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Full text of "Report of the operations of the 3d Brigade, 3d Division of the 20th Army Corps in the Atlanta Campaign of 1864"

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With an Appendix containing the Proceedings and Address of General Wood on the 
Dedication of the Monument to the ijdth Regt. N. Y. V. /., on the Battlefield of Getty s- 
burgh, October 16, 1888. 





The ATLANTA CAMPAIGN was one of the most important, ef 
fective and illustrious campaigns of the war of the rebellion. The 
Union arms in 1863, had, on the whole, been successful. The battle 
of Gettysburg had been fought and won, and Lee had been driven 
from his invasion of Maryland. Vicksburg, after a long strug 
gle, had been captured, with the army that defended it. The in 
vestment of Chattanooga had been relieved, and the Rebel army 
under Bragg had been defeated and driven from his strong posi 
tion on Missionary Ridge. The campaign of 1864 was thought 
to have opened auspiciously. Grant had been appointed com- 
mander-in-chief of all the armies and military forces of the United 
States. Lee, with a well disciplined, brave and gallant army, con 
fronted the army of the Potomac on the Rappahannock. John 
son, securely intrenched at Dalton with a brave and valiant army, 
stood face to face to Sherman with the gage of battle. The Reb 
els showed a greater power of endurance and resistance than was 
expected. The " on to Richmond" was one bloody battlefield, 
with the sacrifice of slaughtered hecatombs of Union soldiers, and 
resulted not in the capture of Richmond but in placing the Union 
army on the south side of the James river, and in effect besieging 
Lee and his army in Richmond. Johnson with tactical skill and 
consummate ability avoided the blows offered by his able oppo 
nent, and led him by skillful retreats away from his base of sup 
plies, into the interior of the Confederate States. The people of 
the North, in view of this long and bloody struggle, and the vi 
tality exhibited by the Rebels, became despondent. General 
gloom and depression overspread the land. Even our great and 
devoted president was almost overwhelmed by it. Though re- 
nominated by the Republican party for re-election, he was appre- 


hensive of defeat. The Democratic party, that party on which 
the Rebels relied to aid them in their struggle, had become arro 
gant and aggressive. Their convention, held at Chicago in Au 
gust, 1864, to nominate a candidate for president against President 
Lincoln, declared that the four years of war which was to restore 
the Union was a failure. The capture of Atlanta on the 2d day 
of September, after the brilliant campaign which commenced on 
the ist day of May, rifted the cloud of gloom and depression that 
overspread the North, and through it could be seen shining the 
bright sun of success. With that capture, and the defeat of 
Hood s army, the doom of the rebellion was sealed ; and the sur 
render of Lee s army at Appomattox, and of Johnson s army at 
Raleigh, was its necessary and legitimate consequence. In that 
campaign I took an active part as the commander of a brigade in 
the 3 d Division, 2oth Army Corps. The following report, written 
at Atlanta after the close of the campaign, from memoranda kept by 
me in writing from day to day, shows its operations in detail. In the 
same division, Colonel now General Harrison, President of the 
United States, served and commanded, at first a regiment (the yoth 
Ind. V. I.), and after the 2 9 th of June the ist Brigade of that 
division. During the pendency of the political campaign of 
1 888 a " Life of Ben. Harrison " was written and published by 
General Lew Wallace, also a volunteer officer in the Union army. 
The reading of this "Life" awakened and revived my recol 
lections of the campaign in which we both took a part. I thought 
some of the statements in " The Life " did me and my command 
injustice. I procured from the War Department a copy of my 
report. It is on file in that department, and unprinted and unpub 
lished. All the incidents appertaining to that campaign, I think, 
should be made known. It was the turning point in the war of the 
rebellion. And it seems to me that the truth of history demands 
that every one who has knowledge of the events of that campaign 
should tell his story, that mistakes, if any, may be corrected, and 
equal and exact justice done to all who participated in it. 

J. W. 



ATLANTA, GA., Sept. 23, 1864. m 


I have the honor to submit the following report of the 
operations of the brigade under my command, composed of 
the 1 36th N. Y., 55th Ohio, 33d Mass., 73d Ohio and 26th 
Wis. Infantry Regiments to which the 2Oth Conn. V. I. 
was afterward added, since the 1st day of May last. 

On the evening of that day I received orders to march at 
six o clock the following morning. 

At the hour named we broke our winter camp in Lookout 
Valley, and took up our line of march on the Chattanooga 
road, following the 1st Brigade of this division. 

After passing around the foot of Lookout Mountain we 
left Chattanooga on the left, passed through Rossville, and 
reached Gordon s Mills at about half-past three o clock, P. M., 
where we encamped for the night, having marched the dis 
tance of fifteen miles. 

On the 3d of May we occupied substantially the same po 
sition taken the previous afternoon. A slight change was 
made for the purpose of getting more favorable ground on 
which to encamp. 

On the 4th, at half-past six o clock, A. M., the brigade 
marched from Gordon s Mills to Pleasant Grove Church, 
near Taylor s Ridge, and took a position formed in two 
lines deployed, on the right of the division, near the East 
Chickamauga creek. The distance marched was eleven miles. 
The brigade occupied this position until the morning of the 

6th. During the time a substantial bridge for infantry was 
built across the creek by the brigade pioneers. 

On the 6th, the brigade marched at five A.M., from Pleas 
ant Grove Church to Leet s Tannery on Peavine creek, a dis 
tance of six and one-half miles, and took up a position in 
one line deployed, with one regiment in reserve; which po 
sition the brigade occupied until next morning. 

On the ;th, at five o clock, A. M., the brigade marched 
from Leet s, through Gordon s Gap, passing Gordon s 
Springs to Wood s Store, at the road leading to Buzzard 
Roost Gap, a distance of fifteen and one-half miles. Here 
the brigade was put in position in a single deployed" line. 
The 33 d Mass, was detached from the brigade in pursuance 
of orders received from division head-quarters, and directed 
to report to Col. Ross, Com d g 2d Brigade, who occupied 
the crest of a hill about one mile in advance of this brigade 
On the morning of the 8th I received from division head 
quarters an order of which the following is a copy : 

" Col. WOOD, Com d g Brig. : 

The Major-General directs that in compliance with the 
inclosed orders you move your brigade out in front of Col. 
Ross position, and make a reconnoissance toward the en 
emy s position at Buzzard Roost. Guard well your flanks ; 
keep a strong line of skirmishers well advanced ; don t at 
tack him in his intrenchments, if you should find such to be 
the case. If you can, draw him on to Col. Ross position, 
should he follow you. If he has abandoned Buzzard Roost 
and you get possession, look well to your right. The Gen 
eral will be at Col. Ross on the ridge. 

" Very Respectfully, etc., 


"A. A. G: % 

Which order was accompanied by instructions directing 
the manner in which the reconnoissance was to be made. 

In pursuance of the orders I immediately got my 
command under arms and took up the line of march 

for Buzzard Roost Gap. After passing the 2d Brig 
ade (Col. Ross) encamped on the crest of a hill a 
short distance east of Wood s store, I threw forward an ad 
vance guard and ordered them deployed as skirmishers. 
At the same time I covered the flanks of the column with a 
line of flankers. In this way the column advanced toward 
Buzzard Roost Gap. When about two miles from the gap. 
the skirmishers in front of the column came in contact with 
and crossed the advanced skirmish line of Carline s Brigade 
of Johnson s Division of the 14th Corps. The brigade was 
in position about one hundred yards in the rear of this skir 
mish line and covered all the approaches to Buzzard Roost 
Gap from the west. I was informed by a major in charge 
of the skirmish line of this brigade, that he had advanced 
his skirmish line close up to the enemy s works in the gap ; 
that the enemy occupied the gap in force; that he made a 
demonstration to attack the skirmish line so advanced, and 
thereupon the major, in pursuance of instructions, withdrew 
his line to the position he then occupied. As this condition 
of affairs was not contemplated by the orders and instruc 
tions I was ordered to make, I thought it advisable to com 
municate with Maj.-Gen. Butterfield, who was in the rear of 
my column. Accordingly I halted the column and sent a 
staff officer to Maj.-Gen. Butterfield with instructions to 
advise him of the information I had received, and receive his 
orders. Maj.-Gen. Butterfield immediately rode up to the 
front of the column, and, as I understood, had an interview 
with same major referred to from Carline s Brigade, and 
received the same information. Maj.-Gen. Butterfield, how 
ever, ordered me to proceed with the reconnoissance, and to 
feel the enemy. I, therefore, ordered four companies forward, 
deployed them as skirmishers, and threw out a line of pick 
ets to protect my right flank. I also ordered the 7$d Ohio 
to deploy in line of battle, and to advance with and 
support the skirmishers. The balance of the brigade was 
placed in position behind the crest of a hill, in the front, and 
at the foot of which the skirmishers were deployed. The 
ground between the position occupied by the brigade and 

the valley into which Buzzard Roost Gap debouches toward 
the west, was a series of hills running nearly parallel to the 
valley. In front of the right of my line, and bounding the 
valley on the east, and the gap on the south, is Rocky Face 
Mountain, at the foot of which, and running nearly across 
the west entrance to the gap where it sweeps around and 
runs through the gap, is Mill Creek, a stream with soft, 
muddy banks and bottom, not easily fordable. On the east 
side of the creek, and leaving but a narrow space between its 
east bank, is a high bank or bluff, which seems to be a spur 
of Rocky Face Mountain, and with which it is connected, 
making, however, quite a depression between the highest 
part of the bluff and the mountain. The distance from this 
high point of the bluff and the mountain in which the de 
pression occurs is, perhaps, one hundred and fifty yards. 
From the high part of the bluff, along the curve of the creek, 
to the north, there is an easy descent until it is lost in the 
bottom land of the creek, where it sweeps around to flow 
through the gap. Here also the railroad coming from Tunnel 
Hill, sweeps around the hill from the south side of Buzzard 
Roost Gap, and passes over the creek through the gap. 
From the crest of the bluff and the section of Rocky Face 
Mountain with which it is connected, the ground descends 
quite rapidly to the east. From this crest the enemy s 
works for the protection of the gap are visible. Along this 
crest and stretching across the gap, the enemy had a line of 
skirmishers. By the direction of Maj.-Gen. Butterfield, 
under whose personal supervision all the movements of my 
brigade were made, the line of skirmishers, increased 
and strengthened from time to time by reinforcements from 
the line, were pushed forward until they occupied the crest 
of the bluff, and the declivity between it and Rocky Face 
Mountain, and the base of the mountain as high as the 
highest parts of the bluff. In order to reach this position, 
it was necessary to cross Mill Creek, and ascend the almost 
perpendicular side of the bluff, the crest of which was held 
by the rebel sharpshooters. Two companies of skirmishers 
from the 55th Ohio, commanded by Capts. Bolt and Osborue, 

were ordered to take the crest. Promptly and steadily they 

climbed the side of the bluff in the face of a continued fire 

from the enemy s skirmishers, drove them from and occu 

pied the crest. The conduct of Capts. Bolt and Osborne and 

the men of their command on this occasion, the coolness 

and bravery displayed by them, is deserving of the highest 

praise, and reflects credit upon the gallant regiment of 

which they form a part. As soon as the crest was gained, 

the skirmish line at that point was strengthened by three 

companies from the 73d Ohio. Two companies of the 33d 

Mass, held the low ground on the left, between the creek 

and the railroad. On the right two companies from the 

26th Wis. were thrown across the creek (which at that 

point was deep, but which they crossed on a tree fallen 

across it), and were deployed as skirmishers, and ordered to 

ascend to the crest which formed the depression between 

the bluff and Rocky Face Mountain, and which connected the 

two. This order was executed in a satisfactory manner. 

The enemy made but a feeble resistance to our advance. 

The enemy showed no disposition to attack. We had felt 

his position, discovered the nature, extent and character of 

his works, and the object of the reconnoissance seemed to 

be accomplished. The day was drawing to a close, and I 

was ordered by Maj.-Gen. Butterfield as soon as it was 

dark to withdraw my skirmishers, and with my command 

return to the camp 1 had left in the morning. I advanced 

the 1 36th N. Y. to cover the movement of withdrawing the 

skirmishers and was making disposition to execute the order 

of the Maj.-Gen. Comdg. who had at that time left the field, 

when I received the following order: 

" HEAD-QRS. 20111 CORPS, May tyh, 1864. 
" Maj.-Gen. BUTTERFIELD, Comdg. Div.: 

"The Maj.-General Comdg. directs that you hold your 
self in readiness to comply with the following dispatch just 
received from Dept. Head-Qrs.: 

"Gen. Howard s and Gen. Palmer s skirmishers will be 
advanced early to-morrow morning (gth inst.). The Maj.- 


General Comdg. desires that you order Butterfield s skir 
mishers to co-operate with Gen. Palmer s, as the latter 
sweep along the side of the ridge, by advancing over the 
ground which lies directly in front of them. 
" Very respectfully, 


" Brig.-Gcn. & A. A. G" 

" HEAD-QRS. 30 Div., 20TH ARMY CORPS. 
"The Maj.-Gen. Comdg. directs that Col. Wood comply 
with the requirements of the within. 


