranged as to be well ventilated. 

The dock where our good ship lay presented a busy 
scene. Very many were there to bid us farewell. Fa 
thers, mothers, wives, and scores of Massachusetts men 
made up the crowd. Sad hearts were hid by cheerful 
faces, but alas, the sigh followed the smile. Men afraid 
of playing the woman, assumed an unnatural levity, and 
friends parted as if they were sure to meet with the re 
turning morn. The colonel s parents were there. Pride 
in him could not make them forget that dire day before 
Yorktown. Might not the future, though still more glo 
rious, be yet more dire ? Who could tell ? Who but 
the great Searcher of hearts knew the struggles of that 
hour? All the " brave go not to the field." There is 
more than poetry in these lines : 



108 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

THE BRAVE AT HOME. 

BY T. BUCHANAN READ. 

The maid who binds the warrior s sash, 
With smile that well her pain dissembles, 
The while beneath her drooping lash, 
One starry tear-drop hangs and trembles, 
Though Ileaven alone records the tear, 
And fame shall never know her story : 
Her heart has shed a drop as dear 
As ever dewed the field of glory. 

The wife who grinds her husband s sword, 
Mid little ones who weep and wonder, 
And bravely speaks the cheering word, 
What though -her heart be rent asunder 
Doomed nightly in her dreams to hear 
The bolts of war around him rattle, 
Hath shed as sacred blood as e er 
"Was poured upon the plain of battle. 

The mother who conceals Irer grief. 
While to her breast her son she presses 
Then breathes a few bravo words and brief, 
Kissing the patriot now she blesses, 
With no one but her secret God 
To know the pain that weighs upon her, 
Sheds holy blood as e er the sod 
Received in Freedom s field of honor. 

I need not dwell on the parting scene. Tis too fresh, 
too much a matter of vivid feeling for expression. Some 
kind friends cheered our hearts and the hearts of the ped 
dlers, by scattering around cigars, apples and oranges. 
What cared we for those favors ? Little, but much, very 
much for them as tender expressions of woman s appre 
ciation of our sacrifices. Those earnest-eyed women of 
the dear old commonwealth looked on us as their de 
fenders. 

The hours passed on, when about noon General An 
drew and staff arrived, and the increased bustle beto 
kened that the time of our departure was at hand. Gen 
eral Andrew s lirst act was to eject our sutler and his 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 109 

stores from the sliip. Liking Mr. Springstein ns TTT ^ do, 
and seeing no necessity for such a step, our introduction 
to the brigadier was not calculated to prepossess us in 
his favor. 

At noon of Jan. 24th, we swung loose from the wharf, 
amid responsive cheers, and very soon were hidden from 
the last lingering look of those who mournfully sang : 

" Now blow, gentle gales, o er the dark blue sea, 

Bid the storm-king stay his hand, 
And bring my soldier back to me, 

To his own dear native land." 

We had two brigadiers on board with their respec 
tive staffs. General Andrew has seen service, having 
been with Banks in upper Virginia, where he was severe 
ly wounded. General Dwight is a little pompous, kid- 
gloved man, but as brave as a lion. He is one of five 
brothers in the army, and served with honor and wounds 
on the Peninsula. The members of their staffs were gen 
erally very young, boyish and exclusive, if I shoul<J say 
puppyisli, most of the boys would think I had hit the 
nail on the head for once. I never saw such a snobbish 
set. Those, whose sensitiveness had been wounded by 
submission to superiors, were comforted. Before the 
awful dignity of staff officers, a captain or a lieutenant 
was nothing, and noticed by them less than we are noticed 
by our officers. We never knew how to appreciate our 
officers before.. There is nothing snobbish about them- 
In my verdancy, I expected that the various officers 
would be mutually introduced, and that there would be 
a pleasant fraternization, a union of hearts that would 
produce union and enthusiasm in the field. But not a 
bit of it. Those little dandy lieutenants on the staffs, 
strutted about in their fine clothes like peacocks, and scarce 
ly noticed even our colonel, while hardly a word passed 
between them and the inferior officers. They chilled the 
air, and one was sorely tempted to accidentally (?) trip 
them up as they passed along. I suppose they have Bos- 



1 1 ) LIFE TVITII THE FORTY-NINTH 

ton pluck, and that is all that you can say in their favor. 
These men are fools. Don t they know that the aversion 
they awaken in us will weaken them on the day of bat 
tle / They have to lead where personal influence and 
respect may turn the scale of victory. For them, we feel 
nothing of that kind. Colonel Bartlett could do more 
with one of our companies, than these exclusives with 
the whole regiment. Well, let them pass ; they -may re 
deem themselves, and in gazing on their valor, we will 
forget their follies. 

Companies A and E were down in lower part of the 
hold, any thing but comfortably situated. There were three 
.tiers (or stories) of bunks for the accommodation of the 
men. The Maine boys, a lousy, dirty set, took it rough 
and tumble on deck. We will hail them as comrades in 
the day of battle, for the brimstone and sulphur of war 
may purify them. Just now, we feel to them as exclu 
sive as if we were staff officers. There were two cabins, 
the lower of which was occupied by generals, colonels, ma 
jors and captains, and the upper by lieutenants and us 
small fry. The officers found board at the hands of the 
steward for a dollar and fifty cents per day, a price at 
which the steward did not get poor, considering that 
most of his guests w r eie more than satisfied by the mere 
smelling of food. The well ones do say that it required 
considerable ingenuity to get enough to satisfy their ap 
petites. 

The regiment fared badly. For a day or two, we had 
fresh beef, but that w r as soon consumed, and we were 
confined to " salt horse." Barrels thereof, already cooked, 
stood near the cook-house, but were not much patron 
ized. We had no water save sea-water distilled by being 
used in the boilers, and of that a very insufficient sup 
ply. You can judge then, why salt beef went a begging. 
The horses of our officers were not taken on board, but 
we were troubled with fifteen staff horses who used more 
of the meagre supply of water than we liked. Consumed 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. Ill 

with thirst, you can imagine how happy we felt when we 
heard one of the exclusives say, " I don t care a 
whether the men get water or not, but my horse shall 
have it." O what an inexpressible joy to follow such 
men into battle ! Toward the latter part of the trip we 
got short of coal, which lessened the quantity of steam, 
and also our supply of drinking water. Fed on salt food, 
deprived of coffee, put on half rations of water, it was a 
wonder that we did not mutiny and push the thirsty hor 
ses into the ocean. They had no right to crowd so many 
on board. To cook for thirteen hundred men we had 
two steam-boilers and a space of four by five feet. We 
cooked there, the Maine boys did their cooking there, as 
did also the detached men of some other regiments. 
Cooking day and night would not prepare a sufficiency 
of food. All the rations due could be had, but they could 
no t be prepared. Coffee is the soldiers staff of life, and 
when for days, chilly days too, scarcity of water prevent 
ed us having any coffee, we were pretty well down in 
the mouth. Pretty good fellows we are, or we would 
have stormed the cook-house and compelled officers and 
horses to a pro rata distribution of water. Provoking 
enough it was to see hot steaks and biscuits and pies go 
to the cabin tables, but that we were willing to bear, for 
it was in the programme, but " no coffee " was something 
we never imagined. Give a cup of coffee and then a lit 
tle tobacco, and a soldier will be pretty reasonable. 

Of course we have nearly all been sea-sick. Sea-sick 
ness never kills, but it makes many wish it would. It is 
all I ever dreamed or thought or feared of the nasty. 
Provoke a sea-sick man, and he would almost strike his 
mother, if he had strength enough. Show me a man 
who is gentlemanly while thus tormented, and I will show 
you the highest type of the genus homo. A sea-sick man 
don t swear ; he is beyond that, literally he don t care a 

for any thing. Old Neptune is a nasty, miserable 

tyrant and cheat. When you are first taken, you vomit 



112 I.II r. WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

freely and think you are all right, and wonder why people 
make so much fuss about a little nausea, but by and by, 
when you have given the old sea-dog all your food, and 
think you have a receipt in full, the heaving of the ship 
stirs up bile and gall too, and you begin to vomit ? No 
you don t you wish you could ; you would give one of 
your babies for a good vomiting spell but you begin to 
retch. Do you know the meaning of that word ? Go to 
sea in foul weather, and we had scarcely any thing else, 
and you will loathingly remember its meaning all your 
life. Lie down on the flat of your back and you are then 
only less than deathly sick, but once roll over and away 
you start, perchance at night, tripping over sleepers 
(how can they, how dare they sleep ?) for the side of the 
ship. Now, certainly you can vomit yes, a little froth, 
and nothing else. Retching there for an hour and no re 
lief, you go back to your bunk and lie on your back till 
your bones ache, and you must move, and moving, you 
must get up and run, for certainly now you will find the 
relief which can alone make life endurable. Pale, blue- 
gilled, on you go, the boys see you, " Hallo ! Johns, how 
are you ? there he goes !" and you hang over the railing 
for an hour, looking more like a sick calf than any thing 
else, till your legs ache and you are wet with the cold 
spray, and then down you get on your haunches. The 
old ship makes a plunge, and over you go on the deck in 
a pool of filth to which the foulest spittoon is absolute 
sweetness and cleanness. Some fellow, not man enough 
to share your sickness, comes along, " Well, Johns, how 
are you this morning?" You look up and see hi the tor 
menting eyes, a twinkle, saying, " What a fool you are to 
give up to it." You don t knock him down, for you have 
not strength or energy enough for that ; you don t swear 
at him, for that requires an effort, and, as you are quite 
sure you will die if not relieved soon, your conscience 
protests against misusing your waning power in that 
way ; but you do inwardly pray that he may soon be as 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 113 

sick as yourself, and malevolence can no farther go. Some 
one tells you that lemon juice will work a speedy cure. 
With awakened hope you stagger after a lemon. Now, 
you see nearly every man sucking at one, and you get yours 
at last. You squeeze it, and as the acid descends, you 
feel something rising, you choke it down, determined to 
give" the lemon a fair chance, but all in vain, so you pitch 
it in the sea, and once more hang over the dirty slippery 
rail. u Johns, poor fellow, I pity you ; go and drink 
some sea-water and you will find relief." " That s so," 
and with a queer sort of thanks, you rush to the pump, 
crowd your way in and gulp down the worse than castor 
oil. Sure enough, you vomit freely, hurrah ! Eugh ! it 
is only the sea-water you throw up, and then you are 
sicker than ever. Reckless, you get down on your back 
again, lie there till necessity urges you up, and then some 
one tells you that you can soon overcome it by resolutely 
walking. Well, you try it. The plaguy old ship is 
drunk, why can t it be still ? Saying nothing, holding 
hard your breath, up and down you stagger just as long 
as your legs will carry you, and then stop, and then 
retch and retch your life away. Perchance there is a 
calm, the craft is sober again, and you begin to think 
you may possibly see something worth living for. True, 
your head is a vast bee-hive, but once more you crave 
food. O luxury of luxuries then, a boiled potato and a 
littlp salt ! If the calm continues, coffee is the nectar of 
the gods, but hard-tack and salt-horse, scarcely their am 
brosia. Now, you think the time may come in the far 
distant future, when you can hear, without shuddering, 
your sweetheart or wife sing " A life on the ocean wave, 
a home on the rolling deep." You look at the big ditch, 
and dimly perceive some beauty and grandeur, and have 
enlarged views of the Infinite, and awful conceptions of 
Eternity, and see the sun rise and set in mid ocean with 
awe and solemnity, but at the same time, have an idea 
that that bank of clouds in the west is something more 



114 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

than the hangings of the sea-god s regal couch. More 
than half convinced that the dwellers on the ocean are 
not all fools, and that Neptune has some royal and re 
deeming qualities, you go to your sound sleep. Ere morn 
ing, you hear great giant thunderings at the sides of 
your vessel, and find your bed on rockers, and wake 
up in the darkness, to discover that you have been a fool 
to trust in the deceptive promises of monarchs. Then all 
your bitter experience, intensified, is renewed, and you 
have to go through with the after pangs of the sea-birth. 
T/ten, you solemnly register your vows that once get out 
of this scrape, neither man nor devil nor Uncle Sam will 
ever get you into it again. "Ah ! my dear fellow, I wish I 
could be sea-sick ; you jvill stand the Southern climate 
so much better for this purging." Bah ! I wish he 
could be sea-sick, and as for Southern climate, I would 
swallow it, malaria, ague, yellow fever, black tongue and 
all, only to be once again on terra firma, no matter though 
it were a desert and a solitude. 

Well, none of us died, though nearly all were sick. For 
awhile the officers table was far from crowded, and the 
ringing of the dinner-bell awakened no hurry nor inter 
est. Old Xep. was no respecter of persons. Stars and 
eagles and straps all bowed before him as master. O ye 
dignified ones ! how unstarched you looked when you re 
linquished your dinners with so much more rapidity than 
grace, assuming positions, the most careful study of Har- 
dee never taught you. These new motions first became 
fashionable about in id-afternoon of the day we left Ni-\v 
York. The freshened air had invigorated our appetites, 
and just as we had discussed the merits of our rations, 
and while the, to us, unknown luxuries of the cabin were 
lingering on the palates of the officers, and as they, full 
of food and of high hopes, were parading the quarter 
deck, they began to find that the "Narrows" was the 
sea-monarch s custom-house, and tribute in the current 
coin of his realm was demanded. Nolens volem, they 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 115 

paid it. So generous was one of them that he gave up, 
not only his dinner, but his teeth also. Sure he \vas, at 
that time, he would never need teeth again. While those 
who sat at the first table were thus strangely digesting 
their repast, some of their successors exhibited an aver 
sion to their food, and without waiting to return thanks, 
hurriedly sprang on deck. Privates are not allowed on 
the quarter-deck, but there was plenty of room for them 
there that evening. When the hour comes, that comes 
to nearly all, there is no time to rush up three flights of 
stairs, and so you can imagine the highly scented condi 
tion of the hold. Imagine still farther, delicately reared 
men doing police duty there the next morning. So we 
continued ; well, when the ocean was calm, and sick, 
when it was rough, which was nearly all the time. As 
for myself, I was about the sickest of the sick, and have 
signed away all right and interest in that treacherous 
thing called the sea. To endure that for nine months, 
and I guess I would say, " perish my country, and all its 
hopes forever !" I ll stand by the bond, and deliver my 
native land from all its enemies, but in the name of my 
stomach, of all that is in me, or ought to be in me, I pro 
test against fighting an enemy who never has the manli 
ness to meet you face to face. Well, it is over, and as 
we sail up the Mississippi, we are determined to open it be 
fore our time of service shall have expired. When comes 
the fierce conflict and we waver before the foe, " Kally, 
Forty-ninth, or you must return by the way of the ocean" 
will endue us with a courage that no rebels can resist. 
The following lines by Colonel Sumner are very sugges 
tive. He was there. 



EXPERIENCES AFLOAT. 

gentle muse 1 gracious muse I 

Bestow thy smile on me, 
While I describe the wondrous sights 

I see upon the sea. 



116 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Old Ocean is a " heavy swell," 
A deep old salt, for that ; 

You ll find your error, if at first 
You take him for a flat. 

No rower can withstand his roar, 
For blows he s ever ready ; 

And whoso keeps his company, 
Is apt to get unsteady. 

He brags what flags wave o er his waves, 
He boasts his ships are whalers ; 

With gales regales us just to show 
How he assails the sailors. 

Ah me I I m six days out from shore, 
A cleaned out, luckless rover; 

Another six days cruise ahead, 
And so, I m half-seas over. 

I feel so " cabined, cribbed, confined," 
I scarce can draw my breath ; 

There s no more comfort in my berth, 
Than if it were my death. 

I go upon the upper deck, 
They call "the hurricane;" 

I spy a seat hard by, I strive 
"With all my might to gain. 

The passage thither seems up hill, 
I m just a going to soar ; 

When lo ! there comes a sudden lurch 
I m sprawling on the floor I 

With stern resolve I seek the stern, 
The ship s in mad carouse; 

The masts, as to their master nod, 
The bow is making bows. 

The smoke-stack is exceeding sick, 
It vomits forth a cloud ; 

A deathly pallor seems to sit 
On every sail and sliroud. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 117 

I look down in the engine-room, 

The struggle there is fine ; 
The old ship s stomach seems disturbed 

Almost as bad as mine. 

An aftor-thought conducts me aft, 

How very queer I feel ; 
The things go dancing round me so, 

My brain begins to reel. 

Then comes the strange sensation on, 

The like you never knew ; 
There s nothing for it but to run 

Eugh 1 E-ugh I ! E-e-u-g-h 1 1 ! 

grim old Neptune 1 once release 

Your precious hold on me, 
And you may play your pranks at will ; 
I ll never go to sea. 

STEAMSHIP ILLINOIS, AT SEA, ) 
OFF COAST OF FLORIDA, Jan. 30, 1863. j" 

We had rough, weather nearly all the way from New 
York to Florida. Howard and Hulet were the only men 
in our department fit for duty. We might feel pretty 
well, but get down into the hold where our stores were 
kept, and the old nausea would send us up stairs on a 
"double-quick." On Monday, January 26th, about 10 
A. M., we reached Fortress Monroe, where General An 
drew went on shore for orders, and whence we mailed 
a good many letters. Fortress Monroe, with its quiet 
bay, its various crafts, its monitors, and warlike surround 
ings, was an interesting sight to us landsmen, many of 
whom never before saw a fort or a war ship. 

General Andrew having returned, we again headed 
south about 2^ P. M. Having gone a little way, we were 
startled by the cry, " man overboard !" A poor fireman, 
maddened by liquor and the heat of the furnace, rushed 
on deck, and thence into the ocean. As soon as possible, 
the ship was stopped, a boat lowered, and vigorous arms 
bore it on toward the struggling wretch. In the white 
track of the ship, we could see an atom which we knew 



] 1 8 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

was a drowning man. The water had cooled his fever, 
and brought back the desire for life, for which he fought 
hard. The boat neared him ; he sank and rose again and 
airain, and sank to rise no more. Neptune had received 
a tribute he must restore to his master. Was it because 
we ourselves were going on an errand of death that this- 
startling episode failed to startle us? As the waves 
closed over the dead, leaving no trace behind, so did the 
waves of our lives, every day becoming more serious, 
close over this scene, leaving scarce a ripple. 

Between Fortress Monroe and the coast of Florida, 
we had what we called stormy weather, bringing chill 
to every bone, and sickness and discomfort to nearly all. 
We were disappointed in the height of the billows. 
Waves running mountain high is poetical, but not true. 
Forty feet, their highest elevation, make a poor show of 
a mountain to men who have been cradled by Mount 
Greylock and Everett. If mountain relates to discomfort, 
they were high as Mount Blanc. One night, they dashed 
over the ship, rushing down the hold, putting out the 
lights, and rousing the boys with the conviction that 
Nep. was coining a little too near for safety. I don t 
know how many prayed, but I do know some swore as 
if fight rather than fear was uppermost. Hearing the 
profanity, and remembering the prayers that had cradled 
many of them, one almost expected that the God of the 
ocean was coming to visit us in vengeance, but mercy 
prevailed, and we lived till Friday evening to see land 
again. That sunset scene, sun sinking in splendor to its 
ocean bed, gilding the evergreens of Florida ; the treach 
erous sea as calm and almost as lovely as a sleeping babe ; 
the air balmy as spring, all gave us a fuller idea of the 
meaning of " sunny South," than we ever had before. 
Saturday and Sunday, the last of January, and the first of 
February, were days long to be remembered. Then we 
wound round into the Gulf of Mexico. The sun was a 
little too warm, and coats became oppressive. A delicious . 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 119 

languor crept into your system, and mere existence was 
a pleasure. I don t blame the Southener for being lazy. 
Life seemed to be made there merely for eating a little, 
and basking and dreaming in the sun. We have grand, 
glorious sunsets in the North, where every thing is clear 
ly cut and as brilliantly distinct and vivid as if elabo 
rated by the most skilful artist, but we have no such sun 
sets as closed that first day of February. A great bank 
of clouds rose in the west, looking so much like huge 
cliffs, that you momentarily expected to hear the orders, 
" Port your helm," to avoid a collision. There is nothing 
distinct about a tropical sunset. All things are blended 
together as sweetly as a pleasant dream. You don t see 
poetry in the clouds ; you feel it. Enjoyment, not anal 
ysis, is your duty. Though Sunday, and a chaplain was 
on board, we had no public religious services, but I fancy 
there were few who were not benefited by the sermon 
then preached by nature. Tempted by the softness of 
the air, I slept two nights on deck. " I slept well. To 
wake up and see the chaste moon smiling on you ; to hear 
the soft ripplings of the waves, and look out on the vast 
ocean, was enough to make one forever forswear the effemi 
nacy of feathers and roofed chambers. So I thought till 
on that Sunday night, I was awakened by the falling rain s 
the howling wind, and the rolling deep. Then came a 
storm, and I wrote myself down as a fool to put any 
faith in. old ocean. Only the last evening, I was ready to 
swear eternal love and fealty, and now, when that beauty 
yet thrilled me, and that love made me happy, a sudden 
nausea drove me to the ship s side, where I believe I 
offered up my last tribute to Neptune, and with that 
tribute forever closed my heart against his seductions. 
We never saw any loveliness in the ocean after that. 
Monday morning we rolled in the trough of the sea, 
fearing the breaking of the shaft, and the consequent in 
gulfing of us all. The afternoon found us at the mouth 
of the Mississippi, where a pilot came on board. As 



120 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

soon as he sprang on the stairs, he cried out, " port your 
helm !" but too late, for in a few minutes we were fast 
on the bar, and there we lay, despite the puttings and 
groanings of the vast engine. As the owners of the boat 
iveeived fifteen hundred dollars per day for the use there 
of when in motion, and twelve hundred when at rest, 
they were better satisfied with the grounding than Vere 
we, notwithstanding our time was going on just the 
same. 

On the following evening, we were greeted with atrop- 
ical thunderstorm; none of the sharp, loud claps of thun 
der we were familiar with at home, nor any of the vivid 
flashes of lightning, but all was blended noise and fire. 
Each clap of thunder would roll and reverberate till fol 
lowed by another clap, keeping up one continuous, melan 
choly, angry din, while the whole atmosphere was so 
charged with electricity, that you could scarcely tell 
when one flash of lightning ended and the next began. 
It was almost unbroken flame. O ! it was grand. In 
the midst of the night we drifted out to sea, where we 
found ourselves rocking n^xt morning, and shivering be 
fore a cold wind not unworthy of March at home, and in 
finitely more penetrating. We got back again to the bar, 
and lay there till Friday afternoon, when the New Bruns 
wick, a small ocean pteamer, came down from New Or 
leans, and took tho soldiers and some of the stores on 
board. We left .he Illinois, cheering her kind captain, 
half cursing her crabbed cooks, glad to bid farewell to 
( he staff and to the ocean, remembering the latter with 
kindness only for the delicious sea-bathing, and the two 
days that heaven lent us to show how attractive a home 
we may ultimately reach. It is a matter of doubt whether 
the Illinois can get over the bar at this season of the 
year. Strange that the bar is more of a bar in high 
water than at low water. The rushing tide of the Mis 
sissippi, now full five miles an hour, brings down so 
much more mud than when low ; that the bar rises in 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 121 

height more rapidly in proportion than the water. Of 
course, the river is muddy, but then the water is sweet, so 
we have plenty of drink, and though our coffee has an inde 
scribable color, yet it is coffee, and we are satisfied. We 
are pretty well over sea-sickness. It does not leave you 
weak, but with powers of digestion equal to the con 
sumption of more hard tack than you can masticate. On 
board this boat there is no table for officers, and so they 
are dependent on our humanity for coffee, hard bread, 
and salt beef, those staples of a soldier s larder. Relieved 
of the incubus of the frigid staff, a right jolly good time 
have we had in coming up the river. The colonels, majors, 
and a few captains, filled up the few state-rooms, so the 
lieutenants and some of the captains were bedless, save 
the floor. Not liking that, they tried to make a night of 
it, and to keep all awake. Till about two A. M., they suc 
ceeded pretty well, but at last succumbed, finding sleep 
more of a necessity than frolic. 

Early dawn found us on deck, gazing at Secessia. 
N"ow, green fields, orange groves, palatial mansions, and 
slave-cabins fully occupy our attention. Budding trees, 
variegated with groves, in which we can see rich, lus 
cious, mouth-watering oranges, make it hard to realize that 
this is only the seventh day of February. The contrast 
between the homes of the planters and of their laborers, 
is suggestive of the fact, that in the ever-during struggle 
between the " privileges of the few and the rights of the 
many," that victory had here crowned the wrong. And 
as I gazed on the river, ten feet higher than the founda 
tions of the houses, kept back only by the levee, I could 
but think that the time was fast coming when the rush 
ing, swelling Mississippi of a Christianized public senti 
ment would sweep away the levee that avarice, interest, 
and indifference had thrown around slavery, and swallow 
up the distinctions based on the wrongs of centuries. In 
low malarious places, we see many camps, from which 
come cheers of welcome. Twas good to see houses 
6 



122 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NIN^H 

and green fields, but better still to see the old Flag and 
its blue-coated defenders. On we sail up the river, to 
open which, that the produce of the West may again find 
an unobstructed pathway to the markets of the world, is 
our mission. We believe it will be the scene of our tri- 
tn/iphs, probably of our graves. Be it so; this morally 
barren soil needs precious blood to purify and enrich it. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 123 



LETTER XVIII. 

STEAMSHIP NEW BRUNSWICK, February 18, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

My last letter to you found us drawing near to New 
Orleans. T. W. Judd, who carried the mail to the office, 
and cheered our hearts by bringing us Jetters from home, 
was the only one favored to see the city. We saw de 
serted, rotting levees, frowned on by numerous gunboats, 
everything to denote war and its destructiveness, nothing 
to convince us that we were before the great metropolis 
of the South-west. Divers pieces of calico and a few car 
riages pleasantly reminded us of the friends and comforts 
of the North. Peddlers brought us pies, apples, and or 
anges ; of the latter, you could get three, as large as pound 
apples, for ten cents. You had better believe that those 
who had any money left, rapidly invested it in that invit 
ing stock. We tasted oranges for once. Some, who had 
put their faith in Uncle Sam s promise of early payment, 
and come away penniless, looked on at the feast with looks 
that did not say much about re-enlisting. We have been 
served shabbily. Many of us are not able to buy tobacco ; 
and those who have a little of that needful on hand, are 
compelled to chew in secret or squander their stock, or 
stultify their past generosity by refusing a comrade s ap 
peal. 

About 2 p. M. of February 7th, we started up the 
river, and reached Carrollton, a town of three thousand 
inhabitants, seven miles above New Orleans, with which 
it is connected by railroad. We were somewhat disap 
pointed in the Father of Rivers. He rolls along in muddy 



124 LIFE WITII THE FORTY-NINTH 

majesty (above the mouth of the Missouri he is as clear as 
the Hudson), and at a tremendous pace, but he is smaller, 
narrower than we expected, in no place more than two- 
thirds of a mile wide, lie is a capricious fellow, rising 
above his ordinary level, in the spring, at New Orleans, 
thirteen feet, and at Cairo sixty feet, digging out huge 
tracks on one side, and yielding up a part of his domain 
on the other. He spawns a species of fiddlers, a crab-like 
fish, who by honey-combing the levees, get up a dance of 
mad waters, far from agreeable to men who live ten feet 
below the surface thereof. 

On reaching Carrollton, we were met by quite a number 
of the Thirty-first, Massachusetts. It was a truly pleas 
ant reunion. I then took my first trip in Secessia Xor- 
thrup and I made for an oyster-saloon. For a stew, we 
were each charged forty cents. Every thing salable is 
on the same scale. They have no pennies here, nothing 
less than " picayunes," which formerly meant six and one- 
quarter cents each, but are now reduced to five cents. 
Perchance this little custom is the basis of the reputation 
Southerners have for generosity. They are not generous 
Tvith their money, only reckless. Yearly, that little town 
of Boston contributes more to charitable and religious 
purposes than the whole South. I find the negroes arc- 
alike reckless as their masters, charging the most exor 
bitant priivs for all they do or sell, and squandering their 
money with a perfect looseness. Being compelled to buy 
five cents worth or nothing, leads to this careless improv 
idence. 

Most of us have prepared ourselves for this warm clime 
by having our heads sheared, so we look ugly enough to 
scare the long-haired Southrons. The residents here are 
mainly Germans. Occasionally you meet a native, who, 
with his fierce eyes, long hair, light-sleeved, short-tail 
coat, closely-fitting pants, and shining black-silk hat, looks 
as if he belonged to another race. Some of these natives 
have a low, mean scowl on their faces, and would be dan- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS, 125 

gerous if their courage were equal to their fierceness. 
They are generally taller, and larger-boned than we are. 
Men, women, and children, are sallow. Any careful ob 
server would see that, for real grit, manly defiance, per 
severing valor, we are almost infinitely superior. There 
may be Southern gentlemen, I have as yet seen no one 
that had a right to answer to that call. I have seen men 
of wealth, but they looked like a cross between the Span 
ish brigand and the overseer. Gazing at them is apt to 
make you doubt whether it is possible or desirable to 
live in peace with them. I suppose the chivalry are all 
in the army. Everybody here looks lazy. 

Of course I strolled abound among the darkeys, talking 
with nearly every one I met about slavery and freedom, 
and trying to find him who preferred the former to the 
latter. I have not yet succeeded, I shall continue my 
search. There are a good many genuine Africans here. 
I learn that they came down from up the river. The res 
ident negroes are nearly all mulattoes and quadroons, 
some of whom are handsome. The women seem proud 
of their almost white children, holding the fruit of their 
adultery as an evidence of their charms. Judging by the 
extreme hideousness of some of these mothers, I was 
led to conclude that Southern passion was superior to 
Southern taste. No wonder that the poor wenches blush 
not. They have never been taught the sacredness of 
woman s virtue. If they bring a free child into the 
world, they may be cursed for increasing a hated and 
feared class ; if they bring forth .a slave-child, they are 
praised, but in neither case taught that God has said, 
"Thou shalt not commit adultery." The Southern code 
strikes out the "not," and emphasizes the "shalt." Men 
and women alike testify to the brutal lust of the whites, 
it being no uncommon thing for the master or overseer 
to drive the husband from his bed and take his place, or 
for women to be fearfully scarred, who through caprice 
or principle refuse their adulterous embrace. Enceinte 



126 LIFE AVITII THE FOHTY-MNTII 

women are often whipped. They arc laid with their faces to 
the ground, which is so excavated as not to endanger the 
life of the child. Slavery alone could present such an in 
stance of hellish ferocity and avarice. I wish that it could 
be said that amalgamation is confined to the Southerners. 
I fear it is not so. I saw an old woman of seventy on 
the levee, who had come down from up the river. On 
inquiring how she supported herself in freedom, she said 
she had been a midwife at one of the camps. " Midwife 
at camp ! what on earth do soldiers in camp need mid- 
wives for?" "Oh!" said she, "the darkey women will 
fall in love with the Yankee soldiers, and I have to take 
care of the little mules." Alas for human nature ! With 
others, I have always considered the negro as peculiarly 
sensual. If so, phrenology is a lie. The heads of the 
men are very deficient in animal force, the major part be 
ing above and in front of the ears. Singular, but true; 
the heads of the women indicate great animal passions. 
Difference in toil and exposure will hardly account for 
this difference. 

While at Carrollton, a whole colony, of contrabands 
were moved there. I saw a girl of seventeen going 
through all the antics of a monkey or a boy of six years. 
That is the only specimen of the rollicking, joyous, devil- 
may-care African I have seen. I had no doubt that the 
negroes, if not a happy race, were at least careless and 
light-hearted. Observation begins to compel me to rewrite 
my former theories, and to set down their joyousness and 
happiness as a plantation lie. I have been with them a 
great deal, and never before saw so much of gloom, de 
spondency, and listlessness. I saw no banjo, heard none 
but solemn songs. In church, or in the street, they im 
press me with a great sadness. They are a sombre, not 
a happy race. I attended one of their class and prayer 
meetings at Carrollton, and in speaking to them, inciden 
tally said, " The first gun fired at Fort Sumter cracked the 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 127 

chain of every slave in the land." I was surprised at the 
response. " Glory ! Hallelujah !" sounded from all parts 
of the house. Old men cried, clapped their hands, and 
all gathered round me, as if I were an angel of good tid 
ings. With no gentle pressure they shook my hand, al 
most hugged me, and called down all manner of benedic 
tions on my head. Yet they do not appreciate or care for 
freedom ! In every prayer, blessings were invoked for 
our officers and soldiers, and especially for our sick. We 
left Carrollton about 1 A. M., the 17th inst. Getting on 
the boat at that late hour, Captain Chaffee, a thorough 
anti-slavery soldier, heard a plaintive voice singing, " Am 
I a soldier of the cross," and " don t forget to pray." 
He followed the voice, and was led to an old negro wo 
man. She told him she came there to pray for our suc 
cess, and that God would make us soldiers of the cross. 
Poor old woman ! freedom would benefit her but little, 
but in the thick darkness she was praying for it, and see 
ing in us God s agents to usher in the wished-for day. 
She was also praying that we might be morally prepared 
to share in its triumphs. Yet, the negro does not desire 
freedom ! On our way up from Carrollton, one got the 
wood-pile between him and the whites, and then vigor 
ously waved his hat in welcome. It was our only wel 
come. Tears, half of anger, half of joy, filled my eyes; 
and if there were another half, half of intense determina 
tion to do something to give that negro the right to greet 
the old flag before all the world, with none to molest or 
make him afraid. Talk about a race having such intense, 
unsatisfied longings as a happy race ! Absurd ! Thank 
God, the old flag now means freedom to all under its 
folds. 

" Fremont is music. For that or for some other reason, 
every negro remembers the name. They may know 
nothing about Lincoln or his proclamation, but they know 
something about Fremont. That glorious campaign, in 



128 LIFE WITH THI: ruin Y-NLNTU 

which he was standard-bearer, a campaign of principles, 
a campaign when Seward was radical, and Lincoln was 
stepping up to the height of January 1st, 1803, stirred up 
alike every fear of the master, and every hope of the 
shive. Fremont was the North star brought down to 
the Gulf, their first and enduring love. O, to see him 
range the South ! Then the end were at hand. 

" Do not think I have the negrophobia. Remember this 
is my first letter from the land of Slavery. Subsequent 
letters will be less dark than this, but in nearly all the 
inevitable negro will appear. Sambo was the occasion 
of this war. Sambo is in the fence. Sambo will not 
down, and poor correspondent would I be if I ignored 
Sambo. He will wind up the war. For the present, 
farewell to Sambo." 

On Sunday, the 8th instant, Colonel Sumner led the 
regiment through the streets of Carrollton. Fifteen days 
on shipboard made the march very pleasant. Save the 
negroes going to church, you would not imagine that it 
were Sunday. Sunday here means business, frolic, and 
holiday. The days are divided into mornings, evenings, 
and nights ; afternoon is an unmeaning word. 

On Monday, the 9th, at five P. M., we encamped about 
half a mile from the river, on ground as flat as a board. 
Scarce of tents, the boys piled in seven or eight thick, in 
volving the necessity of sleeping two deep. We got our 
tents u]), when orders came for us to start at once up the 
river. Some of our goods being on the Illinois, secured 
us a respite. Flies (in February) and spiders as large as 
walnuts, are a part of our reminiscences of Carrollton. 
Being at the closing up of the rainy season, we had half 
a dozen showers daily. The smallest cloud baptized us, 
and we obtained a deeper insight into mud than ever be 
fore. Strong must be your soles if you djd not leave 
them. Dig down eighteen inches, and you reached 
water. The air was so warm, that many abandoned their 
under-clothes, a hazardous experiment where the ground 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 129 

is very damp, and fogs so heavy that the snn does not 
rise till near noon. Though again favored to eat soft 
bread, we had no cook-houses, few cooking-utensils, and 
our drink was Mississippi water, of the consistence of 
thin mud, and the color of strong lemonade. Diarrhoea 
seized nearly all of us, and fever followed hard after as 
not even at Camp Briggs were our streets kept clean, being 
not merely a matter of pride and taste, but of health, of life. 

Last Sunday we had a rain. Thunder and lightning 
accompanied it. We never witnessed such before. The 
wind strained every tent-cord, and overturned the sut 
ler s tent. Round every field there was a ditch and a 
bank three or four feet high. The rain filled up the 
ditch, and began to reach our tent-floors. Co. A, occupy 
ing the lowest part of the ground, had a strange experi 
ence. As the rain increased, they would raise their floors 
till they could raise them no higher, and then perch them 
selves on cracker-boxes, with feet on high, a position that 
had one advantage. They were willing to rise early next 
morning. The water filled up the whole camp, being on 
an average two to three feet deep. Next morning we 
found no traces of the storm save wet blankets, damp 
soldiers, and some surface mud. Where that water went 
to, we never could imagine. It could not have been ab 
sorbed ; for, before the rain, digging eighteen inches 
would bring you to the water. Some say that all the 
ditches slope towards Lake Ponchartrain, where there is a 
powerful engine to throw the water over the levee. 
Powerful indeed must be that engine. 

On the 13th, we witnessed the burial of a soldier from 
New Hampshire. The first we had seen, it impressed us 
solemnly. First, went the brass band, playing a solemn 
dirge, then the hearse or ambulance (a two- wheeled cart 
with a linen cover, used for conveying sick, wounded, 
and dead, looking like a baker s cart), and then twelve 
soldiers with reversed guns. They marched very slow 
ly to the grave, whore they buried their comrade ; and 
6* 



IttO I. II i: WITH THE FOKTY-MMH 

having fired throe volleys over his grave, returned to tho 
lively music of the band. The solemnity was so oppres 
sive, that I could see great propriety in banishing the 
gloom by stirring, cheerful music. I went to the sol 
dier s cemetery. The graves are less than two fret deep, 
of which six inches are water, rendering it necessary to 
bore holes, or put stones in the coffin to sink it. Each 
grave is marked by a head-board, on which the name, 
company, and regiment of the dead, are marked. An offi 
cer keeps a record of the cemetery, to enable those who 
may wish to exhume the remains of their friends, to ascer 
tain their respective graves. Among the wooden head 
boards was a marble stone, a token of a brother s affec 
tion. On many of these were inscriptions. I copied 
this one : 

""Weep not for me, my wife and infants dear; 
For I am not dead, but sleeping here ; 
So after me no sorrow take, 
But love my infants for my sake." 

Poor, dear fellow ! he was not much of a poet, but the 
rude lines were touching. They told where his dyiixj; 
thoughts were turned, and how the patriot -was lost in 
the husband, the father. Many Xew England homes are 
linked to that graveyard with chains of sadness. Each 
grave has its own unwritten history of hopes and joys of 
fered up for a nation s life and purity. That cemetery is 
fast being filled up, and it is only a small one of hun 
dreds. So let it be, if God s truth can only thus be main 
tained. Gloomy are our recollections of Carrollton. It 
is truly a fever-spot. This country is not fit for the resi 
dence of man. Leave it for a decade of centuries, and 
geological changes may render it habitable. At present, 
it is well termed the "graveyard of the South-west/ 
One of our dead lies in the cemetery at Carrollton, Wil 
liam W. Rossiter, (B) Richmond, lie was a farmer-boy 
of eighteen years of age. He died on the morning of tho 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 131 

seventeenth, of typhoid fever. Fortunately, his brothers 
were allowed to be with him in his dying hours. Thus 
went down to the grave the Benjamin of the flock. He 
was a nice, good, moral boy, full of life, and liked by all. 
Another New England home to be darkened. We loft 
some of our sick behind us sick, we fear, unto death. 
We left them among strangers. William Deming (H) 
died on board the Illinois, the eighth instant. His disease 
was of the nature of an abscess in the head. He was a 
young farmer from Sandisfield, aged twenty-four years. 
A fine man, a much-esteemed citizen, a soldier always 
willing to do his best, he died not alone, for some of his 
comrades remained on the ship and ministered to him. 
He was buried on one of the islands at the mouth of the 
Mississippi. We expect that that mighty river will mark 
our triumphs, but we did not expect it so soon to mark 
our burials. 

On last Sunday, Colonel Bartlett read to the regiment 
the church service. His rich voice was in unison with 
the richness and majesty of that liturgy, producing so 
good an effect that we the more earnestly desired to 
have the labors of a good chaplain. Tha-t we are with 
out a chaplain is not the fault of Governor Andrew, for, 
on the representation to him of our lack in that respect, 
he requested our colonel to appoint one, or to give him 
authority to do so. The following extract from Colonel 
Bartlett s letter in reply, shows his position relative to 
this important matter : 

" The position of chaplain I consider one of the most 
difficult to fill, and I have seen such evils follow from the 
presence of inefficient or unworthy chaplains (not in Mas 
sachusetts regiments), that I have hesitated to nominate 
any one for that position, unless I found some one who 
was qualified, both in character and ability. Such a one 
has not offered yet. Your correspondent is misinformed 
as to the observance of the Sabbath in this regiment, 
There are the regular duties of the day, such as guard- 



132 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

mounting, Sunday morning inspection, and dress pa 
rade, which are never omitted, but besides these it is a 
day of rest. 

"I have always afforded every opportunity for the men 
to attend divine worship on that day. I have also read 
the services myself on that day, to all who desired to at 
tend, it being one of the duties of the couttitandiit<i offi 
cer in the absence of a chaplain." 

I don t wonder that the colonel hesitates in this mat 
ter. Before the weeding-out process, many of the chap 
lains were a disgrace to the service, and productive of 
evil only. Better no chaplain than one who is immoral, 
lazy, or indifferent. Men have filled that position who, 
at home, could never get or keep a charge, or whose rep 
utations stood in great need of repairs. I know a chap 
lain of fourteen months standing, who has never preached 
a sermon to, or held a prayer-meeting in, his regiment. 
One bright Sunday morning, I attended services at a neigh 
boring cam]), and there were not forty of that chaplain s 
men present. No duties prevented their attendance. 
Be assured, he neglected his duty. Let a chaplain do 
his work well, and he will bind the hearts of the men to 
him, and save souls from death. We want earnest, brave 
men, men who will carry the gospel to the battle-field, 
men like that monk who attended Marmion on Flodden 
field 

" A pious man whom duty brought 
To dubious verge of battle fought, 
To shrive the dying, bless the dead." 

Well, if not fated to be ministered to as we desiro, we 
may thank our colonel that no unworthy representative 
of the Master shall make us distrust the sacred profession, 
and sow seeds of infidelity in our hearts. If not bk - 
with one who might be to us a " savor of life unto life," 
we are not to be cursed with him w r ho would be a " sa 
vor ol death unto death." 

On Monday, at 4 p. M., we got orders to go up the 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 133 

river, and it was Tuesday 4 A. M., before the troops were 
on board. Twelve hours in the mud is military, but not 
pleasant. Leaving Carrollton, we left no regretsj save 
that we had to bid farewell to our cooking-ranges, and 
to find out what luxury there is in food of which smoke 
is a large ingredient. Where we are going, we know not ; 
perchance to battle. Already some have shown symp 
toms of bullet-fever, a fever which really prostrates a 
man. Rallying from that, he may be the bravest of the 
brave. Imagination presenting danger in every form, 
he will find the reality so much less than he feared, that 
he will not be nearly so apt to be panic-stricken as he 
who meets that experience for the first time in the pres 
ence of the foe. This is the fiery baptism of battle. 
Dealing out cartridges somewhat strengthens the impres 
sion that we are Hearing the hour when men s souls and 
reputations will be tried. Our trip up the river has been 
very pleasant, though all hands have been reduced to 
planks for beds, and for food to the primitive hard tack, salt 
beef, and coifee. Many of the mansions lining the river 
are all we have imagined of Southern wealth and luxury. 
The whitewashed slave-cabins looked comfortable. 

On Tuesday evening, we anchored off Donaldsonville, 
a small, war-wrecked village. The fog was so great that 
we feared travelling in the dark would result in our run 
ning into a bar or snag, and a probable visit from gue 
rillas. So we rested under the guns of Fort Butler, a 
neat, trim-looking citadel, and heard the sunset gun, and 
saw the descending flag, all which was to us novel and 
warlike. Quite a number of gunboats are wending their 
way up the river ; so perchance, before another mail-day 
rolls round, we may have struck a blow for God and our 
native land. 
12 



134 LIFE WITH Tin: FOKTY-MMII 



LETTER XIX. 

CAMP BANKS, BATON ROUGE, LA., February 21, 18G3. 
MY DEAR L. : 

To date a letter from " Camp Banks" again, brings to 
mind our life on Long Island, but here we are with 
balmy airs, budding trees, and opening gardens. We 
reached this city, the capital of Louisiana, about Wednes 
day noon. The high bluff on which the city is* built 
is an agreeable contrast to the fever level of Carrollton. 
Our camp is about one and a half miles east of the river, 
from which we draw our water. Poor as it is, it is more 
wholesome than well-water. The citizens generally UM> 
cistern-water. Our camping-ground was once occupied 
by the rebels for a similar purpose. A battle was fought 
here last August, and the trees show the effect of shot 
and shell, while bones of animals and of men testify that 
wo gained no bloodless victory. The boys have brought 
several unexploded shells into camp, one weighing one 
hundred and thirty-seven pounds ; a substantial reason 
for the rebels fear of gunboats. We have the best 
ground for a camp in the neighborhood, sloping so as to 
remove all fears of being again drowned out. Near it is 
our parade-ground, a vast field of several hundred acres. 
Here we have brigade drills, the regiment being now 
merged into the brigade. We belong to the First Brigade, 
First Division, which consists of the Hundred and Six 
teenth New York, Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth Massachu 
setts, and the Twenty-first Maine. Colonel Chapin, of the 
Hundred and Sixteenth New York, is our acting briga 
dier. He had experience and wounds on the Potomac, 
and is considered reliable and worthy. Our major-gen 
eral is C. C. Augur, an old West-Pointer, and reputed to 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 135 

be one of our best generals. Banks has gathered around 
him men of fine military ability. Augur, Grover, Emory, 
Sherman, Weitzel, Arnold, form a brilliant constellation. 
In a recent division review, we saw none superior to our 
own Forty-ninth. I have not yet seen its physical equal. 
Now we are living a military life. Guards no longer 
slouch along with unloaded guns, or run to their tents 
when oif their beats, or are careless as to who pass or 
repass. All that is altered. Within a few miles is the 
enemy, so sentinels feel that in their watchfulness the 
safety of many lives depends. You will seldom hear that 
it is such an hour of the day, but it is just before or after 
reveille, or guard-mount, or dress-parade, or roll-call, or 
taps. Watches are almost superfluous. To our other 
duties is now superadded that of picket. A certain num 
ber of each regiment are detailed daily for this impor 
tant work. The picket-lines extend from river to river, 
forming a semicircle of five or six miles. The pickets 
carry all their traps with them, so as to be re;kly to join 
in march, attack, or retreat, at a moment s notice. Three 
occupy a post. In daytime, one stands guard, and the 
others rest ; but at night, only one rests at a time. In 
case of an attack, they fire two signal-guns to prepare 
their camps for action, and then fall back on the reserve 
pickets. If practicable, resistance is here made to the 
advancing enemy; if not practicable, they retreat to the 
camp, firing their guns. Our nearest pickets are but 
half a mile from us, too near to give us time to " fall in" 
if they were beat back by a superior force ; but there are 
cavalry pickets or scouts much farther in advance, so we 
sleep securely, though the sudden firing of two guns in 
quick succession, the other night, rather startled us. 
Picket-work has some charms about it, and also many 
inconveniences and dangers. Occasionally, they are 
fired into by guerillas. There is some romantic and pa 
triotic politeness about army-life. While the pickets file 
past the " field-officer of the day," on their way to their 



136 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

respective posts, he remains uncovered, as if to say, 
"Guardians of an army s safety, you go //>cf,vtf the foo 
to watch over and protect u>, and through us, the nation; 
yours is the post of danger and of honor ; with uncovered 
head I salute you." While sentinels around the camp 
are called "quarter-guards," these are known as "grand 
I/wards" No one is allowed to pass the pickets without 
a permit from head-quarters. Xot unfrequently some 
proud dame, who has stayed beyond her allotted time, 
presents herself to the officer of the picket, and is conse 
quently escorted by a gallant blue-coat to the provost 
marshal. Judging by her sullen demeanor, she does not 
appreciate the gallantry. More amusing is it to see one 
of our boys chaperone some greasy African wench to the 
same officer. All along the road he will be met with sal 
lies of humor that keep his blushing damsel on the broad 
grin. Our sense of the ludicrous is apt to make us for 
get the deference due to woman, no matter what her 
color. Twould argue a higher self-respect, did the 
damsel meet the humor with anger rather than with 
mirth. It is hard to have se//-respect when you have 
never enjoyed the respect of others. 

Baton Rouge is quite a pretty place of some four thou 
sand inhabitants, mainly situated on a bluff, about forty 
feet above high-water level. The sheets are broad, 
regular, shaded, and now clean. Save the penitentiary, it 
has but two large buildings, one of them now in ruins ; 
yet, even in ruins, the State-House is beautiful, especially 
to Northern eyes, for the yard is as green as are ours in 
June. It is a grand rind beautiful wreck. Here was 
fought the battle of Louisiana Secession, and treason tri 
umphed. Then came the battle of last August, and treason 
was vanquished, and the old Hag once more waved over 
the pride of Louisiana. Soldiers, Union and rebel, were 
stationed there when tho building was fired. How or by 
whom, no one knows. Each side accuses the other of the 
deed. The magnificent library the fine furniture, the 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 137 

treasures of art, were all consumed. Only Powers statue 
of Washington was rescued from the flames. Naught now 
remains but the massive and beautiful frame. Lower 
down the river stands the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, a 
long white building with large wings. It is four stories 
high, and round the entire building run two deep verandas, 
which, with the spacious rooms, admirably adapt it for a 
hospital. Like the State-House, the yard is enclosed with 
a fine iron fence, and filled with all kinds of flowers an.d 
shrubbery. The dwelling-houses are mostly one story in 
height, with an attic, destitue of cellars, which cause the 
buildings to rot, and nearly every one boasts a deep piazza, 
the best-patronized part of the house. As the doors are 
generally open in the middle of the day, we can see how 
Southern houses are furnished, which is in a style very 
inferior to corresponding houses in the North. Carpets 
are few in number, and the walls are seldom papered. It 
is not unusual to see pianos in rooms thus destitute. Cool 
ness and cleanliness are, at least, secured. Green shutters 
are attached to doors and windows to keep out the heat. 
The beauty of their- gardens is shut in from the view of 
outsiders by high fences, which, with the howlings of 
dogs inside, indirectly refer to the peculiar institution. 
The bed is the great feature of the room, being of the 
high, solid posters and heavy top-pieces of the eighteenth 
century. They are often eight feet long by six feet wide. 
The neighboring woods supply them with moss, which, 
when dried, makes the best of mattresses. The rods and 
rings for curtains point to probable mosquitoes, of which, 
they say, they have some, but aver they are not as bad 
here as elsewhere. I have heard that same remark in 
latitudes where I could scarcely discern the color of my 
horse for the pestiferous hordes, so I draw less comfort 
from their statement than do others. The city boasts four 
churches, one of which, the Methodist, is a handsome and 
commodious edifice. There are occasional services in the 
Episcopal, and regular services in the Catholic church; 



138 LIFE WITH THE FOETY-N1M II 

otherwise you must worship in the Methodist church, now 
under the care of the negroes. Judging from the number 
of stores, this was once quite a . husiiu->s place. Most of 
those now occupied are in the hands of Northern men, who 
keep a poor stock, but are not deficient in their char 
Take away the trees and shrubbery, and you cannot find 
what you would term a handsome place, in town. Fe\v, 
who can afford plantations, live in cities, save doctors, 
lawyers, ministers, and merchants. The wealth is in the 
country, to which towns are the merest adjuncts ; land 
owning, and consequent slave-owning, is the criterion of 
respectability. Who own the land will be the rulers. 
Hence the home-power of Southerners, hence their oppo 
sition to homestead-bills. Even in England, an extensive 
land-owner, though a parvenu, has more local influence 
than an acreless lord, though in his veins runs the blood 
of all the Howards. The North knows little or nothing of 
the power of leaders. We thank our free schools for it ; 
we ought also to thank that Providence which has divided 
the soil among many owners. Perchance the latter flows 
from the former blessing. Feudal South can only be rc- 
publicanized by impoverishing the great landlords. The 
war will do, is doing that. Then democracy will gravitate 
to the country, and the aristocracy to towns and cities. 

The north part of the city is ornamented by the arsenal 
buildings and grounds. They are pleasantly situated, and 
quite spacious. Thanks to the loyalty of Secretary Floyd, 
they were well filled with arms and munitions of war. 
Of course the rebels seized all. Around the arsenal a series 
of earthworks are being thrown up, and near by is Fort 
Williams, which, when finished, will enable us to hold this 
place with comparatively few men. Butler, Banks, or 
somebody else, has been and gone and done it. Negro 
regiments are actually being gathered together at the 
arsenal. If they are free, why not let them fiykt to pre 
serve that freedom ? We are beginning to laugh at our 
selves, that we ever hesitated in this matter. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 139 

Saving the lack of boards for tent-flooring, we are 
pretty comfortable. Lumber is hard to get at it here, and 
many have found a better quality than that usually fur 
nished by the government, though some dismantled 
houses may bear testimony to the violation of orders. 
Mahogany is a tropical product, and we find it makes good 
tables, shelves, and floors. For a day or two we could 
getno bread, and the quartermaster had to receive some 
fervent blessings. Get soldiers away from the refine 
ments of life and doom them to camp inactivity, and they 
present to view many evidences of selfishness. Some are 
born grumblers ; and some who never fed themselves at 
home so well as Uncle Sam now feeds them, make it a 
rule to snarl at the quantity and quality of their food ; 
while those who left homes of luxury, take to army fare as 
if they had been born to it. Save fresh beef, which finds 
its way only to soldiers in the hospital, we are as well fed 
as at Camp Briggs. Recently, dried peaches were issued 
in lieu of rice. Some, greedily devouring all they could 
get thereof, would go round complaining that it was not 
so bulky and nutritious as rice. We used to worry, 
ourselves; now, we let them complain. True, we at 
times have pork and salt beef, belonging to the order of 
" animated nature," and it is amusing to see how differ 
ently different persons receive it. Some will cry out, 
" Look here, cook, it s no use of carrying that to the cook 
house ; put it down and give me a whip, and I will drive it 
for you ;" while others will curse as thieves all connected 
with the government. I used to set down the whole race 
of quartermasters and commissaries as vampires on the 
soldiers, and give unlimited credit to all the complaining 
letters from the army. That day is past, for I know that 
some of our well-fed regiments are not chary of their cen 
sures. Having nothing to read, often nothing to do, their 
god is their belly, " and what we shall eat and what we 
shall drink" the great questions of their lives. We need 
active war to drive back this murmuring devil, and to 



140 LIFE WITH THE FOllTY-XIXTII 

evoke our manliness ami heroism. A regimental quarter 
master has hut little chance to defraud. A shrewd com 
pany commissary knows how much his company is entitled 
to, and is present at the delivery of the rations ; so that 
cheating Itim is no easy work. After a regiment is bri 
gaded, the medical department draws for the sick, so that 
that main chance of stealing is not open to the quarter 
master. When you rise above a regiment, quarter 
master and commissary are distinct officers, the latter 
having charge of eatables, and the former of nearly every 
other kind of government property. Here there is a 
field for peculation ; and when you rise higher to Division 
and post-quartermasters and commissaries, you get into a 
region where fortunes spring up almost as rapidly as 
Jonah s gourd, especially if provost-marshals form a part 
of the iniquitous firm. The assertion that this war would 
have been closed ere this had officials had no opportunity 
to trade in sugar, molasses, and cotton, is not entirely with 
out foundation. As yet, General Ba iks has kept himself 
from suspicion, and Butler was too shrewd to do any 
thing that his enemies could get hold of; but certainly his 
brother owes him a large debt of gratitude for orders that 
accidentally made him a millionnaire. Witness this : on 
reaching New Orleans, Butler prohibited the circulation 
of the notes of various banks. Tis said that the brother 
bought up millions of these notes for a mere song. Soon 
after, an order was issued requiring the notes of these 
same banks to be received as legal tender, "stating that, as 
the people had received them in good faith, it was no 
more than right that the banks should redeem them to the 
extent of the gold in their vaults and the responsibilities 
of the stockholders. You see the point. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 141 



LETTER XX. 

CAMP BANKS, BATON ROUGE, La., March 2, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

How we pity you poor chilled Northerners, who can 
see nothing but snow, and hear naught but the rude 
blasts of Boreas, while we gaze on green grass, soft skies, 
budding trees, and hear the cooings of birds and the rip- 
plings of rivulets ! " Ripplings of rivulets !" I must take 
that back, for I don t want my imagination to be so de 
veloped under a Southern sun as to produce a result 
which you, in the unromantic North, would call " lying." 
There are no " rivulets" here, and of course the ripplings 
were not in my eye ; but somehow there is such a charrn 
about our life, such an actual luxury in mere living, that 
what you have not in reality, you have in imagination. 
Rivulets, indeed ! nothing like them, except muddy ba 
yous, which are so still and sluggish that I take much 
credit to myself for having even imagined " rivulets." 
It takes hills and stones for " rippling rivulets." As for 
hills, we have nothing but river cliffs and stones I have 
yet to see the first stone in Louisiana. But it is glorious li v- 
ing here in March. Throw yourself down, half in shade 
and half in sun, and forget your pores are drinking in 
fever, and you are almost ready to perpetually divorce 
you from the rigid North. We have had a few " right 
smart" cool days, and one or two marked with a chill 
damp, that enables you to understand why the half- 
clothed African thinks thatTeven this is too far North for 
his race, and you no longer wonder at the many dropsi 
cal specimens you meet, the result of cold ; but generally 
speaking, we have had weather that only needs perma- 



142 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

nence to make life a physical paradise. It is worth a few 
hours mark, I don t say (/<///* of sea-sickness, to spend 
one of our mornings in these grand woods. Wood here 
must be unusually tough, for great oak-branches shoot 
out from the trunk from sixty to eighty feet, almost hor- 
t ::/if<(//i/. Pendent from every branch, for eight or ten 
feet, is the thick, rich moss, or tillandsia, which gives to 
the forests such a weird, antique look. Get in deep 
enough to shut out sights and sounds of men, and you 
can fancy yourself an inhabitant of the antediluvian 
world. Imagine these branches, with their parasites on 
either side of a stream, down which you are gently 
gliding, and you will agree with Epicurus that living 
means simply enjoying. Some of these woodland views 
awaken in you a protest against all activity ; and when, 
imbued with the delicious torpor, you return to meet 
cool-eyed firm-nerved Northerners, you know that they 
must master the denizens of such scenes. 

We make use of this fine weather to do up our wash 
ing. I have been washing some flannel, and wringing 
out the same. I don t think I will ever complain of the 
quantity or quality of another wash-day dinner ; and, as 
soon as I get home, my women folks must have a clothes- 
wringer. Cook and wash and mend for yourself a few 
months, and you will never again think woman s work 
is easy, and that you could do the same in half the time 
she takes. If our washing does not result in whitening 
our clothes, it, at least, purifies them, and stays the de 
velopment of a peculiar class of rebels, who have al 
ready been sufficiently troublesome. 

If the paymaster should visit us, we could for a while 
vary our diet, and only for " a while," with steak at fifty, 
butter at sixty, cheese at forty cents per pound; eggs at 
a dollar a dozen, and other edibles in proportion. Speak 
ing of these things reminds me of a clean, cool, spacious 
market-house, which I thought was no longer used, for I 
never saw a speck of food in it. They do their market- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 143 

ing here between daybreak and sunrise. They commence 
by drinking drip-coffee from cups about the size of those 
we once used when soldiering was only playing, for 
which they pay the reasonable sum of ten cents each. 
Vegetables are not weighed or measured, but sold, by 
the plateful, while beef-steak does not refer to any par 
ticular parts of the defunct animal, but rather to the 
whole carcass, finding it, as they do, from the neck to the 
tail, and selling it for from twenty-five to fifty cents per 
pound. Men who have graduated on hard bread may 
attack these steaks with some hope of ultimate success, 
but I could hardly recommend the business to those who 
have not cut their eye-teeth. Captain Morey has been 
to New Orleans and brought back with him our ranges. 
He has been very kind to his men, but I doubt if he ever 
did so kind a deed before. Instead of all bread, we draw 
part flour, and visions of slap-jacks and sirup once more 
rise before us. 

" Drill" means work now/ The company-drill in the 
morning, and the brigade-drill in the afternoon, fill up 
nearly six hours of the day, and the boys wilt under it. 
They have been in the habit of having their systems 
locked up with the cold till May ; and this early thawing 
out produces " Spring fever," accompanied with much of 
diarrhoea and some symptoms of typhoid. We report one 
hundred and fifteen sick, few of them seriously ill, while 
the great majority are well enough to stay in their 
" quarters." Poison lurks in the smile of beauty. Throw 
yourself down on the ground, though in full glare of the 
sun, keep up this habit, and you do not contract a cold 
as in the North, but a fever. The ground-damp is our 
enemy. It is hard to convince the tired soldier that there 
is danger, ay, death, in lying down on that sun-heated, 
dry ground. He believes it when he finds his last fare 
well to loved ones was final. Bad air, bad water, kills 
many, but the earth-damp is the one great scourge. 
Breathe poison, eat poison, and the lungs, the stomach, 



144 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

with the aid of open pores, will soon throw it off; but ab 
sorb poison through the pores, and a visit to the hospi 
tal is almost inevitable. \Ve left Nelson Webster, of 
Company E, at Carrollton, prostrate with typhoid fever. 
He died there on the 20th of February, aged twenty- 
one years. He was, perchance, the stoutest man in the 
regiment, but of his company he is the first to die, and 
of the regiment the seventh. These stalwart ones break, 
they cannot bend. He has two brothers in the army. A 
nice man, a good soldier, a young husband, has gone. 
Aged parents, a lonely wife, will mourn for him, and learn 
as we but faintly can, the terrible expensiveness of war. 
Happy, if they can so scan the glory of the Wood-bought 
future as to say, " This war pays." 