"A. A. G" 

I immediately countermanded the order to withdraw the 
skirmishers and directed them, as well as the I36th N. Y., to 
hold the position they occupied for the night, and that 
scouts be sent forward from the skirmish line to recon- 
noiter, and obtain, if possible, the information desired by 
the Maj.-Gen. Comdg. the Dept. of the Cumberland. As 
the enemy kept persistently concealed behind his works, 
nothing could be discovered except that his position was 
very strong, if not impregnable ; and that an attempt to dis 
lodge him by a direct attack could not be expected to suc 
ceed. As I had done all in my power to comply with the 
instructions last received, and as night and darkness had 
now come upon us, the operations of the day closed. The 
73d Ohio had marched for their camp under the order received 
from Maj.-Gen. Butterfield before the last orders, above set 
forth, had been promulgated. After dark the 55th Ohio and 
33d Mass, followed, leaving the skirmishers detailed from 
these regiments in the position they occupied during the 
day. The 26th Wis., which had been held in reserve in the 
position first taken up, was permitted to bivouac for the 
night, as it was amply protected by the I4th Army Corps, 
being connected with it, and covered in front by the pickets 
of that corps. After these dispositions were made, an order 
was received from the Maj. -General commanding the division 


to withdraw the I36th N. Y., and the skirmishers, entirely 
out of the gap, and the valley in front of it, and bivouac 
there in a secure position on the hill. This order was com 
plied with, and as Brig.-Gen. Carline had advanced his brigade 
and his picket line, it brought them within his lines. This 
finished the operations of the day, and I returned to my 
head-quarters at Wood s store. 

On the morning of the gth, I received the following 
orders : 

" Col. WOOD, Com d g Brig.: 

"The following instructions have just been received." 

"To Maj.-Gen. HOOKER: 

" Push your reconnoissance as far as possible to night, 
and endeavor to find out if the enemy is at Buzzard Roost 
in force. Communicate results. 


" Maj.-Gen. Hooker directs that the force here act in ac 
cordance with the above. You will be governed by these 
instructions, and report to Gen. Thomas direct, as well as 

to me. 


I immediately directed the officer in charge of the skir 
mishers (Maj. Higgins, of the 73d Ohio) to see that the order 
was complied with. Subsequently, and on the same morn 
ing, I received orders to continue the reconnoissance com 
menced the day before. In compliance therewith, I im 
mediately concentrated my brigade in the valley, in front of 
the gap. The skirmishers again took the position from which 
they were withdrawn the night before, being compelled 
the second time to drive the enemy s skirmishers therefrom. 
The 1 36th N. Y. and 26th Wis. were deployed in line of 
battle in front of the bluff. The 55th Ohio was ordered to 
cross the creek and hold the bluff, which had been taken by 
the skirmishers. I was ordered by Maj.-Gen. Butterfield to 
throw a regiment across the creek near the foot of Rocky 


Face Mountain, and to advance it to the crest of the spur 
that connected the bluff with the mountain. To comply 
with this order, it became necessary to build a bridge across 
Mill Creek. This was done with commendable dispatch, 
by the division pioneers. I ordered across the 73d Ohio, 
and it pushed forward promptly, to fulfill the order of the 
division commander. In the meantime the enemy had 
planted a section of artillery on the crest of Rocky Face 
Mountain, and opened with grape and canister on the 55th 
Ohio. That regiment was promptly withdrawn out of range 
to the west side of the creek, at the foot of the bluff. The 
enemy s guns, however, were very soon silenced by some 
artillery of the I4th Corps. By direction of Maj.-Gen. But- 
terfield, I ordered the 33d Mass., which up to this time had 
been held in reserve, to cross the creek, and, if possible, to 
gain the crest of Rocky Face Mountain. To cover the 
operations of the two regiments across the creek, the 26th 
Wis. and I36th N. Y. were moved to the right and deployed 
on the west side of the creek, in the rear of the /3d Ohio 
and 33d Mass. While these last-named regiments were en 
gaged in carrying out the orders they had received, the 
skirmishers of the 73d Ohio, having gained the crest of the 
spur so as to overlook the enemy s works in the gap, and 
the skirmishers of the 33d Mass, having ascended more than 
half way to the crest of Rocky Face Mountain, I received 
an order that my brigade would be relieved by Carline s 
Brigade of the I4th Corps. After being relieved, I marched 
my brigade to the Presbyterian Church, on the road from 
Wood s Store to Buzzard Roost Gap, and encamped. This 
ended the operations of my brigade in connection with the 
reconnoissance into Buzzard Roost Gap. 

On Wednesday, the I ith, at four o clock, A. M., the brigade, 
in pursuance of an order from division head-quarters, marched 
from its position near Wood s Store (to which place it had 
returned after the reconnoissance) to Snake Creek Gap, and 
about half way through the gap, arriving at twelve o clock, M., 
a distance of fourteen miles. Here I was ordered to put the 
brigade into camp, and to widen and put in good condition 


that part of the road through the gap, between where Gen. 
Williams, of the ist Division, was encamped, and the camp 
of my brigade, to make the road of sufficient capacity to 
allow two wagon trains and a column of infantry to march 
abreast. I divided the work into as many sections as I had 
regiments, and as soon as the tools were provided, put as 
many men on the road as could be advantageously em 
ployed. By nightfall I had that portion of the road appor 
tioned to my brigade completed as ordered. 

On the 1 2th, at ten o clock, A. M., the brigade broke camp 
and marched through the Gap, a distance of four miles, and 
took up a portion in a single deployed line in rear of the 
1 5th A. C. 

On the 1 3th, at nine A. M., pursuant to orders, the brigade 
marched, with the army of which it forms a part, upon the 
enemy at Resaca. The brigade formed its front line of bat 
tle about two o clock, P. M., at right angles to the line formed 
in the crest of a hill running east and west by the 2d Brig 
ade, and perpendicular to and crossing the road leading 
from Dalton to Rome. While in this position the I36th N. 
Y. were, by an order delivered by Maj.-Gen. Hooker in per 
son, detached from the line, and ordered to make a recon- 
noissance toward the enemy s lines, and ascertain whether 
there was a road by which artillery could be placed in posi 
tion on a hill in our front and near the enemy. The recon- 
noissance was made as directed, and on its return Lt.-Col. 
Faulkner, the commanding officer of the regiment, reported 
that the hill in question was in the possession of the troops 
of the 1 5th A. C. The brigade, by order, then changed its 
position to the rear of the left of the I5th A. C., where it 
was held in reserve in column by division. After sundown 
I was ordered to relieve Carline s Brigade of the I4th A. C., 
then in position in two lines on the crest of a wooded hill in 
our front, connecting on its right with the i 5th A. C. Owing 
to the woods and the darkness the task was not an easy one ; 
but it was accomplished with reasonable promptness. The 
brigade made its connections with the I5th A. C. on 
the right, and Ward s Brigade of the division on the left, 


and bivouacked for the night. In front of us, was a valley 
through which ran a creek. On the opposite side of the 
valley and distant about six hundred yards, was a chain of 
hills occupied by the enemy. These hills he was diligently 
engaged in fortifying during the night. On the morning of 
the I4th of May the enemy s skirmishers and sharpshooters 
opened fire upon our skirmish line ; but owing to the long 
range our casualties were not numerous. The brigade held 
the position during the day. After dark of this day, I was 
ordered to protect the men by works in their front, to be 
made of logs and earth, and to be thrown up with as little 
noise as possible, so as not to attract the enemy s attention. 
The men immediately commenced the work, but before it 
was completed and at about twelve o clock, M.,of the night, 
the brigade was relieved by Gen. Morgan s Brigade of the 
I4th A. C. Upon being relieved the brigade marched to the 
open field in the rear of the position it occupied, and bi 
vouacked till morning. 


On the morning of the I5th, at daylight, the brigade, 
with the division of which it forms a part, marched to the 
Dalton and Resaca road, on the extreme left of our army. 
Here I received the following order from Maj.-Gen. Butter- 
field, commanding the division : 

" Col. WOOD, Com dg Brigade : 

" The division will move to attack the enemy s line. The 
column of attack will be formed by Gen. Ward s Brigade, 
Col. Coburn supporting on his right, Col. Wood on his left. 
Gen. Ward will form his column by regimental front, and 
push a bold and vigorous attack with bayonets ; a strong 
line of skirmishers in front. Col. Coburn will form on his 
right and rear in echelon with two lines. Col. Wood will 
form on Gen. Ward s left and rear in echelon, will guard his 
left flank and support the assault. Gen. Ward s column 
will keep well to the right of the Dalton road. 


I moved my brigade forward to the hill referred to and 
placed it in the formation directed. Before the attack was or- 

dered Maj. Tremain, Act g A. D. C, on Maj-Gen. Butterfield s 
Staff, came to me, and said that the situation of the ground 
was somewhat different from what it was understood to be at 
the time the written orders were issued ; that instead of 
acting as a support to Gen. Ward, it was assigned to me 
to assault and take the hill then in my front, and that the 
manner of doing it, and the formation of the brigade was 
left to my own judgment ; that Gen. Butterfield desired the 
attack to be made at once, as Gen. Ward was ready to 
advance. This was to me very embarrassing. I had not 
reconnoitered the ground ; most of it was covered with a 
dense forest ; I knew nothing of the strength of the enemy, 
his position or the situation of his works in front. I went 
forward and made a hurried and imperfect reconnoissance. 
It seemed to me that I was too far to the right. I, therefore, 
moved my right regiment by the left flank to the left, and 
changed its front by a half wheel to the left. I changed the 
formation of the brigade from one line in echelon to two 
lines, putting three regiments in the front line and two in 
the second, throwing out in front a strong line of skirmish 
ers. This formation, made in a very hurried manner, being 
completed, I gave the order to advance. Promptly and 
regularly the men moved up the hill and drove the enemy 
from the crest in the most gallant manner. When about 
two-thirds of the way the left of the line, in passing out the 
woods into an open space, encountered a galling cross fire 
from the left, and which seemed to come from the enemy 
posted in a piece of woods to the left and in front of me. 
Not knowing what, if any, disposition had been made to 
protect our left flank, and fearing a flank movement from 
the enemy, I changed the front of the 73d Ohio so as to 
meet the threatened danger. A few well directed volleys 
from this regiment seemed to silence the firing from the 
woods. Soon afterward I saw troops of the 1st Division 
(Brig.-Gen. Williams) going into position on my left, which 
removed all fear of a flank attack. I then ordered the 73d 
Ohio to resume its original front and move forward on a line 
with the other part of the brigade on the crest of the hill. 


The hill was divided by an indentation on its top running 
in the same direction with the line of battle, making two 
crests. In my front the crest first reached, in a measure 
overlooked and commanded the second. But my order was 
to occupy the advanced crest. The order was obeyed, al 
though the position of the men was such that they were 
under fire of the enemy in their works. As I anticipated 
before the attack began, my right regiment was too far to 
the right, as there was some mistake or misunderstanding 
on the part of the 2d Brigade. I understood that the 2d 
Brigade was to support the 1st Brigade on the right, but 
before the crest of the hill was half gained, the regiments of 
the2d Brigade, after firing a volley into the 1st Brigade, were 
found on its left in no little confusion. The men ran over 
and through the right of my line, mingling with the right 
regiment and creating so much confusion as to render the 
regiment (26th Wis.) almost unserviceable, as well as caus 
ing great hindrance to the regiment next to it (33d Mass.). 
Major Winkler with commendable skill and ability, with no 
little difficulty, extricated his men from the confused mass 
into which they had become involved, and brought them 
again, reformed, into line. This hill being a position of 
much importance to the enemy, it was not to be supposed 
that he would yield it without a struggle, or without making 
an effort to retake it after being driven off. Accordingly 
regimental commanders were cautioned that they might ex 
pect to be in turn attacked, but that they must hold the 
position at all hazards. The expectation seemed to be well 
founded, for the enemy made two furious assaults upon my 
line, but was gallantly and successfully repulsed. As the 
second attack seemed to be a very determined one, and as my 
men were much exhausted, I sent word for reinforcements. 
I knew that Gen. Geary, with his division, was in my rear, 
and with a considerable force, near the first crest of the hill. 
I went to him in person for aid. I failed to obtain it, and 
the third and last attack on my line was successfully re 
pulsed before reinforcements reached me. The day was 
now far spent. My men were exhausted. The casualties 


had been large. At my request Maj.-Gen. Hooker ordered 
my brigade relieved by troops from the 2d Division. After 
being relieved I marched the brigade into the valley on the 
Dalton Road, where it bivouacked for the night. The con 
duct of the entire command was such as to meet my highest 
commendation. Both officers and men displayed praise 
worthy gallantry and bravery. I saw no shirking, no unnec 
essary straggling. The wounded, those who were able, took 
care of themselves, and those who were not, lay upon the 
ground until they were removed by the ambulances. My 
thanks are due to the regimental commanders, for the dis 
tinguished gallantry exhibited by them in this engagement, 
and for the marked skill and ability with which they han 
dled their respective commands. I commend them and 
their conduct to the favorable consideration of those whose 
duty it is, and whose pleasure it may be, to reward those 
who have rendered important service" on the field of battle. 
Early in the engagement Major Robbins, of the 55th Ohio, 
fell mortally wounded. Soon after Capt. Peck, of the same 
regiment, was killed, and in the last attempt of the enemy 
to dislodge us from the hill, Col. Gambee, the worthy and 
able commander of the same regiment, fell while cheering 
and encouraging his men to hold the ground. I desire to 
pay a passing tribute to the worth, ability and high charac 
ter of these officers. By their fall the country and the ser 
vice have suffered an irreparable loss. It is with a real sense 
of loss that I refer to the fall of the lamented Col. Gambee, 
a gentleman by instinct, possessed of a high sense of honor, 
of warm social qualities, he actached himself as a friend to 
all with whom he associated. Entering the service as a 
captain in the line, he was for his peculiar fitness promoted 
to the command of the regiment. Though a strict discipli 
narian, he had the confidence, the respect, the love of the of 
ficers and men of his command. As second in command 
of the brigade, I relied on his good judgment and sound 
sense to aid me in the discharge of the arduous and import 
ant duties of command. He regarded with abhorrence the 
rebellion which threatened to overturn our National govern- 


ment, and its guilty abettors, and he entered the military 
service not from choice, but from a sense of duty and the 
dictates of pure patriotism. Upon the altar of his country 
he has sacrificed his life and sealed his principles with his 
blood. In the engagement in which he lost his life he bore 
himself with distinguished gallantry, and by his example and 
the able manner in which he handled his regiment, contrib 
uted materially to the successful result of the attack. May 
his name be cherished and his memory preserved so long as 
bravery, loyalty and patriotism are regarded as virtues 
among men.* 

On Monday, the i6th, the brigade marched through 
Resaca(the enemy having retreated during the night) toward 
Field s Mills on the Oustanola River, which river was crossed 
by means of a rope ferry. The brigade crossed the river and 
got into position on the other side at about half-past eleven 
P. M., having marched the distance of sixteen miles. The 
crossing occupied about two hours. 