We are anxiously waiting for a mail from Berkshire. 
"Waiting for letters" has a world of meaning now. 
When the first mail comes, we will seem nearer home. 
Now, there are the two thousand unbridycd miles be 
tween us and loved ones. As many of us are moneyless, 
and as stamps cannot be had for love or money, we can 
appreciate the kindly wisdom of Congress in allowing 
staff-officers to frank our letters, leaving the recipients to 
pay the postage. Newsboys bring us New York papers, 
for which they only charge twenty-five cents. With so 
little to read, paying a quarter for a paper ensures such 
a reading as newspapers seldom get. 

I attended religious services at the camp of the Forty- 
eighth Massachusetts last Sunday. Few were present, 
and on the parade-ground a battery was firing. Strange 
thundering of God s truth and cannon ! Not so strange 
if we keep in mind that the " truth" is the parent of the 
" cannons." Those cannon would have remained in the 
ore-bed, had men been willing to bury truth. Now, 
Truth seeks to send her message by cannon where she can 
not send it without. 

We have established a Masonic Lodge, so as to make 
Louisiana seem as much like home as possible. Captain 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEES. 145 

Morey is W. M. ; Lieutenant Kniffin, S. W ; Captain 
Train, J. W. ; Lieutenant Tucker, Secretary ; Major Plun- 
kett, Treasurer ; Colonel Sunnier, S. D.; and Quartermas 
ter Brewster, J. D. It is called " Berkshire Camp Army 
Lodge." We meet in the Masonic Hall, where we hope to 
Lave many pleasant " communications," and properly in 
duct candidates into those mysteries which have never 
made any worse, but have benefited many. Once get in 
to a Lodge, and you have the best style of equality. The 
majoiv general enters with out noticing you, and perchance 
does not notice you after you leave the hall; but while in 
the hall, all distinctions are merged in the common title 
" Brother," and his excellency may find the private his 
masonic superior, and respectfully salute him as such. 
Masonry says: 

" The rank is but the guinea s stamp, 
A man s a man for a that," 

Thehegira of females has placed the negroes in com 
fortable, well-furnished houses. As confiscated property, 
who has a better right to it than they ? They certainly 
hugely enjoy it. They occupy the houses with the con 
sent of the provost-marshal. Many of the men are in the 
government employ; some keep restaurants, while the 
women board officers for ten dollars a week, and wash 
clothes for a dollar per dozen. The heavens drop fatness 
on them. 

Last Sunday, I attended the Methodist church. The 
negroes fitted up the basement for their own use ; but, 
now, in the absence of the whites, they worship in the 
body of the church. The pastor of the church is some 
where within the rebel lines. I went into the Sunday- 
school. A touching scene it was, to see those who could 
barely spell teaching those who know not the merest 
rudiments of learning. I saw in it a race, a nation strug 
gling up to intelligence and nationality. The gate of 
education, so long ruthlessly closed against them, was 
7 



1-13 i.H K WITH THE FOUTY-MMH 

gradually being opened. Once open, they step into that 
temple whose inspiration is free 1 loin. Happy for them, 
they enter it through the Gospel gate, that the light which 
will show them their wrongs will also show them the 
Great Sufferer, who exclaimed, " Father! foryice them, 
they know not what they do." Well for the slaves, well 
for the nation, well indeed for the oppressors, that the 
enlightening of the bond is in the hands of C/trixtian 
teachers ! We need never fear a repetition of the hor 
rors of St. Domingo, unless the slaveo.-racy shall madly 
attempt the re-enslavement of the enfranchised. 

Seeing an intelligent mulatto woman, I asked her if 
certain white children were really negroes. She said they 
were, and then freely spoke of the intercourse between 
the whites and blacks. "You can see," said she, "by 
my color, that my mother was not a true woman, but she 
warned me, and by God s grace I have been preserved 
from the horrors of prostitution." Trained up in the 
family of a pious Northern Presbyterian minister, who 
obtained his slaves by marringe, yet treated them like im 
mortal beings, she had many advantages, and saw but 
the bright side of the curse, if a curse can have a bright 
si>!< . Vet, her statements but increased its heinousness. 
Often women who were members of the church, had to 
be expelled for adultery. The ladies of the South were 
well aware of their husbands unfaithfulness, and it was 
no uncommon thing for these mothers to be whipped to 
satisfy the rage and jealousy of their mistresses. She al 
so stated that, until a few years past, the negroes were 
denied religious instruction. I guess she spoke truly, for 
I have heard them again and again, in prayers and testi 
monies, thank God thaj now they were privileged to wor 
ship him with none to molest or to make them afraid. 
Instead of spiritual training and plantation churches, they 
were whipped for holding prayer-meetings in their cab- 
iitd compelled to pray in secret. Thus fades away 
another " plantation lie." 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 147 

Wild and emotional as are the negroes in their reli 
gious meetings, they forget not that politeness which forms 
so prominent a part of their nature. If they leave a prayer 
meeting before its close, they will shake hands with 
the preachers, and then bow alternately to the men and 
women, bowing to their own sex last. Say that they 
chafe not at their fetters ! When living in the South, 
I often noticed they met the whites moodily, but those of 
their own color with a politeness bordering on the ex 
travagant. No Frenchman can excel the darkey beau in 
grimaces and politeness, but in nine cases out of ten that 
same beau would pass you with indifference or a sullen 
courtesy. 

They are not as quiet in church as you might desire. 
If they want to leave or enter, they do so at any time 
during "services, save the service of prayer, in which they 
all kneel. If the preacher gets up the u rousements," they 
think the sermon will do ; but the prayer-meeting, with 
its singing and praying, is their ideal of worship. Here 
they give full vent to their mingled excitement and devo 
tion, by shouting, clapping of hands, and jumping. Sol 
emn and grotesque is the scene. In "the regular services 
the preacher reads two lines of the hymn, which, when 
sung, is followed by reading two more, and so on till that 
service is ended. Unable to read, and few having hymn- 
books, this plan secures congregational singing, but makes 
sad havoc with the music. I never like the singing of 
negroes. They rarely rise above a minor, and that slow 
and full of sadness. In their prayer-meetings, any one 
can start a hymn of his own choosing ; and though they 
frequently grow wild and excited in singing it, or some 
impromptu hymn, it is more a loud wail than a burst of 
joyous melody. Rely on it, there is a conscious burden 
on their hearts. They are gifted in prayer. Passages of 
the truest eloquence could be culled therefrom. Often 
the whole audience is moved with a seeming joy as they 
praise (rod for his mercies, but that joy does not spring 



148 I. II - I-; WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

from thanking him for home, wife, children, but because 
lie has delivered them from temptations and enabled them 
\n endure sorrows. It is a immmj nl joy. When pray 
ing about their enslaved condition, or for the dying, or 
for the salvation of poor sinners, they unitedly break out 
into the most plaintive chorus imaginable. I can t de 
scribe it, but to my dying hour I shall remember it. It 
seemed like the incarnation of sadness I could think 
of nothing but a mother in heaven wailing for her 
I *t son. Sometimes it would come from the lips of one 
or two, or, as all were united in sympathy, it would spring 
spontaneously from all in complete harmony, making roll 
ing billows of oppressive sadness. " Billows of sadness" 
si-cins like a very foolish expression, but it "did appear to 
UK- as if every heart was a pool of grief, and that some 
thought, too deep for tears, had merged those pools into 
an agitated stream. Almost like a nightmare it clings 
to me, ever presenting depths of sadness and resignation 
beyond iny conception. 

Negroes are dressy, and some dress in good taste. 
The men are attired as poor men generally are, yet all 
looked clean, and some aped the dandy ; while the negro 
guards, clothed in their new uniforms, with bright bay 
onets at their side, seemed too proud and happy to be 
dangerous. Most of the women wear turbans of Madras 
handkerchiefs, and wonderfully becoming they are. I 
saw one (woman I mean, not turban) who might have sat 
for an African queen. Many of the mongrels are very 
beautiful with their fine hair, straight or wavy, and thc-ir 
blue or dark eyes, always soft and lustrous, and half con 
cealed by the long lashes. They look more like volup 
tuous Italians than negroes. A Southern gentleman told 
me that they are more docile and affectionate than the 
unmixed negro, and less hardy. Mulattocs in the North 
are generally scrofulous ; not so here, but are prone to 
consumption. He said they were generally unchaste. 
Query : if true, is that the result of their physique, or of 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 149 

the temptations their good looks invite ? I think the lat 
ter, for he did not include the men in his assertion. 

Speaking of dress ; it puzzled me to keep from laughing 
right out in meeting, when some jet-black negress would 
appear surmounted by a white bonnet, and clothed in 
white, with low neck, half revealing dim charms, and 
bare arms finished out with white-kid gloves. A prom 
enade on Broadway would not amuse our Yankee gals 
half so much as to attend church here. They would 
have to be saturated with piety and propriety, if they 
kept on their go-to-meeting faces. A strange race, a trop 
ical race, they surely are. Get accustomed to the ex 
uberant, grotesque forms of beauty Southern nature 
presents, and you begin to believe that the negroes dress 
properly and poetically. 

Lieutenant Francis arid I remained after the services 
were closed, and freely talked with several men of ma 
ture age, one of whom was the lame colored preacher, 
who gave five thousand dollars for himself and family. 
He earned it as a carter. Another one paid his master 
eighteen dollars a month for twenty-four years, to privi 
lege him to live with his family. Talking about the ne 
gro s inability to support himself was a broad joke to 
them. Francis told them, they would have to finish the 
war. " That s so," was their emphatic response. They 
realized that the time was near for them to come out ac 
tively on our side, but they said they wanted to be sure 
we could protect them ; for those who had favored the 
Yankees on their first arrival, fared badly when the 
rebels returned. " Make us sure the rebels won t come 
back, and we be left alone, and we ll do our part." I 
thought that was cute enough for a prudent white man. 
When the lieutenant read to them of the bravery of 
Colonel Higginson s negro soldiers, they were glad, 
but not surprised ; but they were surprised when he as 
sured them that, in Massachusetts, the negro had equal 
rights with the white man, and was as eligible to any 



]r>0 LIFE WITH TIP] FOKTT-N IXTIT 

office. While talking with tlicm, it seemed like profan 
ing God s workmanship to doubt the ability of their race 
to properly enjoy freedom. Carlyle asserts the divine 
right of man to any position he can possibly till. This 
war latently asserts this of the African. 

We have two negro regiments here, and Colonel Sum- 
ner, no negrophobist, says they can beat the Forty-ninth 
drilling. We have not seen our superior in this depart 
ment, so that is praise enough. I saw them on parade. 
Great lusty fellows, with breasts like women s ; they take 
us down as far as brute strength is concerned. When I 
contrasted their elastic, vigorous steps with our wan 
looks and increasing debility, I felt that they had not 
been recruited any too soon. Dressed in full uniform, they 
made a fine appearance, and marched as one man. In 
mere drill they must beat the whites; for " time," which 
is so important an item in drilling, is a universal gift to 
them. Their docility, their habits of unquestioning obe 
dience, pre-eminently tit them for soldiers. To a negro 
an order means obedience, in spirit as well as letter. In 
marching, " eyes front," keeping the eyes fixed so as to 
strike the ground about fifteen paces straight ahead, en- 
Mi ring head and shoulders carried square, is the direction. 
AVatch white soldiers when marching through the streets, 
and you will find many disobeying that order. These 
negroes could hardly have told you that there were any 
sidewalks. Properly officered, and they will make the 
best soldiers in America. As an intelligent Southerner 
said, " Your boys do not know what they are fighting for ; 
some are afraid they are fighting for the darkey, and 
some are afraid they are not fighting for him. The Con 
stitution and the Union, as a rallying-ery, is weak, for it 
is not understood. Our boys have hate, at least, to 
nerve them. Yours have not even that strength ; and I 
have always contended tli.it interference on the part of 
England or France would hurt, more than help, the 
South^ for it would give you an earnestness, a vindic- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 151 

tiveness, that you now lack." These remarks are perti 
nent, but they do not apply to the negroes. They know 
what they are fighting for. They know they are burst 
ing from slavery into freedom ; and if freedom be but 
dirnly understood, their fears teach them the full mean 
ing of slavery teach them now as never before. Give 
them officers who will call out their latent manliness, 
who will work on their religious sensibilities, rallying 
them to their hopes of freedom, and you can carry them 
nearer the gates of hell than any regiment of whites. 
They certainly need white officers for a while, and the best 
of officers, too, for they will, like children, lean much on 
their superiors. Till they learn to respect their own race 
more than they do, colored officers will be a failure. 
Government is removing the few who have been appointed. 
Negroes have dash about them ; more than we have. 
" Best soldiers in America ;" I mean it. Take North 
ern soldiers, the equals, perchance, the superiors of their 
officers at home, and they see those officers living and 
treated as gentlemen, while they, perchance ,are cleaning 
their sinks, and doing other menial duties. Duties, neces 
sary duties they are, but it requires a constant summon 
ing of self-respect, a constant recollection of the dignity 
of the cause, to keep them from underrating themselves, 
and from believing that assertion, so often used by the 
ignorant, "A private is no better than a dog." Make 
such men corporals and sergeants, and while they gladly 
take the positions to secure a little less of toil and ex 
posure, they are insulted if you think that such petty offi 
ces dignify them. Not -so with the negro. Put a United 
States uniform on his back, and the chattel is a man. 
At one bound he springs higher than if one of our pri 
vates should be made a captain, and it is a bound to man 
ly self-respect. You can see it in his look. Between 
the toiling slave and the soldier is a gulf that nothing 
but a god could lift him over. He feels it, his looks 
show it. See him on guard. He is erect, not slouching ; 



152 LIFE wrrn TTIE FORTY-NINTH 

he seems to say, "I nm guarding my freedom and my man 
hood." Make a reasonable excuse, and when no enemy is 
near, the white sentinel may pa^s you, but the negro is 
deaf to all. lie obeys his orders literally. The whole 
machinery of the camp, if controlled by proper officers, 
is to him a self-respect developer. Would you really 
bring out more of his manhood, give him a little power, 
make him corporal or sergeant, and he may strut like ji 
peacock, but he is nevertheless more of a man. If sell- 
respect, increasing self-respect, is a source of strength, 
of soldierly excellence, then the negro soldier will sur 
pass the white soldier. On the field, where dash may be 
required, he will have no superior ; but when call is made 
for unflinching courage, where there is no excitement to 
sustain, nothing but the firm will, he will show that he 
belongs to an inferior race. That does not degrade him ; 
it .is only putting him by the side of the French, the Ital 
ian, the Spanish, who, tested by this, must yield the palm 
to the American, the English, the German ; and tested 
by this, all must yield to the sons of New England. 

Negro soldiery is an experiment, I grant, but I think 
an experiment full of promise. I am glad that Massa 
chusetts is raising a regiment of free negroes. They 
need elevation more than their slave-brothers, for, save ;i 
greater knowledge of the vices of civilization, they arc 
their inferiors. Social caste has degraded them more 
than slavery has degraded the bond. 

I tell you, my friend, this war means Negro equality. 
Don t be startled, and conjure up a mulatto nation as the 
result of general amalgamation. TJiat is not " negro equal 
ity." If any man wants a black wife, let him have one ; it 
is only a matter of taste. " Negro equality" is not social 
equality, for there is no such thing, even among whites. 
There are and always will be classes in society. It is not 
political equality. Minors, women, many foreigners, do 
not vote, and it would be unwise to allow the negroes to 
vote until they are more enlightened. Negro equality is 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 153 

simply the right to make the most of himself, the right to 
secure any position he can fill. It means making a man 
of him, and letting him alone. Give him free access to 
schools, churches, cars, lectures, ultimately the polls and 
offices, and to whatever society he can find access. I 
know I always revolt at shaking hands with a darkey, or 
sitting by him, but it is a prejudice that should shame 
me. Southerners don t feel it, Europeans don t feel it, 
strange that it should be confined to Northerners. If a 
negro can find admittance into Upper Tendom ; if he can 
secure a college professorship ; if the people want him to 
be Governor or President ; why, my " negro equality" is 
to simply say " Amen !" If, with all my start, he out 
runs me, and secures earth s honors, I say let him do so. 
His superiority will not make me really inferior. Negro 
equality exists in Europe. The law or popular tyranny 
there does not discriminate between him and a white 
man. So let it be the world over. So it will be, ere 
long, in America. When they have learned to respect 
their own race, we will have in the army negro officers. 
Now if they should signally honor and benefit the coun 
try, it will not do to drive them out of halls, churches, 
or from public tables ; neither will it do to send such 
men down into the servants quarters, if they should hap 
pen to enter your dining-room while you are eating. 
Make them free, and you have got to grant them equal 
ity. There is no help for it, and the sooner we get rid 
of our foolish prejudices, the better for us. In me, those 
prejudices are very strong. I can fight for this race more 
easily than I can eat with them. Their mouths are gene 
rally cleaner and purer than ours, for they have better 
teeth, yet it was a hard dose for me to drink from the 
same glass with them at one of their love-feasts. South 
ern children grow up, play, and eat, and sleep with them, 
and kiss them, and those children, when men, may give 
up the piaying and eating part, but not the rest. If so 



1." J UK;. \VITII TIIK FOIM Y-MN ! II 

iy thousands c:in conquer their prejudices by tlieir 
lust, certainly principle will enable us to at least toler 
ate them. 

I have no fears about the manner in which God will 
settle this mailer. Physically, negroes are of an inferior 
or weaker race. Like the Indians, they will disappear 
from before us. Outside of slavery, they do not increase 
nearly so rapidly as the whites. Inside of that dark prov 
ince they increase wonderfully, because they are stimu 
lated to add to their number as fast as possible. When 
free, each would ask, " Can I afford to marry and to take 
charge of a family ?" Many would answer, " no," and 
refrain from marriage. As slaves, they say, " Master 
must take care of us and of our children," and children 
they freely beget. In the competition of life only the 
strong, the healthy, will secure wages sufficient to sup 
port families. You see how this will operate to lessen 
their ratio of increase. It has done so in the North. 
Free negroes there increase less rapidly than free negroes 
in the South. Fqr many years they will add greatly to 
their number in the Southern States, but their ratio of 
increase will grow less in proportion to the migration of 
white workingmen, with whom they will have to com 
pete. They will fade from before us ; and if white men, 
capable of laboring in Africa, should settle there, as 
foreigners have settled here, the same results would be 
produced. The strong must rule. They need not o/> 
press. 

In the mean time, while elevating themselves to the 
condition of freemen, and being prepared as missionaries 
to the inhabitants of tropical climes, they should have 
our sympathy. We all admit that they are human if 
we deny them all the virtues of humanity, we attribute 
to them all its vices. It is the merest balderdash to say 
that they are too lazy to support themselves. I know 
they are lazy. The example of the whites and the cli- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 155 

mate make them so. For nine months in the year, men 
living in this section must be lazy. Every action will 
.demand an effort. I am sure w-e, placed in their position, 
would make as few efforts as possible. Hunger will be 
stronger than indolence. Give them the pecuniary, so 
cial, and mental stimulants that have made us what we 
are, and they will follow closely on our heels. In strong 
intellectual powers, they will never equal the Anglo-Saxon 
and Teutonic races. Who do ? Do the Irish, Spanish, 
Italian, Portuguese ? In the sensuous, and I use that in 
its highest meaning, they will surpass us. In music, ora 
tory, painting, fine arts, they will lead most of the nations 
of the earth. Had we been crushed for centuries as they 
have been, we might have made greater resistance, but, 
ceasing to resist, we would have sunk lower than the} 
have done. There is a national elasticity about them. 
Soon adapting themselves to slavery, they will be easily 
adapted to freedom. We have ceased looking on them 
as fools, and give them credit for much smartness, mingled 
with a good deal of lo*w cunning. A great work is before 
them carving out a nationality. Ilemember, they have 
no storehouse of historic recollections. They can find 
nothing in the history of their last fifteen hundred years 
to inspire them. We have Plymouth Rock, Bunker 
Hill ; we have Washington and a host of worthies, each 
an inspiration to noble deeds. Take all these away and 
substitute slavery, and we would gather no strength from 
our past but vengeance. Were they a ferocious race, that 
strength would ere this have opened rivers of blood. 
Let this speak : " Every man presenting himself to be re 
cruited, strips to the skin, to be surveyed by the surgeon. 
Not one in fifteen is free from the marks of severe lash 
ing. More than half are rejected because of disability, 
arising from lashing with whips and the biting of dogs 
on their calves and thighs. It is frightful. Hundreds of 
them have welts on their backs as large as one of your 



156 MFK WITH Till: FolITY-NINTH 

largest fingers." Women s persons would show marks 
of the same brutality. The war did not come any too 
soon. The concentrated agony of a million bleeding 
hearts, is Freedom s ransom price. She was fettered 
in the house of her friends. As she goes forth on her 
glad mission, out of the agony comes a voice, " It is 
finished." 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLTJNTEEES. 157 



LETTER XXI. 

BANKS, BA 

March 13, 1863, 9 P. M. 



CAMP BANKS, BATON EOUGE, LA., ) 



MY DEAK L. : 

Here wo are all ready to march on Port Hudson at a 
moment s notice. Last Monday morning, about 1 o clock, 
we were warned to prepare for a march. Our wedge 
tents, with all dress-coats and superfluous baggage, have 
been stored in the arsenal buildings, and so we are learn 
ing how much comfort can be found in two pieces of cot 
ton-cloth, about five by six feet, buttoned together over a 
ridge pole, without any ends, called shelter-tents. True, 
our six-footers have to double up their knees, otherwise 
their pedal extremities will be unsheltered, but we find 
much more comfort in them than you would suppose. 
Two occupy one of these tents, and in marching each 
man carries half a tent. It rained hard on Tuesday night, 
yet, with rubber blankets to piece out with, we kept dry, 
but I fear this frosty night will try our patience and 
make us vote shelter tents a lie. Frosty nights, foggy 
mornings, and hot days, put us in mind of a Berkshire 
September. 

This has been a pleasurably exciting week. We are 
going to meet the foe, and that brings out our manhood. 
Waiting five days is very tedious work, but we have had 
reviews, by General Banks, of almost all the brigades and 
divisions in the army, to relieve the tedium. I know lit 
tie about tactics, but I do know no regiment appeared to 
better advantage on review than the Forty-ninth. Banks 
looks the soldier. He is a splendid horseman. The re 
viewing general remains uncovered as the colors are borne 
by, which are lowered or dipped in his honor. Now 
there s some poetry about that. 



153 LIFE WITH TIIK FOKTY-MMil 

Some of the brigades are oft . We shall march about 
twenty thousand strong. The Forty-ninth will send s. 
hundred and thirty-three men; one hundred andthirtv- 
ono sick, of whom lifiy-t ;j are on light duty, \\ill he 
behind to aid in garrisoning the ar>e ;al. JJumor h:is it 
that, General Foster, from North Carolina, with thirty 
thousand men, is coming up the river. I fear that it is 
too good to be true. As most of the boys have turned 
in for the night, I presume we will not start before morn 
ing ; and as the contingencies of battle may prevent me 
writing you again, I will now post you as to matters and 
events up to date. 

On Saturday, the Vth, we expected to hear the first 
gun of our campaign. Seventy wagons, two pieces of 
artillery, and some cavalry came along, and we f< ll into 
line. We knew we were after forage, and understood 
there was a strong probability of meeting the foe. 
Through the thick Louisiana mud, which is mud indeed, 
we pressed our way onward. So early in March, yet the 
heat was so great that some fell out of the ranks. We 
reached an extensive sugar establishment and halted*. 
The teams began to load up with wood; Dr. Lacock, the 
owner thereof, rode back with our colonel to his house 
and we knew that he professed to be Union, because of 
the thousands of hogsheads of sugar and molasses we 
were forbidden to enjoy any part. The boys were mad; 
they believed the darkeys, who said that Dr. Lacock was 
a good Union man when there tcere no rebels about, and 
they could not well see how a good Union man could live 
five miles beyond our lines, guerrillas all around him, in a 
place where we could not come unless armed to the teeth, 
and yet his fine house and stock and crops all unmolested. 
It was a great humbug. The negroes said there had 
been some rebels near that morning, and when we 
reached the sugar house, we drew up in a military style, 
to guard against a probable attack from the adjoining 
thick woods. Finding that attack a mere myth, some 1 
deemed it advisable to look into the secrets of sugar ma- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOL UNTKKES . 1 f> 9 

king. Strange how curious Yankees are. I suppose that 
secret was in the centre of a great hogshead of very nice 
sugar, for I found a great many soldiers carefully explo 
ring there, and, fearing they would not have time sufficient, 
many threw away their rations and filled their haversacks, 
hoping to analyze their spoils in the quiet of camp, and 
be rewarded in the discovery of the arcana. Of course, 
this must have been their intention, for they certainly 
would not have violated orders. Some, doubtless, thought 
that the secret was in the molasses barrel, judging by the 
way canteens were filled with that saccharine fluid; 
and as I looked upon beards, mahogany stained arid 
powdered with a rich yellow powder, I concluded some 
thought the surest way of getting at it, was to try the 
sense of taste. Thus sweetly engaged, we were oblivious 
to all care of the rebels, when some dignitary of the 
quartermaster department accosted us in language more 
forcible than polite, and so, we concluded to abandon our 
search and fell into the ranks, looking so innocent, that 
no one would have thought we had confiscated the sugar 
and molasses of a " good Union man." Over the road, 
which had become almost dusty, we wended our way to 
camp, voting all such foraging expeditions a bore, and be 
wailing the waste of money spent for that wood as if it 
were from our own pockets. Now, we begin to see why 
ivood and not sugar was sought after. It was to enable 
the gunboats to operate against Port Hudson. Capture 
that stronghold and we can settle the mooted question of 
Dr. Lacock s loyalty, and perchance transfer his delecta 
ble stores to our commissary department. 

Though not fully acquainted with the strength of the 
enemy s works at Port Hudson, we know enough to con 
vince us that there is serious work before us, or, to use 
camp slang, that " we are going to have a dusty hunt." 
In that work some of us will fall. Ere another week 
shall have passed away, we will have veterans experi 
ence, and perchance the Forty-ninth may be allied to the 



ICO LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

pride of Berkshire by many a bloody grave. Without 
any i-xaggerati<m, we are eager for the fray. We came 
to do the work of soldiers. It is hard to think that fight 
ing is not a part of that work. Young hearts find it 
easier to "do" than to "suffer." "Learn to labor and 
to wait," is no easy task. While some eagerness to meet, 
the foe is manifested, there is no bravado. We go to a 
stern duty, and though martial pride duly influences us, 
yet the thought " it is our duty " is our main source of 
strength. Our faces are not blanched, but I doubt not 
there are many timid hearts among us. Timidity, fear, 
is not cowardice. Said Wellington, as he saw a man pale 
as a corpse, marching steadily on in a forlorn hope, 
" There goes a brave man ; he knows his danger and i 
it." Cowardice is the shrinking from duty through fear. 
The strong will makes the brave man, and when that will 
is stiffened by a manly pride, and, above all, by a sense of 
duty, the brave is elevated to the hero. 

" The bravo man is not he who feels no fear, 
For that were stupid and irrational, 
But he whose noble soul its fear subdues, 
And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from." 

Danger faces us. We know nothing about the land 
defences of Port Hudson, save that there are series of 
earth- works, defended by over twenty thousand men. 
They ought to repel three times their number. Cer 
tainly we have not nearly enough men. I doubt that 
Banks has forty regiments in his whole department. 
They will not average seven hundred and fifty men. 
Many of these are cooks, teamsters, &c., who do imi 
count in the field. If the fleet fail, we are incompetent 
to do the work alone. As a river defence, Port Hudson 
is more formidable than Vicksburg, for the river there 
makes a right angle, exposing any passing ship to the 
uninterrupted range of seven batteries for five miles. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 161 

While waiting for the " forward march," we are begin 
ning to get hardened. All the spare blankets and other 
peculiar comforts connected with our department, have 
been sent to the arsenal, and we find using one and the 
same blanket to lie on and to cover us is not quite the 
thing. Your hips will work through before morning, 
and you are glad to hear the morning drum beat. Offi 
cers have prepared themselves for the march by confis 
cating horses and mules, by the valuable help of contra 
bands or servants. Mounted on these nags, we would 
create no little sensation in Berkshire. Johnny Merry 
(A) was fortunate enough to " draw " a charger, but un 
fortunately for him, the charger made a charge with 
his hind leg on his ankle, and sent him to the hospital. 
Brewster " drew " a horse, and Howard, who is very fond 
of riding, rode him into town, and walked back, car 
rying bridle and saddle. A colored matron Inid claim to 
him (to the horse, not to Howard), and satisfied the pro- 
vost-marshall of the genuineness of her claim ; so the quar 
termaster drew a blank that time. 

Speaking of the darkeys, reminds me that I have often 
read of the joyous labors of the sugar season, how they 
anticipated it with pleasure, and grew fat while working 
up the sweet cane. I was rather taken back when an old 
colored man told me, that the masters used to try to 
frighten the negroes away from us, saying that we would 
sell them to Cuba, where they had two sugar seasons 
yearly. Why they should be frightened at the prospects 
of doubling their joy, I could not see, but it lies here ; the 
sugar season is one of exhausting, killing labor. The 
mills, once started, know no rest, and all the sleep the 
hands get is from midnight to two hours before day. I 
remember Mr. Clay stated in the Senate, that sugar hands 
did not average seven years of life ; that, as the planters 
needed twice as many hands during the season as they 
could work the rest of the year, they found it cheaper to 
keep only as many as they could profitably employ in the 



1G2 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XINTn 

comparatively idle season, and to put them on double 
labor when hurried. True, this killed off many, and in 
volved the necessity of buying more slaves; but the mur 
dering jilaii was the cheapest, and therefore adopted. 
Sugar season, a joyous, fattening time! Alas! for an 
other slavery lie. 

A Southern gentleman told me, " we must have slavery 
or abandon the cultivation of sugar, for though slaves did 
less than free laborers would, their labor was <; rt<i u i ; you 
could rely on so much being done." If this be true, then I 
say, abandon the sugar crops of Louisiana. We get about 
one-third of our sugar from this State, and to protect that 
unnatural crop from competing with West India sugar, 
we put a tariff of two cents a pound on the latter. This 
is protective tariff with a vengeance, or rather protection 
to slavery. The South should not attempt to raise sugar, 
for it is a forced crop. If it cannot be raised without forced 
or slave labor, God jicver intended it to be raised at all. 
Small farmers will yet raise it by free labor. There is no 
need of every cane grower owning an expensive mill. 
One mill would answer for a dozen sugar u farms," (the 
negroes rarely ever say " plantation.") The colored people 
look upon our preparations for leaving with great interest 
and solemnity. They fear the return of the rebels. Let 
the army retire and hundreds must suffer, for on us they 
live. We will miss their neat restaurants. Neatness 
seems to be a negro virtue. T. Back, (F) our color ser 
geant, has been recommended for a lieutenancy in one of 
the negro regiments, on the ground of experience a< a 
dier in the Florida war, and as an overseer. He should fail 
because he has been an overseer. Xo man should com 
mand negroes, unless he would give bonds never to spell 
negro with two " g s. Observers say free negroes won t 
work under their old overseers. Negro troops will prove 
an expensive failure, if having been an overseer recom 
mends a man for their command. 

Lieutenant Noble (B) is Adjutant and Assistant 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 163 

Quartermaster in the Ambulance corps. It is a respon 
sible post. lie will do well therein. A. N. Cowlea (E) 
having been promoted to the post of Ordnance Sergeant 
of our brigade, our happy family loses him, and adopts R. 
K. Bliss (B) his successor, as Armorer. He is a skilful 
mechanic and a pleasant companion. 

As we may not return to Baton Rouge, but, conquering 
Port Hudson, press on to Vicksburg! thence to East 
Tennessee ! thence to Charleston ! and through Richmond ! 
home, I would like to give you some idea how wealthy 
Southerners live. Not having been there myself, and 
prowling guerrillas make the visit a dangerous one, I am 
indebted to the observing eyes of F. K. Arnold, one of 
the most intelligent and reliable of Co. E for this de 
scription. " The Perkins place is situated on the Perkins 
road, about three miles southeast from Baton Rouge. 
The mansion is beautifully situated on a rise of ground. 
Access from the road is by a drive half a mile in length, 
lined on either side with trees. Near the house are China 
trees, reaching above the roof, and, being in full bloom, 
load the air with a delicious perfume. In the yard and 
garden are roses, cactuses, pinks, verbenas, and many 
plants unknown to us, and also a hot-house. The man 
sion is of brick, seventy feet front and thirty deep. On 
one end and. in front, is a tasty two-story veranda, with 
cast iron front. This, as well as the various rooms, is 
lighted with gas made on the premises. A broad hall 
divides the house into two equal parts. On the ground- 
floor are twelve spacious rooms, each having a iire-place 
with marble mantle and hearth, and fine chandelier. The 
doors are of imitation oak. A broad brick walk runs in 
front of the house, the step into which is made of alternate 
blocks of black and white marble. Two artificial ponds, 
once the homes of sunny fishes, but now of disgusting 
water-snakes, are near the house. The whole place shines 
through its neglect as having once been the residence of 
taste and culture, aided by all the appliances of wealth. 



164 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

There was also a very large brick sugar -house, with two 
large stationary engines. The evidences of Vandalism 
are everywhere apparent ; windows and blinds smashed, 
gas fixtures broken, doors torn from their hinges, immov 
able furniture broken, new billiard-table all ripped up, 
iron safe stove in, picture frames with the canvas cut out, 
walnut writing-desks, dressing-bureaus, wardrobes, etc., 
more or less defaced." Several estimated the original 
value of the furniture of this mansion at fifty thousand 
dollars. And here n-e are with cold coffee in our canteens, 
hard bread and salt beef in our haver-sacks, shivering under 
thin blankets, only waiting for orders to strike a blow 
that will prostrate that whole institution, which builds 
for a few oppressors such mansions, while it dooms the 
entire peasantry of the land, black and white, to hopeless 
poverty and wretchedness. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 165 



LETTER XXII. 

^NKS, I 

March 21, 1863. 



CAMP BANKS, BATON ROTOE, LA., ) 



MY DEAR L. : 

I don t know whether I quote this doggerel correct or 
not 

"The King of France with thirty thousand men, 
Marched up the hill, and then marched down again." 

Well, that is our experience. Here we are back again, 
next to our old carnp. We did not lose a man in our 
assault on Port Hudson. We did not see an armed 
rebel. The whole thing was a "feint." Successful, I 
suppose, for Banks has officially informed us that " the 
object of the expedition is accomplished." Well, we 
come back in no very pleasant humor. After screwing 
our courage to the sticking point, and writing solemn, 
patriotic letters home, preparing them to mourn over us 
proudly, it is really provoking to be alive and well, not 
even having learned whether our guns would go off or 
not. Glory ! I fear thou art not for the Forty-ninth. 

On Saturday, the 14th, at 5 A.M., we started. We 
carried no baggage, save overcoats and blankets. Instead 
of going by the woods road, we lengthened out our 
march near two miles by going through the city, which 
was military. Emory aftd Grover led the way; our 
division (Augur s) brought up the rear. The baggage-, 
wagons and artillery were sandwiched between the dif. 
ferent brigades. The morning was cool, the road was in 
fine order, trees, just budding out, and festooned with 
vines and moss, were on either hand ; so for five miles 
marching was a luxury. We reached the Bayou Mon- 
tecino without any incident save the breaking down of a 



166 LIFE WITH THE FOUTY-MXTH 

wagon, which led to a generous hos]>itality in the matter 
of bread and butter and cheese. The butter was excel 
lent. I learned (whether before or after eating it, depo 
nent saith not) it was some of the veritable butter that 
disappeared during the raid on the sutler s tent on Long 
Island. The negroes were in advance of the advance, 
having laid down an India-rubber pontoon bridge in the 
place of the fine county bridge destroyed by the rebels, 
and also a wooden one. " Our army swore terribly in 
Flanders." Had good Uncle Toby sat by me on the i ar 
side of the bayou, and heard the drivers as they got their 
mules over the stream and up the hill, he would have 
concluded that the army kept up the old practice. 
Mules, carts, and harnesses are all spoils of war. The 
carts are nearly twice as large and heavy as our carts. 
They put a mule in the shafts, and then one on either 
side, and away they go over the itnrailxJ bridge. Each 
outside mule being afraid of the water, presses from it, 
and if they are equal in strength, they get over safely, 
but if one pushes harder than the other, there is danger 
of cart and all going into the stream. I would rather 
charge a rebel battery than drive a mule team over that 
bridge. When over, fifty men, more or less, help the 
mules by pushing, striking, kicking, and swearing to get 
up the hill. With the green stagnant water we filled 
our canteens, and pressed on. We had passed the shade, 
and now we were to try the effects of the Louisiana sun. 
In the whole march, but seven of our regiment fell out. 
A few miles beyond the bayou, and we came to a burn 
ing house, said to have been fifed because an officer was 
shot from there. We stopped to kill a cow for our din 
ner,"and taking half in our \v_agon, reached our stopping 
place about noon. The boys stood their march of fifteen 
miles well. Marching is our work every thing else is 
play in comparison. Carry a bureau, alias knapsack, on 
your back, though it may have nothing in it but an over 
coat and two blankets, and a ten-pound gun with sixty 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. . 107 

rounds of cartridges, and haversack filled with food, and 
canteen holding a quart of water, and you have a load 
that will bow you over, make you round-shouldered, and 
give shoulders, chest, and back many an unpleasant 
twinge. If the roads are muddy and the weather hot, 
and especially if you are in the rear of a column, neces 
sitating a number of "double-quicks" to keep up, you 
have a job that is more like hard work than to mow an 
acre of grass, or to cut two cords of wood in a day. 

That afternoon we encamped in two large fields, one 
occupied by our horses, wagons, and artillery, the other 
by the infantry. Like magic, our little white houses 
arose. The fences furnished us with flooring, that saved 
us from contact with the damp ground. After you know 
how, you can make quite a cosy bed of two rails, sepa 
rating them a little to let the hips down. The Southern 
ers, with a commendable foresight, put up rail fences 
about ten feet high, and often ten or twelve rails in one 
pannel. Since Uncle Sam has ceased paying eight dollars 
a cord for our wood, we have been dependent on our 
own axes for this essential, and often shut up to the 
exclusive use of green w T ood. No one can complain of 
the quantity or quality of this fence wood. Soon the 
blessed coffee was smoking before us, and on our rations 
we dined. Ere long, some wanderers would come in 
with sweet potatoes, or a leg of mutton, or a quarter of 
beef, or a hog, and a little conversation with them would 
result in the mysterious disappearance of a squad from 
each company. Our officers were all blind that day, and 
when they were invited to partake of a broiled chop, or 
a little tenderloin, or perchance a piece of fried chicken, 
with some fine sweet potatoes, they did so as a matter of 
course, perchance, in their innocence, thinking that the 
enterprising Adams Express Company had just arrived 
with some delayed luxuries from home. Successful for 
aging cheered the boys, and made them forget lame 
shoulders, galled feet, and general fatigue. If health 



168 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

requires that meat should cool some time before cooking, 
1 am afraid that, on that Saturday afternoon, wo laid up 
materials for much future sickness. An unlucky hog or 
frightened sheep would run on the points of our bayonets, 
and we, that there should be no waste, would soon have 
him in the kettle. Sometimes a stray bristle would tickle 
our throats, teaching that many hands make /taste, if not 
waste. We did not institute very lengthy inquiries as 
to the loyalty or disloyalty of the coveted property. All 
about there were so steeped in treason, that we never 
could be fully satisfied of their loyalty till we knew if 
they were eatable or not. Judging by that standard, 
the loyalty of many w r as above all suspicion. Too late 
came the knowledge, and we tried to comfort ourselves 
with the reflection that, even in death, they served their 
native land, thus proving us lineal descendants of them 
who threw suspected witches into the river to test their 
connection with the devil. If they swam, they were to 
be burned as guilty ; if they sank, mourned as innocent 
martyrs. Though we never stopped to ascertain if the 
cock and his mate crowed for Abe Lincoln or Jeff. Davis, 
yet we became fully convinced that they all belonged to 
a race of touyh rebels. Teeth sharpened on hard tack, 
jaws made strong by exercising on commissary beef, 
were compelled to own that the old Chanticleer was too 
much for them. Happy were those who did not go after 
water. Our fountain was a hollow lilled up by the over 
flow of the Mississippi. Dip your dish in, make rapid 
circles to scatter the scum and dirt, and you could, after 
casting out the stagnant particles, have -a pail of water 
that a Berkshire farmer would give to his hogs only 
when all the springs had iailed. There is no accounting 
for taste, yet it did -seem to me as if the water would 
have been purer if that good fe!l<\v <ibove me had post- . 
poned washing his shirt and body till after 1 had tilled 
my pail, but he did not see it in that light, and I went 
back to make and drink my coffee, at times imagining 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 109 

something scraping my throat, as if rebels had got within 
the citadel. When we have to use such water, we should 
strain it before boiling, and a towel that has not been 
used too long, or an old shirt, answers very well for that 
purpose. We think we have already exceeded our al 
lowance of dirt, and that each one is well into his half 
bushel. 

We had a sleeping chamber that night that was cer 
tainly unique^ and a serenade that I shall never forget. 
Imagine yourself under a cart, with a pair of mules tied 
to the wheel on either side, pulling said cart first to the 
one side, and then to the other, accompanying their 
efforts with braying that most discordant of all sounds 
which would be taken up by one after another, till 
such a concert as Pandemonium alone can get up would 
banish all sleep, and you have the status of our depart 
ment on the night of the fourteenth of March, 1863. 
About eleven o clock, a deep bass was added to the con 
cert. It was the cannon s opening roar. Till near morn 
ing it was continuous, shaking the ground we laid on, 
which was only about eight miles from Port Hudson. 
We listened to the sullen firing, and with a soldier s joy 
awaited the coming dawn. It came with rapid, heavy 
firing, and much confused harnessing of teams and artil 
lery. Men spoke in whispers, and we faintly caught the 
word " retreat." Nearer sounded the guns, and lo ! our 
whole division marched swiftly on from Port Hudson. 
Then came rapid, heavy firing, then a lurid glare min 
gling with the opening light, then a noise and shock that 
made the solid ground tremble, and then stillness and 
darkness. Fast we walked, and awe and half-panic 
seized many hearts. The sun arose, and no enemy fol 
lowed us. On we went, dispirited, angry, fully believ 
ing we had suffered a severe defeat, and wondering why 
our division had been idle. Gradually we learned the 
facts. We doubted them long, and when it was officially 
declared that " the object of the expedition is accom- 
8 



170 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

plished," we esteemed it only an official lie to cover up a 
defeat that the unemployed troops might have converted 
into a victory. This is the history of the whole nilair : 
Banks wanted to get past Port Hudson, to cut off rebel 
supplies from up the river. In this he succeeded, as the 
Hartford and Albatross passed the batteries, and landed 
some troops north of the stronghold. The land move 
was only a feint to aid the passage of the fleet. How 
we aided, we can t see. The near firing, the light, the 
shock, were the death throes of the ^Mississippi. She 
had reached the upper part of the enemy s works, and 
was almost out of danger, when in the smoke and dark 
ness she grounded. While trying to get off, she kept 
the enemy from their guns by firing two hundred and 
J f f !/ shots in thirty-five minutes. Her crew were taken 
on board the iron-clad Essex, and she was then fired. 
The fire lightening her, she swung round by the force of 
the current, and headed down stream. The guns of her 
port battery, which had not been fired, becoming heated, 
the venerable old frigate paid a parting salute to the 
rebels, at the same time that she fired the minute guns 
over her own grave. Had she floated down stream stern 
foremost, it is impossible to conjecture what would have 
been the result, inasmuch as her guns would have been 
discharged on her own crew, on the neighboring bank. 
Fragments drifted past Baton Rouge, causing the loyal 
to fear, and traitors to hope. 

The wagon trains and most of the brigades stopped at 
the Bayou Montecino, but our brigade inarched into 
Baton Rouge, and then immediately back again. While 
few or none fell out of the ranks in coming to the bayou, 
fearing the enemy might be behind, yet they returned 
from the city like scattered sheep, mad at themselves, 
mad at their generals, and mad at the colonel s horse, 
which kept on a mad pace, requiring the boys to trot te 
keep up. They*did not "keep up, but came in singly or 
in squads hot, footsore, and tired. We encamped in 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 171 

an old corn-field, and it rained as it can rain only in 
Louisiana. It was a wet, gloomy night for us. Our 
shelter-tents proved a failure. Hulet and I slept, or tried 
to sleep, on a bed of cracker-boxes only three feet wide. 
You may judge of the comfort of the regiment, when I 
tell you our bed was almost Excelsior. Many of the 
officers took refuge in a dirty but dry cabin, and looked 
forward to a good rest, but soon an order carne that no 
man must sleep without the limits of the camp, and their 
hopes of comfort died out as they accommodated them 
selves to beds of rail, beneath which scorpions and lizards 
rested, and on which the generous rain descended. Our 
brigadier-general was not much better off. He made his 
head-quarters in a negro hut, so as not to disturb the 
ladies who occupied the mansion-house of Mr. Pike. Co. 
C was sent out as pickets. Travelling through the mud 
for two miles, they reached their posts, when they were 
informed that they were sent out in mistake, and through 
the now heavy rain they gladly returned, and on arriving 
at camp there learned that the order calling them in was 
a mistake, and they must return. In the mud, and rain, 
and dark, they went back again. Glad they were that 
they had caught a mule, on which they lashed their tents 
and blankets. They were riot so glad when the mule 
vamosed, leaving them tentless and blanketless. Coming 
from Puritan land, their religion may have been rather 
blue. Certain it is that some swore till the very air was 
blue ; but they had to grin and bear it, comforted with 
the reflection, " tis sweet for our country to be ducked" 
Finding that his sweet potatoes were fast disappearing, 
Mr. Pike made a virtue of necessity, and opened the 
holes for public use. These, with a few stray hogs and 
sheep, and the inevitable coifee, the soldier s elixir vitce, 
kept up our courage, by keeping our stomachs filled. 
That Sunday passed, the only one of my life in which I 
could find no trace of the Sabbath, prick up imagination 
never so much. 



172 LIKE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

We stayed al Jl.-mui Monteeino till yesterday afternoon. 
The weather was fine, so fine that nearly every one aban 
doned his woollen under-clothes. Nothing of note hap 
pened. One morning we hoped to have a brush. A 
brigade wont out toward the Clinton road, on a double 
quick. Alas ! for our dreams of glory, it was a false 
alarm. Some nice vases, goblets and articles of vertu 
found their way to our camp from abandoned h<>u>e>. A 
fancy upholsterer stored his stock in a remote cotton-gin 
house, safe, as he thought, from the touch of the vandals. 
That stock grew " small by degrees and beautifully less." 
What is pilfering? Is taking property lying about IO<>M , 
having none to claim ownership, pilfering ? If so, silence 
is discreet. War makes sad havoc with our ideas of 
meiim and tuum. Strictly honest men, yet haters of 
rebels, might find that some of their Southern habits 
have a proclivity toward free quarters at Lenox. "I 
must live," said a man to Dr. Johnson, trying to excuse 
some defalcation. The grand old hater of wrong, re 
sponded, "Sir, I don t admit that necessity." So, per 
chance, rebels and yv/.sv -Unionists might have said, as 
they saw us thinning out their stock to keep our lives 
comfortable. Certainly, though our consciences are not 
as tough as their beef, that larceny never troubles u<. 
Last Monday we made a raid on the sugar-house of a Mr. 
Williams. Save the half idiotic wife of the overseer, the 
whites had fled. The negroes, glad to see us, piloted us 
to the luxuries. Half of the brigade must have joined 
in that raid. Men forgot their sore feet and lame hacks. 
Sugar, molasses, and sweet potatoes were before them. 
Canteens were filled with molasses ; haversacks, rubber 
blankets, even shirts bursted with sugar. For once the 
government ration was enough. Next morning the order 
came to march. What to do with the sugar, fifteen 
pounds to a man and the molasses a quart each, wa* 
the question. Stowing away what they could stagger 
under, they gave the rest to the negroes and the quarter- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 173 

master. After this distribution they learned that marching 
orders had been countermanded. Then there was quite 
a rush on us for their sugar, some claiming twice as much 
as they had deposited. We gave it out a d libitum, heartily 
glad to get rid of it. Most of that Tuesday morning 
was occupied in making and eating molasses candy. Each 
man with his stick in hand, gathered round his company 
fire and took his share of the goodies. The Lieutenant- 
Colonel s beard gave evidence that he had not outgrown 
his early tastes ; the " tall-major" bowed in reverence to 
the boiling sweet and brandished his candy stick with as 
much gusto as any subaltern ; all the officers practically 
acknowledged, " a fellow feeling makes all equal," save 
the Colonel and Adjutant. I hope the reserve of Head- 
Quarters was penetrated by a dish of army candy. 

Rough experience brings its blessing in the form of a 
ration of whiskey. The lovers of that article would have 
been better pleased if they had been allowed to take their 
whiskey and quinine separately. As it is now served, 
vacillating Sons of Temperance resolve to abide by cold 
water. All but the cold. I used to be an ultra temper 
ance man, but since driven to decide between going with 
out fluid or drinking something called water, obtained from 
the nearest bayou, below where horses and mules drink, 
and wash, at least, I am led into sympathy with Paul s 
advice, to " take a little wine for thy stomach s sake and 
thine often infirmities." Levity aside; our drinking 
water is horrid and obtained from the dirtiest places, with 
the most filthy surroundings. We have never yet pushed 
away dead mules to fill our canteens, but we have drunk 
water that your farmers would hardly wash their hogs 
in. Here, in the city, the water is cleaner, but very un 
wholesome. The Colonel will not allow us to drink it, 
so, all our drinking water is carted from the river. While 
that is muddy, it is sweet. Throw a little alum into it, 
and you clear it. Of course, this is not practicable, so 
we must drink it as it is. The fine sediment in it is ab- 



174 T.IFI : WITH THE FOIITY-MNTII 



sorbed by the kidneys, and produces gravel, stone, and 
other diseases of the kidneys. The water being so poor 
.and warm, having no snap to it, we use roll) (<> excess; 
hence dian-lnea. Generally, we issue hall roli ee an<l halt 
KM, but the former, seemingly more of a stimulant, is the 
more acceptable. O! for one glass of Berkshire water. 
I long for nothing so much. How often our fevered sick 
yearn for the old springs by their mountain homes. 
Alas! many will never again quaff from those springs. 
Sickness is increasing rapidly among us. In some hospi 
tals claret-wine is given to the patients. An iced-claret 
punch is considered the *//>/< >/////// Ionian of all drinks. 
To me claret seems a cross between sour cider and poor 
port wine. You can buy it for fifty cents a bottle in New 
Orleans ; here we pay $1 50 for it. It cannot fairly be 
called an intoxicating beverage. 

We returned to. Baton Rouge, and be fissured that 
the "feint" has made us faint indeed. We settle down, 
believing that there is nothing for us but camp monotony 
and fighting, the unseen enemies that lurk in the air and 
water of Louisiana. Now, the ill effects of enlisting men 
for so short a period are being manifested. "When is our 
lime out? When will we go home?" are the great ques 
tions of interest. The strong ask them for they see a 
dull future ; the weak ask them for //.<, // see a short 
future bounded by the grave. They only hope to expand 
their horizon of life by an early move on Berkshire. The 
once prostrate here rarely rally till the cool weather 
comes. Alas! death comes more rapidly. Some hope 
that we will be mustered out in Massachusetts , May 15th, 
being nine months from date of draft, which our volun 
teering prevented. Some put it as late as June 10th, and 
some think we will not leave here before June 19th, when 
the term of service of seven companies will expire. If 
the government wants us to re-enlist, it will do well to 
send us home as early as possible, even straining a point 
in our favor. Give us a few months of Berkshire air, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 175 

and we could return even to tins grave-yard, and not 
have one-third as many on the sick list as we now have. 

The soldiers generally like the enrolment act. No 
felons in the army ; that is right. Make the cause too 
sacred for felonious hands to handle. Putting the mini 
mum age at twenty years is a mistake. The statistics of 
the British army show fifty per cent, more of sickness in 
troops of twenty years and upward than under that age. 
Men of forty-five can stand more than boys of eighteen, 
but once prostrate, they rally more slowly. Youths have 
a wonderful recuperative power. Our boys, under twen 
ty, stand it better than any other class. Years have not 
robbed them of their elasticity. They rarely think of 
fatigue until they are exhausted. The increased pru 
dence of maturer years does not count as much as youth 
ful energy. 



176 LIFE WITH TUB FORTY-NINTH 



LETTER XXIII. 

CAMP BANKS, BATON ROUGE, LA., April 13, 1863. 

MY DEAR L. : 

After quite a long interval, I take up the thread of 
narrative, of the doings and surroundings of the Forty- 
ninth. On the fourth instant, we moved to our present 
camp, which is on a rolling, shadeless spot, on the bor 
ders of the city. The field and staff are in contiguity to 
a majestic oak, making their quarters as pleasant as can 
well be imagined for this vicinity. The soldiers are being 
massed together, the trees, near our old camp, cut down 
so as to give unbroken range for cannon, the fort and for 
tifications strengthened and finished; these things, in 
connection with Banks s movement on the west side of 
the river, do not teach that we shall always be holiday 
soldiers. If any movement be made on Fort Hudson, 
troops and supplies from Texas through the Teche coun 
try, must be cut off. Otherwise, we might take that 
Gibraltar by storm, but would fail in reducing it by siege 
or starvation. Many of the troops in this department are 
nine months men. If any tiling be done it must be done 
by us, for Banks has not enough without us to reduce 
Port Hudson. It admits of serious doubt, if trif/t. //x, lu- 
can add the surrender of that place to his laurels. 1 
think he is preparing to starve out his foe, if storming 
should fail. To the east of us we have thrown up a 
series of rifle-pits, between us and where the enemy will 
probably come, if he come at all. Do you know what a 
riile-pit is ? Well, it is a pit two or more feet deep, and 
about three feet wide. The dirt taken from it, is thrown 
upon the side whence tin- \pected. The de- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 177 

fenders of the pit stand therein while firing on the foe. 
Their heads are about the only parts of their bodies ex 
posed, while they have full range of their assailants. The 
soldierly neatness of our colonel is apparent in the supe 
riority of oar rifle-pits over those thrown up by other 
regiments. Our pits are as finished as if they were parts 
of a permanent fortification. With spade in hand he 
showed us how the work should be done. A nice house 
with fine shade trees stands right in the way of our fire. 
It will soon come down. We enjoy the prospects of its 
fall more than do its secession occupants. 

" The children of this world are wiser in their genera 
tion than the children of light." Traitors take more pains 
to instil treason into their little ones, than we do to imbue 
ours with loyalty. The children of this house, ranging 
from eight to twelve, seem quite well posted in the garbled 
statements that have cheated the Southern people. Many 
times have they half amused and provoked us. I saw a 
little toddler of three years of age, and asking her to kiss 
me in remembrance of my own babe, I received the an 
swer ; " I won t tiss a Yankee." I laughed, so her moth 
er thought she would reveal still more of her child s trea 
sonable precocity, and put her through the rebel cate 
chism. I send you three questions with their answers, 
as specimens : 

" Who are you, my child ?" 

" A rebel, by the grace of God." 

" Who are the chief enemies of our happiness ?" 

" Lincoln and Seward." 

" Is it wrong to kill a Yankee ?" 

" No ; on the contrary, it is an act meriting the favor 
of God." 

I have scarcely met a rebel, old or young, that was not 
quite well posted in the fancied wrongs of the South. I 
fear our people are not so well conversant with the rights 
we are defending. I heard the National song of the 
Confederacy ; " The Bonnie Blue Flag." In poetry and 



178 LIVK WITH THi: FORTY-NINTH 

music it is as much inferior to the "Star Spangled Ban 
ner," as the Confederacy is to the Union. 

Speaking of our colonel s neatness, reminds me that we 
are unquestionably the banner regiment of the first divi 
sion in that respect. Soldiers copy after thcit officers. 
Neatness is a prominent characteristic of our comman 
der. "Who ever saw him looking slovenly ? Who ever 
saw the lieutenant-colonel, or major, or adjutant, or sur 
geon, dress unbefitting their rank ? None. Go through 
our streets ; you will say " neat ;" see our boys on pa 
rade is there a musket unbrightened, a button or a brass 
unpolished, a sloven among them all ? Not one. If one 
there should be, he had better keep close behind his file 
leader, for if the watchful eyes of the colonel (the boys 
say he can see out of the back of his head) should fall on 
him, he would have an opportunity to learn how nearly 
united are cleanliness and godliness, while standing guard 
under t ! ie weight of a loaded knapsack. The boys grum 
ble at, the time and toil this cleanness demands, but are 
well satisfied when they compare themselves with some 
of their neighbors, whose officers are careless in their at 
tire. Berkshire never saw us in all our wealth of white 
gloves and glittering brasses. Many a future household 
will thank the Fort) -ninth for lessons and habits of neat 
ness. Company G arc now acting as provost guards. 
They have a comfortable gas-lighted house to live in, 
and many of the appliances of civilization. Their duties 
are of a character to attract attention, and I think the 
H -ntness of the regiment led to one of its constituent com 
panies receiving this compliment. This neatness reacts 
on our self-respect. A man with a clean body and clean 
clothes is not so ready to do a mean action as when body 
and clothes are dirty. A dirty Christian ! did you over 
bee one? I never did. This attractiveness costs labor. 
A gun is a hard thing to keep ctt-an and uurusted in a 
humid climate like this. Exposure on guard and picket 
duty, makes it yet harder. Our white gloves were not 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 179 

purchased by the men without some dissatisfaction. The 
right of the colonel to compel them to buy articles of clo 
thing not specified in the regulations or furnished by the 
government, is questionable. He did not compel any to 
purchase, but I understand he sent for one of the malcon 
tents and gave him a pair of gloves. I have heard of no 
trouble since. 

We live in our wedge tents, and our shelter tents fur 
nish us with awnings that do much to break the fierce 
rays of the sun. Guards no longer walk their beats, but 
sit down under protecting awnings. Oh, it is hot here ! 
Our tents are like ovens. Driven by the suffocating heat 
within, we go out only to meet the intolerable rays of a 
Southern sun. The nights bring no coolness, only the 
dank moisture. The winds blow high here. Often you 
can see the leaves rustling in the breeze and pant in vain 
for a share thereof. Generally, there is some fresh air 
stirring on the river. Fortunately, our main hospital is 
on its banks. By keeping their houses closely shut up 
during the day, the residents manage to be comfortable, 
but they say that in July and August, keeping cool is an 
impossibility, but that the perspiration will roll from you 
while doing nothing and in the coolest places. We can 
readily believe them, for now, in April, our bodies are al 
ways moist. See us in our thick woollen garments, and 
you would suppose we would dissolve in perspiration, 
but this is the only climate in which a man can wear flan 
nel next to his skin with pleasure. The constant perspi 
ring destroys the itching, burning sensation, so familiar 
to flannel wearers in the North. Speaking of itching re 
minds me that nearly every one is more or less troubled 
with the " ground itch," supposed to be caused by lying 
on or near the damp ground. White pimples, filled with 
humor, appear on the body. The itching is intolerable, 
and the only relief is wholesale scratching, until the blood 
runs. This produces scabs, which in some cases cover 
the whole person. This itch is a kind of outlet to fever. 



180 LIFK WITH THE FORTY-XIM II 

Drive it in and fever is almost sure to follow. Perchance 
bathing would mollify our torment. Until the snows of 
the Northern streams, that feed the Father of rivers, are 
melted, the river is too cold for bathing. 

Already, we have flies in legions, and hordes of mos 
quitoes innumerable. Add to these, lizards (Howard 
felt some tiling crawling up his back : on examination, 
a venomous, green, snaky lizard presented itself), spiders 
larger than walnuts, insects vaster ;md more numerous 
than ever entered our minds to conceive, and you can 
form some idea of the delights of a soldier s life in the 
"Depaitnu iit of the Gulf." The government has fur 
nished us with mosquito bars, so we rest in some degree 
of peace, lulled to sleep by the threatening^) of -myriad 
fpi-s, turned into a doubtful music by the judicious ar 
rangement of a little netting. Holland (A) came in from 
picket, and on his face you could not put a pinhead with 
out covering the mark of a mosquito. He said they bit 
through his rubber blanket. Whether that was fact or 
joke, I know not, but we are prepared to swallow nearly 
any mosquito story, however large. I shall never think 
of a tropical climate without recalling the tropical prolitic- 
Q688 of all pests. 