On the 1 7th, at about two o clock, p. M., the brigade 
marched from Field s Ferry toward Calhoun, on the Cass- 
ville Road, and went into camp at about nine o clock, P. M., 
having marched seventeen miles. On the iSth, at five 
o clock, A. M., the brigade took up the line of march toward 
Cassville. The road was obstructed by troops and trains, 
consequently we could move only by cutting a side road. 
This was being done under the direction of Maj.-Gen. 
commanding the division, when a side road was struck on 
which the brigade marched. Late in the afternoon, as the 
brigade emerged on the Cassville Road, it was soon dis 
covered that the enemy, in some force, was in our immediate 
front. The I36th N. Y. was then formed and deployed, 
skirmishers advanced, for the purpose of ascertaining the 
strength of the enemy. In this way the brigade advanced 
about two miles, when our further advance was obstructed 
by the enemy s line of rifle pits and artillery. The brigade 
bivouacked on the plateau, between Calhoun and Cassville, 
having marched seventeen and one-half miles. On the 

*See Appendix A. 


1 9th, in the morning, I was ordered with my brigade to 
make a reconnoissance toward Two Run Creek. My in 
structions were to march due south until I struck the creek. 
I deployed one regiment, the 73d Ohio, and threw out 
skirmishers in advance. The balance of the regiment was 
formed in two columns, at the right and left of the regiment 
deployed. In this formation the brigade advanced. When 
within about one-half mile from the creek, it was discovered 
that the enemy, in force, was in dangerous proximity on our 
left flank. Being isolated from the corps to which the brigade 
belonged, and not being supported on the right by the 2d 
Division, and on the left by the ist Division, as it was 
understood we would be, and being unable to make connec 
tion with either of these divisions, although they were 
ordered to march at the same time with our division, it 
became necessary to withdraw the reconnoissance, and take 
up a defensive position until supported by the two divisions 
above referred to. Accordingly, under orders from the Maj.- 
Gen. commanding the division, I withdrew about one thou 
sand yards from my most advanced position, and threw up a 
slight protection of boards and rails ; the enemy having 
shown no disposition to attack. After holding this position 
about two hours, it was ascertained that the 1st and 2d 
Divisions had advanced in supporting distances at our right 
and left. The brigade then moved out toward the enemy, 
in the direction of Cassville. The march was in column by 
company. We soon came upon the enemy, posted behind 
Two Run Creek, protected by hastily-constructed works. 
As the position of the enemy was such as to expose his 
flank, he beat a hasty retreat. To protect the artillery of the 
division, which was in position on a hill to my left, I de 
ployed the brigade on the northerly bank of the creek ; 
which position I occupied until an advance of the whole line 
was made, in which this brigade took a part. Moving across 
the creek the brigade was formed in two lines, with one 
regiment in advance supporting the skirmish line ; connect 
ing with the ist Division on the left, and with the 2d 
Brigade of this division on the right. The brigade, as a 


part of the general line, advanced on Cassville, then occu 
pied by the enemy, through a dense piece of woods. Con 
sidering the nature of the ground over which it passed, I 
regard this advance as highly creditable to the officers and 
men of the brigade. After advancing to the heights north 
of Cassville, it was found that the enemy had retreated from 
that place. A battle there had been expected, and it was 
found that the enemy had posted his army with that view 
behind formidable works on the opposite heights. The 
day being now far spent (it being after sundown), pursuant 
to orders, I marched my brigade back to the northerly side 
of Two Run Creek, and encamped for the night. 

On the 20th, 2ist and 22d, the brigade remained in camp 
to rest and recover from the exhaustions of the campaign. 
On the 23d the brigade marched from its camp near Cass 
ville to Euharlee, on the south side of Etonah River, distance 
sixteen miles. 

On the 24th the brigade marched from Euharlee to Burnt 
Hickory, distance eighteen miles. 

On the 25th the brigade marched from Burnt Hickory, 
under orders to take a formation with the division on the 
Dallas and Marietta Road. The march of the brigade was 
much retarded and obstructed by McCook s Cavalry, which 
was ordered to march a part of the way on the same road 
with this brigade, but as cavalry is supposed to move with 
more celerity than infantry, it was expected that it would 
be out of the way before the road was required for infantry. 
At about three o clock, p. M., the brigade came upon the 
road leading from Burnt Hickory to Dallas, when it be 
came known that the 2d Division (Gen. Geary) had passed on 
the same road and a short distance in advance had had a 
sharp encounter with the enemy, and that the enemy was 
prepared to dispute our further progress. The 2Oth Corps 
was ordered to make an attack and drive the enemy away. 
This brigade was first ordered to support the 1st Division 
(Gen. Williams) in the attack, and to that end was formed in 
line of battle by battalion in mass, with direction to take de 
ploying intervals as it advanced. Before I had advanced 

I 21 

far I was ordered to move my brigade to the east side of 
the road and move to the attack, connecting with Williams 
left. As soon as two regiments had crossed, the 55th Ohio 
and 1 36th N. Y. in the front line and the /3d Ohio and 
26th Wis. in the second line, I was ordered to advance, keep 
ing the road on my right. On communicating to Maj.-Gen. 
Butterfield the fact that the 33d Mass., forming a part of 
my first line, had not crossed the road, he directed me to place 
it behind the line in reserve. As I was advancing in this 


position the enemy opened a sharp musketry fire on my left 
flank. As the fire developed a considerable force on my flank I 
faced the 33d Mass, in the direction of the fire and changed 
the front of the 73d Ohio in the same direction and ad 
vanced in that position on the enemy. In this way I ad 
vanced under fire as long as it was light enough to see, 
swinging round my left so as not to lose connection with 
the other regiments of the brigade. 

A deep ravine, a creek and a morass separated me from 
the enemy s forces that attacked my left. My left advanced 
to this ravine and creek and my right and center as far as 
1st Division advanced. With the close of the day a rain 
storm and intense darkness set in, which put a stop to opera 
tions on both sides. I held the position to which we were 
advanced until twelve o clock, M., at night, when in pursu 
ance of orders from division head-quarters I marched the 
brigade back on the road to the rear of the 1st Division and 
bivouacked for the night. 

On the 27th of May my brigade was moved to the extreme 
right and rear of the corps and bivouacked in column by 
battalion and on the 28th relieved Gen. Ward s Brigade of 
this division in the front line, intrenched on the extreme 
right of the 2Oth A. C., where it remained until the 1st of 
June, 1864. 

On the 1st of June this brigade was in line of battle near 
New Hope Church, behind a line of breastworks forming a 
second line, the first line of which was composed of the 2d 
Brigade of this division. 


At twelve o clock of that day the brigade was relieved by 
a brigade of the I5th Corps, Army of the Tennessee, and 
marched about five miles toward the left flank of the army, 
and encamped on the left of the 1st Division. 

At twelve o clock on the 2d of June the brigade broke 
camp and marched about two miles further to the left and 
bivouacked in line of battle by battalions in mass, in two 
lines, in support of the 23d A. C, which position was occu 
pied until three o clock on the following day, when the 
brigade moved still further to the left, and bivouacked on 
the road leading to McLean s house, in rear and support of 
Hovey s Brigade of the 23d A. C., in line of battle, deployed 
in two lines. 

The brigade occupied this position until the morning of 
the 6th of June, when it marched on the Ackv, orth Road 
about two miles, where it formed a line of battle near 
Widow Hull s, with its right resting on the Sandtown Road. 
A strong and substantial line of breastworks, extending the 
whole front of the brigade deployed in one line, was here 
constructed. The brigade occupied this position unmolested 
until the i5th day of June. 

At two o clock on that day the brigade broke camp and 
marched on the Sandtown Road in pursuit of the enemy, he 
having retreated from his intrenched position. After march 
ing about a mile a line of battle was formed, this brigade 
forming the third line in rear of the 1st and 2d Brigades of 
this division. The enemy s pickets were in our front and 
it was ascertained that he had taken up a new position ex 
tending across the Sandtown Road on which we were march 

A reconnoissance was ordered to be made for the purpose 
of developing his line and strength. The division moved 
forward in line of battle, with its right resting on the Sand- 
town Road, this brigade acting as support to the 1st Brig 
ade as it advanced on the enemy s lines. 

The enemy was discovered in a strongly intrenched posi 
tion, with a battery of artillery resting upon and covering 
the approach on the Sandtown Road. 


After advancing to within about one hundred yards of the 
enemy s works the brigade bivouacked for the night. This 
position was held until the i/th of June. On the night of 
the 1 6th of June the enemy abandoned his position and re 
treated, and at nine o clock the following day this brigade 
marched in pursuit. 

The enemy was soon discovered occupying a new position 
near Noses Creek. This brigade, and also the 1st Brigade 
of this division, were held in reserve in rear of the new line 
of battle formed by the 1st Division, the 2d Brigade of 
this division and the third of the 2d Division, with orders to 
march to the support of any part of the line that might be 
attacked. The brigade occupied this position until Sunday, 
the iQth of June. 

On the night of the 1 8th of June the enemy again re 
treated toward Marietta and took up a position on, and 
covered by, Kennesaw Mountain. 

On the iQth of June, this brigade marched in pursuit of 
the enemy across Noses Creek, on the Dallas and Marietta 
Road, the further progress being disputed by the enemy s 
pickets. I. formed a line of battle on the right of the road, 
and advanced the brigade formed in one line deployed. 
After encountering and pushing back to a considerable dis 
tance the enemy s skirmishers, the brigade was halted. 
This line was held until dark, when the brigade was with 
drawn behind the 2d Brigade, about one hundred yards to 
the rear, where a line of breastworks had been erected. 
Here the brigade went into camp and occupied the position 
until the 22d of June. On the 2Oth of June, at five o clock, 
P. M., the brigade marched out of camp, on the right of its 
position, to support the 1st Division, which was about taking 
up a position to the right of, and in advance of the position 
then occupied by the 3d Division. The 1st Division got 
into position without being molested by the enemy, and this 
brigade by order, returned to its camp. 

On the 2 ist of June, I received orders from Maj.-Gen. 
Butterfield to make a reconnoissance with two regiments to 
the right in front of our position. 


I accordingly ordered the 136111 N. Y. and 55th Ohio, 
under the command of Lt.-Col. Faulkner, to make the 
reconnoissance as ordered. I subsequently reinforced him 
with the 73d Ohio. The troops left camp at eleven 
o clock, A. M., and returned at six o clock, P. M., hav 
ing accomplished the object of the reconnoissance. The 
enemy occupied the position on the crest of a hill about 
five hundred yards in our front. I was ordered with my 
brigade to drive off the enemy and occupy this hill. Accord 
ingly, on the 22d of June, I moved my brigade forward and 
formed a line of battle in the edge of a piece of woods, near 
some open ground which lay between the foot of the hill 
and the woods in which the brigade was formed, and about 
one hundred yards distant from the hill. This open ground 
was swept by the enemy s skirmishers. I threw out a line 
of skirmishers, and ordered forward the 33d Mass. Vols. to 
support the skirmish line. In this formation the brigade 
advanced across the open ground in double quick, pushed 
up the hill which was occupied by the enemy s skirmish line, 
intrenched, drove the enemy from the hill, and occupied it 
as ordered. The enemy occupied a strong position of 
another hill still in our front, in which position he had in 
trenched himself, and from which he kept up a galling and 
destructive fire on my line. With a great promptitude and dis 
patch, the men in the face of this fire constructed a line of 
breastworks which covered them from the enemy s fire. The 
enemy made an ineffectual attempt to dislodge us from the 
hill, drove in our pickets, but was quickly repulsed by the 
line and he retreated behind his works. At about five o clock, 
P. M., this brigade was relieved by a brigade from the 4th 
A. C. After being relieved, the brigade marched to the 
right about two miles, and took up a position in the rear in 
support of 1st Division. 

On the 23d of June, the division moved still further to the 
right to the Powder Spring Road, and took up a position in a 
line of battle, deployed with its right resting on that road, 
this brigade forming a second line of which the 2d Brigade 
of this division formed the first. 


The brigade occupied this position till the 2/th day of 
June. Before daylight on that day, the brigade took the 
position in rear of its then .position, on the right of Knipe s 
Brigade of the 1st Division, with the right resting on the 
Powder Spring Road. I should have said that the brigade 
constructed a line of breastworks covering its entire front 
while occupying the position which it took on the 23d. 

The brigade occupied this last position until the evening of 
the 29th of June, when it relieved the front line, which had 
been occupied by the 2d Brigade, but which at that time 
was held by the 1st Brigade of this division.* 

The brigade occupied this position until the 2d of July. 
On the night of the 1st of July, the enemy retreated from 
Kennesaw Mountain and Marietta, toward the Chattahoo- 

chee River. 

On the morning of the 2d, this brigade marched in pursuit 
of the enemy on the Marietta Road, and toward that place. 
After marching about two miles, I was ordered to change 
direction to the right, and to march south toward the Sand- 
town Road. My command came upon the enemy s skir 
mishers, and found that he was occupying a new line of 
strongly intrenched works. After marching about two miles 
in the new direction, we encamped on the right of the 2d 
Division, on the west bank of Nickojack Creek, and occupied 
this position until the 4th day of July. 

On that day the brigade changed position to a new one 
about one and one-half miles south. On going into this 
position, the enemy was supposed to be seen in our front, 
occupying a threatening position ; thereupon, the brigade, 
with great rapidity and in a remarkably short space of time, 
constructed a line of breastworks covering its entire front. 
It was subsequently ascertained that the troops seen in our 
front were a portion of our own army advancing on the 
enemy s line. 

On the night of the 4th of July, the enemy again 

~^0n the 2Qth of June, Maj.-Gen. Butterfteld was at his own request re 
lieved from the command of the 3 d Division, and Brig.-Gen. Ward, as 
senior officer, succeeded to the command. 


abandoned his works, and retreated to the Chattahoochee 

On the morning of the 5th this brigade marched in pur 
suit of the enemy, but the advance was very slow, owing to 
the road being blocked by troops and trains. The brigade 
crossed the Nickojack Creek, and went into camp, after 
dark, on its west bank, about two miles from Chattahoochee 

On the 6th of July the brigade marched to a new position 
on the east side of Nickojack Creek, in the same relative 
position to the Chattahoochee River, connecting with the 
2d Brigade on my right and 1st Brigade on my left. Here 
the brigade went into camp and continued until the i/th 
day of July. 

At three o clock of that day in the afternoon, the brigade 
broke camp and commenced its march toward Chatta 
hoochee River, crossed the river at Pace s Ferry, marched in 
a north-eastern direction about three miles and went into 
camp on the right of 1st Brigade near Nancy s Creek. 

On the 1 8th of July we marched toward Buckhead, hav 
ing first made a reconnoissance to and across Nancy s Creek, 
and ascertained that the enemy was not in any force at or 
near that creek. The brigade marched to the Dalton Road 
in line of battle deployed, when it changed direction to the 
left and continued its advance on that road. Having ascer 
tained that the 4th A. C. occupied Buckhead, the formation 
of the brigade was changed from line of battle deployed, to 
column by companies, and continued its advance in that 
formation. The brigade reached Buckhead at about five 
o clock, P. M., and went into position to the left of the Buck- 
head Road and south of the Decatur Road in single line of 
battle deployed. This position the brigade occupied until 
morning of the 2oth of July. 

On the morning of the 2Oth of July the 3d Brigade, with 
the division of which it forms a part, left its camp near 
Buckhead to cross Peach Tree Creek, the 3d Brigade in ad 
vance. The 2d Divison (Brig.-Gen. Geary) and a part or the 
whole of Maj.-Gen. Newton s Division of the 4th A. C. had 


crossed this creek the day previous, and taken a position on 
the south bank, leaving a gap between the right of Newton s 
Division and the left of Geary s to be filled by the 3d Division. 
By order from division head-quarters the 3d Brigade was 
directed to take position on the right to connect with Gen. 
Geary, the 1st Brigade on the left of the 3d Brigade, and the 
2d Brigade on the left of the 1st, connecting with Gen. 
Newton. The crossing of the creek by the division was ef 
fected about eleven o clock, A. M., of the 2Oth, without op 
position. Upon receiving the order, I ordered Lieut. -Col. 
Faulkner to march the I36th N. Y. to the right of the posi 
tions to be occupied by the brigade, with directions to de 
ploy a strong line of skirmishers in front of the position to 
be occupied by the brigade. Lt.-Col. Faulkner marched 
with the 1 36th N. Y., took the position indicated and de 
ployed four companies of his regiment as skirmishers, as 
directed. With the other regiments of the brigade I was 
marching to occupy the position as directed by the order 
from division head-quarters, when I was ordered by Brig.- 
Gen. Ward, the division commander, personally, to take 
position on the left of the division and connect with Gen. 
Newton. He gave as a reason for change in position of the 
brigades that Col. Cobern, the commander of the 2d Bri 
gade, had not yet crossed the creek, and that it was import 
ant that the left position should be occupied at once. Ac 
cordingly I placed the brigade in the position indicated, de 
ployed in line of battle. Subsequently the 2d Brigade took 
position on my right, the 1st Brigade on the right of the 2d, 
connecting with Brig.-Gen. Geary. Lt.-Col. Faulkner with 
the 1 36th N. Y., continued to occupy the position to which I 
ordered him, with his skirmishers deployed in the front of 
the ist Brigade. 

On the south side of Peach Tree Creek is a piece of flat or 
bottom land extending from Geary s left to Newton s right, 
and of an average width of two hundred yards, which consti 
tuted the Valley of Peach Tree Creek on the south side ; from 
this bottom the ground rises somewhat abruptly in a bluff 
or ridge, more abruptly on the left than on the right. From 


the crest of this bluff or ridge the land descends to a ravine, 
from which another ridge rises, which ridge seemed to be 
continuous, extending in front of the whole division, as well 
as Newton s Division of the 4th Corps. As soon as the 
skirmishers were deployed, they advanced and took posses 
sion of the front hill or ridge. Behind them, and on the 
flat or bottom land, the division was deployed into line of 
battle, in the position indicated. The first formation of the 
brigade was three regiments in front, viz. : the /3d Ohio, 
26th Wis. and 2Oth Conn., in the order named from right to 
left, the 55th Ohio in reserve. Thus formed, the brigade 
took position immediately in rear of and at the foot of the 
first bluff or ridge above alluded to, by which it was entirely 

After the formation of the brigade as above stated, I was 
ordered to put another regiment in reserve or in the second 
line so that the brigade line of battle would be only two regi 
ments front. I ordered the 73d Ohio to take a position in rear 
of the 26th Wis. and connect on the left with the 55th Ohio, 
also in reserve. After this formation was made, orders 
were received to have the men stack arms and make them 
selves as comfortable as possible ; that a further advance 
was not at that time contemplated. The skirmish line, how 
ever, advanced from the first ridge to the second, and took 
position on its crest. The brigade quietly occupied the po 
sition taken, not anticipating a conflict with the enemy. 
There was quite sharp firing from the skirmish line in front, 
which seemed to increase. I suggested to Gen. Ward that 
he had better advance the division to the top of the bluff. 
He declined, saying that he had orders from corps head 
quarters not to move until further orders, and he should 
stay where he was until he received orders to move. At 
about three o clock, P. M., a private from the skirmish line 
came to me and notified me that the enemy in force was ad 
vancing upon us. The rapid discharge of musketry on our 
left, in front of Newton s Division, the sudden retreat to the 
rear of non-combatants, ambulances, etc., of that division, 
the activity of our own skirmish line, indicated that the an- 

2 9 

nouncement was true. I immediately, without orders, or 
dered my brigade to advance to meet and resist the threat 
ened attack of the enemy. The skirmish line gallantly held 
out to the last, and bravely fought the enemy and materi 
ally checking his advance. 

The other brigades of the division moved forward at about 
the same time. Over the crest of the hill, down into the 
ravine on the other side, the brigade line advanced, and as 
it emerged from a fringe of trees or bushes, with which the 
bottom of the valley or ravine was lined, it met the enemy. 

Coolly and deliberately the men poured into their line a 
well directed, withering and destructive fire, which covered 
the ground with dead and wounded. 

This checked his advance and caused him to recoil. The 
line continuing its fire charged up the hill, gained the crest 
and drove the enemy into the valley on the other side. The 
2Oth Conn, on the left, by some misapprehension, halted 
before reaching the crest of the second hill, its commander 
being erroneously ordered to halt and cease firing, as our 
skirmishers were still in front. This misapprehension and 
error I at once rectified, and the regiment advanced to the 
crest just as a body of the enemy formed in double column 
were about to take advantage of the apparent gap in the 
line to attack Newton s Division on its right flank. A well- 
directed and murderous volley from the 2Oth Conn, poured 
into this column, threw it into confusion and it broke and 

As there seemed to be some indication that the troops of 
the 4th Corps, on our immediate left, were being driven by 
the enemy, I held the 55th Ohio and 73d Ohio in reserve, 
to protect my left flank in case it should be exposed. Hap 
pily, Maj.-Gen. Thomas happened to be in that part of the 
field, and seeing the confusion in Gen. Newton s command, 
ordered an Ohio battery of artillery into a favorable posi 
tion to reach the enemy. This battery opened a destructive 
fire on the enemy s flank, checked his advance and enabled 
the brigade on my left to hold its ground, and repelled the 
attack. As soon as I became satisfied that my flank would 


not be turned, I ordered forward the 73d Ohio to relieve the 
26th Wis., which was nearly exhausted by the extreme heat 
of the day and the severe fighting in which it had been en 
gaged. The men had expended all their ammunition and 
supplied themselves from the cartridge boxes of the dead 
and wounded rebels. On being relieved, the regiment 
fell back about fifty yards to the rear, where it took position 
in line of battle, ready to spring to their guns in case of 
necessity. I ordered the 55th Ohio to reinforce the line 
on the left, as there was a gap on the left of the 2oth Conn., 
between it and the right of the 4th Corps. The command 
ing officer of the 55th Ohio very properly and judiciously, 
with his regiment, filled that gap. I withdrew the I36th N. 
Y. from the right of division, and with it relieved the 2Oth 
Conn, in the front line, putting that regiment in reserve. 
On the top of the ridge, now occupied by the brigade line 
of battle, was a well-traveled highway, on the south side of 
which was an ordinary fence of rails, partly standing and 
partly thrown down. The men took position behind this 
fence, and kept a constant and continuous fire upon the 

The enemy made one or two ineffectual attempts to renew 
the attack, but his troops would not or could not withstand 
the destructive fire which ours kept up upon them from our 
line. He gave up the contest and retreated behind his 
strong and well-protected line of earthworks. This ended 
this severely contested engagement. To us it was a brilliant 
feat of arms. We encountered the enemy in superior num 
bers, in the open field; We met his offensive attack with an 
offensive return ; his charge with a counter-charge. The 
victory was complete and decisive. He left his dead and 
wounded on the field, and in our possession. The 26th Wis. 
captured a stand of colors, and the skirmishers of the I36th 
N. Y. a battle flag. The skirmishers from this regiment, de 
ployed in front of the 1st Brigade, continued to act as such 
while the engagement lasted. They gallantly held the ad 
vancing line of the rebels in check until the 1st Brigade 
advanced to the line held by them. The coolness they dis- 

played and the bravely they exhibited when under fire was 
worthy of the highest praise, and reflected honor on the 
gallant regiment of which they were members. This brigade 
buried the bodies of one hundred and thirty eight dead 
rebels, found behind and near our advanced line of battle, 
among whom was one colonel (Drake of 33d Miss.) and five 
line officers. The severely and mortally wounded were 
scattered over the ground on which the brigade advanced, 
and were removed and cared for by our surgeons. Six 
swords and many stands of small arms of which no account 
was kept, denote the captures made by this and other 
brigades of this division. 

Of course such a victory could not be obtained without 
the sacrifice of valuable lives, and the shedding of precious 
blood, although our loss is slight in comparison with the loss 
and havoc that were inflicted on the rebels. The men and 
officers of the brigade sustained their well-earned reputation 
for bravery and gallantry. 

Though the attack came upon them unexpectedly, they 
met it with cool determination and unflinching courage. 
Where all behaved well it may be regarded as invidious to 
call attention to individuals, yet it seems to me that I can 
not discharge my whole duty in this respect without point 
ing out for special commendation, the conduct of the 26th 
Wis., and its brave and able commander, Major Winkler. 
The position of this regiment in the line was such that the 
brunt of the attack on this brigade fell upon it. 

The brave, skillful and determined manner in which it 
met this attack, rolled back the onset, pressed forward in a 
counter-charge and drove back the enemy could not be ex 
celled by the troops in this or any other army, and it is 
worthy of the highest commendation and praise. It is to be 
hoped that such conduct will be held up as an example for 
others and will meet its appropriate reward.* 

On the 2 1st of July the brigade held the ground and 
position occupied by it at the close of the battle of the 2Oth. 

* See Appendix B. 


On the night of that day the enemy retreated and withdrew 
behind their works, which covered and protected the city of 

On the morning of the 22d this brigade again marched in 
pursuit of the enemy and advanced within two miles of the 
center of the city of Atlanta. Here the brigade went into 
position in line of battle deployed in two lines on the right 
of and connecting with the 2d Division on our right, and 
constructed a line of breastworks covering its entire front. 