C. Markman has resigned his post as cook of Company 
B, and ice have been fortunate enough to secure his ser 
vices ; so we are living as to make going home a matter of 
comparative indifference as far as the table is concerned. 
If we could only secure the destruction of the multitudi 
nous ants, and had an extra hand to keep the Hies out of 
our mouths while eating, and if it did not require so much 
dexterity to use a knife in lieu of \\\ conveying 

butter from the di ;li to our philes, we could get along 
quite well. In some of my raml >!<- outside the lines, I 
secured several gallons of dewberries (remember, it is 
only April), many of which were t\\iee as large as wal- 
liuts, and f you could have IMSSI 1 our pies, you would 
have thought the lines had fallen to us in pleasant places. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 181 

Report has it that we go to the " Army of the Poto 
mac 1 ," and that our places are to be filled by three years 
regiments. Nine months men should never have been 
sent so far away, but as that class are mainly from New- 
England, and this is a "New-England expedition," we were 
sent hero. I hope this report is true, for we would like 
to get out of this grave-yard. Going home is the great 
topic with us. Start any theme, and it will get round to 
that before the conversation ends. We have all kinds of 
rumors on that subject. The time of seven companies 
really ends the nineteenth of June, and no sophistry can 
extend it longer. We were mustered in as companies 
for nine months, and if discharging us at that time is in 
convenient and embarrassing, the fault is not ours. Any 
attempt to keep us longer will awaken bad blood, causing 
demoralization, if not mutiny. Had we sworn to remain 
nine months from the date of regimental organization, we 
would keep our bond, but now we claim the letter of the 
law. We will submit to our fate, however unjust. We 
are in the eagle s grasp, and squirming will not avail us. 
Mutiny,, and how Will we be fed, how get home? These 
are questions more easily asked than answered. This so 
licitude about a speedy return to Massachusetts dishonors 
our patriotism, say you. If assured that our country s 
welfare demanded our prolonged stay, we might be wil 
ling to stay, but now we see only the wilting of our sick 
and the burial of our dead. Put us before the enemy, 
and we would see the nineteenth of June pass by, and 
grumble, but our latent patriotism would be evoked, and 
we would not disgrace our native State. Nous verrons. 

Colonel Bartlett says we do not drill as well as we did 
six weeks ago. That is true ; we have not the snap and 
vigor we had then. We are worked overmuch. To-day 
there is company drill of near two hours in the morning, 
in the afternoon brigade drill and dress parade occupying 
near four hours. To-morrow, you go on picket or on 
guard. If on picket, you do nothing the day of your re- 



182 LIFE WITH Till: l- oi: rV-Ni.NTH 



turn but appear at dress parade. The next day you take 
your turn in the regular duties. If on guard, the follow 
ing day tii ids you doing police duty and engaging i n 
brigade drill. As sickiu-s-* has so reduced our mini: 
pk-ket and guard duties come unpleasantly near each 
other. I do not know that the colonel is responsible for 
this overworking. Were we healthy and in the North, our 
labors would be just enough to keep us fresh and vigor 
ous. As it is, they exhaust us. Though a cold snap re 
duced our sick from 168 to 116, yet we are mere shadows 
of our former selves. On leaving New York we averaged 
fifteen pounds per man more than when we enlisted. Now 
we averaged at least fifteen pounds lots than when we 
entered the service. It is difficult to find a man who is 
not afflicted with diarrhoea. Men, disturbed by the oper 
ations of that disease half a dozen times in the day, would 
be called sifk at home; here they are on the well list and do 
full duty. This insidious disease is rarely overcome while 
living on camp fare. If not speedily overcome, it becomes 
chronic, and then farewell comfort, energy, life itself. 

Our diet is as good as soldiers can expect in such a cli 
mate. If the meat and coffee ration were reduced one- 
half and the deficiency made up in vegetables, it would be 
better for us. There is much dilhVulty in obtaining a full 
supply of vegetables, even of potatoes, many of which are 
uneatable. Mixed vegetables, and desiccated potatoes, 
have been served out, but they don t take. With beef- 
soup, they might answer. Our salt beef is generally good, 
but this climate is too warm for pork. It becomes soft, 
oily, and maggoty. I cannot see why salt lish cannot be 
issued instead of meat. Herrings, mackerel, etc., would 
do much to render the rest of our food palatable. Of soft 
bread, we have enough and to spare. The exci .->< ena 
bles us to get our washing done by negro women. Some 
luxuries find their way to the camp by the sale of me; -t 
not consumed. 

Good cooking would do much to make our food health- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 183 

ful, but how can that be secured with one stove for a hun 
dred men, more or less ? Beans were prohibited for 
awhile, but finding we could get nothing in lieu thereof, 
we have returned to them. Cooked right, and we have 
no food so popular and wholesome ; but poorly cooked, 
.-Hid they are more fatal ih an rebel bullets. The officers 
enjoy better health than the privates. This is mainly 
owing to their better style of living. Though the law 
provides for the payment of rations not drawn, it is al 
most impossible to secure that payment, Who is to 
blame, I know not. Hard crackers, toasted in hog grease, 
is a favorite dish. Nothing can be more unwholesome, 
and the prohibition of the surgeon fails to stop the evil. 
Oh, for pay-day ! Then the boys could get something to 
gratify their palates, and their diarrhoea would be checked. 
With some, that disease is the result of insufficient food. 
In its incipient stages, I have known it to be cured by an 
abundance of good food. This long delay of pay-day has 
much cramped our sutler, rendering him unable to ob 
tain goods so as to trust us. This has been bad for us, 
and worse for him. I do not think he wilt make a for 
tune out of his position. Mr. Springstein is not fitted to 
be a sutler. He is a generous gentleman. I know few 
men who will do more to oblige another, and from what 
I can see, a successful sutler must be a compound of 
energy, extortion and closeness. A desire to go with the 
regiment, to spend the winter in the South, more than to 
make money, led him to accompany us. Captain Morey 
recently distributed a case of claret wine among his 
men. Among his many acts of kindness to his men, none 
has been more acceptable. He and Captain Weston 
have done much in this way, to add to the comfort of 
their men, as have also many of the other officers. As 
a body they have shown much anxiety for our welfare. 

The morale of the regiment does not deteriorate. Sun 
days are inspection days and holidays, but they are dull. 
Religious services are few and far between ; no books or 



184 LIFK WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

tracts to read, fe\v things, save less drilling, and less card 
playing to indicate the presence of the Sabbath. A mem 
ber of the Christian ComMii>sion pivaclu 1 ;br us laM Sun. 
day evening. Drawn up on 1 he three sides of a hollow 
square, in the moonlight, we listened to the grand old 
truths, the foundation of all duties, and thought of Sun 
day eve ning meetings in Berkshire. God bless that 
Christian Commission. The members of it work gratui 
tously for our temporal and eternal welfare, and are doing 
much to raise up a Christian soldiery. God is measurably 
baptizing the army. I doubt not more, proportionally, 
are converted in the camp than at home. Soldiers will 
not return corrupted. . On the whole, they improve. 
They may be divided into three classes. First, Chris 
tians ; these knowing that peculiar temptations sur 
round them, that the unconverted are watching them, 
and that death, by disease or bullet, may soon visit them, 
are led to increased watchfulness, and therefore grow in 
grace. Second, moral men ; moral by the power of edu 
cation, association and absence of temptation, whose 
morality is not fastened to faith in Christ; these deterio 
rate. Third, the dissolute, the rough ; men who have 
had no religious education, nor learned subordination at 
home. These are benefited by their military experience. 
If liquor is as scarce and hard to be obtained in other depart 
ments as it is in this, the army is as good as a temperance 
society. Officers can purchase liquor ; enlisted men can 
not. The drunkenness of the Army of the Potomac lies 
with the former. Why should they have the right to buy 
rather than privates ? Is a drunken officer less prejudi 
cial to the service than a drunken private ? Do shoulder- 
straps render a man less liable to temptation, or more im 
pervious thereto ? I have seen but two drunken officers 
in this whole department; and but little reflections can 
be cast on their chastity. If licentiousness exists, it shuns 
the gaze of day. Sunday, when we came here, was kept 
as it ij in France, but now, all business is suspended, and 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 185 

we have the quiet of a New England Sabbath, though 
quite recently, the theatre was open on a Sunday night. 
This mockery of a theatre is quite well patronized by offi 
cers and negroes ; our empty pockets would keep us 
away, had we any desire to go. One of our general s 
staff officers demeaned himself by serving as stage-mana 
ger and actor. Whether it is because we are better than 
we were formerly or not, I know not, but punishment has 
become obsolete among us. We are an orderly set, as an 
army. A secessionist remarked that he did not know 
how our men were kept so quiet ; you would not know, 
if you did not see them, that there were any soldiers 
about ; that one company of their troops would make 
more noise than our whole army. 

Frequent mails keep us in pleasant communication with 
Berkshire. The Republican and Eagle are almost as 
welcome as letters. The latter especially, posts us in 
local matters and in many little items our friends do not 
write about, forgetting every thing done or said at home 
has a charm for us now. Letters on both sides fail in 
details. Brevity is not now the soul of wit. Mail day 
is a great day with us. The lucky ones show by their 
cheerful looks that they have " heard from home," while 
to the sick, letters are more invigorating than all the 
remedies of the surgeon. Unhappy they, for whom mail 
after mail brings no token from absent friends. "Are 
you sure there is nothing for me ?" " Quite sure !" and 
the hungry one clings to the hope that it may have been 
miscarried to some other regiment, and will soon find its 
way to him. When that hope dies out, home-sickness 
takes hold of him, and if he be otherwise sick, hastens 
him to the hospital or the grave. This is a real sickness. 
We have much leisure time, we know not how to fill it 
up, and so dwell often and long on the friends of home, 
till a desire for them is an unsatisfied soul-yearning, that 
really prostrates. T/ien, a word of sympathy is as the 
voice of an angel. Yearning for this unattainable has 



ISC LIFE WITH THE FOETY-XINTII 

shortened many a soldier s career. "Died of home-sick- 
ne>v should be written on many a grave. The victims 
to this disease are not babes or cowards, but the finest 
sjiirits of the army. Alone in a crowd, craving sympathy 
and fearing the sneer, they wilt and die. How little our 
relatives understand what comfort and strength their 
letters inspire. If they did, they would always keen 
letters on the stocks, noting down what Harry said, or 
that sister lias a new frock, or that the baby is beginning 
to walk, or that Mr. Smith is to Jbe married to Miss 
Brown ; all these things that go to make up their daily 
lives. 

We have given up all hopes of a supply of reading 
matter. We hunger for something to read. Books are 
borrowed weeks in advance. Even Reynolds s trashy 
novels are read ilironyh, and that too, by educated men. 
" Nothing to read, is the deep-toned complaint every 
where. The people at home do not know what sacrifice 
nii-ans. This mental hunger is fearful. Roam through 
our large hospitals and see what freedom costs. Till 
quite recently there were no beds. The sick lay on their 
one blanket, till putrid, running sores were the result. 
No one stood near to brush away the flies and insects. 
Now all have beds, and mosquito bars enable them to 
rest in peace. Perchance, all is done that can be done 
for their comfort; our hospitals are airy, sweet, and clean, 
and what delicacies can be obtained, the sick receive, or, 
at least, the government provides and pays for; but, ohj 
how unlike the ministrations of home. Villains lind 
their way into the hospitals. Money and articles of value 
sometimes mysteriously disappear, to say nothing of luxu 
ries sent to or bought for the sick. There must be a hell 
for such villains. 

We hear favorable news from Banks, who is now in the 
Teche country. He is sending cotton, sugar, and moL 
into New Orleans, in quantities sufficient to meet a large 
share of the expense of this expedition. The rebels have 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 187 

cut the levee above us, on the west bank of the river, in 
hopes of flooding us out. 

Adjutant-General Thomas is now engaged in raising 
negro troops. How public opinion has changed! He 
used to be a bitter pro-slavery man. Many unwilling 
negroes are conscripted into the ranks. I do not object to 
that, but I do object to paying the negro soldiers less than 
whites. They do as much or more work, are exposed to 
the same hardships arid to greater dangers, for their cap 
ture will be followed by their death, and they, therefore, 
should be paid the same. Paying a negro less for the 
same services than a white man is one of the remaining 
chains of slavery. Between the enlisting and the planta 
tion scheme, we hope that they may be cared for, and the 
fearful mortality that has cut off thousands be lessened. 
The next winter will be a dreary one for many of them, 
and no doubt selfish men on government plantations will 
greatly abuse them, so that it may even seem that " abol 
ishing slavery means abolishing the slave." The transition 
state will be accompanied by much distress and a sad 
mortality, but order will ultimately come out of chaos, 
and having endured the pangs of freedom s birth, they 
will secure its blessings. 

Death has been busy among us. The soul-eating 
monotony has often been broken by the funeral proces 
sion. We are learning too well the funeral call, with its 
mournful music, its measured tread, the reversed arms, 
the closing volleys, and the lively air, played on returning 
fr.om the grave, to banish a sadness that will not be thus 
exorcised. Seth R. Webster (K) died of fever at the Gen 
eral Hospital in this place, on the 15th of March. He 
was a married man, from New Marlboro, aged thirty- 
seven years, and is spoken of as a very nice man. His 
battle was fought in the hospital, where so many soldiers 
close their career of patriotic self-sacrifice. 

On March 20th, death made its first inroad into Com 
pany A, by striking down with the hand of fever William 



188 LIKI: WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Taylor, formerly a finisher in Taconia Mills, Pittsfield. 
He died in the General Hospital at Xew Orleans, and 
leaves a wile and ehild to look lor his return in vain. II 
was sick several weeks. As a soldier, he was steady, 
faithful, ami reliable. For once, mirthful Captain Weller 
was sobered. He felt, indeed, that his family circle was 
broken. His sadness did him honor. 

Morton Olds (F) died here March 21st. Fever was 
his foe. He was a steady, even-tempered farmer boy of 
eighteen years of age, from Sandisfield. 

Fever also struck low in death, March 22d, Eugene W. 
Pierce, Sergeant (B), of Windsor. He died, I believe, 
as he was returning to this place, but was buried at New 
Orleans. His father came on to visit him, but death had 
finished his work ere his arrival. He was one of our 
reliable farmer hoys, aged twenty-one years, with bright 
eye, denoting no ordinary intelligence. He was a good 
soldier, and was one of the " color guard/ The common 
foe gave him no chance to guard those colors amid the 
smoke of battle, llis wish doubtless was, w/tilc so doing, 
to give his soul out to God. 

Allen M. Dewey, Corporal in Company C, died at New 
Orleans, on March 23d. lie was taken sick just as we 
left Carrolllon, and lingered with fever for six weeks. 
His sufferings were borne with gentle patience. I saw 
him lying on his one blanket, emaciated, the bones work 
ing through the skin, which was raw and marked with 
putrid sores, gasping for bivath, yet seemingly resigned. 
When we made a feint on Port Hudson, many of the 
sick were removed to Xew Orleans, lie was one of that 
number. I fear it hastened his death. One of his com 
rades says he died with all the calmness of him whose 
peace with God was made, lie was from Pittsfield, aged 
thirty-five years, a melodeon-maker by trade, lie w 
faithful soldier and a genial companion. We shall miss 
\\-< pleasant smile and that rich voice which so often 
cheered us with its m.-lndiou< smi. Heaven s choir has 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 189 

received him, and his war has terminated in a hallowed 
peace. 

On the same day, typhoid fever cut down Lyman 
Lindsay (E), at this place. He was one of our Sheffield 
farmers, aged twenty-two years, and his officers speak of 
him as a good, nice boy. 

Alexander Smith (C), of Lenox, died here, March 28th. 
He was a shoemaker by trade, and only nineteen years of 
age. 

Nelson B. Stetson, Corporal (K), died at the General 
Hospital, on the 1st instant, of fever. He leaves a wife 
and child. He was one of Windsor s best soldiers, a 
farmer, aged twenty-eight years. He was faithful and 
reliable in all the positions of life, and from all I can learn 
met death as one who had learned that " the sting of 
death is sin, but thanks be to God, who giveth us the 
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I attended his 
funeral. We went to the hospital, where hundreds far 
away from home are learning the hardest lesson a soldier, 
or any one, can learn, " to suffer and be strong." Roses 
in full bloom perfumed the fresh air blowing from the 
river, but very many were wrapped up in the insensibility 
or delirium of fever ; inhaling, perchance, the fragrance 
of flowers that grow around the old homestead, and cool 
ing their fevered brows with breezes from their native 
hills. We went into the " Dead-room." There were 
several corpses there, each one marked with the name, 
company, and regiment of the deceased. Discarding the 
coarse coffins furnished by government, we tenderly 
placed all that remained of our comrade in a neat coffin, 
provided by the thoughtfulness of Orderly Gleason, and 
bore him without the lines. At the foot of a tree, just 
bursting into bloom, on the shore of the Mississippi, we 
buried him. Twas sad, and tears from manly eyes at 
tested how near home it came to each of us. Many have 
looked forward to an early return to Massachusetts, per 
chance Nelson among them ; many loved ones there have 



190 I.IFI: WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

counted the few intervening days, and as that quiet grave 
buries the hopes that gathered round him, so other graves 
will receive some of our number, and the affections cling 
ing to us. Friends will look for our return in vain, and 
realize something of the price paid for a perfected liberty. 
Near this grave, Charles Bartholomew, of the sum-. 
company, is buried. He was a boy of eighteen, from 
Sheffield. Fever closed his career yesterday. In the 
army, burial follows death speedily. Neat head-boards 
are placed at each grave, on which names and regiments 
are painted. For a lew years those boards will tell who, 
for their country, did die; then they will disappear, and 
nothing but the heaped mounds will eloquently speak of 
that class, who, martyrs at a bleeding nation s call, were 
yet denied the proud privilege of dying on the field of 
strive. The authorities are preparing a cemetery to re 
ceive our dead, but these scattered graves seem more 
eloquent to me than any well-ordered grave-yard. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 191 



LETTER XXIV. 

CAMP BANKS, BATON ROUGE, LA., May 10, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

The long desired paymaster has been here. Major 
Brodhead paid A, B, E, and F on the 23d ult., and then 
the money giving out, the payment of the rest was de 
ferred till the 30th nit. We were paid up to March 1st. 
When we contrasted our little piles with those of the 
officers, we were almost willing to bear their superior 
burdens for the superior pay. I do not think they are 
paid too much. A real officer is worth inore to the ser 
vice than a private. If increased pay would increase 
their efficiency, I would be in favor of that increase. 
Their expenses are greater than ours. They have to pay 
for the food they do not buy at cost of the Brigade Com 
missary, three times as much as for the same kind of food 
at home. I have seen them where money could not se 
cure food, and they were dependent on our generosity. 
The members of Company D and E received on an aver 
age eight dollars more than the rest of us, yet only re 
ceived pay from date of enlistment. By an error in pay 
rolls, eight companies drew pay only from time of going 
into camp. Though sickness is alarmingly on the increase, 
yet pay-day has advanced the health of some, and would 
of more, could delicacies be secured here. Pies and cakes 
are poison, for they are generally shortened with grease 
obtained from pork sold by the soldiers, some of which 
was diseased. Vegetables are scarce, and in this land of 
plenty, I .have seen no edibles equal to the products of 
Northern gardens, save dewberries. Provisions are so 
high, that we can purchase but few good meals without 
curtailing the comforts of expectant friends at home. 



192 I.IFi: WITH THE FORTY- ISIXTII 

Large quantities of greenbacks have been sent to those 
friends. God bless the dear boys, needing money ami its 
comforts so much, yet to be so mindful of the claims <>; 
parents, wives, and children. Such men will light. For 
the first time for months, have our sutlers (Springstein 
and Langdon) been in funds, but pay-day came too late 
for their success. They cannot send North for supplie^, 
and so have to purchase their goods at Louisiana prices. 
Of course, we pay very highly for every thing we buy, 
and then blame them unjustly. Two dollars per pound 
for tobacco makes a big hole in our pockets. Pay-day 
brought liquor and intoxication to light, so it became 
necessary to close the saloons. For the sins of the few, 
the many were punished. 

The great event of the week has been the arrival of the 
Sixth and Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Colonel Grier- 
son. For eight hundred miles from La Grange, Tenn., to 
this place, they rode qn their errand of destruction. This 
raid injured the rebels millions of dollars. Near Bayou 
Montecino, they met some Louisiana cavalry, by whom 
they were cheered, but they changed their tune when 
they found out their mistake, on being led prisoners to 
this place. The Illinois boys are now our lions. Dusty, 
dirty, and worn .they look, but manifest a good deal of 
that pride, which one of their number expressed : " I 
would not give up my share of the honor of this raid for 
a farm in Illinois." Many of them exchanged their worn- 
out horses for the blooded nags of aristocratic stables, 
and not a few sported watches and various articles of 
jewelry. It was a grand raid, and has given Banks what 
he much needs, a body of cavalry. 

" Who has not heard of Grierson s raid, 
And the feats of valor therein displayed ? 
Twas a brave, bold dash through the hostile land, 
That scattered terror on every hand, 
Making the rebel heart afraid 
At the daring valor of Grierson s raid. 



SACHUSETTS VOLUXTEEKS. 193 

t * Through their cities and over their streams, 

The flag of the Union once more gleams ; 
There s a curse on the air, but in under breath, 
As the troopers go on their work of death ; 
Like lightning flashes each loyal blade, 
To light the path of Grierson s raid. 

Onward, yet onward, the blazing roof 
Echoes in flame to the cavalry hoof; 
And fleeing forms in the midnight air, 
Revealed by the war-pyre s ruddy glare, 
Tell the story, iu fear displayed, 
Of the woful, terrible Grierson s raid. 

Onward, yet onward, upholden the rein, 
Till the Union lines are compassed again, 
"Where a meed of grateful honors is due 
For the troopers bold, and tried and true ; 
And history never has deed portrayed 
That brighter shines than Grierson s raid." 

The prisoners, one hundred in number, were visited in 
the prisons by many of the citizens of the place, and sup 
plied with luxuries and bouquets. Most of them were 
large, fine looking, but poorly dressed. Some of Co. G s 
men escorted them to New Orleans, where, I suppose, 
they will be paroled, and set loose to fight us at Port 
Hudson. 

Humanity and prudence triumph, and we are worked 
much less than before. We have dress parade at 8 A. M., 
then have nothing to do till 4 p. M,, when we go out to 
battalion drill. The morning drills had become a farce. 
The considerate officers would take their men out as or 
dered, and then drill them in sitting and lounging exer 
cises. So reduced were we, that it was rare to see 
twenty men in a company at those drills, and the boys 
say that one company presented itself at dress parade, 
numbering one officer and one private. 

L. Hedger (E) won the brigade prize of $5 for the best 
shot in the brigade. W. J. Campbell and F. Killredge 
(C) were the next best shots, We think that is pretty 
9 



I! 1 . M THE FoJH Y-MNTII 

well f ! a regiment, many of whom never fired a gun be 
fore entering the army. 

On the 2uth nil., Companies A, D, and K, under Colonel 
Suinner, visited Du Planche s plantation, nine miles be 
low this place, to obtain eorn. The men dined as usual, 
while the officers enjoyed Du Plant-he s hospitality, which 
w::s extended to the rebels only two days before, when 
near twenty of our men were killed and wounded. A 
Mr. Conrad, brother of C. M. Conrad, former Secretary 
of *W&r y contributed some forty hogsheads of sugar to our 
commissary department. Various books, bearing the 
name of Miss Conrad, now enliven our monotony. My 
hands are iiimst clean of plunder ; almost, for at the 

rted plantation of a tyrant, Mr. Ilatton, I " drew" 
six law books. The books were odd volumes, scattered 
about on the floor, doing no one any good. War rimy 
obdurate the conscience, but I read them with great 
tranquillity and peace. 

On the loth April, Sergeant Brooks (C), Sergeant 
Siggins (D), and Orderly Gle:ison (K), were appointed 
by the colonel as second lieutenants in their respective 
companies. How Governor Andrew will think these />- 

fim-itts tally with the law requiring the election of 
the officers of militia regiments, I know not. The two 

are of that class from which officers should come ; in 
telligent, prompt, reliable. The above were appointed 
to fill the vacancies occasioned by the resignation of Lieu 
tenant Wells (C) (he never joined us after we left New 
York), Morey (D), and Taft (K), the latter of whom was 
prostrated with sickness. Lieutenant Gleason was pre 
sented with sword and sash by his associate officers of 
Company K. Colonel Suinner has been engaged for 
months as president of a general court-martial. Very 
many cases have been tried before that court. Talented, 
discriminating, firm, humane, his superior for that po>t 
could not be found in this department.... Lieutenant .hidd 
has been appointed Regimental Treasurer, for which 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 195 

his uncommonly fine business habits peculiarly adapt 
him. 

Porter has passed Vicksburg with a part of his fleet, 
and now Banks can hold communication with Grant. A 
signal station has been located on the top-mast of Farra- 
gut s flag-ship, which runs up near Port Hudson, and sig 
nals to those stationed on a mast of one of Porter s ves 
sels. This is rather provoking to the rebels, but they 
can t help themselves. Nightly, we hear heavy firing up 
the river, and hope the " forward march" will soon call 
the Forty-ninth into line. 

Alas ! how. changed are we from the men who marched 
in that celebrated " feint" on Port Hudson. Then, we 
were worthy of any foeman s steel. Now, we are but 
spectres. Our sick list stands seven officers, and two 
hundred and ninety-five "enlisted men." Remember, 
these are only they who are "excused from duty." We 
do full duty as long as possible. Many of the " well" 
properly belong to the sick list, and some in that list are 
shirkers. Mortifying it is, but true, that well men are 
found to play sick and to endure many of its penalties. 
The result is, the surgeon becomes suspicious, and not 
being infallible, remands some of the really sick to 
duty, and doing it, they die. A surgeon s task is no 
pleasant one. It is hard to decide who of reduced men 
are fit for duty, yet that duty must be done. The proud 
spirited ones magnify their ailings that they may not be 
charged with attempting to " shirk" their duties. Dr. 
Rice tells of one man in his old regiment who cheated all 
the surgeons and got his discharge. When he left the 
harbor on his way home, he threw away his bandages and 
crutches and cursed them all for fools. If the surgeon 
could become personally acquainted with all the men, the 
characters of not a few would shield them from suspicion 
and undue labor. Dr. Winsor is a gentleman, and con 
scientiously performs all his duties. Naturally of a re 
served temperament, he does not receive credit for the 



106 LII- E WITH THE FORTY-MVTM 

sympathy he really feels. We generally attribute t<> Dr. 
Rice superior medical abilities, and though with some 
peculiarities, a larger sympathy. Voting Morey makes an 
excellent, hospital steward. I do not think our Northern 
physicians understand the proper treatment of the-zy- 
motic diseases of the South. It seems strange to give 
quinine to men while fever is on them. 

Every morning the sick call on the surgeons, who ex 
amine and prescribe for them. I have seen hundreds join 
in that procession. A mournful procession it is, one that 
Avould agonize many a Berkshire heart. I see it often, 
but never without sadness. Ask many of them, what ails 
them, and they cannot tell. An unseen foe has consumed 
their strength. Yet their fever lighted eyes, their ema 
ciated forms, their shuffling walk and drawling speech tell 
too plainly that sickness with them is not shirking from duty 
They return from the surgeon " excused from duty." How 
now to pass the weary day before starting for home is the 
question ; for few expect a return of strength till they 
reach home. Alas ! death is preparing for them a final 
home. The water they drink, every thing they force into 
their unwilling stomachs produces or increases a strange 
feverishness. No cool spot invites them to rest. Their 
tents are like ovens, yet they must choose between them 
and the unbroken rays of a Southern sun. Hordes of flies 
by day, and insects by night prevent repose. Few gentle 
breezes fan them by day, and the night brings no coolness 
save the dampness reeking with malaria, a dampness so 
great that our easy boots are hard to draw on in the 
morning. Thus day and night pass. Each morning finds 
them weaker ; nothing to do, nothing to read, sources of 
conversation almost dried up, they pass their weary hours 
as best they can, sadly enlivened at times by letters from 
loved ones they fear they may never again see. Oil en the 
consuming monotony is gloomily broken by the funeral 
drum announcing that with another and yet another com 
rade, the weary struggle with its longings for home is ended. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 197 

At last they are borne to the dreaded and crowded hospi 
tals. There, though they have better care and diet, unless 
they have much of energy they rapidly fail. Sick and sick 
ness are all around them, the gossip of the camp (an uncon 
scious tonic) hushed, the mind has naught but to prey on 
itself. Then comes from many a heroic soul : " Is this to be 
my end ? Was it for this that I left parents, wife, children, 
all? Is this, being an encumbrance to the army, the 
realization of my hopes of serving my country ? Am I 
here to die, where no glory can gild the final scene, and 
where none of the tenderness of home can alleviate my then 
anguish ? Oh for one hour s strength ! then the rush of 
battle and the soldier s grave ; that around that grave, those 
who love me may mourn, not with pity, but with a proud 
sorrow; saying he died as he listed with his face to the 
foe. " No glory can gather round the final scene ! De 
spairing hero ! he erred ; a halo of Christian and national 
glory has gathered round many such final scenes. The up 
roar of battle is marked by no grander victories than won 
by the uncomplaining heroes of the hospital. It is easy 
work to meet death when a world is watching every blow, 
ready to bind the victor s crown alike upon the brow of 
the living and the dead. But, to fight a long, slow battle 
with unconquerable disease, while our brothers are meet 
ing the foe on the ensanguined field, whence our spirits 
fly, calls for a loftier courage than that which places the 
banner of the "forlorn hope" on the citadel of the enemy. 
Then, one all-comprehensive thought of home and loved 
ones, one grand rush and victory or death. Not so, him 
who sees Death an already crowned victor, walking the 
wards of the hospital to his cot. He has time for the 
anguish of parting. He mourns at what seems to him an 
almost inglorious death. He saddens- as he thinks how 
his aged parents will weep to hear their only boy in 
death is lying low, or else forgetting he is dead, will sit 
and listening wait for his step upon the garden walk, his 
hand upon the gate. He knows that a sister s eyes would 



108 LIFI: WITH Tin: FORTY-NINTH 

lla-h could slic l)iit hear that lie had nobly fought and 
bnivrly died; that pride would mingle with a \\i\\- - 
rows to learn that in the thickest oft IK- si rile, lie t //////// // ; / 
fell, and for the lionor of the dear old Hag, he yielded up 
his life. He thinks .>f hi-; boy and im.^gines that in life s 
battle, he would light the better and the braver to know 
his father s soul went out to God upon the fluid of strife. 
"War has no sadder chapter than that, which records the 
struggles of the true soldier, when he finds that God has 
ordained the hospital, not the field, as his place of mar 
tyrdom. It is t/n x that lends bitterness to death, and 
hard the struggle before the sinking soul can exclaim, 
"Thy will be done." 

Soon, we may add to our " fallen brave " those who 
die as soldiers crave to die. I would inscribe an humble 
"In Memoriam" to the. heroes of the hospital. Death 
tired of waiting for the hour of carnage, lias reaped many 
into the lonely graves that deck the shores of the Missis 
sippi, since I last wrote to you. I wish I were better ac 
quainted with their lives that I might do them justice. 

William J. Glead (B), a farmer boy from Otis, aged 
nineteen, died here of fever, April 14. He was a stranger 
to me. I only know him as a good soldier. 

Caleb C. llinman, of the same company, died of fever, 
April 1C. His age was twenty-two years. He was a 
farmer from Becket. He was unmarried. 

Isaac V. Wilcox (I)) was cut down by fever, April 
18. I attended his funeral. We buried him near Stetson 
(K), sad to bury him in his early prime (he was but 
twenty years old), trebly sad to know that he was the 
third one of our number who was borne that same day to 
burial. We lired the volleys over his grave, and thought 
of a home in l>arringtmi, over which a great darkness 
was settling, and returned, realizing that one, who, though 
weak in body, was ever ready and faithful as a soldier, 
would no more greet us. Beloved in life by all, he was. 
We love him no less now. A mother gave two of her 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER. ,. 190 

boys to the service. God has seen fit to make the gift 
of one an eternal gift. Happy, the parent who turns 
away from this bereavement with a deeper, purer love of 
country. 

In Shelden E. Gibbs s death by fever, April 21st, Co. F 
lost a quiet, fine soldier, and Stockbridge, a good citizen. 
He was twenty-eight years of age, and a daguerrian by 
occupation. 

George Kolby (D), of Barrington, died April 21st, at 
this place. His age was twenty-seven years. He was a 
German, the stoutest man in his company; one, who all 
prophesied, was most likely to endure the wear and tear 
of a soldier s life. Death met him, as he meets so many 
in this climate, in the form of diarrhoea. He leaves a wife 
and two children to mourn his early death. 

James A. Jourdan (Bj died of fever, April 22. He was 
a farmer from New Ashford, and though thirty-six years 
of age, leaves no family. He was a good soldier. 

On the same day, of diarrhoea, Co. B lost a good moral 
man, and an excellent soldier, in the person of Isaac Den- 
slow, firmer, of Becket. His age was thirty-nine years. 
He leaves a family to remember the Forty-ninth with sad- 
ness^ He was a nurse in one of our hospitals. Death met 
him, and wife and children were far away, strangers 
nursed him, and comrades buried him. 

Ebenezer Hinman, farmer, of Sheffield, aged fifty-nine, 
died of diarrhoea, in our camp hospital, April 24. Pie was 
the oldest man in the regiment, and while he had health 
could do and endure as much as any other, but like old 
men, and especially in this climate, he had but little re 
served strength to fall back on in the time of sickness. 
He came with us, because the members of Co. E wanted 
his advice and care. Though garrulous, Captain (he was 
once a militia officer and quite well posted) Hinman was a 
nice old man, of excellent principles, and died with so 
pleasant a smile on his face, that we thought he must 
have " laid down to pleasant dreams." 



200 : WITH THE FOTITY-XINTn 

Nelson M. Case (F), of Sandisfield, aged twenty-two 
yon" !> fever, in the hospit-al, at thi< place, April 

T. .M. Judd, his brother-in-law, was hastening t" 
him, but Death travelled more rapidly, and XeKon di-d 
without a brother s presence. lie was a good soldier. 
That is a mutter of course, for he was a C///vV;</// 
soldier. Early had he dedicated himself to God, and lie 
entered the army as a matter of duty. An only son, his 
parents could illy spare him, and by pecuniary arguments, 
tried to c mince him that duty and interest pointed tc 
his remaining at home. He felt his country claimed his 
services, and they were cheerfully rendered. lie was 
pleasant in his life, and though sorrowing parents, in their 
"loneliness, may find it hard to see that his early death 
conduced to a nation s welfare, yet his grave eloquently 
patriotism. Ills brother-in-law has had 
his remains exhumed, that the soil that gave him birth 
may also give him a final burial. 

Sandiflfield has lost another of her citizens. Milton 
Smith (II), aged forty-four years, died April 28th. He 
was cook for his company. I believe he leaves a family 
He W.MS sustained in death by a trust in Christ. He so 
lived amid the temptations of camp, that all unite inlay 
ing, ; a <jn<1 man has gone to his eternal rest." 

Waldo R. Fargo (F). of Monterey, died here May 2. 
He wa- one <f our lifers. He was but twenty years of 
; i home to share the privations of his 

soldier comrade-;. lie was an excellent penman and 
accountant ; one of those bright young men whose 
cause< us to f vl that this war may K> a blessing, but a 
j-ht with the most precious part of our wealth. 
At home and abroad, was Waldo esteem !. With him I 
close the sad list* It may be a ylni tuim list, but so covered 
with blasted hopes, that many years will roll away before 
weeping eyes can fully discern the glory. They sleep in 
their quiet graves, a small portion of the host of New 
England s dead. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 201 

Oh ! chant a requiem for the brave, the brave who are no more, 
New Erjglaud rf dead ! in honored rest they sleep on hill and shore ; 
From where the Mississippi now in freedom proudly rolls, 
To waves that sigh on Georgia s isles, a death hymn for their souls. 

But not alone for those who die a soldier s death of glory ; 
Fuh 1 many a brave, heroic soul has sighed its mournful story, 
Down in the sultry wards and cots, where fever s subtle frreath 
Has drained the life-blood from their hearts, and laid them low in 
death. 

As proud a memory yours, oh ! ye who murmured no complaint, 
Who saw Hope s vision, day by day, grow indistinct and faint ; 
"Who, far from home and loving hearts, from all yet held most dear, 
Have died ! Oh 1 noble, cherished dead, ye have a record here. 

New England I on thy spotless shield, inscribe these honored dead. 
Oh ! keep their memory fresh and green, when turf blooms o er their 

head; 
Oh! deck with fadeless bays their names, who ve won the martyr s crown. 11 



202 i.ii i; WITH THE i- our v -NINTH 



LETTER XXV. 

BANKS, BAT 

May 19, 1863, 10 p. M. 



CAMP BANKS, BATON- ROUGE, LA., ) 



MY DEAR L. : 

The long expected " forward march " has come. We 
are directed to be in line, in light marching order to 
morrow morning at five o clock. We fed t/n fi is no false 
alarm, no feint. We are to go home a tried regiment. 
\Yp sliall soon show if we merit the proud appellation, 
" Massachusetts Soldiers!" 

Last Wednesday, we marched sixteen miles as guard 
to a supply train; thought the whole regiment was going, 
but when we found the colors were left behind, we knew 
there was little chance to win honors. The major was in 
command. All we did was to carry food to Dudley and 
return home. 

Lieutenant Tucker (D) takes a position on Colonel 
Chapin s stall . It was urged on him. I hope our loss 
will prove his gain. R. D. More leaves us to aid the 
Brigade Quartermaster. C. French is in the office of the 
Medical Director. They are both from Company D, and 
are detailed to do work requiring much business talent 
and clerkly skill. More of the members of Company D 
have been detailed to fill such posts than of any other 
company in the regiment. 

As we are on the verge of solemn events, this yr>n c- 
poetry, as copied from the tombstone of a cemetery in 
this place, may be pertinent. 

" Hero lies buried in the tomb, 
A constant suflerer from salt rheum, 
Which finally, iu truth, did pass 
To spotted erysi; 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 203 

And again, " Hero lies the body of David Jones ; his 
la^t words were, I die a Democrat and a Christian. 1 " 
Poor fellow ! he got party first and Christ last. In 
the closing hour, when men are apt to see truth most 
clearly, he may have seen the incongruity of his two 
professions and desired to establish their co?zgruity by a 
death-bed testimony. If he had reference to modern De 
mocracy, it needed that the testimony be made as sol 
emnly as possible. 

I heard a soldier pray at one of tho negro meetings, 
that God would hear the prayers of fathers, mothers, 
wives, and " the lispings of our little ones." Oh, the 
power of those little ones ! There was scarcely a dry eye 
in the house. Plainly, we say our " little ones" kneeling 
in prayer for us, for there are few soldiers children that 
have not been taught thus to pray. I hope that God will 
hear those " lispings." We are nearing the hour in which 
prayer will mean more than it ever meant before. 

We will march about four hundred and fifty strong ; 
all of the thousand who left Berkshire deemed fit for 
duty, and many of them are not fit. The convalescents 
will stay to aid in defending this place. As our brigade 
has been alone for some time r we have manned the entire 
picket line. We leave behind us, among the sick, some 
of our most reliable men. Our marching against the foe, 
without them, will be one of their heavy trials. The trial 
is greater when they reflect that even their absence from 
the field is not likely to lengthen their lives to the day of 
reunion with the loved ones of earth. My next, if my 
own obituary shall not prevent it, may tell of battles 
fought and won with the blood of my comrades ; so, I 
will prepare against that sad contingency by recording 
our deaths up to this date. 

William D. Leonard (K) died here May 12th, of fever. 
He was from Savoy, a married man, aged thirty-two 
years. He is spoken of as a very nice man, one who at 
tended to all his duties. 



LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

el 0. Hells (D), farmer, of Harrington, d : 
typhoid fever May 1 1th, aged twenty years. Tin- i 
nient lost--; ; i him a good soldier, and his company :i line 
associate. 

Scth R. Jones (A), a Savoy farmer, aged twenty-two 
years, died of chronic diarrlura in this place, May 16th. 
A few days before his death he came from the hospital 
to the camp, and his looks caused us to hope that he 
would soon return to duty. The next news was that he 
was dead. His captain speaks of him as a tip-top soldier. 
He wa- st.-ady, much respected, and sincerely mourned. 

On the 15th i:ist., Francis Joray (I) died of fever, at 
the age of thi rs. He was from Stockbridge, 

and leave ;: family to mourn the loss of their provider. 
He was a good soldier. Though France gave him birth, 
he died in defence of American prineipi 

Sandisiield ami Company II lost a steady, fine man and 
reliable soldier (one of my best, says his captain) of diar 
rhoea, on the 10th inst., Frederick P.Seymour, aged nine 
teen. He was a line-looking man, and his character cor 
responded with his appearance. lie was a farmer. 

James J. Smith, aged thirty-nine years, surveyor, of 
Sandisiield, died here on the same day, May IGth.. He 
leaves a iamily to cherish his name, lie was a good- 
hcarted man and respected by his comrades. Sandisiield 
has lost many of those she oifcred for the nation s weal. 
31 ay their memories be cherished by her citizens and 
their examples imitated. We feel that death has been 
greedy ; alas ! these are merely the first-fruits, and I 
close this record to go forth to his h trcwt. There is 
life in death. Our death may l.e necessary to the life of 
Freedom. If so, amen! 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 2J5 



LETTER XXVI. 

BEFOEE PORT HUDSON, LA., May 26, 7 A.M., 1863. 

MY DEAR L. : 

Precisely at 5 A. M., May 20th, Col. Sumner (Col. Bart- 
lett being sick) led us from camp, and without any note 
worthy incident, we reached Merrick s plantation, about 
sixteen miles from Baton Ronge, where we encamped for 
the night. For the first five miles, the road was shaded 
with trees, and the boys got along comfortably. If a 
man has any vitality left, a march through a Southern 
forest is a matter of great pleasure. Every thing is pro 
lific, and in many places the underbrush and vines make 
an impenetrable jungle. The trees are gigantic; from 
their branches hang the melancholy moss, and often 
grape-vines descend and take root, and send up other 
vines, till you have before you miniature Banian-trees. 
Vines of various kinds form grottoes that are wonderfully 
beautiful, and twining round stunted trees, present pyra 
mids of beauty that would make our lawns, could they be 
transplanted, the cynosures of all eyes. Conspicuous, 
pre-eminent is the magnolia. From a bed, first of very 
dark leaves, then of bright yellow ones, springs a large 
whitish flower, "a thing of beauty, and a joy forever." 

The ravages of war had marked the houses on the road 
since first we marched over it. The road itself was torn 
up or obstructed in places. With the usual amount of 
swearing, our trains safely passed the Bayou Montecino, 
and we followed to meet the fierce rays of the sun. 
Then the debilitated condition of the men was apparent. 
Not seven alone fell out, as in our first march ; their 
name was scores. Many of them were unfit for the work 



20(5 irii Tin: 



before them. In defiance of the advice of their comr:: 
almost in defiance of the commands of their officers, some 
joined us. Ilonorabh . i by others, they could not 
excuse themselves. From ;ifar they scented the battle, 
and their con of duty wer. 1 so strong, that they 

could not st:iy behind. Perchance some have a dim 
sentiment that Death is on their track, and that the nio- 
;iy and loneliness of camp would but hasten the 
ravages of sickness, and they have come hoping that 
activity, excitement, and change of scene may strengthen 
them, or that they may strike one blow for their country, 
and find soldiers graves. Hope and will carried them 
over weary miles, till failing nature caused them to sue 
cumb. We loaded our wagons with them, and thus ri 
ding a while and resting a while, their comrades in some 
cases oHicers carrying their guns, they kept up, or came 
staggering on behind. In all their weakness, they re 
membered that the enemy was in front, and that their 
country needed every fragment of a man who could fire 
JSL gun at the foe. The buoyancy and cheerfulness that 
characterized our first march towards Port Hudson had 
disappeared, but in its stead was a determination, a fixed 
ness of purpose, that boded no good to rebels. Ma"ny of 
the-e men were fresh from the hospitals; others couKi 
have remained in camp, where were some who needed 
nothing but courage to be effective men. Impending 
battle tries the stulf men are made of. 

We had marched near twelve miles, when orders came 
for Co. G to return to Baton Kongo. That company is 
not . ///,s />c/// composed of Christians, and as they re 
traced their steps, they showered on the author of that 
order a volley of expletives not to be found even in Web 
ster s Unabridged. Their return was a maiter of rog vt 
to us all, for they numbered nearly twice as many as any 
other company their duties a> provost-guards having 
secured them from exposure, and consequent sick 
and death. I regretted it for Capt. Parker s sake. H" 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEKES. 207 

was too unwell to command his company, so rode with 
us, hoping to be counted in the day of battle. They may 
find consolation in the enlargement of their sphere of 
duties at Baton Rouge, and if the rebels learn the weak 
ness of our force there, they may have an opportunity of 
exhibiting their prowess in battle. 

The colonel rode to the ground in a carriage. We 
greeted him with cheers. We did not mistrust the lieu 
tenant-colonel and major, but they were untried. In the 
colonel we have implicit confidence. His voice alone 
keeps a regiment steady, it is so clear, so indicative of 
self-possession. I never heard a voice fuller of command. 

" One blast upon that bugle-horn wore worth a thousand men." 

Save the firing on the river, the night of the 20th was 
uneventful. We killed a mammoth ox to serve out in 
the morning. You can judge of its condition : some of 
us secured the liver, and searched the animal in vain for 
a quarter of a pound of fat to fry it in. 

The morning of the 21st found us early in line, and, 
beeftesSj we hastily breakfasted, and continued our march. 
We had inarched but a few miles, when the battle of 
Plain s Store commenced. Grover had encountered a 
masked battery. I met a pioneer carrying a gun in addi 
tion to his axe and shovel, and relieving him of his gun, 
took my place in the ranks of Co. D. I was but little 
acquainted with the officers or men of my own company 
(C), and between Capt. Chaffee and myself there was 
much sympathy in relation to the great principles for 
which we were to fight, and quite an intimate acquaint 
anceship, so I ranged myself under his command. Slowly 
we pressed our way. Soon wounded men and bleeding 
horses were brought to the rear. Shells shrieked and 
bursted. Our first battle had begun. A strange sick 
ness came over me. I doubted if it were right for me to 
fight, and was tempted to retreat to the safety of the 
quartermasters department But that was no time to 



208 I.1KK WITH Til! 1 . I OKTY NINTH 

reconsider a LTravc question, so I fell back upon the con 
elusions I had reached in quieter times, though, in the 
fear and excitement <>! the hour, I could n,.t recall the 
arguments that led to thosu conclusion-^, and determined 
I would walk in the path of duty, though it led to the 
jaws of death. I felt no more fear that day, for //v // tri 
umphed. We prosed on to the music of shells a music 
shrieking, wailing, infernal. They tore through the 
woods, in \\hich ( 1 o. A was ordered to skirmish. Then 
tin- -I .Mh wa- advanced beyond the isth Mas<., and the 
liriiiLT liilh-d for several hours. Facing new dangers, wo 
ate hut little dinner, and endured the BuffoC&ting heat as 
we could, till a;_jain called into line. \Ve reache(l 
a. laruv Held, stacked our arms, and expected there to 
bivouac for the ni^ht, but Before leaving the ranks our 
ears were greeted wilh discharges of artillery. Just 
ahead of us another masked battery had been discovered. 
The firing was so rapid that the roar was continuous. 
Oh, it was ^rand ! I never heard any thin^ half so in 
spiring. It made the Avild blood leap through the veins, 
ar.d stiifcned every muscle. L had heard of the "joy of 
battle." I understood it then. "Fall in! Forty-ninth; 
and we wheeled round, brin^in^ the left of the regiment 
(11), instead of the ri dil (A), in front. \Ve marched into 
a dense wood. The roar of artillery was mingled with 
the continuous volley of musketry. The genius of treason 
could have selected no more appropriate place for a 
kc-d battery. T>, K, and ( pre ed on till they 
crossed a main mad, and fired three volleys at the 
enemy. The road through the woods \\ a* BO narrow 
that we could sec but little in advance, of us. Then 
earne, "About face! douhlc-<piick !" \Ve thought it 
was an order, and one-lialf the regiment turned fr^tn the 
foe. I heard it plainly, though I did not "about face." 
I saw that a lar- e number did not whee.1 round, and 
went forward to do what I could. There was 

no panic, though the broken, routed l^th was tearing 



\l A :: \cill ;:i II:; \ Mil 

lhroil;di (Mir niliL ;. As Soon :i :; VV6 I i: : >V Te< I < >ll I 1 111 is 
fake, we wheeled Mini pre: Sed I m \\ Ml d. We re. iehed I he 

in.-iiii road, A oaii ion \\ ii \\ :\ |>:iir r i ( - 1 tons pait 

ii . We could he. ir \\ild :dioul ;, .UK! drew up iii line of 
l>:illle (<> -reel, (he :n I v.l liei 1 1; ; foe. lie did mi! come. 
Tin 1 Colonel ordered II:, |o ehir -e kiyonels. l<\ il I o \\ 1 1 1 
liim, W6 entered M I neded Ihickel. h iiuliii"; lh:i.l m-illnM- 
in. in nor |c:i.,l. eoiild get Uiroii -li Ih.Te, u c:iine l:ie.k 
and "changed Iron!, " :d\\:iy:: :i nier piece Of tAOtlc 

Iliu; lirin-Mii"; iri inl I r :ieeii:;| . >nie<| [.< ilimiM, :ind 

lii:irelied l>:ieL, hoping slill l.o 11.-i.ul. Hie reboll, .In I, 
:ilie:id of us \V;IM llie ";tll;i.nl, I Midi Ne\\ \ <>ik. AM we 
< 1 :inie ii|>, (hey elur-ed VN j||, : , u ,|,| ,.|,, .,.,- ;,,., -, , | ||, ( . ,,,,,) 

. Hid thrOllgh ill 1 \\ I . \\ e DftitOd l\ lln- ::|MIII Mild 

wounded, Irill RTerting OUF gQZ, r.-:iriii". (In- light of I lie 
Iii I <leM.I ini dil 11:1111:111 u::. Then \\c niel (idi. An-iir, 
who SM M!, wilh :ill I he OOOlneS! fclld Mi:ivi! : y <>! lln-dr;iw 
in- r<M,in, "TliiN WMV, i-olonrl, if you ph-M;;e, \yil h your 
rogimont." The eohmel lo\\ e<l in re |H>II e, MIK! 
niMM-hed inli M.II <>|H-II ;|..iee. Here I, he ein-iiiy II.-M! ir in 
lull i-Mii -v, Miid flie ; hells shrieked ;ind l,iir, ilrd OTOT iir 

he id:, :i ; il :i. Ir-don o| li^ lid ; h:id L celi lei. lo-.se. The 
colonel ;i,nd ndjiilMiil, .-ilone reniMined nioiinled. \V e Kepi 

on ill "0<>d order I, ill \\e re:ielled M I eiiec, i ,11 .ilhcr : ide 
of \yliidi \\<- lilMrehi d In (he rd -e n| (he \\.)o.|:,. I eoiild 
h .er ihe s pi i 1 1 1 el S lly iVoiil llie I : 1 1 1 , ;i: iniie- me HIM!, (In- 
v. i.INu of death WMS indeed lx!lor<! IIH. Thoii<di nol, jii.-i.i! 
iii", il, W;IM (jiiile :i relief lo he;ir, r rdil on I he vorgfl >! 
Ihe liery lore: 1 !, the order, u l,!e down. 1 \\ e Obyed, 
Shol. Mdd shell phiii"e<| pMS.I, us, \\dii h .Denied no! IIM!! 10 

feMiCnl M:; Ihe uiilirol-.cn r.,M,r of ;kclry. While I -, 

I. hen-, \\liMl, eeini d :i new (cillery, Mini very ne:i,r us, 

op<-lied il: I 6fl " of denlli. The eololiel direeled 
< i|.L Welle r I (,:! ,. (i him i I |.o i lion. A lone, he si eppeij 
inlo Ihe d;uk WOOdt, A CMIIIIOII l,:ill :iliin. I. "i:!/.ed him, 
lull, he : .-il ely r l,urned, im:ilile lo "iye l.ln- needed mloi 
nnlion. The. lirin;^ lulled M,nd < M ed. L i dil, l.here (he 



210 LIF;: WITH THE NTH 

:iel put ii:5 tlirougli some tactics, so as to increase our 
sell 1 n. About that time a corporal of Co. I 

c.une straggling from the rear. The, colonel wanted to 
know what he meant by being away from his company. 
He hesitated, and the major was ordered to cut off his 
chevrons, t>r corporal s stripes, which punishment was 
speedily iliilicted. 

Soon after we had silenced the enemy before us, the 
battle reopened in the rear, near our hospital, endanger 
ing the wounded, and causing our quartermaster and his 
stalF to run a gauntlet of fire. For three-quarters of an 
hour that fight was kept up, and then the enemy re 
treated. So closed a day s fighting, which had lasted, 
with an occasional lull, for nine hours. The rebels were 
whipped :it every point. Their dead and wounded left 
on the field greatly exceeded ours in number. Our 
troops bivouacked for the night on the battle-field. At 
midnight, General Gardner sent in a flag of truce, and 
received permission to bury his dead the next day. Our 
loss is nineteen killed and eighty wounded, and a few 
missing. Some of the missing were found making excel 
lent time towards Baton Rouge. Tiie casualties in our 
regiment are as follows : R. A. Green (A), ankle slightly ; 
J. H. Scare (A), bullet passed through nYshy part of his 
1 ig. He, is doing well. S. Kettles (I), hand slightly; 
Lieutenant J. Tucker (D), right leg. The brigade flag 
made a conspicuous mark and drew many shells, one of 
which -xpl>(led near Colonel Chajdn and his stall , partially 
Stunning the colonel and shattering Lieutenant Tuck 
knee, so that his leg had to be amputated. He bo>v it 
well, and his fine physical health will carry him safely 
through it. As soon as the colonel heard of Lieutenant 
Tucker s loss, he sent a message to him to be sure and 
have his leg cut high enough. His own was cut too low 
down and often he suffers mu-h. He receives our hearty 
sympathy, for he is a valuable officer, and a genial < 
panion. Deprived of one limb, yet his appreciation of 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 211 

the sacredness of the cause, is such, that he will feel 
vastly richer than those who, by staying at home, have 
preserved all their members and sullied their honor. 

In describing the battles in which we may be engaged, 
I purpose to describe to you only the part our regiment 
takes and so much of the engagement in general as may 
be necessary to enable you to understand our history. 
A soldier actively engaged sees a good deal of smoke, a 
good many men righting, and can tell you but little save 
what transpired in his immediate vicinity. We travelled 
nearly north from Baton Rouge on the road to Bayou 
Sara. Plain s Store is situated where that road crosses 
the Clinton and Port Hudson road. It is, or was, simply 
a drug-store and post-office on the lower, and a masonic 
lodge on the upper floor. North of this store, on the 
Bayou Sara road, a masked battery opened on us, com 
mencing the afternoon s fight or the battle proper. Gen 
eral Augur had pent. a section of artillery down the Port 
Hudson road, with the Forty-eighth Massachusetts, as a 
support. You are aware infantry troops always accom 
pany artillery, otherwise a small force of the enemy conld 
spike or capture our guns. Suddenly, and but fifty feet 
from the Forty-eighth Massachusetts, Miles s Legion, com 
prising near a thousand men, opened fire, -T^he Forty- 
eighth ran down on us, just as part of our left had 
emerged from the wood-path across the Port Hudson 
road. Two of our artillery horses were killed, so that the 
gun could not be brought off; it fell into the hands of 
the foe, but was after recaptured. Our left stood steady 
and checked their advance. Seeing but a few men across 
the road, the rebels came on through the woods to flank 
us, and were met by the One Hundred and Sixteenth ISTew 
York, who were behind us. Had we been able to pene 
trate the thicket when ordered to charge bayonets, we 
would have hemmed them in between us and that 
regiment, and bagged them all, thus lessening the 
number of future foes and giving us much of that 



212 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XIXTH 

honor which now properly belongs to the gallant 
One Hundred and Sixteenth. That regiment ma>l 
grand charge through the woods, and when the enemy 
rallied near a grave-yard, repelled it and victoriously 
cl<>-ed the day. 

Our boys acted well. It is strange that they were not 
panic-stricken. latent ns might have been, when <>nl- 
to "About face! double-quick! 1 (we thought it was an 
order) amid the heavy firing of concealed foes, while one 
of their own broken regiments was tearing through their 
ranks. One or two disgracefully fled, but the rest were 
obedient to the orders they understood. The field ofli- 
were in front, where the danger was, and when they 
came to the middle and rear of the long column (we could 
only march through the woods four abreast), and we 
knew what to do, we coolly did it. Sergeant-Major 
Wvlie was knocked over and stunned -by the wind of a 
shell, and several of the officers narrowly missed the fatal 
blow. R. II. Wilcox (C) had a bullet pass through his 
rap-box, belt, and blouse, which was finally stopped by his 
pocket Testament at Luke xxi., 31. For once, at leasi, 
he fdt the power of the "Word. His life-preserver wa* 
presented, through Dr. Todd, by tlfe Berkshire Bible So 
ciety. If spared to return, lie ought to be a. life contribu 
tor to that society. Captain (larliek captured a rebel in 
the woods alone. Our adjutant acted nobly, riding his 
little sorrel into the thickest of the lire, and showing 
himself heir of the old Boston pluck. We like him now 
better than ever before. Before, he appeared to us 
only as an adjunct to the colonel. Not intimate with the 
officers, not remarkably well drilled, not devoid of a little 
of Boston self-complacency (though always the gentle 
man), and especially not l>:-ing a Berkshire boy, he had 
small hold on our confidence or affections ; but we flf< 
him now. If he is not as <*ool as the colonel (who is?), he 
is his brother in courage. How soldiers love the brave ! 
"When we were lying down on the ground, and saw him 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 213 

quietly sitting on his horse, we concluded, " He ll do ; " 
and though he was quite emphatic in his remarks, and 
not very flattering, when we " about face," we like him 
none the less. When they were stepping back after that 
false order (we only retreated a few steps), Captain Hal- 
stead came dashing through the woods shouting, " Don t 
be d d cowards." I could not help replying (Massa 
chusetts pride was up) : " We are not d d cowards ; 
only tell us what to do." Chaffee brought his company 
(P) around, and the rest followed suit, and all was well 
again. It was amusing to see Sergeant Murray (D) 
take a bewildered fellow by the shoulder, wheel him 
about, saying, " The rebs are this way ;" and when he so 
understood it, that was the way he wanted to go. Be 
fore attempting to charge through the thicket, we drew 
up in a diagonal line across the Port Hudson road, ready 
to fire. Every second we expected to see the foe. 
Strange thoughts flashed athwart our minds ; the prom 
inent one being, Will I get a chance to fire before I am 
hit? 

The next day, dispatches were read before every regi 
ment that Grqver had joined Banks near Bayou Sara, 
and that Grant had so invested Vicksburg, that General 
Pemberton could not use his siege-guns. We cheered 
with an energy that thrilled like electricity. Oh, to have 
made a bayonet charge then ! Soldiers, machines ! Far 
from it. The individual may be ; the collective is the 
most excitable, easily influenced object you can imagine. 
General Sherman has come up the river road, and hems 
in the rebels on the south, our left ; Grover and Emory 
on the north, our right ; and we on the centre. Beat us 
or surrender they must, escape appears impossible. We 
have a large park of artillery, which is being added to 
by heavy siege-guns from the fleet. The vessels above 
and below Port Hudson may give us some help, but they 
cannot attack it in front, for the river, still falling, has 
fallen so much that the channel is too narrow for naval 



-1 l LIFT: WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

manoeuvres. By assault or siege, the land forces must 
do the work. We are in high spirits. We have met the 
foe, and liave not been found wanting. The monotony 
and inactivity of camp life are over, and we begin to un 
derstand why soldiers are healthier on the march than 
while in camp. Our rations taste more like food. We 
have something to look forward to, and the prospect of a 
rer battle experience calls out our pride and our ambi 
tion ; and awakens the determination to be worthy of 
Massachusetts and of the cause, and, I may say, of Berk 
shire. There is a charm to us in that word. "Rally, 
Berkshire !" would inspire the Forty-ninth more than any 
other war-cry. "Rally, Massachusetts!" is too large, 
the individual is lost in it ; but each one realizes he is a 
part, of Berkshire, and is well content so to demean him 
self that II rkxhu-c may say, u Well done !" For the For- 
iu lith Massachusetts, we feel sorrow, not contempt* 
hey left their colors behind them in the flight The 
One Hundred and Sixteenth Xew York brougKt them 
om the iield. 

I visited Plain s Store. It showed the marks of war. 
One of our solid shots passed through the lower story, 
tnbowelling one man, while in the woods was found 
another man torn in pieces by a shell. Another shot 
burst open the door of the Masonic Hall, and entered, 
ii"t regarding the Tiler nor waiting the permission of the 
Worshipful Master. It was the novel initiation of a 
candidate, who gave ocular proof of his ability to 
"work" well. A ball struck a piano in the adjoining 
dwelling, playing " Hail Columbia," with variations. 
Solid trees were cut down, whole panels of fence broken 
slid scattered, and on the ground were bushels of grape 
and canister. 

Sunday morning, we marched nearer Port Hudson. A 
hot march it was. We progressed slowly, sending out 
skirmishers to clear the way and prevent us fallimr into 
an ambuscade. While on the road, Gen. Banks passed 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 215 

by and was greeted with hearty cheers. His looks 
inspired confidence, and the manner of controlling his 
fiery horse bespoke nerve. He pleasantly remarked : "I 
see straw hats are all the fashion." Of course we had 
to laugh. He was dressed plainly and wore a slouched 
hat. The pictures of battles representing all in imposing 
attire are far from the truth. If the truth must be 
spoken, soldiers on a march look slovenly, and the offi 
cers appear but little better. Travelling in dust ankle- 
deep destroys all distinctions in dress. When marching, 
you must not suppose the order of the parade ground is 
observed. So we keep together, it little matters how we 
step or how we carry our guns. We slouch along, talk 
ing, smoking, laughing. I want to tell you once for all, 
that a " line of battle" is the whole regiment in line, two 
ranks deeps. Mass men as they are when parading 
through streets, and scores would be uselessly slain. 
Formed in line, a regiment, brigade, or division sweeps 
on, and, if followed by another, there is generally quite 
a space between them. The front rank fires and then 
wheels to the rear of their respective companies and re 
loads while the rear rank is firing. This is the rule, but 
often the practice is, fire how and when you can, only 
fire and that low, for it is easy when shooting at an enemy 
five hundred yards distant to send your bullets over their 
heads. We had marched about two miles when a masked 
battery opened. Fortunately, it was directed away from 
us. Had it been directed up the road, hundreds of us 
would have fallen. To obviate this, one of our batteries 
made a detour through the woods and we looked on at 
the artillery duel in comparative safety. The rebel shells 
mostly fell short, disturbing nothing but some young corn. 
Ours must have been better aimed, for in an hour they 
withdrew their battery. While the duel lasted, it was 
very earnest and inspiring. Through all that Sabbath 
day, batteries contended with each other ; and at night 
we encamped in the woods, within a mile and a half of 



216 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Port Hudson, rocked to sleep by a music which is be- 
c: niiing quite familiar to us. 