The enemy opened upon us with his artillery from forts 
and works in Atlanta, but did no damage. 

On the 23d T was ordered to take a position on the right 
of the ist Division for the purpose of strengthening and re- 
enforcing the brigade that held the Marietta Road and the 

Accordingly I marched my brigade to the position desig 
nated, relieved that part of Ruger s Brigade of ist Division 
that held the line between the Marietta Road and the rail 
road, and held and occupied that part of the line with my 
brigade, deployed in line of battle in two lines protected by 
breastworks and by abattis and other obstructions in the 

*On the 24th of July I changed the line by throwing the 
left forward about eighty yards so as to make the front line 
a straight line, and constructed a new line of breastworks 
extending from the left of the right regiment, to the left of 
the line. This work was constructed during the night of 
Saturday, the 23d, and occupied by the troops at daylight 
the next morning. The brigade occupied this position until 
the 3Oth of July, the only change being that on the evening 
of the 26th of July this brigade was relieved from the front 
line by Ruger s Brigade of ist Division, and took a position 
on the second line, covered and protected by breastworks. 

On the 3Oth of July the brigade was ordered to march to 
the right and support in connection with the division Davis 

*On the 24th day of July General Hooker at his own request was relieved 
from the command of the 2Oth Army Corps, and General Slocum was as 
signed to the command. 


Division of the I4th Corps in a reconnoissance toward East 
Point. Accordingly the brigade marched to the right flank of 
the army and took up a position on the right of the 1 5th Corps. 
The brigade continued on the right of the army until the 
2d of August, when it returned and took position in line of 
battle on the right of the 2d Brigade of the division, and 
connecting with the i6th Corps on the right, in advance of 
the position lately occupied by the Hth Corps. Here the 
brigade constructed a line of breastworks, covering its en 
tire front, of a sufficient strength to resist artillery. This 
position was held until the morning of the 8th of August. 

On the 7th of August I received orders to advance the 
line and fortify it. This created a necessity for an entire 
new line of works, except the works in front of one regiment. 
On the left, a brigade of the Hth Corps, occupying a posi 
tion in reserve to this brigade, was ordered to assist in con 
structing these works. The works were constructed on the 
night of the ;th and were occupied by the brigade on the 
morning of the 8th. On Tuesday, the gth, the right regi 
ment of my brigade was relieved on the front line by a 
regiment of a brigade from the I4th Corps, above alluded 
to. The regiment so relieved was held in reserve. The 
1 6th Corps having advanced their line, I was ordered to ad 
vance by a detail from the three brigades of the division. 

The works were so far completed that on the evening of 
the loth I moved the brigade into the new line, and the 
works were completed by the regiments which lay behind 
them. This position was occupied by the brigade, one regi 
ment in reserve, until the 13th of August. On the nth 
of August I received an order still further to advance my 
line to connect on the left with the 2d Brigade, which also 
took an advanced position, and to construct a new line of 
breastworks to cover this advance. Accordingly, working 
parties were detailed, the work was constructed in the night 
as ordered, and the brigade moved into the new line, on the 
morning of the I3th. This new position was occupied by 
the brigade until the evening of the 25th of August. From 
the time of arrival in front of Atlanta the troops were under 


fire from artillery. On the evening of the 24th, orders were 
received that this brigade and the 2d Brigade of this divis 
ion would march on the evening of the 25th to Turner s 
Ferry on the Chattahoochee, to hold and cover the ferry 
pending the contemplated movement of the army to the 
right and rear of Atlanta, with the view of cutting the Ma- 
con Railroad, on which the enemy relied for the transporta 
tion of his supplies. I was also ordered to send one regi 
ment to Turner s Ferry, on the morning of the 25th, to 
construct a line of breastworks to protect the brigade when 
it should take possession there. Accordingly, on the morn 
ing of the 25th, the 2Oth Conn, was dispached to Turner s 
Ferry for the purpose indicated, with instructions to com 
ply with the order. At eight o clock, P. M., of the 25th, the 
brigade was withdrawn from behind the line of works, 
marched across Proctor s Creek on the Turner s Ferry Road, 
where it was massed and halted to await the movement of 
a certain part of the 4th Corps. At two o clock, A. M., of 
the 26th, the brigade resumed its march toward Turner s 
Ferry, at which point it arrived at five o clock, A. M., went 
into position in line of battle, deployed in single line on the 
left of 2d Brigade, its right resting on the Turner s Ferry 
Road and its left on the Chattahoochee River. 

As soon as it was in position the brigade commenced vig 
orous work to construct the line of defenses, by throwing 
up breastworks, making abattis, cutting down trees for ob 
structions, and planting other obstacles to the approach of 
the enemy. 

On the 27th day of August, and before the defenses were 
fully completed, the enemy made a demonstration upon us 
by a force consisting of two brigades of infantry and a bat 
tery of four pieces of artillery, under Brig.-Gen. French. He 
opened upon us a very rapid discharge of artillery, drove in 
our pickets by an attack of his infantry, but as soon as he 
discovered the strength of our position, and received one or 
two rounds from a section of a battery behind our works, 
within range of which he had planted his artillery, he dis 
continued his attack and retreated from our position. Our 


casualties were two men killed, one wounded and two miss 
ing. This position was held without further molestation from 
the enemy, until the 2d of September. 

On the morning of the 2d of September a detachment of 
four hundred men was sent from this brigade to join 
a similar detachment from the 2d Brigade for the purpose 
of making a reconnoissance toward Atlanta. The reconnois- 
sance was made, and it was ascertained that the enemy, on 
the night of the 1st of September, after destroying his ord 
nance stores and other stores then in the city, had evacuated 
the city and retreated southward. The city was formally sur 
rendered by the mayor and common council, and taken pos 
session of by the troops composing the reconnoitering party. 
That portion of the brigade which formed the detachment 
detailed for the reconnoissance did not return to Turner s 
Ferry, but was held in the city for its protection. I was or 
dered to take the balance of my brigade and join that portion 
of it already in the city. On the 4th of September I moved 
my head-quarters to the city of Atlanta, and the balance of 
the brigade with brigade train marched into the city, joined 
that portion already there and took a position in the south 
part thereof, behind the works built and abandoned by the 

This brigade left Lookout Valley on the 2d of May, 
1864, numbering nineteen hundred officers and men. Dur 
ing the latter part of May the 2Oth Conn, joined the brig 
ade with four hundred men. The casualty reports have been 
forwarded monthly, and show a loss during the campaign 

in killed, 8 officers, 157 enlisted men. 

in wounded, 34 " 717 

in missing, I 24 

Total, 941 

This ends the campaign of Atlanta, commencing, so far as 
this brigade is concerned, on the 2d of May last, and ending 
with the occupation of Atlanta, as herein stated ; a campaign 
as difficult and arduous as it has been successful and tri 
umphant. During its continuance this brigade has been 
actively and almost uninterruptedly engaged either con- 


structing defenses, in hard marches, severe skirmishes, terrific 
battles or in the trenches, and in line of battle, watching a 
cautious and vigilant enemy. It has shrunk from no duty, 
and avoided no danger. Its promptness, its discipline, its 
bravery and its efficiency have at all times and under all 
circumstances been conspicuous. Its conduct has been such 
as to warrant me in adding that I feel proud of my com 

My thanks are due and are hereby most heartily tendered 
to every individual officer and man of which it is composed, 
for the cheerfulness, alacrity and zeal with which every order 
I have given has been obeyed, and for the apparent confi 
dence which has been reposed in me. I cannot express in 
too strong terms the commendation to which, in my judg 
ment, the entire command is entitled. It has fairly won, and 
I trust will promptly receive, the commendation and grati 
tude of the government it has been fighting to uphold, and 
of the people whose liberties it has endeavored to maintain 
and secure. Its depleted ranks, its maimed and disabled 
members, the graves of its killed, found on almost every 
rood of ground between Dalton and Atlanta, all proclaim in 
silent but emphatic and eloquent language, not only the in 
domitable courage and gallantry which have characterized 
its operations, but the immense costs and sacrifice with 
which our successes have been obtained. Peace to the 
brave ! the honored dead ! May their names be revered and 
their patriotism and courage remembered by a generous 
government and a grateful people, and may their afflicted 
families and mourning children reap the just reward of their 

I cannot close this, rny final report of the operations of 
my brigade in the campaign of Atlanta, without giving re 
newed expression to the thanks which I deem to be due to 
the officers of my staff, for their kindness and gentlemanly 
conduct as members of my military family, for the alacrity, 
zeal and dispatch with which they have promulgated my 
orders, for the energy and ability with which they have dis 
charged their specific duties, for the bravery and gallantry 


which they have displayed on every battle field, and in the 
face of every danger, and for the constant efforts they have 
made to relieve me of the labors, and to lighten the responsi 
bilities which my official position imposed on me. I can 
only again recommend them as well as those officers I have 
particularly mentioned in my report of specific battles, to the 
attention and consideration of those whose duty and busi 
ness it is to point out the worthy and the meritorious, 
when the jewels are made up and the rewards of merit dis 

I am, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Col. Commanding 

3d Brig., 3d Div., XX. C. 


A. A. A. G. 


Before I had any experience in the operations of war, I had 
read that no subordinate commander, officer or private in a large 
army, could give any correct account or report of a battle in 
which he took part. All each one could do was, to describe what 
he saw and did, and if a subordinate commander, the operations 
of his own command. My own experience in the battles of the 
war of the rebellion, in which I took part, confirms what I had 

The report of the operations of my brigade at Resaca de 
scribes what took place under my own observations. I endeav 
ored to carry out the orders as finally delivered to me from divis 
ion head-quarters. I could not see, and did not observe the 
operations of the other two brigades of the division in the corps. 
During the night after the battle the enemy retreated, and the 
brigade I commanded marched, with the rest of the corps, in pur 
suit. I received no account of the operations of the other two 
brigades, nor did I ever have any information on the subject until 
the publication of the "Life of Ben. Harrison," by Lew Wallace, 
in August, 1888, during the pendency of the political campaign of 
that year. This called my attention to the subject and gave me, for 
the first time, information of the operations of the other two brig 
ades of the division. My attention thus being called to the sub 
ject, I looked up my own report of the part taken by my brigade 
in the battle. At the opening of the attack Gen. (then Col.) Har 
rison was in command of the yoth Ind. Regiment. At the close, 
according to the " Life," he was in command of the ist Brigade, 
Gen. Ward being disabled by a gunshot wound. It is due to the 
truth of history, that all those who took part in the stupendous 
war of the rebellion should, when opportunity occurs, relate what 
he himself saw and did, and correct the mistakes of others, whether 
intentionally or inadvertently made. Though the history of Col. 


Harrison s connection with the Atlanta campaign, was written by 
Gen. Lew Wallace, it is fair to presume it was written from infor 
mation derived from Gen. Harrison himself. He gives his recol 
lection of the operations of the troops under his command, and 
the part he took in it, himself. It is not doubted that Col. Har 
rison and his men displayed the bravery and gallant conduct 
which the " Life " ascribes to them. The " Life" says " that not 
inaptly it has been said that the engagement which ensued was 
really two battles instead of one. We shall confine ourselves, alto 
gether, to that of Gen. Ward," and yet the author concludes his 
account of the battle, by saying, Wood s assault of the other height 
had been equally brave and unsuccessful. In saying that Wood s 
assault "was equally unsuccessful," the author is mistaken. On 
the contrary, the assault was successful. The 3d* Brigade took 
the heights I was ordered to assault, drove the enemy from the 
rifle-pits, or breastworks, they had constructed, and held the po 
sition. After reading this account of the assault in the " Life," I 
can understand why the enemy made such desperate efforts to drive 
me off, as my report shows. I did not know at the time that the ist 
Brigade had retreated to the foot of the hill, leaving my brigade 
unsupported on the top. I understood at the time, the men of 
the 2d Brigade did open fire on the troops in front of them, for 
the fire reached the 26th Wis., my right regiment, and threw it 
into such confusion that it was obliged to withdraw from the line 
and re-form. 

In his report of the battle (on file in the War Department), Gen. 
Ward says: " I formed, as directed, about one mile from the ene 
my s works, about twelve o clock. I was then ordered to charge. 
My command moved forward in fine order through the thick 
woods. After moving forward about two hundred yards, the col 
umn debouched into an open field. I immediately gave the order 
double quick. It was obeyed promptly. The men moving 
steadily, rapidly, carried a lunette beyond the field, in a dense 
wood, on a commanding position. 

" When we came to the open field the first regiment (yoth Ind.) 
and the second (79th Ohio) took the double-quick sooner than 
did the third (io2d 111.), the fourth (losth 111.) and the fifth 
( 1 29th 111.). This made a gap in the column. I turned back and 
ordered those behind to close up on the double-quick. At that 
time, a battery on the right, and that in front, were pouring shell 


and canister into the column. The musketry from the rebel lines 
was also very heavy, and doing great execution ; yet the column 
moved forward in pretty good order. Two of my regimental 
flags were placed on the works. Owing to some mistake in the 
transmission of orders, a portion of my command fell back. 
When I reached a point of high ground, between the captured lu 
nette and the enemy s breastworks, I found about four hundred 
of my men. Col. Gilbert of the igth Mich, came up at this time 
with his regiment. I ordered him to form with my men. He ex 
ecuted the order promptly. All this time the enemy was firing 
upon us. We returned the fire as soon as the men were formed. 
I ordered them to move forward toward the breastworks, and 
continue the fire. The whole line of works opened a heavy fire, 
which threw the men into some confusion, and many, in spite of 
all I could do, fell back and retreated. Those who remained I 
ordered to take trees and lie down, and crawl up to the works, say 
ing we could carry them, and I would lead. They moved on until 
we got within about fifteen paces of the works, when I was shot. 
I then ordered them to hold their places under cover, as much as 
possible. I was shot through the left arm. I went to the foot of 
the hill to have my wound dressed. The slight movement caused 
by my starting, seemed to arouse the enemy (they had been quiet 
for some time) and he opened upon me from his entire line, driv 
ing my men and forcing them to retreat in double-quick time. 
I could only follow their retreating steps to the foot of the hill, 
where I found a surgeon and had my wound dressed. On reach 
ing the bottom, I found some one hundred men of my command. 
I ordered them forward to aid their comrades, who were already 
in or near to the works. They quickly and promptly started; 
but as they reached the road covered by the enemy s battery on 
our right, they were thrown into confusion by the shells, and it 
was impossible to rally and re-form them at that point. This was 
between four and five o clock in the afternoon. At the foot of 
the hill I found that portion of my brigade which had fallen back, 
formed and ready to re-assault the enemy. I sent my aid, Lieut. 
Harrington, to Gen. Butterfield for permission to assault the 
works again. This he refused to give. 

" But for a fire in the rear (by mistake), I am satisfied that we 
would not only have succeeded in carrying the battery, but should 
also have carried the breastworks." 


There seems to be a discrepancy between the account of the 
operations of the ist Brigade as contained in the "Life," and in 
Gen. Ward s report As to the fire in the rear, Gen. Ward simply re 
fers to the fact without indicating from whence the fire came. The 
"Life" says the fire in the rear of the ist Brigade came from the 
2d Brigade. This is correct. Both Gen. Ward s report and the 
account of the battle in the " Life," attribute the unsuccessful 
assault and retreat of the ist Brigade to this "fire in the rear." 
This was probably the case ; as nothing is so demoralizing and 
discouraging to troops in action, as a fire in the rear. 

According to Gen. Ward s report, he did not leave the field, or 
surrender command of his brigade, although wounded by a shot 
through his left arm. And I remember that it was so said imme 
diately after the battle. But there is this to be said in favor of 
Gen. Harrison, and his account of the battle as contained in the 
" Life," as between him and Gen. Ward, when they differ ; he 
could describe his own actions and the operations of his regiment 
more fully and correctly than Gen. Ward could, who had the whole 
of his brigade to look after. 

Immediately after the battle, I received from Gen. Butterfield 
the following complimentary note: 

Col. WOOD, Commanding Brig.: 

Dear Col,: You have renewed my pride and confidence in 
your command and yourself. The division as a whole has made 
a proud record. Those who witnessed your charge on the first 
hill, speak in high terms of it. Get every thing in hand ; encour 
age all. Be ready for any thing to-morrow. 

Very truly your friend, 


Subsequently Gen. Butterfield forwarded to the War Depart 
ment the following recommendation, which was approved by Gen. 

NEAR MARIETTA, GEO., June 27, 1864. j 
To the Hon. Secretary of War: 

I earnestly recommend for promotion Col. James Wood, Jr., 
1 36th N. Y. V. I., to be a Brig. -General of Volunteers, for gallantry 


and good conduct in the engagements of Resaca, Dallas or New 
Hope Church, Cassville and Gilgal, or Hard Shell Church. 

The colonel has been a long time in command of a brigade, and 
has fairly earned the promotion. 

I am very respectfully, your obt. servt., 


Maj. - Gen. Conicfg. 


In my report, I have given an account of the operations of my 
brigade in the battle of Peach Tree Creek. My recollection of 
what occurred at that battle, so far as my brigade was concerned, 
is distinct. It was a fearful battle, and the 3d Division was very 
nearly taken by surprise. Gen. Ward notified me that Gen. 
Hooker had ordered him to put his men in position at the foot of 
the bluff, and have the men rest until further orders. Gen. Ward 
took position in rear of my brigade. I was in conversation with 
him when the active skirmish fire commenced. I told him I 
thought it indicated an advance of the enemy, and I thought our 
line should be advanced. He said Gen. Hooker s orders were for 
him to remain in the bottom where he was until further orders. I 
said in view of the sharp skirmish firing, I should not longer stay 
at the foot of the bluff. I immediately repaired to my command 
and ordered an advance. Capt. Tibbetts, of Gen. Ward s staff, 
accompanied me. I advanced my brigade without orders. As I was 
proceeding from Ward s head-quarters to my own, an officer, or 
private from the skirmish line came back and told me the enemy 
were advancing in force. My command promptly moved to the 
top of the hill, and came in contact with the enemy as stated in 
my report. The " Life " contains the following, p. 219 : 

"While the struggle was yet pending and in its full fury, 
Coburn, with his command, passed up the hill, and entering the 
engagement covered Harrison s exposed flank, and engaged the 
enemy along his whole front ; then riding to Wood, who was 
standing at a halt, suggested that he too advance up the hill. 
Wood replied that his orders were to stay where he was. But see 
ing the necessity, he promptly gave the order, and imitating the 


rush of the other brigades, left no cause of complaint against 

I don t know why it was necessary, in order to show that Gen, 
Harrison was a brave man and able officer, to cast reflection on me 
and represent that I did not appreciate the situation, and was not 
prompt in moving on the enemy. Coburn could not have ridden to 
me, for neither he nor any of the officers of the division were on 
horseback during the fight. I advanced my brigade as soon as the 
skirmish firing indicated there was danger ahead. None of the 
brigade commanders received orders to advance in consequence 
of the order received from Gen. Hooker until after my brigade 
commenced the movement. All were impressed with the neces 
sity of advancing. I was told by one of Gen. Hooker s staff that 
the 3d Brigade was the first to commence the movement, but the 
three brigades reached the top of the bluff about the same time. 
After I reached the top and after the brigade was in conflict with 
the enemy, Col. Coburn came to me in an excited state of mind 
and said something in reference to the state of affairs, but I do 
not remember what he said, and that was the first I saw of him. 
I did not see him on the flats or before my brigade moved to 
the top of the bluff. 

I quote also the following from the "Life," page 219: 

"It happened that when the attack developed, he (Gen. Harri 
son) had near one hundred men from a New York regiment in his 
front, detailed to help the skirmishers. They were specially se 
lected, because armed with Spencer repeating-rifles. Time to 
return them to their command proper, was too short. He cast 
about to make them useful, and seeing the old mill, ordered them 
into it. They did excellent service there in aiding to hold the 
Confederates upon the brow of the hill while the brigades were 
rushing upward. Harrison says they held them as stiff as ever he 

These skirmishers were from the i36th N. Y. Regiment. They 
did not have Spencer repeating-rifles, but U. S. Springfield rifles. 
They were not ordered to, nor did they go, into an old mill. 
They did hold the rebels u stiff " but it was by fighting in the open 
field. Reference to my report will show how it happened that the 
1 36th N. Y. was separated from the brigade to which it belonged. 
The men of the i36th N. Y. all wore white felt hats, which made 
them somewhat conspicuous in the line. Their coolness and 


bravery the stiffness with which they held the rebel line, the in 
trepidity with which they kept the front and joined in the fight 
when the ist Brigade line reached them, attracted the attention 
and received the warm commendation of Gen. Hooker. 

I have obtained the following statements from the officers of the 
i36th N. Y. engaged in that skirmish line, which confirms my re 
port and recollection. 

After the i36th N. Y. had taken position on the right of the 
division and on the left of Gen. Geary, Lt.-Col. Faulkner ordered 
me to take Cos. A, C, D and G and deploy as skirmishers in 
the interval between the 2d Brigade and the left of Geary s Divis 
ion. Our objective point was the second ridge; the first was not 
as high as the second. To the right and in front of Geary s was 
a small creek running to his left and breaking the second ridge, so 
that the ridge we were to occupy was in advance of and to the left 
of Geary s line, about two hundred yards, and down in this hol 
low on this little creek was the mill. This ridge to the right of 
where we were to go, was already occupied by the rebel skir 
mishers. When all was ready we commenced the advance and 
did not stop until the ridge was gained, driving the enemy s skir 
mishers before us. The right of my line was refused to connect 
with Geary s ; but we were in advance of tile mill. On this ridge 
was an old sunk road, which answered very well for rifle pits. At 
about the center of my line there was a turn in the road following 
down the hill and past the old mill. My line on the right was in 
advance of this road about thirty yards. None of the skirmishers 
occupied the mill at any time. For some time after we gained 
the ridge there was kept up a scattering skirmish fire, in which 
several of my men were wounded. After a while the firing ceased 
and all was quiet. Some of the men were lying down others 
were picking blackberries but all were on the alert. Word was 
brought to me by Lieut. Smith of Co. G that the enemy were 
moving to our left. In front of the center of my line and to the 
left was a thinly-wooded belt of timber, but to the right the wood 
was more dense, and a wider space was cleared in front of Geary, 
a field of about twenty acres. On being notified by Lieut. Smith 
I went to the brow of the hill and reconnoitered the situation. I 
immediately sent word to Col. Faulkner of the situation, and that 
if we were to hold the position, reinforcements should be sent 

4 6 

forward at once. At this time the ist Brigade was not in position 
in our rear. I saw the rebel line of attack advancing by company 
front muskets " right shoulder shift." My whole thought was 
to hold that ridge at all hazards. I ran along the line, told the 
men we must hold the ridge at all hazards not to waste any 
powder, but to make every shot tell. Every man seemed to real 
ize the situation. They loaded and fired with as much coolness 
and precision as though they were practicing on parade. I felt 
proud of my command. At this time the ist Brigade had com 
menced its movement, but had not yet reached the foot of the ridge. 
I shouted to them to hurry up if they wanted to save the ridge. 
About the time they reached the base of the ridge a section of 
Geary s Battery, which was on a considerable higher elevation than 
the ridge we occupied, changed the direction of its fire to a left 
oblique, bringing my men in the range of his guns. I immediately 
ordered my men to fall back out of range, which they did in good 
order, meeting the line of the ist Brigade. My skirmishers ad 
vanced on the enemy in front of the ist Brigade line to the top of 
the hill. We charged the rebel line and pushed it back. A 
rebel flag was captured by Private Dennis Buckley. He was 
killed while holding the flag aloft. The rebels made an ineffect 
ual attempt to retake the flag. The rebels came over the brow of 
the hill and nearly, if not quite, half way down, before they re 
coiled. Every shot from our line seemed to take effect. The 
rebels being above us, their balls flew over our heads, and when 
we gained the summit there were more dead and wounded rebels 
in our rear than in our front. We held the position until the 
rebels retreated behind their fortified position, when we were or 
dered to join our regiment. We retired from the front, bringing 
back our dead and wounded, with the flag we had captured. The 
regiment joined the brigade to which it belonged and relieved the 
2oth Conn, in the front line of the brigade, ready to meet any 
further attack the rebels might see fit to deliver. In an old letter 
among my war papers written home a day or two after the bat 
tle i I find the following: Col. Wood, although commanding a 
brigade, it is reported that he really was the leader in the move 
ment of the entire division in the advance and charge on the 
enemy at the battle. 


Late Capt. Co. C. 


Lt.-Col. Faulkner detailed four companies under Capt. Chapin, 
to deploy as skirmishers. Company G was on the left, and I 
was left guide of the company, and that brought me on the left 
of the skirmish line. As soon as the skirmish line was deployed, we 
advanced, driving the rebel skirmishers back over the hill, and took 
possession on top of the hill behind a highway fence. We first dis 
covered the rebels advancing about one o clock, p. M. Sending word 
back to the regiment, we prepared to give them a warm reception. 
As soon as they were in reach of our guns, we opened upon them, 
and maintained a steady fire until they were up to the other side of 
the fence. At this point one of Geary s Batteries on our right, 
opened fire on the rebels. Some of their shot coming rather close 
to us for comfort (in fact one of the men had his gun knocked out 
of his hands by a missile from this battery) our line of skirmishers 
was compelled to fall back six or eight rods to get out of range. 
This was done in good order, maintaining our position and keep 
ing up a steady fire, halting at this point for the line of battle to 
come up with us. The rebels had taken advantage of the gap in 
our line of skirmishers on our left, and under cover of some small 
brush, was swinging around our left flank. A volley from the ad 
vancing brigade line checked them. When the line of battle got 
up to us, we advanced in front of the line to the top of the hill, 
where the rebels were, when their line commenced to break. 
At this point a rebel color bearer was shot, falling forward toward 
us, his flag falling in the same direction. On this, Dennis Buck 
ley, of Company G, sprang forward a few steps, picked up the 
flag, and began stepping backward, at the same time waving the 
flag at the rebels. When within a few steps of our skirmishers, a 
bullet from the rebels struck the flag-staff, glanced, and struck 
Buckley in the forehead, killing him instantly. The captured flag 
was seized by Lieut. Smith, and retained by the men of the skir 
mish line, as a part of the spoils of battle. Several prisoners were 
taken by the skirmish line. I sent three rebel prisoners to the 
rear. The old mill spoken of was at the right of Company G. It 
was in plain view, and I saw no one inside of it at any time. I 
know that Company G maintained their position as skirmishers 
until the rebels were repulsed and retreated. Then the skirmish 
ers were ordered to join the regiment, and the regiment marched 


to the brigade of which it formed a part, and was put in the front 
line of that brigade. 