We are yet in the woods ; officers and all roughing it 
alike. Our only complaint is with reference to the 
water, which grows scarcer and meaner the further we 
advance. You may judge of quantity and quality by 
this incident. On that Sunday, I was so desirous of a 
drink that I went over to where the Indiana battery was 
engaged, a mile and a half off, hearing that near there 
water could be obtained. Disregarding, in my thirst, 
the heat, the distance, the exploding shells, I went to the 
spot, designated. I smelt the fluid, turned from it with 
nausea, and then swallowed one mouthful, which proved 
a more speedy emetic, than the "ipecac." of the surgeon. 
For. cooking, we cart water IVoin the neighboring wells, 
meagre in quantity and poor in quality. A table-spoon 
ful serves for a man s toilet. Our main occupation 
yesterday was the discovery and destruction of wood- 
ticks, a small, speckled Dug with numerous legs to each 
of which is attached a claw. He or she (it is venomous 
enough to be a "she" rebel) burrows under the skin, 
rapidly causing a small boil, and when you try to pull 
him off you pull a piece of the flesh with him, and an 
irritating sore remains to add another pest to your fond 
recollections <>f t!,e sunny South. 

Dr. Rice has reached us, having travelled over the 
road from Ualon Kongo alone and at night. A battle 
would be preferable to that night road. Running his 
horse saved him from the attentions of some strangers, 
who requested him to halt. Dr. Reynolds Iris been 
added to our medical strength. This fill ing up the comple 
ment of surgeon- suggests some unpleasant features of 
the future. Colonel Simmer narrowly escaped capture, on 
Sunday, by riding too near the rel> 3. We could 

illy spare him. We got some fresh beef to vary our diet. 
One of the boys had such a hankering after his mother s 
milk-house that he thought it was a shame that the milk 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 217 

of a dying cow should be wasted, so he filled his cup 
with that desirable fluid while she was kicking off the 
mortal coil. Day and night the men are required to 
keep on their equipments, a burden that has to be borne 
to be appreciated. We nearly lost a part of our wagon- 
master Hulet ; a piece of a shell passed right under his 
foot as he lifted it up. Mr. Brewster saw it and wondered 
why he did not drop. His hour had not come, for which 
we are very thankful. 

Accompanying us is a Catholic priest, in a carriage. 
He is amply prepared to act the good Samaritan to the 
wounded as well as " shrive the dying and to bless the 
dead." All honor to the nameless Christian. In con 
trast is a Mr. Kolty, a brother-in-law of Lieut. Siggins. 
One of his sons was killed in battle, and one murdered 
in cold blood by a rebel officer, now at Port Hudson. 
He comes on a message of vengeance. Such are life s 
contrasts. 

Last night will long be remembered by us. "We 
thought it probable the enemy would try to break 
through our lines. Gen. Augur prepared to receive him. 
Opposite the woods where we are encamped is an im 
mense field, bordered all around by a high fence and a 
thick blackberry hedge. At right angles to the Port 
Hudson road is a lane. Part of our brigade was placed 
in the main road and part in the lane. Gaps were 
made in the fence for our artillery. An open half mile 
was before us. Hid, as we were, they could not see us. 
Had they come, they would have rushed into such a 
slaughter-pen that I shivered as I thought of it and 
examined the priming of my gun. We lay down in 
the moonlight and gazed across the field so intently that 
we fancied we saw them approaching. The Colonel rode 
along our line, saying : " Be steady ! don t fire till I give 
the command ; wait till you can smell their breaths, and 
then cut them down. If I see any man skulking to the 
rear I will kill him, just as I would a rebel." We waited 
10 



218 LIFE WITH THK FORTY-NINTH 

for hours, but no enemy came ; though heavy firing on 
the right kept us in constant expectation of thoir pres 
ence. In the hush of night, hearing nothing but the 
suppressed breathing of our comrades, waiting ti^o mo 
ment of slaughter, the quiet moon gazing down on 
us, as if teaching that our warfare disturbed not the 
serenity of Heaven, yet furnishing us with an approving 
light, we grasped our guns and gazed o er the fieldj 
peopling it with the advancing foes of God and hu 
manity. It was a weird and never to be forgotten 
scene. At last we were allowed to sleep on our 
arms, a few keeping watch ; and so passed the night 
jiiietly away, though an occasional gun would cause us 
to grasp more tightly our weapons and to sleepily open 
our eyes to see nothing but the quiet moon keeping 
sacred watch above us. As the morning dawned, we 
rose from the ground and from fence corners and wended 
our way back to camp and coffee. There are rumors 
afloat that this is to be an eventful day, so I will bring 
this letter to a close. No doubts about being in the line 
of duty now trouble me, so I trustingly await coining 
events, determined to live or die, as a higher power may 
decide, in furtherance of the cause of righteousness and 
justice. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 219 



LETTER XXVII. 

BEFORE PORT HUDSON, LA., May 27, 9 A. M., 1863. 
MY DEAR L, : 

Yesterday morning we were aroused to the solemnity 
of a soldier s life. Volunteers to constitute a u forlorn 
hope" were called for. One field officer, four captains, 
eight lieutenants, and two hundred men, were desired 
from each brigade. We were expected to furnish five 
from each company. As nearly as we could learn, a part 
was expected to run from the woods and bridge the ditch 
in front of the enemy s parapet or breastworks with 
fascines, and then return ; the other part to cross the 
bridge thus made, and assault the enemy at the point 
of the bayonet. How great the distance to run under 
fire none knew, nor any thing of the nature of the ground, 
nor the width and depth of the ditch. Of the latter, 
rumor says it is fifteen feet wide and twelve feet deep. 
We judge by the ditch before our fortifications at Baton 
Rouge. Calmly the officers of the different companies 
presented the matter to their men. There were no at 
tempts to awaken excitement, no appeals to patriotism. 
The order calling for volunteers stated that their names 
would form a " roll of honor," to be filed at head-quarters, 
from which to choose subjects for promotion. I think 
that had no influence with us. If more than the requisite 
number volunteered, five from the volunteers of each 
company would be drawn by lot. Quietly and rapidly did 
they come forward, as follows : Major C. T. Plunkett, 
Lieutenant T. Siggins (D), Lieutenant R. T. Sherman (E). 

Company A A. C. Howe, C. P. Adams, D. Greber, 
J. Malcomb, A. Wiesse, W. L. Burkett, E. A. London, 
L. Merion : 8. 



220 LIFE WITH THE FORTY -.NINTH 

Company B S. fl. Bennett, M. Goodell, A. V. Barnes, 
W. Merchant, I. Nourse, G. M. Wood, G. Fitzgerald. 
E. Brown : 8. 

Company C J. N. Strong, F. E. Warren, E. King, 
I. J. Newton, J. Noble, G. W. Fields, S. W. Tifft, 6. 
Murray, N. Cummings, J. N. Knight, T. A. Scott, R. II. 
Wilcox, H. T. Johns : 13. 

Company D W. S. Gilbert, T. Hensey, D. Ileacox, 
M. S. Reynolds, E. N. Hubbard, F. N. Deland, C. W. 
Shutts: 8. 

Company E M. H. Tuttle, W. Amstead, F. K. Ar 
nold, G. E. Callender, W. J. Clark, L. Iledger, H. S. 
Ilewins, A. Loomis, J. B. Loring, W. L. Wilbur : 10. 

Company F A. P. Silva, II. S. May, J. Crosby, G. B. 
Potter: 4. 

Company II E. Ingersoll : 1. 

Company I Z. Barnum, W. Wilson, D. Winchell, 
A. Smith, A. Farnum, A. S. Farnum, H. Vosburgh, R. 
(iroat : 8. 

Company K J. Curtis, P. Culver, J. J. Wolfinger? 
S. W. Carley : 4. 

It was hoped that the volunteers would all be unmar 
ried men, and five of such will be selected from the 
volunteers of each company, where it is possible. Callen 
der, of our department, came up on Saturday, and you 
will find his name in the above " roll of honor." Though 
I feared his friends might think I influenced him to take 
that step, I could not feel free to urge him not to. I 
knew nothing to prevent him, yet I believe I feel more 
anxiety about him than about myself. Hulet wanted 
much to go and fiD up the complement of his company 
(F), but it would not do to so deplete our department. 
We left Captain Rennie sick at Baton Rouge, and, though 
far from well, he has followed us, but will not be apt to 
go into the field, as F and I have been ordered to guard 
the rear. 

The volunteers secured, sixty-two instead of forty-five 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 221 

(remember that G is at Baton Rouge), the fascines were 
prepared, by binding branches and twigs together with 
grape vines, thus making bundles about eight feet long, 
one foot in diameter, and weighing from fifteen to thirty 
pounds. I fear they are too heavy. If lighter, they 
could be carried as shields, if the ground be smooth, 
which is quite unlikely ; now they must be shouldered, 
leaving the vitals all exposed to the fire of the foe. 

I would not have you think all our brave men volun 
teered. Many a man of family who will demean himself 
to-day as a Christian soldier, left the superior danger to 
those less trammelled, though some felt that duty called 
them to the advance. I know not why I volunteered ; it 
seemed so much a matter of course, as it was the duty 
lying nearest to me. I thought it was but right that /, 
who had urged so many to enlist, contending that Free 
dom was at issue, should not bring a reproach on that 
cause by any seeming unwillingness to risk my life in 
its defence. We expect momentarily to be called into 
line, and a the five" have been selected from no company 
but Company C. I volunteered as one of D, and there 
fore am still in doubt as to whether I am of the 
elect or not. Amid the tumult and activity of the houi% 
it is quite probable that no selections will be made, but 
that all who have volunteered will go with the " forlorn 
hope," save the representatives of F and I. Major Plun- 
kett was really disappointed in the selection of Lieutenant- 
Colonel O Brien, of the 48th Massachusetts, as leader, 
instead of himself. I suppose O Brien was chosen be 
cause his impulsive, brave, Irish heart yearns to do 
something to redeem the reputation of his regiment. 
2,000 volunteers were called for to represent forty regi 
ments of infantry. Judging by the " Forty-ninth," the 
"forlorn hope" will number nearly 3,000, one-half to 
carry fascines, the other half to storm the works. Lieu 
tenant Siggins (D) commands the fascine detachment 
of our brigade. As Lieutenant Sherman (E) is sick, I 



222 LIFE WITH Tiri: FOUTY-NINTII 

do not know who will command our stormers. If we 
have forty regiments before Port Hudson, we are less 
than twenty thousand strong, for each regiment will not 
average five hundred lighting men. We have cause to 
doubt the result of this day s work. 

Yesterday, after the volunteering and making of las 
cines were over, you could find many penning messages 
to the loved ones at home. On boards, on knapsacks, in 
secluded places, they were writing, and if some che<k< 
were white, and tears rolled down manly faces, I think 
you will credit them to some other cause than fear. 
Having joined them in those farewell epistle*, I know 
something of their emotions. Perchance, the struggle 
between love of home and friends and the love of country 
ar.d duty was harder to pass through than the fiery bap 
tism before us. Some may not have made their wills 
(for we have but little to will save government claims), 
but many willed their souls to God, or set their last seals 
to earlier consecrations. In such hours, thought is very 
active. Happy they, whose thoughts are fastened on the 
."toning sacrifice, so they can met t man s wrath, well as 
sured that they die, if die they must, battling for a cause 
o<ily les* sacred than that that hallowed (yethsemane and 
Calvary. I will not say "less sacred," for here, with the 
booming of cannon in my ear, T can hear the great sufferer 
saying, " Follow me" It is a part of the same cause 
it is our Gethse:nane, <>/// Calvary. This morning wa- 
ushered in with the thunder of artillery. Hastily, we 
breakfasted, and are now sitting in the woods, waiting 
the "forward march." 1 Serious and cheerful all seem. 
There is no swaggering, but a quiet falling back on the 
fixed will. More than one face is pale, but the firm set 
lips speak of a power that can hold shrinking nerves 

s cady, though in the face of death. L , I may not 

live to see the close of this delightful day, but this morn 
ing finds my soul more exalted than ever before. The 
terrific cannonading summons up all my manhood, and at 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 223 

dines I so feel the sublimity of our mission and the success 
sure to crown our sacrifices, that I am almost ready to 
shout, " Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and 
good will to men !" Through war, we are pressing on 
to a peace that will be a precursor of that time when 
men " shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their 
spears into priming-hooks, and learn war no more." 
This, even this, is more really peace than we had three 
years ago. We are now " working together with God" 
Those monster guns seem to shriek out, "Lord, open 
thou our lips, and our mouths shall show forth if Ay praise," 
and over all, under all the thunder, sounds the grand old 
diapason, " God and Freedom." I am glad I am right 
here. I would not, for much wealth, miss the grandeur 
of this hour. I can form some idea 3iow much a soul can 
live in a short time. Here scribbling, perchance my last 
lines, my heart goes out in thankfulness to God for con 
trolling events so as to lead to the Proclamation of 
Emancipation. Graves are opening before me, wounded, 
dying men are being carried to the rear ; yet, I see how 
much better all the slain of our battle-fields, all the mar 
tyrs of our hospitals, all the agony, loneliness, and desola 
tion of ten thousand darkened homes, than a continuation 
of our national curse, that crushed the many and peopled 
the abode of the damned. You may think I use strong 
language ; but I feel strongly, hope strongly, and, with 
God s blessing, will fight strongly. I know now full well 
that my courage will not fail me. Help has been given 
me, so that, though my whole system be unmanned, will. 
stiffened by a sense of duty, will carry me through. 1ST ever 
less did I feel vindictiveness ; but the foe is in the way 
of this nation doing God s work, and I shall willingly fire 
no random shots. I am glad to know that on our right 
and on our left are massed negro regiments, who, this 
day, are to show if the inspiration of Freedom will lift 
the serf to the level of the man. Whoever else may flinch, 
I trust they will stand firm and baptize their hopes in 



224 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

the mingled blood of muster and slave. Then, we will 
give them a share in cmr nationality, if God has no separate 
nationality in store for them. "Fall in, Forty-ninth !" is 
sounded. Farewell ! 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 225 



LETTER XXVIII. 

BEFOUE PORT HUDSON, May 30, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Having passed safely through the bloody scenes of the 
27th, I sit down to give you an account thereof. When 
ordered to march, we went down the road for about a 
quarter of a mile, and there filed into a corn-field on the 
oast side of a wood, where we remained for half an hour. 
I suppose this move was to take us out of the range of 
the shells, which we could see bursting around us. Our 
pickets, under the command of Capt. Chaffee (D), had a 
place, only less dangerous than the open field. They 
formed part of the support of Holcomb s (2d Vermont) 
Battery, which kept up a fierce fire on the enemy, which 
was fiercely returned. One shot struck a gun-carriage, 
smashing it to pieces without injuring any of the men 
surrounding it. Shells, bursting in the air, sending down 
an iron rain, wounding several, made picket work one of 
no ordinary interest-. While lying by the wood, as I was 
taking a few notes, and the Major had just observed, 
" This will make history for you," an order came that led 
me to the writing of history with something besides my 
pen. We were commanded to return to our camping 
ground and bring the fascines. Some of the volunteers 
went, and some who had not volunteered were detailed 
to go. They expected merely to carry the fascines to the 
members of the ," forlorn hope," and then rejoin their 
companies. We started for them, and after stacking our 
guns, shouldered them. Callender got hold of a veiy 
heavy one, I gave him my light one, and with the help of 
Mr. Kelty (of whom I spoke in a previous letter), car 
ried his. When we reached the place where we left our 
regiment, we found it was not there ; so, almost fainting 
10* 



226 LIFE WITH THE FORTY NIMH 

with the heat (it was then noon), we bore our loads on 
ward. On the north ed^e of the la>t wood, U twcen us 
and the enemy, we saw our regiment. < all \vas niadefor 
additional volunteers to join the storming party. Some 
responded. I buiv my fascine, till General Augur met me 
and told me to throw it down, as no one man could carry 
it. I told him, perchance two of us could ; but lie said, 
" No; go back to your regiment." I started to obey him, 
when I met the storming party advancing. Fortunately, 
I did not stack my gun with the rest, but strapped 
it on my back, so if I lost my fascine, I need not be idle. 
Thus, I was prepared to join our storrners and went with 
them the rest of the day. You can now see why some 
who volunteered did not go in the forlorn hope, and why 
some who did not volunteer, went. It was one of those 
mistake.-* no one is responsible for. Those who did not 
volunteer, yet went, bore themselves as bravely as the 
original volunteers. Capt. Halstead, of Gen. Augur s 
stall , seeing Geo. A. Holland (A), a small, brave fellow, 
with a fascine nearly as large as himself, expressed his 
doubts as to his ability to carry his load, but Holland 
*aid lie would like to try it, which so pleased the Major 
that he told him, if he came out safely to report to him ; 
he would be happy to see him. I send you a list of those 
of our regiment who actually went in the "forlorn hope": 

Unit. T. Sigginstf (D). 

Company A D. Greber, C. P. Adams, J. Malcomb, 
L. Merion, G. Holland, II. Grewe: 6. 

Company I S. H. Bennett, M. Goodell, W. Mer 
chant, J. Xourse, A. V. Barnes, E. Brown : 6. 

Company C J. X. Strong, F. E. Warren, E. King,f 
I. J. Newton, G. W. Fields, H. T. Johns : 6. 

Company D W. S. Gilbert, T. Hensey,* D. IIeacox,f 
E. N. Hubbard, H. G. Mansir, F. N. Defend, C. W. 
Shutts: 8. 

Company E M. II. Tiittlc,f J. H. Wood, G. E. Cal- 

* Killed. t Wounded. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 227 

lender,! W. Amstead, L. Hedger, W. L. Wilbur, f W. J. 
Clarke, A. Loomis, C. O. Dewey : 9. 

Company H E. Ingersoll,* C. Wright, M. T. O Don- 
nell, W. F. Fuller : 4. 

Company K J. Curtis, P. Culver, J. J. Wolfinger, S. 
W. Carleyi* B. Devine, J. Decker : 6. 

Though unwell, Lieut. Sherman went with his company, 
and acted bravely, till he fell, severely, we fear fatally, 
wounded in the head and breast. Capt. Lingenfelter (C), 
was sun-struck before going into the field, so the com 
mand of his company devolved on Lieut. Brooks, Lieut. 
Foster being at Baton Rouge, sick. As Capt. Chaffee 
was on picket, and Lieut. Tucker (who was on Chapin s 
staff) wounded, and Lieut. Siggins in the " forlorn hope," 
Lieut. Smith (H) was put in command of Company D, 
and led them bravely and well. 

The volunteers of our brigade (to which had been 
added the 2<1 Louisiana, Col. Paine commanding) collected 
in tlje woods. In the mean time, Holcomb s battery had 
been advanced to the front, arid opened a fire more rapid 
than ever we had before heard. It was one unbroken 
roar, stirring up fighting blood as no martial music could 
do. We could feel the ground tremble. The wind from 
his guns shook our clothes as leaves shaken by the breeze. 
While lying there, a shell came, crashing, bursting over 
our heads. As was natural, we bowed, seeing which, 
Col. Chapin remarked, "It is only :i good-morning to 
you, boys." A piece of the shell slightly wounded H. A. 
Bristol (D) in the leg. Soon after, our whole brigade 
filed into the woods. We lay there an hour, waiting the 
signal of attack. In the lull of the cannonading, we could 
hear heavy musketry fire on our right, telling us that our 
brothers were already engaged in the fierce strife. I had 
just carved "49th M." on a tree, when some one (fool 
ishly, I thought) cried out, " In fifteen minutes we start/ 
A mortal fear came over me, and a deathly sickness. It 
seemed as if I had taken all the emetics and purgatives 



228 LIFE WITH TIIK FORTY-NINTH 

known to materia medica. I felt I could not go. I was 
unmanned; and, amid all, my mind was preternatarally 

active, bringing up home, friends, things past and tilings 
to come. This was my " bullet fever," my baptism of fire. 
Summoning up what will had not been submerged, I 
gradually became myself again, resolving to go on, till 
strength should entirely leave me. Not there^ not there 
to faint and fall, was my prayer. Let nature not fail till 
I saw the foe. That baptism over, and for the rest of the 
day, I was as free from fear as J am now. I can truly 
say, I felt not the slightest resemblance to fear, and was 
never cooler in my study than in the battle-field. As we 
were entering the woods, Dr. Rice gave each man half a 
gill of whiskey. It was well done, for tremulously ex- 
r.ited as we were, it was almost impossible to swallow 
hard bread and salt beef. 

At last we were ordered to fall in. The fascine-bearers 
were in advance. Gen. Augur said : " Now, boys, charge, 
and reserve your fire till you get into the fort ; give them 
cold steel, and as you charge, cheer ! Give them New 
England ! A Connecticut regiment is inside, but they 
have exhausted their ammunition. In fifteen minutes you 
will be there. Press on, no matter who may fall. If ten 
men get over the walls, the place is ours." We answered 
only by grasping tighter our guns. Lieut.-Col. O Brien 
appeared, in a state of intense excitement: " Come on, 
hoys ; we ll wash in the Mississippi to-night." We 
emerged from the woods, turned to the right up a main 
n ad. A small belt of timber to "iir left, hid us from the 
. The artillery had ceased tiring ; all was quiet, till 
passed that small belt and came in full view of the 
rebels. Then, bullets, grape ami canister hurtled through 
the air, and men began to fall, some crying, u I am hit," and 
one, u Oh ! God, I m killed." Advancing a few yards, 
we wheeled by the right Hank and started across the fatal 
iield. Then, v\ e could see our work. Full two-thirds of 
a mile distant, we saw the parapet lined with rebels, and 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 229 

great volumes and little jets of smoke, as muskets and 
cannon bade us defiance. For a few yards the field was 
smooth ; but difficulties soon presented themselves. A 
deep ditch or ravine was passed, and we came to trees 
that had been felled in every direction. Over, under, 
around them, we went. It was impossible to keep in line. 
The spaces between the trees were filled with twigs and 
branches, in many places knee-high. Foolishness to talk 
about cheering or the double quick." We had no 
strength for the former, aye, and no heart either. We 
had gone but a few rods ere our Yankee common sense 
assured us we must fail. You could not go faster than a 
slow walk. Get your feet into the brush and it was im 
possible to force them through ; you had to stop and pull 
them back and start again. As best we could we pressed 
on ; shells shrieked past or bursted in our midst, tearing 
ground and human bodies alike ; grape and canister 
mowed down the branches, tore the leaves or lodged in 
trees and living men. Solid shot, sinking into the stumps 
with a thumping sound, or thinning our ranks ; Minie 
balls " zipping 1 past us or into us, made our progress 
slow indeed. As the storming party was less heavily 
loaded than the fascine-bearers, we would get ahead of 
them, and had then to tarry till they got in advance. 
They were our bridge. If they failed or fell; we were 
helpless. With anxiety and despairing sorrow we saw 
them fall, some from bullets and some from sheer exhaus 
tion. Seeing Callender down, I said, " For God s sake, 
up jny boy, we can do nothing without you." He cried, 
" Go on ! go on ! I m wounded." Turning my eyes, I saw 
Lieut. Siggins drop his sword, put his hands to his mouth, 
from which the blood was gushing in torrents. It was no 
time to help him, so on we pressed. Soon a bullet came 
tearing through the left sleeve of my blouse. I thought 
bat little of it. My one thought was, will enough of the 
fascine-bearers be spared to bridge the ditch. Again we 
had got in advance of them. They looked more like 



230 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

loaded mules than men. Nearly all of them were behind. 
They could not keep up. As I watched, I could see one 
afier another drop, and ruiind me voices moaned out 
4 OGod! O God!" and bleeding men dragged th-m- 
selves to the safe side of the felled trees. Some, too 
badly wounded, lay where they fell, all exposed to the 
deadly rain. I saw no more of the fascine-bearers, but 
the white flag of Massachusetts passing by, I followed. 
It was the State colors of the 48th Massachusetts. Soon the 
standard-bearer was killed; an officer grasped the colors 
and waved them aloft. In less than half a minute, his 
blood had dyed the white silk of the banner. We had 
then got within forty rods of the parapet. Save a few 
. red soldiers, we were alone. Officers we saw none, 
i >\vn \ve lay. Five of us were together, and were 
congratulating each other on our safety. One poor fellow 
had just put down his canteen, from which he had been 
drinking, when a bullet passed through it into hi> leg. 
He sought the protection of the nearest log. In less than 
five minutes I was the only unwounded one of the party, 
and a bullet had rent my blouse right over the heait. 
Having no protection but a few thin branches, I iV-11 back 
a few rods where the branches were thicker. 15y this 
time I was nearly exhausted, so I threw do\vn my gun 
and rested awhile. Campion ( D) and a 1 loth boy were to 
my left, and soon, Curtis (K), one of ?h:- fascine-bearers 
joined us. Finding it was useless to carry his burden any 
longer, he had tin-own it aside, and was seeking a gun 
and cartridges. A wounded, man gave him his. While 
re>ting, the 116th soldier felt worried that I did not lire. 
I asked him, "what s the u>e ?" "It will show your 
good-will anyhow," was the brave fellow"> an \ver. 
Rather amused at having my "good-will" impeached, 
and having got breath again, I went (^ work, firing al.ut 
twenty rounds in the direction of --un, whic i 

could only guess at by the smoke. My gun got so hot 
and foul that I dared fire it no more. At one time I 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 231 

thought a bullet grazed and burned me; it was my hand 
coming in contact with the brass of my cartridge-box. 
The sun had made it so hot that I could not touch it. 
Heat and smoke and powder produce an intense thirst. 
Gun-shot wounds, at first, are not very painful, only 
numbing, but they are followed with feverish thirst. The 
cries of the wounded for water were heart-rending. I 
brought a lemon to soothe me in case of accident. I tried 
to keep it, thinking I would need it, but the wailing of 
the wounded was too touching, so I comforted one of the 
bleeding ones with it. God bless the dear boys ! they 
did not complain nor lose their interest in the fight. 
Hearing that we were short of cartridges, they would 
roll over and painfully t:\ke oif their cartridge-boxes and 
throw them to us. One good fellow, who was wounded 
in the leg, threw himself on his back and fired as rapidly 
as he could load his piece. We had been there nearly 
an hour, and as the fire slackened, Colonel O Brien came 
springing across the logs, waving his sword, -shouting, 
"Charge! boys, charge!" I put my bayonet on, and 
rose up to " charge." Seeing less than a dozen men 
ready to obey the order, I laid down again, knowing that 
obedience thereto was only a reckless casting away of 
life. In half a minute, just ahead of me, he fell dead. 
Rash, but brave, he did what he could to redeem the 
tarnished honor of his regiment. 

As we entered the field, we veered to the left, and the 
regiment to the right. I stood up, hoping to see our 
boys. It was not prudent to stand very long, bat I saw 
a body of men, their flags waving in advance of all, and 
thought I could distinguish the dark blue pants of the 
Forty-ninth. I was right, for- 1 afterwards learned that 
the men I saw were the Forty-ninth and Second Louisi 
ana. Oh, how grand and beautiful did that old flag look 
amid the smoke of battle! How majestic compared with 
the sinister stars and bars that floated defiantly on the 
parapet before us ! T -ward the close of the engagement, 



232 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

wo were exposed to much clanger by shots from our rear. 
Some men, too cowan lly to come up, were firing from 
the woods, half a mile distant. All over the front of the 
ii Id, you could hear the cry, " Fire higher." I know not 
if any were hurt, but some narrowly escaped w minds and 
death at the hands of these cowardly comrades. By 
this time the whole brigade had sought shelter, and was 
pouring into the enemy a stream of lead that kept them 
from the parapet and from working their guns. Had 
another "forlorn hope" with another brigade then at 
tacked the fort under the protection of our fire, Port 
Hudson would now be ours. Yet, perchance their cessa 
tion from firing may have been the result of massing their 
forces against Sherman on the left, for he did not attack 
till near two hours after we did. I took advantage of the 
comparative quiet, and it was only comparative, to find 
{nontenant Siggins, Callender, and some others of our 
wounded. I found poor Siggins unable to speak ; a ball 
had entered his mouth, passed out of his throat, and then 
struck his arm. He wrote to me for drink. I got him 
ae coffee, but he could not swallow it. He wanted me 
to take him off the field, but that was impracticable, and 
would only have endangered several lives. 1 consulted 
with some officers, who told me it would be in vain to 
go for medical help. Our sum-cons and as>i-t-!nts plar.-d 
themselves in quite as much danger as they had a ruvht. 
to do. Si^Lrins pointed to the regiment, and gathered up 
sufficient strength to say, "Go." Hunting the regiment 
on such a field, and under lire, was an unnecessary expo 
sure, and could result in no service, so I did not go, but, 
finding a sheltered place, threw myself down and slept. 
}*>y that you can judge of my exhaustion. I. had hoped 
the battle hour would bring so much excitement that I 
would be strong, but my experience was like that of 
others; exhaustion absorb -l excitement. A man, on 
such occasions, uses up a great deal of his vital energy. 
How long I slept, I know not, but when I awoke, some 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 233 

were stealthily carrying off the wounded on rubber blan 
kets, of which we obtained a few from the dead. For a 
while we would creep along with our bleeding burdens, 
almost on all-fours, expecting every moment to be greeted 
with a shower of grape. That shower coming not, we 
became bolder, and walked erect, and soon bearing away 
the wounded, occupied all. Why the enemy did not fire 
on us as we were retreating, we cannot imagine. Accord 
ing to the laws of war, it is honorable to do all you can 
to cripple a retreating foe. Firing was going on on the 
right, but they allowed us to retire unmolested. It is 
said that some of our men on the right getting into a ditch 
and no chance of escape presenting itself, hung out a 
flag of truce, and escaped under that flag, and therefore 
the consequent cessation of hostilities. I know not how 
that was, but certainly we breathed more freely when we 
reached the shelter of the woods. There, we met a sur 
geon, who gave us some kind of liquor. What kind I 
know not, but I never tasted any thing half so good. The 
nectar of the gods was nothing in comparison. 

Leaving the field we found the road lined with ambu 
lances and squads of men carrying the wounded on 
stretchers and blankets to the hospital, which was only an 
open place in the woods above our camp. All kinds of 
rumors met us. The Colonel was mortally wounded, the 
Lieutenant-colonel killed, the Major missing or dead, and 
Capt. Weller had fallen at the head of his company. A 
sad, gloomy time it was. At last, I obtained these par 
ticulars. The regiment pressed its way onward farther 
than any other, save the 2d Louisiana. The Colonel was 
on horseback, the only mounted man in the field. He had 
to go that way or stay behind. With his regiment he 
would go. How he got through the ditches and over all 
the obstructions, I cannot conceive. His little horse leap 
ed obstacles that seemed insurmountable to any horse 
flesh. Struck with his daring, it is said that the rebel 
officers commanded their men not to fire on him, but 



234 LIFI: WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

deadly missiles flew thick and fast in thai valley of 
!u i.ito which duty lei him; and having gone about 
. rods, a bullet slightly wounded him in the heel of 
his good leg, and another shattered his left wrist. At- 
ii -nip! ing to grasp the reins with his right hand, he fell 
over the head of the horse, which ran to the rear. It is 
said, that when some one came to help him, he asked 
them, u Did you see Billy ? he jumped like a rabbit." I 
think that is true, for doubtless his main fear was that 
he could not go with his regiment ; and though wounded, 
he felt a soldier s joy, that he had been enabled to do his 
duty, until he met a soldier s fate. It was a consolation 
to him that the absence of one of his legs was not the 
reason why he did not go farther, but rather one of those 
casualties to which every one was exposed. Our left 
\\vnt up, right opposite to the enemy s great gun, cha 
with grape and canister. Their loss was fearful. Cap 
tains Gailick and Weston, especially, had an opportunity 
to s-how what stuff they are made of. They kept the left 
in that torrent of fire, steady -and firm. There were no 
braver men on that hero-crowded field. When they 

Jit slicker. Servant Rising loaded the guns, and < 
tain Weston iired near a hundred rounds. I knew that 
Rising would not fail. He is a Christian soldier. Stern 
duty alone led him from a luxurious home. Such men 
never fail. Some shirked, but on the Christian soldiers 
no reproach can be fixed. Rev. J. H. Wood (K) con 
vinced his company that grace and courage went hand in 
Land. Sernn>n<, proving the reality of religion, its power 
to strengthen and comfort, were preached on that field 
with an unction that silenced scolling, and crushed infi 
delity. Rumor has it, that a craven fear of life dishonored 
some of our own regiment, but among them were none 
whose banner-cry was " God and Freedom." The bloody 
rd of that day shows the immense value of a noble 
idea, compared with the success of which, life is but the 
merest dust in the balance. It becomes those who pro- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 235 

fess .1 religion that teaches a swallowing up of the fear of 
death to quit themselves valiantly. They did so, and 
that reeking field, with some of its slain and wounded, 
will convince a whole generation that " religion is not a 
cunningly devised fable, but the power of God unto sal 
vation (from unmanly fear) to them that believe." 

Quite early in the" engagement, Colonel Sumner was 
disabled by a wound in the shoulder, and the command 
devolved on Major Plunkett, who did well, and came off 
safely. I could speak in the highest terms of officers and 
men, but as well-doing was the general rule, and shirking 
but the exception, I refrain ; for I might inadvertently 
fail to mention all. It is not my mission to reflect on 
an} , neither do I credit all the charges of cowardice that 
come to my ears. Cowards, in self-justification, may 
accuse others, especially when they have some real or 
fancied wrong to revenge. I saw no man shirk. In the 
"forlorn hope," none did less than his whole duty. One 
man with th e regiment sought shelter behind a log, but 
the colonel s threatening to shoot him drove hirn to his 
company on the " double-quick." He feared the colonel s 
pistol and indignation more than the grape-shot of the 
rebels. One fellow sought shelter by the wounded Cal- 
lender, who asked him where he was wounded. Alas ! 
he could not tell. General Chapin was killed by a bullet 
crashing through nose and brain. He threw up his hands, 
exclaiming, " My God ! they have killed me," and died, 
one year from the day he was wounded in the Peninsula- 
He was an excellent officer, a brave and good man. Per 
chance he would have been spared had he not gone to the 
field in full uniform. T. Bach (F), our color-bearer, bore 
the flag grandly, and though a six-footer, a conspicuous 
mark for the foe, escaped unhurt, while every other color- 
sergeant in the brigade was killed or wounded. Thrice 
did the colonel reprove him for going too fast. Our ilag 
has fewer marks of the battle than almost any other. 
Some dodged to escape the showers of grape ; thai would 



236 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

ause their flags to wave to and fro, making them more 
liable to be torn. Bach dodged not, but walked proudly 
t as if feeling the dignity of his mission, and a strong 
t wind blowing, kept the banner flying back, and so 
presented but a small mark to the foe. If our colors are 
not so battle-scarred as are some other, not superior 
owardice, but superior courage is the explanation. All 
honor to him ! The colors are to a soldier almost as was 
the ancient Shechinah to the Jews. Those dishonored, 
and every true man fools a share of the stigma resting on 
himself. High advanced, in the " fore front of the hottest 
battle,"" have they ever been. We ll follow them to vic 
tory or honorable burials. 

" A fierce fight is a wonderful builder up and tearer 
down of reputations. Heroes vanish, and the underrated 
step up to the confidence of their comrades. Before, you 
may estimate a man according to his position or preten 
sions; after, you know Ids true character, and respect 
him accordingly. The morning of battle comes; an un 
tried regiment is to enter a new field, to walk through a 
fiery furnace, which shall try the inmost soul of each. 
They advance. The fire in the furnace is growing hotter 
and hotter. It is impossible to avoid the ordeal What 
is in the men s souls will certainly be forced 6 ut. The 
enemy says nothing; for he has no powder to lose. You 
will hear from him soon. On they march tramp, tramp, 
tramp, and whiz, whiz, come the leaden ounces, and rut, 
rut, comes the grape by the half bushel. A dozen, fifty, 
ay, a hundred, fall. Xow, where is Colonel Bluster? 
Sick! Go near him, and he gets worse; your presence 
aggravates the disease. It has been coming on ever since 
the forlorn hope was formed. Well, where is modest 
Captain Tagir, one we had thought should have remain 
ed in his mill or behind his counter ? Walking quietly 
along the length of his company, noting each absentee, 
and steadying all by a few kind, quiet words. Back, ly 
ing snugly behind a log, you may see Captain Blunt, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 237 

whose hereditary heart-disease alone prevents him carry 
ing out his repeated threats against the rebels. And there 
is Captain Dainty ! the village dandy. He looks dirty 
enough now, but you see he has got a blazing fire in 
bis eye and in his heart. His company will fight. They 
don t laugh at him now. So old idols are pulled down 
and new ones set up. The boys know why this colonel 
was sick, and he can never control them again. Captain 
Blunt will threaten rebels no more in their presence. 
That two hours fight was like a sieve into which a 
shovelful of gravel had been thrown. The sieve was most 
terribly shaken ; the sand fell through, and only the peb 
bles remained. 

"It is curious to note the diseases affecting certain 
soldiers on receiving news of an impending battle. Sick 
ones leave the hospitals, and well ones seek to occupy the 
beds just vacated. The bully of the squad is sick. lie 
has a terrible pain in his right arm, his legs feel queer, his 
head reels. Do you order a coifin for him? If the sur 
geon is a little verdant, he will send him to the hospital, 
and in. a few days boast of his ability to cure diseases. If 
he has been a surgeon before, he will see that he is put in 
the front rank on the morrow, or give him corn-gruel by 
day, and blue pills at night. Then, there are others who 
are always in their places when the column is formed, 
but when the grape comes, they are to be found in the 
rear with a sprained ankle, or terribly overcome by fatigue, 
or sunstroke, or with a wrenched back, and are not found 
again till they return shouting c victory, and telling of 
the way they dropped big rebels, who would certainly 
have killed them if they had not shirked behind a 
stump. These are they who make the loudest noise on 
their return home, and as you listen to their valorous 
deeds, you are surprised that any rebels are left unkilled. 
You wonder that they jest over the bloody scenes of a 
battle-field, remembering 

4 He jests at scars who never felt a wound. " 



238 LIFE WITH TIII: FORTY-NINTH 

By and by you understand them, and though they mny 
not be poets, you find they have a vivid appreciation of 
Butler, who writes, 

" Those that fly may fight again, 
Which he can never do that s slain; 
Hence timely running s no mean part 
Of conduct in the martial art." 

" Bullet-fever" is a real fever, from which few are 
exempt-. To feel iear is natural; to yield to fear is 
cowardice. Some never carry fear with them into the 
battle-lieM. They leave it on the fiery margin. There, 
they experience the terrible baptism of battle, with its 
sinking, and sickening, and trembling, which for the time 
unmans more than mortal disease. Happy they who 
overcome this before facing the foe. Then, no danger of 
]>:.nic reaching f/iatt. Having conquered their own hearts 
and nerves, they may be killed but not subdued. It is 
irlll that counts in the composition of the brave. If there 
be enough of pride, of moral strength, to call up ?/v7, you 
have the unflinching soldier. Weakness of will is often 
counteracted by strong convictions of duty. I will do my 
.h fy has made many a timid heart brave ; ay, kept them 
steady before Death, though their nerves trembled at 
every burst of artillery, every " zipping 1 of a bullet. 
They \vho experience this baptism suddenly, when in 
actual conflict, will become panic-stricken and spread 
the leprosy of fear over a whole regiment, perchance, a 
whole army. A man may go through several conflicts 
and never be thus tried. Constant excitement, a series 
of victories may delay the hour of his soul s trial. At 
Plain s Store, we were rushed into the midst of danger so 
unexpectedly that activity and excitement precluded that 
baptism. Not so on the 27th. For twenty-four hours 
we faced the question and endured the ordeal. Strength 
ened, we passed through it, and made the " Forty-ninth" 
not unworthy to be ranked as Massachusetts soldiers. I 
have written much about emotions and experiences. I 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 239 

could not have done so the day after the battle. Then, it 
would have seemed profane. Now, it is easy. Soldiers, 
living on the verge of death, may not become indifferent 
to slaughter and wounds, but they regard them with 
much less concern than do you who only read of them, 
and soon rise above their sadness. It is well that it is 
so. A constant exercise of sympathy would illy prepare 
us for our stern work. Morbidly afraid at home of the 
sight of blood, it affected me none on the field ; though I 
nearly succumbed when I visited the hospital on the 28th. 

To return to the regiment. I give you a list of our 
killed and wounded. You will see that Captain Weller 
is not among the slain, but it is not his fault, for he was 
conspicuous among the brave. From our own men, and 
from men of other regiments, I hear his valor spoken of 
in the highest terms. Though wild and rollicking, we 
never heard Weller swearing that he would do great 
things, but when the time came he did them. Francis 
nobly seconded his efforts, and together they received 
the unflinching support of Co. A., than which there is 
no braver company. 

Colonel W. F. Bartlett, wounded ; left wrist, severely ; 
right foot, slightly. 

Lieutenant-Colonel S. B. Sumner, wounded ; left shoul 
der, slightly. 

Company A. Killed : L. M. Davis. Wounded : Captain 
Weller, leg, slightly; Lieutenant Francis, head, slightly; 
J. Bryce, right arm amputated ; M. H. Horton, head, 
slightly ; C. E. Platt, leg, slightly ; W. Reed, head, 
slightly; H. Rucktashell, side, slightly; J. Rodgers, 
knee, slightly ; W. Tuggey, neck, badly ; H. L. Root, 
leg, slightly. 

Killed, 1. Wounded, 10. 

Company B. Killed : J. M. Gamwell, G. Fitzgerald. 
Wounded : Lieutenant Kniffin, arm, slightly ; A. F. Bliss, 
leg, flesh wound ; S. H. Rossiter, breast, seriously ; W. 
D. Bliss, leg, flesh wound ; H. R. Clark, side, slightly ; 



240 l.IFi: WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

J. A. Francis, head, slightly ; S. L. Sturtevant, foot ; F. 
Belcher, right leg amputated; C. H. Cook, chest, se 
verely; H. D. Wentworth, abdomen, seriously; H. H. 
Davis, flesh wound, leg. 

Killed, 2. Wounded, 11. 

Company C. Killed: A. Griswold. "Wounded: Cap 
tain Lingenfelter, sunstroke ; Lieutenant C. H. Brooks, 
leg, flesh wound ; W. H. Cranston, abdomen ; E. King, 
leg, flesh wound; J. H. Olin, head, severely; J. W. 
Bowles, head, severely ; D. Braumwalder, thigh ; J. H. 
Wells, sprained ankle ; J. Stevens, shoulder, slightly. 

Killed, 1. Wounded, 9. 

Company D. Killed : M. Bracken, T. Ilensey, M. S. 
Reynolds. Wounded: Lieutenant T. Siggins, throat, 
severely; H. A. Bristol, leg, slightly; J. W. Evans, side, 
severely; D. Heacox, elbow, slightly ; B. Shelley, hand ; 
J. McGowan, leg; M. S. Beach, back, slightly. 

Killed, 3. Wounded, V. 

Company E. Killed : H. S. Hewins. Wounded : 
Lieutenant R. T. Sherman, side and head, severely; M. 
H. Tuttle, shoulder, slightly ; G. H. Pahnentier, shoulder, 
severely; F. K. Arnold, wrist, severely; W. Fogarty, 
hand, slightly; D. Foley, hand, slightly; J. E. Hintou, 
wrist, severely; W. Maxwell, head; W. J. Wilbur, both 
thighs, severely ; G. E. Callender, hand, slightly ; A. 
Brett, side, slightly. 

Killed, 1. Wounded, 11. 

Company H. Killed : Lieutenant B. D. Deming, A. 
Allen, E. Ingersoll. Wounded : A. Hitchcock, arm ; H. 
L. Beach, severely ; J. Vincent, head, slightly ; J. North- 
way, hand. 

Killed, 3. Wounded, 4. 

Company K. Killed: H. E. Warner, S. W. Carley, 
L. Funk, T. C. Shaw, S. Dowd. Wounded : Lieutenant 
I. E. Judd, groin, >lightly; Lieutenant S. B. Gleason, 
thigh, slightly ; R. E. Phelps, leg, amputated ; H. A. 
Parinlee, elbow ; G. W. Allen, leg, severely ; S. Brocha, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 241 

leg; J. W. Bidwell, head, seriously; S. M. Fullerton, 
shoulder, slightly; G. Waller, leg; D. S* Bliss, thigh, 
severely. 

Killed, 5. Wounded, 10. 

On that fatal day, sixteen were killed and sixty-four 
wounded ; eighty in all, of tho 233 men of our regiment 
who went into the field. When we consider that we 
were under fire less than three-quarters of an hour before 
ordered to seek shelter, we may well call it a fierce con 
flict, for more than every third man was cut down. This 
was about the average loss in the whole brigade. Of the 
eighteen officers engaged, eleven were killed or wounded. 
If that is a test of their valor, brave men were bravely 
led. Considering the short time we were actually under 
fire without shelter, and the history of this war records 
no more fearful slaughter than met the first brigade on 
the 27th of May. The old name of the field was Slaugh 
ter s field. In the best blood of New England its name 
has been confirmed in baptism. Of the forty-four, who 
went up in the u forlorn hope," only three were killed 
and six wounded ; or one in five. Thus, it turned out 
that ours was the path of safety. It happened on this 
wise : When we came in sight of the rebels, they fired at 
us with every kind of weapon in their possession. Grape 
and canister were mixed with solid shot, shell, and bul 
let ; but when they saw the whole brigade following us 
closely, and then marching to the right of us in line of 
battle, they bestowed their deadliest discharges on them, 
and from that time, we were mainly greeted with bullets ; 
especially was this the case after they saw" that most of 
the fascine-bearers were disabled, rendering us compara 
tively ineffective. With the regiment proper went up 
189 men, of whom 71, or two in every five were killed or 
wounded. 

Sadly, we returned from the unavailing sacrifice. The 
night was full of gloom. Nervous reaction made it still 
more gloomy. It seemed hard to send men after such a 
11 



242 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

day s labor to stand on picket during the night, but neces 
sity knows neither law nor mercy, and the old picket had 
not been relieved for forty-eight hours. To increase our 
gloom, the battle-field took fire, and in agony, we thought 
of our comrades, struggling with pain and thirst, on 
whom the billows of flame were rolling down, and none 
to help them, none to save them from the most fearful of 
deaths. We could do nothing but gaze and shudder. 
Humanity led some of the rebels to face the bullets of our 
pickets and extinguish the flames before they acquired 
full sway. All night long the surgeons were at work. 
On the operating table were the victims, whose shrieks 
of agony but partially deadened by chloroform, illy pre 
pared the wounded all around them, for their hours of 
martyrdom. Lying but a few rods from the hospit.ils, 
frames unstrung after the physical and mental efforts of 
the day, we slept but little, and were glad when the 
morning came that we could see to aid the suffering or 
get away from their harrowing cries; The most severely 
wounded bore the surgical operations with the greatest 
calmness. Perchance their exhausted natures soonest 
yielded to the influences of stupefying draughts. Too 
much praise cannot be awarded to the medical authori 
ties. Nearly every thing wounded men could want wa * 
at hand. Ministers of the Christian Commission and 
others did all that loving ingenuity could devise for 
their comfort ; but having done all. how much was left 
undone that home-care would have performed ! Happy 
they, who, in insensibility or fatigue, could forget the 
surrounding horrors. The conscious could but imagine 
the worst. They knew not whether they carried in them 
selves the sentence of disfigurement, incapacity, or death. 
I visited them in the morning, found most of them cheer 
ful and doing well ; but laid one side, with hands tenderly 
folded and faces respectfully covered, were the dead, 
showing that a fearful night had followed a bloody day. 
The surgeons continued at their work without a moment s 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 243 

intermission. Seeing them amputating with sleeves rolled 
up, splashed with blood, here a pile of booted legs, there 
a pile of arms, was more trying than the horrors of the 
battle-field. As fast as they were operated on they were 
carefully conveyed to Springfield Landing, and thence to 
Baton Rouge, where ample provisions had been made for 
their comfort. Ere the evening of the 28th, nearly all 
had been thus removed. On the road to the landing, at 
Lilley s Station, a tent had been put up, where the 
wounded received iced-claret punch and such other lux 
uries as they needed or craved. Never was any military 
department in so high a state of excellence as is the 
" Department of the Gulf." Wounds, sickness may be 
before us, but what mitigations our circumstances will 
allow will be ours. In spite of all, many of the wounded 
will die. In this climate, with blood already diseased, 
hemorrhage soon follows the slightest wound. The ex- 
tremest care has to be taken to prevent the wounds from 
becoming maggoty.. We hear that some of our most 
severely wounded are doing well, and that of those re 
ported " slightly wounded," not a few are hovering on 
the brink of death. God prepare loving hearts in New 
England for soul-darkening news. Patriotic fathers, 
mothers, wives, children are there, who will try to bear 
their sorrows proudly, but, for a while^ nature will con 
quer patriotism. Sad though they will be that they were 
not present to receive and speak the last adieu, yet it 
were sadder to gaze upon fearful sufferings no love could 
alleviate. Certainly, not then / ay, not till other affec 
tions have, in some measure, led them from their great 
loss ; perchance, never will they be able to say with the 
stern Roman : 

" Thanks to the gods ! my boy has done his duty. 
Welcome my son ! There, set him down, my friends, 
Full in my sight ; that I may view at leisure 
The bloody corpse and count the glorious wounds. 
"Who would not be this youth ? What pity tis 
That we can die but once to save our country." 



244 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-.XINTH 

Away from these mangled frames, I might enter into 
sympathy with such sorrow ; here, I value more even that 
<k grief that does not speak, but whispers the o er fraught 
heart and bids it break." 

After we returned to the camp, every thing was done 
to render the boys comfortable. The Major set the ex 
ample, and was zealously followed by the officers. Late 
as it was, and fully engaged as were all of the medical de 
partment in caring for the wounded, he would not rest 
till a full ration of whiskey was furnished. In our inmost 
hearts we thanked him. Muscular exertion drawing the 
blood to the muscles, mental anxiety drawing it to the 
brain, our stomachs loathed food and even commissary 
whiskey was a luxury. It allayed the fierce, burning thirst. 
AVhat rest we got that night was mainly owing to the 
Major s pertinacity in seen: ing for us our ration of liquor. 

Almost the only pleasure in returning to camp was the 
meeting those from whom the surges of battle had sepa 
rated us. We clasped hands, and jeyes were wet. Not 
unfrequently did we embrace as women. Officers and 
privates were brothers then. They had been baptized 
into one family. Never will those with whom I went in 
that "forlorn hope," bow forlorn ! be as common friends 
again. There, we entered the sacred brotherhood of 
soldiers. 

On the morning of the 28th, we brought in our dead. 
The burial party saw many guns, blankets, etc., lying 
round, but under a flag of truce neither side can carry any 
tiling away, and so they brought nothing but our slain. 
The pockets of some of these had been rifled by (we have 
reason to fear) members of the 2d Louisiana. One or 
more from each company comprised that party, so as to 
be able to identify all. Mutilated, as many of them 
were, identification was difficult. They brought them to 
the eastern verge of the wood, where we rested just 
before we charged. As beet they could, without coffins, 
t!icv buried them. A fc\v year* and the mounds will 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 245 

disappear, and nothing will remain to show where oui 
Berkshire brave rest. They died well and their works 
do follow them. Liberty needed a fresh baptism. Their 
hearts, not unwillingly, yielded the sacred element. So 
long as Liberty lives, their memories will be cherished. 
Names will be forgotten, but from the graves of these 
" unnamed demi gods" shall go forth a living spirit that 
will raise up an unbroken succession of those who count 
duty to country a part of duty to God. To these graves 
every patriotic heart is united, and proudly may they 
slumber over whom God and humanity say " Well done !" 
The burial party report that the rebels have put up new 
guns with which to open other graves if Slaughter s field 
shall again be made the scene of conflict. As nearly as 
they could judge, the ditch is fifteen feet deep and eleven 
feet wide, and the parapet eight feet in height. 

Gloomily we passed the day after the battle, doing 
nothing but writing home and resting. Towards even 
ing, the body of Lieutenant Deming was brought in, and 
we were preparing to have a prayer-meeting when the 
order came, "Fall in! Forty-ninth!" We could hear 
firing to our right, and knew not but that our courage 
was again to be tried. Unstrung nerves and timid 
hearts protested, but a few steps of marching and 
that feeling passed away; yet we were glad to find^that 
nothing more serious was before us than to guard the 
lane, to cut them off if they should try to escape: We 
were revengeful enough to hope they would try it. We 
had been in a slaughter-pen where the advantage was all 
on their side ; now, we desired them to come on, where 
positions would be reversed. Of course they came not, 
and we have but little reason to expect that they will 
come. Our repulse has, doubtless, encouraged them to 
believe they can hold their ground, but unless we are 
attacked by a strong force from the rear, Port Hudson 
will ere long, be ours. 

I approach the obituaries of our slain with diffidence. 



246 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

My materials arc so limited that I ean but do injustice 
to some, with whom I was least acquainted. Of many, 
all we know is, they went through life, quietly perform 
ing its duties, until, in discharge thereof, they died at the 
bidding of their country. 

Lieutenant Barton D. Deming was in his thirty- 
second year when he nobly died. Before the war, he 
lived the life of the quiet farmer, respected by all. " Re 
spected by all," is emphatically true of our late comrade. 
Comfortable in circumstances, happy in his domestic 
relations, retiring in his disposition, nothing but the 
voice of duty called him to a soldier s life. He be 
came a soldier because he was a Christian. Making his 
will, and prudently regulating his afl airs, on the suppo 
sition that he would not return, he was prepared to do 
all that was required at his hands. Singularly quiet, 
only those most intimate with him knew his worth. 
In the command of his men he was kind, ever laboring 
to smooth their pathway. I roomed with him on the 
steamship Illinois, and found him gentle and obliging, 
grateful for every attention, and claiming little as his 
ri fht. None ever said, "shoulder-straps" lifted him 
above himself. Few w r ore the marks of rank, think 
ing less of them. Though deficient in self-esteem, he 
kneiv full well that the m<ut was greater than the officer, 
and his military worth consisted in throwing around the 
latter the dignity of the former. The boys on picket 
wanted no more considerate commander than Lieutenant 
Deming. Sickness gave a sombreness to his countenance 
that was not in his heart. He was unwell when he came 
up to this place, but sense of duty was stronger than 
illness. When we were lying down on the edge of the 
woods, I looked at him and thought Lieutenant Dem- 
ing had a presentiment of death, his face was so x sad. 
He, himself, seemed to think the day would be a f.ital 
one to him, and requested Lieutenant Smith (II) to take 
charge of his money, but as Lieutenant Smith was to 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER*. 247 

meet the same danger, he refused. He was last seen 
alive at the head of his men, gallantly urging them on. 
His death could not have been a painful one. A ball 
pierced his head, speedily ushering him from the battle 
of life to the peace of Heaven. In response to his 
friends in Sandisfield on receiving from them a sword, he 
wrote, " Hoping you will hear a good report from me if 
ever on the iield of battle, I bid you all God speed." 
The report will go back to his native town, and better 
none need desire. Their gift was stained with his own 
blood. His pockets were rilled, and their contents, in 
cluding his watch, gone. He kept his money in a pocket 
in the inside of his shirt. That Lieutenant Smith secured. 
We brought him to camp and buried him in the field 
opposite. Away from loved ones, he was not without 
sincere mourners. Honored in life and in death, his 
friends may well mourn for him proudly. We feel that 
death has been to him great gaiil. 

Luther M. Davis (A), was a farmer, from Pittsfield, 
aged twenty-one years. When found, his body showed 
marks of having been burned, but the fire added nothing 
to his suffering. His death, caused by a shell taking off 
the top of his head, must have been instantaneous. An 
excellent soldier, one of the very best of his company ; a 
steady, frugal, good man ; a youthful husband, he there 
sank to his honored rest. 

John M. Gamwell, corporal (B), was a carpenter and 
school-teacher, from West Stockbridge. He was a very 
fine, well-educated man, respected in his company. He 
was wounded in the leg and arm and bled to death, at 
the age of thirty-seven years, leaving a family to mourn 
him and to remember May 27th, 1863, as the burial-day 
of many a fond hope. 

Garrett Fitzgerald (B), aged twenty-one years, from 
Lanesboro, was a brave Irishman and an excellent soldier. 
He was one of the original volunteers for the " forlorn 
hope," but, owing to circumstances I have detailed above, 



248 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

lie did not go therein. He leaves a wife to hope in rain 
for his return. 

Henry D. Wentworth (B), a fanner-boy, from Windsor, 
agc-1 twenty years, was so fearfully wounded in the 
abdomen that all that could be done was to <nve him 

o 

opiates to ease his sufferings, till death should usher him 
to his heavenly home, lie bore the reputation of a 
Christian soldier, and died May 29th, as he was being 
conveyed to Springfield Landing where he now lies 
buried. Of course he was a good soldier. " He was a 
Christian hoy," said one of his comrades. He fell in a 
cause worthy of a Christian s death. Having kept him 
self unsullied from the vices of the camp, and dying as 
he did, who may say "he died an //,^///x7// death?" 
Such a dead son is worth more than many living sons. 

AllwH Grisicold) corporal (C), was a quiet, excellent 
soldier. He was a farmer, from Dalton, aged twenty- 
seven years, and leaves a wife and child. 

Mil-ens /lr"cL cn (D), was an Alford farmer, aged thirty- 
one years. He leaves behind him a family. Another 
brave Irish soldier poured out his life s blood in Free 
dom s cause. 

Thomas ITo i& -y (D), shoemaker, from Barrington, was 
yet another of the sons of Ireland who, on that sad day, 
gave up his life that this country might remain the hope 
of the world. He was a remarkably good soldier, and 
in his twenty-second year nobly fell in the vain attempt 
to bridge a way over which we might reach the heart 
of slavery. 

J//7/X & Jlv/nM$ (D), was a good soldier, from Bar 
rington. He was one of the original volunteers, and fell 
in his nineteenth year. 

Horatio S, II //:///* (E), aged twenty-three, was a fine, 
quiet, honest farmer, from Sheffield. A good member of 
a good company. His name belongs to the " roll of 
honor," though he did not go in the " forlorn hope," for 
which he volunteered. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 249 

Eugene Ingersoll (II), of Lee, aged nineteen years, 
represented in himself his own and a father s willing 
offering to a needy, bleeding country. He was a bright, 
smart, well-educated boy and a fine soldier. Though 
sick, he joined his company, when we were ordered to 
march on the foe, but soon fell out of the ranks, and we 
carried him in one of our carts. Alone of Co. H., 
he volunteered in the "forlorn hope," and doing its peril 
ous duties, he met a soldier s fate. Pride will mingle 
with the grief in that Berkshire home when loving 
parents hear that Eugene was faithful unto death." 

Albert Allen (H), was another of those farmer boys 
Sandisfield sent to the war, and of whom, in life and in 
death, she may well be proud. Death has been busy 
with her soldiers, yet has made her rich in patriotic 
memories. Her dead, lying in honored graves on the 
shores of the Mississippi, are the most precious part of 
her wealth. Young Allen, only twenty-two years of 
age, was one of the noblest of her boys. Steady, moral, 
a first-rate soldier, he did honor to a mother to whom 
country was more than children, of whom she gave 
several to the army. One, an officer, was killed at 
Vicksburg, and now Albert lies at Port Hudson. She 
can appreciate how much the freedom of the " Father 
of Rivers" costs. We left Kim sick at Baton Rouge, 
but his eager soul yearned for the field of duty, and so 
escaping from camp, he joined our ranks, and now 
proudly sleeps among the k4 fallen brave." 

Theron C. Shaw (K), was one of those fine, pleasant, 
farmer boys of whom Sheffield gave so many to the 
ranks of the Forty-ninth and to the graves of Louisiana. 
He was but eighteen years old when he was much torn 
by an exploding shell and died. 

Luther Funk (K), of Mount Washington, was a nice, 

clever boy of eighteen. He was shot through the bowels 

on the 27th, and died the next day. Pie fought and fell 

by his father s side ; fell so nobly that the soldier heart 

11* 



250 LIFE WITH THE FORTY NINTH 

of the father must have tJic-n been prouder of his dying 
boy than over before. Parental love could not save him, 
but by his u-ave has placed a good head-board to note 
the place of his burial. This done and the lonely father 
turns again to meet the foe. 

Solomon Dowel (K), fanner, of Monterey, aged thirty- 
six years, was fearfully mutilated. His leg and hip 
were smashed by a discharge of grape and railroad. 
His left hand was cut off. Returning, he said to his 
captain, "I couldn t bring back my gun, but it is so 
battered that it will be worth nothing to the rebels." 
IK- was an odd being, but died, on the 28th, a hero s 
death. 

Stera W. Carlej (K), farmer, from Monterey, aired 
thirty-eight years, was a Christian warrior. lie was 
one of the " forlorn hope." Quiet and firm, he made a 
model soldier. He was wounded iu the wrist and 
bound up that wound, when another bullet entered his 
heart and closed his noble career. He leaves a family 
and a name of which that family may well be proud. 

Henry E. Warner, sergeant (K), aged twenty-four, 
farmer, from New Marlboro, was shot in the thigh be 
fore he had far advanced in the field. He wanted his 
captain to stop and bind up his wound, but that was im 
possible ; and Weston, speaking a few kind, la.tt words to 
him, led on his company to wheiv was appointed for 
tin. in a fearful reaping. He bled to death, and there was 
none to help him. Hound him were the dying and the 
dead. Up amid the hills of Berkshire were parents, 
wife, child, who but little thought on so bright 
dark a cloud was gathering over their future. They 
knew not that Henry, dying, was yearning for them ; 
and that, on Slaughter s lield, his soul was going out to 
God. He was a worthy man, with an education and 
character that would have secured him an honorable 
position in life, but not a position more truly honorable 
than the one hallowed with his dying blood. He fell, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEKS. 251 

and a nation s brightness and glory is his mantle ; Free 
dom s renovation his epitaph. 

i 

11 Immortal names I nolle ones! A nation s heart will throb . 
For ye, who fell in manly prime, for freedom and for God, 
And woman s eyes grow dim with tears, and manhood bows its head 
Before thy deeds of yalor done New England s honored dead." 

The Colonel has gone to Baton Rouge, and we hear 
that fears are entertained that he will lose his arm. To 
lose leg and arm, and to go thus maimed through life, 
would be a heavy lot. The wound in his heel is very 
slight and will trouble him but a little while. I suppose 
he is lost to us for the remainder of this campaign, and 
it is a loss we deeply feel. The Major interests himself 
personally in our well-being and measures yet higher in 
our esteem, but we feel that ours is an irreparable loss. 
For months we have tested our commander, and always 
found him up to our expectations. I am too little ac 
quainted with him to know whether he has the qualities 
of a great general. Admiring him as much as I do, I 
should doubt the propriety of substituting him for 
Banks, but would have no hesitation in voting him in as 
a brigadier. Colonel Paine (though outranked by Colonel 
Johnson, 21st Maine), 2d Louisiana, is now in command 
of our brigade. I suppose he was appointed because his 
is a throe years regiment, though when the nine months 
men go home he will have only his own and the 116th 
New York regiment for a brigade. Had Bartlett not 
been wounded I think he would now be in his place. 
Confidence in him is not confined to us, but I have heard 
privates and officers of other regiments express regret 
that he could not be Chapin s successor. In that po 
sition he would be saved much exposure and many 
dangers, and would imbue his whole command with a 
confidence that would render them twice as effective as 
under Paine. We praise Bartlett because he emphati? 
cally treated a private as well as an officer, in some cases 



252 LIFE WITH THE FORTf-XlXTH 

hotter, for I have known him to censure officers for 
al mistakes in no very polite words, and that, too, 
in presence of their own men. He erred there, for such 
censuring was calculated to destroy the respect of the 
soldiers for those officers and to awaken insubordination. 
I look upon it as a grave error. Mistakes in tactics were 
the unpardonable sins in his sight, and drew from him, on 
one occasion, language more forcible than pleasant. It 
was the only time that I knew him to use words that 
were not peculiarly appropriate to the conventicle. I 
have had a good deal of business intercourse with him, 
and always found him reserved but respectful, and this is 
the testimony of all privates who have been thrown into 
his presence. I have never heard any of them say that the 
Colonel treated them otherwise than as gentlemen. In 
the transaction of public business I found him scrupulous 
ly exact and honest. One of his greatest virtues as a 
military man is his coolness. For that he is remarkable. 
lie has not popular manners, cannot unbend and be 
sociable, yet maintain his dignity, to his inferiors, and is 
bashful (when we cheered him as he left his carriage and 
mounted his horse as the battle of Plain s Store com 
menced, he blushed, as if ashamed of his popularity) , but 
he is a strong, faithful man, in whom a regiment may 
confide, and in whom they may fully rely. Take him all 
and in all, the colonel of the Forty-ninth is a marked 
man. We have been proud of him, arid in bidding him 
a virtual farewell as our commander, nearly every heart 
adds the fervent " God bless him !" 

We have also lost our Adjutant, and that too just as 
we were beginning to appreciate and admire him. lie 
goes on General Dwight s stall*. Colonel and Adjutant 
gone, eighty killed and wounded, we feel almost as if the 
Forty-ninth was disbanded, forgetting that scattered 
around is quite a formidable number yet remaining. 
Lieutenant Francis is now acting adjutant, and a better 
one we could not well have. We kaew he was kind, polite, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 253 

a good business man, and he has proved himself a brave 
soldier. Fred makes a good officer. He has those qual 
ities that the surgings of battle bring out in bold relief. 
He ought to make arms his profession. 

It is said that our brigade is not to be put into the 
front again, save as a matter of extreme necessity. That 
is right, for we are dispirited, having lost confidence in 
our generals. Who originated the assault of the 27th, 
we know not. Some say that all the generals were op 
posed to it, but Banks insisted ; and others have it, that 
it was Chapin s project. It might have been a success, 
had the attack been made simultaneously on the right, 
centre, and left ; but, as it was, Weitzel on the right, 
where the enemy had some works outside their parapet, 
commenced at 6 A. M., and was engaged till 4 p. M.; ice as 
saulted at 1| P. M., while Sherman did not start till 3 p. M. 
At 2 p. M., he received peremptory orders to charge. 
Then he had to mass his men and form his storming par 
ty. Being attacked at different times, the enemy could 
mass his forces against each division, and so cut us off in 
detail. After we had been on the field over an hour, we 
could see them double-quicking to the left to repel Sher 
man ; who, from all I can hear, was drunk. When he 
did attack, he recklessly exposed himself, and was wound 
ed in his leg, which has since been amputated. The fas 
cines were too heavy and few. Had a thousand skir 
mishers crept up as they might have done in compara 
tive safety, they could have kept the walls clear, and 
silenced most of the guns, so the bridges could have been 
laid, and the stormers entered upon their bayonet work 
unexhausted. It was a premature assault. 

Few scenes are as full of moral sublimity as that of a 
brigade walking right up into a valley of fire. See one 
man, in a righteous cause, facing death, and all*within 
us is called out in admiration. How much grander the 
sight, when a long line of a thousand meets a wave of 
fire that they must dash back, or allow it to submerge a 



254 LIFE WITH THE FOJHY-MNTH 

nation s fondest hopes ! To sec them enter, where earth 
is crowded with deadly ]!>i:-siles, and death is hurtling 
through all the air, is a spectacle never to be forgotten, 
the remembrance of which confirms us in our high esti 
mate of man s inherent devotion to his convictions of 
duty. Humanity needs such spectacles to keep alive our 
hopes for the race, which in time of peace, seems to be 
digging its own grave, amid the rubbish of earth. 

Under the \valls of Port Hudson, the mooted question 
was forever settled, and friend and foe admit that " the 
negro will light. The First and Third Louisiana Native 
Guards assaulted on the right. The former regiment 
was composed mainly of free negroes of French extrac 
tion. Many of them were men of liberal education and 
wealth. They were commanded by negro officers. The 
latter regiment consisted of slaves or contrabands, the 
field officers of which were white, and the line officers 
black. Thus, free and bond, but negroes all, 1,080 strong, 
gathered together to prove to the world, that valor and 
manhood are not the exclusive attributes of the white 
raee. They did prove it, and for all time. Men, who 
had often cowered beneath the master s lash, met those 
masters in the death struggle, and maniiested their God- 
given equality. All agree that none fought more nobly 
than the "native guards." They drove the rebels from 
their outer works, and against them, behind their formid 
able intrenchments, made ,sv> distinct charges. Six times 
they repeated our charge. True, they had to advance 
but two hundred yards under fire, while twelve hundred 
yards lay between us and the foe, but six times did they 
go over the ground, heaping it with their slain, and 
pressed into the ditch, over which a few gallantly passed, 
and mounted the ramparts of the foe. Short of ammuni 
tion, their negro brethren of the engineer regiment, car 
ried them cartridge-, deliant of the iron hail that poured 
down on them. Three times beaten back, their com 
mander, Colonel Nelson, sent to General D wight for 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 255 

orders. That earnest son of Massachusetts replied : 
" Tell Colonel Nelson I shall consider he has done nothing 
unless he carries the enemy s works." Perchance, 
D wight felt, infallibly proving the valor of the African 
was worth hundreds of their lives. He was right, and 
they felt it too. Hoping against hope, realizing that 
they were to lift up their race from the degradation of 
centuries, three times more did the remnant go into that 
valley of flame. Human bravery was ineffectual to ac 
complish impossibilities, and the survivors, heroes all, 
sadly, but triumphantly returned. Nearer than any 
others did the " black brigade" go, and many a proud 
master found, in death, that freedom had made his slave 
his superior. We had expected that they would be equal 
to a grand rush, but did not expect that they would show 
valor, where valor meant the extremest exercise of the 
human will. The 27th of May was not a los t day. A 
race of serfs stepped up to the respect of the world, and 
commenced a national existence. The bond everywhere 
will remember that charge, and woe to them who shall 
try to re-enslave a race, which has now such a wealth of 
historic recollections. 

" Dark as the clouds of even, 
Ranked in the western heaven, 
Waiting the breath that lifts 
All the dread mass, and drifts 
Tempest and falling brand 
Over a ruined land ; 
So still and orderly, 
Arm to arm, knee to knee, 
Waiting the great event, 
Stands the black regiment. 

" Down the long dusky line, 
Teeth gleam and eyeballs shine ; 
And the bright bayonet, 
Bristling and firmly set, 
Flashed with a purpose grand, 
Long ere the sharp command 



256 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Of the fierce rolling drum 
Told them their time had come, 
Told them what work was sent 
For the black regiment. 

" Now, the flag-sergeant cried 
Though death and hell betide, 
Let the whole nation see 
If we are tit to be 
Free in this laud ; or bound 
Down, like the whining hound 
Bound with red stripe s pain 
In our old chains again 1 
Oh 1 what a shout there went 
From the black regiment I 

" Charge ! Trump and drum awoke 
Onward tho bondmen broke; 
Bayonet and sabre-stroke 
Vainly opposed their rush. 
Through the wild battle s crush, 
With but one thought aflush, 
Driving their lords like chaff, 
In the gun s mouths they laugh ; 
Or at the slippery brands 
Leaping with open hari la, 
Down they tear man and horse, 
Down in their awful course ; 
Trampling with bloody heel 
Over the crashing steel, 
All their eyes forward bent 
Rushed the black regiment. 

" Freedom! their battle-cry 
1 Freedom ! or leave to die ! 
Ahl and they infant the word: 
Not as with us ; tis heard, 
Not a mere party shout : 
They gave their spirits out ; 
Trusted the end to God, 
And on the gory sod 
Rolled in triumphant blood. 
Glad to strike one free blow, 
Whether for weal or woe ; 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 257 

Glad to breathe one free breath, 
Though on the lips of death. 
Praying alas, in vain ! 
That they might fall again, 
So they could once more see 
That burst to liberty ! 
This was what freedom lent 
To the black regiment. 

"Hundreds on hundreds fell; 
But they are resting well ; 
Scourges and shackles strong 
Never shall do them wrong. 
Oh 1 to the living few, 
Soldiers, be just and true ! 
Hail them as comrades tried; 
Fight with them side -by side ; 
Never, in field or tent, 
Scorn the black regiment 1" 

I credit the assertions that the rebels barbarously re 
fused the negroes burial, until the stench of their corpses 
made it a matter of self-preservation, and that they inhu 
manly murdered their wounded and prisoners, piled them 
up on the parapet, and nailed them alive to the trees, where 
their comrades could witness their dying struggles. I 
credit it, because they have often declared they would 
show them no mercy if they fell into their hands, and be 
cause I know that nothing would so enrage them as to be 
compelled to measure arms with a despised race, who 
had always rendered them the most servile obedience. 

It is now time for roll call, and I close this long letter. 
Roll calls are becoming solemn things. On the morning 
of the 28th, eighty were not there to answer. When the 
names of the dead were called, the only answer was a 
solemn silence, and we thanked God for our own preserva 
tion, and sadly thought of the bereaved, who shall call on 
loved ones only to hear from their lonely graves, " dead ! 
dead! dead!" 



258 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 



LETTER XXIX. 

BEFORE PORT HUDSO.V, LA., June 10, 1863. 
My DEAR L. : 

We are yet encamped in the woods, from which I 
dated my last letter, and are much improved in spirits. 
The depression, caused by what seemed to us a useless 
sai-ritice of life, is wearing off, but we are not as buoyant 
and reliable as we were before the late battle. Then, we 
went, fully confiding in our generals, wherever ordered, 
and went cheerfully. Now, we would obey, if com 
manded to repeat that charge, but with so much of re 
luctance as to destroy half our efficiency. Confidence, 
once lost, is regained slowly. Now, if Banks would but 
come and utter some earnest, patriotic remarks, sympa 
thizing with our losses and our valor, it would bind us to 
him and anew to the sacred cause. 

Massachusetts troops are enigmas to those who know 
them not. They are cold-blooded, and to hear them talk 
before fighting, you might -steem them cowards. Some 
men know what "battle-joy" means. They are generally 
earnest, deep-souled, nervous men, who are never quiet 
gave when working. Their central natures are so strong 
that they do not find happiness in the trifles of life, but 
give them genuine excitement and they show what man 
ner of men they are. The prospect of a battle, in a cause 
sacred enough to enlist all their sympathies, is joyous to 
them. Taking no pleasure in slaughter, morbidly shrink 
ing from blood, they yet hail that hour with gladness, 
feeling that there is a time vouchsafed when they can 
practise the heroism their souls have garnered. I can 
dimly see that there is such a class in the world, but they 
are not from Massachusetts, yet, save in the matter of 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 259 

dash, this nation has no better troops. Talking as if they 
would like to go home, and shun the coming danger, yet, 
at the word of command, they step to death as coolly as 
to dinner. Where the dash fails, and nothing but will^ 
hardened by contact with moral education and principle, 
can uphold, they are pre-eminent. I saw our fanner-boys, 
seemingly as cold as Greylock, and about as enthusiastic, 
meet the wave of fire as if they had been trained from 
boyhood amid the veterans of Napoleon. When bullies 
succumbed, those quiet ones, who would so suddenly 
have disappeared from a bar-room fight, as to be taunted 
with cowardice, pressed firmly on, or calmly met the 
death, duty and pride would not allow them to shun. 
There is no man so fully imbued with personal pride as a 
son of Massachusetts. At home, he will quarrel with 
that distribution of wealth that puts another in a place 
of imaginary superiority to him, and with a good deal of 
desire to drag others down to his level, will persistently 
labor to place himself at the head of the list. This dem 
ocratic equality, sometimes run mad, this constant assert 
ing, in the face of fancied superiors, " A man s a man for 
a that," is not always attractive, but ally it, in a greater 
or lesser degree, with convictions of duty, and you have 
a soldier, who, in the bloodiest field, will prove his divine 
equality. The 27th of May gave me, v^ho am not " to 
the manor born," a better insight into the pluck of Mas 
sachusetts braves than I ever had before. I know none 
who will meet impossibilities with more of hope and will. 
Though they have not the showy courage of some, yet 
they deserve t\\e foremost rank. 

We hear little now about time being nearly out. Most 
are indifferent abou,t a few weeks, more or less ; the great 
question is, Will we be spared to go home at all ? There 
are rumors of an attack on the right to-morrow, and some 
brigades are preparing their fascines, and we may possibly 
have a part therein. ]S T ot a few think it hard to be thus 
pushed into danger, so near the expiration of their service. 



260 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Were they yet bound for over two years, they would 
have no such thoughts. Now, crops out the evils of en 
listing men for so short a period as nine months ; yet, I 
suppose, men who had enlisted for ten years would feel 
the same way, were their hour of discharge so near, but it 
looks worse for us, for we have done so little and seen 
so few dangers. 

The 4> Sunny South" sounds nicely enough as you ride 
over Berkshire hills, facing a northwester, with the mer 
cury twenty degrees belo\v zero, but here, with that mer 
cury at 95 in the shade for weeks at a time, the poetry 
all disappears. Get under a tree and look down the road 
you have to travel for a mile, and you can think of nothing 
but a u furnace of fire." Every mote in the air looks 
like a particle of flame. An hour after sunrise or an 
hour before sunset and it is seemingly as hot as at noon. 
A heavy thunder-storm passes over, and the next day is 
as oppressive as the day before. For the whole twenty- 
four hours your body is moist, or dripping wilh perspira 
tion. If your are cool at night it is nothing but the dank 
moisture, driving fever to your vitals. Showers have 
been infrequent, and the dust, pulverized by the tread of 
thousands of men and beasts, is more than ankle deep. 
The trees and bushes are covered with it, and in the 
sun-light look like smouldering fires. We dress accord 
ingly. A straw hat, a shirt, a pair of breeches, and of 
shoes (sometimes stockings), complete our wardrobe. 
Some tried to dispense with the use of shoes, but the 
ground was too much like fire to allow them to continue 
that kind of economy. Our dark blue pants have no suc 
cessors in this department, and we are saving our new light 
blue ones to appear creditably when we march through 
Pittsfield ; so, a more ragged set can scarcely be found 
this side of the Five Points. Who finds a pin, labors to 
make himself presentable ; but, as our u pin-money" is 
about exhausted, we fear that decency will yet drive us 
to the original fig-leaf. This might be avoided were our 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 261 

blouses as long as the demands of modesty. As we 
brought no change of apparel, some need those blouses 
as substitutes for the shirts they throw away. As the 
government has nearly doubled the price of shirts, a few 
economical ones made a search for water, and found some 
thin mud in the ditch of an abandoned rebel fortification. 
There, minus soap, they graduated as washerwomen, and 
quite frequently dried and ironed their wash on their 
backs, so as to return within the prescribed time. Truth 
requires me to say, that they did not much improve the 
appearance, though they may have added to the sweet 
ness, of their garments. Whole clothes are desirable 
everywhere, much more in a country where bugs and in 
sects of all kinds, from wood-ticks to lizards, are seeking 
places of shelter. Flies and mosquitoes have not yet 
followed us to camp, for which we are duly thankful. 

Port Hudson, as a hygienic, institution, is vastly superior 
to Baton Rouge. I see Lieutenants Foster and Reed, 
Orderly Jennings and others, have left the hospitals of 
the latter place for the post of duty and of health. We 
are all in better physical condition than for months before. 
Considering we are in the field, we are fed well and 
hugely enjoy our rations. It seems that Uncle Sam has 
been reserving the " best wine for the last of the feast." 
Our sick are improving rapidly. Though we experience 
somewhat of monotony, it is the monotony of excite 
ment, by which we thrive." 

Our army is constantly gaming ground. We have 
driven the enemy from many of his advanced earthworks, 
into the main parapet. The way we work is this we, 
that is, infantry soldiers, throw up a breastwork as a 
protection to artillerists, some six feet high inside, and 
from thirty to a hundred feet long, according to the num 
ber of guns to be placed in position. Bales of cotton are 
rolled along, behind which we commence digging. A 
solid shot striking one of these bales square, or a shell 
bursting against it, makes much confusion, but that is 



262 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

not often done. The greatest danger is from discharges 
of grape and canister. The breastwork is from fifteen 
to twenty feet thick at the bottom, sloping up to about 
three at the top. The hole from which this dirt is taken 
makes a ditch outside the parapet. The embrasures or 
port-holes are lined with sand-bags. Here the artillery 
is posted. Now, as the gunners are few in number, and 
most of them unarmed, it becomes necessary to protect 
them, otherwise the enemy might make a sudden attack, 
and capture or sjiike our guns. A gun is spiked by driv 
ing a rat-tail tile into the touch-hole. This cannot be 
pulled out, and the gun is useless until redrilled. To 
prevent this, rifle-pits are dug on each side of the battery. 
Here, infantry troops are placed to repel any attack. 
This is called " supporting a battery." Batteries are thus 
placed all along our semi-circular front from river to 
river, a distance of full ten miles. If these batteries can 
hold their ground, others are established still farther in 
front, or, in inilit iry parlance, we " advance our parallels/ 
Thus, we have been advancing, constantly driving the 
enemy before us, into closer quarters. 

There is more of this kind of work going on, on the 
right and left, than on the centre. Frequently, the rebels 
have made sorties, but with no success. The other day, 
they came too near on our right, but retreated when they 
saw the negro regiment rushing on them with fixed bay 
onets. They acted as if they believed the negro would 
fight. They remember the 27th of May, and have no 
wish to try that valor, intensified by the vengeance their 
own barbarous treatment of negro prisoners has aroused. 
The foe fires but little, evidently hoarding his ammuni 
tion. Their silence is mysterious and oppressive. They 
quietly allow us to put up batteries right under their 
nose?. Less than half a mile distant, we have in posi 
tion some guns that fire one-hundred-pound shells. With 
the naked eye, they could see us at work, all unshel- 
t ivd, and yet not a disturbing shot, save a lew ran- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEES. 263 

dom bullets. Recently, an officer rode within fifty yards 
of the fort without molestation. What does it mean ? 
Scarcity of ammunition, or a snare to invite us on to de 
struction ? We know not. I learn it troubles our leading 
officers. Port Hudson itself is nothing but a collection 
of a few houses, a store and a church, but the fortifica 
tions are nearly five miles in length and two in breadth, 
so it is almost impossible to materially injure the garrison. 
If shells come too thick, they retreat to their underground 
holes, and are safe. When but few batteries are opening 
on them, they soon learn the range of our guns, and 
dodge the missiles. Where men lie down on the inside 
of the parapet, a shell has to burst just at a particular 
point, or they will be unscathed. We have poured a 
great deal of hardware into that Sebnstopol, rmd can see 
we have injured a great many trees, but rebel prisoners 
and deserters, and our own comrades who have escaped 
from their clutches, all unite in saying we have disabled 
them but little. We fire constantly, and by day dis 
mount many of their guns, which they replace at night. 
Thus, we scatter the wealth of the nation, but secure im 
munity from all their guns, save those that are in the rear, 
or on the river. Entire days pass, and they fire not a 
shot. With the greatest secrecy, we put up earth works 
and find nothing to evidence the presence of a watchful 
enemy. Getting bold, we walk on the top of them, or 
climb above the hedges to pick VLnckberries, which to our 
comfort, are here found in great abundance ; and save an 
occasional bullet from some riflemen stationed in the 
trees, are not molested. One of our boys, in picking 
some berries, lost a finger, to remind him that berrying 
here is not quite as safe as in Berkshire. Our fire wor 
ries and exhausts the garrison, and kills horses and mules, 
burying which is so dangerous, that they are allowed to 
rot above ground. We have so hemmed them in, that 
they cannot drive their beeves to water, therefore they 
die ; and their time of starvation or surrender is hastened. 



264 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XINTH 

Sometimes, at night, they let horses out, which wander 
into our lines. Killing them would but farther taint the 
air, and as many of t< listempered, we gain little 

by their loss. We receive but little help from the gun 
boats. If they could assail the enemy in front, we might 
get up such a bombardment as would lead to a capitula 
tion ; but now, that the river is sixty feet lower than Port 
Hudson bluffs, they would have to elevate their guns so 
high, that the balls and shells would go clean over the 
rebels into oar midst. The foe can but know where we 
are. situated, and if they are not really entirely destitute 
of ammunition, they would shell us. Massed as we are, 
they could do fearful executi n. 

By asbaujt or starvation alone can we succeed. Assure 
us thai no enemy will fall on our rear, and the latter is 
the preferable manner ; but instead of being assured of 
that, we have many reasons to believe the contrary. Sev 
eral hundred (rumor says several thousand) rebels having 
been seen about Clinton, some fifteen miles distant, an 
expedition, under General Paine, was sent on the 5th, 
to disperse them, in which they succeeded. It was one 
of our dustiest, hottest days, and in a march often miles, 
no less than forty-eight fell sun struck, or exhausted. Our 
regiment was spared that toil. Quite likely, ere another 
mail goes, we may again assault thi.s stronghold ; for \ve 
hear it is decided soon to open on them with all our guns, 
and if that iails to bring them to terms, then an assault. 
To make that assault unnecessary, Banks is adding to his 
already large park of artillery, monster guns and mortars. 
The 11-inch guns are taken from the fleet, and worked by 
marines. They throw ninety-pound solid shot, or a hun 
dred and twenty-pound conical shell, for four miles. As 
they are being placed within three-quarters of a mile of 
the rebels, they will do much execution as projectiles, as 
well as shells. The guns weigh upwards of nine thou 
sand pounds each. Mortars look like the mortars drug 
gists use to compound mediciues in, only on a vaster 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEES. 265 

scale, being about three feet long and two feet in diame 
ter (these are rather small ones) at the mouth. A peck 
of powder is used at each discharge. How any thing like 
accuracy of range can be obtained, is a puzzle to all save 
gunners. Colonel Hodge, of Massachusetts, has an engi-* 
ueer regiment composed of stalwart negroes, great, lusty 
fellows, who put our muscles to shame, on whom the bur 
den of preparing earth-works for batteries and the rifle- 
pits mostly falls. They are some of them who carried 
boxes of cartridges to their comrades, under the fire of 
May 27th. Their work is replete with danger ; but the 
silence of the enemy emboldens them. Some of this work 
falls on us. The other night our boys were occupied in 
rolling bales of cotton along the road, across which we 
charged in the late battle. It was a hazardous task, but 
they were not molested. I suppose Banks has nearly 
two hundred pieces of artillery, independently of his gun 
boats. There is scarcely a foot of ground, from river to 
river, but ~%hat is covered by our cannons. Miles of roads 
are being made through the woods ; bridges span nearly 
every hollow, while league on league of rifle-pits attest 
our industry. We are fed well, and we understand the 
order is to give the best of the food, and the heaviest of 
the work, to the nine months men. So, where the three 
years men get oily pork, we get good salt beef, and then 
a few furlongs of rifle-pit digging is thrown in, to keep us 
from dyspepsia. Keen as are our appetites, we would be 
willing to have shorter rations, and shorter work. The 
law J, get what you can out of the nine-morithlings, and 
save the three years troops for subsequent labors. Right, 
I suppose, but our bones protest, and we are all becoming 
* nigger- worshippers." Every day adds more or less to 
the African element, and we gaze on their splendid forms 
with some envy and much joy, for our toil is in inverse 
proportion to their number. Never fear that soldiers will 
be found objecting to negro enlistments. One hour s 
digging in Louisiana clay, under a Louisiana sun, and we 
22 



266 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

are forever pledged to do all we can to fill up our ranks 
with the despised and long-neglected race. 

Each day, prisoners are brought in. Most of them are 
fine-looking fellows. In their butternut clothes, they look 
much more presentable than we do. Save a little red 
facing on the collars and wristbands of officers, you can 
not tell them from privates by their dress. In this, they 
show a wisdom all officers would do well to imitate. They 
report that their only hope is in Johnston compelling us 
to raise the siege, raid that many of the officers are will 
ing to surrender, but General Gardner is determined to 
hold out to the last ear of corn. He* is a deserter from 
our army, and in his haste to join the rebels, did not stop 
to resign his commission, so lie may fear that his surren 
der will be followed by a deserter s death. He does us 
honor overmuch. I fear we have not yet reached so com 
mendable a severity. 

Before our army shut them in, the rebels confiscated 
much of the food of the surrounding planters.. Hearing 
that we could exchange some of our hard crackers and 
doubtful pork (we can t get all beef) for chickens and 
milk, Hulet and I visited a Mrs. Cage for that com 
mendable purpose. Her husband is in the rebel army, 
and she is blessed with forty slaves, or to use the eupho 
nious language of the South, " forty head of niggers," so 
attached to her that they will not leave her. We left our 
rations and got the coveted delicacies. That lady and 
her children ate the food we carried as greedily as our 
children eat pound-cake. I found that she did not fear.the 
Yankees, but stood in mortal terror of the black troops, 
saying that when we leave, they will murder, ravage, and 
ravish. If they should ravish, who taught them that power 
meant the right to use woman as their passions might 
dictate ? 

" He that of old did bend the oak, 
Dreamed not of the rebound." 

Pilfer the negroes do, but not more than white soldiers, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 267 

and strange that consciousness of power don t lead them 
to pilfer more. Treat them kindly, and they will quietly 
forgive the wrongs of centuries ; but any revival of 
plantation manners will rouse a devil that only blood and 
outraged beauty will appease. The negro is of a docile 
race. In my numerous conversations with them I never 
heard them threaten their former masters, and, hard as it 
may be to hear it, they behave better than the great ma 
jority of white soldiers. Punishments among them are 
far less frequent, and I have yet to hear of one instance 
of their outraging female purity. They seem to be too 
glad that they are fre*e, to harbor thoughts of vengeance. 
Slavery in Louisiana is dead, and if the masters will not 
attempt to revive it, they can live at peace with* their 
negroes ; but any attempt to re-enslave men who have 
felt the inspiration of May 27th, will arouse a fiend, be 
fore whose ravages the horrors of St. Domingo will sink 
into insignificance. 

We have several of their camps near us. They are 
neat and clean, and a visit to them pays. For the first 
time, I have seen some of the native joyousness of the 
negro cropping out, and have gazed on the first banjo. 
They are beginning to realize that they have paid for 
their freedom with their blood, and have a right to be 
happy. General Paine sent word to us that we must 
stop our singing of hymns ; why, we could not tell ; but 
General Augur, who tents near the negro camp, does not 
disturb them, and so our nights are often blessed with 
their songs of praise, as they assemble in prayer-meetings. 
More fortunate than we, they have their wives with them, 
at least, women they call their wives. Generally, the 
negro has but dim conception of the sacredness of. the 
marriage relation. If his wife is sold from him, he looks 
upon her as dead to him, and marries again. If unwilling, 
he is often forced into wedlock, for the Moloch of Slavery 
demands for his victims unbroken generations of children. 
In these times, when a voice is saying, " Overturn ! over- 



268 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

turn !" the original husband and wife sometimes meet ; 
and I have heard of cases where the second marriage not 
being a happy one, has been rectified by the parties mutu 
ally returning to their first loves. The distribution of 
the children might cause us trouble, but thvy have been 
taught that the child follows the mother, and that the 
father is merely the author of their existence. At our 
last visit to Mrs. Cage, we found the chickens had disap 
peared, and the brigade commissary had levied on her 
cows, and worse than all, her servants had caught the 
inspiration of Freedom and joined the " damned Yankees." 
I was rather disappointed, thinking that I had at last 
found a nest of them who so loved their mistress, that 
they preferred slavery to freedom. Some assert that 
negroes are not human ; certainly they have a strange 
iiack of doing what human beings do when placed in 
similar circumstances. Liberty has a charm to the poor 
serf; but liberty, in union with the flesh-pots of our com 
missaries, is irresistible. 

A few days since, the medical department treated us 
to iced claret-punch. Grumblers might have discovered 
that the claret was hardly in full proportion to the water, 
but as it w r as sweet and cold, we gratefully quenched our 
thirst with it, and hoped they would not become weary 
in well doing. We have been cleaning camp, and doing 
other work, indicative of a prolonged stay. For the first 
time since leaving Baton Rouge, we are allowed to go 
about without wearing our equipments. We have been 
enabled to recover a good many of the guns left on the 
battle-field. Our artillery and sharpshooters have kept 
the rebels away, and the boys bring the trophies in. 
Each side sends pickets out, and in that Golgotha, they 
renew the scenes of the 27th on a miniature scale. At 
first, the skirmishers came in at night ; but now they 
skirmish by day, and do picket-duty at night. A battle 
implies less exhaustion and mental anxiety than a day s 
skirmishing. They gradually creep up as near the para- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 269 

pet as possible. Outside thereof come rebel skirmishers, 
within twenty rods of them. There they lie all day, 
baked in the hot sun. If they show any part of their 
bodies, a bullet zips by them to remind them that dis 
cretion is the better part of valor. They must load on 
their back or side, and fire whenever they get a chance. 
Sometimes they put their hats on twigs and elevate them 
above the protecting stump to draw the bullets of the-ir 
opponents, and then exposing themselves to fire, learn by 
the number of balls rattling round them that they are 
watched by many pairs of fierce eyes. Strange that so 
few are hurt, and those are generally the victims of rebel 
riflemen, perched in trees ! From some of the trees you 
can see jets of smoke, but it is almost impossible to locate 
the enemy. Occasionally, a mass of something is seen 
dropping from the branches, and no more smoke springs 
from that place. Often they spend hours without daring 
to move. One poor fellow was trying to reach a good 
shelter, when the order to open fire compelled him to 
drop down where he then was, behind a small stump 
barely sufficient to hide his head. On his face, the sun 
pouring down on his spine and driving the hot blood to 
his brain, he lay all that livelong day. He dared not 
move to load or fire, or to reach his canteen or haversack. 
The " forlorn hope" was nothing to that. Lieutenant . 
Sissons, who, leaving the hospital, which was so nearly 
his death-chamber, is now here in command of Company 
E. He went out skirmishing, and on his return, from his 
neck to his hips was one solid blister, the sun having thus 
scorched him through his clothes. Battles tell but a 
small part of the dangers and discomforts of the soldier. 
After such a day, a night of picket-duty closes up the 
work of twenty-four hours. At first our skirmishers kept 
up a pretty rapid fire, but, finding that only increased 
their danger without doing execution, they now rarely 
fire unless they get a good aim. Towards night the set 
ting sun blinds our boys, and gives the rebels a fine 



270 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

chance to damage us. Sunrise reverses the position of 
affairs, and now the firing is mainly confined to those two 
seasons. You may ask, what good results from all this ? 
If it were not done, rebel aharpihooters would creep up 
and cut off our gunners. Not only is that now avoided, 
but we can keep them from setting up or manning their 
cannons. The foe put up sand-bags on the top of the 
parapets, leaving small spaces for the rifle and for sight 
ing it; and, strange as it is, in some cases our men send 
their unerring bullets right through these apertures, and 
crashing into eyes that are seeking chances to destroy 
n>. 

On the 31st ult., Colonel Paine, acting brigadier, sent 
for Captain Kennie, who is reputed a good shot, and 
asked him if he could hit a man at a distance of twenty- 
five rods. The captain said, " Yes," and they together 
climbed a tree, from which the colonel showed Rennie 
the work he had carved out for him and a squad of six 
teen picked men. It was to silence two G4-pounders on 
either side of the roads, guns which so galled us on the 
27th. Five of the men followed the captain to within 
ten rods of the parapet, and kept those guns silent the 
rest of that day. About 3 p. M., the rebels sent a small 
detachment over their breast-works to flank them, when 
they retreated safely, despite the various leaden invita 
tions to tarry, one of which saved the captain the trouble 
of carrying his cap for six feet, and affectionately severed 
a lock of his hair, as a memento of work so done as 
greatly to please the brigadier, who, from a tree, was 
watching the modus opcratuli and, on seeing the ene 
my s flank movements, felt certain that there would be a 
fresh sprinkling of blue-breeches among the butternuts 
that night. 

Exciting as are these scenes, they wear on the troops, 
and deplete our small army. Battle and sickness reduced 
our number, between the twenty-third and thirtieth of 
May, 1,000 men. Up to June 4th, we have lost by death 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 271 

and wounds 80, and by sickness 75 men. By disease and 
sun-strokes, this army loses fifty per day. War is fear 
fully expensive. To keep effective an army of half a 
million, it is necessary to recruit yearly 123,000 men, and 
to maintain 58,000 in hospitals. In view of these facts, 
and of our emaciated sick, refusing the aid of the negroes 
was almost a crime. In this department there are twelve 
whites sick to one black. 

Lieut. Kellogg (I) has been honorably discharged and 
lias left us. He sent in his resignation long before we 
commenced this campaign. Captain Train has returned 
to Baton Rouge. I wonder that he remained so long, 
suffering as he did with erysipelas. His feet and the 
lower part of his legs are one solid scab. In the absence 
of our surgeons, he not only commands the camp but is 
surgeon thereto ; no ordinary compliment for a homoeopa- 
thist to receive from an old-school medical director. I 
can but believe his system of practice would work better 
than that of the heroic school. The captain s sympa 
thetic nature would add to the efficacy of his drugs. 
Many of the sick want sympathy above every thing else. 
God pity them, as they gradually die, away from all held 
most dear ! There they lie, hearing the groans or deliri 
ous cries of their comrades, only relieved by the carrying 
away of corpse after corpse. Quite a number of our men 
have lost fingers or toes by accidental discharges of their 
own guns. Such accidents are mortifyingly frequent. 
J. Smith (E) and R. Vanderburgh (J) were wounded 
while skirmishing. 

It is said the rebels lost 280 on the 27th. That may 
explain the reason why they did not molest us as we 
carried off our wounded. M. H. Tuttle, orderly of 
Company E, led our storming party, and led it well and 
bravely. He was one of those who almost stole away 
from the hospital to do his part where brave men were 
needed. We fear that Lieutenants Sherman and Siggins 
will die, and that the Colonel cannot save his arm. Some 



272 LIFE WITH THE FOKTY-XIXTI! 

others of our wounded aiv very low. Jolmny Bryee (A) has 
had his right :irm amputated. He and Knde, ot the same 
company, were markers, whose duty it is to bear small 
flags, one of which is placed at each end of the column, 
to enable the regiment more readily to form a straight 
line. Doing that work, amid the scenes of the 27th, be 
longed to the heroic, and in doing it young Bryce lost 
his arm. His empty sleeve will long teach lessons of 
patriotism more eloquent than the finest speeches of 
those who only scent the battle from afar. 

" It tells of a battle-field of gore 
Of the sabre s clash of the cannon s roar 
Of the deadly charge of the bugle s note 
Of a gurgling sound in a foeman s throat 
Of the whixxing grape of the tiery shell 
\\iiich mimics the, scenes of hell. 
Till this very hour, would you e er believe 
"What a tell-tale tiling is an empty sleeve 
What a weird, queer thing is an empty sleeve?" 

Few poems convey so good a general idea of a fierce 
conflict as these lines of Bayard Taylor : 

" Then the rattling roll of the musketeers, 
And the muilled drums and the rallying cheers; 
And the ritles burn with a keen . 
Like tiir eraekling whips of the hemlock lire; 
And the sighing shot and the shrieking shell, 
d the splintered (ire of the shattered hell, 
And tin- givat white breaths of the cannon-smoke, 
As the growling gun- by the batteries spoke 
In syllables cropped from the thunder of God 
The throb of the cloud where the drummer-boy trod, 
And the ragged gaps in the walls of blue, 
Yv here the iron surge rolls heavily through, 
That the Colonel builds with a breath again, 
As he cleaves the din with f Close up, men ! 

11 And the groan torn out from the blackened lip, 
And the prayer doled slow with the crimson drip; 
And the beamy look in the dyin_ 
As under the cloud the >t.-irs go by ! 
But his soul marched on, the captain said, 
For the soldier in blue can never be dead ! 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 273 

And the troopers sit in their saddles all, 

As the statues carved in an ancient hall ; 

And they watch the whirl from their breathless ranks, 

And their spurs are close to the horses flanks, 

And the fingers work, of the sabre-hand 

Oh, to bid them live, and to make them grand ! 

And the bugle sounds to the charge at last, 

And away they plunge, and the front is past ; 

And the jackets blue grow red as they ride, 

And the scabbards, too, that clank by their side ; 

And the dead soldiers deaden the strokers iron-shod 

As they gallop right on o er the plashy red sod 

Right into the cloud all spectral and dim, 

Right up to the guns black-throated and grim, 

Right down on the hedges bordered with steel, 

Right through the dense columns, then Right about wheel ! 

" Hurrah ! a new swath through the harvest again ! 
Hurrah for the flag ! to the battle amen !" 

The accompanying verses, from the ready pen of 
Lieiit.-Col. Sumner, will give you an admirable descrip 
tion of the part our regiment really took in the memora 
ble battle of the 27th May. The high hopes that animated 
us on entering the field ; the reversion of feeling when 
we met, not danger and death, but obstructions that con 
vinced us we could die, not conquer ; the gloom surround 
ing the fall of our leaders ; the dauntless pressing on, 
though thus bereft ; the seeking shelter only when expo 
sure was fool-hardiness; the silent bearing aw r ay our 
comrades ; stepping over our dead ; our mingled saclness 
and pride on returning all are here portrayed as only 
could be done by one who had been an active participant 
therein : 

THE CHARGE OF THE FORTY-NINTH. 

"Forward, now, the Forty-ninth !" the General s mandate came; 
" Attention, Third Battalion !" was the Colonel s prompt exclaim; 
Now, you sons of Berkshire, your craving hour has come, 
Prove your fond fidelity to ancestry and home ! 

Straightway from the undergrowth our gallant boys upsprang; 
Rapid and sonorous the familiar accents rang : 
" Right face ! Lively ! Forward, march !" Meanwhile in each eye 
Mark the firm resolve that dareth both to do and die. 
12* 



274 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Through the tangled bushes stealthily we trend, 
While the shells are burst ing inatlly overhead; 
Now we reaeh the open, and, across the plain, 
See tlie rebel cannon >pouting leaden ruiu. 

" On the right, by iile in line !" rapidly we form ; 

" For\vard march ! guide centre !" No\v the tiery storm, 

With redoubled fury, vexes earth and sky, 

As our glorious banner greets the foeman s eye. 

Gallantly, I "-fore us, in the thrilling scene 

March the storming party, with musket and fascine; 

. their step.- they hasten . " Double-quick" now then 
Conn-f, the tug of battle; quit yourselves like men ! 

Ah, what rebel cunning had prepared the way ! 
IV lied trees, !>->, and branches, in our pathway lay ; 
Still our tlai; nives forward ! ay, and not alone, 
For our line of battle bravely holds its own. 

Q ! of mercy, help us ! Twice the murderous balls 
Strike our hero Colon- l ; ah, he reels! he falls! 
Our Lieutenant-Colonel, "Onward! onward!" crying, 
In an instant stricken, on the iield is lying ! 

Yet our boys undaunted, with their might and main 
Strive to gain the ramparts, but alas! in vain. 
From those fatal ramparts, looming still afar, 
How the foe exultant hurls the bolts of war! 

Through our ranks, where glittered bayonet-blade, 
See what deadly havoc shot and shell have made! 
Of that proud battalion, fresh-lipped mm and brave 
Scores no\v groan in anguish; some have found a grave. 

Strive no longer vainly, now that hope is past ; 
Let the logs ami pitfalls be your shield at last; 
Down, then ! Down for safety, ye who still survive ; 
Thank the God of battles, ye are yet alive. 

Softly soon the day-king sinks unto his rest, 
And the grateful twilight deepens in the west ; 
HushecKhr din of battle ; now, with footsteps fleet, 
Weary, saddened soldiers make their swift retreat. 

Lo! what scenes confront them, as they rearward tread; 
Here a comrade wounded, there a comrade dead ! 
Friends at home, and kindred, ah ! what would you say, 
Could you see your petted Forty-ninth to-day ! 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 275 

This at least, in future say, with honest pride, 
"Berkshire boys right uobly fought, and bled, and died;" 
Ever let their actions be rehearsed in story, 
And their names encircled with a wreath of glory. 

Henry Richardson (H), of Sandisfield, aged eighteen 
years, died in the hospital at Baton Rouge, of con sump, 
tion, June 9th. He was a fine steady boy, long sick, and 
has gone to his rest. 

John W. Fitzgerald (D), carriage-maker, from Barring- 
ton, aged nineteen years, died of diarrhoea in the general 
hospital at Baton Rouge on the 30th of May. He was a 
fine Irish boy, and a steady, good soldier. The main 
dependence of an aged mother, his loss will be severely 
felt. 

Company E and Sheffield lost in the death of our drum 
mer-boy, Henry L. Holmes, an excellent soldier, and a 
promising lad of nineteen years. He died at Baton 
Rouge, June 1st. One of his officers said, "He was the 
finest kind of boy." When a soldier so demeans himself 
among soldiers as to merit such an encomium, you can 
imagine how great the sorrow in that blighted home 
that gave him to God, his country, and his lonely grave. 

Henry L. Beach (H), dentist, from Lee, aged twenty- 
three, was wounded May 27th, and died at Baton Rouge, 
June 3d. He was a brave, steady, and reliable soldier, 
and an intelligent man. Among those who, unconscious 
of our experience of the past fortnight, are fondly await 
ing the return of the Forty-ninth, there are hearts to 
whom that return will bring no joy, save pride in their 
patriotic dead. To that increasing number is now added 
the young wife and child of our buried comrade. 

James Cressor (I) died of typhoid fever on the 4th 
mst., at Baton Rouge. -He was a Canadian, and enlisted 
from Pittsburg. His age was eighteen years. 

Charles Edward Platt (A) died at the general hos 
pital at Baton Rouge on the 6th inst. He was wounded 
in the leg at the recent battle. Neither he nor any of 



270 LIFE WITU THE FORTY-NINTH 

his comrades thought his wound was serious. Wlu n 
they were about to remove him from the Held, he re 
quested them to leave him and attend to others who were 
more severely injured, lie was taken to the city, and 
there died. Perchance his life might have been preserv.-!, 
had he received proper care ; but, not considering him 
self in a dangerous state, and being one of those who 
rarely complain, his wound was not dressed for some days 
after his entering the hospital. Mortification set in, and 
soon ended the career of o~he of our best boys. He was 
a son of C. B. Platt, of Pittsfield, who was opposed to 
his enlisting on the ground of his youth, being but seven 
teen years old. Large and stout for his age, he thought 
he could do the duties of a soldier, and, until that fatal 
d:iy, none did them better. His officers speak of him in 
the highest terms. Leaving a comfortable Jhome, know 
ing nothing of hardships, privations, or dangers, he went 
forth, yearning to do something to maintain the honor of 
his country, and in every sphere measured up to the 
claims of duty. Untried, he yet faltered not when came 
the order to enter the valley of death. His young heart 
may have trembled, but his firm will bore him on till the 
bullet of the foe laid him low. Bearing up against the 
temptations of the camp, bold in the fiery furnace, his 
eoldier-life Avas worthy of imitation ; but prouder, sweeter 
Ft ill his death. Always moral, yet it was reserved for 
the gloom of the hospital to witness his union with 
Christ. Teachings that had often been impressed on his 
inind then sank into his heart, and brought forth that 
faith which enables the dying lips to utter, " I have fought 
a good fight." His last words were asking a comrade to 
write to his parents, and say to them that he should meet 
them in heaven. Thus, thinking of his earthly and his 
heavenly home, he departed to his Maker. There will be 
!rep sorrow in that earthly home, but some ray of glory 
from the heavenly will gild it. Happy those parents of 
whose son it can be said, " He lived well and died a 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 277 

Christian soldier." Human hearts, though throbbing in 
sorrow, will sweetly remember that 

" The golden bells of the city of God 
Have rung his welcome in." 

Godfrey Wolfinger (K) died of typhoid fever at 
Baton Rouge on the 8th instant. He was a farmer boy 
from Stockbridge, aged eighteen years. A fine boy he 
was, and a good soldier. Poor dear fellow ! How he 
yearned to participate in the dangers of- this campaign ! 
Begging so hard, he received permission to start with us, 
but soon had to return. Truly, his zeal was greater than 
his strength. The brave-hearted lad fought his last battle 
amid the dreariness and loneliness of the hospital, and 
after " life s fitful fever, sleeps well." All honor to the 
noble soul that craved no higher boon than to fall fighting 
in the thickest of the strife, for the honor of the dear old 
flag to yield up his life. God accepted the unaccomplish 
ed heroism, and among the "fallen brave" of the Forty- 
ninth, we write high up the name of Godfrey Wolfinger. 
Frederick Belcher (B), a Ne\v Ashford farmer, was a 
steady man, and a brave, reliable soldier. On the 27th he 
was wounded in the leg, and recovering from that, was at 
tacked with diphtheria, which caused his death, June 10th, 
in the 21st year of his age. He leaves a brother in the 
same company, to go home without the Benjamin of the 
household, and to hear one of the saddest lefrains of this 
war : " If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved." 



278 LIFE WITH TlIE FOKTV-MM IJ 



LETTER XXX. 

BEFORE PORT HUDSON, LA., June 15, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

We yet cull this, our old camp, home, though the regi 
ment is here but a small portion of the time, having for 
several days lived in and about rifle-pits a life more no\vl 
than pleasant. Familiarity breeds contempt of rebels, and 
whereas we used to stay in the pits the greater part of 
the time, crouching down behind the earthwork, now we 
wander about as if almost unconscious that behind the 
parapet we can see so plainly, and within easy rifle range 
there are thousands of lurking foes. Occasionally, a few 
bullets whiz past us, and we look around to see if any 
one is hit ; and if all are safe, seem about as unconcerned 
n< if we were in the old Bay State. We fire but little, 
for the enemy rarely gives us a chance to make our shots 
tell ; and Yankees count the cost, even where Uncle Sam 
foots the bill. Our food is cooked in the rear, and 
brought to us by cooks and by the musicians, whose oc 
cupation now being gone, thus render themselves useful. 
Bailey, cook of Co. I), thought he would carry out the 
breakfast a few mornings since, and was administering 
allopathic doses of strong coffee, when a spent bullet hit 
ting P. Devanny, of that company, in the shoulder, as 
sured him that if cooking was less heroic than soldiering, 
it was certainly safer. Our rifle-pits, being well shaded, 
are not very uncomfortable in dry weather ; but as the 
fashion is now to have a shower nearly every evening, 
the foot or eighteen inches of water that collect therein, 
make our beds resemble feathers .only in the quality of 
softness. The second night on taking possession of these 
pits, we slept in them, defiant of their muddy condition. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLTJNTEEKS. 279 

The night before we kept awake, and tried to do so that 
night, but sleep conquered our aversion to water and mud, 
and resting our backs against one side, and propping with 
our feet against the other, we sought the balmy restorer 
under peculiar difficulties. We could maintain our po 
sitions a while, but when Morpheus got the mastery, down 
we would flap into the water, our own discomfort, and 
the strong language of our disturbed comrades, assuring 
us that dreams were false, if they had conveyed us to the 
chambers of Berkshire. Towards morning, it little mat 
tered whether we were lying in OK out of the water, so 
we got some sleep. With my usual good fortune, I se 
cured a bed on the roots of a tree, with only one foot in 
the water ; and if the old tempter, in seducing our grand 
mother Eve, had but given to her posterity his own ver- 
tebra3, 1 could have wound myself around those roots, 
and passed a pleasant night. Sleep some I did, and 
though the huge 32-pounders, not fifty feet distant, 
sounded the alarm every fifteen minutes, I heard but two 
or three of them. About daybreak, you could see the 
moist, dirty soldiers rising up, and with some grumbling, 
labor to get the kinks out of their aching bodies. The 
light thickened, and the coffee came, and soon cheerful 
ness reigned again. Since then, we put down our rubber- 
blankets (life-preservers, they may well be called) on the in 
side margin of the pits ; and though conscious that a 
shower of bullets or of grape would acquaint some of 
us with that sleep that knows no waking, we rest in all 
the luxury of expansion. " Head-quarters" used to mean 
a fine tent and a pacing sentinel. Now, it brings up 
before the mind an elevated bed of rails (a long bed it 
is, for the "tall major" is the presiding genius), thinly 
covered with some rubbish, and an awning of two pieces 
of a shelter-tent. There the major and adjutant enjoy 
their otium cum dignitate, with the help of the rebel 
weed, which they burn so assiduously as to lead us to 
imagine that their earnest Union hearts yearned to de- 



280 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-XINTH 

stroy one of the great staples of the South, almost forget 
ting that it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of 
tw> dollars per pound. Living in such a conspicuous 
place, I should not be surprised to hear that their home 
had been entered by seeesh bullets, and w, as a regimcnti 
igned to the tender mercies of Senior Captain Weller. 
I do not disparage that officer, for a braver, and better, 
and kinder, we have not, nor one that could handle the 
regiment so well ; but as the major is in command, and 
doing finely, I want him to have the honor of leading us 
to a glorious termination of this campaign, and a success 
ful raid on Berkshire. Bartlett used to endure torture 
wearing that cork leg day after day (he put it on much 
too soon), torture which an iron man only would endure. 
I know not how he would get along here, and the reserve 
we always felt in his presence might become oppressive, 
as we would necessarily be in that presence all the time. 
I never saw him meet an occasion without adapting him 
self to it, and I fancy we would like him as well in the 
pits as in camp or battle, though, I presume, there would 
be fewer loungers about head-quarters. The major shows 
good sense in maintaining the dignity of his office without 
trying to imitate that of the colonel. David in Saul s ar 
mor never pleased himself or others. 

Sutlers have followed us to the front, and at fabulous 
prices supply us with tobacco, ginger-bread, cheese, and 
other articles considered superfluous by our providers. 
They are well patronized. This is neither time nor place 
for economy. We are often regaled with fresh beef, of 
the quantity of which I can speak more favorably than of 
the quality. You can judge somewhat of the pleasure of 
living in this climate : a few days since, a squad killed 
some cattle, and in less than two hours the meat was so 
ily-blown that we could not use it. For the lirst time in 
our history, we have had wormy bread. Knocking worms 
out before eating, enlarges our experience more than our 
comfort. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 281 

Some of our nights have been grand. I know nothing 
more fascinating than lying in these grand woods in the 
moonlight. It makes one shudder to think of a future of 
roofed chambers : and it will be some time before we can 
be reconciled to the effeminacy of feather-beds. Our ex 
perience will enable us to dispense home hospitality on a 
larger scale, by giving to the guest (if sexes agree) our 
unnecessary bed, and retiring to what we would now 
consider luxurious accommodations, a pillow on a carpeted 
floor. We are generally rocked to sleep by the music of 
artillery, and the other night heaven and earth joined in 
the concert of awful sounds. The long peals of thunder 
mingled with the roar of cannon, and the flashing of ar 
tillery blended with the dull, continuous lightning. Often 
we could not tell Avhich was the voice of God and which 
the voice of man. At times, we would hear the report 
of one of the mammoth guns of the fleet ; then the heavy, 
rumbling thunder would unite with that noise, and again 
the roar of cannon, followed quickly by another peal from 
on high, would keep up an unbroken but awful harmony. 
Occasionally, the lightning would flash vividly as at home, 
and the thunder gather into a fearful crash, revealing the 
pettiness of man, as if from heaven were sounded, 
" Power belongeth unto God." It was a time of solem 
nity, of awe. The shells shrieked and burst, and the 
great mortars moaned and groaned as if the soul of Free 
dom was travailing in agonizing desire to reach the heart 
of Slavery. All night long the mingled storm continued, 
waxing yet more fearful, till morning, ushering in the 
light and quietness, was a grateful relief. Tis worth a 
few months separation from home, to enjoy some of our 
experiences. 

Our straw hats were found to be too conspicuous 
marks, so we have had to return to caps, which leave the 
back of the head all exposed to the rays of the sun. Re 
cently, a major was shot by our own pickets. He passed 
out the line at one place, and was about returning through 



282 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

at another place, without halting to give the countersign, 
perchance thinking it was the beat he had passed through 
iirst, when a sentinel killed him. In one of my wood 
rambles, I got lost, and the remembrance of that incident 
made me more fearful of friends than I have ever been 
of foes. " Shot by mistake" is a poor epitaph for a sol 
dier s tomb. 

The enemy lose nearly fifty per day by desertion. 
Eighteen stationed at an outpost, killed their officer and 
esc.iped to our lines. Some found their way to the works 
manned by the negroes; and though the rebel brutality 
of the 27th was still fresh in their minds, were treated 
by them with great kindness. We greet these deserters. 
They may be scaly patriots, but each counts one less 
rifle to march up against. 

I give you a little incident to illustrate the honor of 
the position of color-sergeant, and the pride we take in 
our colors. Major Burt, of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
ninth New York, led four hundred men in a desperate 
charge, but met a cross-fire so fearful, that almost in the 
twinkling of an eye, one hundred were laid low, and the 
i\ .-\ had to fall back. The color-bearer had planted the 

: on the ramparts before he was slain, so it was left 
behind. A corporal dashed forward, seized the sacred 
emblem, and was bearing it away, when a bullet through 
his heart stopped his career. The major himself then 
we-it for it and came oil with it in safety, leaving a part 
of the staff sticking in the ground, where the brave bearer 
had placed it. You must be a soldier before you can 
really sing " Rally round the flag ! boys." Oh ! tis 
grand thus to rally, and at the same time " Ring out the 
battle-cry of Freedom." 

This has been an eventful week tons. Another assault 
was decided on. It is again said, Banks adopts this plan 
iigainst the advice of all his generals. He looks like a 
man of much self-reliance. Such men may, by trusting 
to their own judgments, commit mistakes, but they 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 283 

generally get through. Through we must get, and that 
soon, for rebel attacks in our rear are becoming annoy- 
ingly frequent, and increasingly alarming. A fe\v days 
since they captured over fifty of our teams. They waited 
till we had substituted nice army- wagons for our lumber 
ing plantation carts. Almost under General Grover s 
nose, they seized an ambulance with its load of sick. 
The fact that the time of service of several of the regi 
ments has almost expired, suggests haste. Persuasion 
and threat inay keep them in the ranks after that time, 
but their efficiency will be materially lessened. Last 
Monday, lots were drawn for fascine-bearers. That time 
the fascines were cotton-bags about three feet long, which 
could be carried as shields. No chance was offered for 
volunteering. Captain Chaffee was appointed to lead 
them. I had made up my mind to accompany them. A- 
bridge-party was also formed, whose duty it is to bridge 
a way over the ditch for the artillery ; then the pioneers, 
under Captain Garlick, are to dig down the parapet, that 
we may run our guns inside. Inside! what that means, 
we know not. Once inside, and we may find stronger 
works and graves. "Do or die" seems to be Banks s 
motto. Daily the bridge-party practise forming and 
laying down the bridge, all the timbers being nicely ad 
justed together; and daily also Garlick drills his pioneers. 
I suppose hundreds of skirmishers will be sent out to 
keep the walls clear while these forlorn hopes do their 
work. That will lessen their danger, but they have an 
appalling task before them. Though they did not volun 
teer, and doubtlessly hope that this cup, ay, this cup of 
trembling, may pass_from them, yet there are no signs of 
flinching. God bless the dear fellows ! I never knew 
my courage fail me when the hour came, but welcome a 
dozen assaults rather than those fearful days of waiting 
and suspense. Some one has said 

" The brave man dies but once : 
The coward dies a thousand deaths in fearing one." 



284 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

< <>d poetry, only it is lacking in truth. The brave man 
is he who trill do his duty, though before and in doing 
it he may suffer the mental pangs of a thousand deaths. 
I wish Berkshire, knowing the work before them, could 
see these men, her sons ; and if pride and tears did not 
mingle together, she would be unworthy of them. I 
often visit them, and as I notice their quiet manner, their 
calm blue eyes, their undaunted deportment, I am glad I 
belong to the same regiment. Whether by accident, or 
thinking them inconsistent with the solemnities of battle- 
life, cards have been left behind, but few failed to bring 
their pocket-Testaments ; and I frequently saw some 01 
them reading the inspiring truths, and knew they were 
gathering "more than earthly courage for a heavenly 
duty. I take back my wish that Berkshire could see 
these men. Ere this, there is enough soul-wearing 
anxiety there. Hearts are sorrowing for their distant 
dead, or suffering with their unwatched wounded, or 
asking for news of their perilled living ones, trying to 
hope for the best, yet fearing the worst, and we mourn 
with the bereaved and sympathize with the anxiety of 
those who are as yet only affected in imagination. Weary 
weeks will roll away before we leave the presence of 
danger, and yet more weeks before homes are gladdened 
with the assurance of the safety of our remnant. Know 
ing this, I cannot wish that the mothers and wives of 
these men should daily pass them as they wait the dread 
moment ; but I would like the many, who could not 
afford to serve their country, to see what their privileges 
cost. 

Last Thursday night, earth-works were to be thrown 
up and rifle-pits dug, that Holcomb s battery could be 
located within forty rods of the foe. A large detail from 
our regiment was to do the work. Roll cotton-bales over 
ground almost covered with felled trees and limbs, in the 
face of a foe, and you may be excused if you often think 
and tremble at the probable consequences of a few dis- 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 285 

charges of grape, canister, railroad iron, screw-heads, 
nails, and such other articles as the rebels draw from 
their armory of death. Those bales were to be our only 
protection. Thinking that any help might not be unac 
ceptable, I went down to the rifle-pit to join the detail. 
We waited the order to move, the night was very dark 
and gloomy, and we were far from jubilant. One fine 
soldier, an Irishman, gave vent to his apprehensions by 
damning the niggers, and denouncing the whole contest 
as a " nigger war." The words had scarcely left his lips 
when Captain Chaffee came to tell us we were excused 
from the duty, Colonel Hodges s (negro) engineers having 
volunteered for the task. Well, there was no more 
" damning the niggers" that night, and I guess that good 
Irishman was instantaneously converted to abolitionism. 
From more than one heart came the fervent " God bless 
the negroes !" and the resolve to nobly fight that every 
one of the race may look upon our flag as the emblem 
of their freedom. The night passed on ; we, so much 
farther from those engineers than the rebels, could hear 
their voices and the noise of their spades, sftid momentarily 
expected the sound that would tell that for us they had 
worked and died. But not a shot broke the stillness. 

In the darkness of the following evening we started to 
occupy the works they had erected. We were told to 
maintain the strictest silence, so we walked as if on eggs, 
and with suppressed breath. Nothing will make a man 
feel quite so timid as to be among hundreds marching in 
the dark up to loaded guns, treading as softly as if you 
know you are doing wrong, and whispering out your ap 
prehensions to your comrade. I was placed in the rear 
rank, and was glad of it, and half scanned the size of the 
man before me to be assured that I was safe till he fell ; 
and then, then we quickened our pace and began to speak 
a little louder, and the tremor was over. Tis said a rapid 
walk, on a frosty morning, will clear up the evidence of 
a doubting Christian ; I know it will bring out the courage 



2S6 LIFE wrm THE FORTT-XI 

of the wavering soldier. We reached some cotton-bags, 
and then rested till the Major led us to onr places, 
t\vo companies at a time. So near the foe, we lingered 
our pits pretty closely that night, but again the rebels 
gave no signs of life. This was the first really forward 
move we had made since the command of the regiment 
devolved on the Major, and he was determined we should 
not be surprised and his own name sullied ; so he spent 
the night in the road, considerably in advance of our line 
of earthworks. I laid me down to sleep behind a stump, 
and woke up to find that my bed-fellow was a stalwart 
darkey. Prejudices arc often stronger than principles, 
and though I was willing to./?////?, that under our flag all 
(negroes included) should enjoy the rights of humanity, 
I had hardly advanced far enough towards miscegenation, 
to sleep with u God s image carved in ebony." Involun 
tarily, I gave my blanket an extra shake that morning. 
He was white when I laid down there; of that I am quite 
sure; the origin of the first negro is only less of a puzzle 
than how my sleeping with him converted him into an 
unmistakable darkey. 