Late Scrgt. Co. G. 

I may add that a year or more after the war closed, I received 
from the War Department a medal, to be delivered to the mother 
of Buckley, as a memento of the bravery of her son at the battle 
of Peach Tree Creek, and the capture by him of the flag from the 

It will be remembered that during Cleveland s administration, 
an order was made directing the flags captured during the war to 
be returned to the States from whose troops they were captured, 
which order created wide-spread astonishment and indignation 
among the surviving soldiers of the Union army. A list of captured 
flags and by whom captured was published at that time, and at the 
head of the list was this flag, captured by Private BUCKLEY, of the 
1 36th N. Y. Regiment, at the battle of Peach Tree Creek. 



Perhaps the most notable event in the history of the i36th Reg., 
N. Y. Vol. since the war, was the dedication, on Tuesday, the i6th 
of October, 1888, of a beautiful and appropriate monument upon 
the world-renowned battle-field of Gettysburg. The State of New 
York has generously appropriated the sum of $1,500 to each regi 
ment and battery of State troops that participated in the battle, 
for the purpose of erecting a monument at Gettysburg, marking 
the regiment s position on the field and commemorating its par 
ticipation in the great three-days contest that witnessed the turn 
ing point in the fortunes of the rebellion. The labor of cutting 
and lettering is all done by competent workmen under the direc 
tion of a commission of officers of the Union army appointed by the 
Legislature, the survivors of the regiment dictating the design of 
the monument and designating the place for its erection. On the 
evening of the i5th, officers and members of the regiment to the 
number of about sixty, came together at Elmira, and accompanied 
by the Peoria brass band of sixteen pieces, proceeded on the night 
train to Gettysburg, reaching the village at about ten o clock on 
the morning of the i6th. 

Forming in procession at the depot, the veterans marched through 
the town and out on the Taneytown road about one mile south of 
the village, where the monument stands, just over the stone wall 
at the right of the road, where the regiment was stationed during 
the three days of the battle. To the left of the road is the Na 
tional Cemetery, high and commanding ground, and occupied by 
several Union batteries during the fight. Comrade C. H. Miner, 
president of the association, called the veterans to order, and the 
monument was unveiled by General Wood, colonel of the regiment 
at the time of the battle. After an impressive prayer by a resident 


clergyman. Rev. J. K. Denman, pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
in Gettysburg, General Wood gave a graphic and thrilling history 
of the regiment, recounting its many achievements during its two 
and a half years of active and honorable service, dwelling with 
just pride and satisfaction upon a career of untarnished bearing 
and energetic service, with a record for gallantry, courage and in 
trepidity which could successfully challenge that of any other 
regiment in the army. At the close of his address, General Wood 
transferred the monument to the regimental association, and Presi 
dent Miner, in an eloquent and feeling response, accepted the 
same. The address of I. Sam. Johnson, which followed, was a 
glowing tribute of praise, both to the living and the dead of the 
regiment, a portion of the survivors of which were gathered there 
to commemorate the most notable event in its history. 

It was truly an impressive scene, and many eyes were dim with 
tears as they listened to their former commander; and their mem 
ories went back to the thrilling scenes of those July days, twenty- 
five years ago, when the hallowed ground whereon they stood 
received its baptism of patriotic blood. The exercises were 
concluded by the singing of a patriotic hymn, a dirge by the band 
and the benediction ; after which the group of survivors and the 
monument were photographed, and then the procession re-formed 
and marched back to head-quarters at the Eagle hotel. 

After dinner the company took carriages and were driven over 
the second and third day s line of battle, extending from Gulp s 
Hill on the right, to Little Round Top on the left, a distance of 
about four miles. The rebel line of battle, outside and facing the 
Union line, was over six miles in length. Colonel Long, a mem 
ber of the Gettysburg Memorial Association, accompanied the 
party, and gave a graphic and detailed account of the second and 
third day s fighting as it occurred at different points of the field. 
The struggle at Gulp s Hill on the right, the charge of the Louis 
iana Tigers upon Cemetery Hill, the gallant fighting of Sickles 
Corps in advance of the Union line on the second day, the des 
perate struggle of the enemy to gain possession of Little Round 
Top, and lastly, the repulse of Pickett s terrible charge upon the 
center of the Union lines, were described from positions where 
the fighting actually occurred; and it was intensely interesting to 
those who participated in the battle, while to those who had never 
visited Gettysburg battle-field before, it was almost a revelation. 

In the evening the business meeting of the regiment was held 
in the village hall. Capt. Kidder M. Scott, of Geneseo, was 
elected president and Maj. J. J. Bailey, of Dansville, re-elected 
secretary and treasurer, and the next meeting of the association 
was appointed at Geneseo, on the 26. of September next. Capt. 
Kidder M. Scott and Gen. L. B. Faulkner, of Dansville, made 
eloquent and patriotic speeches, which were well received and 
generously applauded. The latter s characterization of the order 
directing the return of the rebel flags was greeted with a storm 
of applause. Short speeches were made by Gen. Wood, I. Sam. 
Johnson, J. S. Galantine and others, and the meeting adjourned ; 
every one concurring in the opinion that it had been a glorious 

The next morning the company took carriages again and vis 
ited the first day s battle-field, on Seminary Ridge, to the west and 
north of the village. Here occurred the death of General Reynolds, 
commander of the ist Corps ; a massive granite monument mark 
ing the place where he fell. In this part of the field is also 
placed the monument of the io4th Regiment, N. Y. Vol., or Wads- 
worth Guards, indicating the position of that regiment in the 
first day s fight. 

Returning to the village, the remainder of the day was given up 
to individual research after relics, old landmarks, picket lines and 
comrades graves. It was a re-union of the living and the dead. 

The battle-field of Gettysburg is destined to become a National 
Mecca. In a few years hundreds of monuments will attest the 
sacredness of the place, and the " wondrous story " will be written 
in granite and marble and bronze; and many succeeding genera 
tions of freemen will here find renewed inspiration of patriotism 
and loyalty; and pledges and vows will here be made to preserve 
and perpetuate the Union whose broken columns were here re 
stored and consecrated by the blood of the patriotic ancestry. 


COMRADES : Let us rejoice that we see this day. Let us thank 
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, that under this protecting 
aegis we passed safely through the fatigues and dangers of a de 
structive war; that He has preserved our lives through the years 
that have followed and shielded us from " the pestilence that 
walketh in darkness and the destruction that wasteth at noon 
day ; " that we are permitted to assemble on this battle-field, 
where was fought a terrific and sanguinary battle, the fame of 
which has extended throughout the world a battle which ex 
erted a momentous influence on the destiny of this nation to 
dedicate this appropriate monument to the memory of the living 
and the dead of our own i36th N. Y. Regiment, a regiment which 
took an active and honorable part in this battle. Our thanks and 
gratitude are due, and are here fitly acknowledged to the State of 
which we have the honor to be citizens, proudly designated the 
Empire State in this great and glorious Union, for providing 
means for the erection of this monument, on the ground held and 
defended by the regiment through the battle in which it fought 
and bled; to keep in lasting remembrance the valiant and meri 
torious services here rendered ; to the Legislature, through whose 
instrumentality the necessary money was raised and appropriated; 
and to the patriotic men who proposed, and by their influence and 
exertions, induced the Legislature to take favorable action to ef 
fectuate the purpose advocated by them ; and to the commissioners 
appointed by the Legislature from among those who had held high 
office in the volunteer army of the United States, from our own 
State, to carry out the legislative purpose, for the skill, ability 
and zeal which they have voluntarily devoted to the purpose for 
which they were appointed, and to whose active exertions we are 
largely indebted for the appropriate and artistic monument which 
we now dedicate. 

This monument does not alone represent the magnanimity 
which the State of New York has exhibited to keep in lasting re 
membrance her sons, the honored dead, who fell on the battle-field 
of Gettysburg. The records of her Legislature show that it ap 
propriated $20,000 to the "Gettysburg Memorial Association," to 
secure the ground on which the battle was fought, to mark out the 


positions held by the different commands which composed the 
Union Army, to preserve the lines and lineaments of the battle 
field, and to protect the monuments to be erected thereon; and 
$1,500 for a monument to each separate command engaged in the 
battle. Let us not forget that the patriotism of the State is not 
represented by money only. She furnished for the armies of the 
United States to repress the rebellion and uphold the government 
four hundred and forty-eight thousand eight hundred and fifty 
men, of whom there were engaged in this battle ninety-two sepa 
rate commands. She furnished more men for the army, appro 
priated more money to hand down to posterity the memory of this 
battle and erected more monuments on the battle-field than any 
other State in the Union. 

It is a high honor to have been among those who were engaged 
in this battle. It is a source of self-gratulation that we are the 
survivors of those who fought and died here, and of profound grati 
fication that this monument will preserve and hand down to pos 
terity the name of this regiment and the part which it bore in this 
battle; and it is a cheering and inspiriting thought that when our 
mortal lives shall be ended and we shall join our comrades who 
died here, this monument will hand down to future ages the name, 
history and services of our regiment; and when the inscriptions 
on this monument are read, the patriotism, courage, suffering and 
sacrifices which helped to secure the victory that crowned this 

In this battle, of the troops from our State, 77 officers and 
888 enlisted men were killed; 288 officers and 3,737 enlisted men 
were wounded; and 69 officers and 1,708 enlisted men cap 
tured or missing. There is abundant reason therefore why 
we should be proud of our comrades, living and dead, who 
participated in this battle, proud of our State for the liberality 
and munificence which she has manifested toward them. This, 
the Empire State, is great in population, great in wealth, great in 
material resources, great in enlightenment; but greater in the men 
and money which she furnished to put down the rebellion and up 
hold the government, and in the generous and bounteous hand 
with which she has provided for the comfort of the survivors, and 
to perpetuate the memory of those who died. 

We are reminded by this beautiful and magnificent National 
Cemetery, with its inspiring monuments, erected on the very 


ground occupied by us, and in which, after the battle, we buried 
our dead, of the paternal care of the United States government, 
for those who died in its defense. Not only in this particular is 
this paternal regard manifested, but in the pensions that have 
been granted to those who suffer from wounds or from disease 
contracted in its military service, and to the widows and families 
of the dead, for the loss of those on whom they relied for support. 
More than this. The surviving soldiers, under the rules and regu 
lations of the government, are a favored class, and first to be re 
membered in the dispensation of the honors and official emolu 
ments it has to bestow. 

What prouder title can one have to hand down to his children 
and those who come after him, than that he was a soldier in the 
gigantic war of the rebellion ; of whom it is recorded that, when 
secession lifted its hydra head and rebellion threatened the integ 
rity of the government and the perpetuity of the Union, he sprang 
to arms and voluntarily enrolled himself in the army raised for its 
defense, and boldly marched to the front to encounter danger and 
death. Do not your hearts, comrades, swell within you with 
thankfulness, when you reflect that you were such soldiers, that 
you belonged to the army that maintained the government and 
saved the Union; and that it was your privilege and good fortune 
to take part in the battle which we now commemorate ; and do 
you not feel a sense of superiority over those who, from inability 
or want of courage, or lack of patriotism, you left behind you ? 
When this generation shall have passed away, and other genera 
tions shall occupy their places and visit this battle-field, what 
more eloquent eulogy, what more fitting epitaph, can they have, 
who sleep the last sleep beneath the green sod that lies above 
them in yon cemetery, than is there inscribed in imperishable let 
ters : " These are the soldiers of the Union army, who fought and 
fell on the bloody but victorious battle-field of Gettysburg?" 
And we, who survive this battle and the fatigues and dangers of 
the campaigns that followed, do we not experience a feeling of 
exultation and solemn joy, when we reflect that we will be re 
membered when we are gone; that on our tombstones will be in 
scribed: "Here lies one who was a soldier in the i36th Regi 
ment ; " and that our comrades, while living, and their descendants 
after them when they are gone, will annually chant requiems to 
our memory and strew flowers over our graves? Let us rejoice, 


therefore, that we are here. Let us be glad that it is permitted us 
to take part in this dedication. Let us remember with reverential 
thoughts the dead who died here, and let us return to our homes 
with feelings subdued and chastened by the solemnity of the occa 
sion, with renewed determination to discharge the obligations 
which rest on us as citizens of this great Union which we helped 
to preserve and, to the best of our ability and influences, strive to 
make it now, and for all time, " the land of the free and the home 
of the brave." 