Not caring to spend the day idly basking in a summer 
sun, I returned to the camp in morning, meeting hundreds 
of negroes carrying shells and kegs of powder in full view 
of the enemy, who seemed to care no more fort-hem and 
their hostile preparations than an elephant for a fly. The 
cooks and musicians were bringing out our food. Carry 
ing the blessings of this life, over an almost open field, to 
within a few hundred yards of thousands of angry 
weapons, is acting the Good Samaritan to some purpose, 
and is not a bad school for volunteers of future forlorn 
hopes. 

About eleven A. M., of the 13th inst., nearly all our bat 
teries opened on the enemy, and for an hour there was an 
almost uninterrupted roar of artillery, as we gave rebel 
doin a specimen of every kind of death-dealing missile. 
Then General Banks sent in a flag of truce, demanding 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 287 

the surrender of the place, which looked to us like boys 
play. Every shot is a summons to surrender, and \itJ\ey 
do not bring out the white flag, certainly a verbal demand 
will not. Perchance, the bombardment and flag of truce 
were merely intended to give deserters a chance to 
escape, for soon after several hundreds came into our 
lines. General Gardner said duty required him to defend 
the place. Though the morrow was the Sabbath day, 
we knew that truth would then be preached with cannon 
and impressed with bayonets, and attended with s-uch 
sacrificial blood as will ^bring the Mount of Ascension 
nearer to Calvary. The afternoon was occupied with pre 
paring for the assault. Night came, making no alteration 
in the affairs of our regiment ; so we concluded that the 
troops of the centre were to be idle spectators of the en 
gagement, or kept back as reserves ; but about midnight 
we were called into line, and knew that our Sabbath 
meant blood, and wounds, and death. After breakfast, 
the surgeon sent a ration of whiskey, but he had been 
anticipated. I reached the regiment about~one A. M., and 
found a man urging the boys to fill their canteens with 
liquor, they having drunk what they thought necessary. 
I knew that on comparatively empty stomachs much 
whiskey would produce drunkenness, so I told him the 
men had enough and he had better leave. Perchance, he 
thought I was an officer, for he left, but soon returned, 
saying the surgeon had sent him back to get rid of the 
rest of his stock. Most of our boys refused to take any 
more, and I did not hear of half a dozen who were in any 
wise intoxicated. The Second Louisiana were nearly all 
drunk. We found that out afterwards to our sorrow. 

In excellent order the Major placed us very much nearer 
the fort than we had ever been before. Some companies 
had no protection save a few bushes. The rebels were so 
quiet, so seemingly unconscious of our presence, that then 
we could have laid the bridge, crossed the ditch, and in 
comparative safety the pioneers might have made a 



288 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

breach in the parapet, I say in " comparative safety," 
for earthworks are so built that an enfilading fire will 
sweep the ditches, as some men found to their cost, four 
teen having gotten in in one place, of whom only three 
came out alive. I located myself behind a stump, with 
others, but the ^lajor thought it was not far enough front, 
so we made an advance, glad to do so, for that stump was 
in exact range of our thirty-two pounders, which went 
less than three feet over our heads. Considering that 
shells often fall short or burst before their time, some 
other locality was preferable. With the .Major and some 
of Company II, I rested behind a felled tree. It was a 
mammoth one, but unfortunately, it had a mammoth bend 
in it, and the rebels had so laid it that the bend gracefully 
curved upwards, leaving the lower parts of our body about 
as well protected as if we had sought shelter behind a 
ladder. An unexploded shell, weighing over a hundred 
pounds, had ceased its labors right under this bend. 
With it and some brush, we closed up the aperture, so 
that, we were impervious to the eyes but not to the bullets 
of the foe. A signal-rocket went up from the right, the 
Major discharged his pistol, and then we all began to fire 
as rapidly as possible. It was too dark to see the para 
pet, but understanding that our move was only a feint, 
to confuse the enemy while the real attack was being 
made right and left, we scattered our cartridges with a 
p /rl ert looseness. This was about three o*elcok in the 
morning, and we kept up quite a continuous fire for four 
or five hours. Some ten minutes elapsed before we were 
answered, and then in a manner that convinced us that 
they knew -ire were only feigning. Bullets rattled round 
us in sufficient numbers and with such accuracy as to send 
poor Parker (C) to his long home, to wound others, and 
to disagreeably bring up the contrast between that and 
the quietness of a Xew England Sabbath. As we lay there, 
we learned that no exciting work was before its ; but rapid 
musketry and wild cheering on the riijit told us that 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 289 

there the valor of the 27th was being repeated. Alas ! 
again in vain. Were it not for the occasional bullets that 
ibund their way under our tree, we would have felt quite 
safe, had we not been alarmed by a fire from our rear. 
We had been at work several hours, when, with a cry of 
"Forward!" some of the Second Louisiana came up, 
leaving the great majority of their drunken comrades 
fifteen or twenty rods behind. As their bullets would 
come unpleasantly near, we would raise the shout, " Fire 
higher!" and that shout was carried all along the front. 
The miserable fellows thought, in their drunken valor, 
that they were the nearest regiment to the foe, or caring- 
little and seeing no chance to hit rebels, concluded to do 
some kind of execution. Who gave them liquor so freely 
is answerable for the killing and wounding of many loyal 
soldiers. So imminent was the danger from their guns, 
that it became a questionable matter which, was the safer 
side of the logs. 

A shell, we thought from one of our gunboats, bursted 
over our heads. There was a sudden bringing of 
limbs into the smallest compass possible. The second, 
elapsing between the bursting of a shell and the falling 
of its fragments, with the mental inquiry, " Who will be 
hit ? will If n is far from pleasurable. The emotions of 
the battle-field are peculiar and varying. Seeing that 
young Thompson (H), who had gone gallantly through 
the scenes of the 27th, did not fire for some time after 
the order, I asked him the reason. He said, " Oh ! I am 
too frightened." I advised him to pitch in, and in a few 
minutes he was as free from fear as any of us. To his 
left was N". Taylor (II), one of our best and bravest ; yet, 
every time a shot passed by him, he would start and 
shrink, whether it came from friend or foe. We tried to 
reform him, but it was no use, his nerves were more 
powerful than his will ; yet he kept steadily to work. 
He may have started just so in the fierce battle of last 
month, but the Christian determination to do his duty 
13 



290 LIFE WITH THE 

bore him onward despite shrinking nerves. Such men 
are tne really brave. While lying there, a white rabbit 
sought shelter under our tree, and gazed at us with his 
brown eyes in the most beseeching manner. 

I have no incident8 of peculiar heroism to record. We 
did what we were ordered to do, nothing more, nothing 
less. Bach, our color-sergeant, in carrying messages to 
different parts of the field, and some who brought car 
tridge-boxes to us, had better opportunities of showing 
their disregard for danger than any others, and they did 
so. Let me assure you that roaming over such a field, at 
such a time, is not the pleasantest work you can imagine. 
You run from stump to stump, followed by bullets, not 
knowing when you will be hit ; or you go through brush 
that balls regard no more than paper. We started with 
eighty rounds of cartridges to each man, and some con 
sumed, irasted, I might say, over a hundred. Having 
fired twenty times, I became economical and rested. 
While using that number, my gun got so foul that I had 
to stop and clean it. Lying there, we became connois 
seurs of bullets. A partially- spent ball passes by you 
with a sound like the buzzing of a mad bee, while one in 
full speed says, "Zip!" Some of our shells would strike 
the parapet, and exploding, send fragments back to 
wound us. If a shell bursts after it stops, it scatters the 
iron hail all around ; but if, in consequence of the fuse 
being too short, it bursts right over your head soon after 
leaving the gun, you will be unscathed, for the momen 
tum of the ball, inhering to all its particles, will carry the 
fragments far ahead of you. Grape and canister are the 
most deadly of all the munitions of war. They are fired 
from guns of almost every calibre. Grape-shot, varying 
in size from two ounces to two pounds each, are put up, 
about a dozen together, in an iron wire, which, bursting by 
the force of the powder, scatters them in every direction. 
Canister shot is made of tin canisters, holding from a 
pint to half a peck, filled with bullets. When the gun 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 291 

is fired, these canisters burst, sending their contents 
about like a fiery spray. 

The most unpleasant part of the 14th of June was the 
fierce heat. It was one of our sultriest days, a day, too, 
without a cloud. By 7 A. M., the sun scorched us, and we 
had to shade the barrel of our guns to keep them from 
becoming too hot to handle. There we lay, right gn the 
ground, wbere we could not get a breath of air, the sun, 
all the time, drawing the blood to our brains. I thought 
I would go crazy. With my gun and ramrod and blouse, 
I made an awning which added to our comfort ; but the 
rebel riflemen in the trees seeing us, and perchance think 
ing it was designed for the benefit of some officer, paid 
us so many leaden compliments, that I had to pull it 
down.- I bore it till about noon, and could bear it no 
longer ; so, thinking " a living dog is better than a dead 
lion," I started for the shade. The firing had greatly 
ceased, being devoted only to those who exposed them 
selves. I ran in a zigzag course, to divert the aim of those 
friends who were forcibly urging me to stay on the field, 
to the nearest tree or stump, and then down I would fall. 
I suppose my erratic movements attracted some attention, 
for as I dropped behind one stump, a ball entered on the 
ground on either side of me. I got so weak in getting 
up and down, that my strength was failing me, so I bid 
farewell to all dodging and stumps, and struck a bee-line 
for the woods, almost careless whether I was hit or not. 
I reached the edge of the woods and threw myself down 
and slept, how long I know not, but when I woke, as 
fresh as a lark, the sun was away in the west, broiling 
down on me. About a week before the fight, and in an 
ticipation thereof, I got half a pint of poor whiskey. It 
was on hand that Sunday. Before starting to run back, 
I drank it all, and that, I believe, saved me from sun 
stroke. 

About dark, the regiment returned to their rifle-pits, 
and tired men were sent out on the field as pickets. It 



292 LIFE WITH THE FOIITY-XIVTII 

was a day of fearful slaughter, poorly recompensed by 
tlic. few rods we gained. History records no grander 
lighting than was witne>s<.-d on our right. The 31st Mas 
sachusetts iilh d part of the ditch with their cotton- 
bags, and some unstrapped their guns from their backs, 
crossed, and mounted the parapets. There they found 
two lines of earth-works, so ranged that certain death was 
the reward of that valor that mounted the outer walls. 
Three small companies of the 8th Vermont lost fifty-eight 
men by one volley; 338 were cut down of Weitzel s 
brigade. It is thought that the loss of the right wing is 
nqj less than 1,500. It was an awful day, relieved only 
by the grand heroism of the sons of New York and New 
England. Some of our be-st blood has saturated this 
^l<ti/</ht<:Ss field. General Paine was severely wounded and 
lay all the day exposed to the fearful fire. J. Y. Woods, 
Company E, 31st Massachusetts, got a bottle of cordial 
and carried it to, the General, but unfortunately, lie did 
not throw it near enough for him to reach it. Getting 
some lemons and water, he tried to return, but within 
five feet of his commander, he rolled over and never 
moved again. John Williams, Company D, 31st Massa 
chusetts, also went to the relief with lemons and water, 
but never returned. A 4th Wisoon>in man fell in an ex 
posed place, and a sharpshooter fired at him once or twice 
afterwards, when a Connecticut boy crawled after him, 
took him on his back, and carried him safely to a place 
where the stretcher-bearers could reach him. War is 
horrid, but not altogether in vain when it shows to us 
what noble qualities lie dormant in human nature. Rep 
resentatives of the Christian and Sanitary Commission 
are here, doing all that men can do for the souls and 
bodies of the suffering. 

I hardly think our surgeons keep near enough to us. 
That evening we went to support Holcomb s battery, a 
poor fellow was left all alone in the delirium of fever, 
and was not found till next day. He had been kept at 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLTJXTEEKS. 293 

work too long. I pity the surgeons. Fallible men, they 
have to decide who are really sick, and who are shirking ; 
and they make mistakes, and receive many curses not their 
due. Dr. Winsor is not as popular as he deserves to be. 
Many of his own dollars has he expended for the comfort 
of the sick, but his apparent coldness of nature does not 
allow him to minister that sympathy of manner which 
attracts men s hearts more than gifts. Were there no 
shirkers, he would be more popular. His earnest love 
for the cause, and his conscientious desire to give to that 
cause every man capable of advancing it, may lead him 
to remand to duty those who should be excused. God 
have mercy on them who thus throw their burdens on 
weak and failing comrades ! They may carry whole car 
casses back to Berkshire, but for all the good they will 
ever do, they might just as well rot and die in one of 
these ditches. It seems to me, if manhood has not died 
out,, the sound of battle would bring before them visions 
of brothers dying whom they might save, that would 
crowd their future days and nights with unavailing re 
morse. 

I send you a list of our casualties on the 14th inst., 
being one killed and seventeen wounded : 

Company A M. F. Dailey, hand, slightly ; T. Kair- 
don, hand, slightly. 

Company B E. M. Martin, shoulder ; I. Nourse, leg. 

Company C Killed : T. F. Parker. Wounded: W. 
E. Loomis, hand, slightly ; J. E. Downs, hand, slightly. 

Company D H. C. Winters, arm and chin ; P. Devan- 
ny, shoulder. 

Company E W. Amstead, hand, slightly ; A. E. Fer 
ry, finger, amputated. 

Company F J. B. Downs, shoulder and chin, slightly. 

Company I Lieutenant W. E. Nichols, ankle ; E. 
McDonald, finger, amputated ; G. L. Geer, hand, slightly ; 
C. E. Wink, hand, slightly ; H. Vosburgh, hip, slightly. 

Company K D. Funk, head and shoulder. 



294 LIFE WITH THE FOETY-NINTII 

Thcron F. Parker (C), aged nineteen years, was one 
of our nicest farmer boys from Lenox, and an excellent, 
quiet, reliable soldier. lie was shot in the head, while 
in the act of firing, and must have died immediately. lie 
remained in that kneeling position some time after his 
death. His company was so far advanced, that they had 
no shelter but bushes. A good boy ; we miss him : a 
brave boy; his loss is a nation s loss, and his country s 
glory gilds his lonely grave. 

Nrm>m JfoHenltPck (E), aged twenty-one years, died 
at Baton Rouge, June 12th. He was a young farmer 
from Egremont. A good soldier, in young manhood, has 
gone to his grave ; and far oft*, in Massachusetts, a wid 
ows! mother yearns for the boy she is no more to see. 

Chrixtn] >/,,,< tthn ( (des (E) also died June 12th, in the 
hospital at Baton Rouge. lie was a Ne \\--Marlboro far 
mer and a nice man, but had not strength to endure the 
exposure of a soldier s life. Consumption ended his life 
in his twenty-sixth year. Of many, I have but little to 
say ; for young men, if quiet and moral, go through life, 
.attracting but little attention. You know they quietly 
did life s duties, and that is all. Their many private ex 
cellencies are known mainly to loved ones, who mourn 
them proudly. Of our comrade, all I know is, he was 
much esteemed, and closed a steady life on the battle 
field of the hospital, and that he is mourned for, not only 
by his brother, who is with us, but also by the members 
of his company. 

David 8. ./>//.<* (K) was a farmer from Florida, aged 
twenty-four years. He was wounded in the battle of the 
27th, and taken to Baton Rouge, where he died on tho 
13th inst. He was a steady, quiet, kind man, and where 
courage was needed, proved himself a reliable soldier. 
He leaves a family to mourn for him while they remem 
ber the glory and the grief of a day that brought dark 
ness to so many Xe\v Kn-rland homes. 

Lieutenant Isaac Eugene Judd is dead. The sad news 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 295 

reached us on Saturday night, illy fitting us for the stern 
duties of the morrow. Sadness settled on every heart, 
for we loved and were proud of him. I have seen no 
profounder sorrow than was caused among us by the mel 
ancholy intelligence. In the charge of the 27th, he was 
wounded in the groin, in front, just at the joint of the 
thigh. The doctor said that the bullet narrowly missed 
the femoral artery, and that had it gone an inch to one 
side of it to where it did, he would have bled to death 
instantly. We all thought at that time, with him, that 
the wound was not serious ; and on being brought from 
the field, he answered, when asked if he was badly hurt, 
" Not so badly but that I shall get another lick at them 
yet." His true soldier-nature thought more about win 
ning the victory than about himself. The wound was in 
the nature of a slit, causing the surgeon to think the bail 
might have N droppeH out. If it remained in his body, it 
would not hurt him for a while, perchance never ; and as 
the wound was so near the main artery, probing was not 
deemed advisable. Two days after the battle, he was 
removed to the hospital at Baton Rouge, and there, with 
other officers, received the most excellent care and atten 
tion. The doctors and nurses took a special interest in 
his welfare, as if conscious his was no ordinary life. Some 
tme of Co. K was nearly always in attendance on him ; 
so in hope and cheerfulness, he passed the days till, on 
the 10th of June, the wound started to bleed, and he had 
spasms of pain at intervals of about five minutes. The 
doctor would stop the bleeding for the time being, but he 
grew no better, and it became evident the artery was 
ruptured by the process of suppuration of the wound. 
At last, he told the surgeon he wanted the wound exam 
ined and something done, as matters could not be worse, 
and might be bettered; besides, the spasms of pain were 
becoming very agonizing. On the 12th inst., the medi 
cal director of this department, an eminently skilful sur 
geon, extracted the ball and tied up the artery, the lieu- 



29G LIFE wnn THE FORTY-XIXTH 

tenant being under the influence of chloroform and ether. 
It was the only chance of saving hi* life, and a doubtful 
one at best. He may have realized his condition, but 
; nothing about it. As late as one o clock, lie was 
quiet, and his voice clear and strong, but towards night 
the fatal hour came. As was feared, the artery burst. 
The doctor delayed the approach of death, by keeping 
his thumb pressed on the artery; but very soonhe breathed 
his last, calmly and peacefully. His brother-officers, to 
whom he was endeared by the associations of private 
life, of the camp, of the battle-field, and of the hospital, 
gathered round his death-bed. With brave men, he had 
bravely fought ; it was fitting that brave men should go 
with him as far as possible into the dark valley. His last 
words were, " Doctor, I can t see." 

Lieutenant Kellogg, who was going home, was imme 
diately apprised, of his death by telegraph. He replied, 
" Send the body down to Xew Orleans." That was im 
possible, for there was no boat, and no metallic case or 
suitable coffin could be had. The surgeons allowed the 
body to be kept as long as possible, but it changed so rap 
idly, that he was buried the next day in the cemetery at 
Raton Rouge. At sunset of June 13th, Lieutenant Judd 
sank to his rest, while on the Ik-Id of his young renown, 
graves were yawning for fresh victims. 

" I am weary pining ; 
Brothers red with brothers gore ; 
Only that the wrong we re righting, 
Truth and honor s battle fighting, 
I would draw my sword no more." 

It is " truth and honor s battle" we are fighting. Only 
this assurance enables us to yield up such lives, and feel 
that even this cost is not too groat, if only thus God s 
truth can be maintained. Because the cause is so much 
more sacred than this life, ay, than a hecatomb of such 
lives, we put away our dead in silence, and gird ourselves 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 297 

to follow his brilliant example, though it leads us to kin 
dred graves. " Doctor, I can t see," said our dying com 
rade. We trust that now, in the purer light of eternity, 
at the touch of the heavenly Physician, he can clearly 
recognize that his death was not in vain. We thank God 

O 

that battle strikes down not alone the unworthy, but also 
those o er whom we weep bitter tears, so that the pro 
foundest hopes of our country become as enduring as the 
profoundest sorrows of our hearts. Martyrs blood is 
holy seed, from which springs up a posterity careless of 
death, if only they may tread the path rendered glorious 
by their ancestors deeds. Around the tombs that crowd 
the cemetery at Baton Rouge, some of the holiest associ 
ations of our nation gather ; and at the grave of the gal 
lant and much-loved Judd we drink such draughts of 
patriotism, albeit intermingled is the fennel s bitter leaf, 
that our moral vision is cleared ; and we no longer say, 
" Doctor, I can t see," but as in a vision of light, we see 
the Genius of Liberty, her " garments rolled in blood," 
leading America through seas of gore and over moun 
tains of slain, to the promised land ; the breezes of which 
unfurl a banner, whose stars, hiding its stripes, reflect the 
glory of that God who is now training us to " proclaim 
liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants 
thereof." Noble, gifted comrade ! he has not died in 
vain, nor prematurely. His young life counts more for 
God and humanity than scores of those who are ignobly 
deaf to a country s call, though they may fill up the full 
measure of their years. The warrior sleeps well, having 
by noble deeds done something to right great wrongs, 
and to prepare a nation to fulfil the grandest mission ever 
intrusted to any people. 

" I can t see !" Yes, there* are hearts in Berkshire 
which will take up that dying cry. For a while they 
will not be able to see why their only boy should fall in 
manly prime. A father s pride will struggle hard to get 
the mastery over his sorrow and loneliness, while the 



298 LIF.E WITH THE FORTY-MMII 

aching heart of a mother, like Rachel, " may refuse to be 
comforted because her children arc not." A in. 
voiced wailing goes up to God from ten thousand aching 
licarts in lonely homes, from which life s life, love, lias 
gone out. They may yet "see" a brighi ting 

their sorrow, as a nation sheds its tears of pride and joy 
over the graves of them whose blood turned away a 
Divine wrath. I sadden as I think of the to be bereaved 
hearts that clung so fondly about Eugene Jndd, but theiv 
are parents who would give all their wealth could they 
mourn as proudly over the tombs of their children as can 
the parents of the hero we ve buried. 

Lieutenant Judd was born in the State of New York, 
March 7th, 1840. lie was the only son of A. G. Judd, 
formerly of South Lee. lie had received an excellent 
education, was a splendid penman, and a very superior 
business man. For a season he was a popular teacher of 
the public schools of Great Barrington. At the tinii 
his enlistment he was engaged in the store of S. B. Goodale, 
South Egremont, of whose family he was a member, and 
by them loved and cherished as a brother. Though occu 
pied in nothing but a small country store, he gave to It 
all his energy, and manifested business qualifications that 
promised a brilliant future. His social nature was of a 
rare order, lie made friends readily, and kept them. 
Gentlemanly, genial, kind, and sacrificing, "to know him 
was to love him." lie joined Company E, and was ap 
pointed sergeant, having declined a lieutenancy in favor 
of his tried friend, Lieutenant R. T. Sherman, who has 
nobly proved his lit ness to lead brave men into the jaws 
of death, from which he himself so narrowly escaped with 
severe wounds. For a man like young Judd, the sacri 
fice was no light one. * Proud-spirited and gift (1, a 
subordinate position was not his proper place. He felt 
within himself the capacity to co//////r///</ men. Faithfully 
he did the duties of a sergeant in Company E, till Captain 
Weston (K) secured his services in raising his company, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 299 

of which he was elected second-lieutenant. On the 
resignation of Lieutenant Taft, Colonel Bartlett appointed 
him first-lieutenant. 

His military qualifications were of a marked character. 
He had not his superior in the regiment, considering 
his experience. With a natural fondness for military 
pursuits, he mastered the details of his profession with 
great readiness ; and, had his life been spared, he intend 
ed to remain in the army till the close of the war. He 
doubtlessly would have risen to distinction. He was 
much of a favorite with the field and staff officers. The 
Colonel saw in him a brother-spirit, and gave him more 
than an ordinary share of his notice. Petted, yet he 
did not become self-conceited and vain. Not obse 
quious to his superiors in rank, he was not arrogant to his 
temporary inferiors. None mourn him more sincerely 
than the privates of that choice and intelligent company 
(K). To his immediate superior, Captain Weston, he 
.united the respectful kindness of a brother to the submis 
sion of a subordinate, and together they lived in confi 
dence and happiness. I have lingered long at his grave, 
longer than at any other grave, not because he was 
morally superior or more patriotic than many others of 
our " fallen brave," but because he was a marked charac 
ter in a position* where that character could become 
known and appreciated. I now leave that grave, hoping 
that it may never be disturbed, but that his remains shall 
continue to lie here, to teach the future freemen, w r hite 
and black, of this State, how costly the price paid for 
their enfranchisement. He was buried in his military 
dress; and his sword, so nobly worn, the gift of an ap 
preciating friend, was sent home to his bereaved father. 



" They have sent me the sword that my brave boy wore, 

On the field of his young renown ; 
OiAhe last red field, where his faith was sealed, 
And the sun of his days went down. 



300 LIFE WITH THE FORTY MI MH 

Away with the tears 

That are blinding me so ; 
There is joy in his years, . . 

Though his young head be low ; 
And I ll gaze with a solemn delight evermore 
On the sword that my brave boy wore. 

" Twas for freedom and home that I gave him away, 

Like the sons of his race of old ; 
And though aged and gray, I am sonless this day, 
He is dearer a thousand-fold. 

There s a glory above him 

To hallow his name, 
A land that will love him 
Who died for its fame ; 

And a solace will shine, when my old heart is sore, 
Round the sword that my brave boy wore. 

"It was kind of his comrades, ye know not how kind, 

It was more than the Indies to me ; 
Ye know not how kind, and how steadfast of mind, 
The soldier to sorrow can be. 

They know well how lonely, 

How grievously wrung, 
Is the heart that its only 

Love loses so young ; 

And they closed his blue eyes when the battle was o er, 
And his sent old father tho sword that ho wore." 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEKS. 301 



LETTER XXXI. 

BEFORE PORT HUDSON, July 6, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

I am sick of hearing the cry, " Time s out ;" as if our 
country s claims on us expired with the 19th of June. A 
Pennsylvania regiment refused to fight at the first Bull 
Run battle because their term of service expired the day 
before. We scorned them ; and now the honor of Massa 
chusetts is somewhat stained, for the 4th refused to do 
duty, and, on stern measures being threatened, one 
hundred still remained disobedient, and are now under 
arrest, as also are some of the 48th, for a similar offence. 
The 50th were about to follow suit, when Banks informed 
them it would be a death or Dry Tortugas affair, and so 
they volunteered to stay two weeks longer, and were pub 
licly thanked for it. The Major went to head-quarters 
on the 19th ult., and though he keeps his own counsel, I 
guess he learned there that if we refused duty, we would 
have to measure arms with the power of the United States 
government. He did not tell us so, in so many words, 
but we have clearly inferred it. General Banks said, it 
was not his province to decide when the respective terms 
of service ended, but that of the Secretary of War. 
Troops were put under his command to do a certain work, 
and he meant to keep them till their term was out, accord 
ing to the decision of the authorities at Washington. I 
believe the whole of the 50th have served out their time 
of service ; and if Banks refuses to let them go, we might 
as well submit quietly, for there is no help for us. To do 
our boys credit, they have been quite quiet about it, and 
have only rebelled in private murmurs. They say that 



302 LIFE WITH THE FORTV-.NIMUI 

Banks should give us the opportunity of volitnteer- 
in<j till Port Hudson surrenders. They forget that that, 
unless previously asked for by us, would make him the 
decider of the time the claims of the government cea-<-. 
One of Company A, at Baton Rouge, refused to do duty, 
and \. to prixm as his reward. Since it is decided 

that the nine months men cannot be drafted till all be- 
t\vee:i twenty and forty-live years shall have been ex. 
hausted, it would be wiser to send us home, and so secure 
our re-enlisting. If government can keep us a month 
longer than \ve agreed to serve, why not a year or three 
years ? We have the letter of the law on our side, but 
patriotism demands our continued service. 1 would go 
through a dozen May 1 Tths, rather than now leave the 
field ; ay, if I was e< rlain of death. I can see no reason 
why I should fail my country, merely because the 19th 
of June has come and gone. It may be true, as some 
. that we are poorly led and uselessly slaughtered, and 
thai the brains are all ///////,* and not "before Port Hud 
son ;" but that should only make the voice of our bleeding 
country sink more deeply into our hearts, and bring out 
the firmer valor to counteract the inefficiency of our 
lead 

We are not poorly led. An iron man, with a sagacious 
1 on his shoulders, is holding the reins. Artillery 
failing, assault or abandonment of the siege is our alter 
native. Assaults have as yet i ailed, but we are preparing 
for another on a grander scale. Only fourteen thousand 
men now draw rations. That is our whole force, and in 
cludes the sick not in hospitals, cooks, teamsters, cavalry, 
artillerists, an I others, who count nothing in a charge. 
We have not this day 10,000 fighting men before Port 
Hudson. Small but frequent battles at our rear; the 
alarm at Baton Rouge ; the raid on Springfield landing ; 
the gathering of the foe near Donaldsonville (where 
they attacked Fort Butler), by thousands, ail make us 
doubt whether we will not go home vanquished rather 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 303 

than victors. Give the rebels another week and they 
Avill gather men enough in our rear to compel the aban 
donment of the siege. We must get into Port Hudson. 
Then we could defy the mighty arm of Johnston, which, 
if the report be true, is rushing down on us, unless they 
closed the river below, of which we have no fears. 1 A 
rebel uprising in New Orleans is not improbable. Orders 
forbidding gatherings of more than six in the streets, 
have been issued. Guerrillas fire at our river boats. No 
wonder that Banks is sick, yet his will fails not, and God 
have mercy on those Massachusetts men who fail him 
"UTnd the nation in this hour of peril, for I am sure they 
will get no mercy at home, save from doting mothers, in 
whose bosoms patriotism never lived or has died out. 

Escaped soldiers say the enemy has but 2,500 men, no 
inside works, provisions for one week, and forty rounds 
of cartridges. Be assured of that, and that that week 
would not bring up their friends, and an assault were better 
postponed. But how can prisoners know these things ? 
jTgo everywhere and know nothing. Guesses are all. I 
suppose General Banks is in constant communication, by 
water, with Grant, and knows all about the movements of 
Johnston, and that he gives some credence to these stories 
about short rations within the fort, for the long-expected 
assault has been deferred. Immediately, after the direful 
14th June, he issued orders, to secure, if possible, 1,000 
volunteers to storm the enemy s works. A silver medal 
was to be given to each volunteer. The 49th furnished no 
volunteers, I do not blame them. Had I been present 
when the call was made, I would not have volunteered. 
The history of previous assaults rises up as warnings. 
We will go where ordered, not with former enthusiasm, 
but with no less of will, but we will not thrust ourselves 
into the valley of death. Our quota was obtained by 
drafting. The elected afterwards volunteered. They 
wanted to be robed in that name of honor. Lieutenant 
Smith (II) was chosen their leader, but being sick, an 
other sick man, Lieutenant Dresser (F) volunteered to 



304 LIFE VVITF1 Til:: loKIY-MNTII 

take his place. We have no nobler than that Dresser. 
Prostrate with the popular disease, jaundice, ami ex 
hausted, he looks bcticr fitted for the hospital than the 
"forlorn hope;" but Lieutenant Dodlittle is sick at 
Baton Rouge, wlierc Capta.in 3Iorey is also, unable to 
carry out his de-ire to join his company, and so Prc.-ser 
clings to his men and to duty. On hearing of his step, 
3Io:ey tried to get up here, but he could not get a pass. 
Baton Rouge was threatened ; nightly, the troops were 
under arms ; cannon were posted everywhere ; the sick 
and convalescents were its main defence ; thousands of 
wounded crowded its hospitals ; it was one of our base* 
of sup] .lies, and at all hazards must be held. Badly as 
we needed men, so valuable an officer as Captain 3Iorey 
could not be spared. Failing to come up, he scut a writ 
ten protest against Dresser s leaving his company, which 
his fall would make oilicerless. On Sunday, the 21st, the 
stormers from the centre reported at General Augur s 
quarters, and because our boys were not volx/it ^r*, they 
were sent bads. The work demands men who would 
throw their whole souls into it. Perchance he feared 
that those who claimed that their time had expired could 
not do so. lie may have been right, but I doubt whet her 
Colonel Birge will have any men in his choice band who 
will go further than they would have done. 

The assault will be on the right and on the left, where 
the ambulances have been collected. Daily have we 
been expecting it. The boats are not allowed to leave 
the landing, but they tarry there to bear the wounded 
to Baton Rouge. Preparations are being made to under 
mine the enemy s works. The frames we watched >o 
closely have been taken away, so the hour is near al 
hand. On the right and h-l t we are within a few yards 
of the foe. This time there will be no marching hun 
dreds of rods under a galling fire, to reach the ditch and 
parapet, half dispirited by our loss and almost totally 
exhausted by our labor. Gallantly have the negroes 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUXTEEES. 305 

held the most exposed part of our lines, advancing rod 
by rod till not a rebel dare show his head. Frequent 
sorties have been successfully met by black hands, who 
dyed their glittering bayonets and their budding hopes 
in the blood of many a former master. They have not 
once flinched. Protecting ?^s arid carving out for them 
selves a name and a nationality, they have shown the 
world that manhood, crushed for centuries, answers to 
the call of God and freedom. We may leave our dead 
and leave this place in rebel hands, but we will also leave 
memories that will make the name of " Port Hudson" as 
dreadful as the sound of a " fire-bell in the night," to 
those* who shall attempt the re-enslavement of the African. 
For the privilege of commanding a negro company, I 
would be almost willing to endure for years the monotony, 
the mental stagnation, the ennui of a soldier s life. 1 
might fall, and a demand for my body might be answered, 
"We ve buried him with his niggers," and to my chil 
dren, I could leave no richer legacy. To die for one s 
race, and that the dominant race of the world, is noble 
indeed, but nobler yet to link your life and death with the 
elevation of your own land, and of a people, the despised 
and rejected of earth. 

What we will meet when we get inside the parapet, we 
know not. Batteries may open cross fires on us ; explod 
ing mines may mingle our mangled remains with the torn 
bodies of desperate foes, but, if there be nothing but bay 
onet work, we will be victors. To stand cold steel re 
quires the firm nerves, the fixed will, heirlooms of North 
ern freemen. It would require whole chapters to de 
scribe the immense amount of engineering work that has 
been done on our right and left. Scores of miles of road 
have been made, mainly at night ; ravines hundreds of 
feet deep have been bridged for the passage of guns 
weighing ten thousand pounds each. Hundreds on hun 
dreds of miles of rifle-pits unite the different batteries. 
On the left, we have erected a battery of twenty guns, 



306 LIFE WITH THE FORTT-XTVTIT 

within fifty rods of the foe, who scarcely interrupted us 
by a shot. For a week an informal truce preserved quiet 
on both sides. Within a few yards, mutual enemies 
worked to prepare agencies of destruction and of preserva 
tion, and not a single gun indicated that they were foes. 
Often, the laugh and the jest would be interchanged, and 
like our own boys on the centre, they would mutually 
throw down their guns, meet as friends, exchange papers, 
receive tobacco for bread or beef, and then go back to 
their lines, a waiting the order to exchange missiles of death. 
Frequently, we see rebels come outside the parapet, to 
get muddy water from the ditch, but we do not molest 
them. On the left, we have dug under their citadel, 
which we had previously battered almost djwn, since 
informal truce was suspended, and have also silenced 
their river batteries, that the boats could come nearer. 
On their battered citadel floats a flag, which again and 
again has been shot away, replacing which has co.>t them 
many a brave life. We are far ln.ii<-ath- them, and through 
troughs, they roll down thirty-two pound shells, the burst 
ing of which is by no means pleasant, though seldom 
fatal. I laud-grenades, or small shells arc thrown at the 
foe, and not unfrequently the enemy catch them up be 
fore exploding, and hurl them into our ranks to do the 
work of death. " Curses coming home to roost," we 
say. 

The Forty-ninth are located far in front, in rifle-pits, 
supporting two large batteries. A, II, F, and D, are on 
the verge of ; and are comparatively comfortable, 

but the rest of the companies are many rods ahead. 
posed to the unbroken rays of. the sun. In going from 
one part of the regiment to the other, it is necessary, 
after passing through a ravine, to go along pii.s, which 
are iK-arly at right angles with the rebel lines, alibi-d 
ing them a fine chance to hit us, which they occa 
sionally improve. For three ; is our left been 
thus exposed, nearly every night of which has been 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 30V 

marked with rain, making their sleeping apartments far 
from comfortable, for now, that they are ao much ex 
posed, sleeping in the pits is a matter of necessity. 
When matters are too quiet, our boys get up on the 
works to invite the fire of their foes. By watching 
carefully the smoke they can jump down before the bullet 
comes. The danger is, some fellow whom they are not 
watching may show his skill. The rebs don t fire at all 
of these chances, for it occasionally happens that one or 
two thus make targets of their bodies, so that their 
comrades may fire when the enemy exposes himself to 
fire at us. This kind of life is pleasant for a few days, 
but three weeks of burning sun, of rainy nights, and wet 
beds, take all the fun out of it. Xear our works we 
have found springs of good, cool water. I have my 
doubts whether it would pass muster at home, but to us 
it is a highly prized luxury. 

With good sense, the Major allows the boys much 
liberty, and they roam about, regaling themselves with 
the novel sights and scenes and the abundant black 
berries that crowd and adorn our hedges. I was sorry 
to see one poor fellow tied to a tree for insulting his 
captain, especially as he was in an exposed place, but I 
was glad that the Major, in his leniency, was determined 
to enforce discipline, though " time be out." He must 
do it, or nothing but our good sense would keep us from 
degenerating into an armed rabble. 

Speaking of raids and scares, reminds me that the 
raid on Springfield Landing was a serious matter. A 
body of rebels scattered the few troops that were there, 
fired a storehouse, and then retreated at the hoarse voice 
of a gunboat. Several hundred contrabands were living 
there in mud huts, and at the first alarm rushed on board 
the steamboats, twenty-one being drowned in their frantic 
eiforts to secure their safety. That panic spread to our 
cook-stands, a mile to the rear of the regiment, and to 
see our butcher pick up his small demijohn of whiskey, 



30R LIFE WITH THE 

which he sells at two dollars per pint bottle, nn<l rush 
for the before carefully avoided rifle-] >its, followed by 
some of the cooks, who h.-isiily upset their coffee and 
beans, resolved that the rebels should not breal. 
tliereon, was one of those rich incidents that need t" 
seen to be fully appreciated. 

I offended a colored woman by calling her a " contra 
band." le it understood, that " contrabands" are sup 
ported by the Government. She supported herself. A 
sergeant at the Landing, in charge of some colored 
workmen, was telling one of them that he would be tied 
up l?y the thumbs and whipped at sunset. I asked him 
by what right he would inflict that punishment on a negro 
more than on a white citizen. He said it was Lieutenant- 
Colonel Benedict s order. I replied that no officer had 
a right to transform a soldier into a whipper of poor 
darkeys, and as for me, I would die rather than so lower 
my manhood. He shrugged his shoulders, adding that 
soldiers feelings are not much respected. They can 
demand respect being paid to those feelings, or, if nothing 
else, can scornfully and proudly suffer for violation of 
such orders. Send a man into a charge on Slaughter s 
field for God and Freedom, and then ask him to aid in 
tying up a poor negro by the thumbs and to apply the 
lash ! Like Rossiter, when told to " buck" one of the 
" mackerels" at Snedeker s, he asked Captain Garlick if 
duty required him to do that ; so a man s self-respect 
would put to his conscience the same question, and, re 
ceiving the emphatic "No," he would tell Colonel IJene- 
dict, or General Banks himself, that he was a soldier, 
not a plantation overseer, and abide the consequences. 
If he did not, his meanness would prove him a coward. 
Let contrabands be treated as white workmen. If they 
will not duly serve the government that feeds them, 
send them off to shift for themselves, but God forbid 
that our Government, in full view of Port Hudson, shall 
take up the abandoned slave-whip. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 309 

I have made a flying visit to Baton Rouge, and was 
surprised to see how sickness improved the appearance 
of some of our comrades, and only of some. Not a few 
would tremblingly ask me, " when will the regiment re 
turn, that we can go home?" Poor fellows! some of 
them have seen home for the last time. Arrangements 
are being made to send our sick North. The loudest 
complainers have secured their tickets, while noble spirits 
like G. C. Ray (D), are destined to tarry. They should 
go ; for a few weeks longer, and they will be past hope 
of recovery. Mr. Ray has gotten some writing to do for 
the medical department, that his mind may be employed, 
hoping thus to counteract the killing monotony of camp- 
life. His life is too valuable to be lost to his family and 
his country. Leaving a luxurious home, in middle life, 
earnestly devoted to the great principles of the war, he 
came to fight for Freedom and his native land ; and sad 
is it that the battle hour finds him utterly unable to do a 
soldier s part, where brave hearts are needed. This, as 
much as disease, is eating out his life, and, I much fear, 
his will be one of the graves that swallow up those gal 
lant spirits who yearned to do or die, but are ordained to 
learn life s hardest lesson, " suffer and be strong." It is 
heart-rending to watch these brave fellows sinking into 
death. Knowing they can by no possibility serve their 
country, their one prayer is, to be sparecj to die at home. 
The ambition of the patriot is swallowed up irf the yearn 
ings of the husband, the father, the son. " Victory, and 
then home," wells up as a prayer from, our hearts. God 
only knows with what intensity and .what agony they 
unite in the same petition ; and, if weak, almost gone, 
they emphasize " home,"" who is so much the patriot, so 
little the man, as to censure them ? The dulness of the 
camp is fearful, and walks through the city are not much 
more cheering. The streets are crowded with pale, 
5maciated, maimed soldiers. Hobbling about on crutches, 
arms in slings, or with " empty sleeves," you see the dear 



310 LIFE WITH THE FOKTY-XINTIT 

fellows, and, with moistened eyes, think of their proud, 
but dependent futures. Most of the wounded are in good 
spirit:-:, while the merely pick look very despondent. The 
Hospitals are crowded, and they tire making arrangements 
for the victims of the coining battle. Our privi! 

! y. The hospitals arc in excellent order, and many 
of their stricken inmates are really jolly. The few loyal 
women of the place minister unto them ; and some, wi 
sympathies rise above sectional animosity, unite with 
them in these offices of human kindness. Colonel Bart- 
lett s arm gets no better. Colonel Simmer goes home. I 
am sorry for that. By the time he reaches Berkshire he 
will be nearly well, and will find it difficult to reconcile 
his leaving the regiment with the people s idea of his 
duty ; for, you are aware, that stay-at-home patriots put 
the standard of other people s duties very high. Like 
Artemus Ward, they are ready to sacrifice their wife s 
brother. "We do not particularly need the services of 
Colonel Sumner, though the presence of a cool head and 
a brave heart is not to be despised ; but we regret that 
he should take a step that may mar his proud and un 
stained record. 

Lieutenant Kniffin, who, to his wound, has had fever 
superadded, also leaves. We had few Kniffins. Happy 
the regiment that has many such! No officer was more 
really loved than he. A good judge says, that ( Y>mpany 
1>. i< the best disciplined company of the 49th, and / know 
that its business account ha* been kept in an unsurpassed 
manner. - Garlick and Kniffin are a strong team, and 
would have made.Company l> one of the best companies, 
if it had originally been the worst, instead of being A No. 1 
from the beginning. AYe begin to hope that the brave 
Siggins (though minus an eye), and Sherman will recover. 
Our effective men form a company in the convalescent 
regiment, under the command of Captain Morey. If the 
hour of their trial shall come, Morey will show that ne 
cessity, not a lack of courage, alone kept him from 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 311 

receiving his share of* the glory that gathers round Port 
Hudson. 

Independence Day passed without the expected assault. 
Though long deferred, certainly that would be the day. 
We wanted to connect the surrender of this place with 
the hallowed memories of the 4th of July. It seemed 
that the miserable traitors had forgotten the very exist 
ence of our National Anniversary, for when a salute of 
thirty-four unshotted guns announced its advent, they 
noticed no death tokens following the report, and thought 
we were tiring at Johnston, who had at last come to their 
help. They mounted the walls and cheered lustily ; but 
some guns that were shotted, showed them the propriety 
of not "hallooing till they get out of the woods." No 
wonder they forgot that the. nation s birthday had again 
rolled round, for they are doing what they can to blot 
out the day, and to give the lie to those great truths that 
alone separate it from common days. The thirty-four 
guns rang out* to them our proud assertion that every 
State was yet in the Union, and while we had a cannon 
or a man left, all should stay there. The noon salute 
was fired from Captain Holcomb s 2d Vermont battery, 
and he showed his aversion to traitors by crowding 
his guns with shells, so that the national salute might 
ring out the guilty souls of some who were doing their 
best to prevent that day from becoming a world s holiday. 
A few days before, Banks made stirring speeches to the 
forlorn hope, and to those who are to follow them on the 
right, in which he alluded to our flag floating in triumph 
over Port Hudson on the 4th of July. As that day 
passed without any general movement on our side, we 
conclude that he believes the enemy has eaten nearly all 
his mules, and that he can safely wait a few days for 
starvation to do the work of an assault. I hope he is 
right. There are full enough precious graves here, full 
enough loyal hearts whose saddest recollection will twine 
about these graves. 



312 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-SIXTH 

// ,//// E. Grippen (B), a former from Lanesboro, aged 
thirty-five years, was killed by a sharpshooter OD Sunday, 
the 21st of June. lie was one of the number who were 
chosen to represent our regiment in the grand storming 
party. Geiu-ral Augur dismissed them, and peivhance, 
congratulating himself on being snatched from the fiery 
furnace, he wended his way to the rifle-pits, where he 
was suddenly struck down by a ball crashing through his 
brain. How little man knows where lies the path of 
safety ! Of this only are we assured, that the path of 
duty is the path of eternal safety. Wounded about sun 
down, he died about 11 P. M. A good soldier was thus 
lost to Company B ; and wife and children, so near, as 
they imagined, to the happy reunion, will see but his 
vacant place in our ranks "when the boys come home." 

ConraU Ileins (B), a good, diligent soldier, was wound 
ed in the back by the bursting of one of our own shells, 
June 22d, and died at Springfield Landing. He was on 
duty in Slaughter s field, in advance of our battery. A 
shell exploding too soon, deprived us of a worthy com- 
rad , and a family of its head and protection. He was 
a .red thirty-eight years, and like his brother soldier 
(Grippen), was a farmer from Lanesboro. His German 
blood has given this land a new right to the title, the 
world s asylum. The composite blood that i> restoring 
our national purity, sweeps away the heresy that " Amer- 
ica belongs to Americans." By -life and blood surren 
der" of many of the foreign-born, it belongs to the 
world. We are battling for the world* s triumph. 

Joseph J3. Wolcott, Orderly Sergeant of Co. H, was 
shot by a sharpshooter, on the morning of June 23. 
It was a beautiful morning, and as he sat near the edge 
of the rifle-pits and saw the sun gilding the majestic 
trees, he said to a friend, " What a lovely morning this 
would be to die!" Soon after that a bullet passed 
through his arm into his lung. Seeing that his arm was 
bleeding, a Comrade said, "Joe! it is only your arm. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 31 3 

you are safe yet ;" but his reply convinced them that the 
"lovely morning" would witness the close of his young 
life. For a. while he suffered fearfully. The news soon 
spread, " Wolcott is shot !" and many of his associates 
gathered round him. To Rising, who joined church 
at the same time and place, he said, " Ned ! they have 
killed me." Rev. J. H. Wood (E) came, talked with 
him about the world, on whos-e verge he was trembling, 
and received the comforting assurance that a Christian 
soldier was laying off his armor. At the dying man s 
request, he led in prayer. It was an hour long to bo 
remembered. Giving to his friends, for his young wife, 
some blood-stained tokens of his death and love, he 
tenderly reproved his comrades for their sins, and af 
fectionately exhorted them to turn to Jesus. The moral 
sublimity of that hour rose high above the grandeur and 
heroism that marked our battles in which he always bore 
so honorable a part. Those who had thought but little 
of the claims of religion, who had almost believed it 
was an encumbrance to a soldier, there learned the 
source from which the quiet young Sandisfield farmer 
drew his unwavering courage. Before leaving his home, 
he had, by will, disposed of his earthly effects, and now. 
pointing his comrades to his Saviour, he sweetly fell 
asleep in Jesus. We buried him by the side of his 
intimate friend, Lieutenant Deming, with prayer and 
exhortation, and sadly returned to the scene of duty 
and of death. Mrs. Deming and Mrs. Wolcott have 
been living together since their husbands left for the 
war. Seeing those graves, where the soldier-friends lie 
side by side, we could but think of a home in Berkshire, 
where their wives are living; one mourning, and the 
other comforting. Alas ! the latter knows not that a 
message will soon reach her that will make her a sister 
in sorrow, and, by the sacredness of her own grief, more 
fully prepare her to sympathize with the bereaved. A 
mutual agony now seals their solemn sisterhood. Sandis- 
14 



314 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

field, stricken as she is, will add to her mourning on 
hearing of the death of Joseph B. Wolcott. Rich must 
she be, if she has better sons left. Falling in his early 
manhood, for he was only twenty-five years of age, he 
yet lived long enough to benefit his race, and to twine 
round his memory the undying gratitude of a free 
nation. His fellow-soldiers knew him, and they prized 
him as a comrade and loved him as a man. None, none 
of our " fallen brave" has sunk to rest round whom 
gathered more of respect, confidence, and affection. 

" Shot through the lungs, how he lay, how he lay, 
At Port Hudson all that fearful day, 
Slowly bleeding his life away ! 

"Yet why our life but to spend it free, 
As the snow thai falls on the angry lea, 
For the Right, for the Truth, for Liberty ? 

" And the brave heart knows, with a quiet content, 
When treason and murder their shafts have sent, 
That the time is at hand for which it was lent. 

"But oh! Fatherland, that we love so well, 
Shall the future annals shuddering tell 
It was all in vain that our heroes fell? 

" We give them up at thy bittw cry, 
We say no word when they go to die 
Is it Freedom s dawn that reddens the sky? 

" Ah, comrade, sleep well in thy soldier s bed 
At Port Hudson, in the field of our dead, 

Who knows who watcheth overhead?" 



Charles II. Cook (B), farmer boy, from West Stock- 
bridge, aged twenty, was severely wounded in the chest, 
in the battle of May 27th, and died on the 2d inst., 
at Baton Rouge. Bravely fighting, he met his death- 
wound, and now sleeps among strangers. Peace to 
his ashes ! 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 315 

The day following the battle of June 14th, General 
Banks sent in wines, medicines, and other necessaries 
for our wounded. As a so-called "honor" sometimes 
survives the burial of patriotism, these supplies may 
fulfil their mission. While the flag of truce under which 
this kind action was done was flying, an officer, stooping 
down to pick up some trophies, was reminded by a 
bullet that he was abusing that flag. The rebels have 
been seen working, when honor thus demanded rest, so 
we think our poor sufferers* will hardly get all the luxu 
ries we have sent them. Many of our dead, and some 
of our wounded remained on the field from Sunday to 
Wednesday, when Gardner, finding their decomposing 
bodies were working pestilence, requested General 
Banks to bury them. One hundred and fourteen were 
found, tw o of whom were still alive, almost eaten up 
with maggots. The enemy says we could have buried 
them on Monday, but would not ask the favor, and left 
the putrid bodies to annoy and disable them. I hope 
they lie, for that is too horrible even for war. Captain 
Garlick, after that battle, led out the pioneers to act as 
pickets, and until 10 o clock of the next night, they 
were not relieved, all of which time they were without 
food or water. They suffered, but who can describe the 
sufferings of those wounded ones during the awful four 
days between their fall and recovery ! 

Governor Andrew having refused to commission 
Brooks (C), Siggins (D), andGleason (K), (whom Colonel 
Bartlett appointed 2d lieutenants in their respective 
companies,) on the ground that in nine months regi 
ments, officers must be elected by the men, elections to 
fill these vacancies were held June 24th, at the rifle-pits. 
That part of the regiment which is before the foe is the 
regiment proper, though not one-tenth of the men are 
present. The veterans were to express their preference. 
In Co. K., Sergeant Rising had a majority on the first 
ballot, but thinking that the office properly belonged to 



316 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTn 

the wounded Gleason he generously declined the proffered 
honor, and Gleason was elected. In Co. D, the //- 
polntnient of Lieutenant Siggins was confirmed by the 
unanimous vote of the members thereof. Had all of 
that company been present, 1 doubt not that the result 
would have been just the same. In Co. C, Sergeant 
Strong led Sergeant Nash one vote, and was, conse 
quently, elected. To choose between Strong and Nash 
was not easy work. Both are brave soldiers and both 
have fully done their duty, <md we were sorry that we 
could not elect both. Perchance Strong s being one of 
the " forlorn hope" turned the scale in his favor. In the 
first election for 2d lieutenant, next to Wells, the then 
successful candidate, they had the greatest number of 
votes. Lieutenant Strong deserves this compliment. 
No man was ever more faithful and reliable. The honor 
is much greater than if he had been elected at the first. 
"We have tried him for more than nine months as ser 
geant, as acting orderly, and as commander, and this 
election is our mature verdict of "Well done!" Cap 
tain Lingenfelter, though still complaining, has returned 
to duty. Lieutenant Foster has been sick for a few 
days. He now occupies and merits a warm place in our 
confidence. Prejudices, honestly entertained, have been 
swept away, and since we have been in this department, 
and especially since we have been fighting and facing the 
foe, we recognize in Lieutenant D. B. Foster a man whom 
we can trust, a friend who sympathizes with us, and an 
officer prompt and fearless in the discharge of duty. For 
tunately, good sense and patriotism kept him from throw 
ing up his commission when the authorities refused him 
promotion, and preserved him to us and to the working out 
for himself a place in the respect and confidence of the 
whole regiment. May he long live to preserve and enjoy 
what he has so fairly gained, is the unanimous wish of 
the members of Co. C. 

I see that Orderly Tuttle has agnin stolen away from 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 317 

the hospital to take his place in the presence of danger, 
though his wound of the 27th is scarcely healed. We, 
who charged under his lead on that fatal day, ask no 
better leader if we are destined to form another "forlorn 
hope." Some of the convalescents came up to guard an 
ammunition train, expecting to return the next day, but 
they find themselves in for the remainder of the cam 
paign. Night and day have Ordnance-Sergeants Cowles 
and Hulet gone with wagons to Baton Rouge, running 
the gantlet of guerrillas. They are safe as yet, but it is 
quite probable that death or imprisonment will prevent 
their returning with us to Berkshire. Those trips have 
none of the excitement of the battle-field, but are ac 
companied with danger and suspense, very far from 
being agreeable. 

Mules and darkeys are so abundant that nearly every 
man rides and keeps his waiter. Dave takes care of 
Mr. Brewster s horse, and has a contraband to do the 
work for him. Several wait on our department, and as 
we are as lazy as those " to the manner born," it is in 
perfect harmony to have your coffee brought to you 
before rising. Food, with a little tobacco, is considered 
by them an ample equivalent for their services. A 
recent order commanding the turning over of mules and 
contrabands to Colonel Hodge will throw us back on our 
own dignity and muscles, or lead to explorations of the. 
adjacent plantations. An army is a great cormorant. 
We have swallowed up all the green corn for fod 
der, and rails are becoming as scarce as Union men in 
Charleston. 

Nearly every evening Uncle Sam gets up on the left, 
for our benefit, a pyrotechnic display, that puts to shame 
every former specimen of that art we have ever seen. 
Sitting on the top of the earthworks that conceal and pro 
tect our batteries, we spend many of our evening hours 
watching the course and bursting of the shells. At night 
we can see the path of a shell through all its journey, 



318 LIFE WITH TTIK FORTY-NINTH 

lighted as it is by the burning fuze. When the range is 
two miles, the track of a shell from a mortar describes 
very lu-arly half the arc of a circle. On leaving the mor 
tar it gracefully moves on, climbing up and up into the 
heavens till it is quite a mile above tin- earth, and then it 
glides along for a moment apparently in a horizontal line ; 
but quickly you see that the little fiery orb is on the home 
stretch, describing the other segment of the circle. A 
shell from a mortar will travel two miles in thirty seconds, 
and from a Parrott gun in half that time. The flash of 
the gun at night, and the white smoke by day, indicat< 
the moment of discharge, giving from ten to twenty 
seconds to seek shelter. Though occasionally driven 
from our posts of observation by stray bullets, we return 
to gaze on the fascinating scene. The other evening there 
was a large fire in rebeldom, which drew a number of 
Holcomb s men to the walls, when they were greeted by 
the balls of the rebels, sending some to the hospital and 
some to the burial. 

R. II. Wilcox, whose Testament saved his life at the, 
battle of Plain s Store, has been less fortunate here, 
having received a bullet in the fleshy part of his leg 
Binding the sacred word on our hearts is Scriptural, and 
Wilcox obeyed tJlat but this time the rebels aimed 
lower, so the good fellow will have to limp for a few days, 
regretting that the Bible Society did not give him more 
than one shield. On picket, one man is detailed to spend 
two hours up a tree, and then he must needs report to 
Colonel Paine. Billy Ilogan, a waggish Irishman, of 
Company H, spent his two hours in the tree, and on com 
ing down went to sleep. The officer of the picket waked 
him, asking, " Have you made your report, yet?" 
" Report, is it ! and sure I saw nothing to report." 
"No matter about that," said the oilk-er, "go and re 
port to Colonel Paine;" and Billy drew up before head 
quarters in the position of the soldier, saluting the 
Colonel, and told him his business. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 319 

c Well, go ahead, report !" gruffly responded the Acting 
Brigadier. 

" Well, sir, I was over in the tree fornenst and I saw, 
I saw, sir, two birds fly into the fort, and soon after, 1 
saw two fly out. I think, sir, the two that flew out were 
pigeons, and I am not certain, sir, that the two that flew 
in were pigeons or hawks, but I think they was hawks." 

You need not make any further report, said his excel 
lency, and Billy left him. He often says, " By jabers ! 
they didn t report any more from that tree." To see and 
hear Billy describe this scene would drive the blues and 
dyspepsia from you for one long day at least. 

The rebels are gathering in large force near Donaldson- 
ville, and have made considerable progress. On the 28th 
ult., they attacked Fort Butler near that village in over 
powering numbers, but were gallantly repulsed by the 
small garrison, even the sick lending their feeble help. 
It was one of the most heroic actions of the war, and re 
sulted in the killing, wounding, and capturing of twice as 
many rebels as there were soldiers in the fort. The 
appearance of two gunboats effectually secured us the 
victory. Unless we take Port Hudson soon, these men 
under General Taylor will appear at our rear, and compel 
the abandonment of the siege. The Lafourche andTeche 
countries are full of gathering foes. Some sneered at 
Banks s generalship, asking why overrun the Teche 
country only to leave it ? Suppose he had allowed Gen 
eral Taylor to remain there undisturbed, how could we 
have invested Port Hudson? Banks s generalship is that 
of genius and common sense united. 

I close this with a list of those who have died away 
from the scene of strife. 

George W. Babbitt (B), aged thirty-one years, a 
farmer from New Ash ford, died of heart disease at the 
General Hospital, Baton Rouge, June 18th. He was an 
intelligent man, and, understanding the duties of a soldier, 
performed them well. 



320 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

George Campbell (K), aged eighteen years, from Mount 
Washington, died of diarrha a at Hat on Rouge, June 19th. 
He leaves a brother in Company E. George was too 
weak to do all the duties of a soldier, but he was a steady, 
pleasant, willing boy. 

Thomas Mallaly (E), a farmer boy from Egremont, 
died in Xew Orleans, June 26th, aged eight ecu years. I 
know not the cause of his death, nor aught concerning 
him as ;i man or soldier. 

W. Joyner (A), a stone-cutter from Savoy, aged 
eighteen years, died of diarrhoea at Baton Kongo, June 
30th. As he was sick much, he had not the opportunity 
to w r in distinction as a soldier. 

William W. Stowell (C), was a^ fanner lad from Peru. 
Early on reaching- Secessia, diarrhoea claimed him for a 
victim, and- clung to its prey till death released him at 
Baton Rouge, June 30th. A fine steady lad he was, 
willing to do what his strength would permit. He only 
wanted health and strength to prove, as many of our 
living and our dead have proved, that on our battle 
fields the farmer boys of Berkshire are worthy sons of 
noble sires. His long, weary struggle with the great 
enemy is ended, and he sleeps with his brother soldiers, 
who, like him, fought back disease, that they might die 
at, home. A mother s care was not his solace, but amid 
comrades, too sick to think of aught but themselves, he 
closed the weary round of life. 

Charles Videtto (A), died of quick consumption, at the 
cam]) in Baton Rouge, July 6th. His Captain says, "he 
was one of the nicest of boys," (he had seen but eighteen 
years,) "and one of my best soldiers." Charlie was very 
popular with his comrades, and steady and reliable. 
How many mother-: and sisters in Berkshire are anxiously 
awaitiug for their Charlies to come, knowing not that 
brother soldiers have laid their remains in distant graves. 
Who can tell the anxiety, the hopes battling with fears, 
of our homes. Some who expect to see no more their 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 321 

Charlie are to be joyously disappointed, while about 
others, who are now full of hope, a great darkness is 
gathering. 

" Charlie has come ! 
"Who says that the times are weary-, 
That the graves of our fallen ones, 
Cast a shadow deep and dreary, 
Around our hearts and homes ? 
The sunshine floating round us 
Makes e en the shadows bright ; 
We cannot dream of sorrow, 
Por Charlie came last night. 

" Charlie has come ! 
Has come from the field of battle, 
Where death-bolts quickly fly, 
Led by a mighty Sovereign, 
Who heeds a sparrow s cry. 
One noble arm is shattered, 
A deep scar seams the brow ; 
We loved our Charlie always, 
But we adore him now. 
We fain would praise the blessed, 
But our lips with joy are dumb ! 
God pity the mothers and sisters 
Whose Charlies never come /" 
14* 



322 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-MIXTH 



LETTER XXXII. 

CAMP BANKS, BATON ROUGE, LA., July 13, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Glory ! Hallelujah ! Amen ! Port Hudson is ours, 
and the Mississippi is open. The Confederacy is split in 
two ; the backbone of the rebellion is broken ; Sen 
generally is in a squeamish condition. Hunger, not as 
sault, finished the work, after forty-six days siege. On 
the morning of the 7th, the fleets above and below 
opened a joyous fire ; cheers began on the right and 
rolled in increasing volume to the centre, telling us that 
on the glorious 4th, General Grant victoriously entered 
Vicksburg. Billows of rejoicing surged to and fro over 
our whole army, awakening the curiosity of the rebels, 
who refused to believe our report, till General Banks, 
complying with the request of General Gardner, sent ID, 
on the morning of the 8th, an official copy of Grant s 
dispatch, which informed them that Vicksburg, and 
31,000 prisoners, 19 generals, 60,000 new English rifled 
muskets, besides many pieces of artillery and considera 
ble ammunition, had fallen into our hands. On learning 
this, Gardner asked in vain for twenty-four hours cessa 
tion of hostilities, and then requested the appointment of 
commissioners to arrange the terms of the unconditional 
surrender. This was granted, and by the middle of that 
afternoon, the matter was settled. The men, but not the 
officers, are to be paroled. The commlssiciH-rs met outside 
of the parapet, under the fly of a tent, and several ham 
pers of sparkling Bordeaux kept them in good spirits. 
A basket was sent to General Gardner within the fort, 
containing such refreshments as rumor said were not 
plentiful in that beleaguered place. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 3 2 3 

Notwithstanding our troops did not formally enter the 
place on the 8th inst., yet the garrison fully understood 
that they were to be surrendered, and accordingly they 
came over the parapet in large numbers to converse with 
our men. All along the right and centre crowds of them 
gathered without the works to converse with and see the 
persevering Yankees, who had at last forced them to 
surrender. 

They examined with the deepest curiosity the guns our 
men had, and their ammunition, which they averred they 
had feared much more than the artillery brought to 
bear against them. Now and then they would, seek out 
a particular stump or log from which they had been 
worried by our sharpshooters. " This cussed hole," 
said a keen-eyed, roughly dressed hunter from the wilds 
of Arkansas, " I have been aiming at for the last two 
weeks, to split the Yankee s head who was always peep 
ing out of it." Somebody had quite evidently been 
watching that hole rather closely, for the two logs, which 
were a little apart, and formed the aperture, were riddled 
with bullets. 

They were not aware that the place was to be surren 
dered until after it was known by our own men. They 
allowed that it was better to be well fed and prisoners, 
than to hold out and starve. Several of the soldiers 
went within the rebel works on the first day. This was 
not prohibited. Those who went in returned with nu 
merous trophies of their visit, such as blankets, canteens, 
belts with the Confederate States plate upon them, pistols 
and the like. One beverage was served out with the 
utmost freedom by the garrison, as they had it in large 
quantities. It was a light beer made from corn, and 
really much more palatable than the river water. 

Quite early in the morning preparations were made for 
the ceremony, at which all seemed deeply gratified. 

It may be said, with truthfulness, that all were really 
gratified at the stale of affairs. Certainly our own men 



824 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

were, who had so triumphantly ended a vigorous and 
shrewdly planned campaign. Tiie half famished, dilapidat 
ed-looking rebels most certainly were, for they never gave 
heartier nian when told l>y General Beale and 

Colonel Miles that soon they should see their homes. 

They appeared deeply interested in the ceremony of 
surrender, which was conducted l>y Brigadier-General 
Andrew, General Banks s chief of staff. The spot chosen 
for the ceremony was an open area, near the flag-staff, 
opposite the centre of the river batteries, and very near 
the bank. 

Along the main street the soldiers composing the gar 
rison were, drawn up in line, having all their personal 
l,:i j-o-age, arms, and equipments with them. 

General Gardner and staff, with a numerous escort, 
occupied a position at the right of the line. 

By 7 o clock our troops marched into the works, headed 
by the brigade which had volunteered, a thousand strong, 
to storm the place in the next assault. Colonel Birge, oi 
the 13th Connecticut regiment, was in command of this 
storming party. It was fitting that they should lead the 
way with the flag of bloodless victory, who had volun 
teered to do so with bayonet and sabre. Artillery closed 
in with the infantry, and as the grand cortege swept 
through the broad streets of Port Hudson, with the 
errand old national airs for the first time in many months 
breaking the morning stillness, the scene was most im 
pressive and soul-stirring. Never did music sound 
sweeter, never did men march with lighter step, or greater 
rejoicing, than our troops, as they came into the^place 
which had cost the lives of many of their gallant com- 
rtdes. All the sorrow for their losses, and all the joy 
for their present victory, came to the mind at once Hut 
every private bereavement was instantly forgotten in the 
nation s great gain, and every man justly seemed proud 
to have had a part in one of the greatest triumphs of the 
war. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 325 

Passing directly across from the breast-works on^the 
land side to the river batteries, the column then inarched 
by the right flank, and afterwards halted and fronted op 
posite the rebel line. General Andrew and staff then 
rode up to receive the sword of the rebel commander. 
It was proferred to General Andrew by General Gardner, 
with the brief words : " Having thoroughly defended 
this position as long as I deemed it necessary, I now sur 
render to you my sword, and with it this post and its 
garrison." 

To which General Andrew replied : " I return your sword 
as a proper compliment to the gallant commander of such 
gallant troops conduct that would be heroic in anothei 
cause." 

To which General Gardner replied, as he returned his 
sword, with emphasis, into the scabbard : " This is neither 
time nor place to discuss the cause." 

The men then grounded their arms, not being able to 
stack them, since hardly one in ten of their pieces had a 
bayonet attached. They were mostly very rusty and of 
old style. Quite a number of the old Queen Bess pattern 
were included among them, having a bore half as large 
again as the ordinary musket. Most of the cartridge 
boxes were well filled, but the scarcity of percussion-caps 
was universal. 

An officer of the garrison, in explanation of this fact, 
remarked, that this very scarcity of caps was the reason 
that the men were allowed to cease firing on the right 
and left for several days. 

The number of men surrendered is over five thousand. 
Of these nearly four thousand are ready for duty. The 
remainder are in the hospital from sickness or wounds. 
There were six thousand stand of arms, with full equip 
ments. 

The troops are some of the best in the Confederate 
service ; many of them were at Fort Donelson, and all 
have been at Port Hudson since the battle of Baton Rouge. 



326 LIFE WITH THE FOTTTT -NINTH 

At the time of the battle of the Plains there were 6,1 13 
men in the fort. Since tli.it time the loss has been 610 in 
killed and wounded. Our men who were in the place 
numbered about fifty, and the rebels say they had every 
facility for escape. Many officers owned line lie 
Among them, Colonel Stone, of the 48th JVlassachus 
recognize 1 two which he had lost in the battle of the 
Plains. 

The works about this famous strong-hold are not of 
such a complicated nature as many have supposed, nor 
vet are they ineffective on account of their simplicity. 
The principal defences are on the river side. 

They comprise seventeen separate embrasures, mostly 
built in an arc of a circle. They are finely revetted, ai.d 
command all the approaches by way of the river. In 
three of them pivot guns were mounted, which were used 
Ix >th for front and rear. Two magazines are above ground, 
one in the rear of a battery of eight and ten inch guns, 
and below the flag-staff, which is raised in the centre of 
the works on the river front. The rest of the magazines 
are under ground. 

The land breast-works are built in the ordinary manner 
on the outer side. They extend in a semicircular direc 
tion from river to river, for a distance of nearly seven 
miles. 

Inside they have a narrow ditch, with small caves dug 
out from it in which the men slept and sheltered them 
selves from our tire. On the southern extremity they are 
very well built, but on the northern end they were not 
built until the recent investment, and hence are nothing 
but rifle-pits. 

There are a few houses, a church, two or three stores and 
shops, and a livery-stable, and these originally constituted 
the town of Port Hudson. 

These buildings are close up to the river batteries, 
separated from them by a broad street. The hospitals 
were in ravines. Every thing within the works bears 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 827 

ample proof of the terrific bombardment the place has 
suffered. 

Great trees lie across the roads and in the area, felled 
by solid shot and shell, buildings are riddled with round 
shot, dead animals fill the air about some of the ravines 
with a horrid effluvia, while shot and fragments of shell 
are strewn everywhere. 

The Confederate officers report that all our artillery fire 
has not killed more than twenty-five men. " One good 
rifle, I considered equal to ten pieces of artillery," said 
an artillery officer in commenting upon the effect of our 
fire. 

On speaking of the fight on the 27th, an officer said 
that when the attack was made so vigorously on Weit- 
zel s front, they all thought that their game was up. But 
observing no similar movement along other parts of our 
line, they moved up eleven pieces of artillery and two 
large battalions of their best troops, so that they were 
able to offer effectual resistance in that quarter. These 
movements were seen by our men at the time. 

After the ceremony was over, General Weitzel was 
presented with a fine chestnut stallion by a rebel officer 
who was formerly his pupil at West Point. 

The General had several classmates and pupils among 
the officers of the garrison, and they all seemed glad to 
revive the days long gone by, when they enjoyed that 
union of hearts and hands which a strange fanaticism has 
now severed. 

And not only between a few classmates, but between 
whole regiments, on the day of the surrender, there was 
a constant interchange of good feeling. Perhaps they 
have crossed bayonets for the last time. That is not cer 
tain. But no fears for the future seemed to trouble these 
heroes of many battles, as they talked of the scenes. in 
which they all had borne a part. Ere this day closed, 
many hearts were knit together in friendly bonds, which 
a few hours before were severed by the deepest enmity. 



328 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

On the night of the 8th, General Banks sent in a liberal 
supply of provisions for the garrison, mid early the next 
morning they enjoyed the first good meal they had par 
taken of for a long time. On the 29th of June, they 
issued their last quarter-ration of beef. On the 1st of 
July, some officers partook of a dish of mule meat, which 
they say, has a flavor between beef and venison. Horses 
were found to be good eating, though inferior to mules. 
Hats were eaten, and declared better than spring chick 
ens. We had fired their mills, so they could not grind the 
fe\v ears of corn left. They had plenty of peas, but starv 
ing men could not use them, so, to save the corn, they 
fed their horses and mules on the peas, by which many 
were killed. At the time of the surrender they had 
eaten their last mule. 

Port Hudson is a natural fortification, in which one man 
should keep at bay ten men assaulting from without. It 
is one net-work of ditches and ravines. The ground is 
strewed with such hardware as we poured into it for two 
months from the 8th of May, when the fleet commenced 
the bombardment. The ravages made by shells is fearful. 
Houses are gutted and mammoth trees broken off. In 
roads hardened by years of travel, you can see caverns 
twelve or fifteen feet deep, wider and larger than ordi 
nary cellars. One of these descending thunderbolts 
struck an artillerist about the neck, and drove him 
through the wooden floor of the battery into the ground 
beneath, leaving only his feet sticking out. Another 
killed three men, and soon after their burial still another 
burst in the cemetery and exploded among their coffins. 
One afternoon a shell exploded in the river, causing 
seventy^ or eighty fishes to rise to the surface completely 
stunned. The rebs put out after them, many of which 
were the largest sized catfishes. Ten pounds is called a 
sin-ill fish, so that was a lucky shell for them. Many of our 
projectiles would strike the trees laterally instead of with 
their percussion-cnps, and consequently failed to explode. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 329 

Grant is sending troops here from Vicksburg, and 
many regiments have gone down to Donaldson ville to 
drive back Taylor and his horde. The Forty-ninth went 
on Friday night, the 10th inst. This place, it is said, is 
to be garrisoned with negro troops. 

We now bid farewell to Port Hudson, with its fields of 
blood and graves of our comrades. When peace, of 
which this surrender is a speedy precursor, shall settle on 
the sunny South, it will be a proud, yet sad pleasure to 
revisit that place, and roam over Slaughter s field, and 
rest by what remains of the burial-places of our brother 
soldiers. Though we think of the slain, and of the hopes 
interred with them, we can but be jubilant. We are 
victors, and mingling with our shouts are the hosannas 
from the gory field of Gettysburg, telling that the God 
of battles has at last crowned the merited valor of the 
Army of the Potomac with victory. This has been a 
grand year. It was commenced right. We put God and 
humanity on our side and have gone on from triumph to 
triumph. The 4th of July has been resurrected. Again 
its inspired truths, all undiluted, fall from the lips of 
America on the ears of an expectant world. The world s 
sympathies answer in prayers for our success. 1863 is 
proving its kindredship to 1776. The child is nobler than 
the parent. The glory of the latter day is above that of 
the former. We are interpreting the Declaration of 
Independence, so that mankind, fearing or hoping, believe 
that " God hath created all men free and equal." The 
sun of victory, so gilding our graves that the glory hides 
the grief, reveals to the world that our flag is the standard 
of freedom, imbued with power from on high to wave 
triumphantly over every foe. " Despairing patriots dash 
away their tears, and exultingly exclaim, "Liberty is 
man s birthright ; tyrants have no divine right to rule ; 
man is capable of self-government." 



330 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

"The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks 
Shout to each oilier, and the mountain tops, 
From distant mountains, catch the flying joy; 
Till nation after nation taught the strain, 
Earth rolls the rapturous hosamia round." 

It is fitting that black hands should hold Port Hudson. 
There, those hands signed the charter of the freedom of 
their race. In the future of the Africans, as Ethiopia, who 
has so long stretched out her manacled hands to God, out 
rivals the splendor of Egypt and Carthage, gifted orators 
will kindle a nation s patriotism by allusions to Port Hud 
son, even as ice gather inspiration from the recollections of 
Uniiker Hill. The American eagle now watches her shores, 
that no vessels enter her harbors, save those freighted 
with the blessings of civilization, or with the missionaries 
of the Gospel of Christ. Africa, who has so long had her 
Calvary, now sees an angel at the grave of her former 
renown, rolling away the stone, and preparing her for the 
joy and glory of the resurrection. IZlood, all powerful 
blood, purifies and prepares for greatness. The begin 
ning of the ransom price has been paid, and in that purer 
light, revealing God s future to our " fallen brave," they 
see no shame, but only high honor in having fought, not 
only for their country, but also for the rejected ncf/ro. 
Could they speak to loving friends, they would say, " Let" 
our bodies lie on the field of our renown, and let the guar 
dians of our remains be the unfettered children of them 
whose fathers mingled their blood with ours, and thus 
bought the propitiation of <ir national sin and the freedom 
of t/tair race. Loving, sad, perchance disconsolate mem 
ories gather round the graves of the comrades we are 
leaving ; but the time will come when the possessors of 
such memories will proudly claim to be the aristocracy of 
our land. Children, now too young to know aught but 
that " father" will never return to them, will walk more 
erectly through the splendor and purity of our future, as 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 331 

they recognize that that splendor is based on their 
father s graves. 

Since my return to this place, I have attended negro 
meetings. They were jubilant meetings. Old hunkers 
might have thought that politics had entered into and 
vitiated their religion, but they felt that the Gospel really 
means, "glad tidings of great joy which shall be unto all 
people." From pulpits where they had often submis 
sively, despairingly, heard the old refrain, " Servants ! 
obey your masters ;" rang out the grand truths of man s 
equality, which were answered by shouts and tears of joy. 
Now, they feel that they are safe, and proudly recognize 
that negro valor materially aided in the purchase of that 
safety. Respectful to them who " knew that Port Hud 
son could never be taken," and who had often threatened 
them with vengeance, when Southern bravery had scat 
tered our armies to the wind, yet they firmly and openly 
consecrate themselves to our service, and in their sanc 
tuary, take up the mingled song of piety and joy, as did 
the Israelites when Gcrd had led them through the Red Sea 
" The enemy said, I will - pursue, I will overtake, I will 
divide the spoil ; my lust shall be satisfied upon them ; I 
will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou 
stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. 
Thou, in thy mercy, hast led forth the people which thou 
hast redeemed. Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath tri 
umphed gloriously ; the horse and his rider hath he 
thrown into the sea. 

Soon we come home, and may meet those cradled in 
the shadow of Bunker Hill, who will call all this only 
the outpourings of a fanatical heart ; but if this letter 
shall be read fifty years from now, the only surprise and 
mortification will be that, ever, any of the sons of 
Massachusetts were so untrue to their ancestry as to 
fail in doing all they could to make our hopes the world s 
fruition. If nothing more, we have gained the right to 
boldly speak of Freedom. The war is not yet over, and 



332 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

the hungry cemeteries will swallow up more of our 
brothers and sons, but we are moving on to a peace 
in which we may alnde. Fresh demands on our parriot- 
JMII will be made; and we can . make them, being 
i red that we or our race shall receive therefor a 
hundred-fold. We have fallen on grand times. The 
days of heroism, of Christian chivalry, have returned. 

We are living, we are dwelling 
In a grand and awful time 1 
In an age on ages telling, . 

To be living is sublime I 

" Will ye play, then, will ye dally 

With your music and your wine? 
Up ! It is Jehovah s rally ! 

God s own arm hath need of thine I 

" Worlds are charging, heaven beholding, 

Thou hast but an hour to fight ; 

Xow the blazoned cross unfolding, 

On, right onward, for the right ! 

" On ! let all the soul within you, 

For the truth s sake go abroad ; 
Strike 1 let every nerve and sinew 
Tell on ages, tell for God ! " 

Samuel H. Rossiter (B), died at the hospital in this 
place July 9th. He was severely wounded in the lungs 
in the first charge at Port Hudson. For a while we 
indulged the fond hope of his recovery. Though only a 
corporal, he was qualified for, and worthy of a high 
position. The man, the Christian, in him was so noble 
tint rank would have been but gilding gold. Tall in 
stature, lie was taller in jvorth ; and, in our estimation, a 
purer, better soldier never enlisted. Duty led him to 
the field : " What does duty require at my hand ?" w.i- 
his life-question. There were but three sons in his 
father s house. Two of them joined the Forty-ninth. 
Samuel felt that then he must enlist. His country 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 333 

needed his services, and he wanted to watch over his 
younger brothers. He saw the bright, genial Willie laid 
in his lonely grave at Carrollton, and for months the other 
brother has been fighting a doubtful battle with disease. 
Really unable to travel, he yet marched with us to Port 
Hudson. Advised, almost commanded to remain behind, 
yet he went. Duty called him, and that was enough. 
A part of our terribly- shattered left, he charged on the 
foe, and there received his death-wound. On coming 
from the field, I saw him walking towards the hospital, 
supported by two of his comrades, and thought he was 
one of the " slightly wounded." He was conveyed to 
the hospital at Baton Rouge, where his remaining brother 
lay sick. The love his fellow-soldiers bore him secured 
for him especial attention. He met his death as a 
Christian. I saw him a few days before he died, when 
the wound had recommenced bleeding. A sweet smile, 
mingled with the look of pain, assured me that for him 
death had no terrors. A disarmed conqueror was ap 
proaching. It was a sad scene. * Willie was gone, 
Abraham was sick, and he was dying. Perchance the 
old homestead was to be desolate indeed, and the aged 
parents were to go down to the grave with no sons to 
lean upon. I was glad then, that before going he had 
married the woman of his affections. A stranger, I had 
no right to intermeddle with that grief, but I prized for 
her the melancholy pleasure of a sorrow that would be 
respected. As his weeping comrades gathered about 
his death-bed, he said, " Mourn not. I shall be home in 
a few moments ;" and, in his twenty-seventh year, he was 
not, for God took him. Placed in a decent coffin, he 
was followed to his grave by a long procession. No 
regiment is privileged to boast of many Samuel Ros- 
siters. Cheerful and amiable, he was also an earnest 
Christian. Richmond, in temporal and spiritual affairs, 
will long miss him. Though young, even God s people 
had learned to lean and rely on him. He is dead! 



334 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

Home, the church, the Sunday-school, his company will 
greet him no more, nor receive .from him the genial 
smile. We mourn him, yet are richer in his death than 
in the lives of many. He was one of the untitled brave, 
a Christian man. It is superfluous to say he was one of 
our best soldiers. Duty, though ever so dangerous or 
repugnant, he never shunned. A wealth of precious 
memories gather round his life and death. "Faithful 
unto death, he has received the crown of life." ]\I:iy 
we imitate him. God and our country will then say, 
" Well done !" 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 335 



LETTER XXXIII. 

DOXALDSONVILLE, July 20, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

On Friday morning following the surrender of Port 
Hudson, we reached this place, which was once one of 
some beauty and importance, but now it is war-wrecked. 
That same day our brigade went up the river about five 
miles, on a reconnoissance, arresting all overseers and 
such persons as would be likely to give us information 
of the strength and whereabouts of the enemy. On the 
following Sunday, with the 2d Louisiana, we went up 
to McCall s plantation, about three miles distant, and 
secured a boat-load of corn. Our associates, the Sec 
ond Louisiana, well acquainted with the neighborhood, 
pilfered a considerable quantity of jewelry. 

On the morning of the 13th several brigades marched 
along the Bayou La Fourche into the interior. It is a 
beautiful and rich country. We proceeded on the upper 
side of the Bayou for three miles, and* then bivouacked 
and dined. It was the hottest, sultriest day we had ex 
perienced in Louisiana. After dinner, we went down the 
Bayou, on the other side of which there was some firing and 
much confusion. We jumped on the levee to survey the 
scene, but the blasphemous commands of Colonel Paine 
drove us down. Horses, teams, ambulances, fugitives, 
passed by as rapidly as fear could move them, ejaculating, 
" The rebs ! the rebs !" Our friends across the Bayou 
were evidently flanked, and retreating, as best they could, 
before a superior force. Soon, the battery accompanying 
our brigade opened fire, telling us that the enemy was 
not confined to the other side of the stream. We were 
drawn up in battle line on a road running from the 



336 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

JV-iyou, and thence our regiment was sent diagonally 
through a cane-field. Co. C. was thrown out as skir 
mishers, and found that, instead of a friendly battery, 
located at an adjacent sugar-house, there was a large 
collection of rebels, mounted and on foot. While ma 
king these movements we could hear the roar of artil 
lery, the rushing tramp of many fugitives,, while around 
us bullets wore flying with much disregard of life and 
limb. Through the rows of cane could be seen squads 
of enemies, how many we could not tell, save that they 
were on three sides of us. Amid all the confusion, only 
one thins was certain, AVC were flanked on nearly every 
hand. There we were alone, and of our own regiment 
w r e could see but few at a time, as it was impossible to 
keep a good line. We returned the fire as best we could 
till ordered to fall back to the road. There we found 
that our brigade had fallen back to the Bayou road, and 
crossing the fence, we formed three times, when Adjutant- 
General Webber ordered us to retreat. This we did for 
some rods, when we again formed a line, and, for a short 
distance, fell back in tolerable order. In the mean time, 
the enemy was pressing yet closer on our lone regiment 
and pouring scattered volleys into our ranks. The road 
on either side of *he Bayou was crowded with fugitives, 
and we were convinced, that we could do nothing but 
secure our own safety. When the final order to retreat 
r.imc, every man started for the river. Confusion be 
came worse confounded. Every attempt to keep in line 
failed, and in squads or alone, we pressed to the rear. It 
was a day of utter exhaustion. Pressing through corn 
ten feet high, the sun pouring down on us, unable to 
catch a mouthful of air, was bad enough, but we found 
scratching our way through the cane-fields tenfold worse. 
Cane grows about seven feet high, and is planted, not 
like corn, in hills, but in rows, presenting, when grown, 
an almost impenetrable jungle. Four miles, measured 
by rod*;, forty, as computed by discomfort and fatigue, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 337 

passed over and we reached the river, some near the fort, 
at Donaldsonville and the rest scattered over miles. 
Bradley (F), was killed, Adjutant Francis wounded in 
the leg, many were slightly wounded, some sun-struck, 
and not a few are recorded as " missing." Whether 
they are prisoners, or lying in some of the deep ditches 
that surround and intersect those large fields, we know not. 

It was a sad day. Surprised and flanked, we could do 
nothing but retreat. I do not know that any one was to 
blame. Dudley s brigade had felt the ground but the 
day before, and found but few enemies. We have since 
learned the foe was a part of General Taylor s army, 
gathered in Western Louisiana and Texas, some 12,000 
strong, for the relief of Port Hudson. Since the fight, we 
have heard nothing of them, save that they captured 
Brash ear City, with most of its defenders, and destroyed 
a vast quantity of stores, which the sudden appearance of a 
part of our army prevented them from removing. Consid 
ering all the circumstances, the Forty-ninth did well. For 
coolness, for obedience of orders, for forming again and 
again when left alone, they deserve much credit. That 
officers got separated from their men, and that nearly all 
returned in utter confusion, might be expected as the 
result of being flanked on all sides in "a strange country, 
and was unavoidable when retreating through the luxuri 
ant cane and corn-fields of the La Fourche country. Great 
credit is given to CharFee, Sissons, and Dresser for coolness, 
and steadiness in managing and keeping together their 
men. I mention rf.1i em especially because, though they did 
well in the battle of June 14th, they, being absent from the 
field of May 27th, had not before had an opportunity to 
show their command over men, when personal influence 
was nearly every thing. They are earnest lovers of Free 
dom. Had they flinched, they would have been the first 
recreants of that class in the Forty-ninth. 

Since the battle, we have had nothing more exciting 
than picket duty, unenlivened by the presence of a foe. 
15 



LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

We are encamped in an open field, and to the discomforts 
of actual war we have now supcradded the monotony of 
camp life. The continued mugginess of the wi-aMu-r has 
quickened mosquito* into life, and having no other m-my 
to fight, we battle with them, wondering why we are not 
sent home, thereby comforting us and relieving Uncle 
Sam of the expense of our maintenance. The cam}) at 
Baton Rouge is characterized by a dreary monotony, and 
a heat even worse than that that assails our boys at Don- 
aldsonville, for they do get an occasional breeze from off 
the river. Our sick are failing rapidly. "Hope deferred 
maketh the heart sick." About the only question of in 
terest is, " When will we start for home?" and how by 
sea or up the river ? Curiosity desires the latter, health 
the former. 

Our total loss on the 13th inst. stands, one killed, five 
wounded, and sixteen missing. Among the latter are 
some of our very best soldiers. Where are they? we 
often ask with painful solicitude. 

Alone among the dead stands the name of Edward R. 
Bradley (F), of Stockbridge. He was a farmer, and 
twenty-seven years of age. He leaves parents and wife 
to mourn him. We might have lost scores, whose united 
loss would have been less of a calamity than that of him 
who lies here in the lonely grave where his comrades 
buried him. He was an educated Christian soldier. 
" Death loves a shining mark." He found that mark in 
Edward R. Bradley. At home, he was known as the 
beloved son, the affectionate hu-band, the friend of the 
poor, the earnest member of the church of Christ. In 
the army, we knew him as a soldier ever faithful, one to 
be relied on in camp or in field one who everywhere 
showed that he was " not ashamed of the gospel of Christ." 
Oh, for legions of just such men ! He wore the armor of 
his country ; beneath that, he was clothed in the panoply 
of God. Richer blood has not dyed this soil. Earthly 
!ime will know him no more forever " In my Father s 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 339 

house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for 
you, that where 2 am there ye may be also." From the 
field of strife, fighting for God and Freedom, he has been 
ushered into those mansions. The Prince of Peace has 
received him, and, resting on His bosom, he sees how his 
dying blood was necessary to that hour when wars and 
rumors of war shall forever cease. We leave him alone 
with his glory. 

Samuel G. Noble (A), aged twenty-three years, clerk 
from Pittsfield, died in the hospital at Baton Rouge, of 
congestive fever, on the 14th inst. Illy prepared were 
we to hear this sad news. Young Noble looked so well 
and fleshy but a few days before, that we had no doubts 
but that he would be one of those who should soon return 
to glad expectant hearts. Even in the freshness of sor 
row, those hearts will be comforted by knowing that 
" their loss is his eternal gain." I knew him well, and 
never saw or heard any thing inconsistent with his Chris 
tian profession. His happy face carried sunshine with 
him, and no doubt comforted many of the sick and 
wounded with whom his duties, as a member of the am 
bulance corps, brought him in contact. That face was 
but the exponent of a kind heart and genial spirit, which 
led him to easily win the love and esteem of his comrades. 
Carefully tended, death met him, and we leave his grave 
to the care of strangers, believing that the All-Father has 
received him into his home. 

David Winchell (I), aged nineteen years, of Lanesboro , 
was drowned in the Mississippi River, while bathing, on 
the 15th inst. He could not swim, and getting beyond 
his depth, where there was none to help him, found his 
last battle-field in the treacherous waters. His body was 
recovered and decently interred. He was a genial, kind 
boy, prompt and efficient as a soldier, and as a comrade 
liked by all. His captain places him among the very 
best of his company. The brave-hearted lad joined the 
" forlorn hope" of May 27th, but, by his company being 



340 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

ordered to the rear before that battle commenced, he wns 
not allowed to share its danger and its glory. He vai 
au only son. Spared by shot and shell, the river, opened 
to the world by his toil and exposure, folded him in the 
embrace of death, and by its banks the daily expected 
son sleeps his last sleep. There will be weary waiting for 
him. 

Artemus R. Comstock (D), aged nineteen years, a far 
mer boy from Barrington, died on the 1 8th inst., at Baton 
Rouge, after a long illness of diarrhoea. A fine boy he 
was, and while well a faithful soldier. He came from a 
good stock, and was much of a favorite with officers and 
men. When I say he was considered one of the most 
likely of Company D, I use strong language, for that is 
a company to belong to which any man might well be 
proud. The lad, with his high hopes, his patriotic* aspi 
rations, now sleeps in a Southern grave. We will soon 
leave it, but w r ill carry with us the recollections of the 
many virtues of our buried comrade. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 341 



LETTER XXXIV. 

CAMP BANKS, BATON ROUGE, LA., 

August 2, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Yesterday, about sundown, the regiment returned to 
camp, after a campaign of seventy-three days. We have 
seen more real war-work than some regiments who have 
been years in the service. Eventful days were they. 
Looking back over them, remembering our slain and 
wounded, we claim the right to be called " veterans," and 
mournfully smile at our prophecy that the Forty-ninth 
would return home an untried regiment. We have been 
tried, and not found wanting. Seventy-three such days 
try soul and body, and give us an experience and crowd 
us with such memories that we will never feel as young 
again as before. Living on the verge of the grave, be 
coming conversant with wounds and death, years were 
packed in that period. Crowded with exposures and 
privations, darkened with a cloud that all the brightness 
of A 7 ictory cannot fully dispel a cloud that thickens as 
we think of the sad hour, when expectant friends, through 
tear-blinded eyes, shall behold ominous gaps in ranks, 
where once, in the pride of manly strength stood their 
loved ones, we will ever remember that camjpaign as the 
brightest and saddest part of our lives. Stepping into 
the glory of our country s future, made possible by our 
success, the sadness will depart, and we will reverently 
thank God for having vouchsafed strength and courage 
to do our duty, that our deeds might be a portion of the 
nation s wealth, of the world s pride. Little matters it 
that our names will be forgotten. Happy we, lured by 
r,o meed of fame, to have advanced the world one step 



T12 LIFE WITH TIIE FOETY-N TNTII 

nearer to its hc:ivcnl\ bridegroom! Enfram-hiM-d hu 
manity, ever mounting higher, will often pause to render 
thanks to the "unnamed demi-gods," on whose toils and 
sufferings and deaths, the grand temple of universal free 
dom was based. God has a purpose in this war, and 
when, hasten* <l !>]/ it, heaven and earth shall vibrate to 
the jubilant strain, "Hallelujah! the Kingdoms of this 
world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his 
Christ," " honor shall be given to whom honor is due." 

Do you call this egotism? Be it so, though I speak 
of myself as only one of the multitude ; yet, personally, 
I am prouder of the last seventy-three days than of any 
other part of my existence, and of my pride no one shall 
bereave me. It is worth much to meet friends again, 
conscious that for them you took your life in your hands, 
md, as flair representative, stood in the valley of death. 
It is yet true, " all that a man hath will he give for his 
/{/;." Duty, at home, seemed so safe and conducive to 
prosperity, that many knew not it was the outworking 
of a higher power ; duty done, where death barred the 
way, and where, in doing it, life was to be valued only 
as an empty bubble, reaches man s heart and brings him 
to realize that there is something stronger, sweeter, than 
the love of life. To count myself out in speaking of our 
just pride, would be only an affectation of humility you 
would despise. That I might not be counted out in the 
joyous consciousness of having done something to ad 
vance the world s best interests, I left home, friends, all ; 
and now, danger past, as I think of returning to home 
an 1 loved ones, I magnify the grace that enabled me to 
do my duty. 

Proudly we will return. Rich are they who have gar 
ments torn by shot and shell ; yet richer they who bear 
in their bodies, honorable, but not disabling or disfiguring 
scars. The former will cherish their mementos of this 
campaign, even as war-tattered banners are cherished, 
and from the fringed bullet edges, impress on the rising 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEEKS. 343 

race, lessons of patriotism ; while from the latter, much 
gold could not purchase the sacred evidences of their 
fealty to God and Freedom. Some will bear through life 
heavy mortgages on future independence. Such might 
have been their fate had they remained at home ; and 
between being crippled in fighting for money and fight 
ing for a nation s glory, there is an infinite difference. 
Come back how we may, it will be with an increased 
self-respect, an increased claim on the respect of others, 
that will cause many to mourn that they selfishly 
absented themselves from the post of duty and of honor. 
The time is coming when posterity will summon such to 
its bar, and demand why they allowed others to beat 
back, unhelped by them, the waves that would have 
desolated all. If they stand without excuse, the honors 
of the future will not be for them. Returned soldiers 
will have the ears of the young for the next thirty years. 
Whatever else they may teach, they will certainly teach 
that to the defenders of the land belong its honors and 
emoluments. Even the dissipated return with joy, be 
lieving that their baptism of fire has purified their record, 
and will enable them to start afresh in the pursuit of re 
spect and prosperity. 

Nothing of interest transpired at Donaldsonville, after 
the date of my last letter. .Picket duty, a daily drill of 
an hour, fighting bugs and mosquitos, sweating in the, 
sun by day, absorbing fever at night, watching the pass 
ing boats, and wondering when we would leave for home, 
is a summary of our last weeks at that God-forsaken 
place. There was nearly as much of disagreeable 
monotony here. When will the regiment return? w^as 
the great question. Of course, that must antedate start 
ing for home. Some little excitement was created by 
ordering the light-duty men down the river, awakening 
the fear that the authorities intend to hold us till the 1 9th 
of August. This is now the report, and it comes so 
straight that we fear it is true. The Major has gone to 



.Ml LIFE WITH THE FOETY-NINTH 

New Orleans to see about it. On the 19th, the Colonel, 
and many of our sick, started for the North by the \ 
of the Atlantic. His arm begins to mend. iiur- 

bank made a neat box for it so that he can carry it with 
some ease. His wound in the right heel has ceased to 
trouble him. 

There are sick here who should have gone. Poor fel- 
lo .vs! some will die if they stay here another fortnight! 
Send them home up the river and by cars, and death will 
intercept them. This climate grows more infernal, daily. 
We are now enjoying the second crop of flies, and, as for 
musquitos, they crop often enough to keep us afflicted 
day and night. This muggy weather, with mercury at 
96, is their carnival. Were it not for our bars, we 
would succumb. When we came here in February, many 
said they would ultimately settle here. Angels of purity 
in Hades are not scarcer than those who note cherish that 
idea. We consign the whole of " Lousyaiui" to negroes 
and alligators. 

T. M. Judd (F), has had the bodies of Lieutenant 
Doming and Sergeant Wolcott disinterred, and they, 
with the body of Corporal Case (F), now await cooler 
weather to bear them to their burial in Sandisfield. 
Stricken, as she has been, it is fitting that some of her 
slain should IK I brought home to hallow her soil with 
their remains. Deming, Wolcott, Case ! three Christian 
soldiers, members of the same church ! a sad, yet proud 
day, wh"n Sandisfield, that gave them birth, shall give 
them graves. Let her other dead remain where they 
fell. The distant tombs will be joined together, and teach 
the cost and sacredness of the reunited Union. Remove 
all our dead from the South, and we seem to yield that 
soil to the enemy. 

Our getting ready to come home makes the three years 
troops feel badly even savage. They are down on the 
nine months men, and not un frequently insult us. The 
whole grievance is, " we are going home, while they 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 345 

must stay in the grave-yard." Glad as we are to leave, 
we pity them, our gallant comrades, but love them no 
better for the sneering question : " Are you a nine 
months man or a soldier ?" After battling as \ve have, 
staying weeks beyond our term of service, doing every 
thing required at our hands, this sneer almost makes a 
man anxious to pitch into brother blue-coats, and show 
them that we cany?///^, even if we are not soldiers. The 
sneer generally comes from those who have heard, not 
seen the enemy. The Commissary Sergeant of the 53d 
Massachusetts, a regiment that is covered all over with 
honors, went to the bakery after soft bread. The baker, 
w T ho had never seen fire save in his oven, told him he had 
no bread for nine monthlings ; he baked for soldiers. 
Query : Would pitching him into one of his ovens, for a few 
minutes, have been an unpardonable sin ? Though the nine 
months children are sneered at, tell them you belong to the 
Forty-ninth and they are proud to recognize you as com 
rades indeed. Regimental pride is almost as strong as 
family pride, and I straightened up to my full height the 
other day at the Ordnance Office. I was there making 
arrangements to turn over our guns, and was asked what 
regiment I belonged to; I replied, "The Forty-ninth 
Massachusetts," emphasizing the number, for it bears 
emphasis here, when the officer, a three years man-, said, 
"That is a noble regiment." On the bridge across the 
Bayou, at Donaldsonville, two officers were censuring the 
nine months^ soldiers, when one, seeing some of our boys, 
said, "There are those brown-breeches fellows (our dark- 
blue pants are a dingy brown now), you can never scare 
them." He, perchance, had seen us under fire, and knew 
that whether we had enlisted for a long or short period, 
we were worthy of the term " soldiers." 

We are not unappreciated ; some of our officers and 
men have been proffered higher positions if they will re 
main or return after a furlough of sixty days. T. M. 
Judd (F), one of General Banks s clerks, has been offered 
15* 



346 LIFE \VIT1I TII i: POK1 

a clcrksliip of $100 per inoiilh. lie deserves the compli- 
iiii-nt, but lioine, wile, child, turn the scale in favor of 
Berkshire. The extravagant bounty, $402, is leading 
some to re-enlist. Is there no bottom to our Treasury f 
Pay (considered as an equivalent for services rendered) 
the soldier, and you must needs coin national hopes and 
-lory; ay, and some of the beatitude of heaven; so I do 
not think the bounty too high ; but can we, can any nation, 
afford it? 

At the orders of the officers, we threw away some- of 
(in- clothing on going into battle. We expected the 
government to reimburse us. That expectation fails us. 
Here is a wrong that should be righted. We had " Dress- 
parade" this evening, and I could not keep back the tears 
as I gazed down the line. Nearly all were present. 
Brown as Indians looked the veterans, deathly pale the 
sick ; but. where is Doming, Judd, Sherman, Sissons, Iv>s 
siler, Wolcott, Warner, Pratt, and a host of others, good 
and true? Dead, dying, wounded. Sad contrast willi 
our last dress-parade, .May JOtli. Broken ranks testify to 
duly done, and rewarded with mutilation, dependent . -, 
death. There were but few of our stalwart giants left. 
Battle and sickness swept, them away iirsl. -Washed and 
reclothcd, the boys look well, but nothing becomes them 
M> much as their bronzed features and their wounds. 

We are in receipt of Ne\v York papers of July 10th. 
They have no account of the surrender of Port Hudson. 
They do us injustice who claim the surrender of Port 
Hudson as a mere incident of the fall of Vieksburg. 
True, that discouraged the rebels, but they knew that our 
next assault would be successful, and so yielded, while 
they could willi honor. I have not heard of a single- 
negro prisoner being found in Port Hudson. Were t/n >/ 
ail so wounded that they died / Many of the irhttm 
were living. Were tlu-y mwderedf 

The anti-draft riots of the North make us eager to be 
at home to put down rebellion in New York. Better 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 847 

defeats on the Potomac than that mobs should triumph. 
Returned soldiers will cheerfully administer allopathic 
doses of grape and canister which proved so effectual in 
Boston. Fortunately, our Governor did not recognize 
the rioters as " my friends." At the very hour brutal Irish 
men were slaughtering unarmed negroes in New York, 
the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was pressing against the 
walls of Fort Wagner. Better such negroes for citizens, 
ay, for rulers, than such foreigners. America has more 
to fear from the latter class. I was always opposed to 
" Native-Americanism," but a few riots of the New York 
kind, and love of country will make me adopt that sys 
tem, which I once thought so narrow and bigoted. All 
honor to our negro soldiers. They deserve citizenship. 
They will secure it. When Sergeant Carney held the 
emblem of liberty over the walls of Fort Wagner, refu 
sing to yield the sacred standard, though twice severely 
wounded, and was carried to the hospital saying, to his 
cheering comrades, " Boys, the old flag never touched the 
ground," he gave better proof of loyalty to this land than 
ever did any son of Green Erin. Irishmen fight, because 
fight is in them, but not for freedom. They have but little 
appreciation of that. Germans, though half infidelized, 
understand its inspiration, and accordingly make better 
American citizens. I have written much about the negro, 
and now, I bid him adieu. His future here is safe and 
free. In the transition state, thousands will suffer and 
die. A nation is not born without pangs. The life will 
fully pay for- the sufferings. " Bring me," said a desolate 
slave-mother, " the ashes of the last auction-block for my 
sold daughter." What matters that mother s pangs to 
her joy in seeing the evidence of slavery s death. I have 
seen much of slavery and no good, unless you call this 
good: proportionally, there are fewer white prostitutes 
in the South than in the North. Before Him, who is "no 
respecter of person," call you this "good?" 

Berkshire is preparing to receive the Forty-ninth. 



T.48 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NIXTII 



will give us a reception expressive of her pride and 
joy. We are her sons, and have not disgraced her. 
u When the boys come home," is now her refrain. We 
fear her cakes will grow stale while waiting. No need 
of that, for our brothers are even now on the road home, 
and to M< ,//, i avors shown, will be written down in 
hearts of gratitude. If we return through the loyal 
North, with appetites quickened by seeing delicacies 
we cannot purchase, we Only hope that short the 
speeches, not long the grace, before we are conducted 
to the flesh-pots of Berkshire. Ever so fully fed, an 
angel s eloquence would tire us till we had clasped wives 
and little ones to our hearts. Speed the slow hours till 
the boys get home, is our prayer. But, 

" They come not back, though all be won, 
Whose young hearts leaped soHiigh." 

Benedict Niles (G), aged twenty-nine, farmer, of 
Clarksburgh, died July 22d, at this place, of heart dis 
ease. He leaves wife and family. Weakly, he did 
what he could. Spared as was his company from dan 
ger and exposures, he has yet given to this soil his 
remains. 

Augustine Aldrich (G), also from Clarksburgh, died 
July 23d. He, too, leaves a family to expect his speedy 
return. Alas! they will come to greet him, but snd 
news will change the joy into wailing. He was twenty- 
three years of nge. His death was caused by an abscess 
in the side. 

Elijah M. Morse (F), merchant, from Otis, died of 
diarrhoea, July 24th, aged twenty-seven years, leaving a 
large family to mourn for the husband, the father, they 
are no more to see. lie was a good soldier, quiet, 
faithful, and respected by his comrades. 

A. II. Maranville (I?), farmer, from Savoy, died here, 
July Jfith, :u:ed tin- y- ; rht years. lie was a ready, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 349 

prompt soldier and a faithful Christian man. Sad, to 
die, just as we expect to leave; sad, that an anxious 
wife shall receive tidings of a dead, instead of the em 
brace of a living husband ; yet, the consolation survives, 
that the weary soldier has been ushered into his heavenly 
home, and that God s own peace surrounds and fills him. 
There is life in his death. 

In the hurry of the march on Port Hudson, I did not 
apprise you of two deaths that occurred in Co. G. 

Charles G. Courtwright (G), spinner, of South Adams, 
aged twenty years, died at Baton Rouge, May 15th, of 
congestion of the bowels. His sickness was short but 
severe, and closed a valuable life, for he was a good 
soldier, and as a man much respected. 

Thomas J. Sweet (G), died in New Orleans, May 19th, 
of diarrhoea. He was a farmer, from Hancock, aged 
twenty-six years ; always sickly, but faithful, according 
to his strength. 



350 LIFE Wlill TJ1K i.Ylll 



LETTER XXXV. 

ER, ABOVE 

August 9, 1863. 



MISSISSIPPI IllVER, ABOVE NEW ORLEANS, ) 



MY DEAK L. : 

On the 5th inst. the Major returned from New Or 
leans, and informed us that the authorities recognized 
our term of service as having expired on the 28th of 
July, and would send us home as soon as they could 
obtain the needed vessels. That same afternoon \vc were 
ordered to prepare for leaving, and a joyous activity 
reigned in every street. 

August 01 h, Co. G was relieved from provost duty, 
and returned to camp. Though they have had no share 
in the honors of the Jidd, they are not without their 
laurels. They gave complete satisfaction to the Provost- 
Mar.-lial, and the citizens were loth to give them up. 
.Many and delicate were their duties. Not one abused 
his privileges, without this cutting joke were an abuse. 
Some of the natives are darker than many of the 
negroes, who are required to be furnished with passes. 
You can imagine the scene, when a guard stops one of 
these dark citizens, requiring him to show a pass, on the 
ground that no negroes are allowed to go by without 
that authority, and the humble apology when citizen 
angrily asserts his Circassian blood. Company G kept 
Baton Rouge as quiet as Pittsfield. You would not have 
imagined there were many thousands of soldiers within 
a few miles. The negro troops were as orderly as 
church- wardens. While we were at Port Hudson, pro 
vost-guards had to do picket work, and were frequently 
ordered to "fall in" to beat back a foe who thivaii-m-d 
often, but never attacked. The citizens of Baton llouge 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 351 

will forget the Forty-ninth Mass., but will long remember 
Co. G, whose faithful discharge of duty gave them all 
the quiet and security of peace amid the turmoils and 
lawlessness of war. That company enjoyed almost as 
good health as if they had remained in Berkshire. They 
realized many of the comforts of home, to which we 
were strangers. Dismissed with the earnest " Well 
done, good and faithful guards !" they rejoined us. 

The return of nearly all our "missing," on the 7th 
inst., put us in good spirits. Between their capture, 
July 13 and July 15, they were marched forty-two 
miles and then paroled, fed, in the mean time, on a cup 
of meal each per day. They were robbed of nearly 
every thing. Most of them found their way to the river 
and were carried to New Orleans, thence to Ship Island, 
and thence to Baton Rouge. They suffered much, and 
H. P. Wood (F), a noble soldier, almost laid do\vn and 
died. Only the unremitting kindness of his comrades 
enabled him to find his way into our lines. Poor fellow ! 
I fear an early grave is yawning for him. I hope he 
may, at least, be spared to die at home. On reaching 
New Orleans, they were ragged and dirty, but they fell 
into the hands of Captain W. W. Rockwell (called 
Willie Rockwell at home), of Pittsfield. He deserves 
the affectionate abbreviation, for he tenderly cared for 
them, securing good clothes, (at whose expense I know 
not, certainly not at theirs), and freely furnishing them 
with money from his own purse. Many of them were 
strangers to him, but they were Massachusetts soldiers, 
Berkshire boys. His generous heart cared to know 
no more. 

Of Fuller (F) and Bull (A) we can gather no tidings. 
There is but little doubt that they are lying in some of the 
ditches near the battle-field of Donaldsonville. Perchance, 
wounded, they sought shelter there from the foe, know 
ing not a fiercer foe was on their track. It may be, that, 
like the lamented Bradley, death mercifully shortened 



352 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

their sufferings. To know this would be easier for friends 
to bear than the harrowing suspense. Compelled to re 
linquish all hopes of seeing them again, I give you their 
brief obituaries. 

HWAs Fuller was a Stockbridge farmer, aged thirty 
years. He leaves a wife and several children. In camp, 
he was ever steady, faithful, and reliable. lit; was one of 
our pioneers, and did his duty intelligently and fully. He 
made a fine appearance, looking the soldier. For long 
days he waited for the signal to batter down the walls of 
Port Hudson. It came not, and he was spared to pioneer 
us amid the cane-brakes of Bayou La Fourche. Doing 
his duty, he met the unconquerable enemy. We know 
not the spot of his burial ; but we record him among our 
u fallen brave." 

James B. Dull was an excellent soldier and an intelli 
gent man. He was a corporal in Company A. Unwell, 
he did not go up to Port Hudson till near the close oi 
that siege. Spared those scenes of slaughter, he yielded 
up his life in an hour of comparative safety. The land 
of stern devotion to duty, Scotland, gave him birth ; 
Louisiana gives him a burial. Twere worth the death- 
struggle to plant in that morally barren soil, the love of 
religious freedom that has lifted Scotland so high among 
the races of men. "Missing! who knows how much of 
agony gathers round that word. A soldier missing. The 
world hears and heeds but little, but some hear, and sor 
rowing echoes ring through the chambers of their souls. 
" AVhen thousands fall, and are massed into trenches to 
gether, when thousands of homes are darkened, and thou 
sands of hearts bereft forever, we weep over the magnifi 
cent sacrifice which entirely tills our imagination. But 
when a single life is offered, a solitary home desolated 
for the sake of country, why it is of such small account 
we cannot come down from our splendid grief, we who 
have bewept the stupendous carnage of Fredericksburg, 
Gettysburg and Port Hudson to bewail the loss of 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. -353 

4 only a man. He died for his country, yet who will 
pronounce his eulogy, who print his name in the news 
papers, and cover it with glory ? It is of no account 
to tfce great world, mad for her crowned heroes, that 
waiting their nameless brave 

" Mother or maiden stand 

Within a lonely home, 

And say : When will he come 
Out from the returning ranks ? How long he lingers 

With his victorious band! 

Tender loving lips have kissed 
Their last ; and never more shall thrill white fingers 

For that one soldier missed ! " 

Ralph E. P helps (K), nged thirty-six years, farmer, from 
Florida, was wounded in the leg, May 27th, so that am 
putation became necessary. He died in the hospital at 
Baton Rouge the day we left. The brave corporal reached 
his home first. He leaves a family to mourn his loss 
Florida sent ten good men with the Forty-ninth ; only 
one-half return. She may well sadden at their loss, but 
pride also gathers round the grave of such dauntless 
heroes as Ralph E. Phelps. 

We left Baton Rouge August 8th, 5 p. M., by the 
steamer J. Raymond. Our rejuvenated band played, a 
fine breeze quickened our blood, and passing the State 
House and General Hospital, we sailed down the river, 
u homeward bound." True, some of our wounded com 
rades were looking at our receding forms with sadness ; 
true, we were much crowded on deck and in cabin, but 
every thing was forgotten in the joyous thought, " duty 
done and we re homeward bound." Saturday afternoon 
it was, and, of course, the negroes holiday. Their toil 
over, a toil, our toil has mingled with hope, it was fitting 
that they should wave us their adieus. Cheerfully the 
night passed, and the morning found us at New Origans. 

Lo ! the T. A. Scott had left us. A Connecticut regi- 



054 LIFE WITH THE FOUTV-XINTII 

ment played us a Yankee trick, and stole an earlier pas- 
. We embarked on the steamboat Temple, about 2 
r. M., August 9th, and are now retracing our weary steps. 
A long, discomforting, exhausting trip is before us. The 
well will bear it, for each revolution of the wheels brings 
us nearer home. I fear me the very anxiety of our sick 
to reach Berkshire will exhaust them and open interve 
ning graves. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 355 



LETTER XXXYI. 

. CAIRO, ILLINOIS, August 18, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

Sunday night, the 16th instant, at lip. M., we reached 
this gloomy place, and are yet waiting for transportation. 
We Lave had a dull trip. The river is beautiful, but mo 
notonous. Above J^aton Rouge, which we re-left on the 
10th, 9 A. M., there are few houses to be seen on the 
banks of the stream. We gazed on the dear old flag we 
had followed into battle, floating in triumph over Port 
Hudson and Yicksburg, with emotions of mingled sor 
row and pride. The numerous boats descending the 
river, eloquently proclaim that we have not spent our 
strength for naught. It is free. Its freedom proclaims the 
death of slavery and rebellion. It was fitting we should 
sail over the scene of our triumphs, yet but few of us have 
any desire to renew the triumphal march. Coming up 
this river in August, under the most favorable circum 
stances, is not a matter of pleasure ; to us it was crowded 
with discomforts. Lying on the damp, cinder-covered 
decks at night was positive comfort to enduring the rays 
of the sun by day. On the unsheltered deck we must 
be, or seek shade in the suffocating hold, in close prox 
imity to the fires. Too crowded to be benefited by cir 
culation of air, which Heaven gave grudgingly, we panted 
through the days and hailed the nights with their damp- 
ness and mosquitos as friends indeed. Cooking was 
performed under difficulties only inferior to those we en 
countered on the Illinois. All was borne cheerfully, for, 
are we not " homeward bound ?" You can imagine how 
the sick fared. They are failing rapidly. Some have 
died. 



356 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

We had to go slowly up this tortuous river, because 
new bars form so rapidly, that constant travel is necessary 
to understand their location. After two years rest it 
was almost a strange channel to our pilot. Getting on a 
bar would not only have delayed us, but might have 
brought us into disagreeable proximity to .the prowling- 
guerrillas, who amuse themselves by tiring into passing 
boats, and by capturing those who get " stuck/ Twenty- 
five unloaded rifles may enable us to do guard duty as 
we return, but would hardly keep back a horde of rebels. 
To men who are in a hurry, whose friends are awaiting 
them, it is provoking to look over -a jet of land, not a 
mile wide, and learn that you have to travel thirty miles 
to reach that spot. All that belongs to the trip " up the 
river." 

The officers tried to make up their accounts while on 
the boat, so as not to delay our being mustered out and 
paid oil\ but our craft was rightly named " Tempest," and 
after specimens of chirography that would have appalled 
the Departments at Washington, the attempt was aban 
doned. 

We leave some of our sick at this place, among whom 
is William E. Clark (A), of Pittstield ; a tip-top soldier. 
I hope we do not leave him to die among strangers. As 
we were near Donaldsonville, on the night of the 9th 
instant, Ezra Van Dusen (E) walked, while asleep, into 
the river and was drowned. His body could not be re 
covered. He was a farmer, from Egremont, aged twenty- 
seven years, and is spoken of as a nice man. He was 
mainly employed in the cooking department, where he 
gave general satisfaction. He leaves a wife and chil 
dren. Perchance they will come to Pittstield, to greet 
the returning husband and lather. God pity them, in 
that hour. 

Daniel Owens (I) died on the 13th instant, aged thirty. 
one years. His brother, Nelson, who disappeared when 
we were encamped at Bayou Montecino, died among the 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 357 

rebels, at Jackson, Mississippi. I had no acquaintance 
with either of them. 

Levi Proutt (I), fanner, from Cummington, aged forty- 
four years, died of diarrhoea, August 14th. 

Egbert Smith (H), a Sandisfield farmer, aged twenty- 
six years, died on the same day. His health was poor, 
but he was always willing to do his duty. A good sol 
dier he was, one on whom you could always depend. He 
started with us when we moved on Port Hudson, but 
was too weak for service, so had to return. A good man 
and a faithful comrade ; we buried him in Arkansas, as 
we did the others who died on the boat. Sad interrup 
tions, were these stoppages. Death demanded additional 
tribute almost on the confines of our eagerly sought 
homes. Thank God, the weary trip, with its suspense 
and exhaustion and death, is over. Soon we will be on 
our homeward road again ; soon reach the desired haven. 
Has death been as remorseless there? 



358 LIFE WITH THE FOETY-NINTU 



LETTER XXXVII. 

PITTSFIELD, MASS,, August 24, 18G3. 

MY DEAR L. : 

Home again ! and now I sit down to finish the account 
of our trip.- Officers in passenger-cars and " enlist r< I 
men" in cattle-cars, we left Cairo on the evening of the 
18th. Cattle-cars awakened our indignation at iirst, but 
we learned they were more comfortable for a four dn\V 
journey than those occupied by the officers ; for, occasion 
ally, we could enjoy the luxury of expansion, and, albeit, 
they were hard and springless, get some sleep. Clean 
straw was given to the sick for bedding. Passing through 
fever-cursed (Southern Illinois, we reached Mattoon the 
next morning, where we were furnished, gratuitously, 
by the ladies with an excellent breakfast. Fresh from 
hard-tack and salt-beef, we did that breakfast such justice 
as left our providers no doubts as to our appetite or their 
capacity to cater for hungry men. I tell you, the mother 
rose to our eyes as we overfilled our craving stomachs. 
Despite the wretched Copperheads, who held a meeting 
there a few days before, at which cheers for Davis and 
groans for Lincoln were intermingled, we knew we were 
in the loyal North, and woman s kindness came to us 
with an unexpected and touching power. God bless 
them ! they were not handsome, but they were earnestly 
good, and, with their comforts, we received fresh draughts 
of patriotism for future sacrifices. \V r e had been worrying 
ourselves about the emptiness of our purses ; we knew 
not that the great heart of the North was alive to our 
coming. After we had penetrated a few miles into 
Illinois, apple-peddlers offered their wares at, what 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 359 

seemed to us. marvellously low prices, but still beyond 
our reach; anon, some kind souls would throw apples 
into the passing cars ; then, at small stations, we 
would see miniatures of the " dear old flag" flying, and 
whole baskets of fruit would be handed in, and, at times, 
those who had money would rush out arid get a little milk 
or a few eggs, and return with their purses no lighter, 
which, being published, would lead scores to the friendly 
doors, from which none came away empty-handed, and 
then we exclaimed, " This is our land ; God bless it 
forever and ever !" At Mattoon we began to learn that 
returning soldiers had coin more precious than gold ; coin 
that secured not only all needed blessings, but the affec 
tionate attention of men too old to be in the army, and 
of women who so loved their country that they had 
given to its defence husbands, brothers, sons, lovers, all. 
Our trip was one continued ovation. So many regiments 
had preceded us that their benevolence had become 
systematized, and from station to station the lightning 
flashed the news, "The boys are coining!" and great 
hearts, knowing that they are " our boys," no matter 
whether they hail from Illinois or Massachusetts, met us 
with so many luxuries that money seemed a thing too 
sordid to connect with such a triumphal march. 

Every thing substantial was offered ; and a good wo 
man, perchance thinking of her " old man," who liked 
his tobacco after meals, would supply us with some 
" fine-cut," and another would pass round a little of the 
" ardent," concluding it would not do to be too strict, 
and the change of water might make it beneficial to the 
boys ; while others presented us with bottles of black 
berry brandy, or little vials of medicine for diarrhoea. 
God bless them ! It was worth much of our privations 
to be the recipients of such loving and grateful atten 
tions. No one gave because we were moneyless ; they 
knew not that, but their hearts said, "These are our 
boys ; they have been fighting for us ; can t we do yet 



360 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

more for them ?" At first they did not complain of onr 
appetites, but after two or th:-ee gorgings we necessarily 
came do\vn to human standards, and really saddened 
some because we could not eat all they offered. "Take 
it along with you, you may need it on the road ; 1J and 
filling up haversacks, we would pass on. Bless their dear 
souls ! they forgot that there were many stations on the 
road, and we must leave some vacant corners for future 
benefactors. 

C old will be our hearts before we forget Mattoon, 
Indianapolis, Bellefontaine, Cleveland, Buffalo, Utica. 
We had si k ;vith us, for whom we cared, but with such 
rough manner that they thought of home by a tender 
ness which was lacking; but, stop where we would, 
strong men and earnest-eyed women sought out the sick, 
pressing dainties upon them, till our good surgeon had 
to interfere to prevent any illustrations of being killed 
with kindness. What loving hearts could devise or 
loving skill prepare, was furnished with an accompanying 
tenderness that brought home vividly before our almost 
despairing, ay, dying comrades. Refined, delicate 
women would sit down in the dirty cars, take the heads 
of the poor fellows on their laps, and tenderly bathe their 
brows and wash hands and feet that had long been guilt 
less of w r ater. Like angels, they hovered over these 
wrecks of human strength, and, like angels, wept not, lest 
the tears welling up from overcharged hearts should hinder 
them in the discharge of their loving, but hurried duties. 

At Cleveland we left Lieutenant Reed, Charley French 
(D), and others. I fear they will return to Berkshire 
only as corpses. Reed is a noble fellow. Had he been 
willing to leave his company sooner than he did, he 
might now be well. To go to Port Hudson, he left the 
hospital, and only returned thither when his shrinking 
flesh couid no longer submit to the earnest, patriotic 
will. If he dies, he is a battle-victim as surely as if he 
had fallen in the thickest of the strife. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 361 

It would take up too much of your time to read of all 
onr receptions, but you must pause awhile at the follow 
ing extract from the Utica Herald : 

"THE 49Tii MASSACHUSETTS. It was about fifteen min 
utes before eight o clock last evening when the 49th 
Massachusetts regiment arrived at the depot on a train 
of twenty cars. The vigilant committte and their vigi 
lant aids had made their preparations on a more ex 
tensive scale than heretofore, in order that the large 
regiment of seven hundred and fifteen men might be 
suitably accommodated and refreshed. Besides the usual 
complement of coffee, biscuits, sandwiches, cakes, and 
meats, there were platters heaped with warm boiled 
potatoes, a good supply of different varieties of pickles, 
pies, and other niceties a feast fit to make all who 
looked upon it hungry. The ladies who lent their assist 
ance never looked more kind and smiling, and many of 
them stood ready to wait on the sick, with wines and 
cordials, and such other delicacies as were needed. 