What vivid recollections rush upon and fill our memories as we 
stand on this consecrated ground. The long and weary march 
from Stafford Court- House, in the State of Virginia, which pre 
ceded the battle ; the bivouac at Emmettsburg ; the announce 
ment from army head-quarters that we were in the vicinity of the 
rebel army, and that a great battle was impending; the fatiguing 
march on the hot, dusty, ist day of July, to the battle-field; the 
booming of cannon, toward the sound of which we marched, in 
dicating that the battle was already opened ; the announcement, 
which met us on our march, that the ist Corps was in conflict 
with the enemy, and that Gen. Reynolds had been killed; the 
order to hurry forward to reinforce the ist Corps, then contend 
ing with overwhelming numbers ; our arrival and taking position 
on the ground where this cemetery now is, covered by the graves 
of those who fell in the battle which followed; the full view of the 
conflict on yonder hills beyond Gettysburg; the rattle of musketry 
and the rapid discharge of artillery; the repulse and rout of the 
ist and 3d Divisions of the nth Corps; the retreat of the ist Corps, 
badly damaged and weakened, within our lines on Cemetery 
Ridge; the halting of the victorious enemy in Gettysburg village; 
the deploy of the 2d Division of the nth Corps in column by 
company, on Cemetery Hill, with Buford s Cavalry deployed in 
front, successfully deceiving the enemy as to the strength of our 
forces; the presence on the ground of Gen. Hancock, who led us 
to anticipate an attack, by inquiring if this regiment was reliable; 
the arrival on the Emmettsburg Road of Gen. Sickles, with the ad 
vanced guard of the 3d Corps ; the arrival of Gen. Meade on the 
field; the cessation of the battle at about five o clock, p. M.; the 
anxiety that was felt, and the urgency that was apparent for the 
concentration of the whole army. The second day opens bright 
and fair. There is a lull along the opposing lines. All is anxious 


expectation. The rattle of musketry and the rapid discharge of 
cannon tell us that the battle is raging on our left. The " Peach 
Orchard," the "Wheat Field " and "Little Round Top" are the 
scenes of the conflict. The attack upon our right, weakened by 
taking troops to reinforce the left; the success of the enemy in 
getting possession of our intrenchments on Gulp s Hill; and the 
attack in the evening on the nth Corps so gallantly repulsed. 
Night closed the conflict. The rebel attack is everywhere repulsed, 
our lines preserved, and Little Round Top saved. The enemy 
retires to his camp, discomfited and disheartened ; and shouts of 
victory run along our lines. Thus ended the second day. 

On the morning of the third day, the fight commences on our 
right. Word is brought into our lines from Gen. Ewell, that he 
will break our lines on our right, or perish in the attempt. His 
threat was an idle one. He makes the attempt. He is repulsed, 
driven out of the intrenchments he had taken the night before. 
Our lines are intact from right to left. All now understand that 
Lee will attack us, and make his most powerful effort to break our 
lines on Cemetery Ridge, and drive us from our position. Each 
side prepared for the conflict. All along Seminary Ridge are seen 
the enemy s batteries deployed. Opposing him, our artillery is in 
position along Cemetery Ridge. At one o clock, the discharge of 
a cannon near Gettysburg, gives the signal, and the enemy s 
artillery opened all along their line. Our artillery replies. A 
most terrific cannonade, the recollection of which is burned in our 
memories, continues for two hours. Deadly missiles fill the air, 
and shells burst all around us. The fire of the enemy is concen 
trated on Cemetery Hill. Suddenly the firing on our side ceases, 
not because it was silenced, but by order. Lee s attacking col 
umns then emerge from yon woods on Seminary Ridge. Gallantly 
they marched to the assault. Onward in battle array they come. 
Their ranks are riddled by grape shot and shells from our artillery 
which reopened, and bullets from the muskets of our infantry. 
The scene is awfully grand, magnificently sublime. The rebels 
fall, as autumnal leaves fall from a forest tree, and cover the 
ground. In our mind s eye we see it now, as we saw it then. 
Memory vividly recalls it. I will not attempt to describe it. It is 
indelibly impressed on our minds. No one but those who par 
ticipated in it, can appreciate this grand, awful and sublime 
scene. The final assault, the supreme effort of Lee s army was 


made and repulsed. The battle of Gettysburg was fought and 
won. But, at what a sacrifice ! Of the Union army, 547 officers 
and 2,816 men were killed, 1,137 officers and 13,43 men wounded, 
and 182 officers and 5,253 men captured, mostly on the second 
day. making the total casualties 22,960. The confederate casual 
ties, as near as can be ascertained, were 2,592 killed, 12,706 
wounded and 5,150 captured; total, 20.448. This, probably, does 
not cover the enemy s losses. From many of his commands, engaged 
in the battle, no report of casualties has been obtained. It is sup 
posed that his losses were much greater. The records of the 
prisoners of war, on file in Washington, bear the names of 12,227 
confederate prisoners captured at and around Gettysburg, from 
July i to 5, inclusive. 

The battle of Gettysburg was the culminating point of the 
Southern rebellion. The Confederate States never recovered from 
the shock of this defeat. The secession serpent was scorched, 
not killed. He still raised his crest and stood at bay, and, for 
two years more, resisted the attacks of the Union army. But he 
was now put on the defensive, and gallantly resisted, until worn 
out and exhausted. 

This monument records the fact that the 136111 Regiment, in 
October following this battle, was transferred to the army of the 
Cumberland, then operating against Bragg s army at Chattanooga, 
in Tennessee. 

Vividly memory calls up, and reproduces the marches we made, 
and the battles we fought, in that southern campaign. The march 
down Lookout Valley; the night fight opposite Chattanooga; the 
successful assault upon the enemy posted on Smith s Hill; the 
battle above the clouds upon Lookout Mountain; the attack and 
defeat of the enemy on Missionary Ridge; the march to Knox- 
ville and back; the Atlanta campaign; the bloody assault deliv 
ered at Resaca; the battles and conflicts at Dallas, Gulp s Farm, 
Gilgal Church, Kenesaw Mountain; the assault by, and defeat of, 
Hood s army at Peach Tree Creek; the affair at Turner s Ferry; 
the capture of Atlanta; the march to the sea ; the capture of Sa 
vannah ; the march through South and North Carolina ; and the bat 
tle of Bentonville, the last battle of the war in which this regiment 
took part ; the surrender of the armies under Lee and Johnson ; the 
final suppression of the rebellion, and the march through Virginia 


to Washington. Thus terminated the military career of the 
Regiment. Then the regiment was mustered out, with a reputation 
for good conduct, sound discipline and unflinching bravery second 
to none in the army. The survivors went to their respective 
homes, and mingled with their families and friends in civil life, 
from whom they had been separated. It was the good fortune 
of this regiment never to have met with a repulse. Although in 
many battles, it took no steps backward. During its services it 
never had what is known in army circles as a soft place, where 
the men could wear white gloves and paper collars. It was always 
found in the front, where the two armies impigned, where the 
fighting was hottest and the danger deadliest. The blood of its 
fallen heroes is mingled with the soil of every State, from Mary 
land to Mississippi. The National cemeteries contain but few of 
the bodies of the dead of our regiment. Loving hands have re 
moved them from the field where they fell, and from the hospitals 
where they died, to local cemeteries and grave-yards, where their 
families resided, and where their relatives are buried. Wherever 
they lie, they are not forgotten. 

" On fame s eternal camping ground, 

Their silent tents are spead, 
And glory guards with solemn round, 

The bivouac of the dead." 

Though the rebellion was conquered; though the result of the 
war redounded to the glory of the Union arms; though the 
doctrine of secession has, by the high and convincing argument 
of arms, been suppressed and condemned; though we devoted 
our aid and our ser/vices to preserve the Union, to conquer the 
armed force that endeavored to .subvert it; though " grim-visaged 
war has smoothed his wrinkled front;" though the flag of the 
Union floats peacefully over every foot of territory within the 
bounds of the United States; though through the length and 
breadth of our land prosperity seems to abound, and though life 
and liberty to all seem to be secure, yet our duties as citizens and 
soldiers did not end with the war, and have not ended, after the 
lapse of twenty-five years, " in these piping times of peace." The 
stability of the government rests upon the intelligence, honesty 
and patriotism of the people, of which the volunteer soldiers form 
so large and influential a part. It is for us so to discharge the re- 


sponsible duties of citizens, as to preserve the peace; to cultivate 
fraternal feelings of good neighborhood and friendship, with all 
the people in all the States. Those who wore the confederate 
gray, are no longer our enemies, but fellow-citizens, entitled to 
kind and fraternal feelings. The passions and enmities created and 
fostered by the war, should be forgotten and buried out of sight, 
so that whenever our southern brethren shall come to this battle 
field, and view this cemetery of the dead, and these monuments 
erected thereon, it will be with no feelings of mortified pride, or 
the resentful sentiments of a conquered people ; but of lofty 
patriotism, rather, as they reflect upon the heroism displayed and 
bravery evinced, by two highly organized and brave armies, com 
posed of soldiers enrolled from a people of the same lineage, and 
same nation ; that the conflict of these armies did not grow out of 
any hostility or enmity of the north against the south, but was the 
mighty effort of our common government to hold all the States of 
the Union within its jurisdiction, and to prevent its disruption ; 
and to compel those who attempted to overturn it, to come home, 
as it were, to their father s house and partake of the benefits of one 
common government, organized and administered by a united 
people. To foster this feeling, to prevent enmities and hostile 
rivalries between the different sections of our now united country, 
is a duty that belongs especially to the survivors of the armies of 
the Union that conquered the rebellion. While they, here and 
elsewhere, dedicate monuments to the memory of their dead com 
rades, they should not forget that they should consecrate them 
selves to the sacred duty of fostering the preservation .of peace, 
friendship and good feeling, with those whom they once regarded 
as rebels and enemies, with whom they once had heroic combats 
in the deadly conflict of arms. The thoughts so forcibly and 
eloquently expressed by our martyred president; on these very 
grounds, in dedicating this cemetery to those who fell on this 
battle-field, speak in as impressive and admonitory tones now, to 
those who survive the war, as they did, to those to whom they 
were addressed, while rebellion was still rampant. 

"Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon 
this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to 
the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are en 
gaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any 
other nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. 


We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to 
dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those 
who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is 
altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger 
sense, we cannot dedicate ; we cannot consecrate ; we cannot 
hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled 
here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. 
The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, 
but it can never forget what they did here, It is for us, the living, 
rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they 
who fought here, have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather 
for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, 
that, from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that 
cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ; that 
we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ; 
that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom ; 
and that government of the people, by the people and for the 
people, shall not perish from the earth." 

While we, as survivors of the war, should be advocates of peace, 
fraternal feeling and good will among all the States, we should 
not forget the principles upon which the war was conducted, and 
in the prosecution of which the people of the north poured out 
their blood and treasure with an unstinted hand. The Southern 
States were slave States, and had been such from the foundation 
of the government. To protect this institution from the anti- 
slavery sentiment of the people of the Northern States, and their 
right to extend it into free territory, the Southern States seceded 
from the Union, and submitted the question of freedom or slavery 
to the arbitrament of arms. They were beaten in the contest. 
The result of the war abolished slavery. The Constitution of the 
United States now provides " that neither slavery nor involuntary 
servitude, except for crime, whereof the party shall be duly con 
victed, shall exist within the United States or in any place subject 
to their jurisdiction." Freedom prevails throughout the land. 
The sentiment contained in the Declaration of Independence, 
that " all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their 
creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness;" which before the war existed only 
in theory, by the war has become an accomplished fact. The 
perpetuity of a republican form of government depends upon the 


enactment and strict enforcement of laws for the protection of the 
rights and liberty of each and every citizen of the State and 
Nation. This government derives its just powers from the consent 
of the governed, and one of the most important rights that should 
be safely guarded and protected is the right of each and every 
citizen, on whom the right of suffrage is conferred, without hin 
drance or opposition to deposit his vote in the ballot-box at every 
election, and freely to express his choice in the selection of the 
officers of the government and the principles by which the gov 
ernment should be guided and controlled. The provision of the 
Constitution of the United States, that " the right of citizens of 
the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the 
United States, or any State, on account of race, color or previous 
condition of servitude," should be sedulously enforced. Free 
and fair elections and an honest count are absolutely essential to 
the perpetuity of the government; and when, by law or by the 
combinations of individuals, a class of citizens is prevented from 
voting, by reason of race, color or previous condition of servi 
tude, or for any reason or for no reason; the very fundamental prin 
ciple of the government is invaded and its existence endangered. 
Such a wrong will prove a canker in the body politic, which will 
gradually eat into its very vitals and produce dissolution. If this 
wrong is allowed to prevail, then " the government of the people, 
for the people and by the people " will surely, SURELY, " perish 
from the earth." 

We have experienced the dangers and horrors of war. We have 
seen the blood of our comrades poured out like water, to prevent 
the disruption of the Union and to " proclaim liberty throughout 
the land," Baptized in blood, we are clothed with the authority 
and commissioned to be preachers and advocates of peace and 
universal freedom; and while we dedicate this monument to the 
honored dead of our regiment, let us consecrate ourselves to the 
cause for which they died. Let us keep in view the necessity for 
the enforcement of all the laws and the honor and prosperity of 
the whole country. Let us endeavor, by voice and influence, to 
propagate the doctrine of loyalty to the union of the States and 
its government. Let our principles and our works be seen and 
known of all men. Let us inscribe on our banner " The rights 
guaranteed by the Constitution must and shall be protected."" " The 
government must and shall be maintained." " The Union must and 


shall be preserved." So shall our National standard remain un 
tarnished and its galaxy of stars undiminished, increased rather, 
as time rolls on. In the language of that eminent statesman and 
eloquent senator, Daniel Webster, " When our eyes shall be 
turned for the last time to behold the sun in the heavens, may we 
not again see him shining on the broken and dishonored frag 
ments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discord 
ant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil commotions and 
drenched in fraternal blood. Let the last lingering glance ratKer 
behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and hon 
ored throughout the world, still full high advanced, its arms and 
trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased or 
polluted, not a single star obscured, bearing for its motto, every 
where spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its 
ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, in every 
wind under the whole heavens, now so dear to every American 





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