" Such a crowd as was at the depot, to see and greet the 
Forty-ninth, has not been there since the reception of the 
14th and 26th regiments. The people began to gather 
before 7 o clock, and continued to flock depot ward until 
the number was estimated at five or six thousand. 

" The regiment was greeted with cheers, and thunders 
from Dunn and Morrison s battery on its arrival, and 
responded with other cheers and martial music. It was 
pleasant to see the soldiers faces light up as they looked 
over the well-spread tables and smelt the fragrance of the 
coffee-cups. They had had nothing to eat since morning, 
at Buffalo. As they filed out of the cars and into po 
sition, it was remarked by many that a finer appearing body 
of soldiers had not been seen in Utica. A much more 
stalwart regiment, physically, than most others, it appears 
to have considerably more than its share of intelligence ; 
and as to their faces, the ladies were charmed. And such 
cheery prattle and bustle as these good ladies distributed 
16 



302 JFK WITH Tin: F-.I:TV-MXTH 

among tlie handsome soldier faces cannot -be outdone by 
any other ladies of any other town; of this we are al>M> 
lately certain; and the owners of the handsome I M 
wil remember them to the everlasting honor of Utica 
we heard them say they would. They had received 
handsome treatment, they said, at Buffalo, Cleveland, 
and other places along their route, but Utica was ahead 
Utica ladies did beat all. And so it is no wonder that 
they went off cheering vociferously for the ladies of 
Utica. Some of the ladies had prepared pretty bouqu -ts, 
and did not forget to distribute them. 

" Citizens who looked after the sick inform us that they 
were all very comfortable and better cared for than those 
of the previous regiments have been. They say that 
Surgeons Winsor and Rice are evidently just the men 
for their position, and deserving of the highest credit." 

The editor of the Eagle truthfully and happily says : 

"And let us add that they still keep on cheering for 
Utica. By every Berkshire fireside the patriotic kindness 
of those Utica ladies is told, and warm hearts expand 
with gratitude to hear it. Tens of thousands of Berk 
shire hearts will beat with a kindlier feeling whenever 
hereafter they hear or see the name of a city which 
so nobly cheered the wayfaring of those we were impar 
tient to welcome home. God bless the glorious city of 
Utica !" 

On the 22d, at \\ A. M., we reached Albany, where some 
received sandwiches and coffee, and where all washed up 
and put on their best toggery, so as to look as well as 
possible under the gaze of Berkshire. To have marched 
into Pittsfield in all our dirt and rags, would only have 
been an affectation of heroism. We knew that " mother,* 
wife, sister, would be better pleased to have us look 
presentable, and the nearer home we got the gentler 
and softer were our feelings. In comfortable pas-enger- 
cars we left Albany about 7 A. M., and cheerily sped on 
our way. Never did any country look so beautiful as 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 363 

did the rich counties of Albany and Columbia. We 
crossed the State line, and, with a joy too deep for 
cheers, felt we were again in the dear old Common 
wealth, whose principles we had gone forth to uphold 
and extend. The booming cannon and the deep cheers 
at- last told us we were at home. Berkshire was there 
to greet us. Her proudest day had dawned. The long- 
expected Forty-ninth had come. She was there to give 
us an ovation as honorable to her as it was grateful to us. 
In that ovation pride for our victories mingled with joy 
for our return. It was the expression of a patriotism 
wedded to domestic happiness. The "oldest inhabitant" 
never before saw such a crowd in Pittsfield. From 
early light extra trains had poured in their thousands. 
It was a lovely morning, and "The boys had come 
home !" We were to keep in order, fall into line, and, 
after a short march and a short speech, repair to the 
tables of feasting. A nice programme, but a mother s 
eyes met those of her child, and must they wait an hour 
for the fond embrace ? The husband, the father, saw the 
wife, the little ones, and Heaven prompted one glad 
greeting before the formal reception. Robed in mourn 
ing, the bereaved parent could poorly wait to shed her 
tears on the. breast of her last boy, while she sadly 
thought >f the other lying in his lonely Southern grave." 

The following extracts from the Pittsfield /Sun will 
give you a good view of " Reception Day :" 

" The regiment was received at the depot and escorted 
to the Park in the following order : Cavalcade of citizens ; 
Stewart s Band of N. Adams ; Housatonic Engine Com 
pany ; Greylock Hook and Ladder Company ; Taconic 
Engine Company ; Lee Cornet Band ; Water- Witch Fire 
Engine Company, of Lee; St. Joseph s Mutual Aid So 
ciety ; the Pittsfield Liederkranz ; Schreiber s Band of 
Albany ; 49th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. 

"The line of march was from the Western Railroad De 
pot, through Depot street, North street and South street, 



30 i LIFE WITH THE FORTT-XINTIT 

to East Ilousatonic street, through East Tlousatonic st, 
to Staple street, through Maple to East street, up East 
street to the north side of the Park. 

"At the front of the regiment rode its heroic com 
mander, Colonel Bartlett, mounted upon a splendid horse 
which he took with him to Port Hudson, having hut one 
arm at liberty, the other not yet being recovered from the 
wound received early in the attack upon the fort. His sol 
dier-like bearing, and the enthusiasm of the regiment upon 
meeting him again, added to the record of his deeds an<1 
tlu? silent testimony of his wounds, prove him to be one 
of the few of our many officers who honor their positions 
more than their positions honors them. When the his 
tory of the present war shall be written, Massachusetts, 
in her long train of heroes, shall write high upon the 
scroll of fame the name of the gallant Colonel of the 
Forty-ninth. 

" A little in the rear of the Colonel rode Lieut.-Colonol 
Scunner, on whom the command of the regiment devolved 
upon the fall of the Colonel, and who also fell, wounded, 
while gallantly leading on the charge. Farther down the 
;aent rode Major Plunkett, who commanded the regi 
ment after his two superior officers were wounded, until 
their arrival in Pittslield. The enthusiasm of the men 
for this tried and true officer knew no bounds. As in 
stature \^e fuUy sustains t?l6 rc)ntt it m <>f hi* f<nnily, he 
was especially a mark for the sharpshooters of the enemy, 
and fears were entertained for him by his friends, on this 
acccount. But through all the exposure and trials which 
the regiment has been compelled to undergo he has 
passed unharmed, faithfully discharging his duties upon 
every occasion, winning the admiration of friend and 
foe by his courageous bearing in battle and bravely lead 
ing the regiment at Port Hudson and Donaldsonville. 
It will be remembered by our readers that a rebel sharp 
shooter, taken prisoner from a rifle-pit at Port Hudson, 
inquired, pointing to the Major, who that officer was, and 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 365 

stated, that * he d fired five times at the critter and 
couldn t hit him once. Rarely do we see a corps of 
officers so well deserving a gallant regiment, rarely a 
regiment reflecting such honor upon their officers. 

"The streets through which the procession passed were 
all beautifully decorated, and the town appeared in its 
gayest colors in honor of the occasion. Near the depot 
was suspended a banner bearing the inscription so famil- 
i:ir to all, How are you, Forty -ninth ? Large flags 
were suspended across North street, from Goodrich, 
Geer s, Root s and Burbank Blocks, and smaller ones 
were displayed from the various stores. There were also 
banners with the mottos, Welcome Home, Gallant 
Forty-ninth, and * Ain t you glad you ve come ? Far 
ther down the street, a little above the corner of East 
street, stood the triumphal arch, the framework of which 
was first covered with cloth of the national colors, red, 
white, and blue, and afterwards tastefully ornamented 
with wreaths of evergreens and decorated with flags. 
Upon the north side was the inscription, Welcome, 
the truth of which \vas verified in the hearty cheers and 
joyous countenances of the vast throng assembled to re 
ceive these brave and loyal sons of Berkshire. Upon the 
south side, were the following: Plain s Store, May 21st, 
4 Port Hudson, May 27th, June 14th, * Donaldsonville, 
July 13th. There were also upon the north side, two 
beautiful stars of roses, above which, respectively, were 
the words, Berkshire, and 49th. Between the 
Pittsfield Bank and Backus s Block were suspended flags, 
on one of which was the motto, In God is our trust, 
and also a large banner trimmed with black, containing 
the inscription, In Memoriam. TJie Fallen JlraveS 
As the regiment passed beneath it, every cap was raised. 
It was a beautiful and affecting sight those hardened, 
sun-burned men, happy at regaining once again their na 
tive hills, turning from the cheers and congratulations of 
the crowd to heave a sigh or drop a silent tear to the 



366 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 

memory of the fallen "brave, who went forth from 
among us to return no more. 

"From the Sanitary Rooms was suspended the inscrip 
tion : Know them which labor among you. Esteem 
them very highly in love, for their works sake. Between 
the Rooms and the Park, a Louisiana State flag waved, 
taken from the Custom-IIouse, New Orleans. Over the 
Pittsiield Bank, and under the national colors, hung a 
Confederate flag, reversed, which was taken from the 
enemy by our troops. On the Old Kim in the Park, was 

a sentiment, prepared by Miss R , which was worthy 

of the old tree itself: Only the brave deserve the FAIR/ 
Nearly all the private dwellings and entrances on the line 
of march were tastefully ornamented, but we have neither 
spare to particularize nor ability to discriminate between 
these various evidences of patriotism and good will. 

"The procession arrived at the Park at about half-past 
eleven o clock, A.M., where the regiment, drawn up with 
closed ranks, opposite; the First Congregational Church, 
were addressed by the lion. James D. Colt, as the Hon. 
S. W. Bowerman, previously selected for that purpose on 
account of his efforts in raising the regiment and the in 
terest he has always i elt in it, being unable, through sick 
ness, tot iriil his appointment. 

" Mr. Colt s address of welcome was not written out by 
hiniM lf, as was supposed, and dors not appear in this 
ivport. We took no notes. The speaker alluded very 
eloquently and appropriately to the fallen brave; to 
the gallant Colonel, Lieut. -Colonel, and Major, and soldiers 
of the regiment ; the heroic and patriotic services they 
had rendered the country ; to the heartfelt regard enter 
tained for them by their fellow-citizens, which was evi 
denced in the immense gathering on the occa-ion ; in the 
triumphal arches that had been erected; the expressive 
mottoes that greeted them ; the national flags that floated 
in the breeze; and the liberal provi>ions that fair hands 
had made to give them a sumptuous repast. 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 367 

"At the conclusion of the address, the regiment was in 
vited by the Marshal, Graham A. Root, Esq., on behalf 
of the ladies of Berkshire, to enter the Park arid partake 
of the refreshment provided. After the soldiers had done 
ample justice to the viands set before them, the tables 
were thrown open to all who wished to avail themselves 
of this opportunity to appease the cravings of the inner 
man, and a large number accepted the invitation. It is 
an evidence of the unexampled generosity of the ladies 
in preparing the entertainment, that after all had finished 
at the tables, there remained large quantities of refresh 
ments, part of which were reserved for the regiment ex 
pected in the evening, and the remainder distributed 
among the poor. 

" The entire reception was a magnificent ovation, and 
may be regarded in every respect as a complete success. 
The morning trains into Pittsfield, both regular and extra, 
brought from every direction, large numbers of the citi 
zens of Berkshire to do honor to the regiment, repre 
senting, as it did, every town in the county, and it is, we 
think, a fair estimate to say that the number present was 
about 10,000. A more orderly celebration we have rarely 
seen. 

" Toward the close />f the afternoon, the trains departed 
on the various railroads, bearing with them their loads of 
strangers, and the town sank into comparative quiet. 
Only the occasional passing of some soldier with, by his 
side, a fine matronly countenance beaming with satisfac 
tion at the safe return of her ; boy, or with some 
younger member of the softer sex, whose rosy cheeks 
and downcast eyes betokened a nearer tie, told us that 
Our happy jubilee was o er, and the gallant 49th at 
home in old Berkshire. 

" Great praise is due to the Chief Marshal, Graham A. 
Root, and the Assistant Marshals, for the admirable man 
ner in which they discharged their duties. 

**To the ladies of the several committees who arranged 



368 LIFE WITH TIM; FORTY-NINTH 

the contributions of our citizens for the collation, who 
spread the tables, arranged the flowers, ;ml dispensed 
the bounties of the repast, too much credit cannot be 
given. 

" The music by the Pittsfield Liederkranz, in the Park, 
was listened to with great satisfaction. 

"The arduous labors of the gentlemen who arranged the 
triumphal arch, and whose efforts were unceasing to meet 
the expectations of the public, and make the reception of 
tlie 49th such as would reflect honor upon the county and 
town, have elicited warm commendation. We perform 
an act of simple justice in mentioning the names of Messrs. 
Win. R. Plunkett, K. W. Ad:im, A. E. Goodrich, Win. 
II. Teeling, D. J. Dodge, and J. D. Adams, Jr., in this 
connection." 

It was a happy and a sad day. Friends with joy came 
to greet friends, yet many saw, in the first embrace, 
that the only joy left them was to hand them tenderly 
down to early graves. A comrade, whose strength had 
never failed him in the day of battle, found himself but 
a babe, when from his stricken wife he first learned that 
Death had snatched away his last " household jewel." 
Wives came to receive their husbands, only to learn that 
they were dead and buried. Three little children, clad 
in mourning for a recently deceased mother, instead of 
meeting a father s embrace, were told that that father 
was one of our dead our "fallen brave." As we 
marched, with uncovered heads, beneath the banner 
bearing the inscription, " Li Memoriam The Fallen 
J3rave" so near the triumphal arch, and thought of 
those who had so fondly looked forward to that hour, 
when they should see their loved ones proudly returning 
from the war, but who, through tear-darkened eyes, 
now saw naught but their vacant places in the ranks, 
sorrow mingled with our gladness, and our joy, though 
sincere, was quiet and subsued. 

Next to our pleasure in seeing relatives, was that of 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 369 

once more looking into the face of our cherished Colonel. 
We greeted him with such cheers as convinced him that, 
way down in the depths of our heart, among our proudest 
and holiest remembrances, may be found his name. 
" Boys," said he, as we entered Slaughter s field, on the 
27th of May, " do nothing that you will be ashamed of 
when you meet your friends in Berkshire." The record 
of that day shows how well we obeyed him, how well 
we merited 

"THE HEROES RECEPTION. 

" Then; have I seen 1 sight to cheer 
The patriot, when he bleeding lies ; 
To kindle hope and scatter fear, 
And light new fire in dying eyes ! 

"Their way with banners waved and burned, 

The welkin rang with patriot cheers, 
From every window fondly yearned 

Bright eyes that spoke their joy in tears. 

" And music round their pathway flung 

Its gladness in a silver shower, 
And over all the great bells swung, 
Shouting their joy from every tower. 

" The war-horse their colonel bestrode 

Stepped conscious with a soul of flame, 
As if he knew his master rode 

Straight to the glorious gates of Fame. 

" The coldest gazer s heart grew warm, 

And felt no more its indecision ; 
For every soul which saw that form, 
Grew larger to contain the vision." 

The papers inform us that Bartlett has been appointed 
Colonel of a veteran" regiment, to be raised in western 
Massachusetts. His wrist may be a little stiff, as the 
result of his Port Hudson wound ; otherwise he is as 
competent to lead a new regiment as he was to lead the 
" Forty-ninth." They will say, "No troops need a more 
capable leader." Though he is young, I hope he will soon, 
16* 



oTO LIFE WITH T11K ! < >KT Y-M.Vi II 

become a Brigadier. lie should have a wider field of 
usefulness than that of Colonel. 

Too much praise cannot be awarded to that excellent 
lady, Mrs. C. T. Fenn, and her clU rtive coadjutors, for 
their care of our sick and wounded. About fifty were 
taken to the hospital, where they received all the atten 
tions that patriotism allied to Christianity, working out 
through women s hearts and hands, could inspire. None 
made question of rank or residence, nothing but the 
measure of illness and necessity. Of Mrs. C. T. Fenn, 
.Mrs. L. F. Sperry, Mrs. W. Carpenter, Mrs. M. U. Li>e and 
daughters, Mrs. P. Allen, Mrs. D. J. Dodge* Mrs. II. Mel 
ville, Mrs. J. P. Rockwell, Mrs. J. Gregory, Mrs. D. 
Wilson, and Miss Sand lord, many a stricken soldier will 
ever think with gratitude, and many a soldier s widow 
will, in her loneliness, invoke Heaven s blessings on them 
who so tenderly handed their loved ones to God and His 
mercy. The sick sent home by sea were landed at Fort 
Schuyler, New York, and, by the workings of red-tape, 
were dragged to Pittsneld by the way of Stonington and 
Boston, though their friends were on hand to conduct 
them gently home. I conclude this " Reception" letter 
with brief memoirs of our dead. Do you wonder that 
reception-day was marked with sombren 

Edirard N. Frtm-h (C), a farmer buy, from Peru, aged 
eighteen, died at home, of consumption, July 17th. He 
was one of the very finest boys of his company. Had 
there been any of the "shirk" in his composition his 
life might have been prolonged, for lie clung to duty 
long after he was fit for the hospital. Discharged after 
we had commenced the siege of Port Hudson, God 
mercifully spared him to hear the ifews of our success, 
and to die at home. 

George W. Clark (E), of Sheffield, aged twenty years, 
died August 8th, in the hospital at New Haven, Ct. 
For months he lay prostrate with fever, and was sent 
north with the Colonel. The day before his death his 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 371 

father went to see him, hoping to be able to remove him 
to his home, but God ordered otherwise. He was a good 
soldier, and a young man of more than ordinary promise, 
loved and respected by all who knew him. On leaving with 
another son, he said, " Mother, one of us will be returned 
to you again, and one will not. Not " will return" 
" but will be returned? He realized that God v not man, 
was the disposer of such events. Of five from Sheffield, 
who died, George alone was buried in his native soil. 
Duty done, and suffered, he rests well. 

* William Funk, Jr. (K), also from Sheffield, was buried 
at sea, August 10th, from the ship St. Mary, which was 
bearing him and other sick homeward. He was a steady, 
reliable farmer, aged forty-four years. 

The remains of Henry D. Rhoades (E) were deposited 
in the sea, August 12th. His brother sleeps in his sol 
dier s grave, at Baton Rouge. Henry was but twenty- 
one years of age ; and in his death, so near home, New 
Marlboro loses a fine, steady boy. "After life s fitful 
fever, he sleeps well." 

On the same day, from the same fever-ship, the body 
of Mosely Pomeroy (F), of Monterey, was buried in the 
Atlantic, to await that day when "the sea shall give up 
its dead." He was sick a long while, and in his nine 
teenth year found rest. 

The greedy deep swallowed up all that was mortal of 
Sylvester Burrows (I), on the 13th inst., at the age of 
forty-four years. He was a farmer, from Mount Wash 
ington, and was a nice, moral man. Diarrhoea, which 
closed his career, alone prevented him from mingling in 
the glory and the grief that surround the name of Port 
Hudson. A family mourns his loss. 

George Yager (D), a large, strong farmer, from Alford, 
was taken with diarrhea soon after we reached Baton 
Rouge, and was buried at sea on the 13th inst. He was 
a German, aged thirty-six years, and leaves quite a large 
family, to whom our return brought only blighted hopes 



\vrni Tin; I-MIM Y-MNTM 

and blasted anticipations. A very tim> soldier was given 
to consecrate the ocean to tlie rights of mankind. 

John J/ Ttdl r (I), am (1 thirty-live years, of Lee, 
was buried at home, having died of diarrhea, in New 
Haven, the lith inst. v He was a good, moral man, and a 
faithful, reliable soldier. 

Charles Turycon (E), aged twenty-seven years, farmer 
from Xew Marlboro, was sent home, in the hope of sparing 
his life, but fever closed his career about the time we 
reached Pittstield. As a man and a soldier, he bore a 
good name. 

Myr<>/i _A7r/to/.s , i-rderly sergeant of Co. F, fell from 
the ears, ne/ir Little Falls, N. Y., as we were returning, 
on the 21st iust., and when found, was dead. He was a 
farmer, from Otis, aged twenty-six years, and leaves a 
wife and child. We were telegraphed that a member of 
Co. / was found dead. Owing to the mistake in the 
letter, we were not aware of our real loss till we reached 
Albany. Our comrade was an excellent soldier, and bore 
well his part in the toils and dangers of the bloody cam 
paign, out of which he came uninjured, to meet death, 
when his wife and child, of whom he often spoke, were 
almost within sight. He said, on the trip home, he had 
a presentiment that he would never live to see Berkshire. 
He was a tifct H/i/ man and a reliable soldier. We mourn 
for him, but who may enter ^nto the sacredness of the 
grief of her who came to meet a husband s embrace, and 
received only his corpse! lias death no relentings ? 

Ozro P. llr<>it n (K), aged eighteen years, one of. the 
best farmer boys of Florida, yielded to diarrhoea after 
we had left, him at Xew Orleans, lie begged hard to 
come home with us, but his young life was too valuable 
to be risked, u;id we left him, but not alone. His com 
rade, J. Tinney, though eager to see his family, stayed 
with him. Captain West on, with his usual kindness, left 
him money to secure all comforts, and now we are ap 
prised that the noble lad teirmt8 one of the nameless 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 373 

graves that crowd and sanctify the shores of the Mis 
sissippi. 

Zebulon Beebe (G), a carpenter, from Williamstown, 
aged forty-four years, died in the hospital at New Haven, 
on the 18th inst. He leaves a large family. Our com 
rade was steady, but too weakly for a soldier s duties ; 
yet he did his part well as hospital cook. Consumption, 
which ended his life, was not of Southern birth. He 
took it with him. 

Ilosea Wheeler (B) died this day, at his home, in 
West Stockbridge, of diarrhcca, aged forty-seven years. 
He was spared, to die among the friends for whom lie 
went forth as a soldier, and as such, contracted the dis 
ease that has carried desolation and sorrow to so many 
hearts. 

John A. Francis (B) was one of our best soldiers. 
He did his part nobly as a member of our left wing, 
which met the fiercest surges of the wave of fire that, on 
the 27th of May, covered so many homes with honor 
and sadness. He had recovered from a wound in the 
head received then, and, in good health, started for 
home, but was taken sick in the cars, and, to-day, yielded 
up a well-spent life at his home in Windsor, aged twenty- 
six years. Pie was faithful as a soldier : could we expect 
less of one who was faithful as a man and a Christian ? 

I cannot more fittingly close this letter than with these 
choice verses from the pen of the pastor of the M. E. 
Church in this place : 

IN M E M HI A. 

THE FALLEN BRAVE OF THE FORTY-NINTH. 

BY J. WESLEY CARHART, D. D. 

"Sleep, ye fallen, sweetly sleep, 
Tour work was nobly done ; 
Y"our names are written with the brave 
Who fadeless laurels won. 



374 , Fi-: WITH THI: FORTY-NINTH 

Ye saw the vauntine: foo advance, 
"\Vitli banners floating high 

Ye struck for freedom and the right, 
Resolved to win, or die. 

"Sleep, ye gallant fallen, sl.-.-p 

Where winds your requiems sigh ; 
Your memory lives in many a heart 

And moistens many an eye. 
No monuments of marble mark 

Your places of repose : 
Ye sleep where Southern violets bloom, 

Or tangled sea- weed grows. 

" Sleep, ye sons of Freedom, sleep, 

AVI icre bugles never sound, 
Nor clash of steel nor cannon s boom 

Disturb your rest profound I 
The glorious flag of fadeless hues, 

Neath which ye fought and fell, 
Shall ever proudly wave on high 

And of your valor tell." 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 3 75 



LETTER XXXVIII 

PITTSFIELD. MASS., September 1, 1863. 
MY DEAR L. : 

This day, we were mustered out of the service of the 
United States. There is now no more a " Forty-ninth 
Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers." Our corporate 
life is extinct. The soldier is merged in the citizen. We 
step to the duties of private life with a prouder tread. 
We have done something to make that life more secure ; 
some-thing to make American citizenship a holier title. 
Our toils, our sufferings, our deaths, have advanced the 
finger on the dial of Time. Earth feels more the attrac 
tion of the great sacrifice, and is nearer Jesus. We have 
had a part in the grandest movements of the race. 
Clothed in the livery of the nation, we have stood as 
Heaven s soldiers. Consciously or unconsciously, we 
have been " workers together with God." Our names, 
but not the results of our deeds, will be forgotten on 
earth. If duty really prompted us, they will be enshrined 
in eternity, as of them who counted life less valuable than 
man s welfare. Great upward strides this nation has taken 
since we were mustered in as soldiers. Animated by a 
holy idea, God has given us his " mercies of reoccupa- 
tion." We reoccupy territory wrenched from us, prin 
ciples buried beneath party and prosperity, and the hope 
and sympathy of the world. Death, anticipating the tardy 
officer, has mustered out many of our number. What 
reck we of that ? Life is given to advance truth. Have 
not our dead, in their brief lives and noble endings, fur 
ther advanced truth than will the fourscore years of them 
who now sneeringly ask, as if their coward hearts had 
taught them aright in refusing to defend common privi- 



::7t i.ii K WITLJ TIM-: FOKTY-MNTH 

leges, " I suppose you have got enough of war ?" Yes, 
we have had enough of war. We have seen its horrors, 
and would not willingly gaze on them again ; but, only 
those who bring home blurred memories, will fail to draw 
from our past, fresh incentives to deeds of patriotic self- 
sacrifice. 

Writing my last letter, I will close the list of our dead. 
Southern foes have followed many to their peaceful 
homes, and some have already closed their campaign in 
the quiet of Berkshire graves. Over others, and not a 
few, the drawn sword hangs. I fear in vain are the 
prayers and loving services. That sword must iall again 
and again. Freedom s full ransom price has not been 
paid. New graves yawn for failing comrades. Berk 
shire must see the dying agonies, to enter into fuller sym 
pathy with the struggle that is not only to restore our 
Union, but to complete our liberty. I may revise these 
letters for the press. If so, my great regret will be, that 
I have had such limited materials for the obituaries. I 
have done none of our dead more than justice. Igno 
rance has prevented me doing justice to many. Uniform 
goodness presents few salient points for the biographer 
so, of some, all I could gather was, they were good men 
and true. 

J \mtklin W. Hurtnon (D), farmer, from Monterey, aged 
twenty-one years, died, at the house of G. Robinson, in 
Piltsl u-ld, August 27th, of diarrhea. Though away from 
home, his last hours were surrounded with tender care. I 
had no personal acquaintance with him, but Lieut. Tucker 
responded to my query, " What kind of a man and sol 
dier was F. W. Harmon, of your company ?" " None 
/>< fft-r in the regiment." 

II> in-ij R. Clark (B),of Becket, aged twenty-six years, 
died, at New Orleans, of diarrhoea, August 22d. He was 
wounded in the side, May 27th. He leaves a family 
<-]iind him. 

Levi H. Gilmore (F), a farmer boy, from Monterey, 



MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 377 

aged eighteen years, died at home, August 30th. I be 
lieve he was taken sick after his return. 

John W. Burghardt (D), aged twenty-four years, farmer, 
from Barrington, was taken with fever at Cairo, and died 
at this place, at the house of H. Webster, who was, I 
believe, a stranger to our comrade, but watched over him 
as a brother. 

Patrick Downing (I), aged eighteen, from Mitteneaque, 
died yesterday, of diarrhoea. He was a steady, moral 
man, and a first-rate soldier. 

William F. Burnett (K), a Florida farmer, aged thirty 
years, died in Louisiana after we left, of diarrhoea. His 
captain speaks of him as a " splendid fellow," a steady 
man, a good soldier, and a Christian. On our leaving, he 
said, " If I can only get home !" God was even then 
opening to him the gates of an eternal home. The head 
of a family, he yearned once more to see that family 
before entering into rest. The loving Master ordered 
otherwise. Oh ! how often that cry has gone up from 
our crowded hospitals, "If I can only get home!" Now, 
that I am at home, it rings in my ears as if in reproach 
for having left the dying. 

I turn from our graves to the living. Receptions, in 
the form of suppers, pic-nics, &c., have greeted our boys 
all over the county. It seems as if the heart of Berkshire, 
wrapped up as it was in the Forty-ninth, yearned to burst 
forth, that her returned sons might see how proud she is 
of them. The citizens of Barrington are very justly attached 
to Company D, and Mrs. Bigelow s bountiful and tasty 
supper, so characteristic of that lady, did not satisfy them ; 
so they selected Lieutenants Tucker and Siggins as true 
representatives of a choice c6mpany to receive further 
expressions of their grateful appreciation. The former 
gentleman, too proud of the evidence of his being deemed 
worthy to suffer in the cause of freedom, to mourn that 
the hard chances of war fell on him, received a handsome 
service of plate. 



378 LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NI^TII 

The following letter will explain itself. I know not its 
author, but the happiness of its composition is only 
equalled by the munificence of the favor inclosed. Un 
expectedly, the gallant, maimed leader of our forlorn 
hope reached home; so this epistle, with its rich burden 
of near a thousand dollars, and its richer burden of a 
thousand sympathies, was placed in his hands instead of 
in the mail : 

"Gx. BARRIXGTOX, August 10, 1863. 
"Lt. SIGGIXS, Co. D, 49th Keg. Mass. Vols. : 

" Dear Sir Your friends here have watched with intense 
interest the conduct of the Forty-ninth during the recent 
campaign in Louisiana. Naturally, they have thought 
more particularly of Company D ; and they are proud to 
Bay that their hopes and highest aspirations have been 
most nobly realized by the heroic gallantry of that com 
pany. We have learned, with feelings of deep sadness, 
that the hard fortunes of battle have fallen heavily upon 
yourself. Your courageous and stern devotion to duty 
as an American citizen soldier, during that terrible con 
flict of the 27th of May last, we can never forget. You 
are far from us; we cannot nurse you, we cannot give 
you the cheering word or grasp of friendship and heart 
felt sympathy. We must do something for you and yours. 
Do accept the inclosed as a token, though a very inade- 
(piate one, of our pride in your conduct and sympathy in 
your misfortune, as frankly and heartily as we tender it. 
Hoping for your speedy return to your friends at home, 
we remain most respectfully and sincerely, 

" YOUB FRIENDS." 

We find it pleasant to be at home. We can go to bed 
when we please, and, what is far more pleasurable, get up 
when we please. Who has not learned the luxury of the 
little cat-naps between daybreak and sunrise, when you 
are just enough awake to know that you are asleep, has 



MASSACHUSETTS YOLUNTEEES. 379 

not drunk the elixir of life. In those most witching 
hours, we have been so used to the disturbance of the 
reveille, as to be tempted to begin that word with a " D," 
instead of an " R." Prudence, leading Wealth in her 
train, says get up at once, but now we " don t see it." 
Draining the goblet of sleep at one swallow will do for 
the soldier, but the returned veteran has heard that sip 
ping lengthens enjoyment, and he means to give it a 
trial. Away in Dixie, we used to get up much pathos 
over the " little ones," but when they crawl over their 
mother, early in the morning, to your side of the bed, 
and having satisfied themselves that you have a right 
there, that you are really "papa," begin to beat a 
" reveille" of pats and kisses, accompanied, with .experi 
ments on your head, you think *it very funny the first 
time ; but it soon loses its novelty, and you are in doubt 
whether it is any improvement on the " Dooty, dooty, 
dooty calls you," of our quondam chief bugler, Baker, 
of Company H. After lying on planks and Mother Earth 
for near a year, feathers were so hard to be borne, that 
divorces " a mensa" if not " et toro" w^ere only fore 
stalled by the forthcoming of mattresses. 

The officers, with your humble servant, have had a 
busy week of it, fixing up our accounts and trying to make 
two and one count four, or three and five count seven. 
The latter is just as desirable as the former, for the 
authorities care about exactness of figures and accuracy 
of accounts more than a few hundred garments or car 
tridges. Mr. Brewster has justly deserved the name of 
"Honest Quartermaster," but sickness has compelled him 
to shirk the work on me ; and for a like reason, Howard 
and Northup, who never deserted the post of duty, have 
failed to aid in overcoming this Sebastopol of " Abstracts 
and Vouchers." Dashes failed at Port Hudson ; this, also, 
can only be reduced by siege. The happy Lieutenants 
roam round the streets, hob-nobbing with friends, thank 
ing Fortune that bullets did not promote them to cap- 



380 



LIFE WITH THE FORTY-NINTH 



taincies and settling of accounts. Kangaroo-like, we find 
the "tail of the business" the most troubles. mu- part. 
Patriotism might allow us a little rest, but a big pile of 
"greenbacks" is at the end, and only at the end of the 
job. 

In concluding this series of letters, I send you an ab 
stract of our statistics : 



No. of men brought home,. .652 
No. of officers " " 24 

Men discharged, 56 

Men dcserUMt 32 

Meu leu sick ut New Orleans, 12 

Men " at Cairo, 1 

Men " at Cleveland, O., 7 



Men sent home sick, 51 

Men missing, 2 

Men died of disease, 82 

Men died of wounds, 32 

Casualties in battle, 132 

Commissioned officers killed, 2 
" " wounded^ 12 



Free now to do what other citizens may, to obey only 
what our judgment or conscience approves, we take our 
unobtrusive places in life. Our privileges will never 
again seem common. We have been where the price 
was paid. One additional privilege we have secured I 
value it more than gold we have the right to say before 
all, ay, in the very centre of the bereaved : " This war 
pays. The victory, as sure to come as that the God 
of Justice lives, will be worth more than all it will cost." 



"For whether on tho gallows high, 

Or in the battle s van, 
The noblest place for man to die 
Is where ho dies for man." 



APPENDIX 



ROLL OF FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS OF THE FORTY-NINTH 

MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. 

September 1, 1863. 

W. F. BARTLETT, Colonel. 

S. B. SUMNER, Lieutenant-Colonel. 

C. T. PLUNKETT, Major. 

F. WINSOR, Surgeon. 

A. R. RICE, Assistant-Surgeon. 

J. B. REYNOLDS, " " 

* B. C. MIFFLIN, Adjutant. 

F. A. FRANCIS, Acting Adjutant. 

H. B. BREWSTER, Quartermaster. 



NON-COMMISSIONED STAFF. 

A. J. MOREY, Hospital Steward. 

II. J. WYLIE, Sergeant-Major. 

G. E. HOWARD, Quartermaster-Sergeant. 

H. H. NORTHUP, Commissary-Sergeant. 

E. W. STEADMAN, Drum-Major. 

* Detached. 



382 



APPENDIX. 



ROLL OF COMPANY A, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 

&j>temlcr 1, 1863. 



Weller, I. C., Captain. 
Clark, (-. \V.. First Lieutenant 
Franei-. F. A.. First 

Ki-ed. (i.. >i-e!id " 

Howe. A. C.. rM-ru eant. 
Adams. C. 1 .. 
(ireln-i-. 1).. 
Hazard. C. .!., " 
J. B., " 

Biety, T., Corporal. 
*Bull, -J. I -., 
I ri.-stly, J., 

ft, E. D., u 
Kt-arri. G. II., " 
Kei-d. L. J., " 

Daily. M. F., " 

fccace, J. B., 



[Allen, J. H. 
A! .U-. M. L. 
Al.lrich. C. S. 
Hnss. tt. .1. W. 
r.aili-y, J. F. 

r.iiis, u. 

I .ryr,-. .1. 
IBlake, F. V. 
Bayne, \V. If. 
liurkt-tt, W. L. 
Boirard. It. 
UaiU-y, W. II. 
Brock way, A. C. 
I 1 , irt o. i). 

I .rook 8, F. 

( i)lcinan. 0. A. 

Cli inan. \V. 

Clark, W. K. 

Clark. .1. 1 ,. 
!. U. 
*DavN. L. M. 

Daniels, P. 

Drew, T. 

Dunla].. T. 

Kii.l.-. I-:. 

Fuller, C. W. 

<;r.-w t , II. 
{s(!rant. A. A. 
tjMandlr ,. M. 

Holland, G. A. 

Hall, T. K. 
llubl.ard, L. F. 



1 



Hufneagle, F. 

Horton, \V. H. 
uyn.-r. D. W. 
ones, S. K. 
. W. 

Kittle, J. 

Kendall, C. E. 

Kimball.J. 

Landon, E. A. 
| Lathrop, F. B. 

Lo Barnes, G. E. 
(Lewis. A 

M.-rry, J. C. 

Marshall,,). 

MiJ comb, J. 

Mill.r. II. 

M.-Coy, M. 

Mei-ion. A. 

Merlon. L, 

Maxwell. J. 
*Nol.le, B. <-. 

Kicliolas. W. 

Nelll-.T. I-".. 
O llrien. W. 
tl latt. C. 1 . 
Packard. J. K. 

Ki-ed. W. 

Kuektashell, H. 
. 11. 

Kairdon. II. 
Kami..,,. T. 



Jiobbins, II. M. 

Koot, II. L. 
IJiiss. ll. K. F. 

Stupka, W. 

Bmirt,J. 

Swart, J. W. 

Shaw. \V. 
*T:iyl..r. W. 

. \V. 
Tillons,,n. W. E. 

Yandcburjrh, C. B. 
$Vid.-to. c. 

Wat kins. (\ B. 

W:irn.-r. B. C. 

Walk ins. W. H. 

"tt i.dman. J. 

Wells, C. U. 
, A. 



* Killed in battle, t Died of wounds. \ Died of disease. Discharged. 
| Deserted. 



APPENDIX. 



383 



ROLL OF COMPANY B, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 



September 1, 1863. 



Garlick, C. R., Captain. 

Kniftin, C. W., First Lieutenant. 

Noble, 14. K., Second " 

Jennings, O. W., Sergeant. 

Arnold, J., 

Bliss, A. R, 

Burbank, II. 8., 

Boynton, C. S., " 

JPierce. E. W., Corporal. 
tKossiu-r, S. II., 

Phelps, H. P., 

Nourse, I., 
*(}:un\vc ll, J. M., " 

Burlingham, H., " 

Wood. G. M., 

Wood, O. L., 
Davis, H. H., 



Privates. 



Adams, "W. K. 
Arnold, J. A. 
| Arnold, S. 

Ashburn, W. 

Belcher, A. 
IBclcher, F. 

Barrett, G. N 

Barnes, C. H. 

Billings, A. M. 

Bliss, W. D. 

Bliss, R. K. 

Burlingham, H. 

Brown^ G. W. 

Barnes, A. V. 

Bennett, S. H. 
% Babbitt, G. W. 

Bailey, W. W. 

Babbitt, W. S. 

Broga, C. T. 

Brown, E. 

Boice, W. 

n.vkwith, C. B. 

Cole, R. 

Caldwen,GK 

Chapman, A. L. 

Carey, J. 

Codding, f,. 

Colly. !-. (*. 

Cornell. J. A. 

Carter. G. G. 
tCook. C. H. 
Sdoddiiiff, A. D. 
JClark, IE. R. 



JDenslow, J. 

Darley, G. 

Fuller, C. R. 

Furrow, W. A. 

Fillio, E. 
"Fitzgerald, G. 
JFrancis, J. A. 

Gannon, T. 
*Grippeii, H. E. 
SGreen, T. 

Goodell, M. 
JGlead, W. J. 
*Heins, C. 
^Hamilton, C. E. 

1 1 in man, W. H. 

Hinman, C. C. 
Hathaway, A. H. 

Iloat nyre, S. 
$.Jourdan, J. A. 

Lynch, C. D. 

Lynch, E. E. 

Linen, W. 

L&, H. E. 

Lynian. J. 

Middlebrook, A. S. 

Merchant, W. 

Markham, C. 

Jilarkham, A. 

Moore, J. E. 
tMursmville, A. H. 
^Morgan, W. B. 

Martin, E. M. 

Noonan, T. 

Nichols, H. C. 

Rossi ter, A. 
JRossiter, W. W. 

Simmons, E. J. 

Stevens, J. 

Sherman, D. 
Smith, N. B. 

Stearns, E. A. 

Sturtevant, S. A. 

Blosson, F. 

Thayer, R. L. 

Van Brainer, A. 
SVan Volkenburgh, A. 
$ Wheeler. H. 
SWilson, P. 

Whipple. J. L. 

Warden. (I. 
$W heeler, A. H. 
*Wentworth, H. D. 



* Killed, t Died of wounds. $ Died of disease, Discharged. 



384 



APPENDIX. 



ROLL OF COMPANY C, FORTY-XLVTII MASS. VOLUNTEER& 
September 1, 1863. 



Lin-onfelter, G. R., Captain. 

r. I). IJ., First Lieutenant 
JWella, \v. w.. Beeond 

St.roiiL . J. X., " " 

<iodd,ird. L. W., Sergeant. 
JJr-.ks. 0. II.. 

Temple, K. L., 

Dwver. J.. 

\:i- h. K. P.. 

Cranston. \V. II., Corporal. 

llaskins. F. II., 
*<;rN\v.,l.l, A., 

Kinir. 1 .., 
Jl- ivm-h. }.. \.. 

\Vade. W. W., 

Warren, F. E., 

Phillips, T. (J., " 

*l>e,wey, A. M., 



P.ak.-r. II. II. 
IJa.-,ti:ilii-llo, J. E. 
IJ..WK-S, .1. W. 

Braamwalder, D. 

Jlristul. <;. A. 

IJrown, A. W. 
Brown, J. L. 

Hurnhain. (). E. 

C .iuil.l.i-ll. II. J. 

Camp, J. K. 

"C.irrissi-v. K. 

A. L. 

Connor, T. 

Cook. . I. L. 

Cumrnings, N. 

Downs, 15. 

Dudley, C. 

l-M\v;mls. A. L. 

Farley, M. 

Knrlifii:. II. 
f Farrall. L. 

a. \. 

Fi. l.l. O. W. 
Gallup, H. C. 
ll.i.L .-. <J. II. 
Hummel, J. \\ r . 
Jaques, W. S. 



* Killed. 



$ Died of disease. 



Johns, H. T. 

Jones, A. 

Kellev. H. 

Kin- K. 

KittiTiL e. F. 
Kittn-(L e, W. C. 

Kniirht/J. N. 

Knox. F. M. 

J. II. 
I,i-lantl, W. C. 

Louiuis, W. E. 
Mack, L. 
{iMalally. .1. 

.M:itte>oli. M. G. 

on, P. 

Mi-Carty, J. 

Me Donald. J. 

Merry, K. F. 

Meir v. II. \. 

Mo,, re. II. 

Murray, O. 

Newton, I. J. 

Noble. -I. 

(Min. .1. II. 
lOUnger, 0. 
*l arker, T. F. 

Parsons, II. P. 

Pleroej r,. F. 

Koot. i:. i . 

S.-ott, T. A. 

Silk. M. 
*Smitli, A. 
I Smith. II. 
*Stell;i\. \V. 

Stowell. II. K. 
JStowell, W. W 

Stetson, N. W. 

Sturtevant, II. W. 

Stevens, J. 

Titft, S. \V. 

Tilton, T. 

Tower. C. U. 

Tucker. I-!. A. 

Wade. 15. D. 
SWells, A. \V. 

Wileux. K. H. 

Wells, J. H. 
Discharged. 



| Deserted. 



APPENDIX, 



385 



ROLL OF COMPANY D, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 



September 1, 1863. 



Chaffee, 8. J., Captain. 
Tucker, J., First Lieutenant. 
$T l"ivy, II. G., Second Lieutenant. 
Sk -ins, T., " " 

Gilbert, W. 8., Sergeant 
Parker, J. K, 
Man sir, H. W., " 
Murray, E. H.. 
Ray, G. C., 

odenwaldt, W., Corporal. 
Fowler, II. R., 
Tucker, H. E., 
Dresser, J. A., 
Evans, J. W., * 

Toby, E., 
Bristol, II. A., 
Hughes, T. H., " 

Privates. 

Adams, J. H. 

Hroderick. M. 

Come, P. 
Bangs, C. G. 

Broderick, M. 

Parsons, E. W. 
j Barry, M. 

Curtis, J. H. 

Parsons, W. H. 

Steinhardt. A. 

Conners, T. 
*Bracken, M. 
Lewi s, W. 
} Yager, G. 

Bailey, A. H. 

Warner, A. S. 

Moore, R. H. 
SNeomaeter, H. 
;Kolby, G. 

Luddington, C. B. 

Hump, W. K. 
JBills, 8. C. 

Chapin, C. C. 

McGowen, J. 
JWeigant, C. 

French, C. H. 

Thomas, J. 

Seymour, J. A. 

Ramsey, L. 

Lewis, H. H. 

D earing, M. H. 

Murray, II. E. 



*Hensey, T. 

Coifing, C. F. 

Andrews, G. A. 

Wilcox, B. B. 

Dresser, J. A. 
JBurghardt, J. W. 

Hubhurd, E. N. 
Jllarmon, F. W. 

Wilcox, II. F. 

Shook, E. II. 

Donahue, J. 

Heacox, D. 
Wilcox, I. V. 

Morse, B. F. 

Luka, H. 

Seymour, E. 
^Fitzgerald, J. W. 

Luddington, H. W. 

Deland, F. N. 

Shelly. B. 

Evans, J. W. 

Nettleton, D. S. 
*Reynolds, M. S. 

Mullany, J. 

Van Deusen, J. 

Beach, M. S. 

Latham, S. H. 

Latham, A. S. 

Brett, C. W. 

Brainard, A. M. 

McCurdy, R. F. 

Decker, M. 

Devany, P. 

Loring, L. A. 

Loop, A. A. 

Shutts, C. W. 

Luddington, E. C. 
JComstock, A, R. 

Winchell, J. 
^Godson, J. 

Church, C. G. 

Bills, G. 

Campion, J. 

Phillips, J. P. 
JLuddington, J. H. 

Hunt. W. 

Winters, H. 

McGrath, J. 
IRyan, J. 
Ward, L. 



* Killed, t Died of wounds. $ Died of disease. Discharged. | Deserted. 
IV 



38G 



APPENDIX. 



ROLL OF COMPANY E, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 
September 1, 1863. 



Train, II. D., Captain. 


Hinton, J. E. 


Sherman, K. T., First Lieutenant., 


Holletibeck, N. 


-. ii. i>., Beeodd 


i Holmes, H. L. 


Tuttle, M. 11. Serjeant. 


Jlyde, 11. I). 


Stannard. P. K., 
S-hutt. M. M., 


Jackson, J. 
fJoyner, E. S. 


L I .. 


.loyner, H. (J. 


Paraana, <;. J,.. 


Lunpaon. H. W. 


<,:\. truer, \V. J., Corporal. 


Lawrence, W. H 


llooth, E. L.. 


Lee, C. 


J .oanlman, D., 


ILindsey, L. 


Kariu-r. W. G., 


Little, A. 


Wo.nl. J. H., 


Little, F. 


l>ewev. C. ( )., 


Loomis, A. 


PaltnenUer, G. II.,- 


Lorinif, J. B. 


Palmer. G. W., 


ty, M. 


Arnold, F. K., 


McCormick, J. 


Talt, Ji. U, 


JMallaly, T. 




Maxwell, W. 


Pricdtts. 


Miller, J. 


Adams. JL 1). 


Murphy, W. 


UiMi-ad. W. 


60 Brien, -T. 


r.i-nel, C. 


Palmer, G. W. 


Unman, L, 


Palmer, II. W. 




Parsons, A. H. 


liruhnison 0. 


Patterson, D. C. 


Ur.-tt, A. 


Platz, J. 


Callender, G. E* 


Reapy, J. 


Campbell, L. 


IBhoadea. C. 


Carrol!. JL M, 
Chapin, A. W. 


JRhoades, H. D. 


Chapin, N. 0. 


Roraback, M. 


Chapin, 


Sage, G. W. 


Clark, A. W. 


v, D. 


,ark,G. W. 


Slater, S. 


Chirk, W. J. 


A. M. 


I Collins, T. 


Smith.-l. M. 


Gowtea, L N 


Stannard, E. R. 




Stevens, G. H. 


KiiMirn E. E. 


Stevens, J. J. 


Ferry, A. 


Thatcher, C. F. 


Fo-a rtv, W. 


*Van Deusen, L. 


Fofoy.D. 


Van Deusen, E. 


^I ootc, B. C. 


Ward, J. C. 
Webb, D. G. 


gtrorhain, L. 


Webb, J. H. 


(Jarland, O. 


$ Webster, N. 


[larford, N. 


Wilber, W. L. 


Hatch, W. H. 


Williams, C. K. 


U.-d^-r, L. 


Winters, W. E. 


*lle\vius, 11. S. 
Hewins, S. J. 


JTurgeon, C. 
| Winchell, N. 


^Hinman, E. S. 





* Killed, t Died of wound*, t Died of disease. Discharged. J Deserted. 



APPENDIX. 



387 



EOLL OF COMPANY F, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 



September 1, 1SG3. 



Morey, B. A., Captain. 

Dresser, E. T., First Lieutenant. 
Sweet, G. H., Second 

Doolittle, J., " " > 

*Nichols, M., Sergeant. 

Silva, A P., 

Nettle ton, C. L., " 

Back, T., 

Judd, T. M., 

Palmer, W. H., Corporal. 
$Case, N. M., 

Flint, A. J., 

Mav, H. 8.. 

Wright, L. W., 

Videtto, C. H., " 

Bradley, G. T., 

Steadinan, T., " 

Townsend., C. J., " 

Privates. 

Alexander, G. W. 

Blake. H. W. 

Bigelow, A^S. 

Barnes, G. L. 

Barnes, T. 

Babcock, C. II. 
*Bradley, E. R. 

Comstock, G. H. 

Cooper, G. W. 

Crosby, J. 

Curtis, M. H. 

Caffrey, J. 

Clary, E. E. 

Curt in, C. 

HDambose, H. 

Downs, I. B. 
*Fuller, W. 
% Fargo, "W. R. 

Fay, L. S. 

Gardner, H. J. 
jGilmore, L. H. 
jGibbs, S. E. 

Green, H. C. 

Haiman, M. 

II:ill, P. 

Hunt, R. 

Heath, F. 

Heath, A. B. 

Horton, B. G. 
fHorton, C. H. 



Hnskeh, D. 

Harrington, H. R. 

Harris, A. 

Huggins, M. S. 

Johnson, A. 

Jones, II. R. 
gKnapp, H. A. 

Kellogg, L. F. 

Latham, W. C. 

Lawless, J. 

Lynch, J. D. 

Lamont, D. 

May, G. T. 

Morgan, W. 
JMorse, E. M. 

Moivy, A. J. 
{Norton, W. K. 

Nettleton, A. C. 

O Neil, J. 

OT.rien, D. 
JOlds, M. 

Pearl, W. N. 

Perry, E. F. 
JPomeroy, M. 

Pomeroy, C. 

Peck, S. E. 

Potter, G. B. 
Palmer, F. A. 

Spoor, A. J. 

Sperry, II. 

Sergeant, J. E. 

Sprague, C. 

Steadinan, II. C. 

Steadinan, E. W. 

Steadinan, J. L. 

Thompson, M, A. 
!|Twimng. E. 

Twining^ 8. 

Townsend, C. J. 

Underwood, H. M. 

Wilson, S. W. 
iWoods, W. 

Wood, H. P. 

Wright, H. W. 

Williams, G. R. 

Whipplc, E. O. 

Wheelock, II. A. 

Young, J. S. 
I Gay, C. A. 

Hulet O. 



* Killed. 



$ Died of disease. 



Discharged. 



| Deserted. 



388 



APPENDIX . 



ROLL OF COMPANY G, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 



September 1, 18G3. 



Parker, F. AV., Captain. 
Ilarvi,-, U. B., First Lieutenant. 

II. M., Second " 
Soutlnvick, ii. T., Sergeant. 
Torrey, I). \V.. 

,. W., 

Noye. 1). W.. 
Noi-daby. R. T., 

. 11. A., Corporal. 
\Vau-i >. .. " 

Marsh. 0. II.. 
(iarlick. E. W., 
Davis. !;. JL " 

(Vandal!. H.C., 
Upton. A. II., " 

Fovvlor, S., 

privates. 
iAldrk-h, A. 
Adams, J. W. 

Avy, J. 

Baboock, H. W. 
tBeebe.Z. 

Brown. II. N. 
r.i-nnctt. B. \ > 
I .riu L s. -I. N. 
J .n.wiu \V. S. 
CroMcr, W. S. 

< OX. S. W. 

< lark, (J. S. 
( inrtncy, J. 

tOoortwnriit. C. G. 
(.ink-. F. 
CV.hvoll, li. 
Curlry. P. 
Clark; D. D. 
Cul.l.-itrh. !:. 
Clegg, J. 8. 

< lict st)oro, D. 
Cheetl 
Clict-sboro, A. W. 

T", A. \V. 
l :-.lii-ls. 1^ II. 

Dodsic. <;. W. 
DMTinan. \V. B. 
l> i.-.vmple, O. 
DilhVorth. D. 

B. 0. 
Fern, I . 
(Jrav, W. F. 
Gallusha, J. M. 



Gore, F. 
Green, \V. 
y. ,1. 

Herman, C. B. 
Iliihu-iJ. J. 
Hfk..x. B. 
IlMvsl.ind. E. J. 
Jnirraluuii. E. 
J.eonar.l, J. M. 

MoGee, J. 

::ior%-, U. H. H. 

Miller. W. 0. 

Mui-iihv.- r. 
|May, II. H. 

Mariindak , M. 
SMavi.anl, \V, G. 

iNile^ 15. 

N. -N..II, J. W. 
Noyes,J. \V. 
Orambee, A. F. 

J uru-r. I.. W. 
Parson, W. 

Quackenbuah, J. 

Uei-.l, A. W. 
I Kyan, M. 
Elosevelt, I. 

iNit.inson, S. P. 

Raymond, E. H. 
Roberteon, F. G. 
Beed.N. T. 

Reynolds. Nf. 
IN Vnolds, J. F. 

Sampson, W. 
Swcei. ];. 15. 
*Swi--1. T. -). 
Smith. A. II. 
Sm-i-dU-y. E. G. 
Bouthwlck, D. W. 
Sh.l.ion. Jl. 

: . <;. 

Snook, .). 1). 
Stockintrs, J. 
J owcr. K. o. 
ToiifV, C. M. 
Welton. \V. A. 

\V.M.ll. -I. II. 

{Weeks, G. 

Wilbur. ( . A. 
White, H. 



J Died of sickness . 



Discharged 



Deserted. 



APPENDIX. 



380 



ROLL OF COMPANY II, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 
September 1, 18GB. 



Shannon, A. V., Captain. 
* Drining, B. D., First Lieutenant. 

Smith, D. W. 8.. Second Lieutenant. 
*Wolcott, J. B., Sergeant. 

Bosworth, M. J., 



Phelps, G. A., 
Hitchc 



cock, A., 
Taylor, N., 
Whittaker, A., Corporal. 
Bliss, E., 
Crouch, J. P., 
Soars, P. II., 
Hess, W., 
JDeming, W., 

Privates. 
*Allen, A. 

Allen, F. 

Alexander, A. A. 

Baker, G. S. 
SBeMen, A. 
f Beach, H. L. 

Bliss, <:. 

Bliss, II. J. 

Bowen, L. 

Brown, W. S. 

Brown. A. W. 

Burke, I). 

Calkins, J. H. 

Cady, G. 

Doton, J. 
^Dennison, L. L. 

Fuller, W. F. 

Foote, A. 

Fasdick. J. H. 

Green, W. 

Heath, A. 

Hogan, W. 

Howland, E. 
*Ingersoll, E. 

Keough, M. 

Knickerbocker, G. 

Loomis, H. 
Daniels, M. 



Madden, J. 

Marfield, S. 

Merrill, S. 

McNamara, A. 

MeGinty. J. 

Munson, M. 

Mulaly, J. 

Northway, J. 
5 Obey, A. 

O Donnell, M. 8. 

Osborne, G. 

Parsons, W. 

Parsons, H. 

Pratt, G. F. 

Quackenbush, J. 

Rathbone, D. 

Kichardson, C. N. 

Eichardson, H. 

Richards, J. M. 

Kowe, 1 1. 

Seymour, S. 
iSeymonr. F. P. 
$Smith. E. 
tSmtth, J. J. 
tSmith, M. 

Snow, A. 

Spring, H. 

Stone, G. H. 

Sturgess, G. E. 

Thompson, S. W. 

Vincent, J. 

White, II. 

Wheeloek, H. A. 

Ward, J. 

Wright, C. 

Earles, F. 
I Cline, G. 

Gregory, G. 

Daniels, M. 

Sariner, J. 

Wood, J. 

Norton, T. 

Carroll, J. 



* Killed, t Died of wounds. $ Died of disease. Discharged. B Deserted. 



390 






ROLL OF COMPANY I, FORTY-XIXTII MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 
September 1, 1863. 



Kennie, Z. C., Captain. 
Kelloj_. Lieutenant. 


Nol.le. J. 

M.-Dani.-l, W. M. 


.Niehols. W. A.. Second Lieut"nant. 


*Nra. F. 


Mar>h, W. A., Sergeant. 


*()\VellS, D. 


1 hmk, 0. H., 


lOwellS, N T . 


McDonald, E., 


Prowd, W. 


(Jeer, (i. L.. u 


*Proutt, L. 


Beelier, J., 


Powers, J. 


Sltoekwell, C. A., " 


Perkins. W. S. 


}Tuller,J. M., Corporal 
Al.l-ott, C. V., 


Packard . W. 11. 

i: *e, J. B. 


Smith, A., 
. J., 


11. M. 
wi<-k, D. A. 


Infill, C. L, 


Smith, A. C. 


Sprin- M., 
V.-ui Denl.urj, h,K., u 
*Winchell, D., u 


Turner. F. P,. 
Thayrr, E. C. 
Voaoorgh, II. 




| Vantriene, P. 


Privates. 


Walker, 1 . 


McKenna. J. 


Wilcox, U W. 


Wilson, F. A. I). 


Wileox. F. II. 


Barnaul, Z. 


Winter, J. 


Hi/.ler, J. <X 


*\Vhel.lon, W. E. 


Avel V. I*. 


\Vii5on. F. 




Wiis.>n. W. 


+ BniTo\v>. S. 


Wink. ( . !:. 


Beckk y, J. 


Allen, D. B. 


Bniwn. F. 


Allen, I. N. 


gChnmherlain, "W. 


Km-ll. C. 
Carpenter, 8. A. 


Cru/ier, L. 


Carpenter, A. 


JDownin^ , P. 


^< r.-ssor, .1. 


Farniim. A. 8, 


Collins. II. A. 


Farnum, A. 


Delan.l. F. 


Foster, o. U. 


Hiiricius, I. 


(Jallipoanx. J. 
;r..at. K. 


. F. L. 
Dresser, O. W. 


Hatch. S. F.. 


E Staples, 8. 8. 


. V. W. 


Seeman, D. 


Tellers, L. W. 


M.-rrflis. J. W. 


*.I(.niy, F. 


5Mal!inson, M. 


Ki-ll. -t, S. S. . 


f Fobin. D/ 


L"Vcl:uid. F. 


f Howard. A. W. 


M"rv:an. A. 


Mason, J. 


\lcl)onongh,T. 


Wilson, E. A. D. 


Mettis, J. 





* Killed, t Died of wounds. JDjed of disease. Discharged. (Deserted. 



APPENDIX. 



aoi 



ROLL OF COMPANY K, FORTY-NINTH MASS. VOLUNTEERS. 



September 1, 1863. 



Weston, B., Captain. 
STs.ft, K. C., First Lieutenant. 
t Juild, I. E., .First Lieutenant. 
(Reason. 8. B., Second Lieutenant. 
AVhite. .] . L., Servant 
UUifl, E. J., " 
*Wan,er, If. E., " 
Clark. (J. B., " 
Dalzcll, D., " 

Welton, E. A., Corporal, 
tl helps, R. E., 
Carey, T., 
Bunco, E., 
Bobbins, D. M., 
U heeler, G. II., 
Parmerlee, II. A., 
tStetbon, N. B., 

Privates. 
Ashley, H. 
Allen, G. W. 
tBliss.D. S. 
Bradley, J. 
^Burnett, W. F. 
Bartlett, 8. 0. 
Brazer, I. 
$ Brown, O. P. 
^Bartholomew, C. 
Bieknell, O. A. 
Beach, D. C. 
Burllngmme, Z. M. 
Brocha, 8. 
Bidwell, J. W. 
JCuin, II. W. 
Carman, B. 
Curtiss, J. 
tCampbell, G. 
Campbell, D. 
Chad wick, P. B, 
Chapin, G. B. 
SChapin, H. B. 
*Carley, 8. \V. 
Culver, P. 
Clark, H. F. 
Decker, H. 
Decker, J. 
Dowd, 8. 



Devine, B. 

Decker, M. 

Dunham, J. E. 

De Forrest, -J. C. 

Decker, J., Jr. 

Funk, D. 
*Funk, L. 
{Funk, W., Jr. 

Fullerton, S. M. G. 

Fail-field, J. II. 

Graham, J. A. 

Hathaway, L. 

Hanalon, T. 

Hennessey, "W. 

Hart, C. W. 

Hollister, G. 

Hunt, II. 
Johnston, J. H. 
SJohnston, W. A. 
^Leonard, W. D. 

Moseley,L. 

Moselcy, J. 
II Mahoney, J. 
Maloney, T. 
Morrison, H. 
Note ware, F. 
I Powell, S. 
Roys, J. M. 
Sears. J. 8. - 
Sheldon, G. L. 
*Shaw, T. C. 
Thompson, A. F. 
Tinney, J. 
Tower, C. L. 
Taft, L. D. 
Tower, S. 
Thompson, G. E. 
Torrey, R. W. 
Van Tassel, FT. 
JVan Deusen, D. 
Van Deusen, N. 
Wolfinger, J. J. 
IWoIflnger, G. 
^Webster, S. R. 
Wheaton, W. R. 



* Killed, t Died of wounds. J Died of disease. Discharged. | Deserted. 



YB 37829 



THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY